Theatre Tuesday: Off-Broadway finds 12/4

Hey, beans!

If you’re a theatre fan, there’s a chance you have a set “group” of plays and musicals you consider to be your favorites. It’s always good to branch out and listen to new musicals, too. Even if you discover they’re not your style, there’s no harm experimenting and exploring.

That was my challenge this week. I found 2 Off-Broadway musicals that I really enjoyed and listened to this week. I want to talk a bit more about theatre on this blog. After all, what’s Center Stage Nutrition without the center stage part?!

In the comments let me know what you think if you listen, and tell me about some musicals I should check out!

Nevermore by Jonathan Christenson

If you’re a fan of small casts with multiple roles, gothic imagery, and Edger Allen Poe, then you’re in luck with Nevermore. A biographical musical based on Poe’s life, the musical is epic and has similar qualities to a rock operetta.

Pieces like Poe’s The Raven are put to music with a killer bass line interlaced with small chorus pieces. Other numbers I’ll need to check out when I can, since I couldn’t grab the cast recording at this time. You can get a preview of their numbers on their YouTube channel, and order the CD from their website. This biomusical holds a lot of potential for education and outreach, and seems to be popular for schools according to their ‘upcoming performance’ page.

Of everything I’ve heard so far, I really love “We are your Nightmares”. There’s a production in Chicago being put on in January at Black Button Eye Productions that I need to get tickets to! Stay tuned here for a recap of that show.

Hadestown by Anais Mitchell and Rachel Chavkin

Folk and indie fans rejoice, Hadestown is on Spotify for you to listen to. Fans of The Great Comet will recognize Persephone’s voice as the lovely Amber Grey. (If you haven’t listened to Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812- go listen, seriously). Other notable performers are Reeve Carney as Orpheus, and T.V. Carpio as Eurydice. On the Spotify recording you have Patrick Page as Hades and Andre De Shields as Hermes.

In this retelling of the myth Orpheus and Eurydice, the setting is a post-apocalyptic world with a 1920’s influence. Hadestown is a factory, rather than just the underworld, with Hades as the powerful, bass-y boss. This story is heart wrenching, and the music forwards the plot beautifully. You get to hear problems of the long-term relationship of Hades and Persephone (characterized by Hades greed and Persephone’s longing for the pass). You also get to hear the struggles of a new relationship in Orpheus and Eurydice- doubt, fear, and trust are all examined in this show.

If you like mythology, folk music, and more of a narrative-style of musical, then Hadestown deserves a listen. It’s worth noting that Hadestown is a folk operetta, meaning the music bridges the gap between musicals and opera. It has more music than a musical, but more dialogue than an opera.

Tell me what you think! Leave a comment below, or message me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook!

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November Recap (I missed you!)

It’s been a while, beans!

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. It’s been a long, rewarding month for me. I’ve been doing a lot of brainstorming when it comes to this blog and I think I’ve got a good amount of ideas of where I want this to go.

Since it’s been so long since we last saw each other, why don’t I give you some quick updates on what’s been going on my side of the screen. In the comments below, let me know some of the highlights of your November! I’d love to hear it.

Legally Blonde

My first and last show at my University has come and gone. It was a fun three months of blood, sweat, and tears to work with a company to put together such an amazing show. We sold out every single night, and my family was even able to come on closing night!

An interesting thing that this company does that my other school’s company didn’t is they require actors help with strike. From 10:45pm to 2:30am the next day, I got to flex my tech theatre muscles for the first time in months helping take down the BEAUTIFUL set.

Blonde was a wonderful way to end my time in undergrad and I’m lucky I had the time to do it.

Christmas Walk

My town does a Christmas walk the day after Thanksgiving. In recent memory, I’ve only missed it once and that was because I was in A Christmas Carol a few years back. It’s our town’s way to represent all its small businesses. It starts with Santa lighting up the tree that stands in the middle of our downtown area, and then we’re free to go about and explore what goodies the shops have set up for the occasion!

Mom had gotten some delicious samples of infused balsamic vinaigrette at a networking event she had attended a few weeks back. My Dad, looking for ways to flavor his food without using salt, wanted to give it a shot and I wanted to see what it was like. (Disclaimer: I’ve spoken with the manager of this store, and asked about employment opportunities. But that was a result of the experience and I’m not being paid to say the following).

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Olive ‘n’ Vinnies was bustling when we walked in. We were greeted immediately by one of the owners. He walked us through some of the vinaigrettes they offer.

I was skeptical about balsamic being infused- not that I didn’t think it was possible, I just didn’t know what kind of taste to expect.

We started with the espresso infused balsamic and beans, I LOVED it! It was so yummy. The mouthfeel was great, and the espresso blended into the balsamic well. I also enjoyed their raspberry, and of course, their lavender flavor.

I loved this little store and I’m looking forward to going back. I’ve got less than 20 days left of undergrad, and I hope my mini bottles of lavender and espresso balsamic will tie me over!

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Aren’t they cute?!

It was great to spend time with my family. We didn’t have to prep a lot for Thanksgiving (my cousin hosted us), so I got to walk my beagle girl and chill out with my Mom for a while.

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Selfie by the tree Santa lit 🙂 

“Back at the ranch”

Now I’m back up at school and I have more free time than I did before break. Finals are coming up in a week and a half, but until then I picked up crochet in hopes to get away from screens a little bit more.

I’ve also started a sourdough culture. I explained this on Instagram, but my Mom makes an amazing sourdough bread stuffing every Thanksgiving and Christmas. My major must have rubbed off on me, because I realized while helping my Mom cook that I could make my own sourdough bread. So now I have a small culture in a large mason jar, getting ready for Saturday when I’ll give baking a shot.

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Graduation is soon and my senioritis is strong. I can’t wait for the next chapter of my life to start.

Tell me how your Thanksgiving went in the comments below! Try any new recipes?

You can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!

 

What to eat before a big exam

Good morning, my coffee beans!

I missed you all! Tell me ALL about your weeks. How did it go?

It has been a whirlwind of a week. I took the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) on Friday after studying for about two months. Between rehearsals, classes, and work, applying to graduate school is slowly backing off of my to-do lists and I’m feeling relaxed again.

It’s getting into the lovely mid-November weather that I’ve come to love in Green Bay. Yes, even though it’s October still, Green Bay likes to skip over the cool October weather I’ve grown accustomed to in Chicago and skips right to the grey, chilly Fall weather that foreshadows winter.

For today, I’m writing a cuddly post to help my fellow GRE-rs fuel their body & mind for the inevitable day they take the exam. For those of you still in high school, this can apply to your ACT, SAT, or even that big test you’re worried about!

I made sure to try and give myself enough time to eat. I was already so anxious for the exam, I didn’t want to eat too fast and throw up on top of it!

Here’s what I ate (no pictures, it was too dark and I was too nervous!)

  • Overnight oats with chia seeds & chocolate chips
  • Some Gardien beefless crumbles with salsa & peppers
  • Broccoli and hummus

Before I go into why I ate that, I want you to think about it too: what do these three things have in common?

Have an answer yet?

If you thought “fiber”, or “slow-releasing energy”, you’d be right! The last thing I wanted was to get hangry in the middle of the math section, or get that annoying brain fog while trying to figure out which vocabulary term fit a sentence better!

Read on to see how I avoided that, and for some ideas for some pre-exam fuel!

Overnight oats with chia seeds and chocolate chips:

Okay, I’ll admit, the chocolate chips were because I love chocolate! Aldi’s just started selling 60% cacao chocolate chips and I was ecstatic when I saw it! They taste SO good and I love bitter chocolate, so I added some of those little guys for a bit of comfort.

Oatmeal has tons of soluble fiber, meaning it takes a while for the body to digest and keeps you fuller for longer. The chia seeds were put in overnight to help absorb the water of the oats and for their benefits.

Chia seeds have: 

  • Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Protein
  • Fiber
  • Antioxidants

All have a positive effect on the brain and slow digestion even more with the added protein and fiber. Plus, they can add a little texture to the oats meaning you’re not chomping on mush! They’re tasteless so don’t worry about this messing up your overnight oats!

Gardein beefless crumbles, peppers, & salsa:

As a weightlifter, I need to make sure I get the protein my body needs to continue to repair my muscles and to help fuel my training. Since I don’t eat eggs, I improvise with other kinds of things like tofu, Gardien (not sponsored!), and Morningstar. Protein is another slow-digesting nutrient that keeps you fuller longer since it takes a while to digest.

The peppers were for a healthy dose of colorful veggies for antioxidants, and the salsa was for taste! I usually season my beefless grounds with paprika and cumin for a nice earthy taste that goes well with mild salsa.

Broccoli and Hummus

Broccoli is ridiculously good for you. Not only is it packed with vitamins and minerals, it also had fiber to keep me full for the long run.

 

The fiber in broccoli is a little bit different from the fiber in oatmeal- broccoli’s fiber is primarily insoluble, meaning our bodies can’t break it down completely. So, it travels in our intestines for a while until it hits the large intestine, where it’s nutrients are given to our friendly gut bacteria and the rest is sent off!

Hummus was for more protein, some healthy fats, and taste.

All of these kept me full for a long time! Now, the GRE is about 3.5 hours long, and you get a break halfway through. Since I only had ten minutes for a break, I had nuts with chocolate chips (What?! I told you guys I loved chocolate!) and a quest bar.

Both of these items had healthy fats, protein, and just enough fiber to hold me through for a while. And a little bit of comfort with the chocolate 🙂

What are some of your favorite pre-exam foods? Or are you too nervous before an exam to eat? Let me know in the comments below!

 bigexamtips

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Finding my Niche

Believe it or not, this was a tough blog for me to write. I sat staring at my empty document for long stretches of time, started and stopped, and eventually, put in on today’s to-do list so I could get this written & delivered to you guys.

Center Stage Nutrition has taken off. This little corner of the internet is gaining friends, followers, comments, and I’m so happy. If you’ve followed me recently, thank you so much. I want to get to know you as we continue on this journey together! If you’ve followed me from the start, thank you for supporting me when I was just dreaming of what I could make this blog.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I’ve been working a lot on defining my niche, and I knew I was so close I could taste it, but something was missing. There wasn’t a strong enough personal touch in Center Stage, and I took some time to think about how to fix it.

Thinking about theatre led me to remember how many coping skills and friendships I had made through theatre, and how difficult my life would be without it.

For context:  I’m neurodivergent. I have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (combined type) and depression. I was diagnosed at 21, and I’m 23 now. (You can read about my journey here). 

Thinking about theatre led me down a rabbit hole of  ADHD and nutrition research, taking note of how my ADHD affects my healthy eating, and it hit me: I’ve been staring this blog’s niche in the face this whole time.

I want to make nutrition more inclusive. I think that we’re doing a great job so far across cultures, but I haven’t found too many blogs out there on eating as well as possible with different neurotypes.

Nutrition can seem like a monolith of information that can be stressful to sort through. For a lot of neurodivergent folks, that means putting it aside and not giving it another thought, even though it’s crucial and could even help alleviate certain symptoms.

So how exciting is that?! I’m going to work hard on researching, writing, and educating myself so I can do my part in making nutrition more inclusive. In a way, this also helps me be more personal with you. If you’re a caregiver, someone who’s independent, or maybe working towards independence, I’ll help give you the tools to decide what a healthy lifestyle means for you.

I’m so excited to get started. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and on WordPress to stay up to date on Center Stage Nutrition and introduce yourself!

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Finding myniche

How I developed Resiliency (and you can, too!)

What’s the trait you’re most proud of? What about the trait you find yourself relying on the most?

For me, it’s my resiliency.

One night towards the end of summer camp, my friend asked if there was something I felt like I improved on during my time there.

“My resiliency”. I said after a brief moment of thought. “And my ability to think on my feet has improved”.

Do you consider yourself resilient? How well do you recover from setbacks?

I took forever to develop resiliency.

How do you develop resiliency?

Take it day by day.

There’s a trend on social media to never show our bad days. As a result, we get confirmation bias that people rarely have things that get in the way of their goal.

Sure, you might have one or two people on Instagram who post about their bad days, but how often do they follow up with “BUT! Better days are to follow!”

Annoying, right? Especially when you’re lying in bed depressed trying to find some dog memes to cheer you up.

I can guarantee that person needed to take a few hours, or even a day, before they could post that status or caption.

Whenever I have a bad day or a bad grade, I turn to the people I’m closest to and express my frustration.

Letting out how you feel helps you move on from whatever set you back. It gives you less time to ruminate over what you feel and let’s you turn to why you feel it.

Which leads to the next little bit:

Let yourself grieve

Give yourself a few hours or a day to let yourself feel bad. By doing this you’re reducing the likelihood the feeling will come back as strong as it was when you first felt it.

When I got a poor grade back on a test this semester, I spent the day letting my frustration run its course. Since then it hasn’t popped up. What has, though, is the desire to do better next time. And the drive to do so.

Develop a plan and move on

For a long time, I never developed a plan. I figured, “whatever, this won’t happen again”

Spoiler alert: It does.

The best thing you can do is look objectively at what happened and ask yourself two things:

-What did I control?

-What was out of my control?

Focus on what was in your control and pick 2 things you can do next time to fix it.

For example, I got a poor grade on my physiology exam.

What was in my control? My study habits, and my class notes. Immediately after the day I took to grieve, I set up a study group. I made sure to pay extra attention to how I re-wrote my notes, drawing out the diagrams we went over in class in detail.

Like any skill, resiliency takes practice. Hardships are a natural part of life; not letting them get to you is what makes each set back more bearable than the last.

What’s your favorite example of a time when you were resilient?

Let me know in the comments below, on Twitter, Instagram (I track the tag #centerstagecoffeebeans), or Facebook! You can even Snap it to me!

Talk to you soon!

Em

7 Reasons to Read The Hungry Brain by Dr. Stephan J. Guyenet

Dr. Stephan Guyenet has quickly become one of my “follow forevers” in the world of nutrition research and he should be one of yours, too.

His debut book, The Hungry Brain: Outsmarting the instincts that make us overeat, was an amazing read that I’ve added to my nutrition lover starter kit shelf on Goodreads. And my shelf for parents looking to improve their child’s nutrition .

You can find a copy to buy from his website, which I’ve linked here.

I seriously enjoyed reading his book and I can only hope that Dr. Guyenet writes more, as his book was one of the best nutrition books I’ve ever read.

Here are my top 7 reasons as to why you should read this book immediately:

  1. Easy to understand
  2. Guyenet’s informal, but educational, tone
  3. Brain science!
  4. Integration to any eating style
  5. No stakes in the game
  6. Covers all aspects of what can cause overeating
  7. No blame game

That’s the quick list of the seven. If those quick points didn’t sell you, we’ll look at each in detail!

Easy to understand

Dr. Guyenet’s book isn’t full of jargon that only the most “learned” scientists can follow. There’s science, yes, but it’s all explained in a way that someone who isn’t involved in science will have no problem following it, and it will also keep the scientific reader engaged.

The best teachers are able to break down science into metaphors, laymen’s terms, and can manipulate the vocabulary in a way that makes science accessible while still remaining accurate; which is a definite strength of this book.

Informal, but educational tone

Dr. Guyenet does not talk down to his readers. He writes in a way that breaks down this awesome groundbreaking research for everyone to understand.

When I was reading Hungry Brain at my favorite coffee shop downtown, it felt like the PERFECT setting to read this book. It’s almost like you’re meeting a friend who’s catching you up on all the interesting things they’ve been working on since you saw them last.

Brain science!

A book with the title The Hungry Brain would be worthless if it didn’t have anything to do with the brain!

Eating is so much more mental than we might believe. You see diet ads everywhere that blame “cravings” and say a food’s “bad” but there’s is so much better! Trick your brain into eating something healthy even when you’re craving something unhealthy!

But…what does that mean for us? Why do our brains tend to lean more towards certain kinds of foods over others? You can find the answers to all that in more in Hungry Brain

Integration to any eating style

While Hungry Brain touches on the causes of overeating and weight gain, this book can translate well into the philosophy behind intuitive eating. Intuitive eating, the belief of listening to your hunger cues and honoring your cravings, is only strengthened by the ideas presented in Guyenet’s book.  

An understanding of why you might be craving a certain food, whether you need it or want it, can be made clearer after reading Brain. Is it the high fat content? Do you just want it? In my opinion, Brain can help someone who eats mindfully or intuitively to better serve their body and brain with healthy food options.

It also translates well to other eating philosophies, like veganism, paleo, IIFYM, you name it. Guyenet doesn’t “push” a certain diet plan, which leads to point five.

No stakes in the game.

Remember my previous post about media muck and how we learned how to determine if a nutrition article is worth paying attention to? Guyenet’s book fits the definition of something worth paying attention to.

At the end of a lot of nutrition books you can see people selling their nutrition programs or exercise programs, or worse, their book reads like a long advertisement for their nutrition program.

Guyenet just explains how the brain drives what you eat, and at the end gives a few pieces of advice to set you on the path of reducing processed food intake and paying attention to what you eat. You can tell this was written to relay information, not just sell a program.

Covers all aspects of overeating

Food companies aren’t depicted as villains furiously twirling their moustaches while they tie your eating habits to the train tracks, rather, Guyenet covers emotional eating and impulsivity and how those work to drive your food cravings. It covers what’s called the “physiology” of the body and how our outside world affects what our brain does.

You’re getting a pretty darn good overview of every reason someone might overeat or have issues controlling their appetite.

No blame game

At no point is the finger pointed to the reader. Guyenet lays down the science and lets you make up your mind about how to feel about it. You’re taught that this is how the brain works, this is where something can have a hiccup and cause over eating, and you’re told how it can be reversed.

You are given autonomy, treated as an equal, and given tools for success- whatever you may define that is. Overall, Guyenet’s book was an amazing read and I look forward to using it as a reference in my studies and practice.

Want to talk more about the book? Did you love it, like it, found yourself not being too fond of it? What did you like the most?

Tweet me, message me on Facebook, use the hashtag #centerstagecoffeebeans on Instagram, or snap me a question!

How Just 10 Minutes Can Help Your Health Long-Term

School’s back in session and I’m sure you guys are missing out on summer; at least I know I am. I think the one thing I miss is how often I was up and about rather than sitting down indoors, either in class or studying.

How many of you guys take the bus to school? Or do you walk? Bike? Hitch a ride, drive? Then add the 7-8 hours you have of sitting in class. Add together the time after school you spend sitting down, and then your average sleep time.

What’s the total amount?

Think about how long ago it was since you stood up and just walked around. If you feel like getting up now that I’ve mentioned it, go for it! Even if you just do a walking lap around your house, you’re doing your body a lot of good.

Maybe you’re a bit nerdy like me and saw that NPR posted a news story about the dangers of sitting for long periods of time. 

What’s the big deal? You might be asking. That’s for baby boomers.

Well, yeah, but sitting for long periods of time is still bad for you even right now.

There is some good news: You can build up a good habit now at your age and keep it going your whole life.

Here’s a study I found when researching this article. Notice how the girls in the study were even wheeled to the bathroom and back so as to not move? That’s dedication.

The study has setbacks- there were only nine participants and they were all girls with a relatively low BMI, but we can still use this as a model for how a little bit of movement affects the body.  Even just a ten minute stretch at the hour mark provided an increase in blood flow. The research shows that while we can’t tell what the long-term results might be, there’s still the benefit of the increased blood flow.

What would this look like on a weekend, or when you don’t have school for a long bit of time (Winter break…here’s looking at you! Anyone else counting down?):

  • Taking your dog out for a walk
  • Stretching or doing yoga for 20 minutes
  • Gardening (weather permitting)
  • Walking to the coffee shop with a friend rather than getting a ride
  • Walking around a mall for an afternoon with a friend

An increased blood flow can help bring your blood back up to your torso, where it can get filtered via the kidneys, and re-oxygenated by the lungs. And who doesn’t want healthier blood?

Getting up about once an hour, even just for ten minutes of stretching or walking, can help improve general health alongside working out at least 3x/week. We get our blood pumping and filtered, and we can also take that bathroom break we’ve been planning on since we started our Netflix binge.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have three episodes left in the new season of House of Cards

Any questions?

Don’t hesitate to reach out to me via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even Snapchat! Use the hashtag #centerstagenutrition to show me ways you got moving this week!

What are your favorite ways to stay active? Let me know in the comments below!

Talk to you soon!

Em

Making Sense of Media Muck

justlieontheinternet

Hey y’all!

Let’s talk about the bond between nutrition science/research and the media.

Why? Good question. It’s because everywhere you go there’s someone writing about how one kind of food is great, the other is bad, etc. It can get really confusing, right?

If you’re neither a nutrition professional/student or a media person, you’ve been caught in the crossfires of nutrition and media every time a new study has been posted.

While it seems like the ammo is only clickbait titles and the same articles on your newsfeed time and again from the same couple big media sources, the ammunition really is faulty advice at best from people who aren’t well read in nutrition research.

It can get confusing for someone who doesn’t study this kind of stuff for a living to sort through. Luckily, it’s easy to learn how to pick up on the “faulty” nutrition articles that are out there.

Let’s start with a hard truth.

There’s no “selling point” for media outlets in saying that food isn’t inherently good or bad, or everything in the right amounts is fine, but consumers are more likely to click if an article promises a get-rich-quick scheme to be healthy or the doomsday headline that all carbs will lead you to a life of heart disease and misery.

 

Plus it’s easier to assign morality to food than launch into the grey area of  “moderation”- that’s left for dietitians and I think we do a pretty good job. No bias, though.

Are you in the same boat as Buster right now? Why would someone lie about something as important as nutrition, right?

Everyone from Washington Post to Buzzfeed has people covering nutrition studies and the most recent one is the PURE study. You’ve definitely heard of it in some way or another recently on your newsfeeds.

Some zingers of a headline include:

  • “PURE Shakes Up Nutrition Field: Finds High Fat Beneficial” (Medscape)
  • “Huge new study casts doubt on conventional wisdom about fat and carbs” (Statnews)
  • “A Lot Fat diet might kill you, new study finds” (Diet Doctor)

What are some common themes you see in those headlines? Doom and gloom, right?

Here’s an insider tip: the PURE study didn’t really rattle Registered Dietitians in the way the media seems to think. And not just because most of the RDs I’ve met are really chill people.

In fact, here are a few articles that are written by doctors and RDs breaking down the study! I’m not at the point where I feel I could summarize it, so here are some sources I look to:

  • New Nutrition Study Changes Nothing from The Atlantic
    • Favorite quote is: “Eating in ways that are good for our bodies isn’t conceptually complicated. It’s complicated by money and time and access—but eating based on scientific findings is not”
  • NutritionWonk’s blog post (Also, her blog is amazing in general. Recommend x100)
  • The Rooted Project’s infographic for my visual learners

If you look into the Atlantic article I shared and remember what we talked about a bit earlier in the blog post, you can understand why sensationalist headlines “sell” better than ones that say more chill things like “Nutrition study changes nothing”.

The idea that everything we knew is being turned on it’s head reads as more exciting. It pulls our attention to it and causes us to want to read more. After all, everyone has some knowledge that food becomes energy and nutrition/food matters. Now the readers, you guys, get the promise of “insider info”. Unfortunately, sensationalist articles tend to be incorrect in one way or another.

Now, why is that?

Look at the authors of the articles I shared for you guys to read.

They’re written by experts in the field, who do this kind of stuff (breaking down research) for a living. They’re open and honest about the study and make it easy for you to find the study to read for yourself and provide further reading. They’re not trying to sell their books, services, or products. Just plain honesty.

When you’re browsing social media, these are the places to go when reading an article about any kind of science. You don’t see a biologist writing about physics. Trust the sources written by nutrition professionals.

Conventional nutrition advice leans more towards moderation than it does extremism.

NutritionWonk, Nutrevolve, and Yoni Friedoff are the places I go most often for help when reading research regarding nutrition. You can always branch off from there to find more places to read about it, or if you stay tuned, we’ll cover how to read nutrition research on this blog in the coming weeks.

Which, along with reading and researching on your own, also helps you determine legitimate sources of nutrition news for yourself.

Much love,

Em

Slow Sunday: Movement and Mochas

Hey, ya’ll!

So, the University gym doesn’t open until 1pm on Sundays. For the most part of my time at school, I’d just wait until the gym opened before I did about half an hour to an hour of cardio.

This semester is a little different.

I decided that I’d give a local coffee shop a try (something you’ll learn about me really fast: I love coffee. Plain, lattes, mochas, you name it, I love it). Only thing is, I don’t have a car, and it was in the downtown area.

Now past me would have balked and stuck to the campus coffee shop (I can walk there) so I could get my cardio in. But current me realized that with my bike I’ve got the freedom to head off campus. So I biked for about 40 minutes to reach the coffee shop, and I loved it! Definitely going to add it into my weekly routine.

 

slowsunday1
Almost done reading Dr. Stephan Guyenet’s “The Hungry Brain” and drinking a really good iced soy mocha!

 

Here’s my IG post about it!

What about the gym, though?

Good question. I want you to recognize what comes to mind first at the word “exercise” or “movement”.

Did you picture going all out in a workout class, or at the gym? For a while I did too.

There was a stretch of years where I really didn’t feel accomplished if I spent a long time at the gym, burning a certain number of calories and achieving a certain level of sweatiness. If I didn’t reach this level, I’d often feel grumpy or wouldn’t acknowledge the fact that I moved at all. I would even sacrifice important healing time from illness to work out.

Over the years though, I’ve come to realize something: while movement is important to keeping us healthy, (the CDC recommends about an hour a day for teens) it doesn’t necessarily have to be the level I had been trying to force my body to perform at day in and day out.

If you’re in the place where you’re at the gym for hours a day to fit some kind of ideal, start peeling back what “head space” you’re in. Ask yourself:

  • What happens if you don’t workout but instead, go for a walk with a friend, family member, dog, or a podcast you really like? (other kinds of movement can go here too: dancing, biking, gardening)

The answer is: not much! 

  • You’ll get movement in and you’ll get out of the house.
  • You won’t be blacklisted on some kind of fitness list.
  • Your joints will get a break from intense exercise and muscles will have a chance to heal.
  • You’ll spend quality time with someone important to you, another key component in living a healthy lifestyle.

My challenge for you guys this week is to find ways you like to move.

Maybe you don’t exercise at all- that’s okay too! Keep in mind that a little movement is always good.

Remember: you don’t have to go to a gym to start moving and living a healthier, more active lifestyle. You can bike to your friend’s house instead of driving! Try a hike with some of your family members or with your furry friend! Give a workout DVD a shot as a break from your Netflix binge!

Side note: If you find yourself still obsessing with calories, I challenge you to take off your fitness tracker and switch displays on cardio machines (if you use them) so it won’t show calories burned. It’s something I do when I find myself becoming more focused on numbers than how I feel and I’ve found it to be really beneficial. 

The main idea is that you pick up a hobby that helps you both short and long term: you get the immediate benefit of movement (mood improvements, some time outside, or even time with friends, feeling of accomplishment afterward) and the long term benefits (combating chronic disease, energy levels gradually increase, improved sleep health, making friends through a shared hobbies).

Next week on Slow Sunday I’ll write about why it’s important to not sit for long periods of time, so until then, my challenge for you is to move a little bit every day and if you can, tag me on Instagram (@centerstagenutrition) to show me your weekly movements! I’ll try and share my movements, too!

If you’re looking for some Facebook groups to help support this new habit, I really recommend Body Positive Fitness with Michele Burmaster. I’ve been a part of this group for about a year and the atmosphere is just fantastic. Michele is someone I look up to, both personally and professionally, regarding body positivity and fitness!

 

Any questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat!

 

Much love,

Em