09-02-2015

6 Healthy Foods To Keep In Your Dorm Room

It’s back to school season! Which  means fall weather is right around the corner…bring it on!

Today was the first day of classes at the community college I work and coach at. I love seeing campus full again and am always jealous of  first year students…such an exciting journey ahead of them.

If you’re living on a college campus, you probably only have a small fridge and microwave (if that) in your dorm. Side note: as a higher ed professional, we were taught to say “residence hall” instead of dorm, but I’m going to stick with dorm ;)

Even if you don’t have a fridge, you can still stock up on some healthy foods and snacks which will be perfect when you’re on the go or just hungry and lounging around in your room.

Keep reading and I’ll talk more about these items!

6 Healthy Foods To Keep In Your College Dorm!
Protein Powder

I love PlantFusion protein – it’s free of all major allergens and plant based. I’ve tried other plant based powders but didn’t like the chalky taste or after taste. PlantFusion has a variety of flavors (like cookies and creme!) and also has a nutritional shake called Phood, which is more of a meal replacement type shake. You can order samples of their different products on their website for just $10! Can’t beat that.

While I had never even thought to buy protein powder in college, it’s a good thing to have on hand. You can easily make shakes with just water, or if you do have a fridge, you can stock up on almond milk, fruits, etc. to make delicious smoothies for breakfast or snacks.

Nektar Honey Crystals

I should have added tea to this list but oh well. If you’re a tea lover, Nektar Honey Crystals are perfect for you! I have been working with the Nektar team for a bit, but genuinely love the product.

I have written about them before, and love that they are perfect for on-the-go. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve brought my honey bear (lol at that phrasing) to work and have it leak all over my lunch bag. They also just released a pourable bottle which is perfect for baking. If you bring tea to class (or oatmeal), pack a few of these packets and you’re good to go.

Peanut Butter

Does this even need an explanation?? Stock up on peanut butter! Eat it by the spoonful or spread of on apples and bananas. My favorite pre-workout snack is a piece of bread with peanut butter and sliced bananas on it. I also always add peanut butter to my oatmeal and overnight oats. Oops, just realized I should have added oatmeal to this list too!

Granola Bars

I love Nature Valley bars, but this new product is now my favorite granola bar (the simple nut bar). Minimal ingredients and a great snack to pack in your bag. Also good for pre and post-workout. When shopping for granola bars, make sure to read the ingredient labels…some are packed with random ingrediets and loads of sugar!

Larabars

These are also another good snack option. I like them because they can be kept anywhere (cold, hot, etc.) without it going bad. So you can keep a few in the car or in your purse for emergencies. While they do have a bit more sugar than I would like, I’m comforted by the fact that it is all-natural. I like to snack on these before runs for a little energy boost.

Beanitos

These are a recent discovery of mine. I have tried the BBQ flavor and the restaurant style and both are delicious! If you love chips and salsa, try Beanitos. It’s a healthier alternative to other chips. I eat them with hummus as well. Dan doesn’t like beans so he’ll never try them, but I swear it does not taste like beans!

Have you tried Beanitos? Let me know if you do.

What would you add to the list? What are your favorite on-the-go snacks?

If you’re starting school, tell me what college you’re at! Maybe we are Big 10 rivals ;) #Rutgers

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03-06-2015

Things I’m Loving Lately

TGIF! I figured I’d do a quick and fun post about what I’m loving lately. I’ve recently discovered all of these things within the past month or so and now have been using them on a daily basis. Let’s start with some beauty products:

Lush Cosmetics

Lush Shampoo
How did I not try this sooner? I had heard about Lush but only thought they made those bath bomb things. I got the Braziliant shampoo (pictured above) from them last week (for shine and moisturizing) and absolutely love it. My hair has been super dry recently and this has been helping. A shampoo bar supposedly gets about 80-100 washes, which is equivalent to 4-5 shampoo bottles, according to Lush. My mom has also tried their all-natural face masks and liked them a lot as well. 

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation

fit me foundation
I usually don’t wear foundation, but I wanted one that wasn’t super expensive, and that looked natural, especially for nights out/special occasions. This one definitely fits the bill. It matches perfectly with my skin tone, and it’s only 8 bucks! Before this I had bought one from MAC for $30, and it just didn’t match my skin tone. Why pay more than double the cost when I can get a good drugstore foundation? I also love the Revlon foundations!

Too Faced Better Than False Lashes Mascara

too faced mascara
Obsessed with this right now. I have lashes that go straight down, so I always have to curl them. This is an issue also because I can never wear fake lashes. The fake ones who up and curl nicely, and then you can see my own lashes jutting out. This was the perfect solution. I had heard a lot about the Younique Mascara, and then found this in Sephora. You put on the black coat first, then the white one (which is this cotton-y material), and then the black coat on again. It really elongates your lashes, and no joke it does almost look like fake lashes. Try it!

Okay now let’s look at health/fitness related items:

Don Lee Farms Veggie Patties from Costco

costco veggie patties
These are so delicious. I’ve been trying to eat more meatless lately, and have been eating these for lunch some days. I usually have it with salad…which I’ll get to in my next item…

Costco Sweet Kale Vegetable Salad Kit from Costco

I couldn’t find an image that’s current and looks like the bag I buy but you can read about it through the link above. This is more of a crunchy salad, which I like. And it includes kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, green cabbage, chicory, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries. I pair this with the veggie burgers above and it is a filling and delicious salad. I usually add some honey mustard dressing on it. I eat this with lunch and dinner most days!

Tiux Compression Socks

tiux compression socks
The people at Tiux sent me a pair to try out and they’re awesome. You can pre-order one of the three socks above now and receive them this spring. I think these are a little thicker than other compression socks, which I like. I need thicker socks to run. Stay tuned for a review on these socks next week!

I like reading things people are loving at the moment, so I thought I’d write up my own post. Let me know if you have a question about any of these!

What are you loving at the moment?

What’s one makeup item you can’t live without? (Mine’s definitely eyeliner)

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02-18-2015

My WeightWatchers Review

For the past month or so, I’ve been trying to follow WeightWatchers in order to improve my eating and see some results from the gym. Nutrition has always been the hardest part for me when it comes to being healthy. I mean, for the most part I eat healthy. My main meals always include good sources of protein, fat and healthy carbs. It’s the afternoon and evening sweet cravings that get me! I never, ever get cravings for anything salty, like chips, but my sweet tooth is ridiculous. I’ve been trying to rein that in.

I really like WeightWatchers because you’re not restricted as to what you can or can’t eat. I had tried paleo and Whole30 in the past but it was just too restrictive for me. I would do it for a month but just couldn’t wait to get back to including things like oatmeal or rice in my diet. It just wasn’t for me.

WeightWatchers Review
I’m not saying WeightWatchers lets you eat anything you want…there is accountability. Basically, you get a certain number of “points” you can eat per day, which you need to calculate (I use this website). I haven’t officially joined WW yet, so I have to use websites to figure out my points (as opposed to their own website and app, which you need to pay for). I will probably sign up in the near future, just because it will make things much easier.

Anyway, you get your points value, and that’s what you can eat. So you can go ahead and eat that slice of pizza, but just know it will cost you 7 points. Vegetables and fruits have 0 points. You also get activity points (extra points if you workout that day, which you can choose whether or not to use) and a weekly allowance of 49 extra points (if you think you might splurge, like I did this past weekend at a wedding). You don’t need to use those 49 points at all if you don’t want to.

So far, I’ve lost 5 lbs in about a month, and that’s without following it 100% (weekends I’m a bit more flexible with myself). I had written up a review last year about the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan, and I’d say this is kind of comparable. You can eat what you want, as long as you track it when it comes to your points (or containers for 21 Day fix). I do plan on posting results once I finish my workout plan I’m testing out for my ebook, and continue to follow WW.

Let’s outline some Pros and Cons, in case you’re thinking about WeightWatchers:

Pros

  • Flexible eating – nothing is off limits (like grains in the paleo diet)
  • Pretty easy to calculate points. You pretty much eat the same things day in and day out (at least I do), so you’ll quickly memorize point values.
  • Easy to follow without the paid version, and even easier with paid. The paid app gives you point values for restaurants, and allows you to scan items, search for foods/dishes, etc.
  • I like the 49 weekly points you get in case you do want to splurge. I am all about moderation. If I want a cookie, I’ll have it. If I go to an event or outing, I don’t want to feel deprived.
  • Activity points are great too because the more you’re active, the more points you get per day (if you want to use them). I get 26 points, but each day I workout I get an extra 4-6 points.
  • Paid version = weekly meetings. My friend loved going to meetings and talking about issues relating to losing weight and food with others. Also a great way to meet some like-minded people.
  • Provides a different way to look at food, at least for me. I now think twice before getting a pastry from Starbucks (a small caramel square is 11 points!) and eat more vegetables and fruits because they’re 0 points and are a great way to curb hunger.

Cons

  • If you do it on your own, like me, calculating points can be a pain. Not necessarily the simple stuff (like a granola bar), but restaurant meals (how many points are in a Chipotle chicken bowl??)
  • Can also be a pain to know points for things you make. I made eggplant parm with tomato sauce and mozzarella, but didn’t measure out that stuff, so no clue how many extra points that had. I usually just guesstimate.
  • At first, you will probably feel hungry a lot like I did. I was used to eating whatever, whenever. Even though I was eating healthy snacks throughout the day, I was snacking whenever I wanted to. Following WW meant I had to have times to eat and snack, so that I didn’t use up all my points by noon. It does take some getting used to, but if you go over, no worries, that’s what your 49 points are for.

I really like this plan, and it’s probably a nutrition plan I’ve followed for the longest time. I wanted to share with you in case you’re interested or are looking for a way to hold yourself accountable with food. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’d tried WeightWatchers too!

Do you have any WeightWatchers recipes you could share?

Have you/do you follow a nutrition plan, or do you just go with the flow each day?

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02-18-2015

Health & Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

In the 2 years I’ve been working at the community college, I’ve never gotten stuck in traffic like I did today. Total standstill! And I thought today was Thursday…bummer :-P

Here are some links for you to catch up on today!

Featured: Tangy Crockpot Turkey Meatballs (SlimSanity)

tangy-meatballs-2-2
 How good do those look? I love any kind of meatballs, and the fact that you can make it in the crockpot is even better. I’ve been meaning to use my crockpot more but just haven’t found more recipes to try (I’m sick of the ones I make over and over again), so I’ll definitely have to try this one out! Yes, I’ve been trying to eat more meatless, but about 1-2 times a week I do eat some sort of meat. I’ll make an exception for this one ;)

  • Game Day Veggie Burgers (Her Heartland Soul) – I used to think veggie burgers would taste gross, but I really enjoy them now. My favorite are the chickpea burgers from Morning Star. This recipe looks delicious!
  • 5 Healthy Sandwich Swaps (Mom to Mom Nutrition) – Sandwiches are my favorite lunch, and these are all great ideas. Recently I’ve started swapping out turkey for more veggies, like chickpea salad. Though my favorite will always be melted cheese on turkey and toasted bread.
  • 10 Healthy Food Swaps (Fitful Focus) – Love mayo? Use avocados instead. Or use blended frozen bananas for that ice cream craving (still need to try this myself actually).
  • Breakfast Burrito Bowl with Sweet Potato Noodles (Food Faith & Fitness) – I use my Veggetti to make zucchini noodles and haven’t tried sweet potato noodles yet. I love sweet potatoes!
  • 10 Ways To Drink More Water (Jill Conyers) – This is your hydration reminder!

Have you made spiralized recipes? Share your favorite one in the comments so I can try it!

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11-20-2014

How to NOT Gain Weight During The Holidays

Holidays are here…can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? I’m excited to go out with friends for “Thanksgiving Eve” and then eat my favorite foods on Thanksgiving! I said I would do my Christmas shopping earlier this year but it hasn’t happened yet. Not sure if I’ll partake in Black Friday this year.

Anyway, the holiday season can mean lots of food…unhealthy food. People prepare themselves to gain weight and then plan on losing it in the new year. I know a lot of people who are okay with gaining weight and not working out as much during the holidays because “it’s the holidays.” What?? Why??

How To Not Gain Weight During The Holidays

“Holiday season” is usually two main holidays – Thanksgiving and Christmas. That is only 2 days. Why do we span it out over almost two months? Why is it okay to eat whatever you want for 2 months?

Trust me, I’ve been guilty of this too. I’m used to say, eh whatever I’ll just start back up after New Years. But if you don’t want to gain weight and don’t want to start over on Jan. 1, then don’t let the “holidays” take over. Here are a few tips:

Don’t go nuts for 2 months. I know people have office parties, and then you have your own parties, and then you have your friends’ parties. But really try to be mindful of what you’re eating. Choose the events where you really want to savor the food and company. For me that would be Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family. I’m actually going to “Thanksgiving dinner” with my sister tonight at her school, but plan on keeping portions small and loading up more on veggies than on stuffing. Don’t be complacent with eating whatever during the months of November and December.

Exercise. An obvious one right? If you do splurge, don’t make yourself feel guilty. It happens, and you don’t want to deprive yourself either during this time. But just make sure you counteract it with exercise. Stay active this winter. Try to go to the gym every day or every other day if possible and do whatever you love that makes you sweat. Going to the gym more often may actually help deter you from bad food choices too, because who wants to undo all that hard work??!

Sign up for a holiday race. This kind of goes with the above point, but find a Turkey Trot or a Santa Race and run with friends and family. Sure it’s cold, but it’s a great way to stay active and get others involved. Plus, running a 5K the morning of Thanksgiving means an extra serving of mashed potatoes right? ;)

Don’t wait until the new year. Why wait?? You can start now. Why do we always wait until Monday or “the new year” for a fresh start? What are your goals? Start working towards them now. By waiting until January you’re wasting a whole month you could be working on something! You’ll be ahead of the game once Jan. 1 comes around. If you do end up wanting to wait, then at least start writing down your goals now. Make a concrete plan of how you’re going to achieve those goals, so you’re not one of the high percentage of resolutioners who fall off around February or March.

Remember, the “holidays” are not every day from now until January. Use those days that are not a holiday to stay on track and you won’t gain weight this winter. I know it can be hard and tempting, but really think about what’s more important: staying healthy or indulging in food. And hey, if indulging is more important than go for it! But as I always say to my mom when I give her tough love, “don’t complain later on.” ;)

What tips would you add?

What’s your favorite holiday gathering and food?

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11-19-2014

Health & Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

I am starting to get nervous about the Philly Half this weekend. I usually LOVE tapering (less miles woohoo) but this is the first time I’m feeling kind of anxious about the drop in mileage. I know I can do this but then I’m also like “omg what if only running 3 times this week isn’t enough?!” Crazy thoughts, I know ;)

Here are this week’s links!

Featured: Loaded Philly Cheesesteak Potato (Skinny Taste)

Philly-Cheesesteak-Baked-Potato
I had to feature this because I made it last night and it was delicious. I found it yesterday when someone on Twitter suggested I check out Skinnytaste for recipe ideas. Even the BF loved it – and he’s a picky eater!

  • Running & Weightloss (Run To The Finish) – A shameless plug for a guest post I wrote for Amanda of Run To The Finish today. Go check it out if you’ve had issues with running more and more but hitting a weightloss plateau.
  • 20 Delicious Thanksgiving Day Side Dishes (Jessie Loves 2 Run) – Thanksgiving is almost here! I am bookmarking this for myself in order to make something new this year. Can’t wait to eat!
  • 15 No Equipment At-Home Workouts (Ex Sloth) – Winter time means less motivation to go to the gym or exercise outdoors. No excuses with this list of workouts you can do right in your own living room.
  • How To Mobilize & Stretch Hip Muscles with Tennis Ball (TriDosha Wellness) – I love using a tennis ball as opposed to a foam roller. Gets in deeper and you’re able to move around on it more. 

Do you use a typical foam roller? Or one of those rollers with the grooves or ridges (I love the RumbleRoller too!)

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10-15-2014

Health & Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Happy hump day! I can’t wait for the weekend…mainly Friday, because I have a “girls night out” on tap :)

Here are your links for today!

Featured: 4 Move Total Body Dumbbell Workout (A Lady Goes West)

Four-move-total-body-dumbbell-workout-via-A-Lady-Goes-West-1024x1024
Got 20 minutes? Then this workout is for you! I love all of these exercises, so I think I’ll have to try it after a run soon.

  • 3 Tips To Beating Diet Boredom (Journey Of A Dreamer) – Eating healthy can be so blah sometimes. At least that’s how I feel. These are some great tips!
  • Race Etiquette & Pet Peeves (Runner Girl In A Rocking World) – I agree with these…especially the water stops. Nothing worse than almost running into someone because they come to a dead halt.
  • Sausage & Wild Rice Stuffing (The Lean Green Bean) – Um, this just looks delicious.
  • Cinnamon Cookie Overnight Oats (Lean Clean Brie) – I have been making different types of oatmeal recently, and actually only just started putting protein powder in. I want to try this recipe!

What’s your favorite way to eat oatmeal? Give me some oatmeal ideas!

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10-09-2014

Quick & Easy Tuna Lunch Idea

Are you looking for something quick to make for lunch? I always am. I usually pack my lunches in the morning as I’m rushing out the door, so I like things that are fast and easy to make.

And that’s where this recipe comes in. I remember seeing a recipe on Pinterest that combined tuna with rice, but I wanted to spin off of that and add some vegetables as well. I mean, how delicious and filling does this look?

Quick Lunch Recipe
It took me less than 5 minutes to put together. Here’s how you do it:

Quick & Easy Tuna Lunch
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. Rice
  2. Can of tuna
  3. Pinto beans (or beans of your choice)
  4. Plum tomatoes
  5. Scallions (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cut tomatoes in half if you wish & cut scallions as well.
  2. Layer tuna over rice, top with veggies.
  3. Done!
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I did also add a bit of mayo to the rice just to make it less bland. You can feel free to add in any sort of dressing you’d like. This really was filling, and is a great way to get in your protein and some veggies!

Do you have recipes that use tuna (other than salad)? Please leave a comment below because I am always looking for new lunch ideas!

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10-08-2014

Health & Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

I am loving this weather. The perfect temperatures outside and the leaves changing are just beautiful. Fall is my absolute favorite season!

Here’s some great content for you to ready today:

Featured: 15 Freezer Meals & Snacks (The Lean Green Bean)

freezer-meals

I always say I want to start making freezer meals but never actually do. There are some great ideas here! I always love looking through Lindsay’s food prep posts for inspiration.

Have you tried zucchini noodles? What’s your favorite “spiralized” dish?

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09-24-2014

Health & Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

I really need to use this weekend to clean and do some fall decorating. Now that I have my own place, I’m excited to decorate for each season! Have you/do you do that too? Any tips on where to find stuff for cheap? :)

Anyway, here are your links for today! For some reason WordPress isn’t letting me upload photos so I can’t have a featured photo with Nicole’s link :(

Featured: How To Clean Wooden Cutting Boards (Simply Nicole)

Who knew? I really didn’t know how to clean a wooden cutting board, and I’m definitely sending this to my mom because that’s what she uses. Very handy.

  • Tuna Avocado Brown Rice Bowl (Run To The Finish) – I love all these things so I’m definitely pinning this to make. I’ve been making a list of recipes the past few days so I can get back on track with planning my meals.
  • Great Warm-Ups For Runners (Running Escapades) – Great video, and I do most of these things!
  • Easy Baked Apples (It’s A Harleyyy Life) – I’m going to a fall themed party this weekend so I may have to bake these up!
  • Healthy Tailgate Recipes (Almost Getting It Together) – Dan and I tailgate most weekends since we have season tickets to Rutgers football. I need to start making some healthier options, because so far it’s just been chips and dip, beer, and sandwiches :)

What do you bring to tailgates? Leave me some ideas please!

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