Tag Archives: Eat

Time for a Change … Are You Up for It?

I don’t really even know where to begin this post, so I am just going to start and try to make it sound as coherent as possible.

The whole purpose of this blog was to initiate change; a huge change not only for me, but for the readers who follow it so faithfully.

We all are here because we are looking to make our lives better — whether it be by eating healthier foods (Eat), calling upon spirituality and holistic health (Pray), or getting up off our asses and going for a walk (Run).


But as of late, I have been feeling like I have been promoting so much change for others and ignoring the changes my own body is craving. In other words, I can dish it out, but I can’t take it. At least, that is how I feel today.

Well, I have been reading this fabulous book — The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Any Change (and Loving Your Life More) — as a result of my new job with the First30Days Web site, and I have got to tell you that it has really got me athinkin’. Mix that with my overwhelming feeling of dissatisfaction with the way I have NOT been healthfully living and you gotchyourself a recipe for change!

So, I thought, “Why not share it with my readers at Eat, Pray, Run?”

Now, because the theme of the book and Web site is to commit to thirty days of change I have kicked off my personal challenge this morning. Throughout the next 30 days I am going to blog the steps I am taking to make my day a healthier one, and, hopefully, you can learn from it, too.

I think you will.

To make things easy, a list of things I would like to change:

1.) I want to be stronger. I don’t necessarily need to lose weight, but I would like to see an overall commitment to building physical strength. I want girly musk-les. So, you will begin to see more workouts from me — I mean, I am going to give ’em all a shot! I probably won’t be able to sit down on the toilet without holding onto the sides, but I am going to go all out anyway. Look for pictures, videos and workout reviews. I look really red-faced and silly when I exercise, but your going to get it all, right here.

2.) I want to eat more healthfully. I work and run around like a crazy girl a lot, and when I do sit down to eat, I don’t necessarily feel like cooking — or eating healthfully for that matter. Eating sporadically and not putting the best foods into my body is starting to wear on me. Therefore, I will begin to post what I am eating to keep me in check, and give you some healthy meal ideas. Lemme know if you have any other suggestions for this part of the 30-Day Challenge.

3.) I need more SLEEP. Again, I love what I do and, therefore, I put a lot of time toward making my writing life better each day. This is not a bad thing in the least bit, but when it begins to completely compromise your sleep and make you lean on coffee like it’s a prized gem, you may have a problem. I do. So, I am also going to begin to try to commit to more sleep. I think it will help me eliminate stress, mood swings and, of course, dark circles. I will log it in here, and I am counting on all of you to hold me accountable.

4.) I want to be more spiritual. I have so many fabulous spiritual resources and I feel like I don’t put them to good use. Look for more tips from experts, and reviews of books, CDs and classes. Come on, people, help me say, “Ommm….”

Now, I am going on vacation at the end of the week, so some of the meals might be pretty bo-ring. But I will try to jazz it up as much as I can . . . promise.

I am going to end this post here, but stay tuned for a few more separate posts today that will highlight what I am eating and a really interesting quiz.

In the mean time, check out the 9 Principles of Change located in the right sidebar of this page. You will see them there every day, and they will serve as a reminder of why we are here.

Wanna make a change? Keep checking Eat, Pray, Run for inspiration, and sign up for the free First 30 Days daily email program where you will get the tips you need to make a change today!



Filed under Eat, June 2008, Pray, Run

Health Check for The Day!

fishy.jpgDid you know? There is a 31% increased likelihood that men and women who eat fish less than once a week will be depressed, compared to those who eat fish more than twice a week. Check out this mahi mahi recipe for a great way to cook up your fish tonight!


Filed under Eat, February 2008

Why Skipping Breakfast is Making You Fat

eggs-and-toast.jpg VS. pancakes1.jpg

I am very sleepy today.

You know that kind of tired where your brain feels fuzzy and you wake up already thinking about falling back asleep? Yeah, that is how I feel today.

But enough about me.

Yesterday, I was reading through Eat This, Not That: Thousands of Simple Food Swaps That Can Save You 10, 20, 30 Pounds-or More!, the invaluable nutrition resource by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding that I have told you about in an earlier post.

Well, there is one very interesting page titled, “When You Need to Wake Up and Go” where Zinczenko and Goulding discuss with the reader the foods that are good, and not so good for helping to open your peepers.

What’s more, according to Eat This, Not That, not eating breakfast will cause you to “drag all day — and even put on the pounds.” Here are some of the proper choices that the authors suggest a good little breakfast eater put on his or her plate:

  • Eggs and Whole Wheat Toast — “Eggs are a great source of protein, and having them for breakfast sets you up for a perfect day of eating.” The authors go on to say that Saint Louis University researchers found that people who eat eggs for breakfast consume 264 fewer calories the rest of the day than those who eat bagels and cream cheese. Whoa! Who woulda thought that a little egg could make such a big difference?!
  • Cottage Cheese with Berries — I don’t know about you, but I cannot stand cottage cheese; I have just never been able to tolerate the texture. But, apparently, this fruit and cheese curd combo will produce “slow and steady levels of blood sugar, not a sudden spike,” like your Eggos may. Another protein and fiber-rich pairing includes two scrambled eggs stuffed into a whole wheat pita.

Did you know? Waiting more than 90 minutes after waking to eat breakfast may increase your chances of obesity by nearly 50 percent?!! Yikes!!

  • Post Original Shredded Wheat – The book suggests that all breakfast cereals should have 5 grams of fiber and less than 5 grams of sugar per serving in order to be deemed a good breakfast option. “The fiber will help keep your belly full and your blood sugar levels stable.” The authors suggest that if shredded wheat is too boring for you, adding mix-ins, such as strawberries or raisins will give ho-hum cereal an extra punch.

Unfortunately, the book delivers the fateful news that one of the worst (but oh-so-tasty!) menu options for the morning is a bagel and cream cheese. “At 500 calories and 20 grams of fat, this classic is one of the worst ways to start your day.” The combo has been shown to cause a dip in energy and a spike in hunger before lunchtime should even be a thought in our brains. In addition to bagels, croissants, doughnuts, danish and pancakes all fit the bill as “Not That” foods. Kind of a bummer, but good to know … I guess. ):

So, I am still feeling very yawnish, but now this post has made me hungry. What ever will I eat for breakfast? Hmmm….

By the way, if you have not yet taken yesterday’s survey about volunteering, please do it now! I am hoping we can all inspire each other to do more for our communities!!


Filed under Eat, February 2008

It’s Not the World’s Fault You Wanted to Be … You.

One of the greatest difficulties about doing what you love is doing just that — doing what you love.

Now, I know that sounds crazy, but let me explain.

My mother and I were talking today about some of my recent writing endeavors, and she asked, “So, how do you feel about that? Like, how do you feel about continually motivating yourself to do that work?”

This is such a great question because it is one that I often struggle to answer.

Here is an attempt:

I am motivated because it is what I love to do. I really do love, love, love it.

I am sometimes unmotivated because, like anything, it is tough for a job or relationship or anything to consistently feel fresh and exciting. What’s more, being a creative artist is, at times, completely draining to the brain. You think and you think and you create and you create and … you burnout.

But I am not complaining. Please don’t think this is a hear-Caroline-whine-about-her-life post.

It is not.

What I am trying express to you is that, — next to my family, significant other, friends, future children and maybe a good run — there is nothing except for writing that would be worth the sacrifice of sometimes feeling a little bit tired or void of motivation.

In Some Thoughts on Writing, Elizabeth Gilbert (the oh-so-talented writer of which this blog is inspired by) shares a story about her artist friend who begins to become uninspired, and even depressed, about his craft. She says:

“I have a friend who’s an Italian filmmaker of great artistic sensibility. After years of struggling to get his films made, he sent an anguished letter to his hero, the brilliant (and perhaps half-insane) German filmmaker Werner Herzog. My friend complained about how difficult it is these days to be an independent filmmaker, how hard it is to find government arts grants, how the audiences have all been ruined by Hollywood and how the world has lost its taste…etc, etc. Herzog wrote back a personal letter to my friend that essentially ran along these lines: “Quit your complaining. It’s not the world’s fault that you wanted to be an artist. It’s not the world’s job to enjoy the films you make, and it’s certainly not the world’s obligation to pay for your dreams. Nobody wants to hear it. Steal a camera if you have to, but stop whining and get back to work.” I repeat those words back to myself whenever I start to feel resentful, entitled, competitive or unappreciated with regard to my writing: “It’s not the world’s fault that you want to be an artist…now get back to work.” Always, at the end of the day, the important thing is only and always that: Get back to work. This is a path for the courageous and the faithful. You must find another reason to work, other than the desire for success or recognition. It must come from another place.”

I love those words: “It’s not the world’s fault you wanted to be an artist … now get back to work.”

How vital it is for anyone — not just the artist — to keep those words in mind?!

Nobody asked you to be the person you have become. Stop whining. If you can’t stop, do something else. You should not always feel the urge to complain, and the person you have chosen to be should never make you unhappy. If he or she does … FIND ANOTHER YOU.

And that’s it. That is how I answered my mother’s question — not in those exact words, but you know what I mean.

I don’t want to be another me. And when I feel — for even a glimmer of a second — like I might, I get back to work.

Because this is what I love to do.

It hasn’t always been that way, but it is now.

So, now, getting back to work, well, … I’m OK with that.

And that feels pretty darn good.


My kitten, Cooper, stretching with me this morning. He is perfectly happy with the kitten he has become. (:


Filed under January 2008, Pray

Eat, Sleep, Eat … or something.

caroline1.jpg Hello! My name is Caroline Shannon.

Once upon a time in a land far far away, I was a runner. I was a health enthusiast and a positive thinker. I was a writer, a vegetable eater, a confident woman . . .

I was pretty dang cool.

I am not sure where my will to roll out of bed when it was still dark or my need to feel my hands on a keyboard were lost, but I think I have a few ideas. Thus, here follows the chain of events that lead to me eating cheese in excess and only using my yoga mat as padding under a sleeping bag when my younger brothers sleep over:

1.) I stopped pursuing my passion, writing. I left my position as a news reporter and took a desk job that I thought would help me make a bit more money. I thought the extra cash would then make me feel more secure when pursuing a full time freelance writing position. It sounded practical, but it turned out awfully. Turns out my desk job is extremely boring — for me — and unmotivating.

Who woulda thunk it.

2.) My counting down the minutes (milliseconds, nanoseconds!) until I have squeezed in enough hours to make a buck has caused me to go home and . . . uh . . . sit on my ass. My excuse is that I need to do mindless things, like watch The Hills, to take away the edge left over from the work day. The real reason that I needed to engage in such “activities” is because doing something like exercising or writing would cause me to think too much. And that would be painful.

3.) Sitting apparently requires eating, and I am not talking tofu and brown rice here, people.

My favorite strawberry print pj’s + a few episodes of good ol’ MTV =french vanilla ice cream with a dash of chocolate gelato, raviolis with meat sauce and an entire bag of holiday (Any holiday! Christopher Columbus Day!) candy.

4.) I have stopped running which, next to writing, is a huge part of my life. This could be due to my drugging myself with sugar before I go to bed, ergo diminishing my want to get up in the morning and exercise; or it could be a result of the fact that I am saving whatever scraps of motivation I have left in my soul to use during the work day.

One may never know.

What I have figured out, however, is that my lifestyle has become unacceptable. My life is begging me to engage in a complete overhaul.

And I am gonna listen this time.

This is not some wacky New Year’s resolution that I am going to forget about the next time I am head-to-head with a pint of chocolate swirl ice cream and a package of Nutter Butter cookies.

I am committing myself to getting back to the Old Caroline and it starts right now. No more “I’ll start tomorrow” talk. I am so sick of me that I am ready to kick the crap out of myself. It’s that bad.

I know I sound all preachy and you are probably rolling your eyes a bit right now. I know this because I am rolling my eyes at myself right now.

But I mean, who can’t use a little overhaul (If you can’t, I don’t like you…kidding, kidding…)? I am hoping that you, too, will learn from my experiences. I plan on sharing it all right here.

My writing, exercise tips, healthy recipes, inspiration, running, black toenails from running…

…you get it.

This is not a blog about how to lose weight or how to get a job or how to find God. This is about total life renewal — to be specific, MY total life renewal. So, live vicariously, and lean on me, and learn from me, and love me, and tell me to get my ass off of the couch!

I am excited to have each one of you on my side as I move forward. And, hopefully, each one of you who are in my shoes – -like, you can smell the stench of my kicks, that’s how much you understand what I am saying — will be challenging yourself to get your act together as well. Or even if you are the slightest, littlest, tiniest bit in need of a change, I hope you, too, will learn from my journey.

I am ready to rock. Are you?


Filed under Introduction, January 2008