Healthy Pancake Bucket List

Beets Per Minute Pancake Bucket List

It’s Sunday!  In case you forgot?  I pretty much know I’m the only person who is rarely aware of what day it is lately.   #Lostanddisorderly.  I’m feeling even more disoriented than usual, because in Scotland we just set our clocks ahead an hour this morning, and deja vu, I already did that three weeks ago!  This has been a nasty bout of jet lag for yours truly; it’s taken me nearly two weeks to feel human again!

         Dear Breakfast, I done you wrong, wrong, wrong.

I have to confess, I’ve been sort of a “do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do” kind of gal, when it comes to eating breakfast.  I’m not really a breakfast person and I KNOW it’s the most important meal of the day.  I’ve been known to make DIY healthy cereals and eat a Larabar in place of a meal.  One of my issues is, I don’t like eggs.  I know, I’m f’n weird and it’s totally irritating.   However, not only is it weird and irritating, but it is a HUGE hindrance when it comes to breakfast and especially bruncheons (word?) with pals.  I feel like, when you don’t like eggs, you’re limited to decadent waffles, pancakes, and crepes or reduced to a fruit salad as your only choice on the menu.  Although, when it comes to brunching, the mimosas totally make up for it with their lovely Vitamin C + carbonation = happy place pour moi.   Truth be told, I prefer a day drink, now that I’m in my mid-thirties.  Young.  But I digress, I often would love to eat more breakfasty stuff, but I don’t want to pack on the calories, carbs, or sugar first thing in the day!  So many bloggers out there have wonderful breakfast ideas that don’t skimp on nutrition or taste!  So, I’ve put together a “healthy pancake bucket list” containing several creative and nutritious delights I need in my belly, like, yesterday.

Healthy Pancake Bucket List

These are in NO particular order, and honestly, if I could eat them all that the same time, I probably definitely would, but that pretty much defeats the purpose, right? Yeah. So, I’ll just have to cross these off my list one breakfast at a time.

Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes via Fit with Rachel.

Lemon Chia Seed Protein Pancakes via Fit, Fun & Delish.

Pumpkin Cake Pancakes via Sprint 2 the Table.

Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Greek Yogurt Pancakes via Running with Spoons.

80 Calorie, Zucchini Cocoa Pancakes via Skinny Fitalicious.

Wow!  I’m super hungry now.  Are you?

Have a great Sunday!

Do you have a favorite pancake recipe? What’s your favorite healthy pancake ingredient(s)?

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Effective Body-weight Wall Workout

Happy Friday!  As I am approaching my way back into the living, I have started working out like it’s my job again …until, it kinda is, like, my job.  I live in an amazing neighborhood at the moment. Within less than a mile, I have the beautiful Pollok Country Park as well as a number of fitness centers.  However, I love my at home workouts as well, and, well, our place at the moment isn’t the most spacious of abodes.  Don’t get me wrong, I love our apartment, but I’m just going to have to get creative when it comes to maximizing my workout and my space, while I’m breaking a sweat at home!

Body-weight workout benefits

Body-weight workouts are super popular for many reasons, most importantly because they are safe and effective.  You should add some body-weight action into your routine in place of fancy weights and equipment to get a great resistance and heart pumping workout, and here’s why:

  • Body-weight workouts encourage good movement patterns for people of all fitness levels, even those with physical limitations.
  • Body-weight movements encourage the development of core strength, stability, and coordination; these are all components which are essential to physical fitness.
  • Body-weight training better prepares you for “real life” lifting.  Need to move a heavy box, piece of furniture, or just lifting your groceries up six flights of stairs (trust me, I know)?  Adding body-weight movement into your fitness routine can better prepare you for those everyday occurrences when you wouldn’t typically think about how you could injure yourself.
  • Body-weight training delivers effective results.  True, you may not get the gains you’re looking for training this way, but studies have shown that even individuals who have switched to body-weight training in place of traditional weights have actually maintained their strength levels over the span of several months.
  • Body-weight workouts are adaptable to smaller spaces and can be very versatile for people of all weights and heights.  However, not every workout is created equally, so be sure to keep that in mind if you start out on a bw training program.

Making the most of the space you’re in.

So, as I mentioned above, one of the greatest things about body-weight movement is that you don’t need equipment, but the another great thing is that you can work with multiple surfaces for your convenience.  The floor works amazingly with body-weight movement, but also utilizing chairs and walls are a wonderful way to incorporate body-weight movement.

Effective body-weight wall workout.

This is a body-weight workout, which was featured in Shape Magazine and it was created by fitness expert, Joshua Lipsey.  All you will need for this workout is yo’self and a wall.  Pretty doable, right?  All reps and detailed instructions are listed at the beginning of each move during this video demonstration.

As you can see, you really need very little space for this workout and it’s super effective.  Sometimes we all just have to make the best with what we have, be it our own body-weight or space we have to work with.  The good news is that’s really all we need to get a great workout.

How do you workout in a small space? Do you like body-weight workouts? Have any tips to share? I’m linking up with Jill Conyers for Fitness Friday, and you should too!

 

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SnapFit Fiber Drink Review

SnapFit Fiber Drink Review

snapfit fiber drink review

One of the great things about blogging, is being approached by health and fitness brands to try out their new products.  A few weeks ago, I was contacted by SnapFit Inc. to see if I would be interested in sampling their new fiber drink supplement line. I was impressed by what Michelle, their Marketing Coordinator, had to say about the product and their mission.  I don’t know about you, but I have had a long winter and stressful time between getting married, applying for a visa, and moving to a new country.  I need all the help I can right now to get myself back on track!  My diet has been, well, less than perfect and I feel my current state of mind would be best expressed by the images below.

OR???

What is SnapFit?

SnapFit is a fiber drink from “sunny California” featuring a “unique combination of 15 plant fibers and extracts with no additives, enhanced with the pure essence of fruit!” SnapFit is not a meal replacement, it is designed to help you feel good and eat less naturally.  The fiber mixture of SnapFit coats the lining of your stomach, which causes you to eat less. Additionally, some of the fibers are used to slow down the rate of digestion, causing you to feel hungry later than you normally would.  This drink will help to minimize those pesky cravings when they’re at their worst.  SnapFit fiber drink is currently available in three flavors; strawberry, lemon, and peach (MY favorite)!

 

Daily fiber requirements for men and women.

Do you get enough fiber?  The last time I saw a doctor I was asked how much fiber I eat a day.  I would say I eat above and beyond the requirement, but do I really?  Well, women need 25 grams of fiber daily, while men require 38 grams.  I would say the average person probably doesn’t get enough fiber.  Fiber is found in foods like dark leafy greens, broccoli, brussels sprout, kale, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin,  celery, snap beans, asparagus, cabbage, whole wheat pasta, oats, popcorn, nuts, raisins, pears, strawberries, oranges, bananas, blueberries, mangoes, and apples.  Many of the ingredients I just listed are actually naturally occurring in SnapFit fiber drink’s formula which will add 10 grams of fiber to your daily intake per serving!

snapfit Collage

How to use SnapFit

As a rule, you should use SnapFit in conjunction with healthy lifestyle choices.  Whether you’re looking to control your appetite or need help reaching your daily fiber intake, 1-2 packets of SnapFit fiber drink should help you reach your goal.  To make a drink, simply squeeze SnapFit into a 4 ounce glass of either water, milk, or soy milk (I personally love the lemon with almond milk). Give it a stir and enjoy!

snapfit leaflet

Benefits of SnapFit

SnapFit is 100% natural and healthy to consume. SnapFit is made with fiber from a variety of nutrient-rich vegetables and plants and has been produced in an FDA certified facility. SnapFit is also non-GMO, natural, gluten-free, and kosher.  The fiber in SnapFit helps to relieve hunger for up to 4 hours when consumed alone, and up to 6 hours when consumed with food.  After the first packet or two, you may notice some activity in your stomach. Don’t worry, this is good news! It simply means your body is adjusting to the fiber goodness you gave it!

What’s my opinion?

I have been using SnapFit fiber drink as needed over the last few weeks and it has helped me to feel full and as someone who suffers with indigestion and stomach issues, I do feel better after I’ve had the extra fiber.  I will be honest, I personally don’t care so much for the strawberry flavor, but I love the lemon and the peach is very delicious and my personal favorite.  I also added the fiber to a couple of my protein smoothies in place of the traditional suggested method of dissolving in 4 oz of milk or water, which may have lessened the effectiveness of the fiber.  While it’s a new product out competing against many other products containing fiber you can add to liquid, I do feel that SnapFit has the advantage of being all natural, Non-GMO, NSF, and are part of the CSA (Celiac Support Association).   At $8.99 for a package of six servings, I feel the price could be a bit steep if you are looking to drink this on the regular, but if you value quality, I would say you definitely get what you are paying for.

SnapFit only offers domestic shipping within the United States at the moment, so I guess I will have to get someone to order me some and send it over to Scotland, but I’m definitely a customer now!  You can find out more about SnapFit Inc. and order their amazing fiber drinks here.

Do you drink fiber supplements? Do you think you get enough fiber? How important is it for you to buy products that are Non-GMO and Gluten-Free?

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Coodles and Dilly “Mac” and Goat Cheese

Coodles?  What the?

Wow!  This is my first Tuesday post in AGES and my first one linking up with Jessica and Jill for #DishTheFit in a LONG time.  I have seriously missed it, ladies!  The Fit Dish link up is so fun, so yes, I’m glad to participate once again!

Today’s topic for #DishTheFit is “share your favorite healthy recipe” and mine is something that has become a new fave.  About a month ago, I finally started using an official spiralizer and retired my Veggetti for good (sorry, l’il guy, but you needed to move over for the big kids to cook!)  I am not exagerating in any way when I say this, I COULD USE THE SPIRALIZER EVERY DAY FOR EVERY MEAL.  I don’t know why I had to get all “capsy” about that, but it’s a serious statement?  Yeah, that’s it.  Having a spiralizer is a great way to add lots of veggies into your diet and with wonderful blogs like Inspiralized by Ali Maffucci you can get new recipe ideas all the time!  Speaking of new recipe ideas, ahem, let me get on with mine.

The magic of “coodles”.

I love carrots and always have.  Sometimes carrots get a bad rap, but they shouldn’t, because they are loaded with nutrients that are fantastic for us.

you’re welcome.

So, now that’s been squared away, I can say not only is the carrot a healthy veggie, but it also makes one of the best types of veggie noodles out there.  Whether you cook them in a pan, boil them like pasta, or roast them in the oven, carrot noodles is a wondrous food!  However, one DOWNSIDE to carrot noodling (new verb, can you dig it?) is, it is really tough finding a wide enough carrot to do full spaghetti style noodles with.  Don’t let that discourage you though, because what I discovered through trial and error is that carrot noodles make the most awesome macaroni style of noodles.

carrot noodles

To make the macaroni style noodle you’ll not find a more perfect veggie to do the job than the carrot.  Using your “B” blade, you will get perfectly shaped noodles on your first try.  As I mentioned above, you can pan cook, boil, or roast your noodles; it’s really up to you how you want to cook them.  I opt for pan cooking with carrot noodles because it takes about 5-7 minutes and they have a nice toasty taste to them and retain the perfect amount of heat for mixing in your toppings.

 


Coodles and Dilly “Mac” and Goat Cheese

coodles and cheese

This recipe is SUPER simple and tasty.  All you need is a few carrots, goat cheese, and fresh (or freeze-dried) dill.  Seriously, that’s ALL you need.  When I’ve made this dish in the past, I’ve purchased a goat cheese with the herbs already in it, but you could certainly buy plain goat cheese and mix in your dill (or whatever herb you fancy)!  I have always loved pickled carrots, so the idea of combining carrots, cheese, and dill was a no-brainer!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Coodles (Carrot Noodles) and Dilly "Mac" and Goat Cheese
Author: 
Recipe type: Vegetarian (Easy)
 
Carrot "noodles" and creamy dill infused goat cheese put a spin on traditional macaroni and cheese.
Ingredients
  • 3-4 whole carrots
  • 2 T. herb goat cheese (or plain goat cheese with herbs you mix in)
  • 1 T. Fresh (or freeze-dried) dill
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Peel, chop the ends off, and cut your carrots widthwise (or in thirds if they are long)
  2. Using your "B" blade, spiralize your carrot into macaroni sized shapes
  3. Mix 1 tablespoon of fresh (or dried) dill to the carrots
  4. Cook until the carrot is slightly "al dente" 5-7 minutes in a pan (3-4 minutes boiled or 12-15 minutes roasted at 400 F)
  5. Place cooked carrots in a bowl and immediately add your goat cheese and mix thoroughly
  6. Add salt & pepper to taste
  7. EAT!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 100 Fat: 3.5g Saturated fat: 2.5g Carbohydrates: 11g Sugar: 6g Sodium: 150mg Fiber: 4g Protein: 9 Cholesterol: 22mg

 

This recipe takes less than 10 minutes to make and is a great side idea for upcoming summer weather in place of a heavier macaroni and cheese or pasta salad.  You can also add other types of herbs or additional veggies to bulk it up!

Coodle Mac and Cheese

as rachel ray would say, “yum-o”

Thanks to Jessica and Jill for coming up with the topic this week for favorite healthy recipes!  I can’t wait to see what everybody else has to share!

Have you tried “coodles”?  Do you own a spiralizer?  Do you feel like carrots are an unappreciated veggie?  Join up for #DishTheFit with Jessica and Jill and join the fun!

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My First Week in Scotland

My First Week in Scotland**

**SPOILER ALERT  This post is sort of long, but you should still read it if you love me.  If not, give me a pound coin and tell me to use this dirty public phone to call someone who cares.

I feel like this should be in a museum and not on a street.

I feel like this should be in a museum and not on a street.

Happy Monday!  I’m acting like it hasn’t been two weeks since I published a post, but it certainly has and it’s been an eventful two weeks at that.  Firstly, I officially made my big move across the pond to the ever enchanting Scotland — I know, finally, right? It was perhaps one of the most drawn-out processes of my life, and that’s really not saying much, trust me.

So, when you move to a new country, in addition to the fact that, hey, it’s a new place, you also have to change over to their way of existence.  In the UK that means getting a bank card that you can actually use, adding yourself to the National Health Service (NHS) and getting a National Insurance number (NI) which is their equivalent of the US Social Security Number.  Fun stuff.  I started all these processes last week, you know, between eating, literally, 40 pounds of sugar.  Whatever, I’ve said it before, the UK, for me, is like going to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.  I don’t mean to hate on Hershey’s or US Nestle chocolate, but, sorry guys, you’re no good to me.

Also, if you think I’m exaggerating about how much sugar I’ve eaten, I’m not, like, at all.

chocolate Collage

 

This past weekend, my husband, Luke, and I went to the Aberdeen vs. Dundee football (soccer) game in, well, Dundee, of course.  Luke is an Aberdeen supporter.  So far, I’ve experienced three Aberdeen games, and I’m still scared.  I have never been big on watching sports so I sort of move into the fetal position every time I think anything of any kind of consequence is happening.  Also, I should note, this is really easy, since my feet don’t touch the floor while I’m sitting.  In all honesty, I just go for the fries chips.

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I literally kicked this guy 1000 times. He legit hates me.

I had never been to Dundee, but from what I saw it looks very pretty, despite the Aberdeen supporters chanting otherwise.  To be fair, I didn’t see much of Dundee, but it does hold the second biggest Tesco I’ve ever seen in my life.  Personally, I don’t think America has the lead on enormous stores full of way too much s**t, what do you think?

IMG_20150321_144907

my panoramic camera wasn’t wide enough to fit the entire store.

I don’t want to get all sappy about how incredible my husband Luke is (we’d be here all day) but one of the big bonuses of being married to a wonderful man is the new family I’ve gained as well.  I got to meet Luke’s grandmother and uncle after the match.  Luke’s gran, who he adorably nicknamed for his family as “Min”, is an amazing lady, really.  She’s just turned 85 and she is so funny and social.  We had a really nice dinner at her lovely home.  I feel really lucky because I lost my grandmother in 2003 and I really forgot how nice it is to have a grandparent fussing over making sure you’ve had enough to eat and if you’d like cookies with your tea.  It was really a perfect day.

And then there was Sunday.  After a week of eating, drinking, and throwing caution to the wind, Luke and I decided we need to get back on track.  We got a juicer the other day, so we’re committed to cut down on the Cadbury, vino, and cheese and replace it with whole foods and walks in the park in the evening.  Luckily as well, I was recently sent a supply of SnapFit Fiber Drinks to try out, which will surely help to get me back on track!  More on that tomorrow, though!

 

How was your weekend? How do you get back on track after a healthy food hiatus? Do you like sports?

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What Not To Do When You’re Moving Overseas.

What Not To Do When You’re Moving Overseas (or anywhere, really)

Happy Monday!! Hope everybody had a great weekend! If you’re a BPM reader, then you know that this is my LAST WEEK IN AMERICA!!!! OMG. So, this means I probably will be MIA just a bit longer from blogland, because I am a procrastinator/semi-hoarder/procrastinator/last-minute-lucy. I have a lot to pack, finalize, and get done before I head over the Atlantic to sunny Glasgow.

I just wanted to take the time to talk about how emotional a move like this can be. However, this is not like a, “yeah, feel sorry for me, I’m moving to a place that sells Cadbury creme eggs year round” kind of pity piece, but just as a way to relate to other people who might be getting ready to make a move.  It’s stressful.  However, rather than be that type of blogger who tells you these remarkably intelligent and innovative ways they prepared for something big, I’m going to tell you what not to do what I did so that you can do the opposite. You’re welcome.

What not to do when you’re moving overseas (A.K.A. What Would Erin Do?)

  1. Wait until one week before your big move to renew your license, legally change your name, and re-certify for all of your pending fitness certifications.
  2. Wait until one week before your big move to make plans with people you aren’t going to see again for a really long time (possibly forever).
  3. Forget to cancel your car insurance before the payment comes out and the car isn’t even yours any longer.
  4. Forget to cancel all automatic debits on your bank account for items you’re no longer using.  (This is sort of repetitive, well really it’s basically #3, but whatever, it’s that important, it bears repeating.)  Netflix, Hulu, and all that stuff may only be $8.00/month, but that stuff adds up if you don’t tell ‘em bye bye bye!

It be like deja vu up on this blog lately, so I’ll say it again, that’s all I’ve got.  Pretty disappointing.  On the flip side (literally, of the Atlantic) the grass really is literally greener where I’m headed so I might actually have something interesting to report next week.  Get your haggis shoes ready!

Have a great week and don’t you (forget about me).  Don’t.  Don’t.  Don’t.  Don’t.

sincerely yours, the procrastination club.

Do you procrastinate?  Any moving tips?  If you tell me I’ll mail you chocolate.

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8 Ways to Lower Cortisol and Avoid Weight Gain

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a fantastic weekend!  I met some of my family at Yankee Candle flagship store in Massachusetts on Saturday.  My thoughts on this experience are:

  1. Eat somewhere else – their candles probably taste better than their food.
  2. Be prepared to pay $3.00 for a bottled water.
  3. It’s probably the biggest place I’ve ever seen full of things you absolutely never will need.
  4. Eat somewhere else beforehand, can’t stress this enough.

yankee Collage

SO, I’m officially under two weeks away from my big move over to Glasgow, and no, I don’t have all my affairs in order.  I am sure that I am forgetting to do something of the utmost importance, but, such as life.  Obviously, I’ve been whining about being stressed, which I am, so I thought, what better a topic to talk about today than the benefits of lowering stress and the production of cortisol?  Right?  Perfect.

What is Cortisol?

Cortisol is not a mouthwash brand.  It totally sounds like one though, right?  Cortisol is the “stress hormone” and it’s produced by the adrenal glands to help regulate your blood pressure and immune system in times of “bodily crisis.”   Cortisol essentially helps by giving your body energy and fighting off infection.  Sounds like a good guy, right?  However, higher levels of cortisol can lead to some pretty nasty habits and the worst part is, these things are happening unbeknownst to us every single day!  Don’t worry, now that you’re about to get schooled on it, you can totally take control of your cortisol production and avoid weight gain in times of stress.  You’re welcome, guys!

seriously, I can help.

8 Ways to Lower Cortisol and Avoid Weight Gain

  1. Move your body.  This seems so obvious, but did you know that getting some movement actually tricks your body into escaping stress?  Yep!  When your body starts moving your blood circulates more quickly and transports the cortisol in your body out through the kidneys.  You’re literally moving the stress out of your body.  So, next time you’re feeling super stressed, do some squats, pushups, or go walk up some stairs!
  2. Quit dieting, and start eating a balanced diet.  Dieting actually CAUSES your cortisol levels to rise and when cortisol rises, so does your blood sugar (right before it nosedives downward not long after).  I know a lot of people try to avoid sugar, and that’s fantastic, but make sure you’re still getting some natural sources of it on a daily basis to avoid this chain reaction.
  3. If you’re craving something, have it.  Unless you’re craving an entire deep dish pizza, you should just have a slice NOT the whole thing. (Been there, done that, and you don’t want to)!  Again, cortisol is lurking behind that craving so it’s best to cut it off by allowing yourself the treat.  If you can’t stop at one, make sure you keep a single mini treat on hand to avoid overindulging.
  4. Make breakfast count!  I am a big offender of skimping on nutrition first thing.  I actually really don’t like to eat a lot in the morning.  However, when we don’t nourish ourselves fully early on, we’re just asking for our cortisol levels to spike!  Be sure to choose foods that contain vitamins B and C as well as calcium and magnesium.  Choose whole grains, fresh fruit, and nut butters to ward off a cortisol rise early in the day!
  5. Make sure you get enough sleep.  This one is a toughie.  I recently got a white noise app and that has made a huge difference in my length and quality of sleep.  Some studies show that getting less than 7 hours of sleep can keep your cortisol levels high as well as trigger higher levels of ghrelin, which is a hunger boosting hormone that makes you crave sweet and salty snacks.  So work on giving yourself at least 7-9 hours of sleep if you can.  Easier said than done, but definitely worth putting some focus on!
  6. Eat slower!  I am DEFINITELY guilty of scarfing my food.  I come from a long line of “gulpers”.  Seriously, it’s not pretty.  However, researchers have found that eating fast (even with healthy foods) can lead to overeating and bigger portions.  This is totally common sense, but sometimes we don’t even give ourselves time to realize we’re getting exactly what we need.  Eating slowly can also help to keep cortisol levels lower which can help us to eat less and store our food differently.
  7. Back off on the caffeine.  Caffeine is everywhere these days; in gum, coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, and energy shots.  However, caffeine consumption and high cortisol levels go hand and hand.  When you continue to consume a steady amount of caffeine throughout the day, your cortisol will steadily rise as well — up to 30%. If you haven’t figured it out at this point of my list, high cortisol levels make us want to eat more.  Aim to drink more water to stay hydrated throughout the day.  Believe it or not, water keeps us alert better in the long run and is less costly.  You don’t have to boycott Starbucks, but just make it one trip!
  8. Listen to an awesome playlist!  However, aim to make the music calming and relaxing to you.  Research has shown that people who listen to calming music while working, eating, and before sleep, have been able to drop the level of cortisol they produce.  You don’t have to put Enya on repeat, by the way, whatever makes your relaxed and less stressed will do!

I am a highly strung person, for the most part, so I know that my cortisol levels need a serious overhaul.  Remember that carrying weight in our midsections is a precursor for many bad news bears;  high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and heart attack.  However, by being aware of what we can do to keep our stress (and cortisol) levels lower, we can stay ahead of the health game.

Do you ever think about cortisol? How do you fight stress and cravings? Do you like Yankee Candles? Don’t get me wrong, I love the candles, but that flagship store is ridic-u-lous!

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That time I had to learn how to spell again : Thursdays are for Thinking Out Loud.

Happy Thursday – this week is flyin’ by!  I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for…

Thinking-Out-Loud2

I am like a broken record, and, like, not even a good one at this point; I am moving to Glasgow in …17 Days!! Moving in with my hubby and getting all domesticated, it’s great!  However, the other day my pal asked me if I was ready for the “Queen’s English”.  

ERR.  Record skips.  Um, no.  She was like, “yeah, you know adding in “u” and replacing “z” with “s” and pronouncing it “zed” and not “zee”‘?  

Yeah, I knew this was coming, but I hadn’t really thought about how this may or may not impact me in the long run.  

Admittedly, I am not the best at grammar to begin with, and, honestly, I learned more about the English language and sentence structure whilst learning Spanish and French in school.  

I never REALISED (no  “zee” um, “zed”) that I would have to learn how to drop articles and pick up new spelling at 34!

I’m about to get schooled, yo.

b**ch, please.

Amazon to the rescue!

You can buy just about anything on Amazon.  I actually dislike Amazon, because they dropped me from their associates program and explained their choice by saying  “It’s very important that our members’ websites reflect the high standards we set for ourselves.

my literal reaction to Amazon’s email to me.

I guess by creating the, “Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company” they forget that the very people they are using to make more money, are actually customers as well. Quite honestly, if I didn’t live in a town with nowhere to buy anything, I’d boycott them full stop (<—super British saying, btw).   It’s not as if my blog is incoherent or selling crack, but I digress, you can get anything on Amazon, like ‘em or not.  I ordered me some books to edumacate myself on becoming a Brit, which are being sent to me from the US. Go figure.

books collage

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got.  Yeah, this is a pretty disappointing post.  Whatever.

Do you like Amazon? Do you like how the Brits spell or do you like that we shortcut the “u” out of words like favorite and color? How’s your week going?

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National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, a week that is very important to me and so many other people throughout the world. An eating disorder is one of the most painful and challenging disorders out there and is also a disease that affects nearly 30 million people in their lifetime.  I am one of those people.  Eating disorder issues have not only been a problem of my own, but also have affected other members of my family and my friends.

I have suffered from bulimia nervosa since the age of 18.  I have also suffered from binge eating disorder since the age of 25.  This is something people who know me are usually aware of, but it is always something that I struggle with and have felt ashamed of for nearly half of my life.

My bulimia was not limited to binging and purging, but also overexercising, abuse of laxatives, diuretics and dangerous diet pills as well as self-destructive social behaviors.

People who have bulimia nervosa judge themselves harshly on their body weight and shape. In order to help them cope with these feelings, they follow a strict diet to try to lose weight. But over time the hunger from the strict diet triggers them to binge eat. After binge eating, they feel out of control, ashamed, guilty, and afraid of gaining weight. This distress causes them to purge, in hopes of “undoing” any possible weight gain from the binge.

My problem wasn’t always obvious to those closest to me, because I had always maintained a normal weight and often times was slightly overweight.  However, despite the fact that I didn’t look sick, I was suffering from a disease that was controlling my mind and body and was deteriorating my quality of life.  Much like an individual suffering from anorexia nervosa, people with bulimia become obsessed with their weight and appearance.  The obsessive nature of an eating disorder drives its victims to a sometimes very dark place; a place where reality is no longer an option and pain and punishment seem like the only feelings possible.  I spent a long part of my life feeling like I should be or was being punished for being less than what I thought was acceptable.  I spent years avoiding social situations, mirrors, and cameras so that I could avoid any form of feedback about myself.  If I could have disappeared, I would have happily done so.

Over the past several years, after the death of my father and my renewed love of fitness, I have learned to come to terms with the value of my health.  By finally shifting my focus to health, I have been able to lead a much more normal life; a life where I feel thankful for the body I am in rather than feeling ashamed of it.

2007             2015

2007                                                                                       2015

Dealing with a person suffering from an eating disorder can be very frustrating.  My eating disorder threatened and destroyed many of my relationships with other people.  I mean, come on, is it easy to sit around and listen to a person rip themselves to shreds verbally? Hell no.  Is it easy to watch a person you love run their body into the ground and harm themselves day in and day out?  Hell no.  Is it easy to feel powerless and unable to help a person you care about who is hurting?  Hell no.  This is why often times an individual suffering from an eating disorder can actually wind up feeling more alone than ever. However it’s important to know that there are things you can do to help yourself if you or someone you love is a person suffering from an eating disorder.

        • Focus on feelings and relationships, not on weight and food. Share your memories of specific times when you felt concerned about the person’s eating behavior. Explain that you think these things may indicate that there could be a problem that needs professional help.

 

 

        • Tell them you are concerned about their health, but respect their privacy. Eating disorders are often a cry for help, and the individual will appreciate knowing that you are concerned.

 

 

        • Do not comment on how they look. The person is already too aware of their body. Even if you are trying to compliment them, comments about weight or appearance only reinforce their obsession with body image and weight.

 

 

        • Make sure you do not convey any fat prejudice, or reinforce their desire to be thin. If they say they feel fat or want to lose weight, don’t say “You’re not fat.” Instead, suggest they explore their fears about being fat, and what they think they can achieve by being thin.

 

 

        • Avoid power struggles about eating. Do not demand that they change. Do not criticize their eating habits. People with eating disorders are trying to be in control. They don’t feel in control of their life. Trying to trick or force them to eat can make things worse.

 

 

        • Avoid placing shame, blame, or guilt on the person regarding their actions or attitudes. Do not use accusatory “you” statements like, “You just need to eat.” Or, “You are acting irresponsibly.” Instead, use “I” statements. For example: “I’m concerned about you because you refuse to eat breakfast or lunch.” Or, “It makes me afraid to hear you vomiting.”

 

 

        • Avoid giving simple solutions. For example, “If you’d just stop, then everything would be fine!”

 

     Adapted from: National Eating Disorder Information Center and National Eating Disorders Association.

While I would love to say that I’m “cured” of my issue, I am not.  An eating disorder will sadly never be far from me, but having support and being aware of my ED tendencies does help me to avoid relapsing.  One thing that has really helped me to stay away from the binge/purge cycle has been utilizing the ability to talk about my feelings.  Sometimes I feel like I may be “burdening” my friends, family, and husband talking about how I feel or my anxiety, but I know that just getting those feelings out of me is what is helping to keep me straight.  The truth is we have to feel to heal.  The minute I told another person how I was suffering, I knew it was the first step to getting my life back. I encourage anybody else out there who is suffering with an eating disorder to please talk to someone you can trust and start the path to recovery.  There are lots of resources for friends and family to help a loved one who may be suffering from this painful disorder. Please visit The National Eating Disorders Association’s website for more information on how you can help yourself and others begin the path of health and healing.

Have you or someone you know been affected by an eating disorder? How have you offered support to a friend or family member suffering with an eating disorder? Are you on your own recovery path?

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That Time I Stopped Having Insomnia.

Happy Thursday!  I’m not going to bitch about the snow and cold, it’s ridiculous and I can’t even talk about it anymore.  Even though it’s Thursday, and this day is for linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for…

 

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Is insomnia contagious?  I would think this is a ridiculous question, but my bedroom wall is shared with another insomniac. I have been finding myself, for the last few months, waking up at 2 am and being restless til sunrise.  Now, this could be because there is usually theme music to some sort of period drama blaring through the wall at 2 am, but I’ve lived next to some of the loudest and craziest folks through the years and still got a full 8 hours of shut-eye.   I totally had a  neighbor in New York who got tasered and detained at least once a month.  Anyhoo, whether or not I’m catching the lack of sleep from another person or not, I finally decided to download the white noise app, Sleep Bug:  White Noise Soundscapes & Music Box on iTunes.  Life changing.  However, I did have some bizarre dreams, but I can deal with bizarre dreams vs. horrendous realities due to a lack of sleep.

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Good Morning America drives me crazy; it’s seriously one of the most annoying programs I’ve ever seen.  Sorry if you’re a fan, but I think it’s just terrible.  I guess having studied media, I just can’t stand many aspects of it.   As per GMA had a very important segment (between actual “news”) all on new “bridal trends” this morning. Lace crop tops, rompers, and side bustles with shorts are now in.  Not a fan.  I mean, I got married in a dress that cost less than $20.00 and I think expensive wedding gowns (and weddings in general) are such a waste of money.  Not that I have money, but that’s an entirely different post.  #BrokeAsAJoke

 

not digging it.

Okay, I lied, I’m going to complain about the snow.  It sucks.  I’m so sick of it.  Hopefully I won’t be bringing the snow to Glasgow when I move there in 24 DAYS! So excited.  Smell ya later, snowy New England!  Hello …rainy Glasgow.  I will get back to you about which is worse, frozen hellhole snow for weeks on end or consistent rain.  Thoughts?

probably a better plan?

What are you thinking out loud about today? Do you think wedding rompers are cute? Do you suffer with insomnia? How do you manage your sleepless nights? Linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons today!

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