Loosen Up

Just a few hours ago, I had a conversation with my friend about how nice it was to finally not be constantly obsessing about what we eat (ironic, considering I write a daily food blog).  We feel fit, active, healthy, and happy. What a nice feeling! And then… something happened. What was it? Pasta. And bread. And cereal. What? Since when did I become carbophobic?  In my family, we joke about how the anciet prison diet of bread and water wouldn’t be such a sacrifice for us.  At restaurants, we are told this is not a bakery! when we ask, over and over, for refills on bread.

So why now, why the end of this affair? Or, more accurately, when did I learn that carbs are the enemy? Probably around the time I started college.  I’ve always had a pretty fast metabolism and, until then, thought I could eat whatever I wanted.  Then I made a friend who introduced me to low-carb diets (that means no apples!), restrictive eating, and food guilt. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming this person in the slightest.  It’s just sad that almost every girl I know (and even some men) have experienced some kind of negative epiphany when they figure out that food isn’t fuel, it isn’t a pleasure: it’s just something else, in a hectic life, to feel stressed and guilty about.

We all know the mantra: healthy diet, regular exercise, 8 hours of sleep.  But, life happens, workouts get put off in favor of a coffee date with friends or an extra hour of sleep.  And the guilt sets in.  I don’t have a solution, or a way to get rid of that sinking feeling I get after scraping a bowl of pasta clean, or polishing off that last piece of pizza I really wasn’t hungry for, or ordering another round.  I guess the only thing I can do is relearn the mantra, get back on the horse, and, once and for all, stop the fat talk.  One day, one week, even, won’t turn me into a blimp, cause me to have a heart attack and become the subject of everone else’s gossip.  I just have to take some time to relax, breathe, and remember that.

Alright! On a less serious note, I mixed breakfast up a little this morning! I heated up some  TJ’s Mangolicious (frozen mangoes, blueberries and raspberries)…

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… then I topped them with Puffins, two walnuts and two pecans, and almond milk.

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Voila! Fruit-on-the-bottom cereal.

Around 11, I snacked on half a Cherry Cashew PURE bar.

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Read the PURE story here:

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Product Review: Cherry Cashew PURE Bar

PROS: I love the big hunks of cashews! It’s not too sweet, and there’s an almost coconutty taste. The ingredient list is short and comprehensive, each something I would eat on its own.

CONS:  Like Larabars, it’s pretty greasy! Don’t get near the computer after eating this.  I also couldn’t really taste the cherry flavor until the aftertaste set in. I’ve also only seen these in stores once, so they’re not so easy to find.

Would I buy this again? Yes; it didn’t feel heavy in my stomach or make my tongue want to fall off from having too much sugar.  It’s a good alternative to Larabars, and the price is comparable.

My boss and I went to Le Pain Quotidien for lunch. We both ordered the smoked salmon tartine with avocado, cucumber, radish and mixed greens.  (Le Pain Quotidien is a chain, so all of the calorie counts are listed; this clocked in at 350.)

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I think I’ve ordered this before; it was fresh and light and just what I was in the mood for.  I ate everything except for a little of the avocado.

After we went back to the office, I finished up my work for the day and ate the rest of my PURE bar.  I got out a little early, so I met up with my lovely, Caitlin, and we went to CC’s Café.

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We just got iced chais (I drink these so fast!), but there were lots of healthy take-out options.  I’ll definitely be going back here on my lunch break!

A little later, I met up my mom for a much-needed pedicure (I’ll spare you the photos) and dinner.  We ate at De Santos, a little gem I stumbled upon on my walk to the restaurant last week.  There was no one there, so we were led to the garden in the back where, even though we were outside, we were protected from the rain.

When we sat down, we were brought fresh bread, olives and three bean-made, hummus-like spreads.

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At the waiter’s suggestion, we both ordered a glass of Nero d’Avola.  I’m usually a white wine kind of a gal, but I felt like a richer red.

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I was craving pasta, so I went with what I wanted.  I ordered the Spinach Fettuccine with Jumbo Shrimp, Zucchini and Lemon Zest, and substituted a garlic and oil sauce for the original curry cream.

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It was delicious; even though I had Pad Thai last night, I was craving fresh pasta and this really hit the spot.  I ate every scrap.

After I got home, showered, and did laundry, I had a bowl of Greek yogurt with PB2, 1/2 banana and a side of dark chocolate.

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This was so good!  I may repeat it for breakfast in the morning.  Once I’ve tried PB2 in a few different ways I’ll do a full review.

Check it out! Operation Beautiful made the paper!  Aimee is giving away Nana’s cookies! Zesty is giving away POM! What a day. Whew!

I’m embarrassed to say I’ve gotten sucked into NYC Prep, so I’m going to get under the covers and watch that now.  Have a great night!

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22 responses to “Loosen Up

  1. Ha, I totally got sucked into NYC Prep, too. I made Allister watch 🙂

    Who taught you that carbs are bad? Need me to beat someone up? Because holy cow, girl, apples (no apples?!?) are SO worth it. As is bread, pasta, COOKIES, potatoes, cereal, granola bars, and… Need I go on?

  2. I am definitely sucked into NYC Prep! That channel has the most addicting shows!

  3. It’s so hard to back to what life was like “before the fear,” but it can be done. I’m enjoying watching you go on the ride! Thanks for sharing the backstory…so relatable.

  4. it’s really difficult to reprogram your brain to view food as pleasure/nourishment with all the crazy messages we get given…but totally possible. I used to hav a ‘thing’ about carbs until I read up on low-carb diets and the effect on serotonin levels (impacting MOOD and sleep- antidepressants boost serotonin levels so low-carb diets are a depressant…eat yo’ pasta!)

    Le Pain Quotidien is so good- I love the chestnut puree they bring to the table!

    (and with you on the tuna/mayo- tuna and salsa is underrated but SO good!)

  5. What you wrote in the beginning of the post is so pertinent for me right now. Thank you so much for the advice, I will keep your mantra in mind.

  6. if you think about all the stress in the world, food sees like such a silly thing to stress about, right? I think sometimes it’s easier to stress about something like pasta than it is about the actual issue.

    Anyway, I love the carbs. All forms.

  7. Wise words! I think you really hit the nail on the head with the term “negative epiphany”… I know exactly what you mean. That moment when you lose that remarkable, completely natural food intuition you had as a child, when you never thought about carbs or calories and just ate what you wanted and stopped when you were satisfied. Let’s bring that back!

    On a different note, that TJ’s mango mix looks awesome, I must keep an eye out for it.

  8. mmmmmm how good does that shrimp dish look? I want it for dinner! Owww low carb…low fat….low this low that. Everything in moderation! Right? Best way to go 🙂 Hope you have a good day girlfriend.

  9. YAY!! I’m saying that for two reasons:
    1. Carbs are not the enemy at all (they’re my bff 😉 ) and eating what you want for a day or two won’t make anyone blimp up 🙂

    2. PB2/Greek yog combo! Glad you liked it!!

    Have a great Wednesday!!

  10. first of all: NYC prep. it’s like a car accident, you seriously CANNOT look away no matter how badly you want to/should!!!

    love love love what you said in the beginning of this post — a little dose of perspective is really all we need sometimes! i’ve been kind of weird about carbs lately too (LOVE them though, and certainly have NOT cut them out of my diet!) and i’m taking your lead and saying screw it — because life really is too short to freak out about a (delicious) piece of bread or plate of pasta! thanks for sharing this today =)

    on a happier note: PB2 and greek yogurt = magic. or so i assume, since i don’t have PB2 haha! have a great day!

  11. mmm that fettucine with shrimp looks great! I am totally addicted to NYC Prep too, no worries 🙂 I think it is especially interesting when you live in the city and know all the places they mention.

  12. also, i forgot to add that i had a VERY similar friend — it’s definitely tough to deal with a situation like that, but i think i’ve walked away knowing so much more about what constitutes a healthy friendship, and definitely appreciate bloggers like YOU so much more too!

  13. gina (fitnessista)

    salmon and shrimp! mmmmm
    i love that you added nuts to the puffins..what a great idea!
    have a wonderful day!

  14. I, too, have been sucked into NYC Prep. PC reminds me so much of my friend Alex, do you remember him? Vanderbilt made him so conceited it’s ridiculous. See you in 3 days!

  15. Great observation about food stress – it’s so true, and so not worth all the overthinking i’ve done over the years. I’ve loosened up over the past couple months, but my pants are no tighter. 🙂

    Is NYC prep as horrendous (aka addictive) as I’ve been hearing? I’m sure it’s appalling. 😉

  16. I loved this post Katie pie!

    and i am jeaaaaaaaaalous of your greek yog!

  17. Wow did I need this today. Good luck on your journey about not stressing out over food. I’m there right along with you!

  18. NYC Prep is one of my guilty pleasures too 🙂
    i love this post because food should just be about pleasure and enjoyment, not how many grams of carbs are in a slice of bread. good luck on your journey !

  19. homegirlcaneat

    Totally know what you mean about the carb guilt and just the knowledge you wish you never had about food! Throughout high school I struggled with crash diets and it was just horrible! As much boiled chicken as you want and some green beans? ewwww that ain’t living! Thank goodness the blog world came into my life because I now realize and love and embrace BALANCE!

  20. Carbs are so funny. I don’t know when they became so evil, but I love them! And they make me feel full and satisfied, too!

    Thanks for the PURE review. I haven’t tried any bars from their line yet!

  21. geez. we ARE twins. i had never heard of low carb anything until in college, and my sorority “sisters” were all about it. ive always been really active, so i was pretty blown away. ummm, didnt we do pasta dinners the day before big meets for a reason? anyways, balance is hard, and with society fighting the “fat” with every kind of diet under the sun, its practically impossible to not let a little bit seep in. bravo for reminding us that its all crap and we should love ourselves. period.

    xx

  22. Pingback: The Ladies Who Lunch « Lilveggiepatch

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