Category Archives: Health

What Runners Want for Christmas

As a runner, there is an endless list of gear & supplies that I can think of to put on my Christmas list. My list this year has basically consisted of cold-weather gear and a few gadgets that I’ve been wanting to try. Any money I get will go towards the purchase of one of these beauties.

But what do runners really want for Christmas? Gear, gadgets, protein bars, gels, socks, sneakers, fancy racing vests…

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Don’t we all!

Happy Friday ūüôā

‚̧ Chelsea

 

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Elf 4 Health, Week 1

Hey All! Sorry for the radio silence over here. I’ll be completely honest and say that I just haven’t felt up to blogging.

This past week was the start of the Elf4 Health program, created by Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean and Elle from Nutritionella. When you sign up for the program, you are matched up with a partner (or “elf”) and given challenges to complete for each day of the week. You have one partner for 2 weeks, and then you’re matched with someone new for the second 2 weeks. My partner Annie has been amazingly supportive and helpful throughout week 1.

Here’s a rundown of the first week’s challenges:

Monday: Meatless Monday

The challenge is self-explanatory. I started my day with an Ideal Protein Chocolate shake and a cup of coffee. Lunch was a big salad with robust italian dressing. Dinner was a bit more challenging, as my current diet really requires a meat product for dinner. My only vegetarian options are tofu and eggs, neither of which we had in the house. I was a little bit concerned until I read on the Elf 4 Health Facebook page that fish was allowed for the challenge, so I went with some broiled flounder with green and wax beans. Deliciously healthy!

Tuesday: Unsubscribe from at least 3 email lists and/or catalogs

This one sounds kind of dull, but it was actually one of my favorites this week. Through the Facebook page I found a website called Unroll.me. If you haven’t used this service before, it’s an absolute must! You just enter your email address and the website finds all of the email lists you’re subscribed to. Then you just click “unsubscribe” from all of the ones you don’t want anymore. You’ll be amazed at how much less junk you get in your email! I found over 250 subscriptions, and unsubscribed from 215 that I didn’t need. Unroll.me also allows you to group related lists together and get them all in one big email each day. How cool is that?!

Wednesday: Try a new workout today!

My original plan was to go to a new bootcamp class at the gym Wednesday morning. I had plans to meet my friend Bill in the city, and since Wednesday was the busiest travel day of the year, I opted out of class in favor of an earlier train. I didn’t get to do a new workout on Wednesday, and will be taking the class this Thursday after work to make up for it.

Thursday: Call someone you’re thankful for and tell them

I didn’t call anyone, because I knew everyone I would’ve called was busy preparing dinner and hosting guests. Instead, I made sure that everyone on that list got a text at some point during the day wishing them a Happy Thanksgiving. A few people even beat me to the punch (looking at you Sarah and Michael)!

Friday: Track your water intake

I’ve recently become a HUGE water drinker. I always have a water bottle, and am constantly filling it throughout the day. My record is 7 bottles in one workday, for a total of 165.9oz. On Friday I successfully drank half my body weight in ounces, for a total of 82 ounces. This is about what I try to shoot for on a daily basis. To get your number, divide your weight in half and drink that many ounces of water. So a 150 lb person would shoot to drink 75 ounces of water each day.

Saturday: Treat yourself to something you’ve been wanting

I went up to Troy on Saturday with my mom. We did a joint training session with James at Rezultz, visited my friend Louis at his flower shop The Enchanted Florist in Albany, and then headed into downtown Troy for some Small Business Saturday shopping. After we finished shopping we met up with my friends Jamie and Mike, Jamie’s father and her sister Laura for lunch at Spillin’ the Beans. This was one of my favorite cafes when I lived in Troy. They have excellent paninis, so I treated myself to “The Godfather”, which features hot sopressata, greens, tomato, balsamic drizzle, and mozzarella cheese, and is served with kettle chips. The diet I’m currently on allows very limited carbs, so sandwiches are often not an option. I decided to take a “cheat day” and have one, and I’m so glad I did.

Sunday: Complete 100 Burpees

This was a big challenge for me. I absolutely hate burpees. My form on them isn’t great, and they are harsh on my wrists and ankles. I was sore in the morning from Saturday’s workout, and I admittedly stalled until early afternoon. Around 1, I put on an episode of Psych on Netflix for entertainment and got started. I split them up into 10 sets of 10, with a 5 minute rest in between each set. This worked out beautifully. It made the process a lot more bearable for me, and I felt so accomplished when I was done!

Week one was a big success. I can’t wait to fill you in on Week 2! If you want to participate in the program, you can sign up now and be matched up for weeks 3 & 4 ūüôā

I hope everyone’s week is off to a good start. Happy Monday!

‚̧ Chelsea

Run, Run, Run, As Fast As You Can

Happy Friday All! Sorry for being MIA this week. Between work and being on puppy duty while my mom is away on business I haven’t had a second to even think about blogging.

I’m super excited for this weekend because I’ll be running my first race since my 5-miler in March. I’ll be running the Connection Fund Wicked Good 5k in New Haven, CT this Sunday. When I ran this course last year it was my first race ever, so it has a very special place in my heart. I’m really psyched to run the course again and see what I can do with it. I finished in 46:24 last year, and I’m certain that time will be cut down dramatically this year.

WickedGood

Photo Source

After this weekend, I have a couple of races that I’m extremely excited for. The first is the Hot COCO 5k¬†on November 23rd (my birthday!), which takes place in Cheshire, CT. My birthday last year was a huge mess with a family emergency, so I really wanted to make this year special. What better way to do that than by doing something that I love?

I’ve also created a team on the race’s website, and I’m hoping to build a¬†big team to run the race with me.¬†I’m also doing fundraising for¬†Abilities Without Boundaries, which is a nonprofit¬†organization that provides individualized services for Connecticut residents with developmental disabilities. The greatest¬†gift anyone could¬†give me this year would be to join my team and/or make a donation. Our team name is “It’s¬†My Party & I’ll Run If I¬†Want¬†To” (so clever, right ;-)), and our fundraising goal is $500.¬†If you would like to participate in any way,¬†you can find the team page¬†here. It would really mean the world to me!

HotCOCO

Photo Source

After the Hot COCO 5k, I will be taking a little break from racing in order to train for the Nutmeg Half Marathon, which is in May of next year. I was initially going to choose an earlier race, but decided on this one for a couple of reasons. Most training plans that I’ve looked into are 8-12 weeks long, but I want to give myself plenty of margin for error. I also want to run the best race I possibly can, rather than just finishing, so I want a little more time to work on speed and endurance.

Overall, I’m thrilled with what’s to come. I love to run and I can’t wait to get moving towards more challenging races and courses.

Have a great weekend everyone!

‚̧ Chelsea

Going Barefoot (Almost)

Last night I decided to try something a little bit different. Instead of lacing up my Nikes and heading out for a run, I decided to slip on my Vibram 5 Fingers and finally give them a try. If you’re not familiar with the brand, they’re these little guys:

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Mine are the “Treksport” style. I got them for less than half price through an Active.com deal!

The “barefoot” style allows you to run with a more natural stride. Traditional running shoes, like my Nikes, create the standard heel-toe motion that most of us are used to while running. But take your shoes off for a second and try to run with that same motion. It’s awkward, right? You naturally land on the front of your foot rather than your heel. That is how we as humans are meant to run.

Now, I won’t lie to you. These definitely take some getting used to. I only ran a mile, and my calves and shins were crazy tight. A little Mineral Ice before bed did the trick, though, and my legs are pretty much back to normal this morning. You shouldn’t try to start full-force on them. I’m starting off at one 1-mile run per week, and building from there. Ultimately, though, I will be able to run in these daily, and the knee and ankle trouble I constantly have while running will subside. How stinkin’ cool is that?

What kind of shoes do you like to wear to work out? Have you ever tried barefoot-style running shoes? If so, what did you think of them?

So I Know I Said…

…that you wouldn’t be seeing any outfit posts from me for awhile, but this is just too thrilling to pass up! When I went to get dressed this morning, I realized that I had nothing clean that was appropriate for work. My initial plan was to just wear jeans and hope no one noticed. But then I remembered a skirt that I had tucked away in a drawer months ago. I had worn it once, but it had barely fit. It pulled across my hips and sat really short as a result, and it was just really uncomfortable in general. Today, though, it slipped right on with no problems. It zipped right up and hung closer to my knees, and the waistline sits loosely across my midsection. To celebrate, I’ve made a quick Before & After photo with this one skirt.

Check it out:

Skirt

I haven’t reached my goals quite yet. In fact, I have a long way to go still, but I’m so proud of my achievements to date!

Hair Growth Tips from Mikell

Hey everyone!
It’s Mikell from Love & Such– I’m SO excited the lovely Chelsea has asked me to do a guest post on her blog today!

Lately I’ve had TONS of readers & friends ask me what I do to get my hair to grow so fast!
I realized a few months ago when I got my hair colored and my stylist said, “Your hair has gotten SO LONG!”
I started going back through my phone to look at pictures and I realized she was right!
The picture on the left was taken in July & the picture on the right was taken in November- ONLY 4 MONTHS!

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Here are a few easy tips to keeping your hair healthy, strong & growing LONG!

1. Use Apple Cider Vinegar 
Sounds totally gross right? WRONG! A friend of mine suggested this to me & I didn’t buy it for months.
I bought some apple cider vinegar to clean with & thought I’d give it a try…
Fill a tall cup full of apple cider vinegar & take it in the shower with you.
After you shampoo & condition your hair, slowly pour the vinegar over your hair. Let it sit for a few minutes and rinse with COOL WATER!
*SURPRISINGLY your hair won’t smell like vinegar after you dry your hair, but it WILL be extremely shiny!*

2. Use Coconut Milk or Coconut Oil
After the shower while your hair is still dripping wet, pump some coconut milk into your hands and rub it to make it warm.
I put this in my hair starting at the ends and working my way up. I try not to put any at the roots of my hair.
You can also¬†do the same thing with coconut oil, just don’t use as much!
(I like to buy Organix Coconut Oil- you can get this at your local grocery store for $5-$7 & it lasts FOREVER!)

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3. Use Heat Protectant Products!
My flat iron is my best friend. You guys don’t even want to know what my hair looks like before I flat iron it!
As you all know, heat will take a TOLL on your hair! Make sure you use a heat protectant spray before you flat iron OR BLOW DRY your hair!
My favorite brand is TRESeme Heat Tamer Spray (At Walmart for $3.98 VS the CHI brand at Walmart for $13.77! — KILLER DEAL!)
This protects your hair and leaves it sleek and shiny!

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4. Use Hot Oil Treatments
I only do these about once a month, or every few weeks as needed.
You can get tiny bottles of them that will last 4-5 uses at your local beaty supply store.
I have found the cheaper hot oil treatments work just as well as the more expensive ones.
I don’t see the need to spend any extra money on these!

5. Vitamin Supplements
Most of my pregnant friends suddenly sprout thick luscious strands! (A lot do to with pregnancy, & a lot to do with PRENATALS!)
Prenatals do have some lovely benefits to growing thick beautiful hair.
Another supplement that I take is called Hair, Skin & Nails. You can often find this at your local pharmacy, Costco or online at Amazon.com
It has 5000 mcg Biotin. Even if you have normal Biotin levels, you may choose to take Biotin as a supplement in the hopes of capitalizing on its ability to stimulate rapid hair and nail growth
I take this as listed in the directions on the bottle: one pill 3 times a day with food!

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6. Stimulate Hair growth
Do this by massaging your scalp frequently! Ever notice how good it feels when your hair stylist washes your hair and gives your scalp some extra lovin?!
Massaging your scalp will stimulate blood flow & encourage cell turnover.
I will massage my scalp while I shampoo my hair. I also have this nifty gadget- Kikkerland Head Massager for $3.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond!
BEST $4.00 I ever spent you will LOVE THIS THING!

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7. Get trims regularly
Get trims regularly to get rid of those split ends! Split ends=unhealthy hair=slow growth!

All of these are simple ways to get your hair to grow faster!
Hope you found some of these tips useful!

Be sure to visit me at Love & Such in the future!
Thanks to Chelsea and all of her readers for letting me stop by!!

Spotlight On…Fun Workout Clothes

Lately, as you know, the only clothes I’ve been buying have been workout clothes. I’ve never felt that working out is a reason not to look cute. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely do not advocate getting all dolled up just to go to the gym. That’s something that attention whores do, and you’re better than that! But that doesn’t mean that you have to show up in baggy sweats and oversized tee shirts either. The right outfit can make or break any situation, and the gym is no exception! Here are a few fun items that I’ve recently discovered while looking for fun workout gear. There’s something for everyone out there!

Looking for a little motivation? Look no further than these awesome tees & tanks, all available on Etsy!

Motivational

You Got This Tee, $15//Play Hard Get Dirty, $15//Will Not Quit, $26//3…2…1…Work!, $22

Continue reading Spotlight On…Fun Workout Clothes

Where Have You Been?

Good Morning Fashionistas! Today I’d like to apologize (yet again) for not posting much lately, and I want to take a few minutes to explain why. It’s not an issue of being too busy, or of not wanting to. Believe me, I love you guys and I hate to leave you hanging! So here’s the scoop:

As you already know, I’m a runner. I’m currently in training for my longest race yet (5 Miles!), and as a result have been running about 4 days a week with gym days in between. I’ve also been trying to eat as healthy as possible to get my body into the best shape possible. As a result, I’ve been slowly but surely losing weight. Don’t panic, though, the curves are here to stay, they’re¬†just becoming more toned!

Big Butt

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Because of this, though, I’ve sort of been refraining from doing too much clothing shopping. I want to wait until I’ve dropped a size or two before I really go out and get anything new. The problem with this, of course, is that it leaves me rotating the same clothes¬†that you’ve already seen here.¬†Any shopping I’ve been doing lately has pretty much been either workout gear¬†(I just ordered my first pair of Vibram Five Fingers. They were over 50% off, how could I NOT?), jewelry,¬†or shoes. Shoes I will never stop buying, because they will always fit, whether my pants are a size 16 or a size¬†6.

So here’s what I’m gonna¬†do: While in the midst of this weight loss process, you won’t see full outfit posts,¬†since I literally have nothing weather appropriate that you haven’t already seen. What you will be seeing is a LOT of shoes (I know Kristi will be loving that!). You will also see LOTS of earrings, necklaces, rings & bracelets. I¬†will also be posting a weekly “Spotlight On…”¬†post. This will be a post that highlights something fashion-related that I think deserves recognition. This could be anything from a store, a¬†trend, colors, designers, other bloggers, and everything in between! I’m also totally open to suggestions. If there’s something that you’d like to see on here, please let me know!

I hope you guys enjoy all the upcoming content, and I PROMISE there will be new content this week! Be on the lookout for a shoes post and my first “Spotlight On…” post before the week is out ūüôā

 

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

‚̧ Chelsea

 

 

Friday Letters

One of my favorite bloggers, Mikell at Love & Such, does a feature every week called “Friday Letters” where she writes little notes to people/things that have made a difference in her life. Since I’ve been sick all week and have NO outfit pics to share with you, I’m going to be a total copy-cat today and do a Friday Letters post! Here we go:

Dear Bill, Thank you for being the most amazing boyfriend a girl could ask for. I could not even begin to thank you for the things you’ve done for me in the short time we’ve been together. I feel so lucky to have you in my life and I can’t wait to have more adentures with you :-*

Dear Sasha, You get the cutest puppy EVER award! Even when you’re eating ornaments off of the office Christmas tree, you have the uncanny ability to make me smile. I mean, how can you NOT smile looking at a face like that?

sasha

Continue reading Friday Letters

Cooties

I suppose if I¬†was going¬†to get sick, it’s better to get it done early in the season. I feel like absolute crap today, and I hate it. I’ve had two full mugs of tea and I can’t do anything for more than a few minutes without errupting into a coughing fit. Not to mention that¬† my abs are sore from this weekend’s workout, so every cough hurts. I know, first world problems, but it still sucks!

Needless to say, my nose is runny and red, I didn’t sleep well so my eyes are all puffy, and I’m a complete mess, so no photos today. Instead¬†I’ve compiled a list of what I believe to be the best items to wear or have with you¬†when you’re sick but you still have to go to work.¬†Comfort really is always key, and never is this more true than when you’re not feeling your best. All items that I’ve¬†listed can be found at JC Penney. It’s my favorite store for cute, affordable clothes for work.

PS: I am in no way being paid to promote JC Penney, Worthington, or any other brand here. Just a big fan!

Continue reading Cooties