A Birthday Dinner

Yesterday was my mom’s birthday! She turned 25 years old. Winking smile

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Just kidding! I am not going to tell you her age because she would crucify me and that I am not kidding about. But if you happen to know how old I will on November 30th, then you just need to add 25 to that. Who wants to do some math on a Saturday?!? Smile

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We went to one of our favorite restaurants, BJ’s Brewhouse, to celebrate. Unfortunately, even though we called ahead, the wait was much longer than we anticipated (and told by the hostess). Normally, we aren’t ones to complain but we watched several parties larger than ours (who came in after us) get seated before we did. The manager was very understanding and gave us a free appetizer.

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Since I am not a huge fan of fried food anymore, I also ordered the wedge salad to start off my dinner. The wedge salad normally comes with bleu cheese dressing but I switched that for the balsamic vinaigrette. The salad was delicious … as usual! The vinaigrette was the perfect compliment to the other flavors of the salad.

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For dinner, I ordered the vegetarian mini pizza. When I saw this new item on the menu, I got really excited because the crust is whole wheat and it is on the Enlightened Entrees section of the menu, which is a list of the healthier entrees available. The pizza was a little smaller than I was expecting but the crust was amazing! In my opinion, the crust really made this pizza because the toppings were the standard vegetarian selections.

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Happy birthday, Mom! I hope you had a great evening!

5 Tips to Stay Fit while Traveling

One of my favorite things to do is travel. I haven’t seen very much of the world but that is definitely a big item on my bucket list. Before I started caring about my health, I never really paid much attention to trying to stay active while on vacation. Now fitness is a huge part of my life and fitting in workouts has proven to be a challenge. Since I started my journey to a healthier me, I have been on several vacations and have had to figure out how to stay on top of my training schedule.

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Last summer, my boyfriend and I went to North Carolina and Tennessee. We absolutely love going up there to visit his mom and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While planning that trip, I was adamant about following my half marathon training plan. I figured out every route I would run so that I could get in the mileage. Of course, I didn’t account for the fact that I would forget my running shoes at his mother’s house! We ended going on three amazing hikes to go see waterfalls so I didn’t end up missing my running shoes too much.

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In November, we went on a week-long cruise to celebrate our birthdays. Learning from my last traveling mistake, I made sure to have my running shoes, workout clothes and my iPod charger so that I could get plenty of runs. It was too windy to run on the jogging track so all of my runs were done on the treadmill in cruise ship’s fitness center. I wasn’t comfortable with free weights yet so my workouts just consisted of cardio and a yoga class.

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Last month, we went to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort to visit the Atlantic Ocean. Once again the wind got the better of me when it came to running but I worked out every day that weekend. I did my scheduled NROLFW workout and a 2 mile run on Friday. The resort held a Hatha Yoga class on Saturday morning, which I absolutely loved. On Sunday morning, my 9 mile long run became a 2 mile fight against the wind but I still got something in.

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Each trip, I have learned something new and valuable about how to stay fit while traveling.

5 Tips to Stay Fit While Traveling:

1. Pack clothes to workout in. This probably seems a little silly but if you have your workout clothes with you then you are more likely to workout. Make sure to bring the necessities, such gym shorts, tech shirts, running shoes and socks, and sports bras. You don’t need much but you do need the essentials.

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2. Stick to your routine. I have found that even when I am on vacation my body still craves to work out on its normal schedule. If you work out in the morning, then continue to work out in the morning. Same goes for evening exercisers. Just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean you can’t follow your normal routine.

3. Know what you have to work with. No two vacations are the same. That holds true for hotels as well. Just because your hotel is lacking a fitness center, that doesn’t mean you can’t workout or stay active. Some hotels have fitness centers that are just plain lacking in equipment. When you first check-in, take the time to find the fitness center and see what it has to offer. If there is only cardio equipment, figure out a simple body-weight circuit to do for your strength training. If there is no fitness center at all, then use the stairs as much as possible for your daily cardio workout and do your body-weight circuit in your hotel room.

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4. Make plans to stay active. This is not nearly as simple as it seems. While you are planning your vacation, figure out exactly what you want to do. If you are going to a city known for its walkability, then take full advantage of that. If you are going to a National Park, then check out some of the hiking trails. I personally love the ones that end with a waterfall.

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5. Be flexible. Nothing works out exactly how you plan it … absolutely nothing! So don’t beat yourself up if the hotel doesn’t have a fitness center or if the fitness center doesn’t have any free weights. Be flexible, adaptable and always have fun! Change up your normal fitness routine to make the most of your vacation.