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!

Life After…

Coming back to a normal routine after death is a challenge. Bandit was such a fixture in my everyday life and I keep waiting for him to come around the corner, meow, or be lounging around on one of our beds or couches. The last week was a blur, but I kept busy with work and other things. It’s strange to be in mourning, yet keep going and finding a new normal. I wasn’t feeling especially inspired to blog last week because somehow logging my meals didn’t feel right when I was so sad. And I didn’t want to keep harping on the point. Things around here will be consistent again.

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It’s funny because while something so devastating has happened, other parts of my life are coming together. I am happy to announce that I will be starting to put my Personal Training certificate to good use officially! It’s so great to get to inspire people and help them find health and happiness.

Heading back to the weekend, it was packed, starting with Thursday. My workout included two kettlebell circuits with a friend before I hopped on the treadmill for a walk/run/sprint session. After work, I went out for Mexican with my friend Molly. I selected the steak fajita salad that had tasty grilled steak over greens with peppers, tomatoes, and cheese. Yum! We stopped for ice cream before heading home, despite how cold it was. Note: It is never too cold for ice cream. I will always persevere. I hadn’t seen Molly in so long so it was great to catch up!

On Friday, my day started with a crushing Spin class and some at-home Yoga. After my shift, I headed out for an impromptu dinner with a few of my co-workers. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time and I really needed it.

Saturday morning, my alarm got my heart racing because I had been in a deep sleep. Once I’m up, I don’t mind the morning shift, but it was hard pulling myself out of bed in the dark! When my shift ended, I fit in my workout that was a total body strength session. With muscles burning (in the best of ways), I met my parents and grandma for lunch before the semi-storm. The storm that never really was, at least to Boston standards, was calming in a sense as we all were bundled up inside, watching the Bruins and then Inside Out. There’s something special about sleeping in a warm bed when you know the snow is falling outside.

I can’t say that Sunday wasn’t a disappointment, at least when it comes to the Patriots. Neither team played particularly great, except the Broncos’ defense, but I always expect them to pull it off in the end, so it was a shock when they lost. The social aspect of the game was still fun. I went with my friends Nouha and Sarah to a local bar for some nachos, wings, and beers, then back to Nouha’s couch to lounge on the couch and watch the crushing loss. To ease our sorrowed hearts, we played a few rounds of a card game then got absorbed in some of those Buzzfeed personality quizzes. Sometimes, they are spot on, it’s weird.

I won’t feel guilty about all the indulging, especially on Sunday, because I did have a kicks workout, including a body strength circuit and a run. But I will say, I am very much looking forward to healthy eating today as I don’t love the feeling of being overly stuffed. Whew.

Now we’re back to Monday morning. Hope everyone survived the storm in their neck of the woods. Let’s make this week a good one!

 

 

Weekend Catch Up

I read a book yesterday. No, like an entire book. I tried to step away, I really did, but the mystery had me wrapped around its tiny little finger. That’s not the worst of it. This book was by the same author who wrote THE BOOK THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED because of the worst ending ever no ending whatsoever. Thankfully, the author decided to conclude this one, and it wasn’t terrible. This is why I shouldn’t read/watch anything. I become so absorbed I don’t want to do anything else. Granted, I did do a few other things of the workout variety, but I need to learn how to step away and let anticipation build. I guess I am just one impatient girl. Maybe Meditation will work?

Anyways, the book was The Secret Place by Tana French and I very much enjoyed the suspense and mystery. The characters had great development and I actually cared about them, rather than just caring about how the mystery would be solved. Right now, I’ve got a few books on Mindfulness and Meditation in my queue, but I am aiming to read a book a day week.

I think the last time I checked in was on Thursday, so we have a lot to chat about. Let’s catch up, shall we?

Thursday morning, I got things rolling with a bowl of peanut buttery oats. I topped the goodness with a spoonful of jam and toasted coconut.

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For lunch,  I went with a slice of leftover pepper pizza and a big salad I put together. I actually had a dream last night that my salad won this major salad competition and if we’re being honest, that would totally happen. My salads are often the envy of everyone who sees them.

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I got things moving with a strength workout using dumbbells and a quick series of planks. After, I went on a casual 8 mile walk with my friend Molly where we stopped for dinner in-between, so I wasn’t too worried about cardio.

This burger was amazing! It was topped with some cheese, bacon, onion rings, and honey barbecue sauce. I shared some of the rings with my friend Molly because they were huge and I am not that big a fan of onions, but everything was delicious. It came with a few potato chips and a side of beans.

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Somehow, Friday and Saturday got thrown together and I only have a few pictures of the meals I enjoyed. I can tell you that on Friday, I had a nice rest day, save for a brief walk I enjoyed just to stretch my legs. My workout on Saturday included a killer body strength workout and a swim.

On one of the days for breakfast, I made myself another smoothie. I tossed together some oats, peanut butter, banana , cashew milk, and ice to create something akin to a healthy, delicious milk shake. It was seriously so good and I will be making it again for sure!

Another day had to have been these scrambled eggs because I have photographic evidence that they existed. A little bit of toast and some fruit that did not make it into the picture completed the meal.

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Lunches included this huge salad with chicken and my current weird obsession- hot dogs. The hot dog must have been on Saturday because I wanted something quick post-workout and before dinner with friends.

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For dinner on Friday, I had um, more hot dogs, though I guess this would have happened before the other hot dog…I’m trying to confuse you so that you don’t judge me for my hot dog loving habits. It’s not my healthiest choice, but I’m not participating in any kind of eating contest, so I think I’m safe for now.

Saturday’s dinner was super special because the core four from college were finally able to reunite to celebrate Katie’s birthday. It came a month and four days late, but I think she appreciated it all the same.

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We started off with Sangria at Katie’s then made our way further into the city to make our reservation in the North End. Things were crazy busy, which is understandable, but we weren’t seated until an hour later, which screams bad customer service. Once we finally did sit, we had to wait along time for our food to arrive, but once it did, it was delicious! I selected the chicken parm with homemade ziti. SO good. You’ll forgive me for not having the time to snap a picture before diving in because we were all so hungry!

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I was up early on Sunday for work, but I somehow had enough time to make pancakes. When I’m motivated for pancakes, I can wake myself up! Oh, I should probably mention that I am now working again…in a gym! This is the perfect way for me to gain experience within a gym culture, while studying for my personal training certificate. So far, it’s been great!

Lunch was a huge stir fry: chopped veggies, grilled chicken, buckwheat noodles, thai peanut sauce. A colorful and tasty delight!

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I went out for a run that felt great while I was moving, then left my stomach aching after. I’m not sure what my deal is and it doesn’t happen consistently, but it has never really happened before these past few months. I think I have to start paying more attention to what I am eating and how much water I am drinking beforehand.

For dinner, I still wasn’t feeling great, but I knew I needed to eat. Once I did, I started to feel better, which is something. It’s strange though because I’ve tried to eat salads or meals with a ton of veggies post-run, but with my stomach issue, those only make it worse. I went with a safe, but far less healthy alternative in a frozen pizza. It hit the spot to fill my stomach at least.

Now into the week, I started my days with scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, and fruit. Simple at its finest.

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I started my week of workouts with some strength training. I’m mixing things up a lot starting this week, so there will be new workouts to post, but I ran through each exercise six times at eight reps, upping my weight as I went. The circuit of sorts included bench presses, leg presses, cable shoulder pull downs, cable shoulder raises, deadlifts, shoulder presses, squat presses, rows, tricep extensions, and bicep curls. After, I ran through a core circuit: leg raises, step ups, kneeling kickbacks, grasshoppers, elevated hip lifts, flutter kicks, alternating ankle grabs, hundreds, Russian twists, and planks. For a hit of cardio, I jump roped using the Tabata method (20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest) for five minutes, then rode the bike for 15 minutes.

After finishing up, I was ready for lunch. I went with more hot dogs, but I think I have met my quota on these for awhile. The biggest draw for me are the toasted buns. To be fair, I also had a huge salad. See, vegetables don’t usually turn me off during a workout, which is why I am so concerned with my running issues of late.

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For dinner, we grilled up burgers and served them with broccoli and homemade macaroni and cheese. It’s very hard to resist my mom’s macaroni and cheese even when it’s hot out!

And moving onto this morning, we are now all caught up! For breakfast, I enjoyed peanut butter on toast and a plain Greek yogurt with grapes.

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Overall, it wasn’t my healthiest week of eating, but I’m back on track!

Full and Satisfied: Happy Thanksgiving!

What a week it has been! I hope everyone had an excellent Thanksgiving and holiday weekend. Christmas preparation is in full gear here with the music playing, decorations up, and recipes pinned on Pinterest for the big days.

I started my day with a bowl of overnight oats before my early morning workout. This included mashed banana, dates, raisins, cinnamon, and walnuts.

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Later on in the morning I had this delicious bowl of berries.

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The next day I went with my favorite peanut butter toast and half a banana.

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This warming bowl of oats was the perfect accompaniment to the freezing rain/snow mixture we had on Wednesday. This was chock full of fruit and peanut buttery goodness.

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On the big day itself, I went with some poached eggs over toast. It fueled me right through my workout and kept me full until the big lunch we will get to later.

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Those poached eggs definitely left their mark because I woke up craving them once again. Different toast however.

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Taking full advantage of the free mornings on the weekends, I cooked up my peanut butter pancakes. I ran out of my white chocolate peanut butter- the horror- so I went with double dark chocolate. Still excellent, especially with some raspberries.

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Pumpkin French toast was not only delicious, but appropriate for the season. Once again, I topped this with dark chocolate peanut butter, jelly, and toasted coconut.

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I love breakfast!

This spinach salad hit the spot with a medley of crisp veggies,feta, and balsamic vinegarette. I enjoyed this with a toasted English muffin and tablespoon of almond butter.

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Another day, another salad. This time I had the same spinach and veggie salad, this time topped with tilapia.

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Wednesday, I didn’t have time to snap a picture because I was eating while I was driving. I enjoyed some chopped veggies and a a peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat sour dough. Sometimes simple very much hits the spot.

This special lunch came on a little day called Thanksgiving. We always start our afternoon with an appetizer called “crabbies,” which is essentially cheesy, crabby English muffins, as well as stuffed mushrooms. When we sit down, we enjoy lobster ravioli before digging into the big event. Here we see turkey (I prefer chicken but I’ll accept this one day a year), sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, and roasted squash, Brussels sprouts, and celery root. Before eating, I topped everything with a glaze of gravy and homemade cranberry jelly. Delicious!

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On Friday, I kind of braved the Black Friday craze but not until two in the afternoon. My cousins and I headed to Chipotle before going to the mall where I purchased a hat for myself. I filled my burrito bowl with brown cilantro rice, steak, black beans, peppers, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and sour cream. Unfortunately, you can only see the less visually appealing sour cream and cheese.

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After a long, cold run, I heated up some leftovers for myself. I topped some roasted Brussels sprouts, celery root, zucchini, and peppers with some shredded teriyaki chicken. I finished off the Mac and cheese. So good!

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Our Monday night dinner included this grilled, blackened salmon, roasted asparagus, and spinach rice.

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There is a reason I don’t allow my mom to make this too often because I cannot control myself. Her Mac and cheese is probably my favorite dish of all time. We also had teriyaki chicken in the crockpot and stir fried veggies, including peppers and zucchini. Look at the cheesy, buttery noodles!

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On Thanksgiving Eve, we were kept to the house due to the storm raging outside, except to get some take out. I went with a Greek salad with honey barbecue marinated steak tips.

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I didn’t have an official dinner on Thursday after our feast that afternoon, unless you include some apple pie and a chocolate chip cookie, which I do. However, I didn’t even think to snap a picture so you will just have to envision it.

My Friday night dinner looks even bigger than my Thanksgiving did, but a majority of it is vegetables- and Mac and cheese. I threw on some turkey, stuffing, Brussels sprouts, squash, celery root, green beans, and Mac and cheese.

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I went out with a few friends for dinner and drinks on Saturday. To go with my sangria, I chose my favorite blackened salmon salad that included spinach, peppers, black beans, and corn. Many fresh tostito chips were enjoyed on the side.

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I am feeling very full and craving a salad. I am going to try and keep a very clean perspective until Christmas. This is the time to be most mindful of maintaining healthy habits because it’s very easy to fall into the habit of eating heavy, rich food consistently. Paired with exercise, you will be well-equipped to enjoy another (two) feast days (in my family, Christmas Eve is bigger than Christmas). Have a great week!