Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Grocery Shopping: Vegetarian Style

I don't know if anyone is interested in this, but I figured I would share with you guys what a typical grocery shopping trip looks like for me. For those of you who are interested in going vegetarian or who are looking to have at least one vegetarian meal a week, I hope this gives you some more ideas!

I go grocery shopping once every 2 weeks (give or take). It depends on how long my produce lasts, since that's the bulk of my diet (obviously). Here's what a two-week haul usually looks like:


  • 1 bag of spinach (I bought spinach and kale this week)
  • 1 bag of baby cut carrots
  • At least two different types of fruit (typically strawberries and bananas. This week it was strawberries, bananas, blueberries, and mangoes)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 container of Campari tomatoes
  • Cheese
  • 1 container of plain Chobani Greek yogurt (only brand that I buy)
  • 1 container of cottage cheese (maybe more if it's on sale)
  • 1 container of ice cream
  • 1 container of Light Chocolate soy milk (I will buy coconut milk if I can)
  • 2 green peppers
  • 2 cucumbers
  • Yellow squash or zucchini
  • Another random vegetable (this week it was brussels sprouts and eggplant)
  • 1 package of Brookside's Chocolate Covered Pomegranate 
I've stopped buying pasta/cereals for the most part, but that's not to say that I don't eat any processed foods or anything like that. I try and fuel my body with good foods, but that's not to say I don't indulge!

Per Karen @ Runner Girl Eat 's Recommendation, I purchased this ice cream this week:

It's amazing.

On some grocery trips (usually about every month or two), I purchase different "treats":


  • Bread product 
  • Chips (this month it was pita chips/tortilla chips)
  • Guacamole (pre-made, usually I make my own)
  • Frozen mangoes
  • Frozen pizzas
It usually takes me a really long time to go through bread/bread products because I don't eat too many sandwiches. I usually cook a large meal for dinner and then eat leftovers for lunch during the week. For breakfast, I usually have oatmeal, a yogurt parfait, or a smoothie, so I don't eat toast/bagels too much for breakfast. That being said, I buy it just in case I want it and store it in the fridge. It lasts longer that way!  This week, I've been craving pita chips to dip in my hummus and tortilla chips for guacamole and salsa :D Maybe I'll make nachos too!

That being said, expect some more recipes on the blog soon! Make sure you're checking the Pinterest page if you are looking for new things to try!

To tide us over until I get some really good ones, here's a super easy recipe I made last night:

Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts over Yellow Squash "Pasta"

1 yellow squash
1/4 tbsp butter
1 cup spinach
6 brussels sprouts
1 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup pasta sauce
salt and pepper, to taste

Peel yellow squash (top left) and add to a pain with the butter and spinach. Sauté until soft, but do not overcook. Heat oven to 350*. Cut brussels sprouts in half and toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with 1/4 tbsp of parmesan cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Plate sauteed squash and spinach on a plate, cover with cooked brussels sprouts, and top with sauce and remaining parmesan cheese. Enjoy! This recipe serves one person, so adjust accordingly. 

What are some of your staples from the grocery store? What are some things you only buy once or twice a month?
I cannot leave the grocery store without buying spinach or cottage cheese.

(I apologize for the weird formatting of this post. For some reason, my pictures were not cooperating and were messing everything up)

Monday, April 29, 2013

I Don't Always Swim with Dolphins, but When I do, They Fix my IT Band

I know that title sounds crazy, but bear with me.

This weekend, I was at Island Dolphin Care (if you read regularly, you know that this is a very special place to me). I'm working on promoting their marine science program as part of my final project for graduate school (I just finished my first year of grad school, one more to go!) and I went down there to teach a program to 36 third graders. It was so awesome and so much fun! They were such a great group and so funny. I asked the students to tell me some characteristics of mammals, and one student said "Well, they're all born with mustaches." It took everything I had to not laugh at that; it was so darn cute! He explained what he meant and it made more sense, but it really warmed my heart.

After the program left, Deena, the founder of Island Dolphin Care and author of "Breaths that Count" invited me to join her and the therapists for a "natural swim." A natural swim is a swim in the lagoon with the dolphins where there are no trainers giving behavioral commands and we're swimming around and listening and interacting with the dolphins in their own environment. We are not allowed to touch the dolphins, but they are allowed to touch us if they please. When I was an intern, I had the opportunity to do a structured swim, but I had never done a natural swim before so this was a new experience. As soon as I jumped into the lagoon, the dolphins were surrounding me and echolocating off of me. I swam next to Squirt and Tashi for a while when I started to play a game with Deena and Bob (the dolphin). I could feel the dolphins (and hear them) echolocating off of me when I was bumped (kind of hard) in my hip. As some of you know, I have been having some issues (off and on) with my IT band, particularly in my hip. Well, Lotus bumped me right where my hip was/has been tight and really giving me issues lately. I thought she just wanted me to swim, but I kept on playing. I started swimming around again, enjoying the whistles and clicks of my aquatic friends, when I stopped to talk to one of the trainers who was observing. Lotus bumped me again, right in the exact same spot of my hip. I grabbed a noodle and started playing with her, spinning in circles and swimming with it because that's what I thought she wanted to do. We did that for 10 minutes and had a blast (I know I did, I'm assuming Lo did too), before it was time to get out. When I got out, I mentioned to the trainer that I had been having hip issues and that Lotus had bumped me twice in the spot where I was hurting. She suggested that maybe Lotus had seen the difference in tissue density between my non-inflamed tissue and my inflamed tissues and was curious about it. My hip honestly feels amazing; it's almost as if Lotus broke up the scar tissue. It could be just that swimming helped my hips feel better (in which case I need to incorporate more swimming into my exercise regiment), but I'm going to say that it was the dolphins that fixed my IT band and made me feel better.



Moral of the story: Come visit me in Florida if you're having IT issues, and we will play with some dolphins to hopefully fix the issue. Who needs deep tissue massages when you're friends with dolphins?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I Officially #SweatPink

For those of you who visit my blog regularly, you might notice a new badge on the right hand side. That's right, as if I need more pink in my life, I am officially a Sweat Pink ambassador :D

From the e-mail sent to me announcing I was accepted as a member of the Sweat Pink community:

"The Sweat Pink Ambassador community is a place for enthusiastic, positive, inspirational people to connect and support each other in reaching their goals around health, fitness, life... and more. It's a place where we come together and celebrate what we have and reach for even more. It's a place where new friendships spark and running buddies find each other; where you'll always find a cheerleader or a word of advice.

It's a place for YOU. 
We think you'll love your new Sweat Pink family, and we know they'll love you! We can't wait to get you up and running and meeting everyone in the community. :)"


It's safe to say that I felt like this after reading the e-mail, especially since earlier last week I had been added to a "Sweat Pink Ambassador" List on Twitter and was so confused as to why I had been added when I hadn't received the e-mail:

I'm excited to be a part of a community (in addition to all of my blogger loves) that are into fitness, looking to inspire others, and possibly meeting some of my other SPAs in the area! I feel excited to be recognized for balancing my love of beer and ice cream with my love of running, fitness, and healthy living. I can't wait to get my Sweat Pink swag and continue to be an inspiration to others!



Who else got their SPA e-mail yesterday? I cannot wait to meet some of my SPA sisters! 

Be sure to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and like the Facebook page for some updates this weekend, especially if you want to see some dolphin love bugs!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I'm Not Sure I Could Handle Being a Real Celebrity

I'm hoping that this ridiculous post brings some humor to your day, as I'm sure we all could use it! As you may know, I go out A LOT (if you follow me on Twitter, you know that). At least two/three times a week, minimum. As you also may know, I'm a diva. Now, I have talked about my ability to be a diva in the negative sense, but I haven't really talked about my diva-ness in my day-to-day life. It's time to address the diva part of my name, so this is going to come off as a little self-centered (which is not what I mean it to be, I'm just talking about my life as an Undercover Diva). I hope you find this post a little humorous, because that's what I intend it to be!

It never fails that whenever I go out, someone I have never seen before comes up to me and talks about how they always see me or that we've had a conversation before and introduces themselves. 8 times out of 10 I have no idea who this person is, and it's not because I've had too much to drink. I am usually very diligent about getting myself home safe, all while having fun with my friends. I often think that people get me confused with Justin Bieber, because we're twins, but a lot of my friends argue that it's my personality. I'm going to go with the Bieber theory:


In terms of the personality theory, I can see that as well. I am a Leo, and Leos love being the center of attention (if you believe in that kind of stuff). This is where the "Diva" in my blog title comes from. I'm well-aware of the positives of my personality, because I try to be the best person I can be. I know that I am friendly, sweet, and caring, but I also know that I know how to use that to my advantage. A downfall of my personality is that I do love being the center of attention, and I know how to get things done the way I want them almost every single time (that's not saying that I can never compromise). I will chit-chat with anyone and everyone, I will dance my booty off, and I will wear attention-getting clothes (bright colors and patterns, nothing too "revealing," but I make sure it's flattering) to get what I want without compromising my morals (aka, I know how to get free drinks without giving out a phone number/kisses/anything scandalous). However, a few recent incidents have proven to me that I would not be able to be a real life celebrity. These stem from a recent conversation that I had with my sister. I'd like to think that this is true about my personality and that I'm just a fun time ;)


1. Someone came up to me (I know who he is now) and said "I know who you are, you don't know who I am, but here's a video of us dancing together at Main Street." He showed me the video, and sure enough, that was me in the video. I have NO recollection of that video being taken and I was very sober during it. It was the Wobble (which is my jam), so of course I was dancing. It made me wonder how many other pictures/videos of me and my friends are floating around.


2. The aforementioned gentleman and I were talking on a Thursday (the second time I'd had a conversation with him and I now know his name), and his friends pull him aside and say "hey, that's the girl from the video." I had never seen any of them before, but apparently they had studied the video enough and/or saw me enough to know who I am. It sometimes freaks me out that there are a number of people who know who I am and I have ZERO idea who they are. I could not be a celebrity.

3. The smoothie lady at the gym knows me by name and greets me when I walk up, even though I've never told her my name. I'm sure she sees it enough on my credit card, but I don't know who she is. I think it's time that I learn her name so that I can properly thank her for all the post-workout smoothies she makes me!

4. Drama. Something happened about a week ago (that was not a big deal to me), but word spread and so when I got to Main Street, an entire uninvolved group approached me and asked me about what happened. They then proceeded to tell me that they could see why it happened because I'm just a social butterfly and sometimes that gives people the wrong idea. Thanks for your input guys, but I really just don't want to deal with drama and it wasn't a big deal, so we shouldn't make it a big deal. I've removed myself from that situation, and the tabloids should stop spreading the gossip ;)



But seriously, I could never be a celebrity. I genuinely feel bad when people tell me that they know me, call me by name, or say hello to me and I have no idea who they are, and I'm sure that happens to celebrities every day. I guess that comes with being a regular at a bar and I usually pride myself on keeping good tabs on my location, but apparently, that's not the case. I do love meeting new people, though, so if you happen to see me around, please say hello! I'm just going to stick with what I do best: being a Justin Bieber look-a-like. If I get kidnapped, you know why, but at least you know I went down like a diva.

What do you do when someone approaches you and you have no idea who they are? When are some times that you have been a diva?



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

"Run for Boston", April 22, 2013

I realize it's been a week since I last wrote, but last week, I did not have much to say in light of all of the tragedies in our country. There were so many other bloggers who could put my emotions into words better than I can, so I decided to keep to myself and spend some time with friends and loved ones.

I had spent the weekend in Miami with my brother and his friends, and although I had planned on running, I never did. In fact, I haven't really worked out since Wednesday. I drove home yesterday at 8:30 am, and since I planned on going to the Run for Boston 2.62 Fun Run/Walk at Running Zone last night, I just waited to do my workout until that run.

 I'm so incredibly happy I went to the run. I got there at 6:15, 15 minutes before the run started and there was NO WHERE to park! The crowd was enormous!


The coordinator made a few announcements, said a prayer for Boston, held a moment of silence, and then we all sang the National Anthem. Two police officers blocked traffic for our group so that we could safely cross the street. I brought my phone to take some pictures, but I didn't listen to any music. I didn't need it. As I passed other runners, they shouted words of encouragement. I ended up inadvertently pacing a man and having a short conversation with him before he fell behind. When I saw the finish line, I sprinted towards it and gave it all I got. There was already a small group that had finished and they were cheering on the runners as they passed the finish line. It was amazing! I was really emotional when I crossed the finish line. The sea of blue and yellow that surrounded me as I ran was indescribable. So many people honked at us as we ran by. I'm so incredibly happy that I participated in this event, and I can't wait to participate in another event like this. My next "Run for Boston" event will be the Virtual 5k on June 15. If you know of any other national events before that, let me know, please!

Did you participate in a "Run for Boston" event yesterday? How far was it?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"Taking off Running"

The response of the running community in light of the events at Boston has been overwhelming. I know I have tried to express what running and the community means to me, but I can't. Even after we have all bonded together, I cannot put into words how it feels to be a part of this community. My twitter feed has been filled with nothing but news of Boston, pictures of runners in race t-shirts and/or blue and yellow, and inspirational photos and quotes. This picture in particular speaks to me, and I borrowed it from OliveToRun's post on Boston:


In both a metaphorical and literal sense, the running community has taken off running. Multiple events have popped up, such as the Boston Walk-A-Thon (thanks to my cousin for sharing this with me, and then to The Hungry Runner girl for sharing it when I passed it on!) and a Run For Boston 5k in Chicago in June (Thanks hungryrunnergirl for sharing this one! They're also holding a virtual event on that same day). Many photos of runners wearing race shirts surface (I even made it onto a collage!) surfaced, and I was beaming with pride to be a part of this amazing community.

I woke up yesterday, threw on a tech shirt, laced up my shoes, and went outside --no music, no GPS. It was incredibly emotional. It was hot, but I pushed through because I was running for something bigger than I am. I had tears in my eyes for the majority of my run and I got fired up to fight for my fellow runners and for those who were affected by this tragedy. I saw my fellow runners wearing blue or wearing race shirts. However, I didn't see too many people outside of my run at work or school (besides the known runners) wearing blue/yellow or race shirts. This is not just a runners tragedy, and I think all of the American people should be involved and express themselves! I'm not saying those who are not showing outward support are hurting less than I am. Please wear your blue and yellow or race shirts today and the rest of the week to show solidarity and unity as a nation.


Today, I am taking off running in a literal sense. I woke up this morning with heavy legs, and while I still would have been able to run, I decided against it. I don't want to run just to run. I want to go out there and be strong for Boston. I want to run hard for Boston. So, I'm going to spend today doing yoga and cross-training so that when I return to running with fresh legs, I can run my hardest.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston

This morning, I was complaining to a classmate because we had to have a meeting with our professor and he was running late, so I was missing some of the elite race. When I got home, I finished watching the race while I ate my lunch, got updated on Twitter about who had finished or who was close to finishing, then I took a nap. When I got up, I checked Twitter again and saw this first tweet from Runner's World:


I was floored. I immediately retweeted it, checked on Facebook, googled the story, and came up with nothing. Then, my Twitter feed started filling with news of the explosions. There was so much confusion on my Twitter feed and when I turned on the news, it was evident that the confusion was felt everywhere.

As a runner, my heart is absolutely broken for those affected by the explosions. As a human being, I am appalled, sick about this, and incredibly emotional. I feel as though my friends and family, all of whom I do not personally know, have been attacked. It was incredible to observe how deeply the running community is affected by this. It is personal. I tried to explain to my mother, a non-runner, about how I was feeling, but I couldn't find the right words. Running has helped me forge bonds with individuals I have never met, and my heart is absolutely broken.

If you hear of any virtual races or nation-wide charity runs, please keep me in the know. Tomorrow morning, I will run music free and GPS-free to celebrate the fact that I can run and to show my support for those who were affected by today's horrible events. Please keep Boston in your thoughts and prayers.

If you have access to a race t-shirt, I have seen some groups advertising that they are going to wear race t-shirts as a sign of solidarity for the marathoners and the spectators. I will be joining them, and I hope you will be too.

How I'm Faring After Week One

As many of you may have read last week, I'm participating in Brooke's (Running in Heels) Beach Body Challenge. She is amazing, awesome, one of my favorite blogs to read, and she's studying to become a certified trainer! It's been a long time since a workout has left me feeling sore, and I was sore at least 4 days last week. Seriously, it's awesome. Brooke is doing a great job at helping me identify my weaknesses. For instance, the abs workouts and legs workouts were more manageable for me (I'm not going to say easy, because none of these workouts are easy), and I attribute that to being a runner. However, the arms workout and full body workout kicked my butt! Seriously, it seems like everything in my arms/shoulder area needs work. I also loved that ALL workouts were bodyweight workouts so that I didn't have to go to the gym just to use the weights there! I cannot wait for the next set of challenges! Here's my workouts for the week:

Monday:

4-miles run @ 9:08 pace plus 1/4 of Brooke's Deck of Cards Workout. I couldn't get through the entire thing. This is how I felt each time I pulled a heart card.


Tuesday:


I have to cheat and do "girl" pushups because I can only do like 5 regular pushups without dying, but that's going to be something to work on!


Wednesday:

A HIIT cardio workout I found on YouTube and the Day Three Booty Circuit. This was one of my favorite workouts of the week. Gotta keep that booty lookin good ;)


Thursday:

I only had time for 1.5 (the font makes it look like it says 15, but its one (point) five) mile run, but it was awesome because I was under 9 minutes for the first time in a while! 1.5 miles at 8:28 pace! Plus Day Four Ab Circuit. I loved the ab circuit and it got me incredibly sweaty! I'm hoping this will be me the next time I get on a plane in August:


Friday:

I switched it up that day and actually did the circuit workout before I did a cardio workout, where I rode the bike for 30 minutes, alternating resistance. This circuit was all about legs and I wore shorts that were a little too short, so the guy stretching behind me probably enjoyed himself every time I did lunges or bent over to check the next exercise. You're welcome, sir. This is how I felt the rest of the afternoon, even though I thought I was "taking it easy" on the bike:



Saturday:

As you may know, Saturday I did six miles and felt the worst. Then I spent the rest of the day laying by the pool and swimming. There were no challenges on Saturday or Sunday, so I just did cardio! 

Sunday:

Rest day. Beach and nap when it started to rain, then homework the rest of the day.



It may be silly or coincidental, but this week I have already been feeling better about my workouts, I have had more energy, and I've been hungrier. I have been really, really, hungry. But this has been helping with my goal for this month of listening to my body's hunger signals and eating when hungry versus on a schedule. 

There's still time to sign up for Brooke's challenge, so head over to her page and check it out! You don't have to be a blogger! 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Just One of Those Runs....

Have you ever had one of those runs where you just never get into it and felt terrible throughout the entire thing? This morning's run was "that run" for me. It's officially summertime in Florida. I got up and out of the house at 7 am and it was already 75 degrees with high humidity. I felt like Ron Burgundy in Anchorman:
It was so damn hot.

It usually only takes me about 1-1.5 miles to really get into my groove and get going. Today, that never happened. I was hot, I was sweaty, my IT band was talking to me on and off, and I could feel my legs chafing because of the heat (I know, you really wanted to know that). I think I gave myself 15 pep talks to keep going. I hadn't done a long run in weeks, so today I planned on six miles and was ready to do them, but at each mile marker, I had to convince myself to keep going. I just never got into it...however, I did complete it, even if it was so slow! I keep telling myself this:


But seriously, I felt like I was going to die. It looks like I'm going to have to A.) suck it up and keep doing it, B) get up earlier when it's slightly less hot/humid, or C.) run indoors. C is probably never going to happen and I'm guessing that A will be my best option. Gotta get used to running in FL heat again!

As a reward, I'm going to lay in the sun all morning/afternoon before coming home to write some more of my papers.



Was your run better than mine this morning? How do you deal with mental blocks/bad runs?

Happy Saturday! 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Nine Goals

Yesterday, I came across this challenge that Cori from OliveToRun shared and I think it would be fun to share the love with you guys and share my own goals for these next nine months! From Cori's blog:


" Chobani 10 for 10 challenge.
10for10
Have you heard about this?
If so, WHY DID YOU NOT tell me on March 1st?
I read it on another blogger’s post this past weekend
and thought to myself: I HAVE to do this!
The Details:
“In a nut shell: we’ll set one attainable goal each month. These goals can be totally simple, or larger, fitness/lifestyle/growth goals. Join us and set whatever works for you! Different strokes for different CHOlks.”
We all know that I am a planner, so this is right up my alley! Some of them are fitness related, and some of them are life related. I'm joining Cori's adaptation of this challenge by doing "9 for 9 months"
Goal #1: April. Listen to my body's hunger signals instead of following a strict eating schedule. 
Right now, I basically follow a schedule when I'm eating. I wake up, run, eat breakfast, then two hours later I eat a snack, two hours later I eat lunch, etc., until bed time. The last few days, however, I've been HUNGRY. Not "hungry" like I want to eat all the time just because, but hungry with a grumbly tummy. So, I've been eating when my body tells me to, and it's working out really well so far :D 
Goal #2: May. Do not weigh myself for the entire month of May. 
We live in a society where we are controlled by the number on the scale. I would by lying if I said that I wasn't affected some days by the number on the scale. So, for the month of May (and hopefully longer), I will not weigh myself. It's going to be tough, but I think it's doable!
Goal #3. June. Volunteer more.
I am a trained volunteer at the Barrier Island Center here in Melbourne, FL, but I have neglected my duties during this school year. I would love to get more involved and spread environmental education, so this summer should allow me more time to do that! I also hope to spend some more time at Island Dolphin Care working on developing programs and playing with all of the kids and veterans who come to visit!

Goal #4. July. Try at least one new thing every week.
July is my birth month (I was born on the 31st), so why not spend my birth month trying new things? It's also the month that I'm going to Costa Rica, so this goal will be perfect for this month! New things can include: new workouts, foods, clothing styles, restaurants, etc.
Goal #5. August. Spend more time getting in touch with the people I love.
Since I live in FL and the majority of my family and friends live in the Midwest, I'm going to make sure I spend more time reaching out to them. I'm hoping to step away from the texting and e-mails and spend more time communicating via phone or letters. 

Goal #6. September. Spend more time outside.
I love the outdoors, but with school and work, it's hard to get as much time outside as I'd like. I spend my runs outside, but I would like to spend more time outdoors (and not just at the beach!) I hope to visit more parks and take more walks outside just enjoying nature and the world around me. It'll be nice to unplug from technology for just a little bit.

Goal #7. October. Eat less sweets.
This is going to be a difficult goal, as it's Halloween month AND my best friend is getting married this month, but they don't call it a challenge for nothing, right? I'm going to try and make "healthier" dessert choices OR limit a dessert to once a week. Let's see how this works out. 

Goal #8. November. Say more meaningful "Thank you"s.
I say thank you, and am genuinely thankful, for a number of things in my life. However, there are areas of my life where I do not say thank you enough. This involves thanking my friends, my parents, my family, my teachers, my bosses, everyone who has a positive impact on me in my daily life who goes without being thanked. November is the perfect month for this, with Thanksgiving and all ;)
Goal #9. December. Stress less
December will bring the end of the semester, Christmas, family time, trips home, aka lots of stress. I'm going to do my best to manage my time wisely so that I don't get stressed and not stress the small stuff. This will not only make me a happier person, but it will also make everyone around me happier as well!

What are your goals for the remaining 9 months? Will you help me stick to my goals?



Monday, April 8, 2013

When Does Fitness Become More Than a Seasonal Fix?

Good morning, loves! Today was the first day of Brooke's Beach Body Challenge, so I started out my morning with a 4 mile run and then did the first day of her challenge! I was only able to get through a quarter of the deck of cards because I was tired from the cardio and my belly was grumbling, but it was super tough! I'm excited for the rest of this challenge!

Even though I'm participating in this challenge, it has really got me thinking about fitness and seasonality. Now that summer is around the corner, I see a lot of my friends who are either A. Not active or B. Used to be active, returning to the gym and the streets to get into shape. This raises a question for me: When does fitness become about being healthy all year round and stop being about getting in shape for a particular season? I would be a hypocrite if I said I didn't want to improve my fitness and get into even better shape for the summer (hence why I'm participating in a beach body challenge), but that's also because it's in my personality to never settle and always work to improve myself/my situation. Fitness is only a competition with yourself, so why not compete all year round?

[FitFluential Facebook Image]
Weddings, summer, graduation, high school reunions -- these are all common and great reasons to get in shape. However, they're only seasonal. Why put in all of that hard work to look your best for a short period of time and then just let it all go? I'd be lying if I said I didn't get unmotivated and that there are some days when I do not want to do any sort of activity, but I realize that I've worked hard to get to where I'm at and that I'd be so disappointed in myself if I just let myself go and stopped trying to be the best me. It takes 21 days to make a habit -- if you're going to put in that time and effort to create a new habit, there's no reason to end your new habit, especially when you've built up enough confidence to rock that bikini or that new dress!

To me, fitness is about being happy, healthy and confident in my own skin. It's not about being "too thin" or "exercising a lot," it's about enjoying life and living for me. I'm taking care of myself so that I can better take care of my future husband and children. I'm taking care of myself so that I can be a better friend. I'm taking care of myself so that I can serve as a positive role model to someone else, even if it's not fitness related. Fitness is about having the courage to move outside of your comfort zone, lose your inhibitions, and ignoring other people's opinions of you. My mom told me that someone mentioned to her yesterday that I am getting "too thin." My mom's response was "I know she's eating, I know she enjoys food, and I know she works out a lot." This coming from my mom means a lot to me, because she used to worry about me when I lost 30 pounds. The funny thing about me becoming "too thin" is that I am actually back at the weight I was just before the break-up. I had lost 10 pounds in the month after the breakup, but I am back at where I was before. I might have a little more muscle, but I weigh the same, if not a few pounds more, than I did when many of the people who make these comments have last seen me. And you know what? I don't care. I'm happy, I'm healthy, I'm changing my fitness goals, and I'm working on being the best me.


What does fitness mean to you?
--I'd love to hear your opinion/input, so please comment, message the Facebook page, or e-mail me at miller.rachel731@gmail.com! I'd love to do a follow-up post with all of your input, so please don't be shy!

Happy Monday! 




Saturday, April 6, 2013

Laptops, Leggings, and Lobsters

Yesterday was a big and busy day for me! I have been in the market for a new laptop for a couple of months because my parents want a way to Skype with me when I'm in Costa Rica for a couple weeks and my old computer didn't support that capability. Also, while my old computer worked great and I got all of my assignments done, I wasn't able to open a lot of files from professors nor could I watch videos. It was starting to slow down as well, but I was hoping to make it through the semester. My charger did not want that to be the case. The cord began fraying about a month ago and worked fine after I had taped it, but the last few days, the cord would only charge the computer when it was sitting at a certain angle. Yesterday morning, the charger wasn't working at all and since I still have three more weeks left in the semester, I took a trip to Orlando, with MQD, to visit the Apple store for a new MacBook. I took out excess financial aid this semester for this specific purchase, so that's the only reason I was able to afford it. I am officially poor again.

We started out with lunch at Mellow Mushroom, where I had the BEST mushroom pizza ever. I loved Mellow Mushroom when I lived in Myrtle Beach, so I was so excited when we found out that there was a Mellow Mushroom in Orlando. This Mellow Mushroom also had a tree growing through the building... insane! It was so cool. The booth dividers were also made of sand art. Seriously, so cool.






Then, we headed to the Florida Mall to visit the Apple store! We spent about 2 hours in the Apple store with the representative. He was so patient, knowledgeable, funny, and answered all of my questions. I was torn between the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air and he let me play with both, compare them side by side, sit down with them both on my lap, and change my mind a million times. Ultimately, I decided on the MacBook Air and I LOVE it!



After we left the Apple store, we wandered around the largest Forever 21 I have ever seen. I didn't end up getting anything, but there were so many options! I just couldn't decide on anything and since my credit card was already sad because I spent all of my money, I just chose not to buy anything because nothing was really calling my name. That changed at Hot Topic, however. If you read my blog or know me at all, you know that I love wearing weird pants and would never wear real pants if I had to. I left with both of these leggings. Don't judge.

Follow me on Instagram (@rachee73190) and you will see pictures of me in a pair of them tonight.

MQD LOVES Goodwill and I never have good luck, but since the headquarters for Central Florida was so close by, we took a trip there. I tried a few things on but I didn't like anything. The story wasn't the same for MQD! She left with quite a few shirts and a stuffed lobster that she fell in love with. She had bought it for a friend's baby, but during the drive home, she decided that the baby isn't getting it and that she's going to keep it. I think that's a great decision because the lobster is so cute!


As you can see, yesterday was a great day overall! I had a great night last night as well, with it ending with a stranger stopping me on the street to tell me that he thinks I am so beautiful and he thanked me for brightening his evening. We also broke into the hot tub at Chris and Brooke's apartment complex, which basically put me to sleep on the ride home, but I slept like a baby last night! :D

I am joining Brooke's (not B from Chris and Brooke) Beach Body Challenge and will be posting about my experience with it/my results, so if you're interested in joining, head over to Running In Heels and check it out!

Please like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter for updates/ridiculousness. Have a great Saturday!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Another Treadmill Workout and a Shout-Out to Overnight Oats

I usually take Thursdays as a rest day, but because I got very little sleep Monday night, I chose to take Tuesday as a rest day and workout today. I woke up, it was pitch black (because it was 6:30 am), it was raining, and I was going on the treadmill (which I loathe), but I didn't let that stop me! Here's the 30-minute treadmill workout I did this morning:


I added more sprints to this treadmill workout (5 mins total) and I was a very sweaty Betty at the end of it! If you try it out, lemme know!

I also want to take a moment and rave about overnight oats! I love oatmeal, and when I saw all of these recipes on other blogs, I decided to give them a try. They are perfect for busy mornings when you have to eat breakfast in a short-time frame or when you have really early mornings. You just prep them before and they are ready to eat in the morning!


Keeping things short and sweet today! Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

iRUNLIKEAGIRL Review and A Little Humor

I heard about the company iRUNLIKEAGIRL through The Hungry Runner Girl's blog a couple weeks ago.

About the iRUN Heart

"What does the heart represent?

  • Left Side is Life’s Passion
  • Left Side is also the Body’s Lifeline
  • Right Side is the Shoe
iRUNLIKEAGIRL Celebrates Ageless Spirit in girls and women of all sizes, all ages, and at all athletic levels.
The iRUN team has traveled to many places, passing along our message to races throughout the country. Thanks to many of you, this positive lifestyle brand was embraced. We laughed. We listened to your inspirational stories. We ran. We walked. We cheered. We had fun. We’ll continue to hit as many races as possible in the months and years ahead.
And because it’s all about the heart, it doesn’t stop here. In the months ahead, look for more product choices, more sponsorships, and more fundraising for charity events.
iRUNLIKEAGIRL celebrates girls & women — you know why you are worth celebrating!"

When I was browsing their website, I found a few items that I was interested in, but were not in my size. I decided to e-mail their customer service address with an inquiry about when they would be replenishing stocks, if at all. Jennifer e-mailed me back and told me that once they get down to a few items of that particular product, they remove it from the website to avoid back orders. I sent her my size and the items I was interested in because she offered to check their merchandise. She e-mailed me back saying that they no longer carried the items I was interested in, but I had my eye on another jacket, so I wasn't too upset! However, this is what really sold me on iRUNLIKEAGIRL... Jennifer offered me free shipping because they didn't have the items that I wanted. How cool is that? I honestly was not expecting that, so that was a great surprise! She also advised me to order before Good Friday if I wanted my merchandise in the near future, as their offices are closed all this week. I ordered on Thursday morning and didn't expect the package for a week or so, especially because of the Easter holiday. When I opened my mailbox on Saturday, however, my new jacket was here already! Seriously, they are amazing! Jennifer said they are in the process of listing summer items, so if you're looking for summer clothes, I'd check their website often to see when it updates. 

I ordered the Sky Blue Performance Jacket in Small. The jacket ran true to size and is the perfect length for my torso and hits just at my hips. There are thumbholes in the sleeves (which I know us runners love), and it's warm, but not too warm. I would recommend wearing this for those cooler fall/spring mornings (I'd probably wear it in FL winter mornings), but since it's hot here in FL, I've just been wearing it around my house. The black on the side is very flattering, and as you can see, it says iRUNLIKEAGIRL on the arm (which is very flattering). I'm super happy with it, and proud to say that I run like a girl!

I paid for this jacket and am receiving no compensation for this review. These thoughts are all my own; I had such a great experience that I wanted to share!

This morning, I chose to sleep in because I didn't get much sleep last night and it was still dark out when I woke up intending to run. This led me to slightly oversleep, but on my way to work, I was sitting in my car at the light at the end of my street and I saw some man riding by on what I'm pretty sure is my stolen bicycle. My bike was stolen from under my porch a few months ago, but I didn't report it because it was 1.) Rusted from the salty air, 2) It was falling apart, and 3) He must have needed transportation pretty badly to take  my bike, so I'm gonna let him have it. Well, I saw this man riding by on a poorly painted bicycle that looked VERY similar to mine and he was having trouble pedaling it (the gears don't shift). I didn't know what to do, so I just stared at him with my mouth open and watched him ride by until the light changed. What would I have even said to him? Today is just one of those days.

What is your new favorite running brand? What would you have done in my bike situation?

I am still on the lookout for the best headband recommendation, so please help me out! 

 

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Weekend of Recipes and a Not-So-Lazy Sunday

In case you were away this weekend doing lots of fun Easter activities, here's what you missed:

The Downside of Being a Planner

This weekend was full of fun recipes! On Saturday, I attempted a homemade veggie pot pie. I stuffed the pan too full of veggies so my batter overflowed, but it turned out decently and was pretty good! Next time, I think I would add less veggies so that I could add more batter. I also think I might add batter on the bottom, put veggies in the middle, and then cover with more batter. I poured the batter over the top of the veggies, but it didn't seep all the way through like I had hoped, so the top had a nice layer of crust, but the rest was mostly vegetables.


Vegetable Pot Pie

1 Cup Jiffy Baking Mix
3 eggs
1 cup soy milk 
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups assorted fresh vegetables, chopped (I used asparagus, broccoli, carrots, onions, and yellow squash) 
salt and pepper, to taste

Chop vegetables into bite size pieces and add to a bowl. Mix with the can of cream of mushroom soup. Empty the contents into a greased pie tin. In a separate  bowl, mix 3 eggs, 1 cup soy milk, and 1 cup Jiffy Mix until blended. Pour over the vegetables in the pie tin. Bake at 400* for 45-55 minutes (I did closer to an hour). Let cool 10-15 minutes and enjoy!

I served mine with baked sweet potatoes and a salad. I topped my sweet potato with a cinnamon Laughing Cow cream cheese wedge and it was SO good! I served it to a friend who is a HUGE meat eater, and he told me he liked it! I think I would add a little more salt, but salt is my vice. 

Since my blog has been lacking a little in the humor department lately, I decided to share a ridiculously clumsy moment I had last night. To make it easier for you to visualize, here is a partial layout of my house:
 
See that little light switch above the couch? I had turned it off, but realized I had forgotten my phone on the couch and I wanted to charge it. Instead of turning on the light, I just walked into the living room, got my phone, and headed towards the stairs. Here, I misjudged the distance between the couch and the stairway, caught the corner of the couch, and ATE it. I hit that little patch between the couch and the stairs so hard that I'm surprised I'm not severely bruised and that the neighbors didn't come over to make sure I was okay. I'm fine today, I laughed after it happened, and got up and went to bed. My life.

This morning was a little happier, as I got up and finally got to open my Easter basket! The Easter bunny brought it a little early and it's been taunting me since Thursday, so today I got to dig in!

I made out like a bandit! I got some sixlets, smarties, and jelly beans (gelatin free, too!), a Little Mermaid bath mitt, a Little Mermaid lanyard for my Annual Pass at WDW, some chocolate covered Oreos, a new shirt, and some bright leggings. Thanks, EB! 

After I opened my Easter Basket, I assembled the lasagna for the dinner party I hosted last night! I then went on a run, cleaned my house, baked cupcakes, frosted cupcakes, showered, took a nap, and got ready for company. Sundays are usually my day where I do absolutely NOTHING, so this was an incredibly busy Sunday. I'm a little bummed that it was too busy for me to bask in the sunshine because yesterday was GORGEOUS. 

Vegetarian Slow-Cooker Lasagna
1/2 package oven-ready lasagna noodles,
1/2 container ricotta cheese
1 jar pasta sauce 
1 bag baby spinach
1 yellow squash (or zucchini), shredded
1/2 white onion
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
4 Campiari tomatoes, diced

Cover the bottom of the crockpot with pasta sauce. Break noodles in half and cover the bottom with a single layer. Spread ricotta cheese over each noodle. Add a thin layer of shredded yellow squash to each noodle. Add a layer of onion to the noodle. Add spinach to each noodle. Cover with both cheeses. Top with sauce and tomato dices for garnish. Repeat until you reach the top of the slow cooker. Add 1/4 cup of water to the empty sauce jar and dump the saucy water over the noodle layers. Top with more cheese and diced tomatoes for garnish. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8. 

Our meal consisted of a salad, garlic bread, sweet tea, and margaritas. The person who was in charge of salad and garlic bread didn't show up, so I whipped up a quick salad and spread some garlic butter into some crescent rolls and saved the day ;) Here's the rest of our Easter evening in a few pictures!
 Present from MQD: "Can't celebrate His death without celebrating His birth!"
 Minus Gi, who was taking the photo
<3

I also think that I am back in the running game officially! I haven't done a run over six miles since the Disney Princess Half, but today I did 4 miles at a slow 9:30 min/mi and felt great! Hopefully I can get at least six miles in this weekend and then be back to normal next week! Thank you everyone who sent me strength exercises, stretching tips, and good vibes! My next "running related" question is: Who sells the best headbands? My hair is ridiculously thick and it's short, so headbands slide off and I'm in need of one now that it is getting warmer out and I don't want to deal with my bangs sticking to my forehead (gross). Please let me know who has the best value/headband/anything! 

How was your Easter? Did you spend it with family? What did you eat?!