Posted in CleanEats, Devotion, Encouragement, Food, FoodBlog, Foodie, Fresh, Glory, GradSchool, Healthy, Hope, Jesus, Life, Love, New, Paleo, Spiritual, TheGoodGoodLife, Whole30, WorldChanger

Even the Best Choices Can be Hard

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High School Me: Senior Pics 

I want to talk to y’all a little bit about my clean eating journey thus far, so that involves taking it way back about six (ish) years ago to when I was in high school and still living at home. My parents just decided that in the house we were going full on Paleo. They were doing a 30 day challenge at the gym they attended, so by way of them, we were too. My mom being the rule follower she was threw away EVERYTHING that was not Paleo! At this point in my life I wasn’t too affected because I worked at Domino’s, had a car, made my own money, and could thus buy my own snacks/meals. So naturally we had the “healthy” food at home, and I went on my merry way. Then, I left for college.

 

At this point, I didn’t use much dairy at home, only what I consumed outside the house. (I also knew good choices, and didn’t care) I stopped being involved in dance senior year, so the gym and physical activity was on me! I lived in a dorm on an unlimited meal plan, and ate whatever, whenever. I always knew I had issues with stress eating, and turn to food for a sense of comfort. The first semester in college challenged me in so many ways, it was rough, so I turned to what I know, food. But it wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that I started not liking who I saw in the mirror. It didn’t look like me. Food wise, I still didn’t drink milk, but I ate pretty much all the other dairy products, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, etc. I love veggies and fruits, and I had seen my family go through some pretty drastic changes diet wise, so I knew how to prepare and choose good things. I just didn’t. And when I did, all the bad things I was eating far out weighed the good.

It wasn’t until I realized that if something was going to change, it would have to start with me. That as an “adult” the person who had to tell me “NO” was me. Wow. It might seem simple y’all. But that was a conversation I had with myself that changed how the next few years would go. At that point, I was as heavy as I’d ever been. Didn’t work out much. Even if I did though, I was making myself sick with food. Binge/stress eating things. I would make myself disgusted with the amount of food I could consume. There’s even sometimes where if I ate multiples of something I’d tuck the wrappers in random places in the trash so it didn’t look like I had so many that day (3 granola bars? Hide the wrappers strategically).

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Spring 2015

I had a problem of turning to food for comfort, instead of turning to God. He got a hold of my heart and just made me realize. No amount of motivation to go to the gym would change the power that food had over my life. So I made a choice. The weight had added up so gradually over a few years! (How did they come so fast?!) Which means it was going to have to do the same thing in reverse. To truly fix my problem I didn’t need a gym (though the gym is great too). I couldn’t even get the motivation to get to the gym with the lack of energy I felt getting up each day. This is what I like to refer to as the sugar hangover. AKA all the junk you are putting into your body making you feel like junk in return! It makes that morning in bed feel like you never want it to end. I lost motivation, confidence, and self-worth. I did not like pictures, so there are few. But I knew they would be important for progress. So I dug up one for reference. This was about Spring 2015 at my heaviest, and somewhere I never want to be again.

 

IMG_3903So that brings me to last summer 2017, my two year mark. Two years of progress pictures. Some with way more obvious progress than others, and some not so much. Two years of learning about food, and how to make better choices. My hopes that year three of this journey will be the best yet! (The best is yet to come, am I right?) There have been months of weight gain, and readjusting. Weeks of bad eating, and months of iffy choices.

None the less, I have learned some important things thus far, I can control my eating habits, they do not control me. Through God all things are possible. I can maintain my weight without fluctuating up and down like crazy. And, it is not easy, but it is worth it!

This past August I started grad school, and that stress almost made me fall back into old eating habits. I noticed bad habits coming back after Christmas break with not watching was I was eating as closely. Luckily I am learning, caught it quick, and decided once and for all I’m going to stop allowing food to control me.

So that brings me to the last 9 days, and the next 21…

I’m in the beginning steps of a Whole 30 challenge. So far the meal prep it is not as hard as I thought it would be, considering a lot of the cooking habits were developed over time. The mental game is a whole different battle. Surprisingly enough, I am doing okay, and cravings for junk is at a low. When I do think about them, I just tell myself after the challenge is over, I’ll find one thing that really is worth it and treat myself. But, I know my challenge then lies ahead in the in between zone. Not strict whole 30 rules, but still clean eating. I’ve heavily considered making it a permanent life change. However, I think I have some more experimenting with foods that my body doesn’t tolerate first! It is all a trial and error process. So far though, it is Day 9, and I’m going strong. I feel good, I don’t eat near as much. I don’t get hunger pains like I used to, and I find myself not being overly hungry.

In addition, I know the time has come in this journey to health that very soon, I’m going to have to tie the exercise component to my lifestyle, and find one that sticks! I’m looking forward to the rest of 2018, and all that it can teach me about being healthy from the inside out. Being new to blogging, and Instagram stories have been fun for keeping me accountable, and sharing my love of food.

In order to live the Good Good Life, we have to start on the inside. I can’t do it alone, so I do it with God. He’s the best way maker. Follow his lead and he’ll take you along for the best ride. Do you wanna come live the Good Good Life too? I’m an open book.

P.S. Stay tuned for this summers progress. Here’s to hoping it’s the best yet!

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”

-1 Corinthians 10:31-

XOXO,

Alie

 

 

Posted in Encouragement, Food, Uncategorized

Smoothie Bowls and Sundays

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For the Smoothie: Blend all ingredients together, pour into a bowl.

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1 banana

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

Small handful of baby spinach

Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (enough to blend to whatever consistency you prefer)

Toppings:

1 kiwi sliced

A Few chunks of frozen pineapple

Chia seeds

Flax seeds – whole

A sprinkle of frozen raspberries

ENJOY!

It is really that easy!

 

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

-Psalm 37:4-

XOXO,

Alie

Posted in Encouragement, Hope, Uncategorized

Pencil in Time

Hey friends! It’s been awhile. There are so many great things I could tell you about graduate school, life etc. But I wanted actually talk a little bit about all of those, and the main thing TIME. Which most days, seems like we don’t actually have enough of!

Grad School has taught me a few things:

  • There is no more “I don’t read textbooks,” you kind of have to, too bad, so sad. Bleh.
  • They tell you not to work during grad school because holy moly, it is a job.
  • Having that said “job” is literally reading/note writing/ lecture watching/lab doing/note writing, and repeat, day in and day out.

SOOO? My question to you is what things in your life do you need to do or accomplish? (Stay with me there is a point). Let’s look at one week. Job, bills, gas, groceries, eating healthy, gym time, school/work, kids?, family? significant others? time for leisure? drive time. That is just a few of the things that some people deal with daily, not to mention the little things around the house like laundry, cleaning etc.

As of the last few weeks have progressed it became very clear this stage of my life was not going to be like undergrad. There is no more “Sure I can do this later and go out for awhile,” because it is so lengthy and important that there is no time…. or is there?

See friends, over the last couple weeks I’ve noticed, that I want to make time for fun things too, and not feel the chaos or guilt of thinking I should be studying. So I’ve been making myself wake up EARLY! OH GOSH. I know….not what you want to hear right?

Stay with me though….

We have so many roles, tasks, and things to accomplish in our daily lives. But during all of this you have to also achieve peace. Peace knowing that the King of Kings is guiding your path. That he put you here on purpose.

Waking up early, is a lot easier when you realize who you are living your life for! Sure, when my alarm goes off the first thing I think is well, I could just skip that and sleep more. But oh, when I get up, get to the gym, shower, make coffee, have my quiet time with my bible, have more coffee and get to start my day, all before 8:30! To me that is just a glimmer into my life that is to come when I take on other roles. Like wife, employee, mother. These are things that successful role models in my life, do all the time!! I used to think they were insane for getting up early. Now….I’m one of them.

I am not saying it’ll be easy. BUT, it will be worth it. Y’all…there are never any regrets you could have with getting up to make the most of your day. I challenge you to try it. And if you are struggling, just remember it is habit forming, it will take time!

Also remember to call on the Lord, and ask him for help in this. It may seem silly, but if you truly want to live your life for the Lord, let him guide, mold, and shape your habits to best glorify him! Maybe there are some he wants to clean out of you? There was some in my life.

If you’re like me this morning, and up before the sun, I hope your day is smooth sailing and full of blessing. And if you are not up that early this morning, I pray that maybe this speaks to your heart, and your need for a better routine. Find time for the things that matter, before you spend 20 years developing things that are going no where.

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” -Nehemiah 8:10b-

P.S. Here’s a picture of what beauty you get to see when you’re up before the sun!

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XOXO,

Alie

Posted in Uncategorized

It’s Not a Diet, It’s a Lifestyle

So here’s a not so little secret about me if you know literally anything about me, I love to take pictures of my food. Almost as much as I love to eat it. Though over the last five or six years my family and I have learned so much more about nutrition! I’m no expert by any means, and I can still shamelessly eat an entire bag of chips (I think it runs in the family). I’m not a huge fan of people who don’t like the dessert menu at restaurants, and I totally believe no matter how full you feel, there’s a separate place for desserts in the stomach!  However, I’m also not a fan of people who really don’t have a reality about nutrition, or who make excuses as to why they eat poorly. SO…Without further ado here’s some actual truth to regard before you talk about how healthy something is, or try to give me excuses as to why eating healthy is hard! (Because like most things in life it isn’t easy!).

Just because something is gluten-free or organic doesn’t make it automatically healthy! Shocker, I know, but y’all they have organic Doritos! Like what? No one would say that chips are really a healthy choice, unless they are buying the fancy super expensive organic chips. And in some ways I think it just makes us feel better. What we should realize is our diet should be otherwise good enough that when you want to splurge and eat chips (or fill in the blank with your go-to-snack) that you’re not worried about healthy junk food  there’s not such thing. If you’re going to eat it, go for it and don’t tell me how healthy your organic, non GMO, gluten-free chips are, please!

Calories DO NOT matter! If you are truly eating the whole foods that are good for your body, the actual number of calories you intake is not nearly as important! This is because when you’re eating fruits, veggies, meats, and nuts there are not nearly as many things outrageously high in calories. So again, those 100 calories packs of paper thin cookies that you feel like eating ten thousand of because you’re starving, pass and grab something that will have lasting energy!

Healthy food CAN and DOES taste good. PERIOD. I’m so sick and tired of the “I’m on a diet so I am eating celery and drinking a gallon of water for the entire day” nonsense! Ever heard of seasonings? Or I don’t know veggies that you actually like? If you don’t like at least one vegetable, you’re doing it wrong. Healthy food does NOT have to be boring or bland in flavor!! (Saying it loud for the people in the back)!

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Almost a weeks worth of lunches full of flavor and good stuff! All of this was made of one pan in the oven. With prep and cook time, took maybe an hour and a half!

Healthy food really isn’t more expensive. Make your food count! Do so by eating more whole foods (and no, whole pizzas don’t count…most days). It really isn’t any more expensive if you are buying it IN PLACE OF the other junk! You aren’t supposed to buy double to the food, you are supposed to CHANGE what you are buying! Shocking. I KNOW.

“I don’t have time to eat healthy or make meals” MALARKEY. Instead of buying a bunch of highly processed pre-made dinners, try cooking something in advance, or plan time to make good choices. If time is the issue, then set aside time. Y’all… what you put into your body is important. The last couple weeks I’ve needed to take my own advice on this subject! If you want healthy results it takes discipline and time. I know you don’t like to tell yourself no…but someone has to?

Realize the this is not a “Diet” it is embracing a new Lifestyle. Dieting is associated with quick fix, lose weight fast, quick fixer food. It usually has a lot of weird rules of things you can or can’t eat. Cinderella story anyone? “The Norwegian Salmon diet?” Yeah, because that’s healthy? But how many people do we know who do these weird things!? One guy came through my line buying two huge bags of juicing apples, and so I asked him if he was going to juice them? He responded with no, I’m on an apple only diet and I’ve already lost 20 pounds in four days! Um…duh, you aren’t getting any nutrition!!! Eating healthier is an active on going, choice, find the things that are worth splurging on, and the things that aren’t. Chances are, like our family, once you get good things going in your life food wise, all the junk won’t sound as good. Highly processed things will taste that way! You’ll prefer the better choices!

Most of all this was just as much of a reminder for me as hopefully it can help someone else. The last few weeks have been busy and it is easy to get off track, but we still manage to have healthy meals majority of the time. Even when I am on my own away at school cooking healthy meals was a big part of living better, being happier, and feeling proud of my semi-adult self. Your body will thank you, your hormones will thank you, and YOU will thank you! When you put good into your body, it will give you benefits threefold! Even when it is hard, push on! Do everything you do for the glory of the one who made you! Who gave you this wonderful body!

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.” -1 Corinthians 6:19-

XOXO,

Alie