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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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!

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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recap– in pictures.

food:

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^hummus hummus hummus…literally the theme of my life. It goes with everything! That’s my mantra in life.^

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^breakfast sando– Udi’s Gluten Free Bread, egg whites, and Cedar’s Roasted Red Pepper Hommus^

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^a delicious combo of peanuts, pumpkin, and oats. Simple and filling breakfast.^

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^a Perfect Protein Pancake via Fitnessista. This was so good and so easy to make. The best part– it actually formed like a pancake–fluffing up and getting that nice “crust”. I served mine with a simple apple on the side.^

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^apparently I only take pictures of my breakfast… my bad! Toast, one with hummus, one with pb+j. With some egg whites and red pepper hummus on the side. It was awesome.^

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^classic Friday dinner with the friends. Black Bean Burger with side of fruit and 1 little onion ring.^

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^birthday dinner out for my beautiful roommate. I went with the Penne-Goat pasta– with gluten free penne. It had spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and pine nuts. Delicious!^

fun:

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^Christian Motorcyclists Association.. what?! But yes….so much yes to this!^

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^seriously…my heart melts at these pictures. These kids are the best!^

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^Friday night fun. good stuff^

faith:

and to finish things  off– some devotionals and inspiration for your Sunday.

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Are you having a good weekend?

friday five {16}

happy Friday y’all! I’m off to camp this weekend, but checking in first

to eat:

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^Baked Brie and Sun Dried Tomato dip.. yum! via.^

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^Banana Protein Muffins– and a small batch for those of you who don’t have a family to feed like me! via Meals and Moves.^

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^Quinoa Cornbread Breakfast Bakes– for those of you who love cornbread, like me, but don’t love the unhealthy hit to your day! via.^

to do:

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^check out the Nike Training Club for an awesome workout. It has all different programs, levels, and helpful guides for new moves!^

to wear:

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^I’m obsessed with scarves this fall– the bigger the better. So cozy, warm, and fun! both via.^

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^I’m also obsessed with fitness fashion.. One thing I’ve been seeing everywhere is Albion Fit, a fitness brand with the CUTEST gear to outfit your workouts! via and via.^

to read:

http://science.time.com/2013/10/22/the-united-states-of-attitude-an-interactive-guide-to-americas-moods/

to think about:

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a collection of {mostly} healthy pumpkin recipes + quotes to make your morning!

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^yup…pumpkin donuts. Perfect for those fall weekends with a cup of hot coffee and some gorgeous leaves to look at. Chili & Tonka.^

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^pumpkin butter. For sandwiches, oatmeal, on apples, pancakes, toast.. french toast? The possibilities are endless. Oh She Glows.^

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^pumpkin pecan pancake.. a delicious tongue twister! Shape.^

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^healthy pumpkin spice muffins :). Bethenny.^

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^paleo pumpkin bread- Shape^

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^pumpkin pie cookies- Run Eat Repeat^

and for some inspiration:

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monday, moe’s day.

Monday wasn’t as bad as….Monday. It flew by, mainly due to my busssssy schedule.

breakfast:

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Breakfast was quick, cool, and creamy. Perfect for a day when it’s 90 before noon. Greek yogurt, some oat-based granola, and some frozen Trader Joe’s pineapple chunks. With a side of coffee, and some apple cider vinegar. Just another day in the neighborhood.

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Then I headed off on my {1.3 mile} walk to class. It’s definitely a leeeeeeetle inconvenient to have to leave 20-30 minutes early for class BUT I have to say I enjoy the quiet time just enjoying my surroundings. Sometimes I listen to a podcast, or call my family, or just have me time. Good wake up !

I spent the afternoon babysitting for my favorite little ones. I babysit them 8 hours a week, and after only 2 weeks, we’re already a little group. They melt my heart…even when they’re being little rascals. I mean…look at those faces! How could I be angry at those?!

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^what a babe magnet^

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When I got back from babysitting, I headed to grab some dinner before starting in on the studying for the night. I had a TON of reading to do, and it took me the rest of the night to get ‘er done.

Mid way through the night, I headed over to the gym for a re-engergizing workout. 10 minutes Arc trainer, followed by 25 minutes on the elliptical. My legs/body was pretty tired {between baby-sitting  and the 9 miler yesterday} but it felt good to just move a bit and stretch my legs out. I also find it such an amazing wake up/study break. When you’re reading 80 straight pages of a novel, that invigorating workout it key to powering through study time!

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I made a little friend on my way back to the apartment. I feel so happy when I notice a little piece of nature in my everyday surroundings. Nature is all around, it’s just a matter of taking a moment to see it!

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My little snack upon arriving back- some greek yogurt, a little peanut butter, and some carob chips.

Then I headed to bed fully ready for a restful night.

some inspiration:

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eats and exercise.

the past days have been filled with heat, eats, and a good dose of exercise. I can’t believe how hot it’s gotten here! 90+ every day, EW. but, I can’t complain- I’d rather be in 90 degree heat than 10 degree freezing cold!

so anyway, here’s a summary of some eats and workouts from the past few days- a little healthy inspiration!

food:

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^light summer breakfasts of cereal, granola, almond milk, and some kind of fruit. I like to keep it fresh and fruity on these hot summer mornings and these bowls hit the spot^

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^lunch has been salads/veggie bowls depending on the mood- these pictures include spaghetti squash, kale, veggie meatballs, bell peppers, topped with bruschetta and hummus. a yummy and lighter meal^

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^snackin’ on hummus on veggies, you can never go wrong!^

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^you can never go wrong with frozen yogurt! this is a healthier version I made using Chobani raspberry nonfat yogurt. I just stuck it in the freezer for ~1 hour, then topped with some trail mix. yum yum yummy!^

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^dinner- pretty similar to lunch. asparagus, kale, spaghetti squash, veggie burger, and bruschetta^

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^and a dessert treat! Black Bean brownies, yummmmmmmmmm and guilt free^

workouts:

Saturday I kept it simple with a morning run, some weights at home, and yoga while watching a movie.

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^post run. even though it was 7 am it was already sizzling outside^

Sunday was more intense- I did arms and abs (aka planks and core work) in the morning. Then a bike/elliptical/run combo at the gym in the afternoon! I know working out outside is better for my training (as far as running) but it just feels so good to be in the air conditioning sometimes!

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^post workout fueling (hummus and veggies) with a good side of goofiness^

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^and last but not least, some inspiration. on the left is a canvas I painted over the weekend (this picture is of the unfinished project, I edited it some!) and on the right, a good reminder for a Monday morning :)^