Saturday, November 24, 2012

i have never used my blog to vent, but i am going to take a small moment to get something off my chest.

i do not understand why i am always sick!!!!!!! in the past few months, i have had a double ear infection with strep, head cold, stomach flu (for the first time, ever) and recently diagnosed with strep, again. obviously, being sick isn't fun for anyone, but i REALLY hate being sick. i don't do well missing work, not being able to work out or doing stuff around the house; i pretty much suck at sitting still.

since drew and i started dating, we focused on holding each other accountable with getting enough sleep, having a healthy diet and getting enough exercise, but not too much. after being completely miserable at the end of July with the ear infections and strep, i really took initiative to take even better care of myself. i consistently get 7-9 hours of sleep, eat a ton of fresh produce, drinking green tea like it's going out of style, exercise plenty while giving myself rest days and wash my hands (i am the person at work who opens the bathroom door with a paper towel).

anyway, i feel like i deserve to be healthy and in the past few months, i have been more sick than healthy and i am unbelievably frustrated with it all. after getting diagnosed with strep this week, my Dr. decided that it would be best to consult with an allergist/immunologist to see if they can shed some light on what could possibly be going on. in the meantime, i get to continue 2 anitbiotics and continue doing what i am doing. 

thank you for empathizing with me just by reading this post. it is saturday and i am off to bed quite early. heaven forbid, i don't get 8 hours of sleep.....

always striving for more, 
dee b. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

afternoon pick-me-ups:.

if any of you are like me, you are probably close to being in a sugar comatose, thanks to Halloween. you also may feel like you are SO ready to get on a big health kick before the Holidays (after all, you don't want to be the one that the relatives 'poke' fun at.....again), BUT you are going to start after all the Halloween candy is gone.....right? i get it. before you reach for the 'almost empty' stash of Halloween candy, that is probably getting stale anyway (don't be ashamed, we've all done it), take some time to read this! i am a HUGE fan of snacking because eating 3 square meals a day is just boring. also, i sit in a cube all day and there are many moments of  'i'm bored, i think i'll eat'.

here are a few of my favorites (when i am doing myself a favor):.
homemade green tea and orange

coffee and larabar (recently discovered these, awesome!)

chobani, anyone? i told you these were a staple!

roasted and salted almonds (tip:. do not bring the entire bag to work with you...)

side salad with LOTS of veggies--it's like having 2 lunches!

unfortunately, i wasn't able to capture the candy bars, cheez-its or office cupcakes, but you guys get the picture, right? other favorites are apples (with or w/o almond butter), carrots, cottage cheese, string cheese and apple sauce. 

seriously, i am horribly guilty of having my tough afternoons when i hit up the vending machine or a co-worker's candy dish in a moment of vulnerability, but overall, i try to keep it light and healthy. i feel more energetic and focused to finished out the day. recently, i was reading an article that discussed how to avoid the after lunch or late afternoon crash (you know exactly what i am referring to--total post grad problem) and the suggestion wasn't a 5 hour energy. the suggestion was to keep it light; what do you feel like eating in the middle of summer? aside from ice cream, most of the time it isn't going to be a carb loaded, sugar ridden food, but rather something light and citrusy. by keeping it light, you will most likely be eating a food that will provide a steady release of sugar avoiding that rapid spike and dramatic crash (that 5 hour energy moment). think fresh fruit and veggies, green tea (especially if you are sensitive to caffeine in the afternoon), yogurt, pistachios, or a granola bar. extra bonus, if it is a source of protein!

do you guys have any suggestions for me to expand my afternoon pick-me-ups? 

always striving for more,
dee b.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

a healthy fridge!

several times i have been asked, 'what do you eat?', 'i need help eating healthier' or my favorite, 'what the heck are you eating now?'. i'm not writing this post to declare that i am the cleanest and healthiest  eater. i'm 23 years old, i still live for happy hours, late nights and quick meals on the go. so, i am writing this post to help with a few guidelines and maybe help you with making healthier substitutions at the grocery store! 

ok, let's start at the top of the fridge. cottage cheese is wonderful for many reasons. you can eat it plain or mix it with fruit or veggies and it is packed with casein protein-a slow digesting protein. note: i try stay away from anything that straight 'low fat' or 'fat free'. read it as 'filled with junky air to make it less dense'. you can barely see it the top right corner, but it's a carton of Archer Farm organic brown eggs. another great source of protein and it REALLY helps that the chickens were fed well (i am hoping to write another post soon about what is worth buying organic and what you can buy from a conventional source). no, i didn't purposely skip over the 'to-go' box hoping you would miss it, it's probably left overs from a happy hour. again, i am not proclaiming to be perfect. the other tupper-ware is my salad for lunch! however, i will not take responsibility for the Red Bull that is tucked away on the left, i am not a fan of energy drinks!

moving down to the second row. Chobani is a staple around our house. It is packed with protein and awesome on the go for breakfast, before a workout, or to hold you over until dinner time. they are SO yummy and SO much better for you than it's popular competitor, Yoplait. i know, it can be hard to swallow paying over $1 for a yogurt, but your body deserves it, trust me! besides all that Chobani, there is a pack of edamame, one of my favorite snacks to have while i sit in my cube. this is a great snack heated up a bit with some soy sauce and sea salt! beneath the edamame is tortellini. we try to keep a small stock of 'quick' meals on nights we work out late or find better things to do than cook. next up is meat and poultry. drew and i love to hit up the local Trader Joe's for our meat. the prices are reasonable for great organic, grass fed meat and chicken. here, i believe we have ground hamburger, various cuts of chicken and porks, stuffed and regular. now that we have gone organic with our meat, i don't think we will ever go back! meat is one thing that is worth splurging to buy organic or grass-fed. happy animals=happy, nutritious  meat!

deli drawer--this can get a little random, but we can never go without string cheese! another good source of quick protein (notice a trend here?). most of the time we also have a bag or two of shredded cheese and/or a pack of tortillas!

bottom shelf--here is obviously where our bigger stuff resides. drew drinks whole milk while i enjoy coconut milk. reasoning behind this? i eat a lot of dairy between yogurt and string cheese, so i try to cut down on dairy by drinking coconut milk. plus, it makes my morning oatmeal taste SO much better. the whole milk? well, that is what drew likes, so that is what drew gets :)

kefir! as you can see we love kefir just about as much as we love Chobani. kefir is a great probiotic for gut health/digestion, it also is an awesome compliment to any breakfast as well as a something to put in your stomach without actually 'eating'. while plain kefir is recommended (less sugar), we cannot stop buying the fruity stuff, especially raspberry or blueberry. when trying kefir for the first time, do yourself a favor, buy a flavored one. plain kefir can be a little tart since it is essentially fermented yogurt, but i promise it is delicious and your tummy will thank you! i think there is a pitcher of green tea off to left. i LOVE keeping a pitcher of green tea on hand, it's cheap and easy to make and it's a nice alternative to pop, coffee, and water. plus, no one can deny the mile long list of benefits you can get from green tea!

last, but certainly not least, the 'crisper' drawers--i can get strategic about what i put in these because i don't want it to go to waste! in this picture, i believe there is a mixture of produce from Trader Joe's and Target! there is for sure a bag of organic kale, it's my newest addiction!  this particular trip, i know i picked up cucumbers, grape tomatoes, brussel sprouts (cannot get enough), yellow onion and most likely carrots. when i am buying produce, i try to buy items that can be used multiple ways (i.e in a salad, can be steam/grilled/baked as a side or maybe just something to munch on in my cube). this saves waste and money! a future goal for myself to expand my produce list beyond the 'typical' and force myself to find a way to use it!

now you may know a little more about our diet than what you may like, but we do take pride in stocking our fridge with quality food! while we may be struggling to still get 'our feet beneath us' after graduation, we found that we would much rather spend extra money on groceries than we would on clothes or 'material' things. (i know, hard to believe for those of you that knew me through college!).

either way, i hope this can somewhat help you next time you hit the grocery store!

always striving for more,

dee b.