I’m back!

I’m back from my blogging vacation. This week has definitely had some ups and downs, but the good news is that it ended on the “ups” 😉 I’ve been trying to learn from everything I do instead of beating myself up and repeating the same mistakes over and over again and I think I definitely figured some things out.  Here are some random things I learned this week:

I NEED exercise in my life! I knew this already but this week, as I was trying to evaluate my actions a little closer (and figure out my trigger points), made me truly realize what a difference exercise makes in my mood and general happiness. If for some reason I’m unable to fit in my scheduled workout, I am upset, cranky… which leads to bingeing. Not good! Even a busy day of work doesn’t faze me if I fit in a great run earlier in the day (like my 7 miler on Friday – I was glowing all day!!)

I hate working out after work. Work has been very busy and stressful, which means that my usual lunch time workouts (my favorite time to exercise!) had to be pushed back. The problem is, after a long day at work, all I want to do is come home and relax. I know that exercise will make me feel better, but I just really don’t want to do it. I start feeling guilty about the fact that I don’t want to go, which leads to more stress… and eventually bingeing. SO, I think I figured it out… I think if for some reason I can’t get in a workout before the end of the work day, I’m just going to skip it (unless I really feel like doing it). One day without exercise won’t kill me but the stress and overeating that results from me making myself feel guilty about not exercising just might.

I need to be flexible! I’ve skipped a few workouts all together because I didn’t feel like doing them that day. For instance, I had to do an interval run a few days ago. I was really dreading it that day… so I kept on thinking about how I had to do it, and finally waited long enough to the point where I was truly unmotivated, so I skipped it. Instead I bet I could go to a kickboxing class which would have been a lot of fun (no self pep talk required!). This would have been WAY better than skipping a day of working out all together! On a related note, I realized that I don’t like running 2 days in a row, so I changed my training schedule to reflect this. Making exercise something you look forward to makes it easier to stick to the schedule (I know it’s nothing new, but I found this to be especially true this week so I’m making changes accordingly)!

Making time for people in my life is not a waste. For the first few days of my blogging vacation, I was feeling guilty about not blogging… I have a huge backlog of things I want to blog about that I really do need to prepare some of the posts ahead of time, or else I’ll start going crazy again. But then I realized that spending time with my husband and friends is extremely important! During this week, I randomly went out for a drink with Adam on Monday, hosted friends for a Celtics/Bruins game watching on Thursday, went out to dinner + drinks on Friday, to a grilling party on Saturday and a brunch on Sunday. That’s a whole lot more time that I’ve spent with friends (and Adam!!) than I remember in recent history. It felt great to just hang out with the people I care about!  And… for the most part I made healthy food choices, so I was healthy and sane 😀

My blog readers make me super happy! So here is a funny story. I went for a run on Friday afternoon. I decided to not push myself too hard. The goal was just to complete 7 miles. I didn’t even look at my watch. It was hard but I kept on thinking about how proud of myself I will be when I’m done and I did it (and btw, my pace was 8:40 – I was VERY happy with that)! I’m sure I looked like hell the entire time because honestly after the 1st mile the smile on my face is typically erased and I start thinking about how hard running really is. Anyways, that’s not the point of my story. On Saturday morning I woke up to an email from Amy. Amy is a reader from LA who happened to be in Boston and saw me running by the Charles River during lunch on Friday. She didn’t say hello to me during lunch (I don’t blame her – I’m sure I don’t look particularly friendly when I run) but I’m so glad she wrote that email. It made me feel like a celebrity being spotted on the streets of Boston! 😉 I felt SO cool and could not wait to start typing another post. Thank you, Amy, for making my day, and thank you my wonderful readers for all your support. I hope I inspire you on occasion, but do know that you inspire me too! 😀

Now you probably want to know what I’ve been eating this past week, right? I still took pictures of most things so here they are (insert here some random fruit and nuts, some salads, 2 slices of pizza at a working lunch, a delicious tomato/swiss/avocado turkey burger at a bbq, a few pistachioats cookies, and a few meals that I’m hiding from you at the moment because they deserve a separate post, and I think you have basically all of my eats right here). 3 things were especially worth noting:

– I had my first green moster and I loved it! I used Angela‘s “green monster for beginners recipe” with spinach (instead of kale). Yum! Of course now I can’t find a link to the actual recipe but I think I put in 1 frozen banana, a cup of almond milk, a few ice cubes, 1T ground flaxseeds, 3 cups of spinach and some blackberries.  I’m waiting for my bananas to turn yellow to have another one!!

my-first-green-monster

– I enjoyed quinoa for breakfast! Heidi is a genius! This warm and nutty cinnamon quinoa recipe is so satisfying… delicious whole grains with a touch of sweetness. As you can see I added some nonfat yogurt on the side and drizzled the whole thing with agave nectar. Yogurt frosting… Yum! Thanks Amanda for reminding me of this lovely recipe :)

nutty quinoa with blackberries

– I had a baking itch when our friends came over on Thursday so I quickly searched Cookie Madness (my go-to cookie recipe source… you can see why from the blog title, right?) for an easy brownie recipe. I didn’t want to get too fancy – just a good old brownie was what I was craving so the outstanding baked sale brownies recipe sounded perfect. These guys are not very healthy, but definitely delicious. I used 1/2 milk chocolate because that’s what I had on hand, so they came out a little light in color and not intensely chocolaty but the texture was great! I’d say they were a cross between a brownie and a blondie. I topped 1/2 of the pan with chopped walnuts and left the rest plain (as requested by some of our guests).  Yum yum yum.

brownies

And now on to the rest of the eats (scroll over for descriptions)…

green monster + banana bread slice with Barney Butter

banana bread + BB closeup

Whipped cottage cheese + grapes and almonds

laughing cow/avocado/halibut "taco" + lentil soup

grilled pepper relish with feta on sourdough toast + spinach and green beans

UFood chipotle chicken sandwich + unfries

chocolate walnut cookie with nutella filling

yogurt, muesli, fuji apple chunks + TJ's nutty trek mix

carrot + apple slices + 1T almond butter

Kashi raspberry chocolate granola bar

TJ's chunky portobella mushroom ravioli

TJ's portobello/provolone ravioli + spinach/mushroom sautee

yummy mushroom/cheese filling

pretzel sticks, dried apricots, honey roasted mixed nuts

TJ's pb granola bar + Barney Butter

bbq baked chicken + Annie's mac & cheese

brownie with walnuts (from above)

laughing cow/avocado/bbq chicken sammie (on ezekiel bread) + carrots and fresh peppers

Game On blackened chicken salad

Atkins Farms scones mix

2 maple pecan scones (+coffee)

yogurt with mango and raisins

american-cheese-mustard-and-pickles-on-sourdough-toast-ufood-unfries

yogurt with fresh strawberries, canned peaches and pears + Barney Butter

And there were a few drinks in between all this food…

glass of Cotes du Rhone at Audobon Circle

Magner's (at Game On)

Woodchuck amber cider

(+ a Samuel Adams summer ale)

Yup, this girl eats a lot! :)

I really enjoyed my little vacation but I’m also really excited to come back. This week did make me realize that although blogging has become a huge part of my life, I have to give it up to some extent in order to fit in other things that are very important to me as well (unfortunately there is only 24 hours in the day… and I do need to sleep for about 7 of those hours – really cramps my style 😉 ). I’ve decided that I’m going to try really hard to limit 4 posts/week. I think I’m going to do 2 journal-like entries/week and the other 2 will be random posts, covering recipes, product reviews, restaurant reviews, fitness, and life in general. For the food journal entrees, I’ll be happy to do multiple day recaps (like above – with a few highlights + lots of pics for the rest) or I could do true food model days (with calorie counts for each meal/snack + total at the end).  Which one would you guys prefer? I can’t decide what’s better! 😀

Oh last thing – the condo I mentioned before fell through :( Sad, but we’ve moved on. Hopefully we’ll find an even better place soon. Right? :)

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21 comments to I’m back!

  • welcome back hun!

    quinoa for brekkie??? interesting!

  • Welcome back! And oh wow, those unfries, look neat. LOL, I have never heard of that place/

  • Maja

    Hi :-) I would prefer this one: or I could do true food model days (with calorie counts for each meal/snack + total at the end)

    Great blog btw.
    Have a great monday.

  • Hi Elina,
    I’m so happy to see you back and looking over your list was enlightening…you’ve taken so much away from your little break! It’s so good to really know yourself and what does or doesn’t work for you. I’m still working on that but making some progress.
    All the food pictures…haha…I started looking through them thinking you were doing a summary of today and was like, “Wow! She was really hungry today!” 😉
    I enjoy all of your posts regardless of format. Really truly. Do whatever is best for you. And I’m sorry to hear about the condo :( Something better will come along. It’s always how that stuff works!

  • I’m glad to see that the blog-vacation helped :) Your list was great, and it’s good that you were able to do that reflection. Blogging does require a lot of time, which has been hard for me sometimes to keep up with!, but you’re right about the inspiration that comes from all the readers and people we meet :) You ARE an inspiration!
    That’s funny about the “blogger spotting”…I wish someone would spot ME on the streets, lol :) Have a great week!

  • Oh, and I’m sorry to hear about the condo. I hope something else works out….something better MUST be out there!

  • Glad that you’re back and that you were able to learn more about yourself this past week.
    I think you should post however you’d like best. We’ll keep reading.

  • Elina

    Jasmine, yes – it’s delicious! :)

    Maja, thanks for your feedback!

    Lara, haha – no I wasn’t THAT hungry this week 😉

  • Welcome back! I love that your vacation allowed you to have a few epiphanies about life. After reading them, i feel you and I are on a very similar page! We all love your posts (and man, all the eats in this post look AMAZING! By the way, aren’t those Kashi TLC bars great?! Just tried them myself); BUT we want you to stay true to your namesake Miss Healthy and Sane. You can have your cake and eat it too (why else would you have cake?) by limiting yourself to 4 posts/week. We want you to be happy! 😀

  • I’m so glad you’re back! And so glad that week break was good for you! I know you said about a lot of your reflections that they were “nothing new” or whatnot, but we all need a reminder of these things every now and then and I’m glad you gave that to yourself.

    As for the blog, do whatever format works best for you! I’ll miss you on the days you’re gone, but it will make me that much more excited to read your posts on the days that you do blog.

    Oh, and way to be brave and try a green monster. You may have just inspired me to be brave myself and take the plunge :)

  • All looks delicious. I like seeing your food in totality because it makes it very clear how you balance things over time. It’s great that you were able to take a break and listen to yourself.

    I’ve listened to myself as well and it’s made so much more enjoyable. I had to force myself to go on the elliptical but have found I REALLY look forward to yoga, dance classes, and brisk walks with the dog. Am I burning as many calories as I was before, probably not, but I have a much healthier attitude about it and enjoy it more.

  • welcome back!!! we’ve missed you 😉

  • ok the down side to you not blogging is a really long post to catch up :)

    how fun being recognized!!! Love the monsters, you’ll be a convert now

  • yayyy so glad you’re back!! WELCOME!!! I am totally diggin all the eats. they all look fantastic and…there’s not one that i wouldn’t personally devour RIGHT NOW. Man, i love exercise too….not the process, the ending and the result. hahah

  • Elina

    Annabel, you’re so sweet! And yes, those kashi granola bars are pretty yummy. I really love the fudgy top :)

    Inna, don’t be afraid of the green monster. Honestly you can’t even taste the spinach. I put a little bit, then tasted it, then added some more! It’s pretty cool to get a serving of veggie right at breakfast!

    Sorry, Amanda. Brevity isn’t my thing 😉

    Michelle, you know I usually love exercise even during, but for some reason long runs get to me. I hope to change that one day :)

  • MAGNERS!!!!! My favorite drank of alllll time!!! In Ireland it’s called Bulmers and is actually so much better! Less beer tasting and fresh (can cider be fresh tasting?)! If you ever go to IRE make sure you get its deliciousness!!

    p.s. All your eats look amazing as well!

  • Elina

    Ooh Brooke, good to know! And yes, cider can totally be fresh tasting… especially on a hot day. Mmm, cider 😉

  • sounds like this break was just what the doctor ordered :) sorry to hear about the condo, but it must be b/c your dream one is coming…

    do what you want with your posting! and don’t feel bad if you can’t post everyday :)

  • amy

    i’m laughing… after i saw you running i was thinking “celebrity spotting.” then, i was concerned that by recognizing you i must be spending too much time reading blogs! glad you are back!
    amy from LA!!

  • Elina

    Haha, Amy. We’re all guilty of reading too many blogs. I’d love to spot some of my favorite bloggers some day. Thanks for reading! 😀

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