Confessions of a Chocaholic

I have a problem, two actually, and neither include that supposed apocalypse that was hyped. Well, so far, we’re safe.

First problem, my sweet tooth is out of control. Sugar is addictive and I am not strong against it. We’ve discussed my want for ice cream at length. I don’t just mean during the warm summer months. The need is hard even during the frigid winter. A day without ice cream is a wasted day, not worth living something in which I have to grow accustomed.

When it comes to sweets, I’m not big on the fruity candy or fancy desserts. I love ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate. On occasion, I’ll enjoy some cake so long as there’s ice cream on the side (don’t even think about putting it on top!).

Here’s what I have become.

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Yes, that is a candy wrapper (one of the Hershey miniatures) stuck in my STEERING WHEEL. In my defense, except there is no defense, the wind picked it up from one of my cup dispensers when I was driving with my windows down and it must have lodged into the wheel. I had to snap a pic and share in the embarrassment. If we can’t laugh, then I’m just a little bit pathetic.

I think we’ve all learned to pick up after ourselves and maybe to better combat cravings.

That second problem I mentioned: flies! I am being hunted down by what I’m pretty sure is the same pack of flies, whether I’m at work, running, sitting in my backyard, and even in my bedroom! Okay, that last one was an exaggeration as they were not in my bedroom, but the others were true. Usually it’s mosquitoes that are all up in my business, but they’ve been blessedly absent this summer. Back off, bugs!

Maybe if I stopped eating so much sugar, I wouldn’t seem as sweet…

Let’s move onto food. Last night’s dinner was veggie heavy. I enjoyed a piece of grilled swordfish with brown spinach rice, squash, broccoli, zucchini, and red pepper. Yum!

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This morning’s breakfast included an egg, chicken sausage, and pepper jack cheese sandwich with a banana and scoop of chocolate peanut butter.

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The goodness fueled me through my morning run before work. I ran two miles and ended with a couple of sprints that left me breathless in the best way! I need to be better about including intervals into my training, but they knock you out! I have some Yoga on the menu for later to top things off.

After work, I had lunch with a friend at Whole Foods. I was good and stacked my plate with lots of yummy vegetables, like fresh bell peppers, grilled artichokes and zucchini, and marinated mushrooms. I then added a scoop of macaroni and cheese and a chicken finger, but we all need our indulgences once in awhile.

Now’s the time for studying in my backyard with the beautiful breeze and warm sun shining down. God, do I love fall!

Habits and the Power of Mindfulness

Hello, my name is Caitlin and it has been four days since I last dipped into the candy bowl. It’s become more of a habit than anything else. I get that it’s a delightful treat once in awhile, but I was starting to eat candy I don’t even like- ie, not chocolate! I’m being better about remaining more mindful and maintaining a positive attitude. This has helped keep me more consistent in my writing as well. The power of habit is all the same, we just have to tap into it.

There’s something about a walk on a warm, breezy day that is just good for the soul. This is especially true after a long, trafficky ride home from work. I racked up to extra miles for my day’s exercise as well. I suppose just the fact that the sun is shining down is enough.

My morning workout began with a body strength workout. I went through a circuit of squats, lunges, kickbacks, tricep dips, step ups, mountain climbers, push ups, mermaid raises, Russian twists, hip lifts, bicycle crunches, and v ups. I ran through it four times and was nice and sweaty by the time I was heading for the pool. I swam a mile in about 43 minutes and it took a few minutes to adjust to being out of the water when I finished. I can’t get over how much I adore swimming, but I also can’t write this post without mentioning this man who took up an entire lane and didn’t swim one lap. He just chilled there. It was lap time!

Breakfast was a chilled overnight oatmeal that hit the spot. For an guitar fruity kick, I ate some blueberries and raspberries on the side. The cinnamon, raisin, walnut combination never fails me. Hint, it all has to do with the complementary flavors of the chopped dates and mashed banana. So refreshing!

  
I was very proud of my lunch, which were leftovers of the meal I made on Sunday. My Parmesan crusted tilapia and shaved Brussels sprout salad held up well for a couple of days in the fridge. So bright, tasty, and nutritious! I’m not sure my pictures can quite convey the yumminess.

  

For a mid-day snack, I had prepared a bowl of cherry kefir and some freshly chopped strawberries. Although I was dubious before trying, the combination turned out to be excellent. I’m trying to be more creative with my snack combinations so I don’t grow bored and turn back to that candy jar.

Another colorful, flavorful, veggie-filled meal included steak, corn, a great big salad, and a side of nachos. I love food cooked on the grill because it can be so healthy and maybe a little because it is the epitome of summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good hotdog or cheeseburger, but a good chicken, the am, or shrimp kebab with a side of grilled veggies doesn’t suck either.

  
We’ve reached mid-week, friends! I think it’s time we can start looking forward to the weekend! Any good plans?

Trick or Treat But Anything Than…That!

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I am a big fan of Halloween for three major reasons: it’s an excuse to gorge yourself on chocolate (in moderation!), you dress up as whatever you want (Elsa!), and it’s my sister’s birthday so I can always tease her that she’s a full-fledged witch (and also that I love her, okay?)

If you really think about it, Halloween is nice to people trying to make good choices because it keeps portion sizes small and controlled, of course that depends on if you can maintain your control. The fun-sized bars are just more fun anyways because you can then choose 2-3 different types of candy to have and feel more satisfied. That’s the way I like to play it anyways because keeping a positive attitude is a major part of the challenge of staying healthy and happy! There’s absolutely no reason to stop celebrating Halloween once you grow up and that includes both candy consumption and costume dressing.

In very exciting news, I am happy to report that not only did my Elsa costume come in plenty of time for Halloween festivities, but it’s actually quite nice. Paired with my ready to go tiara and I will be an exceptional ice queen. The only problem everyone keeps pointing out to me is that I don’t have anywhere near Elsa hair- not blonde, not long or thick enough for a decent braid. I’m still on the search for that one, but I might have to resort to spraying it. Yeep! I also have some very exciting little detailed plans to incorporate to my costume. This is the first year in a while that I’ve actually planned a costume ahead of time so I’m quite pleased with myself.

Obviously the fact that Halloween is my sister’s birthday is very exciting as well. Since I was born nine days (and three years) later, I always say that I was the best gift she ever could have received. It’s also cool to have a big bash for her birthday with everyone dressed up.

This all leads me to the point of my post that I haven’t mentioned. I’m all for Halloween decorations and any kind of holiday decorations because it’s festive and fun. I love all the little ghosts and gravestones, black cats and haunting music, and cute owls and pumpkins smiling or howling. It all sets the scene. One thing I do not love are all the freaking S-P-I-D-E-R-S. Overload people, relax! I was on a great run yesterday plugging along when I noticed one of the houses on my route had a gigantic freaking S-P-I-D-E-R blow up doll on top of their house. It was so realistic, I jumped and nearly fell over onto a nearby lawn. It did give me more incentive to run faster, but I was not pleased.

This Halloween, enjoy the candy, the trick or treating, parties, and random festivities, but please LAY OFF THE YOU KNOW WHATS! It’s bad for my health.photo

Halloween Excitement!

If you follow me on Twitter, which you SHOULD at https://twitter.com/Lady_Brightly because I find myself hilarious and I don’t hold back or censure myself as I do on Facebook, then you would know that last night I teased this year’s Halloween costume.

Obviously, I’ve always loved Halloween because chocolate is the fruit of the Gods and all that is right and sweet with the world (PUN!). One may argue that I also am a bit of a dramatist and diva, which I take great pride in, so dressing up as someone else is thrilling. As a child, I dressed up a lot as a princess, which from my blog name should not surprise you in the slightest.

Over the years, there was the brief tomboy stage of my life where I decided to be a karate kid, which has unfortunately been immortalized in an unfortunate picture my mom has now framed and on display in the living room. Then there was the practical choice, a cheerleader, for a number of years because I was a cheerleader and I happened to have the costume on hand. Of course, the rebellious stage kicked in and I went for the scary part of Halloween and upped my ante as a vampire or just plain dead-cheerleader. Creative, I know.

Recent years has proved to be more difficult when it comes to costumes. I can only be a vampire or witch so many times in a row to be socially accepted, just because I had the materials on hand. Sometimes, I just throw on whatever pink I have in my closet and finish it off with a crown. I’ve also had a lot of experience and success dressing as Harry Potter characters, such as Hedwig- my award-winning costume in a costume contest, Luna, and last year’s Sassy Harry Potter.

This year, I wanted to return to my roots and tweeted my excitement last night. I said, “A little teaser: you’ll have to read my blog tomorrow to learn what I decided to be for #Halloween. I’m shivering with excitement!”

Without further ado, I’m going to be Elsa from Frozen and the costume is on its way!

When I first came up with the idea, I knew I needed an Anna, which my friend Katie has since accepted. Though I want my costume to be fabulous, I’m also not willing to spend a ton of money on it. My first inclination was to get a light blue, long-sleeved leotard and pair it with a blue tutu and one of my tiaras. A little research took me to Ebay where I found the entire Elsa costume for a decent price, so I took the gamble and went for it. Hopefully it will pay off because I am so darn excited!

Once I get my hands on that costume, I’ll never wear anything else. In fact, I think my sister should just have all of us bridesmaids wear Elsa costumes for dresses.

Also, knowing my costume as you now do, you probably spotted a bit of a very clever pun in my tweet. I was SHIVERING with excitement. You shiver because you’re cold and Elsa is FROZEN. I know, I can’t stand it either.

I’m excited to celebrate Halloween the day after with my sister because it’s her birthday. There’s only so many times I can joke that Halloween is the perfect birthday for her because she’s a witch, ha ha, because she’s totally not. All she had to do to get her revenge was wait for the candy to be dropped in each of our pillow cases before she’d pull the whole, “it’s my birthday,” and get all the extra candy. On the actual day of Halloween, I am excited to dress up as Elsa and hand out candy/ eat half of the bowl. Saying that now though, I think there’s a post on how to handle Holiday eating coming in the future!

How excited are you for Halloween?