Remember when Jane Fonda told us all about the virtues of eating cantaloupe boats with nonfat cottage cheese for breakfast?
Don’t worry. I do not either, but I also wasn’t born yet. I have an excuse! However, despite Jane Fonda diet era occurring years before my time, the message that she and many medical professionals of her generation shared about the virtues of avoiding fat still linger in our public consciousness. Now, even as the conversation turns to embracing fat instead of hiding it, we still intuitively fear it. And the lack of fat has done dramatic harm to our body, especially in our digestive systems.
Trust me, I know from experience.
Continue reading “Overcoming the Fear of the Fat”
I was sitting in my apartment one Thursday evening, having a glass of wine and watching everyone’s favorite show: the Office.I had an exhausting work day, full of meetings, e-mails, and code to process. I was also mindlessly flicking through my phone, seeing where all of my friends were up to and what everyone’s plans were for the weekend. I also decided to check the health app, mostly out of curiosity. I felt I had run around all day, so I must have hit that 10,000 step mark. I scrolled down until I saw it.
3,000? How had I only hit 3,000? Thoughts raced through my brain. This had to be a mistake. Something had to be wrong with the app. Ok, it’s only 8 PM. Are there any errands I can run to get me to 10,000? Well, I could also go on a run, and it the weather is not too hot. But I’m just so exhausted.
Stop Sarah. Just stop.
Continue reading “Confessions of a Step Addict”
A year ago, I was the person who stared in front of the fridge, frozen in fear and thinking about what snack I wanted. The last thing I was thinking about was what I was hungry for. All that buzzed through my head was what would people on social media want to see. Would it look aesthetically pleasing on camera? Could I incorporate avocado in a non-weird way so my photo would have more likes?
Looking back on it now, I think about why it was so difficult for me to just grab the carrots and hummus out of the fridge. Even though I love the platform Instagram has given me, I now realize how it has created unrealistic standards for how we are expected to eat. Putting those expectations on people and the food they eat is an unsustainable way to live. One can only think about maintaining those standards for their food and drinks so long before they burnt out. Cooking and eating was no longer a source of pleasure or community. It was a chore.
Continue reading “In Support of Mediocre Food”
This morning, I was reading through some of my friends’ Facebook posts. It is usually that time of year when lots of women try to get that “beach body.” (That discussion of a beach body has its own discussion, but that is for another time). Many of my friends were toting a diet of eating only steamed greens and lean organic protein to get those bikini abs or swimsuit body. “I need to purge my body of those toxic chemicals,” a friend said. “Green juice and smoothies only from now on.” The truth, though, is that detoxing – the idea that you can flush your system of impurities and leave your organs squeaky clean and raring to go – is a scam
And it is something that, as consumers, we need to be aware of.
Continue reading “Why Detoxes Will Only Detox Your Wallet”
I was 18 years old when I stopped eating meat. It was a traumatic affair, involving a bite into some deceptively cooked chicken. One bite of the stuff and I was completely turned off. When I came home after my first semester, I adamantly sat down to dinner with my family. “I’m going to cook some eggs. I don’t eat meat anymore,” I said. My mom looked at me quizzically, “Not even chicken?” she asked, handing me a dish of chicken parmesan.
It reminded me of My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Continue reading “How the Jersey Shore Shaped My Diet”
As I get older, it gets harder and harder to keep up with the speed of life. And, while it seems like we are doing a good job to maintaining the pace, we must admit that our bodies were not made for this fast paced lifestyle of modern society. We are still struggling with early morning school bus runs, scheduling one activity after another, and electric lights that let us stay up way past dark.We have so many options that weighing the slight differences between two equally good choices drive us toward our breaking point. I go in and out between periods of anxiety about the future, about plans that franly can change in a blink. I am only 24, but I feel completely burnt out.
And that’s when tea saved me.
Continue reading “Learning to Love Tea Again”
Aka how not to spend all of your dolla dolla bills.
When I first became a vegetarian, I was bombarded with questions about how I was able to AFFORD being a vegetarian. To me, this question always struck me as odd. Meat is one of the most expensive things in the store, at around $4 or more dollars per pound. Why would eating vegetarian drive up the costs of your food budget? It was not until I moved to NYC and eventually DC that I understood why so many people had trouble thinking of vegetarianism as an affordable way to live. I had never stepped foot into a Whole Foods or a farmer’s market until I got to college. However, when I saw the prices of “fake meat” product and the produce, I finally understood where people were coming from. Living on a meager budget in the heart of Manhattan (I was a college student after all!), I started developing strategies to living as a vegetarian affordably.
And I have learned a lot!
Continue reading “Ways to Eat Healthy Without Burning Your Budget”
I had always had a fear of standardized testing, but I never thought it would manifest like this.
Like many high schoolers, I had to pass exams to graduate high school. Despite my fear of exams, these state tests were a breeze for me. You know, the type you would finish before everyone else but wonder if you did something wrong. It was during one of these tests when I experienced one of the worst pains I had ever felt in my life. As I plugged away at math problems at my desk, I felt as though someone was stabbing me in the abdomen. I hunched over, unsure of what was going on. The whole perverted side of the story was I tried desperately to save face. The state I lived in had a rule about the entire class having to retake the test if someone interrupted it.
And if I made kids sit for another round of tests, well then that spelled the social end for me.
Continue reading “The Gendered Side of Pain”
When I became a vegetarian, my parents were not shy about making sure I met my nutritional requirements. Specifically, the subject on their minds was protein. “Sarah, have this piece of fish. It’s full of protein. You need protein in every meal to stay healthy.” It drove me absolutely mad, so much so that I became super focused on making sure I was hitting at least 100 grams or more. I tracked my macronutrients using LoseIt extensively, making sure that every handful of spinach or carton of egg whites helped me reach my goals. Sometimes, I would eat 3 Quest Bars just to make sure my protein needs were met. Now to be fair, at the time, I probably was not eating enough calories, which resulted in the symptoms of protein deficiency. And yes, once I stopped eating my vegetable-only salads in favor of a more balanced meal with added protein and fats, I felt loads better. However, after reflecting to that time in my life, I began to critically think about the intense focus our society has on protein in our diet.
With this in mind, I beg the question: what is the deal with protein?
Continue reading “What’s the Beef with Protein?”