Tag: health

Spring Cleaning 101: Detoxifying the Mind, Body, and Soul

Spring Cleaning 101: Detoxifying the Mind, Body, and Soul

We all feel it. Spring is finally here. You can smell it in the air. You can see it in the small tulips beginning to bloom. You can hear it as the birds chirp away in the early morning. Lastly, your mind, body, and soul can sense it more than anything. Our bodies are incredibly smart and they can sense when there is a change in season. This is why it’s so important to align with mother nature and not resist it. Ever wonder why you’re craving warm soups or hearty desserts in the winter? Or why you may crave juicy, citrus fruits like oranges in the spring and summer? Though it may seem too obvious, this has to do with how our bodies adapt to the changes in temperature and seasons. In order to successfully keep our bodies running at 100%, they need the proper fuel. Our digestive system is especially impacted by these changes. If we feed our bodies the wrong type of fuel when it needs soup, not ice cream for example, it initiates a more challenging process in breaking down and digesting the food. I’ll share with you throughout the blog post how you can successfully detox your way into Spring through all aspects – fuel for the body, exercise, self-care, mental stability, etc.

Before I go into detail on tips to help detox your way into Spring, I want to briefly introduce a quick background on Ayurveda and what it is/how it works. At a high level, the “traditional science of Ayurvedic medicine is designed to bring the body back into balance so it can heal itself” naturally. Like Chinese medicine, this holistic approach has been practiced for at least 5,000 years. A “holistic” approach means discovering the root cause of what may be causing stomach or digestive issues for you as an example & looking at the whole person, not just a specific organ or system involved. This essentially ties back with why our mind, bodies, and souls are SO connected.

One more interesting thing to note is that if you understand your own body type (or “dosha” as it’s used in the traditional form) you can better adjust appropriately. This is important because as you know, everyone’s body is different. What my body may need, could very well be completely opposite from what your body needs. This Ayurvedic Spring approach is a general guidance, however, if you’d like to learn more about your own body type, take this quiz and then feel free to read more on that specific body type via this link. There are complete lists of foods and drinks to eat, as well as appropriate exercise, etc. to help balance out your specific dosha (i.e. body type). If you’re interested in learning more on Ayurveda and how you can implement parts of it to help bring your body back into balance, I’ve added a few source links at the bottom of the blog.

Alright, now back to spring cleaning! In Ayurveda, Spring is a crucial part of the season routine since in the winter, our digestive system is high and people tend to eat more sweet & heavy food. Interestingly enough, our digestive systems are quite adept at adapting to these hard-to-digest foods, so “ama (the sticky, toxic product of incomplete digestion) starts accumulating.” As Spring rolls in, “the ama melts and the volume of ama becomes so great that the shrotas, the microcirculatory channels of the body, become clogged.”

Below are some tips on how to detox & cleanse your way into Spring:

1) Avoid eating heavy, cold, hard-to-digest foods. A general tip is to just eat WHAT IS IN SEASON! As long as you’re shopping at your local farmer’s market, you should avoid any “hard-to-digest” foods. Ex. Root vegetables (potatoes, squash, taro root, zucchini) as these are no longer in season. It also helps to steam any vegetables prior to digesting. Carrots, broccoli, and kale are all great options.

2) Eat bitter foods such as, endives, radicchio, bitter melon, daikon radish, and dandelion greens.

3) Avoid or reduce the sweet, sour, and salty tastes — your digestive system will be more efficient in burning away the accumulated ama. Use pink salt to season your food for it’s high mineral content.

4) Sweet, juicy fruits can help detox your body (ex. Papaya, pineapple, watermelon) – just try to eat these earlier in the day or before sunset.

5) Adding high anti-inflammatory spices & other beneficial herbs to your food or tea such as – coriander, cumin, turmeric, ginger, mint and fennel — to help stimulate the digestion and detoxify the skin.

6) Begin your morning with a glass of warm water and the juice of half a lemon or lime. This will cleanse your digestive tract and initiate your metabolism first thing in the morning. You can also add fresh ginger juice as well (this is a great anti-inflammatory). Honey is another option to add in if you’d like. Also, drinking a few sips of Kombucha (fermented tea) first thing in the morning, can also help to balance out your PH. *Lastly, drinking room-temperature water throughout the day is much easier on your digestive system than ice cold water!

7) Dry brushing your skin. This should be done close to first thing in the morning, right before you shower. You should brush in an upwards motion. “Dry skin brushing helps keep the pores clear and the skin active to assist the body in this cleansing process. It also helps to increase blood circulation. Dry brushing exfoliates the skin’s outer layer and stimulates the sweat and oil glands, providing more moisture for the skin.” You can find dry brushes in the health section of Whole Foods.

8) Keep to a consistent routine – simply try to wake up with the sun and go to sleep with the moon. Also try and keep a regular routine with when you eat your meals.

9) Spring cleaning is also a great time to start fresh & give things like meditation a try. Meditation can be so valuable, even if you can only find 5 minutes in your day. A great guided meditation app to help people that are new to meditating is called: Headspace.

10) If you’re a seasoned yogi or completely new to yoga, it’s beneficial to incorporate plenty of twisting poses throughout your practice or to kick-start your morning. Twists are really great for detoxing the body & creating space in the abdominal region. Here are a few simple poses to follow.

11) Get outside and walk throughout the day as much as possible. The endorphins from walking outside & exercising will be at an all-time high.

12) Try incorporating mood-enhancing and stress & anxiety reducing superfoods like Maca Powder, Cacao Powder, and Ashwagandha powder to your coffee, lattes, or smoothies.

13) Literally spring clean – a clean, organized home creates a clear mine. Get rid of and donate the winter clothes you didn’t touch all year. Clear out your pantry. If you work at home or in an office, try and keep that space clear but also add a few personal touches that will help keep you creative and inspired.

14) Amplify your space with fresh plants and flowers. I tend to be drawn towards plenty of succulents since they need little attention, but they look pretty! 🙂

15) Lastly, don’t forget how important SELF-CARE is. Everyone needs to look out for themselves. So among trying to incorporate some things from above, go get a massage or a facial, take a bath, read a book, take a “day-cation”, DIY your own face mask, etc.

I hope you found this information useful! Please note, the purpose of this is to simply share what I’ve learned about the tradition of Ayurveda. I’m no expert or professional in this field, I’m simply just interested in learning and expanding my knowledge. Take it or leave it! These are some things I’ve found useful in the past and am exploring with this season. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively.

Happy spring cleaning!

Sources:

http://lifespa.com/about-lifespa/ayurveda/what-is-ayurveda/#
http://www.ayurveda-holistic-medicine.com/
http://www.ayurveda-holistic-medicine.com/ayurveda-body-types.html
http://www.fusionaryformulas.com/learn-live-according-dosha/
http://www.joyfulbelly.com/Ayurveda/assessment/Dosha?gclid=CI7am4OvnNMCFdWIswodK_UN4A
http://www.chopra.com/articles/garshana-detoxify-at-home-with-ayurvedic-skin-brushing#sm.0000m771scytberbu271tfp7oa8gf
http://www.yogajournal.com/category/poses/types/twists/

go FLOAT

go FLOAT

Weird title, right…?

No, I’m not referring to the kind where you grab yourself a donut floatie and chill poolside. I’m referring to a float tank or what can also be referred to as a deprivation or isolation tank. My boyfriend and I first heard about these so called “deprivation tanks” via the Joe Rogan podcast. Joe Rogan is a regular when it comes to floating and certainly swears by it’s benefits. This “deprivation tank” may also ring a bell if you’ve binge watched the series “Stranger Things” on Netflix (I’ll get to this later in my post)! Anyway, if this is your first time hearing of such thing, let me try and do my best to give you the low down on what it is and it’s benefits.

Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is a FLOAT TANK?

Well, it’s essentially an isolated pod or tank that is filled with water (it’s pretty shallow – I’d say shin height) almost entirely saturated with 850-1,000 pounds of epsom salt. The water temperature is kept around 95 degrees to match your body temp, which thankfully feels like you’re jumping into a nice warm bath, but after just a few minutes, you realize that the feeling becomes almost imperceptible. The idea here is that it’s replicating the dead sea – as soon as you make your way into the tank and lay on your back, you automatically float weightlessly and effortlessly. As if you couldn’t pile on any more sensations to the mix, now take away all light and sound. You are now floating in a dark, quiet tank for 60 minutes. WOAH. And when I mean quiet, you literally can’t hear anything but your own breath (PS – they provide you with earplugs so that you can comfortably float in the water without any distractions like getting salt water in your ears).

So, what’s the benefit of floating in this type of environment?

Well for one, it is SO relaxing and if you can, even for just a few minutes, find yourself in a deep meditative state, the outcome is SO incredibly rewarding. As I was reading through the FLOAT Boston’s FAQ page, I stumbled across this term known as “Flotation REST (Reduced Environmental Stimulation Therapy) (which) triggers your physiological relaxation response directly, so you don’t need to meditate or focus or manage your thoughts in any way.” Pretty crazy!!

So in addition to the float tank being well, insanely relaxing, there are also a number of other beneficial outcomes. As you likely saw from my post last week on yoga moves to help with stress and anxiety – these feelings and emotions seem to be a highly talked about topic lately, which is unfortunate. It seems as though it’s almost become OK to be stressed, like if you’re not stressed, then maybe you’re not working or trying hard enough. With all of these added social pressures around us, we haven’t taken enough time to think about ourselves. Luckily, I’m starting to see a change here, especially in the blogger community where people are truly beginning to put themselves first. Self-care, self-love — all are BIG words and resolutions of 2017, which is AMAZING! Anyway, I know I’m a little off topic, but that’s an area I’ve felt really passionate about lately.

As I was saying above, taking 60 minutes of your day to literally just float in a dark tank seems crazy, right? Especially for those who have busy, non-stop schedules? Yes, I realize 60 minutes is a lot, but this is a great way to cut out any and ALL distractions and truly disconnect from everyone and everything. Also, I found out that a regular visit can help improve sleep as well!

Now that you’ve gotten the down low, I’ll briefly share with you my experience…

As you know, I’m living in the Boston area. There aren’t too many options, but I did stumble upon the amazing FLOAT Boston – located in Somerville, MA. Justin and I booked our float tanks for the same time, each for 60 minutes. They advise you not to drink any coffee before hand, nor to eat a heavy meal, as you want to be as relaxed as possible. As soon as we walked in, we were overwhelmed by a pleasing, spa-like calmness. We had to remove our shoes and replace them with terry-cloth slippers. We then took a seat in the small common area, where we were offered water. They were super friendly and informative upon our arrival, especially knowing we were new to this. Though we booked our tank for the same time, each person is directed into their own float room.

Once we entered our individual rooms, we were advised to shower off, strip down (so FREEEEING!), and put our ear plugs in. You then open the dark tank and make your way into silence. I found myself a bit tense at first and it took me a few minutes to totally let myself go. You truly do float weightlessly with your head just comfortably above the water. After probably 5 minutes or so of feeling my way around, playing with moving my arms and legs back and forth, I finally got over the “discovery” stage and began to try and free my mind and really embrace the full 60-minute experience.

I’m obviously not going to walk you through all 60-minutes of my thoughts but here are some ideas that I experienced.

Circa 2003 when Finding Nemo came out and there’s that scene deep, deep in the ocean where it’s literally dead silent and completely dark. Dory and Nemo see a light and Dory goes “hey conscience, am I dead?” Yep, that’s how I felt at one point.

Another thought that came up was, I wonder if this is what it feels like to be floating in space…like no destination, no idea where you’ll end up, you’re literally just floating there. Hard to describe, but the thought of space 100% came up.

Another thought was, Oh crap, am I going to fall into another dimension? Yes, this is where watching Stranger Things before hand was a bad idea. I don’t want to give anything away, but if you plan on watching it, do the float tank BEFORE hand 🙂

Besides my thoughts that came in and out, I definitely know for sure that I fell into a meditative state a few times during the span of the 60 minutes. It’s hard to say how long for, but I really tried my best to get there. I find it helps me concentrate by focusing on my third eye. I’m definitely new to meditation, so for beginners, you may find this as a helpful tip!

Towards the end, not going to lie, I think I slowly fell into a bit of a sleep which is not exactly where you want to be, but luckily I think it only lasted for a few minutes! They bring you back to awareness with some light classical music when your 60 minutes finished up. This was also a strange feeling as I couldn’t tell if I was beginning to make noises and music up in my head OR if this truly was the cue to get out haha.

Overall, I REALLY loved this experience. I came out feeling SO incredibly relaxed and definitely high on happy endorphins. If the price wasn’t so high, I’d be back weekly for sure. Unfortunately, given my tight budget, I’ll likely only be going every few months. Regardless, I definitely recommend the experience at least ONCE! Let me know if you have any further questions or comments 🙂

Happy Floating!!

*Featured Image taken from: http://superiorfloattanks.com/experience/

Spring Cleaning 101 – Going Organic with Beauty & Cleaning Products

Spring Cleaning 101 – Going Organic with Beauty & Cleaning Products

For today’s post – I’d like to talk about the benefits of swapping out your CVS brand makeup with organic and natural ingredients. A few weeks back, I was listening to a podcast where the woman had recovered from a variety of different illnesses and diseases by following a holistic nutritionist and her guidance on eating clean and shaking up her daily routine. This woman had struggled for years with various illnesses and it wasn’t until she met with this nutritionist where she realized that what she was putting in AND on her body could be affecting her health. So, slowly but surely, she began eating clean, whole foods that helped to nourish her body inside and out. One by one, she started replacing her cleaning products and makeup with organic, 100% natural options. And as one would assume, after just a few months, her illnesses dwindled down and she finally began to feel energized again. It was like a weight was lifted off of her just by simply adjusting the way she was treating her body. No prescription drugs needed – just 100% natural remedies.

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The more I thought about this woman’s experience, the more I realized this was such an easy switch that could help me in the long run. If you think back to 100’s of years ago, our population was SO much more in touch with nature. We weren’t surrounding ourselves with technology. We weren’t consuming all of these chemicals that are hidden in cleaning products like detergent, or in makeup like foundation powder. We were living in a world that hadn’t yet been tainted by all of these material goods.

Check out this article I found from the global healing center on the 6 reasons to go organic!

Some key highlights I found from skimming through this article are the following:

  1. Conventional beauty products contain petroleum-based ingredients such as aluminum. Aluminum is found through mining which has had a very negative affect on the environment, especially in places like the Amazon rainforest. Did you know that the deodorant you’re using likely contains aluminum? Did you also know that there have been clear links to breast cancer & alzheimer’s disease??

Pro Tip: Go 100% organic with your deodorant! There are so many options these days – Toms is a perfect example!

  1. Conventional makeup can leave your skin feeling damaged due to it’s intense chemicals used in these products. Whether it’s a CVS brand or MAC – if it’s not 100% organic, there’s a VERY good chance it contains chemicals that can be poisonous to the endocrine system. “Parabens and phthalates are two common examples of substances found in these makeup products” – both of which have been linked to cancer and type II diabetes.

  2. Did you know that not only applying these cosmetic products on your body can be harmful but also breathing in the aromas like perfume or lotions can be extremely toxic. The chemicals found in these have been linked to cancer, nervous system disorders, allergies, and birth defects.

Pro Tip: Choose products that are 100% natural like essential oils (i.e. lavender and roseship oil are great examples).

  1. As I touched on above, products that can be applied to your body like face washes, face lotions, body lotions, and body scrubs all too, can have harmful, long-term effects.

Pro Tip: As this article points out, “if you can’t eat it, don’t wear it.” So what are some good examples of body treatments that are both natural and energizing for your skin? Opt for body lotions such as cocoa butter which contains fatty acids that can help to keep your skin youthful and soft or a lotion derived from hemp oil. Other good products contain ingredients such as white tea, grapes, apricots, and pomegranate seeds.

  1. With summer quickly approaching, we all know the importance of protecting your skin (something I quite honestly need to get better with)! UV protection can be found in natural organic and mineral-derived ingredients such as Titanium oxide or Zinc oxide.

Pro Tip: I just recently picked up the brand “Yes To” Carrots Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15. There are SO many options, so make sure to choose one that works well for you!

After reading through these 6 facts, it’s quite frankly an obvious choice to swap out your conventional makeup items, your cleansing, and cleaning products and go organic! If it means possibly lowering my risk of disease and cancer, decreasing the amount of harmful, toxic chemicals getting into my body, and leaving me feeling and looking more youthful and energized – I’M IN!

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My advice? Don’t feel like you need to go crazy right off the bat. Stores like Target and Wegmans carry PLENTY of natural products for a pretty good deal! Keep an eye out for sales, etc. – you’ll find them, I promise!

Here’s what I’ve started to swap out: Shampoo, Conditioner, Deodorant, Lip Liner, Lip Stick, Lip Gloss, Foundation Powder, Blush, Body Lotion, Face Wipes, Nail Polish Remover, Soap Bars. So yes, it is a work in progress and I have a lot to do! But hey, it’s a start and I’m already feeling better about the positive lifestyle changes I’m making!

Essentials you Should Always Have in your Kitchen

Essentials you Should Always Have in your Kitchen

When it comes to balancing food shopping and your budget – I totally get it. It’s a constant battle.

Whole Foods > Whole Pay Check?
Organic > Not Organic?
Quest bars > Kind Bars?
Almond Butter > Peanut Butter?

For me …I find that some weeks I give in to the Whole Food brain wash and buy every healthy, organic snack I see on the shelf. And some weeks, I go in with a tight budget and an even leaner grocery list. I find this balance works. Especially when you can stock up on the right essentials to save you at least a few grocery trips!

So when is it worth spending those extra few bucks on groceries when it could have gone to that new lulu sports bra you’ve been eyeing? Let me share with you my faves!

  • Chia Seeds: Lucky for you – Wegmans and Whole Foods carry these in their bulk food section! Otherwise, this product is quite popular and can be found at most health food stores or even online through Amazon Prime!
    chia
  • Goji Berries: Again, these berries can be quite pricey – but I swear by them! They are the perfect sweet topper or can be great for snacking! Again – these can be bought in bulk or can be found in a packaged bag. Keep an eye out for sales on both these and chia seeds!
    Red dried goji berries in wooden spoon
    Red dried goji berries in wooden spoon
  • Amazing Grass Product: I’ve been using the chocolate infusion for quite some time now. You can refer to my recipe here — you’ll see I rave about all of the nutrients you’re getting in just one scoop! This brand is a bit expensive, but when it comes to spending a few extra dollars – the health return you get from 1 scoop is completely worth it!
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  • Almond Butter: I absolutely love almond butter – but let’s be honest, some of the brands like Justin’s can be a bit expensive! It’s great to splurge every now and then, but if you kill a jar of almond butter in a week like I do, it may be time to re-evaluate how much money is going into one jar! Stick to the bulk food section and make your own container of almond butter. Both Whole Foods and Wegmans have this option.
    Almond-butter
  • Coconut Oil: I LOVE coconut oil and I now buy it in 2 forms. I have a the big jar and I have the spray kind. I’ve been able to find the spray bottle for a much cheaper price through the brand PAM.
    coconut-oil
    Maca Powder: Again another superfood, that is on the pricier side. But here’s the good news, you only need about 2 tsps to get the nutrients you need from this green powder! So make sure you splurge on the price, but are generous with your serving size!
    Maca-powder-in-a-spoon
  • Almond Milk: Thank god for the 2.8L of Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk that I buy. This large carton lasts forever and is most definitely one of my essentials, whether it be for smoothies, oatmeal, or just some coffee!
    almond milk
  • Frozen Veggie Burgers: These are an easy, quick go-to when your in need for protein! Throw them in a salad, whip one up for dinner – whatever works! I tend to switch up the brands. So far, I’ve tried Dr. Praegers California Veggie Burgers, Amy’s California Veggie Burgers, Vegan Boca Burgers, and the Engine 2 Diet Veggie Burgers – all of which are great choices in my opinion! But the Engine 2 really spiced up my taste buds.
    veggie-burger-1-new
  • Frozen Shrimp: Similar to the veggie burgers, these are another go to of mine. You can usually find these in bulk and they’re so quick and easy. They go perfectly in a stir-fry, with a pasta dish – you name it! Definitely worth an investment on my grocery list.
    shrimp
  • Frozen Acai Packages: I buy mine from the brand Sambazon and you can now find these in the frozen food section of most grocery stores. They are great for a filling smoothie or acai bowl and can work for any meal of the day!
    acai

Enjoy!

My Favorite Fitness Instagrams to Spice up your Workout Routine

My Favorite Fitness Instagrams to Spice up your Workout Routine

In college I had the luxury of being on a D1 college cross-country and track team year around. This lifestyle created a structured routine for me over those four years. Of course, there were days where all I wanted to do was stay in bed all day while bingeing on netflix and almond butter. But most days, I knew that this lifestyle was absolutely worth every blood, sweat, and tear. I knew that this would mold my future and how I would come to appreciate health and fitness the way I do today. It taught me discipline, drive, determination, and that not everything in life comes easy. You need to work for what you want most.

As not to get too side tracked here, the point of all of this is that I no longer have that same structure to keep me committed each and every day to my health. My workout routine is now in my own hands. I have no 6 AM required gym sesh 3x’s a week. I don’t have a team strength trainer to walk us through gym routines. I don’t have a running coach anymore to prepare track workouts for us on a weekly cadence. It’s my responsibility to define my health and lifestyle.

Unlike a lot of bloggers out there, I don’t have any background in nutrition or fitness. All I have is what I learn through research and believe it or not, social media…more specifically, instagram. Yes, instagram has become like my own personal trainer. Every now and then I come across a new instagram account with unique workouts, HIIT exercises, strength training, and more!

Here are some of the fitness accounts I follow that cover almost all fitness spectrums – Cardio, HIIT, Strength, Core, Yoga, Squats & Bootay, Pilates, and more!

@Kayla_itsines
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@100KChallenge
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@bagsandbunnies
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@sugarysixpack
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@cardioexercises
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@laurasykora
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@squatvideos
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@homesquat
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@brigxx
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@amandabisk
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@toneitup
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A Look at some Clean Eats by YOURS TRULY!

I’ve been kind of out of the loop these past few days, catching up on sleep and what not, so apologies for the non existent posts lately! As I’m sure many of you already know, sleep is THE most important! If your sleep is off, I can guarantee your fitness AND your diet will suffer in exchange. For me, catching up on sleep was my number one priority these past few days and I finally feel like I’m back on track! Anyway…I’m SUPER excited because spring break is just a few days away and I’m counting down the days until i’ll be sipping out of a coconut and laying on a private beach (okay, maybe not THAT picturesque but a girl can dreaaaam). Between classes, practice, and work recently, Virgin Gorda is certainly getting me through the week 🙂

Anyhow I’ve posted some of my ‘clean’ dishes from the past week and hopefully I can get by the next few days on what’s left in my fridge!!

Dinner:

Almond Coconut Crusted Chicken w/ Quinoa & Veggies
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This here was an experimental dish I tried and ended up LOVING IT.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees, coat chicken in Coconut Oil. Crush 5-6 almonds and use about 1-2 tablespoons of Unsweetened Coconut Flakes — Spread this on both sides of the chicken.
~Prep 1/4 cup of dry Tri-Colored Quinoa, Steam a side of Spinach, & Slice 1/2 Avocado
~Watch your chicken to assure the coating doesn’t burn, after 10-12 mins, slice through the chicken and check that there’s no pink!
~Throw any extra toppings from the chicken on top of the spinach & squeeze fresh lime over the dish. ENJOY!

Dinner on-the-go: Easy & Quick Quinoa, Chicken, and Veggies
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So this is really quite simple, quick, and easy to prepare! I had a late shift at work, so I prepped myself this dish the night before. Still tasted great cold!
~Prep 1/4 cup of dry Quinoa
~Bake Chicken in E.V.O.O. — cook in oven on 10-12 mins for 350 degrees
~Sautee 1/2 fresh red pepper, brussel sprouts, spinach, & onion
~Top this off with spices (crushed red pepper, salt & pepper)
~Had a Apple Pie flavored Larabad for dessert! YUM!

Lunch Options:

Salad GALORE! I loveeee salads 🙂
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~Spinach
~Red Kidney Beans
~Cucumber
~Reduced Fat Feta Cheese
~Avocado
~Chickpeas
~Walnuts & Craisins
~Used fresh lemon, Apple Cider Vinegar, & a dash of olive oil
~Had an Orange and an Apple on the side

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Similar to the above salad, but used turkey breast (instead of beans & chickpeas) for protein! Had an orange on the side as well.

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~Spinach, Arugala mixed greens
~Sliced Macintosh Apple
~Avocado
~Almonds
~Blueberries
~Gorgonzola Cheese
~Used fresh lemon, Apple Cider Vinegar, & a dash of Olive Oil for the dressing
~Had Apple Cinnamon Chobani on the side for a snack!

Breakfast:

Bowl of Delicious Oatmeal
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Used 1/2 cup of dry oats with 1 cup of water. Added in 1 1/2 tablespoons of PB2 powder, 1 Whole banana, and some cinnamon. Put that in the microwave for 2 minutes, then topped with strawberries, blueberries, & a dash of cinnamon!

A ‘Little Bit of Everything’ Smoothie
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~Used Overnight Soaked Chia Seeds (the night before, used 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, mixed with 1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk and let it sit over night)
~1 whole banana
~Blueberries
~Handful of frozen spinach
~1/5 an Avocado
~1/2 scoop of Vanilla Whey protein
~A dash of Cinnamon
~Blend together and enjoy the deliciousness!

Tropical Smoothie
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~Sliced 1/2 a Navel Orange
~Sliced in small pieces 1/2 a Macintosh Apple
~1 Whole banana
~A handful of frozen strawberries
~Freshly squeezed lemon & lime
~1/2 filled with Orange VitaCoco Water, 1/2 w/ water

It was so yummy and definitely the kick I needed to wake up this morning! Also, *mentally preparing* myself for spring break and tropical weather with this fruity smoothie of mine 😉

Eat, Run, and Everything in Between Pinterest Board

Yoga Challenge…lets goooo

Yoga Challenge…lets goooo

So recently, my body has been failing on me. I wake up with back aches, head aches, tight legs, and so on…you get the picture. I mean it’s not like I don’t stretch after practice, (I probably could do a little more), BUT for some reason I still wake up and go through the day feeling pretty crappy. So as part of a new commitment to myself (and since I didn’t give anything up for lent…), I’m going to attempt to do at least 10-20 minutes of yoga everyday. Doesn’t sound too hard right? Yet, for SOME reason it is nearly impossible to find 10-20 minutes throughout the day where I feel a) relaxed (somewhat important for yoga…), b) energetic/motivated, or c) just literally don’t have the time! But then the more I thought about it, these are all just excuses. It literally takes waking up a few minutes earlier than usual, or squeezing in some night time relaxation before bed. And, the best part of it…it ONLY benefits me. So, I decided to finally stop complaining, follow my own words of advice and just fit it in my schedule.

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Today was my first attempt at this new challenge I’ve posed on my self. And you know what? It felt GREAT! Luckily Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays are a little easier to find time in my schedule since I have no classes. I finally got a decent sleep in last night, woke up around 9:30, made myself some coffee and oatmeal and then around 11 I did a short 20 minute yoga session. Easy as that! I looked around on youtube and found a session that sounded appealing and fitting for my needs at the time. You can find the morning routine I did by following this link: 20 Minute Yoga Class: Energy Boost

Basically this session was a great way to “open the heart” which in turn helps to boost your energy and just WAKE UP! This was perfect and was exactly what I needed this morning. This is also great because I didn’t sweat at all, it didn’t wear me out for practice later this afternoon, and it was a relaxing way to get a good stretch in for the day. Additionally, for years, I’ve been reading and hearing about how great yoga is for runners. As a team, we’ve done the occasional group yoga sessions during pre season and I absolutely LOVE those but I didn’t make an effort to keep that up as a frequent routine.

These benefits for runners (and for anyone in general of course!) include:

Increases flexibility and strength –> Many runners do yoga as a form for cross training or on an “off day”; ultimately yoga helps to realign and stretch the muscles and bones that runners strain everyday…this in turns helps to prevent injuries!
Post-Workout Recovery –> Hard tempo or interval workout on the track? Try some post yoga stretching after (of course with a protein bar before hand 😉 )…this well help with a good recovery!
The practice of Mindfulness and “being in the moment” –> Here’s something I ALWAYS need to work on whether it’s during a race, workout, run, or even outside of running. The combination of breathing techniques, patience, and relaxation can be great for this.
A sense of Balance –> Yoga will help both to create balance in life as well as keep you physically balanced while running.
Overall Improved Performance –> A more flexible body will lead to less injuries and increased strength which will ultimately lead to better performance! And don’t we all want that?!

*Check out ‘The Benefits of Yoga for Runners’ and ‘Yoga for Runners’ for more about these great benefits!

Based on the above reasonings, I’ve concluded that yoga rocks. Honestly, taking 10-20 minutes out of your day for yoga totally outweighs any other excuse you may have. Also as a side note…the above yoga mat pictured was a gift I got like freshman year of high school from PB teen. I obviously had unrealistic expectations than seeing as I’ve barely broken it out since 2006! I definitely only wanted it because it was pink. HAHA I’m the worst…so typical of myself. Anyway, like I’ve also said in the past…committing your time to yoga is YET another excuse to purchase some cute lulu lemon essentials 😉 Just saying.

So, what I would suggest is to find a few youtube sessions that have 10-30 minute yoga sessions for you to follow on your own in your room (OR outside when it starts getting warm out…that way you can work on your tan TOO!). If your school fitness center offers yoga classes…definitely suggest taking those, especially if you’re a beginner! And lastly, there are plenty of yoga classes popping up everywhere, so I suggest exploring outside of your school if you’re up for it! However, those can sometimes get quite pricey so keep that in mind 🙂

Hope this has inspired you try out some yoga. NAMASTE.
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*ALSO, be sure to check out my instagram account @eatrunandallinbetween for my day-to-day meals and some workout pics!!
* {not my image pictured above}

2 Weeks of Spring (break) Cleaning

As much as you hate to admit it, we all love spring cleaning. It’s not necessarily the “cleaning” part we all enjoy per say…but it’s the overall fact that spring is undoubtedly in the air! What’s not to love about that?? Knowing that winter is coming to an end, the snow is slowly (but surely) melting alway, and you can finally break out those new spring shorts purchases. I’m pretty sure ALMOST everyone is with me on the same page here that we’re getting just a little sick of this bizarre winter weather that mother nature keeps throwing our way. So, as part of our pre-mature spring cleaning, I figured I would get a head start by focusing on my personal needs first.
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One of the most important and helpful things I’ve learned during my high school and college years of track & field is to set reasonable and obtainable goals for yourself. So, I decided as far as nutrition goes, I’d start out easy. For the next 2 weeks, leading up to a warm get away for spring break, I’m keeping it simple and attempting to maintain a 90% CLEAN diet (hence the title, “spring (break) cleaning”) LOL throwing a pun in there! But in all seriousness, I know this may sound easy to some people, but this is coming from a girl whose got a major sweet tooth. This is why I’m keeping it at 90% clean. The reason I’m doing this goes back to my original point, setting REASONABLE and OBTAINABLE goals. The worst thing to do is set a goal that you don’t achieve. It will only hurt your confidence in the long run and most likely set you back even further from where you began. Start out with a simple and achievable plan, complete it successfully, and then from there, set your goal standards just a bit higher. Baby steps people, BABY STEPS!! Your patience will pay off in the end and your body will thank you in the long run. : )

So just off the top of my head…while picturing my refrigerator, freezer, and pantry cabinet from my desk area, I’ve created a list of “clean” food and then some exceptions for the extra 10% ; ) Keep in mind, this is a rough idea and just the food I enjoy most (there’s obviously many other options out there for people who are looking to eat clean!)…I probably forgot something, but just trying to give you all an idea of what I consider acceptable! Basically, just try to avoid anything processed (aka high, fake sugars, things in cans and wrappers with a never-ending shelf life!)!

Protein!
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~Salmon
~Tilapia
~Tuna
~Chicken
~Ground Turkey meat
~NUTS (almonds & cashews are my fave!)
~Beans (garbanzo, black, white, lima, & kidney beans)
~Turkey deli meat
~Eggs of course!
~Shrimp

‘Other’ Protein Sources:
PB2-C2
~Protein powder (vanilla whey protein)
~PB2
(powdered peanut butter — only 3 ingredients & no artificial flavoring!)
~Luna Protein Bars
(especially since I receive 2 LARGE boxes for valentines day!)
~Cliff bars

Carbs!
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~Quinoa
~Whole Wheat Pasta
~Brown rice
~Whole wheat/flax seed wraps
~Whole Wheat/grain sandwich bread
~Instant Oats (quaker oatmeal)
~Sweet Potatoes

Fruits & Veggies!
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~Oranges
~Apples
~Bananas
~Frozen berries, mango, etc.
~Avocados
~Spinach
~Zucchini
~Cucumber
~Carrots
~Lemons & Limes
~Brussel Sprouts
~Tomatoes
~Blueberries/Strawberries

Dairy!
chobani yogurt

~Greek Yogurt (chobani)
~Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
~or Skim milk!
~Feta Cheese
~or others include mozzarella & gorgonzola

Others include…
~Extra Virgin Olive Oil
~Coconut Oil
~Soy Sauce (lite, low sodium)
~Apple Cider Vinegar
~Balsamic Vinegar

~Spices (Cinnamon*)
~Chia Seeds
~Flax Seeds
~Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
~Honey/agave nectar (small portions)

~Vita Coco Water
~Hummus
~Lara Bars (only from 3-5 natural ingredients as it is a nut & fruit based bar)
~Coffee

So…that pretty much covers all elements of my kitchen and the other things I may purchase over time…gonna leave the other 10% to some dark chocolate cravings (and the luna protein bars that may have some artificial sugars in there…) OR for any upcoming dinner outings. Anyways, I won’t try and take advantage of the extra 10% BUT won’t beat myself up if I do eat something not on the list.
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Hope this helps wit your spring (break) cleaning!

“the only thing I like better than talking about food, is eating.”

And yet another post on some of the deliciousness from this past week! I’ve included all recipes and pictures as well! Enjoy and let me know what you think! ALSO, if you haven’t already and you are on instagram, start following my account at @Eatrunandallinbetween !! And…if you have an iPhone, but have not installed the instagram app…DO IT, you won’t regret it! That way you’ll get a constant day-to-day update of all my yummy foods! : ) One last thing…keep a look out for my next post on the Valentines Day dish I’ll be cooking for my boyfriend tomorrow night. I would have posted the recipe here…but it’s a surprise!

Here are some nutritious Breakfast options…
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In a bowl, MIX together:
~1/4 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
~2 Egg Whites
~1 scoop of 365 Vanilla Whey Protein
~About 1 teaspoon of baking soda
~1 mashed Banana
~Dash of Cinnamon
~Sprinkle Unsweetened Shredded Coconut and Blueberries on top!
~Cooked like a normal pancake (I used Coconut Oil to cook it!)
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For the image below…I used the same recipe as above…BUT added in 1 tablespoon of PB2 Powder and 1/2 tablespoon of some Cocoa! So delish this time and threw in some valentine day spirit ; )

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Made my usual bowl of oatmeal below here…However this time I pulled out some frozen banana I had in the freezer and melted it in the microwave. It ended up being a great thickener in the oatmeal and tasted awesome! I also added some PB2 powder to this bowl as well.
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Just a simple plate of 3 eggs whites with some spinach in the middle! And of course a good old cup of coffee! Hits the spot. IMG_1183
So in the image above, I made a summery tropical flavored smoothie. Made me feel like I was on the islands! I added some frozen mango, strawberries, and peaches. Then I filled half the magic bullet with some Vita Coco (Peach and Mango flavored) Coconut Water, and the rest I filled with water. Finally, topped it off with some chia seeds!

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<–This here is my FAVORITE Lean Green Smoothie Machine. Haha Ok lame. BUT, it's soooo good, I can't stop! I added my usual: Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, Frozen Spinach, 1 whole banana, 1 scoop of Vanilla Whey Protein, 1 tablespoon of Chia Seeds, 1 tablespoon of PB2 Powder and Blend it!

And for Lunch….I usually switch it up between the wrap or salad everyday with a snack or two on the side!
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In the above image, I was out of Turkey Meat, So instead I made an Egg White omelette and threw it in the Whole Wheat, Flax Seed wrap from Trader Joe’s. I topped it off with some 3-layer hummus, avocado, feta cheese, and spinach!
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Here I had an early, 8am class, so I prepped my salad the night before! My salad included…
~Spinach
~Almonds
~1/2 Avocado
~Deli Oven Roasted Turkey Meat
~Blueberries
~Reduced Fat Feta Cheese
~Chia Seeds
~Apple Cider Vinegar and Fresh Lemon for the dressing

Dinnnnnner TIME…!
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In the above image, I baked tilapia in Sesame Seeds to give it a nice crisp/crunchy flavor! On the side, I sautéed spinach, brussel sprouts, onions, garlic, tomatoes in some E.V.O.O & Apple Cider Vinegar. Topped this all off with avocado, feta cheese, and some spices of course!
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Alright, so here I got home pretty late and was STARVING. So I needed something fast and appetizing to full-fill my needs! I quickly sautéed some brussel sprouts (if you couldn’t tell…these are my new FAVE veggies), spinach, onions, garlic, corn, and some egg whites (for PROTEIN)! Mixed a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and some lite soy sauce in it for flavaaa. For the side dish, I made some yummy sweet potato fries!
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Okay. Fine you caught me. I did not make my OWN sushi…sadly ;( BUT, I was having a huge sushi craving all week long, so I had to plan for a sushi date night! The good news is that I still got my carbs, protein, AND, veggies in! They even had BROWN rice sushi! Can’t get much better than that. I ended up having a simple tuna roll and a Cucumber, Avocado, Asparagus roll, and then split some tuna sashimi!
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AH, the best dinner dish for last…my lovely valentine creation and first time cooking shrimp (SECOND time ever eating it in my life…)! So here, I cooked…
~1/4 cup red quinoa
And Sautéed in Extra Virgin Olive Oil…
~garlic and onion
~cherry tomatoes
~spinach
~1/4 pound of small, already cooked shrimp
Topped this off with…
~Fresh Basil and Oregano
~Reduced Fat Feta Cheese

Lastly…we can’t forget Snacks and Desserts…THE BEST PART OF COURSE…

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<– This here was BOMB. I was craving ice cream so I made my own, healthy version! In my magic bullet I blended together…
~1 1/2 frozen bananas
~2 tablespoons of PB2 Powder
~1/4 cup of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
Topped it off with dark chocolate bites and cinnamon!
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Above, I finally made some Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding! Here I blended in a small mug…
~1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
~1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
~dash of cinnamon
~3 tablespoons of chia seeds
~1 1/2 tablespoons of unsweetened, shredded coconut flakes
Put this in the fridge over night, and indulged the next afternoon in it for snack! Check out my blog on chia seeds to learn about the great benefits!
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Here’s a peek into my cart from my recent food shopping trip. Lots of Color! Pretty much got my usual (refer to my food shopping list for an idea of what I shop for)! However, I did get a few new snacks that I am about to RAVE about.
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Alright so above I have regular pretzel crisps (last time I had the cinnamon flavor!), with a side of some spinach & artichoke hummus, as well as my favorite and NEW Chobani Bite! As you already know, I love my hummus and I LOVE this flavor by Sabra. As for the Chobani Bite, I got the coffee flavor with dark chocolate bits. For a little 100 calorie pack these things sure do hit the spot if you have constant sweet cravings like myself! They have other flavors to…try it out and let me know what you think!
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And, FINALLY…my new favorite bar…LARABAR! This one was the cashew cookie flavor but my god these things are GREAT and taste like a dessert! I also bought Chocolate chip cookie and Apple Pie flavor. These bars are super nutritious as they only use unsweetened fruits, nuts, spices, dairy, and soy free chocolate! They also provide a great source of fiber and protein. Lastly, if you look at their ‘cherry pie’ flavor, they only use THREE ingredients: almonds, dates, and unsweetened cherries…you certainly can’t beat that in a bar! Try em out!

Have a fantastic Valentines Day Everyone! <3 <3 <3

Forever Young: powerful super-foods your diet shouldn’t be missing out on…

So while my teammate Jackie and I were running the other day…we started to have a slight epiphany. As lame as this sounds, we realized our skin may not maintain it’s youthful look forever if we continue to treat it as we do on a daily basis. I don’t know about you, but my daily routine usually consists of me washing my face with my Clean&Clear Morning Burst face wash containing bits of lemon, papaya, and caffeine in the morning and once at night. I then moisturize with a simple face lotion by Neutrogena. This is all well and good, but it certainly is not enough if I want to avoid aging and wrinkles as much as possible, all the while fighting off blemishes that come as part of the harsh winter conditions. Not only does the winter typically make my face behave in odd ways, breaking out on random occasions or drying out to the point where I feel like I have botox…but our daily runs expose our faces to the strong whipping of the wind (during the winter), or dirty sweat dripping down our face in the warmer seasons. This only further dries out our skin and creates a clearly visible wind burn causing unwanted redness from our cheeks to nose to chin and so on.

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My first thought was to go one obvious route. This would include spending 2 months worth of paychecks (from the occasionally rare hours I get from work) on “natural” and “organic” products from Sephora that claim to be the “number one skin remedy” out there. OR, I could choose to follow another route which would a) not empty out my wallet, b) would 100% be all natural and organic, and c) I would not only be benefitting my skin, but also my diet! So, recently, I did a bit of internet research and found some awesome, super-foods which contain nutrients and vitamins that are key to maintaining a youthful look for as long as possible…and let’s be honest, who would not want that…?

Below is a list of all the foods I’d recommend based on my research, with a simple reasoning and result of each individual food…

If you want to prevent the risk of skin cancer and harsh sun damage, eat this…

1.) Watermelon: Contains large amounts of lycopene → reduces skin damage and redness which is caused by over exposure of the sun; prevents wrinkles and lowers skin cancer risks.
Watermelon
2.) Canned Tuna: Contains selenium → helps with skin elasticity, therefor keeping the skin smooth and firm…can also can help protect against the sun.
3.) Sunflower seeds, sunflower oil: Contains Vitamin E → protects top skin layers from the sun, is high in essential fatty acids for dried out skin areas.
4.) Spinach: Protects against skin cancer → spinach helps maintain and repair DNA reducing cancer cell growth.
5.) Tomatoes: Contains lycopene → prevents sun damage (most beneficial when heated up and eaten cooked).
garden-tomatoes
6.) Dark Chocolate. Cocoa: Strong in antioxidants → reduces roughness of skin and protects sun damage, hydrates and firms skins – improves luminosity

If you want to reduce and calm skin’s redness, inflammation, even out complexion, and blemishes, eat this…

1.) Flaxseeds, Chia Seeds, Walnuts, almonds: High in Omega-3 fatty acids → fights wrinkles, erases dark spots, hydrates the skin, reduces redness, produces collagen to improve skin elasticity, the nuts especially contain Vitamin E (strong sun blocker)
Nuts
2.) Kidney Beans → gets ride of zits! High in zinc content (correlation between low zinc levels and the combination of blemishes), zinc is great for healing
3.) Soy beans, Soy milk, Edamame beans → Contains minerals and proteins that have been shown to help even out skin complexion
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4.) Green tea: Contains antioxidants which help to reduce unwanted redness on the skin/face area, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
5.) Water with Lemon

If you want to reduce wrinkles or reduce pre-mature aging, eat this…

1.) Broccoli: Is loaded with 65% of your daily vitamin C → improves wrinkles and sagging in the skin by absorbing the free radicals and removing the DNA damage they create, also a sun-protectant.
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2.) Watermelon
3.) Canned Tuna
4.) Carrots, Oranges: These lovely, orange superfoods are great for the skin, containing Vitamin A and vitamin C → prevents overproduction of cells in outer skin layers → good for the eyes and clearing breakouts; vitamin c decreases the rate of skin aging by firming the skin.
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5.) Oatmeal: Contains lots of vitamins and keeps blood sugar levels stable (because it takes long to break down this complex carb), stable blood sugar levels help to keep hormones constant, therefore lessening the likely hood of wrinkles, keeping your skin youthful (hence why people often try natural home remedies including oatmeal face masks).
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6.) Greek Yogurt: Prevents wrinkles → the large amount of protein helps skin to firm and calm irritation or dryness
7.) Sweet potatoes: Contains Vitamin C → reduces wrinkles through production of collagen.
8.) Flaxseeds, Chia Seeds, Walnuts, almonds

If you want to get rid of dryness or improve the skins luminosity and glow, eat this…

1.) Mangoes, papaya, & apricots: Filled with pigments called carotenoids → illuminates skin, puts color back into your face.
2.) Dark Chocolate. Cocoa
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3.) Flaxseeds, Chia Seeds, Walnuts, almonds
4.) Greek Yogurt
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5.) Sunflower seeds, sunflower oil
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6.) Safflower Oil: High in Omega-6 fatty acids; keeps cell walls hydrated → for extremely dry, flaky skin (especially those with eczema).
7.) Water with lemon: Water helps clear toxins that cause blemishes, hydrates skin and spreads nutrients and oxygen to the skin cells (dehydrated skin can lead to premature aging), the lemon contains large amounts of Vitamin-C → great skin cleanser to reduce dark spots, diminishing acne scars, keeps skin youthful looking, so many great benefits!
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Hopefully you all take advantage of these great benefits that the list of super-foods have to offer for wonderful, youthful looking skin by adding them to your next grocery list! Again, there are so many delicious recipes out there that incorporate these nutrient-rich foods, so try out some new ideas! Enjoy your YOUTHFULNESS!! ; )

Below are a list of some of the sources I used beyond my own prior knowledge:
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/superfoods/best-foods-for-good-skin/?page=10
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/05/16/9-best-foods-for-your-skin
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/perfect-skin-diet?page=9

woo! Very Inspirational Blogger Award

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I was nominated by http://fitbit8.wordpress.com for the Very Inspirational Blogger Award. This was an exciting and unexpected surprise, but I’m thrilled to be getting it! I’ve always been a relatively active person, participated in sports my entire life, and have always loved food. Anyways, it wasn’t until I started this blog that I found a way to share my motivation and inspire others of all ages through fitness, healthy eating, and just living a happy lifestyle! Thanks again Fitbit8 for the nomination! ☺

Here are the rules:
◾Display the award logo on your blog
◾Link back to the person who nominated you
◾State 7 things about yourself
◾Nominate 15 bloggers for this award and link to them
◾Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

Things about me
1. I can probably out-eat anyone in ANYTHING. Just saying. 😉
2. I love my college XC and track & field team more than anything!
3. I lived abroad in Spain for an entire semester last spring and miss it more than anything.
4. I have a passion for sailing, the beach, and anything summer!
5. I plan on training for a marathon at some point after graduation this spring.
6. I am an International Business major and want to someday travel the world!
7. I love to shop…

I nominated the following 15 bloggers:
1. http://moderngirlnutrition.wordpress.com
2. http://willrunforglitter.com
3. http://brittanyraeyoga.com/blog/
4. http://www.hungry-runner.com
5. http://wineanddash.wordpress.com
6. http://feistyveggiesaurus.wordpress.com
7. http://allicatcooks.com
8. http://skinnywannebediaries.wordpress.com
9. http://juicejamandjoy.com
10. http://fit-n-fancy.com
11. http://healthadvocation.wordpress.com
12. http://foodisfuelforme.wordpress.com
13. http://nutritionhealthlife.wordpress.com
14. http://mindbodyrudy.wordpress.com
15. http://healthaholics.wordpress.com

The Countdown to your Best Spring Break Bod yet (this goes for you guys too..)!

Hello Everyone! This post that I’m currently writing is aimed towards the majority of college students, high schoolers, or adults living in that dull, post-grad world, looking to take a break from the day-to-day routines of a stiff work life. This post is for those who are counting down the days until SPRING BREAK. Personally, I can tell you that I now have 22 days exactly until I get to escape from this frigid and depressing winter weather. My body is lacking a severe amount of vitamin-D (ok…fine, I just miss the sun), I’m tired of layering up in multiple sweaters a day, I can’t stand coming back from a run looking like I was burnt on the face (where in reality it’s just brutal wind burn). In case you couldn’t get the picture, I HATE the winter and I’m ready for the beach, sun, and some serious relaxation.
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On this note, anyone notice the increase in number of students at the gym on a daily basis or the lack of ellipticals and/or treadmills that are available when you arrive at your usual hour? Welcome to spring break preparation! Everyone is quickly working to get in shape and eat right in just a short month, in order to avoid the self-conscious feelings that we all feel as we tan, drink, and dance around in our bikinis (or trunks!) in front of half the student body. Basically, my point is that you’re not alone, I can guarantee ALMOST everyone is feeling the same pressures that the media promotes in achieving a perfect spring break bod. Honestly, I would love to be the kind of person to say who cares what other people think, but I’d be lying if I said that. However, I do feel that your goal should be to feel comfortable in your own skin NO matter what shape or size you are. A great way to begin accepting your body is to start eating right and “clean” leading up to your final departure for your spring break destination. The second step is to create a workout plan that works for you. Once you’ve established these two steps, KEEP IT UP and MAINTAIN it while you’re on spring break and THEN once you are back, stick to that plan! Summer’s right around the corner…!

I know this all sounds well and great right now, but it’s not the easiest thing to just suddenly alter your diet significantly. Creating a balanced meal plan does not mean cutting your calorie in take in half for just the month leading up to spring break. I can promise you that if you limit yourself to calories, post spring break will bite you in the ass, as you will likely devour every sweet or salty, high calorie item that you limited yourself to, leading up to spring break. My suggestion for you is to stick to a clean diet, but eat as often and as much as you normally would. This way, your giving your body the calories it needs and the important nutrients it deserves, yet you’re not starving yourself or shocking your body in a drastic way. This meal plan is important if you want to maintain this healthy lifestyle in the long run. So you may be wondering what “clean” foods are. Basically, it’s just anything that isn’t highly processed! This means consuming foods that are naturally grown or fed (land and sea animals for those who are not vegetarians) and foods made with fresh, nutrient-filled products, NO added chemicals or preservatives! I’ve reblogged a fantastic list I found of “approved” clean foods to munch on. Check it out and be creative with it. Also, check out my recipes under the ‘Food and Nutrition’ category on my blog for ideas.

List of ALL CLEAN FOODS! Check this out!

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Once you have accomplished and began to understand the key to this truly simple and life changing meal plan, your next step is to find an exercise plan that works for YOU. For me, it means running 5-10 miles a day with my team, while incorporating 2 days of lifting and HIIT training in the AM. However, this high cardio to strength training may not be for you. And that’s why it’s important to discover an exercise routine that you can A) enjoy, B) maintain (even while enjoying the sun and sand on your spring break trip), and lastly C) achieve results from. The below image is a perfect example on how your diet is THE most essential part of your day, while your exercise routine makes up (approximately) the other 30% as shown in the image.
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Like everyone else, I too understand the struggles of keeping up a daily exercise routine while balancing everything from school work to a social life to community service to work. But, there are solutions to this that allow you to even get in a 30-minute workout with the same benefit! So if you’re time’s limited, I would suggest looking into HITT (high interval intensity training) to burn calories, in the shortest amount of time. However, with this it’s important to note that this workout HURTS and I can guarantee you will not enjoy it the first time. It takes hard work and dedication, but I can assure you it will get easier over time. Running is another great option for those who have limited time in their day, as you can set your running time according to your time constraints. For those of you have more time in the day, check out your gyms fitness class schedule! It’s a great option for those who have an hour in their day, but are unsure of an exercise routine that works for them. Another option that really focuses on cutting and toning your body is an hour long strength training routine. There’s plenty of training plans throughout the internet, but if you are new with this, make sure to find a partner who is familiar with the weight room and guide you for the first few times. Lastly, if you can’t find time during the day, wake up an hour early and get moving…it will pay off!

BRING ON SPRING BREAK!
BRING ON SPRING BREAK!

Hopefully this helps you all and motivates you in time for your best spring break and beach body yet!

going HAM for instagram

HEY! So, I have some exciting news to share (at least for me it is)… Eat, Run, and Everything in Between is finally on instagram! This means more food photos from just about every meal I devour during the day, PLUS my snacks (since I obviously need to be eating every 2 hours…), inspirational/motivational quotes, and even what an average day at track practice/meets may look like! As much as I try, it’s hard to put EVERY meal up on my blog, so I figured instagram would be a fun way to share with you all what a normal day for me looks like as far as nutrition and fitness goes. Of course, i’ll still be posting regularly on my blog…this is just one other way to spread the wealth to everyone! : )
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If you’re interested, follow me @EatRunandAllinBetween on instagram and let me know what you think! Also, I figured since I’m already on here earlier in the morning than I would have liked (i can’t ever sleep!! Too much on my mind, ah!), I would share yesterday’s meals with you all, because they were on PAR might I say.
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Breakfast was a big old bowl of oatmeal with blueberries, bananas, cinnamon, agave nectar, and PB2 powder! Delicioso!

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Lunch was a super powerbowl of mixed greens and spinach, topped with avocado’s (one a day keeps the doctor away…), sliced almonds, blueberries, chicken, onion, and reduced fat feta cheese. I dressed it with just a little bit of Apple Cider Vinegar and a few squeezes of fresh lemon!
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Made dinner for my boyfriend and I, personally I think it tasted better than Chipotle’s burrito bowls…just saying! Anyways, cooked up some brown rice, while at the same time through some chicken breasts (sprayed in E.V.O.O and covered in some spices) into the over on 375. While both of those were cooking, I sautéed some yellow pepper, mushrooms, onions, garlic, spinach, brussel sprouts, and lots of corn!! Of course, this meal would not be right without some soy sauce and spicy condiments (chili powder, pepper, dash of salt and cayenne pepper!) yummmmyy!
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And let’s not forget dessert…I don’t know what it is lately but i’ve been having AWFUL sweet tooth cravings!! And, it doesn’t help that our room is always stacked with baked goods and chocolates…ahhh! Anyways, tried to subside this craving with a little spin off of the PB&J dessert I posted last time. Sliced bananas, topped with PB2 (powder mixed with water), some cinnamon, unsweetened, shredded coconut, dark chocolate chips, Ezekiel Granola (from whole food’s), a side of Trader Joe’s Greek Yogurt, and lastly drizzled in just a little bit of agave nectar! That did the job!

Anyway, look out for a post later in the day or tomorrow morning…I’m feeling up to a new challenge that I’m planning on sharing with everyone else as well!

Post superbowl and a preview of my meals for the week!

Hey Everyone! So I wanted to start off by saying…although I am a true AND loyal Patriots fan…I also go to school in Baltimore and for that reason, I feel obligated to say CONGRATS RAVENS ON THE SUPERBOWL WIN!
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If you all are like myself, you may have indulged a little more than usual in “cheat” foods yesterday and are looking to get back on track for the week. That is OKAY! It’s totally fine to indulge here and there, just make sure the next morning you’re back to a healthy diet and normal exercise routine! On that note, that also means to wake up and eat a hardy breakfast, even if you feel like you ate (or drank) more than usual yesterday for the game. A balanced breakfast and a lot of water will kick your metabolism into gear and speed up your digestive system, ultimately flushing everything out.
To follow up on last weeks post, I am posting my meal plan for this week! As mentioned before, it helps a TON to write down your plan for the week in order to try and stay on track. Again, I wrote down my meal on my iphone notes, so they’re a little scattered and messy!

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If you couldn’t tell, my meals near the end of the week become less creative due to the fact that I’ll pretty much be out of fresh produce and a few other things by that time! However, I try to make due with what I have as far as dry foods go in my pantry. For the most part, it’s nice to know that I can deal with what I have in my kitchen for a full 2 weeks before making another food shopping trip! It also helps to keep a good amount of frozen fruits & veggies in your freezer, as well as oatmeal and canned goods (like beans, soups, and sauces). Anyways, hopefully this is helpful for you and inspires to try and plan ahead! Also, if you do plan ahead and something comes up, don’t sweat it! Like I said before, one meal will not throw you off! Enjoy!!

Oh and I guess…go ravens!

Food shopping galore and my views on some tasty treats!

Okay so though this is a little late in the week for this post, however I did feel it was necessary to share with you all! First of all, I went a full 2 weeks without getting new groceries! AW YAH I love when a $100 shopping trip goes a long way. Nonetheless, come the end of week 2 on Monday I was desperate for more food. I knew if I didn’t go Monday, I would resort to something worse to fuel my hunger, so as you can imagine, I was out the door by 10 am. As a somewhat blessing in disguise, I was up early for our usual 7am Monday lift session. Though at the time, I often dread this early wake up call…it turns out to be a great way to get my day started off productively! Granted, I tend to be an anxious person and for that reason can’t sleep past 9am…but if I’m already up 2 hours early, I don’t really find it necessary to go back to bed. Carpe Diem!

Anyways, as pathetic as this sounds, I look forward to Mondays for many reasons, food shopping prettttty much owning the number one spot. No classes comes close behind in second. Monday long runs take last place. So, as part of my food shopping routine I’ve been trying to be money conscious and focus solely on what I need. Also, this helps to prevent buying unnecessary snack/junk foods! To help you guys out, I’ve posted a picture of the list I used this past Monday!

IMG_1056 IMG_1057As a side note, because of the fact that I have no classes and no other way I’d rather spend my time until practice on Monday, I decided to take a trip to BOTH Trader Joes and Whole Foods. Sue me. I enjoy the wraps and dips at Trader Joes, but love the produce from Whole Foods, so I often find myself stumped on where to shop…which is ultimately why I decided to go to both! Anyways, in addition to planning my food shopping list, I also am making an effort to plan out my week schedule. So again, I’ve posted below my food plan for the week. FYI, my phone notes are pretty scattered. See if you can interpret them…of course they make total sense to me haha so see if you’re able to follow along as well!

IMG_1058 IMG_1059So hopefully you’re able to catch on to the day’s of the week, and then from there, some have a ‘D’ (for dinner) next to them, but then I got lazy, and the rest should pretty much make sense. For example, if you refer to ‘F’ (Friday’s meal), the protein/oatmeal pancake is for breakfast, the turkey veggie wrap is for lunch, and the pasta with chicken for dinner (gotta get my pre-race day carb loaded dinner in)! Of course, these daily meal plans don’t include my snacks throughout the day which this week include; fruit, chobani, hummus & woven wheat crackers, luna/larabars, or cinnamon toast pretzel crisps (SO GOOD!) I know these notes look a bit messy, but the point is that it is so simple to begin planning your week in advance! I literally sat in bed the night before on my phone, spent 10 mins, and came up with this! If it helps, you can even jot your meals down on a white board or calendar in your room to work as a second reminder.

And if you were wondering, my guilty pleasure snack were the Cinnamon Toast Pretzel Crisps I mentioned above. They taste fricken delicious if you’re craving a sweet snack that wont kill your meal plan!

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My other favorite snack was this new hummus I found at Trader Joe’s. It’s a 3-layer hummus of roasted red pepper, traditional, and spicy Cilantro hummus. Soooo goooddd!! Especially dipped with my whole food’s 365 Baked Woven Wheats!

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Hope this is helpful and let me know if you have any questions!! Enjoy!


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