What I Ate – December 2018

Good morning! It’s the start of December and the Holiday season is rapidly approaching! I wanted to kick things off with a little “What I Ate” post. I plan on doing a post towards the end of the month of all of our little holiday treats that we’ve made, bought, and eaten over this year’s holiday season, but I figured a good place to start would be what my staples are right now.

Unfortunately with the lettuce situation going on, I haven’t been able to eat a salad in a little while. I’m sure that Romaine Lettuce is ON THE WHOLE safe to consume, but since they can’t identify the source of the contamination, and so I am following suite with the recommendations set forth and not eating it (insert crying face…). I’ve tried to adjust a little bit with other options at this point.

IMG_8244Lately for breakfast I’ve been really sticking with my scrambled eggs. I make 2-3 (depending on whether my boys want some) and I scramble them up and add some pepper in while they are cooking up. I pair this with some fresh raspberries and if I’m feeling extra hungry, a bit of challah bread. This is not an everyday thing though.

 

 

IMG_8300For lunch, instead of salads, I’ve switched back to sandwiches. I used to eat these a lot, and it’s been nice to get back to them a little more. I don’t really like to have a lot of “normal” things on my sandwiches, but they taste delicious. On this sandwich, I’ve got mayonnaise, shredded Colby Jack cheese, Oven Roasted Turkey, and Tomatoes. This week I’ve done something different, for me at this point at lease, and have gone for a  serving of chips. I stopped eating chips, but I really just wanted to have some with the holidays. It’s strange, but I stuck with the serving suggestion and it wasn’t too bad. (Side note- the bag of chips is now gone I always forget how crap I feel after eating junk food until I’ve eaten it).

I want to also share this other find that I’ve been reaching for around lunchtime, or as a side for our dinner…the Alexia Cauliflower Risotto. They have two options (that I’ve seen) for the Cauliflower base, White Cheddar and regular. I’ve tried both and they are both delicious! I highly recommend them.

IMG_6576For Dinner, we had a special treat on this particular evening! My husband decided that he wanted to cook up some steaks and that turned into him taking over the entire meal. He is a pretty good cook as it is, and when he decides to cook dinner it is always wonderful! This evening we had venison steaks with a lovely marinade (I don’t have the brand right on hand, I’ll share when we get it again- so good!). To go along with it we had some baked potatoes ( a healthier version), and some steamed veggies. I also grabbed a bit of challah to top everything off. Pictures does not do this meal justice- absolutely delicious!

I didn’t share my drinks with you on this post, as they are pretty much the same as last time. I stick with water and tea throughout the day and then on occasion (once or twice a month) I’ll have a soda.

There you’ve got it! What I ate in a day this past week. I hope that you enjoyed!

 

Friday Morning Cups

To anyone that’s reading this-this is important. Read on because I have a little story to share.

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This past week had a couple of rough spots. A couple of days where things just overloaded. Where my patience really stretched thin and things started falling through the cracks. My fuse seemingly disappeared and while there wasn’t any sort of breakdown or really bad moments, it was just a week that wore on me.

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Sunday morning I decided to take a little breather. To get out of the house by myself, go to a coffee shop and sit, read and re charge my batteries. I came back to the house feeling so much better. My attitude had shifted. No longer did I have a zero fuse, no longer did I find myself yelling or snapping. I got the to do list done in record time and all with a little smile on my face. I was a better wife and a better mom.

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Now my husband isn’t one to really comment on this type of thing BUT even HE noticed the shift. He told me “If 45 minutes to yourself is all it takes, so that everyday”. He got it. He saw the shift and it clicked.

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Everyone- that time for yourself is SO important. I talk about this so much because it makes a huge difference. That saying is true- you can’t pour from an empty cup.

A Fresh Outlook pt. 2: Fitness and Exercise

I’ve always been an active person. From being a competitive figure skater, to playing soccer, to hiking and walking trails, I’ve always loved to have some amount of physical activity in my life. Sometimes that was just a simple walk at lunchtime, other times spending a day on the weekend hiking trails and discovering new lookouts. 

From about the age of 5 till 15, I was a competitive figure skater. This called for a very intense workout regiment and constant physical strain and pushing my limits. While I did enjoy it and learned a lot of lessons, it definitely took its toll on my body in many ways. When I stopped Figure Skating, I jumped right into playing Soccer for a little while. Another very vigorous and physical sport, but I loved it. I didn’t play for too long due to switching schools and I wish I could have played more and really honed my abilities. I definitely really enjoyed it. 

After participating in both of those activities, combined with heading into college, I decided that I wanted to start hiking and exploring rather than just playing sports all the time. With that decision though, I stopped being AS active in my everyday life. Shortly after that, I started working in office jobs and wasn’t able to just head out and go for a run in the middle of the day, or take my lunch break to work out. 

While I still maintained an active lifestyle over the past 3-4 years, there was a big change in how active I was. I was sitting more and more during the day and when I would get home I would be sluggish and not as active there either. I found that I missed those every day moments of activity and that adrenaline and endorphin rush that comes from working out and pushing your limits. 

A couple months before the New Year (2018), I quietly started working out again. Just 30 minutes early in the morning, before the boys woke up, down in our basement. I used a business that I had found through Youtube and just did a video or two (depending on length) in the morning. I eased into it, as they can be intense) starting at 3 days a week and leading into every weekday. 

I’ve now been working out everyday since January and, like eating healthier, I’ve seen such a shift. After a workout and a shower, I feel so good. I feel like I can take whatever the day throws at me, which is a big thing for me. I’ve also noticed, that while I was able to hike and walk trails for a while earlier, that has changed. I am able to go for longer before getting tired, go up higher, and even now carry my children longer if needed. 

I’ve always known that exercise plays a huge role in how you mentally and emotionally feel, but I didn’t know how big of a role it plays until I wasn’t able to work out for about a week. I definitely noticed a bit of a change just in the way I handle things. With that only lasting a little under a week, it wasn’t a huge deal, but I can definitely see how that change could grow if it was longer. 

At this point, I usually do the more intense workouts 3-4 days a week and then incorporate a little (about 15-20 minutes) of yoga 2-3 days a week and on the weekends. I really like yoga for just calming down and re centering (it also is a good workout just in itself). 

Friday Morning Cups

Every once in a while I will post something on Social Media that I want to have a longer “effect” of have be part of my archive with A Cuppa Cosy. It may even be something that I want to expand on and couldn’t within the constraints. 

Whenever I run into this situation, I will post them on here, on Friday mornings, titled Friday Morning Cups. Intended to be read (as all of my posts are) over a cup of coffee or tea and maybe, if you are so driven to, start a conversation if needed. Maybe not, Sometimes they will be fun and light hearted, other times a more serious tone. Either way, for whatever reason, I want to make a spot for this type of post. 

Here’s the “inaugural” post, from earlier this week. 

5160350240_IMG_2611In an effort to be completely open about my Eating Disorder…I’ve had this Garmin watch for 6 months and I had a Fitbit watch for about 2 years before that. I’ve always been a huge fan of fitness trackers and have really enjoyed being able to just kind of see where I am at with my exercise and my movement throughout the day. With where I was at in my recovery, I was still able to manage wearing a fitness tracker, see what all was going on, and be OK. 

Of late though I’ve noticed a shift in my thought process towards my Garmin. To be more clear, I’ve noticed a shift in my thought process as to what I was tracking with it. I noticed some old habits starting to creep back into my mind. Some old thoughts that I hadn’t heard in a few years. 

I noticed of recent how bad these thoughts had actually gotten. Funny how that realization often times doesn’t hit until it is full on in your brain. I am still over all in a good place in my recovery. I’ve not relapsed, but I have noted those thoughts. I will not let those thoughts win. I know where I am at in my life and, more importantly, I am HAPPY with where I am at. 

To expand…I am at my healthiest, my happiest, my most confident and self assured. I”ve never felt so good about myself and what I’m doing with my life. Even with all of that and feeling so incredible, the littlest of things can attach in my mind and start that spiral. 

This post is to show that there is no end. Recovery is on going and what may have been ok at one point, may not be ok anymore. Remember what those thoughts sound like and do not be afraid to break away from whatever is bringing those thoughts back into your mind. Even if that something is something that hasn’t been an issue before. 

For me- I’ll be saving this watch for when I workout. 

A Fresh Outlook pt 1: Healthy Eating

*Small disclaimer- I did use to have a very unhealthy relationship with food and eating. I am still recovering and dealing with that every day. You can read about that HERE. I feel comfortable talking about this as I am in a relatively good place (with only a few rough days) and this mind shift has really helped me. 

When my husband was a Drill Sergeant and had a crazy schedule, meals became whatever was quick, easy, and there wasn’t much thought put into them. We were often eating dinner late at night due to his hours (we always eat dinner together and I wasn’t changing that) and I was a big snacker throughout the day. It wasn’t until we moved that I was able to implement a real change in our eating. 

When we moved almost 2 1/2 years ago I decided that we were cutting out the processed crap. I was going to cut all of those box dinners and get back to cooking meals. My husbands schedule tamed down a lot, didn’t have so many crazy or odd hours, and we were able to start meal planning a little better. Changing dinner meals was the easiest with of our lives and we’ve never looked back to those pre boxed quick meals. I actually can’t believe we ate as many as they did as most aren’t super good in taste.

The process of cutting out the junk food was a much harder road to travel. I am a huge snacker and for me, the only way to cut junk food was to cut out most of the snacking. I started by eating a proper breakfast in the morning and then really trying to focus on eating when I was hungry, rather than when I was bored. I also started to try and look at what I was actually eating, rather than just reach for whatever. 

At this point, I’ve cut soda to one a week, plain water and hot tea during the day to drink, popcorn (my guilty pleasure) once a week, and no other chips or really candy. I eat 3 meals everyday, and then if I still feel like I need a little more I’ll reach either for a bar or some fruit. 

To say that I have felt a shift is putting it very mildly. I’m not being “cooky” when I say it was like coming out of a fog. It is absolutely insane to realize how much just eating chips, or having some candy, or even a single soda can really do to you. Not only does my body just feel so much better and healthier, but mentally it is a whole separate ballgame. I find that I am much more even keeled and I don’t constantly just feel yucky. 

I would say the moment that everything clicked was when I was a few weeks clear of chips and candy. I really just felt light and clear in my mindset. I felt like I was just in a better state across the board with my body, my mind, and my emotions. I was able to just do much more because I didn’t have the extra “junk” of junk food in my body. 

That was when it clicked in my head. What fuels our body? In a very literal sense what fuels our bodies is what we actually put in. A lot of how we feel physical and even emotionally can be related to what we are consuming. Our bodies need nourishment in a most basic sense and what you put in is what you will get out. 

This is not only something that I learned not only throughout recovery, but in just experiencing different things in life. What I eat is more than just what I eat. It relates not only to my body, but to my energy, my mood and just my overall health. 

When you look at the idea of food being your fuel and you look at the big picture of what you are putting into your system, you start to get a crystal clear perspective.

Just a few years ago I was eating junk food all the time. I had chips and cookies everyday and a soda almost as frequently. We were having pre made box dinners at dinnertime (mostly out of ease and quickness of preparation than anything else) and while it didn’t seem so bad at the time, looking back I see just how bad I felt.

Hindsight is 20/20-although at the time, I very much knew that I wasn’t the healthiest with my eating habits. At this point we are eating almost all home cooked meals (there are a couple of exceptions here and there) and it has made such a difference. In fact, I would say eating healthier has made more of a difference than the workouts I’ve done. The workouts are great and needed, but where it all begins is with what you are consuming. It’s not a hard change, it just requires a little more thought at the outset. Once you feel the difference, you won’t go back to any previous eating habits. 

Hitting a Road Block

Like any other person, I have my moments. I have my days, sometimes even my weeks. No one’s life is always perfect and I DO NOT want to even begin to portray that. I have always said that the biggest thing that I strive for (in all aspects of my life) is honesty. Always authentic and always 100% honest in what I share. This is my real life and when I have a hard time I don’t want to sugarcoat that or fake those very real bits of life. Sharing those moments is hard, but I feel like it is so so important so that we don’t get caught up in the wave that can be portrayed everywhere you look of perfection.

Life is a roller coaster ride. Some points are really low. Sometimes you have quite a hill to climb to get out of those low moments. This past week was that low point. 

I am a person who thrives on organization almost across the board (fun fact, the only exception to this is when we go on vacation). I can “go with the flow” at times, but mostly I thrive on having a general/rough outline of what is going on. I thrive on writing down my to do list every morning and checking off each thing as I go along. I thrive when I have a plan of action and when I can move forward with that plan of action. It is something that can be such a positive and something that I have really worked to my benefit over my life. 

Now, you may be wondering how this can be a downfall. Being organized, able to create a plan of action and get s*** done is a positive, right?

Not always.

For me, I struggle when I get a wrench thrown into things. When my rough outline of a day gets messed up due to whatever happened. And sometimes, that wrench that can really just mess with my head. Depending on what happens and how much it effects (what I have in my head as) my rough outline will depend on what my reaction level is. 

This is so hard for me to admit because I work really hard to balance so many different things in my life. To balance them perfectly so that every part of my life, and myself, gets what it needs. I’ve touched before about how hard, almost impossible, it is and how at some points things are going to go to the wayside. I didn’t take my own advice this past week to just let one thing go so I could be successful all around. 

So, what happened to make this a low point? It almost seemed like just everything was set against the week. Computer issues, Internet issues, getting caught up after a vacation, getting sick, and then the kids getting sick. I think around Wednesday, my positive attitude started really slipping and then by Thursday it was completely gone. I had pretty much given up on the week come Thursday afternoon. 

Giving up that positive attitude and that attempt to get all the things handled may have been a really hard decision (for me personally), but it is what saved my weekend. I wallowed and just sat in that misery for all of Thursday. Sometimes that is exactly what is needed in order to get to the climb to get out of the low point. And honestly, I did feel a little bit better when Friday morning came around. 

I took the weekend to just relax and just be in the moment. Since I had “given up” on the week, I took all that extra time to snuggle with the kids, obsess over the Royal Wedding (although I was going to that regardless), and just enjoy the sensation of “letting go”. To remember the advice that I’ve said time and time again about taking time to not have to do everything. 

I’ve learned some hard lessons this past week. I’ve had some lessons re affirmed, some new lessons learned, and have just had a chance to remember what I really want from my everyday.

How to Become A Morning Person

I have to say- I love the sunrise. It is quite possibly my favorite part of the day, but getting up for it? Let’s face it- not everyone is a morning person. For most, mornings are something to trade through until that first cp of tea or coffee sets in.

HOWEVER mornings can be your best friend (or at least a close acquaintance). I have found that getting up a little bit earlier, before the kids and the responsibilities not only makes the day go better, but just just makes everything a little more enjoyable and more gets accomplished. I am a happier, more productive individual when I have those extra few minutes to get myself and my head together rather than trying to do that WHILE trying to take care of the kids and responsibilities. I have, over the past year or so, become…a morning person.

Obviously, these may be different for different people, but I wanted to share a couple tips on what helped me become a morning person.

  1. Go to bed earlier. I know- obvious and not always practical. This point goes along with the next one, but you will be surprised how you (and your body!) will adjust to this.
  2. Wake up earlier in 15 minute increments. DO NOT just start off by waking up at your goal time right off the back. This will fail miserably and you will be right back where you started. If you know what time you need/would like to wake up every morning, then set your alarm clock 15 minutes earlier every week until you hit that goal time. This gives your body a good amount of time to make adjustments naturally.
  3. DONT press the snooze button. Also, don’t set multiple alarms. This gives you an “out” to waking up earlier. I know how tempting that snooze button is and how easy it is to say oh only 10 more minutes and then I’ll get up. Let’s be honest, you won’t. Just RESIST that temptation and get up right at the beginning of your alarm.
  4. Do not stay in bed! Shut the alarm off and get up right away. Staying in bed will not allow your body to start waking up and get blood flowing. Whether this means putting your phone/clock all the way across the room, forcing you to get up and shut it off, or having a super obnoxious tone set for the alarm, do it. Set it up so that you force yourself out of bed. That will make it easier to get to the last (and best) tip.
  5. Have one morning thing. What is one thing that you look forward to being able to do every morning/day. Maybe it is making that first cup of coffee/tea. Maybe it is working out. Maybe it is simply taking a shower or getting ready for the day. Whatever it is, do it first thing in the morning. Right when you wake up and roll out of bed (already a little more rested because you want to bed a little earlier), do that one thing. When you have something to look forward to right at the outset, it makes the whole process of getting up earlier easier.

Those are my tips! Start at the top, work your way down and in no time you’ll be watching the sunrise with me…or not, but you’ll be more of a morning person than when you started out!

What have you found that works for you in the mornings?