Monday, August 27, 2012
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
I've recently been doing some thinking about the way I use sweets. I say "use" because I'm convinced that the way we think about indulgence as associated with being "naughty" or breaking "diet rules" is inherently part of a cultural discourse of about "fat" and "skinny" more than about our actual bodies.
I'm definitely part of this "we." I count calories, pay attention to nutrition facts. I feel bad when I eat ice cream or go out for a big burger. But what I've notice and what frustrates me is, as a person who is fit and doesn't need to necessarily watch my weight right now, the bombardment of health consciousness that we find in the news, magazines, and television nevertheless makes me feel bad about indulging. And I think this is having a bit of a backfire effect.
Sounds...like it's been done? I don't really care. Like the ambitious diet bloggers, I'm going to go right ahead and share.
I start by breaking the week down into weekdays and weekends--because the change in schedule, workouts, and social situations often varies drastically and it would be unwise to ignore that when making a diet plan.
As an athlete, these tend to be my practice days--which means four fairly intense practices and one less intense day. Because of this, I need to do a good job incorporating mixtures of carbs, lean protein, and fruits & veggies...sound familiar? That's what I'm good at--knowing what I need. What I'm bad at? Knowing how much to eat and not forbidding myself indulgences that ultimately catch up with me.
Plan: eat an average of 1800 calories a day--more on hard training days and less on others. Plan ahead of time so that calories are spread between three core meals: breakfast (350-400 cals), lunch (450-550 cals), dinner (500-550 cals). That leaves approximately 300 flexible calories for throughout the day.
Indulge: for every week, identify one indulgent food and one indulgent activity to be used whenever I want during that time frame! That way, if I'm feeling like all I want is to scratch that "being bad" itch, I can start to identify if it's something that comes from a food craving or from just a desire for that bit of excitement.
These tend to be my competition days, when nutritional consciousness is most important! The night before competition, I like to eat a larger dinner (600-650 cals) with plenty of protein and avoid snacking until it's time for a pre-game breakfast (350-400 cals). An hr before game time, I'll have a pre-game snack (100-150 cals). Post-game, refueling is important, so complex carbs and protein are go-tos (500-600 cals). Then, a late dinner (500 cals) will keep me going until the next day.
Problem areas: the post-game meal is generally a family & friend fueled affair filled with snack platters, sandwiches, past, and dessert--which kicks in the "little bit of everything" habit that turns into "a lot of everything." To avoid this, I'm going to limit myself to two shifts at the dessert table and increase my fluid intake during tailgates. Plate number one is dedicated solely to nutrition--hit all the bases with the healthiest options available. With this plate, I'll also try to drink a full 16 oz of water. A second (smaller) plate gets dedicated to treats or second helpings. The caveat to this plate--if there's only huge helpings of something, only take half or ask someone to share it!
One of my biggest problems arrives on Sun, when our dining halls serve up an elaborate sundae bar. In the past, I've been known to succumb to seconds...and thirds. I'm hoping that the promise of a mid-week indulgence will help alleviate this. The goal I'm setting is to have no more than one sundae on non-tailgate days and (try) to avoid the dining hall on tailgate days, instead making plans for a late dinner by packing a meal or stealing something from the sandwich platter earlier in the day.
Weekends come with parties, which come with drinking, which come with drunk junk (eating foods you'd never eat sober). I'm going into my senior year of college, so I'm not going to set unrealistic goals for my alcohol intake. But, when it comes to drunk junk, here's my strategy to learn cold--
1. At a late night breakfast place order an egg white omelet or scramble. Low cal, high protein--might actually help get rid of that hangover.
2. At a CVS find a nonfat yogurt and fresh fruit salad or some sugar-free jellos. If it's savory that's on call, go for pretzel thins or popcorn. Low cals and nutrient packed options!
3. At a chinese place, order a side of steamed veggies or a soup dish that comes with lots of veggies and cellophane or rice noodles.
4. At a burrito place, get their vegetarian option in a bowl (no tortillas!) With no rice and extra veggies...or, if it's social eating, order nachos with someone drunker than you and let them eat most of it.
And that's it! stay tuned for a verdict of whether or not this actually gets anywhere!
Sunday, August 5, 2012
It's an interesting phenomenon when your parents suddenly realize that youve exceeded their tolerance level. Whether it's family vacation, a wedding, or even just an unevenly shared six pack...there's always a time of recognition that your child has either matched or exceeded your a) drunken-ness or b) tolerance (in which case, this realization comes when you drop out of the game and your offspring is still going strong). For me, this was tonight. After fixing a (classy) batch of Sutter Home sangria with a lovely grocery-quality Moscato (hand picked my mama) and produce-stand peaches and strawberries, we had ourselves a nice post-dinner pitcher to do work on. My mom, a self-proclaimed "teetotaler," and my dad, who suffers from sever Asian glow, each had a glass...leaving me to do the rest. Currently, I am nursing the final solo cup of my well-marinated sangria to the sweet chorus of mosquitos and the lady watering the hotel's flower beds while my parents are sleeping inside. I guess we'll call it a coming of age.
Saturday, August 4, 2012
Thursday, July 12, 2012
I tried making frozen bananas into frozen yogurt! Equal parts banana, nonfat yogurt, and 2 tbs of Hershey's cocoa powder--and...It hit the spot! Perfectly filled my ice cream craving. Next time I'll try adding a little peanut butter or some pieces of pretzel I think to spice up the sweet n' salty combo.
Monday, July 9, 2012
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Friday, July 6, 2012
Looking for a good workout? Forget the stairclimber. The serious Bostonian will tackle a "stadium," running up and down all 38 sections of the Harvard University football stadium. People have been doing it for centuries, so I'm officially putting it on my bucket list of things I must do before I tell people I'm in the best shape of my life.
My mom used to make us a classic chicken and rice dish, but her's used a creamy mushroom sauce as a base. While delicious, I'm not always prepared for something so heavy. But, in search of "hearth and home" flavors, I went for a sweet and savory take on the classic.
I'm a huge fan of sweet potatoes. They're loaded with fiber and carotene, both power-packing vitamins that put them a head above their plain potato counterparts. Combined with the apples here, their sweet flavor really stands out in complement to the chicken! I paired it with a simple salad for a complete meal.
1/2 cup brown rice (dry)
1/2 cup sweet potato, cut in small cubes
1 medium apple (red varieties are best)
1/2 cup diced cooked chicken breast (lean)
1 cube chicken bullion
cinnamon and salt to taste
Cut up your sweet potato and toss it in boiling water until it's soft, but not mushy--it has a little more cooking to do in a bit, so it's ok to be slightly firm. Toss your sweet potato, chicken, and diced apple into a skillet, sprinkle with cinnamon and a little (little!) bit of butter and a pinch of salt. Let that sit stovetop on medium and stir it around every once in a while. While that's happening, cook up your rice, adding the chicken bullion to the water to give it some extra flavor. When the rice is almost done cooking, so there's still some water in the pot, add your skillet mixture. Cover, and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
aaand voila! delishiousness!
Thursday, July 5, 2012
There's nothing better than fireworks in America's home town. I went to the rooftop of a frat house at MIT to watch the big ka-boom this year after going along the river last year. I think the opportune thunderstorm that began right with the light show really only added to the drama of it, not to mention gave a nice background to the chorus of "God Bless America" that erupted from ours and nearby rooftop choirs. I love Boston.
"That’s the joy of it: they know they’re getting one over, if just for today. Day drinking is subversive, and springtime — helpmate to idleness and leisure — has a way of making us want to play hooky." - Rosie Schapp, The New York TimesDay drinking comes in all shapes and sizes. The champagne brunch, the morning mimosa, the afternoon delight, the 5 o'clock somewhere, the TGIF pub crawl with co-workers, the poolside daiquiri...but these are all adult breeds of the activity.
In college, well, that's a different story. Day drinking occurs at greatest force on public holidays and events where collegiates have figured out that the adult world is not going to penalize them--and will actually join in--on some mid-day boozing with them. That might sound judgmental, but I assure you it's merely observation because I LOVE day drinking. There's less hassle about picking out an outfit, zero obligation to wear heels, and usually there's some kind of beach time or grill time involved--all pluses. College day drinking is an event that people gear up for, making full day plans and buckling in. So here I've gathered a few choice varieties of this much-loved activity.
#1. The Tailgate: the boy scouts of alcoholism. The portability and adaptability factor is key to any tailgate. It's the "i can set up anywhere and my party will still survive" attitude that makes the tailgate so great and such an enduring feature of the college lifestyle.
#2. The National Holiday: proud to be. The holiday isn't so much the cause so much as enabling factor for this kind of event. Whether it's engendering sudden national pride, ethnic enthusiasm, or even a religious affiliation, it's the freedom from the usual obligations that let's people let go far before the sun goes down.
#3. The All-Campus event: for bread and circuses. Whenever there is a college sponsored entertainment event--like a spring fling concert, school dance, just anything that might have the potential "lameness" of being a sanctioned form of fun, many collegiates will preemptively turn to a day drink (or keg stand) in both a rebellious and revelrous sign of class participation.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
This past weekend, my boyfriend took me to a random basement under a CVS for an "improv comedy show." Things that came into my mind--Who's Line is it Anyway, cheesy jokes, but also potentially awesome jokes, and a cute effort by the boy to do something different. "Activities" aren't really his thing, but he made a whole night of this by taking me to Antico Forno in the North End before and gelato afterwards--both were amazing. The Improv itself? I was amazed. I don't consider myself a particularly funny person, so these guys were super impressive with what they could make up on the fly! And the other members of the audience were the other half of the fun--a bachelorette party, a group from the coast guard, and just some generally rowdy groups that might have been family reunions. They have shows all the time, and I highly recommend it for anything from a first date to a new activity for you and the best buds!
Friday, June 29, 2012
The best kind of workout combines your strength and your cardio into one helluva burn. We used this one to train in our off season and it worked wonders. Be sure to hydrate well before! The whole thing is based on time, so try to push yourself and get as many reps as you can in the allotted interval. Do all three rounds to get the whole package--then add a finisher!
Round 1: Upper body
0:30--squat to press holding a 25 lb dumbbell or plate
repeat 3 times w/o rest
Round 2: Lower body
repeat 3 times w/o rest
Round 3: Core
0:30--straight leg sit-ups
repeat 3 times w/o rest
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Since beginning our summer workout, I've been doing a lot of big olympic lifts...bench press, hang clean, push ups, chin ups...you name it--we do it. Anyway, in past experience this has caused me to put on a lot of muscle, and fast. The dramatic decrease in overall flexibility is, i'm sure, a contributor to a lot of the injuries our team builds up. So, i've decided to start doing yoga and i've found out it's actually not a bad idea for athletes to supplement their usual training with yoga. The deep stretching of yoga speeds up recovery in between those lifts by oxygenating muscles. The increase in flexibility also helps reduce tension on joints when you go back and try to use them in training. So far, i've found that it really works--i'm getting longer, leaner muscles out of my strength training, and I also find that my general body awareness has increased--I know better how to push myself and how to stay in touch with how I'm feeling. I've only been at it for a little over two weeks, but I'm going to try and stick it out at least for the rest of the summer!
I'm pretty good about eating lots of fruits and vegetables, but I'm trying to cook on my own and pump out some really balanced meals that mix in carbs and lean protein to keep me full (because snacks=$$). My first experiment was relatively basic, some penne pasta with mushroom tomato sauce, corn, and chicken breast. Tasty, but like i said, basic. So I decided to get a little more creative with my next try and go for something loaded with veggies and had that home-cooked lasagna taste I've always loved...eggplant casserole is born!
1 whole eggplant, unpeeled (because that's where the vitamins are!)
2 cups ricotta cheese (I used fat-free)
salt to taste
1 cup mushroom spaghetti sauce
1 cup instant brown rice
1. Cut the eggplant into slices that are about 1cm thick and roast them up in a skillet. Make sure to leave it uncovered so it can lose some of the water that will end up giving you a runny casserole.
2. Cook the instant rice until its almost cooked, but still a little crunchy. Drain the excess water and stir in half the spaghetti sauce. Put all this mixture as the bottom layer in your 9x9 pan
3. Lay your roasted eggplant on top of the rice.
4. Mix in some salt to your ricotta, then layer all that goodness down on top of the eggplant, and top with the remaining spaghetti sauce.
5. Cook for 20 minutes in the oven at 300 degrees! voila!
Makes 3 servings, 314 calories each
What's great about this dish? EGGPLANT=BRAINFOOD
Eggplants contain a lot of the phytonutrient nasunin that is like antioxidants that help hunt down free radicals that damage cells in your noggin. Finals period must have? i think so
So even though I've started living on a budget, cooking lots of my own meals, and going to the grocery store, a part of me really misses by 24 hr dining hall access, so--i'm scouring Boston for good places to eat, all the time, any type of food. Let the buffet commence.
2 oranges, in half-moons
- 2 lemons, cut into half-moons
- 1 Persian cucumber or one 3-in.-long piece English cucumber, washed and sliced
- 2 cups Pimm's No. 1
- 4 cups Sprite or other lemon-lime soda
- 6 to 8 large sprigs mint, crushed gently, plus a few loose leaves
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Today marks the first day of me living on my own.
well, not entirely, but the closest I've come to it. For the summer, i'm living in an apartment in Cambridge, MA embarking on what I usually think of as "real-life" living. Compared to having a thousand roommates, cooked meals, housing, class...(insert other cliche aspect of undergraduate dorm life here), my schedule is quickly filling up with commutes, jobs, summer workouts, and planning to do all the things open to me in this fantastic New England city, on a budget to boot...
IN CONCLUSION, since i hate ramblers...
the blog is changing from my "fake" life to "real" life endeavors. Going out, eating out, letting it all hang out...you name it
Photo: Boston common, May 22, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
A friend passed along this truly horrific article about the hazing rituals of Dartmouth (and I'm sure other college) fraternities. As a member of an athletics team, a person with a younger brother going to college, and a friend to guys who have had to go through secretive initiations, I wonder (and fear) where this kind of behavior comes from. I'm totally understanding of there being some sort of initiation process, but the secretive-ness of it is alarming, and the complete inability of members to self-police other members who get out of hand seems the scariest bit of it--that this is both self-reinforcing and self-perpetuating a cycle of abuse that is supposed to make people close. Also that this "closeness" is completely predicated on being in a state of mind that is nearly catatonic due to intoxication and drug abuse is doubly terrifying.