In second grade my parents placed me in Catholic school. I loved public school but that year I was supposed to get a teacher that thought hitting kids with a ruler wasn’t so 1963 and more 1998. So my parents sent me off to Catholic school where I rocked a really sweet outfit of knee-high socks, plaid jumpers and a tie up until 5th grade when we moved (probably the best day ever for me as a kid, I also was allowed to wear a really sweet purple backpack in public school, private school didn’t allow that because it went against the “dress code”). That’s where I learned about Lent. I never really gave up anything big, I mean, most kids gave up chocolate and sweets but that would’ve never done anything since I don’t like either.
I remember in 4th grade I gave up strawberries, which at the time was one of my favorite things in the world. (If you can’t tell, I didn’t go far too outside of my comfort zone) Let’s just say Lent wasn’t really too much of a priority in my younger years.
But, this year I racked my brain and thought I’d give myself a leap of faith that maybe I could make it through the 40 days. So…what am I giving up you may ask?
This also means besides coffee any tea with caffeine, alcohol with caffeine…and now I’m not sure what I’m getting myself into. I’m guessing most of you thinking I’m going to royally screw this up within the next 2-5 days, heck I don’t have too much faith in myself, but…
This brunette is going decaffeinated. It’s not going to be easy, especially as I live right across the street from Starbucks and usually can’t make my way to work without stopping off there first before the subway. Also I live in freaking NYC where there’s a coffee shop on just about every corner. My coworkers may have a worse off time with this than I will, especially during Monday morning meetings. But hey, I won’t have to whiten my teeth as often and as the average Starbucks drink is around $4.26 times about 40 days I’ll be saving just enough to buy myself something pretty ($170).
Oh and so you guys get to enjoy my wonderful self also, I’ll be taking pictures every day I’m #offthecaff to see if there’s any changes in my complexion and well, I’m guessing my attitude won’t be so perky in the mornings. I’ll be giving you little updates over on my twitter @tiameghan and every once in a while on the blog.
Over the past few months I have gotten into making a lot of my meals with Quinoa (I’ve now learned it’s pronounced Keen-wah but I still love to call it Kwin-oh-wah). Anyways, this food is very versatile and has become very popular in the healthy foodie community. You can make a quinoa casserole, salad and even pancakes (I’m not too sure about these yet). The options are endless but one of my favorite ways to make quinoa is into bite sized balls. They’re delicious and you just pop them into your mouth, also perfect for when guests come over. I also used some of the leftover mixture as my lunch the next day and topped it off with some guacamole and salsa. Mmm delicious.
Hi ACB readers! I am so excited to be posting on behalf of Tia today. I’m Lisa, the blogger behind The Skinny on Health. TSOH is a health, wellness, and lifestyle blog that talks about health, nutrition, and fitness. I’m currently getting my masters in nutrition and have a degree in human biology, so I explain how to actually lose weight and be healthy without all the craziness of fad dieting.
Since I know Tia loves to explore new places and restaurants (I mean, who doesn’t?!), I’m going to be sharing The Skinny on Health’s guide to eating out with you all. I’m a firm believer in integrating healthy living into an enjoyable lifestyle, so I also love to eat at delicious restaurants. Social eating is an important part of our lifestyle, you shouldn’t have to give it up when you’re trying to eat healthy. Here are some quick tips to finding the line between enjoying yummy restaurants and staying healthy!
Replace something. Anything, really. If it’s a salad, replace the dressing with olive oil and vinegar. If it’s sushi, replace white rice with brown rice (literally tastes the same!), or sushi with sashimi. If it’s pasta, replace it with gluten free or whole wheat pasta. Replace a bun or bread with whole wheat. If it’s breaded chicken, replace it with grilled. Replace a side of fries with salad. You get the point. I’m not saying you go nuts and order a piece of grilled Tofurky with a side of dressing-less salad in place of your cheeseburger and fries, just replace one or two things at a time. The small change will make a bigger difference than still being hungry at dessert.
Leftovers are golden. One of the biggest issues with restaurants is that the portions are out of control. They have skewed what we think we have to eat, making even healthy meals high in calories. So, for every meal you eat at a restaurant, think of it as two meals. Eat half there, and take half home. By eating at a slower pace (your brother could definitely help, he’s the slowest eater ever), you’ll feel full with less food. So enjoy and chat, and you’ll find yourself saving the rest for the next day.
Water over bread. If the restaurant serves that amazing fresh-out-of-the-oven white bread, totally have a piece. But, before you do, make sure that you’ve had at least one glass of water. By drinking a full glass of water first, you’ll feel fuller than scarfing down a whole loaf of bread on an empty stomach. Also, try to order before starting to eat the bread (if you can help yourself). By drinking the water and ordering, you will be more excited for what you came there for and not want to fill up on bread.
Salad. Always order a starter salad with light dressing, not dressing on the side. By having a veggie-packed salad before a meal, you’re filling yourself up on the important stuff first. With light dressing, you get more control over how much dressing you use. You’ll be really surprised how little dressing you need compared to what they give you. Ordering dressing on the side actually causes us to pack on more dressing most of the time, so avoid doing that! If you’re at a sushi restaurant, start with miso soup. If you’re not into salad, try a light non-dairy soup (like minestrone or vegetable-based!)
Avoid buzzwords that give away an unhealthy dish. Order things that include the word broiled, steamed, or grilled. Avoid dishes that include the word fried, sautéed, or cream.
I usually won’t eat healthy food unless it’s pretty. I’m just kidding but it is a plus when your breakfast also looks as good as it tastes. I love fruits and vegetables and can snack on them all day. When I moved to California, I got into a whole new level of health kick. Avocados are just about a must on every menu and tofu sneaks into almost every meal. Since moving to NYC, it’s been a bit difficult to find fresh and healthy breakfasts like the prevalent Acai bowls out in Cali or Kale salads and when you do it usually puts a dent in your wallet. I’ve tried the whole green smoothie which usually ends up tasting like muddy water after the first few sips, but what I can do is an easy-peasy breakfast that any fool can make. And that’s a yoga breakfast.