Wednesday Thoughts

Hey there! Just sharing some thoughts on this Wednesday evening…

Do you ever feel like social media is crowded with healthy food ads or videos, fitness bloggers, work out ideas, cleanses, juices, shakes….?

Do you these ads/blogs/videos ever make you think about losing weight, or how unhappy you are with your body? Perhaps they are so abundant in your life that they make you constantly think about food and exercise.

Food is not meant to be something we stress over. It is meant to be nourishing and satisfying and keep us alive.

Today, I’m just here to remind you that you are enough. Worrying about your weight is not worth your time. What could you do today instead of thinking/changing/stressing over your body size?

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All Foods Fit Into a Healthy Diet

Hello!

I hope your Thursday is off to a great start! Today I’m sharing with you all some of my thoughts on my nutrition philosophy and things I’ve seen in the media and food advertisements.

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Chocolate pumpkin muffin from Green Sage Cafe in Asheville, NC

For starters, have you ever thought a particular food was “good” or “bad?” Perhaps your friend or family member said that they are giving up all sweets or xyz because it it was “bad.” Or maybe you hear you co-worker talk about why she is bringing a salad every day to work because it is a “good” food to eat.

In reality, our culture makes it so easy for us to place labels on food. We tend to praise those who consume a “healthy” diet rich in fruits and vegetables and place shame when we choose to consume foods that don’t provide us as many nutrients or more calories than other options.

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Fish, crispy brussels sprouts, and mac n’ cheese from Tupelo Honey Cafe

Part of the intuitive eating process is learning to honor your hunger. This can be quite challenging when we are faced daily with food advertisements that stigmatize or praise certain foods. Here are some examples:

 

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I love Trader Joes, but “reduced guilt” stigmatizes mac n cheese for being a “bad” food

 

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Sorry Halo Top, but your “ice cream” is not an angel. We are allowed to eat real, satisfying ice cream with milk, cream, and sugar 🙂

By listening to how our bodies are feeling and what we are craving at the given moment, we can choose foods that nourish and satisfy us without putting a label on what we eat. Usually, this involves a balance of foods (both foods with lots of nutrients, and those those without as much).

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We are worth so much more the amount of calories, protein, and fat found in our food. 🙂

Recent Eats + Simple Summer Pasta Salad

Good morning!

I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July!

I spent my day going to a morning outdoor yoga class (where almost 300 yogis attended!) with one of my friends + a great family cookout (where I forgot to take a single snapshot of the delicious food we ate).

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I wanted to share some lunch/breakfast ideas I’ve been loving lately. My mouth is still pretty sore from oral surgery last week, but I am back to eating most foods now (except really crunchy things).

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Chicken sausage, eggs + feta, and raisin toast

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Brunswick stew + cous cous served with milk

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Whole wheat toast with peanut butter + crushed raspberries and scrambled eggs + coffee

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White cheddar mac n cheese + chicken sausage + salad

A few weeks ago, I made this super simple, summer pasta salad for lunch that I thought was perfect for summer. It was super filling and satisfying! I also served mine with some grapes. I think it works well (especially if you are feeding more than yourself) to make a big batch for the week. I estimated the portions below, but feel free to add or subtract/substitute ingredients. Here is the recipe I used:

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Simple Summer Pasta Salad

Yield: A few lunches for the week (depending on your hunger)

Ingredients:

A few heads of raw broccoli

Few tablespoons olive oil

A few cloves fresh garlic

Fresh basil (dried works just fine)

Black pepper

2 cans red beans (black beans or chickpeas would work well too)

Feta cheese (I like to sprinkle in some at the end)

1 box Whole wheat rotini

Store-bought or homemade Italian or Greek dressing (Here is a great homemade greek dressing recipe)

Hard-boiled eggs (already prepared)

How-to:

  1. Boil and prepare the pasta according to the directions on the package.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, sauté broccoli in olive oil with garlic in large skillet. Once  slightly softened, add in beans, Italian seasoning, and pepper until the desired consistency is reached.
  3. Combine pasta + vegetable mixture + 1 or 2 hard boiled eggs.
  4. Sprinkle with feta cheese and a couple TBSP dressing.
  5. Pack in tupperware/eat! 🙂

 

I hope these lunch/breakfast ideas give you inspiration this week. Let me know if you make the recipe. I would LOVE to hear from you! Thanks 🙂

 

Tips for Consuming More Plant-Based Protein Foods/Why we Need Carbohydrates

Hello again! I hope you’ve had an awesome start to your weekend. I received a request to talk about ways to increase plant-based protein consumption and in turn consume less meat and other animal products.

I want to first begin saying that it is very do-able to consume a vegetarian diet. But, before changing the consistency of your diet (i.e. becoming a vegetarian), it is important to have blood work done to check your levels of some important vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B12 (which primarily comes from animal products), and Iron. 

While consuming meat can provide your body with lots of protein, iron, B vitamins, zinc and magnesium to name a few, consuming plant-based protein foods can be a great way to increase your fiber intake, lower your saturated fat levels, and also save some $$!

Lately, you may have seen a shift towards higher protein/lower carbohydrate diets. One reason this concerns me is that most Americans over-consume protein.

To begin, I want to note the amount of protein that is recommended for the average adult. For those that are very active or who are in naturally larger bodies, these numbers will be higher.

Females between 19-50 years of age: About 5.5 ounces protein per day

Males between 19-50 years of age: About 6.5 ounces protein per day 

For reference, 1 oz of meat, poultry, or fish is about the size of a deck of cards. Other 1-oz equivalents include 1 egg, 1/4 cup beans, and 1 TBSP nut butter. You’re probably thinking.. wow, 5-7 ounces add up very quickly! And yes, it does!

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Tofu stir-fry I tried while in Asheville, NC

So, where do the rest of the calories I need to survive each day come from? Primarily carbohydrates and some fat! Some people become fearful of grains such as pasta rice, cereal, etc. But in reality, carbohydrates are so so important for us! Did you know that fruit and vegetables are also sources of carbohydrates? 🙂 

Carbs are the main source of energy or ATP for our bodies. Many carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, are great sources of fiber. Fiber is an important nutrient because it aids in digestion and helps you feel “full.” Choosing whole grains such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal are awesome ways to increase your fiber intake as well as B vitamins and iron. In contrast, animal products such as meat, eggs, and fish contain no natural sources of fiber. Plant-based proteins, such as beans, tofu, nuts, seeds, lentils, etc. are also awesome sources of fiber!

Here are some easy ideas for increasing your plant-based protein consumption. I’m working on creating some easy recipes for you all in the next few days. For now, give one of these of a try and let me know what you think 🙂

Stir-frys: Sauté some vegetables in a wok or skillet and add in tofu with some low-sodium soy sauce and garlic. Serve with brown rice or whole wheat pasta. You can use this recipe or create your own!

Make a burrito bowl filled with black or pinto beans, corn, brown rice, tomatoes, cheese, guacamole, and cilantro.

Make a vegetarian chili with beans and tofu in place of meat. Here is an awesome recipe.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you learned something new today! Let me know if you make any of these recipes or create your own 🙂

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Colorful, veggie-filled lunch from one day at Virginia Tech 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eating with Self-Compassion

Happy Friday!

I hope you’ve had a wonderful week and are excited for your 4th of July festivities!

I wanted to share with you all some thoughts on what it means to eat intuitively and why   I believe this way of eating can heal people’s relationships with food. 

Lately, I’ve been reading the book, Intuitive Eating, by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, who are both registered dietitians (RDs). I’ve also been reading blog posts by immaEATthat and thereallifeRD.

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These readings have fundamentally shifted my focus and mindset on my personal nutrition philosophy. I would highly recommend checking them out!

First, I wanted to share my thoughts on why I’m not fond of diets. I also want to note that when I refer to a diet, it means that an individual has chosen either by themselves, social media, the diet industry, friends, etc. without the help of a medial professional.

Personally, I believe that any form of restriction in one’s diet done for the sole purpose of weight loss is considered a diet. Some examples include the ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, Whole30, Paleo, Weight Watchers, Adkins, etc.

I also want to note that there are times when diets are important for individuals in order to survive and maintain functional health (ex: diabetes, kidney disease, etc).

Yet, our culture is often very fad diet-focused, in that we often prescribe diets to ourselves, when really all we are doing is restricting certain food groups, macro or micro nutrients, ingredients, brands of food, etc. because we think we will achieve greater health and/or weight loss.

I want to share with you an illustration from the Intuitive Eating book I found to be pretty spot-on:

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I believe that diets (aka restriction) ultimately stem from a place of diminished self-worth and can often be tied to other emotional, physical, or spiritual issues we have dealt with in the past, or are currently going through.

One main issue in dieting is that we lose track of what foods bring us satisfaction, enjoyment, and actually taste good. We also have a hard time determining when our bodies are hungry and/or full (aka the hormones ghrelin and leptin).

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Yet, this idea can be challenging when our culture is so fixated on being thin and fit. Although being in good cardiovascular health and consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower our risk for disease, it is not the end-all-be-all to health..

Instead, we must listen to our own bodies and determine what is best for us.

We must practice self-care and self-compassion when eating and look inward versus outward when making these decisions.

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This is partly what it means to eat intuitively.

It is not until we find peace with food that we begin to live life fully.

Thank you for reading! I am working on a post about ideas for work/school lunches. Please comment or message me if you would like me to address something specific or other blog recipe ideas 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome + Wisdom Teeth Removal Eats

Welcome! I am so happy you took a few minutes out of your day to read this post. I’ve been wanting to start a blog for quite some time (although I recently began my tb_foodie Instagram account), and I finally decided to start one!

Yesterday I had my wisdom teeth removed, so I thought this was the perfect time to spend some quality time starting the blog and sharing with you all some things I’ve been eating during my oral surgery recovery time period. For me, small, frequent meals have worked well because it is still hard to open my mouth wide and some pain has been occurring during the eating process.

During any sort of recovery from surgery, it is important to consume an adequate number of calories, protein, fat, and certain vitamins and minerals to promote the healing process.

The first day I was prescribed to consume only soft, cold foods. My face was very numb and my mouth in a good amount of discomfort, so here are some things that I ate (drank).

I tried eating some Vanilla Chobani but it didn’t taste quite right since it had been so soon  since I was under anesthesia.

So,  a little while later when the numbness was wearing off, I had a smoothie with: frozen banana, milk, almond butter, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and oats. This ended up being really easy and tasty to me at the time, so I ended up having one more a little while later because I wasn’t quite full yet. I also had a little bit of some butternut squash soup for something savory-ish.

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I focused on icing my face and drinking enough water until I was hungry around dinner time. My mom brought me a banana milkshake from Cookout and it was super good/hit the spot!

 

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The doctor said I could resume back to my normal diet the next day (today). My mouth is currently swollen and I don’t feel like I can “chew” any foods yet. So, I began the day with some sweet potatoes that I pureed and added some homemade basil pesto + spices to. Served them with some pureed baked beans + black beans. I also had a cup of half coffee + half 2% milk (I heard it wasn’t good to drink/eat very acidic foods for the first few days so I added more milk to make the pH more basic).

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A couple hours later I felt hungry again so I microwaved some classic chicken n stars soup and added ice cubes to make it cooler (which I threw out and forgot to take a pic of).

Around lunch time I decided to have some Annie’s mac n cheese that I ended up blending up in the food processor for a little while so it would be easier to eat. The texture and taste reminded me of “cheese rice.” I served this with some more of the bean mixture and ended up being very satisfying!

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I plan on making a large smoothie soon with frozen banana, cherries, milk, nut butter, oats, and maybe some greens!

THANK YOU so much reading! I would LOVE to hear from you about your personal wisdom teeth recovery thoughts, eats, whatever in the comment section! Enjoy the rest of your day 🙂