Balance Series #2: Finding Balance With Exercise

Healthy Exercise Relationship

The Balance Series ~ Week 2

Happy Monday! How are you guys today? Welcome back to the Balance Series! Have you been working on balancing out your relationship with food? If so, let me know how it’s going! I’d love to hear all about it. Lately I have been getting creative in the kitchen (more than usual) and trying lots of new foods and combinations. It’s fun!

This week were straying away from food a bit and talking all about exercise. I love exercise and believe that it is an extremely important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But as many of us know, exercise can become an unhealthy habit in our lives. Overexercising or overtraining is a common thing that occurs. That’s no fun, right?!

I began working out regularly in my early years of high school. I was going to the gym every day after school and I enjoyed it a lot. It was fun for me! I have stuck to regular workouts for the most part since then. But I have had a few setbacks over the years from too much working out.
I’ve encountered a few injuries that I got from overtraining and had such a tough time with them. Doctors would tell me that I needed to rest and I’d go out and run two miles. It wasn’t good for my body and left me injured longer than I would have been if I would have rested. No good!

So today we’re talking all about finding the perfect balance with exercise. Let’s get balanced!

create N plate

Setting reasonable goals.

Having goals that you want to achieve is important. No matter what your goals are, setting reasonable goals are key to success. If you are trying to follow a crazy workout plan that is not where you’re at in your fitness journey, then you’re a lot less likely to stick with it. If you have a plan that allows you to challenge yourself without overwhelming yourself, then you’re a lot more likely to follow the plan and enjoy it. It’s all about being honest with yourself and your abilities. Take a look at where your at and where you’d like to be. Then setting your goals with that in mind allows you to get strong not only in your body, but in your mind as well.

Yoga Girls

Listening and taking care of your body.

I believe that listening and taking care of your body is the most important thing that you can do and say that a lot.
Rest days are so important! If you’re following a training program or a workout guide and there’s a rest day, then I highly recommend taking it. Resting and repairing your body allows for you to build strength and use that strength mindfully.
As I’ve previously mentioned, overtraining can cause injuries and leave you worse off in the long run. That’s no fun! Active rest days are fun though and are a great way to keep yourself active and moving on those days that you’re taking off from your workout if you like to keep moving!

I also feel that if you’re hurt or sick then it’s so beneficial to take an unplanned rest day or two. Letting your body heal and repair itself is extremely important for your health. A skipped workout or two won’t hinder your progress either! If anything, it will help because you’ll be able to come back to it a lot healthier and happier within the next few days.

Fit Fam

Having fun.

I always say that working out should be fun and I truly believe that. If it’s not fun then it’s not worth doing. If you don’t enjoy running, then why run?! The same goes for any other physical activities. Finding a workout or activity that you enjoy is a great way to have fun with your workouts. Try new things until you find one that really makes you happy. It might be something completely different than what everyone else is doing and that’s totally okay! Why go to the gym if it’s something that you dread each day? If you enjoy biking while everyone else is at pilates then there’s nothing wrong with that. As long as you’re having fun, that’s all that matters!

Vegan Color Run Color Vibe Run Color Vibe Pittsburgh

Now it’s your turn to share! Are you balanced with your exercise? Do you take rest days when needed? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you!

Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake – Raw Vegan

Apple Cinnamon CheesecakeFall is very coming at rapid speed so I figured that we’d kick it into gear with a delicious cheesecake recipe. How’s that sound?! I hope it sounds good to all of you because it sounds (and tastes) great to me.

What do we have here? Well let me tell you! This is a date crust and cinnamon cheesecake topped with fresh apples. I feel like it’s something that you need to eat in the middle of a big pile of freshly raked leaves or while watching some scary movie. How fun would that be?!
This is a mini cheesecake. It’s great for those of us who don’t have many adventurous foodies in our lives. Mini cheesecakes equal more cheesecake for us but not too much cheesecake that it’s overwhelming. You could easily double this recipe if you’re serving a larger group though! Just make sure to invite me, please.

I debated on making something apple themed verses something pumpkin themed. It was a tough decision! I figured that we’d start out with an apple recipe to officially kick off Fall because there is so much talk about pumpkin lately from everyone else. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course! I just felt the need to switch it up a bit. It’s all about the apples today. Mmm!

Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake RecipeApple Cinnamon Cheesecake

serves 4-6 

Crust:
1 cup dates
1/2 cup oats

Blend together ingredients in blender or food processor. Press crust into a 6 inch parchment paper lines bowl. Set aside.

Cheesecake:
3/4 cup cashews, soaked for up to 8 hours
1/4 cup almonds, soaked for up to 8 hours
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Blend ingredients together until smooth. Pour evenly into crust. Place cheesecake in freezer for 2-3 hours to set up.

Once cheesecake has set up, make apple topping.

Apple Topping:
1 gala apple
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon molasses
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Dice apple. In a bowl combine maple syrup, molasses, and cinnamon. Add the apple and coat completely with the syrup mixture. Pour apples on top of cheesecake. Serve, enjoy!

Fall Recipe Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake

Easy Cashew Truffles – Vegan

Vegan Truffles Easy
Thursday’s mean one thing… truffle time! Okay, Thursday’s can mean a lot of things. But this particular Thursday is all about the truffles. Cashew truffles to be specific. I am a huge fan of cashews. Who isn’t though?! Hm. Should we start a cashew fan club? That would be one great club.

Anyways! I haven’t had cashews in a long while because I was all about the Raw Till 4 life. Well now that I’m no longer about that life I’m here with some celebratory truffles! They are so rich and decadent. I think I might dream about them tonight.
As always, they are so easy to make too! I made the cashew part, popped them in the freezer for a while, went and explored in the woods, and then I came back to cover them with chocolate. So easy and oh so addictive. I tried to snap pictures really quick because I wanted to eat them so bad! So you might want to make two (or three) batches of these little guys. Especially if you plan on sharing! Luckily I don’t have to.

Cashew Truffles
Cashew Truffles

makes 8-10 truffles

1 cup cashews, soaked for 8 hours or overnight
1/2 cup dates
2 tablespoons coconut sugar

Blend ingredients together until smooth. Roll out balls onto parchment paper and place into freezer for 1-2 hours.

Chocolate:
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons cacao powder
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Blend together ingredients.

Remove truffles from the freezer and cover with chocolate. Repeat 2 times. Serve, enjoy!

Chocolate Cashew Truffles

What I Ate Wednesday – Vegan Diet

Happy Wednesday guys! Welcome back to another “What I Ate Wednesday.” I have been having major technical issues today so I apologize for the not so great iPhone photos! They’re all that I could get up here tonight and I’m lucky that I was even able to get them up! Anyways, I still wanted to share with you all because I worked today and wanted to show you a working day’s worth of food. I eat about the same when I work. So it’s not too different. My job is quite laid back and I’m able to eat whenever I want for the most part. So snacking is easy! But it requires more “to-go” foods which are something that I’m not so great with. It’s all about preparation though. If you’re prepared then eating healthy at work should be quite easy!

Breakfast:

Vegan Smoothie Idea
For breakfast I had a green mango smoothie. I used to eat mangoes all the time and I wanted to rekindle my love with them this week. So good! This smoothie was bananas, spinach, coconut water, and mango. It was a perfect way to start off the morning. I usually do just banana and spinach smoothies but the mango was a great thing to add for a change!

Lunch:

Vegan Breakfast Easy

I was so excited for lunch today! Any time that I finish a jar of peanut butter that means one thing… overnight oats! I love having a bit of left over peanut butter in the jar for the oats. I mixed 1/2 cup oats with 1 cup of almond milk and some chia seeds, let it in the fridge overnight and then added blueberries and a pear to it this morning before I left for work. The easiest lunch ever! This jar is tall enough that I’m able to fit a spoon inside of it so I just screw the lid on and it’s ready to go. The best.

I did eat non gluten free oats a few days just out of curiosity to see if they would bother me. They did. I didn’t feel so great after eating them. I was interested to see how it would go though. I’ve been trying to experiment with food more to make it fun. This was a learning experience and it’s back to gluten free oats for me!

Snack:

Dried Mango Trader Joe's
I love Trader Joe’s dried mango more than any other dried fruits ever. I don’t live near a Trader Joe’s so when I go I stock up on packs of these. The cashiers probably think I’m crazy. Crazy in love with this mango. Yes. I love that it’s just mango, no additives like most dried fruits that I find. I ate about half of a pack today as a snack. It’s addictive! And so good.

Dinner:

What I ate Wednesday Vegan
I came home from work and went straight out the door for a run. So when I got home I was starving! I wanted to make something filling and this is what happened. Seasoned rice, beans, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, russet potatoes, sweet potatoes, and dijon mustard. Such a delicious bowl of goodies. I love dijon mustard and it’s also something that I haven’t had for a long time. This was a great way to reintroduce it back into my diet. As many of you know, I’m not a vegetable fan at all. But I find it very easy to eat them when I add them to bowls like this! I’m actually starting to enjoy them. (Crazy, I know.)

That’s it for today guys! What did you have to eat today? Let me know! I’d love to hear from you.

Balance Series #1: Healthy Food Relationship

The Balance Series ~ Week 1

Finding Balance With Food

Hi guys! Welcome to the Balance Series! The other day I was thinking of new things to share with you and I thought that it would be awesome to share how I’m finding balance in all areas of my life. Maybe then it’ll help you guys find a little more balance in your life too!

This will be a 4 week series consisting of four different areas in life that I believe are important to have a healthy amount of balance in and can be a struggle at times for a lot of us. Week 1 is going to be all about having a healthy relationship with food. I think that a majority of us in today’s society have struggled with our relationship with food. We’re surrounded by so many “miracle” diets, calorie counting programs, photoshopped models, and crazy expectations as to what our bodies are “supposed to” be. But none of those things contribute to a healthy relationship with food or ourselves.

Some of you are probably wondering where this Balance Series has stemmed from. Well I’m here to share that as well! I have been both gluten free and vegan for over a year now. Within that time I found happiness and balance in all areas of my life, even in areas that I didn’t know I needed improvement in. But when I began to eat more Raw Till 4 at the beginning of the year things changed. In the beginning I was fine, but in the last few months of it I became very strict with my intake and I wasn’t feeling the balance that I needed. I knew that I needed a change. I didn’t know how to go about it but slowly I started eating a “regular” gluten free vegan diet once again. All of my issues have disappeared or decreased a large amount which is why I came up with the balance series.

Let’s get balanced!

Freedom in Life
Recognizing that your relationship with food is off balance.

There are a few ways that I’m able to recognize when someone has an unhealthy relationship with food. With a large portion of my life involving food (running this blog) I am asked quite often about food related topics and have become very aware of how people react to different foods and conversations about it. A majority of people see diets as a normal thing. When you attend a cookout or party there will almost always be someone there who declines a piece of cake or shares with you that they’re on this new and amazing diet. Weight Watchers, Atkins, Nutrisystem, gluten free just for weight loss, low carb diets, the cabbage soup diet, Jenny Craig, etc. I’m sure that there are so many more but those are the only ones that I can think off currently. Anyways, we all know that diets like that aren’t something that people do for fun. They’re expensive and usually leave us feeling exhausted and moody. Yuck.
The problem with diets is that they’re not sustainable long term because they deprive you of nutrients that your body needs and they rely on a lot of processed foods. When you eat more whole plant based foods then you begin to crave less and less of the processed foods. But at the same time depriving yourself of a piece of cake at a birthday party also relates to negativity.
That’s where the balance comes into play! Life is about balance and one piece of cake every once in a while is actually good for you! When you restrict yourself of something that you’re craving, then you’ll actually end up eating more of that thing once you finally give into that craving. Doing that often leads to feelings of guilt and shame. Food should never be associated with either of those things. The constant feelings of negativity towards oneself becomes exhausting and frustrating. Once you realize that this is something that you’d like to improve in your life and that there is so much more to life than fitting into that dress or losing those extra 5 pounds, then you’ve actually done the hardest part and will continue down the path towards food balance.

Freeing

Taking the path towards food freedom.

To take the path towards food freedom there are some objects that need removed to create a clear path of success and happiness. Remove all calorie counting devices, scales, clothing that “you’ll fit into someday”, and negative people from your life. Creating a clear and positive space to focus on yourself and your happiness is so important.

The scale and calorie counting really have the potential to control a person. Isn’t that crazy?! I used to weigh myself at least once a day and my mindset for the whole entire day would be reflected upon that number. I also tracked my calories which had the same effect on me. I know that I’m not the only one who was like that either. Do we really want to live like that?! I don’t. I no longer weigh myself or count calories and haven’t for months. Realize that the extra 5 pounds that your body is carrying around isn’t the problem, the mindset that you’re set in is the problem. Becoming happy with yourself no matter what number the scale says is when everything else will fall into place.

I also find it to be so important to surround yourself with happy, positive people. If you’re surrounded by people who constantly talk negatively about themselves and judge others, then that will ultimately reflect back onto you. No one wants that! You want (and deserve) to spend your time and energy on others who bring you up and compliment your life. Find those people. They’re out there, I promise!

Proud Vegan Create N Plate
Inspiring yourself and others throughout your journey.

Staying motivated and inspired to treat yourself well is a key component to finding balance. Try new foods or a new restaurant that you’ve never been to. Order that dessert that you’ve always wanted to get. Practice eating intuitively, this book helps! Make time each day to prepare and eat your foods. Listen to your body to find out which foods make you feel great.

There are so many ways to have a healthy balanced relationship with food. Different things work for everyone. You just have to explore and figure out which ones work best for you. Drop the fear of weight gain and the unknown. Explore and make it fun!

Food Freedom

Now it’s your turn to share! Have you struggled to find balance with food? If so, how did you overcome it? I’d love to hear from you!

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