Posted by: saramcglothlin | May 29, 2012

Getting Lean

Hey there!  I hope everyone is adjusting to the first day after a long weekend.  I feel very lucky that I am still on vacation and I’m savoring every minute of it.  I thought I would feel anxious turning off my blackberry and shutting off work completely, but no, I couldn’t be happier!

After breakfast, I headed to Richmond Barre for my first class.  Whoa is all I got to say.  The whole time my body felt like it was on fire, I was sweating and shaking convulsively..and I think I’m addicted already!  It was a very tough workout, but what I like most is that it targets all my trouble zones (butt & thigh area).  Also, the pace moves pretty fast so you are not in pain working one area for too long.  Consistency is key, so hopefully I can manage to keep it up.

I whipped up a quick lunch when I got home.  On the menu:

Kale, arugula salad with grilled chicken, chopped celery, apples, goat cheese, chick peas, and toasted walnuts, with a side of veggies

Every once in a while, I want a salad more on the “sweet” side (that uses fruit/dried fruit, sweet potatoes etc.), but I still try and pair it with some raw vegetables because my body still craves them.

While eating, I watched a Charlie Rose interview with Kathy Freston that my roommate emailed to me.  I highly suggest you watch it too.  It outlines her new book The Lean and the benefits of eating a plant-based, no-meat, dairy-free diet.

I have not read the book, but  she made it sound so enticing, promising more energy, clear skin, and a leaner body.  However, I just don’t know if I could restrict myself to a Vegan or even Vegetarian diet (I’ve discussed this before in my post about the Paleo diet).  Sometimes life gets in the way and there are times/meals that are beyond my control.  For example, my boyfriend’s family loves to eat meat.  They are big hunters and most of the time, they eat what they kill (sorry if that is TMI!).  So if one night his mom is serving duck for dinner, am I going to pull out a piece of tofu instead?  No.  I will enjoy the duck with the rest of them.  When meals are under my control, I tend towards vegetarian choices, but not all the time (see grilled chicken above).  Kathy Freston even frowns upon eating fish because it “still contains saturated fat.”  To me, that is a little extreme, and tonight when I make fish tacos for dinner, I will love every last bite.

Here are some takeaways from the interview that I think I can live with (and do most days anyway):

  • Eat less processed sugars.  These sugars cause your glucose levels to spike, making you ravenous shortly thereafter and wanting more.  Natural sugars from fruit are OK as the fiber found in fruit helps to slow down the effect on glucose levels
  • That brings me to my next point: eat more fiber! She said that fiber has been the one consistent thing in “diets” that works to help one lose weight and/or maintain a healthy weight as it keeps blood sugar levels steady.
  • I thought the concept of “crowding out” was interesting: throughout the day, drink 8 glasses of water, 8 times a day to fill up your stomach, especially right before meals.  Also eat an apple a day which will provide you with 25% of your daily fiber requirement and also have the same “crowding out” effect.
  • Get your fats from nuts, avocados, flax seeds etc., rather than animal products.  (I do want to take her advice on this one and further “lean” towards eating less meat, while not cutting it out completely)

I haven’t decided whether I want to read the book yet.  Sometimes reading about these “dietary theories” just clouds my mind with what is healthy and what is not.  I feel like I know what is healthy (for me), and I am not looking to lose weight.  I do like to further educate myself on other people’s opinions and take bits and pieces of information and make it my own.

Question: What is your opinion on going Vegetarian/Vegan?  If you have already done so, is it for moral or physical reasons or both?  Have you read/heard of Kathy Freston’s book?

I’m off to the dentist…ugh



  1. As I sit eating my leftover t-bone steak from last night, I cannot say that I could go vegetarian. And I know for a FACT that I couldn’t go vegan. No cheese? Kill me now. I wish I were capable of doing this because it does seem healthier and saves lots of little lives, but I just don’t think I have the willpower. I’m with you on moderation and trying to eat as little meat as possible. Hard to do with boys around though!

  2. Excuse me, I’m going to stop reading this blog if you say, “Ugh” in reference to the dentist ever again!! Until you’ve built an empire here, you better not insult your trusty, albeit silent, listener!!

    • I know I held my breath when I typed that because I was pretty sure you were going to read it…Kate of course you know that if you were my dentist, I would not dread it!

  3. […] Trying my first Barre class […]

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