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Over the past few months, I’ve been trying to treat my body as best as I can because I’m trying to love myself and part of loving yourself comes from treating your body right. I’ve been trying to eat a balanced amount of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. However, as a vegan, it can be a little harder to get in all of my protein daily, so, I usually have a protein shake or smoothie after my workout each day. I’m also trying to eat less processed foods which, unfortunately, a lot of vegan meats are high in chemicals and words I don’t know so, I was stuck in a rut with my diet for quite a bit.
I’ve used quite a few vegan proteins in my day however, there were none that I ever loved [either the price or the flavor] until this summer. While scrolling through vegan protein recommendations on a blog I was reading in April, I discovered Orgain Protein. Orgain protein is very plant-heavy and doesn’t have the chemicals that other proteins I’ve had have.
I’ve been using this protein for about five months and have loved every product I’ve tried. From their protein shakes, powders, and bars, everything is good!
My biggest thing when it comes to protein is taste. A lot of proteins don’t taste good and it can still be tasted when added to food. I’ve put the powders in smoothies and oatmeal and to my surprise, it tastes good!!! Depending on what flavor I use [PB or chocolate fudge are the powders I’ve tried and keep coming back to] it adds to the food I put it in and you can taste the chocolate or peanut butter in the food I’m eating. I also enjoy drinking their protein shakes plain or in a fruit smoothie with granola after a workout.
My favorite thing about Orgain protein is that there are tons of flavors and options for products. I love their creamy chocolate protein shake and their peanut butter chocolate vegan protein powder. The biggest thing I love about these is that they are soy-free [my stomach does not tolerate soy which is why I’m opting to eat less soy in my diet].
Overall, if you’re looking for a protein, in whatever form, I would recommend Orgain.
I loved them enough to become an ambassador. If you decide to give Orgain a shot, you can use my code: LIVINGOFFLEESH30 for 30% off your first order [they even had nonvegan protein and collagen]
I’ve recently rediscovered my love for health and fitness and have been working out pretty consistently for the past month or so. I’m eating good food, treating my body right, and I haven’t felt this good about my body for a long time ever.
Before I had this blog, I had a fitness blog in my sophomore and junior years of high school [if I remember correctly] where I basically just blogged about the current workout I was doing [30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels was my fave], what I was eating, and how school and life were going.
When I was in high school, Tumblr was super popular and I had a few thousand followers where I posted the same things like my blog as well as reblogged gifs and photos of workouts, tips, and the ‘ideal’ body that every girl lusted after.
I had an addiction to MyFitnessPal [MFP]. Now, MFP has a minimum daily calorie intake of 1200 calories. Back when I used it, there was no minimum. If you went below 1000, they showed a little message that that wasn’t necessarily healthy and that you should be eating more, however, you could still eat as low as you wanted. I deprived my body of the food it so desperately needed for years because an app said if I kept at it I’d lose weight in no time.
Everyone I knew had [or still has] My Fitness Pal. A lot of my college friends have told me they used MFP in middle school and high school as well. My Fitness Pal not only destroyed me, my relationship with food, my relationship with my body, and my ability to love myself, but it also did the same to a whole generation of boys and girls.
The internet tells you to hate the way you look from day one based on ads, skinny teas, weight loss programs, etc. but apps like My Fitness Pal, Livestrong, LoseIt! and more give you the tools to go to any means necessary to get you to ‘love yourself’ and get that ideal body. What 12 or 13-year-old won’t jump on the ‘opportunity of a lifetime?’
For those of you lucky enough to not know what My Fitness Pal is, it’s a diet app where you input your food, water, and exercise throughout the day. At the end of every day, you submit your net calories for the day. The app then tells you “if you eat like this every day you should weigh ____ pounds in 5 weeks.” I can be 10 [or more] pounds closer to the ‘ideal’ body in FIVE weeks???? Sign me UP. On my blog, I bragged about eating 1000 or fewer calories a day and to this day I know the calories of the foods I ate most often for when I was away from my phone or after I deleted the app.
My teenage years were full of weight loss and weight gain and using My Fitness Pal and Livestrong [as part of a class grade on multiple occasions !!] and having calorie journals. My teenage years were also full of eating 300 calories during the day and binging on hundreds and thousands of calories late at night alone. My teenage years were full of torturing my body by over-exercising and undereating but thinking I was doing great things for it because I was getting compliments on my body and I was getting closer to the societal ideal body type.
There are thousands of people in their teens and twenties who don’t have good relationships with food and their bodies and who are going to spend years unlearning what we learned on diet apps like My Fitness Pal and I’m one of them.
I no longer use the app, however, as I mentioned before, I know most of the calories of the foods I eat daily. I sit and tally up my calories for the day after each meal mindlessly. I’m more of a numbers person in general which is why it’s been so hard to unlearn all of the numbers, grams, calories, etc. It’s something I have to actively think about, not counting calories and not reading food labels [other than to make sure something is vegan] and to just focus on putting good foods in my body. It’s a slow process, of course, but I’m confident that one day all of the people affected by diet apps will be able to take back their relationships with food and their bodies by storm.
To all the young people: Never ever download a diet app and don’t base your worth off of how your body looks.
To everyone: Never comment on someone’s weight even if you think it’s a compliment because you NEVER know what they’re dealing with.
It’s day 19 [or is it 91…?] of quarantine [since I’ve gotten home from Greece] and much like everyone else, I’m bored out of my mind. 24 hours in a day. I could have [should have] picked up a new hobby, a few new skills, written pages and pages, worked out every day and tons more. What have I done? Sat on my couch and played Mario Kart. I have to admit, I’ve walked my dog a time or two each day, written a bit, applied to jobs, gone through literally everything I own to discard, donate and keep, as well as worked on my last two classes that I have work for. I still feel unfulfilled. I want to accomplish the world in these next few weeks, but I also have no motivation to do anything. I have, however, been working on a few ways to keep myself away from screens [excluding blank word documents hehe] and doing things that are in fact actually productive. Are they always working? Of course not, so I’d love to hear what you’re doing in this mess to keep your spirits high and your productivity up.
Maintaining a sleep schedule- After finally adjusting back to Central time, I knew I had to get into a sleep routine. I aim to go to bed at around 9:30 and wake up around 6:30-7. On weekends I sleep in and go to bed a bit later, but that’s the same as what I would do during work/school.
Eating at the same time each day – When I first got home, I was eating breakfast some days at 7am, some at 11am. Lunch would be at noon or 4pm. And dinner might be at 5pm or 9pm. I can’t really control dinner since everyone in my family eats at the same time. However, I can control when I eat my other two meals. I try to eat around 9am and 1:30pm and dinner is usually around 6pm. This keeps my schedule the same every day which is nice to have.
DO something creative every day- Whether it be writing, journaling, coloring a mandala, doing something creative gets me actually doing something and keeps me focused. You won’t catch me coloring outside of the lines now or anytime soon.
Moving my body – Whether I’m doing yoga, running, going for a walk, or doing an early morning HIIT workout, doing anything to get my body moving even for 15 minutes if a good day. I’m taking my dog for a few walks each day so no matter what, I’m getting myself up and at ‘em.
Getting OUTSIDE – Being in quarantine is no fun. Normally right now, I’d be wearing short sleeves walking to class, hammocking with my friends, and having coffee on the porch of my favorite coffee shop. However, I’m inside… CONSTANTLY. My walks with my dog [we get it! You have a dog] and even just taking the garbage out to the dumpster makes me remember that it’s SPRINGTIME and even if that means sitting in my backyard doing basically nothing, I still deserve to enjoy that nice springtime breeze and sunshine.
What are you doing to make these abnormal times seem a little bit more… normal?
Hi all, Happy Thursday! Slowly but surely getting into that routine // self-care practice of writing when I can. As you’ve probably seen from my Instagram or blog posts here and on LVNG Limitless [RIP], I’ve been actively working to live a more sustainable lifestyle. One of the many ways that I produce waste every month is through period products. Tampons and Pads produce an obscene amount of waste over the course of a lifetime and I was 100% over that. So, after much self-debating and a trip to Target, I came home with the Saalt cup, a silicone cup that replaces single-use period products.
In short, I’m in love. The Saalt cup has truly changed my life in such a short time and I am NEVER going back. After just six months of using this cup, I’ve saved over 24 pads and 60 tampons.
Short story long, I don’t have to worry about my period anymore. I will not lie, the first period I used the Saalt cup for, I was PARANOID. It’s a weird feeling at first, I cannot lie. I thought it would leak and I wouldn’t know, I thought it would get stuck, millions of thoughts flooded my mind during those first five days, and guess what? None of them were true! I didn’t need to worry about a thing [although I am glad I paid extra careful attention just in case].
During all of the periods I’ve had that have followed using the Saalt cup, I do not worry about my period. Most days [except for day three which is my heaviest flow] of my period I change it in the morning after my shower and before I go to bed and that’s it. No leaks, no ruined underwear, no pain, nothing. It’s just like a regular week, with a little bit of added silicone.
So, of all period cups, why the Saalt cup? Well, besides the fact that it’s roughly half of what other name brand period costs retail for [Diva cup in particular], it comes in two sizes [most do], with the bigger size being blue [what could be better ??], the packaging is absolutely adorable, it comes with a carrying case, and three little pamphlets about usage, helping communities, and how to follow it. Not only this, but for every Saalt cup you buy, it gives one to a menstruating individual in need of period care.
The how-to guide was extremely useful [especially because I was quaking in my boots because I didn’t know if it would hurt] and reading about how women in 3rd world countries have to miss a month or so of school or work every year due to their period. Due to this, many people drop out or quit their jobs because it is so difficult to work or go to school while menstruating without the proper period products.
In my opinion, you don’t need to buy both sizes. I have the larger size and even on my lighter days, it does the job well.
I would recommend the Saalt cup [or any period cup for that matter] to every single menstruating human not only because of the lack of waste you are creating but also because of the care that they give to those in need.
A huge 5/5 stars for the Saalt Cup. Thank you for giving back, being affordable, and being the absolutely cutest period cups to line the shelves.
*Please note: If you use an IUD you cannot use the saalt cup because of the suction. You would run the risk of having your IUD come out.
In September of last year, I got sick. I’ve been sick ever since. I went to the doctor twice [once at school and once at home], got prescribed antibiotics twice, took the full amount of antibiotics, and… never got better. I’ve been congested for ten months and this past week I finally got an appointment with the ear, nose, and throat doctor.
After explaining my lingering congestion and misery, a CT scan of my head, and a very confused doctor on how I could have been this sick for this long and how antibiotics have yet to help, we still aren’t 100% positive on what is the matter with me.
One thing I know for sure: I am CONGESTED. Between the four pairs of sinuses that I have in my head, one single sinus was not completely filled with crap. My doctor showed me my CT and compared it to my mom’s [we thought we were having the same sinus problems… we were wrong] and the two are polar opposites.
My doctor declared that he could not give me a full diagnosis until my head had cleared up which will have to wait until Thanksgiving. He did, however, note that I have a partially deviated septum, which may be the cause for my inability to breathe out of my nose, I am a potential candidate for a sinuplasty [something us chronic sinusitis patients are told works miracles], and I was then prescribed three weeks of antibiotics and one week of steroids.
He then told me that when I return in November that one of two things would happen: he would be able to correctly diagnose my problem[s] because the lack of fluid in my sinuses would allow him to properly see inside my head, or, that I would be getting that sinuplasty whether I liked it or not so he could then 100% see what’s wrong inside of my head.
Well, I’m only on the third day of antibiotics and steroids and I already feel hundreds of times better. While I can’t breathe out of my nose yet, I can exhale out of my nose ad not need to blow my nose, I can breathe a lot better in general, I haven’t blown my nose in two days, and I have not felt out of breathe [something that’s been happening since I was in Spain] since the appointment.
Moral of the story today folks: when you get sinus infections every year [sometimes multiple times a year] and the most recent one doesn’t seem to go away, even with the help of many antibiotics, maybe you should schedule an ENT appointment sooner rather than later so your doc can get to the bottom of the issue ASAP.
Hi everyone + Happy August 1st! Today is the best day ever because CHAARG memberships are officially open!! I stayed up until 11 last night [I’m usually in bed by 9 since I wake up early] to get mine + something I’ve noticed is that some people are hesitant to buy a CHAARG membership // think CHAARG isn’t for them. So, from one ex-CHAARG skeptic to a current, here’s why you should join CHAARG [or at least give it a shot].
Flashback to last August when I got yet another notification from the Ohio University Class of 2020 facebook group from an organization trying to get more people to join. However, this org was different… it was CHAARG. CHAARG is a health + fitness organization that aims to liberate girls from the elliptical + show them that fitness can ++ should be fun by creating opportunities to help them ‘find their fit.’
I like working out, I thought, so I clicked on CHAARG’s website to dive deeper. Reading about Elisabeth [CHAARG’s founder] to Sarah Clem [the director of expansion], + the rest of CHAARG’s story I was sold. A group of like-minded women being fit, hanging out, + enjoying the college experience together is what everyone wants… right?
Well, I somehow ended up scrolling through the OU CHAARG hashtag on Instagram + immediately began feeling anxious. The girls in this hashtag did CrossFit, lifted in the boy’s section of the gym, had run marathons, + more + what had I done?? I did the stair stepper [when the elliptical got boring] + the gym machines with at home workout videos when I was too anxious to actually go to the gym.
What if I didn’t fit in with these girls? What if they hated me? What if I wasn’t ‘fit’ enough? About 100 more what if statements flooded my mind until I was so overwhelmed that I closed my computer. Maybe CHAARG wasn’t for me? I’d think it over, of course, + put it on my to-do list before I left for school “Buy CHAARG membership ?”
After going back to that same hashtag probably a dozen times, I caved about a week after school started + bought my first ever CHAARG membership. Once I received the Welcome Packet on the 1st of September my nerves really started to set in. Those what ifs started to hit me like a train again but I couldn’t back out. I paid $45 so I was going to be a member.
That next week was sample small groups [a small group meets once a week for the whole semester with the same group of people on the same day + time to workout, grab coffee, etc.] + I was terrified to go to one. So, naturally, I went to the last possible small group that I was free for. Friday morning at 8:15 am. The night before I texted that small group leader Rachel to let her know I’d be attending + we designated a spot in the gym to meet.
That next morning, bright + early I walked to the gym, probably shaking so hard people could’ve asked if I was cold in the late summer heat.
However, the second I stepped into the gym + saw Rachel [who was probs wearing avocado patterned leggings] I knew I was going to be okay. Rachel [+ everyone else in CHAARG] is so kind, caring, + so positive it’s hard to not love her. We did an arm workout
+ ran on the treadmill for a while as we talked about anything from school, CHAARG questions, family life, etc. until it was 915 + she had to get to class.
I went back to my room, showered, + forced myself to go to a ‘meet the exec’ event at Front Room Cafe an hour or so later to meet Leah + Megan, the then event coordinators. Once again, I was still nervous, much less nervous after I’d met Rachel, but nervous nonetheless. I walked into frontroom, + immediately noticed Leah from the OUCHAARG hashtag + walked over to her + the others at the table. Leah, Megan + I talked about the sameish things I talked about with Rachel: school, CHAARG, home, San Diego, etc. I told Leah that I had just come from Rachel’s sample small group + she said that Rachel had put in their groupme that she met the sweetest girl at her sample SG that morning [ME] + I almost fell on the floor from flattery if I’m being honest.
At this point, I was in CHAARG. That next Tuesday was the CHAARG Welcome Party [which I get to plan this year.. CRAZY] + guess what ?!? I was nervous as shit AGAIN! I walked into whatever building, into whatever room + sat down next to an actual human. I didn’t sit far in a corner + I didn’t make sure to leave TONS of space in between me + another person, but I sat next to a person.
That person happened to be Sydney, my now CHAARG bestie. Sydney + I also made small talk as usual and took the picture you see to your left. Ever since that night, Sydney + I have sat next to each other at every CHAARG event I’m forever grateful I stepped out of my comfort zone because I met her!
Now, as I share all of this + while it seems that all of my nerves were calmed… they weren’t. I went to every small group that semester except 1 [?] + every social that I didn’t have a class conflict for, yet I didn’t go to a single studio spotlight [we contact studios in our area to come + teach class for our members to help in finding their fit]. I was terrified I wasn’t fit enough to do System of Strength + Pound. That I still wouldn’t fit in + so… I never went. I made up the excuse that I had a class conflict or I would get my Eventbrite ticket + cancel it last minute [I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to do that first semester… whoops].
My first semester, I applied to be CHAARG’s Treasurer [+ didn’t get it]. Naturally, I was pretty disheartened by it + I actually thought about not returning to CHAARG spring semester. I was angry that I hadn’t gotten the position + that I hadn’t gotten that life-changing or eye-opening CHAARG experience others had had… was CHAARG really not for me?
However, I knew I needed to try again. Just because CHAARG didn’t work out in my favor first semester didn’t mean I wasn’t going to give it another go. I bought my spring membership on Black Friday + made a promise to myself that I would go to EVERY SINGLE CHAARG event that I could because I was sad + upset that CHAARG wasn’t changing my life the way it changed everyone else’s + that’s just what I did.
Spring semester I realized one very crucial CHAARG fact that no one tells you: CHAARG can’t change your life if you don’t let it. I had to put in the effort with CHAARG in order to receive that life-changing experience in return
My first semester of OU sucked [I actually contemplated transferring again]. I only talked to my roommate, CHAARG girls but strictly at CHAARG events, + some work people. I didn’t eat. I only worked out during small group. I self-harmed time + time again for the first time in ages + I was all around not happy. It wasn’t OU’s fault but more so mine.
I was unhappy before OU so it’s no surprise I was still unhappy in Athens. I wanted CHAARG to change my life so dearly because I hated it but I wasn’t willing to put in the effort.
CHAARG changed my life 2nd semester because I made it do so. I went to every studio spotlight + found a love for Pound, Yoga + Zumba!! I went to every small group + social ++ I met so many kind + passionate people ++ I used CHAARG to my advantage so it did change my life.
I eat now. I workout now [for fun + not for a punishment]. I can walk in public without music or talking to someone on the phone. I can talk in front of people. But most importantly, I’m happy now.
CHAARG isn’t this scary thing that only people who do CrossFit or participate in bodybuilding comps can be in. CHAARG is a place for anyone + everyone who have a passion for mental, phyiscal + emotional fitness whether you’ve just started this journey today or 15 years ago.
Remember this: CHAARG can change your life, but only if you let it.
Happy Monday everyone! Friday was the last day of CHAARG’s summer fitness plan “CHAARG Bootycamp” and I had the opportunity to be involved with it this summer. I wanted to reflect on my experience in this fitplan as I gear up for another in October (which I get to help lead as an exec member) so why not do it here for the whole world to see?
I am and have always been very black or white. I either love you or can’t stand you (if I know you that is… if I don’t I can be indifferent), all in or all out, I work out every single day or not at all, etc. and that can be good and bad. With fitness plans, however, it’s usually pretty bad.
I’m not sure why I’m like this // how I can change this about me, but the day I take a day off (that isn’t already listed in the actual plan) I just stop with it completely. I feel like a failure even if I’m not (it’s one day, not every day haha) and can’t bring myself to get back in the swing of things.
I was doing SOOO good the first 2 weeks of the plan… and then I went to Ohio to visit some friends. While I was there I didn’t workout, I drank a lot, ate a lot, etc. and when I got home the last thing I wanted to do was workout, let alone make up the workouts I missed. So, I didn’t workout for a week-ish (seems pretty backward I know). Then I made up a few workouts, got overwhelmed, + took another break. I did, however, get back on track for the last week + did all 3 strength workouts but I still didn’t feel that great about not really finishing the fitplan, especially because I spent money on it.
I think this is mainly due to my planning, or lack thereof. The fitplan started the day after I returned from Florida so I didn’t really have time or energy to plan the next 6 weeks of my life when I had been in a car for 10 ish hours. I had one thing on my mind, sleep, and the last thing I wanted to think about was planning the next 6 weeks.
Due to this, I was off on the wrong foot to begin with and I did persevere through my unplanned workout routine for a week and a half but I desperately needed to and should have planned out my workouts. Until I have written down a time or carved it into my planner, nothing is going to happen and that’s exactly what I didn’t do. I knew this would happen and it did, so I can’t really be mad about it now. This is definitely my major takeaway from this fitplan going into my next. I need to spend a few hours of my life the days before the fitplan starts planning my workouts, my foods, etc. if I want to get it done. It’s not that fitplans don’t work // it’s that you don’t make yourself work + I know that in order to build muscle (I have the upper body strength of a newborn baby) I need to plan and stick to that plan to see the results I want.
I do want to share a positive thing about this fitplan! There was a 10 day meal plan included and it was so useful! I didn’t follow the meal plan but I did love trying new recipes that I’m definitely going to incorporate into my faily life!!
So, while this may seem like a “wow Alicia you suck” sort of post, it definitely helped me realize my faults + how I can improve them for the fall! I also will say that this week I am sort of starting fresh with these workouts and doing the ones I like the most so that I can say I did not waste my money!
Are you as black + white like me? Or is there gray area for you?
Hi everyone. It’s been over a year since I decided to make the transition from omnivore to vegetarian and about 2 months of being completely vegan.
Since I started cutting meat and dairy and any animal product in general out of life, I have definitely noticed changes in all aspects of myself. Since I get quite a few questions from people asking the benefits of going vegan, I decided to make depicting some of the things I have personally benefited from since making this life change.
I have more energy: Contrary to popular belief that going vegan makes you sluggish because of the lack of protein in your diet (eye roll) I have never had more energy. Prior to breaking my toe… I had been waking up at 5:40 each morning and going on an hour or so walk each day. It gave me a nice kick-start to my day and I sure as hell beat my mom and sister out of bed.
My skin has been clearer:I’m not saying that I have no pimples… because I’m a teenager who, with hormones, and forgetfulness, sometimes forgets to change her pillowcases every other week or wash her face after a workout, but I don’t break out as frequently or nearly as much as I did before going vegan.
I eat more but I weigh less:I used to count calories religiously as a younger teenager. I would still, despite my counting calories and vigorous fitness routines, not lose weight. Now, I eat a lot more (albeit I eat a lot more fruits, vegetables, and things to that nature) but I have lost weight/look slimmer with/without exercise.
I poop more:Bowel movements are never things people like to discuss but I mean, it’s sort of common sense. I eat more, thus the waste has to go somewhere. So… I poop more. I don’t really know if this is a benefit or anything but I feel it is good to know.
I have made friends: Since the vegan population is pretty slim, whenever someone mentions the term vegan or even vegetarian, every single plant-based person within a 5-mile radius comes running. I have met a ton of cool vegans who have not only helped me stay on track with veganism but have also passed some amazing recipes my way.
I am saving animals!: I love animals (I’m sure you all know I’m partial to goats and dogs). I love every animal ever. I also used to love goat’s milk. Why is it that I found it okay to abuse (I didn’t know I was abusing these goats at the time) one animal I love but have another animal I love cuddle next to me on the couch? After going vegan, I have saved so many animals (even though it doesn’t seem like it) by eating plant proteins, milking almonds and soy (that’s what my dad calls it) and by being cautious when buying clothes and beauty products. If that’s not reason enough, I don’t know what is.
There are so many more benefits and just random things (like the poop example) I have noticed since going vegan but I feel that these 6 are super important to share. If anyone is vegan or wants to go vegan please feel free to ask me more questions or let me know what you noticed after going plant-based!