I haven’t done a weekend reading post in quite some time, mostly because I found that I was beginning to stress about what I would share each week, which effectively took the joy out of writing at all. WHOOPS.
Because I spend a lot of time both striving to crush it at life and also trying to let myself be imperfect, I have simply been blogging less. I don’t love it, but I do love allowing myself the grace of being a very busy human being until the inspiration hits.
This week I read a TON of wonderful, bad-ass, brave shit written by women and queer folks and I knew I was going to be getting back on the share grind as soon as I could. (An aside- I have this fear sometimes that if I stop doing something and I lose momentum with it I! WILL! NEVER! DO! IT! AGAIN!. This attitude kept me from taking rest days from exercise for years (WHAT IF I TAKE A DAY OFF AND NEVER MOVE MY BODY AGAIN FOR ONE DAY IN MY ENTIRE LIFE?!!??!) and turned me into a bit of a catastrophizer. I am taking this moment to announce that I used to post a weekend reading list each week, I stopped ’cause it got overwhelming, then I got inspired again this week and picked it back up again. GOT THAT BRAIN? GOOD.)
ANYWAY. Onto the links!
Once every five years the USDA updates the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and this year we are seeing LESS influence from major food corporations and MORE friendly suggestions that fit within the frame of a vegan diet. The proposed guidelines rely much less heavily on meat and expressly state that a vegetarian diet is beneficial. That’s huge!
Despite these advances, there is both room for worry and room for improvement. Once the proposed guidelines are announced, the public (including big business with lots of money and lots to lose) has time to put in their input. This article tells you how you can express YOUR opinion about the guidelines, and I sincerely hope that no matter what your diet, you take the chance to use this opportunity. Remember, these guidelines directly impact all federal programs, including school lunches and WIC. Even if they don’t directly make a difference in how you eat, they are extremely important culturally.
This was an absolutely wonderful rumination on the benefits of taking the goals out of running. For Sara, her aim with running is simply to run, she’s done it for years all over the world, she hasn’t gotten any faster, nor does she intend to. I LOVE THIS, both because it’s wonderfully zen but also because I love when people take the wind out of the sails of both the patriarchy and the weight loss industry.
First of all, look at this woman. Completely adorable while being 100% bad ass. I would LOVE to look like Gabby.
Second of all, this article really hits a nail on the head for me. When I first started lifting weights, I got bigger. Like, a lot bigger. Pre-weights I was doing as much cardio as humanly possible, restricting my food, and sometimes throwing up. It was NATURAL and REASONABLE that I got bigger because my shift in exercise inspired a huge confidence and empowerment boost that allowed me a little fucking breathing room. Enough in fact, that I LET my body gain weight.
I got bigger on purpose.
Today, I love my body, and although I have definitely lost some of the initial weight I gained when I started lifting weights, it is still noticeably larger than when I was a cardio queen with an eating disorder. I have defined muscles and big ass quads and I fought for this strong beautiful body, and I aint bummed about it. When I hear women say “I don’t want to get bulky!” I used to feel a little offended, but now I step aside from what others want, and take a peak into what I want for myself and my frame.
It turns out, I want exactly what I have. And from this article, I can see Gabby does too.
I fucking love that.
I love the contrast I have going on here. The Seinberg article exalts goallessness in running, while this article by my friend Caitlin, gets into the nitty gritty of learning that the key to success in endurance events is getting psychological. I have SO MUCH respect for the two very different approaches to running, although my personal approach is kind of neither of the ones discussed.
Isn’t it awesome how varied opinions can all be valuable and valid?
Yeah, I thought so too.
In this article Caitlin talks about mental toughness, re-writing her story about herself, staying in the moment, embracing the power of positive self-talk, keeping perspective and welcoming discomfort. I have totally used every single one of these in the first year of starting Super Strength Health, so the article resonated deeply even if not in an athletic sense.
Also, Spoiler alert : CAITLIN QUALIFIED FOR BOSTON! You go, gurl.
Bitches Gotta Eat is one of my favorite blogs for pure unbridled LOLZ.
In this article, Sam discusses a few quick and easy meals for folks with tiny ass barely functional kitchens. Most of the meals aren’t vegan, although some tweaks could get them there, but I basically give zero fucks because although I am not necessarily going to make the food, I am totally going to laugh my ass off at the way she talks. If you need a little comic relief, please hop right over to this blog, sit back, and indulge.
You’re worth it.
See you next week!
And the new year is off with a bang!
The past few weeks have been extremely fun and also extremely busy. I am getting to know my new clients, writing new meal plans, and trying to take some hours of not-work (I’m not really in the days of not-work section of life yet) to take some deep breaths and remember that it is important for me to have time to unwind, too. I have found it difficult to pause, which is probably a perfect sign that that’s exactly what I need to do.
Here are some things I have going on:
I am catering this event on Friday, January 23rd in San Francisco and I couldn’t be more excited. Please expect your daily dose of probiotics, fresh coffee, perfectly creamy and fluffy vegan gluten-free quiche, and cinnamon zucchini bread muffins. I have been testing my recipes for weeks and I am very excited to share them with all 200 people who show up. (gulp.)
My band (Strays!) is happening, after a bunch of years of trying to make music with people. I havn’t ever been in a band, or really even collaborated artistically before and it has been liberating and vulnerable to try. Every time we practice my voice surprises me. Who knew I could be so loud!
And, perhaps most exciting of all, Super Strength Health is getting an office space, which is a perfect segue to our weekend reading links.
You know what gives me a giant emotional boner? Watching new vegan businesses pop up all the time. You know what else? When my friends are at the helm.
This Saturday, January 17th, my friends Holly Noll and Ed Bauer are finally opening up their all-vegan gym and café. The grand opening will feature a workout (that is optional if that’s not your thing!) Timeless Coffee, Samplings of Protein Donuts from FitQuick Cafe, a Presentation from Keegan Kuhn, director of the documentary Cowspiracy, and a fundraiser raffle with all the proceeds going to Animal Place, a sanctuary for farm animals in Grass Valley, California.
I am incredibly stoked to go to this event, but the cherry on the (coconut) whipped cream for me is that I have agreed to have an office space within PlantFit’s walls. Super Strength Health has grown exponentially since I opened my non-existent doors in June, and an office space is a little nerve wracking to procure, but also totally necessary. I couldn’t ask to be connected to better people and business, too, so hey. THE TIME IS NOW. It feels very cool to have such opportunity.
I FUCKING LOVE SARA SEINBERG. Let me just say that first.
Second: This article struck a real chord with me. Generally, I am a happy, supportive (and supported!) partner, friend, sister, and daughter. But I am not perfect. I am (perhaps overly?) sensitive and I have definitely known myself to let things grow and flourish inside before I speak up about issues that bother me.
Resentment is something that I have intermittently struggled with and I am definitely acutely aware that it effects me far more than it actually effects the person I’m pissed off at. I have used a few of the tools Sara discusses to get over my bullshit, but this article was a great physical reminder that when I am feeling interpersonally out of whack, I have much more control over my emotions than I might guess. A very worthwhile read.
“Saying “lifting weights will make a woman bulky” is downplaying the hard work and dedication it takes to be strong. It’s downplaying all those who aspire to build “bulk” (muscle) and strive for their own personal perception of being fit” –Sheri Stiles
There is so much misinformation, stereotype, and downright patriarchal attitude about women and weight lifting, and I’m not into it. I’m not into the idea that women shouldn’t bother putting on muscle because it isn’t “ladylike” to be “bulky.” I know not everyone wants to put hours of focus in the gym to get a ripped physique, and that’s TOTALLY COOL, but for the wild asses who DO (ahem, me.) we should not have to contend with archaic ideas about what’s correct for our bodies. Muscle is what people want when they say they want to look “toned” and MUSCLE IS BULK. This article gave me some great food for thought.
Have a great weekend!
So, it rained in Oakland, actually kind of a lot, which is supposedly notable. As I have biked through more rain countless times in the five years that I lived in Portland, I can’t help but wonder if the occurrence of weather was used to distract people from the organization around the murders the police have committed recently and historically, the reports of CIA torture, and the cops in civilian clothes pulling guns on protesters. Am I becoming a conspiracy theorist? WHAT’S HAPPENING TO ME?!
Anyway. Moving on.
I am feeling good lately. Creative and organized and motivated and strong and well-rested. The conflation of all these good feelings doesn’t always happen at the same time, so I am definitely reflecting on the good fortune and chilling with gratitude. 2014 has been the best year of my entire life. Super Strength Health has been the best gift I could ever give myself. As emails come in with questions, requests, and general thanks, I feel so ridiculously lucky I can barely believe it. This is my dream job, even when it’s unpredictable. I am so grateful for the work, and most of all, I am grateful for my readers. Thank you all so much. You are making my life significantly better. I hope my content offers even just a fraction of the life enrichment that I have received. Crying a single tear now.
Okay, I’ll stop.
I read a lot of things that I loved this week, and I am SUPER excited to share them with you. I hope you enjoy!
Hey, did you know that some asshole wrote an article called “Tell Loved Ones They are Overweight This Christmas”? And that it makes the rounds of internet share-i-tude like, over and over and over again?
That’s a thing.
Hateful garbage like the aforementioned article exists, but luckily whip-smart people like Ragen Chastain ALSO exist. In this article Ragen gives us practical tips to deal if a relative or “friend” attempts to take you down a notch in terms of your body confidence. While I certainly hope none of my readers will have to deal with that kind of terror, I think it’s a good idea to share, just in case.
If you can believe it, some folks are pointing to Eric Garner’s weight as the “reason” for his death.
Let’s take a moment to breathe that in. To understand that a man was put into an illegal chokehold for a negligable offense, SCREAMED that he could not breathe ELEVEN times, died, and some people will essentially say “he killed himself! A person at a “healthy weight” would have survived!”
Take that in, read this article, and get really fucking angry.
Then spring to action.
The ThinkThin bar. The Luna Bar. The “Eat Like A Woman” bar. (Yes that exists, and yes- EW.)
There is a certain type of marketing that goes along with these nutrition bars, and a lot of it is seriously offensive. This article examines the advertising with a critical lens, dissecting the language and pointing out the misogyny. I like it.
In this article Cynthia talks about dealing with the holidays in the absence of her mother. It’s beautiful, and I love it, and I can relate in so many ways. The joy of celebration can feel really gut wrenching, and Cynthia offers super practical advice for self-soothing.
Thank you, Cynthia. Your words are a gift.
This is on my Holiday menu! What’s on yours?
See you next week!