Health & Wellness: Let's Try Meal Deliveries - Part I

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Hi guys! So, one of the big things I wanted to try this year was a meal delivery service because, as mentioned in a previous blog post, I don't want to worry about cooking and I need to break the habit of ordering take out! So this week I have the chance to try Model Meals! It's a fresh, already prepared meal delivery service, where the meals are based on the Whole 30 plan, which really appealed to me. 

Full disclosure, after mentioning on my IG story that I was considering trying Model Meals, they reached out and offered me $150 worth of meals to try.  So, I placed an order on a Friday and placed my order to have half my meals be delivered Sunday and the other half on Wednesday.  I'm going to add my reviews of the meals as I go this week, but if you're already thinking about trying them, use my link for $25 off your first order! -->  https://www.talkable.com/x/hnrn9s  <-- 

Meal Reviews!

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Monday 3/5/18 - I tried the Buffalo Chicken Salad & Dill Slaw

Verdict:  Decent!

I liked the flavor of the chicken.  The slaw doesn't taste great just on its own because its not really dressed, so I ended up mixing everything together which probably is the way it was intended to be eaten. I'd call this a pretty light lunch. If you wanted to amp it up, you could easily make it into a sandwich or wrap. 

 

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Tuesday 3/6/18 - I tried the Pork Carnitas Fajita Bowl

Verdict: THIS WAS SO GOOD!!!

I was really surprised by the amount of flavor!  The pork was good and the veggie were flavorful.  It didn't come with  microwave instructions, which at first I was pissed about because I wanted it to be as quick as possible.  But it was super easy - I heated up a saute pan, sprayed it with a good amount of coconut oil, and cooked the meal for about 5 minutes and it was perfect. 

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3/6/18 - I also tried one of the RXBARS

So on they offer a few thing in addition to regular meals, and one option is this brand of protein bars called RXBARS.  I'm not a big fan of protein bars, but I gave it a go and unfortunately, I'm still not a fan. I didn't get chocolate chip flavor, or really any flavor of anything. So, I left this one after a few bites. 

TO BE CONTINUED...

2018 Priority #1: My Health!

This past December, I spent more time than I ever have thinking through my priorities for 2018, manifesting my 5 year vision, and brainstorming business generating ideas. I'm still not done- you should see the amount of flip chart paper all over my bedroom.  But the first thing to pop on my list of priorities was my health. 

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After years of fluctuating in weight - losing 75, gaining 60, repeat -  I've decided that anything extreme, or where I feel restricted, is not the route for  me.  I have prided myself of being really good at weight loss competitions because when I get serious I've always been able to drop weight quickly.  We used to do a "Biggest Winner" competition at my corporate job (yes, the PC version of Biggest Loser) and my team was always in top or winning.  I also did Optifast in 2015. If you've done it let me know! It is NOT easy, but I managed to stay on it for maybe 6 months and I lost a good 80 pounds.  Gained it back of course. I always do the "hey I did a great job, let's celebrate with a day/weekend/week/month of eating whatever I want."  Makes perfect sense.......

Photo above is me with about a 90-100 lb difference.

So my approach now, is to find ways to eat in a balanced and SUSTAINABLE way that doesn't require any additional attention like counting macros or weighing my food.  I don't want to be suffering through dressing-free salads and cold baby carrots every day of my life - I love food way too much.  I'm also busy and have a lot going on and don't want to let an obstacle like finding time to COOK AND CLEAN get in my way.

With that my first vow/priority is to cut back on eating out/ordering in.  No ordering in when I'm by myself, and only eating out socially 2-3 times a week.  I don't know if you understand but this is HUGE for me.  My life the past X months was a sad abyss of hoping the same delivery person doesn't work for more than one of the food apps I have.  

My second vow was to experiment with a meal delivery service.  What could be easier than having ready-to-heat meals - that aren't covered in a layer of ice - at the ready.  This is something I'd thought about for a while and when I realized the savings versus eating out, I was sold. More on my delivery service venture in a future post :) 

My third vow was to get myself to the gym at least 3 times a week.  Ideally 5-6, but I just need sustainable progress here.  Nothing too overwhelming.

And lastly, I want to start hiking again! Not real hiking, just LA hiking.  Once a month, inviting friends and acquaintances from various circles to meet up at a local spot - accomplishing a workout and some networking all at once.  Seems easy enough....

My actual GOAL?  Yes, to lose weight and get stronger - not because I don't like my body or because I can't book work at my size - but because I've been feeling like TOTAL crap for months and with as much as I want to accomplish this year, I want to be ready for any and everything. No more losing 75 pounds or hoping to fit in a size 14 by X date.  I just want to feel healthy and be confident.

There you have it - my health stream of consciousness lol. Best of luck to anyone that reads this with your own journey this year.  Let me know if you're doing any of the same things or anything vastly different.  Always curious :) 

#stayready2018

What, a calendar giveaway?! #monthofthanks

Hi there!

So, if you follow me on Instagram you might possibly be aware that I have been doing a #monthofthanks for all of December, with various giveaways and shout-outs to say thank you to all of you that have shown me support.   I can't tell you how much I've been positively impacted over the past year and half by starting this modeling career and having more support than I could have ever imagined - especially since the very thing that held me back from starting was the fear that people I knew or didn't know would judge me for even thinking I had what it takes to be a model.

Well, I have one last opportunity to do a giveaway this month so here are the full details to enter! 

WHAT CAN YOU WIN:

  • A $100 Fashion to Figure gift card, OR
  • The first ever Erica Lauren 2018 Calendar! (words I never thought I'd say/write haha )  I'm running only a few copies exclusively for this giveaway and they will not be available for sale anywhere!!!  The photos included in the calendar include the ones from my Best Nine of 2017 post, as well as a few never posted images from 2017.  The calendar can also be signed if desired.  
  • The winners (there will be at least 2 chosen) will have a CHOICE of which prize they want!

3 STEPS TO ENTER:

Step 1:  Visit this link http://thebwordmerch.bigcartel.com/product/beinyourskin-plus-size-editorial-wall-calendar-standard

Step 2: Order the #BEinyourskin 2018 plus size editorial wall calendar, produced by @the_B_word_ Brianna McDonnell.  This is a very cool body positive project that I was excited to be a part of - I am featured in the month of August in the Baywatch-inspired photoshoot.

  • Purchasing the standard version is only $10 and will get you one entry into the giveaway.
  • Purchasing the exclusive version is $25 and will get you double entry into the giveaway.

Step 3:  Be sure to use code ERICA at checkout!   This is the only way your entry can be tracked specifically for my giveaway.

EVERY order of the #BEinyourskin calendar using code ERICA will include:

  • 1 #BEinyourskin calendar, AND
  • 1 signed 8"x10" photo of me :) 

Alright, time is running out so enter TODAY! (Seriously though, tomorrow is 2018 (eek!) and you have to enter by January 4 so that the winner can be chosen and calendars distributed ASAP!  

Thank you so much for all the support this year <3 

 

Issa Blog!

As I've read - you can never be a successful blogger without actually starting a blog. 

You for sure don't want to be 40 (or 50, or 80) and remembering how you used to talk to your sister about creating a blog together, but never did...never with her, never on your own...just never.

Do I know EXACTLY what to write a blog about though???  NOPE! But I know I have a varied background, varied interests, and often particularily strong opinions about food, poor customer service, and eyebrows, to name a few. Soooo with that, I'm here to share myself and my experiences (and of course those very important opinions!).  Then, in an ideal world, this experience of sharing will lead to a magical light bulb moment where I wake up in the middle of the night with THE perfect niche idea to focus on, and it will take me down a lucrative path to live my best life. (If you're wondering, my best life involves an unlimited travel budget where I finally get to stay in the fancy bungalows I only see on reality shows and Instagram.  And also involves a maid and personal chef.  And personal trainer.  And one of those electronic cat litter boxes that cleans itself. #seriousgoals

I don't claim to be an expert in anything.  Right now.  Thing is, it's not that I'm not an expert....it's the claiming it that doesn't come easy.  Finding your voice is the challenge I'm here to sort out for myself. Follow me or not, I'm excited to see where it takes us!  Welcome to the blog.

Erica Lauren M., expert in TBA. 

@theericalauren