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Within reason and common human decency, anyway.

Mondays are my weekday off from work (a lot of time in retail, as in my store, employees get one weekend day off and one weekday day off). I do pretty much the same thing every Monday. Grand plans of responsibility are schemed: cleaning my car, cleaning my room, getting my oil changed, laundry, reading to blind orphans, adopting baby animals, etc. Today is a great example of what actually happens.

7:30: Wake up! Let the dogs out, make coffee, and cuddle up in bed with my biggest UConn mug, Boy Meets World, and Pinterest.

8:30-8:45: Convince myself to workout. Since I’ve been running again (you know, two times in the last week .. which is more than basically the last 6 months combined), I know I need to build back up my pace and especially my endurance. It’s so nice out (yay fall is coming!) that I drove to the trail by my house, convincing myself the entire way to take it easy and not expect too much of myself coming back from an injury. Know I will do this anyway.

I ran four miles total! And now my quads don’t want to move the rest of the day. They are so tired, I think they have mono.

There are markers every half mile on the trail, and right when I hit each one, I stopped to walk until the next chorus in the song I was listening to came up .. maybe 20-30 seconds each time. As I turned around at mile 2, an older man stopped me and asked if I just ran two miles. I said yes and he asks “Why aren’t you doing more? You’re good!” THANK YOU KIND SIR! I told him I’m recovering from a stress fracture and he said “Good.” Obviously not as in, “Good you had a stress fracture,” but good as in good for me for coming back from an injury! It immediately reminded me of that time at the gym that someone (again, an older man) told me I look better than all the trainers. Neither time have I been creeped out, but proud and thankful for their compliments. Yay old men!

SOMEHOW I ended up finishing those four miles in 36:46. Even with walking breaks. WTF? Clearly my body remembers how to run sort of fast! It averages out to about a 9:09 minute mile – but I did run the second half (18:11) faster than the first half (18:36) so I somehow even managed negative splits. It’s hilarious that during high school cross country, I tried convincing everyone around me, and succeeded in convincing myself, that I was not built for running. I did not have a “runner’s body.”

What IS a “runner’s body” anyway, 16-year-old self? Pretty sure it’s a body that runs. Of course, I did get progressively faster over the season, but as soon as it was done, so was I until next August. So I never really progressed. I didn’t want to. I just wanted an excuse to eat an entire bag of Honey Wheat Pretzel Sticks on the bus to the race and two cookies, two brownies, and a cupcake on the bus back. And no, I am not exaggerating.

WOW TANGENT. Anyway, the few slices of dried mango I ate on my way to the trail were long gone, so I headed straight home for a shower and breakfast.

11am: Decide to go to the library. Remember I need new headphones. And tofu. And gas.

11:20am: Arrive at Target for headphones. Leave with all of this:

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  • Raspberries (2 for $4!)
  • Strawberries (cheaper than Stop & Shop)
  • Green tea
  • Grapefruit La Croix
  • Headphones
  • Two Synergy Kombuchas ($2.99!)
  • Make up wipes

12:15pm: Go to the library. Leave with Jaycee Dugard’s book.

12:35pm: Go to Stop&Shop. They don’t have the tofu I like, but don’t worry, I spent $20 more bucks.

1:15pm: Arrive home. Enter lunch debate: “I should really eat that last black bean burger. I’ll have it on a wrap with avocado and some of those raspberries on the side. So, the whole pint. And some carrots and string beans. Wait, I don’t even want that black bean burger. But I should have it.” Proceed to cut avocado for black bean burger wrap, tell my mind to shut up and make what I really want.

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A barbeque tuna wrap with a Laughing Cow wedge, red onion, and lettuce. Kale chips with salt and pepper on the side. Why didn’t I originally want to eat this for lunch even though it’s what I was craving? I had the exact same thing last night for dinner. But it’s delicious, so whatever mercury content. I do what I want.

2-4:30pm: Read A Stolen Life. Cover my mouth and eyes for several parts.

The rest of the afternoon was spent on my couch trying not to nap so that I can fall asleep tonight. I usually nap on my days off and then regret it later. Success! I just ate dinner (shrimp and veggie stir fry with brown rice) and I’m now drinking one of my Kombuchas, watching TV, and researching the next step in my life ;0)

Kaitlin over at 4 Love of Carrots tagged me in the 7 Links Meme going around the blogging world!

The Rules
1. Blogger is nominated to take part.
2. Nominated blogger publishes his or her 7 links (one for each category).
3. Blogger nominates up to 5 bloggers to take part next.
4. The cycle continues!

1. My Most Beautiful Post

Hmmm my writing is definitely not the post beautiful, but I am kind of in love with my pictures from the central park zoo. And of course, Ethel the Lonely Penguin is beautiful.

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2. My Most Controversial Post

I don’t stir up much controversy (at all), but a controversial topic? My juice cleanse for a day!

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3. Most Popular Post

Clearly, we are all Trader Joe’s Hoes.

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4. Most Helpful

Need to cook a delicious summer lunch? Here you go!

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5. Surprise Success

My first day of work’s outfit and food had a lot (for me) of comments. I guess I just look good.

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6. Most Unappreciated Post

I have no idea. Why doesn’t everyone appreciate all of my self-indulgent posts? Rude. But really – help me think of some no sugar added alternatives over at my FreelyBe: Kick the Habit post!

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7. Post of Which You’re Proudest   

My recap of the Fitness | More Magazines’ Women’s Half Marathon. My first half, sub-2 hours, on a stress fracture? I win at life. No self-induced pressure to do even more amazing on a fully healed a function leg next year or anything …

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I’m tagging ..
1. My girlfriend Emily over at Making Life Fit.
2. Jenny at Peanut Butter and Jenny
3. Kristen, the Swanky Dietitian
4. Lee, my favorite Fit Foodie
5. Jocelyn, another Enthusiastic Runner

Have fun!!

I also want to thank Kristen, aka the Swanky Dietitian, for randomly picking me to win her Gnu Bar Giveaway!

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I’ve had the Cinnamon Raisin before and loved it so I’m excited to try the Banana Walnut, Chocolate Brownie, Orange Cranberry, and Peanut Butter flavors. Thanks again, Kristen!

Did you see? I’m kicking the added sugar habit during August!

I’m back with another satisfying salad assembly post. This time we’re going spicy!

Step One: Greens/Lettuce

My base for this salad was a head of organic romaine, placed in tupperware big enough to fit a Duggar family casserole in it.

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Step Two: Vegetables!

Frozen broccoli (will be defrosted by lunch), frozen corn (ditto), red onion, and carrots. Peppers (any color but green – gross) would have been a great addition, but I didn’t have any.

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Step Three: Protein

A crumbled black bean burger via The Daily Garnish. My favorite!

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Step Four: Fat

Avocado – the best part of any meal, snack, or other munchie.

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Step Five: Flavor!

Salsa! In it’s own container so I can keeping adding it as I eat up the greens. Plus hot sauce, duh.

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Step Six: Grains/Carbs!

Two whole wheat tortillas on the side.

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The best thing about my giant salads is that the only sugar that occurs is natural! Okay, maybe not those tortillas … I’ll have to investigate.

The lovely Gracie of Girl Meets Life recently announced the launch of FreelyBe, the explanation of which I’ve copied from the website.

 “Our plan is twofold, but the two outreaches are inherently intertwined.

 1) First, we want to partner with already-existing organizations and individuals that we believe have the mission, values, and integrity that it takes to bring freedom to the world. The unfortunate truth is that there are hundreds of amazing charities and organizations that simply do not have the resources to grow and become as effective as the world needs them to be. Some ways we’ll help are:
– work with organizations to develop an effective business strategy by using our resources and knowledge in PR, digital marketing, research, etc.
– serve as a point of contact in NYC to provide a volunteer force and/or plan events
– promote their cause via our own website/marketing tools to raise not just funds but also awareness

2) Next- we aim to reach the public and connect them to these organizations. We want to teach people what genuine and freedom-causing charities look like. So many people in the world want to help, but they just have no idea where to start. We want to show them what that help in action already looks like.

In short, Freely Be is the middleman between organizations and the public. The relationship between the two is imperative if freedom is to be spread in the world, and its our job to cultivate, grow, and maintain that bond.”

I immediately signed up to participate as a blogger and volunteer as a person.  I admire Gracie’s blog for many reasons – her humor, her bluntness, her obvious passion for life and for helping others.  I’m so glad that I can help promote Freely Be as an organization I have a passion for and truly, truly believe in.

Kick the Habit

Freely Be’s first “event” is called “Kick the Habit.”  Here are the details from Gracie’s email:

Before you can change the world, you need to change your own. To share freedom, one must be free themselves. In an effort to bring that freedom, we are launching a fun FREEDOM rally- Kick the Habit.

Is there something in your life that just isn’t good for you? Addicted to smoking? Spending too much on cocktails? Taking cabs when you could be walking? Can’t stop the urge to shop?

Then its time to kick the habit!

From August 1-31 we want to hear your stories and challenge you for the month to improve YOU!

So get ready to send us your emails, videos, tweets, etc. on how you Kicked the Habit and are encouraging others to do so as well. We’ll also be opening up the Freely Forums so you can discuss your kicked habit with others who might share the same one.

Think you’ll want to take it a step further? We propose taking the finances you would use on that habit, and donate it towards a good cause.

You take on the challenge – help others, help yourself. What have you got to lose (other than yellow teeth and early-onset wrinkles?)

My habit I’m going to kick in August?  Added and artificial sugars.  They’re in everything.  And it’s gross. 

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 have actually been thinking of trying to cut out added sugars for a few days and Gracie’s email was all the motivation I needed.

 I already have a bunch of posts in mind to write for August, including: how to find added sugars, sugars’ affect on the body, and natural replacements.  Let me know if you have any other ideas or suggestions!

Now, excuse me while I go bury my face in Pinkberry for the next four days …

What would you give up to gain a better life?  How long?  A month, a year, forever?

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( source )

This morning, I headed to the library to check out some books to read (obviously). I spent a while wandering around the fiction section and eventually made my way downstairs to non-fiction. An older man, who I originally assumed to be an employee, greeted me, and I said hi back. Then he asked for my “beautiful name.” UM bye. I ignored him and just continued looking for books. I heard someone talking kind of softly, clearly on a cell phone, and realized it was him. I moved around and he followed me through the stacks. CREEPER STATUS. Eventually I lost him, went back upstairs to the new releases, didn’t see him any longer, and so I went back downstairs to look around again without freaking out. As I’m walking out the door, I see him outside on his cell phone. I walk by and he tells the person on the other line to hold on and he calls out to me “Excuse me, miss, miss!” I ignored him, walked to my car, and made sure no one was following me as I left. Seriously? HOW DO YOU THINK THAT IS ACCEPTABLE? It is rude, you could be my grandfather, and legitimately who has actually ever picked someone else up by creeping on them? No one.

So, if you would like to be hit on by a man who could be your grandfather, please head to your local library on a casual Saturday morning. Don’t shower, don’t fix your second-day hair bun from when you get out of bed, wear $5 Soffee mesh shorts and an oversized t-shirt with no make up. Walk out with a new boy toy. Why am I single again?

If you’re not looking for boyfriend advice, I can offer you some different advice – how to build a satisfying salad! To me, salads are not an appetizer, side dish, or meal in which to cut calories. Oh, no. I have a salad for at least one meal everyday, usually lunch. More often than not, I have a theme – Asian salad, Taco salad, etc., but sometimes my giant container of tupperware is just a vegetable free-for-all. This salad is the latter.

Step One: Greens/Lettuce

Add your greens to a salad bowl meant for a family of four. Don’t share. In this case, I used a couple of handfuls of organic mixed greens and about half a head of organic romaine.

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Step Two: Protein

I used chickpeas here. With beans, I usually buy organic and/or low sodium. After rinsing, I add about half the can to my salad.

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Step Three: Vegetables!

In this salad: carrots, celery, red onion, and sugar snap peas.

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Step Four: Fat

Fact: feta makes it beta! Fun fact: up until last year, I pronounced it “fay-ta” until my friends made enough fun of me to change it to the correct pronunciation of “feh-ta.”

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Step Five: Flavor!

I love Bolthouse Farms dressings! They’re all super healthy, low fat and low-cal (which just means I add more), and so flavorful! I just tried this flavor, Raspberry Merlot, and love it! The sweetness is so great with the salty feta.

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Step Six: Grains/Carbs!

Stacy’s Pita Chips* added a great crunch to my salty and sweet salad.

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And there you have it, a filling salad for one!

*Extra handfuls of pita chips are required for this recipe.

After Emily made me those delicious eggplant fries and zucchini chips last Friday, I’ve been wanting to recreate the deliciousness. I remembered to buy an eggplant at Whole Foods the other day and got out of work early last night, so I decided to give it ago.

I gathered my eggplant, two eggs, and some breadcrumbs …

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Assembled my dipping and crumb-ing stations …

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Chopped my eggplant …

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and baked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

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Crispy deliciousness with a side of marinara.

As tasty as they were, the ones Em made me were better! I think next time I’ll bake for longer and use whole wheat or panko bread crumbs.

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This was also had. Easy homemade lemonade + vodka. Yay summer!

I still have half of that eggplant left. I kind of want to make more fries and I kind of want to do something else … hmmmmm.

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