5 Easy Lifestyle Changes I Made Last Month

I’m pretty proud of myself. Without trying very hard, I made several healthy lifestyle changes during the month of September. I have more energy, my body is looking better, and these changes can easily be continued long-term (or replicated by you!).

5 Easy Lifestyle Changes I Made Last Month - That You Can Make Too! #health #fitness #fit #nutrition #lifestyle

1. I took the stairs. Every time.

The hospital has 3 floors and the unit I cover is on the 3rd floor. Between every floor is a Service Floor – i.e. where all the oxygen pipes etc. are. So to get from my office to my unit, I hike up 5 floors. I do this probably 3-5 times a day, plus the 4 floors to get to my car in the parking garage.

The difference? My legs are definitely looking more toned. Who knew something so simple would make such a huge difference?

2. I started taking Probiotics.

I often have a feeling of fullness in my stomach, hours after I’ve eaten. The best way to describe it is that it feels like I can’t suck in my stomach or sucking in is uncomfortable.

Three weeks ago I started taking Pearl Probiotics. I can’t say for sure that it’s made a drastic difference but I definitely have that feeling of fullness less and, without much effort on my part, my waist is measuring an inch smaller. I’m attributing that to the probiotics, as I didn’t up my ab exercises at all or lose any significant amount of weight. My stomach feels flatter and I feel bloated less.

Pearls Probiotics

3. I bought a heart rate monitor and subsequently upped the intensity of my workouts. 

I kept seeing people take pictures of their Polar Heart Rate Monitors and post photos of their workout results to Instagram (which I always found annoying). I started to wonder how useful they are and if it would help me make my workouts more efficient. Turns out, it did. I learned a lot about the workouts I was doing (and how they weren’t burning nearly as many calories as the machine told me) and changed them accordingly. Now my workouts are shorter but burn more calories.

One Workout Video from Fitness Blender

One Workout Video from Fitness Blender

Also, just a note on cost – I bought my Polar FT4 at Best Buy. The price at Best Buy was $89.99 and on Amazon it is $59.37. Best Buy does price matching and gave me the Amazon price.

4. I chose raw veggies for lunch almost daily.

Our hospital cafeteria is awesome. The salad bar has tons of raw, cut up veggies. I usually load up a big bowl with raw broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and sliced green bell peppers. Then I grab a cup of soup or another offering as my main dish, because duh, I need actual food too. But I’ve found that by filling up so much on veggies, I’m eating smaller portions of whatever else I’m eating.

I could easily prep veggies myself at home (and pack my lunch) but I’m lucky enough that it’s convenient to just get my veggies at work. The readily available fresh foods was just the push I needed to focus on getting proper nutrition.

5. I drank 1-2 liters of water during my work day.

Every day I aimed for 2 liters. Many days I succeeded, some days I didn’t. I did always drink at the very least, 1 liter before leaving work at 5pm. At home we only drink water (and wine) so my water consumption is definitely on target. Basically, I drink coffee in the morning and then nothing but water the rest of the day.

Bottle of Water

Things I could really work on but probably won’t:

  • Eating breakfast. I don’t.
  • Making pizza a treat and not the default when I can’t think of anything to cook.
  • Quit using non-dairy creamer in my coffee. It has trans fats. I need to stop but it makes coffee so creamy and delicious.

Filed Under: Fitness

5 Reasons We Ditched Our Keurig

This weekend, it finally happened. Our 4-year-old Keurig officially died.

For the first 3 years, I absolutely loved my Keurig. I raved about it. But the fact that it’s already dead irks me. It was a 4-year-old appliance. Nearly every other appliance in my kitchen is older than that and is still working fine. So we decided not to give Keurig a second chance, and bought a regular ol’ Mr. Coffee coffee maker. Here’s why.

5 Reasons We Ditched Our Keurig #breakfast #coffee #keurig #food #appliances

1. It started having issues about a year ago. I cleaned it regularly, descaled it with vinegar and water, used a paperclip to clear the needle, and took pretty good care of it. It kept doing this thing where it would brew a tiny little cup and then I could hear the water trickling back in to the water reserve. If I ran a few cycles of just water through after that, sometimes it worked. Sometimes I just brewed 4 tiny cups in a row with the same K-Cup to make a full cup. It was annoying and I was never sure if it would brew a perfect cup or would spit out a baby cup and ruin my morning.

2. The quality and longevity of the appliance. Until a year ago (when she too got a Keurig), my Step-mom had a Mr. Coffee coffee maker that she’d had for 15+ years. It still worked great. In 4 years of brewing one cup per day, my Keurig crapped out. A quick Google search and you’ll find hundreds (thousands?) of chat rooms and reviews of people who had the same issues I had.

3. The up-front cost. Once we knew we had to replace it, we tried to decide if we actually wanted to replace it with another Keurig or a traditional coffee maker. The Keurig we considered ran $119 at Target. The Mr. Coffee coffee maker was $39 (on sale from $49 at Target) and matched the stainless steel appliances in our new apartment.

4. The long-term cost. Even if you get K-Cups on sale, they run you about 50 cents a piece and brew a pretty small cup of coffee. I’d love to take a big cup in a travel mug with me to work, but that would take me 2 K-Cups to do, putting it at about $1 a day.

One study actually found that K-Cup coffee costs about $50/pound, more than double the price of high-end coffee and four or five times more than regular grocery store brands (Five O’Clock Coffee, Folgers, etc.). Turns out, one cup of coffee from a traditional coffee pot costs about 13 cents. If I drink one cup a day of drip coffee instead of a single-serving cup from the Keurig,( at 50 cents for a K-Cup brewed cup and only 13 cents per drip coffee) I’m saving about $135 a year.

And if we’re considering long-term financial costs, what about environmental costs? One K-Cup per day adds up to a lot of plastic in landfills.

5. Change in commutes. With our upcoming move, we are tacking on a bit of a commute to work for each of us. I know what you’re thinking, what does this have to do with coffee? Well, it’s basically longer for us to enjoy our coffee in the car. The reason I only drink one cup of coffee now is because that’s all I have time for in the morning. With more time in the car, I can see myself drinking essentially 2-3 cups worth on the way to work, as I do when I’m home on weekends.

Here’s what we finally decided on…

Mr. Coffee Stainless Steel Coffee Maker

And we love it.

Are you a Keurig person or a regular coffee maker person? If you do have a Keurig, did you ever have the issues I described?

Filed Under: Food

We Got The Apartment!

Meet Philadelphia’s newest residents, as of mid-October. We could not be more thrilled.

New Apartment

Since we were in the city last night anyway, we snuck our first photo outside of our new place. Creepers for sure.

And now the girl who claims she isn’t that in to home decor is going crazy in Pinterest, pinning all of the ways we can save space as we downsize from about 820 square feet to about 600. Yikes!

Filed Under: Personal

The Jet-setter Version of Me

The new version of Nadine is someone I barely recognize these days. Last weekend I flew out to California for the weekend for a wedding and a bachelorette party (Kaylin’s Round 2 – Round 1 here). I have the remnants of a black eye and I still can’t quite catch up on sleep but I’m feeling really good. Happy. Young.

Life Lately

I arrived home Sunday evening, just in time to grab (a woozy, airplane meds induced) dinner with friends in Philly, check out a potential apartment (I want it! I want it so bad! Look at that kitchen!) and crash before 9:30pm.

I’d debated if I had the stamina to make it to California for a mere 48 hours and then fly back (with how much flying scares me and how much recovery time I need for my meds to wear off after a flight). But honestly, I nailed it.

Lace Kimono - Going Out

This lace Kimono c/o In Bloom Boutique was perfect  to throw over my ridiculously tight “clubbing” outfit. It looks great with yoga pants too!

And with that, I’ll be back in California in three weeks for another wedding. I’m just all over the place. This week we’ve been back and forth to the city nearly every night, checking out potential places. My new job is going amazingly well but it keeps me busy (and fulfilled) so I show up here less often than I’d like.

I wanted to be busy. I wanted an un-boring life. And that’s what I got. So this new city-hopping, kills it on the wedding reception dance floor, watches less TV, goes places, does things version of me, she can stick around.

Filed Under: Personal

The Best (And Easiest!) Salmon Recipe Ever

One day I watched the Food Network for all of 5 minutes and it completely changed my life (exaggeration….kind of). I threw on the Food Network while doing my makeup and found myself half-watching the Quick and Easy episode of The Kitchen. And then, this:

The Best Salmon Recipe Ever | www.eastandblog.com #food #dinner #fish #salmon #recipe

This is Katie Lee’s Brown Sugar Spiced Salmon Recipe. It is heaven. She says it takes 20 minutes total to make and it really does. Prep to cook. 20 minutes. Done.

Best Salmon Brown Sugar and Chili PowderRaw SalmonBest Salmon Recipe - Brown Sugar and Chili PowderBest Salmon Recipe - Katie Lee's Brown Sugar Spiced SalmonBest Salmon Recipe Ever

I threw this together with a bag of salad – the Fresh Express Asian Chopped Salad kit (my all time favorite -I add Craisins). It went over so well that now I make it at least once a week.

Boyfriend Enjoys SalmonBegging Dog

If you’re in need of a quick dinner, check it out. It was too good not to share and is the best salmon I’ve ever had. And I made it. I know, I’m as shocked as you are.

Filed Under: Food