Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Favorites (What I'm Loving)

Happy Valentine's Day!

It's cliche, but first and foremost, you have to love yourself.

Hopefully, if you're a party of one, you're not on suicide watch after scrolling through your news feed, filled with people's lovey dovey flower bouquet, chocolates, and other such posts. And if you're on the other side, posting those things, SOSOSOSO happy for you :)

I'm STELLabrating tonight with 2 of my favorite people, with (vegan) apps and zerts.
Christmas at the Tibby, December 2012 (OMG!)

For us, we're STELLAbrating INDEPENDENCE DAY. There's nothing wrong with being single (cue Living Single theme song).

But I digress.

In the spirit of the whole "Friday Favorites" thing, here's my list:

1) Against All Grain Real-Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Incredibly easy to make. SO easy. I'll make a paleo/gluten-free believer out of YOU with these.
I baked them last night and brought them for my pod to enjoy today, and they've gotten rave reviews.

Who needs butter, refined flours and sugars, when you can have THESE and feel great after eating them?

The recipe only makes a dozen, which is PERFECT, because if you leave me with more cookies than that, we'll have a problem on our hands.

2) Kym Nonstop's YouTube Channel
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: even though I've never actually taken a SoulCycle class, I'm a diehard fan.

Kym just packed up her things and moved from NYC to LA, and I hope to one day take one of her classes. She's an absolute bad ass. She also has a band, No Way Josie, and I'm currently rocking out to "100%."

That aside, can we pause and talk about her abs? I mean....

You can't hate yourself for not having what you haven't worked for.
I haven't put in a minute of core work this week, so I can't expect to lift up my tank top, and see a six-pack.

You've got to put in the work to get the results.

She's got some really great videos on her channel, and I love these:
1. Running Sucks (she gives 4-5 tips for how to get into the whole running thing, including an app that sounds awesome - refreshing music when you grow tired of your tunes)

2. Standing ab moves you can do ANYWHERE

3. A five-minute workout that's a LOT harder than it looks

3) My favorite Skinnygirl's 10 minute weights workout (MAN OH MAN, do I need to get back to doing weights)

4) Nike Leg-A-See leggings, and the ease of ordering online from Nike

5) How absolutely perfect the weather is in Dallas RIGHT NOW. It could change any second, but let me be happy about it.

This is the view from my parking garage. Objects appear closer IRL, and from my bedroom window. .

5a) Speaking of Dallas, our new Agency location is growing FAST, and I can't wait. See you in September.

Underneath those cranes, where it's a baby building. That's us. It's going to be 18 stories with a fitness center (AND SPIN STUDIO) on top!

 I was one of the 20 Agency people (chosen at random) who got to break ground on the building. Here's evidence from the day I was a construction worker.
I'm in the middle, next to the girl in red pants, and the girl in the pink dress.

6) Having the B.S. holiday, Presidents' Day, on Monday.

It's hard out here for a pimp.

Enjoy your V-Day.
See you on the other side.

Love yourself first <3

Thursday, February 13, 2014

When you get the urge to quit...

When you get the urge to quit, remember why you started in the first place.

It's February 13, Galentine's Day, and this week has been in a word, stupid.

I woke up Sunday morning feeling funny. I got up around 8AM, made my pre-spin class coffee, drank it, felt really sick, got dressed, and taught my spin class anyway. After class, one of my best friends and I went straight from the gym --> a nearby Starbucks, and since I was still feeling funny, I opted for an unsweetened Iced Tea over my standard Americano, hot or iced.

From there, I went home, showered, popped a Pepcid AC (which usually ALWAYS fixes my funny feeling) and met another one of my best friends for lunch at a local salad joint. The funny feeling never subsided, so when I then went to Sprouts to load up on an INSANE amount of fruits/veggies for nothin', I spied a cheap bottle of some sort of Kombucha beverage, and was tempted to go for it.

Typically, the ol' buch is about $4-5, which is a big barrier to trial for me. I can't tell you how many people have told me to try Kombucha, or some sort of probiotic to help regulate and calm my tummy times. I just never followed their advice, because it's expensive, and honestly, sounded a little scary... an expensive clear bottle with BACTERIA to help your stomach? "Pinch your nose when you drink it, because it smells TERRIBLE."

Count me out, sister girl.

Well, this particular buch brew was only $2 something, so I figured a swig or two of it couldn't hurt the funny stomach sitch.

BOY, WAS I WRONG. Bad idea. Worst idea.

I went about my day. The Pepcid never seemed to kick in.

Let's just leave it at this: I spent Monday and Tuesday at home from work (doing a little work, here and there in the comfort of my own home), weak, uncomfortable, sans appetite. I ended up canceling my Monday night spin class, and went from posting "class canceled" signs there, to Walgreens for ginger ale and Pedialyte, to going straight to Cafe Express to pick up my online-ordered bowl of chicken soup (with SALTINES, thank you God), and kid's PLAIN shell pasta.

Tuesday went about the same, and yesterday, I got back on my routine, team teaching at both 6A and 7PM, and a full day of real work in between. Needless to say, it was a struggle being back to life, back to reality.

My appetite is back, and I just finished a satisfying lunch of Zucchini Noodles with my "ratatouille" tomato sauce (gracias, Spiralizer!) and an apple.

I'm teaching spin tonight at 7PM, and I feel a little bit more like myself today than I did yesterday.

I'm not sure what I had (Sunday-Tuesday), but it seems to be gone, and not a moment too soon. I'm still giving a side eye to the ol' buch, and I'm giving my coconut oil usage a rest, because I have a feeling the Earth Balance Coconut Oil Creamy Peanut Butter I bought last week, and ate a few spoonfuls of on Saturday, also contributed to the funny stomach stuff.

Here's the thing:
Whether you get some sort of mystery bug or just get hit in the face with life's daily stresses, annoyances, temptations, and inconveniences, think back on this:
When you get the urge to quit, remember why you started in the first place.

Aside from Monday and Tuesday where I allowed non-Paleo/whatever I'm doing lifestyle things into the mix, like chicken noodle soup (Campbell's), ginger ale, and plain shell pasta, I've been on the straight and narrow since January 3. I think that's pretty cool. And you can, too!

Let's be real: there will be times when you slip up. And that's okay. Don't beat yourself up, curse yourself when you step on the scale, or when you take a look in the mirror and aren't happy with what stares back at you.

Tomorrow's Valentine's Day, and whatever that means to you, don't let one day completely derail you, whether it's from overdoing it from bliss, or depression.

Allow yourself a treat occasionally, or find treats that are workable in your new lifestyle (hi, avocado/cocoa powder vegan pudding recipes I've seen on Pinterest).

I can't say it enough: don't put a time stamp or end date on whatever new lifestyle you embark upon. This is called a lifestyle for a reason. These are changes to make now, to put into practice, make habit, and make your everyday, and not just for X amount of time, or until Y happens.

And something I haven't said, but should mention: this (my mission, why I blog, why I do what I do) isn't just about making changes so that I look or feel good, or weigh a certain number. Those things are definitely in the mix, but here's the elephant in the room: this is about health.

Sure, we're all uncomfortable with carrying around an extra 5-10 lbs here or there, but when you start letting things go, like caring about your intake or how often you exercise, these things start becoming a possibility, either in the near future, or more long-term:

Heart disease.
Type 2 diabetes.
High Blood pressure.
Increased risk of stroke.

*You don't have to be obese to have any of those things on the list. My 106-lb grandma had (genetically) high blood pressure, and ended up having a massive stroke at 86 3/4. She also stopped watching her intake in the last few years, and was indulging regularly in high-fat foods, like Haagen-Dazs ice cream bars, Veal Marsala, and the like, which definitely didn't help.

At the end of the day, you, and you alone, have to make the decision to make a change.
Do it for yourself. Don't do it for anyone else.
Do it for your health.
And also, to look better, feel better, and live better.
Those are just added bonuses to having a clear bill of health.

Again, here for your intake/exercise questions/struggles/triumphs.

We're in this together, even though we're doing it for ourselves.