Friday Five: The Nutrition Bar Edition

why is it that i always feel compelled to start every Friday post with “Happy Friday!”? i mean, yes, we all love Friday and want to celebrate its fabulousness, but i think i need to come up with something more original to replace that…or else just embrace its cliche nature and get over it. πŸ˜‰ i DO love this Cure song, though, so let’s go with that this week:

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there. Friday image problem solved for one week.

i’m back to linking up with the DC ladies Mar, Cynthia & Courtney for their Friday Five link-up. they’ve changed things up this year, so every 4th Friday of the month is “Free Friday,” where we choose our own adventures in the fives.

this week, I’ve decided to go with a food-based theme:

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i am a nutrition bar/granola bar/protein bar/fruit & nut bar (whatever you want to call them) gal for sure. yes, i fully understand that certain bars are little more than glorified candy bars and that granola is basically candied oats, half the time, and yes, i pay attention to ingredients and weigh my options and am careful about what i choose. i know not all bars are created equal, and i know we all have our favorites. i’m not judging anyone else’s choices, by any means; some of us prefer gluten free, some of us go for protein content, some of us watch the fat, some of us are picky about sugar (or substitutes). i’m not a nutritionist, but here are some my top choices for (what i consider to be) healthy nutrition bars (all are vegan, gluten free, dairy-free, non-GMO, whole-food based):

1. Larabar.

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these babies are comprised entirely from whole foods (no additional preservatives or additives or sugar): the only ingredients are unsweetened fruit, nuts, and spices. bam. they’re all date-based and make healthy taste good. i’m a fan of the Apple Pie and Carrot Cake flavors (both 190 calories). all carbs & sugar come straight from the fruit.

lara.pngthis week’s airplane snack, paired with Athleta leggings.

2. Picky Bars. i was first introduced to these bars when a friend sent me a marathon care package from California this fall, and although i haven’t bought them again (i haven’t come across them in stores in NYC, but they sell them on Amazon), i was totally hooked. openbars-home_v2-1024x498they’re created by pro athletes (a triathlete and a runner couple) with the mission of devising a bar that combines real food & fuel for performance, geared at keeping athletes sustained through strenuous workouts. (hence, they made perfect sense as a marathon-package treat.) i love the overall vibe & feel of their marketing and branding, and they have have a rad, fun website as well, which can explain their story and the science behind their bars much better than i can, so check them out.

3. Oatmega. i’m sitting here with one of these wrappers in front of me at the moment, as i just had one for part of my breakfast (and just tried my very first one last night! so far i’ve had the Chocolate Mint Chip & Vanilla Almond Crisp – both great, prefer the vanilla). they’re delicious, first of all, and with 14 grams of protein and under 200 calories, i see them becoming regular additions to my diet.

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they’re gluten free, non-GMO, omega-3 laden, protein-packed by grass fed whey, and come in some great flavors. (you can check out their ingredients list here.) they also are big on social responsibility and giving back to the community, which we all love to love.

4. Kind bars. i couldn’t very well leave these popular favorites off the list, now, could i? i don’t eat these as often as i know many people do, as i try to go easy on the nut intake, but i do enjoy them every now and then. my mom & i tried a bunch of flavors when i was in Florida this week, and these were my two faves:

Cashew & Ginger Spice (i’m such a ginger fan)k2-_8497431e-a386-42d9-97ac-ad55721b0e3e-v1.jpg
Apple Cinnamon & Pecan

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5. Macrobars. so i don’t actually eat these myself, but my boyfriend recently discovered them and i’ve tried bites of his, and they’re pretty delicious. they pack more calories than i prefer in a bar (over 200), but are all organic and whole-food based, and offer some pretty tasty combinations. Macrobars have a great story as well: they were created by a family who adopted a macrobiotic diet after the mom was diagnosed with cancer. they bought a farm in Wisconsin to start their business, and these bars are their way of sharing their commitment to a healthy, whole-food based lifestyle with the world.

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happy snacking, friends. oh, and start your weekend off well, willya??

Fave bars?
What do you look for in a nutrition/energy bar?

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Friday Five: Holiday Wishlist

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so, i’m going to be totally honest: when i first saw this week’s link-up theme from our wonderful DC hosts Mar, Courtney & Cynthia, i thought i might sit this one out. not that there’s anything wrong with posting a wish list — i mean, we all have them, right? — i just felt a bit funny doing that, because quite honestly, i have everything i could ever want or need and then some. my life really is full to overflowing, and i mean that in the best way possible.

but then i realized, what if i just change it up a bit — nobody said this had to be a list about material things. the heart of the holiday season really revolves around all the warmth & love & all good things we share with one another anyway, and gifts are just an expression of that. so for my Friday Five, i’ve decided to list 5 things i’m wishing for this Christmas season — for myself and/or for others — that can’t be wrapped up and tied with a bow.

ONE: lots of quality family time.Β if you’ve been hanging around RTA for a bit, you know how obsessed i am with my family and how close the four of us are. i’m fortunate to be able to take the week of Christmas off work and go home for 9 days this year, which will definitely be the longest stretch i’ve been home in a while, and i can’t wait. family time at our house looks like homemade dinners & brunches, playing cards, trips to the farmer’s market & Target, watching at least one Christmas movie (my vote is The Family Stone), drinking wine together, and going out to dinner at one of our fave family spots at least once. oh, and lots of play time with the pups. we’re infatuated with our three dogs.

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TWO: some great runs/workouts. and not just for me, before you start thinking i’m getting all selfish on you. πŸ™‚ while it’s no secret i love my solo runs, last year my dad & i went for a run together on Christmas morning, and i have thought about that morning so many times throughout the year. we have a real bond through our running and it was so special to get out there with him and run his route upstate. my brother & i also make a point to go to the gym together a few times while i’m home, and i always look forward to that as well.

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THREE: health & safety for those i love. because who doesn’t want that, at this time of year and always? i pray for that for my loved ones every morning, and i’m praying for a safe & healthy & lovely holiday season from start to finish.

FOUR: rest, refreshment & rejuvenation. sleep. write. read. pray. enjoy great conversations with my favorite people over glasses of wine in sweats on the couch. cuddle. linger. laugh. just be. i can’t wait for all of these things that make my soul so centered and content.Photo(10)

FIVE: all the time with the boy. we don’t live in the same city, so i’m stoked to be near him for a good stretch of time, and to have someone special in my life this year at Christmas who makes me the happiest. πŸ™‚

What’s on your wish list this year?

Weekly Workouts {8/16-8/22} & Healthy Snacking

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holy humidity. anyone else having a humidity spike in their cities this week?? i actually chose to take the subway rather than bike to work the past two days because it was so gross out. not loving that!

before i get into this week’s workout line-up, let’s talk a bit of marathon training progress:

i’m not sure if i’m going to run the Mohawk Hudson marathon this October after all. i’d sort of half-heartedly committed myself to doing it, but to be honest, my legs are just tired alllll the time. i struggled through my (ridiculously humid) run this morning and fought for every single step, and none were pain free. i haven’t done any runs over 13.1 miles this summer, and the thought of running a marathon just doesn’t appeal to me at the moment…so i’m not sure where i’m at, but i’m absolutely not upset about it at all. i might drop down and run the half (probably have to bandit run it, as i doubt they’ll let me change), but i’ll be sure to keep you guys updated on that.

*my week in workouts*

Sun, 8/16: an hour of total body workout, including kettlebells, free weights, a lot of jump squats & walking lunges & the like, followed by planks & a stretch sesh — great way to start my Sunday morning before heading to church at Hillsong NYC
Mon, 8/17: evening gym workout: warmed up with 15 minutes on the Arc trainer before doing 45 minutes of upper body (back machines, kettlebells & push-ups) and finished with planks
Tues, 8/18: morning run – 5 miles on the treadmill, for the first time in months, b/c it was 90% humidity at 6am. WOOF.
Wed, 8/19 (today): 6 mile run outdoors — basically like running underwater. i was drenched by mile 1. gross.
Thurs, 8/20: i might have to take a rest day tomorrow, as i think i’ll be too busy to squeeze in a workout… sometimes all the plans come first. πŸ™‚
Fri, 8/21: hoping for a morning Arc trainer & strength sesh, depending upon how late Thurs night’s plans go!
Sat, 8/22: long, hilly run upstate by the lake! always my fave workout of the week, so long as my legs aren’t all sorts of crazy sore and allow me to enjoy the run.

i’ve been trying to be more mindful of what i put into my body after a workout lately, as part of my whole “be as healthy as possible and take care of yourself” summer goal. i want to stay strong and fueled and feel good about my food choices rather than mindlessly snacking or eating something just because it’s convenient or tastes good.

allllll the fruit. i can't get enough.

allllll the fruit. i can’t get enough.

i’ve teamed up with Nuts.com for this post to discuss some healthy post-workout/run food options. (i’m not being paid in any way for this, but have chosen to promote them because i personally like to partner with and help support organizations devoted to healthy living.) Nuts.com is a family-owned organization dedicated to healthy snacking, offering over 2,000 items delivered right to your door! i’ve spent some time perusing their website lately and reading through their healthy snacks page, and they offer some great suggestions and yummy snacks for your post-workout noshing.

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here are some of my personal fave post-workout snacks to grab on the go (because let’s face it, i’m basically always on the go in this city):

  • bananas. pretty much my go-to food. i eat one almost every day (okay i had 2 small ones already today)
  • hard-boiled eggs. i’ve been pretty consistent about keeping these on hand the past couple of months, and they’ve totally changed my snack habits. i eat them by themselves, on salads, with avocado…
  • juice. i’ve been on a big fresh-pressed juice kick this summer. it can be a bit pricey as they add up quickly, but they’re so good and a perfect summer snack. anything with beets & ginger is right up my alley.
  • Medifast bars or shakes. i really like both the taste & nutritional value of this company’s products, and they’re an easy choice after a good workout.
  • almonds. i don’t buy these enough but i really enjoy them! my fave nut.

two healthy snack options that looks really good to me on Nuts.com:

  • Freeze Dried Fruit Cocktail: 100% fruit with no extra added sugar. i really like dried fruit but i’m not into the mixes that add a sweetener, so this one appeals to me. i think it’d be great to put over oatmeal or mix with nuts!
  • Organic Trail Mix. so much goodness. just yum.

hope your running, workouts & healthy snacking are all on track this week, friends!

Runners: How’re you feeling lately? How’s training going? Any joys/woes to share?
What’re your favorite post-workout snacks?

Friday Five: Goals for 2015

i just have to start by saying: how hard is it to come back to work on the day after New Year’s?! i mean, even though it’s a Friday and the weekend is fingertip-reach close, this day is totally killing me. i cannotttt.

hope you all had safe & wonderful New Year’s Eves and days, friends. mine were both lovely and included running (both days) and some great girl time with wonderful friends…like this gem of a girlfriend, who always makes my life that much brighter. so thankful to have closed out 2014 and ushered in 2015 with one of my favorite people in the universe.

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my New Year’s was perfect: champagne (with lychees, mmm) and dinner at a local Thai restaurant we love, followed by some low-key parties right in my apartment building. good friends, no craziness or lines or high heels or cab-worrying involved…it was great. i saw all these girls decked out in miniature dresses and sky-high heels and bare legs — it was freeeezing here, mind you — and was so, so thankful for my boyfriend jeans and Chuck Taylors and faces i loved and impromptu apartment bachata dancing. such a good night.

so, i didn’t think i was going to write a “goals for this year” sort of post, but after i saw that the ladies are doing that for their Friday linkup this week, i figured i’d jump on in.

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ONE: Have a great year of running, including running the marathon in October. i’m starting off 2015 feeling so strong and happy about where i’m at with my running, and i’m praying i remain injury free and continue to feel so good. i really want to run the marathon in October this year that i was forced to defer from last year (injury, boo), so here’s to hoping i’m able to accomplish that.

TWO: Healthier eating. i eat super healthy most of the time, but we all have our own struggles with defining this for ourselves, and i’m not happy with some of my choices and want to change them. less alcohol, less sugar, less snacking. healthy, balanced meals. i want to be in the best shape i can for my running, and after a rough week of indulging this past week, i’m feeling ready to commit to changing these patterns.

THREE: More focus on my spiritual life. get involved in a church again, start reading my Bible regularly. live out what i say i believe, every single day of my life.

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FOUR: School. this is my last semester of classes (woot!), but i still have the monster of a clinical internship looming ahead of me — and, quite frankly, it’s stressing me out. i need to make figuring this out a priority, as i’m not sure how it’s going to fit into my life, but i know that it MUST. i need to finish this degree and get started on that career!

FIVE: WRITE. i said i was going to write more in 2014, and i did: more blogging, more creative writing, more trying to figure out how to find various outlets for my personal writing. i want to continue to commit to this and focus on it and hopefully see it take off even more in 2015.

i feel like i could keep going here — i want to write about love and friendship and making it an extension of all the great things from 2014, because i had so many awesome things this past year — but this is the Friday Five, soooo…there ya go.

happy almost weekend, friends, and happy 2015.

what’s one of your goals for this year?

choosing to love the good

first of all, thank youuuuu so much for all the positive vibes and well-wishes you sent my way regarding my running injury. i certainly appreciate all the love and sweet words, and i’m so thankful for all my beauteous blog friends i’ve made. you guys are fabulous and i’m thankful to be part of such an uplifting community of encouraging, strong women (and men, for you male readers out there!). it’s so easy to get discouraged by something like an injury, and i’m trying to stay as positive as possible and do what i can and use this setback as a means to focus on the good things in my life and count my many, many blessings.

lifenotperfectso, let’s talk about the good things, eh? (did i mention i work for a Canadian company? :)) there are so many positives in my life, and focusing on them will help me keep the discouragement away.

  • Β i’m finally putting the personal training certificate i obtained a few years ago to good use and training two of my girlfriends on a lovely outdoor pier one night a week after work. it’s been awesome and i’m really encouraged by their dedication and desire to get stronger and commit to working out, and it affirms how much i love fitness and would love to be able to train people more regularly as a job one day. you never know…
  • all your blog love must have done some good, because i actually managed a solid 6-miler this morning at a decent (8:40ish) pace despite the nagging injury. i won’t lie — the pain was consistent and annoying — but it wasn’t excruciating and i didn’t cry/die/fall/swear/scream at the sky (anyone else ever done this during a bad run? tell me i’m not crazy?), soooooo, let’s call that a success, hmmm? πŸ™‚

da-mo-1713it’s certainly not marathon training level, but hey — i’m running, so i’ll take it.

  • i just found out yesterday that my dad’s annual work convention — which we’ve been turning into a family trip every year since i was really young — is in Vegas this coming Spring, at the Bellagio. ummmmmm hi, thrilled about this. i’ve only been to Vegas once before, with my family, and we certainly didn’t do crazy Vegas or stay on the strip, sooooo…this will technically be my first “real” Vegas experience. the Katy Perry in me is so ready.

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  • i start my third year (i can’t even belieeeeeve that?!) of grad classes tonight, and the two i’m taking should be pretty interesting (or at least one of them): Sexuality and Parenting. you can guess which one i’m looking forward to more. when i started this back-to-grad-school-take-two journey on somewhat of a whim two years ago, i never could have guessed where it’d take me or the amount of personal growth and introspection that’d emerge. i still don’t know what it’ll look like in terms of a future career path, exactly, but i’m taking it day by day, year by year, and letting life unfold. i know God has a plan for this and led me to this specific program for a reason, so i’m encouraged to stick with it.

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  • i signed up forΒ Citibike this week, and all i can say is — what took me so long?! i don’t know if you non-NYers have this sort of commute-around-town-by-bike system in your city, but essentially, it’s a bike-share transportation system where you purchase a year membership and can unlock bikes at any of the stations scattered throughout Manhattan and zip around. it’s quite ingenious and extremely accessible and i wish i’d joined it last year when the program was established. i’ve been riding to and from work the past few days, and it’s so much better than subway-ing. i forgot how much i enjoy bike riding! makes me feel like a free little kid again.

    photo from bicycling.com

    i feel much better just writing about the good things in my lately life. it does wonders for the soul to stop and reflect upon the positives rather than get stuck in the muck of the not-so-goods, which can totally weigh us down. i’m guilty of dwelling on the things i’d like to change more than i should, so that’s something i’m working on.

    photowell ain’t that the truth.

tell me something good in your lately life, or something you’re looking forward to!

Rawxies Review

disclaimer: i was not asked to write this post on behalf of the company, but choose freely to promote them because i really enjoyed their products.

i started following the raw vegan goodies companyΒ Rawxies on Instagram a few months ago, after they found me and began commenting on some of my pics (thanks, guys!). they market themselves as “not quite a cookie, not quite a bar,” and are created for “healthy snacking on the go.” these raw treats have a great ingredient list and none of the bad stuff,Β attributes annnnnd they come in the shape of hearts. i mean, who can pass that up?

Image1i thought they were adorable and wanted to try them for a while, but i never made it into one of the stores in NYC that carries them. then, i lucked into winning an Instagram giveaway they offered last week, and a sweet little package of four different flavors was waiting for me the other day. excitttingggggg.

their packaging is adorable and includes one of my fave words,

inspireand the writing major in me always enjoys a cute lil play-on-words.

eatheartouti was sent all 4 flavors of treats: Mint Chocolate Chip, Mocha Almond, Banana Nut Bread, and Lemon Poppyseed. and that, my friends, is the order in which i expected to rank the flavors. mint chocolate chip has always been my fave ice cream/frozen yogurt, and i love that combo, so i assumed that would be a sure fave — however, these definitely surprised me. i’m not sure if it was the ingredients, or the texture, or exactly what it was, but i ended up liking them in this order:

Banana Nut Bread, Lemon Poppyseed, Mocha Almond, and Mint Chocolate Chip.

craziness!! who am i?!

rawxiesi think something about the chocolate/mocha in these didn’t quite work for me as well as the more subtle flavors. all were good, in that “tastes healthy and i know it’s good for me but i still am actually enjoying eating this” sort of way, but i liked the cocoa-free options better.

overall, i really enjoyed these and would definitely buy them to snack on on the regular. i “dig” the whole raw vegan health trend, and while i’m neither a raw foodie or a vegan, i try to eat as health-conscious, plant-based, and gluten-free as possible, so these are right up my veggie-and-oats lined alley. and let’s be honest — i’ve admitted before that i’m a marketer’s dream client, and i just love those little hearts! πŸ™‚ ❀

check out their location finder to snag some in your area.

Anyone tried Rawxies before? Like/dislike/reviews?
Any similar raw products you’re digging/want to recommend? a guy from work brings in these tiny raw macaroons sometimes, which i really like!

Skoop: product review

*disclaimer: although i was contacted by Skoop and asked to write a review of their products, all opinions are entirely my own and i was not compensated in any way for this post (other than to receive some great samples from this rad company). if you’re not interested in reading a product review (although it’s a great product, i have to say!), please feel free to skip this post entirely.

happy Thursday that feels like Friday, friends! that is, for those of us who have tomorrow off to celebrate the 4th of July. i can hardly believe it’s already July, but i’ll take any excuse for a legit day off to head upstate and hang at the lake!

so, i was recently contacted by a startup company from Boulder (woot CO!) called Skoop and asked if i’d be interested in writing a review of some of their products. as soon as i started reading about their goodies and their mission online, i was instantly intrigued and more than happy to test them out.

super fun to come home from a weekend at the beach to this fun package awaiting me:

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a girl can never have too many shakers, am i right?? πŸ˜‰

a little about Skoop: it’s an organic, plant-based, non-GMO superfoods powdered formula, rich in antioxidants and probiotics, and is non-allergen (dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free). it’s toted as being great for fighting bad gut bacteria (who wants that?!), inflammation and stress. i’ve taken probiotics in pill form for a while now, and i was glad to test this out as an alternative.

plus, i like when i’m given suggestions for how to implement products into my life. this is fun. and helpful. and they had me at the word “skoopify.” i mean, sometimes it can be fun to be told what to do…

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the main thing that appealed to me was using this as a post-workout drink, as i’m always looking for new ways to replenish and promote recovery after a good run or strength sesh. Skoop is not a protein drink by any means (less than a gram of protein, so this isn’t a for muscle-building), but rather provides superfoods and antioxidants to alkalize the body and help you get your veggies on. it’s low in calories, fat, and carbs as well, for those of us crazy nutrition label readers.

nutritioni was sent two products: the A-Game superfoods powder in Chocofresh, and their B-Lovely (totally love these names), which promotes healthy skin, hair and nails and help us girls aim for that healthy “glow” we so aspire towards. πŸ™‚ i have yet to try the B-Lovely, but i’m definitely digging the A-Game as a post-workout drink and have had it every morning this week so far. i definitely prefer it in almond milk, although it’s entirely drinkable with water as well.

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this has been great for me because i’m actually not a huge breakfast person and usually end up just drinking coffee and water and some sort of protein drink during the morning (Medifast has been my drink of choice for breakfast), so having Skoop with almond milk after i work out/before i leave the apartment this week has been fab. i’m not suggesting using it as a meal replacement — this is just what is working for me and my morning routine. you can Skoop howsoever your lil heart desires. πŸ™‚

i also dig how they sent me a packet of 5 portable packages of A-Game to take with me to work and offer different suggestions for ways to try the product.

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i must say, i’m totally digging the branding, marketing and communication behind this company: their website, voice, and overall look-and-feel are playful, relevant, and totally appeal to me, which i think is a major selling point in getting yourself out there and attracting fans. i’ve had fun perusing their site and reading up on all of their products and mission —

yes, they have a great mission than just supplying the world with simple superfoods one human being at a time, which is another reason i’m a fan of this company. Skoop donates 10% of every bag sold to a national nonprofit which provides fresh produce to children in schools, which essentially ends up being a “buy one, give one” deal. i’m a huge proponent of this mission, and it made me all the more eager and willing to help them get their name out there.

so, would i buy this product? yes, i really would. i think it’s solid and has a great combo of nutritional value and taste, and i always like to support a good startup with a sense of social justice. i’m glad they reached out to me and can assure you i would not partner with a company to promote a product that i honestly couldn’t get behind myself. this one totally fits the bill for my health-freak food habits.

although they’re not available in any big stores (such as Whole Foods), you can obviously purchase Skoop products from their site.

hope you guys have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!! ❀

Questions:
Do you drink any nutritional supplements on the regular? Which are your go-tos?

 

WILW {4.16.14}

*good pain. i pretty much live in a world of perpetual leg soreness. some days, the first few steps out of bed are rough; the first mile or two feels like a marathon on steel rods. this speaks to my #1 weakness as a runner/worker-outer: i do not spend enough time stretching or foam rolling. my post-run self-care is severely lacking, and my flexibility could use a lot of improvement. i look at my foam roller and see a torture instrument, so i usually leave it where it belongs: in the corner.Β  bad, bad, bad.

i was pretty close to squeezing out a few tears this morning when rolling after a 3.5 mile speed run on the treadmill in my building gym (because we’re back down to 30 degree mornings in April. thanks, NYC). holy pain. but then again, it just hurts so good!

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i am thankful, however, that i am healthy and disciplined and actually have a real passion for running and working out, and i pray i’m able to experience this soreness for a long, long time. so many people are physically unable to use their bodies in this way, and so many others are entirely unmotivated, so i thank God that He made me healthy, strong and with a sincere love for being active. this perspective helps me find joy in the pain. πŸ™‚

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*workout love. this picture makes me happy.

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i have no idea who these people are, but i love this. i think he does a push-up while she does a sit-up, and then they meet in the middle for a lil “hey we’re a beautiful working out couple” celebratory kiss. plus, this motivates both of them to keep up the others’ pace. so the moral of the story is, date someone you’d want to kiss while you’re sweating at the gym. the end.


*food prep ideas.
i need to start doing this, especially because i love every single food item in this picture.

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i’m not disciplined about packing food for lunch — i’ll generally grab a banana and a Quest bar for snacks and buy a salad at the caf here at work, but this picture makes me so happy in its neatness. it’s so organized and colorful and includes a bunch of foods i really like and eat regularly (i see a Cinnamon Roll Quest Bar in there, woot!). really what’s happening here is that everything about this challenges and highlights my lack of planning: my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants self doesn’t think in terms of prepping. but pictures like this make me want to be a planner. or just make me want Quest bars and sweet potatoes.Β  yeah, probably the latter. who am i kidding.


*Easter week.
i like Jesus. i like Spring. i like having a holiday from work and getting an extra day to spend upstate with my family celebrating Jesus, and Spring, and having a day off. win-win-win.

photothis will be a wonderful weekend ahead (starting tomorrow night!), i can already feel it. not only will i be with my most favoritest people, at my most favoritest lakehouse, running and dancing and relaxing and loving life, but i have the ultimate reason to be thankful this week: my Savior died so that i might never have to experience death. we might know this all year round, but having a day set aside to commemorate this ultimate act of love just feels extra special.


*enjoy the journey.
because after all, it’s all you have. you might as well make it a good one.

nofinishlineshortlife

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xo

Questions:
Do you celebrate Easter? Any special plans?
Runners: How good are you about stretching/foam rolling? Love it or dread it?

Friday Five {4.11.14}

1. apparently yesterday was National Siblings Day and i totally missed the boat on sending my bro a lil gift or wishing him happy sibs day…even though we’re the bff-est of all siblings and treat every day as siblings day. however, i think it needs some blog recognition (albeit a day late), so please enjoy one of my all-time fave RyShaw pix:

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i can’t tell you how much i love this picture, for no reason and every. and yes, Ry at age 1 was pretty much bigger than me at age 4. check out that head size. lotsa brains in there. πŸ™‚

also, please notice that i literally always had some stuffed animal or another in my hand at all times as a child. attachment issues, perhaps? need for constant companionship? you’d be hard pressed to find a picture of me without an animal (usually a Care Bear, not sure what happened here) in my hand. they came everywhere with me (clearly even into the bathroom to help me brush my teeth).

so happy National Siblings Day/life, bro. love you the mostest.

2. killer short runs. i’ve consistently had some great shorter runs this week, and this morning’s was no exception (and my first time this season running outside in a tank top! Spring has sprung!). it was almost 60 and rather overcast, but an entirely lovely morning for a run along the river.

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i’m loving these 3-5 milers and trying to use them to pick up my pace a bit and push myself just outside my “comfortable” running zone. this morning’s run was a bit uncomfortable considering i had two speedier runs on Tues morning and Wed evening, and then a killer training session yesterday morning with mucho legs…but i’m diggin’ the soreness today and feeling good about pushing myself. bikini season and Brooklyn Half, i’m coming for you.

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3. gym love/wear your words. i’m a big fan of words. soooo, let me tell you how i really feel…

meetmeatgymshirt

tee-hee. because if you’re a fitfreak and have to meet people somehow, well, why not there? must get this shirt asap.

but seriously — it’s nice to be able to share your passions with someone you date. it’d be very hard for me to date a lazy, non-worker-outer, because it’s such an integral part of my identity and my day-to-day existence.

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4. coffee love. there’s a coffee truck on Wall St just a few blocks from my office that attracts attention just by being the brightest, most colorful, cutest coffee stand around. meet the Love Coffee truck.

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you can’t miss this baby if you’re walking down Wall, and it’s definitely worth a stop. the staff is all French (at least everyone i’ve met so far) and friendly, and it has a fun, indie feel and a hip chalkboard menu.

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the prices are good, and just saying you got your coffee from the orange Love truck is worth the experience in my opinion. i’ve only had their americano so far, and i really liked it — almost as much as i liked carrying this cup around:

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i’m a sucker for good branding, what can i say. i think another word for that is a girl.

5. faith.Β i’ve found myself getting frustrated a bit lately with a sense of “stuckness,” or feeling like i’m not accomplishing things fast enough and my life is just wooshing on by. i’m trying to be intentional about working through these feelings and being thankful for my amazing life and seeing it as a process, a daily journey of becoming, and staying present in the moment without thinking ahead to the future and missing all the good from today. God has a plan that i can’t see, and my job is to trust Him, pray diligently and specifically, and stay open to opportunities that come my way. today, i’m feeling hopeful, and i know that a combination of prayer and action is necessary to feel fulfilled and at peace with where i’m at. neither one alone is as effective as the coupling can ever be, and both are absolutely crucial.

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happy weekend, loves! xo

Questions:
What was a highlight of your week, or something you’re loving today?
Any fun plans this weekend?

WILW {4.9.14}

*Nature Box. i’m such a fan of having these healthy snacks delivered right to my door, and i love being able to choose my “pantry” each month. my snacks this month included:
  • Dried California Peaches — delicious, if you are into dried fruit, which i def am
  • Chipotle Maple Almonds — great combo of flavors, sweet with a little bit of a spicy kick
  • Sunshine Chips — i keep choosing these babies each month. crunchy veggie chips that are perfect in hummus.
  • Smoky BBQ Peas — similar to wasabi peas but with a BBQ flavor — i liked ’em a lot.
  • Roasted Sea Salt Chickpeas — haven’t tried these yet but i’m pretty sure i’m going to dig ’em.

photoi try to steer away from choosing any granola because if left to my own uncontrolled devices, i am a granola fiend and really shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the food. so i’m happy to say the self-control has been in full effect in regards to NB thus far. however, i’m indulging and letting myself order one for next month, so let’s see how that goes. πŸ™‚

photo from dashingdish.com

photo from dashingdish.com

*midi rings. how do you guys feel about this trend?

midii totally dig it.

i’ve always been a big ring girl and feel so weird if i accidentally leave the house without 3+, so these halfway-down-your-finger rings are definitely right up my alley. Etsy has a lot of cute options, or you can snag some cheap ones easily at Forever21 or H&M. so far, i’ve added an anchor, a heart, various geometric shapes, and a bunch of plain thin bands to my ever-growing ring collection. here are some various looks i’m liking:

midi-2

sweet & simple

one statement midi (love the knot)

one statement midi (love the knot)

thin gold variety

thin gold variety

funky & cluttered for a night out

funky & cluttered for a night out

*office with a view. when it’s beautiful out, i have quite the view of the new World Trade builds from my office window. and of course it just teases me all the day long and makes me wish i was out running along the river beneath this amazing sky.

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Β *food group faves. froyo, regular yo, and even a little gelato in there. if i’m going to have something sweet, my choice will always be yogurt/ice cream/dairy desserts. i definitely don’t indulge in Pinkberry as often as i’d like to or used to, but last week’s combo of vanilla and chocolate hazelnut was an amazing little treat. and that mint gelato? a very nice coworker expressed his concern at the fact that i have only had gelato a couple of times in my life, so he asked my favorite flavor and brought in what he says is the best kind out there. although i still maintain that i prefer mint soft serve frozen yogurt with chocolate chips, this Talenti gelato was pretty darn yummy. (and i’m proud of myself for managing to spread it out over an entire week. my self-control did me well there!)

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*workout: abs. i do a little bit of abs a couple times a week, but i’ve decided i’m going to start focusing on them more. i’m realllllly digging this hurts-so-darn-good incline machine (even though yesterday my feet started tingling…hmmmm),

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so i’ve been supersetting it with a plank series (elbows, hands, and side planks) and some push-ups thrown in for good measure. fun fact about me: when in doubt, i do push-ups. love those guys.

the model of this machine at Mid-City gym is my fave: Vicore’s Core Ab Bench. it has a bosu-ball-esque bench part, so your back is supported by a squishy, airy bench. it’s like you’re lying down on a bubble. when i have a bigger living space, i must have this thing.

Vicore Core Ab Bench

Vicore Core Ab Bench

Questions:
Favorite healthy snack?
Fave gym machine at the moment?