That College Kid Grind

I hope everyone is having a marvelous Monday, and if you weren’t, you are now that you’ve stopped by, I hope!

The second week of school has begun and things are finally starting to kick into full gear. I have homework from almost every class, my sorority and business fraternity have events left and right, and Hokie football season has now officially begun! It’s gonna be a busy, busy semester, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Now that the semester has really begun, I have been reminded of the cold, hard facts. Maintaining the diet and exercise I prefer, that I am able to during the summer months at home, is a bit more of a challenge here. Of course, it’s a challenge I’m fully willing to accept. Health should never be sacrificed. We all just gotta do the best we can.

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I’m no newbie when it comes to a fully loaded college schedule, but as I’ve grown in my understanding of health and fitness, I’ve adapted different habits, interests and likes that make the typical college kid lifestyle not so appealing.

From the ever so frequent time crunches, the late nights, the ongoing activities, the lack of funds, and the abundant, delicious Virginia Tech dining hall options, eating clean and optimal exercise doesn’t necessarily come as easy. I will say though, I’ve been doing my best and am pretty proud of the job I’ve done so far.

I try to run Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings before my 10:10 AM class (approx. 3 miles interval training), so then Tuesday and Thursday when I have 8 AM’s, I find something else to do, whether it be going to McComas Rec Center, or running later in the day. Weekends have been a bit lazy around here lately, but I’ll hopefully be changing that.

The meal plan I purchased allows me 10 meals a week, which is more than I will need. My plan is to eat about one meal (lunch) on campus each day, plus an occasional coffee or a smoothie, and the rest will carry over into spring semester.

On-campus favorites:

For all of you Hokies reading, Turner Place is hands down my favorite place to go, partially for its convenience to the academic side of campus, but mostly because of its delicious, healthy options and beautiful facility. I think most of you can agree.

  • Turner Place Soup Garden salads
  • Turner Place Jamba Juice smoothies & steel cut oats

This was a pomegranate paradise smoothie & brown sugar oats. My go-to’s.

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  • Owen’s salad bar
  • Owen’s mexican bowl

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  • ABP/Dulce’s soy latte

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Below was actually today’s lunch: coffee from earlier that morning and a Clif bar, as I had to skip out to finish a homework assignment due that afternoon– a perfect example of unideal conditions. You just gotta roll with the punches, people.Image

On top of that VT meal plan, I have gone to the grocery store about once a week so far to pick up some necessary and a few not so necessary items. Just this year I discovered the wonderfully huge and fancy Kroger down South Main, or “Gucci Kroger” as VT students call it. This store has a great selection of produce and two whole aisles of natural foods. I’ve actually found that section to be quite dangerous for my wallet.

This was after yesterday’s haul, alongside my roommate, Bong. I think she was going for the “just another piece of produce” look.

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I’ve found a new favorite, a tolerable version of this super drink I’m always hearing about. I think it kind of tastes like chocolate milk, but that’s also coming from a girl that hasn’t had dairy in almost two months. Lol.

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Obviously with all these groceries comes some lovely kitchen concoctions. Here are a few I remembered to snap a pic of.

These were seeds from a spaghetti squash dish I made that I forgot to snap a pic of. I was telling my roommates getting the seeds out is more difficult than actually preparing the spaghetti squash. Truth. But they are just such a tasty, pop-able snack, and good for ya!

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Baked sweet potato w/ cinnamon & garlic basil spinach brown rice

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Sauteed veggie medley w/ chickpeas

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Sauteed garlic brussel sprouts, mushrooms and quinoa

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Natural PB w/ chia seeds, flax meal and cinnamon on Ezekail 7 Sprouted Grain Bread & apple slices

P.S. I’ve always heard about this special outstandingly healthy bread, but am just now finally trying it! So, so good. I approve.

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Now as far as eating vegan, I’m pretty used to it at this point and haven’t had any issues. It’s really not that difficult, and reaps SO many benefits or veganefits. I rarely even find myself thinking about the things I used to have so often (greek yogurt, eggs, salmon, etc).

Of course I prefer cooking in the comfort of my kitchen, knowing exactly what is being put in my food, but it’s college. I’m gonna go out every once in a while. That’s a given. I just have to know where I’m going in advance to see what I can get. No biggie.

But if it’s up to me, Gillie’s in downtown Blacksburg is the place to go. This restaurant is number one in my book. I can say that almost every single item on their menu sounds delicious. Here’s one of my favorites, the Gillie’s Burger. The burger is served on a chick pea bun with fresh cole slaw in sesame ginger vinaigrette. Yum!

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It’s almost been two months since I made the switch and I feel fabulous. I’m actually shocked myself to think I’ve been a vegan for that long. Wowzers.

I seriously encourage everyone to try a vegan week, as your own personal growth experiment. That’s how it all started for me!

Anyways, I’m off to do a little more homework and then it’s bedtime for this sleepy girl. This one’s got an 8 AM class tomorrow morning. Wee…

Chow for now!

Mozzarella Caprese & an Egg Scramble Kind of Weekend

First off, Happy Fathers Day to all those lovely fathers out there!

Here’s an infamous Insta occasion pic of my dad and I last summer in St. Thomas. Kind of wishing I could teleport there right now…

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To start off, this weekend was just what I had expected: a get-stuff-done type weekend, which is fine, but I need a little summer adventure. Summer 2013 is feeling a bit dull.

Good thing I’m heading to Blacksburg next weekend! I’m pretty excited to see some of my good friends that are actually spending the summer there and start the move into my new apartment with my good friend and soon-to-be-roommate, Bong.

Okay so rewind…

Friday evening was a girl’s night in. Participants: Mother and I.

Friday’s Dinner:

Mozzarella Caprese Dip served w/ Multigrain bread

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My mom and I both had a later lunch and weren’t too hungry, so this did the trick. All I had to say was wow! We originally found this recipe on Pinterest, our go to, about a year ago, but this was the best it’s ever been. One thing she did differently? You’d never believe…

She added MORE garlic. If you know my mom at all than this wouldn’t surprise you. She’s a garlic fiend and I’m happy she is. It added even more flavor to this already amazing dish.

  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Roma tomatoes (sliced)
  • Fresh garlic (minced)
  • Fresh basil

Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, then broil for 2 minutes.

Definitely one of our better Pinterest finds.

Saturday morning started with an 8 AM alarm, which was so very nice, a whole 2 hours of extra sleep. Who would’ve thought I’d be excited for an 8 AM alarm on a weekend? Gotta love my summer schedule!

Saturday’s Workout:

The 3 miles was actually kind of spur of the moment and has a funny story. I don’t know about you guys, but I really don’t like running around other runners outside. The treadmill is fine, because you can’t really tell how fast the other person is going and you’re beside them, not in front of or behind them, so you don’t really care.

So, I was running along the main street I live off of, about to turn onto the smaller neighborhood street I typically turn into to do the majority of my run, and what do you know? Another runner comes from nowhere and turns into the street. Well, if I had turned like I normally would have, I would have been either trailing him the entire time, which is annoying, or awkwardly pass him and then him watch me run the entire time. I wasn’t about that, so I kept on the main road, a risky move in some’s eyes.

Maybe it was the change of scenery or the steady traffic passing by, but I was so revved up, I felt like I could keep going and going. So, thank you fellow runner, thank you.

It was so beautiful out Saturday morning, I could barely stand it.

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P.S. Sorry about the lack of eye presence in this pic. I guess we’ve never talked about this, but I have super sun-sensitive eyes. I’ve learned this from any outdoor pictures ever. I’ve just kind of given up.

Saturday’s Workout attire:

Apparently I was really feeling the thumbs up on Saturday.

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I fully enjoy wearing bright colors while working out. You can’t look drab while feeling fab. That wouldn’t be right, now would it?

Saturday’s Brunch:

Tomato Mushroom Basil Grilled Chicken Egg White Scramble

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I found this chicken in the fridge, so I figured I might as well throw it in!

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  • Roma tomato (sliced & diced)
  • Large mushroom (sliced)
  • Fresh basil (3 medium leaves)
  • Small piece of grilled chicken (sliced)
  • 2 egg whites

So I’m just highlighting the cooler stuff here…(because majority of my weekend was spent doing summer class funzies :()

No workout for Sunday. I almost always use it as my rest day. Much needed too. These new pilates exercises I’ve been incorporating lately have me feeling super sore.

This morning before 9:30 mass, I quick cut some apples and drizzled some almond butter atop (an obvious favorite).

Sunday’s Breakfast:

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Father’s Day Dinner:

My dad whipped up this masterpiece, as he usually does. Hey, he wanted to cook on Father’s day, and I wasn’t about to pass that up.

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  • Dill grilled halibut (1/2)
  • Grilled asparagus
  • Grilled brussel sprouts
  • Blue potato (1/2)

Oh, and here’s your daily dose of Hudson from this weekend:

He managed to climb up on the table to get his ball– only problem he found was how on earth to get down.

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Hudson and Kyle being cute & cuddly after dinner this evening.

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Hope your weekend was more eventful than mine, and let the work week begin. Hello Monday…

Yeah, I was serious about that St. Thomas teleporting…

Manic Monday…and Tuesday

This week started off a little slow, or rather, I did.

I was a little off my sleep schedule, per usual from the weekend and traveling, so I got to bed late Sunday night and was a walking-talking zombie all Monday.

The best part- I had 8 hours of work and 4 hours of class to tend to, after a morning work out of course.

This was the biggest struggle.

*Note: sleep is of the utmost importance. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you can throw all your health conscious decisions down the drain. Sleep deprivation is counterproductive to a healthy lifestyle. Plus, sleeping burns more calories then staring at a computer/TV screen.

Workout consisted of:

  • 2 mile run (steady)
  • 100 jumping jacks
  • 100 knee highs
  • 250 abdominal variations (sets of 25)
  • 1 minute plank
  • 1 minute wall sit
  • 3 sets of 25 calf raises (forward, toes in, heels in)

Breakfast was not pictured, therefore probably not too exciting.

For lunch on Monday (11 PM), I had a replica of my Sunday dinner, which was just as tasty. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I don’t mind repeat meals.

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Later in the day (2 PM), I had some raw almonds for a little pick-me-up. I was seriously dragging, head bobbing at my desk and all.

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I also downed as much ice cold H2O as possible, in effort to revive myself.

While we’re chatting about water, I usually fill up my 750 ml Camelbak water bottle about 3 times per work day and about 6 times per day. My water bottle holds roughly 4 glasses of water, so you can do the math. Water, and plenty of it, is essential to leading a healthy lifestyle.

When I finally got back from work, I had about an hour to relax and eat dinner before my night class, so I heated up some delicious pasta my mom had made the night prior.

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  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Grilled chicken
  • Tomatos
  • Chopped Garlic
  • Fresh basil
  • Olive Oil
  • Pepper

I enjoyed some watermelon for dessert and chilled with Hudson, my puppy homeboy, while watching an episode of Friends in an attempt to recharge my battery.Image

When all fails though, make some coffee. And that’s just what I did. I brewed a cup for my night class to ensure I didn’t snooze off halfway through class, which there was a high probability of.

I actually added peppermint extract to my coffee, as I sometimes do to give it a little kick and in this case to awaken me a teeny bit more, but I was in a bit of a rush and didn’t use a spoon to ensure the right amount and poured a lot bit too much. I took one sip and cringed. Sad part was I drank the entire thing. I knew I had to to stay awake. THIS is why sleep is so important!

Tuesday morning came a slight bit easier to me. That 6 AM alarm is never pleasant, but as long as I can get past it’s initial terror, I’m up and at ’em and ready to go.

*Trick: In order to make myself get out of bed once the alarm has gone off, I try and make myself as uncomfortable as possible, so I want to get up. For example, in the summer, I almost always keep my fan on at night and usually only use my sheet. When I need to get up, I will turn my fan off and cover myself with the heavy duvet to a point where I feel miserably hot and just want to spring out of that heat chamber. Brilliant, right?

My work out consisted of

  • 2.5 miles (Interval sprints)
  • 250 abdominal variations (sets of 25)
  • 1 minute wall sit
  • 1 minute plank

What do you guys usually listen to when you work out?

I often find myself using 8tracks. There are so many great workout playlists, and really just a lot of great playlists of all different kinds for that matter. The site is constantly updated with new ones too. I find a lot of my new music that way.

From playlist to playlist though, this song never fails to be included. Well, I guess it’s not really a song, just a guy trying to keep you focused and dedicated. Give it a listen.

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I personally prefer music, but I get the jist.

Breakfast was something new! Sort of.

I was feeling inventive and actually thought this up on my run.

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An almond butter apple sandwich! I should patent this.

  • Thomas whole wheat english muffin toasted
  • Almond butter (spread on both halves of english muffin)
  • Apple sliced parallel (my cool way)
  • Pinch of cinnamon (for extra flavor)

In order to make it up to myself from the night before, I picked up some Starbucks on the way to work. The Tall Soy Latte and I made a great pair as we worked through the morning.

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For lunch, it was same old, same old, my favorite.

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I first whipped up my yogurt concoction.

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  • Greek yogurt
  • Spoonful of peanut butter
  • Raw almonds
  • Diced apple

I usually get asked about my yogurt mix-ins, as most people are used to the pre-made flavors. Not this girl. I always prefer plain yogurt and like to do the add-ins myself. This way it’s fresher and more tuned into my particular liking.

Later Tuesday evening, I had some school work to do, like I will almost everyday this summer.

I rely heavily on my sticky notes on my desktop to keep me on task for school, so I have been doing the same for my summer classes. Here is my schedule and to-do’s for this week.

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Summer classes may be a lot shorter, but that sure doesn’t mean any less work.

I snacked, learned some lessons, did some homework, and took some quizzes. It was exhilarating.

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Later that evening, my sweet tooth kicked in again. Not surprising.

I made another sweet treat almond thing.

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  • Raw almonds (15ish)
  • Ghiradelli dark chocolate sqaure (70% cacao) melted
  • 1 tb peanut butter melted
  • Pinch of cinnamon

If I can pull any sort of lesson from my day to day living, I would say that living healthy is all about improvising. When you are craving something, don’t ignore it, just fix something better for you that will still satisfy. In the process, you will end up discovering so many food possibilities. It’s really pretty exciting. I now pride myself on my inventiveness in the kitchen. It makes food fun.