The Rose Ball ’14

Woah, It’s been a while, y’all! I have been so crazy, and then I was gone on a trip this weekend.. for my boyfriend’s formal in Charleston. Then this Monday-Thursday was work, work and studying. But, that’s my priority and sometimes that means letting the blog hang on its own!

Let me fill you in on the amazing time we had in Charleston :D

First off- the cooler. I think this is just a southern thing? The boys take you to a formal, you paint them a cooler and fill it with treats. This is mine:

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^Buckeyes for my Ohio boy^

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^Pi Kappa Phi, all the time^

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^This is my one foray into being an artist… mixing colors in the sea and sky… that is as creative as I get.^

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^Sort of an inside joke, basically just teasing my boy about how much he wanted a Yeti Cooler.^

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^His initials, initiation number, and a play on the good ol’ American flag.^

Late Friday afternoon, we drove down to Charleston with some friends, and checked into the hotel where we stayed for the weekend. We then headed downtown, into the Charleston Peninsula, and grabbed a late late dinner. I’m taking, 9:30 by the time we were eating.. not my usual. Needless to say, I was a hungry fir by the time we ate.

After dinner, we walked around for a bit before heading back to the hotel. We were kind of lame Friday night, because we were all so exhausted!! Nathan and I hung out with friends for a while, but I headed off to bed by 12 (early compared to the most people at the hotel!).

On Saturday morning, I got up and went downstairs to workout a bit. I was pretty tired, so I stuck with some easy incline walking followed by a 30 minute elliptical workout. I eventually got a text from Nathan that he was downstairs for the free breakfast, so I headed out there to get my breakfast on. I was starving by this point. I didn’t realize this, but I really never workout without eating something first, and I usually don’t workout until the afternoon. My body was ready for some nourishment.

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After breakfast I showered (just to get the sweat off) and then we headed over to the beach. The 10 mile drive to the beach took us an hour and 45 minutes! It was insane. But- good company, sunny sky, and loud music made for a pleasant trip. We scored a spot 1 block from the beach and headed out to relax. A bunch of other Pi Kapps were at the beach, and I chilled with the girls, while the boys played volleyball/soccer/beach sports. I tested out the water a bit, but it was still too cold for me. The sun was perfect though, and I made sure to cover up with some SPF- this girl burns easily.

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Our time at the beach passed all too quickly, and before I knew it, we had to head back to get ready for the Rose Ball, the name of Pi Kapp’s Formal. My friend Sarah was there with her boyfriend, and the two of us had fun getting ready together. I went all out- blow drying my hair, full makeup, painted my nails… I never do all that girly stuff. It’s fun though. If I had unlimited time in a day, I would probably paint my nails once a day. I love the look of freshly painted nails, but I can never seem to make mine last (chip-free) for more than 1-2 days. #clumsylife

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After getting all prettied up, Nathan picked me up and we headed downstairs to take as many pictures as possible before the dance. (sidenote- I’m totally wearing my Fitbit like a nerd in this picture. I forgot I had it on, but when I looked at this picture, I immediately took it off ha!).

Nathan’s grand-little was the only member of his family actually at Formal this year. Sadly, his big and little had school events they had to attend. We made the best of it though, and had a great time with the newest member of the family.

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We arrived at the dance, and immediately served up a delicious dinner buffet. I didn’t snap a picture but some (gluten free!) highlights were: salad, fruit, sautéed vegetables, green beans, rice noodle stir fry, and some cheesecake (with the crust eaten around ;) ). After some speeches and awards for the seniors, we headed out on the dance floor for a few hours of super fun dancing. I have always loved dancing the night away, and thankfully NMK does too! He’s actually a much better dancer than I am, he puts me to shame. After the party ended, we hung out with friends for a bit (after putting on more comfortable shoes) but I headed off to bed around 12:30, tired as could be.

Sunday morning, I woke up early-ish again (it’s a curse) but I decided to take the day off of working out. I read and checked my email in the hotel business center. I had brought my computer with me, but there was no free wifi and I actually didn’t end up taking it out of my bag all weekend. 36 hours with no computer? It was so rejuvenating, I need to do that more often.

After the other 3 (Nathan, Sarah, and her date Tyler) woke up we grabbed breakfast, packed up everyone’s bags, and headed to the car. This year, we were all fortunate enough to not have any tests/papers/projects due the days after foraml, so we decided to head back into downtown Charleston and explore for a while.

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After parking in a cute little neighborhood, the four of us walked along the water a good ways before turning and walking all the way up King Street one of the biggest shopping/tourist streets in Charleston.

We were so surprised + delighted to realize that King Street was actually closed to cars for the day, and all sorts of cute vendors were out, as well as hundreds of people and hundreds of cute dogs (obviously that was the best part). We stopped for brunch in a little local place, and then walked up to a park to take in the sights. On the way back down King Street, Nathan and I stopped at the Jeni’s truck. Jeni’s is an ice cream company from Columbus, OH (NMK’s hometown!) and it is deliciously made with real ingredients. They sell it at some Fresh Markets, and online. You must check it out!!
With that (and lots of traffic) we concluded our weekend in Charleston. It was awesome!!

 

Any fun trips lately?

Where are you for this Easter weekend?

A Week’s Work

What a crazy week. Luckily this one will be my last super busy week before my finals. I have my last big Physics test and my final presentation for my Independent Study this week. Then, this weekend is my boy’s formal down in Charleston. Lots to do- healthy food, good workouts, and organization is the best way to get through!

Here are my eats and workouts from this week!

Eats:

Homemade chicken, quinoa, and pesto from NMK. He made me a belated birthday dinner. I am one lucky 21 year old!

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Pecan-encrusted chicken salad. I went out with my roommate and her mom, and we all got the same thing. No regrets, this was the best chicken salad I’ve ever had.

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Spaghetti squash, bell pepper, and eggs + hummus. A veggie-filled start to my day.

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Another vegetable-tastic breakfast. I love cooking up vegetables on Sunday and having them for quick meals during the week.

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Dining Hall salads. Basically only thing I eat there. I’m not complaining about that though.

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Workouts:

Workouts this week:

Monday: A 5:45 am bootcamp workout. SO early but lots of fun.

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Tuesday: A partner circuit with my roommate and an easy 20 minute cool down on the Arc Trainer. The partner circuit was no joke and almost killed us. In the best way!

Wednesday: Simple Arc Trainer workout. Busy days call for easy workouts!

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Thursday: A 5 mile run on the treadmill.

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Friday: An hour of cross training on the bike.

Saturday: A treadmill run and an outdoor circuit with my boy. But I didn’t account for the hot weather, and almost passed out. I am not ready for summer workouts!

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Final Thoughts:

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My beautiful school. I really am blessed!

This weekend I am also extremely thankful for my opportunity to be at this school and for my amazingly supportive parents. They make it all possible!

Question of the day:

What are you thankful for lately?

Is it springtime by you yet?

Birthday Wishes.

Hey y’all! I just wanted to drop in with a little glimpse into my birthday fun!

This birthday started of right- ringing it in at midnight with friends and my favorite boy. I didn’t last too long though, I wanted to be up for my birthday fun the next day.

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When I woke up the next morning, I showered, and then proceeded to open all my presents! NMK came over to help me sift through them, and to document the occasion of course! My parents sent so many cards, and it was fun to look at each one. My mom has become quite the artist- she drew this birthday girl on one envelope

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For brunch, we headed to Roost, a restaurant downtown. I had so many friends come, and it made the morning very special for me. I enjoyed my first mimosa and a delicious buffet!

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After getting back from brunch, I (unfortunately) had to work on some homework/studying. I also fit in a quick workout- just some HIIT cardio.

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Then, it was time for more fun! My girlfriends all came over for cake, wine, and to watch Frozen! I am clearly a mature 21 year old. Frozen is my favorite movie at the moment and it was so great to just watch, enjoy, and end my birthday on such a happy note!!

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Do you love your birthday?

Do you have any celebration traditions?

Life Lately.

Woah y’all! I never expected the week before my birthday to be so busy! I thought this week was going to focus on homework, but I got so swamped with internship work, errands, and other small jobs this week. Luckily I was still able to fit all my work in (it’s a priority, right!?). Unfortunately, I didn’t get to check in here. After doing homework all night, I just wasn’t motivated to come type about my day. But I do have some pictures to share from the week!

1. A delicious brunch out with my NMK. I had a gluten free breakfast bowl with eggs, bacon, cheese, and salsa! Check out Tupelo Honey Cafe if there’s one in your area!

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2. Busy days this week meant breakfasts on the go (in order for maximum sleep of course!). Top- an empty jar of Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut butter, filled with banana, oats, coconut milk, and some roasted nuts. Bottom- some “overnight” (aka 30 min) oats with coconut milk, pumpkin, chia seeds, nuts, and a little Nikki’s Pumpkin Spiced Donut Coconut Butter.

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3. Occasionally I wear real clothes. 1- for a big interview: have to wear my orange pants! 2- Church and brunch with the boy!

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4. Workouts. Working out is totally my stress relief. This week I kept fit with light cardio and lots of circuit/strength workouts. I am feeling stronger and really excited to be lifting weights again. I want to build some strength and get my muscles pumping!

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5. I totally rocked my salads this week. Love getting my veggies in with such filling & delicious salads.

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6. Paleo Banana Bread. I wish I had written a recipe for this. Sigh, guess I’ll just have to make some more– such a burden ;).

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7. Dates and projects!

1- Frozen Yogurt with my 2 besties since freshman year. We don’t get to hang out as much anymore, but we still have the best times together.

2-Movie night, followed by dinner with the boy! Our little solo birthday celebration for yours truly.

3- A huge gardening project this morning for my internship. We cleaned the plot up, spread topsoil, tilled the whole thing and dug out plots for new raised garden beds. It was a lot of work, but so awesome to get this community garden started. Plus it was an upper body workout I’ll be feeling for days!

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8. Presents! My birthday isn’t until tomorrow, but I’ve been lucky enough to get a few early presents! 1: An amazing caramel cake from my parents! It’s not gluten free, but a little splurge is worth it for me! 2: An amazing sterling silver + diamond cross ring from NMK. I am certainly one blessed, lucky, and loved girl!

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Do you love mix & match salads, or stick to the classics?

Do you love your birthday?!! I 115% do!

Highlights.

Have you guys checked out the awesome blogger Monica over at Bravo For Paleo? You need to! She has a great website, and an e-book that is only $3 with a guide to Primal eating, and how you can manage it in college. ^^This is a banana pancake from her book- and the recipe is only 2 ingredients!^

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Justin’s Nut Butters! This was my first jar of Justin’s and I am a total believer. This is basically the same thing as Nutella. Except it’s 100x “real-er”. You can taste the hazelnuts, and it is not loaded with sugar. A new staple.

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Salads are my specialty around here. Especially at my college dining hall. There aren’t too many healthy options, so I usually go for all the veggies, some protein, and possible some cheese or almonds on top!

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Homemade salads are also a regular staple. I consider myself a salad connoisseur ;) !

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I wore real clothes multiple times this week. I consider that a win. It’s really tempting to wear leggings and a tshirt everyday- especially those days when I go from class to the lab to clubs…you get the picture!

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I like to multitask when I’m stressed. Walking on the treadmill while studying- it allows me to get some activity in, while not neglecting my school work.

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Final Thoughts:

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I Can’t Wait for Summer Y’all!

I was looking at this AWESOME blog Helene In Between today and enjoying her wonderful list of summer things. Considering that today is the first day of spring, in addition to the balmy 65 degree weather here, I thought I would share my own “I Can’t Wait for Summer” List!

1. Going to the beach

I have been a beach baby all my life. I love the sand, the water, the sun, and especially all the different ways to play!

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couple at sunset

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^^The beach is even more fun with little friends!^^

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2. Hiking

I love being outdoors, hiking, sitting, taking in the sites! But between the cold weather and the school year, I don’t get out nearly as much as I would like. Summer always allows more time + sunshine for me to enjoy. I love hiking as a fun day with friends, or as time to reflect on my own!

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3. Shorts.

I hate pants! Pants are so boring. I love my shorts and I rock them all summer long! I love throwing on some cute shorts and heading out the doors. Also- dresses and skirts. I hate layering up all winter long, and I can’t wait for the freedom of simple outfits where I don’t have to worry about how cold I’ll be.

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4. Exploring Greenville and adventuring with my #1 partner in crime

For the first time ever, my boy and I will be in the same place for most of the summer. I can’t wait for all the fun and adventures. We’ll both still be working, but a lot less stressed than during the school year. There are so many adventures we want to have and places we want to explore around Greenville!

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Dowtown Greenville, SC

5. Summertime produce, Farmer’s Markets, and fresh juices!

The best thing about summer is all the fresh produce! Strawberries, eggplants, peppers, tomatoes..the options are practically endless. There is nothing better than fruits and vegetables straight from a farm!

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WIAM- What I Ate Monday!

What I Ate Monday- eats of the day!

The outfit I wish I wore to class. I am loving my new soft leggings, but I’m not quite into the whole leggings-as-pants scene when I’m not working out.

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Breakfast.

I have been getting back into a small glass of Apple Cider Vinegar with my coffee and water every morning. It makes me feel so great, and it has great health benefits as well.

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My meal consisted of 2 eegs, some spaghetti squash and eggplant. Simple and real. JERF!

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Lunch.

Lunch was “take out” from the Dining Hall. A salad with chicken, baba ghanoush, an all the vegetables. On the side- full fat cottage cheese, with almond slivers, and a little pineapple/mango combination.

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Dinner.

Dinner was also eaten at the Dining Hall. It’s not my favorite, but sometimes it’s the best I can do! It’s hard to get all the way back (1.1 miles) to my apartment just for dinner. I had a Moroccan Vegetable stew, with a salad. It was slim pickings at our dining hall, but I tried my best to make it work. Unfortunately I didn’t get any substantial protein at this meal, which is probably why I was starving when I got back to my apartment 5 hours later.

IMG_4823IMG_4824Workout.

For my workout I did an upper body session, followed by 40 minutes of steady state on the Elliptical. For some reason my legs were really feeling the workout and I was exhausted from simple steady state!

IMG_4797Late Night Snack ;).

I was so hungry when I got back to my apartment, I stole a few spoonfuls of this delicious coconut butter, along with some frozen berries. Not too bad for late night snacking!IMG_4782

How do you deal with Dining Hall (or work cafeteria?) selections?

 

Tybee Island- Spring Break 2014! The quick version.

Spring Break. A wonderful and crazy week.

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The Overview:

Friday: Hanging out with the friends.

Saturday: Packing, work out, date with the boy, dinner with friends.

Sunday: Brunch, then off to Tybee Island, GA with the gang!

Monday: Beach all day, 3 hour Bachelor Finale (so not a JP fan anymore!) with my girl, hanging the rest of the night.

Tuesday: Beach day, hammocking, playing around the house.

Wednesday: Beach with another house of Furman kids (staying ~30 min from us), dinner out at the Tybee Social Club (amazing).

Thursday: Freezing day around Savannah (ok 55- but thats 15+ degrees colder than the first days we were there!). We went into Savannah, ate at Paula Dean’s restaurant, and did a walking tour.

Friday: Headed back to South Carolina!

Saturday-Sunday: Unpacking, homework, groceries, and movies with the friends.

Workouts:

Being healthy is a priority for me, and honestly it just makes me feel good. I didn’t eat as clean + healthy as I normally do, but working out was one thing I was able to keep up.

I mostly did walks/runs in the mornings before everyone else was up. One day that was 3 miles, one day 6, another day 4… whatever I was feeling.

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I also fit in some circuit workouts when we were just around the house (and when I watched the Bachelor! There’s an awesome Bachelor workout that had me sweating)!

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Fun:

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^^Paula Dean knows butter and sugar. Can’t argue with that.^^

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^^My favorite boy. It was awesome to hang out and not have work to do all week!^^

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^^Beach days = minimal makeup, and the simplest outfits possible^^

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^^So windy in Savannah! This is the only semi-decent picture we took!^^

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^^A walking tour that allows beer? Our boys were in heaven.^^

Eats:

We cooked dinners as a group, which definitely cut down on costs. I tried to keep breakfast and lunch as healthy as possible, but went with whatever I was feeling!

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Savannah:

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River Street Sweets has the most amazing pralines!

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I loved this store and if I was a millionaire, I would have bought everything.

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The City Hall of Savannah. Not too shabby.

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The largest oak in Savannah!

I recommend Savannah to anyone looking for a new vacation spot, or somewhere fun to explore. It’s close to the beach, really historic, and just fun! I hear it’s also pretty haunted if you’re into that (I am 100% not.).

Any fun vacations coming up?

Paleo Sweet Potato Bread

 Last weekend, I was packing up for my Spring Break trip, I realized I had 3 cooked sweet potatoes left in my fridge. I didn’t want to pack those up, but I hate wasting food. The solution? A quick and easy gluten free Sweet Potato Bread.

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I based my recipe off of Dianne Sanfilippo’s from Balanced Bites for Grain-Free Pumpkin Muffins.

It turned out really well, and it was a nice healthy bread to have on Spring Break with me!
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Recipe:

makes 1 loaf- serves 4-6+ depending on if it’s a breakfast/snack portion.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cooked sweet potatoes (mine were relatively small, and gave about 1 1/2 cups), mash them*
  • 1/4 cup Truvia baking blend** (substitute honey/maple syrup if you are strict paleo/primal)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tso baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (or to your taste!)
  • dash of salt

Preparation

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Prepare a bread pan, or a muffin tin. This recipe made one loaf of bread perfectly. Grease with butter/coconut oil.
  • Combine wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl together until well beaten: coconut oil, eggs, vanilla, mashed sweet potatoes and Truvia.
  • Measure dry ingredients (coconut flour, baking powder, and cinnamon) and slowly combine them into the wet. Beat them with a whisk or fork to make sure it is smooth and not lumpy.
  • Pour batter into the pan (or muffin tin) and  bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.***

* You can substitute one 15 oz can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) and it should come out similarly.

**I didn’t want this super sweet, so you can adjust the sugar to your liking.

***For me, the bread continued to harden after it came out of the over, so don’t worry if it’s a little mushy when you take it out.

Enjoy! This bread is great with nut butters, bananas, honey, eggs.. anything your heart desires!

My Health Hero

This month, I was asked to participate in an awesome series, “Who is Your Health Hero”, hosted by the American Recall Center

The American Recall Center is a great new website providing straightforward, accessible health and wellness news. From their website: “We aim to build the most comprehensive resource on the Internet for timely and trusted material regarding healthcare topics that matter to the consumer.” This month they are also hosting a series on Hip Replacement. I recommend checking out the different parts of the website and becoming more informed on your health!

My health hero: stick with me y’all! This post is wordier than usual, but I hope you enjoy it.

Today, I am writing about the most important person in my life, the center of my world, and the inspiration behind everything I do- including my passion for a healthy life! I am talking about Jesus Christ my savior and redeemer. This might be an odd concept to some of you, even fellow Christians out there– so let me elaborate.

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When I was in high school, I suffered from an eating disorder. I haven’t shared this on my blog yet, but I have mentioned it a few times. The sort version of the story is such: When I was in a Junior in high school, I studied aboard in Belgium for 11 months. I had always been health conscious before that, and I had always been on the chubbier end of the spectrum. The sort of look like “baby fat that never quite all got lost”. I had been a vegetarian since 8th grade and remained a vegetarian until earlier this past year {Junior in college}, including my time abroad. I’m not going to go into detail now, but in short, my insecurities about my body and my fear of gaining weight while aboard led me to develop unhealthy anorexic and orthorexic habits that I kept up for 2 years. After 1 year of suffering, I opened up and looked for help but the journey didn’t end there. It took me the next 2 years to come to terms with eating normally, and with the weight I had gained back {which was so so necessary but still difficult}.

Even after I have overcome my ED in the past 1-2 years, there has always been that little struggle in the back on my head, with the ED trying to come out, to be in charge again. That has been a challenge, and definitely something that works against my health. Not healthy and not a sustainable lifestyle.

A little more than a year ago, I gave my life over to Christ. I have always been a “Christian” but that moment I truly accepted Christ into my life, my mindset changed. As a Christian, I learned that Jesus loved me before I was even born. Jesus cares for me, and Jesus died for me. I am valuable already, without doing anything. For someone who suffered from harming, depriving, perfectionistic, damaging mindsets for many years, this was the most amazing realization I could have. My heart is practically hurting with the joy that brings me. I was finally free. Free to live without worrying constantly that I was not good enough, thin enough, pretty enough.

bible verse

“So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them”

Genesis 1:27


“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8

This revelation changed the way I eat, view my self, and value my health. Over the past year I have experienced a total shift and eye-opening in my life. I no longer work out to burn calories or lose weight, or even look a certain way. I workout to be healthy so that I can glorify God; so I can live a full life for His kingdom, so I can enjoy the fullness of life that God intends for me.

My health hero is Jesus Christ, and that is a great, wonderful thing! For someone else it may be a friend, parent, spouse, or pet. If it keeps you healthy, that is awesome. I hope you enjoyed reading my story, and that it will be helpful and informing to others in similar situations!

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