Thursday, October 15, 2015

kayla itsine & a new routine.

recently i've been going through some health issues. And it's barred me from working out for the last 2.5 months.

it's really starting to get to me. Working out is very cathartic for me; it's my release, my therapy, my me-time. Not being able to work out is hard, but not being able to run is brutal.

i'm not as strong as I used to be. Physically and mentally. And I'm not ok with that.

luckily, things are changing. The meds I'm on are slowing and blunting the negatives, and I'm finally starting to feel myself again and feeling positive. So upwards and onwards!

and on to new things! I've been searching for a different workout regimen that will give me a little more of a challenge, and all everyone can talk about is this BBG.

that's the Bikini Body Guide, to all of us out of the know! It was designed by this awesome Aussie trainer Kayla Itsines. She designed the programs specifically for the female body and all of our trouble zones: bum, tum, and legs.

source: kayla itsines.

after stalking her and her cult following on insta, i've been blown away by all of the BBG users' journeys and progress. Unlike a lot of the workouts and lifestyles out there, Kayla's breeds lean and healthy results. Check out the #bbg hashtag here!

source: kayla itsines.

so far, I'm sold!!! 

have any of you tried it? What are your thoughts?!

stay tuned, lovelies! 



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

the best (vegan) applesauce you've ever had.

one of the best perks about living in michigan: apple season!!

growing up, we had a few apple trees on our property. I can remember picking an apple to nosh on my way to school, making apple jam and butter with my Nana, and falling out of the branches one too many times.

but enough reminiscing.

one of my favorite things to make in the fall is homemade apple sauce. I can't eat raw apples anymore (God decided to bless me with a severe allergy to them, but we'll save that story for another day), so I get my apple fix via some good old sauce. 

this is probably one of my favorites. 

it's also gluten-free, vegan, and easy as pie (horrible, dad-level, pun intended).

here's what you need:

  • a whole bunch of apples (fuji apples are my favorite), 3lbs oughtta do it. 
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. powdered ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. instant espresso
  • 1 vanilla bean (curds)
  • crockpot
  • knife
  • fruit peeler
  • cutting board

and here's what you do:

1. peel the apples, and then rinse them off with cold water. While you're peeling all of the apples, place the ones you've already peeled in a bowl of cold water. This helps them stay fresh and crisp.
2. core 'em, slice 'em, dice 'em. 

3. throw those bad boys into your crockpot, set on high. If you're lucky enough to use your parents' avocado green crockpot from 1970s, that's probably not up to                                                                                         code, use that one.
4. top your diced apples with the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, instant espresso, and vanilla bean curds.
5. stir, cover, and wait while those apples cook down to soft mushy goodness. This usually takes about 4 hours. Don't forget to stir occasionally!
smash them if you want a chunkier sauce. If you want a smoother one, stick them in a blender and blend until smooth. 

6. if it's not sweet enough, add maple syrup to taste.
now put that deliciousness into some cute, hella basic mason jars and pat yourself on the back. You did it! Store them in your fridge, and pull them out when you need a good fix. Enjoy! 

get to cooking, my PSL friends.



Friday, September 25, 2015

sometimes things don't go your way.

... and when they don't, it's hard not to feel defeated. 

what's worse than that: when these things are completely outside of your control. Having control over our bodies, our actions, and our environments gives us peace; knowing the general outcome of events allots us predictability. And predictability breeds comfort.

losing that peace and warmth, though, will rock you to your core. Especially when you know you've done everything right, up to this very moment, in order to prevent something like this from happening.

but you find yourself in this free fall where, just like the Rabbit Hole, you don't know where or when you'll land. All you know is you are not where you are supposed to be, not where you ever thought you would be in your wildest dreams.

and then you hit the bottom. Just like an actual fall, you get hit with the heaviness that you know is coming but is still shocking, nonetheless. You stay there for a moment, allowing the impact to register. And that's when you feel everything shatter.

it starts as one tiny fraying sliver of yourself, but before you know it, you're in a million pieces. Some pieces are bigger than others, but you fear never being able to find those small but significant fragments again.

you see these pieces lying shattered and sprawled out in front of you. And with all of the predictability, control, and love of self... you still don't know where to begin.

or how to begin.

or when to begin. 

but you know you have to. You have to pick up the shards of you, all of them, and put yourself together again. Unlike the nursery rhyme, though, you don't have all the kings horses nor all the kings men to come to your aid and swiftly put you back together again.

you do, however, have purpose. Because there's no way the universe would hit you with such damaging offense without a reason.

and that reason is to share your story. 

by sharing your story, you are sharing your strength.

you are sharing all of the big pieces of yourself that make you who you are.

you are sharing the strain you endured through your journey of not knowing if you're putting the correct pieces in the right places.

you're sharing the energy you had to put out in the face of possible defeat.

you're sharing the scars you'll bare, but will eventually heal all by yourself.

you're sharing the faith you have that those tiny shards of yourself you lost will be replaced by even stronger, smarter, and significant ones.

you're sharing who you truly are. And after fighting this battle, who you actually are now is a hundred times better than who you used to be.

because you are a survivor. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

september run+workout playlist.

my favorite running spot: along Lake Michigan! Bay Harbor, Petoskey, Michigan.

september is here, which means perfect running weather is too. I love September, almost as much as I love October. September is always about returning to the routine, comfort, and the crispness of fall. It's not too hot, and never too cold. Most importantly, it's low humidity which is my own personal hell when it comes to working out.

so, after a little summer-season hiatus, here's a new run+workout playlist!

as per usual, there's a little bit of everything and definitely a little bit of something for everyone.

september run+workout playlist: 24 tracks, 1 hour and 9 minutes.

  1. Radioactive, Imagine Dragons
  2. Somewhere to Run, Krewella
  3. Survivor, Destiny's Child
  4. Talking Body, Tove Love
  5. Stronger, Britney Spears
  6. Shake it, Metro Station
  7. Drag Me Down, One Direction
  8. HeadBand (Coucheron Remix), B.o.B
  9. Tonight is the Night, Outasight
  10. Compass, Lady Antebellum
  11. Somebody To You, The Vamps
  12. Ugly Heart, G.R.L.
  13. Transmission, Zedd
  14. Wrecking Ball (Caked Up Remix), Miley Cyrus
  15. Cool for the Summer, Demi Lovato
  16. Vacation, Thomas Rhett
  17. Levels, Nick Jonas
  18. Love Myself, Hailee Steinfeld
  19. Don't It, Billy Currington
  20. Hood Go Crazy, Tech N9ne
  21. Friday Night, Eric Paslay
  22. So Good, B.o.B
  23. Danza Kuduro, Don Omar & Lucenzo
  24. I Like Tuh, Carnage
(oh, and here's the link to the playlist on 8tracks!)

run on and enjoy the early fall colors,


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

10 tips for new runners.

my love for running is no secret. I love the way it makes me feel, and what it does for my heart and body. Rain, snow, or gale force winds won't stop me. I wish I could do it all the time but alas Usain Bolt I am not. 

being a runner, I remember what it's like to start out. Not knowing if I was running the proper way, worrying about running too slow, getting lapped by people 3 times my age.... It was rough and it can be intimidating, but hopefully these tips will help!
  1. invest in a really good running shoe. This is probably the most important thing for runners of all levels. A good pair of trainers is what's going to prevent you from potential sprains, pulled muscles, and limit shinsplints. Asics are my favorite, but there are plenty of different brands out there. Go to a running store, and have them assess your gait and pronation. They'll be able to find you a shoe that fits your needs. Also, if you mention you're a first-time runner, a lot of stores will give you a discount. FTW. 
  2. same thing goes for socks. I used to think my socks didn't make a difference, but once you switch to athletic, or even more specifically, running socks, you'll never go back.
  3. heartburn is definitely a thing. Especially for us morning runners. All of the movement jostles all of our insides, and the acid producers go into overdrive. Get out ahead of the heart burn, and take an acid reducer before you head out on your run. If you have a history of chronic acid reflux like me, take a once daily OTC medication. 
  4. runners' trots are too. This varies from person to person, but again all of that jostling of the digestive system tends to get things flowing whether you like it or not. 
  5. hydration is a lifestyle. This is a constant and continuous thing. I usually drink about 80oz of water a day. Do I have to pee every 15 minutes? Yes. But for me, being properly hydrated is the difference between barely being able to break 3miles and running 5miles without stopping. 
  6. always run with music. It'll pump you up, help you pace out, and limit your boredom. If you have a good playlist, you'll be unstoppable. 
  7. but practice safety first. If you're running with music, run with one ear in and the other (closest to the road) out. If you'll be on the road, always run AGAINST traffic; it's easier to dodge a car that you can see coming than it is to dodge one you can't see. Always carry your phone and identifying information, including health info. Tell someone where you're running, and which route you'll be taking. Simple, yet important. 
  8. get your run in in the morning. I know, who actually wants to get up an hour before they have to... besides me lol. Getting it out of the way before you do aaaaaanything else limits the potential to make excuses as the day progresses. For me, morning runs aren't typically my fastest ones. But if I do it in the morning, I'm more likely to actually get my miles in for the day. 
    one of the many perks of running outdoors. 
  9. develop a mantra. It can be anything. Mine usually is "I am strong, I am capable, I will succeed." This will help you get through the tough hills and speed training. I repeat mine over and over until I develop a rhythm between the words, my breathing, and my gait. 
  10. sign up for races and run with friends. Races = goals . Friends = motivators. And both make for a good time!
    next race on tap: 2015 Detroit Free Press International Half Marathon.

no matter what, you should feel amazing for getting out there and doing something that's good for your mind, body, and spirit. Stick with it, and I know you'll fall in love with it. 

run on, lovelies.



Saturday, July 18, 2015

post-grad pauper: what finding a job after college is actually like.

so you've recently graduated. 

congrats! You have successfully completed the easiest hard part of your life. Mozel!

and as the dust starts to settle, and you are forced to start paying all of those student loans back, you'll find yourself asking yourself, "... well, what now?"

if you're lucky, you'll have found a decent paying job with very little room to grow, a bad HMO, and absolutely no time to eat your lunch anywhere but your desk.

but if you're like the rest of the 98% (<-- fake satistic) of recent college graduates, you're probably feeling like you're up the creek.

... without a paddle.

and did I mention the creek is on fire?

oh and your parents are yelling at you to save yourself.

as they're drinking margaritas with Sallie Mae.

... who's laughing at you and all of your misfortune.

as a post-grad pauper, I've been there (and most days, am still there). I feel like on some Y.A./20-something sites, they always spin the post-grad life as "it's really horrible, but it's amazing and I wouldn't trade it for the world!" Ugh... gag me.

so I wanted to share a realistic look at what it's actually like after you turn that tassel.

  1. you will be overqualified for entry-level jobs. No, seriously.
  2. and some entry-level positions will require years of experience. 
  3. you'll have more versions of your resume than you can count. At my highest, I had 15. I currently have 4.
  4. you will probably have to move back home. Do you know how much the cost of housing has gone up over the last few years? It's depressing, but... Don't worry, you can always paint over that bubblegum pink wallpaper you've had since the 90s.
  5. and if you can't re-inhabit your childhood bedroom, you'll probably be living in squalor. Sorry about it.
  6. everything will start to seem EXTRA super expensive. Even the cheap stuff. 
  7. all of those job applications you filled out? Yeah, you'll get rejected from the majority of them.
  8. but you'll eventually find something to pay the bills. It might be going back to that high school job you swore you'd never do ever again, but... alas... here we are.
  9. minimum payments (something you swore you'd never do) become real life. 
  10. you'll look for jobs out of state, but will realize that you can't move there. Because a) you don't have enough money to move and b) the job doesn't pay enough to make it feasible.
  11. jealousy will hit you hard. People will be off getting their careers started, engaged, married, 401ks, buying houses, etc. Don't let it get you down though, because with these comes more bills and more responsibility. 
  12. you'll start to get desperate. And I mean VERY desperate. "I wonder how much my 2007 ipod would sell for...?" "I mean, who needs this much plasma anyway?" "I have morals, but I also have bills to pay and strippers also make like $1000 a weekend, so...." 
  13. there will be moments when EVERYTHING falls apart. And it's usually on the same day that your insurance bill, electricity bill, and care payment are due. Or when you get rejected from 10 jobs in the span of 2 hours.
  14. and your friends will be shitty.  They're all going through their own life changes, just like you. So don't be too hard on them. 
  15. you'll score a few interviews. 
  16. but potential employers won't call you back. 
  17. ... until one does. And you won't be able to hide the excitement/relief in your voice when you speak with them. 
  18. you'll get your first paycheck 3 weeks later than you thought. Which was already 5 weeks later than you needed.
  19. and it'll be smaller than what you thought it would be/needed it to be. "It's okay, I didn't need to buy my prescriptions anyway. 
  20. after working a few months, you'll probably start looking for another job. Which is A-OKAY. Always seek out something that's going to grow you, 
  21. and you'll finally understand what it is to have a real hard day's work, with little reward.
  22. most importantly, you'll finally understand what your parents struggled through. Just to make ends meat for their family. 

and this last bit is very true. I've come home, night after night after night, and I've cried/apologized/empathized with my parents. You don't realize how much they do for you, just so that you can do a little for yourself. To all the parents out there: way to go! I don't know how you do it, but way to go.

no matter what, though, chin up my dears. Even though it's hard, try to stay positive and try to stay true. With a load of hard work, sleepless nights, and a wing and a prayer, it will work out. 

keep on keepin on.



Friday, June 26, 2015

it's been a while. i can explain.

it's been about 3 weeks since I last posted anything. Longer than that if you consider anything of substance.

i'm not going to lie: it's been a tough few months.

i feel disappointed. I feel disappointed by the lack of support I have in a lot of areas of my life. My dad, I know, is my biggest supporter and cheerleader in my life and he's gone out of his way to make sure I know/feel his support of me, my life, and my choices. He's gone so far above and beyond to make me feel  important and loved, because he knows that I don't get those feelings from a lot of other people in my life.

i've been experiencing a lot of revelations about life/relationships lately. But I think the hardest realization I've had to come to is that in moments of pure distress, confusion, and pain, the people who we care for the most can be the ones who let us down the hardest.

fighting myself is the hardest battle i've ever had to endure. And right now, I'm storming the beaches of Normandy. Instead of having a strong army behind me, though, I feel like I'm only 1 man strong. I need more than that, unfortunately.

it's a hard place to be. I need so much more support and a little bit more love, but also everyone else in my life is also fighting their own battles so I don't want to ask that of everyone else. I feel like I give and give and give, and try to support all of my friends (when they need it the most, and when they need it the least), but the reciprocation isn't quite there. I don't want to ask for the things that I need, because 1) I'll be labeled as dramatic, 2) I'll be told I'm overreacting, 3) I will be told my feelings are made up 4) my reality is distorted, and most importantly 5) it's wrong for me to ask for it when everyone else is fighting battles of their own.

i feel left out. And unfortunately it's at the 5th grade level: being excluded from fun things, especially those that I love. It's really frustrating when you've been into something for years, and have spent just as much time trying to get your friends/family on board, and then everyone miraculously discovers it and leaves you out of participating in it. Like really? Every time I've asked you if you want to go for a run you give me a long story about how you can't run/hate running/would die/could never keep up/running before 10am is torture/etc. And then you start running consistently, but when I ask if you'd like to sign up for a 5k it's as if I asked you to have your teeth pulled electively. And then you sign yourself up for a different 5k, and don't tell me about it. Oh? Oh really? No, that's totally fine I'm completely cool with that slap in the face.

i understand that you're busy. We're all busy. We all are. But you're really too busy call back? You can't take 10 seconds to shoot a txt? You can't take out an hour of your time to grab lunch, catch up, see how it's going? To hang out with you, I'd move heaven and earth to make it happen.

i feel so unvalued. I feel like my impact on others is so minimal, that it barely registers or makes a difference. It's like I'm not worth their time, and they don't care. What's worse is that I don't even feel devalued. If I felt devalued, it would imply that I had value before. I just feel unvalued. I'm sorry I'm not worth enough to be invited along for a girls' night, to go out to dinner, to have fun at the casinos, or even to get a call to see how I'm doing. I'm sorry.

i'm struggling so much, I can feel myself breaking. I know I should control the controllables and relinquish control for those that I can't. But I have the controllables under control; they aren't what's hurting me. It's the things out of my control that are the most painful. I can't control other people and, unfortunately, I get so much from just being with other people that them not wanting to have me be apart of their life (the good and bad) is devastating.

this isn't a call for attention. That needs to be absolutely, crystal clear. I'm not looking for sympathy, handouts, pity. I'm venting because I'm overwhelmed. I'm drowning. I am so over feeling unvalued, left out, and disappointed, and I have no where else to express my feelings outside of this rarely viewed, blip of a blog in a dark corner of the internet.

i'm tired.

i'm exhausted.

but i'm holding on in hope that things get better. I have this blog, which gives me something to work on while I heal. Please, bare with me. I will have good days. I will have bad days. What's important, though, is that I am lucky enough  and blessed enough to simply have 'days'.



Thursday, June 4, 2015

june run+workout playlist.

i haven't had to turn on the heat, i've cranked up the air, and i've been cruising with my windows down... Summer is upon us people!

here's a nice long june run+workout playlist for you.

as per usual, there's a little something for everyone in this one. You may even find a Disney song in there. Wink.

june run+workout playlist

23 songs, 1 hour, 20 minutes.

  • i really like you, Carly Rae Jepsen
  • somewhere to run, Krewella
  • pound the alarm, Nicki Minaj
  • crash and burn, Thomas Rhett
  • don't it, Billy Currington
  • i'll make a man out of you, Mulan
  • classic, MKTO
  • blame, Calvin Harris
  • braveheart, Neon Jungle
  • irresistible, Fall Out Boy
  • headband, B.o.B
  • numb/encore, Jay Z & Linkin Park
  • shotgun, Yellow Claw
  • hey mama, David Guetta
  • where are ü now, Skrillex & Diplo
  • somebody to you, The Vamps
  • shut up and dance, WALK THE MOON
  • this summer's gonna hurt like a mother fucker, Maroon 5
  • bad blood (feat. kendrick lamar), Taylor Swift
  • beautiful now, Zedd
  • kick the dust up, Luke Bryan
  • wake me up, Avicii
and as per usual, here's the 8tracks link to the playlist!



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

happy tuesday bluesday!

it's been a long weekend, praise glory hallelujah. So today, Tuesday, has officially turn into Monday: the worst day of the week.

thought we could all use a little pick-me-up. So... what are you waiting for??!




Monday, May 25, 2015

recipe monday: crazy sexy cool green smoothie.

hi yall, hope you're enjoying the last few moments of your long holiday weekend. Don't forget to thank/hug/kiss a veteran today!

where most people are out grilling, boating, or golfing this weekend, I took some much needed tlc and went on a little bit of a food bender. I spent a solid hour and a half grocery shopping last night, and buying up pounds and pounds of fresh fruit and veg.

now that the weather is getting warmer and warmer, I've been on quite the smoothie kick. There's nothing better than peeling off sweaty clothes, jumping into the pool/lake, and then kicking back with a huge cold green smoothie. Am I right, or am I right?

so here's a new one for you:

crazy sexy cool green smoothie. 

this one was inspired by my time in Costa Rica (aka Costa Freeeaakaaa, to some), and my trips to Mexico and Hawaii. 

in CR mangos littered the streets; they actually advise about the hazards of falling mangos. Seriously. 

in Mexico, limes and lime juice are just as much a condiment as salt is. 

and in Hawaii, where it's illegal to pick their largest export without a license, pineapples are an addition to every single meal. 

the green comes from the avocado and your choice of greens. and the crazy sexy coolness comes from whoever is drinking it. wink

i added turmeric and cayenne for their detoxifying and healing powers. If you suffer from any chronic illness, bloating, or other inflammation, look up the positive effects of both these spices.

here's what you need:
1/2 cup water
1/2 a ripe avocado
1 cup diced mango
2 cups diced pineapple
juice from 1/2 lime
1 handful of your favorite greens (I chose kale, which has an earthier, straight from the dirt, taste)
1 pinch cayenne (or more if you need more of a spicy kick)
2 shakes of some good turmeric powder

here's what you do:

  1. slice up your avocado. dice up the pineapple and mango. then juice half that gorgeous lime.
  2. put all ingredients into your blender in the order above. I've said it before, but the order is important because it makes for easier, smoother blending.
  3. blend until smooth.
  4. pour into your favorite mason jar, gram a great pic on Insta, and drink away the delicious, crazy, sexy cool goodness. 

drink up, buttercups!



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

let's be realistic: 7th and 8th week of change.

hi, long time no talk! I know it has been a minute since my last post, but it's been crazy busy around these parts!

to be honest, i didn't want to write over the last two weeks. I had been in such a negative, dark place that I was worried it wasn't ever going to brighten up. Negativity can be incredibly insidious; it spreads like an infection, and can be chronic like a disease.

and that's not something I wanted to share.

luckily, i'm on a come up. I got to take some time off, go on a vacation, and hang out with my absolute best friend in the entire world. Before jetting off, everyone kept telling me how much I 'need this'. I didn't realize it at the time, but everyone was right. 100%. Without doubt or question. I needed it.

i wanted to keep this post short and sweet. Because of the funk I was in, I needed not to focus on my physical gains but more on my mental ones. You have to want and strive to be not even good, but okay. Being okay is manageable. Being okay is doable. Being okay is, bare minimum, what we need. And sometimes, that's the hardest thing you'll do.

so instead of discussing what I ate, how far I ran, or what muscles/weight I've gained/lost... I'll just leave you with some pictures.




Sunday, May 10, 2015

dear mom: a letter to the most important woman in my life.

dear mom,

i know that it's a day late, and i know i could have said it in a card but... You are absolutely, unbelievably amazing. You are one of the strongest people I know. You are one of the most brilliant people I know. You are one of the hardest working people I know. And I respect that.

not only do i respect that, but I cherish that. I love that. I believe in that. Because all of "that", amongst your other boundless phenomenal qualities, you have shown me that "that" is what makes you amazing. It is what makes you, you.

your amazing, and endlessly capable qualities have shown me to stand back up. I have lived through (some) of your adversity. I have seen some of your most vulnerable moments. I have seen how you persevere in the most challenging moments of your life... and you have still, without question or scrutiny, have been able to be the best mother in the entire world. I have no idea how you do it but you have shown me to...

stand back up. To get back up when I've been knocked down... By my career, by my friendships, by my relationships, by myself. And,  most importantly, in the face of adversity.

you have taught me to question everything. Everything. To question not only what things are, why they are, and how they are but what I want, but why I want it. 

you have taught me how to forgive. And not just by the rude stranger who cut in front of me in line. But by the people who I love the most. The people who I have the utmost respect and reverence for. Because, as you have shown me, a life of anger and resentment is not a life worth living.

you have taught me how to support others. Especially those who need it most. I have seen you (countless days, weeks, months, years) sitting by your fading parents' sides. Through defeat and success. Holding on to their hands and hearts, and reassuring them, your daughters, and yourself that it is going to be alright.

you have taught me how to accept defeat. You have continued to hold your mother's hand, long after she has succumbed to the reality of Alzheimer's, though you continue to fight against it. And yet again I see you do it, with your father's hand in yours. But you still manage and look forward to visiting with Grandpa, in the last flicker of his life, when I cant, out of fear and naivety, see him and be present in the environment that he must endure. One day, I hope to do half of what you do, for Daddy and yourself. 

you have taught me that life goes on. In the honor and reputation of those incredible relatives who have past. You openheartedly share with me the life, hard work, and dedication of my grandmother, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins, and great grandparents. And you encourage me to honor their work, and exceed it in their name.

you have shown me what sacrifice truly is. You have shown me how sacrificing some of your life only improves, vastly, upon your child's. You have worked jobs that you probably did not like, and worked longer and harder at than you needed to, solely so that I could experience some of the things you didn't when you were my age.


most importantly...

you have showed me how to love. How to love unyieldingly, unapologetically, and without regret. You have said no to me when I wanted, deeply, to hear yes. You have said yes to me when, perhaps, it was in my best judgement to hear no, all for the sake of a dream. You have showed me that chasing your dreams is the best love you can ever give yourself. You have proven to me, through action and word, that you can and will love someone regardless if you've given birth to them or not. You have shown me that love, true love, can never be negative and can only make you the best person you can ever dream to be.

you are my rock.

you are my soul.

you are my purpose.

and most importantly, I hope and pray every day that I can be half the mom to my kids that you have been to me.

happy mothers day.

love always,


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

let's be realistic: 6th week of change.

finally, finally, spring is officially here in michigan. We haven't seen snow in about 2 weeks, and it was consistently sunny and warm over this past week. Praise the lord, hallelujah.

and with this weather comes with many positives, and a few negatives. Let's get the good out of the way: warm weather = long runs outside, and late nights around the bon fire.

now for the negatives: everything is covered in pollen, and me and pollen don't mix. I was one of those kids who never really got sick or had allergies when I was little. By the time I turned 14, though, I spent about 3 years in and out of doctors' offices and hospital rooms. My allergies kicked in when I was about 15, and they were off the charts. My body rejects most things foreign: all trees (except palm trees), all weeds, most grasses, soy, apples, pears, gluten, hops, cats, and many hearty herbs and flowers. On top of all that, I also have asthma.

so now with every plant/tree coming out of hibernation, my allergies and asthma have been off the charts. My life over the past 10 days has consisted of antihistamines, albuterol, and steroids.

my life, currently.

luckily, though, at 24 years of age I have a system figured out for this time of year. Clean, allergen-free eating; specifically timed medications; closed windows at night; no booze (except a glass of pinot noir, occassionally); and constant showering and laundry to get the pollen off my body. It's annoying, but not that bad and totally do-able! Even better, with this system of pills and treatments, I don't have to sacrifice my running!

pinot noir + popcorn on a saturday night. just call me olivia pope.

i've logged about 26 miles over the last week. I've run more than that weekly before, but I'm still so happy that I'm getting back into my running shape of seasons past. I managed to throw in  6, 7, and 8 mile runs over the weekend and I'm feeling amazing.

still running slow, but I'm finally back in the #25miles a week club.

those miles traveled have helped me clear my mind on a few things. Lately, I've felt like I've been putting in so much energy into my relationships. I feel like I've been clear with my needs and intentions, but I'm not receiving much in return.

and that sucks. 

i've been trying to focus on treating people the way I want to be treated, and making sure I give a little extra to my friendships. I've been focused on this for about 5 months now, but I feel like it hasn't been reciprocated. These solo miles I've put in on the pavement have helped me clear my mind and settle my thoughts on it: just because this effort hasn't been given back now, doesn't mean I'm completely off the good-karma train.

running, as i've said countless times before, makes me so much more level-headed. Things are clearer, I'm calmer, and it puts me in a much better place. If you haven't jumped on my run-wagon, you're missing out!

besides running, coloring books is my therapy. 

anyway, here's my week in review:

wet hair, baby abs poking through, and a messy room. sue me. 

fitness: 26ish miles ran, and some at home yoga #ftw
food: with my allergies in full swing, I've been doing pretty well. Recipes to come!
weight: I honestly haven't been keeping track, whoops ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

cold brew + hemp milk = caffeine and 27g of protein! if you live in southeastern michigan, stop by DROUGHT. it's currently my new raw obsession. 

that's it! Not much more, not much less.

spring on, sprouts!



Sunday, May 3, 2015

recipe sunday: strawberry chocolate cake batter smoothie.

a few weeks ago, when I was stuck in bed with the norovirus, I took to pinterest and started looking up recipes. Now, if you know me, I am a huuuuuuge smoothie fan. In any way, shape, or form. And I kept stumbling across the "cake batter" protein shake. I kept finding various cake batter flavored recipes for spreads, smoothies, and ice cream. The key ingredient? Almond extract.

yeah, i know. I was surprised too! I thought you were only capable of getting cake batter taste (yum) the good old fashion way: by baking a cake. Yep, my mind was blown. So I decided to make a version of my own:

strawberry chocolate cake batter smoothie.

here's what you need:

1/2 cup coconut milk (or any other milk)
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 scoop vanilla vegan protein powder (or whichever one you like; here's my favorite)
2 medium sized bananas
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
1 drop almond extract (a little goes a loooooooong way, so be careful!)
2 cups ice

here's what you do:
  1. cut up bananas and strawberries.
  2. place ingredients in blender in the above order. The order is important! The weight of ice, and then the fruit, pushes all of the ingredients down into the blades creating a  smoother smoothie.
  3. blend away!

this recipe packs in about 26g of protein, making it the perfect breakfast/lunch/post workout smoothie. Depending on what type of milk and protein powder you use, it's vegan and gluten free too!

blend on, baby.