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.

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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:

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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!

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yum.    -a

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.

Life List

  • I started my internship last Monday (hence the lack of blogging, or much of anything else lately). It has me soooo busy, but I’m learning a lot. I even have my own office, with dual screens, squishy chair, 2 desks and all! I’ve got a lot of autonomy and get to work on my own files and projects. The people I work with are really great too, and always willing to teach me. One of the partners wants me to work on an audit with her next week and I’m excited!
  • When I’m not at work, I’m in class, and these classes are challenging. I’d rather be at work! I dropped my online class because I know I can’t keep up with the group work. Almost half the grade is a group project so I’m taking it over the summer.
  • I’ve still kept up with the not eating out challenge! We went out for the hubby’s birthday last weekend for sushi, but we had preplanned a dinner before the challenge started. I actually feel better from not eating all the greasy fast food. I pack my lunch and snacks for the day in the morning.
  • I’m slowly adding exercise back into my routine. I can almost walk normally now and my doctor said I could start using the elliptical. I’ve been doing 10 minutes on the elliptical and 10 minutes on the bike. It’s a start!
  • The Mr. has been in California all week and I’ve been enjoying my evenings cuddled up with the dogs and watching whatever I want on TV. It’s nice to be selfish sometimes, but I can’t wait to see him!
  • I can’t wait until Spring Break!! Plans have changed again, but I can’t wait!

x.

School Days

Life has been nothing to report home about recently. School, club meetings, homework, physical therapy, etc. It’s hard sometimes to find my life blog-worthy, but I continue in the hopes that I can look back and remember these days fondly.

We got our floors done today and it looks so good! It only took the guys about 6 hours and they looked amazing. Talk about infant gratification. Now I’m trying to keep my credit card from being swiped in a whirlwind of decoration excitement!

Also, I’ve discovered a goldmine of sexy/professional curvy petite clothing at the Loft and Ann Taylor and started my corporate wardrobe. Everything fits so well and I don’t know why I’ve never tried this before. Fit is everything.

Plus we’ve also stayed committed to our no eating out goal and I feel so much better without all the greasy junk food.

Best 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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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  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.