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Winter Blues.

9 Feb
There’s nothing I want more than sunny skies, warm weather and flip flops. The past couple of weeks have been extremely challenging. Ever since the holidays have ended, I’ve been trying to create more balance in my life. For whatever reason, I always feel like I’m on the go. Rushing to get out the door to grab something on my way to work, rushing to eat my lunch, and rushing to squeeze in other to do’s in the day, when I literally can’t see myself getting these “little things” taken care of.

Because of my overly ambitious wants, I’m now fighting a viral infection. Over the past few days, I’ve been doing my best to create balance and peace in areas of my life that are off center, especially my diet.

Creating balance where there isn’t any, starts with breakfast.

feb9-breakfast

Sometimes the little things make me happy. The other day at Stop & Shop, I picked up a bag of white cheddar rice cakes. I try and save money where I can, but I was so disappointed in the store brand. No offense, but Quaker is where it’s at. The store brand wasn’t as “cheesy” as Quaker, and tasted stale. My white cheddar rice cakes were a fair snack, but I wish I “splurged” on the other brand.

feb9-amsnack

After hours of feeling beyond crappy, I left work early to rest and load up on over the counter cold medication, which truthfully does nothing for me since it’s a viral infection. Moving on, but continuing on with the cheap eats, I had ramen noodles and Kellog Cracker Chips for lunch. Truthfully, these are a Popchips wannabe. They’re OK but I wasn’t too into the ramen noodles. It was a quick bite so I could crawl back into bed after lunch.

Dinner was delicious! Veggie wraps from a local eatery.

feb9-dinner

To keep everything balanced, I added a string cheese (extra protein) and sliced strawberries. When i do plan my meals, do follow a meal plan created by my Dietician. I’m terrible at times for sticking to my guidelines and caloric intake (as in I don’t eat enough!), but I’m really doing my best to focus on myself and getting back to basics. Whatever works, do it so you can succeed.

Healthy eating isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle choice.

Hot and Cold.

15 Jan
Mother Nature brought presents. Two feet of a snow and a cold.

Needless to say, I’m still not feeling that awesome. I haven’t been eating that much the past few days. Except, it was super awesome to score two days off from the snow. The kids in the neighborhood were making snow forts and snowmen in their front yards. I wanted to be out there, sleeding and pretending I was five. Instead, I spent a full day in bed sleeping.

Now on to the good stuff (or whatever I decided to take photos of). On a positive note, I have been completely caffeine free for nearly a week. Every now and then, I’ll have the craving for a cup of energy, but I know it’s not going to do anything for me, except give me a crash a few hours later. This morning, I visited Starbucks to try their skinny caramel macchiatto.

jan15-breakfast

It was horrible. I added a lot of Splenda to sweeten it up because honestly, the sugar free syrups don’t typically do it for me because they’re so tasteless. It was good to try something new, but if I do order a Starbucks, it’ll be the original drink, but the decaf version.

In case you forgot, we are foodies. During the Winter months, my Mum is always making various soups from scratch. A few days ago, I had a bowl of delicious sausage soup. And, if you’re wondering – I ditched my Vegetarian diet recently (sorry to disappoint). For a sweet treat, I had a few small handfulls of homemade trail mix: peanut M&M’s, regular M&M’s, two kinds of raisins and almonds. It’s so good, see…

jan15-lunch

After lunch, I decided to visit REI. The nearest location is right down the street, and even though I’ve driven past it dozens of times, I’ve never been inside. Let me tell you, I was a kid in a candy store. Oh, it was heaven! I found myself browsing the various fueling gels, and CamelBak’s. In fact, I had to replace my first CamelBak Better Bottle, and my outreach to CamelBak through Twitter was a failed mission. I had to replace my bottle because it was leaking, somehow. I also picked up these treats, which I am eager to try.

jan15-fuel

I haven’t experimented with fueling too often, but I thought.. let’s try it! Also, I took some tips from Carrots ‘N Cake. I remember reading that she’s a fan of the GU vanilla bean. I was super psyched to see they carried it. I also picked up some others. There was so much to choose from, and I wish I asked someone who was an experienced runner, of what they like best. In the past, I have used gummy bears, but I didn’t chew them during my run. I was so focused on running that I couldn’t even deal with popping something in my mouth for an energy boost.

Next post up? Pushing beyond your fears.

Getting Healthy With It.

10 Jan
Getting back on track is really hard. Especially after the holidays, and with all the extra sweets lingering around the house, I did my best yesterday to remove whatever I had in my secret stash and throw it away. Seriously, I can’t have that stuff near me. It spells trouble from the first bite, and if it’s too tempting and I know I can’t resist, it’s better off in the trash.

Before bed, I try and remember to plan my meals ahead using my favorite memo application for iPhone. I’ve tried the pen and paper model before, but I always get so self critical that I wish I wrote “breakfast” differently, etc and well.. if I write it on my iPhone using Awesome Note, I can’t complain or become OCD-ish about my messy handwriting. It was nice for a change to have a plan of attack in the morning, especially where I’m always crunched for time.

Breakfast was… awesome. The Kashi Go Lean Toasted Berry Crumble cereal rocks. It’s like my healthy fix. It’s the perfect mix of sweet, and granola like texture, without being too sweet. Breakfast was also paired with a kiwi-blueberry mix I got from Whole Foods. The fruit was also so delicious that I nearly ate the whole container. It was yes, just that good. I also had a Clif fruit twist. It was yummy!

jan10-breakfast

Whenever lunchtime strolls around, I don’t have a lot of time to eat. My lunchbreak is thirty minutes, and it flies by before I know it’s over. Thinking ahead, I brought a healthy mix of items for lunch. A couple of days ago, my Mum made this chicken dish (I want to call it chicken cordon blu?), but it was breaded chicken and on the inside it was wrapped with ham and cheese. I paired it with satuteed brocolli. Unfortunately, because the lunch items were so old, it was tasteless! So what was lunch? Carrot Dippers, left over pretzels from morning snack, and coconut water. I did eat some of the brocolli, but added some salt for flavor because it really needed it.

jan10-lbitems

Around 2:30pm is when the caffeine slump hit. I was quite tempted to grab a Dr. Pepper from the machine. I can’t believe it’s been restocked. I wish it wasn’t so I wouldn’t be tempted. But I resisted. If I had the change, I would of gotten a can, but what would of that done for me? On that same note, I purposely brought the coconut water to wean off any lack of caffeine induced headache. When the kids left for the day, I got the munchies big time! I didn’t really have an afternoon snack in mind, but I knew that if I didn’t satisfy what I wanted (there goes that emotional eating again..) I was going to be in trouble.

Snack was… good, but not as satisfying. I ordered a Starbucks strawberry banana smoothie.

jan10-sbsmoothie

But it wasn’t enough. When I got home, I ate four very small oatmeal cookies. I really could of opened up the bag of salt and vinegar chips I bought yesterday at Whole Foods. I almost did, but then I thought “dinner is soon” so why spoil my appetite? The smoothie was good, but I was hungry for something solid aside from the cookies. I tend to get the munchies around 3pm, but I was pretty impressed that breakfast kept me satisfied despite how “small” it was.

PS: I do like the photo “pairs” better than single photos.

The Whole Story.

9 Jan
Yes, I’m petite. Yes, I can kind of eat whatever I want, except… little did I realize that the “whatever” part would eventually catch up to me. When I was younger (and I’m talking about my early twenties), I had a stomach of steel. You name it, I ate it. McDonalds, Burger King, onion rings, French fries, sweets of all varities… I ate it. In fact, I loved these things so much that sometimes I accidentally over induldged, only to wonder why I did that. Why did I eat a Burger King junior whopper, a medium French fry and a side order of onion rings? It wasn’t so much that I didn’t enjoy the meal, but it was the after effect that really caused the most internal and emotional stress.

The transition into a brand new year has been difficult. Of course, I want to leave some old habits behind and create new habits. Except, it’s taken me a couple of days to get my healthy mojo back. Because I don’t need to eat any more sweet treats, I threw out whatever candy and sugary crap I had into the trash. I can’t even attempt to stare at it any longer when I’m going through the cabinets. All of the bad food throw away, required a trip to Whole Foods.

jan9-wfgoodies

I made out like a bandit. I always find a trip to Whole Foods so cleansing. During this trip, the intention was to pick healthier choices of the things I’d normally eat, but with a twist. I can somehow get lost in the produce section. I really wanted to pick up some organic apples, but I knew that I’d literally have to watch the apple consumption because I have a really hard time digesting them without taking medication first. Do I always have medication on hand? No, but I really should keep a few pills on hand just in case I get into trouble.

As you can see, I did indulge a little bit. Of course I picked up salt and vinegar chips! They really are my favorite, but here’s the thing. I am not a fan of diets. I never ever blog about a “diet” I am on or some crazy meal plan that I saw in a magazine. I try not to “banish” one food item because that only makes me crave it more! Other goodies I picked up were, well… yummy things!

I should point out the breakfast items. As for you my dear ignored friend, I will do my best to make you apart of my morning and leave the caffeine behind. I’ve heard great things about Kashi cereal, and wanted to try. Why? Because it sounds delicious, and secondly… it’s loaded with fiber (which still scares the crap, um.. out of me!) and protein. Good stuff.

A special thanks to Diana for her suggestions of how to nix the sweet stuff and make healthier choices!

Some Like it Hot.

28 Dec
I admit it. I get overly excited when I discover something that’s totally “foodie” of me that I literally feel like my belly is enjoy the fireworks of food excitment. I know it doesn’t make sense, but really… I am a foodie, and perhaps I take after my Mum. But anyways, the smallest things make me the happiest, and that includes food discovers that I feel the need to share with the world.

Breakfast. I’m really trying here. After feeling quite disappointed in the nutty topping + oatmeal combination from Starbucks, I decided to keep it simple. But wait. Houston (shouldn’t it be Boston?) we have a problem. I was notifed, and I nearly cried, that my dark cherry syrup at Starbucks was discontinuned. What?! I used to love my dark cherry soy chai’s. Iced, of course. I was forced to make the switch from their now discontinued almond syrup to the dark cherry, because I liked that flavor. Today, I tried caramel and sorry, it just wasn’t the same.

dec28-breakfast

Moving on. For lunch, I felt a real healthy craving. All that sugary treats I’ve had? It totally got to me this morning. Trust me, I was in bed for an hour waiting for the gastrointestinal spasms to subside. I decided to tweet Caitlin and ask if internal stress can trigger GI issues. Her response? Yes! Well, I kind of had a feeling something was up down there, but just to be on the safe side, I took some of my trusty medication and let things simmer down before I make any decison (wait it out vs call the doctor). Getting back to lunch, there’s a place called Chipotle. Amazing.

dec28-lunch

Introducing, the Fajita Burrito. Awesome. The size of the burrito is huge. Huge. Just looking at it,I thought “I’m going to conquer you like I conquer 13.1”. Hahah, I’m not that bad ass. But really, I ate almost the whole thing. Except, once you get to the bottom, everything starts to fall apart. It happens. I say, ditch the wrap and use a fork. To compliment my burrito…

dec28-lunch2

CHIPS! Their chips are awesome. Yeah, they’re a bit salty… and yeah, I feel slightly enlarged from eating most of them, but they’re super super good. I ordered some mild (go with mild, trust me) salsa to go with the chips. Also, I was really surprised to see how many chips I was given. I got a small bag (it’s one size) of chips, and it was plenty. Of course, I snacked on the chips on the ride home. How could I not? Clearly, they wanted me to eat them. And my Dad ate some too.

Out of nowhere, I had an idea. Why not record a little video? Alright, trust me… the way I am in this video, I swear if you ever met me in real life, you’d want me as your BFF. I am just that awesome. But yeah, I had the idea of the video. Go ahead, and watch it. In case you’re wondering, yes I am just as bubbly in person as I am in the video blog.

The end..

Hot Mess.

26 Dec
So even though I can’t erase the almost box of Torrone nought candy I ate the other night, plus countless salt water taffies, and oddles of dip, I wanted to start of Sunday with the best of intentions. No matter what, sometimes I just need to accept that life and healthy living included, does not always work out the way I want it to.

Introducing breakfast. Breakfast. You’re not my friend, you’re not my foe, but I need to learn to like you. I mean, I was super disappointed. Typically, when I order oatmeal at Starbucks (where I was this morning, I usually get brown sugar topping. I know, I know, not the healthiest… but I think oatmeal is just boring without. I went for nut topping, which I was very disappointed.

dec26-breakfast

Because of all the delicious leftovers, I could easily of snacked on shrimp cocktail and dip. Or cheese and crackers. Or wait, crackers and sun dried tomato-goat-cheese-pesto spread. Instead, I wanted to get creative. With all the ingredients, I could easily put something together. Except, I didn’t feel like cooking. Let’s just say, lunch was one hot mess.

dec26-lunch

It was somewhat inspired by the Whole Foods hot bar. I reminded myself that several times, I’ve paried hot items in a salad. So… we had some green beans left over that were cooked in the oven with EVOO, bacon, and garlic. Delicious! The sald was not my own creation, but I loved the whole dried cranberries, feta cheese, but not the walnuts since I had so many leftover when I stopped.

For a little protein, some shrimp cocktail on the side with two teaspoons of cocktail sauce. Overall, my lunch was so filling and so random, that I really couldn’t even finish my cocktail shrimp. Sometime after lunch, my Mum declared that my Dad’s gift card from Target had gone missing. Stress and anxiety causes me to go right back to the candy. I literally ate five peices of salt water taffy.

I definitely didn’t make great food choices, but hopefully it will get better.

We are Foodies.

25 Dec
Yes, foodies. Throughout the house (and every other holiday), everything is always homemade, from scratch. Nothing is from a box, ever and when the season is right, my Mum often frequents the local farmers market to pick up the freshest ingredients. And trust me, the house smelled amazing today, and everything was delicious. Here’s the healthy highlights..

Homemade Cranberry-Almond Biscotti

xmasday-biscotti

Snacking on healthy items like grapes, other fruits, and of course almonds

xmasday-grapes

Candy! Peppermints, Godiva chocolates, Torrone, and salt water taffy

xmasday-mints

Needless to say, I’m pretty stuffed. It’s crazy that even with yesterday’s and today’s company, we still have leftovers. I can seriously, honestly say… that I will be drinking plenty of water to replenish and flush out the candies (I even got my own box of Torrone, yikes!) and other random unhealthy things I ate. Secondly, on that same note… I got new running Winter gear from Athleta, a reflective jacket and brushed leggins. Running will definitely be in full swing this Winter and now I can’t make excuses.

I’m ready to fill my CamelBak Better Bottle now.