Weekends

A lot of people either love weekends because they can break off from their diet or fear weekends because of the many temptations. But what if we just went into the weekend with an open mind. We can try to eat balanced meals, but if something else comes up and we eat fried food, that’s okay too. Lifestyle changes are about making the majority of your days more balanced and full of fruits and vegetables, but certainly not every day.

Last week I got all my workouts in and ate balanced meals. Even when I went out to eat on Wednesday with a friend I took half of my pasta home. Turns out it’s super fun having leftovers to look forward to the next day. What I’m here to say is, usually weekends are when you don’t follow a plan or your typical routine. Therefore, things come up and food tempts you and it’s easier to get caught in the moment.

Friday, Sarah and I went to the Museum of Fine Arts First Friday event. We had a drink before heading to the museum where we had another {overpriced} drink while coloring and exploring the Ansel Adams exhibit. Unfortunately the food choices were limited and also overpriced so we decided to get food after the exhibit. By the time we sat down at the bar it was probably 10 pm and we both just needed food. Greasy bar food it was: fried cauliflower, truffle fries, and crab spinach dip. We even ended the night with a brownie. Of course I didn’t feel great the next day, but I know that alcohol, waiting too long to eat, and being tired were all working against me. There’s also this legit thing known as decision fatigue.

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Saturday morning I woke up tired and bloated but ran to Turnstyle (literally ran) to meet Maggie for a spin class. It felt so good to get up and work out after a night of greasy food and alcohol. Of course I also had drinking plans after spin and met Molly and Christine at Trillium in Seaport. We had a few sour beers and all got the Brewer’s grain bowl for a healthier option. My body craved whole foods and this bowl had farro, sunflower seeds, pickled vegetables, and tofu. My body was happy.

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Sunday I woke up after sleeping 14 hours. WHO AM I? I started the day with oatmeal and then grabbed coffee at my favorite coffee shop ever. I met my cousin, Meredith, downtown for a movie and brought her a grilled cheese and myself chicken salad and roasted vegetables. I may be drinking a beer while I type this (and watch the Super Bowl) but it’s the Super Bowl and I wanted a cold Conehead.

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Looking back as I type this, I realize that most of my food choices were with the intent to fuel my body with whole foods. I chose to bring my snacks to the movies. I chose the wholesome, unfried option at the brewery, and I got my workouts in. So I had greasy bar food and a brownie Friday night. So what? Most of my choices were healthful and made in a conscious effort to fuel my body. The other choices were made whimsically because I was spending time with friends. I will look back on this weekend and see how much fun I had and all the friends and family I was able to see, not the food that I did or didn’t eat.

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Getting Caught in the Moment

Last Thursday was our work holiday party. I went last year, but this year I knew so many more people after having been at the company for a year and a half now.

After work, we went to Tavern in the Square for a few drinks before going to the party. I had two Sip of Sunshines…I know, you’d think I would learn to not start with IPAs. But once a Vermont girl, always a Vermont girl (fun fact, I am not actually from Vermont). You can never say no to Sip of Sunshine…I still remember when these were just as limited as Heady Topper and now you can find them at Trader Joes! At the party I had a Fiddlehead and Be Hoppy…again, more IPAs.

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Despite the beers, we also missed dinner since we were busy chatting at Tavern in the Square. Around 9:30 or 10:00 pm we went back to Tavern in the Square for food. By this point I was hangry and also past tipsy. The table shared nachos, tater tots x 2, and some chicken. I then ordered another round of nachos and proceeded to practically eat them by myself. I ate fast and without really thinking or feeling and before I knew it, I was FULL. I tend to eat fast as it is, but add some alcohol on an empty stomach and I eat like I haven’t seen food in years.

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I woke up the next morning to go to a 7 am spin class with epic bloat and a hangover. My first thoughts were: Megan, why? This is why you’ve gained weight. I felt guilty for getting caught in the moment. Maybe if I had slowed down I would have ordered something other than IPAs or wouldn’t have ordered a second plate of nachos. Maybe then I wouldn’t feel so terrible (physically and mentally) when I woke up if….

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Turns out an early morning workout does wonders for a hangover. It honestly felt like I was sweating out alcohol. I left the spin class with a new perspective. While walking through the beautiful streets of Charlestown I thought: Getting caught in the moment is normal, it shows that I am living life to the fullest and having fun. It shows that I am comfortable with the people that I choose to spend my days with. If I didn’t get caught in the moment it would probably be because I was regimented enough to restrict my food and alcohol intake. It would also restrict my amount of fun and living because I would always have to be 100% aware so that I could be perfect. I don’t want that.

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And so I walked through my beautiful neighborhood feeling grateful. And then I ate breakfast and baked banana bread because no day should be different because of what I ate or drank the day before. I am enjoying life. I am working out when I can and choosing nutritious food most of the time, but certainly not all of the time.

Disconnecting

I visit Julie because I miss her and love spending time with her, but also to disconnect from the city. I enjoy the city. The opportunities, the lights, the restaurants, the bustle. But at the same time it can be exhausting. So this past weekend after spending countless days and hours working, I took an Amtrack up to good ol’ New Hampshire. Our weekends center around relaxation, puppies, good food and wine, and sometimes an adventure.

Relaxation.

My room is finished and it is LOVELY. It’s Julie’s old bed, which I have always loved and the natural sunlight is so enjoyable to wake up to. I slept in and eased into the day with multiple cups of coffee. I even bought K-cups to keep at Julie’s so that I am not always steeling Greg’s. Sunday morning Ruger and Lyla came to snuggle with me while Julie did her long run on the treadmill.

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Puppies.

Ruger and Lyla are full of energy and spunk, but are such cuddle bugs at the same time. I love when they keep you company in the kitchen or can’t get enough of you in the morning.

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Exercise.

Julie is training for the Boston Marathon and I’m doing a new BeachBody program. Saturday she biked for 45 minutes while I did my 20 minute workout using the treadmill as a makeshift step. I finished off with walking at an incline for 10 minutes with 5# weights. Sunday morning I did a makeshift 30 minute Turnstyle workout and then my BeachBody workout while Julie ran for what seemed like forever. Once again I think I was sweating out alcohol from the night before, but boy does working out change my frame of mine for the better!

Good food and wine.

Friday night I taught Julie how to make pasta from scratch, we tagliatelle with my pasta maker. Topped with a makeshift white wine butter sauce, which was served with fresh scallops a la Greg. The white wine that we used for the sauce was actually delicious and I don’t usually like white wine, especially chardonnay. So go Josh.

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Saturday night Greg slaved over sushi which Julie and I drank a few margaritas and then ate all of said sushi. 

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An adventure.

This weekend Julie wanted to be crafty, specifically to make something to hold her jewelry. Greg brought us some wood, which we sanded and stained. It was really fun to use some tools and make something with our own hands. We had so much fun going to Hobby Lobby for our first time and looking at all of the door knobs! That store is unbelievable.

The train ride home I sulked because I hate leaving. I don’t want to overstay my welcome because it’s Julie and Greg’s house and they have their own lives to live, but I also want to visit whenever I can. I hit refresh whenever I’m there and we always have fun. I can’t believe Julie and Greg own a house, it’s amazing. Sometimes I feel like that means I should own a house, but right now I’m still finding my rhythm in the city. And so back to the city I go.

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An Uphill Battle

This isn’t just a food blog. It’s a lifestyle blog. Meant to show you that life isn’t perfect.  

I’m sitting here trying to figure out what to write. A recipe? I haven’t made anything new or interesting lately.  Meal planning advice? I have a cabinet full of food I don’t know what to do with. Sustainability? I no longer compost and recycling is rare in Boston. Healthy eating? There is too much to say that it overwhelms me. 

I started this blog as a medium to share the truth. The media only shows one side, the perfect side that is practically impossible. It shows the cheat meals, the good food, the bad food. It shows the good workouts and the good pictures. It’s not real or sustainable. Sometimes the uphill battle feels unrelenting. 

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To top that off, I’m viewed as the food girl or the food police. I don’t mind being the food girl, I love talking about food. But why associate a dietitian with police? Maybe because the way we’re depicted is so black and white. We only eat vegetables and never dessert or anything with fat. We never eat more calories than we should. We’ve never struggled with food. Lies, lies, lies.

I want to help people lead healthier lives. BUT my biggest goal is to help people live. To find freedom from the so called “food rules.” To enjoy eating out without worrying about calories in versus calories out. To enjoy food again. To stop trying to figure out which foods are healthy and which aren’t. to realize that people can be healthy at ANY size.

How to start? Ignore media messages about food and nutrition unless it comes from a dietitian. Unfollow them. Or just scroll right by. Some dietitians may not promote messages that sit well with you either and that’s okay, too. We aren’t all the same, but we all should be the trusted sources for nutrition advice.

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Last Week

Last week I started a new BeachBody program, Transform:20. In the spirit of starting new things I‘ve been paying more attention to my life in general and doing more of what feels good and makes me happy. It’s always helpful to take a step back and evaluate what’s going on in life and how to be better. As my mom says, put your #1 (yourself) first.

Food first, as always.

My goal for the new year was to put more effort into meal planning and cooking dinners. While I do bring breakfast (because I am very particular about my oatmeal) and snacks, I get lunch at work. When I’m only cooking dinner it makes it challenging to not eat the same thing over and over and over again. Overall I’ve had some really great meals lately, my most favorite of last week being zoodles with spiralized carrots, chorizo flavored tofu sausage, and pesto. It felt so hearty and delicious that I bought similar ingredients to continue making it this week, but with a red sauce instead of pesto.

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Exercise.

I almost bailed on my workout on Friday. Why? Simply because I was exhausted. That was my 11th day in a row working (I count being on call) and my body and mind were so far beyond fried that I couldn’t fathom moving my body. BUT I did it because it’s only 20 minutes and I knew I would feel better afterwards. I’m not sure I would have worked out so consistently if my workouts weren’t 20 minutes long.

BeachBody makes weekday working out much easier to accomplish, but on weekends I have been trying to get out of the house a bit and workouts are a great opportunity for that. I’ve recently fell for Turnstyle with the dark lights, the beat-based music, and the amenities. I get to have fun, sweat, and be around people. There’s also a location in Charlestown. Win, win, win.

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Fun.

I went to a book club at Aeronaut brewery this week! It definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone, which I find I need. The book we talked about wasn’t my favorite and so I didn’t have as much to talk about as I would want, but I met some interesting people, enjoyed a delicious fruity IPA, and got out of the apartment.

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Friday I went ice skating with Elyse and Eliza. We started off our date at Tatte in Kendall where I went with the avocado and sweet potato tartine. It’s so good that even though I’ve had it before I keep getting it despite the other amazing menu offerings. I haven’t been having much dessert lately, but boy oh boy does Tatte do dessert right. I saw the mixed nut caramel shortbread and I knew I had to have it. Best choice I’ve ever made about dessert. After dinner was the event of the night, ice skating. It was perfect weather and not very crowded since we got there at 8pm. I went with hockey skates which took some adjusting, but after some practice I was much better (I’m not great, but was gliding without falling) and tripped far less than when wearing figure skates. We ended the night with girl talk and a glass of wine. The perfect night.

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Saturday the fun continued. Christine met me in Charlestown to go to a Turnstyle class before getting coffee at Zume’s and coming over for avocado toast brunch. It’s great when your fun plans involve exercise, good food, and even better company. I feel like one lucky girl.

Self care.

I had been doing very well with self care. Tea most nights. Face masks. Comfy bathrobe. Hot showers. Warm blankets. This last week I was so tired that wine happened more often than any of the above. Writing this while watching corny movies with my happy light and all the snacks. Sometimes you just need to curl up, be by yourself, and do you.

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