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Archive for the ‘back to normal’ Category

fruit salad

ranunculus

toiletpaper

Why, hello there! I’m happy to see that a few of you made it safely here, even without me blasting it over and out on the oh so popular media site. There have been some minor changes in my life- unexpected but much needed- and I’ll explain myself below. Not because I have to, but because I want to.

  1. I’m unplugging on Saturdays. And by unplugging I mean not using my cell phone, at all. No texting, no phonecalls, no photographs- only photographs when I’m hiking because it’s my smallest camera but it will remain on airplane mode, and realistically, I’ll mostly be hiking on Mondays from here on out. Take note mom, if you call me on a Saturday I won’t know until Sunday. 
  2. I’m going to use my alarm clock as an alarm clock, and not my cell phone. How many of you do this? It’s obsessive, right? I use my phone for everything and that to me folks, is a little scary. Don’t get me wrong, my phone will come in handy when we move into our new place sans internet but in the mean time, I need to cut back as much as possible. I sleep with this darn thing next to my pillow as if it were a pair of diamond earrings inherited from six generations.
  3. I’m deleting Facebook. My voice in certain aspects of my life has been silenced, temporarily, and I find it much easier to avoid temptation by just eliminating it rather than reading others’ opinions day in and day out (and not being allowed to respond). I’m being vague, and I have to be, and many of you know that this won’t always be the case and why it’s even the case now. It just is and I do think it’s unfair (as many things in life are) but the pros out-weigh the cons in this situation, and realistically, the only con is that I can’t stalk everyone in my life. I love seeing what people from high school are up to (i.e. getting married, having babies, buying their first homes), getting instant updates about happenings downtown, and just visiting specific groups/pages that are of great interest to me. By deleting my account with Facebook, it’ll also help me disconnect/get up in the morning. With my phone on my pillow, the first thing I do in the morning is check FB, email (both accounts), and Instagram. In that order, every morning. I think I’d rather roll over and see the beau before everyone else’s status updates.

So, that’s it. I’m making a few changes in my life that will hopefully free up some time for me to focus on my writing here and the people that mean the most to me. Some things you have to look forward to as a reader here:

  • I’m making a workout calendar similar to Fab Ab February for March, still undecided if it’ll be arms or legs. 
  • I have my first race (5k) in just over five weeks… and guess who hasn’t been running? This girl! But can you guess who is pumped to be hitting the streets (thank you daylight savings)? This girl! If anyone is interested in joining in on the fun, shoot me an email.
  • I’ll be having a guest post any day now from a friend alllllll the way over in Washington.
  • More daily notes.
  • Hopefully more recipes.
  • And a ton more photographs.

Our move is about a month away and to be honest, we checked out the kitchen yesterday and it needs some work to compare to our current charming tiny kitchen. There will most likely be some before and after photographs along with some easy DIYs. We are both anticipating the move and cannot wait to see kitty’s reaction to the amount of room he’ll have to zoom around in. Upgrades for us all.

This is me using the lemons handed to me and making lemonade. Cheers to new beginnings and less drama!

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quote

I’m not one to post quotes on this blog but this one I could really relate to.

We all fall apart at some point in our lives, at least once. After a long term relationship. With the death of a loved one. Loss of a job. Following a medical diagnosis. Whatever the last straw may be, we all have our limits. My limit was reached just before my twenty-sixth birthday.

I fell apart after a failing relationship of almost ten years. Then there was marathon training that forced me to take it to the next level. I took it there not only running the suggested amount of miles, but I boxed at least twice a week. I was in my best shape, but then, I fell apart. Physically that might have been out of my hands but mentally it took a toll on my outlook on a daily basis.

I gave myself a month off. And then two. And that added up to seven months total without working out. Not only was I not working out, but I was eating as if I still was. And I ate junk. I ate everything that I “could” eat during training because I’d just burn it off eventually. Now months later, I’m paying for it. I wouldn’t say that I had become depressed, but I definitely wasn’t my normal chipper self. Although I can physically work three jobs and pay all my bills on time and enjoy some extra nights out with the beau and friends, I’m not physically happy with myself. Not with the number, the look.

So, I decided with my new birth year, that this would be the year that I’m going to rebuild myself. I’m going to become that fit, active person that I loved being this time last year. I’m not going to fuel my body with junk, even though I can and have had it in the past. I’m going to continue learning; in a classroom, in the gym or through conversation. I’m going to make that “old” me the “new” me and strive to keep her around for many more years. I’ve got plans for my future and I can picture myself not only being healthy, but happy.

When I posted the most recent photographs of me hiking, I saw the word inspiration pop up a couple of times on my newsfeed. I’ve never seen that word before, in that quantity, in such a short period of time. It meant more to me than the occasional compliment about a new pair of shoes or hair-do. This word inspires me to carry on with my own personal journey and to continue to try and connect with some of my readers. I know of only one reader of this blog who is vegan, and was before I made my lifestyle change. And I’m well aware that the majority of my readers, including my family, aren’t “going” vegan. Those aren’t my intentions. My intentions are to show you how easy it is when you set out with the right state of mind to rebuild yourself into the person you’ve always wanted to be.

There’s one particular reader who reached out to me for my help. She’s well aware that I’m not a professional but is inspired by what I do know about clean eating and is up for the challenge of changing her lifestyle. She’s not going vegan or vegetarian; she’s making healthy changes to her current daily habits. We update each other every single night, briefly, on what we’ve done to reach our goals and I’ve made myself available at any time for questions. Our goals are completely different and  yet we are on track. The reason why I mention this reader is because she’s agreed to be a guest on here after thirty days. And this is another way for me to keep her accountable- ha! All joking aside, I’m excited to share with you someone who is different from me, but may connect with many of you. She’s on day three, so check back in on the last day of February to hear about her progress. Leave any encouraging messages to her below if you wish.

Who have you inspired today?

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sleeping beauty

birthday girls

rainbow of carrots

Sure is gloomy out there, but thankful that it’s not raining. With the beau at day three of his meditation class, the tiny apartment is quiet. I’ve relaxed and read a little in bed. I’ve stretched (I’m a little sore from hiking yesterday). I had a late brunch (I was stuffed from my birthday dinner with my family the night before at Beirut). And I cooked.

A friend suggested that I make this soup and with a delivery of rainbow carrots in my Field Goods bag this week, I couldn’t resist. It’s super easy, super fresh tasting with the veggies and alliums coming from the share and is perfect with that crunch on top. I followed the recipe almost exactly except:

  • I don’t have coriander in my mini pantry, so I used curry (I seem to be putting this in everything and loving it!).
  • I didn’t have fresh parsley so I used some fresh scallions from my windowsill.
  • I wish I had planned ahead and bought a fresh baguette from the Placid Baker but having it on it’s own (nothing to dunk) was simple and delicious.
  • I used water instead of a purchase stock or broth because I wanted to cut back on sodium.

carrot soup

I was a little nervous because carrots aren’t my most favorite veggie but this is one of my top favorite soups I’ve ever made. The tahini sauce on top just makes the meal.

I recommend this recipe one-hundred percent.

I walked a little too. I had a few items to pick up from the natural foods store downtown and some miles to rack up for my monthly challenge. I’m craving more of a hearty breakfast these days, instead of shakes, and couldn’t wait to pick up a loaf of Ezekiel bread. That’s what I was craving: toast with homemade hummus, avocado, sprouts and fresh pepper. I’ve continued to bring shakes for lunch- they’re perfect for my post afternoon workout (usually a short jog or walk).

toast

Heading into my third week being vegan, I feel fantastic! I can “feel” how my body is reacting to certain foods and have noticed that any processed carbs (bread) consumed in the afternoon bring me down, hard. This week I had a small, personal pizza from a local wood-fired place (without cheese) and although it was great tasting, it left me exhausted at work. I’ll make more of an effort to not eat them or pair them with far more veggies.

I was a little nervous with my workouts this month because a) it is more physical activity than the last couple of months and b) the lifestyle change. But as I found myself saying out loud on the mountain, I feel strong. I don’t get tired quickly and when I’m hungry, I eat. I eat veggies, either cooked or raw, I eat an apple from the share, or grab a handful of cashews/nuts; all between my “normal” meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). I drink a lot of water and have only had one glass of wine since New Years Eve. I’m sleeping much better and actually woke up on my own this morning, feeling refreshed, before 7am. Good things are happening!

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afterglow (28)

This past Sunday as I swung open the freezer door for some frozen veggies, it hit me; the small glass container of frozen deliciousness. Not literally, but glaring in my direction. See, I open this freezer at least once a day for my frozen fruit first thing in the morning and have yet to notice this container, right up front under my mom’s summer tomato sauce. Nope, not until Sunday when I least expected it. This glass container was filled with roasted tomatoes and cheddar biscuits.

If you’ve followed along this past summer you’d know that this was my favorite dish. I ate pounds upon POUNDS of tomatoes fresh from a local farm; the poor beau thought I was going to turn into a tomato. I made this dish for my mom- who loved it! I made this dish for some close friends on their anniversary- and they loved it! I loved it so much I planned ahead and froze a batch so that I could enjoy the summer joys in the cold of winter. Until someone decided to go vegan during the winter and could no longer enjoy the carmelized onions that spent over an hour in butter or the buttermilk or the cheddar in the biscuits.

I couldn’t throw it away, so in the refridgerator it went to unthaw.

For a day and a half I thought about tossing it and how bad I’d feel, both physically and mentally, for eating the animal protein. But then I thought, well, it’s not like I had purposefully bought the dish and prepared it right then and there. No, this was something I REALLY once enjoyed and could, without mental anguish, enjoy one last time.

I popped it into the oven last night with time to spare before my evening shift and waiting patiently for forty-five minutes. If this was going to be my last taste of the summer tomatoes in all their glory, I had to be patient. Once bubbling, I plopped a pile into my bowl and dug in. Unimpressed.

So much so, I barely at any of the tomatoes drowning in the onions and butter sauce. On to the biscuits. Not as cheddar-y as I remembered. I didn’t finish that plop nor did we finish the casserole dish; into the trash.

My heart is/was broken; not only did I eat animal protein, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I once had. Maybe because it was frozen not fresh, or maybe because my body knows better. My taste buds have started to adjust themselves and my head knows I should have known better.

A few people have asked how I feel a week now being vegan: SUPER, until today. I was slow. I was tired. I felt bloated. And I swear it’s from those few bites of last summer’s bliss.

I’ve officially learned my lesson; no more animal protein. Period.

Oh, and to clean out the freezer.

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As I mentioned in my video blog yesterday, the beau and I have made the decision to go vegetarian. And before I get into that, let me share a little something something about my upbringing.

My dad is a hunter. He always has and always will. And it took a little getting use to when I had to tell my friends about this fact; see, there are many heads hanging on our living room walls. Not my house. I don’t pay the mortgage. My mom is very smart and chooses her battles wisely. Heads hanging up on the wall, no big deal. (note: not every head, just three deer, a caribou, an elk and soon to be bear) No big deal at all.

Anyway, I grew up eating venison. And I love it to this day. I know that the meat is all natural and I know that my dad did not make the animal suffer. I’ve seen the entire process, but most of the time, I hang out in the house while he does all the “dirty” work. And for that, I am very appreciative.

That being said, I feel like I am not appreciative of all the animals that end up on my dinner plate on a regular basis. Paired with some recent reading and research, I just don’t think it’s healthy to be consuming that much animal protein. I do think we as humans are meant to be omnivores, however, we were first hunters and gatherers before we were farmers out of convenience. We lived off of the earth and only had meat protein sparingly. So that, is what I’ve decided to do. I will no longer purchase or consume meat AND fish, unless I personally know the hunter. My dad, being that hunter.

I will continue to eat dairy products (let’s be real, only cheese at this point) and eggs, because frankly, this has to be baby steps. This is going to mean no special sushi rolls, no huevos flamencos with chorizo (they do make a vegetarian option!) or bacon tomato pizza. Or, get ready for this one, McDoubles. But I just have to remind myself that food is fuel and I don’t need that penned up animal to satisfy my savory craving.

No, I am not making this decision because of the beau and vice versa. This is a topic that the two of us have been tossing back and forth for a while now, and I think it is just that much easier to commit to if your significant other isn’t roasting up beef on a daily basis. He has a much simpler reason behind his decision: he doesn’t want to have to kill an animal in order to eat/survive. Unlike me, he will be enjoying some seafood but will not eat venison (he just can’t get that image of Bambi out of his head).

These are our personal decisions and opinions. You have the right to disagree and voice your own opinion below; I promise I won’t delete them (I never do). I feel like we are both at the point that we can focus on our health and what we are consuming wisely, as opposed to when I went vegetarian as a teen. That decision was me rebelling against a family who had heads on their walls, but my food choices were far from healthy.

Are any of you vegetarians? Have a favorite go-to recipe? Vegans? I’d love any feedback or words of  encouragement.

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Warning! This post is going to be honest and contain real numbers.

You’ve all heard me say time and time again that I’m not at my healthiest weight/fittest shape. Well, as of today (yes, a Wednesday and not a Monday), I’m going to seriously work toward number twelve on my list of 52, get down to 130 pounds. And yes, I know it’s not always about the number on the scale, it’s how your clothes fit and how you feel but let me tell you, I was fit and weighing 132 pounds this time last year, and it never felt better.

That and I saw some photographs. I’m not going to say of who or of what, but that fire was lit. I said to myself, “self, you want this BAD!” And so, I’m going to get it.

My plan of attack: well, it took me about two months to get out of my workout routine and put on this poundage, so it’ll most likely take that long if not more to take it all off, and then some. I’m going to go back to writing down each and every thing I’m consuming; not to count calories but just be aware of how much I’m taking in each day. And to top it off, I chose a race in September that I’d like to set a PR with, so, I will be hitting the streets once again.

To make my plan even more accountable, I will be “weighing in” each and every Wednesday. Not because I want your praise but more so I want the pressure of knowing that someone may be reading this and keeping track. Clean eating and kicking ass.

So here it goes:

Starting weight: 144lbs.

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bust a move!

Today was filled with a mix of emotions. To be honest, I slept in. I moped. And then I remembered that it was race day for members of my community. With only minutes to spare, I walked to one end of my street to see the runners start. And as I was standing there, I couldn’t help but to cry.

A year ago I PR’d at this race and I was hoping this year to shatter that time. The weather was absolutely perfect and really, a race always puts this contagious energy in the air. I surely felt it and only got more anxious. The crazy last-minute thought that popped in my head: go! Go put your running gear on, lace up and run with your co-workers. But there I stood, alone, at the corner ready to cheer them all on.

And that I did. For the full hour or so, I clapped. I shared words of encouragement. I smiled. I even got to hold the glasses of the second place overall finisher.

I also witnessed something that I’ve never seen at a race: hostility. A neighbor cursed at me, flipped me off and then proceeded to get out of his car and interrogate me. Gosh for bid he sat at the stop sign for two minutes to let the runners pass. Gosh for bid he keep his trap shut because hello, I wasn’t the coordinator for this event. And he wasn’t the only one. I seriously thought a runner was going to be hit by some other fellow who was in such a rush to get to the Farmer’s Market bodega. At one point, someone in the apartment behind me started to mock me and my cheering and started repeating me quite loudly. I only saw it as an added spectator. Thank you randomly annoyed neighbor who helped cheer for at least ten minutes.

No poor-attitude neighbor would leave me sour; instead I left inspired. So much so that I went out and bought myself a new pair of sneakers. I’ve needed a second pair to start rotating for a while now, and no better time than this weekend. I was going to immediately go out and test them but reminded myself not to push it. Tomorrow morning, rain or shine, I’m running my own 5k.

I guess I didn’t know how much I loved this sport until it was taken away. But I guess that’s like most things in life, gotta remember to enjoy it all while we can.

and p.s… this pair of sneakers will carry me across the finish line next month!

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