Eating healthy, Eating Out, Eating Cheap and why those don’t go together

I am currently under going a strategic effort to eat healthier in my day to day life. Sometimes I am totes down for gorging on some pancakes from Company Cafe because I know I have the calorie space that day, but other times I need to opt for the granola and fresh fruit. This is starting to become fairly easy because I notice such a change in my body and how I feel when I eat better versus when I over eat and fill up on crap. It’s also especially easy because I simply can’t afford to eat out all the time so there’s way less opportunity for temptation. But as I mentioned in my last, this was a busy weekend. I ate out for virtually every meal. EVERY MEAL. And what I realized is how expensive it is to eat healthy. This pisses me off. 

Now I realize I have no right to be angry. I’m aware that everyone knows it can be expensive to eat healthy. You can get a whole meal of grease at McDonalds for like a penny, versus packing your lunch full of pricey veggies, fruits and hard boiled eggs  (plus these take time to prepare – obnoxious) OR paying $15 for a decent salad. 

Since I was very aware I would be eating out so much that weekend, I was armed and ready to fight against tempting fatty foods full of sugar and cellulite. Saturday morning, post the boyfriend’s triathlon, we stopped at a breakfast place and I had to say no to the 900 calorie eggs benedict (sometimes I really hate when restaurants post the calorie counts…) and yes to the oatmeal with fresh fruit. Granted, it was delicious. But I refused to even look at my boyfriend’s hollandaise sauce for fear of drooling all over his heavenly plate. The oatmeal was an $9 event, my boyfreind’s eggs benedict was $8.  Just a few hours later, I was at brunch for my roommate’s birthday at Cedars Social. Yet another place chock full of delicious menu items. The French Toast was begging me to order it. It teased me with its hot maple syrup and fluffiness. I managed to mumble to the waiter that I’d have the fruit plate and two egg whites on the side. A meal that cost me $14 but was significantly smaller and less complicated than all the other menu items. The French Toast was $10, for example. 

I guess what I am getting at is that I HATE that eating healthy is so expensive. To me, the hard part was just making the healthy choice and fighting my eternal sugar cravings. But now, in addition, I have to consider the economic effects of eating healthy when I eat out. Even now when I go to the grocery store and load up on fruits and veggies, my grocery bill comes to an easy $60 without even trying. So I eat healthy, lose weight, but then can’t afford to treat myself to a new dress to celebrate my good eating habits. Where is the justice in that? For now, I’ll settle for a good Vogue or Cosmo to get me through these trying times [ha]. But my credit card is just not as happy with my diet change as my yoga practice (and my yoga pants) is. 

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Different versions of living

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So I was going to write today on how I’ve been such a terrible blogger this last week and completely unmotivated. I simply couldn’t think of anything to write about. And about how having a clean car and a freshly organized closet makes me feel more put together and like an adult. But then I read Sarah’s post.

We write a lot about careers here at Finding Tiffanys so it’s no secret that Sarah and I are very career focused people. I found her article from Forbes “Why we need to take 20-somethings seriously” to be so comforting, albeit very intimidating [and encouraged my continued focus on the age old question, what’s the next step in my career?]. But again, comforting. Here’s why. When I graduated college I had no yearning to explore the world. I wanted to start my career. Although I made a big misstep post college, I was still looking to get on track. The prospect of starting out on a career in advertising was so exciting to me, and it still is. However free spirited friends caused me to have this feeling that something was wrong with me. And that I would wake up one day when I’m 35 (this is the age I assume I’ll have it together by) and regret not living.

But I’ve since learned that this whimsical “living” doesn’t have to have an exact definition.  My version of living might not be the same as yours. There’s nothing wrong with geting a high from working hard in front of a computer 9-5. And that you can’t plan your life or make rules of “I’ll never do…” Life simply doesn’t happen that way. Did I imagine that I would have to live at home working at Starbucks for a few months to restart my career track? Hell to the no. But now I look back at that time as a great experience. One where I met some amazing people, made good friends, got to know my parents again and started drinking my coffee black (one hipster point for me, yeah!).  The stories I hear of people at the ripe of age of 30 who quit their job and started traveling the world instead, sound amazing. And sometimes I think that I wish I had that kind of yearning to explore. But I don’t. At least not right now.

Basically what I am trying to get at is that this article reminded me that no life plan is right for everyone nor will your plan remain static. So when I also read articles like  “How I Became a 21-Year-Old Business Executive,” my instant reaction is to deem myself lazy and undeserving of the position I so dearly want. But then I remind myself to pause and think about it. This girl graduated college early, but hey, I loved college. I mean really loved it. Even now I wouldn’t have given that up to graduate early and to load up on the business courses. I wouldn’t trade that experience, the friendships, or meeting Sam Bradford for anything.

With all that said, I am currently undergoing a panic of “what am I doing next and where am I doing it,” as I enjoy doing every so often. Because by “currently” we’re talking about everyday since I walked across that graduation stage. So I am reminding myself to take a deep breathe. Nothing needs to be laid out or planned. As a person who changed their major like Lindsay Lohan changes rehab clinics, I can say that I’ve made dozens upon dozens of plans for my life. And have stuck to none of them. Yet, here I am. Living in a great apartment, with a boyfriend I love, a dog who has the face to get away with anything and a career that I look forward to building (oh, and did I mention the clean car and organized closet?). All you can do is work your ass off, impress your coworkers and keep striving for better. To me, this is livingAt least until I change my mind that is. 😉

A job or ‘the’ job?

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This is a kinda a big week for me professionally, so I’ve spent a lot of time pinpointing work-related hopes and frustrations lately. While attempting to do so I stumbled across a Forbes article. Titled “Why we need to take 20-somethings seriously,” I was initially excited to find another semi-rare article listing the pros we could offer the work world rather than the cons. So imagine my surprise when I clicked through to read how 20-somethings are supposedly falling behind in the career world because we’re falling prey to the idea that now is our time of life for exploration and experimenting.

From the article: “The biggest myth is that the 20s are a time to think about what you want to do,” notes Jay. “That doesn’t work. You basically know what you want. Just start, and get the best job you can get.”

Between this and the suggested article, “How I Became a 21-Year-Old Business Executive,” all I have to say is, thanks for helping lower my already increasing stress levels, Forbes. On the bright side, at least these articles are saying we can and should have a place professionally rather than make our age out to be a hindrance, which is what I sometimes feel.

Maybe it’s the perfectionist in me or a product from our culture, but part of what stresses me out is I can’t get away from the idea that there’s a perfect job for me somewhere…if only I could somehow find it. The thing is, I’m quite happy where I am. But there’s always a part of me wondering, but could I be happier?

Unfortunately, I don’t have any real solutions for anyone else in the same boat. While I’ll be acknowledging these “grass is always greener” scenarios with some research and deep-thinking, I’ve decided I also need to devote less of my thought life to these ambitions and more time being the best I can right here.

So there you have it…my weekly (and probably lifelong) professional goal for finding Tiffany’s. I’d love to know what you think about the articles, too!

Found Tiffany’s?

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The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet

– James Oppenhiem

I had a very Finding Tiffany’s moment the other day. My dad emailed me something about an impending family trip we are taking in May and referred to it as happening in “a few weeks.” I scoffed and said to myself “in a few weeks? There’s absolutely no way…”, my parents and their forgetfullness is just totes adorbs. And well, as it turns out May 11th is in fact just a few weeks out and as always, my dad was right.

Why is this moment so great? Maybe it’s all the yoga, new relationships or new work responsibilities  but I feel like I’ve been so lost in the today that I am no longer constantly waiting for what’s coming next or counting down the days to the weekend. There’s so much happening in my life right now, right this second, that time spent where I’ll be in five years seems wasted. Each day is presenting its own challenges, its own quirks, its own joys and its own sorrows. I feel I’ve been lavishing in each and every one and working each day to its fullest. Perhaps I should be planning a little more than I am (no need to remind me, Bank of America), but I’m okay with taking some time off from a plan to plan. Maybe I’m still on “Spain time” but this week I’m just continuing to focus on the here and now and loving each and every minute of it and those I choose to spend it with.

So, Tiffany’s found? Blog over? Not quite. The effort to live in the now while planning for the future will always be a juggling act. Plus, there’s always something to improve, something to strive for and something worth working towards. Which brings me to goal numero dos.

My other goal for the week is a bit more taboo in a sense and I actually considered not posting about it. I have come to the conclusion that I wish to lose weight. I’m not necessarily overweight nor chubby, in fact according to most BWI measurements I’m right smack dab in the middle. But there’s always been that extra 5-15 pounds that I just don’t think belongs on my body. So, I’ve decided to make a valiant effort for the first time in my life to make it go away. My desire to trim down has stemmed from several events. The first is Europe. I ate like a king and the walking tours simply didn’t provide me with the calorie burn I needed for all that pasta. The second is because my metabolism will actually let me shed some pounds (and with my 24th birthday rapidly approaching…) it’s only going to get harder as I get older. The fourth is well, I have several family and friend events coming up in the next few months and frankly I want to look damn good for those photo opps. And third because I want to see if I can do it.

The “I want to see if I can do it” is really my strongest motivator. Ever since New Years I’ve experimented with a multitude of tests for myself. The first was giving up all sugar, including the kind in breads, deli meat, past sauce etc. This wasn’t that difficult but mostly I found myself eating almost worse because if I found something with no sugar, but still high in calories, I decided that I deserved it. I also tested out the giving up of desserts. I tried this for a few months but when Valentine’s Day rolled around and I was on a first date, I simply couldn’t say no to a Lavender Vanilla milkshake and risk cutting the night short (which I have never regretted since the milkshake was the best dessert I’ve ever had and the guy turned out to be well worth the extra calories). And then it was just downhill from there. I enjoyed these little challenges to test my will power, something I thought was in the pits due to my escalating love of sweets. But I found that saying no was easy, and that days I ate well and put good nutrients in my body I felt amazing. Furthermore, I do not wish to be controlled by food nor cravings. I am also not a foodie nor a cook (and I can’t afford to eat out all the time), so eating to me is a means of getting energy and not being cranky, so I don’t really feel like I’m missing out on anything. A craving for chocolate simply should not result in maybe one, okay two, well maybe just four more halves, Snickers minis. I want to be able to think to myself ‘yes, I do want chocolate, but no it isn’t worth the calories or the terrible run I’ll have later.’

So for the next month or so I’m going to be eating cleaner. I have no real time table on this as I hope it will turn into an all over life change. And I just hate the word diet, as it leaves me with the bad taste of no carbs, starvation and desperation.

Plus, fruits and veggies are way more fun than buying a pair of Spanx. Now, I’ll be honest, I will be keeping some prosecco in my diet. I’m not a miracle worker here people.

A super start

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When Lydia and I first started this blog, the first topic was obvious: What does Finding Tiffany’s even mean for us? Figuring out what my goals were and where my dreams lay took a lot of soul-searching, but I eventually settled on a version of my life “to do list”. Some of those dreams and priorities have shifted a little since, but it has still been a great diagnostic to hold myself accountable for making forward momentum in my life.

One of those goals involved more yoga, but not just any yoga anywhere. For months turning into years I longed to try yoga at Super Yoga Palace near downtown Dallas. After researching Dallas’ yoga offerings, everything I found about this place seemed like just what I was looking for – a casual environment that embraces the yogi lifestyle with a variety of classes that really teach every aspect, not just lead. It’s also aesthetically pleasing with a huge mural and indie music I’d listen to outside of yoga class. In addition to a happy hour after Friday’s class, they even have a class where everyone brings their favorite vinyls to play during the practice. Sold.

This morning I had my second class. Nothing like starting your day feeling physically accomplished, mentally (and literally) stretched and emotionally rested!

Not only is this a check on the to do list, but it has also inspired a new goal. I’ll be making this a weekly affair, hopefully even trying out another class or two. I’m excited to see how my practice improves and hey, the stress-reducing / fitness benefits don’t hurt either!

Knock knock.. you there right side?

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It’s been 6 days since my return to the real world and things are just now starting to get back into a normal routine. Since I opted to go relax at a lakehouse this weekend and therefore postponing the necessary post trip “getting my shit together” for another few days, I am only now settling in to real life. My laundry is done, my cold is gone, I no longer feel like a zombie and the song “I can see clearly now” is playing in my head. Perhaps a weekend of hiking, hammock-ing, and tanning by the pool with my boyfriend, my dog and a few friends was just what the doctor ordered. And that brings me to tonight. Tonight is the first night that I can actually relax. On my own. In my pj’s Well, almost.

The only thing still on vacation is the right side of my brain. My left side is totally here making list, putting in maintenance requests, ordering new credit cards and IDs and establishing new budgets. But that damn right side is still over in Paris – or maybe it was stolen with my wallet in Sevilla? I am having the hardest time at work this last week coming up with an original idea. Pre-Europe Lydia loved brainstorming. I loved utilizing things I’ve read and compiling them to form one new amazing concept. Everything is taking me just a little longer since I must set aside time for staring at a blank screen wondering how I used to form sentences. It’s more than writer’s block. It’s a creative block.

Which brings me to my goal for the week. To get inspired. This entails sifting through the 100+ unread newsletters I have from a multitude of amazing idea-inspiring sites like PSFK, Fast Company (Design, Exist and Create.. I’m an addict), ColossalBig Think and the threads going in one of the many LinkedIn groups I stalk. I am not exactly expecting that I’ll walk into my office by Friday morning with a glowing light behind me and my head full of all-knowing knowledge (but that wouldn’t totally suck), but I am looking for a little spark. Like the lightning that comes down in War of Worlds to send a little driver into the ready and waiting machine that is my mind. That’s all I want. Juuuust a liiiiittle lightning.

Am I also subtly suggesting that you might also be interested in those aforementioned websites? You betchya. They’re awesome. Hop on my let’s-get-inspired bandwagon, flood those inboxes and let’s get those gears moving.

All, I have no idea where that War of Worlds reference came from. Do you see my problem?

Finding…mindfulness.

mind over matterliving in the present quoteSigh… Mondays.

See, I’m not usually one of those people who dread Mondays and complain about their jobs. But I’m not going to lie, I started this morning groaning out of bed and maybe getting just a little bit sassy at other drivers. But reality finally checked in, reminding me just how much I have to be thankful for. It’s easy to get bogged down in all the things that don’t go exactly the way I want them to, which in my case consists largely of having an uncomfortable, embarrassing and altogether exhausting allergic reaction going on the three month mark.

As an interviewee said on NPR this morning, and I paraphrase: It’s like when you’re driving. You don’t think much of the green lights because you just keep going. But those red lights make you stop, make you wait, can even make you late. People invariably end up saying, “Ahh I hit some red lights,” not “I hit some green lights.”

I know I need to spend more time meditating on my own green lights to get myself through the red ones. And I think practicing a little more mindfulness is just the thing to help me do that.

I’ve been reading a book called My Year With Eleanor, in which author Noelle Hancock writes, “Mindfulness is a technique where you concentrate on the present experience without judging or trying to control what is going on. To be fully aware….It helps you stay in the present, where fear does not exist.” One Apartment Therapy article calls mindfulness “an accepting and kind attitude toward yourself and your present moment experience…that will change your relationship to life.”

Here are some tips for practicing more mindfulness, which are all part of my plan this week to try staying gracefully in the present and practice more acceptance:

Change the day’s first words. Waking up and indulging groans and dread for the day sets my attitude, and therefore, perception for at least the next three hours. Complaining is a habit, and I’d like to train my brain to not jump straight into it every morning.

Put. the phone. down. How many times do I re-check email, refresh Facebook on my browser, scroll through Twitter, and when all that still fails to entertain, turn to other apps to see what latest GroupOns are featured and which new pug is on @PugsofInstagram, only to repeat the process? I waste so much time with absent-minded scrolling.

Be thankful for waiting. It’s so easy to fall into a pattern of going and then get frustrated when something jars me out of that by making me wait. Instead, this moment that I can’t force into productivity is a fantastic opportunity to breathe and think without feeling guilty.

Dedicate time to just sit. Not in front of the tv, with a book, food or even a cup of coffee. Just me, being still. A word of warning, when you try this one in bed, at night, with a relaxing cool eye mask on…this also turns into a fantastic way to accidentally fall asleep. As I learned from personal experience.

What helps you relax and think more on the positive side of things?

D.C. life

Newseum in DC - first amendment DC brunch - ardeo + bardeo DCnewseum - good photography quote Newseum - Berlin Wall artNewseum freedomGoing into my long weekend, I have to say I was a little skeptical about D.C. After living nearby in Virginia for several, albeit younger, years and a couple visits later, I still wasn’t sold on the magic of our capitol city. As far as U.S. cities go, New York, Seattle, Austin and Boston inspired an instant infatuation that has only grown stronger since my last visits. Los Angeles won me over with one of the best weeks of my life, and let’s face it, I’ve always been a self-proclaimed California girl at heart (with the birth certificate location to match, thank you very much)!

While I still don’t feel like I really “know” D.C. after this weekend’s trip, I can now say that I do see why people like it and have deemed it worth further exploration. Despite the too close for comfort winter storm warning, my trip enjoyed fantastically sunny weather with just the right amount of morning chill. On top of the weather, I also had some pretty good food, including a completely perfect brunch at Ardeo + Bardeo (great food, menu, atmosphere, service all with bottomless mimosas at decent prices) and a special night thanks to my cousin at Matchbox. Seeing his culinary success firsthand and hearing our waiter tell me, “We always take care of family,” filled me with Italian pride. And as this is probably the strongest familial, food-related pride there is, that’s really saying something.

Now it’s back to real life, and I’m taking this as the perfect opportunity to get back on track with a lot of real life things.

Between the traveling, health costs and a growing combination of laziness/never enough time, my budget has really gone out the window this year. I literally cannot afford to keep carrying on this way, so I’ll be taking stock this week, re-prioritizing expenditures and brainstorming some hopefully cheaper ways to continue exploring Dallas.

I’m forcing myself to write this next one as I’m really not feeling the motivation, but I know I’ll thank myself later…It’s er…well, time to start working out again. There, I said it, and if I’m being honest, I’m even feel a little relieved. I will be adding a couple yoga classes to my week, at least one (although I could probably stand more) runs, and looking for ways to be more active in general. Have you been seeing all the buzz lately about how bad sitting all day is for us? I’m feeling a little more motivated already…

Nuggets of news

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First off, I’d like to start with two very exciting nuggets of news. First is, Sarah’s Birthday was yesterday! Sarah, myself, and a dozen of Sarah’s friends headed to Company Cafe. A favorite of ours here at Finding Tiffanys. It provides so many healthy options and is heavy on the vegan, vegetarian and gluten free dishes. It’s a win, win, win and win. Do we even need to add that it’s delicious and obviously adorable? Sarah will also be jetting off to DC tomorrow. I am insanely jealous. Naturally. Let’s hope she brings back some amazing photos! (hint hint.. nudge nudge)

The other piece of news was also in celebration of Sarah’s big day – as a birthday surprise I purchased FindingTiffanys.com! Although a mutually beneficial gift, we are both super excited about it. We’re pretty sure the blog looks so much better without .wordpress in the URL…irrational? Who cares. So excited!!

A few goals for me this week.

Explore new music. I used to consider myself quite the music afficinado. I was on the concert series committee in college that brought some great bands to our campus and was strongly leaning towards a career working for a record label. And yet, somewhere along the road between my computer crashing and losing my iTunes library and moving to Arizona where there was no time for finding new music, my thirst to explore went away. But now I’m parched. I’m hungry to start exploring again and diving into new bands, unexplored genres and going out of my comfort zone. Lucky for me, there are a ton of amazing festivals coming this summer and I’ve literally been going through the lineup and listening to bands on Spotify. Need to start somewhere, right? Plus, I have friends who are experts at finding new music at a level I’ll never compare to and I have no problems mooching off their ideas for a little while. For now, here are a couple tunes I’m obsessing over.



Don’t stress out. The next two weeks are pretty jam packed. I have a ton on my to do list, a ton to do at work and a ton of social activities I’d rather not skimp out on. Not to mention, my room is a mess. Which makes everything seem so much more stressful, don’t you think?

Make a plan to plan. Is this getting redundant yet? I need to plan my Europe trip..

Caffeine.. don’t drink it? It’s no secret that I am a coffee addict. I have no qualms about this either. I love my coffee black and it loves me back. But for whatever reason, I haven’t needed it all week. I had a green tea this morning, and two sips of a coffee yesterday. And yet, I am full of energy? Decaf is starting to sound like a reasonable thing now…death before decaf no more I suppose. Who am I? Yikes.

Have an amazing week!

Meeting the neighbors

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One of my “semi-near future life goals” was to create more, and another related goal involved getting a camera and actually using it. While you’ve probably noticed from recent posts that I’ve indeed gotten the camera and actually started using it, there’s a huge difference between playing around and happening to get some decent shots with actually knowing what the heck is happening in my camera to get said shot. Luckily, I have a friend who was willing to lend some photography knowledge, so I spent my Saturday learning the difference between ISO, aperture and shutter time – just a couple basic slr settings.

I then headed over to my neighbor, NYLO, with my new-found knowledge. NYLO is a hotel and rooftop bar that opened up in South Dallas a couple months back, with an infinity pool that rumor has it, is going to be open to the public in the summer. Before you get all excited by their sign for an old-fashioned soda bar and tell all your friends about it as you picture how much fun you’re going to have sipping on all sorts of root beer float-esque drinks (not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything), I might as well be the one to burst your bubble…it turns out “SODA” actually stands for South Dallas. Not actual soda.

Despite this minor disappointment, however, my earlier explorations also resulted in a delicious prosecco (of course) cocktail with a friend, so I knew this was going to be just the sort of space I felt right at home in. It also helped that their music selection is fantastic. It was like someone had stolen my favorite Pandora station. The kicker was stumbling across their brunch menu this time around. Ah, a good brunch….they found my Achilles heel.

On the bright side, this can only help me further accomplish my other earlier goal to brunch more.