We Never Forgot… God Bless America!

Good afternoon fellow bloggies!!

Well, as most of you know, today is one day that will go down in history. I just want to take a second to thank our troops and the families who have loved ones serving abroad. You keep us safe and allow us to live in the America we know today. Thank you!!

Well, after such a memorable day, I have been packing, cleaning the car, doing last-minute laundry, and watching the news all day. Tomorrow early in the morn’ my mother and I will begin the journey and road trip to Spokane, Washington! I am definitely looking forward to Spokane this summer: my first independant summer. My first real journalistic job, and a summer filled with fun with my friends.

So, its time to buckle-down on my health- summer is the perfect time to get in shape! And time to be smart about traveling. Here is what I have packed for the 11 -hour drive to Spokane and other strategies up my sleeve:

  • -Whole, unsalted and raw almonds
  • -Red apples (a couple sliced for easy consumption and others whole to save them for longer days!)
  • -Lots of water (got my Sigg ready!)
  • -Whole wheat pita and hummus in a small cooler
  • -Baby Carrots
Now, time for rest stop strategies!
  • -I will always opt for Subway over any other burger-joint. They always make you feel better after eating them, aren’t so greasy, and have much better choices for healthy-on-the-go!
  • -STARBUCKS . Hey, I’m going to need my coffee to keep going! Gotta love hot summer days and iced coffees.
  • -Gereral smart-ness. Gotta have my witts about me!
Well, off to continue stuffing my suitcase with the too many things that I have. honestly, how did I ever get all this stuff home with me!?
Ciao for now bloggies. Go enjoy this day, because many, many troops have worked hard to make this day happen. Embrace your loved ones. Enjoy some sunshine. Pray for all those lost in the war, on 9/11, and who fought for terrorism.
-Mary
Advertisements

A Night at the Movies

Hello Bloggies!!

Last night I went to see the new flick Water For Elephants. I originally read the novel by Sara Gruen and absolutely loved it, so I was excited to go to the movies! Plus, looking at Robert Pattinson isn’t too bad either :p!

It was a good and fun movie to go see, and followed the novel pretty nicely! I grabbed a small bag of popcorn for a treat, sat back, and enjoyed the flick. The elephants, circus acts, and train scenes were all perfect for a Friday night flick! The acting was pretty good, the sets were beautiful, and the music was great too! I give it 4/5 stars, with all my movie expertise haha.

Well anyways, I will be leaving home in just two days to drive up back to school! I will be staying up there for the summer with my journalism internship, and be spending my first summer on my own. I am definitely looking forward to it! The drive will be long, but fun. I have got to get some good tunes and definitely plan out some healthy eats for the road. Planning ahead of time will help to keep me on track!

I am planning on making an adventure down to Whole Foods, and will let you know what I come up with Monday when I go down there. I am thinking nuts, fresh fruit, lots of water, and maybe some hummus and pita? Some of my favorite snacks!! I have got to map out all my Starbucks stops along the way as well. What can I say, I love me some iced coffee on hot summer days.

Today, I had another one of the same green smoothies (I can’t help it, they are so good!) It turned out just like the other day’s, except I put lots of berries in it, so that the purple color over-rode the green of my spinach. It was more of a “Purple Monster” then anything else I guess! Well, this means I have got to start packing!!

Ciao for now!

-Mary

Swept Away by the GREEN.

Good morning, good morning! (says Brogan!!)

Let me introduce you to my cutie-pie doggie, Brogan!

I was in an especially chipper mood this morning. I like to say that maybe it is because my cooking skills are greatly improving! I was able to convince my little brother to let me make him a simple ham and cheese omelet and a greek yogurt and berry smoothie before he left for school today. He usually grabs one of those awful frozen breakfast sandwiches, which I know are absolutely terrible! So I was able to cook him something just as yummy, filling and protein-filled, that was also made with whole foods. No artificial eggs or filler-meat sausage. It made me happy to be able to serve wholesome food!

After he left and I had my cup of coffee, I was hit with a realization. I have been swept up by theGreen Monster Movement. Found on this lovely blog by Angela, Oh She Glows, she introduced the name “Green Monster” to these amazing and energizing green smoothies!! I am officially in love with them and look forward to crafting green-gooey concotions as I fall asleep on my pillow at night and bound out of bed in the morning. Angela created an entire seperate blog, The Green Monster Movement, to post reader’s own recipes and more. Can you believe that? An entire blog dedicated to the green-amazingness?!? Well, after all that hoop-lah, I am ready to show you what I concoted in my blender this morning:

I grabbed this smoothie from Angela’s recipies. And let me just say, it is so healthy!! I choose this one in particular mostly  because I had most of these ingredients on-hand, but also because I am still a rookie at this. Give me some time to work up to the pumpkin, but I know I will 🙂 It also is a great way to start out my path to eliminating animal products from my diet. It is so filling and healthy, I have never felt deprived after drinking one of these babies. Oh ya, it is also totally delicious.

Blueberry Banana Green Monster (from The Green Monster Movement)

  • 2-3 cups organic spinach
  • 1-1.25 cups soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon flax
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup mixed berries (I substituted frozen berries for fresh blueberries because its all I had in my freezer)
  • ice
  • (I added fresh strawberries because I had them on hand!
It as so full of good for you ingredients, it didn’t all fit into my magic bullet! I might have to switch to a traditional bigger blender when I start adding more and more healthful ingredients…
I am officially energizied for my day!!
Work out will be a basic 5k jog, yoga at 3:30, and in-between, I have some special errands to run! One of them I will let you know tomorrow, but for now, a much needed pedicure. A great way to indulge that isn’t bad for you, like how I used to eat a pint of ice cream, this is pampering, fun, and just plain old awesome.

So anyways, Lunch was leftovers. Dinner… leftovers. Not very much fun but so easy! No need to mention them or show pictures. They won’t be very interesting!  Thanks for tuning in bloggies!

Ciao for now!

-Mary

Oatmeal-y Goodness

Good Morning Fellow Bloggies!

Boy, am I tired and sore this morning. This is all about the first steps in the journey,right?

Well, I was craving oatmeal lately, and had gotten some great organic extra thick and tasty rolled oats from the Bob’s Red Mill, it was inexpensive, healthy, organic, and totally yummy! 🙂

Oatmeal is a great breakfast choice because it is a sustainable grain: it keeps you full all day and is chalk-full of heart healthy fiber and whole grains. I topped mine with some other great nutrients to up the potency of this bowl of oatmeal. Not just your regular oatmeal, no!

Here is the magical mix:

  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup of light soy milk + 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed
  • a dash of cinnamon and a dash of salt
  • 1/2 banana

Throw all the ingredients in a bowl over the stove, and once the liquid starts to bowl, vigorously stir the oats until the banana melts into the mixture. You won’t need any added sugars or bad-for-you additions because the banana naturally sweetens the oatmeal. Then, top it off with 3 sliced strawberries and a tablespoon of peanut butter for protein-staying power.

Voi-la! One delicious and healthy oatmeal.

Don’t forget my cup of coffee!

For my workout, I decided to hit the spin bike. I always struggle with biking, so the more I do it, the more challenging it is and the more I can improve. Challenges are the spice of life, right?

I decided to do hill climbs and sprint intervals. (Total time 30 minutes)

  • Warm up 5 minutes easy pace
  • Start climb: 1 minute
  • Up the climb: 1 minute
  • Stand: 3o seconds, seated and recover 2 minutes
  • Repeat 4x
  • Lessen the resistence, sprint 30 seconds as fast as you can!
  • Recover at an easy pase, 1 minute
  • Repeat 4x
  • Last climb! Increase resistence 1 minute
  • Increase resitence, one minute
  • Full out climb: out of your seat! 1 minute
  • Recover, cool down 5 minutes
To add some more cardio power, I hopped on the elliptical for 30 minutes to get a full 60 minutes in for today. I stayed at a moderate pace, just hard enough to keep my heart rate elevated. Most importantly; STRETCH! My body really needed that today, as I was sore all over. I concluded with 5 minutes of core-strengthening planks (in 1 minute intervals). After a good workout, I am ready for a yummy lunch, with the state of the fridge, is yet to be determined… Until tomorrow, my lovely food-bloggies!
Ciao for now,
-Mary

The Beginning of a Beautiful Journey

Hello!

As I am putting forth my first real blog post (yaay!!) I am watching the Biggest Loser. The perfect inspiration for not just dieting and exercising, but living a full and healthful life!! So, as I am enjoying the show, I will let you know how I did today for day 1 of my little journey.

I woke up this morning, rearing to start my get-healthy and get-back-on-track journey! I am looking forward to feeling healthy, getting back in shape, and shedding a few unwanted poundage. I should probably lay down my goals, as that is a very important step if one wants to make it!

My goals:

Long Term: To live a healthy and long, happy life! (duh!)

Mid-Term: To lose 20 pounds. I have had this goal in mind for a while. and I want to lose these unwanted and unneeded pounds. It is all so that I can feel healthy and fit! Its a good goal to have over the course of a couple of months, and I want this to be done as healthily as possible!!

Short term goal: To be active everyday. I am all down for chilling after a stressful week, but my goal is to incorporate some sort of activity each day. Even if this is walking my dog around the park or doing some yoga, I want to be moving everyday! More concretely: I want to workout  5 times a week. Additionally, I want to fuel my body the right way. It will be to strive to reduce the amount of processed food I eat and try to cut out as many animal products as possible. It is a healthy way to eat whole foods, but I will be sure to get all my nutrients and proteins! I have done a short term vegan and vegetarian diet before I went abroad, and I absolutely loved the energy it gave me. I never worked out so hard and felt so great afterwards. Time to get back to that green, great, and energy-filled feeling!

So anyways, on to today. I was sooo sore from my workout yesterday: sprint intervals for 30 minutes (sprint 30 seconds, off 4:30 minutes and repeat until you reach 30) and arm weights. After 4 months of relying on walking as my form of exercise, I was sore. So today, I hit the mat. Corepower Yoga is a great place to get a great workout, especially a form like Power Yoga where you feel like you worked out and burned calories. You feel rejuvinated and refreshed as you leave the gym as well. I defintely sweat it out, and my arms were shaking the whole time. I love the feeling you get afterwards, of being lose, rejuveniated, and even feeling a little taller 🙂 It was a good choice after being wiped from my first workout!

For my eats, I started with an inspired Green Monster smoothie. I wanted to start my journey with a BANG, a kick-off start with a nutritional punch! It looked something like this…

Pretty attractive, right? Well, it definitely had the statistics to be attractive, and tasted just as good! It was inspired by all those great green smoothies out there, but I added what I liked and what I felt would be best for my body. That is what is so great about smoothies! Well, anyways, in my blender went:

  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/3 cup soy milk
  • tons of ice
  • handful of spinach
  • 1 tablespoon flax seed
  • a few raspberries

Though it turned out looking like mud-in-a-glass, it was creamy and refreshing, and full of good for you nutrients! It powered me through my day.

Looks… interesting… tastes amazing! Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. 🙂

Lunch was a quinoa and black bean salad on a bed of heart-healthy romaine lettuce. I got the Quinoa Salad recipe from mytrianerbob.com, a great place to get veggie friendly recipies from my favorite trainer on TV, Bob Harper!!

It was as easy as it was delicious:

  • 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water
  • rinsed black beans
  • chopped up tomato
  • and topped with avocado and salsa.
  • I added some tobasco sauce because I love spicy!
When the quinoa is cooked and the water is absorbed, simply add the black beans, tomatoes, salsa, and tobasco sauce (if desired) and stir it up to heat up the beans and tomatoes. Top the salad with as much salsa as you want! Eat up! Quinoa is a great grain to eat because it is also packed with protein, so it is an ideal staple for vegetarians and vegans alike. Plus, it is chewy and has a nutty flavor, a great and satisfying addition to any meal!
Well, I am sad to say that dinner did not go as well as the rest of my day had. I had my healthy snacks to keep me full and energized (almonds and an orange) but when dinner came around, I was exhausted. Also, I have been making dinner for my brother the past week, and put his needs ahead of my own. Thus, I avoided the miny hamburgers I made for him because I wanted to avoid red meat, and tried to come up with something else that is much more healthful for my needs. I ended up eating roasted potatoes and half a wheat pita with spicy hummus.
I know that this does not align with my goals completely, and that I had too many carbs too late in the day. It also wasn’t very nutrient-dense. But anyways, I am going to forgive myself and move on. Tomorrow is a new day, and I will make up for it! This is part of my new plan also: self-forgiveness. We are only human, right?
Well, back to the blood and sweet and tears of the Biggest Loser. I absolutely love Bob and Jillian!
Ciao for now!
-Mary

Just the Beginning

When I close my eyes, I can still hear the busy streets, smell the garlic, and feel the Tuscan sunshine on my face.

I just got home yesterday after studying abroad in Florence, Italy for four months. The food, the wine, the people, the experiences, they will forever be close to my heart.

Welcome to my blog! I had my mind set on starting a food-healthy living style blog after studying abroad in Italy, where I learned to slow down, love food, and enjoy the home-cooking and deep appreciation of food. Food is simply beautiful, it nourishes us and literally becomes apart of us. The food that I ate there was fresh, natural, and wholesome, and it inspired me to bring it back home. Home-made pasta, fresh tomato sauce from scratch, espresso after lunch, and fresh and local olive oil, take me back!

I hope to keep track of healthy eating and bring back the food-mentality that I discovered from Italy home. I want to prepare my own food, make meals from scratch, eat wholesome, and find the enjoyment that I had when eating even a cone of gelato by the river.

Let me introduce myself, before I get carried away with blogging!

My name is Mary, and I am a senior at college, with my mind set on becoming a journalist. I hope to work with some publication of some sort, really, any medium will do. Magazines, newspapers, books; I just want to write and work with the written word.

I am from Colorado, so the outdoor and fit lifestyle was born in me. I love the mountains, fresh cool morning air, and sitting outside in the sunshine.

I love my family, my friends, my dog, and of course, chocolate. I want to express my belief that the food we eat should be as close-to-the-source as possible, always fresh and always wholesome! So here is my little blog, here to express my beliefs and hold myself true to what I hope to hold onto from Italy. And most importantly, we must enjoy our food. That is the spice of life! So eat your chocolate, I say!

Additionally, studying abroad did do a number on my waistline. I enjoyed every last pound that I gained, and it was inevitable from not working out properly and yes, sometimes eating gelato two times a day.

So here I am, starting fresh and new, with my first blog post. Nice to meet ya!!

This morning was a new start for me, attempting to get back on track with my health and workout regimen, and slowly transition back into an active lifestyle. This morning, I woke up and knew one thing; I had to get to the gym. I was literally craving sweat, I wanted to sweat. It had been 3 and a half months since I’ve been to the gym, and I definitely needed it.

I decided to hit the spin bike for 30 minutes, and quickly found the sweat I wanted as I tried my breath! I alternated between sets of 30 second springs and climbs. Then I hit the elliptical for 15 minutes, and last did some abs. It was a workout, and I was beat! It really doesn’t take that long to get out of shape, and I discovered I am really out of it.

I refueled after my workout with a great snack. It is key to refuel after a work out almost as much as it is to fuel for one. However, just because you got the burn at the gym doesn’t give you free range at the fridge. I always try to stay around 200 calories for a snack if I’m not eating a meal after a workout. I had a slice of cheese, two slices of turkey, and a handful of grapes: a great protein and carb ratio.

Being back in America, I have another thing on my to-do list: eat at Chipotle! I know this isn’t the best decision, but I have to indulge in one of my favorite restaurant chains back in America. So, that will be my late lunch, going with my brother after his lacrosse game!

Well, thank you for tuning in to my new blog 🙂 Off to get a Chipotle burrito!

Until next time!