Thursday, July 1, 2010
Food, Fitness and Relationships...
I have been thinking a lot lately about my blog (probably because I went through all my old stuff the other day). Today, I am having a very Rob Gordon in High Fidelity moment of "what does it all mean?". Don't worry, it's not like that. It is more about how things have changed for a good way!
(sometimes I eat weird stuff like burger waffles...don't knock it till you try it)

I started blogging about food because my loving husband encouraged me to do it. He set me up with this blog and I had no idea where to start. In the beginning, I wrote about food and my frustrations with elimination diets. I was down to eating nothing I loved. I was the frozen yogurt girl. I could have lived on it. I feel kinda bad now because I am pretty sure the frozen yogurt industry took a hit when I discovered I couldn't eat it any more! So, I was bored and felt like I had no idea how to cook for myself anymore. I went to culinary school, but we did not learn about alternatives to mainstream foods. Milk, butter, cheese...these are all important to make good food, right? Um, no! So, I started looking around and learned so much about vegan alternatives and how to use products I had never heard of before. I grew up in a family of food lovers. We have always experimented with different things and we ate a wide variety of cuisines. I think this helped me be more open minded to trying new things. Since the beginning of my blog, there has been a huge shift in my food. I have ALWAYS cooked in a healthy way. I was definitely not going to give this up. I noticed that a lot of vegan foods weren't necessarily low in calories or fats. They have come a long way since then and I am happy now that I can find a lot more healthy alternatives! Don't get me wrong, fats have a place in our diets, but not to the point where you gain unhealthy weight from it. I have a family history of heart disease here...I am definitely going to fight that off! Besides, this girl likes to eat...a lot! In case you are new here...I started out with no dairy, now I am at no soy and my lovely husband has since discovered he has no gluten for him. The adventure continues!
(favorite salad of all time!)

I have always exercised.  It is just what I do. I actually remember the summer after 8th grade, starting an exercise routine. I have always been an interval or kickboxing kind of girl.  I do muscle toning too. I don't lift weights any heavier than 5 pounds and I use my own body weight for a lot of stuff. Seriously, that will kick your butt! I just focus on different body parts each day. I have found this combination works for me.  I get up 5 days a week at 6am to get my booty moving. It gives me complete peace and I start my day off with a bang! I find that when I don't get up and work out, I actually don't have as much energy in the morning.  I guess the adrenaline really gets me going! I am not training for anything, I just LOVE working out. I would say it is a hobby...if that is possible. I have complete envy of those who run marathons, I am just not made that way. So, I do what I like! Yep, I am that girl...the one that likes to feel that slight pain from working out! The good kind...not the bad...I'm not that kind of crazy.
(piled high pizza from last night with bulgur flat bread, tomato sauce, hummus, grilled zucchini, grilled mushrooms, grilled onion, potato and fresh rosemary!)

The Relationship:
When I first started writing, I never talked about my relationship with food and fitness.  This journal was more about food and not about what I do to stay fit. However, through the coarse of my food transition to find foods that work with my body and not against it, I have discovered that my relationship with both food and fitness has helped me get to the point where I feel incredible now and I am loving food again! I am not a fitness expert so when I share what I am doing for exercise, it is only to say what I am doing...not what you should be doing. Everyone has to find what works for them. I do enjoy sharing though because we all learn from each other! While what I am doing might not work for you, it may give you an idea for something new. That goes for the physical stuff and for the cooking. A lot of people have come out of the woodwork realizing that they are having physical problems because of the food they are eating. My gut reaction is still to be sad for them when they have to give things up, but my next reaction is to try to help them through these things and let them know that they are not alone! For me, maintaining a healthy lifestyle through fitness and food,helps me understand my body better when it reacts to things. I like being aware of when I need more fuel or reading the signs that I need to move more. It hasn't been an easy road and there are still down days, but it is so much better now! 
(sometimes I eat normal stuff like gluten free chocolate chip cookies)

Sorry if this was way off the mark for any of you. I just wanted to let people know where I am coming from. I have, for the first time in a long time, found a great group of people (you guys) that I feel like I share a common interest with and I just felt like I needed to talk to you about it. Thank you for sharing yourselves with me too.      

Has blogging changed for you since you started? If so, how? Why did you start in the first place?


posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:43 PM  
  • At July 1, 2010 at 6:49 PM, Anonymous Amy B @ Second City Randomness said…

    Thanks for sharing! :)

    Blogging has definitely changed for me. My blog started as a place to be silly and talk about all the stuff I get to do in my "new" (I've been here almost 2 years now, so I don't know if it's really that new) city. Then I found myself starting to want to talk more about other stuff like my running, etc. So after a break, I decided to take it in a completely different direction! But I still reserve the right to talk about whatever pops into the head... :)

  • At July 1, 2010 at 7:47 PM, Anonymous Heather (Where's the Beach) said…

    Great post. Love getting to know you better like that. My blogging has REALLY changed since I started. You should go back and read my first say 3 or 4 posts. I really had no idea what to expect at all. I feel like I just fell into a groove though and have stuck with it. My goal was to somehow inspire others to enjoy fitness and then others to recognize that vegetarian/vegan meals were so much more than tofu and lettuce. It's been a great journey, and I have "met" some awesome, inspiring people.

  • At July 1, 2010 at 8:06 PM, Anonymous Danielle (Runs on Green) said…

    I loved this Sarena! I think everyone's blog will evolve over time. After you 'meet' all kinds of people and read billions of posts, you start to find your own groove.

    You've def. inspired me with a lot of your recipes! I can't believe how much [less] gluten I eat nowadays...and it has nothing to do with the fact that I dislike wheat or it bothers me...but it's because of recipes and blogs like yours that open me up to new things!

  • At July 1, 2010 at 8:06 PM, Anonymous Jessica (Healthy Exposures) said…

    oh man, how did i miss that burger waffle?!

    thanks so much for sharing your story and viewpoint :) i agree - blogging is a constant learning experience! such a big group of caring, kind, and enthusiastic people. can't wait to see where else it takes me!

    and that's too cool that you do kickboxing - i don't think i knew that? i did it a lot in high school and loooved it, but not as much lately.

  • At July 1, 2010 at 8:41 PM, Anonymous Fiona said…

    I have to say thankyou to this and the many food blogs out there for people LIKE ME! People who haev to figure out their relationship with various foods.

  • At July 1, 2010 at 9:45 PM, Blogger Stacie said…

    For all of your "limits" with food, you are the EASIEST person to go to dinner with, invite over, etc. Really, if I didn't know you as well as I do, I would never know that you guys have to limit what you eat. You also never wrinkle your nose at what other people around you eat, or complain about what's available for you from a menu (which I know must be difficult for you sometimes). I say all of this because I have had friends who make their diet a burden for all. If anything, you have been a complete inspiration to me as far as fitness and food are concerned because your relationship with food and health are so much a part of who you are and you are so comfortable with it. I wish I could be more like you!

  • At July 1, 2010 at 10:09 PM, Blogger laura said…

    What a great post! I know when I went vegan, your blog and others, helped open my eyes to all the awesome things I can eat! Thanks for being an inspiration for me!

  • At July 2, 2010 at 3:54 AM, Blogger Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said…

    Ok this was your best post ever. First, I dont think most people really know YOU. They know your recipes but have not nearly as much connection to you. Maybe I am just dense though and other people know you better than I give them credit for. It's posts like this one that humanize us as bloggers and make readers love you all the much more. I learned about 10 things about you in this post..
    3 yrs blogging
    DF, SF, and GF and how/why those all happened
    your LOVE (pure and true) of working out
    that you never lift more than 5 lbs or your body weight..
    could go on and on...

    point being love the sharing in this post, Sarena! More of these please!!!


  • At July 2, 2010 at 8:59 AM, Anonymous Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly said…

    I loved this post! I love learning more about you! I think you are pretty amazing and this just furthers that thinking! :) The blog world has taught me to branch out and try things I normally would never have thought to put together.

  • At July 2, 2010 at 9:43 AM, Anonymous homecookedem said…

    What a beautiful reflection on how blogging has changed you! It is so fascinating to get more of a glimpse into your world. Blogging has MOST definitely changed me. I was so unhappy with myself a year ago. I was an all or nothing girl... Now I've never been happier and I'm the most balanced I've ever been in my whole life. I owe it all to the support of this awesome community. Everyone is there for me when I need to be lifted up and they're there to celebrate with me also. :)

  • At July 2, 2010 at 11:42 AM, Blogger Megan D said…

    Burger waffles?? Yummm I want to try that! And I think it's great you have discovered more about yourself through your relationship with fitness and food. I definitely have as well!

  • At July 2, 2010 at 12:51 PM, Anonymous Karin said…

    I love this post!!
    It's always interesting to learn why people started blogging and how they feel about it for some time.

    Well I started blogging because I honestly missed the European blogs. Everything was about TJ's and WF's and while I think those stores are great it was kind of "pointless" to read about this and that product because I couldn't get them over here. So that's why I started blogging about food and life in general. I wanted to cheer people up and show them that healthy living is fun and good. And not much has changed since starting the blog. :)

  • At July 2, 2010 at 1:40 PM, Anonymous Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter said…

    What a great relflection over your blog. My blog is still fairly new and hasn't really changed yet. I am mostly going through some life changes about where I'm living. Last year I lived in an apartment, this summer I'm living with my parents, next year I'll be living in the sorority house. So the foods I picture are a bit different.

  • At July 2, 2010 at 10:18 PM, Blogger Kelsey said…

    whats really interesting is how you said you "just love working out" and i know this is something that everyone can achieve but they need to approach it just like you did! you have to find what works for you and is fun.. and gives you a boost. if we try to be very rigid in our thoughts about exercise- theres no way we will enjoy it! i really loved this part, im so happy u listened to ur body and u give it what it needs and it gives you the energy you need right back!

    xoxo <3

  • At July 5, 2010 at 12:06 PM, Anonymous peeree3 said…

    I know the real Sarena and it is clear that she is amassing a sycophant army of gluten and dairy intolerant followers bent on controlling the world's chickpea supply! What a clever plan! At 6am she's already up, practicing her badass kickboxing moves and formulating plans for total hummus domination. Good thing she shares.

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Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen
Home: Atlanta, GA, United States
About Me: Lactose Challenged
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