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hls – the gift that keeps on givin'

18 Aug

missed recap 1, 2 or 3?

Hey, hey!

It’s finally time for the fourth and final HLS recap!

After the last session on Saturday I had a really short break before yoga.

I was so excited about this yoga class!  Confession:  I have never been to a studio yoga class before. There isn’t a studio in my town, so I only go to our gym yoga.  And let me tell you, it is NOT the same.  Subway sponsored us to go to Exhale to attend a core fusion yoga class.  Core Fusion Yoga includes a cardio element and is fueled by upbeat and inspirational music.  Oh, and the instructor was cuh-razy.  And I liked it:)  A lot.

There are no Chinese gongs at Gym One.  Nor are there any wall ladders use for stretching (perfectly normal).

Allison, Lauren, Lizz, me

Love my new yoga buddies!  I was freakin’ out Saturday because I didn’t know anyone going to yoga.

Let’s be real.  I didn’t know anyone going to yoga, AND I didn’t know anyone going to the Mexican dinner I had signed up for that night.

Hi, I’m Candice, and I sometimes get scared of being awkward and having no friends. There, I said it.

So, like any normal person would do – I tweeted out a plea for friends during one of the sessions on Saturday.  And the angel above in the blue dress was my twitter hero:)

I loved this yoga class.  Oh, and they gave us free mats!

Which we had no other choice than to cart around for the rest of the night at said Mexican restaurant.  Classy.

JT and I before yoga

After yoga, we dried our sweaty hair, applied new deodorant and rushed out the door to dinner!

Sabrina had made reservations for a group of us at Mercadito, a swanky and fun mexican restaurant.

Jessie, Sabrina, Lizz

I sat with this awesome blogger and we hit off right away!  I  love this girl.  Cannot wait to go to NY to visit sometime.

It was a fun night of chattin’ up a storm, takin’ photos of our food…and eating!  All the plates were for sharing.

I was in heaven from the start – 3 different kinds of guacamole

chips fo dippin’

mixed greens, red cabbage, corn, jícama,
queso fresco, chipotle-balsamic vinaigrette

fried plantains with a  ginger-jalapeño sauce

vegetarian tacos – black bean hash, rajas poblanas,
crema fresca, crispy potatoes

These tacos were the food highlight of the day for me.  The flavors were fantastic, and the corn tortillas were homemade – so soft!

and dessert….

flan de cajeta  – goat’s milk caramel custard

Flan!  I’ve never had flan before – it’s always been a dessert that I’ve only seen in the movies, lol.  This caramel one was to die for!  There were two other flavors brought to our table, but I nearly gagged on one of them, so I tried to lure the caramel one back down to our end;)

This meal was awesome – so many different new flavors.  And I loved that everything was shared.  I got to try so much, but I was able to walk our rather than roll out, so that was a bonus!

We hung around the restaurant for quite a while and then walked back to the hotel about midnight.  Still with our yoga mats in tow.

And that’s a wrap!  About 4 hours later I was up and at ’em, heading to the airport.

It was such a quick weekend…and I totally wish I could relive it!  I’m so ecstatic about the new friends I made, and the twitter and blog fun that will ensue.  HLS: the gift that keeps on givin’.

Hope to see ya at HLS 2011!

hls – the fun continues

17 Aug

Did you miss recap 1 or recap 2?

Picking up where I left off earlier this morning…

After a fantastic HLS lunch, I made my way to the Time Management session.   As soon as I saw this topic would be discussed, I knew I had to go.

Believe it or not, since I left my teaching job I have had a harder time than ever with time management.  Yes, I’ve had more time since I’m not working outside the home everyday, but I’ve taken on so many new projects.  I’ve upped my time spent on CSM considerably, started teaching (and planning for) PiYo classes, taken on responsibilities with Outbox, started a photography class, taken on students for tutoring, started freelance editing and much more!  I have to say, I love wearing so many hats!  They are all very cute, stylish hats that make me feel good, but it’s been a challenge to manage my time and stay on top of everything.

Needless to say, I hung on every word of this seminar.  The first activity we did was to list out our priorities in order of importance. Here are mine:

1.  Quiet time/Bible study
2.  Spending time with Jon
3.  Sleep
4.  Exercise
5.  Work (including all the projects listed above)
6.  grocery shopping/ preparing meals
7.  time with friends and family
8.  Leisure time/ relaxing (reading, going for walks etc)
9.  Housework (it is now clear why you can’t see the floor under our bed due to all the dust bunnies)

BTW – loving on Olive happens simultaneously with numbers 2, 5, 7, 8 and 9.  Just so you don’t think I’m neglecting her on my priority list;)

Once your priorities are listed out, it’s a lot easier to plan your day around them.  Because of my perfectionist tendencies, I tend to get frustrated when I don’t get to the housework or time with friends/family every day…or even every week.  So I appreciated the following tips that were given:

1. Think outside the box. For example, if I’m running low on time, and I realize I’m not going to have time for everything, try and combine two things, such as exercise and time with Jon by going on a power walk or run together.
2.  Look for conflicts
.  Recognize that there are conflicts.  I probably will not be able to get to everything, every day.  I know…it makes me cringe too, but I need to recognize that fact and accept it.
3.  Compromise.
Be proud of the things you are achieving.  When I don’t have time for everything, compromise by saying “Well, I didn’t get to the housework today, but I’m really glad I got that run in.”  I tend to only focus on the things I didn’t do, and I’m going to make a concerted effort to start focusing on the things I did accomplish.
4.  Plan ahead.  For example, plan in the morning what you want to fix for dinner.  That way if you need something from the store, for instance, you can get it while you’re out during the day, rather than wasting another 20 minutes later on.
5.  Underschedule yourself. Ooooohh.  I am the world’s worst about this.  I think I am often in denial about how long something will take, and I way overschedule myself.  Then I feel frustrated when I don’t get to everything.  Tasks always take longer than you think they will, so plan an extra 10 minutes or so for each task on your list.
6.  Think about your choices.  What is valuable for you?  Make sure you are prioritizing the things that are most important to you.  Then you won’t feel as regretful about the things you didn’t get to.

I really enjoyed this session!

After my time management problems were all solved 🙂 I headed to the next seminar: The Five W’s of Strength Training.  Unfortunately, my laptop was dying at this point, so I didn’t get very good notes.  But I did get inspired to start making more time at the gym for strength training, and I learned the difference between super sets, circuits and split sets (Heather, correct me if I’m wrong on this!:)

Super sets: 2-3 exercises, back-to-back.  Then repeat.  Then break.
Circuit: 8-10 exercises back-to-back.  Break.  Then repeat.
Splits:  different muscle groups on different days.

I think I may have to listen to this session on audio again once it’s posted!

Our last official HLS snack break of the day was sponsored by Athenos.  Hellooo hummus!

watermelon, feta and basil skewers

blue corn chips with a hummus/feta dip (definitely going to have to get this recipe).  These were out of this world delicious.

cucumbers filled with hummus and topped with raisins and almonds

all together now – with the addition of whole wheat pita chips, broccoli, carrots and more hummus

Jennifer came over and asked if I wanted to run over to the Athenos booth and get our picture made.  Did I ever?!?!  I look a tad bit awkward because I was trying to balance that olive on my head – you wouldn’t believe how heavy it was!

I also got a chance to hang out with these beautiful bloggers during the break – JT, Me, Dorry, Freya and Jessie.  These girls were  seriously so cool and so fun!

And the last session, The Ups and Downs of Blogging, was led by Caitlin and Gena.  This session was focused on something that I think most bloggers and readers deal with at least on some level.  There was a lot going on in this session, so I’m just going to give the highlights.  Here are some tips to consider in regard to reading healthy living blogs:

Different doesn’t equal bad. For example, if you can’t run or don’t enjoy running, then blaze your own trail by focusing on your own unique type of workout.  Don’t like the gym?  Be a unique voice for outdoor workouts.  Essentially, be yourself.  Gain inspiration from blogs, but don’t let them make you feel bad for your own unique preferences and talents in fitness and in eating.

Fight superwoman syndrome.  Don’t feel like you have to do everything perfect all the time.  Keep in mind that all of us have weaknesses, bad days, even bad weeks.  On some blogs, the blogger only shows the things that he/she does well and is proud of.  That doesn’t mean that they don’t mess up, it just might be that you don’t see it.

Look internally not externally when setting goals. Don’t base your own goals and aspirations solely on what other bloggers are doing.  Think about who you are and what you love and want to do.  Just because one blogger is participating in a triathlon, doesn’t mean you should too.  It also doesn’t make your 5k any less amazing!

Only read blogs that inspire you, not the ones that make you feel bad. If a blog makes feel negative about yourself in any way, don’t read it!  If a blog doesn’t lift you up and make you feel more motivated and inspired, then it’s not worth your time to read it.

After the last session of the day, it was time to rest up for yoga and dinner!  But first, I had to get a good pic with the best roommates at HLS – Amy and Paige.  They put up with my antics of staying out late and getting up before the sun.  Thanks for being so sweet you two:)  I am so happy to have gotten to spend time with these girls.

Okay, looks like there will be one more final recap going up tomorrow!  I’ll see ya then! G’night.

hls – friends and fun!

17 Aug

Hello!  Thanks for understanding about no HLS post last night – things have been so crazy and I’ve been gone so much, so it was much needed downtime with the husband.

If you missed the first HLS recap, you can find it here!


After our late night Friday night, it was sooo hard to drag myself out of bed on Saturday morning!  This weekend I needed to run 8 miles for marathon training, so I planned to knock them out with Theodora bright an early at 6am.  She had been a crazy night owl, though, and ended up opting out:)   So, I pounded out 3 scenic miles with my lovely roommate, Paige.  Not sure if you guys have noticed, but marathon training has been a bit rocky for the last week or so.  I’ll be posting soon about the plan regarding training.

This was the scene from the lake path we ran – I wish I could run it every day!

Being completely honest, the best thing about Saturday was having great conversations with great people. I met so many other bloggers and readers, and I was so thankful for the opportunity to get to know everyone on a real, personal level. Don’t get me wrong, I loved going to the sessions – and I definitely took at least something away from each of them, but I think it was difficult for them to be very ground breaking with an audience of healthy living bloggers who spend their time research/reading about healthy living!  In the end, the people are where it’s at:)

First things first, though.  Let’s talk breakfast!

Thomas, Stonyfield and Quaker sponsored a lovely spread.

I had a Thomas bagel thin spread with Maranatha almond butter, an Oikos greek yogurt with granola and berries, and a little bit of fruit – delicious!

Now for the sessions.

The first session I attended was “Fueling for Fitness” where Rebecca and Heather covered the basics of sports nutrition for everday/casual exercisers as well as endurance athletes.  Here are some of the highlights:

Casual exercisers, or those who exercise 20-60 minutes a day and are not training for an event, have the following needs for fueling:

  • Meal/snack 1-2 hours before
  • Water 15 minutes before workout
  • Water during workout
  • Meal or snack within one hour

Endurance athletes are those who are training for a race or sport.  They workout anywhere from 3-6 days per week and most sessions are 40 minutes to several hours long, sometimes working out twice per day.  The fueling needs of endurance athletes are the following:

  • eat a snack that is high in carbs, moderate in protein and low fat (cannot digest fat during workout) + 16 oz water 1-2 hours before workout
  • consume 1 cup water/sports drink 15 minutes before workout (
  • For workouts >75 minutes take in simple carbs,such as gummies or gus every hour
  • take in 2-4 oz of fluid (water or sports drink) every 20 minutes during workout
  • Recovery nutrition as soon as tolerated
  • eat a meal or snack within one hour

These girls did an awesome job at this session – if you’re interested I’ll share more details about the different areas of fueling for fitness in a later post.

A little later I attended another session in which Sabrina shared about how to be a great hostess.  I didn’t know Sabrina before, but I got to spend some time getting to know her this weekend, and I love this girl!

Her session was very entertaining, and we leaned about everything from menu planning to how to set the table. The biggest thing I took away was about the etiquette of cooking healthy food, but also catering to your guests dietary preferences.

For instance, I’m a vegetarian, but I’m having friends over who are not vegetarians.  Should I or shouldn’t I cook meat for them to accommodate their dietary preferences? Here is a summary of what I took away in regard to this question:

  • Be sure to ask your guests about their dietary preferences beforehand
  • Have several options available – if you have a gluten free guest coming, make sure to have some gluten free crackers/bread in addition to the regular bread.
  • Tailor some menu items to them – if you know a guest is a vegetarian, make sure you create some type of main dish that is vegetarian, such as stuffed artichoke hearts.
  • Have them bring something they will eat – don’t feel bad to ask your guest to bring something.  They won’t mind, it will take some of the pressure off of you, and they’ll get to share a tasty dish that suits their dietary preferences

Next up on the agenda – lunch!

salad with balsamic, whole wheat bread with marinated tofu, lettuce, tomato and onion

quinoa salad

fruit and a brownie for dessert!

This awesome spread was sponsored by Arnold and Oroweat.

The first half of Saturday was great and left me super excited for more!  I’ll be back with the second half of the day a little later!

Question: how do you handle having people over for dinner?  Do you focus more on sticking to your own eating preferences/convictions or do you focus more on catering to theirs?

healthy living summit – livin it up!

15 Aug

edit: I wrote this early this morning, but couldn’t find any internet – story of my life!  I’m back home now, so normal posting will resume!

Hellooo from 32,000 feet!  I’m currently en route to Wichita where I’ll be picked up by the husband and whisked back to Stillwater.  I didn’t get to bed until about 1:30 am this morning and had to be up by 5, so I literally feel like I’m walking around in a bit of a haze.  I know I’ll sleep well tonight at least!  On the way to the airport, I munched on a carrot cake larabar and a Solixer drink.

The Solixer came in the HLS swag bag – I wasn’t familiar with it before, but I have to say I’m impressed.  It’s pretty tasty, and the ingredients are simple:sparkling spring water, pure juice from white grape, blackberry, and lemon concentrates, botanical extract blend (chamomile, passionflower, lemon balm, hibiscus).  And if you go to their website, click on the blue can to see for yourself + feel like you’re at the beach!

I’m ultra sad that HLS is over – it was a weekend full of good food, good blends (blog+friends) and good information. It was truly even better than I thought it would be to meet the faces behind so many of my favorite blogs.  Every person I met was even more fun and sweet than they come across online – such a highlight!  My favorite part is that now the blendships I had already are 100x better – it’s like they’ve been taken from black and white to color.  I already can’t wait till next year!

I planned on blogging about everything as the weekend progressed, but the internet in the conference room was MIA most of the time – I didn’t want to miss out on sessions to go up to the room to blog, so it just didn’t happen.  I’m looking forward to recapping everything over the next few days, though!

Let’s get started, eh?

On Friday I got to the hotel just in time to hop on the bus to the Frito Lay tour.  Three hours later we finally arrived at the plant.  It was a great tour that started with a short presentation on how Frito Lay is striving to make their products healthier and more environmentally friendly.

I’m sure some of you have been wondering why a Frito Lay tour was planned as part of the Healthy Living Summit, and there are a few answers to that question.

First, if you pick up a package of potato or corn chips, you will see three ingredients: corn, oil and salt. The good news about that is that they don’t have a lot of ingredients you can’t pronounce.  They are recognizable, whole ingredients.  So, considering that most of us are not going to avoid potato chips completely for the rest of our lives, it’s good to know there is a brand out there that uses simple ingredients.

The bad news is that those three ingredients, while simple, are still corn, oil and salt. So, obviously not something you want to be eating all the time – they’re just not that healthy no matter how you slice it. Either way, the tour was fun because we got to learn about what a great company Frito Lay is to it’s employees and the environment, and we got to see the ins and outs of how a product goes from a raw potato to a bag of chips in less than 15 minutes!

Fun fact: did you know that 1regular sized bag of potato chips has 4.5 real potatoes in it?

And I got to get my picture taken with this guy:)

They also provided a stellar lunch!

veggie wrap

salad with feta, dried cranberries, sprouts, croutons and shredded carrots + fruit

(left to right)  Julie, Laura, me, Jennifer

As soon as the tour was over, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the cocktail party, only to get stuck in some serious Chicago traffic.  So, we staged a blogger takeover by ditching the bus and jumping on the subway.  It was a lot of bloggers…and a lot of red Frito Lay bags for sure.

I know all the nice people on the subway really appreciated it;)

Because it took us so long to get back, we arrived at the Open Sky Cocktail party, fashionably one hour late.

a little blurry:( Theodora, Paige, Amy, Kate, Heather, Julie, me

By that time, it was packed out!  The party was awesome, and it was a great way to mingle and get to meet everyone as a precursor to Saturday’s conference.  A (unpictured) club soda with lime was my beverage of choice for the night:)

so excited to chat with Caitlin this weekend

I also partook in some of the hors d’ oeuvres – namely spinach dip, pita triangles and vegetarian quesadillas.

We stayed around the party until about 10pm before heading back to the hotel to hang chill for awhile.

So, I have to tell you guys about this dress since you were so sweet in helping me decide which one (s) to order.  I ended up ordering 3 of the dresses from Modcloth that I had posted – got them in the mail a week later – and was severely let down!  Each of the three was way too short! I guess I should have known that based on measurements, but that wasn’t even the biggest problem.  They were not at all like they appeared on the website – the material was very thin and felt cheap.  They were definitely not the quality of $60-$80 dresses.

Fortunately, a few days after I placed my order, I received an email saying that one of the dresses I loved was back in stock, so I ordered it too.  I know, right? 😉

This one was much better!  It was still pretty thin, but looked a lot nicer on.

However, in the time that I was waiting for all these dresses to arrive, Jon and I took a trip to Walls (a discount store in town) and I found this blue, strapless, a-line dress, originally from Target, that fit positively like a glove.  And the best part is that it was $20!  I also found these cute heels the same day, and came home with an entire outfit for less than $50.  Score!

So that’s the one I ended up wearing to the party.  Now I just have to send all these others back!

Well, this post got to be a bit long winded somewhere around the Frito Lay chip discussion, so I’m gonna wrap it up.  I’ll be back later with recap #2!

I still need to get around and catch up on everybody, but tell me what the best part of your weekend was!