Tag Archives: Healthy

How to Not Die (Before You Need To)

I just got back from an awesome and quick workout and I feel a million times better than I felt yesterday after not exercising. Why is it so easy to forget how magical exercise is? Just a few days without it and I already was starting to fall into a slump, and with one good workout, I feel rejuvenated (and sore… I guess that happens when you’re a turd and don’t work out for several days). If you exercise regularly, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, you’re missing out man! Pretty much anyone can exercise, so really you have no excuse. If you have a body, you can move it, and you should, and if you don’t, you’ll probably die like, 20 years sooner than everyone else, leaving behind your spouse and children to mourn your unhealthy life and unhealthy death.

Um, ok sorry. Sometimes I get really morbidly existential about health and exercise. BUT ITS TRUE, OKAY! If you don’t exercise and if you eat unhealthy food, YOU WILL DIE. I mean, we all are going to die, but its how and when you die, and more importantly, how you LIVE, that you have some control over. Some factors you can’t fully control, like pollution (lies, you CAN control this) or second hand smoke, and those things can cause all sorts of awful deadly cancers, BUT if you exercise regularly and stop eating crap and start eating organic whole foods from the earth, you can avoid so many more deadly cancers and diseases that are entirely lifestyle-related. Yes, I know, easier said than done, but (and I’m saying this to myself too), stop the excuses and just do it.

So… A few tips on how to NOT DIE BEFORE YOU NEED TO:

Start small if you’re new. Try one (and only one) of these changes for a week. Start gradually… by swapping one or two things a day, and slowly grow, week by week. Set small goals. See how it goes:

Food

  • If you’re still drinking soda (really? are you still 7 years old?? I guess easy for me to say because I’ve never liked soda), drink sparkling water with fresh lemon or lime in it.
  • If you like juice, find one thats 100% fruit, without added sugars or any of that bullshit that I can’t pronounce.
  • If you like sweets, eat fruit, or heck, just eat half of the damn cake and not the whole thing. Share it with another fatty friend who also is trying to be less of a fatty. Just start somewhere. (This is the hardest one for me. I fail constantly, but I’ve gotten better.)
  • If you like chips, go for tortilla chips instead of Lays or potato chips or any of that greasy nonsense. (Also easy for me to say… I’m not big on chips. Unless they’re tortilla chips, with guac, and then I’m done for.)
  • If you want a burger, eat half. Or take off the top of the bun. Or get a whole wheat bun. Or get chicken instead of beef. Or a veggie burger. Or turkey. So. Many. Options.
  • If you like cereal and milk, try oatmeal or Kashi cereals instead. (Or something natural, organic, and as close to raw as possible. Add raisins for sweetness, if you must.) And try almond milk or soy milk.
  • If you go to McDonalds or ANY other place where your food takes less than 10 minutes to make, DON’T. Like really, do you live in a cave? Has no one ever told you that these places are pretty much the worst thing you could EVER POSSIBLY DO TO YOUR BODY?! Like, why don’t you just shoot up heroin in an ally with a rusty shared needle or fucking go skydiving without a parachute. You might be better off. Fuck, at least skydiving is fun. But really. McDonalds? There is NOTHING WORSE. Plus if you’re like me and have sensitive skin, you’ll just become pepperoni face girl and it’ll be age 16 all over again, or you’ll be muffin top boy or man-boobs man or mom-arms lady and your stomach will hurt and you’ll probably have diharrea and you’ll feel lethargic and stoned and also cracked out because there is literally crack (and by literally I mean figuratively) in everything they serve you and you’ll hate your life afterwards and really, its just never a good idea. If you’re broke and are starving for calories, buy a jar of almond butter and a bag of carrots for like, $5 and you’ll pretty much have enough food for the whole day. Like literally if you’re starving. But if money isn’t the issue and its just that you don’t know any better or that you actually like the taste of a mediocre soggy burger, then listen to these words: IF YOU EAT FAST FOOD, YOU CAN START SAYING YOUR GOODBYES NOW.

I am totes serious about that.

  • OK but without the sass, here’s a more gentle solution. Craving fast food? OK, I know if you’re in the habit of going to a fast-food restaurant every so often, then it might be a hard habit to break. (I’m the queen of struggling to break bad habits.) Often you don’t know what other choice you have, or you don’t know how bad it is, or you really love the food. I get that. I’ve never liked fast food (I’ve probably eaten McDonalds less than 10 times in my life), but I fucking LOVE dessert, so I get the appeal. My suggestion is to go to McDonalds or whatever your poison of choice is, and choose something “healthier” off the menu, like a fruit and a salad or something. Or if what you want is a burger, just don’t go to McDonalds and splurge a little on a nicer burger at a restaurant! At least it’ll be more satisfying and probably slightly healthier. There are solutions. You just have to care enough to find them.

Exercise

  • When it comes to exercise, its the same idea. Start small. Try walking 20 minutes a day for a week. After a week, move it up to 30 minutes. After a month (or when you’re ready), try power walking. Looks silly, but gets your heart rate up and burns more calories. Give it a few more weeks and when you’re ready, go for a short run. 10 minutes, and you can take as many breaks as you need. Even if you weigh 300 pounds, YOU CAN RUN. Please, please, please, do it… for me??
  • After you’ve been walking, power walking, and jogging lightly for a few weeks or months, I challenge you to sign up for a 5k race. It should take you 30-45 minutes (or however long you need) and I promise you, it will change your life. If it doesn’t, you can come back here and smack me for being a liar.
  • Don’t be intimidated by a gym. I realize a lot of people avoid gyms because they think they won’t know how to exercise, or people will stare at them, or they’ll feel pathetic next to the beefy dudes or the skinny women, but remember what is important and just push through it. The first step is the hardest, and it will get easier with time. People that exercise frequently are usually so excited to help someone start exercising (like me!), so you might be surprised… you might find that people would be really happy to show you how to use the treadmill, or the stationary bike, or how to properly do a bicep curl. And if you have a friend who can go with you, even better! The point is, don’t be afraid. You are worthy, just like everyone else, of going to a gym and doing what’s best for you. So do it!
  • If you’re still too embarrassed or don’t have the money, try exercise videos. There are so many resources online… all it takes is a very quick google search and you’ll have access to some of the best trainers in the world, for free! This has been my saving grace for my broke ass here in Paris, since gyms are super expensive and difficult to find. Try Zuzana Light or Jillian Michaels to start, then explore to see what other videos or styles you like.
  • Try yoga. Anyone can do yoga and while it might not give you the intense cardio that you need for your heart and to burn calories, it gives you something much deeper and more powerful. It gives you awareness and appreciation for your body, confidence, and a sense of calm (among many other benefits). And, if done enough, it will transform your body. Try yoga once a week, then slowly increase. If you can do 15 minutes in the morning, every morning, you will feel better all day long. Promise.

***

If you’re not a n00b anymore and you’re already more established on the road to a healthy life, which is where I think I am, I think these are the things that work for me, or that I should work on more.

  • Portion control. I know this is really vague because, especially in America, our idea of portions is entirely skewed, but start small and eat off of a smaller plate, or share a dish at a restaurant with a friend, or measure out your servings when you’re at home. This is a struggle for me, but I’m trying.
  • Lessen carbs. They’re the bain of my love handle existence. It’s amazing how quickly the weight comes off when the carbs are gone. That means less bread, less potatoes, less cereal… and sadly for me, less oatmeal. But little by little, it gets easier. And avoid AT ALL COSTS any refined carbs (anything white, like bread, pasta, rice, etc).
  • Lessen dairy, especially cheese. Its fatty. Enough said.
  • Cut out red meat. Cholesterol and saturated fat up the ass.
  • Eat more greens. Spinach and green beans are my go-to, because I’m picky and I hate broccoli, asparagus, and pretty much all other green veggies. Half of the plate should be green. Personal rule of thumb.
  • Drink more water. Not a problem for me because water is all I drink (I don’t like anything else, oddly), but some people (I’ve noticed French people in particular) don’t drink water! Aren’t you thirsty!??
  • Drink more green tea between meals when the hunger pangs arrive. Apparently helps curb the appetite for a little. I’m a monster snacker so this might help me stay away from the temptations when its not meal time.
  • Experiment in the kitchen making healthy swaps for your favorite meals, like instead of spaghetti with meatballs made out of ground beef, use whole wheat spaghetti (if you must) or even better, spaghetti squash with turkey or tofu meat balls. This is actually one of me and my moms favorite things to make when we’re lazy. Trader joes has awesome meat-less meatballs that have tons of protein, with a little homemade pasta sauce and spaghetti squash… YUM. I really have no need for regular pasta again.
  • Eat fruit as dessert.
  • Eat nuts as a snack. Who doesn’t like nuts in their mouth??! !!@?#!@$ [Sorry, I’m tacky.]
  • Learn about calories and nutrition basics. Don’t obsess over the numbers, but be aware. Like when you sit down at dinner time, you’ll know that your piece of salmon has X amount of calories and not Y as you used to think. We tend to underestimate our calories consumed and overestimate calories burned, so use an app (I use MyFitnessPal) to get you started.
  • As for exercise… amp up the exercise to 45 minutes (or more) a day, 4-6 times a week. And if you’re really intense, you can do 2-a-days, with light cardio or yoga in the morning (for 20-30 minutes) and a real workout in the afternoon, doing weight training or HIIT routines. Mix it up, so your body doesn’t get bored. Learn to crave the soreness and the sweat.

And if you’re a pro… well you can tell me what I need to do WHEN I get there, because it’s happening, someday.

***

Other things that might help everyone get a healthier life started:

  • Keep a journal or a blog! Writing how you feel about food and exercise and health helps you stay accountable and helps you see the progress you’ve made. Seeing what you ate in any given day can really be enlightening.
  • Keep inspirational images or quotes in a visible place. Sounds cheesy and guess what, IT IS CHEESY. But guess what else? It reminds you of your strength and power to change and grow, every single day. And at the end of the day, haters gon’ hate. But wear your badge proud, and put up a cheesy little poster in your room to remind you of what your goals are. I did this, and it helped.
  • Tell your friends about your goals. Don’t keep it private. Part of my reason for starting this blog is for this very reason… I know that if I don’t tell anyone that I’m trying to make a change, then no one will know that I “failed” if and when I did “fail.” It essentially gives you a green light to give up before you even start. But telling someone and having them hold you accountable makes a big difference in your motivation to succeed.
  • Ask for help. So many of us are in the same boat. I am so far from perfect, and me writing this list isn’t me giving you all the answers, as if I’ve already found them. This is encouragement for me and for you to seek each other out, find help, and work together. I don’t want to feel alone in my struggle, and I know you don’t either.
  • Get rid of all the haters. People don’t like it when their friends try to get healthy if they aren’t on the same path themselves. They might not know it, but its a reminder to them that their choices are not the best, and they react in disapproval, they mock, they try to get you to eat the burrito that you’re trying so hard to resist because you are showing them something they are not ready to accept about themselves. I am FAR TOO FAMILIAR with this. Its frustrating and alienating when your closest friends make fun of you, judge you, or just simply don’t understand you (and don’t try to) for wanting to improve your life. Find friends that encourage you, that respect your choices, and that maybe even want to join in on the fun, because they know how much it means to you. Find friends that will be selfless, even if they’re not ready to make a change in their own lives. People are resistant to change and people don’t want to be made aware of their own lifestyle if they somewhere, deep down, know that it could be better. Find people who boost you up and make you better. Get rid of the rest.

Lastly, for now… remember this: YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE. You are beautiful just as you are today. There is no standard of beauty that you need to adhere to. This isn’t even a question of beauty at all. It’s about your health, your life, your family, your future, and your self respect. You are worthy and perfect right now, today, yesterday, tomorrow, and always. You are capable of so, so, so much more than you think. It’s a long journey, and it never ends, but all you need to do is take the first step. One little step is closer than yesterday. You are powerful beyond measure. Know this at the deepest core of your being. And you deserve nothing but the best.

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Healthy Breakfast Quinoa

This morning I woke up and realized I only had a tiny, tiny amount of oatmeal left. Since I’ve been trying to eat mostly vegan lately, I didn’t want to eat yogurt or eggs for breakfast, so I thought I’d get a little creative and use inspiration from many recipes I’ve seen to create my own breakfast quinoa.

The result was actually amazing! I can’t wait to try this again tomorrow morning.

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Since I rarely use real recipes and I just make things up as I go, here I’ll try to describe my process, in case you want to recreate it (which you should, because this was SO good).

Ingredients:

Quinoa

Almond Milk

Raisins

Dried Apricots (or any dried or fresh fruit)

Cinnamon

Honey

Almonds (or walnuts)

I already had quinoa pre-made from last night, but if you don’t, you can start from scratch, which might actually be better. (I’ll be trying that tomorrow.) Mine was a quinoa-bulgur wheat mix, but I recommend just straight quinoa. I had… a normal serving size? About a cup? Not really sure. You can be more precise if you want.

I put it in a little sauce pan, turned the heat on low, and poured in some almond milk (but not too much at first). I tossed in some raisins, and a small amount of honey and cinnamon and some sliced dried apricots (though you can use whatever fresh or dried fruit you desire). I mixed it all together and kept adding almond milk until it was a consistency that looked good to me (I didn’t want it to be too watery but you can make it as watery or dry as you’d like). At the end, I chopped up some almonds (if you have slivered almonds, or shelled walnuts, even better so you don’t have to deal with cutting whole almonds) and tossed them in, and gave it a little taste test to see what I thought. YUM.

Since I had a tiny bit of oatmeal, I cooked that and mixed both together, and the result was a delicious, sweet, healthy, protein-filled, fiber-filled, nutrient-dense breakfast to start my day. Seriously this might be my new favorite thing. Dare I say… better than oatmeal??

TRY IT. I dare you.

Here are some suggestions for things to add, though the beauty of this is that you pretty much can just do whatever you want and it will most likely be amazing.

– Fresh blueberries

– Fresh strawberries

– Almond butter

– Avocados

– Maple syrup

– Peaches

– Mashed banana

– Protein powder

– Chocolate chips

– Greek yogurt

… The list can go on as far as you’d like. Just some ideas to get you started.

Seriously this is my new favorite discovery. Can’t wait for tomorrow!

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Grocery Shopping

As I mentioned yesterday, I went to two grocery stores yesterday and spent half of my weekly allowance on food that I shouldn’t even need to buy. But, its not likely that my host family will be buying tempeh and almond butter, so I’ve been taking matters into my own hands (aka broke-ass wallet) for the past few months and buying myself things that I want/need.

I went to Monoprix, the big “normal” grocery store, and bought whatever didn’t need to be bought at Naturalia, the organic, healthy store. I came home feeling like Santa, excitedly arranging all of my food on my tiny table in the corner of the room, and proudly taking pictures, just for YOU.

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Featured on my list of healthy items:

– Oatmeal

– Quinoa

– Nuts

– Thin Brown Rice Cakes

– Sun Warrior Protein Powder

– Organic Whole Wheat bread

– Fruit (apples, bananas, avocados, tomatoes)

– Vegetables (sweet potatoes, canned chickpeas, spinach)

– Tahini sauce

– Almond butter (I caved in…)

– Tempeh

– Soy Yogurt

– Almond Milk

 

This is a very limited list. But these are my staples, and knowing that I have these in the house, I feel prepared and ready to eat healthy and clean for the rest of the week. Dinner times I know will always be a challenge, but I’m learning slowly that it is okay to make my own dinner and eat that instead. It takes a bit of courage (I’m shy and I feel the need to be respectful) but ultimately, it tends to work out okay when I give it a shot. But at least for the other meals of the day when I’m on my own, I don’t have any excuse now to not eat right. My challenge is to avoid all the other temptations around the house, and trust me, there are plenty.

Oh yeah, also my challenge is to not finish the enormous jar of almond butter by the end of this week. Because my brain does not understand “all things in moderation” or “portion control” or “STOP god damnit!” when almond butter is in front of me. I knew I shouldn’t buy it, but again… brain shut off, hand grabbed jar, wallet paid, and oops now its here.

Im TRYING, okay!?

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Lessons Learned

Yesterday I learned a few things. Or rather, re-learned.

Eating shitty feels shitty

– Eating well feels great

– I am stronger than I think I am

Let me explain.

I went to work and because I was in a rush in the morning, I didn’t have time to pack a lunch and was thus at the mercy of whatever everyone else was eating when lunchtime came around. Chinese food was ordered and I, slightly excited because of my AFD (Asian Food Deprivation) here in Paris, filled my plate up with whatever was offered: general chicken (i.e. deep-fried chicken bits, generally the worst parts of the chicken that really shoudln’t be eaten at all), some other saucy chicken-y thing, white rice, a fried shrimp egg roll, and a meat potsticker. There were no vegetables, so I ate little bits of onion mixed in the sauces. After a few bites, I already knew this meal was going to be a bad idea, but I was hungry and everyone was eating, and I couldn’t not eat it now, so I ate it, every bite causing my stomach to hurt a little bit more. By the end, my stomach was hurting so bad, I was bloated, and I felt sick. Likely there was nothing directly wrong with the food (meaning, it wasn’t food poisoning or anything like that), but I think my body just isn’t used to eating so much awful, unhealthy fried food, and it rebelled. I pretty much hated my life the entire rest of the day… I couldn’t walk up straight because of my stomach ache and I was so bloated that I had to wear stretchy leggings and lie in fetal position any chance I could. I felt AWFUL! (Even now as I write this, I still feel remnants of this shitty feeling). This was a very immediate reminder: EATING SHITTY FEELS SHITTY.

To compensate, I prepared myself some sautéed vegetables (onions, carrots, zucchini, red bell peppers, tomatoes) and some quinoa and set it aside for dinner. Every night, my host mom is in charge of dinner, but a few weeks ago she sweetly brought up my cholesterol and said that if I ever feel like the food they eat is too heavy or anything, that I am free to make myself something else for dinner too. I really appreciated her telling me this, though, perhaps because I’m shy, I only took her up on this offer once before last night, and even then I still ate some of what she had made. Last night, however, because I was feeling like death, I reminded myself that I do have more control over what I eat than what I realize, so I asked my host mom if she would mind if I ate some quinoa and veggies I made myself earlier, and she said “of course” (as in, of course I won’t mind), so thats exactly what I did. I added some salad and half an avocado to my meal, and felt satisfied and healthier than I had felt all day.

Eating clean just FEELS right, and there are no two ways around that. So, lessons learned, and learned, and learned again. And likely they will be learned again and again and again over time, hopefully improving each time these things come up. I am stronger than I think I am. I can make good choices if I want. I totally can.

 

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Raspberry Banana Oatmeal Protein Smoothie

No almond butter? No peanut butter? What am I supposed to do with myself for an afternoon snack?!?!

I was hungry and I knew that dinner tonight will be soup, and I know that this soup contains probably very little healthy protein (mostly vegetables and heavy cream), so I wanted to get some protein in before dinner so I wouldn’t feel nutrient-deprived later, so….

I experimented with a few different ingredients to make a Raspberry-Banana-Oatmeal Protein Smoothie, and it was glorious!

The raspberries were a lucky find… I did some digging in the freezer because I knew a while ago my host mom had some frozen raspberries for one of her amazing desserts, and I wondered if there might still be some. To my delight, there were! So I tossed some of those in with half a banana (the bananas were huge), some almond milk, a scoop of protein powder, oatmeal, and cinnamon and blended that shit uppppp.

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Raspberry Banana Protein Smoothie

3/4 cup raspberries

1/2 large banana

1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal

1 scoop protein powder

3/4 – 1 cup almond milk

Sprinkle of cinnamon

** Blend in blender. Drink. Make this face:

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Almond Butter

Look, if you haven’t figured out almond butter yet, you really need to get your shit together, because honestly there is no excuse to be living your life without this stuff.

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I found almond butter (for 10 euros, eek) at Naturalia, pretty much the only organic/natural food store in Paris/France (that I know of) and I found whole wheat rice cakes (thin ones) too, and I’m basically having a party with myself right now, licking almond butter off of my fingers and trying not to get it all over my pretty little computer. (PS: whole grain/brown rice cakes are a great source of slow digesting complex carbohydrates – aka good carbs – and they are low in calories so they can act as a nice substitute for bread and they are great to eat as a pre-workout snack.)

Almond butter, for those of you that are living in darkness, is like peanut butter, only better. (Check out this little info graphic comparing both nut butters, if you want to know more) (Also, for someone like me with high cholesterol, almond butter has less saturated fat than peanut butter so its better for me lil’ arteries). It has around 100 calories in one tablespoon and around 7 grams of protein, but what its really great for is getting some of your very important healthy fats (i.e. monosaturated fat) and for satisfying every desire your body and mouth could ever crave. Spread it on whole wheat bread, mix it in your oatmeal, in your protein smoothie, make delicious almond butter paleo balls (plenty of recipes online if you’re curious), or spread it on whole grain rice cakes and top it with a banana, like what I’m doing right this second. Its filling, lean, and so good for you! Just remember to stick to the listed serving size (even if you have to measure it out… 1tbsp is deceiving) since nut butters of all kinds are calorically dense, and if you’re trying to watch that pretty little figure of yours, you might want to consider not doing what I did and sticking the spoon straight into the jar and eating like it ain’t no thang.

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I’m begging you, try this shit, or get out!

Note: With any nut butter, try to buy organic and raw, since they tend to have less ingredients like salt, sugars, and preservers that alter the flavor and nutrition content of the product. Look for ones with the least amount of ingredients possible, and make sure they are all ingredients you can pronounce! (This goes for all food, pretty much). The one I bought today lists almonds as the only ingredient. Yours should too, or at least come very close.

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Eating Shitty Feels Shitty

So… remember how I said I would allow myself to indulge a little bit this weekend? Yeah, well, things got a little craycray and I ended up feasting as if this was my last weekend on earth.

Okay, not really, but kind of. Saturday my friend and I ate Laduree macaroons, aka a slice of God’s face, and for dinner we had the most delicious Basque meal, and I took a picture but I think it would be counterproductive to post it here, so just imagine a steaming dish of layered potatoes, ham, cheese, veal, cream, and pretty much everything in the world that your greedy little eyes desire. It blew my fucking brain, and later, it blew my fucking stomach and I kind of regretted it. But not really because it was delicious.

Follow that by a bag of sour gummy worms at the movie theater… WHY? I DON’T KNOW, because it “felt right” until all of a sudden it didn’t. My friend and I were stomach-aching all night long.

Sunday I told myself, today, I will be good. So I woke up and ate a bunch of potato chips and the rest of my candy as an appetizer to the eggs my friend and I were making for our “brunch”. I didn’t eat for the rest of the day because I felt like shit, naturally, until dinner time, when a different friend and I met up and had Indian food. LORD almighty.

(In my defense, I did run on both days!… Okay, yeah, thats a sad attempt at redeeming myself, but hey, it helped me sleep last night. Kind of. My stomach ache kept me up too much to be able to sleep.)

It is now Monday morning, and I am choosing actively to not feel any emotional regret or anxiety for this weekend, because I think I needed to go out and spend some fun, indulgent time with friends since I’m often cooped up here at home during the week, festering in my own loneliness. This weekend restored me in so many ways, and for that, I can never feel any remorse.

However, I do want to point out, mostly for my own sake but if you profit from this too, then the world is just a little bit better: Eating shitty makes you feel shitty. Eating well makes you feel well.

Why is this so hard for so many of us to grasp?

Eating shitty makes you feel shitty.

Eating well makes you feel well.

Do you ever remember a time when you ate too much, or ate something too rich, or too unhealthy? Sure you do because we’ve all been there. How did you feel afterwards? Did that fatty super grande burrito make you feel alive? Did the fast food make you feel smart, capable, and happy? Did that pizza make you feel like you could properly do your work or homework or any task at the best of your abilities? Fuck no!

On the other hand, whenever you’ve chosen the healthy option… a proper salad, some quinoa, salmon, etc… You knew you were at the top of your game. Life was your bitch and you were taking that shit for a damn walk in the park.

This morning, I feel kind of like I’m the little bitch getting walked. Last week, I was kicking ass, felt light, lean, and healthy, and my body functioned in the way I wanted it to. This coming week, I’m going to bring that energy back, because this stomach ache right now is really lame.

I need to remember this next time I’m stuffing my face… It just doesn’t feel good!! It tastes good, duh, but that goes away and all that remains is the grumbling in your stomach and the farts out your ass, and lets be honest here, who actually craves that?

***

Anyone that consistently eats healthy can attest to this mild little phenomenon which I like to describe as “clarity”… It’s when your brain, your body, your soul just feel clear, they feel centered, they feel whole and you feel like the best version of yourself that you always hoped you could be. If you’ve lived your whole life eating unhealthy then you won’t know what this feels like, but give yourself even a few days of healthier choices and you’ll already start to see the difference.

I had a friend who lived off of McDonalds and frozen pizza pretty much every day, and even though his diet and kitchen skills were merde (“shit” in French, in case you didn’t know), he was still fit and thin and he played tons of sports, which probably helped ease his guilt about his food choices. I weaseled my way into his life and convinced him to start eating healthier because it would improve his basketball game, and he reluctantly agreed, and, well, long story short: months later, after I had been ranting and raving about this “clarity” that he would feel if he ate better, he came to me one day and said, “I get it know.” He hadn’t eaten fast food or soda in a few months, and he had been slowly adding more greens, more lean protein, more water, and more fruit to his diet. Since his changes were slow (i.e. starting by just swapping one soda a day for a glass of water, until over a few weeks, he was barely drinking soda at all), he was able to really make true lifestyle changes that would stick with him, instead of reaching a burnout and falling back into his old ways. He said he finally understood that clarity that I always spoke about, and he couldn’t believe he had lived his whole life without it. Indeed, his basketball improved, his energy was up, he felt happier, quicker on his feet, his mind was sharper, and he hadn’t felt his stomach aches in months (he had learned over a lifetime of poor nutrition that stomach aches were just a normal part of eating). I want to convert more people to the dark side! Eating right just FEELS right, and when you start doing it, you’ll understand.

Moral of the story: Stop eating shitty shit, because you’ll just feel like shit!

A few quotes I like to remember:

“You are what you eat.”

and

“Eat like you give a fuck.”

The end. Now go eat a fucking apple.

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Tuna Discovery

Canned tuna.

My first thoughts are usually, “ew, wtf”, mostly because I’ve always associated it with tuna salad, which I hate. Just the smell of it makes me want to vom. But I guess reading so many bodybuilding blogs has incepted the idea of canned tuna into my brain, because I actually bought some to try the other day. With my own money, I paid for canned tuna. Who am I?

** I should mention that as an au pair, my food is technically taken care of by my host family, unless I go out to eat with friends, in which case I use my weekly allowance to treat myself to a night out. Otherwise, any food that I eat at home should be fully provided by my family, WHICH IT IS, but before I get too into it, I just want to say that I often feel like certain key parts of my diet are missing and I haven’t had the courage to really ask for them yet, so I’ve resorted to using my allowance towards buying my own groceries and hiding them in my room, like a little fucking squirrel. I’ll talk more about this later. But either way, for the sake of this post, I paid for tuna, and a bunch of other things, featured below. **

Anyways, back to canned tuna. I usually hate that shit, but reading about bodybuilders and their love for canned tuna, I decided to give it a try because I figured they know something I don’t. Holy shit, they were right! One small can of tuna, about 100 grams (or about 3.5 ounces), has around 120 calories and 29 grams of protein.

Let me repeat that.

120 calories. 29 grams of protein.

For those of you that don’t know what that means, let me explain. My Sun Warrior protein powder has about 80 calories and 17 grams of protein in one serving. Four scrambled egg whites have about 70 calories and 14 grams of protein. A 3-ounce portion of ground beef has over 230 calories and around 21 grams of protein (not to mention tons of sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat). Even a 4-ounce piece of salmon has more calories (165 ish) and less protein (24 grams) than a small can of tuna.

My mind was blown when I read the nutrition label, and without hesitating, I bought a can to test it out.

After a really tough work out this morning, I knew I needed to feed my muscles with plenty of protein, so I made a tasty little tuna-based lunch: canned tuna, 1/4 avocado, 1/2 tomato, olive oil, salt, pepper, all mixed together and served over two small slices of whole wheat toast (each one about 50 calories). Boom! It tasted fucking delicious and I could practically feel my muscles getting more defined with each bite.

Dig in to this little bitch… I have been converted!

Open-Faced Tuna Sandwich

Note: I collected some of my nutritional information from this handy site: www.fatsecret.com

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