Stuff I liked this week

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What does healthy mean for you?

Last week, Frank mentioned that is favorite author, A.J. Jacobs has a new book coming out. If you are not familiar with his work, check out his website for information about the man and his lofty goals.  His most recent experiment documented in literary form has resulted in Drop Dead Healthy: One Humble Man’s Quest for Bodily Perfection. Essentially, he spends one year doing everything as healthily as possible: diet, exercise, hygiene, sleep, etc. Thus creating the capstone of his effort to become the healthiest man in the world; mind, body and soul. I didn’t enjoy his other books, actually I was never able to finish them. I’d like to check this one out though.

The conversation left my gears turning and during my solo hike later that afternoon I began to mull over the question “What does healthy mean to me: mind, body and soul?” Inspiring me and this post! Here is what I came up with:

1. Making goals and reaching them. This one definitely covers Mind. I am terrible at finishing projects. I’ve got incomplete projects galore! It does my mind good to set a goal and accomplish it! Of course… climbing a 14,000 foot mountain doesn’t leave much room for conceding defeat. I mean, you have to get back down, right?

First, but hopefully not last 14er

2. Companionship. I think this could fall under any of the mind, body or soul categories. Building a relationship is HARD work. However, it also has some of the best outcomes to keep you motivated. ❤

I'm weird. He lets me be.

3. Challenging work. Have you ever tried to run a business? It can be miserable. It’s stressful, taxing on relationships and in some cases, physically demanding (hello, 150 lb frozen drink machine). However, finding success through all of those challenges is incredibly rewarding and FUN!

"That's the good sh*t right there. TRY THAT!"

4. The good stuff, piled high! Eating delicious food keeps my body satisfied and my mind creative (I love experimenting). I may not have the chef experience that my brother has, but we definitely share a love of good food!

5. Mud on my Merrells. I love to hike! There is nothing comparable to the feeling I get when climbing a mountain and reaching a view that literally takes my breath away. Although, my fitness level may factor into that as well. Ha. Again, my mind, body and soul thank me for the workout, the challenge and the connection to nature.

6. Lookin’ good! Being fit means you not only look good, but you likely feel good. Nothing gives you confidence like comfortable fitting clothes, toned arms and the ability to walk a flight of stairs (or the side of a mountain, lofty goal?) without getting winded.

Note: Old photo. I don't have guns like that anymore...work in progress!

6. A mat that has seen better days. I am guilty of falling off the yoga wagon. I find it difficult to practice on my own, so losing my gym membership, an awkward school schedule and my lack of commitment has pushed yoga out of my life. I hope I am able to reintegrate it back into my routine because I never feel better than after a practice that opens my mind, body and soul. I think this could also be the thing that has been “missing” for me recently. Never tried yoga? There are tons of free podcasts, the library offers a never-ending selection of DVDs and your local gym likely runs classes. My campus runs a program called Healthy Moves that disappeared last year, but made a return last semester and I just got the schedule for Spring!

Disclaimer, SO not me!

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What does “healthy” or “fitness” mean to you?

**Contest alert! I stopped by a new blog today, Donald over at Running & Rambling does product testing and reviews and is giving away a pair of Merrell Barefoot Road Gloves. Stop by, leave a comment and you’re entered! Good luck!

A Very Berry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

I have finally put the fork down, the lid back on the cookie bowl and shoved the candy far from my reach, well… it’s at least more than leaning over-distance.

Christmas this year was wonderful! Frank and I celebrated our second Christmas Eve much like our first last year: with BBQ smokies, Lambrusco and cheese and crackers. I also hooked him up with a pint of Phish Food, his favorite.

He also let me open a gift last night!

I Needed one of these

Before curling up for the night, I boiled some eggs for deviled eggs and prepped the dough for probably the most amazing cookies on the planet! Recipes to follow.

Christmas Day was incredible. Indescribable. Wonderful! My folks made it out for a few days which made it even more special. My little brother had to work this year, so he wasn’t able to make the trip, missed him! Words cannot describe how grateful I am for my wonderful family. Hope you had the opportunity to spend it with yours!!

Merry Christmas from me and mine to your and yours! 

Quick Abs

I feel pretty good about the two final exams I took today, but once I was done I was really needing an energy release! I stopped by my campus’ gym and did some cardio and abs. I was really surprised how empty it was, but I guess most of the campus is either taking exams or studying for them this week.

I hopped on the Arc Trainer

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I have only used this machine a few times. I generally prefer the treadmill or elliptical…and actually I think machine is usually occupied. It was free so I figured I would take advantage. I did a 30 minute cardio session on the “Strength” training setting.

Afterward, I did a quick ab workout since the floor was open. It looked something like this:

30 Crunches on stability ball 

30 Leg lifts holding stability ball

1 minute Plank 

1 minute Side Plank (each side)

30 Dumbbell Sidebends (each side)

Dinner is going to be simple tonight. Baked potatoes loaded with leftover chilli , cheese, onions, spinach and sour cream. So excited!

Frank said he is feeling Christmas-y tonight, so the rest of the evening will consist of: scented candles, sugar cookie baking, Last Man Standing and a yummy mug of Minty Hot Cocoa!

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A Random Act of Kindness

One of the more positive qualities I picked up from my dad was the gift of gab. Now, I’d never claim to be able to out-chat this guy

but I would say I’m a regular chip off the ol’ block. I’ll talk to anyone. I’m friendly. I want to know you. And if you don’t threaten me within an inch of my life if I don’t shut up, I will probably try to weasel out your life story.

This is def not me.

I make small talk in line at the store, I chitchat at the airport, I pursue a chinwag (yup, look it up) just about anywhere I go. Including while aboard public transportation. And so begins my story…

I take the bus regularly. I avoid driving at all costs, especially when the weather is crazy and gas is half a leg+ one arm/gallon. I rode to school yesterday morning and while perusing through my iPod, I noticed my seat mate was struggling to get his arm out of his jacket. You know that awkward time on the bus when you’re sweating bullets in your parka and you don’t want to disturb the person sitting next to you, since you’re in such close quarters.

HELP!

Yeah, so picture that. Well, it seemed natural to me to give him a hand. We hadn’t exchanged “hello’s” yet, but I figure this was an opportunity to initiate conversation. I tugged on his jacket for him and his arm was free of its woolen prison. He seemed surprised, but smiled and said thanks. And then we were silent for the rest of the ride…awkward.

After I got off the bus, I started to think about how differently this story could have gone I regaled Frank with my tale last night. He was appalled. He mentioned had it been him in that situation, a smile is definitely not the facial expression I would have received in return.

Aaaahhh!!!! Human CONTACT!

I was a little stumped. A small act of kindness left me feeling a bit uncomfortable in the end. Was it a little “too much”? I’m still not sure.

Would you have helped the guy with his jacket? What would you have done if you were him?

Feeling Inspired

After multiple failed attempts at various blog “topics” and a lack of sincere interest in any of them, I’ve decided to bLog about something that actually inspires me! My life 🙂 More specifically, my journey toward a healthier life.

Here is what you can expect from me:

1. Food! And lots of it. I am no chef, but I do love to cook and I want to share about it.Recipes might get tricky since I never measure anything, but I have cooked up some pretty amazing nibbles!

2. Fitness. I’ve gone up and down and back and forth with this area of my life. My goal is to become more consistent and make it a more enjoyable and essential part of my life.

3. Friends & Family. Since I plan to move yet again in May, I plan to document the time I spend with friends and family as much as possible!

4. Books. I love to read and I hope to hear from friends and family about you guys are reading, too. 

So, let’s get this party started!

Where the name came from: I’m an incessant snacker. I nosh at the grocery store (those sample ladies are like angels to Earth when I’m shopping on an empty gut) as well as while I’m cooking (which unfortunately led to a bout of salmonella poisoning, but that story is for another day). My fiancé will also tell you I nibble every chance I get. Poor guy can never have a soda or something sweet to himself… he calls it “fiancé benefits”, I call it Love 🙂

A few other things you should know about me:

I work in marketing and I L-O-V-E it.

One of my favorite clients!

I intend to marry the love of my life.

This guy.

I’m graduating soon! (No picture here…let’s wait ’til it happens)

I’ve got many favorite people… these two top the list.

   Favorite.

Another favorite.

I think that covers the basics. See you soon!