What Does It Take?

Self-Care

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetWhat does it take to truly love and appreciate oneself? What does it take to be comfortable in one’s skin, with one’s body? It takes a lot. It shouldn’t, really. But it does. Self love and self care should be automatic human rights. Yet these days, our society has made it excruciatingly difficult for individuals growing up to foster a healthy body image.

Nothing we do is right.

We eat too much. We eat too little.

We exercise too much. We are sloths and don’t go to the gym.

We care too much about how we look. We don’t care enough.

We are overconfident and pompous. We are miserable and self concious.

We are light. We are heavy.

We are none of it and all of it at the same time.

Double standards surround us every day; they stick insidiously to the corners of our brains like chewing gum.

The thing that people fail to recognize is that it is nearly impossible to ever be completely and wholeheartedly happy with oneself. Seeking an ideal of “self love” is an incredibly difficult task itself, yet we attempt to do it day after day! I believe that it is fine if we never really arrive in that place of complete acceptance. It is the journey – the attempt -the fact that we are even trying to arrive at a place of peace with oneself – that is what really counts.

Advertisements

Body Image Monolouge

Candid Thoughts, Self-Care

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

I love myself. I say this loudly, my voice confident and clear, doing everything in my power to wholeheartedly convince myself of it. I say it proudly, wishing that I believed it as much as everyone around me did. Wishing that my confidence was genuine, steadfast, and not transient, not falsified.

Wishing that workouts before dawn and a diet heavy on the lettuce and light on everything else were not necessities in order to make such a statement as “I love myself” true. But they are. Or at least they seem to be.

Yes, I seem confident. Yes, I seem happy, yes I seem healthy.

Yet then why is it that I only feel fulfilled when my stomach is not?

Then why is it that I only feel accomplished following a workout that has pushed my body to exhaustion, when over 1000 calories have been scorched away, along with all the guilt of disgraceful midnight snacks. And of course I must push myself each and every day! I must work hard! Or else! Or else what? Of course if I let up on my routine, on my mantras, then when I step on that cold metal device intended to measure my self worth, that that score will grow and grow and grow. Hint: the smaller numbers are more elegant.

Yes, I love myself. But not always. For it’s nearly impossible to!

In a world where thin is epitomized, and one must either be sticklike, or sticklike with curves in all the right places, to fit the textbook definition of beauty, there is no room for any of us, it seems. There is no room for any of our bodies, no matter of which variety we may come in, for any definition of perfection is a problematic one. When we define what is desirable we wash away what is real. The best part though, the really wonderfully infuriating part about all of it – is that all definitions of perfection, no matter how problematic, no matter how harmful, no matter how binding, are ingrained into our brains from the minute we hear them.

Halo Top Ice Cream – My Take

Health

When living a healthy lifestyle, one commonly accepted fact is that ice cream ≠ health. Yes, we love to indulge in ice cream every once and a while, but it is pretty widely agreed upon that if one were to eat nothing but ice cream for days at a time, it would lead to nothing but weight gain and sugar highs.

So when I heard about the “halo top diet,” I of course was instantly intrigued! Eating protein packed ice cream that is low in sugar? Could someone actually do this to reach fitness goals?

For those unfamiliar with Halo Top, it is a brand of “healthy” ice cream found in most health grocery foods stores nowadays. I absolutely LOVE halo top. It is creamy, rich, and true to the taste of real ice cream, but without all of the sugar and calories. They boast their “250 calories per pint” slogan and it remains a mystery to me how they achieve such a delicious flavor with none of the regular gunk of normal ice cream.

IMG_8513.jpg

The flavors are boundless – oatmeal cookie, lemon cake, strawberry, mocha chip, vanilla bean, cookies and cream, etc. etc.

As I got my wisdom teeth out this Tuesday, I thought it might be fun to try a modified version of the “Halo Top Diet.” I was not hardcore enough to try and nothing but ice cream for several days, but I did replace two meals with a pint of Halo Top the first day after getting my wisdom teeth out. At first, it was amazing! Ice cream for lunch? Ice cream for dinner? Sign me up!!! The best part about Halo Top is that it is not overwhelmingly sweet, yet it still perfectly satisfies one’s ice cream cravings. I was in so much pain from my surgery, so ice cream was pretty much one of the only things that could make my mouth feel better, as the cold delicious sweetness would numb my mouth as I ate it.

The next morning, however, I was not feeling my best. Perhaps it was a mixture of only having consumed sugary foods the day before, or perhaps it was that the drugs were only just starting to wear off, but I was struck with horrible migraines throughout the entire day.

My body was craving chicken and meat and cheese and normal foods. As I continue with my recovery, my plan is to fuel myself with lots of green smoothies and eat as many vegetables as possible.

I have come to the conclusion that as far as ice creams go, Halo Top is healthy, but it should most definitely not be considered a main food group for anyone!

Motivation?

Fitness

People often ask me where I get my motivation to work out and to eat clean. In all honesty, that motivation for me is not always there! I love brownies, cookies, and ice cream just like everyone else! For me, working out is equally mental as it is physical. Once one starts working out on a regular basis, endorphins become something that the body craves – in a sense, getting “addicted” to working out is a bit inevitable! My main message to you is this: it DOES NOT always have to be intense! As long as I sweat once a day, I feel good. This does not have to mean going on a 6 mile run each day or going to some high intensity workout class! Sweating once a day can be as simple as hopping on the stationary bike for 30 minutes while indulging in your favorite TV show, or going to a quick hot yoga class, or even just doing a quick blast of push ups to get your blood flowing. If you can make time for a solid workout each day, then awesome! Good for you! But for me, I know that simply is not a realistic goal. I am a student, daughter, athlete, singer — there are many things going on in my life, and so sneaking in a super speedy workout has become an expert skill of mine. Drop down anywhere and do 20 pushups! While sitting on the ground for your next class to start, who says that you can’t do some Russian twists? Staying active is pretty simple so long as you make time for it; even just 10 minutes a day of doing something, (ANYTHING really!) can make all the difference for your mental and physical health! At the end of the day, sweat makes me happy. Find the type of exercise makes you happy and make sure to do that thing every single day, even if it is for a super short period of time! Anything is better than nothing! In my eyes, if you do one pushup, you are still going to be stronger than the person who did 0 pushups. The smallest of steps can lead to the largest of changes. Put aside all your other commitments for just a few minutes each day and do something that makes your endorphins smile 🙂

No change can come without small, simple steps

DISREGARD THE ADVERTISEMENTS!

Uncategorized

Hello! Please please ignore any ads that may pop up on this blog! I am not paying any money to maintain it, so random companies have been advertising their products here. I noticed that McDonald’s even made an appearance, so I wanted to just make it clear that they are a company I do NOT support!!!

PS. Everyone go check out Supersize Me on Netflix for more in the vein of the insidious nature of McDonald’s and how the company and countless other corporations are impacting the health of our country.

 

Date Energy Bites

Health, Snacks

Hello! My friend recently introduced me to a new quick and delicious healthy snack – Date balls! They are sweet and delicious but also made with no artificial or added sugars.

I feel a bit strange calling them date balls, so I am renaming them to energy bites! Made with primarily dates and nuts, you pretty much add whatever seeds/powders (flax seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, protein powders, etc.) you like to them to switch up the flavoring, but the basic recipe calls for dates and almonds.

IMG_1767.jpg

You will need a food processor for this recipe, and a lot of patience. But no need to fear! Once you get going, they are surprisingly easy to make!

Ingredients:

-1 cup almonds

-6 pitted Organic Medjool Dates

-Vanilla Whey Protein Powder

-Almond Butter (optional: use as a binder for a stickier consistency)

-Chia seeds, flax seeds, etc.

 

Step 1: Grind the almonds in a food processor until they reach a dusty, flour-like texture.

Step 2: Pit the dates and chop them up into small chunks, then add them into the almond mix in the food processor and pulse for several more minutes.

(It should look something like this by now)

IMG_1768.jpg

Step 3: Add in 1 tbs of almond butter, coconut oil, or both to use as a binder. (You can sort of wing this depending on the current texture of your mixture. You are going for a sticky consistency so that you will be able to shape it into balls)

Step 4: Add protein powder, chia seeds, flax seeds, or whatever other fun additions you have up your sleeve! Simply pulse the food processor for a couple minutes to get it all mixed in there.

Step 5: Shape into energy bites and store in the fridge for up to two weeks! (Any longer than that, and they may start to taste sort of gummy)

IMG_1766.jpg

 

I absolutely LOVE energy bites because they give me a quick boost of protein whenever I feel like I need a pick me up! They make a perfect pre-or post workout snack or are a delicious addition to a breakfast yogurt bowl! I usually store them in the fridge throughout the week and grab one whenever I feel like I need a little burst of sugar.

Happy energy bite making!

xoxo

 

Sugarless January

Health

Hi everybody! As January comes to a close, and we enter February, I wanted to reflect on my experience giving up sugar this month! And…. it was surprisingly easy.

I still allowed myself to eat natural sugars; aka honey, apples, fruit, etc., but mainly just tried to avoid any processed or refined sugars, so there were no cookies/cakes/breads/candies/desserts/etc. consumed. I felt that my eating habits really weren’t changed much by this experiment, but I am definitely excited to have a yummy bowl of ice cream soon!

Sugar is the silent killer. But it also can bring us immense mental joy! That being said, moderation is absolutely key. Feel free to indulge in that ice cream, and just know that it will always be there tomorrow, so there should never be any necessity to binge.

 

Balance

Health, Self-Care

11/28/16

Hi everyone!

So tonight I felt like having some dessert after dinner. And I don’t  just mean a cute, dainty little frozen banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter and honey on the side – I mean a REAL, DAMN dessert. I went with pie, because why not.

And I ate a bite of this apple pie, and it just wasn’t that great, so I threw it away. But that pumpkin cheesecake that my sister made for Thanksgiving, WOW that really was delicious. And so I cut myself a good sized piece of it. And I have no regrets! My abs are still visible, my skin is still clear, and I do not weigh over 200 pounds despite the indulgence. I am learning more and more that a healthy diet has more to do with BALANCE than anything else. Restriction is complete BS. It does not work. I can eat the same exact diet as someone who is restricting him or herself a lot, but the difference is in the fact that I do not BELIEVE that I am restricting myself, therefore it is a healthy balance. I barely eat any carbs or sugar or gluten or anything like that usually, but the important thing is that I am not actively avoiding those food groups. I simply choose not to eat them. That, essentially, is the secret to a healthful life! Be healthy, but do it on your own terms! I eat healthy because it makes me feel strong and happy and beautiful. It makes me feel happy because I know that putting wholesome foods into my body will help me to ultimately live longer! And that is all that I need to say. That is all that matters. Don’t think about how one bite of a cookie will impact you. In the long run, exercise and healthful eating are the keys to longevity as well as sustainable sources of energy. But this is not to say that some indulgences are not okay. In fact, we absolutely must indulge every once and awhile, for that is the only way to stay sane! That is how we keep that balance! Hence my delicious date with pumpkin cheesecake this evening. I have no regrets, for I know that my healthy eating balances out my sweet cravings, and I enjoying that dessert tonight made me very happy, and in the end, isn’t that all we are striving for here as human beings? Happiness!

REST!

Fitness, Health, Self-Care

IMG_1274.JPG

Hello! Today I want to talk about something that often gets overlooked: rest!!!!

The past few days I have been doing very light workouts or none at all, and this is due to a nasty illness that I have been dealing with. Although it is really hard for me mentally to have several days in a row where I am not active at all and quite sedentary, I also realize that this is a crucial component of attaining peak physical health. If you don’t give your body a few days off once in a while, you will run it into the ground! I am definitely looking forward to when I feel a bit better in a few days so I can get back into the swing of things and resume my regular routine. So if you are feeling under the weather, or even just a bit worn-down, listen to your body and give it the rest that it needs! Who knows.. you might be able to indulge in some wonderful new movies that are out of even books! 🙂

My main New Year’s resolution is to get more sleep. Sleep is most definitely something I have been skimping out on lately, and this is the worst thing that I can be doing for my body! I am making it my goal to get at least 8 hours of sleep EVERY night!