By Popular Demand: How to have it all.

It’s strange actually. Whenever I tell someone about my plans for 2011, the writing, the photography, the restaurant reviews, the immediate responses is, “well, I mean, how are you going to stay in shape?”. Or, popular response number two, “how are you going to afford it?”. And in 3rd place, “oh my god, can I come with you?”.

There is no part of me that doesn’t want to yell at the top of my lungs every day that I am one of the luckiest girls in the world. If you know me, you know that I profess it frequently. Technically, in that respect, every day I do feel like I have it all……. But it’s hard work.

Trust me when I tell you. The prospect of eating out at least once per week, while also throwing together as many meals and desserts as possible while I am at home scares the living day lights out of me and my waistline. I’ve never lived my life like that. Unfortunately, I spend at least 35 weeks out of the year on a rather strict diet. That’s the deal every year, since I was like 14. It is not easy to love food as much as I do. But I have found ways to enjoy the best that the culinary world has to offer while not having to beat myself up every morning over the way my pants fit. Obviously there are plenty of mornings when I hate the way I feel, but that’s only natural. Achieving perfection is impossible.

That being said, I truly believe that you can do it all and have it all as long as you are committed to taking care of yourself in the meantime.

There are enough hours in the day to do it. You just can’t have excuses.

Now, to answer question number one … How am I going to stay in shape through it all? I think I have tried almost every fad diet that has come out in the last 6 years. Yet, the only thing that is proven to work 100% of the time is the diet called, “Everything in Moderation”. It is a diet you don’t have to join a program for, buy a book for, and get special meals delivered to your front door to follow. It is not difficult for me to be overly excited about the prospect of having some of the greatest culinary minds in Philadelphia cook me dinner at least once or twice per week. It is INCREDIBLE actually. Giving myself this opportunity to enjoy that only means that on the days without dinner reservations, all things must be eaten in moderation. Carbs, being one of the biggest troublemakers, need to be kept in their place along with their partner in crime, white sugar. Does that mean my palette is limited? A little bit. However, I am going to enjoy as many proteins, vegetables, and super foods as possible when I am not on a mission to take over the foodie world. And when I put on my invisible cloak and roam the streets and suburbs of Philadelphia, all of those rules go right out of the window.

There will be posts here and there that will highlight my different meal choices and exercise decisions when it comes down to me leading this balanced lifestyle. It is just helpful advice regardless of whether or not you want choose to live a lifestyle like mine. It is my hope that these tidbits will inspire some of you to stick to your goals and get yourself in the mindset to wake up every morning and feel like you have it all….  I also have to send a big shout out to my personal trainer, Big Al, and his extremely successful training business Priority Fitness. The man is a miracle worker and even when I fall off the wagon for a few steps, he puts me right back on it.

To answer question number two… How am I going to afford it? I already work very hard, but I am going to work even harder. I have become obsessed with GtoG…. how can I not fall in love with talking all about what I love? When it comes down to it, there is obviously going to be a budget to stick to, but I will feel it out as the project moves along. It is so much more rewarding buying an amazing dinner at an amazing restaurant than buying myself another pair of air maxes or expensive stilletos (even though being able to do both would be lovely). Priorities, but no excuses.

To answer question number three… Can they come with me? I haven’t yet decided whether or not I actually enjoy the idea of dining alone for this project or whether I will bring along my friends and family. I really do love the feeling of spending a night just me, my fork and I.

That’s all to be determined I guess…

I am already anticipating the amazing feeling that the 6 month mark is going to bring with it knowing that in the meantime I am going to be living, breathing, eating, and learning food every single day.

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