Underneath the title of my blog reads: Student-Athlete in love with health & fitness. I have been debating the need to change this. Technically, I quit my collegiate cross country team in November. However I still consider myself an “athlete.” I’m determined to live the healthy lifestyle every day (some more successful than others). The last two weeks I have focused on prioritizing exercise & cooking ACTUAL meals.
Pre-marathon I let myself splurge and indulge on a regular basis. Froyo? Sure! Let’s bake cookies? Okay! You want to go out for sushi and starbucks? I’m down! After a while though I just start to feel…blahhh. Like I know I need my lean & greens. Now I’m back on-board that health train… There have been plenty of socials & snacks in the past week. Hiking Sedona, the Super Bowl, my roommates birthday dinner, and a friend’s birthday brunch. But in true healthy life fashion, I found ways to make all of the above fun & guilt-free.
Some friends and I drove down to the beautiful red rocks, excited to get a picture on the Devil’s Bridge. We made a pre-hike pit stop at Sprouts. To fuel our outdoor adventure, we filled our backpacks with apple slices, orange slices, mixed nuts, and a whole wheat turkey & avocado sandwich.
Can we talk about that hike for a minute? I had a growing need to get out of my college town. I still have that need. I’ll go back to Sedona every free day I have. But this hike led up to the most gorgeous views, made even more dramatic by the dark gray clouds that threatened a storm (but never conceded). Hiking up the rock stairs out on to the bridge was a glorious celebration of beautiful nature :)
Super Bowl Study Session!
On Super Bowl Sunday, I had a long to-do list of homework and group projects to complete after my long run. I made (yet another) trip to Sprouts for some fresh fruits. Kerri was coming over to knock out a few hours of homework while the game was on. Our study snack for the day consisted of fruit salad (bananas, grapes, blueberries, & strawberries), Hawaiian coffee, and cinnamon soy crisps. BRUNO MARS KILLED IT. That boy’s voice >>>>
Mackenzie’s Birthday Celebration:
My roommate Mackenzie turned 21 while we were all home for winter break. Meaning no party! So we threw her a little birthday celebration last week with her favorite dinner, cute decorations, some games and of course dessert. (The girl didn’t want alcohol…call her crazy!)
However, my roommates’ taste don’t really fit into my healthy lifestyle and food preferences. So I don’t think you should avoid social situations just because they are unhealthy, and I also don’t want to compromise my healthy values to splurge on something that I don’t enjoy. So I made my own dinner on the side and Mackenzie didn’t mind one bit. My Dinner: Spaghetti Squash, chickpea veggie burger, sweet potato and green beans while my roommate’s enjoyed their homemade Cream Cheese Chicken with Rice & Corn. In this case, she really can have her cake and eat it too ;) I can still celebrate without feeling ‘food guilt’ (a whole other topic I’ll get to another day).
Fernanda’s Birthday Brunch:
Another friend also had a birthday recently, so I made her birthday brunch this morning since my Friday class was cancelled. I just like to make things pretty! Whole wheat blueberry pancakes… bananas… strawberries… blueberries… coffee (duh). And THAT is how to start a lovely day :)
I’ll be spending the evening watching the WINTER OLYMPICS with friends and making Valentine’s goodies :) all about that #healthylife!
P.S. Today took an unexpected adventure to GNC with my best friend just to try out the much-talked-about “Quest” bar. I picked the Cookies n’ Cream bar at the suggestion of the GNC worker. Loved the texture & “cookie” chunks :) I could write about the bar, but Taralynn McNitt has already done so quite nicely so I’ll just post a little link to that here: Cookies n’ Cream Quest Bar.
We are combining chocolate and breakfast. Yes, it’s healthy. Just go with it.
After an especially-challenging workout, the body can use a little extra protein. I’m a huge fan of (homemade) smoothies and if you have a few extra minutes to blend up your post-workout breakfast, it will be totally worth it. For the past two mornings, I’ve made this dessert-y smoothie and it tastes too delicious to be healthy. But I promise it is!
- 1/2 cup Vanilla Almond Milk
- 6 oz. non-fat plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 heaping spoonful Whey Isolate Protein Powder (unflavored)
- 1 heaping spoonful unsweetened cocoa powder
- sprinkling of cinnamon
Chocolate and berry with all the nutritional benefits of low-fat, high protein for 180 calories. Stick the yogurt in the freezer for an hour to make the smoothie extra thick!
I’m not too familiar with supplements or protein products. (I would eat my entire day’s value of protein from peanut butter if it weren’t so dang fattening ;) ) So when I was shopping at Sprout’s the other day and spotted “Whey Isolate Protein Powder” I thought I would try it out. The unflavored powder is only 35 calories per 2.5 Tablespoons, and can be easily added to oatmeal, smoothies, and protein pancakes.
Whey is a high-quality source of protein that comes from milk, and Isolates are processed to remove fat and lactose. Whey Isolate Protein Powder is virtually entirely protein, without fat, lactose or carbs. It’s generally the most expensive because of this. It’s fast-ingesting, supports a strong immune system by working as an antioxidant, and of course speeds up muscle recovery.
According to this Runner’s World article, cocoa has a positive effect on endurance athletes. Enough said! ;) 1 tablespoon of cocoa a day adds nutritional value with antioxidants, fiber and magnesium. And also I believe it makes you happy!
I’ve got plenty of protein powder left, so more fun smoothies to come!