Monday, December 30, 2013

Even numbered years tend to be superior.

We are just days away from 2014 and I am fairly confident that it's going to be a lot better than 2013. I'm not overly superstitious, but my family has a thing for multiples of seven. Us "kids" even have birthdays on the 7th, 14th, and 21st. It makes me excited to see what this year has in store.

I've been thinking about what I want to accomplish and truly believe that when you write your goals down, you are much more likely to succeed.  I read this article by Mackenzie Newcomb and have stolen a few (denoted by a star) in addition to some of my own.

1.   Pursue some sort of Health or Wellness certification.
2.   Successfully complete a food challenge. (Probably this one.)
3. *Leave the country. (I might scale this down and just do a trip to somewhere I have been dying to go in the US.)
4. *Cross something off your bucket list. (Working on #31! February 16th A1A Half)
5.  Meal Prep Sunday - wash, chop, and cook as much as I can for the week for real meals.
6. *Stop beating yourself up for skipping the gym on days you truly didn't have time. But also, stop skipping the gym on days you had plenty of time to go.
7.  Stick to a budget.
8. *Stop caring about how many people "like" your Instagram media anxiety is a waste of time.
9.  Make more regular visits to the Farmer's Market.
10.*If you think somebody is cute, say "hi" and introduce yourself.

I'm also working on a few other things, but I'm going to keep them just for me.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


While I know that may not be the most creative blog post title, it's the only thing running through my head right now. This little email just popped in my inbox.

And yes, that does say 6:00am start time.

If you know me, you know I'm not a runner.  I'm fit, I'm active, but I'm not a runner.  I have been training since October and I will be up to six miles this weekend, but it is NOT easy for me.  Swim six miles? Ok. Run them? Ugh. Anyway, if you have seen my Bucket List then you can see that it's on there so I decided to just do it for my 28th birthday. I'm not getting any younger and my birthday is the weekend before.

I'm hoping that I will get some other people to do it with me or at least come watch, but if not, I'm pretty used to doing things on my own. Now let's just hope I can actually do this!

Sunday, December 8, 2013


Today's Elf for Health challenge has us listing 20 things for which we are grateful. I must admit that I am not feeling the most thankful or grateful these days and coming up with this list was rather difficult.

1. the #elf4health challenges - they have gotten me to focus on the good, the bad, and the ugly

2. friends - we had our gift exchange last night and I laughed so hard

3. giving gifts - (my love language) I love making and giving gifts to other people

4. glitter - it just makes things happy and is currently all over my floor

5. my students

6. hallmark christmas movies - all day every day :)

7. my best friend - I can call her crying and she's always there to listen

8. family

9. almond milk lattes made at home

10. days where I can sit on my couch and drink #9 in the morning without rushing

11. manicures - I can feel my ugliest, but pretty nails make me feel just a little bit prettier

12. the blogosphere

13. the ability to cook

14. the resources to travel

15. ACE

16. my faith - I may not be the "best" Catholic, but it keeps me going every day

17. new beginnings

18. photography

19. working out - even though I am sorely lacking any sort of motivation currently

20. smiles

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 3

Whomp whomp...I made it a whole 2.75 days. So maybe Christmas really isn't the time to be doing this.  By the end of yesterday, I was so cranky and had the worst headache.  It's partially my fault for not packing dinner when I knew I would be at school until almost 8pm, but the headache and cravings were intense.

After a verbal altercation with the cashier at Target, I came home and face planted into some chocolate chips. Couldn't help myself. Plus, all I could think about was how much I missed my morning almond milk latte with three stevia.

Things I liked - it got me to sit down and eat a filling, healthy breakfast. I will keep this going. Also, I did cut waaaay back on sugar and I've only had two small bites of grains. I hope to keep this up for as long as possible. It also made me look even more closely at food labels and I am SHOCKED by what I found. Did you know there is added sugar in some brands of table salt?! Publix brand, I'm looking at you. I will be much more aware of the things I am buying and splurge for organic or "fancy" items more frequently.

So moral of the story...this program can work and I will try it again, but just not during one of the craziest months of the year. And most importantly, I just want to get to a point where I don't think about every single thing I ate or will be eating. It's exhausting!

In other news, it's make-up free Wednesday! Those extra 10 minutes were so very welcome this morning. Let's see what the students think. If I could get $5 for every time one of them comments that I look tired I would have a lot of dollars at the end of the day :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Whole30 - Day 2

Day 2 was a little bit harder. Ok, a lot harder. Here are the eats and how I felt.

Meal 1 (6:15am) - Egg scramble with sweet potatoes, spinach, yellow peppers and avocado and coconut oil, coffee with coconut milk. Realized my new salt contains dextrose so I used Kosher salt and WOW did I overdo it.

I felt super full after this meal and was craving my almond milk latte. 

Meal 2 (12:20pm) - 2 small salmon cakes, green beans and avocado with a very small apple

This was not enough food at all. While I was really full after lunch, I was hungry once school was over. Going to have to tweak  the whole lunch thing. 

Meal 3 (4:00-5:00pm) - umm...a hard-boiled egg, lots of dates and cashews, a Larabar, 2 salmon cakes with avocado.

Not super proud of this afternoon. I was stressed and used to coming home and snacking on junk. After eating all of this I definitely felt like crap.  While it was all "approved" food, they weren't meals and I didn't sit to eat any of it.  I had a bit of a rough day and I really wanted to dive into the chocolate chips and bagels plus I have quite the headache, but that could be from all sorts of things. Overall though, I mostly did things right. 

Now it's off to do laundry and prep some food for the rest of this crazy week!

Elf For Health - Week 2

Clearly I am a glutton for punishment. Instead of lesson planning and grading during this free period, I am doing this. I can't help it, my Week 2 email came in and I'm all excited for the daily challenges! My elf buddy, Melissa, and I have been emailing regularly which makes it so much more fun.  While I know that I "waste" a lot of time on the Internet, I don't care because I get to do so much and "meet" so many people because of it! 

So Week 2 looks like this:

Monday - send a handwritten note.  Already working on it, kids.

Tuesday - Eat the rainbow! Since I am doing the Whole30 I don't think this will be a problem.

Wednesday - Go makeup free today! Little hesitant about this one, but I'm going for it. I apologize in advance ;)

Thursday - Workout with a buddy! I'm planning a yoga meet-up for my Healthy Living club. Hopefully some of them show up to do yoga with me. 

Friday - Leave an Operation Beautiful note. Again, I am going to recruit my Healthy Living girls to help me write some to leave around school.

Saturday - Clean out your fridge and pantry. I sort of did this last Saturday, but will do it again.  In addition, I am going to clean out all of my bedroom drawers and closet. I want to purge clothes!

Sunday - Make a list of 20 things you are grateful for.  I'm pretty excited about this one. 

Whole30 - Day 1

I'm typing this to try to distract myself from the fact that I want to eat crap. I'm procrastinating doing any sort of school work or the laundry. Typically when I do this I snack on all the things. Unfortunately, it was usually sugar-laden. Did you know that sugar is in everything?!? Seriously, I was reading labels to see if things were Whole 30 approved and eliminated so many things based on the sugar alone.

So my Day 1 consisted of a hard-boiled egg before 4 mile run/walk (dang Bar method sore legs!) and 50 burpees. I came home and ate this breakfast scramble and an Americano with coconut milk.

I went in to work and then ate some of the pumpkin chicken curry I made yesterday with green beans. I probably should have eaten more because I then snacked on some cashews, dates, and green olives. The curry was ok. I am definitely going to have to work on making more flavorful food if I am to feel satisfied. I think I'm going to eat a Larabar and some mint tea and call it a day.

Now I just need to be a little productive and do 50 more burpees for Elf For Health then I can go to sleep early! Two weeks of solid teaching are ahead and I need to be on my A-game.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Gobble Gobble

Thanksgiving 2013 was a whirlwind trip. I drove to Orlando the Friday before to meet my friend Tara while she was attending a conference and stay with her before flying out the next morning.  (She's the greatest friend a girl could have.)

On Saturday I flew to St. Louis and was picked up by a friend and after we had lunch I met up with my mom and cousin to do some shopping damage.  After a few great days at home catching up on sleep, having mommy days, and generally just relaxing, we road tripped it to Bowling Green.  This was the part I have been looking forward to for weeks even though I was sad to leave my home. Our family isn't big, but we are very close.  My great-aunt and uncle are basically my grandparents. I've talked about them here and they are still just as cute as ever!

The night before Thanksgiving we all just hung out at their house catching up and dreaming of the next day's feast.  On Thanksgiving, my mom and I got up early and went for a 3.5 mile run in frigid temperatures! Food is incredibly motivating for the both of us.
Breakfast of champions - Skinny latte and holiday Flips!
While we all stood standing around about to eat our arms off before lunch at one, the paparazzi wouldn't leave us alone. Sadly all of those pictures are on her (the momma jane's) phone. Here is one of the children of two of the grandchildren. Three on the left belong to Sara Jane. Two on the right belong to David and Ann Wade belongs to Briggs (the older of the two). Confusing? Sorry!
Briggs, Aaron, Seth, Ann Wade + Briggs, Nathan 
Here is the cutest man on the face of the planet. My Uncle Bill is just the sweetest thing.

After a few more pictures and the funniest grace ever, we feasted. So. Much. Food. And the desserts aren't even on the bar!

I have no recollection of my family drinking at family functions. Mainly because we have a few who ruined it for all of us so you can imagine the surprise when my cousin Alice and I stumbled upon this...

Holy liquor cabinet! We were just looking for a corkscrew. We sort of decided that wine needed to happen. Some of that liquor is older than I am!

Anyway, I am so extremely grateful for my family and wish we all lived closer together. I hope you all had a fabulous holiday!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Well this is discouraging...

So after a great Thanksgiving, I decided to just go for it. I'm starting the Whole30 tomorrow. I returned to an empty fridge and thought, "why not?"  But then, after spending the last four hours shopping and prepping, I logged on to the Whole9 website and saw this. 

Seriously?!? It talks about how the holidays just might not be the best time and while I understand the rationale, I don't really think it applies to me. I'm not really good with others thinking they know better than me anyway. So I'm just going to ignore their advice and give it a go even though I am sooooo nervous!

Today I did some serious shopping at Fresh Market and Sam's and will need to hit Publix tomorrow.  I then spent the evening watching some Notre Dame football and cooking up a storm. I made Spicy Pumpkin Chicken Curry, Salmon Patties, and prepped some stuff for breakfast.  I'll do another good batch of cooking in the morning before going in to work at the Outlets.

I'll give a little Elf For Health update and Thanksgiving recap soon! Wish me luck :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

I like to keep TSA on their toes.

I'm a city girl who just happened to grow up in a small town and who currently lives in a different small town. My favorite days growing up were when my mom and I would plan to go to St. Louis to get our big city fix.  We would shop all day, eat lunch and  have the greatest time. I remember planning out what I would wear for those excursions for weeks before the actual day.

Now that I am a grown-up (ha!), I have chosen to live in a small town again for a few years, but I miss the city every day. I especially miss my super healthy, everything at your fingertips, weird-loving Austin. While I now live at the beach and have different opportunities, what I miss most is access to affordable, healthy food options. As I get ready to embark on the Whole 30 Challenge, I think this is going to be my biggest challenge. Of course Fresh Market has most of what I need, but at twice the price I am used to paying. Will I suck it up and pay it? Yes. Will I like it? This frugal foodie says, "heck to the no!"

Since I am such a frugal (tight-wad), you better believe I make the most of Southwest's free bag policy.  The past few times I have been home I have brought an extra bag that I fill with goodies from Trader Joe's.  My mom and I stop their either the day I land or the day I fly back.  This time I stocked up on things I will be using on the Challenge. Look at all the goodies!

Coconut oil, ghee, nuts, dried (no sugar-added) raspberries, the BEST mint tea, some spices, and Cashew cookie Lara bars.  And the fact that they are Whole30 approved isn't even the best part. My mom treated me to all of it!!! She's the greatest. Full disclosure - I also bought some non approved items to use in the meantime. Now if only I could pack the perishable stuff. I'm pretty sure the TSA security guys have some interesting reactions when my bags get inspected.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Elf for Health

The Lean Green Bean
I am so excited to be participating in Nutritionella's Elf for Health Challenge! Tonight I received my Elf assignment and I can't wait to start exchanging emails.

The premise of this challenge is so great.
1. It's going to give me little goals and tasks to accomplish everyday and the best part is they are all attainable.
2. I get to interact with like-minded people, name my Elf Buddies Melissa and ???, especially during this crazy, not so health-focused season. (Melissa, get ready for some emails with an excessive number of exclamation marks.) 
3. There are prizes!!!
4. I'm going to challenge my girls in Healthy Living Club to do some of the tasks with me.
5. It's helping me get back to blogging.

Clearly, you can see this is a win-win-win situation! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Breaking the silence


The day after Christmas I am embarking on the Whole30 Challenge. And I hope to document it here! Until then I will blog about all the prep work, mentally and physically, that I am doing.  It most definitely includes a lot pinning :)