Ted Talk Friday: Depression is a disease of civilization

I initially watched this talk because it was given at Emory (my alma mater), and I quickly came to love it for the same reasons I love Emory. Dr. Ilardi looks at the facts about depression as an illness in a larger context–in the context of history, society, and medicine at large. I learned a great deal from this talk–I hope you do too!

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Do you agree with his opinion on depression? Do you agree that exercise is medicine?

Sweatpink Takes on Mission Peak

Moving to a new place is definitely not easy; after four amazing years of community and support in college, the transition has been anything but easy. I’ve been very transparent about my experience and feel comfortable discussing it, but that doesn’t solve the real problem. Where do you meet people in real life?

I’m not into bars or partying, so much that option is out…

I have met up with fellow alums from my school, but I want to diversify. Luckily, I’ve have been apart of an amazing blogger network of empowered, fitness-focused women for the past few years: Sweatpink.

As luck would have it, the Sweatpink San Francisco Chapter had their first ever meet up just a few weeks ago and of course I went. Sure I didn’t know anyone, but I knew these women had similar goals and values.

 

We met up at the base of mission peak at 7AM and from the moment we met, I felt complete comfort and ease (until the hike began haha).

It started off easy enough with fairly flat terrain (and quite a few grazing cattle). It was slightly warm, but a lot of the trail was shaded.

45 minutes in– me: “wow, I think we are probably almost there, right?” I say between pants. My friend checks her running watch, nope. We have hiked a mere. 8 miles of the full 7 mile hike. Luckily fun, questbars, beautiful views, and good conversations helped the next few miles go by quickly.

As we approached the peak, I saw a young girl, maybe about five years old, climbing up as well. I immediately realized “If a five year old can do this, what’s my excuse?”

And with that dose of healthy comparison and motivation, I made it to the peak, saw the incredible skyline, and celebrated victory with plenty of good photos.

We had such a wonderful time together and by 11AM I felt so accomplished and had so much day left. I could already feel a soreness settling into my hips on my drive home, so I stopped and bought some BCAAs on the way home to help with muscle recovery.

While I still had to take some Advil the next day, I am so excited that o found such a great group of ladies and can’t wait to keep exploring fitness and the Bay Area with them!

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Thanks for the fun, Pauline, Melissa, Sara, and Jocelyn!

Grainful Eats

I was so excited when Grainful contacted me to try their savory oat meals; I do not eat a lot of oatmeal typically, but I decided to take a chance and try savory oatmeal. I received two flavors: Porcini Mushroom Chicken and Unstuffed Pepper.

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All of their oatmeal entrees are made withe gluten-free steel cut oats and healthy, real-food ingredients. They are completely free of preservatives, artificial flavors, and artificial colors. Both of my meals are high in protein and fiber–the perfect pairing for a healthy, filling meal (they each contain 17g protein and 5g fiber).

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Check out the short ingredients list!

Both of my meals included meat, but they also have plenty of vegan and vegetarian frozen meals.

As much as I love doing meal prep, there are some weekends or days that are just way too busy. And on rare occasion, some days I just don’t feel like it. On days like that, I don’t want to blow $15+ on a mediocre take-out meal (yes, I am very frugal) because I often end up disappointed.

These meals are delicious, reasonably priced, and take a few short minutes to cook in the microwave. These are great when you are craving a wholesome, filling meal ready in minutes.

Now to the nitty-gritty–the real meal reviews!

Porcini Mushroom Chicken:

Upon opening, the meal looked very fresh and was a really reasonable (big) size. I hurriedly popped it into the microwave and four minutes later…voila!

I am not a huge fan of cheese (I know, I know I’m weird), but the Romano cheese on top added a great rich flavor to the whole dish. After I stirred it up, it became a creamy mix with the abundant mushrooms and chicken. In the picture below you can see how generous the meal is with mushrooms and white meat chicken. I am exceptionally picky about my chicken, and this is one of the few frozen meals that includes fresh, delicious white meat chicken. If you look closely, you can also see a chunk of fresh garlic and flecks of basil, parsley, and oregano. 

Next up, I tried the Unstuffed Pepper entree. I was not feeling meal prep on Sunday night after a 90 minute hot yoga class so this was the perfect solution. Four minutes after I popped it in the microwave, I had a delicious, hot lunch . The entree was extra creamy, and perfectly spiced. There was some mild heat and it had a nice tang from the green bell pepper. I prefer lean meat, and the turkey was perfect.

Here is a close-up:

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Money shot 😉

Look at the creaminess? All in all, 10/10. I will definitely be trying these again; find a store that carries Grainful near you here.

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Have you tried savory oats? Which meal would you try first?

Disclaimer: Grainful sent me some of their frozen meals to review, however this post represents my honest thoughts and opinions.

Ted Talk Friday: Giving+Self-Care+Assertiveness= Success

Well this is slightly embarrassing, but I feel  like the content is still worthwhile. I created and gave this talk a little over two years ago. As I move in to the professional space, I have found this advice (backed by plenty of research) to be completely accurate.

Beyond the content of the talk, this gives me an opportunity to reflect on how much I have grown since this time. I chose to videotape this (with the generous help of my friend) because I was too nervous to give the talk in person. While I made plenty of other arguments for the choice of recording the talk–it was because of my fear. I have become so much more comfortable with public speaking since, and even feel confident when I know the subject of my talk well.

I hope you enjoy these insights on success!

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Do you agree with my formula?

ProYo High Protein Ice Cream Review

My mom and Aunt were visiting this past week and we had a great time exploring the area where I live, thrift shopping, and trying out new restaurants! We also decided to try out a new healthy ice cream–ProYo High Protein Ice Cream. After dinner we swung by a grocery store on the way home and picked out four of the six flavors: Coconut, Dutch Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Toffee, and Mint Chip.

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We got home and got settled around my new kitchen table to sample all of the flavors. We even bought adorable glass dessert bowls to use!

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First up, Coconut:

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Genuine coconut taste without any artificial aftertaste (like many health-focused products). It was amazingly rich and creamy–surprising with only a shocking 1.5g fat.

Dutch Chocolate: surprisingly delicious. I did not know to expect, but I think we were all blown away by this flavor; so blown away that I didn’t even pause to take a photo! It had a decadent, rich dutch cocoa flavor; perfectly robust like a high quality dark chocolate and it was very creamy. My mom called it “more-ish”–meaning that it makes you want more and more! When I asked my Aunt to describe it she added similar comments and also described it as “cold” 😉

(Pro-tip: Mix the Coconut and the Dutch Chocolate flavors!)

Next came Dark Chocolate Toffee:

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I think my expectations were highest for this flavor, but the chocolate base did not taste as rich as the Dutch Chocolate. It had more of a light toffee flavor in the base, but the toffee pieces (you can see a few in the photo) were tasty!

Finally, Mint Chip:

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This flavor was superb! The chocolate chips were plentiful and they stayed hard in the melty ice cream. This flavor was very refreshing and creamy!

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Look at all of those chocolate chips!!!

 

In sum, this brand is a winner in my book! My mom has the most sensitive taste buds when it comes to alternative sweeteners and she LOVED all of these flavors and detected zero aftertaste. If you are looking to try a new healthy ice cream alternative–definitely try out ProYo!

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Which flavor sounds the best to you? Have you tried ProYo yet?

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Disclaimer: I was provided free coupons of ProYo to review, however this post represents my honest thoughts and opinions.

Ted Talk Friday: This is what enduring love looks like

This is a beautiful short talk about how we portray love and the stories behind that love. As a society, we often think about young, whirlwind romance, but the true beauty really lives in the love that lasts through good times and bad. I was struck by a few of the anecdotal stories referenced in the talk and inspired by the ability to remain so in love for so long.

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Did you enjoy this talk? Did any love story stand out to you most?