The “Cheat Meal”

Another week, another 2 pounds down. Feeling strong!

One thing to keep in mind about Weight Watchers or healthy eating in general, is that it’s not so much a temporary fix. I know people like quick fixes to lose weight fast, but sustainable weight loss requires a lifetime of choices.

This weekend, I went to the beach with family and had an indulgent meal followed by an ice cream. I don’t eat that way every day, but once a week makes a big difference in my perspective.

Eating real food with few fake or shady ingredients is important, but if you enjoy something, it should never be off limits. You just have to learn how to eat them in moderation. Easier said then done, but do something long enough, it does become habit.

Just like I need a rest day once a week, I also need a meal or two where I’m not counting calories or points, or wondering the ratio between carbs, proteins, and fats. Sometimes that meal turns into a week of meals, but know it’s never too late to return to healthier ways. Being super restrictive leads to resentment, which blocks success.

I don’t know if we should label anything the “cheat meal” because ice cream for me is just as important to my diet as baby spinach. I eat a lot more baby spinach per week, but it keeps me determined and successful. Referring to something as cheating provides further negative connotation to food, which our society does not need. We need to stop shaming people based on their habits, but try to promote better habits. Eating, for me at least, is an enjoyable part of life, whether it’s breakfast in the middle of a hectic morning or Thanksgiving dinner. I enjoy it now more than I did when I was obese and eating a lot more. Part of that is I’ve come to like cooking, but another part of it is coming to accept the fact that we need food to live.

I’m not a proponent of many diets, fasts, or cleanses (although different things work for different people). Learning to eat real food most of the time just has better lasting effects and makes you feel better inside, which is most important.

Keep being you!

denying the sweet tooth

Hi! Life is too short to deprive yourself. I respect the people who know themselves and say that they can’t stop at one so they have none at all, but a life without chocolate just makes me sad.

Moderation sounds like a sad term, but it’s true. Everything in moderation, so long as you aren’t hurting others- why is it necessary to say that?

I, Caitlin, have a raging sweet tooth. Thankfully, I can be picky about my choice of sweets, but not so particular that it prevents me from wanting things all the time. With practice, I could very much diminish the sweet tooth, but it’s not something I’m willing to part with altogether.

Ice cream is my favorite creation of earth (maybe over exaggerating, but at the moment, I can’t think of anything I enjoy more), but cookies are good too, also chocolate, and donuts. I keep ice cream in my freezer because I am a monster, but also, I don’t want to pay 5 bucks for one serving and run to an ice cream shop every time a craving hits.

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Chocolate chip cookies, homemade, or not a gross store-bought variety, are the best. I don’t buy candy bars, but work sometimes has the mini varieties, so I’ll eat one, or two, or three- but never more, I promise! Donuts are not something I indulge in frequently, but when I do, they are oh so good.

I’m also not someone who eats a lot of fancy desserts out, although, I have recently come into favor with creme brulee, because most times, I’d rather have ice cream. I’m not a huge fan of juicy treats like jelly beans or skittles, so at least there’s one vice I’ve avoided.

Long story short, I love sweets and I don’t deny that I love sweets or deny myself the sweets. However, I am careful, or try to be careful, with my intake.

Part of the issue is the idea of “treating yourself.” After a particularly grueling day, I may believe I earned that post-dinner ice cream, but wait, I had ice cream three days in a row already and have an indulgent weekend coming up, so I…brush my teeth and pretend there’s nothing friendly and comforting sitting in my fridge.

Exercising is another trap because hey! you just burned a quality number of calories and are slick with sweat, so that sleeve of cookies is not just appealing, but downright necessary to replenish calories! Nope. Unfortunately, you don’t burn that many calories during a workout and you don’t want your efforts to be for naught. So take one, two, three, and step away, depending of course on what you’ve already eaten that day.

If my mind cannot stop thinking about something sweet, but I haven’t been my best, I’ll have one Oreo and try to savor it, then walk away. I’ve honestly had this box of Oreos for a few months because I only eat one at a time.

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Mostly, I try not to keep too much temptation at my place. If I’m going to indulge, I want to truly enjoy the treat and make it special. Ice cream and an occasional Oreo are the only exception!

Mondays Scream for Ice Cream

The most exciting thing I learned yesterday is the Haagen Dazs makes the best java chip ice cream I’ve ever had. I don’t know if eating it too late at night will affect my sleep yet, but it’s worth it. Yum!

You’re welcome to all the people I wanted to text about this development at 9:00 pm my time and midnight their time for refraining.

Breakfast was a disappointing breakfast sandwich, but I suspect only because I have high standards. At home, I found the most delicious chicken sausage patties and paired them with egg whites, cheese, and an English muffin. Here, I had to settle on eh turkey sausage patties (lacking flavor) with the standard egg whites, cheese, and a Trader Joe’s version of english muffins which are too doughy.

Don’t feel too bad for me as I ate it before even snapping a picture.

Lunch:

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Beneath the cheese, black beans, and rice, you can see green sticking out. That would be spinach and there’s red pepper somewhere in there as well.

I was quite proud of myself on dinner. Grilled chicken, asparagus, and pasta to be swirled with marinara and paired with a salad.

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My gym time included strength training the upper body- biceps, triceps, and shoulders- along with some core action and cardio on the spin bike. Unfortunately, it was dark by the time I got home from work and couldn’t take my actual bike out for a spin.

Monday was one of those days I woke up ready for bed, but it was a good day and now we’re onto Tuesday, just that much closer to the weekend!

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!

Part Three: Heaven on Earth

There are a few places that I envision Heaven might look like. For instance, Union Square in New York City, my aunt and uncle’s Cape house, Disney World with my family, and Santa Monica beach. 

  

I have always been drawn to water. I love to swim, especially in the ocean with huge waves crashing over me, the salty air, and endless views. On day three of our trip, Molly and I took a ride to Santa Monica for the day.

 

  

 We started off walking through a Farmer’s Market where I picked up some new shades, then meandered our way through the town. Somehow, when we made it to the water’s edge, we ended up in Venice Beach, which is equally wonderful. 

  
I could not tear myself away from the water, even though I didn’t have on a bathing suit, so we ended up walking along the shore to Santa Monica Pier. The water was so warm and inviting and I would have loved to have dove into the waves, but it was a blessing just to be there. It was here where I had one of those feelings of Heaven on earth.

  

  
After taking the long trek- sprinting the last few steps to the pier due to how hot the sand that wasn’t by the water was!-  Molly and I were ready for something refreshing. We stopped by a stand at the pier for a soft serve ice cream cone. Even though it melted fast, it was just what we needed to cool down and relax, while looking out into the distance.

  
We also stopped into a small but cute aquarium on the pier where I met a creepy new friend, of whom I forgot to snap a picture.

  
As we made our way to the Third Street Promenade, we started to grow hungry. On our way, we had to stop and take a picture of this street sign since it is mentioned in a song we love by Yellowcard.

  
We made a few laps to see what choices were offered until we settled on a fun restaurant. It was nice to be out of the blaring sun for awhile, my currently peeling nose is a testament to that, and we split a delicious pizza and guzzled down waters. After, we made our way to Barnes and Noble to peruse, relax, and read some magazines. 

  
It was on this day that I realized I needed a hat to protect my scalp, so be made one last stop at a stand to buy a bright pink LA hat. I was quite pleased with my purchase, as was my itching, burning noggin. 

  
Upon our return from Santa Monica, we happened to see Mario Lopez in the car next to us, which was hilarious. We made awkward eye contact, awkward in the way that when I saw him, I started screaming and he saw me. For the record, Molly dove across the car to catch a glimpse.

I am struggling to remember what we ended up doing for dinner that night, but I do remember getting some wine and having a dance party while we waited for some old nineties movies of our youth. A little Cruel Intentions and I Know What You Did Last Summer was on the menu with some popcorn and we had quite a blast laughing.

  
It’s quite funny to me that I happen to be recapping the days of our trip exactly a week later from when they happened. I apologize for the delay in the post today, but I had an early wake up call to fit in my workout before working. 

Now I’m with some of my favorite people waiting to get some ice cream. What is everyone looking forward to this week?

Heat Wave Means Lots of Ice Cream

Before I recap the weekend, I want to start by wishing my Grandma a very happy birthday. It was yesterday, but I don’t think she’d mind a little belated cheer. She is one of the greatest, smartest, and kindest women I know. She is the head of our family and its life source. Not all families are friends. Ours is and it’s because of her. She may not be happy about this picture, but I think it’s worth it. Happy birthday, Grandma!

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Now for the weekend. On Friday, I went and saw Trainwreck with my friend Molly. I am a huge Amy Schumer fan, as I’ve mentioned before. I don’t usually enjoy romantic comedies because the endings are too happy and cheesy and cliche, but this was a smart one. It wasn’t just funny in a typical way. We tried to go to an earlier showing, but it was sold out all over the place, so we bought tickets ahead of time for a later one and got some dinner. The best salmon over some greens.

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A little ice cream after. I went for a different flavor this time around, which came as a bit of a surprise because I didn’t think I would like it. Blueberry Oreo. It tasted a little like Black Raspberry and it wasn’t too sweet.

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On Saturday, I got my day started with some pancakes.

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Later on in the day, we went out to lunch for my Grandma’s birthday. After starting with a salad, I chose stuffed shrimp with steak tips and a baked potato. I was pretty much done by the time I remembered to take a picture.

In the afternoon, I hung outside for a little while in the sort-of sun and just relaxed. As the sun began to go down, I headed out for a run that was sweaty and buggy, but a great workout! For the rest of the night, it was nice to put my feet up and relax with a little Netflix.

On Sunday, I started with some scrambled eggs and toast. It was a hot day and I was sweating while eating. I couldn’t even finish my coffee.

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In the afternoon, my friend Katie stopped by for a quick swim before we went out for the day. Our first stop was lunch at a Mexican restaurant. I had chicken and veggie fajitas, minus the tortillas because I had chips instead, with a side of rice and refried beans. Delicious, but super filling! After a little walking around and shopping, we stopped for an ice cream. It was National Ice Cream Day! I had my favorite flavor, peanut butter cookies ‘n cream. When I got home, my sister and her husband were over and we spent the rest of the evening talking and laughing. After another, but very small ice cream (it was National Ice Cream Day!), I came home and had a hot dog for dinner.

For breakfast on this very hot morning, I didn’t want to put too much effort into making anything. I went with a very quick and easy egg and chicken sausage sandwich with a bowl of grapes and a banana on the side.

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Now it’s time to kick off the day with some work and a workout. Happy Monday!

The Entertainer

Last night I went to see Billy Joel at Fenway. This is my second time seeing him and he does not fail to impress. Both of my parents are big fans and I started listening to his music on a family trip to Ireland. There is not one song that I don’t like. It’s funny because he could have played a complete different playlist last night that still would have been full of hits.

  
After every song, I kept shouting, “that one’s my favorite!” I don’t think there’s anything quite like hearing a packed stadium of 30,000+ people singing along to Piano Man or an a Capella version of The Longest Time. Even the two songs I didn’t know, I enjoyed. It was a perfect night for an outdoor concert too. Not too cold or warm, a few stars speckled the sky, and a great time with my parents and cousin Maura!

  
  
We started the night by hitting up a restaurant and getting a few drinks. I had a watermelon beer (the piece of watermelon on top was my favorite) and then had a glass of raspberry sangria. For my meal, I selected the chicken and shrimp sesame stir fry that was chock full of peppers, snap peas, and mushrooms on top a bed of jasmine rice. The portion size was just right so that I easily polished it off and washed it down with a soft serve cone in the stadium.

  
My workout for the day was a body strength circuit that had my sweating and sticky before I jumped into the pool to swim a mile. I was feeling strong yesterday and was in the zone and could have swam another mile (at least it yet like it) but I was on no time crunch and had to get ready for the concert! To add to my exercise for the day, we did quite a bit of walking to the concert and a ton of dancing! Once Billy came on stage, I didn’t sit for another two hours.

I was feeling sleepy this morning and took my time getting out of bed. Somehow it seemed easier at 5. I eventually got up and grilled up some French toast. In my batter, I tossed an egg, an egg white, a splash of milk, cinnamon, and vanilla together, soaked the bread, and fried it up. I thought I would get a little fancy with my topping and mixed a fourth of a cup of plain Greek yogurt and two tablespoons of dark chocolate peanut butter together. Combined with blueberries and banana, it was quite tasty. I ended up having too much for the toast, so I just ate the rest of it as a parfait.

  
As I enjoyed my breakfast, I watched a clip of Amy Schumer on Jimmy Fallon’s show talking about how she engaged in a bread eating war with Mindy Kaling and sexted from Katie Couric’s phone when she got up to use the bathroom. Comedy right now is huge, especially as people realize that women are actually funny. I am actually going to see Amy’s movie that comes out tonight, which she stars in and wrote. I think it’s so important to have celebrities, especially female, get so much positive exposure for being smart, funny, confident, and strong. And she was just nominated for an Emmy for her show Inside Amy Schumer, which is great!

Now onto a day of studying, writing, and exercising! Happy Friday!