Tag: nutrition

Final thoughts on the sugar detox

Diet’s over! I’m free!
Sunday was the last day of my sugar detox. I stuck it out the whole 21 days without cheating and now I can eat whatever I want!!!
Except I’m finding that I want to eat pretty much the same as I have been for the past three weeks.
This is throwing me off a little bit. When I decided to try a sugar detox, I really wasn’t expecting to like it. I mean, it essentially cut out all of the foods I eat for pleasure…
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There she goes again

This is not an end of the year review. In fact, I wouldn’t have remembered that today is New Years Eve without all the whining that appeared on my facebook news feed recently <3 This is NEWS!

I’ve drawn a rough outline of the next chapter in my life, and it’s going to happen on an organic farm in central Washington. After finally breaking the news to my family, I figured it’s safe to share with the internet. Acccctually… after delivering a compelling presentation on WHY I decided to do this, I ran from the room, frantically waving my arms over my head and squealing, “OMGZZ I HAVE TO BLOG ABOUT THIS!”

And I pronounce OMGZZ exactly how it’s written.

So.. why? Let me tell you.

0. I’ve been trying to get an internship on a small organic farm for the past few years. Until now, something has always prevented me from doing so: school, job, relationship, waiting too long to apply, travel plans, etc. I moved back into my parents’ house a little over a month ago right as a giant hurricane ate my home state. This made it impossible for me to get to my job in Brooklyn for a while, which I ended up leaving anyway. I knew I was ready to leave the east coast. With no work to do or electricity to numb my brain, I focused on obsessed over what my next adventure would be.

1. I had just finished reading Wild, by Cheryl Strayed and was seriously contemplating whether this was a good time in my life to walk the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s been a while since I’ve traveled. I’ve never touched the northwest United States, but I keep hearing amazing things and have been feeling pulled in that direction recently.

2. In fact, when I returned from Perú in 2011 I almost took a farm internship in Oregon. I didn’t go because of my boyfriend. Don’t ever let a relationship interfere with your dreams, it causes many things to break.

3. When said relationship collapsed in a fiery Armageddon last year, I moved back into my parents’ house (I guess you can say this is a regular thing for me) and started going back to school to study nutrition. After one semester of memorizing information solely to regurgitate onto tests and pass VERY EXPENSIVE prerequisite classes that I could have taught myself, I concluded that the money I had saved up for Fall tuition would be better spent on renting an apartment in Brooklyn. I still believe this was a wise choice.

d. Living in NYC was an east coast overdose. I started using the term “ASAP.” wtf? I wanted to smack myself.

5. The idea of having another office job has gone from “unappealing” to “revolting” to “twitch-inducing.” During one interview, I was asked if the helper monkey-type job responsibilities sounded like something I would be interested in. In response, I very coolly stated, “Interesting is definitely not the word I would use, but I could do that.” Furthermore, I need fresh air and physical activity.

6. Believing that sticking my hands in the dirt was just as significant in studying nutrition as having my face in the books, I volunteered on an organic CSA farm in Stillwater, NJ over the summer.

For those who don’t know, community supported agriculture (CSA) is an even better way of supporting local farms than shopping at farmer’s markets. It involves purchasing a share of a farm for a particular season. The members pay up front, providing small farmers with some financial security, and then receive a portion of the farm’s harvest on a regular basis (usually weekly) throughout the season. This is wonderful because it encourages members to eat more fresh, seasonal produce that came from a local source and is probably organic. You’ll know because you can ask the farmer, face to face. In addition to supporting sustainable agriculture, CSAs reduce the need to shop at those awful, awful supermarkets where you will be tempted to buy processed junk and cheaper bio-messedwith produce that has been sprayed with who knows what and shipped in from countries where the farmers can’t afford to eat their own crops.

Volunteering on this farm was hard work, but it felt good and gave me a peace of mind I haven’t otherwise experienced since returning from my travels. It was the farm’s first season, so every day was.. a lesson. Without an irrigation system, we would fill huge jugs of water in the Paulinskill River that ran along the edge of the farm property and then water the plants by hand using empty beer cans and yogurt containers. All the other volunteers were magically fascinating and bright. It was absolutely more intellectually stimulating than most jobs I’ve had (with the exception of neuroscience research). My strength and ability was never doubted even though I was a skinny girl with no farming experience, which is always empowering and rare to encounter. The farmer, James, is a wonderful person and I would highly recommend paying him a visit at Goodness Grows!

When I explained my plans to my parents, my mother very politely implied that she thought I might be making a big mistake ::cough::totallyfreakedout::cough:: My parents, like most members of their generation, measure success by their salaries. My mom doubted that farming could be a sustainable career choice. However, I think that it’s one of the only sustainable career choices. Everyone needs food. The economy is fake and prone to collapse at the push of a button. Current industrial farming practices are destroying the earth and poor nutrition is making Americans sick with fatness. Things really need to change, and they’re already shifting in my direction. Just think of all the people who won’t know how to feed themselves when the terrorists take down the power grid? Think of all the people who don’t know what food is, or where it comes from? We must correct this!!!!!!!

Sustainable agriculture is clearly something that I care deeply about, as is nutrition. The two go hand in hand, and as of right now, I think that I can make a more significant impact in this field (ha! pun!) by studying on a farm. Will farming be my career? I can’t answer that right now. Maybe not? Maybe I’ll integrate what I learn into a more holistic nutritional healing practice? Maybe I will travel all over the world, working on farms with my cloth-diapered baby and dirty hippie life partner? Maybe I will write a book about it and move back to Brooklyn. Maybe I’ll start an urban farm/music venue/book club/yoga studio in Bushwick and keep bees on my roof? Ohhh yeah, I left a little piece of my heart in Bushwick. <3

Ooo! Ooo! That reminds me of the best part! The farm I will be interning on has BEES! Remember when I said I wanted to be a beekeeper?!?! Hey! I’m gonna do it!

2012-07-25 17.53.50

Right on!

I will miss Jersey a whole big lot, I’m sure. It’s funny- at no point while I was living in Brooklyn did I feel like I wasn’t still in New Jersey. I guess this is what happens when you grow up so close to NYC. I consider Manhatten, Brooklyn and Long Island to be extensions of NJ rather than NY. I KNOW MY NEW YORKER FRIENDS ARE GONNA HATE THAT!

I’m spending my last month doing the things I love the most as much as I possibly can (i.e. going to shows, hiking/trail running, and spending time with my fwiends). Just in this past year (alright, here’s your review!) I’ve met so many beautiful, interesting, and talented people. I’m so grateful to have had the pleasure of connecting with and learning from these brilliant new friends. I’m going to leave in about one month and drive to WA with one of my most favorite new friends. I’m über excited about this road trip! I’m sure it will be an excellent adventure on its own and satisfy my itch to roam before planting myself in central WA for the growing season. Let’s hang out! Even better, let’s hike and go to a show! Rawk!

EEEEEEEEEEEEE new things!

autobiography of a punk rock yogi

I just knocked on the door of my roommate’s bedroom, wearing hobbit yoga pants and a tie-dye t-shirt (from the New Jersey Museum of Agriculture) to ask him if I could have my global warming mug (which he was using for water) back. Upon opening the door, he was immediately assaulted with rapid-flowing babble about how I was trying to make some tea and, “.. I’m, kind of attached to that mug because my brother got it for me for Christmas one year and I love the way the shore lines fade away when you add hot water… It just makes the tea that much more special.”

And then he just took a step back, clutching his chest, and melted into the floor because he couldn’t handle how goddamn cute I am.

Haha.

Between sleeping on my yoga mat and the amazingly inexpensive classes near my new place, I’ve gotten back into the yoga groove again. I’m not teaching, nor do I want to right now, but practicing regularly again has improved my everything.

I really think that all the hip openers we did today are helping me learn to walk in my new shoes.

These are my very first pair of legit HEELZ. They are my dream shoes. Everything I wanted: teal, faux snakeskin, they even got my name on ’em… so’s I dun fuhrget! LOL Oh, and plenty of space for my toes to splay. Lord knows I can’t tolerate tightly-bound phalanges.

I need to learn to walk in them for my cousin’s wedding at the end of the month. I assume they’ll be coming off once I start drinkin’ and dancin’, but I don’t have to worry about someone else taking them because.. they have MY NAME on them!

I saw one of my favorite bands, The Bouncing Souls, the other night at Brooklyn Bowl. I’m not going to review the show or anything because plenty of other people will do that, but I have to say that I haven’t had that much fun at a Souls show in several years.
They played the first song I ever remember hearing them play when I found myself at their set at the Warped Tour when I was 15 years old. It was true love from then on.

Get lost in it.

I like the venue a lot. We showed up kind of late, so I didn’t eat, drink, or bowl there, but I’m sure I’ll be back. The crowd was pretty good. Lots of people dancing and not too many jerks in the pit. Mostly skinny dudes and a decent number of ladies, which is a huge relief after so many big, beefy dudes started showing up to Souls concerts, getting wasted and throwing windmills in the pit like they were at a freaking hardcore show.

So, obviously, I danced all night, falling at least four times (the floor was wet and slippery, aight?). At one point, someone kind of stepped on my ankle. Although I was (duuuuuuuuuh) wearing docs, it still hurt. A lot. I hopped out of the pit, dragging my foot on the floor like a wounded animal. I got really sad because I couldn’t put any weight on it at first and thought I’d be leaning up against a wall for the rest of the show, and then limping back to my apartment.

But then.. they started playing a song I really love. I did a few ankle rolls and jumped back in the pit. All of a sudden the pain disappeared.

I LOVE ADRENALINNNNNNNNNNE WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After the show, I was a zombie. Good thing I skipped pilates that day. I’m getting so  old.

Normally I have the kind of face and demeanor that leads people to believe that I’m friendly and approachable (but I bite). However, after a punk show, people treat me like I have a contagious flesh-eating virus.

I remember one time I was taking the train home after a show in NYC, by myself, and a nice-looking young lady sat next to me. Within five minutes.. she got up and found a different seat, in an entirely different car.

After dancing for a full set at pretty much any kind of concert, I experience this weird “coming down” kind of hazy state in which I don’t give a fuck about anything. I’m exhausted. My eyes may be bulging out of my head. My tongue might hang out. I stink like hell, covered in my sweat, your sweat, and everyone else’s sweat. I might have sticky beer breath. I might still be drinking. I miiiiiiiight be talking to myself, or maybe I just look so bad that I’m starting to confuse myself with that crazy homeless person at the train station. Bruises might be starting to emerge. I’m not sorry for any of it.

I watch Fight Club on a semi-regular basis.

Last night, a similar event occurred while my friend and I were waiting for the train. “That lady just got up and left.” “Yeah, that happens to me sometimes, I must smell horrible.” Hippie deodorant.

My friend danced the soul right off her shoe. Nothin’ a rubber band can’t fix.

When I finally got to my shower that night, I noticed bruises ALL OVER ME, including my back. I look like a battered woman. Not that there’s anything funny about domestic violence, but I’m kind of getting a kick out of people’s reactions whenever I wear a tank top. I just bruise way too quickly. Who knows what I’d look like if I hadn’t started taking Flintstones vitamins with iron?!

**side note** To my vegetarian friends, especially the ladies, you might have an iron deficiency. A lot of plant sources of iron aren’t absorbed as well as animal sources, so you need to get MORE than the daily recommended value! Turmeric is an excellent source of iron. You can add it to a lot of foods because it doesn’t have a strong flavor. Also- cooking with a cast iron skillet helps.

It hurts to sleep on the floor when you’re covered in bruises. Namaste muthaf*cka

Pizza without cheese OR flour!

I made this BEET pizza last night! And my own sauce, too! I make blenders and food processors cry.

Tad-daaaaaa

I followed this recipe here. When I first decided to make it, I didn’t realize that the beets were actually in the CRUST of the pizza as opposed to on top!

I have so much fun with beets. There is no vegetable that makes a more beautiful mess of the kitchen, and they taste great, too!!

This recipe was pretty tasty, but it took a few bites to get used to. I think the fact that it was a “pizza” recipe really threw me off. This was not a pizza. A pizza has crust that you can hold and fold, gooey cheese, and all the saturated fat you can handle in a day. What this recipe made was a vegetable pile in a baking dish. If it had told me that right from the beginning, we could have been friends from the start. It’s cool, though.

I ate 1.5 pieces and felt really full. But not the kind of bloated, sluggish full you get from eating a real pizza. I felt GOOD.

The crust is full of sunflower seeds, which are an excellent source of vitamin E, and also omega-6 fatty acids. Nuts and seeds tend to trigger whatever satiety chemicals are responsible for convincing me to stop shoving food into my face, no matter how delicious it tastes. **This is one of the reasons that eating enough healthy fats help you manage your weight.** I couldn’t even finish the ice cream I bought at Cliff’s later..

I decided to go back to being a non-strict pescatarian (a sort-of vegetarian that eats fish). Non-strict meaning that I’ll eat meat if it means trying something I’ve never had before, making it easier when other people cook for me, and eating a freakin bison burger when I get the PMS.

Since I’ve been taking a nutrition class this semester, I’m doing a lot of research about vegetarian diets and feel like a sucker for thinking I needed so much protein in my diet. Eating lots of protein doesn’t build muscles, exercise does.

And white flour really is evil.

I also randomly remembered watching Food, Inc. and how disturbed I was by the poultry industry. That had something to do with my decision.

SURPRISE visitor on my yoga mat!

!
My power animal

I’m still running rrrrrrrrrrrreally slow and getting tired after 5 miles or so. If I challenged a penguin to a trail race, he’d not only win, but would likely have enough time to eat a peanut butter sandwich and then learn to fly before I finished. On the plus side…

NOWHERE TO GO BUT UP!