Monday Inspiration: What Nourishes Your Mind, Body & Soul?

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Do you know what nourishes you, you know those things that truly fill your soul & makes you feel your very best self? This is likely not a question you ask yourself very often, but I encourage you to do so.

So often, we eat what we’re told are the “right” foods to eat, do what we believe we “have” to do, and think the way we’re expected to think. I challenge you to stop right there and look beyond the expectations and rules we have for ourselves. Truly look within and ask yourself point blank: What makes me feel nourished?

Then take things a step further by writing it out:

These are the foods that nourish my body…

These are the activities that nourish my soul…

These are the thoughts that nourish my mind…

What came up for you? I encourage you to take a good, hard look at your list and fill yourself up with those things that nourish you most.

Here’s a hint: when we fill our life up with nourishment, we no longer need to use food/drugs/self sabotage/fill in the blank to “feel better.” That’s why talking about food is only a portion of my health coaching programs — it’s the other stuff going on that usually needs some deeper work.

My top nourishments from each category are leafy greens, yoga, and the positive affirmation “I am enough.”

What’s on your list? Do you use food to make you feel better or struggle with living a nourished life? I’d love to chat with you! Schedule your FREE “15 Minutes to Fabulous” Breakthrough Session today!

Monday Inspiration: Fall In Love with Food

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What does falling in love with food look like for you? If you need support in improving your relationship with food (and your body), check out my new & improved health coaching programs and sign up for your free “15 Minutes to Fabulous” Breakthrough Session today!

5 Tips for Healthy Eating Made Simple Plus a Bestowed Box Giveaway

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I’m a huge advocate for living a healthy lifestyle, but not when it has to be so darn hard. That’s why I like to keep things as easy and pain-free as possible when it comes to food. Here are my top 5 tips for simple healthy eating for you to incorporate into your day now. Plus, I’ve got a pretty sweet giveaway for you! Read on, my friends…

1. Keep it Real: Eat Real Food. Period. I know it sounds silly, but if you truly strive to eat real food (food that you can recognize and clearly tell where it came from), everything else just falls into place naturally.

2. Don’t compare your plate to everyone else’s: Eat what makes you feel your best self.

3. Be Adventurous: Explore new foods (even those you used to HATE as a child), experiment with new recipes and keep an open mind when it comes to what you put on your plate. Whether it’s going out for Thai food or buying a funky new vegetable you’ve never tasted before, find a way to be daring! You’ll never grow bored this way, and you can keep healthy eating fun!

4. Know Your Body: As you begin to listen to your body and learn which foods work for you, you’ll start to need less of what you once thought you needed “more” of. For instance, if you once needed two portions of chicken casserole to feel satisfied or could easily down a bag of potato chips, you may now realize you only need a small portion or heck, may not even want those things anymore at all. I highly recommend starting a food/mood journal to learn what works best for Y-O-U.

5. Get Rid of Your  “Perfect” Mindset: You don’t have to be perfect to live a healthy lifestyle. It’s all about finding balance! Fuel your body with nourishing, real foods most of the time, and allow for occasional indulgences or “slips.” It’s important not to beat yourself up for treating yourself every now and then. You don’t need to buy 100% organic, eat only raw, juice every day, give up chocolate, fit into your teenage skinny jeans, ban coffee or go on a restrictive diet to be healthy. Take it one step at a time, and I promise you’ll feel much better that way (with much less guilt too).

Bestowed Box

OK, I know I said I had a giveaway for you and I promise it’s coming! A few weeks ago, I was given a Bestowed box to review from the lovely folks at Bestowed. Founded by Nutritionist Heather Bauer, the company strives to take the hassle and confusion out of health food.

Each and every month, Bestowed members receive a box delivered straight to their door filled with 5+ hand-picked healthy product samples (from supplements to nutrition bars). Not only does this keep things simple for the consumer, but it also introduces them to new brands they’ll love! Memberships are $19 a month or $209 a year, and you may cancel anytime.

My sampler box contained:

What I loved: Who doesn’t love an adorable little surprise box filled with goodies delivered to their front door? I really liked the nice variety of items, ranging from savory quinoa soup mix to a protein-packed fig bar. I especially loved the crunchy, energizing hemp hearts (perfect to top on a salad, smoothie or yogurt) and coconut butter (great in green smoothies and nearly anything you’d put butter on). I also dig that each month you’re graced with a different assortment, introducing you to new snacks, brands and flavors!

What I didn’t love: My only complaint (which isn’t necessarily a complaint) is that since I’m not a huge fan of packaged food, some of the items I could have done without. Being a whole foods junkie, I often make most of my meals and snacks in the comfort of my own kitchen and get a weird high out of grocery shopping. I’m also not really a fan of sweets or protein bars, although I know lots of people who are so that solved that “problem”! All that aside, I ended up finding some great new brands and snacks to recommend to both friends and clients alike!

The Verdict: I’d definitely recommend Bestowed for anyone looking to expand their palates, while enjoying a healthy lifestyle. The service is especially great for those who don’t like to cook, go grocery shopping or spend time researching the latest health trends, as all of that is pretty much done for you. For those of you who love to snack but find yourself gravitating toward the office vending machine every afternoon, Bestowed Box is for you! Who knows, you may find your new go-to product along the way! Did I mention it’s perfect for ladies who love surprises?

Now it’s giveaway time! I’m giving away a Bestowed Box for one lucky reader to try for herself. To enter, please do one or all of the following. Be sure to leave a comment on here for each task completed:

1. Simply tweet the following: “Healthy made easy! @bstowed@Healthy_Chicks are giving away a Bestowed Box filled with wholesome goodies

2. Leave a comment here listing your go-to snack of choice. Do you crave salty? Crunchy? Savory? Sweet?

3. Like Healthy Chicks and Bestowed on Facbook

4. Sign up for my FREE “A Day in the Life of a Healthy Chick” weekly newsletter!

I will choose a random winner by Sunday 5/19 at midnight EST. The giveaway is for US-based readers only. In addition to the giveaway, Bestowed would like to honor $5 off every box for all Healthy Chicks readers! Simply use promo code 5OFFBSTOWED01 at checkout.

P.S. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! You are all AMAZING!

Why Your Relationship with Food is Directly Connected to Your Relationship with Money (& My Big Self Discovery)

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This past weekend, I attended a Business Conference for Wellness Professionals in NYC—HMBA Live: Step into Your Spotlight—that literally changed my life. I can honestly say the past three days have been among the most fulfilling days of my life: eye-opening, fun, and transformational all in one.

I cried, laughed, danced, sang, ate, wrote, learned, reflected and heck, even spoke in front of a room full of 400+ people….on a microphone.  In addition, I networked, made new friends, and relished in a community bursting with positive energy.

And while all of those things were life changing in and of itself, one of the most eye-opening “A-Hah” moments I had was when we started talking about money. More particularly our relationship with money. Just bear with me here…

I never really took the time to explore my relationship with money, although I certainly knew it wasn’t a good one. In fact, it was toxic, to say the least. I say was because all of this is about to change…starting 48 hours ago.

However, up until now, money and I just didn’t jive. We were heading straight to a break-up and boy was it going to be a nasty one. I’d spend my days obsessing over money up to the point where it was affecting every area of my life from my career to my self-love to my relationship. I’d anxiously swipe my credit card to get it over with (especially with impulse buys), and refused to look at my balance when withdrawing cash from the ATM.  Then I’d experience several days of guilt for spending “too much” irresponsibly. To top it all off, I’d constantly compare myself to friends, family and colleagues who were making more money feeling both jealous and ashamed.

My beliefs were “I don’t have enough money,” “I will never have enough money,” “I can’t make good money doing what I love”,  “Once I have money I will be happy” and “That’s great for her that she’s successful and making money but I will never be able to do that. HA! That’d be the day.”

It’s plain to see that money consumed me and, well, I let it. I wanted more of it, but refused come face-to-face with it at the same time. Therefore I ignored it and instead hid behind my go-to place of feeling scattered and “not enough” where in some twisted way I felt safe. I felt safe because this is the pattern I was used to.

It wasn’t until the beautiful Stacey and Carey of Holistic MBA encouraged me to look at my “Money Mirror” (a super powerful exercise if I do say so myself) that I finally saw things so clearly. One of the things we talked about is that how our relationship with money is directly related to our relationship with food, and in fact any relationship in our lives. These relationships—spouses, friends, business partners, co-workers, food, body image, boyfriends, family—are all tied together.

I quickly realized, as tears swelled my eyes, that my relationship with money was exactly the same of my relationship with food (in my late-teens and early twenties, that is). I spent my days obsessing over calories, the number on the scale and how much weight I had left to lose to the point where it consumed my life. I went through periods of bingeing (a.k.a. anxiously eating as much peanut butter out of the jar as fast as I could) followed by periods of deprivation and guilt a.k.a. essentially starving myself. Oh, and to top it all off I constantly compared myself to friends, family, and sorority girls who were skinnier and prettier than I was.

My beliefs were  “I am not good enough, pretty enough or skinny enough,” “I will never lose the weight and be enough,” “Feeling beautiful and confident in my body is just not in the cards for me,” “Once I am skinny my life will be perfect,” and “Yea, she looks great but I will never look like she does.”

Are you seeing the pattern here? By no surprise, my money mirror card (there are four of them) that resonated with me was “Deservability,” also known as “The Pleaser.” Essentially, this type of person constantly feels guilty and tells themselves “I am not good enough as I am.” Constantly comparing themselves to others, “The Pleaser” creates anxiety, chaos and overworks herself leading to major burnout.

I finally got it…money was my new addiction and I was treating it exactly how I used to treat food (and my body). When I went up on the microphone to share my realization, I couldn’t stop shaking. This is it. It finally all makes sense! My limiting beliefs around money were preventing me from living the life of my dreams, just as my limiting beliefs around food and my body were preventing me from loving myself fully and truly. And while I’ve figured out the whole food thing, and in fact help other women overcome similar struggles, money and I still have a little work.

As I spoke, Stacey asked me point blank: “How did you overcome your issues with dieting?” and I said back, hands shaking, “I just quit…I let go. I told myself enough was enough and I didn’t want to feel so stressed anymore.”

She then had me write down this simple affirmation: I am safe to feel safe. I repeated it to myself in my head. It sounded nice…peaceful even. You see, you don’t have to struggle anymore. It is OK to give yourself permission to make a positive change you know deep down you need to make for yourself in order to transform. Whether you are struggling with your relationship, body image or food habits, know that things don’t have to be so damn hard and that you don’t have to suffer anymore.

While I am still on my personal journey with my money relationship, I am proud to say that I have healed myself from food torture and most importantly that you can do the same…starting today. When you make the investment in yourself to overcome these fears and “step into your spotlight,” anything is possible. And I mean it.

Are you ready to make the investment in yourself? If you suffer from compulsive dieting and want to lose the weight & gain the confidence while falling in love with yourself, I’d LOVE to invite you for a FREE 15-minute “Diet-Free Breakthrough Session.” Fill out this quickie form to schedule your complimentary session today.

Boston Bloggers Meetup at Scampo: A Blogger Roundup

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Last night, I attended a Boston Bloggers Meetup hosted by the lovely Alison and Kate through Eventbrite. (Big thanks to Sara from Boston Eventbrite for taking part!) The event was held at Scampo, a tasty upscale Italian-inspired restaurant inside the Liberty Hotel.

While the wine was lovely (I changed it up with a refreshing Pinot Grigio as opposed to my usual red), the food was delectable (um, can you say sausage-stuffed bacon wrapped dates and mini Endive salads?) the best part of the night hands down was mingling with other positive, fun, like-minded bloggers!

What I love most about these kinds of events is you get the chance to meet people in all different walks of life, with many different passions! Being a healthy living blogger, I find it fascinating to meet fashion, travel, lifestyle, arts & crafts, and even beer bloggers. It completely blows my mind how many talented, created people there are out there with one big thing in common: writing it out & sharing stories.


Here’s a little snippet from some of the fascinating people I mingled with last night…

Abigail, The Fabulous Life of a Natural Disaster: Spunky, adorable and sweet as can be, Abigail shares simple, affordable fashion tips for the average women.

Clair, Finding Clairity: Clair is a longtime favorite of mine, who I actually met at a past Boston Bloggers event, so it was so nice to see her smiling face! I love Clair’s beautiful photos, creative writing and artistic talents (the girl can sew, cook, you name it!) that shine through each of her posts. Plus, she’s newly engaged and her ring is oh-so-pretty (congrats!)

Agnes, Spoons and Stilettos: Yummy food & stunning fashion all in one spot! Can you say delish?

Anna, Dear Friend Blog: This super-friendly and creative teacher loves photography, and just opened her own photo card shop on Etsy! How cool is that?

Jen, Boston Bachelorette: This girl is The Boston Guru and literally knows everything you need to know about everything in the city! She even gave me some sweet restaurant recommendations!

Celia, It’s a Penguin Life: A lover of style, photos, DIY crafts, and simply soaking up life’s pleasures, Celia does it all! Plus, her beautiful wedding photos were featured in The Knot. How gorgeous?

Janee, Yellow Bird, Yellow Beard: Crafty rockstar. Enough said. He work and custom designs are absolutely stunning! Check out her shop to see for yourself. This girl is talented!

Jodi, Jodi Beans Blog: Jodi is a super-smiley social worker who loves scrapbooking, photography and navigating the city!

Marie, Twin Living: This fun, upbeat lifestyle blog is hosted by two fabulous twins!

Sarah, Hemenway Street: You will get lost in her photography. It’s simply that addicting! I love Sarah’s attention to detail and ability to really capture the moment.

Eileen, CrookedFlight: Incredible writer and travel expert. The girl’s been everywhere and shares some fascinating stories!

Becky, Pop And Circumstance: Becky has a knack for simple, vintage, beautiful things! What’s not to love?

Erin, Hungry in the Hub: Erin just started her blog, so I want to give her a warm welcome to the blogging world! She’s already off to a fabulous start, writing about her food & lifestyle adventures in Boston.

I think it’s safe to say I’ve got some reading to do! Thanks again to Boston Bloggers and Eventbrite for hosting yet another fabulous event.

Healthy Chicks in the Community Week 7: A Fun Foodie Who Likes Her Cocktails Strong & Her Workouts Sweaty

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Good afternoon Healthy Chicks! Today’s spotlight on Healthy Chicks in the Community is a twenty-something lady who loves her cocktails strong and her bread hot & fresh straight from the oven. I’ve actually had the honor of meeting Caitlin in person at a local coffee shop in Connecticut and she’s just as sweet as she sounds on paper. I’ll let Caitlin take it away from here!

NAME/AGE: Caitlin Croswell / 23

BLOG/TWITTER: / caitplusate on twitter

CURRENT CITY: Glastonbury, CT

PHOTO TAKEN: On the Lawn at Castle Hill in Newport, RI…a recommendation I got from a fellow blogger Tina, author of one of my first blogs I ever found – Carrots N Cake!

WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: I work full-time in the sales department of a small engineering and manufacturing firm…while fulfilling my passion for blogging on the side!NUMBER ONE PASSION: Spreading love and happiness

NUMBER ONE PASSION: Making others feel confident, and less hard on themselves!

I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN I AM: Eating the foods I crave (which means not depriving myself when those cravings aren’t necessarily for “clean food”) and doing the workouts I enjoy (aka not running…even though it seems at times like “all the bloggers” are doing it!

BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES: Make that ALWAYS have a glass of wine or a cocktail with dinner!

TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES: I rarely cook if you can believe it (perk of living at home with mom) but I’ve always gotta have my cutting board, a nice sharp knife for cutting veggies and/or fruit, and reusable containers to pack my lunches for work!

NUMBER ONE GUILTY PLEASURE: Probably cocktails…I love a strong drink!

EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE: I’m in love with choreographed Step classes!

FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: BREAD. Warm, crusty, white, fresh from the oven please.

MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS: Health is way more than just the physical, chicks. Being “skinny” isn’t worth it if you’re miserable – trust me, I know. I’ve been in recovery from an eating disorder for two years now and at my lowest weight I was far from happy – and STILL wanted my body to look different. Now whenever I feel tempted to abuse my body by overexercising or restricting I remind myself of that fact, that doing those things does not bring happiness, and in truth my happiest self is a girl who trusts in her love for healthy eats, her passion for fun fitness, and her enjoyment of the cocktails and sweets of life too 🙂

If you’d like to be featured as one of my Healthy Chicks in the Community, or know someone who you want to make blush, email me for more deets. And remember, if you aren’t feeling your healthiest self or are struggling to make positive changes, shoot me an email anytime to schedule your FREE 15-minute info session / sign up for one of my health coaching programs.

Friday Faves

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TGIF all my little healthy chickies! Since it’s Friday – and in the Twitter world Friday is always “Follow Friday” where you mention your favorite tweeters (um, is that what they’re called?) – I figured I’d go with the theme. Here are some of my favorites this week…enjoy!

Fave Website: My Secret Boston – This site is super cool and lets you in on all things secret, yet phenomenal in Boston. From fun places to eat to where to shop & drink, these people know their city! I particularly like the SEE+DO section and this activity especially caught my eye; who knew? You must take a peak if you haven’t yet!

Fave Song: “Magic” by B.O.B. & “Marry You” by Bruno Mars; these babies have really been getting me through my dreaded treadmill runs. 

Fave Snack: Cheese ‘n’ crackers; I simply can’t stop eating them this week, as if I were a little kid again sitting at one of those plastic picnic tables! I must say…I’ve upgraded my cheese taste from string cheese to the more “classy” varieties. My new favorite is Dill Havarti from good ol’ Trader Joe’s.

Fave Television Shows: This is embarrassing to admit but it’s been Bachelor and Jersey Shore. Bachelor is fun to watch because these girls are NUTS, absolutely insane…and that’s an understatement. They all think they’re “in love” with this man who’s not even that great and they’ve only just met him. I just don’t understand how 25 girls can walk into a house and all happen to fall in love with the “oh-so-wonderful” Bachelor. Really? REALLY? Then there’s just no words for Jersey Shore. It just simply makes me laugh (uncontrollably) , and I secretly want to be friends with Snooki for a day…girl cracks me up! 

What are some of your faves this week? 


These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

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As you can tell from the title of my post, today I will be talking about all of my favorite things. However, I now also have that song from  the classic The Sound of Music stuck in my head (and I’m sorry if you now do as well). Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…OK I’ll stop now. Those most definitely are not a few of my favorite things. I hate cats. But I do have a BUNCH of my very own favorite things and that’s what I’d like to share with you today. Enjoy!

My Favorite Perfume: Asteria by Marina de Bourbon – not only is it in a pretty purple bottle, but I fell in love with the scent the very first day I discovered it. It’s feminine, sexy and sweet all at the same time. 

My Favorite Lip Balm: C.O. Bigelow My Favorite Lip Balm, Bath & Body Works – this one is easy as it’s actually called “My Favorite Lip Balm.” My sister got it for me as part of a Christmas gift last year, and I’ve been in love with it ever since. It makes my lips perfectly smooth and shiny, and has a nice shea butter/almond taste to it. 

My Favorite Workout DVD: Exhale: Core Fusion -Body Sculpt with Fred DeVito and Elisabeth Halfpapp – this DVD will seriously whip your ass into shape in no time. I felt toned, sexy, and confident within the first TWO WEEKS. Amazing, really. I urge everyone to try it at least once. 

My Favorite Hummus: It’s a toss up between Sabra’s Roasted Pine Nut and Trader Joe’s Three Layer (Traditional, Cilantro and Roasted Red Pepper). Can you say yum

My Favorite Guilty Pleasures: Peanut Butter & Chocolate or Wine & Cheese. Hands down. No question about it. 

My Favorite Turn On: A funny guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously….and is tall…and dark and handsome (hehe just kidding, kinda). Funny and tall will do (with a nice smile, of course). 

My Favorite Undies: Victoria’s Secret Lacie Thongs in pretty colors 

My Favorite Cuisine: Italian, Mexican & Asian (I’m a sucker for sushi) 

My Favorite Travel Destination: Italy. I studied abroad in Reggio Calabria one summer, and would go back in a heartbeat. I’ve never been so happy than what I was in Italy. The country is beautiful, the people are lovely, and the culture is refreshing. Oh, and the food is to-die-for. 

My Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Chocolate. Always, chocolate…topped with hot fudge, preferably. 

My Favorite Healthy Snacks: Veggies and hummus, raw almonds, unsalted popcorn, sliced tomatoes with salt & pepper, apple slices & peanut butter, Light Laughing Cow cheese wedges (Garlic & Herb is my fave) with celery, and string cheese. 

My Favorite Wellness Book: “Naturally Thin” by Bethenny Frankel – It’s a great read for anyone who has ever struggled with counting calories, thinking food is the enemy or thinking they are FAT. A must read in my mind. 

My Favorite City: Boston (because I live there) but NYC for visiting. 

My Favorite Board Games: Apples to Apples, Cranium, and my newest favorite Balderdash 

My Favorite Accent: English

My Favorite Workout: A long, sweaty run with phenomenal music on my iPod 

My Favorite Caffeine Fix: Black Coffee with a splash of vanilla soy milk in the a.m. I also can’t say no to a well-made cappuccino, especially from the North End. 

My Favorite Birthday Dinner: Chicken Parmesan with a side of Fettuccine Alfredo – quite the combo, I know. 

My Favorite Holiday: Christmas & The Fourth of July (Because my birthday is July 5th)

My Favorite Nutrition Bar: Toss up between Luna Bars & Lara Bars : ) Get a variety pack of Luna Bars from on sale here now! 

My Favorite Hobbies: People watching & writing away in adorable little cafes 

My Favorite Addictions: Coffee, peanut butter, my blackberry & my pink Mac 

My Favorite Band: The Beatles– Favorite song by them? Toss up between this one & this one, oh & this one ; )  

What are a few of your favorite things? I’d love to hear! 

What's on My…iPod, workout schedule, mind?

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Happy Friday fellow healthy chicks, and hooray for the glorious weekend ahead! Since it’s Friday and I know you’re all just itching to get out of work and get your hands on a martini, I’ll keep this post short ‘n’ sweet. Today we’re going to play a little game over at Healthy Chicks so that you all can get to know me better, and I too can hopefully get to know YOU better along the way. 

What’s on My…? 

iPod: Newly downloaded songs= Katy Perry’s “Firework” (totally motivating and great for an energy boost, plus she totally rocked it at the VS Fashion Show), One Republic’s “Secrets” (also gets me going in the morning along with my coffee), Paramore’s “The Only Exception” (how can you not love this song?), Sad Brad Smith’s “Help Yourself” (have been obsessed since watching the movie “Up in the Air“), George Harrison’s “What is Life” (an oldie but a goodie).

Refrigerator Shelves: Honestly, I’m embarrassed ’cause there isn’t much right now- definitely time to hit up Trader Joe’s. Currently I have eggs (I heart making egg white omelets), a bunch of veggies (including spinach, cucumber, carrots and zucchini), marinara sauce (leftover from when I made “Spaghetti (squash) & Meatballs”, light string cheese, fresh mozzarella cheese (I’m a sucker for the real thing), apples, an orange and brown rice wraps. 

Workout Sched: This afternoon I’m going for a 2ish mile run with my best friend (she’s running her first 5K in a couple of weeks, yay her!) followed by some Core Fusion Body Sculpt in the apartment. I’m going to try to squeeze in a long run this weekend (5 to 6 miles I hope) as well as some yoga/weights at the gym!

To-Do List: It’s a little scary, but it includes interviewing a salon owner for my PT job, buy Christmas presents for mom, dad, sister, friends, etc., edit recipe book & place orders [will probably order 50 to 100 and sell holiday specials], buy a scarf for a special girl who deserves it, pit-stop to Sephora for some makeup, pit stop at CVS for all the essentials, browse Victoria’s Secret for Christmas goodies, grocery shopping, buy mini things for Florida trip so I won’t have to check my bag (gotta follow the 3.4 oz. rule), and the list goes on and on…

Mind: “I can’t wait for Florida…”, “What’s for lunch?…”, “Wow, that dude next to me has crazy hair…”, “This cappuccino is delish…”, “Seriously, what do you get dads for Christmas?…”

Lips: Vaseline (so good for winter chapped lips) & Bath and Body Works’ “My Favorite Lip Balm” with shea butter and almond oil. (It really is my favorite lip balm-I swear by this stuff)

Cool Bookmarked Pages:, OMG Facts, PostSecret, Etsy

Calendar next two weeks: Comedy show, Sunday Funday with my friend Megan, a few meetings, two work holiday parties, Ugly Sweater Party (debating whether to go or not), 4 day road trip to Florida, 5K Jingle Run!

If you have the time, fill in the blanks on some of the above questions…I’d love to learn more about you too!! 

Listening to Your Bod

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Yesterday my sister called me complaining that she had a stomach ache because she overdid it this weekend. “I ate way too much this weekend,” she moaned. You see, she wasn’t upset over the fact that she over-ate (I’ve always admired my sister because she’s never let food make her feel guilty by any means), but rather she was upset by the way it made her feel...physically. It was family weekend at her school which meant parties and endless meals out. Between an entire chicken parmesan entrée to chips, dips and beer, she was definitely feeling it come Sunday night. Maybe a year ago, this kind of eating wouldn’t have made a difference on how she felt, but ever since she’s developed a healthier diet, she can no longer handle loads of grease, cheese ‘n’ fatty appetizers all in one weekend (and frankly, neither can I). 

This brings up my point that I-among many people who I know-choose to follow a healthy lifestyle and diet not because it’ll make us “skinny,” “healthy” or “heros” in any way but because it makes our bodies feel good. It’s funny because when I was a little kid (yes, I was a little chubby) I could eat an entire chicken parmesan feast (pasta and all) with a large soda, then dessert and feel wonderful afterward, still hungry even. Now if I tried to tackle that kind of meal I’d definitely feel the burn…in my stomach. My tummy can only handle half a burger these days (which I only do on occasion) and I also had to give up pasta, breads and pastries due to my gluten intolerance (grr). While years ago I could have probably downed an entire large pizza in one sitting, a slice or two (of gluten free) now does the trick. You get the point. 

Once you start to develop healthier eating habits, you begin to crave healthy food,  not because it’ll make you thin but because it makes your body feel good. While many tease me that I’m a health freak or admire my “amazing willpower,” it’s really not because I’m heroic or super motivated in any way; it’s just I enjoy healthy, wholesome food. Believe it or nut, but I actually crave grilled salmon and chicken with roasted vegetables. Hummus, edamame, kale, and other food people find “weird” or “healthy” appeal to me, and many others. I love cooking and experimenting with new foods each and every day, making meals that’ll fill me up, spark my creativity and ignite my taste buds. 

I guess my point is that being healthy isn’t so hard after all. It’s just a lifestyle choice that soon becomes second nature to you. I don’t avoid Doritos because I think they’ll make me fat but because I’d rather indulge in fresh fruits and veggies (they taste better) and I’d rather avoid the stomach ache I’d get from eating a bag of oily, greasy chips. Same goes for the ChickenParmesa/beer/party food indulgence my sister was complaining about. While I’m sure the meal was decadent and she enjoyed every bite, she had to pay the not-so-pleasant consequences of feeling bloated and full the rest of the weekend. Maybe eating half or saving some for later may have been more gentle on her body?

That’s the whole point: listening to your body. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. Know that foods are going to bother your stomach, and eat them sparingly. If cheese or beer always makes you feel bloated, maybe skip those foods on a weekend you have a lot of plans going on. It’s all about knowing what works best for you and your body, and using your body as your #1 decision maker. Take last night for example. I made a large salad with fresh veggies, Whole Food’s chicken veggie salad and a few mini mozzarella cheese balls. It filled me up for quite some time, and I figured that’d be it for the night. However, 9:00 rolled around and I was hungry again. No I wasn’t going to deprive myself, but I also knew I didn’t need an additional meal. So I met in the middle. I was craving salty and savory so I made a mini plate of low-sodium nachos with cheese and boy did it hit the spot. That’s listening to your body at its best. While 9 p.m. Sunday nachos might not be the norm,  it’s what my body was craving at the time, so I fed into it. 

I encourage you to do the same.

Do you listen to your body? What kinds of food make you feel good? Are there others that you struggle with (i.e. allergies, intolerance, bloat, etc)? Please share your personal experience with listening to YOUR body…

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