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The Loves of my Life

Quick Dinner Recipes for Two - Red Quinoa, Brown Rice, and Eggs

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

red quinoa brown rice eggs recipes
Looking for a Quick Mid-Week Dinner Recipe?  I know my husband and I are always scrambling to figure out what to make for dinner.  I wish I had meal planning mastered, but until then, go-to recipes like this are perfect.  After a long day at work, when I get home, I usually have less than a couple hours to spend quality time with my daughter before she goes to bed.  I like to maximize it by spending less time preparing dinner.  So here goes:

Red Quinoa, Brown Rice, and Eggs
Ingredients:

Simple Truth Organic Red Quinoa and Brown Rice (Frozen)
3 Boiled Eggs
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Place a pot of water with 3 eggs on the burner.  Bring it to a boil, remove from the heat, and cover for 12 minutes.  Peel the eggs and slice them equally into 2 bowls for serving.  Prepare the Quinoa and Rice according to the directions on the back of the bag.  I love that it literally takes less than 4 minutes in the microwave.  Cut open the bag and pour into the bowls.  Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste, and you are done!

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Fun San Diego Workouts - The Rush Carmel Valley

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fun San Diego Workouts Del Mar
Are you looking for a fun San Diego workout?  I am your typical, workout at home with a DVD type of girl, but when I want to mix it up, you can find me at The Rush Studio in Carmel Valley.  And no, this is not a sponsored post.  I just LOVE what The Rush does and wanted to share my experience.

So here's why I enjoy spinning at The Rush:

1.  Calorie Burn - Weekday classes are only 45 minutes BUT you drip sweat within minutes of starting.  If you are looking to drop weight and shrink your waistline, then this is the perfect workout!  Plus, they also include an arm workout which is nice.

2.  Great Music - I like to have a good time when I am working out.  Grooving to the music and pretending like I am at a dance party helps me push through the burn when my muscles want to give out.  Pair that with some black lights and theme rides, and I am there!

3.  Inspirational Instructors - Your leader can make all the difference.  My personal favorite Instructor is Beth but Courtney and Alissa are up there too.  I have not had the privilege of experiencing all the others but I am sure they rock as well.  I appreciate the blend of pushing me beyond my comfort zone physically but more importantly I LOVE that they inspire me mentally.  Pair that with their great friendly personalities, and it is like meeting up with your friends each week.

4.  Corporate Discount - Rewind 7 months when only my friend Jenn pictured above was going to The Rush.  She shared what a great experience it was at our Wellness Committee Meeting, and we decided to do an introductory Corporate Ride at The Rush.  Fast forward to the present, and we now have 15+ riders at The Rush which earned us a great Corporate Discount.  If you have a place you love going to for your workouts, and it is near your work, then I would suggest you pitch it to your Wellness Committee.  Who knows, you might be able to not only get a Corporate Discount but also inspire your colleagues to get healthier and more fit.  The benefits are great all around.  I love going to classes and seeing all the familiar faces.  It helps with accountability and builds camaraderie.

5.  Social Media Savvy - I LOVE businesses that "get" social media.  To me, it is so much more fun when you post a picture on Instagram or Twitter, and the brand, not only sees it, but comments and likes it as well.  The Rush also has a great app for your phone that makes signing up for classes super easy, and that is what I like, things that make my life easier.

So how bout it?  Have you tried a spin class at The Rush?  Let me know what you think.  I would also love to hear of other fun San Diego workout spots that you know of and LOVE.

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How to Stay Safe When Running Alone - V.ALRT

Saturday, May 17, 2014

safety tips for runners cyclists hikers
How to stay safe when running alone.  I know as a female this is something I think about a lot.  Gone are the days where I felt safe running by myself.  Even in the best neighborhoods, you just never know.  I actually had stopped running for a while for this very reason.  I used to run everyday but now I only feel safe when running in groups.

Fast forward to last week, when I was given a sneak preview of V.ALRT, a personal emergency alert device.  Coming out next month on Amazon, this sleek device works with your smartphone to automatically send a text message and your GPS location to 3 people of your choice when you are in trouble.

I was given one to test out and was surprised how lightweight and durable it was, and though it should not be at the top of my list for reasons to use this, I found it to be quite fashionable and stylish as well which was a plus.  Here's my quick summary of its benefits as well as some future opportunities for improvement:

BENEFITS

  • Easy to Use - Just by holding down the button, it will send a predetermined text message out to your emergency contacts, including your GPS location at time of transmission.
  • Stealth - I usually carry my phone with me, but if I was attacked, it is unlikely I would have time to dial 911 or text my friends my location.  An attacker is going to be very aware of your smartphone's capabilities and its likely threat to them.  While they might immediately take away my phone, the V.ALRT, being less known, would be under their radar and could still be used to call for help.
  • Various Applications
    • Cyclists - it has an automatic fall detection, so if you were a cyclist and had a serious crash, perhaps knocking you unconscious, this device could call for help if you were immobile.
    • Elder Care - If you have elderly family members who live alone, this could come in handy if they fell and were not able to get up.
    • Children - If your child was wearing this at a theme park, on the playground, or at school and an emergency situation came up, this device could be invaluable.
    • Students - I know when I was walking to my car at night after class in college, this device would have been nice for some added security in those isolated parking garages.
  • No Monthly Fees - It is nice that there are no subscription fees or services to pay for.  Just the one time purchase and you are good to go.
  • Waterproof - Kind of self-explanatory.  Also dust and dirt proof, so great for the active lifestyle.
  • Replaceable Battery - Using basically a watch battery, it is easily replaceable for just a couple dollars.
OPPORTUNITIES
  • Smartphone Dependency - Right now, this device must be within 75' indoors or 300' outdoors of a smartphone with bluetooth capability.  This is probably the major drawback, although easily overcome since most of us carry our phones with us everywhere.  This has a related downside if you are in an area that does not get any service.
  • Multiple V.ALRTs - Since it is so new, the application can only manage one V.ALRT but in the future, it would be nice to see it able to manage multiple ones so you could have one assigned to each family member.  
Overall, I think the V.ALRT is a great value.  I know I feel much safer now when I run, and when my daughter is older, I would definitely want her to wear one as well.  What do you think?  Would you wear one?

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How to Lose Weight While Working Full-Time - 90 Days 29 Lbs and 21 Inches Lost

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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How to lose weight while working full-time.  Well, it has been 90 days, and I successfully lost 29 lbs and 21 inches!!!  Woot woot!  Normally I would not toot my own horn, but I worked my butt off...LITERALLY.  And now I am here to share and reflect on my Weight Loss Journey.  I hope my lessons learned will inspire and help you in your own journey, and that you will share your own experiences with others to help us all achieve a happier and healthier life.

In case you missed my first 60 days of weight loss while working full-time, please feel free to catch up here The First 30 Days and The Second 30 Days.

Okay, let us jump into My Tips For Losing Weight While Working Full-Time:

1.  Pack Your Lunch - I am not a pack your lunch girl, but eating out will result in over-consumption and a lot more calories than you think.  One of my main reasons for not doing this sooner was the belief that I would be missing out on precious bonding time with friends, family, and work colleagues.  Well, I got over it.  I started packing myself healthy lunch options and still met my friends for lunch.  The ideal option is to find a great food court outside, so your friend or colleague can still order what they want, but you can save money and calories PLUS hang out and not miss out on the lunch date.

2.  Celebrate the Small Wins - Being healthy and fit is a 24/7 mindset.  I had to get in the habit of celebrating all the small victories.  For example, on my mom's birthday, I had to really test my will power.  We went to a pizza place for lunch, and boy did I really want some pizza, but instead I ended up ordering some mushroom lettuce wraps.  Small win!  For dinner, we went out to a nice Chinese restaurant.  I had a couple bowls of sizzling rice soup and mainly stuck to vegetable dishes.  Another small win!  And finally for dessert, we had a Strawberry pie with whipped cream.  I cut my husband an extra large piece and ate a couple of his strawberries.  Triple win for the day!  Keeping track of all those little victories will make you feel good.  Share those victories with others, and you will not regret your decisions.

surprise her with flowers at work
3.  Surround Yourself with Positive People - This one is a big one.  You have to surround yourself with people who make you feel good and who want to see you succeed.  I belong to an Accountability Group and have some great Accountability Partners who cheer me on and celebrate my small wins.  Without their daily inspiration and support, I do not think I would have made it as far.  Be purposeful about the people you choose to have in your life.  You will be as successful as those you surround yourself with, so ask yourself, do I aspire to be like my circle of friends?  Are they challenging and inspiring me to fulfill my life goals?  Speaking of...[Spoiler Alert] my husband surprised me with these congratulatory flowers at work.  Aren't they gorgeous?!  He truly is my best friend and partner in life.  He supports me so wholeheartedly and loves me unconditionally.  I would not be where I am today without him.  I am so blessed and thankful for our relationship.

4.  Enjoy the Lifestyle - Weight loss and dieting is a journey and a roller coaster.  You must make choices that will fit a future lifestyle as opposed to short-term options you view as temporary and even painful.  It is actually funny how these choices might even start as painful but slowly grow on you.  After 90 days, I have pleasantly realized how much I enjoy eating vegetables and exercising regularly.  I indulged shortly after achieving my goal weight and felt horrible afterwards and not even from a guilt perspective.  My body felt bloated and heavy.  My stomach was mad, and I physically did not feel good.  This is when I realized I had successfully made the leap.  I do not have a label for having arrived but I no longer feel like eating healthy is a diet.  It is my happy choice and I LOVE being fit and treating my body the way it deserves to be treated.


How to lose baby weight while working
5.  Inspire Others - Throughout my journey, I have blogged and posted my workout pics on Facebook.  At first, I was doing it for sheer accountability, but I have learned along the way that I have inspired my friends.  It was really rewarding to hear how sharing my story was helping others, so to take it a step further I decided to become an Online Fitness Coach.  As an Online Firness Coach, not only do I get to help people achieve their health and fitness goals, but I get re-inspired to stay true to my own.  Knowing that I am setting an example for them and for my baby girl keeps me consistent.

My Biggest Takeaway

I think my biggest takeaway was realizing that My Body is a Car I cannot trade in.  This may seem like a weird metaphor but it finally made things click for me.  I only get one body, and it is for life.  How I treat it now, and how I take care of it, will affect its condition 20, 30, 40 years from now.  It needs regular maintenance and care.  If I ignore that and treat it with disrespect, I will do irreparable damage.  I need to treat my body like a car I cannot trade in.  If you knew your first car was going to be your last and only car, how would you treat it?  Would you give it regular oil changes?  Would you make sure you did the regular check ups?  What would you do differently?

Biggest Loser Results

And finally, in case you have been following my journey all along, I give you my work's Biggest Loser Results.  After 90 days, between 8 people, we lost 132.6 lbs!

I lost 29 lbs and 21 inches total which was enough to win it all.  The title of Champion and $800 cash :)

If you are interested in making a life change to a healthier and happier you, then send me an email:  raina.kropp@yahoo.com  

I am here to help and cheer you on in your journey.  Cheers!

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