Hi everyone, it’s me again! Just wanted to give everyone a quickie update on the marathon training for Santa Rosa thus far, and then we can jump into today’s blog topic.
The past two weeks have gone fabulously training-wise. In line with my training plan, I have managed 2 days per week of light resistance training. I haven’t ventured into the yoga studio yet, but I’m thinking Sunday might be the big sweaty day. Mileage wise, I put in about 30 miles last week, and I am on track to do the same this week. Target pace is roughly 30-60 seconds per mile slower than my race pace, but I don’t pay too much attention to the clock while I’m running so I’m calling these runs “easy effort runs”. I’m stretching, icing and foam rolling like a champ to keep the owies away, and the knees and hips are feeling good.
Ice, ice baby.
Today is a rest day, so that means after I trained a couple clients this morning I am alternating studying, writing this blog post and laying on the couch binge-watching Law and Order SVU with my extremities delicately splayed out like a little starfish. And perhaps nursing a slight hangover from Danon’s birthday dinner last night. (Yay for rest days!)
So I wanted to talk a little bit about food in this blog post – after all, the name of this blog is Step BITE Step. We have chatted about running in previous blog posts, so let’s talk about bites now. But before we do that, let me remind you that I am not a registered dietician (RD). If you want individualized nutrition advice, I’m not the woman for the job.
I’m going to start this post by saying that food is one of my great loves in this world. I love nothing more than a perfectly grilled steak or lobster tail dripping with butter, and I can honestly say that at the age of 35, I have a pretty good relationship with food and my body.
A Double-Double is always worth the calories.
However, we exist in a culture that has become obsessed with adopting healthier lifestyles, training to have that perfect “fitspo” body, and as a result there is an overabundance of information available on how to accomplish this. The problem with this information is that much of the testimony is conflicting. For example, for every article that says milk is the devil’s tears, there is an article proclaiming its health benefits. Combine this with the fact that any dipshit with wifi and a dream has an open forum to spout whatever non-scientifically-supported belief he or she holds regarding nutrition, and then we have a problem here my friends. Scarily, highly educated and intelligent individuals will absorb this misleading and often downright incorrect information as fact because, well let’s face it, if you throw a lot of scientific terms and big chemical names into a well written article, it can sound pretty legit!
But the most troubling thing that I see is the creation of “recipes” (and on the internet these days, that is a very loosely held term) that are, quite frankly, not that tasty-looking or tasty-sounding. But the creators of these “recipes” extol the health and nutritional benefits of the ingredients; as a result, we end up forcing ourselves into eating these meals because they are healthy and nutrient-rich. We overlook the glaring fact that our raw kale and brussels sprouts salads drizzled in salt, pepper and a leeeeeeeettle squeeze of lemon juice taste like absolute shit. Put simply, what scares me about the “health and wellness” community is that many of us are simply not enjoying our food anymore.
This does not set my taste buds all a flutter and I am tired of pretending it does.
We are making pizza crusts out of cauliflower, frosting out of cashew milk and protein powder (I shit you not, I seriously saw this on a blog the other day and almost threw up in my mouth), french fries out of green beans, pasta out of zucchini, potato chips out of kale, and we are convincing ourselves that not only do these foods taste delicious, but they are an adequate substitute for honoring our body’s craving for pizza, or pasta, etc. simply because they are low-cal/low-fat/high in protein/gluten-free/dairy-free/whatever.
Now I’m not saying to go crazy here and have a meat lovers pizza and cupcakes every night. And hey some people actually legitimately like raw kale and brussels sprouts – more power to you! But really, if you are drenching your kale in olive oil, salt and parmesan cheese, roasting it and calling it a “chip”, do you REALLY like kale that much? Or are you using the seasonings and condiments to convert it into something more edible so you can force it down your gullet while proudly proclaiming “Look at me! I ate kale!”?
All that being said, when I mapped out the plan for this blog, I knew that I wanted to use it as a vehicle for sharing recipes that I love and cook often. I want to promote my belief that food should be enjoyed and savored, it is NOT JUST a means to obtaining a body that is cut, yoked, shredded, or jacked. You can get your nutrients without having to sacrifice flavor or create “Frankenfood” that needs to be choked down. I also want to address a lot of the information that is out there on health and nutrition, and using the knowledge I acquired while obtaining my doctorate in chemistry from an accredited university, and provide validation (or call bullshit) on what I read. Contrary to how Sir Tim Hunt feels about women in the lab, I did not spend the entirety of my graduate career crying and falling in love. I learned some Chemistry too.
In closing, I don’t want to be insensitive to those who have chosen to adopt a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Animals are really adorable, and if I had more willpower around a medium rare New York strip covered in blue cheese crumbles with a side of cheesy garlic mashed potatoes, I might more inclined to not eat them so much. I also understand the gravity of celiac disease, ulceritive colitis, food allergies (peanuts, shellfish, etc) and intolerances to certain food. Those conditions are no joke, and I know that some of the foods I poked fun at in previous paragraphs in this post are substitutes for the real deal for you because they HAVE to be. Because not properly managing your disease is a lot less fun than cauliflower pizza crust. But lets stop using food as merely sustenance, as a means to an end. Let’s start enjoying it! I’m so excited to share some of my favorite recipes with you on future blog posts!