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My Healthy Journey: Putting Self-Care First

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.

It’s a new year, which means it’s time to re-evaluate and set new healthy goals. For me, that always means trying to refocus on self-care.

As those of you following along know, I always have a hard time prioritizing the little things. So far, I have 3 big self-care goals that help with that for 2017.

Get Organized for Self-Care

Planning in Writing

I always have a planner for scheduling our company’s social media because I like to have it in writing. But this year, I took it a step further and bought myself a Passion Planner.

If you haven’t heard of Passion Planner, it combines a lot of things, like keeping a bullet journal, setting goals, imagining your future, and reminders to take care of yourself. Here’s a peek at what that looks like:

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My Healthy Journey: Spring Cleaning Your Life

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 last year has been a long and busy one, and I’m going to be pretty honest when I say I’m exhausted and not feeling very healthy. The good news is that while I feel that way, it’s not entirely true.

I started working a lot of overtime last May, and it didn’t end until December. And even when I stopped working extra, I was still very busy when I was on the clock.

More than 46% of Americans’ workplace stress is caused by their workload, so I know I’m not alone in putting stress on myself to get things done. And when your levels of this kind of stress get too high, you’re more likely to develop high blood pressure, heart attacks, and other disorders, according to The American Institute of Stress.

Continue reading “My Healthy Journey: Spring Cleaning Your Life”

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: Another Year, Another Move

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 roommate just got a big job promotion and skipped town on me, which means that while I am thrilled for her, I am once again moving.

I have moved 13 times since I started college in 2008. I went to school in Chicago, and so each year, I moved all my belongings up in the fall and then back down in the summer. Then my senior year, I moved to Manhattan… and then back to Chicago. And since I’ve been back in Central Illinois, it hasn’t been much better.

So you would think I would be a pro at the nomadic life, right? Wrong.

Continue reading “My Healthy Journey: Another Year, Another Move”

My Healthy Journey: Fighting the Holiday Season

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.

While I think most people find the Christmas season the hardest to stick to their healthy plans, I’m actually feeling really ready to kick of the new year the right way.

I haven’t exactly decided on my resolutions yet, I’m sure that is coming in the next few weeks, but I have found it much easier to stick to my guns now that the Halloween candy and Thanksgiving leftovers are out of my house.

I have also started using the MyPlate app. It asks you a series of questions, and then it calculates what is probably a healthy number of calories for you to be eating each day for your weight and your goals.

Continue reading “My Healthy Journey: Fighting the Holiday Season”

Amore

So, I love to cook. I know, I don’t talk about it very often anymore, but besides watching horror, it is probably my single favorite thing to do.

Recently, in only about 20 minutes from start to finish, I made the best thing my kitchen creations have ever yielded: a homemade margherita pizza.

Continue reading “Amore”

Crock Pot Experiment

Before I moved, my mother very kindly gave me her old crock pot. My whole life my favorite meal has been cooked in this very crock pot, a rich heavy stew that will always be my favorite winter food. One day, I will share it too.

Today however, was an experiment. My friend had found a very simple chicken and sauce recipe you make in the crockpot to serve over pasta, and I took it and made it a little more me.

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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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