Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Holy Lifestyle Change, Batman!

Id like to think I have a pretty healthy life style.  I exercise pretty regularly, feel adequately guilty when I miss a work out, eat tons of vegetables, and drink half my body weight in oz of water a day.  Boom! Hello gorgeous.  I wouldn't classify myself as over weight, but every time I see a photo of myself I can't help but think "hmmm, I could drop a few pounds/tone up a bit/start wearing make up" etc.  These thoughts tend to attract me towards self improvement motivators such as Tone It Up, for example.

Well last night, under the influence of one (read: 1) glass of Pino Noir, I decided to drop a gorgeous penny on the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan.  The hook that really got me was that it was a one time fee, and I would have a LIFETIME membership, with continual updates.  I didn't realize at the time, but its beginning to sink in that I purchased a complete lifestyle change.

Once I received the email with the link to download all my materials, I immediately began to go through the nutrition guide.  I spent all my money on the plan, but I wanted see what kind of groceries I would be buying next week once I got paid. (it helps to be prepared in life).  See? I have my own 7 day slim down plan: spend all your money so you can't afford to eat for a week!

Since Ive been going to bed earlier lately, I went to sleep last night before I had really gone through everything.  Once I woke up, I immediately wanted to rummage through everything again.  Finally it clicked why I wasn't getting the hang of it right away: I was trying to fit the plan to my life as it is already.  The plan wants me to do 30 minutes of cardio right after waking up and before my first meal of the day.  So Im like, wait, I eat breakfast before I work out.  The meal plan wants me to eat 5 small meals a day, and im like, how am I going to translate that into my two big meals and one snack per day that Im used to?

Duh, Cristen! You dont fit the plan to your life, you CHANGE YOUR LIFE TO FIT THE PLAN! THATS WHY YOU PAID SO MUCH FOR IT! its also the reason why you dont have the body of your dreams... yet.  If you did, what you are doing would be working and you wouldn't need the plan at all.

This was quite a shock to me.  Now that it is sinking in, I feel more inspired if not a bit overwhelmed.  Luckily, I have about a week to mentally adjust.  Just a heads up to my readers, since the transition will be so traumatizing, you will most likely be hearing a lot about it! haha  The online community looks really supportive, and I am looking forward to making some new friends!

XOXO, Cristen

Monday, January 27, 2014

Today Was An Epic Fail

Nothing went the way it should have today.  **sad face**  I was supposed to get up at 5:30 am, but slept through until 7.  Im actually not upset about that at all, three weeks ago I couldn't get up at 7am if my life depended on it, so there has been positive change.  The problem was that I had planned to cook this really awesome hot breakfast for Maddex, but only had enough time to warm up some frozen whole grain waffles, slather them with peanut butter and shove them sandwich style into his hands as he ran out the door to catch the bus!

Bright and early I got a text from this guy I kind of started dating that I was supposed to stop seeing.  I was planning to give him the "Im sorry, Im so busy right now" speech, but ended up making a breakfast date with him for Thursday morning.  I dont want to see him again, how did this happen?

I made it to the Rec Center at FSU on time and successfully ran 3 miles on their really awesome indoor track.  The air quality here is the central valley has been labeled Unhealthy for weeks now.  That was probably the only thing that went to plan all day.  I came home feeling pretty good, showered, and made myself a Perfect Fit smoothie.

The rest of the day was supposed to go pretty smoothly.  I had class at 12, an orientation for Maddexs after school program at 1:30 and then my BioChem class at 3.  Well, I showed up to my 12 o'clock class (Yoga) in full gear, just to turn around and leave because all she had planned for today was picking up materials.  So I turned around and went home thinking about all the wasted gas I was using.  I get to the orientation on time, just to be greeted by a very annoyed program director, and unfriendly clovis moms.  Not fun.  After about 15 minutes going over the insanely high rates, I decided that there was no way I could afford to put him in this program, and text my dad to let him know that his wife, Lisa, was just going to have to help out a bit more then originally planned (its really not that big of an inconvenience).  Then I faked a stomach ache to get out early.  Classy.

By the time I got out of there, it was too early to head back to school so I went home to eat the left over indian food from my adventure with my bestie Maria last night.  We went to india.  Not really, we discovered a really yummy indian food restaurant, and drooled our way through half the menu.  Even Maddex liked the food (I love my kids adventurous spirit).  I dont know why but about 20 minutes after eating lunch my stomach started to hurt really bad. (Karma?)  I felt bloated and crampy.  It was horrible, so I took a bath and decided I simply couldn't go to my last class.  It just wasn't possible.  Obviously I would have to nap instead.

Literally, the day I was supposed to have didn't happen the way it should have at all.  Currently I am hiding in my room avoiding doing much of anything else.  If there is anything I have learned in my past 29 years, its that if things aren't working out that consecutively, then its best to give up and take a rest day.

Lets hope tomorrow things get back on track.

XOXO, Cristen

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Perfect Fit Protein Powder

Yesterday I spent the majority of the day up in the mountains visiting my mom, brother, and sisters.  It was a great time, as always, and I ate WAY too much delicious and healthy food :) We got home about three hours later then I originally planned, and would be lying if I didn't admit that made me cranky.  I have been trying to change my sleep schedule to go to bed early, and wake up earlier.  The reason for this change is because I feel I am more productive in the AM hours.  My brain literally turns off after 8:00 at night.

Anyway, so when I stumbled through the door last night at nearly 11:00 pm, I discovered that while I had been gone, my Perfect Fit Protein Powder had arrived in the mail!!!! Instantly I was so excited!!! I thought it would take a least a week to arrive, and I have been dying to try it out.

This morning, I decided to make my first Perfect Fit smoothie! I blended a cup of frozen berries, one banana, a cup of unsweetened almond milk, about a cup of kale, and the protein powder (vanilla flavored) in the blender until extremely smooth.  I love how smoothies are so easy to make!

I was excited, but a bit nervous to taste it, I've never really liked protein powders because they can be quite offensive to the taste buds.  My first sip I noticed immediately that there was defiantly protein powder in the mix.  Upon my second sip, I decided that I didn't mind noticing it, in fact it was quite delicious.  Half way though the smoothie, I stop noticing it all together and started thinking about all the other things I could put the powder in!

You have to love that feeling you get when you know you are doing good by your body.  So many people worry about portion control, calories, and what foods they should avoid in order to get/stay slim.  When you only put good-for-you, nutritions foods into your system, you dont have to worry about much, and just get to enjoy the benefits of happy cells!

For those who are calorie conscious, I did a quick calculation and please note this smoothie is roughly about 220 calories.  I would recommend it as a good post-workout snack! I like to have two eggs and a half of avocado for breakfast pre-workout, and then a big late-lunch/early-dinner of fish and a ton of veggies!

Right now Tone It Up is selling sample packs for $7.00 each with free shipping! I strongly encourage everyone to purchase one, because this stuff is so seriously good for our bodies!!

XOXO, Cristen

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Toned Up: My New Obsession!

I love to work out.  I also love to work out with people, and inspire them to keep pushing toward their goals.  I love to watch shows like the biggest loser, to get inspired, and to help keep me motivated when all I want to do is snuggle Ackles all day while eating chocolate covered raisins. I also have a deep passion for healthy food, and am endlessly fascinated by how those foods deliver our bodies such great fuel.

So when the Bravo TV network debuted its new show Toned Up featuring Karina and Katrina, a pair of best friends who film workout videos as well as create nutrition plans, I was instantly hooked! Watching the first couple episodes made me really see that a full time workout buddy was seriously lacking in my world.  Weather it be male or female, I am now in full charged mode to find a person to share inspiration, motivation, and workout equipment with!

You can read all about them, their company, and sign up for their email news letter at toneitup.com
My goal for the week is to complete their "love your body" series on youtube.  Here is the Abs routine, that I am most defiantly doing tonight (note, its less then 8 minutes long!), so who's with me???

I also was really intrigued by the protein powder they engineered themselves, which is 100% vegan! I went ahead and placed an order, because it is so hard to find delicious protein powder that is really good for you and also doesn't have any animal products.  I like that it only has 5 ingredients.  The simplest foods are the best foods!

You can also get some Here
Ill let you know if its truly as delicious as the reviews say :)

XOXO, Cristen

Monday, January 20, 2014

3 Ways To Show Kindness Without Spending a Dime

I would like to think that we all have the desire to give a ton of money to charity... once we get actual jobs and have money to spare.  And anyone who has ever been at the beneficiary end of a random act of kindness, such as the person in front of us buying our cup of coffee (even though it cost $5), fantasizes about one day paying it forward.  The truth is that when you're a broke b*tch spending money is more of a sacrifice then we can afford.  So we move forward and put most of our good intentions away for the time being.  

I am a strong believer in the idea of being the kindness and positive change I would like to see in the world.  Even though I dont have a lot of extra money right now (hello single motherhood), I am always thinking of ways to put out positivity into day.  Here are my favorite three:

1) When you go out, if your server isn’t rude or terrible, make a point to speak with the manager about how wonderful they were to you.  Pick one related incident to acknowledge and then move on.  The unexpected praise will impress the manager, and make the server look great.  In turn the server will be more inspired to be even better, and then everybody wins.  And it only took 2 minutes of your time!

2) Complement a complete stranger (or a brief acquaintance).  This could be your grocery checker, food delivery person, someone on the street, or a woman at the table next to you at lunch.  Pay them a small compliment.  It may seem insignificant to you, but it will boost their self-confidence and have them walking a little taller.  The lack of self-confidence in the world is the cause for hate and anger, so spreading little compliments can have more good effects then any tiny moment of awkwardness. 

Just a few nights ago, I was delivering a pizza to this family, and their nine year old little girl said, "Wow, you're so pretty! I like your hair!" Yeah she was a child, but oh my gosh my heart melted.  What a sweet thing to say to someone! I told her thank-you, and that her kindness was beautiful.  Yes Im aware I sound like a freaking hippy, but whatever.

3) Smile.  Seriously, just smiling at someone you pass by, have a brief interaction with, or even if its someone you know, smiling a genuine smile will spread warm feelings within them and help make this world a better place.

Kindness is contagious.  All we need to do is plant the seeds, and be the beginning of a chain of kind gestures.  These things may seem small and thus insignificant, but they are more powerful then you think.  You never know what the person on the other side of the counter, or walking toward you on the street is going through, and a small gesture can mean the world. 

XOXO, Cristen

Friday, January 17, 2014

Moving On

I fell in love two years ago with someone who apparently wasn't right for me. He was younger, by about 6 years, and although I had outgrown his current lifestyle, he and I discussed wanting the same things in life (big picture) so I decided to stick it out.  The chemistry was definitely there, and I loved his goofy personality. The problem was that after nearly two years, he still hadn't shown any sign of maturing, and somehow I became the nemisis of one of his gal pals. (To this day I have no idea why). He recently told me that he loves me, wants to be with me, but because his friend doesn't approve, it wasn't going to work out. I of course was/am devastated. If someone really loves you, why do they care what other people think?

So here I sit before you, trying to heal, and trying to move on. My friend Andrea downloaded this app on my phone a few nights ago that allows me to connect with local guys who are single and around my age. Instantly I got a lot of "matches" and felt flattered that so many people were interested. I started conversations with most of them and even booked a few dates. I have one today in fact.

The hurdle I'm trying to clear is that I'm still hurting over the heartbreak. Every time a guy asks me how can I possible still be single, I get angry at my Ex. How could he not have seen how wonderful I am? I was such a great girlfriend! 
So I'm stuck. Feeling overwhelmed with meeting new people while mourning the past. On one hand I'm not ready, but on the other it's Nessessary to move forward after a break up. 
I feel stuck :(

Xoxo, Cristen

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Easy Vegetable Soup

Sometimes you just want to warm up a bowl of something super delicious with about zero calories.  I mean, isn't that every girls dream? I just happen to love vegetables, the more I learn about those little phytochemicals they contain, the more I just want to eat them all day every day to maintain a youthful glow.  Vegetables are the key to happy cells, and happy cells are the key to looking amazing.

I developed an easy vegetable soup recipe, that anyone can throw together.  This recipe makes a TON of soup, which you can separate into different Tupperware containers, and keep in the fridge for up to seven days.  When ever you are feeling like some soup, just scoop some out, and reheat in the microwave or on the stove.

Two important things I need with me when I cook are a glass of wine (or a cocktail), and a friend.  Most recently my cat, Ackles, has been my partner in crime in just about everything.

Grocery List: The vegetables!
Onion, Carrot, Celery, Bell peppers (green and red), Green Beans, Asparagus, and Broccoli.

Dry Ingredients: 
Vegetable stock, Canned Tomatoes, Vegetable Bullion, salt, pepper, and olive oil

The best way to set this up is to heat oil in a large stock pot while you begin to cut vegetables.

Add the vegetables as you finish cutting them in this order: onion, carrot, celery, bell peppers, asparagus, green beans, and then finish with the broccoli.  You don't want the broccoli to go in sooner then last, because if it overcooks it will overpower the entire soup.

You defiantly want to stir the vegetables as you go, so they all have a chance to heat evenly.

Cut your asparagus in thirds, just to make them more bite sized.

I like big chunks of broccoli, but you can cut them down if that is what will make you happy :)

Next you want to pour in the canned tomatoes and stir well.

Then you will want to add the vegetable stock as well as the bullion cubes, salt and pepper.  I then add some water until the liquid is covering all the vegetables.

Bring the soup to a boil, and then lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all the veggies are tender.  The finished product will look like this:

Sorry about the blurry picture, by this time, Ive usually had three glasses of wine.  

After having a bowl or two right away, you will want to separate the soup into smaller Tupperware containers and leave open until the soup has cooled.  After, place in the refrigerator, and enjoy through out the week.  Again, this soup is INCREDIBLY good for you, and has next to no calories.  Read: you can eat as much as you want all day long!

XOXO, Cristen

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Day I Started Running

The day I started running was not very glamorous.  In fact, it was rather pathetic.  I had always harbored this desire to be a runner, but I buried it deep down under my hatred for breathing so hard my lungs hurt.  It was an issue that plagued me in high school.  That, paired with my heat intolerance, I simply never thought I could be one of those cute girls with the happy shoes trotting along the side of the road with bouncing pony tails. 

After I turned 25, this weird thing happened to my metabolism.  That weird thing was that it went on strike and would no longer support my pasta addiction.  Nor my love of overeating an entire cookie sheet of nachos.  So rude.  Naturally I gained a little bit of weight, and it became uncomfortable being around people.  One night, I was watching this show on MTV, something like “I used to be fat” or an alternate title.  The show featured a new teenager every episode that worked out really hard, changed their diet, and lost like a million pounds.  I love work out shows, and I still watch The Biggest Loser religiously (hello nutrition geek).  This one particular kid inspired me so much that I dug out my old tennis shoes from the depths of my closet and laced them up.  For some reason I had a sports bra in my drawer so I put that on too.  At the time I lived in my own apartment, and since I was too embarrassed to jiggle around the neighborhood, I just lightly jogged the 15 feet from the front door to the end of the hallway.  Back and forth.  For 30 minutes.  The TV was on the whole time so I was kind of watching it while I jogged, which was distracting and made me feel less silly. 

The best part was that I never stopped jogging for the full 30 minutes, which was kind of a big deal at the time.  Before this I had never run more then 5 minutes without stopping for breath.  I was so proud of myself that the next day I walked straight up to one of my favorite co-workers, who ran all the time, and asked her to go running with me that evening.  Outside.  In public.  She agreed, and my addiction officially began.

Fast forward 8 months, my dad and I completed our first half marathon. I lost the extra weight, was feeling great, and have officially become the runner girl I have always wanted to be! I never before thought I could run long distances, and I’m still not very fast, but at least now I know that I can do anything as long as I’m willing to work for it.  And you can too!

XOXO, Cristen

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Yesterday In Someone Elses Life

Thursday, on my way home from Chipotle, my sweet lemon of a car, Betty (2009 Carola I bought used 3 years ago) started to make this awful rattling noise when I accelerated from a stop all the way into about 4th gear.  Haha, look at me thinking I know what I’m talking about (I don’t).  Turns out her transmission blew at 120K miles.  This is a bit rare for a Toyota Corolla, as is having to change her break pads every three months, but alas I was freaking out.  It seems like I am always having car trouble, I swear I have the worst luck.  I promptly made an appointment with the Toyota Service Center, and then prayed that it was not going to cost more then $1000.  Dream on, sister. 

Things between my dad an me have been strained for the past four months, but when he came home from work, I told him about the car, and he agreed to come take a look.  He confirmed my fears: the transmission would need to be replaced.  The repair would cost me almost all of the grant/loan money I received from school that I was saving for bills between January and June.  This news was absolutely devastating. 

Here's the thing; my dad has always hated my corolla.  He knew from the moment he drove it the first time that I had received a lemon, and has never felt safe with me driving it.  He saw this as an opportunity to get out of the corolla and into something new and reliable.  I, of course, told him that there was no way I could afford a new car, but he (being uncharaistically generous) offered to buy me a new car outright, and I would pay him my normal monthly car payment until I graduated and then got a “real” job.  The arrangement goes that once I am established, I will pay him off the balance, as well as any money he puts toward the new car monthly, and he will then sign the car over to me. 

Let me explain something here: I am NOT a “daddy’s girl”.  My parents philosophy in raising children is to throw them out in the world and let them sink or swim.  Dad doesn’t make a habit of just buying cars for people, or doing anything that will cost him very much, financially or otherwise.  But I suppose watching your daughter struggle for years trying to upkeep a bad car eventually wears on a father, and he decided to help me.  I am SO grateful!

So we set out to Toyota (I love Toyotas) to price a new car and see if we could get anything for the old car as a trade in, since we still owed a bit of money on her.  Long story short, even though we were looking for a new Corolla, I fell in love with the Prius C.  The Prius C is the smaller version of the original, and in my opinion much cuter.  I have always dreamed of owning a Hybrid, mostly because of the mass amount of driving I do. (I drive to San Luis Obispo and back twice a month, plus I’m a part time pizza delivery girl).  Somehow, even though it was more expensive by a few thousand dollars, dad agreed it was the best car for me.  After a lifetime at the dealership, we drove out with a great deal and more importantly a sense of safety that honestly I have never felt.

I’m not sure what moved my dad to help me out in such an extreme way, but I have never felt so taken care of in my life.  Its almost like someone cares (what?).  Is this my life? 

Once we were home, I made vegetarian tacos for Maddex, and then dad built a bon fire in the backyard.  We roasted marshmallows and talked until the fire burned out.  Maddex was having the time of his life, and I felt so happy to see him smiling from ear to ear, with a full belly of nutritious dinner and a marshmallow-y desert! Dad’s generosity just fueled my desire to be in a position one day where I can help Maddex out if he ever needs it.  Being a single mom, it can be very overwhelming shouldering all of the responsibility of a whole other life, but my goal is to be there for him no matter what. 

Once the fire was gone, I went inside, took a shower, and got ready for bed.  Just as I was curling in, dad pops his head in my room and says, “Want to drive your new car to Save-Mart and get a movie from Red Box?” To which I excitedly replied, “um, YEAH!”  So we drove to the store and rented Pacific Rim, came home and watched it, and then I finally went to bed!  It was an awesome day. 

XOXO, Cristen

Friday, January 10, 2014

Hello Blog World!

I have literally spent most of the day trying to figure out how to write this first blog post.  I wasn't sure if I should introduce myself, or tell you a bit about where I come from, and why I've decided to start blogging again, but Id rather just jump right in! So here's the deal, I'm in my late twenties, I have a little boy and a cat, I have blogged before, many years ago, and have now decided to dedicate more life to writing and nourishing this little piece of internet I am claiming as my own! 

I am a dietetic student at Fresno State University, and I am in love with health and vegetables.  I love to work out, but I also love to waste days in bed.  I am currently single, and searching for my best friend... well the male version of my best friend.  I have many female best friends, who I adore, and three siblings who are my true loves.  I would generally say that I am a happy person, with a kind heart, and I try to make people smile every day.  I have a weak spot for animals, all animals (seriously, dont take me to a zoo unless you're ready to stay a while), and a celebrity crush on Jensen Ackles from Supernatural.  

So this blog is about life, my life.  A place where I can go to vent, inspire, teach, explain, and share.  So I hope you will stay, follow me, and get to know me, because I would very much like to get to know YOU! We can navigate this blog-o-shpere together :)

In other news: I bought cupcakes today!
I Love Cupcakes! Seriously they are my favorite desert... okay they are my favorite FOOD! Just to celebrate the launching of this blog :)

XOXO, Cristen