Thank you SO much for all of your comments, touching thoughts and prayers on my last wellness post. Your support is like a breath of fresh air as my heart longs for compassion and understanding. Often these posts are much easier to write then they are to say, because saying them makes it true and real, and all the things bubble up to the surface that you never knew hurt so much.
So here we are: Part Two of my Wellness Story. Part two of me just laying it all out there. Writing nonsensically because it makes sense to me.
Welcome to 2017 my loves. This is the year where we be who we really are. The year of goods and bads and ups and downs and everything inbetween. The year we accept our faults and work towards our future. The year we forgive and forget and move on. The year we look for happiness in all the right places instead of the same places. The year we travel and take adventures to feed our souls. The year we give back to those who need it. The year where we practice compassion and forget our versions of perfect.
This is our year. Your year.
Every time a new year begins, I’m fairly ready to welcome it with open arms. It’s as though a new calendar year turns me into this person filled with endless inspiration, goals, adventure and wonder. But when the high of the New Year goes away, what’s left?
What’s left is who you are. Who you want to become. And who you’ve always been.
Call this Wellness Wednesday a throwback one. To the deep dark days of my life where food was everything and nothing. Over the past few years, I’ve talked a lot on the blog about how my eating disorder affected myself, relationships and choices. It’s not an easy thing to share, however now that I know that many of you have struggled with disordered eating, I feel more confident to share my experience.
Even if you haven’t battled an eating disorder, this might be worth the read, simply for a little insight as to how devastating it can be.
How are we feeling this Wednesday? Yesterday I did a killer workout at Crosstown Fitness. It’s my go-to gym and I’m addicted to the diversity of the workouts and how incredibly fun the trainers are. Anyway, my booty and abs are killing me thanks to some deep squats, rowing, planks and burpees.
Tony asks me why I love it so much and how on earth I can find the motivation to wake up at 5:30am to get to a class. The truth is, when you find an exercise you love, it doesn’t feel like a chore. And if I ever find myself feeling exhausted, I take it easy or find a different way to move my body (like cycling!). Working out helps me manage stress, anxiety and keeps my confidence up. Not to mention I really believe in a well-rounded approach to my overall health: nutritious food, moving my body & a healthy mind. That’s my balance.
Today’s workout is a bonus one leftover from this past Summer Sweat Series! Lee and I thought we’d check in and say hi to all of you who followed the series over the Summer: How are you feeling? Are you finding yourself repeating workouts? What about the meal plans? We wanna hear from you.
OKAY but really, we do have some exciting news! The Summer Sweat Series will be coming back in January 2017 with a new name, NEW brand, NEW EVERYTHING. We are so freaking excited and have been frantically planning for our launch. Stay tuned for more details. I’m actually flying to Denver tomorrow to work with Lee and our new brand manager, Katie, on it.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for a killer ab workout — this is for you. Every time I do it, I shake uncontrollably and FEEL THE BURN. Luckily this workout only takes around 15-20 minutes to complete (depending on how fast you go) and there’s ZERO equipment required… except for a large towel of course.
Calories. A small word that holds a tremendous amount of meaning to some of us.
I used to live and breathe by the calories I consumed because I was uneducated and misinformed on how to properly nourish my body. It all started my junior year of college when I began working out on a consistent basis. I hopped on the stationary bike for the first time, not knowing that it would lead me to completely spin out of control.
I say out of control because my habit of over exercising and undereating led me to develop an eating disorder. I didn’t know how to stop restricting food and my food diary scribbled with what I ate and their corresponding calories fueled my obsession.
Last week on Instagram I shared an exercise video and described how I’ve lost 20 pounds since 2014. If you’ve been following Ambitious Kitchen for the past few years, you know that I’ve been on a journey to find a balance between health, fitness, eating healthy and indulging. Finally I’m feeling like I’m in a good place, where no food is off limits and my general attitude towards food feels very positive and balanced. To be honest, it took me quite a while to get to a point where I wasn’t binging, restricting nor denying myself the food I love.
I want to give you more insight into my ENTIRE journey at another time, simply because I know it’s going to be a longggggg post. Today we’re going to be chatting about healthy snacking & how I incorporate it into my life. Snacking is never bad for you if you do it in moderation and are mindful about what you’re fueling up with. I’ve mentioned this before, but I need to have something to munch on every few hours otherwise my blood sugar crashes and become hangry real quick. So, snacks basically are a necessity in this girl’s life.
Here’s the deal: I have a major obsession with dark chocolate, not only because it’s delicious and wildly addicting, but also because of its numerous health benefits and superfood properties.
Here’s the secret: Just because it’s chocolate (aka the main ingredient in many candy bars), doesn’t mean the chocolate itself is necessarily unhealthy like most people may think. Typically it’s the sugar, milk and/or cream that generally makes chocolate a little less healthy and can even interfere with its beneficial antioxidant absorption. If you’re aiming to eat dark chocolate for health benefits, stick to at least 70% and watch the sugar content (that’s where chocolate gets sneaky).
Since we’re talking all about dark chocolate today, I thought I’d give provide you with some of the wonderful health benefits of eating it: It’s good for your heart, may reduce stress, is a proven antioxidant, can give you a more effective workout, and probably a million more reasons. As mentioned before, dark chocolate also tends to be lower in sugar and higher in fiber than milk chocolate (assuming your getting at 70% dark chocolate). In fact, a serving of dark chocolate can have up to 5g of fiber! Major props to this superfood, right? I personally love baking with chopped dark chocolate because of the taste, beautiful look and health properties it gives treats.