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When Eating “Healthy” Messes Up Your Workout

Culture

Here are some frequent “clean” food offenders

We all want to eat healthy, obviously, but for different people, that can mean a wide variety of things. For some, healthy implies a raw vegan diet. For others, Paleo might seem like the perfect solution. Most diets—vegan, gluten-free, etc.—can be tailored to suit your needs as an individual, especially as an active individual, but all too often, we end up in a weird cycle of following meal plans and trends that aren’t made for us. If you’ve been doing the diet-and-exercise thing, but rather than speeding up, you’re actually feeling crappier and crappier, it might be time to reconsider your diet. That doesn’t mean shifting away from an option that aligns with your ethics or your allergies, it just means tweaking your preferences to make you stronger, healthier, and possibly even faster.

Let’s talk about the frequent offenders of unhealthy-healthy-eating habits.

GLUTEN-FREE

The potential problem: With so many tasty gluten-free treats available on the market now, it’s easy to overindulge in junky, ultra-processed snacks while convincing ourselves that because it’s GF, it’s healthy. But often, a GF baked good, like a cupcake, is packed with preservatives, sugar, and made-in-a-lab flour substitutes.

The quick fix: Unless you’ve been diagnosed with celiac or a gluten-intolerance, you’re likely better off eating quality baked goods that are made from scratch with recognizable ingredients. A fresh sourdough loaf from the oven that you made beats a box of GF crackers from the shelf at the store any day. Still, want to stay away from gluten? Just skip the substitutes, and instead opt for rice, corn tortillas, sweet potatoes, and other sources of carbohydrates instead.

LOW-CARB

The potential problem: Not enough available energy for workout fuel can lead to pretty fatigued-feeling workouts, even if you’re eating enough calories. This is especially true for high-intensity workouts like CrossFit or spinning, where our bodies are relying primarily on burning carbs for fast fuel. Now, some athletes actually do swear by a low-carb diet, but often, it’s a better diet for men. Women need more carbs for things like hormone regulation, and if we go too low, it can be disastrous for our workouts, our metabolism, and our mood. So if you’ve been dropping your carb intake but feel like crap during power yoga, it might be time to reassess.

The quick fix: You can stay low-carb, but add back in some high-quality carbs to your diet around your workouts. That might mean having a sweet potato an hour before your spin class or even adding sugar-based carbs in your sports drink or in a gel form during your workout. "Low-carb" can also vary wildly: Some low-carb diets actually still involve 100 to 150 grams of carbs in a day, and that’s what’s recommended for people working out hard. (Use a food diary app like MyFitnessPal to track a few days to get a sense of how many carbs are in different foods if you’re having trouble figuring out what a normal day should look like.)

VEGAN/ RAW VEGAN

The potential problem: Not enough protein for recovery and muscle growth. Some vegans are super on top of their protein intake, but it’s a daily struggle for even those paying close attention. Additionally, a lot of vegans struggle to take in enough iron and vitamin B12. However, those aren’t vitamins and minerals you want to start taking without consulting a health professional and getting your levels checked because, in those cases, you can have too much of a good thing.

The quick fix: If you’re working out regularly, 20 grams of protein per meal is a good place to start, and for vegans, that may mean supplementing with a pea, hemp, or soy protein. (Some raw options are available.) There are also plenty of unconventional protein sources—there’s protein in broccoli, for example—so investigate. For non-raw vegans, legumes are an easy source of protein, and for all vegans, raw almonds and other nuts can make up fat and protein deficits. And check with your doctor and ask for a blood panel to look at markers like iron and B12 levels to see if you should start supplementing.

PALEO

The potential problem: Eating an ancestral diet is fine, but it can quickly get a little too meat-heavy, especially if you’re counting bacon as paleo-friendly. And like a GF diet, there are now so many "paleo-friendly" snacks on the shelves that might seem healthy at a glance but are just as packed with sugar as their more processed versions. (A great example is paleo ketchup, sweetened with raisins instead of sugar. Sure, it’s fruit, but it’s still a serious dose of fructose.)

The quick fix: Similar to the fix for GF diet issues that are leading to weight gain or bonks during your workouts, the solution is simple. Skip the processed “fun” Paleo snacks and treats in favor of real foods like salmon, sweet potatoes, and spinach. You’re better off eating whole foods 90 percent of the time and splurging on real cupcakes, not the overpriced “Paleo cupcakes” the other 10 percent of the time. A real cavewoman wouldn’t judge you for that.

RESTRICTED-CALORIE/ LOW-CAL

The potential problem: You might want to drop a few pounds, but if you’re combining a low-calorie diet with a lot of working out, you’re getting into eating disorder territory at worst, and messing with your metabolism at best. This is how most people aiming to lose weight or tone up start plateauing. Weird, but true: If you’re not fueling your workout, your body isn’t going to be able to make those changes, recover right, or build muscle. It goes into starvation mode and hangs onto all the fat that it can.

The quick fix: Figure out what you’re burning, and what you’re eating. The maximum caloric deficit you should be hitting is 500 calories per day, factoring in what you need to take in to stay alive, plus what you need to fuel your workouts. Use a basal metabolic rate calculator to figure out what you’re burning to stay alive, and add to that how much you’re burning in your workout (use your Fitbit or just do a quick search for a rough estimate of calories burned in a spin class/four miles of walking/whatever you’re doing). Next, figure out what your normal low-cal day looks like by using an app like MyFitnessPal to actually log your food. Are you waaaaaay too low? If so, add in more whole foods—that salmon and sweet potatoes again—to get up to healthy calorie intake to match your activity level. Don’t use this as an excuse to eat cookies to add calories, though!

Screenshot via YouTube

And I need to see the rest ASAP

As excited as we already are for Olivia Wilde's directorial debut, Booksmart, to hit theaters next week, we just got even more desperate to see it. Why? Well, the first six minutes of the film were just released, and every minute is incredible.

The film opens on Molly (Beanie Feldstein) meditating and listening to a motivational tape telling her she's better than everyone else, and to "fuck those losers." Her room is decorated with pictures of Michelle Obama and RBG, so we know her head is in the right place. We learn she's the class president when she arrives at school with her best friend, Amy (Kaitlyn Dever).

It's there that we get a glimpse of the social hierarchy in which Molly and Amy exist—but somewhere down near the bottom, way below the popular kids, the theater nerds, the stoners, and even the annoying class clown.

The film officially hits theaters on May 23, but Annapurna Pictures is holding advanced screenings across the country today, May 17—we're actually holding two of them! So, if you're in L.A. or New York, check them out.

But also, you can watch the first six minutes of the film, below, and prepare yourself to watch the whole movie in a week.

BOOKSMART | Uncut First 6 Minutes www.youtube.com

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Photo by Rich Polk/ Getty

Her hypocrisy would be mind-blowing if it weren't so predictable

It's been just over two years since Tomi Lahren appeared on ABC's The View to assert that, despite her ultra-conservative bona fides, she holds one position more normally associated with the left wing: She's pro-choice. In that talk show appearance, Lahren made clear then that her pro-choice views were consonant with her self-identification as a "constitutionalist," further explaining:

I am someone that's for limited government. So I can't sit here and be a hypocrite and say I'm for limited government but I think the government should decide what women should do with their bodies." I can sit here and say that as a Republican, and I can say, "You know what? I'm for limited government, so stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well."

Back then, we noted the hypocrisy inherent to that position, since Lahren was an ardent supporter of President Trump—who made no secret of his desire to appoint anti-abortion judges to the Supreme Court and other judicial benches—and Vice-President Pence, whose anti-abortion views are even more ardent.

Since Lahren's appearance on The View, she has appeared in the anti-abortion film Roe v. WadeRoe v. Wade, which co-starred fellow execrable conservative troll, Milo Yiannopoulos, and, um, Joey Lawrence. Though the film has not yet been released, it is alleged to contain "several graphic scenes depicting aborted fetuses," and also the acting styles of Jamie Kennedy, so we're not sure for whom it will really be appropriate.

But while Lahren's role in that film would be enough to make anyone question just how committed she is to her alleged pro-choice stance, the recent news about de facto abortion bans in Alabama and Georgia has incited Lahren to speak out about her views once again.

On Twitter, Lahren opened herself up to "attack[s] by [her] fellow conservatives" and spoke out against the Alabama abortion ban as being "too restrictive." And, indeed, her "fellow conservatives" did quickly attack Lahren for not actually caring about human life, and for having too liberal a position on whether or not a woman should be forced to continue a pregnancy that resulted from rape. But then also, as Lahren must have known would happen, other people supported her for... not having one irredeemably monstrous position amongst her arsenal of irredeemably monstrous positions.

But, let's be clear: Tomi Lahren is not—no matter what she tweets—pro-choice, and neither is any supporter of the Republican Party. There is no doubt that there are Republicans who are in favor of safe access to abortion—particularly when it comes to themselves and their family members having said access. But by supporting the Republican Party, they are showing how little it actually matters to them, and showing what it is that they really prioritize over women's safety and freedom: namely, access to guns, bigoted immigration policies, the continued disenfranchisement of voters across the country. I could go on, but there's no need.

Lahren's tweet doesn't reveal in any way that she's an advocate for women's rights, all it reveals is her hypocrisy and that of anyone (Meghan McCain, hi), who would love to have a world created specifically for their needs, and who is willing to sacrifice the rights of the less privileged in order to secure their own. It is despicable and dangerous and incredibly predictable. But, at least, it might give Lahren something to talk about on the red carpet with her fellow anti-abortion movie costars, if that film ever gets more than a straight-to-video release.

If you want to find out how to help women have access to abortion, please visit here for information about donating and volunteering.

Diplo, Vince Staples, and Rico Nasty also appear

Lil Nas X went all out with the visuals for his hit "Old Town Road," tapping all of his newfound collaborators and friends, like Billy Ray Cyrus, Diplo, Vince Staples, and Rico Nasty, to star. The movie travels from 1889 Wild Wild West to the modern-day city outskirts, so saddle up and come along for the ride.

As the visuals start, Nas and Cyrus gallop away with a bag of loot, obviously having pulled off a heist. The trio of men on horseback that were in pursuit of them come to a halt, unable to catch up, and Chris Rock—the leader of the group—states, "When you see a Black man on a horse going that fast, you just gotta let him fly." Just as Nas and Cyrus think they're able to relax in stranger's home, it turns out the homeowner isn't so friendly. Nas jumps into a hole to escape, only to end up hundreds of years in the future on the other side.

Forget trying to figure out the logistics of time travel, and just embrace the hilarity of Nas' horse also having wound up there, and in peak racing condition. He impresses the locals not only in the race (with Vince Staples losing money in a bet against him) but with his sweet square dancing skills. Once he and Cyrus (yes, he time traveled too) trade out their old-timey duds for some fresh, rhinestone-adorned outfits, they enter a room playing bingo with Rico Nasty in it. Diplo is playing the washboard, I feel like I'm losing my mind, and this is probably the best music video I've watched this year.

Watch the movie for "Old Town Road" again and again, below.

Lil Nas X - Old Town Road (Official Movie) ft. Billy Ray Cyrus www.youtube.com

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Screenshot via YouTube

They really "don't care" about how this was edited, do they?

Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber used the name of their song as inspiration for the "I Don't Care" music video, and have presented what is essentially a long blooper reel of the pair messing around with a green screen.

The visuals show how dedicated the two are to proving just how much they don't care, because I'm pretty sure they did the editing on this video as well. They dance around in costumes, as an ice cream cone, a panda, a teddy bear, and more. I have a clear vision of Bieber and Sheeran raiding a costume shop just an hour before setting up a tripod and going to town on this one. They also juxtapose their faces on top of a ballerina, a skydiver, and a corn inside the husk.

Blink, and you'll miss the funniest moment of all in the video: Ed Sheeran gets married to a cardboard cutout of a young Bieber with swoopy hair.

Watch the visuals for "I Don't Care" below.

Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber - I Don't Care [Official Video] youtu.be

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Photo by Jena Cumbo

Her new LP, 'Take Me to the Disco,' is her most personal work yet

Meg Myers isn't afraid to admit she's still figuring out who she wants to be. Originally from Tennessee, Myers moved to Los Angeles at the age of 19 to dedicate her life to her music career. In 2012, she released her first EP, Daughter in the Choir, which set the groundwork for the releases of Sorry (2015) and Take Me to the Disco (2018). Well-known for her poetic lyrics, crude vocals, and cover of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill," the honest singer-songwriter makes a point to tell me that self-acceptance is a process. After listening to her deeply personal LP, Take Me to the Disco, I know she's not wrong.

In the middle of producing her new forthcoming music, the star opens up to NYLON: "I've always been able to channel [more painful moments in life] into my art. Music always stood out to me as the easiest way to capture all the emotions at once in one piece. Music for me is wild and free." It's clear that it is this fearlessness to self-reflect that not only makes her body of work so authentic but also what motivates her to continue to grow.

Below, we speak with Myers about her new music, self-love, and her ever-evolving relationship with creativity.

The Great Eros Pants, Chae New York top, Schutz shoes, and Via Saviene rings. Photos by Jena Cumbo

How did moving to Los Angeles influence the artist you are today?
I feel more safe here. I've been tapping more into my truth and expressing myself on a deeper level here. Growing up, my family was very chaotic, and I never knew what was about to happen. I have four brothers and a sister, and we grew up basically as best friends, making fun out of the chaos and always creating some type of art from it. I've always been able to channel [more painful moments in life] into my art.

Music always stood out to me as the easiest way to capture all the emotions at once in one piece. Music for me is wild and free.

What are some of your biggest influences?
I think all the barbecue and shrimp and grits [in Tennessee] really adds a smokiness to my music.

My queerness gives me a lot of material to create with. It's allowing me to be more playful and not take every little thing so seriously.

Silk Laundry jumpsuit, Wild Vertigga T-shirt, and Nakamol earring.Photo by Jena Cumbo

Tell me about your new music. Why is it different than anything you've ever created?
This EP is going to have a lot of similar vibes to my last album, because I wrote it at the same time with the same producer about a lot of the same struggles and self-discoveries as my past music. I'll share more with you on my third album.

I'm such a fan of your cover of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill." Why did you gravitate toward that song to cover?
It's such a powerful song! Kate Bush is magic. It's almost like I've been being guided to cover that song for a long time. I don't know how to explain it in words, as they can feel so limiting, and this song is beyond words to me. It's just a deep inner knowing, and it makes my heart flutter.


Chae NewYork blazer; Saku top, The Great Eros bottoms, and Inch2 boots.Photo by Jena Cumbo

Are there any other songs you feel really connected to?
I would love to collaborate with Active Child. The songs "Hanging On" and "Johnny Belinda" are also otherworldly to me. I've been listening to this band called Walk the Moon a lot. I also love Phoebe Bridgers. I have a crush on her. I generally listen to instrumental music and classical. If you look up 432hz music, it's incredibly healing, and solfeggio frequencies have helped me with a lot.

What does self-love mean to you?
It's been a process for me. It's been quite the journey. Right now, I would say [self-love for me] is about accepting myself, and having love for all the experiences that have led me to where I am. It also means being grateful for growth. It's also been about learning to be in the present moment. It's been learning to trust myself and not listening to what others think I need to be doing. As I learn to do this, I also learn how to love others deeper. All this being said, it's a process.

Chae New York blazer and Saku top.Photo by Jena Cumbo

What advice do you have for someone struggling to find happiness right now?
Spend some time in solitude if you can, or with a really safe person who you feel you can express yourself freely with. Find someone who has no expectations of you and is supportive. In that present moment, ask yourself, What feels good to you? What do you feel like doing? Use your imagination. Daydream. Find what it is you enjoy doing. I promise you can unlock magic inside yourself. It just takes patience.

*This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

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