Thursday, May 31, 2012

Alexandria 1/2 Marathon Recap

As the weeks before the race approached I didn't think much about the Alexandria 1/2 marathon on my schedule. I was very excited for the race when I signed up but it was so far in the distance that I didn't take training seriously. I run all the time race or no race so I wasn't worried. But as the race grew nearer and it was time for me to hit long runs I would consistently run 10 miles even when I told myself to do 14 miles knowing instinctively 10 miles would get me through a 1/2 marathon race. If there's one thing I learned about training for a marathon it's "if you say your going to do something, DO IT" I never pushed myself to increase my speed on the 10 miles I was merely content with completing them. Well my lax attitude showed through as I went from a half marathon time of 1:32 to 1:43.  While nobody likes to do worse or slow down I was greatful that the race woke me up! I needed that to get back into the competitive mindset to train harder. Molly ran the 5 K at the Alexandria running festival and wasn't too pleased with her time either so we made a commitment to run a race each month this summer and to get better each time!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Reaching Goals.

Goals have been the topic of discussion around me lately. Which got me to thinking what it takes to reach your goals. Once you graduate college people always want to know what's next? What are your plans? Where are you going and how will you get there?

Well... If you're anything like me your always mentally setting goals without even realizing it. It didn't take my graduation day for me to realize I needed to figure out a plan. plan to be a dietitian began one night talking to one of best friends in our freshmen dorm. It's one of those vivid memories know the kind where you can remember exactly how you felt in a way that makes it seem as if it just happened yesterday. It was the first time I allowed myself to admit that I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do with my life. Ironic right? I develop my future by admitting to myself that I have no idea what the hell I want to do. All I knew was that I didn't want to continue studying government and philosophy. It just wasn't right for me. I remember being terrified to not have a plan. I know a lot of people feel this way on graduation day...but I went through this my freshman year. I knew in order for me to focus and work hard I needed to have a goal in mind.

One of the great things about my friend Charlene and that night in my freshmen dorm was the dreams that came from it. If you don't have a friend you can tell crazy dreams and big plans to  you should go out and get one ASAP. Because when you start to say things out loud to another person they begin to become real.  Now that I graduated with my degree from UMD in dietetics and I received a dietetic internship I realize I owe a lot to that night. To allowing myself to change my mind. To allowing myself to dream. And to having a friend to dream with!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The RBA Team Enters The Kitchen

When Rebecca invited me and the rest of the RBA team over to her home in Annapolis for an interactive lunch I was not exactly sure what to expect. The e-vite  lead us to believe we would be doing some cooking and we were told to wear closed toed shoes but other than that we were left in the dark. Rebecca told us her friend and strategic business planning partner, Emma Fogt would be there to lead the lunch event. Finally, she promised it would be worth the drive to Annapolis and it absolutely was.

 We arrived at her warm welcoming home at 11:30 am and were  greeted to a table that was beautifully set up with a place set for each of us!

The menu was laid out on each plate and included: 

Once everyone arrived we all gathered on Rebecca's porch to discuss how we were going to work as a team to prepare the menu! Emma had created wonderful recipes with easy-to-follow steps that could be put together with the work of a team! 

....we also sipped on a  citrus mint cocktail made with fresh mint leaves and stevia sweetened lemonade.  YUM :) 
We were split up strategically  as the student/intern pairs we would be working with over the summer and each given a different portion of the menu to create! We also all worked together to create an apple crisp for dessert. 

Kait and I prepared the seasonal greens salad with lemon and goat cheese medallions! Kait got really crafty with the goat cheese balls and I zested the lemons! Rebecca and Emma had some great kitchen gadgets to help us get things done! 

We accomplished our challenge and prepared a beautiful summer lunch to enjoy in good time! We then sat down to enjoy good food and great company. It is always a treat for me to spend time with my co-workers. We all share a strong common passion for health & nutrition and our discussions always foster new motivation. 

It was an extra special experience to have Emma Fogt with us! She works with Rebecca and one other dietitian in a "Master Mind" group to share, plan, empower and strategize entrepreneurial and business plans. Emma's dedication and excitement about nutrition & wellness added a special glow to our group lunch! We learned about her new program called: Reignite for Wellness, a program designed for over stressed, over worked women regain control of their lives and improve their overall health an wellbeing. 

Thanks Rebecca, Emma, and the rest of the RBA team for a wonderful lunch filled with laughter, motivation and team building :)  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day !!

My mom is definitely the one person I do not show nearly enough how much I appreciate. But i'm trying to make up for it today! I made my mom a CD filled with songs to express how wonderful she is :) While I was making it this song made me cry because it just fits the way I feel about my mom... I accidentally and maybe subconsciously on purpose put it on the CD twice!  

"for a heart I can rely on through anything"
Love you MOM!

Mother’s Day Mix
1.   Like My Mother Does -Lauren Alania
2.   I Turn to You Christina- Aguleria
3.   Someone Like You - Adele
4.   Fire and Rain James Taylor
5.   Who I am- Jessica Andrews
6.   One and Only -Adele
7.   Set Fire to the Rain -Adele
8.   I my Daughter’s Eyes- Martina Mcbride
9.   I Hope You Dance- Lee Ann Womack
10.       What Do You Say –Reba
11.       Just Another Day In Paradise- Phil Vasser
12.       I Turn To You Christine Aguleria (for emphasis)
13.       Landslide- Stevie Nicks
14.       Somebody’s Hero- Jamie O’Neal
15.       Jason Marz- Lucky
16.       Hey There Delliah – Plain White Tees
17.       The Best Day- Taylor Swift
18.       Angels –Randy Travis

Now it's time to enjoy a colorful brunch w/ Mom! 
Happy Mother's Day to all the Amazing Moms out there!   

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Top 5 Reasons to Blog

I am not exactly sure why, but I always get surprised when someone tells me they have read my blog.  I guess blogging is kind of a strange concept.  It is weird to have conversation with yourself and other people at the same time. You don't know if you'll have an audience or who they'll be...but I guess that's the fun part.

 The other night my sister's  friend was over my house and told me she read my blog and it made her feel both inspired and jealous. I was really happy to hear my words were being read and inspiring others! However, I was a little confused on the jealous part. At first, I  didn't quite understand that emotion....but then she explained that she wished she could write a blog. I began to think of all the blogs I love to read and how I too was in sense jealous (not my term of choice but it fits) of their ability to put their thoughts into words and leave a trace of their days for them to always remember.

My little sister's friend inspired me to think of all the reasons why I write a blog and I came up with the top 5 reasons I keep carrying on this conversation with my computer and every and anyone else!

 So here they are:

1. Reflection- Have you ever had to review a book or a movie for a class and found that you think WAY more deeply about it than you would have if you just watched it for fun? That's what a blog does for me... it causes me to think consciously and critically  about my reactions and experiences in  ways I wouldn't have done otherwise. It helps me not only collect my thoughts on a topic but keep them organized.
2. Memory- Life goes by so fast and sometimes I forget about all the wonderful experiences I have had . Keeping a blog not only helps me remember things I have done but they way I felt after doing them. Sometimes looking back at my past memories and experiences gives me confidence to take on new challenges.
3. Purpose- Even if your not sure if anyone else will read it...if you have something to should say it. The reality is you have no idea who you might be helping by providing helpful + real information or responding to difficult/ controversial topics. Many people look to blogs for guidance and inspiration. Sometimes just a bit of humor can help people get through their day.
4. Accountability- Many of my favorite food blogs have begun with people that wanted to keep themselves accountable for what they ate. By taking pictures, recording what they ate, and reflecting on it they were able to get themselves to a healthier more balanced place. Their blogs have then blossomed into great resources for recipes, inspiration, and hope for others. One of my favorits is Kath Eats 
5. Creativity- Learning to blog, use the web, and writing has inspired me to learn technology and become creative. It's like keeping a digital scrap book filled with pictures, quotes, and tag lines!

If any of these reasons to blog sound appealing I encourage you to start one! Blogging can be a great tool for clarifying, organizing, and expressing thoughts!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Framers Market Meets UMD

Farmers Markets always excite the nutrition nerd in me but when they are on own my campus my smiles are taken to a whole new level! I love them because they provide a wonderful opportunity to interact with agricultural experts and  learn about new produce! I enjoy walking around trying creative homemade recipes and fresh fruit samples! One vendor I particularly enjoyed at the grand opening of the UMD farmers market was Picnic Gourmet Spreads , they had a display of wonderfully crafted homemade spreads including flavors like carmel and onion chive and gorgonzola...YUM!

  It is so easy for college student to find themselves in what is sometimes referred to as  a "toxic food environment", one filled with fast convient foods that are often times fried and highly processed. Luckily, the wellness coalition at the University of Maryland has been working to bring fresh produce and local famers to UMD for sometime now and I  glad to finally get a chance to buy fresh strawberries on my campus!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sharkies: Clean Active Fuel

One question I often get asked as a nutrition student and a marathon runner is: "What  foods do you eat while you run?"and the truth is, with two marathons and three half marathons behind me, I still have not perfected the art of eating on the run.

With that said, I am always looking for new fuel sources to incorporate into my training regime. So it should be no surprise that I took full advantage of my admission to the 2012 Scan Symposium to meet different exhibitors and try the latest sports nutrition products.

 It was at SCAN that I first learned of Sharkies, gummy bear tasting energy sports chews that deliver electrolytes and glucose for a quick energy source! The best part about Sharkies is that they are USDA certified organic meaning they contain no dyes or flavors like most engineered sports products. They also have no fat which can be beneficial to athletes because fat can  slow you down if you consume too much before a workout.  I took home a couple Shakies Portable Snack Packs (super convenient) from the symposium and found them to be a great pre-work out fuel source that  was easy to tolerate early in the morning!

Another great thing about Sharkies is they sponsor the Tough Mudder competitions, a hardcore 10- 12 mile obstacle course that raises money for the the Wounded Warrior Project. The best part: I was lucky enough to win a drawing for a free entry into a Tough Mudder competition! I will definitely be using Sharkies all summer to help me train for the event!

Good morning Morning Oats

I'm starting to seriously get ready for my half marathon coming up in the end of may! After an intense for my interval work on the treadmill I was MORE than ready for some banana, oats, and PB. YUM :)
Then I just needed some inspiration for this rainy Tuesday morning :)