Monthly Archives: September 2012

Eating for Nutrition

I don’t know about you guys, but I have a terrible habit of justifying eating crappy foods by referring to them as “comfort food” – this notion of junky food being  capable of making my bad day better is really toxic in my mind. Some days I have no self control! Just last night I found myself lying in bed with a terrible stomachache, and it wasn’t until the next morning that I realized it was because I ate so much junk yesterday.

So how the heck am I supposed to break the habit of eating such bad food? It all tastes so good

…and that’s where I stop myself. When I’m walking through my dorm’s dining area, I can smell all of the fried and fatty foods – from chicken strips to mashed potatoes with gravy to mac and cheese to french fries – and it can seem so easy to just walk up and order a meal like that. But I told myself this morning that, after how terrible I felt last night, I needed to eat something nutritive. So I did! My lunch was a salad with lots of lettuce, cucumbers, and carrots, topped with shredded cheese, tuna, and a little ranch dressing; on the side I had an orange. So yummy!

When you are eating, you are performing a function necessary for life. You consume food for the purpose of providing energy for your organs to continue working properly – so when you put good stuff in there, your organs will thank you! However, if you’re eating strictly to appease your nose or your tongue, you’re missing out on a whole mess of awesomeness, and instead are generally left feeling dissatisfied. So before I fix my meal, I try and think – how does each thing I’m putting on my plate benefit my body?

It’s good to have protein, and nutrients from dairy can be helpful. But ultimately, the colorful should outweigh everything else in your diet! If your plate looks like a rainbow (that does NOT include skittles), chances are you’re in for a well-balanced meal. Meat should be a small portion, with some sort of carb(s) for energy and lots of fruits/veggies. The reason I consider my salad healthy was because my lettuce, cucumbers, and carrots were in larger quantity than my tuna, cheese, and dressing; I had a fruit on the side as well, which not only packed vitamin C, but also helped me stay full! One thing I’m bad about when I’m eating a salad as a meal is not eating enough – so I’m left hungry for a snack later on. As long as your meal is quality, eating a full portion size is important. (If you’re eating pizza rolls, however…maybe not so much!) Simply changing the way you look at your food can make a huge difference in your diet.

De-Stressing with the Gym

So yesterday started off on a not-so-great foot; woke up on the wrong side of the bed, I suppose. I was able to make the day significantly better from the get-go, however, by throwing on my workout clothes and heading across the street to my school’s main gym!

I procrastinated a lot before actually leaving, but I realized what I was doing and forced myself out. In the end, even though my workout was not long, I ended up feeling great for going – and my legs were super sore after! All I did was push myself on an incline for 30 minutes (~2.5 miles) on the elliptical but it was all I really needed to get back in the swing of exercising. (I’m a firm believer in not over-doing it. If I had pushed myself to go an hour, or at a higher intensity, I would have been exhausted and discouraged from going again the next day.)

Aaaand my face gets incredibly red when I exercise. This can sometimes make me really self-conscious, but I always feel so much better when I ignore what’s bringing me down and work out anyway. I might not be the fittest person ever, but I’m never going to be where I want to if I don’t ever try. Everyone else is at the gym for the same reason, so don’t think that they’re all judging you. You have to start somewhere.

The other great thing about exercise – besides the health benefits – is that it releases awesome endorphins which essentially thank your body for moving itself! If you work out regularly then you get to feel those endorphins all the time.

Another important point I found in something Ashley (over at Coffee Cake and Cardio) posted a couple days ago that highlighted holding back on snacking until post-exercise. And honestly, it’s so effective! After my work out, on the way back up to my dorm room, I stopped by the cafeteria and grabbed an apple. Not fries, not chips, but fruit! That’s an accomplishment for a carb-lover like me. And the rest of the day I could not justify eating crappy foods because I knew they would just put all of the calories that I burned right back where they started.

Bottom line? Working out made me feel great and it triggered smart choices for the rest of the day. Even though I had to, in some respects, drag myself out, I was so grateful for doing so because it made me very proud of myself.

Apartment Eating – Week One

Two ET bagel thins with two eggs, sriracha sauce, and one sliced peach.

Slice strawberries and blueberries with 1/2 cup of vanilla chobani yogurt. Cheesy rice = 1/2 cup of brown rice and 1/2 cup of broccoli cheese soup

Leftover garlic couscous with tuna, corn, pepper, and garlic powder.

Whole wheat pasta and grilled chicken with italian seasoning.

A salad with cucumbers, cheese, banana peppers, blueberries, and poppyseed dressing (not shown).

I love cooking in my apartment.  Last night I made couscous for dinner and I had so much leftover!! I didn’t want to eat the same thing for lunch so I changed it up by adding corn and tuna.

Eating healthy can be incredibly easy if you just put the time and effort in 🙂

Healthy eating equals healthy skin?

“Hey Alison! We are here to make you feel self conscious about yourself and to make your face look completely uneven!!!”

I feel like that is exactly what my acne would say if it could talk.  I know I’m not the only college student who still somewhat struggles with blemishes.  I’ve never had extreme acne problems but I sure have had those days where I felt like my entire face was covered in bumps.  Well you guys, I have some not so secret things to tell you about how to make your skin look and  feel healthy.

1. Eat Healthy!

This shouldn’t be that big of a shocker to anyone reading this.  Eating healthy will significantly reduce blemishes on your face.  When you eat chips, ramen (so much sodium you fools), hot pockets, etc, those foods will have a huge effect on your skin. During my move-in process I did not eat healthy at all! I was traveling and had yet to grocery shop so all I did was eat out.  My skin suffered immensely from the food I was eating but a week after getting my diet back to a healthy point, my skin was looking so good.

2. Drink Water!

I cannot say this enough… put that soda down and drink some water!  Soda is made so that one sip won’t be enough for your taste buds so you can’t stop drinking it, but it does nothing for your skin.  Drinking water periodically during the day will hydrate your skin and keep those pesky pimples from showing up.

Hint : If you don’t enjoy water, try adding lemon, cucumber, or even one of those crystal lite packets.

3. KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF OF YOUR FACE!

The oil on your hands is so bad for your skin, so stop touching your face, resting your head on your hand… just don’t touch your face.

p.s. if you think about the amount of oil on your hair, imagine how much of that is on your pillow and then transfers to your face. Wash your pillowcases regularly!

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It’s also important to remember to take any and all makeup off, to wash your face every night, and to avoid stress (which, come on, is probably impossible in college). I’ve always struggled with my acne and it wasn’t until I really started implementing my diet that it got better.  Don’t let eating out affect your face or your confidence.

Or just smear your food on your face

 

[Kelsey’s Optional Point: Eat Vegan!

Just kidding. Making a major diet change is a huge step, and just because you have an acne issue does not necessarily warrant you cut out any and all animal products from your daily eating routine! However, what I’ve found by following a few health/beauty blogs is that many people are saying that dairy can mess with your hormones and subsequently produce more acne (or something along those lines, I’m not a physician). I personally battle rosacea, and my vegan diet kept my face clearer than I’ve ever seen it in my life – and those few pimples that I do occasionally get were nowhere to be found. So going vegan simply to clear your face was really just a joke, but maybe reducing dairy is something to try out if you’re at your wits end as to why your acne is so bad. (Oh, and P.S., my brother gave up milk for two weeks and his acne began to clear up significantly as well!)]