gallons of water

It’s been two weeks and a day since I’ve started drinking a gallon of water everyday and the changes are subtle, but powerful. I took on this challenge because I realized I wasn’t drinking enough during the day and would hop into bed thirsty. If I drank water then, I’d wake up to pee and if I didn’t, I’d have trouble falling asleep. I also felt like my skin was breaking out more frequently than it used to and I wondered if a lack of water was the cause. Here’s what’s happened so far, both positive and negative side effects:

  1. I feel stronger during my workouts- PRO. I don’t know the scientific reasoning behind this, but my estimated guess is that the body needs a lot of water to function (okay, duh) and the more you put into it, the better results that you get. I will couple this along with working out in the morning and having more energy, also eating better, but I’ve seen improvements in just a few days of work.
  2. My appetite has lessened-PRO. Water cannot sustain me energy-wise like nutrient-filled food, but it does prevent me from over-eating and forces me to listen to my body’s signals.
  3. I always have to pee-CON. Sometimes having to pee can be pretty darn inconvenient, especially when it’s all the time, but everything has its sacrifices.
  4. Detoxing the body naturally-PRO. I spoke on this earlier in the week on the topic of detoxing the body, but it’s worth mentioning. When you drink only water, tea, coffee, and an occasional alcoholic beverage and soda, you take in fewer calories and you help guide out the toxins that make their way in.
  5. Always thirsty-CON. Again, I’m not a scientist and I don’t know why this is the case, but I find myself to feel thirstier than normal when I haven’t had water in awhile. For instance, I went to the beach in the morning and didn’t have anywhere to replenish my water bottle and boy did I feel it!

I don’t have a scale, so I tend to measure my weight by how I feel and how my clothes fit, and it’s only been over two weeks, so I’m not sure if drinking more water will help me lose weight, but not everything health-wise has to have that as the conclusion. At this point, I’ve realized I feel better when I drink enough water and that’s what matters.

 

lately

TV: Cheers- I’ve finally admitted this is a thing I’m doing, rather than putting an episode on intermittently between shows…after five seasons.

Books: I’ve been reading quite a bit lately- I’m aiming for one a week- and right now I’m on the new-ish Tana French novel, The Trespasser

Music: Hamilton- it’s been over a year now and I still adore it

Food: french toast has been making more of an appearance in breakfast, as you’ll have seen in yesterday’s post- I’m still learning how to make it crispy rather than soggy in the middle; I’ve also been trying to be more experimental

Exercise: I’m calling it the Wonder Woman workout because I took a collection of exercises Gal Gadot did to train for the film, as well as my own stuff, and it’s crushing

Hobbies: the usual reading and writing; but also drinking a GALLON of water a day to try and make me feel better- I’m on day six of my goal for a month and so far it hasn’t been too hard

Things I’m Looking Forward To: weekends in LA and of course, still Disney

to the ocean, the mountains, and back again

Another Monday, another wistful look back at the weekend. It was a good one, yet again, a perfect combination of restful and active.

The week was a long one and I was looking forward to the oblivion of a relaxing Friday night at home, but instead, I buckled up and went to a networking event with some co-worker friends. To get some energy beforehand, I headed out for a short run, which allowed me to soak up some sun and positivity. It was a fun night and I enjoyed chatting it up with friends. I very much loved falling into bed and sleeping to my heart’s content as Saturday began.

I didn’t have anything planned for the weekend, so I texted my cousin Meghan to see what was up, and she suggested Long Beach. This was on my to-do list for sure, so I was eager to go, after pancakes and a workout!

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We made the trek and were ready for lunch once we arrived. The idea to sit outside was mutual all around, except we didn’t factor in the wind. Wind in LA spring is real. We lost menus and chips, chips! The food was good though and once our bellies were full, we were ready to explore the area.

You’d think beaches would be easy and plentiful to find in Long Beach, but you would be wrong. I don’t know what our problem was, but it took us forever to find one. Once we were there, it was nice, but windy.

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I’m itching for summer and the ability to dive into the waves and not be considered a crazy person. My love of the ocean often battles my hatred of freezing cold water, but once the summer sun comes out strong and the wind dies down, I’ll gladly numb myself to get in that ocean.

Gotta love walking on the beach!

Once we headed home, I trekked over to the grocery store and did a lot of nothing for the rest of the night.

Sunday was my most active day. It was beautiful out, still windy, but the sunshine was calling my name. My first stop was the local climbing spot.

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Spring is in full bloom in lovely Southern California, and at one point, I stopped dead looking up at the flowers covering the mountain. It was one of those “wow” moments for sure, but my pictures couldn’t captivate the true beauty.

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Once on top, I looked to my left towards the ocean and the right towards the mountains and city.

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Damn.

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I had to make a quick stop at Target (it’s never really quick or cheap!) to pick up an air-pump for my bike, so I could pedal over to the beach. I’m not certain that it made much difference, and my back tire seemed a little draggy, and riding against the wind did not help my cause, but with the beach as my destination, I continued on with determination.

The ride was spectacular. The bike path to the beach is always pretty, but the river was sparkling and the flowers overwhelming and despite the pain of riding, I felt the joy.

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At the beach, I pulled over to the rocks and sat myself down for some quality time with my journal, the sun, and the water. Find me below aiming for pensive and ending up squinty.

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I reveled in the warmth of it all for a long while, until I felt the pull of home. Even though the wind was lessened at this point, my legs were tired (and my back tire probably still low), so it was a challenging ride. Why is bike riding so difficult for me? I’m in good cardio shape. I run and spin at the gym, so something’s not adding up. I think it’s my bike…probably?

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Back at my apartment, it was cooking time. First, I showered and threw on my robe to be my ultra comfiest. I’ll have a post at some point this week with some meals from the past couple weeks, but I cooked my dinner, made a few breakfasts for the week, then even made tomorrow night’s dinner. Pretty nifty.

I’m trying to be efficient with breakfast because I’m going to try and get my lazy butt up in the morning to workout. I’ve been good about my evening workouts, but with the sun staying out later, I’m hoping to free up some time after work.

There’s nothing like time spent at the ocean and in the mountains to fill up the soul. Happy Monday!

Sit Up Straight! No, But Really, You Should Do That

Is everybody recovering from their (hopefully) fun-filled Labor Day weekend?

Saturday morning, I opened at work, but I was out by noon and ready to enjoy a weekend! After lunch, I picked up my friend Nouha and we headed out to the store. Now’s the perfect time to buy a bathing suit because everything is on sale. Now is not the perfect time to buy a bathing suit because 1. they are hard to find in the store 2. all products are tossed together in one section regardless of size, shape, and match.

Fun fact: I found the bathing suit of my choice lying on a dressing room bench. It was 75% off and I just so happened to have a gift card, so I spent a whopping $3.44. Time well spent.

After our shopping trip, Nouha and I walked the five mile trek around a local lake. It was hot, but trees shaded us for the most part and things didn’t feel too bad. We rewarded ourselves with frozen yogurt after- mint chocolate chip is amazing! When I got home, my legs were still itching for a bit of a workout, so I took off for a run. By the end, I reached five more miles for a wonderful and exhausting tally of 10 miles.

The ability to walk/run 10 miles = my strength for Saturday.

I came home and grilled up the rest of the tilapia for another delicious meal! As I settled into study for the rest of the night, my parents came home and bullied me into going over to my neighbors’ house to sit by the fire pit. I say this in jest as it did not take much to tear me away from my textbook. It was the weekend after all!

On Sunday, I got to try out my new bathing suit. I had one goal in mind when it came to selecting a new suit: I wanted something I did not need to keep adjusting as I dove into the waves. I am a big beach girl so far as I love the ocean. Yes, it scares me because, sharks. Pools are also very nice and safer because, no sharks.

But there is something majestic about the salty water, the push and pull of waves, and connection to nature. So long as I can see through the water and there isn’t any seaweed hooking its way around me, or, sharks, I’m a happy girl.

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This picture just proves I have a humungous forehead. But at least it’s a happy forehead. Every dive into the wave on Sunday, and trust me, I was in the water for over an hour so there were a lot, gave me my strength.

As far as food on Sunday, I had a toast breakfast before the beach, a deliciously well-crafted sandwich for lunch, and barbecue for dinner (hot dog, grilled chicken, the fixings). On the way home, we stopped at Dairy Queen and I indulged in a blizzard- reese’s cup!

Monday morning, I set my alarm early to get in a workout before work. I started with a dumbbell strength circuit and I was feeling tired. I think it has to do with all the wave-diving of the previous day. I followed my strength routine up with a core circuit. I’ve been more devoted to core strength since I started studying for my personal training cert, as I grow increasingly aware of how important posture is for the body to function.

True Life: I am a sloucher.

Listen to your mamas and papas, folks, and stand/sit/walk with that head held up high and back straight. Damn.

To end things on a high note, I rocked a plyometric circuit that left me nice and sweaty. Before a few hours of work, I showered and stuffed down a peanut butter wrap, feeling strong to start my day.

I was out of work by noon and ready to relax by the pool. I fully intended to swim, but the water was a little chilly and I tried to take things slow by sitting on a raft. Relaxing turned into a full blown nap and I only woke up when a bird cawed loudly in the distance. For my life purposes, I am thankful I did not topple over into the water. For blogging purposes, I am thoroughly disappointed I could not share a story of me tumbling into the water with you.

After my nice nap, it was study time! I have a nice feeling about the nervous, skeleton, and endocrine systems, but the muscular system is still proving to be difficult to comprehend. I’ll get there, I hope.

Dinner was tilapia once again. This piece was intended to be spread over two meals, which means, yay! I don’t have to cook much for lunch. I topped it with thin slices of butter and a lemon pepper seasoning. Since it was a slightly thicker piece, I cooked the fish for six minutes on the first side and four for the second. Perfection! I paired the fish with a heaping portion of broccoli and a sweet potato topped with butter and cinnamon.

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I met up with my friend Molly to walk. We haven’t seen each other since our Californian adventures, so it was great to catch up! I’m not sure how far we got, but I do know there were a ton of laborious hills that left my legs feeling sore today. Chatting away as day gave into night and it was still hot as balls  was my moment of strength for Monday.

Before bed, I put in a few more hours of studying.

This morning, I woke up and made myself a pancake breakfast. Pancakes, peanut butter, jelly, coconut, and a berry bowl = delicious.

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The cakes with ample water and coffee left me feeling energized and ready to attack my strength workout. Now to get to it!

I Almost Choked on a Lemon Seed

My title really has nothing to do with this post, except that while trying to come up with a clever title, I almost choked on a lemon seed. Proceed with caution.

What’s going on with the summer weather? I can handle hot, and somewhat humid, when the sun is shining and I can study by the pool (or at least look outside), but this downcast look is not good for the soul. We’re in the last week of August!

I know technically it’s not the end of summer until well into September, but thanks to school, I will always feel as though September is the real start of a new year. I really think that part of my desire to teach was due to my nostalgic love of preparing for a new school year: clothes shopping, supply shopping, that fresh dose of hope and starting over. Fall adds to the feeling. Alas, it wasn’t enough for me to want to continue, but I’m still glad I had all of those experiences.

Despite my love for fall, I’m not ready for summer to be over, which means I want more pool and beach days, BBQ in the backyard, and summer shandys! Listen, I’m picky about alcohol and beer in particular so the other night at Harry Potter trivia, when they told me they were sold out of shandy for the summer, I had to order a pumpkin beer. Too soon! But I had to get something I knew I liked. Don’t look at me like that…

Changing the subject, last night, my brother made us stir-fry for dinner. He grilled the chicken to perfection and tossed together some brown rice, peppers, and broccoli and mixed it with a dash of soy and teriyaki sauce. It was delicious and a healthy, nutritious meal to end the day. I suspect he keeps making dinner so he can be included on the blog. Thanks, Jimmy!

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Even though I enjoyed my breakfast sandwich for breakfast yesterday, I was chagrined to learn it was National Waffle Day. I’ve been craving waffles these past few weeks, so it would have been an opportune time to enjoy them. This is the danger of having all of these days!

To celebrate belatedly, I heated up two of them today to join my eggs. Chopped jalapeños, tomato, and red bell pepper accompanied my scramble, finalized with a sprinkling of cheese. Rounding out the meal was this bowl of fruit. Gotta say, the raspberries were not as impressive as they have been, but the blueberries and banana were on point. While eating, I read a chapter of Harry Potter.

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As I write this, I am guzzling water in preparation for my workout in a few minutes. Otherwise, I’ve got work and studying to complete. I’ll check back in later on in the day to talk about what gave me strength today (TBD).

May Greetings!

It must be the end of the week because I just had to be told I was wearing my sweatshirt backwards. The terrible thing is, I thought it was strange when I couldn’t find the front pocket, but it didn’t alert me to maybe see what was happening. One could say I have so many other things going on, I couldn’t be bothered with such frivolous details. One would be too kind.

The day started off with a little bit of an eff you from my alarm. I thought I still had some time, so I rolled over to lay on my side just as my alarm blared. It was really mean, but it offended me such much, it woke me right up. Nicely played, Siri? *When speaking in terms of iPhones, I just blame Siri for everything.

I got things moving with a body strength workout at the gym. Side step ups are harder than they look, especially when followed by elevated calf raises, two different types of squats, two different kinds of lunges, kneeling kickbacks using a very tight resistance band, and elevated hip lifts on a stability ball. My legs were sore! I also went through tricep dips, push ups, mountain climbers, mermaid raises, sit ups, Russian twists, and roll outs. After, I was stoked to hop in the pool, even though it was a bit crowded and I was wall side in my lane, which in hate because I feel claustrophobic. I also enjoy swimming in the middle lanes of the pool because it has the whole open water effect. I’m a freak, I know. *For the record, if you out me in actual open water, I would panic and drown myself by accident. I fit in a solid mile and left the gym jazzed for the day.

For breakfast, I heated up the new breakfast sandwich machine to excellent results. It’s super easy to use, it’s fast, and you don’t have to do much fussing about, so I can get organized without feeling rushed. This also allows me a little longer time at the gym. Fresh fruit topped off my yummy meal.

 

I was- ok, my mom- was right about the whole fat in my meal thing. A little cheese left me fuller for longer and I didn’t even think of eating again until a few, appropriate, hours later. Lunch was a stir fry with buckwheat noodles,  chicken, veggies, and the aforementioned cheese. For a snack, I had the juiciest orange and a cup of Trader Joes coconut cream Greek yogurt that was incredible. Seriously, it was so good, but it did have a little more sugar than I would normally allot for a snack.

  It was all about the veggies for dinner. I tossed a shaved Brussels sprout salad together for a fresh side,malong with kebabs with grilled chicken, pepper, and zucchini. Because we were going to make it earlier in the week and didn’t, we also had cauliflower au gratin and a side of brown spinach rice. So good!

It’s Friday, friends, which means one more morning until I can sleep in! Also, only a few more hours until I get to see my husband, Chris Evans, up on the big screen again. Avengers Assemble! 

Oh! And happy. May!

Good Habits And Why They Matter

Spring just might be in the air after all! This morning, even though snow coated my windshield, it wasn’t too cold out. I didn’t need the five layers I usually dress myself in for 5:30 AM and dare I say it felt downright balmy. Although, I hear more snow is in the forecast and tomorrow will drop below the tens again. Wishful thinking. Perhaps the fever is breaking…gradually…

This morning when my alarm went off it came as a bit of a surprise. I was wondering how it could be going off so early, but the harsh reality was it was already that time. I got my day started with a spoonful of peanut butter and chopped banana on a piece of whole wheat bread.

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My workout started with some heavy body strength with squats, lunges, kickbacks, step ups, push ups and more. For cardio, I went through a Plyometrics workout with box jumps, jumping jacks, skater jumps, and high knees before jumping on the treadmill for a quick 2 mile run. My legs were really feeling the strain by the end.

Breakfast had to be quick because today was a slow-moving morning for whatever reason. I threw another spoonful of peanut butter into a cup of Greek yogurt, along with some blueberries and raspberries. On the side, I had a bowl of raisin bran with some more banana. I don’t frequently like cereal, but when I crave it, I like raisin bran. Don’t ask me why.

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Lunch was delicious! I made a huge stir fry a couple of nights ago that would make two dinners. It doesn’t take much time at all. To make things even tastier, I drizzled in some teriyaki marinade. Chicken meatballs were the main protein.

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Dinner was a nice surprise in the form of MACARONI AND CHEESE. Barbecue chicken, spinach, peppers, and mushrooms completed this delicious meal. I ate a little too much macaroni, but I can never help myself with this stuff.

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I’ve been working at drinking more water lately. I drink a ton in the morning, but when I get busy, it starts to fall off. I also drink a lot of tea and seltzer and though they’re better than other choices, it’s still important to drink more water. My skin is dry from the weather and the heat blaring, so I need to make sure I’m taking care of myself better.

Traveling always makes consuming water more difficult because I don’t have access to filling up my water bottle as I usually do. This weekend in New York, I got a pretty bad headache from dehydration and a ton of walking. One night I went to bed with my throat dry and craving water, but of course it’s hard to make yourself get up for water when you’re half asleep. Not good feelings.

Get guzzling the good stuff!

Another habit I need to get into more is standing while I work. I made a little set up for myself to be able to stand, but many times when I’m focusing, my go-to move is to sit because that’s what I’m used to when concentrating. It’s all about training yourself to fall into new habits and grow comfortable with things. A trick of the mind.

I keep telling myself that when I was starting to workout, it was a process because I wasn’t used to it for so long. After that initial motivation and discomfort, I fell into the routine and now I can’t imagine my life without my daily sweat session. This can be true of any habit if you remain focused enough. It’s not easy when you’re tired, busy, etc., but it’s the days that you do something despite the world being against you that make the difference in the end.

What are some good habits you’re working at incorporating into your daily routine?