The Two Percent

The best avenue is to start to appreciate the functionality of our bodies,” is Rachel Begun, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says. “It is just amazing I have legs that can carry me from one place to another … that we have mouths that allow many of us to be able to speak. There is so much we can just appreciate and marvel at in our bodies.

The above quote is from an article I read today on CNN.com about the fewer than two percent of adults in the U.S. that are underweight. It’s an issue that most don’t realize even constitutes as a health problem. Let’s face it; with America’s attention currently focused on obesity, it’s hard for most of us to sympathize with someone whose body is a certain size. It’s hard for most of us who count calories, monitor their intake, and spend hours a week trying to ‘work off that slice of pizza’, but we all need to be aware that this two percent exist and it can be a real struggle for them.

“Fewer than 2% of adults in the United States are underweight, according to 2007 to 2010 data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics. To be considered underweight, individuals must have a body mass index of less than 18.5. A woman who is five-foot-six, for example, would weigh 114 pounds or less.”

The sad reality for most of the 2 percent is that if they’ll most likely be accused of an eating disorder before any other reason, thanks to our culture’s beauty standards. “She must have an eating disorder if she’s that thin, right?” I know I’ll be the first to admit that I usually jump to quick judgment whenever I see a woman of a certain size. In fact, not too long ago I had repinned the photo below on my Pinterest account.

A very good question...

I was really proud of myself for sharing this and really felt like it conveyed the right message. Not too long after this, an old high school acquaintance posed the question: While I admit that our beauty standards are skewing towards the unhealthily thin range, isn’t it just as bad to say that very thin women are not as attractive as curvier women? As soon as I read it, I knew she was right. I myself have friends and know women who have naturally thin builds and who probably wouldn’t appreciate being told they aren’t as attractive as a fuller woman.  (Especially if they work hard just to keep their current weight on.)

Anyway, check out the article and if you are in this two percent category, check with your doctor to ensure your low weight isn’t linked to a serious medical condition.

My Healthy Tip of the Day: If you are trying to gain weight, remember it’s about quality, not quantity. Your body is going to respond much more if you consume foods that are higher in nutrients, rather than calories.

TTT: Hairstyles

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Haircut: This is sort of what my current haircut looks like (only MUCH thicker)

 

Now don’t get me wrong, I love this ‘do; however I wonder if I could take it up just a little to something more like what I’ve done in the past.

Now that you’ve seen one hair style, I’ll show you three more for TTT.

Bangs

At the end of my Freshman year of college, I decided to cut my bangs. They were o.k., but eventually drove me crazy when they’d grow out. I discovered very quickly that I was much more suited for a side swept bang style. Look how long my hair was!

Bob

This was a cut I got right before Christmas in 2008. I loved this cut so much, but it got boring. I could really only style it one way and that was back when I actually washed my hair every day. Exhausting!

The Carrie

This was a really fun haircut that allowed me to just let my hair fly. (My old roommate Megan in the picture above will kill me if she every sees this.) I literally took a picture of Sarah Jessica Parker’s short haircut and had my stylist recreate it. It was basically a curly version of that tacky angled bob Kate Gosselin wore. I probably would only do this again if I really needed the convenience of not fixing it.

As you can see I’ve experimented with my hair quite a bit. (I decided you spare you from the short, short hair of 2002-03. YIKES.) What sort of hairstyles have you sported?

WIAW: Sweet Potato Fever


Well since I made a massive amount of yamburgers, I decided I’d rather eat them now than later. I’m not a huge fan of freezing certain foods. So without further ado…

Breakfast: 1/2 a sandwich thin with almond butter and a giant bowl of Kashi Puffs with almond milk

Lunch: Yamburger!

Dinner: a giant bowl of spaghetti squash

Some of the yummy snacks I indulged in included Kashi bars, Greek yogurt, cucumber slices, and several fruit bars!

My First Mammal Free Monday

Last week I alluded to the fact that I would be trying a new meat and dairy free diet every Monday to jump start my week. Today marked the first of this once-weekly venture. I started off my morning with a bowl of Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs with a cup of almond milk and one half of a sandwich thin, topped with some yummy almond butter. This breakfast wasn’t actually much different from what I eat every day since I abstain from cow’s milk. The almond butter was a perfect way to beef up this breakfast so I stayed fuller throughout my morning.

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My mid-morning snack was a gradual grazing of almonds and cranberries, combined with massive amounts of British tea. I started off with an Irish Breakfast tea and continued my day with a mix of my yummy Vanilla Caramel Truffle and Lady Grey. (Did I mention my Mondays will be caffeine free?) By the time lunch rolled around, I had worked up a serious appetite. I mixed together some premade peas and quinoa that I had prepared. I saved a little of the quinoa so I could have a snack later. I also munched on some cucumber slices and red and green peppers.

For dinner I decided to attempt to make the yamburgers recipe that I found, however I had to do so with a white bean, rather than a black bean. I sliced up some avocado and used a little hummus as a spread for this yummy dinner. I think my favorite thing about vegetable-based burgers is that they are not meant to remind you of burgers. They are just an easy way to stuff some really yummy veggies into a utensil-free meal. Who could argue with that?!

All in all, I think this “vegan” Monday thing will be much easier than I anticipated. I practically avoid meat and dairy during the week anyway.

On an off subject, I’ve been noticing a TON of GOTR mention in the blogosphere and have to say I’m THRILLED this organization is getting so much recognition:

http://peaceloveandoats.com/2012/06/18/im-a-solemate/

http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/about

http://www.pbfingers.com/2012/05/08/girls-on-the-run/

Sooo exciting! I mean I always knew what an amazing organization it was (board member boasting alert!), but the fact that so many others recognize the amazing support it can provide a young girl reminds me over and over.

WIAW: Sensible Snacking

Unfortunately, some of my pictures may be old. I forgot to upload them last night and due to my current psychosis (and a self diagnosis on Web MD), I’m convinced that my back pain is from kidney failure.

Breakfast

Eggs! I needed something big to keep me full through the morning hours. I usually have two (yolk and all) with an Arnold’s Sandwich Thin. I recently tried the multi grain ones, as opposed to the whole wheat, and found I like them much better. They are so much softer!

Snack 

Lunch

Broccoli with hummus! Such an amazing combo. I munched on a peach, a plum and a pear too.

Joanna Newsom would be so proud of that lunch.

Snack

I actually had vanilla. Oikos by Dannon is the absolutely BEST tasting Greek yogurt.

Dinner

Three pepper quesadillas! These things were delicious, but filling. I even used a little Greek yogurt as a sour cream sub. I could hardly tell the difference.

Well, that’s all for today. Before I forget, let me mention my new eating adventure: Mammal Free Mondays! I’ve decided to go completely animal free on Mondays as a way to restart my body each week. I picked up a few vegan friendly items at the grocery store this week to get started bright and early on June 18th. Yeah!

Crazy for Quinoa

On Tuesday, I ran to the grocery store to pick up around two week’s worth of groceries. I actually try to go to Kroger on Tuesdays as often as possible to take full advantage of my Dad’s sweet senior discount. SAVINGS! Anyway, in an effort to rid my pantry of some of my usual junk, I decided to splurge and purchase some of my healthier faves. I revisited by love of the Dark Chocolate Mocha Almond Kashi bars and did myself a solid by picking up vegan Parmesan cheese to kick start my Mammal Free Mondays. While browsing the soup aisle in the organic section of the store, I came across a new Earth Balance peanut butter that had coconut oil in it. Although beyond tempted to grab a jar, I couldn’t decide if it would be amazing or gross. (If anyone has tried this, please let me know!) After navigating away from that, I saw a box of quinoa, which was on my list of healthy swaps to make. I threw it in my cart and headed out.

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When I got home, I decided to whip up a batch of it for my lunch. Having leftover quesadilla veggies, I decided to mix the two for a filling (and warm) lunch. Yesterday I heated it up and shoveled that stuff in faster than I ever have before! It was beyond good. It reminded me a lot of couscous, but with a softer texture. I was thoroughly impressed. After lunch, I decided to do a little research. What I found impressed me even more.

According to Livestrong.com, quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the amino acids necessary for our nutritional needs. It is also a seed, rather than a grain. It’s naturally gluten free and is high in iron and calcium, making it perfect for gluten intolerance, vegans and vegetarians. Finally, it takes 10 to 15 minutes to cook. How easy is that?!

Still, where the heck did this stuff come from?

Over 5,000 years ago, high in the Andes mountains, the Incas began to cultivate quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) as one of their staple crops, believing that it gave power and stamina to their warriors. Quinoa was also used in their ceremonial rituals. When Spanish conquistadors arrived in South America in the sixteenth century, they burned and destroyed the quinoa fields as part of the effort to annihilate Inca culture. But quinoa survived by growing wild in the mountains or by being cultivated in secret in small quantities. In the 1980s, two North Americans stumbled upon this ancient, super-nutritious food and began cultivating it near Boulder, Colorado. Since then, quinoa’s popularity has exploded worldwide.

I guess now I can fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a warrior.

I laugh every time I see that episode.

Anyway, if you haven’t already, I highly suggest you try quinoa. Not only is it a great substitute for rice, but it can also be used to replace your morning oatmeal. That is definitely going to be my next adventure with it.

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Not sure if a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is right for you? Join me for my Mammal Free Monday challenge. Remember, it’s a heck of a lot easier to stick with foods you know contain absolutely no animal product, so stick with your basic fruits and veggies before you start venturing into the processed food aisle.

Rice Works

It’s no surprise that I’m a huge SNACKER. Yum. If there is a box of cereal anywhere in my general vicinity, you’d better believe my hand will be jammed so far into it you’d think it was an appendage. Since I hadn’t been to the store in the last few days, I had to bum a can of soup from a coworker, who was glad to provide me a delicious lunch. This soup filled me up and filled me up right; however I needed an afternoon pick-me-up a few hours later. That’s when I decided on my new favorite treat.

Oh god, yes. These things are so delicious. Although higher in calories than Pop Chips, trust me when I proclaim their yumminess. After devouring all 180 calories of this tiny snack pack, I started on my second giant serving of water. I picked up this fabulous water bottle last week at the grocery store when I was killing time waiting for the pharmacy to open. My last few water bottles haven’t fared so well, so here’s to hoping this little guy’s life is long and prosperous.

Cool Off

Mine is hot pink!

Best thing about this product (besides making me look totally adventurous with that little carabiner hook): it’s eco friendly! The straw’s texture sort of creeps me out (think calamari), but other than that, it’s perfect! Did I mention it matches my lunchbox? 🙂

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Pre-package healthy snacks to keep on hand for those hunger rage moments. Try keeping pre-measured bags of healthy cereal, raw nuts or just your favorite healthy brand of granola bar in your purse, at your desk or wherever you think you might need them. I personally love Kashi brand granola bars and could eat my own body weight in Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter Emerald Nuts.

Zucchini Oven Fries

I love foodbuzz.com because it not only gives me delicious recipes to try, but it helps me find new food blogs to follow. One recipe I recently ran across was for zucchini oven fries, which instantly made my mouth water. I’m a zucchini nut in the summer months because it seems like it is the easiest vegetable to prepare. I put it in my broccoli bowls, ribbon slice it to act as pasta or simply toss it in a pan with some olive oil and garlic. Any way you prepare it is sure to be a hit.

The blog who posted the recipe for the chips was A Healthy Jalapeno: A Healthy Spice for Life. The author, Laura, is a self proclaimed health food junkie who loves experimenting with food. Here is her recipe, adopted by Cooking Light:

Zucchini Oven Chips
Servings: 4



Ingredients

1/4 cup dry whole wheat breadcrumbs
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp low-fat milk (or almond milk)
2 1/2 cups (1/4-inch-thick) slices zucchini (about 2 small)
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425°.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place milk in a shallow bowl. Dip zucchini slices in milk, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place coated slices on an ovenproof wire rack coated with cooking spray; place rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until browned and crisp. Serve immediately.
Photos by A Healthy Jalapeño
Recipe adopted by Cooking Light

Nutrition
Per Serving: 61 calories; 1.9g fat’ 3.8g protein; 7.6g carbohydrate; 1g fiber; 5mg cholesterol; 231mg sodium; 87mg calcium

I don’t know about you, but I’m DEFINITELY making these soon. Yummmmm.

My Healthy Tip of the Day: When deciding whether or not to peel yourself off the couch for a workout, try to remember that moment when you finish a sweat session. Remember, you’ll regret it more if you do decide to sit this one out.

TTT: Food, Food and More Food

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Happy Three Things Thursday, everyone! I’ll start by ripping from Claire at Live and Love to Eat.

Spoons. Almost all of my favorite meals are ones that require a spoon. Cereal, ice cream, soup, yogurt, cottage cheese. Yum! I don’t know if it’s because it takes way less effort to eat these things or if it is because I spent most of my adolescence digging solid foods out of my orthodontic wear. I also love spoons because I don’t think it’s gross to lick food from them. Forks are a different story…

How hardcore would I be if I ate with these?

LoseIt. Originally, I started counting calories and tracking my fitness with an app called My Fitness Pal; however, now I’m using one called LoseIt. This app was recommended by my friend/coworker. It’s so easy to use and keeps track of how many calories you are under that week. It’s a great way to help maintain weight or even lose it. (Did you see what I did there? Sorry. That was terrible.)

Mini Reese’s Pieces. I love peanut butter and chocolate. This isn’t breaking news, but what I would consider breaking news is my discovery of the mini Reese’s Pieces I found in the baking aisle last week. Not only are they adorable, but they obviously make me feel less guilty about occasionally indulging in them. Last night, I had saved up enough calories between the workout and light lunch to have a few sprinkled into my yogurt. YUM. Highly recommend these.

WIAW & National Running Day

Happy National Running Day! According to the National Running Day website, National Running Day, held annually on the first Wednesday in June, is a day when runners everywhere declare their passion for running. Wherever we are and whomever we’re with, we run—fast or slow, alone or with others, all over town or just around the block. It is a coast-to-coast celebration of a sport and activity that’s simple, inexpensive, and fun. It’s the perfect way for longtime runners to reaffirm their love of running and for beginners to kick off a lifetime and life-changing commitment.

So to jump start my morning, I had amazing eggs!

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For a snack I had a Trail Mix Kashi bar. After I got home from work, I had mini pizzas, broccoli with Ranch dip and a few apple slices with peanut butter.

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A few nights ago I had another one of my delicious broccoli bowls. I’m a broccoli machine these days.

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Since I’ve started using my food tracking app again, I’ve become much more aware of how much I consume daily. It’s a great control device!

Well off to the gym for a run in honor of National Running Day.