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Tone It Up Bikini Series – Recap And Final Reflection


Hey everyone! I’ve been meaning to write this post since Saturday and am finally finding time to sit and take some time to write it.

So, as I have mentioned countless times before, I am a member of Tone It Up and have been for years. In case you have never heard of the Tone It Up (in which case… do you live under a rock?), it is business and community founded and run by best friends Katrina Hodgson and Karena Dawn. Tone It Up began as a Youtube channel and have since grown into a multi-million dollar company with tens of thousands of followers. K & K are unbelievable inspirational and have been my role-models since finding their Youtube channel in 2008. I could go on and on about how much I love them for forever, but instead I’ll just say that if you want to know more about Karena and Katrina as well as Tone It Up as a whole, you can read about them/it here.

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This year marked the fourth year for Tone It Up’s Bikini Series, an annual challenge beginning in the spring and ending on the first day of summer. The goal is to get you into tip-top shape come bikini season (i.e. summer)!

Throughout the series, Karena and Katrina post weekly schedules for workouts on their website along with daily “Sunset Challenges” and post new toning routines each Tuesday. Participants are encouraged to check in daily via Instagram, Twitter, or in the Tone It Up Community with their meals and to offer encouragement to other Bikini Series participants!

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(all from my Instagram)

For the sake of keeping this post from being obscenely long, you can read more about the Bikini Series here.

The Bikini Series is something that I look forward to every year and is something that I have been “participating” in since the very first one four years ago. Now, I put “participating” in quotations because every year I begin the series with good intentions… But every year, as I have mentioned before, I fail because I freak out and fall back into unhealthy habits.

This year, I wanted things to be different. I was/am so sick of constantly tormenting myself with guilt and fear and all of that other nonsense that prevents me from living the life that I want to. I want nothing more to be the image of health. I want to focus on eating healthy and nutrient dense foods instead of looking to get the least amount of calories in my meals. I want to be able to run fast and long and do it because I love it instead of doing hours of half-hearted workouts in hopes of burning as many calories as possible. I want to be fully recovered. I do.

It’s easier said than done… And more often than not, I convince myself that I don’t in fact want recovery… So this is my public reminder that I do want to be my best self, not my sickest self.

How does this ramble fit into the Bikini Series? Well, the Bikini Series was actually a huge proponent in my finally realizing just how badly I want to be a true example of a healthy and happy human being. The Bikini Series brings an unbelievable amount of beautiful, kind, and inspiring women together to work hard and support each other in a loving and positive community.

I really do have to say that I have never experience anything but positivity within the Tone It Up/Bikini Series community. Yes, I do realize that negative comments and statements are probably monitored and promptly deleted, but for the most part, I do think that the following surrounding Tone It Up is predominantly made up of kind-hearted people who genuinely want the best for all of the other women pursuing the same goal that they are: their best self.

Going onto my Instagram every day and seeing check in after check in of healthy meals and workouts and smiles from beautiful women of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds. Seeing all of these ladies succeeding in moving towards their best self really gave me the push that I needed on days where I would have much fathered skip lunch in favor of a calorie-free coffee.

In addition to the wonderful Tone It Up community, Karena and Katrina never fail to inspire me to strive for health. Like I said earlier, I discovered these two amazing ladies back in 2008 when I was just a self-conscious 8th grader who wanted to lose weight.

This may sound dramatic, but finding their videos on Youtube all those years ago truly changed my life forever. I found my love for fitness, I found my desire to pursue a career in healthy living (although I have swapped out my major in exercise science for journalism, I still want to personal train and be a fitness instructor more than anything), I found a desire to create Youtube videos to create and share my thoughts and ideas with the world (I finally worked up the courage to pursue that dream this year!)… I just can’t even properly explain to you how immense of an impact Tone It Up has had on my life.

I started this Bikini Series wanting to lose weight, although I know i probably didn’t need to, but not ready to dive in full force since I knew that I most likely would gain weight if I ate more.

I ended this Bikini Series focusing less on the weight and more on the mindset. I’ve been trying to think less and just live. Can I say that I’m recovered and now I can eat whatever I want without a second thought about how many calories are in it? No. Can I say that I allow my body the proper amount of rest that it needs between workouts? Unfortunately, no.. I can’t. But I can say that I am getting there. 

For over 3 years not I have felt nothing but stuck. I wasn’t getting sicker, but I also wasn’t getting better. I gained weight without upping my calorie intake which caused my restricting even more out of complete terror that eating 5 extra calories would cause my weight to go up overnight again.

Yesterday, I weighed myself for the first time since my body completely betrayed me two years ago… Gaining almost 20 pounds in less than a month even though I was existing on less that 1000 calories a day and running competitively. I don’t know how I feel about the number… I didn’t feel much of anything about it actually. I wasn’t happy about the number, but it also didn’t cause me to workout an extra hour that day and skip breakfast. It was just a number.

I know it doesn’t seem like that is much, but it is everything to me.

This Bikini Series has put me on the path to a long overdue change that needed to be made. Don’t get me wrong, I am nowhere near where I need to be yet… But I’m closer. Even if I have only creeped an inch forward on the journey towards recovery, it is an inch more than I have moved in years. 

I am so thankful to Tone It Up, the Bikini Series, and all of the incredible women who took part in the challenge for inspiring me each and every day to try to be my best self. I am thankful for the women who showed me that you don’t have to be perfect all the time, that you don’t have to punish yourself for a slip up, and that everyone is worth something.

Even me.

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Summer Is Here!


Hey everyone!

Guess what…

Guess…

Guess.

Did you guess what?

Ok, I’ll tell you.

It’s officially summer!

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Admittedly, given that I have been out of school for over a month, it has felt like summer for a while. However, it’s still exciting that it’s officially summertime!

With spring ending and summer beginning, this also brings Tone It Up’s Bikini Series to an end. I have been participating in the Bikini Series since the very first one 4 years ago and this has been, by far, the best one yet! 2014-bikini-series-toneitup-tone-it-up

Every year I have tried to stick the Bikini Series, and every year I have failed due to my refusal to let go of my disordered habits and mindset.

Obviously, this year hasn’t been perfect. As I’m sure you’re all well aware of due to my obnoxious amounts of thoughtful and mildly depressing posts recently, I’ve struggled. However, I have to say that the community that Tone It Up provides through Instagram, Twitter, and their Community, has really helped me through the rough patches. It’s just a really wonderful and supportive community of wonderful women who want nothing more than to help each other. I’m just very thankful that I found Tone It Up all those years ago back in 2008 when I was just an 8th grader who hated her body and wanted to change.

I’m going to do a full post summarizing the Bikini Series and my experience later on this week =).

This morning, upon waking up I decided to test the waters and go out for an easy (and I mean easy) 4 mile run.

Again, I have yet to master the whole "take a non-blurry picture whilst running" thing.

Again, I have yet to master the whole “take a non-blurry picture whilst running” thing.

I lucked out in the sense that my local bird sanctuary was actually open this morning (it has really weird hours and is typically only open noon-3) which meant that I got to run on a non-cement surface. I definitely find running on grass more difficult, especially when the terrain as uneven as it is in my local bird sanctuary… But I know that it’s better for my joints.

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I was feeling hopeful when I made it through the first 2 miles with absolutely no pain, but then I began to feel my knee act up for about a half mile before the pain dissipated again. I guess I’ll be sticking to the pool for a while longer.

Bummer.

I have to say though, swimming has been killing my shoulders and arms like no other! Maybe by the time I’m no longer injured I’ll actually have some upper body strength!

Now I’m off to go get a present for my cousin’s engagement party later!

I’m also bringing them a sweet treat.

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You’ll see the finished product later 😉

Final note: I made the best smoothie bowl to date this morning.

IMG_4852Ok, time to stop procrastinating and get stuff done!

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Friday Favorites 6.20.14


Happy Friday! … Even though in like… 15 minutes it won’t be Friday anymore.

Whoops…

So, to make sure to get this post up on the day that it’s actually supposed to go up, I will spare you my usual rambling and get straight to what I have been absolutely loving this week!

Food:

Trader-Mings

 

Trader Joe’s Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette (wow, that’s a mouthful) is probably one of the greatest things ever. I’m not really one to buy packaged salad dressings, but when I’m having a big salad as my meal it’s nice to have something other than my usual balsamic + lemon juice. This stuff is light yet concentrated enough that a little bit goes a long way. I’ve been enjoying this over salads and in cold “stir-fry” form with zucchini noodles!

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I win all the awards for lowest-quality blog pictures.

Favorite Workout:

Swimming. Swimming. SWIMMING! As I mentioned yesterday, I used to swim all the time and then stopped. As much as being injured sucks (although, I really want to maybe try to do a run tomorrow and see how I feel), I’m so glad that it kind of forced me to get back into swimming! I went again this morning and it was absolutely lovely.

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Yes, that is the same picture from yesterday’s post….

Don’t judge.

Favorite Makeup:

I’ve been absolutely loving my go-to summer look that I posted on my Youtube channel!

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You may be thinking that putting this video into my Friday Favorites is shameless self-promotion.

You may be right.

But in complete seriousness, I have been loving this makeup look.

Favorite Read:

This article by Competitor on iron upkeep for runners. Like so many runners (especially female), I have low iron. In fact, I had low iron before I started running. Aside from pills and eating red meat (which I don’t really do) and a load of spinach, I didn’t know of any other ways to get my iron up.

Definitely a worthwhile read. Do recommend.

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Favorite Blogger:

Liz over at Funky Forest Food! I found her instagram while looking through some tag (maybe #rawvegan ? I’m not really sure) and the vibrant colors of her drool-worthy looking foods got my attention. I then went to her blog and spent an embarrassing amount of time lurking. She’s got some great healthy recipes that also happen to all be quite aesthetically pleasing.

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I need to make this now.

 

Tomorrow is Summer! Who’s excited?

Question(s):

What have you been loving this week?

Any fun weekend plans?

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Mileage Guilt?


Hey everyone! It’s my favorite day of the week!
I don’t actually know why it’s my favorite day… I’ve just always really loved Thursdays.

So yesterday morning for my workout I did something that I haven’t done in years…

I swam.

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(I think people judged me while I creepily took a photo of my gym’s pool through the window.)

My workout went like this:

20 lap warm up

5 x 2 lap freestyle sprints with 20 squats and 20 crunches between sets

5 x 2 lap sprints alternating between breast stroke and butterfly

20 lap cool down

My arms are definitely feeling this today…. I need to get back into swimming shape. This whole workout just made me happy.

The goggle indents you get under your eyes after a swim workout as just oh-so-attractive.

The goggle indents you get under your eyes after a swim workout as just oh-so-attractive.

Fun Fact: I was actually a swimmer for a majority of my life. Growing up, I played pretty much every sport that I possibly could, but swimming was the only one (apart for dance) that I really loved, was dedicated to, and was actually okay-ish at. I was a swimmer way before I was a runner! Actually, I really thought that running was the only sport I actually hated haha… Funny how things changed.

But yeah, I was involved in swimming every winter up until high school and every summer up through my sophomore year of high school.

Then, I just kind of stopped. Yes, a part of the reason I stopped swimming was because I was involved in my cross country and track teams and had also aged out of my summer swim team… But the main reason, I am embarrassed to say, was that I just didn’t want to be in a bathing suit. 

The water has always been my happy place. I could be in the ocean for hours at a time, I pretty much lived in the pool in the summer, and swimming laps made me feel like I was flying. I loved it. Then, although I have had awful body image issues for as long as I can remember, the idea of people seeing me in something as skimpy as as swim suit (even the one-piece that I wore for laps/swim team) was too horrifying of a thought that I gave up on something that I loved.

What’s even worse is that I actually convinced myself that there were other reasons that I stopped swimming… And one of them was that it would reduce my weekly mileage.

Wait… What?

Yeah. While I was swimming yesterday, I did a lot of thinking (crazy what your brain does without the stimulation that music normally gives it during my workouts).

For the most part, my thoughts were about how great I was feeling, and this lead me to think, “Why did I ever stop doing this in the first place?” And, “I really should do this more.”

So why don’t I?

Body image aside, the fact of the matter is that if I start incorporating more swimming workouts would mean decreasing my overall weekly mileage.. Unless I added swimming on top of my usual speed workouts and runs… Which isn’t happening.

I just don’t want my mileage to drop… And why?

(Wow, I ask a lot of rhetorical questions don’t I..?)

(I also use parenthesis way more than I probably should).

(I’m going to stop now).

I don’t know about any of you, but I doubt that I’m alone here in the fact that I feel pressured by some unknown being (read: the crazy part of my mind) to keep my weekly mileage at a certain number. I feel like if I drop below a certain number I can’t really consider myself a “real runner.” Because of this, I feel pressured to run almost every day of the week and only leave cross-training (which is something that I actually really enjoy) once or twice because God-forbid that I don’t run X amount of miles a week.

I know that I have been writing about exercise guilt and the pressure to be, “a real runner,” a lot lately, and I apologize if it’s super annoying and negative sounding. It’s just something that I have really been struggling with and I know that many other people do as well.

Whether it be the number of miles you feel that you should run, the amount of time that you feel you should workout, or something not even related to fitness, I believe that most of us feel some sort of pressure to be, “enough.” But who are we even trying to be enough for? No one actually cares how many miles your run or whether you worked out for 15 minutes or 150 minutes yesterday. No one is judging you. You are enough.

Just do me a favor and remember that ok?

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Monday Minutes


Hey all.

Today was another day full of getting things done for this upcoming school year. I seriously can’t believe how much goes into transferring colleges! I expected it to be a lot easier than this.

This morning started with Fitness Blender‘s “When I Say Jump Workout” before taking my brother to school.

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After taking him to school, I had to rush to make a train into the city to take care of some things for school. I also had to take the subway for the first time by myself. EEK!

It actually went pretty smoothly. It took me a while just to navigate my school itself (the amount of people who asked me if I was lost is embarrassing), but eventually I found the Health Office where I had to turn in my immunization forms and now I am finally cleared to register for classes!

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Also, apparently cupcake ATMs are a thing.

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HOW COOL IS THIS THING? I kind of really wanted to try it out, and I don’t even like cupcakes!

Alas, I did not try out the fancy cupcake ATM… Perhaps another time.

I wound up getting lost on my way back to the train station (I walked all the way there from school which wasn’t my best idea), and only just made my train. I had planned on doing a little shopping around and exploring while in the city, but that didn’t wind up happening. Guess that’s better for my wallet though!

I did, however, find an awesome and new-to-me snack for the train ride home!

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This stuff is really really crunchy and is actually really good as long as you don’t mind the taste of spirulina (the other flavors mask it, but since it’s so strong you still taste it). I don’t really like that one of the ingredients is sugar but hey, it’s not too shabby for a snack I picked up from a drug store!

When I got home, I ate and hung out for a bit, spent way too much time trying to register for the classes that I need to take (most of which are already full), and finally did Insanity: Plyometric Cardio Circuit. I don’t think I will ever get sick of the Insanity workouts.

I really need sleep and the goal here is that I am going to try to actually get to bed before midnight tonight.

Hope you all had a great day!

 

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Hello there.

This is Tuesday’s post but it is going up on hump day. Why? Because blah blah I got home late blah blah excuses blah blah blah.

Yesterday started off with a 5 mile run! I really want to up my mileage a little bit so I turned what would normally be my weekly easy 4 miler into a 5 miler.

It was all fun and games until I got stopped because a train had to come by (for what felt like 2000 years).

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Ever since I brought up my compulsive exercise tendencies on the blog, I have been trying to scale back a bit on all of the extra workouts that I was doing (running/workout + HIIT + toning every single day), and I have to say that, although it has only been a week, I was feeling a little bit stronger on my runs. However, yesterday I felt like I was absolutely dying on my run. My pace was above a 9 minute mile which I never run. My easy run pace is typically somewhere between 8:20-9:00 minutes per mile depending on the day… Which leads me onto the next topic that I really need to work on.

I need to not be so hard on myself.

I beat myself up over absolutely everything. No matter what it is I do, it will never be good enough. Now, the ridiculous part of this whole, “never good enough,” thing is… Who exactly am I not good enough for? I’m pretty sure that no one could care less about how fast I run or how much I run or how much I work out.

So what am I trying to prove?

Part of my trying to be kinder to my body is also trying to be kinder to myself as a whole. I don’t believe it wrong to assume that, more often than not, people are generally tough on themselves. We tell ourselves that we are failing someone… But that someone is ourselves. And if we are giving something our all, but still falling short of whatever unattainable “goals” that we set for ourselves, are we really failing?

I don’t know… Just some food for thought.

Tangent aside, it’s also pretty ridiculous of me to think that my body and energy levels will suddenly go back to normal after just a couple of days of only slightly cutting back on the exercise. It takes longer than that to recover, especially since I’m still not emotionally ready to give myself full rest days (which I know is really bad and I am working on it).

Some happier and less intense things (in no particular order):

  1. My mom made chili for dinner last night and it was fabulous. I love cooking for myself most nights, but you really can’t beat having food made by your mom every once in a while. I put my chili over cauliflower “rice.”

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Cornbread recipe from The Fat Free Vegan.  So. Good.

**(Side Note: I think I may turn into a head of cauliflower soon. I eat so much           cauliflower it’s insane.)**

2. I filmed my new Youtube video for this week and today will be spent editing it and uploading it!

Before

Before

After!

After!

 

3. I spent some time last night with my oldest friend and dearest friend! She was the first real friend that I ever had (we met the first day of Kindergarten!) and although we don’t talk all the time anymore, she is one of those people that I could not see for a year and then hang out with her and it will just be completely natural. It was so nice to see her and catch up and reminisce about old times.

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When I was little, I was so jealous of how many of these bouncy balls that she had and I even had favorites among her collection. See that clear blue one on the bottom left? Yeah. I wanted that darn bouncy ball so bad. Oh to be young again..

I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday (hey… alliteration!). I’m off to the gym.

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Guys. Guys. Guys.

I am beyond stressed. It’s actually insane how stressful and complicated this whole transferring schools things is…

Now, I actually feel bad complaining about myself being stressed, because I know that I definitely have it easier than most. I don’t have kids or bills or a full time job.

I woke up this morning and completed Turbo Jam’s Fat Blaster workout for my morning cardio (or as the Tone It Up community would call it, my “bootycall”!). This has been one of my go-to “bootycalls” for over 3 years now. It’s quick, gets my heart rate up without being too difficult, and it’s super fun!

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Chalene Johnson is honestly one of my biggest role-models. She’s just fabulous in every way shape and form. Admittedly, one of my goals in life is to meet her/attend a class of hers one day. Her positive attitude is infectious enough just over her social media, I couldn’t imagine how great it would be to be in a room with her!

Fan-girling aside, the rest of the morning, and a large bulk of the day, was spent one the computer/on the phone trying to sort out the million-and-one problems that have arisen with my transferring schools. First, I received notice that my housing deposit hadn’t been received (I sent it in over a week ago), and that I would have to be wait listed for housing if it wasn’t in by today. After hours of sorting that out, I had to take care of holds on my account that prevent my registering for classes (I’m not even sure if it’s all sorted out yet).

Then there was accessing my transfer-evaluation report… It was a nightmare.

According to the report, only 8 of my college credits transferred over to my new college. 

I don’t even know what to do about this! I had 39 credits at the end of my freshman year! I knew that I would lose some… But this is ridiculous! I wasted a year of my life and a sickening amount of money and have absolutely nothing to show for it. After a year of college, I will be entering my new school academically as a first semester freshman. How will I graduate in 4 years?!?!??!!

Ok.. Calming myself down now. So sorry that you all had to experience that little rant.

So, after that whole mess… I needed to de-stress.

De-stressing included:

A wonderful workout of Insanity: Max Interval Sports Training.

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(This is my all-time favorite workout in the Insanity program by the way).

Stress-cleaning the kitchen and my bedroom.

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(This actually resulted in more stress. Nothing. Is. Ever. Clean. Enough.)

And, of course, some stress baking.

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The delectable bread pictured here was actually the result of my being completely experimental in the kitchen. I’m so proud!

I am always hesitant to experiment with my own recipes due to the fact that ingredients are expensive (especially the ones that I want to use, like coconut flour, stevia, etc.)… But I always want to! I find cooking and baking so therapeutic, and I have to say… Creating my own recipe and having it result in something that was actually edible was a great feeling!

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What we have here is a gluten-free and low sugar protein pumpkin bread! I will say, the consistency is not exactly perfect (the protein powder in it makes it a mushy kind of consistency)… But I think it’s pretty darn good for my first attempt at something like this!

It’s also under 100 calories per square, but also contains 5 grams of protein per square, so I’m not complaining!

In the mix:

3/4 C Plant-based Protein Powder (I used Rainbow Light Vanilla… I would recommend SunWarrior or Perfect Fit in it’s place. I think the consistency would be better!)

1 C Buckwheat Flour

1/3 C Brown Sugar

1 T Vanilla Extract

1 t Baking Powder

1/2 t Baking Soda

1/3 C Liquid Egg Whites (I’m sure flax eggs would work too!)

1 Can Pumpkin Puree

1 T Pumpkin Pie Spice

Cinnamon to taste

Bake in a 9×12 baking pan at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until you can stick a knife/toothpick in the middle and have it come out clean.

Cut into 12 squares and enjoy!

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Aw. Look at me trying to pretend that I’m a food/recipe blogger.

A girl can pretend right?

Hope you all had a less stressful Monday than I did!

 

 

 

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Finding Balance


Hey everyone!

First things first, we NEED to talk about dinner.

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I kinda-sorta went crazy in the kitchen haha.

What you are looking at is:

  • roasted cauliflower, eggplant, and mushrooms
  • beet “fries”
  • portabello pizzas
  • guacamole
  • balsamic drizzled tomatoes with basil

So. Good.

I need to start including beets into my diet more often. I love them so much, always have, yet I always forget just how great they are! Also, cutting up a beet always results in the counters looking like a murder took place on top of them… Whoops.

So as for my workouts today…

I started off the day with Fitness Blender’s HIIT It Like A Girl 2 workout, had breakfast (guess what it was), and headed to the gym to complete this workout from Tone It Up!

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Later in the day, I also completed the new leg workout that Tone It Up posted today, along with their Bikini Series 2014 workout, and their Flamingo Workout!

Honestly, during my workouts lately, I have been feel especially weak and unmotivated during speed work/strength training lately. I can deny it all I want, but I know that I have been going overboard and falling back into bad habits with compulsive exercise.

Now, I know that an hour and a half of working out doesn’t seem like overexercising in any way, shape or form. Trust me, I am aware… But, as much as I wish that I could work out hours a day and feel fine, I can’t. My body just can’t handle it. That paired with improper fueling is almost definitely the reasoning behind my lack of energy lately and I know that I need to change it.

So where is the balance?

For me, as well as many other I’m sure, the hardest thing for me when it comes to running/working out in general is separating my working out because I love it and working out because I feel like if I don’t I’ll gain a million pounds in one day and lose all my fitness and the world will explode (wow, that’s logical).

When I first started running (as well as working out outside of organized sports) it was, like many other new exercisers, done mostly for weight loss. Quickly, I realized that I absolutely loved how pushing my body and learning was I was capable actually made me feel good about myself, a feeling that I very rarely felt. Needless to say, I was hooked.

However, even after my focus switched from working out for weight loss to working out because I loved it… There was still always that toxic nagging voice in the back of my mind telling me that what I was doing wasn’t enough.

3 miles today? Is that a joke? *Insert blogger here* ran 10 miles today… Wow you’re pathetic.

Your pace was a 9 minute mile? Wow, and you call yourself a runner?

You want a rest day? You don’t work out enough to warrant getting a rest day.

Anyone else have this mean little voice in their head? Or am I sounding absolutely mental?

I hope it’s not the latter… Hah…

What I’m trying to say it, I know that I am slipping, and I don’t want that. I really want to up my mileage and start running longer and doing my speed work harder (because to be perfectly honest, my energy levels are too low to go all out). These things would make me happy. But right now, working out isn’t fun. It is just something that I have to do because there’s a bully inside of my head that is telling me that I am not good enough. But really, that bully in my head? Yeah. Figment of my imagination… So why am I listening to it?

Starting right now, I am making a pledge to work harder at finding balance with my eating and exercise. Obviously, I don’t expect my brain to do a complete 180 overnight… But baby steps are key! I need to learn how to to really listen to my body.

I need to learn how to be at peace with myself.

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You are all wonderful and perfect ok?

Question:

Anyone else have a little bully that lives in their mind and tells them they aren’t good enough? How do you fight it off?

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Hey! How’s your Saturday going?

I woke up at around 7 this morning and headed out for my long run of the week (I used to do Sunday, but now, since I run with my girlfriends on Sundays, I do it on Saturdays). I covered a rocky 8 miles, my allergies were destroying me. YOU CAN ACTUALLY SEE THE PARTICLES OF POLLEN IN THE AIR! It’s insane! However, I muddled through. Was my face completely swollen and was my throat puffy and itchy by the end? Yes. But I did it!

Post-run, I showered and made a smoothie bowl… I didn’t have on yesterday, so I obviously I have to have about five of them today to make up for it!

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Frozen banana, ice, coconut milk, carob powder, cocoa powder, stevia, peppermint extract, and a handful of spinach. SO GOOD! I topped the bowl off with a couple of nuts and some freeze dried strawberries. I also enjoyed some out-of-this-world black berries on the side. I don’t know what it is about Trader Joe’s, but I swear that they always have the tastiest produce.

Oh, and I had some of this before my run this morning.

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On a side note – Erin needs to do her nails ASAP.

“What is that?” You ask? Well, it’s some grain-free vegan cinnamon walnut bread that I whipped up last night! The taste is on point, but the consistency is a bit weird. It’s pretty mushy and falls apart if it isn’t refrigerated. Still, it did the trick as some pre-run fuel!

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Speaking of things that I made last night, there was one recipe that came out successful.

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Vegan. Mushroom. Tacos.

Oh yes.

I was really craving something spicy and taco-ish last night, but I was also craving something really fresh, so I threw some things together and it came out perfect if I do say so myself.

Here’s what I did –

I cut up a few mushrooms (I used crimini, but I would assume that any would works) and 1/4 of an onion. I then sautéed them until soft and added cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and paprika to the mix and tossed until fully cooked. I then spooned the mixture onto three (cleaned) romaine hearts and topped with some salsa and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for some cheesy-ness.

So easy. So good.

I also used some non-fat greek yogurt as sour cream to top, obviously de-veganizing the whole shebang. Still delicious and healthy though!

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Hope you all have an amazing day!

Questions:

What was the last thing you cooked? How was it?

Any fun plans for the weekend?

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Hey everyone! I hope you all had a great long weekend!

Sunday was great! I met up with two of my girlfriends from my high school cross country team for some Sunday Funday action! It was so nice to see my friends after such a rough year away at school. It really does take meeting some really crummy people to be about to appreciate just how amazing the good people in your life are.

We only wound up running around a mile and then walking for the rest of the time while chatting and catching up on each other’s lives. It’s so funny and slightly strange to see how much a year of college changes people. It just seems like all of a sudden all of the people that I knew in high school are completely different than they used to be. I guess college does that to people!

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And of course, no Sunday Funday/hangout with the girls would be complete without froyo!

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MayZay had to point to hers because she was so proud that she managed to fit over a pound of frozen yogurt in her cup! In my mix, I have peanut butter and caramel pretzel flavored yogurt with my regular boring topics. I have missed this particular yogurt shop so muchTheir flavors are da bomb dot com (did I really just say that?)!

My Memorial Day was pretty uneventful. My mom was working and my brother had friends over the entire day (watching 5 pre-teen boy is sooo much fun…).

I started the day off with a 5 mile run whilst listening to my audio book.

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Being a huge John Green fan, I have been wanting to read this book for forever, and I have to say that I am loving it so far. John Green really is a master at character development and at creating characters that seem so real. You can’t help but fall in love with the characters.

I spent the rest of the day cleaning, catching up on school things, and filming this week’s video for my Youtube channel. It will be up tomorrow!

And since I had no where to go… Obviously, I did my hair and makeup even though I spent most of the day completely alone.

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The day ended with my grandparent’s coming over after my mom got out of work. I can’t think of a better way to end a day than sitting outside on the deck with my grandparent’s. I am so lucky to have such amazing people in my life.

On a more random note, I really need to get better about writing out blog posts in the mornings instead of at midnight so maybe they will actually be coherent.

Until tomorrow!

Questions:

How was your weekend? Do anything fun?

What’s your idea of the perfect end to a day?

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