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.

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Updates and Tufts 10k recap

Hi there!

How are all of you? Unfortunately I have not been too well. I had been nursing a sore throat and raspy cough (so delightful!) for weeks, and then this Monday I just wiped out and got really sick. So I was stuck in bed with a fever that would not go away for 2 days straight – the worst! I’m finally recovered, and am eager to get back into my half marathon training, despite the fact that it has been seriously derailed. I wasn’t even able to make the Devil’s Chase this weekend for fear of slipping back into my 102.4 degree fever!

…Which brings us to updates! If you have been following this blog, you’ll know that this Columbus Day was the Tufts Health Plan 10k for Women. It was my second year running this awesome, energetic race with my lovely girlfriend.

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Despite the fact that I was not feeling 100%, I enjoyed this race just as much as I did last year. Once again, it was full of awesome vendors and plenty of free samples.Vendors like City Sports and Luna Bar were there, giving out free samples and coupons alike. And as always, the race t-shirts were super cute, and came in a nice City Sports goody bag!

The route was the same as last year’s, which was just fine by me. I LOVE the route – it takes us over the Charles past one of the best views of Boston. On a bathroom break after mile 4, I managed to sneak this awesome shot:

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It’s a massive, woman-centered race that is filled with energy and positivity. Rachel and I took it easy, as I was somewhat under the weather and she hadn’t been able to train much, but I actually finished the race feeling better than I had the first time I ran it, despite the fact that I was slower. I can confidently say that I finished strong, and though sometimes my frustration with being a slow runner can get the better of me, I have definitely improved in terms of endurance.

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This is sadly not the worst running photo of me that exists… In fact it is probably the best.

Once again, I will definitely be coming back for the Tufts 10k. This is easily my favorite race thus far, with the exception of my obstacle races! It is well organized and energetic, and runners are provided with more than enough recovery nutrition and water. A delight to participate in!

Look out for not one but TWO product reviews coming up – one from ProCompression and one from Manitoba Harvest. Forgive the delays – I promise they will be up very soon!

Peace, sweat and love,

G.

It’s been a while…

Hi friends!

It has been a very long time since I’ve posted – it’s been a rough couple of weeks. Not only have I been working a lot, but also I’ve been trying to prepare for and then actually making my big move into the city! But – it’s done! I am now the proud owner of a new Boston apartment 🙂

Needless to say, my teensy student’s budget necessitates a certain amount of creativity when it comes to acquiring different home necessities. I know I should’ve been posting more, but forgive me because I was scouring Craigslist for cheap vintage furniture. And completing my much-anticipated Tough Mudder. Oh, yeah – and starting law school!

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Things are finally getting settled. The girlfriend and I have almost all the requisite home items (with a few comical exceptions, such as a bed) and are working on decorating the space to make it our own.

We even jumped back into our couples workout routine! We ran a 5k this past weekend, on Saturday, at the Franklin Park Zoo. It was a really small event, but it was fun and a really cute idea. Running through the zoo is perfect – both of us love the zoo! It was actually a pretty rough race for both of us, as I hadn’t worked out in the 2 weeks since my Tough Mudder between being dunked into the craziness of law school and the awful thing that is September 1st (move-in day) in Boston and she also hadn’t had much time on her hands. We took it a lot slower than we normally would have, but from what I heard, so did virtually everyone else – it was HUMID! It was positively soupy out, much to our chagrin. Everyone finished the race soaked and breathless – we were no exception.

I need to start getting back into my old workout habits. It has been a difficult transition to a new home, the intensity of law school, and overall a huge life transition to find a schedule. I actually sat down the other day and made an obsessive schedule on Excel, something I actually think is vital to stay on top of the heavy work loads. I’ve obviously carved out my gym time – now to create a training plan!

In between studying and brunching (both are necessary), I promise to post my Tough Mudder recap – it’s been a long time coming!

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

Thrifty, busy, and moving forward

Hi friends!

Sorry it’s been so long. I have, of course, been super busy. I’ve been nannying or working late at the restaurant, so I feel like I haven’t had a chance to have much “me” time to blog, relax, sip tea (and wine)… And finally today I get to after a busy weekend! Thank goodness for a free evening – I just want to go to the gym, blog, watch a little TV, and go to bed early. Because I am an old woman.

This week has also been kind of crazy because *drumroll please* I have finally sorted out law school stuff! I am very happy to say that after careful consideration, I have decided to move forward and officially become a member of Boston University School of Law’s class of 2017! 

The decision makes sense for me, for a number of reasons. Staying on the waiting list was an uncertainty I couldn’t afford – I am not willing to sacrifice decent housing at a very slim set of chances. I want to start off my law school career with stability – no couch-surfing or juggling things last minute while I’m in that crucial first few weeks. Logically, BU Law makes sense. But emotionally, it also makes lots of sense. I don’t want to be in the middle of nowhere in Ithaca, and BU Law means I will be able to live with my girlfriend in an apartment in the city that many of my friends (from Wellesley and elsewhere) call home. And I am not far from my little brother and even parents!

So. obviously, this is exciting… But it also means that I have gone into full manic planning mode. And I love planning. But it is also my weakness.

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But in the midst of setting up last-minute doctor’s appointments and contacting Boston realtors, I am so glad to come home to my teensy corner of the webiverse. It is so cathartic for me to write here and share the little things in my life that make me happy… And read those things that make others happy!

The past few weeks I’ve allowed myself little treats while working hard to save up for this next year. As you know, I am obsessed with bargains! Thrift is my gift 😉 *eyeroll at myself*

I signed up for the City Sports “Insider” program months ago, and it’s great because I get a little chunk of change back at the end of every period. This time around I bought myself some replacement straws for my Camelbak and some cute hairbands from Moving Comfort with the couple dollars off I got (because who likes wearing just the plain ugly elastics on their wrist? not me!).

How do you treat your self (it doesn’t have to involve retail!)?

Looks much nicer on my wrist when I'm trying to look nice but still have access to an emergency hair tie!

Looks much nicer on my wrist when I’m trying to look nice but still have access to an emergency hair tie!

I also couldn’t resist a Lululemon visit when I was in the area – I just can’t help myself from checking their “We Made Too Much” section (fancy way of saying “sale”).Found a 105 F singlet discounted in this bright pink color. Fun! The sales girls told me I could buy a size larger than I normally take (I’m a 6 at Lulu and there were only 10’s and one 8 left), so I did. It’s a bit looser than I’d like, but it works just fine. It is very light and breathable – necessary for a sweatball like me :3

Image via Lululemon.com

Image via Lululemon.com

I was able to put my new singlet to the test recently when I embarked on my longest-ever run yet this past Saturday! I was working until late at the restaurant, and didn’t come back home until well after midnight, dead tired and sore from being on my feet for 6+ hours. I wanted to run in the morning when it was cooler, but I was just too tired! I let myself have an easy morning, a little nap, and set out for my run around 11.

So it turns out that running around noon – the hottest part of the day – is not my favorite. Don’t advise it. Nope. Especially if you sweat like an out-of-shape 45-year-old man like me. Two miles in, I had to stop in the shade for a minute and desperately chug from the little bottles of my hydration belt. This was my face:

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Definitely wanted to skip this run altogether. Definitely wanted to turn around from that point and just run 4 miles. But wanted to finish what I started more. So I braved the New England humidity and hot summer sun and sweated out those 8 whole miles. At the end, I looked like I had taken a shower and then immediately put clothes on, but I was proud. My longest run ever! I took it slow and steady (especially with the heat/humidity), but still clocked in at just over 11’00” – not as bad as I thought! I’ve definitely got to give a shout out to the amazing volunteers on the East Bay bike path of Rhode Island – they had a free water station that saved me on those last two miles. I was super dehydrated despite the presence of my hydration belt – two 10 ounce bottles weren’t enough on a day like that!
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2014-07-12 12.49.44A very busy, thrifty, productive, but victorious week indeed!

What did you accomplish this week? This weekend?

Peace, sweat and love,

G

 

I miss you all!

I’ve been desperately busy this week starting another part-time summer job as a hostess in a seaside restaurant (beach time before work hopefully!), but I should get a little more breathing time soon to write a review of the 5k Foam Fest that I am participating in TOMORROW! Very, very excited. Should be a really fun time!

Peace, sweat and love, 

G

“25 small things you can do to make the world a kinder place” 

“25 small things you can do to make the world a kinder place”

Totally need this list right now – “25 Small Things You Can Do To Make The World A Kinder Place” via Lorna Jane’s amazing Move Nourish Believe site. It has been a long day and I am exhausted emotionally and physically! I just found out that I am being further waitlisted at Cornell Law, which is really frustrating and puts me in a very uncomfortable predicament regarding potential housing. *Sigh*. Nothing I can do about it right now. I think I’m just going to turn in early and get in some good zzz’s while I can. Sleep heals all!

Peace, sweat and love, 

G

sorry i’ve been kind of absent lately…

… I’ve been busy GRADUATING FROM COLLEGE!!!

Gack! It has been such a crazy couple of days in every sense. I want to feel more than I can about graduation right now, but it’s still too early for me to hash out all my feelings. There’s just so much that I still don’t even know what or how to feel! All I know is that leaving Wellesley is bittersweet – perhaps even more bitter as it sinks in later on. For now, I admit that I am glad to go home and recuperate from a crazy couple of days (weeks, really, with finals and senior week and then graduation week). I’ve subsisted primarily off of champagne and cupcakes until now, so boring as it is I am thrilled to get back to real, home-cooked meals… Not to mention a regular exercise routine again! During really crazy times my body pulls through no problem, but once the insanity is over (finals, a major event I had to prepare for, etc.) I just crash. I’m definitely going to sleep 12 hours a couple nights this week just because I will naturally need that pseudo-hibernation to get me back into a normal routine. Will be sure to practice good self-care this week, even as I check things off my to-do list and unpack (ughhh).

But first, a visual recap of my graduation is in order. I am absolutely blessed to have an amazing, supportive family – so supportive that two of my relatives from Italy came to my graduation! That’s right – these family members flew overseas so they could see me walk across the stage and get my diploma! I am very close with my family in Italy, but unfortunately am physically far from them most of the time. It meant the world to me that they chose to be there for this moment in my life. That, and of course my nuclear family and relatives from closer by showed up wearing “Proud Wellesley Family/Parent/Sibling” pins! Though I can’t figure out my feelings on graduating, there were definitely tears to be had out of love and amazement at the dedication of my amazing family.

My little brother congratulates me.

My little brother congratulates me.

The family

The family

Some of the women of the family

Some of the women of the family

Friendship!

Friendship!

<3

No caption necessary.

The day after graduation, my family threw me a little graduation luncheon. Family and close friends (from home). Incredibly, my visiting relatives refused to let my mother order bagels and instead cooked everything themselves, minus the beautiful cake from a local bakery.

Ricotta-stuffed phyllo shells with peppered veg topping

Ricotta-stuffed phyllo shells with peppered veg topping

Mozzarella, breadcrumb, and basil stuffed and baked tomatoes

Mozzarella, breadcrumb, and basil stuffed and baked tomatoes

Pesto farro with cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, and ricotta... The farro is actually from the region in Italy that we are from!

Pesto farro with cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, and ricotta… The farro is actually from the same region in Italy that we are from!

A fish made out of fish! An adorable concoction made of tuna, pureed potatoes, and capers.

A fish made out of fish! An adorable concoction made of tuna, pureed potatoes, and capers.

Herbed ricotta dip with pine nuts and pureed olives

Herbed ricotta dip with pine nuts and pureed olives

mozzarellini and pomodorini skewers

mozzarellini and pomodorini skewers

And of course, a tiramisu cake from a local bakery! Did you know "tiramisu" is Italian for "pick me up"?

And of course, a tiramisu cake from a local bakery! Did you know “tiramisu” is Italian for “pick me up”?

On few occasions have I been more proud of my heritage 😉

Well, with that quick recap of a whirlwind weekend, I’m off to bed. I need to start getting my energy back!

Peace, sweat and love,

G

Races Update

I’ve finally found the time to begin some of the groundwork for this new blog project (law school and job applications really take it out of ya!), and managed to updated the “Races I’ve Run” page on this snowy day! Check it out to follow my (short) running history and my nascence as a baby runner (LOL). I will keep this section of my blog regularly updated and will add a new recap with each new race I run.

I’m also excited to announce that I have officially signed up for my first 2014 races! I will be running the St. Pat’s 5k in my beloved Providence on March 8th and the Newton 10k on May 18th. They will be my 4th 5k and 2nd 10k, respectively. I was thinking of maybe training for a half marathon as the Cox Rhode Races are coming up in my native RI, but want to wait a bit and work on my speed before jumping in to 13.1 miles relatively early in my running career. That, and the main reason is that I promised a friend that I would compete in a Tough Mudder with him (ack!) and think that training for a faster, stronger 10k would complement the strength training and trail running that I need for TM more than distance-focused training would. That said, I will definitely look to run in a half marathon at a different point in time! I’ve only got time for so much in my last semester of college (O.o).

But more on Tough Mudder, etc., later. I’m off to finish up some last-minute things as I get ready to start my last semester (*sobs*).

May your hump day be productive!

xoxo,

G