Giving Au Natural a Shot: My Recent Health Obsession

You know what is the new cool? Self-helping before the days starts. As of lately, I have managed to remember that starting my morning with inspirational mantras is helpful towards achieving a day of positivity. Regardless of how tired I still am, how much of a rush the morning tends to be, I know that verbalizing some type of self-help mission statement will keep me from being a bad girl throughout the day. By bad, I mean with food- for now. 

I need reassurance, it sounds a little cheesy but it normally works. Rewind three to four weeks ago at around 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday when I would finish class and immediately mass text my friends to see who is down for happy hour. Starving, tired, and classwork overload usually leads me to want to come down gracefully with a beer and some bar food.

Although the gym and relatively healthy eating habits have stuck around within those same four weeks, I feel things are quickly progressing for me, especially after I was KO’d with inspiration this past Friday.

I spent six hours in the hair salon going blonde… again. I had a lot of downtime to read some of the fashion and health magazines littering the hair drying station. I picked up Shapeand began to read about how I could more effectively tone my butt. I did not get it. The skinny, glowing model in the demonstrations was confusing me. She was contorted in weird positions, freakishly smiling without a drip of sweat. Could look like that? Definitely not. I would probably twist an ankle while gracefully sporting a frizzy up-do, swearing and fantasizing about red meat and wine. Should I rip this page out of the magazine and post it to the wall? How can I read this if my face is in some yoga mat? Howdo I know how to do this if Kate Moss wannabe is not there to guide me? Oh, fuck it. I flipped the page, anxiously waiting for my hair to be done under the hellish heat machine, and figured I would stick to cardio, cardio, cardio.

Nature’s Path cereal & my exotic morning look!

I was starving after my hair extravaganza, only taking in water the entire day because I failed to pack any sort of “on the go” snack between class and my appointment. I still had to shower and get ready for my night, drive back to where I was earlier in the day, thirty miles away, and wait for friends to get ready before I could eat. I thought to myself, anorexic must be tough. I simply cannot not eat, and this had been the longest in my life I went without shoving some sort of lovely sugar-filled delight in my face as a temporary fix until lunch or dinner. My resolution to lose weight and work out has only recently been half successful. I always figured I could eat what I want if I work out. I know this is untrue, but always have done it anyway- until now.

The night went on, I ate a delicious mushroom burger and eventually spent the rest of the evening drinking heavy lagers. Next morning, boom, hangover central. Although I have to admit it was not as bad as the thousands of others I have had, I still needed to eat.

It was funny, as soon as I managed to crawl off the couch and into the kitchen, I remembered Shape magazine; I recounted the skinny and toned beauties, the interview with model/actress/designer/perfect human specimen that no one can relate to, Molly Simms, that I actually read from start to end, and I could not help but crave some sweet fruits. The stories about organic foods, the need for high fiber, the proteins and essential nutrients your body craves, but I always deny its cries for health.

You want me to do what?

That was it. I knew that something had to change immediately. It was like I had been hit by a thousand Shape magazine butt-workout models. I threw on some sneakers and was out the door, to Whole Foods, of course.

I love Whole Foods. Since joining the gym, I have been making weekly visits (every Sunday) to stock up on little things to get me through the week; those same things I failed to pack during my hair appointment, such as fruits bars or granola. Yesterday I went again with my sister, Rachel, and we took our time browsing the aisles. Here is what I purchased; ate, drank, munched, chugged, loved. I am officially giving myself to health (besides beer- that is a work in progress). The more I read about genetically modified foods, the more disgusted I become. My body has recently become a temple; a temple that still loves occasional debauchery and late nights out, but I realize now that there are some gross things in our every day eats- like dissolved human hair in breads.
While making a change in my food is necessary, I have definitely noticed that drinking the right products reduces my hunger when my stomach starts to growl. These three tasty drinks were bought by myself, and regularly, at Whole Foods. I swear by these!

1. Sambazon

I have actually been into them for a while because I had “liked” Whole Foods on Facebook, and they were promoting Sambazon due to a Brazil trip they were giving away. Hey, I wanted the getaway! Anyway, I drink these tasty little numbers often. This brand specializes in açaí products. This particular drink is full of antioxidants, which a girl like me definitely needs. Also, it really does taste good, promise.

2. White Tea

I am a tea drinker, not as much as I should, but for the past year or so I realize the impact that tea has on me. Really, it does and white tea especially. If I feel a cold coming on, one mug of this and I feel revitalized. Like Sambazon, it gives me energy naturally. Also, white tea is most notable for killing cancer-causing cells, more than any other tea.

3. Vita Coco

Rihanna puts her name on these drinks. Unfortunately for her profit and benefit, I went with the regular flavor, where her name stamped on the front did not persuade me to go forth with the purchase. I will let the website description tell it like it is, “Vita Coco’s an all-natural, super-hydrating, fat-free, cholesterol-free, nutrient-packed, potassium-stacked, mega-electrolyte coconut water!” There you have it.

How do you stay healthy? I want to know!

The Road To Riches: Count Me Out

I live in a state with a reputation for riches and mansions; a place everyone wants to raise their kids, cookie-cutter style with perfection. Mini vans are a must, PTA meetings are these moms’ top priorities and status is everything. Tommy Hilfiger, Rod Stewart, and Diana Ross all post camp here in good ol’ CT. If you are not from Connecticut or the outlying states, you probably do not care to know much more about it here. Many think it is just a bunch of fields and farms, anyway.

I hear one or the other from people I have met from out-of-state for my entire life. It is true, Connecticut is wealthy. But realistically, there are cities; impoverished urban areas, as well as farms, as well as mansions. Connecticut is a great mix of all things that every other state has. Because Connecticut is so close to New York City, and celebrities and athletes have all called this place home at some point, only the wealthy reputation sticks.

But down in Fairfield County, the Southern most region of the state, is where the most affluent subside. I grew up in Bridgeport, a city within Fairfield County that knows little wealth. It is your typical urban setting, with a diverse range of people. I grew up in a home that was big enough for a family of five, where the mall was five minutes away and a fun, normal childhood was possible. Money did not grow on trees, and everyone seemed happy, in the eyes of a young me. We all did just fine. What sets the rest of the cities in this county apart is their snotty, craptastic attitude. This is not the first time I felt this way about Southern Connecticut, but now I am really starting to grow a disgusting dislike towards those people, and it is pushing me away even further.

Surely, some deserve their riches, like the corporate businessmen who work until God knows when to be able to feed their plastic wives money to shut them up and keep the house clean, kids happy. But I feel like a lot of those people are just born into it, married into tons of money. I know this is a cynical post, but I live here and I have to deal with this almost daily. It is a dumb way to realize there are better things out there for me, but whatever works, I guess. 

Yesterday myself and friend Nicole went shopping in Greenwich, the wealthiest town in Connecticut. Why? I really have no idea. I left it up to her. Girl time is girl time no matter where you end up. We were in search for some good deals at a handful of consignment shops that were raved about online as having brand names for less. Next time I want brand names for less, I will head to T.J. Maxx. These places were not only annoying in their presentation, fur coats littering the window displays, french writings on the walls that probably meant “Fashionista,” or “Diva Star,” or some other nonsense. I walked in to the first place and was hit by a smell of old, used shoes. These shoes were Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Chanel, what have you. They were ugly. I would not have bought a pair if they were five bucks. The women at the counter were all too busy with their noses in the air, helping some middle-aged soccer mom choose between mink or chinchilla. These women were so excited to be in the presence of name-brand garbage. Regardless of the annoyances around me, I spot an over-the-shoulder worked leather bag that I immediately tried on. Very earthy, natural looking, and there was no big brand name stamped onto the back, what a relief. Price tag: $465 dollars. Get out of here. So what it was a vintage Chanel bag. I would not have paid more than $30 dollars for it. It was used! There were scuffs and marks on it, which I had initially thought gave it character, but for $435 dollars more than I was willing to spend, I was just sick.

This routine continued the rest of the day. Every other car was a Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Infinti, I seriously kid you not. Is this real life? Women walking around the streets with bags in their hands, no work, all play. Like I said, I was used to seeing this, but yesterday it struck a nerve so deep I wanted to cry.

Dressed comfortably, I walked into these places with my converse, ripped jeans and nose ring out there for the Stepford Wives to see, and was looked at with a bit of disbelief. No one asked me if I needed help, but they were quick to talk to Nicole, apparently dressed more appropriate for the occasion than I.

I realized in that instant, after all the other instances of being in these ritzy towns (24 years), that I absolutely despise that way of living. I feel like there is one way of being wealthy which is acceptable, obviously, as I would like to be someday, and then there is this. Why on Earth would anyone want to spend their day mindlessly trying on tacky Armani jackets and discussing the boys’ next big game. Are these women bored? Is there really nothing else to do with endless amounts of money?

I am so repulsed by yesterday that I will never go to Greenwich to shop again, why the hell would I? I am perfectly content with the mall. I love Forever 21 and I love to save my money even more- especially if it would go towards something I can physically do; travel, go to a nice dinner, get my hair cut, anything

Give me the farms and open fields. I want to dine out comfortably, knowing my shoes and funked-out ensemble are not being judged. I want to be in the company of normalcy. Are the people of Greenwich good people? Maybe, but I never want to spend enough time there to find out.

The same way they most likely judge those in the outskirts of their fabulous towns, I am judging them, and it feels good. Just because I live in this area does not mean I need to ever be apart of that. Surely, Connecticut is not the only state that deals with this. I know there are other places that I glamorize for having the potential to be called home someday (Los Angeles), but I truly do not think it gets worse than Connecticut.

Just when I thought I have found reason to love it here, it flies out the window into the abyss of doubt, hatred and nausea. Someone save me.