February 20, 2013

Unplugging

I wrote before about how I've been trying to unplug before bed and not spend half an hour on my Instagram or twitter.  Honestly all the bombardment of social media, aka a place for people to share but also show off has been causing a lot of anxiety for me. 


 I've decided for the next month to limit my social media time to 30 minutes approximately a day. I'll check out some of the blogs I like, do a quick Facebook check since I keep in touch with people that way, and limit my time online in general.  Seeing everybody who has 5 social media sites and instagrams their abs or oatmeal everyday causing a lot of comparisons and makes me feel down about myself about how much more I should be working out, eating less, and burning more calories.



The beginning of this week I felt so good and happy and strong and want to keep that going.  I'll try to blog probably about once or twice a week.  The interwebs and the strange world it is will go on whether I'm on it for a half an hour or 4 hours.  I'm going to get back into reading more books with my free time instead of just flipping through magazines on the bus to work or spending my lunch break on my phone. Hopefully as the weather warms up I'll spend some more time outside.



I've been thinking about my priorities and what I want in my life these past few months (residual New Year thoughts, perhaps?).  I have been working on removing negativity from my life and therefore stress.  I want to spend my time doing things that me happy and are productive while also giving myself enough time to recharge everyday.  This past week I've been working out because I want to, not because I feel like it is a chore I need to day. Monday there was a strength training circuit for Best Body Bootcamp that was on the schedule, but I was upset and just needed to run 4 miles, so I did.



If you are caught up in the craziness of life, which is how I usually feel around Wednesdays in the middle of the week, take a moment and breathe. 


Do something that makes you happy :)

February 12, 2013

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Happy Mardi Gras! Laissez les bon temps rouler= let the good times roll (I was a French minor in college after all!)

A day of indulgence will be less than that for me-I'm saving it all for Valentine's Day with a delicious dinner out and some chocolate. Lately I've been trying to work on little ways to change my routine to make things easier and less stressful for myself. I have some other things to hopefully add into the  mix too. 

Things I've Been Doing: 
1. Food prep

Everybody has been talking about this, but it really makes a huge difference in your day! I've been planning meals out or at least having ingredients/recipes on hand. Sometimes plans change and we eat out or something but it's okay.  I have the Tone It Up Hearty Mushroom Soup in the crockpot today for dinner and can't wait.  

I also prepped a bunch of snacks last night for pre/post workout, after dinner, or those ravenous after work snack attacks.  I made some mini banana muffins, banana chocolate protein bars, and peanut butter raw oats balls (there are a million different recipes floating around the internet).  

2. Unplugging Before Bed
I'm making a rule where I don't check Instagram/Twitter/FB on my phone or computer for at least an hour before bed. I haven't stopped TV, but those blue screens and lights stimulate your brain which makes it harder to go to sleep because it stops your body from producing the hormone melatonin.  Melatonin tablets are a great supplement to take if you have sleep problems, FYI! I'm also thinking of only having 15 minutes a day of social media for a month, but that's for the next post. 

3. Nighttime Ritual
This week I've been better at washing my face, putting lotion on my hands,flossing, and doing all those grooming/bathroom things that sometimes I skip because it takes too long.   My face was breaking out from stress last week but probably also due to a lack of my usual skincare regime.  To keep that ritual/routine is calming to me (OCD tendency, much?) but also becomes part of my schedule so that I'm taking care of myself, especially in these harsher winter months.  


Things to Work On: 

1. AM workouts
I love getting workouts done in the morning. It wakes me up and let's me have time after work to run errands, relax, and subsequently not go to bed past midnight.  This must become a habit!

2. Breathing
When I get stressed lately or overcome with emotions I need to breathe and make some tea.  I usually reach for some candy or freak out instead of taking a moment to try to calm down before it escalates, at which point it's so much harder to calm down.  

3. Making my snacks actual mini meals with nutritional value!
Instead of reaching for that bar that will not fill me up, I want to try eating some chicken or protein filled. I also can try to take the time to make an actual snack and sit down.  This makes it a conscious choice to eat and not just grabbing 4 different "little snacks" over the course of two hours.  


What are things you are trying to add into your daily schedule or routine?

February 7, 2013

Things I Love Thursday

 Hello all! I haven't been blogging as much due to being extremely busy and tired.  Work and volunteering and cooking dinner and exercising and watching Netflix's House of Cards is pretty much all I've been doing. Ravens won the super bowl Sunday (WOOHOOOO BALTIMOREEEEEEEEEEEE) so I spent Monday morning sleeping in instead of at work after a few too many  beers and not enough sleep Sunday evening.


Chobani Bites
1. Caramel with Pineapple Chunks Chobani Bites (100 calories!)

 I had finally found a couple other flavors of the new Chobani bites that I love so much. My boyfriend thought the pineapple caramel was amazing and decided to use our new ice cream maker to make a healthy treat (we christened it with a full flavor ice cream that used heavy cream!) on my afternoon off from work.  We mixed nonfat Greek yogurt, frozen pineapple bits, a little stevia, and a little almondmilk in the ice cream maker.  He also is a master at making homemade caramel (so bad for you but so delicious on anything!) so he made a small batch and swirled that in.  Thank god he only made enough for two servings because it was SO delicious and not too unhealthy, besides the caramel.

2. This song: I Love It by Icona Pop.
I heard it first on Girls on HBO (which is the best and funniest and most awkward show and you should watch it) and then again on a TV commercial. You can run so many miles listening to this song or have a dance party with it on loop, both of which I have done in the past week.  It will be stuck in your head all day, I promise.






3.  My Crockpot
I think I could cook with the crockpot everyday.  I made a turkey, corn , and black bean chili this week which was awesome. I loosely based it on this Skinnytaste recipe but only used one can of beans, added a can of corn, and some ground turkey.  Chili is the best because it's awesome to eat the next day for lunch!

I also made some crockpot applesauce from this recipe, and it might be something I make every week. I love it as a snack with some greek yogurt or on top of oatmeal for breakfast. It was so easy and so delicious.  Next week the dinner menu is definitely going to include this paleo bbq chicken crockpot recipe.  I'll keep you posted and hopefully take some photos before it gets devoured!


4.  Bootcamp Workouts!
I'm still following Tina's Best Body Bootcamp and loving the quicker circuits and strength training that has been on the plan.  I also have been trying to switch up my routine because I'm bored so I checked out a couple of bootcamp classes at my gym. Definitely broke a sweat and pushed myself during the tabata intervals.  One exercise that still has me sore were these ab rollouts using a scooter (similar to the Ab Roller concept).

You can see it here:

You can do this will a rounded dumbbell too so it's definitely something I'll be adding to my ab exercises!

5. This. Just Kidding. 

Lots of people hate on Valentine's Day, which is a week away, but I think it's nice to do something fun with the person you love because sometimes life gets so busy we don't take time to just hang out or show our appreciation as much as we can.  The expectations can be left at the door, but the chocolate can stay :)

Honestly, I'm just excited to eat out and bake something really indulgent for my man which may or may not have red and pink sprinkles on it.

 
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