Getting back on the blog wagon

It sure has been a while since my last post. Life has definitely sped up (in a good way) and I just let blogging slip through the cracks. I am still in the process of figuring out what kind of style blog I want and what content I want to focus on. Over thinking all of this has caused me to just avoid it all together. Starting a blog these days is challenging! There are so many amazing blogs out there and I feel overwhelmed about where to start/ how to keep up.

Then I took a step back and realized that I just simply need to write and be real. I want to use this space as a journal, as inspiration and as way to reach out to others with similar interests. Since my last post in June- A LOT has happened! A lot of big life things that I am proud of and that I worked hard for. So I want to re-visit this space and stay consistent with it going into 2017. I don’t have to put pressure on myself to have a beautiful blog with a ton of followers. I just need to put myself out there and write! Simple as that.

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Protein Powder 101

I used to think that protein powders were meant for body builders or those trying to bulk. I didn’t think I really needed one since my goal is to gain lean muscle and improve my cardiovascular fitness. However, when I started to track my protein intake per day, I realized that I was not getting enough protein. How much protein is enough? Well that can probably be its own separate post, but I like to go by 1 gram of protein per lb of lean body mass as a daily guide.

The first time I walked into the nutrition shop, I felt completely overwhelmed! The stacks of massive cases of powders, supplements, bars and products was a lot to take in. I had no idea where to begin. There are a lot of different powders out there, so I decided to go back home and do some research first. Here is a quick explanation of the different types of protein powders:

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Working during mealtime hours? How to stay on track with Nutrition

Working in the service industry or in any job that requires you to work through mealtime hours without a real “lunch break” can make it really difficult to eat healthy. Your running around like crazy from from 4pm-11pm and surrounded by delicious food the entire time. Ugh. When blood sugar levels start to drop, its really tempting to drink soda or to eat the mozzarella sticks that were ordered by accident. However, snacking mindlessly throughout the shift does not really even satisfy you, and those calories add up. Then by the time the shift is over, your will be craving a carb-heavy meal and devour about anything.

So between a few sodas, mozzarella sticks, a couple soup samples and your actual meal, thats could be around 1200-1600 calories consumed. This seems nuts because you spent most of the night feeling hungry. Yikes!

So how do you work around this? I have worked in the service industry for 3 years and learning to eat healthy during work has definitely been a learning process. Here are five ways to help you stay on track:

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Mud Run/ Spartan Race Guide: How to be race day ready

You have signed up for a race, trained hard and now you are approaching race day. Planning out food and workouts the week leading up to the race can be challenging. The goal is to have peak energy and strength on race day and be as prepared as possible. I completed a spartan race about 2 weeks ago. This is a guide to how I got race-day ready, as well as tips and photos from my experience!

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How I trained for my first Obstacle Course Race

Last weekend I completed a Reebok Spartan Sprint in Charlotte, NC. There are three different types of spartan races. The Sprint is 3-5 miles in length and has 20-24 obstacles throughout the course. The Super is 9-11 miles with 25-28 obstacles and the Beast is 12+ miles and 30+ obstacles. Since this was my first obstacles course race and I am not much of an endurance runner, I stuck with the sprint. For this post, I am going to focus on what I did to train for the race. My race experiences and tips for race day will come later 🙂

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Weekly Workouts + Happy St Patty’s Day

Happy St. Patricks Day! I remembered it was St. Patricks day this morning as I was getting ready. I don’t ever do anything to celebrate, but I figured I would at least change out of my all-black outfit and put something green on.

Over the weekend, my boyfriend Shan and I went to our first Charlotte Hornets basketball game. The basketball game fell on the same night as  Charlotte’s St. Patricks Day Pub crawl…and holy cow! We did not know what we were walking into. The pub crawl was huge and there were people everywhere (apparently 20,000 people participated). By the time we got uptown, the crawl had been going strong for a couple of hours. So everyone had a dazed look in their eye. It did look like fun, but I was happy that we were heading to the basketball game. The hornets played great, beating the Houston Rockets 125-109.

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Yoga, Art & a Live DJ…Sign me up!

There is definitely not a lack of yoga studios and events in Charlotte. I have absolutely loved trying new studios and going to different events since moving here last summer. I have been hopping around taking advantage of new student specials in order to find the perfect studio (annd to save some $$). The yoga presence in Charlotte is great and it has given me something to get involved in. I have also made some friends in the process, which has made Charlotte start to feel like home.

Last night I went to NC Yoga Bars “Balance to the Beat” event. NC Yoga bar is a “pop-up”studio in Charlotte. They hold classes at galleries, breweries, apartment complexes and for private parties. The vibe is really friendly and inviting, without any kind of studio intimidation. The event was held at the Advent Coworking Art Gallery. I got there early to have a look around and there were a ton of cool/unique pieces to check out before class.

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Viva Las Vegas

I absolutely love to travel. Its such a thrill to put yourself in a new place and explore the surroundings. Being spontaneous, trying new foods and meeting new people are just a few things I love about traveling. My latest travel adventure was celebrating my 26th birthday with my boyfriend, Shan in Las Vegas. He completely surprised me with these travel plans a few months prior to the trip. So it was awesome to have something to look forward to for my birthday this year! I am going to share my top 5 highlights of our trip as well as 5 tips to stay on track with your health while on vacation.

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Making a comeback this flu season

Flu season is here in full swing and I did not get so lucky this year. I caught the stomach bug that has been going around Charlotte and have been out for 3 days now. Getting the flu makes me feel so defeated. I think to myself “how the hell do I do what I normally do day to day?” Waking up at 5:00am to get to work, getting an afternoon workout in, coming home to make dinner, prepping breakfast and lunch for the next day and then unwinding with Shan before we call it  a night. It all sounds so exhausting…

Now I am finally starting to feel like a human again, thankfully! But the thought of jumping back into my normal routine is really overwhelming. I feel like I put this un-neccessary pressure on myself to bounce back quickly in order to make up for lost time. I need to work on being patient with myself and listen to my body. Right now I need rest, fluid replacement and fuel. The body won’t be able to train efficiently again until its healed and all the bad bacteria is gone.

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Life Lately + Weekly Workouts

This marks my third week as an intern at Carolinas Medical center. I am finishing up my graduate degree in Exercise Physiology through Eastern Michigan University. Since I moved to Charlotte NC over the summer, I found my internship down here. I am working in cardiac rehabilitation and I really like it so far. It’s such a relief that I am enjoying the work and picking up things quickly. The pre-graduation excitement/ nerves are starting to hit me. I am thrilled to be graduating, yet slightly terrified because now I really have to put my big girl pants on and enter the real world.

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