It’s insane how amazing our bodies are and to think we vilify them constantly is so disheartening

I took this pic a few days after I gave birth to send it to my best friend (doesn’t everyone send their BFF photos like this💁🏻‍♀️) I always cringe when I scroll past it in my camera roll, cringe thinking my body looked this way at one point. Actually disgusted by this photo. But for some reason I’ve never deleted it. And today, when I was seeing all the posts about #internationalwomensday I was thinking of the how I could join the conversation and I thought of this picture. It’s insane how amazing our bodies are and to think we vilify them constantly is so disheartening. Gals, we are so freaking strong in so many ways, this is just one of them, but a small reminder that we should celebrate this strength with photos

Celebrate everything you may have gained with each pound.

This just in, it’s official, I went up a jeans size. None of my jeans are comfortable, I’m finding it frustrating to get ready in the morning as I search for any pair of clean leggings. Tonight after work I decided to buy a new pair of jeans. Tried on maybe 16 pairs, sweat profusely in the dressing room. And I for sure went up a size. I was sad on the subway on the way home, feeling anxious. The way I’ve always felt in my life when I gain weight. And as I’m scrolling on Instagram looking at so many amazing weight loss stories I thought, no one posts when they gain weight. It’s like a big secret we all have to deny. Weight gain has become a big secret we have to hide with loose sweaters and leggings. Why? How did we get here? There are a million reasons why I am maybe up a few pounds now. But the most discouraging thing about this situation is I’m doing so many things right in life and focusing only on this so called “failure”. I’ve gotten myself back to the gym 4 times a week. I just got bloodwork and am very healthy. Oh, and I’m so happy. So why in the world should I care that my pants aren’t currently reflecting how I feel on the inside. And why in the world do we have to hide weight gain. Hiding the gain is like hiding who we are at this moment in time. Oh you gained some weight but landed your dream job, f*ckin celebrate that weight. Oh you had a baby and you’re up a pants size, flaunt that shit. Life can so easily be equated to our weight at any given time and that’s ok!! I’m feverishly typing this because I’m screaming with passion. We don’t need to hide in shame, celebrate everything you may have gained with each pound.

Best cookies in New York City

What makes me an expert on this? Absolutely nothing. But I do LOVE cookies and I am always on the hunt for the best cookie. I believe the best cookies should always be eaten and enjoyed. And because I look for the best cookies, when lackluster cookies or processed cookies cross my path, I easily resist. And as I’ve addressed emotional eating over the years, I have begun to learn what foods I really do like and what foods I am just eating to numb something. And I do in fact, love cookies!

And since I work in NYC, I often go out of my way to bring home cookies so here’s my ever growing list.

Levain Bakery

Address: 167 West 74th Street

If you are a texture eater, these cookies are the best ever. The are huge and easily shared. My favorite is the chocolate chip walnut and my second favorite is the chocolate peanut butter.

2. Potbelly Sandwich Shop

Located in numerous locations across Manhattan and even in the boros.

This cookies are super wide in diameter and very soft. My favorite here is there sugar cookie.

**more to come as I eat my way through manhattan**

How much water should you drink in a day?

Ah, water. The age old question is how much should I drink in a day? We all have picked up beliefs about how much water we need. We see people carrying around gallons of water. We are always told water is the key to weight loss and digestive health. So when this topic came up in my biochemistry class, I decided to share the info like I promised I would in this section of my blog.

Water makes up about 60% of our body weight.

And since water recommendations vary with age, gender and physical activity an “adequate intake” is recommended. That adequate intake recommendation is 2.7 liters or 90 oz for women. And 3.7 liters or 123 oz. for men. So how many cups is that? That’s 11.25 cups for women and 15.375 cups for men. (mom, check my math)

Now what does that actually mean in terms of standard water bottles? For us gals, over five standard 16.9 Fl. oz water bottles a day and for the men, over seven.

So are you drinking enough? I for sure am NOT but just knowing this information helped me up my intake. I hope it does the same for you.

If you struggle to polish off those Poland Spring bottles think of eating more fruits and vegetables which are high in water. 75-80% of our daily water intake comes from beverages. 20-25% comes from food, like nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. Obviously, watermelon. And a small amount, is created from cellular metabolic reactions.

. But here’s the bottom line, I think we just need to drink more water. And like me, if you were drawn to this article because you googled, “how much water should I drink?” then you probably aren’t drinking enough. Does it suck to pee every 35 seconds? Yes. I think we can all agree on that but the benefits of drinking more water far outweigh the total toilet time.

What is metabolism?

The definition of metabolism is: a series of chemical reactions that take place inside our body to sustain life. I know that shocked me too but I always assumed metabolism just meant the process by which someone is fat or skinny.

So then why is the word metabolism so closely associated with weight loss ?

Well, the bodies ability to sustain life (think back to the definition) boils down to the bodies ability to use 4 bio molecules, protein, fat, carbs and something called, “nucleic acids.” Nucleic acids are things like DNA & RNA.

So in the simplest terms we eat food to obtain these necessary bio molecules for metabolism. But every food we eat isn’t the perfect configuration of what our body needs. So what happens is, a food is broken down during digestion into simple and more scientific sounding particles. I like to think of each piece of food we eat as a bowl of rainbow M&Ms that then get separated by color. So after digestion we take our food (bowl of rainbow M&Ms) and break them down into 4 bowls of individual colors (blue, red, green and yellow)

So you’ve eaten a food that contains protein, fat, carbs & nucleic acids and digestion breaks it down into fatty acids (fat) glucose (carbs) amino acids (protein) & nucleotides. With me so far?

Then we need to use what our body needs. So we take the configuration of colors our body needs. And that takes energy. So the same food we eat is being broken down but also built back up at the same time. It’s a cycle. And guys…what regulates that cycle?! you guessed it…hormones.

And it is still very confusing. So did I help? Eh, not sure:)

Happiness doesn’t come from weight loss. Weight loss comes from happiness.

For so many of us food has developed a negative connotation. Eating out feels gluttonous and unhealthy. Having a drink with a friend feels like a diet derailment. We look at parties as calories instead of conversation.

On Friday after a long day I was on my way home and was mentally checking everything off my to-do list. I did this, I did that, ok good. And I thought, it feels like everything we do is an obligation.  We’re not present, we’re just enduring and then checking it off the list. Well that’s no way to live life I thought. And then I started of thinking of times I was very present in life. And I found myself always around the table surrounded by food. I am so present when I’m out to dinner with friends or family. Hmm I thought, all of a sudden food was morphing into a form of self care. I tested my theory and the next morning, Saturday, I asked my husband if he wanted to go out to breakfast. So him, myself and my daughter went to one of my favorite little family friendly breakfast establishments and I had the best pancake. And he had a French press coffee and our daughter put stickers all up and down our arms while we waited for the food. And I thought, this is so lovely. We didn’t have our phones. We had no where else to be. And if my daughter hadn’t already overstayed her welcome my husband and I probably would have stayed another hour talking and drinking lattes and consuming more calories. And although we may have left eating more than we planned, we were recharged and happy.

Today everyone is always talking about self care. Meditation and baths and massages and “me time” and we never think of eating as a form of self care. That’s because most of us look back on each meal with shame for overeating.

But I think back to the last 6 months and my most present times, times of peace and happiness and enjoyment were out to eat. And every single time, I had high calorie fattening food. I over indulged way more than I planned. Could I have ordered something healthier? Yup. But for some reason that’s like going to an amusement park and not riding a single ride. Maybe we all need to admit that indulging in food is how we indulge in life. When I looked at food this way, it became such a positive thing. Calories became conversations. And fat became friendship.

I went out for coffee with a friend on Sunday night and told her how I felt about this new theory. Explained to her how food can be in vehicle to bring calm into our crazy lives. She agreed that some of her best most relaxing times is out to a good meal with her husband.

And I’ll tell you this much, I wouldn’t have made a memory eating cottage cheese and egg whites alone at my kitchen table. My point is, you can be on a strict diet and eat perfect and lose weight but look at how meals become obligations and your social life feels stressful. For so many years I thought happiness would come from weight loss. But maybe weight loss comes from happiness.

Happy Monday!