Thursday night, I could not wait to finish with work, jump into my sweats and walk right on over to the movie theatre for the midnight premier of “The Longest Ride,” a film adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks bestseller.
I was really excited for several reasons: 1. the book was fantastic. I have very, very fond memories of laying out on my terrace, getting a tan, sipping on a wine spritzer (no, seriously), and falling in love with this unique story, 2. SCOTT EASTWOOD IS FINE, and 3. I allowed myself a cheat and got a junior popcorn, with butter.
But seriously, that second point needs to be mentioned one more time… because how have I not noticed him nor his hotness before now?
Anyway, “The Longest Ride” is the story of two couples — very similar couples — in different time periods, whose lives intersect in a very unique way.
The movie and the book tells both of their stories, while in turn, offering a tale of love… as only Nicholas Sparks could. Read more about the book from a previous blog post, here.
I think this movie struck me in an interesting way, because some of the issues in the story are easily things that could happen to anyone. Lately, I’ve been having a lot of questions and uncertainty when I think about love and my future. The movie touched on those issues, and although it was a little overwhelming at midnight on a Thursday, it was cathartic.
While I’ve seen all of the movies and read nearly all of Sparks’ books, this one is definitely one of my favorites (I just love “The Last Song”). I don’t, and won’t, spoil the movie for you, but per usual, don’t forget to pack the Kleenex!
We’re well into March, which means if you had a New Year’s Resolution of “sticking to a healthy diet,” then you’ve probably crashed and burned a few times by now.
And no, it’s not that I don’t have faith in you! I just know that making changes, especially when it comes to food (delicious food) is very difficult.
But, I’ll share what’s worked for me. And of course, that doesn’t mean it’s going to work for everyone, but perhaps it will. And if you’ve got ideas that I haven’t mentioned here, I’d love to hear them!
- Remember the “Why.” There’s a reason you decided to eat healthy and even get on a diet — so go back to that. Maybe it was a picture of yourself five years ago. The looming swimsuit season. A doctor’s recommendation. Your kids. Whatever the reason, remember that, and let it inspire you. If you need to make a note and tape it on your fridge, do that!
- Find inspiration. Everyone gets inspired by different things. Pictures of hot guys really inspire me to get my butt to the gym. Fact: when we have to do “squat holds” in boxing class, I always picture Justin Bieber. Shirtless. Whatever works for you, do it, think it, put a picture of it on your phone — it can be your little secret.
- Cater to you. Not every diet plan works for every person. Some people love Paleo, I really didn’t. Some people like Atkins; I’ve never tried it. I think it’s important to find something that works for you, and that’s a matter of clearing the outside noise from your mind. Take things slow. If you eat fast food every day, even a small change of grilled meats and veggies is going to make a big difference. If you’re ready to make another change in a month, then do it.
- Allow freedom. This is the toughest part, but the second you tell yourself you can’t have chocolate, you’re going to want JUST chocolate. So, allow a cheat meal, or maybe a cheat day — whatever is going to work for you. If you box yourself into a strict plan, you’ll resent yourself and the diet. Then? You’ll quit the healthy foods altogether.
- Get creative. My favorite part about healthy eating is discovering things that are healthy, but are so delicious. Don’t be afraid to try new things! When I did Paleo, I craved sweets, but I ended up finding these dates rolled in unsweetened coconut… that tasted like fig newtons. They were a fabulous treat that felt like a cheat but weren’t! Find recipes you love all the time and see what twists you can give them to make them fit your new guidelines. You’ll find that there’s lots of healthy, delicious options for you.
Need recipe ideas? Here’s a few of my favorites:
Lately, I have been basically living off protein bars. Seriously. I take them to work and eat one when I don’t have time to break for an entire meal, or just pack them in my lunchbox so that when I do sit down to eat, I can get protein without the use of a fridge or a microwave.
Of course, there are some protein bars that are healthier than others, and I’m always trying to find healthy ones that taste great, without breaking the bank, of course.
Recently, I discovered Shanti Bars, which are the first EVER paleo-friendly bars I’ve seen! Not only are they paleo, but they’re also 100% organic, raw, vegan, gluten-free, and plant-based. They are handcrafted in sunny Miami, Florida, and made with non-GMO ingredients and NO preservatives — this is really, really amazing for a protein bar.
I got the variety pack, which included one bar of each flavor: coconut, goji, spirulina, goldenberry, cacao, mulberry, and turmeric.
I haven’t had ALL of the bars yet, but so far, Goldenberry and Coconut are my faves. Here’s why I’m loving the Goldenberry:
A zesty nut-free blend of super seeds mixed with a refreshing splash of lemon.
Each bite of the Shanti Goldenberry Protein bar is packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other life-giving properties that heal, energize and rejuvenate the body and the mind. With 17 grams of plant based protein, this bar is perfect as a meal replacement or post workout recovery. Shanti Goldnberry Protein bar is jam packed with nutrient rich ingredients such as goldenberries, chia seeds and hemp seeds ready to boost your immunity and strength. To make it even more filling and fueling we added a bit of organic rice protein.
And the Coconut:
A satisfying combination of creamy coconut and sweet almonds.
Shanti Coconut Energy bar is packed with nutrients, bursting with flavor and life-giving ingredients like coconut and maca. It has all that you need to give you the burst of energy and all the health benefits your body needs. This energy bar provides 7g of plant-based protein. Coconut is not only delicious and creamy, it is also known as a fat burning agent. Think of coconut as your ally in energy. Delicious, nutritious and fat burning.
Yum! I love the chewy texture of the bars, plus the fresh taste. Very delicious! A perfect, guilt-free snack or even a meal replacement. Finally, a healthy option for someone on-the-go!