I had a wonderful weekend with my gal pals. Friday night was spent relaxing with my carino at home. We made delicious Avocado Pesto Panini’s, compliments of a recipe I found on my favorite food blog. Here it is, I highly recommend them!
I made mine with one slice of provolone cheese, since that’s what we had on hand. My boyfriend is not a vegetarian so he put sliced turkey on his and loved it! These are great for a quick lunch or dinner. I served them up with a yummy dinner salad.
Saturday was ridiculously fun. I drove down to the lake with my girlfriend Sara, who is about to get married in September. I am lucky enough to be a part of her beautiful ceremony, so we gushed about her upcoming wedding. When we arrived at the lake, the other girls were already loading up the boat with lots of good food and sangria. We drove around the lake for hours, stopping every now and then to stuff our faces! We exchanged stories about an array of topics ranging from our favorite foods, our collective hate for Walmart, and traveling. At one point we went tubing- which was a blast! However, I was reminded that I am 25 and not 15 shortly after being airborn and landing with a hard thud onto my stomach. It was my back that kindly reminded me. Tubing fueled our furious laughing fits, as all of us got pretty banged up out there. Around 5, we decided to call it a day and head back to land.
After getting dolled up we went to dinner at a *delicious* restaurant, The Back Porch. It was soooooooooooo good. We had these appetizers called Avocado Fries. If you haven’t noticed, I am completely obsessed with avocado. Following dinner, we went back to the lake house for a night of wine and more laughing. It was therapeutic. I think I fell asleep around two in the morning! In the morning, we cleaned up and headed home. Short, but very very sweet.
I was so happy to see my carino and my dog, Leo when I got back! Though I was only gone for a short while, they were both so happy to see me, it felt like I had been gone for a week. I love my guys- they are the best. We cooked breakfast together and then went to a matinee imax movie. We watched Prometheus, which was really good but graphic! I love Charlize Theron. She is one of the most beautiful women on the planet, in my opinion.
After we got home I was still pretty exhausted from my overly fun weekend, so we decided to watch a documentary on Netflix. I had heard a lot of hype about this documentary, and after watching it I know why! Forks Over Knives was revolutionary for me. I’ve been a vegetarian since 2008, as a New Years Resolution to get healthier. It’s been the only NYR I’ve ever really committed to. I used to be double the size I am now and very unhealthy. I grew up eating pretty much everything, with a lot of meat in my diet. I was sick all the time with various stomach conditions. When I was 16, my doctor tested me for Crohn’s Disease but instead found that I had a series of ulcers in my intestines that were causing me to be very sick. I have never really drank soda or indulged in sugary candies (except for chocolate), so my parents and I thought I had a fairly healthy diet, just a problem with portion control. When I left home for college, I was a size 11/12. Fast forward to one year later and I was wearing a size 14-16. I was tipping the scales at nearly 200 lbs and felt. like. death. I had zero energy and I was hoarding food as an emotional eater. I used to start my day off with three- THREE- egg and cheese biscuits from Hardees and what they call orange juice. I would have the biscuits eaten in under 15 minutes and still feel hungry. I was depressed and hated seeing myself. I covered my full length mirror with a towel and ignored my body’s cry for help.
One day, it just hit me all of the sudden. I took the towel off and looked long and hard at myself in the mirror. I didn’t recognize myself anymore. I cried for a long time and decided what I was about to do would deeply and painfully “suck.” I was 19 at the time. I threw away everything in my kitchen and went to the store. I bought two cases of vanilla Slimfast and some fruit. Then I went to the gym and ran as long as I could (it was only about 5-8 minutes). I cried on the way home about how out of shape I was. I went to work and only drank water. That night, I had a small salad for dinner and went to bed starving and miserable, terribly angry with myself. I continued this pattern for weeks- slimfast for dinner, salad for lunch, slimfast for dinner. I snacked on veggies and fruit in between and drank gallons of water. I went to the gym every single day and did what I could. I also continued to cry- a lot. But I knew this had to be done. After a couple of months, it was suddenly much easier and I found myself working out longer and craving healthy foods.
Looking back, I don’t suggest Slimfast to anyone- it is really not healthy as it is full of sugar, and you are honestly going to feel like you are starving ALL the time. I was just so upset with myself and wanted a quick fix, so I battled my cravings all day and night. The thing is, when properly eating, you should not feel like you are starving-ever. I just didn’t know how to eat correctly yet. I had to learn this and adapt to a new lifestyle. Fast forward to a about ten months later. I had lost around 55lbs. I felt great and even got a little cocky about it. I was running around five miles, non-stop, and I had crazy energy. This is when I stumbled upon Skinny Bitch, a book that changed my life. I decided I would go vegetarian for the upcoming New Year.
Its been over four years now and I have never looked back! I love being a vegetarian and all of those stomach problems are gone. At first I lost a little more weight but my body did eventually adapt to my new lifestyle. I have continued to exercise throughout the years and my body has settled around a size 6/8, 145-150 lbs. I should mention I am 5’8″. Of course I would like to be a little smaller, more toned, but I am in love with how I feel now. I will never forget the misery I felt at 19 when I really looked at myself. So today, I try hard to not be overly critical on myself. But I do over do it on the food sometimes. I’m not perfect!
Anyway, Forks Over Knives explains how and why meat and dairy wreck our bodies. It also discusses the relationship and influence of corporations on the food industry. To sum it up, we have been brainwashed to think terrible things are “good for us” and “necessary for good health.” LIES! For example, everyone in the USA believes that meat is our primary source of protein and without consuming meat, we are putting ourselves at risk for anemia and other problems. WRONG! Please watch this documentary as soon as possible. It is truly amazing. After watching this though, and after reading several articles and books, I have realized I need to cut the dairy out of my diet. I am having issues, particularly with “belly bulge.” All signs point to the dairy in my diet. Therefore, I am adopting a new lifestyle: Veganism. I am also going to start a new blog focused solely on this venture. I would love to motivate more people to live to their fullest potential. I also hope my family sees my progress and joins in as well. My poor grandparents are in their early 70’s and already can barely walk. They are so overweight and unhealthy, they are miserable. Watching them has more than motivated me to stay healthy. I don’t know what I will do when I lose them to their weight battle- but for the time remaining, I am going to try and try harder to help them get healthy.
You owe to yourself, reader, to give your body some love! I promise you will feel better in every aspect of your being. Also, not to sound like a PETA member, but the inhumane treatment of animals by the food industry is devastating. Look it up- know the facts. If at the end of the day, you still can’t give up meat, okay. Honestly, I’m really going to miss cheese and can’t guarantee I won’t accidentally find some in something I’m eating. However, limiting these things that harm us is better than slowly killing ourselves with our vices. Good luck! Here’s to the new us 🙂