Eat Your Fats {Guest Post @ Kitchen Courage}

I’m taking a break from normal posting today because I wrote a guest post for Beth and because of my response last night! I’ve been reading Beth’s blog for ages and she is so insightful/inspirational/creative/fun/talented. She is at a hooping convention in San Francisco this weekend and she has lots of guests popping in at her blog; make sure to poke around. This post was inspired by Kim ages ago, who asked me about cooking oils in a comment.

My Guest Post: My Favorite Cooking Oils

If you didn’t see it already please read and comment on…

My 2 favorite responses so far are from Sophia and Caronae, who both put the responsibility back on the reader. We’re not stupid you know.

The Hunger Diaries: My (Brief) Take on the Matter

If you haven’t already heard about the major blog drama going on, here’s the scoop: Marie Claire published a rather scathing and one-sided article criticizing “The Big Six” (six popular healthy living bloggers). The author, Katie Drummond, accused the six girls of exhibiting disordered behaviors and being bad role models for their readers. I have lots of things to say, but I’m going to keep it brief and ask for your thoughts.

I happened to blog about what I usually eat in a day today; good timing. Read my “Non-Hunger Diaries: Part 1” if you didn’t check it out already.

The Hunger Diaries: A Second Look

  1. The Big Six have definitely been inspiring for many, including me. If you are struggling with some of the behaviors the article talks about, like overthinking food and exercise, feeling guilty for not eating right, and having poor body image – I know first-hand that these blogs are helpful. These girls put themselves out there and have been incredibly honest and open with their lives; they were role models for me and others. Now that I am in a place of moderation I honestly don’t read those blogs that much because I don’t need them anymore (!), but I do not think that they were harmful. Instead, they were inspirational.
  2. Everyone struggles. Don’t judge before you walk 2 moons in someone else’s moccasins. When someone admits on the internet (the internet is written in INK, by the way, so it is hard to retract things) that she is having trouble with something, that is not an excuse to take that problem and blow it out of proportion. These girls were just being honest and opening up a discussion.
  3. Yes, there are some concerning issues brought up in the article. But instead of attacking the girls, why not offer some constructive criticism or some freaking compassion! If you are struggling, the last thing you need is someone yelling at and condemning you.
  4. Blogs are SUPPOSED to be obsessive. You aren’t going to blog about something you’re not passionate about, so there is going to be a level of obsession in any blog about anything. Do people criticize Stuff On My Cat for being obsessive about stuff on cats? No! Because that is what the blog is about.
  5. Source

That’s basically it.

The reasons that I blog the way I do (not everything I eat, not everything I do at the gym, and not every detail of my life) is because it’s not helpful for ME to blog that way, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad for others to do it. I don’t need to give all the dirty details to set a healthy example. My hope for people reading THIS blog is that they will walk away with some nuggets of inspiration, and hopefully…

  1. Tools to practice moderation in life.
  2. Some yoga tips.
  3. Ideas to be chillax about both food and exercise while staying thin.
  4. Ways to learn to eat intuitively (again).
  5. A bunch of New York healthy restaurants to try.

There are different ways of inspiring people and I think that most “healthy living” blogs out there are just trying to help (themselves or others). See the other bloggers’ responses here. These ladies are beautiful and fabulous.

What are your thoughts?

The Non-Hunger Diaries: How I Eat And Move {Part 1 of 2}

***Update #2***

See my response to The Hunger Diaries

***Update***

Interesting timing that I wrote this post today, in light of Marie Clare‘s “The Hunger Diaries“. Maybe I will write my reaction to the article sometime this week. I am retitling this post:

The Non-Hunger Diaries

***

A while ago I got a question from a reader about what my daily exercise and food routines look like. My initial response has changed somewhat since I replied via email (about 3 months ago) so I thought I might post it here because it’s a question I get a lot! I was going to post both workouts and food in the same post but it got long, so today is just going to be my food. I’ve been chatting about the gym a lot lately anyway so it’s time for a change.

This is me (sorry for the awful lighting and the weird angle – it was last night, I only have 1 full length mirror in the house, and my overhead light went out and I haven’t gotten around to putting a new one in). Note the book problem in the background – I have 2 more of those shelves completely full and we are running out of room. (Katie, I still have to mail your book!) I guess this is what happens when you don’t like or watch TV.

You can kind of see my new hair cut. I am wearing my standard uniform of yoga pants and a tank top. It was good to hear that you guys agree with me – you should do what YOU want to with your hair (and everything else) – not what other people tell you. I like having my hair short because I flip my head over, blow dry for 3 minutes, and I’m done. I don’t even need a brush or any products. I have a very simple beauty routine. The only makeup I wear is concealer mixed with oil-free lotion. I rarely wear anything else like mascara or blush. I do always wear jewelry outside of the house – earrings and my wedding and engagement rings. I can be ready in 8 minutes, including my shower. I am not a girly girl and yes I do wear yoga pants to parties. At least I wear cute shoes.

A Chillax Diet Routine

My diet philosophy is: be very chill. I don’t want to be vague though, so I will give examples (not exhaustive, but these are my staples). Something to note – unlike most bloggers, I eat out a lot. I eat out for about 80% of my meals.

    • Morning before work: a big cup of tea or coffee, sometimes with milk, always with NuNaturals stevia.
    • Breakfasts: Greek yogurt, or some fruit, or bacon, or hard boiled eggs. If I’m feeling frisky I might have part of a healthy scone from Whole Foods or a buttered bagel. An omelette with greens (whole eggs, not the whites). On weekends we tend to have larger breakfasts and my favorites are actually just huge salads, or big omelettes. This is a far cry from what I used to eat – back at Cornell we’d go to Mate Factor in downtown Ithaca and I would get this great Belgian waffle with whipped cream (sometimes for dinner too). Bobby would get the salmon bagel.

    • Lunches: a big salad with lots of toppings (my favorite is a chopped unlimited topping salad from cafe metro: romaine, marinated tofu or tuna, grapes, mandarin oranges, tomatoes, cucumbers, whole egg, avocado, sprouts, beets, peppers, and more); leftover dinner. I often have an apple after lunch to clear my palette.

    • Dinners: whatever I’m missing out on and craving from the day (luckily for me my body tends to know what it needs). This could be another big salad or a big veggie stir-fry with some kind of protein and lots of fats (butter, coconut oil, peanut oil, olive oil, avocado). If I’m in a macro mood I might have a macro plate – brown rice, beans, hijiki seaweed, steamed greens, and steamed squash, doused in whatever dressing the plate comes with (it varies by the restaurant). I recreated my favorite dressing, the miso-tahini sauce recipe from Souen.

    • Healthy Snacks: fruit, veggies and dip, yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts, etc… I used to have a bad habit of mindlessly snacking too much after dinner but I’ve been working on it and I’m doing much better these days.

I have tried to track my calories and it just makes me crazy. I would guess that I eat anywhere from 1800-2000 calories a day, and it definitely varies all the time depending on time of month and my exercise levels. (I am 5’10” so I am not a teeny girl.) I have never ever had a day where I knew how many calories I ate. (I have nothing against calorie counting if it works for you – it just is not right for me, at all.) The fact that I eat out so much also makes it hard to calculate.

Just some notes – I am NOT vegetarian/vegan/macrobiotic/raw. If anything I’m paleo/primal. I eat meat because I feel that my body needs it. I love butter and cream cheese and Greek yogurt, but don’t eat much dairy besides those (I’m semi lactose intolerant but sometimes I do cave for McDonald’s $1 soft serve). I love fish. I don’t have any known food allergies, but I do have IBS. I love carbs but to be honest I don’t eat many grains these days. I don’t really worry about getting enough protein. I do make sure to eat a lot of fat, which is good for your brain and your skin. I don’t care for nut butter (gasp). My favorite foods are changing all the time, but I generally love squash, seaweed, bacon, and butter.

Other linkies on food:

***

Hope this answers any questions! Do you eat like me? Have you found a way of eating that works for your body? Anything else you want to ask me? (If you have exercise Q’s I will try to answer them in Part 2.)

My gosh this turned into an epic post. I promise the exercise one is much shorter.

What’s Up Saturday – 10.2.10

Today is almost a palindrome! 10-02-2010 –> 1002::2010. It’s close. I’m so glad the weather is finally getting fall-like. I will be sad in a few weeks when it starts getting too cold though.

Today is also one of my best friend’s birthdays – Happy Birthday Mel!

And today is also another round of What’s Up Saturday. In case you’ve been wondering how I get my cool links, here’s the scoop – my awesome husband sends me lots of articles during the week in addition to all the blogs that I read and I post my favorites here.

In Salad News…

Around the Blogs

Other Cool & Fun Stuff

I also got a hair cut today after Coco left. It’s short-ish! Bobby hates it when I cut my hair short because he loves my hair long. I love it short though – it was so annoying growing it out for the wedding. Now that we are married I can cut it short and he is stuck with me. Hehehe. Just kidding – kind of.

What’s up for you this Saturday? This weekend? Any good stuff to share?

We are about to head out to dinner at this place. Tomorrow my plans are up in the air aside from the workouts I’m going to try. Then it’s back to work on Monday, though I may try to get in a few hours of work this weekend too.

Energy Sculpt, Best Breakfast, & A Healthy Gut

A Cardio & Scone-y Morning

Coco is here! This morning we went to my gym to take a class called Energy Sculpt. I had never taken it before and had no idea what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 30 minutes cardio with a step (this was really fun – not too repetitive at all, which is what I usually dislike about step/cardio classes)
  • 20-25 minutes combo of yoga and strength training. We were surprised (and pleased) when the cardio segment ended with down dog, warriors, and fun weight routines. He did not make the sets go on forever and I really enjoyed all the exercises.
  • 5-10 minutes abs and a brief cooldown. I hate abs, but at least this part didn’t last very long! And cooldowns are my favorite part of any workout.

After the workout we enjoyed the showers and headed back to my apartment for a breakfast of Whole Foods baked goods. I have a new favorite thing – the “no sugar added blueberry scone“. It doesn’t have any sweetener at all, so it is really more like a buttery blueberry biscuit. It looks like this:

Source.

Scones & Intuitive Eating

I haven’t talked much about intuitive eating lately, but I am very happy to say that it’s going well. It’s important to enjoy things like blueberry scones because by having what you really want, you stave off the cravings that usually come later.

Not to say that we should always indulge in our cravings. A balanced, healthy diet is important – so if I have too many scones I will probably balance it out with a nice salad or some fresh fruit. It’s all about balance! Moderation is hard, but worth it.

Do You Have A Healthy Gut?

Bobby sent me this great article yesterday and I just had to mention it today; normally I would have saved it for What’s Up Saturday but I want to elaborate. It’s written by Dr. Mark Hyman (author of those “Ultra” books – UltraWellness, UltraMind, UltraMetabolism, etc…).

The gist of the article is that many ailments that people suffer actually come from having a digestive issue (even if you never notice any stomach problems) – things like acne, asthma, allergies, obesity, fibromyalgia, and more. Dr. Hyman says that modern medicine defines illness based on symptoms, which can be inaccurate or incomplete. If you have a chronic problem you should check out your gut and make sure it’s healthy – you might be surprised at what you find.

He notes a few examples of people that have had long times of illness (20+ years) only to “magically” cure themselves by getting rid of a crazy bacteria living in their gut. Some of the symptoms that were cured include autism (maybe misdiagnosed, but something like it), severe behavioral problems, migraines, and sinusitis.

He goes on to talk about lots and lots of research linking gut flora and inflammation (inflammation = our body’s response to pathogens) to chronic illness. Some intriguing findings in the article.

He closes with 5 Steps to a Healthy Gut and Body:

  1. Eat a high-fiber, whole foods diet. His favorites are beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables because they support the good digestive bacteria.
  2. Avoid/limit sugar, processed foods, animal fat, and animal protein. The harmful bacteria feed on these.
  3. Avoid antibiotics, acid-blockers, and anti-inflammatory drugs.
  4. Take probiotics. They improve digestive health and can help get rid of allergies and inflammation.
  5. If you still have problems (or if you’re just curious) consider getting specialized tests and working with a natural doctor to make sure your gut is functioning well.

What do you all think? Here are my thoughts…

#1: Duh. I wholeheartedly agree that these should be the bases of the human diet.

#2: Agree that sugar and processed foods are bad; I’m iffy on animal fat. I think butter is great and I have seen fabulous results from eating more butter and including minimal amounts of animal protein in my diet. The key here I think is that you shouldn’t have animal fat/protein at every meal.

#3: In general, I think that antibiotics are overused. They are a wonderful wonderful thing when used properly and in moderation. Many lives have been saved. But when we overuse and overprescribe drugs, our bodies get confused and stop working they way they should. I have taken antibiotics exactly 3 times in my life, which is very very rare nowadays.

#4: I’ve taken probiotics off and on and sometimes I think I see improvements and other times I don’t notice anything. I do think that if I want to see results I would have to be consistent. I know that Clare has had great success with probiotics.

#5: I generally avoid any medical test that is not absolutely required. Ha.