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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

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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

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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

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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

 

 

 

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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

 

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Trusting Your Gut & Why I’m 98% sure I’ll Never Do Online Dating Again

So the other night, I was on my fifth date with a guy who I met on Match. Leading up to this date, we had some great times together, and he was so sweet and treated me with up-most respect. He seemed like he was very close with his family and we had several things in common. Seems too good to be true, right? Well it was.

After our fifth date, and we had gone out to dinner, he asked me, what do I think about firearms? I said, I was not comfortable around them and have not known anyone who carries them. I mean, come on, not in the Richmond bubble I live in! He told me a story about when a few years ago, he and his friend were in North Carolina, and were held at gunpoint by passersby or whomever, and ever since then, he has had in his possession firearms. Seems proactive and cautious, but get this: he’s certified and has a concealed handgun permit (CHP), which means that he can carry them, if concealed, in his car, and even on his body, legally in Virginia. My next question was did he have a gun on him during the pleasant day we had spent together (with my friends, no less), and while we were at dinner. He said that he had.

I froze. I couldn’t process it. I felt very unsafe. If I had known this guy a little better, and if he had a more happy-go-lucky personality (hey, I was giving him a chance), maybe I would have felt differently, but for the most part, I was stunned, stopped in my tracks.

I let him drive me home, but shortly after, once I called my mom and sister crying/telling them what happened, I called the guy and told him we couldn’t see each other anymore.

After I told him, he didn’t push back or ask me why or put up a fight. He said that he understood and just wanted to be honest with me. The fact that he didn’t seem angry, made me feel a little reassured and not in danger. I guess he was used to this?

Nevertheless, my gut was really talking to me here, and I had to listen. I mean, there was no question about it.

When I told my friends about this, some said, so what, did you feel safe or unsafe? I can understand where some people would feel safe, given all the crazy sh*t that has happened in our world, but right off the bat, I felt unsafe.

Had I known this guy a little more, and if he gave me all the warm and fuzzies, and was more sociable, I may have given him another chance, but you just can’t be too trusting.

I guess I was wanting it to work out there for a bit, but really, after he met my friends and I sensed that he wasn’t engaging well with them, I probably would have ended things soon enough anyway.

The world of Online Dating has never, ever worked for me. And I’m convinced that it might never will.

I feel like The Universe Has My Back, even though I haven’t read that book by Gabby Bernstein (it’s on my list!), I have a feeling that my person is out there and we will meet when the time is right.

So I guess my point is that I’ve exhausted the online dating game, and ready to trust in the whole “You’ll meet him when you least expect it” advise or even fate?

I left the 2% up for grabs, because often when I’m feeling good and everything is flowing and in alignment (buzz words from Jess Lively), I’ll get an itch to start swiping right again, but I hope I’ll listen to my gut a little closer this time.

Has anyone else had crazy dating stories like this?! I urge my fellow single ladies to trust their gut in the dating world! It is SO important that you do.

Xo,

Ellen

 

 

 

 

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Do It While You Have Time

No, I’m not going any where or God forbid I have an issue with my health or anything. I’m not traveling to Fiji or France or the San Francisco Bay. I’m just here in my fresh, clean apartment on a Friday night. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The title of this post came to me while I was taking a long, luxurious shower (I really just had to shave). I was done with nannying early this afternoon, so I decided to take advantage of the blustery cold afternoon and just bang out a cleaning session.

This is why I could never work from home, because while I love nesting here in my apartment, I often jump from one thing to another and easily get distracted from the task at hand, even though it’s not for long until I come back to what needs to be done. The idea of working from home would not be good for me.

Anyway, as I was saying, I was in the mood to clean, dust, and throw out things that have been piling up. At times during my afternoon cleaning marathon, I thought, oh, I’ll clean the bathroom tomorrow, but then a little voice said, “just do it now, while you have time.” Same thing for vacuuming. My point is, that I really enjoyed honoring all that I have, even though it may not be much to some people, I took care in dusting off pieces that I use every day, and giving them new life.

Now onto another form of cleaning, today is also Day 1 of my 21 Day Detox, created by Amie Valpone of The Healthy Apple. Amie is a remarkable human, who literally nursed her way back to health with real, organic, clean foods and a host of holistic practices.

I’ve had her cookbook, Eating Clean for nearly a year, and I’ve referenced a handful of recipes in it, but haven’t fully embraced all the knowledge that Amie shares about eating clean, real, organic foods, including this 21 Day Detox plan. In the book she declares how critical it is to listen to your body for cues that go against your regular bodily function for YOU.

So far, the first day has been good! I’m allowing myself coffee on this plan, but hope to reduce my quantity to just 1-2 cups a day, versus my usual 3-4. I will probably be naturally more alert in the mornings, since I will be hydrating more and staving off my after-dinner treat. Oh yeah, AND not having wine, or any alcohol for that matter.

I’ll be sharing each day of my detox journey here, so stay tuned! For now, I just wanted to share how important it is to take time for yourself and for your living space, because a happy home is a happy you. Now go clean if you have the time!!

 

Xo,

Ellen

 

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