May 21, 2015

I’ve Got a Secret

No, I am not quitting my job. No, I am not pregnant. And no, we aren’t moving to Hawaii (unfortunately). If you were hoping for some juicy news, I’ve failed you. But please, read on! 

Yesterday, without even trying, I came across the following articles and couldn’t help but cringe.

How Often You Should Switch Up Your Workout to Keep Losing Weight.

  • How about switching it up when you aren’t enjoying it and don’t feel happy doing it?

5 Vegetables That Make You Fat.

  • What? I thought I was doing so well eating my five servings a day– now you’re telling me that some vegetables are off limits and even deemed unhealthy?! 

5 Things You Should Never Do Before a Workout.

  • How about just go workout?

Will Doing Workouts Twice as Long Double Your Weight-Loss Results?

  • It’s already hard to find enough time to go to the gym, now you want me to stay twice as long?

You’ve Been Counting Calories Wrong Your Whole Life.

  • What? Was I supposed to be counting calories in the first place? 

Drinking Wine at Bedtime Can Help You Lose Weight.

  • Hmmm I like this one, but pretty sure I do this already and I have remained the same weight for years… 

Stop the madness! Want to know my secret? Find what makes you happy and do what makes you feel good. Simple as that.

When I was in college, I was one of those girls who would eat a half of a sweet potato and call that “dinner” before going out so I could spend my calories on vodka mixers and the cheapest light beer I could find. I was the one who would buy those 100 calorie packs and fat-free EVERYTHING because, well, that’s what the latest article I read told me to do.

In reality, I was doing everything wrong. I wasn’t enjoying my food, and I certainly wasn’t enjoying my workouts. The main goal of my gym sessions was to burn off the 3am pizza us girls had ordered and the six beers I consumed during a power hour the night before.

Flash forward to today– I have a completely different relationship with food and exercise. I listen to how my body feels and reacts to certain foods and avoid the ones that make me feel icky. If I want to have a delicious IPA, then I’ll do it. If I feel like eating a grass-fed burger with bacon three days in a row, then I’ll do it that too.

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Same goes for exercise. Screw those stupid articles confusing the h-e-double hockey sticks out of you.  What do you WANT to do? What makes you happy? If you like to hike, go hike. If you hate swimming (me!), don’t swim. Why do something that feels forced? Find something you love!

I am a big runner and I felt bad joining and enjoying CrossFit because I wasn’t running as much. But the truth is, I didn’t look forward to my runs anymore and I couldn’t wait for my next CrossFit workout. My running is at a minimum right now, and I am completely okay with that.

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So, that’s that. Life is too short to follow every single rule and guideline. Let’s get back to the basics. Eat real food and listen to your body, do what makes you happy, and live a balanced life. All the rest will just fall into place.

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What’s the craziest health article you’ve read or seen lately? 

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May 20, 2015

Top Five Favorite Health and Wellness Books

I am a huge fan of reading but I admit it doesn’t happen as often as I’d like. Ever since subscribing to Audible, I have been listening to books through my iPhone while on a long walk with Maddie, when I am working and even while I cook dinner. I love when the actual author of the book narrates, but it isn’t a huge deal breaker if they don’t. With that being said, here are my top five health and wellness books I’ve listened to/read lately.


Eat the Yolks: Liz Wolfe

Oh yes, you may know this is already a big favorite of mine. I recently re-listened to it on Audible, and laughed even more than the first time. Liz actually narrates it and it’s perfect.

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“Worry about cholesterol. Avoid red meat. Eat whole grains. Could it all be a lie?

We live in an era of health hype and nutrition propaganda, and we’re suffering for it. Decades of avoiding egg yolks, choosing margarine over butter, and replacing the real foods of our ancestors with low-fat, processed, packaged substitutes have left us with an obesity epidemic, ever-rising rates of chronic disease, and, above all, total confusion about what to eat and why. This is a tragedy of misinformation, food industry shenanigans, and cheap calories disguised as health food. It turns out that everything we’ve been told about how to eat is wrong. Fat and cholesterol are harmful to your health? Nope—they are crucial to your health. “Whole grains” are health food? Not even close. Counting calories is the way to lose weight? Not gonna work—nutrients are what matter. Nutrition can come from a box, bag, or capsule? Don’t count on it! In Eat the Yolks, Liz Wolfe debunks all these myths and more, revealing what’s behind the lies and bringing the truth about fat, cholesterol, protein, and carbs to light. “

It Was Me All Along: Andie Mitchell 

I actually just finished this yesterday and really enjoyed it. I’ve never read a book like this before and it was interesting to follow someone’s life through various eating disorders and how they managed to overcome obstacles that seemed impossible.

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“A heartbreakingly honest, endearing memoir of incredible weight loss by a young food blogger who battles body image issues and overcomes food addiction to find self-acceptance.

All her life, Andie Mitchell had eaten lustily and mindlessly. Food was her babysitter, her best friend, her confidant, and it provided a refuge from her fractured family. But when she stepped on the scale on her twentieth birthday and it registered a shocking 268 pounds, she knew she had to change the way she thought about food and herself; that her life was at stake.

It Was Me All Along takes Andie from working class Boston to the romantic streets of Rome, from morbidly obese to half her size, from seeking comfort in anything that came cream-filled and two-to-a-pack to finding balance in exquisite (but modest) bowls of handmade pasta. This story is about much more than a woman who loves food and abhors her body. It is about someone who made changes when her situation seemed too far gone and how she discovered balance in an off-kilter world. More than anything, though, it is the story of her finding beauty in acceptance and learning to love all parts of herself.”

It Starts With Food: Dallas and Melissa Hartwig 

I had to put this one on there. Even if you aren’t at all interested in the Whole30, this book really provides some great education and knowledge on how to live a healthy life and fuel your body properly with the right nutrition.

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“It Starts With Food outlines a clear, balanced, sustainable plan to change the way you eat forever—and transform your life in profound and unexpected ways.

Since 2009, their underground Whole30 program has quietly led tens of thousands of people to weight loss, enhanced quality of life, and a healthier relationship with food—accompanied by stunning improvements in sleep, energy levels, mood, and self-esteem. More significant, many people have reported the “magical” elimination of a variety of symptoms, diseases, and conditions in just 30 days.

Now, Dallas and Melissa detail not just the “how” of the Whole30, but also the “why,” summarizing the science in a simple, accessible manner. It Starts With Food reveals how specific foods may be having negative effects on how you look, feel, and live—in ways that you’d never associate with your diet. More important, they outline their lifelong strategy for eating Good Food in one clear and detailed action plan designed to help you create a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, calm systemic inflammation, and put an end to unhealthy cravings, habits, and relationships with food.
Infused with the Hartwigs’ signature wit, tough love, and common sense, It Starts With Food is based on the latest scientific research and real-life experience, and includes testimonials, a detailed shopping guide, a meal-planning template, a Meal Map with creative, delicious recipes, and much more.”

In Defense of Food: Michael Pollan

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Amen to that! Michael Pollan has some great work, but this is one of my favorite reads from him. I found it a lot easier to listen to on Audible than if I were actually sitting down to read it, but nevertheless, a great read!

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“Food. There’s plenty of it around, and we all love to eat it. So why should anyone need to defend it?

Because in the so-called Western diet, food has been replaced by nutrients, and common sense by confusion–most of what we’re consuming today is longer the product of nature but of food science. The result is what Michael Pollan calls the American Paradox: The more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we see to become. With In Defense of Food, Pollan proposes a new (and very old) answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Pollan’s bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we can start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives, enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy, and bring pleasure back to eating.”

I’ll Have What She’s Having: Rebecca Harrington

This book is SO funny, I loved every second of it. Not technically a nutrition or health book, but Rebecca’s sense of humor will make you laugh out loud and sometimes you just need a good chuckle :)

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“A hilarious look at the eating habits of the fit and famous–from Gwyneth’s goji berry and quail egg concoctions to Jackie Kennedy’s baked potato and Beluga caviar regimen–Rebecca Harrington leaves no cabbage soup unstirred in her wickedly funny, wildly absurd quest to diet like the stars.
Elizabeth Taylor mixed cottage cheese and sour cream; Madonna subsisted on “sea vegetables;” and Marilyn Monroe drank raw eggs whipped with warm milk. Where there is a Hollywood starlet offering nutritional advice, there is a diet Rebecca Harrington is willing to try. Facing a harrowing mix of fainting spells, pimples, and salmonella, Harrington tracks down illegal haggis to imitate Pippa Middleton, paces her apartment until the wee hours drinking ten Diet Cokes à la Karl Lagerfeld, and attempts something forbiddingly known as the “Salt Water Flush” to channel her inner Beyoncé. Rebecca Harrington risks kitchen fires and mysterious face rashes, all in the name of diet journalism. Taking cues from noted beauty icons like Posh Spice (alkaline!), Dolly Parton (Velveeta!), Sophia Loren (pasta!) and Cameron Diaz (savory oatmeal!), I’ll Have What She’s Having is completely surprising, occasionally unappetizing, and always outrageously funny.”

Do you have a favorite Health and Wellness book? Please share!

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