Body Image–The new “fat”???

The interwebs is currently blowing up with this Cosmo image of a “Plus-Sized Model”.

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This beautiful woman is a size 8 and looks FAB.U.LOUS.  (Also, where can I get that bikini top???!)

What has our society come to that we would call a size 8 “plus sized”?  Size 8 is the second “goal” on my way to becoming healthy.  I haven’t been that size since college and starting my “big girl job”.  When I reach that point, there will be a party.  A big, fat, party.  Seriously.

But until then, am I seriously supposed to feel that I am incredibly obese as a size 12/14???  Sure, by the standard BMI I’m overweight.  But I’m not obese.  But if size 8 is “fat”, call me an elephant.

How can we let girls grow up this way, seeing this as “fat”.  Why should size 0 be the ideal?  Why can’t we tell girls that size 8 is fit and healthy?  Why can’t this be the ideal?

The average woman in America is a size 14.  Sure, that doesn’t say much when we’re in the middle of an obesity epidemic.  But that means that most women will never meet the “minimum” that we call fat.  Think about that.

This photo waltzed into my life just at the right time–as I begin my journey to become fit and healthy with a wonderful new community of friends at IIN.  I will absolutely make it my goal to look like that rather than the size 0 models that we’re bombarded with in the media all the time. I not only want to obtain this for myself, I want to help teach women (and girls) that fit is better than famished.

What do you think?

Wildtree Wednesday: Egg Nog Chai Bread Pudding

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We had some awesome visitors staying with us the week before Thanksgiving.  It’s not often that we have visitors, nor that we have visitors who appreciate good cooking, so I knew it was a time to pull out all the punches.  They were pretty busy visiting others, so the only meal that was open was breakfast on Thanksgiving morning.  I’m not a huge breakfast person but I knew this would be solid gold.

The recipe comes from The Kitchn, a website full of great recipes and cooking tips.

I wanted to Wildtree this one out–our guests were new to Wildtree and I knew they’d love it.  I also was on a personal mission to find more ways to use Wildtree’s Chai Bread.  Done and done.

It sounds fancy shmancy and tastes that way as well.  But it’s easy.  Like, I just played Cards Against Humanity and helped polish off 3 bottles of wine and lots of beer before throwing this together, easy.  Though, it was a reminder to always read through a recipe fully before starting…I didn’t plan out the pre-buttering of the bread nor the fact that I had to essentially create a double boiler.  But, it was also a reminder that being resourceful in the kitchen is an awesome trait and we made it work.

When we made it, we did a mixture of french bread and Wildtree’s Chai Bread.  The Chai bits were better than the regular, so I definitely recommend going all in on the Chai and forgetting about the French.  I was hesitant because I thought the flavor would be too full with everything, but it definitely wasn’t.

Lastly, it makes, a lot.  Four grown adults and a baby barely put a dent in it.  I’d definitely recommend cutting the recipe in half unless you’re feeding an army.

Enjoy!

Clean.

So, you want to start eating “clean”.  But, what does that mean?

Really, it’s something different for everyone.  Our bodies are all different.  What works well for me might not work at all for you.  It’s called bio-individuality.  There are some basic principles though that can apply to everyone.

“Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.”–Michael Pollan

But what does that mean?  For me, it’s all about cutting out the processed and as much grain as possible.  Others will remove all legumes and dairy.  What can I say, I’m a Wisconsin girl and can’t give up my cheese 🙂

There is a lot of information out there for anyone interested in changing their diet.  I highly suggest It Starts with Food, Wheat Belly, and Culinary Intelligence for anyone looking for information on clean eating.  The best way to find out what works for you is to experiment and listen to your body.

Wildtree has really been crucial in changing my eating habits.  Before Wildtree, I thought clean eating had to be difficult and complicated.  I’ve very quickly learned that it is easy and super tasty.  Wildtree believes in providing quick, tasty, and healthy meal options.  The products include no preservatives, MSG, High Fructose Corn Syrup, or GMO’s and are currently going through the steps of getting each and every product individually certified organic.  Have allergies?  Looking to go gluten-free?  There are PLENTY of options for you!

I can say with certainty that I wouldn’t have made the healthy life changes that I have made, nor would I be starting my journey to becoming a Certified Holistic Health Coach with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition had I not taken the steps to become a Wildtree representative.

I hope to fill this blog with clean eating ideas and share my IIN journey with you.  Not only is this for me, but it’s also for anyone looking to improve their overall health and anyone looking for ways to make meal time simple and delicious.  Watch for some fun things to come!

Glow, girl.

I’ve struggled with acne for as long as I can remember.  Well, maybe not that long, but for a fair majority of the 26 years I’ve been breathing.  I’ve tried everything.  I never once thought that what I was putting into my body might make a difference.

Growing up my grandma would always say it was because I ate too much chocolate.  “I break out whenever I eat chocolate,” she would proclaim.  Yet I never saw a breakout so I never believed her.  Stop eating chocolate?  Not a chance.

My dad would always say it was Coca-Cola that caused zits.  Not Pepsi.  Certainly not my lifeblood (Mountain Dew).

Honestly, I thought it was all bologna.  All of my friends had very similar diets (at least publicly….some of them had parents who didn’t just let there be free reign on food) and none of them were spotty and gross looking.

Quick, name an acne fighting “system”.  Unless it was prescription, I tried it.  Accuvue.  A joke.  Clinique.  Yeah, right.  My parents were self-employed, though, so our health insurance wasn’t the greatest and therefore a trip to a dermatologist was out of the question.

I wasn’t always looking like a 13 year old boy.  Once I finally got on the pill it went in waves.  I certainly had disgusting outbreaks, and then it would subside.  Oh, but then I got a super cool promotion at work–full of stress and stuff, you know the drill–and I gained 30 pounds in about 9 months.  Yep, there went the stability of my skin.  With my hormones out of whack, my skin hated me.

Here I was, 25 years old.  Face so greasy that no matter what I used, I could use one of those oil blotting sheets and completely “fill it up” even minutes after washing my face.  It was disgusting.  I’d have breakdowns in front of the mirror.  I switched face washes to something specific for oil control and had a horrible allergic reaction.  Not only did I have the worst acne breakout in several years, but I had a lovely red, bumpy rash over parts of my face and my neck.  My nose was actually peeling from it.  And I was in NYC celebrating my 26th birthday.  I don’t think there is a single picture of me actually in the city.

About two weeks later a friend decided on a whim to do a Whole 30.  It lined up perfectly to be done days before Thanksgiving.  I jumped that bandwagon and decided to give it a try as well.  While I only lasted until day 7, my skin had never been clearer.

Just shortly before this scenario played out I had realized that the only way I was going to make a change in my life was by fully making the change–no more processed crap.  Let’s get rid of the motto of “Ya gotta die of something, someday” and get my body thriving on whole foods.  The discovery of Wildtree products changed my life as well.  Eating healthy no longer needed to be a chore where I spent my entire day planning and cooking.  I could make a healthy meal in 10 minutes if I spent two hours a month prepping meals.

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Since I didn’t finish the Whole30, I never went back through the “re-integration” process.  I don’t know if it’s the dairy, the gluten, or the sugar (or maybe a combination) that did it.  I do know that I started the Whole30 because I picked up on the fact that my terribly upset stomachs coincided with eating lots of pasta or bread.  It’s amazing the way the universe works to align everything at once.