Tag Archives: berries

Percentages: Eating Organic Most of the Time

I think alot about the organic foods and drinks that make up a large portion of my diet. I find myself constantly searching for stability within that–having a stable, doable, enjoyable habit of eating that is never neurotic, too planned out, nor obsessive. I want to have a sensible way of fueling my body that I feel good about.

My “wing it” solution (requires little thought and planning) for myself is to focus on the percentages.

Percentages. I focus on, approximately, the 90%-10% or 80%-20% range. “90 percent of the time, what is my daily intake comprised of?”

For me it is fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, eggs, coffee, kombucha, coconut water, almond milk and coconut milk. Because these items make up so much of what I eat, I buy those foods organic (non-GMO implied) as much as possible.

The other 10%-20%, condiments, cheese, meat, meals eaten at restaurants, items I use very sparingly, etc. are not always items I buy organically because they do not tend to make up a large portion of what I consume.

To sum up these sporadic thoughts, I’ll say this (assuming you are interested in optimizing your health),

If you drink alot of coffee every day, get organic coffee. If you enjoy alot of ketchup every day, buy organic ketchup (it exists, and is delicious).

In all of this, it is counter productive for me to get wrapped up in eating perfectly. If you are buying something that isn’t organic, than just be able to refer to the percentages of your diet and determine how that food item plays into it.

In a way, it is a common thread throughout my fitness and nutrition ventures to have an awareness of percentages. 90%-80% of the time I am eating organically and healthily and running every day. 10%-20% of the time I eat sensibly but not always maximally healthy, as well as taking days off from running and enjoying some rest and relaxation.

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Winging It: How I Threw Planning out the Window

A fellow organic living blogger, Dana, and I had a mini discussion on instagram about the concept of “winging it.” She and I were using it in reference to not using recipes when making homemade deodorant. For the record, she is a phenomenal & helpful lady and you should check out her blog titled Organic Eater.

My style is to “wing it”. Not referring to a recipe, not getting wrapped up in precise measurements and not having any expectations. Just do it. (Thanks Nike).

Disclaimer: If your style is not to wing it, I do not mean to offend. Praise to those who have the patience for recipes, journals, and planners 🙂

That conversation with Dana sparked a moment of realization:

I wing most things in my life. Workouts, meals, future plans, blog posts, conversations–I do very little planning ahead of time.

From my experience so far in life, especially in college, the common response to this is something to the affect of: “You don’t plan? That’s irresponsible. You have to put time and thought into these things in order to be successful. You should have your plans set out for the future, write down your goals, keep a food journal, write down your exercises.” Blah, blah, blah.

It seems that to a lot of people, a lack of planning is regarded as flippantirresponsible, and careless.

The reason this hits home for me is because I believe my successes have been a direct result of not planning.

This doesn’t mean I did not imagine myself where I wanted to be in the future: happy, fulfilled, blissful. Rather, I let it happen, versus planning it out.

“Winging it” is liberating to me. It also feels natural, like there’s an innate behavior in me that already knows how to do that. Sometimes, “winging it” puts you in the “rogue” category to others. I’m okay with that. Rogue is good. Weird is good. Different is good. 🙂

I am currently spending time with my family (I was away from them throughout all of college–about 5 years). The idea of “winging it” reminds me a lot of my Dad, who I think very highly of (I think highly of my Mom too :)). Dad’s experience in this story, I believe, was a turning point for him mentally, and seeing it happen from the outside has helped my mentality also.

This is the short version: Dad, who is an absolute motorcycle enthusiast, had a dream to ride his motorcycle to Alaska (from Fort Worth, Texas). This would be a long trek, so he bought all kinds of equipment, planned routes, looked up places along the way, etc.–months and months of planning and preparing for this trip. He finally felt equipped and took off on this trip (on a 6-month old motorcycle). When he made it to Wyoming, his motorcycle’s engine failed. He could not ride any farther with his bike in the present condition. The part in the engine of his bike ended up being deemed an assembly line error–a malfunction that was completely unexpected and demoralizing to his psyche.

What I take from that is, Dad put so much time and energy into this trip, all for his bike to fail and cut the trip short. He invested so much time and effort and in the end, his big plan did not work out. Dad says that experience was life changing and it led him to “abandon planning.”

Investing so much in the plan can be a little backwards in my mind. Our lives have an incredible way of surprising us with positive things/adventures/experiences–so why do we forget that and try to plan it all out bit by bit?

Maybe it’s baggage, maybe it’s purely out of fear and stress. It seems clear to me that it is not productive.

I do not suggest that we disconnect ourselves completely from what could happen in the future. Instead, I think it may be much more helpful to live in the present moment and experience it, embrace it, love it, cherish it, let it happen like it will with no expectations.

Planning, to me, is worrying’s cousin. Most of the time it is done because we are fearful, stressed, or intimidated.

All of these ramblings are relevant because I get frequently asked questions like, “How much do you run?” or “Do you run everyday?” or “How much do you eat?”

This is no exaggeration: every single day when I leave the house to run, I truly and absolutely have no expectations or goals set for that run. I don’t have a running log where it says, “Today run this amount.” I just run. It’s simple. Running is not a calculated science for me. It’s an experience, a feeling, a challenging adventure.

That’s worth saying again, running is an adventure! It should be invigorating and stimulating.

I acknowledge that some people relate to goals and they want a target mileage, pace, amount of reps, etc. But, my advice will always be: WING IT! I find that goals limit me more than they help me. The sky is the limit. I will run for as long as I can stand it today; every day that amount is different.

Laird Hamilton says this in his book: “Why not let it rip, at least a little bit? Everyone I know who’s really stoked about getting out of bed in the morning does that to some extent.”

and this,

“I don’t have a set routine. To my mind, thats the quickest route to burnout (and it’s deeply unimaginative besides). To be healthy, to sleep well, to eat well. These things are essential every day…My activities vary daily, weekly, seasonally, geographically, psychologically, depending on who’s in town–you name it. The best way to maximize what a day has to offer is to look outside your window that morning, and then look inside yourself.” -Laird Hamilton

Maybe I should just ask Laird to write my blog, then it would be clear, succinct, concise and poised. 🙂

Here’s another pretty extravagant random fact: all of these inventions were created accidentally, without planning: Penicillin, the pacemaker and vulcanized rubber. 

Pretty cool. Pretty rad things can happen and will happen when you aren’t planning for it.

“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.” -Joseph Campbell

My Dad is going to laugh when he reads this because he has said this to me numerous times (while I had an uninterested look on my face), but I find this quote/phrase so powerful: “Follow Your Bliss.”

Here’s the complete quote from Joseph Campbell, “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”

(I will not do Joseph Campbell justice if I attempt to describe who he is, so if you’re interested, it would be better and perhaps more accurate for you to look him up).

This post meanders a bit, but I enjoyed writing these thoughts.

I wrote this while hanging out by the window at Scholar’s Inn Bakehouse (my favorite coffee shop in Bloomington, IN) and the combination of the coffee and the ambiance apparently allowed me to speak openly and freely and tap into relating stories and quotes.

Hope everyone has a phenomenal day! 🙂

What is your “style” (to wing it or not to wing it)? What seems to work for you?

Navitas Naturals Organic Product Review

 

 

Navitas Naturals Organic Food

Let me start out by saying that all three of these products were completely new to me. A lot of the ingredients in these foods were new to me as well–what a great way to experience and taste new things.

Sun-dried White Mulberries

Navitas Naturals’ Description:

Turkish mulberries have been considered a precious fruit for thousands of years due to their incredible taste. A bit like a dried fig in flavor and chewy crunch, these sweet treats are an amazing snack on their own, and are also a special substitute for raisins in granola, pancakes, smoothies, and baked goods. Apart from their great taste, Navitas Naturals Mulberries offer an incredible display of nutrition as well: including high levels of iron, calcium, vitamin C, protein, and fiber. Plus, as one of the few natural foods containing Resveratrol (the “anti-aging” component in red wine grapes), mulberries serve as a true power food.

My Description and Thoughts:

I had no idea to expect when trying these. My best guess was that they would have a similar texture as other dried fruits I have tried. Just the look of these little berries is interesting–to me they look like tiny little pine cones. I popped a few into my mouth to give them a try and was pleased. The texture is crunchy and little bit chewy–very satisfying for those who like a little crunch to what they eat. My flavor is nice and mild fruitiness; not too pungent or overwhelming. These would be good to consume by the handful, or perhaps in a bowl of yogurt (or a soy/rice/coconut/almond alternative).

Blueberry Hemp Superfood

Navitas Naturals’ Description:

Grab a bite of energy and celebrate, because while your taste buds are singing, your body’s feeling even healthier. These delicious snacks are made from the most nutrient-dense plants found in nature, packed with functional food stars like cacao, maca, chia, and camu-camu. At Navitas, our tradition is to globally source the most nutritious, wholesome, and sustainably-cultivated ingredients we can find. Now, we’ve combined these premium organic superfoods into flavorful grab-and-go snacks, making it easier than ever to enjoy their vibrant benefits.

My Description and Thoughts:

These little nibbles come in a cubed form and are bite size. They taste like you might imagine–the main flavor is the blueberry and the hemp provides a hearty background. I imagine these being perfect to keep in your backpack to snack on during a hike, bike, or run. They are satisfying and filling; only a handful and you can fulfill a spike in hunger.

3 Berry, Cacao Nib, & Cashew Trail Mix

Navitas Naturals’ Description:

Ancient nomads were the first to discover the benefits of trail mix: potent wild foods that are portable, full of energy, and do not require cooking. Today, Navitas Naturals extends this tradition by using only the most powerful superfoods available to create the ultimate organic raw trail mix. This special trail mix contains high-energy cacao, healthy really-raw cashews, antioxidant-rich goji berries, sweet well-rounded mulberries, and vitamin-packed goldenberries. Excellent by the handful, or tossed into recipes for an easy gourmet boost, Navitas Naturals Trail Power is a delicious way to fuel your lifestyle.

My Description and Thoughts:

Before becoming a bit more conscious about my eating, I indulged in trail mix (the kind with m&m’s, peanuts, raisins, etc) thinking they were “good” for me. I have since cut that out of my daily intake, but I was happy to find a nutrient-packed and healthy alternative. Similarly to the dried mulberries, this trail mix is good by the handful or in yogurt (or a non-daily alternative). My favorite ingredients are the naturally sweet and salty raw cashews, cacao bits, and goji berries. The mulberries and goldenberries compliment the other ingredients well. I imagine putting a bag of these in my purse for when I need a hearty snack.

All in all, I’m extremely pleased with these healthy snacks because you can feel good about what you’re putting into your body while also satisfying your hunger or “munchies.”

Berries, Seeds, & Nuts Bowl for Antioxidants and Good Fats

Berries, Seeds, & Nuts Bowl

Since berries are one of my favorite

healthy snacks,

I try to find new ways to incorporate them into my meals. This is a simple and absolutely delicious way to do that. Berries are full of antioxidants (substances that help prevent cell damage) and also have anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, they make the perfect pre and post-workout snack. Here’s what to put in it:

A handful of fresh berries (I used blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. Also, do not use frozen berries for this–they won’t give this recipe the same fresh heartiness)

A splash of almond milk

About 1 tablespoon of vanilla protein powder–I use Jay Robb’s Vanilla Whey Protein Powder (to add protein and flavor to the milk)

Sprinkling of chia seeds

Sprinkling of flax seeds

Sprinkling of pistachios

Sprinkling of pecans

Toss it all together and enjoy this healthy, yet tasty and satisfying snack!

Beet & Berry Smoothie created by Jesica

This smoothie is awesomely hearty and perfect before a run or workout. A fellow instagrammer shared with me that to ultra-marathoners, beet juice is “nature’s gatorade.” How cool is that!? So I thought, add some delicious mixed frozen berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries) and voila!

What’s In It (exact measurements are not important):

3 or 4 beets chopped up (use the greens too)

1 handful of frozen mixed berries (fresh are better if you have them, but frozen adds a nice chill to the smoothie, so no ice is needed)

Splash of almond milk

Splash of water

There you have some “natural gatorade”!

Enjoy! (doesn’t hurt that it has a pretty color to it, also!)