Living Life Fully

Since I started working full time, I have a feeling that I have not felt since college. Life and thoughts are spread among many things. I do not have just one focus going on. I am working 8 hours, spending time with my partner, getting into nature, leaving the apt for more than just a trip to the grocery store and just feeling good. It is fulfilling to be living life.

Since undergraduate, I have been hyper focused on some a feeling or action. Feeling like an imposter, wondering where I was going in life, questioning my relationships, researching food, trying to do all the workouts and letting it consume my life. Living should be your life.

The time I spent over the last year relaxing and trying to return to myself has really hit me lately. It is working. I am doing it. I have so much to look forward to.

We are planning another beautiful hike for today. Tonight is the season premiere of Bob’s Burgers. I am meeting museum members and visitors that are so different from those during the Summer months. I get to see family soon. I work with passionate people. Halloween, my favorite holiday, is a month away. I live in a beautiful and cool area. Life is full 🙂

Hiking the Hudson Valley

I lived in Colorado for an internship during my undergraduate years, where I fell in love with the mountains. I went for a lot of hikes, which allowed me to explore the most beautiful terrain I ever saw. I have not done enough hiking since then.

A couple weeks ago, I hiked Mt. Beacon here in the Hudson Valley. It reminded me so much of the beautiful hikes in Colorado. It took me 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete and it was tough the first half up. I knew I needed to do another one, I loved it! Last weekend, I scaled it back a bit because it was warmer so I hiked a simple 1 mile trail to the end and back. It was wonderful!

Today I am hiking to an area with a waterfall. If you find yourself in the Hudson Valley and you like to hike, check out for details on amazing hikes in the area. The outdoors are just beautiful and bring peace to the soul. At least that is how I feel. :^P

Meal Preparing Again, But it is Not the Same

I am working full time again, so I have to prepare my meals ahead of time. There just is not enough time after work to prepare a meal unless it is very simple and fast. I also need to bring a lunch to work, and put together a lunch for my partner because it is $12+ for lunch in the cafeteria at his work! There are more important things to us to spend money on than convenient lunches.

Sure I could buy some cheap frozen dinners, but I feel like food tastes better made in a kitchen near you. Frozen dinners can be loaded with sodium. When I looked the other day, one Hot Pocket has an average of 500 mg of sodium and I do not even feel like single pocket satiates my hunger. Plus, I am trying to eat better. I want to lose the excess weight I gained. I physically feel the strain of it on my body.

Meal preparing is different this time though. I am not so focused on the macro-nutrient profile of each meal and how it fuels muscle growth or weight loss. I am concerned with what I feel like eating and how I can satisfy that in a nutritious way. For instance, eating good bread toasted or a fluffy pancake is almost euphoric. So lately on my days off, I have toast or pancakes for breakfast with nut butter and fruit.

Then as we move into cooler weather here in New York state, it is becoming oatmeal season for me. Nothing is more satisfying to me than a warm bowl of porridge on a cold morning. Thankfully, most of my breakfasts are things you can make quickly. So I only need to focus on making enough for dinner that can spread throughout the week. Dinner this past week involved pesto mozzarella tomato salads (made plenty of pesto over the weekend) and pumpkin chili (made on my day off). Then I make large batch, simple lunches like coconut lentil soup or quinoa crusted quiche, also on a day off.

It so different not looking at the “macros” when “meal prepping.” When I use to meal prepare for the week, it was a massive undertaking. Now I just want to be able to eat when I am hungry without breaking the bank or feeling stuck eating junk.

Quit Complaining

I get on this ridiculous complain train some times and I can tell I am starting to get there again. I have to remind myself that lamenting so much just makes me not a fun person to be around and also just negative. It is time to cut the complaining. I have a pretty good life. Sometimes I feel like I am only griping to try to relate to people. Other times I am venting from a frustrating experience and it turns into an endless complain train.

I am trying to look at the positive and remember that my relationships are important to me. I do not want to push people away by grumbling about life or others the entire conversation. It is so draining when you do this or when someone else does it to you. No one wants to be that person everyone is trying to avoid. So I am trying to do the follow:

  • Remind myself that just because others may be griping a lot around me, does not mean they need me to add to the negativity.
  • Keep track of how much I lamented.
  • Turn the gripe into something positive. For instance, _________ just makes me question myself, although they also send me nice cards to let me know they are thinking about me.
  • Lastly, if I catch myself wanting to or thinking about making a grumble to add to a conversation I try to remain silent until I can think of something more upbeat to say.

These strategies seem to help and I feel as though I am complaining a lot less than I use to. Please share any tips you may have!

Looking Past the Health Claims

They are on every product. They help sell the product. They may or may not be beneficial or even true. They are health claims and that is all they are, claims. No trans fats. No artificial flavors. No refined sugar. No parabens. No synthetic fragrances. BPA free. Gluten free. Soy free. Sugar free. Dairy free. Fat free. Heart healthy. Vegan. GMO free. X grams of fiber. Zero net carbs. 100% natural. Made with real cheese. No added nitrates or nitrites. Organic. Excellent source of vitamin E. Contains probiotics. Immune support. Guilty free. Low sodium. No MSG. Low carb. Real fruit. Take the 2 week challenge and improve your digestion. Low glycemic. Baked never fried. Paleo. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Just because a product has a lot of protein, healthy fats, all natural ingredients, whole grains, micronutrients like vitamin C or does not contain something, does not mean it will be the best thing for you. It is important to remember that the sale of food is a business and not all businesses are looking out for us. You have to do what feels right for you.

For me it feels right to eat a varied diet. There is nothing that I eat everyday, other that a multivitamin. While I do not get bored eating the same thing often, it does not provide me with a variety of nutrients. I like to switch things up for that reason. I try to block out all the health claims and focus on the nutrition of the food and ingredients.

When the front of the package says low sodium, but then the nutritional facts tell you it contains 700 mg per serving… that just is not low sodium to me. This does not mean I would not ever use the product, but I might not add sodium to the meal in addition. A sodium heavy meal makes me bloated and uncomfortable, as it does for many people. The point is that I am listening to my body’s response.

Take the time to go with the flow of your body and look past the health claims.