I am blessed with great friends. Friends that “get” me. Actor friends, writer friends, friends in academia, healthy food and fitness friends, etc. With each group I am acutely aware of one thing; friendships fall into a pattern, a habit. With my actor friends we bitch about auditions, quote way too many plays and movies, and compare theatre battle wounds. Writer friends talk about block, readership, and bitch about late paydays, academics? Well, they piss and moan about everything, it’s like a warm hug of intelligence and general malaise. Healthy living friends? “Oh my ITB, TRX this, bodypump that, I ate so much chia that I scored a 160 on an IQ test after evacuating my bowels so thoroughly that I could hear things rattling around inside, not to mention my flawless skin.
I always know what to expect from each group. The thing is, for the past few weeks, I’ve noticed that there’s a common thread even amongst this wide-ranging group of friends; not a damn one of them is simply content to sit and do nothing. Subconsciously, I sought out people who are active. We walk and talk, we go to said bodypump together, we’re running buddies, we break out into fits of horrible dancing fits in set-up laboratories that maybe no one should be dancing in. (I assure you, no cross contamination took place).
The people I hung out with when I was heavy? It was just the opposite. We’d spend hours languidly chattering at a coffeehouse followed by movies or Euchre. Euchre is fun and all, but not a real calorie burner, unless you’re playing it after mainlining Sensa and Hydroxycut, but that’s only because you’ve moved into such a state of chaotic shakes, that you can’t stop, and may actually be experiencing a seizure.
Our friends often help shape our level of activity. If your friends are active, you’re more likely to be active. Even if it is from afar, you’re talking about fitness more often than not, and the encouragement is there. One of my best friends moved to LA last year for a television show, and we’re forever texting and talking about our milage and how neither of us hold muscle particularly well, so we concoct new and interesting, half-assed, fully moronic ideas of how we can load up our guns. (WE WILL PREVAIL!!)
I’m not saying I’ve cut my old friends out of my life, I haven’t. It’s just that I naturally ended up spending more time with people who share the same passion for health that I have. It’s good peer pressure, unlike the peer pressure I succumbed to in junior high and high school which led to some interesting wardrobe choices, and poor life decisions. (someone tell me why I wore midnight red lipstick with no blush on?? PLEASE?!)
Now there is hard scientific evidence that our friends greatly influence our weight and overall health. I don’t think it’s a surprise that a study of overweight student with lean friends were more likely to lose weight, and if overweight kids had obese friends that had an even GREATER risk of gaining MORE weight.
You are what you eat, and you’ll act as your friends do. I think the takeaway is, encourage (without beating them over the head) your less healthy friends to be more healthy, and stop hanging out with assholes. I am sure the parallel can be drawn that this applies to becoming an asshole if you hang out with assholes as well.
Definitely hang out with people who’ll make you a healthy breakfast…perhaps after an evening of extreme physical exertion? (I’ve been married for 8 years…I know the value of a good breakfast.)
What if they hollow out an apple for you, fill it with healthy polenta, bake it, and top it with honeyed chevre? Hmmmm? You’d stick around.
Baked Polenta Apple
Baked Polenta Apple
Keywords: appetizer breakfast dessert snack side soup/stew vegetarian
- four sturdy apples
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup skim milk
- 1/4 cup stone ground polenta
- 4 tbsp honeyed chevre
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- dash of salt
- dash of cinnamon
- dash of nutmeg
hollow out apple after slicing off top
dice apple insides, remove seeds
preheat oven to 350F
in a saucepan on medium
heat milk, water, butter, spices, and salt to a boil
slowly stir in polenta
cook polenta on stovetop 15-20 minutes, while stirring
add in diced apples
pour into prepared apples
bake in apples on cookie sheet for 20 minutes
top with chevre