Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Busy Busy Weekend

This past weekend literally flew by. I had something going on Friday-Sunday and felt like I was constantly on the go. Needless to say I slept in late on Monday.

Friday morning I had a second interview at Alamance Regional Hospital. It went well and I'm hoping to hear something from them this week. It literally would  be a dream job for me and I've had lots of people praying for me. 

Saturday we went to a bodybuilding competition in Greensboro. We left early to get dinner (or actually a late lunch) before hand. We went to Outback and due to a few over cooked steaks and a spilt beverage on Adam, ended up getting our entire check for free. Sweet! 
The show was good too. As usual, it was long, but we got to meet Victor Martinez and see a lot of people who put in a lot of hard work to compete on stage. 

Sunday involved driving to Jacksonville, NC for my g-paws surprise 80th birthday party. We hardly ever go to Jacksonville, so it was good to see all our family and cousins that live down that way. We had a great time and I ate lots of delicious hot dogs, hamburgers, cake and ice cream! We also took my mother on a tour of most the farm on a golf cart which she enjoyed. It was a beautiful day for some photos and we even tried to re-create a photo from over 10 years ago when we were kids. 

This is my G-paw with his three kids. 
(Technically he's my step-granddady, but he was married to my grandmother before I was born and he's been around my entire life.)
And all the grandchildren that were present. We're missing four. 
This is not just a picture of a tree. While we were taking pictures, my monkey of a father was climbing trees to look at deer in a nearby field.
Grandparents with their children and spouses. 

And here's the picture we tried to recreate. Granted we were missing three of the original members and did the best we could without them. Sarah (the driver in the original photo wasn't present so we substituted Amber, Eric's wife, in her spot. Michael and Elliot are also not present. But it's amazing how much we've all changed over the years. Harrison, the small guy standing in between Eric and me is now the biggest one of the bunch.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Protein Pops

I used to make cake pops ALL the time. I'm sure there was an easier way to do them, but they way I did them took A LOT of time and money. Not to mention it was nothing but chocolate and sugar.
Wade found a recipe for a Protein Pop on Instagram and I thought I'd give it a shot. I liked all the ingredients that it called for, so it couldn't be bad. Here's what you need:

2 Large Bananas 
1 Cup Greek Yogurt (I got Vanilla Flavored)
2 Scoops Protein (Chocolate Peanut Butter Flavor)

2 Tbsp Peanut Butter
1/3 Cup Chocolate Chips
1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Almonds (I don't like nuts so I left this out)

You Also Need:
Food processor/Blender
Cake Pop Sticks
Ice Cube Tray 
Baking Sheet
Parchment Paper

Here's What You Do: 
In a food processor or blender, mix the yogurt, the bananas, and protein powder. If you need to borrow some protein powder, just ask. I've got plenty. Then pour the mix into ice cube trays and put in the freezer. On my next go at this, I think I'll try a cake pop mold, the ice cube trays did work, but the end result was a bit big and wouldn't fit into a regular cake pop baggie. 
After waiting about an hour or so, until the mix is semi-frozen, take the cake pops out and insert the sticks into them, then put them back into the freezer to freeze over night. You can leave them in the mold, I didn't, but probably should have. 
The next day, when they are good and frozen, take and melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter together. I did find that the recipes amount of topping wasn't enough to cover all the pops that the mix had made and I had to make four extras. 
After getting the mixture out, pull the pops out and work quickly! Dipping them in the mix (or spooning it on), adding topping (nuts, sprinkles or both) and then placing it on parchment paper and returning it to the freezer. 
After they are good and frozen, enjoy! 
I will advise to eat them quickly after taking them out of the freezer. Unlike cake pops, these will melt. 

Also,  you can take just the mix, and make a healthier type of ice cream. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Are you really going to drink that?!

I've become pretty obsessed lately. My Nana sent me a Nutribullet, you know, the crazy blenders you see on television commercials that's suppose to be WAAAYYYY better than regular blenders. I think she bought one and got one free or something. Anyways, I've never been a huge smoothie drinker or anything, and this especially is more for "juicing" I think. Not to mention I think it's HUGE and takes up a lot of space.
However, in the morning and after my work outs I drink a protein shake. I used to just put the protein powder in a shaker bottle and hand shake it. And I still do in the evenings at the gym, but in the mornings I thought I'd give the Nutribullet a shot to show me what it could do.
For the first few weeks I was just taking a cup of unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (Ya'll, I'm crazy about this stuff! It's such a better substitute for milk and way less calories, not to mention it taste great!!) and mixing it with my protein.
But lately I've been seeing different concoctions posted by others on Instagram and thought I'd get brave. After all, I do have a very expensive blender that is suppose to work wonders, right?
Here's one of my latest drinks:
-half frozen bananna
-1/2 cup frozen strawberries
-4 egg whites
-1/2 cup oats
-2 scoops strawberry protein
-1/2 cup unsweetened Almond Milk
-three packs splenda

Sounds gross, right? And that 'before' picture doesn't help wonders either. I too thought it looked gross and was hesitant. However, it was very good! It was a bit thick, maybe next time if I try those ingredients I'll add more milk. 

I've tried other things and have yet to come across something that is terrible that I wont drink it. I've even started adding Kale to some of my concoctions. In case you're not familiar with Kale- it's kinda like a spinach. It's a fun way to spice up my regular protein shake by adding more protein and essentially turning it into my breakfast shake. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Water, Water Everywhere

First off, does anyone else remember that poem from high school or did I think of a clever title for nothing??

Anyways, my grandmother was ALWAYS nagging us children to drink more water and less sodas. She said we would have better skin and that water was better for us. Pfffftttttt, what kid wants to drink water after being introduced to sodas?! Especially in todays society.

Grandmother was right though, but I had to find out on my own of course. Not that I hated water, I just preferred soft drinks, especially if I wasn't paying for them. As I grew older and started to care more about my health, and had to start paying for them, I quickly switched to water. Here's a few reasons why water is better for you. I stole this from some website, but I agree with them all.

1. Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue – Since your brain is mostly water, drinking it helps you think, focus and concentrate better and be more alert. As an added bonus, your energy levels are also boosted!
2. Promotes Weight Loss – Removes by-products of fat, reduces eating intake (by filling up your tummy if consumed prior to meals), reduces hunger (hello natural appetite suppressant!), raises your metabolism and has zero calories!
3. Flushes Out Toxins – Gets rid of waste through sweat and urination which reduces the risk of kidney stones and UTI’s (urinary tract infections).
4. Improves Skin Complexion – Moisturizes your skin, keeps it fresh, soft, glowing and smooth. Gets rid of wrinkles. It’s the best anti-aging treatment around!  (G-ma was right!!) 
5. Maintains Regularity – Aids in digestion as water is essential to digest your food and prevents constipation.
6. Boosts Immune System – A water guzzler is less likely to get sick. And who wouldn’t rather feel healthy the majority of the time? Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu, cancer and other ailments like heart attacks.
7. Natural Headache Remedy – Helps relieve and prevent headaches (migraines & back pains too!) which are commonly caused by dehydration.
8. Prevents Cramps & Sprains - Proper hydration helps keep joints lubricated and muscles more elastic so joint pain is less likely.
9. Puts You in a Good Mood – When the body is functioning at its best, you will feel great and be happy!
10. Save Money! - Water is FREE! Even if you choose bottled/filtered water, it’s STILL cheaper than that high sugar and fat-filled latte!

People at the gym and bodybuilders that are in contest prep, drink a gallon to two gallons of water a day. Don't ask me why. I've heard several "rules" on how much water one is supposed to drink a day. Some say 8 (8 oz) of water, others say half your body weight in oz's. Either way, being that your body is 70% water, I don't think its a bad thing if you consume too much, although I'm no doctor.

Having said that, currently I try to drink as close to a gallon as possible. Some days I do great with this goal, other days I fail miserably. I'm human. But I have found a few tips to help you drink more water and I'd like to share:

-Make it taste good. If you just absolutely HATE and DESPISE the taste of water like my father, add a flavor to it. He was AMAZED when I introduced Crystal Light to him. There are a ton of water flavorings out there, find one that you like.
-Make drinking fun. Get a bottle you like, or a crazy straw if you have to. Knowing you have to and need to makes it boring and you're less likely to do it.
-Make it an optical illusion. There was a Fiji bottle of water in our fridge one day that I'm assuming my younger brother brought home and forgot about. (*On a side note, I do not believe in spending much money on fancy bottle water such as Fiji or SmartWater. Water is water. Paying more for it isn't gonna make it lay me a golden egg.*) I drank it and liked the bottle so much that I carry it around with me everywhere and just refill it. Come to find out, it's the same size as a standard bottle of water, though you wouldn't be able to tell by looking at it cause its shorter, but wider. I THINK it's less water, and therefore am able to drink it faster. Same with this new liter jug I bought.

If you drink lots of water, most of it is going to come back out quickly in the form of urine. Lately at the gym (I tend to drink more water while working out) I've gone to the bathroom three times in the span of two hours. Kid you not.

"But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life." -John 4:14 

Monday, August 18, 2014

OBX '14

I gave you the introduction to Lily yesterday so that I could FINALLY tell you about our last weeks mini vacay. Lately I've just been too busy to sit down at my computer. Anyways, so here goes....

Lily told us about a month ago that her parents were going to Nags Head for a week in August. Her parents invited us (Wade, Adam, and myself) to spend the week there, being that there were plenty of extra rooms. Being currently unemployed, there was no way I was turning down a free week at the beach. Would you?? In the end, Adam wasn't able to get off work and couldn't go. So last Tuesday the three of us loaded up the car and were on our way!

Wednesday morning we got up and headed to the beach. Lilys mom brought all kinds of goodies to play with on the beach: kites, buckets, shovels, and a giant frisbee! We also brought our boogie boards since that's one of Wade's favorite things to do at the beach. We tried our hand at flying kites and tossed around the frisbee some. I had the BEST time flying her moms kite (not to mention it was a UNICORN kite!). When it got too hot and we were all out of water, we walked back to the house and took showers. After going out for a bit, we came back and rested the rest of the night and enjoyed tacos.

Thursday we beached it again. Lily and I attempted to build a sand castle. Two words: epic fail. It was a disaster! So we just scratched that idea and made each other mermaid tails. :) There was more kite flying and laying out and of course Wade enjoyed the waves on his boogie board. Later we went to shower and went shopping at some local stores and thrift stores. We stopped at this one artsy store and I fell IN LOVE with this one necklace. (HINT HINT: If you're wondering what to get me for Christmas, here you go, it was a handmade mermaid necklace for $120). Later we enjoyed cheeseburgers, went for a game of putt-putt, and went to bed to rest up for the big day ahead.

This is the place that had the necklace....

Friday morning after a big pancake breakfast, we headed to Ocracoke Island for the day. While we were waiting for the ferry to come pick us up, I stopped at Kitty Hawk Kites and got a mermaid kite! I was and still am super excited about this purchase! Once on the ferry, we had a good forty minute ride. Once we got to the island, we checked out the lighthouse there. It wasn't much to see and you couldn't go up, but nonetheless we got a few cool pictures. Then we ate at a local restaurant and did some more shopping and then headed to the beach. After laying out on the beach for a few hours, we headed back towards the ferry to make our trek back to the beach house. We did stop by Cape Hatteras lighthouse for a brief second on the way back. It had already closed and we weren't able to go up.

Saturday started off early as we headed to see another lighthouse: Currituck Beach. It wasn't that many miles to get there, but traffic was TERRIBLE due to everyone leaving to go home and it felt like it took forever to get there. The lighthouse was neat, we chose to save $8 and not venture to the top but we did walk around and check out some of the stores and things. After checking out the area throughly, we headed back towards the beach house and stopped in the town of Duck, NC for lunch and more shopping. After getting back, we made one last and final trip to the beach were the three of us spent awhile in the water boogie boarding. Later that night after going out for pizza, I let my kite go on its first flight.

While we were at Currituck Beach Lighthouse, I tried my photography skills out. For your viewing pleasure:

Sunday morning, the dreaded packing up and returning home. Booo.

We had a GREAT time though and much thanks to Lily and her family for hosting us. It was a very memorable time.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Meet Lily

I met Lily at the gym, she works there. She's very friendly and after a few months of working there, we started talking more and she would come up to our group and start chatting. When I casually asked if she wanted to go on  a cruise (I had cruise fever pretty bad and was really ready to go on another one and was looking for others to go with us) and she said yes, we became instant friends. She then started working out with us and it was great to add another female to the group- a girl that had the same goals as me and enjoyed working out. We've done a lot together and we love hanging out with Lily-Ann.
A special thanks to Alleson for helping me figure out the collage! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Day Through Photos

Sometimes I have NOTHING to blog about. Crazy, I know, but I didn't have many ideas last week and we hadn't gone anywhere or done anything to blog about. Therefore I Googled, "Things to blog about." -original, huh? Most things that popped up were for the more serious blogger but I did come across this interesting idea and thought I'd do it. Basically, the idea was to take a photo every hour of what you were doing and blog about your day through photos. Neat. So here was last Friday:

Morning Cardio 
Breakfast at Biscuitville (Egg whites and a Piece of Turkey Sausage)
If I go there for breakfast, I usually sit with this older couple that I've gotten to know over the years from working there. 
Nap time! 
Shower and getting ready. 
Shopping! I had to shop for an interview outfit and it was POURING rain all day. 
Still looking... 
Lunch and catching up on Extreme Weight-loss at Wades. 
Folding laundry and doing other chores around the house. 
Gym time! Leg day! 
Friday, the group of us that usually goes to Greensboro to work out, all were free or off work early. Therefore we decided to go ahead and get our workout over with and go earlier. 
Still at the gym...

Kinda forgot to get pictures and they got out of order. It mainly involved still being at the gym and driving home. When we got back into town around....
Wade and I went to dinner at La Hacienda with his parents and their friends. 

After that, we went back to Wades to watch TV and just hang out. However, I was so exhausted that I fell asleep on the couch as soon as I sat down and that was pretty much the end to my eventful day. 

Monday, August 4, 2014


By now ya'll should know that I can't cook. Giving myself some credit, I can throw chicken in a pan and bake pasta too. Simple things, I don't make fancy creations at all. So the other day I was needing to make some meals to prepare for the coming week. My friend Lily had posted a picture of her meal prep and I saw she had some mashed up yams. Being a big fan of sweet potatoes (I think yams and sweet potatoes are fairly similar) I thought it'd be a good idea to make this. I'd been wanting to have some in bulk anyways to able to grab and go if needed- cooking a sweet potato takes too much time each night and can get expensive. So I picked up two big yams at the store and asked my friend Lily how she made hers. Lily told me that she just boiled them.
Looking back on this, I can't help but to laugh. It shows how much I know about being in a kitchen. I was just going to throw the two yams, skin and all, in a pot and boil them. However, there isn't a pot big enough in our house that my yams would fit in... so I took them to Wades where there was one. Threw both yams whole, skin and all, in the pot and the water started to boil. Meanwhile I was looking up "how to cook a yam" on my phone and realized that maybe I was suppose to peel the skin first. I text Lily to ask her what she had done. Turns out I was suppose to peel the yams, cut them into pieces and let them boil- like making mashed potatoes. DUH
It was quite the ordeal taking them out of the already boiling water, peeling them, cutting them into small pieces, and then dumping them back into the boiling water. However, in the end, I did it! Lesson learned for next time.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Get Healthy America!

To keep my license current and up to date, every two years I have to have twenty four continuing education credits. I can get these by going to symposiums or conferences or by watching videos/reading articles and taking a test on them. In one of my recent articles I read, The Impact of Obesity on Imaging,  I was blown away with some of the statistics I read and want to share them.
  • More than 1/3 of U.S adults are obese.
  • 89% of back injury claims filed by hospital staff are related to patient handling of obese patients. 
  • Americans make 80% of trips less than 1 mile by car instead of by foot or bicycle. 
  • Worldwide, an estimated 22 million of children under the age of 5 are overweight. 
  • The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S was $147 billion in 2008; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.
  • In elderly women, obesity appears to lead to a greater risk of dementia and greater brain atrophy.
I understand that some people have medical conditions or reasons as to why they are obese. I get that. Nobody wakes up and decides they want to be overweight, but if things don't start changing and people don't start realizing that this isn't healthy, we aren't going to leave a good message for our future generation. 
Summing up my article:
Obesity leads to all sorts of problems such as: cardiac disease, hypertension and stroke, back problems, cancer, musculoskeletal diseases and disorders, sleep apnea and other breathing problems, diabetes, increased rates of Alzheimer's and infertility. Not to mention that due to obesity, it's harder to treat these problems AND it can harm the health care workers trying to help. 
Imaging modalities such as ultrasound, CT, x-ray, and MRI can't get good images on obese patients to help diagnose problems. Due to weight limits on tables, diameter of the gantry (hole) the patient has to enter, or the fact that there isn't enough power to penetrate the patient, quality images cannot be obtained. Health care workers that have to try to move, roll or lift these patients, end up hurting their backs. 
As a society, we need to learn and adapt a healthier way of living. I'm not saying I'm perfect (I'm apart of the 80% that drives less than a mile), but I try to watch what I eat and eat in moderation. You'd be amazed at what diet and exercise will do. I'm a HUGE fan of Extreme Weight Loss on ABC. Just go and watch an episode of that if you don't think you can change your life.