I'm preparing for a figure competition, which is this Saturday, June 27th, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, in the Bay Area. Up until this point, I have been on a strict diet that I have learned to adapt to and appreciate. When preparing for a figure competition, one of the key food sources is protein. Every meal has a rich protein source, such as chicken breast, white fish, salmon, steak or eggs. Of all of those protein sources, eggs are my favorite. In fact, I love chickens because they give me energy to be productive. Now, I've spent time as a vegetarian, so when I buy meat or eggs I do my best to be label conscious and live within my means. Yet, I too have been tricked about labeling and I'm curious if you have been as well.
The reason why I'm bringing this topic up is because my diet now has no eggs. Every morning, to this point, I have looked forward to my oats and strawberries with my egg whites and one whole egg. I would prepare the oatmeal or oat bran, add my 1/2 cup of strawberries, and stir in stevia and cinnamon to make an incredible sweet taste. Then, I would actually add my cooked egg whites and whole egg right on top of the oatmeal. I loved it, especially the taste of the yoke that seeped in with the oats and berries. The taste combined sweetness and salt, and the yoke added a creaminess from its fat. Hands down, this was my favorite and most filling meal of the day while on prep. During peak week, my egg whites and whole egg have gone away and have been replaced with tilapia or boiled chicken. This just goes to show that we often miss what we can't have. I realized that eggs are my favorite source of protein and why I've made the decision to be more label smart when I go back to buying eggs again.
That's why I'm giving you this information, so that if you're an egg lover you can make wiser choices when it comes to shopping for eggs. If anything, you can make friendlier choices. I've included an image below about the complexity of egg labeling. I'm also breaking down the most common labels, so that the next time you go into the store you can be more aware and hopefully more pro-chicken.
"When a label reads ORGANIC, in the U.S., that just means that the USDA and the National Organic Program have regulated and certified that the land and feed have no antibiotics or growth hormones. This label does not regulate roaming space or cages.
A FREE-RANGE label means that the USDA has regulated that chickens are provided with unlimited access to food and water, and continuous access to the outdoors, but the range size is not enforced. There are no specifics about what is fed.
CAGE-FREE labeling on eggs means that the USDA has regulated that chickens are able to roam freely indoors, with unlimited access to food and water. There are no specific about what chickens are fed.
If you see HUMANE; PASTURE-RAISED it generally means that egg production is unregulated and that practices and treatment of chickens vary. It is best to ignore these claims since there are no guidelines enforced," www.yogajournal.com. August, 2015.
Your best best is 100% ORGANIC, FREE RANGE. I've been wanting to do this, and perhaps you'd like to try it out too, which is go to a local, organic farm and pick or buy fresh eggs. I love it when I get fresh eggs from neighbors, but it would be fun to go to a farm and get them myself. There is nothing better tasting than a fresh organic, free range egg. The yoke in these eggs are divine. The reason the yoke is so delicious is because the chickens are living a happy life, and we all know that everything is better with happiness.
Information was inspired by the article "Get Cracking" in the Yoga Journal.
Erase Emotional Eating
Are there events happening in your life right now that are creating feelings of either loneliness, anxiousness, exhaustion, boredom, or depression? Do you find yourself in a cycle of turning to food to fix your feelings? If you answered "yes" you are probably like most Americans, an emotional eater. Many people turn to food, especially sugary and fatty foods to provide comfort when life gets tough. The down fall of emotional eating is that it makes you feel even worse after you have consumed the food. Most people that emotionally eat feel worse after eating because they feel guilty, think they are weak or fat, speak internal negative thoughts, or continue to binge. Do you want tips to erase emotional eating? Check out these 8 ways to bring more intention into your life when it comes to dealing with your emotions and food.
First, let me share that I am a recovering emotional eater (click the link for more help with food addictions). This is why I feel I can share these tips to help you overcome the cycle and have a better relationship with food. I use to turn to food for comfort, especially fatty foods like cheesy pastas or ice cream. It was how I use to deal with feelings of loneliness, depression, anger, or anxious stress. I found that my relationship with food was abusive. I would eat until the point of discomfort because I just wanted to feel different than the emotions I was combating. I would eat and think "this will make me happy." How I felt afterward was the complete opposite. How I felt was ruined. I felt "fat," "guilty," "ashamed," "unloved," "gross," and "weak." My internal dialogue was horrible. I bullied myself.
How did I get out of this cycle? I learned the practice of intention and self-love. First, yoga and meditation helped me to be with myself and not my thoughts. After that, exercise and dance groups helped me to move forward and enjoy my body. Finally, body-building helped me to be disciplined and see my full strength; both internally and externally. Within all of these practices and communities I learned about self-worth. I also educated myself about food and the human body. My personal choices gave me strategies to deal with emotions in a more positive way. Now, I am not telling you to do the activities that I did, but I will list the steps that I still turn to today when I get those emotional eating pangs. I do get the urge to respond to emotion with food now and then, but I never let it catch me because I know I'm worth more. Here are 8 ways to erase emotional eating.
I recommend trying out all of these, especially numbers one and two. Hydration is generally what we need, not pizza. And of course, exercise is fundamental to a healthy mind, body and spirit. Please be kind to yourself, too. Check-in with your hunger or cravings and your emotions. Here's how to tell if you're physically hungry or having an emotional response. If you're physically hungry: eat. If you're just having emotional hunger try my steps. Check out this chart to help you recognize your food relationship. Please contact me if you want support with emotional eating. In addition, I have found that meal prepping and meal plans have been one of my saving graces.
I am a new mother who has her hands full! I juggle not just my coaching business, but I am also a full time educator. I also teach yoga in the Bay Area, and I mentor first generation college students.