A Recap Of 2014

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A little recap of the time between Jan 1st (left picture) and December 21st (right picture):

On January 1st, I made a 2014 goal to be happy. To actively pursue happiness. Things didn’t always go my way this year, but I was happy. Really, really happy.

I can’t even begin to express how much I’ve changed in the last year. At the beginning of the year, I was still working on getting myself to an appropriate amount of calories. I had already made the big jump to the 2000s and was gearing up for 2200+. Of  course my ultimate goal was to stop counting, but that was something scary to be conquered later. Today, I am no longer obsessed with numbers. I eat what I want, when I want- while emphasizing a healthy balance.

In the left picture, I worked out about 5-6 days a week. I ran some days and was really making huge progress with my weight lifting. I haven’t been working out a whole lot lately (seriously, only about 50 body weight squats a day) and that’s okay! I know I need to start working out again, because I feel so much better when I do, but my focus the last couple weeks have been to study and when I have a free moment, to spend it with family and friends.

In January, there were so many things I wanted to change about myself, but more than anything, I wanted to learn to love my body. Today, there are things I want to improve on (such as entering the gym again), but I’m also very okay with who I am.

In January, my body image was terrible on days I went off my macros or didn’t go to the gym (see the banana incident here), but I learned from those days (see pretty much any of my prior posts). Now, I have bad body image days, who doesn’t, but when I do I certainly don’t starve myself or take any extremes. In fact, it has been 1 year and 9 days since I intentionally went to an extreme just because of a bad body image day.

I transformed more mentally this year than ever before and for that I am grateful.

I am grateful for my health. I am grateful for my happiness.

And I am grateful for the wonderful people in my life that have supported me throughout this journey to regain my health and who I am (I am looking at all of you awesome people!).

2014 really wasn’t about the physical changes, it was about my mental transformation. A transformation I plan to embrace and adapt with for the rest of my life. If my goal for 2014 was to be happy, then my goal for 2015 is to stay happy, to spread happiness, and to continue to seek out what it means to be the best version of me.

Maple Cinnamon Banana Bread (With Vegan Options)

I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen, AKA procrastibaking, and this was the result! I am in the process of writing a new muffin recipe so keep a careful eye out for that one! This maple cinnamon banana bread is FULL of flavor and can be made vegan or gluten free with basic substitutions!

Ingredients:

4 EXTREMELY ripe bananas (mine were practically liquid, but that was because they got super ripe so I froze them and when I was ready to make this bread I left them in the fridge to dethaw… it makes for great banana bread)

1/3 cup of melted vegan butter substitute (I use Smart Balance Light with Flaxseed, but if anyone wants to try it with coconut butter/ oil I would love to hear how that is)

1 extra large egg (vegan option: enerG egg substitute works just fine)

Cinnamon (I like cinnamon so I go crazy with it, but definitely adjust this to your flavor preference. I also threw in a dash of pumpkin pie spice to really bring out the maple and honey flavors)

1 tsp vanilla extract

¾ cup of sweetener (here is where we can diversify our portfolio of flavors—sugar/ stevia works but if you do that then add maple extract, I used a combination of sugar free maple syrup, honey, and stevia and I did not use the full ¾ of a cup because the banana I used were so sweet and I don’t like my stuff sweet)

1 tsp of baking soda

pinch of sea salt

1 ½ cup of flour (I was boring and used half unbleached all purpose and half organic whole wheat pastry flour, but next time I may use a combo of oat flour, coconut flour, etc.)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F and spray an 8 x 5 pan.

In a big bowl, whip your big egg (or vegan egg substitute). Whip it, whip it good. Then add your butter and bananas and mix together. Make sure the bananas are really mashed in (feel free to squish up the mixture with your hands, I did).

Once the bananas are all mashed into the mixture, add the cinnamon (and other spices) and mix thoroughly.

Then add the salt and baking soda and mix in (really make sure they are evenly distributed or else your bread will have some awkward spots).

Finally mix in the flour (don’t mix in more than ½ a cup at a time). transfer it to the pan and lick the bowl clean of anything that didn’t make it to the pan (seriously this mixture puts raw cookie dough to shame). Place the pan into the preheated oven and cook for about 50-60 minutes.