WIAW: french fries, ice cream, and all the wine

Thank you guys for all your sweet comments, emails and messages about Monday’s post. Totally unnecessary, but you sure do know how to make a girl [and guy] feel loved! So, thank you.

This week for WIAW, I’m photo dumping pictures from the past couple weeks when we were at Cape Cod and then when my momma was in the city. Let’s just say, it’s been a good-food-filled couple of weeks. I’ve consumed a respectful amount of fries in all forms, ice cream cones, and wine. Fries actually became a food group in the Cape.

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all the ice cream all the time, and always in a waffle cone // cookie dough and birthday cake for the win.

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part of dinner on Saturday // Greek salad + bread and olive oil + fried zucchini 

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lunch Monday // Hummus and Pita Co. plate full of everything with olive oil, hummus + pita and these cute little pastries filled with raisins and apricot jam 

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carmel praline and chocolate coconut milk ice cream // Greek salad + an arepa at Smorgasburg in the city on Saturday 

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dinner at Westville // veg plate + Cobb salad + sweet potato fries + red wine

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But after a couple of weeks of the good stuff, my body is so craving the other kind of good stuff…the green stuff. So with summer winding down and there being a little less travel in September than months before, I am pumped to get back in my kitchen and start cooking again. I went nuts on Amazon and Swanson Vitamins this week ordering so many nuts, seeds, dates, oils and dark chocolate to stock my pantry. Wheeeeeee! I’ve got 8 weeks until the NYC marathon and my focus is to take care of this body the best I can. There will still be wine and ice cream and fries, but there will also be a bit more green around these parts. And I’m excited about it!

I’m a pretty easy going person and I don’t have a lot of things that get to me, but ya’ll…when people ask if I eat “xyz” food or see me eating pizza or cookies or drinking more than one drink at the bar I kind of want to scream. RDs are human and life is way too short to be all legalistic about food. I’ve gotten some requests to do a post on foods you might be surprised an RD would eat, and I think the past two weeks are a pretty good depiction of that. All the carbs, all the sugar, all the wine, and all the fried food. I can’t think of a better way to wrap up this summer.

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egg bagel with adzuki bean bacon, cashew cheese and chili mayo at The Butcher’s Daughter 

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Cod with tomatoes and green beans and some other stuff that Nick cooked last night with a couple glasses of red wine and blueberry crisp

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And if your summer has looked similar, cheers. There is so much joy that can come from licking an ice cream cone on a hot August afternoon, cracking a bottle of wine on a Tuesday just because, and eating fast food while road tripping. And most importantly, there is so much freedom in that. Our bodies are super smart. They won’t crave that stuff forever. And that’s how we cultivate balance. Because after a couple week of less green all my body wants right now is all the vegetables. And that’s not because I think I should eat that but because I want to.

Yesterday’s post run lunch was ALL THE VEG. // green smoothie + kale salad with tomatoes and avocado and leftover vegan sushi from Beyond Sushi

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This is the story about a guy

I’ve gotten many requests for a post about how Nick and I met, so after enough requests and the go ahead from Nick to write about it…ask and you shall receive.

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Backing up to last December, I was actually at a place where I wasn’t sure I was suppose to stay in New York City. I loved the program at Columbia and had a good community of friends from nursing school, but ya’ll, adjusting to the city for me was hard. I’m extroverted, love building relationships + loving others and was coming from a tight knit community in Charlottesville where I was really known. Overall though, life was pretty good in the city, but I felt like the Lord wasn’t blessing me with community and I didn’t feel settled in New York at all. At the same time, after my OB rotation I started to develop a deep passion for midwifery. Long story short, after seeking advice through wise people that I trusted and spending a lot of time with Jesus and in prayer, I felt like God was calling me to Atlanta. When I applied to go back to school, I was accepted to Emory [but decided on Columbia] so last November I met with faculty when visiting my friend Whitney in Atlanta and was told they would accept me back and I could seamlessly transition into the combined Family Nurse Practitioner/Midwifery program. Woah. It felt so natural and right. But a few months later, God totally transformed my world in New York in a lot of crazy, good ways.

Once I made the decision to move to Atlanta, I started to feel uneasy about it. There was a part of my heart that felt like I was wanting to run from something that was hard. There was a part of my heart that already felt invested in the city. And there was still a part of my heart that said, “It’s too soon, sit and wait on God to do His thing.” So in January, I began seeking out different community groups within Apostles [the church I go to] and told myself I was just going to sit next to random people at church and see who I met. [For context,  a community group is basically a group of people who study the bible together, do life together, and are who I think of as my NYC family] One Sunday I was walking in late and sat next to this guy, Brad, who is now one of my good guy friends. He was super friendly after church and invited me to his housewarming party a few weeks later.

So for the next few Sundays I talked to Brad at church, kept meeting new people and started to notice this cute guy who was floating around church and would always come up to say hi and chat for a bit after church. My first thought though, “This guy is totally married.” Because in my mind, guys are always married at church. Thankfully, I was totally wrong. So a few weeks later, I had asked my friend Steph from school to come to Brad’s housewarming party with me and last minute she couldn’t go anymore so I decided I was going anyways and I was flying solo. Going to that party despite knowing only Brad was the best thing I did. I met so many people that night, and thought to myself, “These are my people that I’ve been looking for in this city!” One of those people was my now close friend, Christy who invited me to her community group. At that time I was going to another community group, but my schedule was changing and although I had met amazing people in that group, it was also going through lots of changes and I needed more stability, so I told her I’d come to her CG. Well, later on things came full circle when I realized that Nick led that community group and it was actually held at his apartment.

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The Flatiron community group quickly transformed life in the city. Those people soon made NYC feel so much more settled. I felt at home. I felt known, loved and cared for. And those friends became family. That was in late February and by the end of March I knew that I wasn’t moving to Atlanta. Nick would later solidify that decision. So throughout the next month and a half or so Nick and I hung out in group settings and I had a hard crush on him. Of course, I didn’t know it at the time, but Nick says he had his eye on me since seeing me at church way before we became friends. So now we’re at April, and our friend Trey had a birthday party where he rented out a bar and hired bartenders to teach us how to make cocktails. There was 18 or so of us there and Nick and Trey are super close, so Nick was there. I was working back to back Fri/Sat shifts at the hospital that weekend so when 11pm rolled around I needed to go home since I had to be at the hospital at 7am. As I got up to leave, Nick said he was leaving too and he could walk me to the subway. Well, we ended up lost in the subway station because 1) the subway station is huge and 2) we were talking and not paying attention. We also needed to take separate trains, so Nick walked me to the 1 train. As the train was coming, Nick starts to tell me how he’d love to take me to coffee this week. As he’s trying to finish his sentence, the train doors are closing so he’s holding them open and I tell him, “yea, that’d be great…” and the doors shut.

At that point, things were up in the air because the train doors shut, but things were solidified when he texted me the next day to follow up. Still though, I thought, “maybe he just wants to hang as friends” and went into coffee without expectations. So we met for coffee and meandered around Central Park for almost 4 hours. It was absolutely beautiful out on that April evening and I thought to myself two things, “Well, that was definitely a date Robyn.” and, “That guy was way different than guys before.”

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That coffee date turned into a second date where we went to the Metropolitan Museum.

And that second date turned into emailing back in forth while Nick was in Spain for three weeks.

And then I hosted a brunch a couple days after he got back so he asked to come over and help me cook. Of course, I said yes. He showed up with dark chocolate from Spain and a new French press after I had told him weeks prior that my old one broke. And he totally blew my expectations when he flipped pancakes for almost two hours and helped me clean up like a champ. I knew then he was a keeper.

Nick was in between jobs during this time, so he wasn’t working and I was out of school for 3 weeks. And so during May we got to spend a lot of time together. And guys, I’ve never had so much fun exploring NYC. We would stay out way later than my bedtime just walking the pier or sitting on a park bench or eating ice cream on a stoop and just talking.

And at the end of May, after being in Connecticut with friends all weekend for Memorial Day, we were sitting in the park after getting dinner and he asked me to be his girlfriend. And here were are three months later.

God is so good.

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It’s been an unexpected, sweet and exciting spring + summer. We just got back from Cape Cod with his family last week and my momma has been in the city this weekend. My brothers will be here this fall. And there are plans to spend the holidays in both Indiana and Illinois. So you could say, things are going very well. :)

So that’s that. I would never have imagined when I moved to NYC last summer, life would look like this now, but I’m so glad and so very grateful it does.

photo credit to the very talented and lovely Sabrina Nohling for the first and last pictures :) 

WIAW: why you’re not getting your period

So this week I became a Registered Nurse.

It still feels a bit surreal.

I took the NCLEX on Thursday morning and then had to wait the entire weekend before I found out the results on Monday morning. To say I was relieved was an understatement. I’m typically a sad crier and laugh or scream when I’m happy, but I ugly cried when I saw “pass” on Monday. GOD IS GOOD guys.

So 14 months after moving to New York City and going back to school, I can now write:

Robyn Coale, RD, RN.

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WIAW breakfast // two pieces of whole grain bread with PB and J + a post run green smoothie made with 1 scoop Vega Sport, 1 frozen banana, frozen spinach and almond milk 

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I think I had so many emotions when I found out Monday because it meant so much more than just being a nurse. The past three years of doing Nutshell have heavily influenced my decision to be a Nurse Practitioner, so officially becoming an RN was tangible solidification that this is happening. I’ve always been super passionate about helping women find food freedom and true health and healing, but over the past couple months, the client interactions and conversations I’ve had have made my heart explode with excitement and an uncontainable passion to care for women more deeply and comprehensively.

I’ve worked with clients from all different health backgrounds and even worked with men, but over time I’ve seen more and more women who come to me with a history of restrictive eating and overexercising and they haven’t had a period in a really long time. Some have never had a period at all and they are now in their 20s. The more women I’ve worked with, the more frustrated I’ve become at how medicine and healthcare has addressed this issue. Amenorrhea is not something you just slap a birth control prescription on and call it a day. That’s not the solution and all that’s doing is masking an underlying cause of why women aren’t menstruating. Having walked through hypothalamic amenorrhea myself, I too have walked out of a doctor’s office enraged and thinking, “Really?! Birth control is your only answer?” What typically happens is health care providers run a bunch of lab tests, which usually includes your female hormones and a thyroid panel, among others. Then when the results come back normal and if your weight is within the “normal” BMI range, you get a prescription for progesterone to jump start your cycle and/or birth control to keep it regular and off you go. Hearing this story time after time from clients enraged me. The issue nine times out of ten is not medication, the issue is lifestyle.

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lunch // Ezekiel bread with baba ganoush + olive oil + tomatoes, salad with brussel sprouts + tomatoes + cucumber and TJs champagne dressing, and an apple

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afternoon snacks // TJs raisin bran with almond milk and some mixed nuts 

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Hormones are the leading role in the regulation of a woman’s reproductive health. They regulate menstruation, fertility, menopause, and your sex drive [which is why when your restricting food/overexercising and have low estrogen, the last thing on your mind is sex…unfortunate, but true.] The hormonal cascade that causes our menstrual cycle starts in the hypothalamus. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone triggers the pituitary gland to release follicle stimulating hormone [FSH] and luteinizing hormone [LH] and FSH and LH then start the process of ovulation in the ovaries. The ovaries produce estrogen and progesterone, both which help get the uterus ready for pregnancy. So if pregnancy doesn’t happen, we shed the lining of our uterus and get our period. So if any of these hormones are out of whack, it can cause you to miss your period all together or have irregular periods.

If you think about it very basically, our woman bodies can grow another human being. Besides that being absolutely AMAZING, it’s also a lot of work for the body. So if your body isn’t getting enough calories, enough nutrients, enough sleep or it’s exerting too much energy through exercise, that is going to cause stress. Any sort of emotional stress is also taxing on the body. So if the body is too stressed in any way and especially if it’s lacking in calories and nutrients, the body says, “Ok girl, this is not a healthy environment to grow a baby…so we aren’t menstruating this month.” And that’s when our cycles become irregular or stop altogether.

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happy hour Chardonnay + dinner at Tres Carnes

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Addtionally, fat cells produce estrogen so if we don’t have enough body fat, we won’t produce enough estrogen and therefore not get a regular period. Furthermore, when cortisol is high, the body is also less sensitive to estrogens. Which is why when women are under a lot of stress, estrogen sensors in the brain have been altered and the body isn’t responding to estrogen like it should. So in that case, it’s not an estrogen deficiency, but rather an altered mechanism. So your lab results might come back normal because there’s enough circulating hormone, but there’s still a problem that no amount of synthetic hormone like birth control will fix. Actually, adding more will likely make the problem worse.

Hormonal issues can be so complex, and medication not only masks an underlying cause, but it can be more detrimental in the long run. Birth control is not the answer for amenorrhea, but rather looking at a woman’s entire lifestyle to see where the stress is coming from.

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What does nutrition look like? Are you getting enough calories and nutrients?

Is exercise too intense in either quantity or quality?

Is your body weight and/or body fat too low? And that does NOT mean just falling in a normal BMI range.

Is there emotional/mental stress going on?

Is there stress from lack of sleep?

There is so much that goes into a woman’s reproductive health. So I blab on and on about all of this because I think it’s imperative that we as women know about our bodies, so instead of trying to “fix” something with medication, we can take a step back and look at our health as a big picture with so many moving parts and address each part individually.

Health is so much more than your weight and just because you’re a certain BMI, doesn’t mean your body is at a healthy, sustainable weight for you. And once we step into that realization and let our body be the size it’s suppose to be and take care of ourselves, there is so much freedom to be found.

 

Weekly Eats

Happy Friday!

After traveling the past two weekends, I’m so looking forward to being in the city this weekend. Ahhhhhhhhh yes.

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks so in the most lame way possible, I’m excited to do laundry, clean the apartment, maybe even cook a recipe [what?!] and actually go to church here, which hasn’t happened in a few weeks.

Here’s another round of weekly eats based on what I found on my camera, including what I have from our trip to Charlottesville last weekend! It was so so so restful. I got to see so many old friends that are so close to my heart, everyone loved Nick, and we spent a lot of time outside between hiking, vineyards, running and dinners al fresco. I love the city, but that place refreshes my soul.

Have a wonderful weekend! Relax, eating some ice cream, and just soak up this sweet summatime.

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lunch // salad with 1/2 avocado, balsamic, tomato and cucumber + Ezekiel with other 1/2 avocado, tomato, fried egg and Cholula + cantaloupe

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dinner // I had a final on Wednesday and Nick came over on Tuesday night and brought me dinner that he cooked [I know, I know…he’s the best] This was some sort of sauteed swiss chard with walnuts, zucchini cooked in olive oil, and a kale, ground beef, sweet potato something. It was awesome and I was super grateful. 

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sea salt caramel and chocolate gelato from Splendora’s in Charlottesville 

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Chipotle on the way to Charlottesville // rice, lettuce, corn, peppers, pico, chicken and lots of guac and chips 

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dinner // we cooked stuffed peppers with leftover rice, grassfeed beef, onion and lots of seasonings topped with marinara + kale salad with feta, cranberries and walnuts 

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chocolate chip coconut cookies topped with mint chocolate chip cookies 

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part of lunch one day was this kale salad with cucumber, tomato, pepper and avocado 

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post hike sandwiches from Bellaire Market  // turkey, avocado, carrots, lettuce, and tomato + chips 

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more post dinner ice cream in Charlottesville from Chaps // dulce de leche + chocolate brownie 

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dinner at Mono Loco in Charlottesville // chicken pollo rice bowl with sweet potato salsa, plantains and other awesomeness + the best margs

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lunch on the way back to NYC // Chick-fil-a salad with unpictured waffle fries 

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dinner Monday night // Brit made chicken gyros with homemade tzatziki, but she has to be gluten free so we ate them in lettuce leaves + quinoa salad….all AMAZING.

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Happy weekending!!

Q&A Friday: iifym, raw dairy and a weekend away

Hellloooo, Q&A Friday is back! Last night after a couple back to back clients I got the urge to do a video to have up for you guys today. You guys might not be as excited as I was to have this posted today, but I hope you enjoy!

I dug through questions I’ve had on my list to answer for way too long and today we’re talking about raw dairy, iffym or “if it fits in your macros” and my go to for healthy hair, which in essence, is nothing fancy.

We’re actually driving to Charlottesville this morning to stay with my friend Kelli for the weekend and I am so so so pumped. Actually Nick is driving, so I can study and I’m so excited to just relax and for him to see this place I love so much and get to meet some of my closest friends. And I’m so happy to get some fresh, sweet Virginia air and see the mountains and vineyards…so many vineyards.

I hope you have a restful + fun weekend planned!

xo

Feeling Fresh

Compensation was provided by Starbucks Refreshers, via Mode Media. 

I don’t think I’m alone when I say the summer is crazy. But in such a good way. There is lots of traveling and weddings and it’s gorgeous out, so weeknights in the summer are spent out with friends versus curled up on the couch. And as much as all those things are so, so good, they can also leave us feeling a bit worn and tired. There was a season in my life where I didn’t realize the how important sleep was. It was like I thought I was the exception to the physiological demands of sleep. No Robyn, you have to sleep to function and to keep your body healthy and functioning.

Through learning the hard way, I’ll prioritize sleep over working out and have no problem sleeping later than “normal” if that means I get 7-8 hours. Of course, that’s not always perfect and there are nights where I get 5 or 6 hours for one reason or another but overall, that area of my life has come a long way. Aside from sleep though, there are weeks where I just need a little afternoon pick me up. I try not to drink coffee past noon because caffeine later in the day can totally mess with my sleep and besides that, relying on coffee for energy is like using a credit card to buy clothes and groceries. It might be fine temporarily, but compensating for poor sleep with coffee or a dwindling bank account with plastic always costs us more in the long run.

And that’s where my new favorite afternoon pickup to get me through hours of studying and plugging away behind a computer comes in. I live literally right outside of a very spacious and not overly crowded Starbucks and in NYC, that is hard to come by. So while I’m a sucker for a cozy, local coffee shop- there’s something to say about convenience and space to sprawl out. I meet Nutshell clients there and spend many hours nestled up in a booth on these hot summer afternoons with Starbucks Refreshers. Especially the Strawberry Acai is my favorite bubbly drink on a steamy summer day. It makes those afternoon study hours a little more manageable. Summer isn’t slowing down anytime soon. And while nothing can substitute for solid sleep, eating your greens, and indulging in some self-care [hellooo mani/pedi], sometimes you need a cold drink and an air-conditioned coffee shop.

With a revitalizing blend of sparkling fruit juices, B vitamins and ginseng, Starbucks Refreshers™ has all the goodness you need to get the most out of today.

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weekly eats

Good morning! How was your weekend?

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For the first time in what seems like forever I wasn’t traveling, didn’t have people in town, and didn’t have birthdays or events to be at this weekend. It was awesome. Friday we grabbed dinner at Westville and then went to Gallow Green, a rooftop bar in Chelsea. Saturday I did Nutshell work, met with a friend to just hang and get ice cream and then saw Trainwreck [absolutely hilarious] and Sunday included a 12 mile long run, meeting some girlfriends for coffee, churching, and then dinner out with my friend Clare who just got engaged, but is now moving to Florida. All in all restful and just what I needed!

And because I haven’t posted about food in a long time, I figured I’d give it to you all at once. Really though, I’ve had some requests to show more meals and such, so for now while blogging is a bit more sporadic, I thought I would do a weekly recap of eats. So I uploaded whatever I had on my phone and here is what was on there from the past week!

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veggie fajitas at Javelina after church on Sunday

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post long run green smoothie made with 1 scoop mocha Vega Sport [25% off bundles right now!], 1 frozen banana, 1 cup frozen spinach and 1 cup almond milk

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lots of ice cream.

Saturday afternoon was vegan chocolate and peanut butter chip at Van Leeuwan’s and Friday night was froyo at 16 Handles to crush a late night craving…because it’s always about the toppings.

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dinner on Friday night at Westville we got some sort of Asian brussel sprouts, a steak sandwich and a Cobb salad which was awesome- all about the avocado.

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Friday morning I grabbed breakfast with my friend Jena at Hu Kitchen– this was two fried eggs, sweet potato hash, and sautéed veg. I’m not a savory breakfast person but this hits the spot every time. If you’re in NYC and are into health food, go here.

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More ice cream. This was Thursday afternoon at DF Mavens, blueberry cookie and key lime pie coconut milk ice cream. Swooooon. Both this place and Van Leeuwan’s are right down street from my apartment in the East Village and I am not mad about it.

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I cooked at home one night. Two fried eggs + sautéed veg with lots of Sriracha and sweet potato hash.

Simple, good, and does the job.

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Nick cooked dinner last Saturday and make ahhhmazing salmon, brussel sprouts with walnuts, grapes and a fig yogurt mint sauce, and mediterranean eggplant. I died.

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When Jess was in town from Charlottesville last weekend we were at Westville again and I got the quinoa artichoke burger + fries and an unpictured arugula salad. All supahh tasty.

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Lunch on Thursday afternoon included this salad with roasted brussel sprouts, tomatoes and pepper drizzled with olive oil along with a hummus + veg sandwich

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And lastly, breakfast with my friend Amanda at Penelope. Spinach, mushroom and goat cheese omelette with home fries that were all sorts of fresh + perfect and some toast. With lots of coffee.

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Have a fabulous week and eat something good.

What even is balance?

People always talk about wanting to find balance.

A work/life balance.

Balance with eating.

Balance with exercise.

Balance with being structured, yet spontaneous.

And on and on. But really, what even is balance? What does that even look like?

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I’ve been thinking about this so much more lately as I settle into a new season in life. It’s a new school year and I’ve transitioned from being a second Bachelor’s degree student to a Master’s student. I’ve moved from uptown to downtown where life just feels different– busier and faster, yet exciting. And now relationships have expanded and grown since I’ve been in NYC for over a year now. Life is good and in many good ways, it looks much different than last year. My days aren’t as externally structured like they were during the BSN year. Literally, every day last year was full of 8-12 hours of time on campus or full days in the hospital. Now, I’m up at Columbia all day on Wednesdays and Thursdays but the rest of the week I’m mostly downtown near my apartmentI’ve had to find a way to structure those “open” days so they are productive and not chaoticleaving me wondering, “where did today go?”

I won’t lie, it took me about a month to figure out that new rhythm. To figure out how to draw boundaries in my social life in order to do Nutshell and school well. But to also draw boundaries with Nutshell + the blog in order to manage stress and feel mentally healthy. With all the traveling this summer, I’ve had to find a new balance with nutrition, running and sleep. And that’s a balance I’m not even sure I’ve completely figured out, but rather one where I’ve had to give myself a lot of grace.

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So how do we balance it all as seasons and rhythms of life change?

Do we actually ever balance it all?

I don’t think we actually do. I think we do what matters and that means balance for one person is going to look different than balance for another person.

I use to not give myself a lot of grace with balancing life and just doing what matters and instead I’d run myself ragged trying to do it all. Like I thought I was at the buffet, when really I was just at the dinner table. The plate was only so big and couldn’t be constantly filled. But we’re not called to a life of busy or a life of perfection – we’re called by God to a life of purpose. And busy and perfect do not make us worthy. So when I find myself caught up in trying to do it all or do it perfect, I’m grateful for people in my life who love me well and are willing to call me out on that.

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So what does “balance” look like now?

With work and school, that looks like doing what matters most. So that means not doing things so I please everyone or because I think I should or because that’s what looks like success to the outside world. What that does mean is doing what’s most important. Right now that is school and TAing. After that is Nutshell and after that is the blog + freelance stuff. So if my plate is too full and there aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the work and stay sane, then something has to go and for this season in life, that means I’m not blogging or doing as much freelance. And that’s okay.

With balancing social things and work/school that means saying no to social things that aren’t where I feel I’m meant to invest. I’m an extrovert and I love people. I love getting to know people, heart to hearting, engaging with people, loving people, and just being around people. While that’s a good thing, I totally envy people who can just say no and spend time alone or not be at everything. So as harsh as this might sound, that means choosing those friendships that matter, those I want to invest in and see grow, and then saying no to coffee dates or late nights or other social things that aren’t going to nurture those friendships. Quality over quantity. And by confidently saying no to things, I know I’m not missing out, but instead allowing myself to take care of me and do well in school while not feeling like I’m sacrificing my social life. I need a glass a wine and an occasional late night to balance the books just as much as I need the studying to balance the wine and 2am bedtimes. And along with that comes balancing a relationship with friendships. It’s super important to me to spend time with my close friends, and to spend quality time with Nick. A healthy relationship is one where both people have friendships that are independent of the friendships they share together.

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With food and nutrition, there have been seasons in life where I had time, and quite honestly the desire, to meal prep and cook. But this isn’t one of them. Life just isn’t predictable enough for me to cook in advance. Plus summer is always full of more traveling so I’m barely at home on weekends. And eating out is one of my favorite things to do in the city, especially now that it’s summer and you can eat outside on the sidewalk or patios. So these days, my version of “healthy eating” probably looks different than what some might consider healthy. I eat out a lot, I eat over at friends often and we have people over at our apartment for dinner often too. So does that mean there’s a lot more meat and dairy on my plate than in the past…absolutely. But there’s also plenty of vegetables and green smoothies. And for me, not stressing about grocery shopping or meal prepping or eating beans and lentils instead of chicken is balance. It’s working for this season. Do I want to cook more? Of course. But eating the same lunch 5 days a week and leaving dinners up to eating out or having others cook, is one less thing I need to worry about and that’s the healthy balance for me.

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After a pretty touch and go few months of working out and running I finally feel like I’m starting to settle into a groove again. I’m running the NYC marathon on November 1st and I just started officially ‘marathon training’ this week. Is it the most intense or highest mileage I’ve done? No way. I’m running about 4 days a week and that’s what my body and my schedule allows. Just living here keeps me active with walking and biking- so in addition to running, I’d say that’s enough. Will I run my fastest time? Probably not. But will I hopefully stay injury free, mentally healthy, and rested…yes. And if I miss a run or need to sleep in instead of run, there’s lots and lots of grace for that.

With sleep, ohhhhh man after a month of poor sleep I’ve learned where to draw the line. Whether that’s saying I’m not staying out past such and such time, leaving lots of emails unanswered at the end of the day, not getting up a blog post, or telling my roommates I can’t stay up and talk [which I could do for hours], I know that I have to set boundaries because I need at least 7 hours of sleep to function. In college, I have no idea how I use to subsist off 5 or 6 hours and be fine. But as I say all the time, sleep is the most important thing- poor sleep and you’re destined for hormonal whack. There is no compromise there.

So from the outside am I doing everything and balancing it all perfectly? Of course not!

But this is what’s working right now. It’s the rhythm for this summer. And it’s what matters.

Because health is so much more than the vegetables on your plate or how much you can sweat in a day.

An Indiana Weekend

Good morning!

I’m flying back to the city this morning after a quick weekend trip back to Indy. Our two college friends got married in Fort Wayne and my twin brothers turned 29! And prior to leaving New York, Nick turned 26 on Friday so the weekend was full of celebrations! Indiana will always be so dear to me, and even though I was only home for 48 hours it felt like so much longer. My whole family being together is rare these days so when we are it’s so, so sweet. Momma Coale cooked a surf n’ turf feast and my brother baked a chocolate cake that was just as amazing as you’d imagine.

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Backing up, we celebrated Nick’s 26th birthday with a surprise dinner on Thursday with close friends at Zerza and then at Kings County Distillery in Brooklyn on Friday afternoon. I’m usually a wine gal, but Nick is totally into whiskey and seeing and hearing about the history of whiskey making in New York was super cool. And that chocolate whiskey, swoooooon. Then I flew home Friday evening to Indianapolis, drove up to Fort Wayne Saturday morning for Rachel and Stephen’s wedding and then came back early Sunday morning to celebrate my twin brother’s 29th birthday and now I’m on a flight back to New York City this morning. Such a fun weekend with people I love so much! I have two exams this week and then will be traveling + going to another wedding this weekend so I’m just taking things day by day.

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I feel like this summer has been crazy in a such a good way, but so much of me just wants it to slow down. But knowing that it isn’t slowing down anytime soon, I’ve been trying to just do the best I can and try [try is the key word!] to prioritize and do what matters most.

I know I’ve been absent around these parts. I’ve been totally flaky and inconsistent with the blog and even though I have plenty of reader stories to be posting to keep the blog updated, I also don’t want to just be posting guests posts all the time because that seems like a cop out. Does that make sense or am I just being silly? Like, I want you all to be getting original content too and I want it to be quality content that is worth reading. YOU are the ones that make this blog what it is and I always want this space to serve YOU.

So I guess I’m just at this weird place where I don’t know what this blog will look like right now. And I don’t want to just post “Oh, life is busy so I’m so sorry I’ve been absent!” I feel like a broken record. Because life is busy, but it’s going to stay busy and everyone is busy. And I hate the word busy.

If I’m truly honest with my heart, I just haven’t had the same passion to get behind my keyboard and let the words spill out like I used to. I’m so grateful Nutshell is thriving and I’m finding myself so much more pulled towards engaging with women face to face. I think the internet is amazing in how it can form community, allow us to connect with others, and create influence and that is such a beautiful thing. But right now in life, I find my heart wanting to invest in conversations more than written words. In the past, that’s looked different to where writing has been so life giving and all I’ve wanted to do is write to you guys. So now that I’m just blabbering, I say all that because I want to continue to write this blog and pour into this space, I’m just not sure what that looks like.

Between studying for the NCLEX, school, Nutshell, email, training for the NYC marathon, and TAing a Physical Assessment lab there just aren’t enough hours in the day. And I don’t want my life to be all work and school and for me to feel like a hot mess 24/7.

So do I want to keep giving you guys quality posts. Absolutely. I have so many post ideas written down, but making them come to fruition is where I’m having trouble. So my plan is to take the summer to step back from the blog and write when it’s on my heart to write. I think taking the pressure off myself to post 3x a week and keep up with comments and social media and all of that will make a huge difference. To let myself breathe a bit. Nutshell is so, so important to me and my clients are such a priority that doing Nutshell well and this blog well just isn’t possible along with everything else.

So I’ll be posting for sure, I’m just not sure how often. But you will still of course find me all over social media so I’m not disappearing! I want to keep doing videos, posting about body image/nutrition/food, and doing life posts too, I just have to find a new rhythm in which to do that.

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And because I’ve gotten plenty of requests and an okay from Nick, ya’ll might hear about that soon too :)

Have a fabulous week!

XOXO

WIAW: more sleep, less coffee

Good morning! This post is going up late since I’ve been up since 5 cramming for our Advanced Pharmacology exam that we have today. My brain does not work well at night so I’d much rather get up obnoxiously early when my brain is fresh and I can guzzle coffee.

After a few hours of studying and a few cups of coffee I headed out for a 5 mile run along the river to clear my head before class at 10. I won’t lie guys, my sleep has not been what it should. I’m staying up way too late and this week I’m hitting the reset button on that. Last night Brit and I promised we would be in bed by 10pm tonight. Because while late night chats are great, getting 6 hours of sleep night after night is not healthy and makes us feel like crap. And my coffee consumption is out of control. So starting today, I’m reeling in the caffeine and putting myself to bed earlier. I’m human too, and lately, the sleep part of health is super lacking.

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But on the food front, I can’t complain!

I didn’t do a “days worth” of eats this week, but instead I’m sharing everything on my phone that I’ve snapped this week. I’ve read through all the Facebook comments on what you guys want more of on this blog and more daily eats was one of them. My plan is to still do WIAW like usual [after this crazy week of testing is over] and then include more food stuff. Ask and you shall receive!

This week I actually made it to the grocery store and am back into a more normal rhythm where I’m eating at home more than eating out and that not only feels good, but my wallet is happier too. So here’s what eats have looked like this week:

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breakfast // when eating at home, eggs with Cholula + pancakes with cashew butter and banana have been the jam all week and we also ate out at Grey Dog – amazing omelets, sweet potato fries and cranberry walnut bread and of course, the standard post run green smoothie of 1/2 scoop Vega One + 1/2 frozen banana + almond milk + frozen spinach

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lunch // salmon and sautéed veggies [sweet potato, kale, peppers and onion] in coconut oil and when eating out, Whole Foods salad bar

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snacks // these mini Perfect bars I found at Whole Foods [how adorable is that?], kiwis eaten with the skin on [yes, it’s good- like a super furry peach!] and Chloe’s soft serve fruit- my favorite is banana + dark chocolate mixed together – living close to this place is a very good thing.

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dinner // spaghetti squash with roasted eggplant, mushrooms, zucchini, nutritional yeast and marinara and another night I had breakfast tacos [eggs, spinach, pepper and Cholula] with sautéed kale and cherry tomatoes

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obligatory sweets // leftover birthday cupcakes and homemade donuts that Brit made last weekend

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And that’s a wrap for now. Have a fabulous day!