“Normal Eating” and WIAW

Well it’s already the second week of 2017, but there are still plenty of articles about ways to lose weight, “cleanse” (still confused about this because the body is by and large pretty good about getting rid of toxins), ways to easily cut out sugar, and get back to normal eating!

Now, I realize that everyone’s bodies are different, some people need to lose weight for various health reasons, etc. However, what even is normal eating? Spoiler alert: it depends. However, this question has me thinking. I looked up the word in the handy dandy Merriam-Webster online dictionary and this is what I found:

“conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern”

And that’s it. So basically normal eating would be eating in such a way that there’s a basic pattern and regularity in your eating habits. For one person, this may mean intuitive eating, for another it may mean a vegan diet (diet used in this case as an eating pattern, not a way to lose weight), and for another, it may mean the diet they follow to avoid an allergen.


Homemade cinnamon roll, Canadian bacon, clementine (and of course, coffee)

So that’s the basic definition of what “normal eating” is, and clearly it’s individual. And that’s what’s really great about it. A year or two ago, what normal eating was for me wasn’t what normal is for me today. And I’m really thankful for that since now I’m way healthier. What used to be normal for me was a pretty narrow range of “healthy” foods, eaten as specific times and intervals, with lots of exercise thrown in. Thankfully that’s not what’s normal anymore.


Split pea and lentil soup, crackers, un-pictured wedge of brie cheese

And it’s possible to change your normal. Maybe you’re struggling right now with disordered eating, or you’ve just found out you have an allergy/sensitivity, your work schedule has changed and life is hectic, or you’re training for a specific fitness goal. And you probably SHOULD change what you consider normal in these circumstances. For example, I SHOULD (LIKE REALLY) be eating more when I’m marathon training. When I was starting recovery, I had to change to eating what I thought was a lot of food. Soon it became normal.


Happy face because of post workout endorphins and Grande Caramel Macchiato

Here’s my inner math/data nerd side coming out for just a sec. Let’s take a look at this curve, that is known as (wait for it), the NORMAL CURVE 🙂


Now the normal curve basically shows how data is distributed. I’m not going to go into the statistics and math as to how it is derived (even I don’t find that overly thrilling), but I will tell you a little something about this curve.

The center of data is where the 0 is, so the average value is right about there. The two 1s indicate 1 standard deviation from the mean, and the data contained between -1 and 1 is about 68% of all data (standard deviation basically measures how much data vary). The distance between -2 and 2 contains 95% of all the data.


Roast chicken, green beans, twice baked potatoes

Okay so that’s a bunch of kind of random info. Why am I telling you this? Well because it shows that A LOT of values can fall into a normal range of data. So let’s say the mean number of calories you eat is X. But, 1 or even 2 standard deviations away is also within a normal range of data, even if it is 1.5 times what X is! The point is: it all kind of evens out.


Homemade Christmas cupcake! Vanilla cake, chocolate icing 🙂

This may seem like a really long ramble, and it probably is. But my point is this: there is a lot of different definitions when it comes to normal eating. Your mean caloric needs could be totally different than your friend or sister’s, or even totally different than your mean caloric needs last year. That’s okay. Every single diet has variation, and even when we indulge during the holidays, or special occasions, or get stomach flus…it all ends up okay.

Thanks for reading through this post, and remember, find your normal, honor your body.

Thanks to JennLaura for hosting the WIAW linkup!

Anyone else out there like math or data?

What do you think normal eating is?

Favorite hot drink? Coffee and hot chocolate are my faves 🙂


Week in Review…Productive Rest & Travel

Hello and Happy Monday! I had all the best intentions of having a post ready for Thursday, but it didn’t happen because I took a last minute trip to visit some friends! It was just so wonderful. Being with dear friends just made my heart so full and happy. Unfortunately, we are all absolutely horrible at getting pictures together. On a happier note, we tend to really enjoy our time together since we’re not on our phones. Can’t have it all I suppose.

Something I’m really happy about with this past week is that I would call it “productive rest.” It sounds kind of like an oxymoron but let me explain. It was that perfect balance of being social and being alone, speaking and being silent. It was a rejuvenating type of week. It makes me realize that I need to include some of the things that I did this past week in every single week. Let’s look at what I did!

On Monday I went with my family to a museum exhibit. It was pretty interesting, and just a really good way to get everyone out of the house.

Tuesday was a productive day for me. Did some reading, went to the dentist, filled the car with gas, and got a great five mile run in on the treadmill. It was a cold, rainy day so treadmill was way better than outside. I also made dinner for my family: roast chicken, green beans, and some leftover potatoes from my family’s New Year’s dinner.


Wednesday I was up and ready to catch a train to Richmond, to meet my friend who was driving me down to Chapel Hill (to visit our other friend). I got to read a lot on the train, and then had an amazing lunch with Meghan at a place called Kuba Kuba. I got this amazing sandwich with shredded, tender beef, onions, and Swiss cheese. The best part though was the fried plantains that were on the side. Drool.


Photo does not do this sandwich and plantains justice.

We then embarked on the 3 hour drive down to North Carolina and met up with our friend Jill. We spent the evening talking and catching up and got some dinner. It was so good to spend time with people who make me so happy. I’m sad that the visit couldn’t last longer, but Jill had to go to work.

On Thursday, Meghan and I got a delicious brunch at a place called Carolina Coffee Shop. It was such a cute little place, and the coffee was delicious and endless (the way it should be). I had a sausage and cheese omelette, with fruit and a biscuit.


We then set back off to Richmond and spent the rest of the day there, hanging out and then meeting up with our friend Emma for dinner, and a dessert place called Shyndigz. Oh my goodness.  A dessert only restaurant. The three of us shared  salted caramel chocolate cake, red velvet cake, and mixed berry cobbler. The cobbler was my personal favorite. It was such a cute and hip little place!


Look at the cute little mason jars for water!

Friday was a travel day, but Meghan picked up some donuts from a  famous place in Richmond, Sugar Shack! YUM. After taking a train ride back, I just had a relaxed night at home. It started icing and snowing and by Saturday we practically were in blizzard conditions (aka Virginia isn’t so great at handling snow). I did get to church Saturday evening, and my aunt came to visit which was lovely.


So now, writing this on Sunday, I’m happy to say that I’ve already read two books this week, did some Instagram posting for my sorority, organized myself, and just recharged. We all need weeks like that. I have to say 2017 is off to a good start.

Linking up with Clean Eats Fast Feets for Week in Review!

Best thing you ate all week?

Last place you traveled to?

Feelings on snow?

Short Update + My Favorite Meal of the Day

Woohoo! Hello everyone and happy Friday! I was hoping to do another post this week but it just didn’t happen with so much going on academically this week. Now that I’m turning in my final midterm, it’s time to write a bunch of papers and start thinking about what I’ll be doing this summer. Learning never ends right?

This week has also been different since I’m off my typical running routine, and tomorrow will be the first Saturday in a long time I’m not doing a long run. I’m making sure to take plenty of time off from running to let my body rest and heal, but I’m kind of stumped about how to spend the time I usually would spend running! Figuring out/remembering all the other ways I like to move my body is also important!

One thing that has been kind of weird/different this week is my appetite. During marathon training, I would wake up every single morning starving and ready for a nice big breakfast of eggs. All that movement, ya know? My appetite is changing quite a bit now. I still love my breakfast and absolutely will always eat it, but I’m looking for some different options to keep things interesting/maximize my sleep/get to class on time. That’s where grab & go comes in!

Rachel Stires, who works for Orangetheory Fitness asked if she could guest post and I was very excited because she said she could provide me with some breakfast recipes that were quick and easy! Something that I really need and all of my friends would appreciate too! She has some awesome ideas, so give her a nice warm welcome!

Here’s a quick background on Rachel before you get to read about her awesome ideas:

Rachel is a media relations specialist for Orangetheory Fitness. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, hiking, and drawing. She strives to live a healthy lifestyle every day, believing that putting your body and mind first helps you experience a better life.

It’s 7:46 AM. My alarm goes off for the second time yet I am definitely not awake, at least not until I glance at the clock and see what time it is. I have 14 minutes to get ready and then speed walk to class, but I’m also starving. I forgo breakfast in favor of getting to class on time, but have to sit through it with a grumbling stomach and, if it’s even possible, a crankier attitude than when I woke up.

Skipping out on breakfast always feels horrible, especially because you lose out on a nice energy boost to start your day. Many people would suggest that you get in the habit of getting up early. However, if waking up a few minutes early to make and eat breakfast is akin to pulling your hair out, it might be a good idea to look for some alternatives. Making grab n’ go breakfast is my favorite way to take care of the no-breakfast issue, so here are some ideas to try.

  1. Mini Breakfast Casseroles/Muffins: This is my go to recipe for a protein filled, energy inducing meal, and it’s really easy. It’s as simple as eggs and what I like to call ‘accessories’. I go for a protein heavy combination, so first I would wrap a strip of bacon in the shape of a cupcake liner, add ‘accessories’, the eggs, and cheese to top it. I add mustard and a splash of milk to my eggs to give them an extra kick and they turn out amazing! Best of all, you can eat these cold or hot depending on your preference, and if you use a cupcake or muffin liner you can eat them without a fork! eggmuffin
  1. Overnight Oats: This is another recipe that requires some prep beforehand, but it’s also very easily customizable and quick. Again, you can base your recipe on personal preference, just be sure to soak the oats in the fridge overnight. What’s great about these oats is that you can store each individual serving and add whatever you want to it. All you have to do is grab your mason jar, any additional toppings, and a spoon. If you’ve never made overnight oats before, most people recommend using milk or yogurt as a base, and sealing it in an airtight container (hence the mason jar idea). oaties
  1. Smoothie Bags: I love this one, because all you need to do is toss your ingredients in a blender while you pack your stuff for class. It’s also really healthy, and there’s endless combinations you can make. You can add protein powder, fruit, nuts, seeds, and even vegetables. I highly recommend the vegetables, as they’ll add a lot of vitamins and nutrients, and most of the time you can hardly taste them. Best of all, you can make as much or as little as you want, no cooking required! This is a great option that’s easily mobile and won’t require any hassle since you don’t need utensils. smoothie
  1. Hardboiled Eggs in the Oven: This is a smart idea that I’ve seen floating around Pinterest. While this one has mixed results and varied opinions, many say it’s a good way to bulk cook eggs if you need to. If you’re a busy college student, this might be just the solution you need, and a good source of protein in the morning. Plus, it’s easily portable and can be eaten cold. There are also plenty of things you can combine these with that are easy to grab and take with you, like fruit or a granola bar. Speaking of granola bars… eggis
  1. DIY Granola Bars: There are a lot of different options as far as these go, especially with the plethora of recipes on the internet, so this is another one of those recipes that’s just up to personal preference. There’s bake and no bake options, so this also doesn’t have to take a lot of time. These can also be prepped in bulk. No utensils are required to eat them either, and if you use a recipe that’s more crumbly or sticky you can freeze them to help them keep their shape. muchgranola

With the variety found in these recipes, you’ll never get bored of them. There’s a wealth of ideas and inspiration on Pinterest, Instagram, and various recipe sites. Creative freedom will keep your breakfasts interesting without taking too much time. So, don’t be like me and skip out on breakfast, instead choose one of these simple, quick and delicious ideas instead!

Thanks for your ideas Rachel!

What’s your favorite easy breakfast?