Things I’m Loving Lately

Where have I been, you ask?! Well I’ve been busy loving. Loving these 7 things.

1. Intuitive Eating (the audiobook version)

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As some of you know, I’ve been eating intuitively the past week and a half. EVERY day it gets easier and easier. At first I was completely overwhelmed and scared to stop tracking my macros and get off of my meal plan. Will I gain 5 pounds? Will I lose all control? Will I stay lean? Will I…will I…will I…..CAN I?! I took it one step at a time. My steps included:

1. Venting to a close friend and discussing my deep seated need to control. I do not have a problem with food. I have a problem with control. And I have channeled that issue towards food, eating and my desire to have physical perfection since I was in 7th grade. I found one trusted friend and vented to her. She helped me tremendously to think about the actions steps I need to take to work through this.

2. Delete My Fitness Pal & other calorie counting apps

3. Unfollow people on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter that make me yearn for physical perfection. Competing and becoming thuper duper lean is awesome…but it should not be controlling. In my case, it is controlling and I tend to put too much self worth into my body fat % numbers. (Step one- admit)

4. Try to forget everything I’ve learned about specific meal timing, macro ratios, etc. and adopt an intuitive eating plan.

5. Listen to Intuitive Eating on my iphone for a little bit every day. Even if it’s in the car, at the gym for cardio or before going to sleep….the affirmation is important.

I’m not only still eating healthy…I’m actually healthier now. I am at a great calorie range (even intuitively I can keep this in check), I am eating MORE colourful veggies, salads, and also less meat. I was scared to have much fruit before because of the sugar and I strayed from salads because counting up the ingredients in a veggie-loaded salad took too much time on My Fitness Pal, which is why I stuck to “simple” meals like brown rice and chicken day after day. I’m eating more nutrients now and I even feel better.

This is no easy feat for somebody that’s been on some sort of diet plan for a few consecutive years but I’ve been extremely persistent on making a change this time. With a little patience and a lot of prayer, this will become natural once again.

2. Parenthood- Season 4
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Season 4 is now on Netflix. And I am not ashamed to say I watched it all in two days. And now I am going to start watching season 5 online because, little did I know, it’s already on there and ready to go. I just love how painfully realistic this show is, but also so beautifully well done.

3. Cookie Butter from Trader Joes

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Honestly, trying to put this jar of amazingness into words is just plain blasphemous. It tastes like a gingerbread cookie made love to biscotti and then the surprisingly frisky texture of rice krispies showed up to the party joined by it’s buttery sugar soulmate.

Just get some.

4. Baked Teriyaki Tofu (also from Trader Joe’s)

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Not the prettiest picture, but I bought some of this tofu today and mixed it with an asian stir fry mix (also found at Trader Joe’s in the fresh greens section) for lunch. In fact I had enough for dinner, because there were so many veggies but the tofu was out of this world amazing. It’s just $3 and it’s already cooked and ready to be eaten, which for me is really nice because tofu is such a pain in my booty to prepare.

5. Jesse Elder

Jesse is an inspirational speaker on the art of self-mastery. He posts very quick but powerful videos on a daily basis that help you to adopt a new perspective on success, power and becoming who you want to be.

I promise, you’ll love what he has to say, so check out his website, Facebook page and Youtube channel.

6. Well-Fed 2

One of my favourite parts about being a blogger is reviewing the latest up and coming health products, which sometimes includes cookbooks. When local Austin chef, Melissa Joulwan, notified the ATX Food Blogger Alliance about her newest book, Well-Fed 2, I was one of the first to raise my hand to review it!

Unfortunately, when the book arrived I was still in competition prep so I could only look at all the beautiful pictures and recipes, drooling in excitement for the moment I got to create some of her latest and absolutely beautiful creations. That was a little bit of torture.

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In case you don’t know much about Well-Fed, it’s a paleo recipe book for people that love to eat! Every meal is scrumptiously simple and easy to create with her well-written directions and pictures. Well-Fed 2 is the sequel to Well-Fed, where Melissa shares more of the recipes she enjoys on a regular basis to help her cope with allergies and food sensitivities.

Exceptional features about Well-Fed 2:

1. The book includes 110 original recipes, plus “You Know How You Could Do That” variations, along with 44 “no recipe required” food combos. That’s 200 recipes and quick meals, y’all!

2. The book starts with info to help readers manage their relationship with food, including ways to identify with emotional appetite versus real hunger, reasons to do a Whole30 (I did it once before, you should too!), tips for socializing with your newfound healthy habits and a call to action to develop the best version of yourself.

3. 15 recipes that can be transformed into either burgers, balls or bangers! She gives amazing directions on how to transform these recipes into 3 different dishes easily!

4. International cuisine made healthier. Melissa is a fan of international food just like the rest of us, and has made it easy for us to enjoy traditional thai, chinese, indian, mexican and other ethnic dishes guilt and gluten-free!

5. AIP Adaptions. For those that suffer from autoimmune disease, the dishes can be modified to follow the autoimmune protocol of paleo!

6. Whole30 Approved. Only 2 recipes out of the entire book are not Whole30 approved…that means if you decide to do a Whole30, you have 198 recipes already to go! (The Sweet Potato Waffle and Banana Pecan Ice Cream are the only non Whole30 approved recipes…but still DELICIOUS! Reward yourself after your Whole30 with these!!)

7. Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves! This means a PDF version of the book is available for $1 to everyone who buys the printed copy. Every dollar will be donated to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, an organization devoted to getting clean cooking methods into the kitchens of developing countries. What an awesome cause!

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First and foremost, I must admit my favourite thing about the book itself is the photography. Pictures can really make or break a book, though it’s 100% the recipes that make the book worthy. And both were exceptional. The photos definitely reel you in, but once you taste the recipes you immediately lose yourself in a sea of flavor.

My second favourite feature of the book was the beginning where she provides you with seasonings, sauces, prepping methods, cooking basics, groceries, and an explanation of kitchen terminology.

What does it mean to mince? How do you know when to eat and how often? What’s the best spice combination for an indian dish? How do you stay healthy while socializing at a party? All of these taunting questions are answered in the first few chapters of the book.

You can always return to the beginning of the book to use it as a reference for cooking, prepping, dining out, and what have you. Melissa did a great job at clearing up all confusing at the beginning so you’re well prepared to cook in the kitchen comfortably!

So which recipes have I made from the book?? So far I’ve made three: Sunny Day Strawberries (the perfect combination of juicy strawberries and creamy sunbutter), balsamic grilled butternut squash and Thai Basil Beef. No pictures of my own meals unfortunately but I’ll be making a few more in the future and be sure to Instagram them.

In the mean time, I highly suggest if you are new to paleo, or even if you’re an expert, get your hands on a copy of this book for some amazing new recipes to add to your dinner plate!

 7. My Missional Community

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For the past 3 weeks I’ve been meeting up with a 20-somethings-year-old group at my church to get more involved and they’ve been so inviting. Never in my life have I met a group of young folks that are so kind and welcoming as this group right here. In just a few weeks, I already feel like I’ve known a few of them for a long time and I can’t wait to grow spiritually with these amazing individuals!

That’s all for now. What are some of your favourite things lately?

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