Wake Up Call

The other day my sister and I were lazing at my house, just chatting (reality TV on in the background), when she said something that really struck me. She said: “you know, you define every event in your life by the weight that you were.”

And it’s so true. I know my lowest high school weight (108), my high school graduation weight (117), my weight when I met my husband (135), my weight when I graduated college (140), my wedding weight (145), and my highest weight (xxx). I can probably even tell you my weight just by looking at an old photo. I know that I haven’t had the healthiest relationship with the scale and my body, but it just seems so dumb that through all these memories, all these celebrations and life changing moments that I remember something as stupid as a three digits number on a scale. The number has nothing to do with how much I excelled or enjoyed myself or how much others loved me or were proud of me. It’s just a number.

And that’s why I need to change. Confidence begins from within no matter what weight or size. So I’m working on my mind and my happiness rather than the number. When I treat myself right, I feel even better at this weight than I did at my lowest weight.

-A.

Advertisements

The D Word

Diet. I hate to say that word because of all the scariness and failure it entails, but I’ve been really pushing to be healthy recently. My life is a lot more structured now since getting my job and starting classes, which makes staying on track easier. I’ve also been using MyFitnessPal. I’m trying not to get too obsessed with numbers, as long as I aim for healthy and eat when I’m hungry. I’ve been logging for almost a month now and my intense cravings for greasy food have (mostly) subsided. Our challenge to not eat out is also making it easier to stay on track. I’ve cut out drinking for the most part, as well as fried food and junk food in general, but nothing is off limits. I left calories for one beer last night and I’ve been cooking homemade pizzas to recreate a healthier version of one of my favorite foods. I decided to weigh myself on the 1st and 15th of each month and keep the scale out of sight.

I’m not doing any special crazy diet. No low-carb, no sugar free or fat free, no paleo,  vegan or juicing and no obsession with everything being “clean”. Just simple portion control and self control. I lost 4 pounds in the first 2 weeks and and I’m hoping for a couple of more on March 1!

-A

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Cauliflower crust pizza has been on my list since it started making it’s rounds in the Pinterest world. It’s even on my cooking bucket list I made last year. Since I got a food processor for my birthday last year, I finally have the tools required! Last night I cooked this delicious, low carb crust and it was better than I even imagined!

I used this recipe from a Pin, but tweaked it slightly. So here it is:

IMG_5853

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

1 medium head of cauliflower
2 eggs
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
1 TBS almond flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
Fresh ground pepper

Preheat the over and a round baking pan to 450. Start by washing and drying the head of cauliflower. Chop off the stem so you’re just left with florets. Add the florets to the food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds until it reduces to a powdery, light “grain”. I had about 4 cups of cauliflower grain. Place the cauliflower in a microwave-safe dish, cover with a paper-towl; nuke for 5 minutes. Carefully dump the hot cauliflower onto a dish towel or cheese cloth and let cool. Twist and squeeze the cloth to drain the water out of the cauliflower. I got just over a cup of water out of my cauliflower. Add the cauliflower “flour” to a bowl, along with the eggs, mozzarella, parmesan, almond flour, salt, basil, oregano and some fresh cracked pepper. Mix together into a dough. Spray a piece of parchment paper with nonstick oil and press your cauliflower dough into a pizza crust, making sure there are no holes. Mine was about a 10-12 inch pizza. Remove your preheated pan from the oven and slide the parchment paper with the crust onto the pan. Cook for about 10-15 minutes until it starts to brown. Remove from over and top with your favorite toppings! I used sauce, cheese, pepperoni, and olives! Place back in oven for 5-7 minutes until cooked. Enjoy!

IMG_5829

IMG_5834

IMG_5835

IMG_5838

IMG_5843

IMG_5847

IMG_5854

yum.    -a

Healthy Homemade Pizza

Everyone loves pizza night! It’s so easy and delicious. But, my husband and I took a vow not to eat out until Spring Break (with the exception of Valentines Day), so no delivery pizza for us! Luckily, I’ve discovered that pizza is super easy to make and is even tastier without the cardboard box. I use my food processor with the special dough blade and a few ingredients to make the perfect pizza crust. My favorite toppings besides the cheese (obviously) are roma tomato slices, spinach, thin sliced onions, pepperoni (the uncured kind), and olives (although I didn’t have any when I made the pizza pictured). I’ve made the dough with all white flour and I’ve also subbed 1/3 of the flour with whole wheat flour with good results, so play around with it. Also, my favorite seasonings to sprinkle over my pizza are: garlic powder, basil and fresh ground black pepper.
Pizza

Perfect Food Processor Pizza Dough

1 packet active dry yeast (found in the baking aisle)
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup hot water (not boiling)
2 cups all-purpose unbleached white flour
2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Sprinkle of cornmeal (optional)

Combine salt and flour and 1 tbs olive oil in the bowl of the food processor with your dough blade. In a cup combine hot water and yeast. Dissolve the sugar into the water and let it foam for around 5 minutes to activate the yeast. With the food processor on high, slowly add the liquid to the flour mixture through the feed tube. The flour will start to form a dough ball. Let the food processor run for about 30 more seconds after ball forms. The dough should be very sticky and pliable. Coat the ball with the remaining 1/2 tbs of olive oil and throw into a large ziploc bag to rise. Seal bag and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes while the dough doubles in size (I turn my oven on 400 and set the bag on top of the warmed oven and it works great). After 45 minutes cover a large surface with parchment paper and sprinkle lightly with flour. Cut the dough in half and roll each ball separately into a 10-12 inch pizza on the parchment paper (adding a sprinkle of flour when needed to prevent sticking). Sprinkle a round pizza pan lightly with cornmeal (optional) and flip your crust onto the pan. Your pizza is now ready to top! Add sauce, fresh mozzarella, meat and veggies and cook for 10 minutes at 450 on the middle rack of the oven.

Pizza2

 

Enjoy! x.

Staying on Track

Work has been busy. I’m putting in more hours than expected, but I don’t mind; I feel like I’m actually good at it. Plus, I got my first paycheck!

The steady schedule is helping me eat healthier. I pack healthy lunches in the morning without even having to think about it and don’t have time to have many snacks. The hard part is dinner, but as long as I have something easy around then it’s no problem.

Super boring post, but student life isn’t that exciting!

x.

Eat This Now

On today’s episode of Eat This NOW:

Monkey Salad: unsweetened toasted coconut chips, unsalted roasted baby cashews, and a banana. The recipe doesn’t specify amounts of each ingredient, but I used 1/8 cup of cashews and 1/4 cup of coconut. It was so easy and so satisfying.

IMG_5561

Also, last night I made green bean fries with dinner using this recipe, and they were amazing. Nothing like real fries, obviously, but crispy and satisfying. Be warned, it was super messy and time-consuming to coat the green beans.

IMG_5553

Best x.

Back on Track

The first week of classes is always exhausting (especially on crutches), but I made it; The last first week of classes ever.  I’m so ready to graduate in May that it’s not even funny.

Also, in lieu of school starting, I’m trying to get my life back on track after being lazy and recovering from surgery over Christmas break. I’m trying to get my eating back on track without overdoing it and giving up after the first week. I’ve started making smoothies for breakfast with a banana, almond butter, almond milk, spinach, and protein powder. They’re easy to make and I drink them on the way to class. I’ve also made sure to make my dinners at least half veggies and my husband and I made a pact to stop eating out until Spring Break (with small exceptions for a birthday and Valentine’s day).

AND, I crossed two items off my cooking bucket list last night with the same meal: zoodles and pesto! I bought this inexpensive appliance from Amazon and dusted off my food processor waiting on standby since my birthday (thanks mom!) and put together a delicious meal. I topped my “zoodles” with fresh spinach pesto (pureed in the food processor) and mixed in chicken apple sausage and artichoke hearts. It was delicious; I highly recommend zucchini as a pasta substitute.

Pesto pasta

A

30 Before 30

Ever since I downloaded the Timehop app on my phone a few weeks ago (I know I’m really late to the party), I’ve been eye rolling and cringing at my former self’s statuses. Boyfriend statuses and bad grammar aside, it’s a useful way to remember old posts and goals. It reminded me that one year ago today I posted my 30 Before 30 list. Your 30 Before 30 is pretty simple: 30 things you want to accomplish or do before you turn the dreaded 3-0. I had almost forgotten about that list I made on a good friends request 365 days ago, but here it is:

30Before30

  1. Get my passport stamped✔️
  2. Gamble in Vegas
  3. Sign up for a yoga class
  4. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
  5. Pay off those student loans
  6. Brew my own beer✔️
  7. Ace an interview✔️
  8. Plant a herb garden
  9. Visit an island country
  10. Go camping
  11. Get over my fear of scuba diving
  12. Run my first race
  13. Go to a wine tasting in Napa
  14. Land my first real job
  15. Learn to drive a stick shift
  16. Try golf
  17. Rock out at a huge music festival
  18. Hike part of the Appalachian trail
  19. Drive the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway
  20. Eat a cronut
  21. Boat on the lake in central park
  22. Give skiing a shot
  23. Read 25 of Time Magazines 100 best books of all time
  24. Learn about photography✔️
  25. Visit the city where I was born
  26. Take a class to learn a new hobby
  27. Cook every recipe in a cookbook
  28. Lose 30 pounds
  29. Take a hot air balloon ride
  30. Become a mother

I placed a check mark by the ones that I completed in year 25 of my life. I still have 26-29 left to complete the rest, which I think is doable. I feel like a few fun vacations will cover most of them! Upon second glance, I’m not really sure what I was thinking when I wrote #30: Become a mother; I’m not ready to be a mother and I’m not sure if that’s something we will do by the time I’m 30. Maybe when I’m 29 or 30; we’re definitely not in a hurry to take on parenthood.

This year I’ve got plans to tackle #8: Plant a herb garden, #10: Go Camping, #13: Wine taste in Napa (maybe), #14: Land my first real job, #27: Cook every recipe in a cookbook (at least get started), and #28: Lose 30 Pounds.

I selected the cookbook I’ll be baking, broiling, roasting, and frying my way through: Thug Kitchen. I’ve heard so much about it in the blog world and think it will combine my love of flavor and my desire to be healthy. It’s a vegan cookbook with an attitude; the wording is hilarious!

IMG_5504To a great 26th year!

Best.

New Blog Direction

I started this little blog with the intention of documenting my weight loss, half-marathon training, and recipes. As I racked up miles and whipped up healthy meals, my focus was the number on the scale. But, a lot has changed since my life hit an unexpected U-turn when I injured my knee running in December 2013 and wasn’t able to walk, let alone run. Running had always been my go-to workout and, to me, was synonymous with weight loss; it was a big deal. I had my first knee surgery in January 2014 and was glued to the sofa for months. Surgery didn’t work and my knee required yet another surgery in December (more sofa).

Since my activity level never surpassed sitting/limping, I slowly became depressed and unable to shed pounds.  To improve my mood, I tried to focus more on healing my knee rather than losing weight. The problem was, I didn’t really know what to blog about anymore. So I spent the year blogging about my travels and daily life, and gradually began focusing on self-improvement and happiness. My blog is now less about weight loss and more about my recovery and journey to self-confidence and body acceptance. Yes, I still plan to lose weight and get healthy, but I also focus on what makes me happy: my friends, traveling, my family, and trying new things. This blog is now my space to share my experiences (and maybe a recipe here and there) as a twenty-something struggling to find balance.

Best, -x.

2014 New Year’s Resolutions Revisited

At the beginning of 2014, I made a list on the note app of my iPhone of New Year’s resolutions. I glanced at them every once in a while throughout the year to stay on track. Some things weren’t completed because my January knee surgery recovery didn’t quite go as planned, but I crossed off a few.

New Year’s Resolutions 2014

Cut toxic people out of my life✔️- This one is difficult for most, but completely necessary. I realized coming into 2014 that I was somewhat surrounded by toxic people and it was overrunning me with guilt and unhappiness. I’m trying to get my life together and become a more happy and focused person, and surrounding myself with toxic friendships wasn’t helping. You have control over who you’re friends with, after all. In 2014 I made a lot of progress with this and am now in a much more positive and happy place. I feel like the friends I have in my life now are the ones that support me and respect my opinions and life. There’s no need for drama, negativity, narcissism and manipulation!
Get to know my city better✔️- I definitely accomplished this one. I made an effort to go downtown, especially when the weather was nice. My husband and I explored new local restaurants, coffee shops and bars. I went into Savannah to practice photography when I got my new camera and brought the dogs downtown for lots of walks.
Run my first race- I made this goal before I had my first knee surgery in January 2014 and before my doctor told me I should avoid running for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, I never fully recovered from my knee surgery and ended up having another surgery a few weeks ago. Therefore, there will be no races in my future and I’ve come to terms with this.
Keep my 4.0 GPA✔️- This goal required lots of hard work and dedication, but it paid off! I’ve kept my 4.0 thus far and am proud to put that on my resume.
Lose 30 pounds- Yes, the typical lose x pounds this year resolution. Well, 2014 was a little unexpected. By March/April, my knee was feeling a bit better and recovery seemed to be going well. I threw myself back into working out and eating healthy. After a couple of months I realized that my body was no longer capable of the level of physical activity it once was. My knee was hurting again and I avoided walking, stairs, etc. I was back in physical therapy and it wasn’t improving. Then I had my second surgery. Sitting in bed isn’t the best thing for weight loss and there wasn’t much I could do about it. I got annoyed with myself because the scale wasn’t moving and I realized that the real thing I should be focused on is healing and rehabbing my knee. I’ve been trying to focus less on weight and more on happiness and body acceptance. Following the second surgery I’m feeling positive! If my knee heals and I am able to walk and be active without pain, then I will focus on a healthy weight loss and continue with being body positive in 2015.
Have more sex✔️- This should be on everyone’s list. Sex is good for us (safe sex obviously) and keeps us healthy and close to our partners. It’s easy to get caught up in our busy schedules and put sex on the back burner.
Learn to love myself– I can’t check this one off quite yet because it’s still a work in progress. I’ve improved my relationship with my husband and friends and myself. Love is a strong word and I’m not quite there yet.
Read more books✔️- I did accomplish this, but it doesn’t really mean too much. In 2013 I probably only read one book. In 2014 I’m assuming I read maybe 4 books. Which is a step in the right direction.
Travel to another country✔️- I definitely checked this one off. In 2014 I traveled to Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France and England. It was the trip of a lifetime!
Stick to a budget– This year my husband and I got serious about money and downloaded the YNAB app. We set up a budget and tried to stick to it for about 4 months. We slowly slipped away from it, but still managed our money much better.  We reached our first MAJOR savings goal and are in a stable place financially. So, though not  checkmark worthy, we definitely improved and got rid of a lot of debt.
Reunite with Valerie✔️- I love that this one was on the list and that it’s checked off. Me and Val have been through a lot over the years and it’s been hard to physically see each other because of the distance. She visited in April and it was fantastic seeing her. We still stay in constant touch and I know we will see each other this year. I’m so proud of that girl for her amazing year! (love ya!)
Wear a bikini– Ya, again with the not losing 30 pounds and not quite loving myself yet, no bikini. I don’t know that I would put this on the list again, I just have my focus elsewhere.
Go hiking✔️- Obviously I couldn’t hike in 2014 like I did pre-knee injury, but on a trip to the mountains 2 months ago we went out on a “hike” to see how my knee would handle it. It didn’t cooperate at all, but I did get out there and try!
Stay close to my besties✔️- I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, girlfriends are one of the most important people in a girl’s life! I’m close to my besties and saw them multiple times this year & went without big gaps of no communication.
Watch more documentaries– Nope. Just didn’t do this. Maybe next year!
Go to an art museum✔️- I didn’t just go to an art museum, I went to THE art museum: Le Louvre in Paris! What an experience. I think I could go there everyday for a month a see something new every day. It’s huge!
Try out a yoga class– I didn’t do this because I was worried about my knee causing me problems.
Develop a better bed time routine– Unfortunately, I’m still guilty of playing around on my phone and going to bed too late. I’m going to try getting to bed early and limiting screen time before bed next year.
Try brussel sprouts✔️- This goal seems kind of basic, but I’d never had brussel sprouts before and thought of them as disgusting. I tried them this year and love those little vegetable balls!
Don’t check social media when with friends✔️- Obviously everyone glances at social media throughout the day, but I caught myself doing this too much when I was out with friends. In 2014 I wasn’t perfect, but made a conscious effort to be more in the moment with friends and be 100% focused on them rather than get caught up in the lives of people on social media that aren’t as important.
Eat more consciously– I have a bad relationship with food and I know it. I eat out of boredom, celebration, sadness, and mindlessly. I am going to work on this in 2015.
Record what I eat– This one goes along with eating consciously. I definitely didn’t do this last year and I probably should have.
Smile more✔️– We’ve all heard of resting bitch face, and unfortunately I suffer from this. I decided that I would have to try to smile more to show that I’m not actually a stone cold bitch and I think I did this enough to deserve a checkmark for 2014.
Gossip less✔️– The good thing about detoxifying your relationships is that the toxic behaviors go with them. Yes, I still gossip sometimes. We all do, but when I’m talking about someone else, I try to only talk to good friends or sisters and only asking for advise and talking about things that happened in my life. I no longer just single someone out and talk about them behind their back for the sole purpose of hurting them.
Best. A.