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Happy Thanksgiving!

The Fur Children

The Fur Children

For my readers in the US—Happy Thanksgiving! I was supposed to run in a 5K race (hah!) with my mom and sister today, but, um, I am a weather wuss and opted instead for some non-competitive inside time on the elliptical machine.

I’m spending the holiday with my family and the fur-children. The other day I took a weird trip down memory lane and read my Thanksgiving posts from years past. It’s crazy how much changes in 5 years, but basically, the main takeaway for me is that puppies > boyfriends.

If you’re celebrating, how are you spending your Thanksgiving? Any favorite—or memorably awful—Thanksgivings past? 

Mid-Year Resolutions Check-In

Seeing as we’re halfway through 2014, this seems like a good time check back in with my resolutions for the year:

resolutions

This is basically the  nerdiest list ever. And yes, back in December, I felt I had to schedule in time with friends. Sad but true. What can I say—my friends are brilliant, busy people : )

I’ve actually done really well with all of these except the last two. It hasn’t made as much sense to work much in a coffee shop as it did in December/January, but I still do it a few times a month. As for “throw the drink,” well, it’s possible I will never learn that one, even when throwing a drink in someone’s face is totally warranted. I’m not going to write a whole blog post about the astounding prevalence of douchebaggery behavior amongst the male of the species, but I could.

The other resolution that could use a little work is the yoga one. When I first got into the Jillian Michaels workouts, I found myself doing that instead quite often, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Still, I definitely have missed the mindfulness aspect of more frequent yoga practice. With that in consideration, my mid-year resolution is to make more time for yoga, even if that means going to an evening class on days I work at the hospital. I went a couple times this past week and really felt the difference on a physical, mental, and emotional level.

I think I’m going to add a new one to the list, which is to focus more on the positive. I’ve got a post coming up on that one soon…

What were your 2014 resolutions? Throwing any new ones on the pile? 

 

10 Ways to Love Yourself this February

follow your dreams Because Valentines Day falls right in the middle of February, love is a big theme of the month. As I mentioned a few days ago, it’s important to remember other kinds of love besides romantic love. This post is all about self-love. It’s not even just about dating yourself—though that’s a good one too. I mean in the most basic sense. I always like to go back to the fact that on airplanes, you’re instructed to put on your own oxygen mask before helping those around you. In a culture that puts a lot of emphasis on workaholism a strong work ethic and selflessness, it can be hard to remember that we really do need to help ourselves before we can help others.

1.) Cook yourself something nice. It could be something simple as a fancier-than normal breakfast instead of cold cereal or a beautiful fresh piece of fish at dinner. What would you make for company but not think to fuss over for yourself? Give yourself permission to tune out distractions like the computer, chop the hell out of some veggies, and enjoy. Wine (or mimosa, if it’s brunch) totally optional.

2.) Prioritize sleep. No apologizing, no excuses. You deserve a good night’s rest. If you have a hard time settling down, write your thoughts in a journal or make a to-do list for the next day to clear your head before it hits the pillow.

3.) Be physically active. Whether you hit the gym, the slopes, or simply walk around your neighborhood, enjoy the endorphin boost and the just-flew-in-from-somewhere-awesome glow.

4.) Treat yourself to a massage, manicure, or some other pampering that makes you feel relaxed. 

5.) Buy yourself flowers. Even the $2.99 arrangements from the grocery store count.

6.) Write yourself a thank-you note for all the good work. If you have to, pretend you’re writing to your best friend or a beloved family member. Set it aside to open at a later date when you’re in need of some encouragement.

7.) Give yourself permission to let something go.  Be it a toxic friend or lover, an old idea that doesn’t serve you well anymore, or even a to-do list item that really doesn’t need to be done—say goodbye and don’t look back.

8.) Hydrate! It’s easy to forget to drink enough water when it’s freezing cold out, your body needs enough H2O to do its job. Bring your own bottle and keep it by your desk or somewhere else you’ll see it throughout the say as a reminder to drink up.

9.) Try a probiotic. Invite the good bacteria to the party to help ward off illness and GI upset. You can also make a conscious effort to consume more yogurt, kimchee or try kombucha, a fermented tea drink. My favorite flavor is ginger.

10.) Choose your own adventure. Whatever it is you’re thinking of, go do it!

How do you show yourself love? 

What I Ate Wednesday #137

And somehow, it’s already time for another What I Ate Wednesday. Hope you’re having a good week. This is my first full five-day week at my clinical job, thanks to some use-it-or-lose it vacation days and working this past Saturday, so I haven’t felt quite as crazed. Since it’s basically been routine desk meals around here, I thought I’d share another round of Sunday meals. Thank you as always to the lovely Jenn of Peas & Crayons for hosting the weekly link party. Take a visit to see more WIAW from other bloggers!

This past Sunday had an unintentional theme of “First Time for Everything.” It started with my accidentally going to a barre classIt totally wasn’t the yoga class I’d been expecting, but it was fun to try something new, even if my thighs are still feeling the burn a bit. Later in the day, I test-drove a new knife making roasted golden beets for the first time, and I also gave an electric can-opener a shot as part of my Zyliss product review. I also finally got around to trying fermented black garlic in a stir-fry. Recipe to come for that tomorrow…

  • Breakfast: Pumpkin cranberry oatmeal again—it’s my current favorite
  • Lunch: A turkey burger and warm kale salad
  • Snack: Plain Greek yogurt with cereal and cranberry sauce (yes, again)
  • Dinner: Quinoa stir-fried in sesame oil with shredded brussels sprouts, black garlic, and tossed with roasted golden beets.
  • Snack: Sliced banana with nonfat ricotta

What was your last “first”? What was the best thing you ate this weekend? 

Awesome Corrected Fitspiration

Good morning and happy Friday! So…I saw these “corrected” fitspiration posters floating around Facebook yesterday and thought they were so great, I had to share.

This one cracked me up the most: 

But this one made me happy in that teary-grateful kinda way: 

Is post-menstrual syndrome a thing? I think I have that. Either that or it’s just been one of those weeks. Good news, though! I’m off to visit a friend in Toronto for the weekend and am super-excited to experience a new-to-me city.

What are you up to this weekend? 

Starting the weekend off right

Good morning and happy Saturday! Hope your weekend is off to a good start. After working last Saturday, it feels like such a treat to have two full days off! Small pleasures.

Turkey burger & salad=perfect post-Zumba dinner!

Turkey burger & salad=perfect post-Zumba dinner!

Last night I got my weekend started off on a great foot with a Zumba class taught by the lovely Diane of Piece of Cake Nutrition. Thanks for an awesome class, Diane!

Afterwards, I hauled my white, uncoordinated ass home to make dinner and pack for a beach excursion. Somehow, I’ve lived in NYC over 5 years and have as yet to cross a day-trip to a local beach off my bucket list. I’m definitely looking forward to remedying that situation.

Have a great one!

What are you looking forward to this weekend? 

 

 

How to Recharge for Friday Night

IMG_2215

Why use a glass when you can drink your wine from a jar?

Good morning and happy Friday! Anything good on the agenda? I have a yoga date with a friend later and plans to catch up with some other favorite people over the weekend. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep work-time to a minimum.

Coming across this Self blog post about 5 Energizing yoga poses to do before you go out at night made me think of some of my early clinical rotations where the only thing I had energy for on Friday night was laundry. I even stopped lying after a while. I’d just say, “I’m tired and I kind of just want to stay home and write/catch up Mad Men things/faceplant.” To be fair, I was pretty new to the clinical grind, but I eventually found ways to combat the end-of-week exhaustion.

Do you ever find that by the time you get to the end of the week, you’re too wiped out to even think of doing anything festive? While there are definitely times you should stay home and rest (and you probably know better than your social calendar), but sometimes getting out and catching up with friends is the best medicine for that dragging feeling. A few things I’ve found that work for me:

*Exercise—it can be anything from a 15-minute walk around the block, to a quick yoga flow in my apartment, to a Zumba class or cardio session. Endorphins are like a magic drug for tired. 

*A nap. Everyone’s different when it comes to naps, but I’ve found that a 20-30 minute cat nap perks me right up. Any longer and I usually wind up more tired, but that doesn’t always stop me from taking the extra 10 or 15 minutes because I can.

*Eat something—Even if I have dinner plans later, I’ll eat a well-balanced snack to keep my blood sugar levels stable so I don’t show up in crash-mode. Yes, I belong to the “never show up to a dinner party starving” club. I make sure I have something with both protein and carbohydrate to keep me going. A few of favorites:

  • Plain Greek yogurt with fruit and/or whole grain cereal
  • Non-fat or part-skim ricotta with fruit and a drizzle of honey
  • Dry-roasted edamame
  • Green smoothie
  • Scrambled or hard-boiled egg on whole wheat toast (scrambeld egg whites is great too)
  • Sliced veggies dipped in hummus
  • A mini Babybel cheese and an apple
  • A small baked sweet potato with goat cheese

*Hydrate—Never underestimate the difference a tall glass of water can make—when our cells are thirsty, it’s harder for them to do their thing, which makes us feel sluggish. Also important if you’re planning to drink alcohol later…

I have a feeling I’ll be relying on some of these tricks quite a bit in the summer months. It’s been nice to have a couple months without a regular schedule, but I’m looking forward to the change. I’m one of those nerdy people who thrives off routine, and I find that I enjoy my off-the-clock time more when I’m more aware of how precious it is. Haha that sounds kind of sappy. Oh well. There are worse things.

Any good weekend plans? How do you re-energize to go out on a Friday? 

Signs

My (undiagnosed) ADD cracks me up sometimes. The other night, while dealing with the second burnt-out light bulb in two days, I totally forgot I put the old one down “somewhere” while I went to grab a replacement from the closet. Well, I found it this morning when I wasn’t even looking for it. IMG_1896

For whatever reason, I’ve always looked at light bulb burn-outs as signs, especially when several happen within a few days of each other (and not because I’d last changed them all around the same time). I see it as a hint at a new phase, or at the very least, “in with the old, out with the new.” A friend said that, considering the iconography of the lightbulb, it means I need to smash some old ideas. Valid.

It’s similar to how I tend to take things like the sudden (and isolated) appearance of mice and cockroaches, as signs of movement, if kind of unpleasant. I’m weird, I know, but it’s never steered me wrong.

IMG_1887

yay, carbs!

After a busy workweek, I’m feeling kind of wiped. I dragged myself to Zumba last night with my friend Anna. I’m glad I didn’t bail, but damn, my whole body hurts today. It was super-fun, though. I’d never had a male instructor before, and he totally killed it! And by “it,” I mean me. Afterwards we refueled with carbs (aka, wine & beer) and dinner at a restaurant that had just opened the day before. Things were a little chaotic, but the food was really good. I’d post photos, but there’s no real way to make sausage & mash or a veggie burger with fries look pretty.

I stayed up writing a little later than I meant to, but it was totally worth it. Now if only it was so easy to get on a roll with “work-work” and school projects…

Do you believe in “signs?” What’s are some other foods it’s hard to make pretty? 

Stay-cation

Good morning—happy Monday! How was your weekend? I enjoyed a little stay-cation. It was so nice to unplug and unwind. I’m really bad at relaxing, but after almost 4 years of grad school with a dietetic internship and some crazy studying thrown in there, logic told me that one should totally take a few days off after passing the RD exam.

So I made a deal with myself: every time I felt that I “should” be doing something productive (on a weekend, I know), I would write it down so I could get to it come Monday. I was mostly successful, save for a few work emails and stats homework. Other than that, I did only fun things.

Friday I got a reflexology massage and went to a really fun Zumba class—endorphin overload in the best way possible. My muscles were so sore by the time I went to bed.

Saturday I cleaned, took a few walks, and made use of some giftcards I’d gotten for my birthday. Then I organized my closet. I’m embarrassed to admit I had more than a few items that had been lurking in the mix since 2003. Somehow, “maybe I’ll wear it this summer” turned into ten years. Whoops.

I love that Ann Taylor LOFT actually has a decent petites selection. Tiny ladies are people too!

I love that Ann Taylor LOFT actually has a decent petites selection. Tiny ladies are people too!

I also went to a favorite cafe and sat with a glass of wine (first white of the year!) writing in my notebook. I don’t really care if the couple next to me knew that I was taking in every little word and analyzing their conversation. Um, people in their late twenties and early thirties: why do we pretend to own less Ikea furniture than we do? Whomever you’re trying to impress will find out eventually! Case in point: someone who came to my apartment for the first time once said, “Hey, I know this table!” It was actually a good ice-breaker.

No matter your profession, I think it’s really important to just free-write sometimes, whatever the hell pops into your head. It’s a form of meditation for me, but a meditation that is especially enjoyable with a cup of coffee or wine. I used to be afraid to go and have a drink by myself, but it’s really nice once in a while.

Sunday I did yoga and spent more time outside. I also managed to read a whole book. A friend had recently recommended a popular author whose work, for better or worse, bears that “airport best-seller” label, but I was glad I gave it a chance—there’s a reason some writers’ books can get you through a transatlantic flight, no problem. Good, engaging writing that lots of people like is not a crime! I need to remind myself of that every once in a while, lest I wander into lit-snob territory.

I didn’t take a whole lot of food pictures, but I do have to admit, it was so nice to enjoy a simple salad between excursions outside. IMG_1864

Are you good at relaxing? How do you like to unwind? Thoughts on Ikea? 

Morning & Motion

Yesterday was nice and restorative. After some gentle yoga and doing stuff around the apartment, my mom and I had a lunch date at my current favorite sushi place. We both went with the $12 salmon teriyaki lunch special—so good. IMG_1431

It was really nice to catch up. Between her crazy work schedule and my ever-changing one, it’s hard to find the time, so it was much overdue. We’d talked about getting pedicures, but I wasn’t really up to it, so we wandered into a drug store to pick up a couple random things and had fun taking pictures of things with funny labels.

Like this:

IMG_1433Kind of genius.

The line breaks on this one seemed really awkward to me, though: IMG_1432

“Sickness band” just doesn’t sound good, though “morning & motion” is kind of neat. Actually, I take that back—it sounds like the name of a blog about a.m. exercise and/or morning sex. Maybe a blog where one compares calories burned by various forms of morning, um, motion. Hm. Maybe I should write that. Or not. I’d never want to encourage someone to have morning sex with a person they don’t really want to have morning sex with just because it will burn more calories than getting dressed and hailing a cab.

Disclaimer: I just took some DayQuil.

Do you like sushi? Exercise vs morning sex—thoughts? 

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