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
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.
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!
Wahoo for healthy treats!
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.
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.
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.
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.
7. 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.
sweet potatoes, kale, AND carrots! so much love for all of those things.
A big ol’ pile of delicious mush basically. I mean mush in the best way possible by the way.
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.
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.
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).
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…
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).
goat cheese, turkey, avocado, arugula, red peppers, and mushrooms. yum.
You always need a close up on some vegetables.
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.
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.
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.
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