Saturday, September 26, 2009


So I figure to follow suit with my last post it would be best if I were to post some of my favorite food sites. Yummmm. is a great resource for aspiring vegans, vegetarians, etc. If that isn't your cup of tea it's still a wonderful resource for finding great healthy recipes, shopping guides, etc, and if you are into it Goveg has a free 30 day vegetarian starter kit.

Like I said in my post earlier the Whole Foods Market is the mecca of all things organic and healthy. The store is well organized so it isn't a pain to find things, the service is wonderful, and the food kicks ass. Check it out!

Trader Joe's is great! They don't have the selection that the Whole Foods Market does, but they're neighborhood friendly mom-and-pop style and have great prices. Not to mention they have awesome store brand items for all those frugalistas out there!

My Week in a Nutshell

This has been over all a great week. I've been a little stressed because I don't have good hours for work next week and I worry I will fall behind on my classes. So far it looks like I'll get all A's as long as I keep it up. Other than school, I've spent a lot of time this week in grocery stores and trying out new and old, but not forgotten fitness routines.

For fun this week I have been checking out all the local whole food and organic grocery stores. It's gotten to the point where our friends from England say every time I come home I have food with me. Yeah I'm a dork, but since I don't have a lot of money and I love eating right, organic food is a major treat for me. I try to keep it around one food item a week that can be my go-to meal, enjoy the crap out of it, then move on to something new the next week. I would love to eat all organic, but it is expensive so I have to compromise the best I can. And since I'm a major fan of food and crave like I'm PMSing 24/7 it's a good way to satisfy those urges.

I'm happy to see these markets picking up. It seems as if I new a store opens every 6 months or so. It's wonderful to have options, not to mention a little competition so the prices aren't as steep. I'm am a little disappointed that there is only one on my neck of the woods, and it's not even the the healthy eater's mecca like the Whole Foods Market. Luckily on the other side of the river there is a Whole Foods Market with a Trader Joe's, World Market, and Farmer's Market all withing walking distance of each other. I can tolerate the commute for that.

But seriously folks, I encourage you to get excited about food and love your body. I know organic is expensive, but make an effort to try and fit some items in to make the best impact you can (plus they tend to be lower in calories). Try and stick with the staples, just meat, animal products, or simply cereal. Every little bit counts. You don't need to become an Eco-Warrior to make a difference.

Other than that I've been getting really excited about my change of major and I'm planning to get certified as a personal trainer in the spring. The cost is quite steep, but it's worth it, and since I might be able to get some type of school credit for it my parents want to try and help me out financially the best they can. I'm so lucky for how supportive they are. I just can't get stuck in the aquatics niche. I love the water and I love teaching swim, but if I teach I prefer to work with special needs children and the facility I work at simply doesn't cater to them. I need to branch out and learn other skills that can assist me in attaining my goals.

photo by: Abhay Singh check out the link!

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Links for the week! Each of these are great local magazines featuring local women and providing wonderful information on health, fitness, and fitting time for ourselves in to our crazy schedules.

Provides active women with the information they need to shop healthy, and stay green, even on a budget. Check them out!

V Mag is a monthly complimentary magazine, presents a unique editorial blend that inspires and empowers local women through a positive voice. Our product targets women ages 25 to 55, educated and active professionally and personally, and provides an effective avenue for advertising. Distribution includes Richmond, Charlottesville, Petersburg and Hopewell, Farmville, Ashland, Goochland, and Powhatan.

Skirt! is all about women, their work, play, families, creativity, styles, health, and wealth, bodies and souls. Truly inspirational and informative.

*I strongly encourage everyone to try and find at least one local women's magazine. They are a great source for information on things to do in your area. All of these I just listed are free. They can be found at whole food groceries and just about any local business. Support your community. Find one!*

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mix It Up

The past few days have been I have made great progress with my health goals. I have adjusted to my new meal regimen as you might say, mentioned previously in my Eat Right, Feel Better post. Resulting in less cravings and less deviation from my goals.

For example, not only was I able to snuff out a major milkshake craving, but accompany a friend to McDonalds, while hungry, and not eat a thing. It wasn't even as difficult as I anticipated. My efforts are really starting to show. Plus I can still have those items, I just firmly stick to my rule give each craving a week, and don't eat bad stuff at bad times.

How long do you think that milkshake craving lasted? 1 day. Don't give in. And McDonalds? Why would I waste that many calories on that in the evening when there are so many other culinary delights out there? It's not worth it and you know it.

As for the fitness I've been trying to mix things up more to avoid a rut. First I swam laps after work 2 days, went for a run one day, to the gym another, and today I ran around with my nephew and practiced some soccer with my dad and one of his friends from England. It has been much more enjoyable not to mention way less monotomous this way. I want to add in some more gym workouts with some treadmill just to keep some consistency though. That way I don't start forgetting about certain muscle groups.

I'm feeling much more positive about things. I may not be where I would ideally be physically and mentally, but the progress is definitely there and it's not going anywhere. I'm not rushing and I'm not burning myself out. I am really enjoying this process one step at a time.

* Plus with this method I am far less likely to yo-yo with my weight (very unhealthy) and maintain this lifestyle for years to come.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


The stress has officially gotten to me. I had been wondering where it was, and alas! It showed up last night after I got home from school. I have been doing remarkably well in my opinion juggling school, a job, family, and my own health; and all of a sudden it hit that I haven't yet had a real guilt free moment to myself in a long time.

It all started with me making lists again. Seeing on paper what I need to get done so that I can plan the best angle of attack. But what I forgot was that the first time you see everything on paper it can be quite over whelming. All of a sudden I freaked out and thought, "I can't do this on my own!"

How can anyone do this on their own? The answer is we can't. It wasn't easy for me to reach this conclusion, it came after a long moment of sulking, and finally a nice hot shower to clear my head. Long hot showers are the BEST way to get your head together. Don't get out until you are feeling some sort of positive attitude take over you, or the hot water starts to run out. Last night, the hot water had to run out. But you know what? I feel better.

I'm not alone. The vast majority of women out there struggle with their weight and self image. It may not be every day, but it happens to all of us. The thing is to realize this and to know that what you put in is what you get out. For a moment stop looking to the future and look at how far you have come. And most importantly be proud of yourself.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Eat Right, Feel Better!

I don't know what exactly happened, but as I said last week I had been sick and the only food my body craved was healthy stuff. Listen to your bodies people! It tells you what you need!

So this weekend I have been making a huge effort to listen, and give my body what it needs. Not just occasionally and when convenient, but consistently. Starting with my major craving for hummus. I haven't eaten any meat, seafood excluded (it's my favorite!) and have been focusing on my whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

I have done well staying away from the candy. Having the attitude that if I don't crave it, if I'm not hungry, I won't eat it. And that's that. I did come up with the great idea of instead of eating junk, have that super delicious trail mix sold at the Fresh Market. Yes, there is chocolate in some types, but you also have nuts, dried fruits, etc. A great compromise to my HUGE sweet tooth.

Today I had sushi. My all time favorite. Unfortunately I don't have the chance to have it much because I am living on a college student budget, and try my best to limit my spending. So the weekend is over and what am I going to do?

Try my best to continue on this track through the next week, and after that, the next week.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Water's Such A Drag

So today I swam laps for the 1st time in about 3 months. It was so gorgeous out and one of the swim instructors was telling me how I should join our Masters team. So I wanted to see where I stand.

Yeah...Swimming is hard work. I'm a good swimmer, I swam competitively for a long time, but the endurance is just not there anymore.

I swam fast, but I couldn't keep that pace up for more than 15 minutes. My arms really got a great work out, but it is a completely different whole body work out than running. And because of the limited breathing it can be a much more cardio intensive work out.

The verdict is in and I must do much more swimming. I'm planning on mixing up my workouts and the days I'm at work swimming laps right after at least 2 days a week.

photo by DevilDiver


I got the idea for winks from one of my favorite blogs, Desire to Inspire. You should check them out. Nothing to do with health or fitness, but awesome nonetheless.

It's a little late, but better late then never. Winks... the weekend links. A few things I have found to keep you busy through the next week. If you have any ideas or would like to be featured shoot me an e-mail.

Map My Run is a wondeful tool for anyone who likes to run, bike, walk, etc. This website lets you log in (it's free), put in your starting address, and create a course. You can share your courses and find others from your area.

Sports Backers has been named the best sports commission in the country by the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) in 2006 and 2009. SB is the best place to go to get information on getting started or continuing your fitness goals, especially in my neck of the woods. They provide support to just about any type of sporting event including training, sponsoring, etc.

Runner's World is the website for the popular runner's magazine Runner's World. It is a great resource for anything running, but general health and fitness as well. RW also includes excelent information for things such as injury prevention, nutrition & weight loss, and motivation.

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's Official!

Wonderful news! I have finally gotten my major officially changed to Exercise Science with a concentration in Pre-Physical Therapy! So excited! I finally feel back in my element and exited about what I'm working towards. Sorry for the lack of posts recently, but more good news! I talked to my boss and my work schedule has changed so I will work more mornings. This way I'll actually have time to work out AND do homework without over exerting myself. So look forward to more posts. Next week can't come soon enough!

Otherwise even though I've had almost a week's hiatus from exercising I have noticed some things that have encouraged me to do better. I'm not happy with how I feel. Not that big of a surprise mind you, but it does help in looking at future work outs with a positive attitude. Better yet, junk food doesn't taste that good anymore. I didn't realize I wasn't eating a lot of it, until I was bad and had some ice cream, and I just wasn't into it. Even better... You know what I'm craving? Hummus! All I can think about is how much I want hummus. So tomorrow I'm gonna splurge on my college kid budget and get some. Then I'm gonna look up some recipes so I can start making my own. I'll leave you all with that!

Have a great weekend! I'll try to get a few WINKS (weekend links) on here soon.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Burn More Calories on the Daily!

Here's a few things to work into your daily routine to help you burn calories and get some subtle exercise.

1. Take the Stairs: No Elevators. Take the stairs, no matter how many flights you go. In a few weeks you'll notice your upper legs and ass are getting tighter. I'm so used to taking the stairs now that I don't even realize it until I'm on the 5th floor and I'm telling myself "F* that!"... It's a good thing tough.

2. Bike/Walk/Run Where You Need to Go: Do it. It's gonna suck at first, but if you gradually integrate it into your routine (even just 2 days a week) not only will you notice it in your waistline, but how you perceive yourself. Not to mention the money you will save from not using your car is astounding. It's sets a good example to others, especially kids, and you're shrinking your carbon footprint all at the same time. Hell Yeah!

3. Weights: Wear them around the house. Believe it or not there are weights you can attach to your body. They come in weights that are attachable to your ankles, wrists, and even full vests. I personally recommend the ankle ones. They don't have to be heavy (I wear 5lb ones, but they come at weights lower than 1lb). You will be amazed at the difference wearing them will make. You can wear them just while you're at home. While you're out at work, running errands, etc you will feel an amazing difference in how much more energy you have.

4. Suck It In: Seriously. Sucking your navel and especially your lower abdominals in gives your abs a great work out. Some people say to suck in and release repeatedly, but I prefer to hold it in as long as possible. Shoot for 24/7. The reason being, after making a conscious effort to do this all day, every day, your abs will stay in and tense without you thinking about it. Imagine that. By sheer will power you have just lost an inch or so around your waist. In addition to that, this is also a great exercise in will power to prepare you for even bigger steps.

Monday, September 7, 2009

7 days!

Exactly one week since my last post. Last week was a complete whirlwind. First off we had friends come from England that will be staying the whole month, I had the worst schedule with work, and school picked up speed. Then come Friday after my 5 AM shift, I ran my best run yet only to completely crash after I ate lunch. Crashing from my lack of sleep and non-stop working not the run...that left me energized. So needless to say I have spent much of this weekend recovering and catching up on my daily tasks.

Today I started my day out great! I got up early and went for a run. It was wonderful not having to worry about it when I got off work/school. I have decided that every month I'm going to add a mile to my run and hopefully after Christmas I will have the money to join a Triathlon training team. I have always wanted to do it, but I am seriously self conscious about my bike riding skills not to mention my old ass bike. It's in good shape, but everyone around here is so damn snooty about their equipment.

Is anyone else bothered by this? I think it's ridiculous. My attitude is if you have the balls to go out and try something new, to make that effort to get in shape no matter what your situation you deserve all the respect in the world.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Shoe Suggestions

While many women may love shoes, trainers/running shoes can often be a completely different story. It may be socially acceptable to put looks before comfort when buying a pair of shoes, but when it comes to tennis shoes this is completely unacceptable. I for one am extremely picky about shoes no matter what their purpose is. I had bunion surgery in the 10th grade and a lot of subsequent foot problems so this is quite the issue to me and I encourage you to make it an issue as well.

Here are some tips to picking out good shoes. *Note* This is my personal opinion, no one person's foot is the same. Always consider yourself not others.

1. Money Matters: Don't be stingy about your shoes. Find a shoe that is comfortable. That if need be, you could spend all day in them and not want to saw your foot off. Otherwise you're just asking for more problems. So many body aches and pains originate from your feet. Don't set yourself up.

2. Try Them On: Never. I repeat NEVER purchase a pair of shoes without wearing them. That's just stupid. The only time this is acceptable is if you have a particularly trusted brand of shoes, and they are not meant for working out.

3. Don't Rush It: You should never plan a quick trip to get a pair of trainers. Take as long as necessary to find the right shoe and do not settle for anything that is less than perfect for you.

4. What's Your Foot Type?: This is crucial to buying running shoes. Many shoes don't offer proper support for your feet. You shouldn't have to buy inserts if you get the proper shoe in the first place.

4b. A common foot type is high arches, or it's opposite flat feet. To find out what type you have try this simple foot test from runnersworld. When you have high arches like I do and you don't have good arch support in your shoes, your heel, toes, and the ball of your foot absorb all the shock from your feet slapping the ground as you run.

5. Size Matters: Keep into consideration that your feet swell when you run. If the shoes you are trying on fit your foot too snug, they will probably feel too tight and painful when you are running. This can also be felt as random numbing in your toes or other parts of your foot resulting from pinched nerves.

6. Insoles: If you wear insoles bring them with you. Otherwise how would you know whether or not they will fit in your new shoe?

7. Get Some Help: Many people like to be left alone while making a purchase. I know I do, but don't be afraid to ask for help. Salespeople know what products are on the market and they know feet. They can help you make an informed decision. So help them out by giving them the right info...what type of running you do, how often you run, where you typically run, and what type of surfaces you run on.

8. NO!: Don't be afraid to say no or give yourself a day or so to digest what you've tried on. You'd be amazed at how your mind will lead you to think shoes are better than they are because you are carried away by either their looks or all the wonderful things the salesperson said.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Yesterday and Calorie Cutting Tip

I got lucky yesterday. Thanks to the weather I didn't need to go into work and instead I managed to get a lot of stuff done. While on campus I met up with one of my friends and had a major untouchable item. Starbucks. I don't even like it. It doesn't taste like coffee and it has enough caffeine to make your eyelids twitch off your face. But alas, I had a gift card so I split the drink with a friend.

If you do like stuff like Starbucks, it needs to be a treat item, not a daily staple. That's where that extra 10 lbs is probably from on those of you who drink it on the regular.

Then I did something even better! I got buffalo wings. It was a deal so the same friend and I split the meal. I know all this sounds terrible, but do you know what I did after that?

I went for a run. That's right. It was the first wonderfully cool day and I couldn't resist. (Not to mention I couldn't live with the guilt). It was horrible, but I did it. I don't regret a thing. It's fine to eat like that once in awhile especially if you use it to motivate yourself to do more.

*Special Calorie Cutting Tip* (and a quick way to shed pounds)
Get rid of your sugary drinks. Coffee, soda, anything, not even juice. Get fresh fruit instead. It's better for you. Drink water. Only water. That's what we are biologically meant to drink so let's keep it that way. You will be amazed at how things will change. Soda will become a treat (I can only handle 1/4 of a can) Need more convincing? Drinking soda decreases bone density in women. No good.