Favorites, Health

5 Things I Always Buy Name Brand

Hello and happy hump day! We’re already halfway through the week which seems crazy to me.

When I was grocery shopping and cleaning out the cabinets the other day, I realized there are a few items that I always buy name brand. Now I’m all about saving a dollar here and there on generic items but sometimes the extra money spent on name brand items is worth it in my opinion! So today I’m sharing five food items that I always buy name brand. Let me know if there’s anything you always buy name brand in the comments!

Snyder’s of Hanover Snaps Pretzels

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One time I bought the generic brand of pretzels because they’re about half the price of Sneyder’s pretzels. Let’s just say there’s a reason they are cheaper and not a good reason. The store brand just tasted stale to both Alex and I so you couldn’t eat them alone. Hummus or peanut butter was a must. We were both very happy to finish so we can go back to our beloved Sneyder’s. Without fail, the pretzels are perfectly cooked and the right amount of salt. When they’re on sale we stock up and our cabinet is overflowing with them.

Dannon Oiko’s Triple Zero Greek Yogurt

Oikos Peach Yogurt

This Greek yogurt is the healthiest Greek yogurt I have found. There is no added sugar or artificial sweeteners in it which is amazing. So many flavored yogurts have sugar as one of the first three ingredients and in my opinion that defeats the purpose of having yogurt. There’s also 15 grams of protein in them which is great. The yogurt is actually blended which gives it a thick yet light texture. That’s probably a terrible explanation but just try it! My grandma even said it was good once I told her about it. My favorite flavors are peach, strawberry, mixed berry and vanilla. I eat one almost every afternoon at work as a pre-run snack. I don’t think I’ll stop buying Oikos Triple Zero yogurt for years.

Rotel Chipotle Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles and Chipotle Peppers

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There are always a minimum of 2 cans of this in our cabinets. If we’re being real though there’s usually 4-5 cans. The local grocery store has a 5 for $5 deal on them so when I see that, I’ll stock up. I use these to make homemade salsa and the flavor of the Chipotle version is the best. The store brand just has one variation and in my opinion it didn’t have a ton of flavor and spice. It’s not worth the few cents I would save buying the generic can if I have to sacrifice flavor. Rotel diced tomatoes will forever be something I buy.

Martin’s Potato Rolls

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Alex introduced me to potato rolls since they’re his preferred bun for burgers, hot dogs, brats, and Italian sausage. I tried the store brand version of them and they did not freeze well at all. We don’t go through a pack of buns fast enough to keep them in the cabinet so we keep them in the freezer and just take two out to defrost when we need them. The flavor of Martin’s potato rolls is so good even after being frozen. They’re just as soft when you defrost them as when you buy them too which I like. If I gave you one from the freezer and one that I had just bought from the store you wouldn’t be able to tell which was which. When I noticed them on sale, I buy a few packs to have on hand.

Tea

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I drink tea every day. Alex occasionally drinks it as well so I grabbed a box of the generic store brand tea once. The tea was almost flavorless if that makes sense. It just made the hot water taste kind of different but the tea flavor wasn’t strong. I ended up using two tea bags in every mug so that I could get flavor and use the box faster. Instead of saving a dollar or so by buying the generic brand, I grab the “Club Sized Savings” box that our local grocery stores offer for Lipton. Just one tea bag gives me the exact flavor I’m looking for in tea. Plus it makes good iced tea as well.

Question of the day: What’s one thing you always buy name brand?

Health, Tips

Things I Do When I Feel Under The Weather

Happy hump day everyone! I’m still battling allergies/a cold over here. Even though I’m not sure if this is just allergies or if I’m sick, I am 110% positive that I don’t feel that myself. Although today is much better than the past two days so fingers crossed I’m on the mend. Luckily I have a few things that I do when I feel under the weather. With allergy season in full force now, I know I’m not the only one suffering. Hopefully you find some of this useful if allergies are affecting you or if you’re sick.

Take Medicine

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Now this seems like a no brainer but I’ve been known to take something in the morning then get busy and forget to take a second pill later in the day. The hardest part about this is figuring out what works for you. Some people wear by Zyrtec while other’s find that only Claritin works for their allergies. Do a little experimenting to find what your body responds best to and then take it. Emergen-C is a must for both Alex and I. We both take it when one person isn’t feeling well so that both of us aren’t sick.

Drink Liquids

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When I’m sick or dealing with allergies water doesn’t sound good at all if my sense of taste is gone. I know I need to drink it though so I kind of just force it into my body. I notice that cold water tastes better and goes down infinitely easier when I’m sick. Sometimes I want something warm though so tea with some honey is perfect. Honey helps suppress coughing which is great if you have a sore throat.

Screw Looking Good And Go For Comfort

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I’m the type of person who enjoys wearing jeans and looking put together. When I don’t feel good, you couldn’t pay me to wear jeans. Well my company can pay me but only because pajamas would be against the dress code 😉 The first thing I do when I get home is change into pajamas. To me, being comfortable is way more important when I’m dealing with a cold or allergies.

Try To Eat Healthy But Don’t Forget Comfort Foods

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When allergies or illness hits, I like to keep my breakfast and lunches the same but am totally okay with going for comfort on dinner. My breakfast and lunch are healthy but for dinner, you better believe I’m whipping up a box of Kraft mac and cheese to enjoy. Since I ate majority of the day healthy, I’d rather get some more comfort in than veggies at night.

Take It Easy

If I don’t feel good, I’ll assess my body to see how I feel. If it’s just a cough or something then I stick to my normal exercise routine. If I’m showing multiple symptoms or if it’s below the neck then I don’t workout at all. Letting your body recover and focus it’s energy on getting better or fighting allergies is much more important then working out in my opinion.

Fitness, Health, Running

How I Balance Fitness, Work And Life

Hi friends! I hope you are having a good week so far. Training for a half marathon is time consuming to say the least. I would run after work 4 days a week. Once it was all said and done, I’d be busy until about 5:45 or 6 pm each night I had to run. That’s quite the commitment. In order to keep my balance in place, I did a few things each week. Now that the half marathon has passed, I’m still running but lower mileage than before.

I Write Down My Workouts

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I love my planner. Some of you may be more up to tech savvy with your planner but I love to put pen to paper when it comes to life organization. As soon as my runs would are uploaded, I take out my pen and planner to write them down. This would allow me to look ahead when I would plan things for next week or so.When I have strength workouts I want to complete, I write those down as well. It’s helps me feel like I “have” to get these done and gives me a the satisfaction of crossing them off when it’s complete.

I Get Everything Together The Night Before

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To make sure I don’t have to spend too much time after work getting ready to go run, I lay out all my clothes the night before. Everything from my sports bra and socks to my watch. When I pull my clothes out, I check the weather so I know what the best option will be. Knowing everything is ready and charged means I can mindless change, stretch then head out the door.

I Plan Dinners A Week In Advance

Before making my grocery list, I ask Alex what nights he won’t be home for dinner during the week and write it down. Then we go through and think of a few meals that we’ll want to have that week. This helps me know what I need to take out of the freezer or if I have to put something in the crock pot before we head to work. For me, I feel best on runs (and in general!) when I eat a healthy diet with treats when I feel like it. Knowing meals are planned helps take guess work out of getting food on the table after I run.

I Move During The Work Day

I work in an office that is connected to a million square foot warehouse. My job involves going into the warehouse and looking at the packages. When I go out I chose to walk and people always tell me I should drive the golf cart. Now sometimes I do but I prefer to walk. It helps me get movement during the day instead of just sitting at my desk.

One perk of working in a warehouse to develop packaging is that I need to conduct part fits from time to time. On days I know I have a lot of fitting to do, I’ll wear a stretchy dress shirt like this one. It helps me move easier and still look professional which is a plus.

Most of you probably don’t work in a giant warehouse but you can still get movement during the day. At past jobs, instead of messaging a coworker when I had a question, I would walk to their desk. Face to face contact is always a good thing plus you get movement. If you and a coworker have a meeting set, see if you can walk around and chat instead of sitting in a conference room.

I Give Myself A Break When I Need One

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Sometimes you have a bad day or a can’t pass up opportunity that comes along. If this happens, I either skip a run (if it’s recovery) or I switch the days around so I can get in a speed workout. If the run doesn’t happen that’s okay. One skipped run won’t kill your progress if it happens. It’s so much better to factor in your mental health than kill yourself to get a run in. Or even if you do get a workout in but you’ve had a bad day, a glass of wine and relaxing on the couch is just what your head needs so go for it!

Question of the day: How do you balance fitness/health with a busy work week?

Fitness, Health, Workout

My Thoughts On Kayla Itsine’s Bikini Body Guide

Happy hump day friends! I hope you are having a great week. A few weeks ago, I mentioned how I was loosely following Kayla Itsine’s Bikini Body Guide (BBG). Some people were curious on my thoughts and how I’m doing the program so I wanted to put it all together for you in today’s post. Hopefully you find it helpful! Have a great day 🙂

Before we really get into it, I just want to state that everything expressed is just my opinion on the program. A little bit of background on this program. Kayla Itsine’s Instagram popped up on my feed randomly about 2.5 years ago. I scrolled through and saw all of these amazing transformations. I ended up purchasing the program and following the workout portion (there’s also a nutrition guide) exactly for about 8 weeks. Then I got bored, stopped and did my own thing for a while.

Fast forward to the beginning of 2018. I wanted to incorporate some sort of strength/cross training into my running routine. I was (still am technically) building towards a half marathon with higher mileage weeks. For a few weeks, I tried streaming workout videos from Youtube but it took so much time to find the videos, queue them and then get the tv set for Chromecast. I wasn’t motivated since I felt like I was wasting time getting it ready.

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Then I remembered I had BBG. I pulled out the binder it was in and decided to try it for a few weeks. I wasn’t going to follow it exactly since I wanted it to work for me. This meant breaking up the days to follow my running schedule. Kayla has it so that each day (legs and cardio, arms and core, full body) involves 2 circuits. Each circuit is followed for 7 minutes before a short break and repeating it once so each circuit is done twice or for a total of 4 circuits. I broke this up. I took one leg circuit and would do it twice after my first speed workout of the week. On recovery days I did one arm and core circuit twice. For me, keeping my hard days hard works which is why I pair legs with speed runs.

My typical week in workouts looks like this:

Monday – speed run and leg circuit
Tuesday – recovery run and arm and core circuit
Wednesday – rest day
Thursday – speed run and leg circuit
Friday – recovery run and leg circuit
Saturday – long run and full body circuit
Sunday – rest day

So far I’m really enjoying how this goes. I’m currently in preweek 4 of the program. I opted to participate in the preweeks since I had not been doing much of any strength training. I’ve noticed a difference in my running now that’s it has been a few weeks of this. During speed workouts, I’m running faster paces and not struggling as much. My coach has actually increased paces for speed workouts and I’m still crushing them. I’m kind of kicking myself for this now but I kind of wish I took some pictures at the beginning of this so I could track my progress. But I didn’t so oh well.

Since there’s a lot of stuff involved with any workout program,  I decided to put together a little pros and cons list. Again, this is all based on my opinion! You should definitely research BBG for yourself to see if it could be right for you.

Pros:
– Easy to follow and customize to fit your needs (for example, my hip was really sore yesterday so I opted to skip the circuit post run)
– Minimal thought needed after runs. I just open the binder and follow it
– 14 minutes after runs is easy to do and doesn’t take a ton of time
– Can be done anywhere
– You feel it in your muscles for days (yay for a good workout)

Cons:
– Needs some workout equipment (dumbbells, medicine ball) so I have to use household items (seltzer or wine bottles)
– Not a huge variety in the moves so it can feel repetitive
– You feel it in yours muscles for days (laughing can be painful after a core intense circuit)

Overall I’m really enjoying the program. I like that I can switch things around to work for my schedule and I don’t feel like I’m “failing” at the program if I skip a circuit. The purpose of the program to me is build strength in places running typically doesn’t and to help me work towards my goals. While the name of the guide is bikini body, Kayla herself said it’s not to make anyone a certain size. A lot of her personal training clients would say they wanted a bikini body so the name stuck. If I get a little more toned that’s great but I’m just using it to make myself stronger overall.

Question of the day: Have you ever done BBG?

Health

Women’s Clothing Brands Need To Get It Together

Hi friends! I hope you’re having a good week so far. Today’s post is a little different. While I was at Target on Sunday, I decided to try on some new jeans. My pants have been loose for a while and I’ve just been a little lazy with getting new ones when tightening my belt has been enough. This post is going to have some real talk in it so just keep that in mind.

Now a few weeks ago, I placed an order at Macy’s and grabbed a pair of my beloved Levi’s in one size smaller. When I say I couldn’t even pull them up over my thighs, I’m not kidding. Now I was annoyed because it left me feeling like I was just going to be stuck in between sizes for a while even though I could tell I would need smaller pants soon.

While at Target the other day, I decided to try on jeans again. I figured maybe it was just the style that didn’t work with my body. So I grabbed a size 6 skinny jeans and headed to the dressing room. They were big. Not just a little big but “a belt would help big”, they were “they looked huge on me” big. So I grabbed one size smaller. Still big. I was in disbelief at that point. Yes I’ve lost weight but there was no way I would fit in a size 2. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever been a size 2. Yet they fit.

When I got home, I told Alex because it was just ridiculous that a 28 in one brand wouldn’t go over my thighs but a size 2 in another fit perfectly. It got me thinking that maybe it was the same with men’s clothing to. So I asked Alex if his sizing changed based on the brand. He informed me that nope, he’s consistent across all brands. Now I can’t take one male’s experience and apply it to every male everywhere. That’s unrealistic but it seems like that’s the case because I’m pretty sure my brother’s are the same way. Upon checking the sizing guides for multiple brands, men’s clothing is consistent across all brands.

I looked at both of the sizing charts for the brands. The Levi’s that didn’t fit were a size 28 which is equivilant to a size 6 and corresponds to a waist of 25 – 26 inches with hips being 36.25 – 37.25 inches. The brand of jeans I was trying on at Target was called Universal Thread. A size 2 (the size I ended up buying) corresponds to a 26.75 inch waist and a hip size of 36 inches. While I haven’t tried any other brands on recently, a look at a variety of brands sizing charts shows different measurements for different sizing. Why is the size so different for fairly close measurements in the waist and hip?

Women’s clothing brands are so inconsistent with sizing. It’s not okay. Luckily, I’m comfortable enough in my own skin that being a size 2 in one brand and a size 8 in another isn’t that big of a deal. But what if I wasn’t comfortable enough for that? What if I was someone who put their self worth on the size of clothing I wear? If I’m a size 2 then I’m pretty or skinny or whatever the adjective may be that I would chose to call myself. Even if I had a pair of size 0 and thought I was good enough but then in another brand had to go up multiple sizes, that could really hurt someone who is struggling. Women shouldn’t have to go into a store and try on 10 pairs of pants just to find what fits.

A size 4 should be a size 4 across all brands. I get maybe going one size up or down depending on the style. But 3 sizes smaller?  That’s not okay.  What high up executive decided that a size 2 for Target is the same as a 28 in Levi’s? Apparently someone who doesn’t care about what the constant changing and inconsistent sizing can be taxing on the female brain. How come men’s clothing is the same across the board but women can’t get any consistency? It’s just plain stupid.

Maybe I’m ridiculous in thinking that brands need to all conform to one way of sizing. But in today’s diet culture and the social media comparison trap, clothing companies shouldn’t be playing into that. Clearly this is something that really bothered me the other day haha and hopefully I’m not the only one who has noticed and finds it a little ridiculous.

Question of the day: Do you agree with me on this about female clothing brands and their sizing?