Almost Time to Barbecue!

GRILLED RIBEYE STEAK, STUBB-STYLE

 

Barbecue season is upon us! I have “almost” in the title because the rain may be keeping some of us away from barbecuing, but hopefully not for long.

 

I love to grill out! Grilling out is simple and everything tastes so delicious. Seriously, I don’t think I have had one bad dish off the grill. Have you?

 

Stubb’s Barbecue Sauce has always been a top pick in my house. I have looked on the ingredients list of a lot of different sauces and what I love about this brand is they never use high fructose corn syrup. Most barbecue sauce brands do. And really, the taste is out of this world good, which is exttremely important to me. I only have barbecue sauce every now and then so it better make my taste buds happy!

 

I have to admit, I can’t remember the last time I had a steak at home so the first recipe I am looking forward to grilling is GRILLED RIBEYE STEAK. Yum! With a side of grilled asparagus and grilled corn to go with. Yesssss! My taste buds are salivating just thinking about it. Are yours?

 

I want to get lots of recipe ideas for the grill. Comment below with one of your top foods to grill! And are you a barbecue sauce lover like me? If so and you are interested in a free Stubb’s barbecue sauce coupon, comment below with what you like to dip into that sauce!

 

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I did, however, get some lovely coupons to use and give away to a four of my readers. Thank you, Stubbs!

 

I Am Enough

I Am Enough

 

I am really late to this Fit Dish from last Tuesday, but it is such an empowering topic that I still HAVE to jump in. Diving all in, folks. I love “self appreciation” posts. I think we need more LOVE in the world. Less hate. Including self hate. So, I am taking part in the I Am Enough project with Jill Conyers and The Fit Switch. Perhaps some of you already took part in it.

 

Let me first start with why this phrase resonates with me. I fought the good fight with self esteem issues in my past. I was a striver of perfection, always feeling like a let down to myself. I wore myself out trying to be someone that I wasn’t. I had to walk down my own journey to find out that… I am, indeed, enough. Just the way that I am.

 

I have learned a few things to be true about self esteem…

 

The first is that everyone struggles with it at times. And that’s okay. No one is immune to the negative devil that sits on the left shoulder taunting the angel on the right. We go through things that may bring up negative thoughts. It’s life!

 

The second is that whenever these negative thoughts come more often than not, we need to seek help. Not one single person on this planet is alone. Look around. I feel like singing Michael Jackson’s, “You Are Not Alone,” right now. But, I’ll spare you. Help is abundant. Some can seek help with a friend or family member. Others may need professional help. And that’s okay. For the small things I often seek a friend or family member, but for the bigger things I am all about speaking to a therapist. I have had some significant life breakthroughs while speaking to a therapist. (In fact, it is the very reason I gained the confidence to quit my Lease Analyst job at Shell to become a Registered Dietitian). Just sayin’!

 

 

The third is that only you can determine your self worth. Did you hear me? A magazine, beautiful model, rude jerk down the hall, or the next diet/fitness craze does NOT determine your self worth. I once worked for a doctor who thought he was God’s gift to women. He was a certified angus chach. He often joked around with the staff, but one day he took it too far. He patted my stomach and asked me if I was pregnant, as he laughed. No lie! I felt humiliated. I was furious. This was in front of three other co-workers as well. He said a few other rude and offensive jokes that day to two of the other co-workers so maybe he was just 100% in jerk mode that day, but it doesn’t give him an excuse. Later on, he continued with the joke and told my co-worker, “Oh now she is going to just drink water all day.” It was as if he knew what he said was a blow to my self esteem. I let him get to me. I let him determine my self worth for the rest of that day. I cried in the bathroom for a bit that night as I pinched my “not pregnant or overweight” belly. I even threw away the jeans I wore that day because in my mind they were part of the problem. They weren’t. I have since realized that people can be rude and say offensive things, but I don’t have to let them get to me. I can stand strong and know my inner and outer beauty. I can believe in that. I can believe that I am enough. If he were to tell me that today, I would probably shake my head and say something along the lines of, “Nope, not pregnant. But I hope to get pregnant someday and if I have a boy I will raise him to respect other people. Guess you didn’t learn that lesson.” And then when I went home that night I wouldn’t cry or throw away my jeans. I would just be thankful that I don’t live an unhappy life to where I have to put down others for my own personal pleasure. I determine my own self worth, thank you very much!

 

I guess I really love this type of post because it empowers each and every one of us to take charge of what goes on inside those beautiful brains of ours. The mind is a powerful tool and sometimes we just need that little reminder that we are enough.

 

And here is the full picture… I liked it because I turned away as the camera snapped and have a serious face. I mean business, people! This is vewy sewious!

 

IAmEnough

New look

I have been blogging for a year and half now and felt the need for a fresh look.

This is my first go round at it and I would LOVE to hear your feedback! Is it too simple? I did this one myself, while the previous look I paid for. I am no professional so it will NOT hurt my feelings if you have constructive feedback. Trust me!

Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend so far! I will be back in blogging action next week.

Wedding Pictures!

If you are friends with me on Facebook, you have probably seen quite a few of these but I wanted to post them on the blog as well. Here are a few of my wedding pictures. Enjoy!

My Groom

My Groom

The Bride

The Bride

Right after getting ready to walk down the aisle!

Right after getting ready to walk down the aisle!

My dad and me. Love him!

My dad and me. Love him!

Matt and I at the alter.

Matt and I at the alter.

We're Married. This deserves a fist pump!

We’re Married. This deserves a fist pump!

I love the outdoor look in this picture. It stopped raining right before we had the ceremony!

I love the outdoor look in this picture. It stopped raining right before we had the ceremony!

Our wedding party. Want to know something cool? I had all "M" bridesmaids.

Our wedding party. Want to know something cool? I happened to have all “M” bridesmaids. And those are my two brothers on the right.

I had to have a picture with the cool door.

I had to have a picture with the cool door.

Dinner time. But first, a kiss.

Dinner time. But first, a kiss.

Our first dance as husband and wife.

Our first dance as husband and wife.

Before I go, I want to let you know that I plan to do a blog makeover REAL soon! I am a “font” nerd and hate my current font. And then from there I decided…. why don’t I give the blog a whole new fresh look all around?! So over the next few weeks (hopefully) you should see it looking a little different around here. Hoping to do it myself, but oftentimes I get myself into pickles and need help getting out of them so we will see. Luckily I have a new husband that is savvy with EVERYTHING! 😉

Cheers to the weekend, friends!

How I Like to Manage Stress

How I Like To Manage Stress

Stress never goes away. Every single one of us will encounter stress on a regular basis. Since we can’t completely exterminate it, we have to learn to embrace and manage stress instead.

For me, the first four months of this year have been a little more stressful than normal. Surprisingly, I have felt happier than ever though!  It could be that most of my stress is from good things. But even more than that, I feel happy because of my attitude and priorities.

I made a commitment to enjoy and savor every moment of my wedding planning process (or as much as I can).

I made a commitment to put managing stress as top priority.

I think the first commitment is pretty self explanatory. Everyone wants to remember the little things leading up to their big day, as well as the day itself. I also wanted to celebrate with my fiancé on a regular basis. We had already made a commitment to each other by staying in the relationship for so long (going on 7 years), but are solidifying it by getting married. And it has been SO COOL to see how excited we both have been throughout these past several months.

The second commitment is a little more of a challenge. I think stress reduction and management tips are so individualized. What works for me may not work for you. And believe me, I have tried several things I thought would work because it worked for a health guru, but it left me feeling more stressed. Go figure! So, even though I am sharing a few tips that work for me I encourage you to experiment. Find what works best for you!

You can always try a class at the gym or maybe go for a walk solo. Sometimes your health insurance will even help you get going.For example, Oscar Health Insurance in New York and New Jersey gives their members free Misfit activity bands for tracking their steps and also offers reimbursements for gym and yoga studio memberships. I was asked by Oscar Health Insurance how I manage stress and after I responded I kept thinking… this would make a great blog post! So my props goes to them for this post.

Another thing I want to note before I get to my list is that trying to be perfect with stress management can backfire. Did you read that? It can cause more stress. I once set a goal to meditate every day for 15 minutes per day. I also had a misguided perception that this meant the 15 minutes had to be me in a dark room sitting cross-legged with light music and a candle. I had to focus on my breath and keep my mind calm. That didn’t last long for me. It wasn’t until I realized that meditation can be done in SO MANY WAYS that I could experiment and find different ways to meditate and kick my stupid goal to the curb. That was a goal that I ended up more stressed out over because I found myself not always wanting to sit in a dark room. Sometimes I wanted to get outside and move a little. Well strike the harp… moving meditation works! And is way more me.

Let’s get to it… here is my list of stress management techniques that work for me:

  1. Moving Meditation. Some days this looks like a 20 minute yoga session at home (usually with Yoga with Adriene or Tara Stiles with Strala Yoga.) Other days this looks like a 30-50 minute walk outdoors. When I walk outdoors, I always use my Ipod. I LOVE MUSIC! And you know what? Music can ease stress too.
  2. Putting the phone down before bed and reading a book or magazine. Oh man oh man, if I had a dime for every time I thought I could look at my phone before bed and sleep well I would be rich. I know the lesson, but don’t always follow it. However, when I do follow it I sleep like a baby. Not looking at the phone before bed is a game changer for stress reduction and improved sleep! No lie. So here’s to finding more books to read (as long as it isn’t a page turner that keeps me up too late). J
  3. Listening to a guided meditation. I have tried a few different guided meditations and I always turn to the ones from Deepak and Oprah. I love them! I have two: Desire and Destiny and then Perfect Health. I love listening to these every so often (~3 days per week) while on one of my outdoor walks. It is a 21 day guided meditation, but I don’t follow the days. I press shuffle!
  4. Bubble Bath, Tea, or Hot Tub. What do all of these have in common? HEAT! I love hot things… I know, that may sound weird, but I am in Texas after all. Plus, heat really does calm the body and ease the mind. I tend to grab a cup of hot tea, hot water with lemon, or a café misto during the day. If I really need to relax at the end of the day I will take a bubble bath. We also recently got a hot tub so sometimes I will choose that. Both are so soothing!

Now it is your turn, what works best for you?

Current Favorite Health-Related Podcasts

Favorite Podcasts

I am linking up for The Fit Dish with Jill Conyers and The Fit Switch today. We are discussing podcasts. I am always looking for new podcasts to follow so am really looking forward to reading all of the posts today! I follow a few comedians and one reality star (guilty pleasure!), but I do have 3 current favorite health-related podcasts too so I will share those today.

I have talked about one podcast below on one of my wedding series posts, but I will name her again because I am still digging on it!

  1. Fearless Rebelle Radio with Summer InnanenI love her caption so will share it directly… “Fearless Rebelle Radio is here to empower you to defy the standards and break the rules in order to radiate confidence, relish in your uniqueness, and live life fearlessly on your own terms.” Who can’t dig that?!?!
  2. Mind Body Musings Podcast. Maddy Moon is a podcast host I heard through Fearless Rebelle Radio. She was a fitness competitor and realized that the starvation diets and strict exercising left her unhappy and wanting more out of life. She now strongly advocates trusting yourself, loving yourself, and saying no to the crazy diet and exercise rules. This is probably my favorite podcast of the moment because I love all of her topics lately!
  3. The Model Health Show. This one is with Shawn Stevenson and I can’t believe I had never heard about him before. I found out about him when he was a guest on Fearless Rebelle Radio too. I love his voice! And since podcasts are all voice that is an important characteristic. He does say some out there stuff that I would probably never try, but most of his stuff is interesting.

Side note: if you haven’t heard of Dear Sugar Radio, check it out too. I love the questions that come in… it is almost like a Dear Abby column. I always loved reading those in the newspaper as a kid so always seem to enjoy this podcast too.

I am just scratching the surface on health-related podcasts so seriously cannot wait to find more! What is your favorite podcast, health-related or solely for entertainment?

Wedding Series: Wedding Week!

 

Wedding Series (7)

First things first, THE DRESS FITS AND LOOKS BEAUTIFUL!!! I can’t wait to wear it on Saturday and am feeling a HUGE sense of relief. Now I can just enjoy the rest of my wedding week. 🙂

I am not in a video kind of mood today so am going to recap where I am at and where I am going with words. Oh, I love words. Writing can be so therapeutic… ya know?!

This past week, some of the many things I have accomplished with the wedding planning include:

  1. Finalizing the catering order. I am thinking we will have about 115 guests attend so have the number at 125 so that my vendors can eat too. And I definitely think it is better to overestimate when it comes to the food rather than underestimate.
  2. Picking up snacks for the day of. Costco is a rockin’… I love that place! I picked up some snacks for the day of. I have a lot of AWESOME peeps helping out with the decor and getting the place ready for the big event. Some of the snacks I got are: Seapoint Farms Energy Blend, Bare Crunchy Apple Chips, and Kirkland’s Apple Sauce Pouches. I will also pick up sandwiches somewhere and bought a few more nut mixes at Target. I also got some sweet treats (Rice Krispies Treats) for the peeps that need a lil’ suga!
  3. Getting a facial and am one day shy of being done with teeth whitening strips. I was told by a few friends of mine to pamper myself. Well, lucky me, I had a gift certificate to Evanesque in Dallas. I used it for a hydrafacial today and loved it. My face feels so smooth! And the esthetician was FANTASTIC. I would so go back! And to the teeth whitening… if you ever need a quick inexpensive teeth whitening product for an event, give Up and Up brand a try (from Target). My teeth already look whiter and you only have to use them for 30 minutes at a time for 7 days. Love that!
  4. Getting a few engagement pictures taken. I needed a few more good pictures of us for our picture frames. We went to our photographer’s house after work one day and got a few taken by his pool and landscaping. They are being mailed to me tomorrow. Can’t wait to see them in person!

A few other things to note… My parents are AWESOME. They have taken care of all the booze and have it in their garage. My mom made all of the party favors yesterday. They turned out so cute. Pic below… I couldn’t resist snapping a photo!

smores

Wedding party favors

I have been walking outdoors as my workouts this past week and will continue this week. It triples as a stress reliever, joy booster, and physical activity. Lovin’ it! And I have been a little stricter with my nutrition this past week and will continue there too…. not too over the top, but am sticking to mostly non-label, minimal ingredient foods! Tone It Up has a 7 day slim down that I have been loosely following.

5 DAYS LEFT Y’ALL.. I am getting so excited. My next wedding-related post may just be a picture montage once I get some back from the photographer. Can’t wait to share!

Have a great week, friends!