Well, yesterday I felt strong, today I feel mediocre. Yesterday was one of those great days filled with self-acceptance, confidence, and mental happiness. I woke up at 8:00 am, well 8:09 am if you count the snooze button, and forced myself to get to the 9:00 am boot camp class. Forced may be a strong word, I enjoy this class and like getting my weekend exercise done and out of the way, but morning movement of any kind challenges me. I am generally a proponent of “don’t exercise if it’s not enjoyable”, but I also knew I would be happy I went afterward. When I can muster up the physical and mental drive for a boot camp-style class, they are my favorite. I love knowing I am working toward making my muscles stronger, and I find this style of class inherently focuses on improving physical ability, not physical beauty.
For those of you not familiar with Nom Nom Paleo and the creativity of Michelle Tam, the mastermind behind the brand, you are missing out. While Michelle is known for promoting many aspects of a paleo lifestyle, I mostly follow her delicious recipes. Even if you do not follow a paleo(ish) diet, you should think about including her recipes into your cooking repertoire. Since Nom Nom Paleo consistently churns out mouth watering creations, I thought it would be the best place to start for my first recipe review. You can try the recipe for yourself here.
This is a guest post from Jesse Barnett (my youngest brother). Jesse is starting his senior year at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. He is pursuing his BFA in Ballet, and is an amazing dancer. His girlfriend, Keira Sweeney, is a recent graduate of MMC and also a dancer
My mom put me in dance class when I was three because I was the only girl in my pre-school class. I do not remember anything from back then, but I obviously needed some female friends. What may have been intended as a short-lived activity turned into 4-8 hours of dance a week all the way through college. I did everything; ballet, tap, jazz, modern, etc. I loved almost every minute of it. My mom was smart enough to put me in a low-stress dance school, no crazy competitions, just a group of girls wanting to have fun dancing after school. I even think I became a decent dancer, although never good enough to resemble a professional.
I completed a Whole30 in April 2016. What is Whole30? Great question, you can read all about it here. In short, it is 30 days of not eating anything that could potentially cause allergies, inflammation, discomfort, etc. The list of foods to avoid includes sugar, grains, dairy, alcohol, legumes...so yes, it is difficult, but not impossible. Once the 30 days are over, you are supposed to reintroduce each food group on its own to test how it affects your body, if at all.
Let me start by saying I do not often share my story because I am afraid it will be seen as whiny, and I will be perceived as just another privileged millennial with First World Problems (I fully acknowledge I am privileged, mostly because my parents made sure I had everything I needed, and little because I worked hard). I am even more acutely aware of this potential since I started my graduate work in public health in 2011, and have since worked with many individuals far less advantaged than myself. However, I do believe everyone has a story, and this piece of mine has provided me a perspective on how society’s views on health, food, fitness, beauty, etc. do not always align with what is realistic, sane and “normal”. I also have to point out I am currently a petite-sized person, who normally wears size 2 pants. I bring this up not to have anyone focus on my size, but rather to acknowledge a current reality. A reality which has not always been the case, and sometimes creates problems; is it realistic to stay this size? Is it worth worrying so much about food in order to stay this size? A day does not go by without at least one of these questions popping into my head, hence, this blog. So in the interest of total honesty, here’s my story, whiny or not.
Walking enthusiast, kitchen experimenter, sports lover (watching, not playing), and future world traveler.
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