Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian diet

“Hey, can you stop being productive for a few minutes and just be a normal kid?” Weekends with friends usually raise comments that question my behavioral “abnormalities”; whether it is raised eyebrows when I ask to borrow a friends blender to whip up some Shakeology for breakfast while everyone else chows on pancakes and sausage or people staring at me when I roll up to the local pool on a mountain bike (helmet and all, that’s probably what they’re looking at; I look like a goon) because I chose the active and eco-friendly method of transportation, I am used to others inquiring about  or challenging my lifestyle. Sometimes though, I do embrace that one, small, normal part of me and just chill for a day. Yesterday was one of those times, hence the lack of a day 17 post.

After spending all day (6 hrs to be exact) canoeing on the river with friends, an Insanity workout and a salad for dinner just weren’t very appealing. So, I fixed up a gluten-free pizza and gluten-free, vegan brownies and vegged on the couch watching Dexter and messing around on the computer. This morning, cue guilty AnnMarie: running around being all productive and stuff. I’m back folks.

Day 17: Today is one of my favorite days because it is all about organizing foods into traffic light groups (green, yellow, red) that signify how often and how much they should be included in your diet. The groups are totally subjective according to your personal preferences, allergies, trigger foods, etc.

My “green” zone: These are foods that I can basically eat as frequently as I like. They are gluten-free (I’m intolerant; if you have allergies or intolerances, make sure your green zone remains free of allergens), vegan (I feel best on a vegan diet; know what type of diet makes you feel best and include those foods), and natural with little to zero added sugar.

  • water
  • sparkling water
  • kombucha
  • coffee
  • tea
  • soy milk
  • almond milk
  • calorie free sports drinks like Powerade Zero
  • avocado
  • carrots
  • jicama
  • greens
  • any raw veggies
  • hummus
  • mango
  • stevia
  • Shakeology
  • brown rice
  • quinoa
  • tempeh
  • beans
  • spices and herbs
  • berries
  • melon
  • pineapple
  • apple
  • g-free, vegan meat substitutes
  • larabars
  • other g-free, vegan nutrition bars
  • sweet potatoes
  • nori
  • salsa
  • peaches/plums/bananas/all fruit
  • rice cakes
  • flaxseed
  • PB2
  • g-free oats

My “yellow” zone: these are foods that I can eat a serving or two of about every 1-2 days. They are not totally unhealthy but I should consume them in moderation because they might contain low-fat dairy, fish, or a few unnatural additives. I also include “trigger foods,” or foods I have difficulty consuming in moderation, on this list.

  • g-free cereals/bread
  • sushi
  • g-free tortillas
  • jelly
  • nut butters
  • nuts
  • trail mix
  • dark chocolate
  • g-free/vegan desserts
  • honey/raw sugar/ natural and caloric sweeteners
  • lattes/cappuccinos (unsweetened)
  • g-free crackers
  • fro-yo
  • greek yogurt
  • cheese

My “red” zone: these are foods that should be eaten more infrequently than once a week, that is maybe once every 10 days or on special occasions. This list includes universally unhealthy foods and gluten-containing foods.

  • anything fried
  • non-vegan, gluten-containing desserts
  • sugary/heavy breakfast foods
  • white-flour foods
  • chips
  • heavy dressings/sauces/soups
  • pizza (not home-made)
  • butter
  • ice cream
  • candy
  • flavored lattes/cappuccinos
  • unnatural sweeteners
  • juice
  • pop (I never really drink pop and haven’t for 7 years, but I put it on the list anyways)

This tiered approach to eating can help to recognize the foods that allow your body to function best; and therefore, feed it for productivity!

Yesterday, I was Miss Productivity! I ran (quickly, for once), did Insanity, stopped eating before 8, limited snacking, and researched my PUSH goal! I love those days when you feel like you really accomplished something. As far as progress on my PUSH goal, I will be checking off one of my mini tasks today as I head to the church-quiet Dunlap library to check out some blogging books. That is, if their seemingly ancient shelves have anything beyond “Gameboy Color for Dummies.”

So today, I did further reverse engineering…on my H&F goal.

Here is my list:

  • calculate BMR (already kind of did this, more tomorrow or later today)
  • pinpoint necessary calorie count for 1000 cal deficit per day
  • make list of go-to foods
  • make list of go-to distractions (for times of craving)
  • set 4 days per week for morning workouts
  • begin weight/measurement log
  • start “healthy tip” book
  • schedule weekly workouts
  • track food in My Fitness Pal
  • stop eating 3 hours before bed
  • completely eliminate gluten (I’m intolerant)
  • 0-1 servings of dairy daily (on a mission to completely eliminate for ethical/health reasons)
  • Read Wheat Belly
  • Read Skinny Bitch
  • Read Veganism
  • Read Vegan for Dummies
  • Read Nutrition for Dummies

Anyone have any other suggestions??

Since I started blogging it has become the joke amongst my close friends: Who will be AnnMarie’s next fitness buddy?

Will it be spaghetti-inhaling, pre-workout expert Garrett? Iron pumping, stair master Sophia? Calorie-counting cycle instructor John?

I have many, brilliantly fit friends who inspire me on a daily basis with their lifestyles tailored around healthy habits. However, today’s fitness buddy is extraordinary not for her limitless knowledge of proper nutrition or motivating spirit but rather for her desire to be inspired, her newly made healthy lifestyle changes, and for being my best friend in the entire world. Today’s fitness buddy is Elyse Eldridge.

“I’m a vegetarian now. I’m not even kidding.” “My legs are shot! I ran so much this week.” These are two texts that I recently received from Elyse that, had you asked me 6 months ago who these texts were from, Elyse would have been my absolute last guess out of everyone in my contacts. It is not often that I see someone make a total health-minded turn around as Elyse has in the past month.

About a month ago, she noticed that the food and fun inevitable in a college lifestyle were leaving her sluggish and out of shape. So she bought a pair of sweet Brooks running shoes and hit the pavement. She now runs to class, to see friends, and to just work up a good sweat in her down time. She even runs with me, something I couldn’t pay her to do for the entirety of our friendship (approx. 15 years). Then today, she tells me she read a brochure on animal cruelty and can’t eat meat anymore . Not only is a vegetarian diet proven to benefit the planet, the elimination of saturated fats found in animals is beneficial for cardiovascular functioning.

Starting a running/workout regimine and completely changing one’s diet are two extreme shifts in one’s lifestyle, and for Elyse to take on both of these challenges is admirable. I always thought that Elyse was admirable for her ability to talk to ANYONE, lighten ANY situation, and adapt to ANY enviroment, but never for her health habits–I am happy to say that I now admire her more than I ever have. I know that  if she keeps up with these positive changes that the positivity will spill into all other facets of her life.

Elyse makes me laugh, smile, cry, and now she makes me proud.

Keep up the good work champ.


My family follows the fairly stereotypical “mom is the baker, dad is the griller” trend on a daily basis. Tonight was no different as my mom prepared sweet potato fried and raw veggie and dip while my dad grilled burgers. Since becoming a vegetarian almost two years ago, when I eat with my family I either fill up on the veggie side dishes that my mom prepares or make my own meal. When I saw my dad plate up the burgers tonight, though, I wanted one. I rarely deprive myself (maybe too rarely) so I applied the trending phrase #YOLO and made myself a cheeseburger.

Ugh. Now, 6 hours later, my stomach is still reaming me for the decision to not only eat the burger, but to finish my meal with a very non-vegan bowl of ice cream. You’d think that after reading books like Veganism and Skinny Bitch (both great titles that I recommend) that I would be so against the consumption of animal products.Well, after reflecting on how I feel right now and what I know I put into my body, I am transitioning to full-fledged veganism. Bottom line: it is better for the environment, better for you short-term well-being, and leaps and bounds above alternative diets for increasing longevity.

The world is becoming more globally aware as a whole; more environmentally careful, more health conscious, and more compassionate. Because of the trending awareness, it is easy to find vegan-friendly foods, products, etc. Here are some examples:

Snack time:

  • apples/bananas and natural peanut butter
  • 100 calorie pack nuts
  • carrots and hummus
  • any Clif or Luna product

Daily products:

  • TOMS shoes
  • Tarte cosmetics
  • Eco tools cosmetics


  • VegNews e-newsletter
  • PETA newsletter (often include ways to get involved)

Try going vegan ONE day a week! I promise it isn’t THAT hard!

Every week I want to highlight someone in my life who has a positive impact on my health and fitness or simply someone who inspires me.

This week I’m going to cover a biggie: My boyfriend, Jeremy: my best fitness buddy.

Jeremy and I have been together for four and a half years and our relationship was, for the most part, founded on fitness. We became best friends when I joined the swim team, grew to be more than friends when we started going on 7 mile runs together, and now keep fitness as a huge component of our relationship by training for races together. He will be running the marathon with me on May 5th.

Although we are 2 hours apart because we attend different universities, we keep each other motivated to complete runs by discussing them before and afterword. On days before a scheduled run I always squeeze,” So are you running tomorrow?” into our daily phone conversation.

Another way that Jeremy helps me to better myself is by allowing me to vent about any and all nutrition and fitness challenges that I face. After countless hours of talking at him in high school about which diet plan I would adhere to for the given week, or whether I was taking in the proper amount of calories, or if I planned to stick to a vegetarian diet in the long run, or how Insanity was impacting my body, or the fact that I didn’t feel I could complete a full marathon without a training buddy, it’s sometimes hard to believe he’s stuck around for all of these years.

Jeremy’s competitive drive is exciting and definitely a personality trait I lack. It is what keeps him driven to keep fitness in his life. He always wants to be a little bit better, faster, stronger than the next guy. I envy his athleticism; the kid can literally jump in a pick-up game of almost any sport and probably win. And even as competitive as he is, when the game is over, he is everyone’s friend.

Thank you Jeremy, for encouraging me everyday to reach my full potential in all aspects of my life.

Jeremy and I last weekend watching from a rooftop as O.A.R. performed at Superbowl Village

Jeremy and I at his conference swim meet when we were 15. I saw him receive many medals at the state level, and with each medal he received, I worked just a little harder in the pool. Oh yeah, and his hair IS blue, sigh, those crazy Concord swimming traditions.

Tomorrow: Radom fitness-related questions that people yell in my face…Answered.

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