Growing means taking risks

So true, right?  I know it isn’t that much of a risk, but today for lunch I tried something new.

I’ve been wanting to cut down on carbs (not Atkins style, but just cutting out those I don’t necessarily love) and up my protein.  Given the choice, I’d easily eat meals full of my starchy friends for breakfast, lunch, dinner and all snacks inbetween, too.  This brings us to Tofurky.  The idea grossed me out, but my sis told me it wasn’t so bad.

Sandwich with peppered tofurky, tomato from my moms garden, cheddar cheese and dijon mustard.  Well, it wasn’t so good either.  I took a few bites and then gave up.  I know a lot of food bloggers eat foods they don’t like, but I’ll be the first to admit that I’m picky and if I don’t like something and have the option of getting something different, I take it.

Greek yogurt is never a bad choice!

Yesterday, I was at the gym doing a 3.0 mile run when I noticed the older gentleman on the bike in front of me was wearing jeans.  This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this (or the weirdest apparel I’ve seen… ) but I immediately started chuckling to myself thinking how ridiculous it was.  Then, I realized how awesome it was!  I’ve forgotten gym clothes many times and used it as an excuse not to exercise, but this man didn’t!  It actually ended up being somewhat inspiring – imagine that 🙂

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Healthy Living Summit III

After all the Saturday panels were over, my two roommates for the weekend and I headed back to our room to just chill for a bit.  We weren’t sure of anyone else’s plans for the evening, but we were starving!  We ended up at a restaurant called The Corner and were pleased to discover that they had a rooftop deck and a $4 glass of wine special!  The wine was actually really good, but the food wasn’t.
I ordered the Homemade Tagliatelle with shrimp.  They didn’t have many veggie options, and I’m a pasta lover, but this tasted like plain (dry) pasta with a few shrimpies tossed onto the plate.

But, after dinner we walked around and found yogurt at Yogurt City, which more than made up for the sub-par dinner.  Normally, when I get yogurt I just get the plain tart stuff, but for the first time ever, I saw this life-changing flavor of yogurt…

What?!  Peanut butter yogurt?!  I might permanently move to Philly just for this.  No photo because I wolfed it down too quickly, but it was definitely amazing.

Not long after we got back to the room, Caitlin called us and we headed out for some dancing!  We had a great time singing along and dancing for hours.

Ladies nights are always the best, right?

Getting up on Sunday a.m. for the 5k was rough, but I wanted to take advantage of all of the time I had left with the HLS group.

The run turned into much more of a walk and photosession.

After the 5k, it was time for breakfast sponsored by Quaker – featuring the creamiest oats I’ve ever had!  Soon after, it was time to head home and this time, I decided the train was the way to go – no more megabus messes!

HLS was a great time and certainly inspiring.  I would recommend it to anyone!  I’m so happy that I went and can’t wait until next year!

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Healthy Living Summit Part II

Our keynote speaker at Healthy Living Summit was Dawn Jackson Blatner.   To be honest, I almost skipped out on this session, but I’m so glad that I didn’t.  I hadn’t heard of Dawn before, but now I’m really interested in learning more on her ideas.  She wrote a book on the flexitarian diet, which is a diet that is pro-plant with an emphasis on eating less meat.

A lot of people at HLS were surprised to learn that they are flexitarians!  Dawn gave excellent recommendations on switching to this way of eating, such as starting small and narrowing down to only a few meaty meals each week.  She also suggested foods to eat if you’re missing the meat, including mushrooms and parmesan.

Next up, Caitlin introduced a few bloggers for a panel on negativity.

Included in the panel were some of the funniest slides of Julie’s dog, Sadie.

I just can’t help but laugh…

or smile…

When I see these 🙂

These girls really did a great job discussing a rough topic.  I’d like to think we’re all friends and that people are never unnecessarily mean, but unfortunately this just isn’t true and they gave some great options of what to do if you do have a problem.

Next up was lunch!  At a food bloggers conference, you’d expect good food, right?  Well, the food was better than I could have imagined!

The quinoa salad was one of the best things to ever touch my lips and I’m hoping to either find the recipe or recreate it myself.  It had quinoa, chickpeas, and red onions in it, but I’m not sure of the dressing.  I also filled my plate with salad and a tofu sandwich with amazing Great Harvest bread.

And I had the pleasure to eat at a table with Tina from Carrots n Cake!

She was so sweet and easy to talk to!  I’m currently three-quarters of the way through her book, so that was a bit surreal!

Later on, I attended another panel by two of my favorite bloggers, Beth from Beth’s Journey and Tina from Faith Fitness Fun.

They discussed the pros and cons of using numbers to track your progress.  Each of these girls discussed the various numbers that they would track and what worked or didn’t work for them.  They emphasized that everyone is different and so are the ways to lose or maintain weight.

The final panel of the day was done by Katy Widrick on monetizing your blog.  It was packed with so much information and she is a one of the best speakers I’ve ever heard.

Once the panels were over, a few people stuck around talking.  Now, I have a few favorite bloggers and I was hoping that I’d have the opportunity to meet (or just see!) them at HLS.

Meeting Julie was awesome – all of the bloggers were just like their blogs, but better (if that’s possible!)  I think initially I froze up meeting all of them, and they ended up asking me questions instead of the other way around!

Next up, Dinner and other fun!

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Healthy Living Summit Part I

It’s been a long time since I have updated, but this past weekend I was inspired to make the time to blog during the Healthy Living Summit in Philadelphia, PA.  I was super nervous before the event, so much so that I nearly sold my ticket and didn’t go!  But, I had made plans to share a hotel room with two amazing girls, Amy at Setting Goals… Taking Chances and Katie at Talk Less, Say More.  So, I hoped on a Megabus to Philly and planned to arrive just as Friday night’s cocktail party began.  Unfortunately, there was some sort of chemical spill on the highway outside Philly, and it took 6 hours to get there instead of 2!  So, needless to say, I missed the cocktail party and was bummed 😦

Saturday was a jam packed day and it began with an amazing breakfast spread provided by Attune Foods.

As you can see, everyone dug into the breakfast and I think we were all pleased with the healthy, fresh foods that you don’t typically see at conferences!

After breakfast, the conference was set to begin.

There were several panels to sit in on with our favorite bloggers speaking, but first, Meghann gave the opening comments.  As a side note, I ran into her in the hallway and just had to thank her for planning HLS.  If she was nervous, you couldn’t tell!  She is such a sweetheart and really planned an amazing event!  Over the weekend, I spoke a little to her about a teensy tiny bit of what goes into planning the event – it’s definitely more than I thought!  So, major thanks to her!

After that, the discussion panels began!  The first that I attended was on budgeting while still living a healthy lifestyle.  We all know that eating healthy can be more expensive than buying junk food, but Lauren from Say What You Need to Say gave us some great tips on food budgeting, as well as using a budget in general.

Look what I found after the first panel…

An Operation Beautiful note!  Pretty cool, huh?

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A welcome back for me!

Hello to everyone and anyone reading this!  🙂  It’s been a bit since I’ve updated… I sorta started feeling a little unmotivated actually.  I started this blog because I was super excited about the Healthy Living Summit (and I still am!) but then as things became quiet on that front I lost a little bit of motivation to write.

It also didn’t help that I had been running every day, as well as attending spinning classes and doing more lifting that I’ve ever done before.  I started feeling pain in my left leg, from my knee to my hip.  This area hurt a little bit after I ran the Pittsburgh Half Marathon, but within a week or so of taking it easy, the pain went away.  I think I was overdoing the running/lifting/spinning and it brought back the pain full force and then some.  Although I love spinning and running, I’d be limping the day after.  I didn’t cut back on the workouts immediately – I thought since I was just doing more than ever, it was natural for me to have some pain.  But, after two weeks of this, I completely quit working out and the pain went away.  After a few days, I tried running again and the pain in my hip came back like it had never gone away.  So, unfortunately it’s been about two weeks since I have ran at all.  This week, I plan to try a very short jog, a mile or two, and see if I still have pain.  If I do, I think it will be time to see a doctor.

Running has (at least lately) been my favorite way to exercise, so this has made me pretty sad.  However, I’ve found a new exercise that I’m trying out and so far, no hip pain!  I’m actually doing the Insanity workout and it is rough!  I’m surprised that I’ve had no hip pain so far because it does feature jogging in place and TONS of jumping.  I was cautious to try this workout – I don’t love workout videos and, in my experience, Beachbody coaches are extremely pushy – but a girl I know did it and really toned up and lost 15lbs.  Not wanting to invest $100 in it, I bought a copy off Craigslist and started last week.  I don’t want to do a full review of it until I’m done, but I will say that I’m getting my booty kicked so far.

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Happy Monday everyone!  Let’s recap a little on our Sundays, shall we?  When I awoke, I wanted the blueberry yogurt/banana/almond combo again, so that’s what I had

After that, I headed to the gym for a bit.  I did the elliptical for 30 minutes, weights for my arms, hip abduction machines, and then did some sprints on the treadmill for 15 minutes.

Today, I woke up starving again and had an everything bagel with chive and onion cream cheese.  I’ve been trying to eat more protein, less carbs for breakfast – but this hit the spot!  No picture because I gobbled it down!

I’m also taking a rest day today.  My left knee has bothered me a tiny bit whenever I run ever since the half-marathon that I did mid-May, and know, my left hip is hurting a bit, too.  I suspect it’s probably just from me adding all this exercise back into my life at once, so hopefully giving myself a rest day here and there will prevent any real damage.

Lunch was another Amy’s enchilada with extra salsa poured on top (I highly recommend doing this if you’re trying an enchilada)…

and a pineapple 2% Chobani with blueberries mixed in – a surprisingly good combo!

Back to work!

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Feeling a little crabby!

Good evening 🙂  I hope everyone enjoyed this beautiful Saturday and have an equally beautiful Sunday!

This a.m. I got up early and headed to my gym’s spinning class (which is my 2nd).  This class was busier, but the instructor’s music just didn’t motivate me like the previous class.  It was mostly slower songs that I had never heard – music is definitely key!  After the one hour spin class was over, I ran on the treadmill for 20 minutes and then did some work on the hip abduction machines and finished off with crunches.  I really loved having completed a workout early before my day really got started!

Before heading off to spin, I munched on this Larabar in the car

Breakfast after class consisted of a pineapple chobani with a handful of granola mixed in:

After that, we headed off to St. Michaels, Maryland for one of my bf’s previous coworkers birthday party.  They go “picking crabs” at the Crab Claw restaurant there every year and we have been fortunate to be invited a few times.  St. Michaels is such a beautiful, small town on the Eastern Shore and I highly recommend it.

Beautiful, right?

Lunch/Dinner consisted of 2-3 crabs, a few hushpuppies, and more than a few glasses of this stuff

We walked through the town and got ice cream at Justine’s and then headed to a Saloon where I snagged some sauteed veggies that were brought out.  An excellent day!  Goodnight 🙂

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