State Fair of Texas + Deep Fried Everything

Having grown up in the Northeast, living in the south has been a bit of a culture shock for me. It’s true that Austin is more of a melting pot than other areas, but sometimes I find myself feeling totally immersed in southern culture. It’s a riot!

the state fair of texas is a uniquely southern experience

The State Fair of Texas was a uniquely southern experience, for sure. On Sunday, a friend and I drove 3 hours to Dallas with the intention of encountering some good fried food and people watching. We called it an anthropological experiment, and kept saying we felt so Texas-y. Too funny!

I’ve been to my fair share (no pun intended) of country fairs before back in Pennsylvania, so the fair wasn’t anything TOO crazy to me. However, it was absolutely HUGE! Everything is bigger in Texas, right?

An actual Texas Longhorn ... now I get it, UT!

An actual Texas Longhorn … now I get it, UT!

There was so much to do and see, and way more exhibits than any fair I’ve ever visited. The photo up above is Big Tex, a talking, moving, totally creepy statue, and the mascot of the fair since the 1940s.

But I know what parts of the fair you really want to see.

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Yoga Reminders

Hello and Happy Friday! 🙂 Are you feeling good today, or more than ready for the week to be done?

In lieu of my weekly Wednesday yoga on the roof of Whole Foods, I’ve been enjoying a free week of unlimited yoga at a studio in downtown Austin. It’s been super nice! I actually made it to the 6 AM class this morning … barely.

corepower yoga austin texas

Do you have Corepower Yoga near you?

I really enjoyed the instructor’s attitude this morning. Something he kept repeating was, “Be soft.” It was a good reminder to be gentle with yourself, both physically and mentally. From there, we can be soft with others.

In so many areas of our lives, we are our toughest critic. Whether it’s work, school, relationships or anything else, we tend to be so hard on ourselves. Class today was a reminder that it’s okay to be soft. Be playful. Extend peace into the world.

I don’t consider myself a “spiritual” yogi, but sometimes I really connect with what the instructor has to say. I’m thankful that today was one of those days!

peace in the world  yoga

There is another phrase I picked up from yoga a few months back. I think about it often. That is, “know that this is exactly where you are meant to be, because this is where you are.Where you are and who you are in this moment is perfect. Embrace it!

Your Turn-

  • Have you ever learned something from a yoga class?
  • What’s a quote that’s been resonating with you lately?

Have a great weekend, everybody!

WIAW – Fish, Food Trucks & Fall

Well hello, Wednesday. I’m not one to wish time away, but I do love when the weekend is in sight. 🙂

I’m super excited for the Texas State Fair (and Lucy Hale concert) and Pecan Street Festival this weekend. Yay for activities! But for now, it’s time for my favorite day in the blog world… What I Ate Wednesday.

wiaw-fall-into-good-habits-button

As always, thanks to Jenn (Peas and Crayons) for hosting this linkup. Here we go!

Breakfasts

last day of summer oats with kiwi, peaches, hemp seeds, greek yogur

Monday’s last day of summer oats. Egg white oats with kiwi, peaches, hemp seeds, a dollop of Greek yogurt, and dry cereal.

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My First Tastes of Fall

It might be my imagination, but I SWEAR fall was in the air this morning in Central Texas! Temperatures in the 60s? I’ll take it! Of course, it’s in the 80s now, but we’re not talking about that. : )

I grew up in Pennsylvania and went to school in New York state, so autumn temperatures in the 80s are going to take some getting used to.

six mile creek in ithaca is gorgeous in the fall

I took this last year on my favorite running trail in Ithaca, NY. My happy place!

However, I loved Emily (My Healthyish Life)’s ideas for making it feel like fall, despite warmer southern temps. Definitely going to borrow some of those tricks, starting with fall scented candles!

Another way I’ve been making it feel a little more like fall is by, of course, enjoying pumpkin and apple themed snacks and breakfasts.

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Keeping a Food Log

Hello, Monday. We meet again. I hope everyone is feeling rejuvenated after this weekend and that you’re ready to take on another week. Unfortunately I didn’t get the froyo that I was hoping for… but I did treat myself to something even crazier. More on that Wednesday!

Today I thought we’d talk about food logs. You’re probably aware that tracking your food intake is linked to less overall calorie consumption, and can even double folks’ weight loss efforts! Food logging is the a big part of many diet programs like Weight Watchers, and there are tons of online tools/apps like MyFitnessPal that track calories.

I’ve been loosely logging my meals for close to 3 years now. It’s become such a habit for me that I don’t even think about it anymore. I just keep a running “Stickies” note on my mac desktop. Nothin’ fancy!

food log for health and wellnessA time when this was particularly useful was this past winter. I was half marathon training, and I felt like I was eating SO MUCH! I actually went back to my log from about a year prior to compare portion sizes, etc. Of course, your training/lifestyle/schedule will affect your routine, so if you do this, you should probably take it with a grain of salt. It just serves as a pretty neat reference.

I don’t count calories, macros, or stress over portion sizes. But for me, logging my food intake is a way to keep myself accountable and spend a minute or so thinking about my eating habits. Super useful!

Your Turn-

  • Do you log your meals? If so, what tools do you use?
  • Have your eating habits evolved over the past year or so?

Friday Favorites – Books, Boots and BBQ

Hey and happy Friday! I don’t have much planned for this rainy weekend, but I’m excited for it nonetheless. I’m thinking at the very least, this weekend will involve Body Pump, the mall, and a fro-yo run. Typical! 😉

I’m linking up with Katie (Running 4 Cupcakes) and Heather (Housewife Glamour) to share with you my Friday Favorites. Just a few things I’ve been lovin’ lately!

Fri_Favs_thumb1

friday favorites

So let’s get right into it! My Friday Favorites —

jim from the officeThis Jim quote. Enough said. 😉

happy hemp austin texas

Hemp seeds – a great source of complete protein, fatty acids, and an all around nutritional powerhouse. I’ve been adding them to salads, oatmeal, smoothies, basically anything! (Plus, Happy Hemp is based in Austin and are super sweet.)

And on the opposite end of the spectrum…

Freemen's BBQ Austin Texas

Hands-down the most amazing BBQ I’ve had in Texas, from Freedmen’s. SERIOUSLY delicious – I even had seconds (that means a lot coming from a mostly-pescatarian)! #treatyoself

suki exfoliating cleasner from my birchbox

Suki exfoliate foaming cleanser. I received a sample of this in my Birchbox. I love the citrusy scent, and the way it turns from exfoliating to smooth as you rub it in. Plus, a multi-purpose product is great in my book.

an abundance of katherines by john green

My current read – I just started it. Have you read this one yet?

The public library. When I tell people I check out books from the library, their reaction is always the same: “You WHAT?!” I know I’m old school, but I love it. To be honest, I just like getting my books for free!

And just for funsies, my last Friday favorite is…

IMG_2876Trying on cowboy boots! 😉 I would never buy these. Being a northern girl, I wouldn’t have an occasion to wear them. It’s still fun to try on, though!

Your Turn-

  • Do you own a pair of cowboy boots? Would you?
  • Where do you get books from?

WIAW – Mucho Meal Prep

You know what feels great? Getting back on track. After a few weeks of wonky food and workout patterns, I knew I needed to get my stuff together this week if I wanted to get back to eating and feeling my best.

For some reason it’s been hard for me to get 100% where I want to be (I blame these.. sooo addicting!), but I’m getting there. One day at a time!

On Sunday night during the Bears game (holla!), I spent about 2 hours in the kitchen meals for the week. It’s time consuming, but so worth it.

wiaw-fall-into-good-habits-button

I’m linking up with Jenn from Peas and Crayons to share with you this week’s ‘What I Ate Wednesday’ – meal prep edition.

Breakfasts

fruit and greek yogurt parfait

Post-workout parfait – nonfat plain Greek yogurt, kiwi, raspberries, and a chopped up pumpkin cornbread muffin.

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Very Inspiring Blogger Award (& 7 Facts About Me)

I am super honored to have been nominated by my friend Georgie (@ In it for the Long Run) for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

Georgie and I went to school together at Ithaca College, and are basically the same person food and fitness-wise. She has an awesome job as the community manager for Bai5. Georgie has also been a blogging mentor to me, which I appreciate a ton. xoxo!

inspirational blogger awardI’ve decided to bend the rules a bit and include not only my favorite bloggers, but also my favorite Instagrammers and new blogs I’ve just stumbled upon, who I’d love to learn more about. Hope that’s cool! ; )

Here are the rules:

  • Thank and link the person who nominated you –>  Thank you, dear Georgie! : )
  • List the rules and display the award.
  • Share 7 facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 other blogs you enjoy, and let them know you have nominated them.

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A Nearly Perfect Sunday + Trader Joe’s Haul

I’m not sure what my ideal Sunday would consist of, but I think today has been pretty darn close!

I woke up before my alarm(!) around 7:00 and resisted the urge to go back to bed. Instead, I drove down to Zilker Park (the soon-to-be home of Austin City Limits) and walked the 3 mile Lady Bird Lake trail.

lady bird lake trail austin zilker park

It’s still a bit chilly from the cold front, and I’m seriously LOVING the relief! I wore shorts and a t-shirt, and was neither too warm nor too cold. Perfection!

I debated going for run on a second 3-mile lap around the park, but opted to hit the gym instead. It was a good decision because I know my HIIT workout pushed me harder than a casual jog would.

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Blog Makeover + Snack Obsession

I’m feeling pretty glamorous. I gave my blog a totally new look today! : ) What do you think?

By the way, it’s COLD in Austin! … relatively speaking.

cold front in austin

Everyone’s talking about the cold front and storm that blew in this weekend. Being from the North I know it isn’t actually cold. But I must admit, compared to 105 degrees, 61 sure does feel chilly! It’s a bit of a false alarm for fall, though. Back to the 90s tomorrow!

Fall is my absolute favorite season and I’m a bit bummed that I’ll be missing the chilly temperatures that I’m used to. But one thing’s for sure — I will NOT miss winter!

After sleeping in a bit this morning, I opted to take the later Body Pump class (10:15 instead of my usual 9 AM). I went a little lighter on legs since I’m still sore from Camp Gladiator yesterday. I’m looking forward to getting 100% back into my Body Pump game!

healthy snacks

After class I made myself a pretty ho-hum breakfast taco, but this baby stole the show! I am obsessed with rice cakes and peanut butter lately! I find myself having them for breakfast, dessert, snacks, even dinner some days… oops. : )

Definitely not reinventing the wheel here, but you seriously can’t beat a Honey Nut rice cake with peanut butter, banana, flax, cinnamon and honey. Simply the best!

Your Turn-

  • What’s the weather like in your neck of the woods? Is it feeling like fall yet?
  • What’s your favorite way to enjoy rice cakes?