Easter Hiatus

Dear Readers,

I’m writing again today to let you know that I will be taking leave from the blogosphere for a handful of days. I am going home to Massachusetts for Easter weekend (!!!) and my intent is to spend as little time online as possible.

Your patience is appreciated and I promise I will be back soon 🙂

Keep it wicked healthy,

Allison

Fudge Babies

// Try to avoid immediately scrolling down to the actual recipe portion of this post- I know it’s tempting. Also note: there are no babies covered in or made out of fudge in this post. In fact, there are no actual babies at all //

As an all or nothing person, I am very quick to make bold statements using the word “never” (I never do this, I never eat that). When I make these remarks, in the moment, I mean them. But I’ve been getting annoyed with myself lately for thinking this way because of how close minded it is. I’m in a period of my life where I’m trying more new things than I ever have before whether its food or exercise or [other].

I used to say, I will never want to be a yogi, I will never eat mushrooms, I will never like running… (you get the picture) But just look at how much I’ve changed! I admire yogis and wish I could be one, I love mushrooms, and on some days- running is my escape.

Never is such a definitive word- I would hate to miss out on opportunities that the world offers me because I’m sticking to my guns that aren’t based on anything but speculation. Never has the power to prevent me from growing and changing with time. Growth is good- it’s human. Putting myself in structured “never” boxes just places unnecessary limits on how I’m living my life (this is part of the reason why I won’t go on a particular diet- making things “off limits” or marking certain foods as “bad” is just ridiculous).

I don’t want anything to hold me back. And as someone who is her own worst enemy, never can only stop me from trying the new and the different and stepping outside my comfort zone. SO what is the point of all this nonsense? This is my pledge to be more careful with my words and a promise to just keep trying new things.

This mini-revelation came about when I decided to tackle a new recipe. When I first started eating better, there were a lot of things I said I wouldn’t do. I didn’t want to be dubbed a “crazy health nut” and swore off things like coconut oil, almond flour, and making energy date ball snacks. I had no reason to say I would never eat or use or make these things- they just seemed kind of too intense for me.

As of last night, I can say that I have succumbed to all three of those things. Coconut oil is fairly new and I have been loving lately to saute vegetables. Almond flour was something I purchased a little while back and let me tell you- it makes GREAT pancakes.

Date balls (aka fudge babies) well… those happened Tuesday night.

Make.

Them.

STAT.

I have seen so many recipes for these little sweet wonders all over the place but thought they looked too challenging for me to attempt to make. Nope. Not the case at all. These are one of the easier “desserts/snacks” I’ve made in a long time.

I followed a recipe for the most part dubbed “Fudge Babies” from the blog Chocolate Covered Katie. I edited my process a little bit based on reading a handful of other good date ball recipes on the interwebs.

The only ingredients I used were:

  • 10 dates
  • 3/4ish cup of walnuts (the original recipe called for a full cup, but this is all I had in my bag in the kitchen)
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla
  • Small sprinkle of salt
  • 3-4 tbl. of cocoa powder
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I soaked my dates in some room temperature water for a couple hours in order to soften them and remove the pits more easily.

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I didn’t dry the dates but instead shook off the water a little bit and removed the pits. I then added them to my food processor with the walnuts, vanilla, salt, and cocoa. After a good round in the food processor- it turns into a big choco mess as seen above.

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You want to keep processing it until it’s of a consistency that is sticky and you can pull apart and roll into little balls.

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I formed all these little babies by rolling the mixture in my hands. I then proceeded to place them in some mini-tin liners I had in the kitchen.

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Don’t YOU want your hands to look like this?!

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I dusted the final product with some cinnamon. Because they’re sticky, you can easily roll your fudge babies in coconut, oats, or any topping you would enjoy! You could even press some dried fruit into them I suppose!

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Talk about a delicious post-work pre-workout snack!

Fudge babies are healthy and so freakin’ good. No added sugar say whaaaa?! Dates are crazy sweet! I ended up rolling out 15 fudge babies from this recipe. Each baby is around ~95 calories. Not bad, right?

I brought them into work this morning and my coworkers’ minds were BLOWN.

I never thought I’d enjoy dates and I certainly never thought I’d make date balls. Check me out now, everybody. I want to make these like, every day of my life (and eat them all nom nom nom).

Before signing off, I have to say, the one “all or nothing” statement I will continue to make that I know will NEVER change is: I will never not love the Boston Red Sox 😉 You better believe I’m slighting freaking out over how soon Opening Day is!

And it couldn’t be more perfect that I’m leaving for HOME TONIGHT and will be there FOR Opening Day! I am pumped.

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

I’m Going to Russia

The post title should be in all caps and followed by a bajillion exclamation points. 

Short story:
I was chosen as one of ten students to go to Russia for two weeks at the beginning of July with American University’s Initiative for Russian Culture program. I am overwhelmingly happy, overjoyed, and excited. I have long dreamed of an opportunity like this and I cannot believe that it is finally my time to participate in something this amazing. I feel lucky- blessed- and extremely grateful. But I know you all read my blog for the full details. SO without further ado…

Long story:
Some days, I swear to God, I’m afraid to let myself just be happy. When things are going right and there is literally nothing wrong in my life- I still find a way to be stressed- I’m always convinced there’s something I’m not doing or that I’m forgetting something. Like the universe made a mistake in allowing me a moment of peace or allowing things in my life to just work out. It’s like I have it ingrained in my brain that I have to be struggling. If I don’t feel like I’m working hard- than I’m doing something wrong. Puritan work ethic, much? Is my New England showing or what? Enjoying the fruits of my labor isn’t something that comes easy to me.

In all seriousness though- I don’t know if it’s because I’m a realist and just expect something bad to happen when things are good. I don’t know if its because I have always worked so hard for everything. I don’t know if its because of all the bad things I’ve gone through. I don’t know if its because I never feel like my work is good enough and I just want to do more. I don’t know if its something that has come about inside of me because of how I was brought up. I don’t know if its because I don’t feel like I deserve to be happy. I think it’s a combination of all of those things.

Plus I’m the oldest of four. I have strong maternal instincts. I live to take care of others. My natural tendencies shouldn’t surprise me.

I also have this George Bailey (It’s a Wonderful Life Reference for you all) complex about me. I tend to put others before myself and their happiness over my own. I just want to take care of everything I possibly can on my end (plan and organize) so that everyone else can live better and easier. I never want to be the person holding anyone else up. When I let others down or forget something important, the amount of guilt I feel is insurmountable. I tend to be the girl who holds back from doing the things she really wants to do because of the other people in her life. I never want to rock the boat or do anything outside of the norm because as long as my life is stable and reliable and secure, than everyone else’s lives can be more stable, reliable, and secure.

But, then like George Bailey, I get overwhelmed from time to time and curse the world. Slight resentment builds up and I grow sad/angry that I’m not living MY life the way I want to. I always come back down to Earth and am reminded of how important I am in the lives of others and how much love there is around me, but it doesn’t change the fact that I constantly feel as if I’m the one who needs to sacrifice things that she wants for other people’s happiness.

SO when good things come my way- it’s almost like I refuse to believe they’re happening to me. It’s so hard for me to just accept the good and celebrate whatever it is I’m experiencing. My weight loss is the perfect example of that. Instead of praising myself for all my hard work and truly enjoying the benefits that being healthier has brought in to my life, I’m hard on myself and tell myself that I can somehow do better- that what I did wasn’t enough. Or I feel guilty for being happy for myself or proud of myself. I feel guilty for celebrating the goodness in my life.

But there are moments where I realize… I am living the life I imagined. And it didn’t happen because of pure luck or chance- it happened because I worked my ass off.

I had one of these moments on Saturday while I was sitting at the Lincoln Memorial. I was thinking of me years ago and what I wanted out of life when I was a high school senior and how I have become the person I wanted to be and accomplished the things I dreamed of. I’m a young twenty-something living out on her own in the city, a college graduate, a historian, employed, filled with love, fit, healthy, balanced and someone who finds time for the things she’s passionate about.

Why don’t I celebrate my life and everything I have more often? I deserve everything good in my world. Nothing came easy to me- absolutely nothing. It’s cliche, but true- good things come to those who work hard.

It is this giant bundle of thoughts that leads me to announce proudly: this summer I will be traveling to Russia for two weeks.

I applied for the program on a whim- assuming they wouldn’t even consider me as an alumna and not a full-time undergrad or graduate student. But I still applied because of how badly I wanted it.

Those of you who know me know that there are very few things I love more than Russia. When I was a senior in high school, I remember telling people I was going to take Russian in college. study Russian history, and ultimately go to Russia.

An eagerness to educate myself on Russian culture, language, and history became the backdrop of my college years. Whether it was getting lost in the life stories my Russian language professor would tell, standing awe-inspired in local Russian Orthodox churches, listening to Russian musicians at the Russian Cultural Center, watching films at the Russian Embassy, trying to absorb every word spoken by my Russian history professors, being mesmerized by exhibits at the Hillwood Estate, or my interactions with scholars, diplomats, politicians, and everyday Russians that I was lucky enough to meet along my journeys- I found myself fascinated by Russian peoples and obsessed with wanting to understand what it meant to be Russian.

While I studied Russian language and history and culture- I never got the chance to actually go to Russia. I had to constantly be working while I was in college and just couldn’t afford the abroad experience. I did my best to “see the world” on a budget and had truly wonderful experiences while at American, but there is only so much a fund-less girl can do. I feel like I missed out on amazing opportunities for learning and growth in college because of money. So when this two-week trip presented itself and there were options to make it financially affordable- I decided to finally try and seize what I have wanted for years.

I poured my heart and soul into the application. I can’t even explain to you how much this trip is going to mean to me. I’ve only left the East Coast as far as Chicago- I’ve never left the country- and as I’ve stated- studying Russian culture and history is one of my greatest passions. Words cannot describe how happy I am when I am immersed in any and all things Russian.

Apparently my passion and good intentions struck a chord with the professors reviewing my application and I was chosen as one of the ten students to attend this trip. And because American University is an amazing place with dedicated professors (and a killer Russian studies program), the financial side of the trip is being handled in a way that I can manage on my post-college grad life budget.

No- it’s not the most financially responsible decision. I’m going to have to take time off from work and I’m going to be spending not a TON of money- but a significant amount. BUT this is a once and a lifetime opportunity. I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason and I don’t think all the puzzle pieces of this trip would have fallen together like they have if I wasn’t meant to go.

Since graduating in May, my thirst to learn about Russia has proved to be unquenchable. While I love my current full-time job, it has nothing to do with Russia. I’ve been feeling a disconnect with my scholarly self and a desire to reconnect to my love of Russian culture. I felt it was finally my time to do everything in my power to make a journey of this magnitude possible. After all the hard work I’ve put into my life, I feel as though I deserve to explore this part of the world that I have devoted years of my life to studying, researching, and obsessing over.

Because really, all the research I’ve done in the U.S. will never compare to setting my eyes on Russian material culture and being able to contextualize everything I’ve studied. This opportunity to experience the country with all five senses is one I will cherish for the rest of my life. The educational value of this trip is nothing short of amazing, but the chance to grow my connection to Russia and the possibility of endless cultural exchanges that would further my love of the country, is truly priceless.

On an intrinsic level, this trip would make me happy. Oh man… the smile that would be plastered across my face and the lightness I would feel in my heart throughout every moment of this trip? Holy crap.

Perhaps others applied for this trip because of how it will help them on their path to becoming acclaimed Russian historians, diplomats, or cultural ambassadors. I may be an anomaly, but I just saw this trip as a way to broaden my world perspective, educate myself further, better understand Russian culture, and fulfill a long held dream of mine to experience everything Russia has to offer.

Today I will submit my passport application at lunch time and I will anxiously await it’s arrival so that I can get my visa to go to Russia. I literally never thought I would be typing that sentence. Tears of actual joy keep happening periodically. Which is especially awkward when I’m at my desk at work. But I don’t even care.

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The Russian Orthodox Icon gifted to me while I was writing my senior thesis and that now hangs in my kitchen means that much more to me.

GUYS- I’M SO HAPPY. And I’m letting myself shout it from the rooftops!

I’M GOING TO RUSSIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mental health, happiness, and embracing the good in life are all important things. Hard work pays off and this whole saga I’m sharing with you is only proof of this. It is also proof that you should always try to attain what you want from the world- you might just get everything you wanted.

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

I Like Lists

If you haven’t noticed, I love lists. My favorite posts are actually the ones the involve lists because I tend to overwrite and lists help me tackle all my thoughts in a more concise way. Lists help me keep things short(er) and simple(r).

I’ve done a post of lists before but decided to bring back that style today. It was actually fun to go back and read that first list themed post because underneath “Exercises I want to try” I had typed- bikram yoga, barre, and yoga. I’ve tried all three of those! Well, I tried barre yoga- not straight up barre- but still, it was cool to see that I was able to accomplish the things I wanted to.

Here are the relevant lists in my life as of right now post-weekend and pre-Easter weekend at home (yes yes yes!):

Favorite Places for Peace and Quiet in DC:

  • Logan Circle
  • Meridian Hill Park
  • Lincoln’s Backside
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I decided to be a tourist and take a fun selfie pic like a freak at the Lincoln. I’m sure the memorial has seen far weirder things.

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Local Joints that I’m Loving:

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At Buffalo Exchange on Saturday I was able to snag this sweet new outfit! I cannot wait for warmer weather to wear this ensemble. The vesty piece was NINE dollars and the high wasted american apparel pants were twelve dollars. SCORE.

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Ignore my makeup less face and greasy post-workout hair.

DC peeps- can you tell I’ve been spending a lot of time on 14th Street? I love my neighborhood!

Workouts this Weekend

  • Friday: Run on the treadmill plus a circuit routine
  • Saturday: Bootcamp
  • Sunday: Budokon yoga (which I’m OBSESSED with now!) check out the video below to see what makes budokon unique… think yoga fused with martial arts.

If you are in the D.C. area and want to try out Budokon for FREE- there is a class being held at the Historic Heurich House this Wednesday at 6pm.

Things I’m Excited About:

  • Trying Power Supply this week- it’s a homemade Paleo food/meal delivery service that delivers to the crossfit box at my gym.
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I had my first meal for lunch today and let me just tell you… it was AWESOME.

  • I’M GOING HOME THIS THURSDAY!
  • Easter I haven’t been home for Easter since high school!
  • Getting my birth certificate so I can apply for my passport
  • OPENING DAY I get to be home for Red Sox opening day! Wahoo!
  • Seeing Jillian Michaels next month:

Things I’m Nervous For:

  • Going home with food being such a touchy/sensitive issue, going home and outside of the routine that I’ve gotten used to is a little scary. I know I can handle it but I’m understandably anxious.
  • The future in general who knew being a twenty-something would be this overwhelming.
  • Being able to go to Russia you read that right- I’m currently trying to make a trip to Russia with my alma matter happen… crossing my fingers financial shenanigans are able to come together.

Thing I’m Sick Of:

  • The word “healthy” and the phrase “healthy lifestyles” I don’t know what it is, but I feel like I’ve been overusing them. I wish there was another term for what I’m trying to say when I talk about a life of balance and giving back to your body for all that it does to keep us up and running. 

Food I’ve Been Loving:

My Favorite Weekend Eats:

  • My clutch meal think a healthier version of a breakfast hash with eggs, bacon, potatoes, brussels, onions, and the optional (but for me mandatory ;)) sriracha.
  • Mediterranean burger (ground beef and lamb) from Busboys and Poets

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Future Thing I’m Thinking About:

  • If I were to move back to Boston, I’d have to change my blog title… I’m thinking “The Balanced Bostonian” … thoughts?

Things I Learned Recently About Myself That I Never Knew Before:

  • I have really long legs
  • My tailbone is just naturally bonier than most people (thus making any and all floor exercises more challenging for me and something I just have to suck up and deal with)

Favorite Slow Jams as of Late:

 

My Biggest Weekend Accomplishment:

  • Being able to FINALLY to crow pose for two breaths I couldn’t stop smiling

Clearly NAHT me- but you get the idea.

Last but not Least- What is Brightening Up and Springifying my Life Despite the Snow:

  • Flowers from Will

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Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

One Clutch Meal

I’ve eaten this meal four times in the past week. Overkill? Nah. I love it because it has all the things I need in my meals: carbs, veggies, protein, healthy fats, and fruit. I love it because it is absolutely delicious. I love it because its easy.

It works for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. It’s an anytime meal that will fill you up and if you’re a foodie like me, it might just make you smile with each bite.

The base of the meal is a bed of roasted veggies. I like to roast enough for two servings so I can easily reheat them for leftovers. I figure if the oven is on and I’m taking the time to roast, I might as well get the most bang for my buck.

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For the roasted veggies you’ll need:

  • 4-6 little red new potatoes cleaned and quartered
  • 1 sweet potato (on the bigger side) cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 8-10 brussel sprouts halved
  • 1 red onion peeled and quartered
  • 4 carrots halved lengthwise and cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths
  • 2 tbl. of olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic peeled and smashed
  • Salt, pepper, and any seasonings you like (I enjoy rosemary!)

You’ll want to toss all your chopped vegetables with the olive oil and seasonings. Then you roast at 450 degrees for 45 minutes (mix things around in the oven halfway through). I have a small oven so I separate the veggies onto two trays. Halfway through I also rotate the pans on the racks in my oven. Always remember not over crowd your vegetables when you’re roasting them. Be sure to spread them out evenly.

I top the roasted vegetables with two fried eggs and two pieces of bacon crumbled into the veggie mix. And for good measure I serve the dish with orange slices.

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The whole plate tastes good on its own but the addition of sriracha makes it that much better 😉 If you look closely in the picture above, you’ll see my sriracha creeping. If you’re not a fan of the heat, ketchup would be lovely too.

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I usually roast the veggies over the weekend so all I have to do come meal time is cook the eggs and bacon. Usually when I re-heat the veggies, I put a handful of spinach underneath them. The spinach wilts in the microwave and stirs in well to the veggies. Who doesn’t want extra added green power?

The roasted vegetables are like a healthier version of a diner potato hash. Breakfast food is my favorite so I really enjoy eating breakfast inspired meals at all times of the day. There was something comforting this past week about coming home to this meal.

You’re looking at my lunch for today as this is what was for dinner last night in my apartment. I can’t help but feel its perfect for this cloudy, overcast, and chilly weather we’re experiencing in the District. Yesterday was amazingly sunny so I’ll let D.C. have it’s moment of rain today… I also am going to yoga in a little bit and for some reason I really enjoy practicing on days like this. The sun inspires me to get out and move but the cloudy weather makes me want to be indoors and contemplative.

Sunday’s are meant to be a little slower and lazier than the rest of the days.

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

Starbucks: a Necessity for the City Hiker

I present to you, a haiku:

Dunkin is better
but Starbucks is always clutch
for their free bathrooms.

This girl may run on Dunkin, but I don’t think I’d be able to walk around this city for hours like I do without knowing that there is a Starbucks somewhere around the corner with a free public restroom. I’ve only had ONE experience in the city where a Starbucks didn’t have a bathroom for me to use (pro-tip/FYI for all you other city hikers: the one in Farragut Square near Connecticut Ave- no bathroom).

The hatred of Starbucks that ran through my veins when I first left Massachusetts has now evolved into more of a love/hate relationship. It was hard to adjust to being in a place where there wasn’t a Dunks on every corner, but five years in D.C. will certainly help you learn to survive sans the sweet exilir of Dunkin Donuts coffee.

Dunks will forever be number one, but I would be peeing my pants all over D.C. without Starbucks. So thank you, Starbucks, for being good guys with your bathrooms and letting this city hiker who drinks a lotta water utilize your facilities. You make me able to be active in the city without worrying about emptying my bladder. Thus, you make me able to enjoy life more completely.

And on that note- time for a walk.

/end of my coffee institution ramblings/

Real Talk

I’ve been saying for a while now that something in my life has got to give at some point. I didn’t know what- but I’ve been spreading myself thinner and thinner for months. I have yet to really make any changes to solve this dilemma.

I tend to bite off more than I can chew- I’m an overachiever and always have been. I want to be all things to all people and I want to constantly be doing something. It’s no wonder my brain is always in hyperactive mode and I can hardly relax. I’m always stressing because I’m going from one thing to the next without taking time for myself. True story: I have developed some pretty bad digestive problems and if I ever want them to get better, I NEED to take the time to relax, de-stress, breathe, stretch, and be at ease. When I do take time for myself, I feel guilty (like when I snoozed my alarm this morning for fifteen minutes instead of getting up right away. I proceeded to let this affect the rest of my morning). This on top of dealing with all the food issues? No bueno.

BUT my biggest problem is that not only do I try and do A LOT, I am a perfectionist and feel the need for everything to be done perfectly. Nothing I do ever really feels good enough- I always feel like I could have done better- so I keep pushing myself and challenging myself to be better. I’ve increased the quantity of what I have going on in my world and have been refusing to sacrifice quality because I want to prove I can handle it all while still giving everything 110%. Good thing living life that way is naht sustainable in the slightest. I don’t want to be burnt out at age twenty-two. I don’t want to resent for a second the things I get involved in because I never have time for me. Plus, I always want to know that I’m giving whatever it is I am involved in my all and not sacrificing quality.

There are not enough hours in a day to do everything I want to be doing if I expect to do them perfectly. For example: the quality of my posts on my blog hasn’t changed. I try and blog almost every day and don’t think I sacrifice quality for quantity. What I do sacrifice, however, is my time to do other things. I spend WAY too long on blog posts- trying to make them perfect- trying to do everything possible with each and every post to make them awesome and well-received and worded exactly how I want them to be. Most of the time I spend over an hour on a post… I can’t keep doing that. Why? Because I’m taking time away from me focusing on living life and doing other things.

So what is the point of me getting into all this? I’m not getting rid of my blog- hell no. I love this blog and I love sharing my life with the world. This blog keeps ME sane some days and it’s something I can’t imagine my current life without. It’s an amazing channel for me to explore my passions and hopefully inspire other people with my experiences.

BUT in the future you can expect shorter posts and perhaps not an entry every single day. This isn’t my full time job- I have a full time job. This is something I do for me and for enjoyment. It’s hard to let go of what is so routine in my life (aka posting every day and writing lengthy entries), but if I don’t make some changes in my days, life is going to pass me by. I can’t feel like I’m constantly playing catch-up because I’m behind on posts or because I’m not sharing every single little thing that I do on my blog.

At the end of the day: it’s a blog. Yes, it means a lot to me and yes it means a lot to the people who read it. But it’s a blog. In the grand scheme of life, I can’t let it bring me down or stress me out. The world doesn’t stop spinning when I don’t blog (I actually just laughed out loud imagining that was true).

As I’ve gotten more involved in the DC community of fitness gurus and health nuts, I’ve got more on my plate and I want to be able to get out there and experience everything this city has to offer me. I want to live more of my life and spend less time writing or worrying about taking pictures of every detail, you dig? The less tied down by certain responsibilities I feel, the more open I will become to taking advantage of being in one of the neatest cities in the world. The happier I am and the more experiences I get to take part in that I’m excited about, the better this blog will become, no? I think so anyway.

I promise to still be me and pour my heart and soul into each and every single post, but things will be simpler (I say this now, but I know it will be hard for me to not write a novel each time I go to sit down to write an entry).

My blog isn’t changing in a big way. In fact, I don’t really know yet just how exactly things will be different. You’ll still see PLENTY of oatmeal, fitness adventures, and mental health musings from me, but I think I needed to write this post to allow myself the breathing room to take a step back every once and a while and not write if I don’t have time or don’t want to.

In addition to embracing the phrases, “never half-ass two things, whole ass one thing,” “be kind to yourself,” and “paddle your own canoe”  — I also need to remember, “you can’t be all things to all people” (as I said above). You can’t please everyone. You’re going to let people down sometimes. My maternal instincts and desire to make everyone happy and comfortable bring guilt into my life when I feel like I’m not doing enough for others. Just writing this blog post makes me feel bad (even though I’m just being honest)!

But at the end of the day, I’m a thoughtful girl. I’m doing enough. I can’t beat myself up for every little thing. I also can’t sacrifice my own mental well being and happiness for the sake of pleasing others. I refuse to keep doing it. I want to be happy. It may come across as selfish, but life is short and I deserve to make ME happy first and foremost. I’ll never not be caring and conscientious and thoughtful- but again, I need to remember to be those things to me and not just other people.

I’ve been trying to be all things to all people and let me tell ya- it doesn’t work. So what have I been doing this past week? This was essentially my game plan:

  • Re-prioritize life.
  • Find what actually makes me happy and find what actually is important.
  • Pick the things I love the most- commit giving them my all.
  • Take this re-prioritization and balance schedule accordingly.
  • Remember the things that aren’t as important when everything feels really heavy and let go of the notion that I have to be “perfect.”

Part of what goes into a healthy lifestyle is happiness, mental clarity, and less stress. I’m always writing about finding balance with eating right and exercising, but finding balance in how you spend your time is a huge part of that too.

Outside of my blog, I need to do a better job at only getting involved in things I’m REALLY interested in. I need to focus more at work. I need to start thinking about the future and what I want to be. I need to give equal time to my healthy lifestyle interests (including blogging, adventures, eating right, exercising, etc.) to my other interests like the Red Sox and Russia and scholarly pursuits. Remember that time I was a historian? Oh yeah- that is still the case. Historian slash healthy lifestyle advocate/blogger. The wicked healthy washingtonian historian? Too much?

I don’t necessarily know exactly where I’m headed or how this life of mine will shape up, but I feel like I’m on a better path to balance now that I’ve thought some things through.

Anyway, I wasn’t even going to post today but I was inspired by a post from my friend Sara over at Magie e Pasta. While we have different issues going on and have different thoughts behind how we want our blogs to change, her post about having an “epiphany” and switching things up a bit to reflect her current place in life inspired me to do the same. Thanks, girl. I know you understand the whole “being spread to thin” thing better than a lot of people.

Now, with a belly full of sweetgreen salad and my thoughts spilled all over my blog, I’m off to take a walk and call my Mom. Happy weekend, everybody!

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Sabzi Salad with chicken (spinach, kale, carrots, beets, chicken, sprouts, carrot chili vinaigrette and sriracha- I added avocado and cucumber when I got home).

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo