Happy Friday! How was your Valentine’s Day? We kept it low-key (just the way I like it) with dinner cooked by Blake, Whole Foods cupcakes, and watching Chocolat. I had plans of baking cupcakes, but my sister bought cupcakes for a celebration and had some leftover. I’ll have to make cupcakes another time because I have an amazing chocolate cake recipe and haven’t made it in forever. This weekend we are taking care of my niece, Ellinor, so we will be spending our evenings at home, which really is fine with us. We will probably go to a museum or the library with her, and take her to a coffee shop for a little coffee date.
I’ve been giving some thought to the Friday Favorites posts, and they don’t feel right. I like keeping things simple, which means I would be sharing many of the same things every week. However, I have lots of little thoughts throughout the week, and want to share those with you instead. These Friday posts will be a mix of favorite things and some recent thoughts that don’t need a whole blog post. So here’s to the first one!
1. AN INTUITIVE EATING GUIDE TO MEAL PLANNING
Did you catch my new resource? Along with my weekly intuitive eating meal guide, I created a free resource for how to meal plan while considering intuitive eating. Meal planning can be connotated with diet culture when you spend hours a week meticulously planning out meals and snacks so you “keep on track.” Maybe that’s why I strayed away from it for so long because when I started intuitive eating I was wary of any semblance of a diet and wanted to leave room to let my body lead with what it wanted. However, it’s not practical on many levels to wait until the time of to decide what to make and eat. There is a place for that, but in general it can be super helpful to meal plan for the week, and there is a way to do so that honors intuitive eating and that can help challenge food rules. I explain more in my free guide, so make sure to grab yours.
2. THIS BANANA BREAD
With a focus of rest this year, I have been intentionally been making time for rejuvenating activities. Some of my favorites are baking, reading, listening to music, going on nature walks, and connecting with a good fried over coffee. This week has been extra tiring for some reason, so Thursday I took some time to bake banana bread. I’ve been hearing so much about Cookie + Kate’s recipes, so tried out her recipe, and oh my, it’s the best banana bread! A couple tweaks I made – I didn’t have white whole wheat flour, so I used 1 cup white flour and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour. I also added a heavy sprinkle of flaked coconut into the batter and topped the loaf with more coconut and white sugar which gave it the most magical crunch on top. I had a slice fresh out of the oven with peanut butter as a snack. It would also be delicious with salted butter or some cream cheese.
3. BARRE WORKOUTS + INTUITIVE MOVEMENT
My physical therapist has given me the permission to try some new exercise as long as it feels okay with my knee. If you don’t know, I’ve had knee pain for over 6 years, which has greatly impacted my ability to exercise, but it’s also been incredibly healing. I’ve been doing lots of hard work with PT, and so ready to incorporate gentle, mindful movement back into my life. I’ve always been a huge fan of pilates and dreamed of one day being a ballerina (only took one class, fyi), so barre is a dream! I tried Barre3’s free trial and love their message around body positivity and intuitive movement. I’m not in a place to sign up for the online streaming, but have found a couple workouts on YouTube that I’ve been using.
Movement is such a blessing, and when used properly can be healing and life-giving. I used to be a runner because I thought it burned the most calories. I had a rigid schedule I had to follow regardless of how I felt. Looking back on those days, I have no idea how I functioned with the intensity of activity I did, and can only imagine how much life it took out of me. When I think about a healthy relationship with exercise now, my focus is doing movement that makes me feel stronger, energetic, happier, and more confident. For me, that’s pilates, yoga, barre, walking, and lifting weights. I hope to one day get back into running, but if it takes too much out of me, I’m going to stick with activities I love doing. What are your favorite forms of movement lately?
4. HONORING YOUR HUNGER
I’ve been giving a lot of thought to my own journey with intuitive eating, and while chatting with a friend about it, I realized there are still some areas I want to focus on. Yes, full disclosure I do not have it all figured out. Intuitive eating is a process. It takes time to learn what your body wants and needs, to retrain how you think about it all, and to develop new patterns of thinking and beliefs. After our conversation, I was motivated to once and for all let go of guilt and fear around food and solely focus on nourishing my body. Everytime I feel a thought of guilt try to sneak in, I replace it with, “I trust my body.” Intuitive eating starts with letting go of outside messages and tuning into yourself, but it requires a lot of trust. When you trust your body, you can know that if you feel hungry your body needs food or if you’re wanting something sweet at the end of a meal you’re body knows how to handle that. This way of thinking is so against everything we hear in culture today, I get it. But as I wrote earlier this week, it’s when we let go of diet messages and trust our bodies, we can experience freedom.
This week I have been extra hungry, and in the past I would have tried to ignore the hunger until the next time I was allowed to eat. Not only does that make it hard to function in the moment, it actually sets us up for eating too fast (leading to digestive discomfort) and feeling out of control around food. I can tell I’m hungry when my stomach actually gives signs of hunger, but also when I can’t think or focus, and when I get that I know my body is telling me it needs fuel. Think of our bodies as a gas tank in a car. We wouldn’t let our gas tank run on empty until it was the set time to get more gas – that would ruin the car and we may get stranded. Our bodies work the same way. We need food to do even basic functions like keep our heart beating and think. So for this week, it’s meant extra snacks, heartier meals, and being okay with eating more to satisfy my hunger. When the thoughts of, “Oh no, I ate too much” or “Did I really need to eat that” come in, I go back to the mantra, “I can trust my body.”
5. DON’T MISS OUT…
My favorite beauty brand (and leader in the clean beauty industry), Beautycounter, has a great deal going on with their makeup set, the Flawless in Five! I’m not one who wears a lot of makeup, I’m honestly more into skincare, but when I do, I want it to look as natural as possible. The Flawless in Five is the perfect basic, natural makeup look, so it’s great for anyone new to makeup or who only has a couple minutes to get ready in the morning. The set is made of 6 safer products that take 5 minutes to put on. I actually put together a video of me applying the set if you want to see it in action. The set is normally $150 ($187 value) and when you purchase it between now and February 20, you get a FREE Retractable Foundation Brush ($35).
In recent years, I’ve become passionate about using non-toxic products on my body, not because it makes me a better person, but because for me, part of loving my body is using healthy products. What’s even better is that I don’t have to sacrifice performance for healthy products. If you’re interested in learning a bit more, check out this blog post.
I hope you all had a wonderful week – share your thoughts for the week in the comments!