Links Worth Sharing: Yoga and Eating Disorders, The Reality of Food Waste, Resources for Homesteaders and More!

The Truth About Yoga and Eating Disorders from Yoga Journal via Choosing Raw

I’m glad this is being talked about. While yoga may be a great modality for mind/body healing, it isn’t foolproof. “And while a practice that encourages a mind-body connection and self-awareness might seem like the last place to find fuel for disordered eating, a study in the International Journal of Eating Disorders found yoga students to be at equal or greater risk than the general population. “We can’t say whether yoga hurts or helps, but I think that some people who are dealing with disordered eating and body dissatisfaction are attracted to yoga because they’re looking for an answer,” says study author Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, PhD, who researches body image and eating disorders at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.”

Homesteading for Beginners via {never} homemaker

I would love to learn some of these skills and this is a great list of resources from my friend Ashley’s blog. “Plus, many of the projects we’ve been involved with have helped us save money all while catering better to our family’s specific needs. We’ve created all our own green cleaning supplies, for example, and they are certainly healthier and safer than even the most “natural” store-bought alternative. With each new idea or project, we learn something useful for the future.”

Uncovering America’s Food Waste Fiasco via Civil Eats

I’ve always wanted to dumpster dive, but these pictures show the extent of the problem of food waste. “I’ve learned that I can roll up in nearly any city in the U.S. and collect enough food in one night to feed hundreds of people. While millions of children are too hungry to concentrate in school, perfectly safe food is filling dumpsters across the country. I’m not going to stand for that and I know you won’t either.” 

Celiac Disease, a Common, but Elusive, Diagnosis via The NY Times

“But even in the most sophisticated medical settings, the diagnosis can be missed or the tests done incorrectly. Over four days in a local hospital, Daniel’s doctors performed an intestinal biopsy. But only two samples were taken, which missed the severe damage in his small intestine.”

When Gluten Sensitivity Isn’t Celiac Disease via The NY Times

“Recent studies have strongly suggested that many, and possibly most, people who react badly to gluten may have a more challenging problem: sensitivity to a long list of foods containing certain carbohydrates.”

It appears that whether it’s auto immune or not, we may be becoming more sensitive to gluten. It appears that FODMAPS may also play a role. Interesting stuff!

Sweet and Savory Cauliflower Salad

I would pretty much follow Heidi from 101 Cookbooks to the end of the earth if she promised me a meal. Not one of her recipes has ever disappointed me and in fact many of them have become staples in our house. She’s always been lovely when I have reached out with various questions or thoughts. This recipe is based on her Black Pepper Cauliflower Salad, and in fact that dressing mostly identical to hers – I just changed up some technique and some of the components.

This is the gigantic cauliflower I found at the farmers’ market last weekend – next to a pepper grinder for scale. It was probably as big as my head.

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When I made it the first time, I didn’t have apples so I used dried dates and it was delicious. So I did that for awhile. Our new co-op doesn’t have dried dates in bulk, so I went hunting for other fruit and found dried figs, which sounded intriguing. And then I realized that there were baskets of fresh figs available, so I snagged one of those instead. Adding slices of one small apple makes for a nice crunch though, so I added that back in. Try any combination of fresh/dried fruit – I have a feeling you can’t go wrong.

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Sweet and Savory Cauliflower Salad with Lentils
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 pound head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • Scant 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt + more for roasting
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 cup toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked if necessary
  • 10 small figs and one small apple or 10 dried dates
  • 2/3 cup chopped black olives
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 cup black lentils, soaked

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss cauliflower florets with oil, season with salt and roast for 40 – 45 minutes.
  3. Add lentils and 2 cups water to a pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until soft but not falling apart. Drain and set aside.
  4. While the cauliflower and lentils cook, prepare the dressing. Combine onion, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper in a small pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes until it reduces and becomes a bit pink from the red onion.
  5. If your sun-dried tomatoes are really dry, soak them in hot water to make them easier to work with. After they’ve softened, slice them thinly.
  6. Slice the figs and apple thinly (or quarter the dates, if using them instead.)
  7. When cauliflower is done, add to a bowl with the the fruit, sun-dried tomatoes, chopped olives, capers, and dressing. Toss to coat. Top with toasted pistachios and toss one more time.
  8. Serve over lentils.

Links Worth Sharing: Emotions, The Best Way to Work Out, Working Conditions, and more!

Ask Well: Weights Before Cardio? via the New York Times

Although the science says one thing, I imagine that there are individual differences here as well based on perceived fatigue. “Many dedicated gym-goers have heard that aerobic and resistance-style exercise should not be combined in a single workout; or if they are, that one or the other must come first. The theory behind these claims is that each form of exercise interferes, physiologically, with the other, potentially blunting the desired training effects.”

On Emotions via Adam Hocke Yoga

Emotions. I have a lot of them! Especially right now, starting school and settling in Seattle. So much of this article really resonated with me.  “I think we’ve all been there in some way or another. When the path before us seems too rocky, and the choices we face seem too difficult to make, that instead we put on the proverbial pyjamas, turn on the telly, and call it a day.”

“Adulthood” Is a Myth via A Practical Wedding

More on adulthood from APW this week. I definitely struggle with having “adult” responsibilities but wondering when I’ll actually feel like a grown up. “But then sometimes, when I’ve done a ton of laundry and it’s all piled on the bed waiting to be folded and I’m just too tired, I’ll convince Nick that we can just push it to the bottom of the bed and deal with it in the morning. As I drift off to sleep, curled in a tiny ball at the top of the bed, I wonder, is this something other grown-ups are doing? Do other grown-ups have scrambled eggs and Pinot Grigio for dinner, three nights in a row? Do most adults have to reset their password to pay their student loans every. single. month. because they don’t want to write it down, and at this point they’ve reset it so many times that the only new passwords they can come up with are gibberish that they have no hope of remembering again in thirty days?”

Cleaning House with Jenny via APW via The Billfold

A great, honest piece on how it can feel both so helpful and so weird to have someone clean your house, and how to navigate it both practically and emotionally. “As predicted the idea of another person cleaning up our mess filled Dustin with deep shame so he was like, “Oh god she’s coming at 3? I have to get out of here.” I debated asking him to just do the rest of the dishes, even though all of this was a predicament of my own making, but I decided against it. After all, I’d made my bed, I should…stand by while someone else made my bed? :(“

Blues on Wheels via The Morning News

I had no idea working conditions for carriers were like this and this article was really eye opening. “The CCA position, akin to a contract letter-carrier, was created in 2013 to save the USPS money and shift higher-paid transitional employees (TEs) into lower-paying jobs. Or, as one district supervisor screamed at me: “YOU EXIST TO REDUCE OVERTIME.” TEs, who were making over $20 an hour—with no benefits, no retirement, and no path to becoming a “regular”—had a short window to either take a $5 per hour pay cut and become a CCA, with the promise of making regular in the vaguely defined near future, or quit.”

Race Recap: Beat The Blerch 10K

Alex and I are big fans of The Oatmeal, so when we found out about the Beat The Blerch race a few months ago, we were stoked. It’s based on this hilarious comic about why the author of The Oatmeal started doing long distance running. It was happening in Seattle right after we moved! It seemed perfect. Except that it sold out in like 30 seconds. I decided we’d sign up to volunteer for the race, but then they opened up a whole second day of races on Saturday – never underestimate the power of Internet humor to motivate people!

So we trekked out to Carnation, which is east of Seattle, to run this weekend. The race didn’t start until 10 am and we didn’t have to leave until 8:30! Most races I have run have started at 8 or 8:30 am, and I didn’t know what to do with all my extra time in the morning! It was nice to not have to rush our the door though.

I didn’t take the race super seriously; our training wasn’t too rigorous because of the move and my end goal was to feel good and enjoy the run. It wasn’t too challenging because the race course was beautiful!

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The weather was perfect – overcast but not too chilly and Tolt-MacDonald was just stunning. There were long stretches of trees and a river ran alongside the course and there were lots of lovely bridges; I’d say it was probably one of the most beautiful races I’ve run!

In addition to being beautiful, the race had character. At the halfway point, you could enjoy nutella sandwiches or birthday cake, and take a little nap on the couches they had set up. While the idea of eating that much sugar while running makes me queasy, Alex indulged and hung out with a Blerch for a little while taking a break.

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A champ needs his rest!

We ended up running it at 9:08 pace and finishing in 56:35, which is certainly not my fastest race ever, but was relatively speedy for how hard I’ve been training. I’m mostly just thrilled that it was fun and I got to enjoy it rather than pushing myself too hard. I know it was the first of many great races in Seattle!

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Vegan Fig and Cheese Sandwich on Ciabatta

While we were on the road to Seattle, we stopped at Blossoming Lotus in Portland for lunch and had a vegan Brie and fig sandwich that was out of this world. I knew I had to recreate it at home. I’ve made it with both raw red onions and cooked, and both versions are good. The raw red onions add a bit of crunch, but I enjoy the sweetness and texture of the caramelized onions just a touch more.

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As far as mustards go, I used a porter based stoneground in combination with a three pepper mustard that was on the sweeter and spicier side, and it really hit the spot. Use your favorite or try some combinations.

I used vegan cheese because they were giving samples of it at the grocery store, and the Blossoming Lotus version was vegan. That said, I have no doubt this would be tasty with actual Brie as well if that’s your thing! It’s a messy sandwich to eat, that’s for sure, but man it’s delicious!

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Vegan Fig and Cheese Sandwiches
Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 half red onion, sliced
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 ciabatta rolls or a loaf of ciabatta cut into 2 sandwich size pieces
  • 4 tablespoons vegan cheese (I used the Parmela brand)
  • 6 – 8 slices of tempeh bacon
  • 4 tablespoons mustard of choice
  • 6 figs or 4 tablespoons fig jam
  • Handful of arugula

Directions

  1. Heat oil in small frying pan over medium high heat. Add red onions and salt. When onions begin to soften, turn heat down and leave them alone, allowing them to brown and caramelize.
  2. While the onions cook, spread each half of ciabatta with 1 tablespoon mustard and 1 tablespoon of vegan cheese. If using fig jam, spread that on as well.
  3. Add a layer of tempeh bacon, figs, and onions when they are done caramelizing. Top with arugula.
  4. Use a panini press or a cast iron pan on top of your sandwich in the oven to toast the sandwich.
  5. Slice and enjoy!

Links Worth Sharing: Urban Agriculture, School Lunch, Adulthood, and more!

S.F. property owners to get tax break from creating urban farms via SF Gate

Excited to see an economic policy that encourages sustainability. “Starting Sept. 8, owners of empty lots could save thousands of dollars a year in property taxes in exchange for allowing their land to be used for agriculture for five years or more.”

Good bosses aren’t good enough via Daily Kos

Having a good boss is great. Not having to worry about having a good boss is better. “Coming out of Labor Day, it’s important to remember that American workers didn’t get weekends, or overtime, or the minimum wage, or workplace safety regulations, because good bosses decided to be nice. We got those things because workers joined together and organized and fought and demanded and built power and used that power to make change.”

Feeding the Street: The Untold Story of Women Vendors in New York via Feet in 2 Worlds

I admit to taking street food totally for granted when we lived in SF and not thinking about the barriers or risk for the vendors; this is a good awareness raising piece about what it means to do that work.  “Like workers at fast food restaurants, street vendors also cook and sell food at an industrial pace. But while employees of McDonald’s, Taco Bell and other fast food chains have stepped up their demands for higher wages and better working conditions, vendors like Heleodora have been left out of the movement.”

School Administrators: Kids Like Healthy Lunches Just Fine via Time

There’s still so much work to do when it comes to school lunch and how to make it healthy, tasty, and affordable for everyone involved.

“But most had come around by the spring, they reported in a new study backed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Now, around 70% of elementary school students “generally like the new lunch,” they said.” 

“Yet, according to the new survey to be published in an upcoming issue of the Childhood Obesity journal, high school students and students in rural schools have been more reluctant to accept the changes.”

Mother Nature’s Daughters via The New York Times

An interesting look into urban ag in NYC and the role that women play. “More significant, if urban ag work comes to be seen as women’s work, what will that mean for the movement’s farming model, mission and pay?”

Thanks to A Practical Wedding for bringing these articles to my attention – a fascinating examination at what it means to “be an adult” in the US today. 

The Death of Adulthood in American Culture via The New York Times

“What all of these shows grasp at, in one way or another, is that nobody knows how to be a grown-up anymore. Adulthood as we have known it has become conceptually untenable. It isn’t only that patriarchy in the strict, old-school Don Draper sense has fallen apart. It’s that it may never really have existed in the first place, at least in the way its avatars imagined. Which raises the question: Should we mourn the departed or dance on its grave?”

The “death of adulthood” is really just capitalism at work via Salon

“Well, if Scott gets to play frustrated English professor in his article, I get to play former college Marxist in mine, and insist that sometimes economic forces really do shape the cultural zone. Real wages have fallen since Don Draper’s heyday, especially for American men and double-especially for the middle-class and working-class white men who were once the bulwarks of the mid-century model of adulthood. We now live in a culture (using the word in its anthropological sense) of diminished expectations and permanent underemployment, where many or most young people will never be as affluent as their parents.”

Staying Balanced with Self Care

I feel like self care is getting a lot of press these days, which it should. Everyone should have the time to exercise and eat well and get enough sleep and see family and friends and enjoy their hobbies. Too often this is something that is reserved for those with plenty of extra resources, and even then, our culture is not one that often embraces the idea of stepping off the treadmill of work to step onto the actual treadmill (or trail/yoga mat/kitchen/etc).

That said, I’ve also noticed a trend (mostly in myself but I’m guessing there are others out there), to prioritize exercise and eating healthfully  in a detrimental way. It becomes so important it seems stressful. Exercising becomes another  thing to check off the to do list. Other tasks are looming, but dinner has to be made and while a peanut butter and jelly sandwich would be easy, it’s not the healthiest so instead I embark on a longer recipe and end up tired, hungry, and grouchy. Self care should bring more balance rather than throwing it further out of whack.

School starts in less than two weeks, and I know it’s going to be overwhelming. Two hours of commuting per day plus new people plus five classes plus readjusting to getting up and out of the house very early – it’s going to be a shift. A shift I am welcoming, but a shift nonetheless.

In the midst of all this, I’ve been thinking about how I want to approach self-care during the next few months as I readjust to a heavier workload and new routine. I haven’t yet touched on cooking and eating, though I’m expecting to utilize the freezer more and rely on Alex more heavily, but I have given quite a bit of though to my exercise habits. I wanted to share what I came up with in case it’s helpful for anyone else trying to figure out exactly how to prioritize these things without going overboard.

Running
Goal: Between now and the new year, run three times per week. No distance goals or time goals or challenge goals. Just get my shoes on and run in whatever way feels good.
Reason: I’ve been struggling with my running motivation for a while now. Alex and I want to run a marathon next year, so I really want to build up an enjoyable base, and remember why I like to run in the first place. Some days that might be sprint intervals, and I’m guessing a lot of days will be slower, easy runs. Come January, I want to add in hills, distance and speed work before picking up formal training in April.

Yoga
Goal: Three yoga sessions per week (two flow and one yin or restorative) of whatever length works on that day.
Reason: Yoga is good for me. I haven’t been doing it consistently in the last few weeks since we moved and I can feel it, both mentally and physically. I won’t have time to go to a studio for 60 or 90 minute classes that often, so I’m trying out YogaGlo and like it so far. You can filter by length of class and style, and they seem to have quite a variety of videos. Going from three flow to two and one restorative is an effort to both go deeper physically and slow down emotionally.

Strength Training
Goal: Two to three lifting sessions per week. No major strength goals except to maintain.
Reason: Ideally, I’ll hit three, but in practicality, it may more often be two. I just straight up enjoy weight lifting and don’t want to let it slide just because I’m busy. I’m still learning how to balance running with strength training, and may examine that more deeply in future posts. My schedule is going to be tight in the mornings if I workout, so I’m going to have to start being more efficient at the gym. I’ll definitely be writing about this.

Rest
Goal: One full rest day per week.
Reason:  I need this mental break. I’m currently not very good at it, and need to practice. In order to do this, yoga and running will likely have to overlap days, which actually makes sense to me anyway as yoga can be a great warm up for a run or post-run stretch.

For me, letting go of major exercise goals is going to free up a lot of mental space for school, while having broad goals will ensure that I’m taking study breaks and taking care of my body.

I’m going to celebrate each 20 minute jog, and be present in my 30 minute yoga practice. This may sound basic, but I suspect I’m not the only one that struggles with pushing and pushing and pushing, in the name of being healthier. I want to focus on exercise (and cooking/eating, too) as a wellness practice that can be tweaked and adjusted, based on what else is happening in my life, rather than an end goal.