Just a Reminder

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I wanted to share this today because I needed this reminder and I’m sure that many others do as well.

Our weight does not define us. The way that people love us is not contingent on the size of our thighs or our pant sizes. The way that we love ourselves shouldn’t be either.

I read an article recently that bashed the body positive movement because, as the article said, that it promoted an unhealthy lifestyle and obesity. I have had a hard time wrapping my brain around their thoughts and my own opinion on the subject, but I am going to do my best now to share how I feel.

I think that people are trying to put too much responsibility on the shoulders of body positive advocates. A plus size model should be allowed to tell her followers to love every curve, every jiggle, and every piece of their body without in the same breath having to say, “but you should also exercise and eat well.” I think that is what many people expect and I don’t think it is their job and they shouldn’t have to do it.

I believe that health and fitness is vital to a happy life. MY life is vastly better when I workout consistently and eat well, but I am not going to preach that to someone who is scared and uncomfortable with their body. What that article didn’t understand is that sometimes you have to love yourself first before you can take care of yourself.

Sometimes you need to accept your curves and love the skin you’re in before you decide to try that barre class or go to Zumba or head out and run a mile. It is a lot easier to say fuck the haters in a fitness class when you love yourself and are feeling yourself then if you are told to be embarrassed and ashamed of your body by society.

My whole life I have hated my body because that is what society told me. That is what the bullies in my upbringing told me. I was surrounded by a loving and supportive family, and still I hated myself. I had an eating disorder and still didn’t feel thin enough, I still didn’t feel good enough.

No one should have to feel like that. I repeat, NO ONE.

No woman, man, or person should have to make the decision that they can only love themselves if they are exercising or eating well. No one should be telling body positive advocates that they aren’t doing enough, because they are doing more now than ever before. We are making strides so that EVERY woman can openly love herself and not just those who workout and eat clean.

Body positivity isn’t an excuse for obesity, it is about loving yourself, accepting who you are, and doing with that what you will. Loving myself means I wake up early and workout because for me, loving myself means making time for fitness. The key word is me. What is love for me might not be for you, and no one else should tell you how you are allowed to show love to yourself, no one but you.

So go ahead and show yourself a little love today.

Food Prep Fun!

This week I went about my food prep a little differently, and it was a lot of fun!

For once I actually prepped breakfast. Typically I just throw oatmeal in a baggie and some fruit and call it a day, but this week I made Zoodle Egg Nests and they came out great.

I love eggs. It is one of the (slightly) weird things about me. I’d be happy to have eggs for dinner almost every night and still be able to wake-up and eat them for breakfast. For me, they are simple and delicious and so easy to make that I cannot seem to stay away from them. This week I took my egg obsession to a different level with the Zoodle Nests.

Creating something new felt fun, and I was enjoying tossing the zoodles, tomatoes, eggs, and Parmesan cheese in a dish to be mixed up and popped into muffin tins. The result after 20 minutes in the oven and a little spillage on the bottom of the oven? Delicious egg muffins that had veggies in them!

I added pepper to the egg to give them more flavor and it came through really nicely. Tomorrow I might try them with a touch of hot sauce, but overall I really enjoyed them. They made for a great breakfast at my desk with a side of fruit.

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What new recipes have you tried lately that were a hit?

Finding Healthy New Recipes

I am all about breakfast. It has always unfathomable to me that some people do not eat breakfast. I couldn’t do it, I don’t know how they live without morning fuel.

My breakfast sets the tone for the whole day so I try to make sure that it is healthy and filling. I used to eat Greek yogurt with fresh berries for breakfast every morning, but the yogurt started to upset my stomach so I switched to my old favorite of oatmeal.

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In my morning oatmeal I have half a cup of oats, a tablespoon of almond butter, and

 

then some fresh fruit on top. I like to have strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries, but I’ve seen some people add apple, peach, or pear and that is a hit too. While I love my oatmeal, I am starting to get a little sick of it and want to try something new.

That is when I stumbled on the recipe for these egg nests, they are basically egg muffins with veggies. I first saw a tutorial on Instagram on Inspiralized that gave me the idea to look for Zoodle Egg Muffin recipes that I could complete in my own kitchen.

I found this recipe that I cannot wait to try this weekend. I love that these little muffins pack in protein and veggies, which is often missing from my morning routine. I can’t wait to have these for breakfast with a side of delicious fruit.

What are your favorite healthy breakfasts? Please share your recipes with me so I can get out of my oatmeal rut!

Meal Prep 101

Any fellow meal preppers out there? Meal prep is the only way I can make it through the week on budget and healthily. I love spending time meal prepping on Sundays since I love to cook and I enjoy getting all my ducks in a row before diving into the week.

Since weekends can be so busy here are some tips I stick with to fitting in your meal prep.

  1. Prep your items that take the longest first, and in the interim fold laundry, go for a jog or start prepping other aspects of your meals.
  2. Cook your bases first so that everything else can be thrown on top. Some bases I use are spaghetti squash, brown rice, and sweet potato.
  3. Utilize your crockpot! By tossing delicious ingredients into the crockpot for a few hours, you can focus on other things like running errands, or grabbing lunch with a friend.

I follow these tips as often as I can, and this weekend I certainly did, by making a delicious spaghetti squash that I tossed in the oven right after I had thrown in a load of laundry. I love to multitask my chores, so that was perfect for me. Below is a photo of my finished spaghetti squash!

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I also made a tasty turkey burger meat sauce to pair with my spaghetti squash base. I made enough for four meals and used 97% lean turkey burger. I am a huge fan of turkey burger and incorporate it into many of my meals, including salads! Check out the sauce below.

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In addition to the spaghetti squash dish, I have been switching up my vegetables lately and have been loving it. Last week I made the tastiest brussel sprouts and yesterday my crowning glory was a delicious asparagus that was so tasty. The gorgeous asparagus appears below.

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Lately I have used the following tips to try incorporating new vegetables:

  1. Buy something new that is on sale – that way if you don’t like it, it won’t feel like a waste.
  2. Do you follow any food Instagram pages? If so, gain inspiration there. I am a big fan of Inspiralized, I love all the things Ali Maffucci does with food.
  3. Ask your family or friends for their favorite recipes and give them a try. My friend Diane recommended a great way to make brussel sprouts that inspired me to make them myself – so yummy!

Food prepping brings me so much joy and keeps my waistline and wallet happy! Reach out for suggestions on what to make and how to fit meal prep into your schedule.

Detoxing

When it comes to what I eat I am a pretty stubborn person. I have my own ideas of what I should and shouldn’t eat and I don’t really like prescribing to anyone else’s idea of eating.

But after a few weeks of some pretty dreadful eating I decided to do a detox. I started last Tuesday and found out pretty quickly that it was hard but that I LOVED it. It wouldn’t be difficult if I had my own place instead of living on campus where meal options are pretty limited.

The detox cuts out all processed foods. Canned foods are a no and only gluten free grains. No dairy or chocolate (I know, it’s the worst). But after four days of it, I had to cheat on date night, mostly because I refuse to spend a night out and just get a salad, it is an event worth a delicious meal.

But after just four days of no dairy, or processed food and a diet of mostly lean meats, fruit, veggies, and TONS of water while working out everyday, I felt great. It is truly amazing how poorly we treat our bodies and how quickly we can turn that behavior around.

I have adapted in so that I detox four days a week and am allowed some wiggle room the other three days of the week, but give it a try! It is wonderful to see how great you’ll feel. Here is the link to the detox.

The Things I Need

I believe in wishing on your eyelashes and kissing the time at 11:11 while making a wish. I believe in the whimsy of a wish, but more importantly I believe in the strength of a goal.

I need goals in my life. I need hurdles to overcome and moments to strive for and reasons to celebrate. I need to make myself better every day by striving for something more.

Lately I have not been training for anything in particular, but just training. I have been doing long distance runs and sprints along with weight training and currently I don’t know why.

Well I do know why. I love the high of working out and I also like to be in shape. But what I don’t know is what I’m striving for. I am accepting my body as it is so it is not a race to see the numbers sink on the scale. So what is it?

I need goals. So I am going to put my top three goals for my fitness future on here to hopefully inspire myself to do it.

1. Run a Marathon

After narrowly missing my lifelong dream of running a marathon last year due to a battle with colitis, now I want it more than ever. I know the training is rigorous and tough on my body, but I want to do it. Within the next year I swear!

2. Try a CrossFit Class

I am dying to know what all the fuss is about and I also would love to have some of the muscles those crossfit girls have!

3. Walk/Run for a Charity

I have never done a race for a charity and I would love to compete in that. I want to feel like I am giving back and also doing something that makes a difference.

Challenge yourself to make fitness goals for yourself! Don’t quit until you accomplish them and give yourself a deadline.

The Goal

I have a lot of large goals for myself. The problem with large goals is that they can seem unmanageable and so you quit. Thus, I have decided to set a few small goals for myself.

Goals:

1. Lose 10 pounds by September 1st

I have a whole month, five weeks actually, to dedicate to getting serious about my health. I have put on a few pounds this summer, nothing extremely noticeable, but enough that I would like to trim down a bit before I head back to Emerson. I know that this will be a crazy semester and a crazy year, so I need to get back into a good rhythm when it comes to working out and eating healthy.

That is my goal for August. It is a very reasonable goal and I have no doubt that I can do it.

2. Get my mile time down to 8 minutes

Before my injury I was pretty consistently running an 8:15-8:30 minute/mile person. I would like to get down to 8 minute miles in an attempt to push myself and do better. This will be part of my training for a half-marathon that I will be running in November. I want to prove to myself that I still have speed in me and that I will not be defined by my knee injury.

3. Make it to a cross fit class

My goal at the beginning of the summer was to try cross fit. Well with only a month left, I am not sure if I will be getting it done. I’d love to try it with a friend but haven’t quite found anyone up for the challenge. Hopefully soon I’ll take the leap and see what the craze is all about.

4. Go to the November Project

Boston is lucky enough to house a free workout group called the November Project who runs group workouts. I have been a little too shy to try it, but I am determined to do it by the end of September!

5. Complete a push-up

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, I still have yet to do a proper push-up with good form. I’m hoping that with some consistent effort that I can make it happen! By the end of August I will be able to do a full push-up!

Remember how important it is to set little goals for yourself. It is so much easier when you know that there is something tangible in the near future for you to touch as opposed to looking at your big goals and getting scared.