Relevations and Energy Bites

September 12, 2012

Half way there! Itsssssssss Wednesday!

Its been a good, but somewhat tiring first half to the week.  I clicked “submit” on a deadline that a bit of a ball-buster for the first 3 weeks in my new job.  But unlike my last job environment, I haven’t felt much stress as of late.  Which is a bit shocking and new to me, so much so that I tend to find myself trying to make myself believe something negative will happen, etc.  Needless to say, its been quite the learning curve – but I’m slowly starting to realize that I’m in a far more “normal” work environment and that the day –to- day operations here really are just that, day-to-day normal operations.  There are no outrageous expectations, no purposefully diminishing comments or insults.

It all really hit me this morning driving into work.  Certain things can trigger a thought process and for me it was the culmination of a good conversation yesterday afternoon, the purposeful steps to do things for myself and the amazing combo of hot coffee and a chilly morning.

After a fun weekend at home, I had been struggling with a few things that had bothered me a bit.  Namely, an “all in good fun” tease session about my dietary choices.  Its nothing new, I certainly don’t claim to be the only vegetarian/vegan that has had to defend what they do or do not chose to eat.  And honestly, I don’t believe the joking was anything beyond that – although, as my friend so aptly put, there’s usually a small element of truth behind the joking.  A second point that bothered me, was the question of working out “too much” and my weight.  While I won’t get into the teasing, I will share a few of the thoughts that it has brought about, as I said – hitting me all this morning.

My husband, who has had his fair share of explaining to do regarding my decisions (seriously?) says it best, “I just tell them you like how you feel when you eat that way better than before”.   How simple?  Instead of getting into ethical debates or actual health restrictions, he simply lets them know that its how I feel when I eat this way, and something like that is just not up for debate.  He has a remarkable ability to state things in simplicity and I’m also a little impressed that he has so accurately gauged my reasons for eating like I do.   I’ll admit though, to being intrigued at the automatic dismissal of a vegan dish or diet, simply because its Vegan and unfamiliar.

So this morning, with the idea of “because I feel better when I do” in mind, I gave myself permission for a few things.  I gave myself permission to enjoy and pursue a vegan diet because I like how I feel best when I eat this way.   I also gave myself permission to care about and pursue a healthy lifestyle, without having to be training for something.  Let me be the first to say, I am not overweight.  But I find the idea that because I’m not, I shouldn’t have to actively try for a healthy lifestyle, to be disconcerting.  Sure, I’m not aiming for a “goal weight” and I’m not actively training for a race, but I know that there’s a certain pinnacle of health during which I feel my best.  I was there, I’m not anymore.  Why should I have to justify trying to regain that?  So yes, I am conscious of my diet and my exercise levels, but not because I’m counting calories to lose so many pounds, or adding mileage to train for a race, but because healthy is important to me.

Whew, that was a bit heavy, but I think of it sort’ve as a form of self-love.  J  So what are some other things I’m doing to promote this “permission to” idea?  Well:

I’m making time to read for pleasure at HOME. Instead of rushing home, rushing around and doing doing doing, I’m giving myself permission to take a moment and some time to read.

I’m allowing for other forms of cardio beyond running.  When I started running last fall, I was training for races and I think I began to feel like I had to run and if I didn’t go for a run, no other workout would suffice.  If I don’t feel like running, I shouldn’t force myself to, simply because its one of the best forms of cardio.  I still like to run, but now that I’m not training for any races, I’m ready for some amazing views and spending time with my husband while going for hikes, walks or bike rides.    Last night I knew I wanted to get in some form of cardio and was planning for a run, but by the time I got home, I was drained and the thought of getting my legs to move faster than a snail’s pace wasn’t enjoyable.  So instead of throwing in the towel completely, we opted to take advantage of the perfect weather and go for a walk instead.  It was a nice way to relax and still keep moving.

And I’m spending some more time in the kitchen.  Once I stopped thinking that I should be embarrassed about or avoid identifying as a non-strict Vegan, I’ve really started to enjoy exploring new ingredients and flavor combinations.  Like these energy bites from Daily Garnish.

I’ve never worked with dates before this weekend and before, if I didn’t have all the ingredients (like I did this go’round) I would’ve just said “oh that looks good, I wish I could make something like that” and been on my way.  Well.  Not this time.  This time I modified, rolled and ate my little energy bite heart out.

I didn’t have any pumpkin seeds like she called for, but I did have walnuts.  So I threw those in instead.  And for a little oomph,  I added some Chia seeds.  This is dangerous living guys, replacing AND adding to a recipe? Who.a.  The verdict?  These taste like fall or a creamscicle, depending on what you eat them with.   I think I went a little heavy on the vanilla and my dates weren’t of the overly flavorful variety.  Next time, I may add less vanilla and opt for a better product, but overall – I absolutely loved these.  I think they’re a great alternative to a normal bar and endlessly adaptable.  Different nuts/seeds, if you prefer the taste of lemons or limes you could zest that too.  I even could see some shredded carrots or canned pumpkin tasting good too.

So.  My apologies for a wordy and heavy post – but it was a heck of a realization for me.  So why not share?  🙂

Happy half-way point friends!




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