Where Have I Been?!

Wow, long time, no post! The past month or so has been absolutely CRAZY. In short, I got a new job and moved from Fort Myers to Chicago! I grew up here, so it’ll be really nice being close to family and friends as well as getting to live in a big city with a million things going on at all times! Fort Myers was nice, but it was like living in a retirement community at times. Not the best atmosphere for someone in her twenties!

Even though I was so happy to be moving, the whole process was horribly stressful, as you can imagine. Figuring out all the logistics, packing up my apartment, and a weeklong road trip back up North. I’ve been back about a week and a half and have been working! It definitely helps me be in a routine. I’m also proud that I’ve stayed on track with marathon training, even though it was definitely challenging while we were on the road. Not every run/workout was ideal, but I got them in, so I have to be proud of myself for that. I kept constantly reminding myself of the quote, “Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods.” Not everything will always go to plan, so you just have to adapt to whatever situation you’re in!

The next few months will definitely be full of transitions and adjustments. Sometimes I freak out in those times. Having a strict routine helps me, but I know that it’s not always healthy. I’m really going to focus on embracing this time and see it as full of opportunities, not challenges. Mindset is SO important, so I really think if I face everything with positivity, it will get me far. More to come on how that works out 🙂

As I continue marathon training, I’m also catching up with a lot of friends and spending time in the city. It’s such a fun time and I need to make the most of the rest of the summer, since it’s going to be Fall before we know it! Also going to try to post a lot more regularly so stay tuned! 😉

 

Last Week’s Struggles = Motivation for This Week’s Success

So, to say that last week was not ideal is an understatement. I missed TWO runs in my marathon training, including my long 12 mile training run. It was week 5, and the first week I missed a run. I’m pretty disappointed in myself, but I’m still 13 weeks out from the marathon, so I think I have time to recommit and get back on track.

I think it’s true what they say–never miss a Monday. Last Monday was the 4th of July, and I was extremely hungover from a party I went to the night before. Had a horrible stomach ache/ head ache and honestly really couldn’t get off the couch all day. That day really messed me up and I was completely EXHAUSTED the rest of the week and couldn’t get up for my 5:30am alarms to run. If I didn’t live in South Florida, I probably could have gotten my runs in later in the day/in the evening, but it is over 95 degrees here with almost 100% humidity. It’s just not possible for me to run in those conditions…maybe 3 miles, but definitely not 12.

Now I’m definitely mad at myself for messing up last week, but at the same time, I’m 25 and had a fun 4th of July with friends. Yes, I should have been more responsible, but I still have to live. However, for the rest of this training, I’m really going to commit to healthy lifestyle. Which is going to mean no more than 2-3 drinks a night. Because I can’t feel like I did last week, I need to stay motivated and focused. My long run last week was supposed to be 12 miles and this week’s is 9 (decrease in mileage), so I think I’m just going to do the 12 mile and move onto 14 miles for the next week.

I also feel like I need to re-train my body to go to bed early and wake up early. Waking up has been impossible lately. I “went” to bed at 9:30pm last night and didn’t actually fall asleep until 11:30pm! I just got a Jawbone and am using it to track my sleep (among other things) and really like it. Hopefully it’ll give me more insight.

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I picked the Jawbone mainly for the design–it goes with my style the best so I felt like I would actually wear it! I think it’s good for working in a professional setting. It’s also supposed to be really good for tracking sleep so that’s another plus. If you have a Jawbone and want to be friends, let me know and I’ll add you! I only know 2 people who have them.

So, this is where I’m at right now. Re-setting for this week and recommitting. It’s never to late to fix a mistake!

Embrace Your Emotions

People who are not close to me may not realize it, but I am a very emotional person. I cry during songs, movies, commercials, you name it. I feel things very deeply and intensely, and honestly, sometimes irrationally. Today I thought to myself, “I hate being emotional,” and then I thought, wow, yes, emotions are hard and sometimes suck, but what would be the point of life without them? It would be nice to not have the urge to cry each time I get sad, frustrated, overwhelmed, or scared, but wouldn’t it be much worse to be a robot?

I’m going to be honest; I do not handle disappointment well. Today, I had planned all day to go to spin class after work. I get there and it’s insanely crowded, but I change and go to grab a bike and they are ALL GONE. Not a single bike was left. So I’m standing there like an idiot, all ready for spin class, but I literally can’t go because there are no bikes left (I don’t go to the nicest gym, it’s just a work gym). So I’m incredibly disappointed, I rushed out of work early, and all for nothing, but what can I do? The only shoes I had with me were my spin shoes, so I couldn’t even do anything else. I had already run 6 miles this morning, so it’s not like I missed a workout, but I still felt to incredibly let down. I kept it together, changed, and drove home, but the whole way home I just wanted to cry. I NEEDED those endorphins, spin makes me so happy and it’s an amazing way to release stress. But I kept telling myself, “come ON, you cannot cry over a spin class, get over it.” But for some reason, whenever I get the teensiest bit upset over something, everything else that I’m fighting and get upset about is brought to the front of my mind, so I’m suddenly dealing with all of my problems at once. But it’s set off by something SO SMALL.

I’m really trying to focus on dealing with my problems in a better way, and that’s what inspired me to write this. I feel like I can’t be the only one who loses control of their emotions so easily and needs to check themselves. This might seem like it doesn’t have anything to do with health/fitness, but for me, it does. I’m an emotional eater, something I am working on and dealing with, but I think mental/emotional health is SUCH an important part of the whole health equation! It totally affects physical health, and you can’t be really healthy if you are extremely mentally unhealthy. It’s taken me a long time, but I’ve learned that you have to deal with your feelings and allow yourself to actually FEEL them or else they all come crashing down. I’m definitely not there yet, but just realizing the work that I still need to do is HUGE for me. No more running away. Embrace those emotions–it will only make you a stronger person and able to connect with people more.

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This is one of my favorite quotes. When you feel something, feel it all the way. Let yourself get excited, even if other people think it’s stupid! Lukewarm really is no good–be ALL there, don’t tone things down if you really feel them.

Hopefully one person out there connects with this message. As annoying as it can seem to be emotional, I really do believe it is a good thing ❤

What I’ve Been Focusing On

There are SO many different workouts out there, and while I would like to be supergirl and do every single one, I know that I have to pick and choose. I’ve been trying some new things lately while still incorporating the old, and I think it’s working well so far!

My main focus has been marathon training. I’m doing an 18 week program (Hal Higdon’s Novice 2) and this is week 4! The first 3 weeks weren’t bad, but this week is a pretty big increase in mileage. I have an 11 mile run on Saturday and I haven’t run that far in almost a year. Instead of being worried about it, I think I’m just going to take it nice and slow and focus on finishing rather than being the fastest. During my 9 mile run a couple weeks ago I had to walk…that NEVER happens to me. But since then, I have felt a lot stronger on my runs and my pace has improved a little. Hoping that trend will continue and I will get back to where I used to be!

I signed up for a special at a yoga studio for the past month and I’ve really been liking doing some more challenging yoga classes! I feel like it really helps as a runner to get into a deep stretch, but it’s definitely tough! I am so bummed that my month is ending this week, but I’m going to continue going to classes at the gym at work and maybe trying out some studios too.

I’ve also been trying some boot camp/sculpt classes at my gym. I’ve always loved going to classes and find it so motivating! This is a good way for me to learn new workouts and try something different. I’m trying to do 2-3 strength/resistance workouts per week (usually on cross-train days or low mileage days) and I count these kinds of classes! I also sometimes make up my own resistance workout or do a Kayla Itsines workout–either from BBG1 or ones that I’ve found on her blog that I really like! With where I’m at right now, I’m not completely following BBG–I really liked it, but it became a little obsessive for me and I want to focus on marathon training. It’s amazing for people who can do both at once, but I think I would spend my entire life working out if I was trying to do both and not have any kind of social life.

As far as eating is concerned, I’ve been kind of up and down. I am still maintaining a vegetarian lifestyle, but am really questioning it. I do believe in it, but my energy has been down and running pace has been off ever since I started, so that’s the only reason I can think of that would be causing those problems. I am tracking my food to make sure that I get enough protein and started eating some protein shakes, so hopefully that will help. But I am also considering doing a mainly vegetarian diet, but still eat some meat. It’s still something I think about, but as a distance runner, I really need to make sure I’m getting enough protein. Still staying vegetarian for now, but it’s something I’m thinking about!

I’m still focusing on intuitive eating, but kind of tracking my food since I want to make sure I get enough protein. I am also an emotional eater, so tracking makes me think a little more about what I’m eating. This is an area that I continue to struggle with..I think it’s hard to know the difference between overeating/binging/emotional eating. Overeating occasionally is normal, but it can also be a bad habit. Training for a marathon, I really want to make sure that my eating is on point and that I’m fueling my body in the right ways–not just reaching for sweets because I’m upset about something. Definitely easier said than done. Might do another post on this later as I’m trying out some different strategies to deal with stress!

Well, if you read this entire post, I have to say I’m very impressed! I’m really going to try to post more regularly, because I really do like writing and getting all of my thoughts out. I’ll hopefully do a marathon training recap soon as well as more meal ideas. Happy Tuesday everyone!

Meal Plan

While I usually eat relatively healthy, I really want to write down my guidelines for a meal plan, both to hold myself accountable and for anyone else who is interested! I am still trying to eat intuitively, but some of my clothes fit a little tight, so I want to see if watching what I’m eating a little more will make a difference. I’m not a nutritionist, but read a lot about health and nutrition and these are some kinds of meals that work best for me!

The basis for all meals is a complex carb + protein, while incorporating healthy fats and some sweets (because my sweet tooth definitely can’t be denied). For some people, eating 3 meals a day works best, but for me, I would rather eat 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day! I have some stomach issues from time to time and usually eating a huge meal aggravates it, so if I eat more frequently and in smaller portions, that usually helps!

Breakfast: I usually work out in the morning, so breakfast needs to be out refueling!

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal made with almond milk/water + fruit + optional granola or nut butter
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt with fruit + granola/nut butter/cereal
  • 1 egg + 2 egg whites scramble with veggies and a little cheese/avocado
  • 2 multi grain pieces of toast/waffles with fruit + optional nut butter. Could also add a scrambled egg white
  • Protein bar + piece of fruit (preferably only if breakfast needs to be eaten on the go!)

Morning snack: Breakfast usually keeps me full for about 3 hours after I eat it. Sometimes I can survive without a morning snack, but sometimes I get hungry right around 11am and need something to tide me over until lunch!

  • Greek yogurt + granola/cereal/fruit
  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Grapes

Lunch: For lunch I like to pack in veggies because I usually don’t have any vegetables for breakfast (my breakfast 90% of the time is oatmeal)

  • Salad (spinach +  lettuce) + protein (chickpeas, chickenless strips, black beans, tofu, tempeh, veggie burger) + 1/4 avocado + any other veggies you like (ideas: shredded carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted zucchini/squash, etc.) + 1 tbs light dressing with a side (ideas: carrots + hummus, multi grain/pita crackers, apple)
  • Healthy wrap (multi grain or Flat Out brand) with veggies, one of the proteins mentioned above, and a spread (could be avocado, hummus, etc.) with a side of fruit or extra vegetables (carrots, celery, peppers, etc.)
  • English muffin or multigrain/ Ezekiel toast with spinach, avocado, and a protein (I liked a scrambled egg). Protein could also be on the side! Add a fruit or veggie side

Afternoon snack:

  • Protein bar (square bar, larabar, quest bar, clif bar, Go Macro bar — there are sooo many amazing bars on the market right now, the options are endless!)
  • Carrots/celery sticks/bell peppers + hummus/guacamole
  • Fruit/any of the options from the morning snack would also work!

Dinner:

  • Protein (tofu/veggie burger/tempeh) + roasted/steamed veggie (asparagus, carrots, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, etc.) + sweet potato
  • Big salad with a protein
  • Stir fry– veggies of choice + tofu/tempeh grilled on the stove with 1/2 cup brown rice
  • Brown rice bowl- 1/2 cup brown rice, chickpeas/black beans, any veggies! Can add salsa, hummus, avocado
  • Omelet (1 egg + 2 egg whites) with lots of veggies of choice, a little cheese, and 1 slice of toast or english muffin on the side

Dessert:

  • 2 dark chocolate PB cups
  • 3 dates
  • 1 serving of a Lenny & Larry’s cookie
  • Arctic Zero
  • Yasso Greek yogurt bar
  • Greek yogurt + honey +granola
  • Vegan oatmeal bites/cookies
  • 1/2 square bar

Anytime you are hungry: have a half portion of one of the snacks, wait 15 minutes, and assess if you are still hungry. Extra veggies are also always okay too!

Obviously, these are just some ideas off the top of my head! One of my main issues is that I snack too much, so I really want to stick to 2 snacks + a dessert with the CORRECT portion.

My other problem is that I never want let myself stay hungry..if I’m hungry, I need to eat!

If you have ideas for any other meals, comment and let me know! I’m going to try to do some full day of eating posts to hold myself accountable/have a visual of what a day of eating would ideally look like. Again, I am not trained to recommend meal plans, this is just what I am doing right now for ME because it fits my needs. Everyone is different!

 

Life Updates

Whew, the past couple of weeks have been busy! My parents were in town visiting for about a week and a half, I hurt my foot and couldn’t exercise for a week, and I have made a couple of big changes in my life, which are becoming a vegetarian and starting to eat intuitively. These are 2 really big things for me, and I’m definitely giving them both time to form a full opinion.

After doing a LOT of research/ talking to people/ watching documentaries, I decided I wanted to become a vegetarian. I think I eventually want to become vegan, but this is my way of easing into it. I will NEVER judge people based on what they eat, and hope that people will give me the same respect 🙂 My decisions are based off of studies showing the numerous health benefits of eating plant-based and cutting animal products out of the diet. It only seems like a positive thing. If you’re at all interested, I like this article which explains the benefits of eating plant-based! This switch has also been a really fun challenge for me! I’ve been buying/eating a lot of foods that I haven’t tried before and really like them! It’s definitely a shift in mindset because a lot of my “go-to” dinners include meat. But I’ve found that it’s pretty easy to replace. For example, I used to make a salad with grilled chicken in it for lunch, and now I’ve been replacing the grilled chicken with quinoa or chickpeas. Dinners have included a LOT more vegetables and veggie burgers/chickpeas/black beans as a source of protein. I also want to experiment cooking with lentils and tofu, which I’ve tried and liked, but have not prepared myself before.

I am still treating this as an experiment. I am definitely concerned about getting enough protein because I work out pretty intensely, and that is an important part of my life. But another aspect of my life is being open-minded and trying new things! I will keep posting updated about how the transition to being vegetarian is going.

Another thing I have decided to commit to is intuitive eating. For many people, this is something that comes completely naturally, but for me, my thoughts about food and eating have become so screwed up that eating intuitively is incredibly difficult. For so long, I haven’t been able to eat something without mentally calculating calories. This leads to so much stress and guilt about food. I have also used food as a source of control in my life. If I meticulously counted every calorie and hit my goal for the day (which used to be under 1200…NOT GOOD), then I felt like I was successful and had control over my life, even when everything else was falling apart. Restricting calories so severely only leads to overeating/binging, which makes me feel HORRIBLE and wracked with guilt. So, I decided enough was enough. I never want to feel so guilty and full of self-hatred for eating ever again. I’ve been reading the book Intuitive Eating and have found the principles so incredibly helpful. No, I am absolutely not there yet. I’ve only been doing this for a few weeks and am still learning. It takes time to recognize hunger and satiety cues when you’ve ignored them for so long. But the principles in the book and reasons against dieting ring SO TRUE for me. For a long time, counting calories was a crutch for me and I actually enjoyed it. But I think I am finally ready to let go of that, and I’m excited to finally (hopefully) have a healthy relationship with food and not worry about what I’m eating all the time. It is definitely a process though, so I’m working on it.

If you’ve actually read this whole post, I’m impressed! I will definitely have more to say on both topics, but wanted to at least post where I’m at right now.

Full Day of Eating 5/4/16

Hi everyone! Here is my food diary/full day of eating from yesterday. I like these because they give a complete picture to the whole day instead of one meal! I haven’t been able to work out at all this week because I hurt my foot and have to wear a special shoe 😦 I go back to the podiatrist next Monday and am hoping I will be back at it then! It has definitely been hard. I’ve had really bad body image all week and I think the fact that I can’t exercise is contributing to it. It’s been an interesting experiment though seeing how my body reacts to resting more! I’ve definitely been focusing a lot more on clean eating since I can’t work out at all.

Breakfast when I got to work (around 8am) was overnight oats (1/2 cup old fashioned oats +1/2 cup almond milk + cinnamon left in the fridge overnight). In the morning, I added 1/2 banana sliced and about 5 strawberries sliced. I also had a cup of hot water with lemon while I was getting ready for work, which was so nice. I always wanted to do that, but never actually have time!

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I ate lunch around 1:30pm. I definitely was hungry earlier, but was stuck in a meeting. I had a salad with romaine lettuce, spinach, slice of oven roasted turkey breast, shredded carrots, 1/4 avocado, chow mein noodles and Bolthouse Farm balsamic vinaigrette dressing and an apple.

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I had a snack around 3pm which was a Chobani yogurt and a cup of red grapes! I really like the Chobani Simply 100 yogurts, I love the flips too, but they have so much sugar.

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I tried to make it until dinner without another snack, but it was 6pm and it didn’t seem like I was going to be able to leave work any time soon, so this white chocolate raspberry Quest bar came in to save the day! I’m a little eh about all of the ingredients in Quest bars, but they really do fill me up and keep me full for a while so they’re a good snack for me!

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I ate dinner around 8:30 pm and made a baked sweet potato, roasted asparagus, and 2 chicken tenders (made the night before and heated up in the microwave) with a tablespoon of hummus on top. The chicken did not heat up very well, so the hummus was much needed! I was EXHAUSTED after I ate this–sat on the couch and watched the Girls season finale and then read a little and went to sleep around 10pm.

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And that’s it! Pretty good day of eating, I didn’t get hungry at night or anything. Hope you guys enjoyed!

Zucchini Pizza Adventure/Fail

Sooo last Saturday night, my friend and I attempted making a pizza with a crust made from zucchinis! In all honesty, it turned out more like a casserole, and was technically a fail, but it was fun to try something new, so I’m thinking of it as an adventure instead! The crust didn’t really hold together very well…we definitely should have found a way to soak up all the water from the zucchinis, and I think it would have turned out better. Maybe next time!

Here is the recipe we used (found off of Pinterest):

3 medium zucchinis, shredded

1 large egg

1.5 cups grated Parmesan cheese

That’s it!

The crust before we put it in the oven (you can see a lot of liquid around the outside, we definitely needed to do something to get it out!):

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Crust after baking for about 15 minutes at 425 degrees:

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After adding toppings:

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We topped it with chopped bell peppers and onions, turkey pepperoni, mozzarella, and feta cheese!

Finished product:

Hope you enjoy the awkward picture of me posing with the pizza!

We enjoyed it with some red wine and Caesar salad.

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I don’t try a lot of new recipes, usually just throw things together and eyeball everything, so this was fun to do on a weekend! We had a fun night chatting and relaxing. We rented a Redbox and didn’t even end up paying any attention to it. So even though our pizza didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to, it was still a fun night and good to experiment in the kitchen!

 

 

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

I cannot emphasize enough how dangerous and damaging it is to be constantly comparing ourselves to other people. This can be applied for ANYTHING, such as wealth, houses, clothing, etc. but I tend to compare my body to others’ all the time and it’s a habit I need to break.

Yesterday, I had felt pretty good all day and went to spin class after work. Well, there was a girl in class who was really skinny…she looked like one of those people who is just naturally skinny, but I don’t want to assume anything about her, so who knows. Anyways, she was right next to me in class, and since the whole room is mirrored, I would catch glances of her in the mirror whenever I looked at myself to see how my form was. And everytime, all I saw on myself was fat and how much bigger I was compared to her. I tried to stop looking, but it was a compulsion, I couldn’t stop! By the end of class, I was hating my body. The thing that saved me was the last song, which was a sprint and I pushed myself REALLY hard and was proud of myself.

After class, I needed to take the time to ground myself and think of how far I’ve come fitness-wise and reassess my mindset. For so long, I wanted to be stick thin. Instead of looking at my body for muscle, I would look at it and want to see bones sticking out–that’s what I was striving for. That may sound sick and disgusting, but it is the honest truth. Through running and doing strength exercises, I have tried to focus on building muscle and looking HEALTHY, not skinny. But, obviously, I’m not perfect, and sometimes I do slip back into that mindset of wanting to look like a bony, unhealthy person instead of someone who is fit and strong.

On a different note, I did a different kind of running workout this morning! I thought I would switch it up since I typically just decide a mileage and go out and run. I ran about 1.5 miles to a hill near my apartment, then sprinted up the hill, and ran easy down it. Then I turned around and kept doing the same thing up and down the hill until I hit a mile and then ran back home. It was a really fun challenge, and I definitely want to do it again! Hopefully I can find a bigger hill, because the one I live by is kind of wimpy.

I also wanted to share my breakfast from this morning because for once, it wasn’t oats! I’m definitely a creature of habit and eat overnight oats or oatmeal almost every day. I start preparing them at night without even thinking about it sometimes! Today I had a yogurt bowl to switch it up and because a friend on Instagram sent me some samples of a new granola, which I really ended up liking!

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This was a Fage 0% Greek yogurt topped with 1/2 banana, raspberries, and San Franola California Raisin granola. I REALLY like this granola! The company advertises simple ingredients, low sugar, and high fiber. Flavor was definitely not sacrificed because it was delicious! Definitely recommend, I linked them above, plus they have free shipping which I always appreciate!

Well that’s it for today (if you’ve made it this far)! Happy Thursday!

Full Day of Eating

Here is a look at a typical day of eating for me! I’m trying not to count calories this week and listen to my body instead. I would guess that this is between 1500-1800 calories. I did Kayla Itsines BBG week 3 arms and abs in the morning and went to spin after work. I sometimes use a Polar watch with heart rate monitor, and according to that, I burned 1114 calories yesterday with both of those workouts combined. I don’t know how completely accurate those are, I just like to see where my heart rate is! So I still just eat to satisfy my hunger and not to eat back calories. But I’ve definitely realized that when I push myself so hard in my workouts, I can’t survive off of 1200 calories or less! Anyways, here is my food diary from yesterday:

Breakfast was overnight oats (1/2 cup old fashioned oats mixed with 1/2 cup almond milk and some cinnamon, stirred and left in the fridge overnight. In the morning, I added banana slices, strawberries, and about 1 tablespoon of Buff Bake birthday cake almond butter). I ate this around 8:45 am when I got to work after doing BBG first thing in the morning.

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Lunch (around 12:30 pm) I usually eat a variation of this lunch every day at work. It’s easy to pack and I like it! I pack a salad of romaine lettuce, spinach, shredded carrots, grilled chicken, avocado, and add balsamic vinaigrette dressing. I also had a gala apple.

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Snack 1 (around 2:30pm) was green grapes and a Chobani Simply 100 yogurt. I really like these yogurts! This snack was good because it satisfied my sweet tooth, but didn’t cause me to crash later. IMG_0860[1]

Snack 2 (around 4pm): Yes, I usually have 2 afternoon snacks! For some reason, I can last all morning without a snack, but I get more hungry in the afternoon. My director got an entire case of these Suja juices sent to her, so it was like Christmas for me! I took 3 of them to have throughout the week (she probably had 40 of them). I had never tried this flavor before, and really liked it! I didn’t finish it, so I’ll probably have the rest today. IMG_1039[1]

Dinner was a Trader Joe’s Thai sweet chili veggie burger (SO yummy! This was my last one, so I definitely need to get more), roasted broccoli and grape tomatoes, and about 1/2 cup cooked quinoa with Pita Pal original hummus. Love this dinner and it was so easy to prepare!IMG_1041[1]

Dessert was a Lenny and Larry’s white chocolate macadamia complete cookie. I love these because I loveee cookies and these at least have protein in them. I kind of struggled to be honest because I wasn’t sure if I was actually hungry or just wanted dessert, so I debated eating this. But I also didn’t want to wake up in the middle of the night hungry so that’s partially why I had it too. Sometimes I cut them in half since 1 serving is actually only half of the cookie, but I just ate the whole thing and didn’t feel too full afterwards. Night time is definitely the hardest for me in terms of intuitive eating.

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I love reading food diaries/ what people eat in a day because I think it’s really interesting and I always get good ideas from people. Hope this post is helpful! I definitely think I will do more of these, I try to post them on my Instagram every Wednesday for What I Ate Wednesday.