Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why Worry?

The past week I have let worrying get the best of me. Stressing about my test on Friday has led to a cluttered mind and an anxious heart. I can’t stand it! It’s not just all I have to read and learn before Friday’s test but I’m already getting nervous about what’s next. After this test is over, I am going to jump right into self-studying for the MCAT. I know that I need to make a strict schedule for myself if I am going to stick with it and master the material. And what am I going to do once I graduate for the year in between? That’s unknown to me and surely it’s adding to the list of unnecessary worries clogging my brain.

What i’ve realized the past few days is that all of this stressing about the next day and the next, is only preventing me from doing what I need to do in the moment. My mind has been so distracted that I have been unable to focus on the tasks at hand. The extreme lack of motivation has led to frustration and self-doubt. Not to mention, it’s just plain annoying!

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I had a moment yesterday where it dawned on me that I have been carrying around all of this junk that the Lord never intended for me to carry, let alone feel in the first place. I came across this verse which has spoken such amazing truths into my life:

Philippians 4: 6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ.”

The Lord presents us with such an amazing opportunity to come to Him with all of our concerns, doubts, desires, and struggles so that we may ask for His help. He is always there- in good times and in bad, to support us and comfort us. Once I realized that His peace is what I needed to combat those feelings of stress and worry- I was finally able to give it all to Him. When we surrender our feelings to Him, he truly blesses us with a peace that can only come from Him. Trusting in Him every moment and every day is a work in progress but He is so full of grace and mercy. So blessed beyond belief!

Other verses that have helped me when I am burdened down with worry:

Luke 12:25- “Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life?”

Matthew 6:24- “Therefore, stop worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.”

Psalms 55:22- “Our Lord, we belong to You. We tell You what worries us, and You won’t let us fall.”

1 Peter 5:7- “Cast all of your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”

XOXO,

Shelby

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Sleeps ’til…

Time seems to be flyin’ these days. I really can’t fathom the fact that I am currently experiencing my final semester here at UGA. I absolutely love everything about this town and the people in it. I like to think of myself as an honorary Athenian, especially because I am so close to being a Georgia Alumni! Bulldawgs for life 🙂 Any who, seeing as I haven’t posted in decades months, I figured I would start with a countdown of sorts. The way I like to do this is by counting the number of sleeps until the actual day. I stole this idea from the “Sleeps ’til Christmas” app on the iPhone… yep, I’m that cool. 

  • 6 sleeps ’til my first biochemistry test (yikes!)
  • 19 sleeps ’til Valentine’s Day- unfortunately Cameron and I won’t be able to celebrate together but I’m totally up for a girls night. Who’s with me?
  • 21 sleeps ’til my soon to be sister-in-law, Kelley’s, bridal shower in Atlanta.
  • 29 sleeps ’til my friend from college, Ruthie’s, wedding (also in Atlanta). This is the first of my friend’s weddings. Feels unreal…
  • 42 sleeps ’til my last spring break- for now (hopefully)
  • 51 sleeps ’til me and Cameron’s 6 year anniversary, whoop whoop! Love that guy 🙂
  • 79 sleeps ’til I watch my big brother, Tommy, get married to sweet Kelley. It’s gonna be such a special day.
  • 106 sleeps ’til I graduate from University of Georgia- it’s so bittersweet! Don’t even get me started on leaving this place. Athens is my home and I tear up even thinking about moving…
  • 177 sleeps ’til my homegirl, Emma’s, wedding!

Although there’s lots to look forward to, I’m going to do my best to take each day God gives me as it comes and focus on loving those around me and just soaking it all in. Speaking of, I really need to start get back to studying for this dang test on Friday- boo hoo. I will leave y’all with a cute picture of my little guy, Noah! 

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Guilt-free Blueberry Banana Bread

I don’t know if you know this about me or not, but I have a massive sweet tooth. I’ve tried to deny it so many times but let’s be honest, I tend to be a whole lot happier when I have a little (emphasis on the word “little”) chocolate in my life. I emphasized the word “little” because as much as I love sweets, there’s nothing worse than polishing off your third slice of banana bread (with chocolate chips, of course) and slipping into a food coma complete with a food belly to match. Since I have found myself in that type of situation a couple of times (who’s counting?) I am on a mission to enjoy the bread I just made without going overboard. But lucky for us, it’s healthier than your average banana bread!

Rotting bananas on the kitchen counter mean only one thing in my mind. It was time to make banana bread. But not just your average banana bread complete butter and oil. This recipe is a healthier spin on the classic replacing the oil/butter with 2% greek yogurt and even throwing antioxidant-rich blueberries into the mix. I also cut the amount of added sugar in half by replacing it with an extra banana. Oh and don’t you know I had to add me some chocolate chips. This bread is flavorful, moist, and just overall delicious. I baked this loaf last night and honestly enjoyed it better cold from the fridge this morning- even more moist the next day. Tastes great topped with Justin’s Maple almond butter (yum) for breakfast or topped with ice cream/cool whip for dessert!

Guilt-free Blueberry Banana Bread

Slightly adapted from (Daily Garnish)

(Makes 1 loaf)

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Sugar in the Raw (could use regular sugar)
  • 1 cup spelt flour*
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour*
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup 2% plain greek yogurt (I used FAGE brand)
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 large overripe bananas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the salt, flour, and baking powder in a medium/large sized bowl. Mash the bananas in another mixing bowl using a fork until consistency is gooey. Add in the eggs, vanilla, and sugar and mix until combined. Add in greek yogurt to wet ingredients and stir until lumps are minimal. Add the wet to the dry and mix until just combined (do not overmix or bread could become tough). Fold in the blueberries and chocolate chips. Pour into a greased bread loaf pan (I sprayed mine with coconut oil spray but anything works) and pop in the oven! Mine took about 50 minutes to bake but every oven is different. I would check it after 45 minutes and every 5 minutes after that. To test if it’s done stick a knife or toothpick in and see if it comes out dry. Once it’s done, let it cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes (if you can wait that long)! Enjoy 🙂

*Any flour can be used here but I used a combination of spelt and whole wheat for more nutrients. Any combination of flours can be used! Whole wheat pastry flour would be great as well.

1 Loaf = 12 slices

Nutrition facts for 1 slice (1/12th of loaf): 164 calories, 3.4 g fat (1.9 g saturated fat), 29 mg cholesterol, 117 mg salt, 30.4 g carbohydrates, 2.8 g dietary fiber, 14.4 g sugar, 4.7 g protein

Cheers!

Chicken and Veggie Stir fry with a “Coconuty” Peanut sauce

Hello everyone!

First off, I must apologize for not writing a post in what seems like centuries. I guess I have just gotten a little too busy with other things but I’m back baby (hopefully, haha).

Yesterday after I hit up the gym for round one of the day (early afternoon for weights, early evening for Zumba class), I decided to swing by the grocery store for a couple things- sliced ham for sandwiches, fresh veggies and fruit, you know the drill. I ended up with a great selection of fresh food which inspired me to make a delicious meal for dinner after Zumba later.

I browsed through a couple recipes on Lauren’s blog and found this one that caught my eye. I changed a few things and ended up making a different sauce than she used. For some reason when I made her original sauce recipe it turned out disastrous but I think it may have been due to a couple substitutions I had to make but the new sauce worked great.

Chicken and Veggie Stir fry with a “Coconuty” Peanut sauce

*please excuse my iPhone pic 🙂

Makes 2 Servings

  • 2 cooked chicken breasts (I used thin cut for quicker cook time)
  • 1 cup cooked rice or any other grain desired
  • For the stir fry:
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil (regular will work as well)
  • garlic powder (or chopped garlic)
  • ginger
  • 6 stalks bok choy
  • 5 kale stalks (leaves cut off stalk)
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper
  • 1 cup (or more) broccoli florets
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 and a half to 2 tbsp of Coconut Peanut Butter (regular will do as well)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp tamari (or other soy sauce)

First, I went ahead and heated a little olive oil in a pan on medium heat, once it was good and hot I cooked the chicken with just a little salt and pepper. You can also used chicken prepared on the grill but I decided to pan fry mine.

Once the chicken was done I put them on a plate and covered with aluminum foil for the time being. Next, I heated one tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil with a little ginger (I didn’t use fresh) and garlic salt on medium heat in a large pan. Allow the oil to melt and the mixture to become fragrant (1-2 minutes). Next add all the chopped vegetables except for the kale. Once the veggies have only a couple more minutes until they are cooked to your liking, add the kale and let cook until done.

While the veggies cook, prepare the sauce. Mix honey, coconut peanut butter, tamari sauce, and rice vinegar in a bowl and stir until combined. Once everything is done cooking- chopped the chicken into pieces and incorporate into the veggies. Put veggies and chicken into bowl containing the sauce and mix. Serve on top of brown rice or any other cooked grain. I used half cup of cooked brown rice (used 10 minute- boil in a bag… sh, don’t tell).

Enjoy!!

Off the gym, poor little guy… “Don’t worry, I’ll be back!”

Sir Barks-a-lot

Happy MLK Day everyone!

It’s been a little strange having an day off from school so soon into starting the new semester- I mean we’ve only been back a week… but hey I ain’t complaining.

Yesterday ended up being a very busy day and surprisingly productive! I deemed it as an “off day” from the gym since I hadn’t taken a break from the gym since last Sunday. This body needs rest- I always need to remind myself of that. I went to church with my two friends, Hannah and Kaitlyn then I turned into a cleaning machine! I deep cleaned my room- throwing out a ton of stuff that had been lying around for too long, cleaned countertops until they were shiny, and just all around spiffied up the place (probably not a word). The day was complete with a trip to Publix for essentials and bible study at my leaders house. She is getting her first round of chemo on Thursday so please keep her in your prayers!

Me and Norma!

Today, Noah and I slept in ’til about 9:30 or so and headed out into the cold to tackle a 25 minute walk around the neighborhood. I’ve really been enjoying walking Noah  before breakfast for 20 minutes or so on the mornings  I don’t have class (aka: Saturday and Sunday). As we began our walk I started thinking how peaceful it was outside and how calming it felt to walk- Noah was being so well behaved! Not for long… once we turned off of my street, one of my neighbors was taking her black lab outside for a walk as well which then caused Noah to bark his head off! As we continued on his walk he saw about 3 more things to bark at: another dog on a walk, a couple on a leisurely walk, and a trash can that looked like it was up to no good.

Let me tell you a little about Noah. He is just about the cutest dog you have ever seen and is truly a sweetheart! He will give you endless amounts of kisses and loves nothing more than to sit in your lap and cuddle. But man oh man does he bark!!! Especially when he is on his leash on a walk, we can’t pass another dog on a walk, college kid riding their bike, or old man getting in his daily walk (this is when I feel especially bad!) without barking insanely at them. Everyone must seriously think he is the meanest dog, and that I’m not being a good owner by controlling him but I am telling’ you- I wish I knew how to stop the barking. Sometimes I get so fed up that I’m yelling “NO!” loudly at him in the middle of the street- it does nothing. It probably bothers me more than it bothers others- it’s so embarrassing!

“But I’m so cute…..”

If anyone has any tips on how to stop this fur ball from barking at anything and everything he isn’t familiar with- please let me know. Also Noah if you are reading this, I love you little guy 🙂

Anyways after our eventful walk I was definitely hungry for breakfast. I ended up making my new “usual”- a cheese, egg, jelly bagel thin. I better start mixing things up soon cuz I don’t wanna burn out on those sammies but they are just so darn good. On the side I enjoyed a crisp fuji apple- so tasty!

Recycled Photo:

Following breakfast, I cleaned up my room a bit and headed to the gym for a good ole’ workout! I had really been wanting to do both weights and cardio but ended up getting too hungry by the end to fit in any cardio- there’s always tomorrow. A tough ab circuit was on the plan today followed by sporadic other abdominal moves- they were burning for sure just like I like! Shoulders ensued- two supersets for a total for 4 different exercises that include: single arm lateral raises, overhead press with barbell, upright row, and a lateral raise variation. I refueled with a fresh spinach salad that included deli ham, almonds, baby tomatoes, orange bell pepper, and simple italian dressing.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing at the home front- oh and watching the Bachelor of course with my roomie Emma! We always DVR it and start it late to skip the commercials… wow what a night on the Bachelor- so much drama! My favorite is by far Kaci B. I can’t stand Courtney- I really can’t figure her out but she doesn’t seem to be a very nice person and I feel like she has some problems with being socially awkward and inappropriate! Well it’s off to bed for little Noah and I. He’s gotta sleep up for a big haircut tomorrow and a day of class for me… night night!

How did you spend your MLK day?

Icicle Hands

Woo wee, it is chilly here in Athens today! Last night as I headed to the gym I could tell that the wind was picking up but it was actually not too cold (about 60 degrees or so) but I am tellin’ you, when I left- it was freezing! After my workout I drove to Publix to fill up on groceries since I was all out and the walk from the car to Publix was hardly bearable! I guess spandex shorts weren’t a good choice…

When I woke up this morning my iPhone filled me in on the fact that was freezing outside!

Needless to say, I was frigid! I guess I should have prefaced this with the fact that I am a wimp when it comes to cold weather. Growing up and living in Orlando my whole life has conditioned me to be that way I suppose- but you know what? I simply prefer warm weather! I would much rather be sweating outside than shivering I will tell you that… although it is fun to actually be able to wear boots outside. Anyways…. sorry to talk your ear off about that but this weather came out of nowhere!

Back to my workout from last night- it was cardio intensive for sure! Since the day was occupied by class until 3:15, followed by a play date for Noah and his furry friend down the street “Dallas”, I didn’t make it to the gym until about 6:45 or so. I decided to stick to simply cardio since I had done abs and a tricep/bicep weight workout on Wednesday. This interval workout was performed on an elliptical with a ramp that can be adjusted to different inclines. This workout is sort of a longer version of one I have posted before. Workout was as follows:

Elliptical Interval Workout (Long Version) 

  • 10 minutes- resistance 8, incline 10
  • 45 seconds mountain climbers, hold plank for 20 seconds following
  • 10 minutes- resistance 9, incline 12
  • 45 seconds high knees, followed by 15 seconds butt kicks
  • 10 minutes- resistance 9, incline 14
  • Run 1 lap inside the gym (may get funny looks, don’t forget to wave!)
  • 10 minutes- resistance 9, incline 12
  • 45 seconds mountain climbers, hold plank for 20 seconds following
  • 10 minutes- resistance 9, incline 10
  • 45 seconds high knees, followed by 15 second butt kicks
  • 5 minutes- resistance 9, incline 10; 5 minutes- resistance 8, incline 8.
  • Run 2 laps inside the gym
  • Pat yourself on the back- you had a great workout! 🙂

A quick note on running the laps inside the gym- no one actually looked at me funny, to be honest they probably weren’t surprised! Also, don’t be shy about doing this- I see trainers have their clients run laps around quite often.

I have a feeling this post is becoming a bit disorganized because I keep jumping around from one thing to another but hopefully you will forgive me. I just wanted to touch on how yummy breakfast this morning was- and has been for the past week or so! I have fallen in love with egg, cheese, and jelly “bagel thins” ever since I tried my first one a couple of weeks ago. I will admit, I thought this combination sounded kinda wacky when I first saw it on Julie’s blog a while ago but once I tried it, I understood the appeal- It’s the perfect combination of salty and sweet. Even Noah want’s a bite (when does he not…)!

Luckily I already snuck my workout in after class today seeing as I only have one class in the mornings on Friday (yay). Todays workout consisted of the classic P90x ab ripper routine along with other ab moves and a rockin’ chest workout. I wanted to do cardio but was feeling my hunger start to kick in along with feeling guilty for little Noah all by himself at home! Looks like cardio is on the agenda for tomorrow’s workout along with… back maybe? We shall see. Hope y’all are having a great Friday and start to the weekend- I will leave you with a little something that made me smile yesterday:

He always knows the right thing to say… what a smooth talker! Hehe- Hi Cameron!

Do you prefer warm or cold weather?

What have you been enjoying for breakfast lately?

“Life Improvements”

First off, if you aren’t currently watching The Bachelor, you should be. I know, I know- it’s a trashy reality show but I just love it! So much drama, so little time. Anyways….

Is it too late to talk about “New Year’s resolutions” or did I miss my chance?

With the year recently coming to a close, it had me thinking about the goals I wanted to achieve in this coming year. More than that, I thought about what I wanted to change or improve upon in terms of life, health, fitness, school and so on. I’ve actually been pondering on this for a while and am very hesitant to refer to them as “New Year’s resolutions”. New Year’s resolutions have a tendency of slipping away almost as fast as they are made so instead, I’m  gonna call these “life improvements” (cheesy? oh well).

Life Improvement #1:

(source)

Eat Mindfully: Over Christmas Break I read a book called Intuitive Eating written by two dietitians (Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch). This book talks all about relearning how to listen to your body when it comes to eating- paying attention to hunger cues, satiety signals, and really enjoying what you are eating. They say that with being more in tune with your body- you will in turn enjoy your food more and actually end up eating less! You could say it is an anti-dieting book as they mention how  diets have rewired our brains to think in certain ways about foods- deeming them as either “bad” or “good”.

(Noah as a puppy, demonstrating the art of intuitive eating!)

By thinking of sweets as “off-limits” or “bad” foods for example you may begin to become too fixated on those foods which could lead to a variety of things such as binging and so on. When you learn to listen to your body, it will crave what it truly needs which is whole, healthy foods. What I am trying to get to is that I would like to implement these thoughts and ideas into my daily life. For instance, when I would sit down for a meal I would typically turn on the TV or read a magazine while I eat- I have now stopped doing that so I can fully focus on tasting every bite of my food, enjoying my meal, and being in touch with my hunger level (the most comfortable place to stop eating is when you are neither hungry nor full). 

Life Improvement #2: 

Break my “addiction” to sweets: Now when I say “addiction”, I don’t mean I think about them constantly or have a serious problem but I will tell you- I crave them much more often than is necessary! I do well throughout the day but it almost seems like every night after I finish dinner, I find myself craving something sweet to eat. I personally would not want to cut sweets out of my life entirely but I want them to be something special I can enjoy on occasion. That’s what makes them so spectacular! If I had them every day (which until a week or two ago was most certainly the case) it doesn’t feel like much of a “treat”. I used to pretty much reserve eating sweets for special occasions like birthday get-togethers or special dinners but they have become much too commonplace. I’m ready to break my strong craving of sweets and form a healthier relationship with them.

Life Improvement #3

“Youuuu can doooo ittttt!” (Waterboy… anyone?)

Keep on kicking’ my butt in the gym! Fitness is one area in which I don’t lack motivation although my goal is to continue pushing myself and getting stronger with each workout. I also really want to keep my workout varied- I never do the same workout two days in a row but I want to keep branching out and incorporating new moves and exercises. I want to get over to the student rec center as much as I can to swim laps or even try some new classes at the gym. I am so tempted to start running again but have a fear of it due to the early arthritis they found in my lower back a couple summers ago… trying to be smart! 

Life Improvement #4

(source)

Continue to strengthen my relationship with Christ! I find that the best way to approach this is to simply keep the Lord in my mind as I go throughout my day and just remember that with any situation or difficulty that may come my way- he is there to help me! I have a daily devotional book that Cameron’s sister Brittany gave me for Christmas I am planning to keep up with. Also, I am going to try my hardest to go to church every Sunday I am in Athens. I really want to make this a priority because I always feel so much better when I go! I have a great church here and also my roomie Emma wants to start coming to my church as well. 

Life Improvement #5:

So yeah this is kinda weird but this is what came up when I googled 4.0 gpa! hm…. (source)

Work my butt off in school. Seeing as this is my second to last (please Dear God…) semester in college, I want to make it a good one. This past semester I started slacking pretty hard and was not very pleased with how I made out grade-wise at the end of the semester. My goal this semester is to make a 4.0! I figure why not shoot for the best… plus I will be starting to prepare for the MCAT (yikes…) fairly soon and planning to take that this summer. I need to remember to keep a positive mindset when it comes to all of the work and know that when you work hard, it will pay off!

Life Improvement #6 (last one I promise….)

(source)

Read more books (textbooks of course…. ;-)) and blog more frequently! This Christmas break I finished the Intuitive Eating book as well as starting the Hunger Games (still reading… ahhh so good!!). Reading again made me remember how much I love to read! I need to continue by finding the time to dedicate to reading various books. Also, I most definitellyyyy want to blog much more frequently than I have. For some reason I get anxiety about it and get too many thoughts in my head that I procrastinate on posting. I’m hoping this goal will force me to post more often knowing I may be held accountable. 🙂

Sorry for the lengthy text, when I don’t post for a long time I have too much to say! Anyways, I hope everybody is having a great start to their new years already. I’m already back in Athens and just finished my second day of classes- I think it will be a good year 🙂

Do you have any goals or plans for the new year? If so, what are they? (Random Question alert) Did you watch the Bachelor last night and if so what were your thoughts?