Fueling for a Day in the City

The city is exhausting!

New York City in particular has the most draining effect on me. I definitely love the city, and I’m so lucky to be living close to one of the greatest cities in the world.

Besides the walking and heat, there is so much stimulation from the millions of people, cars, lights, sounds, and smells. If you try to slow down, you will either get run over by an automobile or pushed over by busy people. That being said, walking, dodging flying objects/people, and climbing stairs for a few hours requires lots of fuel.

Starting with breakfast!

Actually, starting with pre-breakfast. I woke up hungry at 5 AM. Why.

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spoonful of Nuttzo power fuel

I tried going back to sleep, but then 6 AM came before I could. After dropping off dad at the train station, I was READY for breakfast.

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Greek yogurt with cinnamon, nutmeg, chia, and maple syrup // banana, strawberries, granola, and a giant scoop of peanut butter

A little while later I warmed up a couple of strawberry cornmeal griddle cakes that I had froze, and I snacked on one with some maple syrup as a morning snack. I did get to sleep a little more too!

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I took the day off from my {flexible, volunteer} internship to join up with some good friends from BU who are also NY/NJ locals, health professionals to be, and…Asian 🙂

By the time I had arrived at Grand Central and then walked 19 blocks to Shake Shack, I was a hungry, hungry hippo (<— always wanted that game when I was a kid).

We surprised our friend Dana with cupcakes and horridly off-pitch singing (on my part) for an early birthday celebration before ordering and chowing down on our burgers from Shake Shack.

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My first Shake Shack burger! It was perfect and I miss it already.

Tina and Cassandra were kind enough to pick up Georgetown Cupcakes for Dana, and Dana was kind enough to share with all of us!

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happy early birthday, Dana!

We trekked it over to High Line Park, where we took touristy pictures despite not being actual tourists. Before that though, we stopped by Eataly to use the restrooms, and LOOK WHAT WE FOUND.

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A NUTELLA BAR {inside Eataly, not inside the restroom}

Take deep breaths, I know it’s a lot to take in. We didn’t buy anything, but I need to go back to try it out soon!

Back to High Line… (thanks for the photos, Cassandra!)

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After High Line and a quick walk through Chelsea Market, we parted ways and went home. I took a nap on the train because I was dead meat. I think I felt almost as tired as I did after our 7 mile hike in Colorado!

My stomach felt weird when I got home, but I knew I needed a snack. Or two.

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steamed veggies + 34 Degrees poppy seed crackers with hummus

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more Nuttzo (this spoonful + more because this spoon has limited space to hold drippy nut butter)

A couple hours later I ate caprese again as a dinner appetizer, along with the other cornmeal griddle cake from the morning.

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I was kinda full by the time I ate real dinner, but I didn’t stress out about it, ate slowly while conversing with Pop, and finished every last bite enjoyably!

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salad with homemade maple mustard dressing + ginger cilantro lime / pesto turkey meatballs + roasted sweet potatoes + corn on the cob

Huzzah for leftovers!

Night snack was this cinnamon roll Quest bar from the never-ending Blend swag bag.

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I microwaved it for 23 seconds (as suggested by a reader), and the Quest bar morphed into a Quest lava flow.

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I should start making Quest sculptures when they’re hot

And that’s a wrap! ‘Twas a blessed day of eats as always.

I have one more day of my internship this week before I head up to Boooooooston for the weekend! 😀 Hope you all have a wacky Wednesday in the best way possible!

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joining the WIAW party on Peas and Crayons!

So tell me:

Do you ever wake up hungry? It used to happen a lot more when I was depriving myself, but I guess it still happens once in a blue moon!

What is your favorite fast food burger joint?

Something sweet that you ate yesterday!

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Do You Like That Just Because It’s Healthier?

You might have been asked that question before:

“Do you eat that just because it’s healthier or because you actually think it tastes good?”

I get it. It’s true that the healthier option can leave you longing for the real deal food.

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For example, the following foods are best in their truest, non-“healthified” forms:

  • ice cream and gelato (love you, Arctic Zero, but you’re not ice cream)
  • almost any dessert, for that matter (butter, sugar, flour=♥)
  • cheese (nutritional yeast can never be a creamy brie or sharp cheddar)
  • beef burgers (turkey, chicken, black bean burgers…valiant effort)
  • pasta (spaghetti squash is a vegetable and only a vegetable)
  • peanut butter (PB2 and Better ‘N’ Peanut Butter are travesties)
  • fried fries (baked fries are delicious, but not as delicious. don’t lie.)
  • the whole egg (the chicken gave you the whole egg, let’s be courteous and at least eat a yolk or two)
  • real meat and fish (tempeh, tofu, seitan, beans— eh.)
  • sugar, honey, maple syrup (someone please tell me you sense a weird aftertaste from stevia)
  • milk chocolate (I know a lot of you love dark chocolate, but I gag on that stuff)
  • full fat or 2% yogurt (I don’t want to turn back to sour nonfat)
  • sweetened sunflower seed butter (unsweetened sunflower seed butter is like glue in my mouth)
  • cow’s milk (it’s the cookie’s favorite beverage. almond milk is second place.)

In other words, I do not plan on becoming a vegan any time soon.

But then there some instances in which I genuinely prefer the taste of a healthier food over its less healthy counterpart.

  • natural peanut butter vs. commercial brand
  • whole grain bread vs. white bread (only when it comes to sandwich bread. restaurant bread is a whole ‘nother story!)
  • plain Greek yogurt vs. pre-sweetened yogurt
  • brown rice vs. white rice
  • vegetables vs. other side/snack  (sometimes)

Of course, what I actually eat depends on the day and my mood. But I don’t force feed myself healthy foods just because they’re healthy. I’ve come to trust that my body craves what it needs. If it wants a fresh, crisp salad, I’ll eat it. If it wants a hearty meat dish, I’ll have that.

Sometimes I will be especially mindful of salt and sugar intake if I’ve been eating a lot of either, because too much of those things makes me feel like poop (physically, not so much mentally). In those cases, I might choose the less tasty, healthier versions to bring my blood sugar/sodium levels back to earth.

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I’ll stop talking about food and let you see food!

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Yesterday, I ate mostly healthy stuff, because that’s just the way the cookie (Quest bar?) crumbled.

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breakfast peanut butter banana rice pudding with Greek yogurt and chia seeds + strawberries

I was actually craving a smoothie, but I forgot to freeze bananas the night before, so I made this instead. A great choice featuring natural peanut butter and brown rice.

And because this was a pretty sweet breakfast, I wanted mostly savory for snack and lunch.

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mixed nuts — this times ten perhaps

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leftover pulled pork over salad

If I have a salty, saucy meat dish, I love having fresh veggies underneath to soak up the juices and make it taste a little less salty in my mouth.

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For snacks, I like to be satisfied with flavorful things. I chose processed snap pea crisps over the bell pepper strips I was thinking of packing. I also had half a Justin’s vanilla almond butter sandwich on Dave’s Killer Bread. The hearty, whole grain bread was tasty and kept me full.

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Cheeeeese.

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More salad with brown rice and leftover chicken, because I was lazy. That’s the reason.

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Bell peppers with hummus— now I wanted that crispy freshness to cool down my mouth from the sriracha I put on my salad.

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mint chocolate chip Quest bar (still from Blend swag) with peanut butter

I know. It’s a Quest bar with stevia in it. I still like it, but it will forever only be “dessert”— with quotation marks.

This is real dessert from Monday night:

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vanilla bean ice cream with strawberries and a cinnamon raisin WB Kitchen cookie (which is pretty good, but definitely no oatmeal raisin cookie)

I’m getting some more real ice cream tonight with my friends 🙂

Hope your days are filled with sugar, spice, and everything nice!

So tell me:

Some less healthy foods that cannot be replaced justly.

Some healthy foods that you actually prefer.

What did you have for snacks yesterday? I need some new snack ideas!

Dad and Daughter Weekend

God bless America and God bless three day weekends. I don’t know why I said the latter; I just came back from vacation.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a lovely Memorial Day to my fellow Americans. As always, it’s nice to have a day off, but it is essential to remember why we do. Thank you to all the men and women who sacrificed their lives so that we could live ours freely and joyfully.

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Let’s catch up!

Friday

Up and at ’em early for my physical therapy internship! Brought to you by overnight oats in a jar.

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I’ve been adding chia seeds to the mix, and they increase the doughiness factor by at least 50%. I totally made that up, but chia seeds = thicker overnight oats = even better texture.

Lunch was eaten in the parking lot after my internship. It was tuna salad I had made that morning (with Greek yogurt, mustard, honey, olive topping, paprika, and black pepper) on mixed greens, alongside 34 Degrees cracked pepper crackers from Blend.

Cracked pepper crackers that are like crack.

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I saw my partner in crime (Daliza) on Friday night! I greeted her with egg yolk dripping down my face/hands/arms as I ate this for dinner:

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Once you break the yolk, there’s no turning back. You just have to inhale the rest of the toast so you don’t lose the dippy goodness.

P.S. I’m going to convince Daliza to do another vlog with me!

Saturday

I slept in and made a rather patriotic breakfast for Dad and myself— Greek yogurt with blueberries, raspberries, banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, stevia, chia seeds, a leftover whole wheat banana pancake, and Nuttzo power fuel.

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I don’t remember everything I did on Saturday, but I do know that I finally decided to unpack my luggage, did some moves with a leg strength circuit, and attended Mass. I also ate some delicious things in the afternoon!

Lunch was a salad with homemade tahini dressing, leftover pork chop (buried under there), and a sweet potato with melted garlic herb cheddar. Weird but YUM.

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I was feeling lunch dessert that day (…like every other day), so I broke into my stash of mint chocolate chunk Quest bars from Blend. I followed Aimee’s suggestion in my last post’s comments and microwaved it for exactly 23 seconds before topping it with peanut hazelnut butter.

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Yep, I’ll be doing that again! 🙂

Oh! I got new sneakers in the mail too! I won these in a huge raffle at the end of Blend retreat. Lucky for me, because I left my other sneakers in Boulder since they were so muddy from hiking all week.

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Thanks, Wellcoin and Puma!

After Mass, Pop and I went to my favorite Japanese restaurant for dinner! I went with the classic sushi combo that comes with yellowtail, tuna, and eel avocado rolls. All gone into my tummy.

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The waiter also surprised us with a complimentary dessert! Chocolate souffle cake with raspberry ice cream. Ohmahgoodness. I know I say I don’t like chocolate that much, but this was dreamy.

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Pop and I hunkered down for the night and watched not one, but two movies— The Giver and Macfarland USA. I totally loved both!

Sunday

Another sleep-in day, another breakfast for Pop and myself. I hadn’t eaten cookie dough cereal in a long time, so it wasn’t difficult to choose what I wanted that morning.

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I cleaned the floors on Sunday, and look at this horror.

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This is a picture of cleaning done in the highest shoe-traffic area of our house, but still, yuck! (Two-year-old word, I know.) You don’t really notice the dirt until you get down and scrub.

Moves involved yoga and a quick walk around the neighborhood. The weather was perfection!

I babysat at night and actually enjoyed my snack-time-esque dinner.

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I brought all the snacks myself, except for the cheese 🙂 (I was given permission.)

Monday

Pop and I started our Memorial Day with Mass and the local Memorial Day parade.

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Then we headed back home to cook and eat for the rest of the afternoon! Pop and I have never grilled without mom being around, since she is Mrs. Chefmaster Hospitality. But we had a successful cookout, I’d say! I shopped for the food, prepped it, and then left the grilling for Pop. He nailed it.

We had simple beef burgers with garlic herb cheddar and caramelized onions + tons of grilled vegetables. We also ate outstanding grilled shrimp using this marinade recipe.

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glass o’ vino in hand, what a natural
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Having a BBQ for two people also means lots of leftovers for the week!

Moves included grooving to music in the kitchen and a two mile neighborhood walk. I see a tan emerging!

After eating more of grilled goodies for dinner, we ended the night on a sweet note, as every night should end in my book. I macerated some fresh strawberries in lemon juice and honey for a few hours, and then we ate those on top of vanilla bean ice cream with a slice of the blueberry poppyseed mini loaf from Flagstaff House in Colorado!

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Me: I macerated some strawberries.

Dad: That sounds like it hurts.

[5 minutes later]

Dad: What did you say you did with these? Masqueraded?

Me: No, macerated. But masquerading them sounds fun.

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Hope you all have a great day! Clean your floors perhaps, eat string cheese, and say thank you to more people. *Also, stay tuned for an awesome giveaway later today!*

So tell me:

One productive thing you did this weekend.

One fun thing you did this weekend!

Do your floors ever get this dirty? We clean them often, I swear.

Americans, what did you eat for Memorial Day? 

Getting Back Into a Routine {Recent Eats}

The altitude got to me in Colorado, but now the two hour time loss in New York is getting to me.

I’m such a wimp, I know. I’m mostly just bad at managing my time right now, so I end up going to sleep at midnight when I need to wake up at 6 AM to take my dad to the train station.

{Oh look, it’s 11:30 PM as I type this. Good.}

Luckily I have been keeping busy with my physical therapy internship, which I am loving so far! By observing and being in the clinical setting, I can really see myself in the career. I’m relieved that I don’t hate it 🙂

Moves have been on the slower side with some stretching, foam rolling, and strength exercises. It’s just what I need right now. I also went to a modern dance class at my good ol’ studio last night! It felt amazing to dance again. AMAZING. It also felt a little tight, because I haven’t been stretching enough…

Of course, the domestic duties are also keeping me busy. Since food is more exciting than chores and errands, I’m sharing some of the things I’ve been cooking up this week.

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leftover whole wheat banana pancakes from before Colorado (I froze ’em!) with 2% Greek yogurt, a trio of nut butters, and maple syrup + an unpictured glass o’ milk

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honey mustard pork chops with caramelized shallots + blanched broccoli with tahini sauce

For the tahini sauce (roughly): 1/4 c. tahini, 1 tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. lime juice, 1 tbsp. maple syrup, water to make it drizzle-consistency

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lunch for a long day of interning and errands: salad with sweet potato, leftover pork, homemade honey mustard dressing // carrots and hummus // orange // BelVita biscuits // Balance Bar // Enlightened mesquite bbq crisps

Stay tuned for an awesome giveaway featuring Enlightened products! I’m addicted to their roasted broad beans, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

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whole grain seed toast with melted Cabot garlic and herb cheddar and two sunny side eggs + a storm of cracked black pepper

This was brunch-y, cheesy, salty, dippy goodness that I ate for dinner one night. Get the cheese. I’m not sponsored by Cabot, but I just want to announce that I love their garlic and herb cheddar.

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Kozyshack tapioca pudding with cinnamon and nutmeg

Y’all know how much I love tapioca pudding. Add cinnamon and nutmeg, and you won’t have to worry about anything ever again. (Ha, if only.)

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overnight oatmeal smoothie: oats, Greek yogurt, milk, chia seeds, and peanut butter stirred in the blender the night before // greens, frozen banana, frozen grapes, more milk added in the morning // blend and eat out of a bowl with a spoon!

I know it looks like swamp water with algae growth, but this was so delicious and quick in the morning. Normally I would also add granola for crunch, but we were out.

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Spaghetti squash!

This was my first time roasting spaghetti squash! I cut off the stem, sliced the squash in half lengthwise, scooped out the guts, rubbed each half with olive oil + salt + pepper, roasted them face-down for 40 minutes at 375F, let them cool, and then raked away with a fork until it looked like this:

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I added some caramelized shallots

I never wanted to try spaghetti squash in the past because I knew it wouldn’t taste like real spaghetti, but it’s still tasty! It’s tastes like other squashes except in string form.

I thought it would be a good time to try spaghetti squash since there was one left in the grocery store, and my dad is eating low carb right now (I can assure you that I am not eating low carb), so it was good base for something like my favorite sriracha chicken.

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sweet and spicy goodness

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coconut cashew Quest bar with sunflower seed butter

I still have tons of Quest bars from Blend (many of which my brother took to Florida as well), so I decided to have one for dessert last night. I followed Quest bar protocol and microwaved it before spreading the nut butter and eating it with a tiny fork. I Snapchatted my Blend roommate Colby to ask if I was doing it right, and she approved.

It’s already Friday! I hope all my fellow Americans have a fantastic Memorial Day Weekend. Pop and I will hopefully be doing a small barbecue for ourselves and any of my friends who want to come. You’re invited!…but I’m not giving you my address. Sorry.

So tell me:

Do you have trouble adjusting to different time zones?

Have you ever tried spaghetti squash? What do you like to eat with it?

What is your favorite way to eat Quest bars?

What are you doing this weekend? I’ll be cleaning the house, seeing Daliza (!!!), blogging, reading, BBQing, and eating ice cream, among other things.

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:

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  • 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

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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!

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  • 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!