What a Year

2013 went by in a flash. I’ve never experienced a quicker year. For a hot second I thought, huh well this year was relatively uneventful. And then I literally laughed out loud. Because THAT is the most preposterous thought of all time.

2013 was CRAZY. Looking back- I can’t even believe everything that happened.

Not only did I do a lot of stuff- but I grew and changed and evolved in a bajillion ways. I hadn’t even met my beloved R.D. at this time last year. Now that’s weird. My disordered eating and mental struggles seem like something from the long, distant past. But they really weren’t that far back. I’m still getting stronger and recovering every day. But holy crap- I’m so far from where I was.

In 2013:

I admitted my struggles and sought out professional health.

I ended up gaining back my mental sanity and clarity + happiness and joy.20133

I also happily gained ten much needed pounds (which was almost harder than losing the initial weight I lost).

I started to figure out how to balance all the major food groups that I love/need (including dessert and sweets).

I went through a colonoscopy.20131

I fell for cashew butter.20132

I wore a bikini for the first time in my life.20135

I saw CitiField and Marlins Park for the first time (2 more to cross off on my baseball stadium tour list!)2013620134

I traveled to Miami, New York, Chicago, and Massachusetts.201392013820137

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And most importantly, I traveled to RUSSIA.201310201311201312

I successfully ran a webathon that raised $700,000 at my old job.201313

I reassessed my passions and started looking for a new job.

I started and fell in love with a new job where I get to do what I really want to do every day.

I turned 23 and relinquished my ability to sing Taylor Swift’s 22 at the top of my lungs.

I had major down moments, but I also had major up moments. The good outweighed the bad.

I saw the Red Sox become WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS.201314

I fell in love with DC all over again.

My sisters turned 15, 16, and 21. Woah. We’re all getting old.

I really became a runner. I went from occasionally running 5k distances to running my first ever 8k, running on a regular basis (4 times a week), and increasing my doable mileage to 10 miles! Double digits baby!201315

I completed the Goruck Nasty– I true test of my mental and physical strength.201316

I saw Paul McCartney live in concert. And died of happiness.

I listened to both Nick Offerman and Jillian Michaels share their thoughts on life.

I completely fell in love with chickpeas. And mushrooms. And olives.201317201319201318

And I continued to fall deeper in love with brussels sprouts.201320

I relied on overnight oats to fuel most of my breakfasts.

I became less closed off and open to being much more of a social butterfly.

I participated in more workouts here in DC than I can even remember. From Crossfit boxes to spin studios to new gyms to everything in between.20132120132

The other day I was looking at my goals for this year that I wrote up- just to see where my head was at back then and also to see if I did what I said I wanted to do. Here’s some snippets from what I wrote:

I MADE MY FIRST APPOINTMENT YESTERDAY FOR MID-JANUARY! Sorry for the all caps but I’m so excited- you have no idea… I can’t wait to feel like I’m solidly on track with eating what is best for my body and what it really needs at this point in my life.

Well THAT one certainly went well.

..other food goals I have for 2013 are to keep continuing to try at least one new fruit or vegetable a week, trying three new recipes a week, and no longer calorie counting.

I didn’t keep track of new things I was trying- but let me tell you- that list is never ending. I cooked A LOT in 2013. Also- calorie counting? I don’t even know what that means anymore 😉 I joke- but seriously. That is most certainly something I have kicked to the curb.

And of course, clean eating will be ever important in my day to day life. As will eating breakfast every single day (hopefully always with a banana involved).

Yup. This definitely remained true. I probably loosened the reigns on my clean control a little but I think that was for the best. And I still eat banana. Pretty much everyday.

In terms of fitness goals- I don’t want to sit here and bite off more than I can chew. My greatest fear is to put TOO much pressure on myself to do TOO much only to burn out and feel overwhelmed. SO my main goal is to continue my habit of working out on a regular basis (simple, right?) My ideal week will include me getting my sweat on five times a week with two rest days in there.

This plan seemed to turn out well- I ended up doing A LOT in 2013 in regards to fitness. I became stronger, faster, and all around fitter. Win.

Three mini goals I have for myself are to strengthen my ability to do pushups, maintain my ability to hold planks for at least three minutes, and improve my 3-mile running time.

Pushups- definitely. Plank- eh I haven’t done a long one in a while so I’m not sure on that… but I know my core is all around stronger so I’m sure I could pull it out with a couple week’s practice. 3-mile time- the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving officially proved that I did this one!

There will definitely be changes to how I workout on a weekly basis. I’m going to make sure I hit up body pump two days a week (I already love the results and the way its been making me feel), run once a week, spin once a week, and then either do a bootcamp/circuit type workout or yoga once a week.

SO clearly I wasn’t anticipating running as much as I did in 2013! Woah baby. I also gave up on body pump in favor of more functional exercises (like in bootcamp and my own circuit workouts and yoga).

But you know what- that plan above really focuses on cross-training and I think overall- that’s really what I did in 2013. I did a good balance of strength based training, spin, running, and yoga.

WHEW OKAY. So in 2013 I did a lot of things I know I’d do- exercise and eat and cook.

But I also did things I had NO IDEA I’d ever do. From big fitness goals crushed and made in the moment throughout the year- to kicking bad bad bad habits to the curb- to maintaining my “normal” weight for a woman my age/height- to GOING TO RUSSIA (sorry, still not over that one)- to starting a new job in a totally different career path.

So that’s why, for 2014, I’m applying my principles of not setting crazy lofty goals for myself and simply setting broad, positive ones {as I shared with you all yesterday}.

2013 was a long road and I’m so thankful for everything that happened in the past year. And that includes having all of you follow along with the ebb and flow of my life.

Thank YOU for reading.

Let’s go 2014.

2014

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

2014 Expectations

Honey, I’m home! Well. I’m back home in DC from visiting home in Massachusetts. Man does the concept of home get confusing as you get older.

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and yes! now I have bangs! thanks to my lovely sister!

I flew back into DC on Saturday night, worked yesterday, and am slowly but surely falling back into my usual routine {as I type to you from my new favorite nook in Caribou Coffee post gym workout}.

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my new sneakers met the gym today for the first time.

Home was everything I needed it to be. I got to spend time with my favorite people (and pets), I laughed a lot, I ate a lot, and I got to truly relax. And as always, it was really hard to say goodbye to everyone and everything. You think I’d be used to the coming and going by now… but I don’t think it will ever be easy.2013-12-24 20.47.31Screenshot 2013-12-30 at 9.08.06 AMScreenshot 2013-12-30 at 9.08.23 AMreindeer2013-12-24 16.16.502013-12-25 07.53.502013-12-24 12.09.49meandgirlsmeandjessScreenshot 2013-12-30 at 9.08.46 AM2013-12-24 08.29.42

On a positive note, I feel refreshed back here in DC and truly ready for the new year to begin. I always feel like home re-calibrates me- I’m able to take a step back from the go go go of my regular life, re-prioritize, and recognize what is important to me and what is not. Going home has a grounding quality for me.

And with 2014 around the corner, this mindset that I’m in is sort of perfect. I think this was the first time in all of me writing this blog that I was genuinely excited to get back to DC after a trip to MA. I was just really pumped to see Will, to get back to a job that I love, and to get started on making 2014 a really really great year.

I have big ideas in my head and a lot of things I want in 2014. I don’t necessarily have massive crazy goals or a long list of resolutions, but I know what I want this year to be about and it makes me smile just thinking about it. 2013 was a success in so many ways and I want 2014 to be even bigger and better.

In 2012 my goal was to lose weight and be healthier.

In 2013 my goals were to maintain my weight loss and the level of fitness I had achieved, to find mental clarity, and to rediscover myself and my passions.

In 2014 I want to:

  • Not worry so much about maintaining my weight loss or fitness and just trust the lifelong habits I’ve formed and know that at the end of the day, I’m making healthy and smart choices to benefit my body and mind.
  • Embrace my hotness and be more comfortable in my own skin {okay, this sounds totally vain, but I’ve spent the past two year hating on myself, awkwardly brushing off compliments about my looks, and being so hard on every aspect of my body. SO this year, I want to get better at accepting compliments, loving the skin that I’m in, recognizing that I’m an attractive young lady, and being proud to be me}.
  • Settle in and excel at my new job.
  • Share my wealth of knowledge, my kindness, and my heart with others and try to continually make a difference in other people’s lives.

I have a bunch of mini goals like, run a half marathon, visit the west coast, see a baseball stadium I haven’t seen before, and read more (I’m hoping for a book every month or two months). BUT what you read above is the big picture scenario I’m looking at.

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these are the new healthy eating pins we have at work! Whole Foods has completely revamped their healthy eating program and I absolutely love all their new branding and materials.

2012 and 2013 were really about breaking bad habits and breaking out of mindsets that weren’t good for me in one way or another.

2014 is about polishing.

I’ve broken the habits and I’ve broken free of some of the scary mindsets that held me prisoner for quite some time- 2014 is about taking me, my passions, and the life I have created for myself and polishing it. Improving on the point I’ve gotten myself to, working out the kinks that remain, smoothing out the chinks in my armor, and making me shine even brighter and more beautifully.

I want to love me more and through that love and happiness, find the ability to share that warmth and goodness even further with others.

I just want to be me- a person who has come very far, excelled in many ways, and who should be proud of her accomplishments. A person with endless ambition and drive to do more and be more.

I don’t need to set a high bar for myself- I know I’ll always be hustling and striving to be the absolute best version of myself at all times.

Thus, 2014, is all about just being me and loving every second of it.

Cheers to the new year! I hope that you guys want to stay with me for this brand spanking new year. I promise to keep you updated on all the ways I stay healthy on a regular basis- and if you need a sounding board for getting/staying healthy- I’m your girl.

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or you know… you could come meet me at whole foods 😉

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

Home for Christmas

The final workout is complete.2013-12-23 07.48.50

It was a team based workout today in bootcamp. Don’t worry- I wasn’t doing 400 pushups or 700 KB swings 😉

The snacks are packed.P1030471

Fruit and nuts and oatmeal and crackers and bars on bars on bars.

The presents are stowed away.

The bags are in order.P1030481

The boarding pass is printed.

The christmas cookies are bagged for my friends driving me to the airport.P1030482

The on flight dinner is sealed up and ready to be devoured at a later time.P1030483

The excitement levels are high.goinghome

At long last, the time has come for me to go home.

Massachusetts- family- here I come.

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

10 till 2014

Good morning! Just a bowl of hot oats on this quiet, cloudy Sunday morning.P1030478

Before I completely give in to being balls to the wall excited about Christmas and going home tomorrow (!!!), I wanted to take a quick second to revisit the mini-goals I made in October for the rest of the year.

With 10 days left of this year (pure madness) and five of them being spent at home, the time for me to do anything else on this list is dwindling.

The most important thing I wanted to do in this last quarter of the year 2013 was to have a better fall/winter than I did last year. Last year was a disaster. And I just wanted to really enjoy my favorite time of year this go around. And THAT I certainly accomplished.2013-12-21 20.32.19

But what about the little tangible things?

BLOG

I definitely did a good job at keeping it simple, but I never got around to going through my static pages and reorganizing them- hello new 2014 goal! Seriously- I just added it to my list of 2014 goals in my new planner.

FOOD

I made 24 recipes off of my lovely “must make” board on pinterest + plenty more. I ate a lot of lentils and I ate a lot of butternut squash and I baked more than I ever have in my life.

I didn’t use my cast iron skillet or crock pot enough though and I need to do a better job at using my cookbooks and not relying on digital recipes.

I tried lots of new restaurants in DC and compiled a list of where I still need to go.

TRAVEL

I went to Boston once in October and I’m going again tomorrow 🙂

EXERCISE

I ran a 5k with will and prior to that–  I entered the double digit running world and ran 10 miles! I stayed motivated in the cold, short days- partially by participating in the 25 days of fitness– which is still going on by the way!

PROFESSIONAL

I currently have an amazing job where I’m happy working everyday. So I’d say I’m winning there. I mean… I’m cooking healthy delicious things for people and getting paid for it. Yes.

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Last week I made Martha’s Roasted Beets with Orange and Ginger

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READ

I failed at reading. Big time. I get distracted too easily to sit down and finish a book. I need to get back into my reading game.

WATCH

They took Mindy Project season one off Hulu. Rude.

But I am caught up on SNL and Parks and Recreation. Andddd The Red Sox won the world series. CALLED IT.

And with all the exciting Patriots games- how could I not be watching those? I know tonight’s game against the Ravens will be crazy. And I’m wearing my Patriots shirt to work today… haters GON hate!patriots

OTHER

I got a flu shot, have been trying to pay it forward every day, had flowers in my apartment a lot, decorated the apartment (with will’s help), made handmade gifts, and became more confident in what I have to say- which comes from my new job where I’m constantly presenting my ideas and recipes and creations for direct feedback.

But I didn’t paint my nails very much- mainly because it doesn’t bode well for my new job, I didn’t try with my halloween costume, and I didn’t really go to a lot of concerts.

I also wrote in October:

In this last quarter of the year 2013, I want to reclaim my passions, renew my interests, and bring more love, appreciation, and warmth into my life.

I think I did this in many ways and I haven’t been this genuinely happy and fulfilled in a long time. I’m pretty sure this is a good sign for the new year.

Alright enough reflection- it’s almost Christmas, baby!P1030479

AND TOMORROW I GO HOME.

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

Morning Rituals

We all have our morning routines. There are certain things we do everyday without fail- some of these things are done mindfully and some, well, we probably don’t even realize our habits.

For a morning person like me, my morning rituals are sacred. Okay well maybe sacred is too big of a word- but you get what I mean. They’re important.

I’m lucky enough now to have a job where I can workout in the morning. Exercising first thing is something I really like to be able to do. That is now becoming a ritual. BUT for the past year or so, when I was at my old job, I didn’t workout in the morning- I worked out after work.

So what rituals have I had since I graduated from undergrad in May 2012? There are four big ones that in all actuality seem pretty insignificant but they’ve been a part of my mornings for quite some time.

1. Eating with a baby spoon. Okay this is going to sound weird. But in our mishmash silverware collection, Will and I have these two really small spoons.P1030467

They’re not THAT much smaller than our other spoons but I refuse to eat oatmeal in the morning with anything other than one of these spoons.P1030468

I never run them through the dishwasher and always hand wash them JUST so that they’re in our drawer at all times.P1030469

Why? I have no idea. I like the idea of small bites? They make my food last longer? They make me eat slower? Whatever it is- I need my baby spoons. Will thinks I’m a freak. It’s cool.

2. Glass of water. For the longest time, I didn’t drink enough water. When I started to build better habits in my life, drinking more water was a big one. Ever since, I’ve always made sure that alongside breakfast, I start my day with a tall glass of water. Healthy habits are easier to form when you start your day off with them.P1030464

3. Caffeine. Whether it’s tea or coffee- no morning of mine is complete without a cup of one of the two. I don’t necessarily need them most days, but there is something about a warm cup of something or other that makes me feel good about life.P1030470

4. Making the bed. My Mom always made my sister and I make our beds. It was something we had to do. But, me being the neat freak that I am, I love having a made bed. There’s something about crawling into nicely folded over sheets after a long day.P1030465

I also like the appearance of neatness when I look into my bedroom. I’m not sure if Will would make our bed if I didn’t insist on it… but he begrudgingly assists me when he’s home.P1030466

What are your morning rituals?

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

Local and Seasonal Treats

Let’s be real. One of my favorite aspects of this time of year is the sweet stuff. Literally.

I’m talking desserts.

It’s for that reason that you can bet that I’m indulging in some delicious holiday bites {in between my healthy eats and ventures of course- see the picture below for proof- hello, healthy breakfast!}P1030463

I knew I was going to want to embark on a sweet tooth journey come this December- mainly because last December I was ridiculously restrictive with myself when it came to the stuff. But instead of just mindlessly stuffing my face with every cookie and brownie in sight- I’ve been being very thoughtful with my dessert selections.

If i’m not making something fun and relatively light for myself at home, like clementines + ricotta cheese or mini cranberry cheesecakes, I’m trying to hit up as many of the local DC joints as possible and trying their seasonal items.

One of the reasons why I love living in DC is because of all of the amazing local artisans, restaurants, shops, and products that exist right outside my door. I don’t foresee myself being in DC forever, so I really want to experience as many of the places that are unique to this area before I relocate sometime in the future.

Also, there are so many flavors that are signature to December and Christmas like eggnog, peppermint, and gingerbread- that I want to choose things in that realm because honestly, when else are they seasonally appropriate? Just like with fruits and vegetables, I like to eat my dessert in season 😉

Does Hershey count as local? Because I also may or may not have purchased a white chocolate and candy cane chocolate bar the other day… Hey, Hershey is headquartered in PA, which is in the mid-atlantic region- so sort of local, right?! Whatever haha.P1030462

ANYWAY. The following list is my gift to you- a compilation of some of the best things I’ve tried here in DC so far. That way YOU can go out and experience them yourself.

Ted’s Bulletin on 14th: Gingerbread and Lemon Poptart (with Christmas sprinkles)

poptart

Ted’s Bulletin on 14th: Fruitcake Donut (and yes that is my very own shot glass of egg nog- the perfect portion control)2013-12-14 19.10.20

Bake House (off of 14th): Eggnog CupcakeP1030403

Pleasant Pops: Hot Chocolate PopsP1030170

Baked and Wired: Naughty Nog Bar (chocolate on the bottom, egg nog cream cheese in the middle, more chocolate on top with chocolate and white chocolate chips and caramel drizzle… yes this is a real thing)P1030461

This post, on the other hand, is really just my way of asking YOU my readers, the ones who just so happen to live here in DC, what YOU’VE been eating and what you’ve tried out there that’s delicious. I’m sure there are plenty of things I have yet to consume or even set my eyes upon.

I WANT RECOMMENDATIONS. I’m here in DC till Monday which means lots of time to try out the best holiday desserts DC has to offer. What do I have to have?!

Besides desserts, another one of my priorities this December has been my 25 Days of Fitness Challenge! See here for my last update and check out what I’ve been up to since then:

  • December 17: 60 minute spin class + mini-circuit {25 situps, pushups, squats, jumping jacks x3}
  • December 18: 5 miles + strength set {12 tricep extensions, 12 woodchops, 12 bicep curls x4 & 20 tricep dips, 20 skaters, 20 KB swings x4}
  • December 19: 3 miles + 60 min. vinyasa flow yoga class
  • December 20: 20 minute elliptical warmup + 45 minute bootcamp class

Last but not least, another priority of mine has been watching Christmas-y things on TV. Tonight, It’s a Wonderful Life is on NBC, tomorrow the Santa Clause is on ABC Family, and then on Sunday, because I can’t stay up for SNL for the life of me- I’m going to watch the Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake SNL episode that will have aired on Saturday night.

Even if it’s about fifty degrees outside here in DC (yes I’m serious) at least all the holiday eat, movies, and festivities will remind me that it’s ALMOST CHRISTMAS.

And I fly home on Monday!2013-12-17 09.42.09

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

But have your dessert. I certainly will be having mine.

Volumisaurus Rex

On Monday night, I went to Panera with my good friend Sara. We were both craving massive bowls of veggies and meat and rice and feta from Cava, but they had closed early for a staff Christmas party (much to our dismay) so we opted for Panera as our alternative.

When our food came out- we couldn’t help but be disappointed. It’s not that their food isn’t yummy or anything- Panera does a pretty good job at mixing flavors and whatnot- but it was just that… there wasn’t much of it. Quality was on point… but quantity- it was definitely lacking.

I wish I had taken a picture of her salad to illustrate my point more clearly but as we looked at our dinners, we had a conversation about how we are both volume eaters. Our eyes like to see a lot of food before us. We like our salads HUGE and we like to eat a lot. Not everyone is like this, but the two of us definitely need quantity on top of quality. It’s not even just because we’re both really active people- our minds and bodies just require a lot of food in order to feel satisfied and content and full.

I tend to get a angsty when someone presents a small plate of something to me and calls it a meal. Borderline offended. I know it’s not really reasonable but hey- it’s who I am.

I become a bit like an angry volumisaurus rex… RAWR.

You know that episode of Friends where Joey says, Joey doesn’t share food! I’m like that- but I’m saying Allison needs a lot of food! I also hate sharing food- but that’s a story for another day.

Sometimes it makes me feel bad about myself when I’m eating a ton of food when the person I’m with is eating a lot less and is totally fine with it. It makes me question, do I really need all this? Am I being excessive? Am I eating too much? Am I doing something wrong?

But usually I’m able to snap out of it and remember that everyone’s food needs are different. Mine just so happen to include that I need wicked full plates of good stuff.

Now all that being said- when I say I need a lot of food and I eat a lot of food- I don’t comprise the bulk of my meals with a ton of meat or cheese or fats or grains or other foods that you should be mindful of in regards to portions. The bulk of my meals is vegetables. In addition to loving veggies because they are good for me, I also love them because I can eat a LOT of them. They’re the one food group that I place no limitations on and just go buck wild with. If anything, I’m guilty of eating too many vegetables.

But hey, they allow me to eat a ton while maintaining my health and weight. So I’m okay with it.

To make up for our volume lacking dinners on Monday, I made myself one big ol’ salad on Tuesday night. And it was not only amazingly delicious- but it was large and in charge.

I followed this BBQ Salmon and Crispy Chickpea Salad recipe- it’s one that I’ve wanted to try for a while now.P1030445

I followed the original instructions except I added asparagus to my salads, omitted the sugar from the salmon seasoning mixture, and didn’t use mayo (but an extra tbl. of greek yogurt) in the ranch drizzle. I also ate my salad with a whole grain pita on the side instead of crunched tortilla chips in the salad.P1030437P1030436P1030440P1030438P1030439P1030443P1030444P1030442P1030447

And one portion for the next day {that looks much prettier and more put together}.P1030446

As I sat down to dinner, my friend Sara texted me a picture of her dinner and oh hey- whaddya know- it was a salad the size of her head with shrimp and guac and other delicious things. I had to laugh. And then immediately send her a picture of my own gigantic salad. We’re always totally on the same page when it comes to our food needs.

I’m a volumisaurus rex. I promise I won’t bite or attack- unless you don’t give me enough food. That’s when things get testy.

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo