**Sigh** It feels good to be back.  I took a short break from blogging these past few months, but now I’m here for good.  Or at least until the next break-due-to-life-circumstances comes around :)

What have I been up to?  Well, last time we talked I believe I had just gotten a new job working for a local campaign and since then?It has consumed me.  The job, the people, and the pay (hah) are all pretty fantastic, so there’s not much to complain about…well, maybe just the lack of time.  Cooking, finding recipes, grocery shopping and blogging–believe it or not– are all fairly time consuming activities once added together and so I just couldn’t seem to find the right balance between blogging regularly and cooking healthy on a consistent basis while still having some free time, gym time and, oh yeah, going to work for 40 hours a week.

However, that has all changed and I’m now, well, back! So hooray for the few of you that have been checking my blog for updates once and a while and hello to all of you that will hopefully stumble across the pages in the months to come.

Fitness updates since we’ve last talked:

– Early summer I joined a new gym closer to my job, and realized that I had developed asthma (most likely from my kitties, who are also new, but could also be exercise induced…I’m going to the doctor in Oct. to check it out)

– I tried P90x.  I lost a few pounds, and definitely felt fit, but ended up stopping after two weeks.

– Shortly thereafter (the P90x, that is) I started the South Beach diet.  I had done the diet a couple times before and always feel good after getting rid of my dependency on sugar and carbs.  Phase one lasted a week and a half until today, while as we speak I am savoring a piece of chocolate chip pumpkin bread that just came out of the oven. :)

–As mentioned above, I adopted a 1 year old cat from the local humane society, and not soon after got a kitten from a local family.  Bella and Lily, repectively, are shown below:

Lily is now almost five months old and time flies.  The photo to the right was taken just about a week ago.

Now, onto the good stuff.   For breakfast this morning, I enjoyed a sauteed mushroom and onion, turkey sausage, broccoli and cheddar quiche, sans crust:

For lunch: smoked turkey sandwich meat, along with a mesclun salad with cucumbers, tomatoes,  and chevre.  Topped with tuscan balsamic vinaigrette:

And, for dinner I enjoyed a smoothie that contained: 1 banana, 1/2 serving plain greek yogurt, 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1-2 cups fresh spinach and 1 cup milk.  I also bought a new shaker bottle so I can bring smoothies with me:

The blueberries were pretty much the first kind of sugar I’ve had in a week and a half.  And since I today was so beautiful (70 and sunny, low humidity) I couldn’t seem to get pumpkin-related things off of my mind.  The local pumpkin flavored coffee has yet to hit the shelves, so I opted for pumpkin bread…which turned into chocolate chip pumpkin bread.  Funny how that works :)

Shown below:

Ooey, Gooey goodness.

Safe to say that the pumpkin bread included LOTS of sugar and carbs even though I substituted half of the flour for whole wheat in an attempt to feel healthier.  The whole point of this post is that I’m going to start listening to my body.  If I want pumpkin bread once and a while it’s not going to kill me, or increase my weight by ten pounds, if I indulge.  It may just in fact be that I’m holding myself back by not allowing myself to just relax and listen to what my body needs, and not what I think it needs.

I recently read the book Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth and her entire point is that (through meditation) you can train yourself to argue against the “voice” in your head that is consistently telling you what to do, how horrible you are for eating that cookie and how much you’ll regret not going to the gym after work.  Besides the fact that I’m not planning on meditating regularly anytime soon (but eventually would be nice), it just made sense to me that I should take a step back and FEEL how my body is reacting to food; that maybe for once it is actually right.

So, in efforts to debunk the dieting theories of women across the nation and to rid myself of the guilt in eating a piece of pumpkin bread, the blog is now dedicated to loving myself more while continuing to eat a little less.  I didn’t change the name, but this message is more important.  Now go out there and love yourselves a little.

<3, Jenna

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