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I know, it’s been forever. Apparently the New Year makes me interested in blogging again. Returning to work after vacation, even if it’s just a three day weekend, is always hard for me.   Coming back from 2 weeks of vacation/working from home is brutal. It makes me wish I could just work from home all the time and it makes me wish I did something I found at least a little interesting. Hence blogging.

This year that desire was multiplied ten-fold by reading Jessica’s first pregnancy post. Side note, I am obsessed with reading people’s pregnancy/birth stories. It’s what actually got me started reading blogs in the first place. I don’t know many people who have had kids, plus I feel like I want to know way more details than most people would share face to face, so the blog stories were a great way to me to learn what everything is really like.

Unfortunately, that has also made me completely freaked out about being pregnant with an office job. What are you supposed to do if you have crazy morning sickness but an 8 am meeting and you aren’t far enough along to tell people you’re pregnant yet? What if you have to puke in the middle of a meeting? These are the things that worry me. I’m convinced that I will be sick, because if there is a possibility of getting sick for almost anything, I will be sick. But back to Jessica, she was talking about how she was sick and just sat on the couch or in the bed and watched lots of tv and read books and I man did that sound like the right way to be pregnant to me. Way better than being stuck at my desk tired and nauseous. So back to blogging, not that this blog will be anything like that blog in time for me to actually get pregnant, but one can dream right?

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30 Cleanish Update

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So I’m almost a week into my 30 Clean at this point and I think it’s going fairly well. I even just declined an amazing looking cupcake for a co-worker’s birthday (cinnamon swirl, swoon).  Although I did grab one at first because the sight of delicious cupcakes made me temporarily forget I wasn’t supposed to be eating them. Cupcakes are sneaky like that.  But then I remembered and dutifully put it back.  Go me.

I’ve only had one cheat so far, which I’m not super proud of but oh well. I had a few beers on Friday night, but I feel like it only ½ counts because technically I drank gluten, I didn’t eat it. We went to a casual seafood place for dinner with friends and it was definitely the type of place where you should only be ordering beer; checkered tablecloths on picnic tables and big baskets of fried fish and fries. I did not give in to the fried fish (a win that I feel like also helps mitigate the beer), I had a grilled salmon BLT without the bread.

In general, this has definitely made me more aware of my food choices, which really is the main point for me. I had been getting a little lazy with everything because of all of our traveling and this is really helping me get out of that rut. Rather than a tuna sandwich for lunch this weekend, I had tuna over a spinach, tomato, and avocado salad. I made the Fitnessista’s mashed cauliflower as a side for the week. Small changes really but they matter.

I thought I would have a real problem cutting out cheese, because for me it’s its own food group, but it really hasn’t been bad. I’ve even had two meals where I would normally consider cheese essential, tacos and an omelet, and didn’t miss it at all.

However, I have been seriously craving baked goods. I mean really, really craving, which is weird because I wasn’t eating many baked goods before the challenge. I think it’s something about finally being home and having time to bake coupled with the monthly monster visit.  I can’t wait until I can have a big, gooey chocolate chip cookie. I guess it’s a bit counterproductive to already be planning how I’m going to break the challenge when it’s over, but whatever.  It’s making me realize that I couldn’t go completely gluten/sugar free without a better reason than just losing weight/ being healthier. I just can’t convince myself that the occasional cookie (or cake, or chocolate, or any baked good really) isn’t worth it, but hopefully this challenge will help me to focus on eating better overall to help mitigate when the cravings strike.

 

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The 30 Clean-ish

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I’ve discovered that writing a blog is one of those things that seems super easy, but in practice isn’t. Sometimes I just don’t have time and a lot of times I’m not sure what to say. But I’d like to try to get recommitted, so here we go.

After a summer chocked full of mini travels, I am definitely feeling the vacation bloat/extra poundage and my IBS has kicked back into full gear. Nothing worse than your stomach letting you know it’s terribly unhappy with you. In an attempt to get everything back on track I decided to do my own version of the 30 Clean. The 30 Clean is where you commit to eating clean, so no gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine, or processed foods, for 30 days. In order to do the real 30 Clean you have to pay to sign up for the group. That seemed dumb to me, so I’m doing my own.

I’ve also tweaked the rules for myself a little bit. First, I’m only doing 18 days, not 30. My parents are coming to visit for Labor day and we are all road tripping over to Ashville for the weekend and I know I’m not going to last through that without cheating so why bother?

Second, I’m allowing myself a small dairy cheat. Greek yogurt will still be allowed for breakfast, because I can’t think of another gluten/dairy free option that’s fast and doesn’t involve cooking. I’ll put some effort into figuring that out this weekend, but if I don’t greek yogurt is in. I’m also allowing a teaspoon of goat cheese on my dinner salad at night, because it makes it taste better and you can only eat so many avocados a day.

And finally (this is starting to seem like more cheating than I originally thought now that I’m writing it down), this week I’m allowed to eat Grapenuts and store-bought corn tortillas. We got back into town super late on Sunday night, so there was no chance for any weekend prep work to get through this week. That means a small amount of processed food just had to get in. But next week they will be out I swear!

Wish me luck, we’ll see how it goes!

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Marathon Monday

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I wish I was in Boston today (although I’m sure my mother is glad I’m not).  As a former resident of Boston and enthusiastic Marathon Monday reveler, it’s a pull I feel each and every Patriot’s Day.  It has always been an amazing tradition to be a part of, something uniquely Boston and full of fun.  I’m so glad to see a city I love bring back their day with such a vengeance and I wish I could be there to lend more of my support.  Triumph over tragedy. We will run.

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The Perfection Freeze

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Oh hello again.  Yes, I dropped off the face of the earth there for a little while.  I was struggling a little bit with my blog vision and I fell into a common (to me) trap.  I like to call it the Perfection Freeze. I get scared or frustrated that things are not exactly as I want them to be. I convince myself that if things aren’t going to be exactly as I envision them, then they aren’t worth doing at all. I let the perfect become the enemy of the good, or the mediocre, or the anything really.

I know it’s ridiculous, that things rarely turn out exactly as we expected and most of the time that is a really great thing. I know the journey is generally more important than the destination. I know that nothing is ever really perfect. Basically I know I’m crazy and it’s something I am actively working on.

So I will continue to plug away at this.  I will not feel inadequate if I don’t have beautiful pictures, if I generally forget to take pictures, if I don’t have a new recipe every week, if I don’t post every Tuesday. It’s still worth trying and exploring if I find it interesting and valuable. No more letting the perfect paralyze me.

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WIAW: Avocado Mini Fail

I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already!  This is my last day in the office this week, which is soo exciting.  Even though I still have to work for the next 2 days, being remote still makes the week feel shorter.  Always a good thing.

On to the WIAW (or in this case Tuesday) Eats!

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Breakfast: The usual, Chobani and Grapenuts.  I went with the strawberry flavor this morning.

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Morning Snack: Yup, you guessed it another banana.

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Lunch: I went with another Mexican inspired salad, spinach, tomatoes, green pepper, carrots, quinoa, chipotle roasted sweet potatoes, and avocado.  Unfortunately, my avocado was a bit of a dud.  I’ve been spoiled by some really good ones lately, so I guess I was due for a bad one.  It was the right amount of squishy when I held it, but somehow that ripeness did not go all the way through the fruit.  The top layer was squishy, but the inside was hard as a rock and did NOT want to come off the pit.  It turned into a bit of a mess.  Oh well, the salad was still decent.

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Afternoon snack:  I had two, first my regular apple

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and second a Chobani Flip.  I went to an Orange Theory class after work yesterday for the first time (review coming soon) and knew I would need a little extra protein to power through.  I noticed these little snacks on sale at the grocery store and decided to give it a try.

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I LOVED it. Yummy yogurt, almonds, and a little bit of dark chocolate.  It really hit the spot and gave me 13 grams of protein to boot. I will definitely be picking up more of these.

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Dinner: Chicken tamale pie.  Have a mentioned that I love tamales? Well I haven’t gotten around to ordering more from the Tucson Tamale Company yet, so this was the next best thing.  The picture doesn’t look particularly appetizing, but this dish is ah-mazing.  Green chile cornmeal base topped with chicken, black beans, spicy enchilada sauce, and cheese.  It really, really hit the spot after a tough workout.

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I added in some veggies with a big ol’ beet and goat cheese salad.  This time I added TJ’s Honey goat cheese and man was that delicious.  I could eat a whole block of that by itself. Yum.

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Dessert: A cup of Nightly Calm tea.  I am not a big tea drinker, but my sleep has been so rough lately that I was willing to give this a try.  I was worried it would taste horrible, but it actually wasn’t bad.  It smells a lot like a spa which was kind of nice.  I’ve tried the tea two nights in a row now and have slept pretty well both nights.  No idea if the tea had anything to do with it or not, but I’m willing to keep it up just in case.

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That’s it for me.  Happy Hump day!

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Weekend and Workout Recap

I can’t believe it’s already Monday.  We had a nice, low key weekend and I’m bummed it’s already over.

Friday night we had our second “friend date”.  I was really in the mood to get out of the house that night, so I decided to text the couple from our last date to see if they would be up for hanging out.  That may or may not have been after a 15 minute self pep-talk about how texting them would be no big deal. Yup. Super smooth.  Luckily for my new, fragile dating ego, they did want to hang out, so we all went out for Mexican food.  I thought the food was just ok, but we had a really great time.  Second date win!

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Other than our dinner the weekend mostly involved us trying to catch up on Downton (we’re soo behind) and me baking an excessive amount of cookies (200+) for my sister in-law’s bridal shower.  The shower isn’t until this coming Saturday, but I knew baking wasn’t going to happen during the work week so they’re packed away in the freezer for now.  I was too exhausted at the end to take any pictures, but I will on Friday aka frosting day.

On to the workouts. I had a pretty good week, despite having no energy.

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Monday: Regular yoga dvd

Tuesday: Winter Shape Up Workout #1.  I loved these so much I’m going to work them into my regular routine

Wednesday:  I tried Yoga Download for the first time.  I was expecting a wider selection of free videos, but was a little disappointed by the lack of beginner options.  I tried the Yoga for Weight Loss 20 minute video.  The instructor was a little bit new agey for me.  I’m not sure I believe putting my neck in a certain position and breathing is activating my thyroid and thus improving my weight loss, but whatever.  It had a lot more yoga positions that actually require strength, rather than just stretching, and pretty decent instructions on proper positioning, which is what I was looking for, so I would do it again.

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Thursday: Physique 57 Total Body dvd.  Normally I’m more of a Pure Barre girl, but I got this dvd to switch it up a little.  I really like most if it, but so far I have found the seat portion very awkward.  I’m hoping I’m just not used to the positions and it will get better, but we’ll see.

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 2 mile run through the park.  It was 70 and sunny, which was perfect but it also meant that the park was crazy crowded.  It felt like the college quad on the first warm spring day, except with WAY more people.

Sidenote: I clearly stunk at taking pictures this weekend.  Will attempt to improve that in the future.

Happy Monday!

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WIAW: This One’s for You Hubs

Ugh, I am still completely wiped out.  It’s been over a week now and I REALLY can’t wait to get a bit of energy back.  I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in over a week and I am not adjusting to it well.   I’ll be so screwed once we have children.

I’ve been doing all the little things I can think of to try and improve my sleep: forcing myself to workout even though I’m exhausted, no sugar, reading before bed rather than watching tv, earlier bedtimes; unfortunately none of that has really worked. I’ve seriously contemplated taking a nap in my car at lunch on several days now.  Only thing stopping me…no pillow. Oh well, hopefully we’ll turn a corner here soon.

On to What I Ate Wednesday (or in this case Tuesday)! wiawloveyourveggiesmonthbutton2

Breakfast:  I had a dentist appointment in the morning, so I had a little more time for breakfast than I usually do.  I took advantage by making one of my favorite weekend breakfasts: oatmeal (way overcooked so its almost solid, mushy oatmeal is the worst), vanilla greek yogurt, sliced banana, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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Morning Snack: Banana again, I didn’t plan that well.

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Lunch:  A big, yummy salad of spinach, tomatoes, green pepper, carrots, quinoa, chipotle roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, and avocado.  Unfortunately, I had a meting that ran long so I didn’t end up eating my lunch until around 3. It was so late that I had gone past starving and wasn’t even hungry anymore.  I was able to make it through about 2/3 of the salad though.

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Afternoon snack: Yummy apple.  We’re rocking the Fujis this week and loving them.

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Dinner: Meatball subs and salad.  I try not to eat red meat very often and because I do most of the cooking, that generally means that Hubs doesn’t eat a lot of red meat anymore either.  For the most part he’s ok with that, but the one thing he really misses are meatballs.  Hubs is very Italian, so meatballs are sacred.  For him, turkey meatballs are not meatballs, they are an abomination. So every once in awhile I throw him a bone and make the real thing. And I have to admit, they are pretty delicious.

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Homemade meatballs, homemade sauce, bread straight from the bakery, his Nana would be proud. (And no I did not make all of that on a weeknight, are you crazy? I defrosted it from 2 weekends ago. C’mon son.)

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I added a big salad of spinach, goat cheese, and beets salad to mine to round out the meal. Soo good.

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Sidenote: I watched Monday’s episode of How I Met Your Mother last night and LOVED it.  Such a great episode, I can’t believe we finally got to see Weekend at Barney’s. (Also, “Dude you’re a grown man, why are you throwing a Tantrum? I died).  I can’t believe there are only a few more episodes left.  Tear.

Dessert: None today, trying to avoid sugar to see if it helps my sleeping (so far not really).

Water: 2 full Camelbacks at work and 2 big glasses at home, so about 80 oz for the day.

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That’s it for me today. Hopefully we’ll be back to regular posts tomorrow.  Happy Hump Day!

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Why Leaning In is Killing Us

I am forgoing my usual Weekend/Workout recap to talk about something I ran across on the internet today.

I loved this article.  In all fairness, I have yet to read Sheryl Sandberg’s book, mostly because the waiting list for it at the library is insanely long.  But I know a great number of people who have read it and I’ve discussed it enough to understand the basic concepts.  I see the point in what she says, but I think this article better articulates what the real problems are.

I am so ready to recline, and I wish that didn’t sound lazy.  I am all for working late when you absolutely need to work late.  However, I think if you absolutely need to work late all the time, either you are wasting a lot of time during the day or you have a serious management problem (ie you’re understaffed). Unfortunately, this is how a lot of places operate, and I’ve worked in those places and it sucks.

The other, sneakier, problem is the concept of “facetime”.  I don’t think I should have to be at work just because my boss is at work. I think that if I’m flexible enough with my personal time that I will work late when I need to, I should be able to be flexible with my work time as well, and if I have a slow day I should be able to leave early.  That’s all I mean by being ready to recline.  It doesn’t sound like a big shift, but in a lot of work environments it is. So I’m ready to start reclining, who’s with me?

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Recent Reads: Princess Elizabeth’s Spy

I have been a little off on my reading lately.  It’s been a busy few weeks and what little free time I’ve had has been absorbed in the Olympics (so pumped for the figure skating tonight!).  But I did manage to squeeze in at least one new book.

You may recall that I read Mr. Churchill’s Secretary a few weeks ago, well I finally got my hands on the sequel, Princess Elizabeth’s Spy.

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This book brought back the same heroine from the first book, Maggie Hope, but not many of the other characters.  Most of the story takes place out at Windsor castle, where Maggie is sent to help secretly protect Princess Elizabeth, rather than in London.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I didn’t love it quiet as much as the first one.  I almost wish the book had been a little longer so that the plot and characters could have developed a bit more.  It just felt like everything happened quickly, when I would have enjoyed a slower build.  I thought the author did a good job of developing the character of the Princess, but I didn’t find that I cared quiet as much about any of the other new characters.

It was still a very entertaining story, I just think the first one was a bit better.  Isn’t that almost always the case? I am still excited to dig into the 3rd book though.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

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