Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

Hi Guys!! Hope everyone is having a FANTASTIC holiday weekend!

I wish I could say I had this for breakfast this morning, but unfortunately, this was pulled out of the blog archives from years ago:

(it seemed suitable for today's post). 

How is everyone spending their holiday weekend? Barbeques? Pools? Lakes?

Stay Healthy,

To all those who have served or are serving our country - THANK YOU!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Healthy Dogs.

Hi All! Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

It's going to be a HOT one here in Columbus this weekend.... remember my post about HYDRATION???? Put it to use!! Drink lots of WATER if you're outside all weekend, and if you are indulging in the occasional adult beverage... be sure to drink a glass of water in between those games of cornhole or what have you.  And please, be smart on the road

Okay, okay, enough of my ranting and raving - it's the weekend, let's have some fun!

Besides remembering those who have served (or are serving) our country, Memorial Day is all about the beginning of summer, pools opening and of course the start of grilling season.
My Boy Scout skills put to work last Memorial Day. 

The choice between a hotdog or hamburger on the grill, in some cases, is a person's biggest dilema on weekends such as these. But because I'm all about making things more complicated than they really need to be... I'm going to introduce another obstacle into the never-ending hamburger vs. hotdog debate - What KIND of hot dog???

We've all seen the viral image of the whole "pink slime" substance that is used a lot in production of meat (fast food restaurants and some hot dogs). So when it comes to choosing the right hot dog for your Memorial Day cookout, and more importantly, for your health, here are some awesome suggestions from

Best Beef Hotdog:

Best Chicken Dog:

Best Turkey Dog:

Criteria for selecting a Healthy Dog:
  • Make sure your dog is uncured. When something is cured, it means that it has been treated with nitrates and nitrites which have been linked to cancer and other fun health problems.
  • Choose lower sodium products. Depending on your age, RDA sodium amounts per day are 2300 mg and 1500 mg for those over 50. 
  • Watch out for products that have been mechanically separated. 
  • Choose dogs with less than 6 grams of fat. 
Sound good?! I hope so!

Everyone have a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend filled with friends, family and laughs :)

Stay Healthy,

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pointing You in the Right Direction

Good Morning All!

My less than mobile lifestyle has led me to be even more of a blog-nerd than usual. After getting a good workout in last night by means of crutching around Target, I spend the rest of my evening watching my hometown boys beat the Atlanta Braves while reading my usual blog suspects and discovering new blogs along the way. (I figure the cat's already out of the bag when it comes to my blog addiction, why waste energy trying to tiptoe around the fact!)
This picture is solely for my own enjoyment - what's a blog post without at least one picture. (Save the dates for our wedding will be sent out shortly)

At any rate, between my blogs, my twitter and just surfin' the web... I happened upon the No Meat Athlete Blog. Long story short - it's about being an athlete while maintaining a vegetarian diet. Lots of stories, recipes and workouts are right at your fingertips by clicking the link referenced 30 words ago.

I bring this specific blog up because the most recent post by the No Meat Athlete is about making lifestyle changes by breaking one habit at a time -  perfect topic of discussion, right?! I figure why waste time re-writing what he has to say while running the risk of stealing someone's already eloquent words when I can just as easily point ya'll in the right direction. So here it is again: How I've Been Changing My Life One Habit at a Time.

Read it!!

Let me know what ya'll think too. What habit do you have a hard time breaking? What have you tried to help break it?

Stay Healthy,

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dinner for One.

Sometimes I think one of the hardest parts of being a single 20-something is finding something for dinner. A lot of the recipes out there are designed to serve 2 or more people, and with an appetite like mine, I often find myself struggling to stop at just 1 serving - what can I say - I love food.

And while I love fixing up a big fancy dinner for myself, sometimes all I have the desire or energy for is a simple egg sandwich and a side of broccoli. 
It's easy to make, easy to portion out and it leaves little room for making or eating too much. 

I tossed the broccoli in some olive oil, ground pepper and garlic salt and popped 'em in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees or so....

.... and the sandwich consisted of a whole wheat english muffin, 1 "fried" egg, some avocado, mozzarella cheese and a lovely tomato to top it all off:
OH, and some spinach. Twas a lovely dinner. 

What's your favorite "easy" single serving dinner to make for yourself?
Any sort of sandwich and vegetable side is mine.

Stay Healthy, 

Monday, May 21, 2012


Now ya see it...

Now ya don't!

Thanks roommate!

Stay Healthy,

Friday, May 18, 2012

To Buy Organic or Not to Buy Organic?

We've all seen it - the friend who suddenly decides to buy only organic at the grocery store and consequently winds up only being able to afford the dollar menu at McDonald's in the weeks following.... so much for going organic, right?
So what's the deal? 
How are we supposed to buy organic when we can barely afford to buy regular groceries? 
Is organic really that much better for us? 
Can you only be healthy by eating organic?

I get these questions a lot, and the funny thing about them, is that most people don't even know what it means when something is organic. So, luckily for all you curious minds, and for all those people who I force to read this blog, today we're going to explore the wonderful world of Organics. 

What does Organic Mean?
Well good ole Wikepedia defines organic food as foods that are produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives. 
AKA food with no pesticides and more nutrients

Is Organic Really That Much Better for Us?
The easy answer? Yes. Organic food is free of pesticides and artificial fertilizers, while also having more nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins. (but hold off on buying all organic until you get to the bottom of my wonderful words of wisdom)

"I Can't Afford to Buy Organic. Help!"
Not to worry. There are certain foods and produce that are less likely (or more likely) to have pesticide residue even after washing them. 

  • Foods Worth Buying Organic:
    • Apples
    • Celery
    • Strawberries
    • Peaches
    • Spinach
    • Nectarines
    • Grapes
    • Sweet Bell Peppers
    • Potatoes
    • Blueberries
    • Lettuce
    • Kale
  • Foods Okay to Pass on Buying Organic:
    • Onions
    • Corn
    • Pineapple
    • Avocado
    • Asparagus
    • Sweet Peas
    • Mangos
    • Eggplant
    • Cantaloupe
    • Kiwi
    • Cabbage
    • Watermelon
    • Sweet Potato
    • Grapefruit
    • Mushrooms
Additionally, I would also suggest buying meat and milk organic. Conventional methods of raising animals typically involves hormones and antibiotics to speed up growth and ward off disease and pesticides and fertilizer are used in growing the animals' grain and food source. Organic meat must come from animal sources that are grass-fed and have not been given hormones or antibiotics. 

Please, please keep in mind that these are only suggestions and guidelines. If it comes down to buying organic or paying your electric bill on time.... use your mind and get those organic strawberries .... ha! (only joking, only joking) 

If buying organic IS a top priority in your life, don't always rely on expensive stores like Whole Foods to get the job done. Farmer's Markets and operations like Grean Bean Delivery are excellent alternatives to buying organic while still saving a little extra cash. 

Additional questions about buying organic or getting involved with Green Bean Delivery, just ask!

Take advantage of the wonderful central Ohio weather this weekend!

Stay Healthy,

p.s. buy foods in season.... it'll save you even more money :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Surgery Experience

Alright ladies and gentlemen, since I've gotten ZERO suggestions on topcis to blog about over the past week, ya'll get to deal with my sob story that I've endured for the past week. (not to worry though... we'll wrap this all together with some healthy living tie in at the end)

For as long as I can remember, I've always been involved in a competitive sport:
I started basketball and softball at a very young age, worked my way through several years of AAU teams, played on my grade school's volleyball and softball teams, spent a few years in high school on the cross country team, D1 state champ basketball team and eventually found myself on the tennis team my last couple years. My "adult years" if you will, consisted of 4 years of singles and doubles play on my college's  varsity tennis team, some adult USTA tennis leagues and a few half marathons and marathons.
Believe it or not, throughout all of that wear and tear on my body over 22 years, the only injury I've ever had to deal with was a broken thumb during high school - and even then my participation wasn't restricted in games, practices or even open gyms. So to say I've been somewhat blindsided by this surgery, might, if we're exaggerating a little bit, be the understatement at my life at the moment.

Besides the excruciating pain on day 2 and 3 of this ordeal, I have to admit that life wasn't all that bad the first week or so- I woke up every morning to my mom bringing me multiple cups of quality, I-am-an-established-adult-so-I-can-buy-the-good-stuff kind of coffee, I got to catch up on an embarrassing amount of How I Met Your Mother episodes and sadly, my biggest concern was a toss up between beating my high score in Tetris or when I was supposed to take my pain medication..... as you can see... life was tough, rough, okay, it wasn't all that bad  (minus the times I had to use the restroom, but I think the difficulty of that task is implied). 

Alright. So remember about 20 seconds ago when I said things weren't all that bad for the first week? Haha... well, week 2 started off a tad more interesting to say the least....

After having been off work all last week, and hiding away in the care of my wonderful Mom, I admit I was a tad excited to get back to my apartment, my friends and my work. However, my excitement quickly took a nose dive when Monday morning arrived and I  found myself sitting on the couch, my coffee still in the kitchen, my leg propped up on pillows and my clothes upstairs, that the realization of me being completely on my own smacked me right in the face.
  • no mom to bring me coffee
  • no mom to give me the TV remote
  • no mom to cover my cast with a garbage bag before I shower
  • no mom to drive me places and hold my crutches
  • no mom to cook me dinner
  • no mom to... DO EVERYTHING!
5 months ago I was training for a marathon...I was running 25+ miles a week...I was jumping up off the couch  for more coffee....I had hopes to finish a triathlon this summer,  and now I can't even stand to take a shower, or  even walk up the stairs to get ready for work. 

I wanted to cry. I wanted to call off work. I wanted to call my mom and tell her I was coming home. I wanted to do anything and everything possible that didn't require any effort from me. I gave up before I had even tried - one of the worst things you can do in any situation.

Once my 3 minute meltdown came to a close, I got myself into a functioning state and headed for the stairs. Between my crutches, my totally stylish knee scooter, anything I could grab a hold of and my shower chair, I eventually made it into my car. I had done it. From there on out, I began trying new things and new ways of going about everyday tasks. I past with flying colors on a lot of my tasks, but I also failed miserably on just as many. The important part of it all, however, was that I was trying. I wasn't giving up. 

And that right there is what I'd absolutely love for everyone who is still reading this to take to heart - Don't Give Up. So many times we talk ourselves out of doing things simply because we're afraid we're going to fail, or we think we can't do it. Well, guess what, you'll never know if you don't try.

Take me story and apply it to your life.
Losing Weight?
Needing to exercise more?
Looking to break your half marathon time?

Take chances.

Try things.

Don't give up.

Stay Healthy,

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Panera Salad and Baseball

Good evening!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday, and more importantly, looking past my terrible and oh-so-creative title up above!

I'm still here at my parent's house... and still taking advantage of that free HBO, those unlimited popsicles and my mom's undivided attention... although, now that I've been here more than a few days, I'm pretty sure that those popsicles aren't quite so unlimited, and... ya know, I haven't really seen my mom in the past couple hours...... hmmm, I think my days of being completely helpless are on their way out....

At any rate, I'll take what I can get.. which means spending my night on the couch with a gimp's best friend
 and watching my Reds hopefully take home a win tonight...

Earlier, I enjoyed my absolute favorite salad from Panera: 
The Strawberry Poppyseed Chicken Salad. 
I realize this photo doesn't do the salad I'm praising about any justice, but if you've been to Panera before during the summer, I can almost guarantee you know what I'm talking about! 

You can see from the nutrition facts below, that this is a great choice from Panera's menu. It provides lots of fiber from the lettuce and fruit, protein from the chicken and healthy fats from the pecans. 

There may seem like a lot of sugar in this menu item, but if you look close enough - a lot of the sugar comes from the fruit in the actual salad and not a lod from the salad dressing, or any other c$#p that shouldn't be hiding in your food. 

On that note, I'm gonna go give my full attention, well, at least half of my attention, to my boys in red on the TV and secretly plan my comeback to the world of long distance running. 

Stay Healthy,

Friday, May 11, 2012

Compromise Elsewhere.

Happy Friday Guys! I hope everyone has had a fantastic week!

Over the past couple days I've been reading a lot of magazines and a lot of online articles, and while I've definitely had my fair share of gossip news (let's be real, we all want to know who's with who in hollywood) I've also been reading up on a lot of health news and stories.

Something that particularly sparked my interest was an article about deli meat. I can't tell you how many times people feel ashamed or embarrassed when they tell me they typically have a daily sandwich with some sort of deli meat.

So what's the story behind all of this? Why do they feel ashamed? Should they feel ashamed? Are cold cut meats really all the bad for us?

Well, hang out for a bit more and we'll get to the bottom of this conundrum.

Here are some Deli Meat Guidelines:

  • Eliminate the processed kind - bologna, salami, pepperoni. These are higher in fat and sodium than other options and will not provide a healthy base for building a sandwich. 
  • So what options do I have? Lots! Turkey, ham, chicken and even roast beef are all good options when it comes to choosing your deli sandwich. 
  • Choose a good brand. As with anything these days, the more money you spend on something, the better quality you're going to experience. The healthiest brand of deli meat should be 100% meat with no fillers and no nitrates. Here are a few grocery store examples:
    • Boar's Head
    • Applegate Farms
    • Wellshire
  • Low Sodium. Always opt for the lower sodium option - always. 
  • Frequency. If you can afford buying quality deli meat for a sandwich everyday - go for it. However, if you are on a budget and can't afford the good stuff for a daily sandwich, mix it up! Dish out the money for the meats with no fillers and preservatives every once in awhile and enjoy things such as tuna, peanut butter or hummus in between deli meat buys.

So, deli meats. What are our thoughts now? Are they good for us? Are they still bad for us?

Well, follow those steps up above and you'll never have to feel guilty about chowing down on that afternoon sandwich you've been hiding from your co-workers! (obviously it should go without saying, that your sandwich should be made with whole grains and lots of fiber-filled vegetables!)

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Hello, hello!

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I've been hanging out at my parent's house since Tuesday - taking full advantage of free HBO, popsicles and constant attention from my mom. She brings me bowls of dry cereal, ice water, my medicine, magazines - you know, typical tasks that any mother would do for their less than able child. 

So yesterday, in the midst of bringing out those previously mentioned items, from up out of no where comes my mom, shoving a handful of herbs into my face "Here! Smell these! They came from my garden!" 

Without having much of a choice, I smelled the handful of herbs, and was actually pleasantly surprised by their fresh smell. My mom further informed me that she is also growing cilantro, rosemary, mint, orange mint, parsley, basil, garlic chive and oregano in our backyard. 

Now, for those of you who don't know much about herbs past the spice section of the grocery store, herbs are small leaves or seeds that can be used in cooking to give the food more flavor and dimension. This could be as easy as sprinkling some basil and parsley into a spaghetti sauce, to flavoring boring old tap water with some mint leaves or even creating a marinade for chicken or fish, such as my mom did last night -  
here my mom is cutting up some garlic chive, parsley and rosemary herbs  into some bourbon for our salmon to marinate in for the day. 

The options are limitless! 

If you do try to grow your own herbs, here are some tips on how to keep them fresh!
  •  Loosely wrap herbs in a damp paper towel, then seal in a zip-top plastic bag filled with air. Refrigerate for up to five days. 
  • To revive limp herbs, trim 1/2 inch off the stems, and place in ice water for a couple of hours.
  • Snip off as much as you need, and the plant will last for weeks or even months.
  • Wash herbs just before using; pat dry with a paper towel.
  • In most cases, heat kills the flavor of fresh herbs, so they're best when added to a dish at the end.

Anyone have any suggestions on how to use herbs while cooking?
Is anyone growing their own herbs?

Stay Healthy,

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Non Meat Protein Sources

Hi guys! I'm sitting here at my parents' house recovering from some ankle surgery, which gives me lots of time to bust out some excellent blog posts, so, if you have any questions or topics you want more information on... please, let me know and you'll be sure to see them on the blog in the next day or two.

With that being said, I will forewarn you that I am on some pain medication, so for the time being, let's look past my grammer mistakes, spelling mistakes, punctuation errors and any kind of silliness I may leash out on you guys, although, those grammar mistakes are probably pretty typical in my everyday posts....

Alright, let's get to it - Remember this post on protein? Well, if ya'll do remember, I said that in the next few weeks I'd have some additional ideas of protein sources for those of you who are vegetarian, or even for those who are sick of eating chicken and fish every week... so here we go...

Non-Meat Protein Sources.

  1. Beans/Lentils. These include pinto, black, garbanzo, kidney, white and edamame. 
  2. Nuts/Seeds. Almonds, walnuts, pine, pistachio and cashews.
  3. Faux Meat. This includes veggie burgers, chicken patties and any other soy/nut based fake meat. The one thing to be aware of is that these products are often highly processed and are loaded with sodium. Try to find these products with 350 mg or less of sodium. 
  4. Tofu/Tempeh. These are good protein substitutes for chicken or burgers. 
  5. Dairy/Eggs.

The most important thing when it comes to consuming protein from a plant source - such as the examples above - is getting all the essential amino acids our body needs. Animal protein contains all the essential amino acids, however, plant protein is lacking or significantly lower in at least 1 of these essential amino acids our bodies need. So in order to make up for these lacking nutrients, it is very important to combine certain foods that will give you all the necessary amino acids. Ever wonder why rice and beans are so popular among vegetarians? Well that's because the combination of the two provide all the essential amino acids. Hummus and whole wheat pita or quinoa and red beans are just two more examples of these combinations. 

Something to consider doing when going meat-less to to prepare, prepare, prepare! Making meal plans will make it a whole heck of a lot easier getting all the essential amino acids our body needs.    

I realize I keep bringing up these amino acids, but I DO, because not only are they the building blocks of our body - they build muscle, maintain organ structure - but they also help our immune system. So please, make sure you are getting all these amino acids! 

If anyone has any recipes or insight onto eating vegetarian, please share!

Stay Healthy!

Monday, May 7, 2012

90% - Cap City Recap

Hello, hello!

Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. Mine was super busy... full of race expos, quarter marathon walking, half marathon spectating, celebrations with friends and my Godchild's 1st Communion on Sunday.

I recently saw a quote on some social media outlet that read 
"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it." 

I would absolutely love to take the time and reflect on the different sorts of things this quote can be applied to in everyone's life, but I figured I could waste your time more effectively by sharing my own life event and how I reacted and responded to the situation. (and besides, I've always wanted to do a race recap blog post)

So long story severely shortened, I've had an ankle issue for quite some time now and was unable to run the half marathon this past Saturday. Instead of being a total brat and wallowing in self pity, I decided to make the best of it and walk the quarter marathon alongside my also ailing sidekick:
The above picture was taken at the point when the quarter marathoners veered off the half marathon course. I'd be lying if I said we weren't disappointed, but after boosting each other's morale, we were somewhat happy with the fact that we were at least out doing something and not sitting back at the apartment watching wedding reality TV shows. 

Along our 6.55 journey, we snapped some photos of our favorite city:
Cheered along the half marathoners:
Took some time to document our optimism:
And overreacted to a black cat crossing our paths:
We decided before starting the race that we wanted to run the last half mile. At about mile 6, we picked up our walk to a decent jog and eventually ended up sprinting to the finish line.

We crossed the finish line at 1:34 and averaged a 14:24 pace. We were pleased. Walking is tough. In addition to the multiple blisters I formed, both me and my roommate woke up Sunday morning stiff and sore. 

From what I've heard it was a tough race. It sounds like the humidity was a HUGE factor for lots of people. Hopefully everyone who is reading this, and who ran the race, took my hydration advice and rocked out the race.

Congratulations to everyone who had a successful race!

So whether you're recovering from an injury, trying to lose weight, or just trying to adapt to a healthy lifestyle, remember it's what YOU make of it and how YOU react. 

Stay Healthy and Happy,

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Fun

Hey guys!

There seems to be A LOT going on in the wonderful city of Columbus this weekend:

  • Capital City Half Marathon (and quarter and 5k)
  • Cinco de Mayo
  • Short North Gallery Hop
  • Columbus Clippers baseball in town
  • The President of the USA visiting Ohio State on Saturday

Anyone partaking in any of the above events? I'm curious to see how this whole half marathon race and Obama's appearance pan out. I wonder if there has ever been a road race that includes running through metal detectors... just a thought. 

So in light of all the fun stuff going on, I wanted to switch gears for a moment and do a fun, light-hearted post to kick things off. I think a lot of people who are trying to lose weight, eat healthier and exercise more sometimes get too wrapped up and uptight about everything. Eating healthy should be a lifestyle, not a prison sentence. With that being said, here are some fun things/photos I'd like to share with everyone. 

The Onion.
This was a big deal in mine and my roommate's summer last year. Each morning we would wake up to see noteworthy, overnight growth. We might have even discussed taking the story to the local news at one point we were that amazed. We suspected we had an alien onion, however a less than amused response from my roommate's mom proved otherwise. 

What can I say, it's the little things in life that amuse us!

My Best Follower and My Worst Critic.
My little sister, Kelsey, is a regular reader huge, die-hard fan of Everyday Eating. However, she is also a die-hard fan of calling me out certain things said on the blog. Drinking whole milk and only having 1 adult beverage on St. Patrick's Day are just the beginning of her bratty little sister comments. (haha, kidding). So in effort to prove her wrong, I decided to document some evidence. Remember my post on new ideas for dates - The Dating World? Well, here ya go:
Me and my perfect grip at the driving range. 

Healthiest Appetizer Option at Happy Hour:

Health-IER Chocolate Chip Cookies:
Last Thursday my sister and her two friends drove over from Athens for a concert at Nationwide arena (Eric Church and Brantley Gilbert). Me, being the overachiever and people pleaser that I am, wanted to have a little something for the girls once they arrived at my apartment. Since I'm all about finding ways to make things a little less bad for you, I whipped up some chocolate chip cookies, using some yogurt in lieu of eggs and some of the butter. I found a recipe online that I used, with a few modifications due to lack of supplies:

  •  preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake cookies for 8-10 minutes  

    • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Chobani Greek yogurt
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
    • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 
The good thing about these guys is they taste great... the girls said they were, and I quote - "phenomenal" without even knowing they were a bit healthi-fied.

Well, that's all the fun things I have for now. I could go on forever, but that would mean less reasons for ya'll to come back.

Everyone have an awesome, safe and fun weekend.
Make the best out of every situation.

Stay Healthy,