Thursday, August 1, 2013

Health Nut (?)

So I have never really addressed the dieting trend, and I thought that I would share my take on it.

 Being a chef makes it really hard to say no to food, but sometimes you have to dive away from those fattening foods and stay on the healthy track.  I am against diets in general. We were always exposed to healthy food when I was young. Chris always reminds me that I was very fortunate to be exposed to so many good foods as a youngster. Once I decided I was really interested in food, and interested also in going to culinary school, I became more healthy than I already was. But I never gave anything up. (Unless you count giving up dessert- which lasted 18 hours.) If I wanted ice cream, I ate it. Simple as that. I would say that I still have the same dietary habits and it has really worked for me.

I think that if you want to go for that late night taco bell run once in a while, you should be able to. But a balanced diet is most important. So, balance out that taco bell and eat healthy whenever you get the chance. I am obsessed with vegetables so I just constantly consume vitamins through leafy veggies. New favorite vegetable: radishes (I bought two bunches for $1.75 at the market this morning). I like to enjoy them raw with a touch of salt. Chris and I recently went to a bar that had radish snacks with home made butter and fresh bread- it was delish. I do not always eat healthy in fact I do enjoy taco bell, and tonight I made the best burger ever. Nomnom. But I eat a lot of vegetable centric meals and healthy snacks. Instead of potato chips, try veggie sticks. I know you may say ick when you read this, but they are addictive, once you start you won't stop. Instead of pudding what about yogurt? I haven't quite been able to switch Chris over yet, but when I buy greek yogurt he will indulge with me. One thing that has also helped me is nixing the starches. When you order a meal it normally contains at least one vegetable, a starch, and then a protein. But especially in this hotter season, it is very easy to skip the starch and just add a vegetable or fruit.  Apple sauce counts as a fruit serving, and it's cheap!

I have never been into the gym. I think it's pretty boring, and I really don't enjoy working out with a bunch of people I don't know. I am sure that I probably look ridiculous when I work out, so I steer clear of the gym. I have always been in touch with nature, and try to spend the majority of my time outside. This translates to my "work outs" I have always enjoyed a good jog, and at one point I would start my day off with a brisk walk. I used to ride horses, and sports whether it was kickball in the backyard with my siblings or competitive softball always got me moving. But I have never had a schedule. In my mind, as long as I maintain a healthy weight, there is no need for me to "buff up". When I am inspired to run, then I run, and it feels good, but everyone knows that there are some days when you don't feel like doing anything. But recently I started yoga. And let me tell you, yoga whipped my butt. I took a yoga video out of the library and invested in a yoga mat. Yesterday I started the video, and it was not for beginners at all. It was not the meditative yoga I thought I was getting into but a cardio form of yoga. But I stuck with it. I completed two out of the three exercises which was forty minutes long. I then collapsed. It felt really good, to stretch and breath and push myself.

After the yoga I will say that I immediately felt healthy. I started to think about what I would eat for dinner and healthy snacks etcetera. It's interesting how the mind works that way.

Today I woke up feeling like I was hit by a bus. Typical. My back and shoulders hurt in places I didn't even know existed. But I decided to stick with it and after a quick shoulder massage from Chris, I looked up stress relief yoga. I found a great stretching video online and completed thirty minutes of stress relief yoga. I felt better but I was glad when the half hour was up. I then relaxed a bit before soaking my new found muscles in a bath. Now my body feels great and I am rejuvenated.

Here are a few tips on staying healthy that I like to follow:

  • Drink lots of water. Water flushes out your system and helps in a number of other ways. You should drink a glass of water when you wake up in the morning- this will get your metabolism moving. You should drink a glass of water before meals- this aids in digestion. And if you ever find yourself thirsty you are already dehydrated, so just keep drinking water- hey no calories! Chris and I bought a brand new water filter at a church sale for three dollars and we had been using it, but I noticed that I was not drinking as much water. He says I am a spoiled princess, but honestly spring water tastes so much better to me. So I caved and bought a case of bottled water. I am drinking more water again which is good for me and I think it's worth buying the bottles. Plus I can bring the bottles back and put the coins in my piggy bank. 
  • Healthy foods. My mom picked up a book for me called 100 Health Foods which lists raw foods and their benefits for you. Some of my favorites include: Spinach (lots of iron), Quinoa (a very light starch option plus high in protein), Blueberries (antioxidants), EGGS (don't be scared of the yolks they are rich in vitamin A and B12), Avacado (fiber! Plus, healthy oils- rub the pit on your hands before ditching it, you won't regret it).
  • Even if you aren't into yoga, stretching is important and keeps you younger!
  • Cucumber water. I found this recipe on pinterest last year, and it has proven to help my digestion.   I don't have mint all of the time so I skip the mint, but dice some cucumber and squeeze a lemon into a glass of ice water (add the mint leaves if you have them). It is a nice twist to water and helps your digestion. Lemons are very good for cleansing your system. 
  • Drink tea. My good friend from school drinks at least three cups of tea a day and is one of the happiest people I know. But tea is also good for your digestion, and another way to get water in your system. Green tea is best for your system but any tea is good. Ginger settles your stomach, and one of my new favorites is a ginger lemon grass tisane. 
  • Spicy is good. It helps boost your metabolism, helps beat inflammation, and increases blood flow. 
  • Honey- boosts your immune system and is healthier than processed sugar!
  • Sleep eight hours. For some of you this may seem crazy, but sleeping  through your full sleep cycle is very important to keep your mood positive and your metabolism on track. 
  • Get that fresh air. It will inspire you and open up your lungs. Think of that feeling after a nice run in the middle of the winter- your lungs feel as though they have been used to their full capacity- that's good. 
  • If you are going to eat something unhealthy be okay with your decision. You will not feel guilty afterwards if you are happy with your decision. "I can eat this now, because I had a grilled chicken salad for dinner". Etcetera. Do not punish yourself by fasting from certain foods, just make up for the splurges with healthy. 
That's all she wrote!
My burger: Lettuce, Heirloom tomato, Avocado, Bacon, Egg, and Sharp Cheddar cheese on a Garlic Peppered burger 


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