K-Christina EPIC Alaska Road Trip 2014

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Well, the summer here in Alaska is flying by. In fact, its been the rainiest summer (I am pretty sure ever) in Fairbanks and the Kenai Peninsula is surely enjoying all of what should be our weather. BUT, last month I got to enjoy 2 weeks with my wonderful best friend Kristina, who came from Ohio to explore Alaska with me. How wonderful it that – I didn’t have to leave the state to have such an incredible trip? I got to show off what I call my backyard. That is something you’ll learn about Alaskans. We call this great land – the Last Frontier – our backyard. I can’t wait to find time to share the adventures, and give some advice on where to go for all of you fellow travelers planning trips to Alaska in the future. But for now, here’s a video to give you a glimpse into our AMAZING trip. The quality is a bit low – since it is set up for mobile devices.

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Healthy Living Advice: Letting go of your Past

 

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My first thought here is for all of you females out there, learning to get along with your girlfriends. PLEASE learn to accept that it is OK, as women, to be in different places in our lives. We can still be friends. We do not all have to be single or all have to have kids. It does not have to be all or nothing; one or the other. Learning to accept and embrace one another. Learning not to judge. Learning not to hate. Learning not to be jealous. These are still things many of us need to work on, we need to teach our daughters, and we need to make a societal norm.

But alas, this is one of the many reasons that we lose friends. We lose significant others. We lose support. People cannot accept growth. They cannot accept change. Some never learn to offer the support you need and instead, turn away. Here is where you learn to accept that behavior – and move on. Maybe instead, you are reading this and discovering that you, instead, were the person on the unaccepting end of that. That’s OK, this is for you, too.

If I were to write an open letter to the people in my life have contributed to my struggle, many being females, what would I say? It would be written to those that have chosen not to stick around in the hard times, not to support me in my growth, not to support me in my healthy lifestyle changes and to essentially not accept me for who I am. It would be simple. It would say:

Simply live well. Find peace and love along the way while you let go of pain, loss, and unhappiness. Love yourself and take care of yourself. FIND YOURSELF. Do not go your entire life without truly finding who you are. Continue to let yourself change and grow. In all of that, you’ll learn how to love and be happy for others. Thank you for being a part of my journey.

This is what we should always want for others. We should not wish pain on them. We should not wish unhappiness on them. We should want others to learn how to forgive themselves and forgive those who have caused pain in their hearts. Sometimes people are part of your journey to add to your struggle; learn to accept that.

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The struggle is part of who you are. The heartbreak is part of who you are. I recently read a post on HelloGiggles about an art project in which women were photographed in their ex-S.O.’s t-shirts that they had held onto. The emotions captured were amazing, but the story bleeds through to more than just t-shirts from ex’s. It proves true to how powerful our past is and how powerful our struggle is. How powerful relationships are with men, women, aunts, uncles, sisters, mothers, fathers, brothers, friends…essentially everyone who comes into and leaves our lives.

From that post I share this:

“Even if it’s painful we need to hold onto something. Proof that we did it. That we went through it. That we learned something. That our hearts were broken. That we were loved. That we weren’t loved enough. For someone I won’t be something that will be easily shed.”

Do not hold hatred for those who have “done you wrong.” Do not hold onto those who are letting you go. Do not allow “friends” to talk behind your back. It is simply unacceptable for anyone who is part of your life to do that. Sometimes forgiving others does not necessitate telling them they are forgiven, it’s a matter of conversation between yourself, your heart (and for some, God). Most importantly, do not set out to prove people wrong in the daily things you are doing or in the goals you are setting. Set out to improve the quality of your own life as you see fit and how it will make YOU happy.

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Recipes of Chia Seed Deliciousness

Chia Seeds are something to definitely have in your diet. Not only are they delicious, but they easily fit into many recipes and have plenty of health benefits (like combating diabetes, stocking up on fiber and omega-3s…the list goes on). Here’s a few of my own recipes that I use regularly.

My Simple Chia Seed Pudding

  • 1 cup nut milk (almond or coconut)
  • 3 tablespoons chia seed (as you start making it, you made decide you like more or less)
  • maple syrup (around 2 teaspoons – sweeten to your taste)
  • pure vanilla extract (if desired – around a teaspoon and sweeten to your taste)
  • I love to add sliced almonds or walnuts. You can also add fresh, diced fruit on top and mix in after it’s thickened.

Put all ingredients in a quart size mason jar, stick the lid on and shake vigorously for about 3-5 minutes. Do this every few minutes for about 20 minutes and it’ll thicken up and be ready to eat. You can also stick in the fridge to eat later on or the next day. Your other option is to do this in a bowl with a whisk or in a blender.

Almond Butter-Banana Smoothie with Chia Seed

  • 1 cup nut milk
  • 1 banana, fresh or frozen (here’s a tip – when your bananas start to go, stick them in the freezer to use in smoothies!)
  • 2 tablespoons nut butter (peanut or almond)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey

blend in blender and enjoy

Chocolate Avocado-Banana Smoothie

  • 1-1.5 cup nut milk (depending on your thickness preference)
  • 1 banana, fresh or frozen
  • 1-2 tablespoons chia seed (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder (you can also use cocoa)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1/2 avocado

blend in blender and enjoy

Chia Seed Coconut Water

  • a refreshing drink that’s great post-workout!
  • 8-12 ounces Coconut Water (flavored or regular)
  • 2-3 tablespoons chia seeds

stir and enjoy!

My Healthy Living Journey

Recently, I joined two of my favorite people, the Katz family, and completed a 60-day challenge as a team at our gym. Although our team didn’t win, one of our team members won the whole challenge. I was so proud of him and inspired. One of the biggest things for me during this 60-day challenge was joining others on their journey. I wanted to share both my written and video testimony at the end of the challenge.

I surprisingly lost 4 lbs., around 4 total inches and 7% Body Fat. I concentrated on strength for this challenge, and did a lot of cycling and swimming for a TRI that I was training for. I lost a lot of fat/gained muscle in my thighs alone from all of the cycling. I can say with my new road bike, I seriously fell in love with cycling.

My video testimony:

My written testimony:
I was surprised by my measurements today. I didn’t think I would have lost any weight! I came very close to meeting my personal goal of a no-band pull up and I started with the blue one when I set the goal a month ago! Now I am a step away from using no-band at all. I have set some really great personal fitness goals and it’s my belief that you always keep doing this – no matter how big or small that goal is. Whether it be doing a push up or finishing a marathon. Nothing is out of your realm of possibilities – I have just discovered that some things take longer to get there. Even when I started my journey, I never expected to be where I am. You start with one small step and one day you look back and realize how far in the distance that step is. The most amazing part of this 60 day challenge for me has been watching other peoples’ journeys – ALL OF YOU. I’ve made friends, I ‘ve gotten stronger and more fit – yes, yes, yes. But when someone allows you to be part of their journey, it is incredibly inspiring and powerful.

For most of the world around us, we don’t know peoples’ journeys. We don’t know if they were once healthy and fit and now are obese and sick. But people around them judge them. We also don’t know the skinny girl in the store and her journey to being an athlete – because we don’t know her. But most will judge her. They may say she is anorexic or too skinny. They may say she is not a role model just because of how she is built, not knowing anything about her. 

Here, I get to be part of your journey and you all part of mine. With encouragement instead of judgment. With the true vision of how we want the world to see fitness: as a lifestyle of eating healthy, being active and sharing that joy with our friends and family. So THANK YOU all (at Elite Urban Fitness) for being courageous enough to take on the challenge and let me see you progress and cheer you on. It has been TRUELY inspiring!!!

Remember that you can do more than you think you can. You are more than you are think you are. Set goal. Exceed Goal. REPEAT. If you fall down, get back up and do it again. #fearless2014