Archive for March 2012

Nope, not a plug for yoga…today. This post is all about giving yourself some wiggle room in your workout schedule. Nobody likes rigidity, it’s uncomfortable and causes you to miss out on opportunities to learn new things, listen to your body, and better yourself.

As of last night, my plan for today’s workout included a 5 mile run at 7:30am, followed by a 45 minute swim. Last night I was asked to sub a Turbo Kick class at 7:30 this morning, there goes my run. I attempted to follow class with a swim, woke my roommate up to accompany me, and made the trek to the Aquatic Center only to find that a swim meet was taking place. So I hurried back to my dorm, grabbed some study material and hit the elliptical for 40 min. Sure, it wasn’t what I had planned, but I still burned nearly 1000 calories and got some studying done.

Whether you’re training for an event or need your one hour a day on the stair master to be able to function, loosen up in your routine and reap some unexpected benefits:

1. Fewer injuries. Repeating the same exercises day after day can wear on muscle fibers and cause tears, sprains, etc. Mix up your workout by trying new things. If you run, try a spin class. If you are a Zumba junkie, try weight lifting. Mix it up and feel better while doing your favorite form of exercise.

2. Higher level of fitness knowledge. If all you know are those P90X dvds, how can you hold a conversation about or know if you like any other types of fitness. Explore google, blogs, facebook, etc and find something new to learn!

3. More fun! Doing the same thing over and over makes it seem like a chore. Change up your routine and find other formats you enjoy.


No matter what your game (believe me I have, little to no game) the outdoors provide the perfect setting for you to play. By play I mean be active for enough time at a high enough intensity to break a sweat.

On the spectrum of coordination from 11-month old wobbling toddler to the Harlem Globetrotters, I am sitting pretty at about clumsy 7-year old with lopsided pigtails; however, I manage to find plenty of outdoor activities that I love. I run, I bike, I rollerblade. Some shoot hoops, play a pick up game of soccer, or longboard. Although I am a pretty firm believer that there is a big difference between play and exercise (tossing a frisbee around, golfing, etc. are not intense enough for anyone who is slightly aerobically conditioned to reap any physical advancement), I also know that getting some sunshine and fresh air brightens moods, prevents depression, and motivates people.

For me, exercise is like play; so I do it outside as often as I can. But if you feel less than excited at the thought of a scheduled sweat session, force yourself engage in structured exercise and reward yourself with PLAY TIME!


I’ve been MIA for a few days, and believe me, I wish I weren’t. To be honest, today’s post almost didn’t make it but I have something too exciting to share!

SHAKEOLOGY. http://www.shakeology.com/

I have had an off and on relationship with this product for the past year or so due to various diet change-ups, etc. However, I am committed to committing now. I have no excuse, they have a new vegan tropical flavor. It tastes great. And my energy today was through the roof.

Typically my day goes a little something like this: wake up around 7:30 and eat some type of bar or oatmeal, possibly get a workout in, drink some coffee in hopes of feeling more awake, feel starved by 11:45, eat a salad or veggie dish accompanied by fruit and bread/granola/dessert or a few of the previous sweet/carby/unnecessary items, fall asleep in my 1:30 class (food coma?), stay too-full until 3:30 pm when I decide I am starving and eat nuts/banana n’ Pb/bar or some combination of those, get a workout in, mentally beat myself up about how my workout was less than adequate, eat a dinner of too much or too little, feel too full or too hungry around 9 pm, crave everything and usually give in.

Not what you’d expect from someone giving you health and fitness tips several times a week, right?

I agree.

Let me just tell you how today went a little differently, though: I woke up at 9:15, fixed myself tropical vegan Shakeology with 1 cup of almond milk/half tbs natural peanut butter/half cup frozen berries, got some homework done without having to walk around to keep from falling asleep, started feeling hungry around 2 pm and didn’t have time to grab lunch so I grabbed a soy latte from Starbucks before heading to a resource room to get more work done (see guilty pleasures if you think soy lattes are the devil, they’re not), ate a cup of home-made vegan pumpkin chili (thanks Mom)  before body sculpt class at 4, walked campus with a friend, met friends for dinner at 6 and ate a salad/quinoa/pineapple/and a handful of granola and nuts with soymilk, went for a 5 mile run at 8:30pm (held my fastest pace in 2 weeks, wore reflective gear, and stayed on well-lit sidewalks [I digress, kind of, seriously ladies be careful with the night running; make it quick, and stay seen]), studied til my tummy got a bit rumbly and had a banana w/pb and a 100 calorie pack of nuts, I have since been delightfully productive and am just now feeling tired for the first time today.

My point it all of this rambling? There is something about Shakeology, something that makes your day a little better, makes your workout a little stronger, and your energy and little brighter. Nutrition is a whole world of disease prevention, body perfection, and life enhancement; it seems to me that Shakeology just might be a key to that world. It helps you to make wiser decisions come mealtime. Check this product out!


My brown rice breakfast and coffee

So you like to sleep? So you hate breakfast? So you’re always running late?

Man, have I got the solution for you! Alternative breakfast!

I have never been much of a pancakes and eggs type of girl, but I know that if I get up at 7:30am and attempt to go 5 hours without so much as a mini Clif bar to sustain me, it’s going to be a bad time. That’s where alternative breakfast comes in. It is an unconventional means of getting great nutrition, boosting your metabolism, and fueling you until lunch time…no syrup or hot sauce (gross) required.

Alt. Breakfast #1: Brown rice made like oatmeal. Before you turn your nose up and call me a weirdo (or something more profane–it’s been done) try it. Buy a 90 second microwave bag of Uncle Ben’s instant brown rice, once it’s cooked throw a tablespoon of nut butter, some cinnamon, a few frozen berries or a chopped banana, or even raisins on top and you have yourself a hearty a delish first meal.

Alt. Breakfast #2: a can of soup. Despite the sodium content, soup is a pretty cool food. It keeps forever and you can drink it. College kids go beyond Campbell’s and whip up a batch when you’re home, store it in containers and bring it back to school (who am I kidding, whine to your mom about how much you miss her cooking and she might even hand-deliver it to you).

Alt. Breakfast #3: 3-4 pieces of fruit, this could not be any simpler or more refreshing. The only issue with this is a lack of protein. Consider adding a handful of nuts to the mix.

If you hate my options, invest in some of Clif or Luna bars, a container of almonds, or a box of Kashi cereal. Start your day off with energy!

Yesterday I ran 18 miles–not an ordinary feat for the average college student on a Sunday afternoon, I would say. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but telling myself that I rock is all that keeps me trucking along past mile 10, so if I seem overly boastful it is simply me self-motivating. Today my feet are blistered, my knees ache, but I got through it thanks to a varied, and upbeat playlist. No matter what your workout, I bet it could benefit from some sick tunes. Here are my preferred jams (today):

“Midnight City” by M83: With a semi-80’s feel, this song kind of makes you feel like youre in a movie, or in spandex sturrups and a windbreaker.

“Wild One’s” by Sia and Flo Rida: I am sorry to all of my friends, but, yes, I am still in love with this song. I am sure my obsession will only last about another week, though. It’s a pretty typical overplayed, easy to dance to, hit with a bumpin beat.

“Levels” by Avicii: This song has yet to get old, and yet to fail me when I needed a boost of bass-induced energy on a jog. It’s better than caffiene.

“Called Out in the Dark” by Snow Patrol: I love off-the-beaten-path music (not that Snow Patrol is all that “underground” or “indie”), especially when it is used in a workout class. I initially heard this song in my friend, John’s, spinning class and loved it! It is just a classic “get you moving” tune.

“Mondo ’77” by Looper: Honesty is my middle name (hence the reason that I will disclose that my middle name is actually Elena, not Honesty”), so I am going to be straight up with you, my readers, you probably wont like this song. I am not here to sell my playlist, just to share it to for anyone who cares. Mondo has been a favorite of mine since dance team senior year of high school, and my teammeates began to dread warmup because they always knew that I would throw my 2-cents in and insist that “Mondo ’77” was the only song worthy of being played as we dynamically stretched. It’s weird and is a background beat with the lyrics “C’mon, C’mon” thrown in here and there. However, if youre feeling extra adventurous in your listening, check it out.

Happy listening!

My family follows the fairly stereotypical “mom is the baker, dad is the griller” trend on a daily basis. Tonight was no different as my mom prepared sweet potato fried and raw veggie and dip while my dad grilled burgers. Since becoming a vegetarian almost two years ago, when I eat with my family I either fill up on the veggie side dishes that my mom prepares or make my own meal. When I saw my dad plate up the burgers tonight, though, I wanted one. I rarely deprive myself (maybe too rarely) so I applied the trending phrase #YOLO and made myself a cheeseburger.

Ugh. Now, 6 hours later, my stomach is still reaming me for the decision to not only eat the burger, but to finish my meal with a very non-vegan bowl of ice cream. You’d think that after reading books like Veganism and Skinny Bitch (both great titles that I recommend) that I would be so against the consumption of animal products.Well, after reflecting on how I feel right now and what I know I put into my body, I am transitioning to full-fledged veganism. Bottom line: it is better for the environment, better for you short-term well-being, and leaps and bounds above alternative diets for increasing longevity.

The world is becoming more globally aware as a whole; more environmentally careful, more health conscious, and more compassionate. Because of the trending awareness, it is easy to find vegan-friendly foods, products, etc. Here are some examples:

Snack time:

  • apples/bananas and natural peanut butter
  • 100 calorie pack nuts
  • carrots and hummus
  • any Clif or Luna product

Daily products:

  • TOMS shoes
  • Tarte cosmetics
  • Eco tools cosmetics


  • VegNews e-newsletter
  • PETA newsletter (often include ways to get involved)

Try going vegan ONE day a week! I promise it isn’t THAT hard!

Today marks the first weekday of my 2012 spring break and although I am at home, I am relaxing and having fun. In the spirit of spring break, my posts this week will be relaxed and fun–no metaphorical, deep stuff, no serious health talk.

You manage to squeeze in an hour of fitness more often than you don’t, you bypass the desserts in favor of a salad on most occasions, you deserve a guiltily pleasing pat on the back. Here’s where I get mine:

Dance Mom’s and Bethenny Ever After–

I rarely unwind in front of the tv after a long day and never know which shows are on what channel at what time; however, viewing these two shows is built into my weekly schedule. Dance Moms is great; I mean, you get it all: 9 year olds in bootie shorts, a dance teacher who never learned to use her inside voice as a child (nor to do basic dance moves apparently as I have never seen her demonstrate choreography), and hyenas with red fingernails…I mean hard-working dance moms. And Bethenny Ever After just plain rocks. If you regularly read my posts, I think I have referenced businesswoman  Bethenny Frankel on more than one occasion and just a few weeks ago my life was made complete when a stranger told me that I reminded her of the reality star turned health/business/media mogul. 


This site can do one of two things for you

1. Annihilate all attempts to remain productive for an extremely extended length of time, or

2. Provide a solid study break filled with motivational quotes, adorable dresses, and the words “cake batter” followed by the name or every traditional sweet known to Americans.

Starbucks…twice a day–

I am basically obsessed with the home of the green straw. I love me some grande sugar-free peppermint cappuccinos, iced coffee with a shot, or my most confusing favorite- a grande double-blended light soy mocha sugar-free peppermint cappuccino. And nothing is more zen than an iced green tea, or hot vanilla rooibos. Sbux has so many options that your drink can be as calorically dense or light as you please. The strength of their roasts is my ultimate in alertifiers (thats “AnnMarie” for things that wake you up). 


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