Getting Back on Track

Every now and again I find myself a little off track when it comes to my eating habits… Thank you baseball season!! 
…Regardless of your reason for getting off track here are some suggestions for when you have the “oh crap! I’ve gained a couple pounds” or “I feel like blah…what’s going on with me!?” moment and you’re ready to put your foot down and start eating healthy.
– Start recording what you are eating. This will make you much more aware of just how much or how little you are putting in your body. I use My Fitness Pal, it’s a great free app.
– Plan meals for the week and stick to them. This means planning meals that you have time to prepare as well as the ingredients for.
– Clean out the refrigerator and pantry. Get rid of the junk. If it isn’t in the house, you can’t eat it!
– Go grocery shopping with a list. This list should be based on the meals you have planned out. Don’t forget to plan snacks as well!
– Wash and cut up produce upon returning home from the grocery store. You are more likely to eat it if it’s easy to grab when you’re hungry.
– Finally, tell those around you who influence your eating habits that you are trying to eat more healthy. If they know, they are much more likely to give you the support you may need.
I hope this helps if you’re like me and have fallen off the healthy eating train!
Happy Monday Y’all! 

Sleep

Lately I have been sleepy all the time. I’ve felt like my body just couldn’t get enough sleep and even when there was enough hours, it didn’t feel like quality sleep. It has been affecting not only my ability to focus during the day but also my eating habits, and my ability to get in quality workouts.

Because of this, I have done some research on how to sleep better. Here are the top 5 ways to get better sleep I have found and will be trying in the coming days.
1. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Being hydrated allows your body to relax more at night because it isn’t having to work as hard to keep everything circulating through the night. Also, what you eat in the morning is just as important as what you eat in the evening. By eating healthy all day (exceptions are okay) you can better relax in the evening.
2. Turn off the “screens” an hour before bed. Whether this be your cell phone, iPad, TV, etc. it will stimulate your brain even after you’ve fallen asleep… Essentially keeping your brain active when it should be resting.
3. Do gentle yoga/stretching before bed. I have done this before and it is defiantly a good way to relax in the evening. Here is an example that I found of a before bed yoga routine. 
4. Exercise in the morning NOT at night. Exercise gives you a “burst” of energy. By exercising in the evening, a couple hours or less before bed, it can make it near impossible to relax and fall into a deep, restful sleep.
5. Stick to a routine. Try to go to bed and wake up everyday around the same time. This will help your body to know when it’s time for sleep and when it’s time to be awake. It may take a couple weeks for you to get in a constant cycle but getting in a regular routine can lead to more restful nights and energetic days.
What tricks do you use to get better sleep? Have a great weekend 🙂

So are you doing now… ?

Now that I am a couple months out from graduation and all the holidays have come and gone, I am getting the “what are you doing now?” question rather frequently. So here’s the quick update… 

Jobs… I am currently working for my uncles company as a part-time receptionist. It has taught me a lot but it has defiantly confirmed that I have a love for people and being behind a desk isn’t a life long goal of mine. In addition to working as a receptionist I am working as a “rookie sports coach” at the local YMCA. My team is all 3&4yrs old and we are the Purple T-Rex! Rrrr!!! 
Future Job Outlook… I recently passed my test to become a certified nurses aide one. I did this to allow me to get some clinical experience as I wait to hear about nursing school. In the meantime I am applying to CNA positions in both hospitals and nursing homes in the Raleigh area. I’ve got quite a few applications out there but haven’t had any bites. If anyone has connections (especially in the hospitals) I could defiantly use some help! 

Personal training… Well I defiantly miss it!! I miss being around people and helping them to achieve their health goals through fitness. I want to get back into it soon!! As of now though, I don’t want to try and make a career out of it. I want something that is more stable and not based on commission as a life long career. I hope once I land my first CNA job I will be able to find time to get back into personal training. 

Training… I am currently training for Ironman 70.3 Raleigh. I have a couple races leading up to it, but nothing quite as exciting or notable. Training is going pretty well and it defiantly keeps be busy. I am looking forward to the big day and although training has its good days and bad days I am still loving having this as a hobby. 

Boys… I know “love” is in the title of my blog so I guess it’s only fair that I share. Last I wrote, in one of my “things I’m loving tuesday” posts I had a new boyfriend. Well unfortunately, things didn’t work out the way we had hoped and our relationship was rather short lived. So for now, I am single and loving it!!

Nursing school… The applications are in! I have gotten one rejection so far but fingers crossed for the other schools. I hope to hear back in the next month or so from the remaining schools. 

Family…They are great and constantly on the go. Alex is in baseball season so we are all following him around most every weekend.  

…I think that’s about it for now! Let me know if you have any other questions. Goodnight! 🙂 

PACT

How would you like to get paid to eat your fruits and veggies? Or how about getting paid to workout? I know I enjoy getting paid to do what I am already doing every week. This is why I am loving the PACT app. It pays you (REAL MONEY $$) to workout and eat fruits and vegetables. 
How the app works… At the beginning of each week you set a “pact” for how many fruits and veggies and/or how many times you are going to workout. I set mine to 14 fruits and veggies and 5 workouts per week. I found this to be a reasonable number for each without stressing myself. Then the following Tuesday a credit is placed in your account for how much you made for the the previous week’s pact. Most weeks I make roughy $4.25. It doesn’t seem like much but over a month that’s $17.00 for doing what I was going to do anyways. 
There is a MAJOR, and I’m stressing major because it is a doozy, catch to this app. At the end of the week, if you’ve missed anything that you made a “pact” to complete you are charged at a minimum $5.00 for each missing item. I don’t know about you, but that’s motivation enough for me to complete my pact. 
A couple others things to know about the app: 
~You must take pictures of your foods in order for people to vote on them to count. 
~ You will have to give a credit card. From using it the last 3 weeks I can attest to the fact that it doesn’t charge you “just because.”
~ You have to make a minimum of $10.00 before you can collect your rewards. 
~ Tracking your workouts is a bit of a strain on your phone battery. 
A workout must be at least 30min in length to count as a completed workout. 
~ Home gyms do not count but there is a motion tracker if you choose to workout by walking, running, biking, etc. 
~ You can make adjustments to your pact at anytime. 

Let me know if you have any questions or decide to give it a try! 

Happy Friday Y’all! 

Road Safey

Now that spring is in the air and many runners and bikers are leaving the gym to hit the roads it is important to keep in mind safety. Here are somethings to keep in mind as not only a runner or biker but also a driver. 

1. This first one is for runners and bikers… TAKE THE HEADPHONES OUT!!! You need to be able to hear what’s going on around you especially if you are in a semi dark or high traffic area. If you must wear them, only wear one and keep the volume low.  
2. Bikers, wear your helmet and buckle it too. Sounds silly to have to say but I see all too frequently bikers without helmets. Remember, it could save your life. 
3. Runners, although we all know the asphalt is softer and better on our joints, get on the sidewalk and stop playing chicken with the cars. 
4. Runners, even on the sidewalk, run facing on coming traffic. You want to be able to see if someone is coming right towards you. 
5. DRIVERS, share the road with bikers. A person on a bike has just as much right to use the road as you do in your car. Also, bikes aren’t allowed on the sidewalk so please don’t yell “get on the sidewalk” to us. 
6. DRIVERS, you must have 3ft of clearance to pass a biker by law. Please don’t clip us with your mirror. Also, please don’t pass if going around a curve, you need to be able to see on-coming traffic to avoid swerving into the biker that you are passing. 
7. Bikers and runners, if it is going to be dark at any point in your run, wear light colored clothing and reflectors. 
8. Bikers, do not ride on the yellow line. Ride 6in to a foot inside the line. This will hopefully make you more visible to drivers and less likely for them to push you off the road. 
9. Bikers and runners, use the buddy system (especially on a bike, 2 people are much more visible than a single rider)! Although this isn’t always possible to have someone out there with you, always let someone know your exact route. If possible, also bring your cell phone. 
10. Always have ID on you. A RoadID wrist band is a great way to carry this. Incase of an emergency this can save you life. 
11. DRIVERS, watch for runners in cross walks. They have the right of way. 
12. Runners, cross at cross walks and make sure the drivers that are looking to turn right see you. Don’t cross until they acknowledge you. 
13. RUNNERS, BIKERS, & DRIVERS… pay attention and look out for one another. This is the best way for us all to remain safe out there. 
I hope you enjoy the start of this warm weather and happy SAFE running and biking! 

Eating & Traveling

Over the next couple of weeks as baseball season gets in full swing, I find myself eating in the car, at the ball field, and just about anywhere that’s not my kitchen table more frequently than I would like to admit. This can make it very difficult to eat healthy but here are a few tips to help you maintain that healthy diet while you are on the go…

1. Plan ahead. This can be as simple as purchasing healthy snacks that are already prepackaged or portioning them out on your own when you have time. Some of my go to prepackaged snacks are: carrots, apple slices, 100calorie packs of almonds, individual hummus/pretzel, Lara Bars, and individual sized dried fruit packs. Also fruits, such as apples, pears, and bananas, are great on the go options. 
2. Be smart when you must eat fast food. I’m as guilty as the next person about loving some French Fries. To balance this love, when I order, I make sure to only order a small fry and try to make the bulk of my meal a better choice such as a grilled chicken sandwich or grilled chicken salad. If I am having a grilled chicken sandwich, I am always conscious to ask for it without mayo as I know I will already be getting plenty of “bad” fats from the fries and butter on the bread. To cut back a few more calories, remove one piece of bread and use the piece of lettuce in place of the missing bun. The grilled chicken salad can be quite tricky though. It’s easy to think since it’s a salad it’s automatically “healthy” … Hate to break your heart but that’s not always true. Salads can be loaded with fats and excess calories. To help keep that salad healthy, avoid using a creamy dressing and take all or atleast the majority of the cheese, croutons, and candied nuts off before you dig in. 
3. Drink plenty of water!! I try to keep a case of water in my car as well as one near the door that I leave my house from. I find that although this isn’t all that environmentally friendly, I tend to drink a lot more water this way. 
4. When traveling, atleast for me, it’s easy to justify having a drink or two or three with all those you are traveling with in the evening as the never ending bowl of chips or plate of cookies is passed around. This is when a healthy diet can fall to shambles. The best advice I can give here is to set a limit and be aware of what you are consuming. I set my limit on alcohol to no more than two drinks (most of the time) and I am conscious of drinking them slow. This way they last longer and people are less likely to keep offering them to you (same trick works at parties 😉 ).
5. Follow the 80/20 rule. 80 percent healthy 20 percent maybe not the perfect choice. This makes staying on track a much more feasible task. For me, since the majority of my travel is on the weekends, I try to keep my weekdays as healthy as possible and save those “treats” for the weekend when they are most readily available and/or I am going out to eat frequently. 
What are some tricks that you use when you are eating on the go? 
I hope you have a Fantastic Thursday! 

Macaroni and Cheese

Yesterday, as we were all iced in, all I could think about was wanting some warm comfort food to go along with my lazy day on the couch. However, I wanted to make it at least somewhat healthy since after all I was being super lazy (on my off day from training) and had no intentions of getting outside even to walk. That is when I came across a “healthy” mac ‘n cheese recipe. I will admit, it isn’t quite as good as the real thing but it definitely fit my craving. 

Ingredients: 
Whole wheat elbows (or whatever kind you like)
2 cup 2% or low fat shredded cheese (I recommend using sharp cheddar)
1/2 cup plain low fat greek yogurt
Salt and Pepper to taste
Onion Powder and Garlic Powder (I used a very minimal amount but it is up to you)
Directions:
1. Cook pasta according to box directions. 
2. Drain pasta but save about 1cup of the drained water. 
3. Place pasta and about a 1/4-1/2cup of the water back in the pot.
4. Stir in cheese till melted. 
5. Add greek yogurt and seasonings. 
5. If too thick add a little more water, if not, serve and enjoy! 
I added a turkey sausage and a little fruit on the side to make mine a more complete meal. 
Happy Cooking!