What I Loved and Learned at Blend Retreat

Guys, I have enough snacks to last me the rest of summer.

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Just kidding, more like the rest of this month. Nevertheless, it is clear that Blend brings swag game to an elite level. This isn’t even all of it.

First of all, there are several people/places to thank for this year’s successful Blend Retreat:

  1. Janetha, Lindsay, and Lauren for being the most hardworking, badass, and helpful hosts! You ladies are awesome.
  2. The bloggers/blog readers/Instagrammers who attended. You’re inspiring, and you made the retreat a fun time!

    Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetMy roommates (all Instagram stars)! Meredith @MeresNuttyKitchen, Amy @Clap4Fit, Aly @RunningHealthy13, Colby @EatClean_LiveStrong

    Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presethiking with Laura from 50 by 25 (she’s run over 100 marathons, it’s guatever)

  3. The sponsors for their work and for providing an insane amount of goodies for us.Processed with MoldivProcessed with Moldiv
  4. Chautaqua Park and Boulder, CO for providing cozy cabins and beautiful grounds for our retreat.Processed with Moldiv
  5. My family for letting me come and then coming with me to Colorado 🙂
  6. YOU, because you’re reading this.

Blend was an amazing experience. There were plenty of aspects that I loved:

  • Getting to meet other bloggers (duh)Processed with MoldivProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 preset
  • Being able to talk about health and wellness as much as I wanted

  • Doing active things

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  • The laid-back, no-judgement, supportive atmosphere and community

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Morning hike before yoga! #Blend2015

A post shared by Laura (@50by25) on

  • Eating good-for-ya and good-to-ya foodProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

    Processed with Moldiv

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  • Learning about health and wellness brands

Clark from the Quest team (his arms are almost as big as my legs, it’s fine)

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  • Being in the presence of the Colorado mountains

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  • The perpetual stream of swag

And there were plenty of things I learned:

  • Mental and physical investment in health and wellness varies significantly among bloggers in the healthy living blog sphere. Not everyone is equally “into” it as one another, and that’s all good.
  • I am so not in tune with the whole working-with-brands thing.
  • I’m not one to eat too many protein bars, but a lot of them are tasty!

    Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetfirst Quest bar ever

  • I sometimes forget that not everyone who is a healthy living blogger is recovering from an eating disorder. It made me slightly anxious when people were talking and thinking about healthy food/nutrition facts all the time, but I was inspired by my roommates who know how to eat well and trust their bodies.
  • I don’t really want to talk about health and wellness all the time.
  • You won’t get to talk to or hang out with everyone at Blend, which is kind of a bummer, but it’s still fun to at least say hi to most people!
  • The altitude still gets me, even after being here for a week.

All in all, I am happy I attended Blend this year. It was a fantastic opportunity to be with fantastic people. And now it’s time to go to sleep and head back to reality on the east coast today. I’ll miss you lots, Colorado! xoxo

So tell me:

If you went to Blend, what is one thing you loved and one thing you learned?

Do you like protein bars? Which is your favorite?

Do you want to go to Blend next year? I’m not sure if I would go again, but I definitely recommend going at least once if you’re even a little interested!

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WIAW: Blogger-Inspired Meals

Yesterday was a solid day of eats. You know that feeling you get when you just finished a great workout? I felt like that except with my meals. I know you like that analogy.

Once upon a WIAW, I showed you some blogger-inspired breakfasts that I was loving, but yesterday’s meals were all inspired by some recent foods I’ve seen from other blogs lately. I’m kind of obsessed with looking at everyone else’s delicious food ideas on blogs and, of course, Instagram. To be honest, I’d say more than half of the photos I see on my Insta feed at any given time are of food. I post food pictures, I look at food pictures. Then I eat!

If you love food pictures too, Jenn‘s blog is the place to be!

Today I’m actually playing by the rules and showing what I ate in just one day! Reminder: I’m on winter break, so all my meals were eaten at home. I’m not playing hooky until 4th quarter 😉 (Kidding.)

Breakfast

My leisurely morning started with a comforting, satisfying breakfast inspired by Amanda‘s classic oatmeal with Greek yogurt.

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Greek yogurt with banana oatmeal and peanut butter layered on top

Snack

After finishing some biology homework, I needed a pick-me-up before {finally} doing some exercise. My legs wanted to MOVE after two straight days of road trips. Homemade granola bars from Amanda, Julie, and Jen inspired this one!

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A couple honey crisp apple slices + homemade granola bar (a whole one plus another nugget of one)

Lunch

After moving and grooving a bit (I did this workout from Lori and Michelle), I was hungry for lunch. More specifically, I wanted eggs. When I crave eggs, I will go “hangry” for them. I used to not know how to cook eggs, but luckily those sad days are over. Jen’s fabulous-looking omelet inspired this beauty.

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Two-egg omelet with dried basil, dried thyme, Mexican cheese blend, spinach, and ground turkey + ketchup on top + coconut oil brussels sprouts (made by mom this time!) + sesame seed toast

This hit the spot like no other. Like I said on Instagram, if college doesn’t have good food, I’ll just live off of eggs (and yogurt, oats, banana, and pb of course).

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The best bites were the ones with toast + omelet.

Snack

My afternoon consisted of blog-reading, AP calc homework, Food Network-watching, and Instagram-stalking. So a whole lot of nothing much. By the late afternoon though, I was feeling snacky. This one isn’t really inspired by anyone in particular, but almost every HL blogger eats veggies with hummus, right?

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Dinner

This one doesn’t look like anything new, but I added a little something extra thanks to Davida’s Thai Salmon Salad recipe yesterday.

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Quinoa + brussels + salmon + Thai basil + sriracha

The Thai basil added an Asian flare to an otherwise normal schnormal dish for me. I was about to add a peanut dressing of sorts, but I got lazy. Sriracha to the rescue!

I also had a handful of pistachios (my favorite nut) and a vanilla frozen Greek yogurt cup for a sweet end to my night.

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{recycled photo}

Before I say goodbye for today, I’ll update you on my Blend Retreat decision dilemma. My friend Veronica texted me yesterday that I should totally go ahead and buy the tickets since we probably won’t even have finals the following week (most final exams should be done before then). After deliberating and realizing that she was probably right, I got super excited that I might just be able to register for the retreat! However, after talking with my mom about it a little more, she sorta convinced me that the weekend might still end up being stressful for me. Friday, June 6th (the start of the retreat) is my last official day of high school, and I would miss that if I went to the retreat. Even though there are still several other senior events in the following weeks, I wouldn’t be able to spend that last day of school with my friends and teachers. Also, it’s not a short trip to and from Utah, so I’d probably be jet-lagged on the Monday we get back. If I do end up having a final early that morning, I’d be a zombie.

MOREOVER, I don’t think I’ll be going this year. I really hope to go next year though! My mom and I would probably want to stay and enjoy Utah even after the retreat ends too. It’s so gorgeous over there, and we want to be able to enjoy our time without the worries of school in the back of my mind.

Anddd that is all.

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Have a good one!

So tell me:

What is the last thing you ate that was inspired by another blogger/Instagrammer?

What do you love in your omelets? 

Fascinating Friday Links #21

Hmm…Friday this week doesn’t quite feel like Friday.

MLK day + a half day on Tuesday + 3-hour delay on Wednesday = wonky week.

I’m not complaining at all though! I hope you all had a wonderful week, whatever the weather. If you’re in the midst of some super chilly temperatures, stay warm! Maybe you can find some time today or this weekend to cuddle up and check out some of these Fascinating Friday Links I’ve rounded up for ya. 🙂

fascinating friday links

Health and Fitness

[Great vlog] Video Blog: Managing Stress, Workout Shoes, Bodywork, and Finding Your Ideal Weight via Peanut Butter Runner

[Seriously love this] Letting Go and Finding Food Freedom via The Real Life RD

[What does it mean to you?] What Does “Fit” Mean to You? via The Healthy Maven

[Eat the rainbow!] A Colorful, Nourishing Diet via Kath Eats Real Food

[Fun workouts] Out and Back Circuit via Olive to Run + Triple 8 Workout via Purely Twins + 50 Rep Workout Part Two via Peanut Butter Fingers + 400 Rep Workout via Nutrition Nut on the Run + Glute and Thigh Trimmer Workout via The Brooklyn Fig

Food for Thought

[End it] Enough of The “Fat Talk” via My Food n Fitness Diaries

[Each day is an opportunity to learn] 9 Ways to Never Regret Another Day of Your Life via Marc and Angel Hack Life

[“You do you”] Work-Life Balance is a Lie, So Here’s a Better Way to Think About It via Greatist

[Be not afraid] Stop Being Afraid via Goins Writer

[How do you feel about this?] Why Dove’s Latest “Real Beauty” Ad Doesn’t Actually Empower Women via Greatist

[Be considerate when asking about pregnancy] It’s Not Easy for Everyone via The Lean Green Bean

Food for Belly

[I ♥ French Toast] Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread French Toast via Yeah…Imma Eat That + Coconut Cinnamon Raisin French Toast with Blackberry Yogurt Sauce via Fit Foodie Finds

[Vegan muffin tops!] Banana Bread Muffin Tops via Oh She Glows

[Wowza] Healthy Sticky Chocolate Fudge Cake via Top with Cinnamon

[So much flavor!] Honey-Balsamic BBQ Meatballs via Iowa Girl Eats

[Pizza pizza] Sweet Potato Crust Hawaiian Pizza via Taste and Tell + Smoked Salmon Pizza via Spoon Fork Bacon

[Super bowl? Yes.] Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos via Two Peas and Their Pod

[Easy and delicious] Flourless Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Muffins via Running with Spoons

Miscellaneous Fun

[Apparently I live in Portland? Fun survey!] What City Should You Actually Live In? via BuzzFeed

[He said he’ll be back] Arnold Schwarzenegger Pranks Gymgoers in a Wig and Mustache via Greatist

[Amazing decorating ideas and tips] Things I’ve Learned About Decorating via Kath Eats Real Food

Blogging Tips

[Lighting is key] Artificial Lighting Tips for Food Photography via Pinch of Yum

[Don’t let the visitors leave so soon!] How to Reduce Your Bounce Rate via Amuse Your Bouche

[Awesome general blogging tips] Blogging and the Biz via Fit Foodie Finds

Happy Friday!

So tell me:

Which links did you find fascinating?

What are you doing this weekend?

I’ll be dancing practically all weekend. Tomorrow we have regular class and rehearsal in the morning and afternoon, and then a community performance in the evening. Sunday is the usual 4-hour rehearsal! So studying for midterms should be done tonight…. *sigh* It’s alright, maybe I can mix math with food again.

Fascinating Friday Links #1

I tried to make up a unique alliteration for what is basically a Friday show and tell of interesting links I’ve come across lately that I want to share with all of you. Yeah, there’s Friday Fun Facts and Friday Favorites, but neither of those really fit the purpose of this post. And “link love” is too generic. Thus, I present Fascinating Friday Links!

fascinating friday

Caesar salad lovers? 

[Great for vegetarians] Chickpea Caesar Wrap via I Heart Vegetables

[Awesome, dressed-up version] Roasted Corn Caesar Salads with Parmesan Greek Yogurt Dressing via How Sweet It Is

Fitness and Exercise

[Congrats to Julianna on completing an EPIC race. Would you try it?] Monterey Spartan Beast 2013 via Julianna Bananna

[Informative facts on some misconceptions] Friday Fit Facts via Fit Possible

[Important reminder] Never Compare to Others in the Gym via hungry and fit

[I can definitely relate] How My View of Exercise Has Changed via My Food ‘n’ Fitness Diaries

[Even though I disagree with #1…] 10 Reasons to Run (Even If You Don’t Like Running!) via Livestrong

[Killer running + Crossfit workouts] A Bunch of “Really Hard” Workouts for You via Carrots ‘n’ Cake

[Kick your rear in gear] Fire Up Your Glutes! via Your Trainer Paige

More Culinary Genius

[These would be the perfect vessel for so many things] Vegan Pan Bread Roll-Ups via Edible Perspective

[Brilliant and healthy] Chocolate Avocado Frosting Stuffed Cookie Sandwiches via Yeah…Imma Eat That

[Easy, yummy breakfast, dessert, or snack] Peanut Butter Strawberry Banana Quesadillas via Texanerin Baking

[Whoa] Creamy Chocolate Coconut Pie (Grain Free and Dairy Free) via GI 365 on Empowered Sustenance

Miscellaneous

[So many awesome blogs] 35 Bloggers I Love via The Lean Green Bean

And basically sums up my life:

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[via Unleashed Beauty Instagram]

I hope you enjoy some of these links! Happy Friday!

So tell me: Did any of these fascinate you?