Overfed but Undernourished

Food is amazing. It can heal the body. Literally. It can heal the body! That’s why we eat it. I mean obviously we need energy to go about our daily lives, so that’s a big reason to eat food, but for many many years people have used food and nutrition to heal. Some time in the last century our way of life and view of nutrition has shifted so dramatically that we have completely lost focus of how to use nutrition to heal.

In lots of countries around the world, and parts of our country as well, people are malnourished and underfed. They struggle to eat enough calories to sustain life and many times do not succeed. For the most part, living in the U.S. means we don’t worry about obtaining enough calories to live. In fact, most people are trying to limit their calorie intake.

According to an article on Livestrong, approximately 48 million people diet each year. We’ve done this crazy thing where instead of worrying about getting enough food, we’re actually extremely worried about eating less of it.

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The bottom line is this: America is overfed. America is undernourished. 

That may sound counterintuitive, but the reality is we eat SO MUCH CRAP. It’s insane the amount of “food” we consume that does absolutely nothing positive in our body other than provide “usable energy” <–even that is questionable sometimes.

Take a look at your food labels, specifically the ingredient list, and see if there are things you don’t recognize. This is terrifying. I just recently did this in my own kitchen and I was blown away by the amount of scary sounding ingredients in “health food”. For example almond milk often has “carrageenan” in it, which is an preservative indigestible ingredient linked to intestinal damage. You may also see things like “potassium bromate” and “sulfur dioxide” and “sodium nitrite”. My guess is if someone handed you a teeny tiny bit of liquid and said “Here, drink this potassium bromate” you’d probably say “Are you kidding?! Screw you! YOU drink it!” no matter how tiny the amount. But yet we consume these things in our diet everyday!

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Now that was a little bit of a tangent, but the important thing that I would like to talk about is the fact that if we’re all this crap and processed junk and chemicals and additives,  then most likely we’re not eating enough of the amazing stuff that can heal your body!!

We all know that fruits and vegetables have antioxidants and vitamins in them, but it is SO much more than that. Phytonutrients and phytochemicals exist in fruits and vegetables by the thousands. These tiny micro nutrients heal the body in miraculous ways. So even if you take a vitamin or eat a bar with added vitamins and minerals, you are still missing out on these amazing little things that only exist in fruits and veggies! Don’t get me wrong..continue to take those amazing little vitamins, just add in the real stuff, too. 

The most common of these nutrients that people are aware of are lycopene (in tomatoes-proven to decrease risk for prostate cancer) and beta carotene (in carrots and sweet potatoes-proven to boost skin and bone health). BUT, there are so many more!

From an article found on Fruits & Veggies: More Matters, here are a few important ones to be aware of:

Resveratrol– found in grapes and red wine (!!). Known to decrease inflammation and help protect your heart by being a natural vasodilator (lower blood pressure)

Isoflavones- found in soybeans. Known to lower cholesterol, decrease inflammation, help with menopausal symptoms, and decrease risk for breast cancer. 

From the Produce for Better Health Foundation:

Isothiocyanates- found in cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and kale. Known to reduce risk for many types of cancers by “modulating carcinogen metabolism”.

Myrecetin- found in berries, grapes, parsley, and spinach. Known to increase the transport of sugar in the blood, increase the ability of insulin to clear triglycerides (fat) from the blood, and have anti-inflammatory/anti-cancer properties.

Quercetin- found in onions, apples, broccoli, cranberries, and grapes. Known to lower risk for asthma, heart disease, and lung cancer. 

So even if you don’t remember the name of one single phytonutrient, that’s ok! 

The important thing is that you know they are there. 

If this inspires you to eat just ONE more serving of fruits or veggies today, then my work here is done!

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Be Nice to Yourself

Why are we SO hard on ourselves?!

I blame social media, television, and magazines for the majority of our negative perceptions. Sometimes I scroll through Instagram where I follow loads of “inspirational” fitness and health people, celebrities, friends, bloggers, photographers, etc and find myself thinking “my breakfasts are so ugly”, “I never wear cute stackable rings. I suck at fashion”, “my green smoothies look like dog sh*t”. But the important thing to remember is that those pictures are a SMOKE SCREEN for what is really going on behind it. Those celebrities have so many photo filtering apps and probably assistants that spend all day making sure every pose is extremely flattering, every situation looks the optimum amount of happy and perfect, every minute of life is captured in the most sunshiny and instagram-worthy way.

The fact of reality for every single person on this planet, including celebrities, bloggers, and professional social media people, is that life is not rosy and perfect and instagram-worthy all the time. If we compare ourselves to what others are posting, our lives will never ever feel adequate. But I challenge you to scroll through your own Instagram feed. I bet you only posted things that made your life look rosy and cheery and fun and perfect. I know I did. It’s easy for us to look at our own pictures or posts and remember how not perfect it was. Maybe it took seven times for you to get that selfie without including  a triple chin. Maybe I was fighting with my husband for an hour before I forced him into a ‘playful and fun’ pose for instagram. Maybe your friend was feeling so depressed about dieting that she ate a big mac an hour after that green smoothie was posted.

The point is that we beat up on ourselves for not achieving what everyone else is achieving, but the truth is…they’re not achieving it either. 

My goal for this year is to love myself, forgive myself, and try my best to have an inner-monologue that I would be proud to say to other people. I tend to think such positive and envious thoughts of others, it’s time to turn those thoughts on myself.

We all deserve love and forgiveness. Give it to yourself. 

#WIAW (5)

Head over to The Big Mans World for more WIAW posts! (Usually at Peas and Crayons, but switching it up for a few weeks ;))

I slept in this morning and it was amazing!

Since it was late morning by the time I got up, I read through blogs and watched YouTube videos while drinking coffee with unsweetened vanilla almond milk <everyday>.

About an hour later I finally felt really hungry so I made an egg burrito- one whole egg + 2 egg whites + salsa + cherry tomatoes + spinach scrambled together wrapped in a corn/wheat blend tortilla.

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The weather is so perfectly fall today, so I laced up my running shoes and took Meeka out for a mile jaunt to sniff and pee on things. I dropped her back off at home and set out for 5 more miles on my own. It was chilly, the air was crisp, the sun was shining, ahhhh my favorite running weather. I did a loop that I’ve never done in the year that we’ve lived here and I have no idea why! It was so gorgeous and had a challenging hill around mile 3. I passed some gorgeous houses, farms, fields, trees, and even some goats! This definitely is not a route to take in the dark or with Meeka as it is mostly running on the shoulder of a road, but the roads aren’t very busy and I felt really safe.

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After stretching for a long while and foam rolling my IT bands (ouch), I took a LONG HOT shower- the best after a cold run. I snacked on a honeycrisp apple plus a cheese stick.

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About an hour later my stomach was growling again and I knew runger was setting in. I made a smoothie with kefir, frozen cherries, frozen banana, spinach, 1/4 scoop of quest chocolate protein powder, chia seeds, and cacao powder.

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The little monster sat patiently on my lap waiting for a lick of my smoothie. She gets so excited when she hears the blender.

Anything over 5 miles and I start noticing the runger, so I was hoping the smoothie would get me through til dinner without going overboard!

The smoothie worked because I was able to work on grad school applications, wash the sheets, paint my nails, and start this post before I got really hungry for dinner. I went to the store to grab a few things to complete the meal. I whipped up turkey and apple stuffed acorn squash! It was really good and the perfect combination of fall flavors. I enjoyed dinner with an Everybody IPA.

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A couple hours later I snacked on a bowl of chocolate chex cereal with almond milk before bed. YUM. I had a great day of eating delicious healthy food!

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Now I’m off to bed so I can wake up early!🙂

Weekly goals

New week, new goals!

  • Run at least twice (any distance, any speed, just run!)
  • Barre3 class at least once
  • Make up a fun (and sweaty!) tabata workout
  • Clean the guest room- we’ve had a few visitors and need to get it spotless and ready for our friends in a few weeks!
  • Study for the GRE. I need to crack open my GRE prep book and just focus on the main points of review. 
  • Less sugar! This is a huge thing for me to attempt. There’s no way I’ll ever go completely no added sugar ever, but I do want to try and beat the sugar cravings if it really is just a chemical craving and not an enjoyment.
  • Finish 10% Happier and The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I’m about halfway through both of these books and want to wrap them up this week. I love them both and have learned so much!
  • Watch Cowspiracy. So interested to watch this after listening to a Food Heals Nation podcast about it. 

I hope to revisit my weekly goals at the end of each week and talk about successes along with barriers in completing the goals. Barriers to goal completion is interesting to me because they are so often the same from person to person and they are often problems that create much happiness for us when we break the barrier! 

Here is a fun ending picture of Meeka in her pink rain jacket, pretty leaves, and busting out the rain boots for the start of the PNW rain season.

  

Friday Favorites 10/30/15

Friday Favorites!

Link up with Heather atLife in Leggings!

*This week my very favorite favorite out of all the favorites is the little guy growing inside my best friend’s belly!

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Ha! His face kills me. I can’t wait to spend time with them in January for the baby shower and then meet the little guy in March! I love them❤

*Running a 5k race and getting 2nd place for females with a time of 25:48! I know it’s not the fastest time in the world, but I really pushed myself and it’s fast for me! It was a small race but really fun. If you love Halloweentown, then you’ll be jealous! The race was part of a festival in St. Helens, OR to celebrate Halloweentown! This town is where the movie was filmed back in the 90’s. The actress Kimberly J. Brown (who played Marnie) was there to do the pumpkin lighting in the town square! It was SO COOL. I am a GIANT fan of the movie series and it was the neatest thing ever to see the movie theater, city hall, and a few other special places that were in the movie.
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*Juicing!

I’ve really been into using my juicer lately and have made all sorts of concoctions. My favorite is kale, ginger, celery, cucumber, lemon, grapefruit, and pear. I’ve been washing and chopping loads of vegetables and fruits at once and then making a big batch of juices to last a few days. I usually make enough for 5 juices. I drink one right away, then put the rest in mason jars filled to the brim and even overflowing so there is no air in the jar and then store them in the fridge. They last about 3 days after that. I can get the hubby to drink some if it doesn’t have celery and has some extra apple or pear in there to make it sweeter😉

*Fall! Of course..

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The PNW rain just started, but before this week it has been sunny and in the 60’s with leaves turning colors everywhere! I’ve been taking out my earbuds when I run through leaves so I can hear the crunch.

Also, I LOVE HALLOWEEN. I will most likely be working at the hospital all night on Halloween this year, but I really hope to pass out candy next year! I love it so much.

Next week I hope to share some more weekly goals and then add in an update with my Friday Favorites.