where am I, and looking ahead.

Nearly two months of a blogging break. I had no idea that 1 week would turn into one month, which turned into two. But honestly, it was a much needed break. I have had a long few months since I last blogged, and I needed time to deal with my life, without constantly trying to share it on here.

What all has been going on? Well without getting into too much personal detail (this is available for the world wide web after all) a truly difficult breakup, the stress of finishing up my senior year, the process of making post-grad plans (hello, big decisions!), and the whirlwind weeks of crying, smiling, hugging, and reminiscing before I graduated from college this past Saturday.

I don’t know if you all can tell from that list but… I have been processing a lot. I am so thankful for family (my mom is my rock), friends (seriously, girl friends are the best) and all the others who have supported and loved me these past months. Most of all, I am so thankful to have my faith. This time has been so crucial for me, and without God to trust in, I honestly don’t know how I would have waded through all of this.

At the beginning of this past school year, I chose a word to focus on. My word was trust. As a type A, organizer, planner, and all around high stress person, trusting in the God’s plan and ways has always been a considerable challenge for me.

well that word has come into clear focus the past few months. my journey this year brought me to somewhere entirely different than my “plan” had me headed. If you had asked me 3, 2, or 1 month ago where I would be headed after graduation– you would have received a different answer every time. I’m sure you all know this, but I just need to say– it is incredibly difficult to keep steadfast trust in the Lord when it feels like His plan is changing every 5 days, or throwing you out into situations you have no idea what to do with.

but through all this tumult and change (and growth) that I have been experiencing, something really special has been happening in my life. God has been so present to me in my anxiety, my worries, my fearful moments wondering what the future holds. I have felt His tangible comfort in these moments, and I have felt Him walking with my through days.

this has all really helped me to start rethinking how I can trust in God as I move forward. yes, I will continue to trust that He has a truly amazing plan for me, and that someday I will understand it. But more importantly, I am truly trusting His presence and love in my life. God is here for me, and I am appreciating that in a way that I never have before. And if I have His love and comfort, what more do I need?

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if you’re still reading you might be wondering– so what does all of this mean health-wise, and for the future of the blog?

health wise I went through an iffy place for a while. the combination of stress and starting a new waitressing job I wasn’t working out very much and lost a good amount of weight (especially considering I wasn’t trying to lose any). But after a few weeks, I was able to get back to the basics– I packed my diet full of nutrient dense foods (avocado + ground beef? yes please) and starting lifting more weights again (cardio is just ew right now. no need to burn extra calories when you’re waitressing 30 hours a week).

For the blog– I am going to continue from here with posts on fitness, food, and maybe some more faith, seeing as that is such an essential part of my journey.  I feel like this blog is such a special opportunity, and if my faith/fitness/food story can help even one person, it’s worth sharing! I may even have a new site soon, to help me move to the next phase of my story, so keep your ears open. And of course, let me know if there is anything you’d life to hear more of on here!

If you’re still reading, thanks for sticking around, I hope you’ll stay as I continue my journey!

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Thinking Out Loud: Randomness + Happiness.

Thursdays are for… Thinking Out Loud.

1. This little boy makes me so happy. He runs around, up and down the stairs, and has the best little laugh. Walking with him (ok he rides in the stroller) and my mom every morning puts me in a good mood and make the rest of the day brighter.

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2. Summer fashion. I am so looking forward to wearing cute outfits! In the month of May, I spent more time in leggings and a t-shirt than in ‘real clothes’. #studylife. But after I take the MCAT (Friday the 13 🙈🙈) I will be free and living in the real world (at least until I get my scores back ha! 😉). These summer outfits are giving me the shopping itch!

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^^perfect for church?^^

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^^dinner date or a walk in the park. via.^^

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^^wanderings around town, or day trip adventures!^^

3. Father’s Day is almost here. Unfortunately it’s a week afterI leave home, so I won’t be able to celebrate with my dad. I am storing up some ideas though, for things to give him!

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^^This is probably meant for a younger child but.. isn’t it cute? If only I were a little more crafty…Make it.^^

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^^I am definitely an evil child but I think this is hilarious. More here.^^

4. I’m not usually into drinking my calories, but on those hot summer days (which I’m sure there will be plenty of in South Carolina) a cool drink can be way better than a snack. Plus I love that this recipe (Watermelon Hibiscus Lime Cooler) has both a virgin//alcoholic option. Whatever your mood!

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^^Check out the recipe.^^

5. I figured that since I’m about to be a senior in college, I should probably learn how to do more than eyeliner + mascara. It’s a start!

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^^Makeup hacks every woman should know, here.^^

6. Joy not just happiness- is found only when I walk with God. Such a perfect reminder on these long study days. God is with us!

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^^Read more here.^^

Mondays don’t have to be so bad.

When you spend all day inside, staring at your computer, the days can kind of run together, leaving me disheartened and dreading the hours of staring at my computer. But I have to remind myself- these hours of studying aren’t for my happiness now they’re for my goals & aspirations of the future. Anyway, I could ramble on, but I thought I’d save you all the pain, and instead share some quotes that have been inspiring me lately. Enjoy!

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Faith Link Up!

Have an awesome Monday!

Favorites.

Monday mornings can be hard. Earlier wake ups, back to work. Well, if I’m being totally honest, my Monday mornings aren’t that different than any other morning. Wake up, study, workout, study. Except today, because I have to get my blood drawn this morning. Oh well. It’ll be over fast.

I wanted to share some of my favorites that have been making me happy lately!

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^^Flowers in ball jars. Bright and fresh.^^

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^^Summer berries are here! These strawberries were so delicious, and I’m hoping to pick up some local//fresh ones soon.^^

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^^This baby boy. He’s too cute. My mom watches him 3 days/week and I can’t get enough. Babies are too fun, right?! Until they cry.^^

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^^Coconut oil on everything. I’ve been cooking a lot of dinners for my family and I’m using coconut oil on everything. I think I’m converting them. ((especially after sharing about the harmful effects of olive oil when heated up)).^^

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^^Kale chips. The perfect snack (or popcorn replacer!) And butternut squash. Cooked in coconut oil. Of course.^^

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^^My favorite thing this week. Devotionals. God always gives me just what I need. He follows my heart and calls me to him even when I am failing Him.^^

“Humble yourselves therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:6-7

What are some of your favorites this week?

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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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.

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“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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Walking with God

Today’s post is  a little more personal than I usually get- but that’s what this blog is for, right? As someone who is a relatively young Christian {about 1.5 years at this point} I am learning new things about The Lord every day, and I hope you all enjoy a little elaboration on that!

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Unlike a lot of people, I have always been a “rule-lover“. Give me a set of rules, and I will follow it to a T. When I became a Christian, I looked for that set of rules that I needed to follow. Pray daily, don’t gossip, go to church etc…

It was easy for me to make a “checklist” to go through each day with. This made my first few months as a Christian incredibly easy. As long as I did/didn’t do the things on my list, I thought I was being a “good Christian”. Yet, I didn’t feel my heart or my ways had really been changed? Why?! I was frustrated and upset– I was doing everything right, right?

A while later, I had the amazing opportunity to hear Leonce Crump speak {Pastor at Renovation Church in Atlanta. You all should really check him out if you have time}. He made a simple statement, that totally shook me up, and has changed the way I practice my faith. And it was incredibly simple.

“It doesn’t matter how much you know about God, if you don’t know Him.”

Bam. I was so convicted by that statement and it is something I dwell on frequently, even now- months later. Building my relationship with God, rather than just my knowledge of Him, has been a complete change from the way I grew up. It is definitely the biggest struggle I face- because, don’t all our struggles stem from a lack of focus/strength in our relationship with God? That’s how it works for me.

Living an unsegmented life. Walking with God throughout the day. Making Him the center of every task, decision, and especially interactions with others around me. That is the ultimate goal, and something I am working towards each day.

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What I Did This Weekend!

Hey y’all! How was your weekend? Mine seemed to just fly by- isn’t that always the way?

Here’s the short version of my weekend!

Saturday:

On Saturday morning, I woke up early to get started on work and chores for the day. First up, I made some breakfast for myself, and a little later when NMK came over, breakfast for him as well!

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^^Breakfast for me. Fish, vegetables, and sweet potatoes.^^

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^^Chocolate pancakes for the boy^^

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While my boy was over, I did a little devotional and shared some prayer time with him. There is no better way to start the day.

Then it was homework time. Physics, Spanish, and MCAT work. Boring stuff, you guys don’t care about that!

A few hours later, I headed over to the dining hall for lunch with my roommate. The options were pretty slim, but I managed to get some good vegetables, some hummus, and a few chips for crunch.

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The rest of the afternoon was spent studying. Boring.

I did manage to fit a workout in- 45 minutes of easy steady state on the Elliptical. Perfect for the weekend.

A little bit later, we gathered our Spring Break group to sort out details for the week. Next week is finally our Spring Break, and we’re going to Savannah, but I’ll fill you all in more after I make it through this crazy week!

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We had planned to eat at our on-campus restaurant, but when we got there, the line was wrapped around and just horrifying. We ended up back at the good ole Dining Hall. Not my first choice for a Saturday night, but hey- free is free! ^^I ended up with some Moroccan Vegetable Stew and potatoes on the side. Simple and healthy {ish}.

After dinner, I finally took a break from homework and hung out with my boy and our friends for the rest of the night. Simple and fun.

Sunday:

Sunday was pretty much the same as Saturday– filled with homework. So I’ll just hit you guys with the details!

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^^All dressed up for Sunday morning Church. The message was all about praying, and something I really needed to hear this week. I usually feel that way though :)^^

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^^Workout– another 45 minutes on the Arc but this time it was a HIIT workout. And it nearly killed me. But in the best way ;)^^

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^^A healthy dinner to round out the night, whilst watching the Oscars with my roommates. Sweet potatoes, asparagus, Sole fillet, hummus, artichoke hearts, green peppers, and onions. I spoil myself!^

Question of the day:

What was the highlight of your weekend?

The sun was shining, and I am feeling good!

Sundays are usually either a super busy or super relaxing day for me. This Sunday, I ended up with sort of a mix of things. I was busy, but not rushing around + doing homework like I normally am.

Sunday morning started off nice and early, at church with my favorite boy. This week was the last in their series about A Theology of Sex. Yesterday’s focus was specifically on Healing from Sexual Sin. We focused on 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. I felt like I got a lot out of the talk. It’s available online along with all the other talks, if any of y’all are interested {^click the link above^}!

After church, we headed off to the Dining Hall for a Sunday morning brunch. I went with gluten free granola, rice chex, peaches, and greek yogurt. Delicious and simple way to start the day.

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The boy and I followed brunch up with episode 2 of House of Cards. OH MY GOSH. It is too good. No spoilers here, but Y’ALL if you haven’t watch HofC yet, you do not know what you’re missing. It is the most suspenseful and shocking TV show I have ever watched. And I love it for that.

For a few hours, I just worked on homework and getting all the things done that I had put off during the snow days. It was a lot more than I thought… oops! The homework went on and on, before I lost my motivation and headed out for a walk + workout. There was some lunch-esque snacking during the homework at well- chips and hummus, carrots, and lettuce I believe.

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I took advantage of the beautiful day and got my walk on while I talked to my mom on the phone. We talk pretty much every day, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Campus ^^ was looking especially beautiful in the sunshine, and it was great to get out of my apartment and enjoy some fresh air + sunshine.

My workout consisted of 30 minutes on the Arc trainer and a 1 mile incline HIIT on the treadmill. I walked at 4+ mph and put the incline between 9-12 %. It felt good to do a treadmill workout that wasn’t just a run!

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^^and to finish off the night- a giant salad for dinner. Lettuce, peppers, carrots, rice, leftover fish {from Valentine’s Day}, and a little rice. It was entirely too delicious! I followed up this healthy dinner with some Ben & Jerry’s Liz Lemon Greek Frozen Yogurt. It is so good! The lavender swirl makes me swoon…^^

Question of the day:

What sweet treat are you loving lately?

friday five {18}

it’s back! After a week hiatus from Friday Five (sorry y’all!) here’s edition #18 of my Friday Five1

to eat:

Thanksgiving is coming up….oh the sugar, the sweets, the indulgence…. it can all get out of control, and spiral all the way through Christmas and New Year’s. So with that in mind.. here are some treats that indulge your taste buds without bulging your waste line!

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^Gluten Free, High Protein Molten Lava Cake {uhm…heck yes}. via^

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^Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough…that’s egg free and actually beneficial to you. via^

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^Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies. via^

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^Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies. via^

to do:

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^An awesome strength building yoga workout via yoga aficionado Tara Stiles.^

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^A workout for those stubborn lower abs via Bikini Body Mommy.^

to wear:

Today I wanted to highlight one of my favorite bloggers for fashion inspiration. These fall looks are all courtesy of Atlantic Pacific— a classy quirky style blog you should definitely check out!

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^my favorite… so cozy and yet so pulled together!^

to read:

In honor of the new Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie (out this week!): 27 Times Jennifer Lawrence & Josh Hutcherson Proved They Have The Best Offscreen Relationship Ever

The 35 Most Touching Photos Ever Taken {perhaps an exaggeration but still just as awesome}

to think about:

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