Friday, March 29, 2013

What is "Healthy?"

I have one question for you guys:
What does "healthy" mean to you?

Does it mean avoiding junk food completely and making SURE you NEVER miss a workout?
Is it more about 80/20/listening to your body? (80% good-for-you, 20% good-for-the-soul)
Healthy is, and technically SHOULD be, different for everyone... Because everyone is different.
No person has the same body, the same exact needs, cravings and wants, as another.

Personally, I'm more towards the second choice. I feel like a healthy lifestyle is a non-restrictive lifestyle. It's a lifestyle where if you want to eat carbs at night, you eat carbs at night. Where if you want to have that gigantic cinnamon bun covered in frosting for breakfast, you fully ENJOY that cinnamon bun covered in frosting for breakfast. It's not a lifestyle where you void off any foods in your life, unless for health reasons. (P.S. What is up with this new gluten-free "trend"?! If gluten doesn't effect your health... don't go gluten-free. Be grateful you can even have it!)

Food of any kind should not carry guilt alongside of it. Whether it's a bowl of oatmeal or a bowl of Doritos, neither one of those should EVER make you feel "guilty" about eating them. Unless you eat this bowl of Doritos for breakfast everyday, it will not effect you negatively (unless you're allergic obviously!). It will not make you fat. It will not make you a disgrace. It's not a "slip-up". It's a part of life. Yes, eating what you truly want IS a large part of a normal life.
If you truthfully don't like cookies, don't eat them for dessert. But, if you LOVE pasta night and try to fulfill that craving with a salad instead... Girl, that ain't gon' work! Just eat the bowl of pasta! Don't feel guilty. Feel HAPPY that you fulfilled that TRUE craving! Because, in reality, THAT is healthy living. Listening to YOUR body. Not listening to diet fads, or what you hear what works for others. Only YOUR body knows what IT wants.

A balanced, moderation-filled diet is not the only importance to a truthfully healthy lifestyle, though. Another great importance is your exercise. Working out for you, on your time. Doing what you love, when you want to. When you can. Resting when your body needs/wants rest. Not feeling "forced" to burn a certain amount (this is TOTALLY something I personally struggle with), not feeling like you NEED to workout or you can't eat for the day. Not feeling like you need to cancel date nights, days out with friends, family outings, etc. just so you can workout. Because, think about it... What will you more likely look back on? That one workout, or that one night out with good company? (...I think we both know the real answer to this one!)

In conclusion,
Life cannot be enjoyed if you surround yourself with numbers, or obsessive thoughts and actions.

If anything, take from this post the courage to give up any restrictive mentality you are living with.
Especially if you have been living like this for months on end, it won't be easy. It WILL take time. It WILL take effort. It WILL be hard. But that's when you have to prove you are strongest. That's when you try your hardest, from this moment on, to truly listen to your body.

If you hate running, but love lifting, don't run. Lift.
If you hate lifting, but love HIIT, don't lift. Interval train.
If you hate broccoli, but love spinach, you know which green to choose.
If you hate cookies, but love brownies, treat yourself to a brownie.

It's that easy. Life is too short, too beautiful, to be lived negatively or forcefully.
If you feel guilty, you are doing something wrong. Use your power to change that something.
Only ever do what works for you.

Live for you.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday #41

'Ello, lovelies!

So, this post marks the last WIAW... of March 2013! (Tricked ya! Hehe.)

...Wait, what?!?!
Does this mean I'm graduating high school in less than 3 months?!

Holy guacamole... So many mixed feelings about April being literally right around the corner! Though I AM excited for the warmer weather, I would very much appreciate if time would slooooooow downnnnnn! Haha.

Okay, okay, anyways! Moving onto the POINT of this post -- all things food! Since this is the last WIAW of March and 'going green' month, I shall, again, just highlight my green-friendly meals! The descriptions for the rest can alwaaaaays be found on my Instagram!

3/20/13 - Breakfast & Dessert

3/21/13 - Breakfast & Dessert/Snack
 3/22/13 - Breakfast
 3/22/13 - Dinner: bento at work was a crab & tuna vegetable-loaded salad topped with salsa & honey mustard, and two lightly salted rice cakes!
Odd confession: I LOVE rice cakes. Even plain ones, by their crunchy lonesome.
3/22/13 - Dessert & 3/23/13 - Breakfast
 3/23/13 - Lunch: took over my boy's early Saturday morning shift at Rite Aid so he could have some relaxation time before heading back up to college... and my mommy brought me lunch at work from WaWa!
Chicken salad topped with honey mustard & hard boiled eggs.
3/23/13 - Dessert & 3/24/13 - Breakfast
 3/24/13 - Dessert & 3/25/13 - Breakfast
   3/25/13 - Dinner: omg... SO GOOD! We got Chinese food for my brother's birthday, but instead of getting my usual 9876545678 entrees, I got two quarts (I think these are considered quarts? I dunno... Either way, it was A LOT!) of steamed vegetables. Yes. Two. Quarts. I had one with lunch, and one with some baked chicken & honey mustard for dinner. Mouthgasm x10!

Honestly, I don’t know how there was ever a point where the only vegetable I ate was lettuce or the occasional cucumber. I’m beyond obsessed now! Haha. Also, I had some apple slices & a lollipop during work because I was listening to my cravings and my hunger cues. My body thanked me. (Inspired to do so by the super lovely Meg!)
3/26/13 - Breakfast & Dessert

Workout {Pictures} of the Week:

(Look at that! Again, I unintentionally picked two WOD with the same calorie burn! Haha.)

'Little Thing' of the Week:
(Something small that made me smile big)
 Meet my prom date, Vinnie! 
This kid is one of the sweetest people I've ever met. He's absolutely not like any other boy I've "talked" to, and he's FAR from immature. Though he's definitely more outgoing than I am, he's honestly the perfect person to help me break out of my shell and my comfort zone sometimes.
I've "known" him for actually nearly two years now (thanks to me being an avid Rite Aid customer! Haha), but we recently started talking since I started working where he works... aka at Rite Aid!
 I asked him to MY prom (I'm a senior in high school; he's a freshman in college), and he accepted with the most adorable answer... then told me he wanted to go as dates. Then, we began "talking", and now we're here. I thought this was cute and I wanted to share!

Outfit of the Week:

Well, that's all for now, folks!  Decided to add more personal touches to this week's WIAW... I hope you guys enjoyed it! Have a lovely Wednesday and rest of your week, and remember to always stay positive!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Arctic Zero & Fluffy Pancakes

Hello, lovebugs!
I'm excited to say this is my first ever review post! But, it's not only a review...
It's a review AND a new favorite recipe of mine! *Yayyyyy!!* 

This review is dedicated to one of my absolute favorite companies to date -- Arctic Zero. I've heard loads of amazing reviews raving about them for about two years now, but I never had the chance to buy them because they're not sold anywhere near me! (I would've bought them online, but I didn't want to buy in bulk until I knew I liked them. And trust me, now I know...)

Arctic Zero has amazing workers, some of the sweetest people ever. They were kind enough to send me some of their products for a review in return, and it's the LEAST I could do!

I've been having SO MUCH FUN with all of these pints... Adding them to pancakes, smoothies, desserts... Even oatmeal! (If you own AZ and never put a big scoop on a bowl of warm oats... Do it and thank me later!)

Chocolate Peanut Butter with my nightly mug cake & Strawberry with peanut butter protein pancakes!
Cookies and Cream with my nightly mug cake & homemade "Shamrock Shake" using Mint Chocolate Cookie!
Vanilla Maple with my nightly mug cake & again with a big ol' bowl of fluffy apple pie oats!
Chocolate Peanut Butter with my delicious OIAJ & Cookies and Cream with a delicious dessert bowl!
Vanilla Maple in a bowl of coconut protein oats & Strawberry and Chocolate Peanut Butter with my nightly mug cake!
Coffee with my nightly mug cake & Chocolate Peanut Butter in a fluffy bowl of chocolate pr-oats!
Chocolate with my nightly mug cake & the new recipe...

Coconut "Cream Pie" Protein Pancakes!
1/4 cup oats, ground into flour
1 tbsp protein powder (I used cookies and cream)
1 tbsp shredded coconut
1 tsp coconut extract
1 egg
1 egg white
1/4 cup almond (or coconut) milk
1 packet of Stevia
pinch of salt
1/3 banana, microwaved to soften if not ripe enough
1 tbsp flaxseed
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder

Blend oats until flour consistency.

Mix all dry ingredients. Mash/stir in wet.

Cook on medium-high heat. For a "cream" filling, sweetened Greek yogurt or cottage cheese will suffice.

(Optional, but 110% recommended) Plop a big ol' scoop of vanilla maple Arctic Zero on the warm pancakes... And DEVOUR!

Okay, so in conclusion... I LOVE ARCTIC ZERO! I will definitely be spending my own money on some more products asap. All of these pints are true to their name, and none have a gross after-taste like you'd expect from a "healthy ice cream" alternative. The nutrition facts are outstanding, and I have nothing bad to say about these products. I definitely recommend adding a scoop to your favorite warm breakfast or dessert, and again, thank me later! 

I would like to end this with a HUGE thank you to Arctic Zero for being kind and amazing enough to send me all of these products for free. My family and I are extremely appreciative of it, and I will definitely be coming back for more with my own money! Thank you thank you THANK YOU!! 

Q: Have YOU ever tried any Arctic Zero products? If so, what's your favorite?!
My favorite is probably vanilla maple... Just ran out this morning!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday #40

Hello, little gumdrops!
So sorry I haven't posted in a week! I can't believe how fast time flies during the school year!

Some updates:
  • I got a new theme and banner! Yay, spring-y colors!  What do you guys think?! Likes? Dislikes?
  • My last WIAW was my most popular post and WIAW to date! That makes me SO happy!!!!
  • A big review of Arctic Zero is coming up! They were lovely enough to send me some of their products for a simple review in return... and let me just say, WOW. Those products are mindblowing-ly AWESOME. TOTALLY worth any penny they are.
And, now, it's time for some EATS! Like last week, I'm gonna post a bunch of eats, but just highlight the extra green ones. The descriptions for the rest can always be found on my Instagram!

3/13/13 - Breakfast
3/13/13 - Dinner: actually amazed by how awesome these pancakes turned out! On-the-spot recipe super fluffy apple pie oat protein & flax pancakes topped with peanut butter + cinnamon roll-infused Greek yogurt + a drizzle of maple syrup + PB2 fudge sauce + warm cinnamon apple slices, and a spicaaay egg white protein & green scramble!
 3/13/13 - Dessert/Snack
3/14/13 - Breakfast: hey... those apples look kind of green, no? It counts, it counts! 
These look and tasted too scrumptious not to share!
Pumpkin egg white & flax oatmeal layered with clean chocolate fudge + PB2 fudge + apple & banana slices + pumpkin flax granola inside a nearly-empty cinnamon raisin granola peanut butter jar.

It ain't my OIAJ if it ain't overflowing! 
 3/14/13 - Dinner: yes, brinner two nights in a row. What could be better?!
Strawberry shortcake protein & flax pancakes topped with Biscoff + milk chocolate protein-infused Greek yogurt + chocolate PB2 fudge + banana slices + melted frozen berries with a spicaaay egg white, green & turkey scramble on the side!
3/14/13 - Dessert/Snack 
3/15/13 - Breakfast & Snack (my first cake-pop! I LOVE!)
3/15/13 - Dinner: work bento; tuna salad with lots of vegetables, two rice cakes with turkey, and some "magic munch" my manager made us... That stuff is literally like crack.
3/15/13 - Dessert/Snack ft. my first scoops of Arctic Zero!
3/16/13 - Breakfast & "Snack"
Look at those pancakes. Just. Look.

Those are peanut butter protein pancakes topped with, not only PB2 fudge sauce, but strawberry Arctic Zero protein ice cream. Ummmm... I'd like 5 more servings, please!!
3/16/13 - Dinner: homemade (by me!) cobb salads for the family!
Bacon, cucumber, hardboiled eggs, red & yellow peppers, grilled chicken (by me! On our George Foreman... hehe), corn & tomato on a bed of romaine & spinach! I also added some sweet potato to mine.
 3/16/13 - Dessert/Snack
3/17/13 - Breakfast: this was actually incredible. Even my mom loved it! (I made her her own. No food of mine gets shared!! Hehe... Kidding... Maybe.)
Homemade post-workout protein Shamrock Shake for St. Patrick's Day!
Mint chocolate chip protein-PACKED post-workout ice cream/smoothie bowl using Arctic Zero mint chocolate cookie protein ice cream... and some spinach because what's a green monster smoothie without a green!? Also, I topped it with my clean chocolate fudge + melted Biscoff + gluten-free brown rice cereal + broken up natural mini double chocolate Italian Pizzelle cookies.
 3/17/13 - Dessert/Snack
 3/18/13 - Breakfast
 3/18/13 - Dinner: another work bento! Sweet potato stuffed with leftover corned beef & cabbage (not Irish, but we still celebrate St. Patrick's Day since my grandma was born on that day), and a corn & jalapeƱo side salad topped with plain Greek yogurt + honey mustard. Plus a side of some Food Network magazine!
 3/19/13 - Breakfast & Snack

3/19/13 - Dessert/Snack/Heaven

Workout {Pictures} of the Week:

...Awkward posing, CHECK!  (I'm bending back a bit in the second picture)
But but but... Look at them baby muscles coming in!! I obviously don't look like either of these pictures ALL the time, but I'm happy I do sometimes! (When food goes into my belly, it obviously changes shape from time-to-time depending on what kind of food, how much, etc.! It's normal, I promise!)
... ALSO, I JUST NOTICED I BURNED THE SAME AMOUNT OF CALORIES BOTH DAYS! SO WEIRD! (Not really, Alissa. It's really not that weird... BUT IT IS... IN A WAY!!)

Welllllllllll, that is all for now! I hope you all are making the most of your week and your Wednesdays! Can you believe March is already nearly over?? What EVEN?!
... At least we're getting closer and closer to the holidays! 

P.S. I am TOTALLY not putting all my time into this post just so I can procrastinate on Pre-Calculus homework... DEFINITELY not the case here!