Overcoming the Fear of the Fat

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.

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Seared Breakfast Banana Split with Biscuit Crumble

Aka how I have fully embraced having dessert as breakfast. Or hey, what about breakfast as dessert? With Mother’s Day coming up and everything, I was looking for a recipe that was a) relatively low maintenance, b) reasonably good for you, and c) so decadent she would not be able to tell the difference between this and dessert ! And I think I’ve nailed it.

Because, while this is a banana split, if you squint, it looks like breakfast!

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What’s the Beef with Protein?

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?

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“Are You Getting Enough Protein?”: Counting Macros

The first time someone told me that I needed more protein was from my mom. I had just come back from a weekend trip in college and was visiting my family for the holidays. My mom took one look at my hair and asked, “Are you eating enough protein? Maybe you should have some fish.”

To be fair to my mom, I probably was not getting enough protein or calories at the time. Like all trips you take in your late teens and early twenties, I was subsisting on a diet that would not be considered balanced. In this case, my team and I ate nothing but granola bars and Subway sandwiches. And because I was a pescatarian and store bought tuna salad (which is basically half mayo) FREAKS me out, my only option was the veggie delight sub with the sweet onion sauce. As you can tell, this probably has zero protein.

But you cannot say I did not get my veggies in.

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