Recently

Glad you’re all as excited about the new 50 Shades of Fit Blogger Series as I am! I can’t wait for you all to start sharing you own ‘fit’ stories and defining what ‘fit’ means in your life! Be sure to link back to the original post so that I can find your post and read it! :) Today is going to be a smorgasbord a lot of random things in my life lately….. Enjoy!

Recent recipes:

I haven’t had as much time lately to experiment in the kitchen and come up with new recipes…and I’ve really missed it! Well luckily this past week I was able to make and photograph two new recipes for you all! One that will be shared next week, and another for later this month! Sneak peeks… OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Recent recordings: Otherwise known as what shows are clogging up my DVR! I think I could write a whole blog about all the TV shows that are on right now! I follow SO many. Possibly too many. But ya gotta unwind and relax in some way….and catching up on some tube time is my favorite way in the evenings. (channeling my old time-y alternate ego with that lingo apparently!)

Here’s what I am currently loving:

The Mindy Project on FOX-just returned earlier this week

Growing Up Fisher and About a Boy on NBC-Two new comedies that NBC added and they’re both actually really good! Glad to see some good comedies making their way back to NBC.

The Following on Fox-Still obsessed! So many twists and turns!

The Americans on FX Bates Motel on A&E

Lindsay on OWN: Can you say guilty pleasure?

Recent runs:

I’ll take this section to update you all on how I’m doing with my easing back on exercise. Running has been feeling great lately, which makes it harder to cut down. Especially with the warm weather that’s been making appearances. But every run that I go a little less than what I had planned or what I feel like I could do, I consider a win. Where I’ve made some great progress is with my gym workouts. I’ve cut the amount of cardio I was doing IN HALF and taking it easier on my strength workouts. It’s nicer to be out of the gym faster and it leaves me more time to get back outside and enjoy the sun. Long walks with Ella have been more frequent, which we both love, and I can’t wait to start incorporating more biking in as the weather keeps improving.

Recent reads:

Aside from school reading (LOTS for my History of Judaism class…I feel like I’m an expert now! Ha!), I just finished the entire Divergent series! I wanted to make it a goal to get it done before I started watching the movies! I LOVED the series. Possibly better than The Hunger Games? Well, they’re both good! And now I am really excited to see the movies!

Recent reviews:

I’ve received a ton of great products in the mail lately to review! Here are some of my faves…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHorsetooth Hotsauce sent me two of their hot sauces and one of their all natural BBQ sauces to sample! The company use real, high quality ingredients with no unnecessary junk!

Smokestack Lightning: This was fantastic! So flavorful! Like a mixture of chipotle peppers with a great smokey taste. I liked that is wasn’t too spicy, but added a great kick to the dishes I used it in! I especially liked it as a topper for my lentil-veggie soup that I have with lunch everyday! Loved all the garlic undertones too!

The Green: This reminded me of a SUPER hot green chile salsa! Definitely not for the faint of heart! Much hotter than the smokestack, but the spiciness didn’t overpower the distinct, robust flavor of the habanero and serrano peppers. Lots of great onion and garlic to compliment the heat as well!

Aloha Mr. Hand Pineapple BBQ Sauce: My oh my…this was delicious. I am pretty sure I could have chugged it straight from the bottle (but that would have led to a sugar coma since it is slightly sweetened with brown sugar!). Love the contrast of the sweet pineapple flavor with the smokiness of the peppers and the zestyness of the vinegar! This BBQ sauce is a great alternative to a traditional, mostly tomatoes sauce and I really loved it for topping fish and chicken! It was perfectly thick and smooth…great for dipping or topping!

Thanks Horsetooth!

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About Time Whey products have been SWEEPING the blog world! So I thought it was time I try some for myself! I was sent three of their protein powders, their protein granola, and three of their egg white protein bars!

Powders: Sweetened with stevia, the powders are bit sweeter than the unflavored varieties I am used to. However, they tasted great! Not artificial at all and very true to their labels. The strawberry was very fruity and fresh, the vanilla tasted like high quality vanilla beans, and the chocolate was very rich! Loved how smooth and creamy these were as well! They blended well into smoothie as well as mixed simply with water or milk. Not gritty or chalky at all!

Granola: Unlike any granola I’ve ever had! Instead of being overly crunchy, it had more of a soft and doughy texture! Very interesting. And the flavor was yummy too! A mixture of cinnamon and honey taste. Loved the dose of healthy fats from the flax and chia seeds, as well as the hefty dose of protein per serving! The almonds and sunflower seeds provided some crunch to the softer textured oats and I really liked how clustery and clumpy the granola was! Gotta love big chunks of the good stuff!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA[enjoyed on some oatmeal with bananas, yogurt, and blueberries!]

Bars: The bars were by far my favorite product! Soft, dense, and SO DELICIOUS! They are similar to larabars in that they are fruit and nut bars, but with the addition of protein they have so much more staying power and a really interesting texture! Loved how simple and clean the ingredients in these were, as well! The Pecan Pie tasted like butter pecan ice cream, the Island Coconut tasted like coconut cream pie, and the Dark Chocolate Brownie (while not as chocolatey as I would have liked) tasted fudgey and decadent!

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Thanks About Time!

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Kauffman’s Fruit Farm specializes in all natural, homemade products made with fresh fruits! I was able to select two of their products to try and I was immediately drawn to their line of NO SUGAR ADDED fruit butters! I chose Peach and Pumpkin…two varieties I’ve never had before! It was so great to see how simple the ingredient lists were. Just fruit, a little apple cider, and lemon juice. Delicious and nutritious! Plus, both the butters were so smooth and almost creamy tasting!

Pumpkin Butter: Can you believe this pumpkin lover has never had PUMPKIN BUTTER before?! Well I did not know what I was missing! It’s amazing! The cinnamon combined with a subtle apple flavor made for a great pumpkin taste that was reminiscent of the filling of pumpkin pie. So yummy. I especially like this butter paired with salty peanut butter….gotta love that sweet and salty combo!

Peach Butter: This tasted like a freshly picked, perfectly ripe summer peach! It totally made me crave fresh summer stone fruits! The peach flavor was so intense and sweet. A great topped for toast, english muffins, and especially delicious paired with creamy cream cheese! I can’t wait to experiment more with this butter and possibly do some baking with it!

Thanks Kauffman’s!

Recent reasons to smile:

Walks with Ella

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The city coming alive as the weather warms up (love seeing more people outside)

Stretching IMG_5011 Blooms and buds on the plants and trees

Fun co-op signs IMG_5040 Robins and the return of birds singing all the time

The feeling of sun warming your face and back

And of course things that make me laugh (laughter is always a reason to smile!)….

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Recent rewards: 

In case you didn’t notice, I added some discount coupons to the side of my blog for you all to use! Thunderbird bars are some of my favorites and I am ALWAYS ordering from iherb to stock up on my favorites! So check out these discounts if you’re looking to make some purchases….

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What’s recent, new, or fun in your life lately?

Any good, new books or TV shows that you’re digging?

Have you jumped on the Divergent bandwagon yet? 

Kaila

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Todays’s Healthy Help: Picked up some hours for someone who couldn’t work.

Never too early to start Lending a {Healthy} Hand for next week’s round-up! Tell me what you’ve done to help someone else lately!

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Personal Struggles

[If you're not into personal posts, please check out yesterday's Link Love for some awesome reads from around the web!!]

It’s pretty obvious that some things have been going on with me lately….behind the scenes. In the past I’ve alluded and even gone into a little detail about my struggles with OCD and anxiety. Even though I’ve been dealing with these issues or over 7 years and gone through many ups and downs….over the past few months I’ve gone through an especially rough patch. My OCD and anxiety have intensified and increased an incredible amount and it’s been really hard to deal with. I’ve tried to keep my struggles private but this past week, especially after the high of my half marathon, I hit a major low point and couldn’t really hide it anymore.

The reason I don’t go into a lot of detail or talk about my struggles in the mental health realm that often on the blog is because this is a place that serves as my outlet for positivity. My one bright spot in my life where I can come and be who I truly am on the inside without thinking about the day to day stressors, life struggles, or other problems in my life. I can be the person I am meant to be here. Writing with my authentic voice and expressing my genuine thoughts.

My sister and I had a heart to heart the other day, and she said some really kind things that got me thinking about all this. She basically said that even though she’s aware of the things I’ve gone through in my life and knows things aren’t perfect all the time, the blog is a way for me to escape all that and tap into the life I truly strive to live.

I am my authentic self here. I think authenticity doesn’t have to mean sharing every detail of your life…but letting your true voice, the person you want to be shine through.

I know some people would want to me to talk more about my struggles because maybe they could relate or get something from my own experiences, but I think some things need to stay personal. In fact, sometimes I regret how open I’ve been about somethings on my blog. I wish I could go back and just leave the whole thing anonymous sometimes. It’s opened me up to so much criticism and judgement and it’s just too hard to bear sometimes. Especially when I am going through such an emotional, trying time right now.

But then I remember all the good things that have come from this blog: the people, the amazing support, the inspiring communities I’ve been welcomed into, the self discovery, the growth of my passions, the ability for me to write for fun! And I also think about the fact that, shutting down, giving in, and not continuing would just be giving the bad parts of and people in my life power that they don’t deserve.

So I know this post was kind of all over the place. But I just wanted to check in with you all and let you know that YES I do have some personal issues I am working through right now. I am dealing with them in the best ways I know how and hopefully I will be back to my normal self (what is normal, anyways?!) soon.

Healthy Helper blog will continue on as it always has. It’s such an incredible source of joy and happiness for me and I can’t imagine not having it as an outlet for stress and self expression. I don’t think I’ll be stepping back from blogging at all, but there definitely are some other changes I am making in my life to get back on track and find some mental peace again….

Somethings I am doing to take care of myself right now…

-Changing my relationship with exercise… I usually take a few prolonged breaks from exercise during the year as you know and I think this is the perfect time to cut down, ease up, and just listen to what my body really wants. It’s all about getting back in tune with myself.

-Postponing my pursuit of my NASM certification…I’ve already chatted with the company about this and they have been very accommodating. Health in all areas is my number one priority right now, and any extra time I have that’s not dedicated to school work needs to be focused on healing my mind. So as much as I want to pursue my PT certificate right now….other things have to take priority.

-Keeping Healthy Helper the positive uplifting place it’s always been! For my sake and for all you out there who get something out of it!

-Stepping back a little from blog reading, commenting, and social media in general. I’ll still be around, but I’m slowly starting to cut back as well. Simplifying and creating more space for my other priorities is much-needed right now. And we all know how time sucking the internet and social media can be.

-Reassessing my priorities, taking more time for reflection, and thinking about all the things I wrote about in this post.

-Slowing down. In all areas of my life.

If you have any specific questions you want to ask me, feel free to email me!

I’d like to leave you with some sentiments that have really gotten me through recently.

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Remember, we all go through ups and downs in life. Some are lower than others but all they mean is that the next phase of our life will be that much more rewarding and fulfilling. That’s what I am hanging onto at least! As my tattoo on my ankle says….

[that scare is from my car/bike accident two years ago in case you're new to the blog!]

H.O.P.E.-hold on pain ends

It’s so true.

Have a great week friends. Check in with yourselves and take care of yourselves.

Kaila

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Todays’s Healthy Help: Quizzed my friend with some notes for our upcoming test!

Never too early to start Lending a {Healthy} Hand for this week’s round-up! Tell me what you’ve done to help someone else lately!