Monday, January 21, 2013

Juice-And-Soda-Free January Update

I will write as if anyone and everyone who reads this actually cares - I am over halfway through my first mini-resolution of the year, and I have to deem it very successful so far.

I have only slipped up once, and it was a total accident.  I went to Chik-Fil-A with a friend for lunch, and it was in the first week of the year, and by habit I ordered a Coke but then I said "No wait!  No, I'll have a lemonade."  Then I realized, derr, lemonade is juice.  By now I'd paid and it was busy so I just drank half of it.  It tasted like pure sugar anyways.

I stated before that I would only use juice in my smoothies, and I have done that.  I use 100% juice only so it's the same as eating one serving of fruit.  But the point was to guide me towards more water.  By now, it's a habit to come home from work and fill up a red Solo cup with water and drink water all night long.

At work, I haven't been drinking much water.  And I have been missing my one can of Coke or Pepsi at lunch or the early afternoon.  That sugar did wonders to help me get through the day, but I have not buckled.  I realized I've been slowly replacing that one can of soda with candy though.  So there's a potential drawback.  I've been craving sweets intensely, even late at night.  While I won't be jumping back into a soda habit come February, I am rethinking my Fast-Food-Free February and making it something like Candy-Free February.  Right now candy is much more of a habit for me than fast food is or ever was.  All I'd have to do to succeed at Fast-Food-Free February is make a different choice for lunch, maybe, 3 times the entire month.  I'm thinking that cutting candy out of my diet might be a better benefit at this time.

So I'd better hurry up and eat my stash at work....

On another note, I have to say, I really am addicted to smoothies.  I haven't gotten sick of them yet.  I've drank them every day for 3-4 weeks now.  They have slowly become a breakfast replacement for me, and by the time lunch rolls around I'm actually not that hungry.  I might eat something small for lunch like a small sandwich, an apple, or a cheese wedge and some crackers.  It's rare that I'm eating a full meal at lunch.  And on the days that I DO eat a full meal at lunch, I have zero interest in dinner because I'm so full.  So my eating habits are changing - and I think for the better. 

I'll share my recipe for smoothies here today.  I sort of came up with it on my own because when I started looking for a "base" recipe for smoothies, I couldn't find anything really consistent or simple.  So I figured out a recipe that will fill my "to-go cup" (a 16ish oz double-walled cup with a straw that I got from Target - it's "sweat-proof" and keeps your drinks cold too) and take me a couple hours to drink.  When I finish it, it's still cold.

Cristin's Base Smoothie Recipe
  • 2 cups frozen fruit (same or different - I have been mixing strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, and mango; but choose what you like.  Those are just my favorite fruits.)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups orange juice (I use Simply Orange + Pineapple Juice - the pineapple adds some extra sweet, and cuts the bitter that you can sometimes taste with OJ.)
  • 1 big spoonful of vanilla yogurt (I use Stonyfield Farms Organic French Vanilla, and I use a big serving spoon from my hostess set.  I bet it's about 1/4 cup if I measured it out.)
  • 1-2 tsp flaxseed oil (this highly popular MUFA is rumored to target belly fat - hey, every little bit helps right?)
Put all ingredients in the blender and blend on the Puree setting until everything is smooth.  I typically start with 1 cup of OJ, but depending on the specific measurement of fruit that day, I may need to add some more OJ to keep it going so it's not too thick.

Note:  I read that coconut water is good in smoothies - I tried it and wasn't a fan.  But you could probably use any juice you'd like, I just prefer the OJ + Pineapple juice.  Whatever you use, try to use something that's 100% juice so that it's less sugar and more like eating another serving of fruit.  You can also add a handful of spinach - legend says you don't even taste it, but I haven't been brave enough to do that yet. 

While I'm on the topic of smoothies, I have to rave about my blender.  My husband bought this gem for me for Christmas, and I couldn't be happier.  This thing kicks ass.  I'm actually going to order another blender jar tonight, because I'm tired of hand-washing it every night or so between making milkshakes and smoothies and salsas and sauces.... it's the best appliance I have in my kitchen right now.  And at $99, it's a TOTAL steal.

I'll check back in soon.  If I pretend I'm a famous blogger that has lots of readers, maybe I can stick to my resolutions.  :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 Summary

Was 2012 a good year for you?
2012 was an okay year.  School was especially tough in 2012 but I made it through.

What was your favorite moment of the year?
Family vacation to Virginia Beach in September.  It could not have come at a better time.

What was your least favorite moment?
Coming back to work the week after vacation.

Where were you when 2012 began?
Annapolis, MD on a weekend getaway with my husband.

Who were you with?

Where will you be when 2012 ends?
I was at my house.  It was a nice, quiet NYE.  I made food and we got drunk.

Who will you be with when 2012 ends?

Did you keep your new years resolution of 2012?
I don't really remember making any solid resolutions.  I did want to do more with photography and I did -- I did several photo shoots.

Do you have a new years resolution for 2013?
See previous entry -- I am trying mini-resolutions for 2013 -- one for each month.

Did you fall in love in 2012?
Only more in love with my daughter.

If so, with who?
Maraea Rayne Scott.

If yes, do they know?
I'm sure she does.  :)  She says I am the best mommy ever.

What was the stupidest thing you did this year?
Believe things that I never, ever should have believed.

You regret it?

Did you break up with anyone in 2012?
Depends on the definition of "break up".  I suppose in some definitions, yes.

Did you make any new friends in 2012?

Who are your new friends?

What was your favorite month of 2012?

Did you travel outside of the US in 2012?

How many states did you travel to in 2012?
Maryland, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina.

Did you lose anybody close to you in 2012?
Thankfully, no.

What was your favorite movie that you saw in 2012?
I can't even remember seeing a movie.

Who was your favorite artist from 2012?
Linkin Park, Florence & The Machine, Ellie Goulding, David Guetta.

What was your favorite record from 2012?
Ellie Goulding - Lights.

How many concerts did you see in 2012?

Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2012?
Probably too much.

Did you do a lot of drugs in 2012?

How many people did you sleep with in 2012?
Silly question.

Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year?
Is there any other way to live?

Did you lose any of your friends, not in the death way?
I don't know.  Sometimes I think I did.  Sometimes I'm not so sure.  It's a sad state when you don't know whether you have a friendship with someone or not.

What was the worst lie someone told you in 2012?
Eh, why put that here?  It's a new year.

Did you treat someone badly in 2012?
I'm sure I did and I probably need to atone for it.  Ya'll come forth, I shall atone.

Did somebody treat you badly in 2012?

How much money did you spend in 2012?
Too much.

What was your proudest moment of 2012?
Standing up for myself and not taking shit.  Becoming less of a doormat.  Speaking my mind more.  Raising the sweetest, most well-behaved toddler ever.

What was your most embarrassing moment of 2012?
Every time I lost to someone in the basketball shootout at Dave & Buster's. 

If you could go back in time to any moment of 2012 and change something what would it be?
I would have gone to the doctor sooner about my exhaustion.

What are your plans for 2013?
GRADUATE MAGNA CUM LAUDE WITH MY BACHELOR'S OF SCIENCE DEGREE.  Row.  Go to Hawaii.  Be awesome.  Maybe find a new jobby job.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Resolutions

Like almost everybody else in the world, I'm terrible at sticking to New Year's Resolutions.  And I realized it might be mostly because I have to stick to something for an entire year.  So what if for 2013, I tried something different, like, a resolution for each month?

The first one that came to mind was a Juice-and-Soda-Free January.  This is because my awesomely amazing and fantastic husband got me a badass new blender for Christmas, and I have been a smoothie-making machine for the past few days.  I've already got a method down with proper amounts and everything so that it fits perfectly in my new to-go cup.  Breakfast on the go!  I love it!  No more sugary breakfast cereals (well, maybe no more...).  I don't drink a ton of soda or juice to begin with, but my problem is that I don't drink enough of anything, really.  It's not like I'm in love with water either.  So maybe for January I won't drink ANY soda... and only drink juice if it's in my smoothie (packed with fresh or frozen organic fruit and fat-free yogurt too... OJ makes a great smoothie thinner).  And drink more water.  ha!

Then since I was kind of digging the whole alliteration of a Juice-and-Soda-Free January, I thought hmm, Fast Food-Free February?  Now that I think I can accomplish pretty easily too.  I've been bringing my lunches to work recently just to save money and hadn't even thought about Taco Bell for weeks, when someone mentioned it to me at work as a lunch option and it was like opening the floodgates.  I think I had Taco Bell 3 times in 10 days after that.  And honestly, each time, I was like, this is kinda gross, but it's SOGOOD, I'm just gonna eat it.  I shouldn't have eaten it.  So yeah, I think a Fast Food-Free February is in order.

March..... hmm.  I have to be careful with this one, because March is not only my birthday month, but a big birthday month for my family in general.  There's usually some big celebrations around food.  Well, you know, lately I have been eating a lot of chocolate at work.  I have the biggest sweet tooth lately.  Maybe I will make March Milk Chocolate-Free.  That should curb my candy addiction.

And that's about as far as I've thought.  But I think this is what I'll do.  Try to focus on my diet and keeping it healthier by going without something for a month.  And I don't think it will all be food-related, because there are some things that I want to start doing MORE of and will do so as part of my resolutions.

Last year I wrote in this blog about how I want to do more photography.  I still want to do more with it.  I did some photoshoots last year that I am really proud of, and I want to keep doing that.  Photography fills a big part of my creative drive and satisfies me like nothing else.  Here are some of my proudest shots from those shoots:

In 6 months I will finally finally FINALLY graduate school.  F I N A L L Y.  The immensity of the amount of free time I get back after I graduate is immeasurable.  I can not wait to just have my life back and do NOTHING on the weekends if I want to.... The next 8 weeks are going to be my toughest, because I will be taking 3 full time classes (while also working full time), and up until now I've only taken 2 classes at a time.  So one extra class has me kind of worried, but -- I just have to pass.  All I have to do is pass.  Then in March I start my last two classes, one of which is my capstone class, and I will be working on a final project.  I can't believe I'm so close to the end already.  It's amazing to me.  It did fly by, like everyone said it would, and now it's so close I can taste it.  By summer I will have my life back and I will have a degree that establishes a salary baseline for me no matter where I want to work.  I will be free to go anywhere I want.

2013 is my year of freedom!