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!

Employment!

Normally a week-long hiatus might be cause for alarm, but this one was for good reason — I have found employment! Not a career in my field (still working on that one), but a part-time job to keep me busy and bring in some money while I am still looking. I trained for four days straight and then worked my first two shifts, so I have been more than busy and exhausted.

While the job may not be journalism, it is in a restaurant, so I can’t complain too much. And this isn’t your average restaurant — it is a new Korean BBQ restaurant in Brooklyn. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I accepted the job, but I have been exposed to a whole new part of the culinary world. The food has so much flavor and spice, and the different combinations blow my mind.

And the topper on the cake is while I am only a back waiter/busser, I get to cook food. Part of the Korean BBQ experience is grilling your meat right on the table, and I am one of the people that gets to help the customers do it! As you know I am all about cooking, so I guess now I can say I have some professional cooking experience … I think.

While I still don’t want to make working in a restaurant my long term career, I am happy that I get to do something that I enjoy and have a passion for while I am still looking. I never thought I would eat as much fermented cabbage —kimchi — in my life as I have in the past week.

Also props to my employer for paying a living wage and eliminating the need for tips! Working below minimum wage and having to rely on the busyness of the restaurant is no way to live.

Maybe I will be experimenting with some Korean flavors in the future…

Come follow along!

I wasn’t lying when I said I was back, and I have been putting in some work in terms of my vision for this blog, creating a community and reaching a larger audience. You can expect more posts on a variety of topics (not necessarily food), better pictures and more ways to connect.

To do this I have set up a new Twitter and Instagram, where you can stay up to date on all my latest food loves and see what I have in store for the blog. Make sure you follow the blog so you don’t miss a post, and see what I am doing over on Twitter and Instagram — who knows what crazy food shenanigans I am going to get into …

Food Woes

So in theory, not have a job means I would have all the time in the world to try out new recipes and really amp up this blog? Right. However, that doesn’t take into consideration the cost of all those fun recipes with all of the expensive food. I had all of the intentions of amping up this blog, but my grocery budget has not allowed for it like I planned.

Instead of new recipes and fun cooking times, I have been sticking to my staples: potstickers, grilled chicken, tilapia and the occasional quesadilla. I can only share things about the same recipes so many times.

Being at home most day everyday has also brought me to another aspect of this post-college life — food is around me to eat all the time. The whole reason this blog was started was because of my bad relationship with food. I didn’t really think about what I was eating, I didn’t think twice about having some fries and a burger, or dessert, and the inclusion of fruits and veggies was minimal. I feel like I am starting to veer down a not so great path, which is not where I want to head, but it’s hard for me to resist a good french fry (potatoes are cheap).

Food has also been there as a comfort in this time of nothingness. I would definitely qualify myself as a stress eater and an emotional eater, so my spoon has found its way into the ice cream more times than it should have. I know its not bad to indulge every once in a while (I couldn’t go without my cheat day way back when), but I have probably been indulging more than I should be.

I think the only saving grace in during this my experience has been finding Blogilates. Cassey Ho is a pilates instructor who does Youtube workouts and creates calendars to follow. I have been follow the beginners calendar, while not perfectly, it has given me some consistency and a way to work out without spending money on a gym membership. I have also gone for a few runs in my new park because NYC doesn’t know what winter is this year.

This weekend I should be trying out a new recipe, but in the meantime I plan on sharing a little bit more of my experience with Blogilates — still about being healthy! For anyone else who may be falling off the wagon: you aren’t alone, and it happens, but we gotta remember how good it feels when we stay on and see the results we want — mental, emotional and physical!

Instagram

Besides just revamping the blog, I have also decided to expand the reach of the blog with … Instagram! My personal feed is full  of other people’s tasty looking food, so my thought is other people may want to sneak a peak at my tasty food.

The blog will be reserved for mainly healthy food and things I make from scratch, but the Instagram will be everything and anything I eat (at least the food I manage to get a good picture of). Now I am by no means a professional photographer, and there are definitely prettier pictures out there, but that means there is room for improvement. You can follow it at @healthyasanewb or follow this link.

 

I’m Back!

After a very long hiatus and an unexplained absence, Healthy as a Newb is back! As a college student, I found that managing a blog was not as easy as it seemed, and thus a summer and a semester break ensued.

However, now I am newly graduated — with a journalism degree from Ithaca College — on the job search, and settling in to my new apartment in Brooklyn, N.Y.,ready to take another shot at this blog. Since starting my healthy journey almost a year ago, I can happily say that I have continued on that road. While, my eating habits are definitely not perfect (sometimes ice cream is all too necessary), I am still on a good path.

For the first time I have a full, while small, kitchen to experiment in — trying out new recipes and sharing my own. Not all the kinks are worked out to my new blogging plan, but I definitely plan on creating more of my own original recipes and talking about the food I love.

If you would like to see what I am up to out of my food world you can follow me here and here. Sometimes I can be kind of interesting.

Oops…

So apparently when I fall off the wagon I fall pretty hard. First it was a week of no blogging, and then it was a week of no blogging and not eating very healthy. Definitely not my proudest moment, but I think I am in a good place to start back up and stay on track. Before that I’ll give a little rundown of what exactly happened during the past two weeks.

Week 7

This was a good week! I followed my meal plans, ate what I was supposed to and worked out. I just didn’t write anything about it. I even took pictures with the intention of blogging. Oops. I am going to blame it on pre-spring break excitement and stress.

Week 8

This is where all hell broke loose. I went home, which means I don’t have control of everything I am eating. It wasn’t all bad. I had some cauliflower and chicken. But I also had breakfast sandwiches (bread) and pasta (eek). And then I got sick, so I had a few days of not much eating, which probably helped. But then I went to Boston. I think it is just impossible to stick to any diet when I am away. How do I not eat a big bowl of clam chowder in a bread bowl? I don’t. I eat that, and a lobster roll and a wood fired pizza. I got a lot of bad stuff out of my system, so hopefully I will be good for a while.

I am off to a good start today, and worked out, so things are looking up. Here’s to heading in to month 3 with some hope.