FullyRaw Challenge: Day 1

Today marks Day 1 of the Fully Raw 21 Day Challenge! I will be eating 100% raw fruits and vegetables from today until January 26th, and I couldn’t be more excited.

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Day 1 was a success! I headed back to school yesterday, but stopped at the grocery store first to pick up some things I’d need for the upcoming week. 100% raw and 100% glorious.

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I slept in late this morning (which is unheard of), so I had more of a brunch than breakfast. It consisted of a green smoothie, banana, and a little later on an orange.

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In the smoothie was: kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, 1/2 green apple, and lemon juice.

I went for a 5-mile run at around 1:00 PM, and had to BUNDLE because it’s very chilly here in Connecticut. Thankfully there wasn’t any wind, so I was able to enjoy my run.

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It did start to rain though, so I ended up in a wet-cold. No fun.

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I got hungry at around 3:30, and my cravings really kicked in. I tried to suppress them with an apple and a hand full of almonds, but I was still pretty hungry. I ended up having an earlier dinner, at around 5:00 PM.

Dinner was so exciting. I made my own spin on Kristina’s zucchini noodles and marinara sauce, and it was delicious. I’m waiting on getting a spiralizer at the moment, so I shredded my zucchini with a regular peeler. I made noodles out of one green zucchini, one red squash, and one carrot. I also added raw broccoli and mushrooms before topping the meal off with the sauce.

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Kristina uses a Vitamix blender for her sauce, but I only have my Nutribullet. It still worked, thank God. In the sauce went the following:

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Today I learned that the key to staying satisfied is having large portions, so I made a huge bowl of noodles all for myself. Can I just say, it was out of this world. I haven’t eaten pasta in quite some time now, so I don’t miss the carb. But this really did taste better to me than a heavy pasta meal would have otherwise tasted.

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Day 1 was a success! 20 days to go!!!

FullyRaw 21 Day Challenge

Gooooood morning!

I have some exciting news! I’ve been interested in those individuals who are “raw foodies”, or eat little to no cooked and processed foods. I’ve always been intrigued by this idea, but never had the push to do it. Well, taking my own advice from my 10 Ways to Beat the January Blues, I’ve decided to take part in Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram’s 21 Day FullyRaw Challenge!

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The idea is to eat a diet that consists of 100% raw fruits, vegetables, and minimal nuts and seeds to flush out my system and hopefully create a habit. Here’s a video explaining the challenge:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vctw6Ch1IIY

I’ll be sharing my journey with you all, and I encourage you to take on a challenge yourself!

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Here are some more videos explaining the raw food lifestyle:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bge-OkyN3E

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPNiafGG3d8 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgMm_U9rXec

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp_GMMv9bxM

As always, feel free to contact me via email at:

sneakers.sandals@gmail.com

10 Ways to Beat the January Blues

January is my least favorite month of the year. I hate being cooped up inside the house, with limited options for exercise, and I end up going stir-crazy. I get the January slumps. If you feel the same way, here are some ways to beat the sluggish feelings and have the best January yet.

1. Bundle up and get outside.

I know it’s cold, I know it’s windy, I know it’s miserable. But studies show that increasing your Vitamin D levels from the sun (even if it’s cloudy) can increase your mood for the rest of the day. Go for a jog, walk the dog, or simply stroll around the neighborhood. You’ll feel better once you do.

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2. Create a personal challenge.

My mom told me that she’s going gluten-free for the month of January. In case you don’t already know, I am gluten and lactose-intolerant, so I keep gluten and dairy out of my diet 100% of the time. She decided to try this in an effort to eat whole foods and hopefully boost her energy levels. I strongly encourage you all to do this. Whether it’s going gluten-free, going vegan like Taralynn did, or simply exercising every day, I challenge you to challenge yourself.

3. Read a book.

You know that book that’s been sitting on your shelf for the past year? The one you’ve been “meaning to get around to reading”? Do it. Set aside thirty minutes each night before you go to bed, and get lost in a story. This can help you sleep and distract you from all the stresses going on in your life.

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4. Turn off the TV.

Just before writing this post, I was reading for my class from the book Media Effects Research, about the idea that television displaces other activities. It focused on the idea that watching TV takes up time that would be spent doing something else; especially academics, reading, exercising, or socializing. It said that there is a strong correlation between TV watching and obesity, in that the more TV is watched, the less time an individual focuses on their heath. TV watching also induces mindless snacking. So turn off the TV, socialize with your friends or family, and you may just lose that extra five pounds.

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5. Catch up with friends.

The best part about the winter is trying out new places with old friends. Call up your friend from high school who you haven’t seen since graduation. You know you’ve been meaning to get together, so take the plunge and do it. You’ll be happy once you did.

6. Clean out your closet.

It’s amazing how much clothes college students get. Especially after the holidays, January is a perfect month to get rid of what no longer fits, what is no longer in style, or is just on its last leg. Make a conscious effort to ask yourself “will I ever wear this again?” If the answer is no, toss it.

7. Complete a puzzle.

A tradition we have in my house is to give my dad a 1000-piece puzzle for Christmas, and work on it during the month of January. The holidays are over, so we don’t need the dining room table anymore, and it is consumed by the puzzle. If you’ve ever done a puzzle before, you’ll know that it is so addicting. I get sucked in for hours trying to find the right piece. It’s especially fun when the whole family pitches in, turns on some music, and has lots of laughs while working together to complete it.

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(Ignore the finger)

8. Try a new restaurant.

One of my favorite things to do is try a restaurant I’ve never been to. I guarantee you haven’t tried them all. Don’t be afraid to go out with your family, friends, or significant other and try something you’ve never had before. Who knows, it may become your new favorite. And if it’s nothing special, well, at least you tried. My goal for when I get back to school: try the Indian restaurant that just came in down the street.

9. Have a game night.

There’s nothing better than putting out some snacks, sipping on some drinks, and playing a solid game of “Clue”. My family, Josh, and Mark’s girlfriend, Chandler, did this a few weekends ago while on a trip in Vermont, and it was SO much fun. We were able to get competitive and it brought out our true colors. Lots of laughs and a guaranteed good time.

10. See a new movie.

I know nobody wants to spend $10 to sit in a movie theater. With things like On Demand, Netflix, and Hulu, going to the movies seems like a waste of money. But this is another way to have a night out, socialize, and see the best movies of the year. After all, Oscar season is right around the corner.

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Questions:

  • What are some ways you like to beat the January blues?

As always, feel free to contact me via email at:

sneakers.sandals@gmail.com

Change of Plans

Yesterday started off like any other. I woke up, had my breakfast, wrote my blog post, got dressed and headed to class. My routine is usually as follows: run, class, library, work, home. Because of this, I wear my work clothes to class. I dress professionally, so it takes a little extra time in the morning. Yesterday I wore  a new outfit that I got for christmas.

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Then it was time to make the trek in the snow. My class is about a 20 minute walk away from my apartment, so it was NOT fun.

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Class was very interesting. I’m finally getting into the bulk of classes in my major, so I enjoy school a lot more now. My professor is absolutely amazing, too. He’s so knowledgable and helpful yet is young and cool so he relates to us all really well.

After class I was planning on going to the library. Remember that lunch I prepared yesterday? Yeah, well I left it in the fridge. A lot of good that did. I ended up going to the student union to buy some soup and salad instead, and do my work there. I bought a small vegetable and rice soup and greek salad with no dressing. Wasn’t as good as what I packed, but it worked.

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Then it was time to hit the books. I moved into the student union lounge area, and was extremely productive. I like the material I’m learning, so I tend to go on a roll when I start to study. Not complaining!

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While I was in the middle of working, I got a text-message from the university saying that it would be closed that evening and all of tomorrow due to the winter storm. That meant no work, no class, no gym. I made a quick decision and booked it out of the union and back to my apartment to pack up some things for the weekend and head home before the storm got too bad.

This was a great decision on my part. I was able to hang out with the daycare kids, get in a workout in my basement, and still finish up my school work. My workout was a quick 30-minute threshold workout, followed by the daily lunges circuit. It’s my go-to workout whenever I’m not feeling overly creative.

Once I was showered and clean I ate dinner, which was lemon-seared turkey breast and steamed vegetables. Yum!

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Mom and I finished off the night reading by the Christmas tree. We lit lots of candles and I ended up finishing my book. I read Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects. Like all of her books, it was extremely twisted but so addictive. 

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Today will be filled with studying! Woooooo!

  • What are your plans for this snowy day?

As always, feel free to contact me via email at

sneakers.sandals@gmail.com

A Cold Run & Shrimp Kabobs

Yesterday was a day spent recovering, relaxing, and preparing. I spent my New Years Eve at Josh’s house with his family and friends, and we had a good time playing pool and socializing. I woke up there and spent the morning working on a puzzle with his family and drinking some much-needed coffee and water (need I say more).

I got back to my apartment at around 11:30 and made myself some brunch, which was a random assortment of uncooked oats with fruit, steamed broccoli and spinach. Don’t ask, that’s just what I was craving.

I spent the rest of the afternoon catching up on homework (I’m taking a class during winter break) and getting myself organized. When I was digested I decided I needed to get moving. I bundled up, because it is COLD and WINDY here on the UConn campus, and headed out for a quick run.

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My quick run ended up feeling really good, and I kept going for six miles–not terrible. I ended up going at a 7:15 pace, so I was booking it without even realizing. That’s always the best.

Josh and I had planned on him coming over for dinner, because I wanted to cook up the last of the shrimp I had in my freezer. I was craving kabobs, so I went to the store and picked up some last ingredients I needed. He came over and we ended up making it a group effort. I chopped and he skewered. It was a good time. On the kabobs were: seasoned shrimp, red pepper, yellow pepper, zucchini, red onion, and pineapple.

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Then crisis occurred. The skewers were too long for the grill pan (*gasp*)! We were bummed that all our work was for nothing, but that’s okay. Into the pan went the ingredients, and it ended up cooking just as well.

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The end result was delicious. We put the food over raw spinach, and enjoyed dinner while watching a movie.

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After dinner I was planning ahead for my day today, and realized that I would be on the move from start to finish. I decided to make my breakfast and lunch ahead of time to avoid losing time in the morning (now). For breakfast I prepared oats with berries and chia seeds. This morning I took it out of the fridge and ate it cold. For lunch I made a salad with some leftovers from the kabobs, plus 1/2 of an avocado and raw zucchini.

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Of course I’m already running late, so I’m off to finish my coffee, get dressed, and head out into the snow to get to class. I’ll be back later with my eats and fitness for the day. Have a great day!

Goals for 2014

Seeing as it’s January 1st, I figured I’d reflect on the past year, and look towards what is to come in 2014. The past six months have been huge for me. At the end of the summer, after a lot of thought and discussion, Billy and I decided to end our relationship. We were together for two years, and went through unimaginable milestones and hardships through our time together, and we were next to each other every step of the way. There was no fight or falling out, we just decided that it was time for us to move on as individuals rather than as a couple.

I took advantage of being a single college girl. I went to parties, I met new guys, and I had fun with my friends. I did this because I believed this was what I “should” be doing as a 19-year-old girl in college. But this wasn’t what I wanted to be doing. I enjoy being healthy, I enjoy having low-key Friday nights with my friends, and I enjoy keeping to myself. Going out every now and then is always a good time, but I didn’t like making it a routine. 

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I had been dating here and there, but I wasn’t hitting it off with anyone. I figured after coming out of a long relationship, I wasn’t looking for anyone serious, but I never turned down a date. My roommate, Marlena, ended up fixing me up with her friend, Josh, and we went on a date and completely hit it off right from the beginning. We have been dating for a few months now, and I’m as happy as can be :)

As far as looking forward to this year, I don’t like to make “resolutions” for the new year. I feel this phrase has a negative connotation, and I end up setting my standards too high for myself, only causing disappointment. I’m going to go through each aspect of my life, and set goals for myself that are realistic, attainable, and exciting. 

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Education. 

1. Be on track to graduate a year early (currently doing!).

2. Get a position in my department assisting with research.

3. Apply and interview for internships this summer.

4. Apply to scholarships. 

5. Get a GPA that is my personal best (above a 3.7).

Fitness.

1. Run farther and faster.

2. PR at every race (especially my half).

3. Incorporate more strength training.

4. Go to yoga more often.

5. Don’t cancel a spin class when I sign up.

Health.

1. Eat more balanced meals.

2. Spread out my snacking.

3. Eliminate most/all GMO’s from my refrigerator (pricey but worth it).

4. Go to the farmers market as often as possible.

5. Experiment more in the kitchen.

Character.

1. Visit my grandparents more often.

2. Make play dates with Jack and Jane even if I’m not babysitting them.

3. Find a positive spin on everything.

4. Stop complaining.

5. Begin freelance work. 

I urge you all to create goals for yourselves. Whether big or small, everything counts towards living a happier, healthier lifestyle, which I’m all about :)

Now, I don’t have definite plans for the entire year, but here is an overview of exciting things I’ll be doing in 2014. 

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January: Weekend away, winter class, spring semester starts. 

March: Alternate spring break to Moore, Oklahoma (!!!), Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon in D.C.

May: My sophomore/junior year ends, potential internship begins

June: My 20th birthday, potential internship

July: Potential internship

August: Potential internship ends, family vacation to Banff and Lake Louise in Canada, junior/senior year begins (SCARY)

This is all I know of so far, but I will be keeping you all updated more often than not. Here’s to a healthy and happy year, and if you haven’t already, I urge you to make the plunge towards becoming the best version of yourself!

Questions:

  • What are your goals for 2014?
  • Do you agree with setting “New Years Resolutions”, or do you find them silly?
  • Any fun plans coming up this year?

As always, feel free to contact me via email at sneakers.sandals@gmail.com 

 

 

Chickpea Cookie Dough

Good morning friends! I want to share with you a seriously delicious gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan recipe. The holidays are full of sweets, but there are ways to have healthy, allergen-free alternatives without sacrificing the delicious flavor.

Presenting…..

Chickpea Cookie Dough!

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This recipe is incredibly easy and makes a delicious dessert. You can choose to bake the dough, but because the recipe doesn’t include flour, the consistency makes the cookies crumble. They are still delicious, though, so feel free to pop them in the oven if you wish!

Recipe:

Chickpea Cookie Dough

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chickpeas, skins removed, patted dry
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Combine chickpeas, peanut butter, vanilla, and agave in a blender or food processor. Blend until it’s a fine puree.

2. Remove cookie dough mixture from blender, and place in a large bowl. Add vegan chocolate chips, and mix well with a wooden spoon.

3. Serve and enjoy!

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Of Possible Interest:

The Most Wonderful Time

Ahhh yes, it’s that time of year again.

The snow is falling…

 

The fire is cracking…

 

The…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh wait, what’s that?

 

 

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FINALS.

It’s finals time. 

Actually, finals time ended last Friday. I died slowly inside, but in the end I was stronger than were the exams, and I crushed them. I ended the semester with a 3.7 GPA, which is the best I’ve gotten so far. Boom.

Now I can properly enjoy the greatest time of the year–Christmas time. UConn gives its students a lengthy 5-week break between fall and spring semesters, so I decided to take advantage of it and take a class and work at school. I’m at school now working, but I did go home this past weekend to get my Christmas tree with the parents. 

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It began to snow right when we got there, which added a nice little Christmas flare to the event.  Image

Then it was time to decorate. 

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Ah yes, the classic fat-relaxing-patriot-fanatic-santa ornament

I was snowed in after work today, so I’m taking that as the universe telling me to rest. I’ve been working on some applications and budgeting, and getting caught up on life that got past me during finals.

I’ll be sure to be posting more often again, now that my life has slowed down a bit. 

I’ll be back tomorrow, folks, have a great night and go huskies!!

The Power of a Great Day

Yesterday was full of wonderful strides towards becoming better. I spent the morning working on a final project for one of my classes (finals are only a few weeks away…eek!), and I feel like I did a really good job and got a lot of headway on it. Then I was feeling like I needed a run, so I laced up my sneaks and headed outside.

It was unbelievably nice out, so I was very comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt. I ran without a watch and without expectations. All I wanted was to GO.

Afterwards I got a lot accomplished at work, then went to yoga with my friend, Nellie.

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This is Nellie. Hi Nellie.

We completed an hour-and-a-half vigorous yoga class, which was very challenging for me. As you can see from her picture, Nellie is a yoga extraordinaire, so she wasn’t as challenged as I was, but we both agreed it was a great class. At the end, the instructor turned off all the lights while we meditated, and we both almost fell asleep. Needless to say, the class was much-needed.

I feel like an accomplished day full of exercise, healthy eating, and mindful awareness is essential to living a healthy life. Not every day needs to be this extensive. Especially while living in a college setting, habits like these can be tricky. But if you set your mind to it, if you wake up every morning and repeat a mantra to yourself, you will be happy.

This morning I woke up extremely sore and extremely tired, but I opened my eyes and told myself, “today will be a great day”, and I am determined to make this true.

I’m Back

Hello? Is anyone there?

My apologies for the long hiatus, college is just getting the best of me and my time. Here’s a little update on my life:

1. I love school.

My sophomore year at UConn has been absolutely incredible. I’m in love with my classes, with my apartment, with my roommates, and with all the new friends I’ve made.

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2. I love kale.

With the apartment I’ve been able to be more creative with my cooking, and kale is a staple ingredient in almost every meal. I’ve been taking full advantage of the nutrients I’m able to get now that I have full control over what I put into my body. Although there is a slight struggle when it comes to portion control, I’m doing extremely well with my food and I’m completely satisfied.

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3. I love running.

What else is new? I ran in the Surftown Half Marathon back in September in Misquamicut, Rhode Island, and I killed it. My goal was to PR, which means get a time under 1:40.53, and I ended up finishing in 1:37.56. It was amazing. I’ve never fallen in love with a race before then, and I highly recommend it for anyone.

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4. I love yoga.

I’ve been going to a yoga studio located right off campus and I can confidently say I am on the journey to finding myself through this practice. I know many people have a skeptical outlook on yoga, and it has changed my life completely.

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I have every intention on continuing to post and explore myself with this blog, so I urge you to stay updated and connected with me.

Happy Monday :)