Bento Box Lunches 

Open bento box with spoonSurprising no one, I am still trying to lose weight. Hey, why not make that my comeback post?!

I’m tired of being hard on myself. It’s a struggle for me, trying to be positive. I easily slide into negative thoughts about my weight, self worth, what others think of me. Soooooo pointless.

Last month I went to Cabo (actually, I will post pictures soon, it was so pretty!) and I realized that I freaking love cheese plates and snacks. You know what snacks are? Reasonable portions for actual meals! I don’t know if I am some kind of super weirdo for not realizing this sooner (see?!? I’m being negative again! Gah!), but suddenly my brain said “hey, just put snack food together for a meal, and you’ll feel like you’re splurging”.

I bought this adorable bento box, and I think it was money well spent. I have so much fun packing my lunches.

Open bento box

(Veggie wrap, cucumber, quinoa salad, plum)

Closed bento box
(Water crackers, hummus, feta, plum, tomato, and Field Roast)

Do you have any diet tips that are actually fun? Have you tried a bento box?

Jillian

 

Weigh In Wednesday- Starting Over

ugh This is my “I know how ridiculous I am, I just don’t know what to do about it- so sue me” face.

I have no motivation to lose weight. Last week I pre-empted Weigh In Wednesday for the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge. I wasn’t exactly sad, as I had no real update.

What I do have, is buckets of body shaming that I pour upon myself.

Here is the only step I can truly say I have taken and kept up on the last few weeks- walking more. I have a fitbit, and I have been getting more motivated to step it up 🙂 Anyone else who has a fitbit should let me know so we can compete!

Riley got out of the house the other day and I had to run after her. I absolutely could not hack it. I am so out of shape. I never got the personal trainer that I swore I needed, but I did research it last night.

The community center that is half a mile from my house offers six sessions for $210! I am definitely calling today on my lunch break, and I will post an update once I do- since I clearly can’t get myself together!

I know that is the first step and I’m so mad at myself for not taking it. Today is the day that I will stop apologizing and start doing.

Jillian

No One Ever Asks Someone Why They Eat Meat

veggie wingsI try not to make my food choices a huge deal in daily life. I make my choices for myself, and I expect others to do the same. I don’t bring up that I’m a vegetarian, but people notice when you don’t eat meat.

There are all sorts of questions that come up, but they all seem to fall in a few categories: “WHAT DO YOU EAT?!” “Don’t you miss meat?” “Can I eat this hamburger in front of you?”

Let’s start with what I eat. I made battered cauliflower with hot sauce and vegan yogurt to eat during the super bowl. Veggie and delicious! I find plenty to eat, always. I’m trying to lose 50 pounds. It’s not a problem, trust me… Here are some things that I eat often, in no particular order: oatmeal, smoothies, pasta, Indian food, french fries, soup, chocolate, fruit, veggies, bread, meat substitutes, hummus. Obviously some of my choices are smarter than others. I find that being a vegetarian is limiting in some ways, but I actually eat a much more diverse diet overall than I ever did before. It has made me more creative and more willing to try new things. I do not ever worry about protein. There is literally protein in nearly every food.

Do I miss meat? The short answer is an honest no, not at all. I know that not every vegetarian feels this way. My mom tells stories about how I hardly ever wanted to eat meat, and gave her no end of headaches over it. I never had a favorite meat based meal, not really. I’ve always been more into side dishes, sauces, and desserts. You know what I do miss? Marshmallows! I miss them more than anything else. I have found a few brands of vegan marshmallows, and my life is now complete again. I also miss not having to worry about what is in every single thing that I eat.

As for the last- I do not care at all if people eat meat in front of me. I don’t like that my choices make other people uncomfortable, and I wish it didn’t have to be that way. I want everyone to understand that they can be comfortable around me! I think that maybe people ask me this so often because they don’t like to see what I’m eating? I get a lot of comments about things like kale smoothies at my desk 🙂 I will say, I really don’t like to see people chew on bones. However, that grossed me out in my pre-vegetarian days, and my omnivore sister feels the same way; so maybe it’s not just me.

I think it’s strange that everyone wants to know why I don’t eat meat, but no one ever asks someone why they do. I suppose it’s because my way was a conscious choice, that evolved throughout my whole life. I’m going against the grain, but it feels like the only natural way to me.

What do y’all think about going against the grain? Sometimes it puts you on the offense, but it’s worth it. Minimalism, vegetarianism, bold fashion- it doesn’t matter. I think it’s worth it!

Jillian

Am I the Only One Addicted to Magazines?

Magazine AddictionOnce upon a time, there was a preteen girl that wasn’t allowed to read magazines. They were a waste of money. Even if they were free, they were usually not appropriate for a preteen girl. A few years later that girl grew up and had her own money.

For a while, the magazines still seemed like a waste of money. $4.95?! You have to be kidding. That doesn’t even make sense! It takes an hour to read the thing and then I pass it on to a friend! Absurd.

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Eventually I figured out that subscriptions are much less expensive. I started with just one subscription. I loved reading Cosmopolitan every month (by the way, this was in my 20s. I now completely see why my mom didn’t want me reading this stuff as a kid. Some of it is shocking!). Reading magazines feels decadent to me. This may be because they were such a novelty growing up, but I think part of it is how much I value the written word. I read every article, cover to cover. I dream over the fashion, pretty make-up, sculpted bodies, and general gorgeousness. I dream of living in a big city and writing for a magazine. I picture glamour, but I’m sure it’s really all the Devil Wears Prada style grunt work.

Here’s where it got me in trouble. With sites like Groupon, I can get a subscription for a year for $5. Somehow magazines are just a trigger point for me. Every time I see a deal on one, I want to buy it. One time I figured out I had 13 magazine subscriptions! This year I meant to cut down to three, but somehow I still have everything pictured above coming to my house. I can’t completely figure out why I love them so much, but I do. I do know that part of it is holding them in my hands. I had a subscription on my iPad once and never once read it. I worry that the physical written word is going away. Newspapers and magazines are disappearing. Even textbooks are going digital. That makes it all the more precious to me.

My current breakdown:

  1. Women’s Running– best running magazine ever. For women by women, so empowering and inspirational. I decided to only renew one of my running magazines, and it was this one.
  2. Runner’s World– great articles and advice. I wanted both running magazines when I was training for a marathon (that I never ran- another post for another time). Side note, I have tried Running Times and found it so dry and more for coaches. Does anyone else feel the same way?
  3. O– I think Oprah is the best for general interest. She’s so relatable, and has great content on budgeting, fashion, beauty, current events, etc. It’s always something new. This has been a keeper for me for many years.
  4. Marie Claire– I didn’t renew this one, but then a friend gifted me with a subscription. I actually had missed it, so I am glad she’s an enabler! I like their fashion spreads and columns.
  5. Vegetarian Times– this was a killer deal. I love to read their recipes, and it makes me happy that they are catering to vegetarians. However, I’ve only actually made one recipe, so I probably shouldn’t renew?
  6. House Beautiful– this was another $5 subscription. We just moved and I thought it would be really fun to look through these, but I have two and actually haven’t looked at one yet.
  7. Lucky– I was planning on Lucky being my only fashion magazine this year. I’ve loved it in the past because they actually feature affordable pieces, but I’m finding this isn’t as true as it used to be (I just subscribed after not reading for a few years). Is this my imagination? I still like it, but I think I should only have one fashion subscription. Can I have two?

I am terrible at minimalism when it comes to magazines. I don’t keep them when I’m done with them. I do my best to give them to someone else to read, or recycle them. Still, it’s definitely consumption. Can anyone help me narrow it down? What is a reasonable amount? What are your favorites?

Jillian

How to Make an Easy to Choke Down Green Smoothie

green smoothiesI love the idea of green smoothies. Low calorie breakfast or snack, get a bunch of veggies- it’s a great deal. However, when I first started, some of the recipes I tried were just SO bad. I think it’s something you need to work up to. The first thing I did was buy a six pack of 16 ounce mason jars. Having cute jars to easily bring them with me and make several at a time made it much easier.

I also have an amazing blender. I wanted to get the Vitamix like all the other cool bloggers, but holy wow is that thing expensive. I found the Oster VERSA (Amazon affiliate link, if you purchase this I will get a small commission) to be a great alternative. It was about $200 when I bought it, but Amazon has sales all the time. The one I linked to is the low profile, which is better for short girls like myself. This is a big blender and if I had bought the regular version I think I might need a footstool! This blender is tough enough to pulverize the greens, and has been a trooper so far. I’ve burnt out the motors of blenders before, so I know that I need something strong!

Here is my basic smoothie recipe that I find to be a) simple b) if not delicious, tolerable. This recipe makes two 16 ounce smoothies, give or take a little. I use organic produce whenever possible.

  • two large handfuls of greens (spinach may be the easiest to start with- other ideas are collards, chard, kale, lettuce, or cilantro)
  • one small banana
  • one cup frozen fruit (I usually do strawberries or peaches)
  • 12 ounces of water
  • (optional) 2 Tablespoons ground flax seed for omega 3s

Throw it all in the blender until pureed and pour into jars. They will keep for two-three days, but I try to drink them the day of (or the next day, since I try to do prep the night before for a day’s food to take to work). Another thing that I have trouble with regarding green smoothies is texture. If the thick texture bothers you, just add more water. When I first started drinking them, making the consistency more like juice really helped me get used to it. If you want to drink them every day, switch up the fruit and the greens to get a better variety of nutrients. I always put in the banana for sweetness, but that is optional as well. The fruit is really only to make it taste good.

Note: if you buy a bunch of greens, then find a few days later that you didn’t get as into smoothies as you thought, you can wash and freeze them! I didn’t realize this at first and wasted some veggies, but you can freeze them to save for later and just throw them in the blender frozen. This tip was great for me, because I’m no longer afraid to buy the greens and possibly waste them.

Enjoy- let me know if you try it!

Jillian

DayQuil = 93 Calories?!?

dayquilYou all are NOT going to believe this. DayQuil has 93 calories per dose! I was entering my calories on Sparkpeople, and someone had it entered as zero. I knew that couldn’t be right, so I Googled it. All sources say it’s 93 calories! How is that okay?! Poor sick me just wants to feel better, and a shot of DayQuil is almost the same as a shot of vodka! I have pictured to the right two snacks that have fewer calories than a dose of DayQuil. Yikes! I would switch to the capsules, but they are gelatin which is not vegetarian. Does anyone have any awesome alternatives for me? This is insanity. Beware of the DayQuil conspiracy!

Jillian