Use Your Voice - Find Beauty

Use Your Voice - Find Beauty

say it say it say it. out loud. even if you're driving home and turn a corner and see a sunset. you're totally alone and no one can hear you. SAY IT. there's an incredible power in our voices even if we're the only ones to hear them. use you voice. notice beauty. acknowledge it. every day. all day. because you never know who's listening and who needs to hear it. who needs their attention brought to that beauty. who needs that reminder. 

Blending vs Juicing

blending-vs-juicing

Increasing your fruit and vegetable intake deserves a pat on the back. Whether you are
consuming them raw, grilled, steamed or in liquid form - you are making a solid effort to
improve your overall health and preventing future diseases. Making produce into a
drinkable form is awesome, and convenient but have you ever wondered if there is a
"best practice" for doing so? Juicing or blending? There are pros and cons to both, so
before you go out and spend money on the necessary equipment, read this.

Juicing

A majority of people think that juice is healthy. But did you know that the daily
recommended intake of juice is 4 ounces a day? That's only a half of a cup and it doesn't
matter if you make it or buy it. And now you are probably wondering, why??
When you juice a fruit or vegetable, you are extracting all of the water and nutrients
out, while leaving the bulk, or fiber, to go to waste. This is a red flag! We WANT the fiber
in our diets for so many reasons (heart health, digestive health, satiety, to name a few).
Fiber helps your digestive system by making it work harder to get the nutrients out of
the food and into your blood. Without that said fiber helping out, the nutrients go
straight to the blood stream. This could be great if you have digestive issues but
definitely not great for your blood sugar.

Also, if you are juicing as a meal replacement, please note that without fiber, you will
most likely be hungry again soon. It's important to note that since juicing is so
concentrated, a little goes a long way (hence the 4-ounce recommendation). In the eyes
of an RDN, you are much better off eating the actual piece of produce than juicing it.

Blending

There is something to be said about throwing whole fruits and veggies into a blender
and having the result be filling and delicious. Blending is great, for so many reasons - I'm
trying not to get too over excited while writing this, but I may not be able to contain
myself.

When you blend produce, you are using the entire thing (skin and all) which means the
product is an excellent source of fiber and very filling. Personally, we make smoothies
most mornings of the week at our house. It's a great way to make sure my kids are
getting the nutrients they need and it's fast and easy.

When you are blending foods, the nutrients are broken down from their original form
(the whole fruit form). This means they are readily available for your body to absorb and
use. Since the fiber is there, the nutrients are utilized at a slower rate. This means you
won't get that big spike in blood sugar like you do with a juice.

Another advantage to blending is that you can add in whatever you want! Chia seeds,
flaxseed, peanut butter, yogurt, anything your heart desires. I put almond milk in mine
for a low-calorie additive that thins out the smoothie a little bit. Add Greek yogurt to
increase protein intake or pumpkin seeds for some healthy fats. 
Lastly, blending is cleaner and easier. Most blenders are dishwasher safe, and you won't
have to clean up the unused portions like you do with a juicer. 

In my eyes, blending wins. Hands down. Don't ever be afraid to experiment with
blending and making new recipes. Drinking your produce is a great way to increase your
fruit and veggie intake, so what are you waiting for??

Need a place to start? For one of my favorite smoothie recipes, click here.


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Hi I’m Lindsey. I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and I’m a cheerleader for health enrichment. My passion is education and that is the driving force behind the blog I created, Raise A Little Kale. Nutrition is a very broad topic and everyone seems to have something to say about it. I crave cited sources so you can rest assured that the information you are reading is factual and science-based. I want to empower people to take back their health and live the best life they can. Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand when it comes to health promotion so there is plenty of workout posts as well. Everyone needs to start somewhere, I hope you start at Raise A Little Kale!

Living Forwards

It's interesting how things come to be. One little thought or question can blossom in to a lifestyle, a business, a relationship, a future. A little over a year ago I had such a question: How can I eat enough of the right foods to fuel my active lifestyle and breastmilk production?

It's not an easy question to answer. When I was about 10 I decided to quit eating meat. I was (and still am) terrified of birds. All shapes and sizes. One day, as I was cutting in to my plate of chicken, it dawned on me what I was putting in to my body and I had the most vivid picture of a live chicken flapping it's wings around inside of my belly. I put the fork down and proclaimed that I was now a vegetarian. Being 10 years old and living in a family of carnivores meant I usually ate cereal or pasta for every meal. I was not fueling my body. My eating habits slowly evolved and I added meat back in to my life as I exited high school.

Once I started having children, the topic of food choices reared it's head again. This time it was more than just my body and my personal wants/needs. It was about a tiny human growing inside of me. I didn't really think too much about it until I was breastfeeding my second child, Charlotte, and training for a half marathon. I was exhausted. Strung out. Starving. Thankfully my milk supply never dwindled, but I was incredibly worried about what would happen if it did. I remember talking to Brad and lamenting that fact that I couldn't find some kind of food/fitness tracker that catered specifically to breastfeeding mamas. I needed to know how much energy I was expending between running and yoga and breastfeeding in order to get it back to keep doing those things.

That little question lead me to research, which lead me to blogs, which lead me to the realization that if I really wanted as much information as I could gain about this topic (which is endlessly fascinating for me) I needed to go back to school. Enrolling in a Master's program for Nutrition Education and learning everything I can about how to nourish my body has helped me answer that one little question. It's also helped me realize the number of people who have similar questions without the tools to answer. 

Well I have them. Those answers. And I'm learning more every day. I can't keep all of it to myself. I started grad school with hopes of changing my eating habits and giving myself and my family a better outlook on food and nutrition. Now, I can't imagine not sharing that knowledge I've picked up with others. There's a lot I want to do to help and a lot I know I will do. 

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards
— Kierkegaard

Only now, looking back, can I see that the path was there and I was on it all along. 


Roots

roots

Where are you from? Where did you grow up? Where are you now? Where do you want to be?

Where I live, it's surprising to find people who grew up here. In the past month alone I've met people from Pennsylvania, Germany, New York, Georgia, and Iowa. I think that's what attracts me so much to the people here. We all have something in common: we're not from around here. But something pulled us here. Be it a job or family or just the pull of living by the ocean. We're all connected because we choose to be here rather than stay planted where we started out. 

I think there's a lot of power in that. In the choices we make about where we live. While it may seem out of your control, you always have a choice. The alternatives may be less than ideal, but you make that decision yourself. 

I'm from Ohio. I was born in Virginia outside of Washington, D.C. I went to school in Pittsburgh then southern Indiana. I moved to Florida right after college then back to Ohio for a hot minute then to California. When I first got to California I didn't put down any roots. I thought it was all temporary (and, being the wife of an active duty Marine, it was supposed to be). But when we decided to stay in California, I never made it my home. I never put down roots. I lived in the same place for my entire childhood and never really learned how to move. How to find my place in a new area. Do you know I didn't have a single friend in the 6 months I lived in Florida? Brad and I would go to dinner or something with his friends and their wives but it was always like that. I never saw any of the women one-on-one, without our husbands setting things up. Not a single friend. The closest I came was the cashier at my local Publix who was from Middletown, Ohio. We talked about how much we missed Fall and pumpkin picking and hay rides and that Ohio October chill. 

Our first time in California I refused to put down roots. I had opportunities, but whether it was the depression or the unwillingness to let go of the idea of Ohio being home, I never did. This time it's different. It goes against everything in my being but I'm determined to be planted here. Planted deep. Rooted in this sandy, rocky, dirty Southern California earth so far down that they'll have to use some industrial-sized machinery to dig me up. I don't doubt that we'll move again. I can also see my family here for a long long time. Whatever our future holds, I know that this time, if and when we leave where we are, I'll have some hard goodbyes. Thanks to those roots I've planted so deep within this community.