Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Eating Blah to eating Rah!

To make a long, long story full of weight fluctuation, typical teenage development and growth, self consciousness, and pure junk food a somewhat shorter story, here's a little snippet of how I've come to this point in my life of balance, health, and food happiness...

It's taken me years to get to where I am, and I know I still have so much further to go. everything I know I have taught myself--from reading great books, talking to people who are living healthy lifestyles, and a whole lot of trial and error.

The movement point in my life came to me later in life, while in college at Catholic Univ in Washington, D.C.. In college I ate with my friends multiple times a day in the dining halls, drank on the weekends, and would spend the rest of the weekends at the gym trying to make up for the thousands of calories I'd consume a week. Not until my Senior year, when finally off the food plan, did I realize that I really ENJOYED buying my own groceries. I would spend hours browsing the local grocery store website for the foods I WANTED delivered to me that week--low sodium soups, whole wheat pasta, hummus, baked chips...not the best choices out there, of course, but I was slowly progressing to a lifestyle that better suited my body.

Slowly but surely I started feeling the "changes" with my body--any one who's gone on this food journey before will know what I mean when I say that the late night Saturday slice of pizza post-bar went from being a necessity to soaking up the beer to something that make my stomach hurt. Hurt so bad that the following weekend, I didn't want that pizza anymore. I didn't like how I was feeling after the occasional fried/greasy food that is oh-so common and sometimes the only thing available on college campuses...slowly I was hating the way I was feeling when I put those foods to my mouth. I didn't want fried chicken--I wanted grilled chicken. I didn't want fast food--I wanted to cook my own food. I was feeling different and naturally, my body was beginning to thank me for treating it like it deserves and less as a means of garbage disposal for all the crap food I was putting into my mouth.
Fast forward to graduate school. Living in my apartment in NY, I was in charge of my food choices. I was more interested in the "outer aisles" of the grocery store and less interested in wasting time in the inner aisle of processed, chemical-filled, pre-packaged unhealthy choices. I started asking for healthy recipe cookbooks for birthdays and holiday presents instead of the usual crap that we tend to lose or lose interest in in years to follow. I was educating myself on healthy eating, the benefits of such, and loving how my body was feeling. The gym was then something I enjoyed to ADD to the way I was feeling, instead of being a dark dingy place I would hope to LOSE the guilt and feelings of gross I had accumulated through the week.

Running became my next adventure. I started slow, just walking our dog Crash around the block. Then we (Crash and I) started jogging. Then I graduated to asking Dan (mr. college athlete run 6 minute miles all his life) to run with me. Slowly I was building up--1 mile, 1.5 miles, 2 miles....now don't get me wrong--I was an athlete all through high school: when I wasn't playing field hockey I was swimming and when I wasn't swimming I was playing lacrosse, but long distance running was NEVER, EVER my forte. I was ready to learn a new way of exercising not just my body but my mind.
Fast forward to today I am at the healthiest and happiest I have EVER been with my food. I am at the point where I've stopped counting calories and instead, focus more on putting clean, nutrient-rich produce, grains, simple-ingredient foods into my body. The parts of my body that I've hated since a teenage girl in her most awkward of life developmental stages (hello, cellulite? Thanks, genetics. Appreciate that one.) aren't looked at with hate. Instead, I know that my body is using its' natural resources to supply itself with nutrition instead of trying to pull whatever it could from the crap I WAS putting into it. I feel leaner, cleaner, longer, glow-ier (yes, that's a word in my book.) my hair and nails are stronger and grow faster, and I know I've dropped the extra lil' love handle "weight" that was always bothering me in the past. How can I hate myself when I am now treating myself with nothing but food love? Hate does not equal love. Love does not equal hate. Love equals more and more love.

To make a long story short, here is a visual overview of a typical breakfast for me:

I buy my rolled oats in bulk from a chain farmer's market store in San Antonio called Sun Harvest. I'd like to graduate to steel cut oats, as I have read they are healthier, but for now I'll stick with my oats :) Depending on how big the banana is either 1 whole or 1/2 mashed banana, a squirt of locally produced Texas Wildflower Honey, and a big ol' dollop of Almond Butter--best investment yet. And yes, I'm a coffee in the AM girl. To my credit I didn't begin to drink coffee until graduate school (if you've ever been to grad/law/medical school you will understand why)...and with my sinusitis it really helps me wake up, open up my sinuses on those overcast days, and get me going:

The day I took these pictures was right after getting back from a new farmer's market I found here in SA that was selling GOAT CHEESE.....yummmmyyyy :) I had bought a loaf of fresh wheat grain bread, about a bazillion tomatoes (lycopene must run through my veins with the amount that I eat!!) and garlic and chive goat cheese. OMG. Amazing. I die. (Rachel Zoe reference, anyone?...anyone?...):

If you haven't tried these yet, I highly suggest buying one when it's on sale and seeing if it's your cup o' tea--Kombuchas are the best thing for me to drink when I'm at work for a pick-me-up. They're great for the days I'm not in the mood for coffee, and their ingredients are truly amazing for the human body. Just get one and give it a try:

(note the huuuge jug of Texas Sweet Tea next to my Kombucha babies....that's the hubs and his love for all things sweet. We're workin' on him next haha!)

When I'm finished with my iced coffee or Kombucha tea, I drink multiple refills of this baby multiple times a day:

That's 32 oz in just one fill of water. Water is another thing that my body now craves more than ever--I used to be a big OJ, diet soda, and milk drinker. Lately with my changes, I crave pretty much nothing but water. Sure we'll crack open the occasional bottle o'wine, and I've NEVER been known to refuse a good margarita, but water is my drink o'choice every day of the week. It's amazing that when I started filling my body with water-based produce and fruits, my body continued to crave more water post-meal. Nowadays I put my fancy-schmancy water in wine glasses, martini glasses, and just about any fancy glass we have in the house for my meals to make it more "fun", but it's 99.9% water all the time, baby!

And because of my mass consumption of H20, I've stopped drinking from these for multiple reasons:

1. I drink so much agua a day that I was going through 10 of these a day
2. Lovely SA does NOT offer recycling for apartment developments. Don't get me started--this is an issue that is close to my heart and will be talking about it in later posts, but basically drinking 10+ of these a day was resulting in WAY too much waste that I was NOT comfortable with.

So that's where we are! Our fridge is always stocked with a big bag of spinach for the occasional Green Monster....

...and lots of fruits and veggies for monstrous salads like this bad boy:

Shall I end with some pics of our lovely four-legged girls? :)

(scoping out the fridge after I took some pics...such a curious georgeeeeeee)
(they'll do anything for a treat haha)
Have a Great Week Everyone!!!


  1. just found your blog! your story is sooo similar to mine :) excited to read more!

  2. Just stumbled onto your blog. What a great post! The bread, goat cheese, and tomatoes look absolutely wonderful!