Thursday, July 12, 2012


Tumblr Image

I love long necklaces. The dangling pendants swinging around your midriff. So much fun. (I also love turquoise, if you can't tell.) More colors and styles.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

veggie of the week: Spinach

Spinach is my favorite leafy green thing. This is probably because it was the only leafy green thing I could manage to down in large quantities (besides romaine) when my friends suddenly started ordering salads instead of burgers in high school. Suddenly, veggies weren't annoying things your parents pushed at you, they were sophisticated. Who knew?

Depsite my rough start, I taught myself to love spinach, and soon many salad staples in general.

My favorite easy-to-make salad is as follows:
  • Spinach
  • Dried cranberries
  • Walnuts
  • Raspberry vinaigrette (like Annie's)
  • (Apple chunks sometimes)
There are all kinds of variations you can do on this basic recipe, like the above picture with strawberries and slivered almonds. And of course, spinach doesn't have to be confined to salads - making other stuff with it is pretty awesome too.

Reasons to love spinach:
  • It is high in dietary fiber, protein, vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and a whole lot more. AKA a definite super food.
  • It is 7 calories for one cup raw (natural, whole, QUALITY calories)!
  • It is anti-inflammatory (kind to your stomach).
  • It is linked to cancer prevention (surprise)!
  • It is really yummy!
And remember to pick it up organic, as spinach is one of the infamous dirty dozen otherwise.

Happy eating!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Importance of Food Quality

Wherein I rant about weight loss-related body misconceptions and food quality ignorance. You have been warned!

I was perusing my facebook today, when I came across a status that I rather liked, that basically stated "No, swimming isn't making you gain weight, eating crappy food because you think you're burning it all off is making you gain weight." I am always pleased when friends display an understanding of normally misconstrued things, like "I don't weight train because I'll look like a man," or other similar oddities. However, this inspired a friend of hers to reply the following little gem:

"Actually, you gain weight by taking in more calories in a day than your body has utilized over that same day. Quality of food makes little difference. Quantity of calories and macronutrients [are all that matter]."




Okay, let me start off by saying that yes, "burn more calories than you eat" is the basic math behind losing or gaining weight, and I don't disagree with that, but to imply that it doesn't matter where these calories come from is the same logic that makes Americans decide that a "100 calorie pack" of processed mini-cookies is somehow a better choice than the 200 "fatty" calories from an avocado. It's not. Okay, time for a quick lesson.

A calorie is not a thing floating around in your food, that makes you fat. It is the measurement for a unit of energy, or more accurately for food, potential energy. That means your food is capable of creating that much energy when it's being broken down by your body, but it might not. The way your body absorbs and metabolizes different types of food (and other non-foods that are often thrown into processed food) and converts them to energy (or fat) is affected greatly by the health of your digestive system, how dehydrated you are, what else you've eaten lately, genetics, your hormone balance, and many other factors, which means every body interprets food energy a little differently. The calorie, as related to food labels, is more subjective than we'd like to think. On top of this, the way we burn that energy is also affected by all the above things, plus body composition, gender, even the temperature of the room. And we haven't even started talking about how the actual food affects everything on top of that.

Toxins and man-made ingredients in food have been shown to associated with many illnesses and diseases that would certainly help to bring metabolisms to a screeching halt and encourage weight gain. Processed food is continually working against you, because it is engineered (genetically or other wise) to be addicting. Companies want you to eat more than you should (yes, even the ones that proclaim to want to help you lose weight). By eating real food, you avoid additives that affect your chemical balance, hormones, and metabolism for the worse, and tend to intake far more vitamins and minerals (MICROnutrients) that help with weight loss. Not to mention organic foods have more vitamins and nutrients in the first place.

Yes, it certainly matters a lot for weight loss how much you eat, but "calories in minus calories out" is merely a starting place at best (I say "at best" because it would actually be more helpful to start by eating healthy, organic, whole food, all day everyday, and if that doesn't help you lose weight, THEN start calorie-counting on top of that). There are a great many reasons for this, but the main one is that eating healthy foods from the earth (not "diet/health foods" from the food industry) makes your body healthy, and healthy bodies have higher metabolisms, more efficient digestive systems, less sickness, and more energy (which makes you more likely to exercise). All of this leads to natural, sustainable weightloss.

Never mind that being healthy should probably be the main point in the first place. Geesh.

Alright. I feel better, and a little like this character:

And of course, I'll close by mentioning that I am not a professional and this is largely my (researched) college kid opinion. And, for the best book in the world on all of this, from someone much more educated about all of this than myself, read Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food. I wish everyone in the world would read that book. It's about respect for natural food, eating for a lot more reasons that having "good nutrition," and some of the fallacies of current nutrition science. 

Okay, back to your regularly scheduled programing! Next up: veggie of the week.