Pieces of me via Instagram

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you may be familiar with a few of these photos. I wanted to share a couple of things with you guys, including a weekend trip to visit my brother at U of O, a Eugene 5k as well as this amazing t-shirt company.

Firedaughter Clothing sells awesome fitness inspired tops on their Etsy shop. I picked this one up right after the events in Boston as proceeds go to The One Fund. They have a ton of others that are absolutely adorable so be sure to check them out! (I bought a couple of others which I’m dying to share!)

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A 23 minute 5k and still flexin’. 🙂 I usually run alone, but we stayed together the entire run and couldn’t have been more fun! We pushed each other to keep going and finished strong!

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Throwin’ up the “O”… sounded about right.

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Lucky me, in between these two handsome guys. Couldn’t ask for a better support team.

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We swept Stanford in a 3 game series! Watching these games and seeing my brother sign autographs made me a very proud sister.

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Believe it or not, this was my first time to the Oregon campus in the last 4 years Daniel’s been going to school there. It blew my mind to say the least!

Did you all enjoy your weekend?

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Calling all Yogis!

Calling all yogis! (I love that word) Who out there loves yoga? It’s becoming the “it” thing to do around town. Hatha, vinyasa, bikram, power yoga to name a few of the many styles. I know, it sounds like I’m speaking a different language, right?

After hitting the gym for repeated days in a row, a nice long yoga session always helps break up the repetitive muscle strain and tension. Also pretty sure we can all use a little relaxation, myself included. I’m all about trying to find ways to de-stress. Lifting and cardio do this for me as well, but yoga specifically releases the tension building up from work, relationships and just life in general. I am de-stressing just thinking about it…

Here are some benefits:

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Strength, posture, flexibility anyone? I’M ALL IN! Of course I believe that lifting weights is critical for all of the above, but cycling in yoga once in a while is a must for me.  Try these poses:

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Send me a message or comment if you would like yoga studio recommendations in San Francisco. I also LOVE yoga DVD’s which can be done in the comfort of my teeny apartment. Jillian Michael’s is of course my fave- try her Yoga Meltdown.

Do you guys practice yoga? Would love to hear about it! I just mastered the crow pose! Woohoo 🙂

Here are some yoga articles that may be of interest to you:

Namaste.

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What’s the craze behind NatureBox?

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Ever heard of the simple, yet brilliant concept called NatureBox? If, you haven’t I feel sorry for you. But really, this is the most amazing business concept ever!

What is NatureBox? It is a monthly membership package that delivers 5 healthy snacks to your house each month. These aren’t just any snacks, but nutritionist approved. They contain NO artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, no trans fats and no high fructose corn syrup.

Why sign up? Because its only $19.99/ month and delivers straight to your door. BUT, the best reason….these snacks are SO good! I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing they each taste. It is almost impossible to walk into a grocery store and pick up a snack in a bag that is all natural and healthy.

Suggestion to NatureBox: Please sell your snacks by the bags! We want more! 🙂

This post is NOT sponsored  by Naturebox. I am simply sharing this information because I truly believe in their mission and love their products: “NatureBox helps you eat healthier without needing to change your eating habits. We focus on snacks because that’s the easiest habit to change. Do you know that the average American eats almost 25% of their calories from snacking? In fact, snacking is the leading cause of childhood obesity. NatureBox helps you get more out of your day without wasting calories on the bad stuff.”

Enough said. Get your box here. 🙂

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Have a great week!!

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Half Marathon Training Schedule & #runforboston

This happens to be a coincidence that just last week I signed up to do my 3rd half marathon. I was excited to reveal the news and share with you how I will be training up to the event, but now this seems to be a more somber post.

548898_506446266081131_1948544506_nI woke up this morning with my eyes full of tears and my heart heavy, not only because I am a runner but because I am a human being. Who could do this? Who could be such a coward? My heart goes out  to all of you in Boston. Lets hold our loved ones closer today. I truly hope and pray for a safer world full of more love. To the victims, families and anyone who witnessed this horror, you are in our thoughts and prayers.

So do we keep on keeping on? Or do we let this terrify us into not taking part in any more races? I say we keep running and run in honor of those who lost their lives or were hurt at the Boston Marathon. I will be running all week for them, and I hope you join me!

With that said, I will be running the Grapes of Rock Half Marathon on June 8th! I went out on a limb with this one, and am already 7 weeks out. I have put together the below intermediate training schedule to get me where I would like to be.

Half Marathon Training Schedule

Monday’s and Wednesday’s are my “easy run” days, while Saturday I will be running a longer distance. C/T means Cross Training, which includes any form of fitness class, elliptical, stairmaster, or cardio besides running. Although it is not recommended to lift extremely heavy, I can’t go without my days of weight training, so I will be lifting a bit as well. (I also feel as my muscles get stronger, my run time decreases.)  Make sure to take rest days, as they are so important to let you body break and recoup from the runs. Professionals have said to start light, work up to long runs, then taper off just before the marathon.

Are any of you training for a half marathon?

Have a great week!!

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Self Tanner Picks…Hello Summer!

We are heading into the summer season! (Sorry to state the obvious, but I’m a little excited). Well, here in San Francisco the seasons are all mixed up, so you never know when you will have a summer day. With that said, bring on the self tanner! The best way to accentuate your fit body is a nice tan. Who am I kidding, everyone looks better tan. I used to a frequent visitor of the tanning bed (EEK!!) but with all the new knowledge about how bad they are I have learned my lesson and steer clear. When I don’t have time for a spray tan at the salon I often use the following to get that healthy summer glow.

Self Tanner Picks

1. St. Tropez: Self Tan Bronzing Mousse: St Tropez has many popular products and this is one of my favs! The formula drys quickly and gives a nice natural tone. Make sure to use the gloves provided, wash off in a couple of hours or the next day to reveal  a gorgeous rich bronze tan.

2. Kate Somerville: Tanning Towelettes: Absolutely NO streaks and very easy to use! You can apply to your body and within the hour put on your shorts and go. These are more expensive than the others, but well worth it for a nice deep easy way to tan. They are also paraben and sulfate free.

3. Neutrogena MicroMist Airbrush Sunless Tan: I buy this stuff at my local drugstore quite often because you can’t beat the price. The quality is also up to par, and can be used both on your body or face. I usually spray on a clean face post shower, go to bed and wake up with beautiful natural glow.

4. bareMinerals Faux Tan Face Gradual Glow Sunless Tanner: LOVE this stuff. I love everything bareMinerals, and use their entire makeup line as well. Also thinking about checking out their moisurizers. There is no bad smell and does not clog pores. Definite staple in my collection.

5. Bliss A Tan for all Seasons: This is an excellent self tanner for fair skin, but also buildable for darker complextions. It keeps the skin smelling sunny and bright with a citrusy scent, and looks completely natural with no orange tone.

6. Jergens: Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer: Looking for a 3 in 1, moisturizer, bronzer and skin firming technique? This is it! You can buy this at your local drugstore.

Which are your favorites?

Special shout-out to the best (in my opinion) Spray Tan Salons here in San Francisco, Christine at Organic Shimmer and Brenna at Bronze by Brenna! 🙂

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Booty Build Workout!

Summer is just around the corner and I know all you ladies want a firm, tight, little booty. (Why do I feel so naughty saying that?) Well, ok…I’m sure the guys want to see that as well. So here’s the deal. Muscle building does not come from hours of cardio or squats using your own body weight. You must push yourself with heavy weights, ideally 1 or 2 times a week.

I always dedicate specific days to each muscle group, rather than doing full body workouts in one session. This gives you more energy to dedicate to one body part, allowing you to build the muscle to its maximum potential. Here is an example of my ideal weekly routine:

  • Monday- Chest/Cardio
  • Tuesday- Arms/Cardio
  • Wednesday- Legs/Glutes, no Cardio
  • Thursday- Cardio
  • Friday- Rest
  • Saturday- Back/Cardio
  • Sunday- Rest

As you can see, I don’t train my shoulders because this usually causes too much strain leaving me with a headache the next day. This is just my personal opinion, so shoulder exercises may work for you. Dont forget to switch your routine every so often so your body doesn’t get used to the same workouts leading to no change. Give your body some new excitement and it will adjust accordingly.

Needless to say, my leg/glutes day is definitely my favorite. I can do without cardio, although I love to run. But working my legs and glutes gives me some sort of indescribable satisfaction. I have always had the smallest glute muscles (which is the opposite problem for most women) but with this workout once a week, (twice if I have time) has given me a much more defined, rounder and larger (in a good way) “bottom”.

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Instead of just going through the motions, push yourself with this workout and you will burn a ton of calories! Most importantly, use weights that are challenging for you. If you are a set of 10, use heavier weights than if you are doing a set of 15. Give yourself 1-2 minutes of rest in between each set, pay close attention to proper form, and have fun with it! If you stick to this 30-45 minute session, once or twice a week, you will see change!

After this workout it is crucial to go home and refuel. It’s best to head straight for a protein shake, or meal including protein, veggies and whole grains. I know so many women who don’t eat anything after a workout, but unfortunately that will only burn off the hard-earned muscle you just worked so eagerly for. At the gym, you are breaking down the muscle tissue, but after the gym with proper sleep and nutrition is when you build that muscle to be stronger than before. Your activities outside of working out are just as important as the hour your spend at the gym. Nourish your body and it will rebuild the muscle you have broken down. Does that make sense?

If you are unsure of any of these exercises, refer to bodybuilding.com for examples and explanations.

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(I wish I could find a ‘before’ picture so we can compare…but find me on Instagram!)

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:::DISCLAIMER:::

This blog is meant to follow my lifestyle of health and fitness, and inspire others who may be on the same journey. All opinions are my own and not everything I post may be right for you. Anything I discuss is what I believe and I am not responsible for errors or omissions. I am not a certified trainer or nutritionist. Anything posted relating to these fields are my beliefs and what has worked for me. Thank you for your support!

April Fitness Goals

Let’s talk goals. Do you set long-term or short-term goals for yourself? Goal setting has just come up at work, as we approach a new quarter. Ok, so job related goals aren’t as exciting as fitness or personal for that matter, BUT extremely beneficial. So I usually start off my week with a couple of goals in mind (partially because I am uber organized). Some consist of food prepping on Sunday nights following church, others consist of planning my workout schedule for the week, or as simple as doing my weekly laundry ritual. Sounds a little monotonous but you get the point. What about fitness related goals? I have found that goal setting is another way to set yourself up for success. Actually, I like to think it’s the only way to be successful. So with that said, I like to set my long-term and short-term goals for the month and see how they pan out.

I find that sharing them with you all keeps me accountable, and acts as a journal in sense. Hopefully my personal goals will get you thinking and lead you to jot some down as well.

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Short Term Goals:

  • Drink 1 gallon or more water/day
  • Bring my lunch and snacks to work each day this week
  • Continue to build muscle through heavy lifting
  • Prep for my 10k this coming weekend
  • Only have 2-3 cheat meals per week
  • Drink one cup of green tea/day

Long Term:

  • Run a half marathon this year
  • Schedule a photo shoot (to get me 110% committed)
  • Obtain my personal training certification (I have already purchased the classes!!)
  • Spend more time bloggging, attending expos and exploring other outlets 
  • Help someone else achieve their fitness goals

Above all have fun with it! I wouldn’t be 100% dedicated if I didn’t absolutely love what I am working for. This journey has been so exciting for me and I can only hope to grow in the fitness world, gain as much knowledge as possible and enjoy every minute.

This is a very appropriate time to give a big shout-out to a woman who is the ultimate goal setter and motivating me to get my butt in gear. My lovely Mom decided to set a large goal for herself last year as she has become more and more interested in organized running events. She decided to find at least (1) 5k per month to run in our local area. This month, I was blown away with her commitment to running (3) 5ks and (1) 10k! She has outdone herself and I am so happy for her. Mom, you’re the best! Now would you commit to running an organized race each month?

It’s your turn, get thinking about how to accomplish your goals. Another thing to remember, it’s about the journey as much as the outcome, so enjoy the ride! The dedication, commitment and belief in yourself is the most exciting part. So, believe in yourself a little more and it will be so worth it in the end.

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Thanks for reading!!

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Women Who Run San Francisco Interview

I recently had the honor to interview and be featured over at Women Who Run an Francisco.

Jessica Schimm, a journalist here in San Francisco, ‘started this blog about a year and a half ago on Tumblr and created the foundation to what she hopes will become the number one resource for fun, intelligent, highly driven, working women, who are “running” the city of San Francisco.’ Jessica comments that “the core of this blog is to write profiles on women who have shown strength or confidence in one way or another,  prevailed/endured hardship, started a new endeavor or who have an incredible talent.  I am ultimately looking to highlight women who are working hard to make a positive difference in their communities or are taking charge of their own future.”

I am so honored and grateful of this feature as I can only hope that this will encourage more women to take charge of your future with confidence, follow your passions and believe in yourself a little more.

To read my interview: www.womenwhorunsf.com

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(photo by Jessica Schimm)

Thanks for reading!!

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Healthy Swaps Towards Your Future

One of the most important things to think about while transitioning to a more healthy lifestyle is the things you can easily swap out to take the place of your current routine. Choosing a healthier alternative is probably one of the easiest and most important steps, in my opinion.

Start at the grocery store. When you are at the market, opt for the better alternative and you will not be tempted at home to go devour the sweets drawer or frozen packaged food in your freezer. Make yourself a grocery list of better options, and try your best to stick to that list.

I have listed a helpful guideline below to get your started, but in order to learn exactly what your body needs you must do the research. This came to me with a lot of mistakes, and experimentation, but with all the research and reading I have done, I have finally found what works best for my body. Now it’s your turn to do the job and make the swaps.

As I have said before, I am a preacher of making the right decisions and the right decision lays in the food you choose. Hours upon hours of exercise and NOT feeding yourself properly will only put you in the same spot with little progress. Diets, pills and shakes will not do the trick. You need to fuel with protein, whole grains, veggies and then some.

Almost every cuisine can be adjusted to fit your healthy lifestyle. There are so many different variations out there, even if you go out to a restaurant. Ask your server to make the swaps and eye the healthier options on the menu. I have found ways around all types of food, Italian, Mexican, Japanese, even pizza and burger joints! They are out there, you just have to do the work and find it on the menu.

Start here. Start today. Try to make as many healthy swaps as you can and see how you progress. Be strong with your choices, think positive, and have fun with it!

healthy swaps

Butter < Avocado

Sour Cream < Greek Yogurt

Peanut Butter < Almond Butter

Milk Chocolate < Dark Chocolate

Whole Wheat Bread < Ezekiel Bread

French Fries < Sweet Potato Fries

Hamburger < Turkey Burger

Soda < Water

Juice < Fresh Fruit

Iceberg Lettuce < Kale or Spinach

Salt < Mrs. Dash

Cereal < Oatmeal

Sugar < Cinnamon

Relaxed Run < Interval Training

Hours in the gym < 1 hour of high intensity training

Emotional Eating < Writing down your thoughts

Criticism < Self Love

Perfection < Progress

 

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