Tag Archives: sick

200 Push-Up Challenge & Sick Nutrients Checklist

9 Feb

Good morning readers!

First and foremost: how about that snow storm in the northeast?! Some of you may know that I am originally from Connecticut. My dad just sent me a text letting me know that the official count for snow up there is 31 inches!!! I am experiencing MAJOR snow envy right now. Definitely could go for some snuggling up with books, hot chocolate, and sledding all afternoon. -Sigh-

BUT the most exciting part of this post will be my 200 push-up challenge. That’s right! I never thought I would be able to do that many push-ups in one day, but I surprised myself and was able to do all, except 5 in the beginning group, without going on the knees! Wow. But more on that later 😉

Anywho, this week in the district I luckily had a couple days off of work and I really needed them due to a pretty bad cold that blew through my week starting Monday night. I even finished off another Jodi Picoult novel in less than 2 days!IMG_2299Now, when you’re sick it’s best you give your body the most amount of rest you can and refuel it with lots of nutrients when you’re appetite comes calling. Although there were a few times this week where I was really not in the mood to cook or move more than the steps it is from the bathroom to the couch, I made sure I was always having:

1. at least 2 meals per day

2. 8-9 glasses of water (sometimes juices or tea) per day

3. 4 vegetables per day

4. 2 fruits per day

Consider that my “Sick Nutrients Checklist.” I was working hard to flush all the toxins out of my body, by drinking plenty of fluids, and replenishing my body’s stores with powerful vitamins and minerals. Sounds good right? Here’s some quick meals I made that helped me stay on track and took minimal effort this week.

IMG_2300 Veg Sandwich! One whole wheat sandwich thin, 1 tbsp hummus, baby bella mushrooms, orange bell pepper, sliced tomato, 1/2 of an avocado, sliced cucumber and a sprinkle of Trader Joe’s 3 Cheese’s Lite.IMG_2302 Whipped Banana Oats! Tossed with raisins and crunchy peanut butter.IMG_2303Loaded Baked Potato! A baked potato cooked in the microwave for 5 minutes with sauteed baby bella mushrooms, and broccoli with medium salsa and Trader Joe’s 3 Cheese’s Lite.

All these meals took me less than 10 minutes to prep and were really filling, especially since I had a small appetite. The sandwich was my least favorite of these 3 but I think that was because I could not really taste any food that day 😦

Also on the agenda this week were my first 2 shifts at lululemon! 🙂 Luckily my first shift was at the start of my sickness and by yesterday, for my second shift, I was feeling much better! My first day I chose super comfy clothes (lululemon cool racerback tank paired with lululemon pleasing pant and a BDG cardigan) since I wasn’t feeling great and we ended up busting out the yoga mats and practicing crow, headstands and wheels within the first 15 minutes I was there! I think it’s safe to say, I really like my job already 🙂IMG_2289 IMG_2026 IMG_2028

Now here’s the fun part! The 200 push-up challenge!

Yesterday Brandon and I were both working 12-7 so he turned to me and said, “Natasha, want to do a challenge with me today?” Now, here’s a little background on Brandon, he’s training to compete in a HUGE CrossFit competition and is incredibly strong. Knowing these 2 facts, I probably should have been a little more hesitant, but I was all about it and agreed. He said “We will complete 200 push-ups by the end of our shift today.” At first, I was nervous we wouldn’t be able to do it, more so that I wouldn’t be able to. The most I’ve ever done at the gym in one workout is around 50 and they were of different varieties so as not to burn out.

Well, the challenge was on and it was very clear from the start that neither Brandon or I are quitters. We started out with a pace plan, but quickly realized we wouldn’t be able to maintain it due to the business of the store. We began to then crank out 25 pushups every 30-45 minutes. Talk about fatigue! I would group mine by doing 15 then finishing up with 10. That way it was broken down and much less intimidating for me. My mindset was, “Only 10 left? You do 3 sets of 10 all the time! You got this!” It also helped that my co-workers were super supportive and encouraging. As we neared the end of our shift, Brandon sailed through the last 50 in the time it took me to do only 19! He’s a machine.IMG_2037 IMG_2042Having a challenge like this on my first full shift made me realize how great of an opportunity it is for me to be working with this team. It also showed me I am going to be challenging myself in so many ways in this job and I am so excited to see my growth overtime. Seeing on the first day of my shift that I am stronger than I am giving myself credit for was not only a confidence booster, but a perspective changer. How many other things do I doubt myself about but can actually do? What areas in my life am I not pushing hard enough to succeed simply because I think I cannot?

And you’re asking, “You’re getting this from working for a clothing company?” My answer, yes. The fact is there is a much deeper culture to lululemon than many people realize. Our goal as a company is to elevate the world from mediocrity to greatness and we work on achieving this through our ambassadors in the community, participating in classes at studios in our local communities, committing to an idea and doing it by when we say we will do it, and are always looking up – for ways to grow. I honestly am so excited for this journey and what lies ahead for me.

Enough of a tidbit – I challenge all you readers – find a challenge YOU can complete in YOUR WORKPLACE! I even think you all could find a way to do 200 push-ups at your work as well! Challenge yourselves to be creative and see what you can come up with! You may be surprised at what you can accomplish to 🙂

Until next time,



Not Feelin so Good…

6 Dec

Hey readers!

So as I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been having some stomach issues this week. It’s definitely been a little frustrating and I am trying to figure out exactly what the problem is. Last weekend, when I was eating I started to feel full in my stomach, but my body still felt deprived. I figured I wasn’t getting enough intake. However, my problem has persisted despite what I eat. Usually my pain starts in the morning when I wake up – but it doesn’t feel like the familiar, hey – I’m hungry, feeling. It feels more like a stomach strain or like my stomach is cramping up all over. Sometimes I’ve been waiting longer to eat, to give myself time to rev up to hunger status, but other times I eat something small to try and help it out. Either way, it’s not really abating all that much. I’ve also been experiencing my stomach feeling completely empty after I eat a full meal, but I don’t want to eat anything more. Have any of you had this before?

Despite this confusion, I woke up on Tuesday and tried to give my body some good fuel. A banana strawberry smoothie with yogurt powder and a Cinnamon Raisin english muffin with a little bit of butter.

IMG_1658 IMG_1661

About an hour and a half later, I was starving so I snacked on an Apple Cinnamon fat free yogurt. Delish!


Around 2 o’clock I found myself exhausted. I walked over to the Eagle’s Nest, a store on campus, and made myself a pumpkin iced coffee. Only $1.80 for a small cup! Definitely a great way to get really good iced coffee for cheap. They also don’t charge you for the syrup pumps!


After my morning in the lab, I headed over to babysitting around 330. After I took Max to soccer practice, I ran around the neighborhood to get in a workout instead of burning time.


On my run, I saw this mailbox! How creative!


The rest of the evening was spent at my internship with Potomac Pathways, a relapse prevention program for adolescents coming home from substance abuse treatment, then I spent an hour at CVS, then home for bed.

Wednesday was another day at the research lab, and then babysitting. Today my stomach was really in a full upset mode, but I also haven’t been able to sleep very well so I was exhausted. Knowing the caffeine would agitate my stomach, I decided to go for it anyway because I needed energy for work and paired it with another Apple and Cinnamon yogurt.

IMG_1670 IMG_1671 IMG_1672

Around 11 I was pretty hungry, but my stomach was still bothering me. I knew I needed fuel though so I ate my way through my Sweet Breakfast Scramble, but it didn’t have PB because I had forgotten it at home. Rough.


I also snagged a Subway sandwich around 2. I was starving again. I got turkey, provolone, spinach, tomatoes, olives, banana peppers, cucumbers, green peppers, avocado and pickles on a 6-inch whole wheat sub.


Around 330 I went to babysitting, took Max to Hebrew School, then we both went on a run together around his neighborhood. He feels he’s out of shape – despite the fact that he plays soccer and baseball. However, he had a break between his seasons and feels himself struggling to have endurance during practices. He loved running with me so much that he wants to go every Wednesday which is totally fine by me! It’s a fun thing for us to do together and a great way to combine my love for health and my job, while getting to spend some quality time with Max.

As promised, after our run, I took him to the burger joint and we had dinner together.

IMG_1679 IMG_1680

And, to add to the day, Kevin had a surprise present for me! I had no idea what it could be – I was thinking ice cream or something of that nature, but he told me it wasn’t food. Instead, it was a….


CHRISTMAS TREE!!!!! I was soooooo excited! What an amazing surprise! Kevin won’t be able to go home for Christmas this year and last year they were sold out by the time we went, so I was more than ecstatic to be surprised with one! My parents started buying a fake tree when I was round 12 so I haven’t had the experience in a longgg time. We are going to buy ornaments and lights this weekend and decorate it together 🙂 More, and better, pictures to come!

What’s your tree tradition? Do you get a fake tree or a real tree?

Until next time,


Through Sickness and In Balance.

5 Dec

Good morning readers!

First of all, I am very sorry for my hiatus in posting this week. Ever since I ran on Sunday, I’ve been having a weird stomach issue going on. It seems to be pretty unhappy with me no matter what I do. Before we go into that, I’ll do a quick recap of what my week was like.

Monday I went into work for a couple hours at the lab to try and get some data organized and brainstorm ways to increase recruitment. I quickly made a Sweet Breakfast Scramble and then biked to work 🙂 I bike to work every morning. Not only does this save me gas money, and the time of walking, but I bike up a long hill to get to campus so I get a quick cardio challenge in first thing every morning!

IMG_1319 IMG_1322

I know, I know, I could really use a new seat. Have no fear, I ordered one that afternoon when I got home from work. It was time.

Kevin had also returned back to DC from Vegas and was sick as a dog. Poor guy. After work, I took a nap, heated up some leftover Trader Joe’s Eggplant Goodness, we played with Liam a little bit, then hopped in the car to take Kevin for some Robek’s. Robek’s is an awesome healthy smoothie place in our neighborhood. They have a ton of different flavors to try and even make their own fresh juice! You can also add kale to any smoothie – aka it’s the perfect place for me. I chose the Emperor Acai and I forget what Kevin ordered, but it was a ginormous citrus smoothie with tons of Vitamin C.

IMG_1323 IMG_1325Image

We also did some grocery shopping, picked up my Mom and brought her home, then I dropped my car off back at my apartment and biked over to Kevin’s apartment. We started a new video game together, Donkey Kong Country Revenge, which is pretty fun and challenging. We played that for a little while, then around 730 made some dinner.

IMG_1326 IMG_1328 IMG_1329

I had leftovers from my vegetable chicken wrap dinner the night before with Chocolate Milk and carrots with hummus. I tried this chocolate milk before and it’s really good! It’s skim milk, has extra Omega 3s and extra calcium! I treat myself to it about once a month. (this is a photo from October)IMG_1444

Kevin heated up some Mac n Cheese, a corn dog, and then Lima Beans.

IMG_1332 IMG_1333

I know, polar opposite meals right? It used to be really hard for me to not over indulge when I ate with Kevin. He is a varsity athlete and needs to take in double, if not triple, the amount of calories and nutrients I do. For awhile, it was keeping me off track and I was making excuses for myself or didn’t want to miss out on an experience with him. For awhile, Kevin actually was cutting back on what he ate around me so that I wouldn’t over eat. While it was a very very sweet gesture, it was also hurting Kevin because his body wasn’t getting what he needed. I had to learn how to manage my own eating, whether or not I was around other people. After Kevin and I talked about it a few times, I knew I had to step up. I had to start holding myself accountable. I started to think about the goals I wanted for my health, maintaining strength, feeling strong throughout my body, etc, and realized I needed to keep these thoughts in mind when I was eating around anyone, including myself. It’s easy to get caught up and eat half the pint of Ben and Jerry’s after you have seconds, or maybe thirds, at dinner. But I knew that wasn’t what I wanted for myself anymore. I wanted a balance. Not over indulging all the time, but not skipping out on meals or restricting myself. I’d have to plan ahead a little more with my meals and be aware and conscious of my goals whenever I was constructing a meal. Although it was a tough one for me to learn, it has definitely paid off in the long run. Now, I stay on track with my way of eating and can balance myself out much much better.

Have you guys ever struggled with staying on track while you were around others? How have you worked on it?