I Believe...

I want to keep this blog fun, as well as filled with useful information, tools and recipes you can take away. So, I was brainstorming ideas and doing some reflecting, and I remembered how English was one of my least favorite classes growing up. Nothing made me despise reading and writing more than it being assigned to me (and I love to read) and writing is fine, as long as I don't have to summarize and provide an analysis. I much prefer reflection and journaling. Also, I tend to write how I speak and think and sometimes that results in really, really long run on sentences. Whoops.

Don't get me wrong, some of my favorite books were assigned to me-Lord of the Flies, The Outsiders, Fahrenheight 451. But I went into them kicking and screaming (figuratively-I am an introvert and would never call such attention to myself unless I felt my life was being threatened).

So most of the time I dreaded the assignments. Except for one time during my junior year of high school.

 Here's a picture of me at 17 for reference. I believed in carrying a giant zebra print purse filled with things like slinkies, wearing neon ALL THE TIME, and using a ton of mousse until my hair was literally crunchy. 

Here's a picture of me at 17 for reference. I believed in carrying a giant zebra print purse filled with things like slinkies, wearing neon ALL THE TIME, and using a ton of mousse until my hair was literally crunchy. 

The prompt was simply to write what we believed in. I loved this prompt so much, I remember having the best time writing it. Although I've managed to misplace the original, I thought it would be fun to revisit nearly ten years later.

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I Believe: 2018 Edition

I believe in rest. and naps. and bedtimes. 

Unless I can't put my book down

I believe in joyful intentions

I believe in daydreaming... and then chasing those dreams

I believe in soul food

I believe in keeping an open mind 

I believe in love

I believe that laughter is the best medicine 

But not if it's at the expense of others

I believe in dancing in the kitchen while baking cookies every chance you get

I believe in eating dinner at the table together most of the time

However, I believe that takeout Thai food tastes best re-watching episodes of Big Bang Theory

I believe in being just and fair and kind as often as possible

I believe in science

I believe in setting aside time for the things you enjoy and the people you love

I believe there is never one way to do, see or think anything. Except for toilet paper rolls. ALWAYS  OVER.

I believe in compassion and empathy and expressing gratitude

I believe in continuous learning

I believe in play - this can be movement or getting creative or literal play, in ways that fuel you

I believe in a lot of self care and self compassion and attempts at self love for ever and ever

I believe in standing up for others and yourself and for what is right

I believe in myself

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Thanks for reading along-I had so much fun writing this and reflecting on how much things have changed in the past ten years. I would love to hear some of the things you believe in down below!

Health At Every Size

Recently, Health At Every Size by Linda Bacon got some extra publicity when Matt McGorry shared that he read the book and personally endorsed it. Linda Bacon posted on social media that she has seen a surge in purchase of the book on Amazon. I must admit that while I am very excited this space is getting the notice and attention that it definitely deserves, I know how hefty this book is and how easy it is to be resistant to the information or misuse and abuse it if in the wrong mindset. In spite of the extensive research she lays out and myths she debunks at the beginning of the book, I was not open to it when I first picked it up a few years ago. However, I came around and now consider myself a Health at Every Size (HAES) practitioner. 

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I'm assuming at this point, many of you may be wondering, what is "Health at Every Size"? 

Health at Every Size is not only a book by Linda Bacon, but a social justice movement and approach used by a growing number of practitioners who believe that health is so much more and has very little to do with how much you weigh or where you fall on the BMI curve. Everyone of every size has a right to pursue health for themselves and they do not have to diet or even pursue weight loss to do so.

There are five main HAES principles, which the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) lay out on their website:

  1. Weight Inclusivity
  2. Health Enhancement
  3. Respectful Care
  4. Eating for Well Being
  5. Life Enhancing Movement

Over the next couple of months, I want to deep dive into these principles as well as other HAES concepts, and discuss what they imply, some of the research behind them, and how to apply it to your own lives. 

If you have any particular questions, comments or concerns about HAES, I would love to hear from you in the comments below or through email!

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Hatin' on the Hustle

So I hate the hustle. 

Not the '70s dance. 

I know it's an unpopular opinion, but I am talking about the use and abuse of the "hurry up and hustle" lifestyle. You know the one I'm talking about. You've probably fallen in line with it at some point.

Me too. I hustled through college and internships and grad school. I hustled right into my career. I hustled until I couldn't hustle any more.

Now don't get me wrong, a good work ethic is commendable. Hard work is a necessary part of life. But hustling ourselves right into our grave is not only ridiculous but unnecessary. 

For the sake of research, I looked up the definition of hustle... 

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It's just a word that applauds the aggressive way we go about our goals, and take our need for rest and self care-not to just be put it on the back burner, but taken right off the stove and have all four burners on high heat with really complicated dishes occupying each one.

Believe me. I feel the pull sometimes-in fact just this week I felt a pull to try to keep an arbitrary schedule for the sake of who knows what.We feel if we do more and say yes to everything we'll get more gratification and all the good feels. But honestly, we just end up tired and burned out.

There is no heart in the hustle because the hustle drains you.

So if we say no to the hustle, what then?

Nothing. I passed up on grinding my gears to get a post up Wednesday and instead spent a much needed Tuesday afternoon with my sister and niece. And guess what, the world still turns.

Now don't get me wrong. We can still be  go-getters. We can still have a strong work ethic. We can still have hopes and dreams and goals and chase the heck out of them.

We just don't have to do all the things and we certainly don't have to do them all right now.

Are you hooked on the hustle? What would happen if you let go of something that is no longer fueling you? I'd love to hear your thoughts below!

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Shrimp Pasta

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I'll be completely honest. I'm terrible at measuring things out when cooking. 

While I like getting creative in the kitchen I often times just eyeball everything. So obviously when  I could give you my eyeballed measurements and make my recipes virtually useless to you (because when I was a beginner cook the terms I use would now would have driven me insane then) or I could slow my roll and measure everything out.

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Also not moving on until I snap a picture, man this process will be a test of my patience. But I probably need that. Also-this will make it a lot easier to remake those recipes we end up loving!

So without further adieu, the main reason your here is this shrimp pasta that turned out delicious for the second time around with just a few more dishes to clean! (Which is not really a problem for me, that's Matt's chore)

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I momentarily contemplated naming it "Best Damn Shrimp Pasta" but I haven't had all the shrimp pastas yet. But it's really good and is in fact, the best damn shrimp pasta I've ever made.

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Just a few tips:

  • I used canned diced tomatoes the first round and it turned out great! I just happened to have some Roma Tomatoes that were looking a little rough that I needed to use up 
  • If you don't want to use wine (or don't have any on hand) you can use stock instead
  • You can put this on top of whatever you please, you don't have to stick with pasta. You can do rice, quinoa, potatoes, bread, veggies-the possibilities are endless!
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S'moreo Brownies

Finally, I'm getting to the good stuff. A recipe. Something you can really take away from here and use in your own life.

"But wait... You're a dietitian and the first recipe you share is dessert? Is there some secret ingredient like black beans or kale or are they only xxx calories so I can 'justify' eating them?" you may be thinking.

NOPE. Also, we should talk about why you need to justify eating something delicious.

I made black bean brownies once in my life. I won't do that again. They weren't brownies. They were overly sweetened black beans with pumpkin puree. And I didn't enjoy them. 

Now don't get me wrong. I like beans. I like pumpkin. Heck, I love corner brownies. But the three just don't jive well.

"But then these can't be healthy." You all cry in unison. 

YOU HAVE SO MUCH TO LEARN AND I CAN'T WAIT TO SHARE EVERYTHING WITH YOU. But that's for another post (actually, probably multiple posts). For now you'll have to settle for the fact that my grandfather considers all desserts health foods and you DO NOT want to mess with him.

Matt and I decided that we wouldn't get each other gifts for our anniversary this year, so in lieu of a gift I made him a dessert that combined three desserts he loves. That I just so happen could enjoy too. Call me selfish.

Yeah, a version of this recipe has probably been done before, but I flew by the seat of my pants and they turned out amazing, so I feel obligated to share the recipe with you here and now.

These brownies were super simple to make-I personally used a box mix (Ghirardelli's Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix to be exact) to make it even more simple! (Side note: Brownies are on my food bucket list to make from scratch because aside from the black bean brownies-which as previously established, do not count-I've always turned to a box mix! Side note, to the side note: There's nothing wrong with brownies from a box-I just like to challenge myself in the kitchen and try new things)

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By putting the marshmallows in the middle they melted into the brownie dough and it was a magical combination. So magical, I enjoyed these bad boys with a glass of milk pre-hoosier heights the next morning. 

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THAT'S RIGHT I ATE BROWNIES FOR BREAKFAST AND AGAIN FOR DESSERT LATER IN THE DAY. And here I am living to tell the tale. You guys I have so much to say and I'm just so excited to have a space to say it. I hope you'll stick around while I break all the food rules and maybe influence you to do so too.

What are some food rules you're still living by?

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Celebrating Two Years

Matt (the husband) and I just celebrated our two year anniversary. I figured, since I'm just beginning this blog a little back story would be good (also, it's fun to reminisce!)

Two years ago, Matt and I decided to elope. 

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I'm an introvert through and through, the thought of planning and putting on a wedding made me panic and stress, and Matt was voted most likely to be late to his own wedding back in high school, so eloping made a lot of sense.

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We found Tiny Weddings in Red River Gorge, Kentucky and they made the whole getting married thing a breeze. We decided on April fools day, because our relationship began with post it noting and seran wrapping each others cars in 2009... and the rest is history.

So this past weekend we celebrated two years of (mostly blissful, sometimes chaotic, always imperfect) marriage. 

We started the celebration early with a dinner on Saturday night at Uptown-a Bloomington staple with cajun/creole influenced fare. I lived in Louisiana for a bit, and while what I have tried here doesn't seem 100% authentic, I can definitely see the inspiration, and it's very good, which is even more important to me.

It was Matt's first visit here and to mark something off my food bucket list we started with the Calamari/Shrimp platter and for our entree (because we don't share well) we both ordered the Louisiana Hot Chicken-which while I feel hot is a bit of an overstatement, it was still delicious.

After dinner we got his and her dessert (again, we don't share well). For me, one of my favorite cookies from Blu Boy Chocolate (they sprinkle their chocolate chip cookies with cinnamon. Y-U-M) and Red Velvet Ice Cream from Chocolate Moose for him.

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On Sunday, we hadn't planned too much since our actual anniversary fell on Easter and we assumed most places would be closed. However, I noticed a post on Facebook that Hoosier Heights was open so we made our way over for some rock climbing. I feel like this is one of those things we love to do but always forget about having a gym nearby!

After climbing until we couldn't anymore, we finally came home to our corgbabe-and since there was an unusual lull in the spring rains, we took her for a walk and relaxed with her for the rest of the afternoon. One little walk and our nugget is wiped.

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On our wedding day we brought Oreos for celebrating and stopped at Miguels in Red River Gorge for Pizza. In the interest of keeping a tradition alive, we wrapped up our anniversary with Mother Bears Pizza (arguably the best pizza in Indiana).

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And because it wouldn't be a celebration without dessert-I made S'moreo brownies, that I personally paired with Jeni's peanut butter ice cream with chocolate flecks. And year two was in the books.

Do you have any fun anniversary traditions? I'd love to hear about them below!

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Not a Good Time

Hello!

Thanks for dropping by for my first "official" blog post. As I mentioned earlier on instagram, this has been a long time coming!

I first considered starting a blog in my senior year of college... but the timing seemed wrong because I was applying for internships, and "oh my lanta, the GRE, moving to who knows where, THEN the internship itself or possibly graduate school, will I even have the time to do a blog too? No, no not a good time. Maybe after I'm done."
Then I finished with the internship and grad school, and as I made another blog, I was overwhelmed  with more racing questions, "I don't even know what I'm doing with my career, how can I possibly write a blog if I don't know what I'm doing? No not a good time, maybe later once I'm more set in my career path."
Then this past year, I fully embraced intuitive eating and health at every size but... "there are so many amazing and inspiring non-diet dietitians and practitioners doing their thing so well, how can I ever compare? What will I even contribute? Now is definitely not a good time." 

No matter when we dive into what it is we want to do, we will always be able to come up with a reason that it's not a good time. A reason we're inadequate. Find someone who we can compare ourselves to. Because if you're looking for a way out, you will find it. Thinking back, I wish I had started in college. Or at the beginning of my career. Or last summer. But all I have is right now. 

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So I'm starting now. My timing may not be perfect. There may be others who are preaching the same thing-but honestly, can there be too many non-diet dietitians spreading the news and information about health at every size, intuitive eating, and improving body image? I don't think so.

I promise to bring a whole lotta heart and a sprinkle of sarcasm-because that's just who I am-to my posts about nutrition and food, body image, life and some things in between. I look forward to looking back on this post in a year or two or ten, and reminiscing on finally doing this thing that at one time scared the bagesus out of me. I hope you'll join me on the ride!

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Coming soon!

The Wholehearted Nutrition Blog is coming soon! This blog will document many adventures, both in and out of the kitchen; a mix of personal and professional; some educational and informational, some inspirational, some entertaining, and some just for my personal reflection that I would like to share, and I hope you will follow along.

If you have any particular topics you would like to see here, feel free to contact me and I will do my best to accommodate!