New Year, New Expectations

Good Morning everyone!

So my New Years Eve did not go quite as expected. It started out as I thought: a trip to the gym, a marathon coupon-fest at Whole Foods to get munchies for the party, some party food prep and baking, and a sushi dinner with Eric.

After that things went down hill. My stomach had not been feeling great all day but I just chalked it up to having an upper endoscopy the day before and my typical tummy-troubles. Oh no, I was so very wrong! As Eric’s friends were gathering at the party and beginning to celebrate, I was dying a slow and painful gastrointestinal death in Eric’s apartment. It wasn’t pretty and it definitely assured me that Eric and I have crossed that line of grossness meets relationship comfort and security. So with a massive veggie platter in the fridge and a plateful of brownies on the kitchen table, I collapsed on the couch with Eric keeping a comfortable foot of distance between us. Pure romance, my friends.

I did end of feeling slighlty better by the time the clock struck midnight and after a decent night’s sleep and a morning on the couch I was revived! Eric and I then got dressed and went outside to enjoy the 50 degree temps! It felt really good to get out ad get some fresh air that almost felt like springtime! If only the snow would all just melt away…

After our walk we were on a mission: clean the apartment!! Eric has in the past month acquired the in-law apartment in his parents house. It was his grandmothers but she has recently progressed in her chronic illness and the family has made the decision that she live in the main part of the house as to receive more care and assistance. The apartment is sort of a work in progress; we are trying to remove wall paper and update things while Eric’s mom sorts through all of his grandmothers belongings. Having a fully furnished apartment is both a blessing and a curse; while it’s wonderful to not have to buy kitchen and cleaning supplies, the furniture and gathered “stuff” takes a while to sort through. Eric and I decided to clean out the main areas: living room, kitchen, bathrooms (we have 1 1/2), and bedroom so that our living spaces are more organized. After a few hours I can honestly say it was a huge success! The living room is clean and organized, the kitchen has been purged of all unwanted cookware and cleaned and rearranged, and the bathrooms are on their way to being clean (Eric is finishing that today). We washed a ton of towels and our sheets and things were really shaping up! I will get some pictures of it in the upcoming weeks to show all of you.

To start off the New Year on a healthy and economical note Eric and I decided to cook-in for dinner by making a healthy veggie dish with rice noodles and almond butter sauce. The veggies included bok choy, mushrooms, red pepper, water chestnuts, and baby corn. To make the almond butter sauce we combined a big scoop of almond butter (no measuring here) with water, broth, and a splash or two of Bragg’s. The sauce was a little watery so I added a teaspoon or two of flour to thicken it up. The result:

Yes, there are noodles in there under all those veggies! It was a yummy way to start off the New Year of clean eating, and I believe I read somewhere that noodles are thought to be a lucky food 🙂

Resolutions and Goals:

Although I like to make my goal a month at a time to make them more attainable, I still enjoy thinking about a New Year as a new start and a time to ask myself the question of what I want to see happen in the next 12 months. Although it’s cliche, I really want to make my health and wellness first in the coming year. It’s not exactly a specific weight loss goal, although I would definitely like to get down to a feel-great weight, my thoughts are more along the lines of my health holistically. 2010 my stress level was through the roof, I was worried and anxious all of the time and really just felt kind of out of control. The thing with control though is that it can be a sticky word to through around; too much and you become obsessive and blinded, too little and things are all out of whack and there’s no focus or solidarity. I just want to find a balance and well-being; I want to be at peace and feel happy most of the time (because life is never perfect ideal and we can’t have everything right all of the time). So what do I plan to do, then, to achieve this balance?

  • Meditate at least 5 minutes a day–my practice hasn’t been the greatest lately I know that it can do so much for me. The goal of 5 minutes a day is just a starting point that I know I can build off of.
  • Exercise at least 5 days a week–some people may have differing opinions on this but I know that physical activity-including running, cycling, yoga, strength training, and walking-are essential in reducing my stress and also making my body look and feel it’s best. I will try to mix it up and do things that I love so that it never becomes something that I avoid or resent.
  • Eat foods that make me feel good and that I enjoy–this has been the year of stress eating for me. While I eat a healthy and clean diet in a larger sense, I often let stress influence my snacking and the breakdown of my food choices. Crackers, dry cereal, and carbs can be heavy on my plate because they soothe and comfort my nervous stomach; I hope that my meditation practice and exercise will reduce the need for me to rely on these foods.
  • Talk it out–a big part of the reason that I have tummy troubles in times of stress is that I internalize my worries and keep things to myself. I am great at being a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen for others but rarely reach out a look for this for my own problems. I have an incredibly supportive network of family, friends, and peers at grad school…and of course Eric, too 🙂 I just need to start using them when I need it.
  • Schedule in me-time–although the meditation and exercise may seem like me-time, they are sort of a status-quo list of activities. Me time may end up being a date night with Eric, and girls night of drinks, a trip of shopping with my mom, or just a long drive by myself with the music blasting. My goal of me-time is to find something that makes me a happy and can serve as an “escape” from the every day to spice things up and make me feel alive.
  • Have fun with blogging–This is a part of my getting out there, doing things, and spicing up my life! The reason I started this blog was to have an outlet for my passions and ideas. I really want to see my blog expand in 2011 and hopefully meet more amazing people through it! Boston-area bloggers, that means you!!

So there you have it friends, my goals for 2011! I don’t think they are too out there at all; just the things that I have been striving for all the while, more organized 🙂 To keep up with these goals I am going to head over to the gym in the next half hour and get in a good 2011-style workout!

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone and I hope you’re New Year is off to a great start!

lots of love,

Em

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5 Responses to New Year, New Expectations

  1. Jenny Jen says:

    Your resolutions are quite similar to mine. After taking a mindfulness course this past summer I became so aware of what I was eating and how certain foods affected my psyche. To eat food that you know will make you feel good and that are also enjoyable, is such an easy way to take some control in your life. Good luck with the resolutions!

  2. Sorry that you’re sick! I think a stomach bug is going around. Good luck in your goals!

  3. Peggy says:

    You definitely have some great resolutions! Happy New Year!

  4. I like the look at health as a whole. Makes for some great goals to work towards! Sorry you weren’t feeling well that night, but glad it didn’t last. Especially since the weather was so nice.

  5. Pingback: Right On Track | Mindfully Emily

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