Thursday, March 23, 2017

Smoothies and Vet Trips: Thinking Out Loud #29

Happy Thursday! It's officially spring but I'm still waiting for the any sign of spring to show up. Yesterday the high was a balmy 35F degrees😳 I have been freezing since I got back from Hawaii and I'm crossing my fingers that warmer weather is on the way. Anyways, onward to this weeks thinking out loud!

1. What I miss most about Hawaii, aside from the weather, is running outside every day. I've said it before and I'll probably say it again but NOTHING beats running next to the ocean and watching the sunrise. It was hands down my favorite part of the day. Running on the treadmill feels like such an effort, whereas in Hawaii running was effortless. Running on the treadmill was really terrible on Sunday when all the TV's were out so I got to stare at a blank wall for an hour🙈

2. For the first time in I don't even know how long I sort of meal prepped. I didn't prep stuff for every single meal but I made a big batch of roasted veggies (I added butternut squash and didn't include potatoes) and crockpot turkey veggie meatballs. It's something easy for me to heat up throughout the week and eat for lunch or dinner. Plus I love me some roasted veggies, but I was bummed I forgot to buy mushrooms to include. I think my brain is still in vacation mode and not functioning properly.

3. Speaking of meal prepping I decided to try HelloFresh. I got three meals for two people so my boyfriend and I are going to try them. I will write up a review on how I like it, but all of the meals look really good! If you want to try HelloFresh you can use my code RACHMIN or use this link and you will get $40 off your first box. I think the first meal we are going to try is sweet and spicy apricot chicken😋

4. While I'm on the topic of food I had a smoothie bowl the other day and it was the first smoothie bowl I have had in a LONG time. Even though it's freezing outside and I'm freezing all the time I wanted a smoothie bowl, figure that one out haha. I blended together frozen strawberries, pineapple, blackberries, half a banana, one scoop of Vega protein powder, one packet of vital protein collagen, and some almond milk. I topped my smoothie with banana slices, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, Purely Elizabeth probiotic granola, and a little bit of honey. It was so thick and creamy and it made me crave sunshine and warm weather.

5. Tuesday morning I took Cora to the vet for her yearly checkup and to get some of her shots updated. I always feel terrible bringing her in for shots even though she's such a trooper and doesn't make a peep when she's poked with the needle. Dog mom problems. Cora has a lot of anxiety problems anyway but she was not happy to be at the vet. She ended up crawling up in my lap in the seats in the exam room. At 50lbs she's a little big to be a lap dog. She was back to her spunky self as soon as we got home. 

6. I just want to say a big thank you for the response I got from my last post. It was something I struggled to write because I'm still going through this transitional period not only on my blog, but also in real life. Once I wrote it I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. That may seam strange, but I felt so inauthentic with you guys and I had no desire to continually post food. My life is so much more than that and I want to reflect that on my blog. If you're wondering what I'm talking about you can read the full post here.

I'm going to end things there this week. Have a terrific day and a great weekend🎉
What would you like to see more of on the blog? I'm all ears so please anything- advice, relationships, real life talk, etc. Any and all ideas appreciated!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Identity Crisis: moving on and living in the moment

I've been struggling to write this post for a number of weeks. The ideas were in my head but getting them to come out and form coherent sentences was another story. It's also a scary topic and something that I'm struggling through right now, so opening up and being vulnerable is hard (plus Internet trolls exist). 

When I was on vacation I had plenty of time to unplug and just be present. I didn't realize the hold social media had on my life until I disconnected. For the first time in months I felt free. Freedom from the fear of missing out if I didn't log on and scroll through the various feeds. I knew I was missing out on what my friends were doing and I was ok with it. I five time zones away from home, there was simply no way I was going to stay caught up on what they were all doing. 

A large part of blogging is connecting and sharing on social media, but for a number of months I felt so uninspired. I started this blog as a way to share the recipes my friends and family always ask me for, but it ended up turning into so much more. I've been blessed to build relationships with some really awesome companies, test out some really cool products, and connect with fellow bloggers, some of whom have become really great friends. 

I got caught up in it though. I got caught up in the need to share. If I went out to eat, I had to take a picture before I dug into my food. The lighting needed to be good, I had to get the right angle, etc. But I was tired. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I have walked into my kitchen over the last few months and felt so uninspired that I turned around and walked out. My meals have mostly consisted of leftovers I have found in the fridge. I honestly can't remember the last time I meal prepped or planned out my macros for the week. I can't remember the last time I baked something for sheer enjoyment. Even logging onto instagram felt like a monumental task because I was tired of having an entire feed filled with food, no matter how delicious it looked. I was so tired. 

My soul craved more. I took my vacation as a time to recenter. I did things I wanted to do for sheer enjoyment. I ran early in the morning so I could watch the sunrise, I played in the ocean, napped by the pool, ate my body weight in açai, watched the sunset, took longs walks, practiced yoga on the beach, and I didn't have my phone on me 24/7.

For the first time in months I felt alive and invigorated. I was doing things I was passionate about simply because I wanted to.

Of course I'm still passionate about healthy eating and helping other people who suffer from food allergies, intolerances, and autoimmune diseases find recipes that are delicious and don't contain crazy ingredients, but I don't think that's what I'm meant to do. 

To be totally honest I don't know what I'm meant to do. I have lots of things I'm passionate about but finding what you're meant to do is hard. I'm only 22 and I'd like to think I have a lot of time ahead of me to figure it out. 

I do know that I don't want my instagram to be a reflection of everything I have eaten. Will there still be food pictures? Maybe. If I feel inclined to post one I will, but I want my feed to show who I am. 

I'm not a girl obsessed with food. 

I'm a girl who's passionate about running, lifting, relationships, trying new things, traveling, connecting with people, rescuing animals, and living life to the fullest. 

I am so much more than the food that I eat. 

So what's next for the blog? I don't know. I do know that I love the community I have gotten to know in my little corner of the internet. I'm going to continue to share thinking out loud posts and probably an occasional recipe, but largely I don't know. I love opening up and sharing random bits of my life with you. I also want to continue to connect with others and at the end of the day if I've made one person smile or brightened someones day then that's good enough for me. 

Thank you for sticking with me on this crazy journey and through this identity crisis. I don't know where I'll end up, but I'm excited for the ride. Most of all I'm excited to be real with you guys and to not have the pressure to just be a food blogger. 

Cheers to a new chapter, figuring out life, and sharing moments that actually matter🎉 

If you want to connect with me and see bits of my real life feel free to do so on instagram or Facebook.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Vacation Hangover: Thinking Out Loud #28

Happy Thursday! Sadly this weeks thinking out loud is not coming from the Hawaiian Islands🌸 I'm back home and digging out after a glorious welcome home snowfall😒 I left and it was 65F degrees and sunny in February, yet it's March and it's 20F degrees and snowing. Sigh. 

1. The thing I miss most about Hawaii is the ability to run outside every single day. Even if it rained in the morning it was done in a few hours (or less) so I was able to get a run in every day. I've never run in a place so beautiful and it was definitely a challenge because I've never run up mountains before, so some days were so darn hard but it was always worth it.

2. While I was on the south end of Kauai I ran to Spouting Horn every morning and watched the sunrise. I always used to be a person who never stopped once I started running, but running in Hawaii taught me to slow down and enjoy the beauty. Watching the sunrise became my favorite thing about the day and it was the best way to start my morning. Almost every day I had Spouting Horn to myself so I was able to be alone with my thoughts. I can't imagine being lucky enough to run in a place so gorgeous every single day. 

3. Coming from the Midwest seeing signs warning about a tsunami hazard zone was definitely different. I had to question some of their placement of signs though because some of the exiting tsunami hazard signs were right by the water where a tsunami could easily reduce the area to rubble. But what do I know I'm not a scientist🤔 

4. I'm serious when I say I don't think running in Hawaii could ever get old. On one side of me was the ocean and on the other side were mountains! I was literally surrounded by beauty and I was so in awe of everything. I loved the days where the mountains were clear and you could clearly make out their jagged features. I'm already missing these views while running.

5. Another reason I'm missing vacay is because I did not do my hair or wear any makeup at all🙆 my hair is naturally very wavy but I think the salt water made it even wavier but it was beachy so I went with it. I was also surprised by how at ease I felt wearing no makeup. I'm not one to wear a lot of makeup anyway but constantly being surrounded by people perfectly made up to go on camera can make you feel like you have to measure up. Nothing feels better than bear skin👌

6. There are so many awesome foodie place on Kauai so one night I stopped in Papalani Gelato. They had a ton of dairy free and gluten free flavors so I was pretty excited. While it wasn't as good as the vegan ice cream I had in Kapaa it was still good and coconut shavings were a nice touch. 

7. I'm not one to complain about airlines because despite having my luggage lost by Delta or delayed flights Delta has always treated me very well. This time I flew Alaska airlines and I can honestly say I've never had such a terrible time with an airline. I've flown quite a bit in my life (and a number of different airlines), but I will never be flying Alaska Airlines again. I had several problems when I was flying out to Hawaii, but returning was a total nightmare. My amazing dad surprised me by getting me a first class seat (I've never flown first class before) since it was a red eye flight out of Kauai. The day my flight was to depart I never got my flight confirmation, well come to find out Alaska Airlines had cancelled my reservation and resold my seat, so I didn't have a seat. I got stuck in one of the last rows on the plane in which the seats did NOT recline- absolutly horrible for a redeye flight. I was also nervous because I had less than 30 minutes between connecting flights so getting off the plane was going to be problematic, but it turned into an even bigger problem when my flight was delayed by over an hour. It was basically 1am by the time my flight departed, thankfully there was a lot of other people connecting to the same flight I was so the next plane was held for us. There was one last first class available so I was thrown in that because my original first class seat had been resold. I was starving because I didn't have anything to eat on me, but luckily they had steelcut oats which I could have and some fruit. I couldn't have the muffin or nuts, but overall it was pretty good for airplane food. However, my overall experience with Alaska Airlines was incredibly poor- from the flights, to bad customer service over the phone, to wasting my last day in Hawaii stuck on the phone with them, so needless to say I will never be flying with them again. I guess there's something to the say ole reliable. 

8. I think the biggest lesson I learned while I was on vacation was the importance of self-care. I'm going to write a separate post about it, but basically I had been wearing myself ragged trying to do everything, have everything be perfect, and trying to be everywhere at once. Hawaii was the perfect reminder that self-care is absolutly necessary and self-care is not selfish at all

I'm going to end it here for the week. Have a terrific Thursday and even though it's a day early Happy St. Patrick's Day! Please be safe and have fun celebrating if you are🍀

What is your favorite way to treat yourself while you're on vacation? 
Are you celebrating St. Patrick's Day or what are you doing for the weekend?