about me

    Emily Malone

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

    Contact Emily

    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

    Search

    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    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.

IMG_0381 (640x427)

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.

2013-02-10 11.04.19 (480x640)

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.

Capture

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!  :) 



Resolutions.

Am I still allowed to talk about New Year’s resolutions on the 8th of January?  I hope so, because here it comes!  I know resolutions tend to be overhyped and can elicit quite a bit of eye-rolling and groaning, but I think there is something really fresh and motivating about a new year.  And any time we look to better ourselves is a good thing, right? 

Last year my goal was to manage my communication better – to never go to bed with email left over in my inbox.  I failed at this miserably, probably because I never had any sort of plan in place.  I just thought because I said it, it would change.  It didn’t.  And if you emailed me this year, you already know that.

This year feels different.  I think because Cullen has a late fall birthday, the turning of a new year also feels a bit like moving on from our first year of parenting (although technically, it’s been 14 months). 

Last year was all.about.Cullen.  I know that didn’t go unnoticed here.  And I think that’s pretty standard and maybe even expected for a baby’s first year.  Maybe not, who knows.  But we had a lot of learning and growing to do as parents, and while doing that, we slipped a bit individually. 

I know I’ve already written a million posts about how I need more time for myself, want to make changes, yada yada blah.  But this isn’t one of those.  For all of you who have been behind me with pom poms shouting “just DO it” – I’m happy to tell you that I’ve already started.  So these resolutions are mostly things that are already in place, already in motion.  But here are the things I’m going to continue to work on as we set off into 2013…

Make fitness a priority. 

IMG_0343 (426x640)

I’ve made no secret of the fact that exercise took a major back seat this year.  I worked myself up so much about it that it became paralyzing and I ended up not doing very much.  That has changed dramatically in the last month.

Now that I’m done breastfeeding, my energy has come back in a big way.  My metabolism has also slowed down considerably, giving me a boost of extra motivation.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve been doing a variety of different things – Barre3 classes, at home DVD’s, NYC Ballet workout videos, and of course – running.  I’m planning to write a whole post about this SOON – probably at the end of the week.  But it feels amazing to be moving again, and to finally have (working) plans in place.  I feel a lot more like me again!

Curb my sugar addiction. 

IMG_0384 (427x640)

I’ve never been one for diets or detoxes – just not my thing.  But my sugar consumption is out of control, and needs to be directly addressed.  I have a lot of friends who are new moms, and I know that excessive sugar consumption seems to go hand in hand with the first few months of motherhood.  I think it has something to do with breastfeeding and the need for quick energy bursts.  Whatever it is, it’s very real.

While breastfeeding, I ate an unbelievable amount of sugar.  We have both the blessing and curse of being surrounded by many amazing vegan bakeries here in Seattle, and we take advantage of them often.  They know our regular orders, and every time we go they comment on how much Cullen has grown.  It’s very nice of them.  It’s also embarrassing.

But the thing is, I’m not a new mom anymore.  I’m out of excuses.  I’m not even breastfeeding.  I just got so used to eating that way that now I’m having trouble breaking the habit.  And I’ll be totally honest – in the height of breastfeeding I could get away with eating as much sugar as I wanted with little effect.  Now?  Not quite the case.  Oh Christmas cookies, how you tempted me.

Obviously I don’t plan to be sugar-free forever.  What fun is that?  But I’m challenging myself to a month without sugar.  Natural sugars like dried fruit are fine (in moderation), but no baked goods, no Theo chocolate bars every night after dinner, and no decadent desserts for a few more weeks.  I need to get it out of my system. 

Master our kombucha brewing.

IMG_0363 (640x422)

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but never in much detail.  We’ve been making our own kombucha this year.  And by we, I mean Casey.  Even though we’ve been doing it for many months, we still keep alternating between good and bad batches.  It’s not consistent, and we still haven’t perfected the system.  I hope by the end of the year, we have some consistent, delicious kombucha a-brewing in our cabinet!

Look good to feel good. 

IMG_0373 (426x640)

Again, this one isn’t really new, but just something I’d like to make a point to continue this year.  After Cullen was first born, I spent many of the first few weeks (errr, months) in sweatpants or pajamas, makeup streaked across my face leftover from several days ago, and generally just a hot mess.  It only took a month or two for me to realize that I felt much much better if I actually dressed and looked like a human being.

These days I make a point to put on pants with actual zippers and dry my hair more often than not.  Stretchy pants and quick top-knot buns are fine here and there, but I try not to make it a habit anymore.  The whole stay at home mom thing can really strip away at your identity, but looking like myself makes me feel a lot more like…well, myself!

Create a dedicated work space

IMG_0085 (640x427)

This is still a work in progress.  Our house has a dedicated office up on the third floor, but it’s so far away from everything else that we rarely use it.  One of my biggest pet peeves about our old condo was that our laptops lived on the kitchen counter, and yet somehow I find myself typing these very words from the barstool. 

Between Daily Garnish, Babble, and general life stuff, I find myself jotting down lists and sticky notes all day long.  My thoughts are scattered around various notebooks and pieces of paper, and I’d like to find a more cohesive space to do my writing and planning.  This might even mean just making our current office more usable.  But it’s on my list!  I’m picturing a giant wipe off board somewhere…

Read at least one book each month

IMG_0381 (640x427)

Continuing on the theme of more and individual development, I’d like to spend more time developing my personal interests.  I’d also like to spend less time zoned out in front of the TV or laptop at night.  So this is something I started doing a few weeks ago. 

While I do enjoy reading, I can’t say I’ve ever been someone who just tears through books.  And I’m embarrassed to admit how long it’s been since I read something that was not about breastfeeding or how to treat fevers.  So I set a goal to read at least one new book each month.  Sounds realistic, right? 

I figured I’d start with something fun, and picked The Hunger Games.  Everyone else in the world seems to have already read it, so why not jump on board?  I had already seen the movie, and I ended up reading the whole book in about three days last week.  January – CHECK!  Now I’m onto book #2, as well as Simplicity Parenting, recommended to me by my friend Pamela.  I’ll write about it when I’m finished!

I’ve really been enjoying my reading nights so far. Much more than I ever really enjoy just thumbing through the channels.  I usually stretch out on the sofa with a big mug of tea, while Casey practices guitar and our fire crackles (okay not really, it’s a gas fireplace).  It’s a wonderful way to relax at night. 

Improve my photography.

IMG_0331 (640x427)

This is a big goal for this year.  I consider myself to have one of the world’s cutest photography subjects (unbiased, of course), and I hate that I feel like I’m not capturing him in photos quite as well as I could.  I’m going to spend some of my evening time doing Lightroom tutorials, and forcing myself to learn better photography and editing techniques. 

I have found that photography is something I really, really enjoy, and so it’s also something I’d really like to continue to grow in and improve. 

Aaaaaaaaaaand I think that’s it!  Nothing mind-blowing or unattainable.  Just some goals and things to work on this year.  I’ll probably write more in-depth posts on all of these things soon enough.  Except for the part about dressing better.  I think the internet would implode if I ever attempted a fashion post.

I’m just eight days in but so far so good.  The year still feels fresh, and motivation is high.  Hope it continues to stay that way!

Also — These “resolutions” are more focused on me, but you can read about some of my more parenting-specific goals for the new year over on Babble!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...




    Welcome.

    A resource for healthy recipes, cooking tips, and inspiration for active living. Welcome!

    @DailyGarnish

    On Facebook.

    Favorite Things

    On My Recipage.

    Categories



© 2014 Daily Garnish
All content is protected by copyright. Please do not reproduce in any form.
Blog design by Splendid Sparrow