Key Lime Coconut Energy Balls & Upping my Photography Game

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Monday, ready or not here it is! Let me try to distract you from your to-do list a bit…

I took a photography class in high school. I lasted about one day before we had to start measuring things and doing math and I said, “whoa whoa whoa…nope”. I swapped the class out for ceramics (math, measuring, science and I were not friends at the time).

I deeply regret that swap.

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WIAW: All About the Food

Well hello, mid-week madness.  Today I’m going to skip the fluff and get right to the food because this week has been super busy, but a girl’s gotta eat!

Breakfast: Green smoothie bowl (it may actually be a shade of brown but don’t judge a smoothie by its color). It is a mix of whey protein powder, frozen strawberries, spinach, vanilla soy milk, and vanilla extract.  Topped with multi-grain Cheerios, strawberries, dates, cinnamon, and honey :)

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Lunch: I would say lunch was nothing special, BUT that smashed looking half a peanut butter sandwich is made on homemade raisin bread my dad made me  so actually it was very special :) The apple, cucumber and “hommus” were special in their own way too!

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Snack attacks: I may have had a couple welcome snack attacks throughout the day. These included two apples, sugary almonds, and a handful of dates. I love dates :)

 

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Dinner: Dinner was a post boxing (yes boxing…to be explained in a  later post) bowl of veggies…peppers, asparagus, kale, spinach, and avocado topped with feta and a side of cucumbers and humus because I clearly did not get enough cucumbers and humus at lunch 😉

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Oh and of course I have some mid-week wisdom to get you to Friday…proud of

 

Don’t ever stop trying to be a person you are proud of. Every breath you take provides you with a moment and a moment is all you need to change your direction. Happy Wednesday!

Tuning Out the Food Critics

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You open the pantry door and scan the shelves. It’s been around three hours since your last meal and there’s a familiar welcome emptiness in the pit of your stomach. Anticipation builds as your eyes cross over granola bars, Girl Scout cookies, dried mangos, chocolate chips and finally they land on baked pita chips. For just a split moment the old restrictive voice in your head tries to protest but you’ve turned up your inner “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera so loud you can’t hear her.

You proceed to carefully gather three small bowls and fill them with guacamole, hummus, and salsa, your own little sampler complete with carbohydrates, protein, veggies, and fat. You turn off other distractions and are getting ready to savor your carefully prepared snack. The first chip has barely hit the dip when your dad walks by and jests “someone’s letting loose today”. You laugh it off and try to swallow the uneasy feeling with your next bite. If he only knew how far you’ve come. Then your mom comes around the corner and quietly places carrots and cucumbers down next to you. You think, “ God, at least dad’s straight forward with his opinions”. Your mom proceeds to tell you how Dr. Phil taught her to only eat carbohydrates before 12pm. You can’t decide who’s she’s trying to convince. Meanwhile, you’re fighting the urge to grab the entire bag of pita chips and scarf them down in front of both of them like the empty bag will somehow symbolize a victory, only your trophy is feeling ashamed and sick to your stomach. Instead you turn up Drake’s “Over”  in your head and continue to eat the meal you were craving slowly and consciously savoring each bite.

Can you relate to this story at all?

It’s fiction, but I can’t say similar scenarios haven’t occurred in my life. The truth is most of us deal with food critics in our lives whether it be a family member, significant other, friend, or co-worker. Sometimes these individuals have the best of intentions with no clue their tiny remarks are like small needles stabbing at your confidence. Often times when someone continually notices your food choices it’s more a reflection on them than you but the pain and irritation from the sting burns the same. It is important to recognize these comments and learn to let them flow right back into the air undigested. Do what you have to do to channel your inner radio station. Ignore them, move your location, or confront the peanut gallery and let them know they’re opinions are harmful. Food should never make you feel guilty and nobody should make you feel uncomfortable about your choices. Part of a healthy diet is being able to enjoy the foods you love when you are hungry without guilt. One of my favorite dietitians once said “A piece of cake should only make you feel guilty if you stole it” I agree 100%.

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Bikram: Why I Spend 90 Minutes in 105 Degrees.

 

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My eyelids were heavy like they had gained 20 pounds in the last hour.  I drove home from work, mentally and physically exhausted from the day. Nothing but dinner and a nap appealed to my senses, but I knew those wouldn’t be my reality. When I’m lucky, if you call it that, the person I want to become is louder than the tired, cranky, hot-mess that I submit to by 5:00 pm. I got home and changed into my yoga clothes before I allowed myself to devour the energy bar, yogurt, and apple I would consider dinner. Then I teased my sense of relaxation with 10 minutes in my bed while mindlessly looking in the digital window of people’s lives. It’s so easy to look at an edited picture of someone and imagine the life they live like it’s a summer night on a beach in Jamaica all day every day. I somehow leave my computer screen feeling a little less positive than before I laid down, reminding me this wasn’t where I supposed to waste my time. I wait until the last minute and gather my towel, water, and mat and head to the studio that has become my second home.

Late and exhausted, I smile at whichever one of my lovely friends is working the front desk and soak up whatever energy their return response provides me. I lay my mat out in the hot dim room and wait patiently for the teacher’s welcome.  It begins with  breath, the basic reminder that I am lucky to have this moment, this day, and this life.  Filling my lungs with air reminds me that I do have energy as long as I have control over my breath. Then it proceeds into a movement that causes me to forget my thoughts and focus on the placement of my body in this heated, glowing, room.

I’m no longer thinking about the mistake I made at work, the gossip I shouldn’t have contributed to, the way I over-reacted in an argument, or the email I forgot to send. Instead I am focusing on learning to lock out my knee, grip my foot with all ten of my fingers including my thumbs, suck my stomach in, push my out my heel and bend my toes back for standing head-to-knee pose. I mean who could possibly carry another thought with all those instructions? Not to mention the heat had begun creating small droplets of sweat dripping in a steady rhythm down my temple. I trust my breath as it leads my  soaked body through all 26 postures.

I am not overwhelmed when I can’t balance on my right toe in toe stand and I am not frustrated when I fall out of standing bow two times on one leg. Surprisingly, the perfectionist in me has chilled out a bit and I am satisfied working towards goals, I trust that if I keep kicking back  and reaching forward that one day I will straighten my leg high above my head and see my reflection in the mirror. I find comfort in knowing I am exactly where I need to be if I am ever going to balance on my right toe with both hands at my heart and get back up flawlessly.

The thing about yoga  is it allows me to start simple with my breath, focus without distractions on small tiny efforts, that I am sure will one day lead me to success. It blocks out unnecessary distractions and allows me to live in each warm dedicated moment. It reminds me it’s okay to fail. The concentration lets me see hard-fought progress on a strong day and humbles me with failure on my weaker ones. Some days when I am not sure why I pass up wishing I was living someone else’s summer night in Jamaica I remember that yoga is my metaphor to the way I want to lead my life.

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Proud to be Me

Hello and happy Saturday.

I have a special kind of post for you today that will carry on throughout November. In the spirit of Thanksgiving and being grateful, I am teaming up with women from the Sweat Pink community for a Proud to Be Me Campaign #Proudtobme.

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Too often, we beat ourselves up thinking we aren’t enough. We let ideas of being smarter, prettier, richer, thinner, and happier, into our minds and it consumes us. I believe in bettering yourself, but not at the expense of loving yourself.

“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”

– Louise L. Hay

This month is about self–love. It’s about being proud of the person you are because to be grateful and love others we need to first love ourselves. Many of us are too humble. We were taught early to not brag, or talk about our accomplishments. But, a modest mindset masks our achievements. If we don’t give ourselves credit for the amazing things we do we end up focusing on everything we haven’t done yet. It creates dull picture of our lives and impedes on our confidence.

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

– Mark Twain

So today I’m sharing that I LOVE my courageous personality. I do things, I learn from my mistakes, I come back stronger, and I love that about myself. I don’t do everything right the first time, I am not a perfectionist, but I’m a doer. I’m grateful that I am brave enough to try things without worrying if I can do them perfectly. By taking steps without seeing the full path I create  opportunities, I learn, and I grow.

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Each day this month you can find me tweeting, instagraming, and posting messages on the blog and Facebook about reasons I’m proud to be me #Proudtobeme.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/upearlywithamy

Twitter: @abortnick 

Instagram: Upearlywithamy

I won’t be alone, checkout some of the other awesome women playing along:

Websites

www.mamamarathoner.com
 accidentalathlete.rachelboehm.com
http://www.prettyinpinkfitness.wordpress.com
http://sublimereflection.com
www.treefitness.com
www.chocolaterunnergirl.wordpress.com
http://www.FromLazyToLady.blogspot.com
www.acoupleofdashes.com
http://www.runningonhappy.com
www.healthyfoodieslosingbooties.blogspot.com
www.upearlywithamy.com
www. fittyduck.wordpress.com 

You can Join the movement too! What do you love about your personality?

You don’t have to write a blog or even post on social media to join. Write in a journal or at the very least make a conscious effort to acknowledge what makes you great :)