Running My First 5K and Conquering My Fear of Grilling…

I have been so busy recently that I have been neglecting blogging and it makes me sad. But I wanted to do a quick catch-up of my life lately! I’ve been settling into my new apartment quite well; I love having my own space and a nice big kitchen of my own! I had a friend over on Sunday and we fired up my grill for the first time. I’m not going to lie, I was nervous to use this grill for the first time. It was left by the previous tenant, and while it looks pretty new, I had this fear that I would turn the gas on and light it and it would explode. I have lots of irrational fears like this. But I decided that I just needed to try it and it would all be fine. I told my friend I wanted to grill us some lunch, so we made some chicken and veggie skewers…so yummy. I brushed the chicken with pesto and it was delicious. Oh and the grill didn’t explode (of course it didn’t). Now I can’t wait to start grilling all sorts of things!

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I also ran my first 5K race on Saturday! It was the Narragansett Summer Running Festival, which was held at Stonehill. I signed up for it awhile ago because I wanted to challenge myself – I’ve never run a full 5K before, just a mud run (which is basically half running, half climbing and getting dirty). I generally despise running, but I wanted to push myself and I figured running around my alma mater would be a nice distraction from the actual running! Going into the race, I had only run about 2.5 miles outside, so I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to run the whole 3.2 miles. However, I found it to be a lot easier than I thought, and the pretty campus and a great playlist of tunes certainly helped. I ran it in about 36 minutes, so my timing was pretty good! I won’t say I love running now, but perhaps I could be swayed into running another 5K. I enjoyed the rest of the weekend staying on campus and pretending to be a college kid again!

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One of my best friends is getting married this weekend, so I have a busy week ahead of me, but I know it will be a blast! 🙂

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New Workout Plan: AA Bikini Body!

At the beginning of December, I decided to buy the Amanda Adams AA Bikini Body program because I needed a new workout plan. I like having a schedule to follow at the gym, otherwise I tend to go and just do the same things or a random assortment of things. It’s a 12 week program, with totally doable workouts and a meal plan, which basically just outlines the calories you should be consuming per day (mine is 1900, so not depriving myself!) and the breakdown of nutrients (protein/carb/fat) to strive for. I’ve been using the MyFitnessPal app to help with this, and I like it because I can put in my own recipes to see the calorie and nutrient breakdown! I am now in Phase 2 of the workouts and love it so far. I can feel and see my muscles getting stronger, and I am sore as I am typing this!

The program was designed by Amanda Adams, a fitness model, and Ander Wilson, a nutritionist. How cute are they??

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Check out Amanda’s website here; I promise you will become obsessed with her. Because besides having an awesome FIT body, she is also extremely down to earth and advocates for a normal approach to eating and working out. Not some insane program where you drink powders for meals and workout 7 days a week, but one that is actually realistic! That’s what I like about the program; the workouts are very do-able with a busy schedule, the calories per day are totally reasonable, and she encourages girls not to deprive themselves of dessert/alcohol/the foods you love! She also does blog posts on her site as well as posts regularly on Facebook and Instagram. If you can’t tell, I love the program, her philosophy on life, and the fact that she is so real about everything. I am in no way affiliated with her or the program (I wish…) but I like to share things that work for me in regards to fitness and nutrition, just in case others are interested as well. 🙂

I am also happy to report that 2015 has been awesome so far! I’ve been hanging out with friends and our new dog, I booked a vacation to South and North Carolina for March, and am really taking time to appreciate all that I have in life. Looking forward to seeing what else 2015 has to offer!

2014: My Blog In Review!

Check out the annual report for my blog…this was the year I started Sequins and Sushi and it was fun to look back on all that I have posted. Enjoy!

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,600 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 43 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

30 Days of Paleo: Complete!

So I haven’t posted in about two weeks, which feels like forever, due to a crazy whirlwind of school and work and friend/family events. I finished my 30 days of paleo on Oct. 6 and wanted to share my opinions about it.

Pros: I felt great and had a lot of energy. Obviously I felt this most in the first week or so, since my body was all excited that I wasn’t eating dairy or sugar. I also thought it was a relatively easy thing to follow even when eating out; as long as you can get steak/chicken/fish with veggies, you’re good! It’s not a diet that leaves you forced to get a salad. There were also so many great resources for recipes, so I was able to make a lot of paleo-friendly dinners, desserts, and breakfasts. I also looked much more closely at food labels, and feel like I became more aware of sources of hidden sugars!

Cons: Not sustainable, for me at least. Being a nutrition fanatic, I know that there are a lot of benefits to eating healthy dairy and grains, like yogurt, brown rice, etc. Obviously cutting these out helps you lose weight fast, but I felt like I was missing out on a lot of nutrients. It also was expensive; since it’s mostly meat and veggies, you have to buy a lot of those, as well as nuts, paleo flours (almond and coconut flours), etc. I missed being able to make healthy pasta and rice dishes that made a lot more food for a lot less money! Family/friend gatherings were also hard, since they usually had a lot of un-paleo (but delicious) snacks.

Overall, it was fun to try a new way of eating that wasn’t all about low-calorie or low-carbs. Paleo encourages lots of healthy fats and meat, which I love! But for me, it’s just not something I can sustain in the long run. I did, however, find some new recipes that I enjoyed and will try to incorporate some paleo meals here and there!

For my last paleo meal, I made this simple but delicious meal of broccoli, chicken, garlic, and sweet potato, drizzled with olive oil and baked. Easy but yummy!

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New Obsession: Wrenn Jewelry Rings

I stumbled upon this jewelry brand while ogling over The Northeast Girl’s perfect fall style. (Seriously, go check out her blog. You’ll be obsessed.) I decided to check out the rings and I was instantly adding like 3 of them to my cart. I ended up having to narrow it down to one (#poorgirlproblems) but I wanted to buy just about every color. They are called “druzy” rings; they all have stones that are so glittery and fun! I ended up choosing this one since it’s my birthstone color:

Emerald Green Druzy Statement Ring

 

But I also had my eye on this one (next time…):

PRE-SALE Ivory Opal Druzy Statement Ring - Limited Quantities!

I guess her supply constantly changes, and you can even have one custom made. I can’t wait to see how the emerald one looks and fits, and then I am sure I’ll be back for another…and they are all $30 and under! I also got a coupon code from her site by following her Instagram and liking her Facebook page. She also has bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and more…endless options!

PS Is anyone else like me and has no idea what ring size they are? I found this handy ring sizer from Zales which I printed out to see what size my finger was before buying.

Georgia Roadtrip, Grad School, and Eating Like a Caveman

Hey everyone! So it’s hump day and I have a had a busy weekend and week so far, from my roadtrip to Georgia to adapting to Paleo (two days in and going strong). Here are a few pictures from my weekend; my friend Nykita was a beautiful bride and we had a great time seeing her and visiting Atlanta. It was short lived (and a longggg ride) but a fun roadtrip!

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Such a beautiful bride!

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Pre-wedding selfie!

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The trip would not have been complete without some Southern ribs and a Fat Tire…

…or possibly the largest peach in the world?

My sister is a manager at Dillards in SC…had to take a pic!

I also started grad school yesterday! I am only taking 2 classes since I work full-time, but I am still excited to get started. I am taking Experimental Study of Foods and Management of Food and Nutrition Services, both of which will come in handy as a dietitian (and just in the kitchen)!

Yesterday also marked day 1 of Paleo, which has been going quite well. I made frittatas for breakfast (recipe in the next post), Paleo-ized my salad for lunch, and had chicken skewers with broccoli for dinner at the bar. Tonight I am making sausage and sweet potatoes with peppers and onions!

Made my usual salad of spring mix, tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, and avocado while swapping walnuts and bacon for my usual feta and croutons. Was delicious with balsamic and olive oil!

Thanks for reading 🙂

New Changes for Me and the Blog!

Ta da…my blog can now be found at sequinsandsushi.com! No more long link to find it 🙂 I finally bought the domain so now it will be much easier to share the link and also no one else can take the name, yay! However, all of the old links to sequinsandsushi.wordpress.com will still be directed here, which makes it so easy. I’m so excited!

Thanks to Jess, I have also now become a Blue Diamond Tastemaker, which means I can sign up for projects involving certain products of theirs (almonds, almond milk, crackers, etc.) and write a blog post about them. In exchange for the blog post, they send me the products free; I can choose to put them in any recipe I would like! Currently all of the projects are full but I am hoping to do a sponsored post soon. Check out Jess’s post using Blue Diamond vanilla almonds to make banana nut bread muffins!

I also started a new workout regimen this week (titled Time for a Change…how fitting!) that I had pinned on Pinterest awhile back. Let me just say, I am hobbling around like an old person right now. It hurts just to sit on the toilet, but no pain no gain, right?? On Wednesday I did “Monday” and yesterday I did “Tuesday”, and since I work at the bar tonight this will have to be one of the “take it easy” days…but I usually do a lot of running around at work, so I won’t necessarily be taking it easy! I like that it can be customized to each person’s weekly routine, and it also allows you to choose your own ab exercises and cardio, so you can try to improve each week. I like having a structured “plan”, otherwise I end up just doing a bunch of random things at the gym. The soreness makes me believe it’s working so far!

I also found a few good articles on the My Fitness Pal blog: this one about how to eat well while on vacation (probably should have read that before my trip…) as well as this one about the importance of having a treat day/meal/snack every once in awhile. If you deprive yourself of something, you will eventually snap and binge on it. I think of the times when I “cheat” and order a meal/dessert that is fried/unhealthy; usually after having just a few bites I realize I don’t want it anymore, but by telling myself I couldn’t have it, I just made myself crave it even more and I’ll eat the whole thing. Thinking ahead and planning for these treats can allow you to enjoy something you love without going overboard. Also, by not letting yourself have treats as often, they become something you look forward to!