Saturday Thoughts

A couple years ago I wrote a blog post for my friend, Amanda. I wrote about how I dealt with body dysmorphia and how it affected my life.

I still struggle with this everyday on some level, and I always will. It’s not something that just disappears, but something that has changed, is my acceptance of my struggles.

And something that becomes more evident with each year is that you truly need to love yourself at every stage. It’s okay to have goals for yourself, but what’s not okay is thinking less of yourself because those goals haven’t quite been reached yet.

You can be kind to everybody you come in contact with, but the most important person you need to be kind to, is yourself.

Our purpose on this earth isn’t to be perfect, or to live under a cloud or in a society that is constantly telling us we are not good enough. Our purpose is to find our calling and pursue that with a clear mind.

Sometimes when I look in the mirror and I only see the things I don’t like, I think about who I am as a person, and the qualities that make me who I am. I focus on what I can do every day to reach my goals, both physical and emotional. I often find myself so fixated on what I ate, or what I look like in my clothes, or how much I weigh but all of that energy I use being mean to myself could be used in a different, more positive way.

This post was a little off track and with no clear reason or direction. It’s just been on my mind so I wrote it down. I hope that if anybody struggles with body image issues, body dysmorphia, eating disorders, know that you are not alone. ❤

18951244_10212394845401212_87028950283801250_n21624344_1653358738029329_500976342_n

Shan

A Month of Change

I started this blog about two years ago in an attempt to write about my fitness goals, workouts, and accomplishments. I loved doing that, but although fitness and health are huge, there is more to my life, and I want to transition this space! Between being a newlywed, being a first year teacher, moving to a new state and into a new house, working out is not the only important aspect in my life! Starting now I want to fill this space with all of the different parts of my life, and among that, how I manage to make it to the gym; which I’m still trying to figure out!!

 

So, until next weekend, I thought that I would reintroduce myself!

 

  1. On July 30, 2017 I married my best friend and high school sweetheart! The day went incredibly fast and we talk all the time about how we wish we could relive it.

DLOI3549

IMG_4035

IMG_4036

2. The day after our wedding, Cody, Sparty, my best friend, and I got into my Subaru, which was packed to the brim, and hit the road. We dropped Cody off at the airport and Amanda and I headed for Tucson. Not your typical honeymoon but I had the best time driving 1800 miles with my Maid of Honor. We drove along the coast and stopped in Eureka, Glass Beach, San Francisco, Anaheim, and Santa Monica; it was a blast!

IMG_4125IMG_4126

IMG_4155IMG_4177IMG_4234IMG_4257

3. We arrived in Tucson very early on Friday morning! We tried to get my house together (which was a disaster and completely void of any furniture).

IMG_4334

4. And last but not least, I started my new job the following Monday. I am now a 4th grade teacher here in Tucson! It was a whirl wind only having three days at the school before the kiddos arrived but I managed to get the majority of things together with the help of my coworkers!

IMG_4335

The past few weeks have been overwhelming to say the least. But it is the type of overwhelming feeling that fills my heart with gratitude.

 

Until next time!

 

Shan 🙂

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

These energy balls are something that I have been making since I was a freshmen in college and have always been my go to snack for hiking, traveling, or really just anytime of the day! I have tweaked several different recipes that I have used and created my own that I am in love with! I thought that I would share it with all of you! If you like peanut butter, you will love these. I promise.

16523305_1416454528386419_113187202_o

Ingredients:

1 Cup Peanut Butter

3 Cups Old Fashioned Oats

1/2 Cup Agave or Honey (I personally prefer agave)

1/3 Cup Flaxseed

1/3 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips

1/3 Cup Craisins

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Refrigerating is optional but it makes rolling the peanut butter mix into balls much easier!

Next, all you do is roll the mix into balls using your hands (or a cookie scooper would work too if you’ve got one!). This will be messy…You’ve been warned! Store the energy balls in the refrigerator and enjoy!

You can also add in coconut, dried cherries, almond slices, M&Ms (if you want them extra sweet!), or really anything that you think is delicous!

oatseditbowl-editpbreal-edit

I sure hope that everybody loves these as much as I do! They are a great source of energy, fats, carbs, and protein!

 

pbedit

XOXO,

Shan

 

Plant Based

img_6804I’ve always enjoyed eating healthy and exercising on a regular basis. However, this year my Fiance and I are trying a new nutrition regimen!  We have entered into the plant-based world!

Like I said, I’ve always eaten a nutrient dense diet, but I have found it hard to get in enough vegetables. Eating vegetables doesn’t come naturally, although I wish it would!

There are so many benefits to eating plant-based, it is amazing! Plant-based doesn’t necessarily mean vegetarian or vegan, it just means that the majority of your meals come from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, tubers, and whole grains while minimizing the intake of meats and dairy products and eliminating refined sugar, high processed foods, and bleached flour.

The benefits of a more plant-based and whole-food diet are endless! Just to name a few:

  1. Intake of saturated fats are reduced.
  2. Fiber intake is increased! We all know what fiber is good for, plus diets high in fiber help fight against colon cancer. Whoohoo!
  3. Eating plant-based will naturally aid in a larger consumption of vitamins and nutrients such as potassium, folate, magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and antioxidants. Potassium  aids in better muscle function,  lowers your risk of heart problems,  maintains fluid balance, and helps reduce stress levels. Folate helps with cell repair, generating red and white blood cells. Just a few benefits from some of the great vitamins and nutrients that will be consumed by eating plant based.
  4. A common misconception that people have about eating a plant-based or vegetarian diet is lacking an adequate amount of protein. However, most American’s get their protein from unhealthy sources, such as red meat. Beans, soy products, nuts, seeds, and lentils are a great source of protein!
  5. Disease prevention is a huge plus! Eating a healthy plant-based diet has been shown to prevent a number of diseases including colon cancer, breast cancer, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and more!
  6. You will find your energy to be much higher! Along with that, you will find that vitamins, such as A and E, that are being consumed from nuts and vegetables will aid in good skin health!

Sparty loves the idea of all of these benefits!

img_7526

I have loved this life-style switch and I found that I have more energy and feel better about myself in all aspects!I have found so many yummy recipes that I have enjoyed making and eating!

We’ve only got one body, let’s treat it with respect!

img_7570

XOXO,

Shan 🙂

Keep on Climbing

13161178_1029817573721752_828511951_o

Today while I was hiking, I really just kept thinking about my bed. I mean seriously. This hike kicked my butt. I was sweating within the first 10 minutes and was panting like a dog.

Halfway up, I was still thinking about being at the bottom of the mountain and eating froyo, but the closer I got to the top the better I felt. The hike was still a tough one, but I was feeling better about it with each mile.

Not to be cheesy (but I guess yeah, I’m being cheesy) this hike reminded me that life is hard. There are moments in life where you just feel defeated and you want to throw in that metaphorical towel but you can’t. While I was hiking I continued to remind myself that I was going to feel like a badass at the top, that I was thankful to be hiking with my best friend by my side, and how lucky I am to be living in such a beautiful place. While I was sweating and sounding like I was having an asthma attack, I continued to remind myself these things and when I got to the top, I was so grateful. The view was beautiful and my favourite hiking partner was right by my side.

I love hiking and always feel that the greatest views are achieved from the more strenuous hikes. I keep going back for more because I love the feeling of reaching the top and taking in everything around me.

I was reminded to appreciate the climb even when it’s hard, because once you reach the top there’s really nothing like it. Sometimes it feels like the climb will never come to an end, and that’s when you’ve really got to live in the present, take it all in, and try your best.

13161517_1029817383721771_2116877598_o13170742_1029817707055072_926733928_o13199099_1029817130388463_1829274417_o13199203_1029817683721741_1468439639_o

“I’m going to start my diet on Monday”

First, as always, I want to talk a little about what I’ve been up to! And then after that I am going to share a little thing I wrote about nutrition!

I hope that everybody had a fantastic holiday season! It’s always nice to spend time with family and recognize what’s really important in life 🙂

A couple weekends ago my main squeeze and I went and saw the Nutcracker and it was so fun! Those are some serious athletes! I can hardly do a tuck jump and those dancers are jumping all over the place for 3 hours! And they look amazing doing it!

12435577_1073741242657751_884980803_n

And I spent the last few days hanging out with my cat and reading Harry Potter! He likes to hold my page for me 😉

I did 3 merry miles with my big bro on Christmas morning!

12442906_1073741052657770_1402575657_n

 

And here is a little thing that I wrote about nutrition and diet…even though what I really wish is that my entire diet could be made up of coffee…that would make life easier 😉

12434234_1073740292657846_130475357_n

——————————————————-

There are a lot of diets out there and some people can find it overwhelming, what with all of the information buzzing around the internet. People claiming that the “Whole-30” and the “Paleo” diet are the ways to go and others claiming that a low fat diet is good because of course, “fat makes you fat.” Because that makes sense…  I’ve heard people make absurd comments about nutrition that makes me question them. Someone once said to me that you shouldn’t eat carbs because they’re bad for you…what?

Up until a couple of years ago I didn’t know much about nutrition which really put a block in my attempt to see changes with my body. Between then and now I have done a lot of research and reading and have learned quite a bit! (I am in no way a nutritionist, so all of this is just my opinion!) Whether it’s losing weight, gaining weight, building muscle, losing fat, all of it requires certain/different amounts of nutrients. Each person needs a different amount of macronutrients, which are the nutrients that the body needs in large amounts including proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Proteins and carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram and fats provide 9 calories per gram.

Fats don’t make you fat, in fact, people need a certain amount of fat every day to support certain hormone regularities within the body, especially women! Fat is a source of energy, aids in absorbing certain vitamins, and is needed for normal growth and development. The USDA says that 20%-35% of a person’s calories should come from fat. Carbohydrates are used for energy and support our bodies throughout the day and in our workouts! Protein is so important and helps build lean muscle, makes important hormones and enzymes, and gives energy to your body when carbs are not available. If a person is eating too small amount of protein then their bodies cannot build muscle, so all of the hard work that’s being done in the gym and the weights that are being lifted, will not lead to anything. Your body can only do so much with inadequate amount of protein. If a woman is trying to build muscle, or trying to just eat an adequate amount of protein, then they should be eating .8-1.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

A person can workout like a boss (heheh) but if their body is not being properly fueled then the changes they are looking for won’t happen. The term, “abs are made in the kitchen,” is 100% accurate.

For myself, eating clean makes my body feel best and I follow a certain macronutrient plan based on how many calories I burn a day and what my own fitness goals are. Besides the fact that my body feels best with clean foods, there are health benefits that can only be gained from the foods found on the perimeter of the grocery store.

There is no perfect diet for anybody. Certain things work for individuals while those same things don’t work for others. It’s important for people to research and when trying out new things trial and error is important to learn what works best for your body. I believe that the most important aspect of nutrition is finding something that you can stick with and that you enjoy, otherwise the results won’t last and the process will be un-enjoyable.

———————————————————-

I hope that everybody has a great New Years! I have some workouts that I’ve been doing that I am going to share tomorrow!!

Have a great night!

xoxo,

Shan 🙂

12463792_1073741202657755_375087688_n