WHY I BLOG
I started this blog in August of 2009 after being inspired by numerous other food and health bloggers. One of my primary goals in starting this blog was to work on portion control and balance with food. I love food and I have always eaten healthily. But I have struggled with my portion sizes. Healthy food is great, but too much of a good thing is still, well, too much. This blog will help me keep myself accountable and in check as I post many of my meals and snacks.
I also hope to post some fun and creative recipes. I have traveled a lot and spent a semester abroad in India, so I try to bring some of the amazing flavors I have had on my travels into my meals at home. I am also the queen of “30 minutes meals” (well, maybe the princes- I can’t dethrone Rachel Ray). I don’t have the energy for a long cooking and cleaning process during the week, so I will be posting a lot of simple but nutritious recipes using as much local, organic, REAL food as possible.
But this blog is not just about food or exercise. It is also about the inner balance and inner acceptance, which is so important to achieve real health. Here, I will document not only my daily eats and sweat sessions, but the little, everyday things that I find beautiful and bring me back to the present moment. I also love photography and playing around with my camera :), so I will post pictures of food and much, much more!
I currently live in Brooklyn, NY with my boyfriend and two cats. I work in the nonprofit world, and am applying to law school for the fall of 2010. I hope to one day be a public interest lawyer working with women on not only the legal aspects of their lives, but on their overall well being and health.
I hope you all will join me as I enter a new phase in my life- hopefully my healthiest yet. Thanks for reading!
A FOODIE’S HISTORY- ABOUT ME
I was what you would call a”big boned” kid- always at the top of the height and weight charts. I also loved food. But I grew up in a family of very thin people. My sisters both inherited my parents’ small frames and fast metabolisms and I was the odd man out. There was a lot of pressure, from a young age, to eat right, exercise, and be thin. At the ages of 12- 13, I put on a lot of weight in protest, I think, of the pressure I was feeling at home (I weighed more then than I do now at 24). Alarmed, my parents sent me to a nutritionist in Miami. She helped me lose weight, but also instilled in me a deep fear of all things carbohydrate. I lived on a diet of light meat (which I had never liked) and vegetables. I lost about 30 pounds before high school, but continued on this limited diet throughout my teens, yoyo-ing. I was an athlete- a water polo player, a swimmer, and a soccer player (not very good at this one!) so my body was athletic- big and muscular. I was strong. My coach wanted to keep us that way. But I was not thin. I loved the feeling of going out in the pool and kicking butt, but I hated the way I looked in the mirror.
When I was about 16, I stopped eating meat. I was so sick of a no carb, high meat diet (and was pretty grossed out with the meat industry) that I could not bring myself to eat it. But instead of replacing meat with healthy carbs like quinoa or oatmeal, I just became more restrictive in my diet. When I arrived at college in the fall of 2007 in New York City, my eating became even more disordered. No longer a water polo player forced to be big, I started working out daily and eating very little other than salads and coffee. After almost a year of this kind of eating, I had lost a lot of weight, but it had its effects, both on body and mind. I was anxious, scatter brained, and trying to keep up in a very competitive environment. That is when I decided to really look at what I was doing to myself, what I was feeding myself, how I was treating myself, and what I was telling myself everyday- and make a change. I started doing more yoga. I started eating more whole wheat products and grains. I found the nicest, best boyfriend in the world who made me feel beautiful- and that helped a lot in making me change the way I saw myself in the mirror. All of these things helped, but it took time, and I faced some major obstacles.
In the fall of 2007, after a summer traveling in East Africa, I became very sick. The strongest symptom I had was a sense of vertigo or imbalance- my legs felt like “sea legs”- like I was walking off a boat. These symptoms continued for a year, on and off. I went to 6 or 7 different doctors, a number of them neurologists, to figure out the problem. They all said it was psychological- anxiety. But I knew it wasn’t. I finally found an amazing Physical Therapist who knew about balance disorders and diagnosed me with a scarred inner ear. After seeing her for 6 months and doing daily exercises, I was able to retrain my brain to feel balance, even with this injury. It was amazing to feel like myself again in January of 2009. But this was a long road. I hadn’t felt comfortable running, swimming, walking, or going to the gym. I had stopped all yoga, petrified of throwing myself off balance again. But when I was discharge, her strongest piece of advice was “stay active, keep your body and your brain working and you will keep in balance.” She also warned me about the deep stress and anxiety I had been experiencing. I needed to keep working on relaxing the body and the mind. Stress is the number one reason these disorders return.
So, I began to “re-balance” once again: exercising 5-6 days a week and eating healthy, organic meals. In January, I also began eating meat again after 8 years as a vegetarian. I had been feeling so exhausted and worn out, and was really craving meat. Instead of denying myself, I gave into this feeling, knowing my body was telling me what I needed.
Today, I try to eat only organic meat and cage free eggs. I eat mostly turkey, tuna, and salmon- once in a while I will have a burger or a salami sandwich. I try to eat as many fruits and veggies as I can, and of course, a healthy dose of whole grains at every meal. I love Michael Pollan’s philosophy of : “Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants” (If any of you are interested in what he means by “real food”, I highly recommend his book, In Defense of Food). That is the philosophy I try to live by, but I also try to give mself a break. I definitely indulge in all of my favorite foods like pizza, cheese, and chocolate- in moderation!
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions/ comments you may have. I love hearing from you!
THE YO-YO YEARS