Words to Inspire

"I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health."
- Voltaire

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dorm Salad

Happy Wednesday everybody. Hope things are going splendid on the other side of the screen because this side is in some serious need of a nap.

We've got a few things to catch up on so let's start off with breakfast...

Newman's Own Honey Flax Flakes + 1/2 banana + 1/2 cup strawberries + unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Breakfast is my favorite meal - next to dessert of course - and I literally never miss it. It's important to give your body fuel to begin the day and kick start your metabolism. While Poptarts and Fruity Pebbles might be an easy goto morning meal, they will leave you feeling hungry in no time. Next time you grab for that packaged pastry or the box of kid's cereal check out the nutrition info. I bet your cereal bowl holds more than a few servings and the calorie count on that Poptart isn't too pretty either.

*End rant now.*  

Moving on to the workout of the week so far...

View from my dorm.

Monday morning I took a nice thirty minute run around campus with one of my pledge sisters. The weather in the morning and evening are polar opposites compared to during the day. It felt ahhhmazing Monday morning and then I swear I was dripping sweat walking to class later that day. Monday afternoon I hit up the Rec Center for an arm workout. I've got some sore limbs from that one!

As for yesterday, I had every intention of working out but somehow taking the stairs to the eleventh floor at least 17 times turned into my workout along with dancing in heels later in the night. My feet are still numb!

Now for lunch...

I promise I'll take a better picture next time!

Dorm life is really bringing out a whole new array of salad add ins. I'm not complaining though! This salad was deeelish and contained the following...

  • romaine
  • chickpea salad from Publix
  • gluten free pretzels
  • salsa
  • onion
  • cucumber
  • broccoli
  • feta
  • cherry tomatoes
  • black bean and corn something from the lunch provided at the house

That's all for today! 


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Recipe and Sistas

I started off my morning with some yoga at the Rec center and it was awesome.
Definitely going to be a weekly thing.

Breakfast was the usez...

plain Greek yogurt + Kashi GoLean Crunch + blueberries + a peach
sprinkle of cinnamon in meh coffee


Backing up to this weekend.

After opening my bid and running to the Alpha Gamma Delta house on Saturday I finally got to meet my pledge class and all my new sisters! For our pledge retreat we spent Sunday and Monday at Lake Martin chillaxin' by the pool and playing on the lake. I water skied and ate Krispy Creme donuts for breakfast (that kinda negates the empty calories, right?) and all in all had a great time.

Hot Damn Alpha Gam!


If you remember my popover success then you might also remember me promising a recipe shortly after.


Please forgive me? But better late than never in my opinion so here it is...

Cheesy-Herb Popovers
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (skim, low-fat, full-fat)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh rosemary, minced
- 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
- 3 Tbsp melted butter
- 1 1/2 cups flour (whole wheat/organic white)

Preheat oven to 450F and postion rack on bottom shelf. Grease popover pan and place in oven. Warm eggs in a bowl of hot water for ~10 minutes. Using a whisk, beat together eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Next, whisk in flour and mix until smooth then stir in melted butter and rosemary. Remove pan from oven and fill each cup 3/4 full with batter and top with 1-2 Tbsp cheese. Bake popovers at 450F for 20 minutes and then at 350F for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. 

*Popover pan is key to popover success.
*Do not open oven during cooking time.
*Cut slits in popovers when they come out of the oven so steam can escape. 

Best enjoyed with soup!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

It's Almost the Weekend

It's Thursday.

Which means tomorrow is Friday.

I cannot wait for Friday.

Because Friday means 24 hours until Saturday.

And Saturday means BID DAY!


This morning for breakfast I had the usez.

plain Greek yogurt + Kashi GoLean Crunch + fresh berries

Last night I finally had some time to go to Publix and stock up the ole dorm room fridge. I picked up some plain Greek yogurt, fruit, Arctic Zero, and some Newman's Own salad dressings which I haven't tried before and I'm stoked to do so. I also managed to grab some dark chocolate covered cherries and almonds that will probably be polished off in no time. Sooo good!

And now for lunch...

Zoe's Kitchen Mediterranean tuna salad + marinated slaw + an apple

I'm ecstatic with how this lunch turned out! I walked over to Zoe's earlier and picked up a half pint of their Mediterranean tuna salad and a side of marinated slaw and made a sandwich out of it with some bread I had back in the dorm. With the addition of an apple I had a perfect balanced meal. Deeelicious!


As far as the workout goes I've been sticking to the stairs. Eleven flights of stairs at least three times a day. I honestly believe my calves are growing! Yes! But hopefully after this week I'll slip into a routine and be able to hit the gym. I'll keep you posted!

I have gnarly pit stains from the Alabama heat and the stairs though!

That should count for something, right? 


Have a great Thursday everyone! It's almost the weekend.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How to Eat Your Vegetables

Happy middle of the week! Hope everyone is having a wonderful Wednesday!

Everyone has grown up hearing Eat your vegetables! whether it came from Mom, Dad, or Grandma.
Those who chose to listen were rewarded with praise or even dessert.

Growing up I can remember loading my sweet potato with butter and brown sugar until it turned in to a Thanksgiving Day side and dipping my broccoli and carrots into pools of ranch dressing. So clearly eating my vegetables was not a difficult task.

Nowadays, things are a little different when it comes to me eating my vegetables. I have never been a picky eater (which I can credit to my lack of health before and my passion for health now) it just took me a little while to actually learn how to eat. You see, sweet potatoes are amazing exactly how they are - they don't need all the extras! And broccoli and carrots taste waaay better with hummus!

I can't tell you how many times I'll see someone thinking they are being healthy by eating their vegetables only to completely negate their good intentions with all the unnecessary condiments! So next time you do your body some good by eating your vegetables remember how to eat them.

  • Salads should be loaded with colorful veggies and lightly tossed in a serving of vinaigrette dressing.
  • Vegetables should be steamed or cooked until just tender - once they lose their color they also lose all of their healthy benefits.
  • Instead of frying try baking, roasting, or sautéing.
  • Dip raw veggies in a serving or hummus or plain greek yogurt mixed with a packet of seasoning.
  • Ween yourself off all the extras when it comes to potatoes by gradually adding less and less so you can learn to enjoy them in pure form. 

While it might take some time, eventually you'll be able to eat raw veggies on their own and actually enjoy them! Make it a challenge to start eating your vegetables healthier so you can actually reap all of their wonderful benefits! 

Do the body some good today.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Things to Consider

It's been a crazy few days.

And the week has just begun. With that --- Happy Monday!

This morning started off with a favorite of mine that you could probably guess (if you read and/or know me...) considering I'm such a creature of habit. Good news: my healthy habits are sticking with me even in the dorm. 

"Expect problems and eat them with breakfast."
-Alfred A. Montapert  

1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 1 cup Kashi GoLean Crunch, 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup strawberries


Backing up to yesterday.

When I got back to the room I was next to starving and my feet were a hot mess. Luckily, I had this waiting for me in our mini fridge...

1/2 leftover falafel pita + grapes

If you haven't been to a Pita Pit yet then you should add it to your ToDo list because it is off the hook delicious. Think Subway gone Mediterranean. I always get the falafel for two reasons 1) falafel might be my favorite thing IN the world and 2) I'm a vegetarian (unless Mom busts out a perfectly seasoned, medium rare steak mm mm).

Things to consider when eating out...
  • It is very likely that the portions you receive at restaurants or any fast food chains are astronomically too big. To insure you don't end up eating five times the calories intended ask for a to go box and immediately box half your order. Now you have a meal for the next day. 
  • Do not be afraid to say "a little of this" and "not too much of that" or "hold the ___". Trust me the server won't be annoyed, if anything they'll laugh at you - I speak from experience. 
  • Avoid combos, supersize, and 3 for $1 gimmicks. You won't be saving fifty cents by ordering more food than you were planning on purchasing. But you will be saving calories by avoiding the sales pitch...


To end things, I have the best roommate!

Love you Laur!

Seize the day you guys and Roll Tide!


Friday, August 10, 2012

It's Official


It's official.


But before we get to that let's back up to dinner the night before the big move. Mom had to go to Huntsville for a few last minute errands. I needed more hangers. But hey, all my clothes fit with room to spare - helloooo shopping! Along with my hangers, Mom also brought back dinner from Zoe's Kitchen.

Pita bread, rice, shrimp + zucchini skewers, and a huge Greek salad

Deeelish! And the best news is there's a Zoe's Kitchen located in Bryant Denny Stadium. Peace out freshmen fifteen. 

If you happened to read my previous post then you saw how scary small my dorm room is...

Well guess who made lemonade out of lemons? 

The girls who live in this room! 

We actually had a few girls living in the same building come in and say "Wow, this room looks bigger!" It's true. My roommate and I high fived at that one.


For breakfast this morning I enjoyed a bowl of Newman's Own Flax Flakes, a sliced banana, and unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Oh, and of course my cup of coffee.

Our chic kitchen table and my reflection on my computer screen :)

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Friday! 


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Almond Butter Makes Me Weak in the Knees

This week is going by waaay too fast. I can't believe tomorrow I am officially Tuscaloosa bound!

This girl.
In college.

Whoop dee whoop!

I move into my teeny tiny dorm room tomorrow - no really I mean teeny tiny, see:


Tiny spaces leave no room for disorganization! And since I am 99% of the time a Type A I spent the majority of yesterday afternoon doing this:

You can bet I'm proud of those babies, too! We'll just have to see how long they stay this way... 

For lunch yesterday I polished off the rest of the grilled pizza and a handful of some green bean chips. I'd prefer fresh green beans buuut it happens and I procrastinate going to Walmart.

After my killer leg workout yesterday I whipped up something incredible, which is the reason for this post:

Almond Butter-Banana Smoothie
- 1 frozen banana, sliced and peeled
- 1 scoop vanilla whey protein (I used Earthfare brand)
- 1 Tbsp Almond Butter
- 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Toss everything in a blender. Give it a whirl. Freak out, it's that good.

Why hasn't anyone tooold me how ah-mazing the addition of nut butters are to smoothies?! I legitimately did a happy dance after my first sip. You have to try it. Go. Now!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Breakfast Breakthrough

I was just asked what I was doing by the boyfriend and replied with "blizogging." Good word, huh? Z's make everything better in my opinion. 

Annnywayz (see what I mean?).

About the title of this post - Breakfast Breakthrough - it's finally happened, I've discovered a breakfast that might very well be as good if not better! than a Greek yogurt parfait and here it is...

Newman's Own Honey Flax Flakes
1/2 banana
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup strawberries
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Man oh man, that's one bowl full of deliciousness! I found Newman's Own brand cereal at Publix.

Now for this picture of yesterday's lunch...

We just recently had our favorite Missouri friends over for a few days - shout out to the Friedhoff's! - and we had such a great time hanging out on the lake, reminiscing old times, and nommin' on some grilled pizzas! I tell ya, it's hard to go wrong with pizza but throw it on the grill? Out of this world! I whipped up four different pizzas...

Pizza numero uno:
tomato slices, jalapeños, kalamata olives, baby spinach, and parmigiano reggiano
Pizza numero deus:
simple margarita pizza - tomato sauce, tomato slices, mozzarella, and fresh basil
Pizza numero tres:
     roasted veggies (eggplant, garlic, onion, and zucchini), feta cheese, and fresh rosemary
Pizza numero quatro:
tomato sauce, country sausage, parmigiano reggiano, and mozzarella

All the pizzas turned out spot on which made me very happy! A surprise visit from some other Quinlivan's as well as Grandma Koochie also made me very happy - glad you guys decided to stay for dinner, love y'all! 

So that explains my lunch.

I'll leave you with my recent obsession in exercise...
Yoga with this guy:

Lately, I just haven't had the motivation to go through my intense workouts and HIITs so I've been doing some good for the soul yoga. I love Gaiam's videos with Rodney Yee. He has some great twenty minute yoga workouts which are perfect for me since that's about how long my patience is when I'm alone instead of taking a class annnd it makes it easy to get a quick yoga sesh in first thing in the morning. 

Now I'm off to do some yoga! Have a happy Monday!

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength."


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Truth About It Is...

If there's one thing I can appreciate it's honesty.

Because ya know what? -- {Sometimes} Being healthy sucks.

I don't want half a cup of Ben & Jerry's. I want the whole damn pint.
I don't just want a freakin' cheeseburger. I want the cheeseburger and the curly fries.
And I want to toss my Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette in the trash and drowned my salad in ranch.

So kill me.

I say all this because half the time I see healthy and fit people and that's all I see -- a person perfectly healthy and perfectly fit just a beeboppin' around in their perfect body and perfect will power.

And I'm like I CAN'T STAND TO SEE YOUR FACE how in the world are you doing this?!

Which brings me to my newest finding in life...


That's one heck of a relief.


My favorite health bloggers out there have not only provided me with motivation and creative new ideas but they've also helped inspire me to cut the crap. So to anyone who's been thrown a little off balance like me -- you are not alone. Everyone has those days when being healthy just sucks and working out is on the bottom of the totem poll.

But the thing is it's only sometimes. If I ate like said way above I'd be miserable and my body would hate me. While it may be difficult to be healthy sometimes I'm willing to work at finding my balance just like all the other seemingly perfect healthy peeps out there because in the end it's all worth it.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Stuff in a Jar

I've got a whole bunch of Mason jars left over from my pickling phase just sitting in my pantry begging me to use them. 

Along with a lot of other things in my pantry begging for attention but we won't talk about that.

I don't know what is but everything is just better when consumed from a jar. 


Yeah, that's right. Buckwheat. Again. Good ole, no hassle buckwheat in a jar.

- 1/4 cup dry buckwheat
- 1/2 cup milk of choice
- 2 Tbsp Greek yogurt
- 1/2 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2 mashed banana
- 1/2 sliced banana
- spoonful of peanut butter
Mix everything together in a jar, cover and let sit over night. Heat in microwave for 3 minutes and top with desired toppings. Viola! Yumminess.

And because I was feeling really dangerous this morning...

I added some raspberries. They were delish you guys, de-lish. 

The whole meal in a jar idea really makes it easy to grab and go and that is juuust what I'ma be needin' for my up and coming dorm life. Ah, college is vastly approaching.


As in like 8 days. OH MY DEAR LORD! Eight freakin' days, 192 hours, 11,520 minutes.
Basically, soon. 

Real soon.

And with my real soon to come change of lifestyle will also be a whole lotta obstacles for keeping up a healthy lifestyle. I will no longer have a the comfort of my own kitchen which will force me to make some major adjustments.

Wanna know what my thoughts are on this?

Bring it on.