My Summer Syn

Having attended a Jesuit school I heard a lot about how everyone sins, but no need to worry for those of you that like keeping things light! This summer I’m not sinning (well who knows, maybe I am), Im SYNning. Yep, I have a new obsession and its SYNERGY (raspberry chia to be exact).

synWhat is Synergy?

Raw and organic Kombucha drinks that are created by the company GT. The products are vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO.

What is Kombucha?

It is a fermented fizzy drink. It s main ingredients are tea and scoby (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). The bacteria part may sound scary, but it really is not. That is why I love synergy. Kombucha can have many positive effects on your health, and that’s why I choose to trust the professionals. If you have ever heard negative thoughts on Kombucha it is most likely related to homegrown and homemade Kombucha. Some novices are not assuring a safe process. This is just like when people choose to make beer in their garages; if not done correctly it may not be safe. I thought I would put that out there, but please don’t fear. I love Kombucha!

Why do I love Kombucha and Synergy?

It is a well rounded health drink. It is a great source of probiotic bacteria and helps with digestion. My favorite is Synergy Raspberry Chia. Although there are lists of the health benefits, I only preach what I have actually experienced. After drinking this drink I really do believe that I have felt energized and my digestion has been positively affected. Plus it is delicious. It may not be everyone’s cup of (fermented) tea! I love tart drinks, so this is perfect for me. Plus this particular one has chia seeds in it, which is definitely more filling and a great source of Omega-3. I was a little under the weather last week, and it definitely helped me get through it. I have also heard it can cure hangovers…I’ll let you know if I’m ever in that situation. I love this grab and go drink, perfect to drink on your way to work!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts on Kombucha or Synergy. I know there are many opinions in the fermented health foods and drinks area and I would love to hear what you think. But seriously try the raspberry chia synergy if you love tart drinks and care about your health! I get mine from The Fresh Market, but Whole Foods and other stores sell it too.

 

Oh So Berry Kale Smoothie

I feel that it’s time for me to expand the blog, so that its more than just the story of why I am blogging. I thought today I would offer up a simple and oh so delicious recipe. It’s my very own “Oh So Berry Kale Smoothie” recipe.

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Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1 handful of fresh kale (feel free to be generous if you love you some kale)
  • 3 medium size fresh strawberries
  • About 15 fresh blueberries
  • .5 frozen fresh banana
  • 1-1.5 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt
  • .5 teaspoon of agave nectar
  • 2 mint leaves

Directions

I add the lemon juice, kale, strawberries, blueberries, and the banana into my magic bullet. I blend those ingredients until there are no longer large pieces of fruit.  I then add the greek yogurt and agave nectar to add to the flavor and for the correct smooth consistency. Once again I blend the smoothie, this time for around 45 seconds. Sometimes I do two bursts of 30 second blends, mixing or shaking the blender in between. Finally, I pour the smoothie into a glass and top it off with a couple of mint leaves. Ta Da!

Thoughts

  • I choose to freeze fruit (or you can always buy frozen fruit at the grocery store) so that I can eliminate the use of ice most of the time. It is a perfect way to guarantee a cold refreshing smoothie without watering out the flavor.
  • The lemon juice gives it a much needed light refreshing kit. Sometimes I use 2 teaspoons.
  • I am a supporter of the idea “if you look good you feel good” and I don’t just apply this to my appearance. I love adding the mint to my smoothies for aesthetic appeal plus the aroma adds for a better smoothie drinking experience.
  • I am definitely not a pro, as you can see from my “handful”  kale measurements. You don’t have to be a pro to make a scrumptious smoothie. Be confident and try it out. If it doesn’t taste how you wanted just add a bit more of your favorite ingredient.
  • I love to start my day out with this recipe. It fills me up and is such a positive start to my day.
  • Get creative! There are unlimited ways of making berry kale smoothies. Feel free to comment with your favorite smoothie recipes. I would love to hear from all of you.

Oh So Berry Kale Smoothie

P.S. I will be island living for only two more weeks so I thought why not take advantage of the abundance of shells I have!

The Slide

Let’s talk about the “Slide”, and I’m not referring to the main attraction of a playground. To be honest, I just recently started calling it the Slide because I was pretty much in a state of denial and originally didn’t even realize it was happening for a while. Okay I’m done building suspense. So what is this Slide I’m speaking of? It’s the health slide. In my case I like to think of it as my college health slide, but it can occur at different points in people’s lives.

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Think of a playground slide:

First you have to get up to the top of the slide before you can even slide down. You may have fun climbing up, but you still have to exert more energy than, lets say, watching a marathon of Lizzie McGuire (side note: you’ll soon learn about my LM obsession. I’m not embarrassed at all to say I will binge watch this show for the rest of my life).

Getting up to the top of the slide still was pretty easy though, like working out when you’re younger when everyone is trying out a new sport and gym is forced upon you or eating healthy because your parents were there making sure you didn’t eat ice cream for breakfast.

But then you’re up on the top of that slide and no one is around you and you have two choices. You can slide down and run around the playground and climb back up again or you can slide down and decide you’ve had enough and go back to that comfy couch waiting around the block. That was college for me! I was on top of that slide, I felt on top of the world, and I had so much to look forward to. But unfortunately when it came to my health I started down that slide and it took me 4 years (give or take a few weeks each year) to realize I never climbed back up. I left that playground behind and became best friends with my sofa.

Now I’m a little bit older and have to exert a lot more energy to climb back up. I’m working on reversing the effects of the slide and I hope to help others not get stuck on the slide like I did!

Oh So…What have I learned from my college slide?

I shouldn’t have pushed away my sporty side! I grew up playing sports and running. I am very competitive. Once I was in college, I started looking at exercising as a chore, because I had forgotten how much fun it was. If a gym workout or a 3 mile run on the treadmill isn’t for you, just remind yourself that playing soccer or volleyball doesn’t have to end at high school graduation. I told myself only the best players continued playing in college, but it isn’t true. There are intramural or community teams and I wish I would have taken advantage of that. I am currently taking my advice by getting back into playing tennis with my friends. I am having a great time and my arms are starting to look like their old selves again…maybe I’ll be passing out some tickets to the gun show soon 😉

Taking back my health

There are a few reasons why I decided to get back into blogging. One huge reason is my health. But I knew I didn’t want to just focus on my health, since I have so many exciting and somewhat scary things going on in my life right now. That’s why Oh So Apropos as my blog name felt, well, appropriate.

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Oh So Fitness Selfie

So what do I mean when I say I’m taking back my health? Well it can mean many things! I’m taking back my health from: fried food monsters, laziness, cold Chicago winters, insecurities, procrastination, 12 hour Netflix binge sessions, and so much more. Pretty much, graduation got me thinking. The couple months after school ending are definitely a time of reflection and I realized that college was amazing, but I didn’t pay enough attention to my health. Unfortunately, I used weight gain as an indicator of being unhealthy, but there is so much more involved. Yes, I gained 30 lbs over the past four years, which I am trying to undo, but I want to focus on being happy, and happiness and healthiness are intertwined. It’s not about weight to me, it’s about being fit and feeling good. I want to focus on moderation and fighting back against complacency.

I always heard parents talk about how college students are so busy that many times their health suffers. It may be a little late for me to fix during college, but I hope my journey of taking back my health can offer bits of insight to anyone who is putting off that workout or relaxation day to that future “tomorrow”.

One thing I have decided to do is have a workout spreadsheet. It may be because I majored in information systems and love organization, but spreadsheets help me feel comfortable and motivated. This is what mine looks like (I just looked up templates on google docs). It is really helping me to not skip too many days and leave excuses in the past.

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Have you recently taken back your health? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. Love my sports bra in my “Oh So Fitness Selfie”? Click on the image to find out where I got it from!