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Archive for the ‘health’ Category

For Your Heart

Just a quick little post today. I wanted to share this photo with you. I thought it was so adorable (and fitting) that my steamed sweet potato from a couple days ago resembled a heart (an organ it helps to keep very healthy) after I sliced it; so, I snapped a quick photo of it before digging in. How cute is that?!

In case you’re interested, here’s a really great article about the health benefits of sweet potatoes.

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So, I was sipping my coffee this morning and half paying attention to the news when the Sunday morning health segment started and I snapped my head up to listen. Brendan Brazier was the guest this morning and I LOVE him. I was just telling my husband about him a couple days ago and how much I respect and admire him. For those who don’t know, Brendan Brazier is a Canadian Iron Man triathlete who also happens to be a long-time vegan. He is a picture perfect example of a competitive athlete…lean and strong and oozing health.

The entire segment today was about improving your health through a plant-based diet and Brendan was answering questions about veganism, supplements and, of course, how he gets his protein (grr!). I listened attentively to him speak and give tips about how to increase your iron levels, describe some important super-foods and he even stuck to his guns when asked if poultry or red meat was healthier….his answer: “I honestly wouldn’t eat either”.

It was inspiring. I’ve been dreaming of beginning training for a marathon or biathalon for a while now and listening to Brendan speak is cementing the idea in my brain. Now if only I could convince Brendan to give up competing and touring to be my personal trainer/coach for free…

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A Constant Struggle

I have such a love/hate relationship with health. The idea of eating nothing but unprocessed, organic, whole food is so appealing. I actually salivate looking at kale.  I love how I feel after eating a meal I know is perfect for my body.

I also really love bread. And baked goods….delicious, in-your-face-it’s-vegan baked goods…cookies, brownies, cakes, pastries. And, of course, chocolate. There is so much satisfaction in veganizing a butter- and egg-heavy dessert recipe and serving it to people who just moan and drool in pleasure and then getting to say: “And they’re vegan, by the way!”  Have you ever had the pleasure of giving someone a buttery, flaky vegan croissant and being able to pinpoint the exact moment it melts on their tongue just by watching their face? That is bliss!

This is where the problem comes in. I know there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself every once in a while. And I know it’s fine to have everything in moderation. Some weeks I can be really good about that. Then I rationalize eating bad. It tastes so good, why the hell shouldn’t I eat it every day?! The inner hedonist in me convinces me that I feel good when I eat sugar and carbs until I’m ready to burst. Plus, other people feel good when I give them treats. I love giving baked goods to family and friends and watching them enjoy them. See how this is a struggle?

Then there’s the whole exercise problem. People say if you work out really hard, then you can eat what you want and sort-of balance out. Great! Except I hate working out. If it feels like exercise, I don’t want to do it. I’m not a go-to-the-gym kinda gal; I don’t want to take an exercise class. Blah! I’ve tried that…and it doesn’t work for me. I can’t bring myself to care enough to keep up with it for more than a month or two. I love being active…long walks, hiking, riding my bike, playing frisbee, swimming. Those things are appealing to me. But I also like sitting. And napping. Oh man, I’m a strong napper! A lot of my favourite pass-times are sedentary. And I rationalize laziness, too. I’m tired, I had a long day, husband doesn’t feel like doing anything, I went for a ride yesterday…

I guess what it all comes down to, is motivation. How do I find and keep the motivation to live a healthy life-style? I’ve been taking baby steps…I quit smoking a couple months ago. That has done wonders for my energy-level, to say the very least. I have also been watching my alcohol intake. Nothing says lay around on the couch all day like a hangover! I’ve made a rule that we can’t order-in or do take-out. I’m a lot more consious of what I eat when I prepare everything at home. I’ve got a long way to go; but, I’m really proud of myself for getting this far. And maybe this summer will be the summer I finally take up tennis!

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