Lifestyle, wellness

Wellness Wednesday: Plant Based PVD

Happy Wednesday!

Today’s Wellness Wednesday is going to be all about a really cool restaurant I went to a few weeks ago: Plant City PVD. I recently became a vegetarian (I gave up meat for Lent and then just never went back) and so I’m always looking for new alternatives. While a plant-based diet is not for everyone, there are definitely some health benefits to eating less meat when it comes to heart disease and diabetes. Just being conscious of how much or what kind of meat you have can improve your risk of certain diseases. Click here to learn about a flexitarian diet.

I saw Plant City PVD while I was looking around the Providence Flea and I was intrigued. I was even a little confused on whether “plant-based” meant the whole place was vegetarian. They have a market, a coffee counter, a burger restaurant, a Mexican restaurant, and an Italian restaurant all wrapped into one. We decided on Italian and I really wanted to get the meatballs but I still had no idea if plant-based meant plants-only. When the waitress came back she told us everything in the building was vegan! Can you imagine?!

So good!

And so I ordered the meatballs! I will definitely be heading back to Providence to get it again, although next time I’m trying the pepperoni pizza! So if you’re in the Ocean State and looking to try something new you need to try Plant City.

You have my word, even though they don’t use quotes on the menu, everything is vegan!

Bonus points for any place that has cute signs in the bathroom!

xox,

Marissa

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wellness

Wellness Wednesday: Make a Run for It

Hello hello!

Today’s Wellness Wednesday is a track workout and I have included a few different options so you can pick whichever one you feel the most comfortable with. Just remember you should do some type of dynamic warm up before hitting the track.

I wanted to share different running workouts because I spent 6 years running cross country and track and some days I miss it. After running a 5k a few weeks ago I thought, I should really train for these things. In the hopes that I will use these workouts in preparation for my next race I figured I might as well share them here!

Option 1

While I ran track for a very long time I hate running on tracks. To me, the endless circles are boring, I’d rather have a change of scenery. But since that’s not always an options, I’ll give you a workout which is all about a chance of pace.

  • Jog 100 meters
  • Run 200 meters
  • Walk 100 meters
  • Repeat 4 times

I’ve always liked these types of workouts because the constant changing gives me something to think about other than “how much longer????”. If you want to add some distance, repeat the whole thing two more times and you are practically at a 5k!

Option 2

If you are going for speed this is the workout for you. While this was a workout I couldn’t stand in high school it definitely helps improve split times. Another team in our league had shirts that said, “to run fast you must run fast”, and while we always rolled our eyes when we read it it’s true. If you want to get faster, you need to practice faster.

  • 12 x 400 meter sprints
  • Take a two minute rest in between each 400
  • Take a two-five minute rest in between each mile

You can calculate split times here. If you are training for a 5k, put in the time you’d like to finish it and select 400m for the split times and you are good to go!

Option 3

This one is a long one but it was another one of my favorites in high school because things are constantly changing. And it will get you 4 miles once you are done.

  • 400 meters
  • 800 meters
  • 1200 meters
  • 1600 meters
  • 1200 meters
  • 800 meters
  • 400 meters

Be sure to take a slow jog or a walk in between your sets!

That’s all I have for you today! Let me know your favorite track workout in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, wellness

Wellness Wednesday: Bodies Alive

Today’s Wellness Wednesday is a little different than usual. While we’ll still be talking about the human body, it’s not in the way you may be expecting.

This Sunday I was at the Museum of Science in Boston/Cambridge (the museum is actually split between Boston and Cambridge) and I got to see the Body World exhibit and it was amazing!

I went to see Bodies: The Exhibition when I took anatomy in high school and now that I have taken two more years of anatomy I feel like my appreciation for the human body and traveling exhibitions has only grown.

One thing that really amazed me about Body Worlds was that it was educational beyond just the bodies. They had rooms dedicated to different body systems and would include education about how to remain healthy through diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices in each section. As someone who just learned about workplace ergonomics one of my favorite parts was the video about adjusting posture while sitting at a desk and a model about proper lifting technique. I may be on summer break but it was a great way to review some key concepts from last semester!

A section on cataracts. I had no idea Monet and Degas both had problems with vision and it was interesting to see what they saw vs what they painted.

My favorite part of the exhibit besides being able to look at the bodies was the section on centenarians. Body Worlds featured a few people who have made it to 100 years old and had them speak about their lifestyles. While diet and exercise was mentioned, they centenarians also talked about their role in society. One woman discussed how important it was for her to be able to still be an active participant in her life, she still volunteers in her community and spends time with friends and family.

I had to feature this one on the blog! Mobility is medicine!

When you leave Body Worlds you can pick up a chip and pledge to make a lifestyle choice that will improve your quality of life. I was happy to see “exercise more” had a ton of pledges but since mental health is just as important as physical health, I pledged to stress less.

“Eat less sugar” was another popular one and if we weren’t in peak ice cream eating season I may have put my chip there…

But let’s get to the good stuff! The bodies! They are preserved through a process called Plastination and were absolutely amazing. It’s no secret I am a huge nerd when it comes to this kind of thing but they were breathtaking. You could see each of the muscles so clearly and the bodies were posed in such interesting ways, I could go on and on.

It wasn’t just the bodies that were on display, they had the nervous system and plastic replicas of the heart and all of it’s arteries and veins. The nervous system had to be the wildest thing for me because I was able to just stare at the brachial plexus I had learned about in class and look at in our cadavers but there it was laid out in front of me connected to all of the other nerves in the body.

I know not everyone may want to actually see the bodies so here is your warning: the donors are below!!

Could you imagine being the person to set this up?

That’s it for my review of the exhibit itself but I encourage you to keep reading below and learn about how these companies get the bodies. It’s an important discussion to have so let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Something important to keep in mind when looking into these types of exhibits: where the donors come from. In our anatomy class our professor mentioned that while these traveling exhibits are informative they don’t always get their bodies in the right way. Body Worlds’ donors come from people in Europe and the United States who have agreed to donating their bodies to medical students and the general public to learn from. Body Worlds is even stricter with their donations now after discovering some of their bodies were coming from Russian human trafficking rings. In an interview with NPR the founder of Body Worlds said, “What I certainly never use for public exhibitions are unclaimed bodies, prisoners, bodies from mental institutions and executed prisoners.” The key phrase here is public exhibitions. The founder of Body Worlds has admitted to selling unclaimed bodies for educational purposes. These bodies come from Chinese medical schools and have no written confirmation.

Bodies: The Exhibition is another story. The spokesperson for the company openly admits the bodies on display are unclaimed. The founder of this traveling cadaver company used to work with Body Worlds and then created a rival. This is the exhibition I had seen in high school and while it was one of my favorite field trips I had ever gone on, knowing that these bodies may not have been acquired in an ethical manner makes me cringe. But at least they are honest about not being able to verify who was donated to them.

So what can you do with this information? Weigh the options. Both companies have some shady deals going on, whether it’s the bodies they display publicly or sell to medical schools they both obtain bodies in an unethical way. If this is something you are really interested in seeing you just have to decide if you’d rather look at the bodies that were donated or if you are okay with seeing bodies who were not willing but the company is upfront about the means of getting them.

All of the information on donors to Body Worlds and Bodies: The Exhibition came from two NPR articles from 2006. While it is older information, this is the most trustworthy website I could come across.

I’m a huge quote person so I loved that there were quotes about life scattered throughout Body Worlds.

That’s all I have for you this Wednesday! Stay tuned next week for a more traditional Wellness Wednesday post!

xox,

Marissa

wellness

Wellness Wednesdays

Hello friends!

I am starting to bring Wellness Wednesdays back! As a physical therapy student we spent so much time during the spring semester talking about health and wellness promotion and getting people active. The CDC says adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise a week. Since I am a group exercise instructor I wanted to share some easy workouts with you guys that can be done at home.

As a group ex instructor I see the value in creating a community to exercise. If I don’t head to the gym with a plan sometimes I leave feeling like I didn’t accomplish too much. However if I plan to take a Zumba class I know I will show up and work hard. So even if you aren’t going to the gym to do these workouts definitely reach out to see if a friend wants to join you. Having other people to help you be accountable makes it a little easier.

Easy ways to incorporate moderate-intensity exercise into your day:

  • Walking/jogging/running around your neighborhood. If you feel like you don’t have time to set aside to do this, try walking to your errands. The post office and the library are about two miles away from my house, so some days I end up walking there. You can also run there and then walk back once you’ve picked up your stuff!
  • Find YouTube videos of exercises you want to do! If you don’t have a gym membership or feel like you can’t make t to the gym on a certain day check to see what’s available on YouTube. Here are some of my favorites: POPSUGAR Fitness has great Zumba and kickboxing classes. BohoBeautiful has an awesome 21 Day Pilates Challenge that I wrote about awhile back. Alo Yoga is always posting yoga videos and mindfulness challenges to their channel. And The Fitness Marshall is my absolute fav! He has fitness dance classes to popular songs. This is something that my whole freshman year floor did together all the time so it always brings back good memories. My favorites are: Dessert and 7 Rings.
  • Bike around your neighborhood! If you live in a city and need a bike you can probably rent one! Most cities have bike sharing programs now and in Boston you can rent one for $2.50 per half hour!
  • Find out what’s being offered! Now that summer is here, there are a ton of discounts floating around. You can try a new yoga studio for $30 for 30 days, or you can see what’s offered. A lot of parks will have free or super cheap exercise classes just to get people outside!

Here are some workouts I’m planning to share on the blog soon!

  • Barre
  • Yoga
  • Abs
  • Track/Bleachers

You can find out more about the guidelines the CDC has for different groups here!

Have a healthy, happy Wednesday!

xox,

Marissa

College, Uncategorized, wellness

The Twenty Four Hour Rule

When I was younger my grandmothers used to watch me after school. One time when I was sick my Nana told me the 24 hour rule. The rule is that you’re only allowed to sit on the couch doing nothing for one day. Then you have to get up and carry on.

So why am I sharing this? I’ve started to apply this to when things aren’t going so well too. If you do bad on a test you deserve your 24 hour mourning period but at that point there is nothing you can do. You can’t go back and change how you studied, what you studied, or the answers you filled in. So why dwell on it?

Say you don’t get the work study job you really wanted? There’s more out there! I promise there is going to be something else out there. From my personal experience I have found that every time something has not worked out for me in the way I wanted I end up getting something even better in the long run.

I’ve definitely mentioned it before but it is so important to keep a positive state of mind going into anything. If you go into your next job interview with the feeling of not being good enough it’s going to show in your body language. If you’re constantly thinking you’re not going to be good enough, your interviewer is going to see you in the same light.

So give yourself 24 hours, your feelings are valid but don’t let yourself dwell on it! You can still be in your feelings after 24 hours you just can’t let your negative thoughts consume you!


Photo from: http://spiritualcleansing.org/it-does-not-do-to-dwell-on-dreams-and-forget-to-live/

Let me know how you shake off any bad juju in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, wellness

DIY Epsom Salt Scrub

I hope the New Year is still treating everyone well and you are sticking by those resolutions! If one of your resolutions was to make self care a priority I have the perfect solution for you!

I made the Epsom salt scrub as a present for my mom for Christmas and then it smelled so good I made extra for myself! This is so easy and you only need three things!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Epsom Salt
  • 2 cups of coconut oil
  • Essential oil of your choice

Step 1:

Take a giant Ziploc bag and put the the Epsom Salt and coconut oil inside, if you aren’t a huge fan of the consistency you can always add more Epsom salt or coconut oil. I personally end up using more like 1.5 cups of Epsom salt but that definitely feels rougher.

Step 2:

Add the essential oil! I used the BluZen original scent and I love it! Next time I take it I’m definitely going to try the lavender. The amount of oil you use is totally up to you. I personally lost count because I wanted it to smell really nice and just kept shaking.

And just like the Christmas Crack, you can put it in a cute mason jar and add a little bow! Maybe not a Christmas bow now, but you can definitely find something cute at Michaels!

Happy crafting!

xox,

Marissa

Lifestyle, Uncategorized, wellness

My January Challenges

On my way to go get a new read!

This January I’m participating in two fun challenges! The first is the Winter Warrior Challenge. This means that every day in the month of January I’m walking/jogging/running/hopping at least 3 miles! I’ve done this for the past three years but I’ve only done 1 mile a day. This year I have my eyes on the prize with three, although there are some people out there doing five!

The other challenge I set for myself is on Goodreads, I’ll be reading 30 books this year! I set the goal of 13 books last year and I ended up reading 15! Between incorporating reading into my everyday routine and not being in school this summer I can’t wait to achieve this goal!

So how’s it going? Four days into the New Year and I’m still in the newlywed phase. Starting the walking challenge was a little difficult and I was lacking all motivation but now that I’ve started I want to see it through. As for my reading challenge: I’ve already finished one. I’ve even found a way to tie these two things together: by walking the 2 miles to the library to pick up new books.

I know there’s a lot of stigma about creating resolutions but I personally feel like if you’re really making a resolution to better yourself and it’s something you’re passionate about, keep going! Don’t let the jokes about how full the gym is this week deter you, you deserve that elliptical as much as anyone else.

What goals and challenges have you set up for yourself this year? Let me know in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

Lifestyle, Uncategorized, wellness

How I Use Essential Oils

An essential oil diffuser had been in my Amazon shopping cart since April and then when I went to Wanderlust in early August I attended an essential oils class and I was waiting to hit purchase unit I was back at school. A few weeks after Wanderlust my mom actually bought a diffuser for my birthday and now I don’t know what I would do without it!

I have a PureSpa Essence diffuser that has automatic presents for 30, 60, 120, and 180 minutes. I have the BluZen variety pack of oils which I use for my diffuser. This includes Refresh, Cedar Sunrise, Lavender, BlueZen Original, Northern Lights, Tranquil. I also have a roller filled with one of doTERRA’s essential oil yoga collection. As part of the essential oils class at Wanderlust we got to learn all about the oils as well as take some home with us. I chose ___ from the yoga collection which is made up of Anchor, Align, and Arise.

Uses:

  • To smell nice! My college, and most other colleges  don’t allow you to have candles in dorm rooms so this is a nice alternative. I personally think it’s even better because I can easily change out what kind of vibe I want. I also tend to match the smell to what I need to get done, I started the year off using Lavender which is calming but as classes are getting harder I’ve changed to Refresh because it “infuses the mind and body with energy and good vibes”.
  • As a timer. As I mentioned earlier my diffuser has settings so I can pick how long it is on for. This helps me stay on task while studying because I’ll tell myself I’ll set it for an hour and then once it shuts off I know it’s time to put my notes away. Or when I read before bed I’ll set it for half an hour so I won’t keep saying one more chapter.
  • For our Human Donor Lab. At first the smell of formaldehyde didn’t bother me, but as we got later into the semester and more than two donors were being pulled out at a time the smell became overwhelming. Our lab has it’s own set of essential oils in the front of the room for this exact reason, so I will put some on the inside of my wrist and then I’ll put my wrist right under my nose so some oils rub off there as well.
  • To set the mood. Between the smell and the different color options I feel like diffusers are a really good way to relax. It creates a nice vibe that is just overall inviting.

I’ve also heard people put some drops of essential oil into their water. Right now I’m pretty skeptical about the science behind that one, but I’ll keep you guys updated if anything changes! Something to be cautious about: not all essential oils can be ingested! If you want to put it in your water make sure you are reading the label!

Time to go start my diffuser!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, wellness

Wellness Wednesday: Ab’asanas

IMG_9769
It’s been awhile since I shared a Wellness Wednesday post and I wanted to update you guys on one of my favorite workout routines: Ab’asanas.

Ab’asanas was created by Morgan, formerly known as The Southern Yogi, one of my absolute favorite Instagram yogis. It’s a series of exercises that incorporate yoga into your core workout. Some of you may be thinking, well yoga isn’t that hard but I promise you will sweat. 

I have only done her first book (the expanded version) but since I am on the quest for a handstand I will be trying her second book soon! Her first book is a great introduction to yoga, if you’ve never tried yoga this is where you should start. Although I had been doing yoga for a year or so before I dove into Ab’asanas I still wanted to start with the first book because I was intimidated that some of the poses in book two, which is more geared toward prepping for inversions, would be too advanced for me. After getting the first book I was very happy with my decision because there were some moves that I struggled with. I felt so discouraged at first but as I kept working at it they came easier to me.

The thing I love the most about Ab’asanas however is that it’s adaptable. Being in class until 5 some days only gives me an hour at the gym (oh summer hours…) so I need to use my time wisely. I use the examples in the back as a template and typically do 5 exercises as a set and then depending on the time I have I will do anywhere from 3-5 sets.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress with book 2, once I get there!

If you’re looking for cute outfits to wear to the yoga studio check out my Pinterest board!

xox,

Marissa