I’ve been thinking a lot about the subject of body shaming. After losing over 100 pounds, I have some loose skin, most noticeably (at least to me) is on my thighs. When we do sprints in cycle class at the gym, the skin on my thighs shakes up and down as I pump my legs. I began to notice this early on in the summer when I started wearing shorts to class. Initially, I tried to pedal slower thinking it wouldn’t be as noticeable, but I quickly realized I was cheating myself out of a good workout. I considered switching back to my compression capris, but it was too dang hot. Then I wondered if other people’s legs shook like mine, and I realized I didn’t know the answer because I’d never bothered to look. Major “Ah ha!” moment. I bet nobody looks at mine either!
I recently had work done on one of my legs for some pretty prominent varicose veins. During my recovery from the procedure I went out and bought some new workout gear to keep me motivated. One thing I bought was a cute little tennis skirt that with built in shorts underneath. The skirt part came down mid-thigh, so I felt safe coverage-wise. That was until we did stretches on the floor at the end of HIIT last Saturday. The shorts crawled up my thighs showing what looked like loose chicken skin. At first I was a little disgusted. Then I thought about the fact that these legs can do things I once thought impossible. They can run seven miles. They can step up and down, up and down. They can jump! So I have chicken skin on my thighs. So what?
It’s time to turn this body shaming thing around and focus on the good things our bodies do for us each and every day. Author Gretchin Rubin has compiled what she calls her, “Secrets of Adulthood.” Here is my contribution: Love Thy Body.
Nutritional Powerhouse: Wild Blueberries
Wild blueberries are one of only three berries native to North America. Wild blueberries are naturally occurring lowbush blueberries and have been growing in
Maine, Quebec and the Maritime Provinces for over 10,000 years. Unlike cultivated blueberries, the wild ones are not planted. They spread naturally and slowly, with careful management. In fact, Native Americans were the first to burn their wild blueberry barrens to encourage the growth of new plants. Centuries later, settlers arriving in the New World acquired some of these ready-made barrens and were taught the many uses of wild blueberries.
Wild blueberries are part of my heritage. I was born in Maine and my family still owns blueberry land in Washington County. (This is a “burn” year for us.) For me, the taste of wild blueberries brings back sweet memories of summers spent with my grandparents in Maine. I’ve tried to pass on this love to my sons. Michael swears the only blueberries he likes are the fresh ones he picks and pops into his mouth while walking the barrens.
As far as nutrition, wild blueberries are smaller and have a higher skin to pulp ratio. More skin and less water equal more antioxidant-rich pigment. They are naturally low in fat and high in fiber (2x that of regular blueberries). Wild blueberries are also an excellent source of manganese (200% of your daily value), which is important for bone development.
You can find Wyman’s Wild Maine Blueberries in the freezer section at Publix. When I told my younger brother where I had found them, he ran right out and bought four bags, so I apologize if they are currently out of stock.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup old-fashioned oats
- ½ cup wheat germ
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp. grated lemon zest
- 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
- Whisk dry ingredients together in large bowl.
- Whisk yogurt, butter, egg, and lemon zest together in another bowl.
- Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture, stirring until just blended. Gently fold in frozen blueberries.
- Spoon batter evenly into cups. (I like to use an ice cream scoop.)
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and allow to finish cooling on rack.
- Store in airtight container.