A little perspective…

So. Last week I forced myself to the gym after work. This has been the hardest thing for me to master with moving offices, so much so that I eventually cancelled my membership. Unfortunately for me, I cancelled too late and had to take January as my last month and pay for the month-to-month dues… stupid, but that’s the life of a gym goer. But it’s been way too difficult to arrange driving an extra hour a day (already on top of about 4 hours total of commuting daily) to the gym which should only take about 20 minutes to get to from my office. I know I should. I know it’s important to do. But it’s just not happening right now. Before it was on my way home/to work… now it’s completely out-of-the-way and is making me quite sad, because I really did enjoy it.

Another unfortunate aspect is that it’s JANUARY. Welcome to the month of every resolutioner in all of creation who will eventually drop out after the first two months but are super motivated for a few weeks and spend most of their gym visit taking hours on machines because they’re still not sure how to work them… I can say this because I was, in fact, one of them last year. (Reminder: I was insanely cliché and signed up for my membership at 6:00 pm on December 31st, 2012. Yeah. That was me.) Needless to say, I’ve been trying to avoid the gym like the plague.

Well, in attempt to get back on track and beat out this holiday weight gain, I went. I kept my gym bag sitting out at work as a reminder to myself that I was going to go. I had to go. And if I didn’t, I knew the guilt of not following through would keep me up all night. Well, something else decided to keep me up all night…

It started out like any other normal gym trip: Stop by the ladies room, fill up my water bottle, grab some towels and head downstairs to the cardio floor. I was doing pretty good: good stretching and hydration left me feeling loose and ready, I was going at a decent pace, had my music up as high as it could go without disturbing those around me-when out of the corner of my eye I noticed people running around behind me. I glanced to see panicked faces and people running up and down the stair case, employees bolting down as fast as they could. Naturally I stopped to see what all the fuss was when I noticed the gentleman behind me getting CPR after going into cardiac arrest.

Knowing there was really nothing I could do now that everyone had already jumped to help out (calling 911 was covered, medics called, employees notified and defibrillator gained) I froze. Now, this isn’t the first time this has happened and honestly the first time (only about three years ago) sparked my reboot for wanting to lose weight again. But this time seemed different. We were all in a place where this wasn’t expected, where people were going to get healthy. And I know he was doing well with it, I had seen him before and knew a bit of his story. Maybe that’s what it was too, maybe the fact I at least knew who he was shook me a little bit more.

Eventually they closed down the floor and sent us all upstairs. We all were a bit shaken and you could tell who had been downstairs versus the ones that had already been working hard upstairs: we all had that ashen “what the hell just happened?” face.

It’s insanely sad that these situations are the ones that have to smack sense back into me. I made a doctor’s appointment the next day and check ups for three others. I panicked in my own health status: on my way but still not good enough. Still not at that point where I don’t worry at every turn and question my every move. It’s neurotic, I know, but I want to live a long and healthy life. I want to get married and have children. The children thing didn’t really spark a whole lot of concern until my trainer brought up that those who are overweight have a much harder time conceiving. Crap.

But I don’t want to scare people into thinking that it’s a lost cause; that even by getting healthy you could still find yourself in a situation like this and that exercising doesn’t help. Because that’s not my point. My point is that if anything has kicked me into high-gear it’s this experience. Oh, also and to get re-certified for CPR. Because I felt utterly helpless that I couldn’t help, thank goodness there were folks there that knew CPR and could start before the medics arrived. That’s something my bosses nodded in complete agreement with when I told them about it the next day.

So. I’d like to start sharing with you a few of my favorite healthy habits periodically. I’m hoping through sharing these, I’ll keep myself a bit more accountable and give some of you some new workouts, recipes, etc that you can do to spruce up your life routine! These workouts are also great to use when you’re not able to get to a gym and for days like this when it is just far too cold (and snowy) to do anything outside.

The first is a workout by Tracy Anderson that I found online a few years ago from the Fitlbr community on Tumblr. I can’t remember exactly which blogger I found it from (I think it was from Liz of onetwentyfive or Johanna at myquirkylife), but I found it to be a fantastic five-minute workout for my arms! No weights, just your own resistance! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Tracy Anderson, she is the personal trainer to a lot of celebrities, most notably for Gwyneth Paltrow. She is big with using your own body to get strong and lose weight and working multiple muscle groups at once to give you the best results in a short amount of time.

So enjoy and let me know how you liked it! If if nothing else, check out the two bloggers above! I’ve been following them since my first go at this game! Very big inspirations!

You can follow my fitness journey through my Instagram: heyheyheatherk!

In conjunction with my last blog post, I’d like to get back on board with blogging. I feel like I can zen when I can express my life through this little piece of heaven. And I promise, craftiness will be returning! I have a few things I’d like to accomplish in the near future and with all of these snow days, I might just be able to do so!

So sending many hugs to all of you out there and make sure you pass them on! Because you never know… you just never know.

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I died and went to spaghetti squash heaven

A week ago my nephew graduated high school. HIGH SCHOOL. Screw quarter life crisis, more like quarter life meltdown at this point! I was not able to attend due to each graduate getting a limited number of tickets but was definitely there in spirit as my teacher and father were sending me pictures of the days events. The week before that, my niece graduated from preschool. The reasons we’ve learned that these two amazing kids are related to me is:

  1. They’re awesome.
  2. Zoe’s plans were the following: “Zoe is going to kindergarten. And she wants to do EVERYTHING!”

Yup, sounds like moi. I’ve actually been struggling a little bit because I have no idea what I’m going to do anymore. The reason? TOO many things interest me.

Talk about first-world problems.

Seriously though, I always do feel really stupid saying stuff like that, but unfortunately, it’s true. With work contracts coming to a close, I’ve been thinking about my next move in life. The one definite I have is that I’m going to go to grad school. (HOLY CRAP!) I am set to take the GRE’s mid-August and am baffled by why it is so expensive to sit in front of a computer for 4.5 hours to take said test. Regardless, now I have to narrow down the grad school choices. Determining what I wanted to study was another problem. I would love to get into infectious disease research, but I also really enjoy health psychology. But then there is neuro which, I’ve hung around in for the past two years and thus leading to wanting to become a PA in the future…

Maybe that’s why I always wanted to be an actress growing up. That extinguishes the issue because you can be so many different things in such a short amount of time. After all, I always liked getting to be someone else for a while, someone new and different… But the reasoning of why I never divulged into the performing arena is going to take more than just a few paragraphs and will require a lot of alcohol.

What I’ve actually decided on has been Kinesiology with a concentration in Sport Health and Physiology. My goal upon trying to lose weight and get healthy the first time was then to help others the same way my trainer helped me. I often feel really bad that I let myself get back to this place and like I’ve let her down. There were a lot of situations that led to this issue, but again… more paragraphs, more time and more alcohol. I’ve been talking with my current trainer and we were talking about this idea again: becoming a personal trainer/health coach extraordinaire. See, she has been there. She lost a ton of weight, was a figure competitor for a while and now is a fairy-god-sister disguised as a personal trainer. Having done this journey once already and now again, I want to help people who have been in the same predicament and just can’t seem to get ahead of the game. Because this time it’s going to happen.

Anyways, back to the story… since I had the house to myself last Tuesday, I decided to make up the spaghetti squash I had sitting on the table for a week. Spaghetti squash is fantastic, but sometimes takes some getting used to! You’re expecting a mushier texture, like pasta, since that’s what everyone compares it to but it is a little crunchier. I was super lazy so instead of dishing it out of the rinds, I decided to use them as bowls!

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The perks of eating it right out of the rind is that you don’t have to worry about extra dishes! I decided it was a good idea when I discovered we obtained more paper plates and I was too lazy to dish out the “noodles” from the squash rinds.

Spaghetti squash is so easy to cook:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut each squash in half and then clear out the seeds (note: you can keep the seeds and cook them like you would pumpkin seeds!).
  3. I like to sprinkle some safflower or olive oil on top and then sprinkle some spices: salt, pepper, sometimes garlic, old bay, or even greek seasoning.
  4. Cover in aluminum foil pretty tight and put in for a half hour.
  5. After a half hour, check with a fork and see if you can easily peel the squash away in little strips, usually it takes an hour or an hour and a half.
  6. If not, put back in for another half hour and check again.

Now here is where the fun part comes in…

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Spinach and Crab with Cheese

Mix in a bowl 1/3 cooked crab meat, a sprinkle of old bay seasoning, a handful of shredded baby spinach, about 1/8 cup of cheddar cheese and a little alfredo sauce. After shredding the squash, pour the mixture into the “bowl” and then top with mozzarella cheese.

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Chicken Parm

Add a mixture of cooked chicken pieces, tomato sauce (I used tomato and basil), and some sprinkled parmesan cheese to the “bowl” of shredded squash. Top with mozzarella cheese.

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I didn’t have any meat left over, so I stuffed the remaining two with just sauces and cheese!

Stick under the broiler for about 5-10 minutes (don’t forget to leave the door open a crack!) but keep an eye on it. It’s done when the top of the cheese is cooked.

DIG IN!

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I topped it off with a little extra old bay and DIVULGED. So good you guys!

How do you like your spaghetti squash?!

And don’t forget about the giveaway!

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Make your own Paleo Pizza!

Don’t forget about the crafty giveaway!

Life update!

So the life overhaul has taken a turn down a different path as of late. Remember the “I’m going to move out! I’m going to conquer the world! I’m going to be awesome!” Well the latter two are still true: I’m still on my route to conquer the world and I’m (and, no lie, always have been) a  pretty awesome person… but the first kind of got downgraded to “Eh, I’ll move out eventually.” How blessed am I to have such amazing parents that just want to see me get on my feet and be me? I’m VERY blessed. I can proudly say my parents have only ever wanted the best for me and if that means taking the time (and most importantly money) to take care of myself right now, then so be it. SO, the apartment funds have currently gone to my health and I honestly couldn’t have made a better decision in that arena. I’m feeling so much better about life, my body is slimming again, I am feeling refreshed and less toxic, and feeling no craziness! I have felt a little overwhelmed with everything (work, shop, gym, etc) but the good kind, not the “Holy crap I could have a nervous breakdown any minute!” kind. So I took off last week to rejuvenate and kick out some much-needed rest and recovery that was needed. Wash that craziness away… and I did!

I may have gone a little nuts though… just a teensy-weensy bit: A week ago I decided I was going to go… yup… you guessed it… PALEO. Whaaaat?

First off, let me say that I’m kind of a modified paleo-ite. I feel like the “true” paleo person is the one who only eats all organic food, no processed foods, most importantly: no processed carbs. But screw it, I’m my kind of paleo and that has meant putting some processed foods into my lifestyle: greek yogurt, cheese, Quest bars (that I just can’t seem to give up). At least I’m not consuming so many unneeded chemicals that I was! Even a short time ago…

Anyhoo, I’m a huge pizza-aholic. Dad got us on this kick that every Friday was pizza night and it was my favorite night of the week so you can bet your bottom dollar that I pigged out like mad crazy. Ever since I started with my trainer, I’ve tried to be über careful of the dreaded pizza with its bleached flour, sugary sauces and deliciously, oozy and greasy cheese… Can we talk about how I NEED pizza in my life?

I was so excited when I found the Cauliflower Pizza Crust recipe on Pinterest. All you have to do is search for it and there are a gagillion posts from other bloggers about how they make their own crust with cauliflower. SO, I bought a head of cauliflower (is that what they call it?) and decided I was going to do it, I was going to make cauliflower pizza crust even though I can’t stand the smell of fresh cauliflower itself!

No seriously, that stuff smells god awful to me, why am I the only one who can  see smell that?

Anyhoo, there is something you should know about cauliflower: that crap is hard to chop up into tiny pieces, a la the recipe. Blenders? Yeah, that doesn’t work… believe me, I tried all of them in my household. After my extreme bought of frustration (and sending my father into a similar bought of frustration over the situation) I gave up, threw the rest of the cauliflower in a tub and threw it in the fridge.

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Feeling so discouraged, I searched for an alternative paleo pizza recipe and found a little gem of a video for paleo pizza crust… that I couldn’t find again… This is becoming a theme of mine with healthier recipes. So I made it up from what I could remember. (If it might have been your video, please send me a message!)

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Now, I say “Not so 100%” because I’m sure I’ve added way too much cheese to make sense in the world. Though if anything it’s about 95% paleo, so that’s a win! … Right?

Anyway… (EDITED CONTENT BELOW!)

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1/8 c of coconut flour (sifted)
  • 1/2 c of almond flour (edited to add)
  • 1/3 c of ground flax-seed
  • 1/4 c of almond milk
  • 4 eggs
  • Seasoning (I added 2 tbsp of garlic salt, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tbsp ground pepper

Pizza:

  • Organic Pizza Sauce
  • Low-fat, Low-moisture mozzarella cheese (can be pre-shreaded – there comes that “almost paleo”!)
  • Turkey Bacon or Kielbasa

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