#NoExcuses Challenge

Hi friends!

I’m excited to announce my participation in Fit Approach’s #NoExcuses challenge. What is this about? Basically this is an opportunity to set goals for the new year, and start 2015 off with a commitment to health. This is CLEARLY right up my alley, especially because I love the idea of setting an intention for the year. This came at the perfect time for me to recommit to my blog and my own health!

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As part of the challenge, Fit Approach distributed a mad lib for all participants to fill out. I’m posting mine here, as I think doing this little exercise will help motivate and center me. So, here goes…

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Hey 2015, it’s me Gabriella [nickname, spirit animal, real name, blog name]. This year I would like to finish my first year of law school with success and happiness, and complete another Tough Mudder and half marathon.

It would also be super duper awesome if I also tried to begin a meditation practice this year. It’s not a resolution, though, just a reminder to myself to try and have the best year yet because there is no reason why I should stop the forward momentum of my life!

The thing I am looking forward to most this year is starting my first legal job this summer – I’m super pumped!

I’ll use the one thing that truly gets me out of bed in the morning which is an insatiable need to snuggle my adorable new cat, Sebastian to help me get up, get my caffeine on and get after my #NoExcuses 2015.

Speaking of excuses (ahem), my very favorite excuse is I’m too busy and I have used it to get out of working out and even spending time with my loved ones on more than 2,015[number] occasions. ;)

I vow to move my body and be more healthy this year even if it means I have to drink less wine. Even if my alarm clock gets eaten by the dog in the middle of the night, I’ll still walk into my early classes with a smile on my face. I will stop blaming my girlfriend [ex: kids, dog, husband] for eating the rest of the cheese when everyone knows it was really me.

My law student struggle [job, hair, car, husband, kids, etc] is not the reason, I make excuses. I will show my law student struggle [same as before] who’s boss this year and get my running, yoga, and weight training [type of sweaty activity] on.

I know that running and yoga are better than indulging self-doubt [noun]. I will reward myself by allowing myself to enjoy the successes, big or small, and accepting compliments. 

 No Excuses 2015 has just begun and already I am imagining myself a winner.

I can’t wait to rock a new hoodie[article of clothing] from Augusta Active. I can’t wait till my sweaty friends are jealous of how fresh, clean and surprisingly un-smelly [adj] I am between workouts with help from ShowerPill body wipes. I can see myself rocking crow pose (another goal of mine!)[yoga pose / workout move] in new Rock the Course leggings [article of clothing from Actio926] from Actio926 and looking fit and fly while doing it. And of course, I’ll be taking my workouts to the next level and improving my upper body strength [noun] with my new ActivMotion Bar  to help me train for my next half marathon [distance] race with Sasquatch Racing.

Oh, and let’s not forget how amazing my new leggings [article of clothing] will smell in my hot yoga class [favorite type of workout] after washing with some WIN Detergent. And lastly, I’ll keep rocking my 2015 with clean eats and nutrition from Beaming with Health!

That’s all for now! Oh, but as a bonus, I’ll include a picture of my adorable newly adopted buddy, Sebastian le chat. We got him from a local shelter – he’s an 8-year-old lovebug with markings that look like eyebrows. We think he’s quite handsome, non?

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Stay on the lookout for more posts throughout January’s #NoExcuses challenge. 🙂

Peace, sweat and love,

G.

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New Year, Same Blog

Hello friends, and happy new year!

I know that I have been absent for a very long time. As those of you who follow this blog more closely know, however, it is because I am a law student that my life can get kind of crazy sometimes. So from November to December, I was working tirelessly to prepare for my first final exams as a law student. Pretty stressful time, needless to say! I am excited to start a new semester next week, and to get back to my beloved routine. As in many times of great stress, my self-care really took the back burner during exams and of course the notoriously crazy holidays. Yesterday I finally got back to my happy place, the gym, and feel immediately so much better for it. I am still going to be posting here, don’t you worry, and my commitment to Peace.Sweat.Love is stronger than ever! I want 2015 to be my best, most successful blogging year yet!

In the meantime, check out my introductory post as a new Sweat Pink Ambassador over at Sweat Pink’s site, Fit Approach. It gives some background information on why health and fitness have become so important and empowering to me. Check it out if you get a chance!

Meanwhile, I’ll be prepping for the classes coming up next week and figuring out my schedule. I promise I’ll be back with a post very soon – I have a lot of updates to give!

Peace, sweat and love,

G.

Review: EveryMove app

Happy August!

I should preface this post with an apology to both my followers and also to Sweat Pink and EveryMove. Not only have I not been posting here, but I haven’t been able to post this overdue review of the EveryMove app here until now! Luckily, my days of working 7 days/week (sometimes twice in one day) are now behind me, especially after my body flat-out refused to go along with these antics and shut me down with a fever one particularly grueling no-days-off week.

I haven’t been posting, but I still have kept up my training (of course!) AND, furthermore, I have done so with a new staple to my training routine – EveryMove!

So EveryMove is a free app that basically rewards folks for an active lifestyle. This is done through a point system, where a certain number of points is rewarded for each activity done, depending on the duration and the strenuousness of said activity. These rewards are very tangible, too. They range from donations to cancer research to 25% coupons at various online stores. Not training for a Tough Mudder like me? Not a problem! There is a huge diversity of activities that “count” as moving in EveryMove. What EveryMove has set out to do and, in my opinion, has successfully done, is create a platform that celebrates active living and health in its diversity.

Because visuals are necessary, I’ve included some screenshots to help supplement my review.

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For the folks at EveryMove, it seems accessibility is key. For this reason, EveryMove syncs easily with existing platforms/networks. I synched both my Nike+ Running app and my Active.com account, which automatically update and are converted into EveryMove “points”.

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Here is a good example not only of how EveryMove syncs with existing programs/platforms, but also how points are awarded based on the activity done.

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EveryMove also incentivizes users through old fashioned friendly competition. See how many points and levels you can rack up!

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Rewards like this coupon for yoga towels (something I actually could use) make sure that your sweat and tears have a very real pay-off (besides physical and emotional well-being, of course!). Furthermore, EveryMove has partnered with a lot of independent and socially conscious companies, so should you choose to work for coupons, you can rest assured knowing that your dollars will be well-spent. Many of these companies also donate a portion of their proceeds from sales from EveryMove purchases to charity – so it’s like a bonus!

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Perfection: a discount on my obsession, healthy boxes-of-the-month.

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Whether you’re a gym eat or a fitness newbie trying to find a place to start, I definitely recommend EveryMove. It helps make exercise – of any kind! – accessible and fun. Not to mention (quite literally) rewarding! Keep track of your activity levels and reap the benefits – all for free! Perfect for health-conscious people on a budget like me 😉

Peace, sweat and love,
G

Review: vega sport

Hello!

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted – I’ve been swamped with work! In between working way too many shifts, I’ve been trying to find a place to live come fall. Fortunately, all that hard work and back-to-back appointments with realtors paid off – I officially have an apartment in Boston! I’m moving in with the girlfriend, who is working a corporate job in the Boston area as I go to law school. The apartment is great – a spacious one bedroom on a lovely, tree-lined street off of Commonwealth. It’s a bit over 30 minutes commute for her, and a little over 20 minutes commute for me – very close to the T! One of the best parts? In addition to being conveniently located and close to lots of stores, restaurants, and pharmacies, it is a mere FIVE MINUTE walk to Whole Foods! My life just got so much easier (though I better start clipping coupons now, haha).

In all the craziness and the total exhaustion and the lack of days off, it has taken me until the very last minute to finally get to reviewing products I received through my affiliation with Sweat Pink.

Earlier this month, the fine folks at Vega Sport gave me and a few other Sweat Pink ambassadors the opportunity to review items from their Vega Sport line. Vega is in the midst of its 2014 “Fuel Your Better” campaign to help athletes of all backgrounds nourish themselves for maximum performance. Being the busy gym rat I am, I was of course was thrilled to get a package full of Vega Sport protein powders in the mail!

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I was sent a pack of 12 vanilla-flavored performance protein powder packets. Each packet is generously sized and perfectly portioned to add to 8 or so ounces of liquid – perfect for people like me who are constantly on the go!

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So I took my trusty blender bottle and threw some rice milk in it, and then dumped in the powder. It blended flawlessly (just add powder AFTER!), thanks in part to the blender bottle.

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I was skeptical – I like the idea of protein powders in theory, but often not in practice. In terms of taste, I was pretty impressed. I think I might actually prefer the “natural” flavor (that I sweeten with honey or agave) that I’ve tried from other Vega lines, but the vanilla is definitely pretty tasty – and this is from someone who doesn’t like stevia (the natural sweetener used in the powder)! As for the content? Simply unbeatable. Vega Sport powders boast a whopping 26 GRAMS OF PROTEIN – that’s over 50% of an average person’s daily protein needs! The best part? None of this comes from any “frankenfoods”, unlike many protein powders out there. There isn’t even any soy or whey protein, and instead this impressive amount of protein comes entirely from peas, SaviSeed (sacha inchi), whole grain brown rice, and alfalfa. 

Vega Sport is evidence that a plant-based diet is not incompatible with a seriously active life. As a self-conscious person who doesn’t eat meat, Vega’s dedication to natural, whole ingredients is super appealing.

The bottom line? Go out and try it! I’m definitely going to try chocolate and the natural flavor, as well as any other flavors that are available. I plan on making this a regular part of my recovery routine – especially after strength training!

Peace, sweat and love,

G

find of the week – great online yoga classes! 

find of the week – great online yoga classes!

It’s happened to all of us.

We thought that we’d have enough time to get to the gym in the evening. We didn’t realize that the local yoga studio was closed for the day. We just can’t bring ourselves to go out for that run or walk on this rainy day.

Enter the at-home workout. If you’re like me, you’d much rather be in the yoga studio or at the gym or outside. But sometimes life just gets in the way. So yesterday when I wanted to make a community yoga class and found that the class had been cancelled (no Father’s Day yoga, I guess!), I was pretty bummed. But then I found a gold mine: DoYogaWithMe.com.

I’ve been able to comb through the site, and it’s really nice! The quality of the videos is good, the sound is great, and it’s awesome for someone like me who likes having an instructor/model when I practice. Yesterday I did this short but really effective core workout – highly recommend it! Can’t wait to try out more of their workouts. For all you yoginis short on time and/or money (problems I more than sympathize with!) – these videos are not only convenient, but FREE. That said, you can purchase them if you wish to download them for a reasonable fee, and you can also donate to the project. Yoga shouldn’t be exclusive – support awesome folks like this who have tried to make it more accessible!

 

Peace, sweat and love,

G

Do you Know Your Risk for Breast and Ovarian Cancer? 

Do you Know Your Risk for Breast and Ovarian Cancer?

Superwoman Lindsay Avner has created an interactive tool at her site BrightPink.org where women can assess their susceptability for breast and ovarian cancer. Incredibly important issue in women’s health today. I applaud her for taking the initiative to try to make a difference in women’s lives – and even save lives!

Be back tomorrow (technically later today) with a new post 🙂

Peace, sweat and love, 

G

Memorial Day and “Aha!” moments

Hi friends!

Happy Memorial Day! Go out there and enjoy those Memorial Day sales, but remember why we have this day, too. No matter what you think about the military and current/past military projects, remember that there are men and women who fought and died out of their love for their country.

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So over at Fit Approach, new Sweat Pink Ambassadors such as myself are asked to share their “Aha!” moment, or their inspiration to live healthfully. I figured maybe the folks over here not associated with Sweat Pink might want to read it too! Either way, I’ve included it all below. 🙂

*Trigger Warning: discussion of eating disorders*

Like many of you, I did not simply experience one moment that changed my life. I didn’t suddenly come to my senses, so to speak, and turn my life around. In fact, it has been nothing but a series of slow movements forward, and a few obligatory steps backward, that have made up my journey. It was a journey that I actually never wanted to make in the beginning.

A number of you (but certainly not all of you!) found your respective ways to fitness and balanced living because of weight gain. I actually came to fitness because of serious weight loss. I struggled with an eating disorder that ruled my life (and threatened to take my life) from middle school onward. Essentially I was baseline ill from the 7-8th grade until my junior year of high school when things became dangerous for me. I lost about a third of my body weight – which was alarming and staggeringly unhealthy for someone who was never “overweight” by any measurement. I hated myself and I took it out on my battered body.

I was lucky enough to have an extremely involved and supportive set of friends and family to come to the rescue. These people quite literally saved my life. I also benefitted tremendously from medical intervention, both physical (nutritionist appointments, weigh-ins) and psychological (therapy appointments) in nature.

The closest thing I have to an “aha!” moment that I can recall is moment during a therapy session when my therapist told me that former anorexics often end up being overweight. As a very sick and disbelieving teenager, I snorted at this comment at first, but then realized its significance. It’s because their bodies can no longer handle the starvation, she told me. They either kill themselves slowly or, when they finally begin eating normally again, cannot maintain a normal weight.

However shallow it may be, this is what finally got through to me through my sickness. I realized that the choices my ED was making for me were in no way sustainable. I realized that my ED didn’t make me more beautiful or special, it made me sick and it encouraged me to ignore everything else that actually did make me beautiful and special. I realized that this was my life, and I had to, well, begin living it.

Recovery was slow. Very, very slow. In fact, I’m not sure recovery ever stops. But I made it here, and today I can run and ride horses and do all the things that I was too weak to do when I was at my sickest.

So, today I sweat. And I eat when I am hungry. Sometimes I even eat just because I want to. That is what my healthy looks like, and I am so, so grateful that I am here today to share it with all of you.

Peace, sweat and love,

G

Feelings + race recap

Hey friends!

Super excited to say that I am DONE with my finals and, by extension, my undergraduate career. Feeling a bit weird about that. It hasn’t sunk in that I’m graduating in a week – maybe because I don’t really want to think about it. It’s honestly just strange, and I can’t really feel anything about it right now. This is highlighted by the fact that I don’t know exactly where I’ll be come fall, so I’m kind of just generally anxious.

BUT, per usual I need to get out of my own head and calm down. As you all know, I’ve already been accepted to BU Law as part of the class of 2017 , but here’s the wrinkle I maybe haven’t included: I’ve also been put on “reserve” at Cornell Law.

I really, really want to go to Cornell. I will get an update by the end of this month regarding my status: accept, deny, or further wait-listed. Knowing that I will find out any day now is killing me. I’m scared every time I open my inbox (not to mention that I check it obsessively). I even had a dream about it last night. Ugh.

But the other part of me knows that these worries come from a place of immense privilege, and that I need to stop and count my many blessings. I have to fight to remind myself to not play this game, because no one ever wins.

How do I fight this? Well, my blog, in part! This blog is representative of that desire to free myself from the (often self-imposed) shackles of my perfectionism. Peace.Sweat.Love is a mantra of sorts – hey, it works for me!

And so that’s why, to me, making a joint post about law school/future anxieties and a race recap makes sense. It’s not random – to me those things are connected. When I was running my 10k this past weekend and my Nike+ kept telling me my pace, I felt crushed that it wasn’t as fast as I wanted it to be. It was so distracting, in fact, that I almost forgot that my only job was to finish and to have fun. Why was I doing that, getting mad at myself for not running a PR? How on earth does that make sense? It’s moments like this when my old demons creep up and try to get in my head and erase everything I’ve taken so much time to (re)learn. Miles 2-4 I was in a terrible funk despite the fact that I was running this race with my loving S.O. and a dear mutual friend. Finally, mile 5 I started to get it. Or adrenaline kicked in, or I was just less grumpy because it wasn’t as hilly. We crossed the finish line together, and I had to remind myself that that was what I came for. By focusing too much on the end result, I ultimately forgot to stay present and cost myself some of the joy I could’ve gotten out of the experience.

Yeah, I definitely didn’t get a PR during this 10k like I did with my last 5k. But I think this forced me to address some important and consistent underlying fears I have. And like a lot of other people who find exercise to be a healing influence in their lives, sometimes I just have to physically tire myself out before my stubborn mind is willing to tackle my fears.

And if that doesn’t work for you, you can always laugh at how freaking ridiculous you look in your race photos next to your adorable friends and girlfriends. Look. at. my. face! LOL. Clearly I need to take myself waaaaayyy less seriously and take time to smile more often! Hopefully my induction into the Sweat Pink family will make that even easier 🙂

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PS: Check the “Races I’ve Run” page in a bit for a more detailed run-down of my experience at the Newton 10k!

Peace, sweat and love,

G

What’s the Healthiest Diet in the World? 

What’s the Healthiest Diet in the World?

Though there is no one scientific conclusion, it seems that (unsurprisingly) the answer is: a diet based on moderation and inclusion rather than on exclusion

“Other evidence that there are many “healthiest” diets comes from the real world. In my work as a sports nutritionist, I have analyzed the diets of large numbers of world-class endurance athletes. This is an extremely healthy population. Without a doubt, most elite cyclists, runners, swimmers and triathletes would come out very near the top of general health rankings based on a battery of tests like the ones described above. Very few of these men and women are members of what I call “diet cults” (e.g. the Paleo Diet), which are based on the premise that there is only one correct way for all humans to eat.

Most world-class endurance athletes instead practice what I call agnostic healthy eating, a broad dietary approach where no food types are completely excluded but there is a heavy emphasis on high-quality foods such as fruit and fish.”

As someone who has struggled with disordered eating and who has failed to properly nourish her body at various points in her life (something that I think is, sadly, becoming the norm for many women regardless of whether they have ever had EDs), this is crucial to me. Recognizing that my diet could and should just be a balanced, happy and healthy relationship with food was groundbreaking. I am a total health nut, true, but I am never one to turn down a cupcake when I am offered. 

Paleo nuts can do whatever they want, but I am going to keep eating the way my Mediterranean ancestors have been for years. Plenty of fruit and veg, healthy fats from nuts and olive oil, lots of carbs for fuel, and lean proteins.

Hey, it works for me (and it’s delicious)!

Peace, sweat and love, 

G

“Here’s a Surprising Look at What Sleep Deprivation Does to your Body” 

“Here’s a Surprising Look at What Sleep Deprivation Does to your Body”

In case you need an explanation as to why I haven’t been posting recently (especially as I promised to post about BARCC walk…), here you go. I’m having an inexplicably busy and grueling week, and am just work work working and trying to spend any free time I have catching up on the sleep I’ve missed. So, here’s this article, just because I think everyone, though students especially, need a reminder about how vital sleep is to our overall well-being.

Peace, sweat and love,

G