About Me...

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Cincinnati, OH, United States
I'm a scientist , yogi, book worm, scifi junk, and I'm a little obsessed with my pup. My life is full of discovery both in the lab and out of the lab. This blog is my place to share my experiences as a person trying to stay happy and healthy in this crazy world.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cuteness for a gloomy day ...

It's rainy and dreary in Cincinnati. If you're like me you need a little pick me up. Well here are a few pics of Phil dog to make you happy.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Oscars 2013 ...

Ballot is ready to go!

My ballot is filled out and my movie-themed cupcakes are iced and ready to eat.   What am I talking about you might ask? Well maybe not since the title of this post is Oscars 2013.....yes, I'm talking about the Oscars.

The academy awards are famous for ignoring what many people think were great accomplishments in film, but it also has the amazing red carpet and this year's host, Seth McFarlane.

I'm watching this year with the girls in our sweats eating movie/actor themed foods.  I made silver linings cupcakes with red carpet frosting. I've admittedly not seen any of the movies that are nominated for best picture.  Nevertheless, I'm in for the festivities.

I'm off to ogle the dresses the dresses for their good and bad qualities, and laugh at a few Seth McFarlane jokes.

Silver Linings Cupcakes
with Red Carpet Frosting

Monday, February 18, 2013

Why I enjoy the biggest loser ...

Reality TV in general is full of drama and crying especially my guilty pleasure the bachelor.  Although reality TV is amongst the trashiest of TV, I still get sucked in by the manufactured stories.  That being said, one reality show that I watch brings a bit more to the table, The Biggest Loser

At first glance it seems like it’s a way to shame fat people by making them work out for endless hours and screaming in their faces.  Which admittedly is why it took me until the 10th season to give it a go.   In reality, overeating is a form of self -destruction.  These contestants go through grueling physical work-outs and mental revelations as well.  Like any kind of behavior modification, the show helps expose their underpinnings to the behavior and then gives them tools to improve upon them. 

There are bloggers and people who believe the show is forcing starvation and dehydration, which I don’t believe.  I’m sure a lot of things aren’t shown on the aired episodes, which Jillian Michaels addresses on her podcast.  Since it is TV, many of the “healthy eating” segments are a bit like commercials.  And the beeping as they weigh in seriously drives me a bit nuts. 

I enjoy watching the show because it’s about overcoming a large psychological obstacle to become a better person.  Not only do they feel better about themselves mentally but also they have the tools to become healthier, and share that with their families.  Our country is in need of this type of change since about 2/3 of people are overweight. 

The season introduces a challenge for kids to get healthy.  Impressively, the show so far has been able to do this in a manner that is constructive to the children. 

In the end, The Biggest Loser is a reality show, which means it doesn’t really show reality, but it provides the message that you can overcome your mental obstacles and be a better version of you. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

End of the hiatus ...

Ive been on a little hiatus from blogging. Its not necessarily that I havent had enough free time, but that my thoughts havent felt like they are worth sharing.  Let me expand on that statement.

The world seems to be going a little crazy lately.  You and I both see what is happening in the world through our 24-hour news coverage that seems to focus on the horrific and shocking. Im not actually sure whether the world is experiencing more violence or its because are exposed to more violent stories due to the news.  Either way, my small musings havent felt significant enough to share with the world. 

Instead of feeling insignificant, Ive decided to utilize this blog more as an outlet to share some positive in my world to hopefully share the positivity with others. 

Currently, Im ramping up to finish my dissertation, which obviously means Im finding new ways to procrastinate.  Here are a few of the things Ive found to make me laugh and pass time:
            Jenna Marbles videos on youtube (FYI they have adult language)
            Cute Overload
            Reading fun articles on hello giggles
            Whatshouldwecallgradschool.tumblr.com (Science grad school jokes)
            Dog Shaming

Check out some of these and have a good laugh for the day.  After all, its Friday so enjoy it.   

Friday, November 23, 2012

Being thankful...

Finishing the 40 days to personal transformation has been a challenge.  The excavation questions during each week dug deep into how I felt about a lot of situations in my life.  Some of the questions seem benign, such as, when do you feel most alive? While other questions dug more deeply, How much do I believe in myself, and how much does this play out in my everyday life?  While answering the questions, I attempted to be the most honest and genuine with each specific question.  Not surprisingly, I found some recurring themes and patterns to my thoughts and feelings about things in my life.  Combining these thought provoking questions with daily yoga and meditation was in fact transforming.  I have to admit, that I didn't stick to the program fully due to having a busy life with other obligations.  

I feel like I went through a great therapy session and a little bootcamp at the same time.  I feel stronger both mentally and physically.  The program ended right before thanksgiving, and all the reflection made me even more thankful this year then in years past. 

Spending time really contemplating the things in my life has made me feel so much more calm and "ok" with everything.  I've found some acceptance.  That being said....I'm no buddha or enlightened creature, but I feel more equipped for life.  

Saturday, November 10, 2012

3 day fruit fast

As part of the Baron Baptiste 40 days to a personal transformation I did a 3 day fruit fast this week.  I started the three days with a preponderance of fruit that I thought I would never be able to consume in 3 days, turns out I was wrong.  When it's the only thing you are eating, you end up consuming a lot to get enough calories.

There are some foods we usually classify as vegetables that are actually fruits such as avocados, peppers, tomatoes, and squashes.  Butternut squash and peppers were great for some hot foods.  I also got some dates to eat to satisfy those cravings for chewy foods.

The first day of the fast wasn't too bad and the thing I missed the most was caffeine.  Day 2 was more tough then day 1.  I woke up with a headache so I drank half a cup of black coffee.  Alas, I had the headache all day and felt exhausted and fuzzy all day.  I walked across the street and realized I never actually checked the crosswalk sign....so I was really fuzzy.  I went to bed super early that night with a splitting headache.  Day 3 was the best day.

I missed caffeine and oatmeal the most during this process.  The process has allowed me to gain more understanding of my actual hunger and when I'm full.  I've become more aware of my body and what it needs.

Friday was my first day eating "regular" food again, and I got a almond milk mocha from coffee emporium.  I appreciated and savored every sip of that drink!  The hardest part of the 40 days program is over, now I can focus on the meditation and the yoga.

p.s. All the yoga is helping me recover from the marathon much more quickly! :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon review ...

I'm nearly fully recovered from running the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon last Saturday.  This race was well organized and a flat course.  Honestly, I chose this particular race because it was described as flat.  After running the half-marathon for this race three years ago, I wanted to revisit the city in the state I grew up in and run the full marathon. 

The morning of the race was very cool and crisp with a small chance of rain.  As the race was starting I watched the sun rise.  The course was just as advertised, flat.  The most enjoyable section of the course was running through the indianapolis art museum grounds.  

Around mile 18 it started sleeting, then light rain at mile 20, and complete down pour for about the last mile or more.  Normally, during a marathon I would have gotten very upset and been tempted to start walking.  Luckily, I was mentally very strong for this race, which allowed me to push through.  

I finished in 4:30:13.  I'm very excited about my time and how I felt during and after the race.  

As I finished I saw a friend and Jonah waiting for me at the finish!  Being in Indianapolis allowed us to see some of our dear friends before and after the race.  

Overall, great race and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to run a flat course.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The last 6 weeks or so in review...

A lot has happened in the last 6 weeks during my little hiatus from the blog.  Don't get me wrong the "a lot" that's happened is not dramatic just full of events.

Training for the marathon on Nov. 3 reached its peak in the past month or so.  I finished a 20 and 22 mile run.  My final long run before beginning the taper period of training was supposed to be about 23 miles, but I stopped early due to a cramp in my calf.  I'm glad I did since I ended up not having any lasting effects of the cramp.  Jonah was a great sport and came to pick me up after the cramp which occurred at mile 16 and I was at least a few miles out from home.

Last week I began a new challenge, which is the Baron Baptiste 40 days to personal transformation.  I've been practicing yoga at a baptiste power yoga studio in Cincinnati, and I wanted to go further into the practice and explore more thoroughly into the intellectual side of the practice.  Right now I'm on day 4 and things are going well and I'm hoping for some personal growth through the program.  Coincidentally, the program ends two days before my 30th birthday.  The end of another decade of life is a great time for reflection and growth.  Below are some images from a few of our adventures as of late...enjoy

Reds game

Joey Chestnut won the brat eating contest for the third year in a row at Zinzinnati Oktoberfest

Serious pretzels at the Zinzinnati Oktoberfest

Relaxing fall afternoon at a Kentucky Winery.  

Monday, September 3, 2012

The tale of two 18 mile runs ...

Two weeks ago the training schedule for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon called for the first 18 mile run.  The weather was nice and cool with really low humidity, and got up early to head out to the little miami trail.  I used cliff shot blocks and cliff shots for fueling and no stomach issues, and I had just enough water to get me through the entire run feeling properly hydrated.  After a quick ice bath, I was able to get out and do a few things for the day.

Then, this past weekend it called for another 18 mile run.  Although the distance was the same, and I was going to run it on a flat course, but in Lexington this time, this 18 miler was a totally different story.

First of all it was humid and the sun was out full force.  Luckily, the cliff brand fueling supplies agreed with me again.  I think I'll stick with this brand.  At mile 10 I had to stop and refill my water bottles, and I was already drenched from sweating.  After I ran-walked the last 4 miles, I made it home exhausted and happy to be done.  This run also added to my "runner" tan, which makes it look like I'm always wearing a tanktop and shorts and a little pink across my nose, even though I wore SPF 50!

Logically, the weather makes a huge difference in how you feel during a training run, but I just couldn't believe the contrast.  Luckily, the run two weeks ago went really well and I can reassure myself that I have the endurance built up to continue training.

This week is a shorter run of 10 miles, and we are doing the extreme rampage obstacle course in Lexington.  Then, the following week is a 20 miler.

Happy training!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Taking Yoga Principles off the Mat...

There's a sense of calm you take with you at the end of a yoga class.  Recent studies have shown that yoga helps to calm your nervous system, which is a much needed thing since we are always over stimulating ourselves with the electronic world around us.

This calm and connection gained through yoga has been following me as I leave the studio.  That's the great thing about yoga, all of the skills used in a successful yoga practice can be re-tapped into during our lives outside the studio.

I'm in a life transition right now, looking for postdoc positions and trying to finish my research project.  The hubs and pup might tell you I've been stressed, but it would be so much worse without yoga.  Deep breathing and a little patience has kept me from going a bit crazy.  I've also found that yoga has helped slow my mind so I can process thoughts and feelings better by tuning into how I feel, and how others feel resulting in more empathy.

Although it's a great work out, Yoga traditionally encompasses an expanse of spiritual principles. These small changes in my life only scratch the surface of what yoga can bring into someone's life.  I hope by sharing what yoga brings to my life in the day-to-day will inspire someone to give yoga a try and experience this therapeutic effect as well.

p.s. it's also not about being super flexible, it's about being where your body is and connecting in the moment, so don't let that hold you back.