Thursday, February 19, 2015

Postpartum Body Love

Recently, I participated in a "Tummy Tuesday" theme in a Facebook group focused on debunking diet myths and fostering love for the bodies we're in. I was hesitant to start snapping photos of my least-loved body part, but in the interest of practicing what I preach, I did it anyway.

I was sure that I was going to hate the results, but an amazing thing happened.

I saw the photo and thought...that's kind of a beautiful belly, actually.

And I fell in love with my belly, stretchmarks, saggy bits, muffin top, and all, for the first time in my life.

I felt comfortable and even enthusiastic sharing this photo in the privacy and safety of the group, where I knew it would be celebrated and well-received.

Still, I felt insecure to share it more publicly, because I know that largely, society tells me that I should not be proud of my belly. Society largely believes I should be ashamed of it. That I should keep it covered up. That "Ew, no one wants to see that."

I was afraid of being told that the photo was disgusting or a poor example of a healthy lifestyle or not acceptable to the male gaze or a whole host of other junk that I profess to spit in the face of.

Then, today, a friend said something that changed that.

The gorgeous Zee had the opportunity to participate in the 4th Trimester Bodies project. (Take a second to go look at her photo. It's breathtaking. It might make your eyeballs sweaty.) In sharing her photo in the very group that I so reluctantly shared mine in not long ago, she said:

It was a great feeling standing there with my children, showing them mama is proud of her body, a body they helped mold.-Zee Martin-Mendia 

And that's when it hit me:

And then I got brave. And here we are. 

All bodies are good bodies. All bodies deserve to be fed a variety of nutritious foods. All bodies deserve to indulge in treats they enjoy. All bodies deserve to be moved in ways that feel good.

When I hated my body, I didn't take care of it. The more I learn to love it, the better care of it I take. It responds by getting stronger and more flexible. It responds by letting go of some of its fat and making me more mobile and allowing me to fit more comfortable not only in my clothes, but in my own skin.

Love your body. I promise it will love you back. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mason Jar Salad with Dried Cranberry, Walnuts, and Feta

We all know I love salads in jars for their ease and convenience. Here's another delicious combo I'm enjoying that is compatible with 21 Day Fix. If you're doing the fix, note that this salad contains 2 Blue Containers, so you can either leave out one of those ingredients or skip a blue container on another day. It all evens out, so eat up and enjoy!

Layer your salad from the bottom up:

  • 1 Red Container (3/4 cup) cubed cooked Quorn cutlet, Tofu, or Chicken Breast
  • 8 walnut halves, chopped (counts as a blue container)
  • 2 Tablespoons dried cranberries (counts as a yellow container, measure with orange container)
  • 1/2 Green container (about 2/3 cup) grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 Green Containers (about 2 cups) mixed spring greens (or spinach, or kale, or whatever greens you like!)
Keep separate from jar:
Store in the fridge until ready to eat, then dump the jar in a bowl, add your feta and dressing, and enjoy!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

French Toast with Mixed Berries

One of my favorite weekend breakfasts is one that's generally not thought of as terribly "healthy": French Toast. I don't believe in depriving myself of my favorite foods, and French Toast is surprisingly easy to make into a healthy meal! Of course, if you like your french toast dripping with butter, whipped cream, and loads of syrup, rock on and enjoy!

While I don't follow the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan to the letter, this is a Fix-Friendly meal. If you include 1.5 eggs on the side (hard boiled, scrambled, whatever tickles your fancy!) you'll end up with one red container, one yellow container, one purple container, and 2-3 of your "teaspoons". Without eggs on the side, you'll only have about 1/4 of a red container and a less filling meal, so eat up! You could substitute another protein like cottage cheese, vegetarian (or not) sausage, etc.

Here's what you'll need per serving:

1 tsp coconut oil
1 Slice of your choice of bread (this equals a yellow Fix container)
1/2 egg
1 Purple Container (If you don't know or care what the fix containers are, 1 1/4 cups) mixed fresh berries (rinsed). I used blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries.
1-2 tsp 100% Maple Syrup

Here's what you'll do:

  • Heat the coconut oil in a pan over Medium Heat
  • Whisk the egg(s) (depending on how many servings you're making) in a container big enough to fit your bread.
  • When the pan is heated and coconut oil melted, coat each side of bread in egg and toss it in the pan
  • After 2-3 minutes, check to see if the bottom is golden brown. When it is, flip it and cook until the other side is golden brown.
  • Place french toast on plate, dump berry mountain on top, and drizzle with 1-2 tsp maple syrup

What's your favorite way to make french toast?

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