My Wellness Journey

My wellness journey and how I found balance in my life.

This post has literally been in my drafts since June 2017…I could never bring myself to post it because I thought I needed to reach a specific goal first. That “goal” is arbitrary and I can still provide value even if I’m not at my “goal weight”. And you know what? I’m so over having a goal weight…

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So, in honor of my 1 year blog anniversary I thought it was fitting to share my wellness journey.

This all began senior year of high school after I had stopped cheerleading & dancing (AKA structured workouts). I didn’t know how to workout on my own and I started to gain a little weight, nothing crazy though.

I struggled with binge eating. AKA (for me) being super healthy in front of everyone during the day and snacking in a mindless state when alone.  The amount I ate was uncontrollable and shameful. I would often cry afterwords. It was a very dark time for me.

During this time I was still constantly restricting myself during the day to try and “get skinny” and then would totally over indulge and binge at night.

 

If you have ever struggled with this you know exactly what I felt. In the moment there is literally no control and after you binge you feel so much sadness and shame.

As you can imagine, this was a very draining way to live. Constantly going back in forth with restricting and binging.

So, I started to do some research on “healthy foods” so I could maybe eat like a normal person. Such a foreign concept at that point! From there on I was obsessed with learning about what foods did for your body and the benefits they provided.

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Flash-forward…In college I was one who ordered a salad at the pizza joint. Yep, that girl.

Sometimes (and this is horrible) I would even tell my friends I couldn’t hang out with them or go somewhere because I didn’t feel comfortable with the food options that would be available. I was “happy” to stay home by myself and make my little salad with chicken. Sorry I was so anti social roomies.

At this point I was so obsessed with my weight and tracking every single thing I ate. Hello My Fitness Pal. (BOOO!!)

My senior year of college is when I decided enough was enough. I just didn’t have the mental capacity to keep up with all of the food rules that I had made for myself and keeping tabs on every single thing I ate.

From there I kinda swung in the completely opposite direction, which was exactly what I needed. I allowed myself to eat without guilt and let me tell you, I did.

After a while I realized I was satisfied not restricting but I also still wanted be the healthiest version of myself.

Finding true balance was a challenge. I wanted so desperately to be healthy but also not be too extreme as to restrict myself again.

I found true love and happiness in eating healthy foods.

When I keep in mind what the foods I’m putting into my body are doing for me, I am satisfied eating my healthy foods and not feeling restricted at the same time.

So here’s where I am now…

I am happy with the balance I’ve created in my life. I no longer feel the pressure of saying, “no” to the dessert at a dinner party. If I want that cupcake, I’m going to have it!!

Balance to me means making healthy choices the majority of the time and when you do want to indulge, you don’t feel guilty. Trust me, this wasn’t an easy place to get to but I am so grateful for my strength to make it here.

Another thing that has helped with this balance is making healthier versions of comfort foods. Now I love making healthy tacos, Simple Mills pancakes and zucchini noodles instead of pasta. I find joy in cooking healthy food for myself and my husband!

My wellness journey isn’t over and I’m still trying to find the foods that work best for my body but how I think about food is SO different now, which is huge for me.

Thanks for following along with A Dash Of nutMeg for the past year, I look forward to sharing more for a long time to come with you guys!

 

ILY,

nutMeg

 

P.S. If you haven’t seen my IG Giveaway, check it out here.

 

My Thoughts On Spin Classes

If you knew me a year ago, you’d know for sure that I was a spin bunny. I had just moved to ATL and was getting into the fitness scene here. There is a spin studio within walking distance of my apartment, so perfect. I feel in love with spin in college because it was the one class offered at my gym that actually made me sweat and push myself, so I had to keep up my habit post grad.

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I really did think that the more I went, the skinnier I would be. You see all of these runners & avid spinners who are thin, I thought I could look like that too. (WTF- Looking back I know my body type just isn’t built that way)

After a few months I started branching out to different studios and switching up my workouts a little bit more, cutting back on spin. Although, I would feel SO guilty if I didn’t get spin in twice a week.

I started working with a personal trainer after being fed up about not getting results for myself. After talking to her about my current workout routine, she told me that too much cardio like spin actually is working against me. My mind was blown. UGH. We work on building muscle because my ultimate goal is to have a toned and strong body (not skinny). By doing so many spin classes, I’m actually burning off that muscle I worked so hard to build. RIP!! 

So, now I do one class a week so I can get my spin fix and to sweat out a ton! Not to say I’m not doing cardio anymore, but just not spin where I burn 500 calories each time multiple times a week.

Everyone is different and this is what is working for me and my goals, so take this advice with a grain of salt. Just because you see someone doing a certain workout or eating a certain way on IG, doesn’t mean it’ll work for you!

 

 

ILY,

nutMeg

Why I Write “The Morning Pages”

Why I Started “The Morning Pages”

My morning routine is sacred. It is by far my favorite part of the day. Wake up, open the blinds, workout, get ready and have some alone time before the craziness begins. Now my morning routine, no matter what, includes The Morning Pages.

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This idea comes from the book The Artist’s Way, which admittedly I have not read. The Morning Pages are three pages of stream of consciousness writing. Every. Single. Morning.

They don’t have to be organized in any way, or about a specific topic. They are more of a brain dump. I’ve always been a journal-er but in the past it was just a way for me to express my personal feelings, not to spark ideas.

Meant to inspire creativity and move through a block, I think The Morning Pages can be beneficial for everyone. It is kinda like thinking through your day before actually jump in.

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The first day I wasn’t really sure where the writing exercise would bring me and I kinda just wrote a stream of consciousness about how I was feeling that day. Through the next couple of days I got more used to writing the three pages and found I was inspiring myself. I thought of blog ideas, worked through feelings and gave myself props for what I had accomplished and that felt good. I really make an effort to to be negative when writing them to start my day on the right foot.IMG_3070.jpg

Now I can’t go a day without The Morning Pages. I am a habits driven person for sure which keeps me accountable. I like a structure, ok?

Only one rule: Write three pages every day.

I challenge you to try it and see what ideas spark!

 

ILY,

nutMeg

Up Your Snacking Game

It’s time to up your snacking game!

I recently partnered with Wasa to try out their new Gluten free crisp breads and I wanted you guys to know that all opinions are my own! I’d never want to lead you down the wrong (or not tasty) path.

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Anyways–I’ve mentioned before that I’m a recovering snack-aholic but sometimes I just need a crunch. My favorite snacks are simple, delicious and healthy. I mean can you ask for more?

What I love about Wasa is that the crackers are a blank canvas and are the perfect vehicle for adding fun toppings. Here are 3 different snack options I came up with:

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  1. Tuna
    1. Mix tuna with spicy brown mustard & Primal Kitchen mayo
    2. Top with cherry tomatoes
  2. Honey + Fruit
    1. Drizzle honey
    2. Top with your fav fruit of the moment
  3. Hummas
    1. I used Hope hummus but just spread your fav on top

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My fav was the honey and strawberries. What a PERFECT summer snack!

I can’t wait to try more of their flavors because these were so good! Sometimes gluten free can taste like cardboard, not gonna lie, but I really liked these. I’ll definitely be sharing these recipes with my friends at some summer parties we have coming up.

Check your local Whole Foods or Publix to pick them up! I’d love to see what recipe creations you came up with too 🙂

 

ILY,

nutMeg

How To Grocery Shop

I’ve been getting some questions on how I grocery shop, what to look for and how to know which items in the store are actually healthy.

There are a lot of products out there that are labeled as “healthy” but are filled with added sugar and a million fake ingredients just to keep the calories or fat down.

I have a few tricks up my sleeve for when I grocery shop and I’m excited to share them with you!

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It’s all about the ingredients

OMG I cannot express this more! This is my #1 tip for buying food. If you go to your cabinet right now and check the labels you will be shocked how many products have added sugar (although could be read as corn syrup, dextrose, maltodextrin and a ton of other sneaky scientific names). My go- to rule is if I cannot pronounce something in the ingredients or if there is sugar in the ingredient list, I put it back. This will change the way you shop!

For example- one day I decided to look at the ingredient list of the pasta sauce that I liked. Low and behold….sugar was in the ingredients. It’s beyond me as to why pasta sauce need sugar. So from then on I decided to literally check everything because you never know!

Shop the perimeter

When I shop I stick to the outside perimeter of the store. That’s your produce, meat, dairy. The produce section is where you should be spending the majority of your time and what the majority of your cart should consist of.

Of course you’ll have to venture into the isles for certain things. Siete tortilla chips, almond butter, the pasta sauce. But, don’t casually stroll up and down every isle, make a plan, grab what you need and get out of there! This tip is also a huge time saver.

Go with a game-plan

I always make a grocery list. I stick to my list about 90%… if there is a new product I want to try out or if I forget something I’ll pick it up, of course.

The way I craft my list is by first going through the things I get every week, eggs, salad mix, Rx bars etc. Might sound dumb but I like to write that stuff down. From there I will add the ingredients I need for the recipes I’ve chosen for the week (usually 2 or 3 recipes).

If you guys want me to write a post on how I pick recipes online let me know!

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When in doubt, stick to whole foods

Something I’ve been trying to incorporate recently is snacking on fruits & veggies and less processed snacks. So, in the store I’m always trying new veggies for snacks. So far my favs have been celery, baby carrots, oranges and zucchini. My June intention was actually to stop snacking so damn much. It’s truly my downfall! I can proudly say my snacking has way improved with this tip & some self control.

Carry reusable bags

It’s 2018 people, using reusable bags should be the norm. Instead of using 20+ plastic bags every week, I take 4-5 reusable bags with me. I keep them in my car so I’m always prepared.

I actually got reusable produce bags for Christmas last year and I’m obsessed. I take the reusable bag thing a step further and use cloth bags for my fruits and veggies.

 

Grocery shopping should be a priority for you if you want to live a healthy life or make a change. The food you have in your pantry & fridge is vital!! It’s up to you to choose healthy things to stock your home and buy good ingredients for recipes.

 

What are some of your pantry staples? Let a girl know!

 

ILY,

nutMeg

My Favorite Summer Dinner Recipe

You guys know I’m all about trying new recipes and taking all the recipes I find online and “health-ifying” them! New word? I think yes!

Anyways…since gaining a husband, one of the many benefits is living with a master chef and eating more food cooked on the grill. There is nothing like the the crispness you get from the grill! In our relationship I pick the recipes, he grills and we both help to cook. #Goals

I really should learn to grill it myself…maybe one day. HA!

There’s something about grilling out by the pool, sipping on a cold kombucha (or beer sometimes) with friends that just screams summer!

P.S. Today is the first day of summer!!! YAY!

This recipe is a full meal that is perfect for summer nights! Enjoy 🙂

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Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken + Zucchini + Sweet Potato 

Prep: 5 & 1/2 hours (Marinade time included) Cook Time: 35 mins

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup honey mustard
  • 1/4 cup local honey
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 4 Zuchinni
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • Avocado oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & pepper
  • Onion powder

Directions:

  1. Marinate the chicken for about 5 hours with honey mustard, honey, and 2 Tbsp lemon juice.
  2. Once it’s closer to dinner time–Cut peppers and onion into strips and toss in avocado oil. Set aside for the grill
  3. Perp the zucchini by cutting ends, cutting down the middle (see pic below) and chop. Place them in a mixing bowl.
  4. Toss the zucchini with 2 Tbsp of avocado oil, S&P and nutritional yeast. Place an even layer on a baking sheet.
  5. Dice sweet potatoes and toss them in 3 Tbsp of avocado oil, S&P and onion powder. Place on an even layer on baking sheet.
  6. Bake zucchini and potatoes at 350 for 35 mins while you run to the grill.
  7. Head to the grill and place everything on. Chicken should be on for about 5 minutes on each side depending on the thickness.
  8. Once you’re back from the grill, pull the zucchini out and broil the potatoes for a few mins until crispy.

 

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Place peppers directly on the grill.

 

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How to cut the zucchini.

Hope you enjoy this easy summer meal! Tell me what your favorite dinner is below!!

 

ILY,

nutMeg

Summer Sun Safety Tips

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This time of year we all LOVE to be outside and feel the warmth on our skin. I’m with you, sister. But…staying safe in the summer is so important. The sun is dangerous, can cause cancer and age you! No thanks!

Not sure about you but I’ve been on the anti-wrinkle train recently. Yes, I’m only 23 but it’s all about prevention! I want to prevent sun damage while I can before it come irreversible. Make sense? I want to be a milf one day…is that so much to ask?

Now that summer is upon us I’ve got a few summer sun safety tips to use everyday or on your summer vacay.

  • Avoid the Sun (duh)

There are a few layers to this one. On the day-to-day I try my best to avoid the sun by walking in the shade, sitting in the shade while on my lunch break outside, and wearing sunglasses as much as I can. Small pockets of time add up when it comes to sun exposure. Just be conscious of avoiding the sun can help to make this change.

  • Daily Facial Sunscreen

I am so not a fan of liquid sunscreens that go on before makeup. I feel like they make me so oily and my foundation just slips off. I found this and I can just brush it on top of  my makeup. It goes on clear for me so I kinda think of it as a setting powder. In the summer this is a daily necessity.

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  • SPF in Makeup

Skip a step and get a foundation with SPF! Just be careful if you’re going to use flash photography. I use this brand!

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  • Good Sunscreen Brands

We’re getting specific here. Recently my friend introduced me to the brand Alba. Not only is it good for sensitive skin, it’s vegetarian, made without sulfates and coral reef safe! Perfect for all your summer get aways. It’s important to me to use natural brands in my beauty routine as much as I can and this includes sunscreen. I will be purchasing shortly!!

 

  • After Sun Care

So let’s say you do end up getting a sun burn this summer. Bummer! This homemade after sun lotion is so soothing and will help with the pain and irritation. But let’s try and avoid that with the above tips, ok?

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Stay after out there this summer!!

 

ILY,

nutMeg