I Survived Family Vacation...

Hope you all had a great Labor Day holiday! I spent my weekend traveling with my family and visiting more family in Carmel, Indiana.

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I'm not gonna lie, I was a little worried about this trip. I love my family, but normally we spend a few hours together maximum and then we part ways. I wasn't sure how I was going to do, and how well we were going to get along spending all of Friday afternoon through Monday evening together! It went a lot better than I had anticipated, sure I needed my alone time throughout the weekend, but other than escaping for a workout or two and missing out on some pool and shopping time to do homework, I enjoyed some great quality time with my family (minus little brother who just started college, moved and got a new job that he had to work).

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We hadn't even made it to our destination when I started remembering all of the reasons why a little piece of me loves the city life. As we were driving in the surrounding area of my aunt and uncle's house, I looked around and a small part of me missed that life. And let's face it, one of the biggest things I was paying attention to was the food. On second thought, it's a good thing I don't live that close to a Panda Express, Chipotle, and Panera; I would be slightly overweight.

While I'm on the subject of food, let me tell you about the Kroger I visited. This was Kroger amusement park style. First of all, a grocery store with valet parking and a shuttle...I've never heard of such a thing, but they had it. Next, when you walk in, you hear live music coming from the cafeteria-like atmosphere of the second floor.

You walk a little farther and you can see the display of mushrooms, but this isn't a normal display. They're growing the mushrooms right there in the store and you get to pick your own!

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My favorite part of the whole place was the sushi bar, or should I say, sushi train. The sushi was made right in front of you and placed on a sort of conveyer belt that rotated around the whole bar. You just picked up the one you wanted.

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Other features of the store included an area dedicated to cheese, and the ability to sample them. There were convenient green colored signs in every aisle that designated where the natural, organic, and/or gluten-free products could be found.

Such a cool place, I could have spent hours there.

For the most part it was a very relaxing weekend. We shopped for the kids school clothes and just enjoyed some time off.

At one point we ended up in Dick's Sporting Goods to look for shoes for my brother, for me to get a picture for a photo article I had to write in biomechanics, and apparently my brother also found it necessary to test out some new golf clubs.

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Over the past couple summers, my 11-year old brother, Brennen, has really gotten into golf, and decided he needed to test out some clubs for a possible future purchase.

Even though this weekend was meant to be a relaxing vacation, those who know me can't expect me to go 4 days without working on something. Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, instead of joining in on shopping and swimming, I decided it would be best for me to hang back at the house, write a biomechanics article (the photo article I mentioned above) and start putting together a playlist for dance (which I start teaching tonight, yay!).

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Not to say that the rest of my Saturday didn't involve a bit of fun. The whole group of us sat down to play a game of Mexican Train. It was so fun to share laughs with everyone during a game that lasted over an hour.

Sunday night, our last night in Indiana, I decided I wanted something sweet. It was 8:15 or so when I came to this realization and the nearest frozen yogurt places were closing at 9. I was determined to get some dessert so I quickly rounded everyone up and we headed to Orange Leaf. (Again the convenience of having these places so close).

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Being that I couldn't decide on one flavor, I got three. Birthday cake, pineapple, and cheesecake with strawberries, blueberries, white chocolate chips and caramel syrup. Mmm! Brennen, on the other hand, just had a difficult time figuring out what kind of candy he wanted on his. He had 1/4 of his bowl filled with frozen yogurt and the rest filled with toppings and candy!

Monday morning we got up, had lunch, and headed out. On our way out I made a request to make a stop at a local nutrition store, check out a new brand of protein and supplements I'm looking into, and of course get some free samples. I tried the R+D Body Revive Rx Recovery Accelerator in Orange Crush after my leg workout last night, it was delicious! I'm looking forward to testing out some other samples including my Chocolate Dream flavored Lean Fusion protein blend. Check out the site here for more products and information.

As we made our way home, my dad and I were the ones to stay awake while my mom and the kids slept in the back most of the way. I sure was glad when we made it to this sign...

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Once we got into Michigan we hit some pretty good thunderstorms that seemed to follow us almost all the way home, but we made it and with that an enjoyable, family weekend in the books.

****Bonus*****

I mentioned that I took time to workout while I was on vacation. My aunt and uncle have a treadmill in their basement and I took full advantage. Check out this workout I did! I don't think I have ever sweat so much in my life. Enjoy.

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FitFriday #2: Snacktime Made Healthy

Happy Friday everyone! Today I'm chaperoning my little brother's field trip so I made the trip to the thumb last night after school. I planned on going on a run and doing the second set of my challenge, but little did I know I was going to be able to get my whole family involved!

As soon as I mentioned wanting to go for a run my little brother, Brennen (11), chimed in and asked if he could go. He's been on a couple runs with me before and figured he could handle it. Well then little sister, Faith (7), decided she wanted to go running too. I wasn't too confident in her joining us so my mom offered to take her to the end of the road and back while Brennen I started our run. This kid definitely impressed me and helped encourage me to keep up my pace. Wesley (other brother, 18) was our cheerleader riding up and down the road on his dirt bike.

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Once we got back I wanted to get the second set of the challenge done for the day and got the whole family (minus my dad who had a meeting) to join in with me!

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Speaking of the challenge, how are you all doing?! Only one more day, stay focused and keep moving!

Onto today's topic, healthy snacking. Being fit isn't just about working out and seeing the results on the outside, its about eating right and feeling good on the inside.

When I first started trying to fit healthier choices into my diet I had the hardest time finding snacks or something quick to keep me going or to take on the go. I've come across a few things that are my go-tos these days and figured I would share some of my favorites.

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  1. I have to admit fruits are pretty awesome and have been one of my favorite foods, well forever. Some fruits like apples and bananas can be super easy to just grab as you're walking out the door (I do this at least twice a week).
  2. Pictures 2 and 4 go together. First of all, I absolutely LOVE hummus. When I was younger I didn't like the word "hummus" and therefore, never tried the food. (I know, what a weirdo, right?!) Once I tried it, I couldn't get enough. I dip veggies in hummus quite often. And as much as I hate to admit it, I eat chips and hummus even more often. But seriously, this stuff goes on everything, wraps, sandwiches and I even use it to replace salad dressing at times.
  3. Almonds are great to grab on the go. This was my staple snack that I would take to long practices. There are SO many benefits to eating almonds you can read about those benefits here and here.
  4. See number 2.
  5. Oh Larabars! Growing up my parents always had some kind of granola bar in the house. I always thought that all granola bars were healthy snacks, yep, definitely wrong on that one. I took a look at the list of ingredients of the granola bars I was eating, it was a lot longer than I felt it should have been. (How is all of that stuff packed in there?!) When a friend introduced me to Larabars and I saw the short list of ingredients (usually only about three or four items) that were mostly comprised of fruits and nuts and I was sold, plus they're delicious! My personal favorite would have to be chocolate chip cookie dough, mmm-mm.

Just a quick tip whenever you buy foods look for the least amount of ingredients and know that the first few things listed are what the food is mostly made of. 

A new snacking adventure I am embarking on is NatureBox. I just got my free trial this week and I am looking forward to my first full box to come in.

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Be on the look out for a NatureBox post in the upcoming month. Have you ever tried a service like this? Does a service like this interest you?

Enjoy the rest of your Friday, and rock that challenge!