Healthy Eats Week- Day 2: Lunch

Happy Tuesday! Hope you’re having a great day. (:

Today I am SO BUSY. I had summer running (ran 3 very easy miles today), then I ran to skit practice. My high school puts on a event for incoming freshmen. I am one of the leaders, and we have to put together skits. I had practice from 8-12 today.

For healthy eats week day 2 I am writing about what I am eating right now… lunch!

Perhaps my healthiest habit is lunch. (Almost) Every day, I try to have a BIG FAT SALAD. (:

I start with dark greens (baby lettuce, baby spinach, whatever we have around. Always dark though, never iceburg or similar!!)
Then I add whatever I feel like adding. Usually a red/yellow pepper, sometimes tomatoes, slivered almonds, walnuts, cheese, dried cranberries, strawberries, pretty much whatever I have lying around. 
I always top it with my Annie’s light raspberry vinaigrette dressing. My all-time favorite dressing. 
Not only does a BIG FAT SALAD pack in TONS of nutrients, it tends to keep me pretty full until my afternoon snack. Yay! (: Normally for lunch I will add a cheese stick or some chobani or crackers or Ezekiel bread or whatever for a bit more protein.
I think I’m obsessed with my Big Fat Salads. I just finished eating this one! Spinach, red pepper, almonds, and a cucumber from someone’s garden! 
That cucumber made me want to start my own garden. If I only had the time! I would love to garden and grow my own fruits and veggies when I am older. 
Tonight I have dinner at Carrabas- free! I saw a promo on facebook and signed myself and my mom up. We each get to bring a guest and try a “trio” for absolutely free. I can’t wait! Certainly not the cleanest/healthiest meal, but things like this are worth it. If I have an option, I’ll try to order the healthier option! 
After that I have Marching Band practice! We start our weekday practices tonight. 6-10pm. Then I go home quickly and get to sleep so I can wake up at 5:30 for running. 
I’ll leave you with some Tuesday funnies:
Are you busy this week? What’s your go-to lunch? 
Are you going to watch PLL tonight… Or are you going to watch it On Demand tomorrow like I am? (:
-Emily
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Healthy Eats Week- Day 1: Breakfast.

Hey everyone! Happy Monday. Where did last week even go??

First of all, I have to mention the amazing support I got from you all on my last post. I really appreciate the comments and love I got after writing that. I was really scared to share my story, but I don’t regret it. My blogging friends are the best! (:

Over the past few weeks, in my efforts to lose a bit of weight but more importantly just become healthier overall, I’ve been experimenting with some healthy “swaps” and recipes.

This week I will be sharing my latest eats and fabulous food finds. I’m calling it Healthy Eats Week because I want to. Disclaimer: These are just what I consider healthy. I’m not a nutritionist and I know “healthy” is a matter of opinion! My idea of healthy is as close to natural as possible.

Today I am going to start with breakfast! Most important meal of the day, right?? (:

I tried Sunnie’s recipe for Overnight Oats, and I think I’m in love. I have yet to buy chia seeds, but I just make it without, and even though the texture isn’t perfect without the chia seeds, it’s still delicious! I think this is a new staple in my mornings (;

I just bought these over the weekend. I LOVE homemade oatmeal. So much better than my packets! (although packets are good for quick mornings). I love that this is all natural, and I can add my own toppings. I like adding fruit, protein powder, & always vanilla and cinnamon.

New obsession: Ezekiel 4:9 bread. It has no flour, it’s made using the whole grain. I don’t know the details, but it is much better than white or even plain wheat bread. It is SO filling, and I really enjoy the taste and texture. I guess I’m weird, but the nutty taste and thicker texture really appeals to me!

My favorite thing to put on my new bread? Chocolate PB2. Pair it with fruit, and we’ve got ourselves a breakfast!

For breakfast, I tried to swap out the quicker options for more whole & natural options. I also try to eat a bit of fruit with breakfast every day. That seems to help me stay full for longer. Sometimes fruit really doesn’t appeal to me until the afternoon, so I’ll skip it.

Yesterday I had a lot of fun! I went with Andrew’s family to the Michigan dunes. 
We had fun on the mud hike. (:

What are YOUR favorite breakfasts?? Care to share any easy recipes? (:

What changes are you making to healthify your life?

Have a wonderful day.
-Emily

Quick life update: My dad finally moved out and things are better for me! However, he isn’t in a very good place right now and is extremely negative whenever I am around him. He acts terribly around my mom and constantly complains about both her and my little sister, who just wants to see my dad more. I only have to see him every other weekend, and I’m really glad all that negativity is, for the most part, out of my life. It’s been years since I have lived in a truly peaceful home and I am so thankful for having that now.

The one that’s hard to write.

Wow. I looked at my blog today and realized it’s been a full week since I posted anything. How did that happen??
Happy Monday blogging family!
I had such a busy week.

Wednesday I went to the city with two friends and Andrew. We were supposed to go to Ohio Street Beach but then this happened…

It’s the middle of July in Chicago.

It ended up being the coldest day of the summer. Literally. 

We decided to go to Dick’s Last Resort and just walk around instead.
For those of you that don’t live near Chicago, Dick’s is one of those restaurants where the waiters are rude to you on purpose. It can be a little inappropriate for younger kids, but it’s a lot of fun if you don’t take anything too seriously (;

Part of the fun is the hilarious “hats”. I don’t really have a rash, I promise.

We walked to Water Tower Place and did what all cool teenagers do: Played with Legos.

Like my best friend’s tan? Lifeguard probs.

By the river! I was totally freezing.
Ah. That picture. To you it may just be a cute picture of us, but to me it really hurts. Here’s where this post takes a bit of an unexpected turn. Let’s venture into self esteem body eating disorder land. 
When I was younger, my parents fed me really healthy food. I had all my fruits and vegetables, and rarely ate packaged foods. My mom doesn’t “do” Organic, but she always fed us plenty of “real” foods. I only had desserts on “dessert nights” (friday, saturday, and sunday) and my desserts were definitely portion controlled. I was a really lean, healthy kid. Pretty perfect childhood, actually, as far as health goes.
Then middle school came and I had the ability to buy zebra cakes at lunch. This became almost a daily thing. But I was about 100 pounds so it didn’t really matter. 
Then, right after my 13th birthday, I was diagnosed with diabetes. In short, my father screamed at me, right after my diagnosis, telling me it was all my fault because I ate so much shit. 
My sister hated me, thinking she would never be able to eat “normal” foods ever again. 
None of that ended up being true. There was nothing I could have done to prevent getting Type 1 diabetes. It was DEFINITELY not caused by my diet. My sister could eat normal foods. So could I for that matter.
I just tried to stay happy. I saw the positive in every way I could. “Well, this is something that is going to make me stronger” “This makes me unique” “My vision cleared up for two weeks!” “At least it’s me, not my sister. I used to enjoy getting shots (because of the cool band-aids, duh) and she had panic attacks at the Dr.’s office”. 
For the most part, I was okay. There were some comments at school that left me crying in the bathroom instead of in Algebra, but I really was okay. 
What wasn’t okay was my relationship with food. I was suddenly forced into eating lots of healthy, low carb foods. I didn’t eat pizza or cupcakes (hard to count carbs for). At first, it was fine. 
Then I slowly realized that diabetes didn’t mean I couldn’t eat like a normal person. 
This was the start of my binge eating disorder. 
I dealt with stress by eating “bad” foods that tasted so good. Cookies. My absolute weakness are those packages of Keebler cookies. Like the fudge stripe ones? 
I would come home from school and eat half, if not more, of a package of these. Or whatever crap was lying around the house. Obviously this wasn’t every day, but it was a lot of days. I justified it with anything. I was sad? Food. Stressed? Food. Celebrating something? Food. The first two years of high school were the worst. They sell Zebra cakes in high school too. 
I watched the number on the scale creep up. My size zero jeans got too tight, then my 1/2s, then my 3/4s… I had made a promise with myself that if that scale said anything above 120, I would lose weight. I didn’t keep that promise. I waited until it said 130 until I actually made changes to my health.
I didn’t wake up one day and decide I needed to stop fueling my body with crap and start treating my body with respect. I did, however, wake up and decide I wanted to run
It started when I asked my dad to join him on his morning health club visits. I completed the Couch to 5k program. I was hooked. Obviously (I mean look at this blog…) I love running! 
Nutrition came second to running. Slowly I made active changes in my diet in order to improve my running. I know that healthy weight loss does and will make me a faster runner. It also makes me a happy, healthier person. 
I had missed so much school this past year because I was constantly, constantly sick. Infection after infection. I have no proof, but I believe it was all caused by the lack of nutrients from a nutritious diet. 
It’s been months since I’ve had a true binge. I am so proud of that, you really have no idea. I am fixing my relationship with food one day at a time
I say a “true” binge, because I have had setbacks! I still eat ice cream, sometimes a little more than I should. I have trouble controlling my portion or what I’m eating when my blood sugar is low- but that’s because my brain isn’t working properly. At camp this year, I definitely ate terribly, but not to the point where I felt so sick like I used to.
So what did I do? I added fruits and vegetables. I read blogs and follow instagrams and I am inspired. I choose the healthier option, when there is a choice. 
I stopped eating my “trigger foods”, such as anything Little Debbie, packages of cookies, and most cereals. When I have them, it never goes well, and I’ve found that it’s easier for me just to cut these foods out. 
I still enjoy treats like ice cream and homemade goodies. I don’t eat much LESS, I just eat smarter. 
This is how I was able to conquer my terrible relationship with food. Oh it’s far from perfect. But it’s so much better. 
And now I’m trying to lose some of the pounds that I put on in the past year. I know it’s tricky for a teenager to write these things so publicly. I don’t want it to be taken the wrong way. I am doing it the healthy way. I never EVER go under 1,300 calories (what my body needs just to function) and I listen to what my body tells me the best I can. This means I’m not dropping pounds very quickly at all. This means some days I weigh more than others and that’s okay. I’m not going to get caught up in a number on the scale! I know muscle weighs more than fat. I’m just hoping to nourish my body better so that I can feel more confident in my skin. So far, I’ve been doing pretty good. I posted a progress pic on my Instagram @emilysmilesformiles. I’ve lost ~4/5 pounds so far, with lots of setbacks along the way. We will see what the future holds for me and my health (:
I think this is the longest post I’ve ever written. Hope I didn’t lose you… I am not trying to get any sympathy, or anything like that, I am merely sharing my story. If any of you are looking to clean up your diets, I’d love to hear about it!! (: 
What’s YOUR story? I’d love to hear it (or get links to your posts!) in the comments below. (:

FOOD.

Happy Monday! I love Mondays in the summer. Particularly because of the lack of school. Hehe.
I don’t know about you, but I love food. I especially love healthy food because it makes my body feel good (That doesn’t mean I don’t eat ice cream. I eat loooots of ice cream.)

Hungry Girl Mac n Cheese

I found a Hungry Girl 1-2-3 cookbook on my shelf the other day, and I’ve been experimenting with new recipes. My favorite has been the Mac & Cheese. When I was little I loved the Kraft Mac & Cheese. I would probably eat 3-4 cups just for lunch (cringe!). Now, while I still know it is delicious, I am disgusted by the chemicals and the lack of nutrition. I used this recipe with cauliflower instead of broccoli. I love that it is so much more nutritious than the old Kraft stuff (: It tastes so much better too, much creamier and “real”!

Apricot Chicken- Probably the worst picture ever. Sorry guys! 😦

I found this recipe in the same Hungry Girl cookbook. If you haven’t checked out these cookbooks, you seriously should! Especially the 1-2-3. I love how easy the recipes are. I used real apricot preserves instead of the sugar-free kind, so the nutrition information was off, but I don’t care. It was good, but I don’t think I’ll be making it much. There are other chicken recipes I like a bit more, that make the chicken more tender.

Today I tried something that I found on pinterest called a Cucumber Salad.
It reminded me of Portuguese Salad that my dad used to make. I have no idea if that’s actually a thing or just what my family called it… It was tomatoes and onions and olive oil put together and kept in the fridge.

I had a cucumber that was getting pretty dry, so I cut that up, cut up some mini tomatoes (from the farmer’s market!) and chopped up an onion. Then I used some light dressing we had in the fridge, a bit of olive oil for healthy fat, and voila!

This may be my new favorite food. 

When you put my favorite veggies in a fancy salad, I get excited. I love this stuff. And how easy is it to make??

I keep it in the fridge because it’s like 90 degrees outside and well, I like cold things.

Last food…

SKINNY POP!!

I think I’m obsessed with this stuff. A CUP FOR 39 CALORIES yes please. I have no idea if this is healthy at all but it’s not the worst thing I could eat and it’s absolutely delicious. Just the perfect amount of salt (a very little bit). Yum yum yum.

I said that was the last FOOD, no promises on drinks (;

Have you tried almond milk before?? I haven’t, but I really like this stuff! I prefer the taste over plain milk. I think it’s better for you in some ways? I had intentions to make Overnight Oats or recipes and stuff but it hasn’t happened yet. Will do.

Today I decided to stop being cheap and finally buy some protein powder. After reading some reviews, I settled on Tera’s Vanilla Whey powder. I spent all day trying to get Drugstore.com to let me use a coupon, and then gave up, and found Natural Healthy Concepts. I have never ordered from them before, so hopefully this goes well! I was able to get quite a deal with free shipping from them.

I really hope I’ll like this!

Please forgive me if this happens tonight. I found it on Pinterest and I know I’m gonna need to try it…. I’ll let you know if it’s good (;

What are your favorite recipes? Have you ever tried whey protein? What “pinned” recipes have been your favorite? (:

Update: It was not good! Don’t try it. Haha (:
~Emily

P.S. I am so proud of that pinterest widget. Hopefully you all can see it! 

WIAW #1

Sorry this is so late. I accidentally saved it as a draft instead of posting it!
I did it, guys! I actually remembered to take pictures of most of the stuff I ate yesterday. I am so proud of myself. I have the worst memory ever, no joke.
Breakfast: 
Normally, I would have a rice cake & peanut butter or 100 calorie OatFit oatmeal with almonds, but today it looked like it was about to storm, so I knew I wouldn’t be running.
I decided on a Special K breakfast sandwitch instead! Flatbread, Egg, Cheese, and Sausage. Delicious, but not-so-nutritious. It is a lot more processed than what I usually like. At least it has a good amount of protein and it keeps me full!
Lunch: 
Yum. For lunch I had the green giant Antioxidant blend of vegetables from my freezer, and a lemon pepper ChicknSteak from Market Day. Despite being all found in the freezer, it was a pretty nutritious meal. I swear I do eat fresh food sometimes, but it’s hard since I don’t have a car (or my license!) so I can’t just go to the store to get fresh food. 
I also had a piece of wheat bread with peanut butter. I needed some carbs so my blood sugar wouldn’t crash!
Snack: 
This is my personal favorite! (: I LOVE to cut up a cucumber into thin slices, then I dip them in Pico de Gallo. Healthier than Salsa& Chips, and I still get my Pico de Gallo <– my favorite food ever.
Dinner:
Wow, my life is lonely. I ate all these meals by myself! 😦 With my mom at work and my sister not liking me, I end up eating by myself a lot. Yesterday dinner was by myself because I had Marching Band, and my mom doesn’t get home until after it starts.
I had leftover Chicken Fajitas! Chicken, onion, red pepper, seasoning, and pico de gallo. (how could I not??)
Snack:
Vanilla Chobani topped with this Aldi Granola. Yum!
Not pictured: Strawberries. Kashi Granola bar. (Anyone ever had the almond mocha one?? so good)  Fruit snacks after Marching Band workout when my blood sugar was dropping. 
Oh, how could I forget? Water, lots and lots of water. Pretty much all I ever drink, besides tea & chocolate milk.
That’s a little peek into the food I eat. Boring! I promise sometimes my food is more exciting. Like the $5 date night I had with Andrew that involved this…
I had never tried Ben & Jerry’s before. I am in love! Ice cream is my favorite dessert and this stuff was by far the best of all packaged ice creams.
What is your favorite snack? Do you like Mexican food as much as I do? Have you ever tried Ben & Jerry’s?
~Emily