A Little Bit of Health Goes a Long Way

Last year at this time I had completed a four month healthy journey of 90% cutting out white bread, pasta and rice, and working out 3 to 4 times a week. I reached a weight goal and felt like I was on top of the world. It was the first time I committed to making a health change in my life and actually stuck with it. By no means was it easy — there were plenty of breakdowns, cravings for bowls of french fries, and cheat days filled with some sweets — but I did it.

In following year I by no means stuck to that stringent of a diet, I love good food way too much, but I have mostly eaten decently healthy and worked out when I could. I think the most surprising part of my healthy journey is the consistency of my workouts. Even when I haven’t been eating the healthiest, I haven’t gone more than two to three weeks without some type of workout. If you had told me that in January 2015 there is no way I would have believed you. While I have been relatively athletic person the better part of my life, my actual desire to workout for any reason besides a sport has been extremely low.

Since officially moving to Brooklyn in January healthy choices have by no means been a priority. I have been consumed with applying to jobs, working, saving money and trying to maintain some sanity during this very stressful time of my life. In terms of eating, I have bought some veggies, and then they have proceeded to sit in my refrigerator, I have bought salads, but then I have also bought ice cream. Stress and comfort eating has always been my downfall and that has come into full force these past few months while trying to find a job. I spend a lot of time at home alone during the day — gotta love the restaurant world — which means plenty of time to eat just to eat.

And then working in a restaurant throws in a whole other curve ball — I am constantly surrounded by wonderfully tasting and smelling food. Some of it is healthy and then some it is heavy, greasy and full of rice. Our staff meals frequently involve rice and pasta, and because I am indirectly paying for it, I am eating it. It also normally tastes wonderful, which doesn’t help my ability to resist. I by no means overeat, but those four meals that I am eating at work could definitely be replaced by something healthier.

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To receive an expensive diploma one must wear a silly hat

Last weekend I attended my college commencement, and for whatever reason it gave me a little bit of extra motivation to be a little healthier this week. I made these bomb-ass buffalo chicken lettuce wraps, ate a salad for dinner, ate more fruit and went on two runs. While it may not seem like a ton, I can definitely feel the difference in the way I feel, especially my energy. It has reminded me why I started out on this journey, what feels like ages ago. I am looking forward to the abundance of fresh veggies and fruits as we enter into the summer months, and hopefully more motivation and inspiration to play around with some recipes.

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Hottest days of year so far, and I decide its a good idea to run outside

This week I proved to myself that I still have it in my to keep this journey going, and that all it takes is one week of a couple extra good choices to make a huge difference. I am ready to keep these choices going and to continue to better my life. Here’s to a super happy and healthy summer!

Let me know what you do to keep yourself motivated when you feel like you are in a slump or need to be reinvigorated!

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

It is no secret that I can’t get enough buffalo sauce in my life. I put it on things that I probably shouldn’t. I even had my family send me Anchorbar buffalo sauce because I can’t buy it in Brooklyn. In order to indulge in my buffalo love in a healthier way I decided to concoct some buffalo chicken lettuce wraps to keep it healthier than classic wings.

This dinner is BY FAR one of the best things I have made in months. It was the combinations of fresh veggies, juicy chicken and a little bit of spice that set my taste buds a flurry. My boyfriend and I devoured everything that I made, to my dismay because once I started eating I was hoping I would be able to enjoy in some leftovers. Good thing ground chicken was on sale and I bought two packs — it won’t be long before I am making these again!

Keep reading for this super easy recipe!

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Spring Means…

Farmers Markets!

Today I made it out to one of my many local famers markets for the first time this spring. While there isn’t a ton of stuff in season yet I was on a mission for one thing: ramps. Up until this year I had missed the boat on the wonders of ramps, but I was introduced to them at work — Go Sunny and her tasty banchan!

For those of you that are also in the dark about ramps, they are a cousin of the leak that have a garlicky/oniony tasty. So pretty much it can’t get much better. The only problem is they are only available for a few weeks, so you have to jump on them if you want to enjoy what they have to offer — and be willing to pay a pretty penny for them. I got one bunch at my farmers market and spent $5, as in $16/pound. I don’t think I have ever spent that much on produce or meat, but it was oh so worth it.

For my first attempt at cooking them I went simple. I did a simple sauté with butter, salt, pepper and a dash of red pepper flakes. To quote my boyfriend (who I could tell was skeptical of them at first): “I could eat ramps all day!” The flavor was like nothing I had ever had before, but very tasty. I will definitely be savoring what I have left, not knowing if I will be able to get any more this season.

If my first farmers market venture of the season is an indication of how the rest of the spring/summer will go, I can’t wait! Here’s to buying local and fresh produce!