dinner

A Day in the Life of…

I was introduced to Mary through a mutual friend and it literally blows my mind how much she fits into one, single day. I can’t believe she found the time to write this piece for BEC but I sure am glad she did. She works hard, works out, STANDS at her desk, and is an inspirational clean eater! Enjoy a glimpse into the life of this busy Richmond corporate professional and fitness trainer.



On a typical weekday, I wake up around 6:30am to Pandora Radio (usually Fleetwood Mac, Phil Collins, Ryan Adams, or Pete Yorn…something mellow). I boil water to make hot water with lemon and use the rest to fill three stainless steel water bottles for the day. I go back to my room, make my bed and read a scripture for the day from a bookmark I bought in a church bookstore years ago called 31 Days to Praise.

I shower, pack my gym clothes, and pack all my meals for the day (except dinner). I try to pick out recipes I want for the following week, then order groceries for pick up through Kroger Clicklist on Friday and Saturday. I pick up specialty items and refill 3 gallon bottles of reverse osmosis water weekly at Ellwood Thompsons. I have a shelf of cookbooks (my favorite chef is Katie Lee) and I’m also a Tone it Up Nutrition plan member and use a lot of their recipes. I cook one main dish per week and try to prep other things like overnight oats or muffins on the weekend. My freezer is full of frozen soup, veggies, bread, and fruit for smoothies.

I usually pick out a thought leader to listen to on YouTube while I’m getting ready. My favorites are: Chase Jarvis, Marie Forleo, Lewis Howes, Tim Ferris, or Tony Robbins. I’m a Tone it Up Girl, so I’ll also watch fitness videos on their new app or in the past any interviews they would post on YouTube. I follow the Jillian Michael’s podcast religiously and also listen to one book on Audible every month (typically a biography). Saturday mornings I like to listen to 70s and 80s playlists on Spotify before I leave to teach yoga at 10:30am.

I work 9-5 as an Administrative Assistant at SunTrust Mortgage for the Condo and Appraisal groups. I have a VARI Desk at work and an Eron Chair. I’m over sitting after about 20-30 minutes, so I stand for most of the day. During my break, I go into the wellness room and either work on my group exercise classes, do yoga, Pilates, or a HIIT workout, or lift weights. I have a Woss suspension trainer ($30 version of a TRX) that I keep with me at work along with a yoga mat, free weights, and a lacrosse ball to work out muscle tension. I try to move and stretch as much as I can at my desk while I’m standing. I also listen to a lot of Spotify while I’m working, looking for music for my classes.

Sometimes I’ll eat breakfast at home, but if I’m not hungry yet, I’ll bring it to work. My typical breakfast is overnight oats made with Tone IT Up protein, and fruit (berries or pomegranate). Lunch is often soup and salad. This week I cooked Alicia Silverstone’s sweet potato and lentil soup from her cookbook The Kind Diet. I’ve been into making salads with red and green leaf lettuces for months now. I buy 3-4 heads of lettuce per week and they stay fresh if wrapped in a few paper towels (the non-chlorine bleached ones). I pack olive oil with sea salt and fresh ground pepper and a separate slice of lemon to mix for dressing at lunch. With lunch this week I also had a few slices of Cabot cheddar cheese and some Ciabatta bread from Ellwood Thompson’s warmed up with Earth Balance.

I have a snack around 3pm. I’ve been eating an organic apple in the afternoon since I started shopping at health food stores back in college. Organic apples taste so good that it’s easy to eat one every day. The rest of my snack this week was PaleoKrunch Cinnamon granola (my favorite) and a few tablespoons of almond butter.

On Mondays after work I go to Advanced Wellness Center for a one hour personal training session with a strength and conditioning coach. My workouts include exercises like deadlifts and bench press with heavier weight and my trainer is teaching me some Olympic lifts. This habit makes me feel good about Mondays, challenges me and builds into my life. Tuesday through Thursdays I go straight from work to Crunch gym where I’ll fit in 30 minutes of cardio on the elliptical trainer before teaching classes. I’ll have protein bar in between: usually Go Macro, Squared, Greens, or Tone it Up and some water. Tuesday nights I teach a 30 minute TRX, then a one hour Yoga Body Sculpt.

My yoga classes are a combination of Pilates, vinyasa yoga and fitness, with 10 minutes of relaxation at the end for rest, additional stretching, or a seated meditation. Wednesday nights I teach Barre Boot camp (a pairing of barre exercises and traditional free weight exercises) then Iron Mat (mat Pilates and Pilates free weight exercises). Thursday nights I teach another Yoga Body Sculpt class. I get home around 9pm which is kind of late for dinner, so I’ll make a smoothie during the week. This week’s was avocado, frozen banana, organic mixed power greens, Tone it Up vanilla protein powder and almond milk. Last week’s was: frozen cauliflower, frozen banana, almond butter, vanilla protein powder and almond milk.

I have a major sweet tooth, so I’ll usually pack some dark chocolate, crystallized ginger or a section of a Lenny and Larry’s protein cookie with my meals during the day. If I don’t, I’ll usually have something like that after dinner with some Synergy kombucha tea. My two addictions are Lenny and Larry’s chocolate protein cookies and Synergy Kombuchas.

My current focus is completing a BASI Pilates Comprehensive Teacher Training Course. I’ve travelled up to Balanced Bodies, a studio in Herdon, VA for 3 out of the 4 weekends, then will complete 500 hours (divided between observation, practice teaching, and self-practice) through an apprenticeship this Spring. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for over 10 years, and a key to directing my life and career. I’ll take the teaching evaluation and practical exam next July in Chicago.






Don’t you love peeking into someone else’s day, habits, and goals? I DO! Mary, thank you so much for sharing your life with us. Good luck with your Pilates Training course! And if you live in the Richmond area go take a class with her; your body will hate/thank/love you!

xRachel

#meatlessmonday

bb soup

I can eat soup ANYTIME. But I am especially thrilled that the real soup season is upon us! I love having my dutch oven working away as it simmers my favorite veggies, soothing broth and healing herbs. Crockpot more your thing? That works too. I am excited to try to use my crockpot more this fall and winter. I would love to hear your favorite crockpot recipes!

Forgive the not so appetizing picture…photography isn’t my strong suit. I PROMISE, it tastes better than it looks!

bb soup edited

I was looking for a recipe I could make for dinner tonight but also freeze some for leftovers later. I found this Vegan Black Bean Soup recipe on Cookie & Kate and ran to the store to get what I needed. It comes together in no time which is essential for me. The only thing I did differently was I blended ALL of mine in the Vitamix at the end. I just prefer the creamier texture but you do what you want. I topped mine with Fage full fat Greek yogurt and cilantro.  It would be fabulous served alongside spicy margaritas and cool guacamole, #justsayin.

Enjoy!

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One Can of Organic Pumpkin…

pumpkin

 

Ahhhhhhhh, Fall is in the air (finally)! It’s my favorite season for so many reasons…sweaters, boots, pumpkins piling up on my front porch, chili in the crockpot, football games, cooler temperatures…

Even though you can get organic, canned pumpkin year around, it just sort of makes sense this time of year. It’s such a versatile, healthy, clean ingredient that is easy to come by, easy to use, and delish.

If you need more convincing, check out this article on one of my favorite sites Mind Body Green and you’ll learn pumpkin is packed with Vitamin C and fiber, carotids to help prevent aging (yeah!), magnesium, potassium, zinc…and so much more!

Instead of listing some of my favorite ways to use pumpkin (one is right here if you want to check it out), I decided to share some awesome links that give you HUNDREDS of uses for this orange nutritional powerhouse.  Enjoy!

1. Huffington Post tells you all the things you can do with one can of pumpkin

2. Greatist shares a variety of uses for pumpkin, including a cocktail (#winning)

3. Prevention gives some really different recipes such as pumpkin hummus, you know I will be trying this

pumpkin hummus
Photo credit: Prevention

4. Eating Well wants you to make a pumpkin burger, among many other options!

5. I LOVE Chocolate Covered Katie and can’t wait to try her Pumpkin Spice Latte

xo,

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Heading to College this Month? Read This First!

Well, we all know those days are long behind me but I vividly remember the excitement, the nerves, and the weight I gained my freshmen year at VCU. More importantly, I remember feeling super unhealthy because of a sedentary lifestyle, eating everything from a can or a buffet, drinking beer and jungle juice and whatever else we could get our hands on, and not even thinking about working out much less walking to the gym.

Recently I stumbled upon the Instagram healthycampuslifestyle and was amazed that the pics and food choices came from a college “kid”!  I had to know more.

Turns out, Katelyn Barker is a freshmen at Virginia Tech and a Lynchburg, Virginia native (small world, once again I am reminded!).  She is majoring in human nutrition, food, and exercise with the goal of becoming a registered dietician. So she knows her stuff!

 

As a vegan and a dorm dweller, I was curious how Katelyn managed to eat, cook, exercise, etc. Thanks Katelyn for sharing your tips with BEC!

Tell us about eating on campus at Virginia Tech.

I live on campus and although there is one kitchen in my building, I never use it just because it’s a hassle. But there are definitely a lot of healthy options on campus, as well as a nutrition app for all of the dining halls and ways to make things like oatmeal and sweet potatoes in the microwave. I always have oatmeal, it is definitely my go to breakfast food with bananas; rice cakes and peanut butter is another and then I always have a bag of almonds or some other type of nuts. I don’t keep too much in my fridge, but there’s apples, maybe some carrots and hummus, and cashew milk.

You’re vegan, right?  What’s up with that and how do you get enough protein?

Even though I was eating fairly healthy before, veganism definitely ensures that I keep a clean diet which can be really hard on a college campus with all of the temptations. Now I can honestly say I don’t even think about eating any of those foods after being vegan for about three months. To get my protein without meat I try to eat a lot of beans, one of my favorite things to get on campus is a burrito bowl with pinto beans and black beans. Another thing I’ll do is make my own salad at the salad bar with spinach, which surprisingly has a substantial amount of protein, and add chick peas, kidney beans, green peas, and tofu. One thing people aren’t aware of is how much protein is in plant foods, getting protein definitely isn’t something I focus on because I know I’ll get enough as long as I eat enough natural plant foods in a day. Since I do lift I usually drink a vegan protein shake after just to get that extra boost but that’s definitely not necessary to get all the protein you need.

What do you recommend college students do for exercise?

Use the gym! It may be only time in your life you won’t have to pay for a gym membership so take advantage of it! If you don’t like going to the gym find something fun like an intramural sport, you won’t even feel like you’re exercising (you also don’t have to have ever played the sport before). If your school has an app to tell you the nutrition information of certain foods they’re serving definitely take advantage of it. By looking at VT’s app I’ve learned that a lot of the foods are very calorie dense and have a lot of sodium in them… like unnecessarily a lot, so I try to stay away from those foods. Don’t buy unhealthy food to keep in your room, if it’s there you’ll be tempted to eat it! And if you’re really trying to not put on weight, don’t drink too much alcohol. It’s definitely a big thing in college and it’s a fun way to celebrate after a hard week, but it can get the best of people and needs to be moderated. 

 What do you like to do specifically to stay in shape?

Senior year of high school I started lifting weights and found that I really liked it. So now I have a three day plan that I try to follow. I do chest and tris, back and bi, and legs and shoulders. I also am part of the Dance Company here which is a super fun way to do cardio because let’s be honest, most of us don’t like running on the treadmill for hours. I find lifting to be challenging to the mind and body and I’ve seen progress in my body so fast. It might be intimidating to start lifting when you’ve never done it before, especially in college when the weight room is filled with a bunch of buff guys, but I promise they’re all focused on themselves and if you need help with anything most people are more than happy to help you. 

We love your instagram!

I started my Insta mostly to motivate myself to eat healthy on campus and when I went vegan I used it as a tool to keep myself liable. I definitely slipped up a few times while transitioning to veganism, but that’s okay because everyone is different when it comes to switching their diet and it takes time to make that transition official. These slip ups didn’t hold me back, they just made me work harder to change my diet to a vegan one because sometimes your body craves things and its okay to give into those cravings as long as you get right back on track afterwards. Strive to be healthy for yourself and be the best you can be and you’ll be more motivated to stay on track than if you’re trying to look different for someone else. 

Thanks Katelyn for the awesome tips and beautiful pictures of your healthy food!  Follow her here at @healthycampuslifestyle.

Share this post with anyone heading off to college in a few months!

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