Stuff you should read Saturday – Introversion, vegan kids and muscular babies

sysrsI thought I would start a new feature on the blog for your Saturday morning reading pleasure. This week is a round-up of posts that resonated with me and how I’m feeling this week, cool stuff I found around the Internets and awesome posts from my fellow Sweat Pink, Girls Gone Sporty, and FitFluential ambassadors; IDEA Inspired bloggers and Active Times contributors. If you have a blog or post you’d like to have featured, send me a link in the comment section below.

Understanding the Introvert Cycle: Why We Go From Irritable to Ever-Loving –
As an introvert myself, discovering this blog was a relief — I’m not crazy because I like time to myself, I’m just an introvert. As I explained in this post, introversion is an innate temperament, not a choice. An introvert’s brain composition is actually different from an extrovert’s, who tends to have more dopamine (associated with movement, learning and attention) in their primary blood flow pathways in the brain and a shorter, less complex dominate pathway of blood flow than we do. This means that while our brains integrate complex intellectual and emotional information better, it requires more time to do so. We also get our energy from time alone as opposed to extroverts, who get it from being social with others. If you’re an introvert — or an extrovert living with an introvert — this post is very helpful.

Life With Anxiety –
I really like this four-part series on anxiety by Ange of Cowgirl Runs. If you struggle with anxiety, reading about how she finally got help and what she does to cope might inspire you to reach out and get help, too.

Why motivation doesn’t make lasting changes –
Does a hard day at the office have you reaching for a bag of chips when you get home? Are you too busy to make dinner and hit up the drive-thru more often than you’d like to admit? Identifying how you’re feeling and what happens just before you do the thing you want to change (like not snacking on chips before dinner) the first step in changing a habit. According Dr. Brooke Kalanick ND, MS, LAc, in this fantastic post on, “If you want to have better success with your body change or weight loss goals, you’ve gotta get mindful. Mindful trumps motivation every time when it comes to making changes. Motivation is an emotion that lasts a few days or even weeks if you’re lucky, and then peters out. Yet we rely on this over and over again to get to our goals.”

Would we be healthier on a vegan diet? – Wall Street Journal
You may wonder why I share/post a lot of vegan recipes when I’m not vegan. Though I do eat some meat (and believe animal protein can be part of a healthy human diet), my diet is primarily plant-based for several reasons. Here’s an interesting article with two different perspectives on the subject from two nutritional scientists.

Chicken Fingers Are Off the Menu: When There’s a Vegetarian Child in the Family – The New York Times
I shared this article on Twitter asking if there were any parents out there with vegetarian/vegan kids and got a mixed reaction to the article. One follower said he felt the article was narcissistic; that it smacked of “treating a conscious choice to avoid animal suffering as a ‘silly’ thing, to be made light of”. (He is vegetarian and raised his kids the same, and now they are both meat eaters.) Another follower explained her daughter is currently trying to go vegan and she is supporting her, which I think is great. When I was eight, I decided I didn’t want to eat meat anymore and held a protest in the kitchen with my stuffed animals during dinner preparations one night. It didn’t go over so well and I wasn’t successful — I wasn’t allowed to leave the kitchen table unless I had two bites of meat, so I figured I’d be there forever if I didn’t give in.

I’m seriously considering going vegetarian now for both health and ethical reasons. I already don’t eat red meat, but still eat chicken or fish if it’s served to me or if I go out for dinner. When I’m at home, I eat vegetarian and the only animal products I consume are organic yogurt and honey. But the more I hear about how terrible animal agriculture, the less meat and animals products I want to consume. When I have kids, I want it to be their choice if they want to eat meat or not and I will support them in their decision either way. Humans are omnivores and meat can be a part of a healthy diet; but at the same time, the way we are going about obtaining and processing meat right now is destroying the planet. If your child wanted to go vegan, would you support them and cater to their request? Are you vegetarian or vegan and are/plan to raise your kids the same? I’m super interested in this topic, so leave a comment below if you want to weigh in!

And finally…

This baby flexing his muscles. Because it’s so freaking adorable and will make you smile.