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Crap Salads and Battery Powered Shirts

Posted Sep 13 2011 3:32pm

HI! Tuesday is almost OVER. How wonderful is that!? The end of the work day is really the beginning of MY day. I have a lot of freedom at work but it feels so good to just let loose after 5, no? I mean there is so much to look forward to… Andrew, running (for now, the elliptical), maybe some shopping, reading, catching up on blogs, wine, singing, friends, cooking, eating, movie watching… whatever strikes me :-D

If you’re a new reader, Yay! Welcome! I have started training on the elliptical while my leg heals from a stress fracture . Yesterday after work I had the best workout in WEEKS since I stopped running. I love that my cardiovascular endurance hasn’t waned one bit! I did 1 hour on the elliptical at level 8 resistance.

I think I finally got the hang of this type of workout. Holla!! It felt so good to feel all those endorphins rushing through my body. I was in an amazing mood afterwards.

Doesn’t this salad look delicious? I mean wouldn’t you just completely devour this monster concoction of veggie awesomeness with sheer delight smacked all over your face?

See, this is actually the salad ANDREW gets every day for lunch at work. He calls it a crap salad. This is hard for me to hear. I feel like it in some way directly offends me ;) He doesn’t like it one bit. Crazy, right!? He eats them because he feels he ‘has’ to. It is like pure torture to him. He eats it out of obligation. I eat loaded up salads because I love how they taste and how they make me feel. Taco Bell pretty and much any other nutritionally void food does not appeal to me… it really doesn’t even taste good to me. Craziness! (Except for un-toasted bagels and cream cheese from Dunkin Donuts. Those are near and dear to me. Don’t mess with my love for bagels.) Craving whole, real, nutrition packed food is definitely something that happened to me over time. I sort of had to re-learn how to eat. Weird, but I am proud of my well-trained taste buds! ;) And guys, I know salads are NOT for everyone. I’ll get into that in just a minute!

Through high school and my first year of college I had a craptastic diet filled with tons of sugary cereal, snack cakes (oatmeal creme pies! Fond memories but they don’t taste the same nowadays), Easy Mac, TONS of ice cream, the greasiest possible Chinese food, fries, you name it I ate it, no questions asked. But to make a LONG story short, after my freshman year of college I made some friends that were really into healthy living. I started to read labels, THINK about what I ate and suddenly I felt empowered. Processed food started to lose it’s luster and a whole wide world of cooking and eating real whole foods opened up to me. I even stopped breaking out and lost a few pounds! On top of paying attention to what I ate, I also started to pay attention to my fitness.

Really it is a long story, and I certainly got way too caught up in it in my mid-20′s. A great book called Health Food Junkies by Steven Bratman really put things into perspective for me. Especially that quote on the top right of this blog: “Rather than eat my sprouts alone, it would be better for me to share a pizza with some friends.” I hadn’t anticipated getting further into this discussion… I will some day. But today is not that day :) In any case I am happy healthy and strong and I am so grateful for an amazing support system, to be able to chose what to eat, and that I have the ability to run and stay fit. Not everyone has these things! It was a long road, but I learned A LOT on the way. Grateful <3

Now I am not trying to sound like I am on a high horse because I am not! Andrew eats whatever he wants whenever he wants which is why these crap salads confuse me. We NEVER put down eachothers choices. However, I find it really fascinating how different our food values and choices are. Andrew is all about value, efficiency and NOT being wasteful. If food is there he will eat it, especially if it is leftovers! He cleans his plate and focuses on getting the MOST food he can for his dollar. Though I am concerned with waste, I don't eat more or order more just because food is there. I focus on trying to be intuitive which is easier said than done for sure! I try to prepare/order the most delicious option that I know is good for me and don't eat until I feel ridiculously full. I think Andrew actually told me once he likes that feeling! Ah! I hate that uncomfortably full feeling. Here is our crap salad conversation:

Me: Explain the reason why you eat crapsalads again?
Andrew: Because I am logically aware that they are healthy.
Me: logically aware?
Andrew: and to slightly soften the blow of what I put in my body on the weekends. Yes, I am aware that logic dictates that I should eat this crap because I dont want to get fat and die which is what would happen if I ate like I wanted to eat.
Me: What do you want to eat?
Andrew: haha, like I said yesterday, virtually anything else. A salad is near, or maybe exactly at the lowest wrung on my food ladder.

What I find unfortunate about this is that he consistently eats a meal every day that he doesn’t like. Meals should be enjoyable, right!? There are SO SO SO many other healthy options for people that don’t like salads. Salads are the quintessential ‘health food’. But for someone that doesn’t like them, ‘healthy food’ becomes analogous to food they don’t like, in many cases.

If you like burritos, pizza, burgers, fries… there are endless possibilities! All of those foods can be transformed into healthier versions, especially at home. Most fast food establishments are offering healthier alternatives. You can even have CAKE! Yes, yes you can.

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I’m not saying don’t splurge now and then. Why suffer through a lunch or any meal you hate every day because you ‘have’ to? Your meals are in YOUR hands. Make them as special and as delicious and nutritious as you can. I’m not saying don’t ever order pizza or Chinese. PLEASE do, for your sanity ;) If you try to listen to your body and if you try your damnedest to treat it well, most of this stuff all falls into place and moderation becomes a piece of cake. Not always easy, I understand, but you DO have control to make good decisions for yourself.

I am trying to convince Andrew to bring his lunch so he has something he likes AND is good for him. Like a turkey, avocado and pepperjack cheese sandwich on whole wheat!? Yum, right? He refuses because he thinks only dorks bring their lunches. But maybe he really doesn’t care about not liking salads at lunch. Or maybe he secretly really DOES like salads? (I like to think he has a secret love for salads he is too stubborn to admit ;))

Me: Why don’t you bring your lunch to work?
Andrew: eh I already carry a briefcase, then I actually have to make my lunch also, a salad is healthier than anything I would bring or make for myself.

He is VERY concerned about convenience (besides the fact he thinks he will look like a big dork)… but please, salads aren’t the only ‘healthy’ food out there!!! Do YOU have tips for this guy?

HOW in the world could fatty, greasy food not taste good you ask? It’s all mind over matter for me really. I mean, when it comes to food I know is filled with not so good for you ingredients (high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors and sweeteners, preservatives, fillers, meat by-products and so on) I have no conscious desire for them. Why would I want for those things especially when I have alternative options? When our brains anticipate something we eat that we really don’t want, a biochemical switch happens. We taste the food differently… especially if you are used to eating a whole food, natural diet.

I did a test once in a psychology class where I poured every student two glasses of orange juice. The first one I told them was fresh pressed, organic and more expensive. The second one I told them was a generic brand from the convenience store and was cheaper. Of COURSE everyone just LOVED the fresh O.J. Everyone raved that it tasted more fresh and just better than the second one.

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I poured everyone the same orange juice. Each cup was filled with the same juice. When we anticipate something to be not as good our brain literally makes us taste it differently.

Anyway! Eating is an all sensory experience. It is a visual, olfactory (smell), taste and yes, even audible experience. Is a meal eaten while listening to massive construction right outside your window enjoyed as much as one enjoyed in a more peaceful atmosphere where you can focus on the smells and tastes?

I love the how the vibrant colors of strawberries, the nutty, roasted smell of the peanut butter with it’s subtle saltiness and rich texture on almost buttery millet bread, the breeze from the open window next to my desk, the peace and quite of the office and the outside early in the morning, along with being 100% relaxed all came together to make this breakfast incredibly satisfying.

So this morning on my morning walk, I passed a police officer that was on construction duty. As I passed him this is what he said: “Wow! How many batteries does that shirt have because it just EXPLODES!”

Really, Is my shirt that off the wall? Or was this just a sad attempt at hitting on me? No matter the case, it was hilarious! :)

Do you bring your lunch to work? eat at your works caf? Go out?

What are your go-to lunches?

Is there food you used to like that you just don’t have a taste for anymore?

How many batteries does my shirt have? ;)


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