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A Lazy Girl’s Guide To Healthy Living

Let me start by saying that I am not a nutritionist nor am I a health care professional. I am just a woman who loves to eat, nearing her 30’s and battling an ever-slowing metabolism.

That said, these are the tools/actions that keep me slim, healthy and happy.

Eating healthy and staying healthy is a STRUGGLE. We’ve all had our own variation of joining a gym, hitting it hard, eating clean, and for that first month we are on our best behavior but, over time, you start to slack off. You think “well I am seeing changes, one slice of pizza won’t hurt”. Then the next day you say “well. . . those nachos won’t hurt “. Then you do the one thing that puts the nail in the coffin – you skip the gym! The next thing you know, it’s been a month since your last workout and you’re back to the point where your clothes don’t fit, you don’t remember the last time you had a salad, and the only time your gym clothes are getting used is for those lazy Sunday’s binging on Netflix.

Sound familiar? This was my pattern. Now, I am not perfect, I have days where I overindulge. I have weeks where I only work out 3 times a week. And you know what? That is OK.

Step #1: Practice Self-Love

Please, stop beating yourself up. So, you ate some pizza, and ice cream and had a few beers. Did you hurt anyone? Did you hurt yourself? If the answer is “no”, you’re good. The minute you stop beating yourself up is THE very minute you step into the right direction of LIVING healthy. We need to have a positive relationship with ourselves. We need to have a positive relationship with food! We shouldn’t shame ourselves for treating ourselves to the food that we enjoy. Now, mind you – everything within reason. My motto is “everything in moderation”, but if you love pie, then go eat some pie! But consider this:

Step #2 Get to Cookin’

Bake that pie yourself. You’re less likely to funnel a piece or two of pie down your throat if you’re the one who baked it. You will savor it. You will share it. You will not overindulge, because you know the time and effort that went into that beautiful piece of pie – or cake- or cookies – or pizza.

If you want to be healthy and not drain your bank account, you have to LEARN TO COOK. If you’re lazy like I am, you’re not going to take the time out of your day to make pizza from scratch. Nah, I’d rather cook up some quinoa, roast some veggies and call it a day. Once you start cooking from scratch you’ll notice a difference in how food tastes. Soon all of those boxes of mac and cheese, and frozen meals will start to taste . . . like plastic (because they practically are). You have more control over what goes into your food and before you know it, you might enjoy cooking!

Not sure how to cook healthy food? Don’t worry, I get it. It’s intimidating AF. The first step is knowing how to shop:

Step #3 Shop the Perimeter

Avoid anything that comes in a box/package. Except for beans, butter, etc. Pass on that tasty, high sodium, preservative laced, chana masala package that you can throw in the microwave and in 5 minutes, BAM you’re in India. Don’t do it. I know it’s easy, but there are so many preservatives and added ingredients that go into pre-made meals. They might tell you it’s healthy – but guess what – that’s just MARKETING. Think about it. You should be questioning every label that tells you something is “healthy” or “natural”. If they have to tell you that it is good for you, it probably isn’t. When it comes to brands, just like people, you can always tell when they’re trying too hard.

I rarely shop the middle of a grocery store, unless I am buying my cooking building blocks like olive oil, or spices. How does this help? If I don’t keep it in the house, then I won’t eat it. Why? Because I am lazy. If it’s not within reach, it’s not going in my belly.

OK, now that we’ve addressed that, where do you go to find inspiration for nutritious meals? Find a company that sells healthy meals (for ex. Fit Kitchen). Look at their menu and copy it. They normally list all of the ingredients, so follow their lead. Pinterest is another great place to find motivation. Let’s be honest, this can be overwhelming. It can even be annoying and you might want to quit. That’s OK. Remember, be kind to yourself. Take a step back, treat yourself to some chocolate and try again tomorrow. Another great resource is the gym. If you’ve joined one, ask a trainer about healthy eating. See what they recommend. I guarantee they have a resource that you can use. Which takes us to our final step:

Step #4 Workout

You have to move your body. Our bodies are incredible. They do amazing things. Intimidating? Yeah. Worth it? HELL YEAH.

We’ve all been there. Even that yogi that can fly from crow to chaturanga was a beginner who couldn’t touch her toes and thought that binds were for those that didn’t have bones in their bodies. I remember walking into my first yoga class, my first barre class, my first HIIT class. It sucked. I didn’t know what to wear. I didn’t understand proper form, but I kept going back. I kept trying new things. Until I found a routine that worked for me.

There is no “one way” to work out – some people love boot camp style workouts, cool. Some people like Zumba, cool. Explore. Figure out what you enjoy and get into it! Don’t try to push yourself into a style that doesn’t work for you. Why? Because you’ll never go.

Have a bad day? Couldn’t quite get into the groove? Forgive yourself. Take a deep breath, thank yourself for GOING to the gym, treat yourself to some chocolate, and try again tomorrow.

But, please don’t give up. Don’t stop. You owe it yourself to keep going!

You’ve probably gone through this list thinking, “there isn’t anything lazy about these steps!” I hear you, but once you start to introduce these 4 things into your daily life, you’ll see it’s not that hard! You’ll find that you will be healthier and happier. You WILL start to see change. It won’t be overnight, so be patient and be kind to yourself. Just remember, everyone’s definition of “healthy” is going to be different, listen to your body, if something doesn’t feel right, stop doing it.

What are your “lazy girl” recommendations for healthy living? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear them!

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A Little Late But Not Forgotten

Now that I have caught you up I need to backtrack a little. I am not sure if you can recall but I had gone on a trip to the north with some girlfriends back in June dubbed the “Salta, It’s Natural” tour.

In my last post on the topic I left off when we arrived at Purmamarca

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We took our time watching the sun set on the Cerro de los Siete Colores before we began our journey of trying to find a place to shower, drop our things, and fill our bellies. Because we arrived during the low season a lot lot of places were closed but we were still able to find an affordable hostel and a restaurant with live music. While the north is known for its cazuelas (stew), tamales, and locro – you will also find a lot of llama featured on the menus.

LAMAS!!!

LlAMAS!!!

So, naturally, I had to try some.

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It was. . . dry jajaja.

It was so cold and Purmamarca doesn’t offer much in regards to nightlife so we called it a night. The nice thing about traveling during low season is there wasn’t a shortage of beds and, though it was freezing, there were plenty of blankets to go around. The next day the desert embraced us with perfect weather to explore the bazaar in the plaza.

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Purmarmca was really refreshing for me. It was nice to leave the Eurocentric Buenos Aires and get a taste of indigenous Argentino culture. I found that so much of the north reminded me of my roots and New Mexico – the use of adobe, tamales, the colors the music. It is only natural to look for the familiar in the unfamiliar, and of course it was not the same, but it was comforting and familiar.

* All images courtesy of Eva Pederson

Libations Please

Alright, I am over neglecting my blog! As you know over the past two months I have been busy putting my life together and now it’s time to start living again!

I was looking through my earlier posts and realized that I have yet to really touch on the night life here in Buenos.

Shame. On. Me.

This is the city where calling it “an early night” means getting home at 4am, where a typical night will have you walking in your front door as the sun is coming up. It’s also a town full of great bars and boliches (discotheques) suited for what ever scene you are into. I am heading to a new bar tonight and I will give you my opinion of it soon :).

I haven’t decided which day of the week I am going to roll this out on – but if I have “Real Talk Sunday” I better have “Libation Monday (or Tuesday etc . . . ). Maybe I will call it “Thank the Heavens it’s Friday”. . . Well, whatever I decide to call it, it’s coming.

On that note, enjoy your Friday!!

BsAs Soundtrack – Revisited

*** Update! OK, soo I hope you didn’t think that I forgot to update this bad boy did you? Below you will find the original post and I have added a few more jams to the mix … Enjoy :)!***

Helllooooo!

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday. I am afraid I got hit with a summer cold.. booo 😦

Anyway, I thought I would share with you some of the songs that have made up my “BsAs Soundtrack” thus far. Hope you enjoy!!

1) Asaf Avidan – One Day

2) La Pregunta – J Alvarez

3)Calle 13 – La Vuelta al Mundo

4) The Neighborhood – Sweater Weather

5) Local Natives – Sun Hands

April 23, 2013

6) Gustavo Lima – Che Chere Che Che – or as some may prefer – “dulce de leche dulce de leche che che che 😉

7) Michel Teló – Ai Se Eu Te Pego

8) Lana Del Rey – Born to Die

9) Shakira – Loca

10) Tribalistas – Ja Sei Namorar

11) MNDR – Feed Me Diamonds

No Maybe, Don’t Call Me

*** Lo siento for the tardiness –  I had issues getting this up yesterday***

It’s Sunday!!!! Time for some Real Talk and mannnn do I have a topic. . .

“Cat Calling”

I don’t know one woman who isn’t a silent warrior. If you are a woman traveling, moving around, interacting in this world (especially alone) you HAVE to have some thick skin. It is not an easy thing to do. We wake up, put on our armor, and war paint in preparation for the inevitable. A woman cannot walk down the street here and not hear “hermosa” from a distance or quietly as men stare you down, walk past you getting just close enough to whisper it in your ear. Men are loudly throwing besitos. They are staring. You walk into a bar and they are grabbing – an arm, your waste, your face – some immediately moving in to stick their tongues down your throat. Erm, no gracias.

I was recently at a party and this guy would not leave me alone and he said something I know we’ve all heard often –

“oh, you should be used to this”

“you should be grateful, it’s a compliment.”

No, you should take a hint and stop feeling entitled to have my attention. This isn’t just an issue here – I remember the stares in India, the constant grabbing of my ass as I walked down the street. In Denver, Co in the good ol’ USofA you walk down the street and men honk their horns, yell out the window etc. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, it’s a problem everywhere.

I don’t understand the reasoning behind their actions. It is not a compliment. It is not appreciated and it’s definitely not wanted. It is belittling. It is infuriating, and honestly, it’s humiliating. Every time I see that I am going to be passing a group of men – doesn’t matter the size – I find myself taking a breath, focusing ahead, and pursing my lips. I know I am not alone in this silent protest that says –

“No, I will not give you the satisfaction of acknowledging your disrespect.”

It’s even worse when upon noticing the look of fierceness on your face they yell “smile.” OH, I would if you could behave yourself.

I don’t care how one is dressed, the twitch in their hips as they walk – women are not puppies that you can squeal at every time you pass by one by (like I do when I see pugs, but that’s a different story). If you find a woman attractive – keep walking, flash a smile and give her the respect of keeping your mouth shut. That, my friends, may actually get you somewhere.

This isn’t intended to be a rant. More of a shout out to my fellow females out there. You inspire me with your strength.

Somethings Will Never Change

Real Talk? Poetry was and always will be the lamb that made a lion out of me. It was my first love, and then one day, I decided it was time to move on. But, thanks to my iPod being stolen (and because I can’t use my phone) I have taken to reading on my commute to work. After I finished the 4th installment of Game of Thrones (!!!!) I picked up one of the poetry books I brought with me and have been reminded of just how in love I am with poetry.

So in honor of this I want to share with you one of my all time favorites, by one of my absolute favorite poets/writers… Enjoy

Buenos Aires

One Last Poem for Richard

by Sandra Cisneros

December 24th and we’re through again.
This time for good I know because I didn’t
throw you out — and anyway we waved.
No shoes. No angry doors.
We folded clothes and went
our separate ways.

You left behind that flannel shirt
of yours I liked but remembered to take
your toothbrush. Where are you tonight?

Richard, it’s Christmas Eve again
and old ghosts come back home.
I’m sitting by the Christmas tree
wondering where did we go wrong.

Okay, we didn’t work, and all
memories to tell you the truth aren’t good.
But sometimes there were good times.
Love was good. I loved your crooked sleep
beside me and never dreamed afraid.

There should be stars for great wars
like ours. There ought to be awards
and plenty of champagne for the survivors.

After all the years of degradations,
the several holidays of failure,
there should be something
to commemorate the pain.

Someday we’ll forget that great Brazil disaster.
Till then, Richard, I wish you well.
I wish you love affairs and plenty of hot water,
and women kinder than I treated you.
I forget the reason, but I loved you once,
remember?

Maybe in this season, drunk
and sentimental, I’m willing to admit
a part of me, crazed and kamikaze,
ripe for anarchy, loves still.

Mirrored Images

I haven’t shared a poem of  mine in a loonnnng time… But seeing as it’s Sunday.. Here is some “Real Talk”… and to quote Mrs. Badu “keep in that I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my shit” 😉

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I wanted to caress your face,
etching memories in the rings of my prints.

For those quiet moments.
To feel you,
when the night is so dark, the stars have gone hiding
and there are no sounds.

– just this feeling –

Of wanting closeness.
Laughter to fill the air,
to catch your breath in the back of my throat,
and your hip in the cave of my palm.

But all that’s here are my fingertips,
pressed against my belly,
attempting to trace the weight of you.

(c) Sonja Chacon 2013