Hello world! Wow what a busy week it’s been! So many exciting things going on, some I’ll share in my upcoming Monday Musings post, so you’ll wanna check back for that 🙂 I will say, some days, I wish I had just a little more time. I’m sure everyone feels like that at some point, so I’ve learned to really try and be focused on things that require “immediate” attention from those I think that do but could actually wait. It helps take some things out of my mind for awhile. Often I tend to be juggling multiple projects at once, that works for some things but not for others. I also love lists so I’ve found if I get it on a list it’s also a way to take it off my mind while still keeping it in a place where I won’t forget it haha
I thought we’d go a little nuts on todays food spotlight. Nuts offer a huge amount of health and nutrition benefits. We’re gonna just take a look at one of them today, one which happens to be my favorite and is often a guest with my breakfast yogurt and fresh fruit.
Say hello to Mr. Almond.
Almonds deliver a massive amount of nutrition in their small package.
The almond is the edible seed that grows on the tree Prunus dulcis, more commonly called the almond tree.
Almonds are native to the Middle East, but the United States is now the world’s largest producer.
The almonds we buy at the store have usually had the shell removed, revealing the edible nut inside.
They are sold either raw (often referred to as “natural”) or roasted.
Almonds boast an incredibly impressive nutritional profile.
A 1 ounce (28 grams, or small handful) serving of almonds contains
Fiber: 3.5 grams.
Protein: 6 grams.
Fat: 14 grams (9 of which are monounsaturated, the good healthy kind)
Vitamin E: 37% of the RDA.
Manganese: 32% of the RDA.
Magnesium: 20% of the RDA.
They also contain a decent amount of copper, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and phosphorus.
This is all from a small handful, which supplies only 161 calories and 2.5 grams of digestible carbohydrates.
It is also important to note that 10-15% of an almond’s calories are not absorbed by the body, because the fat is too difficult to access and break down.
The almonds we buy at the store have usually had the shell removed, revealing the edible nut inside.
Almonds are also loaded with antioxidants,
Antioxidants help to protect against oxidative stress, which can damage molecules in cells and contribute to aging and diseases like cancer.
The powerful antioxidants in almonds are largely concentrated in the brown layer of the skin.
For this reason, blanched almonds (skin removed) are not the best choice from a health perspective.
Almonds are among the world’s best sources of vitamin E. Getting plenty of vitamin E from foods is linked to numerous health benefits. It’s also good for healthy skin and hair.
Almonds are also extremely high in magnesium, a mineral most people don’t get enough of. Higher magnesium intake may have major benefits for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Low magnesium levels are also linked to high blood pressure indicating that almonds could be good for blood pressure control.
Almonds can also increase energy production. Copper, riboflavin and manganese present in almonds assist in metabolic rate and energy production. If you are pressed for time, grab a handful of almonds for a crunchy, satisfying snack to help you out.
How about one more health tidbit?
Unsweetened almonds are a great option to use if you are trying to lose weight. Almonds contain a lot of mon-unsaturated fats, which is what satiates your hunger pangs, helping you not to over eat no matter what. The dietary fiber in almonds also makes you feel fuller for long periods of time, despite consuming only a small quantity. Research suggests that a diet that is low calorie and also rich in almonds is excellent for obese people since it helps them shed excess weight faster.
Remember, as with any food, no matter how “good” it is for you, to much isn’t always a good thing and can lead to weight gain so monitor your portion sizes as it’s easy to over eat on them.
Other almond uses…
Of course some of the uses of almonds now days involve milk and flour. I will say I tried almond milk… once… thinking I might try and be one of the cool health kids.
One big drink made me gag and wonder why on earth anyone would drink it, unless they had no alternative because of allergy or lactose issues.
I will stick with my dairy as I know it. No offense if you like it, it just isn’t my cup of tea..or milk….
And as far as the trend with almond flour, I have no experience with it. I just bake the old fashioned way with old fashioned flour 😉
Almonds as a snack come in a variety of ways. I buy them raw and use them in my breakfast yogurt or as a snack. You can also get them in various flavors, just be careful with sodium intake on them.
They also can be used in your meals…..
How about a couple tasty recipe ideas?
Ok your turn. Do you like almonds? Do you have thoughts on almond “milk”? Have you tried almond flour for baking?
Hello world! Yeah I know, no Monday Musings yesterday. I had nothing to muse over. Well not entirely it was more like a busy weekend and it just didn’t happen. But if you wanna read some of the past ones, find some here.
The life of writing involves making myself sit and be still and grind it out when I’d rather be up and moving. If there were only a way to do other stuff AND dictate my posts while doing it, that would be awesome 🙂
Anyway I thought we’d talk today about some common myths in regards to fitness and health. I heard something this past week that got me to thinking and I was gonna give it a nod in my Monday Musings but decided there was enough fodder for it to have an entire post of it’s own.
Let’s face it, in the world of health and fitness there’s a lot of things that aren’t true yet people unknowingly buy into them all the time.
Let’s consider a few in this post….
Feel the burn.
I’ve seen this quite a bit lately in different places. The whole “feel the burn” thing in regards to working out.
Now I’m not sure about you, but if something feels like it’s burning during a workout, I’m fairly sure that’s not a good thing.
Feeling a burn could indicate you have over done something or doing more than your body is physically conditioned for at that point.
This is not the same as just working hard in a session and pushing yourself within your current physical conditioning. Our bodies require time to change and adapt to what we put them through, this doesn’t happen overnight or in a few sessions when you feel like you’ve got your “beast mode” on.
If something feels like it’s burning, you really need to stop and not go to that point anymore lest you pick up and injury that sidelines you for awhile.
A gradual, consistent approach that continues to build will let you work harder and longer with less risk for injuries.
The longer you workout or the more you do in a day the better
You might mentally think you are doing something great but really unless you’re an elite athlete getting in some extra work you are simply setting yourself up for potential injury and at best being over tired, sore and not feeling great after the fact.
Stick to a structured daily workout plan, give it your best efforts and call it a wrap. Think quality over quantity. If you need to do other things consider yoga or stretching to help keep those worked muscles relaxed and loose for your next workout session.
You get no extra gold stars for excess workouts. 😉
I’ve gained weight but I know it’s muscle.
I’ve heard this when someone has been working out for like…6-8 weeks. Building muscle is work, hard work. If you’re a woman, it gets even harder. We often don’t lift heavy enough, or often enough and eat enough to build muscle in that fast of a manner. It has taken me time to build muscle, years. Although cycling and running have contributed to my muscle building, I do specific weight lifting a couple times a week alongside that.
If you want to build muscle it will take time, determination, consistency and good nutrition. Did I mention time ?
If you’re gaining weight that early on, you might be eating more than you need so adjust your calorie intake.
I’m skipping breakfast because I want to lose weight.
Do you know that breakfast really is the most important meal of your day? Your body has been fasting for hours ( think your last meal the night before) eating properly helps kick start your metabolism for the day, wards off hunger and helps prevent binging later on when you are full blown hungry. It will also give you energy for your morning. Not only that having proper fuel helps you to be focused and alert, without it you can be irritable and grouchy. Skipping breakfast won’t contribute to weight loss, but it will keep you hungry and focused on food.
It doesn’t have to be a huge meal, but one that is healthy and offers adequate protein and carbs to fuel your body and brain.
Eating lots of protein gives you more muscle.
Listen, I’m always one who will preach eating protein to you ’cause it delivers a big bang for keeping you from feeling hungry for long periods of time. Your body needs protein to build muscles and grow cells and hair and nails and all that other cool physical stuff. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues.
However, when it comes to fat loss and a better body, protein is the king of nutrients. Protein can reduce hunger and boost metabolism.
But in the often misguided fitness world, the more is better approach is often heralded as the way to do things.
Yes, you need adequate protein. Yes, if you are athletic you need more than the average sedentary person, but consuming high amounts won’t necessarily put Popeye muscles on you.
Why? Our bodies know what they need and the amounts needed and can only ingest 12-15 grams per meal. At a point, the excess protein is excreted or stored as fat if it’s surplus calories.
Building muscle is a combination (again) of consistent hard work, daily discipline, lifting heavy and good nutrition.
Not massive quantities of protein.
Try and consume your protein from natural food sources and limit manmade protein drinks, shakes, powders, bars, supplements etc etc.
The 1200 calorie diet.
Ah yes. The standard caloric intake often given to women. Men do get a bit more but it’s just as limiting.
It still amazes me that these standard diets are often assigned to people without any given consideration to their personal needs.
Eating to low amount of calories is just as counterproductive as to many.
If you are seeking to lose weight you need to have a good understanding of yourself, your lifestyle, and your physical level of activity.
All of us have a basic level of calories our bodies need to just be alive. That means to support a beating heart, brain activity, cell growth, breathing… you know.. just the normal things. Our basic BMR ( basal metabolic rate) will be different for all of us again based on our age, sex, fitness level, jobs etc.
It’s important you know what you’re baseline is and not eat calories under that.
From there, you would determine what kind of work do you do? Is it physically demanding or is it a desk job? What kind of purposeful exercise do you do? None? Light ( 1-2 days a week) moderate (3-5) or more intense (6-7)?
All of these things come into play determining your daily caloric needs. And this can be a shifting scale most days.
For instance, I know on my long training days, I’ll be burning off a lot of calories and making my body work hard. I know I’ll have higher caloric needs based on my day in general, as well as my purposeful exercise. I know I can consume more calories on those days over days where I might just run a 5K that morning to where I don’t really alter my normal eating.
I am aware that on any given day I may need more or less calories depending on my activity level.
When you have a better idea of your personal needs, you can determine the calories you need to lose weight, or maintain your weight.
Eating a big meal makes you gain weight.
OK this is one that for sure comes up around Thanksgiving. For some crazy reason people go hop on a scale the day after.
Like… why? Do you just wanna feel crappy for enjoying your day?
Listen up, if you show a gain, it’s not fat ok? You aren’t gonna toss on 2-4 pounds of fat overnight.
Yes, the scale *could* show a gain but I’m gonna just say it’s most likely water weight from all those carbs you took in the day before from potatoes, rolls, dressing, pies etc.
Carbs, if you don’t know this, are like little sponges that hold onto water. Why do you think body builders restrict carbs when they are close to competition? To deplete water out of their muscles.
I would suggest if you go back to your normal eating, getting normal exercise and check again in a couple days, you’ll have weight *loss*.
To stay in shape you only need one or two days a week.
Sorry. That might clear your head or give you a quick burst of energy but it won’t get you in shape or help with any weight loss goals.
Ideally, you should really strive to workout most days of the week for optimal health benefits.
Start with a couple days but aim to get in at least 5-6.
You can crunch your way to good abs.
Sorry… but no. I cringe when I hear people talking about doing crunches and dutifully going through the motions. The reality is it’s an ineffective way to get those abs. Instead you should be doing things in a combination of interval training, utilizing carbs wisely, getting adequate sleep and keeping stress levels low. Of course the right training moves help too. Moves like squats, deadlifts, and chin ups can contribute to that shaped mid section.
I’m eating healthy, I will lose weight.
Truth is…. you will lose weight if you take in less calories than you need in a day and create a deficit. Yes, eating healthy foods is definitely what you should strive to have in your day, but if you eat to much of anything your body will take what it needs and store the rest for fat.
Eat healthy, focus on eating just enough to satisfy your hunger, and then move on with your day. Don’t get caught in the thinking you are going to lose weight if you have no idea of your calorie consumption in the day.
Be mindful of another “trap” by drinking “healthy” liquid calories in the trendy shakes and smoothies. The calories are often astronomical in it and you’d do better eating regular food.
My son used to get a smoothie from a local place. He asked me to stop and get him one and bring it to work. Me being me, I’m standing there picking apart menu and code words that still mean sugar no matter how you try and gloss it over ( good publicity makes you feel like you’re doing yourself a healthy favor) I found the one I was buying for him and almost fainted when I saw it had nearly 1,200 calories in it. True, it was a large one, but still, that is an obscene amount of calories for something that is being promoted as “healthy” it is close to exceeding daily caloric intake.
When I told him he was shocked and stopped buying them.
Working out will turn fat into muscle.
No. You have fat and you have muscle. You can’t make one be the other. You can lose fat and you will be able to see your muscles better but you won’t turn your excess fat into muscle nor will muscle turn into fat.
Oh and another myth I’ll put in here that ties in, my favorite, muscle weighs more than fat. ( a way to justify weight gain)
5lbs is still 5lbs. muscle however, is sleek, compact and lean and fat is thick, bulky and fluffy. Having more muscle under your skin gives that “toned” look people always go on about. Toned is a weird way of saying you have some muscle holding your skin out.
And that’s about all I have to say on that topic 😉
I guess I could keep on with other points but I need to bring it to and end. If you are unsure of something in regards to health and fitness, find credible sources to gain information. Don’t go by what the bulky dude at the gym does or the girl in the yoga pants tells you to eat. Educate yourself on things so you can make the best choices for you.
Tell me, are there some myths you’ve heard that people believe in?
So today is my birthday, the day I came crashing into history. Another chance to spin around the sun once more. The older I get the less I view that as something I’m entitled to. It’s a gift pure and simple and one worthy of celebrating, appreciating, and giving thanks for.
Before I get going on this I do wanna give a shout out to Chunky Tribe Creations for working with me on creating this fun birthday tank using one of my signature hash tags. She was super sweet and went out of her way to be helpful with my…uh… unusual request. Find them on Facebook and check out their page. Black is one of my favorite colors and I love how the pink and white compliment it and pull it all together.
I “technically” won’t roll to my new age until the evening of my birthday, according to my mothers meticulous record of my birth day.
I love how vintage, old and cool my baby book looks now.
I’m vintage. Nifty.
You can see I came into this world longer and bigger than most of my petite 6 or 7 lb counterparts.
I kinda never slowed down and grew into all of my 6’0 height by middle school… awkward at best and not knowing what to do with all of me.
Fast forward a very good number of years and I am more than comfortable in my skin and taking up all my space on this planet.
I don’t shrink back, try to be small, or less than anything I am.
I guess that’s one thing about getting older, right? Getting to where you know who you are and owning it. Making no apologies for anything or to anyone for being yourself.
It’s a matter of simply being comfortable in your skin and embracing and loving yourself.
And yeah, it’s really ok to love yourself. If you don’t, how do you expect others to?
Age brings wisdom… or so they say….but there won’t be grey hair to prove it
I guess you don’t get to this point in life where you haven’t learned a thing or two… or at least you should have. I have a lot of younger friends and I enjoy their enthusiasm, energy and zest for life. It sometimes doesn’t take long though for me to realize in chatting with them that I do have words of wisdom and advice that I can offer. Sometimes I relate to situations, other times it’s a matter of just being able to see things in a more clear, objective way.
Hey, I guess age does have it’s benefits, right?
My daughter in laws often tell me the same thing, that they appreciate my wisdom. I love that they come to me when they need advice, counsel, or to just talk.
I think being older often lets you see things in a more objective manner, to discern them differently or a little more rationally.
I’m not afraid to use my voice
I think when you’re younger, you may hold back or not feel comfortable speaking your thoughts, ideas, objections or view points.
Being older I’m not afraid to let go, or to hold back. I’ve learned silence can be powerful but I’m not afraid to speak my mind and call it like I see it either.
I can see black and white, but I also know there is a grey ground too when it comes to topics or thoughts and ideas.
Having a blog and being active on social media has certainly given me a broader platform to use my voice and to speak out loud, to live out loud, and that feels powerful.
Speaking of power….
getting older means you know yourself better, what you can do and accomplish and you’ve learned what you’re made of by now and that’s pretty empowering. The more struggles, trials, life learning events and other fun stuff you go through only builds and strengthens you in a deeper way.
My first tattoo ( ha and supposedly, “only” tattoo) was a wrist bracelet that says “strength”. It is one of my life words. When I see it, it’s a constant reminder of what I’m made of, what I’ve been forged by, and that I have strength for all things I deal with in life.
I have earned this in these years of my life, this deep strength.
Don’t sweat the small stuff….
If there’s one thing I quietly observe in the world around me is how often people waste time on things that don’t matter. They waste time on unnecessary drama with people they love when they could be loving them or enjoying that time together instead of camping on stuff that just doesn’t matter.
Through social media I often observe people throwing dirty laundry and drama out for the world to view. It’s rather sad, but more sad is that they are wasting time that could be spent loving, laughing, and appreciating the lives they have together.
Remember, none of us are entitled to anything. Don’t squander it over the small stuff that doesn’t matter.
I’m older and I’m really ok with that….really.
I had to laugh the other day when my daughter asked my age and came in a number of years behind where I am.
She said” I’m sorry Mom, I just forget, I don’t think about your age!”
And I don’t either. It’s rather irrelevant to me. I do what I want and do what makes me feel good, alive and what’s fun.
I don’t ever plan to be hindered by some age card or held back in any way.
I have to roll my eyes when I see some copy and paste post going around about older women and how they look at 20 something aged women wishing they were still there or looked like them or whatever… hahaha… no.
Don’t get me wrong. My 20’s were great. I was happy, I was happy with life and all that stuff. I was starting my family and tending babies and running a household. Life was good.
Life is still good.
But the reality is I’m in better physical shape now then I was then. I’m also way more confident, stronger, smarter and in touch with myself than I was then. I know what I’m about, what I want, what I don’t want.
I don’t wish to be something I used to be, to do so only takes away from what I am now.
Reflecting back on this past year….
As I write this, I’m thinking back over this past year, ways I’ve grown, things I’ve accomplished and learned.
In the ways of my family, they’ve grown and some have married, started new households and new jobs. I’ve graduated my final one from high school last year and watched her start her second semester of college. I celebrated another year with a man I’ve been with most of my life now.
I not only went out and trained for my first multi-sport event last year, the duathlon, I took first in my age group. Never would I have seen myself doing that, yet I did, and I’m going after it again this year.
I also stumbled into a new hobby/new business at the beginning of the year as I started flipping old antique furniture. I had zero experience with it but it turns out I’m pretty good at it and people like it so I’m gonna see where it continues to grow to.
Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks??
I guess on the topic of getting old I can just say that I’m unapologetically me. I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, yet there are others who love every weird, funny, smart, quirky, sassy vibe about me.
And that’s cool in both directions.
I’ve learned other peoples problems or hang ups they may have are their own, not mine. It’s irrelevant to me and my life.
I will never march to the beat of someone else’s drummer. I will always go against the flow and I will never intentionally conform to someone else’s standards or thoughts.
Now on with the celebrations….
Ok so I’ve kinda been working the birthday thing all week, even though as I write this, the 11th is the “official” day.
I think birthdays are worth celebrating no matter how old you get.
Cake… heck yes. My daughter made me an amazing German Chocolate one that we all devoured. Toss some ice cream on it too.
I love presents and all those unexpected treats. No, I’m not to big for gifts.
Speaking of gifts… my daughter knows of my Converse love and gifted me with these lovelies to sport around. How pretty are they ??
Of course I shared with you in my Monday Musings post this week, hubby totally surprised me with a Go Pro, to which I’m in the process of assembling and getting all put together.
Then it will be off for some adventures with it. 😉
Being older has some other advantages…..
Like… I have no idea what the most popular mini van, “sport” van, or SUV is no days… I traded mine in for a Charger R/T Max almost 2 years ago and I’ve never looked back. I know more about it’s 0-60 abilities than I do features on new vans 😉 #nomoremomcars
I skim into the grocery store peacefully getting what I need while I pass Moms with kids hanging off baskets or crying babies. Bless them but I’ve been there, done that, free now.
I can come in a total mess from a workout and get ready in record time. Although my mane of hair definitely takes the longest, I learned a long time ago less is more with makeup. All the things young women go through now days with makeup, I’ve got no time for that. You’ll just have to look at my awkward “un contoured, un bronzed, un highlighted” face 😉
I’ve got more “me” time. All my kids are grown, self sufficient, get themselves up and off for work, tend to their own needs, or better yet they live in their own homes. I can do things during the day I want to do.
I can stop for a coffee and read on the patio at my local coffee hangout…one of my fav leisure activities. Coffee, reading, and people watching.
Also, another birthday puts me closer to getting a Senior citizen discount on my breakfast… so there’s that 😉
In the year ahead….
I’m not gonna get all deep and introspective on you. My approach to my new year is simple….
Take no prisoners.
Take challenges, take risks, work hard, don’t be afraid to fail when attempting new things, seize new opportunities, live fearlessly, believe strongly in myself in what I can do, love with abandon, let go of what is useless, embrace the things that matter, be kind, accept some things are what they are, work hard, and never let age be an excuse to not accomplish something new.
I think that’s a crazy fine way to head into another year of being #50ish.
I’m not sure how this has happened but here we are on another Monday again. Did the week sail by and I missed it or what?
Or… is it true.. the older you get the faster time goes?
And I’m getting older.. but more on that later…
In this weeks news we finally had rain! True it came in on the afternoon of July 4th and probably shut down lots of outdoor celebrations but it’s hard to complain when the grass has been crunching under foot for over a month now.
But then we had rain the next few days too so that’s a total win.
*** And in a side note as I’m preparing to launch this post, it’s been storming here since early morning hours. Am I the only one who loves waking up to the sound of a thunder and rain on the roof?
And rain means getting to break out those rainy day garments that mostly hang out in the closest… for a girl who likes fun clothes and gear… it’s a win/win thing.
Speaking of fun stuff….
I kinda have a birthday later this week. Due to logistics of getting all the fam together we had the big celebration this weekend but I plan to milk the upcoming week for all it’s worth 😉
Hubby surprised me.. totally caught me off guard with his gift….. check out what I got.
I’m not sure but he may have been worried about me trying to make a video while holding my phone, flying off a hill on my bike, or the fact I’ve talked about paddle boarding and having my phone out on the open water 😛 I love that he supports my adventurous nature.
Anyway, I feel fairly certain you’ll be hearing more about this in the future… once I read all the directions 😛
On the topic of reading….
When I’m not flying down the road on foot or bike or flipping furniture or just doing life, I really do like to read.
I’ve always loved words and I’ve always enjoyed reading. One of my favorite things I did during the summer as a kid was go to the library and drag home bags of books to read.
Once I had kids, it was something I enjoyed taking them to do during the summer.
My kids are grown now but I still love going. There is something about walking in and seeing rows and rows of books, and that “library smell” that whisks me back to earlier, simpler days of my life when I could get lost for hours in a book without a care in the world.
Don’t get me wrong, I can still read for hours but gosh, adulting often comes calling and I have to abandon reading till those things are done.
I love all kinds of books but I really love books I can get lost in with a good story line that don’t demand anything from me but that I enjoy them.
Summers really are meant for carefree days spent reading, aren’t they?
Summers are also meant for easy foods right?
I made this new baked bean recipe recently and it was a huge hit. Note it makes a pretty good amount so you can feed a lot of people.
I also experimented on the fam with this dinner recipe last week. It was easy and well liked so it may get used again….
During the summer I’m all about what I can put together easily, what feeds lots of people and is nutritious and tasty too. The longer days have me involved in projects and I like having meals that don’t take forever to put together.
you know I’ve gotta tell you about some of my furniture adventures, right?
So I got this group of 4 chairs yesterday, and how nice, someone has actually sanded them and made new board seats which speeds my work up 😛 I love old chairs to flip, each one is a fun project unto itself. I can hardly wait to see what clever ideas come to mind for them.
I got this cute little vanity with a stunning mirror about a month ago. I just finished it’s transformation. I love how simple and clean it looks now.
There are some pieces I really want to keep…. this is one of them… but hopefully it will be going to a new home soon.
I’ve been busy at work on it and can hardly wait to show you… it’s going to be so gorgeous! Nothing feels more rewarding than transforming something ghastly into something beautiful and usable again.
My week ahead will be full with all the usual life stuff and in the mix of that finding time to read, write, and work on my projects that is slowly becoming a fun little side business.
My birthday is actually Wed so I have plans to do things that I love doing and to enjoy the people in my life who make me happy.
I was reading the other day that we all move through our life doing things that we (personally) enjoy and we learn to make room for doing those things that matter to us.
I try and take care of the “necessary” stuff in life ( ugh like cleaning) but get it done quickly so I have more time for the things that make me happy and give me joy. I hope you have time in your days for doing things that bring you simple joy.
Now tell me what adventures you’ve been on this week. Have you got any good reading suggestions for the summer? Tried any new healthy recipes? What are things you do in your life that bring you a simple joy to do them?
Food and guilt. If there’s ever a time I hear people talking about what they ate and feeling guilty over it, it’s after a holiday.
We just wrapped up the big celebratory 4th of July here in the states on Wed. A summer holiday offering all kinds of tasty food treats… everything from outdoor BBQ, hotdogs, apple pie, salads etc it’s a day built for family and food.
Now I’m not gonna verbally slap you if you are one of those who take on guilt for eating or eating to much or eating all of your favorite thing ( where DID those brownies go??) but seriously, guilt and food do not and should not go hand in hand.
However it is a tendency for people to do so, especially after a holiday.
Why do we have those feelings?
Seriously. Why do we food shame? Why do we entertain thoughts of guilt when food is such a huge part of our lives and is enjoyed with family and friends?
If we indulge and we’ve labeled foods as “good” or “bad” and we indulge in the “bad” then we somehow have put ourselves into categories of good or bad, strong or weak, worthy or unworthy.
“I didn’t eat dessert while everyone else did. I am stronger than they are” or “I ate dessert and I’m trying to diet. I’m so weak.
As if being strong, good and worthy somehow makes us better for passing on the food or eating that extra brownie makes us weak and unworthy.
In some ways we are wired to restrict ourselves and when we let go of that “restriction” those negative feelings can come.
But hey… get this… our inability to resist “forbidden” foods isn’t a moral failing… ok?
It might not be the best for you to go back for a third serving or eat until your stomach is stuffed and tight, but it’s not a moral failing.
I hope in time, if over eating is a problem for you, that you can get balance to that in your life.
But feeling guilty when we are hanging with friends or family and eating food while having a good time, well it’s not right.
I mean at Christmas when I make my famous cut out sugar cookies that I adore ( seriously they are made with a whole pack of real butter, and a package of cream cheese) I eat them… and I don’t always keep track of them either.
Does anyone really NEED a sugar cookie… or 12… ? I’m not that bad… but you follow.
It’s all about that balance…..
When we put those foods into “good” or “bad” groups and restrict ourselves, the more prone we are to want to eat what we’ve deemed “bad”. Then when we give in and eat them ( maybe at a holiday ) then we tend to over indulge, over eat, because of the restrictions we’ve placed on ourselves.
I mean, isn’t a holiday the perfect time to take the brakes off and just let it all go? Ugh.. the times I hear this at the approaching “holiday season”
Then enter our friend, Mr. Guilt, who is there to remind you of what a failure you are and how you’ll always be weak to doing this and you might as well give it up and forget about it..
But here’s a novel thought…..
When you have balance to your eating, you don’t have the good food/bad food game going on.
Food is just food.
Some foods definitely do not support an overall healthy lifestyle and shouldn’t be heavily indulged in, for sure. On a daily basis our eating should reflect good, natural, healthy foods to maintain a balanced weight and health.
A current example in my life I can share is this. The other day I really, and I mean, really, wanted French fries.
They are hands down at the top of my “favorite non-essential foods” list. I rarely eat them. Why? Because I know (overall) a frequent intake of them does not support my health and fitness goals.
I also know, having them occasionally won’t sabotage my fitness level or overall health.
So I went to a place I knew wouldn’t disappoint ’cause if I’m gonna eat them, they better be good.
They were amazing. Hot, crispy, salted just right. Totally worth every useless calorie.
I enjoyed them, no guilt attached.
So how do you make the guilt stop?
Ok let’s be honest, at a point, you know you’ve had more food than what you really need, right? Unfortunately those feelings just become a vicious circle of feeling bad, then eating again to feel better about feeling bad.
The reason we feel this way is what I mentioned above, the place of restriction so many keep themselves in.
When you don’t restrict yourself it means all the food is available to you. It takes power away because it’s no longer in the “off limits” section.
That may seem scary to some of you… I mean… nothing restricted? what if I just go crazy and eat it all the time?
What if you do? I don’t think you will though.
I tell you, even if you may be tempted to have your favorite thing for days, the novelty will wear off. You may not want it at all because now you won’t be thinking of it as something you “can’t” have. In time those foods will have less and less pull on you, meaning when you go to a holiday meal you can enjoy the things you love without going crazy because well, you haven’t long term restricted yourself.
It’s a pretty free place to be.
How to stop food guilt.
My mom used to say “what’s done is done”
If you’ve had a moment and you know you went overboard, nothing is gonna change that.
You CAN however learn from it.
Forget the whole “negate what you ate” nonsense by thinking you’re gonna workout extra hard the next day. You can’t undo what you ate. You can get up and go workout as you always do and that will be fine.
Think about how you feel afterwards. Do you really like the feelings that come with it? Now days, I tend to get annoyed with myself for mindlessly eating something that offers no benefit to me. I know better and therefore, get frustrated that I didn’t do what I know to do, which is walk away.
Stop restrictive thinking and behaviors. So what if you might have a day or two where you slip or make choices you aren’t happy with?
Welcome to the club, we all do it. The key is to keep moving forward, learning from the choices we make and growing in positive ways.
Don’t quit. For heavens sake don’t quit.
Stop shaming yourself. Own what you did and move on. Like anything, with repetitive practice, the things we do become new habits. In time you will learn to eat with a healthier balance and check system.
Make a list of five foods you enjoy but feel guilty about eating. Write down the reason why you feel guilt over it. Is it rational or irrational? Is it scientifically true? Then for each of those write something positive about it. It’s taste, nutritional value, how it smells, feelings it evokes. There is no right or wrong answer to this. Then allow yourself to pick one of these at a time, eat it, think about it, enjoy it. What do you enjoy most about it? If any guilty feelings come up, use your positive statements to push them away. In time you might determine some foods on your list aren’t worth keeping and that’s ok too.
Guilt and eating do not need to go hand in hand, it is another form of how our thinking has become disordered with food.
Remember food guilt at it’s best is emotional baggage. Learn to let go of it.
Your turn. Have you ever struggled with guilty feelings and eating? How did you overcome them? Or do you still struggle with those feelings?
Welcome to another edition of Monday Musings where I let my thoughts out to play….well most of them… some need kept under lock and key haha
Here we are in another week and I’m ready to take no prisoners, carpe diem and all that, right boys and girls?
I ended my week yesterday by knocking out some miles on the bike. I always say it’s not the “miles” but what’s IN those miles that really counts. Sometimes it’s both as well.
Usually when I am training for something I do what I think of as “pieces” I’m putting together for a puzzle. I work sections and gradually put them together till I’m doing all of a long run or ride etc. Training for the duathlon has many pieces for me. I had thought last week after finishing a particular section of road with some big hills that I’d branch out farther and start adding more miles and getting more time out on the road where the race is held.
I had this great idea that I was just gonna go out and do the whole thing on Sunday. No pressure to ride fast or capture new PR’s or anything like that. Just ride, get the course under me mentally and physically again.
I mean… if I started feeling like an old lady and needed to stop and rest under a tree I could, right? ( ha for the record I didn’t 😉 )
I know I have a good strong physical base so I thought if I got the whole thing under me, it would definitely give me a good idea of how hard I can start pushing myself.
I got about 5 easy miles in before I headed to the main road that took me all the way down, then back that encompasses the whole course.
I’m just gonna say… it’s work…ok? This race isn’t listed as the toughest in the state for nothing.
So I did it. Did the whole thing. Finished with 22.5 miles although the mileage for course is a little over 16 beastly miles.
It was a good ride and I feel ready to really push into my training in these upcoming months. And I do love getting back into the thick of training…. the tiredness that only comes from a hard workout, the fierce hunger I can only experience once my training increases, the solid night sleep where you can move the house from under me ( try it!) the increased strength and power I grow into again as my body adapts to the heavier training, getting more chiseled as I drop some body fat, setting new Pr’s… I love it all.
All that work though makes me hungry….
I had to venture to the store over the weekend ’cause ya know, I like to eat. And so do the other random people who wander into my house.
On a side note, it always amuses me how one of my married sons can venture into my pantry or ‘fridge and complain about what’s not there.
Like…dude. You’re married you have your own home and pantry…stock it with whatever junk food you wanna find.
Anyway… I went to the store. I was out of a lot of produce and I start to get concerned when I don’t have fresh stuff… well not really… I wanted donuts too 😉
So I do all my shopping, find a lane that is open, and get the process rolling to get out.
The bagging part always makes me edgy.
Will I get a good bagger? Will I get the cashier having to do both? ( I usually jump in when that happens) or will I get someone who didn’t finish bagging school?
I got a bagger and a checker who didn’t make it out of bagging school.
Let me pose this question…. shouldn’t bagging groceries be a common sense act?
It should right?
Bananas should not be tossed into a bag with other things piled in on top. Chips don’t get tossed in with canned goods. Frozen foods and produce shouldn’t all be thrown in my freezer bag. Bread shouldn’t be “pushed” into an already full bag.
Yet I watched all of those things happen… horrified… like I’m paying for this food you are bending and smooshing everywhere.
I paid, thanked them both, and left. When I got to my car I was rearranging my stuff. Does anyone else do that?
Tell me, IS bagging groceries a common sense activity?? Or is it a skill reserved for a few?
The joy of people watching
So I couldn’t help but noticing people when I was out…. noticing on a day topping into 100 degrees why so many were wearing … jeans??
My legs won’t see jeans till Oct… maybe…
I can’t think of anything more hot to wear than denim from waist to ankle. Maybe I’m weird… ok well you could take the “maybe” out…. but I just can’t do it. Summer means cool, light, breezy, enough to be legal, fun clothes for all these sweltering hot months we’re in.
I’m just not in the “jeans in hot weather” club. That my friends, are what shorts are for.
Can you believe it’s July already?
We’re gonna be celebrating the 4th in a couple days and that means food, and maybe a little more food.
I found this amazing looking baked bean recipe that’s gonna be on the menu, among other things 🙂 The chocolate coffee/mocha brownies have been requested and I will make a double batch having learned from my previous experience a single batch was not enough.
I’m sure there will be watermelon and I will have my once a year participation in eating hotdogs. 😛
We won’t be purchasing any fireworks as there is a ban on them since we’ve had no rain and everything is so dry here.
July also means birthday month for yours truly so there will be a post on getting another year closer to my senior breakfast discount as well thoughts, observations and life lessons learned from the year gone by.
You know I gotta keep you posted on my furniture shenanigans…..
I finished this little table off yesterday and I love it so much. It’s had lots of positive feedback and I’ve had a couple people come look at it….
Here’s a reminder of what it looked like before….
A nice little improvement, hmmm? Once I got the top sanded down I decided the ebony would be a nice change but I did it light enough so the wood grain would still show through. It’s fresh and crisp and ready for years of service. This is a Mersman antique table, I thought the fold out part was rather cool. I literally picked it up on our trip to Canton last month as we were heading out of town. It was like it was just sitting there waiting for me haha I’m glad we found each other 😉
Oh, and in other exciting news, I sold several pieces this week so that always encourages me to keep on going. Heaven knows I’ve got plenty of projects waiting for me to set them free from ugliness 😉
Ok that’s a wrap on today’s edition… there’s a lot more I could blab on but… we both have lives to get to, right?
Have an amazing week beautiful people!
Ok it’s your turn to weigh in…. thoughts on my question of bagging food… is it common sense to bag groceries a particular way? Will you wear jeans when it’s hot? If you live in the U.S. what will you be doing for the 4th of July? Any fun foods or treats?
It was early morning and I was still bleary eyed, sipping on my first wonderful cup of hot coffee slowly coming to life.
For the record I’m not “anti” morning. I mean most weeks I’m out on the road running or cycling while people are still crawling outta bed. On the other hand, I may just prefer to cuddle and be alone with my coffee for a bit till the fog clears my head 😉
I am more of strong night owl if I had to label myself … anyway…
I’m waking up, laptop in front of me as I do a final read through and edit on my post before launching it into the world and blog land. I do my level best to make sure you, my faithful readers, don’t stumble through to much of my ramblings haha
And can I take a moment to say thank you?
However, you follow me, whether through e-mail, Facebook, IG, Pinterest or on WordPress, thank you for taking your time to read what I write. I know our time is valuable and I appreciate you taking yours to read my offerings.
I will always attempt to make it worth your while, to keep it sassy, and hopefully to educate, inspire, or challenge you.
Now, where was I?
Waking up, drinking coffee and proofing my post… yes that’s where I was. So while I’m doing that, the morning news is on and the morning commercials.
It must be the cheapest time of day to advertise ’cause obnoxious car sale ads are on along with ads for medical clinics, lawyers and all kinds of other services I can do without hearing about that early in morning.
All of them are so… loud. So very, very loud.
Anyway, this weight loss commercial comes on advertising how you can lose weight with some miracle something or another and “no exercise required!!”
I guess that’s where my still sleepy, yet slowly coming alive brain kicked in.
I thought, how is that a good selling point ? But then I realized, to a lot of people, that IS a good selling point.
Lose weight and you don’t have to exercise? Heck yeah.
I get it. Exercise is work. If you do it right, it’s hard work.
Of course, if you’re out of shape it really feels like hard work. Your heart and lungs are screaming at you and you get all red and you are breathing way to hard so of course a weight loss offer of no exercise might seem like a good deal.
It’s just not.
Let’s just forget losing weight here as we discuss this. Really, exercise shouldn’t be what you do to lose weight, it’s really what you put in your mouth and how much of it that matters more. Exercise can just support those efforts.
Exercise offers so much more to us than being a weight loss tool. Think about how you feel when you leave your house on a nice evening to go for a short walk. Chances are it gives you time to think, clear your head from the day, brain storm ideas, and just unwind a bit. When you come back in you probably feel rejuvenated and refreshed, even if you may be sweaty 😉
In time, you most likely will want to walk a bit further as you start to really enjoy it and look forward to it.
Maybe going to a yoga class let’s you feel more connected to yourself, makes you more aware of your body. For me, yoga definitely slows me down, but it also let’s me have some time that is a bit more quiet and reflective.
Whatever activity you may enjoy, if you get started in it, you will most likely enjoy many benefits that have nothing to do with losing weight.
Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, and learning. Even 10 minutes of activity changes your brain.
Jumping on the treadmill or cross trainer for 30 minutes can blow off tension by increasing levels of “soothing” brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. What’s fascinating, though, is that exercise may actually work on a cellular level to reverse stress’s toll on our aging process. according to a 2010 study from the University of California—San Francisco. The researchers found that stressed-out women who exercised vigorously for an average of 45 minutes over a three-day period had cells that showed fewer signs of aging compared to women who were stressed and inactive. Working out also helps keep us from ruminating “by altering blood flow to those areas in the brain involved in triggering us to relive these stressful thoughts again and again.
I wrote a post on exercise and aging… find it here….
It can help with depression. Research suggests that burning off 350 calories three times a week through sustained, sweat-inducing activity can reduce symptoms of depression about as effectively as antidepressants. That may be because exercise appears to stimulate the growth of neurons in certain brain regions damaged by depression.
Exercise can improve our learning. Exercise increases the level of brain chemicals called growth factors, which help make new brain cells and establish new connections between brain cells to help us learn. Interestingly, complicated activities, like playing tennis or taking a dance class, provide the biggest brain boost. You’re challenging your brain even more when you have to think about coordination. Like muscles, you have to stress your brain cells to get them to grow.
It improves self-esteem and body image. You don’t need to radically change your body shape to get a confidence surge from exercise. Studies suggest that simply seeing fitness improvements, like running a faster mile or lifting more weight than before, can improve your self-esteem and body image.
It may keep Alzheimers from setting in. The Alzheimer’s Research Center touts exercise as one of the best weapons against the disease. Exercise appears to protect the hippocampus, which governs memory and spatial navigation, and is one of the first brain regions to succumb to Alzheimer’s-related damage.
Is that enough evidence for exercise?
Those are some pretty convicting reasons to exercise, right? Yet not a single one of them have to do with losing weight. The point being, exercise benefits all of our body, soul and spirit.
Exercise is a good tool to help with weight loss but as you’ve seen it offers so many more benefits to keep us healthy and whole.
It shouldn’t be viewed as something you don’t “need”. Our bodies are made for and are designed for, movement. So many of our modern day illnesses and health issues could be helped and improved with regular consistent exercise.
What exercise has taught me
ok admittedly, a few years ago when I was an out of shape middle aged woman, I wasn’t totally sold on the idea of vigorous daily exercise. As I mentioned earlier in this post, it’s hard, and it’s really hard when you’ve been doing nothing and then start doing “something”.
I purposefully made myself go walk each day. I dutifully walked 2 miles. I did it no matter what was going on, some days I had to fit it in at different times, but I did it.
I did it enough it turned into a new habit. One day I got brave and actually went farther. One mile turned into another, before I knew it I was running some, and then, well the rest is history…
Exercise was certainly a good discipline tool. Those scheduled daily times on the road disciplined me to getting up and making a commitment to something.
That discipline eventually carried over into other areas of my life.
When I trained for my first marathon I learned a lot more about discipline, sacrifice, and some serious hard work. Honestly, once you run a marathon ( I actually went on to do more and eventually in 2014, a 50k) you develop the feeling and attitude you can take on the world.
I learned more about concrete goal setting, short and long term.
Exercise has built my confidence in what I can do and what I’m capable of doing. This translates far beyond what I do on the road.
The more I’ve grown athletically, the more I’ve seen that transfer into my daily life.
Becoming mentally strong dealing with physically activity has given me a tough mind in dealing with life.
I shared in a recent post about my yearly check up with my doctor. My HDL ( good cholesterol ) was 75 on the lab report. It should be mentioned the highest number they had as “good” was 39. My doctor just gave me a level look and said… “it’s from all that exercise you do”. So exercise is good for stuff like that 😉
I’ve also learned I can do some of my most creative thinking out on the road. It’s a time to process, discard, think and get clarity.
It’s taught me to get out of my head, get out of my way, so I can see what I’m made of. I’ve learned I have strength I didn’t know I possessed, mentally and physically
Oh yeah. and somehow along the way of learning that, I lost weight and got decently fit.
So yeah, you do need to exercise
So if you’re one of the “anti-exercisers” 😉 I hope I’ve given you something different to think on. Find something you enjoy and want to do, then commit to getting good at it. DO it often enough and frequently enough and it will turn into a habit, a good one at that.
And then, before you know it, you too will have lost some weight and be getting decently fit too.
Your turn… tell me… do you wish you didn’t “have” to exercise? Do you wish you could lose weight and get all the benefits without doing it, or are you at a place where you love it and would miss it? Have you ever considered exercise as beneficial to you in ways besides helping with weight loss?
Happy Monday boys and girls! For me it’s Sunday evening as I write this and my body is in that happy, tired kind of place. Tired from a good bike session this morning, 20.50 miles to be exact.
I love the feeling that comes from a solid, strong workout. The way my body kinda wants food all day, the ache of muscles well used, the satisfaction of doing hard work. I love it.
I’m used to working hard in general, but there is something about my athletic “labor” that makes me feel fierce, even if it might leave me tired by the end of the day.
I should say that when I got up I had thought I’d ride “a few miles” to shake out my body from the fun of deadlifts the day before.
You know how people complain of just general aches and pains? I’d rather have tight muscles or wake up wondering what I did to myself the day before then having aches and pains from doing nothing.
Anyway, my sleepy mind quickly remembered all those deadlifts which explained some muscles reminding me they were there 😛
Once I got warmed up with a few miles under me my mind started deciding exactly what I wanted to accomplish on the ride. I thought about these crazy hills that are a part of the duathlon course and how I had only ridden them last year.
Why? I’m not sure. I love riding down the biggest one frequently (hello fast speeds) but I felt intimidated about riding them back up.
Now this in theory sounds kinda crazy right? I just told you I rode them in the race. I should add, for the first time in the race. I thought the course ended before that so I hadn’t ever practiced riding them … till that day I had to… and I nailed them.
So it shouldn’t be a deal to be doing it but I haven’t been. There is another set of hills, equally as mean and tough that I do more often.
I decided today I was just going to do it. I had to silence those voices in my head that were trying to convince me that I wouldn’t be able to do it.
I engaged my mental muscle reminding myself of all I’ve done, all I can do, and how strong I am. And really? what was the worst that could happen? Have to push it up?
For the record I’ve never had to do that on any big hill….
So off I went.
As I sailed around the corner leading up to it I just focused on letting my body do it’s thing and work with the bike… I was shocked when I found myself easily on top of it. But once you crest that hill, it drops off immediately down the other side ( it should be mentioned this is really a paved over mountain) it’s about a half mile down to the cul de sac, make the turn, then pedal back up where I just came flying down.
Again, I got to the top a bit shocked at how easy it had been. Perhaps a nod to my other cross training should be mentioned here…
Let me tell you after that, I kinda glided home those last 6ish miles in a happy place.
Hubby calls me a machine… or a beast.. both terms I weirdly love. But I do tend to forget that I am strong. I am capable of doing some pretty strong things… like taking on big monsterous hills.
I’m fairly certain I’m not the only one who can at times, get hindered by voices that try and convince us we aren’t enough, or lack, or can’t do something. I’m usually good at stomping them down and I had decided I had let these stick around for to long.
What was I afraid of? That was the root of it….
I want to do things and I want to do them well. If I do something I like to be good at it. But when I stop and take things apart, sometimes it’s not as big of a deal as I thought it was. Those voices fade as I take control and exert that mental muscle I rely on so frequently.
I guess that has helped me a lot get to where I am today as an athlete. If I stopped and examined to closely things I thought about doing, I’d probably run the other way!
So the take away here is… if you want to do something (sometimes) you may have to stomp down those voices or reasons in your head that make you doubt yourself. Pursuing big goals and big dreams requires ( I’ve learned) a healthy dose of fearlessness and not looking it to closely in the eye.
You square up, hit it head on, and do it.
And I’m gonna say, when I’ve accomplished big things that I never saw myself doing? Well I’ve learned more and more about getting out of my own way.. cool things happen when I do.
All that work makes me sweat…..
Seriously, even in the earlier morning hours, with the work of my body and the warm air it’s a sweat fest.
Of course that means proper hydration and good nutrition.
I may have mentioned in a previous post I’m all about light foods during warm weather and namely I love experimenting with salads. I can add so many various ingredients to them depending on my mood or items I have on hand.
Maybe I should do a salad business too haha. My kids give me a hard time for adding fruit into my salad but I love the contrast of flavors and really, the more variety, the less I think a salad needs much dressing on it.
This one is loaded with colorful veggies and some fruit and a healthy amount of grilled chicken for protein for those muscles and to keep me from getting hungry later on.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different textures and foods for an interesting lunch plate!
Other life stuff…..
Have I blabbed much about my furniture adventures lately? Ok well, here’s my newest….
This is actually a base to a vintage china cabinet. I’m gonna repurpose it into a buffet/sideboard type thing. I’m plotting a “new” top for it along with some sanding and some minor repair work it definitely needs.
Did I mention that I’m keeping this one 😉 Actually there are a few pieces I’ve wanted to keep but I’ve really had to develop a catch and release policy haha
Ok I’m not like, a carpenter, ya know? I mean I’ve learned to do a lot with hands on in this stuff by just doing it. However, I’m fairly sure the huge nail in pic above is a bit…overkill….
Yes, the door is off cabinet and I knew I would have to find suitable screws and get the poor thing installed again. But first….surgery to remove that nail… seriously…..
I’ll keep you posted on it’s progress 🙂
I actually have a few things in various stages of being worked on and I’ve sold some this week so that’s always a win too.
Some days… ah.. I just need more hours!
Before I leave you….
Hubby and I were on a date last weekend, finally, finally got to see Deadpool 2.
I love his dark, snarky, sarcastic nature and funny ongoing comments through movie. I giggled over some things long after they had passed.
Was I the only one focused on him wearing crocs in the opening scene and how totally goofy it was? and that it was meant to be that way?
Hubby however, didn’t have the same appreciation for much of his humor.
No matter what though, it’s always fun when we get time away from the hustle and activity of the household, to just be us for awhile.
Even if he does think my choice of movie sucked haha 😉
Tell me… have you seen the movie? Did you like it? have you seen any good movies this summer? Considering my opening comments, have you ever struggled to push down thoughts you couldn’t do something or you didn’t think you had what it took to accomplish it? Anything new up your sleeve this week ?
Here in the south summer has arrived with the vengeance of a mother in law that has swept in for a long staying vacation. It means light foods, pool time, sandals or flip flops as main stay foot wear, plastic kiddie pools and blow up inflatables ( am I the only one who loves the smell of that cheap plastic and sniffs it like a dog sniffing a bone ?? haha) shorts, and an endless tan till November.
Summer “officially” doesn’t start till Thursday but I guess no one told the weather that. We are now in days of endless blue skies, sun, temps dancing in the high 90’s and “don’t sit on plastic furniture or you will stick to it” kinds of fun.
I really don’t like having to cook meals when it gets so warm, but my body does dig eating, so I’ve had to come to a happy balance of food, but light foods.
Todays spotlight is on one of my favorite summer treats, watermelon.
Cool, sweet, refreshing and you get an arm workout lifting and tossing them into your basket, it is total win on all levels.
Sweet and healthy
Who says sweets aren’t good for you? Check out some of it’s vitamin and mineral benefits
As far as fruits go, watermelon is one of the lowest in calories — only 46 calories per cup. That’s lower than even “low-sugar” fruits such as berries.
A cup (154 grams) of watermelon has may other nutrients as well, including these vitamins and minerals:
Vitamin C: 21% of the RDI
Vitamin A: 18% of the RDI
Potassium: 5% of the RDI
Magnesium: 4% of the RDI
Vitamins B1, B5 and B6: 3% of the RDI
Watermelon is also high in carotenoids, including beta-carotene and lycopene. Plus, it has citrulline, an important amino acid.
Watermelon is also loaded with anti-oxidants.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage from free radicals. Not surprisingly, watermelon contains a hefty amount of vitamin C – 21% of the daily recommended value – that helps your immune system produce antibodies to fight disease. There’s also a 17% daily value of vitamin A, boosting eye health and preventing such diseases as macular degeneration and cataracts. The vitamin B6 content helps form red blood cells and assures your nerves will function as they should. Your body uses vitamin B6 to help break down proteins, so the more protein is consumed, the more vitamin B6 is needed. Potassium, although a relatively small amount is in watermelon, helps balance fluids in your cells. (Low potassium levels sometimes cause muscle cramps.
Carotenoids are a class of plant compounds that includes alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A.
Lycopene is a type of carotenoid that doesn’t change into vitamin A. This potent antioxidant gives a red color to plant foods such as tomatoes and watermelon, and is linked to many health benefits.
Cucurbitacin E is a plant compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Bitter melon, a relative of watermelon, contains even more cucurbitacin E.
Let’s not forget one really big important factor, watermelon is made up of 92% water so it makes a perfect fruit to help keeping you hydrated. Also, A high water content is one of the reasons that fruits and vegetables help you feel full. The combination of water and fiber means you’re eating a good volume of food without a lot of calories.
Nutritionally, while vitamin A and C content is significant, it’s the lycopene that takes the prize for what it does for the body, which includes anti-inflammation bone health and an ability to neutralize harmful free radicals.
The nutritional break down
Watermelon Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup, balls (154 g)
% Daily Value*
Calories from Fat 2
Total Fat 0.2g
Saturated Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1g
Dietary Fiber 0.6g
Vitamin A 18% · Vitamin C 21%
Calcium 1% · Iron 2%
Can we eat now?
One thing about watermelon, it requires nothing fancy to eat it. Just chill, cut and serve. If it’s for a picnic it can be cut and sliced and eaten right off the rind. Although messy, it’s one of the more fun ways to eat it, just have plenty of napkins on hand. If you’re going for a more civilized way of eating it haha, it’s cut off the rind and served in a bowl where you can use utensils to dine on it ( I prefer the outdoor method, sun in my hair and juice on my face with plenty of napkins version ’cause well, that’s what summer’s about right?)
Watermelon is a very non-fussy food which perhaps in my estimation makes it perfect for laid back summer days.
Sweet, hydrating, packed with awesome invisible vitamins and minerals that are amazing for your body and crazy low in calories, all while satisfying your sweet cravings?
I think that’s a total win.
But wait…. wait a minute….
Do you know watermelon is not actually a fruit but considered a vegetable?
We think of watermelon as a fruit because of its sweet flavor, but watermelon is actually a vegetable. It belongs to the cucurbit family, and is related to pumpkins, cucumbers and squash.
So… there’s that. I know you’re shocked. Fruit? Vegetable? Let’s just call it tasty.
A few fun facts on melons…..
Seedless watermelons aren’t genetically modified. They’re actually a hybrid watermelon created by crossing a watermelon with 22 chromosomes with a watermelon with 44 chromosomes. The result is a sterile watermelon. These watermelons produce immature white seeds that are perfectly safe to eat. Seedless watermelons were first created over 50 years ago.
Watermelons have been cultivated in Egypt for more than 5,000 years. Egyptians depicted watermelon in drawings on the walls of tombs and even left watermelon with their dead to nourish them as they journeyed through the underworld
Because watermelons are native to Africa, they need hot, sunny conditions to thrive. Some varieties need up to 130 warm days to ripen. Most watermelons mature in 85 to 100 days
Watermelons usually have red flesh, but some watermelons have white, yellow, orange or even green flesh
A watermelon will not grow in your belly if you eat the seeds. In fact, the seeds are actually quite nutritious with high levels of magnesium, zinc and protein. Chew the seeds before swallowing for optimum nutrition ( all the times your mom told you that story of watermelons growing in your belly, right??)
The Japanese grow square watermelon. How? They place square glass boxes around a growing fruit so it becomes square as it grows. The Japanese like them because they’re small and don’t roll around. They fit neatly in a refrigerator. The downside? These watermelon cost about $82!
And the recipe board……
You may not think of eating watermelon in other ways than it’s easy natural form. I thought I’d add a couple recipes that showcase this great summer fruit.
Oh, and can you go wrong with ice cream or sherbet for a cool treat? Check out this two ingredient healthy option.
And of course, let’s not forget cute ways you can play with this fruit….uh…vegetable?……too 😉
Tell me, is watermelon an enjoyable summer fruit for you? Do you have any preferred ways of eating it or interesting recipes using it ?
You don’t have to read to far, turn on the tv, or surf the web to see statements like this screaming at you…..
“Grains are bad for you!”, “Bread is bad for you”, “Dairy is bad for you”, ” Sugar is the devil and will kill you”, ” Starches are bad for you”, “Carbs are bad for you”, “Detox your body from poisons (bad foods)”, “Do a “cleanse” to help your body”, “You have to be hungry to lose weight”, “You can’t lose weight unless you cut out “these” foods” “You must only eat organic foods”, “You must eat only pricey beef or other foods” ( for the best health) “Skipping meals will help you lose weight”, “You need to do this “diet” to lose weight and be successful” “I ate to much yesterday so I need to workout really hard today to take away those calories” (as if) “Gluten free!” “Fat free!” …..
Oh, I could go on but I won’t ’cause I want you to stay with me.
You get it. You’ve heard it.
So many times when I hear these things, I roll my eyes. I can’t help it, when I hear nonsense, it kinda just happens.
My mom used to yell at me when I did if for something she said… haha
What on earth has happened to us that we buy into and believe such dysfunctional thinking with food and our bodies? Why are we made to feel bad or guilty for eating food and satisfying a natural hunger? Why are we taught food is bad? Why do we believe foods are “bad”? How do some learn to obsess over everything they eat and feel bad for it? How do we develop this dysfunctional thinking ?
Worse yet, why do we follow along with an ideology or a certain camp of thinking, especially if it’s the current trendy thing to do, or our friends are doing it?
Sometimes, maybe we are a bit like sheep, eh?
First things first.
I want to address the fact that for some people, on a completely legit level, may have particular food allergies that necessitate removing particular foods. There are a small percentage of people who truly have celiac disease and have to live a gluten free life. Some may have experimented and realized maybe they feel better without certain foods than having them.
Real food issues that involve real health issues are important and need care and attention.
This is not what I’m addressing here.
Now that issue is settled….
Food isn’t bad for you.
Seriously. Food isn’t bad. Saying something is “bad” for you is more disordered thinking of the world we live in and the lies we’ve bought into.
We’ve bought into feeling guilty over food. We’ve bought into thinking we should feel bad about what we eat. We’ve been taught we have to obsess over calories and most of all, there has to be a level of suffering involved with losing weight and how much food we get. We’ve been told if we eat, we’ll get fat so we learn to deprive ourselves and be miserable.
Where has such wrong thinking come from?
Yes, many foods do not provide the best nutritional quality for your body. Having a soda over a glass of ice water is hardly a good nutritional choice. But if you only have one when you eat pizza and you have pizza maybe once a month, then it’s really not a big deal.
Daily sodas can pack on serious pounds fast, in that situation you need to assess, is that good for you ? Are sodas impacting your health.
Soda in and of itself isn’t “bad” used in moderation. Not the best choice perhaps but not some evil thing.
Oh those carbs
I guess one of the comments I hate hearing is that “carbs” are bad for you.
I guess if we’re gonna split it out, let’s define those carbs.
Simple carbs that are found in those “not as nutritional food choices” would be carbs found in cakes, cookies, pastries, muffins, chips, fast foods, sodas, candy, sugared drinks, etc.
You should only consume those products minimally for optimal health.
Complex carbs, now those are a different creature. Fruits and veggies are loaded with complex carbs that are good energy sources for our bodies providing tons of vitamins and minerals which also helps protect against diseases, build cells, protect our vision. help our digestive system and major organs, fill us up for minimal calories, and so many offer anti-aging benefits as well.
Whole grains, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans etc also offer up a dense and nutritionally packed power punch for energy.
Sadly, these carbs are often viewed as the bad and shunned. Worse yet some “diet” plans entirely remove these food groups.
Real, natural, whole food labeled as “bad”.
Oh that sugar….
if there’s one thing that’s been heavily demonized is sugar. Again, as I mentioned, there are things we need to be mindful of in our daily diets. You shouldn’t be consuming a lot of sugar. That too, will pack on pounds if you’re eating those cookies and muffins on the daily. Don’t forget your sugary drinks you might enjoy as well.
Sugar in a modest amount isn’t “bad”. If you have a weakness for it, then it might be that you make the choice to purposefully limit or stay away from it if it cause you to stumble in your health goals or to binge.
And fat free….
speaking of sugar, it leads me to the “fat free” thought. Get rid of fat it’s “bad” for you. Don’t eat fat.
Again like the carb lies, there are good fats and “bad” fats. Ironically, the fats that are not in your best health interest are also in many of the simple carbs I listed as well.
Years ago when the fat free rage was at it’s highest point and I was beginning to navigate the waters of health I learned a sobering truth while reading a label on some “fat free” cookies.
The calorie content was ridiculous! But why?? These were fat-free.
Listen, when you remove necessary fat from baked goods, you get essentially something that tastes like a cardboard shoebox.
To sell their product it had to have some taste so they majorly upped the sugar in their “fat free” cookies.
And the people eagerly bought into it. Because fat free certainly must mean calorie free.
I realized if I wanted two “normal” cookies, I could do so with less calories involved. But then hey, the trend was normal cookies were “bad”.
Those other things I listed….
Cleanses and detoxes are awful for your body. Those are bad. Don’t do them. They just feed our disordered thinking on food and nutrition.
Skipping meals will not help you lose weight. You WILL be hungry and think about food all the time… so it’s a bit dysfunctional to ignore your bodies physical needs.
You cannot hit the gym the next day to “work off” food and drink from the day before. You can’t “negate what you ate”. What you can do is get back on track with your eating and do sensible exercise. Again, more disordered thinking that we could actually lose calories we sucked recklessly in the day before.
There is no diet that is some magic wand to help you lose weight. At the end of each day, you have a calorie deficit. THAT is how you lose weight. Run away if some product or diet is making wild promises. It just isn’t true.
You don’t have to eat organic or buy meats that cost you a weeks worth of pay. For many people, it is way out of their budget to do so. I might suggest if you started eating more fruits and veggies you’d be on the road to a healthier lifestyle and wellness. Again, we’ve been conditioned to “believe” these things by a select group.
Foods that don’t fall in those categories (organic etc) aren’t “bad” or “robbed” of nutrients.
Could I make a radical suggestion here?
If food in general isn’t “bad”, perhaps it’s our behaviors with certain foods that are “bad”.
Perhaps we lack a level of control with certain foods. Maybe the mere taste of something pushes us to eat more. There might be foods that trigger our eating. Maybe our emotions are what cause us to indulge in things we don’t need or eat excessively. Perhaps our mouth just wants to eat even if our stomach isn’t physically hungry.
These are behavior issues we have. The food, is what’s used to support those behaviors.
Withholding food from ourselves or over indulging in food is dysfunctional thinking. We can’t medicate with or without food.
We have to get real with ourselves and know where our weak areas are.
It has been easier in the world to make food be “bad” then it is to examine issues that cause bad behaviors with food.
The bottom line
We have to change our thinking with food and how we interact with it. We have to stop thinking of it in negative ways and look at our own behaviors with it.
If you realize you may have some struggles with how you view food or the choices you make you might consider writing those things down and then setting small goals for yourself in ways to changes those behaviors or thoughts. Perhaps you might need an accountability partner, someone who you can confide in and you could walk with you and help you with those changes.
Listen, I believe eating well the majority of the time is important to living a healthy life, having energy and looking good.
I also like cake and occasionally some French fries. I’ve grown in my understanding and relationship with food to not have any guilt connected to it. Life is to be enjoyed and sometimes it means having fries or cake or whatever may float your boat.
There are things like alcohol, processed foods, excess sugar, and high fats ( not the good kind) that not only aren’t good for your health, but contribute to your aging process as well. Again, those should all be used cautiously.
Keeping a healthy balance in your daily nutrition not only will keep you from dysfunctional thinking about food, but will let you have your cake and eat it too.