Sorry for the delay getting this post out, today has been one of those days that just slipped away from me. Before we get into the meat of today’s post (that will be funnier later), let’s start with the winner of the CORE Foods giveaway, shall we?
Congratulations, Ray! Be on the lookout for an email from me with details about how to claim your prize.
Now onto the rest of today’s business. Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and I spoke to you about how important it is to love yourself. I mentioned how once you love and respect yourself, it becomes easier to surround yourself who have the same kind of love and respect for you.
Last night I was reminded of this yet again when Joe got me new Mizuno running pants and gloves for Valentine’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, I love jewelry as much as the next person, but it meant so much to me that he got me gifts that support me in my marathon training and my goal to continue to live healthy. Having that kind of support goes a long way.
For dinner we went out to a local Thai place, which is saying a lot because Joe doesn’t like trying new foods and stays away from anything that uses ingredients he doesn’t already eat regularly. This particular place has barbecue chicken that he really likes though, so we were safe. I ordered the vegetable red curry, which was delicious as always (albeit a little spicier than usual).
Even though nothing in my dish started with an “N” I still submitted it for #plantPOWER because my n was “Not letting the holiday derail my healthy eating.” I’ll admit that’s a stretch, but I was quite proud of myself for sticking to my dairy free and gluten free plan and having something completely plant based.
Speaking of eating being plant-based for this challenge and vegetarian all the time, I’ve been getting some questions from readers and particularly Instagram followers. When I first mentioned that I wanted to do a trial run of consciously eating a vegetarian diet, I noted that I wasn’t committing to it forever without knowing what it would be like. I also said that I wasn’t ready to make the 100% plant-based switch to being vegan. That’s all still really true for me.
For my #plantPOWER meals I’m sticking to being plant-based because that’s part of the challenge. It’s easier for me this month because I am also doing the Arbonne 30 Days to Feeling Fit through which I have cut out dairy. Still, I have continued to eat eggs this month and intend to keep eating them (just not in my #plantPOWER dishes).
My switch to eating vegetarian was initially an attempt to have leaner sources of protein in my diet. I also liked the added benefit of decreasing my carbon footprint. I didn’t switch to a vegetarian diet because I think it is necessarily the healthiest way for everyone to eat. This is where the questions from my readers and Instagram followers come in. Several people have emailed me about the fact that I often “like” photos of dishes that contain meat or with questions about how I deal with the fact that Joe isn’t vegetarian.
Put simply, I don’t think everyone should be vegetarian. Yes, I believe there are distinct advantages to a vegetarian diet, but it isn’t necessarily for everyone. I have nothing against people who choose to eat steak, chicken, pork, whatever. I can and do appreciate a photo of a medium-rare filet mignon, at least in part because of my days working at a steakhouse when I lived in North Carolina.
This has come up for me when helping someone very close to me figure out how to lose weight and get healthy. I have been thinking about all of the information I know that is out there about how to eat better, which foods are good for you, and which to avoid altogether. While there are some that are inarguable, sometimes you just have to find what works best for you. My best recommendation for her was to start tracking what she eats right now. So often we don’t actually realize what we are putting into our bodies and in what volume, so it’s hard to answer someone when they ask, “Well what is your diet like now?” By putting it on paper (or online through a food tracker), it gives you a starting point.
I’m looking forward to helping her find what works for her, but I can’t do that unless I admit that it may be very different for what has worked for me. Beyond that, what works for me now may not even be what works for me in the future. Because of that I want to help her find the skills to identify what is keeping her from being healthy now and what small steps she can take to changing her diet and lifestyle.
In the same way, I don’t think running is necessarily for everyone. It’s the best way for me to work out and I love it. It makes me feel alive and free in a way I can’t even describe. I didn’t always love it this much and, as you all know, I didn’t start running until just a couple of years ago. Now I couldn’t imagine my life without it and even had a bit of an existential crisis back in January about what I’ll do if/when I get too old/frail to run anymore. That doesn’t mean that running is helpful or enjoyable for everyone. It also doesn’t mean that I want to run every single day. Some days, like today, I’m more of a kickboxing kind of girl. There are lots of ways to burn calories, whether that is CrossFit, yoga, pilates, barre, zumba, kickboxing, swimming, or whatever else gets the body moving. When you find what works for you, it’s a lot easier to stick to.