Hungry Haley

it's more than food

work

Life Lately #2

Life, Health, ThoughtsHaley Hansen3 Comments

Life lately. Hmm… life lately. I’m looking back on the last couple of months (since my last life update post), trying to gather everything God’s been up to, but considering the amount of pure business I’ve piled on my plate, locating God’s hand hasn’t quite been as easy as usual. I’ll explain. I guess it allllllll ties together at the end, so just follow along. As always, excuse my all-over-the-place-ness.

UPS

1. I conquered organic chemistry! Can I get a HOLLAAA. Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely loved that class (deep, deeeeeeeeep down), but the stress of each weekly quiz, each midterm, etc. piled up a heavy weight on top of that love. Finally, all grades aside, I’m able to uncover and embrace that nerdy love :)

2. My brother got MARRIED! And thanks to not only his love for that beautiful woman, but also God’s gracious providence, my family and I found ourselves spending a week in London to celebrate. Sure, I missed a week of school and struggled to catch up, but everything London held for us made it allllllll worth it. We spent a day or two exploring Central London (Harrod’s Food Hall = earthly heaven) and the rest of the time preparing everything needed for the wedding. God showed up oh-so-beautifully on the day of the wedding, bringing us sunshine (a rare occasion in London winters), happy tears, warm hearts, and gratitude unable to be measured by even the world’s biggest tablespoon.

3. I’m actually loving my classes this quarter. Yup – you heard me. I LOVE my classes! Wait, I might be getting ahead of myself. Two of my three classes have captivated my interest more than any other class EVER: biochemistry and nutrition in aging. The third, the history of the trans-atlantic slave trade, is a bit less captivating (maybe all the inhumane torture and shameful, ignorant cruelty stands in the way of grabbing my interest). At the end of the day, studying isn’t really my main hobby, but when my classes pertain to my passions and said hobbies, studying becomes much more feasibly and even enjoyable. Let that be a word of advice to all you soon-to-be and current students – study subject(s) you’re passionate about!

4. In the near future, I see a BIG wide opening in my schedule, which I’ll explain because it’s like half-up, half-down in terms of its placement in this post. It’s an “up” because it’s been a necessity for months, but I haven’t been allowing God enough say in how I schedule my life. Wow – that whole sentence sounds terrible. God needs the ultimate say in my life’s schedule, not just a little piece of it. eye roll. Anyway, I’ll come back to this later.

DOWNS

1. I quit my job. I am no longer an employed, working woman. To connect what I was just talking about, I decided to stop working at the best donut company ever (*cough cough* SLO DO CO.) simply because I need to breathe. I need to allow God full control and trust Him in every aspect, especially my schooling and income. My constant working throughout the past three months provided me with an income bigger than my head (okay, my head isn’t big enough to justly fit into that comparison, but it is pretty big so I thought like idk why not), and while that was extremely beneficial in helping my parents support me, it was also a bit harmful. I’d finish working on a Saturday, absolutely e x h a u s t e d and convince myself that I could go out and “reward” myself for such hard work with a new pair of leggings, dinner at the Whole Foods salad bar (all my health-nut foodies know what I’m talking about), or something along those lines. So, yeah, my paycheck was pretty fat, but I slimmed it down rather quickly and needlessly. Now that I’ve decided to stop working (and in its place, focus on school + myself + my blog), I’ll be earning less money and asking God for the wisdom and control to spend what I do earn more wisely.

2. Along with this theme of emptying my way-too-full plate of unnecessary life items, I’ve had to let some potential relationships – well, actually it’s just one – turn down a road I previously hoped it wouldn’t. Why? I asked myself that question A LOT in the decision-making process, but with God constantly placing on my heart the possible outcomes of NOT taking the initiative (and, of course, my best friends just looking out for me), I couldn’t ignore the fact that my letting this nagging thing go is only for my good. Ultimately, it boiled down to self-respect. I love myself too much and I know how much I AM loved already to not let an unhealthy situation go. You know? So, I guess it’s got quite a bit of “UP-ness” wrapped up inside, too :)

3. While the trip to London for my brother’s wedding took obvious priority over my classes, I’m now playing the challenging catch-up game. You know, the one where you tell yourself you’ll definitely stay on top of studies during your vacation, and then that doesn’t happen, so you arrive back home and you’re like AHHHOMGEVERTYHINGSLOWDOWNPLEASE. Trying to cram for two midterms (something I’m proud to say I’ve never done, until this point) is like trying to catch Allyson Felix and Usain Bolt in the Olympic 100M dash. Lol not possible.

GOALS

Eeeeeep! This is the part I’m most excited to share :) can you tell? Now that I’ve cleared off my life-plate of commitments that contributed to it’s over-piling, I’ve set some goals for the next few months that I cannot wait to walk with God towards!

Note: this is in no particular order of importance.

1. More blogging – yaaaaaaaaaaay! This one was an automatic priority for me in terms goals, but I had to warm my parents up to the idea at first. Of course, I do need some sort of income, and that’s where this baby comes into play. At the moment, it won’t provide a stable income for me, but the more I work on it (and believe me, I want nothing more), the more credibility I’ll build and the more I’ll be able to earn in the future. What can you expect? More workouts (sustained energy thanks to DrinkRE energy shots), more recipes (featuring products like NuttZo nut + seed butter), more faith posts, and more nutrition advice. Get excited – I sure am :)

Oh, and  Eat Healthy Designs , of course! 

Oh, and Eat Healthy Designs, of course! 

2. More “Jesus-time”. If this list were in a particular order, this number would undoubtedly come first. By the end of last quarter (my busiest 11 weeks ever), I’d never felt more drained – physically and spiritually. Adding up 20-hour-workweeks + endless hours studying for organic chemistry + hours needed to let my body even slightly catch up to the workload I expected from it resulted in practically no time to just sit and breathe and think and p r a y. I felt so guilty for allowing such an accumulation, but God does not want my guilt, so I’ve snapped out of it and used His gracious forgiveness to tie a promise to my heart to put Him first from here on out. After all, how else am I going to fuel this quarter and all others (academic or not) yet to come?

2017-02-09 21.08.53-1.jpg

3. More relationships. My prioritization of working and studying last quarter left only a sliver of time for a social life. No, I’m not extrovert, but even us introverts still desire a bit of human interaction on a daily basis. For me, I wanted so desperately to hang out with my best girlfriends, but I couldn’t find the time. I can’t thank God enough for the courage to open up my schedule this quarter – I’ve already been able to soak up some quality time with my girls AND plan a few more girl-dates with lovely women I’m not super close with… yet :) I’m stoked to be able to devote more time to not only my bestest of friends, but also to whomever God is ready to plant in my life. I’ve applied for a position on Cal Poly’s Health Education team, in hopes of becoming a nutrition and/or mental health counselor. Prayers would be much appreciated :)

So, yeah. That’s the life of this busy-blogger lately. As always, thank you times a million for reading – your support allows my blog a place in this world! I would love to hear what’s new in your life! Leave a comment below or send me an email! 

Life Lately

Life, Thoughts, HealthHaley Hansen2 Comments

I will post this today I will post this today I will post this today. 

Breathe. Welcome to my life, everyone! Lately, life looks like my bedroom on my I-don't-know-what-to-wear days, or maybe a beat-up vacuum, running around on auto-pilot, trying to suck up as many crumbs (aka items on my to-do list) as possible as quickly as possible. 

Last night was the first night - no, the first time - in months I've sat down to really spend time with Jesus and only Jesus. Heck, I practically buckled myself to the couch just to keep from uncontrollably getting up to either finish homework or wash dishes or let myself fall asleep. Honestly, focusing on Him but also r e l a x i n g was HARD. My mind constantly swerved off track, but God graciously placed it back where it needed to be. 

Finals, work, and everything else filling up my schedule have kept me busy enough to keep me from finding time to post anything I've had in mind here, but like I did last night, I shoving all else aside for the moment because I want to and I need to and I should :) so, here's my life lately...

UPS

  1. I'm almost done with Fall quarter! And organic chemistry! Part of me hates it - the tricky questions, the demanding time-requirement, the hard-a$$ exams - and the other part finds such inexplicable satisfaction in drawing out mechanisms that turn acetals to imines and back. Call me weird, I get that all the time. 
  2. I just hit 19K followers! Well, I shouldn't even squeeze myself into that sentence. 19K followers here would not even exist without God - it's allllll Him :) but seriously, how in the world did all of this happen? My eating disorder? I guess that's kind of the root of this all, in the most beautiful way possible. Had I not suffered and survived, and held God's hand through it, I wouldn't have much to say here. At the end of each day, I'm more thankful than I ever thought I would be/could be for such a hellish few years fighting my own body. 
  3. I'm in one of the happiest, most peaceful states to date. With my body, that is. Two years ago, I deprived and overworked myself. One year ago, I idolized food and pitied myself. Now, God's restored my relationship with eating and blessed me with not only such confidence, but with real, sustainable HEALTH. My knees don't hurt (though I still don't run), my head isn't dizzy, my skin stays relatively clear, and my weight isn't dropping. I see myself in the mirror in a state I've never been in, and (for the moment, at least) I never want to leave. 
  4. I'm seeing the different paths and opportunities God lays before me. A BS in Nutrition can take me pretty much anywhere, but I've never really been able to pin down what I want to do after I graduate. Thankfully, God's been opening my eyes to a) passions unknown to even me, b) people who need help (help I can provide via my own life experiences and education), and c) various career paths down which I can travel. Though I still don't know what His plan is, I know He's definitely got one and I can't wait to follow His lead

DOWNS

  1. I'm feeling controlled by school. Yupp - like I'm a robot and my professors each hold their own controller. Frustrating? Like you wouldn't believe. Throughout the past year, I've repeatedly wondered what life would look if school didn't consume most of it, but I have to remind myself that I'm here for a degree, because I enjoy learning (underneath all the stress), and to expand knowledge. Ugh, but allllllll those hours to spend studying... snap out of it, Haley!
  2. I'm thirstier than ever for God. And while this may sound like more of an "UP", as it can only pull me closer to Him, it's here because I haven't been doing my part to lay everything at His feet in return for His refreshing spirit. With all I've piled on my plate - 15 units, 20 hours a week of work, and seemingly endless time studying with a drop or two of a social life scattered throughout - I frequently feel like I "can't find the time". A few days ago, I put my phone away during the times of day I'd usually be scrolling through IG or checking emails or responding to texts, and realized that, yes, I'm busy and time is not something I've got much of, but God doesn't ask for that. He just asks for my heart. I've promised Him that and just because 90% of the time I'm running to here and from there, finishing this assignment and studying for that exam, whatever it may be, I can ALWAYS spend time with God. It's not about finding/making the time, it's about acknowledging Him in every moment. 
  3. I'm ready, but God might not be. *sigh*. This one is not easy to admit, for some reason. It's probably my stubborn, I've-got-it-all-together-ness keeping me from opening up about it. BUT here it goes :) I'm ready for a relationship! And yes, like a romantic one involving a cute, Jesus-and-veggie-loving boy with whom I can snuggle on Friday nights when I'm too lazy to do anything else, with whom I can drool over and cook duhhh-licious vegan food with, and with whom I can just share things with (i.e. even deeper versions of this life update). One thing, though - I don't know if it's in God's plan. I've dated in the past couple of months, but nothing's worked out and I fear that this one or the next one (whenever those may occur) might not work, either. At the end of the day, I have two choices: 1) worry that I'll end up alone and sob as I spoon pints (yes, pints) of vegan ice cream into my mouth, OR 2) continue to pray over every relationship in my life and worship Him no matter my relationship status. Guess which I choose :) 

GOALS

  1. Barre, barre, and more barre. I'm obsessed, and if you watch any of my snapchat or instagram stories, you know that by now. Last week, I subscribed to Barre3 - a studio that allows me full access to any workout on the website for just under $25 a month. You'd better believe I'm already scrolling through workouts, planning when I'll challenge myself to this one or that one or, well, alllll of them. I can't wait to accumulate all the official gear and just absorb as much knowledge about the practice as possible! Get ready for some barre workouts making an appearance here :) 
  2. EMBRACE school. This one's gonna' be a tough one, but I'm challenging myself to it because, deep down beneath all the assignments and exams, I truly do enjoy what I'm learning in school. My chemistry professor explained to us alllllll about pesticides and nerve agents and such toxic chemicals used in WWII and I felt so nerdy in my fascination for it all. I sat on the edge of my seat the entire length of the class! My goal for next quarter is to find pieces of each of my classes that sparks such interest in me. Whether it be that I create scenarios in my mind to apply something to my life, or that I take fewer classes to allow myself more time/energy for each, I just want to feel excited about learning again. Oh, and I want my grades to reflect that...
  3. Post one recipe/nutrition tip/workout/update a week. One a week - I can do that. That's manageable. Believe me, if I could post here every single day, I'd be all over that. Buuuuuut school and homework and studying and work and those couple drops of a social life I mentioned earlier. As much as I wish I could just blog day and night, I do want to soak up as much as I can of all that this time in my life has while I have it. That being said, I think one post a week is a solid balance point.

Ahhhh, so that's life lately! Again, THANK YOU for your constant support and love. Thank you for reading and for spending time here :) As always, if you've got any questions, suggestions, or anything else, post them below or send them over to me in an email! 

THOUGHTS: Stress & Worries & Life

Thoughts, Life, HealthHaley HansenComment

I don't like to begin any blog post with a negative statement, but I don't know any other way to begin this story. 

I'm three weeks deep in my second year at Cal Poly and already chasing my load of homework/studying while desperately praying that God would attach just a few mores hours at the end of each day. Between classes, my internship, said homework/studying, blogging, and spending much-needed time with my friends, adjusting to the abrupt transition from summer relaxation to academic hustle and bustle has been exactly that. 

Oh, and I'm going vegan. Last week, I removed animal products from my diet in hopes of a) simply switching things up (I like change and variety and excitement... and food) and b) on a deeper level, truly testing out a fully plant-based lifestyle. Read more about all that here. After about three days, I'd pretty much made up my mind in favor of sticking with veganism long-term, but I reminded myself that three days is just not long enough for my body to adjust to a relatively new set of eating habits. I was thrilled and fueled by the absence of bloating, fatigue, and dietary restrictions, and couldn't wait for the week to be over so I could just make the switch then and there - no questions asked, no turning back. 

But school work started piling up and my To-Do list grew longer and longer. I was sacrificing sleep to make time for shortening that list, memorizing statistics terms, and reading chapters upon chapters for History and Journalism classes. Of course, anxiety and stress tagged right along and stole even more sleep. I noticed that I wasn't as hungry anymore, which was a foreign concept to me - Hungry is my name. What's going on? Is this a side-effect of veganism? I wondered. It can't be. Have you seen how much food vegans can polish off? My confusion probably created more stress. It's a vicious cycle, isn't it? 

Everything around me triggered sensitivity spikes - if friends or family wouldn't respond to a text quick enough, if teachers assigned extra reading or a pop-quiz, if a distracted pedestrian stepped into the bike lane without first looking both ways. I knew I needed to understand what was taking control of me so that I could calm down and rejuvenate. Touchy-tempers, anxiety, and mood-swings are not who I am. 

On Monday morning, right after my workout and just before heading out the door, I opened up "Jesus Calling" to read that day's devotional. "Remember that joy is not dependent on your circumstances," read the first line. I looked around my room, actually suspicious of hidden cameras or microphones somewhere documenting the past few days of my life. OKAY THIS IS WAY TOO ACCURATE, GOD. YOU'RE SCARING ME. Book slammed shut, face buried in my pillow, I was disappointed in myself for forgetting that slice of God's promise (yes, His promise is more delicious than your favorite pie). I prayed for God to work on my heart, to restore the precious positivity I thrived off of only a few days ago, and let the first line of that day's devotional make itself comfortable in my heart and mind. 

And with that, God went to work. He reshaped my attitude, cleaned up my mindset, and rearranged my priorities. "Your midterm, your homework, your expectations, your busy weekend - all of it - give it to me. I want to take care of it because I know what to do with it all. I love you Haley, but you don't know what you're doing when it comes to this stuff," I heard Him say. 

I'm writing this in my journalism notebook somewher eover Colorado, and my previous flight had been delayed a few times. As if I weren't stressed out enough, I'd now have to race to my connecting flight. Hoping to spark up some conversation to ease my worried mind (it tends to worry, if you haven't noticed), I leaned over to the man next to me and said, "These delays can be a little inconvenient, huh?" to which he responded instantly, but with a relaxation I'd been longing for for almost a week, "Well, you can't worry about what you can't control." Later on, I overheard him say he was scheduled for a connection flight even earlier than mine. HA. At that point, I figured it was in my best interest to to just shush up and sink quietly and humbly back into my seat. 

The more I allow life's little "inconveniences" to take up space in my mind, the less I allow myself to enjoy, to rejuvenate, to taste, to sleep, to smile. This is not a lesson I learned solely by subtracting animal products from my diet, or by reading "Jesus Calling" every morning and praying for peace, or by watching YouTube videos on everything from vegan recipes to living in the moment. This is a lesson I learned by listening to my mind, my heart, and my body, by spending more time deep in God's word and presence and love, by humbling myself enough to admit that I need help.

God has curriculum individually designed for each one of us, so the ways in which I came to this realization might be different from the ways in which you already have or will, and that's why I'm sharing this. My experiences with stress do turn out positive at the end, at the finish line celebration, but I'm making it a goal to start the celebration at the beginning of the race and never let it end. *insert "life's too short" quote here*. Just like the guy on the plane said, why should I worry about it, why give it my irreplaceable time and energy if there's nothing I can do about it? 

Embrace it. Soak it up. The valleys we walk through are full of opportunities. When I find myself traversing through those valleys with my eyes closed and head down, I blind myself. I inadvertently ignore the abundance of blessings with which that valley and every other peak and river in life are bursting. 

Stress seems inevitable. That's truth - I know. But read that sentence again. It seems inevitable. Talk to God, confess to Him your fears. Laugh with your friends and family because that's what they're there for. Eat good food - potatoes were meant to baked, PB & J to be the best of friends, and fruits and vegetables to be your number one source of fuel. 

Life is abundant and beaming and bursting and glowing and that's exactly how God designed it for you and me. He doesn't want us to miss out on any of that, so He tells us to find comfort in Him and to bring to Him our worries and fears. When we surrender those, the clouds move away and the sun takes its place high up in the sky. SOAK IT UP :) 

FAITH: Running My Race

Faith, Life, HealthHaley HansenComment

On the track, the popularity and usage of this verse is equivalent to that of Philippians 4:13. To me, it's overused and placed in the wrong context, so it's never been one of those key verses I keep in the back of my mind. I've also had trouble understanding what "race" God is talking about, but He made everything clear to me this morning in church. 

By "us", God is pointing to each of us in His kingdom as individuals. Read it as though God is talking to YOU - not "us", not your bible study, not your family. Just you. Run the race God has set for ME. Okay, but what race? In Jeremiah 29:11, God assures us that He has a plan for our lives, and that plan is this race He's referring to in Hebrews. 

I'll be the first to admit that finding community in Christ was not only the highlight of my freshman year, but also the very blessing that equipped me with everything and more I needed to thrive. BUT alone time, quiet time, one-on-one time with God is absolutely essential. Establishing, maintaining, and prioritizing that relationship first is the foundation for eternal life with Him - it's the beginning of the race and the endorphins that fuel endurance throughout. 

When the pastor dove deeper into this verse, God reminded me of habits like comparison, jealousy, and pride.... yeah, guilty. They seem almost impossible to avoid - magazines practically advertise the powers of photoshop more than clothing, cars, homes, etc., and the constant encouragement to buy more, do more, be more doesn't leave us alone. While giving in to those habits is easy, it's also like trying to run another person's race, and no matter how hard we push or how fast we run, we can't win someone else's race. 

God has already written my story and your story - He did so even before we were born - and He wants us to spend our lives with Him, reading that story. Be the main character; embrace every personality, every beauty mark, every imperfection - God smiles when we thank Him like that. 

I haven't been able to think about much else besides this topic today (except the fries I'm baking right now - I hope heaven smells like this), and I can hear God whispering to me about how it applies to my eating habits. Lately, I've bee fascinated by veganism and experimenting with it. Eating purely fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts/beans/seeds seems to bring so much energy to those who adopt that lifestyle. If hundreds of other people love it, and I already eat similarly, why wouldn't I love it, too? 

Long story and lots of descriptive bodily functions short, it hasn't been working. I'm constantly hungry, tired in the afternoon, and bloated all day. No matter what any Insta-famous vegan says, the amount of sugar I feed my body in eating that much fruit just doesn't seem quite right. Oh, and, um, Greek yogurt? My bestie. Avocado + toast + fried egg = my favorite math equation. 

That's just me - those are some of the qualities God blessed me with. I love animals and I will never put animal flesh in my mouth again, but I don't think I was designed for a completely vegan diet. I feel energized, hydrated, satisfied, and healthy on a simple vegetarian diet. Whatever works for the HCLF vegans works for them, but not all of it works for me.

However, comparison, a little jealousy, and selfish pride still get the best of me. Sometimes I wish I could eat eight bowls of banana "ice cream", a farm-full of sweet potatoes, and bread to feed the 5,000, too. I long for the clear skin associated with veganism, and I cheer (sometimes rather loudly) for myself when I see ten new followers on my Instagram profile, but those concerns only slow me down in my race. Constantly craning my neck to check the pace of runners behind me or next to me pushes me farther behind. 

Replace those thoughts with gratitude, with a little self-love and positivity. Respect yourself and appreciate and embrace your character in God's story for you. Run your race to see Him at the finish line. As with all marathons, your muscles will ache, your throat will burn, and your mind might let some discouragement in every once in a while, but God's words are here to rejuvenate you every single day. He wants nothing more than to help you run your best race ever. 

God's pretty cool, huh?