Tag Archives: fitness

You Eat It, You Log It

22 Jan

Hello there! Sorry for the lack of posts the last few days but I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather but it’s back to the grind today!

For the past few days, I’ve been trying hard to log what I’ve been eating every day. When I was in my eating program at school, my dietician was always asking for my food journal when I went to see her and most of the time, it was never completely filled in. I was really bad about it because I felt like it took so much time. It did, however, make me feel better about my food intake on the days that I DID fill it out. Seeing as how I’ve been a bit anxious the past few weeks with my eating, I finally caved and figured I’d give it another go. (To read my post about my recovery, click HERE.)

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Running Gear Wish List

17 Jan

After reading Peanut Butter Finger’s post about her favorite workout gear, I started thinking about items that I would like to add to my arsenal of running gear. Don’t get my wrong…I love going out for a run without my iPhone and just listening to the sounds around me and concentrating on my breathing but having some new gear can definitely spice up a run. Here’s a list of some of the items I’ve been eyeing lately and may be adding to my closet before I gear up (fingers crossed) for my first half marathon this summer!

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Snow Day

16 Jan

Good morning everyone! I hope your Wednesday is going well! It was a snowy morning here in Massachusetts which made it hard to get out of bed but I wanted to get to the gym early….plus, I needed to work up the energy to clean off my car. Once that was done, I drove over to PF. Thankfully, even though the roads were bad, school was cancelled so town was quiet.

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Pumpkin Banana Yogurt

6 Jan

Hey there! I hope you’re all having a wonderful Sunday so far! After getting up a bit later than I had planned, Dad and I headed over to Barnes and Noble to grab some coffees and catchup in the cafe like we do most weekend mornings. I wasn’t hungry for breakfast yet so instead, I opted for some unsalted almonds and a green tea which was AMAZING. It had coconut, ginger and lemon flavors in it which at first made me a bit hesitant to try it but I was sold after my first taste. Absolutely amazing.

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After running a few errands to the grocery store, pharmacy and Target, we made it back to the house where my hunger finally set in. I was craving something sweet so I whipped up one of my favorite snacks from college…Pumpkin Banana Yogurt! I use to bring with me to my morning Astronomy class. I even had my professor ask what it was because he could smell it from the front of the class one morning. It super simple to whip up and filling once you add in some oats or granola.

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After mushing up a whole banana, I add some vanilla yogurt, which this morning happened to be a Light Activia that was left in the fridge and add some pumpkin spice. Don’t have pumpkin spice? Chances are you have all the stuff to make it….I use to use this recipe before I ended up just buying some. Add as much as you want, toss in some granola or rolled oats (my preference) and you’re good to go! Hope you guys enjoy and have a wonderful rest of the day! I am off to the gym to fit in a bit of cardio before I start some hardcore cleaning!

Cousins Shopping Day

4 Jan

Let me start this post by saying if you haven’t been to a Disney Store, please do yourself a favor and go. The minute you walk into the store you can’t help but smile and your day just seems a bit better…or at least that’s how I felt yesterday after my first visit. After getting a few gift cards at our family Christmas party, my cousin and I set out to the mall to pick up some new things. Although we didn’t have much luck with the shopping, we mad a point to stop at the Disney Store before leaving. My heart INSTANTLY melted. I felt like a little kid again. I was instantly drawn to all the Monsters, Inc. stuff because it is one of my favorite movies. I mean, how cute is this coffee mug?

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Lunch

It was hard to stop myself from spending money. After wandering around for a bit and finding more things that I will be adding to my Christmas and birthday lists next year, we stopped by a Chinese food place for a late lunch. We were absolutely famished by the time we arrived and as always, the food hit the spot. We both decided to order the beef and broccoli which was delicious.

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We hit a few more stops before both heading home to take much needed naps.

Workout

My workout for the night was a bit frustrating if I do say so myself. Although I like the gym that I go to, it’s on the smaller side so with all of the people who joined for part of their New Year Resolutions, it’s a tight squeeze. Thankfully, my workout was rather short. It was also the start of my second week of the Slim and Sculpt Program (mentioned here). After a quick five minute warm up on the treadmill, I hit the weights doing squats, dead lifts,  bench presses and rows leaving me VERY sore, but feeling accomplished this morning! Hopefully this second week of the program will be even better than last week!

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Hope you all have a great morning! Look out for another post later on today!

Happy New Year/Holiday Recap

2 Jan

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic holiday and were able to spend time relaxing with family and friends. That’s the best part of this season after all. As for me, the month of December was INSANELY busy. I finished my last semester at LSU and I will now be transferring to start nursing at a school closer to home which is exciting. Finals went well and it’s been nice to be home relaxing. The last week was filled with holiday parties and New Years of course which was wonderful. I had a chance to catch up with people I hadn’t seen in ages and spend some much needed quality time with my parents and brother.

Our Christmas Tree

Our Christmas Tree

Even Oreo was in the Christmas spirit and filled in as Santa if only for a little while.

Santa Kitty

Santa Kitty

It’s definitely been a huge adjustment being home but in a good way…although I am already a little tired of the snow. Waking up this morning, I saw that the low for the day was 3º….yes. THREE DEGREES! I haven’t seen temperatures like that since I was in high school. I was hoping for a winter like last year where there was hardly any snow and it stayed in the forties but alas, it won’t be that kind of winter. We’ve already have two snow storms since I got home and my duck boots have had plenty of loving.

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Workouts

With my move back home, I also decided to make some changes to my workouts which maybe one of the more exciting changes for me. After trying out a few workout programs, I was having a hard time sticking to them because they rotated the same workouts throughout the week. Then, I came across Carrie’s WordPress. I was instantly hooked and decided that after Christmas I would try out one of her workout programs. After purchasing the program, she sends you the package with all the info and offers help and advice throughout the 12 weeks of the program. I am currently trying out the Slim and Sculpt Program.

Unlike most of the other programs I have tried, this one is done in phases so that every four weeks, your workout routine changes. Although I’ve only done the first week, it’s definitely been keeping my attention. I look forward to going to the gym to see what the workout for the day entails. I definitely don’t think this is the last FitChick program that I’ll be doing.

Stretching out after Day 3

Stretching out after Day 3

Today’s workout was an interval day so I completed PBFingers Quick ‘n’ Sweaty 20 Minute Interval workout which kicked my butt. I was definitely a sweaty mess when I hopped of the treadmill. After, I completed day four of the 60 Day 6-Pack Promise App and headed home to whip up some dinner!

Dinner

I was extra hungry when I got home from the gym. I have been craving sweet potatoes a lot lately so I tried my hand at making baked sweet potatoes which turned out well. I had my potato along with a few pan browned chicken tenders and brown rice which certainly hit the spot. Dinner was followed up by a few pieces of chocolate while I curled up with Oreo to read for a while.

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I hope you all have a wonderful night and a lovely rest of this short work week!

P.S. I updated the fashion page

(How do you guys like the new look??)

Proceed With Caution

17 Sep

Sorry about how long it has taken me to get another post up but today was yet another interesting day in the life of Nicole McKenna. I woke up this morning to a dreary raining day that left me wanting to go back to sleep but alas, classes wait for no one and eventually I was up and ready to go. Before leaving the apartment, I snuck in a quick breakfast of two kiwis and a banana knowing that it would be a while before I had a chance to grab some lunch. The majority of the morning was uneventful….that is to say until I got to Oceanography which is my last class of the day.

Yummy breakfast!

After surviving my less exciting Astronomy, Calc II and Genetics classes already, I hoped that Oceanography would fly by as usually but before the class could even start, the screen which originally showed the PowerPoint for the day switched to an LSU alert informing us that there was a bomb threat on campus and that we needed to quickly, but calmly evacuate campus. We all sat there a little surprised for a moment, reread the message and at that point, most of our phones started buzzing with text alerts sent by the university. After sitting in close to an hour of traffic as 25,000+ people evacuated campus, I made it to my friend’s apartment and hung out for the afternoon with the intention of getting some studying done but rainy days, cancelled classes and a dog with enough energy to power the city of New York were enough distractions that not much was accomplished.

The pup with endless energy!

After seven hours of searching buildings, all of the residential buildings were cleared and we were allowed to head back to our dorms. They are still working on searching some of the academic buildings but to be honest, the process is moving pretty quickly. LSU has at least 459 buildings on campus (one of our dining halls is called the 459 because it is the 459th building on campus). With that being said, although most of us hoped that classes would be cancelled for tomorrow, we will probably be having them.

Text messages from LSU
CNN article
Traffic leaving campus

I had thought that the day couldn’t be more interesting than having a bomb threat at a school that I am attending but I was mistaken. Upon arriving at my apartment, I also received a text informing me that the UREC was going to be open for the rest of the night is people wanted to workout so I quickly threw on workout clothes. As I went to grab my running shoes, which I keep right next to my yoga mat, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the one and only bathroom cockroach hanging out on my yoga mat. This time, instead of freaking out, I yelled out to my roommate to call one of the guys upstairs to take care of it. Apparently, because we are on the first floor, we tend to get a lot more than some of the other floors and the guys upstairs are use to taking care of them. I can now say that, although the roach won the first round which took place in the bathroom, I have won the battle. Hopefully there won’t be anymore battle royales with the little critters.

Roach – 0
Nicole – 1

After the roach fiasco, I finally made it to the gym to bang out a run which consisted of 3:00/2:00 run/walk intervals for an hour followed by abs and arms. I felt good about the run and hopefully this week, I’ll get a chance to up my intervals on one of my outside lake runs. For the most part, those runs have been going well and I have even dropped some of my intervals below 9:00 minute pace which I was ecstatic with. I’m hoping there is only room for more improvement and I’d like to be able to run the entire lake by the end of October without stopping. (Fingers crossed!)

As I said last week when I posted, I have a bunch of tests this weekend, some of which have now been rescheduled so it may be a few days before I get a chance to post again but until then, I hope you all have a great week! Go out into the world and do amazing things!

P.S. I also updated the Fashion Page so be sure to check it out!

Shut It Down

7 Sep

There is one thing that I can say for sure about today and that is that my body was just not cooperating in any way. It started with feeling sick this morning but by 9:30, although I was ready to head to my last three classes for the day, I was far from ready to eat any form of breakfast. Surviving classes was a challenge but I made it through and felt much better by lunch when I met up with a friend at the Union. I had packed up a spinach salad with Russian dressing and sunflower seeds that morning knowing that I didn’t want to pay for food at the Union so I ate that and it definitely made me feel better to get something in my stomach. I walked back to my apartment following lunch, and, feeling so much better, laced up the running shoes and headed down to the lake. Now on any other day, the run probably would have gone really well. My first few intervals were under nine minutes which I was absolutely beyond ecstatic about but it quickly went downhill after that and the heat didn’t help. Although the iPhone said it was only 91°, it was insanely humid and even though there was a breeze, it felt as though I was being blow in the face with a hairdryer. I made it about three miles into my run with intervals but after that just couldn’t keep going between the lack of calories and heat so I walked the remainder of the lakes and arrived back at the UREC. There, I did arms and abs using the same workouts as yesterday and finally meandered back to my apartment. My run was far from the epic run that I had planned on having after my first few intervals, I at least got the chance to take some pictures of the lake while I was going around it which usually doesn’t happen. It’s funny how many things you notice when you “stop to smell the roses.”

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Shortly after we walked into Walmart, we heard a woman come over the intercom and make a shockingly long announcement which we miss the majority of. To our surprise, as we turned the corner of the aisle to head down toward the food, we found out that they had the NCAA coaches trophy at the store and they were letting people take a picture with it for free so we hopping in line to snap a picture. For those of you who don’t know what I am talking about, the Coaches Trophy goes to the coach whose team wins the BCS National Championship. It’s a football made of crystal that is mounted on a huge wooden base. Last year, the trophy went to Nick Saban at Alabama (where it was then broken shortly after) but hopefully, this year it will be coming back to LSU…fingers crossed!

BCS Coaches Trophy

After getting back to my apartment, I headed out to Whole Foods and Walmart with a friend to grab some food for the weekend. We got back to the apartment complex and went over to his building to have some food. As I was opening my Lean Cuisine pizza for dinner, what did I see but another ROACH! I think the only comforting thing was that this one wasn’t in my apartment and that it wasn’t nearly as big as the one that I saw the other morning but nonetheless, it was startling. My friend took a paper towel and took care of it unlike I did. Next time I’ll have to have him come over and get our roach who still may or may not be hiding behind our bathroom mirror. His location is up in the air.

He’s not too good at hiding…

As for the rest of my night, it will mostly consist of studying and Spotify as I have a ton of tests this week which I plan on acing. I want to do so well that I may even miss an LSU football games if it comes down to needing more study time. It sounds like a crazy idea but putting it in perspective, I’m here to study and not to cheer on a football team, even if they are one of the best in the country. I hope that you all have a wonderful rest of the night and get a chance to relax as much as you can this weekend to get ready for another week!

Fight Through the Pain

6 Sep

It’s Thursday and you know what that means! The weekend is just around the corner which means some much needed R and R for everyone I’m sure. I know that I can’t wait to kick back tomorrow night, pop in some flicks and just unwind from such a short but crazy week. I snuck in a quick breakfast of half a banana with Special K and skim before setting of for the day. Today started off like any other with classes, specifically Organic and Calc 2 recitation. Apparently, the TA that I had last week for my recitation was in the wrong class and never realized it so I had a completely different person teaching today. Once classes were over, I was planning on hitting the lakes again for a run but, as is normal in Louisiana, it was hotter than the surface of the sun so I opted for the UREC instead which I knew would be pretty quiet at 11:30 AM.

Some yummy and filling breakfast to start the day off right!

On the walk over there, I realized how sore my shins were from yesterday so I decided to spend an hour on the treadmill instead on one of the harder programs so I would be sure to break a serious sweat. By the end of the workout, I had covered 3.38 miles and had burned 622 calories (although, as I’m sure most of you already know, the machines are very bad at predicting how many calories you ACTUALLY burn). My legs were definitely feeling it at the end but I knew I wanted to get some strength in too so, giving my legs a bit of a break so they could recover, I started with abs and then moved to arms. For abs, I used this awesome workout from Tone It Up and the arm workout is the one I spoke about here. I was definitely sore by the time I finished those but managed to garner enough energy so I could crank out a leg workout. It consisted of the following:

Leg Press: 3 sets of ten at 110lbs

Standing Calf Raises: 3 sets of ten at 40lbs

Hip Adduction/Abduction: 3 sets of ten each at 70lbs

Prone Leg Curls: 2 sets of twelve at 40lbs

Glutes: 3 sets of ten at 30lbs

My body will definitely not be too happy tomorrow but I do it all for the love of fit (see what I did there? 🙂 ) After leaving the UREC, I stopped in at the apartment to drop my stuff and then headed over to the Union where they apparently believe that air conditioning only works when it is set to 4°F. It was so chilly in there when I walked in after, not only leaving the gym, but walking outside where it feels like 100°. Definitely not the shock I was expecting. I ended up grabbing a tuna salad wrap from Einstein Bros which was far from spectacular but filled me up. Plus, fish has a lot of good protein so that was a good post-workout meal.

Tuna Salad Wrap

As for the rest of my afternoon, it will be spent at the library working on some assignments and attempting to get ahead to that when this weekend comes around, I will be able to crash when the clock hits 12:30, I will, after hitting the lakes of course, be able to lounge around and hang out for the weekend, or at least until the football game comes along on Saturday night! This week, Washington State Huskies are going to be at Tiger Stadium for yet another crazy night of football. Hopefully we can up that record to 2-0 without any problems. As for the rest of the day, I hope you all have a wonderful afternoon and just keep in mind that you’re almost there!

It’s almost Friday!

It’s About Winning the Small Battles

5 Sep

Good evening everyone! Sorry it took so long to get a post up today but my after class routine of coming home and getting stuff done around the apartment didn’t exactly go as planned because there was a student involvement fair on campus. Every year, near the beginning of the fall semester, LSU has a majority of the student organizations around campus come to what is called Free Speech Alley and talk to people who are interested in joining their group. As you can imagine, there are a ton of organizations on campus so actually finding the ones that you want to join without this fair would be pretty difficult. After my last class, I met up with a friend and we ventured around for a bit. I found the booths for some Pre-Med societies that I have been meaning to join since Freshman year which was cool and my friends found a few engineering groups to join.

Some of the tents from the fair

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After an hour or so of walking around in the very hot weather, we ventured to the Union where we grabbed some Panda Express for lunch where I picked up a Panda Bowl with white rice and beef and broccoli. It was quite tasty and definitely hit the spot. The rest of the afternoon was far from excited and involved a lot of homework, studying and of course, hanging out with my friend’s dog who is a lush. She is a German Shepard/Corgi mix and is beyond adorable. Not to mention that she loves giving big, ole sloppy kisses pretty much anytime she feels its necessary. Once I finally had enough ambition to leave my friend’s apartment, I drove back to campus determined to set out on a run around the lakes that would beat my times from the other day.

Sunset over the lake

I was planning on adding the extra street in too which would make it even more difficult because it ups the distance a decent amount.I set my RunKeeper app to 2:00/1:30 run/walk intervals which was a full minute longer of running than my last interval run on Monday morning. I felt great for most of the run aside from the very end but I still managed to keep all of my running intervals under a 9:45 pace which was awesome. I am hoping that once I start running the entire route, I’ll be able to crank out some 9-9:30 miles so that when I go to run a half marathon, I can make a dent in the race and maybe maintain or coast a bit more for the last few miles depending on how the legs are feeling. Even though I was checking my paces after each of my intervals, I wasn’t really paying attention to my total time but at the end of my run I was VERY happy. I managed to run the entire 4.06 mile route in under 48 minutes even with my walking intervals. I honestly guess it was going to be close to the hour marker but was happily surprised.

Very excited!

I got back to my apartment and popped down in the living room to stretch a bit before my muscles cooled down to much and then whipped up a veggie burger and a granny smith apple with a glass of milk for dinner. It definitely hit the spot and now I can happily continue with my homework and other duties for the rest of the night feeling completely accomplished! I hope you all had a great Wednesday and are ready to take on Thursday tomorrow! Oh, and just incase you didn’t have the greatest day, check out this dog! How cute is this little guy?

Found this pic on our school newspaper site! Made me smile for sure!