Happy Wednesday! It’s been a few weeks since my last WIAW, so I figured I might as well join in today! (Thanks Jenn for starting this!)

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Before I dive into the food, there was something I wanted to talk about today. Last week I talked a little bit how I want my blog to be a little more than just “this is what I did,” “this is what I ate,” and more of a resource for healthy living. I was watching some fitness youtube videos this morning, and both were inspirational and geared towards helping people and putting out content that can aid people in their health journeys.

Today I want to talk about my motivation for being healthy (full day of eating at the end!) and eating healthy. My view on health and fitness has changed a lot since I started this blog. I think I’ve been through a bit of a journey, and I want to share some of how I transformed.

Like I discussed in my #transformationtuesday blog series (link here), after struggling with college weight gain for my first 3 years of college, I finally managed to lose about 25 pounds.

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For a while before then, I also struggled with a lot of food stress and a negative relationship with food. Which created toxicity in trying to be healthy. It created a desperation. A few things have changed how I look at food and eating. First of all, I think I’ve matured a lot since then. I’ve grown up. I’ve also realized that there are other things in life worth worrying about (ayyy vet school apps!). I’m realizing that with maturity also comes a sense of calm. I’m realizing I’m more of a low-key person than I realized (or than I was) and a lot of things don’t phase me that used to. (Most things really aren’t that serious. Panic almost never makes a situation better. It’s funny because pre-college when I was playing softball I considered myself emotionally tough and calm, then through most of college things got to me a lot more, and here we are, full circle, calmed down again.)

I think the number one thing that changed everything for me was getting so sick, and then working to get healthy from that. When I was first dealing with my “mystery stomach condition” and didn’t know what was going on, I felt powerless because I knew what I ate mattered but I couldn’t tell what would make me feel better. Once I started to get a handle on how to eat and what was going on, a switch flipped. I now had a different, much more important reason to eat healthily. To feel good, sometimes just to function.

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(Carrot apple ginger juice and BFFs <3)

I had to eat a certain way to not feel sick. That way of eating happened to be pretty darn healthy. (Minus the instances where I had to survive on crackers because that was all I could handle.) I was eating to fuel my body. I was eating with a purpose. Even now that I’m SO much more recovered from my illness, eating to feel good has stuck around. That made all the difference.

When I make food choices, my main goal is to eat what I think will make me feel good. I KNOW vegetables make me feel like superwoman and high fat foods have me feeling yucky (not advocating for low-fat for everyone, this is just what works for me with my stomach issues).

Full disclosure: I do count calories but not with a specific caloric goal. Mostly because it helps me manage my stomach (if I eat large meals I sometimes have issues). I eat whatever amount will make me feel good.

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(Kale salad= feel like a rockstar)

I stopped trying to cut out sugar. Instead I try to eat it in a way that won’t make me feel bad. I have dessert every night. But I choose Halo Top for ice cream because I know it won’t make me feel bad like full fat ice cream.

If you are eating healthy for purely aesthetic reasons or just to see that number drop, it is so much harder to stick with it. Because the moment you have a piece of chocolate when you feel you “weren’t supposed to,” suddenly your day of “good” eating is ruined so you eat the whole bar. If you eat to feel good, you eat the chocolate. And you realize, “ok, I still feel good. If I ate the entire bar, I might not feel good. So I won’t.” In feeling good, there is no black and white. It’s all a spectrum. You could always feel worse by throwing in the towel and eating tons of junk.

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And if you’re eating to feel good, the scale doesn’t carry so much value. I’ll be honest, sometimes I crave ALL THE FOOD and overeat sweets. But I accept that that’s what my body wants at that time, know it will pass, and move on. If I wake up heavier the next day, I realize it’s because I have extra food in my stomach and it will pass. I don’t freak out. If you base your value and self worth entirely on the scale, you might wake up the next day and say “screw it,” feel defeated, and continue unhealthy habits. Trust me, I’ve been there. If you’re eating to feel good, the next day you might realize you don’t feel the greatest from all those cookies and choose more vegetables because they make you feel better.

And while I’ve been referencing food in terms of “feeling good,” it also applies to exercise. I am extremely fortunate in that I genuinely love exercise and have a lot of fun with it. But I also feel 1000x better when I start my mornings with a workout, which makes it easier to get up when that 5:30 alarm goes off.

In summary: why should you want to be healthy? Because it feels amazing! We don’t always need to complicate things with numbers and measurements. How would that food make you feel? Amazing? Then eat it! If it would make you feel less than stellar, but you decide it’s worth it, then I would advocate for going for that too. Healthy isn’t perfect. And there really is no “perfect” when it comes to being healthy.

PHEW. After that long winded intro, let’s get to the good stuff!

Breakfast:

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Flapjacked double chocolate mighty muffin. For some reason I’ve made these a Tuesday breakfast thing. Plus some amazing jumbo blueberries. (The key to these microwave muffins is to get them gooey in the center. Also: I often add extra water to the mix until I feel like it’s a batter consistency. I feel like some of the muffins have a little more or less dry mix than others so I adapt accordingly.)

Coffee:

I’m back on coffeeshop Tuesdays. This was a decaf cappuccino, as per usual. I was back at Foundation Grounds this week for it’s coziness factor and closeness.

 

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Snack:

I headed to Crossfit from the coffeeshop, but since it was lunchtime Crossfit I grabbed a few of these crackers as a snack beforehand.

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Lunch:

Post-workout I was more than ready! I headed to Panera for some of their Autumn Harvest soup. It was my first time trying it and I liked it a lot! So silky and smooth. I also had an apple and crackers on the side.

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Afternoon snack:

I didn’t love these bars at first but they’re growing on me.

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Dinner:

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I found these at the grocery so naturally I had to dig into a few of them.

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I really love this simple and easy salad. It’s vaguely Greek I suppose. I used to pack this with a hard boiled egg for lunch between classes. Salad with champagne vinaigrette, goat cheese, roasted red pepper hummus, and an over easy egg. Plus some GF toast with Earth Balance.

Dessert:

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A little while ago I bought a can of pumpkin pie filling. I pulled the other half out of the freezer today and made a little microwave pie/custard thing. It was delicious. 1/3c pumpkin pie filling+1 T egg whites+1 T semisweet chocolate chips. Microwave until cooked.

Post-Dinner:

It’s the World Series. I decided it was as good time as any to try a local beer I’ve been wanting to try.

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This was pretty good but a little bitter for me. I normally like dark beers but this wasn’t quite for me.

Since it was so bitter, I need a bite of something sweet after drinking it so I ate a Dove milk chocolate ghost.

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What is your motivation to be healthy?

 

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