Tennis, Birthdays and a Haircut

As promised, here are the photos I snapped with my iPhone when we were at the Cincinnati Tennis Tournament. Some are better than others.

This is the route we take to walk to the courts. This is the first year it has been a clear cut path.

We had terrific seats this year!

Djokovic performing fabulously as usual. Too bad Federer spanked him in the final.

Li Na, age 30, held her own and ended up taking the prize at this tournament.

Venus Williams is a rail! Unfortunately, she wasn’t playing her best due to what we think may have been an injury.

Roger Federer taking home the prize. Such a great final!

Guess who wasn’t impressed.

 

All in all we had a great time. Alex even let me get a picture with him. (A rarity on Miller-Morris trips.)

Now on to the birthday. Yesterday I turned 24. Not a major accomplishment, but it’s still a birthday. I literally spent the day on the couch, being a bum, and proceeded to devour half a large Pizza Al’s pizza. (That’s part of the Cat Hair in my Coffee diet. Highly recommended post-vacation.) My fabulous Alex got me my first pair of Ray Ban sunglasses, a cat jungle for the girls and a donation in my name to one of my favorite animal rights orgs, PETA. You can’t ask for more! My parents got me a Keurig, which will inevitably rule my coffee-fueled life and my grandparents provided me with some much-needed bathroom towels. Score much?

Aviator ™ Large Metal Arista / G-15 XLT Polarized

To wrap things up, I’d like to share a photo of me with my fabulous haircut.

Ok,  so that isn’t me, but I did get this haircut and LOVE it. So far, I’ve only worn it one way, but I’m really excited to try all of these different styles. Well, that’s all that is going on with me.

 

WIAW: Coconut Greek Yogurt

The highlight of this week is definitely coconut Greek yogurt with cocoa powder.

This was was tasttttyyyy. I had this “dessert” at least three days in a row before retiring it.

My bean and squash mixture was delicious with some homemade tortilla chips. I highly recommend throwing everything in your pantry into a pan and cooking it down. Can’t fail.

Eating Well on Vacation

During my travels this past weekend (pics to come!), I indulged in carbs, carbs and more carbs. I did not go on vacation to eat salad and I stand by that. Now, could I have cut back a little bit on the appetizers? You bet! Hey, hindsight and such, right? Anyway, I thought about how I actually do wish I would have controlled myself a little more and ended up finding a few helpful tips for future trips.

Share Your Meals

One thing that I am always guilty of is “You order that and I’ll get this so we can share.” Unfortunately, I usually always end up ordering an oversized entree and feeling like I need to clean my plate, plus picking the leftovers off of Alex’s. The fix? Ordering an appetizer, salad and an entrée is plenty of food for two people, especially considering Alex usually orders steak and I end up eating his steamed veggies. By doing this we spend less on dinner and can spend more on drinks! (Hey, it’s vacation. Deal with it.) So even though Karen and Grace aren’t wild about the idea of splitting a meal, it’s definitely something I’m going to try to do more often.

Split Dessert

Again, there is no reason to order two desserts if you and your dining partner know you can only make room for one. Although we rarely do this, I must say, we are great about splitting something indulgent.

Avoid Fast Food

This is a no-brainer for us once at our destination, considering we love trying local cuisine. However, the traveling part is usually where we fall short. It’s always so much easier to save time by driving through a restaurant, rather than actually taking the extra effort to pack something. The fix? I would suggest a compromise. You don’t want to waste time at a sit-down restaurant, but you also don’t want to eat a greasy fast food meal either. Try somewhere like Sheetz, Subway or Panera. These places are guaranteed to have better options without slowing you down too much.

Get Back on Track

If all else fails and you’ve completely blown it, just try to get back on track as soon as you return home. I took some squash, a can of tomatoes, chopped onion and a can of beans to make my healthy (and easy) dinner last night. The verdict: I already feel better!

 

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Keep frozen and canned staples on hand: frozen spinach, canned beans, tomatoes, etc. This will not only save you time in the kitchen, but will also help you stay away from a bowl of cereal for dinner when you haven’t made it to the grocery store.

WIAW: Vacation Pie


Ok, so I didn’t have pie, but I am getting ready for my trip to Cincinnati soon! In prep for that, I’m starting to eat everything in the house that could go back (and stuff that probably won’t.)

The pizza was by far the best item. I took a large tortilla and covered it with cheese, mushrooms and sauce. So yummy!

Sorry this is a short one, but I’ve got a lot to do before my trip!

Guest Post: Nutrition and the Fight Against Cancer

About a week and a half ago, I received a request from Jillian McKee, a Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, about sharing some information about how beneficial eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle is for someone going through the battle of cancer. Thrilled with the prospect of sharing such helpful information, I quickly agreed. Before I jump into my very first guest post, I’d like to share some information about the author.

Bringing a wealth of personal and professional experience to the organization, Jillian McKee has worked as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since June of 2009. Jillian spends most her time on outreach efforts and spreading information about the integration of complementary and alternative medicine when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment.

Read more: http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/jillian/bio.htm#ixzz23QcNJZQY

So without further ado…

The Effects of Nutrition When Battling Cancer

Good nutrition is essential for all cancer patients, including those with mesothelioma and breast cancer. Cancer and its treatments can adversely affect the way one eats and the way the body uses nutrients. The nutrient needs of cancer patients vary from person to person, and nutritionists, doctors and nurses can help identify the best nutritional plan. Getting the proper nutrition for cancer management includes eating a variety of foods with proteins, carbohydrates, fats, water, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. Whether newly diagnosed, undergoing therapies, in remission, eating well can help patients:

-Heal and recover faster
-Maintain weight and body’s storage of nutrients
-Keep up with energy and strength
-Lower risk of infection
-Feel better
-Better tolerate treatment-related side effects

Proteins are the amino acids responsible for repairing cells, cell growth and a healthy immune system. Without the proper proteins, muscle is lost for energy the body needs. A diet without protein can cause further illnesses or a longer recovery. People with cancer require more protein. After therapies, extra protein will help tissues heal quicker and resist infection. Excellent sources of protein include fish, eggs, nuts, dried beans, soy foods and lentils.

Fats play an important role in nutrition and are a rich source of fuel for the body. The body breaks down fats and uses them to transport vitamins through the blood, insulate body tissues and store energy. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are healthier than trans-fats and saturated fats. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats can be found in peanut, corn, sunflower, safflower and flaxseed oils. Trans-fats and saturated fats can increase cholesterol and should be avoided.

Carbohydrates are a main source of energy and give needed fuel for proper organ function and physical activity. Carbs supply fiber, phytonutrients, minerals and vitamins for the body’s cells. The best food sources for carbs are whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Good whole grains are found in barley, brown rice and quinoa. Whole grains contain fiber and help keep stools soft to eliminate waste quickly.

Water is vital; all body cells need water to function properly. Many times, cancer therapies cause vomiting or diarrhea, then leading to dehydration. When this occurs, the body’s normal function become out of balance. Typically, it is recommended to have eight glasses of water a day; however, cancer patients may require more to maintain homeostasis. Keep in mind that soups and milk count toward fluid goals.

Vitamins and minerals help the body function properly and most are found in natural foods. Vitamins and minerals can be purchased in liquid or pill form. People who eat balanced diets typically get the needed vitamins and minerals. However, it can be difficult for cancer patients undergoing treatment to eat a balanced diet due to side effects of treatment. Many doctors recommend mineral supplements or daily multivitamins in these cases.

When considering supplements, discuss your options with a doctor. Some patients take large amounts of dietary supplements to try to destroy cancer cells or boost their immune systems. These substances can be harmful in large dosages. In fact, large dosages of these substances can cause radiation treatment and chemotherapy to be less effective. If the oncologist says it is okay to take vitamins or minerals during therapy, choosing a supplement with no more than 100 percent of the daily-recommended allowance is best.

Antioxidants include vitamins E, C, A, selenium and zinc. These agents attack free radicals and prevent the free radicals from attaching to healthy cells. Good sources of antioxidants include vegetables and fruits. Cancer patients seeking to take vitamins with antioxidants are recommended to speak with their doctors because large dosages can interfere with treatment.

To stay connected to Jillian McKee:

Thank you Jillian for contacting me and for all of the hard work you do. You are an absolute inspiration.

 

TTT: Cosmetics

Maybelline Baby Lips

When I went to the store last night for groceries, I wandered over to the makeup aisle, as any respectable girl would do. I picked up two new nail polishes (yayayayayayay) and some face lotion to cure my recent death-by-acne face wash. As I was rolling out, I noticed Maybelline had a mascara and lip balm bundle and let’s face it, I’m a sucker for end-of-the-aisle product placement. I knew I needed a new tube of mascara, so I decided “What the hey.” After I got it home, I immediately had to try it out. The verdict: so, so smooth! The color is a little too pink for me (Pink Punch), so I definitely apply with caution, but I love the way it smells and feels on my lips! I will definitely check out their other colors.

Maybelline Great Lash ‘Lots of Lashes’

This mascara made my lashes ridiculously long! The heart-shaped brush gave me volume, while helping me coat the tiny lashes in the corners of my eye. The verdict: great mascara for a great price. I am very pleased!

Petites Nail Polish – An affordable Wal-Mart nail product, this polish went on smooth and dried very quickly considering the two coats I had applied. The color I chose was Vintage Gray and looks nice with my light skin. I highly recommend. Sure, OPI and Essie are great, but this polish is considerably cheaper and seems to be lasting!

WIAW: Cookies and Cheerios


For breakfast, I decided to have Cheerios, a cookie and  scrambled eggs that I left on the stove for too long. They still turned out ok. Oh and yes, that is ketchup.

Lunch was a delicious veggie sandwich from the local deli-style restaurant Hanks. This is probably one of my favorite sandwiches, because they use the best mustard! They also have really good soup.

When I got home, I popped in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but felt so exhausted from staying up for the Curiosity landing on Sunday that I fell asleep within 20 minutes. I did manage to dig into another white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookie. (What a mouthful to say.)

After I woke up, I flipped through my Shape magazine and had, you guessed it, more Cheerios. Wow, what nutrition. Luckily, I managed to make it to the store to stock up on some squash, eggplant and Brussels sprouts. Yum!

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Keep visible reminder the table, counter, or in the refrigerator. This will help you resist temptation.

FFF: Nail Polish

OPI’s Nein Nein Nein! Ok Fine! from the German Collection

OPI’s Russian Blue

yogaga

Essie’s Yogaga

Ok, so i’m cheating on this one, but it’s a collection! It’s the Nails Inc. Autumn Winter Colour Collection!

OPI’s French Quarters for Your Thought

Let’s just say I’m way over due for a few new polishes. Most of mine have gone bad they’re so old. EW! Anyway, have a great weekend and hopefully the next time I update, I’ll be using my very first smart phone! (So behind.)

WIAW: Ratatouille


I made the most amazing Ratatouille a few nights ago with the freshest veggies.

I used:

  • zucchini
  • squash
  • onion
  • canned diced tomatoes
  • garlic roasted potatoes
  • green pepper

This may be my favorite, easy recipe. Sprinkle in a little Parmesan cheese for some extra flavor. For dessert I had one of my yummy almond butter babies.

 

Food aside, I have finally started running again. It’s taken me at least three weeks to get back into a routine, but so far so good. To keep the cardio going, I’ve been hitting the gym in between runs and I’ve also started doing the dreaded jump squats again. I hate those things so much, but man do they produce results. I truly swear by jump squats, regular squats, lunges and planks. I really don’t think you get as much out of any other move.

Well, I’m off for an evening run before it rains. Happy Wednesday!