WIAW: Something is Missing

Happy WIAW! It has been awhile since I have done a "daily eats" post! This is mostly because I recently started my eight week long Food Service rotation. I work at a local hospital and get to eat for free (!!!) in the amazing cafeteria there! The food is seriously awesome, especially for hospital food, but I would feel weird whipping out a camera to take pictures of my lunch!

Even though I didn't have a picture from today's lunch, I wanted to share a (partly) day of eats!

After my run, I got my day going with some tasty chocolate-covered strawberry pancakes! Who doesn't like a little chocolate in the morning?! Recipe to come!
Lunch was just a big salad from the hospital salad bar filled with lettuce, Swiss chard, chicken, feta, beets, lentils, barley, cucumbers, broccoli, tomatoes and hummus. It was quite the combo! I also snacked on an apple mid-afternoon

Dinner included something new!
 I made a "meatball" sandwich topped with marinara and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese, and rounded out the meal with some roasted asparagus.
 After dinner, I satisfied my sweet tooth with a few home-grown cuties. 

Happy Wednesday!

Say Goodbye to Your Scale

Happy, happy Friday! I have some good news for you to start your weekend with! First off, the great people over at ProCompression are having an awesome spring sale! 
I am in love with my  marathon socks...they are a must after a long run! 
 To get in on this sweet deal, head on over to their website!
* All Purple and Powder Blue Products 40% off
* A portion of each sale donated to Team in Training or Train 4 Autism
* Link to SOM products: http://www.procompression.com/som/
* Enter coupon codeSOM4 at checkout
* Coupon is also valid for our new Red, White and Blue Stripe Marathon "Tube Sock."
In other news, I am now a contributing blogger for the LoziLu Women's Mud Run blog! Head on over periodically to check out my posts, as well as the posts of all the other great bloggers!
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Ladies, it’s time to breakup with that heartbreaker that you have kept in your life for far too long.  Just like a bad boyfriend who you can never quite get out of your brain, your scale is nothing but a letdown.
The comparison between a bad boyfriend and your bathroom scale might seem like a silly one, but think about it!  You know you deserve better that what it tells you.  It tries to influence your self-worth, even though you know you are better than just what it says.  It can make you feel on top of the world, or it can put you in a dark hole.  It lies to you (and you know it!) but you still believe it.  It is seductive, and makes you feel obsessive.  You know you shouldn’t keep it around, but there is some kind of comfort with keeping your relationship going.
Starting to sound familiar?  It is a battle that many women, especially athletes, face constantly.  Health and fitness magazines are filled with articles titled, “Lose Five Pounds This Week!”, “Why You Aren’t Losing Weight”, and “The Miracle Diet”.  We read them, instantly feel motivated about the ten pounds we need to loose (10 pounds that we didn’t know we needed to loose before reading the article), and start planning our grocery list and workout schedule for the week.  Turn the page and the next article is all about loving yourself and, “How to be Comfortable at any Size!”
We are constantly being told to lose weight, and that we are beautiful just the way we are.  So, which is it?  Well…why don’t we let the scale be the one to tell us?  It is an objective measurement of our bodies, so it is obviously the best way to tell if our day is going to be a good one, or an awful one.
It’s time to do what you know you should have done years ago and get that no-good piece of plastic out of your life.  Overall healthy living is a balance between healthy eating and physical activity.  Overfill the (metaphorical) balance scale on one side and you tip the equilibrium between the two things.  There is no third spot for a bathroom scale.  If you do try and add it in, the beam is instantly thrown off center because it is being influenced by something that does not belong.
The constant bombardment we receive about weight loss and exercise has falsely led up to believe that achieving and (more importantly) maintaining a healthy weight is practically impossible.  It requires constant calorie counting and daily, excessive exercise to achieve.  LIE.  The truth?  Achieving your “ideal”, “goal”, “healthy”, or “happy” weight should be effortless.  Your ideal weight is something that you should be able to maintain within plus or minus one pound per year.  Granted, we all have fluctuations but deviation from our ideal point should be minimal when things are in balance.
Ok….maybe “effortless” is not the best word.  We all know how “effortless” eating half a container of ice cream, or multiple slices of pizza can be, right?  There is some effort involved in achieving a healthy weight, mainly in the form of self-control and motivation.  As long as you have these two things, you are on the path of attaining freedom for your weight worries.  It is simple science that calories in MUST equal calories out.  That’s it.  No “superfoods”, “target training” or “cleanses” involved.  Eat whole, nutrient-dense foods 80-90% of the time (the remaining percentage can be used for the aforementioned pizza and ice cream), and exercise, for the purposes of health and weight maintenance, regularly.  Keep your health and positive goals in mind and ignore the rest.
 
Eat healthfully and exercise regularly.  If you do this instead of dieting, restricting, calorie counting, binging, purging, over-exercising and cleansing, you WILL reach your “happy weight”, and you will finally experience what it is like to live your life free from the constant struggle with the scale.  The body you achieve then will be your own.  It might not be the body you want, but it is the body you have, so you might as well be content with it.  Being unnaturally skinny for your particular body is not a happy, great or wonderful thing when you don’t have any energy to fill your life with joy, or to run your heart out.  Sure, you might be a few pounds heavier and a few seconds slower in the end…but let’s face it, not many of us the slightest chance at being a professional athlete, and so is that really such a terrible thing?
Embrace the body you have, and live for your health.

Meatless Monday: Cheese-less Mac and Cheese

Welcome back! How was your weekend? Mine was great! It started on Thursday when I headed down to the California Dietetic Association Annual Conference in Pomona with my Dietetic Internship class. I got to attend a ton a great lectures on new research in nutrition, and really learned a lot! One of the letures I went to was all about the health benefits on focusing on a plant-based diet.

It is well known and documented that high consumption of meat and meat products can cause a plethora of health related issues and diseases, aside from being taxing on the enviornment, and food system. However, one of the things that I found interesting is that studies are now showing that high consumption of meat is just as bad, or worse than smoking!

Dedicating one day a week as a "meatless" day can improve your health, the enviornement, and your wallet! So, for today's "Meatless Monday", I put together this awesome recipe to share with you all!
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Two of my favorite things in life are cheese and warm carbs. Put them together, and you have complete won me over. 

Unfortunatly, cheesy, ooey gooey carbs are usually what I would call a "gut bomb", for more reasons than one. The amount of calories in a typical serving of macaroni and cheese are astonishing. Plus, there is the fat and sodium. Let's not even talk about the boxed stuff....

How about a healthy, nutrient PACKED alternative?
My "Cheese-less Mac and Cheese", as the name implies, contains no cheese, but rather, nutritional yeast!

This recipe is a nutritious alternative for the next time a cheesy craving strikes!
 Ingredients
1/2 c. dry pasta
1/2 baked sweet potato
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. olive oil
 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. yellow mustard

1/2 tbsp. nutrition yeast for topping

Directions
-Preheat over to 400*F
-Cook pasta according to package
-In a medium-sized bowl, mash sweet potato well until smooth
-Add all other ingredients (except pasta), and mix until well combined
-Once pasta is done, drain well and add to sweet potato mixture. Combine well, making sure all noodles are evenly coated with mixture
-Pour noodle/sweet potato mixture into individual-sized baking dish
-Top with remaining 1/2 tbsp. nutritional yeast, and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray
-Bake for 10 minutes, or until top has browned
Why Would Jessica Eat This?
Nutritional yeast (also known by its more unfortunate name "Nooch"), is an yellow-ish colored inactive yeast that has a mild savory, almost cheesy flavor. Because of this, it is a popular cheese alternative ingredient for vegetarians and vegans alike. Plus, it is an awesome source of Vitamin B12, which vegetarians and vegans are often deficient in.  Even if you do not follow an animal product free diet, you can still reap the benefits from nutritional yeast. One ounce of nutrition yeast contains:
  • Only about 80 calories and 14 grams of protein
  • More than 7 grams of fiber