I “cheated”…

Hello, friends! Happy Thursday! I hope y’all have had a great week thus far… My week has consisted of work, work, work *cue Rihanna voice* and more work. Today is finally my day off (before i go back to work all weekend). So I wanted to take some time and talk to you guys about something I have been going through the past week, that I think some of y’all will be able to relate to…

If you didn’t know, I live in New Orleans, LA… and you know what happens in NOLA during the month of February? Two words… Mardi Gras. Yup, Mardi Gras. King cake, king cake donuts, more king cake, drinks, drinks, and more drinks. Parties, balls, parades, more parades… and beads. Lots of beads… and more drinks.

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Let’s rewind real quick…… Back in January, I started working with my coach again. (Hi, Coach Eric!). So, since January i had been working with my coach. I have been more diligent tracking my macros, drinking alcohol less, eating out less… just being more aware of what I am putting into my body and more consistent on a daily basis. And i pride myself on that. I like doing what I am told to do. I like following my coaches plan to-a-tee. If i am going to be paying someone to give me nutrition advice, I am going to follow it, no problem.

And i had been doing that… until Mardi Gras.

YUP.. i cheated.

I cheated on my diet. I cheated on my plan.

How did I do that? Personally, i “celebrated” Mardi Gras two different days. On Thursday… and again on Sunday. I went to parades. I drank. And i drank some more. I ate Cane’s chicken tenders while I was intoxicated. I stayed up late. On Sunday, i had District donuts to start my day (ya’ll know, i love district donuts… YUM) and then i refueled later in the day with some Juan’s Flying Burrito. Throw some more drinks in the mix and that pretty much sums up my diet on those two days… A hell of a lot of carbs, a hell of a lot of fats, not that much protein, and a lot of alcohol.

Now, this wasn’t a “binge.” I didn’t eat until i felt sick. I didn’t use being drunk as an excuse to eat everything in sight. This was a choice. I knew that Mardi Gras was coming up. I knew that i didn’t want to be “dieting” during Mardi Gras. I told my coach this in advance… I knew I wanted to enjoy myself, drink, spend time with my friends, WITHOUT worrying about hitting my macros… and i did. I enjoyed myself and Mardi Gras was a lot of fun.

It is easy to get caught up in feeling “guilty” or stressing out when you know you didn’t “follow the plan”. I get it, I do. I used to be a lot worse with this but that doesn’t mean i still don’t question myself when i don’t hit my macros or “don’t follow the plan” or whatever the f*ck you want to call it. So if you ever feel this way, just know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Monday morning when i woke up, after the Mardi Gras festivities, I didn’t feel my best … not going to lie lol. I felt slightly hungover, thirsty, bloated, watery…. I’m sure someone reading this can relate. But you know what i didn’t do? I DIDN’T STEP ON THE SCALE. I highly recommend not weighing yourself the day after you “go off plan” or what have you. That number is going to be high(er) than the previous numbers because of a) going out to eat b) sodium c) water retention … a lot of reasons… so don’t psych yourself by thinking you gained 10 lbs over night, when in reality the majority of that is water weight. You did NOT gain 10 lbs over night by having a few drinks and eating a quesadilla and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s with your friends… Trust me on this.

So, i didn’t weigh myself. I didn’t weigh myself on Monday. I didn’t weigh myself on Tuesday either. On Wednesday, i did. And i won’t lie, when i stepped on that scale I was a little nervous and all these thoughts rushed into my head…. “Oh, no… what is the scale going to say? What if the # is up like 5 lbs more than last time? What if i completely undid the little bit of progress i had accomplished? What is my coach going to say? *Insert other crazy thoughts here*….

Well y’all, let me just say that those thoughts were in fact…CRAZY. The scale was up 1 lb. from my lowest weigh in and not even half a lb. higher than my average… I was (kinda) stressing out … FOR. NO. REASON!!

I didn’t undo all of my handwork the past few weeks just because i went out, drank, and made memories with my friends. Mardi gras happens once a year and i made the choice to “not track, cheat, go off plan”- whatever- and I am okay with that and it’s so called consequences… And those consequences?? Were nothing substantial to begin with ! Lol.

Some of you may read this post and think.. she’s just trying to convince herself that it’s okay to get drunk and eat like crap… ok…. no, that’s not what I’m doing. I just want people to know that IT’S OKAY to enjoy events and parties with your friends without being tied down by numbers. IT”S OKAY to drink and not track everything you put into your body every single day. IT”S OKAY to choose to live your life and NOT feel guilty for doing so.

Consistency is the key to everything. Are you consistently making choices that make you feel good on the inside and out? Are you making healthy choices, eating your vegetables, and drinking plenty of H20? If yes, than one day of “going off plan” isn’t going to hinder your progress. You can still make progress and reach your goals without being rigid 25/8.

I would also like to say that i keep using the word “cheat” when i talk about eating out of my norm routine… and actually, I HATE THIS WORD. It’s not a “cheat meal” … it’s not “cheating”… Cheating has a negative connotation to it. It makes it sound like i did something wrong or that I’m doing something bad… and I AM NOT. AND YOU’RE NOT EITHER. There are no “good” or “bad” foods. There’s only food. It’s not cheating, it’s simply eating. IMG_3301

Can anyone relate to what I am saying? If yes, how so? Have you ever experienced guilt when you went off your plan? If so, i would love to share your experience in the comment section below. 

This is a topic that i have thought about the past few days since I experienced it with Mardi Gras and I wanted to share my thoughts and rambles with all of you. If you have ever questioned if you should’ve “drank this or ate that” just know that you are not alone!! I refuse to let myself feel guilty for making memories with my friends, drinking, and having fun when I am consistently making healthy choices that make me feel good on a regular basis.

I hope that y’all enjoyed this post and if you have any topics that you’d like me to ramble about in the future, please leave a comment and let me know. Thanks so much for reading my post and keep checking back for more.

XO,

PBANDLAURENKELLY

 

 

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Recent* Favorites

Hello, my beautiful people! I hope you all are having a wonderful day thus far. I am proud to say that I have been UBER productive today… I updated my coach, went to the gym, went to the store, cleaned the apartment, filled out some paperwork because adulting, AND now I am sitting down to blog. Way to go, Lauren!

Today’s topic is one I have done previously on this blog… Monthly Favorites! 200-71

These blog posts are always super fun and easy to write about AND i haven’t done one in a minute. I am going to call this “Recent* Favorites” instead of January Favorites because to be honest, these have been some of my favorites for the past few months… It’s no surprise that I have been awful when it comes to blogging. (I am a work in progress, okay?)  These will be some of my favorite finds for the past few months all piled into one blog post. Let’s just get right to it…

  1. 27604868_10159862451810075_958464684_o.jpgHalo Top Gingerbread. This recommendation alone should tell you how long i have wanted to write a Monthly Favorites blog post… for about uhhh, 3 months now. I am pretty sure however, that you can still find this at grocery stores since it is a seasonal flavor… it’s probably even on sale! Win! If you can find it, this flavor is theBOMB.COM. Macros-minus sugar alcohols- are 3.5F/11C/5P per serving. It has a good gingerbread flavor and i loved the icing swirls that are thrown in. At first, i was a little thrown off by the icing swirls, but once i realized what it was i was like “Yes, i can dig it”. Some pints have more icing than others, but here’s hoping you grab the icing filled pint. No, this isn’t “real” ice cream but for “macro friendly” or “dieting” ice cream, halo top is legit. If you are new to trying Halo Top, make sure you let your pint sit out and defrost before digging in- it’s 100x more enjoyable that way.
  2. California Pizza Kitchen Frozen Pizzas. My favorites? The Garlic Chicken Thin Crust and the White Pizza… both tasty AND macro friendly. Most pizzas are super high fat but these are super macro friendly… FOR THE ENTIRE PIE. Macros for the entire thing… Garlic Chicken: 24F/96C/48P and the White Pizza: 33F/96C/39P. I wouldn’t consider this a “diet food” and even for half of the pizza, it’s a good size portion. Obviously it is a thin crust and not a stuff crust with massive amounts of cheese and dough, but it’s still a yummy pizza. I have enjoyed CA pizza kitchen pizzas several times the past few months and if you haven’t tried them, i would 10/10 recommend. I have found these at Rouses, Target, and even Walmart. (Side note: I also tried the BBQ Chicken pizza… it was not as good as the two listed above, so try those ^ first). 
  3. Monin Brand Sugar Free White Chocolate Syrup. If you know me, you know that i 27535879_10159866532785075_1812858697_oam OBSESSED with Starbucks. Well recently, i have branched out and tried another coffee chain close by called PJs. What caught my attention was their SF White Chocolate syrup… like HELLO, doesn’t that sound delicious?? Well it is, and lucky for me, they sell it at home so you can make delicious white chocolate coffee at home. WIN. This syrup is an easy way to add flavor and and sweetness to coffee without the added calories. I also think it’s great for my sweet tooth and when I’m craving something sweet. There are 3C per serving.. which i won’t track. Servings are 30mL which is a big serving so i don’t even use that much at a time. I put my syrup in a bottle with a pump so it’s easier to add to coffee in the morning and you don’t accidentally pour in too much. Anyway, super yummy and it makes my coffee taste like a latte. I am hooked. As i said, i bought mine at PJ’s but you could probably find this online as well. 
  4. G. Hughs Sugar Free BBQ Sauce. I have been searching high and low for this low 27537400_10159866532865075_635837106_ocarb bbq sauce and I have finally found it y’all. Whoo hoo. I found mine at Rouses (clearly i need to head back and buy more, because as you can see in the photo… i am almost out. gah) but this brand has SF original, hickory, honey, and maple brown sugar bbq sauce. I have been using the hickory and it is legit. This is great when you are dieting and want the taste of bbq sauce without all the added calories and carbs that are in a regular bbq sauce. Most bbq sauces have about 15c per serving, and this only has 2c per serving! Dieting win! This sauce adds flavor and you can literally put it on everything. I have been putting it on chicken, quesadillas, dipping my roasted veggies in it… the possibilities are endless! 
  5. Muscle Milk Peanut Butter Cookie Protein Bars. I typically like to promote eating real, nutrient dense foods but i cannot deny the convenience of protein bars for when time are busy and you need something quick and easy. These bars are 6F/22C(11C when you subtract sugar alcohols)/15P… and they taste delicious… just like a peanut butter cookie. These are one of my favorite peanut  butter flavored bars that I’ve tried so far. Some protein bars leave me craving more sweets or leave me with a weird protein aftertaste and these do not.. quick and easy and delicious for when I’m in a hurry or don’t have time for a large meal and need a quick snack, 10/10 recommend. I found mine at Target, but they also sell them at places like GNC or Vitamin Shoppe. 

Other random mentions: 

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  • Wireless Headphones. I used to think wireless headphones weren’t worth the cost…
    boy was i wrong. I bought the Jaybird-Freedom F5 In-Ear Wireless Headphones in gold and I am obsessed. $74.95 on Amazon. It’s so much easier to workout when you don’t have to stick your phone in your sports bra. If you have been thinking in purchasing some wireless headphones, this is your sign to do it. So worth it!
  • Sleep Tip. Up until about last week, I would listen to 27605669_10159866532900075_1988577060_oToday’s Country Hits on Pandora to fall asleep. Sometimes i would be too busy listening to the words, singing along, and changing the songs on the station to actually fall asleep. This past week, I have been listening to “Nature Sounds for Sleep, Relaxation…” instead and It has been a GAME CHANGER. It’s super relaxing and i feel like i fall asleep a lot faster. It’s just so soothing and peaceful which is kinda the point when you’re trying to catch some zzzzs. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, try listening the sounds of rain and ocean waves to help you sleep… SHOUTOUT to @mbkellyy for this idea because i walked in on her trying to sleep and heard the sound of the ocean lol so thank you Morgan! Haha.
  • 27535986_10159862451820075_318952723_oH&M Crop Tops. Not sure the details of these crop tops, price or exact name, but they are legit.. Super cute, super crop, and great for working out.. or not. They are less than 5 bucks and come in an array of colors: white, black, orange, sage green, to name a few. I am all for cute gym clothes on a budget and H&M has got you covered. I bought these several months ago so I’m not sure if they are still there, but it’s definitely worth checking out. 
  • Favorite Snack. I am a creature of habit so i eat the same things on a daily basis usually. The one snack that i CANNOT get enough of lately is:

2 Tomato Basil Rice Cakes

Smashed Avocado (don’t forget the salt and pepper on top)

Deli Fresh  Rotisserie Seasoned Chicken Breast 27605385_10159866644250075_727585055_o

this combo is FIRE. I literally crave it everyday. A good combination of fats, carbs, and protein and it’s super tasty. If you’re looking for any easy, go to snacks… give this combo a try. 


There ya have it! Some of my favorites for the past few months. I am sure I forgot a few things I love but i think it’s always important to try new things. You may not like everything you try, but you’ll never know if you don’t give them a shot.

What are some of your favorites for the past month or two? Foods? Recipes? Makeup? Workout clothes? Whatever it is, SHARE in the comments so I can give them a try, as well! 

I want to thank y’all for taking the time to read my blog. Please be sure that you are following my blog (click that Subscribe button on the right hand side of your screen if you aren’t already) and keep checking back for more… I promise there’s a lot of great content coming your way. XO

Talk soon,

PBANDLAURENKELLY

Skip the Diet… Try This Instead

Hello y’all! Happy Thursday! We are 11 days into the New Year and whether or not you set any NYR, or new goals, I hope you are working on them and setting yourself up to make 2018 the BEST. YEAR. EVER.

There are so many NYR’s out there- Save money, read more, get healthy… and “getting healthy” is the one i am going to talk about today… this is a healthy lifestyle, nutrition blog after all. DUH.

It is easy to want to jump headfirst into being a health nut, exercising 7 days a week, eating completely unprocessed, cut out all foods that you love and deem “unhealthy” — but i ask you, HOW MAINTAINABLE IS THAT? Let me answer that for you… IT’S NOT. If the “fitness thing” isn’t something that you are used to or something that you enjoy right now, that’s okay… So why not set yourself up for success when it comes to reaching your fitness goals? Focus on making fitness A LIFESTYLE… something that comes naturally, that you enjoy, and is maintainable long term… instead of setting yourself up for failure by choosing some fad diet and quitting because “You hate it” and “it’s too hard”.

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Being active and eating healthy doesn’t have to seem like an impossible task. 

Lucky for you, I have come up with a list of ideas on how YOU can make small tweaks in your day-to-day life to help make fitness a LIFESTYLE.. and not just another dieting phase. These easy changes to your routine can help you on the right track to reaching those goals you set for yourself in 2018.

  • Eat Your Fruits and Veggies. We’ve all heard the saying “eat the rainbow”. Fruits IMG_2787and vegetables contain so many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that are crucial for being healthy on the inside and out.
  • Get Moving and Get Outside. Moving more is key when it comes to being healthy. Incorporate more movement into your everyday life. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park further from the entrance to the grocery store. Going on a vacation with your family? Go on a walk to explore… you get the idea.. just move.
  • Find a Workout Regimen That You Enjoy. Whether that be Zumba, Pilates, Weightlifting, Running, Yoga, etc etc… the only way to make fitness a part of your routine on a REGULAR basis is if you actually enjoy what you are doing. Don’t like running? Don’t run. Would you rather workout with a  friend or alone? Do you like working out in the morning or at night? WHAT DO YOU ENJOY? 
  • Work At Your Own Pace. You don’t have to go from working out once every two weeks to working out 7 days a week… Start by setting realistic expectations for yourself. Working out once a week right now? How about you aim for 3 instead. 
  • Skip the Sugary Beverages. Did you know that 20% of calories from an American’s diet typically comes from their drinks? High calorie beverages are often times full of sugar with little to no nutritional benefits. Even 100% fruit beverages, although made with real fruit, lose the benefits of fiber associated with eating the real deal. Just opt for a glass of water and eat the whole fruit instead… chances are you will feel a lot more satisfied.
  • Schedule it. Actually write it out and plan it into your day. You will be more likely to
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    Add stretching to your daily/weekly routine and watch how much better your body feels.

    stick to your plan if you write it out and make it part of your routine.

  • Stretch. Stretching has so many benefits- it helps muscles recover, increases flexibility,increases blood flow, helps relieve stress, and helps reduce the likelihood of injury… to name a few. Stretch following a workout or after a long day to help you cool off and wind down.
  • Strive for Consistency-Not Perfection. You cannot expect to feel motivated and stick to your plan 100% of the time. Life happens. Celebrations happen. Vacations happen. You may miss a workout here or there, you may fall off track with your diet here or there, and that is OKAY. One day off plan will not hinder your progress. Consistency is far more important than being perfect. No one is perfect. Not even the professionals are 100% on top of things-7 days a week/ 365 days a year. Don’t put the pressure on yourself to be perfect. No one is perfect. I repeat. No one is perfect. If you “mess up,” forgive yourself, and move on.  
  • Manage Stress. We all know that too much stress can have a negative impact when it comes to reaching your goals. So find ways to cope with said stress that makes you feel good. Whether that be getting a massage, doing a face mask, reading, journaling, having a girls night with friends, taking deep breaths… whatever it may be… Having low stress levels is key to feeling healthy on the inside and out.
  • Let Go of Negative Self Talk. Talking down to yourself  or pointing out all the things200-69 you don’t like about yourself will NOT get you anywhere. Nothing positive comes from saying “I hate x,y,z about myself” … NOTHING. Saying “I hate working out” or “I can’t do this” encourages failure and lack of motivation. So put on your positive pants and start saying all the things you do like about yourself. Say to yourself why you are making these healthy lifestyle changes and how much better you feel because of them… POSITIVES POSITIVES POSITIVES. No one wants to be around someone who’s constantly talking negative and putting themselves down. 
  • Set Small Goals. Instead of setting HUGE goals that will take a long time to achieve, focus on the small goals inside that large goal. If your goal is “I want to lose 20 lbs” … say “I am going to work out 5 days a week”. Crossing small goals off your list will help you feel like you are accomplishing something as you make strides towards that larger, end goal.
  • Focus On More Than the # on the Scale. Getting healthy isn’t just about watching the number on the scale drop. It’s about having a healthy heart, feeling confident, feeling more energetic, having your clothes fit better, and improving your self esteem.  Working out has been shown to increase energy and improve one’s self esteem almost immediately… so why not get started?? The other benefits are soon to follow…
  • Know Progress Isn’t Linear. No one snaps their fingers and is instantly motivated bad-workout-successeveryday for the rest of their life. There will be high and low points in your fitness journey. There will be lulls in motivation. You will encounter hurdles and struggles along the way. But that’s okay. The scale will fluctuate. Your progress will fluctuate. Your motivation will fluctuate. It happens to everyone.
  • Reward Yourself. This is one that my coach recently pointed out to me and i think he made a great point. Giving yourself rewards when you accomplish your goals can help provide you extra motivation to kick ass and earn those rewards. Whether it’s a new pair of workout pants or getting your haircut, find something that motivates you to work even harder. Choose smaller weekly rewards or larger monthly rewards to help give you a little extra boost of motivation.
  • Drink Your Water. There are so many benefits to drinking your h20 such as: improve energy levels, helps with regularity, better skin, boosts your immune system… to name a few. If your thirsty, chances are you may already be dehydrated. Keep a water bottle with you and sip on it throughout the day. Drink, drink, drink!
  • Be Aware of Portion Sizes. Portion sizes have grown substantially in the past few years, especially at restaurants when you are out to eat. Be aware of what a serving size is of pasta, chicken, of veggies, etc looks like… so that you can be conscious of how much you are eating. Opt to pack up half of your entree when you go out to eat and don’t force yourself to eat the whole dish if you feel satisfied.
  • Be Mindful. This goes along with the previous point… Be mindful when you are eating your food. Really take the time to chew your food, to enjoy it. Put down your phone, turn off the tv, and really be aware of how your body is feeling. Your body will tell you when it is satisfied and full. If you aren’t paying attention, you can miss your bodies natural hunger signals. img_tips_food_label
  • Read Food Labels. It’s important to know what is in the foods you are eating. Opt to purchase foods with a shorter ingredient list and less crap added to it. What’s the serving size of the particular food you’re purchasing? Food Labels will tell you ALOT about the particular food such as calories, fiber, saturated fats, added sugars, and sodium which can be super important for people with specific health concerns. Torn between two brands of the same food? Comparing the nutrition label can help you determine the better choice. 
  • Cook More: Eat Out Less. Not only does this point save you $, but it can also help you make healthier choices. Typically, when you opt to make your own food, you can save yourself unnecessary calories, unnecessary additives, less sodium, etc. I am not saying do not ever eat out, but try scaling back how often you eat out. Do you usually eat out 5 times a week? How about you scale it back to 2x a week? Your wallet and your waist line will thank you. 
  • Don’t Give Up Your Favorite Foods. This is crucial when it comes to living a 
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    You can eat your favorite foods and still be “fit” and reach your goals.

    healthy, balanced lifestyle. So often, i hear individuals talking about how they can never eat x,y,z when they are starting a new diet. You are setting yourself up for failure!! It is not realistic to say that you are never going to eat your favorite food again. That’s like me saying I’m never going to eat pizza, ice cream, or cheesecake again… it’s NOT GONNA HAPPEN lol. Depriving yourself of the foods you love will only result in making you feel food focused and cause you to want that food even more. You can still eat the foods you enjoy and reach your goals. Keep in mind proper portion sizes and just ENJOY your favorite foods!  If you are too strict, it can lead to a cycle of restricting and overeating because you felt unsatisfied with your current food choices. You can eat pizza and be fit. You can enjoy cookies and feel good about yourself. All foods can fit a healthy diet in moderation, y’all.

So there you have it. 20 ways that you can make being fit and healthy, A LIFESTYLE. Instead of opting for the next fad diet, opt to make fitness a lifestyle. Chances are you will not crash and burn like you would with those unrealistic, restrictive, and unmaintainable diets. I am not saying that you need to dive head first into my suggestions and do every single thing on this list… Are you new to eating healthy and getting active? Start by picking 5 of these items and work them into your every day life. Conquer those? Than add in 5 more.

IMG_0515Living a healthy lifestyle is a marathon, not a sprint.

You are a million times more likely to reach your goals, and maintain those, if you look at being healthy as a lifestyle instead of just another diet. I didn’t always enjoy going to the gym. I didn’t always drink enough water or make healthy food choices. But over the past  few years, i have made being healthy, MY lifestyle. It is something i enjoy. I love working out. I love how i feel when i eat my vegetables and enjoy a few cookies every now and then. I manage stress better than i have in the past and i feel confident about myself and my body and all that it can do.

Take the chance and find out for yourself how great it feels to be healthy! You don’t have to do it all, at once, you just have to get started. Don’t opt for the next fad diet … just opt to make being happy and healthy YOUR lifestyle and the results are guaranteed to follow.

If you are new to living a healthy lifestyle, which of the above ideas are YOU going to implement into YOUR every day life? If you already have made fitness a part of your lifestyle, what tips do you have for those just starting their fitness journey?? Share your ideas in the comment section so we can all help one another. 

Thanks so much for the taking the time to read my blog.. as always, it is much appreciated. Any ideas for future posts? Please leave a comment and share your ideas. I would love to know.

Talk soon,

zPBANDLAURENKELLY