Monthly Archives: July 2015

California to Carolina

8 days, 3 states, 7 new towns, 8 local coffee shops, 2 alligator sightings, and 1,180 miles later….the Tour de South 2015 is complete :)

Summer Southern Roadtrip

 A couple weeks ago, I flew from California to Charlotte, NC before I rented a little Lancer and drove through thick forests, farmland, beach towns, mountain ranges and historic landmarks.

 Let me tell you, “Southern Charm” is real. I have NEVER experienced the type of culture I did in the southern cities of Charleston and Savannah. The cobblestone streets, 18th century buildings, Civil War memorials, patriotic flags, water towers, lighthouses and friendly people were so drastically different from my usual Southern California lifestyle. The Spanish moss trees lining the streets in Savannah were enchanting and the plantation-style homes in Charleston were straight out of a movie set. Actually I think I was most impressed by what I didn’t see: trash, graffiti, traffic, crowds, or brown/dead land….literally EVERY MILE we covered was lush and green and vibrant. The greenery on the East coast is unbelievable!

Road Trip Southern Style on Stronglikemycoffee.com

 If you’ve been reading Strong Like My Coffee for a while, you know that my home is in California but I have been dying to experience life in the country. Flagstaff was my college town but never felt like home, and my graduation present to myself was a summer roadtrip through the southern states to see if the movies and my imagination matched reality on the opposite coast. (Spoiler Alert: Yes.) Obviously I have hundreds of pictures and dozens of stories to share so I’m breaking up my trip into a few posts to share the highlights from the highway :)

I’ve been going through my pictures to pick out the best of the best and tomorrow I’ll recap my first few day in North Carolina…Charlotte, Wilmington, Wrightsville and Southport Beaches, Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains, touring the Biltmore Estate, exploring the Airlie Gardens, hanging out on Dawson’s Creek docks, shopping at The Cotton Exchange, getting caught in a summer thunderstorm and venturing through UNC Wilmington’s campus should grad school be on my horizon ;) See you here tomorrow!

Downtown Wilmington North Carolina

Southern State of Mind 

Clearly I’ve been a little MIA from the blog since I travelled across the country this past week…absense makes the heart grow fonder? I hope? The truth is I’m having such an INCREDIBLE adventure that has exceeded my expectations in every way, and I really need some time to create blog posts that will do this trip justice. 

  
This morning I had coffee next to a very perky peacock before I toured the Magnolia Plantation, wandered upon some alligators in a swamp, drove from Charleston to Savannah (impulse stopping at farmer’s market) and finished off the afternoon poolside before happy hour. My heart feels so happy here in the south, it’s been unlike any other vacation I’ve had. 

  
Obviously I’ve taken hundreds of pictures and I already have a dozen stories to share, so there will be many recaps comin’ your way! It just deserves enough time to fully convey my experience before being published ;) 

I still have three more cities to explore before I bring this road trip to an end and I don’t want to waste a second. Signing off for now, hope you enjoy your weekend :) 

  

Healthy College Girl Meal Plan

I did a little “data digging” on the behind-the-scenes end of the blog this past weekend. The site statistics allow me to view some “analytics” around my readers (no, no specific names or locations…your identity is safe! Haha) like which pages get the most views and which search results brought readers to my website. Reading through the search keywords that lead people to stronglikemycoffee.com was surprisingly entertaining. Here’s a few of the completely random search results that brought readers to stronglikemycoffee.com …

  • “I feel like a pig” (I’m sorry you had to Google this. :( But I’m assuming it took you to my Farrell’s Ice Cream Post —-> Sunday Sundae and the Pig’s Trough)
  • “Can girls hike” (Ummm it’s 2015, girlfriend.)
  • “Snacks for a Coffee party” (I want to be your friend!)
  • “Fruit in Disguise” (I’m intrigued)
  • “Do I have to workout on Sundays?” Not sure that Google is the best source for that one!
  • More than one “Easy Diets” (Easy + Diet? Hah!)
  • And a surprising number of searches for “Pumpkin Bra

Out of the 26,000 search results in the past  2 years, 10% have been some variation of “healthy college meal plan” or “college diet for girls.” First: hate the word diet. I don’t follow any specific food trends or fad diets (unless someone has coined a fancy term for balancing-a-healthy-dose-of-leans-and-greens-with-equally-healthy-doses-of-graham-crackers-and-chocolate-pretzels). ;)

My daily meals and snacks are pretty consistent, full of fruits, vegetables, complex carbs, proteins, and healthy fats. Because so many “healthy college meal plan” searches lead to this page, (and I don’t want you falling victim to the Banana Girl Diet) I thought I’d share a breakdown of what’s worked well for me:

Healthy College Meal Plan on College Fitness Blog Sttronglikemycoffee.com

  • Everyday begins with a cup of coffee within 32 seconds of waking up.
  • 8:00am breakfast at the office:
    • Steel cut oats with half a banana, cinnamon, occasionally some blueberries, and unsweetened almond milk.
  • 10:00am snack:
    • Apple slices to quiet the growling belly
  • 12:00pm lunch:
    • Almost always a homemade yogurt parfait: non-fat yogurt with ½ banana sliced, almond slivers, strawberries, and whatever other fruits we have at home like nectarines, pears or mangos. Plus a crunchy snack like a serving of honey whole wheat pretzels, cinnamon graham crackers or ½ a protein bar like Quest Bars, Luna Bars, or Larabars.

Healthy College Girl Meal Plan | Clean Eating for College Students | Stronglikemycoffee.com

  • Afternoon snacks:
    • square of dark chocolate with an iced coffee.
    • Pre-gym snack: Rice cake with PBFit (powdered peanut butter, 55 calories for 2 Tbs.)
  • Dinner:
    • Salad (Greens, bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, sometimes avocado, whatever fruit is in season, lite vinaigrette), roasted or grilled sweet potato circles, and a veggie burger (rotating black bean burgers, quinoa burgers, and garden medley burgers.)

Healthy College Meal Plan | Clean Eating for College Students | Stronglikemycoffee.com

  • Dessert:
    • (Unless we’ve gone to the gym pretty late, I almost always have dessert. I have a perpetual sweet tooth.) Could be a homemade peanut butter chocolate chip energy bite, square of Ghiradelli dark chocolate, or some dry cereal.
  • P.S.:
    • SO SO much water all day. Dehydration can have nasty effects.  I would say I drink about 75 ounces a day. (But sweat out about 40, hah!)
    • Limit alcohol. I love a fruity cosmo as much as the next college girl but the effects that alcohol has on the body keep me from regularly sipping the sangria. I save my alcohol splurges for special social occasions, and I always try to lighten the drink and sip lots of water to prevent its dehydrating effects!
    • I can’t drink my coffee black so I add in about a tablespoon of non-fat non-dairy creamer, but if you like your coffee sweeter, try stevia instead of sugar!
    • Restaurant calorie and nutrition information can be off by about 10% and typically include more oils and salt than you would add yourself. Packing lunches and snacks for the majority of the weekdays is the healthiest way to go, if you ask me!

Clean eating in college requires a little more effort, grocery shopping and washing/cutting all the extra produce. You can’t argue that packaged goods are more convenient but I think it’s absurdly obvious that our country is in a huge health crisis when you see the average size growing and growing every year. I wish we put more of a focus on the quality of nutrition and the impact it has on every part of our life! Eating healthy in college is like an investment in your future, and after you begin making a cleaner meal plan, it just becomes a habit. You start to no longer crave the icky fried foods and sugary drinks because you know they won’t make your body feel good.

Shrimp Salad from TK Bar (Stronglikemycoffee.com)Aaaand that’s a typical work day meal plan for me. Maybe that will be more useful for those of you googling “healthy college girl meal plan” I hope? I’m about to play tourist in Wilmington, NC and do some potential future-hometown huntin’….. can’t wait to share more later! :) I-40 California to Carolina | Stronglikemycoffee.com

 

XOXO Kenz.

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