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My Healthy Journey: New Year, New You?

This piece was originally written for Health Alliance’s Blog and features information about Health Alliance’s products and services. Visit that site for more on my healthy journey and many more health and insurance subjects.

This year has been long and tiring, and for the last few weeks, I’ve been left wondering what I could say about my goals for 2016. Honestly, I hadn’t been thinking about goals for the new year, I was too busy trying to get through the day.

Unlike last year, I don’t have a long list of the things I plan to work on. Instead, it will be a few important things that just keep coming to the top of my mind when I think about my life.

Continue reading “My Healthy Journey: New Year, New You?”

My Healthy Journey: Finding Healthier Alternatives

This piece was originally written for Health Alliance’s Blog and features information about Health Alliance’s products and services. Visit that site for more on my healthy journey and many more health and insurance subjects.

I love a good steak as much as the next meat-eater, but changing to a healthier diet has also meant eating more vegetables than meat. Sometimes, that also means it’s a great idea to try eating vegetarian meals.

Rally has a challenge for just this, called Meatless Days. They ask you to “Skip meat for a day and explore tasty vegetarian protein sources such as tofu, beans, lentils, quinoa, and nuts. It’s good for you, easier on the budget, and eco-friendly too.”

When I went on vacation to Nashville, I’d tried eggplant for the first time. We’d gotten a free appetizer that was eggplant marinated in tomato sauce and other goodness. It was incredibly delicious.

Ever since, I’ve been wanting to learn to cook eggplant myself. This week, inspired by the eggplant recipes I ran on social media earlier in the month, and trying an official meatless day, I made Eggplant Parmesan for the first time.

Continue reading “My Healthy Journey: Finding Healthier Alternatives”

My Healthy Journey: Finally Settled

This piece was originally written for Health Alliance’s Blog and features information about Health Alliance’s products and services. Visit that site for more on my healthy journey and many more health and insurance subjects.

I finally have something to sit on in my apartment! After 3 months, I’m mostly settled in.

Moving requires a lot of organization, and as I told you before, this was a rushed and unorganized move, which is probably exactly why it’s taken me this long to get settled.

You may not realize how much being organized (or disorganized) affects your life and even your health.

One study showed that you’re more likely to suffer from stress and depression if your house is cluttered and full of unfinished projects. (This was definitely my house for the last 3 months.) Long-term stress is tied to heart disease, digestive problems, poor sleep, obesity, and cancer.

Continue reading “My Healthy Journey: Finally Settled”

My Healthy Journey: Eating Mindfully with Rally

This piece was originally written for Health Alliance’s Blog and features information about Health Alliance’s products and services. Visit that site for more on my healthy journey and many more health and insurance subjects.

Eating Mindfully

I’ve recently started a new diet (which you’ve seen some pictures of if you follow me on Instagram). I am doing a cleanse of sorts with it, and I will eventually be taking some supplements, but the point is really about developing a better relationship with food.

That is what the eating mindfully challenge from Rally, our wellness tool, is really all about. It asks you to stop and think before you eat that morning donut from the break room.

So, the rules of what I’m doing food-wise are pretty simple. I’m eating breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, a mid-afternoon snack, dinner, and I can have another evening snack if I need it. (As a person who was eating maybe two meals a day and can’t really have dessert, I pretty much never need it.)

Continue reading “My Healthy Journey: Eating Mindfully with Rally”

My Healthy Journey: Rally and My Fitness Binder

This piece was originally written for Health Alliance’s Blog and features information about Health Alliance’s products and services. Visit that site for more on my healthy journey and many more health and insurance subjects.

My move is complete! While I have no furniture outside my bedroom (partly from a very trying, calorie-burning, failed attempt to get a couch through my front door) all of my things and my dog have successfully made the transition.

A new kitchen and plenty of living room space for yoga (because falling down is a lot easier in a room with no furniture) have made it time to refocus on my healthy journey.

Right now, I’m working on small steps. I’ve bought some running shoes, and now that the weather has finally gotten up out of sub-arctic temperatures, it’s time to take action.

Continue reading “My Healthy Journey: Rally and My Fitness Binder”

My Healthy Journey: Beginning Fresh

This piece was originally written for Health Alliance’s Blog and features information about Health Alliance’s products and services. Visit that site for more on my healthy journey and many more health and insurance subjects.

I don’t normally make resolutions for New Years. But this year, in the spirit of My Healthy Journey, I have made some that I both think I can succeed with and that would make me really happy for 2015.

  • Try yoga. It’s good exercise, and can help my back, which I have some problems with. Plus the meditation and stress relief would be great. Starting small with podcasts and free videos counts! I want to get comfortable doing it before I consider being seen by innocent people passing by.
  • Cook at home. I’ve gotten much better about this the last six months, but I want to keep it up, so it is definitely a big goal for 2015.

Continue reading “My Healthy Journey: Beginning Fresh”

Round Two: Stir Fry

One of my favorite things to make is stir fry, and as my mother recently gave me her wok, I couldn’t resist this being my second major kitchen endeavor.

As I am lazy, I always buy one of those handy seasoning packets to make my sauce, you just follow the directions on it to make it.

Continue reading “Round Two: Stir Fry”

My Very Own Kitchen’s First Result: Mac and Cheese

So, I’ve been living all over the country for the past few months, and have just finished moving into my new apartment in Chicago, which is BEAUTIFUL.

But for those of you who know me, my favorite thing in the world to do is cook and bake, and for the first time in my many homes, I have a kitchen full almost exclusively with my things. This means that cooking creations will be a much more common occurrence here. Lately, I have had a hankering for some really epic mac and cheese, even if it does still feel like spring out, even here.

I didn’t follow a recipe, I simple made a rue with a stick of butter and flour til I felt it was good. Then I added a container of cream and whisked til thick. I then poured it in a bowl to combine with most of a package of cheddar cheese and a package of 4 blend Italian cheeses (to be fair, I have enough sauce leftover for probably another half a box of pasta.)

Then I mixed with the  pound of rigatoni I’d already prepared, put it in a baking dish and topped with the remaining cheddar and breadcrumbs, then baked it til it was all golden and melty and bubbly. I meant to add my frozen peas into the mix before going in the oven, but totally forgot, so they were added to just my bowl. Soooo good. Next time I’m thinking peas and bacon?

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