Ramping it Up

The time has come when shorts, tanks, dresses, and skirts are  a gal’s daily wardrobe. I turned on my AC tonight! (Let’s not even talk about swim suits).  I LOVE summer weather and clothes, BUT go through a thing every year where I am decidedly not ready to give up my jeans and cardigans. I know I’m not alone. PLUS, there’s festivals, and eating, and drinking, and birthdays, and eating, and drinking. Warm weather is happy hour weather, am I right?

 

Here is how I’m getting through:

1. WORKOUTS! I’m definitely keeping up my workouts with Lithe, Sgt. Nate @ Professional Touch Fitness, and running. I aim for 5-6 days a week. No excuses.

2. I am tracking things on MyFitnessPal. I’m far from perfect, and go over more days than not, but it keeps me WAY more honest than I am otherwise. And I lost a few of the winter pounds, so I’m feeling a lot better about my shorts and tank tops than I was a few weeks ago, that’s for sure.

3. I’ve been snacking on Lithe Fudge when I need a little snack. It’s rich, satisfying, and full of delicious ingredients.

4. I’ve traded some of my beloved beers for white wine. (except it’s Philly Beer Week, so not this week.)

5. I bought a few new things: cute new skirt, trendy spring jacket, striped shorts from GAP. I’m thinking of a bathing suit like this one this year: http://bit.ly/1qJpHor. I love getting a few new things and incorporating them!

6. I remember this, that I heard last night at a Beer Week event called “Beer-lesque” (Deschutes Brewery and the Peekaboo Revue Burlesque Dance Troupe): “If you were born a woman, you were born beautiful.”

 

How do you transition into summer wear from covering everything up in the winter?

On Being 30

I turned 30 last month, and while I absolutely know that none of these things happened overnight – I do feel like some things are just different than they used to be. When did this happen? I’m not sure, really.

 

#Thisis30 

1. If I drink anything the night before, there’s a 80% chance that I will have a headache the next day. Now, it will be of varying degrees, but the headache, my friends, will be there. And if I’m actually hungover? I don’t feel totally better until the next day.

2. So many weddings. So many babies. [and I really am happy for them all]

3. I’ve always been super social with a big friend circle, and while that hasn’t changed, my outlook on those friendships has changed greatly. I find that I spend A LOT more time focusing on developing closer friendships with specific people and less time worrying about trying to be everything to everyone.  I’m grateful for all types of friendships, and I am starting to appreciate the differences between them rather than trying to force them to all fit into the same mold.

4. I need a lot more sleep than I used to need.

5. I like to host things. Brunches, small parties (like NYE), holidays. Nothing too big or too crazy, but I like having people over in my space.

6. I prefer to be in bed by 12 on the weekends (okay let’s be honest, 11.) [Side note: this has not been happening lately, and I need to get back on track with my early bedtimes. See #4.]

7. I wake up early on the weekends. I NEVER used to. I can still go back to sleep a lot of the time, but I definitely wake up before 8, which can be problematic if I go to bed late. See #6.

8. My finances aren’t amazing, admittedly, but they are in a way better place than they were for most of my 20s.[pro tip: don’t spend more than you earn.]

 

I’ll be adding on to this list in the future, but what’s on your #thisis30 list?

Completed: Nutrition Challenge!

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For the past 2 weeks, I’ve been doing a Nutrition Challenge. It went pretty well! I cheated a little (some wine, 1 small cup of icecream on the snow day, a salad with some fruit in it), but I didn’t have grains or dairy or beer. It was hard to eat out, but not that hard to stick to it at home. I missed fruit in my smoothies (CANNOT wait to make one with fruit), sushi, beer, and the occasional wheat and cheese goodness. BUT, it wasn’t that bad, and really did meet the goals of resetting my eating habits, breaking the bad habits, and losing the holiday pudge.  Most importantly, I feel so much better than I did 2 weeks ago!

Results:

This was successful.

  • lost 5 pounds (3 pounds were fat)
  • -1 inch from my shoulders
  • -0.25 from my bicep
  • -1 inch from my waist
  • -0.25 from my hips
  • -0.5 from my thigh
  • overall body fat percentage loss: -0.6%

As you can see from the pictures above, a little bit can make a pretty big difference! In the end, it’s all about balance. There’s no way I could stay on this diet long term and not go crazy, BUT I learned a lot about not needing the extra carbs or dairy, and the importance of healthy fats and nuts that will keep you full vs other crap that doesn’t. I experimented with some new recipes that make the no grain thing not so hard.

Moving forward, I’m going to continue to limit my wheat (and try to stick with rice based products, quinoa, etc) and dairy consumption (after I eat some pizza tonight!), as well as be more aware of the amount of alcohol I consume.

I’m also going to stop weighing myself again, except for weekly checkins. Because I’m so much happier without that number staring me in the face.

 

[sidenote: I continued to exercise as normal (5-6 days a week – combination of yoga/lithe/Sgt Nate). The frequency/intensity of my workout routine basically stayed the same.]

Anyone want to share any favorite wheat free/dairy free recipes?

Cauliflower Pizza Crust!

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TOMORROW IS THE LAST DAY OF THE NUTRITION CHALLENGE.

(I’ll be sure to update with my progress/results this weekend.)

I made some exciting things the past two weeks, like the carrot fries, the mayo, etc. This week, I tried cauliflower pizza crust! Not amazing, but a pretty solid base to replace crust! (I missed the cheese though, not going to lie.) I used this recipe for the base. It’s pretty time consuming, but pretty worth it. I think that you could probably make a bunch of these and freeze them in freezer bags for future use. My little-food-processor-that-could was acting up, but hopefully yours will be better! I put on homemade pizza sauce (well Whole Foods homemade, hah!), pepperoni, some diced tomatoes, and basil. I want to try it with some pesto, or spinach and goat cheese next time!

I had a snow day on Wednesday. It started snowing around 10am on Tuesday. School let out at 12:30pm. That was way too late, in my opinion. I work about 30-40 minutes from my apartment, depending on traffic, but it took me 2.5 hours to get home! Woah now.  Anyway, on Wednesday, I had lunch with my friend Heather at Sushi Planet. I decided to try out hand rolls sans rice, instead of getting the sashimi lunch special. The verdict? They were hard to eat, since the seaweed wrapper is difficult to bite through. Otherwise, they tasted great, and as you can see in the above picture – they look fantastic. But really. hard. to. eat.

I’m leaving you with a picture of the Roosevelt Blvd (a crazy like 8 lane non-highway, with crazy lights and turn lanes and lots of accidents.) Anyway, it looked like this on Tuesday around 1pm:

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Have any of you tried an alternative to pizza crust? How did it turn out?

Looking Back and Looking Forward

Looking Back

I’ve been thinking about this post for the past few days. I have been trying to figure out exactly what kind of year 2013 was, and I think that I’ve come to the conclusion that it was a fine year. Nothing life changing, just a good, solid year.

Highlights:

  • Travel: In the spring, I went to Savannah with my sister to visit Ingela. I had the pleasure of doing a road trip with Ingela a few months later from Savannah through Atlanta, camping and white water rafting in Tennessee, to Nashville (LOVED), and ending in Asheville, NC. Then in July, I traveled to the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington State with my friend Elisa to go to Emily and Aaron’s wedding. It is truly an amazing place. You should all go there.
  • Fitness: Still was trucking along with Sgt Nate, and I started regularly taking classes at Lithe Method when I got a part time job there in JuneI ran 3 5Ks (Cupid 5K, Manayunk 5K, Turkey Trot 5K), a 4 mile race, a 10K, a 6.55 mile trail race, and a half marathon. I got a PR on the 10K (1:00:11!), and I got 4th place in my division in the trail race! Started incorporating a little hill and speed work into my runs with Matt, and I got back to some regular-ish yoga classes after I injured my IT band. And I almost forgot that I joined an ultimate frisbee team!
  • Food: I did a 10 day real food challenge in September with no wheat, dairy, or alcohol and felt great. I have cut back on dairy, since I feel a lot better without it. Started “eating normally” and not obsessing about the scale. I am so much happier this way, let me tell you!
  • Personal: One of the biggest things I tried to work on since the summer of 2013 was to focus on building more meaningful relationships with my friends. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful, wide friend circle in Philly. In the past, I had been focusing a lot of attention on “being friends with everyone” and not enough attention on actually trying to build deeper relationships with people. I haven’t stopped being friends with people, just have refocused my energies a bit. It’s always a balance, but determining when to give a little more and when to let go is an important skill in life, especially pertaining to relationships.
  • Resolutions Revisit: 
    • 1.) Do something new every month: I kept up with this for the most part, but I did miss a month or two. Some things I did: tried new restaurants and new fitness studios, made pad thai, took a swim class,  Savannah Slow Ride, Burlesque class, trussed a chicken, sea kayaked, rode a Scoute Coup, went to Nashville and the San Juan Islands (and lot of other new places), hiked the Rickett’s Glen loop, played on an ultimate frisbee team with PSN, volunteered at Blocktoberfest, and sang live band karaoke.
    • 2.) Stop weighing myself so much: Took me almost all year, but I was eventually successful with just a couple of hiccups (when my scale broke!)
    • 3.) Drink less!: Okay, so I didn’t *really* manage to do this one, but I have at least made peace with it.

 

Looking Forward 

  • Resolutions:
    • When I eat meals at restaurants, try to always include a fruit or vegetable with the meal.
    • Include a mentally/physically restorative workout into my routine at least once a week (yoga, tai-chi, etc) – even if I do this at home.
    • Keep in better touch with my friends who live outside of Philly. This means that I will email/call them once a month.
  • Goals: [not really resolutions, but things I’d like to accomplish]
    • Run a half marathon trail race
    • Run a the 15K Hot Chocolate Run in April
    • Save money for my trip to SE Asia this summer
    • Sgt Nate’s 2 week nutrition challenge in January with no cheats!
    • Take more trips to Baltimore to visit college friends.

 

I may update and add to my goals list, but I think this is a solid start.

What are your resolutions/goals for 2014?

Christmas Craziness

The holidays are a crazy time, aren’t they? I have barely thought about this blog recently. But man, have I been thinking about all of those cookies I have been eating!

I have a BIG confession to make: I made a colossal mistake last week and decided to buy a scale. WHICH WAS REALLY DUMB GUYS, because…

A) It was a New Year’s Resolution to stop weighing myself so much.

B) I hadn’t weighed myself hardly at all in 2 months, and I had been really crazy insanely happy about not weighing myself.

C) I hadn’t really felt fat at all. There was very little self fat talk!

and D) I have been eating a lot of cookies.

Of course, I stepped on the scale approximately 10 times in the past 6 days, and shockingly, I haven’t been super pleased with the result. I mean, it’s within 5 pounds of what it said last time I got on it before Thanksgiving (which was a couple pounds higher than I wanted it to be at that point, to be honest).  I knew I wanted to do a January reset anyway to make me feel healthy and happy after the holidays, but really, what was I thinking? I don’t need that stupid little number. My clothes fit. I’ve been working out a lot. I had been feeling [and looking] great. Shouldn’t that be enough?!

It’s AMAZING what a stupid little number on a scale can do for your mental health, and how a simple number can affect your body image.  [And it is really. just. a. number. I mean, step on and off and you may get a different #. or drink water. or go to the bathroom.] My friend posted a thing on instagram yesterday that read:

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THAT’S ALMOST AN ENTIRE YEAR WORRYING ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU WEIGH.

And that, my friends, is NOT okay. There are so many better things in life to think about and relish in. How can you enjoy the wonderful time you are having with friends and family if you are worried about how your stomach looks in your jeans when you sit down? Or how your arm will look in that picture? Or. Or. Or. We are literally missing out on some of the best moments of our lives, because we are so worried about the number the scale said that morning and whether or not you should really have that extra cookie or pita with hummus.

It’s a balancing act. Treat your body well. Feed it well. Most of the time, feed it with whole foods. [whole foods, like real foods, not the store]. Stay away from packaged products. Drink water. Eat food that is a variety of colors. Exercise. Exercise. Exercise. [good for your body and your mind]. And make peace. With yourself. Your body.

… and put the damn scale away. 

[side note: as of today, my scale is currently living in a closet hidden away from view. where i will use it occasionally to keep myself honest.]

Article of the Week (and Marathon signs)

“Enjoy good wine. Drink beer from local craft breweries. Sleep. Pray. Meditate. Let go.”

The above quote is from my Article of the Week, “Women: EAT LIKE A MAN!” that discusses the daily battle women have with food.  Seriously – retraining myself to just eat (and not stress about eating) is a challenging task. I had a grilled cheese and french fries for lunch yesterday. And today I had a quesadilla and french fries. Well, for lunches this week, I made a big delicious pork and veggie stir fry and packed a green smoothie and oatmeal. It all balances out.

 

Also, my friends who ran in the Philadelphia Half and full Marathon ROCK! Seriously, you guys rock. And my non-running friends and I kind of rock too, because we got up early and made fun signs. I got quite a few “You’re sexy too” comments. Maybe I’ll add my phone number for next year.

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