Getting real about health, wellness, and life.

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What Competing in My First Powerlifting Meet Taught Me

What Competing in My First Powerlifting Meet Taught Me

A little less than a week has passed but I’m still riding the high of PR’ing on squat, bench, and deadlift amongst a sea of spectators. I want to rewind this story to three months ago when I first decided that it was about dang […]

The Ultimate Guide to Eating Out Guilt-Free

The Ultimate Guide to Eating Out Guilt-Free

I get a lot, and I mean a lot, of questions about how to eat out healthfully. If you would have asked me this question a few months ago, I would answer you with a detailed outline on macro counting, reducing fat and carb grams, […]

20 Intentions For My 20th Year

20 Intentions For My 20th Year

20 years ago on this day, I came screaming into this world.

It’s strange to me how birthdays hold less and less weight as we get older, as we grow and mature and figure out what truly matters to us in life.

I spent the weekend at a three day event in Hampton, Virginia with some great people and music and couldn’t have asked for anything better. Today, I’ve been booked since 8AM but I couldn’t help but wake up and feel endlessly grateful for everything this life has brought me in the past 20 years.

As I leave my teenage years behind and start a new chapter in my 20’s, I can gladly say I wouldn’t do anything differently and I’m so proud of where I am today. To set the tone for the year, I thought I’d write out some intentions for my 20th year and maybe some of them will resonate with you. Here we go!

20 Intentions For My 20th Year

  1. Call my family more often, both immediate and extended-connect more in general.
  2. Be more present everywhere I go.
  3. Do more yoga!
  4. Make deep connections that fill my soul.
  5. Stop apologizing for who I am and who I’m not.
  6. Give love, be love, receive love in abundance.
  7. Be kind to my body and love it as it changes.
  8. Read one book per month.
  9. Give myself time for play as well as rest.
  10. Go easy on myself; I’m greater than I give myself credit for.
  11. Stop wasting energy on people who don’t deserve it/wouldn’t do the same.
  12. Reach out to one new person a month and make new friends who motivate and empower me.
  13. Get closer to God/Source/whatever & my roots; read the weekly Torah portion and observe Shabbat.
  14. Move my body in ways that actually feels joyful rather than exercising for aesthetics.
  15. Don’t feel bad for making myself a priority.
  16. Self-care hard af.
  17. Dance more and start taking ballet classes again.
  18. Trust that everything is already mine and that the universe has my back-even more so than now.
  19. Write an actual letter to someone I care about.
  20. Show appreciation and love in any and all ways possible-it’s the little things.
Ground Yourself in Authenticity and Live Your Best Life

Ground Yourself in Authenticity and Live Your Best Life

Wow, that title is scary. Right?! I feel like these days, words like “authenticity” and “truth” are thrown around left and right which is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but we need to stop for a second and make sure we’re using them appropriately because […]

RFM Essentials: Back to School Reflections + What I’ve Learned So Far

RFM Essentials: Back to School Reflections + What I’ve Learned So Far

Is it just me, or does anyone else sometimes feel like they’re just floating through space and doing life without really experiencing it? Like you can’t quite comprehend what’s happening or what you’re feeling although you know it’s all there? Yeah, me too. Sometimes this […]

Raw Toasted Coconut Matcha Dream Bars

Raw Toasted Coconut Matcha Dream Bars

Have you ever thought, “I’m just gonna throw all the s*!?* I have together and hope it tastes good!” Asking for a friend.

But really, this is usually how I cook when I’m craving something and it somehow always turns out fabulously for me. Without my adventurousness, if you could call it that, these bars would not exist and the world would be a much sadder place.

Everyone’s been making these cheesecake bars courtesy of @dani_nemeh recently, so I thought I’d join the bandwagon (because cheesecake? Bars? I’m so in there) and put my own little twist on things.

Here’s the deal: Coconut flakes. Matcha green tea powder. Maple syrup. All the freaking goods.

Toasting coconut really brings out the flavor of it and adds an extra dimension in my opinion. If you’d rather leave the coconut as is, nobody’s stopping you! Heck, these bars have so many options for variations it’s ridiculous so use this as a guide and make them yours!

Toasted Coconut Matcha Dream Bars

Raw Toasted Coconut Matcha Dream Bars

Servings: Doesn’t matter, treat yo self.

For the base:

  • 1/4-1/2 bag Purely Elizabeth granola (I used blueberry hemp, you can use any type of granola)
  • 1/2 cup Love Grown Power Oats (or cereal of your choice)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

Throw everything together in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Press base down on a baking dish and spread it evenly with your hands.

For the filling:

  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp MetaMatcha powder (or matcha of your choice)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • pinch Himalayan sea salt

Heat a large pan and pour the coconut flakes on top. Let the flakes toast until golden in color and slightly fragrant, then remove from heat.

Add drained cashews, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon juice, matcha, and coconut into a food processor and blend until creamy.

Pour the cashew cream mixture over the base and spread evenly with a spatula. Top with extra coconut flakes and a pinch of salt.

Stick the baking pan in the freezer for 30 minutes or longer and enjoy! Perfect topped with peanut butter, yogurt, or thrown into a breakfast bowl.

 

What I Ate Wednesday

What I Ate Wednesday

Hello friends and happy hump day! I’m enjoying my last few days before school starts up again. I’ve been working almost every day since I got back from a short vacation to my home town and FINALLY have a few days off so I think […]

Finding Meaning in the Everyday and Bringing Grace to the Grind

Finding Meaning in the Everyday and Bringing Grace to the Grind

Social media makes it all too easy for us to ignore the not-so-exciting parts of life and instead share our highlight reel with the world, but I think it’s time to accept life for what it is: the good, the bad, and the (seemingly) meaningless. […]

Getting Real About Cheat Meals; Why You Need to Let Them Go

Getting Real About Cheat Meals; Why You Need to Let Them Go

Can we talk about something?

And as in something, I mean cheat meals.

This idea escapes me and it makes me sad that people feel they have to classify certain foods as “cheats,” specify certain days or times for said cheats, and restrict their intake before and after in order to compensate.

I say, #stopcheatmeals2k17. Who’s with me?

Before I go any farther, let me take you back to a time in my life where I lived and breathed fitness, where cheat meals were a cornerstone in my diet, and where I mistakenly thought that all of this was healthy.

For years, I went through diet cycling; I would go on a diet (though I would never call it that, instead claiming it was time to “get my ish together”) for a month or so until I started seeing some changes in my body and couldn’t bear to force feed myself another bowl of chicken and rice.

I know I’m being dramatic, but just bear with me. I’d allow myself a “cheat meal” which turned into a “cheat day” which, in turn, led to me binging on forbidden foods for about a week until I noticed I began to notice my new body slip from my grips.

Getting Real About Cheat Meals; Why You Need to Let Them Go

Similarly, I’d use going out with friends or family as an excuse to gorge myself. Since I never allowed myself foods I actually enjoyed and felt deprived, as soon as I had an excuse to eat them I went crazy. I couldn’t control myself around food, and these “cheat meals” turned into blowouts. Rather than actually enjoying the food and the time with the people I cared about, these outings turned into Last Supper-like gatherings for me in which I was unable to be present in any productive way.

This, my friends, is the restrict-binge cycle. And by no means is it healthy, no matter which way you spin it.

“Cheat meals” are a diet-mentality construct; they simply do not exist. Food is food, and though it may have different levels of nutritional value, at its core it is energy and will provide you with nourishment in some way, shape, or form.

Getting Real About Cheat Meals; Why You Need to Let Them Go

To deprive yourself of nourishment and satisfaction when it comes to food is actually absurd. Food brings people together, it creates memories, and it keeps us alive; why in the heck would we want to feel so crazy around it? The short answer is, we don’t but we can’t help it because of the guise society puts on. We are taught that we can’t eat certain foods because they will make us “fat” and that if we do eat them, it’s not cute.

“Cheat meals” (yes, they continually deserve quotes around them) only perpetuate diet culture and compartmentalize food into good and bad. They allow people to deprive themselves in order to save up for their one forbidden food per week, which typically goes beyond that single meal and turns into a binge episode. Perhaps there are some out there who are actually able to be satisfied with that single meal or single treat, but for the vast majority, this isn’t possible.

Getting Real About Cheat Meals; Why You Need to Let Them Go

You can only hold your breath for so long underwater before you need to come up for air; the same is true in food restriction. You can only deny your cravings for so long before you “give in” and break your diet.

This is not to say that you should be eating burgers or pizza for every meal, but it does mean that you should allow yourself these foods without restriction. And by that, I mean you should eat them whenever you crave them and until you are satisfied. The first few times, you may eat more than you mean to and end up stuffed and groggy; that is okay and it is normal. After long periods of deprivation, you may not know how to handle yourself around forbidden foods but you must first eat them before you can nurture a positive relationship with them.

Getting Real About Cheat Meals; Why You Need to Let Them Go

These are the steps to intuitive eating and food freedom. I know it may sound ridiculous that you have to nurture a relationship with food, but often times we don’t even realize how broken ours have become. Forcing yourself to eat foods you don’t enjoy isn’t healthy. Eating to an uncomfortable level of fullness because you feel you have to clean your plate isn’t healthy. And feeling like you have to label a food as a “cheat” certainly isn’t healthy.

Let’s break the cheat meal mentality and begin living our lives, shall we? I don’t know about you, but I think feeling crazy around food is even less cute than eating a burger or ordering dessert. Yes, it’s a process, but it’s important. You deserve to eat what you want, and you can: #stopcheatmeals2k17.

Hey, check these articles out for more:

Things I Loved in July + Goals for August

Things I Loved in July + Goals for August

Holy s***, it’s already August?! I feel like this month flew past me without even really happening. I mean, I’ve heard time starts going faster as you get older, but come on. Like, I feel as if I blinked and July is gone. Just me? […]