about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.



Resolution Recap.

This year, for the first time in a long time, I made some New Year’s Resolutions.  Nothing huge or unattainable – just a list of hopes and small changes to achieve in the coming year, many of which were already being set into motion at the year’s end.  Now that the luster of the new year has faded, I thought I’d recap how things are going so far.  I’m not going to talk about all my goals – just a few for today.

1.  More time for me, more development of personal interests.

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This is sort of an over-arching theme for this year.  As a new parent, it’s very easy to let your identity slip away in the hustle and bustle of newborn-hood, and I learned that the hard way.  It took about a year for me to fight my way out of the hole that I had allowed myself to dig. 

But for the past few months, things have been really different here.  I’m taking a lot more time for myself, whether that means reading a book during nap time, taking a fitness class on the weekend, or even taking a whole weekend to go home and visit family. 

One of my resolutions was to read at least one book each month, and so far I’m off to a good start!  In January I read two and a half books, and I already have a pile waiting for me in February.  I know it’s very predictable, but I ended up reading books one and two in the Hunger Games series.  I just wanted something easy and engaging to read, and these were perfect for that. 

Right now I’m halfway through the third book, and I’ve also recently started Simplicity Parenting.  I don’t know why I’m reading three books at one time (seems inefficient), but I’m also reading Bringing Up Bebe on my Nook.  It’s been nice to enjoy some reading time on the couch in the evenings instead of always mindlessly zoning out in front of the TV.  Although Survivor starts tonight, which will definitely set my reading back a bit…

2.  Make fitness a priority.

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Other than some running and a lot of walking, I essentially took last year off from formal exercise.  I think it was necessary at the time, but I’m so glad I jumped back in when I did.  I feel like I’m in a really good place with my fitness right now, and I feel really strong and incredibly motivated.

I’m doing Barre3 classes once or twice a week (hoping to squeeze one in this evening!), and I’m absolutely loving them.  I hope I’m not annoying you guys by talking about it so much.  I’m just really excited to have found a new activity that has me energized and excited again, and that works with my current schedule and lifestyle.

I’m also still getting up and working out in the mornings.  My alarm is set for 5:30am every day, and two to three of those mornings each week I do an at-home workout with Casey.  We have gotten really into the New York City Ballet workout DVD’s – those ballerinas are seriously ripped!

It has been really fun to workout with Casey again.  That was one of the things I missed most about our pre-baby life, and it’s a fun, healthy way for us to connect and spend time together.  Plus it’s an extra hour we can spend together in the morning, which is a nice way to kick off the day ahead.  I feel like I’m in a really good spot with exercise right now, and I’m excited to see where it goes from here. 

3.  Sugar free January: the challenge to go one month without sugar.

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I never intended to cut sugar out of my life completely.  That is unrealistic, and also not very fun.  But I knew my sugar consumption was WAY out of control, and it was going to take a big change to have a lasting effect.  I gorged myself on chocolate cookies at our New Year’s Eve party, and woke up January 1st ready to face the challenge head on. 

The verdict?  It was hard – much harder than I thought it would be.  I tend to be an all-or-nothing type of person.  I have never been good at moderation or self-restraint.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with moderate sugar consumption – I just wasn’t capable of that.  So I quit cold turkey, thinking a 30-day detox (of sorts) would help my problem.  And I think it did, but it was definitely a challenge.

The worst part was every night after dinner.  I longed for something sweet, and no amount of oranges or peppermint tea was going to trick me into thinking I’d just eaten a bar of chocolate.  The biggest takeaway from my sugar free month was just how often I was indulging in sweet stuff.  We’d be out and about in Seattle, and I’d think about suggesting a trip to a bakery, just because.  It made me realize how many 3 o’clock cookies I was eating before, just out of habit or boredom. 

When we went home to Indiana for a week in January, there were sweets and chocolates all over the house.  If I hadn’t been doing my monthly challenge, I knew I would have seriously overdone it while we were there.  I felt grateful for the opportunity to recognize just how often I was thinking about (and subsequently eating!) sugar.

On February 1st, I felt slightly liberated.  I had completed my challenge with only one cheat – a friend’s birthday cake that she had worked hard to bake and decorate herself.  I didn’t want my silly food challenge to take away from her celebration, and I gladly indulged in a few (delicious) bites.  I didn’t eat any sugar that first day, and it wasn’t a big deal.

On February 2nd, I felt old habits creeping in.  I had known there was a chocolate bar buried in our junk drawer that had been taunting me through all of January.  I ripped it open, took one glorious bite, and then proceeded to eat the entire (large!) bar.  It was delicious, but I felt gross afterward, and a little sad that the effects of the sugar-free month hadn’t lasted a little longer?

Ultimately, I’d just like to have a healthier relationship with sugar, and I do think taking a break from it helped me recognize that.  I want Cullen to grow up with a balanced appreciation for treats, and to enjoy them for special days and celebrations – like the ice cream come we shared for a friend’s birthday earlier this week.  My biggest motivation to curb my own sugar problem is to be a healthy role model for Cullen as he continues to watch and learn from us.

So that’s how things are shaping up so far this year!  Off to a good start, and I feel good about what’s up ahead.  Anyone else still thinking about their resolutions?  Even if you’ve had a setback, it’s never too late to jump back on the wagon!

PS – For those looking for a laugh today, check out this funny photo series between Cullen and Huey over on Babble!  Poor little guy just wanted to share his snack!  :) 

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46 Comments so far
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Ali @ Peaches and Football     at 9:43 am

Sugar is my demon. I honestly just cannot get enough. I’ve switched a lot of baking and cooking to using Stevia though – I even use Stevia in my morning coffee. So much healthier for me and without the blood sugar spikes. Plus, it’s naturally alkalizing. When it’s mixed in cakes, pies, or cookies you can’t even taste the difference – my co-workers have never known! :)

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Alexis     at 10:39 am

While that series of pictures of Huey and Cullen is absolutely adorable (I have a serious love for Huey, he’s such a goof!)… I do just want to forewarn you that apple seeds are poisonous and especially toxic to dogs. While Huey is large, so he’d have to eat a couple apples to feel the effects, still best to avoid altogether:)

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Katie     at 11:01 am

I totally hear you on the sugar battle! It helps that I save ALL of my chocolate consumption for after dinner. Even if a coworker brings in treats, I’ll take one home with me and eat it afterwards, and share with my hubby! I eat a square of dark chocolate every night, the darker the better – milk chocolate is never satisfying to me, and I just want to keep eating more and more of it. I try and have one night a week for a “big dessert” – piece of cake, brownie, etc. It acutally working really well! Excpet now I eat too much nut butter in the afternoons, so my “lose 5 lbs” plan is constantly derailed. My problem was mostly baking treats and having them around the house. I’d make vegan cookies, eat half the batter, and then 3-4 cookies out of the oven, and fell hooooorrrrible. But I just couldn’t stop myself, even while thinking “you’re going to make yourself sick” scarfing down the second cookie! So I try not to bake at home as much. The last time I baked was about 3 weeks ago (cookies again) and I ate a cookie’s worth of batter and two from the oven…..progress, but still not great, so still avoiding baking!

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Michelle@Peachy Palate     at 11:03 am

Well done on the workouts! Love that Casey is doing them with you, so cute! Something more couples should do. Also congrats on the sugar challenge – if you’re finding the cravings really bad chromium supplements are a great help and will do you know harm or if you want a food supplement you should try kelp tablets they work wonders for some people. Also you probably know but lots of cinnamon :)

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Heather     at 11:50 am

You are doing great with your goals! Love me some hunger games. I don’t think I could make it a week without sugar sadly.

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Bethany @ Accidental Intentions     at 12:35 pm

I can really relate to you on the sugar thing. I cut out dessert for Lent last year (and am doing the same thing right now), and I found that by the end of Lent, I really was doing fine without eating dessert. I honestly didn’t even crave it anymore. Granted, I would substitute things that I didn’t consider to be dessert–graham crackers with peanut butter, or a handful of homemade granola–and I think that helped me out a lot from the whole ending my meal on a sweeter note standpoint. However, as soon as Lent was over I went right back to my dessert-binging ways. I try so hard to do moderation, but it just seems impossible. Although, by the same token, I also would’ve thought that cutting everything out was impossible as well, but I was still able to do that. I guess it’s one of those things that you have to really work hard on until it’s a habit.

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Brittany @ Kitchen::Candid     at 1:01 pm

The best way for me to avoid sugar is to completely eliminate it from our house. Moderation is good but before you can be moderate you have to get control over the cravings. If I know there is something sweet in the house I WILL eat it.

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Dr. Carrie Nelson     at 1:10 pm

Sounds like you’re striving for progress, not perfection, Emily – that is the way to go girl! As my special Valentine to all you ladies doing the same, see my blog post on Resources for a Better Life at:

http://doctorcarriesbetterliving.com/resources-for-a-better-life/

My Love,
Dr. Carrie

[Reply]

Leanne     at 3:33 pm

Is there a Teavana in your area? If not, check them out online. They have some AMAZING chocolate teas that make you feel like you’re eating a huge dessert. My current obsession is the CocoCaramel Sea Salt. The Sinful Chocolate is also amazing.

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Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » My Funny Valentine.     at 3:37 pm

[…] did end up going to that Barre class last night (that I had mentioned yesterday).  It was my first time going to that class, and it was brutal.  I felt it even more when […]

Amanda     at 11:32 am

Hi Emily,

Do you have any tips for going sugar free? I have been wanting to do this for so long but it seriously seems so daunting. What did you replace sugary snacks with? Also, if it’s not too personal, did you lose weight/body mass this way? I am curious as to what the results are. How strict did you go — did you avoid any and all products that have sugar (like cranberry juice) or just the big guns? Thank you!!

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Angie     at 1:51 pm

Great job on meeting your goals!

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Atsuko     at 8:19 am

Reading one book every month was(yes, I stated in the past tense…) my new year’s resolution. But I did not reach it as you can guess. I love what you said in the end of this entry. I can go back even though I failed. I am not a perfect, which can be boring. Thank you! I will pick a book that is easy to read like you did and that is interesting, instead of picking up current best sellers. I will try again.

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Charlie (the runner beans)     at 5:12 am

I am trying a Barrecore class on wednesday night. I am nervous but excited to try it!

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