Let It Go

Hey ya’ll! It’s almost Friday, which means it’s almost Thursday, which means it’s almost my Birthday!! (5/18!) I LOVE Birthdays. This year however, I won’t be celebrating as outlandishly as I did last year, but it will still be a celebration nonetheless! A good friend reminded me that even if the gathering and celebrations are small, every year of life should be worth celebrating…no matter how old you are!

I’m going into this long Birthday weekend on a clean slate. I just made the decision to let one of my very part-time jobs go. While I hemmed and hawed about it, I finally came to the conclusion that doing only five hours of work a week for this particular company was causing me unwanted stress and keeping me from pursuing other goals, like keeping this blog going! It would also interfere with an upcoming design project that I have just started. I will reveal more details soon! I’ll just say that this project will be my most challenging yet. But I am so up for the challenge you have no idea! I live and breathe this stuff (interior design), so I think it will be a wonderful opportunity to let my talents shine.

Although I’m pretty sure I’ll be dreaming of ideas for this project and some things may keep me up at night or wake me early in the morning, but it will be in the best way. And in those moments I will just have to BREATHE and thank my lucky stars at how grateful I am to be given an opportunity to do what I truly LOVE.

I hope ya’ll have a great rest of the week and I’ll be back Friday with my Pictures of The Week.

Xo,

Ellen

 

 

Update on that Off Feelin’

Hey ya’ll! So to give you an update on how I was feeling last week, I am SO MUCH better this week! I’ve strayed from gluten, dairy, soy, lecithin, and some other oils that are often found in allll the GF chips I like to munch on. The only exception has actually been today, when I have just had three mini Reese’s PB cups. I had a craving for chocolate and did not prepare to bring my own chocolate to work, so in comes the Reese’s.

I’ve been more in tune with my body this week. Really listening to fullness cues and hunger cues, and appreciating when I feel full. I’ve been really nourishing my body and not just feeding it with crappy processed snacks.

See, I’m a full time nanny, and very often snack on their snacks. Not in huge amounts, but I think over time, these processed foods just build up in my system, and finally, the bubble bursts, in the form of an outbreak on my skin, or in extreme bloating.

I’ve always had digestive issues since birth, so it’s not a surprise that every now and then, I have some sort of wake up call that tells me to slow down and re-assess my diet.

In a world where there are TONS of gluten/dairy/soy/nut/oil free humans out there, it has become easier to learn how to live with these limitations or should I say thrive?

It will take work and preparation, but I’m willing to do the work and prepare all the home-cooked meals that I can.

So that’s where I’m at right now.  I’ll be sharing more foods, brands, and recipes that I like that are of course gluten/dairy/soy freeee! So stay tuned!

Xo,

Ellen

 

 

Feeling Off

Just randomly saying hey here because I don’t know if it’s really relative to be telling, or should I say, boring anyone else about my digestive woes. I could call my mom and describe how I feel like I have a blob of butter or something stuck in my stomach and how GD bloated I feel, to the point where it’s making me anxious and I’m practically inhaling an entire bar of non-GMO, g.luten free, vegan chocolate bar…I’m looking at you Theo Chocolate 😉 And I’m also very inspired by #girlbosses like Laura Lea of Laura Lea Balanced and Amie Valpone of The Healthy Apple, who vulnerably share their story and health journeys to the world.

Getting to the point of bloatation here, back up to Monday, I went over to my high school friend Liz’s house, along with a few other high school friends, to have dinner. Liz generously ordered Zoe’s Kitchen. Our take out Mediterranean dinner included chicken and salmon kabobs, orzo, white beans, and a classic Greek salad with allll the Feta 🙂 So I had like one and half plates of this delicious “fast” Mediterranean food, followed by ice cream from the local Gelati Celesti. It was a pretty good portion of ice cream for someone like me who avoids ice cream at all costs, because if I indulge, I will feel sick pretty much in minutes after ingesting said ice cream. Not fun.

This is a different bloating feeling though. I’m still chalking it up to the ice cream, but maybe too it’s some nut butters I O.D.ed on last weekend.

So yeah, I feel so blah. Just off. The more and more I read about all this gluten, dairy free stuff, even grain free, I think I might be the perfect candidate to see for myself and maybe be another foodie “success story”.

I know it will take a lot of work, time, and patience, but I’m willing to put in the work. Lots of trial and error will go down to see what works and what doesn’t work for my body.

Ok, that’s my rant for the night. But really ya’ll, I’m inspired by all the bloggers, foodies, makers, nutritionists, out there, so I’m jumpin’ back on the blog wagon and seeing what difference I can make in this world! (written with sarcasm, but not really/really).

K. {side note: I cannot stand when people text “K”. what is that supposed to mean??? elaborate please!!} Until next time!

Xo,

Ellen

My Week in Pictures

Happy weekend friends! I’m settling in for the impending rainy weekend here. It’ll be all about “home” this weekend, as I’m house sitting in a beautiful turn of the century home. I’ll also be shuttling back and forth to my apartment, cleaning, organizing, and getting things in place for the longer days ahead. Have a great weekend! Now here are my Top 5 pictures from this week:

1. Easter dinner with the Archer’s! My mom’s (in the middle) side of the family. 

2.Bar cart inspiration. Allll the pineapples 🍍.

3. I discovered this iconic perfume in the sweet guest room where I’m house-sitting. 

4. ​

​An epic Boomerang. Not pictured: an equally epic sweet potato and caramelized onion pizza. 

5. Wooly rams at Maymont. Looks like they could be in a Van Gogh painting! 

Xo, 

Ellen

My Week In Pictures

Happy Friday! 

This week was a fun one and with weather that kept us guessing here in RVA. This weekend I’m looking forward to pairing wine with a special homemade dinner, attending a friend’s engagement party, and my cousin’s Bridal Shower on Palm Sunday! Y’all have a great weekend! 

Here are my Top 5 from the week: 

1.


THIS sea glass green color on the archway of our local Greek church.

2.


Honeycomb tile at my brother’s latest renovation project.

3. 

Birdseye view of the epic stairway, also from my brother’s renovation project, AND Hanover Avenue posted it on their IG! #goals *Instagram

4.


Here I am, looking all stylin’ and profilin’ for Anthro. Virginia’s Spring Fashion Show! A Cinderella moment indeed.

5.


This delicious GF English muffin sandwich I just had for lunch today. HIT.THE.SPOT.  *gluten free

Xo,

Ellen

Checking In

It’s Friday!!! Each week kind of seems long when I’m in it, but then it’s Friday, and I’m like, where did the week go?

For me, I had a slow go to the week: recovering from the stomach flu, being gentle to my body, but still keeping busy. Towards the end of the week, my energy was back up and I’m ready to dive into this weekend, which will be a perfect balance of busy and fun. I can just feel it!

Speaking of energy, let me share the smoothie I had this morning:

BLEND:

1 cup fresh or frozen spinach

1 cup frozen medium banana

1/2 cup blueberries

2 T Flaxseed Meal

1 cup of Flaxseed Milk (any milk will do, this is just what I have at the moment)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Ya’ll! SO good! SO energizing! I finished this smoothie feeling satisfied and energized. All the things smoothie dreams are made of, right? Will definitely be re-creating and sharing this one soon, maybe tomorrow? I’ll also include more pics too.

So, as I’ve mentioned, I’m back on Weight Watchers, for like the fifth time in a decade, and have completed my first week. This week was kind of weird because my appetite was not quite to par, and certain foods were actually making me nauseous. I guess this makes for an easy first Weight Watchers week?!

I’ve been tracking every little thing I’ve eaten. I’ve found that if I make myself track the food, I feel better about what I ate. Sweets, indulgences, weak points, etc. Tracking it all has made me feel better about myself. I’m telling myself the truth, moving on, and feeling in control.

One thing this go round with WW that I will try to do, is really listen to my body, and not just stick to my plan. For example, if I pre-tracked breakfast for the next morning, but woke up and decided I wanted a hard-boiled egg with my smoothie instead of oatmeal, I’m having the egg. I really did just that one morning this week, and it felt great. I listened to my body and didn’t just go by plan. When cravings or circumstances change, you just have to go with it, while still holding yourself accountable.

Another thing that I’m craving is SUMMER! Or maybe I just want to get away? Both! Perhaps my mini day trip to a winery this weekend will help satisfy that? Follow along on my Insta stories to see what I’m up too! It’s going to be colder here this weekend, maybe one last chance to bundle up before Spring?!

Have a great weekend!

Xo,

Ellen

 

 

 

Revisiting Food With Weight Watchers

Having recently recovered from a three-day-long stomach virus, I am really appreciating food for what it is! Nourishing, energizing, and satiating. I was literally planning to return to the Weight Watchers meetings on Saturday morning when the icky stuff hit me on Friday night.

I’m still a little rusty with trying certain foods just yet, but I do know, that from here on out, no matter what, I am going to choose foods that I like and choose the ones that digest well for me. I bring the digestive thing up because sometimes I go on different benders, influenced by the vegan and gluten free chefs out there, mostly from their Instagram accounts, only to realize that certain “foodie” and “raw” foods just do not agree with me.

For example, while I feel that I caught the stomach virus from one of the sweet little girls I nanny for, the week prior, I was eating incredibly fibrous vegetables on repeat. Sometimes I get on kicks like having frozen spinach in my smoothies for breakfast and then broccoli/cauliflower quinoa bowls for lunch, and sweet potatoes for dinner, or something similar to that menu. Days later, I am wondering WHY do I feel so bloated?! Probably from all the fiber in those veggies I’ve been eating, that for me, are not easily digest-able.

You see, ever since I was a kid, my digestive tract has been slow moving. What I mean by that, is if I ate something that didn’t agree with me at breakfast, I probably wouldn’t know it until dinner time, if ya know what I mean (without being too graphic here, you get the picture?). I actually wasn’t eating solid, whole foods until about age 3, because of this digestive condition. Hard to believe, right? I have certainly made up for lost time, like 10 x over!

So, my thought of getting back into Weight Watchers came from recently feel out of control with food and having low energy. Since becoming a full time nanny this year, I’ll find myself eating a Ritz Bit here or a chocolate candy there, or a handful of gummy worms, and feel SO BAD about it. It’s crazy how busy the mind is; you wouldn’t believe my thought process when I eat one of these kid snacks. It goes something like this: will eating these make my skin break out? I am planning on exercising this afternoon, so I don’t want to feel bloated after eating those Ritz Bitz full of cheese or the sugar alcohols in the chocolate candies will slow me down, etc, etc, etc.

I need to learn how to accept what I eat and move on, and hold myself accountable for it. And the biggest thing is to not over-indulge.

I believe Weight Watchers will help me learn to eat the foods I truly love again, without feeling crazy guilty around my decisions. WW will also help reign in the appropriate portions of all foods, believe me, I can even go overboard on some homemade sweet potato wedges!

And most importantly, if successful this time with Weight Watchers, which I am confident and have faith that I will be, I know I will feel so accomplished and proud of myself. Each time I go over-board or binge, I feel so bad about myself, which has exuded in my relationships with family, friends, and especially in the dating world.

And it’s kinda cool that Oprah is on WW too!!

In deciding to join Weight Watchers again, I’m still going to pay careful attention to buying organic when it’s available, and be mindful of the ingredients. Healthy ingredients are absolutely worth higher point value.

I’ll officially start tracking this Saturday, since that is when I plan to go to my first meeting and by then I will surely be on the up and up from this lingering stomach bug 😦  I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my progress, downfalls, and all the in between!

Xo,

Ellen