Sunny Saturday 

Today was crazy warm for February! Although global warming is very real, it was nice to enjoy the sunshine. Today Toby and I went to Singing Beach in the north shore. The beach got its name from the sand that “sings” when you walk on it. It sounds like track pants swishing together or squeaky boots, but Squeaky Boots Beach doesn’t sound as good as Singing Beach. Toby has never seen the ocean and I was so excited to bring him; the beach is my favorite place, thus my pet should also have the same level of enthusiasm for it. Luckily there were tons of people there with their dogs. There was a meet up group of pet owners and their dogs and locals with their dogs visiting the beach. Toby loved running around and playing with all of the dogs. There must have been between 40 and 60 dogs at the beach! We ran and played for a few hours and then he finally let me sit and read on my beach blanket and laid down next to me. I wish I could bring him to the beach year round! Hopefully there will be more good weather days before the regular beach season starts so we can run and play some more. Toby is very tired today and is  out cold tonight!

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Love yourself: inside and out

Recently I found a book titled Love your Body by Talia Fuhrman. I love reading self help books, especially when it comes to health, mental and physical. This book is a great combination of both! Talia focuses on fueling your body with natural ingredients, surrounding yourself with positive people, and letting go of body hang-ups. I highly recommend this book to people who are looking for a good and easy read about health that has a positive and realistic approach. Within the reading are recipes throughout. After cardio barre class tonight I tried the “Dream it, Believe it, Avocolada Gratitude Smoothie”. It was filling and refreshing, just what I needed after class.

Vegan Ice Cream

Tonight I was craving ice cream, as Boston is getting another foot of snow! With the weather I wasn’t leaving the house to go get some, so I decided to try and make a frozen treat at home. I took a cup of frozen bananas and two big spoonfuls of peanut butter, with about 1/4 cup of vanilla almond milk and blended them together. The result… amazing peanut butter ice cream. I honestly wouldn’t have known it wasn’t real ice cream! I highly recommend it!

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Baked Oatmeal Muffins

Recently I met a girl named Emily thorough Kick It! She is a Kick It instructor as well as a yoga instructor. She is also the author of a health and life style blog called Stay Healthy, Stay Happy. She posts amazing recipes and fitness tips. This weekend I decided to try her Baked Oatmeal Muffins. They were great! I added chocolate chips to make them sweet, and they were delicious AND they sustained me through lunch time! I was working today and wasn’t able to eat until 2:30. I had the muffins around 8 am, and I didn’t feel shaky and irritable like I usually do when I’m hungry and can’t eat. I plan to keep making these and trying her other recipes! Emily also offers meal prep courses, check her out!

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Toby

This past December I got a new dog! It was a big decision to make, but I really feel that it was the best decision for myself. When I graduated college I knew I wanted a dog, and when I was living on my own it seemed like the best way to keep myself from feeling lonely. My boyfriend at the time was still in college about two hours away, and I was in a new town 3 hours away from home. So I adopted a 3 year old Schnauzer mix without putting much thought into it. His name was Kasey ad he was so cute! Little did I know he was a biter. He never bit me, but he was aggressive towards my ex-boyfriend, children, and for some reason my ex’s grandmother. When I moved to Boston I knew I couldn’t take him back with me, with his behavior it definitely wouldn’t be safe in the city. I had to make a heart breaking decision to give him up for adoption. I spent about a year with Kasey, he learned so many cool tricks and was a big comfort to me during my breakup. I felt horrible about it, but knew it was for the best.

Flash forward to living in Boston, which was also my first time living in a city. I suddenly became very depressed. The allure of the city wore off, the stress of my new job and the financial responsibilities of living in the city were heavy on my shoulders. Add on top of that the grief that would creep up randomly about my breakup; I was a mess. I wasn’t getting much done at work, I’d cry inconsolably, and I wasn’t living a very healthy lifestyle. I took a few steps towards making sure I was healthy both mentally and physically, but still something was missing.

I started looking into getting a dog again… I was hesitant. I had felt like such a failure for giving up the last dog, what kind of person gives a dog back after a year of adopting him? But I found a craigslist add for a litter of puppies. I knew I’d be taking a risk with craigslist, but I called the woman anyway. She had one puppy left and had another interested family. I asked her to meet me and within two hours I had Toby in the car on our way home!

I was in disbelief… “did I really just buy a dog?!” And for those of who are “adopt don’t shop”, trust me I’m with you! Adoption is just so competitive in Boston, and I didn’t think I’d get anywhere fast with that.

Toby has been a light in my life since he joined me and my roommate! He is entertaining, cuddly, and energetic! He gets me outside multiple times a day, wakes me up early, and motivates me to be healthier which in turn makes me happier.

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Group Fitness Class

Recently I signed up for classpass, it’s an app that allows you to sign up for a variety of group fitness classes in a huge number of gyms! I was so excited about this because when I signed up it was 70% off! I paid $37 for 10 classes for one month! That means each class was only $3.70!!! This was a great deal! You can cancel at any time, and the rate without discount is still pretty affordable. The regular cost for 10 classes/ month is $120. So far I’ve taken Glow Yoga, which is a super fun yoga class. If you’re looking to smile and laugh more than you’re looking to be a serious yogi, this is for you! I also took BAGSxBEATS, which I’ll talk about more below.

I’ve been taking a group fitness class in Boston called Kick it by Eliza. This class is AMAZING! It is so inspiring and a great workout! It includes kickboxing, dance, toning and conditioning, and more. Each song is called a “round” and the last round it the most spiritual moment of my day when I go to her class. You just lie there drenched in sweat after working so hard, and Eliza tells you to “let that shit go” and in that moment nothing matters. All of my stress is gone during that class, even on days when the dog pooped in my car or I had a crazy day at work, all that I am focused on is myself in that moment.

Eliza also teaches other boxing classes at EBF in the Seaport in Boston. I had always wanted to take a class there, but the cost was out of my price range. But with the classpass I could afford to go, and it was awesome!! I took the BAGSxBEATS class, which is a heavy bag class. You wrap your hands and wear boxing gloves and follow the the instructor who calls out different combinations of punches. I had so much fun, even though I didn’t always know what I was doing. I liked the class so much that I bought a class pass! There was a deal on Guilt City for 45% off! It’s currently sold out, but you can add yourself to the wait list (that’s how good this deal is!).

More to come on group fitness!

Turkey Meatballs

Tonight I made turkey meatballs for dinner. My sister introduced these to me, and I added in some extra veggies to add some color and nutrients. If you want to make these at home give it a try! They’re delicious and a good alternative to red-meat meatballs.

Ingredients:
1 lb ground turkey
2 large carrots peeled and grated
2 small zucchini grated
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used pankos but you can use Italian)
2 eggs
1/8 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 tsp minced garlic
Cumin, salt, and cracked pepper to taste

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 425°
Gather all ingredients
Use a grater to shred the carrots and zucchini, I used the largest side of the grater
Add all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix together
Make 1″ size balls and place in a greased pan
Bake for 35-40 minutes

Notes:
These meatballs were very moist when I was balling them, they take a little bit to cook, but they dry up in the oven. This recipe should make between 18-23 meatballs.
I served my meatballs over whole wheat couscous with green peas.

Enjoy!

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Quick and healthy snacks

So with the start of this new blog I’ve been putting a little bit more thought into what I eat. I have a hard time eating right all the time, especially because snack foods like chewy granola bars are so tasty and easy! My roommate suggested I try lara bars. I had tried one a while back, it was lemon flavored and not very good; but I decided to give it another try. I found them for $1 each a Trader Joes. I bought the peanut butter cookie flavor and the peanut butter chocolate chip. I wasn’t a big fan of the peanut butter chocolate chip, but LOVED the peanut butter cookie. And all that’s in it are dates, peanuts, and sea salt! How could you go wrong? I bought five more today!img_0169

A letter to a broken heart

As we are approaching Valentines Day, I am thinking about love; love come, love gone, love found and love lost. About two years ago on Valentines Day my boyfriend at the time told me he had been cheating on me. I was devastated. He and I had been together for two and a half years, I loved him, wanted to marry him, and start a family with him. I could delve into the months of heart ache and tears, but what I want my readers to take from this post is the strength I found after experiencing this loss.

I found that I was strong enough to be on my own, try new things, and start to see myself as a capable, strong, and talented woman. I made a lot of changes after my breakup; I moved to Boston, took a new job, bought a new car, made new friends, and started new hobbies. I am still trying new things, even two years later. I am constantly growing and starting new chapters in my life. It wasn’t an easy change, and it didn’t happen over night. But now, I can look back and say “THANK GOD” because I am stronger, more accomplished, and have taken more risks because of that breakup.

I encourage anyone in need of change, whether it be due to a breakup, loss of a job, family member, or otherwise to go out and see what you are capable of, because I’m sure you can accomplish more than you’ve ever imagined.

“Everyone wants to get rich writing a blog…”

These are the words of my first supervisor in my first “real” job, surprisingly pessimistic for a social worker. Recently I’ve begun to allow myself to do the things I really want to do; giving myself permission to do the things others say can’t or shouldn’t be done. One of those things is writing a blog. I’ve heard people bash blogs and their authors, and I’ve also had my own internal thoughts “who will read this? what will others say about my writing?”. But something about today pushed me to start this blog… again. I started this blog a while back, and deleted everything on it because I was afraid of who might find it and judge my writing.

I hope that this will be a place where I can document the goals I set, achievements I make, and even failures I have. I’ve been inspired by so many wonderful women in the past few years, and hope to continue to be inspired, and even inspire someone as well!

Enjoy!
Jeannette