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Saturday reading: Page 2

Saturday Reading #8

When I think about Super Strength Health’s Saturday Reading Lists, I am super focused on finding content (or products) made by women and queers that make me feel really, really strong feelings. This week’s list is full of things that made me happy, made me think, made me angry, made me feel like a part of a team (I support these people SO MUCH in what they are trying to do, regardless of if I know them). It makes me feel incredible to be an entrepreneur invested in health and wellness in a time when the people I’m linking to are also writing and creating. We got this, universe. We are doing it together.

1. Walking While Female and Fat- by Courtney Meaker


As a woman, I cannot leave my house without experiencing street harassment.  I mean that literally and seriously, and if you are someone that knows just what I am talking about, I am totally sorry and it is bullshit that we have to deal with this phenomenon. If you are someone that doesn’t regularly experience this, I’d love for you to close your eyes, and take a moment just to think about how that feels, how it could be threatening or degrading.  Sucks, right?

Courtney Meaker identifies as fat as well as identifying as female (and queer!), and an avid pedestrian. Not for weight loss, but for time to think, time to get creative, time to take her commute into her own hands. She says:

“Last night, I was walking across a crosswalk while fat and female. Two guys in a white SUV rolled down their window to say. “Hey, cunt. Cunt. Hey. You’re fat. Fat, fat cunt. Fat. Fat. Cunt. ” I didn’t even realize they were talking to me at first. By the time I’d made it past their car, the guy in the passenger seat had rolled down his window to continue yelling at me. Changing it slightly to make it very clear, yes they were talking to me, and yes, they wanted a reaction. I didn’t have one. I was in my time. My time to walk, to think, to decompress after a long day. I just kept walking.”

Read this article, get angry, then get vocal. There is NO REASON that street harassers should feel they have license to behave in such a downright tacky manner. Here and now, when I see someone being harassed (or get harassed myself) I am saying something. I would appreciate it if you would to.

2. Diets are a Fallacy by Kelly Knight


“Every program with any kind of weight-loss, “toning”, “fitness”, “weight reduction”, “lean out” is a diet.  Anything that restricts what you eat or how you eat it is a diet, period.  Even if that “lifestyle change” goes on your whole life, it is still a diet, because it’s not the way you naturally choose to eat. You’ve had your lifetime up until this point to determine your eating habits, healthy or no, so any drastic change?  It’s a diet.”

Well. Isn’t that succinct.

Kelly Knight deconstructs diets and ladies, gentlemen and non gender-specific homies, I like what I am seeing. I have heard many people say they are trying to “lean out” as a sort of coded way to say they are looking to lose weight. I’ve done this, even! And ya know what? I think that’s actually fine within reason, but let us not delude ourselves. A diet is a diet is a diet.  And the real issue, for me and 99.99999% of my clients, is building self-esteem– not losing weight.

(Also, in relation to this article, let us talk veganism. It’s a diet! A way of eating that restricts things! I think it falls in the grey zone, though, for those that do it for ethical reasons with no emphasis put on weight. Thoughts?)


BREAD SRSLY- Made by Sadie



VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE LOCAL (to me) SOURDOUGH. This is what my life has been missing. This is the sour-est sourdough I’ve ever had, and when it is toasted, slathered in avocado, and topped with salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast? Heaven. Pure unbridled heaven.


4. Grist for the Mill: Monica Lewinsky and Media Misogyny by Kristen Korvette



Monica Lewinsky was the first woman in my consciousness that was publicly skewered for her sexuality. As a kid her case taught me this lesson: if you do something “impure” and the public finds out, you will be vilified and shamed on a pedestal for life.

This article says: “If this isn’t a historical reminder why we need the “sex positive” in Feminism, I don’t know what is. It’s a well-worn story, but you can dislike what Lewinsky did and not want her to be callously tossed into a maelstrom of harassment and cruel mockery. No sex act deserves that level of punishment, and no man, no matter his perceived or actual sexual wrongdoing, has ever been treated like Lewinsky was. ”


5. The Food Police: Why Michael Pollan makes me want to eat Cheetos by Julie Guthman, from Gastronomica 


A friend posted this article on my facebook wall after reading the guest post I posted by the fabulous Josey Ross . It is an excellent article on the rhetorical tactics popular authors (and bloggers!) are taking in terms of selling the idea of “eating clean”. (This term always made me feel weird, and the article helps me get a sense of why). Eating healthy is simply not a puritanical act. It makes me feel good to support local farmers, but not because it makes me a better person. People that eat more processed foods are not worse than those who do not. Health is not a moral issue.

Let us discuss!


Saturday Reading #7

Guys, today is awesome. Why, you ask? Because I am NOT in my beautiful town of Oakland, and I am not working. Instead, I am house sitting not-super-far-away and I am with my sweetheart. We bought way-too-expensive groceries, we watched Netflix, we slept in.

I am overworking myself. THERE. I said it. Between teaching, grading, class prepping, commuting, writing, recipe development, tasting, and photographing, working with clients, and making sure my own food and exercise habits are on point I am just about going nuts. This only lasts for two more weeks, but boy is it intense. I really needed to give myself an actual two-days-off weekend and just a few hours into it I can finally feel myself starting to exhale. THANK GOODNESS.

These links are a part of a weekly series where I link you to the awesome things I find that are written by women and queers. In busy times, I am quite likely to find my happy place on the Internet. This week is no exception! The stuff I am sharing with you saved my ass between appointments and I am hoping it can provide the same small pause of enjoyment for you, too.

1. Black Pepper and Herb Vegan Goat Cheese by A Profound Hatred of Meat

 goat cheese


I remember when I first went vegan. I had never tried tofu or soy milk before, and I was obsessed with nachos and grilled cheese sandwiches. I had set a date for my veganism to begin (October 30, 1999 for those who are curious!) and then *poof* suddenly I was without some of my favorite foods with no real alternative.

These days, going vegan is SO much easier. Soy milk tastes way better than it used to, and now you can buy about a million and a half other vegan milk varieties. Plant based cheeses are available in most metropolitan places, and they have come a LONG way from the stuff that first hit the market. Some of them even melt! Despite the fact that I love some of these products, they are significantly more processed then foods I enjoy regularly eating, and they use ingredients that I feel are subpar. In comes the dawn of my experimentation with home made vegan cheese.

This cheese is AWESOME. It uses simple ingredients, it is not complicated to make, and it tastes excellent sprinkled on soups and salads or spread on crackers. The peppercorn and herb coating adds fantastic flavor and texture contrast and the cashews give it a creamy fatty consistency that really does it for me.

2. Why do we Have Bad Moods? By Jen Neitzel 



Jen Neitzel is a personal hero of mine. I worked as a seamstress for her in Portland, OR about five years ago, at a time when I was much less sure of myself then I am now. In the short time I was stitching for her she extended extreme kindness and compassion toward me and taught me a TON about sewing, knitting, marketing, and business.

In the time since I left Portland both of us have gone on to have amazing and beautiful health and recovery journeys (me from my eating disorder and her from Celiac Disease.) Although I have not seen Jen in quite some time I feel more aligned with her than ever!

In this article Jen discusses the phenomenon of the bad mood, where it comes from, what it’s telling us, and what we can do about it.  She gives concrete tactical advice on getting your head out of a grumpy space and is careful to note that when we feel bad OUR BODIES ARE GIVING US INFORMATION. Reading this article was the precursor to me realizing I had over loaded myself. Crying on the way to work? Ah, right. My body is telling me something. Thanks, Jen!

3. Speaking Application for Vida Vegan Con 2015



Vida Vegan Con is a a weekend long conference in Austin, TX put on by three amazingly dedicated and hard working women, one of which I have the pleasure of calling my friend. They just put a call out for speakers next year, and I am SO excited to apply. Do you want to talk about your experience as a vegan blogger, feminist, fashion expert, yoga instructor, body builder, etc? THIS IS TOTALLY YOUR OPPORTUNITY. I am a big fan of public speaking, but even if you’re not–apply anyway! Stretching those muscles is SO gratifying, and can really be excellent fuel for what you do.

4. Rox Chox made by Rochelle and River

RivRoStyle   tumblr_m0oii0Clf51qzrvd9


FIRST OF ALL, can we look at the cuties who make these chocolates? Total babe feminist queers, people who I would give an arm and a leg to support if given the opportunity. SECOND OF ALL, see that chocolate? see those chunks of SEA SALT in it? It is game changing!!!!

The highlight of my week this week was truly coming home from my last work day on Friday and finding a package of Rox Chox on my door step. The ingredients used to make these beauties are impeccable. They’re raw. They’re organic. They’re birch sweetened (A.K.A. sugar free). They use coconut oil. they’re like little angels that dance on my tongue.

I am all about the small business these days (because *ahem* that’s totally what Super Strength Health is!) and I feel more motivated than ever to make purchases I feel good about. These chocolates are really truly incredible- from the taste to the people to the sources of the ingredients. River and Rochelle are taking off for the Summer after mid May, so for reals my dawgs, STOCK UP. As I mentioned before, mine came in the mail and were 100% undamaged, so what are you waiting for?

5. Why I’m done Cleansing by Sara Seinberg 



I love all the kinds of health coaches there are out there. Sara Seinberg is my newest discovery and she is a bad ass! This post is one that she wrote about “cleansing” and it made me profoundly happy.

She says: ““Cleansing” is a secret diet. Let me clear my throat. CLEANSING IS A SECRET DIET. And I don’t believe in diets. They don’t work in an inside job kind of way, which is what matters to me as a health coach. Diets are cruel, shaming, restricting reactions to a culture that would have people of all genders living under the confinement of a body that’s Just. Not. Good. Enough”

Can I just say something? For YEARS I thought I “should” go on a juice cleanse, a green smoothie cleanse, a master cleanse, whatever. These days I am much more in tune with reality (for me, that would be a totally haywire decision) but I never quite found the words to articulate why the idea of “cleansing” had started to make me bristle. Well, Sara did it– Really simply, with easy straightforward language, she explained it all. That paragraph is just a glimpse of the article, so be sure to go read the whole thing. Also! I’m willing to argue about this subject, because I love to hear opposing points of view.

Happy weekend to all!


Saturday Reading #6

First: This has been an incredible week over at Super Strength Health. Having the opportunity to share my story of veganism and eating disorder recovery over at Choosing Raw has brought me an astonishing influx of thank you’s, support, and most excitingly, health coaching clients. I am humbled, I am grateful, and I am very very happy.

It seems to me that if I had to go through the experience of having an eating disorder so that I may be able to recover into the woman that I have become, it was worth it. Knowing my story has inspired others is enough to make any sorrow seem like just another part of the journey. Again, huge gratitude.

Now, with that out of the way, I can dry my tears and link you to wonderful things I have stumbled across on the world wide web this week. Every one of these is brought to you by an incredible person, female or queer identified, striving to bring ya’ll delicious, nutritious, creative, balanced, and metaphysical health. Please take a moment to click on the links below and prepare to learn, grow, and smile ear to ear.

1. Peanut Butter and Jelly Date Smoothie by the Minimalist Baker 


I tell the truth when I say that smoothies are my absolute favorite food. I usually make myself an orange creamsicle green smoothie on weekdays (its an old favorite stand-by) but on weekends I make a point of mixing it up and finding new cold creamy creations to enjoy. Before my farmer’s market stair run this week I enjoyed this peanut butter and jelly-inspired delight and my taste buds straight up SANG. i love PB&J and since going gluten free six years ago, I haven’t really found a way to enjoy the flavors of my youth. The minimalist baker totally brings it with this recipe (and by the way, every recipe of hers that I have tried, really) so check it out!

2. A Writer’s Life: Spending Time with Cynthia Schemmer in Philadelphia by Caroline Rayner



There are so many things that I consider myself to be. In addition to being a teacher and a health and wellness coach, I am an artist and a writer. The writing that I do is the precursor to all the other stuff. If I wasn’t a writer, I’m sure I wouldn’t really be anything, and I sincerely mean that. Writing gave me power even in really hard times, growing up in a house where I felt unheard and dealing with an eating disorder that made me loathe existence.

Cynthia Schemmer was in my first writing group ever, and I loved her work. She is a creative in the true sense of the word, in everything from her written work, to her music, to her fashion sense. Hearing a bit more about her daily life made me super happy and inspired to make more work of my own.

Here’s a quote about one of her musical projects:

“It’s about knowing what you deserve and what you don’t, whether that be a relationship or a living situation,” she says. “‘I can hack it or decay in a love not made for me’ is a line in the song that, for me, applies both to toxic relationships and also to toxic places. Just because you love something doesn’t mean it is right or healthy for you. ”

3. Paleo Advocates get Vegan Diets (and Saturated Fat) Wrong by Ginny Messina, the Vegan R.D.

Good fats and bad fats, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats


Ahhhhh, the dreaded Paleo/Vegan debate. I have to say, I think the Paleo diet can be a LOT like a healthy vegan diet, and that some of the quibbling that comes with discussing the two is just annoying. I am vegan, I’m not into meat, but I’m also not into judging people for their choices, ESPECIALLY when people are making a huge effort to choose less processed and less cruel foods. But I digress.

This article is interesting because it engages a popular article written by Kris Gunnars of Authority Nutrition. Ginny Messina is ACTUALLY a registered dietician, not a self taught authority, and she breaks down some of the claims made in terms of science, not opinion. I am a fan of science!

She is careful to point out some of Gunnars’ overstatements, AS WELL AS some of the overstatements commonly used in vegan rhetoric. She is obviously biased (she’s vegan for ethical reasons, just like me, which inherently creates a bias) but she does not let that bias get in the way of the facts. I’m into it.

4. JAHA Vocal Sound Healing with Jenstar



In the past five years of my life a ton has changed. When I am unwell in some way, I do not search for doctor’s appointments or antibiotics first (although I will go to those if necessary.) I instead drink more water, sleep more, try to breathe more deeply, get acupuncture, meditate, take chinese herbs, get a massage, get a tarot reading, have a talk therapy session, use a flower essence, or do yoga. The combination of some or all of these in tough mental or physical times just WORKS. In my early 20’s I wouldn’t have believed that.

My friend Jenstar was one of the very first people to turn me onto many of the aforementioned ideas. She is a health and wellness warrior, a wonderful healer, and super attuned to helping people move through emotional blockages in order to obtain a more awesome life. She has released a guided meditation album (JAHA meditate) and started her own sound healing business. What’s sound healing you say? Well. Here is her explanation:

“Modern science agrees with ancient mystics: everything is in a state of vibration. That which moves, or vibrates, can often be interpreted as sound. Our whole being is constantly vibrating, and thus WE are MADE of sound, and when we fall out of tune, we are out of alignment, out of balance. The orchestra of our whole being is not playing in key, a metaphor for sickness, illness, disease. What if we can use sound to vibrate you back into alignment? The vibrational tools a sound healer might use may include the voice (vocal toning, chanting, singing), your THOUGHTS (affirmations/mantra), music, instruments (tuning forks, percussive instruments, tibetan singing bowls, crystal singing bowls) and more.

Jonathan Goldman, sound healing pioneer, shares a simple formula: sound + intention = healing. It is as simple as that! I aim to share the healing vibrations of my voice and also teach vibrational tools so folks can be empowered to heal themselves! I do this with guided meditations, intention/goal setting, positive thinking and affirmation/mantra, energy work, creative visualization and of course SOUND.”

Jenstar works locally in Denver, Colorado and also via Skype.

5. Nerdy Love Song by DeAnne Smith


Nerdy sexual inneundos and a kitten. Need I say more?

Happy weekend!