Friday Finisher 4/18/14

 Happy Good Friday. Do people even say that? It’s not really a holiday, just a religious observance. Well anyway…at least I have no school! Even though I had just two days this week, I am dead. Those two days killed me. I need some sleep and some rest. But I don’t think I will be getting much of that because I am just so damn excited for DC! I have so much to get done before I leave late Sunday night to go to my grandparents house again, but all four of us, my mom, grandparents, and I will be driving down (not flying). We will be leaving sometime very early on Monday morning, aiming to get down there by 9-10am for the GW admitted students day. From there, all the fun begins ;) I’ll be going to the American accepted students day as well which is on Tuesday. But in between all that I will be acting like the DC-loving-tourist that I am and visiting all the wonderful sites I didn’t get to on my last trip. I feel like a kid on Christmas morning right now! I can’t wait to say hello to Georgetown, Mr. Lincoln, and the Washington Monument which finally has it’s scaffolding taken down! Just a few more days, ah! Still, I need to focus and get work done before playtime ;) Plus, I have those AP tests coming up in the beginning of May…better start studying for those…maybe…well yes I need to. I am not going to throw that $350 cost for the tests down the damn drain! Anyway…

FTSF is off this week so no sentence :(

Friday FinisherSS Posts from the week:

Monday: Power Monday #41 Ten Reasons Why I Love Yoga

Tuesday: How To Entertain When You Have Food Allergies

Wednesday: Coconut Peanut Quinoa Flakes

Thursday: Academia In Spartenburg

Blog Posts I loved this week:

+ Organic Is Not A Synonym For Healthy

Don’t be fooled by labeling. Just because something is organic does not mean it isn’t still processed crap.

+ Why Your Body Fat Isn’t Preventing You From Looking Cut

There are a lot more factors that go in to getting that definition than just your body fat percentage.

+ Being An Elite Athlete Is Not All Glamour

It is no easy task. Hard work, dedication, and determination.

+ The Dangers Of Dairy

FYI People were never ever meant to consume another animals milk. Just saying ;)

+ The 12-Year Old Yoga Instructor

What a bad-ass ;)

+ How To Live A FearLESS Life

Get rid of the fear and take control.

+ Food Intolerance And Healing My Gut

Interesting. I would be really curious what my results would be.

+ Boost Marathon Performance With A Walk

Don’t knock the benefits of a simple walk.

+ Maintaining Gut Health And Gluten Free Living

Gut health is so tricky, especially with allergies and intolerences, but that is when it is even more important.

+ Are You One Of “Those” People?!

Haha, I am one of “those” people ;)

+ My First Bikini Competition – OCB Eastern Regi0nals 2014

Congrats, Katie! You looked absolutely fabulous and I loved following along through the whole process! XOXO

+ 10 Tips –> How To Make It Through Your Long Run

For when I start running….

+ Balancing The Mirror

There is nothing wrong with having both fitness and aesthetic goals.

+ I Was Once A 90-Pound College Student, Too

Have you been following along with this controversy with the Yale student?

+ 5 Fixable Roadblocks To More Muscle

Easy things to fix, we just need some reminders!

+ A Guide To Salad Greens

All the greens, all the time!

+ Best Food Blog Awards 2014

I found some really awesome new blogs to drool over!

+ Embracing Your Own Standards

I totally agree with this! It does not matter what you look like when you are working out!

+ Blogging, Disclosure And The FTC

Great info for us bloggers!

+ 6 Things You Shouldn’t Have To Justify

No one else’s opinion matters on what you do as long as you feel good/right about it.

+ The Difference Between Building MUSCLE And Building STRENGTH

Change up your rep ranges to see different results!

+ I Won’t Meditate

A different take on “meditation”.

+ Healthy Living: Do What’s Good For You

In a time when being healthy is getting muddied and hard to understand.

+ What Comes After Planks?

Taking your plank to the next level. You’ve got to move on sometime!

+ The 25 Best Heart Thumping Calorie Burning Exercises

Awesome list! You could make some great workouts with these :)

+ 3 Reasons To Consider Ditching Your Data Device (Or At Least Take A Trial Separation)

I have always felt like these could be a bad idea for a lot of people and can become abused.

+ Fun Facts About The Boston Marathon

In honor of one of the greatest marathons, coming up this weekend!

+ How Can I Make My Kid Less Stressed?

Children can get stressed just like the rest of us and we need to be aware.

+ Tips For Increasing Confidence As A Group Fitness Instructor

One day I will have my certification ;)

+ The Answer To Every Fitness Question

“It depends!”

Favorite Pins:

(Follow me on Pinterest – RebeccaGF666)

Cardio & Strength Circuit. A great workout to bust out anytime!

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White Tara Breakfast Bowl. Wake-up to some nourishment!

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Fashion Trends: Jumpsuiting. I’ve never tried a full jumpsuit, but when I have tried on a romper…I looked really stupid. But damn it, this jumpsuit looks so pretty!

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Cauliflower Rice Paper Baked Samosas with Tangy Mint Chutney. I can actually eat these! How exciting ;)

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Healthy Chinese Take-Out Sauce. Even though I have been on a major Mexican kick, I may need to start up my Asian flavor obsession again!

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Guide To Seeds. I am really loving Chia Seeds right now when I make my buckwheat cereals.

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Oven-Baked Teff-Coated Chicken Nuggets. Why have I still yet to buy Teff? I must have a problem!

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Berry Oatmeal Pancakes. I die.

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A few things I loved about my week or am grateful for:

+ The overwhelming joy I am feeling right now to be going to DC! O how I have missed that place so much <3

+ Getting my official Acceptance letter/packet in the mail from GW finally! I cried tears of joy as I was reading the letter to my mom. :)

+ Receiving and getting. Selfish sounding, but I am so happy to have treated myself to new clothes last week and they all fit! Yay for not having to worry about sending them back. Plus I bought some accessories in SC. And I received a ton of packages in the mail all week. I will be sharing everything with you next week and so on ;)

+ Taking another step in crushing my fear of eating out. I still will never implement this for joy, but when I have to I know I can survive!

+ Easter weekend! We won’t really be celebrating, but my brother will be home at least. If you are celebrating I hope you have a lovely day. If not, just have a lovely day og yoga, good eats, and love!

So Tell Me:

+ What is the last thing you bought for yourself?

+ Would you ever wear a jumpsuit? I am dieing to get one, now…just need to find the right (and affordable) one!

+ Are you doing anything special this weekend?

So since I will be away next week, I will be pre-writing all my posts for the week. Recaps will come the next week, but follow me on Instagram ad I plan to be photographing every moment!

*Linking-up with Heather’s Friday Favorites, Clare’s Five Things Friday*

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Academia In Spartanburg

It’s recap time! What a whirl-wind week. And now I need to gear up for DC on Monday. So much stimulation, so much to take in, in such a short time. But let’s start from the beginning. On Saturday night I went over to my grandparents to sleep and then wake-up and have my grandfather drop my mom and I off at Newark airport. Our flight was at 8:30 and of course we got there early and had to wait for o so long. I get so antsy sitting like that. O and a side note. I still have not gone in one of the new X-Ray scanners! I was specially approved by TSA with a yellow card, to just go through the metal detector and not take off my outerwear or shoes. Awesome! No radiation ;)

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We landed in Greenville, SC around 10:20ish and then it was time to grab our little rental Ford Fiesta and hit the road to our hotel in Spartenburg. My mom requested early check-in but of course that was a no go and we couldn’t check-in. We decided to just head out to the Wofford campus and start our day…after lunch of course. We ended up at Fresh Market. Might I say that place is foodie heaven! Organic specialty food everywhere. The produce was all spectacular and flawless. And the best thing…they had…PSPs! When I saw those purple sweets I pretty much died right there. Too bad I couldn’t get any :( I did pick up 2 organic Honey Crisps though. They were perfect! For lunch we grabbed massive salads at the salad bar which were delicious, simple and quick.

Fresh Market PSPs

Fresh Market Salad

Then we were off to the campus. When we tried to pull in to the main gate it was roped off, every entrance was roped off for that matter, but we finally found an open one further down the road. We found out the Alumni Association was holding an Easter Egg Hunt/outdoor picnic. There were little kiddos, families, rides, and thousands of plastic Easter eggs all over! I pilfered an egg from the roped off areas for the hunt, but inside all there was was a mint. So I threw it back, haha, not worth it ;)

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We continued to just wander around the campus. It was definitely not what I expected. I am not really sure what I expected, but, it was just different. The buildings were beautiful though. The senior apartments were like beach front condos! All of the buildings were closed though without an access card. And all the students were still not back from Spring Break (they came back the next day though!). The rest of Spartanburg was also basically closed down. I am pretty sure Sunday’s are “go to church and then stay in the house all day” days. Nothing was opened and the town looked like something from The Walking Dead.

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IMG_8874(Loved this door!)IMG_8854

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IMG_8791(Every building had a porch! Such cute Southern charm. I could not get enough!)

It got up to at least 90 degrees on Sunday. Insane! I was actually hot. I really thought that would never happen again after this winter. The flowers were also in full bloom around campus. So even though I will miss the Cherry Blossoms in DC this year, at least I got some of these pretty white flowers instead!

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Then it was time to eat! You all know I don’t eat out and in the last 5 years I have only eaten out at Sweetgreen in DC last June. I am horrified of eating out. Food safety, food allergies, I just can’t handle it. However I finally settled on a City Range steakhouse and grill. I called ahead, made reservations, and loved their Southern kindness and accommodations with food allergies. When we got there, the place was empty and we got seated right away. They had a full gluten-free menu plus this special Ultra-Fit menu which has tons of healthy options. Basically it was a dinner I would make at home. Perfect portions, low sodium, and completely safe! We ended up eating here both Sunday and Monday for dinner and always received our food in just 10 minutes; the service and staff were really great. The first night I got the Lemon & Fennel Roasted Trout with braised fennel, grilled lemons, and asparagus served over parsnip mash! It was excellent :) I actually am not a huge fan of fennel or parsnips, but the dish just sounded so good. I threw caution to the wind and was blown away! I was so happy with my choice. The fennel and parsnip mash gave the dish this perfect little sweetness. The fish was cooked perfectly and so was the asparagus. Slightly crunchy, just how I like it!

Lemon & Fennel Roasted Trout

The next night I did a little mixing and matching. I chose the Coriander Dusted Grilled Chicken with seasonal veggies and a plain baked sweet potato! Again this was outstanding! The potato was obviously baked in the oven and had that caramely sweet gooeyness. I am to lazy at home to roast my sweets in the oven and just use the micro. So this was a welcome treat! I could have used more veggies though…haha veggies = life! I have also been craving grilled chicken now all week since this meal! I can’t wait until summer is here so I can try my hand at grilling! I also had a thing for their water. You know how when most restaurants give you water, it tastes like gross tap water. Well I don’t know what kind of water they use, but it was delicious! I sucked down 3 glasses each time, haha! Yes, I get excited about good water ;)

Coriander Dusted Grilled Chicken

If you ever find yourself in Spartenburg (or Greenville, they have a location there too!) definitely go to City Range! So besides some great and safe eats (I survived with a happy tummy!), I also had my official Senior Specialty day at Wofford on Monday. I got all dressed up in my “fancy” new dress I ordered, haha. Look a once-in-a-blue-moon-selfie! Even though my face is covered ;)

Selfie!

My day started with a microeconomics class, then a session with the study abroad adviser, then the official campus tour, and finally my special meeting with the dining hall service head. I was the only girl in my group for the tour it was 5 other boys who were all from the Carolina’s! Haha, the lone Jersey girl :P It was cute though. They all had on Polo shirts and Sperry’s, khaki shorts and belts. They were all gentlemen and held the door and things like that. O the South ;) Everyone was so sweet down there. It is such a completely different culture and attitude from the hustle and bustle of the NJ/NY area. People need to calm down up here and learn to be a little more kind!

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Terrior Pride

When we went to the dining hall for out meeting, we also were able to grab lunch there. I still played it safe and just built a huge salad. This one was actually even better than the Fresh Market salad from the day before, haha! But nothing compares to the wonders of a Sweetgreen salad! The dining hall staff sounded pretty accommodating too which is a great plus. They even had a special gluten-free toaster ;)

Dining Hall Salad

The only bad thing about Monday was the fact that it was super cloudy and getting ready to rain all day. Plus it was chilly (60 degrees maybe) so walking around campus in a dress was not very fun. The rain did hold off though until it was time to go to the airport, of course! Torrential down pour while we were at City Range so we had to wait to get in the car and head to the airport. Then my mom had a freak-out because we got stuck in traffic heading to the airport (from an accident due to the rain). The time kept ticking down and we still had to drop off the rental car, print our boarding passes, and get through security. Luckily we got there with plenty of time. The rain let up, thank god, because we ended up being on a Prop Plane! These things are so dangerous. Whatever you do always avoid flying on a propeller plane. And they are so loud! Our seats were right next to the propeller and I had to hold my ears practically the whole time.

Prop Plane

We did survive though and then it was time for our lay-over in Charlotte, NC. The flight to Newark was at 10:20pm so we had to wait over 2 and 1/2 hours. At least the Charlotte airport was massive! But that also meant we had to walk about 5 miles from terminal E to terminal C. I totally have shin splints today from all the walking I did during our trip. (Due to wearing flip-flops with my dress on Monday). Time for those compression socks! The plane to Newark was packed, but it was a huge jet. I slept the whole time on the plane since it was way past my bedtime, haha! Then we couldn’t land at the airport for at least 20 minutes so we ended up circling around Newark over and over again. Finally we landed after 12am. We then had to hop on the Air Train to get to Terminal B and pick up our taxi. We got back to my grandparents after 1am and I finally just crashed. Sweet, sweet sleep! I still woke-up at 5am the next morning though, haha! Needless to say, it was a whirlwind weekend. But I am glad to have been able to finally see Wofford and the surrounding town. I think I know where I want to go next year for school, but I will leave that emotional post for next week, so stay tuned!

Well there you have it. A really quick crazy recap of my trip. I hope you enjoyed the wonderful guest bloggers I had on this week. Thank you again to Janae and Kristy! You are both wonderful! I hope you all are having a great week, we are so close to the weekend! I wish I could have gotten up a special Easter recipe post this week, but alas, I had no time to cook :( I do have something in mind though, it might just come a bit after the fact. ;) I’ll see you back here tomorrow for the Finisher. Yes I still have tons of great reads for you even though I was away. I can never stay away from reading blogs no matter what I am doing, haha!

So tell me:

Have you ever been to South Carolina? Yes! But I always went to Myrtle Beach, this was the first time on the opposite side of the state completely away from the beaches. I was a little sad to not see the Palmetto Trees :(

Have you ever flown on a plane at night? The lights are so pretty and interesting! It is crazy what our world looks like from up above!

**Linking up my recap with Amanda’s Thinking Out Loud!**

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Coconut Peanut Quinoa Flakes

Have you ever wondered why peanuts are called peanuts? Peanuts aren’t even nuts! They are legumes (thus, not acceptable on the Paleo diet, haha!). They are in the class of lentils and peas and grow underground as opposed to say the almond or cashew which grow on tress, hence the category of tree nuts. That is why you can be deathly allergic to peanuts and no other nut…because peanuts are not actually nuts. They are edible seeds that grow in an enclosed pod. Legumes are the most concentrated source of protein in the plant-based world. They are great for heart health due to their monounsaturated fats and contain tons of antioxidants that are said to even rival those of fruit.

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Plus, peanuts are the most popular nut in the U.S., making up 67% of our nut consumption. Really, who doesn’t love the classic PBJ? I am pretty sure you haven’t had a childhood if you have never eaten a mom-made PBJ for lunch. It just has to happen. But PBJ isn’t the only wonderful peanut creation. How about just snacking on them whole by cracking open the shell? Or simply taking a spoon and digging into a jar of cinnamon raisin peanut butter? Or pairing it with chocolate? Yea, you know you love it, don’t deny it! But the fun doesn’t stop there! How about peanut flour? I love peanut flour and use it all the time in smoothies, pancakes, sauces, as a natural protein powder, and this here recipe I’m sharing today.

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1/4 Cup has 16g of protein! That is crazy awesome! And all it is is ground roasted peanuts. It is so versatile and so delicious in baking and can be replaced for a grain flour pretty easily. They even say it can help ease peanut allergies when used in tiny doses each day to build up a tolerance. Peanut Power! It gives you the staying power you need for a great start to the day so of course I had to use it in Quinoa Flakes. And I made it even more fun by adding coconut, another awkward nut/not-really-nut. They complement each other perfectly, almost as good as chocolate and peanuts…almost ;)

Coconut Peanut Quinoa Flakes

Coconut Peanut Quinoa Flakes 3Ingredients: (serves 1)

+ 1/3 Cup Quinoa Flakes

+ 2 TB Peanut Flour

+ 2 TB Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

+ 2/3 Cup + 2 TB Water

+ 3 Drops of Liquid Stevia

+ 1/4 Tsp Coconut Extract

+ 2 TB Roasted Peanuts (for topping)

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Directions:

+ In a microwave safe bowl, combine the quinoa flakes, peanut flour, and shredded coconut, stir to combine. Next add the water, extract and stevia. Stir again until everything has mingled together

+ Place in the microwave and cook on high for 2 minutes. Safely remove and top with peanuts and additional shredded coconut.

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There you have it. A protein packed breakfast. Quinoa + Peanuts + Coconut = Protein Satisfying Heaven! So why do we call peanuts, peanuts? Well, I really have no idea but we also call them goobers, goober peas, groundnuts, earthnuts, monkey-nuts, and pinders. Where did all those names come from? I have no idea either. But here is a fun fact: Many years ago I used to have a beautifully blue- violet Beta Fish. I fell in love with him at the store one day and had to get him. And what did I name this beautiful fishy? Goober. Yes I named my fish Goober <3

So tell me:

+ Why are Peanuts called peanuts? Do you call them peanuts or use one of their other names?

+ Do you name you pets weird names? Yes, I do. My first hermit crab’s name was Haty and my current hermit crab’s name is Spongebob (I was a young child when I got these so don’t judge ;) Well, you can, because I love them!)

*Recipe linking up for the week! WIAW, Allergy Free Wednesdays, #RecipeFridays, #RecipeOfTheWeek, #StrangeButGood, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Healthy Vegan Fridays, Real Food Friday, Gluten-Free Fridays, Tasty Tuesdays, Whole Food Fridays, #Foodie Friday, Real Food Recipe Roundup!*

Peanut info from:

The Peanut Institute

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