The World is My Oyster

Hello there 😀 

Can you guess what I did this morning?? 

I ran! After 2 months of not being able to run (due to torn ligament fibers in my knee), I can finally run. Allow me to start from the beginning: 

Jason and I have been hiking an awful lot these past few weekends, me-without any knee trouble. So this weekend after we completed a 7 mile hike on Crowders Mtn (4 of the miles were strenuous), I was convinced that I should try to run again. And I was right! Last night I set out my running skirt, my Nike top and a pair of socks. It felt very ‘first day of school-ish 😀 

The sleep was here and there, but I was more anxious than anything. Fifteen minutes before my alarm was set to go off, I was out of bed and leaving a note on the dry erase board for Jason. Then it was off to the greenway! 

I started out faster than usual (out of pure excitement!) and ended up running 3 miles (and walking .5 miles back to the car) without any knee pain! I can’t even put in words how wonderful it felt to be running again. I felt elated and on top of the world.  

 

I’ve got to remind myself that I should start slow…no planning a 10 mile, hilly run for the weekend just yet 😉  I think my plan is to run two 3-mile, flat runs for the first couple of weeks, and then go from there…but, YAY! I CAN RUN AGAIN 😀 Ok, enough beaming…on to the rest of my day! 

Once home, I dove into a huge cup of coffee (thanks to the boyfriend for making it!) and searched the cabinets and fridge for breakfast items. 

 

(I heart my Tree Hugger mug 😀 ‘Twas a $3 find at T.J. Maxx) 

And for breakfast, I decided to make my own “Egg McMuffin”, except without the “Mc” part! 

A whole wheat english muffin, with a fried egg and a Morningstar spicy sausage pattie. Nom nom nom. Good. Chewy. Delicious. All together now: 

 

An hour later, it was off to Chemistry (boo!). I don’t mind the lecture part of it, but on Mondays, I also have a 2 hour lab that goes with it..ughhhhhh. 

In between lecture and lab, we get a whopping 10 minutes to eat a lunch…whoopee! Scarfing down my food in a cold room that is full of vending machines that are tempting me with their sweets is not my ideal lunch time…I’d much rather sit outside under a tree or something. But it’s only on Mondays, so I can be a big girl and suck it up 😉 

Today’s 10 minute special consisted of a PB&J (with creamy pb and cherry jam <–a surprising find at my local grocery store! Love it!) on an Arnold Thin wheat bread, a sliced peach and peppercorn Sunchips (<–another downfall of mine. Can’t seem to keep my hand out of the bag..) 

 

There is one cool thing about eating in the student lounge: The student bulletin board! I read some very interesting articles while sitting all by my lonesome 🙂 

 

 

Hmmm, a marijuana posting? Nice. I love reading about narcotics when I’m on my lunch break 😉 Not. Most of the posts were about Health issues, which leads me to believe that other Diet Tech students have been in the lounge lounging 😀 Here is my favorite posting: 

 

This was a really interesting article on the importance of being able to do a push-up. The key points: 

  • Push-ups not only work your chest and arms, they also work your hips, butt and abs.
  • Push-ups may be hard to do, but they are the ultimate strength workout.
  • Every person should be able to do at least one push-up.
  • If you can’t do an all-out push-up, start with your knees on the floor and then work up to doing them the normal way.

It even listed how many you should be able to do at your age! Cool! 

 

How many push-ups can you do? Are you able to do as many as you should (according to the above table)? 

When I first started doing push-ups, I could only do about 10. These days, I am able to do 30. The first 20 are easy, the last 10 are hard 😉 

Oops! I spent so much time looking at the bulletin board that I was late for lab 😦 Oh well. It went by slowly and painfully. All of these measurements and conversions, yadda yadda yadda. My brain was about to blow a fuse in there! 

I finally made it home around 3:30, and after walking Trixie around the block, I made myself a mocktail 😀 

 

I also heart POM juice..especially the blueberry, pomegranate blend. Along with Sprite Zero…. 

 

…and in go a couple of cherries! Ok, so I also had 2 dark chocolate squares with this…it’s dessert from lunch of course 😉 

There is Chem homework to be done, laundry to be folded, carpet to be vacuumed…but I don’t feel like doing ANY of it. Perhaps it’s the Monday blues? Or maybe I put all of my energy into my run this morning? 🙂 

I can already tell ya what’s for dinner though! Manicotti fo’ sho. 

 

This was last night’s dinner and there are a ton of leftovers, which I knew we would be having tonight, so I took pics! 

 

(Before going into the oven! No after pics because we were too hasty about eating it!) This recipe is super-easy to make..except for stuffing the manicotti. That’s the worst part. It feels like it takes forever, or maybe it’s because I use a spoon like a weirdo or something. I dunno. What do you guys use to stuff manicotti with? Oh, and you can find the recipe here. 

Phew. I could so use a nap. Or a beer. Something along those lines 😉 I have a ton of cool recipes to post later on in the week, and also make sure you check out my Books I Heart page! I’m looking for a new book to read, suggestions are welcome. 

Now, I’m outta here..but first, if you’ve never done a push-up, I challenge you to go try one out now! Okkayyyyy….Ready-Setttttt-PUSH-UP!

My Hot Vinyasa Cherry…

Zing!

Anyone want to guess how many cups of coffee I’ve had this morning? Three.

Last night, I had one of the most awesome body experiences of my life (and no, not that type of experience. Get your mind outta the gutter people!) 😀

Whit invited me to a hot (literally) vinyasa class at Y2 Yoga, for only $5!! Ca-ching! This girls loves saving money 🙂

As I walked into the room and lay down my mat, I was a little intimidated by all of the other yogi’s there. I’m thinking: They are stretching. Should I be stretching? Wow. That girl just did a split…should I be doing splits?

And then I noticed that most everyone had some sort of blue block beside their mat that kind of looked like this:

So, I went over to the blue block tower and grabbed one. After placing it on my mat as a yoga-mat weight, I started looking around some more. The guy next to me was bending in ways that I didn’t think were humanly possible…and I thought Oh Lord, what has Whitney got me into? She said this would be basic poses! And this guy over here is looking like some sort of human twisty-tie.

Then human twisty-tie guy started spraying his mat with some sort of substance (I thought maybe it was water, but I wasn’t sure…). So, when he was finished I picked up the bottle and started spraying too, not really sure why I was spraying or where I was supposed to spray, I just sprayed all over. There. Now my mat is wet. And that’s a good thing for reasons that are unknown to me at the moment.

The instructor came in, and the class started!

We did basic moves, and then moved on to harder ones (for me, the hard ones are crows pose, and another one that I can’t recall right now).

My muscles started shaking, and sweat was pouring down my face and chest..but it felt oh so good. Like my body was awakening to my breathing and movement. My mind completely forgot everything else but the yoga moves. That’s all I was focused on throughout the class.

I also learned that the blue block was to “bring the floor to you” as the instructor put it. I used it a couple of times. And there were splits, but only if you could do them, but if not, then you could do a half-split (as seen below!).

Half Split

(Obviously, that isn’t me. I found this pic on Google Images…LOVE the leg-warmers by the way 😉 )

The class was hour of pure bliss for my body. I felt like my muscles were getting such a great workout, without even lifting weights!

And the temperature of the room was really comforting too (<–says the girl who likes to hold her face over a pot boiling water just because the steam feels good). It was the warm-blanket-just-out-of-the-dryer sort of feel good 😀

The class ended and we were a sweaty mess!

I’ve never felt more relaxed in my life. Jack Johnson accompanied me on the drive home, and once in the door…it was time to visit Sleepy Town.

apparently, the class wore my cat out too.

(Excuse the blurriness, I had to hurry and snap it before he noticed me 🙂 )

Okay, so I’m definitely going back to the class…and I think running needs to worry about a new love in my life – of course, I could always have an affair 😉 No need to pick one over the other 🙂

Why Being Healthy Matters

It’s not easy to tell people that I am in school to be a dietician.

And most of the time when I do tell them, they start confessing their downfalls to me. They make me the priest, and they are the confessors, bearing their souls in repent.

I hear a whole year of food history, and about how they know they should exercise more and eat healthier. I hear days worth of their intake..and even their bad habits. And sometimes I want to yell “Why are you telling me this?” “You’re a stranger, I hardly know you! I don’t need to know everything you’ve eaten in the past 10 years!”

This happens all the time. I just nod my head and listen, and wonder to myself: Why do people tend to bare their every flaw to me when they find out I’m in school to be a Dietician?

And most of the time, their speeches start out this way: I’ve never really been good at eating healthy… (or this way) Sometimes I eat healthy, but today I had a Big Mac but I plan to go walking later. That’s the first time I’ve had a Big Mac in 2 weeks….and so on, and so forth.

I think America needs to know a little secret–which, it’s really not a secret, but it’s sort of hard to put two-and-two together when one is not in the Health field-and here is the secret:

Our bodies are not meant to live off of genetically modified foods. (This includes –but is not limited to- fast foods; pre-packaged meals; sodas; and “boxed” dinners.)

Nutrition-related diseases have become more and more prevalent in America in the last 10 years, because people have moved away from eating actual food. McDonald’s is not food. It is genetically modified substances, pumped with chemicals and put into the shape of food. It is not grown from the ground. It comes from a factory. [I am picking on McDonald’s but in all actuality, I mean every fast food place]

Our bodies are science. Plain and simple. We may have souls and all of that other stuff, but when it comes down to it–our bodies are purely science. When you put something in (over an extended period of time) that the body was not meant to handle, it fights back. And when it can’t fight back-disease happens.

If you really think about it: We were not born craving fast food..or craving soda, or craving candy. Why? Because the body doesn’t need those things. We were born craving nourishment. But people tend to gravitate more towards meals that are high in fat and make you feel good.

DESCRIPTION

Well, did you know that the same chemical (dopamine) released when eating a high fat meal, is also released during exercise? Dopamine provides feelings of happiness and enjoyment in the brain. So when a person is eating a large french fry, or drinking a chocolate milkshake..their brain is saying “This tastes good, and I am happy. This taste makes me happy.” But once it’s gone, then what? You crave more. So the next night, you back in the drive-thru looking for another feel-good food.

Well, let me tell you, an exercise high lasts longer. It will leaving you feeling good for days, and it’s ok to go back for more 😀

 

——————-

But, no one is perfect. Not even me.

Is that piece of cake going to matter in 10 years? NO, it’s not. Is skipping that workout going to matter 2 weeks from now? No, it’s not.

Eating a piece of cake 3 times a day, every day of the week is going to matter. And skipping 2 weeks worth of workouts is going to matter too.

It’s all about balance.

You know what I figure? Your body is your temple. It has to carry you around throughout your whole life. That’s a long time. Why not take care of it and treat it nicely? It deserves it. Put good, wholesome food into it…and challenge it to become stronger and better while you still can. Go outside of the box and never think “There’s no way I could ever do this”. Because you can, it’s just a point of mind over matter.

Last year when I went to the Charlotte Dietetic Association meeting, there was a speaker there (I can’t remember his name now, but he was some sort of child nutrition specialist) and he says that Americans are raising the first generation of kids that will die before their parents do. To me, that’s just awful.

Let’s get on track ourselves so that our kids will be on track as well.

It’s not easy, of course, to make lifestyle changes..but small, everyday changes can make a difference, and can lead up to something that is big.

So get out there and live healthier…trust me, your body will thank you for it later 😉

PS. I’m not a graduate yet, but I will be happy to motivate or guide anyone that needs it!

Stacey Runs the States

*Back to school, back to school..to prove to dad that I am not a fool* [Please tell me there are others out there that quote idiotic Adam Sandler movies]

Today was my first day back to school! It’s been over year since I’ve had a class that required me to be on campus at a certain time. Most of my classes have been over the internet or out at different work sites.

I started my day by eating a bowl of cereal in my pj’s, and watching Spongebob on the telly. (We have it on instant Netflix, much to Jason’s dismay :D) I have to admit, I ❤ that show! It makes me giggle every time I watch it. And who says you can’t watch cartoons at the age of 25?!

Anywho, once breakfast was over I got ready for big-girl school 😉 The hallways of the campus were abuzz with fresh, young faces. One could just feel the eagerness and energy of the freshmen wandering around! I loved it.

My organic/bio/general chemistry lasted for an hour and then I thought we were going to be able to go home, but nope! We had lab!! 😦 I hadn’t packed a lunch, and the only thing I had to eat with me was this granola bar:

..eaten while on break 🙂

Lab lasted for 2 hours and I didn’t make it home from school until 3:30. As you can imagine, I was pretty ravenous. I ate a few random, boring things (peach, cornbread, more cornbread and a handful of chocolate chips.) and began getting my ingredients together to make Double Chocolate Biscotti!! Yum yum.

The batter was extra, super crumbly and hard to work with. I had a hard time making loaves out of the mixture, but I did my best and I think it turned out pretty great!

So mine don’t look anything like the picture that goes with the recipe, but man, oh,man…they taste awesome. Chrunchy, chocolatey goodness. Munch munch munch 😀 I ate three right out of the oven.

Once Jason was home, I felt the need to get out and go walking. We contemplated going on the greenway, but I argued that I wanted hills added to my walk…so, we decided to climb Crowders Mtn! It’s so nice to live 10 minutes away from hiking trails 🙂

It’s a strenuous 1 mile up. My heart was just a-thumpin’ by the time we climbed all of the stairs to the top. But the view is totally worth it!

We rested and talked at the top for a bit, and then went the steep 1 mile back down. And guess what? No knee pain for me! AT ALL!!!! Woo hoo! 😀 😀

Which brings me to a next point, but first, I’ll announce the winner of the CSN store giveaway:

Random Integer Generator

 5

Here are your random integers, generated with replacement

I used Random.Org–Random Integer Generator option

So, the 5th comment down, not including my own is JaimeRuns! Congrats Jaime! Send me your email so that I can get that gift card to you 🙂

Now on to my announcement:

I’ve decided to run a race in every state of the U.S.A.

Te He. Can you see me on the edge of N.C.? 😀 That spot is pretty close
 to where I live. Anyway, I decided to do this because it sounds like
an awesome idea. I only have 1 state down so far, but I am already
planning a race in S.C. for the end of September!
And I think that maybe Whit will be joining me on this journey too!
How fun is this going to be? Um, heck-of-fun!!!!!!
I'll keep you updated 🙂 As for now, I think there is
some leftover biscotti chili and cornbread calling my name!
Gotta go!

Giveaway! Giveaway! Giveaway!

j-p-g:  Dualities (via Forrest Seas)  wacky waving inflatable flailing arm tube man~!

There.

That got your attention 😀

I am doing a giveaway. A really cool one actually. Scratch out cool, and replace it with awesome please.

A couple of weeks ago the wonderful folks at http://www.csnstores.com contacted me and asked if I would be interested in a giveaway. After looking at their (many, many!) websites, I said “Of course!”. They have fabulous dinnerware sets, fitness and health products, toys and games and much, much, more. Later on in the post, I’ll tell ya whatcha need to be doing in order to win 🙂

Is the suspense killing you? Or are you already scrolling down to the bottom of the page like I would do in a giveaway to find out how to enter? 😉

Be patient, little grasshoppers. Let me first show you my boring food 😀

This morning I had a meeting with my advisor and my preceptor for my internship at the YMCA (yay!). I needed a quick and filling breakfast sooooo….

…waffles with pb&jam, a banana and coffee it was! (This is always my go-to filling/quick breafast) So easy and quick to make and BAM! I’m out the door!

All went well at the meeting, and after 30 minutes I was back out of the door heading to my nanny job. This is my last week being a nanny…and I still can’t quite believe it. I’ve been with the family for 4 years and tomorrow is my last day. It seems a bit surreal and scary at the same time.

I had to leave because of my school schedule this last semester, while I’m excited to start another path of my life…it seems sort of sad and nerve-wrecking to be moving forward into the unknown and unfamiliar. But it’s a journey none-the-less 😀 And journeys make me excited!

–Well, my computer is being ridiculous now (Windows 7 can be a pain) and I can no longer continue with my regular planned post! For some reason, my pics aren’t uploading and if they are, it’s at a snails pace. ARG. Let’s cut right to the chase, shall we?–

All you have to do to enter the contest is leave me a comment telling me what your favorite item/thing in your kitchen is!

I’ll go first!

My favorite item in my kitchen is (<–said like a second grader in front of class, that is shuffling her feet and looking at the ceiling instead of the audience) my coffee maker. Big surprise, right?

[Picture borrowed from Google]

It’s always there to make me fresh, hot coffee in the mornings. And sometimes, it even does it without me telling it to. It just wakes up and says “Hmmm, Stacey gets out of bed in about 10 minutes, why don’t I go ahead and start a fresh pot for her?” Isn’t that thoughtful? 😉 I loves it. And it cleans itself as well!

So now I’m interested in hearing your favorite thing that you have in your kitchen. Leave a comment telling me what it is and on Monday night I will pick a winner by using the Random Integer method.  The winner will receive a $40 gift card from CSN stores, and you will be able to use it in any one of their stores! Good luck!

See you guys this weekend 😀 [hopefully Windows 7 will get over his attitude problem by then]

Vegan Day: Epic Fail

My trial day as a vegan started out easily enough.

I woke this morning extra, super early because I had an interview at the YMCA for my internship starting next week. I walked into the kitchen and started a pot of coffee.

Ooooh, coffee! That’s easy..I drink it black…Easy Vegan Decision #1. My mind starts to think, hey…this is gonna be pretty easy.

*Opens cabinet and stares blankly at an array of cereal, grit and oatmeal boxes* Aha! Oatmeal 😀

When made with almond milk (which is the only kind of “milk” I drink) it can be vegan! This discovery leads to Easy Vegan Decision #2.

So I put my pot on the stove–because making oats on the stove is the only right way, if you ask me 😉 –and Jason says “Can you make me a bowl too?” Sure thing hon. I pour more oats into the boiling water/almond milk mixture. By now, I’m feeling completely confident and satisfied with myself and my Easy Vegan Decisions. I probably even have a little half-smirk on my confident little face.

That boiling mixture is later turned into this:

Oats+Pb+Salt+Peach Jam+Peaches+Honey Graham cracker crushed on top=Yummy, satiating breakfast 🙂

Then it was off to my interview!

It went really well. I think that I am going to love working together with YMCA and bring nutrition education to their clients 😀 We even talked about me giving a few cooking classes!

After leaving the Y, I took some books back to the library and headed home to get the grocery list and my reusable bags.

*Tummy grumbles* Arg. There’s nothing at the house I could eat for lunch, my stomach will just have to make it through this shopping trip. Just a quick dip in and back out.

I glance at the list as I stroll down the aisles…Hmmm how about a salad for dinner? With chickpeas, tomatoes, cheese…Wait. You can’t eat cheese today, you’re trying to be vegan for a day! Ok. Nevermind the cheese. I can still have a salad.  Oooh..how about getting some chewy, just-baked bread from the bakery to go along beside? Yes! That sounds wonderful.

I stroll over to the bakery and pick up a loaf of heavenly smelling pull-apart bread. My stomach is beside itself with excitement about this heavenly bread. I turn over to the label and read the ingredients and down at the bottom, I read: This product contains milk and egg ingredients.

Crap. I put the bread down and pick up another type of bread…same thing at the bottom.

I continue until I’ve picked up every kind of bread there is on display in the store. The bakery women are looking at me with concern: Who is that girl? And why is she slamming our bread down and cursing to herself?

Well, Jason will still want bread. So I grab a loaf of a Pane Italiano and then continue on my way.

All is well until I get to the ice cream aisle. It’s marked down to $2.23!!! I let out a squeal of excitement and browse the different flavors..but then I stop. What are you doing?! You are going vegan for a day, Stacey. Ice cream=animal product!

Then it hits me: I’d have to give up ice cream?! Lovely, wonderful, cold, delicious ice cream?!!! I’m not sure my willpower is that strong.

Well, maybe I’ll get some for Jason. Yes, for Jason…he likes it. It’s totally NOT for me. So, what kind do I…er…I mean, does Jason, like?

I pick out my his favorite kind and keep going.

By now, I’m feeling a bit doubtless of this whole ‘Vegan’ thing. I can sacrifice cheese, but ice cream?? I just can’t.

My confident smile from the morning has turned into a semi-worried, forehead-creased sort of look. Now I start to wonder: What else isn’t vegan? Is my Diet Cherry Pepsi vegan? How about this salad dressing? What about those dark chocolate covered caramels I have at home?

My drive home was filled with thoughts of all of the un-vegan things in my cabinets. What would I eat for lunch?

I made a quick Morningstar Chicken pattie on an Arnolds thin bun along with pickle, mustard and ketchup (is ketchup vegan??) And a banana for a side.

It’s 2 o’clock by now, and I’m still pretty hungry. I mindlessly walk into the kitchen and grab the first thing I see that will quiet my growling tummy…a handful of Cheezits. It’s only after I’ve stuffed a handful in my mouth that I realize what I’ve done.

I just failed my Vegan For A Day challenge. Epic fail. I’m so used to going in the kitchen and sticking my hand in any open chip or cracker box that I didn’t even think about it today!

I let myself frown a little, and decide that it’s only one mistake. I’ve been doing good all day, no need to quit now.

Grabbing the blue corn tortilla chip bag out of the cabinet as my substitute, I go into the bedroom,crawl in bed and read my book for a while…

…It’s 5:05 when I wake up.  Jason is coming in the door. I sit up in bed and wipe the smudged eyeshadow off of the side of my face. Though I’m not very hungry, I decide to go ahead and make our salad dinner anyway because he has plans to go out with friends tonight, and I don’t want him to go hungry.

I slice the bread and prepare the salad. All of the ingredients are sitting out on the counter and I’m combining them in a large bowl. Sometimes my hand grazes across the grape tomatoes and I eat a few…a few mandarin oranges here, a couple of chickpeas there…a few pieces of feta cheese.

Ughhhhh. I did it again. I mindlessly ate something cheesy! Darn it. Darn it all to heck <–you like my potty mouth language? At this point, I say “Screw it”.

Vegan lifestyle isn’t for me. It’s too hard and I already eat a healthy, vegetarian diet. The only thing that I will have no problem cutting out is eggs. I hate buying them, they make me feel extremely guilty.

Finally coming to the realization that I just can’t be a vegan (or that I do wayy to much mindless eating of cheesy things) I put my salad together, grab a couple of pieces of the toasted, buttery bread..and sit down with my honey to enjoy my dinner…

And I ate it guilt-free 😉

Hello, New Me

I’m back!

I kinda didn’t want to be back, but I missed my doggie too much to stay gone any longer.

We had tons of fun out in the ol’ country…surrounded by nothing but trees, abandoned barns and tons and tons of hiking trails! It felt more like home to me than anywhere else I’ve ever been.

Our trip started with a 2.5 hour drive towards the northern part of North Carolina. The campsite was near the town of Sparta, which (I think) is semi-close to the VA border.

When we finally found the campsite, we went into the office to check in, only to find that the office actually doubled as the owner’s home! There was an older man in the kitchen canning green beans and a woman puttering around saying “You should be staying off that knee Daddy!” 😀 They were such nice people! They even let us pick out our own spot…

…and so we got to setting up our tent 🙂

After setting up, Jason and I decided to walk around a little bit and check out the area. That’s when we realized that we were the youngest people staying there! Most of the other campers were a lot older and camping in their RV’s. There was only one other tent besides ours. That’s ok! A lot of the folks were very friendly. They would smile and wave, or say ‘Hello’ when we walked by, I loved it 😀

Dinner time was next! We were starving <–that’s an understatement.

I’d brought spaghetti, a jar of pasta sauce and zucchini and squash along with us…just to make sure we get in some kind of veggie. And as I was taking a picture of this, I started to think: How many people actually take spaghetti with sauce to cook on a camping trip?? My guess would be not many. That’s how you can tell that I have no idea how to camp. The girl brings spaghetti.

Two bowls later my tummy was satisfied.

Jason started a fire and we sat around and talked for a bit while our food settled. Then it was time for s’mores!

Oops. That wasn’t supposed to happen. Guess I got it a little too close to that fire…let’s try that again….

..maybe having a worried look on my face helped me concentrate better..because soon, that marshmellow turned into this:

Nom nom nom..I’ve died and gone to heaven 😀 Times this pic by 2 please.

The sweet stuff was good, but oh my…that mixed with the two bowls of spaghetti gave me a tummy ache 😦 I was done for the night.

That evening the rain started and it didn’t let up until 4 a.m.–yep, we were awake until then because the rain hitting the tarp over our tent was mucho loudo. And I had to pee about 50 times during the night as well. And the aerobed that we were sleeping on decided to deflate on us in the middle of the night! Bummer. Good stuff for story telling though 😉

At 7 a.m. I turned towards Jason and he was wide awake too. Let’s go ahead and get our day started, I said. And so we did!

Well, the planned breakfast was eggs with grits, raisin toast and a naner…but, um…the eggs..I will spare you the picture of those. They ended up getting water in them and turned bad and it ’twas pretty disgusting. The grits, toast and banana was still good though, not very filling. (Can’t find pic!)

We took showers and headed to Stone Mountain for a day of hiking 😀 I was so excited to be hiking! I haven’t had any knee pain for 1-2 weeks and I had a good feeling that I would be able to hike without pain as well.

The trail starts at the bottom of Stone Mtn and goes in a 4.5 mile loop…and I must say, the scenery was amazing, just simply amazing.

         

     

There are at least 100 more photos that I could post but I’d rather talk about “The Hike”.

Jason and I hiked a total of 7.5 miles on Saturday, no pain in my leg, no hot sun beating down on us..the air in the mountains is soooo clean. This trip caused me to do some serious thinking (what else can a girl do when there are no electronics around?!) about my life and how far I’ve come from the girl I used to be. 

I used to be in school for Psychology.

I used to sit in my living room on weekends with a pint of Ben & Jerrys in my lap, and a remote in one hand…and that would be my fun.

I used to stay up drinking with my best friend, only to sleep the entire day after.

I used to think: Why would anyone run 13 miles??

I used to be content on doing things alone.

I used to never see past myself being a waitress at O’Charleys.

I used to never think I could make a difference in anyone’s life.

Well, guess what?

That girl is gone. And sometimes when I look back on her, it’s like she is a stranger. Like she’s someone that I can’t even believe exsisted. No, that can’t be me…could it? Nah, never.

I’m now about to graduate from school and be one step closer to becoming the person that I really want to be. I want to be a dietician. I want to expand my knowledge in exercise science.

I want to help change lives, help reshape and cleanse bodies from the inside-out.

I want to be a great girlfriend, and maybe even wife, one day.

I want to spread my knowledge of living a healthy lifestyle (and WHY it matters) to other people.

I want to constantly challenge myself in new ways.

They say ‘better late than never’. They are so right (whoever “they” are!). The old me would’ve pushed these thoughts to the side and said “Yeah, that’d be nice to do that one day.”

The new me: Let’s do this.

And I’m glad I’m having this revelation when I’m 25. The world is still in front of me and I can just reach out and grasp it if I so choose too 😀 (And I do)

I guess what I’m trying to say is: Being out of society for a few days has caused me to really think about the kind of person that I am and the kind of person that I want to be.

For the first time, in my life, I know exactly what I want to do and exactly where I want to go.

And it feels really great 😀

Tomorrow: I go vegan for a day! (Oh, and speaking of ‘new me’..I have my internship interview tomorrow at the YMCA, wish me luck!)

And about that giveaway: It’s coming, just tying up a few loose ends/details! Stay tuned 😉                                                                         

Charlotte Criterium 2010

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya! 😀

Actually, that’s a bit more cheerful than I am at the moment. Let’s try it again: Mornin’. <—She says with a grumph.

Sleep has not been kind to me, but I shall not let it ruin my day, or this post for that matter! I still had a majorly exhausting fun day yesterday and I’m gonna tell ya all about it.

Yesterday morning after having some breakfast and two cups of coffee, I decided that even though I only slept for about 3 hours, it would just be great to get outside and breathe some fresh air and get my body moving. I also figured it was the perfect time to try out the toning shoes that New Balance sent me a few weeks ago!

After putting these babies on, I went to the Cramerton baseball fields, behind the rec center, for a little walking.

Ever imagined a camel in high heels?? Well, that’s sort of what it was like to wear these shoes (at least for the first lap). And trust me, it’s not the shoes..it’s clumsy ol’ me. For the record, let me add that I only fell over once 😀 They were surprisingly comfortable and pretty stylish too! 

Once there, I did about 3 warm up laps around the field and then decided to do my 30-20-10 push up/bench dip sets on the picnic tables…

It was a bit more challenging than usual, I started to feel my muscles wearing down more quickly and I had to pause several times during the push-ups, but they got done! To cool down, I walked a slow lap around the fields and that’s when I saw these:

Um, hello challenge. You know that I love you and could never pass you up 😉

Well, then I thought of my injury and I told myself “If it starts to hurt, just stop.” I looked back up to the top, sat my water on the bottom step, took a deep breath and then started to climb, or run, up those stairs. Once at the top, my lungs felt alive. I felt alive. The beauty of the day was just seeping through me. The wind was perfect, not a cloud in the sunny sky, no pain in my leg…I wanted to keep going. I ran them up and down 10 times before I had my fill 🙂 On my last descent down, I counted the stairs and came up with 55!

I probably could not have done it without my ‘stair-climbing’ playlist that I concocted just before going up 🙂

  • “Shiver”-Coldplay
  • “Love Me Two Times’-The Doors
  • “Hangin Around”-Counting Crows
  • “Daylight”-Matt and Kim
  • “Rebel Yell”-Billy Idol
  • “Bootylicious”-Destinys Child
  • “Everlong”-Foo Fighters
  • “Semi-Charmed Life”-Third Eye Blind
  • “Basketcase”-Green Day
  • “Bookends”-Simon and Garfunkel

HEY! Who put “Bootylicious” on there?! Um, I have no idea how that got on my playlist…must be some glitch on my IPOD 😉 😉

Needless to say, I was totally pooped after this workout. My body was starting to feel the effects of the sleepless night before, and my muscles were getting sore. Time to go home and rest!

And that’s exactly what I did 🙂 I went home, read some of my book and fell asleep for 2 hours.

Jason came in there and shook me awake around 3:30 saying that it was time to get ready for the Charlotte Criterium! Woo hoo!

I hopped out of bed and started prettying myself up for the night to come 😀 Jason and I have gone to the criterium for the past 3 years, so I guess it’s sort of becoming a tradition in its own sort of way 🙂

First, we needed to eat dinner. He wanted Big Daddy’s Burger Bar, and that was fine with me.

I ordered a Bud Light to start, and then a black bean burger with cheese, avocado, pepper relish and pickle…along with sweet tater fries (my favorite thing EVER).

I ate all of the sandwich, but hardly made a dent in those fries! There were so many, and I was soooo stuffed. No matter how many I ate, the bowl still seemed to stay full of fries, haha 🙂 I left them there, no use in leaving them in a hot car for 2-3 hours.

Then it was time to go uptown for the race! We parked about 3 blocks away and took a couple of pics before walking the distance to the start/finish line.

I told Jason that he squints way too much (p.s. doesn’t he look like he’s in some sort of pain?! Hehe)…so this is the next picture I got:

Ha 😀 What a smart-a**. Oh well, that’s better than the last one!

Charlotte Criterium is sort of like our Tour De France. Except that it only lasts 2 hours and not 2 weeks. Cyclists come from all over the world to compete in it. Some coming from as far as Norway! To me, that’s amazing. Here they are at the starting line:

…anddddddd they’re off!

Just so ya know, these guys are finishing a mile in about 2 minutes flat. That’s fast. They rock. And I’m pretty sure Jason idolizes them to no extent (he’s a cyclist too!).

To be honest, I wasn’t all there during this race. I was feeling super tired and my body was just plain sore. I kept moving away from the gate and sitting down on the benches, and I felt kind of bad because Jason would come sit with me, and it wasn’t that great of a view from the benches. So I stood back up and watched with him 🙂 I didn’t want to be a party pooper 😉

My favorite part is the end. That’s when the cyclist give all they’ve got. They’ll whisk by you at top speed and you can see the pain on their faces..and the sweat dripping down their necks..and I’m screaming “Go, go GO! You’re almost there, GO!” I’d like to think it helps them 😀

After the race, we came home…I read a few pages of my book and then it was light’s out.

This morning I woke up with sore leg muscles…so I’m thinking that the shoes work. Actually, after my third lap yesterday, I could feel my calf and my thigh muscles tightening a little bit. Those are now my new walking shoes 🙂 A big thanks to New Balance for sending them! I love them!

Peanut butter pancakes were the first thing on my mind (after coffee of course)…so I whipped up some batter…

..and when paired with strawberry jam, bananas and syrup…it makes the perfect, yummy and very filling breakfast 😉 Why jam and syrup?

Because sometimes having jam with syrup is what life is all about 🙂

See ya next time!

Sisters Are Good For….

..sharing homemade lemon biscotti with…

…sharing their lemon ‘something-a-ma-jig’  shots with…(p.s. can’t remember the name of the drink because it was very fancy and came all the way from Italy! Tasted JUST like a lemon starburst…yum yum)

…telling their younger sister how to start a herb garden, and be successful at it!…

Basil

 

Mint

Parsley 

 …producing very cute/awesome nephews!…

…book borrowing and dark chocolate giving…

..and also souvenir giving! This cute little change purse came handmade from Turkey!! Cool, no? 😀 I have attached it to my keychains and deemed it the “Chapstick Purse”. No more searching at the bottom of my other “purses”…if you can even call them that. I’m pretty sure they would be considered suitcases at a few airports.

Other things sisters are good for:

  • Showing little sisters that they have a video option on their cameras (now I can start posting easy, at-home workouts to do! Yay!)
  • Talking for four hours about any and everything
  • Sharing Belgium chocolate…’nuff said.

All in all, ’twas a fun day with my oldest sister! Jas and I are headed to the Charlotte Criterium tomorrow and out to see ‘Inception’ as well 😀 I’ll blog bout it later!

Have a great weekend everyone!

P.S. Be on the lookout for workout videos in the near, near future 😉 AND a product review for New Balance!

Ah-HA!

Hello there 😀

I found out what is wrong with my leg…finally.

Lateral ligament

It seems I have torn muscle fibers in the medial collateral ligament of the right part of my knee. Twisting and turning your foot in certain ways for an extended period of time can cause the muscle fibers to tear…and to me, it makes perfect sense. During “the wood run”, I was constantly stepping on rocks and bending my feet in unnatural ways.

The only thing I can do now is ice it after every type of exercise, and not run for a while 😦 Oh well, it’s for the sake of my body….so, let the wait begin.

On to other news!

This morning I woke up and fixed the boyfriend and I a YUMMO, MOST DELICIOUS breakfast. Silly me. Went to take a picture of it and my camera batteries were dead :/ That’s what happens when you don’t blog for a decade 😉

Here is the link to the recipe that you must try: Vegetarian Sausage Gravy Biscuits

Biscuits and Vegetarian Sausage Gravy

(picture borrowed from myrecipes.com)

It’s so delicious…no, delicious is not even the word. It’s perfectly sinful.

After my tummy was pop-a-button full, I decided to get started on my project of the day.

Painting! I had been given the chore of painting over the ugly green splattered paint in our bathrooms and kitchen. First, I made a Counting Crows station on Pandora (a great, great invention), then turned it all the way up, and then set out to paint!

It took me 4.5 hours, but I finally finished…not without ruining a pair of gym shorts and night-shirt 😀

Sexy, right? I know, I know 😉

Oh–skipping around thoughts here–the breakfast mentioned above always holds me over for at least 4 to 5 hours, no kidding. I didn’t even get a tummy rumble until my painting was complete. And since I was completely covered in paint and needed to clean up a bit, I had a quick lunch of:

…a homemade granola bar smothered in pb and a naner. These granola bars are so easy to make!

You just combine all of the following in a bowl, and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • 2 cups oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins (or chocolate chips, or any dried fruit!)

Spray 8-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray, spread mixture in pan. Cook in oven for 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting. Make 9 servings.

Um, I also may have stuck my hand in the Sun Chip bag a few times…but just a few dozen times 😉

Then, I guess I was feeling re-energized because I plopped down onto the floor to do my 30-20-10 sets.

Let me explain. For the past 3 weeks, I have been doing a combination of push-ups and bench dips, starting with 30 pushups, then 30 dips…then moving to 20 pushups–>20 dips–>10 pushups–>10 dips.

I do this twice a week and can totally feel a difference my strength. No more huffing and puffing while carrying the dog food one-handedly to the car from the grocery store. It definitely has shaped those guns babies too! It was sort of hard at first, seeing as how I could only do 15 pushups to begin with, but each week I was able to increase the amount I did more, and before I knew it, I was reaching 30 🙂

Anywho, now my arms feel like Jell-O and I’m ready for a nap 😀

But before I go, guess what?!

Yesterday, I found out that I made A’s in both of my summer classes (Dietetic Ethics and ServSafe)…and I also found out that starting in about 3 weeks, I will be teaching Nutrition & Wellness classes at the local YMCA!!! How awesome is that?!

Gotta go now, the couch and a book is calling my name! Jas and I are having leftover potato soup for dinner, because this girl is totally not cooking tonight 🙂

See ya later taters!