Guest Post at A Gutsy Girl

September 16, 2012 § 1 Comment

Happy Sunday! I wish I had an exciting recipe to share with you today. I do have a big project cooking through – something I hope to share here soon and one that has kept me ever so occupied! In the meantime, Sarah over at A Gutsy Girl was nice enough to ask me to participate in her “Gutsy Girl” series. Head on over and check out my guest post. She’s doing a phenomenal job with the 101 days of blogging challenge, whipping up all kinds of inspirational posts – definitely worth following along! 

 

 

 

Celebrating What’s Good and Losing the Self Criticism

July 15, 2012 § 2 Comments

Well, so much for my 101 days of blogging. Three posts in and I was making such strides only to let it fall by the wayside as today should be day 7. I do have a mighty good excuse though. This guy is part of it:

Isn’t he cute? I know, I could hardly keep my hands off him. Two of my closest friends from college, Rachel and Sally (who this little guy belongs to), came in town for the weekend. We enjoyed all sorts of fun – one of the highlights being lounging at our college pool. Ironically enough, the three of us never laid out in college. We were all way too self conscious to be caught dead laying by the pool in a bikini. What were we thinking? We were in our prime! Three beautiful babes. Hah, leave it to us to visit our college pool for the first time, several pounds heavier, and a baby in tow! It was a great experience.

I feel bad for my younger self that I couldn’t relax and have more fun back in school. I was 5’8″, 120 pounds, and a size 4 for crying out loud. And yet I was totally insecure about my body. I always wanted to be thinner, tanner, blonder, prettier, stronger, you name it. It makes me really sad that I let all these things get in the way of spending countless weekends at that pool many years ago and enjoying the fun that we did on Saturday. I think we all regretted it and we enjoyed seizing this opportunity with our far more grown up perspectives.

Today’s revolutionary act is “Celebrate What’s Good: Look for signs of progress (beyond pounds lost) and rejoice when you find them. Give yourself a pat on the back every time you make your health a priority.”

I think a healthy body image plays a critical role in leading a healthy life. Even this weekend I was being too self critical, disliking myself in pictures. Why are we so harsh on ourselves? Truth is, despite the years since college, I can still be very self critical. My friend stopped me and said “You are so hard on yourself, stop it!” That’s what friends are for – to point out the roadblocks and make you better, and boy am I thankful for that. So, I’m celebrating wonderful friends and moving towards being less judgmental – especially with my body image. Every day we look in the mirror, we should see someone beautiful. That is progress. That is something good to celebrate. In honor of that, I’m posting myself in a bikini! I normally wouldn’t and would critique this photo endlessly, but I’m forcing myself to realize the woman here is beautiful and it deserves posting in honor of this revolutionary act.

I hope Sarah doesn’t mind that I’m taking the liberties to do her 101 days of blogging as a cumulative effort rather than a consecutive 101 days given my fun weekend. I’ll do my best to keep pace, but I feel these 101 revolutionary ways to be healthy are so important that I don’t want to miss a single one!

Now for a little exercise, go put on a bikini and try to enjoy some judgement free sunbathing 🙂 It does a body good.

Rage Against the Machine

July 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s day 3 of our 101 days of blogging challenge and today we’re talking about rebellion and raging against the “machine”. The machine represents the norm, the status quo. Which in the majority of examples is the standard american diet – or SAD diet. And what a sad, sad diet it is. Full of high fat meats and dairy, sugars and processed junk, sugary sodas, and veggie imposters like tomato sauce (c’mon, really?). That last one got me really angry recently. The thought that schools count tomato sauce as a veggie made me want to flip. And I don’t even have kids. I can only imagine how high strung I”ll be over food the day that comes.

Raging against the machine is “using your healthy frustration about the unhealthy status quo to spark creativity and determination.”

I’m a rager every day…

each morning when I make my unconventional smoothie

each time I stand at the stove…

each time I choose raw

each time I eat out and say, “hold the dairy“.

Because each time I decide to fill my body and soul with nutritious meals, I defy convention and the status quo and end up with something beautiful – both on my plate and in my belly.

Buck Trends: aka Ditch the Fad Diets!

July 10, 2012 § 1 Comment

Today is day 2 of the 101 days of blogging challenge and our topic is bucking trends. “Just because it’s popular doesn’t mean it’s smart or good for you.” Amen! Remember the grapefruit diet? Or worse, Atkins. Yuck. How either of these can be good for you is beyond me.

Somehow I missed the diet bug. It fascinates me that I was able to do this when there seems to be a new diet fad every year and so many people are obsessed with losing weight and getting fit. I guess I’m fortunate that I grew up in a household where dieting wasn’t a concern. My dad was very healthy – always out walking, biking, and going to the gym every morning. My mom raised my sister and I on home cooking. We never went through a drive-thru growing up and nothing ever came from a freezer (which presented its own challenges as I learned to cook). They both always told me I was beautiful so I really never felt the need to watch my calories – plus, blessed with a good metabolism, I was a size 4 until about 21. I could eat anything and stay slim. However at 5’8″ this might have been too thin – and I was sick all the time. It seemed I caught any flu or cold within a 30-mile radius.

Fast forward to today – I’m still relatively lean. I’m no longer the size 4 I once loved, but a size 8 (slowly approaching a size 6, woo hoo!) No matter how bad I want to be a size 6 though – I’m just not a calorie counter or fad dieter. Counting out my meals and feeling guilty for an indulgence is no way I want to live. I’d much rather eat a whole-foods plant based diet and not need to count calories. (Oh and by the way, I don’t get sick anymore.)

I lost 10 pounds in the first few months when transitioning to a vegan diet. Some of that has come back (I’ve just got to stop eating potato chips!) but most has stayed off. After my dad’s death, I’m realizing more than ever, I need to get to the gym. No more excuses now that heart disease is something I need to be concerned about.

In learning about plant based diets I’ve heard and read so many success stories. 10 pounds is nothing compared to most of them. So I encourage you to STOP with the fad dieting. Let’s start a new trend of grateful, unapologetic eating with plates full of nutritious goodies. Would you be willing to join me and stop the calorie counting and instead feed your body with wholesome, nourishing foods that uplift your mind, body, and spirit? The weight falling off will just be a bonus.

What trends do you think need to go?

If you want to join in on the 101 days of blogging your way to revolutionary health, click here.

Defy Convention – Let the 101 Days of Blogging Begin

July 9, 2012 § 1 Comment

I’m in need of a challenge. I miss the the adrenaline I had when I undertook my 30 day vegan challenge. The need to commit and keep my determination fueled me those 30 days and beyond. But now after almost a year of eating a vegan diet, not to mention everything else that’s happened, I am lacking in inspiration. Hence – a new challenge.

I found Sarah’s 101 Day Blogging Challenge on Twitter today. A lofty goal. I dug in a little deeper: the subject is 101 revolutionary ways to be healthy. Now that got me excited. I’m not sure I can stick to 101 days, but I’m up for the challenge. Truth is, eventhough I eat a mostly vegan diet, I could use some inspiration to get healthier. There’s a misconception that being vegan = healthy. It doesn’t. Sure vegans tend to make healthier choices but I can be a vegan that eats potato chips all day and never works out. So – let the motivation begin. If writing for 101 days and rethinking health gets me on the right track, so be it.

Now about defying convention. I’ve always thought of myself as a pretty safe bet. I’m not much of a risk taker. I’d never skydive for instance (maybe never say never). I just tend to go by the rules. But you know, the rules can really be quite boring. And when I think about it, this former art student turned MBA has actually made some pretty interesting moves.

What you see is not all you get. I’m diverse and I like it that way. So maybe I’m not as safe as I think I am? Afterall, what could be more defying than trying to become a vegan!  It’s not the easiest thing in the world and it certainly isn’t the norm. Today’s act of defying convention says “Do the healthy thing, even when it’s challenging, inconvenient or considered weird. Take pride in that.”

Challenging – check!

Inconvenient – check!

Weird – mmm hmmm, check!

While I’ve stumbled over the past year and am still trying to find my way, I’m proud of myself for sticking with it. Eating a vegan diet has been one of the most challenging yet liberating things I’ve ever done. And I know my journey has just begun.

The next 101 days should be fun. If you’d like to join in, head on over to Sarah’s blog and check it out. Together we can make a difference and empower others to think differently about their health!

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