mono made me do it.

Hi friends! I feel like it’s been a while since I have caught you up on my life. So… lettuce talk! Oh, and I will throw in some pictures of what I have been eating lately too!

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First of all, you probably already know I have mono since I mentioned it in my last post but I want to talk about my life before I realized I had mono and what mono has taught me.

About a month ago, I was stressed to the max. Working multiple part-time jobs, not exercising like I wanted to, homework continuously piling up, and trying to maintain a healthy relationship with not only my family and Barrett, but with myself had me feeling slightly insane. Like, my eye was always twitching I was so stressed. My dad kept saying, “You need to slow down. Take a breath. You’re working too much.” And I kept saying, “I’m fine.” But it was more like, “I’m fine?” Like it was a question instead of a statement.

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overnight oatmeal. recipe on my instagram

I started having multiple symptoms of what I thought to be panic attacks. Night sweats, being extremely tired, headaches, swollen lymph nodes, a rash on my face, a tightness in my chest, and trouble breathing. There was one day a couple of weeks ago that I could literally not get off the couch. I felt so tired and so overwhelmed. I knew God was saying, “Slow down Anastasia.” But just like I had ignored my dad, I ignored God too.

I kept going full force with work, school, and life and noticed that a knot on my neck had grown a little over the last few weeks. A couple of days later (and several worried tears shed) two more knots appeared on my neck. I finally went to get some blood work done to make sure everything was okay. But I spent a couple of days in such a worried, stressed-out state that while I was making cookies, I cut my thumb open with an immersion blender and ended up with a trip to the ER and 5 stitches. All the while God (and my dad) kept saying “Calm down, take a breath, stop running around.” That was two Saturdays ago.

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AB toast and avocado toast w/ an egg

Last Monday I got a call from my doctor saying my tests said I had mono. They told me not to go to work, school, or exercise for at least a week. So I spent all of last week hunkered down watching Pretty Little Liars (don’t judge…haha) with lots of kombucha and snacks. I didn’t think about all the homework I was missing. I didn’t think about work. I didn’t even think about exercise. I was just simply, in that moment.

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PB toast and avocado toast w/ an egg

Isn’t it funny how I was so willing to listen to my doctor over God or my dad? I am thinking about it now and laughing because I literally was like “I can’t be still right now God, I have like 2149 things to do.” But to my doctor I said, “So can my mom pick up my school and work excuse later today?”

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lots of roasted vegetables w/ chicken

So my point is, don’t wait around until you get sick and your doctor tells you to take a chill pill. Listen to your family. Listen to GOD. I mean, He knows you better than you know yourself so why not listen to Him when He says it’s time to slow down.

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vegetables, kraut, and an egg

This past week made me appreciate mono. It helped me calm down and rely less on myself and more on God.

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Have a good week!

Pumpkin Turmeric Oatmeal

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Hello and Happy Sunday!

Sorry for being a little absent lately, I have been battling mono and a deep cut in my  thumb that resulted in 5 stitches and a trip to the ER.

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However, yesterday morning I finally felt like making some oatmeal and snapping a few pictures to share with you guys. The pumpkin and turmeric oats are so so so wonderful! They are creamy, slightly sweet, and remind me of Fall.

Pumpkin is packed with fiber to help keep you full! It also has a lot of Vitamin A to improve your vision. Pumpkin also lowers your blood pressure and helps you sleep at night (Daily Burn).  Turmeric, which I feel like is 2017’s superfood, is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It also acts as a natural anti-depressant, pain-killer, and arthritis medication (Dr. Axe).

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Both pumpkin and turmeric give this oatmeal a fun and festive orange color! So without further ado…

Pumpkin Turmeric Oatmeal {Serves 1}

  • 1/2 cup plain, whole oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut or almond milk
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • 1 t turmeric
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1 t maple syrup
  • pinch of pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin (make sure the only ingredient is pumpkin!)

Add oats, milk, and chia seeds to a pan. Bring to a boil. Whisk in turmeric, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, syrup, and salt. Keep whisking until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Whisk in pumpkin.

Optional: I added about 1 T peanut butter, 1 small cinnamon spiced organic apple (one apple sautéed in cinnamon on the stove), 1 T coconut cream, a handful of granola and cacao nibs.

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Sources:

http://dailyburn.com/life/health/pumpkin-health-benefits/

https://draxe.com/turmeric-benefits/

am I a yogi yet?

Hi friends! How are you? I am just peachy except that is actually a lie and I am really actually totally not fine. Lately I have been one anxiety attack away from possibly being put into a hospital.

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I might be exaggerating a little.

But in all seriousness, this season of life has been the busiest in my mere 21 years so far. From working multiple jobs, to balancing school, to maintaining relationships, to weaning myself off antidepressants, to being okay with “not exercising.” To say I am stressed is an understatement.

A couple of weeks ago I started having symptoms of what could have possibly been a panic attack. Headaches, sharp pains in my eye, very lethargic, trouble breathing, an intense pain in my chest, waking up sweating, etc. I also noticed a lump on my lymph node a couple of weeks ago. It  started to grow so I went to get it examined. Turns out, all the above symptoms resemble not only mono but lymphoma.

Do you see why I have been a tad melodramatic lately?

My poor family, my poor boyfriend…they have to deal with me in my dramatic state.

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Anyways, with my goal of “being more present” slowly being flushed down the toilet, I have been extremely on edge and worrisome about my life. #firstworldprobs?

A couple of weeks ago my mom suggested I start doing these Yoga with Adriene videos on YouTube. This lady, Adriene, has this 31 day challenge all about becoming one with yourself and de-stressing. It sounded right up my alley so I have been giving it a try.

I have only done a couple of videos so far but I am really, really digging it. It’s not only made me realize how inflexible I am, but also how calming yoga can be. I am hoping it will finally help me touch my toes! I haven’t been doing Crossfit these past 2 weeks so I was stressing about not getting in an “adequate workout” but yoga has made me realize you don’t need an intense and sweaty HIIT session to get in a good workout. With this stressful season of life, yoga has made me feel grateful for the body I do have.

Well friends, if you are in the same boat as me at all, I suggest giving yoga a try! I am by no means an expert so you will just have to experience it for yourself. But, I can tell you this, those 30 minutes on my yoga mat have been the least stressful 30 minutes of my entire day every time I do yoga.

so, am i a yogi yet?

Dreamy Green Smoothie

Hello beautiful people! Today has been in all honesty, very rough. I am taking some much needed self care time before I have to go into work. I am hoping to discuss more of what has been going on, on Friday so until then…please enjoy this dreamy green smoothie!

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It is chockfull of vitamins and nutrients with spirulina being the shining star.Spirulina is an incredible superfood that detoxifies heavy metals in the body, helps prevent cancers, lowers blood pressure, reduces cholesterol, and provides energy (Dr. Axe). It also includes vitamins A, K1, K2, B12 and iron, manganese and chromium( Dr. Axe).

Spirulina is also very easy to find at TJ Maxx or you can order it on Amazon.

PS I don’t know why the smoothies are two different shades of green in my pictures. I promise they are the same smoothie, haha!

Dreamy Green Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup frozen riced cauliflower (optional)
  • 1 T spirulina
  • 1 T cacao powder
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 scoop collagen peptides
  • 1/2 scoop plant-based protein powder (I used Vega One!)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk

Toss all the ingredients in a blender. Pour into a bowl and top with your favorite nut butter and granola! I used chia seeds and almond butter in the pictures.

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Sources:

https://draxe.com/spirulina-benefits/

Cacao Protein Bites

The other day I wanted something chocolatey but not too sweet. I also wanted something that had a little bit of protein! These cacao protein bites were the perfect combination! Unlike other protein bites that use dates as the base, these use nuts so they aren’t as sweet.

Cacao is the key component here. Cacao is the natural, raw, unprocessed form of the cacao bean. It’s packed with 40x the amount of antioxidants in blueberries, a high source of plant-based iron, bursting with magnesium and more calcium than cow’s milk. Cacao is also a natural anti-depressant! Its a win-win all around with this guy! I can usually find cacao powder a TJ MAXX for very cheap or you can buy it online.

All the ingredients are REAL. No artificial ingredients here. MAKE THESE PLEASE.

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Cacao Protein Bites {Makes 30 bite-sized balls}

  • 1 cup salted cashews
  • 1 cup salted almonds
  • 4 TBSP cacao powder (or cocoa, but you won’t get the same nutrients!)
  • 4 TBSP cacao nibs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 scoop collagen peptides (optional)
  • 2 scoops plant based protein powder (I like Vega One!)
  • 2 TBSP pure maple syrup
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 3 TBSP unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or canned coconut milk)

Add nuts to a food processor or high quality blender. Pulse until a flour like consistency forms. Add remaining ingredients. Roll into 30 bite-sized balls. Top with 1 almond if you wish. Keep in the fridge for best consistency!

Adapted from: Balance with B

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Sources: Be Good Organics

Keeping My Soul Sane

Good morning!

So far school has been good but I can tell that the stress of it all is going to slowly creep up on me. I have been trying as hard as I can to take one day at a time but that is kind of hard when you are staring at 5 different syllabi with the due dates of assignments and exams posted on them. (Was that a run-on sentence? I think so.)

There have been a couple things I have been doing this past week that have been keeping my soul sane amidst all the craziness. I think doing things that make you happy and make you feel good are extremely important. There are so many times, especially in school, where I become extremely hard on myself. I am somewhat of a perfectionist so when I mess up on something I typically feel pretty bad about myself. I have also struggled a lot with depression in the past so finding things that make me feel good is something I have been really trying to incorporate into my life more.

  1. Quiet Time.

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I have addressed this topic multiple times on my blog but Quiet Time is something that I find to be extremely important not only for you but for your relationship with God. Even if you are not a Christian, finding time to be alone with your thoughts/feelings and whatever you believe in is very refreshing for your soul. 

2.  Blogging

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This blog has brought me so much happiness ever since I started it. There have been plenty of times when I get frustrated or embarrassed by what people say about my blog but it is something I am trying to look past. I think you should find something you are incredibly passionate about without caring what others may think. This blog does that for me! I love reading blogs, writing on mine, and so far my blog has brought me some new and exciting projects that are coming up! The point is: find something you love to do and do it!

3. Podcasts

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It was not until recently that I discovered how much I LOVE podcasts. I have been really into Bulletproof Radio and The Balanced Blonde. Bulletproof has A TON of nutritional information that I feel like my brain is literally going to burst from all the info! The Balanced Blonde is just simply pure and up-lifting. Every time I finish one of her podcasts I am instantly in a better mood. Jordan, the one who hosts/started the podcast is so wonderful!

4. Kombucha and Coffee

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Silly but true. Kombucha and coffee make me incredibly happy.  I know it isn’t wise to spend every dollar on kombucha and coffee but hey, kombucha is good for my mood and gut and coffee is like a hug in a mug. Right? Right.

5. Quality time with my man and my fam.

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Spend time with the ones you love! This is not anything new but I think it is pretty important. Loved ones have a way of making everything in the world seem right and okay. Barrett and my family know me very well so anytime I have something going on whether it is stressful or exciting, they are there for me.

Do things that make YOUR soul sane! Take one day at a time and take some time for yourself each day.

 

 

 

Self-Care Saturday

Happy Weekend! Classes begin on Monday and although I am already involved in a Chemistry class online through the community college, I wanted to make my last Saturday of “freedom” a good one. So, I present to you….

SELF-CARE SATURDAY!

This morning I woke up at 9 am (a rare occurrence since I am usually up no later than 6!) I went downstairs only to find out I was home alone. I took advantage of the beautiful weather and a quiet house and made myself some bulletproof coffee. I combined 1 TBSP of ghee, 1 TBSP brain octane, and 1 scoop collagen peptides to about 12 oz of coffee. I grabbed my new book “Deep Nutrition” by Dr. Catherine Shanahan and went to lay outside.

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This book is amazing so far. I heard about it when I listened to a talk by Dr. Cate on Bulletproof Radio. I love that this is NOT A DIET book but a book that emphasizes the importance of REAL FOOD and REAL NUTRITION.

I spent a couple hours outside until I started to feel hungry. I had skipped breakfast since I really was not feeling all that hungry. Now, skipping breakfast is not ideal but my bulletproof coffee has plenty of fats and protein to keep me satiated for a while. For lunch I decided to re-heat a grass-fed burger we had last night with some turmeric sweet potato fries, avocado, kraut, and Tessemae’s creamy ranch dressing all over some spinach.

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This meal was legit insane, I could eat it again and again!

After lunch I decided to take our family dog Annie on a walk. I can’t get over the weather today! Although I love rain/snow and temperatures below 40, I decided to take advantage of the 60 degree weather and spend as much time outside as I could.

I am trying really hard to put my goal of “being more present” to use. I listened to a podcast by Bulletproof Radio about rebuilding the body on the cellular level while I was walking. I always forget how peaceful walking can be. When I used to run all the time, I found walking to be excruciatingly boring. Now that I don’t run as much and have been practicing being more present, I find walks to be calming and relaxing.

Unfortunately I have to work tonight, but until then I plan on reading more of my book, plowing through some chemistry homework, drinking some green tea, and putting on my chlorophyll face mask from Cocokind.

Show yourself some self-care today! You deserve it!!

Food Lately: Whole 30 edition

Hi friends!

Lately my mom, dad, and I have been doing the Whole 30 diet…I hate even saying the word “diet.” Basically you eat REAL food. No dairy, legumes, grains, alcohol, or sugars. Just real, basic food. The reason I am doing it is because I thought it would be a great way to test out what I am allergic to when the 30 days are up and I start reintroducing foods into my diet.

For more info on Whole 30, here’s the website: Whole30

I wanted to share with you some foods I have been eating non-stop incase you want to give any of these food a try!

I start the day off with Bulletproof coffee, which I will most likely continue doing for the rest of my life. I love using 4th and Heart vanilla bean ghee, brain octane by Bulletproof, and Vital Proteins collagen peptides. You can easily order everything off Amazon.

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I usually eat an egg scramble with kraut or a new secret concoction that I can’t tell you about yet…

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Lunch includes meat and roasted vegetables…

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Or a quick tuna salad with 1 can of tuna, 1 tbsp dill, salt and pepper, 1/4 cup of kraut, and 1/4 avocado over spinach.img_3033

Since I have been working almost every night, I usually just eat whatever my mom makes for dinner. It is usually some type of meat and vegetables! Below is curry chicken, peas, and mashed cauliflower over some spinach.

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So far, Whole 3o is not that much different then what I normally eat.

I just miss bread…and dark chocolate…and beans…and rice…and peanut butter.

Okay, bye!

 

Birthday Waffle

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I had a wonderful 21st birthday! It was filled with a super tough workout with my mom, a movie with my brother and sister, drinks at Novo Dolce with my family, wine with Barrett at The Derby, and of course…this waffle!

I am starting Whole 30 today since my Crossfit gym is doing it. Instead of doing it for weight loss, I thought I would test it out as an elimination diet to see what I am allergic to. Everyone at my gym started Monday but since I had my birthday on Tuesday, I wanted to start on Wednesday. Since I was about to give up grains and sugars for 30 days, I wanted to have a waffle that still involved grains/sugars but was also healthy!

Without further ado…

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Birthday Protein Waffle [Serves 1]

  • 1/4 old-fashioned oats
  • 1 TBSP coconut flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 scoop favorite protein powder (I used vanilla Vega One)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 unsweetened almond milk (or other milk)

Blend together all the ingredients in a blender. Pour into a greased waffle iron. It should only take about 5 minutes until it is done! It just depends on what type of waffle iron you have.

I topped mine with maple syrup, peanut butter, cacao nibs, and the other 1/2 of that banana!

adapted from: Rachael’s Good Eats

 

Whole 30 Green Smoothie

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First of all, I know what you’re thinking… “A green smoothie…in January? When it’s really cold outside?”

I know, I know! But if you’ve been like me at all then you’ve had a sore throat, a cough, a sneeze, and your nose won’t stop running. Are you like that at all?

Second of all, are you doing the January Whole 30? Even if you aren’t, this smoothie is still perfect for you because it contains WHOLE FOODS. No weird protein powders and no strange ingredients.

This smoothie will leave your throat feeling better, will meet your Whole 30 requirements, and will leave you feeling energized all morning.

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Whole 30 Green Smoothie

  • 2-3 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 TBSP cacao powder (found for cheap at TJ MAXX)
  • 2 TBSP unsweetened/unsalted almond butter
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 TBSP chia seeds (Yay Omega 3’s!!)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (or homemade nut milk)
    • If you are not doing Whole 30, you can use the store bought nut milk in the cartons)
  • 5-6 ice cubes

Add all the ingredients to the blender and blend that sucker up!

Enjoy!

I am off to begin a long, long semester of online chemistry…

Also, also…..I TURN 20 freakin 1 tomorrow!!!