Monday, March 31, 2014

Getting My Life Together

If you've explored my blog a bit you've looked at my "resolutions". On that page I say how I am trying to tackle one each month or so. They are all goals I have for life (or at least this year) to better myself and make myself more well-rounded (or at least I think so!).

Every girl has those days (sometimes weeks, because HORMONES) where we feel like everything is falling apart. We feel like we don't have our lives together and that we should by now. I am nowhere near together, but I always thought I would be by the time I graduated college. At least I thought I would have a good start on being completely together.

I am not, and usually that bothers me. Usually there is one week, or a few days, every month where I feel like everything is wrong and I am a failure. And sometimes I let it get to me and sometimes I drown my sorrows in a bag of Gluten Free Hot Buffalo Wing Pretzels and try not to hate myself afterwards for eating all 8 servings in one sitting.

But, so far, I haven't had this meltdown in the past month. I haven't let myself because I realized I am taking big strides in making myself better. I have really stepped up to the plate on running again, even running 6 days a week! (Last year at my peak I only ran 4 days a week, so I am proud of myself!) I have done really well with my low sodium/low copper diet and have really tried to eat healthier. I am not as good as last year when I first gave everything up (fast food/chips/cake/cookies/etc.), but I am on my way to being more balanced in my nutrition (thanks to a nutritionist's help!).

I really had to realize that it is okay to backtrack. I am a perfectionist. I always have been. When I fail, even though most wouldn't consider my definition of failure actual failure, I fail all the way. I am very all or nothing. While this can be motivating, it can also cause me to burn out WAY too fast. Lately, I have realized that, even if I succumb to my own definition of failure, there is no reason I cannot start over THAT SAME DAY. I don't have to wait until next month, next week, or even the next day. I can restart RIGHT THAT SECOND. And that has been more motivating for me than ANYTHING else.

I WILL NOT let myself give in to ANY negativity this month. I am positive minded about 95% of the time. I know I cannot be perfect, but I will NOT give in to letting myself break myself down. There are enough people out there that probably don't prefer my company. I don't need my own mind trying to break me down. I cannot please everyone and not everyone will like me, but I CAN make sure I love myself. That is the most important thing (:

Take time this week to LOVE YOURSELF, whatever that means to you. Even if, just once, this week you tell that negative voice you have to shut her mouth or you actually tell yourself you're beautiful or you refuse to participate in drama or gossip, do SOMETHING this week that will make you feel better about yourself. I CHALLENGE YOU. Because we don't need our own minds to be our enemies. I think this pin pretty much sums it up:

No one is perfect, so don't try to be. Just try to be YOU! Because there is only ONE of you in this entire world, and that is remarkable (:

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Non Fit Post: My Obsessions Part 2

A little while back I had posted some of the things I am OBSESSED with. You can view them here. Here is  a continuation of this OBVIOUSLY long list!

I was looking around my room as I was cleaning it (even though my dad insists it is ALWAYS messy, but what can I do?), and I realized there is a LOT more that I absolutely LOVE and wanted to share with you!

I LOVE Live Love Dream by Aeropostale. I actually didn't really like the store when I was younger, but then my sister got a gift card there from her friend and I started really loving it. I am not a huge fan of the "wear their name/logo on your shirt" thing, but Aero makes REALLY comfy sweatshirts and sweatpants. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I LOVE LOVE LOVE matchy outfits because I post them ALL the time. That is one reason I love Aero! They have matching sweatpants/sweatshirts/shirts that all coordinate and look FANTASTIC.

So, of course, since I got back into running, I started running even more than I did last year. Last year I only ran about 4 days a week, sometimes 5. I would rest all weekend. Now, since I really do want to run a half marathon by this time next year, I want to make sure I am building up my stamina and ability. I realized I NEEDED more workout clothes. I saw Aeropostale had their new workout line from Live Love Dream and I found about 10 pairs of leggings on sale from them, so I HAD TO HAVE THEM. They were so cute and they had matching shirts, sports bras, and windbreakers. I only really have the leggings and two windbreakers BUT I LOVE THESE LEGGINGS. They are super affordable (they are usually about 15 dollars when they AREN'T on clearance, so imagine the clearance prices!) and they are super comfy! They come in cute colors and they don't ride up when I do Pilates or when I am running, which is a HUGE PEEVE of mine. I am completely obsessed with these leggings and I really want to try the shorts which are made of similar materials.

I used to be a big proponent of leggings are NOT pants but I do have to say that leggings have gotten a LOT more reasonable in the past few years. The biggest reason I am a big fan of the not pants movement is because you ladies who wear leggings do not seem to realize that LEGGINGS ARE SEE THROUGH! I can see your thong through those "pants" that you wear, people! STOP IT.

I have always had a larger bottom, so I never wore leggings as pants. Then I purchased a pair that I tested in the store and they were rather opaque. Even when I would touch my toes you could not see my underwear through them. I still watch what underwear I wear with leggings and I ALWAYS trying to have a shirt that covers my butt when I wear them BUT I HAVE DECIDED I LOVE LEGGINGS AS "PANTS" as long as women wear them correctly. Test them, people! If you bend over and can see your parts or undergarments, I don't care how cute they are, they won't be cute when everyone can see what you wear under them. Just be cautious and aware and buy pairs that cover you.

It should be NO shock to anyone who LOOKS at this blog that I love anchors. My mom showed me a shirt with an anchor on it about 5 or 6 years ago. It had blue and white stripes and I FELL IN LOVE with anchors. This is my dilemma because (you know how it is with anything you love) I love that it is a "trend" because then I can buy more anchor merch...BUT SO CAN EVERYONE ELSE, and all of a sudden that thing you loved that felt special to you becomes everyone's thing. I get very hipster about anchors, and I hate that I do. I don't like to have that "I loved them first/I love them more" attitude, but I have it. Sorry only kinda sorry.

I am proud to say I now have anchor pants, cardigans, jewelry, shoes, bags, belts, and even a tattoo which I have had since last year. To me, an anchor represents not letting something bring me down, and I love that idea.

I have NO idea when this obsession started. I remember having a Hello Kitty backpack in 7th grade and being somewhat made fun of because apparently you can't like cartoons in 7th grade, but of course, two years later in high school, every girl liked Hello Kitty. Whatever you rude bullies.

ANYWAY, I used to have COUNTLESS HK shirts and sweatshirts, but I am over that part of the obsession. I still have SOME HK stuff and I still buy the occasional piece of HK merchandise, but even though I don't buy it, I still freak about about how cute it is when I see  Hello Kitty anything.

Everyone should be obsessed with the show. If you love reading you should love the books, too. I love the idea of princes and princesses. I always have. This series is like fantasy on adult steroids. Battles and dragons and deception...I LOVE IT. I especially love Jon Snow played by the wonderful Kit Harington who was just in Pompeii. Average movie, above average male lead. WAY above average, at least to look at.

Anyway, Game of Thrones is funny and exciting and annoying all in one. Plus, they aren't afraid to kill off  a main character or two (so I really shouldn't get attached to characters, but I do). If you have HBO, watch it. If you don't, rent the seasons. Give it a try. It is long (each episode is a full hour), but the seasons are short. Season 4 is about to start AND I CANNOT WAIT! Winter is coming...

What are YOU obsessed with? Comment below and let me know! I would love for you to get me hooked on something else (:

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tummy Tuesday: Oatmeal Ideas

Lately I have been SUPER obsessed with just plaing Quaker Oats Rolled Oats. While I really like flavored oatmeals, obviously, since I am trying to eat healthier to help me maintain a healthy weight and achieve my Model by May goal, I have switched over to just plain rolled oats and trying to jazz them up myself! Flavored oatmeals can be very high in preservatives or sugars that aren't always the best to be putting in your body.

While the oats by themselves are kinda bland, putting fun additions into the oatmeal can really change the entire dish for the better. I eat this stuff for breakfast and for a snack when I am tempted to eat cake or brownies or something I shouldn't have (I gave up sweets for Lent).

Apples with honey and Oatmeal with Maple breakfast of champions!

Here are some of my FAVORITE ways to eat oatmeal. NOTE: Not all of these options are considered the "cleanest" oatmeals (if you're into only eating clean), but all of them can be done on a low calorie scale if that is what you're looking for. Calories are approximated for the measurements given plus 1/2 cup of dry rolled oats (about 1 cup cooked).

  • Maple Syrup (1 tsp) and brown sugar (1 tsp).  They are each SO sweet that together they create the perfect combo! (190 cals)
  • Peaches (1/2 cup chopped) Make sure YOU DON'T use canned peaches or peaches soaked in syrup. That syrup is more often than not all corn syrup or very sugary. (185 cals)
  • Strawberries (1/4 cup chopped) and Banana (1/2 banana, sliced) (220 cals)
  • Honey (2 tsp) and Cinnamon (1/2 tsp) (190 cals)
  • Apples (1/2 cup chopped) and Cinnamon (1/2 tsp) (200 cals)
  • Peanut Butter (2 TBS) and sugar (white, 1/2 tsp) This is probably one of the WORST ways to eat your oatmeal because 2 TBS of PB is ALL you should really consume in a day. Peanuts are a great source of good fats, but eating too much PB is just as bad for you as eating something unhealthy. Not to mention that some PBs are HIGHLY processed. I eat Simply Jif because there is 33% less sodium and less sugar in the PB than normal peanut butters. Stay away from reduced fat peanut butters, as peanut butter contains GOOD fats, and of course if you reduced ANYTHING good for you it is not really good for you anymore. Because I eat reduced sugar peanut butter, I add the sugar, but this can be omitted. Without it, though, the oatmeal is still rather bland. If you want to reduce the caloric value, only use 1 TBS of PB (350 cals)
  • Peanut Butter (2 TBS) and Banana (1/2 banana, sliced) Again, decrease the amount of peanut butter in the oatmeal to save calories. (480 cals)
I cannot eat chocolate, but I know that chocolate chips (especially dark chocolate chips) can be a really good topping for oatmeal, especially with vanilla yogurt as a part of the recipe as well. Nuts can also be really good as long as you stick to healthy portion sizes. I hear almonds are the best! I also hear that mixing in greek yogurt can be delicious! I also really want to try blueberries in my oatmeal and try to mimic a healthier blueberry muffin flavor! I am really excited to try out new toppings!

What do YOU like in your oatmeal? Let me know!

Guest Post: Trying Something New

Recently, I’ve been trying to find new ways for me to exercise. Because of a back injury, I am somewhat limited in the variety of my exercise routines. I was encouraged to try yoga as a way to start exercising by a family friend, and I am so glad that I started! I always thought that yoga sounded more relaxing than a good way to exercise, but I completely disagree now. While yoga is extremely relaxing, I can definitely feel myself getting stronger and more flexible. I never thought that I would enjoy doing yoga, but it really is a great exercise.

I go to a yoga studio near me and participate in yoga classes. But there are plenty of videos out there to help you get started with yoga! I’ve searched online and found some great beginner’s yoga videos. You should try it too! The stretches feel great and it really does make you feel stronger. Being relaxed and at peace is certainly a big plus too!

So try something new! It doesn’t have to be yoga, but try new things to keep it interesting. Doing the same exercises all the time gets boring. You never know what new exercise you might find and love!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Workout Review Wednesday Friday: The Grimm Workout

Well, here's to another Workout Review Wednesday (oops) Friday! As you may know from previous posts and tweets, I like to watch TV, and I like to do "workouts" while I watch these shows! It keeps me paying attention to the show as well as keeping me active, because there is something you should constantly be doing. This week, I had TWO episodes of Grimm to catch up on, so I looked up a Grimm workout on Pinterest and found one I both loved and hated. I loved it because it kept me moving, but I hated it because it kept me moving.

Grimm is a show about a cop who has an ability to see fairy tale creatures that try to live among humans in disguise. These fairy tale creatures look like humans until they want someone to see them (called Woging where the "w" is pronounced like a "v"), or until The Grimm, Detective Nick Burkhardt, played by David Giuntoli, finds them and tracks them down. Normally, The Grimm is supposed to kill these creatures, but Nick befriends the good and defeats the bad. Of course, there are subplots and other storylines happening, but that is the basic gist for anyone who hasn't seent eh show.

JUST A NOTE about these kinds of workouts: they are different EVERY TIME. Some weeks they are super effective and some weeks they aren't because they are based on what happens on the show! Please keep that in mind before you do these workouts!

So I did the workout to the episodes Revelation and Mommy Dearest, and they were CRAZY! Here is the workout:

For someone who doesn't watch this show, this workout isn't very helpful, but knowing the show, you know these are all things that are VERY LIKELY to happen on the show.

This workout specifically with THOSE TWO EPISODES was out of control. I had to start WRITING OUT what I needed to do so I would remember. I am somewhat of a perfectionist, so I wanted to make sure I did everything I was supposed to.

I also added in 50 jumping jacks every commercial, just as a bonus move. Probably a mistake this round, but during a more tame episode, this is probably a good idea.

Here was my sheet that I used to keep track of everything I was supposed to do...RIDICULOUS!

Overall, I like the workout. It has moves that I hate as well as ones I enjoy, so of course there is an element of torture to the workout (the good kind, though!), but overall I enjoyed doing the workout. I don't think I will do it EVERY time I watch the show, but for days where I feel I have been sitting too much I think this is a great idea! I encourage everyone to look up (or even make up if you have been watching the show enough!) these kinds of workouts so you're never just sitting around watching TV.

OH! So you may have seen on Instagram that I posted a blank sheet that looked like this:

WELL THAT is because I finished a sheet of 50 stickers today. Meaning I have worked out and stuck to my goals for 50 days since I started my journey with this blog. I did start the journey before the blog, but this is still a HUGE accomplishment for me! I AM SO EXCITED! Now for sticker sheet number two! Not sure which I will pick yet (:

Here is my March so far! I am super proud of all the work I have done (:

How have you been doing with your workouts? I am excited to look like a Model by May. (:

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My Rules

I am in SUCH a great mood this week! I am really noticing my body changing for the better, which was what Model by May was all about for me. I really just wanted to see myself change and feel myself change, and that is EXACTLY what has been happening.

For me, the biggest difference has been my diet. Two years ago, I trying biking as my workout, and while I went far, I never felt like I was really getting a workout. On a stationary bike I did, but not out in the sunshine where I wanted to be working out.

Then last year, I chose running as my cardio of choice. I used to look at people who "ran" and think, "Why are you even doing that? Isn't that a little overboard? You just need to be active, not overexert yourself!" Sometimes I even think the same thing about myself now that I run. And I completely get it. Listening to someone talk about running or a race in general can be annoying. It can sometimes seem like bragging, even if that isn't what we mean to do.

We are all just in this to get healthy, and that is why, last year, when I really considered running seriously, and not just for thirty seconds while out on a walk, I decided I needed to change my diet. I've told you before: I gave up chips, fast food, most desserts, and alcohol. I gave up anything that I thought would hinder my performance as a runner.

It has been hard to really keep that promise to myself this year in some ways. Because I was put on dietary restrictions, there are some things I am not allowed to eat, so I replaced those with unhealthy things that I could eat, like low sodium potato chips. While I still have not eaten chips or fries like I used to, I miss the days of last summer when I was so dedicated to running I wouldn't even THINK about putting a potato chip near my mouth. I don't even really like chips that much.

Last year, I made myself a set of hasty rules, such as: Don't eat french fries and Chocolate is only allowed once a week, but that was me trying to be drastic. I did make myself a NEW set of rules this year, and while they are not ALL  perfect nutritionally, they work for me.

Here they are in their entirety:

NOW, don't judge them too harshly! In the coming weeks I am going to go over each rule a little more in depth so you can understand why I made it a "rule" for myself and why it works for me. I would love to hear your own "rules" and what you think about these, as long as, of course, you don't judge me too harshly. I understand I am not a nutritionist and I don't know everything there is to know about diet and nutrition, but these are things I have thought about for myself and they seem to be working (:

Also, just another note:

I am not going to get upset if I "break" a rule. There is no reason to. This is supposed to help my health, including my mental health, not ruin it. (: (Meme from; Image from Disney).

Leave me a comment (: I would love to hear from you!

OH! And I know TODAY was Wednesday, but you can expect  the workout review tomorrow instead.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How I Kicked the Fast Food Habit

One of my favorite shows of all time is Extreme Weight Loss, and it isn't just because Chris Powell, the trainer, is very caring and nice to look at (even though he is). It's because the show itself is really inspirational, even for those who don't need to lose half their body weight in a year.

In one episode in particular, Chris Powell, in an effort to show his new client how bad her diet was, tells her they are going to trade diets for the day. She is going to eat his diet and he is going to eat her unhealthy diet, the one that caused her to gain all her weight in the first place.

While he is eating his huge McDonald's lunch, Chris Powell, who commented  on not feeling well the entire day he was on this diet, begins to vomit profusely, and has to excuse himself for the day. That is the effect fast food can have a on a body that is not used to eating in. In return, if a body is ONLY used to eating fast food, healthy food can have a similar effect on that person because they are not used to eating foods that are good for them. Their body enters a state of detox, and as a result, that once unhealthy person begins to get sick, even though they are eating food that is good for them.

When I saw this episode, even though I new fast food was not good for me, I really began thinking about it. I used to get grilled chicken sandwiches at fast food restaurants, but I knew even those sandwiches were not the best for me. Fast food itself is high in calories and tends to be high in sodium. I also knew fried foods were not good for me, but boneless buffalo wings were MY FAVORITE food. What was I to do?

Last summer, when I really started committing to running almost everyday, I decided I needed to make better choices for myself. I vowed right then and there that if other people could give up these bad foods, so could I.

Now, after having been sick and being put on this low sodium diet, I have actually had people say to me, "You're so lucky the doctor told you you can't eat those foods! I can't stop! If someone told ME I couldn't eat them, I would be grateful."

What people don't understand is I initially made the choice for myself. I stopped eating fast food because I wanted to stop for myself. I stopped eating fried food because it was something I wanted to do for me.

The first step to getting healthy is choosing to yourself. Even if someone says you can't have it, if you really want it you won't change a thing. You have to find the motivation within yourself, and I KNOW you can do it. If you want this for yourself, you can CHOOSE this for yourself. As  always I am here to support anyone who wants to make this choice. Of course, I am not going to tell anyone they HAVE to make this choice. I am in no place to judge anyone for their eating habits because I still have some bad ones myself, and I cannot make every healthy choice because there are plenty of things I cannot eat because it will hurt me, even though they would normally be a healthy choice.


If you want to do something, you don't have to start at the beginning of the year, month, or week. You can start tomorrow at 6 AM, or you can start right now. It's up to you! (:

A perfect example of getting healthy when you choose is one of the greatest women I have ever met, Rachael. She has her own blog, The Rachael Way, which you NEED to check out RIGHT THIS SECOND please!

Image from

Rachael is one of my sorority sisters and someone I believe every woman could learn from. She, too, has recently made the choice to commit to getting healthy! Here's what she has to say:

"After turning 21, my health kind of took a turn for the worse.  I wasn't taking care of myself or my body, and truly was feeling bad about it!  I decided that nothing was going to change unless I truly decided that I was ready to change.  I've been meal prepping, counting calories, working out and just taking care of myself.  And you know what?  I've never felt better!"

A little change can make a HUGE difference, even if you cannot see it at first. I have since even gotten to chat with Rachael when I went back to visit and it sounds like she is happier and healthier, just from making a few small changes! She is proof that if you really want to change, nothing can stop you!

Let me know what changes YOU have been making, and make sure you give The Rachael Way a visit! Just reading what Rachael has to say I KNOW you will love her as much as I do!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Calories versus Healthy

In this world we live in, it is REALLY hard to tell what is really healthy for us. When you're a kid, you're told to eat your fruits and veggies and drink your milk so your body will grow up strong. Now, as adults, we make our own choices. Some people give up certain fruits and veggies because of how the crops are treated. Some of us are trading cow's milk for soy and almond alternatives to avoid hormones or calories.

So what IS healthy? What should we ACTUALLY be eating? There are so many factors nowadays to consider. What one person deems as healthy someone else may condemn, and the research can be so conflicting based on who conducted it and if they were being compensated or not.

I myself am REALLY struggling with this right now as I am trying to eat healthier. My cousin actually started eating only whole and healthful foods a year or two ago, and it is a struggle. It can be hard to figure out what is really good in this world when not all the ingredients are understandable or listed like they should be.

And then something that is "healthy", such as an apple, can also be deemed "unhealthy" because of the sugars. Yet the skin is high in fiber, and fiber is supposed to be healthy!

There is no easy answer for this. I am not a nutritionist. I am not a doctor. I cannot say what is best for everyone, and neither can they. I hear all the time that nuts are healthy and a great source of good fats, but I cannot eat them because they are high in copper, which my body cannot process. If I eat nuts, it could be toxic for me. What is generally healthy for one person may not be healthy for someone else.

And then there is the fact that calories also factor in. A lot of us are trying out low calorie diets because if we take in too many calories it is common knowledge that you could potentially gain weight. Yet some low cal foods, like Diet Coke or Rice Krispie Treats (only 90 cals for one treat! YUM!), are actually unhealthy because of the additives and substitutes they use. So, do we choose low cal and risk poor nutrition, or do we eat our fruits and risk the sugars?

I know I cannot give an answer. There is no way. Even if I did my own research, there will ALWAYS be someone who refutes the findings or has their own data to prove otherwise. The best thing to do is figure out what works for YOU. You are the only person (along with your doctor) who knows what is best for you. Yes, reading and research can help, but even then you are the only one who knows what works for your unique body type. You know what you can and cannot do without. Some people are willing to let themselves have a treat, so they will let themselves eat one small serving of Cheetos a week, even though they are so processed they are practically all chemicals. Some people will refuse to touch anything with an additive they cannot pronounce or find in nature. Even more, some people won't touch meat or animal product altogether.

This is why it is SO IMPORTANT to have a talk with your doctor about your own fitness and health. Keep the channels open. Figure out what you want from life and stick with that. I could never cut out cheesecake completely from my life. EVER. I will let myself have it if I want it, but in moderation. I love my blog, and I love telling you what I have found to work or be true or what I believe, but my blog is my opinion. It is my hobby. Nothing I say is law (unless I quote a law, I guess) and you can read my blog and think I am nuts or hate what I have to say, but that is YOUR choice to make.

YOU are your own person. YOU are your own motivation. YOU are your biggest competition. YOU are who matters. As soon as you see that, you will be so much happier and possibly more committed to your own health/fitness journey.

But hey, I hope you stick around for mine and help ME out because I could use all the help I can get (:
Much love, guys! Keep up the great work!

Non Fit Post: My Obsessions Part 1

I realized lately that there are a lot of things that I could honestly say I am obsessed with, mainly because I keep buying them or wearing them or talking about them. I am going to add this complete list to the about me page in the top navigation, but I wanted to explain each of my obsessions so you get to know me a little better.

I plan on having some posts that aren't 100% fitness related, just so you don't feel like I am preaching at you or anything. I know how it can feel when someone keeps shoving fitness and health tip at you (even if that is the point of my blog). I hope you connect with me better getting to know about me on a more than just fitness level.

SO HERE THEY ARE. Some of my obsessions! As you can see, I plan on having more than one of these obsessions posts, as I know myself and I know I will discover something else that will become an obsession of mine.

Any of the "obsessions" listed below are based on MY OWN opinions 100%. I was not compensated for anything I have said. I am not trying to tell you what or what not to buy, just what I have discovered.

I was shopping at Sears last week, and I never shop there. That is kind of a lie because every once in a while I do, and I tend to actually find something pretty decent! This time, I was looking through the clearance rack and I found cheap workout gear.

 Now I know you have figured out by now from just visiting my blog that I love to run and exercise and try to stay fit. When I find cheap workout clothes, I get obsessive. These clothes fit SO WELL. In fact, I ran in those capris today! And I love how cute that workout top is! I was impressed by how comfy these clothes were and how affordable. New obsession.

I have had two lipsticks since my freshman year of college. I chose them because they were hot pink and youthful and I really wanted to see what lipstick was like. I chose Wet and Wild lipsticks because they were cheap, but I recently wanted to try lipsticks again in different shades.

 I started with Revlon's new tinted "balms" because they were supposed to be moisturizing. I got one in the shimmer shades and one in the matte shades. I really like the colors I chose (Coquette and Showy), but they did not moisturize like I expected them to. I also tried NYX Butter Lipstick and NYX Matte Lipstick. The butter lipstick (in Gumdrop) wasn't too bad, moisture-wise, but I could still feel the tightness that comes with lipstick. I have  the matte lipstick (in Hippie Chic) and it isn't drying, but it is more of a frosty pink than an opaque coral like I wanted it to be.

Next I tried Revlon Ultimate Suede in Private Viewing, which is a sparkly nude. I wanted it, again, to be a little more opaque, but at least it was rather moisturizing. Even though I do like all of these lipsticks, the one I was most impressed with and want MORE MORE More of is Maybelline's Color Sensational. I had never tried a red before and I got really lucky with the fact that I chose a great shade for me (in Are You Red-dy). They are SO RIGHT on the commercial. It really moisturizes like a balm, but looks like a lipstick. PLUS it stayed on and pretty much didn't budge, even though I was licking my lips and drinking water. I WANT MORE OF THESE LIPSTICKS. It seems that Maybelline is just my costmetic company of choice because they make my favorite mascaras as well.

Um, you all knew this. I don't have to elaborate. But some of my favorite things from them? Their sports bras, VSX Sport Exercise Pants in ALL CUTS AND STYLES, and their bathing suits. Seriously. Their sports stuff is a cut above. It's expensive, but their running leggings are SUPER COMFY and they don't ride up like PINK Yoga Pants tend to. Seriously. Invest in it.

I first fell in love with Asics when I bought their cheerleading shoes (which I found at TJMaxx, by the way. I haven't had a pair in YEARS so when I found them I jumped on them). I also chose them to be my running shoe of choice, not just because they are bright and AWESOME! (Seriously! LOOK AT THEM), but because they are also supportive and comfy. As much as Nike shoes look nice, I really like my Asics.

My last entry for this round of obsessions are all of my Icing Accessories. They are cheap, but they add up fast. I like the variety they provide! SO CUTE! These are some of my favorites. 

What are YOU obsessed with? What should I look into? I love when other people spark my obsessions. (: Leave me a comment below!

Of course some of those accessories are anchors! (:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Workout Review Wednesday: FitSugar VS Workout

So on my Pinterest I have a page called "I'm Going to Try That" which is a list of DIY projects that I want to try as well as workouts I want to try. You can follow me and see what workouts I plan on trying there!

For my first Review from my Pinterest board, I decided to look at a cardio routine because my legs are still a little sore from my 5K/10K training with my fit buddy Amber. I wanted to still do cardio, but give my legs a rest so I didn't over do it and hurt them. Remember: sore is good because it means it's working; pain is BAD because it means you're hurt! And yes, that isn't an exact science, but you KNOW when your body is in distress. If it hurts, take a rest day!

I chose, then, the FitSugar (by POPSugar) "fat-blasting" Victoria's Secret Circuit workout. What was appealing about it is that it's only 10 minutes, which ANYONE can easily fit into their day, and when "fat-blasting" is listed as one of the benefits, it sounds like a good idea to me! You also know that I LOVE Victoria's Secret and The Angels, so the title had some personal appeal for me.

Now, we all know that fat won't be blasted in one workout in one day, but I wanted to give the workout a try and see if it feels as good as other kinds of cardio. As you may know, I LOVED the 4 one song workouts I tried (click the link to see the review and try them for yourself!), so I was using that feeling to gauge how much I would enjoy this workout. In fact. I did it while I was watching a movie to see if it was really easily to work into a daily routine without too much to do about it.

Here is the video if you wish to try it for yourself:

I watched the video and THEN did it, so I would be able to multitask and do this workout while doing other things, such as watching TV or a movie or in between other tasks.

This workout is made up of 5 one minute moves and 5 rep moves. You do five of these moves, as many as you can for 1 minute each, and the other moves you do 25 reps each, some on alternating legs.

I like the fact that this is only ten minutes. The minute moves can even be done back to back for a 5 minute cardio workout if you'd rather, and save the 5 rep moves for later or another time.

I did find myself breathing a little heavier after each 1 minute move, but I really didn't feel like I go any cardio in. Of course, you know me, so I am going to try this workout again until I get it to work effectively for where I am in my fitness journey. I am either going to do these minute moves back to back for two or three circuits, or I may do this ten minute workout as is, but add in 10 burpees after every move.

YOU ALL KNOW I HATE BURPEES, but I think that burpees may help me feel like I got a workout. PLUS if I do 10 after EACH MOVE, that is about 100 BURPEES by the end of the workout, which you KNOW is a workout in itself!

Of course, the rep moves are a nice change of pace for anyone who feels the cardio is a little hard or if they feel it takes a little out of them. Still, I felt the rep moves that were chosen were not effective enough for me, personally. I LOVE plie squats, but I ALWAYS do them with a 10 lb kettlebell when I do them, because that feels more effective to me.

Again, I think I would need to alter even the rep moves to make them feel worthwhile. I think I would do at least 35 of each, personally. Maybe even 50. And of COURSE add those burpees in afterwards!

Overall, I think this is a nice idea for a workout, and I don't doubt that it works for some, but I won't be trading it in for my 5 or 10K training any time soon!

Did you do the workout? What did YOU think? Comment below and let me know! (:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tummy Tuesday! RECIPE! Italian Chicken with Pasta And Broccoli

Sooooooo, I decided that EVERY Tuesday I would celebrate by calling it TUMMY TUESDAY and posting a delicious recipe for you! While possibly something you have "seen" before these recipes are all made by me unless otherwise stated. My recipes are all low sodium and low calorie, unless otherwise noted. I try my best to stick to around 500-650 cals per meal when I make a recipe. This can always be altered by how MUCH you eat, so make sure you're sticking to the serving sizes if you want my calorie and sodium counts.

I thought I would debut with a recipe my friend Heather and I got together and made. It is Italian Herb Chicken served with Pasta in Homemade Tomato and Pepper Sauce with Broccoli. Again, if you wish to omit something from your recipe, that is understandable, especially for this one. I KNOW a lot of people are against pasta when you're trying to "eat healthy" but in MODERATION pasta is a way to get your necessary daily intake of the carbohydrates you need! Just stick to WHOLE WHEAT PASTA like in this recipe and you'll be fine!

Just a side note, some whole wheat pastas look like white pasta after they are cooked, just like this one. It depends on the type of pasta and the brand you're using.

Here is your shopping list:
  • ExtraVirgin Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Garlic (spices AND fresh)
  • Oregano
  • Basil Leaves (spices or fresh)
  • Sage
  • Rosemary (spices or fresh)
  • Marjoram
  • Black Pepper
  • Parsley
  • 2 White Meat Chicken Breasts (about 5-6 oz each)
  • Vidalia Onions (1 or 2)
  • Assorted peppers (red, orange and yellow-variety for color)
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Organic Whole Wheat Penne Pasta
  • Smart Balance Low Sodium Butter Spread
  • Broccoli (I always use Steamfresh Steam in a Bag frozen veggies when I am making a meal with more than one side, but you could also steam your own broccoli if you wish) 
For your cooking equipment, you'll need:
  • A non-stick pan
  • A 9x13 glass casserole pan
  • A blender or food processor
  • Large pot for boiling pasta
  • Colander
Start by putting olive oil at the bottom of your pan and  glass casserole pan. I used about a half tablespoon in each to start. I just make sure there is enough to coat each chicken in the non-stick pan, and just enough to make sure the chicken won't stick to the bottom of the glass pan. If you need a little more, add just a little more. Preheat your oven to about 375 degrees.

Start with the chicken. Turn the stove on HIGH, then, as the pan is warming up, put your chicken breasts in the pan and swirl them around on each side to coat them with the olive oil. This is so the spices stick on both sides. You can always just season one side, but I am a flavor gal and I like seasoning on both sides.

After your chicken is coated in olive oil, season both sides with your dried or fresh herbs. The herbs I listed above are all listed in Italian Seasoning Herb Mixes. Usually these also have no salt in them, so if you don't want all the separate herbs, you can buy Italian Seasoning instead, but I like to add more of some spices than others, so I put each of them on separately.

Coat both sides with seasonings. At the point, you should begin to hear the oil sizzling a bit, which is exactly what you want. We are going to sear the seasonings onto the chicken. Leave each seasoned side of the chicken cooking in the pan for about 3 minutes on each side, or until you see the chicken beginning to turn white on its sides. Then flip the chicken to the other side.

While the chicken is searing, fill a large pot with HOT water and begin to bring it to a boil. To keep the recipe low sodium, do NOT put salt in the water, even though it makes the water boil faster. Check the kind of pasta you're using to see the ratio of water to pasta needed to cook it correctly. Let it boil while you watch the chicken.

When you add in the pasta, make sure you continue to watch it and stir it so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. Watch the timer and make sure you cook it for the recommended amount of time. Either cook the pasta until al dente which is firm, but cooked or until soft, however you prefer your pasta. 

When each side of the chicken breasts are seared, place them next to each other (but not touching, of course!) into the glass casserole and then into the oven. You can do one of two things at this point. Usually, I cook the chicken on one side for 15 minutes, then, after 15 minutes I take it out and flip each breast to the other side and cook it for another 15-20 minutes, or until you see the oil at the bottom of the pan mix with the juice from the chicken. Chicken should be white inside when cooked and should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

If you don't want to take your chicken out and flip it, put it in for 30-40 minutes. When you take the chicken out, check the temperature with a probe thermometer.

While the chicken is baking, put another half tablespoon of olive oil into the bottom of the non-stick pan and bring the heat down to LOW. Cut up one red pepper, one onion, and one yellow or orange pepper. I have found that red peppers taste differently than yellow and orange peppers, but the latter two tend to taste the same, so I usually only use one in a recipe. If you really like peppers or onions, though, feel free to add more of each.

Put the peppers and onions in the pan, but reserve a little of each for the tomato sauce. Move the peppers and onions around to coat them in the oil to saute them and soften them up. You want them brown and soft but not burned. Add a little pepper and fresh garlic. You can either add a clove or two (the BULB is the entire piece of garlic. A CLOVE is one SECTION of that bulb), or you can by the pre-minced garlic in a jar and add  two teaspoons to the pan. If you do not like garlic very much, it can be omitted, but I love garlic, so I put in a good amount.

Initially when you put the veggies in, they may start sizzling and cooking fast because the pan was on such a high heat, even though you switched the heat to LOW. Once the peppers and onions stop sizzling, put the heat back up to 3-5 (or low-medium if you don't have numbers on your stove) to keep the veggies cooking.

Keep an eye on your pasta! Make sure you continue mixing it! (:

Take your cherry tomatoes and quarter 5-10 of them, depending on how much you  like tomatoes. This sauce is going to be a little runnier than you are used to, so if you don't like that as a consistency, just add your quartered cherry tomatoes to your peppers and onions mixture in the pan. Take your leftover peppers and onions and put them into the blender, food processor with two tablespoons of olive oil, a tablespoon of Balsamic vinegar, pepper, and garlic (fresh or powder). I also add a little fresh basil, but that is completely optional.

 Pulse it until it is the consistency you like. If you want it to be a chunkier tomato sauce, don't let the onions and peppers get too small. If you pulse it enough, you can juice the tomatoes and peppers and it will be a rather runny sauce.

When the sauce is how you like it, pour it into the pan with the peppers and onions and let it simmer. Basically, after you pour the sauce in, make sure it comes to a low boil and let it bubble there for a little bit with the peppers and onions. Continue to mix the peppers, onions and sauce together to keep it from burning.

When the pasta is done, strain it in the colander and then rinse it. Dump it into the pan with the sauce, peppers, and onions and make sure it is coated in the sauce and mixed in well.

Pasta before fully mixed

When there is about 5 minutes left on the chicken, put your Steamfresh Broccoli into the microwave. When it is done cooking, put it in a serving bowl and mix in a tablespoon of Smart Balance Spread to give it a little bit of a salty taste.

When the chicken is done cooking, take it out, let it cool for a few minutes, then plate and serve! I use 6 oz breasts because I find them to bake better and be more flavorful, but please note that a serving of chicken is actually about 3 oz, so you are getting TWO servings of chicken for this meal. For the pasta, a serving is about 1/4 of a cup or 2 oz. Broccoli is about 1 cup.

Yum! Italian Chicken, Pasta, and Broccoli

Here are your ESTIMATED sodium/calorie counts based on MY serving sizes. You can always increase/decrease them for your own purposes:
  • 6 oz chicken w/herbs: 290 cals, 185 mg sodium
  • 1 cup pasta w/tomato sauce and veggies: (if you get a mix of sauce/pasta/peppers in about equal parts depending on how much pasta you used and how small you chopped your veggies): about 250 cals, about 30 mg sodium
  • 1/2 cup broccoli w/ "butter": 45 cals, 15 mg sodium
  • TOTALS: Approx.  585 cals, 450 mg sodium
PLEASE NOTE: These are estimates based on MY serving sizes and research, as well as how I cooked them. Here are some ways you can cut down on calories if you wish to lower the amount:
  •  Don't use as much olive oil. Be very precise about how much you use and only use it when necessary. Use Pam cooking spray instead if you do not wish to use oil at the bottom of the casserole or pan when sauteing the veggies.  A little should still be used to coat the chicken to make the herbs stick and to  the chicken and it should NOT be omitted from the tomato sauce.
  • Use smaller chicken breasts or eat only half of a 6 oz breast. I was instructed to eat more protein at each meal, so I take in more lean proteins when I can. My only concern with smaller chicken breasts is a higher potential to burn or dry out, so times and methods of cooking would need to be altered.
  • Have a smaller serving size of pasta or omit it altogether. Boil the broccoli instead and mix that in with the peppers and onions and have that as your side dish.
  • Omit the tomato sauce, since a large portion of it is oil (even if it is supposedly "good" oil).
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! Please comment below for other helpful tips or to tell me how this recipe goes for you! I'd LOVE to help you out! (:

Guest Post: How Can a Busy Girl Get Moving?

Hey everyone! It's Alex again! How did everybody do last week with keeping moving?? I realized I need to move more. I thought I was doing okay, but I really gotta work on hitting that 10,000 step mark. It's hard for me though because I work full time. It's hard to find time to work out when you work 40 hours a week!!

If you're anything like me, when you get home from work, the last thing you want to do is work out. I just wanna eat dinner and then relax.  So here are a few tips I've tried or some I've heard from others that may help:

  1.  If you want to go to the gym after work, being clothes with you to work. If I come home first to change, I lose my Motivation to go to the gym. If I'm already out and I don't have an excuse to go home, I'm more likely to go.
  2. Find short exercises to do at home while you watch TV. Or just do a few exercises during commercials, like jogging in place or doing a few push-ups. Just do something! I absolutely hate commercials so this is one I like to do to pass the time.
  3. Try doing a workout while watching a movie. I've done this before while watching Harry Potter movies. I found a great one for these movies on Pinterest, similar to the Oscars workout Stephanie posted this week. Find one for your favorite movie. Or make one up to share with others!

    Do you have any other suggestions? Comment below! We love to hear them. And as always, have fun getting healthy!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Non fit Post: Ash Wednesday and Lent

Every year I have mixed feelings about Lent. I am going to be honest, I do not find it fun at all, but I understand it is a time of sacrifice. Again, this year, I have my mixed feelings about it, solely because it may or may not be more difficult for me this year.

Usually, I give up some kind of snack food for Lent. Last year was Chipotle, and I actually think it really helped me. I stopped craving it and ever since I have not been as obsessive about it as I once was. This year, though, since my diagnosis, there are already a lot of things that are off limits for me to eat.

Even so, I chose to give up dessert because it was something my nutritionist said I could actually eat and to eat what I could of it, because it was usually low in sodium and, as long as it didn't contain nuts or chocolate, it might be good for me to have some sweets to lift my mood.

I am giving it up, though, because it has become an obsession for me. I get dessert at almost every restaurant when I used to skip it. It will be hard, but I know I can do it!

I also know this year is going to be a challenge for me because of not eating meat on Fridays. Last year, I actually really liked Lent because it gave me an excuse to cook shrimp, a food I really enjoy. I also really took to liking other kinds of fish last year, such as salmon and tilapia, so I was really excited to try to eat fish more. This year, I found out shellfish is no longer something I can eat, so again it makes it hard.

I do look at last Lent as a blessing, though. Because I wanted to begin eating healthier and a larger variety of foods last year, I decided to try other fish that I otherwise would not have. At least I can eat fish (except salmon) this year because I discovered I actually really liked it.

Either way, I am really hoping for a good Lent that will bring me back to my faith (:

Do you celebrate Lent? Whether you do or not, are you giving something up? PLEASE SHARE! I love to hear new ideas!

(Last year, along with giving up Chipotle, I also said I would write down my blessings each day, hence my positivity journal that I mention on my resolutions page.I hope to start journaling like that again this Lent.)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Aaaand, I am snacking

I don't know about you, but I have this problem where I tend to get really hungry around once a month for a couple of days and it is a huge problem for me. It makes me feel out of control, like I can't help but overindulge and snack way too much.

When I was at school, it was fine because I just wouldn't buy snacks and I wouldn't keep junk food in my apartment, so I never snacked. Now, at home, I don't want to ask my parents to stop buying snacks. it is their house. They are allowed to have whatever they want in their house.

So, here is what I have found when it comes to snacking. I talked a little bit about this when I talked about binging, but this is different. I am talking about snacking in general, even when you don't overeat. Snacking is actually supposed to be good for you. Supposedly, having about 5-6 small meals a day revs your metabolism. By constantly having your body in a state of digestion, it keeps your body burning calories.

For me, though, this is a problem. I have a medication I have to take on an empty stomach. When I first started running last summer, I would have small meals all day. I thought it really did help me. It kept me from overeating because I felt constantly satisfied. I really think snacking is a good idea if you do it right.

If you're like me, and you have a medicine that has to be taken on an empty stomach, try getting up earlier so you can start and finish your medicine earlier. Or, if you really don't want to get up earlier, try to hold out before bed. Now, I switched my schedule to later in the day, so I take my last pill right before bed. By waiting, I have noticed I am able to stop eating earlier because we have all heard that eating right before bed is worse for us than not snacking all day.

The key to snacking correctly is choosing the right snacks. ALWAYS choose healthy snacks. Try to only choose fruit earlier in the day (before dinner) so you have all day to process the sugars. Try to choose snacks/small meals that are well-balanced so you avoid cravings. If you crave something sweet, but you know you're going to want something salty, too, try something with peanut butter and honey so you not only get good fats and filling protein, but you get a little salty and a little sweet. Honey and PB make a great apple dip.

If you space out your snacks/small meals every three to four hours, you're more likely to feel satisfied, so you avoid snacking between these other periods. For some people, it works best to plan out their meal times, so they know when they are going to eat so they have that time to look forward to. They also know what they are going to eat and when so they can get their taste buds oriented to what they are about to eat, so they can begin craving that food instead of something else that would cause them to snack unhealthily.

For me, the easiest thing to do is give myself little bits here and there when I don't have to watch my medicine schedule. If I want something sweet, I take a handful of Honey Nut Cheerios and snack on it. I NEVER eat out of the box and I NEVER leave the box or bag lying around in an easy to access place. Both are sure ways to over snack.

Of course, if you have the willpower, sometimes NOT snacking is the best. If you KNOW you're going to overeat and beat yourself up about it, try to do something else, like take a walk, to distract yourself.

Now, I am going to try to follow my own advice, even though I know I am going to continue craving snacks ALL DAY no matter how full I am.

What healthy snacks do you like? I need some new suggestions!
Or, what unhealthy snacks can't you live without? (I know we should all eat healthy but every once in a while I need to break open a pack of poptarts!) Maybe we can come up with healthy alternatives together! Let me know! (:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Workout Review Wednesday: #OscarsWorkoutGame

I am sure, like many Americans, I sat and watched and cheered during The Academy Awards this past Sunday. I am sure like EVERY Disney fan EVERYWHERE I went NUTS when Disney's Frozen and Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez won for "Let It Go", one of the BEST songs in a Disney movie, ever PERIOD (thanks in part to Idina Menzel's gorgeous voice and serious vocal chops!).

SO, I tweeted right before the show started, because I could already feel the snack binge coming on, that I really wanted someone to find me an Oscars workout. Well, ask AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE because only a few seconds after I tweeted the workout image was tweeted.

Naturally I had to do the WHOLE THING from beginning to end. I live tweeted the Oscars and the workout. It was a blast! Here is the workout for anyone who may not have seen it or participated:

Now, I really liked the workout in general. It not only squelched my snack cravings (thank goodness), but it kept me active and off my butt for those 4 hours (YES FOUR! It went over by an hour!).

I really liked the moves that were chosen for the workout, especially the plank! I think they KNEW Gravity was going to kick some serious butt because planks are a GREAT exercise to do for nice, flat abs. I think we did 6 or more last night!

I also REALLY liked the idea of jogging in place during the musical numbers. There were two numbers I didn't count on ("Over the Rainbow" performed by P!nk and "Wing Beneath my Wings" performed by Bette Midler), so there were two more times I had to jog in place that I didn't plan for ahead of time. I DID run during one of the commercials instead, though, because I wanted to WATCH Idina CRUSH "Let it Go" on stage! It was also really funny because Ellen actually mentioned every time she changed, even one time pointing out, "I put on a scarf" causing all the celebs to laugh...I don't think  they realized this meant we had to do a wall sit. I think Eleen KNEW this workout was going on...

The only move I didn't like was the reverse curtsy lunges for thanking someone in their own category, so I chose to do regular curtsy lunges instead because I felt they did more for me.

ANYWAY, overall, I LOVED this workout! My mama did it with me the WHOLE time, so I give her a lot of credit. I really wish we could do it again because it was a good one, but the Oscars are always different each year, so there is no repeating this one! Maybe, if you really want to do this workout again, you can find somewhere where someone listed all the reps that were done over the course of the night so you can recreate the workout.

This actually inspired my mom to say that she really wanted to do more workouts like this while we watch certain TV shows together, so I am SUPER proud of her (:

Did YOU do the workout? Let me know how you did! (:

Monday, March 3, 2014

Model by May: 5K training

You who read often KNOW that I am really trying to get back into being active, and that is why I am blogging and researching. I used to run EVERYDAY last summer and early autumn, and I really want to get back to that by spring!

My fit buddy Amber invited me to train with her for the 5K Run for God her church does every year. I will make sure I link it in the future as I progress in the training so you can see all that I am doing and what it is all about!

I am SO blessed to have a friend like her. She knew I really wanted to run again, so she invited me to run it with her. This is one of the shirts I really want. It is something you don't really think about unless you think about the people who can't run or until the ability is taken from you, even for just a little bit. Order yours here.

We had our first "training" session yesterday morning.

FIRST OF ALL, I LOVE that it was in the morning because it forced me to get to bed early and get up early, which you know is one of my 12 "resolutions" for 2014.

Not only that, but running with someone else really held me accountable. It MADE me get up and run. Even though I have been doing really well with getting up and doing my intervals each morning, it feels better to have someone there pushing me to be even better.

I am SO excited for upcoming training sessions! Running is something I LOVE to do, and I cannot wait to do it more! We are not only training for a 5K, but there is also a 10K later in the year. I KNOW I can do the 5K (which is about 3 miles). I used to run 3 miles every day in summer with no issues. The challenge is going to be the 10K, which excites me. I like being challenged!

Stay with me, folks! I really hope to continue to progress so I feel that the 10K is a challenge, but not one I cannot overcome.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Guest Post: Keep Moving Every Day

Hi everyone! My name is Alex and I will be the guest blogger on Anchor Angel. My posts will be a little different than Stephanie’s, but hopefully just as helpful!

I was really excited when Stephanie asked me to help her with her blog, because I really think that this will help me stay motivated and be held accountable for keeping myself healthy.

My health journey is going to be a very different than Stephanie’s. I am so proud of her for all of the changes she has made in her life to be healthier, but I have to do things differently. I am currently recovering from a back injury and cannot do everything that she does. So my posts will probably be much simpler.

One idea I recommend is to start keeping track of the number of steps you take in a day. I started doing this last summer, and it really made me aware of how much I move in a day. It made me aware that I was sitting too much and that I needed to get up and move around more. I recently got out of this habit when I lost my pedometer, but I found it again! So my goal this week is to reach 10,000 steps at least 5 days (that is the recommended amount of steps everyone should walk every day). I know I may not make it every day and I may have to work up to it. But at least I can be more aware of keeping active throughout the day.

Hopefully I’ll have more exciting posts for you guys in the future. Have fun being healthy!