Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What I Learned on a 21 Day Challenge

As of Monday, my low/no carb challenge was officially over! 

Some of these things I knew, some were/are new to me. Either way, these are essentially my notes during this whole challenge.



Hanger is real and not just a funny internet meme. 
I joke about being hangry when I'm hungry though I know how it feels. But when you've just eaten a large spinach salad with tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, and sliced turkey and you want to take hostages for a bagel.... hanger is R E A L. 

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Vegetables really are filling
I love vegetables. Sometimes I forget how much I like them. Sauteéd, roasted, steamed, raw - I enjoy them. When you're hungry and just want to feel full, veggies are your knight in multi-colored armor. 

Quinoa "oatmeal"; salmon and veggies; quinoa bowl; "tacos"

Carbs are EVERYWHERE
First of all, carbs are in everything. I know this. Yes, lettuce has carbs. The thing is, everything seems to come with carbs. If I wanted to order an omelette, it automatically comes with a side of potatoes and toast. If I want a burger {sans bun}, it still comes with fries. There were a lot of subs made but the one I'm most proud of is when I went to Red Robin and order a burger, wedgie styled {it's lettuce wrapped} with a side of broccoli instead of fries.

Modifications are key
One of the biggest challenges for me was modifying my food. I am a carb junkie. I love my pasta and rice dishes. With not eating those things I needed to get creative and improvise. Thank God for vegetables. I really wanted pasta but instead I made butternut squash "noodles". I wanted rice to go with my pork chops but instead had cauliflower "rice".



Tequila 
Since I wasn't having beer it made it pretty difficult to partake in happy hour outings so I avoided them. I was unable to get out of one and I switched it up and started having club soda and tequila, complete with salted rim and limes. It's much lighter and it was surprisingly good. I may have just found my new non-beer drink of choice.

It got harder, not easier
I honestly thought that the first week was going to be the hardest and it would eventually get easier as I went along. WRONG. The first week was cake. The first few days an absolute breeze. What wasn't easy was week two when I wanted all things pasta and bread. And drinking espresso sans sugar? Although I'm adjusted to it now it's still not my favorite. In Week 1 we amended the rules to allow for 2 beers max on the weekend. I didn't need the amendment but it was nice to have the option.

I don't need carbs
This right here is the single most important takeaway from the entire 21 days. I don't need carbs. I am an absolute carb junkie so for me to actually realize this, and feel it, is a BIG freaking deal. On Day 13 I kept thinking to myself that I couldn't wait to have n Insomnia cookie... a slice of pizza.... a beer... a bag of kettle corn.... but then I realized no. I don't actually miss all of those things. I mean, yes, I do/did but not to the extent that I was thinking about them nonstop or even craving them.


All in all this was a pretty successful challenge for me. I weighed in Monday morning and the scale said 182. In case you missed the initial slap in the face post, I started this challenge at 193. We're talking about 11 pounds in 3 weeks simply from paying much closer attention to what I was eating and walking more. I only made it to the gym twice during the entire 3 weeks.

Needless to say I plan to continue watching my carb/sugar intake. I'll absolutely be adding beer back into my diet but I'll pay closer attention to how often and how many.

Have you ever given up carbs, or is it something you're considering?









Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Shareables

Can you believe April is already over? I feel like it just started. Then again, I'm desperately wishing summer would hurry up and get here already. Here are my shares for this month!



Seared tuna/quinoa bowls
I realize this sounds kind of ridiculous, especially if this is something you already eat, but in the last two months I've become incredibly obsessed with seared tuna atop my quinoa bowls or salads. It's not at all gross {like I wrongly assumed} and it honestly doesn't have any true flavor, it's sort of a blank canvas. Either way, it's GOOD!


Joe Santagato
I've been following Joe for a while and he never ceases to crack me up. He has videos where he makes fun of tweets and Facebook posts from well, idiots of the internet. These are tweets he ripped apart.



It's his commentary that gets me, but if you're easily offended, it's probably not for you.

Gold's Gym 430i Treadmill
I bought this at the beginning of April and it was delivered last week and I absolutely love it. It's one of the best investment purchases I've made since I bought my furniture. I've always liked to walk for quick fitness and now I can do so at anytime. The best part was that I got it for a steal.

If you need me, I'll be walking and Netflix binging.


Monday, April 10, 2017

21 Days of Detox

While I was home at the beginning of the month I stepped on my mom's scale. The number that glared back at me was not pretty. Mind you, I don't live by the scale, and although I have one, I rarely use it. The number that stared me in the face told me one thing: I need to use it more often.


I'm nothing if not transparent with you all so I'm going to tell you what it said. Also, I just need to put it out there. For several months I've been slacking on changing my diet and fitness habits. I knew I needed to cut back on the carbs and beer if I was going to effectuate change but decided to continue to bask in the deliciousness. Unfortunately, it's caught up with me. Or rather, it's made itself impossible to ignore.

As of April 3rd I weighed in at 193. Even typing that number pisses me off. There was a time, not too long ago, when I weighed 17 pounds less than that. I was exercising and eating wisely. Somewhere in the bustle of life, I dropped the ball. Seeing that number on the scale was my slap in the face.

I made a side comment to The Guy about needing to live in the gym and the result was us both agreeing to a 21 day low-carb challenge. No breads, pasta, rice, potatoes, or added sugars for 21 days.

Today marks 7 days and so far it's going well. The scale is down and I feel better overall. I've been walking more and trying to figure out where gym sessions will best fit into my schedule.

For now, I'm tracking my food intake via MFP {for the macros} and in my HP mini fitness {just as a visual log} and trying to drink all the water.

I'll check back when it's over... wish me luck!


Friday, April 7, 2017

In My Brain

We've made it to another Friday! Sometimes you just have to let the pictures speak for themselves. Here are some thoughts I've been having lately.


when people ask how I’m doing:




on spending:

on dating:


on work:



on books:

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on spring:

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on TWD:
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on planning:



on commuting:


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Happy weekend y'all!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

March Happenings

I don't know if I've mentioned this {I'm sure I have}, but this is one of my absolute favorite link-ups. Here's what I got myself into in March.

What's New With You

The month kicked off with all the craft beer I could drink. Dani, Blue, and I went to the Big Brew Beer Fest in Morristown to treat ourselves to sampling all the craft beers we could take. I was excited because a lot of the breweries were favorites and a lot of the rest were ones I'd bookmarked to try. 



Then it was off to Georgia. I hung out with my cousins. We ate amazing sushi and went to see The Lumineers and Kaleo. They were both awesome. I can't wait until Kaleo starts headlining their own shows.

This is a Caterpillar Roll from Dogfish. And when I tell you it was some of the best sushi I've ever had I mean that I wold honestly consider flying to Charlotte to have more. Currently, they're only located in Atlanta, Charlotte, and 2 places in Florida. I need them to come to NYC, like yesterday.










While I was there my cousin and I hit the mall where I saw one of the most disturbing signs to date.




The northeast finally got hit with some "real snow" on Pi Day. I was disappointed only in that Blaze was supposed to be offering pizza for $3.14 and I didn't get a chance to go. However, I did whip out my laminator and create myself some spring dividers for my planner.




After some actual work and routine adulting I threw it all out the window and went out for St. Patrick's Day. This was my first year not going to the parade and I was a little disappointed about that {I'm obsessed with pipes and drums} but I still had a great day. Plus, how awesome is my shirt!? The sticker on that car cracked me up.




Alyssa and I took a trip to Delaware to visit Jenn and Little Dude. He's super adorable, even when he's being grumpy. We went to brunch the next morning at this fun, hipstery place called Drip Cafe. Both the food and coffee were on point.




Now that winter is f i n a l l y on it's way out I can start planning for all my spring and summer activities!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Three on Thursday: The Early Edition

No, you didn't lose an entire day. I'm posting my Thursday Three a day early because tomorrow is also the What's New With You linkup and I'm not good about blending posts.






Emo Trump
Typically, I don't really discus politics here because it's not the type of energy I want in this space. However, this video is one of, if not the most hysterical thing I have ever seen since Nov. 20th. 



Mic dropped. 


Kindle First Books
I feel like I've mentioned this before, and I'm sure I have, but if you're not a Prime member, you need to be. Aside from the general amazingness that is Amazon Prime, each month Prime members get to read one of next month's new releases absolutely free (it's $1.99 for non-members). I've read so many great books this way. This month I opted for the romantic drama All the Lies We Tell by Megan Hart. 



After my friend hounding about trying this place I finally decided to give it a try. First of all, it's like the Jetsons. You order via kiosk and make all selections for your order, which means it's completely customizable. Once your order is placed you wait maybe all of 3 minutes and then you retrieve your order from the "delivery wall". I order a build-your-own quinoa bowl and it was super good. My only complaint is that the place is vegan, so there's no seared tuna or chicken to add. 



Right now they're only in California, DC, and New York, but I hope they keep growing because the food is delicious and fresh, and the concept awesome. 


And that's it for this week's recommendations. Looking forward to seeing what you all have to share... tomorrow!




Thursday, March 30, 2017

Three on Thursday

Typically I like to use this series to share three things I'm currently loving or want to recommend. 



Travelers Notebooks
I've been planning for over a year now and if there's one thing I've learned, it's that my style is much different than when I started. Initially I was using a spiral bound hplanner. 6 months later I moved on to using both an A5 and personal sized ring bound planner. Last week I caved, after several weeks of secret desire, and bought an A6 Chic Sparrow. I think it's beautiful. And that leather smell - to die for. For now, I'm still in the process of figuring out how I want to set it up but I absolutely see the value in this style of planning. I even named it. Jack, of course. 



Desk or Not to Desk
Ok, this one is more something I'm debating. When I moved into my current apartment I was super excited because I was going to have an office. Here we are 3 months later I rarely even use the room. For one, I sit at a desk/computer all day long. The last thing I want to do when I get home is sit at my desk/laptop. I used to do this and didn't think anything of it. Now, it makes me sick. As such, having a physical desk is kind of pointless, especially since I have a laptop. It's not as if I'm sitting down and writing out checks for bills. Although I have things that do require a "desk space", they're not used daily. I guess what I'm saying is: what are your thoughts on doing away with an office? Do you have one, want one? 


TŪL pens
These pens are absolute perfection. For one, they come in black and blue ink. They're a 0.7mm gel and they write like a dream. I bought the "pearl collection" because they come in gold, rose gold, and silver. They make a ball point version as well, but I don't care for those. All gel all the time. These are the pens I don't let anyone borrow.



And now I turn it to you:

Do you use a Travelers Notebook? If so, share all your tips/tricks/secrets! Let me know your thoughts on doing away with an office. I'm curious to hear other opinions.