Today is Foodie Pen Pal reveal day! Reveals normally happen on the last day of the month, but this month they’re a little late so we could all post on a Monday.
In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about, straight from Lindsay who started the program:
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.
If you’re interested in participating for October, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.
You must submit your information by October 4th as pairings will be emailed on October 5th!
Okay, now that’s out of the way and you know exactly what this is about. I have been trying to decide for a while whether to keep doing Foodie Pen Pals. I love putting together a box for my match and trying to figure out what they’ll like the most and I love getting new things to try in the mail, but the extra expense is sometimes hard as a grad student. It’s great that the spending limit is $15, but sometimes I end up getting my match some pretty heavy things (yeah, that’s my fault) and shipping can get pricey. Still, despite my hesitations about the cost and being unsure of whether the food I received would be conducive to weight loss or maintenance I decided to do it again this month and I’m so excited that I did! My match this month was Aundreia and she sent me an awesome bundle that fits in with my healthy living goals.
I don’t know what I was most excited for, the four varieties of almond butter, three varieties of tea, the dried cranberries, or the Kind bar! I opened my box after getting home from a workout so the Kind bar was the first thing I ate. I love this brand so much and the Almond and Coconut flavor was perfect.
The three flavors of Justin’s almond butter were Classic, Maple, and Honey. The maple fits right in with fall in New England and so do the dried cranberries, so I hope to use them in a recipe soon. That is, if I have any of the cranberries left, I’ve been snacking on them like crazy and even added them to a protein mush this morning. I used the classic almond butter with sliced apples and I’m also excited for the unsalted package of almond butter for similar dipping and mix-in purposes.
The tea is another awesome addition. I have always been a tea lover, but sometimes get so caught up in the need for caffeine (again, I blame grad school) that I forget to take the time and enjoy it. Ever since I got this box I have been consciously trying to drink more tea and it has been great! The big box of green tea has 20 tea bags and Aundreia also sent six teabags in two other varieties. The individually wrapped bags were both chai spiced, one black tea and one green tea, and they’re both amazing! So far I haven’t opened the box of 20 bags, but I can’t wait. Things have been a little chilly around here lately, so a nice warm cup of tea and some fuzzy socks were perfect the past few nights.
Thank you so much, Aundreia! You did an awesome job putting my box together and I can’t thank you enough, plus you’ve helped me on the path of my goal of drinking more tea and less coffee. Woohoo!
Speaking of goals, I’ve been setting some big ones for myself lately and I’m not entirely sure which I want to tackle first. Obviously there’s the vegetarian one I’ve already told you all about. That has been going incredibly well and I’m super proud of myself. It is going to be a challenge when I have some special guests coming into town later in the week, but I know I can stick with it.
I’ve also mentioned that I’ve been struggling a bit with some weight gain. Nothing major when compared to all I have accomplished, but enough to hit me with a reality check. I want to make sure I get it under control before I actually do have a serious problem on my hands. In order to do that, I’m going to start keeping a closer eye on my calories again. This is something that I haven’t been doing a lot lately because I was just trying to eat intuitively. It was working quite well until I got incredibly stressed with school and my internship and then the contractors took a week to get our bathroom in working order. I don’t want to count calories for the rest of my life, but I need to get my body back to the place where I feel full after a reasonable amount of food and don’t crave a ton of sugar and salty, crunchy snacks.
That said, my goal for the month of October is to lose around five pounds. I can’t even believe I’m saying that out loud. Compared to the weight I lost before five seems like nothing, but it’s a big deal to me. Weight is much harder for me to lose now and I think this is going to take some focus. It should come off fairly easily because I think at least a little of it is water weight, but I also don’t want to set myself up for failure.
Obviously I don’t want to just focus on the number either. I have been able to tell a difference in how I feel and the way my clothes fit (the bad kind of difference, not the good kind) and I want to get back to where I was. My goal is to be confident in whatever Halloween costume I choose for this year and to feel super sexy in the Super Hero 5K I’m doing at the end of the month. I registered for the race at Boston Comic Con this year (what, you missed that I’m a total nerd?) and chose “Lady Legs” as my name. I have no idea why I chose that, but now I want to make damn sure my legs are looking good. As for Halloween costumes, I’m thinking of something like this gem from Fit Bottomed Girls:
There’s nothing like an 80s Aerobics Instructor costume! What do you all think? I’ll definitely need to be more comfortable with my body if I’m going to walk around in spandex! I think I’m going to do it, that is unless one of you has an awesome idea for me that I just can’t pass up.
Have you started thinking about Halloween yet? I’d love to hear your costume ideas.