Going steady…

Food relationships are a funny thing. Everyone has one because everyone needs to eat to live but they vary from person to person. (As, I suppose, all relationships do…)  Some people don’t think twice about what they put in their mouth and others obsess over it. Some only eat ORGANIC while others are sustained on fast-food alone. There are millions of food blogs, videos, tips and tricks on why, how and what to eat (The Veg Voyage itself is definitely food focused) but, in the end, it’s up to each individual to figure out their food relationship.

Today, I have a healthier food relationship than I did in the past but I still think about food a lot more than the average person does… (based scientifically on my own personal pool of friends, of course;) Not only do I think about food a lot but I love reading and writing about it. Those articles that have celebrities list what they eat in a day? I love those… And you don’t even have to be famous for me to care about what you eat! Who knows about What I Ate Wednesday?! (Though, the fact that this exists, does bring me comfort since it means what other people eat is, in fact, interesting to other people.) There are also these videos on YouTube where people record everything they ate in a day… These are pretty long (some around 20 minutes) and I usually get bored somewhere after their breakfast but … I know they are out there… so, there’s that.

For most of my life, my relationship with food was eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. I’m blessed because I’ve actually enjoyed healthy food my entire life. So, naturally preferring veggies to Big Macs (most of the time!) paired with not over-eating, left me healthy, anxiety-free and able to eat basically whatever I wanted. This way of life continued until one semester in college when I had the crazy idea to schedule my classes only twice a week instead of splitting them up over the five days. I was at school ALL day and, not wanting to be left hungry (or broke from eating out 3 meals a day, twice a week), I began planning my meals, coffee breaks and snacks. This snowballed and suddenly I was planning entire weeks’ worth of meals on Sunday evenings.

Like, every little thing I was ever going to eat.

Oh, and I don’t know if you know this buuutt… most of the time, when something is off-limits (which ALL food was UNLESS it was on my MEAL PLAN), it suddenly becomes the most desired thing you’ve ever  thought about.

So, you know, I continued my meal planning every Sunday, “cheating” most days by having a bite of something that was not part.of.the.plan., feeling bad about it, and then starting the whole thing over again.

My obsession amplified when I transferred to University where I felt out of my element. Scheduling everything I was going to eat went from an obsession to, in retrospect, how I felt … in control in a new environment.

Eventually, I broke free from my scheduling (along with not allowing myself to eat the same thing twice in a day but that’s an entirely different post…) and have mostly fallen back into the habit of eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. I can’t tell you how nice it is to let food just be food. It isn’t this constant source of worry and anxiety the way it once was. I rarely feel bad about eating anything and concentrate on balancing things out instead of making them perfect.

Because really? what is a world without Jack in the Box tacos, amirite?!

Of course, I still have my circumstance-induced moments where I can feel myself turning towards food for the comfort of schedule and stability. For example, on vacations, I get antsy when I don’t know when we will be eating next. Should I eat all of my sandwich because we are having a late dinner or 1/2 because we are getting ice cream after this? There isn’t necessarily a schedule and sometimes that stresses me out. Or, occasionally, if it’s dinnertime and we haven’t eaten, I will want to eat more for the stability on ending your day with dinner than because I am hungry.

No matter what though, everyday, I strive to make sure my relationship with food is healthy, balanced, is given proper attention and care but is not all encompassing.

Time to make dinner!

#VegOut

♡ Ashley

Mint in da house

IMG_20150723_140045I’ve discovered a new life diet hack… springs of spearmint! I am pretty good about eating healthy but sometimes, those sweet cravings hit me HARD, especially after lunch. And while I do believe in a treat now and again, a sugary dessert after lunch everyday isn’t doing anyone any favors.

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IMG_20150723_140201I have been searching for years for something to satisfy my post-meal sweet cravings (sometimes iced tea works but today I already had a ton of coffee so didn’t want more caffeine). Simultaneously, I have been on the prowl for things to do with my out of control mint plant, that is growing like a wild beast on our patio and bombarding into poor Basil’s space. And then I read that chewing a few springs is good for you! So, after lunch, when I really wanted an ice cream the size of my head, I went out and grabbed some mint leaves to plop in my mouth and yaknowWHAT? it worked. (By the way, I do realize I sound like one of those slightly annoying people who are just like yeah, I can totally have only one slice of pizza and stop there. Liiike no big deal*, at all!, but I want you to know… I DO NOT HAVE THAT TYPE OF SELF CONTROL! Please reference this post if you do not believe.)

My point? Maybe today was a good day and a mint spring was enough – who knows if chocolate and candy bars are in tomorrow’s forecast? – but I think taking it day by day, temptation by temptation, and choosing mint leaves most of the time but going for the Pazooki sometimes, is just the way it’s supposed to be!

#VegOut

♡ Ashley

PS. If anyone needs some mint, holler.

*Amy Schumer voice, anyone?

Let’s Get Physical

Yesterday I completed a 30 Day Yoga Challenge and while I think yoga is an important part of working out – for it’s restorative benefits – I think there are also many other exercises that need to be incorporated into your physical health routine.  …Many other exercises that I have neglected for the past 2 weeks. It has been a really busy May and I decided only doing yoga daily would be enough for the last 2 weeks this month. In other words, I’ve been on a body-break AKA not really working out and …indulging more that usual.

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The Last Splurge

As I write this, I’m sipping on a margarita with every intention to have a giant piece of carrot cake for dessert after dinner. Hello, sugar OVERLOAD! Hello, I just watched the documentary Fed Up (you can read about that here) and should be way more concerned about the amount of sugar I am ingesting today. But, as mentioned, I’m on a little break. So, bring on the carrot cake!

Until tomorrow.

Tomorrow I am starting a 14 day sugar detox + TEATOX. I think 1/2 way through the year is a perfect time to get back on track health wise, if you’ve fallen off the wagon. Which, let’s face it, most of us have! So? what are the rules guidelines for this revitalizing cleanse? I’m not treating the next 2 weeks as a strict carrots-and-celery-sticks-for-lunch-with-chicken-and-broccoli-for-dinner regiment because it won’t be sustainable! Instead, I am going to drink my SkinnyMint tea every morning and every other night for it’s “boasting metabolism and detoxifying” properties along with eating* healthy, whole foods and drastically limiting my sugar intake.

  • This means NO ADDED SUGAR OR SWEETS for the next 14 days
  • LIMITED alcohol (if any!)
  • And AT LEAST 2 hours of physical activity a week – yoga not included.

This is probably going to be hard for me because, although I eat pretty healthy most of the time, I am a BIG believer in balance and that means it’s okay to have a cookie or a glass of wine once in a while. These next 2 weeks won’t be about balance though… (I think it is important to note, they won’t be about deprivation either!) The next 14 days are going to be about a body-revitalization. They will be about getting things back on track, loosing some bloat, toning up, and trying to adjust to a new life style with A LOT less sugar.

I’ll be posting on a semi-regular basis with updates on how both the sugar detox and teatox are going. I hope you’ll come back and read about it!

#VegOut

♡ Ashley

*This is NOT a 300 calorie a day type thing!