Thursday, August 9, 2012

Summer Lesson 1

Today something wonderful happened:
And let me tell you, it wasn't easy.  Emotionally, Intellectually, Physically...any of it. But I learned so much about myself.
So to celebrate, I decided to start a series about some of the important new lessons I've learned.

But before diving into that, I just thought I'd share a bit about my evening! As another part of my end of summer celebrations, I put on my flowy pants and met up with my favorite set of twins in my favorite city for an excellent (vegetarian) dinner at Cedars of Lebanon in Salt Lake for an excellent meal of pita bread, hummus, falafel, baba ganoush, grape leaf rolls, chocolate mousse that almost meets my impossible-to-match Paris standard, and a bunch of other things I can't name or remember.  Then ended the night with a delightful summer stroll around the temple. For the next week I actually get to enjoy my summer!!!

-apologies for the iPhone quality-

And now, without further ado....

Lesson 1.

So if there's one thing that came back different about me from Paris it is this:

I'm a bit of a food snob.

The fact that food ingredients are so barely processed over there (even the desserts use super pure ingredients!), plus my determination to change my eating habits when I's made me a little super-sensitive to paying attention to what I am putting in my body.

So I came back with a few rules:
1) No beef. Ever.
2) Even further, the only meats allowed are chicken and salmon.
3) Even further, sparingly.
4) Almond milk and coconut milk only.

So what does this sound like? Have I gone vegan?
Not quite.
I don't think I could ever cut out scrambled eggs or Ben & Jerry's from my diet.
And I really, really love salmon, and chicken tacos.
And I mean, I just got home from Paris.  So cheese (good cheese)...still kind of a staple.
And let's be honest, I'm a poor starving college student.  I will never pass up free meals, almost no matter what they contain. 

I think it's more the mindset I'm trying to adopt.
I just wrote a pretty in-depth paper on the Word of Widsom
(The LDS "rulebook" of diet and healthy living)
which definitely recommends a diet that opts more for fruits, vegetables and grains in place of animal products.
So for now, I'm just doing my best to cut down where I can.
And you know what?
My body has never loved me more! 
I have so much more energy, my skin is clearer and more vibrant, I have been able to quite literally shred off the tummyfat I gained from eating desserts every day in France, and I don't feel weighed down by all that meat that I don't even need in the first place.

At the beginning of summer, I had to really concentrate on making it through a day without meat or dairy.
But I discovered something: Once you set your mind on cutting something out, you start to lose your appetite for it.
Now, I look back on my day and the majority of the week, I am pleased to find that I didn't eat any of those products!

I won't lie, these days I literally get a little nauseous when "McDonalds" or even "Little Ceasars" comes up in conversation.

So, what do I do instead?

This muesli recipe for breakfast from one of my favorite websites

TONS of this. Fruit & berries. Simply the best. Ah. Love it:

I've actually stopped being a picky eater and finally picked up a taste for tomatoes and peppers, so tons of veggies:

Coconut milk is SO delicious.  When I put it on my cereal I seriously can barely even taste the difference:

Ok so this one has dairy, but orange bell pepper with taco seasoned Chobani is an excellent alternative to chips and dip.  Barely any calories and you get your salty and sweet craving satisfied in one stop!

-all images courtesy of pinterest, google images, Hannah Preszler or myself-

....and lots and lots of climbing and yoga and hikes! (all great and outdoorsy low-impact yet highly efficient workouts for your core)

Of course I don't eat healthy 100% perfect all the time. I still love goldfish crackers and popcorn and chocolate, but I know that I've started myself down an amazing road to health and I never plan on going back to the way I ate before.

Growing up, I could really eat whatever I wanted, and my metabolism took care of it for me! As I've grown up and my lack of thyroid started causing far more problems than ever before, I began to realize my need to have an active role in my health.

So my challenge to you is: set your mind to eating healthy-it gets easier and your body will love you so much!

Stay tuned for Part Deux of this post, all about new recipes I plan to try this fall!
If you have any recipes, healthy eating tips or favorite health blogs, please post them below in a comment!

All my love, B.


Ashley Kristine said...

Mmmm, now I want fruit kabobs... and finally finishing summer term feels so great, I agree!
Following via GFC :) I would love it if you dropped by and said hello sometime!

dreaming en francais said...

I'm kind of a food snob, too. I haven't cut beef out of my diet, but I've been drinking soy/almond milk rather than regular milk for years now. It just tastes better in my opinion, too! Also, LOVE Lebanese food -- being Armenian, several of our dishes are quite similar, so it's almost a given that I'd love it!

Brooke said...

Congrats on finishing summer term! It's so nice to have a little break now before fall starts. And that's awesome about eating healthy and really taking the initiative to have a healthy diet. Raw fruits and veggies are the best - I need to eat more of them.