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Posted on Jun 27, 2011 in Dear Diary, Weigh Ins, Weight Loss | 20 comments

I’ll miss you, Boulder. (Weigh-in)

If you’re catching up from the weekend, be sure to catch up on my posts covering my experience in Boulder, CO at the Fitness & Health Bloggers Conference!

1. Oh hi, Boulder. I think I love you.
2. Yoga, Mountains, Food, & Deodorant
3. LiveBlogging
4. Mountain Climber

Oh hai there, Eagle!

Waaaaaaaaaah! I want to go back already! I can definitely see how you’d get addicted to the outdoors living out there. Even for me, as a self-proclaimed couch-potato and air conditioning-enthusiast, I just didn’t get enough of the mountains!

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After the conference ended, Casey, Emily, Katie and I all headed to lunch at Zolo, a locally-sourced Mexican/Southwestern restaurant. It was delicious, and they were very accommodating to Casey & Katie’s dietary restrictions which I noticed a LOT of restaurants do in Boulder. It’s definitely the place to go if you have dietary sensitivities or food allergies!

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We shared chips & guac, and I got the tilapia tacos. Delicious!

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I also snagged a bite of Emily‘s goat cheese and poblana breakfast enchilada. Delicious!

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Hi Katie! My apologies for not posting Emily & Casey’s pretty faces up too, but I think they’ll thank me for it later. I got pics of both of them mid-chew, haha!

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After lunch my friend Matt (who moved to Colorado from DC a couple of years ago with his fiancee Jess) picked me up from the hotel and drove me up the side of a mountain so I could take in the sights. He felt bad that I had to miss out on hiking while I was there but I assured him that I would be back and we could climb the mountain the proper way next time. Prepare for photo overload:

Downtown Boulder

I mean, seriously?

University of Colorado - Boulder

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I die.

IMG_9381.jpgIMG_9376.jpgWindy!

It was just a smiiiiidge windy on top of that mountain, haha.

Grizzly Gretchen.

But don’t worry. Grizzly Gretchen conquers all.

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Matty was an excellent tour guide.

Mountain Man

But we missed you, Jess!

Flatirons

After driving up (and consequently, down) the mountain, we also ambled over to Chautauqua, where the Flatirons are (and where the conference hike that I had to miss had ventured.)

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More photo ops!

IMG_9439.jpgI think I'll keep it.
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Boulder

And look who I ran into coming down the mountain!

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It seems that Anne and I just can’t escape each other, because we also ran into each other AGAIN in the security line at the airport. Love it.

The last thing that Matt and I did before he generously drove me to the airport (curse you, Super Shuttle!) was to check out this little art fair that happened to be going on at the 29th Street Mall.

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Sunshine
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Sundial?IMG_9469.jpg

And of course when I did actually get back to DC (at midnight EST, of course), it was raining. And still humid. Le sigh.

Don’t worry, Boulder. I’ll be back someday!

Annnnnd just for posterity’s sake:

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 192.5 lbs
This Weigh-in: 192.0 lbs!!
This Week’s Loss: -0.5 lbs
Total Loss-to-Date: 54 lbs.

Holler! Thanks Boulder, for not only being an amazing place but also helping me lose half a pound! Except I’m pretty sure that the reason I “lost” that half-pound is because my dinner consisted of a mini-Larabar, an Attune probiotic chocolate bar, and a packet of airplane peanuts. Stupid 6:30 PM flight time.

Sidenote: I flew Southwest for the first time, and it was awesome! I kinda dug the whole pick-your-own-seat-thing. And for like, the second time ever I actually sat with really cool people and had real conversations on the plane. If you’re reading this, Hi Kate & Jon!

My final thoughts on the first-ever Fitness & Health Bloggers Conference are this: it was very informative, they selected very good speakers, and they couldn’t have picked a more perfect location to host it, but in comparison to Fitbloggin’ I felt it was less social and targeted to a bit of a different attendee audience. I was admittedly a little intimidated by all of the personal trainers and fitness and nutrition professional in attendance (as opposed to health/wellness bloggers with other full-time professions) and definitely felt self-conscious about my fitness level in comparison to the majority of the attendees. All in all though, it was obviously a great conference, and I learned a ton. Look forward to many more inspired posts to come!

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Posted on Jun 26, 2011 in Dear Diary, Food | 12 comments

Mountain Climber

Soooo obviously I’m in Boulder for a conference. Which means that there’s only so much time I can spend exploring the city and being super awesome (read: touristy) because there are sessions planned and things to learn! And even though there was a hike as part of the conference early Friday morning, I unfortunately didn’t arrive until after the hike was already over so I missed out on that boat. Boo. So hey! I made due with what I had:

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Hehe.

We did get to go see a bit of the city yesterday though, and that’s what you’re gonna get to hear aaaall about today! Lucky you. ;)

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We ventured down to the Pearl Street Pedestrian Mall, which was awesome! Reminded me a lot of the pedestrian malls in Charlottesville and Miami.

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The walking mall is super cute with lots of shops, restaurants, and PEOPLE. There was some kind of arts exhibition or festival thing going on yesterday, so it was very crowded but fun to see so many artists, dancers, and musicians out and about.

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I was a little disappointed when I saw the following sign:

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But I quickly realized it’s not exactly a rule that is enforced, hahaha.

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Next time I come here (hopefully not to far from now!) I’m bringing Daxter! ;)

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I went touring with Anne and Theodora, and we ended up venturing down to a local farm-to-table style restaurant that reader Katie recommended for lunch. The Kitchen!

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Although we ended up settling literally next door…

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At The Kitchen’s new gastro-pub-style sister restaurant: The Kitchen Next Door! And it was seriously the BEST. DECISION. EVER.

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Not only was this place freakin’ adorable and adhered to all of the things I love in a restaurant (locally sourced ingredients, focused menu, comfortable ambiance) but it had the FASTEST SERVICE IN THE HISTORY OF ANY RESTAURANT EVER. I am not kidding. Food ordered and brought to table in less than 5 minutes. It was amazing.

Also, these were like crack on a plate:

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Kale chips! They were amazing. We were actually fighting each other to eat them as fast as we could. So as you can imagine, it didn’t take long to from that…

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… to this.

For my main dish, I got a pulled pork sandwich (amazing bread!) topped with arugula and a side of roasted beets. Mmm!

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And as a very nice surprise, the table next to us gave us their free birthday ice cream sandwich!

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We each only had a small bite or two, though, because we had our eyes (and stomachs) already set on a different kind of dessert…

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My actual photo of my acaiberry (!!) froyo topped with coconut and kiwi turned out super blurry and awful, so I’m making it nice and small for ya. Instead, you can look at the picture of the kid whose job it was to advertise for the froyo shop by dancing up a storm, haha:

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We made a few additional stops on the way back to the hotel, and then our afternoon tour of Boulder was finite.

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Back at the conference was a couple more sessions, plus the LiveBlogging event before dinner. So, funny story: I guess I had signed up for the conference during Lent, and some of you may remember that I went vegan for Lent! And it clearly didn’t occur to me that I wouldn’t still be vegan when the conference actually rolled around. So this happened:

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Which would have normally been totally fine, except this was the “Special #2″:

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Ummmm. Yeah. I’m pretty sure that a plate of steamed, unseasoned, un-anythinged vegetables is not dinner. So that led to this happening:

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And then this:

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And eventually this:

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Oops. At least I only ate half! ;) But that didn’t happen before this did:

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It did make up for the mix-up slightly when I won a sweet hat:

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And also, you know, all the wine:

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Drunky Katie! Hahahaha. ;) No, but seriously, slight dinner confusion aside, an awesome day.

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And in a mere few hours I’ll be on my way back to the east coast! I get in at midnight EST tonight, ew. Final wrap-up thoughts on the conference itself will probably come later. It’s been a whirlwind so I’ll definitely need time to organize my thoughts. Goodbye Boulder, I’ll miss you!

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Posted on Jun 25, 2011 in Blogging, Reviews | 14 comments

FHBC: LiveBlogging!

So! As part of the Fitness & Health Blogger’s Conference, we are participating in something called LiveBlogging: essentially speed-dating between bloggers and brands. Apologies in advance if the rest of this post is incredibly disorganized, but there are 7 different companies having us taste and try their products. Exciting! First up is one that I think you may have seen me talk about just a few times before

1. Popchips!

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We did a blind taste test of a chip, which OBVIOUSLY I was able to identify immediately. Salt & Pepper! You guys already know that I feel pretty strongly that despite being a processed food, Popchips are an awesome replacement for those of us who suffer from cravings for chips/fries/salty crap. They come in pre-portioned 100 calories single-serving bags, and they are undeniably much healthier than other chips! They’re also gluten-free, which is something that I didn’t ever really think of (in case that’s an issue for any of you out there.)

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DOUBLEPLUSBONUS: They’re coming out with Jalepeno flavor in July! EXCITE!!!

2. Recharge

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Powdered sports drink mix that comes in pre-portioned packets to pour into your water bottle. 10 calories per packet. Flavors: Orange, tropical, grape, and lemon. Sweetened with stevia, no HFCS. Tried the orange, tastes pretty good, super sweet, reminds me of tang. I guess you could equate it to a healthier Crystal Light, or an alternative to Gatorade. Obviously water is still the best choice, or a high-calorie refueling drink after hardcore exercise, but if you’re looking to quickly rehydrate or are concerned about calories then it’s definitely a viable option. 8-packs sold for $3.99.

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3. Detour Bar

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Their bars we were meant to sample unfortunately didn’t arrive, but they provided a different product for us to try instead to give us an idea of the quality of the product. Based on the principles of whey protein, has 15g of protein (the equivalent of 2 eggs) per 170 calorie bar with only 3g of sugar. However! It is sweetened with sucralose, i.e. Splenda, which obviously there are some issues with the use of artificial sweeteners and the fact that the bars are specifically made to taste indulgent and like candy bars, which could make you crave more candy bars.

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4. Cascadian Farm Organic & Larabar

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Larabars: 2 – 9 ingredients, all-natural ingredients, super awesome. Amazing breadth of flavors.
@larabar

They do not have the indulgent taste of a candy bar so I’m not sure if I would say they could replace them, but they do make fantastic snacks – they are fairly high calorie, but very satiating because they come from fruit & nuts.

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Cascadian Farm Organic: Started on a farm in 1972 that is still open and still running. Focuses on cereals, bars, granola, and frozen fruits and veggies!
@cascadianfarm

5. Casa Noble Tequila

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Ummmm, HELLO! Skinny margaritas? YES PLEASE. 3-ingredient tequila that makes it “skinny”: an average margarita can be anywhere between 250 and 400 calories, whereas this recipe is 48 calories an ounce!

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Recipe:

2 oz. Casa Noble Crystal (138 calories)
1 oz fresh lime juice (7 calories)
3/4 oz. agave nectar (36 calories)

Certified organic and sustainable tequila brand. Delicious! And strong! Ruh-roh…

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6. Jovial Foods

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A line of einkorn pastas. Einkorn is an “ancient grain” that is “nutritionally superior” to today’s regular whole wheat pastas. A natural source of B vitamins! It’s similar to spelt, and the grain has never been modified or messed with. They also produce gluten-free brown rice pastas. 4.1 grams of fiber per 2 oz. serving! 9g protein, 200 calories. Available at Whole Foods! Also produce a line of einkorn and brown rice cookies!

7. Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery
@rudisglutenfree

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Bread, bread, bread! I’ve never been a fan of gluten-free breads in general, because, you know, they don’t generally taste good. Hahahahaha. And while I will say that I still don’t think I would opt for gluten-free bread myself if given the choice, for those that are gluten-intolerant or follow a gluten-free diet I think it’s a wonderful option. The texture is a little more crumbly than traditional wheat bread, but for a loaf made out of potatoes and rice, it’s really quite good! 90 calories a slice, partially-organic ingredients. You can find it in the freezer-section, and it’s recommended that you store it in the freezer as well. Sold nationally in both natural food stores (like Whole Foods) but also in conventional stores like Safeway!

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Okay! So there you have it. And now I’m going to go, ’cause my half-Asianness + Boulder elevation + this skinny margarita = I’m getting wasted. See you tomorrow! ;)

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Posted on Jun 25, 2011 in Blogging, Dear Diary, Food | 13 comments

Yoga, Mountains, Food, & Deodorant

Yup. Most random blog post title ever. But believe me — all of these things are absolutely relevant, and it’s been less than 24-hours into the Fitness & Health Bloggers Conference! Things have already been a whirlwind of education, activity, and excitement! I’ll try to keep this succinct, but be forewarned that Colorado is kind of beautiful. So, you know. I’ve been taking a lot of pictures.

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You probably understand why. :)

So after yesterday’s opening keynote speech, the sessions included talks on working with companies & PR firms as a blogger, as well as hearing from two bloggers that have successfully parlayed their blogs into books! Both very interesting, and very educational. In the true spirit of this being a fitness & health bloggers’ conference though, things were broken up with a sweet little fitness break:

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And after the sessions the whole group walked over to Whole Foods Boulder for a special dinner they prepared just for us!

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Heather, Anne, and Theodora were more than happy to pose for pics on the way. :)

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And they served up quite the feast! Since so many of the conference attendees have special dietary needs and preferences, the meal was completely vegan — and totally delicious!

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Strawberry Gazpacho Shooters

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Tofu Spring Rolls wrapped in Bok Choi

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Cucumber-wrapped Salads

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Roasted sweet potatoes and cheese-less grilled pizzas

And for dessert…

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Some kind of cashew cream-lemon-mousse-something-DELICIOUSNESS.

After our meal we popped inside the Whole Foods building to pick up some libations…

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And showcase Theodora’s inappropriate love for kombucha.

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Don’t worry folks. Most of the time she looks much more like this:

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BAHAHAHA.

Then it was back to the hotel for the opening night cocktail party! I’ll give you one guess who the sponsor was.

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Yup! Degree Women deodorant — see? It all comes full-circle, hahaha. Don’t worry, I didn’t walk out of there with those deodorants. Not all of them anyway… kekeke.

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Guess they didn’t get the memo about what kind of conference this is, hahaha! Don’t worry, I stuck to the fruit plate:

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And about a quarter of this local beer (too hoppy for me!)

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Before I totally passed out at around 10 PM. In my defense, I’d been up since 6:30, and it was midnight on the east coast! Besides, my alarm was set super early for…

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7 AM yoga taught by Kia,

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Concierge lounge breakfast (thanks again, Papa!) with LOX! Mmmm.

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And an early morning photoshoot… I can’t help it! It’s just so beautiful here!

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I hope everyone else’s weekend is going as well! Now it’s time for me to sign off so I can actually pay attention to this next session on social media, which we already know is something I am super interested in!

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Posted on Jun 24, 2011 in Blogging, Dear Diary | 6 comments

Oh hi, Boulder. I think I love you.

Hello from the Fitness & Health Bloggers Conference in beautiful Boulder, CO!

Oh Hai, Rockies!

It’s kind of awesome here. I might keep it. ;)

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This is me! If this is your first visit to the blog, I encourage you to read a little bit about me, catch up on my background with weight, health, and starting this blog, and peruse a few of my top posts.

I started off my day bright & early with an 8:30 flight out of DC, killing time on the flight by laughing my ass off (much to the delight of my seat-neighbors, I’m sure.)

Bossypants

Buy this book. Seriously. I’m only four chapters in and I already have a cramp from trying to hold in my laughter on the plane! After waiting forevvvver for the Super Shuttle (and meeting up with a couple of other conference-goers on the way!) I arrived in Boulder!

Welcome to Colorado!

I’m rooming with Casey, and our room is on the Concierge floor of the hotel - complete with breakfast buffet access (sweet!) and the most amazing sundeck. I haven’t had time to check it out yet, but you can bet that I will be snapping some pics of the fantastic view later!

Strawbs.

Right now I’m munching on some Driscoll’s strawbs (I’m sooo hungry – no time for lunch!) and listening to the keynote presentation by Shellie Pfohl, the Executive Director of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, & Nutrition.

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She was appointed by Prez Obama himself, and is discussing the state of the US’s health (note: it ain’t good.) and what the government is trying to implement in order to change that. Very intersting, but saddening statistics! Well, at least we’re in the healthiest state in the country while listening to it, haha!

I’ll be back with plenty more updates as the conference continues (working on my multitasking skillz, yo!) If you’re attending the conference, be sure to flag me down and say hi!

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