Vacation Hangover.

It’s been 5 days since I got back from Cape Cod, and I still have a vacation hangover. While I am trying to get back on track, let me tell you, it has not been easy. Symptoms of my vacation hangover include, but are not limited to, being hungry, lazy, sleepy, and not on my game this week. (Side note: vacation pictures coming this weekend, see symptom #3 of lazy for explanation.)

I could get mad at myself for not being 100% healthy this week like I planned or I could just let it all go to hell, but instead, I am trying to give myself a break. What I realized is, is that vacation hangover is a very serious thing. Okay, not that serious, but serious enough that when I googled it, I found out that I am not even the person to originally coin the term. (And just when I thought I was pretty clever too…)

So even though I have had wine + beer this week twice, only cheese + bread for dinner one night, and a several handfuls of M&Ms this afternoon for a snack, I have also eaten a healthy breakfast everyday this week (well, the egg white flat bread from DD was questionable but…), worked out twice, (which means I skipped yesterday’s workout but I’ll make up for it on Friday,) and have not been hiding in my bed crying to go back to the Cape at all this week. So all in all, not too bad.

I think I will instate a new post-vacation-week-transition-week-rule (does that even make sense?)  that as long as my healthy choices are approximately at 50-50, then I am a-okay for the week.

It’s all about balance right? And it’s definitely about not beating yourself up over decisions that you make when you are not 100%. So like any transitional period, you just got to do the best you can, live life to the fullest and have a Coconut Iced Coffee here + there, and you will be a-okay.

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Today I got to work late. It may have had something to do with the fact that my boss pulled me out of work yesterday at 3:00pm to join him and some colleagues at the bar down the street. This led to several beers + me inviting myself over to my friend’s house for dinner afterwards tempting them with a bottle of wine. Who do I think I am? A 21 year old sorority girl again? Nope. Dinner was delicious though. Homemade broccoli and beef, with cheese and fruit as an appetizer. I have good cooks friends, what can I say? (No pictures, too many of said beers to remember to do such a thing. It’s all about being honest here, right? Right?)

Driving to work today all I wanted was a big bagel with cream cheese. But I knew that what I really needed was some Greek yogurt, fruit, granola + chia seeds. I tried to make it pretty, to make me want it as much as that bagel. That didn’t work exactly as it’s not an exact science, but it was tasty and made me feel better (along with the Advil.)

By lunch I was starving, this happens when I have both vacation hangovers + real hangovers, so I knew what needed to be done. I headed to Potbelly to get my sandwich on.

I had a multi-grain sandwich thin with roast beef, cheddar cheese, lots of veggies + a little oil and Italian seasoning, with a small side of coleslaw (I saw it and had to eat it. Strange but true.)

Want to know another strange thing? I only like tomatoes sometimes. Today, I decided I don’t like them. Who knows if I will tomorrow. We shall see.

Do you ever give yourself a transition period after a vacation? Why or why not?

If you could vacation anywhere, right now, where would you go? I’d go to Bora Bora. 🙂

So much better.

Wow. I am so blown away by all the kindness and words of wisdom many of you left me yesterday. Sometimes exactly what you need to hear others can provide, and let me tell you all, your words helped! I am feeling so much better today (which could partly be due to the fact that I am going on vacation tomorrow,) and am back in planning mode, and back to being positive!

While I am out of town, I will have a few special guest posts, which just so happy to fit perfectly with where I am at in my journey to a better me. I have “previewed” these posts, if you will, and they have given me some great advice. I am going to set up some posts to go out as a follow on to their guests post, so even though I will be on the beach, I will get a few posts in, and I will have a great plan once I get back from Cape Cod.

While on vacation, I plan on getting in some exercise and I plan on making healthy choices, but I am definitely going to splurge and have some drinks and most importantly relax. Because I am listening to my mind and body and it is telling me relaxation is what I really need! I hope to come back from the Cape, refreshed, relaxed, and with a plan that I will and can stick to!

After ‘putting it out there‘ last night, I headed home from work and hit the gym. I did 1.5 miles of mostly running and a little walking on the treadmill for a warm up and then planned on doing NROLFW Stage 1 Workout A, but some guy was bogaarding the area. (The gym I use is in my apartment building, so its small. It’s equipped. But it’s small. That sounds dirty…)

I decided to head upstairs to my apartment and do some weights on my own. I have 10lb weights (I think, maybe I should weigh them,) so I did my own little strength routine:
* 2 x 15 Squats with weights
* 2 x 15 Lunges with weights
* 2 x 15 Chest flys
* 2 x 15 Seated Rows (which didn’t work out too well without a machine)
* 30 crunches
* 50 bicycle crunches

I think that was it. I didn’t write it down. Conclusion: following the plan is much better, and I need to do them in the AM so that no one has taken over the machines. Better than nothing though, so there is that! (And the chest flys definitely worked, my arms are a tad sore today!)

When I got back to my apartment I realized that I had literally nothing in the house that I could make for dinner, unless I defrosted chicken and ate it with maybe a can of beans. No veggies, no nothing! This is a good thing since I am about to go on vacation but a bad thing after a workout!

The roommate and I decided to order from Lost Dog Cafe, which as I have said before is my favorite pizza place in Arlington. I decided to order a personal size Catahoula, with whole wheat crust, and a garden salad.

It was very, very tasty. What I love about the pizza’s from Lost Dogs is that they feel homemade. Natural, fresh ingredients. Not too much cheese. A very balanced pizza!

I had two slices and a bunch of greens on the side. And a glass of Riesling. It’s been that kind of week, as I think you were all fully aware of!

I decided to end my day by setting myself up for a great morning. If you guessed I made Overnight OIAJ you were right. I woke up this morning already in a better mood knowing my breakfast was going to be awesome and healthy.

In the jar:
* Last bit of Vermont Peanut Butter Avalanche (White chocolate PB – holy yum best peanut butter I have ever had. Seriously.)
* 1/2 cup oats
* 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
* 1/2 tbsn flax seeds
* 1/2 banana
* 1/2 cup Almond milk
* 1/2 cup Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt

Added on top:
* Sprinkle of TJ Low Fat Vanilla Almond Granola
* A couple of strawberries

Yum, yum yum. So good.  Work this morning has flown by and as I type this I am eating my lunch, which means on;y 4 more hours until vacation! Lunch was a tuna salad that I was given for free! The tuna was a bit mayo-y, but I made it work. Perhaps I should suggest they make it with plain Greek yogurt in the future? 😉

I am going to try to squeeze in one more post before I leave tomorrow! Happy Friday!

Putting it out there.

I don’t think I have mentioned this before, but long story short, I went through a very hard break-up at the end of last year. Dating for over three years, lived together, the works. But the relationship did not work out, and I was in a not-so-great place for quite a few months. I set big goals for myself, immediately after the break-up, including the goal of running a half and making over my life to be healthier and happier. But I was just not mentally in a state to tackle these goals yet. I needed time to heal, and I needed to do it in my own time.

I started this blog as part of my journey to find a healthier, happier balance when it came to eating, fitness and my overall lifestyle. Me starting this blog was a breaking point for me. I was finally feeling ready to actually accomplish the goals I had wanted to begin to tackle, but had not yet had the energy (mentally) to do so, which brings me to now.

While I am not significantly overweight, I definitely need to find my happy weight, (which to me means loosing some weight,) which I want to do in a healthy way. How much weight? That I don’t know, exactly, because it will be my feel good weight, and I do believe my body and myself will just know when that happens. I want to adopt a lifestyle that allows me to make good eating choices, or habits if you will, at ease, and to develop a love for running, as well as other fitness activities.

I really believe that I have begun to makeover my eating habits. I consciously think of the choices I am making and, while I do splurge at times, (I don’t like to think of it as cheating…,) I really have changed the way I eat.

I have incorporated fitness into my schedule, and usually end up getting in activity of some sort, whether it be cardio or strength, at least four to five times, if not more, a week. And let me tell you, before I started this blog, I was lucky to get one day of some sort of fitness in each week.

I have had setbacks, I know that. With my toe surgery, I had to stop running for over two weeks, and limit my movement overall. This pretty much made it impossible for me to even attempt to run the half marathon I had registered for back in January (which is scheduled one month from today,) because I did not begin training soon enough, and I made a goal for myself that really should have been done in steps (5k, 10k, etc,) and most importantly decided in a better frame of mind.

Even with my toe setback though, I really have began to develop a love for running, for making fitness a part of my weekly routine. I still would love to run a half, I just know that I have to run my race, and that half is not the half for me. I know that I will not be prepared, that I will not be able to finish and that I very well could hurt myself. Something that I do not want to happen. I will run a half. It just won’t be in one month. I mean hell, a 5k in one month’s time, now that would be a better goal.

Where does all of this lead to? While I have had setbacks, I have made changes. Significant changes even, but with these changes, I really don’t feel like my body has changed much. My stomach does feel somewhat smaller, and I do feel healthier, but the scale hasn’t moved, and, if I am being honest here, I really want it to.

While I am eating healthy, perhaps, I need eat differently during this stage where I want to lose weight rather than maintain weight. And while I am running, I need to have better, stronger plans that I can work towards.

I guess what I am saying is, I need to create new goals for myself. Goals that are realistic and that have a timeline that is achievable. Training for a half in 10 weeks, when you haven’t even run a mile in months years – not realistic. Am I right?

I need some advice, and I’ve decided the best way to ask for it, is to write it down, and see what advice I get back. 

What advice do you all have for me? For me to find my happy weight, and to continue my running with realistic goals.

For running, I am thinking a 5k in about 6 weeks. Does that sound like a good goal? For eating, what do I need to do? What advice have you used in the past to be healthy while finding that happy weight?

This was clearly long and long-winded, but I needed to put it out there. Hopefully you guys will have some words of wisdom for me! Thanks for reading if you got this far. I have loved joining this blogging community, and I really do love this journey I am on.

Oh what a weekend.

Well, I was a pretty bad blogger this weekend, wasn’t I? Let’s just say, I went on a staycation. On Friday night I headed out to my friend’s birthday party and I did not get back until Sunday. No, no nothing scandalous. Just spent the weekend hanging out with friends and instead of heading home just crashed at a friend’s house in the city. Sometimes its nice to just get out of the house and relax, especially after a crazy week at work. I will not bore you with a weekend of food posts, but just know it involved good ol’ fashion BBQs, sandwiches, and a big bowl of cereal on Sunday night. Oh and maybe a few of these.

I also watched a lot of movies and TV shows. Mad Men has become a real problem. There are four seasons on Netflix, and I have this small problem that once I start a TV show, I cannot stop watching it. Check it out. You will be hooked too. 😉

Overall I can honestly say that despite the ‘having more beers that I probably should have’ I didn’t eat too crazy this weekend. I tried to have small portions of all the good stuff, and big portions of veggies (grilled zucchini anyone?) and fruits (how good are mangoes right now?!)

Monday morning came hard and it came fast though. Luckily I had a 9am appointment at an office about 10 minutes from mi casa, so I got to sleep in a little later than normal. Every minute counts, especially on Mondays!

I woke up and started my day with something I knew would kick my week off to a good start. Two whole wheat waffles, two peanut butters (dark and white chocolate of course,) half a banana and chia seeds (my new secret weapon to hydration. Seriously, if I start the day of with chias, I feel more hydrated throughout the day. True story.) I had it with a nice glass of iced tea on the side.

I go through kicks where I like iced tea better than iced coffee, make that hot tea and hot coffee as well. I am definitely on an iced tea kick. Brewing it at home and adding a splash of Crystal Light lemonade to it. So refreshing.

Work was crazy as usual today. But I am beginning to feel more confident that the date in my head is going to happen and that gives me hope that I just finish up what I am doing and move on my merry way out West. I think the staycation helped my positive thinking, which is excellent news in my book.

Lunch came around and since I played hooky all weekend I decided to go to the grocery store and kill two birds with once stone: grab lunch and something for dinner. I picked up some supplies for grilled chicken salad for dinner and headed to the deli counter for a panini. When in doubt, grocery stores usually have great sandwiches, and this one did not fail me. I ended up ordering the Turkey Reuben Panini and a small Broccoli Salad.

Can you believe that is only half of both! I have lunch waiting for me in the fridge at work tomorrow. The broc salad was crunchy and delish. Just a light dressing on top. And the panini was great. Not too much dressing on this either.

Lunch left me feeling satisfied all afternoon until these two little guys showed up on my desk. It was a fun little treat, not going to lie.

Have I mentioned that I love dark chocolate? Even more than milk chocolate. True story.

I headed home from work around 5:30 and chatted with my sister while driving home. I am getting so excited about Cape Cod. We chatted about day trips, beach trips, and most importantly, food!

I got home and got on the treadmill. The doctor cleared me to begin running again as of yesterday, so I was excited to get a run in. I wanted to take it slow and easy since it was my first run in almost 3 weeks! I decided to do a half hour on the treadmill alternating between 2:30 of running (@5.5) and walking (@4.0.) The run/walk combo really worked up a sweat and was a great intro back (2.25 miles.).

I really need to figure out more of a game plan for my running. I think I have a plan, but want to do a little more research before putting anything out there. Any tips for newbie runners like myself? What makes me the most excited is that I was excited to get a run in today, and I am excited to make a plan and to take it day by day until I am (hopefully) running a marathon! Baby steps though baby steps 🙂

I also did Workout B of Stage 1 of NROLFW. This is now my forth time doing it and I am already feeling stronger… if that is even possible. Cardio + strength left me feeling 100% good.

Dinner was of course a grilled chicken salad. Quick, easy, but oh so good. Fresh red leaf romaine, grilled chicken (courtesy of my Mean Lean Grilling Machine,) cucumbers, strawberries (my new salad favorite,) red onion, carrots, a little feta and some low-fat Greek dressing. Perfect dinner after a good workout.

After dinner I turned on the Bachelorette (even though I hadn’t seen a single episode all season) and got hooked for approximately 2 hours and 7,000 awkward moments. I couldn’t stop watching, it sucked me!

I also caught up on blogs though (multi-tasker right here,) and am now in bed ready to turn on a Mad Men and go to sleep!

Hope you all had exactly the weekend you needed, and hope you all have a good week lined up!

Hungry, hungry hippo.

I am not sure why but I was so hungry yesterday. I woke up starving and ate a good sized breakfast with whole grains, peanut butter and chia seeds, but by 11:30 my stomach was grumbling, and I already wanted lunch. I waited it out until noon, as I was in the middle of some things at work, and heated up the lunch I had brought in of leftovers from Sunday night’s dinner. Veggie whole wheat pasta with chicken sausage.

(I know, how pretty are these Tupperware containers? Note to self: buy pretty plate and bowl for work as to not blind anyone with my Tupperware sets ;))

I added a little hot sauce on top to give it some zest. Actually, I had some hot sauce in a tiny tub on the side and dipped my fork in and then dipped for fork into the pasta. I know, genius right? Not too much hot sauce, but just enough. I am sure you were all dying to know that little tid bit. Moving along.

As I said, all day yesterday, hungry, hungry hippo. Not too long after I had finished lunch, maybe around 2pm I’d say I was starving again. I rummaged around my snack drawer, which is mostly filled with tea, which are hardly snacks, and found a bag of 100 calorie popcorn. Threw that baby in the microwave, cut up a peach and called it a snack.

(Pretend the peach, which was delicious I might add, is sitting right next to the popcorn in this picture.)

More and more work later it was time to leave work and I realized again that I was starving. Famished one might say. I am never like this for the record so I don’t know if it was that I was super busy all day and my brain was demanding subsistence or what, but as soon as I walked in the door, I dropped any idea of going to the gym, and made some guacamole to be eaten with one lovely glass of Chardonnay.

I had a serving of the Reduced Guilt White Corn Tortilla Chips from TJs with some guac and salsa. I had not had these chips before and while they are okay, real tortilla chips are just so much better. I think it has to do with the crunch. Would I rather have reduced guilt tortilla and a glass of wine instead of just regular tortillas? Oh you betcha!

My roommate came home ecstatic that I had made guac and happily ate some of it as well. The avocado was on the brink of badness anyways, so I suppose you could call it guacamole fate. (Yes, it exists and its a beautiful thing.)

A while after guacamole madness, I threw dinner in the oven. We were having a friend over, so I decided that the 1/3 of the guacamole we had left would probably not satisfy her dining needs.

I made a pork tenderloin baked with apples with steamed broccoli and whole wheat cous-cous on the side. It was unfortunately not the best pork I have ever made, so its good there were sweet, baked apples on the side to make up for it. I tried to take a picture and somehow failed which is fine as I also couldn’t get through my plate because I was, gasp, still feeling okay after my chip and dip fest.Oh well, in the fridge it went for a potential meal down the road. Even though it was just okay. Let’s be honest, it will probably get thrown away in my Sunday refrigerator cleaning fest, but a girl can try, right?

A few SATC’s later and a show I am watching on Netflix that I’ve decided I am too embarrassed to share with you (yes its that bad, no I am not being dramatic) guess who was knocking at my door again with grumbles? If you guessed my stomach, you were correct.

I sat in bed wondering for a while if I should just fight through the grumbles and go to sleep, or if I should make myself a small snack. I decided to go ahead and get a snack, small bowl of Honey Sunshine Kashi with a splash of milk.

The snack was probably less that 150 calories, and left me feeling content. I’m still not sure if I should have eaten that cereal or not. Although I am not sure should is the word I want to use.

So let me ask you this: Are bedtime snacks a yea or a nay in your book? Why or why not? I’ve been known to not have one even though I may be hungry or, like last night, get up and have a small snack.  Let me know!