Dec 31, 2012

2013 Aspirations and Monday Meraki no. 3

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I'm back from vacation y'all, and boy do I feel refreshed & energized to ring in 2013!

Now, I'm not usually one for resolutions, but I promised to give an update on what I want to achieve in 2013 in my last post so I'm holding true to my word:

Short List of Aspirations for 2013

Personal:

  1. Keep starting every day by writing down a list of 10 things I'm grateful for.
  2. Make Google hangouts with friends and family a more frequent occurrence.
  3. Use hand lotion more liberally.
  4. Thank people more often.
  5. Floss daily.

Fitness and Health-Related:

  1. Run a Half Marathon with Matt
  2. Try new group workouts (e.g., Cycling, Mat Pilates)
  3. Maintain good daily fitness habits (i.e., planks, wall sits and crunches)
  4. Be more experimental with healthy foods and eat a wider variety of dishes (the new cookbooks I received over the holiday should help with this!)
  5. Floss daily. 

I think my dental school friends would be proud of my dental health-focused aspirations :)


Goals of the Moment Update

1. Runner's World Holiday Streak - ACHIEVED! I'm so stoked I stuck with this goal!

2. Daily Crunches & Planks - Going well, vacation made me a little forgetful on these sometimes, but I started off again in Nashville this morning in good fashion with 50 crunches & a 1 min plank.

3. Stepmill - None of my relatives own a stepmill, so I didn't accomplish any stepmill workouts over my vacation. I'll get back on this horse this week!

4. Teeth Brushing Wall Sits - These are just fun and I definitely kept it up over my vacation and again this morning!


Now, let's Meraki!

Once of my favorite places to get creative is in the kitchen, and over the holidays I whipped up a Greek appetizer that would make my Mama proud! It was so simple I just had to share...

Oranges with E.V.O.O. and black pepper

Instructions:
1. Slice up an orange
2. Drizzle with E.V.O.O.
3. Sprinkle with black pepper

Voila! You now have one visually appealing and delicious treat! You could even add a blood orange to bring some more color to the plate :)

Do you have any quick and healthy appetizers or snacks that you love to get creative with?

Dec 21, 2012

Exploring the Brew-niverse

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@ Flying Saucer (Matt's Mecca)

Fun Fact: 
One of Matt's favorite things in the world is craft beer, and he peddles it all day. He's always getting me to try some new brewed conconction, and 8 times out of 10 I absolutely love his suggestions. So last night, when he was given tickets to go a little beer tasting event called Science of Beer via a distributor friend I said sure I'd go, why not?

I'm not nearly as much as a brew-fanatic as he is, but I can definitely appreciate a delicious cold one every now and again.

In short, IT WAS AWESOME.

When they named the event, SCIENCE of Beer they meant it! My nerdy side reeeally came out to play for the evening. They held the tasting at the Adventure Science Center here in Nashville, and let me just break down this scenario for y'all: all of the fun exhibits that go into children's science museums, add beer, no kids. 

BRILLIANT.

I tasted a little of several wonderful brews, but my favorite was a chocolate milk stout from Terrapin brewery called "Moo Hoo". Hilarious name, delicious chocolate-y brew.


Since yesterday was jam-packed with getting ready to travel for the holidays (I take forever to pack) and adventuring up the brewniverse, I used it as a rest day. We leave today for Indiana and I couldn't be more excited! It will be great to spend the holiday with both of our families :)

While we're traveling over the next week I plan on doing at least a little running every day, for me, running is the best vacation workout. It's easy to pack for, you aren't relying on a gym, and it can be done early in the morning so it won't interfere with friends & family time during the day!

Since we're coming to the end of the year, and being away from home will make it difficult for me to get in stepmill workouts & racquetball games, I'm modifying my goals to be travel-friendly...

Updated Goals of the Moment:

  • Do at least 50 crunches and a 1 minute plank in the morning after waking up and in the evening right before bed every day.
  • Do at least 5 miles on the stepmill every week.
  • Do wall-sits when brushing teeth

Good luck with all your healthy-living goals over the holiday! I know it can be challenging to steer away from tempting junk food and keep up a healthy attitude, but you can do it, you totally can!

I'll be back soon to talk about what I'm looking to achieve in 2013...

Do you have any meaningful personal goals or resolutions for the New Year yet? I'd love to hear about them, I'm always looking for inspiration!

Thanks for reading!



Dec 18, 2012

Beating Indoor Boredom!

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My my my, what a beautiful day it's turning out to be! I'm loving this warm weather in December, it's one of my favorite perks of living in the south :)

Last night it was so nice out I decided to skip the gym and run outside around Music Row. I did a little over 2 miles at a 9:51 pace and then rounded that out with 1-min intervals of crunches and planks for a good 30-min workout.

I gotta tell ya, I do not miss the days of always having to do my runs indoors in the winter months. If you get easily bored when confined to indoor workouts in cold weather (like me!), here are some great tips on making treadmill workouts more fun via azcentral. Even though these tips are treadmill-specific, they could easily apply to your indoor stationary equipment of choice :)

Ways to Make Running on a Treadmill More Fun
    1. Warm up slowly for your treadmill running workout. Walk at a leisurely pace and pick up speed little by little until you're jogging comfortably. Take an easy 10-minute jog before beginning to run.

    2. Vary your pace. Run as fast as you can for 1 or 2 minutes. Take a breather at a slower pace for several minutes. Continue to alternate between challenging and recovery paces 5 to 10 times. Spend as much time at recovery pace as you do when running hard. Adjust the cycle to extend the time periods as your fitness level increases over time.

    3. Run hard during commercials if you’re able to watch TV during your treadmill workouts. When your show resumes, slow the pace back down. Switch the order up by running at an easy pace during regular programming and taking slower recovery breaks during commercials. If a TV isn’t available, run for 10 minutes and drop to recovery pace for 3 to 5 minutes.

    4. Vary your treadmill incline level by increasing it 4 or 5 degrees for about 20 minutes. Reset the incline to zero and repeat the cycle twice more during your workout to increase your aerobic capacity. Try speeding up during incline increases for a more vigorous session.

    5. Experiment with the different programs that your treadmill affords you. Try various speed and incline intervals, hill climbing and heart rate monitoring modes to help strengthen your muscles and increase your aerobic capacity. It will help hold your attention and add some interest to an otherwise dull workout routine.

    6. Walk backwards to culminate your treadmill running workout and ease yourself into a final cooling down period. You’ll challenge your balance while using leg muscles in a whole new way.

    7. Cool down to end your session. Assume a comfortable recovery pace for 2 to 5 minutes. This will help prevent blood pooling in veins and muscles that can produce pain, cramps, swelling and sudden dizziness.


      Whatever kind of weather you're dealing with, I hope you're having fun getting fit! What tricks/tips do you have for making indoor workouts more enjoyable?


Dec 17, 2012

Monday Meraki no. 2

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It's officially starting to feel like Christmas time, and only one more week until I'm home for the holidays :)

I think the majority of my weekend can be summarized by the following image...


Addicted...sorry I'm not sorry.

Given my overall lack of productivity over the weekend, I was really proud of myself for waking up early enough to not only prep my meals, but also brew a big cup o' coffee! Mmmmm... coooffeeeee...

Breakfast: Egg & Ham Scramble; Snacks: Clementines and Bell Pepper/Carrot Mix; Lunch: Broccoli Cuts with Chicken

Goal Update:

Runner's World Holiday Streak Challenge: Day 26 and going strong! I've run a mile every day since Thanksgiving and I'm 100% committed to achieving this goal.

Racquetball: The timing was never right last week for a match. I'll be playing double hard tonight against Matt to make up for it!

Stepmill: Another week, another miss on this one. In my defense though, the kickboxing class I tried last Tuesday that "wasn't that challenging"...yeah...I was miserably sore for the next three days. Stepmill wasn't really an option haha.


Now, let's Meraki!

via Otherworldy

Whilst enjoying the comfort of a good book over the weekend I also had the joy of hanging out with a couple of my favorite companions. They are the fluffiest and funniest companions you will ever meet. Yes, I am speaking of my two fantastic felines, Shadow & Mojo.

3.5 yr old male Shadow
6 month old girl Mojo

Shadow originally belonged to Matt, while I took Mojo home with me about the same time I moved to Nashville (fun fact: they both came from the same calico mama) . Now, they both live together with me! Matt chose the name Shadow on his own, but we collaborated on Mojo's name together and decided to name her after a delicious IPA.

Mojo's namesake
I'm definitely a cat lover, 100%. That being said, I grew up on a farm having a myriad of different pets and if I could, I would definitely love to have a dog...and maybe some cows and horses and pigs too ;) For the time being though, my townhouse can only accommodate 2 small kitties, and I'm completely fine with that. 

For all you other cat lovers out there who want to get creative with your demonstrations of love for your respective felines, here's some fun stuff! I've definitely entertained the notion of purchasing and/or crafting up everything I'm sharing with you today :)









i <3 cats mug via Amazon - $12 (wow...this looks so much like Mojo)




Hope you enjoyed these creative expressions of kitty love! Good luck with all your fitness goals this week and have a really happy monday!

via fitfabcities

What are some ways you get yourself motivated at the beginning of the week?

Dec 14, 2012

Friday Favorites no. 2

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Here are 7 of my most favorite things from this week:

Favorite Recipe

Sweet Potato Fries via Women's Health
I've been craving sweet potatoes fries recently. I like them best with a little more salt so you get that awesome sweet + salty effect.


Favorite Wellness Tip

tip via Greatist
Chew on some gum to reduce stress!


Favorite Color

Berry via the-luxe tumblr
Love this color so much right now.


Favorite Gift Idea

via Mr. Bijoy

Mmmmm Bourbon marshmallows... these may make an appearance this year... :)


Favorite Laugh


Most genius practical joke ever.


Favorite Smile


Help! My adorable niece & nephew have turned into CHEETAHS!!!


Favorite Motivation
Advice for a happy Fit Bottomed life!
A fun & colorful reminder!

I hope you have a fun and safe weekend!!

Dec 12, 2012

Trying New Things (#TNT): Kickboxing Edition

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Happy Wednesday! Last night, my lovely roommate (and future kickboxing instructor) invited me to try kickboxing for the first time, and it was very... interesting. To be honest, I can't say that I absolutely love using a kickboxing class as my primary workout. That being said, there were some things that I thought were GREAT about it.

Here's my humble beginner's list of kickboxing pros & cons:

Pros

  • No equipment necessary
  • Can do with your friends
  • Upbeat pace
  • Some challenging moves incorporated (i.e., Burpees)
  • Targets the lower and upper body muscle groups

Cons

  • Confusing cues are frustrating (especially from a self-proclaimed "newbie" instructor)
  • (IMHO) 90% of the moves aren't challenging enough
  • Group classes can get REALLY crowded
  • Constantly moving on your toes can give serious cramping
  • The immiment danger of getting accidentally kicked in the head
After our 60 minutes of kickboxing was up we hit the stepmill to add a little extra oomph to our workouts (like I said above, I didn't really feel challenged enough during the class). Unfortunately, the class started later in the evening and by the time I got home around 9pm I was STARVING. To fix that, I cooked up some turkey bacon with spinach and a side of Alfredo pasta. It was quite wonderful, but eating that late at night never, ever sits well with me and I went to bed with a pretty bad stomach ache. A seriously good lesson in planning meal times better!

Tonight is my company's holiday party (YAY!) so I won't have to worry about planning eating around my workout on this particular Wednesday. Nevertheless, here's some motivation for y'alls' workout goals today!



Today's Question: Do y'all have any advice on eating before/after/during your workout? What kind of snacks do you typically use as your workout fuel?





Dec 10, 2012

Monday Meraki no. 1

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An exciting new thing has happened. I've fallen in love with a word that (so far as I know) doesn't exist in the English language. So much so, I've decided to make it the theme of my posts every Monday from here on out!

Meraki (pronounced may-rah-kee; Greek)

via OtherWorldy

So... there you have it, every Monday that I post I'm going to share something with you that I relate to in a special and/or unique/fun way. Keep in mind that's a pretty vague rule and the mix will be eclectic to say the least.

But first... a goal update!

Runner's World Holiday Streak Challenge: It's Day 19 and I've run at least a mile for every day since Thanksgiving! In full disclosure, I've taken a few days off during that time, but I've always tacked on extra miles for the days I've rested. My favorite thing about this goal is that it's so realistic for me and my busy work schedule.

Racquetball: I played exactly one match against Matt last week. Goal, check.

Stepmill: While I didn't quite meet the 10-mile goal again this last week, I did get closer. Progress over perfection!

Now, let's Meraki!

Obviously, something I throw a lot of me into on a regular basis is running. It's my time to meditate, relax, and do something worthwhile entirely on my own. But, I also find that it's a time to shine. To be out in the world and say, "Hey, I'm here babes! Doing work and keeping healthy!". I can't think of a better way to do that than to add a eye-catching something-something to your physical appearance, to wear fun things and make a statement as you whiz past people chatting at coffee houses and walking their dogs.

Who doesn't want to look good when they are getting their fitness on? Here's some pieces (for both women & men) that I would definitely do a double-take for on the sidewalk or at the gym ;)


Wicked Fast Runnah Tank - $30


Men's New Balance MR 890 Revlite Baddeley Rainbow - $160




Skreened Unisex Tank - $27.99



Colorful Braided Cotton Jersey Headband -  $29


American Apparel Unisex Tank - $20.99


free to be sports bra via Lululemon - $42


Beastmode Women's Razorback - $16


Stars 'n Stripes Headwrap - $8


And not that I'd ever wear these... but I'd sure high five the person who did!
Reflective shorts inspired by the movie Burlesque - $50



Personally, I love to spice up my workout outfits with a bright/funny tank top. What's your favorite pop item for your runs or at the gym? 

Dec 6, 2012

Winner Winner

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I think I have the lucky gene.

Yesterday, I won another set of tickets from my favorite local radio station to a show at the Loveless Cafe barn :) I took my good friend, Jill, and we had a jolly-old time listening to fun live music & drinking local beer (in honor of the 79th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition of course!).


The lunchtime surprise of the show did kind of throw a wrench into my workout & dinner plans, but as in most things, improvisation is key! In an effort to be more efficient with my workout time I just tackled a couple miles on the stepmill & some core work. I felt that it was a great use of my time and I was even out of the Y in time to shower & whip together a roadie smoothie of vanilla whey protein, bananas and clementines for dinner! (YUM)

My breakfast this morning was another quick coffee cup scramble, I just can't get enough of these (especially when I have so many funny mugs to choose from).



Tonight, the plan is to get some more miles in on the stepmill & treadmill. Luckily, I won't be rushed so it should be a more relaxing and productive workout than yesterday. Here's a little motivation for your goals today, I love this one.

via Blondeponytail.com

What kind of workouts do y'all hit up when you're in a rush?

Dec 4, 2012

Vita-Love

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Wheew! Today has been a busy whirlwind, and I'm super happy to have a quiet minute to get some blog action going for y'all :) My workout last night was fantastic, this time I tried getting my stepmill miles in before running and it worked like a charm. After that, I went into beast mode and did crunches with another 3-minute plank. I don't think there was one square inch of my body that wasn't sweating. It was awesome.

Dinner was a yummy combination of a baby spinach, shredded roast beef, and red delicious apple salad paired with bananas. I'm bananas for bananas. 

On the topic of this post--

Early this morning (as I was getting ready at the absurd hour that I've somehow grown accustomed to) I looked at my medicine cabinet and realized that I've been really bad lately about remembering to take my vitamins. I've probably chosen the worst time of year to start lapsing on this too. It seems like every other person I know is either getting sick, getting over being sick or is sick and won't admit it to anyone.

Vitamins aren't just immune health miracle workers though, they have a myriad of other benefits. If you're curious, check out this uhhh-mazing post via Greatist that gives a breakdown of the properties for all of the most essential vitamins & minerals. Remember, everyone's needs in the realm of vitamins are going to be slightly different and it's important to research on your own which supplements would be the best for you.

Here's a shot of my daily go-to doses:



Vitamin D - Since I work inside all day I don't get nearly as much exposure to sunlight as I'd like. It also keeps my bones healthy :)

Vitamin B Complex - A friend in training for a 1/2 iron man first turned me on to the benefits of Vitamin B. B6 helps in the production of serotonin and B12 helps in the metabolism of fatty acids and amino acids, cell creation and the protection of nerve cells.

Women's Multi-Vitamin: I'm a firm believer in listening to my mom's advice. So I'm passing this nugget along - If you're a woman who doesn't eat a lot of iron-rich foods, there is no reason you should not be taking one of these every day. After a routine check-up this past spring my blood tests indicated that I was slightly anemic, and looking back it makes perfect sense. I was living an almost totally vegetarian lifestyle and I wasn't consistently filling that gap with any supplements. Iron deficiencies are super common in women, especially those who are vegetarians and vegans. I'm definitely doing my best to make sure that doesn't happen again to me :)

On another note--


I'm going to a fancy-schmancy healthcare reception tonight, and after that's over I'm planning on heading straight to the gym from there. Gotta get that workout in before the VS show comes on! I'll be doing another couple of miles on the stepmill with a quick run and some core work. Just because, here's some fun, fierce motivation in honor of the angels extravaganza tonight!


Thanks for reading! Do you have any good advice to share on vitamins or other supplements you use?

Dec 3, 2012

Back to Business

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I hope y'all had a wonderful weekend! Mine was pretty fantastic :) On Saturday, my roommate Monica and I got in a lovely run around our neighborhood, spruced up our townhouse for the holidays, and played outside in Centennial Park. The warm weather christmas decorating was a little strange for me, but hey, I'm not complaining!

Frosty the Fridge

As you can see, Frosty supports the Hoosiers as well (now 8-0 after Saturday's demolishing of Coppin State)!

Goal update:

Runner's Challenge: It's Day 12 and I'm still going strong! I'm planning on running a couple miles tonight and pairing it with a couple miles on the stepmill.

Racquetball: Last week I played exactly one match (huzzah!), but I definitely could have played for more :) Such a fun workout.

Stepmill: I didn't quite meet my 10-mile goal for last week and I think it's because I like to make running my workout focus. By the time I'm finished with a few miles of running it's really difficult to do more than a couple miles on the stepmill. This week, I'm going to just try and do a couple miles every time I'm at the gym. I think breaking it up into smaller pieces will make my goal more achievable.

Here's some motivation for your Monday wellness goals!




Nov 30, 2012

Friday Favorites no. 1

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Here's my run-down of some of my favorite things from this week. Enjoy!

Favorite Recipe

IMG_6428
Pea Masala via Glow Kitchen, a twist on my favorite Indian dish.

Favorite Workout Track


A super catchy and upbeat track off Jukebox the Ghost's new album.

Favorite Inspiration

via Back on Pointe tumblr

Favorite Laugh

What I walked in on the other night...

Favorite Etsy Find

Boots Boys Bourbon Racerback Tank
via TheGypsyFox
TGIF! For my workout tonight I'm gonna get in a run (day 9 of Holiday Streak challenge) and a cross-training session on the stepmill and then tomorrow morning I'm trying a new Mat Pilates class at the gym. So excited! How are you going to be healthier this weekend? I'd love to hear :)

Nov 29, 2012

Rested Up

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Isn't there a saying that goes something like "plans were made to be broken"? It would definitely fit my workout plans for last night. Yesterday afternoon, I got this throbbing headache after lunch and my head felt like it was filled with beeswax. Instead of pushing through it at the gym, I took the night off and stayed home cleaning the apartment (which now looks fantastic thank you very much).

For dinner last night I cooked up some spaghetti squash with roasted red pepper sauce and meatballs. It smelled so freaking good I forgot to snap a shot of it before devouring the entire bowl. No worries though, that's DEFINITELY a dish I'll be making again soon :)

Breakfast was a simple coffee cup scramble (but with ham instead of cheese & water instead of milk) and about a cup of blueberries (superfood!).



I'm feeling loads better today so tonight I'll tackle a couple miles of running and a good 3 miles on the stepmill. It was a little difficult not to feel discouraged when I couldn't keep my workout schedule yesterday, but I just had to remind myself that rest when you need it is something you should never feel upset about. I discovered these adorable words of widsom on typepad this morning to help drive that message home.

Rondaart journalRecharge

In general, I usually take 2ish days per week completely off to rest and recharge. How many days per week do y'all typically rest? What do you define as a "rest" day? Mine typically involve two fluffy creatures laying on top of me while I snuggle beneath a blanket gorging myself on Dexter and Homeland :)

Nov 28, 2012

Who-NC?

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I'm still jazzed up about the Hoosier win against UNC last night! That 6th banner is knocking on our door!!

Switching gears, this time of year is seasonally slow at work so I'm finding myself with plenty of time to brainstorm workouts and grocery shopping lists. Yippee!

To start off the day my breakfast consisted of: a cup of green tea, one slice of wwwg toast with a spread of loveless cafe blackberry jam, and two juicy clementines. Simple and delicious.



Yesterday, I had to fit in my 1-mile run (Day 6 of Holiday Streak check!) during lunch time because I was invited to the SiriusXM album premiere party for Florida George Line (whisper scream!). I went with my friend Haley and afterwards we headed to our favorite Big10-friendly bar and watched Indiana basketball dominate. All-in-all, a fantastic evening. Here's a picture of us with Brian and Tyler. They were super nice, and SO talented! 

The plan for this evening is to do a mile of running plus another 30 minutes or so of cross-training on the stepmill. Gotta get those goals! Here's some motivation that really spoke to me this morning, I hope it helps you as well!

Right now, I'm really trying to build up more endurance on stair workouts. What goals are you working towards?