My little sister, Cedar, asked it she could interview me for an English class she in taking. Since the questions are all about gracefulfitness I thought I would share the interview with you.
1. Whole foods. It really all boils down to this. Whole foods nourish you. Period.
2. Variety ensures that I am getting lots of great macro and micro nutrients in with each meal.
3. Volume. I love to eat. A lot. Eating foods with a high water content and rich in fiber allows me to eat a big volume of food for a minimal amount of calories.
Move, move, move!
3. How do you maintain clarity in your health goals, what is your major motivator?
My major motivator is how good, clean, whole foods and balanced exercise make me feel. Maintaining a gracefully fit lifestyle makes me feel accomplished, strong, energized, capable, and boosts my focus and self-confidence in all areas of my life.
4. Do you remember a particular time or event that made you be so health focused?
Actually, no. I think exercise has always made me feel really great and it just made sense to me that to live my best life I had to fuel up with whole foods and exercise.
5. You have a blog that you report to daily with food, facts, and fun. How has your blog effected you personally? Has it changed your perspective or behaviors? Has it changed your routine or how you do or think about certain aspects of your life?
When I started Gracefulfitness back in May my goal was to reach out to others who were either making similar lifestyle choices or were interested in finding holistic fitness but needed more information. Little did I realize at that time that my own ideas and approach to fitness were shifting. Looking back over the last two years I now recognize that only recently did I reach a long-in-the-making transformation to living a life of graceful fitness.
I have improved my relationship to food and have stopped the “I shouldn’t have eaten that/that much, now I need to exercise to counteract that overindulgence” that I used to succumb to on a fairly regular basis. These days if I overindulge I note the way that it makes me feel (heavy, bloated, gassy, lethargic) and remind myself that I don’t like that feeling so next time I eat I can exercise more self-awareness and stop before I reach that point. And then I move on with my day.
Blogging has also made me more accountable to myself. Even though I don’t blog about everything that I eat it makes me “stick to my guns” more about certain choices. I used to very occasionally drink diet soda (1-2 times a year). I am adamantly against artificial sweetener, or anything for that matter, and do not want to be a hypocrite publicly so, even though it’s my choice whether or not to “tell” on myself, I do not (knowingly) drink anything with artificial sweetener any more.
Lastly, through blogging I have found a community in a time in my life that has been full of crazy transitions and uncertainty. My newfound blogging community gives me a sense of home and camaraderie that I have yet to find in my new physical home of Charlottesville.
6. Do you find that the general public is receptive to your level of health consciousness?
Yes and no. My biggest pet peeve lately is how Americans are so quick to judge other peoples choices around food. I find myself doing it sometimes and it is unacceptable. What I put in my fridge, on my plate, in my mouth is not something for you to judge. That maybe an odd statement coming from someone who puts pictures of what I put in my fridge, on my plate, and in my mouth everyday but that’s because you have to separate out enjoying sharing the magic and power of food with others and sharing a judgement about that food.
I think one of the problems in this area arises from labels, which is why I am no longer calling myself a vegetarian (only in West Virginia in the 1980’s can vegetarian mean fish eating) and instead, if necessary, I will say “I don’t care to eat much meat”. This statement leaves me open to make the choice about whether I want to eat that chicken broth or not without being a hypocrite. Each person is entitled to make their own choices on a minute to minute basis and my choices have are all about ME and MY BODY, not you.
7. What do you think are the biggest barriers for the general population when it comes to healthy diet and exercise?
The ONLY barrier is motivation and WANTpower
(not willpower ;)). I truly believe that anyone and everyone can afford the time and the dollars to live their most healthy lives, you just have to want it and follow through.
8. You are planning on having children, what foods do you think are most important during pregnancy and which are most important to avoid?
Most of what I know about nutrition during pregnancy comes from instinct and experience as a personal trainer so I will definitely be doing my own research when my time comes to be pregnant. Having said that, I think it’s important to eat a diet of whole foods with a wealth of variety while pregnant. I also think it’s important to feed your hunger but not fall into the “eating for two” mentality because gaining excess weight can lead to complications, a challenging delivery, and a harder recovery. You only need to consume about 300 additional calories after your first trimester, that’s a banana and a big spoonful of peanut butter.
Along the same line I think that it’s more important than ever to make sure every calorie is highly nutritious during pregnancy. The easiest way to do this is to seriously limit or eliminate refined sugar and refined flour and highly processed foods in general.
A common choice many women make is to feed their morning sickness with carbohydrates which can actually exacerbate the problem. An excellent way to avoid or minimize nausea is to eat protein, especially at dinner so I will follow this guideline.
9. What foods do you think are most important for children to limit or avoid?
Rather than answer this directly I would like to talk about what foods are important for children to eat. I may be completely nieve, given my limited experience as a mother, but I think a major gap in kids diets comes from the idea of “kids meals”. The widely excepted, and media perpetuated, ideas around children is that they don’t like whole grains, green foods, or any vegetable that is not drowning in Ranch dressing. Like I said, maybe I am nieve, but I don’t think that these are tastes and opinions that children are born with.
When it comes to children, I think it’s important to follow the whole foods rule, as in, food in it’s natural and whole state are intrinsically nourishing. Make whole foods the reward, not the punishment (if you eat your broccoli you can have dessert). Don’t get to stuck on the idea that your kid has to eat spinach to be healthy, if she loves brussel sprouts but detests green beans, feed the kid the brussels!
In other words, it is important for children to limit refined grains, refined sugars, and completely avoid artificial colors and flavors.
10. If you had one sentence to describe your life as it relates to your health, what would it be?
It’s not my own sentence but it is my mantra, “The greatest wealth is health” (Virgil), and who doesn’t want to live a wealthy life?
Ummm, writing about whole foods makes me want to eat some :).
In the mix
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 cup plus a few tbsp water
- 2 tsp flax seeds
- 2 tbsp peanut flour
- stevia to taste
Topped with 1 tbsp roasted and salted sunflower seeds and half a small banana. Delicious. I started adding peanut flour to my oats yesterday morning in an attempt to get more protein into my breakfast. Protein in the morning really helps satiate me and sets me up for a balanced appetite for the rest of the day. Two tablespoons of Trader Joes’s peanut flour adds 8 grams of nutty protein for less than 60 calories. It also makes the oats creamy and kind of doughy, yum. It has a surprisingly mild flavor though, which is not a bad thing, you just can’t expect it to taste like a bowl of peanut butter.
The peanut flour seems to be working, both yesterday and today’s oats left me more satisfied than usual.
Have you been wondering how my coconut oil truffles turned out? In a word, AMAZING.
To make these little cups of melt-in-your-mouth heaven I mixed half a cup of liquid unrefined coconut oil, half a cup of cocoa (preferably non-alkalized, it’s much healthier), a fourth of a cup of melted honey, a drizzle of vanilla, a pinch of salt, and stevia to taste. Next time I think I will forgo the honey all together and just sweeten with stevia.
After it was all mixed up I spooned the liquid love into silicon mini muffin cups to harden.
In a fit of last minute inspiration I added a walnut half to a few of them, some cinnamon to a few others, and a tiny sprinkle of pink himalayan sea salt to all of them.
I have yet to try a whole one but licking the bowl convinced me that these are out-of -this-world. I will be drooling at the thought of them until we break them out after dinner tonight at Matt + Kath‘s. Drooooollinnggg…..
Gotta run. Literally. It’s been nearly two weeks since I last run and I am SO ready to hit the pavement.