Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New Home

Hey guys, I decided to get my own domain because blogger was frustrating me beyond belief. You can now find me at:


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dark Chocolate Procastination

Hi everyone :) Hope you're having a great Tuesday so far! Here's a cute picture I found that made me smile this morning :)

After eating breakfast this morning, I went to the grocery store for the last time before I go home to Ohio for the rest of the summer! I kind of hate trying to figure out what to buy when you're also trying to get rid of everything. I have a feeling I'll be having some random meals this next week.

After the store, I headed to the gym for another total body weights workout. I did 15 reps and 2 sets of the following:

*Lateral step-ups
*Calf raises
*Single-leg dead lifts
*Chest press
*Seated reverse flies
*Bicep curls
*Upright rows
*Tricep kickbacks
*Seated rows
*Bicycle crunches: 60 x 2
*Regular crunches: 30 x 2
*Side plank raises: 15 x 2 each side

I followed this up with 10 minutes on the elliptical. I love getting in a good weight workout- I like the fatigued feeling my muscles have afterward :)

Ok, so after reading Julie's blog post last week about peanut butter granola, I knew it was only a matter of time before I tried to make it myself. ME make granola? Yea...I don't know what's gotten into me. I think this whole blogging thing is inspiring me to be brave in the kitchen. I digress, I apologize....Anyway, it looked easy enough, and then when I saw it on Courtney's blog yesterday, I could not get it out of my head. I seriously think I had dreams about granola last night.

So, I took the plunge and made some today. I should be studying for my mini lab practical that is tomorrow, but this is a delicious - and totally worth it - form of procrastination. Let me just say: holy crap, Julie you are a granola goddess! This was so easy and I now think I know what I'll be eating for the rest of the day :).

I followed Julie's recipe except that I doubled it and used Dark Chocolate Dreams instead of regular peanut butter.

Dark chocolate and peanut butter are two of my all-time favorite things to consume. So the fact that there is dark chocolate pb is awesome in itself (and all-natural at that!). However, using it to make granola is AMAZING. Seriously, you can taste the dark chocolatey, peanut buttery goodness in every crunchy bite :)

Yes, I'm classy and put it in plastic Tupperware

I'm in big trouble with this stuff. I can envision the stuffing of my face that will occur probably all day long. Oh well, you only live once right? ;)

Special thanks to Julie for giving me a new favorite snack/meal/anytime food and to Courtney for getting the idea stuck in my head to actually make this stuff. Love you girls for it!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Love Hate Relationship

Hi everyone! I hope your Monday is going well :)

This morning at the gym, I decided to run on the treadmill as a majority of my workout. During and after my run, I realized that I have a strong love-hate relationship with running.

I generally love running, however, running often does not love me- or my body- back. This is a case of unrequited love.

Some of the reasons I love to run regularly are (note- these are personal reasons and should not be viewed as reasons for everyone to run):

*The famous "runner's high" - If I have a good run, I usually feel great afterward. I feel happy and ready to face the day ahead of me. I also have a sense of accomplishment and that contributes to a glass half-full kind of mood.

*It's a great for the health of my body - Running is a weight-bearing form of exercise, so not only is it working your cardiovascular system, but it helps keep your bones strong. This is especially important for us ladies since we are more prone to osteoporosis later in life.

*Running is an efficient calorie burner - Since running is a higher intensity activity than many other forms of steady-state cardio (such as walking and biking), it burns more calories in the same amount of time. Thus, I don't feel as guilty about eating a few extra snacks here and there.

*I really feel like I'm working hard when I run - Sometimes when I'm on the elliptical or some other cardio machine, I don't feel like I'm putting forth as much effort as I do when I run. If I'm going to take the time to workout, I want it to be worth it, otherwise- why bother?

*Running tones my thighs and stomach the way no other exercises have - Some runners get bigger legs, I on the other hand, tend to get smaller thighs when I run and I'm not going to lie- I like this. My thighs are the first place I gain weight, so anything that can make them smaller is a winner in my book. Also, my stomach tends to be flatter when I run on a consistent basis, and I'm not really sure why this is, but again I like it. Thus, I guess you could say it's a body confidence booster :)

*Running is not some complicated thing that you have to learn the moves to. You can do it when and where you want and at any pace. 

You would think that will everything I love about running, I would do it all the time. But I do not. Believe me, I've tried, but the consequences are usually not too fun. 

Here are the two reasons why running hates me when I try to do it consistently:

*My joints start to hurt - mainly my knees and ankles. If I run regularly, they hurt while I'm running, after a run, and during pretty much any other activity. It isn't just a little joint pain either- it hurts bad enough for me to feel uncomfortable throughout the day. I'm sorry, but I refuse to live a life in pain when I know it can be stopped.

*Running and my digestive system are not friends - My senior year of high school I had a lot of stomach issues and all doctor's could come up with is that I have irritable bowel syndrome. Running often makes my stomach either start to cramp or burn (kind of like heartburn but in the stomach) to the point that I often just want to cry. Also, running can induce a case of the runs (sorry if that grosses you out), and then I will feel sick to my stomach for the rest of the day. Um, not fun. The stomach issues also mean that I have to run at a fairly slow pace- which can be annoying because I would prefer to run faster. Yes, I've tried changing how I eat/drink and that doesn't help my tummy either.

Even though my love for running has more reasons than running's hate for me- I still cannot do it on a consistent basis. The hate outweighs the love in this case. Running multiple times a week is just not generally an option for me. Maybe here and there I can run numerous days in a row, but I can't keep it up for long before the hatred starts to kick in full force.

My stomach and joints are much happier when I do other forms of cardio. Part of the reason I've been trying to incorporate more interval workouts into my regimen is so I can feel like I've worked hard and because I get the same "runner's high" after doing them. And they are much more kind to me in return.

Anyway, I thought I would share with you why I tend not to run that much, nor that far even though I really wish I could. If you have any suggestions, feel free to share! 

Are there any types of exercise that you really like, but that do not like you back?

I love you!! Sending birthday hugs and kisses your way xoxo

In Hilton Head!

That's my handsome bro in the middle

Sorority mom's weekend :)

Hope everyone is having a good Monday so far!

Sorry to keep this short, but right now I need to do some last minute studying for my test at 1pm. I'll be back with a post later today!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Musical Workout

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY :) I love you dad!

Today's Workout-

Ok, so do ever wanna just break out into song while you're working out? No? Maybe that's just me. Today I seriously wanted to bust out singing...but I think I would have scared all of the gym patrons away ;). My playlist was definitely better than my workout, in fact, I don't even remember much of it because in my head I was bustin' out the lyrics - musical theater style :)

Workout: 10 min erg, 30 min arc trainer, 10 min elliptical, abs

My awesome playlist-

Songs from the Hairspray: Original Broadway Cast soundtrack:
Mama, I'm a Big Girl Now
It Takes Two
Welcome to the 60s
Without Love
You Can't Stop the Beat

Songs from Rent: Original Broadway Cast:
Out Tonight
Seasons of Love
Take Me or Leave Me
What You Own

Songs from the Glee Cast:
Defying Gravity
Don't Stop Believin'
Halo/Walking on Sunshine
Jessie's Girl
It's My Life/Confessions Part II
Teenage Dream

Song from My Best Friend's Wedding:
I Say a Little Prayer

And, since I wasn't completely satisfied...I may have come home and had a little dance party in my room. Kinda like Hugh Grant in Love Actually-

You Tube Video

Yes, I was by myself, and still in my sweaty clothes. This is a no judgment space people. And, please don't be jealous of my sweet dance moves ;). I'm totally kidding.

Time to shower, eat (thank god), study, and do laundry for the rest of the day. Sweet!

Hope everyone has a great day!

Do you ever bust a move in your bedroom, or anywhere in the house, when no one is watching? 

What type of playlist makes you want to sing during your workout?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bruins Parade and a Creepy Shirtless Guy

Hope everyone is having a great Saturday!! I got up this morning, quickly ate breakfast and got ready so that Kelly and I could catch the bus to go downtown for the Bruins parade. This was a crazy and awesome experience! Be prepared for lots o' pictures :) Today is my rest day, so no exercise for muah.

Here's a Bruin's tweet:

Boston Bruins
Boston Police confirms that this is the largest Rolling Rally in the city of Boston's history. Thank you fans! ^BB
We were near Boston Common

Oh yea, thumbs up Bruins!

So this was my claustrophobic face...except I look kind of constipated?? haha

Soooo many people! It was insane!

 Ok, here is the creepy shirtless man. He was pushing through the crowd around us, and definitely rubbed up against me as he was walking by. Ew, please don't touch me...he gave me the willies. Why doesn't he have a shirt on? People baffle me sometimes. And yes, I took a picture of him- he was a highlight of the crowd before the parade started. Originally he was trying to push his way forward to be in front, and I think people were letting him because they didn't want him standing next to them haha. 
Thumbs up to the creepy shirtless guy

Roomies :)...please look at the kids' face behind us haha

Really? Why would you try to get a stroller through this crowd?
 And then the parade started!

Yay for the Bruins! I'm not even really a fan (shh..don't tell) because I'm not from Boston, but this was an experience that could not be missed! I'm so glad I went :)

Not gonna lie, being in that huge crowd and standing for over 2 hours kinda wore me out. Good thing today is my rest day- my body needs it. Now it's time to study study study :( I have a test on Monday AND Wednesday...eek!

Friday, June 17, 2011

How I Got Over My Fear of Lifting

Happy FRIDAY!!
Haha I totally wish cats could dance like that :)

My workout this morning was a total body weights one. It looked like this:

Total Body Weights Workout
  • Walking lunges 3 x 15reps
  • Leg press 3 x 15 reps
  • Calf raises 3 x 12 reps
  • Hamstring curls 3 x 15 reps
  • Butt raises on the ball 3 x 10 reps each side (see picture below)
  • Push-ups (regular) 3 x 12 reps
  • Lat pull downs 3 x 12 reps
  • Tricep extensions 3 x 12 reps
  • Seated chest flies 3 x 15 reps
  • Hammer curls 3 x 12 reps
  • Shoulder press 3 x 12 reps
  • Assisted pull-ups 3 x 10 reps
  • Oblique side-bends 2 x 15 reps each side
  • Weighted crunches 2 x 15 reps
  • Regular crunches 2 x 25 reps
  • Plank on the ball with knee raises to chest 2 x 10 reps each side

I LOVE a good strength workout...the fatigue that I feel at the end is awesome- I can truly tell that I worked hard :)

For lunch today I tried something different- and it turned out delicious! Usually I just have a sandwich but when I was at the grocery store a few days ago I got this:
I am not vegetarian or vegan - I love meat wayyy too much - but I recently tried falafel and I loved it! So, I made a serving of the falafel according to the broiler instructions and made a wrap:
In the mix:
Whole wheat wrap
Roasted red pepper hummus
Cucumber slices
Red pepper slices
Falafel patties

This was yummy, but a little messy..totally worth it though! I will definitely be making this again :)

How I got over my fear of lifting weights:

While I was lifting this morning, I thought it would be a good idea to share how I got over my fear of strength training. Up until a few years ago I was a cardio-only kinda gal. I think the reasons I never lifted weights were:

One. I was afraid of the meatheads in the weight room. All that grunting, incessant staring in the mirror, and walking around like they owned the place kind of freaked me out. 
Don't mess with my dumbbells biatch!
Two. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Zilch. I danced and cheered in high school and thus never had the opportunity to lift weights with my "team" like other sport participants did.

Three. I totally believed that lifting weights would make me look like the guy above. Ok, maybe not like him, but I thought that I would get big. I do not naturally have bird-like arms and legs so I didn't want to increase their size anymore.

So how did I get over this and come to love lifting?

Well, the summer after my freshman year of college, my mom and I decided to join an all-women's gym in my hometown. We both needed a place to exercise and were kind of tired of going to our community center. The day we signed up, the owner took us through all of the weight machines. She showed us how to do everything and worked with us to determine what weight would be best to use.

This was awesome for me! I did not feel intimidated one bit because there were only ladies walking around, AND I was given instructions on how to do it. That summer, I consistently weight trained at the gym- but I only stuck with machines because that was all I knew how to do. However, once I went back to school in the fall, I was once again not sure about stepping foot in the weight room with all of the guys. Instead, I started going to total body toning weight classes.
These were awesome, and man oh man did feel so sore the day after one of them. Not only was I getting to lift weights, but again, only females attended these classes. Also, I was learning new ways to lift considering that only free-weights, stability balls, and exercise bands were used. An added bonus was that the instructor would tell you ways to correctly perform the movements- this was definitely helpful!

Later that semester, a good friend asked me to go lift with her. I figured, why not? - I'll have someone else with me so I won't feel stupid with all the men down there. I'm not gonna lie, I was still really intimidated, but I felt better doing it because I had a partner in crime. After working out with her multiple times, I finally decided to go in the weight room by myself. Eeek!

That first time, I have never felt so insecure in a gym in my life. I think my heart was racing the whole time- and not because I was exercising. I constantly felt like I was being watched and judged. I remember expressing my insecurities to my boyfriend - he said that I really didn't need to worry because the guys were either completely into themselves (and only looking at their own biceps), or if they were looking at me it was likely due to the fact that it still isn't totally common to see women lifting weights (other than using the inner thigh machine). He also told me that if I was confident in what I was doing or at least acted confident, then no one would really even notice me- being scared and glancing around to see if people were looking at me would probably attract more attention. This totally clicked for me! 

So, after that, I kept making myself go to my school's weight room and sure enough I did become more comfortable and my confidence definitely grew. I got so comfortable, in fact, that by the time I graduated I was totally fine going there and doing crazy plyometric type moves - who am I?

Now, I lift consistently and I love it! I think it is such a great form of exercise and I have come to love the muscles I have developed. No, I have not gotten huge like I thought I would. I like to think that I look strong :). I'm always looking for new ways to lift weights or find new strength training exercises- I scour magazines, websites, and other blogs. It was a process to be able to feel comfortable in the weight room, but it was totally worth it!

In sum, these are the things I did to get over my fear:

-I had someone teach me how to use the weight machines, and I wasn't afraid to ask if I couldn't remember
-I started the process in an all female gym
-When I didn't want to go to a gym with guys, I attended group fitness classes so I could learn correct form and new moves with free weights
-I worked out with a friend for a while in the actual weight room so that I wasn't alone
-Once I realized that people were more likely to watch themselves than me, I became more comfortable and confident doing my own thing :)
-I now read about new (to me anyway) exercises online, in magazines, and on blogs- also, these often tell you how to do them! SCORE!

This website has great descriptions and photos of certain exercises:
Exercise and Muscle Directory

Hope everyone has a great Friday!