Cookie Dough Cupcake

Rain, Rain, Go Away…It has been rainy and gloomy all day. Normally, it would be slightly depressing, but we truly need the rain. Lately, it has been in the 90’s…for September? This Wisconsinite has been hot!

On the bright side, the rain makes for a perfect excuse to actually get homework done. Eight more months until graduation!

Yesterday, Evan and I decided to check out the NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids. It’s located in a cute area of town (the new Bohemian Art District) and offered a great chance to explore local foods!ImageOutside, the market was full of temporary vendors that gave off the feeling of a farmer’s market. The outdoor vendors are only present during warm weather and particular days of the week. Evan and I snagged some green beans and Kale to make with dinner tonight.ImageInside, the space was filled with permanent vendors who offered prepared food with daily specials. Our favorite indoor vendor included a cupcake place creatively titled, “That One Cupcake Place”. The flavors of cupcakes ranged from Red Velvet to Rumchata and everywhere in between. I was truly impressed. I looked at Evan and he knew what I was thinking…we HAD to try them out!ImageI ended up choosing the Cookie Dough Cupcake. It left me speechless–the huge cookie dough dropping on the top tasted exactly like real cookie dough! For $2.00/cupcake, both my wallet and sweet tooth were happy! πŸ™‚ImageIn regards to my previous post on Motivation, I realized that exploring a new place aided in pulling me out of the rut I discussed earlier. Seeing and doing new things can also be a motivator and way to encourage growth and new thoughts. Thanks to everyone who commented, emailed, text etc. in support of the post. I am so lucky to have such a loyal base of readers and friends.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and have a great start to your week!

Chelsey

Daily Question: Comment and share your favorite kind of cupcake πŸ™‚

Motivation!

I’m backkkkk!!

I’m back in the blogging world after a much too long break and a few minor life bumps. I hope you have been doing well and I appreciate your continued support. The reader e-mails and comments from friends keep me motivated to blog. Which brings me to today’s topic–motivation. But first, it wouldn’t be Healthy Chelsey Lately without a few life updates and pictures, right?

First off, school is back in session. I recently embarked on my second and final year (for now) of grad school. The assignments and readings have been manageable, but I have noticed a change in my motivation. <–The key word today.

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Secondly, I have moved to a new location and acquired a cat in the process! Mac is our new cat and I have been loving him to pieces. He keeps our hearts full as we trudge through the long days working and attending class on campus. Plus, he is super cute, right? Maybe I’m biased. πŸ™‚Image

Finally, Evan and I are enjoying visiting home together. I love living in the same state as him again (after a summer in Savannah, GA). We recently went back to Milwaukee and took a stroll along Lake Michigan. ImageSo getting into the bulk of today’s post. I am curious how you stay motivated? No, really! Has there ever been a more complex topic? I am currently enrolled in a class surrounding a topic called “Motivational Interviewing” which is a set of micro-counseling skills used with clients who are interested in changing a health-related behavior. The class is extremely applicable as a health educator in my work with college students. However, the topic of motivation extends to all of us and our various facets of life.

I started analyzing where I receive my sources of motivation from. I surprisingly had a hard time coming up with ideas. After much to do, I realized that a lot of what I have been doing in the past few years have been related to habit but, how did I get there? I came up with this list, but still felt stuck…

  1. Feeling of accomplishment
  2. Rewards/Incentives
  3. Positive reinforcement from others
  4. Positive results
  5. My family
  6. My friends
  7. Evan
  8. My work and students I work with

I have to be honest, with the start of a new school year and some recent medical health issues, I have been feeling ambivalent about a lot of things. So I guess I’m looking for a lot of feedback from you. Where do you get your motivation to be healthy or even just to get through daily life? Does it come from inside or out? What renews your energy and keeps you going? Whatever it is–keep it around. It’s important.

As always, thanks for reading. & eat something healthy for me πŸ™‚

Chelsey

Always Movin’ & Shakin’

Good afternoon, everyone! I hope your Thursday is off to a fantastic start. First of all, cherries are back in season? I picked some up at the store yesterday. So good!

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This weekend, we are planning on running a 5K in Madison, WI and then heading off to a Milwaukee Brewer’s game! More pictures and details to come…

I wanted to share tips for remaining motivated with your exercise routine. Most people begin working out feeling great, but fizzle out over time. Have you heard the quote, “If you are tired of starting over, stop quitting.”?

….Well, I think that’s a little harsh. My style is more supportive! So I hope to provide you helpful tips to maintain your motivation!

1) “Change your thoughts and you will change your world” Begin believing that you are capable of reaching your fitness goals. Stop viewing your ability to become fit as an uphill battle. Just like anything in life, it builds slowly over time. You will accomplish your goals if you repeatedly believe that you can!

2) “The early bird catches the worm” Some people find it easiest to workout in the morning. I personally have struggled with this but am currently trying! Regardless of the best time for you, it’s important that your workout time is consistently scheduled. Consider the morning before going work and school if it’s feasible. Otherwise, afternoons or evenings work too. Mark the same time off in your calender daily (if possible) for best results.

3) “I count my success in miles, not pounds.” Recognize that any exercise is better than no exercise. You are doing your body good by simply moving! Begin by taking a walk around the block and eventually increasing your speed and distance. Also, remember that your weight does not always accurately reflect the benefits you are providing to your body through exercise. I was told by a nutrition professor that an active, overweight person can be healthier than an average weight, inactive person. Finally, as mentioned in my previous post, what you eat is equally as relevant as what you do for activity. You can learn more about that here.

4) “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.” It’s okay to dream of a new goals (fitness, career, school, whatever!) Set your goals and then communicate them to others. Individuals around you provide support and remind you of your desires when you are feeling down/disinterested. Consider putting in writing what you hope to accomplish through your fitness goals. Maybe it’s a 5K walk or being able to complete 10 laps in the swimming pool. After you have written down your initial goals, hang them up in a visible location and communicate to others who you know will support you.

My current goals!

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Other tangible things could be…

  • Creating a workout calender with sticky notes put on each day. After you have completed a workout, the take sticky note off. (Shout out to Evan’s sister, Natalie for the idea!)
  • Tracking your workouts on phone apps. Over time, you will see all of the days you have been active. Examples of these apps can be found in my previous post here.
  • Putting $1 in a jar for every completed workout. Once you have a set amount of money, purchase yourself something nice. (Maybe new workout clothes or itunes money for new music?)

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(Source)

Are you feeling motivated yet? Keep it up! Pretty soon people will turn around and go, “Who is that good looking, healthy person?!” (See face below)

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Me and Katie–New Orleans 2011 πŸ™‚

I’m off to go shopping with a friend–have a great day!

-Chelsey

Daily Question (anyone can comment below): How do you remain motivated to exercise?

Nutrition 101

Happy Tuesday! I hope the weather is sunny wherever you are. In Iowa, we have had a few severe storms lately that fizzled away to bring more sunshine!

I had a great workout yesterday and hope to do the same this afternoon. In light of all the talk surrounding exercise, I wanted to provide my blog followers a chance to hear more about the nutrition component behind healthy living.

When I began training for my first half marathon in 2009, I was surprised at the lack of change in my body composition. I figured that running 10+ miles every week would result in some sort of noticeable difference. Below is a picture of me finishing my first half marathon.

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What I didn’t realize was that what you eat has much more of an influence on your weight than exercise alone. Therefore, proper nutrition paired with a exercise routine is the key for success…

I know that eating healthy can be both simple and complicated. Many people seem to fall into the trap of “eating healthy” by consuming primarily fruits and vegetables. Without much thought, this diet can quickly become monotonous. Other people can become obsessive and count their calories, which can lead to individuals feeling deprived.

So what are we supposed to do? I have found through studying nutrition as part of my undergraduate degree that focusing on a balance of macronutrients is the key ingredient to happy heart and body. What does the term “macronutrients” mean? It’s much more simple than it sounds. Macronutrients can be broken into three main categories of: carbs, fats, and proteins. All three are equally as important to fuel your body and provide energy for your day.

Carbohydrates (Carbs): Made up of various sugar structures, which turn into glucose. Glucose is a sugar that your brain and muscles use as fuel. Have you noticed that you find it hard to concentrate orΒ  feel light-headed when you haven’t eaten? That’s your body’s way of saying that it’s missing sugar. To think that carbs feed our brain makes the bad rap they have diminish in my mind. It’s true that we need a particular amount of carbs and that excess can be converted into fat. However, the same rule applies with protein and fats. Society just blames carbs because of the abundance of food products they are found in. (ex: Snack items, breads, cereals).

Fats: Comprised of three different structures and can be broken into lay terms such as “good” and “bad” fats. “Good” fats are mono/polysaturated and unsaturated. Examples of good sources are: olive oil, avocados, and nuts. “Bad” fats are saturated and trans. Sources of these come from animal products (ie: whole milk) and vegetable fats (ie: packaged snack foods).Β  Everyone needs fat to survive. Not only does it provide insulation for our organs, it also helps chemical reactions in our body to speed up and ultimately run more efficiently. A common myth is that consuming fats makes you fat. The same principle above applies to fats. When you consume too much fat, it can be converted into literal body fat. However, by not consuming fat, your body will actually do the reverse and begin storing any fat eaten. The reason being that you put your body goes into survival mode and assumes you are starving. (The old caveman situation).

Protein: Helps keep us full and rebuild our muscles after exercise. Proteins are made up of amino acids. In order for your body to absorb the protein efficiently, you must ensure you are consuming a complete protein. Sources of complete proteins can be found in low-fat animal products, soy, and certain grains such asΒ quinoa. If you are vegan or do not like animal products, you can learn about protein pairing here.

Many people argue on the proper ratio of these three macronutrients. I have found a plate through www.choosemyplate.gov/ that details a suggested balance.

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I hope this helps you understand the basics of nutrition. I am by no means an expert, nor did I go into much detail.

Ultimately, I have learned that moderation is the best thing you can practice in your health. I try to eat healthy 85% of the time. But occasionally, I will not turn down a cupcake (like I was given today at lunch!)

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Have a great day πŸ™‚

-Chelsey