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WIAW–First Last Day of School!

August 29, 2012

Haha, now that’s an oxymoron for you: First Last day of school! I (currently) have zero intention of going back to school after I finish law school at the end of the year, so Monday was my very last first day of school! Haha sorry no picture of my outfit, I wore shorts and a plain shirt… I only had one class to go to. Anyway, I thought I’d share with you my eats from Monday! If you’re new to What I Ate Wednesday, head over to Peas and Crayons to see what it’s all about!

Peas and Crayons

I started off my day with a workout at the gym where I did 15 min on the elliptical and then I did this ab circuit and this upper body strength circuit from Peanut Butter Fingers! I love Julie’s workouts when I’m looking to mix things up!

Then, by the time I’d showered, meandered around, found something to wear, I realized I had… oh wait 15 min to make breakfast, eat it and get my butt out the door! Oops! I made Tina’s 2 Ingredient pancake (no photo), however mine looked nothing like hers… haha it was so big I could not for the life of me flip it with my little spatula! I had to flip it in 3 parts. So I just smothered it in some almond butter and called it a day!

I headed downtown for class and then afterwards I did some much needed shopping. I gained back a little weight over the spring and avoided buying new jeans. I’ve realized I’m at a healthy weight (although I don’t weigh myself anymore) so I just needed to get some jeans. I found a good (and inexpensive) pair at H&M and also got a cute striped top at Old Navy! Successful.

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(this was the face I made when I sent this photo to my friend, to whom 2 hours earlier I had been complaining that Forever 21 had too many shirts with horizontal stripes and I don’t look good in horizontal stripes…)

In the middle of shopping my hunger struck, so I stopped and sat at an area outside an office building with trees and benches and enjoyed my lunch. It was 1/2 of an avocado, 1 tomato and a ton of shrimp mixed up with dill, salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. So good!

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I also munched on this KIND bar throughout the afternoon:

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By the time I got home I was pretty hungry but knew the dinner I’d planned would take some time to make, so I sliced up a bell pepper and ate it with a mixture of applesauce and PB2… I don’t recommend this mix. I wish I’d had some hummus! I also sipped on a chia kombucha drink that I’d bought this weekend.

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For dinner I’d made a meatloaf! The recipe was from paleomg. My loaf was made with beef (the original recipe called for ground chicken, but the beef was sold in exactly 1 lb packages and I figured it would be fine). I also didn’t have any basil so I left that out. The cooking time took a little longer, but it turned out well! I served it over some “zucchini noodles” with marinara sauce and nutritional yeast.

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For dessert I had chocolate protein ice cream with some PB2 and maple syrup on top.

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A little later I was feeling hungry/snacky so I had a BIG bowl of popcorn. And yes, some of it’s burnt… these things happen.

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Where do you shop for clothes?

How do you flip a giant pancake?!!? I need help…

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

August 28, 2012

Hey everyone!

First I want to give a birthday shout out – Happy Birthday to Allie!!! She’s my awesome cousin who moved here to Chicago and is training for Chicago with me. She’s run several marathons before so I’m constantly sending her e-mails with questions! Thanks Allie and have a great birthday!

So first day of law school was fine… haha I only had one class so it wasn’t bad. It was just so weird to be back, I never made a ton of friends at the school so I didn’t have many people I was looking forward to running into… Hopefully I’ll make a few friends in my classes this year. It’s so hard at this age though because we’re in and out on our own schedules and most people have jobs, families, etc. We’ll see how it goes!

So Sunday, however, was an AWESOME day! I started off with my 12 mile long run. I honestly didn’t know how far I’d make it since my legs just felt exhausted all week, but once I got past the first two miles I really hit a groove and had a great time with the run!

I ended up taking part of my run all the way down Navy Pier, and when I turned around I saw this!

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Can you tell it was windy? Although the last two miles were tough, I finished off strong and really enjoyed the run! I ended right by a water fountain so I drank a ton of water (sorry everyone waiting behind me…) and stretched out in the park. 12 miles, done!

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Afterwards I went home, had some breakfast and a had a little time to rest and relax before it was time for book club! A few of us Chicago bloggers started up a book club from the facebook group and this month was hosted by Kelsey! Her apartment had a gorgeous view and she did a wonderful job setting out a spread for all of us! We all brought some food and I had brought granola and black berries to use as toppings for the yogurt Chobani sent!

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I really did have a great time. It was nice to meet some new bloggers, and to just sit there and talk about things with women who all have very similar interests! Oh, and we discussed the book for about 5 minutes…

For you all, however, I’ll do a quick review! The book we read this month was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (don’t worry, I laughed at her last name too).

The book describes the true story of both Henrietta Lacks, how her cells changed science and medicine, and how Rebecca came to learn of the real story behind Henrietta and her family. Henrietta began her life as a poor Southern tobacco farmer and moved to Balitmore with her husband and children. At only 30 years old she was diagnosed with cervical cancer and grew ill rather quickly, passing away and leaving behind her family. While she was at Johns Hopkins, a doctor took a sample of her cancer cells, which were used in testing to find cells that would survive in culture. Hers did while no others could. Her cells became famous, referred to as HeLa, and were used by scientists in medical breakthroughs for centuries because of their ability to survive and reproduce.

Rebecca, the author, hunts down Henrietta’s family and the book not only follows Henrietta and HeLa’s stories, but Rebecca’s story as she very slowly begins to earn the trust of Henrietta’s loved ones, and unravels their history, as well as helps them to make peace with the fact that Henrietta’s cells are not only helping science, but making billions of dollars while they can’t afford health insurance.

I really enjoyed reading this novel and, honestly, I would never have picked it out on my own! It just didn’t sound very interesting since when I read for pleasure I prefer fiction. This book was fascinating to me, however, because I have both a biology and legal background. I loved hearing about the cells and how they were used for research (nerd alert!).

Beyond that, however, I also was just captivated by the book! I really could not put it down, I was just waiting to see what happened next, in both the past story and the family’s current story. I loved that Rebecca would switch back and forth from the history of HeLa to her present with the family. Each character that she wrote about seemed so real (well, they were!) and I felt like I totally understood them and their personality. She had a great way of describing the scene so you felt like you were there.

All of us in the book club enjoyed reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (even those who didn’t understand the science parts!) so I definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for an interesting life story! I really should read more historical novels, it’s interesting to read and recognize things from your current life (ex: polio vaccine was created using HeLa!).

 

How do you like historical non-fiction or fiction?

 

Would you join a book club? What dish would you have brought?

GOTR Coaches Training!

August 27, 2012

*My apologies to Kelsey – there are no pictures today*

Hey everyone! Guess what today is!?!? My first day of school!!!

My friend asked me what I planned on wearing today… seeing as I have 1 class for an hour, I’m thinking workout clothes?! Haha, first day of school is so different by your 3rd year of law school!

Anyhoo, I had a MUCH more exciting day on Saturday! I had coaches training for Girls on the Run!!! As you all know, I’m running as a solemate for the Chicago Marathon, which means that I’m fundraising for their organization here in the Chicagoland area.

Girls on the Run

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Girls on the Run actually has 2 programs: Girls on the Run, which is for 3rd – 5th grade, and then Girls on Track, which is for 6th-8th grade. Here is the idea behind Girls on the Run from their website:

Over a period of 10-12 weeks, girls in the 3rd through 5th grade participate in an after-school program like no other. Designed to allow every girl to recognize her inner strength, the Girls on the Run curriculum inspires girls to define their lives on their own terms. Throughout the season, the girls make new friends, build their inner confidence and celebrate all that makes them unique. 

We had our coach training at a local library that was actually more difficult for me to get to than I anticipated, it took an hour to get there and I was a few minutes late! haha I’m not a fan of being late! It was fine though, the group was much larger than I’d anticipated! There are tons of sites all throughout Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, so women working in all those areas were at training.

It started out with a video of Molly Barker, who founded Girls on the Run. It was actually very inspirational and I was definitely tearing up listening to her story. We spent the rest of the morning listening to our leaders as they went through how Girls on the Run lessons work and important information for coaches. Then we broke for lunch, they’d ordered some delicious looking pizza! Luckily they warned us ahead of time that there would be pizza for lunch, so I brought along a salad with salsa, avocado and black beans. Simple, but it worked.

After lunch was the fun part – we actually got to practice giving a lesson! I was intimated just doing it WITH my whole group of 5 to another group, haha it made me nervous for when I’ll actually be going through the lessons with real 8-10 year old girls staring back at me! Training got me very excited and a little nervous to be a coach – it’s really happening!

I haven’t been assigned to my site yet (several others at training hadn’t either, which made me feel better), but I can’t wait to find out where I’ll be placed. I am SO EXCITED to start working with the girls! I grew up going to an all-girls summer camp and I was a counselor for one year. I really miss working with kids.

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The best part is all the things they say; girls at this age are so open and honest so I can’t wait to hear their responses to some of the questions in the lessons, such as issues surrounding body image and gossiping.

If you’re interested in getting involved with Girls on the Run in your area, there are actually many ways to do so without the time commitment of being a coach!

You can…

  • Run in the semi-annual 5K (your registration goes towards the organization)
  • Run as a running buddy, which means you’ll be paired with a girl to help her through the race
  • Volunteer at the race: just like any race they need volunteers at registration, aid stations, etc.
  • Run as a Solemate to raise money for Girls on the Run through fundraising
  • Or just contact them to ask to volunteer! I know here in Chicago they need volunteers for their annual Gala, which is another very short time commitment!

See the Girls On the Run website for more information and to find your local organization!

 

Do you do any volunteer work?

 

Do you have or spend time with younger kids? Any funny things they say?

Pump Some Iron

August 26, 2012

Hey everyone! I hope you’re all having a nice weekend! I’m trying to enjoy my last day of summer today, and it’s going to be a good one since I have a book club meet-up with some Chicago bloggers! We read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, so get ready for a book review this upcoming week!

Today, however, is about getting IRON! And no, I’m not talking about lifting weights (although that’s very important! Check out Annette’s post on why strength training is important for endurance athletes). I’m talking about Fe: atomic number 26, a metal in the first transition series (so wikipedia-ed that, as if I remember all this from being a Chem minor…).

Iron plays a very important role in the human body: Iron is a necessary trace element found in nearly all living organisms. Iron-containing enzymes and proteins, often containing heme prosthetic groups, participate in many biological oxidations and in transport. Examples of proteins found in higher organisms include hemoglobin, cytochrome (see high-valent iron), and catalase. (source).

In other words, it helps to transport oxygen through your blood. This is why people who are low in iron (ME!) tend to feel fatigued easily – we aren’t getting enough oxygen transported to our cells!

During my mid-week run, I came a  realization: I am low in iron right now! Back in the spring I had several blood tests done which revealed that I was very low in iron and hemoglobin. I focused on eating iron-rich foods and took supplements for a little while (they upset my stomach) and my levels started to reach normal. I kept focusing on eating iron rich food (mostly in the form of eggs and other meats) but I realized that over the last month or so I really let that slide. During my 9 mile run (it was supposed to be 8… which I didn’t realize until I went to check it off my training schedule… oops), I kept having the symptoms that I had while training in the spring: fatigue, increased heart rate, and a constant overwhelming desire to stop and rest.

Now that I realize I must be low in iron again (don’t really want to go back in for blood tests to clarify this…) I’m going to re-focus on getting iron-rich food to get myself back on track!

Here is a list of High-Iron foods from WebMD:

To boost the amount of iron in your diet, try these foods:

  • Red meat
  • Egg yolks
  • Dark, leafy greens (spinach, collards)
  • Dried fruit (prunes, raisins)
  • Iron-enriched cereals and grains (check the labels)
  • Mollusks (oysters, clams, scallops)
  • Turkey or chicken giblets
  • Beans, lentils, chick peas and soybeans
  • Liver
  • Artichokes

And here’s a tip: If you eat iron-rich foods along with foods that provide plenty of vitamin C, your body can better absorb the iron.

(Source).

Turkey or chicken giblets?!?! Sign me up! Haha totally kidding. The American Red Cross also has a great list of iron-rich foods! Personally, I plan to get my iron mostly from egg yolks and dark, leafy greens. I’ve already looked up some delicious looking recipes incorporating eggs!

**All images found on webpage where I linked to the recipe!**

Spinach Sweet Potato Egg Nests from PaleOMG

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Spaghetti Squash Breakfast Bake from PaleOMG

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My own oats with a whole egg

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Cheesy Quinoa Quiche by Hungry Hungry Hippie

Two Ingredient Pancakes by Carrots N Cake

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And my favorite way: egg on top of a sweet potato!

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Are you conscious of getting enough iron?

What are your favorite egg or leafy green recipes? Link up!

 

Disclaimer: I am not a dietitian, doctor, nurse or medical specialist! If you have any concerns about your health or want to change your diet, please consult your physician. I am not an expert! These are merely my own experiences and opinions.

Pic Monkey Saturday!

August 25, 2012

Just messing around with pic-monkey and thought I’d share a couple Molly photos! Still need some work, but who doesn’t love some Molly pictures to brighten up their day?! Have a great weekend!

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16 Miles O’Fun

August 24, 2012

Happy Friday!!!! Again, I think we all feel the opposite today: you’re excited it’s Friday and I’m sad that it means one day closer to summer being over! Ahhhhh! Haha oh well, it can’t last forever!

For those of you who follow me on twitter and instagram, you probably know I had a 16 miler that I needed to run last weekend, and I had to do it on Monday because of my schedule last week. I had wanted to do it on Saturday morning with some other girls at HLS, but legs and knees were soooooo sore from my hike on Thursday that I knew it just would not have been a good idea!

Since I got in late Sunday night I decided to just not set an alarm and then get up, get ready, and go whenever I woke up. I ended up heading out around 8:20am, which I was fine with since it was pretty cool on Monday. I actually got really excited when I saw it might rain! Although as I headed down the lakefront path towards Navy Pier it was very windy and started to rain and I could hear the thunder in the distance. At that point I turned around a little early and decided to head further North than I’d planned.

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So far this all sounds nice and jolly, but let me tell you: it was ROUGH. My legs were exhausted from all the walking around I had done all weekend, and tons of it on Sunday with Sara! It was a blast but definitely not the best idea for a pre-long run day (learned my lesson for the marathon: mom and dad I will NOT be walking around Chicago! Perhaps Molly can pull a skate board that I can sit on…).

Anyway, by about mile 3 I felt like I had already run 12 miles. I had to really push myself mentally to get through the run. At 4.5 miles I stopped for a Cliff Shot. I picked this up at a water station the week before during my CARA run because I wanted to try Vanilla (and I’m cheap). I loved this flavor!!

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I also took another one around mile 9. I try and get in fuel started at 4.5 miles, and then each 4 miles or so after that. So far I’ve only gotten up to about 300 calories of fuel (100 3 times) but we’ll see what I do for the 18 miler. This is crazy – haha I used to barely take 1 for my long runs. I actually discussed this with a friend at HLS this weekend. I used to count long run days as “extra calorie burning” days. I’d actually try and take in LESS calories these days because I didn’t want to counteract everything I was burning.

Um SERIOUSLY?!!? Yes, that is beyond insane. No wonder I hit a wall during my first half marathon training and started binge eating. I was starving for food! This is a great thing that has come out of running for me: I learned that if I want to run, enjoy the run, and do well then I need to actually take care of my body rather than torture it and myself. I’ve learned from both Annette and Ashley (LOVE my blog friends) about loving myself and eating well to fuel my workouts!

Annnnyway, tangent over. Just thought that might be helpful to some of you out there to know you’re not alone! Around mile 11 I passed an open bathroom on the lakefront, so I decided to stop in and was inspired by Janae to take a photo in the bathroom. You’re welcome. It was a much needed breather, but I had to get back out there since the sun was coming out and I needed to finish!

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I had 3 cliff shot blocks starting at mile 12, and I finished them off around mile 13. What I love about those is they taste like gummy candy to me and I can slowly eat them over a mile! I think: “Just go .25 more miles and you get one!” haha.

Finally, I FINISHED!!!

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And I immediately sprawled out in the grass. I. Was. Ex. Hausted. Yes, that needed to be split into two words.

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See that smile? That’s a strained smile. I wanted to just take a nap right there. However, I had to pull myself up because people were walking in the park and I didn’t want to alarm anyone that I was dying… The run was definitely very tough, although I think it was a mental battle. Yes, my legs were tired but I was in no way injured or had any pain. I was just running on tired legs with no group there to keep up my spirits! I missed them!

Oh, and because I’m sure you love all my pictures, here’s a pretty one I snapped right after I finished!

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Anyway, I stretched out in the grass and then walked my butt back to my apartment where I made a super quick shake with 1 T PB2 and 1 T Sunwarriror Vanilla Protein powder to get something in my system. Then I showered and put on this fancy outfit because I had places to be!

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Yep. Compression pants. In public. I ate a quick breakfast #2 (#1 was 1 slice Udi’s bread with PB before my run – no banana because I had no groceries) and then headed out the door! After an exhuasting morning I was not prepared for what came next: I had to pick up my brother’s car from O’Hare, one of the airports here, and then drive south about 2 hours to meet my sister-in-law’s sister to pick up Molly. Simple, yes? NO.

It took TWO HOURS to get to car! The bus ride downtown and then the L out to the airport took way longer than I thought and then I got soooooo very lost in the airport trying to find the shuttle out to economy parking. Let’s just say that when I called my brother for help I was staring at a map near tears. I’m sure my exhaustion had nothing to do with the irrationality of that…

Luckily I found the car (and the key taped underneath… we won’t go there) and headed out to get MOLLY!!!!! I made great time and was excited to talk to Liz and John, who’d taken care of her all week! We called it “Camp” and to be quite honest I’m pretty sure she really misses them, she had attention all day long AND a backyard! Lucky gal.

I loaded Molly up and we headed home – arriving in Chicago a little after 7!

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WHEW! It was a long day. But I did it. And then I slept. Oh, and ate a lot all day… the gas station where I stopped probably thought I was insane when I inhaled a bag of (non-soy sauce) jerkey and string cheese in about 2.5 seconds. So good.

 

Do you prefer running in a group or alone?

How do you fuel your workouts?

Thursday Thoughts

August 23, 2012

HAPPY THURSDAY! Haha I’m sure you’re all very glad the weekend is near, however I’m freaking out! I have a million things to do and I’m running out of days to do it! I am excited though because I’ve got some Girls on the Run stuff to do on Saturday, and Blogger Bookclub on Sunday! And no need to worry about the first day of school: I only have one class! Haha. But while I’m kicking my To Do list’s butt, here are some Thursday Thoughts!

 

1. At first when I realized I’d be in Chicago with nothing to do for a week before school started, I had no idea what I was going to do. Now I feel like I need 3 weeks. My To-Do list is insane. I spent 4 hours cleaning my kitchen Wednesday morning and still didn’t finish…

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2. I loved Lindsay’s post on not judging other bloggers, but working on yourself. It’s definitely something I was thinking about a lot after Healthy Living Summit, but she is so right! We aren’t here to judge others, we here to just be the best person we can be!

3.  Who’s excited for the first day of school!?!?! Haha year 7 of upper-level education (and year 23 of school in general), here we go!

Trying to do my casebook reading on the first day of 3L.

I’m like:

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The week before law school starts up again.

I’m like:

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4. I finally got to catch up with this lovely lady after all my travels, and I hope to be seeing this one sometime soon now that I’m back in Chicago! I’ll say it again and again, what I love about blogging is all the friends I make! And I definitely miss all my new friends from HLS!

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5. Ummmm, what happened to Hey Runner Girl!?!?! There hasn’t been a new picture since JUNE! I need me some Ryan Gosling and running!

thanks, Lindsay

6. Just in case you were worried (and I KNOW you were!) you can still donate to my Girls On The Run Solemate fundraising for the Chicago Marathon!

7. My new favorite song is “whistle” by Flo Rida. It’s so inappropriate and I can never sing it out loud in public, but it’s so CATCHY. So catchy…

 

8. If you’re a Harry Potter fan with obscene amounts of free time, you should check out Pottermore. They are releasing each book one at a time and the second one came out a couple weeks ago! I will be doing that today…

p.s. I got placed in Gryffindor. Duh.

 

9. Molly wanted to show you all her “wiggle.” This is what she does when she has so much excitement she cannot contain it! Please ignore my commentary….

 

Do you find yourself judging others too often?

Does your pet do anything funny?