Art Loeb Trail and Freshmen Adventures

These past few days, I was leading a camping trip. Every year, Furman runs a few different Pre-Orientation Programs for incoming freshmen who want to have an adventure, or ease into meeting all the new friends. I am getting into crunch time (less than 2 weeks!) for my MCAT studying, so I probably won’t be posting again until after my test. I did want to stop by and share some amazing moments from our trip.

We hiked in Pisgah National Forest, in North Carolina. It’s an amazing park with many hiking trails, campsites, and awesome wilderness areas.


My pack, boots, and plenty of water ready to go!


We made a pit stop at another park before heading to NC. So many freshmen. So much fun.

After getting to NC and eating lunch, we headed off on the trail. We went on the Art Loeb trail, which travels mainly along peaks and ridges- giving amazing views out of the Blue Ridge Mountains.


Trail time.


We made it to camp pretty quickly. From here we headed out for a more challenging hike (but without our big packs, yay!)


Sunrise after a stormy night. Definitely the most exciting night I’ve ever had in a hammock #bouncingallaround

It was an amazing trip and I’m so glad I got to introduce these freshmen to the awesome North Carolina outdoors!

Question of the day:

Do you like to hike/camp?

What’s the best place you’ve visited this summer?

Favorites Lately.

The great things I am loving this week!

Long walks in the sunshine



After finishing his DAT this past week, my boyfriend had a little more free time. We were able to go on 2 morning walks together, which was much more fun than taking my morning walks alone. The beautiful scenery doesn’t hurt.

Dinner parties


Last week we had a little gathering of our random group who’s here for the summer. Veggies, olives, salsa, guacamole, salami, (gluten free) chocolate cake.. all the good stuff.

Good Health Natural Foods Avocado Oil Chips


I picked these chips up at Whole Foods this past week, and they are so good. It’s so rare to find chips that aren’t fried in harmful seed oils. I am seriously in awe that I haven’t eaten them all yet. Find some here. You won’t regret it.

Plantain Chips


These Trader Joe’s chips are so crispy and perfect with salsa or guacamole. I love making my own plantain chips, but for a quick snack, or a side these are easy & can be stored longer than my homemade ones.

Trail bulk.


Trail mix has always had a special place in my heart. Probably because I always went for the ones with m&ms and//or plenty of chocolate. Now, though I love simple, whole trail mixes without all the unnecessary sugar & weird ingredients.

Purely Elizabeth Granola


This granola was on sale at Whole Foods this weekend. And it just happened to be the same day I was testing “non-gluten grains” for my Whole30 reintroduction. How could I resist? This granola is gluten-free, vegan and has no refined sugar. You seriously need to try it ASAP!

Nikki’s Coconut Butter


If you couldn’t tell just from looking, every flavor of Nikki’s Coconut Butter is simply amazing. This one, however, has a special place in my heart. I mean.. dark chocolate fudge without a bunch of low quality processed ingredients. Need I say more?

Theo Chocolate


Theo chocolate. It’s organic//fair-trade//non-GMO and also happen to taste ridiculously good. This salted almond is my first bar of Theo’s but I know I will be back for more. My favorite part is that Theo chocolate doesn’t have any soy lecithin. This is an ‘emulsifier’ put in chocolate bars to keep the cocoa and cocoa butter together. It contains herbicides, pesticides, GMOs, and phytoestrogens from the soy. I say..if they don’t have to be in there, I’ll take my chocolate without please & thanks. 

Question of the day:

What are some of your favorites lately?

WIAW…Whole30 DAY 30

Yesterday was my last day of the Whole30. It feels…weird. I honestly thought I would be a lot more excited today. But I’m not…and it’s actually a good thing. If you had asked me on Day 10 I would have told you that Day 31 would be filled with chocolate, gluten free bread, hummus, corn chips, thai food…any number of things I was missing so dearly for a lot of my Whole30.

But in the  week, a great thing happened. I stopped really caring about what I would eat *after* the Whole30. I honestly didn’t really feel a strong craving for any of the foods I cut out (dairy, grains, sugar, alcohol, legumes..). I’m more excited to do the real reintroduction and see what foods are affecting me! I’m going to share a longer post about my Whole30 experience, but for now I just wanted to focus on the food on this WIAW!

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I kept my morning simple yesterday- eggs, broccoli, spinach, carrots, and a topping of guacamole.


Followed by an apple + almond butter. Pretty standard around here.



On Tuesdays I work right through lunch time, but usually can put off eating until after. Long story short, we went to a Chinese restaurant (I obviously did not eat there- it was all teriyaki and rice and, grains, soy) and I was starving by the time I had to make my ~40 minute drive home.

I ran into Walmart and picked up a box of Lärabars. Not the best choice, but still a good one in a pinch. I also picked up two hardboiled eggs for 99¢but only ended up eating one of them. Hardboiled eggs from Walmart…still protein but not the highest quality//best tasting eggs I’ve eaten. It does in a pinch though!



A little later, I sipped on some Buchi kombucha from Asheville NC. This flavor Unlimited: Apple juice and Lime. The only ingredients are organic raw kombucha, organic apple juice and organic lime juice. It was delicious!



For my workout, I kept it simple with another at-home circuit in my  apartment. I had taken a walk in the morning and a little circuit was all I needed to round out my workout for the day.


For a little break from our constant work//studying, the boy and I headed downtown with some friends for a chill dinner.


^^A rare photo together. We mostly wear workout clothes these days 🙈^^

Dinner was the best way to end my Whole30- salad + a burger.



And there you have it..Day 30!

Whole30 Day 28

Yesterday was Day 28 of the Whole 30 challenge…which means today is Day30. And tomorrow is day 30! I can’t wait to share my thought with you guys!


Chicken sausage, egg, spinach, and spaghetti squash. Lots of goodness on one plate. I loved the chicken sausage (clearly…it’s been on my plate every day since I bought it..) and I hope I’ll have some more soon!


Kale chips. The delicious second half of breakfast.



For lunch I heated up leftover Paleo chili. It was a little heavy on the tomato flavor, but still awesome. I threw a little lettuce on top for crunch + veggies.


Lunch, the sequel: apple & almond butter.



Dinner yesterday was similar to the night before, but that didn’t make it taste any less amazing! Chicken, zucchini, and asparagus. Topped with mustard because I’m weird & I love mustard. Eat the rainbow..right?


Dinner, part 2. Banana and almond butter… BUT the best part was, I stuck this whole bowl in the freezer for about 10 minutes and when I took it out the cold, frozen banana + almond butter combo was awesome.



JK! I didn’t give up the Whole30 life yet…30 days for myself! These were on sale at the Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery for $8.99.. not the cheapest ice cream but $2+ less than usual (especially at Earth Fare..they sell Jeni’s for $11.99 a pint ridiculous). As far as ice cream goes Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams are …pretty much the best. They get their milk from grass fed cows, and they prioritize fair trade, natural, quality ingredients that also taste amazing. If you choose to indulge in a frozen treat, Jeni’s is one you have to try!


Questions of the day:

Have you tried Jeni’s Ice Creams yet?

What is your favorite frozen summer treat?

At Home WOD

Friday was Day 26 of my Whole 30. What?! I can’t believe I have made it so far. I’ll admit, there is a tiny part of me that wants to just call it quits now and have that piece of chocolate I’ve been dreaming of BUT I committed to myself for 30 days and I am going to see it through!

Bright and early I went for a ~3.5 mile walk. It was so relaxing and the perfect way to start my day. For the second half of my walk I talked to my mom on the phone, which made it even better!


Breakfast yesterday was a delicious mix. Lettuce, celery, hardboiled egg, chicken basil + tomato sausage, all topped with EVOO + some himalayan sea salt. Plus an apple on the side.



Lunch was pretty similar to breakfast. About 30 minutes before this, I ate a little mix of raisins and almonds to tide me over. Lunch was lettuce, celery, salsa, guacamole, and hardboiled eggs.  Delicious and simple is always the best.


After some work, I took a break to get a workout in. I planned to go to the gym, but then decided I would rather get my workout in at home. It turned out to be a good one!


First Half:

1 round stairs (down 3 flights, back up 3)

10 step ups/leg (use a desk chair//stool)

15 pushups

20 situps

complete the round above 5 times

Second Half:

10 lunges per leg with dumbbell raises

10 squats with side leg raise

10 dumbbell should presses

20 jumping jacks

complete the round above 3-5 times


Dinner was a treat! We went out to Smoke on the Water because my roommate had a friend visiting. I had a piece of Tilapia and some veggies on the side. Simple and delicious!


Question of the day:

What are your favorite at-home workout moves?

WIAW: The Last of Whole30.. +hashtags.

This is my last WIAW while officially on the Whole30.. woah. It’s flying by. There sill be ~12 days after the 30 while I ‘reintroduce’ individual food groups to test my own reaction to them, but those will fly by as well I’m sure! Not going to lie… I could really use a piece of chocolate 😍




Eggs, peppers and spinach. #yum #alltheveggies #eggsforever


Banana and almond butter. #classic #cantbeatit #nutbutterlover



Lunch out for work meant chicken and veggies. #whenindoubtgosimple



An apple and almond butter. So much nut butter yesterday, but I was running low on food! #thestruggle #whole30probz


I loved this.. zombie family > regular family.




Burger, plantain chips, lettuce, mustard. I didn’t plan ahead enough to eat before babysitting, so I had to wait until after all the kiddos went to sleep before I could eat (~8:40). Needless to say after running around for 3 hours and carrying kiddies on my back, this dinner hit the spot.. #allthecarbs #simpleisbest

Question of the day:

What hashtags describe your best eats this week?!

Whole30: Day 22

I am in the final stretch of my Whole30.. how crazy is that. I thought these 30 days would pass all too slowly, but I am in my last week and happy to say that I am feeling great. I definitely want some chocolate..but I will have to share more about my experience soon!

Yesterday had some great eats, and a really amazing workout.


I ate breakfast pretty late after unpacking and keeping busy all morning. I had my coffee and wasn’t too hungry, so I just held off till I needed something.

Eggs & spinach. Topped with EVOO and salt after cooking. This breakfast didn’t really fill me up, so I followed it up with some pistachios, which left me full and satisfied for hours.


After finishing up most of my unpacking and setting up the apartment, I grabbed a little snack before heading to the gym.


Frozen strawberries…yesplease.



For my workout, I followed the programing from EPLifeFit– The Everyday Paleo//JassaFIT site. To start off my workout for the day started off with 3 minutes of walking, followed 10 minutes of sprints.

I did 30 seconds light//jog followed by 30 seconds of sprints at 95-100% effort. It was intense.

For my heavy lifting of the day: 3 sets of 10 reps for heavy shoulder presses. I did a few reps first to determine my 1RM (60lbs right now) and then did the sets at 50% of that weight.

To finish off the workout I did 12 sets of 2 burpees-4 squats-6 box jumps.

I didn’t think I workout too hard at the time but my shins, quads, abs, and shoulders are all so sore today.


For dinner, the boy and I whipped up a quick meal together. Chicken, asparagus, zucchini, and yellow squash. I finished everything up with a topping of EVOO and salt. It was amazing. I am loving a little olive oil to finish meals these days.




Beautiful flowers, courtesy of my boy. They are perfect for brightening out the new apartment.

Question of the day:

What workout are you loving lately?

The perfect summer pedicure- without breaking the bank.

I’m a girl who loves a good mani//pedi any time of year. Summers especially because, hello! those fancy feet are on display, all the time. The awesome people at Julep reached out to see if I would like to share my tips for the best summer pedicure. Well, of course I do! I started doing my own nails all the time when I came to college. I wasn’t about shelling out the $20+ to get my nails done, plus doing them can be a fun night with the girls!

So to help you guys out, I decided to share my perfect summer pedicure with tools that can all be found at Walmart. And stay tuned to the bottom of the post for a secret war to make your nails dry extra fast!

Step 1:


Clean toes. Remove any nail polish you have on there.

Step 2:

Exfoliate! Take a little foot file to smooth calluses//remove dead skin and make those feet soft & flawless. This one was from Walmart, but Julep has a great one too if you want to check it out. Only $6!


Follow up with some lotion.


Step 3:

Time to take care of those cuticles. I don’t know about y’all, but my cuticles seem to grow so fast over here. I hate it. But if you keep some of these cuticle sticks around, you’re good to go! These ones are throw away, and I think the whole back was less than $1 at Walmart. If you are looking for a more lasting one, try a cuticle pusher like this from Julep.



Step 4:

File! Get those nails ready for polish. I like my nails rounded, but whatever your style is, go for it.



Step 5:

It’s time for the polish! I decided to go for something a little more funky to celebrate the fun summer spirit. I used Essie’s Sand Tropez as the base coat (2 layers) then followed it with a fun stripe of red on each nail. I found this”Salon Perfect” red polish with the skinny brush at Walmart, in the clearance bin! Such a score. I can’t wait to see what fun combinations I can come up with this summer :)


IMG_6829Bonus Step 6: The fastest drying nails you will ever see



I learned this trick last year and it has changed my life… no shame. I can now paint my nails and leave the house in 5 minutes. After painting your nails, simply take cooking spray– Pam, coconut oil spray.. those are the only two I have tried but I think it has more to do with the oil/spray than what type of oil it is. Spray a good amount on each nail, then wait 5-10 seconds. Your nails are now completely dry. It’s magical. Now wash your hands, gently wipe the oil off with a paper towel.

The only catch to this trick is that your nail polish will still ‘dent’ in a weird way. For example, I did this one time and was fine doing everything but when I went to put leggings on the nails smudged a little.



There you have it, the perfect summer pedicure without breaking the bank!

P.S. If you guys haven’t heard of Julep (<– affiliate link), you should check them out! They have a great site, with a store, quizzes, and an extensive blog with fun beauty and fashion tips. I just ordered their Julep Maven Box (free with a code right now!) and can’t wait to explore their site and products more.

*note: although Julep reached out to me for this post, I was not compensated for anything, and all opinions are my own!*



What are your must-haves for the perfect summer pedicure?!

WIAW Whole30: Weekend Style (day 13).

For my WIAW today, I am skipping ahead to my Whole30 eats this Saturday. My days have been pretty similar lately, and this one is a little more fun! This past weekend one of my friends came into town to attend a wedding. On Saturday morning, we decided to go to the Farmer’s Market together.

I was up early so I went for an hour walk, and then threw together this breakfast plate. 


Cauliflower rice, and 2 eggs. Simple. I only ate about half of it before we headed out

At the Farmer’s Market we explored the different booths. I’m a regular attendee of the market, but my friends had only been once or twice before. I’m always shocked when people tell me that. Such an amazing source of fresh produce and meats right downtown, why wouldn’t you go? But then I remember that for most college students the proximity + price >> value//health//supporting local farmers. (even though produce here is usually cheaper than in-season produce at the grocery store!)


Left: smoothies//Right:Pasta


Plant shopping! 


I will definitely be back to test this cute hole-in-the-wall store out.


More plants. I almost caved, but not this time.


Obligatory stop in Antrhopologie. I mean, when there’s a 15% off just have to. I bought an Angel Food Cake candle that I have been lusting after for over a year now.

After walking around all morning and taking our sweet time in Anthropologie, everyone was ready for a meal. We hopped over to Tupelo Honey Cafe and enjoyed some brunch fare.


Omelet and potatoes for me. White potatoes: now Whole30 approved :)

After we returned from downtown, I spent the afternoon studying, packing up my apartment, and a quick break for painting my nails. I threw a workout somewhere in there, the perfect break from being stuck in my apartment all day.



I love summer colors- blue is the best.


For dinner, the boys and I stopped by Whole Foods to grab our favorite dinner before doing the weekly grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s. I scored some blackened cod right as they were putting it out. So delicious!

Later that night, after packing up my apartment for a few hours, my friends Mary, Bevin, and I headed down to Sip to check it out. Mary met us there after attending a friend’s wedding, so we got the dish, and enjoyed chatting together. I didn’t have anything there (driver + Whole30) but it was overall just a fun place to hang out. There were little couches and tables, as well as some standing tables, and a giant picnic style table in the middle for a more social seating. We hung out on our own little couch for a couple of hours, before calling it a night!



See- you can still have fun on the Whole30!

Whole30: Day 11

Whole 30 Day 11! I can’t believe how far I am along.


Cauliflower rice, peppers + onions, and a few eggs. I cooked the cauliflower rice in ghee and it was on point, as usual. For the eggs, I heated the veggies in a pan first, then cooked the eggs over them.



Prosciutto, avocado, peppers, and spaghetti squash. A delicious protein + veggie packed meal.





Berries + pistachios. This combo of sweet fruit and salty nuts is SO good.



Another fantastic meal, cooked with the boy. Spaghetti squash (pasta for him), chicken, sauce, and amazing, amazing asparagus. This meal was so filling (that spaghetti squash has volume).



Questions of the day:

Have you tried spaghetti squash? It’s ah-mazing!