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health + post-grad diet and exercise

I’m slowly but surely trying to navigate the world of work, from what to wear, how to commute (properly), and how to stay healthy and active.

Just a warning: I could talk for days about health and exercise so this is going to be a long post.

I essentially sit at a desk from 9 to 6, with a break for lunch. I pretty much keep the same schedule every day.

6:30 AM – Eat breakfast
8:40 AM – Get to NYC
9:00 AM – Get to work
11:30 AM  - Snack
2:00 PM – Lunch
6:00 PM – Leave work
6:30-7:00 PM– Dinner, leave NYC
8:30 PM – Get to CT, Work out

This is the life of a girl living in Connecticut and working in New York City.

I quite enjoy it because although I’m quite healthy normally, I’ve become some kind of health psychopath because I’m in full control of my meals Monday through Friday.

For breakfast, I eat oatmeal with fruit or avocado toast with scrambled eggs. I try to have a larger breakfast since I’m eating so early and won’t eat again until almost noon. The first couple of days of work were rough because I wasn’t used to my new eating schedule, and I was hungry all the time.

Another thing: It recently occurred to me that I may be lactose intolerant/sensitive OR gluten intolerant/sensitive. LET’S GET TMI UP IN HERE. Basically I’ve had some pretty annoying stomach issues the past few weeks, and since I track everything I eat on Lose It, I’ve narrowed my pains down to either my cheese consumption or excess of gluten. My friends at college who are reading this are rolling their eyes, because sophomore year I was convinced I was gluten intolerant, got tested, and I’m definitely not intolerant…but still, your body changes and so do your tolerances.

ANYWAY, I would rather not be in pain after I eat so I’ve been eating as many fruits and vegetables as possible, and have stopped eating cheese. That’s basically the only dairy product I consume regularly. For gluten, I really only have Ezekial bread for my avocado toast and oatmeal…although I did have a moment of weakness one day a Grand Central and picked up a piece of caramel cake from Magnolia Bakery, because #treatyoself.

Other than that, I’d say I have a depressingly balanced diet. I only eat meat on the weekends, and you’re about to hear me talk about the disgusting amount of salads I consume on a weekly basis.

How far I’ve come from hungover Chinese food and late-night Domino’s.

Okay. Back on track. Breakfast is larger, then I get on the train, get to work, and at about 11-11:30 I snack on my homemade fruit and nut mix (thanks Mom!). It takes me probably 45 minutes to finish the whole Ziploc bag full, mainly because I like to spread out the process as long as possible. The mix has dried cranberries (something I can’t live without), cashews, and almonds. The perfect snack.

The first week of work I was unprepared in terms of preparing lunch, so I would go to Fresh&Co/Chop’t and get a salad or muesli and fruit. However, I’m already spending $11 on a salad every day (thanks New York), so I’d rather save a wee bit by bringing my own lunch, ya feel me? The only problem is that I haven’t gotten around to making my own lunch, so I’ve gotten in some extra steps by walking the 2-3 blocks to a salad place.

So far, at Chop’t I’ve gotten the Summer Caprese Salad (which was really good, but I was still hungry after eating it), the Mexican Caesar Salad, and the Kale & Quinoa Bowl. My fave is the Mexican Caesar, but WARNING it is effing spicy like I probably drink 2 water bottles at lunchto try to ease the spiciness. But it's so good! At Fresh&Co, I’m obsessed with the Bircher Muesli, however I’m weary about being gluten intolerant so I’ve been trying to get something else (in case it really is the gluten that’s affecting me). I’ve also gotten a romaine salad with corn, avocado, chickpeas, and roasted red pepper (similar to what I eat for dinner), but as you’ll read below, I’d just rather get that salad at Hale and Hearty.

Dinner is the same Monday through Thursday. I get out of work at 6, and either take the subway or walk back to Grand Central, then get a salad at Hale and Hearty in the dining concourse. I freaking love this place, slash any place with create your own chopped salads. First off, it reminds me of a simpler time (aka college) when I got chopped salads with my bestie for lunch every day. Secondly, I usually don’t like everything that’s in a pre-made salad, and I like having the ability to choose.

So, the salad I get is as follows: romaine, cherry tomatoes, avocado, corn, chickpeas, and roasted red pepper with a lemon vinaigrette. The lemon vinaigrette is a GAME CHANGER I cannot stress enough how good it is. I used to always get balsamic but boo that’s boring, you can get that anywhere. Lemon vinaigrette for daysss.

I love this salad and I actually get sad on the days that they run out of tomatoes and avocado. I also never thought I could ever eat a salad without cheese on it, but my inner strength has prevailed and I have conquered my cheese addiction. Sad but true.  I would honestly get this salad for lunch and dinner but I’m really afraid I’m going to get sick of it soon.

Why don’t I wait until I’m home to eat dinner? I hate eating late. If I could eat at 5:30 every day, I would. It’s the only part of the “grandma lifestyle” that I’d be totally into. Eating at 8:30? Not a fan. At all. Plus, my gym closes at 10, so on the days I work out there, I go straight after I get off the train so I’m not feeling rushed. The days I work out at home, I would rather work out than eat dinner, because I really want to go to bed, and I don’t like eating then immediately working out. I would also rather work out after work than before work, because I wake up at 5:45 every day and I am not waking up any earlier.

Speaking of working out, I gave up Tone It Up weeks ago and now I’m onto Kayla Itsines. If you haven’t heard of Kayla Itsines, shame on you, slash get on instagram right now and follow her. Basically she’s a trainer and fitness mogul from Australia who is literally dominating social media with her Bikini Body Guide. It’s a three month program with a designated strength workout for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I honestly much prefer this to Tone It Up for a few reasons.

First, Kayla has an app that’s actually useful. You have your plan scheduled out (if you want, you can also make your own schedule), and the strength workouts are timed on your phone through the app, so you really don’t have to do anything else than the designated exercise!

Second, the three day plan from Kayla is much more ideal than the 7-day plans from Tone It Up. I don’t have time slash the physical capacity to work out a full seven days a week. With Kayla Itsines, one day (I like going by the Monday-Wednesday-Friday timeline) is legs, one day is abs and arms, and one day is full body. The other days I work out, I get my cardio in, which is usually running 3-5 miles. It’s a perfect balance. Also I’m so so sore, which I actually like because I want to know when a workout is paying off.

Third, the format of Kayla’s workouts is super simple, especially when you use the app. Each workout is comprised of two circuits, which you repeat twice. You do the first circuit (four exercises) as many times as you can for 7 minutes, then the second circuit for 7 minutes, and repeat. Then you’ve completed a 28-minute strength workout!

Do I seem psycho enough yet?

I take my health and exercise very seriously, especially post-grad.

So I eat like a freaking rabbit Monday through Friday afternoon, and then Friday night I have tacos, chips and guac, and a margarita. It’s called balance. Plus, by the time Friday night rolls around, I’m ready to never look at a salad again.

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  1. That salad looks good! Have you tried Just Salad yet? That was my fave place in NYC and I still try to go back every time I visit, haha. Their turkey cobb is pretty low calorie, plus it's super filling and delicious, try it out!

    1. I haven't tried them yet but they're on my to-do list!

  2. I can totally relate! It took me probably up to five or even six months of working before I really understood and established a solid workout and healthy eating plan that didn't cost me an arm and a leg! Meal prep definitely takes work and practice, but once you nail down a few recipes that are easy to make in bulk on Sundays, you won't get tired of eating the same thing over and over! My favorite is probably my quinoa + red pepper + cherry tomato (halved) + spinach + broccoli + edamame with chicken salad. I just throw all of the ingredients into a pan at once (and most you can get frozen!) and then make a massive batch for the week. It's great because it's good with so many different sauces so it never tastes quite the same, and it's healthY!




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