Big Life Stuffs

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Empathy-2

I’m sorry that it’s been so long since I did a “regular” post. Things have been incredibly hectic and I just honestly haven’t made the time to do it until now.

I believe I mentioned in my first post that I was going to be starting my master’s degree in counseling and that I was nervous about getting back in the game and going back to school. Well, this is my third week of graduate school and I have to say that I’m enjoying it quite a bit so far. My program is small- my cohort has 15 (or maybe 16?) people whom I will get to know pretty well over the next five semesters, and they seem cool so far. My teachers all seem great so far; they’re very interesting and knowledgeable and I’m looking forward to getting to know them better and learn from their experience. I’m still having moments of intense anxiety where I worry if I’m doing the right thing and heading down the right path for me. I need to work on my confidence issues for sure. Luckily, I’m blessed to have an amazing support system of the boyfriend, family, friends, etc. They’re amazing and certainly help keep me sane. Thanks for putting up with me, guys!

Another big thing adding to my anxiety/stress levels lately is the fact that I’m starting a new job. That’s right, I’m finally going to escape the evil night shift and put my undergrad degree to use for a change. And I’ll even have my own office, just like a real grown up! I’m going to be doing counseling at a local methadone maintenance clinic. And yes, I’m pretty terrified about it. Not because addicts scare me or anything, but this a huge step out of my comfort zone. I’m not feeling totally confident about my abilities just yet, but I think after the initial training and getting my feet wet, I will (hopefully) come to enjoy it at least a little bit and feel like I’m making a difference (and not completely hate it.) It will be good experience while I’m working on my degree, if nothing else. Obviously, I’m not going to be posting a lot about this part of my life because of confidentiality and whatnot, but I did want to at least share that I might be finally moving in the right direction. I’m doing something at least, not just sitting around stagnant which is how I’ve felt for the last few years.

9cc8c3f0af23e745931d6fad8df3c0bfOne thing I definitely plan on doing once I get used to the new job and new shift is getting back on track food and fitness-wise. I am ashamed to admit that I have not been doing stellar in these areas of my life as of late. I’m fairly certain I’ve gained at least 10lbs back if not more. My clothes feel tight again, nothing feels right, and I certainly don’t feel as sexy or attractive. But hey, this has happened before. Fitness and health are something to strive for every day, not destinations in and of themselves. I’ve fallen off the wagon before. I just need to dust myself off, pick up my pride and give it a shake, and get back on track. It’s super easy to get off track and gain weight back. Getting back to it is the tricky part. I got this!

Some of my health goals as of right now (I’ve listed these before, but they’re an ever-changing thing for me, always needing revised as goals are met/not met):

  • Start running again, even if it’s just sprints a few days a week. I do it occasionally not, but not with any sort of regularity. I haven’t been doing anything with any sort of regularity lately; that’s the problem
  • Start juicing again. I felt really good when I was juicing regularly
  • Eat less processed food. Always a struggle for me, especially when I’m busy
  • Find a counselor for myself. I’ve been saying I need to do this for a few years now and I think it’s time. I’ve heard it’s a good idea for counselors to have counselors of their own and that makes perfect sense to me
  • Put together some kind of weight lifting routine
  • Try to go to a Zumba class or other group fitness class every once in a while
  • Eat less meat. I’ve sort of adopted a “weekday vegetarian” approach lately and have been eating some meat on the weekends. That probably sounds like sissy stuff to any hardcore vegetarians out there, but it’s working for me for right now and that’s what I care about. Plus I figure it’s still an improvement over eating it every day. I’d still like to get better about it, even on the weekends. It’s just tough when I genuinely like the way it tastes. Damn you, tasty animals!
  • Have sex more often. I’m sorry to my family members who may be reading this, but let’s not kid ourselves, I live with a boy so I’m obviously no saint when it comes to that. And hey, sex is a great stress reliever and form of exercise. It’s an important part of any relationship and helps keep me sane. I’m not ashamed to admit that. Bring on the frick frack!
  • Do more yoga and/or learn to meditate. I need to seriously work on my stress coping techniques and learn to manage this shit better
  • Take walks outside more often. Or just spend more time outside in general. This is my favorite time of year and I want to get as much natural light as I can before winter sets in and I get depressed from everything being cold and gray all the time. The snow is pretty and all, but that shit gets old real fast (apparently “shit” is the word of the day)

Anyways, that’s pretty much where I’m at right now. Things are moving, and even if I’m scared shitless (there it is again!), I’m glad that I’m doing something and not just sitting around waiting for things to happen anymore.

19c4e30002c3050b21d1d9469c54b206 Megamouse out!

And just to give you a laugh..
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Pretty much 😀

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Prep Week Days 4-6

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Okay so I haven’t had meat since Thursday and I’m still alive. This whole healthy eating thing is no piece of cake (mmm cake), let me tell you. I’ve been keeping notes every day to give you all an overview of how I’ve been doing.Knowing that I’m going to be held accountable here (and wanting to be honest about it) has definitely helped keep me from being bad. Here’s the last few days:

Friday
Food:

  • Splash of Sun juice (oranges, carrots, ginger; note to self: go easy on the ginger next time. Whoa.)
  • green tea w/ lemon
  • fresh pineapple and watermelon as a snack. I could eat this all day.
  • asparagus cooked in coconut oil w/ some garlic salt
  • rice pilaf mixed w/ chick peas, black beans, taco seasoning and cayenne pepper
  • mixed nuts
  • smoothie (strawberries, coconut milk, and coconut water)

Workout:
I did three sets of each move, in two groups of four (I usually do three groups of four, but I used heavier weights this time and got worn out)

  • deadlifts
  • lawnmowers (a one-arm bent over row, essentially)
  • Bulgarian squats w/ bicep curl
  • upright rows
  • headbangers (lying down tricep extension)
  • squat w/ hammer curl
  • plank crunch on ball
  • tricep dips w/ feet on stability ball
  • bonus: weighted lunges

Saturday
This was the first day that I really doubted this whole juicing endeavor. I may have pleaded with the gods to just let me eat whatever I want and still be skinny and have unclogged arteries. But alas, that is not the way of things. I cheated a teeny tiny bit but not too bad. It was difficult for me to go out to eat and walk around the mall without stuffing my face with something unhealthy. Old habits die hard. But die they shall. I’ve gotta re-program my thinking a bit, I guess. It’s good to know what my triggers are at least.

Food:

  • Celery Pear Cucumber juice (it yielded a lot of juice; drank about half)
  • had a wrap at an awesome local restaurant Later Alligator. It had hummus, fontina cheese (cheated a bit there), black beans, rice, and chipotle mayo (another little cheat) and also came with a pickle spear and blue corn tortilla chips (cheat? probably)
  • juice I found at Kroger, which seemed like the healthiest option to me and tasted pretty good (picture below)
  • Greek salad (forgot it has feta on it, oops), black bean soup, and unsweetened Hibiscus tea from Panera (okay so we ate out twice in one night. Yes, we’re terrible)
  • pineapple and watermelon as a snack again
  • more mixed nuts

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Workout:
No workout, but a lot of walking around stores, which is better than nothing I suppose.

Let me tell you, I was feeling those small cheats later that night. Apparently if you stop eating dairy and then eat some cheese you get really bad gas (sorry, but I’m going to be honest in this blog. If fart and poop talk bothers you, you may as well go home now. Everyone poops, people. It’s not a big deal.) I’m surprised my boyfriend survived the night. Another interesting thing I noticed was that the Hibiscus tea, though unsweetened, tasted sweetened to me. My boyfriend took a taste and said he could definitely tell that it was unsweetened. I wonder if my taste buds will be more sensitive to sugar now? I imagine if I had taken a drink of his pop it would’ve seemed way too sugary to me.

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Sunday
Food:

  • rice blend w/ quinoa, mixed with tri-bean blend, chick peas, and taco seasoning/cayenne pepper (this is seriously delicious)
  • smoothie (same as Friday)
  • vegan black bean burger, no bun
  • more celery pear cucumber juice
  • mixed nuts
  • Wolfgang Puck Organic Hearty Garden Vegetable soup
  • blueberries
  • peppermint tea (my favorite!)
  • water w/ lemon and mint

Workout:
Again, three sets per move.

  • chest press
  • single leg hip raise
  • mountain climbers
  • single arm tricep kickback
  • plie squat w/ lateral raises
  • supermans w/ lat pull (light weight)
  • squat jumps
  • weighted step-ups into a back lunge

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I’m still having cravings, but otherwise I’m feeling okay. I’m glad that I was able to mostly resist temptation on Saturday. Some places just trigger that sort of behavior in me more than others. I’m starting to recognize that and I need to learn to control it when it happens.

Fun fact: apparently if you drink beet juice, it turns your poop purple. Not gonna lie, it was pretty awesome. And this has me peeing even more than usual, which if you already know me, then you know that that’s incredible since I was already such a pee machine before. Good stuff.

I’ve been watching some interesting and informative documentaries on Netflix lately to help keep me motivated too: things like Hungry for Change, Forks Over Knives, Food Inc, etc. I’ve even ordered some of the books related to these movies, and added some to my Amazon wishlist, to help learn more and gather more recipes. I might even make some kind of vision board or something to help keep the motivation up. This isn’t just about my physical appearance, though that’s part of it; it’s about being healthier and feeling better.

I’ll try to keep strong and resist temptation. I’m definitely feeling better, so that makes it worth it. I’m still feeling less bloated and I feel better about myself overall. I took my measurements the other day, so I’ll take them again right before I get to the juice-only part, then again at the end. I don’t trust my scale; if I move it two inches it fluctuates by several pounds, so I never know which weight is accurate, so I’m sticking with measurements for now. I feel like that’s a better way of doing it anyways since a person’s weight naturally fluctuates so much anyways. I keep thinking to myself, I wonder if I’ll be able to continue this lifestyle when the reboot is over. I suppose I’ll figure that out as I go and see how things are at the end.

Thanks for reading! You guys are great motivation for me. Leave me a comment if you have any good juicing or vegetarian recipes. So far, the carrot apple lemon juice is still my favorite.

 

Prep Week Days 1-3

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Fotor071101649Other than some major pizza/chocolate cravings, prep week is going well so far. Tomorrow (or I guess later today…night shift has me all screwed up, guys) will be my first day of no meat. Wish me luck! It’s definitely going to be a challenge.

Here’s a general overview of what I’ve been eating the last few days:

Tuesday
Carrot Apple Lemon juice- this was my favorite so far; so tasty!
Steak (which lasted me two meals)
Salad with balsamic vinegar
Strawberries & cherries
Green peppers
Water w/ lemon & mint

Wednesday
Bye Bye Blues juice (limes, cucumber, and blueberries)
Tilapia baked in coconut oil
Long grain rice
Edamame
Stawberries and blueberries
Chicken & Rice Healthy Choice soup
Water infused with strawberry
Also took 2 walks and did some 3 rounds of strength training moves

Thursday
Beet-ini juice (beets, apples, and oranges).
Protein shake (pea protein, PB2, banana, coconut milk)
Baked chicken breast
Salad
Vegan cookie (idk if this was cheating, but if so it was at least healthy cheating)
Black bean burger
And took a long walk in the evening

Today was my first experience with beets since I was a kid.

Any 90s kids out there?

They were messy, and the juice looked like blood (okay so maybe I pretended I was a vampire, don’t judge me), but it really wasn’t bad. It maybe wasn’t my favorite, but it was still good. I’m excited to branch out and try new veggies and things I haven’t tried before. I want to make sure I’m getting all of the nutrients and good stuff that my body needs so that means that variety is important.

 It’s certainly been a challenge, especially watching my boyfriend eat bacon and get double chocolate frappuchinos. That bastard (I love you, sweetie!). I think the next few days are going to be especially difficult. I need to look through the vegan cookbook that I bought and try some of those recipes. I feel better if I have plan; I’m less likely to slip up that way. We bought a weekly dry erase board for the kitchen to plan out our meals for the week and it seems to be helping so far.

So other than being hungry (not super hungry) and having cravings, I’m feeling good. I haven’t felt puffy or bloated at all the last few days. I can’t wait to see how I feel in the last 10 days when I’m getting my nutrients solely from juice.

Well folks, I’m pretty pooped tonight so I’ll keep this post short and sweet. More updates to come soon! Hopefully in the meantime I don’t turn into the Hulk and destroy the city in a craving-induced rage.

p.s. A cashier definitely notices when you buy 6 cucumbers and a gigantic bag of carrots. I thought about making a suspicious face and telling her they were for “things” but I decided to be normal. People’s reactions to this endeavor should be interesting, I’m betting.

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Juice Reboot: Prep Week

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I mentioned in my Fitness Friday post that I was planning on doing Joe Cross’ Juice Reboot. I was debating about when to start, and while I was tempted to keep putting it off (because let’s face it, this is going to be tough) I decided it’s now or never. I need to get my eating habits under control. I’m tired of being a slave to food cravings. I want to start eating as cleanly as possible, and I think the juice reboot will be a good way to jump start this and detox my body.

Today I visited a local produce store and Kroger to get some supplies for the prep week for my juice reboot, which I’m officially starting tomorrow. Here’s the general plan for this week:

  • Stop eating fast food, fried food, sugar, processed foods, and lunch meats
  • No alcohol
  • Transition off of animal proteins by the end of the week. Stick to fish, poultry, and only lean cuts of red meat. Should be getting protein solely from veggies by the end of the week; ideally no meat after the third or fourth day
  • Transition off of caffeine: reduce, switch to decaf, then switch to green tea or herbal tea
  • Stay hydrated
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Juice at least once a day
  • Eat more soups, salads, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes

After the prep week is over I’ll start the actual reboot. I’ve chosen to follow the 15 day Reboot. I think that’s a decent length of time to really get some good habits set in that I can stick with after it’s over.

I’ll keep you guys posted over the next week and maybe share some recipes and things like that. Once the prep week is over and I’ve started the reboot I’ll post about it too and let you guys know how it’s going. I think posting about it regularly will help keep me focused and hold me accountable. 

I’m a little nervous. Food has always been such a big part of my life. Too big a part. It’s scary to make big changes, but I think this is what I need right now. I want to be the best version of myself that I can be, and I know my body deserves better than how I’ve been treating it lately.

I think the hardest part for me will be the nights that I’m home alone. My boyfriend and I both work night shift, and on the nights that he’s at work but I’m off, I spend the whole night at home working on stuff and grazing all night. I’ll have to keep extra busy and make plenty of juice ahead of time so my juicer doesn’t wake my neighbors up. I imagine it will also be difficult if we go out with friends at all since my choices will be limited (compared to normal anyways). But hey, it’s only 15 days. I’ll manage.

vegan cookbook

I found this book at Target yesterday and thought that the recipes looked so good that I’d give some a try. My boyfriend (who is terrified at the thought of giving up meat) even conceded that they looked yummy. I don’t plan on giving up meat completely when the reboot is over, however, I do want to reduce how much we eat and when we do eat it, we need to eat healthier leaner meats. Watching the documentary Forks Over Knives was enough to convince me that less meat and dairy is the way to go. 

I’m pretty excited to get started! Wish me luck!

 

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