This Week in Sugar

Hello, welcome to the 14th month of Winter. March snow storms on the East Coast aren’t uncommon but every time they happen I feel that everyone is equally shocked and appalled. Like, hello! We’ve been encompassed in this grey, dull, sunless state for so long - March feels like it should be the beginning of a reprieve but it’s not. I don’t know why we don’t adjust our expectations but if we can’t do it for the federal government, the justice system, healthcare why would we be able to do it for the weather?

Because I’m a master of self inflicted difficulty I chose one of the most drab months of the year to do a Whole30. When I say “I chose” what I mean is I procrastinated all through January then all through February and now holy shit it’s March and I’m still not the healthy beacon of modern motherhood I aim to be! So now I’m on day 3 of a Whole30 and even though yesterday I proclaimed to my office mate that “I do not need sugar! I have zero cravings. Do I even like sugar?!” today I woke up hoping to fall face first into a jar of Nutella. Literally the entire world looks like the most appealing, gift wrapped, sexiest sugar cube to me. This is my, no joke right now, SEVENTH attempt at this diet so this time I will power through. What’s another twenty-seven days of this? I can do it. For your reading pleasure, here are all the things I wish I could be eating but will not be. Why? Because I am a strong powerful woman who does not need sugar to complete me and wants to reset her digestive tract because that’s a thing we want in our 30s.

  • almond croissant with super crispy, flaky edges and powdered sugar

  • an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream

  • banana pancakes soaked in maple syrup with whipped cream and a side of whipped cream

  • whipped cream - the real kind, homemade with full fat cream and loads of sugar

  • eggo waffle drowning in maple syrup

  • granola parfait with loads of honey

  • merengues, many merengues.

  • flourless chocolate cake

  • cheesecake - I don’t even really like cheesecake but whatever

  • Greek salad because apparently every dressing/sauce/thing you love and thought was “healthy” is also packed with sugar

Instead I’m ordering an almond milk latte and living out my personal nightmare of having to ask the barista if the almond milk has added sugar. Then I’m going to eat this seven minute egg because I’m that person now. If you spot me in Crocs next time you see me please stage an intervention.

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New Year goals for the New Mama

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Happy New Year! We returned from our annual trip to South Carolina last Friday, recaps of previous years here and here if you’d like to walk down memory lane with me. I’ll post more photos from this year soon!

In the meantime, let’s jump back to my previous post on self care and consistency. The first thing I noticed when we touched down in NYC last week was how quickly all my anxiety returned. A wave that hit me so hard I haven’t been able to shake it for a few days now. Instead of letting the worry marinate and ruin the first few days of 2019 and the last of my Winter Break, I’m tackling it head on. Not making a ton of resolutions because I break those. What I am doing is putting my foot down and not letting the bad habits, the reflex to feel anxious and flood myself with activity and no recharge time take over.

Being a full time working mother has been a huge adjustment. Massive. It’s time to adapt my self-care to reflect that change.

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New Year Goals for the New Mama

  1. Spend one hour a day alone. Alone time is as important as family time. Whether it’s going for a walk or sitting down for coffee, I am committing one hour out of every day for me to spend with me. Not alone but sorting laundry and not alone but making dinner. Even on days when it seems unreasonable, one hour isn’t that hard to cobble together. Getting off the subway a bit earlier and walking to work, even that counts as alone time.

  2. Exercise. This is a longer, much more sore subject but, going forward this is a non-negotiable. Just like brushing teeth or showering. More to come, when I’m feeling a bit more brave to share.

  3. Stop running on sugar + coffee. For all my cooking, I tend to fall into a pattern of snacking and drinking coffee throughout the day to keep myself going. Instead of starting my days with a cup of coffee I’ve been opting for some hot water with lemon. Packing my water bottle into my work bag daily is also a new must.

  4. Read. I used to be a voracious reader. Like, the kind of obnoxious person who actually gets through an entire issue of The New Yorker in one weekend. Of course with baby and work I don’t have that kind of time anymore. But before bed, when I usually have an hour or so and scroll through social media, I’m going to start choosing books again.

  5. Work my way through a cookbook. My hobbies have taken a backseat to a million other things. In order to get back into them I need to recommit to making time for interests, old and new. I know there are things I enjoy beyond making bottles and pureeing baby food. Recently, I made meatballs from a cookbook and followed the directions word for word. The entire time I felt relaxed and motivated. Picking a few cookbooks in 2019 and working my way through them. I have some ideas but also open to suggestions! Comment below.

  6. Keep a written planner. I referenced this in the last post, but I’ve fallen into the bad habit of making lists in my head and not writing things down. Instead of having a tangible way of looking at my week, I am a whirlwind of mental notes to not forget. Reminding myself not to forget is a sure fire way to forget. To stop this mess, I bought an old fashioned planner. No Google calendar, no Outlook, just pen to paper. My goal is to start writing things down. Not just “to-do” things but also ideas, notes to myself. One day at a time feels much more manageable than the entire week in my head all at once.

  7. Clean out my purse weekly. I don’t know how else to describe the contents of my purse the last few months other than as a cacophony of crap. Everything is in there. Bibs, bottles, 3 lip gloss/moisturizer situations, two lip stains, receipts, pens, a picture frame, balls, puffs, you could probably find apartment keys to someone else’s home if you looked long enough. I get so much anxiety just trying to find something I’ve started carrying a separate tote for my wallet. No more. I’m reclaiming my space and committing to cleaning it out at the end of the work week. Organized purse, organized life - something like that.

There you have it. Or more like, there I have it. A few steps to put me on the right path in 2019. If any of you have experienced a similar tug of war between self care and all the rest, let’s talk. I would love to know how you approach taking time out to make yourself a priority.

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On Consistency + Self Care

“It’s been a while since I’ve posted.” Have you read that one before on here? I always feel so guilty when it’s months between posts but I’m often not sure what to write about. Everyone makes dinner, works hard, is balancing a million things. Instagram, if anything, has turned into my little scrapbook. A much easier (and lazier) way of sharing than actually taking the time to sit down, focus, and write.

A blog is such a strange medium when the intent isn’t for it to be a full time gig. The last thing I want to do is produce content for the sake of content. Over the last few weeks I’ve revisited old posts to get a sense of theme and purpose. Also, to get motivated to write and develop more. In a lot of my writing, specifically around this season, two main themes emerge: self-care and consistency.

Self care, especially as a new mom, is critical. I would argue, even more so when you’re working full time. When I was pregnant with Ben, I wrote about slowing down and making time for my pregnancy. Now that I’m a mother, I realize that I need to slow down and make time for me. Time for myself outside of Ben, outside of being a wife, outside of work. I’m sure it sounds selfish to some but I’m learning that without self fulfillment and alone time, there is no quality time with the baby. Almost eight months into motherhood, it makes sense to revisit the conversation.

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As a full-time working mama, it’s super easy to slide into a bizarre routine of taking care of everything and everyone except yourself. I say “bizarre” very intentionally. When you take a minute to really think it through - making yourself your own last priority is insane. This is not to say that baby doesn’t come first. Not at all. I’m just learning that I don’t need to come last. It’s so easy to fall into coasting on old and unhealthy behavior. After all, it’s what comes most naturally. For me, that’s keeping busy with a million little things that I insist “have to get done right now!”. Then the big things get all muddled and all over the place. With all that, time to recharge rarely enters the equation. Clearly, not a sustainable solution. This is all to say, it hit me like a ton of bricks that making time for myself is a “to-do” as worthy as vacuuming and doing dishes.

When I first returned to work, a friend told me that I will very quickly fall into a rhythm of “burning the candle at both ends”. This is dangerous territory. Another mentioned how every working mother hits a point in the first six months where she will, “feel like she’s absolutely shit at both - work and motherhood". I’ve found each of these statements to be one hundred percent true. Work is full time and motherhood is full time. Instead of fully focusing on playing with Ben, I am thinking about the next ten things that need to be cleaned or finished. The day to day feels like a hamster wheel. I am so burned out. Again. Time for a full stop.

So, this is where consistency comes in. Resolving to practice the things I’ve written about. Consistency around making time for things outside of to-do lists. Prioritizing and actually carving out time for things I want to do. Summed up, all recharging means making time for just me. Nothing else.

In my next post, my resolutions, made before the New Year because that’s just a date. The holiday break is just a few days away. What better time than that to deep dive into some reflection and self care?

i sat down to write this and drank a latte by myself last week. felt like freaking champ.

i sat down to write this and drank a latte by myself last week. felt like freaking champ.