reset eating

If you are a fan of eating, like I am, then following a balanced diet can be difficult. Fall starts us out with tons of tempting treats, which is followed up with winter (when we’re covered up) and we greet the holidays with abandon. Spring might make us feel as though we should rein in the eating a bit, but the days get warmer and ice cream (although a valid year-long treat) seems that much more appealing.

I think the stress of my move has revealed itself most in my eating, and unfortunately, I’m not one of those people who “just can’t eat” when they’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious. I’ve not gone completely off the wagon, but there are definitely things I need to cut back on.

Here’s how I hit refresh.

No, I’m not a fan of the juice cleanse or other crash diets, although I will up my water and tea intake (exnay on the honey). I don’t love the idea of tracking every calorie for the rest of my life, but I when I feel as though I’ve been consistently overeating for too long, I’ll download a free app and force myself to pay more attention to what I’m putting into my mouth because, much like at Target, the little things add up.

While I do not believe in completely cutting things out, such as essential nutrients found in fats and carbs, I do try to make a solid return to eating as clean and fresh as possible. I’m good about eating my fruits and veggies, but I’ll include even more in the form of soups, salads, or stir frys for lunches. I’ll make sure that my snacks are planned and packed in advance: hard-boiled eggs with a piece of fruit, trail mixes, peanut butter toast, hummus or almond butter with carrots and celery sticks, yogurt and berries with walnuts are all go to faves.

But mostly, it means not dipping a hand into the candy bowl at work or giving into every craving for chocolate. The more you eat sugar, the more you want sugar. I do indulge my voracious sweet tooth on the regular, but I try to make a real effort to eat a treat mindfully, slowly, and with a lot of appreciation so I can enjoy it and not feel as though I need more.

In the beginning of my weight loss journey- FIVE years ago, FIVE – I got a lot of leeway on the eating front because I hadn’t been working out and the addition of exercise to my life was astronomical. Obviously I changed my eating habits for the better, but exercise will only get me so far with weight loss these days and as I grow older, my metabolism will also be less forgiving.

Although, of note, I believe my exercise routine helped kick my cold in three days while others around me suffered for weeks. Just sayin’.

Eating can be stressful, especially if you aren’t feeling healthy or strong, but it’s also an enjoyable experience that should always be enjoyed. I find that when I’m overeating, I’m enjoying what I’m eating far less. It becomes a dirty little secret, makes me feel guilty and sick, which detracts from my confidence. Food and eating is not the enemy, but a return to moderation is always important and always possible.

The most important part of hitting the refresh button for me is finding a positive mindset. My body and mind are strongest together. If I feel bad about myself or have negative feelings towards my body, I tend to be crankier, more anxious, and unhappy. But by treating my body well even in the smallest ways, like wearing a ridiculous face mask, working through a particularly challenging workout routine, getting a pedicure, doing yoga, going for a walk, or just standing in the mirror and offering myself a genuine smile, I find I can face the day in a brighter way.

I got this reminder for a reason.

 

 

power of positivity

I think I mentioned how I’m trying to be more positive and one of the things I’m doing to help myself is writing down one thing that makes me happy every day. I have a new planner that I’m filling in with my positive thoughts. It can be as simple as eating a cookie and as complex as… whatever successes might be coming my way this year.

I also wrote a note to myself at the end of my planner to remind me of how far I will hopefully- in a good way- end up by the end of 2017. Time will tell.

For breakfast, I microwaved oatmeal. Oats, milk- but not quite enough, walnuts, raisins, and banana.

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My snack was an egg on toast and cheese.

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Lunch was more ravioli, chicken sausage, and veggies, which is the last of my batch.

Finally, for dinner I grilled up some steak and tossed them into tacos. Spinach and tostitos made the dish sparkle.

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Dinner was a perfect refuel for my lower body workout. Boy did I crush my legs. My body and mind much prefer upper body workouts, but there’s no denying how much more I sweat. I finished with some core and cardio on the bike.

Have a great weekend! I can’t wait to see what adventures await.

Cheesy Business

We’ve made it to Thursday! The weekend is upon us, but hopefully, you’re still rocking this week. I had myself a pretty good Wednesday, what with nailing down a job, but the other parts of the day were pretty sweet too.

Especially this syrupy waffle from the morning. Paired with some fruit, it was perfection.

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For lunch, I dug into more of my quinoa dish, chock full of black beans, corn, broccoli, orange pepper, feta, and soyaki.

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I made myself a fancy dinner to celebrate last night. Not nearly as good as my mom’s, but I don’t make a terrible chicken parmesan. Vegetable medley and pasta on the side. One might say with too much cheese. But one would be wrong.

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Exercise was a run, walk combination totaling 4.5 miles! I ran for a mile at a medium-fast pace, walked the difference between my mileage and 15 minutes, ran another mile at a faster pace, walked, then did it a third time. I ended up continuing on to complete more than 4 miles with running, and finishing off with a walk. A quick yoga session ended my workout and left me dripping in sweat, the way I love it!

Lots of writing occurred in the hours after and we finally installed wi-fi! Things are continuing to fall into place and though I still suspect challenges ahead, I’m keeping a positive mindset.

Crush your Thursday!

Here Comes The Week (And Snow)

Boy, does time fly by. Wasn’t it just like Thursday of 2005? Somehow long weekends seem to pass by even faster, but hopefully that means that you’ve had that much fun and/or relaxation. In the aftermath of the storm, we all sort of rolled and slipped out of our houses and down our streets. All you hear people say to each other is, “how’d you brave the storm?” The silver lining of snow storms- everyone can relate, so I guess it fosters equality…?

Anyways, my mom and I made it to the empty-ish grocery store, which was a beautiful thing at checkout. It’s the first time in months I haven’t almost gotten decimated by a carriage. I did find a dirty tissue in a carriage though, so I ex-nayed that pretty quickly. This is my life. You read it for the good, the bad, and the perfectly boring. You’re welcome.

I was able to make it down to the gym with minor spinouts. For my workout, I started with an intense dumbbell strength routine because who knows when I’ll make it down to the gym again ‘cus, YUP, more snow is in the forecast for basically all of this week. After I got my muscles burning, I took it to the treadmill and started my run with some sprints. Starting with the intense speed actually made the rest of my brief, but fast run that much easier because my legs adjusted to the higher speed more quickly. I would’ve stayed longer but I had an appointment I needed to get to. Hopefully tomorrow I can get to the gym before the storm- yes, I wake up earlier than snow sometimes- because even though I can workout at home, I prefer the gym.

To recap my meals, I fueled my snowy shoveling Sunday with these peanut butter pancakes. The way I arranged them kind of look like a flower, which at this point, might be wishful thinking for the rest of our lives. Still warm, yummy, and slightly magical.

photo 1Post-shoveling, I dove into this grilled cheese sandwich. On the side, I chopped up some veggies and a handful of potato chips for that satisfying crunch. Even better, a warm cup of Trader Joe’s roasted tomato and pepper soup!

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To go along with SNL 40- that was mostly fantastic- we cooked up delicious chicken cacciatore with a bunch of peppers and mushrooms. On the side, I opted for the leftover macaroni and cheese and a great big salad that didn’t make it into the picture.

photo 3Another great weekend and hopefully another great week in which to look forward! It may be freezing cold outside, but let’s keep the warm, positivity flowing!

Hello, Have You Seen My Pool?

The snow banks are officially taller than I am. This is startling in how fast and furious it came. People were actually complaining about the lack of snow mid-January and then BOOM a snow cloud exploded. I’m just about 5’3 and though that isn’t a lot of a person, it’s a lot of snow. This particular bank is way over my head, like three of me, but look at that gorgeous sunset! photoMac was intimidated by the huge snow banks and stayed out of the picture.

As I glance outside sipping on my cup of tea and enjoying a homemade chocolate chip cookie, I’m reminded of the days of summer where the sun was shining, the ground was clear, and I had a pool. It’s still there, kind of, but it’s been eaten by snow. If cold, slushy water is your thing, then good for you, but personally, I find it difficult to jump in when the temperature is 80 degrees. Don’t judge me! I’m sensitive.photo

In other news, I’m not too thrilled with my new WordPress app. It’s not posting when I schedule it and all of the text is showing segmented together instead of the paragraphs I write them in! I guess I’ll just have to play around with it a bit more. Is it too much to ask for things to be intuitive?!

Some of you may be wondering where yesterday’s Rave Review Tuesday was and for that, I apologize, because you didn’t miss it. I just didn’t write one. In my”free” time, I’ve been devoting my energies to writing. It’s a positive thing that I’ve been so consistent with my writing, but I need to learn how to balance. I’m in the middle of two different books right now, so hopefully I can finish those up soon. I also haven’t seen a movie in a long time. For me, watching a new television show is a commitment, especially on Netflix, so I’m staying away from the for awhile. I already miss Veep and can’t wait until April! Long story short, I’ll resume Rave Reviews once I consume something to write about!

Though I’m trying to complain less about the snow, it can’t be ignored because it affects so much of daily life. This morning, thanks to my neighbor, I was able to fit in a quality at-home workout. After a body strength routine with the usual squats/lunges/push ups/etc, I jumped on the treadmill and got through a 45-minute run/walk type thing. My legs are sore, even after the rest day yesterday, due to the increase in running. It felt good to work up a sweat and to start my day with a workout!

Breakfast today was pumpkin French toast, topped of course with peanut butter, jelly, and shredded coconut. The pumpkin, vanilla, and cinnamon work together to make this breakfast delectable, but it still borders on healthy with whole wheat bread, eggy batter, and peanut butter for protein! Such a combination keeps me full throughout the morning.

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Lunch came together quickly thanks to an assortment of leftovers. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to find any Brussels sprouts in the fridge, but the roasted cauliflower and butternut squash combination sufficed. Along with my veggie fix, I ate a piece of blackened salmon and dove into the rest of the macaroni and cheese. Seriously, it’s so good.

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With the roads finally clearing, my sister Lauren and her fiancee Nick came over for a Chinese food dinner. To go along with this indulgent dinner, I chopped and steamed a variety of vegetables- spinach, peppers, zucchini, and carrots- and enjoyed some brown rice. The good thing about me and Chinese food is that when I overeat it, I feel shaky, so I am apt to pay more attention to my body’s signals.

If you would allow me one last note on the snow, I must say, it’s amazing that I haven’t fallen yet. That being said, I totally just jinxed myself. The walking is terrible out! I went from my house to my neighbor’s house and I was walking so slow. Not just because it’s slippery but because it’s hard to walk in snow and slop. I’ve seen a few brave runners trekking it in the snow, but I do not have the coordination for that. I would definitely slip, fall, and get run over by a car.

To end on a positive note, we are already a good chunk into February, which means once we are halfway into March, the weather should improve, BASEBALL will be on its way back- I know for a fact that the Red Sox are looking to make up for last year’s dismal season to me personally in the form of the handsome new pitcher Rick Porcello–Lester who?- and I have a couple of exciting things coming that we’ll have to talk about when they happen.

Keep the good mood grooving!

Jack Frost Is Pissed

Someone in the north east pissed off Jack Frost and now we’re all dealing with the repercussions. Seriously, this innundation of snow is so overwhelming that even people who like snow are done with the snow. With more on the horizon, and freezing cold temperatures coming, all we can do is keep warm with good meals and home exercise.

So yesterday was my scheduled rest day and the majority of my strenuous activity was standing at the counter working. I did fold some laundry and shovel a bit later that night, but my body was sore from the past few days’ workouts and a rest was appreciated!

Somehow, since I’ve been running more frequently on the treadmill, I’ve taken more of a liking to running. I can’t comprehend it either, but no other cardio workout equals it. Swimming is now wishful thinking with the pool being so crowded in the mornings, but I do try to jump in when I see a free spot. With my new running kick, I’ve decided to inspire myself with a new fitness goal: run a half marathon. I’ve given myself quite a bit of time to train, with my tentative goal September 2015, mostly because I don’t want to do it when it has a potential of being really hot. I will still continue on with my strength routines, which I’ll explain how I kicked up a bit later. Now my plan is to do some form of running every day.Three days a week will be longer runs, two days a week will be faster, shorter runs, and one day a week will include intervals sprinting and on inclines. I’ve been pretty excited since I decided to train for a half, but this snow is trying to prevent me from stretching my legs!

To up the ante with my strength routines, I’m now doing each move over six sets with differing reps, 10-10-8-8-6-6, and increasing the weight as I move down in reps. I have felt a significant difference in how it affects my body. So far, it’s proved effective because I’m realizing I can really go heavier and feel the burn. I’ve been bench pressing 100 pounds, which sounds absurd!

Because I’m changing up my blog- due to wanting to stay inspired while I write- I’m going to be recapping my meals and workouts from the day before. Hopefully that’s not too overwhelming.

To start the snowy morning, I brewed myself a steaming mug of coffee, grilled up peanut butter pancakes, and dressed them in all things red! That wasn’t done on purpose, but I suppose it’s festive with Valentine’s Day around the corner. Wait how is it already almost Valentine’s Day? Blueberries and mashed bananas were also in the batter, but it was all raspberries, strawberries, and strawberry jam on top of those cakes (with a little toasted coconut). Maybe I should have tried to make them heart-shaped. Lunch included this beautiful, flavorful salad with leftover macaroni and cheese. The cold/hot dynamic kept my stomach happy and fairly healthy. It’s always important to serve those veggies, especially when your body is calling for all things comfort! This macaroni and cheese is the epitome of comfort, cheesy goodness! For dinner, I went with this blackened piece of salmon, which is haven’t had in so long! Along with a splash of barbecue sauce on the side, we roasted some butternut squash and cauliflower and served it with brown spinach rice. A nice healthy meal to cancel out the warm chocolate chip cookies I ate! Let’s end this post with a touch of positivity.

photo Someone-my mom- had a moment of wishful thinking yesterday when she decided to buy these daffodils at the store. February is a short month, friends, and sometime in March, the weather HAS to turn over to spring, right?! While it seems that winter and summer have been dominating fall and spring, these seasons do have to come along eventually. Even in the thick of darkness, a hint of brightness can make things that much better. But only if you let it!