1 Year Blogiversary

Today marks 1 year since I began this blog! Time sure does fly when you’re blogging fun. 😉

Let’s flashback to my first blog post. How cute! I had no idea what I was doing, just typing along.

Wow, how times have changed! Here I am 12 months later, 21 years old, a vegan and professional weight lifter (lol okay maybe still amateur), but STILL, I have evolved quite a bit and will only continue to do so as I keep heading down the path toward bettering myself and the world around me. I’m just over here trying to be the best Colleen I can be! 🙂

Back to preparations for my trip to Spain…I leave in T-minus 4 days! Where is the time going…

I went grocery shopping today with my mom to grab some comfort snacks for my trip! I am banking on loving the food in Spain, as I’ve heard its the bee’s knees, but my favorite bar or SIXTEEN never hurt. Gotta love the Sweet Sixteen bar deal at Whole Foods! They know how to hook a girl up.

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I also had to stop by their amazing buffet and grab some of my favorites, without failing to try something new. I make myself get at least one new thing every time. I haven’t not liked one thing yet.

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I need to look further into Spanish customs, but I am hoping to bring some nuts and nut butter with me too!

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I also started a group chat last night with all my Barcelona roommates, as our housing specifications were posted yesterday, and let’s just say, I think we’re all going to get along just fine. On top of all being from different states through out the U.S. and bringing our own little piece of diversity, I had mentioned I wanted to join a gym once we arrived and not one, but all of them expressed how avid they are about staying active and adventurous. We have plans to go hiking, go running in town, travel everywhere, EAT everywhere, visit an ice bar (?), and of course beach it like everyday, while making sure to show each other our gym moves. Oh yeah, and I guess go to class too. There are 6 girls living in my apartment, which sounds a little dangerous, but with these ladies, I couldn’t be more excited!

I’ve been trying my best to eat even better than usual in preparations for las playas de Barcelona. I’m essentially just trying to lean out a little more in my week leading up. In doing this, I’m cutting out coffee, so that includes my coconut or soy creamer and Truvia sweetener, excessive fats (not too much nut butters, nuts or oils!), and carbs past lunch time. I’m also trying to incorporate more green smoothies, teas and water. Hopefully I see a little pay off and if not, that’s okay, I know it’s excellent for my bod.

I forgot how awesome dandelion root is for you! You’ll definitely be finding me downing this tea all week.

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I have yet to start packing. I’ll hopefully get to that tonight. How will I ever fit 6 weeks worth of stuff into one suitcase under 50 lbs?! I don’t really think this will be possible given my history.

Well I need to grab some food before I head to my brother Kyle’s lacrosse game! My thoughts keep taking me to the rest of my Whole Foods fixings.

Talk to all you chowido-ees later!

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Where Has the Time Gone?

Hi there all and Happy May (best month)!

As stated in the title…where the heck has the time gone? Really. I can’t believe my last blog post was during spring break. My serious apologies.

Good (sad) news though, my junior year at Virginia Tech is officially done with and my Summer has begun!

Before I move on, I must update you on what you’ve missed out on since we’ve been apart.

  • I’ve been continuing with my sprints weightlifting usually 6 times per week and eating entirely plant-based.
  • I attempted running distance for the first time in 6 months because the weather was so beautiful and found my endurance to not be as strong as it once was, having to slow down much quicker than I remembered. Since then, I have been trying to incorporate more cardio than just sprints into my workouts. I’ve always loved jump roping, so thats been a winner lately.Image
  • Exciting news–I hit 10 months of veganism on May 5!!! Who would’ve thought? Not me. Thats for sure. I will say with final exams and end-of-semester projects and papers to cram for, my routine was thrown a little off whack. That’s life for you, I guess.
  • Oh, and then my 21st birthday happened last Saturday, May 10. That didn’t exactly have me on my A-game either. It was my 21st though. Go hard or go home, right?Image
  • Yesterday, when I arrived home, we celebrated my birthday, Mother’s Day and my mom’s birthday. Its always back-to-back-to-back in my family, and I wouldn’t want it any other way! I got some awesome kitchen supplies for my future homes, bracelet charms, some gift cards and money. I also heard word that a special surprise would be waiting for me upon my arrival back from Spain. You will hear more about that later though. Any how, birthdays are the best.

“Spain?!” you ask? Yes. The rumors are true. I will be departing for España in one week from now, Tuesday, May 20. I am crazy excited for my study abroad trip. I feel so lucky to be able to spend 6 weeks in Barcelona, Spain while earning credit toward my International Business minor. I know this is a once in a lifetime experience, so I am pumped beyond words!

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With all this excitement, I decided to make a blog specifically for my time in Spain. I will be documenting all my adventures and hope that you might tune in to see what I am up to.

Check it out. CHOWIDOSpain 🙂

I’ve also made the executive decision to consume seafood while in Barcelona, as it is a coastal city specializing in fresh, local seafood dishes, like the famous Paella. It was an extremely difficult decision to make as I’ve grown and become so accustomed to eating plant-based only, fully understanding the plethora of benefits the lifestyle yields to our society and my personal health. With that being said, I also do not want to miss out on the cultural experience of Spain or feel continuously limited as I find means to nourish myself.

Fortunately, I will be living in an apartment with a full kitchen and will have access to the wide variety of Barcelona produce markets, rumored to be some of the greatest and largest in the world. I’ve also done my fair share of vegan restaurant research and since Barcelona is a large city, it boasts its fair share. I will most definitely make sure I make my way to some of those!

As far as exercise in Spain, from the info I have gathered, it seems as though working out is not something of too much popularity in Spain, especially for women. Yes, my jaw dropped too. Everyone is expected to have nice bodies, but being seen working out is apparently against the social norm. The university doesn’t even have a gym! Crazy, I know. Don’t worry though, I have requested recommendations for gyms in the area from my program specialist. I was also told that wearing workout clothes while not working out is socially unacceptable. Goodbye yoga pants? Shorts are also not socially acceptable. However, skirts, dresses and pants are. Goodness gracious, Spain, ya killin’ me.

Well I have a lot to do before I leave next Tuesday, so I better get to it! I’m sure I’ll be making some yummy concoctions and hitting up the  gym while I’m home so be looking out for that.

Chow for now! P.S. It was so nice catching up 🙂