My Journey

A Video Blog Telling my Story

Hello everyone! For those of you that have been following for awhile, or for those of you who are new to Freckled Foodie, I hope you all enjoy my video blog: My Journey! I have received a lot of DMs lately asking what I studied in college, what I specifically did in the corporate world, how I decided to transition into this world, and what it is like to work for myself. While I could talk about this for hours (seriously, somebody give me a mic), I tried to keep it as concise as possible… while still coming in at almost an hour. Whoops! This video obviously does not contain everything, but it focuses on a lot of topics that people have asked me about. I hope this story and advice resonates with you and gives you more insight into my journey of how I’ve gotten to where I am, but remember, I cannot make your life decisions for you. Common questions I receive such as “how do I know when it is time to leave my job” or “how much should I save before quitting” are unfortunately not ones I can answer for you. All I can do is provide you with my story and hope that it in some way helps shine light on your own. I hope you enjoy!

F The Wedding Diet

And all my other thoughts on the wedding process

“So, what are you doing for your wedding diet? And when are you starting?” If only I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked this question, I could pay for the wedding itself. Okay, that’s wishful thinking, but you get the point. People and their need to comment on this topic have honestly blown my mind. Let’s lay down the framework of why I find this question, that I’m sure most people are asking without thinking first and in a non-malicious way, so offensive. I am doing this for two main reasons: to support all the other brides to be out there that are sick and tired of being asked this question and to encourage anyone reading this who has asked this question to stop from doing it again in the future. The main four reasons I despise this question:

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My Thoughts on, and Relationship with, Booze

The overlooked and in between view

In a world (if Instagram wellness scene can be considered a world?) where we are doing almost the opposite of “sober shaming”, I want to discuss a topic with an opinion that often goes unmentioned: booze… and the fact that I enjoy drinking. Let me start by saying that this piece is by no means supposed to persuade people to drink, whatsoever. However, it seems as if we have reached a place where we are finally comfortable with people making the decision to be sober (what the hell took us so long?), whether for a night, month, year, life, whatever it may be, and the wellness scene is so focused on that idea that those of us who decide to drink feel “less healthy” by doing so. Ohhhh the shame game and how the tables have turned. SO SILLY! The moral of this entire piece is to, please, for heaven’s sake, do what you want to do and don’t feel pressure by the crowd. And, most importantly, quit judging or shaming people for opposing behavior than what you believe in!

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The One Task to Improve Your Health

And my 5 tips on how to do it

As someone who now considers herself a part of this “health and wellness movement” for full time work, I am extremely appreciative and grateful of the effort everyone is making to better themselves. It makes my heart happy that we are all finally paying attention to the ingredients that go into our body and the fact that many aspects of our lives can play a role in our health: food, relationships, physical activity, career, and so much more. That being said, it can be extremely overwhelming. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that an overabundance of options actually causes more stress. I notice this in certain aspects of my life, such as picking an outfit to wear or choosing between the thousand fitness studios NYC now fortunately offers, and I’ve chalked it up to potentially being the sheer aspect of FOMO that I continuously find myself struggling with (when will I ever get over this!?). However, I’m starting to notice it in one particular part of my life that I never thought it would affect: my health.

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What “Balance” Means to Me

In collaboration with Sweats & Balances

This post is in response to @sweatsandbalances’s question of what the term “balance” means to me. Check out the piece on their site also!

In today’s world, where the health & wellness movement has taken the forefront of attention, it is nearly impossible to read an article or listen to a podcast without hearing the trigger-word “balance”. It is sometimes being used as a filler to umbrella describe feelings, emotions, or situations that one struggles to fully explain. Some may use the term balance to describe having a kale smoothie for breakfast and a cheeseburger for lunch, or to kick ass in Soul Cycle class one day and then veg out on the couch the next. The term has almost become a noun we use to justify our actions; “hey, it’s all about balance, right?”

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Why I Quit my Job on Wall Street to Place a Bet on Myself

Hands down, the most memorable and remarkable college course I took was “Women in the US Criminal Justice System” my senior year. The class took place in the recreational center of the local prison in our college town. Yes, you read that correctly; the course met once a week for 3 hours in the women’s minimum-security section of the correctional facility. No, we were not teaching the inmates, we were all, in fact, students. When we entered the so-called “classroom”, we were all equals; the college students referred to as “outside students” and the women living in the jail referred to as “inside students”, never once using the word “inmate” or “prisoner”. (I know you’re probably wondering right now why the heck I am telling you about this class in a blog post promised to discuss quitting my job on Wall Street to pursue my passion in the kitchen, but stick with me here.) At the end of the semester we were required to write a paper reflecting on what we learned from this experience. As incredibly moving this course was for me, and as much as I learned about the criminal justice system, I walked away from our last session with the realization that the inside and outside students all shared one thing: the fear of the unknown.

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What I Learned from a Month of Healing

This is a pic from after this morning’s run. It was, for me, a slow-paced 2.5 miles. A run I typically would’ve considered a “waste of time”. But not this time! This photo and run exemplify so much more than the time or distance will ever show; it is my first time feeling like myself and finally being able to run in over 30 days. One month ago, I was hit by a car while crossing the street. It still sounds crazy to say out loud (or type) – how the hell does that happen!? For those of you thinking to yourself, “by crossing the street while fixated on your phone without realizing a car is coming”, I hear you. However, I was not on my phone. In fact, I had the walk sign and I still looked both ways before crossing the street. Turns out, unfortunately, you can’t control everyone else around you. After spending many more hours than I would’ve liked in emergency rooms over the two days following the accident, I was fortunately released with a healthy physical body but a bit of a bruised-up brain; diagnosed with a concussion. As someone who unfortunately has had her fair share of concussions (this whole failed attempt at a back h andspring on cement floor in 6th grade really seems to keep biting me in the ass), I thought I knew what was ahead of me. A bit of light sensitivity and nausea and a few days of headaches. I thought to myself, “okay, so you have to stay inside the rest of the weekend and just relax, you can do that.” Boy was I in for a surprise.

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My Morning Routine

Why and how I wake up before 5AM

My days begin at 4:40 AM. I know, you think I am crazy. And don’t start figuring out the  difference between the time when you and I get out of bed in the mornings because, let me reassure you, we probably do not go to bed at the same time; I am a proudly declared grandma. Plus, no two people are the same. Let it be said that I sincerely love the mornings. I love watching the sunrise. I love having time to decompress before rushing out the door. Most importantly, I love having the time to myself before the rest of the city wakes up. So, why does my alarm go off at such an ungodly hour? Because my day starts long before I get to my desk. During my first year at my full-time job I came to notice two things: I was incredibly tired and un-energetic in the mornings, and I was continuously missing workouts when my after-work plans suddenly changed. Between work happy hours, client dinners, meeting up with friends, and just having downright no interest in going to the gym after a 10+ hour work day, I found myself not exercising as much as I would have liked to. Personally, I am someone who views working out as a form of therapy. Playing sports all my life, my body craves the movement and the act of sweating. To be quite frank, without it I turn into a bit of a crazy lady. So, here I found myself, a year of full-time work under my belt, a slew of missed and neglected workouts, the beginnings of some pent-up stress and anxiety, and a new (and very unwelcome) digestive issue. Continue reading “My Morning Routine”

My Thoughts on Doing Whole30 the Second Time Around

How Whole30 was so Different the Second Time

About exactly one year ago I embarked on my first Whole30 challenge; overwhelmed, intimidated, curious, and weirdly excited. What initially began as a way to hopefully get some answers to some gastrointestinal issues, turned into a much more insightful experience. I learned a lot about myself and my eating habits, specifically that I had a full-blown granola addiction and that I was consuming more sugar than I liked to admit. As outlined in the piece I wrote for Mindbodygreen, I learned that meal prep is an absolute must, you may not need alcohol as much as you think you do, you must listen to your body, and some other important lessons. Fast forward to a year later and I was ready to tackle the Whole30 challenge for the second time around, expecting it to be not too different than the first run. However, now after completing this second go, I am surprised to look back and assess how different these two sets of thirty days were for me.  What was so drastically different? Continue reading “My Thoughts on Doing Whole30 the Second Time Around”

Dining Out on Whole30

A list of Whole 30 approved dishes around NYC

For all of those reading this partaking in Whole30 – way to go! Whether you are on your first day or last, congratulations. It is an accomplishment just to commit to beginning this venture! As I discussed in length over on Mindbodygreen, the number one mistake people make on Whole30 is not being prepared. It can be an incredibly overwhelming and daunting experience and always being prepared is essential to successfully finishing the thirty days. This concept of preparation includes meal prepping and batch cooking, always having snacks on hand, and calling restaurants beforehand to discuss menu ingredients and ordering options. To focus on the latter, I have created a list of restaurants where I have been able to enjoy Whole30 approved meals. This by no means that these are the only restaurants in NYC where you can do this, or that every item on their menu is approved, but hopefully it can be a resource for anyone on Whole30 who is looking to dine out. Let’s face it, cooking all your meals for thirty straight days is basically impossible and every once and awhile it’s nice to put on pants and eat dinner somewhere other than your couch. I will be continuously adding to this list, but for now here are some of my finds.

If you have any restaurants you are looking to try while on Whole30 but unsure what youd be able to order, please send me a DM on Instagram or leave a comment on this post and I will report back with approved dishes!

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