Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Check out my new blog!

Are you following this blog? If so, head on over to Postcards by Rachel, my newest blogging addition. I put Kansas Born, New York Bound on hiatus when I moved to Europe and started a travel blog. Now I'm back at home with a better appreciation of Kansas, working full time and planning a wedding. To see how I'm mixing my love of travel with a midwest lifestyle, check out my new Postcards blog and subscribe by Google or by email!
Thanks friends!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pink Slime. What's your take?

I hope you've heard of it by now. Pink Slime.  Ugh, my stomach shudders even at the words.

The story broke in The Daily, a news app for the iPad.  I read it at the gym, and immediately wished I hadn't eaten a hamburger the day before (not just the fat content... but what if I digested THAT?).  The country is in an uproar about what is in the meat we buy, and with good reason.  For how long have the meat packaging companies been filling our their products and beefing up weight/price with chemicals and parts of the cattle we never want to digest?

The information is enough to make a vegetarian diet tempting to anyone.  The story broke about ground beef, but who is to say other meat packing companies do not do similar things?  We thought the USDA was in place to protect us, but they ruled that the pink slime process was legitimate and should not even be placed on labels.  This brings us to question, how much do we really know about where or how our food is produced?  The story is an eye opener to many people who are not mindful of food origins.

The outing of "pink slime" is just the beginning.  The movement in this country to be more mindful of our eating habits is strong enough to do more research, and it frightens me what might come up.  I've thought about taking meat out of my diet for awhile, and more research like this might actually motivate me to do it.

What do you think, is the pink slime a big deal?  Did it change your shopping plans for the week?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Review: FitBit

about the length of my pinky!
I have a new favorite toy.  You could say we know each other in a very personal way.  It's called a Fitbit, and it's pulling me back to the world of health sanity.

I discovered Fitbit through my father.  Now we compete for the most steps!  He has been wearing a pedometer for years, and has tried multiple companies and versions.  When I was in high school he got me into the habit of tracking steps.  It's such a great motivation tool to take a glance and see how much you've been moving.

Basically, the Fitbit is a high tech pedometer and very user friendly.  It's so small you can wear it pretty much anywhere.  In my case, I wear dresses enough without pockets or belts that it is easiest to wear it on my bra.  No one knows!

The Fitbit comes with a charging station, and once you set up an account the station with auto-sync your current step count any time you are within 15 feet.  That means you never have to plug the Fitbit in to get updated info, it does it for you.  Convenience gets a lot of points in my book.

The bonus of this is that Fitbit has developed a fantastic app for your smart phone.  When you're around your charger, your phone has up-to-the minute info.  It tracks steps, stairs taken, and generally how active you are.  There are also sections to track everything you eat and (my favorite tab) how much water you drink.  The app has great links with other popular apps, like LoseIt!, and I prefer to use that to track food because I think it has a greater database and it has a barcode scanner built in.  The two apps sync and work together, making imputing information much easier for me.

Another great feature, when you wear the Fitbit on your wrist at night it will track your sleeping patterns.  This was eye opening for me, but I guess really just interesting not extremely helpful except telling me I need to go to bed earlier and quit pressing snooze (I know that already).

- I realized I take next to no steps when I'm sitting behind a computer all day, so I've started taking walks around the halls every hour and at night when I get home
- tracking food is IMPORTANT!  I've wondered why I've been struggling and it's because I like to snack. A lot. This was like a slap in the face to reform my eating habits between meals.
- I never have to plug it in, I only have to put it on the base station to charge (and the charge lasts at least a week!)
- LOVE LOVE LOVE the app for my iPhone

Cons: Price. at $100 a piece you better be careful not to accidentally throw it in the washing machine.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Recovery 101

The holidays have come and gone, lots of our wallets are hurting and lots of our pants are a little snug.  Come on. I'm not the only one.  Now is recovery time, and thankfully I'm working on fixing both of those things (a bit of necessity and a bit of lingering new year's resolutions).

What to do when you overspend and overeat for a month or so?
1. stop spending money
2. figure out how to survive without spending money
3. be completely broke so start surviving on very little food (after all, food costs money)
4. somehow it balances a little and you end up loosing a little weight and being able to pay the bills. Right? Maybe...

A few holiday highlights include...

I made RainBeer presents and they were a hit!
Christmas with the family :)
After Christmas I got to get away to Branson for a few days.  The lights and shopping were wonderful, as was spending a few days with my family :)
New Year's Road Trip :)
We found Memory Lane!
I got my braces off and a haircut!
And finally, I started an internship at the best non-profit ever :) I absolutely love it!

Now it's time to get back on track with my schedule and my health!  I started classes as well as a new internship.  I absolutely love it!  Hopefully this will help lead me to where I want to be.  You know, since I graduate in roughly... 11 months.

I just started this semester internship and it's already time to look for summer!

Friday, December 16, 2011

High Five Friday!

Guess what, it's Friday!  Here's five great things about my week that deserve a high five! And... it's Friday, so you get one anyway.  Please share your own high five in comments!

1. END OF FINALS.  So, I still have one more in about an hour, but that's okay because one more final, two more choir performances and it's Christmas Break!

2. 360 Chocolate Flavored Vodka.  Wow. Got to try it last night and YUM.  That could be dangerous for me this holiday season.

3. I got some presents wrapped, finally.  Boyfriend is going home for Christmas so I let him start a little early... he got to open one last night and he loved it :) My family has a tradition of Hallmark ornaments every year so I got him an Indiana Jones figurine.

4.  I got to the gym three times this week! YAY it feels so good. Can't wait for a little break time so I can whip myself back into shape!

Me and my better half :) It was cold!

5. Christmas lights :)  More and more going up around the city and I love them!  Also got to go to Botanica for Illuminations last weekend and it was so beautiful.  Reminded me almost of Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO. Almost.

Give me your high fives! Happy Friday and Merry Christmas :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My hair savior - The Small Things Blog

Sometimes you just find a blog that is fantastic.  I've got to share this one with you!  While browsing through Pinterest the other day, I stumbled upon The Small Things Blog and I am absolutely IN LOVE!

Kate, the author of The Small Things Blog offers loads of great hair tips and style ideas. I watched one of her videos and used what I learned the next morning.  I haven't had so many compliments on my hair in awhile!

The number one tip I found through her site (this is going to blow your mind) is that you're supposed to put bobby pins in zig-zag side DOWN.

I simply do not understand how I made it through 21 years of doing my hair and never learned this little thing.  This little thing makes a BIG difference!  I've never before been able to get my hair to stay up in a messy bun using just pins.  By simply turning them over, I got it to stay all day with just FOUR!

Find her latest post here.  I found out about the bobby pin trick through reading some comments on a previous post, and then ironically a couple days later she wrote a post about it! Take time to read some hair posts and watch a couple videos, she really has some great ideas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Party Survival Guide... for holiday fat prevention

There's sugar everywhere.  Cake in the office.  Chocolate in class.  Cookies on the counter because of that night I had a craving to bake... and made a double batch.  Good thing there is a boyfriend to eat all those up...

Sugar sugar sugar, it's holiday time and I can't get away from it.  This week I have five (yes, five) holiday parties to attend.  How am I going to keep from wrecking my my whole Don't-Gain-Weight-In-December plan?

Here's some hints, for me AND you!

1. Eat before you go - always works.  Even if I cannot resist the goodies completely, if I have a good meal before I head out to a party I know I've already had as many calories and proteins as I need.  Anything else I eat (or drink) is just extra to burn off.

2. Get up in the morning (or sometime) for some exercise!  The last think I feel like doing is pulling early mornings when I know there are going to be some late nights, but it makes a difference.  Even if all I'm accomplishing is maintaining my weight where it's at, that's better than gaining the average 2 or 3 holiday pounds!

3. Stop and evaluate before you put it in your mouth.  Look the whole table over. Pick three things you really want to try and forget the rest (and make it reasonable portion sizes).

4. Bring your own healthy snack to the party that you know is a go-to when you have a craving.  Every time you really feel like you should be munching on something, there's your low calorie healthy snack waiting to occupy your hands and mouth instead of the Oreo bon-bons and chocolate-by-death cake.

5. Drink a lot of water, and cut down on everything else.  Not only will it make you eat less, it will make you drink less worthless calories.

6. When all else fails, gum.  If you keep some minty gum in your purse for emergencies, you won't be tempted just to grab something from the table when you're walking by or just take a sip of someones eggnog.

Good Luck! Don't be too hard on yourself, just remember it's about having fun, not being sick of sugar and too much to drink!