Archive 2013 February

Hungry for Health

I wish I could major in Netflix documentaries because I kid you not, I watch enough to make it a full time job. Anyway, I recently watched a documentary called Hungry for Change that completely changed my perception of healthy eating. I mentioned in a previous post that I consider myself a fairly healthy college student. I never gained the Freshman 15 or 30. I was careful about dorm food portions and choices. When I moved into an apartment and then a house my sophomore and junior years respectively, I tried my best cooking and eating mostly healthy foods. Mostly being the operative word.

After watching Hungry for Change, which I’m going to do a pathetic plug for this entire blog post, I realized my idea of what’s healthy has been completely skewed for a number of years. My parents have been buying organic food for our family since I was in 7th grade so I’m surprised I haven’t done more research before this point, but what society is telling us is healthy is not.

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So many of us are picking out food at the grocery store that says “low-fat” or “sugar free” or “skinny” or “weight watchers” or “healthy” or “natural” when in reality none of that packaging is being honest. Instead of picking up boxes and reading how many calories, fats, and sugars there are, we need to be picking up boxes and reading what the ingredients are. It’s so simple, but it’s something hardly anyone does.

After watching this movie, I grabbed a box of Roundy’s brand graham crackers and was completely appalled to find the number of ingredients I couldn’t pronounce. Those funny words aren’t the least bit funny. They’re scientific chemicals put in our food to make us eat more, because if we’re eating more than food companies are selling more. It’s an advertising ploy that is costing all of our health.

I won’t reiterate the entire movie. I’ll urge you to watch instead. It discusses food chemicals I was relatively aware of – high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, monosodium glutamate, etc –  but hadn’t taken the time to fully grasp or worry about until this point. I’ve finally reached a point where making some Mac & Cheese with preservatives or snacking on granola bars chalked full of artificial sugars isn’t something I want to continue doing. I value my body and I want to keep it in the best shape possible for as long as possible.

That leads me into my new eating regimen. I don’t do diets or pills or fads or anything of the sort. I buy over 80% fresh fruits and veggies, I compliment it with lean proteins, a very limited amount of breads/grains/pastas, and dairy as I see fit. Then, because I believe in indulging, I have homemade desserts or a really good slice of pizza occasionally. I don’t think it’s realistic to cut out all unhealthy foods. Our bodies have been exposed to them and we crave them, but filling our portions with fruits & vegetables will definitely offset the amount of bad foods we’re eating.

I’ve only been doing this for about 6 weeks but combined with vigorous exercise at least 4 times a week my skin and body have felt amazing. It’s such simple changes, but I can honestly say it’s been making a huge difference.

For example, lunch today:

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An absolutely delicious Mexican Chopped Salad

The recipe for which can be found here if anyone is interested.

As I near graduation and my wedding, keeping a healthy, fit lifestyle is something I want to put at the front of my priorities. When I go into a grocery store now I use my experience in public relations and advertising classes to remind me what food companies are trying to do. They aren’t trying to keep you healthy. They’re trying to sell their products. Shop with your body, not your cravings in mind.

What do you think of diets/counting calories? Have you ever watched a documentary that changed your habits? Where do you find your favorite recipes?

“Whenever I get…

“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”

– Prime Minister Hugh Grant in Love Actually

This movie & this line makes my heart melt. It seemed too fitting. I hope you all have a wonderful, love filled day with your significant others, friends, nieces, nephews, children, grandparents, pets, & whoever else!

Applying for Real Life

Trying to create a cover letter for my first ever real-life, big-kid job is the most intimidating thing in the entire world. I keep reading through and finding new mistakes and thinking I’m not adding everything I should and wondering whether the public relations field would prefer it started with this greeting or ended like this and OH MY LORD. Cue hyperventilating.

I’m a senior and it’s February which means I need to start this process as soon as possible. This job needs to be applied for within the next couple days. I’ve been trying to avoid it and hope that it gets magically completed for me…any takers? Any at all? Ironically I dreamed last night that I was missing a class and couldn’t graduate at all. They kept telling me I had to stay until the following semester. Since I stare at my APAS (Academic Progress Audit System) daily I know this is impossible, but it’s obvious all these grown up fears are creeping up on me (even in my subconscious).

I think I need to remember that whether it’s a grown-up career, internship, or part time work study…it’s all just another job. This whole process is just life. Some things are more important and there’s  more at stake, but if this job doesn’t work out there will be another, and another, and probably even another. I often get caught up in the finality of the moment. That this single word document will make or break my career. Apparently I have a flare for the dramatic. If this cover letter doesn’t surpass their standards, I can only learn and improve upon future ones. It’s all a learning experience. Every, single step.

It’s impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.

– J.K. Rowling

Anyone else applying for big kid jobs right now? How are you feeling about your cover letter? Any advice to keep a relaxed mind during this process?

Superbowl Ad Favorites: Jeep, Budweiser, Oreo, & Dodge

I was mostly all about the feels this year, and there were plenty of emotional advertisements to go around. I’ve heard conflicted opinions about my favorite, and though I do realize I’m biased, I’ll explain why I do think Jeep deserves the glory. In descending order:

4) “God Made a Farmer” – Dodge

It stopped you in your tracks. The entire rowdy room where I was watching the game went silent and for two minutes watched the incredible photography of our nation’s farmers narrated by that powerful voice of Paul Harvey, a famous conservative radio broadcaster. The story that unfolded was beautiful and when it ended with a Dodge truck next to a farmhouse, it was simple and not overpowering.

 

3) “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark” – Oreo

It was ingenious really, throwing up an advertisement during the half hour the Superdome lost power. It appealed to a huge audience of people scrolling through their Twitter feeds in boredom waiting for the game to come back on. It was catchy, creative, and got more than 15,000 retweets before the game was over. It also raised questions of whether social media is now a contestable force in Superbowl advertising.

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2) “Brotherhood” – Budweiser

Because who doesn’t get teary-eyed when they see a beautiful Budweiser Clydesdale??? I’ve rode a horse maybe twice in my life and that doesn’t change the fact that I get emotionally reattached every year. I was looking forward to it all night. When the ending scene faded out, my roommates and myself were all blotting tears out of our eyes. It’s like the lion in Africa who recognized the man who’d taken care of him all those years ago. It deserves tears.

 

1) “Whole Again” – Jeep

Maybe because I’m engaged to a United States solider, or maybe because my empathy for families who’ve been through multiple deployments is so incredibly strong. ..I thought Jeep’s “Whole Again” commercial was beautiful. It shows the families; the children, the husbands,  the wives, the significant others, the grandparents, etc. They’re waiting. They’re hoping. They’re praying. By the end of it you can hardly tell it’s sponsored by Jeep. The PR part of me says uh-oh, but the rest of me is thankful for that. It’s not overpowered by advertising, and it’s not using the military for it’s own benefit either. If you do a little research you’ll find that Jeep is partnering with the USO to create a program called “Operations S.A.F.E. Return“. The program is providing financial aid and hands on support for troops returning from war and integrating themselves back into school and work.

That’s a winning advertisement in my book.

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