Monday, April 29, 2013

Meal Planning

Hey everyone!  Hope your week is off to a great start.  I feel really prepared for this busy week thanks to all the planning I did yesterday.  It's amazing how much of a difference that's made!

One of the things I did to plan for the week was meal planning!  Erica usually shares her meal plan for the week on her blog, and I felt inspired to do the same this week.
Sorry, had too much fun with PicMonkey!
Monday-Not gonna lie, I make a really good homemade meat sauce for spaghetti.  I'll share the recipe with y'all tomorrow, don't worry.
Tuesday-Chicken and Dumplin's in the crock pot.  One of my favorites!
Wednesday-Hamburger Helper Lasagna boxed dinner.  I'll most likely throw in some fresh tomatoes, onions, and maybe some spinach for some added nutritional value.
Thursday-I have to do take-out/leftovers because I have a study session after school, then I head to a workshop.  I won't get home until after 7:30, so it's got to be something quick and easy for dinner!
Friday-Joe and I always get Mexican food at a local restaurant on Friday.  It's lots of fun!
Saturday-I found this recipe for Stuffed Italian Peppers from Running in a Skirt.  She also participated in Julie's Crock Pot Challenge, so I look forward to trying out this recipe that she said was tasty!  I'm going to also serve them with some Italian sausage for some protein.
Sunday-I think Joe and I have a day trip planned, so we will probably pick something up on the way home.

Two great things about meal planning:
  1. I know that I have all of the ingredients for each of these dishes!  I made my meal plan before going to the store, so I picked up everything that I didn't already have in the kitchen.
  2. I don't have to wonder "What's for dinner tonight?" or freak out in the middle of the day because I didn't leave meat out to defrost!  Plus, I can do some prepping the night before to make cooking dinner a lot easier.

Today's workout was Best Body Bootcamp Workout A.  We're in the 5th week, which means we're in the 3rd phase of workouts.  This workout focused on the "pull" muscles of the body (biceps, hamstrings, chest, etc.).  I used heavier weights than usual, and it made me feel strong!  

For example, we did these concentration curls before in round 4 of BBB.  I was barely able to complete all 15 reps with 5 lbs.  Today, I used 8 lb weights for almost all of the reps!

Question for you: Do you plan your meals in advance?  Or, do you usually make your meals with whatever you have in the kitchen?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

BBB 5 Week 4/SBBC Week 8 Recap

The end of this week marks the halfway point for Best Body Bootcamp and the end of the Spring Bootie Buster Challenge.  Today, I wanted to update you on how I did this week!
Image Source
Here's a look at my week in workouts:
Monday-30 minute elliptical workout + Workout A (pulsing reps for shoulders + lower body)
Tuesday-BBB Core Workout mixed with a cardio circuit
Wednesday-Active Rest day (20 minute walk with Wewii)
Thursday-20 minute treadmill workout + Workout C (pulsing reps for upper body)
Friday-Active Rest day (15 minute walk with Wewii)
Saturday-Step Class + Workout B (total body strength workout)
Sunday-1.77 mile run + BBB Core workout
My goal in the Spring Bootie Buster Challenge was to earn activity points each day.  Turning my rest days into active rest days earned me points for every day of the week!  I wagered 50 points from the challenge that I would do this, and I'm happy to say that I made my wager!

My first goal of this phase of BBB was to take a daily vitamin.  I did much better with this last week, as I only took a vitamin 4/7 days this week.  In an effort to make this happen continually, I set my vitamins in front of my cereal.  That way, I have to move them to get breakfast.  May as well take one while they're out of the cabinet!

My second goal was to brush my teeth, floss, and wash my face each night before bed.  I met this goal 5/7 days.  I will say, this is becoming much more of a habit for me thanks to setting this goal for the last two weeks.  I will still be working on this (especially since I'll be making a dentist appointment soon!), but it won't be one of my goals for the next phase.

It's time to switch up my goals again.  I'm not sure about the second goal, but I know that one of them will be to drink 8ozs of water before drinking coffee in the morning.  I usually don't start drinking water until about 9:30am after waking up at 5:45, and I've noticed that I've started to get dehydrated earlier in the day.

As for my goal to make qualitarian choices, I think I did a great job with it this week!  Today, while grocery shopping, I decided to pick up a Luna bar instead of some candy bar at the check-out aisle.  Not only did it satisfy my sweet tooth, but it's nutritious, too!

Highlight of the Week
During step class on Saturday morning, I was watching myself in the mirrors and noticed my upper body.  My arms and shoulders actually looked like they had definition!  I was so excited and finally felt like I was reaching my fitness goals.

Goal for Next Week
I want to continue my anti-laziness project by getting things done before sitting on the couch in the evening.  This includes getting to the gym after school to ensure that my workouts happen.  I have a busy week with meetings after school, but I've done some prepping today to be prepared for everything.

Baseball, Beach, and Prom...Oh My!

It's Sunday already?  Man, the weekends seem to just fly by!  Joe and I have had a fun one, and I wanted to share what all we did!

After our usual outing for Mexican food, we headed to the Daytona Cubs game!
They were playing the Flying Tigers (ha!) and it was Dog Days!  You could bring your dog to the park for the game.  Well, Joe thought it'd be a good idea to bring Wewii.  We also went with our friends Carson and Kristy.
Wewii doesn't exactly play well with others, so I was quite nervous.  But, once he settled down, we all enjoyed the game!

Our group also had our picture taken for the Cubs Facebook page, and I found the photo this morning.
I look a little rough in this...guess it was a long day!
Joe and I went home to watch a movie, which means Joe stays up late and I fall asleep within the first 30 minutes.

I started the day at the gym.  I went to step class (which I LOVE) then completed workout B from Best Body Bootcamp.  As I was in step class, I was checking myself out in the mirror (not ashamed to admit that!) and noticed how sculpted my upper body is starting to look.
This is the first time I can really say that I'm happy with the way my arms and shoulders look!  I'm so happy to say that!

Afterward, we went to the beach for some relaxation in the sun and sand.  You can drive right on the beach in Daytona, which makes it easy to head to the beach for a few hours.

While I was soaking up some sun, I also got to watch a wedding taking place on the beach.
I felt sneaky taking that picture on my iPad!  I was reading a book on it, but I just had to get a picture of the wedding.  So pretty!

We stayed there for about an hour and a half.  When we got home, I did some laundry, we ate dinner, then I had to get ready for prom!

I decided to help chaperone prom with Ashley, one of the other math teachers.  I thought it'd be fun to see how this school does prom, even though I only teach freshmen and sophomores.  Plus, it was an excuse to re-use a bridesmaid dress from a few summers ago!

Prom was held at the Daytona 500 Club, a really nice event hall in the middle of Daytona International Speedway.  You get to drive under the track and through the pit to get to the event.

Once I got there, I manned the door for a bit before checking out the rest of the space.  I'd been there before with Joe, but I only saw the upstairs bar area.  I got to see the downstairs event space, as well as Victory Lane.

The theme was "All That Jazz" and I thought the decorations were great!  They were even showing some black-and-white movies outside in Victory Lane.

Ashley and I floated around together.  We had a good time looking at all of the dresses!  Most every girl wore a beautiful gown, but there were a few ladies in some semi-club attire.  We had a lot of fun picking out our favorite dresses.  We also took some time to enjoy the photo booth!
Ohhh the serious picture.  We decided to do one, but afterward, we were both talking about how awkward we are in "serious" pictures.

I only stayed until about 9:00, but I still got to see a few of my students!  Ashley and I had a lot of fun, and I'm really glad I decided to chaperone.  Once Joe got home from playing night golf with his friends (complete with LED light-up golf balls), we spent the rest of the evening watching TV and just hanging out.

Much to both of our surprise, Joe and I just could not get out of bed this morning!  The alarm was set for the early service at church, but we both got back in bed saying we'd go at 11:00.  Neither of us woke up until 10:45, so we wound up sleeping until noon!  That never happens!

The rest of our day involves getting ready for the week (for him, studying and for me, planning), some cleaning, and some errands and grocery shopping.  Just your typical Sunday!

Question for you: What did you do this weekend?  Have you ever witnessed a wedding just by being in the same place at the right time?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

3 F's Friday

So, I had this post (almost) all typed and ready to go for Friday.  But, for some reason, I never posted it!  Either way, here's yesterday's post.

Hey everyone!  After my WIAW post and talking about the chiropractor yesterday, I realized I haven't done much of my usual posting.  Well, today it's back to faith, food, and fitness.

My daily devotional led me to a Bible verse this week that spoke to me:
"Don't be selfish; don't live to make a good impression on others.  Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself."
-Philippians 2:3 (New Living Translation)

I think sometimes I worry too much about "receiving credit" for things or being recognized for what I do.  This verse was a good reminder to me that I shouldn't do things to receive recognition.  I should be doing things to serve God and to help others.  I should be doing the things that God calls me to do and that follow His instructions.  I need to focus on God recognizing me for following His commands instead of trying to receive recognition from those around me.

This was definitely something that I needed to hear this week.  It's easy to get caught up on receiving awards, being considered "the best" at something, and worrying about what others think.  Instead, I want to focus on humility, as well as giving God the recognition for what I do for others.  I'm going to pray for God's help with this, since sometimes I place too much focus on what others think or how I compare to others.

This week, I've been focused on making qualitarian choices (not perfect choices, but better, healthier choices) when it comes to eating.  I shared Monday and Tuesday's qualitarian choices, but here are Wednesday and Thursdays!

On Wednesday, Joe and I went to Golden Corral for dinner!  I love a good buffet, but buffets can really get out of hand as far as healthy eating goes.  Instead of opting for fried chicken, I chose baked fish and a baked chicken as my protein for the meal.  I also went back for seconds but only got vegetables and fruits.  If I'm going to eat a lot, it may as well be something nutritious!

Thursday evening, Joe didn't get home until late, so I was on my own for dinner.  I usually make myself a bowl of plain pasta topped with salt and parmesan cheese when this happens.  I decided to make something better for me last night.
Lemon-lime tilapia served over quinoa and spinach.  The recipe is coming soon!

Also, in the morning, I wanted to stop by Dunkin' Donuts for some coffee.  I knew I wanted the Mint Chocolate Chip flavored coffee, but after seeing the nutritional facts, I knew I didn't want all the calories and sugar in the medium size.  I opted for a small to skip out on some of that sugar.  Good qualitarian choice!

I think I'm doing a pretty good job with my qualitarian choices this week.  It's put a lot less stress on me worrying about eating perfectly.

For the last week of the Spring Bootie Buster Challenge, Amanda encouraged us to make a points wager of something we really wanted to accomplish this week.  I wagered 50 points that I would get activity points for every day of the week!  I must say, the threat of losing 50 points has been very motivating for me.

Here's what I've been doing activity-wise:
Tuesday: I completed the BBB Core Workout mixed in with some plyo moves to create a circuit workout.  I did this during Dancing with the Stars, and it was a great way to be active while watching TV!
Wednesday: Active rest day by taking Wewii on a 20-minute walk after I got home from work.  Fun!
Thursday: 20 minute treadmill workout + BBB Workout C.  This workout worked the upper body using pulsing reps.  Someone on the BBB Facebook group nicknamed this workout "Jello Arms," and I wholeheartedly agree!
Friday: Another active rest day with a 15 minute dog-walk.

I'll be back tomorrow with a weekend update (we did some fun things!) and a Best Body Bootcamp/Spring Bootie Buster Challenge recap.  Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

First Chiropractic Experience

I've mentioned a few times that my knee has been bugging me since my half marathon in February.  It's never been a constant pain, but every now and then the back inside of my right knee would have a little bit of a strained-to-sharp pain.  As we all do now-a-days, I tried to self-diagnose using WebMD and other Internet searches.  My pain wasn't matching up with any "typical" running injuries.

I was hoping Joe might be able to help me.  He is currently in chiropractor school in his 6th of 13 quarters, and they are studying extremities.  Unfortunately, the lower extremities are later in the quarter.  No luck there!

Then, he suggested I go see his friend at the student clinic.  Once they reach 9th quarter in school, the students become interns at the clinic.  They work under doctors and have to bring in 50 new patients for exams and care.

Having never been to a chiropractor before (officially), I was a bit skeptical.  I was nervous to have a student work on me (even though I know that Joe's friend is very smart and will make a great doctor).  I was also nervous because of the adjustments that Joe has done on me.  He does a good job, but the maneuvers are a bit scary (like same-motion-as-snapping-the-neck type stuff).
Image Source--also good article about neck adjustments
Disregarding my hesitations, I made an appointment.  I wanted to see if I could get this knee pain figured out, and I wanted to help Rachel get in her 50 new patients!

I had my first appointment on Tuesday afternoon.  I had lots of paperwork to fill out, then I met up with Rachel for the appointment.  She started out going over my paperwork and reviewing my pain and my medical history.  After that, she started an all-over physical exam to see what all I needed done.

Before looking at my knee, she checked my neck and spine (of course the chiropractor will check those things!).  As I expected, my neck was very tight, especially in the muscles between my neck and my right shoulder.  I also had something out of line in my mid-back.

Then, she got to my knee.  At first, she was afraid it was the joint space in the knee.  But then, she told me the pain was coming from my hamstring insertion (medical term: semimembranosus) which connects to the knee exactly where my pain was coming from.
Image Source
She then adjusted my neck, back, and hip.  She had to call the doctor in to work on my knee since she didn't have the certification for the technique they were going to use: the Graston technique.  Here is a description of the technique from the website:

"Graston Technique® is an innovative, patented form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to effectively break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions. The technique utilizes specially designed stainless steel instruments to specifically detect and effectively treat areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis or chronic inflammation.
Originally developed by athletes, Graston Technique® is an interdisciplinary treatment used by more than 16,000 clinicians worldwide—including physical and occupational therapists, hand therapists, chiropractors, and athletic trainers."

Basically, they take these tools and rub them over the effected area in order to break up scar tissue and fasica that are keeping the muscles from gliding over each other as they're supposed to.  
Image Source
First, they used the tool on the bottom right to identify the problem areas.  What was weird was in the areas that were painful, it felt like there was gravel underneath my skin!  In the other areas, it felt smooth.  I guess I was feeling the fascia and scar tissue that were around my muscles.

Then, they used the "handlebar" (long tool on the top) to break up the scar tissue and fascia.  It was a little painful, but I was warned about that beforehand.  When they were finished, they iced my knee and encouraged me to do so later in the evening.  

It was AMAZING though.  I stood up to leave, and my knee DID NOT HURT AT ALL!  I was given some instructions before my next appointment and told to come in twice a week for a few weeks.

I was afraid my knee would start hurting again on Wednesday.  But, other than being a little sore (as they warned me it would be), but the pain was not the same as before.  I was told I could still exercise, but I took an active rest day by just taking the dog for a long walk.  I also iced in the evening, and the knee is feeling good.

I have another appointment on Friday, so I'll keep you posted on the progress of my treatment!  So far, though, I must say: if you're a runner and you have an injury you just can't kick, try to see a chiropractor.  Check to make sure they have a Graston certification, or that they specialize in sports injuries before you make an appointment.  Some chiropractors are very specific about what techniques they use, but most should be pretty well-rounded.

Question for you: Have you ever seen a chiropractor?  If so, what do you think?  If not, what's kept you from seeing one?

Disclaimer: I am in no way a medical professional.  I am just speaking from an experience I had recently that seems to work for me.  For sound medical advice, please see a professional in the health field!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday #1

I've been reading healthy living blogs for about a year now, and I've noticed a few of them have a regular Wednesday post: What I Ate Wednesday.  Jenn at Peas and Crayons describes this link-up every week as a non-judgmental way for the blogging community to see what everyone is eating!  It may sound a little strange, but I've enjoyed reading the WIAW (acronym for What I Ate Wednesday) posts of the blogs I follow.

I decided to join in this week and post Tuesday's eats!  Thank you to Jenn for hosting the link-up.

So much for qualitarian choices this morning!  My sleepy-head brain reached for a box of cereal thinking it was Kashi Simply Maize, but I looked at my bowl and saw this.

Oops!  It was an enjoyable start to my morning but not very filling.  I grabbed an apple from the teacher's lounge when I got to school to eat and drank my morning coffee (Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla brewed).

Morning Snack
The hunger hit early today, so I ate a handful of (unpictured) almonds to satiate my rumbling stomach.  Then, I ate my planned morning snack of a few strawberries I picked up at the store this week.

We went to Winn Dixie this week, and their produce is MUCH BETTER than Wal-mart's!  These strawberries are still good after two days, whereas my Wal-mart ones last week were barely good the next morning!


This is a typical lunch for me: a spinach salad with tomato, onion, cucumber, and peppers; a Greek yogurt; some sort of fruit/veggie; and an occasional crunchy snack.  I loaded up on the fruits/veggies today in an effort to get 7+ servings for a Spring Bootie Buster Challenge point!

Mid-afternoon Snack

I'm always starving after school, so I usually pack a Nature Valley Protein bar to eat before I head to the gym.  Yesterday, I was on my way to chiropractor after school while eating my snack.

I didn't snap a picture of the meal before cleaning my plate, but I made this chicken fried rice boxed dinner.

Qualitarian choice of the day: The recipe called for vegetable oil, but I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil instead!  I also steamed some broccoli, topped with some low-sodium soy sauce, to eat on the side.  Joe and his friend who came over for dinner/studying thought it tasted great!

Evening Snack

Apparently, I can't get enough of these today.  It is a good snack because I don't get too full, but it also satisfies my sweet tooth enough so that I only want one bowl.

So there you have it!  A typical day in the food-life of Amy.

Question of the day: How many fruit/veggie servings do you usually eat in a day?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Anti-Laziness Project

Hey, everyone!  Hope you've had a good day.  I just got a moment to sit down and catch up on Internet stuff, so I thought I'd pop by and update you on what's keeping me so busy!

We talking in church on Sunday about hearing God and listening to what He says.  Well, I think I heard God speak to me in a realization I made the other day.

Lately, I have been INCREDIBLY lazy.  When I get home from work, I sit down on the couch and don't really get up until time for bed.  I realized as I looked around my messy house that my laziness was affecting many things in my life.

Not only were my chores getting neglected, but I realized that my laziness was also affecting my relationship with Joe.  He would get frustrated with me when I wouldn't do something I said I would (which was because I sat on the couch and became lazy).  I would be upset because he was frustrated with me.  

My work was also getting neglected.  As a teacher, there are lots of things I have to do at home (plan lessons, grade papers, study up for myself, etc.) and I haven't been doing any of them!  It took me three weeks to grade a set of 20 retake tests.  Not good.

I've also been lazy when it comes to growing in my faith.  My devotionals have been going to the wayside last week, and I haven't been taking the time to pray.  My spare moments have been mindlessly watching TV or messing around on the computer.

I turned to the Bible to see what it had to say about being lazy.  Proverbs had three verses relating two laziness, and two of them really spoke to me:

"Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.
He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son."
-Proverbs 10:4-5

"The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt"
-Proverbs 12:27

"We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized.  We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised."
-Hebrews 6:11-12

After my realization on Sunday and reading these verses, I've been making a point to get things done BEFORE sitting on the couch.  I want to be a good wife, a clean person, a good teacher, and I especially want to grow in my relationship with God.  Since setting that goal, I've done a good job at getting things done.  Joe even mentioned yesterday how impressed he was with all the chores I was accomplishing!  Then, I take the few hours before bed to only watch the TV shows I want, only look at the things on the Internet that really interest me (i.e. only check Facebook/Twitter once or twice).  I've felt that those few hours have been much more quality relaxing time as opposed to quantity.

I'll keep you updated on my anti-laziness project.  I'm hoping that my excitement about this will continue and become habit.  I'm certainly reaping benefits so far!

Sorry for a post with no pictures, but tomorrow's post will MORE THAN make up for it! :)

Question for you: What's an area of your life that you need to work on?
Speaking from (two days of) experience, I think it's worth it to just go for the change!  You'll see a difference and hopefully it's a positive one.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Intensity-Increaser Elliptical Workout

Hey, everyone!  Hope your week is off to a good start.  I must say, I've turned over a new leaf, and I think that it's really going to improve my energy and happiness each day.  Don't worry, I'll share that with y'all (after I've had some time for it to stick).

After a week of out-of-the-ordinary posts, it's back to the usual material.

Diana's blog post about striving to be a qualitarian eater rather than a perfect eater really struck a chord with me.  Because of that, I'm making this the Week of Qualitarian Choices!

A qualitarian eater (in case you didn't read Diana's post) is one who makes a better choice when it comes to food rather than the perfect choice.  Today, I actually made TWO better choices when it came to breakfast and a snack.

First off, when it came to breakfast, my craving was for something sweet, but I went something something a little sweet and nutritious!
Fruity Pebbles were my favorite cereal growing up, and when I saw them last week at the store, I had to pick them up!  I passed up my childhood favorite in favor of a little bit healthier cereal.  I found this Kashi Simply Maize cereal on sale at the store this weekend and decided to give it a try!  To tell you the truth, it did satisfy my craving for something sweet this morning.

When I got home this afternoon, I needed a snack before making dinner.  I bought a variety pack of chips (in hopes to try the new Lay's flavors, but they weren't in there!) and they were calling my name to hold me over until dinner.
Instead of the Cheetos, my usual go-to chip, I grabbed a bag of Sun Chips!  They met my need for something crunchy while also giving me a serving of whole grain.

I was pleased with myself for making two better choices when it came to food.  Also, I was surprised that these substitutes still satisfied my cravings!  Maybe there is something to this qualitarian thing after all :)

Following in the footsteps of last week, I went straight to the gym after school today!  To warm up for Best Body Bootcamp Workout A (more pulses!), I completed this Intensity-Increaser Elliptical Workout:
(Like the little gerber daisies?  Those were the flowers my bridesmaids carried, so I had fun putting those on my workout!)

30 minutes on the elliptical + pulsing reps on the legs and shoulders had me sweating and feeling the burn!

Question for you: What was your favorite childhood cereal?
Fruity Pebbles and Alpha-bits cereal were my favorites!  Remember those?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

BBB Week 3/SBBC Week 7 Recap

First, I'd like to point out a new addition to the side bar!  I've added quick-link buttons so that you can find me on Twitter, Pinterest, and send me an e-mail.  I'd love to hear from you!

Second, it's time to announce the Pulsera Project giveaway winner!  Congrats, Alison V.!  I will be in touch soon so that you can get your pulsera ASAP.

Now, it's time to recap my week in fitness!  It was week 3 of Best Body Bootcamp, which meant a new phase of workouts and new goals to set.  It's also the 7th week of the Spring Bootie Buster Challenge, which I thought would be the last week.  I really pushed myself to earn as many points as possible.

My goal this week was to head straight to the gym after school to get my workouts in.  I did that Monday through Wednesday, which I was very pleased about.

Monday: 30 minute elliptical workout + Strength Workout A
Tuesday: 3.2 mile run (in memory of the 32 victims of the Virginia Tech shooting 6 years ago)
Wednesday: 15 minute incline walk + Strength Workout B
Thursday: 15 minutes of core work with the Core Workout
Friday: rest day
Saturday: rest day
Sunday: 3.17 mile interval run/walk + Runner Stability Exercises + Core Workout

I met my goal for the week, as well as completed some sort of activity for 5/7 days.  I was planning on going to Step class yesterday morning, but laziness overtook me.  I wish my excitement for the class had pushed me to get off the couch, but I was just too comfy and Glee was on the DVR.

With a new phase of BBB comes two new goals.  I've decided again that I will share my two goals in next Sunday's recap.  I did complete each goal 5/7 days this week, though.  Both of them should be completed every day, which is why I want to focus on them for the next week.  I'd like them to become habits (as they should be) instead of when-I-feel-like-it type things.

Highlight of the Week
I'm proud of myself for getting my workouts completed right after school on Monday through Wednesday.  I actually felt like I was able to relax more, even though I was getting home a little later.  It also feels good to accomplish something that you set your mind to!

Goal for Next Week
Amanda extended the SBBC for another week, so next week will be the last week.  I want to earn some sort of activity points every day of the week, even if that just means taking Wewii for a 20 minute walk after dinner.  I'm also going to set a goal of making one qualitarian choice each day, particularly when it comes to snacking.

Question for you: What's one goal you set for yourself this week that you accomplished?
It's always good to focus on what you did do instead of dwelling on any failures.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Pulsera Project: Color Your World (Giveaway closed)

At the Key Club Conference, the officers and I learned about an awesome non-profit organization called The Pulsera Project.
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The Pulsera Project supports Nicaraguan families by selling their hand-made pulseras (which means "bracelets" in Spanish) over here in America.  Here's a description of the project from their website:

"The Pulsera Project buys hand-woven pulseras from young Nicaraguan artisans and artisan families and sells them mostly through U.S. schools. We provide sustainable, fair-trade employment and dramatically expand economic opportunities for many Nicaraguans. We support youth shelters, fund scholarships, provide loans, and support community development projects run by members of our pulsera makers' co-op of shelter “graduates”. 
We partner with other non-profit organizations who share our belief that economic aid is just one part of a mutual exchange among people who share knowledge, ideas, and life experiences for the benefit of all."

Their slogan is "Color The World," and they most certainly do!  No two pulseras are exactly the same, and they are all incredibly colorful!
Image Source
The cool thing about the pulseras is the tag included on the bracelet.  It has a picture and name of the person who made your bracelet, so you actually get to see someone that your money is helping!

The Key Club at my school is in the middle of our fundraiser with the Pulsera Project, and so far we've raised over $600 in just 3 days!  The high school students are loving these bracelets, and I'm loving the enthusiasm my club members have for this fundraiser.

Do you want your own pulsera?  Well, you can buy a pack of 5 on their Etsy shop for a $30 donation.  You can select the style you like best, and they'll send you an assortment.

OR you can enter my giveaway!  TWO lucky Run with Perseverance readers will receive their very own pulsera!  I will personally make the $5 donation for you to receive your very own bracelet from the package sent to our school.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment telling me which pulsera you want from the above picture (#1, 2, 3, 4, or 5) and if you plan on keeping the bracelet for yourself or giving it as a gift!

You can also earn two bonus entries by:
  1. Following me on Twitter @amyRunWithPers (Leave a comment telling me you did so!)
  2. Tweeting about the giveaway (Leave a comment telling me you did so)  Here's a sample tweet:
"I'm hoping to win an awesome @pulseraproject bracelet from @amyRunWithPers of Run with Perseverance!"

***This giveaway is now closed.  Thank you for your interest!***

This is not a sponsored giveaway.  This is an organization that I personally support, and I just want to do something nice for my readers.  All opinions of the Pulsera Project are my own.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Good Choices

Thank you so much for your supportive responses to yesterday's post!  I'm glad that I was able to shed some light on that tragic event, and I hope it helped you shed some light on the events in Boston while we all mourn for those affected.

Now, back to the usual material!

When I posted my veggieed-up boxed dinner recipe on Thursday, I must admit I was a little nervous that it "wasn't healthy enough" to post on the blog.  Then, I read this blog post from Diana @ The Chic Life about being a qualitarian when it comes to food.

It's tough to make the "perfect" choice every time.  No one can eat a perfect diet 100% of the time.  Instead, each time, try to make a better choice.  I read that last Thursday and have been trying to do that ever since.

One example/shameful snack secret:  Sometimes, when I want something crunchy to eat, I'll eat dry Ramen noodles.
It's strange, I know.  I had a craving for some dry Ramen last Saturday.  In an effort to be a qualitarian, I reached for these instead.
These Veggies Straws are quite tasty.  They helped satisfy my crunchy craving while being a lot better for me than the dry Ramen.

It's so much easier (and more realistic) to make a better choice rather than a perfect choice.  I'm so glad I happened across Diana's post!  This new outlook on healthy eating is a positive, encouraging way

I mentioned on Sunday that my goal was to work out right when I got done with school this week.  Well, I'm 3/3 so far!

On Monday, I went straight to the gym and warmed up with a 30-minute elliptical workout.  Tina provided us with the times and suggested exertion levels, and I decided to up the resistance by 2 and the incline by one each minute.  It was a tough one!

I was quite sweaty as I set out to complete Workout A from Best Body Bootcamp.  This work out uses pulses instead of reps to create an intense strength workout!  When I first saw the workout, I thought it'd be a breeze.  I couldn't have been more wrong!  These low pulse lunges especially kicked my butt.
Image Source

As soon as I got home from a meeting on Tuesday, I decided to go for a run to honor of the Boston Marathon tragedy, as well as in remembrance of the 32 Hokies killed 6 years ago yesterday in the Virginia Tech shooting.
Race shirt for the Boston Marathon, VT stuff for the 32
I also decided to run 3.2 miles for each of the 32 victims.  Virginia Tech has a 3.2 for 32 Run for Remembrance each year, and so I held my own yesterday :)
Wewii came with me, and as you can see, he was quite exhausted after the run!  He's usually a shadow, but as you can see, he stayed in the kitchen after I finished cooking.

Today, I went straight to the gym after teaching.  I started with a 15-minute incline walk, followed by Workout B from Best Body Bootcamp.  This was a total body workout with 4 supersets of two exercises.  There were squats galore, and I got quite sweaty!

I'm really excited about how well I've done with getting in my workouts this week.  Surprisingly, I feel like I have more time to relax, even though I don't head straight home after school!  Funny how that works.

Well, that's all I've got for you today!  I feel like this has been a week of good decisions!  I feel empowered when I'm actually making good choices for myself.  Maybe these decisions will soon become habits :)

Question for you: What "better choice" have you made for yourself when it comes to food lately? What's your normal workout schedule?