Things have been really, super, very busy around these parts. I used to think “oh, as soon as XYZ is done, I will have ALL THIS TIME to do SO MANY THINGS”. Recently, I had the realization that I will likely always have projects and it makes sense to get used to having a lot going on. This is the life of a person who is willing to #workthathustle in order to live an enjoyable life. It is full, of course, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad.
There are a lot of moving parts in terms of my day to day and I don’t take that for granted. While I’ve always been driven by projects and achievements, for years I didn’t do much outside of my eating disorder. I am honestly still getting used to the fact that I have a big life, with friends and clients and a partner. When I start to feel overwhelmed lately, I try to remind myself of times when I would simply mope all day and go to bed at 7PM, because I just wanted my day to be over. My life was therapy, the nutritionist, OA meetings, and compulsive cardio. I hated my body. My friendships were limited, and even with people I felt alone.
I don’t forget where I’ve come from.
ANYWAY, I am supposed to be telling you about my meals and snacks, not the deep dark shit in my past. What I am basically trying to say is that with my business, my side hustle recipe formulation, writing, friends, the podcast, my partner, a wedding in less than three weeks, kauai right after, and a move to Portland in September, shit is definitely happening. I am not living on the sidelines and I’m super grateful! Here is a peak at my food:
6:00AM – Pre workout, AKA breakfast number one:
My daily morning steez has been a FitQuick waffle with banana soft serve lately, and I cannot recommend this combo enough. The carbs give me quick energy to get out there and crush it at the gym, and a waffle and ice cream breakfast makes the kid in me really, really happy. After this waffle I hit the gym for the first day in my de-load week. I did the following workout:
A. 1 clean and 2 front squats- 4 sets at 70% of your clean one rep max
B. Back squat: 3 sets of 8 at 60% of your one rep max
C. Behind the Neck snatch grip push press- 5 sets of 3 at 60% of your one rep max snatch
D. Superset: 2 sets- 20 hip extensions, 20 weighted walking lunges
E. Cardio: 90 double unders, 30 back squats, 60 double unders, 20 front squats, 30 double unders, 10 overhead squats . (finished in 17 minutes and 36 seconds) Incidentally, my friend Ed was filming his back squat PR as I finished my overhead squats and he captured me here. I felt truly fucked as I completed this workout, but I’m looking strong! I’ll take it.
9:30AM- Post workout, aka Breakfast number two:
I love the fitness life for many, many reasons and how good exercise makes food taste is just one of them. This meal was a Stumptown Cold Brew in honor of my beloved Portland, paired with some Bread SRSLY vegan gluten-free sourdough, nooch, and some super-eggy style tofu scramble. This recipe is soooo simple, but the Kama Nalak salt takes the scram to a serious next-level. As a vegan who used to love eggs, I find this to be divine.
1:00 PM- lunch!
In the past, I have always had green smoothies for one of my two breakfasts, and it has taken some adjustment to just be getting my first veg serving after noon. I personally find that old orthorexic thoughts can still creep in from time to time, so I am actually enjoying the challenge of letting myself have what I want, as opposed to what I think I should have. Who says green smoothies are the only breakfast? Really, I think the answer is that no one said that, and that somewhere along the lines I made it up as a rule and stuck to it regardless. My breakfasts are directly around my workouts, and I find myself significantly more satisfied when I chew to get my nutrition at those times. Maybe you feel the same?
What was I talking about again?
Oh, yeah. Lunch.
So, by the time lunch rolled around, I was super ready for some veg-action. This pile is kale, steamed yukon gold potatoes, Beyond Meat grilled Chicken Strips, and Rita’s Chipotle Salsa, all piled on Food for Life Corn Tortillas. The tortillas are sprouted (yay, digestability!) and made of whole corn kernals. I LOVE them.
Dinner was a new recipe I formulated for the KeVita blog that I am actually really excited about. It involved eggplant, chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, capers, olives, cilantro, zucchini noodles, and – of course- some KeVita. It was topped with So Delicious Unsweetened Cultured Coconut Milk and it tasted awesome. At the time of writing, that recipe has yet to be posted, but keep checking back. It should be up there soon!
It is definitely on the liberal side to call a protein chia pudding a dessert, but it was sweet and cold without the blood sugar spike, so I think it’s kind of perfect. Basically, I soaked 3 Tablespoons of Chia with unsweetened homemade pumpkin seed milk, 1 scoop of Vanilla Vega Sport and some frozen berries, and it tastes fucking awesome. I eat some variation of a protein pudding, ice cream, or pancake (typically using Vega) almost every day and I LOVE the flavor.
In between my foods and my workout I promoted a post I had written on emotional eating, cleaned the gym that I do a trade with, got groceries, answered client emails, formulated a meal plan, met with a client in person, formulated and photographed said KeVita recipe, trained a client, showered, and recorded my Podcast.
With the exception of the dinner recipe (which I formulated and took time with as part of my work), each meal took me less than 10 minutes to prepare. It may seem overhwhelming to eat healthy, but once you get in the flow it can actually be super efficient.
What are YOU eating lately? Links and pictures, PLZ!
Leeeeet’s talk about emotional eating.
When people talk to me about eating disorders I am quick to let them know that I’ve had ’em all. Anorexia. Bulimia. Compulsive exercise. Body dysmorphia. General freakiness around food, numbers, and tabulations that don’t exactly have a name, but also aren’t exactly “normal”. I have struggled with food and my body in every way possible. From starving to binging, I know just exactly what it’s like.
Despite this, something I haven’t talked so much about is emotional eating. It’s not because I’m ashamed of it, or because I think it doesn’t feel important. It’s just that emotional eating is just so fucking normal, so culturally ingrained, that it feels strange to wax poetic about it. I feel that most people, in some way, eat emotionally. Holiday dinners, birthday cake celebrations, going out to dinner on a date, bringing casseroles to the gathering post-funeral. These are times when messages are directly conveyed via food and because we have been in these situations again and again and again, they are habit. Food is many things, and a conduit for feeling is definitely one of them.
While in recovery, I generally had a lot of judgements about myself and my food. I judged my inability to just “be really healthy”, instead letting various restrictions whittle me down to a bag of bones in an inconvenient husk of a body. I judged the rage I felt when I couldn’t get on an elliptical machine every single day. I judged the purging, how disgusting and violent it seemed. I was a feminist for fuck’s sake. What was my head doing in the toilet?
Paradoxically, I also had a lot of judgements around the actions that were necessary to take in order to physically recover. For every time I chastised myself for my restrictions, I also felt waves a disgust when I consumed sugar, oils, breads, or baked goods. I judged when I couldn’t deadlift more weight on a particular day. I judged overeating, even without the purging.
Slowly, I began to realize that I was truly setting myself up for failure. I was a perfectionist about my recovery, as I had been about my eating disorder, and truthfully, it was keeping me from restoring mental clarity, fixing my overtaxed immune system, restoring my metabolism, and just generally having a cool life. I was keeping myself in eating disorder jail even in my recovery, and- lucky me- I realized that in order to truly feel good and in order to completely recover, I needed to change. I let myself off the hook with occasional overeating, I took months of only walking and doing yoga. I stopped weighing myself and I stopped counting calories and I stopped generally being such a dick to myself. Basically, I unlocked my own cage.
I’d love to say it was beautiful and I felt 100% satisfied and free, but that’s just not life. It waxed and waned, as most things in life do. My body changed a lot, and very quickly. I still didn’t like what I saw in the mirror, but I did generally have a free-er and more full life, which was enough for me, even if just for a minute. (Nothing is perfect, in recovery or out. Body feels are usually constantly shifting for most people, but especially for those in recovery).
The past two years have been super transformative for me, because after loosening my reigns and staying there for awhile, I took the next step in my recovery. First, I just tried to learn to eat and to restore my weight. Next, I put effort toward learning to actually like myself, which is where I believe the big shifts happen. My goal became not only about my body, but also about my mind. I wanted to feel proud of my accomplishments and to assume that on a base level, I was a good person. The more I practiced eating enough with eating mindfully, the more I listened when my body said yes, the more I figured out about what foods actually work for my body (as opposed to what foods I thought should work for my body)- the more I felt actually good. In turn, I also started to like what I saw in the mirror. My metabolism returned to what felt normal for me (with consistency around eating enough years. This change doesn’t happen over night.) Today, I genuinely like and respect what I see in the mirror, which is nothing short of a miracle.
Despite the peace and satisfaction I feel with food and my body, I’ve felt something uncomfortable creep up in the past six months or so, and that uncomfortable thing comes from good ole’ reasonable and normal emotional eating. Peanut butter is my one true love, for reals, and I had found that the way I was eating peanut butter was making me hate it.
Let me explain: When I was restricting, I had a mortal fear of fats. I did not eat peanut butter for most of my 20’s, and when I did add it in, it was by the carefully measured teaspoon. When I finally gave up the crutch of measuring, I had a complete and total peanut butter liberation, eating it happily and with abandon. On apples, on carrots, in smoothies, whisked with some rice vinegar and tamari as peanut sauce. I loved that I felt free to eat this food that I had so feared, and let’s be real- I loved the way it tasted.
Even with all the love, I noticed something unpalatable happening over the past few months. I was stressed out about work. I was stressed out about passing my personal training test (which I did!) I was stressed out about planning my wedding, getting my training in, being a good friend, recording my podcast, and the upcoming move to Portland. I was stressed about what relocation meant for my identity and my life and my finances. I was stressed out about the details of just about everything and my stress marched me, pretty much on a nightly basis, straight to a jar of peanut butter.
There is something about slicing up a nice crispy apple, spooning some peanut butter onto a saucer, and slowly enjoying the awesome goodness that plant-based snacking provides. There is also something about standing in your kitchen at 11PM in your pajamas, feeling exhausted but somehow unable to sleep, and dipping your finger again and again into a peanut butter jar, eating it really quickly. One thing is extremely pleasant, and the other feels straight up bad. I bet you can guess which is which.
The gist of this story is that I started eating so much peanut butter before bed that my stomach was hurting. I was tossing and turning with a gut ache, and returning to the peanut butter jar-thinking just a little more would help me fall to sleep. My relationship with peanut butter- something I loved!- had turned into something that was stressing me out. On top of all my other stress. When I was just trying to soothe my stress.
My body is curiously smart and curiously consistent. Although I was going through more than a whole big jar of peanut butter per week, my weight stayed the same, and my clothes continued to fit. I was uncomfortable with what peanut butter was doing to me not because it was making me gain weight (which I think is important to say given my history) but because eating it all bleary eyed until my guts ached just seemed like a punishing move on my part. Emotionally eating peanut butter wasn’t the celebration of birthday cake or even soothing like ice cream after a bullshit day. It was sad, and annoying, and taking the joy out of something I loved. And so, with great hesitation, I decided to take a break. From my beloved peanut butter. For thirty whole days.
Despite being a very even-tempered, let’s-find-the-middle-way health coach, I can still be prone to black and white thinking when it comes to myself. When I do something, I do it with enthusiasm (ahem, crossfit) and when I don’t I have tended to have a “never again!” attitude about it. Taking a break seems like a simple and obvious reaction to a scenario that was making me uncomfortable, but I have to say, I am impressed that I thought of it for myself.
I’m not having peanut butter now because it has occupied an uncomfortable role in my life, I am going to take a month to utilize some other coping tools (writing-in this blog even!, meditating, reading, etc.) , and then I will likely have peanut butter again. How novel! How simple!
So that’s what’s new lately.
Here are some things that have informed my decision:
And with that:
How do you cope with stress?
Seriously, please tell me! I want to learn your skillz.
SO. I have a recipe for you today, which I am ridiculously excited to present.
I haven’t posted a recipe in quite some time. Obviously, I have been eating- and cooking, even!- every day. Quinoa here, tofu there. A dash of tamari. Some broccoli and nooch. Delicious, sure, but I am not trying to waste the Internet’s time acting like my bowls are some sort of revelation. I’ve been busy as heck (Podcast! Book proposal! Wedding! Moving! Training! Clients!) and that is truthfully when I am most prone to food ruts. This roast was a personal game changer for me, and even aside from the pandora’s box of recipe formulation it re-opened, the flavors are completely delicious and perfect for these waning days of Summer.
I really do believe you could make this recipe with any old raspberries and cauliflower, but these farmer’s market fresh beauties made the color of the recipe pop as much as the flavor. What can I say?- visuals are important to me. White cauliflower is great, but give me hues of orange or purple and my brain automatically codes whatever dish is being made as “fancy”.
And who doesn’t like being fancy?
|Raspberry Chipotle BBQ tofu and cauliflower|| |
- 1 14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
- 6 oz fresh raspberries
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½-1 teaspoon liquid smoke, depending on your tastes
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar or lemon cayenne KeVita if you want an extra kick
- salt and pepper to taste
- spray oil
- 2 small heads cauliflower
- 1 14 oz. block sprouted tofu
- Preheat your oven to 375F
- Combine tomatoes, raspberries, maple syrup, tamari, paprika, chili powder, and apple cider vinegar in a high speed blender. Blend on high until very smooth.
- Chop your tofu and cauliflower into 1" pieces
- Spray 1-2 baking sheets with spray oil. The larger your cauliflower heads are, the more baking sheet space you will need.
- Place your cauliflower and tofu on baking sheets, making sure to spread the pieces out in a single layer.
- Bake your mixture for 45 minutes-1 hour, checking intermittently. You want your cauliflower to be soft and the edges to be getting crispy.
- Plate and enjoy!
What Summer foods are YOU enjoying?