meals, may 17-24

Because 3 and I planned our first adventure, I’d already figured on burgers for Friday but I’m thinking I’d prefer a lighter fare, so I’m switching things up a bit.

I have been feeling a bit defeated that my weight isn’t going down at the pace I was planning. I’ll have periods where I’ll drop and then plateau and it’s frustrating. My body is definitely changing composition (thanks, yoga) and I’m fitting into clothing differently (and clothing that previously was too tight to wear), which is great but that number is just not moving. I know that I should be grateful for the endurance I’m building (and I am) and that my running pace is decreasing — I am definitely seeing all types of non-scale victories but that doesn’t help me not dwell on the number.

I’ve been reading that people who are healthiest tend to eat the same things over and over. I have been doing this, largely, but I think I’m consuming far more meat products that I’d prefer. I used to not eat meat at all and now it’s center stage in all three meals, basically.

This week, we are going to mix things up a bit: open-faced breakfast sandwiches and refried bean tacos for lunches during the week and then grilled meat and salads for dinner. I am hoping this brings more of the balance I’m looking for and won’t require so much day-to-day cooking on my part. I have been getting A LOT of chicken kebab salads from a local place (it’s a nice .75miles r/t walk) and I like that they serve pita with their salads, so I think I’ll grab some of those for us to have with ours to really round everything out if we want to add a little more substance. I also think I’m going to roast some baby potatoes as an alternate carb option.

My husband and I are going away next weekend for a few days, so it’ll be nice to see how this works and if it’s worth our while when we get back from our long weekend trip.

 

march reflections, april goals

I have had a busy March: 10 turned 11, 12 turned 13, and I tried to stay calm and motivated by attending yoga and logging a few running miles (plus weight training) a week. I am happy to report that I met mostly met my goals for March! Every Sunday, I note in my planner my goals for the week — typically, I try to do 3-5 yoga classes, drink at least 64oz of water a day, log 3 miles a week and 1-2 weight training days, take my toddler on at least one excursion a week, and do my meal planning and grocery shopping.

A few things I learned this month — My goal for April is to split the mileage from 1mile/workout to 1.5 miles/workout and run twice a week with weights both days. IF I am only doing yoga 3x in that week, I’d like to add an additional weight training and 1.5mile workout to the mix. I have goals set on MapMyRun to log 3 miles weekly and to work out for at least 3 hours weekly; sometimes the ‘GOAL’ tab is inaccurate but I pulled up my ‘monthly progress’ and am proud to report that I met both goals each week for the month of March. I also hit a 9:00 minute mile; I was so close to just breaking in at 8:59, so I’m hoping in April, I’ll be able to.

I’ve also learned that 3-4 yoga classes a week are completely doable; 5 classes is where I apparently need to draw the line and the thought of attending that extra class does nothing but cause me stress. As a result, for April, I will have a goal to attend 3-4 classes a week — typically, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday. This seems to work out best for me and gets me a variety of classes — Fridays and Sundays, I take Vinyasa & Deep Relaxation classes. I really like these because I feel it’s the best of both worlds. I build heat and then end in a few restorative poses. Saturdays, I typically take a heated hip hop yoga class; if for some reason, I can’t get there, they offer a V&DR class at night that I’ve enjoyed. Tuesday is a Yin & Restorative class and I always feel so buoyant afterwards; honestly, I feel like I could float away. This class is perhaps the most challenging I take because I find it difficult to not fidget during pose holds. I’m really happy that I tried it, though, because I find it really beneficial.

A funny thing about yoga, too — I am noticing that I’m really a part of a valued community at my studio. I’ve started to form bonds with people I see regularly; I feel comfortable going into the back room for a bolster if I want to warm up with one before a class where they’re not used; I’ll grab an extra block or blankets if I feel like it’ll help my practice. This may not seem like much but in the past, I’d have dwelled on wanting something only to deal with a convergence of my anxiety making me not want to get it and feeling regret for not getting it. This is a pleasant, welcome improvement for me and I’m ever grateful.

Yoga has also helped keep me grounded when other things in my life that are beyond my control are going on. I have kept with my practice (and my running/lifting), which on little sleep feels daunting most days, but I know that this is ultimately helping me maintain calm and order throughout my day for my own family. I am allowing myself to prioritize my needs and that greater enables me to support the needs of my family.

I have been staying largely on top of nutrition, but will try to reign things in a bit better for April. I want to be mindful of how I eat with the marathon coming up — my husband is running Boston and we have guests coming to town, so it’s easy to fall into the takeout/unhealthy eating trap. I also have been lax lately with eating grains, despite noticeable inflammation. We had cupcakes for 11’s birthday, doughnuts for 13’s, plus a date night that included a shrimp quesadilla (SO GOOD) and another in Boston’s North End with homemade pasta. I definitely notice a difference in how my body feels, so I’m going to try to approach April with more deliberate decisions around nutrition.

My last goal for April is getting out of the house more with my toddler. We love to go to playgrounds nearby, plus he loves riding his balance bike. We’ve been blowing bubbles the last few days and it’s just nice to be outside as the air warms. We also really like to go to the zoo; we were taking trips there until the wet winter weather hit. I love that I get to stay home with 3 because we can get out on weekdays with smaller crowds to do these types of activities.

feb reflections & march goals

I re-read my post: jan reflections & feb goals. Basically, the only thing that I was able to keep was practicing yoga at the studio and eating in a way that largely works with my body. I did not get around to starting The Grace of Enough, largely because I’ve had to read three novels and a slew of short stories to plan for the semester. Sadly, reading for pleasure is probably on a hiatus until spring break.

My spring break is in the middle of the month this semester. I am taking 3 to visit my parents during the week and am hoping to read my book, visit a local coffee shop for a lavender tea latte, and indulge in a doughnut from my favorite gem of a shop and/or some chili-cheese fries and a cheeseburger from a local dive (they’re amazing). I also want to head to a local chocolate shop and pick up a few things for Easter for the kids and us, and take 3 to the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. It’s a great place and I’ve not been since 10 and 12 were much younger.

I am planning to continue with yoga and as I mentioned in my last post, I’d like to try some different classes as well. I also would like to start trying to practice 4-5x a week instead of three times with consistency. I’d also like to reintegrate weight training and a day of cardio, even if it’s just taking walks regularly or the elliptical for 10 minutes. I enjoy being active but with the weather and the winter blues, I’m not moving around through the day nearly as much as I should or as I’d like. I think this will pick up naturally once there’s no snow on the ground and the weather is better, but for now, I need to make a more deliberate effort.

As for my food/weight goals — well, I am pleased with the progress from February. I cut down on grains but still ate them; I never felt deprived or hungry; and I seem to be falling into a routine that works better for my body but only has changed slightly from how I’m used to eating. I am noticing inflammation more easily, so that’s something I want to keep my eye on more as March progresses. For the month of February, I’ve lost around 4lbs and a total of 6.75 inches (mostly from my waist and hips). I am pleased with this because it’s a slight transformation but I definitely see change. I don’t have any specific goals around this for March — just keep doing what I’m doing and be mindful of planning meals that best fit the needs of my body.

I look forward to reflecting at the end of March and seeing what progress I’ve made!

 

yoga-spiration

I was a little discouraged on Friday after yoga. I take a vinyasa/restorative class and for whatever reason, really struggled during the flow portion of class. I was frustrated and while that subsided when the restorative portion of class came about, I left feeling disappointed in my body’s abilities. Still, I hit the mat on Saturday afternoon for my hip hop class. It was very challenging because of the chosen poses/sequences, but I left feeling proud of what my body allowed me to do.

Then, Tuesday rolled around…

Tuesday was kind of a strange day for me: I ate a pound of asparagus for lunch and then dreamed of dancing of french fries on the drive to and at the end of yoga.

I take a yin and restorative class on Tuesdays. I’d briefly considered taking a hip hop class this week but I really enjoy the stillness of the yin portion and always leave in such a great headspace (which is absolutely necessary with the treacherous threes my toddler is going through). As class ended, I was planning my next move: French fries from byChloe.

byChloe is just down the street from yoga and I decided to try it because my usual, Dig Inn, stopped serving their chili oil brussels sprouts last week and I am oddly affected. I looked at the menu beforehand and figured on a Greek salad (sans tofu feta & chickpeas) and air-fryer fries. Before I left, I grabbed some beet ketchup (holy moly) and chipotle aioli — what a lovely treat and a great way to top off a strong showing at yoga.

I am looking forward to Friday’s class and am hopeful that my body will be more willing to expand and experience growth. I’m also planning to change up some of my classes in the coming weeks. I want to try a strength & structure class and a different yin class. I’ll be sure to update on the different classes/instructors, as I’m looking forward to more experiences!

Additionally, I am considering getting a bolster and yoga blanket for my practice at home. I have one block but want to get a set of two as well. My goal in the coming weeks is to do more self practice at home and also start to add in some elliptical and weight training — nothing to overly exert myself, but just to aid in strength building. I’d like to have a stronger routine so that once the weather breaks, I can get out for walks more frequently and maybe the occasional run.

What are some of your exercise reflections and goals?

 

 

yoga with benefits

I was really excited when I got back to the mat last month and joined a studio that offers hip hop yoga (the class that originally got me hooked years ago). Since joining, I’ve taken vinyasa (heated), vinyasa + restorative, yin yoga, restorative, and the hip hop. There are other classes offered that I’ve not had the chance to take yet, but I’m interested in the slow flow and strength/structure classes.

I’ve been thinking about other things that have changed since I started attending classes. First and foremost is my exercise regimen. I had been doing at-home practice a few days a week but only for short periods of time and, instead, spend most of my time focused on cardio (elliptical) and some lifting. I’ve not done either of these in 2019 and while I hope to add one workout a week that includes deliberate cardio and lifting, I’m otherwise unfazed by how things have shaken out. In truth, I’m pleased with the shoulder definition I’m developing by attending yoga 3-4x a week.

My diet has easily been cleaned up. Sure, we did a revamp but I’m finding that it’s really easy to find balance — I’m eating vegetables (my favorite) and have cut grains significantly; I’ve also added some protein but not so much that I feel overwhelmed by it. Before I started yoga, I’d have oatmeal (2) for breakfast, maybe a sandwich or salad and pita for lunch, and then pasta and vegetables for dinner. I’ve been still indulging in a lot of carbs (thank you, potatoes & fruit) and am still having pasta for dinner, just not as often. I also have indulged in a couple of Girl Scout cookies the last few nights. It may seem silly but I accredit yoga for empowering me to be do what’s best for my mind and body.

In addition to diet and exercise, I’m drinking a lot more water, my clothes are fitting differently, and I’m falling asleep without melatonin (and staying asleep); most importantly, my anxiety isn’t getting in my way and I’m feeling a lot freer as a person, which  makes me a better wife and parent. Lastly, and this is silly but I have noticed that when I’m planning to go someplace (date night, out with my toddler, the grocery store), I am dressing better. I am no longer grabbing leggings and a tunic; instead, I feel more put together. I realized this when the jeans in my drawer were running low but my leggings were abundant.

While we’re on the subject of clothing: I used to online shop a lot. I didn’t only buy things for me; I bought for everyone in the house. My resolution for 2019 was to stop online shopping and I’m happy to report: So far, so good! I used online browsing/shopping to fill a void and occupy my mind when suffering from severe anxiety. I’ve not had any desire to shop online this year and the few things I’ve ordered for the house (things we need, which I do not count), I feel inconvenienced. This has been a pleasant turn around for me.

I’m in the city a few days a week, which gives me easy access to restaurants and shops. I miss living in the fray of thugs. When I first moved to the ‘burbs, I was miserable. We’ve since sold that house and moved to a beach town, which I love. We do a weekly date night but are typically only gone for an hour or two, so it’s not like we are in the city much otherwise. It’s nice to get to walk around and pop into stores or restaurants at my leisure. This is a favorite benefit of yoga thus far.

Of course, the last benefit I’ve found through yoga is that I’ve started to set weekly intentions. I grab my planner on Sundays and set my intentions for the week; these include self-care, family activities, yoga schedule, and other things that are important to my family and myself. A goal I want to get to is setting daily intentions but for now, this works.

What are some benefits you’ve found through your routines?

health and meals

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately and have been thinking about what seems to work for my body and what does not. My health is important to me and I have been spending way too much time eating foods that I really have no business (or, best case scenario, minimal business) eating.

I am allergic to yeast and have a gluten intolerance as well as one to whey and casein. This typically has gluten, yeast, and dairy out of my diet but for the last while. I’ve been indulging far more often than I should be. I am not feeling great as a result and I think that my body needs some space and time to reset and heal my gut.

In the fall, when our kitchen reno was wrapping up, I ordered a few cookbooks. I am using these cookbooks for motivation for meal planning this week. My husband and I decided that we are going to live by the Whole30 rules for a little and give ourselves the reset we need. When we did W30 cycles before, we’ve felt great during and after. My husband noticed his running was easier (and faster) and my anxiety had basically disappeared. It’s really wild how diet can influence everything within your body.

For this reason, we are taking inspiration to cut sugar, grains, and legumes for the next couple weeks and hope that we can heal the damage we’ve been doing. We are likely to not avoid “sex with your pants on” from W30 because our goal is to shift our eating habits just a hair to something more sustainable.

The timing pretty much works out for us in that our babysitter is taking next week off to celebrate Valentine’s Day with her boyfriend and the following week, I have a meeting, so it’s easy to commit to these few weeks without temptation. That being said, I’m going to take some time to plan my meals around W30 ideals and figure out a game plan that starts tomorrow.

We had originally planned an after-yoga brunch but we are in the throws of potty training and are worried that we are over-planning our day, so we will meet at home (after my yoga class and the boys’ trip to the Museum of Science) and have a late lunch / early dinner with some tasty features to really kick off our weekend.

We have a couple shoe bins that need built for the garage/mudroom space and I’m hoping my husband can get around to doing that this weekend so that we can organize that and get things back to looking less cluttered.

Any tips or tricks for those of you who’ve done Whole30 and transitioned to a more balanced 80-20 lifestyle?

jan reflections & feb goals

I have been really enjoying my new schedule of yoga and time in Boston. I cannot truly describe how it makes me feel – I am less stressed and more free and it is positively affecting my life far beyond the mat. My husband and I have talked about the small changes we’ve been making so far in 2019 (largely, being deliberate about working out and making time for ourselves to feel like ourselves).

I have scale goals and non-scale goals, so I’m not going to delve too into those but I wore a shirt this past week that fit looser than it ever has. It was noticeable. Out of curiosity, I weighed myself and took some measurements this morning. I’d like to do it again at the beginning of March and see what, if anything, has changed.

In addition to weekly yoga classes, I’d like to get the dog for a nice, long walk on Sundays when I don’t practice yoga. Today, we knocked out 1.5 miles and he is snoring to my right as I type. This is good for the both of us, but the New England weather plays a role in this goal.

Of course, I have non-movement goals, too. I made time to read a few quick reads in January and now that my semester has started, I have less time to read recreationally. I bought the book, The Grace of Enough, and it’s my goal to read that in my spare time. (NOTE: On Monday, I took a mid-day yoga class before I headed to work. I noticed that half a dozen attendees of my class had books; the English professor in me was giddy! I took note of this and plan to toss my book in my bag for the T/before class to maximize reading time.)

Lastly, activities with my toddler. I want to be more deliberate in getting to activities that allow/encourage him to socialize more. We tend to do a lot of museum or zoo visits, so my goal for February is to take him to move open-gym type activities.

Do you set monthly intentions/goals?