The Pursuit of Healthiness

The Pursuit of Healthiness
Your Guide to Getting Healthy

Thursday, September 10, 2015

When Your Mood Changes with the Season

Lately, I've been feeling pretty lonely and depressed, which is kind of strange when you consider that I'm back to school. I'm constantly around people, a heck of a lot more than I was during the summer. But over the summer, I felt happy, laying in the sunlight, on my own, feeling the water of the pool all around me. Now that I'm crammed in a dorm room all the time, my mood has been falling steadily.

I've felt this for a long time but never really thought it was a big deal. As a sufferer of bipolar disorder, I just figured this was a part of it. But I decided to do a little research. Apparently, those with bipolar disorder are actually more prone to getting Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Like most forms of depression, SAD comes with a loss of energy, a loss of interest in things you like, having difficulty concentrating, feeling irritable, and weight gain. What I've been feeling lately is especially the feeling of worthlessness and hypersensitivity to rejection.

I had decided recently to stop seeing a therapist because I really disliked the one I was going to. He once told me that I was probably just sad because I was a teenage girl and I needed a boyfriend. He recently lost his license and I can completely see why. But I think I may try to find a new one. I could use someone to talk to who may help me get through this time again. But SAD isn't just for fall and winter. SAD can also appear in the spring and summer months, although the effects are slightly different. It's often accompanied with weight loss and loss of appetite as opposed to SAD during the winter months, where the craving for carbs becomes common and there's usually a weight gain.

In either case, going through SAD alone is never a good idea.  You may be thinking, "Well it's just a couple months of misery," like I usually do, but it can get scary going it alone, especially considering SAD is often accompanied by thoughts of suicide. Don't get it alone. Getting healthier, mentally or physically, is a process and it's always better with help.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Better for You Breakfast: Gooey Smores Cookies

Sounds more like a dessert right? But with all the fiber in this meal, they are actually a pretty great way to start the day, keeping you full until lunch. Of course, if you want to have them for breakfast and dessert, no body is going to argue.

Recipe for three cookies
1 cup of Quaker oatmeal (I actually used one package of lower sugar Quaker Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal, which worked very well)
2 Hershey Kisses, grated
3 Jumbo marshmallows, chopped up, or 12 mini marshmallows
1/4 cup of skim milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the oatmeal and skim milk and add in the marshmallows. Scoop out the mixture in three rounded spoonfuls and put them on a greased pan. Then sprinkle the chocolate over top of the spoonfuls and bake for twenty minutes. Take out and let cool.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Better for You Dinners:Tangy Grilled Chicken Salad

Since I've been home, I've been in my chicken basically nonstop. I'm sick of takeout, my body's since of takeout, and all I want is a fresh cooked meal. And what's fresher than hearty salad on a hot summer day?

I cooked this meal with my mother last week and together it only took us about ten minutes total. Not bad, especially after a long day of work.

Recipe (serves two)
1 mango
1 avocado
2 chicken breasts
four cups of spinach
1 tbsp virgin olive oil\
1 tbsp of lime juice
1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

Add salt and pepper to rub the outside of the chicken breast and grill the breasts until there is no more pink in the middle (this was between 7 and 9 minutes for us). Dice the mango and avocado and add them to the spinach. Cut the grilled chicken into thin strips and toss them into the salad. Mix together the vinegar, lime juice, and oil and drizzle the mixture over the salad. Toss the salad and serve.

Enjoy your salad!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Find Your Community!

You know that friend or family member who sees you take that second cookie and says, "Do you really need that?" I have one of those too (okay, I have a few of those) and I know that they are trying to help, but the problem is that they are actually not. I usually feel so self-conscious that when I'm around these people, I hardly eat anything at all. But that backfires because, after an evening of not eating anything, I feel sorry for myself, along with being massively hungry, so I indulge and gorge on whatever I want.

Apparently, I"m not alone with that. Studies have recently shown that having a friend or friends that treats you like this is very bad for your health and people who are trying to lose weight end up losing less or even putting on weight from having these bad influences in your life.

That's not to say that you should avoid these people altogether, but you may want to cut back and try to avoid meeting them during mealtimes. Try to arrange meetings when you know that food isn't really something you will be spending your time doing, maybe finding an active meeting place, like the beach or mini golf.

Some people though can be a real asset when you are trying to lose wait. I've actually found that not having people to talk to face to face helps a lot. When I have a real life workout buddy, I feel that we are always competing. I've never found a weight loss buddy in my real life friends because we are all at different weight levels and some of the things that they do, I just can't do yet. Which is why the internet is my weight loss buddy.

My favorite (and free) site is because you can not only track your weight, your food, and your exercise, but also talk on message boards and talk directly to your weight loss buddies. People can send you motivational gifts, ask you questions, and give you answers. And you can form your own support groups to give you more people to be held accountable to.

I would definitely recommend signing up, but if Spark People is not your thing, there are plenty of sites like it to track on. But definitely look for the community aspect. It can help more than you know!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Better Breakfast: Sausage and Scrambled Eggs on Toast

This breakfast is so easy, has 24 grams of protein, and is only 400 calories!

2 egg whites
.25 cup skim milk
3 turkey sausage links
1 oz sharp cheddar cheese
.25 cup spinach
1 slice of whole wheat bread
1 tbsp butter

Mix the skim milk and egg whites and scramble them on a greased frying pan. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the spinach. Then grate and add the cheese. Chop up the sausage links and add them in. Toast the whole wheat bread lightly and butter it. Slide the scrambled eggs onto the toast and enjoy!

Told you it was easy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Better Breakfast: Oatmeal and Peanut Butter Muffins!

Hey all! I've got another recipe for you and the best part of this one is that it takes only twenty minutes and you have breakfast for two days! They're very moist, but if you want them more fluffy than moist, cut out some of the applesauce and add in a little more flour.

1 cup Quaker oats
1/4 cup of skim milk
1 cup of white (or wheat if you really want a health kick) flour
2 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of vanilla
2 tbsp of applesauce
2 tbsp of peanut butter

Mix the oatmeal and warmed up milk together. Then add in the flour, cinnamon, vanilla, and applesauce. Put a dollop of the peanut butter on top of each of the muffins (or push the dollop into the middle of the mix for a gooey taste in every bite). Pour the mix into greased muffin tins and put them in the oven at 350 degrees for twenty minutes. When you take them out, put them in the freezer for five minutes until the peanut butter hardens slightly. Take out and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Better Breakfasts!: Mini Frittatas

Hey guys,
So this is the first post of many I plan to write for this Better Breakfast series. I fell victim to the thought process that skipping breakfast would be a good thing this year, but man was I wrong. The college that I go to is definitely not known for its healthy foods so I found that most of my days consisted of no breakfast, a burrito for lunch, and a chicken caesar wrap for dinner. Occasionally, the day consisted of no breakfast, a sort of salad for lunch, and a Ben and Jerry's pint for dinner. I'm not proud. Towards the end of the year, I started to track my food and started to see a little weight fall off. But I still couldn't cook and I was living off of the few healthy things my school offers. So when I got home on Sunday, I decided to turn that around and I started my cooking better breakfasts.

I'll start with the one I made yesterday morning which came out great! I'm not going by any fancy recipes, only things I decided to throw together. And these recipes do not take that long to make. These mini frittatas only took twenty minutes to make, five minutes of prep and fifteen of baking. So if you want a healthy breakfast on a weekday morning, spend the five minutes, put them in the oven, go get ready for work, and come back to take them out and enjoy.

Two egg whites
.25 cup skim milk
1 oz sharp cheddar
.25 cup spinach
butter to grease the muffin tin/ butter the toast
Two slices of whole wheat toast

Mix together the egg whites and skim milk. Butter the muffin tin. I used a tin that makes basically half dollar size muffins, which means I got around eight mini frittatas out of this recipe. If you use a tin that makes larger muffins, you will likely only get four and you may have to adjust the cook time. Pour the mixture into the tin, then add the spinach. Grate the cheese, then pour it on top of the mixture. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

I recommend having whole wheat toast with these frittatas because there really aren't carbs or fiber in the recipe, which means that three or so hours later, you're going to be pretty darn hungry. Add in the whole wheat toast and this recipe will tide you over for much longer.

Enjoy your meal!

Sorry Guys!

I didn't realize just how long it'd been! I got so busy I guess I just let this fall to the wayside. This post is just a little catch-up, then I'll start back on my regularly scheduled programming.

So I graduated from high school last summer and just completed my first year of college. Now you know why it's been a little insane.

Yes, I did put on the freshman fifteen, I'm embarrassed to say, so I'll be using this blog to track my progress to get rid of it. I want those fifteen pounds off by my vacation (first in three years!) in June. So here's hoping you lose along with me!