It's Wednesday and we have a fun full body workout for you! We partnered with a dear SLT friend, Hillary Jeter, who is major fit mom goals! We love following her healthy and active lifestyle as a woman and mom to a small child. We tried this workout today and it's a great one! We love this workout because you CAN make time for 27 minutes out of your day. That's only 2% of your day! Try this today and any day you're needing a quick but effective full body workout. Thank you Hillary for taking the time to share your workout in SLT!
- Team SLT
School is starting back up, summer is ending, the rush of the holiday season will be here before we know it and life happens. It's so easy to put exercise and working to the bac burner because when it comes down to prioritizing between what the day demands of you and getting a good sweat in, you're probably going to go with the former. I'll be honest, we're a little busy over here at Sweet Lemon Thyme (when are we not?) and it's a struggle for me (Charity) to get to the gym every day, let alone hit the running trail. I hate missing workouts. Exercise is very important to me and not just for the aesthetic reasons. It helps with my anxiety, boosts my mood and helps me make better food choices. For the last 2 weeks I have found myself resorting to at home workouts. No, it's not my favorite spin class, hitting the trail for a good run, or picking up some heavy weights at the gym but 30-45 minutes in the comfort of my living room getting just as good of a workout in, does the trick. It's also free! We put together five of our favorite at home workouts, all under 45 minutes and most not needing any equipment. How about taking 4-5 days out of your week and making time for a 30-minute workout? That's only 2% of your day!
Let's talk diets! The Ketogenic (keto) diet has taken center stage recently in the diet community and it's probably want of the biggest debates . This is also a question I'm asked often. Is this way of eating healthy? I'm torn when asked my opinion on diets such as the keto diet. From a personal standpoint, I don't find it healthy at all and that's partly because I know firsthand the repercussions a restrictive diet can bring. From a professional standpoint, I need to give an unbiased opinion based on the person or client I'm working with and what may work for them. So, after much thought, I decided to bring it to the blog and share my true unbiased opinion on the keto diet.
The keto diet is not a new diet. It's recently started trending as a weight loss diet. Many would say this is an upgraded version of the Atkins diet and honestly, it's very similar. For almost 100 years the Ketogenic (keto) diet has been clinically used to treat epilepsy and seizures in children. Now keto has broken into the mainstream as a diet for weight loss.
The Science Behind Keto
What exactly does keto involve? Keto involves eating a very high fat, low carb and moderate protein diet, with a 4:1 ratio of fat to protein and carbs combined. When originally designed to treat children with epilepsy, the daily diet was meant to provide 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight, 10-15 grams of carbs, and the remainder of calories from fat. Broken down - that's about 75% fat, 2-4% carbs and the rest protein. If following this diet for weight loss, the percentages for adults can vary but are somewhere around 60% fat, 25% protein and 15% carbs. That's between 20 - 50 grams of carbs a day. A moderately lower amount of carbs in one's diet would be between 100 -150 and the SAD (Standard American Diet) contains upwards of about 300-350 grams of carbs a day.
Through carb restriction, the goal is for the body to enter and maintain a state of ketosis, which is a metabolic process in which the body turns fats into ketone bodies, which is what you may have heard referred to as ketones, to be used for energy where there is a shortage of glucose - the body's preferred energy source from carbs. Ketones are unique among fats because they can cross the blood-brain barrier and provide fuel for the brain, which is something that fats cannot do. Under these circumstances of starvation, ketosis is like the body's emergency response system to ensure the brain can still function. It takes about 3 days of fasting or eating less than 20 grams of carbs per day to enter ketosis.
Ok, time for me to get a little nerdy with you!
The mechanism of why this diet helps treat seizures is unclear, whereas the benefits of weight loss are pretty obvious. The body starts to break down stored fat. There is also evidence that during ketosis, the body is able to retain basal metabolic rate, which means that your metabolism won't slow down as it typically does on other restrictive diets. Studies also suggest ketosis may be able to suppress the appetite even during periods of calorie restriction and weight loss by increasing the satiety hormone cholecystokinin (CCK) and preventing a rise in the hunger hormone ghrelin.
A 2013 meta-analysis of random controlled trials found people following a keto diet saw greater reductions in body weight than those eating a low fat diet over a 12 month period. Research also shows weight loss is from a reduction in fat mass, not muscle or strength. Keto has also been shown to normalize sleeping patterns, reduce inflammation and improve memory and brain function. Keto may also be particularly beneficial to people with type 2 diabetes.
Now that I've given you the pros of the keto diet, here are the cons and possible side effects.
Going into ketosis, while maintaining, is intense. The diet is not always palatable due to its extremely high fat content, and it can be tough to follow in the real world, such as social settings, traveling, etc. Unlike most diet plans, there is not much room for flexibility. One day of eating too many carbs can take your body out of ketosis, which defeats the purpose and benefits of this diet. Even conscious indulgences ("cheat" meals) need to fit within the restricted plan. This could get old very quickly! And it goes without saying, this is an alcohol-free diet. There's also potential for the unpleasant side effect of "fruity breath" caused by a buildup of the ketone body acetone.
As for the safety and health-related side effects, there are a few concerns. Animal research suggests the keto diet may cause dyslipidemia, fatty liver, elevated inflammation and glucose intolerance. Though animal results don't translate exactly to humans, these results will still raise some red flags. Some studies also find that this diet may not necessarily result in weight loss.
Keto IS NOT for everyone, BUT if you still want to give it a try, PLEASE make sure your nutrition plan is complete. This type of diet requires responsible choices to be made in order for it to be effective. Many healthy foods like grains, beans, most fruits and starchy veggies need to be restricted due to carb content, so a sugar-free multivitamin is recommended to ensure all nutrient needs are being met. You also NEED the right tools to transition back to a generally healthy diet when the keto diet is discontinued once your weight loss goals are met. Everyone is different but this diet is not meant for the long term and typically recommended for about 3 months and a max of one year.
A keto diet may seem like a great way to lose weight but please note there are many other options for weight loss that are not as restrictive. A lifestyle change is the best option you can choose for weight loss AND to maintain a healthy body weight. If the keto diet is not something you will be able to stick with, even for the short term, my recommendation is to NOT try it.
After all of the information provided above still has you interested and you're wanting to give this sort of diet a try, below would be an example of what a day eating keto would look like...
Note: the carb counts are noted in parentheses
Two-egg omelet with spinach cooked in butter (1g)
1/4 avocado, sliced (3g)
Cofee with MCT oil
Romaine lettuce with olive oil
1/4 cup feta cheese (1g)
Grilled wild salmon
Tuna salad made with organic mayo
1/2 cup sliced peed cucumber (1g)
Grass fed sirloin steak
1 cup roasted broccoli drizzled with olive oil (6g)
1 ounce goat cheese (1)
If you have further questions regarding the keto diet or need help with any other nutritional plan, please reach out by clicking on the "contact" tab at the top of this page. I'm happy to help!
Tacos and Tuesday- they were just made for each other! Apparently the phenomenon started at a fast food restaurant in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Taco Johns, in 1989. Cheyenne, Wyoming!! Really!! I was a little disappointed by this. I expected this from California or Texas but not Wyoming!! Who knew Cheyenne would one day give birth to such a life-altering event that would cause millions around the nation, every Tuesday, to gather, and with great anticipation and joy, eat tacos.
And while tacos taste so good, they can be so not good for you. Back in the south where I’m from, we used to, and many still do, fry our tacos in vegetable oil, don’t get me started on that one. And what’s not to love about a pulled pork taco dripping with some calorie laden secret pulled pork sauce? The good news is that you don’t have to sacrifice taste for health! It’s so easy to make a delicious, healthy taco. The key is quality ingredients. It is always best to choose fresh, local, organic, if possible. Think outside of the box, or in this case, the seasoning packet.
Like so many of you, we too have adopted Taco Tuesday into our menu rotation, though our tacos vary from week to week. I’m not one to cook the same things over and over again, so to keep it spicy (see what I did there) our tacos have their own menu rotation. Some of our favorites are Slow Cooker Carnitas and Salsa Chicken Tacos.
A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling a little bored with Taco Tuesday, so I wanted to mix it up a little. Instead of Taco Tuesday we had his little cousin Tostada Tuesday. And she was a huge hit!! Tostada is the Spanish word for toasted. This means a tostada is like a spanish version of toast with all the fixins of a taco. What I loved most about this particular recipe, beside the fact that it tasted so good, was that it was meatless. The star of the show was black beans. Black beans are my favorite legume. Not only are they versatile, being used in anything from chili to brownies (I know what you’re thinking, gross), but they are also extremely healthy. Black beans are rich in phytonutrients (nutrients derived from plants), they level the blood sugar, metabolise fat, and are a valuable source of fiber and protein. These little beans pack a powerful punch! And if you don’t want some powerful flatulence with that powerful kick, it’s best to use dried versus canned (canned beans are not presoaked, rather they are flash cooked for 3-4 minutes, canned, and then cooked). Be sure to soak them overnight and rinse before cooking. This allows the beans to be easily digested and breaks down the sugar-related carbs associated with that room emptying, silent but deadly gas.
These tasty Black Bean Tostadas will be making a regular appearance into our taco rotation. Tuesdays around here are busy, so the fact that these are simple and can mostly be prepped ahead of time is awesome. I soak the beans overnight, and put them on to cook in the morning. I also prep the pico de gallo and veggies a day in advance. Outside of that, it’s just a matter of toasting the tortillas (unless you are really in a time saving mode and opt to use tostada shells) and layering up the good stuff. Speaking of the good stuff, another great thing about these is that they are so versatile, I imagine adding fajita style veggies or grilled corn would make these even better.
Just to make sure we had a winner on our hands, I sent the the recipe to my sister in Texas to try, to which she replied, “It is good!!” She prepped all the ingredients and kept them in her little fridge at work and warmed them up for lunches throughout the week. I guess she’s the real winner here, she had Taco/Tostada Tuesday all week!! So there you have it, delicious, healthy, and sister-approved.
One last thing before I quit typing and go make myself a taco - because I’m really craving one now - thank you, thank you, thank you, Taco Johns from Cheyenne, Wyoming for giving us Taco Tuesday!!!
Black Bean Tostadas
Sheree’s Pico De Gallo
To assemble Tostadas....
Brush each tortilla on each side with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt. Toast tortillas for two minutes or until crispy on each side, either under the broiler or in a cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Layer each tostada with 1/2c black beans, cabbage, pico de gallo, avocado slices and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Sheree is wife to Joel, her human Bean and mom to four whom she affectionately calls her sweetBeans. She believes that to be well one must first eat well. Her happy place is in the kitchen. And her love language is feeding people!!! Sheree is certified Culinary Nutrition Expert and is anticipating the launch of her business SweetBeans Kitchen.
You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.
Sheree is wife to Joel, her human Bean and mom to four whom she affectionately calls her sweetBeans. She believes that to be well one must first eat well. Her happy place is in the kitchen. And her love language is feeding people!!! Sheree is certified Culinary Nutrition Expert and is anticipating the launch of her business SweetBeans Kitchen. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.
You've heard it many times before, maybe even out of your own mouth and that's labeling foods as "good or bad." How many times have you heard, "I was eating good all week and then I had a huge cheat meal."? Or, "I ate good all week and this week everything is just so bad." It's the new year and we see many "diets" and detoxes and food challenges with the lists of "good food" and "bad food." What to take out and what to keep in. Can you go 21 days without having any of X, Y, and Z. We then automatically label these foods as bad and demonize them. A lot of this is our human nature. It's the way our brains like to process and categorize how we assess things. We label not only foods, but people.
But when it comes to eating, we tend to go one step further and almost moralize foods, and allow them so much control over our every day lives and how we feel. Here are a few reasons why we shouldn't label foods as "good or bad" or moralize them.
Food is not “good” or “bad.” Food is just molecules. The chocolate cupcake and the plate of fresh veggies are both just molecules. Some of those molecules simply fit together in a way that is more bioavailable and better able to give your body the nutrients that it needs, than other molecules.
It's like a puzzle. Some pieces fit properly into spots and others don’t; this doesn’t make them good or bad, it just means they don’t belong there. They’re not bad pieces; they’re just not the piece that your puzzle needs in that spot. And what fits for one person might not fit for another. For example, fresh pineapple on a hot summer day might be deeply nourishing and satisfying for you, but for someone who doesn't like pineapple, or might be allergic to it, they’re just not the right fit.
It's not motivating. People think it’s important to approach eating with this idea of putting food into categories of "good" versus "bad." Maybe it helps motivate us to stay on the wagon with healthy food choices when we can feel good about our “good” choices and bad about our “bad” choices. People are not motivated by what they're eating. they get motivated when they start seeing results, when the weight starts coming off, when they start seeing results at the gym, when the number on the scale starts dropping or the clothes become looser. That is what motivates people. Goals AFTER they've maintained healthy eating. A relationship with how we want food to feel and look like for us, is much more important than believing we're being "good" or "bad." This only creates disordered thoughts and habits.
This can create self-destruction. When we think we’ve been “bad” with our food choices, we feel guilty. Guilt makes us feel worse, which turns on the reward-seeking area of our brain and we go searching for those things that we know will immediately make us feel better like sugar, salt, and fat.
Guilt also makes us feel like it's pointless and you've already done damage, so how much worse can it get, resulting in binge eating. What you eat does not define who you are as a person. It doesn't make you a "good" or "bad" person. Instead of feeling guilty over your food choices and the angel on one shoulder is telling you one thing and the devil on the other shoulder is telling you the opposite, stop and think of what you're about to eat as molecules or those puzzle pieces we talked about earlier. What's going to better fit in with your goals? What is going to nourish your body and give you energy? Let that motivate you!
How about some inspiration and fitness motivation to get the year started? I don't know where you are in your fitness journey or if you even work out but you may be headed to the gym or the nearest running trail after reading this. I invited Krystal to guest blog about something that I'm very passionate about and that's running. Krystal is not your average runner. She runs marathons! If you've ever trained for a half or full marathon, especially a full, you will understand the dedication, commitment and even sacrifice it takes to successfully make it happen. Krystal is a wife and mother, so you can imagine the challenge that brings in squeezing in marathon training. Running is not for everybody but after reading this, I guarantee you will be inspired and motivated to get out and move more. It's a new year, so why not make some healthy choices in adopting a workout regimen that makes you stronger, challenges you and increases your health. Krystal is one of Sweet Lemon Thyme's ambassadors and valued customers. We hope you enjoy this as much as I did!
Q. When did you start running?
A. In 2012. My oldest child was 6 years old and my second child was 3. I had no energy and I wanted to do something to make me feel better.
Q. Is running a workout that comes easy for you?
A. It wasn’t at first. I couldn’t run one-quarter of a mile without stopping. It took quite a while for me to work up to one mile without stopping. Eventually, it got easier.
Q. What’s the longest run you’ve completed?
A. The marathon – 26.2 miles.
Q. When did you decide you wanted to run a marathon?
A. I have a great friend and running buddy who has completed probably 20 marathons. After my second half marathon (in late 2016), she said, “You should run a marathon! I’ll help you!” And that was that. It took me a while to train because I live in Texas and I wasn’t going to run a marathon here until the weather cooled off.
Q. What kind of food do you eat when training for a marathon?
A. LOTS of peanut butter – the all natural kind with no added sugar. My daily food schedule was a fruit and whole-milk yogurt smoothie every morning, then a peanut butter sandwich and a banana later in the morning, usually a sandwich with turkey, cheese, avocado, and spinach for lunch, a granola bar or more peanut butter in the afternoon for a snack, and eggs (the whole egg, not just egg whites), spinach, and cheese for dinner along with a glass of milk. So a lot of eating.
Q. Do you do any other workouts besides running?
A. I do now. For the first four years of running, I didn’t do anything else, but I ended up injured. I talked to a trainer after that and he started me on strength-training twice a week. I also started cycling a year ago. My first bike race is next month and my first duathlon is in April.
Q. If someone was wanting to start running, what advice would you give them? Don’t give up. It may be difficult at first, but at some point you breakthrough that and realize how much you love it. When I first started, I thought I was going to have a heart attack just trying to get through a quarter mile. Also, don’t skimp on shoes. Go to a real running shoe store and get some help on what to buy.
Q. What’s your favorite running shoe?
A. Right now, the Nike Zoom Vomero. I’ve worn Brooks, Mizunos, and Asics, but the Nike Zoom Vomero seem to fit my foot the best.
Q. Do you have plans to run a marathon again?
A. Yes, maybe October or November of this year…somewhere cool and without the East Texas humidity!
If you're like me, you're still Christmas shopping. It never fails, I always wait until the last minute. We've put together some gift ideas for the fitness junkie you might still be shopping for. Whether they're already a fitness junkie or planning on starting a workout regimen in the New Year, we've got you covered. Here are 5 gift ideas that are easy to find and some don't even call you leaving your seat. You're welcome!
Sweet Lemon Thyme Gift Card
You didn't think we were going to give you gift ideas and not include our own, did you? Of course, we have you covered at SLT! You're already reading this blog, so why not click up on the www.sweetlemonthyme.com/shop.html tab and find the Gift Cards section of the shop. We have various amounts available and they're e-cards, which means they are automatically emailed to you when purchased. Send that fitness junkie a gift card via email or print it out and package it up nice and pretty. So easy!
Aaptiv is a user friendly gym on your phone. Technology makes working out accessible anytime, anywhere. You can find any kind of workout and each one has a coach that helps you power through each workout, from beginner to advanced. Save 20% OFF when you gift that fitness junkie with an annual membership. Go to aaptiv.com/gift and check it out!
The Flip Belt
Basically, it’s a way to keep your phone, keys, money and other small items secure while you’re on the go. The belt is made of a spandex-lycra blend which fits snugly, but comfortably at your waist. There are small slits (seen in the picture), and you slide your items inside the belt, where they are secure. You can shop one here.
I'm asked often where I get my tops for my fitness skirts and Old Navy is my go to. Old Navy is affordable, convenient in most locations AND they have a great selection of trendy, stylish but comfortable activewear. Check your local Old Navy store or head over to their website and shop www.oldnavy.com/products/womens-activewear.jsp.
Fitness accessories are awesome, a necessity and your local Marshall's or TJ Maxx may just have what you're looking for. From foamy yoga mats, to warm and sweat wicking sports scarves, water bottles, equipment to take your in home workouts to the next level with kettlebells, free weights and resistance bands. Check out your local discount brand store to put together a fitspo gift that will have any fitness junkie ready to head to the gym.
Summer holidays are here and that means BBQ's, road trips and entertaining! These can be trying times to sticking to a healthy eating regimen BUT it can be done! With a little bit of preparation and planning, you can whip up some healthy, holiday friendly dishes and desserts that will have you enjoying the festivities while staying on track! If sticking to a healthy eating regimen is important to you during the summer holidays and you're a guest at an event, here are some tips on what to eat and what to avoid...
If you know there will not be ANY healthy options at the event you're attending, I always recommend for clients to eat before you attend the event and leave room for a light dessert or appetizer.
If you're the host/hostess or have the option to take a dish to an event, here are 4 of my favorite summer friendly recipes that even the unhealthiest and pickiest of eaters will enjoy!
Blueberry, Strawberry and Jicama Salsa
In a medium bowl, combine blueberries, strawberries, jicama, cilantro, red onion, jalapeno, and lime juice. Stir until well combined. Season with salt, to taste. Serve with tortilla chips. This is also great with grilled fish or chicken!
Balsamic Glazed Steak Rolls
Rosemary Balsamic Glaze
1. Rub each side of the steak slices with a little extra olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper and some chopped fresh rosemary.
2. Heat one TBSP of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the veggies until crisp-tender, seasoning with salt and pepper.
3. Place a few of the veggie strips vertically on one end of each steak cutlet so that once rolled up the end of the veggies are sticking out of each end of the steak roll.
4. Roll it up, and secure it with a toothpick. Repeat for each steak roll.
5. For the rosemary balsamic glaze - Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for one minute, until fragrant. Add the balsamic vinegar, red wine, brown sugar and the rosemary sprigs and bring to a rapid boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Add the broth, return to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 15 minutes. Discard the rosemary springs.
6. Prepare the grill and grill on each side for about 2 minutes. Do the same if cooking them in a skillet, frying over medium-high heat until done.
7. Serve immediately drizzled with the rosemary balsamic glaze.
Grilled Pineapple with Cinnamon and Honey Drizzle
1. Grill pineapple slices over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
2. While the pineapple is grilling, mix together the honey (softened in the microwave for about 30 seconds) and the cinnamon.
3. Drizzle the grilled pineapple with the honey and serve.
Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
* 1 bag of riced cauliflower (I use Trader Joe's)
* 2 TBSP canned coconut milk
* Juice of 1 lime
* 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
* 1 TBSP coconut oil
1. Heat 1 TBSP coconut oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add cauliflower (make sure it's thawed)
3. Saute until lightly toasted.
4. Add 2 TBSP canned coconut milk, cilantro, lime juice and salt, to taste.
5. Cook down for about 5 minutes.
I cannot tell you how many times I've heard, "But eating healthy is just so expensive." Some people use this as an excuse, while others really think it is and may not be educated on buying healthy food and/or looking in all the wrong places.
Let me introduce our guest blogger! Jessica is one of our Sweet Lemon Thyme ambassadors and a health eating enthusiast. I love seeing her posts on social media about the food she's eating and the great deals she finds. Folks, this not your fancy social media accounts where others make eating healthy look really expensive, unappetizing or weird. This is a realistic approach and very relatable to where most of us live. She makes it look easy and affordable and IT IS! I asked Jessica to guest blog on sharing some ideas on how to buy and eat healthfully, while not breaking the bank. Jessica and her husband live in Tennessee and work for the kingdom of God in their local church. Thank you Jessica, for taking the time to share your ideas and tips to healthy eating on a budget with our readers.
Healthy on a Budget
"When I decided to get serious about my health back in February 2016, I started preparing meals at home. A lot of people are under the impression that cooking your own food is expensive. Let me do a quick price break down for you. My husband and I recently realized we were paying $16 at Dunkin Donuts several days a week for our breakfast. We must’ve been getting a feast, right? Nope! We simply had two large lattes (almond milk is 50 cents extra each), and two breakfast sandwiches sans bread. If I had purchased these ingredients myself, I would’ve been spent around $6 for a bag of coffee grounds, $4 for sausage patties, and 79 cents for a dozen of eggs. That’s $10.79, and that’s if we ate EVERYTHING.
It can be pricey if you’re buying from high end places (lookin’ at you, Whole Foods), but eating well doesn’t have to devour your paycheck. Below are some easy ways I help money stay in our wallet when buying groceries.
Make a Grocery List
This seems likes a no brainer, but how many times have you forgot to actually bring said grocery list with you to the store? I use the notes app on my iPhone for everything I need to remember, especially groceries. As we run out of our most loved grocery items (stevia, zucchini, strawberries, etc.), I simply type them into my current shopping list note, and I end up saving time when it comes to making my shopping list the night before.
Buy Frozen Fruits and Veggies
Is fresh best? Well, you’re getting more vitamin B and C, so yes. But, frozen fruits and veggies are usually frozen at peak ripeness. I use a ton of frozen strawberries in smoothies and shakes, frozen blueberries in homemade jelly, and I can’t begin to tell you how easy it is to pour a bag of frozen broccoli into boiling water and have a great side veggie for your dinner. And, guess what. Frozen produce is almost always cheaper than fresh. Even at our most expensive grocery store in our tiny rural town, I can always find frozen broccoli, okra, and cauliflower for three good sized bags for $5.
Watch for Sales and Coupons
Here’s a confession for ya: I do not coupon. There are many reasons for this. One, I don’t want to devote the time. Two, I don’t want to inconvenience the cashiers and everyone behind me in line at the grocery store. Three, it seems like all the coupons I come across are not for things I actually buy, like, you know, real food. However, I’ve ran across some good sales at my local grocery stores, and I take those times to stock up on beloved items.
Shop at Discount Grocery Stores
There is a fantastic discount grocery store in our little town that I’m infatuated with. I’ve found some amazing deals there including a sprouted grains loaf of bread that I’ve paid $5 for at Publix for around $1. I buy a dozen eggs for 79 cents there, and I purchase about 80% of all our meat protein sources from there as well. I purchased a scary amount of organic frozen strawberries for $3.99 per gigantic bag. Chances are you have one of these stores near you. It might be titled something like United Grocery Outlet, Grocery Outlet, Save-A-Lot, Super Saver, etc. Basically, stores like this sell overstocked and discounted food products from some great suppliers. The only thing you need to be aware of is expiration dates, as these items will be closer to expiring than what you would find elsewhere.
Eat the Food You Buy
One of my husband’s biggest pet peeves is when I let produce go bad before it has a chance to be eaten. I’ve gotten better at this by simply being conscience of expiration dates, and checking the produce to see if it’s getting a little too ripe. When you have to throw away out of date food, you’re throwing away money.
I hope these tips have helped encourage you in your efforts to eat healthy, and live your healthiest life. You got this!
As National Eating Disorder Awareness Week has come to a close, I wanted to share the story of a dear friend of mine. During my recovery, I have found that a lot of my strength and encouragement has come from surrounding myself with a good support group and a large part of that support group have been women that have recovered from eating disorders, themselves. It's difficult to sit and tell a friend what you're going through when they have no knowledge and understanding of what eating disorders are and how they effect someone. My friends and family have been very supportive and listened but there is a special bond with someone that has been in the trenches of recovery themselves and they "get you." My guest on today's blog is that friend. I reached out to her at the beginning of my recovery. Actually, I reached out to her a few times before I became anorexic and was struggling with yo-yo dieting but we quickly built a friendship and bond as I started my anorexia recovery and she has been a true blessing in my life. I have shared with her my insecurities and struggles, and she's listened, encouraged, offered support, while not judging. There is so much strength we can find in each other, whether you have an eating disorder or not. This applies to all areas of our lives as we struggle. I think as humans, especially women, we try to do it all on our own. It's almost like we're trying to prove something. But the truth is, we all NEED someone. We need to be weak and show our vulnerabilities at times. It's healthy. We grow from this and become even stronger. Angela has been a strength to me during my recovery and I did not hesitate in asking her to be a guest on my blog. We did a Q and A and I really think this will help those that may be struggling with disordered thinking about eating or an actual eating disorder. I hope you enjoy Angela's story of recovery.
Tell us a little about yourself....
I’m a Bay Area native and continue to live here with my husband and fur baby. I work in the Internet Marketing industry. I love weight lifting, cycling, lots of good coffee, nerdy conversations about behavioral psychology, delicious food, traveling (when the budget allows), spending time with my niece and nephew, and trying new things. I’ve most recently taken some aerial yoga, which is freeing, playful and so much fun!
Q: When did you develop an eating disorder?
A: I’ve had disordered thinking about food since I was very young. The messages coming at me from society, magazines, media, family and friends formed a strong belief that calories and certain foods were “bad”. They were something to monitor, manage and control to meet a defined weight. It was in my mid-twenties that I really started to apply more rules to my own eating. My slightly obsessive and control-freak personality took to these tracking methods thinking that all numbers and charts would help me shape and control what my body would become. It became a black hole for me because, as many people know who suffer from eating disorders, whatever you are doing finally stops working, so you have to change something else. It is never enough. For example, eyeballing measurements turned into measuring turned into weighing. And then came my own mental rulebook about how much, when, and in what combination I could eat things.
Throughout the years, I’ve struggled mostly with orthorexia (right/wrong foods) and the intense fear that if I went over my net caloric intake, I would become “fat”.
Q: How long did you struggle with disordered eating?
A: I struggled for around 5 years or so. The last year was the most severe. And although I have been in recovery for a while, I still struggle with disordered thinking relating to eating. The battle starts with the mind and the thoughts.
Q: When did you realize you needed help?
A: I had a ‘moment’. I was sitting on the couch in a corner alone at a friends’ birthday party. I was the smallest I’d ever been in my life, was exercising hours a day, measuring, weighing and tracking every morsel that went into my body. I sat there obsessing about having a piece of the birthday cake. I really, really wanted cake but I knew that would throw my tracking off for the day. The mental war and anguish was agonizing. I wasn’t enjoying the party, I wasn’t laughing and visiting with friends like everyone else. Instead, I was consumed with the conversation going on in my head. I was almost in tears because I wanted the cake so bad. Something clicked in that moment. I recognized that this was not how to live life. I vowed to make a change. I never want to go back to that place of agony over a piece of a cake. I honestly don’t remember if I even ate the cake or not that night.
Q: What did you do to get help?
A: At first, I did nothing. Then, I slowly started taking to the Internet, finding resources online and on social media from people who promoted a body-positive lifestyle. Many of their antidotes and posts started sinking in about instead of being at war with your body, treat your body as a friend. LOVE it enough to treat it well, feed it well and exercise well. Doing something out of a place of love is so much easier than out of hate and distain.
After a year or two of doing it on my own, I finally broached the subject with a Christian counselor, and together we’ve been working on the thoughts and beliefs about food and body image; working to find complete, Godly freedom.
Q: What do you think is a misconception regarding eating disorders?
A: Most people think of skin-and-bones anorexic teenage girls when they think “eating disorder.” Eating disorders come in all genders, shapes, sizes, color and kinds. The reality is that many people struggle with the very long list of eating disorders from anorexia to binge eating to orthorexia and everything in between.
I’ve also noticed that eating disorders when related to the health and fitness world are actually PRAISED. The less you eat the “better” you’re being or if you have a giant burger, you’re “bad.” When someone praises the eating of a salad, for example, could be encouraging someone who has an eating disorder to keep going.
If I want to comment on someone’s food I usually mention how “delicious” it looks and keep going. No judgment whether it be a brownie sundae or a kale salad with grilled chicken breast.
Q: What was the hardest part about recovery?
A: First, admitting and continuing to admit that I have a problem has been an ongoing struggle. Being vulnerable to yourself and to the people around you is hard.
Second, the weight gains after stopping the stringent eating discipline and over-exercising made me feel like a failure. In a society that praises body size and composition, people won’t give you kudos for moving up a size or two. Mental health doesn’t always have such a physical demonstration.
Q: How long have you been in recovery?
A: I’ve been recovering for around 3 years or so. I wouldn’t say I’ve “arrived” or completely healed. You’ve seen the pictures of what you think a path from A to B should look like – a straight line. But the reality is that mine has looked more like a wild line of ups and downs, with the overall trend heading upwards. As I mentioned before, the battle really starts in the mind – every day choosing to change my thoughts around food, weight and overall health. Identify the thoughts, and then combat them with TRUTH.
Q: What advice would you give to your former self?
A: Your relationship with people and your mental health are more important than a number on the scale, the label in a piece of clothing, what you put in your mouth or hours you spend exercising.
Free your mind of guilt, shame and mental wars about food. It’s simply not worth it.
God designed you just the way you are. He made you. You are His masterpiece. As God loves you and gives you grace. In the same way, give yourself the same love and grace.
Q: In what ways do you think eating disorders can be made more aware?
A: There is a lot of shame and guilt around eating and mental disorders. That means people who suffer from them often don’t admit or talk about it. It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable enough to share with people around you. I believe awareness comes when people with disorders open up to those around them to share their experiences and help educate. It also requires those who don’t suffer from disorders to be empathetic, open and understanding. Then, it’s like a ripple effect, growing and spreading from there. As more people learn to recognize the impact and effects of eating disorders, it becomes easier to notice around you. And like with anything, you have to be able to identify the behavior before you can modify your thoughts, words, reactions and actions.
Q: What does healthy look like to you now?
A: Balance. Moderation. Sustainability. It really can be summed up in those three words. It is having a food and exercise regimen that enhances my life and doesn’t take from the quality of life. Being able to eat ALL foods in moderation. Something that is sustainable for the long haul.
Healthy is finding a balance between living life to its fullest while fueling my body to live life. It is foregoing a “hard core” workout and instead taking my niece out for a start-and-stop run while she rides her bike alongside. That time, laughter and stopping to literally look at the bugs is more precious than hitting a mile PR. Eating the cupcake is every bit as important as eating the bowl of broccoli and kale – with no guilt, shame or regrets.
Life is too short to do anything but LIVE.