April Favorites

Hello, friends! Happy May! I don’t know about you all, but i think May is by far one of the BEST months of the year… for so many reasons. There is always so many fun things going on. This year is no different. Morgan and I have so many fun things coming up this month, some of which happened yesterday, and a lot to come. *Pstttt, my birthday is in T minus 11 days*

But before we can dive head first into the month of May, let’s do a quick recap of April. I am going to fill you guys in on some of my favorite foods and products from this past month. Let’s go.

We will start with the one, and only, nonfood item on this month’s list.

  • St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse. Ladies, i know how it is… we all LOVE to be tan. Having a nice, bronze glow is an instant confidence boost. My sister and i used to get that from tanning beds, however considering the risk of skin cancer (a very real risk ladies)… we no longer use tanning beds. But, something had to give because i was taking pale to a whole other level… enter St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse. It’s your standard tanning mousse that you rub on using a tanning mit. Rub all over your body and let it dry at least 4 hours. (I like to let it dry over night). Then, rinse off and you have a nice, instant glow. I like to do this two days in a row for a little bit of a darker tan. It doesn’t leave you orange or streaky which is super important with a fake tanner. Keep in mind, you do need to adhere to the usual fake tanning rules… i.e. exfoliate prior to tanning, stay moisturized… it’ll make your tan go on better and it’ll last longer. They also have a Self Tan Classic Bronzing Face Lotion that i use on my face. I figured a tanning product that’s meant to be used on your face would leave me less prone to breaking out as opposed to just using the body mousse. It leaves my face looking sun kissed which is a definite must here in NOLA. I found this product at Ulta. The Mousse is $42 for 8 oz. and the face product is $30. Morgan and I have been using these products for 2 full months now… we have yet to replace the face lotion and have replaced the mousse twice. Keep in mind that’s for two bodies… so it lasts a while. If you are heading on vacation, or need a nice summer glow now that it’s short season, i definitely recommend this product.

Now, on to the FOOD…

  • Sam’s Choice Bagels. I love bagels! If you have read any of my past monthly favorites blog posts, you already know this… anyway, depending on my current physique goals, it can really depend how often i eat bagels because they tend to be a more carb dense food source. However, whether cutting or bulking, i have found the holy grail of macro friendly bagels! Sam’s Choice bagels, that i found at Walmart, are so legit. They have so many flavors such as: Hot Jalapeño, French Toast Cinnamon, Double Cheese, and Everything bagels. What are the macros like? I typically by the Double Cheese Asiago bagels and the macros for those are: 5F/36C/9P PER bagel. Guys, these are normal size bagels..not “diet” bagels or that “bagel thin BS … these are regular, full size, fluffy bagels. If you are dieting and think you “can’t have” bagels because they have too many carbs… think again. Head to your local Walmart and give these Sam’s Choice bagels a try.
  • ONE Brand Protein Bars *select flavors* I am not particularly a huge fan of protein bars as a “meal” replacement, but for a quick snack when your’e in a pinch, i definitely think they can be helpful. Lately, i have really enjoyed two flavors of bars from ONE… the Blueberry Cobbler and Salted Caramel flavors. The Blueberry Cobbler is probably my “go to”. It has the crumbly cobbler layer, the blueberry flavor, and doesn’t leave a weird metallic after taste in my mouth. It also did not leave me unsatisfied and craving more sweet things like Quest bars do. The last time i went to Vitamin Shoppe, they didn’t have the Blueberry Cobbler flavor, so i tried the Salted Caramel instead… this is another YES from me! A good, salty caramel flavor, good texture, and without the metallic after taste. Definitely a close second for me. The macros for both bars are 8F/24C/20P. (14 grams of carbs if you don’t track sugar alcohols (which i don’t)). I have tried the Cookie Dough flavor from this brand and did not enjoy it whatsoever, however, these two flavors are definitely worth a try. I buy mine at Vitamin Shoppe.

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  • Enlightened Ice Cream Bars. You guys have heard me talk about Enlightened ice cream pints in the past, and until recently i had never tried the bars. Well that has changed people, and let me tell you… the bars are JUST AS LEGIT as their pints. So far, i have tried the Sea Salt Caramel and the Frozen Hot Cocoa ice cream bars. They have the same creamy texture as their pints and are a good size ice cream bar for the macros. These bars are 80 or 90 calories….PER bar. That is so low calorie. Macros for the Sea Salt Caramel is: 1.5F/17C/7P (11C if you don’t track your sugar alcohols). These bars are the perfect snack for a hot summer day and/or a perfect solution for that sweet tooth as a snack before bed. I know Enlightened ice cream can be hard to find. In NY, i found these at Shop Rite and here in NOLA, i have only found a few select flavors at Winn Dixie. These bars are $4.99 for a box of 4 which saves you me money because instead of buying one pint which lasts me one day, one box lasts me four days for the same price. I have said it once and i’ll say it again. Team Enlightened over Team Halo Top. You must try these bars!
  • “Protein Cereal”. I may be a little behind on the times for this one, but i am going to mention it anyway because i have been eating this about 5x a week for the past month haha so good. “Protein Cereal”… how you make it.

8 oz almond milk (or milk of choice) + 1 serving of your protein of choice.. shake to mix. Then…

Pour protein shake over cereal of choice = “protein cereal”    ….HAHA easy right??

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It is super quick and easy. This has been my go to meal for after i get off my long doubles at Cheesecake and don’t have the time or energy to cook or make anything before i pass out in bed. It is the perfect combination of carbs and protein and it tastes delicious. My go to protein of choice lately has been PEScience Peanut Butter Cookie (PEScience Snickerdoodle is another delicious choice). My cereal of choice has been Reese Puffs and/or Cinnamon Toast Crunch. NOMS. As long as you pick a protein and cereal you enjoy, you will love this combination.

So there ya have it… My Monthly Favorites for April.

What have been some of your food favorites for the past month? What’s your favorite kind of cereal, protein bar, and or meal? Share below because i love reading your ideas and trying new things and foods out for myself. I would also love to know if ya’ll have any ideas for future posts so leave any ideas or suggestions in the comments. 

Thanks so much for reading my blog, Please hit that “like” button and keep checking back for more!

XO,

PBANDLAURENKELLY

Emotional Eating

Hello, my beautiful people! I feel like at this point, its just a requirement for me to apologize for how long it has been since my last post. Lol clearly, i suck. I have been working a lot at Cheesecake, a lot of shifts, a lot of doubles, so when i do have a day off… i don’t want to do anything but relax… i’m working on it lol.

This particular post, i wanted to have published last week because it is something that i went through the weekend before. But, since i didn’t post it then… we are gonna talk about it now.

Let’s talk about Emotional Eating…

I felt as though this is an appropriate topic because two weekends ago left me feeling a lot of feelings. Let me tell you what happened. So two weekends ago, i was supposed to have company visiting from New York. It was something that i had REALLY been looking forward to for over a month. So, Friday comes, the day they were supposed to get here and…. the flight got postponed. Okay, thats fine…. fast forward a few hours and… their flight was canceled. They weren’t coming. There weren’t any flights into New Orleans the rest of the weekend, so the weekend was a bust.

Needless to say, i was devastated. I had a great weekend planned out, i had taken off of work, and now the weekend was a no go. I was really upset, sad, bummed, you named it- i probably felt it. One of the plans for the weekend, before it got cancelled, was to go to District Donuts… aka the best donut shop EVER. So on Saturday, in an effort to cheer me up, Morgan took me to District Donuts. I got the carrot cake donut, Morgan got the tiramisu donut…Delicious. But afterwards, despite feeling satisfied.. i kept thinking about the blueberry cheesecake donut they had also had at District.. i wanted it. We left District to walk around the strip mall and i kept thinking about this donut. “Should i get it? I bet its bomb. Maybe me and Morgan could split it? I bet its better than the carrot cake one i got”. I could not stop thinking about this donut…. and why i wanted it.

I wanted that blueberry cheesecake donut, not because i was hungry, but because i was annoyed. I was annoyed that my weekend didn’t turn out as i had planned, that i wasn’t spending the weekend with the person i wanted to be with, I knew that’s why i wanted the donut…not because i was truly hungry. So, i didn’t eat the donut. (Will i be going back to District next time they have the blueberry cheesecake donut? Absofuckinglutely lol). But it’ll be when i am truly hungry and not just eating the donut to cope with my feelings.  That is my recent experience with emotional eating and I know that i am not the only person that experiences situations like this from time to time.

What exactly is Emotional Eating? It is using food to make yourself feel better. It is eating to fill emotional needs rather than to fill your stomach. Often times it’s triggered by emotions, often times negative, such as feelings of stress, annoyed, boredom, being upset, exhausted, sad, etc.

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Emotional eating is not necessary a uncommon thing… we have all eaten when we weren’t hungry… such as celebrating a holiday (Easter, for example), dealing with a break up, etc… However, it should NEVER be your only or primary coping mechanism. It should not be how you deal with stressful situations or used to numb emotions that you do not want to feel.

*Now, for this particular blog post, i am NOT talking about binge eating disorder. Yes, sometimes emotional eating is binge eating but for this particular post i want to focus more so on the occasional emotional eating. Binge Eating Disorder is a lot more complex than the occasional emotional eating… so perhaps i’ll do a separate post on that later.. but for today’s purposes, we’ll talk about the basic. (However, my sister did post a really insightful, emotional post about her BED and if you too struggle with binge eating, go read her story here*

So you had a stressful day, you’re going though some tough times.. maybe you’re the type of person who turns to food in times of stress… and if you are, you are not alone.  Here are a few tips i have come up with to help you turn to something else, besides food, to handle those negative emotions.

  • Identify your feelings.  Whenever i wanted that donut from district, i knew i didn’t want that donut because i was hungry… I wanted it because i was annoyed and sad.
  • Be OK with said feelings. Often times we don’t want to feel the negative feelings we are feeling, so we turn to food for a temporary “numbing” feeling. Food makes us feel good…especially if it’s delicious donuts. However, momentarily masking those emotions with food does only that… when you’re done with the donut, you’ll still be feeling sad, anxious, stressed, annoyed, etc. Be okay and sit with your feelings. Know that it is okay to feel things.. you’re only human.
  • Utilize nonfood related stress relief. Now, that you have identified that your stressed, sad, what have you, move away from the donuts… and go do something else to relieve these negative feelings. What did i do? I went and walked around the outlet mall and did some shopping. I didn’t buy anything but it got my mind off the food and the negative emotions. Some other things that i really enjoy doing when I’m stressed? I love to journal. I did a blog post previously about ALL the benefits of journaling, go read that here if you haven’t yet. You could also color, go for walk, go to the gym, call a friend to chat.. whatever makes you feel good that is a healthy outlet… do that.
  • Know your triggers. A “trigger”, when it comes to emotional eating, is a specific food or situation, that sets off a course of overeating where control is often lost. Personally, i know that i am prone to emotional eating when I am stressed, annoyed, or I didn’t get enough sleep the night before and find myself exhausted. Know yourself and what your triggers are.  Why have you emotionally ate in the past? Look at past situations where you have used food to cope and be able to identify those in case a similar situation occurs in the future. Because let’s be honest, emotional and stressful times will likely reoccur at some point because life can be stressful, man.
  • Eat when you’re hungry. Emotional eaters tend to under eat in general. Don’t starve yourself. Fuel your body appropriately with nutrient dense food choices and foods that make you feel good. Listen to your body. Your body does a damn good job in telling you when you are hungry and need to eat. Respect your body and fuel it properly.
  • Eat mindfully. Take the time to actually enjoy your food. Don’t just scarf down your food mindlessly in front of the tv. Turn off the tv, get off your phone, and taste and savor your food. When you are in tune with your body and take the time to chew and “be present” while eating your food, you’re less likely to eat past the point of feeling full and satisfied.

And my last tip, if you did emotionally eat… ACCEPT that you emotionally ate and GET BACK to your NORMAL routine. You do not need to cut calories, do extra cardio, whatever. Doing so, just puts you back into a vicious cycle that is extremely hard to get out of. Don’t punish yourself. Just get back to whatever your “normal” is… drink lots of water, get back on your macros, intuitively eat, don’t restrict… I promise you, you will be OK and things will even themselves back out.

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Have you ever struggled with emotional eating? In what instances do you identify that you have a tendency to emotionally eat? What are your triggers and what other healthy outlets do/can you use to cope with your emotions besides food? Leave a comment and share below.

I hope those of you reading this blog post are able to relate and utilize the tips above the next time you are feeling sad, angry, annoyed, exhausted, etc. Emotional eating is something that so many of us go through and it is important to know that you are not alone.

Please give this post a “like” if you enjoyed it and please “share” this post on your various social medias if you think others would find this post to be helpful and informative. I hope to have another blog post coming at you guys by the end of the week, so feel free to leave any ideas for future content in the comments section. 

Happy Tuesday, friends.

Talk soon ,

PBANDLAURENKELLY

 

 

 

March Favorites

Well lookie here….another blog post coming your way! I told you guys that i was going to make a conscious effort to get back into blogging consistently and that is exactly what i am trying to do. I am a work in progress, okay? lol.

In the hustle and bustle that has been life and moving, it is crazy to me that March is over and it’s now April… like what the actual f. Where does the time go? I don’t even know. That being said, i thought i would use this time to share with you some of my Favorites from the past month. Perhaps this will give you guys some ideas for new foods to try and some easy ways to switch things up.

Let’s jump right in….

  • Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites. I saw these floating around on Instagram and i knew immediately that i just had to try them. I am not typically a huge fan of protein bars because i do not find them to be filling whatsoever, but they can definitely be helpful if you have a sweet tooth (like myself). Now, i have only tried the Birthday Cake and Red Velvet flavors, but omg, i love both! They have a great texture, not overly chewy or waxy and the flavor is delicious. They are by no means an  equivalent to eating real “cake” but they do taste like what the flavor says they are supposed to. I would not substitute these for a “real meal” but these are definitely great for a quick snack or if you are on the go. Macros are 7F/22C/20P for the Red Velvet (25C for the Birthday Cake). I found mine at Vitamin Shoppe, but they can also be found at GNC or online.

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  • Quaker Savory Tomato & Basil Rice Cakes. So if you know me at all, you know i am OBSESSED with rice cakes. I could literally eat an entire sleeve of rice cakes at one time, for every meal of the day, and not get sick of them. For savory rice cakes, i had been loving the white cheddar, however these tomato and basil rice cakes blow the white cheddar out of the water! The seasoning on these bad boys are legit and they kinda remind me of a pizza/spaghetti flavor- obviously, from the tomato and basil seasoning. SO GOOD. These rice cakes are yummy plain, but also delicious topped with a laughing cow cheese wedge and/or lunch meat. Macros per rice cake are 1.5F/8C/1P. Run, don’t walk, to your nearest Walmart and getchu some.
  • Alfredo Sauce. The specific brand of this product is a little more vague but you get the idea. Alfredo sauce was my go to this past month in making boring, basic meals a little more exciting. I.E. chicken and broccoli becomes a lot more exciting when you add some alfredo to it. Lately, Morgan and I have been buying the Classico brand, flavor Creamy Alfredo (I have also tried the Prego Light Alfredo Sauce which is good too). The macros are legit for 60g or 1/4c (which is quite a big serving) at 3.5F/3C/1P. I am all for making your basic bro meals just a little more exciting by adding a little something extra, and lately for me, that’s been alfredo sauce. Reminds me of when i was a kid and ate a lot of chicken alfredo lol but i digress…

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  • Starbucks Caffe Verona Dark. Ah yes, coffee….i love coffee. So typically i am a huge fan of flavored coffee.. I usually steer clear of dark roasts because i find them just way too dark and unpleasant. However, when i moved to NOLA, Morgan told me my flavored coffee tasted like shit so i had to try her dark roast of choice… aka Starbucks’ Caffe Verona Dark Roast. Starbucks classifies this as a full bodied and bold flavor (10/10 agree) and say it has a “toasty sweet and dark cocoa” flavor… which i also agree with. It reminds me of subtle hints of chocolate which i love, because helloooo, i love chocolate. So chocolate and coffee together is a big yes from me. I do add two sweet n low packets to my coffee,and i don’t know if i would enjoy this without the added sweetness, but together it is the perfect start to my day. If you are a big coffee fan and are looking to try a new coffee flavor, i would definitely recommend this one. PLUS, if you use Starbucks Rewards, each bag of coffee typically has a sticker for 10 free stars/points, getting you closer to that free cup of joe. WIN.

Last but not least, and the only nonfood related item on this post….

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  • Beauty and the Beast. OMG, GUYS…SERIOUSLY… I AM WRITING THIS IN ALL CAPS SO THAT I CAN GET ACROSS TO YOU GUYS JUST HOW GREAT,AWESOME,FABULOUS, AND MAGICAL THIS MOVIE WAS… HAVE I GOTTEN YOUR ATTENTION? OKAY, GREAT! But seriously,  if you saw the original during your childhood and enjoyed it, you will definitely enjoy this. Emma Watson is fantastic, the music is awesome, it’s a love story, and it’s Disney which pretty much guarantees it is going to be a movie that is worth your time. I never go to the movies, like ever, but Morgan and I went to go see this the Monday after it came out and i would 20/10 go see it again… even though that meant spending $30 at the movies. I’d be lying if i said i didn’t shed  tear or two, but this really was a magical movie and you should definitely go see it. Go with your girlfriends, your boyfriend, your mom, whoever… you just have to go see this movie.

So there you have it guys… some of my favorites from the month of March. March was a bit of a transitional month with a lot of changes going on but these are the foods (and the movie) that really stood out to me. What foods or things did you try last month that stood out to you?? Leave a comment and let me know!

Also, what other things would you like to see on my blog in the near future?? I am ALWAYS looking for new ideas, topics, and information that you guys would be interested in hearing and reading more about here on my blog. So leave a comment and let me know your thoughts so that i can get more beneficial and interesting content out to you!

Thank so much for taking the time out of your day to read my post, as always it is much appreciated. I hope y’all have a great day and talk soon, XO

PBANDLAURENKELLY