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Love & Basketball.

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Yesterday was the last regular-season home basketball game… 2.7.12…it was also a day that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

A bunch of family members & friends (My Aunt Teena, Momma FF, Momma Snyder, Uncles on my Dad’s side of the family, the surrogates, & co-workers) were in attendance at the game, since they didn’t know if they’d ever get to see me play again.

After coming back into the gym from our half-time locker room talk, the team started shooting around to warm up for the second half of the game.  I headed for the bench, where my water bottle was, to get a quick drink when Jarid made his way to the floor from the bleachers.

He had flowers in his hand, which I assumed were in recognition of my last game…I was wrong.  When he finally got to me, He got down on one knee.  At this point, everything around me completely disappeared and I forgot where I was.  Honestly, the only thing that mattered was he & I.  Not the score, not the team, not the fans.  He said, “Sami Alyssa Cox, you are my best friend and soulmate.  I met you on a basketball court and fell in love with you, now I’m asking you to marry me on a basketball court“… 

I, of course, said YES!

It all happened SO quickly.  But don’t worry, we reinacted it when the game was over.

When we got home from the game, we got some dinner & Poppa FF brought home some bubbly to celebrate!

I can’t wait to start our life together!  We are thinking about aiming for September 15th, 2012 as a wedding date.  What do you think?  Can we pull it off in 6 months? 🙂 

I can’t wait to be Mrs. Snyder ❤

xoxo,

Thirsty Thursday.

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So, to start off Thirsty Thursday, and no, I don’t mean I’m going out binge drinking tonight, I’ll announce a winner…as I sit here and chug my Pepsi Max, shamlessly.  See, I tried to give blood this morning, but after the woman dug around trying to tap into my vein for about 5 minutes, I called it quits.  My reward for the pain?  A zero calorie, artificially sweetened form of caffeine… 46mg per serving, to be exact.  Don’t worry, the rest of the day, I’ll be chugging water at my desk…you know, during the amount of time that I’m not spending running from work to class and back again around 11am.  Yipeeeee

Anyway, the winner of the It Works giveaway is Josie Chow!  Congratulations, Josie!  Please email me at freckledfoodielove@gmail.com to claim your prize as soon as possible.  I can’t wait for you to be a believer! 

Next?  A few random things that I’ve been up to the past few days. 

#1. The boy and I bought a Living Social coupon to try out some Latin food at Arepa City in Harrisburg.  Unfortunately, they wouldn’t accept our voucher since we ordered it to go…

Jarid picked the Chicken Guisado Arepa slider – “slow cooked chicken breast in tomato sauce” and the Grilled Tenderloin Skewer, but I was a nice girlfriend and also shared the side of black beans that I ordered

to accompany my Ensalada de Palmito – “hearts of palm, avocado & tomato over spring mix with balsamic”.  The black beans were excellent, actually.  When we go back for our “sit in” meal to use up the voucher, I’m getting the SAME thing. 

#2.  I’ve got some new artwork from my little guy in Nicaragua to decorate my cubicle. 

I’m sure you guys know by now that I’m a huge advocate of Compassion International.  I wish I could show off Isaac’s progressing pictures over the years, but I don’t feel it’s right to violate his privacy that way.  He really is adorable and his letters just melt my heart.

#3. Winter break is officially over and Spring 2012 semester has begun.  our team’s first game in the 2nd half of our season, although it was a non-conference game, was a little rough. 

This team from Hagerstown, MD was pretty good, but we could’ve hung with them, had we been on our game.  The first round, we only lost by 6 points.  

Something I’ve found to help me maintain a high energy level throughout the 40 minutes of high intensity cardio of the game, are these FRS low calorie, peach-mango drinks.

Not only do they taste awesome, but they’re made of great ingredients, which is important in my book…for just 25 calories.

Ingredients:  Water, white grape juice concentrate, orange juice concentrate, Inulin, Citric Acid, Natural Orange Flavor, Quercetin, Ascorbic Acid, Gum Arabic, locust bean gum, Green Tea Extract, alpha tocopheryl acetate (Vit E), Sucralose, Caffeine, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Natural Lemon Flavor, Beta Carotene (for color), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Thiamin Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (B2), B12 (Cyanocobalamin)

Practices have been getting increasingly more intense, too, in order to prepare for games.  After all, you play the way you practice, right?    

Yep, it’s a little blurry, but this monitor definitely read 1015 calories burned in 1 hour and 58 minutes.

I’ve been getting some good workouts in at home, too.  Thankfully, the amazing Toshiba Thrive that Jarid got me for Christmas has been coming in handy when I need something to preoccupy me on the elliptical in the basement.

Bruce Almighty, anyone?  I ususally do Insane Abs DVD, bike on the stationary, and then elliptical for the lenghth of either a movie or one of my favorite TV shows (Extreme Makeover Home Edition, One Tree Hill, Biggest Loser).

Or until I feel like that 🙂

#4.  For my Grandma’s birthday, we got family pictures taken and framed.  I never realized that the photography studio at JCPenney, where my cousin works and got a great discount, was such a decent place for pictures.

Not too shabby, right? Jarid was a good sport, held my purse, and made goofy faces at me through the class to ensure a genuine smile 😉

 #5.  I think I’ll be ordering Annie’s Lite Honey Mustard dressing from iherb.com for the rest of my life…or until the grocery stores in my area start stocking it on shelves.

Speaking of groceries, though… 

Here’s a recent trip and all my findings:

Let’s see what we’ve got here: Sonoma Jacks Light Pepperjack cheese wedges, spaghetti squash, red, yellow, & orange bell peppers, parsnips, pre-cut summer squash & zucchini, frozen vegetables, fat free cottage cheese, unsweet almond milk, bananas, and canned beans

I think the majority of my money spent per month goes toward groceries…what better thing to spend money on than something healthy & nutritious, though, right?

Oh yeah…I mean, other than fun outings with this handsome guy.

He’s usually a total gentleman, though and insists on paying for everything.  Every now and then, I get sneaky and manage to pull out my wallet first 😉  I must say, though…I can always count on him to take good care of me.  This is honestly the happiest I have ever been…and it’s pretty apparent to everyone in my life.

Whether it’s taking over a random photobooth in the mall, going to Wegman’s for an after church lunch & shopping,

or simply a night cuddled up on the couch reading to each other from our daily devotional book.  I feel SO blessed to have him.

[source]

Right now, we’re reading, “Love is a verb” by: Gary Chapman.  It’s perfect for everyday, because it’s a series of short stories.  We typically each read one and call it quits for the night, since we’re so busy and want to soak up relaxation time on weeknights.  My cousin & her husband (another Jared), gave it to us for Christmas.

So, here are a few questions for Thursday:

1- What are some GREAT books on your t0-read list? 

2- What’s your favorite “date night” with your significant other?

3- Favorite salad dressing?

If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go chug some H20 now…after all, it is Thirsty Thursday 😉

XO.

 

Weekend Adventures

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Friday night, Jarid & I had a date night planned.  We try to have one night set aside, per week, just the two of us.

The Devil Inside” was a movie that we had wanted to see since the preview scared us out of our seats in the theaters.  Scary movies are something we both enjoy, so it was opening weekend and we were definitely not missing out.  The film was pretty eerie, but had a mediocre ending.

Saturday morning, I took the time to make myself a yummy breakfast before I got to work on the elliptical.

I absolutely LOVE having the time on weekends to prepare a cooked breakfast, since most of the time I’m running out the door with a pair of Kashi waffles and a banana in my hand.

No, a simple yogurt parfait or a bowl of oats just wasn’t going to cut it.  I traded in the quick and easy for a simple, yet comforting Pumpkin French Toast recipe that totally hit the spot.

3 egg whites
1/4 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp. baking powder
cinnamon (to taste)
1 splenda packet
3 slices multigrain fiber one bread (50 calories/piece)

Add first 5 ingredients to a bowl & mix thoroughly.  Dip your bread into the mixture until fully coated.  Simply, spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray and cook on the stovetop!

After breakfast, I allowed time for my food to digest by stopping at the post office to pick up one of Jarid’s Christmas gifts that finally decided to arrive.

 I guess I can’t complain since I only ordered it two days before Christmas and it was coming the whole way from China… Haha.  He loves his Portland Trailblazers!  I bought him his favorite player, Aldridge’s jersey…authentic and everything!

Next up: Insane Abs & Elliptical while catching up on missed episodes of The Bachelor on Hulu.

The workout was pretty good, but the show was pretty lame.  This season, most of the stuff has to have been staged…it’s less realistic than watching a soap opera.  Reality Steve is a little harsh, but he’s not far from the truth.

Lunch made up for the lack of entertainment while sweating, though.

1 Health is Wealth “chicken” patty with Tribe Roasted Garlic hummus + reduced sugar ketchup and a side of greens (swiss chard, spinach, & spring mix) rubbed with 1 tbsp. of Lite Gazebo Room dressing

Ya know that’s not gonna fill me up for lunch, so I roasted some parsnip fries, zucchini, summer squash, mushrooms, and butternut squash (salted & peppered) in the oven, drizzled in some more reduced sugar ketchup.

Boom. Fantabulous lunch.

Afterward, I was off to watch the lil seester play some basketball at my alma mater.

I want to make it to as many games as I possibly can.  She has been there to support me through all my high school and college years, an I can’t wait to watch her progress, too.

After the game, I went to visit Toni, a blogger, a friend, and now, an independant distributer of It Works!  You may have heard of these amazing products recently, as the word is quickly spreading how awesome they are.

When I heard she became a distributor, I was thrilled at the chance to try a wrap and some of the supplements that she would be selling.

I love the fact that it is a detox, rather than one of those phony wraps that promise a “weight loss miracle”.  You know what I’m talking about…those programs that simply wrap you up until you sweat out water weight and claim a “miracle” has occurred.  Not the case with It Works!  Here’s how it goes:

“Our body wraps are a detox. You’ve heard of cleanses where people drink just juice or cayenne water for days? Those cleanse you and your colon from the inside. The Ultimate Body Applicator cleanses from the outside in, targeting your adipose cells, AKA your fat cells. Unless you’ve Lipo-ed your fat cells into oblivion, you’re stuck with the fat cells you have. And beside holding onto fat, they also hold onto toxins, which not only comes from bad eating, but also our environment and even stress. That’s what the Ultimate Body Applicator targets, shrinking your cells back to their normal size. The result is you look tightened and toned. This process takes 72 hours and the results can last 3-5 months!”

ingredients:

Horse chestnut

According to the National Institutes for Health, horse chestnut seed extract is good for treating varicose veins

Green tea

Known to protect the skin from sun damage, caffeine also is showing much promise in fighting wrinkles and sun damage

Bladderwrack

This is a type of seaweed and helps aging skin

Ivy leaf extract

Reports in from Europe say this is good for reducing stretch marks

Horsetail leaf/stem extract

Known to help encourage weight loss

Butcher’s Broom root extract

Combats varicose veins

Guarana seed extract

A shrub rich in caffeine, known as a stimulant, and expected to increase fat burning

Jojoba seed oil

Similar in structure to human skin oils, jojoba is good for unclogging pores

Menthol

Comes from mint, used to treat sun burns and as a topical analgesic

Rosemary leaf oil

Chock full of antioxidants

Eucalyptus leaf oil

Used for acne … Plus, doesn’t it smell wonderful?

These are just some of the wonderful ingredients found in the solution on our Ultimate Body Applicator body wraps. They stimulate and release the toxins and extra fat in your fat cells, then your lymphatic system does the rest of the work. That’s a fancy way of saying you pee it out. THAT’s why we require you drink so much water before, during, and after applying your slimming body wrap. And that, in an organic, botanical nutshell, is what the Ultimate Body Applicator is and how it works.

I’m going to do a full-review in the upcoming week so you can see my crazyyyy results, but for now, I’ll just recap the rest of the weekend.  Sorry for the tease!  I can promise, however, that there’s an opportunity of a giveaway for a WRAP!  Trust me, you want to try it! Both Toni and I didn’t know if we’d see extreme results, since I eat clean & workout all the time, but seriously… Let me just say, I’m completely dumbfounded by my results.  Stay tuned!!

On my way home, I had this delicious muffin for a snack.

Black Forest Light Touch muffin.  Just 135 calories (1.5g fat, 6g protein), made with wheat flour, and wholesome ingredients.

The rest of the night was spent with the surrogates, Jarid, & the family!  Jarid & I made turkey bacon wrapped jalapenos with fat free cream cheese stuffed in the middle.  SOOO yummy! It was a fantastic way to spend Saturday night.

 XOXO.

The Study Date That Paid Off.

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Daily Verse:

“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;” – John 11:25

My day almost always starts with something sweet.  In light of Christmas time being so close, I made a chocolate peppermint oatcake in the microwave.

Microwavable is perfect for me…an impatient, time-pressed chick.  Here’s what went into the batter before nuking for about 2.5 minutes on power level 9:

  • 1/3 C. organic oatbran
  • a quick drizzle from the sugar-free peppermint Torani syrup bottle (I never measure!)
  • 1 egg white
  • a pinch of baking soda
  • some cinnamon to bring out the sweetness

I dunked it in some unsweetened vanilla almond milk.  It reminded me of the flavors in a thin mint girl scout cookie!

The rest of my day was pretty much a blur…I only have photo documentation of part of my lunch…

Packaged butter bliss dole lettuce blend, cucumbers, beets, yellow pepper, chopped green beans, and tomatoes in red wine vinegar + splenda for dressing

I had a sandwich, too…which was 10X better than the salad…it was hummus & turkey. YUM.

Between stuffing my face with salad, I did my best to get some last minute studying in before my A&P test.  My amazing boyfriend actually printed off photos of the ciruculatory system for me that we had taken the night before in lab.

Besides all of the specific parts to the heart, we had to know each and every vein and artery in the body…

Remember when I said Jarid & I were in the lab the night before to study?  I wasn’t kidding. 

After a cross ramp warm up for 20 minutes, I had basketball practice from 5-7pm… I showered up at the gym and Jarid met me with Chinese for our study date.

Only the sweetest man in the world would leave work, pick you up dinner, and be there to support you as you spend a countless amount of time studying just in order to be with you.   Steamed shrimp with extra veggies instead of rice for her, sweet & sour pork with fried rice for him.

Yep.  I’m the luckiest girl in the world

It’s hump day!  Andddddd I have reason to celebrate, because all my studying paid off!  With a lot of help from “the big man” as Jarid says, calming my nerves.

50 out of 50 on my test.  Praise GOD.  Now for finals next week!

 

Multi-Tasking Mayhem.

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I’m taking a break.

 

Not necessarily from blogging altogether, but from basketball, for one.  It may not be my choice, but I think God chose it for me.  He knows I don’t have the willpower to take a break on my own, so he decided to give me a little injury which is just enough to sit my butt out for a week.  I guess I’m what you would consider an exercis-o-holic.  I don’t do well with rest.  In fact, as important as I KNOW rest days are, unless I’m hurting, I rarely take them. 

Recently, I’ve been juggling quite a plate full of things:  Full-time work, an Anatomy & Physiology class, a daily basketball practice, a business software class, preparing for and teaching a nutrition class at the YMCA, being a good girlfriend, blogging, cooking healthy meals, housekeeping, etc.  It was exhausting.

While I truly enjoy this haphazard, productive, constantly multi-tasking lifestyle, God started convicting me that I was spreading myself too thin.  I was half-assing a lot of things, mainly my relationship with Him.  I wasn’t fully dedicated to any one thing and I found the frustration to be overwhelming.  Still, I didn’t know how to stop myself from doing it all.  It was the only way I knew how to function, regardless of whether it was healthy or not.  I was burning out slowly, and I felt like I had no other option.  God, however, took things into His own hands.  In our last game, I did some serious damage to my knees and my left foot. 

 After consulting a physical therapist, who is hoping that the injuries are simply soft tissue rather than stress fractures, I was sentanced to a week of NO STRAIN ON MY LEGS OR FEET, which for me was basically like a death sentance.  I’m a cardio freak and I love the high I get after a long hard basketball practice or a run.  I was even forbidden from the elliptical and the exercise bike.  If you know me at all, you know I was freaking out. 

 Since then, I’ve read this devotional:

““But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, ‘You are my God!’ My future is in your hands. Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.” Psalm 31:14-15 (NLT)

“Mom, quick…look at that lady!” My fourteen-year-old son shouted as we were headed down the interstate on an errand-running Thursday afternoon. “She should not be doing that,” he added for emphasis.

I glanced over at the car next to us, expecting to see someone without her hands at the ten and two o’clock positions like my by-the-rulebook-boy does when training behind the wheel. Instead, I nearly ran off the road while gawking at what my Driver’s Ed patrolman had spotted.

Next to us was a woman cradling her cell phone on her right shoulder; holding an open fast-food salad container in her left hand; ripping open a salad dressing packet with her teeth and her right hand…all while steering her car with her knees!

What in the world!? My boys and I thought surely, if she kept up this multi-tasking method of driving, she was going to cause a crash.

“I would NEVER attempt to do all of that when I drive,” I smugly thought to myself. “Entirely too dangerous and probably against the law.” Yep, when it comes to being a safe-driving expert, the apple doesn’t fall far from the “Honey-you-didn’t-use-your-blinker-back-there” maternal tree.

It wasn’t until later that night it hit me. Yes, I may not dangerously multi-task when driving, thereby risking collision. But in my day-to-day life? In my schedule? In my “sure-I-can-take-on-one-more-responsibility-so-everyone-will-like-me” way? I sometimes dangerously multi-task to the point I am headed for a crash.

Taking on too many responsibilities, no matter how “good” they may be, can often render us ineffective for service to God. Yet, He knows our limits. He understands are capacities. He is willing, if we will ask Him, to help us navigate the busyness and activity that often trips us up.

On one of my so-busy-I-couldn’t-breathe days, I read today’s key verse. While I’m sure the author David was talking about actual physical enemies — men who could chase, catch and ultimately hurt you — I realized that day my enemy was busyness. Too many activities and responsibilities outside my four walls were about to do me in. They chased me, cornered me and worst of all, were about to go in for the kill.

Thankfully, God can rescue us from the barren life of busyness. He invites us to hold our too-full plates up to Him, allowing Him to scrape off all the activities and responsibilities. Then, place back on our plates only the items HE longs for us to possess.

When this happens, we can create space in our calendar to retreat, places of sweet respite in our days where we connect with God. Times when we slow down and sit still to listen and learn from the Creator of time itself.”

I think this passage speaks for itself.  It was like God open-handedly (but gently ;)) tapped me on the forehead and said, “duh, this is what I’ve been trying to tell you“.  I knew I didn’t have the strength to slow down on my own.  This minor bump in the road was just what I needed…as always.

So, instead of waking up early or killing myself trying to get from one thing to the next, I’ve been taking things slow…kinda because I have to, but mostly because I know I should.  At first, I was completely distraught about it.  What was I going to do?  How was I going to stay in shape?  What about the rest of basketball season?

Then I realized…It’s all in God’s hands.  He takes care of and provides for His children.  Another thing I was reminded of in church this Sunday, was the fact that I need to be THANKFUL, even in tough times.  This verse has been ringing in the forefront of my mind for the past few days:

James 1:2-4

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

God is molding me right before my own eyes.  It’s exciting!  And I’m thankful 🙂 

After church on Sunday, Jarid & I hit our favorite lunch spot, aka Wegmans.  For him: crabcake sandwich with garlic bacon mashed potatoes.

For her: brown rice tuna roll along with an awesome side salad.  We shared some fruit, too!  Strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, and grapes.

Steamed broccoli, blanched green beans, grilled red pepper, shrimpies, black bean & corn salsa, cucumbers, and mushrooms all over a bed of baby spinach.

It was quite the feast!  After, we walked rolled around the store checking out all the sweet goodies.  I also snatched up some provisions for this week’s lunches.

Momma FF had the whole family over for dinner that night. 

They had sandwiches and noodles.  While I did snatch a few slices of turkey, I also whipped up a spread of my own:

 Butternut squash & parsnip fries roasted at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes with reduced sugar ketchup +  kelp noodles in an avocado/pea mash, per Elise’s imaginative combination.

 For once in my life, I’m actually enjoying thankful for rest. 

What’s one thing that at first, you saw as a burden, but are turning it around to show the Lord you’re grateful for EVERYthing he gives you? 

Ex: You reallllllllly can’t stand your workplace, environment, or co-workers, but you’re SO thankful to have a job especially in times like these.

XOXO.

Megaphone.

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Sometimes I feel like God is whispering when he talks to me.  Other times, it’s like he’s using a megaphone to YELL something at me.  It’s like one of those “thank you, God” moments…He knows EXACTLY what we need, when we need it.  With that, I’d like to share my daily devotional with you:

My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly.”
-Psalm 38:5 (NIV)

“It was just a little thing. A small stone or piece of shell I’d stepped on at some point during my walk on the beach. I figured I didn’t need to worry about it. Eventually it would work its way out. So I ignored it and went on with life. But weeks later my plan wasn’t working. The little thing hadn’t gone away. It had only worked its way deeper into my foot. I was having more and more trouble walking. And my little thing had become harder to ignore.

At my husband’s insistence, I finally visited the doctor, who told me that something that could’ve been handled easily at the beginning had now turned into a much bigger problem. What could’ve been as simple as removing a splinter now involved cutting into my foot. I thought of the little things in my life I’ve ignored, letting them work their way deeper instead of plucking them out while they were still easy to get to. Resentment, anger, jealousy, gossip, unforgiveness and unkind thoughts can be plucked out the moment we realize they’re there. But leave them untended and they go deeper. What could be a matter of prayer and accountability becomes a full blown life issue that controls us and causes pain—not just for us, but for others as well. Ignore the little things and they become big problems; plucking becomes carving.

Like our verse today, our sinful folly causes wounds that fester instead of heal. I didn’t take the time to go to the doctor. I didn’t want to mess with the inconvenience or the pain of having my little thing dealt with. I thought I could handle it on my own. But I couldn’t. I needed a physician to do what I could not. It is the same for those little things in my thought life as well. I need the Great Physician to remove what I can’t reach — and do it before it becomes so deep that it’s part of who I am. When I’m struggling with little things, I’ve learned to ask God to help me see what is going on through His Word and prayer. Then I listen to the Holy Spirit’s convictions and seek honesty from friends and family. As a friend of mine says, “The truth might hurt, but the truth also heals.” We must be intentional about being honest with ourselves and do whatever it takes to identify and remove the potentially damaging little things in our hearts and in our thought lives.”

[source]

See, last year during basketball season, I was spoiled.  The team that I was playing with was not only exceptional, but they were TOTALLY TEAM ORIENTED.  This year, many times, I feel like we’re just five individuals out on the court together who occasionally pass the ball, but mostly are motivated by self-successes rather than team ones.  If you’ve ever played on a team like this, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  I’m not sure whether it stems from selfishness or the fact that players try too much to take things into their own hands, but in my opinion, teamwork is the most obvious way to be victorious.  After our game last night, which we DID win, I was really torn.  I feel like I’m giving my all to benefit the good of the team.  I can honestly say, I am constantly looking to help my teammates be successful.  I guess I just don’t feel like everyone is there for the same reasons.  It kills me because I’m literally doing everything I know to do to build camaraderie among us, but nothing seems to work.  Don’t get me wrong, we get along.  Alot of the girls consider themselves friends…it’s just that on the court, our chemistry is lacking.  We all work hard, but it’s for ourselves rather than our team, it feels like. 

Regardless of how I feel about the situation, I need to recognize that my attitude about it is the only thing I can control.  If I choose not to, it could turn into a bigger problem than it already is.  I was resentful.  I was angry. I was unforgiving…so much so, that I cried last night while I was venting to my Dad & Jarid about it.  This message was just God’s way of reinforcing what He was trying to tell me last night.  NIP THIS IN THE BUD BEFORE IT OVERWHELMS YOU.  I know I can’t do it on my own, so instead, I’m giving it to God.  He is the only one who can help me through it and feel at peace.

Thank you God for being exactly what I need, each and everyday ❤

Have you ever found yourself trying to ignore problems instead of dealing with them?  Do you need to ask God for help letting go of something that seems to be consuming you?

XO.

The Early Bird Gets The Worm.

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Getting to work at 6:45am isn’t as easy as I thought it would be…although utilizing our families Keurig coffee makes the commute much more tolerable.

Working 7am-3pm wasn’t supposed to make me feel like a zombie, but I suppose it’s worth it, since I’ve been able to attend all of my basketball practices.  I can’t believe our first game is in a few weeks! 

[whole wheat cinnamon raisin sandwich thin + peanut flour paste + mashed naner]

When I do finally arrive at my building after walking under the creepiest bridge ever from the lot I pay to park in downtown, I set up my own little breakfast making station at my desk.  Not many people in the office work the shift I do, so it’s nice and peaceful.

A delicious, healthy breakfast is necessary on days like these…like a consolation prize for my pulling myself out of bed at 5am….NOT for a workout.  Somehow, it was easier when I knew I’d be sweating and revving up my body at that time back in the booty camp days.

Mid-morning snack (aka, breakfast #2) = Lemon 0% Chobani + 1 of Katie’s Coconut Almond Macaroons crumbled in.

Before I know it, my lunchtime arrives.

This picture doesn’t do justice to how large my salad truly is.   A huge bed of chopped green leaf lettuce, broken asparagus spears, baby bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and english cucumbers. The large and in charge bottle to the left is a new product which I LOVE and found at Wegman’s.

 

Mango Vinegar Spritzer

Ingredients: Mango Juice, White Wine Vinegar, Natural Mango Extract, Xanthan Gum, Sulphide Dioxide; 1 tbsp = 15 calories

HUGE fan…although it did cost me about $6.

Before practice, I usually have some type of candy fuel.  These bars are my favorite…Elise’s recommendation.  120 calories, made from brown rice syrup, dates, and other wholesome ingredients.  What you’re not seeing is ziplock baggie of frozen grapes that I ate, too.  Nature’s sugar at it’s best.

After a two hour practice, I’m pretty beat, but it’s a good kind of beat, you know?  On days I don’t have class, I go straight home to get a shower…and then, when I’m out, I devour dinner (hence, no photos).  Usually, it’s something effortless like steamed vegetables (broccoli slaw, peas, snap peas, green beans – whatever is in my freezer), protein (whether it’s ff cottage cheese, grilled chicken, or deli turkey), and carb (brown rice, ww bread, oat cake). 

Then, for dessert before bed, I always have a shake.  I have been using 1/2 scoop Vega chocolate & 1/2 scoop chocolate whey together and it is delish.  Helps me sleep, too!

If you’re counting, that’s two cheeseball “thumbs up” pictures in one post.  I guess I’m a little awkward on camera.  Haha.  Sidenote: Jarid also likes to point out that when I’m alone in a photo, I always tilt my head to the left a little bit.  It’s too funny, now that I look back on all the pics he has of me.

Do you have a signature picture pose?

XO.

Chocolate Cures Everything.

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Here’s the deal.  You’ll have to forgive me for the lack of consistency in my postings…  With the beginning of basketball season, comes the beginning of an increasingly insane schedule…there’s another catch that I can’t tell you about quite yet…but stay tuned for an exciting adventure taking place in my life right now.

Tuesdays & Wednesdays are especially grueling.  Thankfully, my supervisor at work allowed me to work a 7am-3pm shift, making it possible for me to attend my 3:30-5:30 practice.  Waking up at 5am isn’t terrible…it was only tough, because I then have Anatomy & Phisiology class on Tuesday nights from 6:30-9:45pm. 

We started with a skeletal lab, had that test, and are now moving on to the muscular lab.  Meanwhile, outside of class, we’re supposed to be teaching ourselves 5 chapters of the book.  Thank God it’s an interesting class.  It’s just a TON of info to remember.

Packing up my lunches & dinners both can be quite the task, but I’ve learned a thing or two from Elise when it comes to packing for round-the-clock, healthy eats.  The only difference is, I’m usually having to refuel after workouts like these…

I firmly believe that chocolate can help me settle my frazzled self, when times come that my schedule gets nuts…so, here we go…my favorite products to kick a chocolate craving.

No Sugar Added Fudgsicles

It’s starting to get too cold to enjoy these, but whenever I’m craving ice cream, these hit the spot.  They’re super creamy and perfectly portioned.  Just 40 calories in one!

Doctor’s CarbRite SugarFree Milk Chocolate Bar

I actually LOVED this bar.  I found it at Wegman’s recently and at just 32 calories per square, who’s going to argue?  I like to use them anyway I would Adora Calcium discs.  Likeeee smashing some peanut flour paste mix in between.

Muscle Milk Light Chocolate Shake

This shake is perfect for a sweets fix on the move.  I keep them in my trunk, aka, large refrigerator, for emergency chocolate cravings…they especially come in handy after long practices boasting 20g of muscle building protein.

Deep Chocolate Vitatops

I haven’t ordered these bad boys in awhile, mainly because I used to only do it when I saw specials for free shipping and big bundle packages from Hungry Girl.  They are delicious though…especially warmed in the microwave, so the chocolate chips get all melty…it’s like a warm brownie straight from the oven.

Diet Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate Packets

I typically hate anything with “diet” in the title…the ingredients list isn’t fabulous for these guys either, but they’re convenient and portable.  They flavor plain greek yogurt wonderfully, or are great for shaking up in a reuseable bottle with unsweet vanilla almond milk. 

Cookie Dough Luna Protein Bars

Again, these bars are portable and great for a before bed treat.  After a long night of class and basketball, cookie dough covered in chocolate sounds pretty amazing, no?  Plus, 12g of protein which helps my tired muscles heal up and 180 calories for me to lessen the deficit.

How do I plan on making it through the next three months with an A&P lab, working full-time, playing college basketball, taking a computer business class, and maintaining a social life with the boyfriend?  By eating chocolate…lots, and lots of chocolate. (:

PS- Please, VOTE FOR MY BLUEBERRY PANCAKES in the BETTER BREAKFAST challenge on Janetha’s blog!

What’s your favorite guilt-free chocolate product?

XO.

Sutures, Foramen, & Processes, Oh My!

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These diagrams have been frying my brain since I started studying last week for my skeletal A&P exam.

 Thank GOD it is over.  My score wasn’t quite what I was hoping for, but I’m satisfied, being that it was a ton of information to study and I was really freaking out about it.  In celebration, the boyfriend brought me two surprises.

+

He knows what I like 😉 The way to my heart is food, flowers, and fitness…which is why he also joined me at open gym last night.  Absolute best boyfriend in the world.

 Before hand, I drank some healthy energy and ate a Blueberry Chobani yogurt for some simple sugars. 

We haven’t gotten to play basketball together in TOO long because of the rain, causing us to cancel our outdoor games with the guys. 

As you can see, it was a great workout…Maintaining an average heart rate of 150 is quite intense over a span of an hour & twenty minutes. 

Afterward, I went home to shower…

 …and he went to pick up our order from The Wild Tomato, a new-to-me takeout place that has whole wheat pizza, whole wheat rolls for subs, and even a lot of gluten-free options! 

I am officially smitten with this place.  You can personalize every single thing about your pizza from the crust (traditional, whole wheat, or gluten-free), to the cheese (feta, fresh mozzarella, part-skim), to the toppings (green peppers, mushrooms, roasted chicken, olives, anchovies, pepperoni, bacon, tomatoes, spinach, onions, sweet peppers, etc).

They even use FRESH, locally-grown produce!  The options I chose come are “bolded” in the above paragraph 😉

Holy yum.  I had this slice times 2.5.  Is it just me, or does healthy pizza taste SO much better when someone else makes it for you? 🙂 Uh-Ma-Zing.

The boy was pleased with his selection, too.

He picked a traditional, white crust with regular cheese and pepperoni + bacon.  I wanted to get a personal sized one, like he did, but they said that they didn’t sell whole wheat in that size…I just figured, I wouldn’t have to pack lunch the rest of the week! (:

Afterward, we each enjoyed a popsicle for dessert while watching the new episode of Modern Family.  Sugar-free orange for her, regular cherry for him.   Food babies and cuddle time ensued 🙂

It’s almost Friday already!  Where did the week go?  I love it when that happens…

Stay tuned tomorrow for the announcement of the BRAT HANS & WEBER GRILL WINNER!  You only have one day to enter!

XO.

Learn Something New Everyday

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G’ morning, ladies (& gentleman?) You know, I conside myself a fairly educated individual as far as health and nutrition, mainly because I read about it all the time.  I didn’t think I was going to get much out of the whole “Thrive In 30” program, to be totally honest.  Not because I know it ALL, but because I thought it was to teach people who don’t know the basics how to eat…you know, the typical “eat your fruits and vegetables” deal.

Then, I read yesterday’s lesson.  Sure, I knew that these foods were good for you, but what I didn’t know was that our pH levels were so pertinant to our overall bodily functions!

The good news?   You can incorporate all kinds of foods into your diet to enhance your pH levels Check it out:

Good thing I’m in love with most of these foods!  I eat them on a daily basis, actually (:

Here are some foods you’ll want to minimize in your diet:

One thing from this list that really stuck out at me, was whey protein!  Many of the other foods, I rarely eat, so they wouldn’t affect me too much, but I have at least one whey protein shake per day!  And PEANUT flour.  Daily need.  Oh yeah, and prescription drugs.  Levothyroxine for my thyroid function!  Yikes.

Anyway, now that I’m back from the weekend at the beach, here’s what I’ve doing & eating:

Basketball open gyms are a once-a-week occurance on Tuesday nights at my Alumni.  I love going back to play, and it’s cool that we can make it a family affair now, since my Dad is an assistant coach & my youngest sister will be a freshman!

I love that the sun doesn’t set until after 8pm this time of year.  Long, summer days are going to come to an end way too quickly for my taste ❤

On days that I don’t have basketball scheduled, you can find me at the YMCA slaving away on the elliptical.  I’ve been starting to run on the treadmill again at the beginning of my workout, just to do some intervals and get my heart rate up.  Then Jarid comes to meet me and we do abs together. 

We usually end with a nice little stroll around the neighborhood, which in my opinion is the perfect cool down. 

I don’t like to workout on a full stomach, so lately, I’ve been roasting veggies before I leave, refrigerating them, and then chowing down when I walk in the door.  This batch was zucchini, orange peppers, green beans, broccoli, and onions sprayed with PAM and roasted for about 35 min at 530º sprinkled with salt, pepper, and onion & herb Mrs. Dash.

One last thing that I can’t get enough of right now is VitaminWater Zero – Squeezed.  It’s like the perfect summertime drink.  Sweet lemonade ❤  I could sip on these ALL day…

Jarid is leaving me for the weekend.  I’m not sure what I’m going to occupy my time with…any suggestions?  I think a friend & I might go see a movie or something Saturday night…I’ll also be in attendance at the Phillies game tomorrow night! (:

Okay, Three Question Thursday:

1. What’s your favorite chain restaurant & what do you like to order there?
I’d have to go with Ruby Tuesday’s.  Bangin’ salad bar.

 2. What’s your go-to zero calorie drink of choice?
(see above :))

3. What’s your favorite workout these days? Sports?  Yoga? Running?

I’d have to go with basketball.

XO.