Thursday, March 28, 2013

Soldier's Subs

House guests, visitors, roommates, couch-surfers, family, sleepovers... So many different reasons why you might have to share your sleeping/living/eating space with someone else. With all the traveling I have done, and the amount of people who have stayed with my parents and/or I over the years, you'd think it'd be something I would be used to. But every guest is different, every situation is different, and you are different depending on when they are there.

It's a balancing act, trying to be a good hostess/friend, when you have your own life to live; eating habits, sleeping habits, and daily routines. How can you keep up getting a good nights sleep, getting to the gym, and eating heathily when you are spending your time visiting with a guest, going out or showing them around, and sharing food -which might mean you eat more of what they want. 

I am NOT complaining here. I love having guests, I have had my fair share of roommates, and I am so grateful for every person who has ever given me a place to stay and a good meal. Im simply stating that I now truly APPRECIATE the meaning of sharing a living space.

Roommates are one thing, you don't necessarily have to like one another, but you have to find a way to live together or someone will lose it. House guests are all different, whether they are friends, family, travelers, and how long they might stay... and for what reason. It could be emotional, it could be fun, it could be exhausting. Or all three. 

My point is, there is a way to be a gracious host, while also maintaining your own health and sanity. That might mean standing your ground, or saying no to some things... but in the end, being upfront about your expectations and standards will make the experience (however long or short) much more enjoyable. Even if that means taking a break from your house guests.

Why is the title Soldier's Subs? Because I don't eat like a man - an athletic, 2x my size man. And having house guests that eat like a soldier returning from the field has been a challenge. Because I COULD eat like that. I love food. Its how I was raised. There was no portion control, the method of eating was "clear your plate." I LOVE carbs - mostly because sweet things involve carbs, or carbs tend to be sweeter... either way. I can say NO to going out and partying rather than getting sleep before a 6am gym session and work the next day... but it is sooo hard for me to turn down a delicious Firehouse Sub and  Froyo after a long day of work when I only have boring spinach and plain ol' greek yogurt in the fridge.... What I have learned is to choose wisely. Its okay to give in to cravings, in fact its better to eat a little of whatever you are craving rather than to starve yourself and binge later, but don't always say yes. Or find a healthier substitute (like greek yogurt as a topping for tacos rather than sour cream).

 Nothing like a fresh banana and cold OJ to quench a morning sweet tooth. Plus egg whites, spinach, and avocado makes for one protein-refreshing way to start the day.

How to eat out healthily. SUPER-food! Sweet Potatoe to the rescue! 

How to not eat out healthily. Still better than a BigMac, 
but I love me too much crunch and creamy shrimp sauce. 

 Peach Cider + Muscadine sweet wine = delicious-o.

 Clean eats in the kitchen. rotisserie chicken, green beans, wild rice. Simple, yet filling and healthy. And I didn't break the bank at a natural foods store.

Achievement(s) of the Week: 

Feeling guilty when missing the gym. Sounds bad, but that only means the gym has become a priority and a habit in my life (which is a good thing and a long time coming). So, I went to the gym.
Sweat much? Talk about a good workout. Happy squatting! 

AND: Mastering the GHD - For this girl who is afraid of falling (not afraid of heights, per the Big Bang Theory) getting myself on this thing to do sit ups was terrifying. And talk about a workout! Hurrah!

BTW: Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I love that March has a holiday. For most people, in college or working, there is no break after MLK until Memorial day. And although we don't get off of work for this day, there's always so much going on the days beforehand. Plus, I'm proud to have a day to connect to my Irish heritage... I guess that means I should drink more on St. Patty's... 
NAHH, that's just a stereotype. ;)

'Til next time!

Friday, March 8, 2013

What's the Rush?

This week has been a lot of ups and downs. In exercise, in work, in overall health - mental and diet. Yeah, its called LIFE. We've all heard it, and we all have our own ways of dealing with it. I've been struggling lately with trying to "figure out" or decide what the next step in my life will be (career, grad school, moving, etc.). Nowadays there are too many options and yet too many restrictions or pre-requisites that society demands before a person can make a change or start something new, i.e. Anyone that has graduated within the last 5 years or so has often heard: a Masters Degree is the new Bachelors. Spending 4-5 years at a university and busting your assbutt for honors and staying so busy class, work, studying, clubs, sports and oh yeah LIFE, that when you graduate you can never remember how you ever were that busy to begin with... isn't good enough. All that money and time will barely get you a job that pays as much as a full-time hourly position waiting tables. And what about all of those who have gone straight into Masters and are getting paid the same amount of money to do a job that 5 years ago someone with a Bachelors was being paid the same amount to do. What IS good enough any more?

But that's another question.

My dilemma has been the rush. I seem to be in this insane hurry to get somewhere I don't even know yet (which is why I mentioned the above). I have options, which is a blessing, when there used to be hardly any options and when so many people don't have options, but I don't know what option will be the best. Which is silly, because I won't know until I do it. But regardless, it feels like I should already be halfway there, because god forbid I get stuck where I am already. Which to be where I am today is an accomplishment, but it hardly ever feels like it because I am so focused on what's next even though I have no idea what that is. Why can't we all just be like dogs who just appreciate a loving family, a roof over their heads, food twice a day, and a comfy place to nap?
Yep, my foot is apparently a pillow. 

And I do appreciate all of those things. But... I always wonder what else I should be doing. My life is a work in progress... and there is certainly no map with a direct route. It definitely feels like the never-ending forest right now. 

I will say, however that I did keep my promise to run. 
Of course, having a fun reason like the Glow Run was certainly motivating. Even though it was FREEZING.

Even after a harsh a.m. workout and I have been making a whole-hearted effort to eat clean. 
That Key Lime Greek Yogurt is to DIE for - only 160 calories and packed with 11g of protein!

Although, at this current day certain house guests have kept me eating out (apparently the food in my fridge isn't tasty enough for some people). And if you have seen the past entries of this blog... you might have noticed my yummy experiences in Germany and although this is not German food, it is a craving I have not been able to quell since coming back to the states so when I had the opportunity to eat it, no way in heck would I pass it up. 
a Doner, a.k.i.a.a (also known in america as): a Gyro YUM

And it felt nice to just slow down for a minute and appreciate this work of art food. I'm beginning to really understand and appreciate "the Power of the Pause." So until next time...

That's all folks! 

Friday, March 1, 2013

First First Friday

For the First time in a Long time I want to Run...

And I mean literally, in the physical exertion, sport version of the word. Its been about 2 months since Ive gone on any sort of lengthy or, at least, challenging run. And I think I am now over the hump.

Getting back into exercising has been a challenge on many levels; busy and inconsistent work schedule, crazy Florida weather, having to pay for a gym membership, being sick... at some point, these "reasons" start to sound more like excuses.

On the way to the gym... 6am is early, but there are sometimes beautiful rewards.

So, I bit the bullet, and got back to the gym, finally figured out how to use my heart rate watch, and even started keeping a food diary. Of course, 1 week into it, I got sick. And now 3 weeks in, my heart rate monitor has stopped working. Alas, its not enough that the chocoholic in me fights me every day on my quest to be healthy, but real life gets in the way too. How can you plan for such things? Its so easy to get set back when life happens and things get in the way. Reality is: you can't plan. You can sure as heck try to plan, but God, or fate, or whatever you want to call it will ROFL&LFTAO at you.

How I survived the sickness. 

What you can do is laugh back. Roll with it, work with it, whatever cliche you want to call it. Me - I drank so much water and juice when I was sick Im pretty sure I literally flushed the sick right out of me. And as soon as I could breathe again, I got back at it. The HRM problem remains unsolved, but I am still using the watch for time and pace!

Until now, food diaries have never worked for me. In fact, when it comes to most healthy habits, I get bored and distracted easily and quickly. The difference this time is that I am been researching and learning about the dos and donts, goods and bads, fun stuff and hard stuff. So now I have something to base my diet and workouts off of. (And let me tell you, that little food diary has been a harsh reality for my sweet tooth and carb-devouring palette.) And I am by NO means dieting. I am making a lifestyle change to eat healthier. I am trying to pick up a GOOD habit, rather than focusing on dropping the bad ones, because they go together. And its always better to focus on the good, on the small gains, positive reflections, and attainable goals, rather than the bad.

So, I welcome you to First Fridays. The first Friday of every month, I will write about a "First" accomplishment, experience, "ah-ha" moment, etc. that I have had within the last month. We often dont realize or take for granted how much we learn and take-in in the day, or we have moments of realization that we dont write down or that fall by the way side. These posts will help remind me of those firsts, and inspire me to keep working for more. Hopefully, they will do the same for you too.

With that, I am headed to bed so I can hit the pavement tomorrow and breathe in that fresh air!