Wednesday, April 1, 2015

WIAW: No two eaters are created equally

First off, YOU GUYS! Thank you so much for all your birthday wishes! I felt so loved and I'm in awe of how amazing you are :) 
Second, I'm so excited to share this post with you today from one of my closest friends, Whitney over at Sometimes, Always, Never. Whit and I are actually real life friends who later on realized we both write blogs. She writes to twenty something women and her wise words feed my soul. If you haven't read her blog, you should. I hope it refreshes your heart as much as it does mine. Whit is one of the most gracious, servant hearted, wise, witty, beautiful, and selfless women I know. I'm so glad she's guest posting on this space today. Enjoy! 

Robyn and I share a lot of similarities – we’re both fast paced and high energy. We love impromptu trips. We love to connect with people. We love Jesus and talking about the way He is working in our lives.

When it comes to eating, we both love to eat a ton of fresh vegetables; however, we share one major difference. I feel best when my days are protein heavy; she feels best when she has more carbs.

{pre-workout nut butter because I woke up STARVING}

To be clear, I am not Paleo or anti-carbs at all. I have just learned, though, that I feel more energized and alert when I start my day with eggs or a nut butter and she feels better with overnight oats.

{breakfast: Perfect Bar and Coffee}

I had a good season of being vegan – from about June to October of 2012. I loved all the veggies, didn’t think twice about missing the meat, but thought about eggs constantly. I learned to look at food differently – I used to think dinner wasn’t complete without chicken. Now? I am happy & satiated with quinoa and sweet potatoes and avocado.

{AM snack: Green smoothie at work: Kale, Banana, Avocado, Pinceapple, Coconut milk}

I took more away from being Vegan than just recipes, though. It was a season of trying to increase calories to restore my metabolism and being Vegan was a very healthy way to go about it. I was constantly eating and can’t even tell you the joy I felt when I started feeling hunger pains again (!) and had a regular period for two months in a row. It was a season that taught me to eat intuitively again and I am so grateful for it.

{Lunch bowl! Quinoa, Kale, tomatoes, green peppers, walnuts, avocado + nutritional yeast & grape seed oil dressing}

It was a season of learning that a half cup of Special K for breakfast isn’t how you fuel your body and skipping dinner isn’t perfection. I began to believe that you don’t have to earn your food with exercise; you deserve plentiful, healthy food every day.

Just as Robyn and I feel best when we eat differently, various seasons of our lives call for different styles of eating, too. During that phase, I needed to really pay attention to what I was eating – was I getting enough calories? Was I remembering to eat when I felt hunger and stopping when I felt full?

{Afternoon snack: almonds and carrots}

These days, my eating looks different because my primary goal is eating intuitively and not cognitively. I know how to access my hunger and fullness messages. I know when my body wants eggs and when it wants oats. I don’t fear cheese, but I also don’t crave it much because I don’t deny myself of it. There are days when I’m totally Vegan and days when I really want eggs and bacon at breakfast. During this season, it’s important that I eat out of my intuition and not out of a guidebook, because I am still refining this skill.

{Dinner: Kale salad with tomato, green peppers, chicken, walnuts + nutritional yeast and olive oil dressing. With a side of a big old sweet potato baked in grapeseed oil}

Down the line, I may be more focused on eating for triathlon training, which will require me to add in more carbs even if I might not be craving them. When I’m pregnant? I’ll be eating for a baby. Each season of life is marked by different ways to fuel our body.

{Dessert: Almond butter and chocolate chippies}

Over the years, I have learned to eat for energy and find balance. It has been one of banishing food guilt and no longer denying my cravings. Do I eat perfectly? Definitely, definitely not. Do I make as amazingly beautiful food as Robyn? I don’t do that either! :) But I no longer fear mealtime. I celebrate and embrace whole, real foods. And I have learned to find joy in the process, instead of in perfection.