Food Talk

Earlier today I had an interesting FB conversation with my sister and cousins, spurred by this article on Veganism.  The author discuss being a “part-time Vegan” as a way to increase plant intake, rather than cutting out animal products completely.  Give it a read, it’s interesting.  In our discussion, these were the highlights:

  • Everyone hates on dairy and eggs!  
  • The article does not address the need to include protein in your diet.  You have to eat a lot of beans or soy to get the same amount of protein as you do from meat.  
  • Soy is not necessarily a “good” replacement.
  • Skeptics of soy: I have to quote my cousin LB here: “Taste-wise, I’m a huge fan of soy (I’m weird and love tofu, soy milk, etc.) but I avoid it now because it is really freaking me out the way it has seeped into everything on the shelf, much like high-fructose corn syrup. One of the reasons for this that I don’t see addressed very often (lost in all of the other Monsanto controversy) is that soy is one of the few plants that fixes its own nitrogen, i.e. you don’t have to provide nitrogen content in the form of fertilizer – it can obtain it from N2 in the air. For this reason, it actually cheaper to produce than other crops, and American farmers have become completely enamored with it. I try not to be too much of a food-conspiracy theorist but I have a general mistrust of the soy industry because of this. I really don’t think it’s as “healthy” as people proclaim, and I’m sort of concerned about the phytoestrogen content/hormonal effects that get waived off as a myth as well.”  (She’s an uber smart chemist).
  • LB also went on to explain: “From what I’ve seen (which is limited, most of the time I spend looking up scientific articles on nutrition is focused on the sat fat debate) most research focuses on whether or not soy is “feminizing” men/boys and whether they are increasing/decreasing risk of cancer (from what I’ve seen there are conflicting results in both cases). There is a lot less literature on my bigger (personal) concern which is acne. Also, I’m not being totally fair to soy, as the fact that you can rotate soy in as a cover crop to fix the soil for cash crops and then as a bonus use the oil and proteins is really green and efficient and good for food production. It just weirds me out that that then means it gets thrown into everything whether you realize it or not.
  • Fats: eat them!  We all love our avocados and almonds and have experienced nothing but good changes by including them in our diets. 
  • Why is it “more natural”/”better for you” to eat meat than to drink the milk/eat the cheese?  Both are animal products, and personally, I’d rather eat the dairy. 

Our concluding point, made by CQ herself, is that it probably comes down to moderation.  That is what my therapists hammered home to me, and it seems to be the most realistic rule to live by.  Everything in moderation should equate to a balanced diet.  I think problems arise when we start cutting out food groups (unless for an allergy).  

What are your thoughts?  Weigh in on the conversation here!

AQ. 

 Thanks to CQ, LB, EB, & NB for the insightful chat!

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Weekend Update

I know you are all dying to hear how I’m doing with the salad-for-lunch goal…and well, success on Day 1!  FW made a salad on Thursday night for me to take to work on Friday, but I forgot it in the fridge.  I’m going to pretend that never happened.  And of course I forgot to take a picture of today’s salad, but here is what I put in it:

– broccoli slaw (I ran out of leaves)
– 2 hard boiled eggs
– a bit of cheddar cheese
– sweet cherries (the red/yellowish ones)
– a sprinkling of sunflower seeds

It was pretty good!  I’m not a big salad dressing person, and I really didn’t need it with this, because of the crumbled egg.  Next time, I will keep the cherries on the side and add Sriracha to the salad.  I would consider Day 1 a good (not great) start to a new habit. 

Weekend updates?.  I read a lot of American Gods by Neil Gaiman.  It’s different from the sort of book I normally read, but it is quite good.  And yes, it’s about Gods in living amongst humans in America.  Deep stuff.

The highlight of my weekend was volunteering yesterday at the Hope and Heroes Walk.  Despite the rainy weather, the participants and volunteers had SO much energy.  They raised around $360k for this charity which supplies assistance, therapies, and programs for children and adolescents battling cancer.  It is an incredible charity, and I have been lucky enough to volunteer at two major events.  I admire the children and their families who have gone through so much, but continue to bring so much energy and positivity to others.  A big shout-out to KL for organizing an amazing event!

What was your weekend highlight?

AQ.

Updates

I have a few updates for you:

1)   This morning, after writing “You Are the New Sexy”, I came across this blog post about the “Strong is the New Skinny” campaign.  I found it quite insightful, and her defense for the slogan makes sense.  In her mind, “strong” transcends body types; it is a characteristic independent of shape.  I like her take on it.  However, I’m not sure everyone interprets the slogan that way.  Thoughts?

2)   My very wise sister CQ told me she thinks I need to embrace salad for lunch (she is right).  Here is what she had to say about lunch:

“I totally agree that lunch can be a drag…when I think about what to eat at lunchtime, I think about what I don’t get enough of. One word: vegetables
I really like to make salads to put in the fridge for the week ahead. One of my favorites is taco salad – when you’re cooking your ground turkey, add a can of beans so that you can increase the volume and decrease the meat. Also, I just made a delicious chopped salad with cabbage, carrots, yellow mangos, shredded chicken, avacado and peanuts with a lite asian dressing!”
CQ is, and always has been, an incredible role modelShe is also a wizard in the kitchen (she takes after my Mum).  She leads a busy life (she gets up at 4:15am!) but always makes time for healthy eating and exercise.  
Awesome, right?!

Needless to say, I listen to every word she says.  And her salads sound delicious, don’t they?  I’m going to give it a try.  She is going to send me more salad combos she enjoys, so I’ll be sure to share them.  Thanks CQ!

3)  Ankle:  I am thoroughly enjoying walking around sans crutches!  Having two hands free and walking with two feet (albeit slowly) is incredible.  I will never take that for granted again.  I am surprised, though, at how tired and weak I am.  I mean, I shouldn’t be: I have not walked more than four blocks since March 21st (we will pretend I didn’t take that long walk on Sunday).  I have NO muscles.  Dislike.  I’m mentally storing all my motivation and enthusiasm in a jar so that I can really kill it when I’m back to exercising.  I can’t wait for that day!

4)  Have you all discovered Broccoli Slaw?  I might be late to the party, but it is amazing.

You can eat it raw, roast it, put it on salads…I’m obsessed.  You can get a big bag of it (Dole’s) for about $2.99. 

5)  Check out Daft Punk’s new album.  “Get Lucky” is awesome sauce.

Happy Hump Day!

AQ.

"You Are the New Sexy"

You guys!  Isn’t this the happiest, cutest baby you’ve ever seen?!

This makes me smile every time I see it and I just had to share this huge grin.  I want to kiss those cheeks and chunky arms!

There’s a lot of chatter today on the internet/blogs about body image and eating.  FW and I actually had this conversation last night, and I got overly worked up about the pressures that women face being scrutinized for how they look and what they eat.  Granted, I might have a harder time separating those voices from my own, but  I still think it is completely out of control.  Every day the media tells me what I should/shouldn’t eat, what exercises I should do, how to trick myself into being full.  Just yesterday, I read that I should “drink a glass of water with lemon in it immediately after waking up” so that I feel full.  Really?  The first thing I do when I wake up is use the bathroom.  I’m sure as hell not downing a glass of water with fresh squeezed lemon in it.  And apparently, if seven days a week I do situps, planks and pushups each morning and night, run for 45 minutes a day, and do yoga or pilates for an hour, my body will be “beach” ready in no time.  I guess I’ll have to quit my job and friends so I can make sure my body is “ready” for a bikini…

Then I stumbled across this fantastic Buzzfeed post.  It’s all about J-Law, and and what we should learn from her about eating.  It’s funny to read, but also kind of serious.  I mean, why are people asking about her weight in interviews?  She’s a talented actress, yet everyone wants to know what she weighs.  It doesn’t matter what she weighs.  And  why should it be a surprise that she’s having a snack on the set of a movie?  It should be a surprise if someone were to go all day not eating on set.

Do I sound bitter?  I am.  I spent a huge chunk of my life worrying about these things, and it’s no wonder.  Granted, there were also emotional issues behind my disorder, but  the media played a big role in the pressure I put on myself.  And now the new campaign “Strong is the new sexy”: what do you think of that?   On the one hand, I get that it is trying to say strong, healthy living is more attractive than being skinny and unhealthy.  But why do our bodies have to be defined in terms of sexiness?  So now, if you’re not strong, you’re not sexy.  There are people of all shapes and sizes, and the media is constantly telling us who and what shape is the most attractive.  It’s not fair.  Maybe the campaign should be “You are the new sexy”. 

I am working hard to eat a healthy, balanced diet and exercise in a positive, enriching way.  It’s challenging to do when in order to read accurate information you have to sort through all this nonsense. 

Please share your thoughts-I’ve been ranting for too long!

AQ.

When Will I Learn?

The answer is never.

But let me back up.  First, I am OFF THE CRUTCHES!  Woo!  I threw those suckers down without a second look.  I wish I could burn them or trash them, but I’m going to donate them to a charity that provides used crutches to kids who can’t afford them.  Less avenging, but more humane.

So naturally, I decide I am totally capable of walking back to my apt to start packing.  It’s about 1.8 miles roundtrip from FW’s.  About halfway there I realized it was probably a tad too far, but there was no point in turning back.  I got a bit done at my apt and walked [read: trudged] back.  But ah, let’s not forget to mention the drunk man at 5:00pm smoking outside the bar who grilled me about what happened and told me that I should “really use the railing next time”.   Genius!  Why hadn’t I thought of that?!

Anyway, flash forward to now: splitting headache, nauseous, pained ankle.  I feel like a wilted flower.  It’s as if I just ran a really long run without fuel or hydration.  And the worst part is that it’s all my fault.  100% overdid it and ignored all the warning signs.  WHEN WILL I LEARN?

Precisely.

How was everyone’s weekend??  I had a fantastic time running around without my crutches feeling on top of the world!  If only I had listened to that reasonable voice aka FW…

Anyone else have trouble listening to their reasonable voice?  My reasonable voice is so quiet and incredibly easy to ignore!

AQ.

Another Food Excursion

Add about a million exclamation points to this.  It’s pretty much stamped across my forehead, and I’m sure you are all tired of my whining.  Heck, I’m tired of my whining.  So I’ll tell you about my dinner last night.

I thought we were just going for quick meal with a few friends.  But when I sat down, I realized I was in a semi-nightmare.  It was Japanese restaurant, but you grill your own meat AT THE TABLE.  Sure, this is most people’s idea of a fantastic time.  But if you’re scared of food and raw meat like me…it’s a nightmare.  I looked at the menu, got a knot in my stomach, and told FW to order for me.  Yup, I’m a big baby.  And when the meat arrived, I was quite glad I had chickened out (pun intended) because I preferred to not know what it all was.

FW grilled it for me, and guess what?  It was DELICIOUS.  I had some kind of yummy steak and some rice.  It’s a good thing I had no idea what I was in for, because I would have missed out on a great meal with great friends.  That’s the thing about our society: so much of our culture happens around food.  I used to ban myself from food events as much as possible, and I know I missed out on a lot because of it.  I am super glad that is not the case anymore.  And even though I still get nervous, I’m proud of myself for actually doing it, AND having fun.

Please run a mile for me today…I am living vicariously through you, fellow runners!!

AQ. 

Soup With a Side of Hulk Hogan

I hate lunch.  Maybe hate is too strong: I strongly dislike lunch.  I don’t like eating in the middle of the day, I don’t enjoy lunch foods, and I always want a nap after I eat.  I used to always skip lunch, but now I am not allowed to skip it.  I survey my friends and family to see what they eat for lunch, and now I’m taking it public.

I will tell you what I eat for lunch, and then you can tell me.  I can’t promise you’ll get any good ideas from me, but I’m selfishly hoping to get ideas from you!  Here is my repetoire:

  • Naked Green Machine Smoothie with two hard boiled eggs or cheese stick
  • Yogurt (Fage) with trail mix and an apple
  • Sometimes I make tuna salad with white beans a la my cuz
  • Occasionally I throw together arugula and veggies
  • Soup

The problem with me is, I don’t like eating dinner food for lunch.  I know it’s weird. But since salad is a dinner food, I don’t usually want it for lunch.  Also, I try to avoid bread products at lunch because they make me very sleepy.  See how picky I am?  All you people with ideas better be up for a challenge.  I’m all ears!

Ha.  Oh, and this made me laugh soooooo hard today.  I used to be obsessed with Hulk Hogan’s family show (I know, I know, it’s terrible television).  It was just too entertaining to watch Brook and her mom gang up on Hulk.  Too bad they’re now divorced and [seemingly] crazy.

Isn’t that hysterical?  I can’t stop laughing!! I love that handlebar mustache.  Imagine if that was your dad?

Tell me what you eat for lunch!!

AQ.