Back from blog hiatus

Good morning! I am finally back to blogging. I’ve taken a break from writing on the blog for the following reasons:

1. I moved! I’m in upper northwest Atlanta living in a fabulous 2 br/2.5 bath condo with a great roommate. The moving process has been crazy overwhelming but now that things are coming together I couldn’t be happier.

2. I started my new, crazy busy job. I’m doing marketing communications for a technology company and the pace is in-sane. I’m still trying to settle in and find some semblance of work-life-balance but it can be tricky. I do love what I’m doing and the exciting yet challenging assignments that I get to work on are very rewarding.

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In other exciting news, I signed up today for the Atlanta Half Marathon, occurring on Nov. 28! I ran a 5K this past weekend ( Atlanta’s Finest 5K, recap coming soon), and have been regularly running (especially around my new neighborhood, so much to explore!) but need a new challenge to train for. I’ll be beginning training on September 8th. 

I’m also running the Kaiser Permanente Corporate 5K (free through work) Sept. 12 and am excited for that as well.

What races are you training for? 

A Little Bit of Running Inspiration

Firstly, apologies on the lack of posts recently. Between finding a place to live and working on a huge conference for work, saying I’ve been busy is a bit of an understatement. Thankfully I’ve found a wonderful condo closer to work that I move into next week so things should be setting down, and I should be posting more often.

Today’s post is about a story I had read previously, but delved into further after seeing a buzzfeed article on heartwarming/tear jerking moments at the ESPY Awards (ESPN’s yearly athlete and pop culture awards show). This story is inspirational not only to those who run, but is an amazing story of hope that will warm your heart.

Dick and Judy Hoyt’s son Rick was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy due to a lack of oxygen in the brain at the time of his birth. Dick and Judy were advised to institutionalize Rick because there was no chance of him recovering, and little hope for Rick to live a “normal” life. Instead they chose to fully immerse Rick in everyday normal activities, that many of us take for granted including swimming, sledding, and attending normal schools. They even had an interactive computer built for Rick that allows him to communicate, and this is where the start of the Hoyt’s racing career began. Rick and Dick started racing after Rick said he wanted to participate in a 5-mile benefit run for a Lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident, and Dick ran the event while pushing Rick in his wheelchair. After this event, he told his father that ,”Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not handicapped.” Rick has been pushing him in marathons and triathlons ever since (34 years!) in a effort to and this year’s Boston Marathon was supposed to be their last. Now they’re running one more.

Check out the inspirational video

Learn more about Team Hoyt

Do you have any inspiring stories that have influenced you? 

My Favorite (Free!) Fitness Apps

Smartphones do it all. From mobile banking to shopping, it makes sense that there are now tons of apps available to help you reach your fitness goals and improve your physique. Here are a few of my favorites

1. Nike Training Club 

Only got 30 minutes to work out? This app will kick your you-know-what in 30 seconds flat. The app offers four types of workouts: Get Lean, Get Toned, Get Strong, and Get Focused, and these are available in both beginner mode, intermediate mode, and advanced mode. Word to the wise, these are tough workouts (the highest I do is intermediate, and even those workouts can leave me sore for days) so don’t feel discouraged if these workouts can be difficult to get through. Workouts are available in both 30 minute and 45 minute sessions. It’s available free on the Google App Store and Apple’s App Store.

2. PumpUp 

PumpUp is by far my favorite strength training app. It builds a workout for you based on the equipment you have available and the areas of your body you’d like to work. It offers interactive pictures and instructions for each workout move, and you can plan your workouts in advance. I use the free version of PumpUp, but there is a paid version available with vocal coaching (the free version is quiet). Currently PumpUp is only available on the Apple App Store, but it’s supposed to be coming soon for Android.

For paid apps I also enjoy Nike Plus ($2.99 available for both Apple and Android) which I use to track and pace my runs and CruiseControl ($4.99, only for Apple) which finds songs in your music library to match the pace you’re currently running, or want to run.

What fitness apps or techniques do you like to use?

June Running Playlist

Happy early Fourth of July! Although it’s supposed to be rainy, there’s nothing better than spending the 4th of July with friends and family. I’m looking forward to grilling out with my family and a party with friends later in the evening.

I’ve been trying to cut back on running long distances, as my right knee has been giving me issues in terms of pain while running. I’m hoping to avoid a trip to the doctor, so I’m upping my strength training.

As promised, here’s my top five June running jams

1. Till I Collapse- Eminem

An oldie but a goodie, this song is great for the tail end of a run. 

2. Bang Bang- will.i.am 

From the fabulous Great Gatsby soundtrack (which I honestly think was better than the movie itself), this song has a fun beat and a good pace for running

3. Runaway Baby- Bruno Mars

Every song by Bruno Mars is catchy and run-able.

4. I Don’t Feel Like Dancing- Scissor Sisters

The only issue with adding this song to your playlist is that you may end up dancing instead of running

5. Kickstart My Heart- Motley Crue

Every good running playlist needs an 80′s jam

What songs do you like to run to?

 

I’m Back on the Blog-sauce & a Few of My Favorite Things

Sorry for the long, 2 week or so hiatus from blogging! Moving and starting a new job just haven’t given me the time to post, but I’m going to do my best to get back to blogging on a regular basis. Here’s a few of my favorite things lately:

1. Greek Yogurt Cooke Dough Recipe 

Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt - add 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 tbsp sweetener, 1 tbsp mini chips, and 1/4 tsp vanilla to plain Greek yogurt

Can you tell from my previous recipe posts that I have a sweet tooth? I especially love dessert recipes such as this one that are healthier, lighter versions of my favorite treats. This lovely recipe is from The Suburban Girl Gone Country blog which has lots of low carb, gluten free recipes. 

Ingredients
1 small container of plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp nut butter (I used peanut butter)
1 tbsp sweetener (like maple syrup or honey)
1/4 tsp vanilla
pinch of sea salt

1 tbsp mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)

Directions
Combine the Greek Yogurt with the nut butter, sweetener, vanilla and sea salt. Mix until smooth.
Top with Mini Chocolate chips. Enjoy!

- See more at: http://www.girlgonecountry.com/recipes-2/cookie-dough-greek-yogurt-3/#sthash.aDDHi9vq.dpuf

2. Monogrammed Running Tank on Etsy

I ordered one of these lightweight running tanks on Etsy and adore it! So cute and perfect over a sports bra for working out in the heat. 

3. Colorful shifts

I love the look of a colorful dress for work especially in the spring. I have been all about them this summer, especially when they’re priced affordably.

I haven’t shopped at Forever21 in eons, but I when saw this coral colored shift at such a reasonable price I decided to go for it, and am so glad I did! The color is a nice muted coral, and it’s an appropriate length for work.

I also love this pleated shift from J Crew Factory 

Factory pleated shift dress

I have this dress in Coneflower blue, and it’s wonderful for work, church, or any other slightly dressy occasion.

What clothes do you like to wear for working out or work? Are there any clean eating recipes you’re enjoying?

 

I’ll post my June running playlist this weekend, so stay tuned!

There’s No Place Like Home & Favorite Links this Week

After 12 hours of driving, 3 Subway stops, and far too many cups of coffee to count, I have finally moved! I will be staying with my parents (doing the mid 20something rite of passage!) will looking for an apartment in downtown ATL. I could not be more thrilled to be back home, but my blogging has definitely taken a hit while being gone. Here’s a few of the links, recipes, and looks I’ve been digging this week.

1, Chobani Greek Protein Cheesecake

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This is one of my absolute favorite healthy and affordable desserts to make.  I have made this many times, and I do sometimes make this without nutmeg, as it can be a bit  overpowering.

Ingredients:

For filling:
6oz 0% Plain Chobani Greek Yogurt
1/2 Tbsp Jell-O sugar-free instant pudding mix – cheesecake

For crust:
1/2 cup fiber bran cereal
4 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp unsalted almond butter
1/4 tsp stevia
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Preparation:

Add the cheesecake flavored pudding mix into the yogurt and stir until well combined. Set yogurt mixture aside. In a food processor or blender, grind the bran to a fine texture. In a small mixing bowl, add the ground bran with all dry ingredients, (stevia, cinnamon, and nutmeg) and mix evenly. Then add the almond butter and water and stir until it becomes moist and sticky. If the batter is still crumbly, add additional water in 1 tsp increments until desired consistency is achieved. Pour the crust mixture into a small 4 inch circular pan. Pack the crust along the bottom and sides of the dish to create a pie shape. Pour the filling on top of the crust and smooth evenly along the top. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and enjoy cold.

2. Blog: Colorful Corporate 

This is a great blog for outfit inspiration for both work and home. Jeannie shares her outfits with pieces from J Crew, Lilly Pulitzer, etc. and puts together pieces in unique ways. A great blog to follow when you need outfit pairing motivation and inspiration.

3. Detoxinista’s Avocado Pesto Sauce Recipe 

Have I mentioned how much I adore this blog and Megan’s yummy and healthy recipes? This is a fantastic healthy pasta sauce recipe that is light and refreshing. Click here to go directly to the recipe.

4. Greatist Article: 71 Resources to Run Better Today 

Greatist is a fantastic resource for health and fitness recipes that cater to young adults. This article offers lots of links for runners new and old to celebrate National Running Day (which was yesterday, Happy Belated Running Day!). Some of the links include training plans, the best theme races, and so much more.

What recipes are you cooking this week? Did you celebrate National Running Day?

To Veg or Not to Veg: Getting “Veducated” and Learning More About Where America’s Food Comes From

Vegetables and I have always had a slightly contentious relationship. Inherently I knew they were good for me, but I outright avoided them and picked other more “fun” choices for meal sides, like french fries, potatoes, or if i was feeling particularly healthy, fruit. However, since I’ve started eating healthier, less processed foods, I’ve tried to do a bit educate myself a bit more about how our food choices affect our health and the environment These documentaries have been enlightening and at times shocking, but are extremely helpful motivation if you’re trying to eat healthier, cleaner choices or just learn more about America’s current food status.

1. Supersize Me

For my fifth birthday I had the option to choose anywhere in Pensacola, FL (where we lied at the time) for my birthday party. I chose McDonald’s, and there are some epic photos of  yours truly covered in frosting and french fries along with 15-20 other rowdy five-year olds (sorry mom!) and forevermore proclaimed a cheeseburger as my favorite food. I saw this film for the first time in 11th grade in PE, but it didn’t truly resonate with me until I re-watched it online (it’s free on Hulu and can be streamed instantly on Netflix). Morgan Spurlock, the narrator and star of Super Size Me, embarks on a quest to eat only McDonald’s for 30 days and see how this affects his health. The results are eye-opening, and will change the way you consume fast food.

2. Food Inc

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Food Inc. is a full-fledged investigatory look at where America’s food comes from, and is based on Eric Schlosser’s book Fast Food Nation (which I have read and highly recommend as well). The documentary takes you inside the slaughterhouses where meat is produced (here’s a tip, don’t watch this on an airplane like I did because of these scenes, your seatmate will assume you’re a lunatic), shares what has happened to America’s farmers in the last few decades, and gives you honest tips for how you can help to change the system. Highly relevant and recommended, this documentary will open your eyes to where food really comes from.

3. Forks Over Knives

I watched this documentary yesterday and have been pondering the questions raised by it ever since. Forks Over Knives “examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods.” It stars medical doctors and researchers, and uses case studies throughout the world as evidence. I truth be told haven’t eaten any meat since I saw this yesterday (which was challenging while traveling, the airport is not known for its vegetarian fare), and was surprised by the overwhelming evidence towards not eating meat.

After seeing these documentaries, and seeing the positive affects on health, I am contemplating going vegetarian for the next 6 weeks to see its effect. At the very least, I am going to continue to eat mostly plant-based foods, cut back on dairy products and avoid processed foods. But with all of the research out there, I’d really like to try for myself to see how not eating meat effects my running, skin, and overall mood.

Have you seen any of these documentaries? What do you like to eat to stay healthy?