Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Delta Dash 2014

A couple of weeks ago I participated in the Delta Dash. I wasn't even sure what it was when I signed up for it, but quickly realized it was an obstacle-filled race somewhere between 3-4 miles. The obstacles included crawling in the mud, going down a slip-n-slide, carrying logs, flipping tires, climbing over slicked walls, and much more!
Around halfway through I started being told I was the second place girl! I was so surprised because I had been running with a friend and we were just trying to have a good time. I finished as the second place girl and was pretty proud of that!

At the awards ceremony I realized the first place finisher received a bronze alligator. Well... if I had known that I might've tried to win. I mean... who doesn't need a bronze alligator in their home? Oh well! I had a great time and would definitely do it again!!
We arrived clean and caffeinated and left muddy and tired but had an awesome time doing it!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

August's Resolution

Now that the 8th month of my year of resolutions is here I am having a tough time deciding what to do. Each month I have done something different but for this month I think I'm going to try something that goes along with my resolution from July. My resolution for August is to only go out to eat once a week. I find myself spending a lot of money at restaurants because it is an easy way to see friends and be social. I love going out to eat... I love everything about it. Except I find that most of my money goes there. I've tried this a couple times before so we'll see how it goes!

Resolution Recap:
1. January - spend less time on my phone
2. February - take Denny to the park twice a week
3. March - avoid chips
4. April - dress like an adult
5. May - read 3 books for fun
6. June - try foods I normally wouldn't
7. July - budget
8. August - only go out to eat once a week

Monday, July 21, 2014

How do I start enjoying running?

I've had lots of friends come to me for running advice, but the most common question I get is: How do I start enjoying running? Running isn't easy, especially in the summer. The best times to run are early in the morning or late in the evening and for most people that isn't ideal. After answering this question a few times I've come up with a list of ways to start truly enjoying running. Hopefully this will help!

1. Start out slow. If you pile too much on your plate and start out too heavy you will be sore, miserable, and discouraged. If you start slow by doing shorter runs a few days and week and building up from there you will be able to see progress and your endurance building. You will become more confident in your ability to run and soon be able to go for longer without stopping. For someone just starting out running I recommend you walk-jog-walk-jog each for a few minutes until your endurance builds up. Push yourself but don't increase distance or mileage too quickly or you risk injury. Try running 3 days a week, cross training (swim, elliptical, or bike) 2 days a week, and take a few days off. Improvement doesn't come quickly but it will come. Having confidence in your running will help you enjoy it more.

2. Timing. Pick a time of the day that isn't absolutely sweltering. I prefer the morning but the evenings are nice too. I know with the summer it is hard to convince yourself to exercise when there are more fun things you could be doing. If that is the case, the morning is probably the better time for you to go. Wake up, get it over with, and go on with your day!

3. Where do I run? If you go to Map My Run you can make your own routes or find those that others have made. This way you can plot exactly where you want to go, see exactly how long it is, and you are less likely to get lost. Change it up! If you do the same route each day it is likely you will get bored and lose interest. Start from your house one day but another day try starting from a coffee shop, school, or work to get a change of scenery. If it is too hot do not be afraid to run on the treadmill!

4. Sign up for a race. Once you feel good about your running find a local race to sign up for! It gives you something to train for and working towards a goal will motivate you. For me, I would rather have a training plan (easily found on Pinterest) to stick to than to try and run without one. Once you complete the race you will be so proud of yourself and more confident than you were before! Races are a fun way to get together with a group of people that enjoy the same things you do. Everyone is working hard and working together and the crowd that gathers to cheer will push you and keep you going!

5. Find a group to run with. Many cities will have local running groups that are always welcoming new members. Ask your local gym if they know of any groups or try searching for them online. It is always easier to make running a social event than a solo struggle. It is also fun to do races with friends. That way you are all excited about the same thing and can keep each other accountable!

6. Get a good playlist. A good playlist can go a long way while working out. Make an up-beat playlist that you can sing along to and soon you'll find yourself distracted and enjoying the music and not paying attention to how hard it is to keep yourself moving. Try Pandora, 8tracks, Songza, or Spotify for free music to listen to while you run!

7. Endorphins - You will feel SO MUCH BETTER after completing a run! Nobody ever went on a run, came home, and regretted it. Everyone has those bad days, and those are inevitable, but each bad day will better prepare you for the next one to come. You will be glad you went, happy it is over, and ready for the next good run. Plus... your dessert or beer will be that much more deserved after a nice run!

Monday, July 7, 2014

summertime mentality

July's Resolution

Having been out of school for a few months and into my new job for a little I've decided that an appropriate resolution for July is to start making more of an effort to stick to my budget. It takes a little while to adjust to life after school and it was hard for me to see where exactly my money was going. I downloaded Mint, a free app for budgeting, and it has helped a lot. It categorizes all of your purchases on your cards, allows you to make budets by category, and tracks your spending for you. Since I've graduated I have been looking at my spending patterns and trying to decide an appropriate budget for each month. It is also helpful to see where the problem areas are and where money can be saved

Things I've learned about budgeting:
1. The word budget immediately makes me think: not spending any money, not having any fun, and not shopping or going out to eat... but it doesn't have to be that way. If you allocate enough money to the important things then you can have room for the fun things too.

2. Going out to eat is expensive. It is SO cheap to cook at home. Going out to eat is a social thing for me and is the main time when I see my friends, making this especially hard for me. I bring my lunch to work each day and try to only go out to dinner a few nights a week. I make sure to ask what the drink specials are and try to order smart from the menu. It is even better when I can bring some food home and have it for lunch the next day.

3. Self control is hard. When my friends ask me to go to the beach, dinner, or to shop it is so hard to turn down the offer. I have to take a step back and see how much money I have already spent and see if it is worth it. I want to see my friends and do all the fun things they want to do, but sometimes it is easier to offer up alernative ideas to spend time with them. It doesn't cost any money to go on a walk and it is fun and affordable to cook dinner together. It's hard to get creative but if it will help you stay within what you can afford then it really is worth it.

Hopefully now that I have been working for a while I can finally stick to the budget I have made for myself. It's a puzzle figuring out what you need but I'm confident that this month it will come together.

Resolution Recap:
1. January - spend less time on my phone
2. February - take Denny to the park twice a week
3. March - avoid chips
4. April - dress like an adult
5. May - read 3 books for fun
6. June - try foods I normally wouldn't
7. July - budget

Friday, June 6, 2014

Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells

Since being home, my mom and I have been experimenting with new recipes. Both of us are wanting to change things up and we needed some "pin-spiration." I came across this recipe and it seemed like something the whole house would enjoy (it was). Served with a spring salad, these stuffed shells were delicious!

Here's what you need:  Serves 10
30 jumbo pasta shells
15 oz fresh spinach (steam until wilted and dry with paper towels and chop)
15 oz Ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 1/2 TBSP chopped fresh basil
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
3 C (12 oz) mozzarella cheese, finely shredded, divided
1 C (3.5 oz) Parmesan cheese, finely shredded
3 cups marinara sauce

Here's what you do:
1. Cook shells according to package instructions and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a bowl blend the Ricotta cheese and egg, using a fork. Next, add in the basil and thyme. Then stir in 2 C mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and toss the mixture to combine. Next, mix in the prepared spinach and then season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Spread 1/3 C pasta sauce along the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
4. Stuff each pasta shell with cheese mixture (about 2 TBSP each).
5. Arrange the shells in the baking dish side by side and cover shells with remaining marinara sauce.
6. Sprinkle with remiaining 1 C mozzarella cheese.
7. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.

I was lucky there were left overs because I can't wait to have it for lunch today!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June's Resolution

This is my 6th month of resolutions and I am pretty excited I have kept it up. It gets hard to think of ideas but resolutions should be challenging and get you out of your comfort zone!

Do you get in a habit of ordering the same thing when you go out to eat? I have a "favorite" at just about each restaurant I visit regularly. I always order it because I know I will like it. Well this summer is all about trying new things for me and I think I need to start by actually experimenting with these menus I so frequently never look at. So for June my goal is, when I go out to eat, to order something from the menu that I normally wouldn't try. What can you change up?

Last month my goal was to read 3 books for fun and I did it!! I read:

If you  need something to read this summer the Divergent series and each of these short books are easy reads and hard to put down!

Resolution recap:
January: use my cell phone less
February: take Denny to the park twice a week
March: avoid eating chips
April: dress like an adult
May: read 3 pleasure books

Thursday, May 29, 2014

My First Week with WIC

Well I went to college, graduated, and have now I started working at the Mobile County Health Department as a Nutrition Associate for WIC. For those of you that don't know, WIC stands for "Women, Infants, and Children" and is a nutrition supplement program for qualifying women. I am SO excited and grateful to have this opportunity and can't wait to see what I learn!
There are a few things I learned within my first week of work:
1.  Write down your co-workers' names. You will meet so many people, they will remember your name, and you may not remember theirs. It gets awkward when you keep referring to Annie as Claire. I even made a chart of where people sit in the office so I could remember who they were.

2. Bring your lunch and pack it the night before. The best graduation present my parents gave me was my lunch box. I bring my lunch every day and that way I know exactly what I'm eating and don't have to spend any extra money going out for lunch. Chances are, the lunch you pack for yourself will be healthier than the lunch you go out and purchase during your break. I also recommend packing a small snack. Each day I have gotten hungry between when I arrive and when I eat lunch. I make sure to pack something small (granola bars, trail mix, etc.) for the midmorning. Packing your lunch the night before will eliminate having to plan in the morning and will save you some time.

3. Exercising is easier in the morning. If you can drag yourself out of bed, you will NOT be sad when you get back home and are able to completely relax. After exercising in the morning I find that I have much more energy throughout the day. I think the extra hour to fully wake up and get ready for work has a big part in that. Some days I can't make it happen, and it isn't horrible going in the afternoon, but I definitely appreciate the days I can come home and just hang out and not have to stress about it.

4. Coffee is magic, just magical.

5. Try to learn from everybody you are interacting and working with. They've worked there longer than you and, even though you're fancy and graduated college, they know better than you how to do their job. Their job may not be your job but it will definitely help you in some way.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

May's Resolution

I am so proud to say that I graduated from The University of Alabama with a BS in Food and Nutrition! These past four years flew by and I can't believe I have already completed undergrad. Everyone tells you that it goes by quickly, but you really don't know until you do it yourself! I enjoyed every moment at The University of Alabama and am excited to see what the future holds for me.
Roll Tide!!!
With everything being crazy because of graduation it has taken me a few days to come up with an appropriate resolution for this month. After having been in school my entire life, I think that for this month my resolution will be to read 3 books just for fun!!! I need a break from the text books, reports, and exams and this is the perfect get-away from all that. First on the list is the last book in the Divergent series (Allegiant) and I can't wait to bask in the sun and get started.

Resolution Recap:
January: spend less time on my cell phone
February: take Denny to the park twice a week
March: avoid eating chips
April: dress like an adult
May: relax and read 3 pleasure books

Friday, April 25, 2014

Local Honey is Awesome

With spring in full swing and the pollen making everything a strange shade of green, I went to my favorite most natural way to combat allergies: local honey. By eating local honey your body can help defend you against the local allergens. It's kind of how when you get the flu shot and it has some of the flu in it. You have to take it in to protect yourself against it. Pretty cool, right? Local honey is especially easy to obtain now that the local farmers markets are opening back up.

Need to find a farmers market near you?
1. Visit the Local Harvest website and type in your location. It will bring up a list of your local farmers markets, where they are located, and when they are open!
2. Download the Farmstand App on your smart phone. It will also give you a list of where the farmers markets are in your area and allow you to see when they are operating!

Need some ideas? My favorite, easy ways to eat honey!
1. Coffee and tea sweetener: every morning I make coffee and every morning I sweeten it with honey.
2. Sandwiches: honey on dry toast OR honey and banana slices OR peanut butter and honey 

3. Oatmeal and honey: making plain oatmeal can be relatively bland, adding honey can put a little bit of a sweet taste into this easy breakfast!

What are some other ways you incorporate honey into your daily diet? 
Happy spring!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

300 Abs!

Warm up with 20-45 minutes of cardio before doing one of my favorite ab workouts!

Last weekend was the first I was able to lay out at the pool. It made me realize how quickly summer was coming up and how I need to incorporate more strength training into my workouts!

What are your favorite ab workouts?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Peanut Butter Granola Apple Sandwiches

Snacks are just as important to my day as meals. Sometimes I'm rushing out the door and have to make something quick to hold me over while I'm in class. These little apple sandwiches are perfect to stick into a ziplock bag and throw into a back pack. They take no time to make and chances are you'll have peanut butter, granola, and apples in your kitchen!

Here's what you do:
1. Core an apple.
2. Cut the apple into slices.
3. Generously spread peanut butter onto a slice, sprinkle granola, and stack another apple slice on top!
It is so easy and packed with protein. It's great before a workout or before a long couple of hours at the library!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April's Resolution

Month 4 of 12 months of resolutions is already here! I can't even believe it. With graduation quickly approaching I thought it would be fitting to make this month's resolution one to help me ease into real life (ah scary). At the University of Alabama the dress code is pretty close to pajamas. The average girl wears either leggings or Nike shorts and an excessively large t-shirt. Is that even cute? I'm not sure. So for this month I'm going to try and wear actual real clothes to class at least twice a week. It doesn't sound like a lot but going from wearing gym clothes to real clothes... it's an effort. I've realized I go shopping and have these cute clothes but I never wear them. Now that the weather is approaching bearable, I don't have much of an excuse. Plus, like I said earlier, graduation is exactly a month from tomorrow and I don't think the real word wants me to wear t-shirts and gym shorts.

Resolution Recap:
January: spend less time on my cell phone
February: take Denny to the park twice a week
March: chips
April: dress like a real 22 year-old

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Easy French Toast

My Dad is a big French toast fan and since I've been making breakfast a lot lately, I figured I would try my hand at this classic. I need something quick and easy if I'm going to make it in the morning and this recipe is perfect for that!

Here's what you need:
1 egg
3/4 C milk
1 TBSP ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
2 slices bread

Here's what you do:
1. Beat together the egg, milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt.
2. Heat a lightly oiled skillet/griddle over medium heat.
3. Soak bread slices in egg mixture thoroughly on each side. Cook the bread until both sides are crisp and lightly browned.

Serve with fresh fruit, warmed maple syrup, and a nice glass of orange juice!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March's Resolution

For each month of 2014 I've decided to make a different resolution. So far, it's been really fun to see what I can change each month and how each change affects my routine. For March I've decided to avoid eating chips. I have a crazy obsession with Doritos and chips at Mexican restaurants - I love it all. It's really getting out of hand. So... to try and reign this back in I'm going to see if I can avoid eating them all together. Seeing at Lent starts today, it's also what I will be giving up for Lent! It will last a little longer than just March but I'm excited to see if I can handle it. Maybe it will also get me ready for spring break later this month! :)

Resolution Recap:
January: spend less time on my cellphone
February: take Denny to the park twice a week
March: chips

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Slow-Cooker BBQ Chicken Salad

I have been on the BBQ train for a while now. I'm just craving summer and keep making my favorite summer-time foods. This recipe is super easy if you plan ahead (and if you don't... just cook it on high)!

Here's what you need:
1-2 chicken breasts
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
Salad greens and veggies

Here's what you do:
1. Place the chicken into the slow cooker.
2. Thoroughly cover the chicken in BBQ sauce.
3. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. I pulled the chicken apart around hour 3 so it could continue soaking up the saucy goodness.
4. Take your favorite salad greens and whatever veggies you desire and place the chicken on top! No other dressing needed with all the BBQ sauce!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Here are 2 quick and easy juicing recipes I've been playing with this week! I hope you like them!

Monday, February 3, 2014

February's Resolution

Month 2 of 12 months of resolutions has already been full of excitement. Yesterday I completed my 8th half marathon. I realized last week I have been running marathons for 5 years now... time is definitely flying. My goal for yesterday was to beat 1:40:00 in the half and I DID IT!!! I trained for week and ran the 13.1 miles in 1:38:59!! I even placed 4th in my age group of 576 people. I am still so excited and proud that I achieved my goal. This shows that if you really set your mind to something, you can achieve anything. I know I proved that to myself this weekend.

This year was the 5th anniversary of the Rock and Roll New Orleans Marathon. I have done either the half or full each year they have had this race. In honor of the 5th anniversary they posted a "wall of fame" for all those runners that had participated each year!

Ok so back to resolutions... After having a full 1:38:59 to think about what I wanted my resolution to be for this month, I decided it would be taking my dog, Denny, to the park at least twice a week. With such a busy schedule it's hard to get her out and running. I know she gets anxious (because she will pick up a toy and put it in my lap... usually when I'm in the middle of writing a paper) and this will help that!
Resolution Recap:
January: Spending less time on my cellphone 
February: Taking Denny to the dog park twice a week

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sweet Potato Quinoa Tacos with Chipotle Sauce

I was searching for a new and different taco recipe and came across this one. It is so colorful and absolutely delicious. I prepared it for a group of friends and everyone agreed that it was fantastic!

Here's what you need: makes approximately 6 servings.
Whole wheat tortillas
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 red bell pepper, cored, and diced
2 tablespoons minced green onion
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/2 cup diced cherry tomatoes
salt and pepper

For the sauce:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons pureed chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce

Here's what you do:
1. Make the chipotle sauce by combining all the ingredients. Keep cold in the refrigerator.
2. Cook the quinoa with a pinch of salt and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Stir occasionally and let cool slightly.
3. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes. Boil in a medium saucepan until tender, around 15 minutes. Drain and cool slightly.
4. Toss together the potatoes, quinoa, bell pepper, onion, and avocado with 1/4 cup olive oil and 3 tablespoons of lime juice. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper.
5. Fill each warmed tortilla with 1/4 cup quinoa mixture. Sprinkle each with cilantro, tomatoes, and chipotle sauce.
6. Wrap each tortilla and enjoy!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

I think I'm missing the summertime when I start making BBQ in January. It has been SO cold here and all I want is a nice warm day by the pool. Since I'm not getting that anytime soon, I guess I'll eat like I'm sitting by the pool and just have to pretend.

Here's what you need:
2 chicken breasts
1 - 18 ounce bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce

Servings: 3-4

Here's what you do:
1. Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker.
2. Smoother the chicken generously with BBQ sauce.
3. Cook on low for 8 hours. I pulled the chicken apart around hour 5 or 6 and it cook the remaining couple of hours that way.

I can't wait to make this when it is finally summer!!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Totally Tangy Juice

I have recently purchased a juicer and I couldn't be more in love with it. I went to amazon and purchased a small Black and Decker juicer to get me started. I didn't want to make a huge investment if I wasn't totally committed to it. So far, I'm a fan.

I have been all over pinterest trying to find some good recipes. I've played around with ones I've found but I have also done some experimentation and made my own! 

Monday, January 13, 2014

12 Months of Resolutions

I know it's a little late, but I've been thinking a lot about making resolutions. I read an article in The New York Times that said a third of resolutions are broken before February! I couldn't believe that. People make these promises to themselves and they don't last but a few weeks. That's when I decided I was going and make a different resolution for each month of 2014. Some of them are health related, some are about saving money, and some are breaking bad habits. I'm excited to see what I take from this and to see which resolutions stick!

My January resolution is to put my cell phone down.

After watching this video (seriously go watch it, it will change your life), I realized I need to spend more time in the moment and less time stalking miscellaneous social media. When you're hanging out with friends, nothing is worse than watching them play with their phones. Why do people feel the need to see what other people are doing instead of actually talking to the people they're surrounded with? No app on my phone should get more attention than the people I'm around. 

I mean seriously... these people don't even look like they're having that much fun:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...