Posts tagged ‘healthy eating’

Body image and self-confidence, through the eyes of Facebook

Just out of curiosity, do you other bloggers come up with post titles before, or after you write the post? I always seem to write them before — maybe that’s why so many of them suck.

Are you guys enjoying these ridiculous pictures of me yet? Cause really I’m just looking for any excuse to flaunt my feminine, delicate beauty all over the internet.

I’m feeling like with the better food and portion choices I’ve been making lately, my mindset is finally starting to change, little by little. Instead of dreaming about the fifteen portions of pizza I can’t wait to gobble up later, my mind is more quickly turning to the more practical option — what can I eat that will make more sense? It doesn’t mean I don’t want these things — hah, I don’t think I will ever stop wanting pizza — it’s just that I’m so supremely tired of disliking myself simply as a direct result of what I have just put in my mouth. (TWSS).

But my thoughts still constantly center around food — What am I going to have to breakfast? What should I make for lunch? Ohhh, pizza for dinner sounds so good. But where? I’ll look at the menu for twenty minutes, drooling over the endless options.

That makes me sound like a total nutjob, yikes. On a sidenote, I’m reading The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David Kessler. I’m not huge on diet or hoaky self-help books, but I feel like this book is helping me understand why my mind is always buzzing about food. It suprised me to read the book’s introduction, which interviewed several people who explained that their minds work in a very similar way to mine — always wondering, what’s next? What can I have? I feel like reading this is helping me to become much more aware of this disordered way of thinking about food, as if pizza were suddenly going to vanish from the earth tomorrow, never leaving me with another taste again.

Oh god, wouldn’t that be a nightmare?

Also, I need to stop referring to pizza. What is that, like five times in the last three paragraphs? Get ahold of yourself, Laura!

Really though, I do think about food a lot. One of the interesting quirks about the healthy living blog community is that sometimes it can feel borderline obsessive about food. Many bloggers seem to be straying a little more from the, “Here’s what I ate x3” posts, which I think is a good thing, but for someone unfamiliar with the idea of food/fitness blogging, talking in such excess detail about what you eat, how and why can seem really disordered. I struggle with this a lot, sometimes asking myself why I’m hovering over my dinner, snapping one blurry picture after another for twenty minutes before realizing that my food has already gotten cold.

This, friends, is why I sometimes grace you with beautiful pictures like these, instead.

Uh, at least I think my eyes are pretty?

This brings me to another interesting point though. While on my lunch break, I was reading some of Gretchen’s posts about body image and hiding her intense self-consciousness behind a loud and boisterous personality. I’m definitely guilty of this, and as you can see above, I tend to hide my lack of confidence behind goofy faces and That’s What She Said jokes. I think, Hey! No one will notice that double chin if I’m contorting my face enough to look supremely constipated.

Okay, that may not be my exact thought process, but you get what I mean…

Anyway, as Gretchen has said, looking through Facebook pictures of yourself at different points in your weight is a really interesting process. I’ll find pictures where I’m at a point I distinctly remember feeling fat and horrific-looking, but now I think that I looked slim and great. At many points throughout college, I was eating normal portions, walking everywhere and hitting the rec center to work out most days after class. I did drink a lot of beer and hit up late night pizza joints every once and while, but I also wasn’t sitting at a computer for 8 hours per day. It makes me sad to think that I wasted all that time and energy feeling bad about myself when I should have admired the fun, wonderful person into whom I was evolving.

Conversely, it’s also quite interesting to look at pictures where I was at higher points in my weight. I can notice distinct quirks about how I hold myself, such as covering my stomach with a pillow or awkwardly tilting my head down to disguise my chubby face. I also recall running to the camera in the hands of whoever had taken the photo, checking to see — Did I look fat in that one? — or not wanting to look at all. Unfortunately, I often feel this way now, and realize that there are very few current pictures of me, on Facebook or even from photos taken by friends, because I avoid letting people take pictures of me.

It’s a strange feeling, gaining small but important strides in my confidence as a result of things like training for, and subsequently completing my first 5k. My mother has remarked on several occasional that she notices that I look slimmer — Must be a result of all that running, she says — but when I look in the mirror, all I see is something that needs to be fixed. A work in progress.

I know I have a long way to go before I start feeling comfortable and confident with myself, and I also know that the steps I’m taking now, however incremental they may be, are an important part of getting to that point. All I can hope for now is the motivation and determination to stick to the goals I’ve set for myself, and for the wisdom and strength to keep pushing when life’s inevitable surprises and bumps in the road get in the way.

This post was meant to be about the iced tea I made last night…but I think it turned out a lot more interesting. Good thing I waited until after writing it to add the title ;)

July 1, 2011 at 2:48 pm 11 comments

TLC

Well, hello there. *Wink*

After my rough evening last night, I felt like I really treated myself well today.

My lunch went undocumented because I scarfed it up so quickly. Seriously — you gotta make this Greek quinoa salad. It’s easy as pie, keeps well, and tastes incredible!

And for the record, Trader Joe’s organic pea shoots are SO TASTY. They’re like a cross between sprouts and sugar snap peas.

I left work a little early because I needed to get to a doctor’s appointment by 5:15. As I mentioned before, I was dealing with some health issues that were really stressing me out. Well, after today’s appointment, I finally feel like I can rest a little easier.

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the view from the beach in Bonita Springs, FL -- my happy place

I’ve always had a lot of moles all over my body, but never really thought much of it. Recently, though, I have noticed that several were oddly colored, oddly shaped, or would get raised or itchy when I would get a sunburn. After silently stressing about it for far too long, I finally went to my doctor and asked her about it, thinking she would shrug it off as nothing.

Unfortunately, she didn’t do that — she told me to make an appointment with a dermatologist right away to have them looked at. I was super freaked out, but didn’t let my fears get too out of control before seeing the derm. Two weeks ago today, I headed to the doctor, unsure of what she would say. After looking at the three or four that I pointed out, she told me that two were unusual looking, but not overtly cancerous-looking. She wanted to remove them anyway and have them biopsied and sent off to a lab to check for cancerous cells.

I don’t know if I’ve told you guys, but I am completely, utterly, absolutely terrified of needles. It’s a legitimate phobia — one that I know is totally irrational, but one that I can’t seem to shake. I’ve gotten much better about it in recent years, but it’s like no matter what my mind says, my body just totally freaks out. What that means? I faint.

Yep, I faint every time I get a shot. So after they injected the lidocaine into the two spots to be biopsied, I laid there patiently in my paper gown, waiting for the procedure to be over, breathing deeply — in and out, in and out. That is, until I started to feel lightheaded…I’ve fainted enough times to know what it feels like before it happens, but let me tell ya — you don’t have much time to get that message across.

Before I could finish my, “I think I feel lightheaded..” sentence, I was out cold.

Oh, and I pissed all over the place.

………..

Yes, let’s just sit here for a second and let that sink in. I peed all over myself and the exam table at the dermatologist’s office.  For the record, I was unconscious, so it wasn’t inentional. I feel lik this is obvious, but just wanted to, ya know, throw it out there. I debated for quite awhile whether I wanted to post about it, since it was pretty embarrassing, but ultimately it was more hilarious than anything. I think the most humiliating best part was having to throw out my underwear, and then being sent home with a pair of bright blue paper underwear, reserved for liposuction patients. In white jeans. My life really should be a sitcom sometimes.

Well, I went back today, two weeks after the pee incident, and received the incredible news that the lab results came back negative, meaning nothing showed up cancerous. One of the moles had “abnormal architecture,” which basically meant it could potentially have turned into something down the road, but it was removed completely so it won’t be an issue. Needless to say, I am so incredibly relieved.

:)

—-

After leaving the doctor’s office feeling like a million pounds had been lifted off my shoulders, I had planned on meeting up with a few friends for drinks and dinner. Sadly, our plans fell through, but I had a serious hankering for pizza since our plan was to hit up Piece in Wicker Park. So… I decided to improvise.


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I toasted a FlatOut Wrap in a cookie sheet in the oven for 5-7 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Then I added all the goodies.

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And cooked it for 7 minutes or so in the oven at 375 degrees. This bad boy started with some Whole Foods marinara, then I added a hefty layer of baby spinach, some sliced red pepper, halved cherry tomatoes, crumbled goat cheese, garlic gold and red pepper flakes.

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It was SOOOOOOOOO good. Just what I wanted, and healthy to boot. I didn’t calculate the calories, but now I’m sort of curious. Certainly it’s gotta be better than restaurant pizza, anyway ;)

After taking some time to clean up (but I’m still not even close to being finished) and letting my food settle, I got myself ready for the gym and headed out the door. Unfortunately, the sky was green and I felt a few rogue sprinkles coming down, so I dashed back inside and grabbed my umbrella. The last time we had a big storm, I was unprepared…

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hey, baby

I thought I looked too hilarious and SOAKED not to take a picture. Check out those sexy raccoon eyes! ;) Hubba hubba.

Anyway, I got about ten feet down the street toward the gym when it started to pour. The sky turned black and the wind picked up out of nowhere, it was so neat. I love storms, so instead of giving up and going back home, I decided to wait under an awning for the storm to pass, or at least for the rain to slow down. It took a good ten minutes before my umbrella would have even made a difference, so I was really proud of sticking it out and keeping up wtih my commitment to hit the gym.

Because my legs are still having issues (shin splints, IT band and knee pain, blegh), I decided to take it easy and read my new issue of Women’s Health on the recumbent bike for a good 40 minutes, then I hit the elliptical for another ten. By that point, it was actually hailing, so everybody at the gym was just glued to the windows, mouths agape. Let me tell you — this was good motivation to stay at the gym and keep working out! Haha.

I did some wall squats, which I’ve read are easier on your knees and also strengthen your gluteus medius, which is supposed to help with knee pain. I also did some hip raises (I’m pretty sure my hips are super weak because my running gait is all sorts of wrong) and shoulder + chest exercises. Finally, I finished off with a good ten minutes with the foam roller of death. It hurt, but I could tell I needed it badly. I really need to get one of my own for home.

When I got back, I needed a snack and couldn’t figure out what I was craving at first. After looking through the fridge for a minute, I decided to top a toasted Kashi waffle with some whipped cream cheese and a little fig spread, then topped it with a sprinkle of chia seeds. This was beyond delicious — I think I could eat this every day of my life and not get sick of it.

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eattttt meeeee

Sorry my pictures are kind of blurry — I’m not quite sure why I’m still so sucky at snapping my food!

Speaking of which, I realized I never posted pictures from my dinner with Allie and Mel at Karyn’s the other night. I had two undocumented (aka too delicious to remember to take their picture) drinks — a caipirinha and a Sazerac, and we shared an arugula, potato and Daiya pizza to start.

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I had two slices, and while I’m not a huge fan of Daiya, this was pretty tasty. The heaping mass of fresh arugula really made it fresh and delicious.

For my main meal, I had their “chicken” drumsticks. They were served with barbecue sauce, which was sweet and delicious, and reminded me of Sweet Baby Ray’s, and some spinach and sweet potato hash. I ate the whole thing! The chicken was made out of seitan and was perfectly crispy on the outside, and very “meaty” on the inside. I was surprised by how good they were.

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cute little "drumsticks!"

Again, sorry for the blurriness. But how lovely is that presentation?? I think I moved it around a little bit before taking this, so it didn’t look quite as asymmetrical when they first brought it over ;)

Anywho, I’m going to get a little work done, then hop in bed with my book. I’m currently splitting my time between The Hunger Games and More Than It Hurts You. They’re both excellent and I can’t wait to finish them.

Thanks for all your kind words and comments lately — you guys are so great :)

June 30, 2011 at 11:39 pm 8 comments

This…

..is what I’m doing right now:

Snugglin’ with this goofy lookin’ guy and catching up on blogs. Aren’t we quite the pair?

I was just reading Julie’s sweet post about how, no matter how foul her mood, she is always cheered up instantly by her Viszla pup, Sadie. While I’ll admit that having two cats can sometimes be a slight (okay, a huge) pain in the ass, I’m still thankful for them most of the time. They are such sweet, playful and cuddly kitties, and they are always there when I need company or just a good snuggle buddy.

Okay, I know — I am a crazy cat lady. Bear with me anyway?

I’ve been very stressed out this week due to my shifting living situation. The apartment that I will be moving into (or would like to be, at least) isn’t 100% available yet (the current tenant is still waiting on word from her new apartment…it’s so complicated!), so I am on pins and needles waiting to hear that my rental will go through. If it doesn’t, I may be homeless in a few weeks!

It is also the last week at my current job, which I absolutely love, so I am stressed and sad and not handling it very well. I’m so grateful and thrilled to start my new job, but it will be hard leaving a place and group of people (I’m looking at you, Kara) that I have grown to love.

Thankfully, though, the gym is always there. After receiving a particularly horrible text message from my particularly horrible roommate, I was furious, stressed out and wanting to strangle someone. So I hopped on the treadmill, turned up my iPod and ran my fastest mile to date! It was awesome. I have never felt my blood flowing through my body like that, and I felt like I could squeeze every ounce of energy from the day’s stress into energy for my legs. After two more, I hopped off feeling lighter — physically and mentally.

Sweat > therapy.

I have been lazy and haven’t been cooking anything exciting this week. I’ve also been eating much less than usual due to stress (this is unusual for me — it takes a LOT to get my mind off of food!), so I don’t have too many exciting eats to share this week! On the way to a friend’s house tonight, though, I did stop at WF and picked up some delicious-looking and in-season strawberries and mangoes! I also grabbed some salad fixins. VERY excited to incorporate those into some meals, ASAP — my body needs fruits + veggies, stat.

While I was strolling the lovely WF aisles, I also snagged a quickie dinner at the hot/cold bar. I had some marinated green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potatoes and carrots, a bulgur + quinoa salad, some rosemary-garlic tofu and some yellow daal. The daal was definitely my favorite! It was so flavorful and creamy, I wished I had gotten more. Next time! I also sipped a guava Kombucha. All was scarfed up much too quickly to snap a pic :D

Thanks for hanging in here with me while I get my life figured out, guys….I hope I haven’t bored too many of you to tears! More fun stuff to come soon, I promise!

April 12, 2011 at 11:51 pm 2 comments

Lesson learned

This looks tasty, right?

Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon with Egg Whites on English Muffin

This is what I had for breakfast #2 this morning. It seems simple enough — multigrain english muffin, egg white, cheddar cheese and turkey bacon.

Think again. While the calorie count and protein/fiber combo is great, the ingredient list isn’t any better than McDonald’s:

Ingredients

multigrain english muffin (unbleached enriched wheat flour [flour, malted barley flour, reduced iron, niacin, thiamin mononitrate (vitamin b1), riboflavin (vitamin b2), folic acid], water, whole wheat flour, farina, yeast, sugar, molasses, flaxseed, honey, wheat gluten, preservatives [calcium propionate, sorbic acid], salt, soybean oil, rye, corn cereal, dextrose, ground corn, monoglycerides, brown rice, oats, soybeans, triticale, barley, millet, caramel color, whey, soy flour, nonfat milk), egg white patty (egg whites, whey powder, unmodified corn starch, salt, nonfat dry milk, butter flavor [sunflower oil, natural flavors, medium chain triglycerides, palm kernal oil], xanthan gum, guar gum, liquid pepper extract), reduced fat cheddar cheese (pasteurized part-skim milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes, vitamin a palmitate), turkey bacon (turkey, water, sugar, salt, natural smoke flavoring, natural flavoring, cottonseed oil). contains: wheat, soy, egg, milk

Source: Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon with Egg Whites on English Muffin | Starbucks Coffee Company.

Gross. Seriously, Starbucks — GROSS. You should be ashamed of yourselves for selling crap like this. It tasted good, but it would taste even better if I could pronounce half of the shit in here! Why does a “healthy” breakfast sandwich need caramel color, corn starch and “natural flavors,” which I feel I can safely assume means MSG.

Never buying this again. Lesson learned.

March 31, 2011 at 10:49 pm 1 comment

Only noon and already thinking about dinner

Bought a spaghetti squash on sale at Whole Paycheck and have been daydreaming about what I’ll do with it. (Food porn?)

Decided I’m making this tonight:

 

 

Lovely, no?

 

Foodie Fridays: Greek Spaghetti Squash with Chicken « The Fat Girl’s Guide to Living – a life hacker for the full-figured set.

January 31, 2011 at 12:21 pm Leave a comment

Cause and effect

If you leave a glass of water on the nightstand unattended, the cat will drink from the glass of water.

If you roast anything in your shitty oven that needs a cleaning badly, the smoke alarm (which now has batteries) will go off.

If you do attempt to run the self-clean cycle on said oven, the smoke alarm will also go off.

Ahhh, life’s little lessons…

I grabbed dinner tonight from a tiny (and I mean tiny – we’re talking room for 4 stools kind of tiny) taco hole-in-the-wall joint with a few friends before heading to Sam’s reading in the S Halsted art district-y area. They were GOOD. The cook/hostess/waitress didn’t even speak enough English to tell us our bill’s total (a point did just fine though!), and the steak tacos were di-vine. Oh, and did I mention they cost about a buck each?

I got home around 10:30, and considered just flopping into bed, but I threw together a quick lunch for tomorrow instead. I made some quinoa in my rice cooker (win!) with veggie broth, baked a sliced up TJ’s sundried tomato chicken sausage, mixed them together with two chopped heirloom tomatoes, a handful of baby spinach, a Dorot cube each of basil and garlic, a drizzle of olive oil and some sea salt. It smelled delicious, so I’m hoping it tastes just as good tomorrow!

After making a quickie salad, I had some leftover fennel and leek that were too small of pieces to save, but too much to throw out, so I tossed them in the still-hot oven with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and roasted them. This is when the smoke alarm went off…grr! I would have kept them in longer, but it was late and my roommates were going to bed, so a screaming smoke alarm was not an option at this point. I threw them on top of the quinoa mix, but I have a feeling they weren’t roasted long enough to soften and sweeten up. We’ll see tomorrow, but I certainly want to try it again.

And without further ado, some pictures!

my chocolate oatmeal this morning :)

It may not look like much, but it sure was good!

eggplant and celery stew

Did you know that just about everywhere else in the world, eggplants are called aubergines?

can ya see the creaminess?

veggie time

Isn’t that pepper pretty?

I had some TJ's poppyseed dressing for dipping

and what's this?

is it peanut butter?

Nope, that’s snickerdoodle dessert hummus!

a beautiful pomegranate I seeded and brought to work

one of the Chicago food trucks, Flirty Cupcakes, came to our office

mmmm!

I got the McDreamy, a chocolate cupcake, with cream cheese frosting and a chocolate/cream cheese filling. Tasty! A little too sweet for me though.

 

That concludes the pictures for now…it’s this girl’s bedtime!

January 27, 2011 at 12:25 am Leave a comment

I tried it: dessert hummus!

After seeing it popping up all over the blogosphere, I knew I had to try it. But the question was, could I get over the weird-sounding combination of chickpeas and….sweet stuff? It just sounded WRONG!

When the Fitnessista posted about it today, however, I knew I had to try this tonight. I went with the Wannabe Chef’s Snickerdoodle Hummus, which is a cinnamony, sugary flavor, just like the cookie. So what did I think?

Source

Yeah. It was that good.

As I was spooning the stuff straight out of the blender (actually, the Magic Bullet) I was thinking about how I would describe it…and I drew a blank. You can sort of taste the chickpeas, but at the same time, their flavor complements the other flavors in the recipe. I added a little extra of all the good stuff: almond butter, maple syrup (REAL maple syrup, mind you), cinnamon and brown sugar. The texture is similar to that of peanut butter, but more like…ready for it? COOKIE DOUGH. And it even tastes like cookie dough!

I’m still at a loss for what to snack on this with, so for the moment, its served a la finger. Yum yum yum. Don’t hate me, but I was too engrossed in this stuff to take a picture. I’ll take one tomorrow before I eat it all up, I promise!!!

Dinner was the eggplant and celery stew that I planned on trying, and this too turned out absolutely delicious. It took a little longer than most of my dinners, and I dirtied quite a few dishes (a huge pet peeve of mine), but boy was it worth it. I honestly wanted to lick my bowl clean. After simmering for about an hour in cream and olive oil and veggie broth, the eggplant was SO tender. I had planned on making a side of basmati rice, but I was out of the white stuff and the brown takes forever to cook…so I ended up whipping up some Arborio in my new rice cooker. I made it with some olive oil, and did half veggie broth and half water. I had no idea this could be so tasty!

A few modifications I made on the recipe:

  • My eggplant was not very large…it was medium or small, or maybe a baby eggplant. I’m not really sure, because it was whatever was on sale!
  • I used Dorot cubes instead of fresh garlic
  • I used half & half instead of heavy cream
  • I added a healthy-sized pat of butter (you know you want to)

Other than that, I pretty much stuck to the recipe, and it was seriously incredible. Decadent, but still not overly heavy or rich. I made enough so I can have it for lunch tomorrow, so I’ll snap a pic. I have some brown basmati cooking away in the rice cooker right now, so I’ll have it ready for tomorrow :)

My workout tonight was INTENSE. I did 30 minutes on the recline bike to warm up, then did a 20-min interval workout on the treadmill. I was starting to get hungry and tired at this point because it was already almost 8 o’clock, but I knew I wanted to lift so I went for it. I don’t know if I was just tired or maybe pushed myself a little too hard last time, but it was ROUGH lifting these weights today. I used the same weights I normally do for everything except lateral shoulder raises — for some really odd reason, every single 8-lb weight was gone from the lifting area. How strange, right??? So I took it as a sign that it was time to upgrade to 10 lbs :)

That was tough, but not so bad….but the rest of my usual arms/shoulders circuit felt much tougher than usual. I wish I knew why! I was sweaty, shaky and STARVING by the time I got home, so because I knew it was going to take me a while to make dinner, I whipped up a quick protein smoothie to refuel and tide me over. I used;

  • about 1/4 cup FF Greek yogurt
  • about 1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • packet of Stevia
  • about 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 scoop Naturade Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
  • 2 ice cubes
  • splash of 100% pomegranate juice

It was DELISH! Yum! I had quite a tasty night. My apologies for the lack of pictures…I was too hungry and too tired :/

And now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go get a load of laundry out of the dryer :)

Goodnight!

January 25, 2011 at 11:41 pm Leave a comment

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