Floundering

Okay so April totally flew by. What’s up with that?! I mean… I shouldn’t be surprised but man, May? Already? Wow. Ready or not though… tomorrow…

Without fail, one of my friends will post this on Facebook on April 30th. Even though I’ve seen it for a couple years now- it will always make me crack up laughing. Literally every time I look at it- laughing out loud. I don’t know what it is. For those of you who immediately don’t get the Timberlake/Nsync joke- here is a version with music:

If you’re unfamiliar with the song, the actual lyric is “It’s gonna be me” and this is a joke on how Timberlake pronounces the word “me” in the song. I feel weird explaining this BUT i recognize that there is a wide age range within my blog audience.

I hope this entertains you all as much as it entertains me. I needed this good laugh to roll me into May to be honest. Instead of feeling refreshed and rejuvenated after my weekend vacation, I’ve just felt kind of blah since getting back from Miami. The lousy DC weather doesn’t help anything. April showers better bring me some May flowers. That’s all I’m going to say, DC.

It’s not that I’m bummed that I’m not on vacation anymore- it’s that, right before vacation, I had a lot weighing on my mind about my future and life. I put all that aside in order to enjoy vacation times. BUT now that I’m home- I’ve realized all those questions I had been asking myself are still there. All of the soul searching and life planning I wanted to embark on still has to happen. It’s scary and big and totally intimidating. So the best thing to do is just kind of ignore it and let it stress me out, right?

Between getting back to work, being super busy, trying to play catch up from things I missed over the weekend, and just normal other life things- I just haven’t had time to be alone with my own thoughts. Because I’m currently trying to do a million things at once and am very well aware of some of the quality I’ve sacrificed in order to just get things done- I feel like I’m floundering around in every aspect of my life.

Think less of this guy:

And more like this guy:

Yeah I think THAT guy’s face says it all right there. Usually I’m talking about salmon on this blog– but today- flounder.

Today I felt so crabby (to continue my trend of seafood talk) and lost and overwhelmed and spread thin. There are some days where I LOVE being surrounded by such hardworking, passionate, dedicated, and successful people at work, in the blogging world, in the real world, and in the social media sphere. BUT there are some days where I absolutely hate it. That sounds awful I know. But there’s a thin line between feeling inspired by all these people and feeling pressured by these people. As someone who always wants to be doing more and doing better- sometimes being inundated with all the amazing things that everyone else is doing (or saying they are doing) is just annoying and way too much for my brain to handle.

On top of that- instead of being able to tune it all out and just focus on me- I have the tendency to get sucked in way too far and find myself constantly re-reading healthy blogs, refreshing my twitter feed, and obsessing about how I can increase my success and influence. And I worry that I’m not enough. I get so flustered that I lose all of my focus and can’t concentrate on anything I have to get done because I feel like I’m suffocating and scrambling.

Ridiculous. I know. But this is real talk right here. So since being back in DC- I’ve felt all over the place. I don’t feel “in control” of any major aspect of my life and that freaks me out- it really freaks me out. When I feel as though I have no control over big things (like work and the future)- I turn to the things that I know I can concretely control like food and how much I’m exercising in order to feel some sense of power over my own life. This is bad. This is not good for dealing with disordered eating issues.

Again. Ridiculous. I know. But again. Real talk.

It isn’t until I’m able to breathe for a second {i.e. like right now} that I’m able to calm down and think about everything running through my brain. In these moments I remind myself of something I preach all the time: life is not a race- living healthily is not a competition- your time is your own and you need to do what is best for you in each moment. PADDLE YOUR OWN CANOE. And be kind to yourself. 

I also remind myself that I’m twenty-two years old. Thus. I should not expect to have my life planned out perfectly. I should not expect to know where I want to be and what I want to do to the fullest extent.

It’s okay to flounder. I know I’m not the only one. In fact- I’m pretty sure almost every single twenty-something I know is sort of in the same confusing place that I’m at. I don’t know one person who has their life completely together- even if it seems like everyone does on days where I’m on the struggle bus.

While looking big picture is important and has its pros- the big picture can be overwhelming. The big picture can seem like a 1,000 piece puzzle that you have barely begun to even put together the four side edges on- hell- you’ve only found the four corner pieces. Let’s be real Embracing the whole “one day at a time” idea sometimes is the best way to take a step back and come back down to earth.

I know who I am. I know what I’m passionate about. I know what I love. I may not have all the answers but I do know that I shouldn’t be comparing myself to others and worrying about every little thing. I’m not “falling behind” or “doing anything wrong.” I’m living life. I’m doing things to the best of my ability. There is no perfect way to be or to spend every second that I’m alive. AND I absolutely cannot attain a better grasp on my life by tightly monitoring my food and being wicked OCD about exercising. That’s just ridiculous and being that way just makes everything worse.

So. While there is a lot of my plate and there are big things sitting in the back burner in my brain related to my blog, work, and the future- there is no reason to panic. Yes, there are many many things I want to get done. But I will get to them. I’m not an actual superhero. I’m Allison. I’m twenty-two years old. Life may be short- but I have time. It’s all going to be okay. Thank you for reading my ramblings and letting me use this blog as a space to convince myself of these facts.

I refuse to roll into May on a bad note so I made it a priority to get all this off my chest tonight so that I could wake up tomorrow hopefully more level headed.

Before I sign off- I have to give a shout out to a good friend who nominated me for a Liebster Award. Say wha? (you may be scratching your head right now- that’s totally fine- I was too when I read about it initially). It’s a little thang you can be nominated for in the blogger world that is meant to recognize new writers to the blogger scene. Someone who has been nominated for a Liebster Award in turn nominates eleven other bloggers to share the interweb love. My friend Sara over at Magia e Pasta was recently nominated for one and she then nominated me for one– thanks girl 🙂 She also was kind enough to nominate Will for the award as well {I’ve shared his blog before, but here’s the link again if you’re curious}

I don’t know a lick of German so the name is lost in translation on my part- BUT it apparently means something along the lines of: beloved (as shown in the image above), sweetest, dearest, and valued {Alex- correct me if I’m wrong here}. It make me smile to know that some people see my blog in this way. Me loving my blog is one thing- other people loving it is another story. It’s sort of like children- you obviously love your own baby, but to know your baby has the stamp of approval from other valued members of society? It makes ya feel good. And sometimes I feel as though my blog is my own little baby.

No, I’m not getting an actual award or a prize or money or a fancy title or anything like that- but the kind words and support from a fellow blogger are better than those things 🙂 In the midst of me being really hard on myself today- it was nice to see this. Thank you for brightening my day per usual, Sara.

ANYHOO. I will continue the Liebster Award fun but I’m not necessarily going to follow the original set of rules for nominees. These sort of things are great and I love the support, but they get a little “chain email-esque” after a few go arounds. BUT because Sara took the time to nominate me, I will take the time to nominate eleven other bloggers out there.

If any of the bloggers I nominated want to follow the original rules that the Liebster Award entails- feel free to base them off of Sara’s post which I linked to above andddd right here.

My Nominees:

  1. Holy Landing
  2. Cooking in Red Socks
  3. Food is Fuel
  4. Dining Out Skinny DC
  5. Eating Your Way From College Student to Adult
  6. Charmed in Charm City
  7. Byl Miles
  8. Iced Coffee and History
  9. The Classy Bee
  10. Wholesome Living
  11. A Fit Girl’s Martini

To the bloggers I chose- I really just wanted to let you know that you’re appreciated over here in my wicked healthy washingtonian world. If any of you fabulous authors are feeling like you’re floundering about life and questioning things you have going on- just know that you are valued by at least one lil person out there.

Plus, I wanted to share your blogs with my readers because they’re all awesome. Readers- check out this list of blogs if you’re looking for some good reads. All of the authors I shared with you above are awesome.

Alright, I think it’s bed time. Sleep is good and I’m up too late.

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

Bienvenido a Miami

Rain. Work. Will back in NYC. Sunburn damage control. Welcome back to the real world, Allison! I keep doing that thing where you think, this time yesterday I was x and now I’m y. The “x” part of that statement can be filled in with “laying out a the beach” for pretty much every hour of today. The “y” part can be filled in with “working.” Bleh. It’s a terrible way to think but I can never avoid it every time I come back from a trip.

The transition back to reality may be rough, but the vacation part was SO worth it. As you all are well aware, this past weekend I was in Florida on a mini-vaca in Miami with Will! I am very very very grateful for the time I got to spend there. I needed the sun and sand in a bad way and I already miss the ocean. I’m a much happier person when I’m near the water. Get on that, DC. And no, the Potomac doesn’t count.

I was trying to figure out the best way to recap the weekend for you guys and decided it would be best to just go through each day and give you the highlights. And yes, each day shall include PLENTY of pictures. I swore pics would happen- and that they did. I’m not a photo taking freak, but I think I got plenty. Truth be told, I’m a mental picture kind of gal and would rather live “in the moment” than worry about snapping a physical photo. BUT at the same time, I love having pics so I did my best. Plus, I made a promise to you all that I’d do it. I’m a (wo)man of my word.

{Side note: I hope you read the title of this post in the weird woman singing voice in Will Smith’s song Welcome to Miami. That was the intended purpose of the title. If you didn’t originally- google song, play song, revisit title, reread title, continue on with reading this post}

FRIDAY

After breakfast at home, Will and I set off for the airport. I was excited/antsy standing outside waiting for our ride to DCA. As evidenced by these photos:

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Dunkin is a key way to make any airport trip of mine a success. Allison runs on dunkin.

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We arrived in Miami after lunch time and were hungrrrry. We quickly got to the hotel and ditched our bags so we could get to eating. I enjoyed how bright and colorful the hotel lobby was. I snapped a few pics while Will was dealing with check in shenanigans.

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We got upgraded to a “Junior Suite,” whatever that means, and the room was just what we needed. Simple with a beautiful view.

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We walked over to the Latin Cafe on 41st (recommended to us by someone at the hotel). It was the perfect place for a quick sit down meal. It was also an awesome place for some authentic Cuban food for cheaps. Seriously guys. We got a ton of quality food for around twenty five bucks. It was hole-in-the-wall-esque but it was clean and nice inside and the servers were wicked friendly. I’m glad it was recommended to us because I probably would have walked right by it otherwise.

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View from the walk from the hotel to the Latin Cafe.

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Fried plantains stuffed with shrimp and a delicious spicy tomato sauce.

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I’m used to serving all my seafood with lemon. I knew I wasn’t at home anymore when I got this delicious piece of fish rubbed with Cuban spices and served with lime wedges.

Lunch was followed by some brief beach and pool and hotel exploration.

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THIS was a sight for sore eyes.

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What a great feeling…

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Hello from vacation-land!

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Few things beat low tide at the beach.

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The pool scene wasn’t too bad! It was never wicked crowded when we were there. There was a pool, lots of room to sit, an outdoor bar, some cheap eats available, and a jacuzzi.

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I loved constantly being surrounded by palm trees and other pretty Florida plant life.

I say brief because we had plans to go to the Cubs vs. Marlins game that night over at Marlins Park! It’s a goal of Will and I’s to go to every MLB park in the country and I was pumped to cross another one off the list…

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The new Marlins Park opened just last year- doesn’t it look super modern? It has a retractable roof but luckily the weather was nice so it was wide open the night we were there.

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Little did we know, it was also “Fireworks Friday” so there was a free fireworks display following the game (despite you know- that the Marlins lost). The show was done all to Michael Jackson music. I don’t understand the connection but I went with it.

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The stadium did fill up more than seen in this photo- Will and I just got there early so we’d have plenty of time to check the place out.

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As I said, the stadium is wicked new and kind of reminded me of Nats Park in the sense that is was, well, new, and full of crowd pleasing gimmicks (i.e. t-shirt tosses and a lot of dance cam moments).

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I had only heard of their mascot “Billy the Marlin” before. BUT apparently they have a whole cast of bizarre characters. Meet “Spike the Sea Dragon.” He along with Bob the Shark, Julio the Octopus and Angel the Stone Crab participate in the “Great Sea Race” in between one of the innings of the game- similar to the Presidents race at Nats Park.

They have a leg up on the Nats though because I think the Marlins win for the most unnecessary “celebratory home run procedure” in baseball. The dolphins on this structure move, water flies, and the whole thing lights up. It’s fun- but again- much different than say Fenway or Wrigley Field.

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There was a Marlins homerun so we were able to see the dolphin machine go nuts- but luckily the Cubs still managed to win the game. Not that I really care either way… AND they’re both two of the worst teams in baseball record wise… but I like to see Will happy for his Cubs.

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One of the things I loved about the park was the local foods they offered on top of your standard baseball game fare. They had mahi mahi tacos, pulled pork nachos, empanadas, midnight sandwiches, and lots of other good stuff. I settled on the classic cuban sandwich with plantain chips. Dee-lish.

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Friday was clearly a day for classic cuban food. The ball park food wasn’t as quality as the Latin Cafe was earlier (duh) but it was actually still really good.

Also- when we were walking around before the game started, in one of the player facility rooms, we saw this:

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I wanted to get in there and try it so bad! SO intriguing, right? Like… how does this even work?

SATURDAY

This was the ultimate beach day. Will and I woke up early to enjoy some hotel breakfast. They had a really good spread- including lots and lots of fruit. And oatmeal! Score. We immediately headed out to the beach and there we stayed until around 5ish.

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THIS is where I wanted to be the entire vacation basically.

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Just some light reading.

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We even had lunch at a place right off the boardwalk in order to decrease our time not in the sand. The hotel next to us, the Fountainebleau, is faaaancy. It’s sort of what you think of when you think, “Miami.” And it’s where a part of the Bond film Goldfinger was filmed. Will being a huge Bond fan was obviously more than interested in checking this place out. We had planned to try and get a drink there at some point but ended up indulging in some fancy lunch with them at their outdoor food spot, La Cote.

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P1000963 I was all about some strawberry sangria. Note: the price tag on this beverage may have been high but it was one strong drink!

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The view into the “backyard” of the hotel was crazy. We weren’t allowed over there obviously because we weren’t guests but it was basically filled with beautiful people and the full out Miami scene. There were security guards/bouncers walking around everywhere.

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We enjoyed a roasted vegetable meze style platter (that came with fava bean dip and pita). It was definitely a lovely day for some Mediterranean eats.

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I ordered the watermelon, citrus, octopus confit salad. Fruit and seafood is usually a tough combo but this worked well. It was very beach-y and refreshing.

Like I said, there were rich people everywhere. It’s hilarious trying to blend in with this Miami crowd. There was a live DJ spinning during out lunch outside. A lot of the songs he played involved Pitbull (Miami native and slight tool). It was pretty bumping for the twelve o’clock hour. Hilarious. The waitstaff was dressed in all white (big surprise) and most of them had on big ol’ sunglasses.

Post lunch- lounging, swimming and more tropical beverages happened on the beach…

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I also took my FIRST EVER FULL OUT BIKINI PICTURE on the beach! Huge accomplishment much!? I felt like an idiot taking this pic but it was worth it. Now its on record- it happened. I, Allison, wore a bikini to the beach and while I felt a little awkward, I embraced it for the most part and tried to love on life as best as I could. Smiles all around. This is what hard work and determination and happiness look like!

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Less cheeseball-y picture of me with tropical beverage. Alcoholic tropical drinks are good and all, but I still think I’d prefer just a giant bowl of fresh fruit- pineapple, mango, orange, strawberries, etc. Some fruity drink are just WAY too sweet- I want the real thing. BUT when you’re in Miami- you pretty much have to get a tropical beverage AT LEAST once. Vacation calls for it.

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Will agrees.

The only reason why we left the beach (besides knowing that we had both entered sun burn territory) was for our next meal- dinner at Joe’s Stone Crab downtown in South Beach. On the way there and down Washington Ave. our cab went past the new DASH (Kardashians) store. Commence mini-freakout.

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I made WIll awkwardly take a picture of me at the restaurant. APPARENTLY the orange/pink neon of my skirt was too much for my lil camera…

Now… I don’t have many pictures of the food from Joe’s. BUT if you go to Miami- GO HERE. The food was AMAZING and the service was so on point. It was definitely an “experience” type of place. For DC-ers, it kind of reminded me of Bucas in Dupont because it was huge, well-executed, loud but not obnoxious, and the food is family style like for the most part. Again… best restaurant trip I’ve had in a long time.

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We had to wait over an hour for a table- which at first I was hesitant about- but it was so worth it. They don’t take reservations so if you’re planning on going- expect a wait. It’s a very popular place (and for good reason). The wait isn’t too bad if you are able to snag one of their patio tables and grab some drinks/apps- which is what we did!

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Shrimp cocktail it was!

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And stone crab pico de gallo! Refreshing and tasty! Their crab, their namesake, is so good.

They also bring out a killer bread basket before dinner. I’m not usually one to dive into bread baskets out to eat- but they included all these different kinds of breads that looked so unique so I had to try them. PLUS I could tell they had onion rolls. I love onion rolls. I can’t say no to them.

Dinner for me was their snapper- served with (more) crab and a lovely sauteed spinach blend. Will and I also shared some brussels sprouts. We heart food.

And if you go, besides trying their crab, you need to try their key lime pie. Let’s just say there is a reason they’re known for it. Holy crap was it good. Will and I were so full after all our food- but splitting that pie was one of the best decisions we made on this trip.

SUNDAY

Our flight back to DC wasn’t scheduled till 5:30pm so we had most of the day to continue to enjoy Miami. Post hotel poolside breakfast, Will and I ventured down the boardwalk the runs the length of the Miami Beach coast. We went down into the South Beach area by foot and explored the popular areas (in addition to bouts of walking on the beach and wading in the water, of course).

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Note: this picture was taken around 9 am.

They have a really cool “Art Deco District” that totally takes you back in time. As we strolled through there was a lot of brunching happening. DC may have a sweet brunch scene- but Miami definitely has some quality competition.

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After exploring this region, we walked all the way down to the top of the boardwalk in South Beach.

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Then we headed toward Lincoln Road which is known for lots of shopping and food places. It’s blocked off to traffic for the most part and is lined with stores and eats.

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They had a lot of fresh fruit and vegetable stands too. Will and I took advantage by ordering some fresh fruit drinks. The stand we went to literally just blended the fruit we wanted with ice. Perfection.

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I also saw these adorable little baby bananas!

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So much fruit.

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I ordered a strawberry, pineapple, banana drink.

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Will got a strawberry, banana, and mango drink.

We had lunch at another Cuban place, but this one was a little bit more on the commercial side. We ended up partaking in their brunch options- the meal was okay- but what made it was the buttered cuban bread. Yummm.

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The veggie egg scramble I got was pretty standard- but like I said- buttered cuban bread man, it’s not messing around.

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Before lunch, as we walked up and down Lincoln Road- I spotted “Ice Box.” I had read about this place in my Miami research and remembered that it was the place where Oprah said had the “best cake in America.” Woah. If it has Oprah’s seal of approval… I knew I had to try their dessert. SO post lunch, Will and I got our cake on.

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I got the Strawberry caramel cake and he got a pumpkin cake of some sort. Such quality buttercream frosting- I died. Strawberries are my favorite fruit (closely followed by cherries, bananas, and blueberries) and I’m a sucker for cakes that incorporate them. I wouldn’t call this the BEST cake in America… but it was pretty damn good.

After dessert, we walked back to the hotel and enjoyed our last hour on the beach. Before we headed out I snapped two last pictures: one of the view from our hotel room and one of Will and I. Take us back to paradise, please?

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We were only there for a short amount of time, but Will and I accomplished a lot. We saw a good chunk of the Miami Beach and South Beach region. Both of us also take food very seriously (foodie alert!) and we think we did a stellar job at taking in the best our area had to offer. Miami is an interesting mix of vibes in terms of food- you got the Cuban/Latin influence, the seafood scene, and the stereotypical bourgeoisie style (think: white clothes, white umbrellas, white towels, white everything- think: crisp, refreshing, light, and overpriced food). We definitely got a good mix of all of these flavors- we were able to try out some hometown classics and balance out our restaurant choices.

We also ate A LOT of fruit. My fruit intake probably doubled in my time there. I was consuming pineapple on pineapple on pineapple.

All around awesome trip 🙂

While I’m sad that my vacation is over- this only means that my next adventure is that much closer. The sign pointing to that trip was clearly printed on the bag of coffee in our hotel room…

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The Russian word for “coffee” displayed prominently above the english word. Gotta love cyrillic!

And I mean, even though it’s rainy and gloomy here today, I can’t sit and act like there aren’t things I love about being home and being in DC. Routine is always comforting on some level. Vacation Allison (the one who wears a lot of dresses, bright colors, white, and lays on the beach all day) is meant to exist, but only in small quantities. Real world Allison is where its at and I’m slowwwwwly but surely getting back into that spirit. A sweet spin session tonight should bring back my fitness streak- that’s for sure.

Relaxation is good and all- but only if you’ve earned it. While I certainly worked my butt off for Miami, I gotta get to earning my next vacation.

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

Allison and Will Take Miami

We are about to pick up where Kourtney and Kim left off. We might not be as fabulous as my lovely Kardashian ladies but, Will and I are about to head off to the airport to get to MIAMI.

{Side note: a lot of you may know about my Kardashian love affair but for those of you who don’t- I’m weirdly obsessed. Hey- this is a judgement free zone- I see those eyes some of you are giving me. It’s a fantasy of mine to one day be adopted by Kris Jenner and just be a part of their family. Don’t take offense to that, real family, you know I choose you over all at the end of the day 😉

When I’m having a bad day, sometimes I just pretend I am one of them to make myself feel better. When I’m feeling more glamorous than usual, I also pretend that I am one of them- hence why I’m lookin so glamorous, duh. I have the dark hair already- I just have to commit to parting it down the middle from time to time. Okay. Now that we’ve established that I’m a HUGE freak…}

What was I talking about? Oh yeah. MIAMI. This will be the last you will hear from me till I arrive back from the beach! EEEEE! I need the sun and sand so badly. I’m hoping to get my tan on, score some quality ocean time, eat some awesome food, drink a large tropical alcoholic beverage, and step away from the real world with Will. We both need a vacation badly. Our relationship has been less on the fun side and more on the heavy side lately due to life events (see: allison’s medical maladies, work drama, and boston madness). It may only be a weekend, but damn, I am pumped.

I’m putting this to paper right now- I WILL TAKE A LOT OF PICTURES. I always say I’m going to whenever I do something exciting and then never do. Hopefully me telling the world here and now that it’s going to happen will make sure it happens. I have been afraid of the camera for the past couple years of my life. People keep telling me that years from now I’m going to regret not having images of my life as it is now while I’m young. I need to take this seriously. I don’t want regrets! I also need to take this seriously because I need to get over my fears of being in pictures. It will help with that whole confidence thing I’m working on…

SO if I don’t come back with a boat load of pictures in my next post- yell at me, please? Otherwise I’ll never learn. You guys need to hold me accountable.

Alright. I got my white blousy button down on. Toes painted. Sunglasses ready available. Sandals on. Bags all packed. Let’s do this, Miami.

I may have already posted it in my initial Miami vaca announcement post but um, as a 90s child, there is only one appropriate way to sign off:

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

Thursday Treasures

I woke up this morning feeling pretty grumpy after a rough night’s sleep. After successfully putting my contacts in (they always burn when I’m overtired) and splashing my face with some cold water, I looked in the mirror and tried to lasso in some good vibes. The first thing I told myself was… hey allison- chillax- at least you can eat today and aren’t doing colonoscopy prep like you were LAST Thursday *shudder.* I don’t think I can emphasize enough how happy I am to have THAT behind me. My second positive thought was today can’t be too bad because today is your Friday… which means you just have this one day of work standing between you and MIAMI. Point taken, self- I have no right to complain about anything. I’m going on a weekend vaca.

Despite feeling kinda bleh when I first got up today, I can say that overall my life has turned around since the bad mood that plagued me Monday and Tuesday. I left you in a relatively dismal place in my last post. Sorry, guys. Lucky for me and your reading enjoyment- I have snapped out of my funk (thank GOD). That always seems to be the case doesn’t it? Just when we’re complaining about things- good times come around again. It’s the roller coaster of life I suppose.

Or as a reader commented yesterday, there is always the down hill side to every up hill road in life. WHY it is so hard to remember this fact on the bad days? It’s ridiculously challenging to see the better days when you’re going through rough times even though we see this pattern of good to bad and bad to good constantly happening in our lives. As a historian, I get annoyed at how little people remember or pay attention to history. Soooo it’s pretty sad that sometimes I can’t remember my own past, learn from it, and not let my current situation bring my down.

ANYWAY. I’m not quite sure when or why life became lighter, but I am thankful to be in a better place now. It was probably a combination of perseverance on my end plus a bunch of little good things here and there. I’m thinking that my usual “Thursday Treasures” post could not come at a better time in order to reflect on these good things.

Let’s do this, Thursday Treasures:

1. Balance Gym

Okay so normally I would just say “exercise” but the workouts I did this week were less about the workouts themselves- and more about WHERE I worked out. My gym in Thomas Circle. For as much as I was uninspired to do anything on Monday, I was re-inspired (if you will) on Tuesday. I was able to get to the gym and while yes- I had a solid bootcamp workout (my body is still sore from the man makers we did), more importantly, I was happy to be there with the people that come out to the class. It’s not like we’re all BFFs or anything, but it’s just such a positive community of people. Plus, the instructor never fails to make us laugh our way through the bootcamp torture. Lesson learned (hopefully): for every non-existent workout, cough cough monday cough cough, there is another ass-kicking one around the corner.

Then last night, I did a little 5k loop on the treadmill seeing as it was ridiculously windy outside (which I absolutely hate when I’m trying to run outdoors. slight wind? perfect. major gusts? get outta here). My run was followed by yoga… ON THE ROOF. We used to go on the roof for bootcamp workouts in nice weather but I had never done yoga up there! Talk about a place of zen. Even though we did a series of tough arm poses/postures that were nearly impossible for me, it was a good class. Running and yoga tend to enhance any good mood I’m in. Yoga always seems to find me at the perfect time and last night, a solid shavashana on the roof was exactly what I needed.

2. This Song

Vagabond by Wolfmother

3. And THIS Song

Strictly Game by the Harlem Shakes

4. OH and THIS Song

That’s the Way by Led Zeppelin

5. Deliveries

I came home to find two deliveries on Tuesday night. The first was from home. This is the most thoughtful “just because” gift I’ve received in a while. I almost feel weird blogging about it because it is so personal- but I also felt weird NOT blogging about it because it meant so much to me last night. I am extremely grateful to my aunt, uncle, and cousin for sending me this piece of love from home. My heartstrings. They have been successfully tugged.

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the description on the bracelet says it all really.

The other delivery, while not emotional or necessarily heart warming… was drool worthy. You may remember me blogging about Postmodern Foods when I met the founder Denise at the Mind Your Body Oasis open house I attended a couple weekends ago.I believe I said that I wished I had a “vat” of her grapefruit juice in my fridge at all times. I now have a 16 oz. supply of the wonderful stuff AND this cool “millet krispie treat” to try. It said in it’s online description that it was good for digestion- I’m all about THAT these days. I need all the help I can get! Send me all the millet krispie treats you got, Denise!

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Wahoo for healthy treats!

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Mmmm algae? Supposedly it’s really good for you. While I’ll get on board and trust their nutrition knowledge, I think algae will always make me think of the beach at home. In middle school we studied a lot of ocean-y things (you know you live near the ocean when…) and algae will forever make me think of a field trip we took to study tide pools. And now I drink the stuff.

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If you can’t read the ingredients on the label, it’s puffed millet, raw yacon syrup, agave, coconut oil, raw cacao, vanilla bean, pink himalayan salt. All very interesting things… but like I said above, the real reason why I bought it is because of it’s product description: “yacon syrup is a low-glycemic sweetener that is prebiotic, providing the probiotics in your gut with the nutrients they need to thrive, creating healthier gut flora, better digestion, and improving immune function.” Sounds like something that could be helpful to me.

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Free inspirational quotes are always appreciated.

In her email to me notifying me of the delivery- she said to let her know when I picked up the delivery so she would be sure I got my “vat” of grapefruit juice. I was touched that she remembered that small detail about my blog post. Have I mentioned how much I love working with small, personalized, and thoughtful businesses here in DMV region? Okay good. Because really, they’re the best. If you’re a local to this area, I recommend trying out something from Postmodern Foods. You can order their goods online or stop by Mind Your Body Oasis in Crystal City where they sell their stuff as well.

6. GrohNola

Speaking of small, local businesses here in the District… I have been CRUSHING hard on GrohNola ever since I bought my first bag at Pleasant Pops. This week I have been devouring GrohNola mixed in with TJs pearsauce. So. Good.

P10009027. Trader Joes Eats

In line with the thought above- Trader Joes really makes my life WAY too convienent sometimes. I’m not complaining at all. They have been the source of many quick and easy meals this week. I had been eyeing this frozen blend for weeks now and I finally caved into it when I went shopping last week.

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sweet potatoes, kale, AND carrots! so much love for all of those things.

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A big ol’ pile of delicious mush basically. I mean mush in the best way possible by the way.

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I knew I would need to add some more healthy fats and protein to this frozen blend so I halfed the frozen mixture and added each portion to some avocado, chicken, salt, pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes. Side note: yes, there was an avocado party happening on my counter. Sorry you weren’t invited.

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The woman who rang me up at TJs said the mix itself was pretty bland and recommended adding a splash of balsamic vinegar and some spices. She was right! The balsamic really made a big difference in the taste.

8. Avocados

Now, I’m always lovin’ on these bad boys. Some days more than others. When I was grocery shopping, my big eyes thought it would be a good idea to buy three for the week. Unnecessary but it happened. I hate wasting food so I have been determined to use them all. Especially because around these parts avocados are not cheap (damn you west coasters and your cheap avocados- I’m looking at you, Zoe).

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Curious about how I access the wonderfulness inside of avocados? Of course you are. Well it’s your lucky day. So I take the slice of avocado I’m looking to use and hold it like so…

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then I fold it in half and squeeze all the green outta there. usually it prevents me from making a huge avocado mess and works doubly as a way to mush the avocado a little bit to make spreading it easier.

Avocado has been a key ingredient in my dinners (see quinoa blend + chicken + avocado bowl of yum above), lunches (see lunch wraps below), and breakfasts (I didn’t have overnight oats this morning and had an egg sandwich- I’m shocked too).

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goat cheese, turkey, avocado, arugula, red peppers, and mushrooms. yum.

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You always need a close up on some vegetables.

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Egg, avocado, cheese, and tomatoes on some whole grain bread. And for sweetness- a lil bowl of chopped banana and wicked sweet strawberries. Mmmmm.

9. Seeing Jillian Michaels with Sara

Last night I went to see Jillian Michaels on her Maximize Your Life tour at the Warner Theater. I really had no idea what to expect but was definitely interested to hear what she had to talk about. The crowd and types of people who were there was pretty mixed.

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Her talk was divided into two parts basically. The first was what she called “the information portion.” I knew a lot of what she was talking about- Sara and I joked that we could have led that part of the presentation. We’re both kind of snarky- I like it.

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sorry I’m not sorry for stealing your sweet phone pic, sara.

BUT it was a solid reminder of how much I do know about nutrition and exercise that I assume everyone knows- but they definitely don’t. She talked about the very basics and the most significant aspects of nutrition and fitness (according to her). It was like a crash course on how to be healthier. She brought up calorie counting, BMR, high intensity interval training, the importance of strength AND cardio, the lameness of weight machines (USE FREE WEIGHTS) and a lot of things you’ve seen me bring up on this lil blog.

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The point of Jillian Michaels’ info part of the show was to “arm us with knowledge.” One of her goals was to provide the audience with more information in order for us to feel more comfortable taking chances and making changes in our lives.

She also offered her secret to being healthy and not overweight. Are you ready? She proclaimed: Eat less… and move more! Can you believe that shit?! I died laughing. So true, girl. That’s all I’m trying to get across to people too! I loved that she also went on to emphasize that, included in the whole “eat less” part is… “eat better.” She talked about the importance of food quality and what we are consuming.

Also in line with my own personal views, she stressed that the more important takeaway from all these healthy shenanigans besides just “being thin” and “fitting into skinny jeans” is increasing the quality of your life. THAT’s what matters most- overall health- big picture.

Her down to earth and relate-able personality surprised me. She’s usually so intense so I guess I just didn’t expect her to be so “cool.” But she was! She definitely didn’t sugar coat things, admitted loving bread, and admitted not loving exercise (shock!). Yep, Jillian Michaels doesn’t love working out. She loves what she gets out of it- feeling better mentally and physically. She talked about food labels in an honest way and reminded the audience to “turn on their bullshit meter” when reading them. I found that hilarious. As someone who has been trying to cut out processed foods and eat as cleanly as possible, it was nice to hear someone else talk about this concept.

The second part- I couldn’t stay for unfortunately. That’s where she was going to get more into the motivational aspect of the talk. Jillian was going to delve into the inspiration side of things. I wish I could have heard THIS part and skipped the info session. Not because I’m not motivated- trust me- I know I can get what I want out of life- but I was so curious as to how she was going to try and convince other people of that. Mental mind games are hard, man. This part of the evening was supposed to really hone in on another one of her goals of the evening- to make sure that everyone left with a sense that they are capable of achieving anything and that their lives are worth it.

But because it was getting late and because I have to get up so early for work, I knew it wasn’t worth me staying for another hour. No offense Jillian, you’re great, but I’m already pretty motivated AND I really really value my sleep.

Even though the show was interesting and a worthwhile use of my time, I’m not going to lie, my favorite part of last night was hanging with Sara. She’s a great human being.

Thank you, Live Nation, for the cool evening with Jillian Michaels 🙂

HOKAY I need to hop on the productivity train and get a move on today. This time tomorrow I will be at the airport getting ready to get to MIAMI. Sorry- please don’t hate me. I’m just really really really excited. I promise I’ll give ya a little post tomorrow before I jet off for the weekend and get outta blogger mode.

Before I go today though, I just want to say thank you to everyone who read my womp-tastic post on Tuesday and offered me up words of support and love. You’re all great.

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

Not Always Being a Hero

I woke up today feeling pretty uninspired. Yesterday was a bad day. I don’t even know why. Nothing happened in particular and I think part of the reason why it was so bad was because I was angry that I felt crappy for no apparent reason. Don’t you just love it when you make your own problems worse? Maybe it’s the random cold weather in DC? Maybe I was just tired from being wicked active on Sunday between spin and walking around a lot? Maybe it was a lack of sleep? I don’t even know. Maybe no reason at all. All I know is that I felt miserable and frustrated.

It should have been a good day. I was on top of my to do list. I had a bunch of productive meetings. Work was okay. I had good eats. I was able to turn in my visa application for Russia. But alas. For the life of me I couldn’t feel positive.

I had plans to go to the free bootcamp class offered at the Nike store in Georgetown at 8 last night (for those interested: they have this free class every Monday!) I’ve been wanting to try it forever. But I knew I needed to go to bed early and so that just wasn’t going to happen. I was bummed to scratch that out of my planner. This turned into me deciding to go to yoga at six instead at my gym. But then as the clock ticked along at work I realized how exhausted I was. I realized how little I wanted to be anywhere but my apartment and in my bed. My plans quickly turned into me not working out and going to bed at eight o’clock last night.

As I stared at the clock in my yoga clothes a little after five, all I could feel was guilt. I felt like a quitter. I knew deep down that my body and my mind just needed rest and even yoga wasn’t going to be good for me- but I still felt awful because I was giving up on my workout plans. I’m not one to ditch plans so it bothers me when I change my schedule last minute. I kept saying, if you go to yoga, you won’t get home till 7:30, then you’ll still have to make dinner and shower. You won’t get to bed till probably 9 or 10. You want to get extra sleep tonight thus you really shouldn’t go. It’s okay to rest. But it didn’t matter. I knew no matter what I wasn’t going to be able to climb out of the hole of guilt. Eventually, instead of fighting it, I accepted it. I felt like shit last night and just let it happen.

You can’t always have a perfect day. You can’t always be happy. You can’t expect things to always go your way. You can’t always turn things around when you want to. Life is going to continually throw wrenches into your plans or expectations. Yesterday should have been a superb day. But it wasn’t. And I dealt with it.

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I started to write a letter to myself convincing me that it was okay to just have a bad day. It began as so. Yes, this is how I talk to myself.

I can’t always be a hero, workout when I don’t want to, and turn my blues into smiles all around. This doesn’t make me a failure even if I feel like one in the moment. This makes me a real human being. And that’s okay. As much as I push myself to be greater than the average human being- the fact is- I am not super woman. I am Allison.

Saying no to the gym doesn’t take away any “healthy credentials” I may have. It doesn’t change the fact that when the doctors at the hospital before my colonoscopy asked me if I was an athlete- I said YES for the first time in my life. I am still an athlete. I am still me. I am still the same person. In fact, I am a better person for taking care of myself. I will be a better athlete today because of the rest I gave my body last night.

That one hour I decided to spend taking care of my mental health and sleep needs over exercising made me feel healthier last night. I am a human being. I am Allison. I am a girl who loves working out. But I am a girl who knows herself really well. I am a girl who knows when not to push it. I am a girl who needs her sleep.

While my issues with food have gotten world’s better, and I truly mean that, there are still days like last night where things go awry and my old friend Ed comes back to visit. He makes me forget how far I’ve come and tries to drag me back into the vicious restriction cycle that he loves me on so much. I may not be able to always be a hero, but at the very least, I have the strength to deny Ed’s requests and still eat food. I may feel awful and guilty and weird and sad and like a mess- but I accept those things, eat, and look toward a new/better day.

SO I took off my workout clothes. I put on very comfy pajamas. I then painted my toes because 1) it’s something I enjoy doing 2) I needed a more neutral color for my trip to Miami this weekend and 3) I knew I couldn’t put back on workout clothes/sneakers at the last minute and force myself to go to the gym with wet/dentable toe nail polish. Tricks. I’m a master at them.

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I then proceeded to make dinner as planned. On the menu was Tina’s 3-Ingredient Meal: Cheesy Garlic and Herb Brussels Sprouts with Sausage with a side of roasted red potatoes. Nom.

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Next up- I ate dark chocolate squares. Topped with peanut butter. In the bath tub. YUP.

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It was a little after eight when the sun had finally set and I crawled into bed. I listened to a guided mediation from this site and went to sleep.

Last night ALLISON didn’t want to workout. Ed told me I needed to in order to earn my dinner. I told him he was wrong. I didn’t work out. I still ate dinner. I still even ate my dessert. For as much of a failure as last night seems, it was still a victory in a small way.

Today, I wanted to wake up and feel like a million bucks. I didn’t. And I still don’t. But I’m just trying to take today one minute at a time. I haven’t called it quits on making it a better day. It’s morning and I have a lot of hours to change my tune. I have the tendency to think in “snow ball effect terms” and see one bad moment as the frame for the rest of my day- week even. But I know that’s silly. One bad day doesn’t equate a lifetime of bad days. Everyone has them. And sometimes you just have to accept them and move on.

Like I said earlier. Today I’m still me. My clothes fit the same exact way they always have. I devoured some deliciously sweet strawberry overnight oats this morning. I walked to work. I still have this blog. I’m still a healthy human being.

I’m a believer that its the small decisions and choices we make everyday that lead to a greater state of wellbeing. My decision last night not to workout was just one of my decisions in the course of my day. I may not have felt good about it last night, but looking big picture, it was one choice out of the bajillion I make regularly. I think my track record can stand it.

Plus, that free bootcamp class at the Nike store in Georgetown isn’t going anywhere any time soon. It will kick my butt eventually. Until then…

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

Normalcy

This weekend has been just one massive sigh of relief. I wanted to write on Friday and I wanted to write on Saturday- but I just didn’t have it in me. After world’s most exhausting week last week, it has been great to take each moment by moment this weekend and be present in the life I’m living. Life since Friday afternoon has gotten a million times better and much needed normalcy has settled in.

I can’t even tell you how happy I was to see Will at the hospital on Friday night post-colonoscopy. The actual procedure was fine- they knocked me out completely so I don’t even know what was going on down there. The trauma was really in the prep work. Ugh just thinking about last week and those 48-hours leading up to the procedure make me shudder. Horrible. BUT once I got to the hospital- I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and knew it would all be over. I was hungry, starving actually, and just wanted time to fly by so I could eat again. Not eating and trying to mentally digest everything that was happening in Massachusetts that day made for a terribly overwhelmed girl.

They woke me up after the procedure, fed me fig newtons (so delicious), and gave me some water. The doctor came and sat with me to tell me the “results” so to speak. Good news- nothing is wrong with me internally! Hello, peace of mind! Everything checked out a-ok. Wahoo! Now, the verdict behind all of my digestive issues really is just stress and all the changes my body has gone through in the past year. While stress management has always been a problem for me, I would much rather try and tackle THAT than anything else that could have been wrong.

After eating world’s GREATEST sandwich ever from Jetties right near the hospital (multigrain bread, roast beef, havarti cheese, red onions, tomatoes, lettuce, red peppers, sprouts, and avocado… yes I loaded as many veggies as possible in there), Will and I returned home on a stormy Friday evening to our apartment. It was around the time we got back that things started to get crazy in Watertown, MA. We watched and anxiously awaited for the moment that seemed like the end of the search process for the second suspect of the marathon bombing.

You all know the rest of the story.

I went to bed feeling SO full of pride for Massachusetts, relieved, and just grateful for all of those in the public service back home. I went to bed knowing that my digestive problems were better understood and under control AND knowing that Massachusetts was a safer place. Friday night was the high point for that awful, painful week and I went to bed with a definitive sense that it was all over. A new page had been turned.

Saturday and today have been filled by me just doing the things I love. Spending time with friends, time with will, loving on the Red Sox, and adjusting back to my routine. Oh and did I mention EATING?! OH MY GOD did I miss food. Holy crap did I miss vegetables and fruits. I have been shoving them into my mouth like a mad woman since I was free of any and all diet restrictions. Grocery shopping Saturday morning was the GREATEST. I loaded my cart with all of the foods I love and couldn’t stop smiling knowing that I could consume them all with reckless abandon. Okay. That’s a little dramatic. BUT guys, being able to eat what you want and love is a beautiful thing.

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hello old friends! asparagus, arugula, lemons, blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, avocados, brussel sprouts, snap peas, peppers, cucumbers…

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so excited about these guys. can I eat 2 lbs. of strawberries before they go bad? YUP. challenge accepted.

The morning was started with my beloved overnight oats that I had to kiss goodbye last week. Blueberries, coconut, oats, and banana never tasted so good.

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oats, greek yogurt, almond milk, banana, blueberries, flax, coconut, and gooey almond butter.

P1000857Lunch was of course a massive salad to make up for my loss of vegetables last week.

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TJs falafel, mushrooms, tomatoes, mixed greens, garlic hummus, feta, basil, peppers, and onions. Come to mama.

During lunch, Will and I had the Sox game on- their epic return to Fenway since the marathon ordeal. They paid tribute to the lives lost and to the people who gave their heart and soul to the city in order to keep it safe and sound. It was so cool to see “Boston Strong” signs everywhere. It was also awesome to see Ortiz come back and exclaim:

“This is our fucking city. And nobody is going to dictate our freedom.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself, Papi. Zero shits given by the big man. I love that the FCC chairman was totally cool with it too:

Damn straight. Yesterday’s game, while filled with remembrance for all of the horrible things that happened on Monday in Boston, was filled with hope and the willingness of a city ready to move forward. The Red Sox are a constant in Boston. Fenway is a mecca. It was beautiful to see our city there- it was beautiful to see our city together- strong and proud. I felt proud. I felt even prouder after the Sox snagged a win thanks to Daniel Nava and continued their sicckkkk winning streak! GO SOX, BABY. Boston = champions now and forever.

This morning I again enjoyed a big ol’ bowl of overnight oats and got back to exercising after resting since Thursday. I know three days doesn’t seem like a wicked long time not to be exercising- but it was a wonderful feeling when I woke up knowing that I had my strength back, I was eating the way I love and feel good about, and I was able to carry about my business (basically). After days of feeling pathetic and sad, I felt strong and happy and all around good about life. Spin class today was so good for so many reasons.

And I mean… it was followed by another mega salad. Again- a week of no vegetables has led me to want to be eating them round the clock. You thought I was a veg head before- oh buddy, you should see me these days.

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shrimp, blueberries, avocado, artichoke hearts, goat cheese, cucumbers, sweet onion, evoo, brown rice, lemon juice, lemon pepper, basil, and arugula.

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not messing around with this salad.

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while I had all the ingredients out- I made two more to have for lunch this week.

I’m also excited to eat really well this week in order to prepare for the many many food splurges I’m going to make next weekend when Will and I go to MIAMI. It seems like just yesterday I was telling you about our decision to go. As I have a lot of medical professionals now telling me to chillax and de-stress, I don’t think this weekend getaway could be coming at a better time. We talked last night about restaurants we wanted to try and things we wanted to do. So excited.

Also, I got a package in the mail yesterday from my Mom filled with goodies including some nice new warm weather clothes. She knows I’m lacking in the clothes department so it truly meant a lot to me to get a few items from her to add to my wardrobe. They are so springy and summery too! Some of the items are DEFINITELY coming with me to Miami.

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the chair with my new clothes on it just LOOKS summery. love it.

P1000870P1000865Okay. Well. I’m going to enjoy the rest of my weekend before it disappears. I hope you all have been well. Thank you for all of you kind thoughts and well wishes this past week in regards to the situation in Massachusetts and my digestive health. The support I have felt has been much needed and appreciated- you have no idea. SO thank you- thank you thank you thank you. I am happy to report that I’m a healthier and happier washingtonian/bostonian.

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

Empty

I thought that any speechless-ness I experienced today would come from the fact that I haven’t eaten solid foods since 6:30am yesterday (colonoscopy prep is really great). And while that is certainly affecting my state of mind right now in a big way, I cannot even begin to comment on everything happening at home right now.

I am sad. I am angry. I am confused. I am pissed off. I am devastated. I am empty. I feel completely drained mentally and physically. This is all too much. There is too much to say and just no way for me to articulate it. My heart aches. I want to be curled up on my couch at home with my family.

This week has really shown me what matters and what doesn’t. If I was confused about the priorities in my life, this week certainly cleared that up for me.

Screenshot 2013-04-19 at 11.45.23 AMThe Red Sox have returned to Boston, and while I completely understand if the game is cancelled at Fenway tonight, there is a part of me that hopes that it can still happen. We need a place to rally and mourn further together. We need something else on our TVs besides the news. We need continuing reminders of our strength. We are bean town. We are title town. We will not remain a ghost town. We are a community that’s tighter than any other and we will continue to band together to not only seek justice, but to recover from this mess. Boston is the strongest city in the world and that’s a damn fact.