Gluten-free No Mo

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Hi friends!!

So from my last update I was trying a gluten-free and dairy-free diet. It didn’t work so well. I am proudly a four-time Whole30 veteran and yet my body didn’t like the lack of gluten and dairy. Read the rest of this entry »


Bring it on, 2017!

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Man, what a time to be alive!! This year (aka for the last month) I’ve paid more attention to myself and put myself first and it’s made my life SO MUCH better. Basically, 2017 is my bitch and I’ve been super proactive about eating right, getting stuff done and working out. This also included lots of buffalo chicken for lunch and dinner, lifting and running again and a lot of broccoli. Weirdly though, I don’t think I’ve combined buffalo chicken and broccoli yet, but I’ve been eating a ton of both. In fact, as I’m typing this I’m eating buffalo chicken right now 🙂

I feel awesome about my classes this semester, Senior Class Gift, and I finally have a real, college-kid social life (peace out, NCAA!) Here’s a quick debrief: I’m in four classes (12 credits), but 3 credits are Abnormal Psychology which I’m taking pass/fail and the other 9 are three introduction business (Global Strategic Management, Organizational Behavior, and Developing Business Intelligence). Rest assured, they all sound way more complicated than they actually are.

Senior Class Gift is also kicking major butt!! We’re at 42% participation which is awesome because the biggest events of the year are yet to come! More updates to come! Next week is another Annual Giving Board meeting and I hope my successes help show that undergraduate giving at my school is on the rise.

I’m going to make the time to blog more this semester and am planning on eating gluten-free and dairy-free, so recipes and pictures will definitely be posted!

Back to School Update

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The time (I thought would never come) is finally here.

If you would’ve told me what my senior fall looked like I wouldn’t believe you for even a second. I’m NCAA medically-disqualified (too many concussions amongst other things), president for Senior Class Gift, and surprisingly okay with how my life is going right now. Side note: I’m still bitter about living in Williamsburg, or I guess more generally, just Virginia as a state. I completely understand why people can like Virginia, I just need a little less heat, a little less southern food, and a little more seafood (hint: Maryland crabs, Maine lobster and New England clam chowder to name a few.)

I’m writing this super riveting update for three main reasons:

  1. I haven’t blogged in a pretty long time and I honestly miss it.
  2. I have a plan that I’ll discuss a little further down in the post.
  3. I can’t fall asleep and in an attempt to either exhaust myself or at least be productive, here I am.

My upcoming plan:

As a senior in college, I want to explore Virginia for its natural beauty before I move forward in life (and hopefully away from VA). I’ve combined this want with a more highly prioritized want to give myself small things to look forward to every week. This includes a nice walk, hike, bike ride, cooking something special, getting a massage, spending the day outdoors, etc. I’m planning on documenting my adventures through my WordPress and Instagram accounts.

As a back to school update:

I’m enrolled in five really spectacular classes this fall. My final math class to fulfill my minor requirement (Applied Statistics: Data Analysis), two marketing classes for my major requirement (Advertising and Digital Marketing & Customer Insights for Innovation), a general business school major requirement (Legal Environment of Business), and an elective I’m taking pass/fail “for fun” (Introduction to Geographic Information Systems -GIS). Yes, you heard me right; I’m taking a class FOR FUN. Notice how I’ve decided to take it pass/fail. This means as long as I do 60% of the required work, theoretically I’ll still receive that beautiful “P” on my transcript. As always, my marketing classes are really interesting and I’m excited for our projects and to learn the material in both topics, and let’s just say my math class is a typical upper level math class.(Very few white kids, even fewer females.) Lastly, my required legal class already seems challenging and its reaffirming how glad I am to not have chosen to pursue a career in law.

Hopefully I’ll be able to keep this regularly updated with all of my exciting and fun adventures but until then happy Monday (now that it’s past midnight and I’m still not an ounce more tired than I was when I first began typing this post.) Good for me.

My First Half Marathon

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I am hoping this will be the first of many posts after my almost year-long disappearance from the “blogging grid”. I’m still not even sure if anyone out there even reads any of this but my fingers are crossed that maybe one day someone will stumble upon my blog. I have so much to write about and a month left of summer vacation to blog my little heart out.

My first (and quite easily my last) half marathon was in Annapolis, MD and sponsored by Zooma Women Race Series. Before running the race, the farthest I’ve ever run was maybe ten miles or so. And for all of you that don’t know, a half marathon measures out to be 13.1 miles. As you also know (if you have indulged yourself in my prior posts), I have a lot of physical ailments. Note to all: playing a competitive sport in college will deteriorate your body. After three years I have PFPS (patella femoral pain syndrome aka runner’s knee) in both of my knees, CECS (chronic exertional compartment syndrome) in four compartments in my shins AND because of these first two ailments, I have weak and inflexible hips. Lastly, and unrelated to the previous three issues, I also have plantar fasciitis.

Given all of this background information, it is very safe o say that completing this half marathon was far from a walk in the park (literally about twelve miles farther). Luckily I ran the race with my sister who is about a year and a half younger than me. We kept each other company and tried to keep our morale high. Here’s a quick play-by-play on how the race went: The first two miles were the best; everyone was happy, energetic and my body and spirits were in a good place. After the second mile, the 5k runners turned away from the rest of the racers to head back and complete their race. Fast forward to around the 4.5 mile mark (I wore my Garmin Forerunner 15 to track my heart rate, our distance and pace and I watched that damn watch every tenth of a mile – counting down until the finish line), around now I’m jealously watching every 10k runner happily turning around, knowing that their pain is almost over. Lucky for us we aren’t even halfway through our misery. At around mile seven let’s just say we both needed one of three very necessary porta-pot pit stops. Miles six through twelve are all a blur but once we hit the twelfth mile marker (as measured by the official race markers – angrily, my GPS watch read 12.2 miles), we ran (very slow jog) by a police officer, thanked him for stopping traffic and allowing us to pass, and proceded to ask how the last mile looked. To our great disappointment he explained “Way to go! You girls just have to turn the corner, go straight and finish up the final uphill.” In case you didn’t digest that last part, let me repeat to you, HE SAID THERE WAS ANOTHER UPHILL??!? If I hadn’t died yet this far into the race, this was the sole comment that drained any and all morale I had left in me. Long story short though, we finished our half marathon!! Proudest and one of the more painful moments in my life thus far.

Rewind again back to before I grew bitter about the 10k runners. Now I’ll describe to you how my body broke down within the first half of my race. My arches began aching at first; this was a manageable pain and I could easily ignore it as we trekked through the streets of Historic Annapolis. Next up was my knees. Every step was more and more painful. Walking helped but when this pain was brought on at around the seventh mile, I couldn’t make my sister walk with me for the last six miles, so I continued to keep running. Just within the seventh mile, I started to heel strike my strides to reduce the impact on my knees. If you don’t know anything about running form, then I’ll be happy to inform you that heel-striking causes an extremely quick onset of my CECS symptoms. By now you’re probably all rereading the beginning of my post to see what else could possibly go wrong, pain-wise, with my body. Feet, check. Knees, check. Shins, check. So finally, my hips. Simply put, once my shins flare up (literally the small muscles in my shins get extremely swollen), my hips take a beating too.

Pro-tips for any half marathon virgins out there reading this: train before the race, foam roll your legs the night after your race and hydrate during the race. Training is essential to best prepare your body for exerting itself for three hours (give or take) straight. Foam rolling will reduce fatigue in your muscles and will help with recovery. Lastly I’m glad I drank two cups of water and one cup of Gatorade at every rest station. On my race day, it was very hot and I needed to consume liquids to replenish all lost fluids through sweating (and crying; just kidding, no tears were actually shed.)  Advil was also essential during the hours after my race, which helped me physically move up from the couch to my bed. You might think I’m kidding but I’m 100% not; ask my sister.

All in all, I’m very proud of myself for completing the race (even if my GPS watch measured it to be 13.6 miles and not 13.1 miles) and maybe for the future I’ll possibly consider another half but definitely 5k and 10k length races.


Vacation Round 2

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This morning my mom, Lila and I packed up the car and left to head down to the beach in North Carolina. What we thought would be an easy six hour trip quickly turned into an eight hour trip, and then a lengthy ten hour trip. It wasn’t bad though; we made an out-of-the-way pit stop at my house at school to drop off some IKEA furniture boxes and the Saturday beach traffic lining the East Coast surely didn’t help our cause either. 

All in all, we made it here safely and were even able to go for a walk on the beach, dip our feet into the warm ocean water, and go grocery shopping for the upcoming week. 

I’m especially looking forward to relaxing and laying out on the beach for the next week, before I really need to lock down and prepare for my fall semester and my D1 field hockey preseason. 

Stay tuned for some healthy food posts and beach exercising posts on both my blog and my Instagram account! P.S. If you don’t already, I recommend you follow my Instagram account (@strongandsmiling ) for daily posts about fitness, happiness and being healthy. 😊 Happy Saturday!