Running a New City

21 Aug

Hi Friends!

Yesterday I was feeling SO much birthday love! On top of birthday wishes from old friends and new friends, my roomies, Annie and Laura treated me to a much needed pedicure (relaxation at its finest). We then ventured to Annie’s parents house for an amazing dinner. Happy Birthday was sung and birthday cake was devoured.

I get shy when people sing to me…

Roomies!

Yesterday was truly a blessing, and I feel so thankful to be surrounded by such great family and friends! The birthday love continued this morning when I received this package from Dave:

Chocolates upon chocolates

Dave sent me a gift basket full of chocolate (he knows the way to my heart!) Now, I don’t know if I can eat all of this by myself, but I’m relying on my roommates to help me out 🙂

Workout

Half marathon training continues..but this time in a new city! I have found running in Cincinnati to be quite the challenge! Although the sites are beautiful, the terrain is very hilly!  I find myself stopping at various points during my runs to catch my breath and walk. My goal for the next few weeks is to decrease these stops and to build up my stamina. Hopefully once these goals are accomplished I won’t feel and look like this after my runs..

If anyone has tips on conquering hills, I would love to hear your insight! Maybe these hills aren’t necessarily an obstacle, but rather a revivalPerhaps these hilly challenges will allow me to reach a whole new potential!

Question: What’s your fitness revival at the moment? What’s allowing you to reach a whole new potential?

Birthday Balloons & Coffee Bliss

20 Aug

And I’m BACK!

The last time I posted, I was in Nashville helping my sister with her move. After Nashville, my parents and I headed to Cincinnati to finish settling me into my new place. It took us a while to make it perfect, but I absolutely LOVE my new house. It is full of charm, comfort, and laughter. I’m definitely ready to take on this new city and start exploring!

Speaking of exploring..I’m blogging to you from my new favorite local coffee shop: Coffee Emporium. This coffee shop is the coffee shop of my dreams. The baristas are friendly, the atmosphere is charming, and coffee is freshly roasted. I’m currently sitting on their outdoor patio with my roommate Laura on this beautiful August afternoon drinking a soy java jive while catching up on my favorite blogs.

Coffee + Blogging= happiness

It also, happens to be my 22nd birthday! I decided to make today a relaxing day. I woke up on my own at 7:30 which was surprising to me because I usually sleep in on days off. I woke up to this lovely surprise as I walked out of my room:

Balloons!

My other roommate, Annie, made a trail from my bedroom to the kitchen with balloons! She is such a sweetheart and because of her my birthday started off with a smile 🙂

The rest of my morning continued to bring me pure birthday bliss. I enjoyed a breakfast of Kashi go Lean and a nice cup of black coffee in my favorite mug on our rooftop deck. Talk about a great view!

 

Next up was a quick workout! Mondays are rest days for 1/2 marathon training, but I wanted to do a quick workout to start my day. I opted for the “Surfer Girl” workout from the Tone It Up Beach Babe DVD . This workout is about fifteen minutes but boy does it burn! My legs and booty were on FIRE..but in a good way.

I am having a wonderful birthday thus far, and am feeling so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family sending me lots of love today. Although the age of 22 isn’t a “special birthday”, today has been absolutely perfect.

Happy Monday everyone!

-Anjali

Cranky Pants to Peaceful Mind

17 Aug

Hey everyone!

So I’ve been absent in the blog world for the past couple of days because I have been keeping busy in Nashville with my family. Although we have been here for almost a week, our stay hasn’t fit the “vacation” standard. We have been busy moving Kiran, my sister, into her new apartment and basically furnishing the whole place. To put it simply..we are exhausted. I don’t know about you, but when I’m exhausted, I tend to become a cranky pants. Today was a major cranky pants day for me. The endless hours of shopping combined with little water and food put me at a low. The whole day I knew that I had to squeeze in my 3 mile run for 1/2 training..but to be honest I was dreading it.

When we got back to our hotel after a long day at the apartment, my sister gave me the motivation to go on the run. All of my frustrations came out in this run and I really felt like I was able to clear my thoughts. One of my favorite “bad a**” songs is Won’t Back Down by Eminem featuring Pink. Every time this song comes on during a workout, I kick it up a notch. Anyways, I’m glad I went through with the run because in the end I was a much calmer and peaceful being.

My clearer mind after the run helped me to see that despite feeling frustrated & stressed from being with my family in a hotel room for a week, I should feel so blessed that I have been able to spend a full week with them. This might be our last time together until the Holidays. I told myself to take this last night in & relish these moments with my family. We spent our last night in Nashville at a casual BBQ dinner. I’m am incredibly blessed to have a loving and supportive family.

Momma & I

Daddy & KK

This short is sweet and to the point, but my family has been on my mind the last couple days. Once I settle into my place in Cinci, blogging will return full swing!

Love you all,

Anjali

Good “Grub” and Good Times

15 Aug

Hey ya’ll! (yep..I’m using the term ya’ll since I’m in Nashville.)

I just got back from an amazing dinner at Urban Grub in Nashville, full of good food and great conversations. We dined with my cousin Erin, her husband Frank and their new baby girl. They reside in Nashville, so for the past couple of days they have been sharing with us their favorite spots in the city. I’ll give you all of the details of our dinner but first let’s recap the beginning of the day!

Morning

Once again, we woke up early to get our workouts in before a long day of prepping Kiran’s apartment. This morning, Kiran and I ran 3 miles for my 1/2 marathon training. I did wear my knee brace as a precaution, and it worked very well! I did not feel any pain while running and made sure to stretch properly after the run. I’m going to continue wearing the brace for the next week to make sure me knee is stable.

When we came back from our run, I was ravenous. I relied on a go-to breakfast of oats with strawberries and peanut butter to hold me over.

mmm Oats!

The rest of the day was spent running all over the city to buy Kiran essentials for her apartment. If there is anything I’ve learned in the past few days..it’s that you should always be prepared with lots of water and snacks while taking long shopping trips. Unfortunately, today I unprepared and subsequently I quickly became a hungry & dehydrated Anj. Next time, I need to pack snacks like trail mix or protein bars to hold me over!

Dinner

Now…on to the good stuff! Dinner was amazing! Urban Grub is a relatively new restaurant in Nashville, and offers ethnic, healthy, and fresh items on their menu. I loved the casual atmosphere and the service was spectacular. My sister and I split the Lobster BLT Flatbread and we each got the Berries and Butternut Salad. I loved the salad! The orange jalapeno agave dressing was a perfect match for the salad. I am a sucker for salads with berries. YUM

I also ordered a cocktail tonight which is unusual for me! I usually choose wine with dinner, but tonight I was feeling daring 🙂

Alchemy Gin Cocktail

I ordered the Alchemy Gin cocktail which has gin, thyme and grapefruit juice. The drink looked pretty..but It was not the best cocktail I’ve ever had. If you’re a gin fan you will probably like this cocktail, but I am a gin newbie and still adjusting to the Christmas tree taste..

Overall, dining at Urban Grub was a wonderful experience! My family and I had a great evening together. Here are some pictures to sum up the night:

Dinner with Erin +Frank +the baby. Cutest family ever!

Kiran, Dad, and I!

Chocolate + Peanut Butter =Heaven

I hope you all are having  a great week so far! Although I’m having fun in Nashville, I can’t wait to get settled in Cincinnati and adjust to my new life there. I’m anxiously waiting to settle into my groove and enjoy life in a new city. 

Question 1: What do you pack when heading out for long outings to hold you over?

Question 2: When was the last time you had a great outing with family and friends at a great restaurant?

Oats Obsession

14 Aug

Howdy Ya’ll!

Today was another busy day in Nashville helping my sister set up her new place. This morning, the family woke up bright and early to go for a power walk around Vanderbilt’s campus for exploring. Today is my rest day for 1/2 marathon training, so I figured a power walk would be a good option for light exercise. Walking around the campus made me very nostalgic. Although I just graduated from Miami University in May, I miss my undergraduate days. I miss all of my wonderful friends, the beautiful brick buildings, “uptown” with shops restaurants, and bars, and all of the experiences that came with being an undergraduate student. I am starting graduate school in two weeks, which will be a very different experience, but I am so blessed that I had such a wonderful undergraduate experience!

Anyways…Vanderbilt was beautiful! Look how pretty this quad is!

I love touring college campuses and learning about their rich histories and quirky traditions. Every university tells a unique story. Vanderbilt gave off a very friendly and quaint atmosphere which I love! My sister is a very lucky to be studying at such a great university!

Breakfast of Champions

After our walk, I came back to the hotel and fixed up one of my go to breakfasts: oatmeal. Old fashioned oats are great for you and can be so versatile. You can basically add anything to oatmeal depending on how you are feeling! This morning’s toppings included fresh strawberries, honey, and sliced almonds. A great wholesome breakfast is the best way to start the day.

Speaking of oatmeal…A lot of my friends and twitter followers have been asking me to post a recipe for Overnight Oats. What is Overnight Oats? Only the BEST breakfast in the world!

Overnight Oats (aka ONOs) are simple to throw together and can be made the night before, making it simple to grab in the morning! My recipe for ONOS varies from day to day depending on what mood I’m in. It is so simple to add fix ins to jazz up ONOs. Here is my go-to recipe!

Classic Overnight Oats Recipe

1/2 cup uncooked old fashioned oats

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 -2tsp honey (varies on your taste!)

Dash of cinnamon

Sprinkle of craisins

Optional: 1 tbs of chia seeds

1 tbs of natural peanut butter

1-2 tbs sliced almonds

Directions

1.Combine oats, almond milk,honey, cinnamon, chia seeds, and craisins in a tupperware container or mason jar and stir.

2. Place covered in the fridge for at least 2 hours..but preferably overnight!

3. In the morning, add almonds and peanut butter on top of oats.

4. ENJOY!

*If you add chia seeds to your ONOs, they will absorb some of the moisture. I like to add a splash of almond milk in the morning to make the oats creamier.*

I often add sliced banana to the mixture or strawberries to ONOs. The combinations for ONOs are endless so don’t be afraid to experiment!

There you have it my friends. My simple recipe for ONOs is now yours! Let me know if you try this recipe or if you have any version of ONOs that you absolutely love.

Hope you have a great night everyone! Tomorrow morning has an early morning run written all over it!

-Anjali

Margarita Smiles

13 Aug

Greetings from Nashville!

I’m currently blogging in my hotel’s lounge because my family decided to hit the hay at 10:30..and I’m just not ready to snooze. Therefore, it is time to update you on the day! We are in Nashville for the week helping my sister move and settle into her new apartment near Vanderbilt. Even though we have spent the majority of our time so far on moving Kiran, I am already in love with Nashville! The atmosphere is incredibly lively and friendly. I can’t wait to see more of the city and experience the best of the country music’s capitol!

Morning

This morning started with a workout. My entire family woke up early to squeeze in a sweat sesh. My parents opted for a power walk around the neighborhood and my sister and I hit the hotel fitness center. Since today was cross training day for 1/2 marathon training, I rode the bicycle for 25 minutes and then completed Tone It Up’s Tone It Up in 30 workout..minus the running part. I added a little companion to my workout this morning: a knee brace! I decided to try wearing a knee brace to add support to my knee since the side of my right knee is beginning to hurt.

My new running buddy

I was pleasantly surprised at how much support the brace offered! My knee didn’t hurt at all during the workout so I was all smiles afterwards.

The rest of the day consisted of lifting heavy furniture and shopping for Kiran’s apartment. After a long day, we came back to the hotel to relax a bit before going to dinner. I quickly dug into our groceries and fixed up a bowl of pretzels, carrots and hummus.

munchy munch

If your hotel room includes a fridge, definitely take advantage to fill it up with healthy goodies! Having the option of veggies over chips will help you stay on track throughout your vacation. The above bowl of munchies was accompanied by a glass of chardonnay served in a coffee mug (That’s all we had!).

Dinner

For dinner, we ventured down the street to a Mexican restaurant called Chuys. We all indulged a bit and ordered margaritas and mojitos.

 

sista, sista

Mom and I split the chicken fajitas and after having one I was stuffed! Although I love me some margaritas, I gave my dad the other half of my drink because I was too full. After dinner we headed back to the hotel where my family immediately passed out. Tomorrow will kickstart with a power walk around Vanderbilt’s campus. I love exploring college campuses and can’t wait to see where my sister will spend the next 2 years getting her Masters degree!

Goodnight loves,

Anjali

 

 

Family Roadtrip Saga

12 Aug

Oh goodness..it has been a long couple of days! My absence on the blogosphere can be summed up by this picture:

Loaded to the brim

For the past 2 days, my family and I have been on a long journey to move the rest of my belongings to Cincinnati and to move my sister to Nashville! In total, we have driven about 10 hours. I am so exhausted that I can hardly keep my eyes open at 10:30 on a Saturday night! We are finally in Nashville, and are gearing up to move my sister into her apartment in the morning.

Throughout this road trip,  I have definitely found it difficult to stay on track. Thankfully we are staying at hotel with a fitness center and we have our own kitchen in our room! Mom and Dad just bought groceries, so our fridge will be stocked with healthy goodies!

Before dinner, I managed to get my five mile run in for 1/2 marathon training. I am starting to get pain in my right knee which worries me, but hopefully with stretching and icing it will heal.

I know this post is all over the place and lacking pictures, but this girl is exhausted! I wanted to update you all on what’s been going on. I truly miss blogging and catching up with my favorite blogs. Now that I have free wi-fi you better bet I will be updating!

Happy weekend!

-Anjali