Friday, December 14, 2012

Slacking Elf.

It is beyond time to admit that my fitness efforts have slacked recently. My gym attendance has decreased and my tiredness has increased. Correlation? I think so.

Lately on twitter I've been seeing posts from a high school classmate talking about this "Elf 4 Health" challenge. Today I finally got around to looking it up and seeing what is was all about. Come to find out, it looks awesome and I wish I had researched it a long time ago!!

Not only does it connect you with other people reaching for the same healthy goals but, it also encourages you to do good for your community through donations and charitable acts! Can we say right up my alley?

The challenge technically started at thanksgiving but you can still sign up! ...hint hint YOU SHOULD!... check it out on The Lean Green Bean blog to get all the details.

Let me know if you sign up! I'll be updating here with all my challenges as  I accomplish them :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Motion of the Ocean

One goal I have set for my blog is to share information that I find intriguing and worthwhile. Some of you may share an interest in all the things I share while others find it boring and not worth their time. I'm fine with that.

The article I'm sharing this morning talks about using the tides to generate power. I came across it and couldn't help but think "Well duh! Why didn't someone think of this sooner?" It's starts a little slow with some history, good information though, and wraps with very valid points of where this idea could go in the future. Definitely something for everyone to keep in mind and share!

Here is the article:

Tapping the Motion of the Ocean: Could the Tides Power Our World?

What do you think? Is this a worthwhile investment?
Would you move to the coast to take advantage of this power source?

Forever & A Day Later..

Hi All!

I know it's been quite some time since my voice has seeped through this line and I apologize. I had such a strong idea in my head of where I wanted this blog to go, who I wanted to be through this blog and got 'rolling' before I was really ready. Expect more frequent updates on a variety of topics soon!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Funny how things change...

Challenge of the week 3 update : So I've done well not eating out, but not perfect. I had Panera for lunch yesterday, I would explain why but really what's the point in an excuse? Other than that it's been yummy homemade breakfast lunch and dinner for me all week! I actually made an awesome grilled chicken salad the other night that I am going to make again to perfect the recipe to share with you all. :) I get semi-creative in the kitchen when need be.

Baked sweet potato and salmon dinner

So now that I have been at my first full-time with a college degree job for almost 6 months I've been thinking a lot about how different things are from this time last year. It's still amazing to me how quickly things change. One of the more stunning changes I've had recently is my dedication to working out and running.

Sure I've always been active with sports my whole life but now that I no longer belong to teams I have to actually block out time for the gym and plan workouts...very different than showing up, listening to you coach and in most cases not even thinking of practice/games as a workout. Besides that I didn't really like the whole go to the gym, make my own workouts etc and especially hated going for a run. I hated running because I would get bored so easily when I tried to do it.

That being said...Yesterday I signed myself up for my first official 5k! Quite the turn of events for the girl who hated running! I have to say I'm a little nervous, kind of excited and quite scared. Regardless, it can't hurt to try it once and see how it goes. Hopefully I'll be ready and will hit a time I'm proud of...but we shall see I guess.

I have until October 27th to be ready!

The race I entered was the T3 Run in Towson, MD. After finishing a 2.8 mile run yesterday in just over 28 minutes I figure I can shoot for 35 min or under for this race. I just need to make sure I keep running and fully prepare myself.

Anyone run 5k's regularly?

How do you prepare?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Finding Motivation...

Challenge of the week #3 : Do not eat out at all Mon-Fri.
This weeks challenge is inspired by not only my wanting to save a little cash but also the fact that I will be traveling every weekend this month and eating out. While eating out is convenient and a good social go to, it puts a dent in the wallet and often in your diet. Many places are preparing more healthy menus, or as they often call them 'Skinny Menus'. These can be great in some places, but often its only a smaller portion of another meal with the same preservatives, high sodium sauces and less of the white pasta. While swapping fries for a side salad can make a difference the preservative, sodium and who knows what else is still sitting on your plate. By cooking at home you allow yourself to not only control the portion but also use fresh ingredients and recipes that are better for you.
Healthified Impossibly Easy Chicken 'n Broccoli Pie..yum!
EatBetterAmerica is a great resource for delicious, healthy recipes.

October Weekends...

...mine are packed full this year! I just returned from a nice little two day get away in Williamsburg, VA for the weekend with my love. It was much needed time away for the both of us and a great chance to spend some alone time together. :) I'll share some of the photos from the weekend later on this week, including some of our more than sweet free condo!!

Next weekend it's off to Delaware for a wedding before a work trip to Palm Springs the following weekend.

..Dang I'm a busy girl!

In the midst of all this traveling I need to find time to do a little research on prepping for a 5K. I've decided to run my first one some time in November, possibly a thanksgiving day turkey trot?

After being away this weekend the motivation to get up and hit the gym this morning wasn't quite there but I did pack my bag and will be going after work. Running a 5K next month is definitely a motivator for the long term but the day-to-day motivation is a little lacking...especially when the cold weather has hit out of no where all of the sudden! I'm going to try a kickboxing class at my gym this week and hopefully keep that as a weekly routine.

I think I need to find something fairly routine to keep me going. It seems I waiver between super motivated week to less motivated week. One week I'm kind of lazy so the the next I'm extra motivated, then back to kind of lazy where I feel guilty and it's back to super motivated and so on...

How do you stay motivated to workout?

Do fitness classes/group workouts help you get moving on the more lazy days?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cooking, Freezing, Eating.

So let me just start of by saying that food, closely behind sleep, is one of my favorite things. I love cooking/baking and am finally starting to have more time to try new recipes. Like many fellow internet junkies I have found numerous recipes on Pinterest. Today I was perusing and found an awesome pin that lead me to a blog entry focused on freezer meals!

Natalie, author of A Turtle's Life for Me blog, posted Freezer Meals on the Cheap and as I read I was instantly excited to try out her idea! She explains in this entry how to prepare freezer meals, and we are not talking enough for 1 day or 1 weeks worth of meals, 46 different meals! Crazy impressive right?

Photo from A Turtle's Life for Me Blog post titles Freezer Meals on the Cheap

Not only does she prepare all these meals at once, but she does it without spending a fortune and in only 4 hours. Think of all the '30 minute quick dinners' you've made. 46 of those would take you about 23 hours total! Imagine cutting that to 4 hours of prep and about 10 minutes to heat each time you need a meal. While I love cooking, it is the time of year when I would rather start baking. Following Natalie's idea would give me way more time for baking and still leave me with healthy delicious meals! Check out her blog everyone, hopefully you find it just as exciting as I have :]

Speaking of baking...

This year for the holidays I've decided to go for a 'handmade' gift theme. For those in my family who are a little harder to buy for I'm opting for homemade beef jerky, apple butter, apple sauce, pumpkin rolls and festive cookies. Those recipes, or maybe I should call them experiments, will be coming soon! (Always have to test run foodie gifts ahead of time!).

Pumpkin roll          apple butter
A Pumpkin roll & apple butter are first on my list of recipes to try!

And while we are on the topic of food...

I'll be heading to Williamsburg tomorrow with my love for a weekend getaway. I'm very excited to go to the winery and try out some restaurants down there. The winery has a tour package that includes a lunch so that may be on the to-do list!

Any one ever been to Williamsburg and found a great restaurant?
Do you prepare freezer meals to save time? Whats your favorite meal to prepare this way?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Let's Talk Fall

Challenge of the week 2 update: Green tea had always been a love of mine...but so has coffee! I am almost out of k-cups but am thinking I might switch to tea when they are gone until I run out of the massive amount of tea bags I've got left. :]

So it's been officially fall for a whole week now!! This is my by far favorite season. I mean come on how can you not love fall? Sweaters, beautiful trees, amazing scents, boots and moccasins..I could go on for days.

I've been in my first apartment for a few months now & was excited to finally be able to ad some fall decor. I ventured to Ross & TJ Maxx for some supplies. I know that doesn't sound like the typical decor supply store but trust me there are some great finds! I like to check out these stores before hitting Micheal's some times. I was able to make this lovely table decor piece for right around $10!

I'm still looking for some fall place-mats but it adds a nice touch of fall. This is a very simple decor idea anyone (yes, even the less crafty of you!) could create.
1. Buy a vase, some sort of fun focus piece (bird), a bag of fall items and a candle.
2. Add an array of the items to the vase until it is full.
3. I then took the rafia from the fall items bag and a ribbon I had stashed away and wrapped them around the vase.
4. Set the items on the table in an arrangement that faces the direction where most people will first see the table
and you're done! Easy 5 minutes, no stress! :]

Another reason I love fall beside the decor and scents I now have on my table is the weather! It's been so gorgeous out lately. I've continued to go to the NCR trail and run. I gave two miles a try the other day and shockingly finished with a time of 20:23! Exciting considering I haven't run that distance without stopping in more than 3 years.

What is your favorite part of fall?
Do you decorate for the fall in your home?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Run, Run, Run!

FYI : The last post was intended to post the 25th at night so when I say yesterday in this post I do mean yesterday. :)

Challenge of the Week #2 Update: Going well, I wasn't expecting this weeks challenge to be too difficult seeing as  I've always loved green tea. The challenge is not walking straight to my Kuerig when I wake up in the morning! Which I will admit I did this morning...but instead of another cup of coffee when I got to the office I swapped in my green tea :)

Not the most appealing photo, but I'm sure fellow tea drinkers can appreciate this view!

Last night I challenged myself to not only beat my mile time but also increase my mileage to 2 miles without stopping. So I headed out to the NCR Trail (which by the way is beautiful and a great place to run/bike/walk) after work, laced up my running shoes and got to it!

My first mile was much less painful that it has been my past few runs. Unfortunately my first mile time was slightly slower than normal. It was only a 3 second difference but it was a little disappointing seeing as it felt much easier, I was expecting 5 seconds faster in my head. Any how, I didn't let it discourage me during the run and instead used the disappointment as motivation to complete the second mile.

True story: I always imagine people giving themselves pep talks in their head. You know the ones coaches give in movies or those motivational picture quotes show online? Well I'll admit...I totally did this yesterday! I was coming up the last stretch of my second mile, feeling dead, legs burning and in my head I thought

"You're not stopping. It's not much farther. The only thing
that can make me stop right now is myself. I really
giving myself one of these pep talks? ...all that is standing
between me and finishing this mile is myself. ...hey this
is kinda working. Okay pick up my feet and get there already!"

 And in the end I ran 2.02 miles in 20:23 :] Not mad about my time one bit! Not only was this the first time I'd ran more than a mile at once in a few years, but I hit my goal and it felt great!

The rest of my night my excitement and pride followed me around while I made dinner and then went shopping for some fun 21st birthday gifts for a friend.

Dinner included: Whole grain pasta, grilled chicken and roasted butternut squash topped with a light shredding of cheese

Not going to lie, I'm excited for the leftover squash for lunch today!

How far do you normally run on a cardio day?

Do you prefer to run outside or inside on a treadmill/elliptical?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Becoming a gym-rat?

Got myself out of bed at 5:20 this morning to hit the gym. I have to admit...waking up wasn't as easy as I wished but I made it! I have started to like going to the gym early before work because not only does it leave my entire evening free, but the people who are there in the morning are often what you might call 'gym-rats'. Most are in good shape and you can tell they push themselves constantly during their workout. It motivates me and makes me feel like I need to do the same so that I don't stand out as 'the lazy girl who should have stayed in bed'.

I have an app on my phone called Nike Training Club and it's awesome. There is a variety of workouts to choose from and they all make the most of the time they take to do. I also love that I can play my music but still audio get instructions from the app on what exercise to do and how much time is left. This morning was the first time I did the Flex Machine workout, it took about 30 minutes and I had jello legs when I finished! (Love that feeling! :) ).

Going to the gym early also give you the chance to see some beautiful morning skies/sunrises...

'Challenge of the Week' 2 update: Had a cup of green tea when I got to the office this morning. Haven't had any coffee at all and I'm not feeling a crash coming on yet!

What is your favorite time of day to workout?

Do you prefer coffee or tea?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Challenge of the Week #2

I've got a wonderful job doing exactly what I love. I have time in my life to enjoy life, relax and drink some wine. I've found my best friend in a man who is more than perfect for me. I've reached all the goals I've worked toward so far in life. What do I do with myself now?

That was the question that nagged me the first months after graduating from college...and I'm proud to say: "I've got the answer!"

Now is the time to dig deeper, explore and define myself. College was an opportunity to really learn about and find myself, now I get to mold and shape myself into an even better person than I originally imagined.

I've started challenging myself every week to do one thing that I've been thinking about or attempting to do but never actually doing/completing.

Last week my 'Challenge of the Week' was to exercise everyday from Sunday-Friday. I started off with a run on Sunday, hit the gym on Monday and Tuesday, Ab workout on my bedroom floor Wednesday, back to the gym on Thursday, and an easy stretch & walk on Friday. Surprisingly it was easier than ever to motivate myself as the week went on. I even went for a run today before grocery shopping without having to convince myself!

This week I plan to keep up the workout regime, and begin my second 'Challenge of the Week' - Swap one cup of coffee a day for green tea. Oh and of course I plan to celebrate my 22nd birthday to the fullest! :]