Travels

Boston Part II

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Day 3

On our third day in Boston, we began by using our Go Card to take the Charles River boat tour that runs through Boston and Cambridge. Beautiful city scenery to our right and left the whole tour!
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Next, we used the card for the Samuel Adams brewery tour. To our pleasant surprise, there were many other FSU fans visiting the same tour (okayyy, maybe not totally surprised 😉 )

We’ve done our fair share of brew tours, and this one followed suit, including tastings and a glass to-go! We actually got 3 glasses (1 each from the tasting, and 1 for presenting the Go Card). A whole new cup cabinet at our home 😉

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By now we were hungry! Ryan picked out Boston Burger Company to fill our tummies, and YOU GUYS. Best burgers we’ve ever had (that’s a huge statement coming from us) and most unique burgers we’ve ever tried.

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Mine (above) included bacon, bananas, cinnamon sugar, and peanut butter, and Ryan’s (below) included bacon, mac n cheese, mozzarella sticks, and other greatness.

wpid-20150918_142724_hdr.jpgLive Update: our hearts are still beating and arteries still flowing following this meal.

We originally wanted to fit in taking a tour of Fenway on this day, but by this time we were tired, and just wanted to head back to our hotel to relax before the Big Game.

wpid-20150918_150356_hdr.jpgsnagged a pic, moved on

After a quick nap and costume change, we were on our way to see our Noles play! We stopped at Harry’s Bar for a couple drinks before making our way to Boston College’s football stadium.

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Side note: this stadium/campus was farrrrr from where we stayed. I felt like we weren’t even in Boston anymore! Where was Hahvahd Yahd??!!

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The Noles like to make us nervous, but hey, still winning!

We made it “home” rather late, which wasn’t ideal for the next morning’s event: 5k!

Day 4

I signed us both up for the Freedom Trail 5k after reading great reviews on Trip Advisor . The great part: it’s not a straight 5k run; there are multiple stops along the way to learn about the rich history of the city. In fact, the longest leg is only half a mile, making this “running” tour doable for most!

We were a group of about 25, and all stayed together pretty well. There were 2 guides, Eddie and Shelley, and they did a great job entertaining us and giving us a great guided tour of the city by running shoes!

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We stopped at a couple different graveyards, churches, marketplaces, the home of Paul Revere, Ben Franklin’s birthplace, and crossed the bridge to Charlestown. Seen on the run….

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After the run, we returned close to our starting spot by ferry. More beautiful views in an area we hadn’t seen yet!

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wpid-20150919_102158_hdr.jpgProud of this one for running with me!

Following the run, obviously we were hungry. Our last bucket list food stop was James Hook & Co for a lobster roll! Another WIN. They stuff a baked hot dog bun (type-thing) JAM PACKED with lobster. It was ridiculously good , we both agree.

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We grabbed some coffee and chilled at the hotel a bit before heading back home. Another great vacation in the books… oh, and GO NOLES! 🙂

Tell me…

Give me your top 3 burger toppings.

Favorite type of fish to eat?

Do you like to run on vacation? If time allows? Or heck no, you’re on vacation?

Travels

Boston Part I

Welcome to football season fall! 😉

As you may know, Ryan and I love to watch our Noles play. And if we can physically be there to soak in the football atmosphere, even better. While he is the one who has the schedule memorized and actually knows the player’s names, I do enjoy taking tips from Sam Ponder’s outfit during College Gameday, eating gameday grub, and yelling at the TV when something exciting happens during the game. That counts for something.

As much as we love Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee (seriously- it’s a beautiful stadium/building) we also love to go to “away games” and root our team on as visitors. You can read about our visits to Clemson and Dallas.

This year we chose to travel to Boston for the FSU v Boston College game! >>——–>

Ryan had been to Boston once before but only for a day, and it was a completely new place for me… We were excited to spend about 4 days exploring the town!

Day 1

wpid-20150916_141920_hdr.jpga coffee shop close to where we stayed– hit it up more than once 😉

We arrived in Boston around noon on Wednesday and had a pretty chill day planned. After checking in to our hotel, we wondered our way to the Subway system. Since we stayed a little farther from the downtown area, we knew we’d need subway passes to get to and fro (we also didn’t rent a car). We stayed at the Sheraton Commander, right plop down in the middle of part of Harvard’s campus! We had to walk through campus to get anywhere, and I think our IQ improved a tad. Just from walking through! Crazy, no?! 😉

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wpid-20150919_073659_hdr.jpgfun statue we passed each day. It reminds me of Warrior I, but I’m sure there’s a much deeper explanation…..

We made our way to the classic Cheers restaurant (where the show was filmed). I only watched Cheers by default since my parents loved it when I was growing up, but since we’re excellent tourists– it made our Boston bucket list.

wpid-20150916_150609_hdr.jpgWe were big fans of the Samuel Adams Brick Red beer!!

From here, we made our way by foot to the iconic Boston Marathon finish line. You guys. I got chills seeing that thing. I have zero desire (right now, at least) to run 26.2 miles at a time, but I hope one day I do have that desire and SOMEHOW get the chance to run the Boston Marathon. #goals

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wpid-20150916_164602_hdr.jpgRyan’s valiant effort across the finish line {{please take note of the direction he’s running}}

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After seeing the finish line, we continued wandering (we’re good at this) and ended up at a scenic park, where we people-watched (we’re good at this too, so many talents) There were tons of runners out and it made me want to move there asap and force them to be my friend and run with everyone every day (this is the finish line sighting talking here)
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Day 2

We purchased Go Cards for Boston, which basically gives you a bunch of options of things to do at a discounted price. We did this in Chicago and NYC in the past.

wpid-20150917_103709_hdr.jpgwalked a lot around town before picking up the passes… beauty every where we passed. I think this was near Milk St….

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wpid-20150917_114150_hdr.jpgAte at highly-rated Sam Lagrasses’ for an early lunch to fuel our day. SO good

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We picked up the Go Cards near the Aquarium and used it right then and there to get some AC! It was pretty dang hot during our visit there (mornings and nights were a lot cooler) which we were kinda disappointed about, since all we wanted was to escape the heat from Florida!

wpid-20150917_124218_hdr.jpgdid a quick run-through of the aquarium. Is this not the largest turtle EVA

We had plans to use the cards for bike rentals at Urban AdvenTours to pedal through Boston on our own! We found the bike rental place, signed a waiver that we didn’t read, and off we went!

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We took these bad boys through some parks, along the streets (terrifying), the Navy Yard, and multiple stops for water/drinks to stay hydrated.

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wpid-20150917_143520_hdr.jpgfun watching this thing go from water to land

Stopped by the Charlestown Navy Yard while on our bikes… parked them and walked around a bit. The oldest commissioned warship below.

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Later that evening, we freshened up at the hotel, then headed out for dinner at King’s… highly rated by Trip Advisor. It’s a restaurant attached to a bowling alley, but no worries… no smell of smoke, and actually a pretty clean atmosphere! We ordered the specials pictured below and they were DELICIOUS. We highly recommend trying them out.

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And if that wasn’t enough, we stopped by another restaurant after walking around town for a bit to get some New England Clam Chowder— very yum! Vacation for us=lots of yummy food. Tasting the town. Really any excuse to eat lots 😉

Stay tuned for the last 2 days!

Tell me…..

Who’s been to Boston?

Anyone run the Boston Marathon or has hopes and plans to in the future?!

Challenges

Great American Bacon Race

So it turns out all Ryan needed was a little food motivation to sign up for a 5k— BACON.

Our friends that we play volleyball with love to run, and signed up a while ago for a 5k revolving around bacon. It still took a bit of convincing for Ryan to hop on board, but when I promised I’d run the whole thing with him, along with pass any judgments on his bacon intake, he was in.

Ryan actually has run a 5k in the past (took my brother’s spot when he wasn’t able to make it home for the race weekend) and he swore he’d never run another one. I believed him. So I was beyond thrilled that he was joining in on this one!

The Great American Bacon race takes place in a few locations in Florida, with Tampa being the last stop. There was pre-race bacon (which I maaaay have partaken in), a bacon station just after mile 1, and of course bacon at the finish. I love me some bacon, and I’m surprised my stomach was able to stomach the amount I took in 😉

People had fun with this race. We saw bacon socks (which I weirdly wanted), bacon costumes, and my personal favorite, Kevin Bacon shirts. Our little group was not creative at all and we regret it terribly. Next year.

The course itself was a tad boring, and rather hot, as 1. It’s Florida  and 2. it was in wide open spaces on the hot pavement with zero lovely scenery. So not ideal conditions. But for a fun run, who really cares. It was very loop-y, so you always saw some runners, going this way or that, which I didn’t mind. They gave out tiny water bottles, which I actually liked a lot better than water cups because they were contained and didn’t splash everywhere like normal!

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Pic of the day

I was super proud of Ryan (our whole group really, but Ryan being the “non-runner”) for only stopping twice, each for about a minute. Not bad!! I felt like the course may have been a tad short, and afterward we asked someone with a watch who said it was just under 2.9 miles. So if that’s correct, that’s quite a bit short for a 5k race!

Either way, we finished under 29 mins! Go team. YOU CAN’T SET WITH US.
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that is chocolate drizzled on top of bacon right there. there were seconds involved.

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Give the boy some bacon, he runs a race. #science. #lifehacks.

Tell me….

what themed races have you run?

do you eat before a race?

favorite Kevin Bacon movie?

Holidays, Travels

St Louis Day 3

Our last day in St Louis started out with a run, followed by touring the Budweiser brewery, and a visit to the zoo.

9am called for a jog around Forest Park with my brother. I rarely get to see this kid, and his character and attitude towards life inspires me, so I needed to get as much time in with him as possible. Meaning I forced him to set an alarm and pick me up so we could get our run on in the blazing heat 🙂

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It was hot and nasty out, so there was some suffering involved, but we made it out alive much thanks to the below waterfall near our parked car.

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BUDWEISER

I’ve been on a handful of beer tours and wine tours and I think they’re a great thing to consider when looking for something to do in a new-to-you city. The main Budweiser plant is located in St Louis, so naturally we had to check it out.

They offered a variety of tours, but we chose the free one! 🙂 It was a 45 minute tour both outside the buildings and inside certain rooms where the brewing goes down.

I couldn’t believe just how huge the place was! Apparently they use to have a schoolhouse there, and the tour guides joked that the teachers would come back from their break all tipsy so they had to close it down. Understandable.

20150727_112754_HDRThe Anheuser-Busch horses!!! JK, there’s like hundreds of them, but I definitely recognize these guys from a commercial 😉

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20150727_114226_HDRA room that was ridiculously cold

20150727_115826_HDRA room that was ridiculously hot

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Perhaps one of the highlights was the end of the tour where we got a cold one fo free! Not even sample size you guys. They do it right.

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ST LOUIS ZOO

The last on our agenda for St Louis was visiting the zoo. I’ve been to so many museums and zoos and aquariums when we travel but the St Louis zoo just got themselves a polar bear and apparently it’s quite a big deal. Plus the zoo was free. So yeah, we ended up there.

The struggle was real.

I loved his (her?) paws. So cute and cuddly! (Though Ryan pointed out they’d tear up my face and I will have none of that)

Monday vibes.

And that concluded our trip, folks! It was great visiting my brother and I hate that it took me so long to get there in the first place. Cannot wait to visit him in his next place of residence… coming soon 🙂

20150727_205311_HDROur flight home. No filter. Just right.

Holidays

Fresh Breath of Summer

mollyOriginally posted on There Goes Molly Rose:

If you haven’t guessed by now, I gave up on PiYo. Along with a scheduled workout routine. And guess what. It’s working out great for me.

Sometimes I feel an expectation to keep up with the fitness Jones’ in my real life and in the blogosphere. But if I’m being honest, lately, I’m not wanting to be in a regime, a set workout program, training for a race, or posting all my workouts. I’ve enjoyed just going with the flow this summer, working out when I want and for however long or however hard as I feel.

I wanted PiYo to happen but it’s just not happening. Perhaps in the future I’ll follow the program, but mehhh just not feeling it right now. Not really even wanting to find a program at all to follow.

As depressing as this post is so far (for all my fitness-driven readers hehe) I…

Travels

Blue Angels

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This weekend Ryan and I made the drive up to Pensacola to visit his mom and stepdad, and to experience the Blue Angels performance at the beach. I had never gotten to see them before and was so excited to finally get the chance, and to do so from the best vantage point- his stepdad’s boat!

The Blue Angels is a flight squadron made up of aviators from the U.S. Navy and Marines that perform aerobatics and terrifying tricks right above your head over the beach.

The actual show started at 2pm on Saturday, but since the whole city + out-of-towners come to see this performance, me, Ryan, his stepdad, and his daughter decided to make the most of our day and head out at early.com to avoid the traffic and to get some fishing in before the show.

We left at 7am and made the quick drive to the docks. It was already pretty busy, but thankfully we didn’t have to wait too long to get going on the boat.

I don’t fish. It’s not really my thing (plus there’s the whole we-don’t-own-a-boat thing) but it’s not often we get up to P-cola and out on the boat, so I went with the flow and pretended I knew what I was doing with the fishing rod.

Amazingly, I caught 2 red snappers! It was pretty exciting, I must say, but clearly I do not like handling fish.

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Ryan also caught a red snapper, but it was too small (the rules of catching fish are over my head) so we had to throw it back. He also caught a shark which I was not okay with. Probably the closest I’ve ever been to one, and even though it wasn’t big, I’d be fine if it’s the closest I ever get to one.

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Reeling in Jaws 🙂

We all got fooled by some Ramora fish… they swam closer to the surface and would grab our bait whenever we reeled them up.

wpid-20150711_092653_hdr.jpgThese ramora fish have suctions that they use to latch on to sharks and such for a free ride. Brilliant.

Once through with fishing, his stepdad drove the boat towards the beach to get us a good “spot” for the upcoming show and he made sure to get us where we’d have the best views and scenery. I am a pretty big fan of planes in general-I even like being at an airport- so I was pretty excited for the show.

wpid-20150711_082119_hdr.jpgNavy ship

wpid-img-20150711-wa0003.jpgA group of about 6 dolphins hung out with us for a while. As many times as I’ve seen dolphins in my life, it never gets old.

wpid-img-20150711-wa0002.jpgThe dolphins swimming right beneath us

The beach was PACKED. I cannot imagine being out there. Thankfully we had an umbrella for our boat so it allowed for some shade, as we all had soaked up plenty of sun already. We let our feet dangle in the water as the planes prepared for the big event.

“Fat Albert” was the first to show, a “Hercules” airplane.

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Then it was time for the Blue Angels. Six of these planes were up in the air while they played around, flew up, straight down, upside down, maneuvered in between each other (were talking 18 inches apart from each other) and made for some great entertainment. Being out on the water for this was so ideal, and I think I’ve been spoiled because I wouldn’t want to go back and watch it any other way 😉

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I find it incredible what these pilots are able to pull off. Truly impressive stuff and highly entertaining, especially if you love planes like me. Definitely a fun weekend being outdoors and on the water!

Tell me….

Have you ever seen the Blue Angels?

Traveling via the sky: a fan or not so much?

Travels

PiYo Week 1

Hello! Just finished up my first week of piYo and recapped it below for ya.

A lil more info on the PiYo program: it is part of the BeachBody deal (p90x, shakeology, etc) and focuses on body-weight training. Really all you need is your mat, which is what sold me the most! With the basic purchase, you receive the DVDs for all the workouts (10 different ones in total), a calendar for you to see what your weeks ahead look like, a sample eating plan with a calorie target calculator to help guide you, along with a food list to choose from, and lastly, a measuring tape to measure your progression in the program!

The calorie target calculator is there to help you figure out how many calories to consume per day, and therefore which “food plan” to follow. I am not doing this program for weight loss nor do I count my calories, however I still used the calculator to see about where I should be. I am still following my own lower-carb lifestyle (because it’s a lifestyle not a diet 😉 ) but still appreciate the food plan as a guide!

There’s one set rest day per week, but as I always like to say… rest when your body needs to rest. As you’ll read below, I did my own kinda thang during the week. I’m not being as strict on myself as I was with the liveFit program … just a heads up 😉

There is also an online support system you can use to keep yourself accountable and to encourage others that are also PiYoing!

So back to recapping my first week….

The first day of PiYo is called Align: The Fundamentals. It’s 40 minutes (the longest one in the program) and gives you the basics you’ll be performing in the program. Think basic yoga poses broken down. As someone who regularly practices yoga, I didn’t learn too much BUT I thought it was a great overview of all those poses you hear about (i.e. “downward dog” “chataranga” etc) and Chalene explains what you should be doing and what you should be avoiding, goes over the proper posture and alignment in each pose, and provides modifications for those just starting out.

Being in the physical therapy field, I appreciate when I see a coach/trainer/instructor of any type take the time to teach you the basics. They are so important! I can’t imagine the number of injuries that occur because people try a new-to-them workout without the proper training and knowing how their body should be aligned, or where they should feel the workout. I feel like lots of workouts encourage balls-to-the-wall from the get-go. Have fun at the doc’s office while covered in ice packs 😉

Day 2 & 3 were “define lower body” and “define upper body”, respectively. I didn’t feel too challenged with these workouts, and they reminded me a lot like a yoga class, but shortened. A lot! It felt like a warm-up during a yoga class. The idea of a 20ish minute workout is very appealing to me BUT I want it to kick my booty in that amount of time. A friend at work who has done PiYo suggested doing the “sweat” workout after a “define” workout to add a little more substance. I’ve yet to do that though, instead I’ve either gone for a walk outside following, or done some more core work to add time and feel like it’s more of a workout.

The “sweat” workout ( day 4) was just what I needed to help turn my mind around about this program. It kicked my booty! It was longer than the define workouts – 35 mins in length- and had my legs shaking by the end. I lifted weights at the gym before doing this workout (squats on squat rack, bicep curls, and calf raises) so this could’ve contributed to the shakiness, but either way, I like when my legs feel wobbly, means I did work. 😉 I was definitely a sweaty mess by the end. One thing I didn’t like… this workout included some burpees. NOT COOL CHALENE. 🙂

Days 5 & 6 you repeat the define lower body and define upper body workouts. Like I said earlier, they are a little short and don’t feel very effective (to me), so I decided to combine the 2 for a longer workout. PiYo has some unique-to-the-program moves that are incorporated in the workouts, some I like, some I don’t. I’m sure at some point I’ll bore you more and do a demo post.

And that wraps up week 1! So far, I’m not too impressed, but still enjoy it enough to keep going on. I’m hoping it will lead good results and make me stronger for my yoga practice.

Tell me….

how do you do a burpee? (there’s more than one way and I’m interested to know how you do them!)

do you meal plan/food prep at the beginning of your week? or each day decide what you’ll eat and make it?

Holidays, Travels

Wakulla Springs

Last weekend, my husband and I made our old college drive to Tallahassee to visit our sister- and brother- in-law. I think we could make this drive blind, as we’ve trekked up US 19 many times before, but we always enjoy it! It’s not scenic, like not at all actually, but it’s calming with not being on an interstate and all, and we’re always excited to visit the capital of our state… many memories!

Our reason for this trip was to go on a kayaking adventure with SIL and BIL. We are all about kayaking, don’t forget we’re super cool and own an inflatable one at home, and were excited to spend a day on the water with our family.

During my four years at FSU, I don’t believe I ever made the 30 minute drive out to Wakulla Springs! Wakulla is known for its paddling trails that people can partake on a canoe or kayak, and sight some wildlife while enjoying the outdoors. We rented our kayaks through T-n-T Hideaway Rentals, where SIL and BIL rode tandem in a 2-person kayak, and Ryan and I each had our own individual ones.

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We brought along a cooler filled with water and beers, along with sandwiches and spreads we picked up from Publix on the way there. Once situated in our kayaks, Ryan may or may not have had an accident reaching for his life jacket (ironically) and got a refreshing start to our trip 😉 Totally to his benefit though, because it cooled him off from the start and that day was HOT.

We took off down the river (the water is fed from Wakulla springs) in our respective kayaks, and I immediately acknowledged the workout this could become. My arms and back started talking to me within 5 minutes of rowing, and I made the mental decision right then and there I would forcefully make this a relaxing trip, as I was in no mood to be doing a workout. That being said, I trailed our team the entire trip, but was more than okay with that.

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We were paddling upstream for the first half, making those Publix goodies even more enticing once we made it to the turnaround point. We hopped out and just stood by our kayaks while eating our lunch, and also took somewhat of a dip to cool off. The water felt amazing! Once I realized how cool it was, I made sure to keep my toes dipped in off the side of my kayak for the ride back.

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The ride back went with the flow of the river, however the wind was now against us. Overall, it was still very relaxing. We spotted turtles basking in the sun, an alligator, and a few manatees! Wildlife animals make me happy… as long as they’re far enough away and I’m not in the water 😉

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We all came away with quite a bit of color (I tan/burn easily, even with multiple applications of sunscreen!) and the sun had wiped us out, but I’d say we were some happy campers. The outdoors always refreshes ya.

Tell me…

What kind of outdoorsy places do you drive to to get your fix of sun and sport?

 Any place you live nearby that is touristy, yet you’ve never been?

Do you have a Publix where you live?

(If not I highly suggest you go ahead and move to one…you’re welcome in advance)

Health

Carbs I Eat & Carbs I Limit

The following post is a continuation of my lil series about the new way I eat- lesser carbs. I will never completely eliminate carbs, but I’ve definitely taken it down a few notches in my every day life. Below you will find the carbs that have always been a part of my diet that I still eat on a nearly-daily basis, and those I eat only on occasion, but do not deprive myself of.

Edited to add: this is NOT a complete food list of every carbohydrate that I consume, just the most frequent ones 😉

EATVeggies– I heart veggies. I really do. I’m pretty certain broccoli was one of my faves growing up, and I can eat squash like its my job. There’s really not a vegetable I don’t like, and I eat them at both lunch and dinner every day! My favorite: raw mini sweet bell peppers dipped in guacamole! (PS If a veggie is high in carbohydrates, it’s because it’s high in dietary fiber, which is good for you!)

Fruits– this could technically go under “eat” and “limit”, because some fruits I eat freely, others I’m more cautious about how much I consume. I typically stick with purchasing only berries at the grocery store, and eat a handful for breakfast, and usually at some point when I’m home from work. My fave berries are blackberries and strawberries. Fruits like bananas and apples (higher sugar content, therefore higher in carbs) I don’t eat that often anymore. I probably should though- my muscles cramp like crazy after a long run/leg day at the gym plus I do want to keep the doctor away 😉 What can I say, my diet isn’t perfect, and this whole eating thing I’m doing isn’t supposed to be a plan for my readers to follow, simply sharing what I do!

Sweet potatoes– aside from the annoyingly long time it takes to bake one of those suckers, I love love love sweet potatoes. I like to either dice them up and eat as a snack/in a salad, or eat as is with some butter and cinnamon topped on, yum! Fun fact: I eat the skin!

Wine – you can’t tell me wine is bad for me.

LIMIT:

Pancakes/waffles– I didn’t eat these all that often before, but when I did, #stacksonstacksonstacks. So now, I’m a bit more mindful and eat only 1 or 2. Got any chocolate chip morsels I can add?

Popcorn– every time we went to the movie theater, we’d go all out and get popcorn and diet coke (ya know, to even it out) Well now, we don’t ever get the popcorn- or DC- and it is SO hard. The smells! The overly-buttered goodness is prob a good thing to skip though. If a friend pops some popcorn at home or the single packs are BOGO at Publix, I may partake.

Chips– chips and salsa used to be one of my favorite restaurant/party appetizers… and guess what? Still is. If it’s out at a party or if my table orders it at a restaurant (better yet, if it comes out free) you can guarantee my hands will be all in that. Good thing I have like 5 friends, so I don’t get out and get chip-faced much 😉

Pizza– we shoot for once a month, but if an extra pizza date gets thrown in there, I am a-okay J This used to be a once-a-week meal for Ryan and I, and we’d easily kill a whole pizza. We’re talking halvsies here, I eat like a man. Needless to say, when pizza night comes, I eat my fair share, but now just not as often.

Wraps/Sandwiches– I rarely, if ever, eat these anymore! I find I usually eat a “sandwich” when it’s the bun of a hamburger. Otherwise, I try to pass up bread best I can. You can still enjoy deli meats and tuna salad and whatnot, just roll up the turkey with some cheese, or put a fork to the tuna salad… bread’s not always necessary!

Cookies/Candies– I never bought these things before, so I still don’t, obviously. But yet again, when I am in the presence of cookies (homemade or store bought, I don’t discriminate) or brownies, or I’m impatiently waiting in line at the grocery staring at a candy bar, I may give in. This is every so often, and I believe sweets make you sane, and I don’t want to go crazy.

Smoothies– I think smoothies are great. You can throw in lots of fruits and veggies, and it’s portable too! However… have you ever looked up the nutrition in one of those bad boys from your fave smoothie joint? Typically lots of sugar and carbs, and granted, a lot of that is from the fruit, but still. I either make my own smoothie at home, OR hit up my favorite smoothie place (Xtreme Juice!) once in a while (not once a week, like before). Making your own, versus buying in a store, is always smarter… you know exactly what and how much is going into your final product. You are in control of what goes down that esophagus, my friend!

Cereal– I stopped buying cereal a couple years ago, and that’s a good thing. I’d eat it for breakfast before work and it’d hold me over for 1.31 hours before my stomach would be growling for something substantial. Since then, I aim to eat eggs for breakfast, every single morning! (Usually 2 whole eggs + 1 egg white scrambled for those wondering). When we bought cereal, I could down 3 bowls, easy. And let’s be real, it doesn’t matter how “healthy” they make it seem on the box cover, it’s mostly sugar and very little protein.

Tell me….

It’s your last meal. Ever. What’s on it? Get real with me on this. 

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Related: More Kitch, Less Crunch Lower Carb Dranks n Shakes

Fitness

Exercise Demos: LiveFit Trainer

I put together my top 10 favorite exercises from the LiveFit trainer program  in picture form for ya! Some are exercises that I’ve done in the past that I find effective, and others are knew-to-me ones that I now add in my workouts time to time. Also, some are how I modify what we are supposed to do, either because my gym didn’t have certain equipment or simply because I’d rather do it differently 🙂

single leg barbell squat:: I used the squat rack to complete these, and as much as I love doing the traditional squats here, the single-leg exercise made it challenging, especially on my left side. Ever since my left knee surgery 5ish years ago, my left side has always been just a tad weaker. And it showed with this exercise! I had difficult correcting my form (keep those hips square!), and I couldn’t squat as low (with good of form) as I could on the right. I found this to be an important exercise to continue. Gotta even this bod out!

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wpid-20150610_205846.jpg1. single leg barbell squat

pull-ups:: Homegirl can’t do pull-ups just yet (although I finally mastered a chin-up!) so I modified by using a bench. I tried to push through my feet as little as possible so that it was mostly my upper body lifting me. Don’t be fooled- it’s still pretty tough! If you can’t do a pull-up, I challenge you to give this a go!

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wpid-20150610_210006.jpg2. pull-up

seated bent over rear delt raise:: I don’t believe I had ever done this exercise before. It works the back of your shoulders, and it’s done in kind of a relaxing pose! The last few reps were always tough ones.

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wpid-20150610_210713.jpg3. seated bent over rear delt raise

seated calf raise:: The demo online shows that you are to use a machine for this exercise, with the resistance coming from your lap. Unfortunately, my small gym has no such machine, and since you had to complete a surprising number of calf raises throughout the program, I decided I shouldn’t just skip it every time it popped up. I started out with placing heavy dumbbells in my lap to do these, but during a cruel chair pose during a yoga class, I realized I should try doing calf raises while in chair pose, to add a balancing element in there.

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wpid-20150610_210758.jpg4. seated calf raise

incline dumbbell curl:: Love me some dumbbell bicep curls, and this was a new-to-me, challenging way to perform them. You’re curling through a greater range and it also eliminates you using your shoulders as you typically do in standing. I can’t lift as heavy in this inclined position as I can in standing, so it’s something to continue working at.

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wpid-20150610_210849.jpg5. incline dumbbell curl

plie dumbbell squat:: These left my inner thighs oh-so-freakin-sore! Grab a heavy dumbbell, hang it low, get your stance wide with toes out (like in a plie in ballet of course) and squat it like its hot. You’re welcome for an awkward soreness tomorrow 🙂

wpid-20150610_210927.jpg6. plie dumbbell squat

skullcrushers:: It’s exactly how it sounds, and there were multiple times I came close to acting out the name. Good thing Ryan was spotting me 😉 This exercise works the triceps… I found there are lots of ways to target the back of your arms, and this one became my favorite.

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wpid-20150610_210519.jpg7. skullcrushers

superset: upright dumbell rows + dumbbell military press:: Beginning in Phase 2, supersets were introduced. These are 2 exercises completed subsequently with no rest (or very little) in between. You complete one set of an exercise (i.e. 10 rows) then one set of the next (10 presses), rest, then repeating that combo again! I found the transition from an upright dumbbell row to an overhead shoulder move to flow very well, making this my favorite superset!

wpid-20150610_210101.jpgupright dumbbell row

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wpid-20150610_210108.jpgmilitary press

8. superset

exercise ball pull in:: I always forget about the ol’ stability ball, and when I bust it out again, I remember all the great things it can do for ya- especially the core! This is a pretty basic exercise, but can burn if you focus on it just right. Starting in plank position with ball just beneath feet, use your abs to roll the ball in close to your chest. Slowly roll back out and repeat. If you want to be an overachiever, when the ball is rolled back out in plank, do a push up!

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wpid-20150610_210247.jpg9. exercise ball pull-in

treadmill sprints: 30 sec on/30 sec off:: I’ve always used the treadmill for one thing and one thing only–> avoid the Florida heat and bust out some easy miles at the same old pace staring at my reflection in the mirror. It’s zombie like. And I kinda love it SHH. But discovering Jamie’s little sprint sesh she orders on her program- I’ve found a great way to challenge myself on the tready. I usually start out with 2-3 mins warm up at a moderate pace, before increasing to more of a sprint and beginning my 30 sec on, 30 sec off the treadmill. WARNING: don’t fall off the belt and smack your face and die. Bear weight through your arms while hopping to the side, and same when getting back on. In fact, my first few strides during the “30 sec on” I’m putting a lot of weight through my arms before letting go and sprinting my lil heart out. How much I push myself, for measure: my 5k pace is 8:30ish (minutes per mile) and my “30 sec on” I aim for 7-7:15 pace. I’m able to do the on/off combo for the 25-30 mins without a sweat. Ok, that’s a lie, I sweat an ocean, but it’s definitely doable 🙂

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HAHAA.. my “you got the one of me standing on the sides, right??!” face. Big thanks to Ryan and the 2 other people in the gym that pretended not to watch pics being taken of me doing one rep of each exercise. #ITSFORTHEBLOG

10. treadmill sprints

Tell me….

Are any of the above exercises ones you’ve done? Learn a new one?

How do you modify a basic exercise to meet your needs?!