Good afternoon, friends!
I have had a really nice week.
I am house sitting for my good friend and fellow health coach, Lindsay, and it has been glorious to have an entire house to myself to laze around in. I’ve had a constantly spotlessly clean kitchen, super quiet and long mornings, sleep-ins due to Lindsay’s thick curtains (I keep my windows pretty sheer because usually I like to wake up early but this week I’ve needed extra sleep so bad it was ridiculous), and a bunch of time and space to just think. I have been super busy since Super Strength Health went full time and full swing, and I love it, but time to pause is great too. Basically, I’m feeling good.
I’ve been thinking a lot about dietary choices and physical changes this week, because it seems to be coming up all around. Many of my clients have weight loss or weight gain goals. Some of my friends are making dietary changes, I’ve got the fall itch to do a new kind of sport or training plan.
I have a full length mirror in this house sit, and I was super shocked to see what the entirety of my body looks like when I caught sight of it, in a very positive way. It is straight up weird to look in the mirror for the first time in awhile and feel awesome, especially because I have had so, so much time mired in self hate. I have always believed in the process of exercising regularly and eating vegan, but I believe my physical changes are due to smarter exercise, lifting heavy, more rest days, lots and lots of sleep, and lowering my stress. In a nut shell, feeling good is making me look good. Holy shit is that easier said than done.
Here are the links!
I sincerely question if low carbohydrate diets are healthy for most people, and I am totally curious about the long term effects of such a regimented way of eating. (People probably say this about veganism, too, and I totally just eye roll. Are low carb-ers eye rolling at me? It’s okay if so).
I’ve tried a vegan/vegetarian version of a low carb diet, and good lord did I hate it. Many people I know use a low carb model and struggle, while others use a low carb model and thrive. I am totally cool with whatever works for you, but please read this article and consider what it says. Also, give me your feedback! I love hearing about people’s food choices.
I grew up privileged in a lot of ways (I’m white! I’m cis-gendered! I’m straight passing, even if not straight) but one thing I have struggled tremendously with is money. As I sit here typing to you, I am 150,000 dollars in student loan debt. I have a Master’s Degree. I am the first person in my family to go to college. I have made the choice between paying bills on time and buying groceries.
This short sound clip from NPR discusses the taxing nature of what scarcity does to our brains. Basically it says that living in poverty taxes the crap out of people, to the point where they feel like they are drowning. When I listened to it, I thought “DUH!”, but it occurs to me that the research and science behind this phenomenon are important to check out.
“If you’re reading this, and things are tough, we want you to know some facts right off the bat: that your body is YOURS, that consent is not a gray area, that it doesn’t matter what you were wearing, that fitting in isn’t as important as it seems (though caving to peer pressure isn’t the end of the world either), that you have the right to set and defend your own boundaries, that you have the right to have fun, that some things get better and other things, honestly, kind of don’t.”
This is a Tumblr platform that serves as a space for women who have been through terrible things to share their stories and to let other people who have gone through similar things know that it is not their fault. Jesus Christ, the entire site makes me sob, in a deep and real and super important way.
Sometimes hearing “I believe you, it’s not your fault” is the best thing possible.
So often, people come to me wanting weight loss, eating a very low amount of calories, exercising constantly, and wondering why the scale doesn’t budge.
The first thing I ask is “Why do you think you need to lose weight?” The second things I ask are “Are you taking enough rest days? How’s your sleep? What’s your stress level like?”
Weight is a funny thing. It changes when our lives aren’t great. It has something to do with food, but not nearly as much as you’d imagine. If you don’t eat enough, weight loss is going to become impossible reeeeeally quick. (Also, y’all know I am not like rah! rah! rah! Go weight loss!, right? The reality is, my services sometimes *do* help people lose weight, but I’m definitely not weight loss advocate of the century. It makes me nervous to mention weight loss in tandem with Super Strength Health because dudes, what I really do is help you feel more rad. That could result in weight loss, or weight gain, or weight maintenance. Get it? Good.)
Gena Hamshaw, you’ve done it again. For those triggered by talk of other people’s diets and exercise regimens, this is a perfect article for realigning your focus.
What other folks do has nothing to do with you. Keeping your eye on the holistic health of your body, mind, and heart is what’s most important.
Also, I love the shit out of every single one of you.
Have a good week!
There has been a lot of eating in my world lately. Between testing for the cookbook, my anniversary with my sweetheart, and a general love of the beautiful combo of dark chocolate and peanut butter, I am a little burnt out on rich foods. Naturally, I find myself craving big, bursting bowls of greens, and when that happens kale salad is usually the first thing I want.
I love kale salad. It’s hearty and fresh testing, and I feel like massaging the dressing into it infuses the whole thing with just a little more love. Problem is, raw kale salads can be hell on my IBS-laden guts. My answer to this? Steam the kale. Just a little bit, so most of the nutrients are in tact. This gives me the ability to chow through a whole bunch of kale, gut pain free. I lose a bit of vitamin and mineral content in the process, but hey. It’s worth it to me.
I also always make sure to pair my kale salads with a good dose of healthy fats. For whatever reason, when raw fruit and veggies have a little fat cushion, they are about ten times easier to digest. Weird, but true.
|Simple Kale Salad|| |
- 1 large bunch dino kale, chopped (approximately 5 cups)
- 1 Tablespoon oil (Vega Antioxidant Oil, olive oil, hemp oil, and flax oil are good choices)
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 small avocado
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional toppings: sunflower seeds, chopped carrots, chopped bell peppers, nutritional yeast, pumpkin seeds
- Steam kale until just bright green, about 3 minutes
- Take kale off of stove and run under cold water to cool down and stop cooking process
- Ring kale out, so that the entire amount fits in two cupped hands
- In a blender, puree oil, lemon juice and avocado
- Massage dressing into kale, making sure it is in every nook and cranny of the leaves. Add salt and pepper to taste
This is the size of my kale, pre-steam.
This week I was listening to the Rich Roll podcast while I cooked (a normal occurrence) and lucky for me, his guest was an incredible and prolific woman named Robin Arzon (who I highly suggest you read all about ASAP). In the hour and a half that they talked, many amazing things were said, but the one that truly stuck with me was when she said this:
We need to be our own inspiration, take pride in our own job well done. It can be tiny, like getting out of bed when you’re so depressed you don’t want to face the sun, or it can be huge- running five marathons in five days like Robin did, positively killing it in your classes right up until you’re a doctor, producing art, making shit that you want to see in the world. You need to inspire the ever living crap out of yourself, because when you get stuck in a net of comparison to other people, its almost a sure sign that you’ll feel bad instead of good, that a nagging hopelessness will kick your drive in the teeth.
THAT, in a nutshell, is what Super Strength Health is all about-embracing drive. It is me telling you that your drive is a gift- and to harness it.
Everywhere I look, I see negative messages that crush the inherently beautiful sense of self that we are ALL born with, every single one of us, without exception.
I see people undervaluing their work, downgrading their accomplishments, taking no time whatsoever to say “Hey man. I did something I’m proud of, and I think that’s cool.” I see incredible people hating themselves, and I can’t help but think that is because there is a whole lot of content floating around that encourages those destructive thought patterns. Super Strength Health is me saying “no” to self deprecation.
We can and will do better.
I do not accept the message that says we need to live a small life.
I believe in us.
I want to see content that celebrates bodies, that makes me want to work harder and smarter on my physical strength. Surely there is a lot of this, but I don’t see it enough, so I am making more. I want to give the world recipes that make their bodies feel fantastic, that fuel their minds to create.
Super Strength Health exists primarily because I have been really sad in my life, and I needed a platform to inspire myself.
I want to let myself be BIG, huge in fact. I want to be a person that does not shrink away from my power and my strength.
It keeps me making, and wanting to do better, because now Super Strength Health isn’t just for me, it’s for you too.
So, what’s your goal? How will you one up yourself today?