Tag Archives: Fitnessista

Rock Bottom

Not that I necessarily feel I owe my few devoted followers an explanation for my recent absence, but I do feel writing and sharing will be cathartic for me.

My wonderful friend Rachel summed up my recent problems quite nicely: no one should move so close to winter.  Combine moving to a new town, living alone, having to start all over with friends, a new job you’re still unsure of, and no boyfriend with the regular winter blues and you have a recipe for prolonged depression and loneliness.  (Allow me to digress for a moment and say that I at no point felt my depression was life-threatening or so serious to seek medical intervention nor do I confuse depression the illness with depression the feeling.  I was depressed, I did not have depression.)

I started feeling bad around November and never did anything to fix it.  I allowed myself to wallow in my own misery and I was starting to feel like Young Werther.  The sadness was doubled when I put my little fiber optic Christmas tree on the bureau used as a linen closet in my tiny little kitchen/dining/living room.  It was sad all there alone with no one else to look at it.

The sadness hit its peak and spilled over in a wash of tears when I removed the picture frames that normally sit on the bureau and replaced it with other Christmas decorations.  I had Christmas music playing for the first time and was feeling rather festive after spending the day bargain hunting for Christmas decorations.  And so the music was blaring, the fiber optic tree was glowing, and I was unwrapping the protective paper from my recent purchases.  I removed the non-Christmas items from the bureau and began replacing them with the Christmas items.  Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas sung by Judy Garland came on Pandora and I stepped back to look at my work.  It was so meager and sad.  The fiber optic tree surrounded by tiny little decorations set me off.  And that’s when the tears started and didn’t stop for nearly three hours.  It was intense.  I was crying and I didn’t have a solid reason why.  I texted my cousin who is always understanding, but didn’t quite know what I was going through.  I texted Rachel who, for whatever reason, I knew would understand exactly.  And understand she did.  And talk to me she did.  And help me she did.  We narrowed it down to the above mathematical equation and moved on to reminiscing about other things.

Writing and sharing my sad life was the last thing I wanted to do.  I knew that it was probably the first thing I should be doing, but I could barely bring myself to wake up every morning let alone write about how I couldn’t wake up.  Through talking to Rachel I realized that I had let go of the goals I only recently set for myself.  I let yoga leave my life.  I stopped researching the healthy foods.  I stopped making clean eating a priority.  And I stopped caring if I made friends.  It was pathetic.

The best part about reaching lows like that is knowing that there isn’t much further to go down.  You can only go up.  And going up isn’t that hard.  Just one tiny change, and you’re up quite a bit.  It’s so easy to let go of your goals and a huge challenge to hold on to them. That’s what makes them so special when you finally achieve them.  The good things in life are the ones you work hardest for.

So I’m going to work hard to reclaim my happiness and my goals.  2012 is going to be fresh and healthy.  Gina at the Fitnessista recently started sharing ways to make each month amazing.  She even cutely alliterates each month (December was Divine).  I’ve decided to do something similar.  Her ways are always pretty general and she invites her readers to join her.  My goals might be more specific, but I know there are plenty out there who will be able to join in.  Keep a look out for my first monthly goal post.

Much love and appreciation for your kind reading eyes.

I <3 Oatmeal

I have a few new loves.  I’ve written about my asparagus, kale, smoothie, quinoa, and raw and rice milk loves.  And sometime soon I’ll be writing about my peanut butter love.  But now I’d like to share with you my oatmeal love.

I was never an oatmeal fan.  In fact, growing up my hot cereal of choice was cream of wheat and my brother’s was oatmeal.  It was one of the only foods we didn’t fight over since we didn’t like the other’s hot cereal.  A few years ago my mom started making steel cut oatmeal on the stove and I still didn’t like it.  But for whatever reason, call it getting older, maturing, being healthier, tastes changing, whatever, I started liking and craving oatmeal.  I find it to be an easy and healthy before bed snack, something you can quickly eat before work (or on the way to work), and often a dinner substitute.  I never thought to add protein powder to my oatmeal until I saw the Fitnessista doing it as both a cereal and her famous, and highly suggested, breakfast cookie.  What an easy way to add some protein and really get your fill!  And so began my journey in trolling the blog world for oatmeal recipes and realizing I am not alone in my oatmeal love.

Check out…

Chocolate-Covered Katie’s Cookie Dough Baked Oatmeal

Eating Bird Food’s Creamy Overnight Oats

Cara’s Cravings’ Quick Pumpkin Protein Oats

Carrots ‘N’ Cake’s Instant Baked Oatmeal

Kath Eats Real Food’s love of Oatmeal is so intense she is an entire section of her blog devoted to it.  Tribute to Oatmeal

When you visit each of those links, be sure to click on their recipe page and you’ll find in almost every single one of them a separate section labeled oatmeal.  I’m telling you, people’s love of oatmeal is deep.

So because I’m new to oatmeal I have been relying on a lot of these recipes for ideas but I quickly found that it is hard to mess up oatmeal.  And so I give you tonight’s creation:

Quick Nutella Protein Oatmeal

(all measurements are an approximation as I didn’t measure when making this!)

-          ¼ cup oatmeal

-          1 tbsp protein powder (I use Sun Warrior)

-          Dash of salt

-          Soy milk to your wetness desire (teehee)

-          A spoonful of Nutella

Combine oatmeal, protein, salt, and soy milk (or your milk of choice) in a microwaveable bowl.  Microwave to your desired doneness (I left mine pretty wet).  Take out, stir, and plop a spoonful of Nutella on top.  Delish.

Goodie A

Oh my many goals.  I feel a little like a soccer player constantly talking and thinking about my goals.http://aeryssports.com/soccer-stories/talking-college-soccer-with-brandi-chastain/  Moving out felt like one big goal to me and the nice thing about my goals is that they’re never done.  Say what?  That’s right.  My goals are never-ending.  That’s what is so great about them.  Why would I ever stop trying to meet new people and find new friends?  I’d be so stale.  Why would I stop reading?  I can’t even fathom that.  Why would I stop finding new recipes to make?  That would be tasteless (ba-da-ching!).

Another goal that my mom would probably smack me upside the head and scream “I’ve been trying to tell you this for years!” is learning about the vitamins and goodies my body needs to be at its best.  Classic me would try to jump full-force into this one and try to learn everything I need to know in one night.  In fact, classic me did try it that way.  And then new, lesser-type-A me realized that taking it one step at a time would be more beneficial.  Pick a goodie, learn about the goodie, and incorporate the goodie.  Once I’ve mastered goodie A, I’ll move on to goodie B.  I don’t have a set time for when I will learn a new goodie.  Once I’m comfortable with the one or two I’m focusing on, I’ll move on.  Nor is there any rhyme or reason to how I pick the goodie.  I’ll also focus on a particular food that is packed with goodies and learn new ways to cook that and with that food.  This first Goodie was inspired by my vegan friend Lindsay when she wrote about what vitamins she takes and why.   And so Goodie A is, weirdly, vitamin B12 (maybe it should be Goodie B, but it’s not; it’s Goodie A).

(Please do remember that anything I write about these Goodies is the result of my research that wasn’t always the most extensive and was done to serve my needs, and no one else’s.  If I’m wrong about any of my findings, I welcome polite correction!)

Vitamin B12

http://products.mercola.com/vitamin-b12-spray/

The way I broke this little vitamin down is that it is in meat and if you don’t eat a lot of meat you aren’t getting much Vitamin B12.  As I said, Lindsay turned me on to this bad boy.  Previous to Lindsay’s post I didn’t know what goodies I was missing out on by not eating as much meat as I used to.  I wasn’t no fool, I knew I was missing things I just didn’t know what and Lindsay’s post decided for me that Vitamin B12 would be Goodie A.

I don’t need to know every single detail about what goodies do for me but what I do like to know is what will happen if I’m not getting enough.  Vitamin B12 is responsible for red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis (snooze-fest) (source).  A deficiency can result in fatigue, memory loss, confusion, and tingling feelings in the arms and legs.  Constipation (uh oh!) and appetite loss have also been associated with a B12 deficiency ( source).  Most of these effects are the result of a serious and prolonged deficiency mostly, something I don’t have to worry about right now.

So where can we get this goodie?  B12 is naturally found in animal products, particularly red meat.  It is not found in plant foods which is why it is super important for vegetarians, vegans, and quesitarians (my name for what I am) to get this goodie in other forms.  Fortified cereals now come packed with B12 (if you eat cereal… I do but I’m trying so hard not to).  Another source is nutritional yeast.  The Fitnessista loves incorporating nutritional yeast and taught me to love it on eggs and popcorn.  And I just discovered that Lindsay is also intro nutritional yeast… it’s getting a following people!  Jump on the bandwagon!!  I got my nutritional yeast for a few dollars at Wegmans (it was kind of hard to find and I had to ask for help but the lady knew right where it was).  I found this handy chart that shows the sources of B12.

Source

Food Micrograms (mcg)
per serving
Percent DV*
Liver, beef, braised, 1 slice 48.0 800
Clams, cooked, breaded and fried, 3 ounces 34.2 570
Breakfast cereals, fortified with 100% of the DV for vitamin B12, 1 serving 6.0 100
Trout, rainbow, wild, cooked, 3 ounces 5.4 90
Salmon, sockeye, cooked, 3 ounces 4.8 80
Trout, rainbow, farmed, cooked, 3 ounces 3.5 58
Cheeseburger, double patty and bun, 1 sandwich 2.1 35
Haddock, cooked, 3 ounces 1.8 30
Breakfast cereals, fortified with 25% of the DV for vitamin B12, 1 serving 1.5 25
Yogurt, plain, 1 cup 1.4 23
Beef, top sirloin, broiled, 3 ounces 1.4 23
Tuna, white, 3 ounces 1.0 17
Milk, 1 cup 0.9 15
Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce 0.9 15
Beef taco, 1 taco 0.8 13
Ham, cured, roasted, 3 ounces 0.6 10
Egg, large, 1 whole 0.6 10
Chicken, roasted, ½ breast 0.3 5

So my first supplement purchase was B12 and I have to say I’ve been quite proud of myself in remembering to take it.  I’m not very good at remembering to take anything on a regular basis.  If you’re not good at remembering to take a supplement and are open to a new taste and texture, nutritional yeast is a good option.  A 2 tablespoon serving has 8 mcg of B12!  That’s nearly four times the recommended dietary allowance of B12.  The RDA for B12 is

Source

Age

Male

Female

Pregnancy

Lactation

0-6 months*

0.4 mcg

0.4 mcg

7-12 months*

0.5 mcg

0.5 mcg

1-3 years

0.9 mcg

0.9 mcg

4-8 years

1.2 mcg

1.2 mcg

9-13 years

1.8 mcg

1.8 mcg

14+ years

2.4 mcg

2.4 mcg

2.6 mcg

2.8 mcg

So if you’re like me and finding yourself not eating as much meat you might want to look into ways to incorporate B12 back into your diet through a supplement, fortified cereals, or nutritional yeast.

What other ways have you found to incorporate this vitamin?