where am I, and looking ahead.

Nearly two months of a blogging break. I had no idea that 1 week would turn into one month, which turned into two. But honestly, it was a much needed break. I have had a long few months since I last blogged, and I needed time to deal with my life, without constantly trying to share it on here.

What all has been going on? Well without getting into too much personal detail (this is available for the world wide web after all) a truly difficult breakup, the stress of finishing up my senior year, the process of making post-grad plans (hello, big decisions!), and the whirlwind weeks of crying, smiling, hugging, and reminiscing before I graduated from college this past Saturday.

I don’t know if you all can tell from that list but… I have been processing a lot. I am so thankful for family (my mom is my rock), friends (seriously, girl friends are the best) and all the others who have supported and loved me these past months. Most of all, I am so thankful to have my faith. This time has been so crucial for me, and without God to trust in, I honestly don’t know how I would have waded through all of this.

At the beginning of this past school year, I chose a word to focus on. My word was trust. As a type A, organizer, planner, and all around high stress person, trusting in the God’s plan and ways has always been a considerable challenge for me.

well that word has come into clear focus the past few months. my journey this year brought me to somewhere entirely different than my “plan” had me headed. If you had asked me 3, 2, or 1 month ago where I would be headed after graduation– you would have received a different answer every time. I’m sure you all know this, but I just need to say– it is incredibly difficult to keep steadfast trust in the Lord when it feels like His plan is changing every 5 days, or throwing you out into situations you have no idea what to do with.

but through all this tumult and change (and growth) that I have been experiencing, something really special has been happening in my life. God has been so present to me in my anxiety, my worries, my fearful moments wondering what the future holds. I have felt His tangible comfort in these moments, and I have felt Him walking with my through days.

this has all really helped me to start rethinking how I can trust in God as I move forward. yes, I will continue to trust that He has a truly amazing plan for me, and that someday I will understand it. But more importantly, I am truly trusting His presence and love in my life. God is here for me, and I am appreciating that in a way that I never have before. And if I have His love and comfort, what more do I need?

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if you’re still reading you might be wondering– so what does all of this mean health-wise, and for the future of the blog?

health wise I went through an iffy place for a while. the combination of stress and starting a new waitressing job I wasn’t working out very much and lost a good amount of weight (especially considering I wasn’t trying to lose any). But after a few weeks, I was able to get back to the basics– I packed my diet full of nutrient dense foods (avocado + ground beef? yes please) and starting lifting more weights again (cardio is just ew right now. no need to burn extra calories when you’re waitressing 30 hours a week).

For the blog– I am going to continue from here with posts on fitness, food, and maybe some more faith, seeing as that is such an essential part of my journey.  I feel like this blog is such a special opportunity, and if my faith/fitness/food story can help even one person, it’s worth sharing! I may even have a new site soon, to help me move to the next phase of my story, so keep your ears open. And of course, let me know if there is anything you’d life to hear more of on here!

If you’re still reading, thanks for sticking around, I hope you’ll stay as I continue my journey!

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My Blog Name & my favorite movies.

4: Explain the story behind your blog name

Eat, Pray, Work It Out: some of the things I love in life. I named my blog after things I love in life.

Eat: I love food! I struggled with an eating disorder for a few years, and that experience made me even more determined that now, in the prime of my life, I will enjoy the food around me in a healthy way (mentally & physically).

Work It Out: working out is a key part of my life. It is my stress relief, my fun, a way to meet new friends, and something I truly enjoy doing almost every day.

Pray: The center of my life, my faith. My faith keeps me grounded, joyful, and living for Christ. Without it, I wouldn’t have any drive to live a healthy life and to inspire others to do the same.

Together these three things represent the parts of my life that I want to share on this blog!

 

5: Top five favorite movies

I am actually not the biggest movie person. I mean, I love them! But my attention span doesn’t always lend itself well to sitting in a movie theater. That being said, these movies aren’t the most original, but they are the movies that on any day, any time, I would watch, no matter what.

5. The Little Mermaid

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4. The Help

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3. My Best Friend’s Wedding

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2. All the Star Wars (Episodes 4-6 obviously higher in my heart, but 1-3 are cool too.)

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1. All the Harry Potter movies. obviously they can’t measure up to the books, but they’re still pretty awesome.SVOD-L-Sky-Movies-Harry-Potter-Promo

Mondays don’t have to be so bad.

When you spend all day inside, staring at your computer, the days can kind of run together, leaving me disheartened and dreading the hours of staring at my computer. But I have to remind myself- these hours of studying aren’t for my happiness now they’re for my goals & aspirations of the future. Anyway, I could ramble on, but I thought I’d save you all the pain, and instead share some quotes that have been inspiring me lately. Enjoy!

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Faith Link Up!

Have an awesome Monday!

Favorites.

Monday mornings can be hard. Earlier wake ups, back to work. Well, if I’m being totally honest, my Monday mornings aren’t that different than any other morning. Wake up, study, workout, study. Except today, because I have to get my blood drawn this morning. Oh well. It’ll be over fast.

I wanted to share some of my favorites that have been making me happy lately!

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^^Flowers in ball jars. Bright and fresh.^^

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^^Summer berries are here! These strawberries were so delicious, and I’m hoping to pick up some local//fresh ones soon.^^

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^^This baby boy. He’s too cute. My mom watches him 3 days/week and I can’t get enough. Babies are too fun, right?! Until they cry.^^

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^^Coconut oil on everything. I’ve been cooking a lot of dinners for my family and I’m using coconut oil on everything. I think I’m converting them. ((especially after sharing about the harmful effects of olive oil when heated up)).^^

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^^Kale chips. The perfect snack (or popcorn replacer!) And butternut squash. Cooked in coconut oil. Of course.^^

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^^My favorite thing this week. Devotionals. God always gives me just what I need. He follows my heart and calls me to him even when I am failing Him.^^

“Humble yourselves therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:6-7

What are some of your favorites this week?

Highlights.

Have you guys checked out the awesome blogger Monica over at Bravo For Paleo? You need to! She has a great website, and an e-book that is only $3 with a guide to Primal eating, and how you can manage it in college. ^^This is a banana pancake from her book- and the recipe is only 2 ingredients!^

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Justin’s Nut Butters! This was my first jar of Justin’s and I am a total believer. This is basically the same thing as Nutella. Except it’s 100x “real-er”. You can taste the hazelnuts, and it is not loaded with sugar. A new staple.

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Salads are my specialty around here. Especially at my college dining hall. There aren’t too many healthy options, so I usually go for all the veggies, some protein, and possible some cheese or almonds on top!

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Homemade salads are also a regular staple. I consider myself a salad connoisseur 😉 !

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I wore real clothes multiple times this week. I consider that a win. It’s really tempting to wear leggings and a tshirt everyday- especially those days when I go from class to the lab to clubs…you get the picture!

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I like to multitask when I’m stressed. Walking on the treadmill while studying- it allows me to get some activity in, while not neglecting my school work.

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Final Thoughts:

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My Health Hero

This month, I was asked to participate in an awesome series, “Who is Your Health Hero”, hosted by the American Recall Center

The American Recall Center is a great new website providing straightforward, accessible health and wellness news. From their website: “We aim to build the most comprehensive resource on the Internet for timely and trusted material regarding healthcare topics that matter to the consumer.” This month they are also hosting a series on Hip Replacement. I recommend checking out the different parts of the website and becoming more informed on your health!

My health hero: stick with me y’all! This post is wordier than usual, but I hope you enjoy it.

Today, I am writing about the most important person in my life, the center of my world, and the inspiration behind everything I do- including my passion for a healthy life! I am talking about Jesus Christ my savior and redeemer. This might be an odd concept to some of you, even fellow Christians out there– so let me elaborate.

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When I was in high school, I suffered from an eating disorder. I haven’t shared this on my blog yet, but I have mentioned it a few times. The sort version of the story is such: When I was in a Junior in high school, I studied aboard in Belgium for 11 months. I had always been health conscious before that, and I had always been on the chubbier end of the spectrum. The sort of look like “baby fat that never quite all got lost”. I had been a vegetarian since 8th grade and remained a vegetarian until earlier this past year {Junior in college}, including my time abroad. I’m not going to go into detail now, but in short, my insecurities about my body and my fear of gaining weight while aboard led me to develop unhealthy anorexic and orthorexic habits that I kept up for 2 years. After 1 year of suffering, I opened up and looked for help but the journey didn’t end there. It took me the next 2 years to come to terms with eating normally, and with the weight I had gained back {which was so so necessary but still difficult}.

Even after I have overcome my ED in the past 1-2 years, there has always been that little struggle in the back on my head, with the ED trying to come out, to be in charge again. That has been a challenge, and definitely something that works against my health. Not healthy and not a sustainable lifestyle.

A little more than a year ago, I gave my life over to Christ. I have always been a “Christian” but that moment I truly accepted Christ into my life, my mindset changed. As a Christian, I learned that Jesus loved me before I was even born. Jesus cares for me, and Jesus died for me. I am valuable already, without doing anything. For someone who suffered from harming, depriving, perfectionistic, damaging mindsets for many years, this was the most amazing realization I could have. My heart is practically hurting with the joy that brings me. I was finally free. Free to live without worrying constantly that I was not good enough, thin enough, pretty enough.

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“So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them”

Genesis 1:27


“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8

This revelation changed the way I eat, view my self, and value my health. Over the past year I have experienced a total shift and eye-opening in my life. I no longer work out to burn calories or lose weight, or even look a certain way. I workout to be healthy so that I can glorify God; so I can live a full life for His kingdom, so I can enjoy the fullness of life that God intends for me.

My health hero is Jesus Christ, and that is a great, wonderful thing! For someone else it may be a friend, parent, spouse, or pet. If it keeps you healthy, that is awesome. I hope you enjoyed reading my story, and that it will be helpful and informing to others in similar situations!

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Walking with God

Today’s post is  a little more personal than I usually get- but that’s what this blog is for, right? As someone who is a relatively young Christian {about 1.5 years at this point} I am learning new things about The Lord every day, and I hope you all enjoy a little elaboration on that!

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Unlike a lot of people, I have always been a “rule-lover“. Give me a set of rules, and I will follow it to a T. When I became a Christian, I looked for that set of rules that I needed to follow. Pray daily, don’t gossip, go to church etc…

It was easy for me to make a “checklist” to go through each day with. This made my first few months as a Christian incredibly easy. As long as I did/didn’t do the things on my list, I thought I was being a “good Christian”. Yet, I didn’t feel my heart or my ways had really been changed? Why?! I was frustrated and upset– I was doing everything right, right?

A while later, I had the amazing opportunity to hear Leonce Crump speak {Pastor at Renovation Church in Atlanta. You all should really check him out if you have time}. He made a simple statement, that totally shook me up, and has changed the way I practice my faith. And it was incredibly simple.

“It doesn’t matter how much you know about God, if you don’t know Him.”

Bam. I was so convicted by that statement and it is something I dwell on frequently, even now- months later. Building my relationship with God, rather than just my knowledge of Him, has been a complete change from the way I grew up. It is definitely the biggest struggle I face- because, don’t all our struggles stem from a lack of focus/strength in our relationship with God? That’s how it works for me.

Living an unsegmented life. Walking with God throughout the day. Making Him the center of every task, decision, and especially interactions with others around me. That is the ultimate goal, and something I am working towards each day.

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What I Did This Weekend!

Hey y’all! How was your weekend? Mine seemed to just fly by- isn’t that always the way?

Here’s the short version of my weekend!

Saturday:

On Saturday morning, I woke up early to get started on work and chores for the day. First up, I made some breakfast for myself, and a little later when NMK came over, breakfast for him as well!

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^^Breakfast for me. Fish, vegetables, and sweet potatoes.^^

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^^Chocolate pancakes for the boy^^

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While my boy was over, I did a little devotional and shared some prayer time with him. There is no better way to start the day.

Then it was homework time. Physics, Spanish, and MCAT work. Boring stuff, you guys don’t care about that!

A few hours later, I headed over to the dining hall for lunch with my roommate. The options were pretty slim, but I managed to get some good vegetables, some hummus, and a few chips for crunch.

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The rest of the afternoon was spent studying. Boring.

I did manage to fit a workout in- 45 minutes of easy steady state on the Elliptical. Perfect for the weekend.

A little bit later, we gathered our Spring Break group to sort out details for the week. Next week is finally our Spring Break, and we’re going to Savannah, but I’ll fill you all in more after I make it through this crazy week!

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We had planned to eat at our on-campus restaurant, but when we got there, the line was wrapped around and just horrifying. We ended up back at the good ole Dining Hall. Not my first choice for a Saturday night, but hey- free is free! ^^I ended up with some Moroccan Vegetable Stew and potatoes on the side. Simple and healthy {ish}.

After dinner, I finally took a break from homework and hung out with my boy and our friends for the rest of the night. Simple and fun.

Sunday:

Sunday was pretty much the same as Saturday– filled with homework. So I’ll just hit you guys with the details!

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^^All dressed up for Sunday morning Church. The message was all about praying, and something I really needed to hear this week. I usually feel that way though :)^^

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^^Workout– another 45 minutes on the Arc but this time it was a HIIT workout. And it nearly killed me. But in the best way ;)^^

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^^A healthy dinner to round out the night, whilst watching the Oscars with my roommates. Sweet potatoes, asparagus, Sole fillet, hummus, artichoke hearts, green peppers, and onions. I spoil myself!^

Question of the day:

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Free day!

Tuesday, I was lucky to have a free day- no classes. Especially now, at the beginning of the semester, this was a real treat! I didn’t have much work to do, but I did have a number of errands and organizing things to deal with.

I started my morning around 8 {my roommate had to go to an 8:30 so… I woke up. It happens.} I read a little and played around, before making some breakfast. Another similar bowl- banana, greek yogurt, and gluten free cereal. With some peanut butter this time, to make it a little more lasting.

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^and coffee… always coffee.^

After breakfast, I went for a quick workout, after stopping by the Post Office. Oh, the perks of living on a campus- everything is so close together.

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 ^My workout was the biking around campus + two 20 minute stints on the Arc Trainer. I love it, and I feel like I can challenge myself when I do use it. I love a good leg burning workout.^

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After the workout I showered, threw on some clothes quickly, and headed off for a date with my boy. It took me a long time to find the right place, but I finally did. We went to Saffron, an Indian Restaurant, which features a buffet for lunch. I had lots of amazing food, none of which I can tell you the names.. I’m not quite Indian-versed enough for that yet. It hit the spot! I have been craving Indian food all winter and finally satisfied that with a simple and healthy meal!

My afternoon was spent doing some homework, meeting up with friends, and having an important talk to my boyfriend. Just being with friends can be the best thing in the world.

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^Dinner, later in the Dining Hall. Salad with hummus and quinoa. Followed by a banana and peanut butter +chocolate chips. A dessert that doesn’t break the belt ;).^

After dinner, I went off for a Bible Study with some great girls. We just caught up, chatted, and planned out our study for the semester. Nothing better than fellowship with Christian girls!

Questions:

What’s one food you’ve been craving lately?

 

recap– in pictures.

food:

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^hummus hummus hummus…literally the theme of my life. It goes with everything! That’s my mantra in life.^

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^breakfast sando– Udi’s Gluten Free Bread, egg whites, and Cedar’s Roasted Red Pepper Hommus^

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^a delicious combo of peanuts, pumpkin, and oats. Simple and filling breakfast.^

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^a Perfect Protein Pancake via Fitnessista. This was so good and so easy to make. The best part– it actually formed like a pancake–fluffing up and getting that nice “crust”. I served mine with a simple apple on the side.^

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^apparently I only take pictures of my breakfast… my bad! Toast, one with hummus, one with pb+j. With some egg whites and red pepper hummus on the side. It was awesome.^

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^classic Friday dinner with the friends. Black Bean Burger with side of fruit and 1 little onion ring.^

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^birthday dinner out for my beautiful roommate. I went with the Penne-Goat pasta– with gluten free penne. It had spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and pine nuts. Delicious!^

fun:

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^Christian Motorcyclists Association.. what?! But yes….so much yes to this!^

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^seriously…my heart melts at these pictures. These kids are the best!^

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^Friday night fun. good stuff^

faith:

and to finish things  off– some devotionals and inspiration for your Sunday.

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Are you having a good weekend?