My Real Body. Juice. Autumn. and so on…

I can’t believe it has been a month since I last updated my blog. Time flies. Life is hectic. I’m sort of, in between, living situations. I moved in with a good friend of mine and it just isn’t working out as I hoped it would. Kind of a bummer, but that is life! So, I’m in the process of moving back into my parents house for awhile, until I figure out where I want to be. Do you actually ever figure this out? I’m not sure.

So, over the past month, I’ve enjoyed the bounty of the harvest – fresh food from all around! My mom has been getting some venison from a friend of hers, so we’ve been enjoying roasts, meat loafs, kabobs, and what nots, all made with locally shot deer meat! I didn’t know there would be anything more tasty than a good, grass-fed beef steak, but man, was I wrong. The vegetable and fruit harvests are coming to an end in Michigan – so enjoy while you can! I’ve been loving the hell out of the locally grown peppers, tomatoes, and corn. Not to mention the APPLES!!!!!!!! Apple season in Michigan is spectacular. You can go to a farmer’s market and choose from 10 different varieties, all described as “juicy” and another mouthwatering adjective that really is true. You can’t go wrong!

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Another wonderful specialty crop in Michigan is the grape. Local vineyards produce delicious grapes to snack on or to juice…and this past weekend, I juiced some grapes. Unfortunately, I don’t have a fancy-dancy juicer, so I have to do what works…a food mill with a hand crank. Sure, it takes a bit of time…but it made some grape juice fit for kings and queens!

IMG_6481Hand-crank food mill. The old school way of making juice. Not to mention, my arms get a well needed workout!

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And the delicious grape juice. Even better if you add some sparkling water and create a fizzy!

The next thing I want to talk about is inspired by yoga_girl on Instagram, also known as Rachel Brathen, a yoga superstar based out of Aruba. She is candid, funny, loving, and carefree as she shares her life with her Instagram followers. I’ve been following her for a year now, and she’s truly an inspiration. Yesterday, she posted the most beautiful picture and caption of her belly rolls. I quote:

“It folds. It moves. It jiggles, bounces, flows, and allows for grabbing a handful of when needed. It’s strong and soft. Graceful and clumsy. Built by yoga and handstands and red wine and chocolate. And you know what the best part is? It’s all mine! Our insecurities and our confidence go hand in hand. When we hide certain aspects of our bodies we accentuate them as “flaws” in our minds… When fact of the matter is that by shying away we create the very same insecurity we are trying to get away from. By embracing everything about ourselves without hiding our “flaws” we create confidence, strength, power. It’s time to celebrate our bodies – every single inch. You’ll find that no one judges you more harshly than yourself. And that thing about your body you’ve been so hung up on? 99% of people out there are too preoccupied with their own insecuities to give a rats ass about yours. Half of the time our insecurities are imagined and distorted. For instance – I wanted to post a picture of the stretch marks I have on my upper things just now…Only to find that the camera couldn’t even capture them. That’s how invisible they are. Who knew?!? Not me, that’s for sure! So listen carefully: THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN MAKE YOU FEEL BAD ABOUT YOURSELF IS YOU. Treat yourself nicely. You deserve a good life and happiness and beach days that center around sunshine and ocean – not sit ups and counting calories.”

Thank you, Rachel. You inspired me. Over the past 6 months, I’ve gained weight. I’ve gained about 20 pounds. How? No clue. Not exercising enough. Eating whatever I want, whenever I want. Over eating. Sugar. Lots and lots of sugar. A little more alcohol than normal. A few late night trips for chicken fingers and french fries. A second serving of ice cream. Stress. Changes in my life. Being happy? All these things can contribute to putting on a few extra pounds…and when you’re barely five foot two, those pounds come quickly. Sure, I still feel great. I still think I’m sexy. Most of my friends can’t believe it when I tell them and respond with something along the lines of, “where did it go? I wish I could put on pounds like you!”, because, luckily, I gain weight in my hips/thighs/ass, so it isn’t hideous weight, but it gives you something to hold on to (now if only someone was). So, well, as I started to get down on myself because I can’t fit into my size 0s anymore, I don’t like wearing tight t-shirts, blah blah blah, I realized, FUCK IT. I love myself.

Here is my stomach, sitting down:
IMG_6568Here are my love handles. Here is my little rolls. Right under my boobs, I’ve always had these little parts of fat (I can pretend and call them my abs!) and they have made me self conscious in the past…but not anymore. I love my body. Sure, I need to exercise a bit more. I need to get back in the yoga studio more often. I need to do a little bit of cardio after sitting at a desk for 45 hours a week. But even more important is that I need to look into the mirror and say that I love myself, because I do. I do I do I do. Do you?

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Goodies aren’t so good. Self control, have you heard of it?

Here, in the US, we are surrounded by junk food all the time. For office parties, cookies, candy, cakes, muffins, donuts, chips, all of those things are presented…and how do we say no? Well, we usually don’t. We usually make up an excuse to yourselves, something like, “well it IS a special occasion…”, or “I’ll only have a little piece”, or “I’ll eat a big salad for dinner and nothing for lunch except this yummy muffin”, or even “well if I have a bowl of fruit, the donut, and a cup of coffee, I’ll feel fine!” but yet, alas, none of these things are good enough.

When we consume sugar, anything over 4 TBLS at a time, we shock our system. Do you get that afternoon drowsiness if you eat a big salad and a cup of homemade soup? Probably not. We have gotten so used to that tired, sluggish feeling, that we’ve forgotten what it is like to NOT feel that way. What would it be like if every time you ate a snack at work it was a fruit or vegetable? Probably a whole lot better.

Now, treats are good. Every so often we should indulge. Shoot, indulge every day if you want to, but make the better choice in your indulgences. Choose the whole foods. Make your own baked goods. Go to a specialty chocolate shop and buy some rich, dark chocolate. Buy fair-trade organic chocolate. Make your own muffins. This way, you’ll know what you’re putting into your body.

Just an hour ago, I was starting to get hungry but wasn’t able to eat my lunch…so I cut myself a slice of a blueberry loaf. I didn’t look at the ingredients, I didn’t want to know. It was from Bob Evans, so I knew enough. I knew that I should have avoided it, made myself a cup of hot tea, and waited until I could sit down and enjoy a meal. But no, I ate it anyways…and the 5 seconds that it lasted, it tasted GOOD. But, well, moments later, I was tired. I started to feel mucus building up. I felt my lymph-nodes swell up. Man, do I want to go to sleep.

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Seems harmless, right? Now turn it around and look at the ingredient list.

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There is nothing wholesome about this treat. Notice the ridiculous amounts of ingredients, including those that I NEVER would use in my kitchen: soybean oil, margarine, mono & diglycerides, sodium benzoate, artificial flavor, modified corn starch, polysorbate 60, xanthan gum. AND I will tell you that my blueberries are just blueberries…not containing soybean oil (TRANS FAT, even though it says 0 grams), artificial flavor, beta carotene for color (orange? doesn’t make sense), soy lecithin, dimethylpolysiloxane (WHAT DID YOU SAY?), and TBHQ. Who in the hell makes this crap? Oh yeah, Bob Evans Farms, INC. I’d like to see this farm…where the blueberries come straight out of chemicals! 500 calories in two slices? Gross.

Why do we give in to temptation if we know the consequences are SO MUCH WORSE than the 5 seconds of yumminess? I don’t know. I do know, however, that if we eat high quality snacks, in between meals, we’ll be able to avoid the temptations of the sweets on the table. Try some of these: http://greatist.com/health/high-protein-snacks-portable/

Some of my favorites include trail mix, smoothies, nut butter boat (ants on a log), and an apple with almond butter. 100 calories of sweets is so small compared to 100 calories from veggies. Maybe I’m just a muncher, but I always want to feel like I’m eating more. So, compare…a plate full of veggies, or one Reese’s cup? I’ll choose the veggies. And who said you have to stop that at 100 calories?

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Yummy.

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Images from FitSugar

What do you do when the temptation is calling from the break room?

Thursday; a colorful one!

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I woke up this morning, at 6:30, feeling refreshed and excited to start a new day! My Wednesday was rough and I was happy that a good evening out and some heavy sleep rejuvenated me!

I was also inspired to be bright today! I put on my brand new colorful leggings and said, “lets do it!!!”, stretched out on my mat, ate some oatmeal and made a smoothie and lunch, and headed to the office!

I was greeted warmly upon arrival, with many compliments! The ladies loved my colorful “pants” and I felt great rockin’ them and making people smile with my brightness, who doesn’t?!?

This delicious bowl of fruit was my “afternoon tea”… As I claim to eat like a hobbit! But seriously, go buy some local and freshly picked strawberries! I picked some up last night and they literally smell like a fruit roll up, but are 1000 times better for you!

Enjoy the bounty of Mother Earth! Enjoy your day! Love yourself & others, always.

What do you do if you are craving sweets? Watch this video.

Need a good way to ensure that you won’t be eating sugar later today, tomorrow, next week, next year? Here ya go! This is a little clip from an awesome UK show “Supersize vs. Superskinny”.

Last semester, I worked on a project that would help curb childhood obesity in Michigan. One of the points I brought up was skinny-fat people (especially kids) because although they appear to be “healthy” (aka, less fat) they are not healthy on the inside. Internal organs coated with fat is not healthy.

Next time you feel like eating some gummies, or a fruit roll up, or a slushy – think about this. Remember what all those ingredients really are…not REAL food.

Don’t starve your body from nutrients. Don’t overfeed your body crap. Be pure, Be healthy, & Always eat real food.