A couple of years ago I attempted the Whole30 and didn't succeed. I made it about halfway through and quit it. I don't remember if I got sick, just sneaked something and completely ruined it, or it was just my horrible ability to follow through on something that caused me to quit. But, I did. Today, I began Whole30 again. It's been around for a bit now and it's a big trend that many people follow. If you aren't familiar with the program, check out their website for SO MUCH information. The ground rules are: whole foods only...which means eliminating sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy, and dairy from your diet. A.k.a. taking away all the good things, most would say.
The last time I attempted Whole30, I'm not sure I was as prepared as I am this time. Although, there are still moments where I'm like, do I really want to do this or can I do this? And I'm only halfway through Day 1. But, the reality is, it's only 30 days. Breaking it down into weeks and meals makes it seem much more doable. Will it be hard? Yeah, probably. Will I miss some things? Most definitely. I love food you guys. It's not a secret. But, I also think I have a problem with food. I definitely don't eat as I should. I eat crappy 85% of the time. I eat out for MANY of my meals, which I feel leads me into spending more money. One thing many people say is that Whole30 is expensive. And while it's true that it can be, I honestly think I spend more money eating out than I do buying groceries and cooking for myself. So, why not take all that money I would use to eat out and buy things that actually help me? I will probably end up eating a lot of the same things and I won't be buying everything organic or grass-fed. I'm single and work in ministry and have student loans to pay. I don't have money to buy different aminos or flax seed everything. Meat and veggies? Possible and doable. Doesn't have to be crazy.
Also, I know that because I have it in my head to do it now, I NEED to do it now. Despite September being the start of college football weekends (Roll Tide), an out of town weekend trip, birthday celebrations, and a wedding at the end of the month. I could find an excuse for every month of the year. So, I'm stopping the excuses and I'm doing this!
My Whole30 Guidelines*:
*These are guidelines I set for myself after I read It Starts With Food. It helps me reach other personal goals, not all are actually set by Whole30.
Are you doing #Whole30September?
Have you completed it before and doing it again or is this your first attempt?
I'm up for any and all helpful tips and recipes!
There are many, many different ways that we can find rest. Some people like to be around other people, others may go for a run, or visit a museum after work. Since we are all different, we all rest and relax differently. When it comes to finding rest, here are four tips that help me.
Make it a priority | Rest may only come for a few minutes in the morning or it may not happen until everyone in the house is asleep, but I need to find moments where I can just be alone and recharge. I enjoy the quiet, especially in the mornings. I so badly want to be a morning person, because I love the start of the day as the sun starts rising, but I love sleep too! I'm the most alert in the mid/late afternoon, so, when I come home, that is typically when I rest. Then, I'll do whatever I need to do that evening, whether it be laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, or writing. But, once 10:30 gets nearer and nearer, my body knows it's time for some good rest -- sleep.
The point: find at least some time during the day where you find a little bit of rest, it's going to look different for everyone.
Break away from normal routine | This can be hard for me, because I do love a routine. I wake up, make my bed, get ready for work, drive to work (the same way every day), use the same gas station every time, come home (the same way every day), and put my shoes and bag in the same spot every day. My bed time is the same, wake up time is the same, and the way I turn on my lamp, turn off my overhead light, then turn on my box fan is the same. I am a person of routine. But, sometimes, I just have to get out of that. I'll take a longer way home or go roam Target right after work (dollar section always gets me) or I'll change what time I wake up in the morning to read whatever book is on my nightstand (right now there are about four or five). Breaking up my routine makes me look at my day differently and may help me to see a new way to find just a moment of rest.
The point: routines are not bad, but make sure rest time is included, and if it isn't, change up your routine to see where you maybe can find rest.
Do something you enjoy | I love to be alone and, thankfully, most of my friends know this and respect it (though they may not understand it). I enjoy having a day where I don't really see many people. I enjoy walking around downtown, taking pictures, and exploring. I enjoy hanging in my hammock reading until I fall asleep. But, I do also enjoy being with friends. Whether we go to the park, go kayaking, or to the movies, doing things that I enjoy helps me to rest and focus on just resting. The things that give us energy, may also help us to rest.
The point: doing something you love and enjoy should be something energizing and restful.
Get creative | Watch a movie. Paint something. Go for a walk. Pick out flowers. Write. Read a book. Listen to a podcast. Go kayaking. Go hiking. Drive somewhere. Take a nap. Go for a run. Play a video game. Take a picture adventure. Be alone. Go with friends. Cook something. Play an instrument. Go see a band. Watch Netflix. Get a cup of coffee. Draw.
The point: There is something that you enjoy doing and you aren't doing it. So do it and rest.
A few weeks ago, I tweeted about how one of the worst parts of winter for me is my dry skin. It's so bad. Between the frigid wind, cold temps, and constant hand washing at work, my skin is always dry and cracking in the winter time. I'll even try and remember to wear gloves, but that doesn't always happen. Well, one afternoon I got a tweet from Vaseline saying that they were interested in helping make winter more enjoyable for me. And I thought, why not?!
Yesterday afternoon I got to pick up a package from Vaseline. This box quickly made Monday much better and I rushed home to open it. I really was only expecting some lotion, but got so much more! First, I opened it up to find a hand-written note. Then, I discovered the rest of the goodies within the bubble wrap!
Can I just tell you how excited I am about that candle up there? I flipped out when I saw that it was Vanilla Bean. That is one of my favorite scents! I can't wait to start burning it. Now, I've tried a lot of different hand lotions and cremes to combat dry skin and I've tried to get in the routine of applying on a daily, routine basis. But, that doesn't always happen. Some cremes I've found to be too thick and some lotions not thick enough or too greasy. And then I can't pick up anything and well, that just isn't fun either. Vaseline was a brand that I've never thought to try. I've always assumed that it would be too greasy. And while I want my hands to be moisturized and soft, I don't want them to be wet. So, I was really interested to see how this would work out.
The smell is fantastic and the lotion is so smooth. I was only going to apply to my hands at first, but then I just kept going and gave my arms some love. Didn't want them to feel left out. Remember, my main thing was I thought this stuff was going to be too greasy. I was wrong.
You definitely don't need a lot, a little goes a ways, but it wasn't greasy like I was expecting. This intensive care line is supposed to have 10x the deep healing power over dryness. Although winter is almost gone and spring is around the corner, my skin is in definite need of some healing and restoration. Not only do my hands stay dry from constant washing at work, I suffer from keratosis pilaris. This is fairly common and causes rough, small acne-like patches around the body. It's more frustrating than anything, but my skin doesn't always feel the smoothest. While I don't expect this lotion to improve or rid my body of KP, I do think it will help keep my body moisturized and feeling hydrated. Definitely adding it to my daily skin routine.
Do you use any Vaseline products? What are your favorites?
Let me know down below!
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Vaseline did not pay me for this review. I was given a free sample and simply wanted to rave about it. :)
It's always fun to pass along a delicious recipe, right? I mean, who doesn't like good food? And especially when that food is of the Mexican variety. Or Greek. Or Italian. Or, well, you get the picture.
I'm not sure where or how I came across this new-to-me blog. It was either another blog or Pinterest, because that is where I spend a lot of my time. Regardless of how I did, I'm so glad I did. Damn Delicious is one of my favorite new spaces to visit. Definitely stop by her space, but fair warning, you may not want to when you are hungry, because you will want to make all the food.
Before making this recipe, I'd only had quinoa once before. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't my most favorite thing either. Then, I saw this dish and wanted to try it again. Pronto.
Quinoa, if you don't know, is a grain and what you actually eat are the seeds that come from the crop. It's gluten free, high in protein, and contains ALL 9 essential amino acids (thanks for that fun fact, Chungah)! Which makes it super popular right now in the world of little or no gluten diets. While picking up this quinoa in the grocery store, I discovered that they make different flavors. Maybe one day I will branch out and try those, but this recipe called for the plain ole quinoa. So, no branching out this time.
The other ingredients in this delicious dish are black beans, corn, enchilada sauce, green chiles, spices, and yummy cheese!
First, cook the quinoa as instructed on the package. Then, mix together the black beans, corn, sauce, chiles, the cooked quinoa, spices, and some of the cheeses in a large bowl. Pour into your casserole dish. Place in the oven and wait until it is bubbly and gooey and yummy. Serve with tomatoes and avocado on top if desired. And let's be honest, you should desire that. Sadly, my avocado's were not ripe yet, so I just went with tomato.
For MUCH better photos of this delicious Quinoa Enchilada Casserole and it's nutrition facts, visit Damn Delicious. You can find this recipe and so many more. Is it possible to pin an entire website? Because, I want to. Happy and healthy eating!
Are you a quinoa fan?
If so, what is your favorite recipe including this super grain?
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There are many reasons that people run. Here is why I started running.
Running is not only a way to get a good workout in, but it has many benefits.
No, really, It is. I never really thought that I would start running. And still wouldn't classify myself as a runner, but it's beginning to be more a part of my journey. There are mornings now where I wake up and immediately put on my workout clothes and head out the door. A couple weeks ago, I actually got all dressed up and then was greeted with the sound and sight of thunder and lightening. All dressed up and no place to run. I enjoy running because it gets me out the house, let's me get my mind off my long to-do list, and puts my focus on me. That last one might sound a little selfish, but if I actually want to continue with the changes that I've begun, I've got to focus on me and allow myself to believe I deserve this.
It's given me a goal.
Right now I'm doing my run workouts using the Couch to 5K program. It's an 8 Week program that trains you for 30 minutes, three times a week, for eight weeks. The ultimate goal is for you to be able to run for 30 minutes or 3 miles successfully. And to complete a 5K. Now, my goal right now is NOT to run a 5K. If I was thinking in that mindset, I honestly probably wouldn't finish the program. My goal IS to complete each day and each week. IF I run a 5K at the end, that's just icing on the cake. My other goal is also to obviously keep losing weight. I'm not close to my ultimate goal weight, but I like to set short term goals. So, I'm actually only 4 lbs. away from my next short term goal weight.
It's more than a resolution.
I didn't start running just because it was a new year and a new, fun, and exciting thing to do. I didn't start running because all my friends were doing it. I didn't start running because of all the sleek and slim models on the covers of magazines.
I started running because I want to change my life.
I want to keep losing weight (safely).
I want to live a more healthy lifestyle.
I want to feel better about myself.
I want to have more energy.
But, mostly I started running because my body is a temple and God has entrusted me with this temple. He didn't give me this body to waste it away. He gave me this body to take care of in the best way possible. All so I can serve Him better.
Isn't that why he created me? So that I can glorify him? Absolutely.
I am called to honor him in every aspect of my life.
Including my body.
It's more than a resolution. It's a calling.
It's a calling to be something great.
It's a calling to be the daughter He wants me to be.
It's a calling to live the life that He wants me to have.
It's a calling to be free from sin and to live in freedom.
"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."
1 Corinthians 6:18-20
Do you run? What made you want to start running? If you don't run, what is your favorite form of exercise?
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Some of the tips in this post were taken from this article here.
Fridays are my weigh-in days. The lovely weigh-in.
Every Friday, I wake up from a nice slumber and then quickly remember that I'm about to step on a scale to see a number. A number that either makes me happy with my progress or one that can quickly make me forget about exercising and eating right.
Last week, I stepped on the scale for the first time in two weeks. I only weigh on Fridays and the past two had been such busy days for me that I forgot to weigh-in. Well, I thought for sure that I had gained all my weight back! Okay, maybe not all, but I thought it was going to be close to it. See, I haven't worked out in quite a few weeks. I've only kept my diet in good terms (with a few cheat days). So, last week, I stepped on the scale and much to my surprise, I was down 3 pounds from the last time I weighed in!
It was just the encouragement that I needed. I didn't see the dreaded "7".
Dreaded 7. It used to be the dreaded 8.
Yes, I pretty much just admitted to all of the interwebs my weight.
The heaviest I remember being was somewhere in the 180s and that is when I decided to start my weight loss journey. I started toward the end of my senior year of college, but it really didn't kick start until I moved to California. While I was living in Cali, I was the most active I have ever been! Every day I was outside, running after kids, running/walking by the river, hiking every chance I got, kayaking. Not too mention my diet! Whew! I got spoiled on good foods and everything healthy at my fingertips. By the end of my ten months on the West Coast, I was down into the 160s!! THE 160s!!! No lie. That was the lowest I ever remember being in QUITE awhile. I was determined to keep that number on that scale for quite awhile until it changed to the 150s in the future.
Then, I moved back home. Back to the South with foods that are always fried and desserts full of butter. Plus, there aren't many opportunities to hike and kayak where I live in lower Alabama. I've had to work extra hard to keep looking at that "6" on Friday mornings.
Yet, this morning, when I stepped on the scale, I saw...the dreaded "7." I wasn't happy about it, but I know I'm still close to the "6." So close, friends. My goal is to get back to the weight that I was when I moved back home from Cali. And then, I'll go from there.
But guys, the dreaded 7 used to be my dreaded 8.
And that is a number that I will NEVER see again.
I am determined.
And once I see that 6 again, I am determined to never see the dreaded 7 again.
I just need some motivation.
Are you on your own weight-loss journey?
What do you use as motivation to keep going?
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Keep up with my weight loss journey on my FITNESS page.
Do you use MyFitnessPal? Friend me (jesselyse88) and let's encourage each other!
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Oh, guys. I don't know what has come over me. But, I've decided to take the challenge and allow Jillian to come into my home for the next 30 days. Yep, I finally got my hands on the 30 Day Shred DVD. So, instead of repeatedly going to YouTube and looking up her Level 1 Day 1 video, I'm going to complete (attempt) all three levels. It will probably take longer than 30 days, since I still plan to take weekends off. I'm not brave enough to post before pictures, sorry 'bout it. But, I will still be updating my fitness page weekly. Also, I'm keeping up the September Workout Calendar in case anyone sees it and wants to use it and also for the days I don't feel like doing Jillian (because I'm sure they will come).
Also, I made a grocery trip yesterday and I'm trying my hand at the whole meal prep thing. All I can say is that I have A LOT to learn. Here is a picture of some things I will be eating this week. Basically, fruits and veggies galore.
So, basically I haven't made many "meals", but I have sliced and individually bagged my snacks. It makes it a lot easier to grab and eat since they are already washed, cut, and all that jazz.
Does anyone do meal prep? Do you have any suggestions for a newbie?
Comment below or send me an e-mail.
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If you looked under my bookmarks, you would see many, MANY recipes that I have bookmarked.
So, this edition of Odds & Ends , I decided to pass along some of these yummy recipes.
Enjoy and maybe bookmark a few.
What are some recipes you are enjoying right now?
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Please excuse the silence on the airwaves the past couple of days. No, nothing exciting has been going on, I just haven't really felt like writing anything.
So, if you guys go and check out the FITNESS page, you might notice something missing. That's right, I deleted those dreadful "August Challenges". Let's face it, guys. I wasn't doing those challenges. Nope. Not. At. All. Most of the time I would forget about them and then "adjust" the dates to fit the remaining days of the month. I thought that would encourage me to keep at it. Ha.
Like everyone, I get bored in my workout routine VERY quickly. I have to do different things or else I'm not going to look forward to working out. (Did I just imply that I like working out?? Whoa.) Which can easily explain why I haven't set one foot on that darn elliptical machine in the next room. Well that, and I haven't found a new hour long show to watch while I'm on it. Any suggestions for something on NetFlix??
So, the challenges are gone. Maybe not forever, but right now I'm bored of them, so they are outta here. I've recently gotten obssessed with watching NetFlix on the big screen in the living room. And then I discovered that I could browse YouTube on this big screen as well. Well, this has to be helpful in some way, right? Yes. Let me tell you how.
Besides the hours upon hours of music videos, clips from ELLEN, and videos of giraffes being born and elephants and pandas sneezing. (You're welcome.) There are TONS of free workouts on our beloved YouTube. This week I've been discovering some new channels that have many different workouts. One day this week, I combined four different 10 minute workouts for a full 40 minute workout. I got in cardio, abs, legs, and arms. Very nice and not boring at all. Yesterday, I did a Jillian Michaels workout. For more details and the videos, check out the FITNESS page.
Okay, so I have a love-hate relationship with Jillian. She is one of those people that either you like or you can't stand her. Well, I love her. But, towards the middle of workouts there is little love to be found. Especially when she "promises" you that you aren't going to die. I beg to differ Jillian, but I dare not tell you that, because it will cost me 30 more of everything. I'll just breath and push through the pain. Or lay on the floor. Most likely the latter.
Well, since I've been on this good streak of working out this week and not being bored with it, I decided to keep it going for today. And I thought another Jillian video would be fun and challenging. This time her Yoga Meltdown video, which I have done before. Well, it was challenging, but there was no fun to be found.
Honesty time? I started the video ready to conquer 25 minutes of some yoga. After the warm-up and maybe 2 minutes of the actual workout I stopped the video and said not today! There are different reasons for this. I'll only give you a couple. One, I'm still feeling the workout from yesterday. (Yes, I realize I'm supposed to and this makes me sound like a wimp.) Also, I had already weighed-in and measured for the morning. Now usually, this wouldn't affect my workout. But, seeing as there was little to no good change, I was already upset that I hadn't reached my goal for the week. And immediately I knew why I didn't reach my goals. Yes, I did the workouts. But, did I stick to my eating plan? Nope. Again, the struggle of learning to exercise AND eat right at. the. same. time. Let's hope I learn this one soon. I was immediately reminded of all the things I had eaten this week. My philosophy is I have to eat it, to get it out of the house, so I won't eat it. Makes sense right? Flawed, you say? Please, don't harsh my mellow.
Speaking of candy (let's be even more honest, it's what I was eating). Who is playing this Candy Crush?? I SWORE that I WOULD NOT get into this game. That I WOULD NOT download it. That I WOULD NOT get obsessed. Who can guess what happened? Hello, my name is Jessica and I'm a Candy Crush addict.
Thanks to this game, I now have a love-hate relationship with candy. I'm either loving it and crushing right along, which makes me want to eat more delicious candy. Or, I'm stuck on a level trying to run away from deadly chocolates, which makes me want to go to Wal-Mart, find the candy aisle, and destroy it so NO ONE can enjoy the evil deliciousness.
At the end of it all, I'm just going to choose to believe that the reason I didn't reach my goal this week is because I instead gained muscle, thanks to Jillian. Now, I'm going to celebrate by playing Candy Crush while I finish some Peanut M&Ms...or throw them out the window. Whichever comes first.
Happy Friday! :)
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Oh, hey guys! Why do I feel like it has been forever since I've been in blog world? One reason may be because this past weekend I realized just how old I'm getting. Last Friday, I drove to northern Alabama to spend the weekend with one of my college friends and help out with a lock-in her church was having. We ended up having 53 kids! And in true lock-in fashion, no one fell asleep!
When we got back to my friend's house Saturday morning, we both crashed as FRIENDS played in the background. We woke up about 3 hours later, went to Sonic, drove around, and then crashed again at her place. This pretty much repeated all the rest of Saturday.
Now, I'm back home and have a great desire to get back into my daily routine. So, get ready for the rest of this boring, life update known as Random Post #256.
FITNESS // WEIGHT LOSS // HEALTH // NUTRITION // LIFESTYLE
Guys, I feel like it has been forever since I have worked out. And I know that first workout back is going to be rough. But, I'm feeling the effects of not working out. Mainly, my energy level is WAY down. That is the one thing that I'm missing the most.
When it comes to eating, I've been pretty good in sticking with it. Despite going out of town these past few weekends, I've been surprised at myself with the things I've refrained from. Now, I must admit, there was some fast food consumed this weekend and maybe a Sonic Blast. Yet, not nearly close to the amount I used to eat all the time. And when eating "real" meals, I've still gotten my fruits and veggies in. I also only had 2 soft drinks this past weekend. Guys, that was a first in a long time! I've cut out all soda and I must say, they weren't as good as I remembered.
Goals for this week: Some form of exercise everyday and record all meals in MyFitnessPal. Get back to the August challenges. (revamped to fit the remaining days)
JOB UPDATE // INCOME // FINANCIAL STATUS // MONEY
Still a no-go on jobs. I applied for a job in my town 2 weeks ago and never heard anything back. So, I'm back to searching around and praying something opens up quickly. I have a part-time job lined up for later in the Fall, but I need something right now. And part-time or full-time doesn't matter to me. I just need some money coming in.
My students loans recently got switched to another company and they are starting back up again this month. Thankfully, the amount is reasonable for me, but I still need a way to keep paying them!
Needless to say, I am VERY stressed when it comes to thinking about money, student loans, bills, savings.
Goals for this week: Apply, apply, apply. Pray, pray, pray.
Starting tomorrow, on Tuesdays, I'm going to be featuring blog posts that answer 11 Questions Every Twenty-Something Needs to Answer. These are questions asked by Paul Angone. For more information about this series, check out this post!
Well, that is all for now, guys. Hope you guys come back tomorrow to check out the new series! :) Now, I'm going to go start working on these goals!
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