Rose & Jenna: A Day in the Life (of food!)

We get a lot of questions about how we eat. That’s why we’re writing this blog post. We’re not saying you should eat this way, or that these meals are ideal. But they work for us. It’s another day-in-the-life kind of post. And we’re hoping this can help our readers who are curious how we stay fueled.

Rose’s Day of Eats

I chose Thursday, April 30, to be my sample day. I snapped photos throughout the day and logged my food via MyFitnessPal. I’ve recorded my eats via MFP for the past 111 days. In this time, I’ve lost 10 pounds. I hate to advocate calorie counting, but if you’re a person who tends to overeat, this can help reign that in. Writing down what you eat helps you visually understand macronutrients, how foods affect you, etc.

8 a.m. Breakfast: It is always Shakeology (chocolate vegan) with one ripe banana, a few ice cubes, 1/2 cup almond milk and 1/2 cup water.

9 a.m. Coffee: I treat myself daily to Small World coffee. I shouldn’t spend this much, but it’s so delicious, and I consider it a treat. I use between 2-4 tablespoons of half n’ half. If this is my own vice, I’m okay with it.

1 p.m. Lunch: This varies, but it’s where I get in my vegetables. Today, I ordered a salad from the work cafe. It included chicken, beets, broccoli, cucumbers, mushrooms, tomatoes and balsamic dressing. I’ve even checked with the cafe workers to see the ingredient list for the dressing. It is surprisingly clean and low in calories.

4 p.m. Snack: I used to always eat two hardboiled eggs; now I’m cutting down to one (this picture is old). I’ve been finding that one egg perfectly satisfies me. I work out around 5:30 p.m., so this takes me through exercise and beyond. It does, however, stink out my employees.

5:30 p.m. Workout: I either do a Max 30 workout, run or go to yoga.

7:30-8 p.m. Dinner: On Thursday, it was one cup of a Mexican auinoa slowcooker recipe. I also had small side of broccoli. People are always amazed that I eat dinner this late. I do it because it curbs my urge to snack later on. The egg is the only reason I can last this long. Because of this routine, I rarely overeat. I’m not starving when I plate my dinner. If you’re ravenous when you sit down to dinner, you are likely overeating. Track and measure to be sure.

9 p.m. Dessert: Another guilty pleasure – a soy ice cream bar. I probably eat these a little too often and too late at night. When I am really watching, I don’t eat things like this and not this late. But you have to treat yourself every once in a while or you’ll go crazy.

Jenna’s Day of Eats

What seems to work for me is lots of vegetables, lots of protein, and limited carbs. I also watch my sodium intake on a daily basis, and drink at least 2 liters of water.

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I noticed some of these are not super attractive, but this is real life. No fancy cameras or lighting.

Breakfast: Typically this is around 8am while I walk to work …Shakeology! I use regular chocolate with almond/coconut milk blend, water and 1/2 a frozen banana. If I’m not feeling Shakeology, I’ll usually have yogurt or eggs.

Morning coffee is consumed once I get to the office.

Snack: Around 11am I’ll have a snack. This ranges from plain greek yogurt to a Luna bar.

Workout: I typically workout over lunch, so this is from 12:15p-1pm

Lunch: I bring my lunch almost every day, so it is typically veggie packed with limited carbs and protein. Above there are pictures of zucchini lasagna and quinoa with roasted chickpeas and broccoli.

Snack: I usually have to eat again around 3pm. Crackers with hummus, another yogurt, or sometimes a treat.

Dinner: Usually identical to my lunches – I tend to bring the leftovers!

I also include a photo of some french press coffee (I have at least one coffee a day with some half n half) and a homemade 3 ingredient peanut butter cookie. If I want a “treat” I try to have it earlier in the day, but sometimes my sweet tooth kicks in at night. I just try to keep the choice within reason.

Rose: May Goals

In coming up with May’s goals, I realized something: I must be burning the candles at both ends. Almost every item on the list refers to taking care of myself. Despite running a challenge group focused on self care, I still let stress get the better of me last month. Rather than beat myself up over it, I tried to figure out why. Now I see what caused the pressure to mount, and I’m ready to take control of that. May is all about reducing my stress gracefully.

But before we jump into that, I should review how things went last month. Last month, I was focused on four items. Let’s break down how they went:

  • Freelance work. I’ve actually spent the bulk of April working on a feature story about evidence-based dentistry. I’m writing the article for Pitt’s Dental School magazine. The story has taken quite a bit of interviewing; I’ve spoken with four people. This is alongside my normal job of writing and interviewing. This intention was successfully accomplished.
  • Wedding tasks. There are tasks to do every month from now until January, which is only eight short months away. This month, we worked on trimming our guest list (success!) and finishing up Save the Dates. I also updated my address spreadsheet. This means that come May, we’ll be ready to send ’em out. Success!
  • Dates with M. Yes! M and I went on a day trip to the Pine Barrens just a few weeks ago. It was one of the best Sundays I’ve had in a long time. I love exploring different ecosystems with him, and I feel like we are so connected when we leave work and home behind. I could’ve used one more day trip, but I’m glad we got this time together.
  • Focus on Fitness. FAIL. I kept a calendar this month of workouts. I couldn’t believe how many times I wrote “OFF.” It started making me feel so bad I almost wanted to quit keeping a calendar. Running has screwed with my mojo — I’m just not into it, and I want to get back to my resistance workouts. That’ll happen in due time.

MayGoals

Now on to May. What’s interesting to me is that I subconsciously wrote “goals” instead of “intentions” this month. Perhaps that means I want to get even more focused and on point?

  • Making Me Time. I need to make myself a priority. There were too many exhausted days in April. I can’t do that again in May. I’m not sure how I’ll make time for me, so I am leaving that open minded. I just want to make it a daily and weekly habit.
  • Making a Plan. Part of the reason I feel so scattered is that I don’t have a plan. Life doesn’t need to be totally planned out but a little checklist can certainly help. I find that when I don’t make my list, I squander any free time I actually have. So this month, I want to focus on making daily and weekly to-do lists — that are manageable — so I feel on point. This will help me find some me time, too, because I won’t be worried about what has been left undone.
  • Getting Back to What I Love. I’ve been complaining about running since March. I just don’t love it anymore. I am okay with that. At this point, I just want to get back to what I love: Max 30, Beachbody workouts, walking, yoga, maybe even kayaking. Also, softball season starts. Instead of doing something I dislike, I am going to focus on enjoying the time I spend moving.

How about you? What are your intentions/goals for May?

Rose: DIY Lantern

For the past several months, I’ve been revamping my dining room. The idea is to bring cohesion between the living room and dining room and make this a cute, fun space. One way to do this is through color and shapes. I settled upon blue and green — accent colors in the living room — and have been since adding more decor to this tiny corner space.

I started with a rug and wine rack. And now I’ve moved on to lighting. Since cost is an issue (paying for a wedding isn’t cheap!), I have been looking for some cool, DIY type of projects. Pinterest to the rescue! I did a bit of searching on paper lanterns and ended up finding this tutorial.

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The materials for this project are really simple:

  • One paper lantern (I bought this one for $10)
  • Cupcake liners (I chose these for $10)
  • One lighting kit (I went with this one for $12)
  • Hot glue gun + glue sticks

The instructions are also relatively simple:

  • Set up your paper lantern according to the instructions
  • Glue one cupcake liner at a time, working your way around the sphere
  • Handy tip: Keep the ball in a large salad bowl. This will ensure the liners do not get crushed.

All told, this took me about an hour to complete.

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Overall, I was really happy with the way this turned out. For now, we’re working on figuring out a good way to hang this lantern. We’re a bit limited since we live in an apartment — but we’ll think of something creative.

Oh, and in terms of money, you could probably do this project for even cheaper than $35. I just had a specific vision in mind for the color I wanted, and these giant cupcake liners worked best.

Stay tuned for a big reveal of the dining room! Coming soon.

Jenna: Food lately

Food lately has been hard for me. I’ve found myself justifying eating decisions like this:

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mmm bacon.

The working out part of the equation has been easy for me lately. I’ve enjoyed my workouts, mixed it up enough not to get bored, and I can see progress. However, eating has been a real struggle.

I was looking through posts from last year, and I think I was in the same spot. I think as the weather gets nicer, there are more natural temptations. My allergies also start to go crazy, and when I’m tired and run down I crave junk. I made a goal of tracking my food this week – that happened one day. ONE. Sigh. I have got to get this figured out. Now is the time I should be hunkering down, because after this weekend I don’t have a free/unscheduled Saturday until June 27th. Isn’t that insane?

OH, summer. I love it but it gets so booked and so crazy. Here is my game plan:

Focus on what I can control. The meals that I’m totally on my own and left to my own devices need to be proper portions and full of good nutrients. No excuses.

Limit eating out to social occasions where there is an invite. Or get together. No grabbing Chipotle on my own cause I’m lazy and tired. Limit these to 3 times a week, max.

Limit alcohol consumption to weekends only, and in moderation. 

Grocery shop with a list and plan each weekend. Often times when I have lots of travel I don’t grocery shop and just wing it, but that never leads to good behavior or choices.
I want to have a good summer. I don’t want to feel like crap because I’ve made silly food choices. Here’s hoping I can get it together!

Rose: Steadfast (Word of the Year)

It’s been a while since I’ve written about my word of the year. In fact, it’s pretty hard to believe it’s April already. I know this is how time moves, and I’m used to the feeling. But I can never quite shake the feeling of how fast everything feels sometimes. I guess that’s why being steadfast is so important.

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At this point, I don’t *feel* as though I’ve been very steadfast these past few months. It’s been hard to recognize my steadfast qualities when life keeps throwing my curves. My dad’s surgery was definitely a low point of the year and all consuming (though now he is better than ever.) The engagement was obviously a high but with it has come loads of planning and tasks. That has pushed some of my regularly scheduled hobbies to the backseat, and I’m not complaining. It just makes me feel like I’m straying from being steadfast.

But maybe I’m just misinterpreting the phrase. To me, I see the word and think: “I need to be loyal to my goals.” Maybe instead it should be: “I remain loyal to myself.” That means doing what is right in a moment, saying “no” to things that don’t serve me, not signing on for more and sticking up for myself. Maybe it means just saying, “I’m not really feeling this” (i.e. running) or “It feels good to do this right now.” Maybe, in the end, being steadfast is just about being content and at peace in the moment.

If that is the case, then that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m focusing on this wonderful chapter in my life. I am trying to do what feels right, rather than what feels necessary. Granted, I’m still what I need to do, meeting my deadlines and the like. But I guess I’m being a lot less rigid about my hobbies and taking more time to relax.

More importantly, I am trying to be grateful for all that I have. Today, after I got our Save the Dates back and the font was way too small, I thought: “If this is the worst thing to happen to me today, I am pretty darn lucky.” It’s all about perspective.

So maybe I am loyal, dutiful, unwavering. But more so in attitude. And to me, that’s far more important.