Loving Where You Are

Happy Friday! When planning my weekends, I have started a new idea where every weekend I want to discover new places to shop, dine and explore! I have realized as college is flying by, I am only in one area for such little time, so I need to make every second of every moment by finding local treasures that make that place special. At this time in my life, God has placed me in Bowling Green, KY. When people ask me why I chose WKU, my honest answer is that it just felt right. My plan was to move far away to a huge school, but every time I went somewhere there was a feeling that this didn’t feel like home. The day I set foot on WKU’s campus, I felt such peace there. I was the only girl from my graduating class to attend there and instead of being scared, I was SO excited to meet new people. I love Bowling Green so much and have found my favorite go-to places for coffee, food, desserts and more!

IMG_5906People have been asking where I go to eat and what I eat when I decide to dine out. I used to tell myself that wherever I went I will always get a salad and if there is a dessert only eat half. That being said, I have had to realize that eating out can be a treat and you can find amazing, healthy options that aren’t just greens. I mentioned earlier that BG doesn’t have a Trader Joe’s; however, tucked away by a small children’s consignment shop is my new favorite place, the Nutrition Center. It is like a miniature Whole Foods with everything from fresh probiotics, vegan and dairy free desserts, foot detoxes and my absolute favorite wall of goodies that consists of natural dried fruits, raw nuts and super grains! They are the perfect quick, on the go snack that always costs me under $6!

When it comes to actual restaurants, I will usually get a salad but now I always order it with grilled chicken because every meal should have at least some form of protein! I have noticed that ever since I started eating more lean meats, my knees do not ache as much. I usually eat grilled chicken or salmon at restaurants, but if someone is grilling for a special occasion or there are only burgers offered I will eat a hamburger with no bun. I used to get made fun of a lot for not eating the bun, but I would rather just eat the meat and have a full side of sweet potato fries! I LOVE those and if there is bread before, have some!! Don’t be afraid to eat the bread on the table like me because you will look back and realize that eating one piece of bread won’t hurt you, especially if you have been walking up and down WKU’s hill! We aren’t called the Hilltoppers for nothing. Where do I find these yummy salads? One of my favorite restaurants in BG is Wheatless! Below you will see my usual. You know it’s sad when you walk in and they already have your order…anyway this salad consists of one full piece of bread, kale, eggs, asparagus, avocado, onions, feta, pecans, cherry tomatoes, and I always add the chicken. I eat it all every time and feel great!

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You can find healthy, filling and yummy options everywhere. Below are common places I go to with friends with a glimpse of wonderful options, even fast food cause I know college doesn’t always allow time for sit down meals-

  • Cheddar’s: Salmon with broccoli, corn, and a side caesar that comes with a croissant
  • Subway: 6′ flat bread with turkey, 1 slice provolone cheese or none at all, toasted with extra spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, oil, vinegar, with a side of apple slices.
  • Wendy’s and Chick-filea offer amazing summer salads with apples, strawberries, nuts, a small amount of cheese, and grilled chicken. I love to sprinkle granola on top for some extra crunch!
  • McDonald’s: They offer a quick and ready oatmeal I’ve picked up on road trips with raisins and brown sugar
  • Mexican restaurants: chips with salsa or guacamole for starters, 2 soft shell tacos with CORN tortillas with grilled chicken, veggies and a small amount of cheese. I never feel bloated or gross after eating Mexican because I try to stick with wholesome products in order to avoid all the processed rice, beans and flour tortillas.

12919695_10209336356992167_3810223508802887238_nDon’t be afraid to eat out. Last night, I was at an event doing some extra photography because I love doing that for a hobby! Afterwards, there was a seated dinner after that offered barbecue, baked beans, macaroni and so much more. Instantly I got nervous and looked around the room noticing my mind drifting to a judgmental place when I saw people eat the mac and cheese, barbecue and pie. I looked up to see everyone enjoying themselves, sharing stories and laughing. That is what going out with people should be like! I was missing moments because my thoughts were drifting to a self-conscious place. So I went through the line and filled my plate with a spinach salad, broccoli salad, green beans and the mac and cheese. I ate every bit. I used to love eating mac and cheese growing up. Why did I stop? I ended up having such an amazing time and continued my night by spontaneously meeting up with a friend for a late night coffee. I never say no to a coffee! Stay tuned for posts about my cozy coffee cup obsession! A night I would have worried about turned into such a fun and memorable evening. Where is your mindset when you go out?

September 18, 2015 I wrote in my little pink journal a devotional on confidence. I was struggling with finding my confidence in others and seeking compliments and reassurance from them. I wrote,

“My circumstances might change dramatically, but the Lord remains the same throughout time and eternity. That is the basis of my confidence.”

At the bottom of my notebook I wrote down Romans 15:13 that I want to leave you all with today. Go out this weekend with no worries, eat, socialize, have fun, and praise God for your health and beauty.

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will over flow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit”

 

 

 

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