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5 Lessons About Exercise You Can Learn From Your Dog

by | Feb 23, 2015

The same thing happens every day. Whether it’s raining or the sun is shining. Whether we had a late night encounter with raccoons or we’re well-rested. Shortly after lunch every afternoon my dog Toaster wanders into my office and puts his little head on my lap.

It’s time to go to the park.

While it’s clear that Mother Nature plays a roll in his timing (potty time is a an excellent trigger), it doesn’t take more than a glance to realize that there is a deeper motivation under all that fluffy fur.

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Rest for Success: Performance Lessons from Wicked the Musical

by | Feb 18, 2015

wicked-musical-movie1

Sophie Wright is an actor and wellness advocate currently in the Australian tour of Wicked the musical. She writes about how to incorporate wellness, mindfulness and healthy habits for performers and people in any creative industry. She has a new E-book coming out very soon with guided meditations, mindfulness worksheets and healthy recipes.

Rest for Success: Performance Lessons from Wicked the Musical

by Sophie Wright

I wish you could be a fly on the wall backstage of Wicked the Musical. It is manic.

Among the miraculous array of beautiful costumes, set pieces like Glinda’s bubble and the Wizard’s giant face, are a group of 25 sweaty, loud actors, singers and dancers who look like we’ve just done the world’s most intense bootcamp.

We’ve mastered the 30-second changes where we run off stage, change from ball gown to wiz costume, grab a prop and run back on stage to sing a high F in perfect pitch with a gleaming smile on our faces. No biggie…

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Are You Paying Too Much for Fresh Food?

by | Feb 16, 2015

 

One of the most common criticisms of my work here at Summer Tomato is that the lifestyle I promote is not available to everybody. That fresh food is a luxury only available to those with the resources to procure it and the time to prepare it.

Sadly, this is true. But it is only part of the story.

These accusations of elitism are based on the assumption that since fresh food has a higher price tag than processed food, promoting it as the best means to better health discriminates against those who can’t afford it.

Blame the science, shoot the messenger.

To get to the real problem we need to ask what sets the price tag. Why is the food from smaller farms at my local farmers market more pricey than the mass produced industrial food most people eat?

Is it because small, family farmers are greedy? Are they preying off the ignorance of rich people seeking the latest kale and beet juice trend?

Or are the prices of industrial food––even produce––artificially cheap?

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For the Love of Food

by | Feb 13, 2015
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week Costco is making you fat, meditation protects the brain, and the strange psychology of taking a pill.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app I just discovered to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (Yes, I took that picture of the pepper heart myself.)

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Foodist Approved:  Anytime Frittata with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach

by | Feb 11, 2015
fritatta sweet potato and spinach

fritatta sweet potato and spinach

Word is out. I’m co-authoring a cookbook for runners with Shalane Flanagan, Olympic medalist, world-class marathoner and world-class friend.

I could not have envisioned a better partner in crime for my first book. Shalane has been an inspiration to me since I met her 14 years ago at our first day of cross-country practice at UNC. She’s one of the toughest women I know and also happens to have an incredible approach to eating for nourishment and enjoyment.

The ironic thing about writing a cookbook is that I too have days when I just don’t have time to cook. You’d think I’d be swimming in amazing meals, but the truth is I have weeks where I’m testing five variations of the same energy bar day after day.

On those days, I revert to dinners that can be prepped in 15 minutes max.

A frittata packed with seasonal veggies is one of my quick go-to’s. This hearty frittata, loaded with sweet potatoes and spinach, has saved me on many late nights.

I’ll admit, last week I ate it for lunch and dinner followed by polishing off the remaining slice for breakfast the next day. Hence the name Anytime Frittata. Enjoy!

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Foodist Diaries: Escaping Mom’s Diet Mindset

by | Feb 9, 2015

Photo by musicfanatic29

Over the years I’ve been writing here at Summer Tomato I’ve had hundreds of people share their stories of success with me. Some have lost a hundred pounds, while others have finally gained weight in a healthy way without resorting to junk food and empty calories.

Some people have overcome a life of picky eating, some have learned to cook, and some have raised children who love kale and cauliflower.

Everyone’s journey toward health and happiness looks different, but all are inspiring. This year I want to share more of these stories with you so you can see how different people learn to optimize their healthstyle.

Cassie T grew up much like I did, with a mother who instilled a dieting mindset at a young age. Overcoming the restriction mentality and learning to really listen to her body was one of the pivotal challenges she overcame.

Thanks Cassie for sharing your inspiring story.

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For the Love of Food

by | Feb 6, 2015
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week the mirror makes you overeat, a huge supplement scandal, and the birth of “science milk”… mmmm.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app I just discovered to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (Yes, I took that picture of the pepper heart myself.)

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Wisdom Wednesday: Don’t Make a “Lifestyle” Change

by | Feb 4, 2015

Photo by Darnosaur

When I first made the decision to stop dieting and focus on eating for health and happiness, more changed than just my body. As I explored new foods and new habits I met an entirely new group of people.

Instead of talking about calories, carbs and cardio, these people spoke about balance, acceptance and a “healthy lifestyle.”

I hated it.

I agreed with these principles in theory––of course you should balance your nutrition; of course you shouldn’t think worse of yourself because of the shape of your body; of course health is a lifestyle and not a short-term goal––but there were no concrete instructions for actually making change.

It felt like a fluffy echo chamber, all philosophy and no action. Maybe there’d be some laughable tips like “eat everything in moderation” (what does that even mean?) or “get plenty of sleep” (pffffff, I wish).

But I wanted to know how to stop when I’d eaten enough and how to pry my eyes away from my computer screen so I could actually get ready for bed.

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The Best (and most surprising) Way to Quench Cravings

by | Feb 2, 2015

Photo by Aristocrats-hat

You probably know by now that I’m not the biggest fan of willpower. It’s weak. It’s fallible. And it often backfires when we need it most.

If you were dating willpower I’d tell you to dump the jerk immediately. Seriously, you can do better.

The reason I’m so hard on willpower is because the vast majority of the people I talk to still believe it is the solution to their health and weight struggles, and it’s not.

For long-term goals, willpower is far too unreliable to carry you through. Eventually it will break down, and the rebound you experience will be far worse than if you weren’t trying to control your behavior at all.

That said, willpower can be incredibly powerful for short-term goals. When you need to study for an exam or tolerate your family during the holidays, self-control is often your greatest asset.

The most effective foodists must learn when and how to use willpower to your advantage, and when to let it go and fall back on habits.

When it comes to food, one of the best uses for willpower is when you’re experiencing cravings.

Cravings are internal signals that drive you to act against your better judgement. They can come on suddenly and be intensely powerful, driving all else from your mind except the object of desire.

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For the Love of Food

by | Jan 30, 2015
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week the relationship between meat and mortality, scary news about plastics and menopause, and the simple secrets of happiness.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app I just discovered to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (Yes, I took that picture of the pepper heart myself.)

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