Showing posts with label healthy living. Show all posts
Showing posts with label healthy living. Show all posts

May 30, 2018

Why I Trust NOW Foods for my Natural Products


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Fitfluential, LLC on behalf of NOW Foods. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


In health and fitness, there are lots of claims and labels being thrown around by brands and people. As a former chemist (who will always be a science nerd at heart), I’m the type of person that finds the actual research article when I read a headline about a new study. Sometimes there are small samples for the study, bias, or parts of the research aren’t addressed. The same thing goes with labels such as “natural” not being a regulated label or even their being specifics about what constitutes “organic”. Before visiting NOW Foods headquarters just outside of Chicago for the #NOWGetFit influencer event this month, I hadn’t considered myself super brand loyal, but now I can tell you I trust NOW Foods!

NOW Foods #NOWGetFit Day 1
After a travel snafu (ugh American Airlines WHY) I made it out to the event on Thursday starting with a trip to the Cooking Skills Academy for an “Iron Chef Challenge” using NOW Foods ingredients. 

Chef showing us how it's done.

My team won with a take on an avocado toast-clearly all those years watching Iron Chef and the Food Network have paid off! 

The winning dish!
Also forgot to mention that the before our challenge the night before, Kasey from Powercakes made us DELICIOUS protein donuts. I don’t throw around the word delicious paired with protein donuts ever.

May 4, 2017

Eat More Greens: What I Ate in a Day {with BrightFarms}

Disclosure: I received promotional consideration from BrightFarms. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Sometimes I get in ruts where I've been so busy that I notice I haven't really been eating any greens. Oops

I find myself grabbing some protein bars, oatmeal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and whatever for dinner (including pizza sometimes because it's my favorite and SO easy). So I drink some green juice, eat some salads, and re-balance my diet. A couple weeks ago was one of those times that I decided that I really needed to start adding more greens and vegetables into my diet again. I wanted to start this diet shift off by including vegetables in every meal of the day. It encouraged me to get creative in the kitchen and actually make a meal plan. Planning actually makes things a lot easier when you take the time to do the planning, in case you forgot (like I had). 

This all happened at the perfect time because BrightFarms was lucky enough to send me some of their produce to try out, which made my one-day challenge more fun. I was going to use 1 shell of the BrightFarms local spring mix, 1 of their local baby greens, and 1 of their kale in a different meal of the day. 

eat-more-greens-what-i-ate-in-a-day-brightfarms

BrightFarms is a produce company that uses sustainable greenhouse farming to supply grocery stores with fresh greens, tomatoes, and herbs year-round. In the DMV area they solely deliver their produce to Giant grocery stores, farm to shelf within 24 hours. I was excited because unfresh produce and buying lettuce from the grocery store and finding a couple smelly, slimy pieces that have gone bad within a day is super annoying. If you need to grab some greens and can't make it out to a farmer's market or local farm, BrightFarms from your grocery store is the next best thing! 

Meal 1- Breakfast: Queen Green Smoothie

I decided to keep it nice and simple for breakfast with a green smoothie. This was also portable to take in the car with me on the way to class which is a bonus. I created this smoothie on the fly, using whatever I had available in my refrigerator and pantry. I like trying out new smoothie recipes, but usually end up making ones with my favorite ingredients like frozen pineapple anyways. This is the Queen Green because it's one of my go-to smoothie variations and is queen to me!

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Into my Ninja blender for my Queen Green Smoothie I added: 
  • a  handful of BrightFarms kale
  • a handful of frozen pineapple and peaches mix
  • 1 1/2 cups of vanilla unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 tablespoon of honey
  • Optional: 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder or supplement-I used a scoop of Vital Proteins collagen in this smoothie. 
queen-green-smoothie-brightfarms-2

April 21, 2017

5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day {Friday Favorites}

Disclosure: Boodywear sent me complimentary product in honor of Earth Day. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

This Saturday, April 22, 2017 is Earth Day. I believe in taking care of our planet, sharing it with the other creatures that live on it, and trying to live a more eco-conscious existence. Yup, I'm a little flower child as my dad would say. My lifestyle isn't 100% eco-friendly(why do I ALWAYS forget to take my reusable bags back out to the car to use again after using them?!?!), but I try to add in some little things because sustainability is important. 

Cue the Captain Planet theme song. 

For my Friday Favorites this week, here are 5 easy ways you can celebrate Earth Day in Baltimore and beyond. 

5-easy-ways-to-celebrate-earth-day1

1. Recycle.

Simple concept that we hear all the time, but recycling is awesome. Don't let your trash sit in a landfill if it can be recycled! I recycle a ton and will literally carry around empty containers in my purse if I can't find a recycle bin because throwing things away that can be recycled (and have the little recycle symbol on them) hurts my heart. 

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E-waste or electronic waste is actually becoming a trash issue in the states so find out where you can recycle your e-waste on the EPA's website. When I moved recently, we donated some old computer parts and cell-phones so donating is also an option-just google for local shops or organizations that accept those products. I definitely have a bag of dead batteries I need to get around to recycling this weekend.  

2. Use a reusable water bottle. 

Disposable plastic water bottles are terrible, and I rarely use them after learning more about recycling in an environmental biology class my senior year of college. Most of the country's plastic water bottles are sitting in landfills instead of being recycled, and 2.5 million plastic water bottles are thrown away every hour by Americans-SAY WHAT?! (source). 

February 20, 2017

4 Reasons Why I'm Using Collagen Peptides {Vital Proteins Review & Giveaway}

Disclosure: I was 2 complimentary tubs of Vital Proteins for review. The giveaway is fulfilled by Vital Proteins. As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own. 

Like me, you may have read or heard of people (particularly in the paleo crowd) taking gelatin for health benefits such as a drinking bone broth. However, you may be wondering what do gelatin or collagen peptides actually do? Gelatin, like that JELL-O stuff?  

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, and collagen peptides have the same amino acids as gelatin, however they are just processed differently.
Collagen peptides are hydrolyzed a.k.a. broken down into smaller amino acid chains so they are more easily digestible (I will forever be a chemistry nerd so I LOVE learning about food science). 

I had heard of Vital Proteins from reading about them on various blogs, and then had the chance to talk to the lovely people at the Vital Proteins booth and snag some samples at Natural Products Expo East 2016. Vital Proteins was nice enough to send me a tub of their collagen peptides and collagen beauty greens to try out. 

vital-proteins-collagen-1

The Collagen Peptides powder in the blue container come from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hides so they are not vegetarian. At first I thought it was a little weird that it was powder from cows, but after that initial moment of weirdness now I love how they are a natural and sustainable source of protein.

The green container of Collagen Beauty Greens contains marine collagen peptides along with greens, probiotics and skin healthy helpers like hyaluronic acid, all in a yummy coconut vanilla flavored powder. 

February 14, 2017

10 Ways to Show Yourself Self-Love

So today is Valentine's Day, and while many people are haters on the idea of the holiday with all its commercialization. I have always been a fan of the holiday as a day to tell the people you love how much you care about them, in case you haven't always been finding the time to do so lately.  That means my friends, my mom, my siblings, and my boyfriend. I am spending my Valentine's Day in school, doing homework, and maybe treating myself to a run and some dessert.  

It is also a nice reminder to practice self-love and show yourself that you care.  Here are 10 ideas of how to show yourself self-love today and any day!


10-ways-to-show-self-love


1. Take a bubble bath. Maybe you're like me and have a few Lush bath bombs sitting in a drawer, waiting to be used so break them out and treat yourself to a bath and some quiet time. If you don't like baths, maybe it is as simple as taking a nice, long, and relaxing shower.  

2. Have a 30-second (or longer) dance party. Turn up your favorite song or put on a Spotify playlist playlist and sing or dance. Music has been shown to boost your mood and dancing makes me really happy. 

February 10, 2017

{5 Friday Favorites} Otters, Micellar Water, and Tea

Disclosure: I received complimentary samples of Yogi Tea through my partnership as a Women's Health Action Hero. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Happy Friday! My graduate school spring semester has started, and my schedule is the craziest yet because apparently that was possible. I'm slowly building up my running to hopefully 4 or 5 miles this weekend which is great. I've also been eating a lot of Trader Joe's mini frozen pizzas for dinner, which isn't the healthiest but is quite delicious. It's all about taking life one day at a time. Anyways, here are my 5 Friday favorites this week-have a fabulous weekend! 

Favorite Animal Video: Otter pup in the snow at Yellowstone Park


So it was really tough to pick just one video. I watch so many cute animal videos during the week because they make me happy (and give me hope that is world is wonderful). I loved this video of a little otter enjoying the snow in Yellowstone Park. I am dying to get out to some of the National Parks out west. 

Favorite Beauty Find: Trader Joe's Micellar Cleanser wipes

trader-joes-micellar-cleanser-towelettes

November 3, 2016

SmartyPants Probiotics Review

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by SmartyPants. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I’m a lady with some tummy troubles so probiotics have been a staple in my supplementation for a few years now. Probiotics are the good bacteria in your digestive tract that keeps your insides happy and healthy as well as boost your immune system. When SmartyPants approached me about trying their new probiotic gummies of course I said yes because I’m a twenty-something adult who loves gummies. Aka the coolest kind of adult lady. I actually already knew had tried Smarty Pants gummy multivitamins so I knew they would probably be delicious. 

Obviously if you think you have stomach issues, talk to your doctor but if you have an upset stomach or have a non-descriptive IBS diagnoses from a doctor like I have, probiotics might be something nice to try. 

Their new adult probiotic gummies come in two flavors-blueberry and lemon crème (which I tried). Honestly the lemon crème doesn’t tasty lemony, just really fruity and delicious. The probiotic gummies contain seven billion CFU’s per serving (2 gummies) which includes two clinically-proven bacteria strains, IS2 & DE111.  They also have 99% survivability which means the supplement isn’t a waste because it isn’t getting eaten by your stomach acid (a little more science for ya!).

smartypants-vitamins-probiotics-1

SmartyPants probiotic gummies are also vegetarian and non-GMO as well as contain Wellmune® prebiotic immune support which helps out the probiotics and gives your immune system extra support. With flu season starting, now is the perfect time to give your immune system some extra support!

Like I mentioned previously, these are delicious and are also not too chewy or get stuck in your teeth. Remembering to take them in the morning was not an issue-the issue was stopping myself from taking more than 1 serving! They also have a kids probiotic gummies which I received in a grape flavor are just as yummy. 
smartypants-vitamins-probiotics-2

Something really awesome about SmartyPants is that for every bottle sold, they made a one-for-one nutrient grant to Vitamin Angels, which provides a child in need with a year’s supply of vitamin-A supplements. So far over 2 million children have received some life-changing vitamin A!

smartypants-vitamins-probiotics-3

You can find SmartyPants in a store near you or grab the adult probiotic or kids probiotics on Amazon. You know I’m all about that Amazon Prime free 2-day shipping.  I also grab their regular multi-vitamins at Target, because Target is awesome (and deadly). 

Do you take probiotics?  Have you ever tried SmartyPants vitamins? 

September 14, 2016

Baltimore Bred: Wild Kombucha {by Mobtown Fermentation}

I'm starting a new little feature I've wanted to start for a while on the blog called Baltimore Bred in which I highlight a local Baltimore brand, company, or product that I love and want to share. First up we have Mobtown Fermentation. 

Baltimore Bred #1: Wild Kombucha by Mobtown Fermentation 

baltimore-bred-1-charm-city-highlights


As a fan of Baltimore small businesses and local brands, I was excited to visit Mobtown Fermentation’s new digs in Lutherville-Timonium just over a month ago. I love supporting local businesses, and it was a great opportunity to learn more about this awesome company and get a behind-the-scenes look at their company. 

wild-kombucha-logo1
{Source}
The three founders of the company, Adam, Sergio, and Sid, had recently moved their brewing operation from Hampden to this new, bigger space in order produce more of their delicious Wild Kombucha.  

Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage made of green tea, distilled water, probiotic cultures (bacteria and yeast) and natural fruit juices or sugars.  I’ve been a huge fan of kombucha for a while because I love that it’s a bubbly and carbonated beverage yet packed with probiotics.  Since kombucha is made with probiotic bacteria like yogurt and is said to have healthy benefits such as aiding in digestion and boosting the immune system-both things I could benefit from. 

Adam and Sergio, who are stepbrothers, were familiar with kombucha and the brew process from their parents’ own kombucha creations growing up. Mobtown Fermentation was started in May 2014 by the three childhood friends after experimenting with brewing their own delicious kombucha. Currently Wild Kombucha is available in three flavors including elderberry, ginger-grapefruit, and mango-peach. I can’t choose a favorite flavor! Their brand of kombucha is a little sweeter and less sour than some brands I’ve tried which makes it more accessible to those wary of trying kombucha. 

wild-kombucha-bottles-mobtown-fermentation

August 5, 2016

{Friday Favorites} Seawheeze, Rio Olympics, and Acai Bowls

I meant to write a post for Thinking Out Loud Thursdays, but since it's Friday I'll make it a mash-up and talk about my favorite things of the week. 

Seawheeze Half Marathon


So I ended up getting an entry like a month out from the race to run with Team Nuun so now I'm FREAKING RUNNING the Lululemon Seawheeze Half Marathon in Vancouver next weekend. It sells out every year and you get a limited edition printed pair of shorts with entry, plus I've heard Vancouver is amazing. The excitement and the hype cannot be contained, especially because a million people have asked me about it in the past week. If you're going and have any suggestions or tips, let me know in the comments or email me (breathedeeplyandsmileblog@gmail.com). I'd love to meet up with runners too! 


seawheeze-lululemon-half-marathon-2016


Rio Olympics 2016

So tonight is the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, and I'm pumped! I LOVE watching the Olympics and tuning into the main events like gymnastics and swimming as well as some more obscure events that I don't normally get a chance to see. I love the national pride, the athleticism, and the stiff competition in the events. OBVIOUSLY I'm hugely excited for the men's and women's marathon event as well as other track and field events. I got an awesome shirt supporting the Challenged Athlete Foundation with the names of Team Nuun and Nuun Elite Olympians as well as my copy of Runner's World magazine with my girl Shalane on the cover this week! 

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I also FREAKED out when I saw that one of my running idols Shalane liked my Instagram photo because I'm a huge fangirl like that. 

shalane-flanagan-instagram-rio-olympics
Follow me on Instagram !
You can find the Olympics Track & Field schedule here- I'm super excited to see the men's and women's steeplechase and the marathon events. Obviously cheering for Shalane and Meb and everyone from Team U.S.A. This video of the U.S. Olympic swimmers doing their own version of carpool karaoke is great. Shout-out to Baltimore's own Michael Phelps! 

July 29, 2016

Tummy Happiness with UP4 Probiotics {Review & Giveaway}

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by UP4 Probiotics. I have used and currently use probiotics prior to this post. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

About 6 years ago I started having major digestive issues and things got so severe that I went to see a doctor. After some blood work and tests I was diagnosed with IBS (which is kind of a catchall diagnosis) and was told to grab some probiotics and be on my way.  Now I’m a little bit better at keeping things under control although I know that stress and crappy eating are huge triggers. The one thing I always make sure to take daily are my probiotics!

What is a probiotic, you ask?

Probiotics are the name given to the trillions of good bacteria in your digestive tract that keeps your insides happy and healthy plus boost your immune system

I remember trying UP4 Probiotics at Expo East this past year because they were sampling chewable cube probiotics-they were tasty!  I’m not going to lie, I totally take lots of gummy vitamins. Taking a few gummies in the morning ensures that I NEVER forget to take my vitamins.  UP4 makes a yummy little Adult cube chewable in a mild creamsicle-like flavor.


up4-probiotic-adult-chewable-cube1
chewable Adult cube from UP4
  When they reached out to me about trying some of their products including their UP4 Adult probiotic capsules and their Adult Cubes chewable probiotics. I wholeheartedly agreed. I've found that probiotics can be a little pricey plus I haven’t found a brand that I really liked yet. 

tummy-happiness-up4-probiotics-review-giveaway

UP4 Probiotics is awesome because select products are now available in Target stores in the Probiotics, Immunity Support, and The Essentials section and on target.com.  This is awesome because honestly I buy a lot of my vitamins there because I can stack coupons and my Cartwheel app to save me money. Plus let’s be honest, Target is awesome.  They also have Kids Cubes probiotics in the Kids Vitamin Section but all of their products can be used for whomever, no matter their age. 


Here are some awesome facts about UP4 that I learned after trying out their products which sets them apart:

  • UAS LifeSciences has been making probiotics, and only probiotics since 1979! Way before probiotics became trendy again!
  • The science nerd in me loves that they have over 40 years of clinical research on their trademarked superstrain, Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS®-1 and have done clinical studies on select individual strains of bacteria they use in their products as well as some of their finished formulations!
  • The UP4 brand is a shelf stable formulation for 24 months so no need to refrigerate and their potency is guaranteed until the time of expiration.
  • Their capsule products are gluten free, soy-free, vegan, preservative free,and non-GMO
  • Their products feature studied robust strains including their trademarked super strain Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS®-1 which has been studied to be beneficial in people of all ages!
Overall, I really liked the UP4 products.  I love that there is science and research behind it plus it uses an awesome super strain rather than whatever probiotic that I'm grabbing off the shelf mostly because it's on sale. The capsules have helped keep my digestive system happy and the cubes were perfect to take along on all my recent travels when my eating was full of more treats and delicious foods that didn't always jive with my digestive system. The fact that I can pick them up at Target and don’t need to make a special trip or order them somewhere is a huge bonus!


up4-probiotics-adult-chewable-cube-travel

GIVEAWAY!
Thanks to UP4 Probiotics, one lucky reader will win a bottle of UP4 Women’s Probiotics and a box of UP4 Kids Cubes plus reusable grocery bag.
Enter via Rafflecopter below!


This giveaway ends Monday August 8, 2016, 12 AM EST. Winner must be a U.S. resident. The winner will be notified via email right away. If I don’t hear back from the winner within 24 hours I’ll have to pick a new winner. Delivery of the prize is by UP4 Probiotics.

This post was linked up with my fave Friday Linkup ladies CourtneyMar, and Cynthia  as well as Nicole and Amanda. Check out Erica and Smitha's giveaway round-ups for more prizes to win!

July 11, 2016

Relay Foods News and Marinated Mushroom Salad

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Relay Foods. As always all thoughts & opinions are my own. 

Happy Monday-hope you had a great weekend like I did! Like I mentioned a few months ago, I started using Relay Foods when things get really busy (when aren't they for me?) to help making cooking and my attempts at meal-prepping easier.  

You can read more about it here, but if you haven't heard about it, Relay Foods is an online grocery store-they are allowing you to shop at your convenience from their stock of over 200 local farmers and vendors.  Most of their foods are organic, local, or all-natural and allow you to just fill up a virtual shopping cart online and either pick-up your groceries for free at their set pick-up spots or have them delivered right to your door for a small fee.  

Relay Foods also has some new things going on including a new Doorstep program where you get unlimited deliveries for the month for only $19/month with no contract and the ability to cancel at any time.  

relay-foods-md

Their website includes a fun meal-planning section which includes great recipes for all occasions. The best part is you can order all of the ingredients for each recipe through the website with the click of your mouse.  

I ordered these portabella mushroom caps for $4 immediately once I found this delicious-looking Marinated Mushroom Salad recipe. 

You simply marinade the portabella mushrooms in a mix of balsamic vinegar, honey, olive oil, soy sauce, and dried Italian herbs and then cook. It was a great side dish to some delicious chicken thighs for dinner. I loved the strong balsamic flavor of the salad. It gets a thumbs up from me! 

relay-foods-marinated-mushroom-salad

One of my FAVORITE meal prep options I purchased in my last Relay Foods order was the "Five Day Dinner Pack for Two".  For $35 I get all 5 days of protein options for my boyfriend and I so all I need to worry about besides cooking these is making some sides.   The pack included frozen 1 lb. of boneless skinless chicken breast, 1 lb. of boneless skinless chicken thighs, 1.6 lb Wolf Creek grassfed london broil as well as fresh 2 boneless pork chops and San Miniato sausage.  All of the meats were really high quality and tasty!

I paired the pork chops from the dinner pack with a big organic Muraski white sweet potato from my order for a simple dinner one night. 

relay-foods-pork-chop-white-sweet-potato

Something I planning on grabbing in my next order is their new Local Bounty Share which is a collection of local produce (aka from Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina). It's like a CSA except requires no commitment AND you get to preview what you are getting in your share ahead of time.  It comes in half or full sizes so you can pick what works for you! 

I'm still a big fan of Relay Foods obviously and love that it makes getting local produce easily, especially during the summer when travelling causes me to miss my favorite weekend farmers markets.   If you are curious, remember  
you can get $20 off your first order with my Relay Foods link!

What's your favorite side dish suggestion right now? 





January 26, 2016

5 Ways to Stay Healthy This Winter

Disclosure: Wedderspoon USA sent me Manuka honey products to try out. I received no other compensation. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

If the largest blizzard ever to hit Baltimore and dump just shy of 30 inches on the city this weekend wasn't enough of a hint, winter is really here. While I've been trying to avoid getting sick since before the Chicago Marathon through my Fall finals in December, we still have some months of cold and flu season ahead of us. It's never a good time to get sick, but especially at the start of the semester or if you are just gearing up your spring race training and don't want any setbacks.  Here are some of the ways I attempt to stay healthy and illness-free. Reminder, I'm not a medical professional these are just my tips, so always ask and listen to your doctors!


5 Ways to Stay Healthy This Winter

1. Drink water. 
This should be on every health tips list. Water is just awesome for your body. In the winter sometimes it's harder for me because I'm not as thirsty during the day, but it's important to keep yourself hydrated.  

2. Stay well-rested. 
Getting enough sleep is another thing that sometimes is hard for me, especially when I'm in school and working.  Sleep deprivation suppresses the immune system which means you're more likely to catch a cold.  If I start to feel like I'm catching a cold, I always try to get a good nights sleep and take it easy for a couple days. 


5 Ways to Stay Healthy This Winter-sleep-bed

3. Be like Pooh and eat some honey.  
In recent years I've become more interested in homeopathic and natural treatments. Honey in general has many health benefits including being an antimicrobial, but raw honey also contains many vitamins and minerals which help boost the immune system and can treat coughs and sore throats. Raw honey is cloudier, but I don't think it tastes much different.  Wedderspoon had sent me some of their raw Manuka honey products to try in the Fall after meeting them at Expo East. I was having a spoonful of their honey every morning and using their ginger honey lozenges weeks before the Chicago Marathon because I was determined not to be sick for the race this year.  I just ordered some more raw honey because I've been using it in my tea daily. 


5 Ways to Stay Healthy This Winter-manduka-honey

4. Load up on citrus. 
Even though there are conflicting studies regarding Vitamin C and immune system benefits, I still try to get as much as I can in the winter. I figure it at least can't hurt! I keep oranges and grapefruits around for snacks and also take Vitamin C supplements. I also make sure to drink juices with plenty of fruits and veggies in them like the Gundalow Juice Sailor Sunrise. If I feel something coming on I'll also start drinking Emergen-C daily which includes lots of Vitamin C.  

5. Wash your hands & disinfect. 
Don't touch your face either! Washing your hands sounds like a no-brainer, but it really is one of the best ways to stop the spread of illness.  From working in a hospital for a bit I know that officially you are supposed to use soap and water and wash long enough to hum the "Happy Birthday" song twice. Something else I do all year round is wipe down my phone with disinfectant wipes every other day or so. With touch smart phones now I feel like there is a ton of germs on our phones, which we are holding all the time too, so cleaning them is probably a good idea. 


5 Ways to Stay Healthy This Winter-phone



What do you do to stay healthy through the winter?

September 30, 2015

5 Things to Do To Stay Sane In Grad School {plus juggling everything else}

The countdown to Chicago is on and I've made it just over a month into my first semester of grad school. Jumping into a professional Occupational Therapy Master's program has been exciting but crazy busy. Changing my schedule and dealing with lots of simultaneous projects, studying for classes, and fitting in the rest of my life drives me crazy some days.  Even if you aren't in school, these tips could be applied towards any busy week!  Here are some of the things I've been doing to try to balance school, work, fun, and marathon training.  

5-things-to-do-to-stay-sane-in-grad-school

1. Schedule in at least one consistent stress-relief activity.
 For me I feel so much better with a morning run or sweat session and need to make time for it each week.  Some days lately I can't sneak a run in because of lack of sleep, schoolwork, work, and life but too many days of no runs would drive me crazy.  I need those easy morning runs with time to reflect and think before most of the city is awake.

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The days I get morning views like this are the best. 
 In school we are always talking about occupational balance, and it's such an important concept. We need both work AND play in a balance. 

Morning runs don't have to be your thing. Maybe your thing is to always spend X night watching Netflix or going out to eat. Maybe your stress-relief activity is just morning yoga or spending extra time to leisurely cook a nice meal. Build it into your schedule.  

2. Portable snacks and food.
I don't know what it is about sitting in classes that makes me so hungry. With my days on campus packed mostly back-to-back with classes not only packing lunches but packing plenty of snacks is key.  I always makes sure I've got easy snacks like fruit, baby carrots, protein bars, and LesserEvil mini popcorn bags in my backpack for when I'm hungry and stuck in class. 

I try to find packaged snacks that have lots of protein and are satisfying. Quest Bars have been awesome because they have lots of protein and satisfy my sweet tooth. 

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Quest Nutrition mint chocolate chunk bar
  Luckily we have access to a refrigerator so I can pack some of my favorite cold snacks like greek yogurts or the local skyr smoothies from B'more Organic.  This coffee-flavored smoothie has 46g of protein, no added sugar, and is easy to drink in class or on the go. 

bmore-organic-skyr-smoothie-caffe1
B'more Organic Skyr Smoothies are an awesome for on the go. 

3. A planner. 
Being organized is the most important thing. There is NO way I can keep track of everything I need to be at, homework, tests, work, social events, races, and appointments without writing everything down in my planner. Also I need to plan out things like 6 months in advance, no joke. 

Find what organizational system works for you whether that be your phone, Google calendar, whatever. Write stuff down because otherwise you will forget everything and drive yourself crazy. 

Speaking of which, anyone have an affordable favorite planner suggestion?

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{source}
4. A support system. 
I wouldn't make half my workouts lately if I wasn't meeting a group of people or knowing I told some November Project tribe members I'd be there. Having the purpose of meeting people is major accountability for getting my butt out of bed in the mornings. 

It's also about having family and friends and significant others that can help you out whether that's running that errand for you so you have one less thing to do, offering moral support, buying you chocolate, editing your papers, or offering up fun things to do in the little spare time you have.  Don't be afraid to rely and lean on people a little more during this stressful time. 

For example, I never would have gotten out of my warm bed to go do a track workout at 5:30 AM yesterday if it I didn't tell a group I'd meet up with them.

track-workout-NP-baltimore
Post-track workout all-stars.
5. Coffee. Everyday. Anytime.
 Enough said. 
coffee-successful-person
Truth bomb {source}
What is your best way to stay sane during really busy weeks?  Do you use a planner? What's your favorite one?