Love You

This weekend I went to see Isn’t It Romantic with my roommate. I love any movie with Rebel Wilson (except Bachelorette) and this one was exceptionally funny since it was a take on romantic comedies. Anyway, the moral of the movie is that if you don’t love yourself you really only get in your own way of greatness. Rebel finally learned to love herself and then her job, romantic life, etc all came together in the end (like all romantic comedies do). 

It’s the same with weight and body image. Once you learn to love your body for all that it does for you rather than it’s shape or size you’re more likely to treat it well and be more confident. And when you’re confident you’re more likely to go after what you want and find greatness. Diet culture shames us into thinking we can’t love our bodies and we won’t be happy until we are a certain size or shape. But the truth is, even if you change your shape or lose that weight you may not be happy still. So it all starts with our approach to our current selves, how can we learn to love ourselves?

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It sounds cliche, but Rebel said it first, you need to do you and love you first (poor grammar, I know, but I’m trying to get a point across). As long as we’re insecure or a push over we will never get what we want in life. And trust me, I’m not perfect. I’m insecure and anxious most days, but sometimes you have to fake it ‘til you make it. I know that by actively working on accepting and loving my body and myself that I will become more confident and less anxious. To love myself begins with: positive self talk and confident comments to myself. 

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This past week I went bowling. Going into the first game I had convinced myself that I was terrible and then I played terrible (65 points). Going into the second game I was far more confident and told myself I could succeed and that game I scored above 100 points. It doesn’t matter what other people say because if someone told me I could do it but my mind still said I was failure then I would still likely fail. So talk yourself up. And if you need any additional inspiration, take it from Midge Maisel, “Tits up.”

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Sick Day

I remember sick days as a kid. I’d feel so guilty if I felt better after a shower and wasn’t at school. Nowadays I just feel plain guilty taking a day off from work and making my coworkers work harder even if I feel like absolutely crap. I woke up Saturday morning with a sore throat around 2am so I popped some ibuprofen and felt better upon waking, but still not 100%. Since then I’ve only felt worse as time goes on, but luckily today I may be on the upswing since I at least can stand up without feeling exhausted.

My mom thinks I may have the flu. Body aches and fatigue are signs, she says. I got the flu shot, though. But so have others whom I know and they have gotten the flu too. So what’s the point of getting the flu shot if you still get the flu? Less severe symptoms. Protecting others who may not be able to get the shot for a whole variety of reasons. I can’t tell you to be vaccinated, but I can tell you that I certainly don’t want to feel worse than I have these past few days and I would never wish these feeling on anyone else, either.

Besides feeling terrible, I have to laugh at myself My mom told me she thought I was getting better since I was eating and another sign of the flu is poor appetite. Well, I don’t have an appetite, but I love food and look forward to a reason to eat toast or frozen waffles or cereal on the regular. I also know that my estimated energy needs (aka calories) increase when my body is sick so you better believe I’m going to fuel my body even if I avoid fruits and vegetables for a few days. Being sick is about eating anything that sounds good just to fuel your body because it’s harder to come back from any illness or trauma if you’re undernourished. Half of my job as a clinical dietitian is encouraging people to eat high calorie foods to prevent weight or muscle loss.

Like I said above, I’ve been eating all the carbs and don’t feel bad about it at all. Saturday I ate the same two things: peanut butter and banana for breakfast and a snack and then leftover mushroom pasta with chicken and goat cheese for lunch and dinner. Since I ran out of leftovers and had ZERO energy to cook, I used Amazon Prime delivery to get some things from Whole Foods: juice, seltzer, mac and cheese, frozen waffles, and cereal. The staples. I probably won’t use delivery that often because I live very close to a Whole Foods, but when you can hardly walk to and from the bathroom it’s helpful.

My staples over the last few days were:

Peanut butter oatmeal.

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Waffles and peanut butter. 

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Cereal and yogurt/milk.

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Mac and cheese.

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Toast and eggs.

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When you’re sick it can be so hard to identify hunger and fullness or even to know what your body needs. Most people eat less or skip meals and that can be okay when your body is working so hard to get better, but ultimately you should try to eat something. Anything. Ditch the food guilt or feeling like you “should” eat a fruit or vegetable. I’m still alive and I only ate carbs for three days. 

Your normal.

I’ve been blogging for some time, certain times more consistently than others. The past few weeks I have been less consistent with posting for various reasons: travel, working the weekend, and being just plain busy and exhausted. For example, I fell asleep last night at 8:30 pm and didn’t wake up until 10:00 am…thank goodness I didn’t have to work.

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When life is busy and off of your “normal” it can be very hard to stay on track with your goals. Irregardless of your goals, certain things just fall by the wayside depending on the time of your life and what is going on. Traveling gives you less control over when and what you eat and when and where you sleep. Working on days that you normally don’t makes it hard to rest when needed or meal prep. Being busy just messes you up in every way possibly, throwing you curve ball after curve ball.

What I’m saying, and what I’ve said before, is that in these moments in life you need to give yourself some slack. Maybe you have less control over what and when you eat, but what can you control while on vacation? Julie and I did our best to get exercise whenever and wherever we could, from running to BeachBody workouts and everything in between. When I am working on a weekend I get breakfast and lunch at work so it’s one less thing I have to worry about. Sometimes that means I have a (epic) bagel for breakfast, something a bit heavier than normal but so delicious. And on my days off, I literally spend as much time in my pajamas and in bed as possible to give my body the rest it needs.

I started this week feeling blah. Last weekend I indulged while in San Francisco with my BFF and her BF and then this weekend I continued to eat and drink a lot. I went to a new wine bar on Friday, had wine and takeout with my roommate on Saturday and then had a more spontaneous brewery and pizza night on Sunday. It was fun, for sure, but my stomach and liver were begging me for a break by Monday. Instead of getting too discouraged, I enjoyed my leftover takeout and got to sleep early on Monday. On my day off, I planned some healthier meals for the rest of the week (savory oatmeal with baked tofu) and I got back to my workouts.

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It’s all about your normal, assuming that normal days happen most of the time. Can you have a healthier breakfast? Can you add more fruit and vegetables to your meals? Can you find a way to increase your exercise by taking the stairs or parking farther away? Take stock of your normal routine and look there first. The busy times of life will ebb and flow, but your normal is your normal and you have to change that.

Triplet Reunion

Growing up Sophie, Julie and I were often thought to be triplets. Maybe we looked alike, but it was probably because we did everything together. From endless sleepovers to all the sports, we were inseparable. I hadn’t seen Sophie in about a year and a half and even then it was only for a few hours so this trip was much needed.

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Julie and I arrived in San Francisco around 10:30 am on Friday. Sophie, Walker, and Kaia (their dog) picked us up and we began on our itinerary (I seriously loved that their was an itinerary). First up was a driving tour of the city outlining some of the major tourist spots before we began our trek out to Carmel. We spent the car ride sleeping (Julie) and catching up on life.

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Once in Carmel we went to a cantina for dinner since this girl was starving. I was trying to adapt to local time by eating at “normal” times and not sleeping until “bedtime.” The night consisted of many margaritas, some skinny and some not, chips, some covered in cheese and some not, and a quesadilla. Julie and Walker chatted away while Sophie and I snuggled up and talked in our booth. She called me out on always being so hard on myself, but said it in the nicest way possible. It broke my heart a little that someone who cares about me that much lives so far away, but ultimately I feel just lucky to have her in my life. It’s really eye-opening when someone says something that you’ve always felt, but never truly acknowledged.

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The next morning this girl was feeling a little sick from exhaustion, dehydration, and the margaritas combined. While Julie and Walker went running (I love that Walker is comfortable spending time alone with us), Sophie and I did a BeachBody workout outside. It was sunny and in the 40s so we got outside ASAP. I only survived 15 minutes before the nausea kicked in, but a homemade breakfast and latte helped settle my stomach.

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Our adventure that day started with a hike along the coastline. It rained while hiking, but it was a light rain that wasn’t too cold so I didn’t mind at all. The views were spectacular and there were even some seals. Unfortunately I am near sighted and don’t have prescription sunglasses so I couldn’t see them…time to upgrade.

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After showering we walked along the beach into town. Kaia went CRAZY on the beach with the other dogs and I was absolutely mesmerized by the waves. They were huge and the white caps were beautiful against the teal ocean. Walker said the waves die down in the summer, but I could sit there and watch/listen to them all day long. The road along the beach is also splattered with unreal houses, all of which are so unique and even more expensive than the last. I felt so lucky to even walk on that street and no, I didn’t see any celebrities.

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Carmel is a little gem. We wandered through town looking at the shops and various restaurants before stopping for some ramen and a wine tasting. While sipping on some vino Julie, Sophie and Walker reminisced about their trip to Napa and we began planning my personal trip to Napa with them. Walker has a superb taste for wine so I will go wherever he goes.

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Dinner was at a new brewery in town called Yeast of Eden. We hung out at the bar trying some beers before being seated. We were hangry (well, Walker and I were) by the time we got to the table so we had our orders ready to go. The tacos were amazing and the cauliflower entree was decent, but a bit spicy. While we took a lot of time deciding on a place for dinner, I ultimately didn’t care about the spot because it for once wasn’t about the food, but rather the people. Post dinner we snuggled up with blankets, wine, and a movie, First Man. I put myself to bed mid movie because I was exhausted.

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Sunday morning began with a run with Julie. She is the only person who can convince me to go for a run. I love the alone time with her despite my ongoing complaining. It’s on our runs where we have our most heartfelt conversations it seems. Also, I knew that this would be my last moment to view that view.

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We made it four miles before packing up and heading to a French bakery for breakfast to fuel our drive down Big Sur. All the bridges along here were built in the 1930s after the depression and are still sturdy and gorgeous. One of the things I love most about trips is learning the history and boy did Sophie and Walker deliver.

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To break up our drive back to San Francisco we stopped at In-N-Out Burger where Walker ordered the specials for us newbies. Double Double Animal Style for me with a few fries. I don’t eat fast food burgers often, but man that was worth it.

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Back in San Francisco we continued our tour on foot through Chinatown and onto El Barcadero. The market in the old ferry building is maybe my favorite place ever. I bought a cookbook at a cute little shop and then some chocolate and a magnet at a local food store (I am not telling you how much money I spent on chocolate). I wanted to buy so many things but I should start saving money and I only had so much space in my carry-on bags.

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Every photogenic opportunity we had we took advantage of. Thanks to our personal photographer, Walker Harden.

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Back at their apartment, we got to cooking and watching the Grammy’s AT 5 PM!! I need to live on the West Coast just so I can finish awards shows and big sporting events (like the Super Bowl). Walker spoiled us with some delicious wine yet again. He cooked chicken piccata while I cooked risotto in their cozy kitchen. The risotto came out to be like four pounds so they’re probably still eating it as they read this a week later. We snuggled on the couch for the rest of the evening and chatted about old friends/acquaintences and what they’re up to as well as our own personal aspirations and goals in life. Who else but your best friend do you get into the deep stuff with?

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Before the plane ride on Monday we got in a few more breathtaking views a la Walker. By this time Julie and I were exhausted and anxious (okay, only me) so we weren’t the most talkative. So a big thank you to Walker for putting up with us. And a big thank you to Sophia for having us over to her office for lunch. So inspired to see how far she and Walker have gone with their careers.

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All in all, this was a perfect trip. I originally thought it would be too short, but when visiting friends who have separate lives and work to do, it makes sense to do a long weekend. Sophie and Walker were extremely generous in showing us their life in the city, but also treating us to a special trip to Carmel, that I probably would not have been able to experience without them. We’ve grown up a lot and we’ve grown apart physically, but we’ve definitely grown closer mentally and I never would have thought that to be possible. I love Sophia, my triplet, and I also love her life with Walker and Kaia in San Francisco. I’m going to be visiting again you two, thank you for everything. And a big thank you to Julie for traveling with me even though I’m not the best flyer.

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San Fran FOOD

My trips always have a food focus. While it certainly wasn’t the main focus of this trip (seeing my childhood BFF was), it certainly impacted some of our decisions.  

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San Francisco has so many restaurants! So many that I frequently wondered how they all stay in business. There is an impressive variety of cuisines and ambiance throughout the food scene, something that could be seen as overwhelming to some but excited to others (aka me). I also loved the abundance of quick bite restaurants. You know, the places you can eat at, but you order at the counter. In Boston that’s like Sweetgreen, Dig Inn, Honeygrow, etc. In San Fran we went to Soufla, which blew this dietitian’s mind.  There are three (or four) main entrees that you can either order as a sandwich or a salad. There are also fries and plain frozen (Greek) yogurt that you can dress up depending on your preference. I went with the pork salad. It was a mix of kale and other greens with pickled onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta and a yogurt dressing. For dessert we shared an olive oil and sea salt frozen yogurt and a baklava frozen yogurt. My next idea is to freeze plain Greek yogurt and top with my own version of olive oil and sea salt.

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That night we stopped at a cantina in Carmel since the traffic delayed us a bit. I ordered a round of skinny margaritas and guacamole and chips to be enjoyed by the fireplace. Now, let me be honest, I definitely rolled my eyes ordering skinny margaritas, but for a girl who prefers tart margaritas to sweet margaritas this was PERFECTION. I just wish they called in a tart margarita or literally anything else besides skinny. We shared a quesadilla and nachos for dinner in addition to the guacamole and extra chips. This girl can’t say no to nachos.

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Breakfast was epic bagel sandwiches a la Sophie and Walker while I laid on the rug trying not to be sick (it happens). I think being thirsty (from the plane), being tired (from the travel and time change), and being excited created a margarita monster the night before. The bagels sandwiches made of egg, sausage, avocado, cheese, and a special sauce were epic and cured my stomach woes.

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Lunch was random ramen at a little spot in Carmel since hunger hit quickly without warning. I went with the tofu and seaweed Ramen before hitting up a wine tasting.

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Dinner was at a new brewery in Carmel called Yeast of Eden. We hung out at the bar waiting for our table and tried some half pours. I love when placed do half pours so you can try multiple and don’t need to commit. Once our table was ready Walker and I were hangry like never before seen. We had our meals decided before being seated, starting with an appetizer of three different kinds of street tacos. I thoroughly enjoyed the mushroom asada tacos because you know how I feel about funghi. There were also carnitas and baja fish tacos shared amongst the table. For entrees Julie and Walker went with the burger while Sophie and I each got the Asian cauliflower dish. It was flavorful for sure but the amount of salt in the sauce was overwhelming. The restaurant/brewery is a month old so I would offer some suggestions for that dish if needed, but it was definitely interesting!

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On our way out of Carmel the next day we went to a French bakery for coffee and treats, such a hidden gem! The other three split some pastries while I enjoyed a salmon and spinach quiche since my body was craving savory over sweet.

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Lunch that day was an experience to say the least. My very first time at In-N-Out Burger! Walker is a pro and ordered for the table. Double Double Animal Style for me, please. The double patty and the extra sauce really set this burger above other fast food burgers (not that I have that much experience). I’ve never been to Shake Shack or Five Guys and it’s been forever since I’ve been to a Wendy’s, Burger King, or McDonalds (and likely won’t return), but this burger was well worth the hype and the saturated fat.

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Dinner Sunday night was made in the cutest kitchen ever. It all started with burata toast with hazelnuts, honey, and olive oil. I was then in charge of the risotto while Walker made roasted asparagus and chicken piccata. He also chose some impeccable wine for the occasion, drank while watching the Grammy’s. I’m working on drinking with or after meals rather than before since then I can enjoy the eating experience in full. It’s a work in progress and I will keep you posted.

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Our last day we enjoyed coffee from Peet’s, an apple fritter from Bob’s Donuts, and lunch at Sophie’s office, Collective Health. I am so IMPRESSED with their health mission and the sustainability in the city. If only ever place could be as progressive when it comes to composting.

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I’m grateful that I can go on trips and enjoy all the food without worrying or feeling restricted or overly full (except for that first night). I used to go wild on vacations because it was a time to splurge and now vacations are just an extension of a normal day, just in a different city.