Good reads and good eats

This morning after breakfast I took a walk around the block…twice! Walking and stretching really releases my abs and I feel so much better afterward. I was more active today than I have been in about a week and it was awesome!

I read my psychology book out on the deck after my walk and enjoyed being outside. It really makes any activity more enjoyable. Lunch was a hodge podge of scrambled eggs with peppers, pita chips and hummus, and the tiniest apple I’ve ever seen.

IMG_2329_2After lunch, my mom was going through the boxes in my sister’s room and she found the cutest thing! It’s a little suitcase with an old fashioned barbie plus tons of accessories inside.

IMG_2325_2 IMG_2327_2I’d never seen it before in my life and I just think its so adorable. One of those things you keep around for your kids to play with later on. Much, much later on.

I threw together a snack of dark chocolate chips and pistachios before heading out again with my family to half-price books!

IMG_2330_2I finished the last few pages of my book in about 2 minutes last night and had a heck of a time falling asleep after that. I need a good thirty minutes of reading before bed to “finish my day” and sleep peacefully. Luckily, I found a novel that looks amazing and it was so cheap!

photo-127It’s historical fiction which is my favorite genre by far. You learn so much about the past but it doesn’t read like a dry textbook, the characters provide the intrigue while the setting educates you about a certain time period. This one is about the civil war and my interest was peaked after watching the movie Lincoln so I think I’m going to love it.

When I got home I snacked on a yogurt and read for a while after taking another two laps around the block.

IMG_2331_2I’m having a hard time figuring out when I’m hungry! I know that sounds crazy, but for nearly two years I’ve relied on a calorie counter to tell me when and how much to eat so I’m really having to tune back into my body and listen for those signals. It’ll take some time but I know I’ll get back on track.

I got to do some cooking tonight which was a blast! Summer is perfect for tons of fresh veggies and this pasta dish had a million.

IMG_2335_2 IMG_2336_2Standing in front of a hot stove for an hour when it’s 95 degrees outside isn’t the best idea in the world, but it paid off! I loved this dish. So simple and delicious.

IMG_2337_2Have a wonderful Monday evening! Catch ya tomorrow!

If you see anything on here that you want the recipe for, leave a comment and I’ll post it the next day! 

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Pizza Salad

I was skyping my friend Kevin until about 1am last night, and then I read until 1:30 or 2, and yet I was wide awake before 8am! My internal clock is just hard wired to wake up early-ish and it cannot be shaken. I enjoyed my breakfast with the sunlight streaming in through my parents’ giant dining room window.

IMG_3550Waffles with a tablespoon of peanut butter and a banana. I debated skipping the peanut butter in lieu of maple syrup, but you just can’t beat that creamy deliciousness.

51220130929176True that. I saw an ad for 19 dollar white jeans at Old Navy and I knew I couldn’t miss it! I have a pair of white jeans but they are massive on me so they needed to be replaced. I ended up finding an entire outfit and only spent 39 dollars total! I just love Old Navy.

IMG_3554Once we were done shopping, my mom and I came home to grab lunch before heading out to enjoy the rest of our afternoon. I cut up a piece of the pizza from last night and put it on a bed of spinach. It was so good, and such an easy way to spruce up leftovers! On the side I enjoyed some carrots and hummus.

IMG_3556It wasn’t really that much food, so on our way out of the door I grabbed an apple. These apples taste like candy! I can’t believe how crisp and sweet they are. I’m obsessed.

IMG_3558It was 95 degrees today so, iced decaf americanos in hand, my mom and I enjoyed our books on the outdoor deck of Starbucks. After a while the hard chairs got a little uncomfortable so we moved inside. Something about reading at a coffee shop is just such a satisfying way to spend an afternoon!

IMG_3559I’m reading a book called Defending Jacob, about a father who’s son is accused of murder. It’s a page turner and extremely well written. I highly suggest it! I continued reading when we got home, and enjoyed a square of dark chocolate and a bowl of cereal a few hours later.

IMG_3562 IMG_3563My dad arrived home a little after 2pm and spent a long time on the phone. The options for my parents keep expanding and changing and I’m so excited for them! What a crazy year this has been, I can’t even tell you. When our stomachs started grumbling for dinner, Chipotle sounded fantastic. My mom and I split a barbacoa burrito and it sure hit the spot.

IMG_3565I’ve been eating more and more vegetarian lately, and sometimes I think I want to go vegetarian altogether. But sometimes you just cannot beat a burger or some tasty meat in your burrito, so I’m not sure I ever will! Especially if I only eat organic meat.

Have you ever considered going vegetarian? 

Little Things

I’ve been pretty stressed about some major things going on in my life lately, but today I realized how huge of an impact tiny positive things can have on your day! I had a lovely start to my week, and these small dorky little things were the cherries on top.

1. I came up with a clever tweet. 

photo-2This one is the dorkiest of all! I just felt pretty clever! haha, no judging 😀

2. I woke up and my Chemistry homework just clicked. 

tumblr_mdwb0s8ChJ1ry4qimI was so sleepy at the library last night that I didn’t do most of my homework. This morning I got every single problem right! Felt amazing to start the week that way.

3. My biology professor bought pizza for the few kids who come to the review sessions.

photo-81 copyDEEEELICIOUS. Such a nice gesture, I really appreciate teachers who acknowledge the students who are honestly trying their hardest.

4. I created a fun new workout!

Untitled-1I sandwiched this circuit in between two 20 minute sessions on the bike. I needed to work my biceps and triceps today but I wasn’t in the mood to stand around! This kept me moving and energized, and my mind occupied 😀

What little things make for a good day to you? 

Musings of a Retail Worker

I feel like sometimes I speak on this blog like I eat perfectly 100 percent of the time, which is definitely not true. Nobody can do that, except Kate Middleton. Case in point, today I was so nervous before my chem test that I couldn’t really eat. So I came back to Juan and Margo’s and downed:

4 bowls of Raisin Bran Crunch

Handful after handful of chocolate chips mixed with peanuts. (That’s like crack, fuh real).

So yeah, I’m not saying this because I feel all bad, I just realized that I probably should inform you I’m an actual human being. I’m not trying to be stick thin or be a fitness model and sometimes I just want to eat what I want to eat! And sometimes that happens to be copious amounts of random snack food late at night. MMMM. What is it about other people’s food???

tumblr_lqd1r4g21k1qii6tmo1_500This is about to turn into a super random and feely post, so bear with me. But working in a clothing store I hear girls rag on their bodies ALL DAY EVERY DAY.

I hate my butt.

I need to lose 30 pounds (none of them ever do).

My arms are so flabby.

GOD my thighs. They’re massive.

Ugh my stomach, just cover it up.

Judas. The dressing room just turns into this massive pit of negativity with everyone pointing out every single thing wrong with themselves. But you know what? I feel like I really learned something when I was laying in bed miserable for months and months.
I didn’t miss my good looking body. I wasn’t laying there wishing I could be cute again. I wanted a body that worked for me again! That could walk around a campus all day, exercise to lift my mood, go dancing with my friends, and just live a normal life! A healthy body is a beautiful thing!

So now, after listening to these girls day in and day out, I’ve realized that I really don’t care about “losing those last few pounds” or looking absolutely perfect. I’m insanely happy and my body can do what it needs to do again. I will never sacrifice my health just for cosmetic reasons, it isn’t worth it. I fuel my body with healthy food and exercise and every once and a while I fuel my soul with something purely yummy.

And even if you do need to get healthy, don’t do it because you hate your body! That is so unproductive. Get healthy because you love your body and want it to be around to work for you for a long time. Your body is your home, forever. Don’t you want to keep in nice?

So ladies, next time you’re thinking about skipping dinner or restricting yourselves to a crazy diet because of your “massive thighs”, think about all the incredible things your body can do and be grateful. Healthy and happy is perfect, or at least about as close as you can get 🙂

Sugar Sugar How’d You Get So…Mean

Easter is almost here and do you know what that means? It means lent is over folks! I can finally sink my teeth into a delicious slice of carrot cake and sip some coffee. I’ve been looking forward to that creamy frosting, perfectly spiced, and moistly decadent cake for about a week now.

carrot-cakeBut once I savor that slice, I’m not planning to eat dessert again for about a month after that! And then a month after that!

tumblr_lpfxbgHxcl1qej55tI know, it seems cruel, but I don’t think I’m going to have a problem with it. It’s  not that I can’t eat sugar, it’s that I don’t want to eat sugar. More and more compelling research has been coming out lately that white carbs (WHITE carbs like WHITE bread and CAKE. NOT whole grains) and sugar cause all sorts of nasty inflammation. Check out this article if you don’t believe me!

“…sugar and white flour cause inflammation and disease by forming AGEs. AGEs are produced when a protein reacts with sugar, resulting in damaged, cross-linked proteins. As the body tries to protect you by breaking these AGEs apart, immune cells secrete large amounts of inflammatory chemicals

tumblr_inline_mf8p2f5yeG1rc3ccmAnd that inflammation makes you sad. I don’t want to be sad! Do you? haha. I have plenty of spots in my body that are susceptible to inflammation (knee surgery, broken back, oh you know…) and I have honestly noticed them feeling much better in the absence of sugar. I’ve always been very sensitive to sugar’s effects though, it used to give me headaches and stomachaches as a kid!

So here’s my plan: 1 dessert a month. A month really is nothing, those four weeks fly by at an alarming speed. It will also make me very discerning when it comes to the treats I do have! If it isn’t worth having to wait an entire month for a different dessert, than I’m not going to want to eat it.

dawson_says_no_gifUh uh. You get that neon store bought cupcake outta here. I am so not interested. 

What’s your favorite dessert? Do you think you eat a lot of sugar? Would you ever try cutting back? 

Sore and Tired

Flashback to two or three months ago: me, laying on the couch, doing nothing all day. The only physical exertion I made was walking around the block slowly or….crying.

Zoom forward about a month: Light biking, super light weights about 2-3 days a week.

The present: walking across a forty acre campus every day, doing bike hill workouts, conditioning classes, weights, step classes and other forms of working out 6-7 days a week. My body is angry.

tumblr_m79h8c23nv1r50vbpo1_500I’ve realized that I may have escalated my activity way too fast. Lately I’ve been feeling super tired and my workouts make me feel nauseous rather than energized. Working to exhaustion almost every day of the week is a bad plan and if I keep going it’ll burn me out!

kronyx8j_ks3xw-ofsod2w2So I’m not planning to stop (obviously) and I’ll keep working out most days a week, but I really need to watch my intensity. When I’ve been doing the bike my heart rate has been getting up crazy high so when that happens I’ll pedal slower. When I get lightheaded in my conditioning class, I’ll get water instead of pushing through. I need to remember my muscles still have a lot to come back from!

So my resolution is to get fit again and try not to kill myself in the process. Seems pretty legit, right?

Have you ever gotten so focused on a goal you went a little overboard?