may favs + june goals

may favs + june goals

may reflections

the end of April and beginning of May was a time of high stress. I was graduating, trying to move all my stuff into a new apartment, trying to find a job, balancing my current job, trying to pass finals, pushing through my last long marathon training runs… the result was less sleep, and less quality sleep. I was constantly exhausted — physically, emotionally, and mentally.

I’ve always been the type of person to go hard. to push push push and just hold on until I can let it all go and relax. I figured that once I graduated, moved, and returned home for a week that I could take that time to take it easy. well, that happened — kind of.

I held on until I got home, sure, but as soon as my plane touched down in LAX, I realized something was wrong. I had barely eaten all day, but my stomach was queasy and I was extremely nauseous. and sure enough, I spent the afternoon on the toilet and was in bed fast asleep by 6pm, exhausted from travel, being sick with food poisoning, and well, life.

the next couple of days involved me not eating much — not able to keep much down, which is unfortunate — and when I did eat, it was simple carbs like white rice, applesauce, sweet potatoes, and bananas. bland, boring, blah.  whenever I tried eating something else, I would regret it hours (or sometimes minutes) later.

I did get a lot of sleep though — 10-12 hours every night, with 1 hour naps every day. it was like my body knew I needed to rest, to catch up on all the sleep I had forgone over the course of the past couple of weeks.

and I moved as little as possible. for someone who is regularly very active, it was refreshing (and strange) to lie in bed for hours. I watched more TV during that week than I had during my entire last year of college. my body needed this time to recover — I hadn’t moved that little for that long in my entire last year of college.

I thought I didn’t exercise for a week, but in reality, it was 3 days. that’s what happens when you exercise (or overexercise) perpetually, I guess.

but after almost passing out during hot yoga and puking in my throat during boxing while recovering, I decided I needed to take it much easier.

I realized, though, that it was the first time in a long, long time (we’re talking over 6 months) that my legs or hips hadn’t been sore.

I came back to Boston and I noticed a huge difference in my skin. my dark circles were gone, my skin was smoother, and I looked overall “more radiant,” as my friend Heather said. it’s miraculous (and funny, really) how much sleep can do for you.

and the rest part? I thought my workouts would be harder. instead, they were easier. I came back with more drive and was more rested, and thus was able to have more energy instead of being constantly sore.

I don’t start work until July, so I’m taking this next month to slow down and work on:

  1. personal projects
  2. part time work at TITLE

this means that I have a lot more free time, so I’m taking advantage of that, the longer days, and the beautiful weather to walk everywhere. while I walk, I’ve been listening to podcasts more. I find that they’re one of the best ways to learn something.

what I learned this month:

  • you won't get out of shape after not exercising for a few days
  • rest is important. you can't just wait until you break down to rest
  • how to be ok with relaxing and slowing down

what I wish I would've differently in May

  • sleep more: other than when I was at home with food poisoning, I was to stressed to sleep before going home and after coming back to Boston and moving in, it was hard settling in and my room was far too bright to let me sleep in past, well, 5 AM.
  • eat less processed foods and sugar: I was sent a lot of goodies from companies that I love, but that also meant that I definitely ate all of those goodies. I typically don't buy or eat a lot of processed foods, even if they're Paleo foods that are made with real ingredients. one big thing that I'm trying to cut down on in June is sugar.

what I'm proud of this month:

  • moving into my new apartment
  • writing more blog posts
  • meeting up with fellow Boston Instagrammers
  • making huge progress on a personal project
  • trying new combinations in my boxing classes

may favorites

podcasts I’ve been loving:

other things I've been loving this month:

products I’ve been loving:

BarelyBread paleo, grain free bagels

BarelyBread was kind enough to send me some bagels and baguettes; honestly, I've been eating them on repeat since moving in as carbs for my pre-marathon fuel. I haven't had a bagel in the longest time since I haven't found any gluten free / grain free ones, and this was probably the best discovery of the month.

Siete Foods grain free tortillas

Siete Foods has long been a love of mine. not only are they the nicest people ever, but their cassava + coconut flour tortillas are hands down the best tortillas I've had in my life. even before going paleo, I wasn't a fan of flour tortillas and merely tolerated corn tortillas, but these tortillas are something else. super strong — I swear they can hold any amount of toppings I pile on — and delightfully chewy, they make the perfect vehicle to many topping you desire.

OceanBox "dock to door" fish delivery service

you guys know I love my seafood, especially my salmon. with Oceanbox, you get fresh fish delivered to your door, and a lot of the selection of fish are ones that  you can't find at the supermarket. they're also much fresher than anything you'd get at your basic supermarket. for the recipe in the pic above, check out my blog post here: black sea bass taco with mango guacamole

RX Bars

T R A V E L E S S E N T I A L S✈️ finally headed back to CA! I weirdly love planes & love traveling, & especially love packing snacks / other essentials. I'd 100% love to hear Y O U R travel essentials 👇🏼 *** I N M Y B A G : • @livingintentions Thai chili sprouted trail mix ( I get the from the bulk bins at @wholefoodsboston in the South End & it's my hands down F A V - sprouted nuts are easier on the stomach than normal nuts & ya know always about that 🌶 ) • coconut chocolate @rxbar ( accidentally twinning with @eating_peanut_better 's snack yesterday 👯 ) • coffee hatch chili @tankabar ( on sale 2/$5 at @wholefoodsboston - my 1st time trying this flavor but it sounds L I T ) • organic Bartlett pear ( also on sale ) • banana from @starbucks • refresh oil from @zoeorganics ( H U G E thanks to @themindfulgarden for surprising me with this from @shopfollain the other day! obsessed with this scent - I use it as a pick-me-up or layered over my @nestfragrances citrus rollerball from @sephora ) • packets of @careofvitamins ( also obsessed - they're personalized vitamins in travel-friendly packets. I just took the # of days I'd be at home & left the rest in Boston ; love that they're curated for Y O U // I did receive this product for free to test out ) • M I S S I N G : hand sanitizer that I forgot to pack 😂 *** happy Monday! good luck to those who have finals, happy 1st day to those who're starting summer classes, & to everyone - let's kick 🍑 no matter what you're doing #approachingpaleo

A post shared by N A N C Y CH E N (@approachingpaleo) on

these have been my lifesavers when I'm traveling or as pre-workout / post-workout fuel. they're made with completely real ingredients; the protein is from egg whites and the sweetness is from dates.

Chestnut Farms Greek-style lamb sausage (especially with plantains)

I don't usually eat a lot of red meat at home, but I saw this lamb sausage at the Chestnut Farms stall in the Boston Public Market and I was happily surprised to see that it contained no sugar and no additives. it quickly became my go-to quick source of protein — it's super flavorful and goes perfectly with tahini.

room darkening curtains

these make such a huge difference. I can't sleep with any light, so it allows me fall asleep right away and to sleep past 5 AM like a normal person, and has definitely improved my quality of sleep too.

aroma naturals vegan candle

candle before bed

june goals

I'm a huge goal person. I believe that they're important to self-awareness and to living a meaningful life.

here are my goals for June:

  • eat less sugar. both natural sugars from fruits and all added sugar in all forms (honey, agave, maple syrup, cane sugar, etc.)
  • stick to my budget
  • walk as much as possible rather than Uber/T
  • work on mitts at least 1x / week
  • sleep an average 8 hrs/night on 5/7 nights of the week
  • strength train at least 1x / week

what I'm excited for in June:

  • running my first marathon (done! by the time this post is published)
  • visiting Portland (also done by the time this post is published)
  • seeing my sister again (done as well)
  • going to BlogHer in Orlando
  • hanging out with old friends I haven't seen in awhile
7 ways to stay fit even when you’re injured

7 ways to stay fit even when you’re injured

what I learned from training for (& running) a marathon

what I learned from training for (& running) a marathon