Monday, May 4, 2015

Motivational Monday



Last week I started running to prepare for a 5k, and it can be easy to get discouraged, but every time I go run I feel a little better, and I almost always take time off my run. You don't have to be the fastest, run the farthest, or be the strongest, just set your goal to do better than the last time. 

-Shayla

SLENDER

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Craving Killers: Hummus Meals

So last week I posted about Spinach Hummus (if you missed that post you can find it here) and today I'm going to share two complimentary meals that go well with it, you can it them separately, or serve them as a meal and a side. 

Green Salad Dressing

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep time: 10 minutes

You'll need:
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • 1 Roma Tomato
  • 4-6 Mini Bell Peppers
  • 1/2 Cucumber
  • 1/4 Cup Diced Mushrooms
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons of Spinach Hummus (or as desired)

Put together your salad. I suggested some things that you can use, but always remember that the beautiful thing about salads is that any veggies can go together, so feel free to put whatever you want on it. :)

Mix your hummus with the lemon juice, as this will make it thinner and easier to mix. Put on your salad and enjoy! I also will add minced garlic sometimes, or a little bit of salt. It depends on what consistency you like. I personally don't like runny hummus, so I leave it a little thick. 

Rice and Hummus (Sorry, couldn't think of anything more original at the moment)

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes

You will need:


Cook the rice, normal brown rice is healthier for you, so not using instant is better but you can if you like. If you have an InstaPot, cooking time is 8 minutes or so, if you don't, then 30 minutes with a rice-cooker. 

Warm the Spinach Hummus for about 1 minute until it's softened and reached a sauce like consistency (again you can add a little more lemon juice or water as a thinner). Serve on top of rice and enjoy! This is one of my favorite meals...it might be the rice lover within me, so I have to make just one serving of it or I'll totally stuff my face with it. 

(Take note, the picture shows regular hummus, so don't worry when the Spinach Hummus ends up being a paler green).

Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 1 Report

So, I've decided that I need to really tighten up the way I eat and exercise, so I'm doing Dr. Fuhrman's cleansing program which consists of eating lots of fruits and veggies, trying to eat at least a pound of vegetables, and a pound of steamed vegetables, and at least four fruits. No dairy, no sugar, only a cup of starch (so grains, rice, and potatoes) and no meat. I've been struggling with ice cream, my biggest weakness. It's been effecting my weight-loss goals and general lifestyle choices, so I've decided it's time to go back to the basics to get my lifestyle back under control. I've been writing up a report at the end of the week to compare how I can do better each week. So here it is!

Week 1: 4.20.15 – 4.27.15
Haha, this week was a little bit of a struggle. Monday was okay, but when I hit Tuesday I just wanted to eat, and EAT!! It was everything I could do to not go and buy ice cream. I texted Debs and she helped me out a ton. She walked me through the pros and cons of what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. I have to remember that I want to be healthier, and that I want to make better health choices. NOTE: When you struggle with something like this again, go through that text from Deb and review the lists that you put together with her.

I had a good talk with Dad and Adam about my fears with being able to break the 165lb point. They helped a lot. In essence, they both promised me that if I stick to the 12 week and if I actually do it, then I’ll break that point. My psyche still has a hard time believing them, but I owe it to myself to make good eating choices. Dad pretty much told me that I should really give my everything to this project so that I will see outstanding results. If I want to really break through, I need to exercise hard, and eat right. He’s right. I didn’t do the 6 week completely when I first got home, and I lost 20lbs doing it. [i]Now I’m at a point where I need to buckle down and be serious, because that is what it’s going to take.

Last night (the 27th) I announced in family time that I was going sugar and meat free, and that helped a lot, getting my goals out into the open. I told them I’m for sure going tell June 1st, though I’m probably going to push it past that to August 1st. I really want this to be a positive experience!

Struggles for this week: 
Breaking the sugar was hard, and when we went to eat at their cousins’ house I chose to eat cake and ice cream…BUT I only had one piece (and I didn’t let it mess with how I ate yesterday, and I haven’t eaten any of the sugar cookies Orson made!).

I eat granola bars, and need to stop, because they probably double my calorie intake, and yesterday I think that’s one of the reasons that my stomach really hurt… I want to be able to eat the foods I make without getting sick and too full…

I only ran once…

Solutions: Say no to granola bars, at least until June 1st. Because, you have one, and then two and then three…begin meal planning and make a grocery list based on that. Make garbanzo beans and such.

Keep staying firm on your decision to not eat sugar, and say no at social functions.

Run daily…even if it’s for ten minutes.

Benefits for this week: I feel skinnier in my clothes... I also did level three on the Daily Shred and I did a lot better than I thought I would. The cardio segments didn't leave me as breathless as I thought they would.

Weight as of 4.28.2015: 170lbs on the nose. 



[i] Remember that the weeks that you exercised daily, you lost 3 to 4 pounds a week!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Craving Killers: Spinach Hummus

I love how versatile hummus is! This one is especially yummy, and I eat it on everything. A fun suggestion: thin it out a little with water and then serve as a sauce with rice or pasta! (Or don't water it down, it's fine as it is. XD). I also have it as a sauce on top of my baked potatoes. It goes well with everything. :)

Spinach Hummus

Classic hummus goes deliciously green with a few handfuls of spinach thrown into the mix.
yield: ABOUT 2 CUPS

prep time: 5 MINUTES

total time: 5 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained, but reserve the liquid (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves 
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika, and then a pinch for topping, if desired.
Note: I prefer this with strong garlic. If your garlic isn't strong the flavor of the hummus will fall flat. Add just a little more based on your taste preferences, and feel free to do the same with the other seasonings. Most of the seasonings you add what the recipe suggests, and then, flavor to taste. 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add everything but the liquid from the chickpeas to the pitcher of a blender or food processor. Pulse, adding the bean liquid as needed to get things moving, until the hummus is completely smooth.
  2. Taste and add additional salt if desired.
  3. Scoop into a serving dish and sprinkle paprika if desired.
This recipe is a really good one...but I find I'm always tweaking it a little bit to get the exact flavor that I like. However, I just ordered better garlic (the last one had no taste at all) so I think that will greatly improve the consistency of the flavor. If that's the case, I'll just update the post. Meanwhile, if any of you try this and find something you like, let me know! 

- Shayla

SLENDER

Sunday, April 19, 2015

6:30 am...Gross!

When I was serving a mission we had a schedule that all missionaries in our mission were required to follow. It looked a little bit like this:

6:30 - Get up and exercise
7:00 - Shower/eat breakfast
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Studies
1:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. - Serve
9:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. - Plan for the next day/go to bed.

Now the when I went to bed at 10:30, and got up at 6:30, I had 8 hours of sleep. Now as a college student I average like 5 to 6 hours of sleep a night. So at that time I should have had plenty of sleep.

If only that were so.

I was always so tired! Partly we worked really hard all the time, and we built up a lot of fatigue. So when that alarm went off at 6:30, we both felt a little like this:

What's that sound?

Ugh...my body is dying...

Won't someone do something about that noise?!?!?

Target Identified
Needless to say, we weren't keen on getting out of bed. Even though we did, because we wanted to follow the schedule, our exercises weren't always very effective. I've learned that when I'm tired I react in an interesting way. If I'm a little exhausted I don't want to work out, just don't have the energy. But when I've had four hours of sleep, that's when I'm ready to tackle a triathlon. I have my theories, but I'm pretty sure that my rational mind dies when I get less than 5 hours of sleep...

Now that I'm at home and I don't have a specific schedule that I'm required to follow I exercise at very different times. Often I exercise in the late morning...or the late afternoon...or late at night. I've learned that I need to be awake and focused in order to go workout. I'm not that way when I've just gotten out of bed.

While it is probably more effective to start your day exercising, and people say it gives you more exercise for the day etc., but really, if that doesn't work for you, don't feel like you have to exercise then. When you can do it, and when you are happiest doing it is the best time to do it. Just as long as you do it.

-Shayla

SLENDER

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Craving Killers: Chocolate Fruit Dip (aka Chocolate Hummus)

I. Love. This. So much. Chocolate is addictive (I'll write a post about that soon enough...when I'm ready to admit it), and incredible. But this dip is perfect with any fruit. My favorite is raspberries, but I love it with bananas, apples, strawberries...anything I can get my hands on. Don't let the ingredients fool you, it tastes like chocolate, looks like chocolate, and is better than chocolate. There's no guilt, no sugar, and no dairy (also gluten free!). Perfect for me!

Chocolate Hummus


INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup almonds (walnuts are also good)
5 pitted dates (about 1 cup if you have pre-cut like me)
15-ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained (1 1/3 cups)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk (any milk works. If you buy an unsweetened/non-vanilla variety just remember to compensate by adding a little more date and vanilla)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the almonds in a food processor and process until you have almond butter, 5 or more minutes.
  2. Pour in the remaining ingredients and puree until smooth.
  3. Enjoy immediately with sliced fruit or pretzels and store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
This is best when it's cold, but good when warm too. I love this recipe! I make it all the time. 

This makes enough for about 6, with 107 calories per serving (a serving is a lot of dip), and if you add 1 cup mixed berries, that only another 70 calories. So this dessert is only 177 calories total, not bad considering how much food it is for a snack/dessert. 

Enjoy! 

-Shayla

SLENDER

Monday, April 6, 2015

Motivational Moment



The horror movie themed font was not lost on me... 

-Shayla

SLENDER

Sunday, April 5, 2015

First Time Running With Wanlass

I remember the first time that I went to run with my good friend Becca. We were both serving as missionaries for the LDS church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). It was my first time out teaching, so she was my trainer. In the end, she became my good friend and mentor.

Our days always started with exercising, and Becca was an avid runner. I would run occasionally before I met her, but more because I knew that it was an effective way to lose weight then because I actually liked it. But Becca, Becca loves running.

That first morning was especially beautiful. We had decided that we were going to run outside and get to the know the area since we were both new to the neighborhood. We had been there for about a week, but this was the first real run we were going to take.

We ran up the stairs from our basement apartment and ran into our land-lady as she was getting ready for work. Jan Scarlet was a small woman with sparkling eyes. We loved her. She had a chocolate bowl that she kept stocked just for us, and though we'd complain that she was trying to sabotage our goals, we loved it.

"Where are you headed?" She asked, glancing down at our running shorts and t-shirts.

"We're going to go running! I'm so excited!" Becca enthused.

"Oh are you?" She nodded toward the window. "Have you looked outside?"

Immediately I ran to the window. The trees were covered with a thick layer of snow, a beautiful contrast with the blossoms that covered it. The grass was covered as well, but the sidewalk, still warm from the 50 degree weather of the day before, was clear. It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen.


I looked over at Becca who had joined me at the window. Her eyes were bright, and her smile wide. I turned to Jan.

"Yep, we're going out."

And so we ran.

I didn't run very quickly, but Becca was kind enough to go slowly and we loved the snow. The air was crisp, the snow beautiful. The tree branches hung lowly, and we had to duck to keep from getting dumped on by the snow.

I started to love running that day. I still go running in the snow, but I've never gone a run that felt as magical as that one did.

Thanks for the run Becca.

-Shayla

SLENDER

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Eat Right = Love Shopping

So I've never been much of a girly girl (well except when I was young...loved dresses so much!). But when I started gaining weight, my outfits became more boyish, and I struggled with dressing stylishly. I hated shopping. I also had a hard time food shopping...I'd just buy what I wanted to eat: chocolate and hot pockets. I knew I needed to eat healthily, but I didn't know what foods. I hated shopping.

But now that I'm learning about what foods make me feel healthy and energetic, it's a lot easier to go shopping. Now that I know what I can eat it's easier to plan for meals. Now that I've lost weight, clothes shopping has become easier too. Even though I'm not at my goal weight I still feel much more comfortable in my clothes.

It's all due to eating what makes your body happy: and I don't mean what satisfies your cravings. One of my favorite quotes is "Find the way of life you love, then have the courage to live it." For me, the life I'm discovering has made me free. First my religion as a member if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints allows me to rely on my Savior, Jesus Christ. This brings me a lot of peace. Since I've been able to learn to forgive myself, I've found that I don't worry so much. That lets me focus on other things.

Second: learning to eat correctly has helped me learn how to be free of my food addictions. I've been learning that what I want isn't always what my body craves. The food I want fills me, helps me reach my fitness goals, and helps me want to exercise. The food my body wants makes me feel nauseous, keeps me tired, sabotages my health goals, and wastes my budget.

I rarely impulse buy a banana, but when I do it only costs me $1.50 (at the super expensive college store) and 90 calories (10 minutes on the treadmill), whereas when I breakdown and buy the rocky-road fudge I lose $5.50 and it has about 435 calories...40 to 50 minutes on the treadmill. It costs me a lot more, in time and money.

Some fudge now and then is fine, but every time I walk past it? Really? I don't need that. I don't like to feel like I'm not in control, and for a long time I was controlled by food. Now I'm slowly breaking free. Some days are better than others, but it's a gradual process. Yet, even though I feel like I have a long way to go, things have gotten better!


I love going to the store now. Sometimes the larges I grab are way too big, and the mediums fit just right...I love when I overestimate my size. It means I have changed more than I thought. I love trying new foods! I buy gluten free crackers, fruits and vegetables that I haven't tried before, I live on Pinterest, it is a great resource for new recipes.

Some days shopping is still stressful, but now I'm coming to enjoy it more and more, because now I know what I want, and I'm not fighting all the chocolate that surrounds me. I've already said no, and I stick to it. :)

Change one aspect of your life for the better, and the whole of your life will get better. Seeing that in your life is the coolest thing!

- Shayla

SLENDER

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Here's the Dish: Potato Hash

Here's one of my favorite home recipes. Proof that veggies are meant to be together! This is a child of boredom, but was well worth it...I make this almost daily. Super cheap, and is fast to prepare.



You will need:
1 Russet Potato

3 Mini Bell Peppers (I use the red and yellow for color)
1/2 Medium Onion
1/4 Cup Carrots

2 Mushrooms
1/2 Tomato
1/4 Avocado

2 Corn Tortillas

1 tsp Salt 
1 tsp Pepper
Seasoned salt to taste

Slice the potato and start to simmer (I use water instead of oil). The thinner you slice it, the faster it will cook. Let it simmer on the stove while you prep the onions, peppers, and carrots. 


Slice the onions into strips and chop the carrots and peppers. When your potatoes are cooked about half way add the veggies.


(You may need to add more water to keep the veggies from sticking, but don't add too much or you'll boil instead of saute)

Cut the mushrooms, tomato and avocados. When the other veggies are cooked, add the last group of veggies and let it sit for a few minutes. Add salt, pepper and seasoned salt.


Warm the tortillas.


Remove from the stove and serve! I add Tapatío to spice it up.

Enjoy!

- Shayla

SLENDER






Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Social Eating: How Do We Fight It?

When you follow this kind of lifestyle you quickly learn where your pitfalls are. I don't struggle bringing home ice-cream, and when I go shopping I only buy things that fit my diet. But my pitfall is social eating. I have friends, and we all love food, and we all love eating together. So we go out, we order pizza, we make cookies...etc.. And there seems to be no way to avoid it. Especially now that we're at the end of the semester it's easy to justify binging on sugar and sweets to "combat stress". Even though I know full well that the sugar and white flour makes me more stressed.


So how can we fight it? Here are a couple things that I've come up with:
  • Eat your food with them! 
    • Have an cooking party! I was with a friend of mine and we were talking about our latest binge (baking cookies for a bake sale...with plenty left over and pizza to balance it all out). She looked over a me and said "I love cooking together, but lets do something a little healthier next time." So we're starting to cook actual meals together. Let them know that your food is yummy! Let them into your world.  
  • Share your goals.
    • Let people know what you're aiming for. They tend to be more supportive if you ask for help and support. Make it a team effort, and let them share your victories with you (just try not to celebrate with ice cream). I've learned that I need to be careful about how I talk about my diet, because I don't want to be preachy. But I'm learning that this change is hard if you're too antisocial. Look for help and support, and be willing to accept it. 
  • Leave if you have to.
    • Now nobody wants to be this person...but sometimes it's necessary. If you can't say no, and you've said hi to who you need to say hi to, get out of dodge! It's not always the funnest of options, but then again, being sick isn't a fun option either. So if it's worth it to you, then excuse yourself and go somewhere where you won't be tempted. 
Just a reminder: if you slip up, don't worry about it. This is something that takes adjusting to, and takes a lot of trial and error. Dr. Fuhrman has a 90-10 rule, where 90% of what you eat is healthy, and 10% can be whatever. So a little slip up every now and again isn't going to destroy anything, and having a planned day where you can eat your favorite binge foods if alright, just keep it to that assigned day or time. Because it's when we start losing control of what we eat that we get in trouble. 

These are things that I've done, but what have you found to be helpful? I'd love to hear your ideas!

-Shayla

SLENDER

Monday, March 30, 2015

Motivational Monday

Motivational Monday: Because it doesn't have to be the hardest day of the week.


I'm enjoying today, I really am. Last week I ran 2 miles in 26 minutes which is my fastest time, and then when we did our bake sale for class this past week we reached our goal of $200. That felt really good. We had to work super hard, but it all went well. :)

If I've learned anything, it's that you win a lot more often when you keep on trying. I'm so grateful for the help of those people in my life who have inspired me to keep working at it.

I hope your Monday is a fabulous one!

-Shayla

SLENDER

Monday, March 23, 2015

Motivational Monday


Who says geeks can't be fit? This is enough motivation for me to run any day. :)


Whoot!! Today has been fabulous! Why do you ask? Many little victories for a morning when I don't have to go anywhere.

  • I was out of bed before 10 a.m. (9:30 to be precise)
  • I exercised for an hour with 40 minutes of cardio! 
  • My laundry is in the dryer
  • I'm set for the bake sale this weekend
  • And I've found a fabulous recipe for a chocolate fruit dip that I think is my new favorite dessert!
Overall, a very productive day so far.

-Shayla

SLENDER

Sunday, March 22, 2015

I'll Never Go Back

I've been struggling on and off the past couple weeks as I've been trying to learn how to deal with stress in school. It's hard sometimes, working through the late night studies, trying to stay awake and fighting food cravings at the same time. Often I don't succeed and then I get grumpy and a little depressed about not being "strong".

But then Thursday after a particularly hard fall in my eating goals, it hit me. Even though I wasn't doing so well now, I was still light-years ahead of the way of life that I followed even six months ago. That compared to then, my failures now are few and little. Then it hit me: I've weighed 193 pounds. I will never weigh that much again. I've weighed 175 pounds. Never again. And I am bound and determined that by the end of April I'll say "I've weighed 165 pounds. Never again."

Every pound I lose, every ice cream I don't eat, every time I try to be true to helping my body be healthy, I win. Gaining ground is rough, but so is gaining weight. I'd rather gain ground. And it's all worth it, because I've promised myself that I'll never go back. Not ever.


You got this folks!

-Shayla

SLENDER

Friday, March 20, 2015

Warmer Weather

Well folks it's a beautiful time to be in Rexburg Idaho...it's almost 60 degrees, the sun is out and everyone is running! It's so much fun to see all these people getting out and exercising. It's pretty inspiring to me.

I'm always like:

Other Runners:                                                           Me:


Every time I see somebody running up the hill to the temple I mentally think: You can do this! Whoot! Go! I know what it's like to be that runner, and as someone who generally sticks to treadmills, kudos out to all those who make the effort to go brave the bumps campus has to offer.

So remember. There are times when you're out there running and you feel like everyone is watching you...and then you feel super self-conscious because you're sweaty and gross, and just a little too aware about the sweat-lines. But more often than not, people see you and are cheering you on! They know it's hard, and they're impressed that you're doing it. No judging.

Good work exercisers! Keep working, and just because you have a slow day, that doesn't mean you have to give up on the rest of the week!

-Shayla

SLENDER



Monday, March 16, 2015

Motivational Monday

So when we talk about being healthy and getting in shape there's always a lot of emphasis on the importance of exercising and eating healthily. Now these are key elements, don't get me wrong, but it's also important to be happy. When you're happy it's easier to work out, it's easier to take care of yourself. 

Something I love doing is singing, and last night I went with a couple friends and we sang Peter, Paul and Mary songs for hours....my geek heart was content. It's the next morning but I still feel happy because of it, and even though I have a ton I need to do today, I feel like I can do it!

So keep plugging on with whatever makes you happy. If it's music, sing it! If it's a book, read it! If  it's running, pound it out! We can't let our crazy lives rob us of the simple things that makes life enjoyable. 

And now, for today's (mostly unrelated) Motivational Meme:


I don't know what it is, but this makes me laugh every time I see this...

Have a fabulous day folks!

-Shayla

SLENDER

Monday, March 9, 2015

Motivational Monday

So February was an interesting month...filled with homework, grandparent visiting and lifestyle-committing. I've been running, biking, riding an elliptical (ellipticizing?) and working on my goal to weigh 158lbs by the beginning of April. I feel like I'm on track to doing it! Today I got on the scale pre-breakfast/eating/drinking and found that I'm down to 163 lbs!! This means:

1. That I've lost 30 lbs in 9 months
2. I'm only 5 lbs away from reaching my goal! I'm almost there!

So needless to say, I'm feeling good on a Monday!




When I reach my goal I'm going outfit shopping.

-Shayla
 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Defeating Your Dragons

Here's a post from my business blog. Though it's specifically written towards that audience the principles apply here as well. 

There are a lot of things that make being a entrepreneur difficult. The main challenge that I want to discuss today, is our dragons (our personal terrors), and how we can turn them from this:



To this:

What are our dragons? Quite simply, they are anything within our natures that hold us back. For some it's greed, for others it's pride. We all have little things that we need to improve. 

And if you think you can get away with just ignoring this fearsome beast here's a little quote for you. "If you refuse to face this dragon, it will keep turning up in the oddest of places, at the worst of times" (A Field Guide for the Hero's Journey, Jeff Sandefer). You know that old pair of jeans you love? And you just can't get rid of them? Well compare them to this little "problem" you have. Now say these jeans have gotten pretty worn, and you've realized that along the seam it's starting to wear. But you keep wearing the jeans. You know it's there, you know it's a weakness. But you love those jeans! Then one fateful day something happens (you eat one too many eclairs, try to jump a fence, raid a jail. etc,) and they rip, right down the seams, and if that's not bad enough, with your luck you finally got that date with Jimmy Breaker like you wanted. Talk about the worst of times...

So before we get to that date we need to get rid of the jeans. And that means we need to go through the closet. 

There are three steps:

1. Take some quality think time for yourself. If you aren't comfortable sitting without yourself in the silence, it's probably about time for you to have a chat with yourself. Be kind but firm, bring paper and pen. While it may be rough initially, you'll feel relieved once it's done. 

2. Create a plan. Write out goals. Your plans should be specific and meaningful. You want these to work, so create them with that end in mind (so you're going to have to be honest with yourself). 

3. Keep going. We need to keep going and working at it. There's nothing that we can do perfectly from the get go. So you're going to fall down on your face a couple times, and you're going to have to stand back up. But you will win when you stand up one more time than you've fallen down. 

Keep up your hard work, and don't give up! Turn your Smaugs into Puffs, and your ratty jeans into Liz Claibornes. You've got this.  

But enough of me, what are some things that you used to defeat your dragons? 

- Shayla

Monday, January 26, 2015

You Didn't Learn to Walk Without Falling Down

Sometimes there are struggles and trials that come with trying to eat healthily, and sometimes they are hard to get through. Take for instance when your entire apartment decides that they don't have enough chocolate in their lives and each makes brownies and/or cookies. Then they leave them out, ensuring everyone that if they want one, "Please, feel free!".  That was my weekend...and well you know the drill.

Your roommate makes brownies

What you see:


What it really is:


So how do we get over this? Well let me tell you, it was a rough weekend for the diet and it's a little bit of a struggle getting back on. But Igot back on! This change isn't easy, and we're going to trip every once-in-a-while. But the key is to keep trying and not give up. One of the biggest lies that we tell ourselves when we're trying to do anything is that when we fail, then we've failed and there's no going back. That's a big, fat, hairy lie!

I didn't learn to walk without falling down, I missed the toilet a couple times being potty-trained. If we were a one chance only species, I'd be a 21 yearold in a stroller wearing diapers. Well I don't know about you, but eventually I figured out the walking and potty-training thing, and now I run three miles a day and can take 4 hour road-trips without having to stop at a rest-stop.

Learning to eat healthily is the same idea. We're going to trip and fall a lot as we're figuring things out, but we get better every time. So while I did eat the brownies, I kept exercising, I kept making meals that were healthy and in the diet.

So don't give up on yourself, you can do it! One day doesn't condemn a future of healthy eating, but days of giving up on yourself will.

And in the end, you'll find you're really happier with this:


"Find the way of life you love, then have the courage to live it."
-Author Unknown

-Shayla

SLENDER



Saturday, January 17, 2015

Breakfast: I love it!

I have learned that when I don't eat in the morning I get grumpy, sleepy and headachy...which are all awful things when you're supposed to be on top of your game in your business classes! But I also have a limited time slot, so there really isn't much time to just make something that's filling and healthy. So I have my go to winter breakfast: oatmeal. 

I love it. Okay so growing up I dumped tons of sugar on it, honey, milk etc. and I'm not eating any of those things now...so what do I do? Well the substitutes that I've found not only are healthier, they're filling and add a fun variety:

Shayla's Oatmeal Delight:

1/2 cup Old Fashioned Oats (healthier than instant and usually cheaper)
1 cup water
3/4 cup assorted berries (or any fruit for that matter, but this is my favorite)
1 banana

Put your oats and water into a microwave proof bowl.

Heat for one minute, stir the oats and water, and then heat for an additional 30 seconds. Keep your eye on it, it might need a little more time, just make sure you check it every thirty seconds after the initial minute otherwise it might overflow allover your microwave. 

Remove bowl from microwave, add fruit, mix and enjoy!

I often have this as a snack too, especially if I'm up late studying and I want something sweet but not really caloric. It's also really colorful so it looks pretty. :)



Enjoy! 

-Shayla

SLENDER

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Scout Out Your Prey

So yesterday I didn't have very much for breakfast, mostly because my stomach gets upset when I'm nervous about classes and have less than 6 hours of sleep (I'll do a post about the benefits of going to bed on time one of these days). So once I had woken up and gotten through my stressful class, I was hungry. I've said it before, but I hate being hungry. Yesterday was one of those days when the fates were against me because my schedule was stacked up in such a way that I wouldn't be able to get back home until 3...and I got hungry at 10 am. Well I wasn't going to eat a full meal before lunch, mostly because (in my over-efficient mind) I had stuffed my schedule full between my two class periods. That meant I had a window at 1 pm where I could eat before the school devotional at 2. 

But I've gone restaurant hopping before. I know how this works. When I'm hungry, diet schmiet, get me everything that I can smell! Which I can guarantee is not a salad. So with this in mind, I walked through the food court on my way to the copy center. 



Me at the food court...
Now I'm fairly new to campus so while I recognized the familiar beak of Chic-fil-e and the K of Krispy Kremes, I didn't know any of the other options. So I walked through while I was too busy to impulse buy anything, but slowly enough that I could plan out what I was going to buy for lunch. 

I kind of felt like I was casing a joint, looking at all the food options, trying to find what I was looking for when TADAH!! There it was. The nice big picture of a salad, with beans, lettuce, tomatos, pico de gayo, and limes. I risked being spotted and read the description for the Caliente Salad. Everything was fine, and it had lots, and lots of veggies! Well it did have meat and cheese, but it would only be a matter of asking them to not add those and problem solved!




Did I say I hate being hungry? I hate lines almost as much. College cafeterias are packed, and I am someone who gets stressed if there's a long line, which means that I just quickly buy something and deal with the consequences. Haha, but this time I was prepared. I got the salad (they only had flour shells, not corn, sad day!) and asked if I could have extra beans instead of meat. She said yes! By the time she was done there was a beautiful, nutritarian friendly meal waiting for me. I didn't have to wait until 3 pm, and I didn't have to settle for something less than what I wanted.

So what's the principle? If you decide to eat out and you want to eat healthily, scout it out first if you can. You may have to be a little creative, but something I learned from my time working with food, if you the customer, come with specifics, you'll get what you want...as long as you're not asking for a free sandwich. 

It's not impossible to eat healthily at restaurants, you just gotta to know where to look. Generally, Chinese (sit downs are the best, though buffets have some good stuff too), Mexican and Thai places are good with veggie courses and healthy options. Burger joints are harder, but most offer salads as sides, and you can always order those. When you're ordering with veggies in mind, just make sure you ask the waiter. Just because a meal says vegetarian, doesn't mean it has veggies. Often it will have tofu and meat substitutes, true, but it may not be very veggie heavy. If your goal is lots of green, don't be afraid to ask your waiter. Their job is your satisfaction, so they'll be happy to answer any questions you have. 

Live long and eat healthy!

-Shayla


SLENDER



Monday, January 12, 2015

Slender: It's Possible

Welcome to A Complex Combination!

Let me say that this has been a adventure from the start. Back in August when I first started my journey into a nutritarian lifestyle the title "A Complex Combination" kept running through my mind. I kept feeling deep down inside of me that this was meant to be a blog label, but I could not for the life of me figure out what kind of blog it belonged to. At the time I was contemplating doing a writer's blog like I had in the past, but I wasn't feeling it. So I waited.

Then this past week I was thinking about the last five months of my life and the huge changes that I've seen, and I knew what I needed to write about. The title clicked, the idea clicked and it sat down nice and tight into my heart and made it's home there. 

I love the way I live now. It's healthy, cheap (when you have a plan), and totally doable. It gives me the key things that you need as a college student, energy, and the ability to lose weight. There's nothing worse than being around a group of guys and thinking about how you finished off that pan of brownies last night... Don't know about you, but I always feel more confident around guys (confident being, slender, attractive, witty, etc.)  after I've worked out and eaten something healthy. But the problem with both of those things are time and resources. So we're still left with the problem of being around guys all the time and feeling gross and unattractive. 

Well those days will come sometimes no matter what we do, but the reason I'm writing this blog is to prove that you can take that tricky combination of healthy and college, and not just put them together, but prove that like Wesley and Buttercup, they are meant to be!

So follow me starting tomorrow with my crazy journey through this complex combination, and show that it's possible to be happy and healthy! But we're going to do it the right way. I really don't like the word skinny (it just has too many negative connotations these days), so here, we're going to be slender. Doesn't that sound better? I think so. So remember this is what we're looking for: Satisfyingly Lean, Energetically Nimble, Doing Everything Right. Slender.

We'll get there, and we'll do it right, because we're not going back!

- Shayla