Healthy and Sane

Positive spin

April 17th, 2010 · 16 Comments · beef, breakfast, burgers, Cooking Light, man meals, salad

I read the book Fit from Within by Victoria Moran during my vacation in Aruba. The book provides “101 simple secrets to change your body and your life.” No, this is not another book about a diet with new “secrets” revealed. It really is a lot of common sense stuff that we all need to hear every so often to stay on track (the “secrets” include things like “accept yourself today.” “slow down and sit down,” “walk more” – yeah, obvious stuff). I’ll talk more about the book in my upcoming posts (I actually think it helped me eat better during vacation!) but yesterday a few tips came particularly handy when I was feeling like “blowing it.”

I was feeling a little anxious at work. It was about 3pm on Friday and I just wanted to go home. Instantly my body reacted by “craving” cookies (how is that a normal response to such situations I still don’t know). I also was really tempted to skip my after work workout because I knew I still needed to unpack and it was bothering me. Just the thought of skipping my workout brought so much guilt that the cookie cravings intensified even further. I haven’t had a good sweaty workout in over a week and I needed it… yet I was trying to sabotage myself. In my heart and mind I knew I was being irrational, so I started thinking about some Fit from Within tips that would put me in the right mindset.

Take the responsibility, not the blame

I had too much sugar the day before and really wanted to eat cleaner today, but I wanted cookies. I was feeling guilty just about this desire before I even “acted on it.” So I changed my attitude. Blame is demeaning, responsibility is empowering. Instead of blaming myself about my food choices the day before (something I cannot change), I chose to do something about my choices today! Instead of prohibiting myself from buying cookies (punishment), I chose to think about how I can have something much smaller that will not weigh me down and will allow for a great workout I really needed (a much better mentality).


This made all the difference. I didn’t really want the cookies anyway. I just needed a quick escape from work. This 100 calorie dark chocolate bar was sweet and chocolaty – exactly what I wanted without all the calories, fat and guilt from Paradise Bakery cookies.

Alter your definition of success

I had ambitious plans for my workout – it’s been so long, I wanted to make it count. Instead of setting high expectations for myself that just made me want to quit before I even started, I allowed myself to be proud of just going to the gym. It’s not easy for me to go after work. If I can’t make it there during lunch, the probability of me going really diminishes… especially on a Friday. I ended up having an amazing workout after all – I ran 3 miles hard, followed by 20 minutes on the elliptical + some stretching. I felt radiant for the rest of the night. Success! :mrgreen:

PS- the gym brought even more inspiration. From the locker room board:


All right, so here are the rest of yesterday’s eats…


Ww tortilla, Barney Butter, oikos, 1/2 banana, Zoe’s granola & dried bing cherries + coffee




Breakfast pizza!



2 zucchini roll-ups


+ a fantastic salad!!


Arugula, grilled zucchini, cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers, cannelini beans, pumpkin seeds and goat cheese – dressed in lemon juice and balsamic vinegar


All together, with water


This lunch made me so happy – so many flavors and textures. I just love grilled veggies with goat cheese and seeds. Mmmm




If we stay in on Friday night, I always try to make something a little more special for Adam, aka a “man meal.” These smothered steak burgers from Cooking Light fit the bill.


I followed the recipe to the T, except omitted the shallots. The mushroom mixture was definitely the highlight. The burgers turned out quite juicy as well. I served mine on a Food for Life bun – so hearty. Mid-way I also added a pickle and some ketchup.


Delicious dinner. I already have plans for the leftovers too ๐Ÿ˜‰

What’s your definition of success?

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16 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Kelly

    That breakfast pizza looks amazing- I am definitely going to have to make that!
    Good job changing around your thoughts. I love little treats like the 100 calorie dark chocolate- just enough to satisfy the craving but not make us feel guilty after!

  • #2 - Sophie @ yumventures

    I want to read that book, it sounds so motivational! I measure my success day by day, based on how I feel. If I’m supposed to the gym but I don’t feel like it, but I go anyway and only do 1.5 miles, hey! I did 1.5 miles instead of nothing!

  • #3 - Meghan@traveleatlove

    Ultimately I think success is feeling satisfied with where you are at while also continuing to learn and grow toward an even better place.
    That quote is great and very appropriate for the weekend that I am having!

  • #4 - PJ

    the breakfast pizza and the salad looks so colorful and delicious! definitely a perfect meal for the spring. the book sounds interesting too with a lot of helpful tips.

  • #5 - Joanne

    Go you for making good choices! It’s definitely hard sometimes to let the past go and just focus on making better choices in the present. I am definitely guilty of feeling guilty and then taking it out on myself. It’s like a vicious cycle of hell!

    You definitely took some giant leaps forward though – so PROUD of you!

    That breakfast pizza looks delicious and great leftovers salad.

  • #6 - Gabriela

    Delicious eats, Elina!
    I just read your recaps… how FUN!
    Have a great Sunday!
    Brazilian XOXOยดs,

  • #7 - Caroline

    Awesome post! Way to put what you learned/read to good use. It’s always an amazing feeling when you do the thing that will make YOU feel best.

  • #8 - Cara

    I’m glad you were able to figure out what your cookie cravings were really about and find a better way to satisfy them. I love coming up with indulgences like that to do the trick!

  • #9 - runeatrepeat3

    I am so glad to have found your blog again. All of your dishes look so tasty and healthy. Keep it up! I love that feeling after a really great workout, maybe a little bit of endorphins floating around :-)

  • #10 - Danielle (Coffee Run)

    Hey Elina ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m jealous you have Zoe’s granola! They stopped selling it around here and I might have shed a tear.

    (Re: your comment)- Kabocha is the best squash I’ve ever had! Imagine butternut squash, only sweeter, more dense, and just overall better lol

    Great job on the workout! Exercise always makes me happy ๐Ÿ˜€

  • #11 - Autumn @ Good Eats Girl

    Great job not giving in to your cookie craving and sticking to your plan! I have the hardest time not giving into those cravings…I need to learn much more self control in situations like that as it’s not that I always want the sweets, etc., it’s just that they are there and if I am stressed, it’s the easiest thing to do to momentarily make myself feel better. It’s definitely something that I am working on! I may need to pick up the book…it definitely sounds interesting!

    The breakfast pizza looks amazing! I would have never thought to do that!

  • #12 - Bridget

    I’m really intrigued by that breakfast pizza!! Looks AWESOME!
    So does that salad…freaking amazing looking!

  • #13 - One Healthy Apple

    I’ve gotta have that breakfast pizza soon!

    I think success is too hard to define- a lot of my success comes from other people’s perceptions of me and that’s not accurate. Something I’m still working on!

  • #14 - Andrea @

    What a great post! I love the sounds of this book! But truly the inspiring thing is that you followed the advice and really did the work yourself. It’s so easy to read good tips, think in grand terms about how you want to live, but to put that into practice is the hard thing and it’s also what leads to the greatest reward. I really admire you for all of your introspection! I think I really responded to the notion that we can alter our definitions of success. THat is so true. All too often I get caught up in the perfection of it all and therefore may not even attempt certain feats, but trying is just as important as achieving! Thanks for reminding me of these really important lessons!

    I love the meals you’ve made. THe smothered steak burgers especially! Yours looks absolutely juicy and mouth watering delicious!

  • #15 - Jessica

    Thanks for your comment on my lamb cake LOL!
    I had a 100 cal dark bar on the weekend – they’re perfect aren’t they?

  • #16 - Lara (Thinspired)

    I love this book! I know I owe you an email, but I meant to respond when you suggested it that yes, I have read it, and it really changed my relationship with food for the better. That was back in 2008 though. Maybe I need to re-read it to grasp some of those concepts again…

    I loved her rationale about eating 3 meals a day, and also the one on knowing where you stand with sugar. I think that author has another new “diet” (but non-diet) book out too. I’ll look into it and let you know :)