Tuesday, July 27, 2010

22, so far

Well, hello bloggies and wonderful readers!

Hope ya'll are doing fabulous- it's my 22nd today! Believe it or not, I'm not feeling the effects of my old age just yet;)

Most people see birthdays as a time to indulgence, and I probably will tonight, but I decided to treat myself and my body well for the most part- at least for the morning.

I got up early and took a spin class at Gainesville Health and Fitness, and by early I mean early- for me at least- it was a 7:30 a.m. class! I felt awesome when I left, the sun was rising and 'twas the beginning a lovely way to start my birthday.

Then I trekked over to Jamba Juice for a smoothie, courtesy of gift card.



Like spinning, my mango smoothie was another fantastic choice to keep my birthday headed in the right direction.

My 22nd, spinning and my smoothie came together in unison, allowing me to be much more bright and chipper at 9 a.m. than usual. Especially since I hadn't had any caffeine at the time.

Shocking, I know, since you may know that I have quite an addiction to it.

Jamba Juice could only be topped by coming home to these, which put the biggest, girlist smile (ever) on my face:



I loved my beautiful birthday roses! If you're reading, thanks again:)

For now, it's back to business - aka using my dining room furniture as desk space. I'd like to thank the economics and birthday gods for working together and allowing me an easy lecture today.

I required less snackage than I have previously:



Sorry about that unplated pita, mom! Long nights of exam studying gives me an excuse though... right? I cleaned my dining room table after - promise!

Tonight, the real fun begins! I'm headed to the Swamp, a Gainesville landmark.

I foresee a Title Town in my near future...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Water Workouts Are A Great Way To Stay Fit And Beat The Heat

Hey, readers! Happy Monday:)

Hope ya'll are doing well. Last week, Pete Allen from Gym Source contacted me about doing a guest post. The timing worked out well, so here it is!

Hope you enjoy and I'll see ya soon:)

Water Workouts Are A Great Way To Stay Fit And Beat The Heat
By Pete Allen



Summer is a highly anticipated season throughout the year. The day is longer, the weather is nicer, and there's always plenty to do to stay active. With so much going on and the plethora of trips to the beach in sight, a lot of people have high expectations to “get in shape” by the time the hot weather rolls in. Whether it’s to capture attention in their bathing suit, or the mere desire to keep up with all the summer has to offer, it is now common to hear people wanting to lose weight, stay fit, and be healthy throughout the summer months.

Unfortunately, the summer season can also be the toughest to exercise regularly. It is sort of a Catch-22 because those with lots of activities planned don’t usually find time to exercise and anyone who does want to work out during the dog days of summer often don’t because heat wears out their stamina and causes fatigue rather easily. Furthermore, activities done directly in the sun or in a hot gym, such as weight training or extensive cardio on treadmills and ellipticals, can be almost unbearable, if not outright dangerous. So where does this leave a person who wants to stay fit while staying cool during the summertime? Well, you can look no further than a cold pool for all your summer workout needs.

Swimming is a great workout that helps to work every muscle of the body using the resistance from the water. In fact, it's been shown that deep water walking for a 130-pound person at moderate levels burns more calories per minute than long distance running on land. This is why it's important to be aware of great workouts like Power H2O, which can help you get an optimal workout without even breaking a sweat.

Swimming laps all day can get pretty repetitive. Doing a great watery workout like Power H2O allows you to push your limits while keeping your body temperature cool and comfortable even on the most humid of days. You start Power H2O workouts by walking around the pool and getting in knee lifts, heel kicks, and lunges for a nice warm up. After this, a workout of vertical jumps, lateral shuffles (16 counts a piece), jumping jacks, running in place, and power jumps towards different areas of the pool come in for the bulk of the workout. These workouts are best done when using the pools current against you. Therefore, it's best to keep moving and avoid staying in one place.

Power H2O is also great for technique because it requires you to keep your posture while in the pool to accomplish each of the goals. Maintaining good posture and mechanics throughout a workout routine are essential to maximizing the effectiveness of the workout and avoiding injury. The long term health benefits of maintaining good posture are more evident. Other than that, the routine itself is not overbearing, as each session lasts 30 minutes and produces real results. They prove that a refreshing pool is a great addition to an individuals repertoire of exercise equipment which most would normally not associate with the pieces of most home gyms.



If you're looking for a less intense workout in the pool – also not as boring as swimming laps -have no fear! Water Yoga is a much more relaxed way to work out and stay cool during the hot summer months. If you already do yoga, you’ll be surprised at the extra boost water resistance adds to the routine. Positions like Wall Cobra, Floating Forward Bend, and Corpse Pose are great ways to work the body in the pool without overheating. Actually combining the two workouts is a great combination of a high intensity workout and a relaxing yet rewarding cool down, so try them both out for a full routine.

Pools are usually seen as places where people come to relax and enjoy their time off but water workouts have shown that pools can offer so much more in terms of health. Ultimately, pools are great places for people to workout, stay fit, and stay cool without taking leisure time away from those that want to hang poolside on a sunny day. Take advantage of a great workout while beating the heat. Simply dive right in.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Outer Space is Neato"

Wow!

Being fully awake, out of bed and dressed before five a.m. is a rare occurrence in my book. I did just that this morning- it's now 6:15 and I'm already back from the gym! (Crazy, I know. Not much to do in the Swamp before sunrise.)

I may be blissfully unaware of what the "real world" is like due to the fact that I'm still a Gator, but I have serious respect for people who get their butts out of bed every morning when the sun hasn't risen to get in their work outs. I got a text at three a.m. (and no, it wasn't this kind of text;), but after waking someone else up via text (sorry!) and fighting to get back to sleep, I gave up the fight and started my day a little earlier than planned.

The fact that I'm awake may or may not have to do with exam nerves... If you're an economist/businessperson (note the political correct-ness), I am very impressed. My brain does not compute that information well. Such is the reason I've spent countless hours in Marston studying my boot-ay off. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Some memories from my studies over the past week or so:



Century Tower, which was great study motivation. I used to (and still do!) get excited... CT represents UF to me, and the administration building I had to go to right after I got accepted was under it - good memories:)



What was written on the walls of my favorite cubicle- "outer space is neato." Why yes, yes it is.

Caffeine requirements:



and a Nalgene filled with iced coffee. Times two. I know, not the healthiest, but I have to power through lectures and the text somehow and this is it:



Study snackage/eats included a mezze plate, which turned into a mezze spread.



Do you know that Publix doesn't sell tzatziki? Got creative and went to Falafel King, which obvi was much better anyway. It smells glorious inside of FK, like Oman or Egypt... yet they don't sell shawarmas. I'll have to ask if they can whip one up for me next time I go in!

Smushed sub:



Had half at the restaurant, half lata.

Last but not least, or last but MOST importantly, the glorious LARABARS Honoring Health's Christie sent me... I owe ya!



Holy Yum, these bad boys were good. I want more- will have to go on the prowl for 'em this weekend!

Thanks again, Christie!

Off to study and it isn't even 7- have a fantastic day!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vacationing? Here’s How To Eat Healthy Away From Home!

With your busy lifestyle, chances are that you only get certain times to vacation. While you're away from home, you want to make the most of every second you spend away from the your 9-5 responsibilities, and have a great time!

However, you don’t want to lose track of all the hard work you’ve put in dieting and exercising throughout the past years, months, weeks. It's a lifestyle change that takes a lot to break away from.

But you still want to have fun- what to do?

You can have the best of both worlds, regardless of whether you’re traveling by land, air or sea.

Road Trips

Before you hit the road, hit your local grocery store! Chances are, what you buy there will cost less and be healthier for you than what you’d pick up at a gas station.



Here’s what bulk bin goodies to stock up on:

• Trail Mix- Stores like Whole Foods and The Fresh Market usually have bulk bins where you can mix and match to create your own flavors. Savvy students should choose raw nuts (almonds and cashews taste great raw), which have less fat grams and more protein in comparison to their roasted counterparts.
• Dried fruit- try to purchase all-natural or low-sugar selections, otherwise dried fruits can be fairly comparable to candies.
• Bars- I don’t necessarily mean your run-of-the-mill granola bars, as delicious as those can taste. Stock up on whole-food bars like LARABARS, which are made with only fruits, nuts and spices. They have a range of new flavors, one of which includes Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough! Clif bars are whole, all-natural and made with organic ingredients- not to mention, they taste great! The White Chocolate Macadamia Nut flavor will fool you into thinking you’re eating a cookie.
• If you’re a co-ed traveling with a cooler, fresh fruits and veggies are a no-brainer choice! Dipping them in a cool hummus, like Sabra’s roasted garlic flavor, will only up their taste factor.

Hopefully these snacks will keep you from munching too many Swedish Fish and Peanut Butter M&Ms during your drive.

Airplanes and Airports



Ever wonder why each snack in the airport seems twice its normal size?

Buy the same snacks you would when road-tripping before you even get to the airport! You may have some of the same options, but they will be few and far between.

Your chances of finding low-sugar snacks or raw nuts in most airport gift shops are about as easy as finding a needle in a hay stack! Snacks will be more expensive in airports, too- be savvy and stock up early!

Once you get on the plane, you’ll have fewer options for what you eat. Most planes still serve in-flight snacks, so you’ll most likely nosh on peanuts or pretzels.

If you’re on an overnight flight, the meal you’re served might not match your diet preferences. Here’s what to do if you’re extra-picky about your airplane eats:

• Call ahead! If you’re on a long-distance flight, you might as well have a happy stomach. Flights will work with you to provide low-sodium, low-fat and gluten-free meals.
• If they don’t give you much of a choice, at the very least they can provide you with a vegetarian meal. Chances are, this will usually be pasta/lasagna, so be sure to monitor portion sizes.
• Drink water! Most meals have a lot of salt (or require more to taste good!) The last thing you want to be on or after a flight is dehydrated- be sure to grab a cup or two while the flight attendants make their way around the aisles.
• Above all, stop eating when you’re full- you don’t want to have so much in your stomach that you’re uncomfortable for the duration of the flight.

Cruises

When you discuss cruises withme, the first word I think of is buffet. I know I can't be alone in this!



Even though I’ve only been on two cruises in my life, I’ve had my fair share of midnight buffets, custom-made omelets and all-you-can-eat soft-serve ice cream. There’s a reason cruises don’t usually last longer than a week!

Buffets are all about balance and smart choices.

• Start your day with a vegetable-loaded omelet instead of one oozing cheese and extra bacon. Have a side of fresh fruit that is probably local to the area you’re traveling to rather than a sweetbread.
• Have a light lunch! Chances are you’ll be snacking or enjoying frozen drinks throughout the day, so keep it simple.
• Enjoy indulging in one fantastic dessert, but balance out the beginning of the meal with lean proteins and vegetables.

Above all, enjoy your time away from responsibilities (or at least the day to day) and appreciate your health!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dips: What's Your Flavor?

I don't know about you, but I love layers of flavor. This afternoon, I broke away from the library long enough (just barely) in order to shop at Publix for a neccessary (sp!) addition to any sub-par or already delicious dishes: dips!

Hummus :

Can you go wrong with Sabra's delicious hummus? I think not. Roasted Garlic is my personal favorite.




Supremely Spicy comes in at a close second.

I like to spread my hummus on wraps and load 'em up with veggies, dip veggies in them as a great snack and eat it post-bar at 3 a.m. on my Pita Pit eats. Not that I do that too often;) Blame it on the fact that Gainesville bars are in prime location: one door shuts, and Pita Pit's opens.



Above all, I could eat hummus all day long on Stacy's pita chips.



To me, the flavors and combinations are endless. Except when it comes to her Cinnamon Sugar chips. Can't see that meshing too well with roasted red pepper hummus.

Guacamole, Salsa, Sour Cream/Plain Yogurt :

Guacamole, I love you... I can't think of many places I wouldn't spread (dirty) this healthy tasting healthy fat. Veggies, wraps/sandwiches, mixed in with rice, layered with the others.

My stomach basically chose to group the three together because as I type this, its nostrils (yes, the nostrils located in my stomach) are only focused on the lime chicken tacos I have cooking approximately 7.68 ft away from me. I expect I'll sub out the taco shells for some brown rice on the side.



I will top this baby with guac, salsa and sour cream. I just can't bring myself to make the complete switch to plain yogurt after a childhood consisting of Breakstone's sour cream.




Some things may never change. This is applicable advice to both sour cream and men.


My body is even angled towards my dinner... I'm so ready to chow down!

Peanut/Almond/Nut Butters :

First of all, Google nut butter and look at the fifth picture on the first row, if you're over the age of 18. Haha or holy shit?

I digress.


Another healthy fat like guacamole, nut butters are a delicious and nutritious way to stay healthy, especially healthy looking. The protein and healthy fats are very, very good for our hair, skin and nails.

I have seen a noticeable change since I've added guacamole, hummus and nut butters into my diet.

No longer do we have to limit our dippage and spreadage to traditional creamy PB, we can think outside of the box: almond, chunky, chocolate. There are seemingly endless choices to the world of nut butters we have (almost) all come to love.


Drool.

What are your favorite dips? Any fantastic combinations I have to add to my food bucket list? Anything you can't live without?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Stressed Out?

Summertime and stress are two words I don't typically associate with each other, but as I become more of an adult (ha), the dog days of summer are quickly disappearing. I've been stressed lately - personal relationships, the past, etc. - and I can feel its toll on my body. I thought could be remedied with sugarfree Red Bulls, but did I think wrong!




Stress is not a good addition to an overall healthy lifestyle, and I was more than happy to Google it (obv) and learn what stress really is and how to overcome this powerful emotion. I'll be the first to admit I'm quick to jump to an easy fix, which isn't always (and almost never) is the best solution.

You'd be surprised at some of the answers!

The most common defintion of stress is a reaction to a particular event, and the body's way of rising to the challenge and reacting appropriately. Most of the time I think of stress, I think of a fist-clenching, headache-producing response to an event in my life that makes me want to scream or go to kickboxing.

Or both.




Heard of the fight or flight response to stressors? Succinctly, you either choose to stay and fight or run away. The easier option may be a good short-term break (as in cooling down before talking to a friend after a fight, or taking a night away from hitting the books), but I like to refer myself to this quote when I can feel my blood pressure rising:

"Tough times don't last, tough people do." - Many people are quoted as saying this, and I didn't want to misrepresent it's original speaker.

Stress is a slippery slope. It's easy to become angry and depressed over things that seem to bog you down. You may think you're the only person on the planet going through a break up, struggling with your studies or fighting with a loved one.

You aren't! So how do you work through this stress?

  • Phone a Friend- I guarantee you aren't alone when it comes to being stressed. Talking to another person in the same situation or someone who has "been there" can provide much-needed perspective and help you realize that everything's going to be alright.
  • Exercise- Like I previously said, kickboxing helps me release my physical tensions when I'm stressed, which has surprisingly positive results in removing mental blocks.
  • Adapting- I realize this bullet point is much easier said then done, but if you can find a healthy fix to a problem, congratulations! Once you crack the code and solve the mystery to your problem, you have freed yourself from the chains that were holding you back. Go forth and tackle your problems!

In other E&E news, I spent time escaping to reduce my stress levels this weekend. I went to Tampa's tall ship convention.



I thought I would like it more than I did, but it made me think about Concordia and worked against what I had planned. Oops!

Now I'm back to school and working hard. Found time to bake today though! Brownies = automatic stress reduction:)


How do you deal with stress? Do you find yourself to be a fighter or a flight-er? Do you have any tips on how to reduce stress?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Energy-Obsessed Thirsty Thursday

My eyes feel as if they are about to fall out of their sockets. I've been staring at these microeconomics notes for about a week now:


Some people say beds are where "the magic" happens. If production possibility frontiers and supply and demand curves are what you consider magical, I got down and dirty this weekend.

All that hard work required a sugarfree Red Bull energy fix to keep me going through Human Sexuality and Culture, where I learned about the history (past and present) of vibrators. Which no doubt kept me distracted from learning about opportunity costs.


Which brings me to another point: marginal analysis, which measures benefits and costs of actions and how economists/business -men & -women react to them. I think it's a fantastic metaphor for life. Just throwin' that out there.

No need to worry, though- I'm not all work and no play!



I enjoyed some brews and got iced in the process. No complaints here! Have you been iced yet? If not, and if you're going to HLS, be prepared!

Study snacks included pictured chocolate Cheerios, tons of cherries and some PB M&M's I tweeted about.


While I was purchasing my Smokin' Notes (the lovely red pages you see in every other picture), I purchased Everything I Ate: A Year in the Life of my Mouth for the low-budget price of $1 at the Florida Bookstore. Does the concept seem similar to you?


I'm enjoying its simplicity, but overall I think it makes a pretty decent coffee table book, if you catch my drift.
I was planning on taking a study break to watch P.S. I Love You to see my two favorite men:
Numero Uno:

And Dos:

But got a later start than I thought. Since I only have three hours til my exam, I figure I should nerd it up and review my notes one last time.
Recent Playlist Addition: Enrique Iglesias and Nicole Scherzinger's Heartbeat. I'd classify this in as a spin hill-climber or general slow jam:)
What are your favorite songs to work out (or hang out) to?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Too Hot to Sweat Outdoors?

When summer temperatures peak above 95 degrees and waking up at 6 a.m. for a 5.0-mile run isn’t your thing, it’s hard for savvy co-eds to find the motivation to move.

Want to stay indoors (and in the air conditioning) but still get your sweat on during your summer break from college?

Thanks to fitness DVDs and on-demand exercise channels, turning your home, apartment or dorm room into a personal gym is easy to do.

First things first: what type of workout are you looking to do, and how will you accomplish it?

My favorite DVDs are hosted by Jillian Michaels, whose name is synonymous with blood, sweat and tears.



Her “No More Trouble Zones” DVD is an hour-long weight lifting session that will keep you sweating the whole way through and won’t make you miss the gym one bit.

If you’re into a more laid-back workout (that’s still effective) try yoga.



Denise Austin’s “Yoga Body Burn” is great to get both the relaxation of yoga but the toning results you’d work for with free weights or on machines at the gym.

When it comes time to work out, make sure to clear some space so you’ll have an adequate workout area.



Make sure you have ample room to do kicks, lunges and punches in without damaging any furniture or valuables.

If you’re going to be wearing sneakers, consider putting a towel down on the floor so you don’t work dirt into your carpet. If you’re home for the summer, your mom will especially appreciate this- I know mine would!

Putting a towel down on your carpet will also prevent you from slipping. You should always make sure to turn the fan on- it will keep you cool and prevent potential slips on wood floors!

Above all, remember to stay hydrated, exercise in moderation and have a great time working out indoors!

Check out the College Lifestyles version: http://collegelifestyles.org/2010/07/feelin%e2%80%99-hot-hot-hot-get-your-workout-in-despite-raging-summer-temperatures/