Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Food is supposed to be fun: the real food experiment

If you've been following me on facebook, instagram, twitter, real life, or this blog, you know that I'll be competing in Miss Virginia in June. You also probably know that my platform, You are HOW you Eat, centers around healthy eating habits, talking about disordered eating, and eschewing dieting.

In an effort to proverbially put my money where my mouth is, I will be following a "real food" eating plan in preparation for Miss Virginia. While striving to eat clean the majority of the time, I'll also be incorporating meals eaten from the restaurant group I work for 3-4 times a week. These meals are prepared from scratch, and include real ingredients like butter, whole milk, cream, and oil in their preparation.

Yes, I'm going to eat all of that and still walk on the stage fitter than I did when I competed for Miss Greater Springfield:

Jennifer Gilbert  DSC_2652.jpg
photo credit: julius tolentino
Sounds like disaster for a girl who's gotta be on stage in a swimsuit in six months, huh?

I don't think it has to be. I'm on a mission to prove that ANYONE can navigate a restaurant menu (even one without nutrition facts), make healthy choices, and even eat real dessert (not just frozen yogurt) sometimes, all while moving towards your health and fitness goals.

My platform hinges on the idea that food is supposed to be fun: fun to eat, fun to share with your family, fun to prepare.

I post everything I eat in a daily collage through my instagram account. Hold me accountable, get inspired, and check out some seriously delicious looking food.

PS: I just got a fitocracy account too... You can follow my workouts on there!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Demand more.

It has been a rough week for athletes between Lance Armstrong admitting doping to the whole Manti Te'o drama. Heck, it's been a rough week for us sports fans who follow them!

I don't really know what to believe, or how to get the truth. What I do know is that the Notre Dame football program found out on December 26th (22 days ago) that their star player had been tricked into believing he was dating a woman, that the woman had died, and then (on December 6th) found out she was not dead.

And, under pressure from an article exposing everything, the school finally talked.

Like I said, I am not an expert, nor do I have any ties to the story. But what I do know is that the only reason Notre Dame commented at all is because a third-party source released the story. I also know that the information the school shared - painting Te'o as a victim - is not enough, given they have apparently been investigating the situation for over three weeks.

So I've been trying to wrap my mind around the whole situation, and I just. I don't know. I think we need to demand more.

I think that a program, and a school, that thrives on money spent by football fans, needs to do everything they can to get answers. I think that they need to not draw conclusions as to what happened unless they have solid evidence as to what occurred, who knew what, etc.

I think that it's time for fans to demand that athletes act like the role models they become when they step on a field. I think that the expectations should be honesty, integrity, and transparency, with the understanding that when you're a public figure, your every move is scrutinized. I think that young men should be taught that, pardon my Harry Potter, with great power comes great responsibility.

And I think that when you know something shady is going on, it is your responsibility as an athlete or as a person in a position of authority to come clean about it BEFORE the expose article does.

But maybe that's just wishful thinking. And maybe in the coming weeks and months, the story with shake out and Te'o really is the victim. It just doesn't all add up.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Some thoughts on willpower.

I'll admit, the start of a new year is pretty inspiring.

Which is why we're inundated with diet commercials, flooded with suggestions of cleanses, sold on the idea of cutting carbs for weeks at a time. At the beginning of the year, you name it, we're open to it.

So I was thinking: how much willpower does it take to follow a juice cleanse for a week? To limit yourself to cereal for two of your three meals each day? To commit to cutting out fruit, whole grains, potatoes, and all other forms of carbohydrates for weeks?

To me, all of those things sound absolutely miserable (and, coming from personal experience, some of those things definitely are ABSOLUTELY miserable). And yet, at the start of the new year, people somehow find the willpower to tackle these dietary restrictions, and they probably are successful at losing weight.

Which begs the question: if we're able to have the willpower to strictly follow crazy diet restrictions in the beginning of the year, why can't we find the willpower to make (much less restrictive) lifestyle changes during the rest of the year?

Isn't it much easier to, say, commit to limiting dessert three times a week than it is to commit to eating only vegetables or cereal for a whole week? Or to focus on what you can eat rather than what you can't?

What's the craziest diet you've ever attempted? Did you get the results you wanted? Did they last?
One time, I did Nutrisystem. The food was disgusting, and I lost the weight I wanted to lose for a hot second, but it all came back once I started eating real (non-packaged-and-preserved) food again. Plus, it took all the fun out of eating. Lamesauce.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What’s inspiring me this week

Do you follow me on Pinterest? If not, you should start! Here’s my weekly dose of inspiration found on the web.





Give up on giving up and fight for happiness. :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New year, first post.

2012 was a weird year.

It was full of moments where I thought the year was never going to end, and full of moments that made me wish it never would.

It was full of firsts: my first marathon, my first trip to the Northwest, my first Miss America Organization title, my first Orioles playoff experience, my first heartbreak.

I lived out of a suitcase, took up boxing and Bikram yoga, coached 18 elementary schoolers, maintained this blog.

I learned the path to happiness is found in making the decision each day to be happy, to let things unfold as they are meant to, and that sometimes, you have to choose to do what is best for you.

Despite a rocky start, 2012 ended up being a year that I will tell my future kids about, and one that taught me a whole lot about myself.

2013 is a year which I hope will be full of friendship, laughter, and continuing to pursue my passions. It is one that I hope will be defined by the impact I make in the lives of others.

Happy New Year, ya’ll. Here’s to new beginnings, new opportunities, and lots of joy.