Friday, February 28, 2014

Make a list and Make it happen

Quick note! Don't forget there's a book review and giveaway going on! Click here to comment and enter.

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Earlier this month, for my birthday, I made a bucket-list of sorts, various tasks I desired to complete throughout the year.  Basically, I had been somewhat saddened looking upon my previous year and how I spent it focused solely on work, and didn't go out of my way to make time for play, and play is important!  Looking ahead, I've decided that this year of my life will be different.  I will schedule in unscheduled time.  I will do things just for fun.  I will work to be better at my job while also ensuring that my sanity remains intact.  I want to stay young, to reduce stress, to enjoy life, and to remember that it's okay necessary to make room for balance between work and play.

At first, I shared my list with just a couple of friends on my birthday, but I planned on mostly keeping it to myself.  Just a week or two later, Alec posted her 27 before 28 list to her blog, and I was struck by how many items were SO similar! I told her as much, and she asked if I posted it here.  Well, not at first, but... why not?  I've always said, if you want to commit to something and make it happen, write it down!

This task list is for work and play, for fun and learning, and for generosity and self-improvement.  I want to embrace the creative activities I sometimes forget how much I enjoy.  Some items are simple and some are complex.  Some are social and some are independent.  Some are ongoing and some will be quick.  Some will be easy to fit into my life, others will be more tricky.  The list is personal and I'm not going to explain each in detail here, but maybe this will inspire you to set some vision for your year to come.

Here goes:

2014 Resolutions Were (click here to see detail):
  • Time Management
  • Posture
  • Gratitude & Journal

'Twas My Birthday
Vision for the birth-year:
  • Act my age.
  • Say yes.
  • Say no!
  • Live with intention.

Task List for my birth-year (in no particular order)
  1. Travel someplace new
  2. Dress up!
  3. Stay in touch
  4. See NYC from the Top of the Rock or Empire State Building
  5. See a Broadway Show
  6. Learn Spanish
  7. Become an ed-tech pro
  8. Listen to music
  9. Treat myself to something nice
  10. Fill the one-sentence journal for the full year
  11. Donate a giant bag of clothing
  12. Paint
  13. Save $X
  14. Use my birthday gift during the week
  15. Read Les Miserables
  16. Touch California
  17. Scrapbook my trips
  18. Participate in a race
  19. Learn about wine 
  20. Practice listening
  21. Volunteer
  22. Declutter
  23. Take weekends off
  24. Attend a concert
  25. Sleep

I've been honing. Tweaking. It's MY list so I'm going to feel free to adjust as new ideas come to mind. My list, my rules :)

Now that it's out in the open, I'd better get to work!  I'll do my best to share the news here as the one-off things get checked off, and I'll be sure to recap when my birthday rolls around next year.

Do you PLAY enough?
What does your birthday mean to you?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

read Eat The Yolks by Liz Wolfe: Book Review and Giveaway {CLOSED}

I dare you to.  I mean it, though.  I dare you insist that you BEG you to read this book! 
If you read just ONE book about nutrition this year, make it Eat The Yolks


It's here!  Eat The Yolks by Liz Wolfe hits shelves TODAY.  I've been looking forward to Liz Wolfe's book for a long, long time.  I listen to her podcast regularly and traveled to DC for her nutrition workshop.  The book, which I'm so grateful to have been given the opportunity to review, is a manifesto of a real foods philosophy, a compilation of the events and people in history that brought us to the modern health crisis.

In the spirit of overturning popular myth and flawed recommendations, it is titled Eat The Yolks!  Don't be fooled; this book is about so much more than eggs (although eggs are pretty darn awesome!).  The yolks are a metaphor, and the title encapsulates everything in three simple words.

"Isn't cholesterol bad for you?"  No, eat the yolks. 
"Doesn't animal protein cause cancer?"  No, eat the yolks.
"Won't eating fat make me fat?"  No, eat the yolks
"Aren't calories (the fewer the better) all the matter?" No, eat the yolks.
"Can't you get all the protein you need from plants?" No, eat the yolks.

Release your fear of yolks, red meat, fat, cholesterol, and calories; the key to health is simply to eat real foods as packaged by nature.

Eat The Yolks 
by Liz Wolfe, NTP

Click below to learn more and enter to win a copy!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Eat Eggs

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I like to eat eggs. A lot.  So today, I bring you an overdue ode to eggs:

Dare you to EAT EGGS!

Recently, upon mentioning that I could eat eggs all day every day and be happy, someone commented, "Sure, but that wouldn't be good for you."

Sigh.  Okay, first of all, I was eggaggerating.

Second, WHY?  Why do eggs get such a bad rap?  Because they contain dietary cholesterol, and we all know cholesterol in food raises our blood cholesterol, and high blood cholesterol is bad.  Right?

Wrong.
Now, I'm not devoting today's entire post to those giant myths, but I'll say this: they're myths.  Eating dietary cholesterol does not yield higher blood cholesterol levels, and even our own cholesterol is not inherently bad!  Our bodies need cholesterol to produce hormones, make vitamin D, build and repair cell walls, and more.  So both sides of this argument against eggs are faulty.  Even as far back as 2006, the Harvard Health News tried to redeem eggs in "Egg Nutrition and Heart Disease: Eggs aren't the dietary demons they're cracked up to be", and, since then, more and more research has been brought to light that debunk the these cholesterol and egg myths.  For more on the truth behind cholesterol, I'll refer you to Cholesterol Clarity: What The HDL Is Wrong With My Numbers?  OR just watch this short video to see how these lies gained so much traction in the first place. 
Now that we're over the "cholesterol myth", let's get back to eggs! 

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To me, an egg is the perfect food.  Let's look at everything eggs have going for them:

[Image courtesy of amenic181 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

Nutrients, nutrients, nutrients!!!  Eggs are nutrient-packed in such a small little shell!
  • 6 to 7 grams of protein -- complete protein!
  • Good source of choline (brain development and memory)
  • Contains lutein and zeaxanthin (reduce risk of age-related macular degeneration)
  • Good source of riboflavin, phosphorous, and vitamin B12, too!
Want these benefits?  Don't leave anything out--eat the whole egg!  Outdated reasons to avoid the yolks, such as its calories (MYTH!) and cholesterol (see above, or 6 Reasons Cholesterol May Not Matter Anymore) have been proven wrong over and over.   Get over your fear.  Nature made the egg as one package.  Eat the whole egg to reap the full benefits!

Everything in one package:  It's got protein AND fat, the perfect combination to both satisfy my taste buds and keep my body satiated for hours.

Inexpensive.  I'm a girl on a budget.  Eggs, even the higher-quality, from-pasture-raised-hens kinds I seek out, are hardly an expensive investment.  Buying a dozen or two won't set you back financially but can last you all week if you eat them a lot, or even over a few weeks if you eat them sparingly.  Bonus points go to eggs for being budget-friendly.

Quick and easy to make.  Even if you're no chef, you can surely cook eggs.  Do you have five minutes and a skillet?  Then you can easily make a scramble, omelet, sunny-side up, etc.  Cooking eggs requires no training, no fancy tools, and very little time or effort.  Or, for an easy breakfast to grab and go all week long, hard-boil some eggs on Sunday and you're set!  Hard-boiled eggs are one of my FAVORITE on-the-go snacks, because you can bring them along with your, or often find them at airports and train stations, too.

So versatile!  Even though they're incredibly easy to cook, there are also so many different ways to cook eggs.
  • On the stove alone, there are countess ways (okay, maybe they're countable) to fry up some eggs (see above).  
  • Simple to hard-boil eggs by setting them on the stove for 20 minutes, or even to toss them right in the oven for 30.
  • Make a restaurant-worthy brunch by poaching eggs.  Mm mm one of my favorites!
  • Add eggs to your dinner table by making a frittata! 

The versatility of omelets also makes them a great vehicle for consuming other healthy foods, such as vegetables, high-quality meats, beneficial herbs, and more.  Click here to see how I make veggie-packed omelets!  It makes sneaking some spinach into your day easy-peasy.

You can also experiment with different combinations of ingredients to create a dish of any flavor!  A spanish omelet is incredibly different from eggs benedict, is very different from a greek omelet, or a pizza frittata.  Eggs are chameleons and blend will with endless flavor combinations.  This is why I never get bored of eggs. 


[Image courtesy of Apolonia / FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

And, those are JUST the examples where eggs are the star!!  The (incredible edible) egg should also win an award for its supporting role in EVERYTHING ELSE.  Dressings to baked goods to grain-free pancakes to sauces to... on and on and on!  Go eggs!

So, maybe eating for all meals every day is an egg-aggeration, but eggs sure are great!  And even an egg a day is now no longer scolded by doctors who are up to date on their nutrition research.

One caveat: Eggs contain anti-nutrients, too!  Although most people can consume eggs without issue, some people are sensitive to eggs and may notice benefits from not consuming them.  As always, pay close attention to how your body reacts to different foods!  If you suspect you're sensitive, try removing eggs from your diet for a few weeks before incorporating them back in and see if you notice differences.  If I recall correctly (not sure where I first heard this in relation to autoimmune diets), the antinutrients in eggs are concentrated in the eggwhite, which makes sense; the anti-nutrients are in the barrier to protect them from consumption.  So if you find you react negatively to eggs, try removing the white and see how you tolerate just the yolks. 

That being said, I dare you to eat eggs!  Take advantage of the nutrients, simplicity, and versatility of eggs by incorporating them into your diet.

This is just the start, an introduction to the many reasons to love eggs.  In upcoming posts, I'll share what types of eggs I look for and tips on the various ways to cook them!
Dare you to EAT EGGS!



I want to know:
  • Do you eat eggs?  Yolk, white, or both? 
  • What's YOUR favorite way to eat eggs?
    • Have a blog? Please share your recipe link in the comments below! 

Additional Sources
Harvard Health PublicationsWebMD: Good EggsNutritionData.self.com, It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. See disclaimer page for more information.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Features

Some Link LOVE for Valentine's Day!
Been busy, but still reading and finding interesting posts, articles, news, and more!  

Enjoy:


Business Insider: Science shares 11 Charts that
"Show Everything That's Wrong With the Modern Diet" - worth looking at.

SOURCE: See full article here


This reminded me of an old post at Authority Nutrition:


A more fair assessment than we've seen in mainstream so far:
"The Paleo Diet: Can It Really Be Good For You?" via The Telegraph.


This revealing Huffington Post article made me very sad.  
Fashion magazines dug their own grave by faking models that were too slim, 
This cycle NEEDS to end!


De-Clutter NOW!  Read "8 Things You Can Live Without"
This is so something I need to do. What about you? 


Props to Chobani for donating their excess yogurts
when they couldn't make it to Sochi: Read the story here.


This role-reversal indicts the pain felt by those of us womanized by our male-dominant society.
It's amazing how ridiculous it looks when the tables are turned.  
Watch the French video below, or read an explanation and GIFs here: "Oppressed Majority"





And last but not least, to cheer you up after that unfortunately too-true downer, 
I give you this hilarious video of 
Bruno Mars being awesome on Ellen:





Happy Valentine's Day!