Friday, December 12, 2014

9 months from today // 9.12.15

"Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder."

I can't wait to be your wife, James McGahey. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Healthy Living: Eating 5 Meals

I've always been a fan of eating often and small but over the course of the past couple of months have really implemented (and forced myself to stick to) 5 meals a day instead of 3.

Yes, its healthy and good for your body for many reasons, however, I found some additional benefits to this new routine.

1. Stress eating or not eating has been eliminated. I have always been someone that eats when stressed and loses all appetite when sad or nervous. Planning out my meals a week at a time and giving myself both an increased eating frequency and more manageable portion sizes has helped me to not associate food and eating or not eating with my emotional well being. Its like it is already planned out and a part of my schedule, so I don't have to think about it or remind myself and I'm not nearly as likely to stress eat bagels at the office.

2. My stomachaches have lessened. I have always been prone to stomachaches when eating certain foods or combinations of food. I've been told by doctors to separate out all food groups and eat them only within certain amounts of hours of each other. With smaller meals, this naturally happens. Instead of fruit and protein for breakfast, I will have one and then the other 2 or 3 hours later. My dinners are much smaller and less complex as well since I've been fueling my body throughout the day.

3. Evening workouts are a piece of cake. Even when I was much younger I had a hard time going to gymnastics or dance after school because I hadn't had anything to eat since 11am lunch. This routine naturally followed me into college and my life after. I am not a good morning worker outer so I have to save my gym time for after work. Eating something small around 4:30 or so gives me energy and takes care of any weakness I might have come 6 or 7pm.

4. Less cravings at night. I'm a night eater.. I will go through periods where I need something salty then sweet and then back to salty again and it usually happens at the end of the day when I feel as if I should "treat" myself. Satisfying cravings throughout the day takes care of this and puts my body in a much more content state with just a small meal. This is also incredibly helpful now that James and I eat dinner together each night. He can have a carb with whatever we're having and I'm fine saying no (most of the time). :)

5. Impulses have subsided. Because I plan everything out and pack it to take to work I very rarely give into office snacks or Friday afternoon wine. I know I already have something packed and with me and if I don't eat it, it'll go bad. Sounds easy but it really does keep me from consuming more than I truly need to.

Do you eat smaller and more meals a day than the regular breakfast / lunch / dinner? How do you plan and what benefits have you seen?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Green Juice Tricks

I've reconnected with my juicer over the course of the past month or so.

The ease of getting fruits and vegetables in via liquid and the tricks I've stumbled upon that have made my juicing life immensely easier are what has led to its coming back out.

Here are a few of the ways I make juicing not just bearable.. but enjoyable.

1. FRUIT. Fruit is good for us for a reason. Sure, straight up vegetable juice has its benefits but there isn't anything wrong with throwing a couple of apples or pears into your green juice. If you enjoy it, you'll drink more of it. Plus, I'll never trust the girl who says straight up kale/spinach juice is "so good". No it isn't.

2. Fancy glasses. Laugh at me... but drinking beet juice as if its champagne or green pineapple juice as if its chilled white wine works wonders. I'm big on how materials effect the taste (or my perception of it) of certain drinks. Plastic is out of the question so I might as well get use out of my various glass styles.

3. Freezing. This is something I didn't do until recently and my goodness what a huge difference this makes. Like many meals, fresh juices can be frozen in mason jars or other freezer safe containers for a later date. I've heard (and have come to find out on my own terms) that they will last for three days in the fridge. I freeze larger containers and thaw them for 3 days at a time or so. I also drink a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar every morning and being able to mix it with fresh P.A.M. juice instead of whatever else I can find is the absolute best.

What juicing tricks do you have?  

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Top 5 Happy Hours in Austin

Austin has the best happy hours. Best weather, best prices, and best atmospheres. I don't think they're missing anything.

I've been wanting to do a round-up of my favorite happy hours for awhile and figured I'd take it to my back-dated Instagrams for all the info. Here is what I found (and highly recommend)...

The Driskill. Largely because its iconic and a place to go when in town but also because their daily bar specials are pretty impressive.

For awhile Peche was my go-to with my best friend in Austin whenever we needed a weekday happy hour. If I still lived there I would want to go right now. The atmosphere here is top notch and they have a wide variety of 1/2 price cocktails and food menu items during happy hour.

Bar Lamar at Whole Foods, aka my happy place. I seriously feel at home in this Whole Foods. The fact that you can leisurely have wine or beer in the middle of it all makes it that much better.

Clive Bar is located on the all too popular Rainey Street. If I remember correctly (and their website isn't helping me) their prices aren't marked down too much during happy hour which can be a turn off considering other options but its a great place to start the night and be outside.

El Alma. Always my favorite. Best margaritas... ever. Incredible food. I can't recommend enough. The only downfall here is they stopped discounting my favorite drink (the chilanga margarita) during happy hour. However, its worth it. If you're there, go here.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Thoughts on Loneliness

I've recently been pushed often to think about and focus on loneliness. Why we feel lonely and how the effects make us feel, how we can utilize loneliness to better ourselves, and how there might be purpose in our lonelier periods of life.

I feel like I talk about my time in Austin often. It was the most pivotal point in my life to date. One thing I don't mention often is why, at the root of who I was during this time, this was all so important. It wasn't the career growth or the times I was doing great things with other people but rather during the first eight months that I lived there. I lived by myself, knew nobody except a few of my mom's friends, and, especially considering I had just come out of my senior year of college, had a great deal of time alone. There were more weekends than not that I didn't have concrete plans and more evenings than not that I spent by myself.

It was during this time that I learned how to truly appreciate loneliness. I was learning who I was more deeply and more rapidly than I ever had before. This is because I had time to reflect and really think about everything I was going through. Due to the uncertainties of my job at the time and the seemingly blind next steps I was always taking, I spent a lot of time praying.

This four month period taught me to appreciate loneliness. I was given that time so that I could grow closer to God and closer to myself.

I often think (and tell James) that things worked out so seamlessly between us because of the time he came into my life. This, I know, was part of God's plan, but I am still awestruck when I think about and realize it. I met James at a time I was more myself than I ever have been. I had such a tremendous amount of trust in God for what was to come that I was able to, as a result, trust James. I knew if things didn't work out that I would be fine... because I knew how to be alone and I knew who I was and was going to continue to be.

Our relationship grew, largely because of the person that he is to himself and to me, but also because I truly appreciated him more than I had ever appreciated someone I dated. He added a different sense of community to my life that I had been longing for and having that, while still having my alone time, created the most balanced relationship situation I had ever experienced. James and I also sometimes will wonder if things would've been so seamless and balanced had we lived in the same city and, contrary to what people might think, I don't think that they would have. We were young and still so new to being independent that we needed forced time alone to continue to grow on our own.

Now that James and I are together all the time, my work is a bit more demanding than it was back then, and I have family and friends around me, I have less alone time. And, it just goes to show, I'm less in-tune with myself and God when my life is so full of busy. This is another reason I'm so thankful for that seven month period... it taught me to find loneliness, even seek it out when I need it, and use it for good.

It is so easy to use nights that I'm alone to drink wine and catch up on TV. It is even easier to spend the hour before I fall asleep in bed on my phone or computer. It is immensely better though, when I spend this time in reflection. I see loneliness as a gift from God and I pray that I don't take it for granted.

"Make me lonely so I can be yours. Til I want no one more than you, Lord. Cause in the darkness I know you will hold me, make me lonely... til you are my one desire, til you are my one true love."