New Year Resolutions

Resolutions rarely last because people make too lofty of goals. Lose ten pounds in a month? Yikes. Or goals that aren’t measurable. Exercise more. What does that even mean or look like? BUT any day is a good day to make some life changes for the better even if it’s New Years Day. So call it a resolution or a goal, start today or tomorrow, it’s all up to you.

This year I’m thinking about being more cognizant of what I put into my body, and if you’re in the same boat, there are a few tried and true ways to go about it. 

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Maybe you are a mindful person? 

Try intuitive eating! Listen to your body and become in tune to its signals of hunger and fullness. Are you truly hungry or emotionally hungry? What do you want to eat? Would some nuts satisfy you or do you really want that cookie? Of course it’s more challenging than that, but there are some great resources out there (aka intuitive eating dietitians).

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Maybe you’re more of a planner? 

Try tracking your calories short or long term. If you become overly obsessed or rigid then that’s a sign this isn’t for you. It tends to be better suited for people who can be objective about it.

Start out tracking what you eat to get a baseline and find areas to cut back. Calorie counting can also increase awareness. For myself I use it as a tool to stay mindful of what I am eating or drinking. Over the weekend I ate pizza and drank beer and wine but I also stopped when I was full rather than getting caught in the moment. 

Counting calories is a tool, it does not dictate your life. Please seek assistance as needed and please do not go below 1200 calories. 

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Maybe you want to start small but don’t know where?

Try to include a fruit or vegetable with every meal and eat that first before anything else. Fiber fills you up!

Drink a glass of water before each meal. Oftentimes people don’t hydrate enough. Sometimes thirst can also be confused as hunger.

Try using smaller plates or bowls. You can always go back for more, but you may be satisfied.

Avoid keeping trigger foods (foods that you eat mindlessly and in large amounts) in the house. If you want a treat and have to go out for it or make it, you’re more likely to really think it through.

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Whatever you choose there is a dietitian out there to help you. Nothing is black or white. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. Therefore, whatever you decide should be something that you can sustain. While calorie counting for me is not sustainable, it helps me to pinpoint some areas that have become weak spots or areas to work on while still letting all foods (and wine) fit into my life. So right now you can find me tracking my calories in a way that helps me be more mindful of what I am choosing to put into my body. There’s no specific amount that I’m shooting for, I’m simply being more cognizant.

A Trip Up North

Friday I hopped on Amtrack after work (yes, it’s that easy) and journeyed up North to visit the twin and Greg at their new house. Let me take a minute for Amtrack, since it’s my preferred means of travel. Decent prices, extremely comfortable seating, ample leg room, courteous staff, and always on time. It makes it so easy to visit Julie and that’s why I love it the most. Thinking about visiting her once a month since I really miss her.

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Anyways, Ingot to Julie’s just in time to cook up some venison tacos and have some wine while lounging with the dogs. There’s honestly nothing better. Now that I have my own room I can also put myself to bed without forcing everyone else to go to sleep (I used to sleep on the pullout couch). Which I did do on Friday...I woke up to a text from Julie asking if I was alive. Yup, just tired and always shooting for that twelve hours on a Friday night.

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In the morning Greg requested oatmeal! Imagine how excited I was to cook up some oats to try and turn someone to the oat side. I made whipped banana oats with milk as a base to which I had peanut butter and Julie and Greg had maple syrup. 

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Later that morning Julie and I walked through the surrounding land/reservoir to let Lyla run and so I could scope it out. It’s so nice that she has a path right outside her door for the dogs to run. She also has a good amount of land herself with some interesting boulders.

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After the walk Julie had some miles to do so of course I tagged along. She had to run for half an hour, which didn’t seem like a lot until it was happening. This girl does not run much anymore. At first we drove down one road that was all puddles and ice, but eventually found a quiet neighborhood to run in. It was great besides the hills, which I complained about the whole time. I was happy we found somewhere Julie can run outside safely, though. She also just bought  treadmill and a spin bike...not jealous. 

Then we tried out her home gym! She had a spin bike delivered that morning, which Greg set up in the basement so I convinced Julie to do a T25 workout with me to round out the day. My legs are sore today, but Julie’s always ready for more.  

In the afternoon she took me to Calef’s Corner Store to look at the cute kitchen supplies and to get sandwiches. I went with the chicken salad on anadama bread. Sweet and savory all in one! I love cute, small towns.  It certainly forces people to cook and not eat out as much as in the city. 

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Greg had ordered a KitchenAid mixer that was delivered that day, too, so he made cookies while I lounged with the pups some more. We also made pizza dough for dinner, but we were without yeast so it was definitely thin, dense crust. The cheese made the pizza, though. Smoky cheddar and Ale brewed cheddar from Calef’s. Enjoyed with a local IPA while watching The Sinner. Julie and I stayed up late watching and then couldn’t fall asleep...you know, nightmares. 

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Sunday morning Julie requested MORE OATMEAL! Who is this?! And so I’m definitely going to write an extra post this week featuring my oatmeal recipes! We ate breakfast while finishing The Sinner and then doing a quick workout. My body was so tired so my workout was a bit half assed, but Julie got to test out her spin bike!  

 

Now I’m on the train back to Boston feeling a little sad because I said goodbye to Julie. I’m also still in awe that Julie and Greg bought a house. And are buying/doing all these grown up things. I still feel like I’m 23 and just out of college. It’s tough sometimes, but I know everything happens for a reason and right now I’m just happy for and proud of the twin.And excited to have my own room and key!

 

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Christmas 2018 Recap

Forgive me for being MIA but I only had a day and a half with family so I had to make the most of it. I was on call and working most of the time, but luckily had the 25th off. Below are some of my favorite memories of the holidays.

Playing with the puppies! One who is actually a puppy and the other who pretends she’s still a puppy.

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A well balanced plate from our family dinner. My dessert consisted of all the cookies, mostly my espresso chocolate chip and some kitchen sink cookies that I couldn’t get enough of.

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All the quirky but fun games with the family. I won the word search!

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Twinning.

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Making ramen with mom after work.

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Drinking wine with Izzie after work and before going to the evening church service.

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Christmas breakfast strata ala mom.

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Lyla unwrapping some gifts.

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More twin time.

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Christmas looks different these past few years, but the mere moments with family are all the worthwhile.

Christmas Cookies

And pies. And cakes. And eggnog. All the delicious yet calorie dense foods.  

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The holidays can be a delicious time of year but also daunting for many of us. So how do we balance those sweet treats without going overboard? It may look different for everyone but here are some tips. 

1. Drink plenty of water. I’m talking 1.5 to 2 liters per day. Oftentimes cravings hit when we’re dehydrated and it’s difficult to differentiate between hungry and thirsty. 

2. Don’t skip meals. This will lead to insatiable hunger which often leads to sugary cravings and overeating because your body wants (and needs) that quick energy. 

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3. Check in with yourself before eating. Are you really hungry? Or are you stressed or overstimulated? It’s easy to confuse hunger pangs with other physical or emotional feelings. Take a deep breath and listen to your body.

4. Scope out the spread before making a plate. Take it all in and then decide what you really want. If you want a little bit of everything then go for it, there’s nothing wrong with that. Simply choose the foods that you truly want, not the foods that are just the lowest calories.

5. Choose the treats that you rarely see or get to eat. Chocolate chip cookies? Nah, pass the bourbon pecan pie please (I just made that up).   

6. You do not have to work off what you eat. Your bodies deserves some sweets and while yes they may be a bit more calorie dense than usual that doesn’t make them bad or unworthy.  

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I type this after I just ate 3 cookies from my stash in the freezer. These cookies come once a year and boy oh boy are they decadent (check out the previous post). I had been wanting a cookie...or a few...since this afternoon and after thinking about it realized that I just dang wanted a cookie. So you know what? I ate that damn cookie. And then some. 

happy holidays! 

All the Feels

Whenever I go to Vermont I feel so calm and comforted, it honestly feels like home. From the crisp air, the views, and of course the people, it all feels so nostalgic and perfect. 

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My first night involved lots of local beer, local cheese, and local ice cream (I don’t think local French fries are a thing). I met Rebecca at the Farmhouse Parlor for a few drinks, which turned into apps and many drinks, we had SO much to catch up on. Friends joined us later into the night to keep the party going and many laughs were had. This girl rallied until about 11:30 when I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer so I chugged some seltzer, ate Ben and Jerry’s and went to bed.

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The next morning Colleen and I drove to Jeanne’s to bake cookies. This is our NINTH year baking Christmas cookies together and it was so nice to share with Colleen. It’s one of my favorite days full of chatter, cookies, and carols. this year we made créeme de menthe bars, millionaire bars, crinkle cookies, pistachio sables, and rum no bake cookies. They were all superb! 

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To round out the evening we went to dinner at The Hatchet in Richmond which literally had hatchets on the walls. We drank more local beer, ate all the Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese (seriously, it was on almost every menu item), and played shuffleboard! Jon and I won in case anyone was wondering. What I truly love is how Jeanne, Jon and I can go from talking about travel and light hearted things to financial contributions to our retirement funds. Our conversations are never short of interesting or educational.

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Sunday morning included a wonderful walk down the road to see the farm animals and enjoy the mountains. Their neighbor has alpaca and donkeys! They were very photogenic and friendly!

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For lunch, Jeanne and Jon took me to Railroad & Main where I had a truly fantastic burger with balsamic reduction and parmesan aioli. I was craving a side salad...but it ended up being iceberg lettuce with shredded cheese on it? I questioned the thought process behind that, I can never rid myself of the dietitian/foodie mind. I still ate it for some vitamins and minerals, though, because my body was literally begging me for something nutrient dense.  

After lunch I was dropped off at Maia and Joe’s where we watched the Great British Baking Show before going on a nature walk with the dogs. There’s nothing more I enjoy than nature, some dogs, and my favorite couple to hang out with. It was short but sweet. 

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I’m on the bus ride home content that I was able to see so many people during this quick trip up North. Content that I spent time in my favorite state enjoying all it had to offer. Content that Christmas shopping is definitely done and I have cookies to share. My pants are definitely tighter now (heck, I’m wearing my leggings) and I feel a bit bloated, but I have no regrets...besides maybe late night Ben and Jerry’s. But that happens. Do I regret the Baileys and vanilla vodka I had Saturday? Or the Upper Pass beers on Friday? Or the burger today? Or cookies? Heck no. Sometimes you don’t think about food and just be and those times are the best times. Food should not control you. If you’re concentrating on life and friends and happiness and eat a bit more than “normal” or something higher in calories, that’s better than missing out on events to eat portion controlled “healthier” foods isn’t it? 

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