Super foods?


I hear a lot about Superheroes at the daycare, but never have I heard about super foods.  I finally checked my e-mail today (104 unread messages!) and looked through the newsletters and articles from sparkpeople.com and livestrong.com.  I found this article http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=307 which reports super foods  “power your brain, and correctly and efficiently fuel your body…fight infection, enhance your immune system, and protect against diseases such as osteoporosis, heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, and respiratory infections.”

WOW! What great reasons to make sure you’re eating a healthy and balanced diet, especially if you’re trying to lose weight!

None of this is news to me, changing my diet was how I lost weight, but lately I’ve been returning to old habits more and more.

What happened after I wrote this?  Why didn’t my motivation in January stick?

Well…because I’m human, and the cold windy weather and short days have taken a toll on my motivation to work out.  I wonder if changing my diet just this week will help me feel more energetic and really ready to stick to a workout routine at home or at the gym in the coming weeks. Eating healthy is a true lifestyle choice that takes commitment and some effort but it’s absolutely worth it!  I get picked on sometimes because of my eating choices but  those choices are ultimately the reason for my weight loss and overall health today.  

Time to try again.

Spring is a great time to start a new eating plan and workout routine, I started my weight loss in January 2011 but it really jump-started in May 2011. It was a little easier to challenge myself during runs when the weather was more mild; when the view went from dreary and dark to lively and bright I found myself looking forward to my early morning runs.  I believe that exercising is the best way to take time for yourself, and to take care of yourself – in addition to eating foods with the nutrients your body needs.

So I’m going to start again, today.  This is what works for me:

1.  No more stocking up on junk food. (The boyfriend might not like this one, but too bad lol)

2. Prepare salads to eat on the go or for lunch instead of buying fried or sweet snacks.

3.  Eat balanced meals all day with the goal of getting the right amount of servings for each food group (for more info on serving sizes http://nutrition.about.com/od/fruitsandvegetables/f/servingfruit.htm).

4.  On evenings I have the energy, time, and am just sitting around watching TV and eating – take at least 30 minutes to do some type of physical activity (strength training or cardio) – try to do this at least 3 times a week.

I’m not interested in losing weight anymore, but I do notice a change in my mood since I’ve stopped watching what I eat and how much exercise I get each week.  Let’s see if I feel any different after doing this for a couple weeks.  Is anyone else out there having a tough time sticking to a goal or resolution, how did you or will you re-motivate to start again?  

I once mistook a head of cabbage for a head of lettuce!


Until I was 25 years old I felt intimidated by the produce section in the grocery store.  There were so many different types of vegetables and I knew nothing about how to prepare them.  New York City is where I learned how delicious vegetables could be, what they were, and how to prepare them – broccoli rabe, brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, squash, peppers.

At the Happy Dog in Cleveland with Emily

My love for veggies didn’t come naturally, it took exposure and consistency.  Once I opened my mind to trying new types of vegetables and started to brave the produce section discovered I actually liked some vegetables, and could make most others taste good with the right recipe

The Little Black Apron: A Single Girl's Guide to Cooking with Style and Grace

(this book helped me along, thanks for the gift Emily).

Continue reading

Old habits die hard…but it’s time to get back on track


It’s January 2011, I’m 200lbs at 24 years old and although I’ve wanted to lose weight for so long I still haven’t done it.  It was on my 25th birthday that I promised myself I’d start to live a healthier lifestyle.  I woke up one morning inspired – I decided that I’d begin to track my weight starting today, and wrote down a goal of losing 2lbs per week by exercising and eating less (detailed account of my weight loss plan).  After 7 months of dedication I stepped on the scale to find my goal was in reach and I only had a few more pounds to go before the numbers ONE FOUR ZERO displayed above my feet.

A Whole New World

Weight loss changed my life completely.  My daily routine was significantly different – physical activity and meal planning took up time that I used to spend watching television or eating out.  My old diet of McDonalds, frozen pizzas, and comfort food was gone…now I ate salads for sides instead of potatoes or macaroni and cheese, I chose turkey meat over pork and beef, my portions were based on physical activity instead of boredom, and I stopped drinking coca cola with every meal.  Not everyone in my life was supportive of my new eating habits, I received criticism from others and found that many felt I would now be judgmental of their eating habits, but I’ve only changed because I found what works for me.  In November 2011 I decided to start a blog about my weight loss success and never ending journey to maintain my health.  Until now I haven’t deviated from my healthy eating habits, December 2012 has been my first bump in the road, what do they say about old habits?

Old Habits Die Hard

Homemade sweets, lots of time on my hands, and bad weather all combined to create a month of laziness.  I don’t regret enjoying a hiatus from my new habits to enjoy holiday treats and dinners, but it’s time to get back on track.  Boredom eating in front of the television is my weakness, past lessons have taught me the best way to fight this habit is not to stock up on the foods I tend to overindulge in.  So now that the sweets have all been consumed, it’s time to move forward – fruit instead of fudge!

A New Years Resolution 

Campground Trail 1.5.13

Biking instead of couch potato-ing.

My resolution for 2013 is clear to me – maintain healthy habits.

My past has taught me that you have to start somewhere if you want to see any results.  Last night, as I sat there finishing off the last of the caramel popcorn, I decided it was time to put the sweets down and make a nutritious dinner.  I threw together a seasoned turkey burger (Italian seasonings) with vegetable rotini in tomato sauce with broccoli.  I continued the good habits by taking a bike ride at sunset from my house to the campground 4.6 miles away, and finished up my routine with a walk along the beach from the campground to the small island airport (2.6 miles).

Sunset1.5.13

Sunset walk.

This month I plan to resume walking or biking every day that the weather allows for it, and to take a 30 minute break from my evening television to complete a workout video at sparkpeople.com .  As far as food goes I’ll likely continue to indulge in some sweets and favorites, but I’ll be sure to include salads and vegetables in my daily meals and replace chocolate treats with fruits.

Now What?  Relationships and weight…

I keep revisiting the “Now What?” question – losing weight has only been the first step on a long road.  Maintaining my weight loss no matter what changes in life has become an ongoing challenge.  So now I begin to learn how to maintain my weight loss while in a relationship, how to resist pizza rolls and cookies, and instead make meals that I enjoy no matter what my partner chooses to eat.  I’m sure I’ll give in to the unhealthy options sometimes but as long as more often than not I stay true to healthy eating and exercise, I know I’ll continue to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Me1.5.13

Continuing the journey…

I’ll be taking it one day at a time like I always do, and I encourage all of my readers to do the same.

Remember – old habits may die hard but they’re only habits, replace them with new habits today and start your journey on the road to change.

Taking a break from technology…


Since my move to the beautiful and isolated Ocracoke Island I’ve become less interested in technology.  My iPhone used to be an item I used frequently throughout the day, now I find myself taking bike rides to the beach to settle into seclusion, away from both physical and virtual social contact.

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I’ve loved the abrupt change from living in a crowded city that required hours of commuting on a busy subway train daily to living in a small village where you don’t “commute” you spend less than 10 minutes riding a bike into the village and rarely come in contact with any people.  It’s nearly been 4 full months since my arrival and while my initial goal was to write more, I’m glad I took some time to simply “be” and enjoy a laid-back lifestyle after a hectic and difficult 2012.  Now that I’ve rested I’m ready to jump back into blogging, to be in touch with what so many of my fellow bloggers have been talking about these last couple of months, to comment and be a part of the community.  I’m excited to share with you all my island experiences from the beautiful images I capture of sunsets and the ever changing beach, to the comical stories of my reactions to large insects and biking accidents.  I hope readers will follow me into 2013 as I maintain my weight loss and learn more and more about the beauty of the island.

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Inspirational Quote


When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive; to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.-Marcus Aurelius

I haven’t posted a daily quote in weeks!  September was a month of traveling for this wanderer; the beginning of the month my father traveled from Cleveland Ohio to New York City and back to relocate me and my belongings to my hometown, then I visited family in Columbus before I moved to Ocracoke Island in North Carolina.  I’m privileged to have so much love and support from family and friends and I decided to search for quotes about privilege.

Today’s quote was said by a philosopher who was also known as the last of the “Five Good Emperors” of Rome.  I liked the quote and remembered reading his work “Meditations” several years ago.  I chose the quote because it serves as a reminder that thinking, enjoying, and loving are all privileges that some aren’t able to experience in a free and safe environment.  Despite the challenges in our lives, in our countries, in our families, or in our work appreciation is the best response.  What do you appreciate today?  How can you show that appreciation in your actions and words today and everyday?  During my weight loss I found that focusing on small successes instead of failures helped me maintain my focus and positivity.  Find something simple to celebrate today, motivate yourself to keep moving forward!

Inspirational Quote


Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.-Albert Einstein

Don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake, instead pick yourself up and move on.  We all make mistakes, but we learn lessons from them that we can use to avoid making the same mistake in the future.  Are your mistakes holding you back from trying something new or continuing something you have been trying to accomplish?  Let it go and move forward today with confidence.

Simple Breakfast Recipe


Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day when you’re losing weight (read more here http://www.m.webmd.com/diet/features/lose-weight-eat-breakfast).

During my weight loss I would wake up, drink a small amount of water, go for a jog, and then eat breakfast.

Cereal is a great food to start your day with. Today’s recipe is simple, you’ll need the following 5 ingredients:

1. Cereal (see this list for help choosing the most nutritious option this list)

2. Skim or almond milk

3. Dried fruit (cranberries are my favorite and can be added after you’ve increased your workout intensity)

4. Flaxseed (learn more here http://www.m.webmd.com/diet/features/benefits-of-flaxseed)

5. Water with lemon or Coffee (add only skim or almond milk, no sugar)

Sprinkle flaxseed over your chosen cereal, add the dried fruit, and skim milk and enjoy!

Wake up 15 minutes earlier to make sure you have time to make this simple breakfast. After a few weeks of eating a healthy breakfast combined with exercise and healthy eating daily you’ll see results!