Friday, February 28, 2014

Five on Friday

Oh happy Friday! I hope everyone has had a wonderful week and are ready for the weekend. As always, I am so ready or 5pm to come around. Since it's Friday, y'all know the routine around here. I'm sharing my five favorite things from this week. Also, it is time to celebrate because this is the 100th post on my little ol' blog! Look out for a celebratory post and giveaway next week!! 


One. Last night I went to see Alton Brown Live at DEPAC with my mom.  I started watching Alton Brown on the Food Network when I was a teenager. I loved his show Good Eats and the incorporation of chemistry behind cooking and baking. I still love his current show Cutthroat Kitchen. His show last night was just a great as Good Eats. Lots of large scale cooking experiments along with quirky songs and advice about cooking. The entire show was sold out so he has lots of foodie fans in the Triangle.

Two.  I have been keeping up with the news a lot better lately via The Skimm.  The Skimm is a daily newsletter that summarizes national news and current events in a down to earth format. Their news letters have been extra hilarious and spot on lately. I encourage everyone to sign up for their emails.

Three. In honor of National Eating Disorder Week I wrote this post. If you’re interested in learning more please lake some time to read these statistics here.

Four. Nerd Alert. I stumbled across this quote by W.E. Demming yesterday at work while researching interventions. This is what I strive for in my job daily.  It completely summarizes how I feel about the basis for making almost any decisions.

Five. Spring is only six weeks away. Last weekend gave NC a glimpse of warmer weather and I am yearning for more! Looking forward to the day I can wear dresses without tights and break out the Jack Rogers.
Who is your favorite cook? 
What are you looking forward to most this spring?


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Getting Uncomfortable

My honest opinion- no one enjoys feeling uncomfortable.  Being uncomfortable is something that most avoid at all costs. Confronting someone about a problem at work? Nah, I can just deal with it. Running outside when it is cold and snowy? Treadmill it is. Pants not your thing? Thank heavens for leggings.

The thing about getting uncomfortable is that it is hard. It brings to light the things you may have avoided or hidden from the world. Not because your ashamed or embarrassed but just because talking about it makes you a bit uncomfortable. Getting uncomfortable is where change happens. That's the great thing about getting uncomfortable.

I have to force myself to get uncomfortable. To be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Today I want to talk about something that makes most (including me) uncomfortable. Eating disorders (ED) and body image. For me, this is a personal issue as I have struggled with an eating disorder since my teens. Looking at me you would have never known. That is the thing about ED it can come in all shapes and sizes, it does not fit into one mold and it not something many discuss. It is not something to be ashamed of or keep quiet. 

Nearly 20 million women will suffer from an eating disorder at one point in their lives. Eating disorders are a silent disease that a lot of the times start with an unhealthy body image and body dissatisfaction.  I eventually want to share more about my struggles and recovery. For now I am sharing an article in honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness week. This article speaks eloquently about the body image struggle many have when battling ED. 

By: Geneen Roth Source: NEDA

For many years, I was convinced that by changing my body, I would change my life. Because I was certain that my suffering was due to my size, I believed that when the weight disappeared, it would take old wounds, hurts, and rejections with it. I thought that changing the shape on the outside would alter the feelings on the inside. Silly me.

Consider a milk carton. No matter what you do to change its shape -- switch the spout to the other side, round the corners, cut off the top -- you know that what's inside is milk. Not apple juice, not vegetable soup, but milk. But somehow we don't know that changing how we look on the outside -- shedding pounds or cinching in our waists a few inches -- doesn't change what we are, either.

We mistakenly believe that altering our bodies will fix everything. That's because we think that body size is the cause and, therefore, the healer of all wounds. Perhaps the worst part is believing that being thin equals being loved, being special, being cherished. We couldn't be more wrong.

Think of the women who live in Samoa. Legend has it that a woman there is not considered attractive unless she weighs more than 200 pounds. Size is relative: Samoans might equate being fat with being cherished, and being thin with being miserable. (Forget about booking a one-way trip to Samoa. It's too expensive.) The truth is that beauty standards vary from culture to culture, but no matter where you live or how big your body is, some things remain the same. We still have to find a way to live comfortably inside our bodies and make friends with and cherish ourselves.

A woman once came to my class after she'd lost 100 pounds on a fast and then gained back 50. "They lied to me," she said. "They said my life would be great when I got thin. That I would be happy. That I would love myself and be loved. But that's not what happened. Sure, I liked being thin. I liked wearing clothes in smaller sizes. I liked that my body felt lighter. But I still felt unworthy, unlovable, damaged. I was so disappointed and felt so betrayed by everyone-- that I started to eat again."

This lack of finality--the fact that our relationship with food and body size is an ongoing process, not an end point--is the most elusive insight to sustain. Even people who've lost weight 5, 10, or 20 times and always gained it back continue to believe that next time, it will be different. Next time, they will keep it off. Next time, being thinner will finally fulfill its alluring promise of everlasting happiness, joy, self-worth, and, of course, love.

But if it's happiness you want, why not put your energy and attention there rather than on the size of your body? Why not look inside? Somewhere in there are the clues to what would make you happy right now.

I often get letters from people who say that when they start my program of intuitive eating and pay attention to their inner lives, they quickly discover that losing weight is not their first priority. It takes them by surprise because they've focused their entire lives on becoming thinner. But when they begin to take even small amounts of time for themselves, when they allow themselves to rest or do nothing for 5 minutes a day, they realize that it's what they wanted most of all. They want permission to slow down and to live like they are special, valued, and belong here. This is what they thought being thin would give them; now they realize that it is something that they need to give to themselves.

The truth is that you deserve to be cherished and should cherish yourself no matter how much you weigh or how you look.

Being thinner will never do what you think it's going to do. But you can have whatever you believe that being thinner will give you, and you can have it now. The only way to do it?  By starting to live as though you love yourself. By making a commitment to be kind to yourself and by not letting anything stand in your way. By setting aside time for yourself daily. By being vigilant about acting on your own behalf. By beginning today.

For more information, help or support visit NEDA's website.
If anyone wants to talk more please don't hesitate to e-mail me.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Building my Wardrobe: Wardrobe Revamp

One thing that I have been envious of is a simple classic wardrobe. Over the past year, I have been trying to invest in classic pieces that will transcend trends and wear well with age. I have noticed that the items I continually grab from my closet are not the cute trendy tops but the simple t-shirts and sweaters. Even with this realization, building a classic wardrobe is hard for me as I love the look of trendy items. Peplum, Neon & Chevron= Love. However, I have never worn items with these trends.

This year I am trying to plan ahead with what I want to buy this spring. I am hoping to purchase simple bold pieces that I will still love years for now.

Mix & Match Wardrobe

Mix & Match Wardrobe by sweetcarolinabelle 

I hope to build a wardrobe with many neutral pieces that can be mixed and matched easily. Also, a pop of color could be added with a scarf or a bold piece of jewelry. My go to stores when looking for staple items are Ann Taylor Loft. CWonder & JCrew. Being 5'2 I tend to shop at places that have petites or offer tailoring. I have never purchased a pair of white denim or a jean jacket. Both items are high on my wish list for the spring. Also, I would love a pair of comfy loafers for work and travel. 

What items do you recommend in a classic wardrobe?
What are your go to stores?


Monday, February 24, 2014

Food & Fitness: February 23- March 1

Food:  Our fridge is looking pretty bare since I was out of town all last week. Looking forward to making a major grocery store run tonight. Thanks to Costco we do have ample amounts of frozen veggies and fruit to help us make do until we make it to the store. How often do you typically go grocery shopping? We tend to go once a week to pick up the fresh produce and meat we need.

Dinner Recipes

Monday- Baked Tilapia with baked sweet potato and green beans

Thursday- Dinner Out @ Tobacco Road 

Friday- Leftovers & Homemade Cadbury Cookie Bars
I'm experimenting with this recipe for a co-workers going away this week. I will share the recipe next week!

This week marks week 8 of marathon training. After this week, there is only 6 weeks until race day! I'm training with a local running store Fleet Feet Sports. We run together Tuesday nights and Saturday morning. All of my training is based on the marathon plan given to us by the store run coaches. 
This past week was tough due to traveling. I got in tons of miles walking around DC which made for heavy tired legs on my long run. Thankfully, after two weeks of building mileage it's time for a back down week. A back down week allows for my legs to rest slightly to help prevent injury due to overuse.  That's the funny thing with marathon training looking at the mileage, it may not seem like much rest. But when you consider the past two weeks it's a break in mileage. 
 I'm still trying to get in early morning workouts and hope to get in at least two again this week. I am also hoping to incorporate one class at the gym this week as well. 

Monday: 5 miles
Tuesday: 3 miles & Group Workout
Wednesday: Body Combat Class
Thursday: 7 miles
Friday: HIIT & Strength 
Saturday: 11 miles
Sunday: Rest 

What's on you meal plan this week?
Hope you all have a great Monday!


Friday, February 21, 2014

Five on Friday

Hello lovelies! Hope everyone had a great week and has mostly thawed out from all the snow. I'm still gallivanting in DC and will be getting back home tonight. For today's edition of Five on Friday I'm shaing my favorite recent Pinterest finds. As most girls admit, Pinterest absolutely addicting. In hopes of trying not to get sucked into the abyss of tips, tricks and ideas I try to log into Pinterest with a specific idea or concept to search for. Lately it's been fashion tips, yummy recipes and new workout ideas. Here are just a few I have stumbled upon.

1. I have been yearning for a navy blazer for about a year now. I picked up one on super sale at Target recently and have been looking for ideas on how to style it. This blazer is from CWonder and I love how they styled it.

2. I love Brie and will make any recipe that includes it is a winner in my book. This recpie is a neat twist on the traditional puff pastry and brie appetizer.

 3. I have been trying to incorporate more clean  and organic choices when grocery shopping. I realize that we can't buy everything organic because of the hefty price tag that comes along with it. This Organic or Not list is a perfect guideline.

4. My cardio is mainly running these days thanks to marathon training. If I want to get in another sweat session I like to keep it short and sweet. Interval training is perfect for when I don't want to spend a ton of time in the gym. I love nutritionella's Workout guides since it eliminates the guesswork with what to do.

5. Sometimes you just get burnt out and overwhelmed. I been having a few days like that recently and found this quote which I really want to Keep In Mind.

Wishing y'all an amazing Friday!


Friday, February 14, 2014

Five on Friday

      Honestly, it does not feel like Friday at all today. We are still snowed and iced in here in central Raleigh. School has been closed since Wednesday and we will not be going back until Monday. Besides the Olympics the polar vortex has been all that is on the news it seems.  I am thankful that this time the south was more prepared but still heartbroken for the many who have lost property or lives due to the horrible ice, wind and cold. I am thankful that we have only lost power for a few hours Thursday night while we were sleeping. I am also very grateful that we live in an apartment complex that shovels the walkways and parking lots.  There has been a lot of cleaning, napping and playing games at our apartment over the past few days. I've made it out of the apartment to head to the gym each day and take Charlie on short walks. Thankfully our gym at the apartment has a good treadmill and is not too crowded so I have still been able to get my running in. 
     For today's Five on Friday I'm sharing my favorite winter accessories that have kept me warm and helped me stay dry while trudging through the slush. A pop of pink also makes it Valentine's Day appropriate. 

Snow Day

Snow Day by sweetcarolinabelle 

Cable Knit Hat and Infinity Scarf- I am loving all things cable knit right now. This hat and scarf are perfect over my winter coat and keep me extra warm. Gloves- I love that the gloves have the touch pads on their fingers which enables you not to have to take off your gloves when texting or snapping a photo.  Salted Caramel Chai Tea Latte- Trader Joe can do no wrong in my book. This Chai Latte mix is amazing. It can also be added to make into Chai cookies as well! Hunter Boots- After sludging in the snow in tennis shoes these past few days I finally made the leap and purchased a real pair of rain boots. I know I will be getting a lot of use of these in the next few weeks. The boot socks are just the cherry on top of these beautiful boots and tie in well with my cable knit obsession. 

What are your go to snow day items? How is the weather where you are?

Hope you all have an amazing Valentine's Day! 


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Workout Wednesday: A Review

I started the 24 Day Advocare challenge last month. You can read about my reasons for starting the challenge and my hopes through my posts here.  The challenge is broken up into two parts, a 10 day cleanse and a 14 day clean eating regimen with vitamin supplements.  The challenge comes with recipe ideas, daily eating guide and clean eating tips.  The recipes were simple and great for when I got bored of our normal dinner routine.  The daily eating guide and clean eating tips were in line with what I strive for my diet to look like focused on fruits, vegetables and lean protein. 

          The recommended products for the challenge include the herbal cleanse, 2 boxes of Spark, one bottle of OmegaPlex (an Omega 3 vitamin), MNS Max Supplements and meal replacement shakes. I opted not to get the meal replacement shakes to help minimize the cost. Since the challenge is divided into two parts I’m going to review each part individually. 

First up the 10 day cleanse. During the cleanse, it is suggested to avoid alcohol, dairy, coffee and highly processed foods.  However, the  box states that even if you don’t follow the food guide that you still can lose weight. There are probiotics daily as well as a fiber drink for 6 days. I chose the peaches and cream flavor as I read horrible reviews on the citrus flavors.  The fiber drink was not horrendous however it was very artificial and sugary. I enjoyed it most when I combined it in my oatmeal or smoothie. This part of the challenge is where I lost the most weight.  I lost around 3 pounds during the 10 day cleanse. The cleanse is perfect for people who want to reset after the Christmas holiday or any indulgent period. It helps to *ahem* clean you out of anything lingering around your stomach and intestines. It really gets your digestive system back on track.

Now, on to the 14 day vitamin and supplement regimen.  The pills are divided into individual packs that you take before breakfast, with breakfast and before lunch. The first thing I noticed that there are a lot of pills! There are around 4-5 pills per packet with 4 packs to consume a day. I’ll let you do the math. That’s more pills than I have ever taken in a week let alone a day. 

The claim of these packets is to help suppress appetite, increase metabolism, increase energy and aid in weight loss.  During this phase, I lost another 2 pounds.  However, I did not notice any major effects from the supplements. There was no major changes in my appetite or energy. 

Throughout the 24 days, I ate clean as best as possible and avoided alcohol. I worked out around 4 days a week while training for the marathon.  My meals and workouts were no different than what I would do typically. The main change is that I didn't indulge in a weekly splurge meal like I normally have. 

My thoughts overall on the challenge is that it did not provide the jump in weight loss that I was hoping for. Honestly,  I could have lost the weight through watching my diet and exercising without the supplements.  I believe that the 10 day cleanse was a great way to reset my eating and thoughts toward food after being indulgent over the holidays. On the other hand, I would not recommend the MNS part of the challenge.  

For myself, since I already eat clean and exercise regularly there were no major changes in my routine or diet. I think others may have different results if they make major to their diet or exercise. There was just not that much for me to change. 

One thing that I did learn was how frequent I had cravings for sweets. Until now I never realized how often I wanted to splurge on dessert or a drink after a long day. I had the craving for sweets or a glass of wine honestly about 4 times in weeknight. That's a heck of a lot more than I realized. Following this cleanse, I am going to continue eating clean by following a 80/20 guide. 80% healthy & clean choices and 20% indulgences. I also am starting to plan my meals and snacks more to include a healthy sweet such as dark chocolate or frozen Greek yogurt.  

What are your experiences with weight loss challenges? Have you tried Advocare products?


Friday, February 7, 2014

Five On Friday

Hellooo Friday! Linking up for another round of Five on Friday.

1. The Olympics! Thanks to the winter Olympics I have a feeling I will not be getting much sleep these next few weeks. Bring on the figure skating!  Also excited for the first women's ski jump this year. You bet I will be watching the (tape delayed) opening games tonight!

2. New Spring Arrivals. I have been swooning over Loft's, The Limited's and JCrew's  sneak peaks at their spring line. I am trying to build a classic wardrobe that will still be fashionable years from now when the trends and over. The clean lines, simple patterns and beautiful colors are calling my name!

3. Technology pet peeves. Here is a little sneak peak into my job. We use an online program from the state to document meetings, IEPs and evaluations. We had an extra long meeting placement meeting for a student Wednesday afternoon and the program went down for maintenance in the middle of our meeting. As of last night, it was still not fixed! Thankfully we had our forms printed out and could continue the meeting on paper. Unfortunately, we only had one copy. Lots of acronyms were mentioned and at times even my head was spinning. 

4. Snack obsession. I picked up G.H. Creators popcorn Chicago Mix a few weeks ago from Costco. This completely breaks my rule of not getting giant sized snacks. However, it looked very interesting and I knew the hubs would love it. It was a huge hit! We are already on our second bag. I haven't found bags with just the caramel or cheddar but know they would be equally delicious. 

5. Running.  This week is a back down week in my marathon training. This means I am running less mileage this week to give my legs some rest. I am loving this week. My legs feel great and the weather has been cooperating to help me get my runs in outside. Tomorrow we are running an easy 8 miles in Umpstead Park.  My favorite part about training has been exploring this amazing city I get to call home. 

Hope everyone has a great weekend!


Monday, February 3, 2014

Food & Fitness: February 3-9

Food: Today I'm linking up with Ashley from a & o on the go and sharing my dinner meal plan for the week. Last week we were able to enjoy all of the meals I planned out.  That hardly ever happens so I am counting that as a win in my book! My favorite was the baked chicken with roasted vegetables. I hope to keep the success going this week!  I tend not to plan for weekend dinners since plans and appetites can change. Sunday night typically ends up being a build your own dinner with whatever leftovers we have in the fridge.

Dinner Recipes 

Monday- Leftovers from Sunday's Slow Cooker Chicken Chili 

Thursday & Friday - Dinner Out w. Friends

Fitness:  Fifth week of marathon training. Hope you not getting too tired of my running updates because there are 9 more weeks to go! This Saturday's long run was just as eventful as last week's due to the snow and ice still hanging around many of  Raleigh's streets. Thankfully, we all made it through without any spills. 

An update on trying to complete workouts before work. I was able to get in two morning workouts which was my goal for the week! This week, I'm keeping the same goal of getting to the gym twice before work. This week, my plan is to do strength training at home in the morning and then complete my cardio after I get off work.

Monday: 4 miles w. cardio intervals
Tuesday:  3 mile Hill Workout & Upper Body Strength
Wednesday: 45 minutes cardio & Lower Body Strength
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: Spin Class & Total Body Strength  
Saturday: 8 miles
Sunday: Rest Day