A Week of Fitness & Healthy Eating

It’s Sunday evening and I’m winding down from a rare 52-degree February day in Chicago. It’s also the Super Bowl, but I don’t even have regular television channels and I don’t care much for sports, so that doesn’t really matter to me. I spent today walking my dog and exploring a new trail in a forest preserve near my house. The moment I stepped outside and started soaking in that vitamin D, I felt a little better. I am still working on healing and slowly getting better, but it’s a process, so I am trying to be as diligent as possible in my routine. I have a a cup of Traditional Medicinals peppermint tea and am wrapped in a blanket on the couch.

Last Monday, I had to work late, so I didn’t make it to the gym. Since I am responsible for covering events at the university for our news site, sometimes I have to work odd hours. It’s kind of fun gathering quotes and setting the scene for the readers, though. When I got home, I did an arm workout in my living room. I did some variations of push-ups and triceps dips and then used a 5-lb weight to do curls, flys, presses, and more. I made a dinner of baked chicken thighs, roasted potatoes, and green beans.

Tuesday, I came home from work and had to clean my whole apartment because my landlord needed to get in for tax purposes the next day. I clean every Saturday, but the bedroom is pretty small and we don’t have any storage, so it needed a lot of straightening up. I did a session of Yoga with Adriene and had a strawberry lemonade kombucha. I selected “Yoga for PMS and Cramps.” This marks the third time I’ve gotten my real period since getting off the birth control pills in October, and I have really been relishing it. I know that sounds so weird! I used to hate getting my period, and I know a lot of women who suffer from endometriosis and PCOS have an extremely rough time. I get pretty painful cramps, but knowing my body is trying to normalize itself after all it’s been through in the past few months is a positive sign for me. Dinner was garlic green beans, broccoli, and shrimp.

Wednesday was a pretty busy day at work. I’m working on various projects. Sometimes I am writing news stories, sometimes I am writing copy for web content, and other times I am working on preparation for media statements or press releases. I had a few meetings throughout the day. I like to take a walk on my lunch when it’s not too cold. I always pass by some very interesting houses. I’ve seen tree houses, yards that have unique and obscure decorations in them, and lots of cute dogs! I rushed home after work because I was meeting my best friend at the House of Blues to see a band we’ve loved since high school, The Adicts. I did have a fun time, and while I’m doing better than I was a couple months ago, I still struggle with anxiety or a feeling of “being off,” so that was a little rough. They always put on a super-entertaining and lively show, though!

I had Thursday off from work, but I still did a lot of work from home because I had emails coming in all day and wanted to work on some grading. I made Julian a breakfast of scrambled eggs and turkey bacon and I had a green smoothie with hemp seed oil, turmeric, ginger, wild blueberries, spinach, dragon fruit, marine collagen, flax, super greens, and chia. I did a nice yoga flow and then went to spend some time with my dad and take Oliver for a walk. Later, I decided to relax and finished up Season 2 of “Light as a Feather.” I love anything that is horror or Halloween-related, so it was nice to get back into some of the things I used to enjoy before I started to feel sick. Dinner was cauliflower rice with Trader Joe’s kale gnocchi and a veggie burger. The rice was so good! I sauteed onions and garlic in a little olive oil and then added the cauliflower with some organic mixed veggies and seasoned with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika.

Friday was another busy day at work. I got a lot done. Before I knew it, it was lunch time. Julian had the day off, so he came to meet me! It was so nice to see him during the day. I showed him around my office and then we walked down to a little restaurant down the street. I had some soup and a salad. We also ran to the shelter. I think I have mentioned before that once a month, I donate a bag of non-perishable food to a local shelter. I also donated some blankets, pajama pants, and sweaters since Chicago will be pretty cold the next few months. After work, I hit the gym and did 40 minutes of light cardio on the treadmill, stair climber, bike, and elliptical. I am trying to be pretty gentle in my workouts, because even though I feel a little better, I am still working on thyroid issues and have a lot of physical discomfort. It feels good to be back in the gym, though, and I am even gaining back some of the weight I lost.

We decided to make a quick Trader Joe’s run that evening. I got kombucha, wild blueberries, ginger turmeric tea, cauliflower rice, kale and cauliflower gnocchi, juice, and their new veggie burgers, which taste very similar to the Beyond burgers.

I woke up early Saturday and decided to sit and read for a while. I finished “Tell Me Everything” by Cambria Brockman and it was definitely more of a thriller than I thought it would be. There were some really dark moments in the book. After, I did some laundry and a leg workout in the living room. I miss doing heavier squats and deadlifts, but since I am taking it easy right now, my workouts are mostly of the body-weight variety. I tried the new Built Bars. A lot of people who do keto seem to love them, and I am avoiding refined sugar and thought they were actually really good for protein bars. I also got a sample of Built Boost, which I was happy to see had no caffeine. They tasted pretty good, too.

I spent the rest of the day reading, cleaning, and watching videos with Julian. We decided to just stay in. I miss going out as much as we used to, but I also want to give my body the rest it needs to heal. We wanted to grab food and watch a movie at home. We decided on Sebastian’s Ale House. I got the lettuce wraps that came with veggies and chicken and a side of mashed potatoes. The potatoes were so delicious, but both the veggies and chicken were unseasoned and tasted like they came out of the freezer. Nice to look at, though.

I started falling asleep on the couch around midnight. It has been months since I’ve had any caffeine. Giving up the kinds of things that people say usually make them feel sluggish (carbs, gluten, sugar, alcohol, etc.) hasn’t seemed to make a huge difference in my energy, but maybe that’s because I still don’t feel myself yet. I’ve never really had a problem with energy, though–I’ve always done a million things in a day.

Today, I woke up around 10 and had some lemon water and did some yoga stretching. Walking outside and feeling the sun was a lovely way to start the day. I had to run to Aldi for some things for the week. I got mixed greens, spinach, broccoli, avocados, raspberries, blackberries, green beans, chicken thighs, and organic turkey. I typically eat fish or vegetarian meals but I am incorporating chicken and turkey for B vitamins as I try to recover from the nutrients the pill depleted. My parents’ friend brought us some eggs fresh from his chickens. I don’t eat eggs much anymore, but since these really were farm-fresh and we knew where they were coming from, I had some with spinach, mushrooms, onions, and turkey bacon for a late breakfast.

After going to the woods, I made strawberry “mousse” our of cashew butter, lemon juice, fresh strawberries, and coconut oil. I also experimented with a mug cake made out of banana, cashew butter, and cocoa powder. Cashew butter takes on some interesting consistencies! I really did enjoy the weather today. I always love exploring wooded areas with my husband, and my dog was super-excited to be out. I have been filled with gratitude lately. Even though I don’t feel my best yet, I am better than I was, and I feel excited about life again. Hoping that each day brings me closer to healing, and I wish you all a great week!

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