Changing Bad Habits

Changing a bad habit is no joke. It’s basically a constant struggle and forces you to evaluate and re-evaluate significantly more than is typically comfortable. For about a month, I’ve established a few healthy habits, but it has all been to no avail because I am undoing all my hard work nonstop! My chocolate addiction is out of control and I often found myself unable to stop myself. But it didn’t stop at chocolate. It was popcorn and hot chocolate and stuffed pretzels too! I was feeling absolutely terrible about myself and I was fairly miserable.

So I realized that if I wanted to make any progress, I needed to identify where I was faltering and how I could fix it. The most frequent times that I betrayed my efforts were at school (the vending machine- argh!) and on my way home from school (exhaustion coupled with the desire to reward my “efforts” and driving past 4 WaWa’s…). Not using the vending machine is simple- leave my purse with all my money in the car- or just don’t carry cash!

However- avoiding the temptation of four WaWa’s (and a Walmart) is much more difficult. I struggled and struggled week after week, day after day. My car got progressively messier- smudged chocolate and wrappers and plastic bags. So I cleaned it. This unseasonably warm weather gave me an opportunity to be out in the sunshine for more than 10 minutes without getting cranky, so I took that time to clean my car out. I vacuumed the mats, even getting under the mats, and wiped down the seats and everything else with Clorox wipes. It smelled good, it felt good, and I was quite pleased with how it all turned out. Finally- it looked like a brand new car again!

I frequently listen to the podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft. In one of the episodes, they discuss how to harness the power of change. Oftentimes when a major change occurs, that is precisely when a new habit can form (for good or bad!). For example, when you move to new house, all kinds of new habits can form: will you wear shoes in the house, how often will you vacuum, things like that. I felt like I could make the power of change work for me in this case. No, not just cleaning the car- keeping it clean. I started leasing my car in late July, so it’s still a fairly new purchase. Even though it’s been a few months since it was brand new, I decided it would be worth a shot. I felt happy and organized when my car was clean, and since I spend over two hours a day in it- it should feel like a sanctuary. Basically, my plan was to pretend like I had just bought the car again. Start fresh.

So, in an effort to curb my poor eating habits and keep my car clean- I will no longer allow eating in the car. No fast food, no stops at Wawa, not even breakfast in the morning. No food! Water, tea, a protein shake- fine. But no food!

Let’s see how this plays out and if I’m able to consciously trick myself into better habits. Do you have any tricks to change your habits? Let me know in the comments!

 

An Ode To The Pouch

A rough draft- inspired by my frustrations, failures, and fantasies.

 

This little thing is nurtured

Like a newborn babe-

Dairy and milk and cheese

And plenty of sweets

are the only thing to ease

it’s insatiable demand to be pleased.

 

It’s kept covered and safe

Like a newborn babe-

protected from the wintery cold

and sweltering sun

it remains within the folds

almost too big to hold.

 

It grows and it grows

Like an unborn pain-

It never ceases, never slows

And the dreams of a day

where it no longer shows

have become persistent, ugly foes.

A Pinterested Valentine’s Day

Hey guys!

I thought I’d post my Valentine’s Day gift for my boyfriend in case anyone needs a last minute idea! This is our third Valentine’s day together, and we don’t really have a tradition. Our first year we went out to eat and gave little gifts, last year we ate in with my parents and did no gifts, and this year we aren’t actually spending the day together. However, we are still celebrating- just on Wednesday instead!

My lovely man already gave me my gift- he paid for my ski rentals from this past weekend. It’s the most thoughtful gift he could have given me, because I was stressed about the money, and I’m trying to lose weight so a box of chocolates would increase my stress! He’s just the best and really knows me so well.

For him, I’ve been writing every single day this past year about what he has done to make me happy or make me love him that day. And also- truffles! Truffles are delicious and one of his favorite treats! This time I made them with oreos so it was chocolatey and delicious (and yes- I taste-tested to confirm!). All you do is mix a package of oreos (crushed or food processed) with a brick of slightly softened cream cheese, then form it into small balls. However, this time I molded them to flat surface (on non-stick foil) and let them harden up a bit in the fridge. Then, I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter and made them into hearts! Once they were in heart shapes, I melted white chocolate, dunked them in it so they were covered, and sprinkled with red crystal sprinkles. They came out pretty adorable!

I will say this: they are deliciously addictive, and massively sweet. Proceed with caution!

What are your Valentine’s Day plans? Do you and your bae have any traditions? Let me know in the comments!

What’s Cookin’?

Hey ya’ll!

I’ve been making a lot of new recipes lately- I’m not sure why, I suppose you could say that inspiration has struck! Or perhaps, more likely, it’s my fear of boredom during lunch. I’ve been trying to keep things new and interesting in the hopes that I won’t overeat as I’m typically prone to do! I thought I would share some of what I’ve been making… cauliflower fried rice, coconut blueberry oat squares, and baked crabcakes! I find most of my recipes online, and will give those author’s credit, as well as explaining the changes I made!

Cauliflower Fried Rice from Skinnytaste

  • Pulse about 1/2 a cauliflower head in a food processor until it is a rice-like size.
  • Heat a large pan, spray with olive oil, and cook egg mixture (2 egg whites & 1 large egg, beaten). Set aside. (note: the original recipe used sesame oil)
  • Saute 1/2 onion, 4-6 scallion whites, 2 minced garlic cloves, and any frozen veggie mix
  • Add cauliflower and cook for another 5-6 minutes, stirring and spraying with Amino Acids (in place of soy sauce- which is used in original recipe)
  • Remove from heat, add egg back, and greens from scallions.


Coconut Blueberry Oat Squares from A Saucy Kitchen

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Beat 4 large eggs in a large bowl.
  • Add 1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey!), 1/4 cup melted coconut oil, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Beat until smooth
  • Add 1 cup shredded coconut, 1 cup oats, 3 tbsp coconut flour, and 1/2 tsp salt.
  • Finally- the blueberries! Gently add in about 3/4 cup, folding the mixture instead of stirring.
  • Bake for about 40 minutes, or until it starts to become golden on top.
  • Once completely cooled, top with glaze (1 cup powdered sugar mixed with 1 tbsp lemon juice) and enjoy!


Crabcakes from The Chew

  • Preheat oven at 350°F
  • Mix together the following ingredients:
    • 1/2 lb lump crab
    • scallions (greens only)
    • lemon or lime zest (I used lemon only because there were no limes. The next time I make this, I will use lime!)
  • In a separate bowl, combine 6 tbsp mayo and 1 egg
  • Gently add the mayo and egg to the original bowl
  • Create small cakes and put on a tray (note: the original recipe suggests to put in the fridge for at least an hour, but I did not and it was fine- however, if you were planning to grill it or flip them in the cooking process, I would not ignore that step)
  • Spray with olive oil, and bake for 30 minutes
  • Broil on high for about 5 minutes, or until lightly brown/crispy on top
  • Sauce for the crabcakes: 6 tbsp mayo, 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning, 3 tsp lemon or lime juice, a few dashes of hot sauce (personal preference)

What have you been cooking lately? Let me know in the comments!

-Kass<3xo

The Bachelor

I understand that many people see Corinne as the enemy and are wondering what Nick is doing, but to them I say: be patient! Nick has fallen in love on this show twice, and at this point he knows himself, the process, and the journey better than anyone. Give him time! Sure, his actions, conversations, and looks are coming across as a bit creepy and weird, but let him have his moment. Finally people like him and want him to find love, finally he gets to not be the villain, finally he gets some positive attention! Let him have his fun; he’s endured more than his share of pain at the hands of this show.

Things will turn around for Nick. They always do. Once the number of contestants begins to whittle down (say, to 6 or 7), the seriousness of the show will increase significantly. Nick isn’t going to be messing around or wasting his time this season. We just have to be patient and wait for the fun, giddiness of the season to wear off. Corinne won’t be around forever, and he’ll find a girl who is level-headed, spunky, and passionate to fit into his life. Nick just needs some time to get over this “I’m the Bachelor” power-trip, which almost every bachelor/bachelorette goes through, before he really settles into evaluating his emotions and finding his wife!

What do you think of the season so far? Who is in your top 4? Let me know in the comments!

-Kass<3xo

Morning Workout

Hey guys!

So, as you might know, I have been attempting over and over again to get serious and focused about exercising for about 4 years now. When I got my teaching job, I knew there was no way that I could work out in the morning because I already had to wake up and leave the house between 5:45 AM and 6:00 AM. I am not a morning person.

However, last week I tried to do just that and ran 1 mile in the morning before work. Strangely enough, it wasn’t too difficult to wake up (except Thursday, when I totally slept through my workout time), and I stayed energized longer throughout the day! By the time I got home I was exhausted, but this is pretty standard for me. The good thing was that I didn’t have to fight my exhaustion to workout after a long, trying day, because I had already exercised through my sleepiness in the morning!

I’m not sure if this waking up and working out will catch up with me and make me more tired than I was before, but for now, I’m going to try to stick with it! So far, I’m just doing a mile on the treadmill (the fact that I can run a mile without stopping was shocking to me), but I hope to kick it up to longer distances the more I do it. I accompany that mile with push-ups and crunches. I’ve also kept up with my meal-prepping, which is about a miracle in itself. I just have to remind myself that an hour or so of work on Sunday will save me tons of time throughout the week, and then I am able to motivate myself to get it together, even on a lazy Sunday!

Do you have any tips waking up and working out? Let me know in the comments!

-Kass<3xo

Typing As Fast As I Can!

Yesterday was a perfect magnificent Saturday spent doing one thing I love and one thing I hate: reading and cleaning. Although I’m currently in the middle of Hollow City, I put it on pause to read Lauren Graham’s new book: Talking As Fast As I Can. And let me tell you- it was incredible! She writes from the heart and tells her story with humor, honesty, and humility. It was like 200 pages of: “Stars- they’re just like us!”

I couldn’t help but feel a pang of sadness to read the words “President Hillary Clinton,” which she admitted she was guessing about since she wrote that part in March. It was just one more reminder of how close we were to getting a woman in office. And in the face of uncertainty about healthcare, it was especially painful. And when she discussed Carrie Fisher as her inspiration and talked about her with love, I felt another pang of sadness, knowing she is no longer with us.

So there you have it: humor, normality, and sadness. But wait! She also added in quite a bit of wisdom! So, instead of gushing about how amazing she and the book are (because if you’re a fan- you know, and if you’re not- watch Gilmore Girls OR Parenthood, whichever suits you) I thought it’d be more fun to just relay some of that wisdom!

On planning, she writes: “I still find that, in general, having a plan is, well, a good plan. But when my carefully laid plan laughed at me, rather than clutch at it too tightly I just made a new one, even if it was one that didn’t immediately make sense” (23-24).

On letting go: “The me of today often reads scripts I don’t connect with, and I’ve learned not to worry about it too much. If a story doesn’t resonate with me- even if it’s a really good one, even if it’s one I wish I could be part of- I just have to accept that I probably wouldn’t be as compelling as someone else could be in the role. And it’s become fairly easy to let them go” (37).

On being fine on your own: “I was fine on my own, and so are you. But it can be hard when you feel ready for Happy Couplehood and you seem to have missed the train” (100).

On being imperfect: “I had to get out of my own way. It wasn’t that the voice in my head- the one telling me my pages weren’t good enough- went away, exactly. I just didn’t let it stop me. An important tool against self-doubt is just to ignore it. Forge ahead anyway” (135).

On empowering other women: “Let’s keep lifting each other up. It’s not lost on me that two of the biggest opportunities I’ve had to break into the next level were given to me by successful women in positions of power” (139).

Plus, the last chapter about returning to Gilmore Girls after all those years was all about gratitude and letting your emotions have their moment. She cried nearly every day about being on set and getting a second chance to be surrounded by familiar places and people and reading the Palladino’s words. It was sweet and reassuring.

And not to mention, her hilarious discussion of dieting and health and the reality that there’s no secret but to eat well and exercise!

Overall, her story was delightful, as is she as a human being. Let me know in the comments if you’ve read this, love Lauren Graham, or have any other memoir-type book recommendations!

-Kass<3xo