I’ve been missing in action. Mainly because we have a lot going on with work. In short, we’re reaching the end of a week/weekend long Masonic conference that requires an all hands on deck from dawn to dusk mentality.
Anddd I’m still sick. And by sick I don’t mean wah I don’t feel great. I mean, I have a fever and a sore throat and hardly any voice and I got sent home from work today because I was falling apart at the seams. I’m really good at faking it till I make it but there is a moment where you just can’t do it anymore and need to tap out. I guess that was today for me. So I’m blogging post- nap and lunch from my bed. And after I write this post- I’m going back to bed. It sounds great, right? Rest and relaxation? Wrong. I feel miserable. On top of not feeling good, I hate missing work on important days like this and feeling like I’m letting my team down. Not to mention- I just want to feel better! I’ve been sick since Thursday and I’m so over it. I want my regular, normal life back.
I probably would have recovered by now but from working all weekend, talking, hosting, entertaining, not sleeping well/enough, and running around- I haven’t gotten better. Tomorrow at 5pm is when everything with work ends. Then we’ll have Thursday off and then a much needed long Labor Day Weekend. I’m basically living for those five days off at the moment.
I wanted to stop by the world wide web today real quick while I had a second and share with you three things of importance. Two of which sort of summarize my life at the moment and the other is a part of a commitment I have to Blogging for Hope– the series of blog posts I’m doing to benefit the Taste of Hope event sponsored by the American Cancer Society (ACS). This week’s theme for Blogging for Hope is taco night… so get excited.
But before delving into Blogging for Hope shenanigans, let’s get to the other three things happening in my world:
1. Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, U.S.A., 2013 Biennial Session
Every two years, the Supreme Council (or governing body for the Southern Jurisdiction of Scottish Rite Freemasonry) convenes to discuss significant issues, pass resolutions, and make changes to the organization. There are meetings held everyday for the men directly involved and a series of events surrounding said meetings that are meant to take care of, honor, and entertain the guests we have in DC. The events and meetings are held around the city at my work building, The House of the Temple, the hotel St. Regis, St. John’s Church, and the Washington Hilton.
Anddd that’s been my life since people started coming into town on Wednesday.
Despite being really sick, it’s been a real pleasure to get to meet so many nice people. I’ve never been complimented so much in my life! I constantly have people telling me how pretty I am and how I’m such a hard worker- I can’t complain too much. And because I work in development/fundraising, this weekend has really been about me meeting our donors face to face. I have gotten the opportunity to meet a lot of our major donors that up until this weekend, I had only corresponded with via email or phone. It is so cool to meet these inspiring and generous individuals in person and spend time with them.
Being sick throughout all this would have been impossible if not for the sweet people I work to serve and the amazing people I work with who have been so understanding and helpful.
2. Running Around in Circles
While physically I have been running around crazy, I have also been mentally running myself into the ground. Right before getting sick, I was in a horrible state of mind. I had been so stressed about life, I had been worrying about food/exercise a lot, and I was stuck in a very negative place. It’s probably part of the reason I got sick. I wasn’t sleeping- I was stressin’ and worryin’ and not taking care of myself mentally.
Being sick has only made things worse. I haven’t been able to workout since last Wednesday and in the moments when I’m not working, I’ve needed to be sitting down. This cold/virus/monster has totally kicked me in the ass. I haven’t felt like myself and I’ve felt completely and totally out of whack. I love taking good care of myself and I feel like I’m failing my body big time right now. It’s frustrating not having the time to take a step back and take care of my needs.
It’s also frustrating not to be able to give my job 110% the one weekend where it matters most. I don’t feel like I’m carrying my load of the responsibility this weekend but there’s nothing I can really do about it. It sucks. It makes me feel bad about myself.
On top of that- throughout this whole work conference, we’ve been treated to GREAT meals. And dessert. At least once a day, I’m eating some fancy dish accompanied by dessert. Which normally- I’d be totally on board with- I love food. But when I’m not working out and living the normal, active lifestyle I usually am, it’s stressful for me. It’s REALLY stressful for me. Like I said, I haven’t worked out since Wednesday, but I’ve been eating like a queen. In between these really decadent meals, I’ve been eating my own, home cooked and prepared meals (I am proud of myself for at least doing that), but it doesn’t erase the guilt I feel for all of the indulgences.
I use working out as a crutch to make me feel less stressed about food and I’m not afraid to admit that. It’s something I’m still working on. It’s not always this crutch, but it definitely plays a role in my mental state and issues with food. This past weekend has been a crucial reminder that I don’t workout to eat, I eat so that I can feel healthy, strong, and able to workout. Working out isn’t the be all end all. Working out isn’t everything. Working out doesn’t define me. I’m not losing fitness points because I’ve needed to take time off from it. I know deep down that once I feel better and my schedule is normal again, I’ll be right back in the trenches doing what I love. But right now- I can’t be. It’s challenging mentally and aggravating and so stressful, but if I want to get better and survive all this work stuff- I have to keep resting and not pushing myself like I tend to do.
Even though I can type all that out- it’s one of those easier said than done sort of things. Trust me, I’m really stressed about my weight/food/calories/fitness. All I can do is do my best to ignore the scary voices, continue to eat and not restrict, and try to actually enjoy all the amazing food that I’m getting for free.
My brain has been running around in vicious circles non-stop with messages of self-loathing and criticism. And that’s just the uphill battle I face everyday as someone recovering from disordered eating issues that latched on to me when I lost the weight I did.
What is comes down to is- I’ve lost a lot of control with my physical health and ability to workout. I’ve also lost a lot of control over what and when I’m eating. I’ve lost control of a regular schedule and haven’t felt like myself. All of this loss of control is leading me to feel COMPLETELY out of control and crazy.
Again, at least I have the good people that I work with and for to distract me from myself.
3. Blogging for Hope: Taco Night
So as all of my followers by now know, posts regarding Blogging for Hope are about sharing food ideas that are helpful in cancer prevention and for those undergoing cancer treatment. And it’s suggested with the ACS nutritional guidelines in mind (click here to view those guidelines. You will see a Blogging for Hope post from me every Tuesday till the event on September 24th.
Here are the past blog posts from this series:
Like I said earlier, this week’s theme is TACO NIGHT. I’ve been really excited about this one because taco nights used to be one of my favorite dinner nights growing up at home. My Mom would always cut up and prepare lots of different taco ingredients- lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, grilled chicken, ground beef, avocado, cheese, and salsa- and then let us build our own tacos or burritos. She’d lay out all the fillers on the counter and have us go through them like an assembly line. Our family was never really the hard shell taco types, so she would always buy soft tortilla wraps.
Taco nights are so easy for families especially because they don’t require too much thought or prep work. And when you go the “build-your-own” route, everyone is happy because they can customize their food.
You’re in control of the ingredients you put out to choose from- so why not choose healthy ones that are delicious and good for you?
The ACS dietary guidelines emphasize plant based food sources and tacos are a fun way to get lots of veggies into your meal. And nowadays they make whole grain tortillas so you can feel good about what you’re wrapping your veggies in! Besides swapping regular tortillas for whole grain ones, here are some other swaps you can make in your Mexican inspired meal creations:
- Instead of steak or regular ground beef choose a lean source of protein like chicken, fish, ground turkey, or lean ground beef
- You could even go meatless all together and have pinto or black beans be the star of your taco night!
- Instead of sour cream- choose a dollup of greek yogurt
- Instead of grabbing a store blend of fajita or mexican spices (which tend to pack a high sodium punch and contain sugar and a bunch of other unhealthy additives) choose to cook any meat or veggies in a homemade blend of oregano, cumin, paprika, garlic, and cayenne. You don’t have to avoid salt all together, but add it to taste and take back the control of just how much is going into your food.
- Instead of a full fat cheese, choose a lighter option
Here are some of my favorite taco ingredients that can make any taco night awesome:
- Tomatoes- I am a tomato freak! Not only do I love the taste but its great knowing that they’re one of the best foods for you. Packed with antioxidants and good for a healthy heart!
- Olives- A recent love in my life, olives, like tomatoes, support a healthy heart. They’ve been said to have healing compounds and cancer fighting properties too.
- Avocado or Guacamole- I can’t have a taco night these days without the presence of avocado. Whether sliced up on its own or mashed into guacamole, avocado is an amazing food. It’s a source of healthy fats which support brain health and it’s straight up delicious.
- Sliced Bell Peppers- These guys help me fulfill my daily quest to “eat a rainbow” while also providing me with lots of vitamin A, C, B6, and E. They’re good for your immune system and for fighting inflammation.
- Refried Beans- These get a bad reputation for being unhealthy (probably because the word “fried” is in the title). BUT refried beans contain all of the same healthy nutrients that the pinto beans they are made from contain. Yes, they are made with some type of bacon fat or lard- but you can look for low-fat varieties that choose a health-ier fat to cook the beans in and you can opt for a low sodium option. You could even make your own by sauteeing some pinto beans in a heart healthy fat like olive oil alongside some garlic and chopped onion. When the beans are warm, mash them all up and serve!
- Romaine- I’m usually a spinach girl through and through, but for me, romaine is the only way to go when it comes to taco night! It’s crispy, crunchy, and full of vitamin C and fiber to keep you full.
I can’t stress enough ho simple it is to make taco nights all about the veggies. It can be easy to get carried away with the cheese, the tortillas, and meat, but if you have a wide variety of delicious vegetable options, they can quickly become the focus of your meal.
Besides the ones I listed above, other great ingredients to choose from include: red onions, green onions, mushrooms, jalapenos, and corn.
Use your imagination! Pick your favorite veggies and play! It’ll make taco night that much more fun.
More Information about Taste of Hope
(which Blogging for Hope is in conjunction with)
Taste of Hope is the American Cancer Society’s signature culinary, wine and spirits event featuring more than 50 of Washington DC’s most popular chefs, restaurants and beverage vendors. Guests enjoy a walk around tasting format where they can sample signature dishes, premier wines and spirits and inventive cocktails. Hosted by the American Cancer Society and Chef Honoree Mike Isabella, all proceeds from Taste of Hope go toward our goal of eliminating cancer as a major health problem. This year the American Cancer Society celebrates their 100th birthday! Together, we save lives and create a world with more birthdays by helping you stay well, helping you get well, finding cures and fighting back.
Taste of Hope will be held on September 24, 2013 at the Carnegie Library.
- Tickets can be purchased here.
- Donations to can be made here.
Disclaimer: Blogging for Hope is a group of DC area bloggers promoting Taste of Hope through healthy recipes. I am not a doctor, dietician, or nutritionist. I am not a trained health care provider. I do not claim that my food will cure any cause, condition, or disease. Consult your primary physician or oncologist before starting any new diet.
I am in direct ability and use of conversation under following articles.
- (9) A person who does not hold himself out to be a dietitian or nutritionist when that person furnishes nutrition information on food, food materials, or dietary supplements. This Article does not prohibit that person from making explanations to customers about foods or food products in connection with the marketing and distribution of these products.
- (10) An herbalist or other person who does not hold himself out to be a dietitian or nutritionist when the person furnishes nonfraudulent specific nutritional information and counseling about the reported or historical use of herbs, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carbohydrates, sugars, enzymes, food concentrates, or other foods. (1991, c. 668, s. 1; 1995, c. 509, s. 135.2(s).)
Again, you are not on the website of a doctor, nutritionist, or dietitian. If you wish to do so please contact a board certified professional in your state.
Keep it wicked healthy xoxo