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.

 

 

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 🙂

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

It’s that time of year again! You know that pumpkin-obsessed-sweater-weather-bake-all-the-things time of year? My favorite! I love all the fall aromas from cinnamon apples to pumpkin pie ❤ 

Fills my heart…. and my stomach 😉

I made this DEE-licious gluten-free, vegan pumpkin bread and my oh my it was fabulous while it lasted! Even my dad was eating a slice every night 🙂

  • 1 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 4 oz unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin
  • half of a small banana, mashed
  • 3 Tbsp agave syrup (can sub maple syrup)
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

In a large bowl, mix ground flaxseed with 4 Tbsp water and let sit 5 minutes to thicken. 

Preheat oven to 375 F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. 

Add pumpkin, mashed banana, agave, and applesauce to flax mixture and whisk.

Next, add coconut sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg and whisk again until combined. Add 1/2 cup water and stir.

In another bowl, combine oats, oat flour, and almond meal. Then add that mixture to the wet and stir. The mixture should be thick and pourable. Add a tiny bit more water if too thick. 

Pour into loaf pan and sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired. Bake for about 40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean in the center.

Remove and allow to cool in pan for at least 20 minutes before cutting. 

Keep in fridge to last up to a week! I personally loved this bread eaten chilled because it made it even more dense ❤ 


It turns out adding peanut butter or pb2 on top as a “frosting” completes my life. I don’t remember how many peices I had….haha. 

What’s your favorite fall flavor?

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?

 

FDOE + What I Did Saturday

Hey guys! I have had a few people asking me to do a full day of eating so I thought I would share a day where eats were more exciting and so I could share more of my amazing day with my mom.

It started out with a morning shoulder/ab workout that I will also share!

Shoulders:

  1. Reverse DB flyes 4 sets 12
  2. Seated DB Arnold Press 4 sets 10-12
  3. DB lateral raises 5 sets 10 each arm
  4. Bottoms Up Kettleball Press 4 sets 10 each arm
  5. Front Raises with Plate 4 sets 15

Abs:

  1. Standing Rainbow Crunches holding DB 20 reps
  2. Side Plank Front Crunch 20 reps both sides
  3. Bosu Ball Leg Lifts 30 reps
  4. Russian Twists holding Medicine Ball 25 reps

(repeat ab circuit twice)

This workout I specifically went for volume instead of heavy weight as I have learned its good to do both and change them up. I also don’t focus on abs that much because when I lift I engage my core with a lot of exercises anyways but I do like to do some additional core work twice a week.

After I came home I had an egg white omelette with kale, broccoli & mushrooms with an english muffin and cream cheese. Don’t know why but I have been obsessed with cream cheese lately ❤

ss3I had a lighter breakfast because I knew we would have an earlier lunch and sometimes I’m not super hungry in the mornings… (but sometimes I’m starving!)

Me and my mom went to Opry Mills which is a huge mall 30 minutes from where I live for a girl’s day. We hit one store before the hunger set in so luckily we were close to the food court. We tried this panini/wrap/salad place and both got the same thing: turkey BLTA (bacon,lettuce,tomato,avocado) wrap with a side of sunchips! It’s been quite a while since I had these chips and they are sooo good.

ss1

Surprisingly, after being really full from this lunch I tried on bras + swim suits and felt so confident in my skin. I no longer see bones. I see curves and it makes me smile. I feel like the woman I am and I realize I am so blessed to have a fully functional body that allows me to walk around the mall, exercise, and just live a normal life.

ss6When I came home I had a small peanut butter craving so I topped one of my no-bake bars with some more peanut butter, craisins and a sprinkle of chia seeds. Held me over for a tad bit while I made my dinner 😉

ss4

For dinner I made a spinach salad with bell pepper, mushroom, black beans, a roasted sweet potato (seasoned with paprika and garlic) with cottage cheese because I’m weird AF 😀 HA, no really, cottage cheese is wonderful with everything.

And yes, every night I like to have a snack before bed. 1) Cravings 2) Keeping my intake in check 3) Nothing is worse than waking up in the middle of the night hungry

As I have been transitioning into intuitive eating I still stay logical about knowing what MY body needs. It’s used to calories before bed and it’s used to having more fuel so I give it just that. Here I have a bowl of greek yogurt mixed with oats and topped with purely elizabeth maple pecan granola, fruit, and the last of my glazed donut coconut cashew butter! Perfect for the sweet tooth of mine. And ohh pwease do yourself a favor and try this granola. I think the chocolate sea salt is my absolute favorite right now 🙂

ss2

And I thought I would share this picture of my mom and I because she is prettier than any food picture and she is my best friend ❤ss7Lawl at the lady who photobombed us. She jelly.

So tell me,

Do you have a shopping partner?

Any weird food combos you like that no one understands?

Birth Control & Your Period

I have gotten several questions about my progress on getting “Aunt Flow” back and running, and to be honest, it hasn’t come back. Now for me, I have had several signs such as lower abdominal bloating, swelling breasts, moodiness, breaking out on my forehead…. but still no period. While this is BEYOND frustrating to me, I know that stressing out about it is going to lead to worse things. I have given recovery MY ALL. I have not restricted my intake in I don’t even know how long, I have rested, eat plenty of carbs and fats in my diet (LOTS)…. so I am beginning to look at other factors.

Now before I start talking about me, I want to discuss something called birth control. Lots of girls (including myself at one point) think “I can just take BC to start up my hormones and I’ll get my period back and that means I’m healthy again”….. Ehh, not exactly.

See, birth control is a form of synthetic hormones that your body does not produce. When you take it, it tricks your body into thinking it’s pregnant, stops ovulation, and you will not go through a normal cycle. Then usually after 21 days you start a new set of pills that do not have the hormones in them, giving you a “period”. While you may think this is normal cycle and your body is healthy again, it really isn’t if you still don’t get a period without the pill.

Most women take the pill if they are sexually active or if they have irregular periods but if you are restricting calories, over-exercising, purging, or have a history of restrictive eating, I do not recommend relying on synthetic hormones to regulate you.

About 2 years ago I was on the pill but went off because I realized I wanted my body to tell me it was healthy enough to produce it’s own, natural hormones. This can be achieved when you stop harming your body in negative behaviors and reaching a healthy weight for you.

What I am taking into consideration for myself is my stress levels. I am planning on making an appointment to see an endocrinologist to get my cortisol levels checked. Too much cortisol in the body can have numerous of negative effects on your hormones and I am curious to see if my levels are too high. For those that aren’t familiar with cortisol, it is known as the “stress hormone”. While it’s important to have some cortisol for glucose metabolism, blood pressure, and other bodily functions, it’s also not good to keep levels too high.

I know anxiety runs in my family and I tend to get stressed out subconsciously all the time and I really have no clue as to why that is.

Either way, my goals are to still keep intake high as see how my body responds to it. I am a firm believer in the set point theory so if I am eating a higher amount, my body will gain to where it needs to run it’s best.

Every body is different. But I do know that if you are constantly eating in a surplus, not overdoing it with cardio, and eating a nutritent rich diet and have variety, your period will come (along with having a healthy body fat). It takes time and lots of patience. This may be very difficult for a lot of people but it’s so necessary. Do not put it off. Whether you want kids or not, you are not healthy if you go years without one.  

Keep in mind I am not a doctor, but I’m a girl talking from experience and from what I have researched. 

If anyone has any other questions, contact me at:

Emlove814@gmail.com 

 

References:

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003693.htm

 

 

 

 

Update: Taking a Break

Hey guys, long time no update…

You may have realized I have been posting a lot less on my primary Instagram account. In all honesty, I feel free without it. I was using it as a way to show people that there is a chance to have a balanced lifestyle but I did find myself scrolling through fitness accounts for hours and compare myself. It was consuming.

Life is so much more than posting a picture of your sandwich or your flat morning belly. Life is so much more than how many days you spend at the gym or how big your muscles are. Life is about living. I mean TRULY LIVING. Eating late night pizza, sleeping in, going out with friends, and not spending every night alone in your room. BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN YOUR LIFE. You are the only one that can choose to stay stuck. It’s sad. I realized I can easily find comfort in being alone but I don’t want to be that way the rest of my life. I want a relationship I can be engaged in. I want friends I can talk and laugh with. I will never have that if I stay isolated. I have been taking steps to change this around recently. I like to spend at least every other night with someone doing SOMETHING when I’m not doing homework. Whether it’s just grabbing a meal with a friend or watching a movie with my roomie. Anything to remind myself that I DO have friends and people DO care I exist.

I really have been enjoying this break from posting and I honestly don’t know if my account will be the same anymore. I am not struggling to the point where I need someone to cheer me on for eating pizza or ice cream. It’s not hard. And it kind of frustrates me that people still think I’m sick and tell me “good job” on something that I’m over. My past is not who I AM currently.

As for now, I still am taking a break besides a post here and there but it’s what I need. I may change my account’s focus to being body positive or more quotes and selfies. Whatever I decide to do, I appreciate all the ones that never gave up on me.

Random note: my dorm was being invaded by ladybugs…. Until Emmy came by and trapped them in the bottle of doom.

 At least I recycled.

Chocolate Pumpkin Bowlcake

mugcake

I am a HUGE fan of mugcakes! I love them warm, cold, but of course covered with toppings! But sometimes, a mug just isn’t big enough for me. I made this amazing big “bowlcake” that made the perfect night snack. I also like eating these for breakfast if I don’t want to make pancakes or waffles.

Recipe:

  • 1/3 cup oat flour (can sub all-purpose or whole wheat)
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 T greek yogurt
  • 3 T egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Optional: cinnamon, chocolate chips, dried fruit, etc.

Mix the dry ingredients first, then add the wet and stir until no clumps.

Microwave for about a minute or until it looks cooked through. Don’t overcook!! I personally recommend leave the middle a little under cooked so it becomes like a soft, molten cake 😉 The best topping you can find is some kind of nut butter. It is the icing on the cake! Hmm, I am feeling like cool whip or ice cream would be amazing too…. The options are endless!

pmugcake

Just look at that those melted kisses…. ❤

 

Pumpkin Double Chocolate Squares

I am one of those typical white girls that loves anything pumpkin. Pumpkin candles, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin errything! So why not combine pumpkin and chocolate for a yummy snack? 😉 I even added oats…. ya know fiber.

bar

Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup brown or coconut sugar
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 2/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 T cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 T flaxseed (whole or ground is fine)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • about 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
  • white and dark chocolate chips

Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 F.

With a mixer, combine pumpkin and sugar until pasty. Then add flax, vanilla, spices, salt and beat again until fully combined.

Now sift in the oat flour, oats, almond flour, and nuts and mix until there is no clumps.

When you transfer the mixture to the lined pan, make sure to press down on it so it’s nice and even. Top with white and dark chocolate and lightly press it into the dough.

Bake for about 15-17 minutes. (depends on the oven)

Cool at least for 20 minutes in the pan before cutting. 🙂

choco

 

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies are one of the most wonderful creations. Who can agree? 😉 I had a LOT of extra peanut butter and time on my hands to use so my baking addiction found me. I adapted this off several old recipes and pleasantly surprised how well they turned out. You could easily not add the chocolate chips but what fun would that be? When chocolate meets peanut butter, it makes your taste buds go crazy 😀

IMG_9110

The recipe is simple:

  • 1 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used toffee n cream by the Lion’s Choice)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2-3 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of cinnamon
  • a little over 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, add all ingredients except chocolate chips and mix really well until everything is combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

The batter is really thick so use a small spoon to scoop it out into balls on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10-11 minutes and allow to cool on cookie sheet at least 5 minutes. Enjoy!

I love this recipe because you can add different flavors of chocolate chips and it will always be delicious!

*You can substitute blue agave syrup if you don’t have honey.