Healthy eating/Healthy living: Day 17

17 days into the healthy eating life, and I am still going pretty good. Last Friday we had a veggie pizza from Ledo’s for dinner, I immediately began to feel sick afterward. Not sure if it was the grease or the cheese. I guess that’s the cost of eating healthy for over 10 days.

A few days last week I began to feel really sick even though I was just eating fruits and vegetables. I felt tired, like I wanted to nap but worse. It was not a good feeling. I felt like my body was missing something. It wasn’t something like sugar or steak, it felt different, like nutrients were missing. Since I have decided that a full on vegan life is not for me, I returned to eating egg whites. My body felt like it was craving protein and I don’t think I was doing a good job getting it from just vegetables. I am still meat free. And I actually don’t think that there is harm in eating eggs. So I have been boiling eggs and eating hard boiled egg whites either for breakfast or before I work out. I feel normal again.  And I feel awake.

So the after the first 10 days I was down 7 pounds. Since then I haven’t lost anymore weight, but I guess that’s normal. I am proud of myself for staying away from candy and cookies. That is a huge accomplishment.

After reading up on the plant based lifestyle, I have realized that veganism is truly a serious thing. I am proud of anyone who is a strict vegan. It is hard! There are animal products in stuff that you would never guess have animal products, like vitamins. You really have to do a lot of research if you want to be a true vegan, and a ton of meal planning to make sure you are getting healthy nutrients. Since I have decided to lean more towards vegetarianism I will continue to eat eggs, and I will add cheese in sporadically.

It feels good to be healthy. The best part about this is that Stephen doesn’t complain about our lifestyle change, and he is open to eating whatever I cook. It’s super helpful to have a partner on this journey, I would fall off the wagon alone. Really, I have no will power. You need a partner, trust me! I am now less hungry at night, and my ability to be alert and awake is getting better each day. Today was a good day.

Workout:

Rest day

What I ate today:

Breakfast: Spinach, strawberry, pineapple smoothie

Muti-grain bread with almond butter

Snack: Watermelon slices and strawberries

Lunch: Spring and spinach salad with homemade coleslaw, quinoa and kidney beans

Snack: Raw almonds

Dinner: vegetable wrap with quinoa and kidney beans, roasted corn, homemade guacamole, peppers, onions, lettuce and tomato

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Healthy eating/Healthy living: Day 9

Did you know that oreos were vegan? Hmmm….No I did not eat oreos today. But I did do a google search for vegan junk food, and oreos just happened to top the list. I’ll just keep that bit of info in my back pocket for now.

Day 9 was not bad. I don’t feel the excess sugar cravings anymore which is wonderful. I like to chew gum. I am a chain gum chewer. Unfortunately gum is filled with a lot of artificial sugar that is in no way good for you. So I have severely cut back on chewing gum. Today I did not even chew one piece. Which is huge. I used to chew about two packs a day. Today I had none. My teeth thank me.

I am feeling satisfied with my meals, and I am not hungry during the day. I have kept my calories down, and I still attempt to drink as much water as possible. I had a day of vegan eating today, so it was a good day.

A lot of people have been watching What The Health which is great. However I am reading a stories about the dairy and meat industry publishing videos to debunk some of the facts in the documentary. I am wondering what is the point of wasting time to debunk facts of a vegan documentary? There is no way in the world that enough people are going to become vegan, that the meat and dairy industry will lose money. Like that will NEVER EVER happen. People will always eat meat and drink milk. Steak dinners will still be considered a luxury, and ice cream will never go out of style. So for the meat and dairy industry to fear that money will be lost due to a documentary on Netflix that just happens to be the talk of today is ridiculous. A meat free lifestyle works for some people, but I happen to think that the majority of people will continue to eat meat.

I am excited to try out more vegan recipes. Yesterday I ate a chickpea and mushroom burger from Wegmans, let’s just say that it was not very yummy. I won’t be trying that again. Hey some meals will be tasty, some not so tasty. For now I will keep trying and keep eating clean. My body actually likes this clean eating thing, guess I’ll keep it going.

What I ate today: 

Breakfast: Spinach, blueberries strawberries pineapple, flax seed smoothie

Multigrain toast with almond butter

Snack: Oatmeal with apple

Late lunch: Quinoa with stir fry vegetables

Snack: Cherries and blueberries

Pre workout snack: apple, handful of almonds

Dinner (light): Multigrain toast with almond butter

Workout: Crossfit

Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)
“The Dallas 5”
5 minutes of:
Burpees
Then, 5 minutes of:
7 deadlifts, 105 lb.
7 box jumps, 24-in. box
Then, 5 minutes of:
Turkish get-ups, 25-lb. dumbbell
Then, 5 minutes of:
7 snatches, 55 lb.
7 push-ups
Then, 5 minutes of:
Rowing (calories)Complete as many reps as possible at each 5-minute station. Rest 1 minute between stations.

 

Unemployment: The end of Week 1

Unemployment: Week 1 day 5

Its finally Friday! For some reason I feel relived that the week is over even though I didn’t have to go to work this week. Looking at it from my glass half full standpoint it is also a week closer to starting a new job. I went on an interview yesterday. Positive thought, yes people actually life my resume. Step 1, just get the phone call. I have never liked the interview process, but in order to become employed you must go on interviews. Wish me luck, of course I think I kicked some interview butt, but then again you never know the outcome.

I am learning a lot from this unemployment period in my life. I am learning the art of patience, and how to keep myself busy with habitual workout routines. I still wake myself up early, either at 5 or 6 am to go to yoga or cross fit. Yes, I am still doing bikram yoga, and yes I continue to enjoy self inflicted torture. Activity is my saving grace at this point, I wake up positive. Although I still have moments of frustration and extreme anxiety, I feel better once I have the chance to challenge my body through physical activity.

I am learning that once you lose a job, looking for a new job becomes your new full time job. Wow, it take a lot of time to fill out an online job application, and it can take all day. My advice to anyone looking for a job, plan out your day hour by hour. It is easy to get distracted while unemployed, but remember to keep the focus on the end goal; finding a job.

So my new life on the east coast now consists of yoga, cross fit, job hunting, and figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life. I never thought the day would come that I would be 32 and trying to make sense of life. Well, that day is here. Again, wish me luck.

Cheers to the weekend! I’ll go back to searching for a way to earn steady income when the sun comes up tomorrow morning.

positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences.

Unemployment: Week 1

Unemployment: Week 1, Day 2

I really had all good intentions to write this post yesterday, but for some strange reason I just couldn’t get my thoughts together long enough to sit and write. Who would have thought that after becoming unemployed the ability to focus would become so difficult? Focusing should be a simple task, I have all this extra time that was once compelled by an 8-10 hour work day to do just that. But no, the ability to just focus is suddenly strenuous.

I used to think that not having to go to work would be great, and then I suddenly did not have to go to work. Yeah that is not so great. Well at least when you don’t know when your next paycheck is coming, not great at all. Unemployment is never easy, and never fun. Especially in the winter in Washington DC, I feel like the winter makes it worse. It is cold, dark, and gloomy outside, and I am trying hard to avoid using the weather as a representation of my life. But, at times it is hard. I am realizing that losing a job is similar to any loss that we experience in life. Loss is never easy, but I do feel myself going through the five stages of grief as described by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. In case you never heard of the five stages of grief that can be attributed to a loss they are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

I am currently in my state of acceptance, which is why I have enough clarity to actually write about it. Trust me, getting to my current state was no easy process, it really did encompass the last six weeks of my life. But yet I am here. When I was initially told that our program was coming to a close due to lack of funding I hit a state of denial. I knew it really wasn’t going to happen, money would come, another agency would take over the program, of course they would because it was a really good program changing lives of youth in the District of Columbia. Yet, that never happened.

My anger was not about my own personal anger, it was the anger I felt toward the state of my clients and what would happen to them. As a psychotherapist, clients became attached and built relationships with me, then one day when I had to tell them that I am no longer going to be available as a therapist, that can be a devastating process. I did my best to end the client relationships in the best way possible, yet something still seemed unfinished. I wasn’t able to take them to the finish line of meeting their goals. I could just pass them on to someone else with the hope that the next person would have just as much compassion and empathy as I showed to help them get through. It was not easy, but it was done.

Now the bargaining was a quick stage to get through, although I am constantly bargaining with God for something, in this case it was different. There was a small hope that our program would survive or another agency would take it over. Sadly that did not happen. I just knew that maybe there were things that the team could do differently as a whole if given a second chance. Maybe we could be better at engaging clients or work harder for more positive outcomes. However, I soon realized that there was nothing else we could do, nothing we could change, the program was ending.

Depression is a rough stage, because I flip back to it every once in a while despite my best efforts to move away from it. Depression is difficult, depression is the realization that my job is gone, and until I get another I have to plan out every financial decision a lot more carefully. Depression is not having the motivation to look for a job, wanting to sleep the day away, hoping it is just a dream that I will wake up from, and wondering when is this state of constant anxiety going to come to an end. Depression is the inability to focus, and the inability to sleep through the night, the feeling to knots in the stomach, and wanting to avoid people because you know they will ask about the job search. What helps to stay away from depression? Well a whole lot of faith, mixed with positive thoughts, and knowing that this is a temporary situation. I love the saying “When you have a setback, God is already planning your comeback, and your comeback is going to be better than you ever imagined”. God has never failed me before so why would now be any different? I managed to survive 4 years in Hawaii while standing on faith, I can manage a period of unemployment knowing that God has my back.

Which leads me back to my acceptance, automatically the Serenity Prayer comes to mind; “Accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”. I felt a period of relief knowing that my job was ending, something was telling me it was time to move on to another aspect of therapy. I cannot change the final outcome of the program, heck, it already occurred, but I can change where I work next, the salary that I want, and what type of work will make me happy. Life is great, it is unexpected, but it works. Life always works out exactly the way it was supposed to, at the exact time that it was supposed to. So no matter what happens keep living your best life. Stay positive, and stay true to yourself. God may not give us what we want when we want it, but He gives it to us RIGHT ON TIME!

Lucky for me, the US unemployment rate is now under six percent so I should have no problems finding a job, right? Keep the prayers going!

Positive energy, positive thoughts, positive experiences 

My 2015 wish: Please be better than 2014, please

Why hello January 1st 2015! In efforts to stay consistent I tell myself that if I am going to post at least once this year, it will be on the first day of the new year. New year, new day.

I don’t make resolutions, so my personal goal for 2015 is to remember what is important to me in life, and to live life one day at time.

You ever feel like you lost of sense of self? Well I think that happened to me sometime in 2014, well actually in the beginning of 2014. Who knew such small changes in life would be so hard to recover from. I must say I was more than happy to say good-bye to 2014.  Not one of my best years, but defiantly a year that I can learn from. Now my challenge is to take lessons learned, and make 2015 one of my best years.

“Your best days are yet to come”; I need to remember that.

I started out 2014 with a broken leg. With a broken leg came the inability to run, I lost my motivation to make my body, and my mind better. With a broken leg came physical therapy, and recovery. If only I knew how much that process would change my life. Every activity that I found peace in was gone. I made attempts to find new ways to keep my body and mind challenged, yet nothing was the same. Recovery was hard, running hurt, cycling hurt, my motivation to be stronger, run longer, and work harder was diminished.

The year seemed cloudy, somewhat like a dark fog, I was living life, but never really felt like I was in it. Everything that kept me sane, happy, and living life with purpose while I was in Honolulu was gone. And I struggled for 365 days to get it back.

2014 ended, well nearly as bad as it started, oh wait, actually this is worse. The job that I moved to Washington D.C. for is closing. Yup, my program that was started to change the lives of Washington D.C. youth is coming to an end in two weeks, leaving me unemployed. So December of 2014, was not a good month. Yes I feel sorry for myself that my therapeutic program is ending, but I have a strong feeling that God has this. His plan keeps me alive, and keeps me living to make it through the day. However, the feeling of sadness and devastation that I feel for my clients, and other adolescents in Washington D.C. is  what really makes this a hard transition. For the last year, we were doing something good. We were changing lives, and one day someone made a decision that what we were doing did not matter that much so the budget for the program could be cut.

The highlight of 2014: I was able to watch two of my clients walk across the stage at their high school graduation, and receive a high school diploma. With the assistance of a few good friends, I watched another client attend a high school prom.  Wow, I don’t think I could explain the deepness of emotion that goes into those two events. But, to know that these boys may have never had that opportunity without our program is an unbelievable experience. When no one else believed in these kids, I did. Everyday I worked with them was a day that was one step closer to helping them see that life goes far beyond a life of poverty and jail. And that made my job nothing less than amazing.

I work to change lives, I work to inspire. I hope my next job continues to give me that opportunity.

I must  say that I am very happy to finally see 2015. I am looking forward to good news, exciting new opportunities, and happiness! My faith guides me, and I know everything will work out, because God has a plan that works, and my God have never failed me. Live a life that is worth living. That is what I want to remember to tell myself each day.

2015 I’m ready, show me what you got!

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences.

Straight from NY to Paradise Turns 5! -Happy Bloganniversary

Happy 5th Birthday! If my blog was a child I would be getting ready for it to start kindergarten. Awww blog you have grew up so fast (insert mommy tears).

Life happens quick, sometimes too quick for me. I constantly think about writing daily, however everyday I find an excuse not to write. Time goes by and life continues to happen, and still I feel like nothing gets done. I finally sat down and decided to write today, finally I am writing!

After months of procrastinating and sitting in that endless pile of overwhelm, I decided to turn to what I know and write. It comes with great irony that I picked this month to return to writing. Word Press has been so kind as to acknowledge that I have reached my 5 year blogging anniversary! It is really hard to believe that it has been a whole 5 years since I have started blogging.

In the last 5 years my life has taken more twists and turns than I could ever imagine, emotionally I feel that I have been through it all. But yes you are correct Word Press, I have reached my 5 year blogging milestone. 5 years ago Straight from NY to Paradise in a Day was given life, and my own personal life was given a voice. I had a story to tell, I wanted to tell it. I wanted to inspire others not to be afraid of change, not to be afraid of living, just live. Life happens and life changes so go with it.0171.jpg

I really want to laugh and cry as I write this. I think back on the girl I was 5 years ago, I was single and fierce! Fresh out of a roller coaster of a relationship, still in love with the man who was my past, but ready to start a new phase of life as a free spirit and face the future.  I was ready to take on the world, unstoppable in a sense, but I quickly learned that I could be stopped. The world does not exist for you to live in it alone, it is out there for you to share, to embrace with others, to help others, and sometimes even get help from others. In August of 2009 I had been living in Honolulu for 6 months. And to tell you the truth, I was very much alone. I was still confused about my impulsive decision to move to the other side of the world, and even though I had met a few people, I had a very real fear that if I died no one would notice. The feeling that I would go unnoticed was scary, adding that to a sense of uncertainty about my job, my life, and what to do next, I was really mess of emotions, with anxiety and self-doubt leading the pack.

Yes I was single and fierce, but really I was alone.  Lucky for me I quickly discovered that I was not the only mainland escapee that have flown themselves over to an island in the middle of the pacific to get away from….well everything. I found a love of activity and a love of new friendships. Over the last 5 years, my biggest accomplishment was basically proving to myself that I can live. No matter how depressed I am, how lonely I am, and how much I just want to disappear, I know that I can live, and life always gets better. I think I may have forgotten that lately with the chaos of everyday life back on the mainland. I experienced life in Hawaii for a reason. I experienced being completely on my own for a reason. My next lesson to myself is always to remember those reasons, life is meant to live on purpose, and everyday is a new opportunity to fulfill that purpose.

 

In 2009 I was 27, single, impulsive, and extremely naive. In 2014, I am 31, in a relationship (no not married, sorry), less impulsive, more aware, and slightly more responsible. At 27 I just wanted to run away. At 31, I’ll admit I still want to run sometimes, but I will try a bit harder to stay, to work through it, and always keep in mind that with each day life will keep getting better.

So 5 years later, what did I really learn? In Honolulu I found a love of nature. A hike, a run, or  the view of the mountains as the sun wakes you up is the epitome of everything calm, and the most powerful way to ensure that you will have a good day. I learned to love to push myself. No matter if it was at work, in the gym, or running a race, I knew I could always go harder, do better, and motivate myself to never give up. I learned to appreciate yoga, I really miss the easy access to the yoga studios that are located on every corner. I learned that I am a survivor, life is lived with challenges, now I know that I can overcome every one that comes my way. I learned that I hate dating. I would never want to date in Honolulu again! I learned that I really do miss people when they leave, goodbyes are hard, I hate them almost as much as dating.

Finally, I learned to appreciate the kindness of strangers. When I moved to Honolulu, I knew only myself, and had three suitcases. Strangers helped to me find a home, helped me to find food, and ensured that I was able to keep my job. Those strangers became my friends, who eventually became my family. Never take the kindness of others for granted, that lesson made the difference between me having a home in paradise and just being homeless in paradise.

5 years later, I am living in Virginia, working in D.C. and I am no longer a girl on a rock in the middle of the pacific. I am a 31 year old woman in the DMV!  I am surrounded by friends, family, and strangers. Life continues to be full of twists and turns, so keep reading to see where I end up over the the next 5 years. I can’t wait to see what happens, all I know is I just have to be ready for the changes.

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences!

 

maui 2