The Problem With Your Fitness Tracker

Chances are if you are reading this, you have a fitness tracker. If not, I’m sure you have your own opinion about them because they seem to be everywhere you look nowadays. However, let me ask you this, how many times have you checked your watch today? Every hour, every five minutes…? After reading Robyn’s article it got me thinking and I wanted to voice my opinion on the topic.

You see, originally these glamorized fitness trackers were made to encourage people to be more active. Majority of Americans spend their entire day at a sedentary desk job and if they are wearing a FitBit they are probably going to feel more entitled to “get in their steps” for the day. But when does something turn from a healthy habit into a compulsive ritual?

Lets take a step back and look at the other majority of people buying them. Runners, athletes, kids as young as 10, and unfortunately people struggling with eating disorders are using these as well. Does that mean someone 20 pounds underweight needs to have the same fitness goals as someone 50 pounds overweight? Absolutely not. These so-called health standards of getting “10 thousand steps a day” to be considered a “healthy” adult is not variable. What if someone didn’t reach that 10K step goal? Does that automatically mean they are worth less…?

I fell into the trap. My boyfriend got me a new FitBit a couple months ago and of course I have felt obligated to wear it. But I started noticing a trend as I religiously put it on my wrist every morning, it started becoming obsessive. If I didn’t wear it, I felt like a part of me was missing. When I didn’t get a certain amount of steps in a day, I felt guilt. GUILT. OVER A NUMBER. A STUPID WATCH. Why should I let some inanimate object place even more stress in my life than I already have to deal with?! Anxiety and guilt should never be associated with exercise or your self-worth. Just because you move more on one day and less the next is totally NORMAL. Yeah, that’s right. It’s actually HEALTHY to not always be go-go-go every day. Not only for your physical health but for your mental health too. I am 100% for living a healthy lifestyle, but do I think a fitness tracker is good for everyone? Absolutely not.

Fitness is not an obligation. It’s not about steps. It’s not about an intense workout every day. It’s about listening to your body and letting that be the determinate of how you choose to move. You don’t need a watch. You don’t need to track. You just need to live.

I challenge whoever feels the need to wear one everyday to take it off. Doesn’t have to be forever, just a day… or two…. a week maybe. See how you feel. Maybe you will have less anxiety. Maybe you will be more in tune with your body. Maybe, just maybe you will be more focused on other things that you actually feel happier. C’mon, you can do it.

 

 

It’s Okay To Struggle

I want to be as honest as I can – I struggle. More often than I would like to admit sometimes. I don’t know why but when my life isn’t going the way I envision it or I am piled with stress from every direction, I can’t help but feel a fog come over me. As many of you may know that I used to deal with eating issues, I can gladly say I have that under control completely. I never let my negative feelings interfere with how or what I choose to eat. However, I am one to struggle with overwhelming anxiety and sometimes depressing thoughts…

Today I was sitting in my room and really thought to myself, “my life has no purpose”. I started crying after that because the immense feelings of rejection and loneliness hit me like a bag of cats. Emotional much? Yes. Because I am naturally an introvert, it is so easy for me to spend the entire day by myself without a problem. But when it becomes day after day, I can’t help but feel empty. Now, don’t get me wrong- I become a total extrovert when I am finally around my friends or a group of people, but with a lot of emotional self-image issues I have been dealing with lately, I haven’t even had the motivation to reach out to others.

I do see the problem here- I’m too comfortable being alone. And this is something that I have to change. There is nothing wrong with spending some time with yourself, but there comes a point you have to balance it out, let loose, and be around those that bring you joy.

I have made goals for myself to hang out with my friends at least every other day this week and to even talk to random strangers every day. Sometimes even the smallest conversations with others can make the biggest difference in the course of the day.

I wiped my tears. I will stop feeling sorry for myself. I will not let my negative self-image hold me back from being the REAL me. Because I realize that the more I surround myself with genuine people that make me laugh, all the other stuff becomes quiet. And I can breathe again. My life does indeed have purpose. God does have a plan for me even if I cannot see it yet. I will have faith ❤

“Comfort zones are great places to be, but nothing ever grows there.”

Weekly Recap: Being More Mindful

Is it just me or has this year completely flown by? I mean it’s November now but just last week it was 80 degrees… Definitely took me by surprise when I woke up this morning to 40 degree chills. Just wanted to share my completely mindful, intuitive, stress-free weekend with you all! If you know me well enough you would know I am the biggest planner… but sometimes it’s good to not plan but just go with the flow. You never know what kind of stuff you’ll find yourself doing!

My friend, Jenny and I tried a hot yoga class for the first time. I don’t normally sweat, like EVER, but sweet Jesus, there was sweat droplets flying off! Never have I ever been this drenched, even Jenny who is a runner said this was the most she sweat. The class wasn’t too difficult itself as far as the poses because I am overall pretty flexible… but because it was over 100 degrees I’d say that changes things.

After yoga (and a much needed shower), we found a park. Then we had a picnic on it and talked about life for a while because we just deep like that 😉

Please applaud my dearest friend’s parking. She tried.

But apparently if you do this so often, you get letters from fellow humans from the back of a condom package….

Twas a really relaxing Saturday. Not stressing about finals or even tomorrow’s troubles. Just being present and enjoying the day.

On Sunday, I was visited by my parents. Cannot emphasize enough how blessed I am to have them. They literally make my day anytime they come because family means everything to me. Oh, and they buy me food which is a perk 🙂

I usually have a hard time with last minute things but I got together with a group of people and went bowling to celebrate the end of America on Election Day. We had no class sometimes you just gotta make the best out of a rainy day. Fun fact: I was better at bowling when I was 10.

Overall, I am getting better at trusting life’s curve balls and making the most of tough situations. It helps when I laugh at myself but sometimes it isn’t enough. I laugh, I cry because I am not perfect and not every day will be. I think one of the most interesting things about life is that we all have inner demons but all of it can be forgotten when you surround yourself with the ones that make you feel good.

 

Who in your life are YOU thankful for?

Have you tried hot yoga before?

Lentil Bolognese + Zucchini Pasta

Think eating vegan is boring or tasteless? HA. Think again my friend. Eating whole, plant-based foods has made me feel so much more energized and gives me all the nutrients my body needs to thrive!

So, I wanted to get creative in the kitchen and modify an old classic: spaghetti. Now, obviously zucchini noodles aren’t the same (and I still eat real pasta too) but we got a Vegetti and I had to try it out! ;D I want my family to eat more vegan dinners when I visit to show them how simple and satisfying it is.

A perk about this recipe is that the sauce literally takes about 20 minutes or less to prepare!

  • 144g dry lentils (drained and rinsed)
  • 4 oz. thinly sliced carrots
  • 4 oz chopped mushrooms
  • 1/4 finely chopped red onion
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 3 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • dash of cumin
  • 1/2 cup water (will be adding more)
  • 2-3 zucchinis, spiralized (or your favorite pasta!)

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil, onion, and garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes. Then add the carrots and mushrooms and cook another 3-4 minutes.

Now add the can of diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, cumin, water and lentils. Bring mixture to a simmer by increasing heat just a tad. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover until lentils are cooked (about 15-20 minutes).

Keep checking on it as it loses water fast and keep adding so it doesn’t dry out (lentils tend to absorb a lot of the water). The mixture shouldn’t be soupy, more of how chili would be.

Once the lentils are cooked, you can add more spices if needed. 

The fun part is spiralizing the zucchini to make zoodles!!! I had a fun time at least. 😉 Seriously if you don’t have a Veggeti, go get one right now and spiralize everything.

I ended up topping mine with some nutritional yeast for a little cheesy flavor but it honestly didn’t even need it! Serves 2-3 people depending on your appetite.

Store leftovers in fridge up to 3 days 🙂

Less Protein For MY Health

I have changed quite a bit from last year. Mentally, physically, socially, but my health has changed too. But up until recently when I made a trip to an endocrinologist about my hormones (hypothalamic amenorrhea) and just a general blood test, I discovered something I had no clue existed. For starters let me say that my hormone levels came back normal except for my LH being too low. Hence, no menstrual cycle. While discussing this with my doctor on the phone, he strongly suggested birth control and gaining a little more weight. Of course I happen to be a little frustrated because I told him birth control didn’t work on me and that’s not the way I can get a natural period. Doctors are really one-sided and he continued to tell me it’s the only option.

my response…..

So gaining weight it is! Gotcha doc.

eat-all-of-the-food

But he failed to tell me something that could be very important to my health long-term…

my blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine (not creatine you gym junkies) were HIGH.

Curious little me did some research. What I learned was…

Urea is made when protein is broken down in the body. This also is an indicator of how your kidneys and liver are working. Causes of a high BUN is heart failure, dehydration, and a high protein diet. Well, I haven’t had heart failure and I drink well around 64 oz of fluids a day. Oh, but I’m sitting there eating a protein bar with yogurt just because “gains” right?

Creatinine relates to BUN as it shows how well the kidneys are working. Having high creatinine is a sign that the kidneys are not working properly.

Well damn.

But it all makes sense. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one out there that has fallen victim to buying a shit ton of protein bars, powders and supplements because it’s what you need for building muscle, right?! Well…. what about your kidneys?

Yes, it is science that protein consumption increases muscle synthesis. But what if you are over-doing it?

I think of all the other women out there that live their lives everyday not eating protein bars, protein cookies, protein pancakes, and protein shakes for their snacks every single day. They live perfectly fine and they still seem to be in shape and have muscle.

What I get from all this is as long as you are eating a good amount of protein from a variety of whole foods such as beans, meat, yogurt, cheese, etc. then why are we supplementing so much? I am so glad I did my own background research to see what I was doing. And I am surprised he did not mention this to me.

                      

Am I going to completely cut protein bars and powders from my diet? No. I am going to limit them. I will use them if it’s after a workout and I don’t have time to make a full meal. Maybe I’ll have a quest bar if I REALLY crave it, but by no means will I keep eating them day after day. I am going to focus on just eating whole foods and change my snacks up a bit. I am not a “clean” eater by all means but instead of a protein bar, maybe I’ll have an apple with peanut butter… popcorn, trail mix, a REAL non-protein cookie instead.

And I will be just fine. I don’t expect my body to change much from this. If it does, it doesn’t really matter. My overall health is what matters. I would love to have healthy kidneys that last me my whole life.

I really hope that whoever reads this really considers how much extra protein you are eating and what that could do for you in the long run. We are set out to believe it’s the best macro nutrient out there but just like anything else, moderation is key.

I love to hear any thoughts/comments/concerns so hit me up! 😉

emlove814@gmail.com

What I’ve Been Loving Lately

I’ve been taking time lately to appreciate the little things I am blessed with.

What has been making me happy?

pupp

  1. My puppy. I was home by myself for a weekend and she kept me company and we cuddled and watched movies together. Talk about a great best friend.

 

 

2.Our new hammock! We have been wanting to get one for a while and we finally did. It really is so peaceful and calming.

hammock

3. Maple Sunflower Seed Butter. Yes, so much yes. If you haven’t had sunflower seed butter before it’s exactly how you would expect it to taste- like sunflower seeds. Except it’s creamy and this one has a sweet and salty touch! Perfection on my oatmeal ❤

maple

4. Generosity. If you don’t know by now I am a waitress and a lot of the times I do not get tips from people which really blows since that’s where all my money for the day comes from. The other night I had a really nice couple that made conversation with me and when I went to bus the table once they were done, they gave me $50 in person. I literally didn’t even know what to say. I told them I couldn’t take it considering it was more than their meal but they refused to take it back. It’s little things like that seriously can make someone’s day.

5. SUSHI. Becoming a slow addiction and severe cravings lately. I LOVE the ones with avocado in it like the spicy tuna or salmon roll.

6. Morning naps. I don’t know why but I always wake up super early (like6-6:30 and sometimes even earlier). My body just refuses to sleep past that and it’s sometimes very frustrating. But that doesn’t stop me from taking a morning nap around 10 if needed and feels so refreshing on my days off!

7. Pretty Little Liars. I am a die hard fan of The Walking Dead and OITNB but since I finished those recently, my mom and I have been starting PLL! Only on season 3 but that’s just another reason I can binge watch TV 😉

8. Long nature walks/jogs. Usually I like to go on a long walk with my mom so we can talk and stuff but just this morning I went on a little jog and it felt SO PEACEFUL. Not only was the weather not too hot or humid but it had just rained last night so I could smell the wet asphalt the whole time. I spent that time focusing on my breathing and maintaining a slow, easy pace. I felt like a champ after because if you know me… running isn’t my thing, haha 🙂


 9. High-top converse. I have always been into the low-top look but ever since I got my new white high-tops I really am starting to dig em!

10. Iced Coffee. I have never been a huge caffeine of coffee person but its growing on me. I really appreciate the little boost when needed and cold coffee is just really refreshing. I got a premade one at Walmart because I heard cold brew is a nice blend and it definitely has a kick with 95mg of caffeine!

Tell me,

What’s something YOU are loving lately?

Iced coffee or hot coffee?

Balancing Mental & Physical Well-being

Hey guys! I decided to pop in and give a little update on myself since it’s been a hot minute since I blogged. Something I have been really trying to work on lately is my mental and physical well-being and trying to figure out what is right for ME.

For years I spent my time scrolling through social media and the Web to figure out what exactly “healthy” meant. Was it going for a run every day? Lifting weights 5 times a week? Eating only chicken and broccoli? Counting macros?

Want to know what I learned from all of this? Healthy means something different for each individual.

To me, health isn’t just what you are doing, it’s also about what you are thinking and saying. To me, eating only chicken, egg whites and veggies isn’t healthy- for my own physical and mental well-being. For me, running a lot is not healthy simply because I don’t really love it nor should I be doing it until I figure out what’s wrong with my hormones.

Right now healthy means doing what I TRULY want. If that means lounging around all day,

mac

so be it. If that means eating a box of mac and cheese to myself for lunch,

so be it. I am tired of feeling like I “SHOULD” be doing something that is working for someone else.

Life is about discovery, adventure, and experiences. Not wasting your time trying to mold yourself to be like someone else. I am trying to do what fulfills ME for once.

What my workouts have consisted of this week:

Monday: chest/triceps/core

Tuesday: long trail walk with some jogging

Wednesday: back/biceps

Thursday: rest/stretching

Friday: rest

Saturday: 45 leg workout with my mom (still sore…)

Sunday: leisurely swimming in my pool

May not seem like much to some people but I’m not here to try to impress anyone. I don’t like to workout on days that I go to work in the morning because my job is mentally and physically draining and I do not have the energy for it.

shop

Excuse me while I laugh my ass off at this typical “fit girl” pose… lighting was flattering.

Mentally I have been up & down. I still sometimes struggle with being lazy on some days but I know that rest is very important and so is keeping stress levels down.

So tell me…

What is something you truly love to do?

Who is someone you love to workout with?

 

WIAW: Intuitively Planning

Happy Wednesday guys! I’m currently sitting here with a profound headache most likely due to Chem homework plus waking up at 5 am. HAHAHA no. I am taking a break to show you all the full day of eats I had today (Tuesday).

After my morning workout, I was the first one to stop by Einstein’s to get a bagel. I never can decide what I want to get because they have so many options…. I saw the thintastic asparagus mushroom one, ordered it, halfway through eating I realized my order was wrong and they gave me the spinach, mushroom, swiss on a regular bagel. To be honest, I was a little bothered by it and wanted to complain but it ended up being very tasty and satisfying. I also had a spotty banana for extra carbzzzz and potassi-yum 😉

I mentioned before I sometimes eat in my dorm for an easy fix. I have here about 1 cup whole wheat pasta mixed with zoodles tossed in a light coat of olive oil, a crumbled up bison patty from Whole Foods, a touch of basil pesto, and a laughing cow wedge that got all melty when I microwaved it. OH, and BREAD… (more carby fun :D)

Between my 2 long classes, I snacked on a cherry Square bar! If you haven’t had one of these before, they are legit like eating a chocolate bar. No weird proteiny flavor or texture, made with organic brown rice protein with a chocolate coating and around 13g protein for a square! That’s a win in my book. When I got back to the dorm I had some almonds but I didn’t think it was picture worthy.

I knew I was going to have a busy night and just didn’t feel like eating in the dining hall so I go dinner to-go. Some kind of chicken with piccata sauce, brown rice, buttery green beans, and some kale for those micro nutrients! I wished I had gotten a second chicken boob because it tasted like angels made it.

To end the night with a bang, I warmed up a Cinnamon Apple Mighty Muffin for only 27 seconds instead of the recommended 35. Why? Because I have found that it ends up being SO much more moist. I HATE when a good mugcake dries out and you can barely swallow it and choke your brains out. No bueno. This came out perfectly, leaving the center slightly gooey with soft cinnamon apple chunks! I also had a whole apple(no all pictured) with a spoon of Wild Friends pumpkin spice peanut butter! I am so sad I am almost out of this crack 😦

When I say I “intuitively plan”, I mean that I have an idea of what I will eat the next day but I don’t revolve my world around it. It’s good for me to have some idea because it is SO EASY in college to get behind on intake if I’m not careful. If its not classes, its homework. If its not a meeting, its making time to see friends. There is barely any free time until the end of the day but I would much rather not eat a days worth of food all in one sitting. This works for me. I can be flexible and change some things based on what sounds good or if someone wants to go somewhere with me to eat. College should be challenging, not overwhelming.  🙂

Questions for YOU:

Are you an intuitive eater?

How to you cope with change?

Favorite square bar flavor?

Ben and Jerry’s Salted Caramel Brownie Ice Cream Review

Let me tell you a little about this hot date with Ben and Jerry a couple weeks ago… It involves caramel…. 😉  For starters, it had been A VERY LONG TIME since I had a pint or any ice cream in general. I dunno why really because it’s so dayummm good even if it is cold outside. But cravings grew and it only took me a trip to Walmart to make this happen. I was STOKED when I saw they still were carrying the limited edition Salted Caramel Brownie New Belgium flavor! Verdict: 20/10

When I took the first scoop out, I immediately was greeted with big chunks of chocolate brownies that were in fact ooegy, gooey, and not at all dry! Among the vast richness of brownies were gobs of sweet caramel. Oh Lord, the caramel ❤ I can’t believe there was a time in my life I hated the stuff!! Glad my taste buds made a change for the better 🙂 Because not one bite was boring throughout this entire pint.

Oh and before I forget to mention, the base doesn’t taste like beer at all. At least to me, but it has it’s own unique sweet flavor that is distinguishable from plain ole vanilla. This flavor definitely ranks as one of my new favorites along with milk n cookies and half baked 🙂

What is your favorite Ben and Jerry’s flavor?

Are you a caramel fan or not?

WIAW 3/30/16

Thanks for joining me again with another What I Ate Wednesday post! I can see that many people find it helpful when I post these so I am going to try to do them more often 🙂

This particular day I had some homemade frozen protein waffles in my little dorm freezer so I nuked those and topped them with banana and fruity cheerios so I can taste some rainbow and be ever so happy ❤

My 11:10 Psychology class was canceled this entire week so I have been enjoying the fact I have time to make and enjoy a decent lunch. I had a whole wheat bagel (please don’t get me started on bagel thins…. if you are gonna have a bagel, have the real deal) with turkey, garlic herb cheese plus bell pepper & hummus! Very satisfying and a good balance of carbs, proteins, and a lil fat 🙂Not too long after, I had some slices of dried mango because I have a major sweet tooth if you can’t tell! I have a lab from 1:30-4 on Mondays so I make sure I eat enough to keep me going.

 If I go home over the weekend, I sometimes take a home-cooked meal back with me just because the dining hall doesn’t cook like momma does. I had some baked Mahi Mahi with a little over a cup of quinoa & chickpeas, vegetables, and a rice cake smeared with coconut butter.

Verdict: YES. SO GOOD. The best way to describe this is having the same consistency of butter but a little more firm in the jar. It has a much stronger coconutty aroma than coconut oil  because this also contains part of the pulp of the coconut making it super thick too 😀 I love it because it melts in your mouth and is a really simple way to get some healthy fats in. Yes, despite what you hear, coconut is VERY good for you. It’s crazy to think I used to be cautious of it because of the fat content… do your research people. Your body needs a substantial amount of fats in your diet and this is about as pure as it comes.

Ya know me, I’m a bottomless pit ;D Just ask my roommate, she would confirm the fact that I eat like every 2 hours and my snacks be like meals. That’s how I roll and it works for me. I like to wind down by watching a little Netflix if I don’t have to study. I had a bowl of greek yogurt with cinnamon + blueberries with my FAVORITE G2G bar! If you all want to taste the best natural protein bar out there you can order it here: https://good2gobar.com/

You can also use my code: YUMMY for 20% off at checkout! No, I am not making money from this. They wouldn’t make any money giving me a discount to give you all AND to give me a share of it. I’m jus’ being a kind soul and spreading the infinite amount of bliss that comes within this bar. Let me know if you guys try them out 🙂

That about wraps up this full day of eating.

So tell me…

Have you had coconut butter before? Thoughts?

What snack will you never get tired of?