Sundays in Chelsea

Holy moly – has it been awhile or what?! I apologize for my absence, I know the world was quite effected by my lack of posts. I wanted to do a fun, picture based, post to get myself back into this thing! So as I have blogged & ranted about before, Sundays were always a bit of a rut. Well, now that I’m not a bobcat anymore (tear), I decided that my Sundays need to be productive & positive (or filled with mimosas & waffles)! Not to mention, I am currently living in New York City. There’s never not something to do. So sometimes Sundays are filled with brunch, grocery shopping or scoping out street markets. This sunday was filled with beautiful sunshine, some cardio and some cookies!

 IMG_1191

Take a look at my adventure through my lovely neighborhood of Chelsea, as I run a long the chelsea piers, lay out a long the Hudson River, and take a bite out of somethings scrumptious!

IMG_1188 IMG_1187 IMG_1186 IMG_1185 IMG_1183 IMG_1184 IMG_1181 IMG_1180 IMG_1179

IMG_1178 IMG_1176 IMG_1143 IMG_1175 IMG_1174 IMG_1177

IMG_1172So – This was my Sunday! Grabbed some groceries on my way home and found some new almond butter to try! I am going to try to post more. I am cooking, but I am unfortunately not cooking anything recipe worthy – so those will be lacking! I am going to try to post about my adventures in NYC. Where I go, what I eat & what I see! Stay tuned 🙂

Yours Truly,

Stef

Advertisements

A Foodies Tour: Wilmington, North Carolina

IMG_5089

Last weekend I spent a WONDERFUL weekend in the beautiful town of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. My best friend Casey is a senior at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and a visit was long overdue! Casey is lucky enough to go to a beautiful school, surrounded by amazing places for food & drink, and not to mention, the beach! I thought it’d be fun to document as much of the food as possible! As many of you know, I’ve been trying to diet, but this was one trip I was willing to splurge for! Our friend, Jenna, goes to school at High Point University, so she came a long for the trip as well! Not only do the three of us love each other, but we love food. Casey, Jenna and I also have a love for natural foods. Farm to table restaurants are a favorite of ours. We love finding delicious restaurants where we know the food they are serving us are natural, organic, whole foods! Though we all love to splurge on lifes greatest temptations, like tequila shots and pizza, we are great at finding a balance between health and fun. Before I send you on this tour, I’d like to thank Casey for an AMAZING trip in Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. No wonder she never comes home to Maryland during breaks, I’d go back in a heart beat!

IMG_5013

Okay, I know what you guys are thinking. This looks disgusting… I know. I thought I’d include my last Tupperware meal before my flight to Wilmington. This was tuna with mustard and rice cakes. I love this meal, sue me.  After four hours of traveling, between two flights and layovers, I arrived in Wilmington starving! Luckily, Casey was also ready to smash some food, we chose sushi, white girl problems.

TOKYO 101

A staple at any sushi restaurant is the Edamame. Extra salty, or no salt at all, edamame is delicious! I do have to say, the salt helps 🙂

IMG_5019 IMG_5020

And welcome to sushi heaven. I thought I’ve enjoyed sushi before, but these rolls surpassed all expectations. I had to double up on Gluten & Dairy digestive enzymes, but luckily they provide Gluten Free Soy Sauce for rolls. No surprise here, Casey and I finished all three rolls. This usually isn’t such a challenge but these rolls were huge.

King Kong Roll

Red Snapper and Avocado Cooked Tempura Style, Topped with Spicy Tuna, Scallop, Crab, Crunchy, Scallion, Masago and Special Sauce

Ninja Roll

Tuna, Salmon & Avocado Topped with Scallop, Crab, Crunchy, Orange Sauce & Eel Sauce

Hurricane Roll

CA Tempura Roll Topped with Spicy Tuna, Scallion and Eel Sauce

IMG_5021

Epic Food Co. 

Epic Food Co. serves up a Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner menu. They serve flavorful dishes to fit your dietary needs, as there are many gluten free and vegan options. They have perfect portion sizes, and you leave feeling satisfied, not stuffed! There are many great things on the menu, a long with an option to make it “Your Way”. Casey and I chose to make our own fresh bowl!

Untitled

Caseys bowl consisted of Brown Rice, Chicken, Sprouts, Spinach, epic PICO, and veggie sauté. Casey chose the Avocado Chile Lime dressing as her sauce, on the side.

IMG_5033

My bowl consisted of Brown Rice, Chicken, Spinach, epic PICO, basil, and veggie sauté. I followed in Casey’s foot steps and got the Avocado Chile Lime dressing, on the side.

IMG_5034

Casey and I both got ourselves a side of freshly homemade sweet potato chips! I can’t explain how delicious these were, you’ll have to try them out for yourself.

IMG_5035

Epic does a great job in guaranteeing fresh ingredients and great service. They also include the nutritional values on the Epic menu, or the menu that is already created for you if you don’t choose to make it Your Way. The food tasted fresh and healthy, it was a delicious meal without the splurge! And well deserved after Casey and I hit the gym right before this meal 🙂

IMG_5036

After touring Wilmington & Wrightsville Beach for a bit, it was time to make dinner! We spent the day checking out local markets and picking up delicious ingredients for our homemade dinner we were planning that night! We picked up most of our ingredients at Trader Joes. Not to mention, my new favorite sparkling white wine! (I totally forget what it’s called, I’ll have to stalk Trader Joes next time)

IMG_5039

We made 1 pound of Gluten Free Brown Rice pasta!

IMG_5040

Mixed with 1 pound of White Ground Turkey meat! Seasoned with oregano, garlic, minced onion, italian seasoning, and salt and pepper!

IMG_5041

While that was cooking, we made a small antipasta to hold us over. I live for antipasta. Olives, salami, pepperoni, capicola. All that’s missing is cheese and crackers! Man, I miss mozzarella. #DairyFreeProblems

IMG_5042

Our pasta dish was amazing! The sauce we used was a Basil Marinara from Trader Joes. We had enough to hold us over, and then it was time to hit the town!

IMG_5072

Casey took us out to the beach bars for some drinks and yes, there was dancing! This lucky girl lives right near the beach, just over the bridge and down two blocks!

 IMG_5086

We spent Saturday a little tired & drowsy, but we made it to the beach. It was a beautiful day, just not nice enough for bathing suits! After a long day of walking, beaching, and mostly napping, it was time to celebrate National Margarita Day! Casey works at On The Border and they were having $1 Margaritas! We started with happy hour there. Guacamole live was a necessity! We finished the night at Tower 7, Casey’s favorite place for Mexican food & Margaritas! I got the steak fajitas. We all cleared our plates and were home by 9 for a much needed nights sleep!

The Basics

IMG_5121

On Sunday, Jenna headed back to High Point University after a delicious brunch at The Basics. The Basics is in downtown Wilmington, which is an adorable and quant part of Wilmington! Casey got the Quiche special, which looked delicious!

IMG_5120

I got the Carolina Cobb Salad, without blue cheese. I saw someone eating this when I walked in and it looked so fresh so I had to get it!

IMG_5122

Jenna got the Spinach Feta Grill. I was so jealous! This meal was a thick cut toasted baguette with poached eggs, creamy spinach, artichoke and feta. Biscuit on the side, of course!

IMG_5123

We spent the next few hours at Port City Java, where scenes from We Are the Millers was filmed! Jenna left us to do homework. I, unfortunately, had a paper to write, and Casey had some exams to study for. After our homework was finished, we went on a run and got ready to go to the airport for my 5 o’clock flight back to Ohio!

IMG_5126

The struggle is usually so real at places like airports for people with “dietary needs” like me. Luckily, Wilmington had a local eatery right in it’s airport! The women who helped me explained where their meat was from, and that it had no fillers! I got a burger with onions and mushrooms over lettuce. I covered that thing in ketchup, as if we’re surprised.

I hope you enjoyed my food review on Wilmington & Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina! Stay tuned for a Foodies Tour of New York City after my trip this weekend!

Yours Truly,

Stef

IIFYM, Eat Clean, Paleo – What’s Next?

I recently got a little made fun of for my “Clean Eating” mantra, which inspired me to briefly go over what it means to #eatclean. So there are a million different ways of eating out there, and I’ve tried a few of them.

IIFYM_zpsf8c8ae3d

I started dieting with an IIFYM approach. At the time, I had no idea that I was even following this fad. For those of you who are out of the loop, IIFYM stands for If It Fits Your Macros. I don’t like to get all scientific, but this ones science. You need a caloric deficit, Calories in, calories out, yadda yadda… “science”. Anyways, IIFYM promotes flexible dieting. It is a GREAT approach for beginner dieters, and those who are just starting their journey towards awesomeness.  IIFYM was the main reason I was so successful with my weightloss journey. I counted my calories on an app called My Net Diary. In my About Me, I listed a few foods I ate that helped me get in the groove and drop a few pounds. Because I wasn’t completely restricted to chicken and broccoli, dieting became fun. I have undiagnosed OCD, and my diet was something I had complete control over, and I liked that. I fit Special K cereal into my diet, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and a healthy serving of pasta and chicken for dinner, all as long as it fit into my available macronutrients! I was not limiting myself, but I was controlling my portions and measuring serving sizes to make sure I was on track. Paleo people cringe at the thought of IIFYM. That’s because it technically allows processed foods, dairy, gluten, anything and everything. If you really wanted, you could have a pop tart for dinner. If it fits your macros. Fitness competitors also use IIFYM to make “gains” in their off season. From my research (brought to you by Instagram, Twitter, etc), IIFYM seems to be commonly used by those with an already fast metabolism and those who are just discovering the calorie counting process and benefits of changing your diet. It seems that many people start with IIFYM, and move on to a cleaner diet eventually when they want to reach some serious goals. Though IIFYM is often abused, I have no negative thing to say about this diet strategy because it is all about what works for you. If Pop Tarts and Reeses get you to where you need to be, so be it.

image

And this is where my thoughts collide. I’ve recently been trying to find a balance in my diet and mind about food. As I said before, I started with an IIFYM approach. Now, I often find myself cringing at the thought of processed foods. Not to mention, I am gluten and dairy intolerant, so IIFYM would make me just as limited. So yeah, you’re following science. You might be eating chicken and veggies for lunch, but Reeses and ice cream for dinner. Ah! Filling your body with chemicals you can’t even pronounce? You might be fitting in your calories, but your insides are not thanking you. There is actual research that proves that these foods are poisonous to your body. They are also very addictive, as well as chemically made. Not real food.

eat-real-food-300x294

So you opt for a bowl of cereal instead of a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Yeah, they might have the same macronutrients, but there are more cons than pros. One including, those processed foods increase your serotonin levels (I’m talkin’ science, people). Serotonin causes you to be drowsy, tired, and lazy. When I follow my #eatclean way of eating, which is as close to Paleo as possible, everything gets better. And yeah, I mean everything. I feel energized. My skin shines, my hair looks healthier, my thoughts are positive and clear, and my body just feels right. But also, who the hell can eat one serving of Reeses cereal without going for round two? Not me. Reeses are the bomb dot com. Anyways, what I was trying to mention in the top of this paragraph was that I’m trying not to be so gosh darn anal about what I put in  my body. Yes, it’ll help me in the long run, but sometimes you have to throw your chicken and broccoli out the window and stop at Taco Bell. Also, nobody wants to go out to eat with someone who isn’t going to eat. For example, Friday night we went to a Burlesque show at one of my favorite local restaurants, Jackie O’s. They have an unbelievable gluten free menu. I was wondering all week about what I was going to eat there, because I am really trying to follow my plan! There’s a difference between a healthy lifestyle and trying to lose weight. When you’re trying to lose weight, you can’t throw out your chicken and broccoli for Taco Bell. It is important to follow your diet to the best of your ability, your body will thank you later.

IMG_4838

I thought maybe I would just eat dinner before we went, but then I thought about how not fun it would be watching everybody chow down on pizza. They have burgers, so I ordered the morning burger, which is a burger with an egg on top! No bun, no cheese. And yeah, I ate the chips, thanks Chardonnay.

1334702413114_1201131

Okay, back to clean eating. Clean eating doesn’t mean you spray your food with windex. Clean eating means you opt for food with as little ingredients as possible.

Eat-Clean-300x188

I started getting into the #eatclean fad when Instagram became more popular. Sophomore year I would follow all these profiles with great clean eating recipes that looked delicious. I was in the dorms, so I started #eatingclean with the best of my ability. Our market at school sucked. There were no fresh fruits, veggies, or meats. So I bought what I could at the market and the rest at the grocery store. When I went to the dining hall, which wasn’t that often, I would get a salad or a deli sandwich on wheat bread. I was lucky if they had chicken and brown rice. In my dorm room I would have oatmeal for breakfast, or Smart Start cereal with added FiberOne cereal and fruit. I also got egg beaters and microwaved them with broccoli and would make sandwiches with those Whole Wheat Flat Out wraps and thins.  I was obsessed with Wasa Crackers and the Laughing Cow Cheese wedges. I would spread those on the Wasa crackers with some Deli Turkey meat and have a baggie of carrots and broccoli for lunch. My snacks were apples, veggies, bananas, or granola bars. I was trying to follow a low-fat diet at the time, so I didn’t have peanut butter as much. But when I did I would make peanut butter and banana sandwiches. For dinner I would have the One Minute Ready Rice cups, with microwavable chicken and veggies. I steamed my veggies by putting them in a microwavable bowl with water for about five minutes.

Eat_Clean_No_Processed_Foods_Chemically_Chemicals_Enhanced_Artificial_White_Flour_Sugar_He_and_She_Eat_Clean_motto

My body slowly started craving more fresh foods, and by junior year I was in full force with my clean eating lifestyle. Not to mention, I actually had a kitchen to cook in. Perks. So I started really cooking for myself my junior year. Breakfast was omelets, with Feta cheese! (Oh how I miss cheese sometimes) Sometimes I just had oatmeal or yogurt with granola. That was before I got into putting protein in almost every meal. For instance, sometimes for dinner I’d have soup and salad. Sometimes the salad would have a protein in it, sometimes it wouldn’t. I still would enjoy a nice sandwich every now and then (I may or  may not have just started drooling because I really want a sandwich now, it’s the little things).  My junior year is also when I started getting a lot more into Crossfit and lifting. I was gaining a little muscle and getting stronger without even realizing it. I started researching how to eat for performance, and started eating like an athlete. For instance, I started making protein and vegetables my main focus, and keeping carbs involved for performance and recovery.

83545668

Once I started noticing the gains I was making from Crossfit, I couldn’t stop! And that’s how I got into Paleo. Somehow, Crossfit and Paleo are paired up. After my research (also brought to you by Instagram, Twitter, etc) I now realize that most crossfit athletes don’t even eat a Paleo diet. Anyways, I grew a girl-crush on Juli Baurer’s PaleOMG website, and really thought Paleo would help me lose weight!

Paleo

You figure if you’re eating meats and veggies, nuts and seeds, fruit and fish, and healthy fats, you would lose weight, fast! Well I didn’t exactly lose weight. I’ve heard of many successful weightloss stories from the Paleo diet, but my results were not consistent and I learned that it was not for me. My body changed though. I realized what it actually felt like to be happy, mentally and physically. My physique changed. My booty lifted, my shoulders broadened. I started to actually look like I at least worked out from time to time. (Which is all why my diet is still mostly Paleo, anyway) Any fitness nerd has that goal in mind. You want everyone to see how hard you work, and your body is a reflection of that. I think that’s my biggest frustration with my body. I kill my workouts, but my stubborn body is not giving me the results I KNOW I can get. Hence my recent diet change. I’m putting everything I know that has worked together. Lifting, HIIT, Cardio, a clean diet, a meal plan, counting calories, and a few moderate treat meals here and there! I know that I have accomplished a lot, and I am more than proud of myself for doing so! I’m hopefully on the road to the body that I have worked so hard for.

IMG_4904

I know I’ve mentioned this a million times throughout my blog, but I can’t stress this enough. It’s not what you’re friends are doing, not what your instagram idol is doing, and sometimes… it’s not even 100% what your nutritionist is telling you to do. It’s what works for you. You have to be well rounded. You aren’t going to get anywhere by depriving yourself, but you also aren’t going to get anywhere by constantly rewarding yourself with food. I’ve shot and missed a million times, and eventually you start knowing your body better than any advice column can tell you.

Yours Truly,

Stef

How to be a Weekend Warrior

We are all guilty of “living for the weekend”. You work hard all week, whether it be in school, work, or exercise, so that you can enjoy your weekend of rest. Though I’m sure we all have our own versions of “rest”. You hear it all the time, “I’m gonna go so hard in the gym all week so that come Thursday I can just get trashed etc for the rest of the weekend”. Oh… you don’t here that? Well, I do. I’m a senior at Ohio University and I am surrounded by all of the greatest temptations. Bars, local eateries, great friends, and “weekends” that can very easily start on Monday. There is nothing wrong with a little fun, but sometimes it is very easy to allow your priorities to slip on the weekends. This post is for the weekenders with goals.

So I’m sitting here, a little hungover, and I’m trying to think of something I can promise myself to do to make my weekends fun and productive at the same time. I used to always be the girl to workout on the weekends but lately I’ve been feeling 21 going on 60. One night of drinks and my body aches. (Is it ignorant of me to think that I’m getting old?) This is most likely because the binge drinking that goes on in college is 100% unhealthy, ridiculous, out of hand, and very fun. After almost four years of this, it is in fact getting very old. “I’m so over it” as the white girls say. It is quite a “coming of age” experience to realize that I in fact don’t have to go out on both Friday and Saturday night, and that my weekends don’t have to start on Thursday. Once I realized this, I felt healthier.

Banana-Minion-Rush1

Not only have I been trying to make my weekends productive, I’ve been trying to make them healthier, and here are a few ways to do so:

1. Have a night in. If you don’t want to go out, you can say no. You can sit and watch Netflix and do tabata abs until you see stars (real life experience from a Saturday night of mine). Find a friend to watch a movie with, or better yet GO to the movies you rebel, you. If you can’t find a friend that will hang out with you soberly, you are choosing the wrong friends. Don’t be afraid to stay in. A night alone allows you to clear you mind, rest, and think about your goals. People are so afraid of being alone. Your relationship with yourself is most important, so I’d start making it a priority.

2. Drinks. If you are trying to lose weight, you can still go out. Have one drink, depending on how strict you are being, or have no drink at all. Order a water with lemon and surely no one will notice. They look almost identical to gin and tonics. Water with lemon/lime is the way to go if you are nonchalantly trying to stay sober and sneak out once everyone gets too drunk to notice where you went. If you are trying to generally clean up your drinking habits, I’d say stay away from beer. I started bringing crystal lite packets to bars with me and ordering gin and water. Gin, because I can’t have vodka. Crystal lite, because otherwise, ew. Gin or Vodka tonics are also a lighter choice. Rumor has it rum is pure sugar so, I nixed that as my drink of choice for the time being. Yes, ciders are Gluten Free but are in no way a healthier choice. They have double the calories as beer and a lot of sugar and carbs.

3. Hangovers. Sleeping is the number one way to rid your hangover. More ways I prevent hangover is one, staying hydrated. Water is your best friend. If you know you’re going out that night, it is very important to stay hydrated throughout the day. (It’s really important to stay hydrated, anyway) Also, have a water with your beverages, or in between beverages. You will not regret this decision. It makes a hangover a hell of a lot more tolerable. Two, chugging a water bottle before I go to bed. Three, chugging 1000 mg of vitamin C before I go to bed. When I wake up in the morning I have eggs and green tea. Lately, I’ve been on a huge lemon water kick. Lemon water is very rejuvenating and I highly recommend drinking it during your hangover! It will get better!

4. Food What is better than a greasy late night meal? It is one of life’s simplist pleasures. When you are trying to lose weight, the drinks and late night meals REALLY screw you over. While on a diet, I try to allow myself one moderate cheat meal a week. This way, I won’t go crazy and I’ll have something delicious to look forward to. I say moderate because I try not to make it a cheat day, or a cheat large pizza-stuffed crust-pepperoni and sausage-cheesy bread kind of day. If you must, the small personal pan pizza’s should be your only option. It saves you 1/3 the calories of accidentally eating a whole large pizza throughout one day. (We’ve all done it…) So I know I talked about drunk food, but I’m gonna ask you, and beg you, to hold out. You know that regardless of the two slices of pizza or large fry you have the night before, you are going to wake up craving the same kind of greasy food. Have a little willpower, get yourself into bed and get your mind off of food. Wake up and have a hearty and healthy breakfast. Something paleo, like eggs and avocado.  (I keep mentioning that I have eggs in the morning after a night of drinking. I read an article awhile back on the various benefits of an egg. Let  me try to explain the science behind it without sounding stupid… Eggs contain an amino acid. That amino acid counteracts something in alcohol that is more toxic than alcohol itself.)  That way, when it comes to dinner time, your pizza or burrito bowl from chipotle is all yours and very well deserved. Or you could have it for breakfast, but I personally like to start my day with a healthy meal. It keeps my willpower in check and motivates the rest of my day.

5. Don’t sit on your booty all day. There’s nothing better than a nice lazy day, but where is that going to get you? If you’re dieting, you’re already cheating on your diet by drinking. Why elongate the process of cheating by not moving from your bed for 24 hours after a long night of drinking? Yes, staying horizontal all day feels great but let me tell you what happens when you make the choice to finally become vertical. First things first, you wake up. That’s the hardest part, I know. After you finish your egg breakfast, your system is moving and your body is realizing “Hey, it’s time to start my day”. Side note: Did you know that the reason late night eaters find it so hard to fall asleep is because if you eat in the middle of the night it alerts your body that it’s the beginning of a new day so your senses are heightened. (Another explanation proven by science where I don’t remember how to scientifically explain it, but just go with it). You start to feel a little normal again and you’re ready to get a workout in. Don’t think about it, just do it. If you think about it you literally will not walk out the door. Convince yourself that you’re going shopping if you have to, just put on your sneakers and get to the gym. I love the feeling of a run, but accomplishing that after a night of drinking is like a whole new world. While everyone else was laying in bed convincing themselves that they are dying, you went out and got your sweat on. Sweating is one of the number one things that cure my hangover. I hop on the treadmill, start slow, and start sweating. Each sweat drop reminds me of a drink I had the night before… “Oh, there goes that cherry bomb.” I’m serious. Sweat. It. Out. It works.

Yours Truly,

Stef

Holding Yourself Accountable in 2014

My first post of the new year! Better yet, my first post in a few months. Many people keep asking me why I haven’t posted. So here I am… holding myself accountable. I haven’t been posting because I haven’t been on the right track. With the delicious food from the holidays combined with my new found love for the weekend happy hour and a handful of lunch and dinner outings with old friends, I have completely lost my consistency, and some of my motivation. I’m not afraid to admit this because it happens to the best of us. Though, I have to say, this is the most I’ve “let myself go” since my initial weight-loss. I’m not saying I sat and ate doughnuts every day, but I let myself say “yes” to every restaurant invitation, craving, and night out on the town. I let myself believe that because I had “all this muscle” now, I wouldn’t gain as much weight. Boy, was I wrong. Not only do I have “all this muscle”, but “all this fat” has become it’s neighbor. I haven’t had a consistent week in about two months, which is why I have not been posting. How can I motivate everyone else to eat healthy when I couldn’t even motivate myself?

Image

I can come up with every excuse, my sprained ankle, my shin splints, my schoolwork, and my social life. But it all comes down to the fact that I was just not mentally there. Just because there were times when I couldn’t physically work out didn’t mean that my diet had to change. That’s why it’s all a package deal. Yes, the diet needs to be 100%, but for me the workouts motivate me to keep my diet at 100%. Without my workouts I feel lazy. Laziness produces cravings. Cravings sometimes win, but that’s up to you. I kept up with my workouts as much as I could, but even those were lacking, and I can thank my poor diet for that.

Image

If anything, the quote above explains my attitude on my current weight gain and lack of performance in the gym. I wasn’t committed, I wasn’t motivated, I wasn’t getting results. So, after a long and eventful vacation from my lifestyle centered on health and fitness, It’s safe to say that I am back. I’m aware that it is my last semester of college so it will be filled with temptations, but I am happiest when I’m at my healthiest. And happy is the only thing I want to be for my last semester at Ohio University.

c20d9db4d0de8f9de4502467b414fcef

I know how this process works, and I am ready to mentally commit. In 2014, I hope to reach my goals and stay positive. I’ll continue my commitment to Crossfit and add some cardio back in (as long as I don’t sprain my ankle this time). As for my readers, follow me on this journey and stay tuned for some fun new posts involving Food, Fashion & Fitness.

Indulge Without the Bulge

My last post was sweet and everything. Actually, no… no it wasn’t. There’s always the ever dreaded questions I receive. For example: “Do you ever eat good food” “Do you ever crave sweets?” “Do you even eat sweets?” “What do you do when you crave normal people food?” Haha. Normal people food? What does that even mean? What is normal people food? I’m assuming they are talking about the processed foods, the stuff that “tastes good”. The stuff in packages. The stuff you get at our schools dining food market. “I have a feeling you never eat like..queso and chips” So I laugh, because technically I can’t even eat queso anymore. Those were the days. But I guess I’m better off for it. I can’t count the amount of times I made trips to the market with my roomies back in the dorm days to prepare ourselves for a snack attack. Octopus gummies, chips and queso, oreos. It happened, I just never let it happen too often. Discipline. There is no greater feeling than self discipline. So just because I eat healthy 90% of the time I’m all of a sudden not normal? I have my fair share of fat Sundays and “YOLO” moments. Those moments where you just put the burger to the face. Skittles? Yeah sure, it’s Tuesday. Chipotle? Totally, I mean it’s Wednesday. But…if you treat everyday like a holiday you go from treating yourself to cheating yourself.

20131031-130237.jpg
The answer to all the above questions is, yes, I do eat good food. I do crave sweets, and I eat them too (sweet potatoes mostly). But what do I do when I crave “normal” people food? A lot of different things. I was about to explain to you guys that I “allow” myself about one cheat meal per week. Then I decided to reword that sentence. I allow myself to eat what I want to eat at all times. It just so happens that I want to eat healthy 95% of the time. And 10% of the time I don’t. It overlaps. 5% of that 95% of time that I want to eat healthy, I don’t. Mainly because I will go insane if I don’t treat myself with a greasy meal and a few beers (approximitly 10) with my friends. (just kidding about the 10 beers.) So when I’m craving a nice hardy meal and order in with friends, I’ll tell you what I eat. My chipotle order is white rice, chicken, fajita vegetables, salsa, guacamole & lettuce. Sometimes I’ll even get double meat. Treat yo’self. I will sometimes order a Gluten Free, no cheese, pizza from Dominos or Athens local brewery and restaurant, Jackie O’s. They also have gluten free buns for hamburgers. Hey. Girl. Hey. It’s halloween so I bought myself two packets of skittles. One for Halloween weekend and one for the actual day of Halloween. I’m trying to be more flexible with myself and my diet in the healthiest way. Yes, skittles are no where near healthy but it could be much worse. There are times when I don’t want to completely go off the paleo clean eating bandwagon, so I treat myself in a moderate, non traumitizing, non expensive, way. Here are a few meals I eat at home. These are not recipes, just ideas on how to have a great tasting, healthy, treat meal.

20131031-130008.jpg
1 Rudi’s Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin bagel, 2 tbsp Natural Almond Butter, 1/2 Banana

20131031-130021.jpg
In need of extra carbs & fats? 1 Slice of Udi’s Gluten Free Bread, 2 oz Sweet Potato, 1 tbsp Nut butter of your choice (this was peanut butter), 2 oz chicken thigh. You can use any protein you want. It’s just as good with ground meat or an egg. Experimenting with food can really turn out delicious…

20131031-130037.jpg
Sometimes I get really annoyed of cooking. I pace my kitchen a million times because I can’t figure out what I want for dinner. I don’t feel like heating up vegetables or cooking anything that has 1 oz of effort in it. My appetite was so suppressed that I really just wanted something sweet and delicious. I plopped 2 Vans Gluten Free Waffle in the toaster. I was going to spread peanut butter and banana on both sides, but then realized I was completely lacking protein. At the end of the day, protein is what keeps me feeling satisfied and full. I decided to heat up some leftover chicken and do my own take on chicken and waffles. I wasn’t sure how it was going to be, so on 1 waffle I put 1 tbsp of Peanut butter and 1/4 of a banana. I heated my chicken, put it on the other waffle, and poured some agave maple syrup on top (not too much). It was absolutely delicious. This meal was about 450 calories and 30 g protein. Not bad for something that looks like a pile of junk!

20131031-130102.jpg
I can’t express to you how crucial sweet potato fries are. Everybody loves fries, right? Did you know you can lose weight while still eating fries? Sweet potato fries, that is. Cut a medium sweet potato into whatever shape you want your fries to be. I usually do circles or normal fry shape, but you can get as creative as you want… Soak your sweet potatoes in olive oil. Don’t take that and run with it…use about 1 tbsp of olive oil. Salt your fries. There are many different ways you can make your sweet potato fries. I sometimes put cinnamon instead of salt. I’ve seen people put seasonings like garlic and onion powder too. That, you can get creative with. While your preparing your sweet potato fries, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. I typically leave my fries in for about 20 minutes. It quite honestly depends on how patient I’m feeling. The picture above shows peeled sweet potato fries. It is up to you whether or not you want the skin on, but keeping it on makes a crispier fry. Enjoy!

20131031-130120.jpg
Oatmeal! I love oatmeal. I typically eat Glutenfreeda instant oatmeal. There is so much variety you can put into your oatmeal. Sometimes I go with bananas and cinnamon, and sometimes I go a little farther. Pictured is cinnamon oats with slivered almonds and cherries on top. I also put about 1 tbsp of shredded coconut into my oatmeal. Other times, I’ll add a tablespoon or less of almond or peanut butter. Other topping ideas include: raisins, mixed berries (blueberries are my favorite), any nuts/nut butters, egg whites (added protein, not added flavor), ground flax seeds & chia seeds, and chocolate chips if you’re feeling rebelious.

20131031-130136.jpg
Pretty sure I ate this on a heavy deadlift day. I was lacking carbs, starving, and hadn’t really been able to eat much that day juggling my classes. I toasted two slices of Udi’s Gluten Free bread, spread 1.5 tablespoons of peanut butter (half on one piece, half on the other), and added about 4 oz of sweet potato to my sandwich. This is a game changer.

20131031-130200.jpg
Picture above is a little dessert I made for my brother. Yeah, its vegetables, and yeah, it was delicious. I microwaved butternut squash in a little water and coconut oil. I added shredded coconut, a pinch of salt, a lot of cinnamon, and who knows how much almond butter. When I made this for myself, I used about 1 tbsp. Rumor has it it tasted like a Cinnabon.

20131031-130218.jpg
Pretty self explanatory. Gluten Free Rice Chex Cinnamon Cereal. My go-to when I’m in need of cereal.

20131031-130249.jpg
So the only thing different about this meal is the fact that instead of eating a plain burger I actually put it on a “bun”. Filled with a whole plate of vegetables.

20131031-130302.jpg
And last, God Bless Chipotle.

Loaded Balsamic Chicken Pasta

I absolutely just cooked myself the best dinner I have ever eaten! I wish I wrote it down as I went… I waited till the end and hope I got it right!
Measure out 2 oz of Pasta, I used Gluten Free pasta! Start your water and bring it to a boil. Add pasta to water when it boils. Then I soaked about 6 oz of chicken in some balsamic, salt, onion powder, and Mrs. Dash. (See picture of seasonings below) Cook the chicken on medium.

20130910-201156.jpg

Seperately, cut up two medium sized tomatos. Pour one tablespoon of Olive Oil (I used Garlic Olive Oil from Roots…I recommend the garlic olive oil!) Add (close to but less than) 1 tablespoon of Balsamic, a sprinkle of salt, garlic nuggets, and onion powder. Put it on medium heat in a frying pan and let it simmer into more of a sauce consistency.

20130910-201229.jpg

20130910-201147.jpg
When your pasta is finished, strain and add it back into the sauce pan. Add your sauce to the sauce pan with the pasta.

20130910-201204.jpg

20130910-201221.jpg
Then sauté your vegetables. Mine were already cooked, so I just needed to heat them up. I added a small amount of all of the seasonings pictured to my veggies as well.

20130910-201234.jpg
Cut up your chicken and add it to the pasta & sauce. Once your veggies are cooked or heated, add them to the sauce pan as well. This way, your food is still cooking & heating, and soaking up all the different spices… YUM!

20130910-201136.jpg

20130910-201211.jpg
The finished product! Yes, it’s a huge bowl. This dinner was about 540 calories, 60 carbs, 45 protein, 14 fat, and 8 fiber. I like the look of those macros…especially after my day. I wasn’t able to eat much today at all. I ran, woded, and did some heavy deadlifts! I’ve been adding a LOT of cardio into my workouts. I take a cycling class once a week, run twice a week, and wod 2-3 times a week. I will sometimes go to our schools gym and do intervals or half hour runs on the treadmill or elliptical on days that I wod. Oh yeah…back to the machines. Ha..Ha… I’m trying to make sure that even though I’m adding so much cardio, that my strength is staying consistent. Yes, I want to lean out, but I sure as hell don’t want to lose my strength! I focused on strength all summer. I was PRing on a lot of things at crossfit. Not that I regret it, but I wasn’t focusing on my BODY and how it looked. I got to school and my clothes fit me funny… So Crossfit & cardio is the plan for now! I’ve been adding in little “treat” meals more often. My diet has been so strict for months that I am just worn out from being so concerned all the time. I’ve also been doing this for five years, its a lifestyle, and sometimes it isn’t going to be perfect. When I say treat meals, I don’t mean papa johns or oreos. (unfortunaly…) Treat meals, for example, this meal I posted above. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself some pasta, in moderation, every now and then. I also eat brown rice, quinoa, and rice cakes. Basically just more carbs…which might be OK since I’m doing so much cardio. So yeah, I’ve jumped off the paleo bandwagon a bit. I still base my diet off the paleo diet, with some small exceptions. SERIOUS obsession with rice cakes with peanut butter, banana, ground flax seeds for extra fiber. Peanut butter is another thing I havn’t been able to eat, and I can now. God has answered all of my prayers…
540571_235313806609624_2031278232_n