Category Archives: Favorite Products

Well-Being Wednesday

Evening bloggers and readers!

I apologize for the late post tonight, I had another serious one all typed and ready to go and then my site started to glitch…? or something and everything was lost! I was a bit frustrated and my non-technical self was not able to salvage my work so I will be re-posting it tomorrow when I re-write it 🙂

I have seen several other bloggers have “themed” days according to the week and decided to jump on that bandwagon. On a daily basis, I am making changes and choices toward a healthier future that will benefit me both mentally and physically. As discussed a number of times, fitness and running are a part of who I am, so treating my body the best that I can with proper nutrition, adequate calories, and REST, are goals of ultimate goals of mine to regularly incorporate.

So, I’m calling this post, “well-being Wednesday” and will be having this sort of theme each Wednesday, hopefully posted earlier in the day though 🙂 The idea of this is to use my own knowledge and advice from others to make small changes to better my mind and body. It is my strong belief that if you keep making small changes to your daily routine, they eventually add up and become a normal part of your life and are no longer so scary. For example, I took a rest day on Sunday and although it made my anxiety go through the roof, I did not do any extra cardio/weights that day. Yes it was uncomfortable, but resting one or two days a week is necessary and something I promise to do for myself and my anxiety surrounding this will dwindle!

I am forcing these changes for my WELL-BEING because life is so completely beyond a constant fixation and critique of your body.

For my well-being Wednesday I…

  • Stretched my legs, back, abs, and arms after an intense cardio kick class. *I used to never stretch because in my mind it was a waste of time where I could be doing extra cardio, running, or weights while at the gym…brilliant I know.
  • Bought some of my favorite Caramel Corn from Trader Joe’s that I used to not allow in my room for fear of over eating it, hello let’s try moderation, a handful satisfies me just fine! It’s so delicious, imagine Cracker Jacks but ten thousand times better, give or take a bit hehe

  • Tried something new at the dining hall tonight (roasted fish), knowing it was cooked in oil… crazy stuff! 😉
  • Had a large breakfast- Oats in a Jar again! This means that I not only ate a big breakfast, but that I am actually plowing through my nut butter stash which= fat in my diet which= healthier hair, skin, everything for me!

It’s the same mix as last time: 1/3 cup regular oatmeal, 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk, 1/2 water, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 sliced medium banana, lots of cinnamon and sweetener to taste. Stir it up, store it in the fridge overnight or for at least an hour, take it out and try not to inhale it 🙂 Once again, looks like baby yuck food, taste glorious.

  • Contacted a long-lost friend I had not talked to for quite some time…via facebook, but a connection nonetheless!
  • Not entirely sure if this counts but it made me feel better–> put air in my tires by myself! I don’t like dealing with car stuff, I know typical female! I just always hope there is a man or someone with knowledge of cars around if I ever need help. Oh and that’s what Triple A is for haha

Sorry about the odd coloring, but this is my car! Rhonda the Honda 🙂

  • Made some phone calls for summer plans I have been avoiding for a long time, just because I didn’t want to deal with it. This was quite silly, as the calls were no big deal and made me feel more set for the summer!

Like I said, these are small changes but they add up and enable you to make a permanent change toward a life beyond obsessing about your own body, food, what others think, etc.

What well-being changes have you made for yourself today? If none, will you try them tomorrow? Do you like the idea of this weekly post?

Uh oh, it’s pushin past my old lady bedtime of 10:00 pm! Goodnight 😀

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Filed under Favorite Products, Product Review, Recovery

Confession: Granola Bars Are Taking Over My Room

That might be an odd title, but it’s the only one I could think of that truly defines this post! After seeing Freya’s post on this matter, I realized I’m guilty of this as well!

The scary thing is this is only about half of my stash! It seems every time I go to a grcocery store, I can’t help but just look at the bar selection and see if there are any new ones! I may or may not squeel with delight if I see a new flavor or brand 🙂 However, I have officially made a promise to myself after seeing this ridiculousness, that I am NOT allowed to buy anymore until I have eaten some of them!

I do have at least one everyday. They are perfect for a mid-afternoon snack around 4 or 4:30 when I am inevitably hungry and bored during class= deadly combination. Whipping out one of these bars not only satisfies me until dinner, but most are pretty darn tasty.

Favorites: (*I was not sent these, just sharing my faves 😀 )

  • Clif Bar-  Maple Nut, maple is one of my favorite flavor so putting this in a bar, chewy, amazing form is pure perfection
  • Kashi- Pretzel Chocolate Crunch, truly an unbeatable combination
  • Nature Valley- Peanut Butter, yes they don’t have the best ingredient list, but I can’t get over the peanutty crunch, and I like that there are two in the package. Makes me feel like I am eating more 🙂
  • NuGo Free- Dark Chocolate Crunch, these are gluten free (not that I don’t eat gluten but helpful for those who cannot!) and they are pleasantly chewy with a strong dark chocolate flavor that really leaves me satisfied.

What are some of your favorite granola/nutrition bars? After I have eaten a few of mine, I am going to HAVE to seek out more and like I said, am always looking for new ones!

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Favorite Running Products

If you haven’t read my post about my compulsive exercising, check it out if you would like! It is a very important topic to me and one where I must listen to my own damn advice and not just preach about what I SHOULD be doing!

My “career” with running started only a few years ago, when I was 18. As I have discussed on the running and races page, I used to loathe running and couldn’t comprehend how people actually enjoyed voluntarily engaging in this activity for pleasure and fun. To me, running= torture. Not so fond memories of earlier running experiences were in Middle school when we were forced to run a mile on the track as part of a fitness test most kids had to go through.

Well I barely finished the mile but did manage to get 12:30 which I was fairly proud of! The next year when I was 14, I banged it out in 8:45 and figured that was the fastest I would ever go. However, the combination of quitting swimming when I was 18, with diligently building my miles, speed and endurance over several years, I can run a mile a whole lot faster!

From this….

To this! 😀

With the continuous engagement into the world of running, I learned to become particularly attached to a few products along the way that I consider essential for successful runs! *Note- I am not trying to advertise any of these/none were went to me, I just wanted to share what helps me run 🙂

Asics- Kayano 17. It seems I have been sucked into the high-tech shoe craze, but I have to admit, I absolutely love these sneakers! I have bought the same brand and kind for the last three years and these are the only ones that have not hurt me in anyway. I overpronate, which means my foot rolls in too much when every time I come down on my feet. It is ideal to have normal pronation, or the inward roll of the foot and in particular the heel and arch which occurs naturally at the heel strike as a cushioning method. (Source) I know there is much skepticism around whether “minimalist shoes” such as the Vibram Five Fingers are actually the best for a human body, but for now I’m sticking with these. Check out this article from Runner’s World, if you are interested in finding out more about minimalist shoes! And this brings me to my next favorite…

I look forward to Runner’s World every month! I love the tips and suggestions for runners and athletes, but also the quirky articles from various authors, and updated information on all the elite runners out there.

Under Armor’s Cold Weather gear running tights. Trust me, I know these are expensive, but they have been a great investment! Especially this past epic winter when I would sometimes be running in 10 degree weather (that’s my limit), at least my legs stayed toasty warm!

This is a great, inspirational read that I feel every athlete or anyone into fitness should read to give themselves a motivating kick in the butt! The book made me want to ditch my running shoes and go gallivanting into the dessert to simply run! Well that thought crossed my mind only for a second, then I read the perils the group went through!

My iPod, a nano in particular. This is a good size for running/walking because it’s quite small and doesn’t weigh my arm down at all, where I listen to it on an armband during a run. I also have mentioned that listening to books on my iPod is my favorite new thing to past the time! If I am just going for a casual run, it is so nice to zone out to the book I am listening to and like I said, it makes the miles fly by. I am currently listening to South of Broad by Pat Conroy which is amazing so far! Full review when I finish 🙂

The first time I tried these was during my first half-marathon (I know I should have tested them before, newbie mistake!) and I really feel they helped to give me that extra push during the race. I ate two around mile 7 and 11, and definitely felt a bit more energized.

Well these are my favorite running products! I also have a very basic stop watch from target that I use to time myself but would love a Garmin or similar watch. I’m a bit too poor at the moment to buy one though 🙂

*What are some of your favorite running/work out/walking products? I like hearing input from others to maybe incorporate some of their goods into my life!

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Filed under Favorite Products, Product Review, Running

Influenced Once Again- Oats in a Jar

Ahh, it is such a gorgeous day out! 54 degrees and sunny in Amherst, which feels balmy after this brutal winter we have all experienced 🙂 Spring is surely in the air. But HOLD UP… there will be a Winter Storm Warming in effect starting tomorrow night…. There are 2-4 inches of snow expected, not too much but winter just does not want to let go!

A little less of this...

How about a little less of this…^

AND MORE OF THIS!

This morning I went to the gym here at school and did 20 minutes of intervals on the elliptical. I set the incline at 15 and did a simple HIIT routine of going 35 seconds fast, and 25 seconds recovery for 5 minutes at level 12. Then I would recover for 2 minutes at level 10 and then repeat the sequence until the 20 minutes was up. This was pretty random but I wanted to get in some cardio before Kickboxing!

I have talked about this class before but want to mention it again because it’s one of my favorite group fitness classes. I am seriously the most uncoordinated person alive, so I was a bit apprehensive about trying this class at the beginning of the year in fear of looking like a GOON. Although I do punch right or kick left (when I am supposed to be doing the opposite! haha) I still get a great workout in and am always sore the next day! Especially in my back and arms, I’m not used to working them that way. Besides, everyone else is worried about if they’re doing the routine correctly and not lookin at you!

*Below the surface- I am constantly feeling self-conscious and that people are looking/staring at me, of course in a negative way. I feel like I am being judged all of the time, on my clothes, how my hair looks, makeup, acne, my height, and of course, my body. Although i am finally understanding this is not the case, I still can’t help feeling, “somebody’s watchin me!” (anyone know the song?!) I am working through this and I also have realized how much I look at other people. And I admit, I do my share of judging as well. Not necessarily something mean, but I make conclusions about people I see or talk to. I really need to get the heck over this, it’s rude and just not necessary. Of course I feel that people are looking at me, I’m lookin right back! Can anyone relate/have advice? I am not a mean person, actually quite nice 🙂 so I think I do this because I sometimes feel bad about myself.

Phew, sorry about that tangent! On to the title of this post….after my butt was kicked at Cardio KICK, I returned to my room where a fabulous breakfast awaited me! Overnight Oats in a Jar the blog world strikes again!!

Looks so nasty, tastes so good! Into almost empty jar of one of my favorite nut butters, Barney Butter’s Crunch Almond Butter, went:

  • 1/3 cup dry (not instant!) oats
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1 sliced medium banana
  • 1.5 tbs Chia seeds
  • Several dashes of cinnamon= i am addicted to cinnamon

Stir that baby up, put it in the fridge overnight (or for a few hours) so the liquid can be absorbed by the oats. Unscrew the cap the next day and try not to inhale it’s ugly wonderfulnous <– that’s a word, I swear.

Demolished! So good. There was probably about two tablespoons of almond butter left in the jar when I put the mixture, it was my best oatmeal concoction yet!

I have an appointment this afternoon, then a dinner date with the lovely Danielle!

Have a good day everyone, enjoy the weather if it’s nice where you are 😀

*Has anyone tried overnight oats in a jar? I’ll admit when I first heard of this in the blog world, I thought it sounded gross. How wrong I was.

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Filed under Awesome Bloggers, Below The Surface, Breakfast, Exercise, Favorite Products, Nut Butter, Product Review, Recipe

Motivating Music

Hi Readers!

I made a new page about important people in my life, to get to know me a bit better. Check it out if you would like! 🙂

I have my paper to finish and an exam later today so I knew I wanted to start my day out with a run. It gave me a chance to think about what I needed to do for the day, but also have some “me” time, and I knew it would feel great. At least that’s what I was telling myself. For some reason, the LAST thing I wanted to do was run today, just wasn’t feelin it. However, I knew once I got out there and finished, I would feel better, I don’t think I have ever regretted a workout.

Confession: I know a part of my sluggish feeling is not fueling before runs ( i have talked about this before but need to reiterate!). I KNOW i need to do this, but I am never hungry when i wake up, so I just slam some coffee down, pop in a piece of gum and go. My irrational thinking is that since I am not hungry, why eat…i’ll just “save” my calories for later. This is ridiculous, I know I need fuel for this sort of exercise and that my performance is better when I do. I had this meal before my race on Saturday and I felt great during that.

+

 

 

 

 

Yum 😀

To give myself a kick in the butt to get going, I decided to run with music today. Sometimes I run with music, but for the last few months I have been listening to books while running instead. Let me tell you, it’s great! Especially when I’m listening to a good story, the time and miles zoom by. I finished Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult the other day, and am now listening to South of Broad by Patrick Conroy. Unfortunately, this book hasn’t exactly pulled me in yet so I figured the run would go even slower. At this point, music seemed the best option, and it really helped push me on the run!

It is safe for me to say that I like really ANY kind of music, so my playlists are all over the place. They range from current pop songs to country, oldies, etc. Today though, I decided to listen to the only band I consistently liked every song they have produced, Rascal Flatts!  Yes they’re country, and I know there are a lot of country music haters out there :p but this bad is fabulous. Most of there songs are upbeat, have catchy lyrics and don’t have that “twang” sound you often hear in country singers. I would loveee to go to one of their concerts soon too 😀

 

So Seductive :p

(Source)

I think I have about every song they have written on my iPod, so I just blasted them for my entire run.

Stats for the run: 7.1 miles, 55:00, which averages about 7:45 pace per mile. It was a very hilly run, so I bet some of that time contributes to me have sheer relief of being able to go downhill!

Here are the songs I listened to today (all Rascal Flatts):

  1. Here’s To You
  2. Life is a Highway
  3. Break Away
  4. Feels Like Today
  5. Backwards
  6. My Wish
  7. Me and my Gang
  8. Cool Thing
  9. No Reins
  10. Secret Smile
  11. Summer Nights
  12. Sunday Afternoon
  13. Why Wait
  14. Love You Out Loud

Although I most races without music, sometimes you just need that extra something to get you going!

*Do you run with music? Ever tried listening to a book? Or are you anti-ipod?

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Filed under Confession, Disorded Thoughts, Exercise, Favorite Foods, Favorite Products, Fuel, Running