Sayonara, Salads

The title of this post is a bit ironic because while writing this I was eating a salad (the Cobb from Ward 8 – HIGHLY recommend). But today I’d like to talk about salads, and how I am eating less of them, and why I am psyched about that.

I realize that that’s pretty strange. Most people spend their days saying they should eat more salads. But having at least one salad per day has been a “rule” I’ve had for myself for a long time now, even after making huge progress in my recovery from an eating disorder. Ever since graduating from college in 2011 and starting full-time work, I have packed a salad for lunch almost every single day. I have often told people who asked that I do it to save money, but truthfully it has always been easier to allow myself to have wine or carbs in the evening if I am able to tell myself I had a carb-less, green lunch.  Salads have been my security blanket. I have choked down raw spinach – lunches I’ve hated – more times than I can count. I have refrained from wrapping up dinner at restaurants and taking it home, because I didn’t want to be tempted to pack it for lunch the next day instead of a salad. I have turned down free lunch at work (in fact, I did this every Friday for 2.5 years at my first job in Connecticut) in favor of a salad I had no desire to eat.

Frankly, I have just gotten so fucking sick of salads.

So about a month ago at the store, I did something I hadn’t in a long time – I approached the deli counter. I bought turkey, and Muenster cheese, and wraps. And I started making myself turkey wraps to bring to work. And I LOVE it. It has been so nice to actually look forward to what I packed for lunch. It’s wonderful to eat my food and move on and not sit at my desk dreaming of what else I could eat or have obsessive thoughts about what I will have for dinner since I “earned” it with my salad. By making my lunch less of a big deal, food is less of a big deal, and I feel more free.

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Free to order pasta out at restaurants, something I couldn’t do last year.

Obviously I’m still going to want a salad every now and then, especially since many delicious salads exist, like the aforementioned Ward 8 Cobb or the taco salad I made for Jeff and I a couple of months ago.

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But it’s so awesome to wake up in the morning and open the fridge and be able to bring almost any of its contents to work for lunch. I love not packing anything on Pizza Fridays. And guess what? My body, at least from my point of view, has not changed much since I stopped eating a salad every day. And more importantly, I am happier.

Do you have any “food rules” you hold yourself to?

Are you a salad fan?

Nantucket Wine Fest 2016

I actually started this post as a “Five Highlights Of Summer” thing, but quickly realized I had too much to say about and too many pictures from Nantucket Wine Fest to not make it its own post, despite the fact that the event took place three months ago! But wine, parties, and fabulous New England destinations never get old, so let’s get to it.

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My favorite spot on the island (and unfortunately the most expensive) is Cru!

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Cheesin’ in the Vineyard Vines store in town.

ACK Wine Fest weekend took place during my last two weeks at 90+ Cellars, and I can’t think of a better send-off. This was my third (and definitely not last) time in Nantucket for this crazy whirlwind of work, parties, food, wine, and general ridiculousness. And I got to bring Jeff with me and share the fun with him!

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My New Neighborhood ClassPass Workouts

Starting a new job and moving to a new neighborhood in June meant a change to my workout routine! Thankfully ClassPass (click that link to get $30 off your first month, and full disclosure, I get $30 off too) has options all over Boston, so the service I use has stayed the same, but the classes I pick have now mostly changed from those I used to attend. Since I live in Charlestown and work in the North End, I’m mostly attending workouts in those two areas of the city.

Exhale Battery Wharf

I’ve been to the Exhale in Back Bay before, but had never gone to the Battery Wharf location until I moved. I actually prefer it over Back Bay! No need to take an elevator to the locker room, and the entire studio feels more sleek and zen to me…maybe because it’s on the second floor and I can’t see shadows walking by when I’m in barre. The 7:05 AM morning classes have been really convenient, especially since Exhale offers the nicest locker rooms I’ve ever been in, complete with provided robes and shower flip flops (it’s SO great not to pack those). I’ve tried regular Core Fusion Barre, Cardio + Barre (half an hour of cardio followed by half an hour of barre…loved this), Extreme (this was set up with five bootcamp stations), and Yoga. It will always be hard for me to get through a normal hour long barre or yoga class without getting antsy, but the Cardio Barre and Extreme classes both fly by, despite them being the same length. I’ve also yet to have a bad instructor at any Exhale location – always a plus.

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Image from Exhale on Instagram

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Move, Work, Run

All three words in the title of this post could describe the same activity. After all, running involves moving, and is a lot of work. But at the start of June I had a few different big events happen in my life, and though it’s now almost August, I felt like I should write about them. Plus, I haven’t blogged in awhile and it’s getting a bit (slash REALLY) embarrassing.

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As previously mentioned, Jeff and I moved in together, to a new apartment in Charlestown! It’s certainly a whole lot better than my last place in Allston (though I did love it there and it was a great starter apartment). We have a roof deck, washer/dryer, garbage disposal, dishwasher…it’s a whole new world! And it’s been nice to get some new decor like a sleeper sofa, fun dishware, and new sheets. There’s still a lot more to be done (does anyone know of a good place to get mounted deer heads on the cheap?) but it’s just been wonderful to get all that time back that we were spending commuting back and forth between each other’s places.

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Favorite ClassPass Workouts

I want to preface this post by acknowledging the fact that I was recently quoted in an article about the ClassPass price hike in Boston, otherwise known as “ClassPassGate”. My quote was “this is definitely a tipping point”. But the price doesn’t go up until June, so I have still been enjoying ClassPass as an excellent way to motivate me to not only get somwhere to workout, but have high quality workouts once I’m there. And admittedly, I’m considering staying on because of the amount of studios in my new neighborhood (Charlestown). And, because my mom brought up a valid point: “You know Caitlin, if you stayed in one more night per week, you could afford the new higher price.” Goddammit. She’s right.

But anyway, I wanted to recap my favorite studios/classes, because I feel like I’ve been using ClassPass as a mix of trying new workouts and visiting those that I already knew I liked. So I want to share those that I’ve liked best!

Vixen Army @ BFX Studio

Say what? So this is one of the classes that I never would have tried without ClassPass. The name caught my eye, and after reading the description (“cardio dance fitness program that incorporates choreography from different genres of dance including Hip Hop, Jazz Funk, House and Street styles inspired by live concert performances and videos from chart topping artists”), I had to try it out. I went by myself and left the class thinking two things: “That was fun!” and “I wish I had come to this class with some girlfriends.”

Photo courtesy of our instructor!

Thankfully my friends Jeannie and Allie were 100% willing to give it a shot, and we now have ourselves a Monday night tradition. I would call Vixen Army “Zumba but with twerking”. The songs are familiar and so catchy. The dances are quite easy to learn and follow. And the instructor, Melissa Jurado, is so positive and encouraging! Each class starts with everyone repeating after her, saying affirmations like “I will not judge myself or anyone else in this room” and “Damn I look good for a Monday night”. Yes, it’s cheesy. But it’s also fun and a great workout.

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Letting Go of Old Clothes

It has been quite awhile since I wrote a post related to eating disorders and recovery. There was a time when that was almost all I wrote about here; a time when I was really struggling. Slowly after moving to Boston I began to do better and better, and the recovery related posts became less frequent. Particularly since this past summer, I have made lots of progress. I’ve taken more rest days than ever and realized that didn’t make me gain 50 pounds. I’ve been able to spend more time with friends and meet new people too, since I’ve been doing less hiding out in my apartment with my “safe foods”. I’ve even been able to let myself open up to someone and enter a serious relationship.

Jeff and I are actually moving in together over Memorial Day Weekend, and moving often presents a perfect opportunity to get rid of unwanted and unneeded possessions. Most notably, clothes. Many who have gone through recovery from an eating disorder will know that clothes are a touchy subject. They become too small, and that’s hard to deal with. Every article of clothing that will no longer fit still makes me feel like a bit of a failure, even if that feeling lasts just a few seconds. I have been holding onto these clothes, because setting them aside to donate makes me feel like I am giving up on being as small as I once was.

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Journey to Western Mass: Part 2

Did you miss part one of my recap? Click here to read! Also, for any of my readers who live in Boston and love fitness, I’m hosting an Instagram giveaway for two tickets to the Jimmy Fund Fit Fest taking place this Saturday on the Esplanade. Enter here!

When I last left off, my boyfriend Jeff and I were convening with our friends Matt and Dave in the lobby of the Hotel Northampton for dinner. One of the best parts about our trip was the fact that our hotel was located right in the center of town, and we could walk everywhere! We took a short stroll to Bistro Les Gras, a farm to table restaurant with menus that change daily. First we got a round of appetizers, including a fantastic steak tartare.

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Three out of four of us went with the burger as our entree, thanks to recommendations from many locals we’d talk to throughout the day. The burger lived up to its reputation, and its flavor made it obvious that it was ground in-house.

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Journey to Western Mass: Part 1

Back when I lived in Connecticut, I lived less than an hour from Western Massachusetts, yet never bothered to explore the area. After this past weekend, I’m definitely regretting that. The Hampshire County Tourism Board sent me, my boyfriend Jeff, and my friends/amazing couple Matt and Dave on a fantastic weekend trip to Western Mass, and I’m already wondering when I can return!

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Jeff and I hit the road Saturday morning and enjoyed an easy ride out west, where we met Matt and Dave. Our first stop was Mineral Hills Winery in Florence, MA. There we met with the owner, Larry Goddard. He showed us an absolutely incredible time that, as Jeff put it, “ruined wine tastings for him forever”. That’s a good thing – it means we really got the VIP treatment!

Larry greeted us with tastes of May Wine, which is a German beverage traditionally served on May Day.

Larry greeted us with tastes of May Wine, which is a German beverage traditionally served on May Day.

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Pub Run with True Runner

This post is sponsored by Vocalpoint and True Runner. All opinions are my own.

I was recently invited by True Runner, an athletic retailer in The Shoppes at Chestnut Hill, to participate in one of their community running events. The second I heard the words “Pub Run”, I was interested. A workout followed by pizza and beer has my name written all over it!

True Runner was kind enough to send me some cool socks and a really comfy tech tee for the run! But obviously I also needed a bottom component so I headed to the Chestnut Hill store to browse for just that.

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A Florida Birthday

March 22nd was my 27th birthday and I truly felt like the celebrations lasted for days and days. Jeff took me out for a great birthday dinner in Boston the Friday before, and I also visited one of my favorite bars with a ton of friends for an epic night out on Saturday. But I spent my actual birthday in Orlando, Florida with my family and Jeff.

No Florida birthday is complete without Publix cake, or a heavy dose of Lilly Pulitzer. My brother and sister gifted me a Lilly wine tote and stemless wine glasses, and my family gifted me my favorite white cake with white icing.

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