I don’t need a holiday to be thankful for everything in my life; I practice gratitude each and every day, and it’s made all the difference in my life. It’s easy to see what’s going wrong in our lives, but for some reason it’s SO […]
I hear it all the time and I’m sure you do too.. “Love yourself first.” “Without self-love, you can never love another!” “The most important person is you.” Etc. It’s almost disheartening that self-love has become a cliche because it is the single most important thing […]
Happy Wednesday everyone!
I feel like time is zooming by and with daylight savings in full swing, my body and brain are thoroughly confused. Just me?
Anyways, I’ve found myself loving other people’s posts of “weekly eats” so, hey, here’s mine. I hope you can find some inspiration in this and if you try anything, let me know because I’d love to hear your feedback! And with that, here’s the food:
Avo toast + tahini + honey + pink salt has been my jam lately. It may seem like a really weird combo, but just trust me on this. You can thank Alexis from Hummusapien later!
The best dang breakfast sandwich: A toasted English muffin + goat cheese + mustard + spinach + a fried egg. I’ve literally eaten this for over a week straight, no shame in my sandwich game.
Baked oatmeal! The texture is so different than stovetop oats and so satisfying for some reason? I just mix oats, vanilla, ashwagandha, flax meal, cinnamon, and maple syrup in a bowl with milk, add chocolate chips, and bake for 20-30ish minutes until cooked; then top it with peanut butter, because that’s just what we do.
Salads have been my jam lately. Quick, easy, satisfying when done right; my go-to has been spinach + goat cheese/feta + kalamata olives + chickpeas + strawberry viniagerette.
I’ve been loving curry for lunch since the cold weather came back! I usually make a super simple sauce with coconut milk + red curry paste + alll the spices (cumin, garam masala, curry powder, turmeric, garlic powder, I could keep going; I literally just throw all spices into the mix and hope it turns out okay) and let it simmer! Then add chickpeas + peas + sometimes tofu and throw it over rice.
Bowls of random things in my fridge: a really good one I had going was sweet potatoes + broccoli + feta + a boiled egg + half an avocado topped with a dressing made with tahini + maple syrup + water. So easy.
My internship supervisors and I hit Best Friends Forever in Richmond for lunch one day and it was too good! I got a burrito bowl with chicken + pinto beans + lettuce + sour cream + cheese + red AND green sauce because it’s like that. We also got chips and guac because we’re extra, too.
I’ve been going out for burgers a good amount lately; not sure why, but I’m not complaining. Two notable features were Beauvine burger in Richmond and Citizen Burger Bar in both Richmond and Charlottesville. Well sourced, well cooked, and delish despite the messiness.
This Vietnamese place in Richmond was to die for! I went the other day with my friend from an old job and was super impressed. Not exactly sure what was in this bowl but I think it was something like noodles + chicken + greens + bean sprouts + a spring roll + peanuts and a side sauce. Highly recommend.
I made this veggie lasagna this week for an event and had a ton of leftovers. Despite its being vegan, it is still AMAZING and had I not made it, I’d probably think that ricotta was real. I serve it with a salad and call it a night.
I also made this bean stew yesterday with cannelini beans + garlic + onion + peas + goat cheese + chicken stock + salt and pepper and it was pretty good? Above all, the texture was satisfying, especially when eaten with bread. This weather’s got me eating all kinds of things.
Most of these are unpictured so my apologies, BUT they’re all delish and super quick in a fix.
Perfect Bars: my favorite bars ever. I am so loyal because they are literally a hunk of peanut butter with chocolate chips and just yes. Super satisfying and filling due to all the healthy phats. If you can find them by you, BUY THEM.
I’ve also been loving yogurt pretzels dipped in PB. You can buy them in the bulk section for SO cheap and snack on them for days.
Banana bread! I went through a long phase where I’d make different banana baked goods each week; definitely missed this week because one of my roommates froze my old-af bananas and now I have to wait until next week but regardless, warmed up with some butter or cream cheese or even eaten with ice cream, I’m kinda obsessed.
Popcorn! I’ve been loving Lesser Evil’s ghee popcorn even though I’m pretty sure it tastes just like any other popcorn. Maybe I just like feeling bougie? Am I spelling that right?
And that’s all folks! Wishing you a week full of wonderful eats and successes in all aspects of life.
I feel like every post I write is a repeat of the last with a few twists, but HEY here’s another post on why I’ve decided to say “eff off” to diets and start living my gah-dang life. You probably have a good handle on […]
“Whoa, that’s a super deep title,” you may be thinking. I can’t say you’re wrong, but hey, I told y’all I was hear to get real about the things that matter. Recently I’ve experienced some trying events in my life that almost seem surreal; I […]
This weekend was a long one with it being “fall break” aka two days without class and although I’ve been hashtag chillin’ real hard lately, it was still exactly what I needed. I hung out with some family, made some money, and took some time to myself and I hope you all were able to do (kinda) the same!
With all the heavy posts lately, I thought it would be nice to give y’all a peek inside my life and get real about what the heck I do with my free time rather than preach about body love and self-acceptance for a sec. I’ll get back on that soon enough though, don’t you worry.
I came down with a cold on Wednesday following a 6AM November Project workout full of running and burpees. I decided to take the rest of the day and Thursday easy and mostly hung around the house, read, and cleaned. My cold solutions included a hot bath with a podcast, a healthy amount of Nyquil, and some sort of bone broth + ACV + turmeric + lemon juice + ashwagandha mixture. Tasted pretty bad but I think it did the trick? Maybe it’s just a placebo effect? Anyways.
I worked at a yoga studio Friday morning and followed that with a haircut and lunch. I chopped off about three inches of hair thanks to a $20 Groupon and though it wasn’t what I expected, I feel a heck of a lot lighter and am kind of loving having shorter hair for the first time since high school. Right after I finished that, my friend called me up and we went downtown for some poke bowls at Fighting Fish. The only other poke I’ve had was in Seattle and I’d say this was definitely comparable. Give me anything in a bowl and you bet I’m into it!
I worked at the medical campus’s gym later in the day so I hit a workout there before clocking in. Some friends showed up and we had just enough time to run out for some Hawaiian food before I had to get to work. I got shoyu chicken, sticky rice, and macaroni salad. Bottomless pit right here!
After work I fell asleep extremely early because I guess I’m a forty year old at heart. No shame in my bedtime game.
I woke up around 8AM on Saturday and was feeling pretty dang energized! November Project was hosting an event with Pure Barre and I was really considering skipping out since all of my friends were either out of town or working, but I ended up going solo and am SO glad I did. We ran, we burpee’d, we tucked, and we enjoyed free juice and Health Warrior bars, so that’s a win in my book. I learned it’s always better to do something by yourself than skip out on it just because you have to do it by yourself-you get me?
After the workout I drove to Charlottesville to hang with my brother, sister-in-law, and her mom. We headed downtown for burgers at Citizen Burger Bar and it was so fab. I got the Citizen burger with swiss, lettuce, tomato, garlic aioli, caramelized onions, and a fried pickle on top and let me tell ya, 10/10 would recommend.
From there we headed to Carter Mountain Orchard for some good ol’ apple picking in basic fall fashion. The verdict: it was hot, the apples were scant, and the people were everywhere. It was definitely a good experience and a beautiful day, but if I were to do it again it would be on a weekday earlier in the season.
But wait, there’s more! We stopped by Keswick Winery before heading out. It was my first time at a winery being that I’m underage, but regardless it was absolutely beautiful. We hung outside until 6PM eating cheese and chatting; it was so peaceful and ended the day perfectly.
I drove back and met my dad for dinner in Richmond. We ate at Graffiato and shared the burrata, potatoes, and a pizza with sundried tomatoes, smoked ricotta, and spinach. It was delish and so good to see him. All around, probably the most eventful day I’ve had in a while (is that sad?) full of family and fun. Goood times.
Sundays are for getting your life together, so here I am. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend that filled you up and that you stay that way throughout the week. Happy Sunday!
Now that I’ve entered the decade of my twenties I think it’s safe to say I’ve learned a thing (or maybe even two). I was blessed enough to make a majority of my mistakes thus far at a younger age, shaping me into the somewhat […]
This weekend my dad went on a yoga retreat in North Carolina for three days of peace and tranquility in the mountains. His days were filled with yoga, spa treatments and not much else, making me question why I’m spending my life in college rather […]
This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while and, as always, it took me a decent chunk of time to first determine how I wanted to talk about this and second, to actually talk about it. Bear with me, y’all.
For me, these past few months have been an incredible time of self-awareness, self-discovery, self-compassion, and growth. For the first time in my life I am totally unconcerned with how I appear externally, how small my waist looks, or what other people may be thinking about the way I look. Let me just say this: IT FEELS FREAKING GREAT.
I’ll back this up a bit: rewind to a year or two ago when I was spending hours in the gym at a time, grueling over every extra inch of “fat” that appeared on my body, and wishing desperately that I could just look this certain way and then everything else in my life would be okay.
For a good three years of my life, I had fallen into orthorexic behaviors that I justified for the sake of health. From social media and our culture in general I was taught that food restriction, excessive exercise, and chronic dieting was healthy and, even worse, that it was normal. Too often, I see women and men fall to these notions and enter periods of distress; they continue to diet and exercise with the promises of seeing “results” and having that perfect body only to realize that, uh, dieting sucks and plateaus occur ALL the time.
Real Food Matters started as hannahchapmanfit, an Instagram account dedicated to motivating others to live a “healthy” lifestyle and be the fittest version of themselves each and every day. I took pictures of my body with six-pack abs and visible muscles to give others hope that they, too, could look like that with enough hard work and dedication.
My captions included updates about my physique, my training that day, and how I felt about my appearance. I’d find myself saying things like, “I didn’t feel like working out today at all but I still did, and you should too!” or, “Dreaming about these donuts because I’ve been eating ground turkey and rice for five days straight and I want to cry but, ya know, it’s all about willpower!” Yikes. Those are some cringe-worthy sentences if you ask me.
Regardless of how good my intentions were, I was hurting myself and others who supported me through this platform. I engaged in and promoted overexercise, restriction, and close tracking of calories and macronutrients. I encouraged people, myself included, to dissociate from their bodies and force head to rule over heart when it came to food and movement. I subconsciously told myself and others that our bodies cannot be trusted and we must exert some form of control over them or, God forbid, we might gain weight.
I look back on those days and while I don’t regret them, I wish someone had told me how ridiculous I was acting. There were days where I would choose two hours at the gym over two hours of quality time with my family. I remember nights I had to opt out of dinner with friends because “none of the food fit my macros” and I couldn’t stray for even one meal. Needless to say, dieting ruled my life and left me unfulfilled even when I achieved the body I had been chasing for so long.
Thankfully, I realized that my ideal body couldn’t fix the issues I had to deal with internally regarding body image and self-worth. I decided that my mental well-being was more important than having a perfect butt and that I loved food WAY more than I loved having abs. Hallelujah.
Now, I live a life based on feeling and intuition. I have reached a point in my journey where I can look in the mirror and think, “Damn girl, work it” at all times rather than, “Ugh, look at that jiggle under my arms… No dessert for me tonight (or ever, for that matter).” I have kissed the diets goodbye and instead pledged to live a normal life that makes me feel good.
Sure, I may have gained a few pounds and some of the chub in my cheeks, but I am so okay with that if it means I get to have my cake and eat it, too. Never again will I choose the gym over friends or miss out on an opportunity to connect with others to accommodate my food restrictions. I’m done comparing myself to others or wishing my body was different; instead, I thank my body for everything it does and for all of the knowledge it gives me when I simply listen to it.
Giving up dieting doesn’t mean you give up on life; it means you get to fully experience it. I still exercise 3-6 times per week depending on how I’m feeling and engage in walking, biking, and other active activities everyday but it never feels forced, leaving me with a focus on joyful movement rather than unwanted stress. Eating is now an extremely pleasurable experience for me rather than an event I just have to get through and upon realizing that I have the sweet tooth of all sweet teeth, you can bet your bottom dollar this girl always says yes to the dessert menu.
Eating what your body truly wants in the moment is NOT a sign of meek willpower, it is simply honoring your body and nourishing it as it should be. There is absolutely nothing wrong with listening to your cravings, whether that means eating a green smoothie bowl or a burger the size of your face; food is food, there is no “good” or “bad.”
I find it incredibly disheartening that society and culture idealizes thinness and disregards the fact that all bodies are different and some of us will never live up to that ideal. Rather than feed that notion as I have in the past, I have vowed to fight against it and promote a way of living and being that derives from self-love and self-compassion. I want others to be empowered to live in their bodies as they rather than constantly seeking to change them. Above all, I just want to encourage others to be wary of what they see and hear and rather than follow what everyone else is doing, find what works for them individually and do what makes them feel their very best.
Life is too damn short to be spent doing 50 burpees a day when you hate burpees and it’s certainly too short to say no to cake on your birthday. We’re on this Earth to make the most of it and love the life we are given, not to work tirelessly to change ourselves externally to fit an unrealistic expectation set by society. I will no longer engage in things that do not bring me joy, and I encourage you all to do the same; I PROMISE you’ll be a heck of a lot happier upon realizing that, yes, you can live your life exactly as you would like to.
I hope you all live a life that brings you nothing but immeasurable joy and satisfaction because you deserve it. If you’re in a place that I used to be in, there IS a way out and I promise it’s so much better, but it takes a lot of work and patience to get there. Lastly, if you have any kind of platform or influence, I hope you decide to spread the right messages rather than perpetuating the wrong ones and make the choice to do everything with love. And with that, I’ll leave you to choose.
I used to be the kween of self-care. Think face masks, journaling, crystals, and incense galore. But now as a junior in college approaching adulthood, with responsibilities tugging at my sleeve, I’ve loosened the reigns on my ideals in order to make more room for […]