Appetite for Health

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Sometimes being a picky eater or being stuck in the rut of habit gets in the way of optimal health. Processed foods are created to be immediately pleasing to the tongue, but often lack the necessary nutrition to fight disease and promote wellness.

If you read the package, many products boast of being low fat or low calorie. We’ve got to do further research. So many of the foods marketed to us lead to inflammation throughout our bodies– especially in the gut. Sometimes you have to eat the vegetables you don’t like, drink the water you don’t want to drink, and sleep when you would rather be awake.

New habits will eventually lead to a new appetite, I promise.

Xoxo,
Fifi

The Myth: No Sugar Added

When I hit the supermarket for groceries, I often experience an internal conflict because I have to decide what is affordable, but healthy. The packaging the food comes in is not to inform me and help me decide on food, but instead it is masterfully designed as a marketing tool to get me to buy. I’m always having to keep in mind that I am the only one concerned with my personal health.

If you read labels like I do, you’ll often see packages that say “sugar-free” or “no sugar added”. It’s a clever little trick that companies do, but the problem is it doesn’t tell us what we need to know about the food. Does the food truly have no sugar, or is it no refined sugar? Are there artificial sweeteners? Artificial flavors? What will the long-term effect be on a generation of people that are told they can eat as much as they want of something because it’s low calorie or low sugar?

This is why at the end of the day it is best to eat things that come straight from the earth – organic meat and dairy products; local and organic fruits and veggies; and whole grains, seed, and nuts. Anything beyond this, it has likely been processed to some extent. It’s not necessarily “bad food”, but you are taking a gamble.

Lately I been trying to retrain my taste buds to enjoy what comes straight from the earth with no refined sugar. What happened to the days when 100% fruit was truly a snack? Let’s get back to that. I’m enjoying some blood oranges this fine Saturday morning.

blood oranges and white jean shorts

xoxo

Fifi

FitFeb| The Paleo Lifestyle

Katie is one of my Instagram pals (IG name: fit_weinbagel) who I have had the pleasure of following for quite some time. She’s health conscious and super athletic– and I cannot help but be jealous of her glorious view of the Northern Pacific as she heads out for jogs! Most importantly, through sharing her meals, she has greatly educated me on the Paleo diet and its benefits. People are quick to dismiss what they see as trend diets, but for some it is really eating they way that their body most agrees with– and it has become a lifestyle.

Q1: What is the paleo diet? How did you find out about it and decide it was for you?

A1: The paleo lifestyle in a nutshell is just eating real food; this means no processed food!  A good rule of thumb is to shop the perimeter of a grocery store (produce, meat/seafood, and nuts/seeds).  There is controversy over whether or not dairy is “allowed”, though I think a lot of people try to avoid it.  I believe people also try to limit fruit intake.

My coworker introduced me to the paleo lifestyle in 2011.  She brought in “The Paleo Solution” by Robb Wolf and I read it in one evening.  I had always been interested and somewhat conscious of healthy habits, however I believed whole wheat and lowfat foods, among other health fads, were “healthy” prior to reading the book.

Shortly after reading the book, I was diagnosed with Hashimotos, which is an autoimmune disorder.  The body attacks your thyroid, and interestingly enough, gluten protein looks like thyroid when it’s ingested.  This is when I gave up gluten all together and got strict about paleo.  I also have a very sensitive stomach and have to monitor what I eat closely unless I want to suffer with the side effects (bloating, nausea, fatigue, depression, etc).

Q2: I love seeing updates from you for gym workouts and runs. What’s your favorite fitness activity?

A2: Wow, this is a tough question!  Recently I have broadened my workout routine and I don’t know if I can pick just one!  I guess I would have to say I really love the runs I’ve been doing in downtown Portland followed by a weight lifting session in my office gym.  I think running downtown on the waterfront is really refreshing.  If I go to the gym, I love the stair climber because it gets your heart rate up and it stays up even if you’re not climbing very fast.  Of course I also love to end my workouts in the sauna!

katie workout

Q3: What does a typical day of paleo eating look like for you?

A3: A typical day of paleo eating for me looks like:

Breakfast: 3 hardboiled eggs and 1/2 an avocado, coffee with half and half (the only dairy I allow myself to eat on a daily basis) and liquid stevia.  Bacon on weekends.

Lunch: Ground meat with steamed veggies

Snack: Handful of nuts (almond or pistachio), and/or roasted veggies

Dinner: Salad

I don’t eat a lot of fruit, but if I’m having a crazy sweet tooth I will eat some and occasionally ice cream (not paleo!).

Green Chicken Curry

Green Chicken Curry

Fish w/veggies

Fish w/veggies

Pork & Salad

Pork & Salad

Bison steak & veggies

Bison steak & veggies

Q4: Are there noticeable differences to your health with this new way of eating?

A4:  I think eating this way has given me a lot more energy, and it has also boosted my mood.  I have read about a lot of people who effortlessly lost weight doing paleo, and I think if it weren’t for Hashimoto’s and my “weird” stomach, the same would have happened to me.  Overall I am so thankful for being introduced to this new way of eating, and it’s so simple.  Just eat real food!

How Modern Moms Do It: Manisha on Home & Lifestyle

When I interviewed Manisha, I’ll admit I had selfish intentions. I wanted to know the secrets to her success since she stays fit, cooks amazing meals, and chases after a little one. She doesn’t do this in sweatpants. She wears an ecclectic combination of vintage clothes and trendy wear, and still finds time to be a writer. I wanted to share her insight with you, the readers since it’s not easy maintaining proper nutrition when you’re literally doing it all!
 
   

You’re a wife, a mother, a writer, and you have a big family. You are one busy lady! How do you find the time to cook?

Honestly?  My hair may not get that deep condition or my chipped nail polish may have to wait. Typically, I try to involve Arlowe, my 18 month old, as much as possible. He’s awesome at smashing things and mixing. Also, I like to buy staple ingredient items like onions, bell peppers and herbs in bulk.  I chop them all up the same day I bring them home, stuff them into freezer bags and store them in the freezer until needed. For garlic, I just chop it finely and store it in a glass jar with olive oil in the refrigerator. I also LOVE my crockpot!  This is probably a mother’s best friend because you basically ignore it all day and dinner’s waiting for you in the evening.

How do you approach nutrition as far as your son? There are so many cautionary tales; it is probably easy for a new parent to become overwhelmed.It’s definitely easy to get overwhelmed, especially for first-time parents.  Just try to remember that toddlers are probably not going to sit and eat three square meals per day. It’s just a fact of life!  Can you blame them?  There is just so much to see, so much to get into and not enough hours in the day. I follow the apple chart from www.wholesometoddlerfood.comto know how many servings of each food group Arlowe should be eating per day.  The chart is great because it breaks down amounts per serving your child should get at a certain age or weight/ height.  Examples of small meals and snacks are string cheese, rolled up deli meat, chicken sausage with cheeses & herbs (or tofu versions), smoothies, fruit/ veggie pouches (like Plum Organics tots), and homemade cereal bars.  

Following you on Twitter is always fun because I learn about so many neat tricks for food, and DIY projects from what you pin on Pinterest. What are your favorites?

Thanks! I love sharing food tips simply because I talk about food about half the time my mouth is moving, but also because they really work! I have recently really gotten into making EVERYTHING from scratch!  I can’t tell you how great it is to use your own homemade chicken stock, or  being able to control how much salt and fat go into your food and the pride you feel when your dough comes out perfectly for rolls or pizza!  I think my favorite food DIY so far has been making jams and sauces over the summer from the fruit in our back yard.

My favorite non food-related DIYs have been the pieces of home decor I put together for our new house.  I scoured thrift stores for weeks to found vinyl records featuring cover art of places my family has traveled which I’ve framed and hung on our living room wall.  I also made a simple mosaic from graphic iPhone covers left over from one of my husband’s engineering projects. That’s hanging in our hallway.   I’m really excited to decorate for the holiday season!
Last, any words of wisdom for someone trying to get their hubby to eat a little healthier?

You know, in my case it really hasn’t been difficult.  I don’t want to put my husband on blast, but he’s from the outbacks of the boondocks! [laughs]  So unless I try to feed him something like watercress sandwiches or a sparse salad, he’ll eat it without complaint!  My biggest concern is eliminating processed foods, sugar, sodium, and empty calories.  This means that I’ve had to educate myself, and I’ve had to learn to make a lot of things from scratch.  My husband briefly lamented the loss of his many-flavored Doritos, but with so many delicious alternatives I’m pretty sure he’s over it!

We eat a lot less red meat and, really important, adjusted portions of meat, veggies, and starch.  American plates tend to be half meat, a quarter starch and a quarter vegetables when they should be half vegetables, a quarter starch and a quarter meat.  That really put things into perspective for me. Another way we’re eating healthier is by eating at least one meatless meal per week. With the help of blogs like yours and the plethora of others out there, I’ve learned about other food sources of protein and healthy fats to turn into really delicious meals!