Friday, January 27, 2012

Thrive on Life

Happy Friday everybody!

I'm currently in the middle of deciding whether I want to go to two group fitness classes today or one. I should probably take it easy but I have this thing where if I take it easy I feel like I'm lazy. Can you relate?

Besides making important decisions such as that, I wanted to use today's blog post to talk about a book I recently read. You may have heard about it.

Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life

His website is here.

The blurb on his website is as such:

The first and only comprehensive nutrition book written for the vegan athlete. Thrive is a long-term eating plan that will help you develop a lean body, sharp mind, and everlasting energy, whether you’re a professional athlete or simply looking to boost your physical and mental health. One of the few professional athletes on an entirely plant-based diet, Brendan researched and developed this easy-to-follow program to enhance his performance as an elite endurance athlete. Brendan clearly describes why it’s easier for the body to utilize nutrient-rich foods in their natural state than refined, processed foods and how to choose nutritionally efficient, stress-busting whole foods to maximize energy and health. And because plant-based foods are more environmentally friendly to produce, you’ll also help the planet while improving your personal health.

Let me preface this by saying that I am NOT a vegan. I have nothing against the lifestyle or anything like that, but I haven't really thought that much about becoming one. I was interested in reading this because A) I'm a nerd and like to read about stuff like this and B) A LOT of blogs I read had been talking about it and I wanted to see what the fuss was all about.

I trust that this system works because this guy is a professional Ironman Triathlete. And that is superimpressive to me. The first couple of chapters describe how the diet actually works and some of the foods that are included in the diet. 

The absence of healthy food in the diet is a form of stress.
While I was reading this book, I found myself interrupting my boyfriend's game of Madden to tell him a new fact I just learned from the book. So it certainly opened my eyes and my interest.

He then goes on to provide a bunch of recipes and a twelve week meal plan that follows the Thrive Diet. I was super intimidated by some of the ingredients, but perhaps eventually I can throw some into my diet. I think one thing that is really great about the book is that Brazier says that you can NOT just throw yourself into it, you have to ease into this, just as you would any other big life change.

I would definitely recommend it if you want an interesting read and some ideas to try out. I can't exactly preach about how effective and how awesome it is because I certainly don't know myself. 

So that's just my two cents about it! Perhaps later I'll come back with a meal I tried or something like that.

Some Food for Thought

Don't worry, be happy. :)
Happy Friday! :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pick Me Up

Life keeps getting in the way! In a good way, but still in the way of me blogging. I'm positive a million readers are not losing their minds because of it, but it bothers me when I just leave things.

So hello, Thursday morning, meet my blog. I'm stealing an idea from Ali on the Run today because I feel like I need a little Thursday pick me up.

It's called Thankful Things Thursday and I just want to get them out. :)

  • First of all, I am thankful that while writing the few sentences before this, I had the realization that it was, indeed, Thursday. Already. What?
  • I am thankful for dancing. I feel like I'm always thankful for dancing. But that makes sense, seeing as I want to be involved with it for the rest of my life. You know. Might be important for me to love it.


  • My apartment is pretty awesome. Living in Center City is easily making my day each and every day. The trek to and from school just makes me happy, for some reason. Even you, creepy guy(s) leering at me on the subway, can't change this.
  • Anatomy. I know. What? But I love going to this class every Tuesday/Thursday and learning cool stuff. So sue me. I'm glad I'm in the process of changing my major. Speaking of...

  • I'm glad I ordered my books to become certified for personal training. Maybe I can actually get a job now. You know. Maybe. :)
  • I love wearing bright colors in the middle of winter when everybody else is wearing black. Ha-ha, I'm having a funner day than you. 
See how bright these are? Imagine them on clothes. (Tumblr)

  • Endorphins. Always.
  • And finally, I'm thankful for my Chinese-food dinner date. Sometimes you just need some Temple Garden. What can you do? 
This is actually hysterical.

I really do have an exciting life that I love to pieces. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in small problems and hard to keep track of the great things. <3

Thursday, January 19, 2012

First Days are Awesome

Oh, a first day of school post? Do you not like these? Because I like these a lot. Except this time I don't have a cute roommate picture to share. I do, however, have a life plan level of excitement. So that's FINALLY good in the world.


Psych as a Social Science: Okay so the plan was to take this in Honors because I had heard it was a fun class! Awesome, right? Yes, except for when they e-mail you the day before classes start telling you that your class was cancelled. So I'm in the regular one now. And it's a big lecture. And blah. But hopefully it will be interesting! I always love me some psychology.

Theater History II: Lots of plays to read! This is a super discussion based class helping me finish my major/minor/whatever I'm doing with theater. Lots of reading and writing but what can you do? I'll get through it. Especially because I have a lovely sitter-next-to-er.

Perhaps we will sit like this. Our friends will not be surprised.

Intro to Kinesiology: OOF. Obviously this is an introduction class. I'm a junior that no longer needs to learn how the university operates or how to write a research paper. BLAH. WHATEVER. Boring hour of my life. But it is leading me to a super exciting career. So I'm just going to have to suck it up.

Anatomy & Physiology: OH MY GOSH I AM SUCH A NERD. I love this class and my professor already. I just take notes about interesting things he says and then go running home to shout them at/annoy spread the excitement to Paul. I'm eating it up. Love it. AH!

Counseling Techniques: First of all, my professor for this class is really awesome as well. And the topics seem so interesting so basically I'm pretty pumped. He said it was a very hands-on class and I like that a lot. He also knows that dancers wear A LOT of socks and dress a little crazily. I respect those observations and cannot deny them.

LOOK AT OUR CRAZINESS. Like my socks and purple booty shorts. Nice.

So. It's going to be a long semester with a lot of work. But HOPEFULLY I like them more than any class I took in Rome except Italian certain classes I thought I was going to like last semester.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Lesson From Dancing

So anybody that has spoken to me for more than two seconds knows that I am head over heals in love with dance. The number one reason I am excited for school to start up again is my dance team. I won't shower you with another picture of them, but you've seen them before if you've read my blog at all. So when I was asked to help choreograph with one of my girls last night I absolutely said yes.

So much love. :)

So I trekked over to the studio (have I mentioned how much I am in love with Philadelphia?) super excited and ready to go.

And then I got really nervous.

I haven't danced in forever, what if I suck something awful? I totally lost most of my flexibility, I cannot see this going well. I can't choreograph! Why did I offer to help? I suck. Blah. Blah.

Not the best thoughts in the world to be thinking. In fact, those are downright awful thoughts to be thinking. Regardless of how much I pride myself in being self-confident, it turns out that I'm my own biggest critic here. Not a groundbreaking discovery, but definitely something that I need stopped right away. Because A) I do not suck at dancing, B) If I lost flexibility, that just means I need to get it back, and C) Shut up, I CAN choreograph.

So I'm going to stop all that. It's a disgusting habit.
  • Stop telling yourself that you suck. It's gross.
  • Stretch every single day and keep in mind that no excuse will ever be good enough. 
  • Throw in some yoga to the rotation. It's good for you and can't hurt.
CAPISCE? Capisce. (No. That's not Italian. Sorry.)

Also. You should plan to come see our show at the end of the semester. Because it's awesome. And we support NEDA (the National Eating Disorders Association) and it's really fun. Also, we're very good at dancing.


Spoiler Alert: It. Will. Be. Epic. Promise.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Brand New Year

So January first is the start of many resolutions and lots of commitment from all sorts of people. The way I see it, moving into my apartment was really the start of a new year for me. I've got classes that start in a mere seven days for a major that I am hoping to fall completely in love with. I need to find a job to pay for millions of things. And I get to see all my school friends as they begin to trickle back into the city.

And, as every New Year's resolutioner (I know that's not a word. It's a concept maybe...) does, I've started my work out habits back up and it was lovely.

Today, I started the Bodyrock Thirty Day challenge with the fit test. Eight days late, but I wanted to be able to stay on schedule. There are two rest days involved in the challenge that are on the weekends. Because I'm difficult, I have my long runs on Saturdays. So my days off will either be Sunday and Monday or Friday and Sunday. We'll see how things go as I progress into school and stuff like that.

These HIIT workouts are short but super tough! I was very, very nervous about seeing my scores and being utterly disappointed in myself, but I don't know. They're there and they'll get better!
  • Squat Jumps-->34
  • Push Ups-->19 (Ugh. Freaking knees. My arms are pathetic.)
  • Burpees-->14
  • High Knees--> 43 (I counted the sets. If you're supposed to count each leg then double that.)
  • Switch Lunges-->33
  • Tuck Jumps-->26
  • Straight Abs-->14 (I took these nice and slowly, as you can tell.)
I was most definitely shaking by the end of it. Also, I don't remember doing the tuck jumps AT ALL. But there's a number, and I know I couldn't have just made it up like that. Maybe I blocked it out? Who knows. The challenge scares me because I can tell it is going to be INTENSE. But it's a nice way to get back into stuff, that's for sure.

After that I did some resistance band ab work from FITNESS magazine. It's called Flat Abs Fast! so we'll see how they feel tomorrow. Kicking my butt abs back into shape, hopefully.

As far as the cool down and stretch session went, I was too hyped up to sit and focus, so I made myself follow along with a short video to chill myself out.

The ocean sounds at the end of it were great, not going to lie. I love the whole idea of Tone It Up but I'm broke, so I just pick and choose which videos I feel like doing. I'm super curious about their eating plan but for now I'm going to live in mystery. Definitely check them out, though! :)

So that's that! Now I'm going to hop in the shower and then meet up with a friend for lunch. Maybe for dinner we'll have something exciting. We'll see!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Back in My City

I'M HERE! I'M BACK!! Philadelphia, I love you. Even though you're a little crazy and a little creepy sometimes, I'm always going to love you. And now I live in Center City and I am PUMPED.


Move-in day was crazy and stressful. But it was great nonetheless. As our stuff piled in, I just got more and more excited. It's still a little bare, but that can definitely be changed with the two of us living here, that's for sure.

I may be working on coloring a princess poster. No big.

So I don't have a lot of good pictures because I was too excited and couldn't wait for natural light and all of that. So if you want to see it for the glorious place it is, you're going to have to get your butt down here yourself.

Oh hey, artificial light. Meet my bed.
Other side of the bedroom. Looking good.
Living area. With the big windows I love.
I can dig the kitchen. And windows to the bedroom!
The best piece of artwork there. :)

I don't know if you can tell that I love it. I forgot the bathroom. But it's HUGE. And I promise I have one. I'm civilized here. In all honesty, it's very similar to a place near campus. But I just wanted to get out of North Philly and down to the center. Yes, it'll be a longer walk. But I am so enjoying it. The quick walk over to Lucky Strike this evening for Jake's birthday was a big, big plus.

Note that I tied Paul in bowling. Just saying.

Now I'm just watching/listening to LSU lose. And maybe one of my bowl picks will actually be correct. But my picks have a habit of losing. So, Alabama, sorry if this really messes you up.

Have a lovely evening, everybody. :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Christmas in January

So my lovely, lovely friend Kaitlyn put up pictures from our Christmas party. WHICH MEANS. I can steal them (and give credit where credit is due....CREDIT) and introduce everybody to the princesses in my life. :)

I don't really hang out with a lot of people from my high school. That's just the way it goes. But there are some! And these three are some of the most spectacular people in the world. And I mean that with my whole heart.

Abby sums it all up right here.

The whole princess thing came about during holy crap, four years ago junior year of high school when our music department went to Disney. Being the talented people we are, we got to go along. To make it super exciting we all picked our princesses! Our princes too, of course. :) It's wonderful because we are all equally obsessed with shouting BUONGIORNO PRINCIPESSA Disney.

They know me so well. :)

Which is a very important thing in my book.

So here are my favorite opening presents shots introducing the cast of characters in my life. I love Christmas so much!

Abby. My Princess Belle.
Kaitlyn, my Sleeping Beauty.
And Lauren! My Cindy forever.
I lied. There's a group shot too!

So those are my friends. Aren't they pretty? They're equally as wonderful. And as I write this post, I have a pile of STUFF to be moved in to my apartment tomorrow. So my huge, huge, huge goal is to keep in touch with these three (especially as Abby travels across the ocean) because they are three of the most important people in my life.


They should definitely come visit, too.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tilt, Tuck, Tighten

I was reminded of that quite a few times today when I was trying out Hip Hop Abs with Shaun T. Thanks to my fellow Princess Abby I got to try it out.

Thanks, Amazon.
Last night I was absolutely pumped to try it, but I figured I'd try to sleep first. So first thing this morning I decided to try the Fat Burning Cardio section and, at the suggestion of Abby, watched the Secrets to Flat Abs first. That's where I was introduced to the Tilt, Tuck, Tighten concept. As a dancer, I was generally familiar with keeping your abs engaged during any sort of hip hop move, but it was nice to get a reminder.

Also, constant reminders while I was working out. :)

I liked it as far as my first impressions go. I didn't get as sweaty as he did, but perhaps that's through no fault of my own. It was fun and for somebody who hasn't danced in a century, it was great to get back into the instruction. Because I know when I get back to school, my butt will be kicked. I'll be trying the rest before I go back to school because I'm trying to make a decision about what exactly my Beachbody purchase will consist of.

Paul and I are both pretty set on this sucker. (Photo: Amazon)
As soon as we move in (that's another blog post), we'll be making a purchase. And I'm pumped.

Other things I need to do today: go to the Verizon store, hit up Wal-Mart, run, and do a lot (times seventy) of packing.

Oh. How I love to pack.

Or not. 

But I'll have this on my soundtrack all day. What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction. My sister shouts British Invasion. It's a happy song and you should give it a listen.