Gluten Free and Fabulous – Favorite Snacks

Recently, I realized that I really needed to cut out gluten… at first this seemed like no fun and I thought it was going to be extremely difficult to make happen. I am beginning to learn though, and I am starting to get used to it. It is amazing how much better I feel everyday. I have more energy, my skin is glowing, and I just feel all-around better.

It is really scary when you think that everything you love to eat is about to be taken away… let’s be honest, gluten is in everything! From actual bread to products like salad dressings, gluten finds its way into a ton of foods that you wouldn’t expect. Who knew? Well, at first it was hard to have to revamp my whole diet, but I am starting to get used to it. Here are some of my favorite gluten free substitutes!

Kind Products (https://www.kindsnacks.com)

KIND Healthy Grains Mixed Case - 6 flavors

I have mentioned Kind products before, but I think their granolas are my favorite. They great plain, in yogurt, or even with gluten free oatmeal (yes, they have that!)

Canyon Bakehouse (http://canyonglutenfree.com)

If you love bread like I do, you will love these bread products! They taste so much like real bread and definitely fill you up! There are so many yummy flavors and they are all pretty healthy! That sure is a plus!

Sabra Hummus (http://sabra.com/products/category/Hummus)

I really love homemade hummus, but college living doesn’t really permit for that! Sabra is a great choice too, though! It tastes really good on veggies or with gluten free crackers and is always a great after school snack!

I also have a new love for kale chips! Kale is SO good for you (a frat boy even likes it! – Seriously, though.) Kale may be gross to think of, but there are so many ways to try it and your body will love you for it!

I am learning slowly but surely the ins and outs of living gluten free. Do you have any tips? Please share!

Stop and smell the roses

After my brief hiatus, I am back! I feel as if I have gone into hiding over the last week or so but guess what! I am back, and what better day to make my happy return than yup, you guessed it – Wellness Wednesday!

Let me tell you a few things about myself that you might not know:

  • I am a complete perfectionist (which you may have known) – this is both my strongest point and my weakest point!
  • Business school requires LOTS of utilization of resources and LOTS of perseverance! Let me tell you, being in the college of business, your academic life is run just like a business! I feel like I am constantly being graded on how good of an investment I am for the school!
  • Living with roommates (especially ones who are your friends) is hard sometimes, but it is also a ton of fun and part of the college experience.
  • Parents are the best. Always value those relationships. Mine came to visit this weekend for my sorority’s big philanthropy event and those visits are always too short!
  • Right now I have a million other things I could be doing.

Yes. I am majorly stressing because I have so much on my plate right now, but I am trying to learn that I need to release stress sometimes and just forget about my color coordinated pens and long to do lists and take a moment and be happy and do what I enjoy. One of these things is sharing the love for fitness, fabulousness, and fun (also known as my blog!)

I guess the meat of what I am saying is that life can be totally overwhelming sometimes. But when we feel bogged down, I think that the best thing to do is just take the day one step at a time and remember that each little good thing can add up to a lot of big happy moments! We just have to actively recognize the goodness of things that seem normal and unexciting. 

Each morning, I like to think of something that I am thankful for that day. It can’t be something obvious like my family, my friends, or my health. It must be something obscure, like the coziness of my cheetah print slippers or the joy of a good push up bra (yes, I am serious!)

But really! When we take a moment each day to realize just how many good things are in our lives, we become filled with so much gratitude, which is key to the success of our relationship with ourselves – the most important relationship, in my opinion. We must be happy. I don’t think that this means we can’t have big goals and work towards them every day – that is super important, actually! But I heard one of my peers say this the other day – “be happy, but never satisfied.” Always realize the good things in your life, but always know that hard work will lead you to even better things.

One of my coaches and mentors realized how prone to stress I was and how hard on myself I am years ago and told me to “stop and smell the roses.” This is something that I have been working on forever, but I think I am finally beginning to get the hang of it.

And that’s what wellness is all about – growth and self-imporvement, and don’t forget the self-love.

Decisions, Decisions

I have mentioned it before and I will probably mention it again: I am quite the planner. I have all of my dates laid out well in advance, color coded, you name it, I have done it.

Well, for a very long time I have had the intentions of studying abroad this summer in Italy. Studying abroad has always been something I have wanted to do, and this year the possibility became something that I could actually apply for.

Since August, I took the steps I needed to to get my application turned in and try to get accepted. On Saturday, I got the news that I had been accepted and really did have the opportunity to study in Italy. Now these penciled in plans could be written down in my color coded ink.

You would think this would be such an exciting time that I would so look forward to. It was – but it also filled me with fear and so many questions.

Recently, my life has become crazier and crazier as I am trying to pursue goals that will lead to my long term success. It might be surprising to some that I am in business school – many would probably think that because of my health and fitness passion, I would be pursuing a degree in something like nutrition or health and exercise science. For a long time I thought that would be my career path too – but on top of my love for a good workout, I am obsessed with the stock market and the inner workings of businesses and I am an accounting major. I love my major, contrary to what many people may think. I actually love it so much that I have decided to try to double major with management information systems. Yes, I am a nerd. I accept it.

This shouldn’t be a problem – this should be exciting, too! Working towards my collegiate goals and being one of the few lucky people to be accepted into an international program should be so exciting. Both of these things are so great!!…. but not when coupled….

The problem comes in when I consider my degree plans and my credits – what I have and what I need, even what I could take at a community college over the summer for a low amount of money. You see, the courses that are mandatory for the Italy program are courses that I already have fulfilled my credits for or courses that I would have to use as electives. Since I am trying to earn two degrees, I need all of my open electives to count as the upper division courses for the alternating majors. I just don’t have the space to do this. In reality, I could do this program, but I would be out of some spaces for credits and especially a whole lot of money.

I was really upset when I realized that this program just didn’t seem to be the best plan. I am starting to realize that this is something I need to do some major work on – I need to not let things upset me so much when they don’t go exactly how I have anticipated.

There is good news, though! The business school offers really amazing programs in Spain, France, Italy, the UK, and even Costa Rica. I could do these programs this summer or in the future, and there are so many opportunities for scholarship money since these programs are with my own college.

You know, I always wholeheartedly endorse the use of a planner, and don’t get me wrong, I always will! But in times when we are stressing out because our lives and what is best for us isn’t following our schedule, people like me need to sit back and realize how fortunate we are to have these kinds of problems!

So this week, I am hoping to meet with the professor in charge of the business study abroad programs and have her help me to decide what is the best path for me to follow. Never be afraid to ask for help!

I hope that tomorrow you have a Monday filled with smiles!

Protein Bars – Which ones are actually healthy choices?

So many times, I catch so many of my friends thinking that they are doing themselves a huge favor by choosing protein bars that are marketed as healthy… but they choose them without looking into the facts! While I really love the idea of protein bars (especially post-workout) I do have to say that a lot of false marketing goes on in this industry! Lots of bars are packed with sugar and have a ton of carbs – that defeats the whole purpose! Here are some of my favorite choices that taste great and also have great health benefits!

Think Thin Protein Bars

 

I really love these! They have zero grams of sugar and taste great. They are also gluten free, which is an extremely important factor since I just had to cut gluten from my diet! These really fill me up and I think they are a great choice. Find them at (http://thinkproducts.com/thinkthin-high-protein-bars/).

Quest Protein Bars

Cookies & Cream - Box of 12
I think Quest bars are a great choice because they also have a ton of fiber, which is another vital part of the diet that sometimes we don’t get enough of. They are pretty low in carbs, high in protein, and they taste great! Found at (www.questproteinbar.com).
Kind Bars
Cashew & Ginger Spice
I love this brand! Usually I eat their gluten free granola on greek yogurt, but these bars are a good, nutty choice! I am glad that I gave them a try! Find their products at (https://www.kindsnacks.com/store#Good-Protein).
Moral of the story – make sure you check out the nutrition label before you buy the protein bars! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Urban Outfitters “Eat Less” shirt – Eating disorders are not glamorous.

Within the last couple months, the web has been filled with controversy over the “Eat Less” shirt sold at Urban Outfitters. As a health and wellness blog that promotes positive body image, I think it is time for me to weigh in on the issue.

When I heard that this was happening, I couldn’t believe it. My first thought was “who could think of something like that” and my second thought was “who would think that was cool?” It is utterly amazing to me the hands that that proof had to go through, and yet no one spoke up and the shirt still went through production and hit the shelves. My intuition as someone who is passionate about health is worries of what the long term result of this could be – eating disorders and low self image that these words will promote. As a business student, I am also highly confused as to why this was ever a good idea – obviously, this will get the company nothing but bad publicity and lots of boycotts (I know I will never shop at Urban Outfitters again.)

Mostly, I am concerned for the health of teenage girls, who seem to be the primary consumers of the goods of Urban Outfitters. Girls already suffer so much pressure from the media, their peers, and even themselves to constantly look a certain way and live up to an unachievable standard.

Urban Outfitters disgusts me and outrages me.

I am not alone in these thoughts.

One strong woman who is standing up in this situation is Sophia Bush. On her personal blog, she issued a public letter to Urban Outfitters explaining her disappointment and outrage and ending with a call to action to boycott the store.

Women like Sophia Bush are the women we should aspire to be like. She is strong, beautiful, and not afraid to stand up for what she believes in. I don’t want any of my readers to EVER feel like they have to look like the magazines or get skinny like the girl in the ad or have as smooth of skin as the woman on the billboard. That’s unachievable. Technology does things to people that no healthy diet or exercise plan can. Technology makes us feel inadequate, and companies like Urban Outfitters deepen the wound by promoting this “eat less” and “you’re not good enough” mentality. That’s why this should not be the goal we are trying to reach.

So, I encourage you to boycott Urban Outfitters with Sophia Bush, myself, and many others. Take part in the movement of promoting a healthy, happy, beautiful body image – this is exactly what society needs, and now.

Seventeen Magazine Girl Power Tag

Seventeen Magazine was a major staple in my years growing up, and I always loved how the magazine represented all facets of how to be a girl that you could be proud of being. Jona opened my eyes to this awesome Seventeen Magazine “Girl Power Tag” which I think is so cool! You can see her take on girl power here (http://jona562662.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/girl-power-tag/) and here is mine!

girlpower

To me, it’s simple: I think girl power is all about believing in yourself! I think that it is so refreshing and even empowering when other young women truly believe that they can achieve their dreams. I also think that supporting other girls in their goals is an important part of girl power – everyone needs some encouragement sometimes, and it’s so important to offer this to others!

girlpower111

As a nerd and organization freak, I am a huge lover and endorser of keeping a planner/calendar! I think that this makes everything run so much more smoothly and it keeps me on track.

Also, remember that what you put out, you get back. Wake up each morning thankful and excited for the day, think good thoughts, and good things will come back into your life!

girlpower111

I have always thought it would be super cool to fly – I don’t know how useful that would be, but it sure would be neat! From a more realistic perspective, I would love to be able to multitask and move a million miles a minute… super speed! Sometimes I feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day and this would definitely help out.

girlpower111

There is nothing more empowering than surrounding myself with other strong, impactful women. I know I can learn so much form them that will help me in everything I do!

Also, I am a big believer in when you look good you feel good! Whenever I put on a cute outfit and do my hair, I always feel really good about myself. Hey, more power to the girls who can pull off the Norts and t-shirt look everyday…. it is awfully comfy! But when I feel put together, I feel like I can make a much larger impact. It’s funny how something so small can make a big difference!

girlpower111

As I mentioned before, I think we can learn so much from each other! I think that being a sponge and learning from others can make us grow and evolve so much as leaders and even just as girls.

girlpower111

I think Jennifer Lawrence is just awesome! She stands up for what she believes in and represents such strength and self-confidence in a time when that is majorly lacking.

My sorority sisters have also had a huge impact on me and the way I see myself as a leader and role model. I think an important characteristic of a power girl is to always offer support to others – and this is exactly what I get from all 250ish of them!

I don’t think that we have to look very far for amazing power girls. So many girls are amazing for so many different reasons. True power rests in knowing the fact that we can all achieve our biggest dreams!

XOXO