How to Be Better At Life in 2016 Without Really Trying.

Hey. Wassup. Hello. Happy 2016! I recently wrote an article for my campus newspaper about some things that I would like to work on this year. You can see the original article by clicking on the link: Here. OR you can just … Continue reading

Survival of the Fittest

I’m only semi-fit. I can’t run 3 miles straight — it’s more like I have a mix of jog-walking. I’ve never really been that good at sports or coordinated choreography. Basically, I’m not an athlete, nor do I have the desire to be one. But, I do think there is some value to being fit enough to survive on your own.

As my year-long study abroad trip approaches, it has become more and more apparent to me that I am on my own. I will have to take public transportation alone, carry my own bags and possibly deal with encountering shady characters solo. Being alone doesn’t scare me; I actually really like being alone, but I’d hardly say I’m used to being entirely self-sufficient. So, here are somethings I think are important to work on now to prepare for traveling alone.

1. Having a bit of arm strength.

I am not a big fan of lifting weights and have no interest in being a gym rat, but I do however believe that I need to have enough arm strength to carry all my bags without having my arms metaphorically fall off. My compromise is to incorporate some arm/back strengthening exercises into my routine (or there lack of).

Exercises:

2 sets of 20 girl push-ups

3 reps of 10 tricep push-ups (keep your arms in close to your body, instead of wide)

1-2 1 min. planks (depends on how I am feeling)

30 sec. side plank (on each side)

Here’s a great video for reference and/or more ideas on arm exercises from the Tone It Up girls, Karena and Katrina

2. Being able to hold a squat over a gross toilet.

This doesn’t really apply to guys, but girls this is ESSENTIAL. Gross toilets exist all over the world; which means you need to be strong enough to squat over them. Let’s face it toilet seat-covers are a luxury that don’t exist in most public restrooms. So, it is vital that your legs are strong enough to hold a 30 second squat, so you can go about your business without fear of catching disease from some shady toilet.

Exercises:

FIRST: make sure you are doing a proper squat and that your knees aren’t going over your toes. (Watch gif)

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4 -30 second wall sits (this is when you prop your back against a wall and squat. Spoiler: this burns like a mo-fo, but it’s extremely effective. You’re going to want to take 10-15 sec rests in between sets)

Lunges (I lunge across the length of the hallway of my apartment a couple times and call it even, instead of counting.)

Jump Squats (Pretty self explanatory: Squat and then jump up)

Sumo Squat with Calf Raise (Watch the Gif)

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3. Out-run the bad guys.

Imagine a chase scene in a movie, the hero(ine) is running for their life — this could be you. What if this happens? Will you be prepared? Realistically, I probably wouldn’t. The bad guys would get me, because I’m kind of slow and am easily winded going up several flights of stairs. To me, this seems like kind of a safety hazard. I need to have more stamina and/or be able to run fast enough to escape the bad guys.

Exercises:

1 min. Intervals on the elliptical/treadmill (run for a minute at hyper speed, then walk for 3o seconds. Do it for like 10-15 min then just jog)

Speed walking/Jogging (just enough to get your heart rate going)

Running up and down stairs (Pretend like elevators were never invented; take the stairs all the time. And run up and down them when you have the time)

Here's a guide for the treadmill from cardioandcocktails.com

Here’s a guide for the treadmill from cardioandcocktails.com

4. Have enough core strength to not fall over when the subway/bus comes to an abrupt stop.

If you’ve ever stood up on the subway or bus, you know that you need to brace yourself for landing. It can actually be quite embarassing when you bump into other people, because you can’t hold your own and it totally makes you stand out as a novice. An easy solution is to work on your core strength.

Exercises:

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to ab workouts, but I feel like the Tone It Up Girls Ab Circuit is really great and totally doable.

5. Know how to give a good bitch-stare.

This isn’t really work-out related at all, but it’s nonetheless important. If you look like you don’t want to be messed with, people probably won’t mess with you. Draw inspiration from Aubrey Plaza, the queen of bitch-stares (FYI- i’m obsessed with her; she’s awesome).

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There you go, my definitive guide to surviving the wild. Thanks for reading ❤

 

OMG You Guys I exercised will power and it worked…who knew?

Something weird happened to me today, you guys…I listened to my body.

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I listened to my subconscious instead of giving in to my inner evil spawn and I exercised mental will power. This may not seem like a big deal, but it totally is for me. I usually just give in to whatever my body wants and just shrug my shoulders and think “you can’t go against nature”. In reality it’s all a load of bull — it’s just the excuse I use to justify my decisions.

Anyway, after I ate dinner, I really wanted something sweet. But, sad story is that we didn’t have anything in our apartment. I was forced to wait it out until my roommate wanted to go to the market. The only thing I had remotely dessert-y was the fresh greek yogurt from the farmer’s market, which is super good, it’s just not sweet. But, I was like c’mon you can wait an hour and I’ll go get yummy stuff to put in it. So, I go to the market with my roommate and she bought ice cream and right as I was about to go soft and buy ice cream too, I remembered that fresh greek yogurt that my grandma bought me. And I was like NAH…Grandma greek yogurt trumps store-bought ice cream.

I got home feeling wonderfully superior and created a culinary masterpiece that I will call, Better-than-Bitching Out Greek Yogurt:

How to make: Slice up a couple strawberries and frozen dates. Toss the fruit into the greek yogurt and drizzle with honey and add a bit of granola or cereal. BAM, there it is.

It’s crazy good, hope y’all try it when you’re feeling adventurous 🙂

I drank the Kool-Aid.

I live in California. Even more specifically Southern California. It’s no secret that the humans of SoCal have a reputation for being a health-conscious bunch. With our abundance of juicing bars and yoga studios, we’ve grown to be an interesting breed. I have mixed feelings about the people of SoCal. I think it’s a little bit narcissistic to stretch in front of a mirror and that it’s downright ridiculous to substitute solid food for a green-liquid alternative. But, I’m not a pessimistic grump and I do think that there is something to be said about trying to live a healthy lifestyle. 

 

I mentioned that part about green-juice above for a reason. I did some research on the whole juicing thing, because for some reason that’s fun for me. What I found out was that the kooks in SoCal might be on to something. Turns out that green juice can actually taste good, who’d of thunk it?! And like everything in life, this whole green juice thing in moderation can really help you sneak in some extra nutrients in and give your immune system an extra boost.

 

So what I’m trying to say is: Ladies and gentlemen, I drank the koolaid. And by that I mean, green juice, I drank the green juice. And now, I know why everyone is metaphorically writing home about it. It tasted good. Like really good. It’s weird I know, I was surprised too. I was so ready to hate it and think that it was all a scam. Truth is, I actually wanted more.

I’m sure you’re now entranced by my mystical green juice story and want nothing more than for me to give up the recipe! What? No one is reading this? Ok, well here you go internet, here is my magical recipe.

Shelby’s Mysteriously Good-Tasting Green Juice

Serves

3 oz of Spinach

1 apple

1 orange or 1 blood orange, either one is delicious

A 1-2 inch piece of fresh ginger

1 big carrot or 5-7 baby carrots

Ok, so I don’t have a fancy juicer. I have a pretty high powered blender. It’s a Vitamix that blends nicely. You can use either, if you only have a blender, chop your ingredients before you throw them into the blender to help your blender out. Once everything is blended and it looks like green baby food (don’t get discouraged, this is not an aesthetically pleasing drink), you can pour it over ice and add a splash of water or orange juice to your glass, if you’re feeling crazy.

In case you want some literature on juicing other than my semi-ok description of juicing, here are some links:

–  Green Juice: drink your way to 5 a Day- theguardian.com

–  Green Juice Health Benefits – Shape.com