A day in the life: day off

I worked my first weekend this past weekend. It was challenging but just what I needed to boost the confidence. Every day gets a little bit better as long as I believe in my knowledge and training. Every day it still feels surreal.

I tried sleeping in this morning, but two glasses of wine last night meant I was a little more restless. I was up at 6:45 but that is definitely sleeping in for me. I couldn't decide what to have for breakfast. I've been wanting to get on the egg, avocado toast bandwagon (I tend to eat that for lunch) but really wanted my peanut butter. I didn't have milk so oatmeal was out of the question. Toast it was! One slice with pbj and the other with Greek yogurt and jam. My mom makes the best jam.

While eating breakfast I watched an episode of the Tudors. I've been switching off between the Tudors and the Ozarks lately. Sometimes I "watch" while I'm working on other things which I need to stop doing.

The next task was doing laundry and organizing the basement. All of my apartment stuff is down there. My dad wanted me to make a new pile of what I'm bringing with me. I'm going from living alone to living with a roommate so I definitely don't need everything. This task was rewarding because I feel lighter and more organized! I also found some nutrition journals that I skimmed for relevant articles.

Time to read my book! I'm reading The Boys in the Boat and loving it. It's a pre-world war II novel and the story/writing is great.

I ate lunch before my hair appointment and some errands. It was leftover chicken, brown rice, and vegetables. Tasty but by day four I'm getting bored of the same meal.

I went to a place "downtown" to get my hair cut. It's a small town hence the quotation marks. I explained my dilemma of showering at night and having terrible hair in the morning. She recommended sleeping with my hair in twists or buns and using a product to subtly style it. I'll try anything. So of course I was a sucker and purchased the product. I also took a few inches off. She was done so quickly. I guess it feels quick when I've been going to teaching places for so so long now…

Then it was off to Target, where I spend most days off. I went for sunglasses because my previous pair broke. I left with a rug, a mirror, a few frames, and bobby pins.

Once I got home I made a smoothie to sip on and read my book until falling asleep. The clouds took over and I love naps on days off. My body feels very tired and I'm just trying to listen to it.

I read for a little bit after drinking the above beauty but I quickly fell asleep. I napped hard for about an hour and it's just what my body needed.

I finished my laundry, changed the sheets in my bed, semi-vacuumed (mostly the kitchen) and did a half hour yoga video. I feel like I should have exercised more today in the sense of gone for a run or did a longer yoga video. Running feels almost impossible these days because I'm so tired and it's muggy and hot. I'm trying to be gentle and increase the amount of yoga in my life. Lately it's been hardly any exercise so now it's slowly increasing how often. I know things will get easier and I won't be so tired or unmotivated forever. But it is a daily struggle. I enjoy my walks in the afternoon and I try to be active during the day (like taking the stairs whenever I can). Little things add up. And if you feel tired on your days off and you frequently fall asleep. Your body is telling you something. I'm trying to listen without judging myself.

Anyways then I made pizza! Whole wheat dough, cheddar cheese, mushrooms, bell peppers, and an egg. I ate the rest of the peppers that didn't fit on the pizza…aka a lot because I always buy extra veggies. It turned out amazing! However the first egg cracked on the floor. Fail. But this was delicious!! The cornmeal I added to the crust added a delicious crunch.

Now I'm finishing an episode of The Tudors before showering and reading in bed. Tomorrow is a new day. And I'm taking with me the motto of my yoga video: accept where you are without judgement. I am still adjusting and still learning. I am a work in progress. Gentle movement. Gentle words.

Birthdays: A Dietitian’s Perspective

I always wish people a delicious day on their birthday. It's a day to savor life and everything that brings you joy. For me that often includes all the delicious food and wine. And I'm a twin so it often means being with the other half.

Saturday started the birthday shenanigans. We got to Maine around 3 pm and snacked on chips and salsa while catching up with our parents. Then we sipped on wine and casually opened presents.

Dinner we requested to be salmon. I love salmon. We also had corn on the cob (another favorite) and rice pilaf. I made a Greek yogurt, dill, parsley and garlic sauce for the salmon. Delicious!! I had extra salmon of course.

We were going to get ice cream on the lake but the skies opened up and dumped buckets! So mom made a blueberry galette that we topped with coconut ice cream. Delicious. After dinner Dad toasted us with maple dessert wine and we spent more time talking.

In the morning I woke up early (used to that 4:30 alarm now) and decided to make Greek yogurt blueberry pancakes. I love pancakes but hate feeling hungry two hours later because of the lack of protein so I try to add yogurt and always top with peanut butter (and maple syrup). Also if you hate soggy pancakes keep the cooked ones in the oven at a low temp.

Mom and I adventures to the farmers market to pick up a few things. I found a chèvre coated in herbs de Provence and had to get it. Thanks mom! We also unwound with some yoga. Trying to get into yoga more now that the race is over.

I made a pre lunch snack since my stomach was growling and Julie went for a run. Who knew how long she'd be gone for. Something I need to mention here is just because you eat the same thing (pancakes) at the same time as other people does not mean that you will be hungry for the next meal or snack at the same time. I was hungry at 11:30. Doesn't mean I'm weird or something is wrong. Maybe my body metabolized my breakfast quicker. It's just your body talking to you. Listen to and honor your hunger. Anywho I made baguette slices topped with goat cheese and cherry tomatoes. Delicious! And then we cooked sausages and veggies on the grill.

We did a quick family hike and got our beloved Gifford ice cream before saying goodbye. The trip was wonderful but way too quick.

Julie and I got to Portsmouth and Greg had rotisserie chicken, couscous, and kale salad for us. I massaged the kale with creamy dressing and threw it all in a bowl. I wasn't super hungry but it felt good to have some nutritious food after a big bowl of ice cream. Julie and I toasted with champagne and some liquor from Iceland.

The next morning (my actual birthday) I got up at 4:15 to catch a 5am bus to Boston. I didn't sleep well but my mood changed when the bus stopped in the North End shortening my commute. Happy birthday to me.

I worked and all of my coworkers wished me a happy birthday. Definitely don't mind working on my birthday when I really like where I work and who I work with. AND my coworker made me a blueberry pie from scratch. It was gorgeous and also absolutely delicious. I couldn't put into words how much it meant to me. I even brought the leftovers home because it was that good and I would never let blueberry pie go to waste.

After work I scurried across town with all my weekend bags (and got lost once) to meet Christine for dinner. One of my coworkers recommended Barcelona a tapas and wine bar in Back Bay. It was a gorgeous place with excellent wine, food and service. I will be back.

Christine and I had a lot to celebrate. For her moving to Boston and starting a new job and for me being one year older (and hopefully wiser). We started with a flight of three wines which the waiter chose for me based on my likes. He did a fantastic job!

We then order a trip of charcuterie. Hello chorizo, goat cheese, and gooey bread! We also got two tapas: croquettes (fried potato balls-a favorite from living in Spain) and albóndigas (meatballs).

As you can see we had zero fruits or vegetables…unless wine counts. For me I can get my fruits and vegetables other days. I almost ordered the street corn but croquettes hold a place in my heart. I'll go heavy on the nutrient dense food today and save my birthday for special indulgences. Barcelona is a place to save for special occasions. I had the best time. Thank you Christine!!! I can't wait to meet you for more drinks and dinner (and maybe we should balance it out with exercise classes) now that we both live in Boston.

I am so lucky. To have a job I enjoy. To have coworkers i admire and appreciate. To have a roof over my head. To have a loving family. To have supportive, kind, and caring friends. And to have another year to look forward to all of this.

Beach 2 Beacon

I was lucky enough to get an entry to Beach to Beacon through my sister's friend Happy Fit Mama. She had a bib through Cabot and I was more than excited to accept. I did a 1-week exploratory rotation with Cabot during my dietetic internship. I am also a die hard fan of their cheese and their mission. Coops and local farms are my jam. I will always support Cabot even though I've moved to Massachusetts. Huge thank you and shoutout to Cabot for the entry! It's a race I will definitely be back to.

So Friday after work I caught a bus from Boston to Portsmouth to meet my sister. After a few trains and a bus I hopped into Julie's car for the ride to Portland. We got Panera sandwiches and plugged in a podcast (Ali On The Run). I got a turkey, avocado BLT.

We were staying with one of my best friends and her family in Cape Elizabeth. Lucky for us we didn't hit any traffic! We got to Colleen's house and spent a few hours catching up and talking about the race since we were all running. We also picked out our race outfits. My choice was easy…#willrunforcheddar duh. I tried getting Julie to wear it too!

Saturday morning we woke up at 6am and changed. I had two slices of peanut butter toast because you don't want to see me wait until late morning to eat something…I woke up hungry and prefer to run with some fuel in my belly. Carbohydrates and some protein every time.

We walked to the busses which dropped us off at the start. When I saw there was coffee I was overjoyed. Just what I needed for a little pick me up! Then we hopped in the portolet line (yes, that is equivalent to portajohn).

Colleen and I started at the 9:30 pace as that was Colleen's goal. I was running with Colleen to prove to myself I can still run even though my hip is still bothering me and my schedule is challenging. I also had been looking forward to the time to catch up with her! We haven't seen each other in a while.

The race was SO much fun. I talked the whole way, probably annoying Colleen. And took some great pictures. This was the twentieth anniversary so there was music all along the race. I loved that the crowd of runners never really thinned out so you were never alone. This kept me going. The spectators were also in abundance but Colleen was often telling them to make some noise (she's the best spectator!)

We got to the lighthouse and neared the end. I was so proud of Colleen and overjoyed to have spent the time with her even if just a quick night and a race. It was so much fun and I definitely want to race it in the future. Cape Elizabeth is gorgeous and the people (particularly Colleen's family and friends are so nice).

After the race we picked up as much free stuff as possible. I got chocolate milk, granola bars, trail mix, watermelon, sunglasses, blueberry soda (!), more sunglasses, a towel, and probably more! Oh they also had blueberries! You know I loved that!

Colleen's family had some friends over for appetizers and mimosas after the race. I'll run for mimosas almost as fast as I'll run for wine.

Julie and I hit the road to see our parents in central Maine. It's a quick overnight trip for our birthday weekend but worth it. The day has been spent snacking, catching up over wine, eating salmon (my favorite), eating blueberry galette with coconut ice cream (so good and all gone) and cuddling with dogs. That's a perfect day if you ask me.

I miss my friends and family. Moving has been a challenge for me. I love my job but I miss my people. Here's to a weekend of fun runs, being with my people (both family and friends) and delicious birthday food.

Finding Time

Self care. What does that look like to you? This week has been crazy so far. But so so good.

Monday after work I met Molly for a drink (and a half) near Downtown Crossing. We went to a random place we found which had generous pours of wine (winning!!) We could have gone to a dump and I wouldn't have cared, I just wanted to see Molls. We had a great time and her bf joined half way. Having a friend here and knowing Molly will be here
eventually makes me smile. Dinner that night was a boatload of crackers, some cheese and nuts and a peach on the train home. Cabot cheese of course because they sell it presliced now!! Thank you Cabot!!! Wasn't feeling super great after not eating many fruits or vegetables that day but it happens. Wasn't about to eat at 8pm when I got home and go to bed at 8:30.

Tuesday was another meet up after work. I met Sierra and my new roommate. We got dinner at 4:30 at Tatte Bakery, one of my new favorite places. The menu is superb and I adore the atmosphere. I got the eggplant, pesto, and feta panini on a ciabatta roll. It was gigantic and amazing. Dinner at 4:30 beats being hangry on a long commute and then eating late at 8pm. When I got home I felt energized for a two mile run before bed! If that isn't balance idk what is.

Today I left work a little later but the traffic wasn't bad. I had a big dinner of leftover spring roll bowls (can't get enough peanut sauce). I'm gone this weekend and have too much food to eat. Won't make that mistake again. But I also had some of my Milka chocolate bar because I wanted something sweet.

Tonight I asked myself what I needed for self care. Do I want to exercise? No. Do I want to run errands? No. Do I want to eat a homecooked meal, veg out with Netflix and paint my nails? Yes. The chocolate was an added bonus.

I've had bad cravings lately. I blame less sleep, a crazy schedule and less time for me. It's okay. Portions of chocolate here and there, going out to eat, having wine and then a whole lot of crackers is not going to kill me or tip the scale. This is right now. Yes meal planning and having fruit and veggies will help me stay fueled and feeling energized for work. But that doesn't me I have to eliminate chocolate or crackers or restrict myself. All foods can fit in a healthy lifestyle.

Food: Neither Good Nor Bad

There are many messages out there that make people believe certain foods are "off limits" or "bad." Furthermore, people often think dietitians only eat vegetables. Or that we are the food police. That's not the case. We make suggestions compatible with lifestyle and preferences. We advocate for all food fitting into a healthy diet.

Yes I love vegetables and appreciate all that they provide my body in terms of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. That doesn't mean I don't love other foods. Last weekend I had pizza twice. I have an extra large oreo Milka bar in my freezer. Cheese and crackers are a perfect combination and are always in my house. And the saltiness of chips gets me every time.

Yes I enjoy these foods. Not everyday and not in excess. They are still allowed in my house and in my diet, though. Because once you make a food off limits it has power over you. It takes over your thoughts. It becomes all you want and all you think about.

This morning I woke up and made French toast. It's Sunday and I value a slow morning with a delicious breakfast that (typically) includes maple syrup. I used to fear sweet breakfasts. At that time in my life I only allowed myself sweets one day a week and consequently on that day I would eat as many sweets as I could get my hands on, I had no control. The same would happen if I had maple syrup in the morning, I would crave and eat sweets all day long.

Ever since making peace with my love for sweets and allowing them when I want them I find I have more control. I know it's not the only time I can have some chocolate or maple syrup so I don't need to eat it in excess.

Life is short. Enjoy the foods you love and liberalize your diet to allow these foods. Because all foods can fit in a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle.

If you find yourself struggling with food please find a dietitian to speak with one on one.

Work Outs that Work Right Now

As I've mentioned before I'm in the midst of a big adjustment period. New job (which I love) and new location. My apartment lease doesn't start until September so I've been commuting from home. It's a lengthy commute and there is usually traffic and/or a train delay. And for these reasons and getting up at 4:30am I usually am seriously lacking motivation to workout.

When I was training for my marathon I loved running. It meant meeting friends and catching up. It meant exploring my town. It meant getting space from my homework and the job search at the time.

Now running seems impossible. The thought of running when I get home at 6pm is daunting because I'm usually annoyed from traffic and hungry. Not a good combination. The idea of running a bit after dinner is even worse because my legs are sluggish, my stomach is full, and i have to be in bed in less than an hour. I've ran a few times later and i have trouble falling asleep.

I've been feeling guilty about not running. I do enjoy it, especially when Julie is around and we can go together, but I don't enjoy it so much that I will do anything to get my run in. Most of the guilt comes from the fact that I have a 10k next weekend and I've barely run more than two miles…

The other day julie reminded me that I don't have to run. Yes I have to run the 10k because I'm signed up but I don't have to PR. I don't have to race. I can run for fun (and donuts). And all the other days I can find other ways to move. I walk 30 minutes from work to the train every afternoon. That counts. I did a half hour of yoga yesterday to stretch and unwind. That counts. I workout on weekends. That counts.

Every little bit counts. Every minute counts. I always say don't compare yourself to others but I still struggle with it. Especially being a twin. But everyday during this transition I'm reminded that I need to ask myself what is best for me right now? Is it moving easily and in a way that is not stressful? Yes. Is it forcing myself to go for a run because I feel I have to or I should? No. You do you girls and guys. Our lives are ever changing. Right now is not forever. But we do need to respect that different points of our lives are going to mean different habits. Don't let other people's habits make you feel like you should "x".

I'm working on it everyday. For now it's the exercise that feels good even if it's walking to the train. For now it's the food that I have around. Even if my only vegetable is a bag of carrots. This isn't my forever. Cue deep breath.

Brewfest 2k17

My favorite weekend of the year was this past weekend. Brewfest in Burlington, Vermont. Every year it's my favorite. Food trucks/tents, local beer and friends! What more could you want.

Friday I got lunch with a friend at Farmhouse. We could have gone anywhere and I wouldn't have cared. It wasn't about the food but more about catching up. She taught me so much and helped me immensely in my job search so I have a lot to be thankful for.

The next 24 hours was spent relaxing with my best girl, Christine. We did a little Brewfest shopping before meeting up with Rebecca for a picnic at the beach. We brought some drinks and Vietnamese food to the waterfront. It was so nice and we proceeded to talk for HOURS. The rain didn't even stop us, we just moved the party to Rebecca's house. I was exhausted but Christine insisted she was training me for Brewfest. 10:30 was way past my bedtime and I slept like a baby.

Saturday started with a quick 2.75 mile run with Christine. I'm all about moving my body in ways that feel good these days. My goal now that I'm a working girl is to have balance. Eat well when I can, cook when I can, exercise when I can and in ways that feel good. Why add extra stress when I don't have to? Anyways it was a gorgeous day. The temperature was perfect. After we made egg sandwiches and looked up FNCE stuff. Girls trip to increase our nutrition knowledge?! Count me in. Just hanging was perfect.

Then I headed to Maia and Joe's house for a BBQ. We just hung out, ate some food and caught up. And then it was Brewfest time.

We were going to hit up my favorite downtown brewery before but it was PACKED. Probably with everyone leaving the session before us. So we were just at the front of the line to get in. I didn't care!! I usually go to Brewfest with a plan of attack, but not this year.

I remember the first beer and maybe a few others. Maia and I drank the first three pretty quick. And got a temporary tattoo for good measure. But after that I was running around chatting with friends and catching up. It was a whirlwind but made me so happy to see everyone. I miss my Vermont niche a lot, but being in the city is also very exciting. I'll always go back to Vermont so I can't be too sad. Saturday night ended with creamees and late night pizza from Mr. Mikes. I can't complain. Then Maia and I snuggled Cadbury.

Sunday morning I did get a bit teary eyed driving home. It's just been a big change. But a good change. I got home and my extended family was at my house. It felt so good to have other people in the house with me. Fell asleep with a smile on my face after that weekend.