Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The "church of sweat"

In my free time, I prefer to read other healthy living blogs instead of being normal and watching TV, mostly because sometimes I come across some really interesting articles.

Like this one from Lululemon's blog.

It's about this new sect of people who are finding something spiritual through their sweat sessions, whether they practice yoga or run or whatever. Now, I'm not sure if it's really "new," persay, since I'm pretty sure people have been finding something higher through yoga, dance, surfing, etc, for a long time, but I love that it's something that we're starting to talk about.

I find that I almost always have some sort of self-realization, inner-peace-finding moment during my 90 minutes in the Bikram room, and more often than not during longer runs. I think that in our over-stimulated world, these times that you set aside for yourself to be away from technology and others and to just be inside your own head are really hard to come by. Of course you're going to find some sort of deeper meaning, because that time is time that you are allowing yourself to focus on your thoughts, your breath, your life.

There's something inherently spiritual about yoga; I think it's the fact that it forces you to be in the moment, to focus on the now. Being forced to listen to your breath and your heartbeat is some sort of reminder that this is your life, and you're living it. Right now, no do-overs.

More than that, I've found that exercise has made me more grateful for the little things -- the cool towel at the end of a hot yoga session, the breeze during a long run, water after a tough workout.

Obviously the "church of sweat" isn't a replacement for a real church experience, but they serve different, yet similiar, purposes. It's like one of my geography professors used to talk about -- if you want to find God, you can go to a church or you can go to the top of a mountain and watch the sun rise. Both make you appreciate life more fully, find a deeper connection, and believe in something bigger than yourself, and honestly, isn't that the whole point?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tunesday: Tunes that got me through a rough run

This morning started with a six mile run with my dad. If I'm being honest, it was miserable, and mostly because I got inside my own head and psyched myself out.

Because we slept in until 9:15 and didn't start running until 9:45, we missed the cooler weather that would have been afforded to us had we run at the planned time of 8:00 AM. So, it was hot. And my knee hurt. And my ankle hurt. And we were slow.

Like I said, I got inside my head.

Luckily, my iPod was playing all the right tunes to get me through a rough run, and we finished six hot-and-sweaty miles.


Taylor Swift - We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
Jason Mraz - You and I Both
Carrie Underwood - This Time
Darius Rucker - This
Hunter Hayes - Storm Warning
Josh Turner - All Over Me
Kenny Chesney - Keg in the Closet
Nicki Minaj - Starships
Jason Derulo - It Girl
Jessie James - Wanted
Katy Perry - Last Friday Night
Train - Save Me, San Francisco
Tristan Prettyman - Madly
Carbon Leaf - Life Less Ordinary
Gavin DeGraw - Follow Through
John Mayer - No Such Thing
Mat Kearney - Ships in the Night
SMASH Cast version of Cheers (Drink To That)
Jessica Andrews - More to Me Than You

What's inspiring me this week

As always, all of these are from pinterest.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Dilemma: trying to eat clean and working doubles

Not sure if I've made it public knowledge, really, but I started a new job about three weeks ago as a server at a restaurant. It may not be what I'm ultimately going to do for the rest of my life, but I really love my job. I like it because it's fast-paced, I'm always moving, and I get to interact with a wide variety of people. It's fun, interesting, and everything about the food and the business is fascinating.

Working strange hours makes a few things difficult; I've already accepted that on days that I work doubles, I probably won't get to work out as much as I'd like (which is fine, since my job is a lot of moving and carrying plates), but figuring out how to eat has definitely been the most difficult part.

My nutritionist has told me that I need to be eating every 2-3 hours, every time being a combination of carbs and protein. With doubles, I'm often working 4-6 hours at a time, with a 1-2 hour break in between. I'm struggling to figure out ways to carry a lot of lean protein -- egg whites certainly aren't as portable as I need them to be, and there's nowhere for me to keep Greek yogurt cold.

It's a dilemma.

Luckily, I get to meet with Erika again on Tuesday, and I'm hoping she'll have some good portable meal ideas. I'm definitely planning on bringing skim milk with me to work to be able to drink while I'm working, since it's a pretty decent combination of carbs/protein to serve as a small meal while I'm working longer shifts.

Anyone have good ideas for portable clean eating meals that I could take with me?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I'm still here!

Yet again, it appears I've been neglecting my blog lately. The truth is, I'm trying to figure out what direction I want to take 'Passionately Curious' in. I've been thinking about it, and I feel like it's beginning to morph into a healthy living blog, rather than a life-discovery blog, which was the original intent behind the redesign.

I mean, it makes total sense -- during this whole "life-discovery" thing, I've realized that I'm really passionate about fitness. I'm at a point where my day doesn't feel complete unless I've gone to Bikram or boxing or for a run or what not... most times more than once a day. I really love being active, and I really love how a great work out makes me feel.

Anyways, I love blogging, and it's a lot easier to blog about the things that I'm passionate about. Right now, that's my fitness journey. Obviously, with some other stuff mixed in, but the honest truth is that I like to spend the bulk of my free time being active.

Cutting to the chase, Passionately Curious is about to undergo another makeover. I'm sorry for changing the name on you (again), but I think you'll find that the new concept is more reflective of what I actually blog about (and what I actually want to blog about), and ultimately more reflective of me.

I appreciate everyone reading along and following my journey -- hopefully you will enjoy the transformation of my blog as well.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thursday tasty treat

Today I discovered a new delicious (semi) not bad for you dessert. And it's totally easy to make! Ready?

Step one: go to grocery store of your choice. Pick up the following three things:

Kashi oatmeal dark chocolate soft baked cookies. Delicious on their own, even better when topped with....

White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter!! Also delicious on it's own (I like to eat it with a spoon), but tasty in combination with the prior and...

Whipped cream/topping of your choice. I used Cool Whip (a fake food that I find tasty, so I just ignore the fact that it is very, very bad for me), because you can freeze it, so it sort of tastes like ice cream in this pseudo recipe.

Step two: place a cookie on a microwave safe plate. Microwave for 15 seconds.

Step three: Remove cookie from microwave and top with a smear of White Chocolate Wonderful.

Step four: Microwave for an additional 10 seconds or until peanut butter achieves the consistency you want.

Step five: Top with a dollop of whipped cream/topping. Enjoy!

I enjoyed this after a boxing class + 8 mile run/walk. It was a really delicious way to end my day, and a quick fix for my sweet tooth!

What's your favorite semi-healthy dessert?

Monday, August 6, 2012

What's inspiring me this week

As usual, from Pinterest:

If today is a bad day, just listen to Maura, go take a nap, and get over it :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

I am not ashamed.

I am not ashamed to admit that I spent $9.99 on a jar of nut butter today.

Because if you've ever tried Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, you know you've been tempted to buy it too.

Justin's is a healthy version of Nutella. Except it tastes way better, and you wouldn't believe that it is also way better for you. The first ingredient in this baby is hazelnuts, followed by almonds. There's a little bit of cane juice to sweeten it up, and obviously cocoa, but I can understand everything on the ingredient list. Compare that to Nutella (which, I will admit is pretty darn tasty), whose first ingredients are sugar and palm oil, and which to eat is an easy choice.

Did I mention that it's delicious? It's like a more substantial, slightly salty, just as hazelnutty-good as Nutella. If you've never tried it, I highly, highly suggest you go buy an individual pack -- they sell them at Target.

I justified the purchase because the amount of joy I will get from this one jar of hazelnut butter will far surpass the amount of joy I would have gotten buying a drink in DC with the $10. Is that weird? I know I'm supposed to be 23-years-old.

Also, the cashier at Whole Foods bought me a BluePrint Juice cold pressed gold pineapple-apple-mint juice to try --apparently this would normally cost me $10 (so obviously, I would never have bought it), so I'm just going to pretend like I paid $5 for the juice and $5 for the nut butter.

What's the most outrageous price you've paid for a food? Was it worth it? And have you tried Justin's?