Friday, April 8, 2011

Great, Cheap and Healthy Places to Eat In Gainesville

     Hey guys!  As the semester is winding down, I find myself not wanting to spend time in the kitchen cooking healthy meals anymore when I can just go pick up a quick bite to eat.  But, even the quickest alternative can get expensive and unhealthy.   Here are a few places I find myself going back to for a delicious, inexpensive and healthy meal.

     While Crispers is right across the street from my apartment, I never really went that often.  Well, about two weeks ago I went and can't seem to stop going back.  They have a new menu, full of soups, salads, sandwiches, flatbreads and even new entrees.  You can check out the Crispers' Menu online, there is even a nutrition calculator so you can see how many calories, fat or other nutrients are in your meal.  I also get the chef salad, every single time, unfortunately I'm a true believer of why change a good thing.  Now, Crispers is decent in price for a dinner.  A full salad and a drink is about $10, which I think is great for a dinner or even large lunch.

Pita Pit
I began my love for Pita Pit when I was a freshman living in the dorms - why?  Because they deliver in a matter of minutes to almost anywhere in Gainesville.  Pita Pit can get unhealthy with some options, but if you stick with grilled chicken, vegetables or even tuna, your pita can be a great meal.  Make sure to load up on the vegetables, that way it turns into a salad you can eat with your hands!  Pita Pit is also open late, until 3 to 4 a.m. in some locations, so if you have a late night craving you won't feel guilty choosing this instead of a greasy pizza.  To make it even easier, you can order your pita online 
here, choosing exactly what you want in your mouth.  At around $7-$8, a pita is filling and hits the spot!

Red Mango
Now, Red Mango isn't a restaurant for a meal full of proteins and vegetables and I wouldn't suggest choosing it as a dinner spot either.  Like Mochi and TCBY, Red Mango is self-serve yogurt with tons of toppings to choose from.  The thing I love about Red Mango is the yogurt is all natural, low-fat frozen yogurt with probiotics to help support a healthy immune system.  So as you stay up all night studying for finals, a yummy cup of yogurt and fruit can help, atleast a little.   With flavors ranging from dark chocolate to vanilla and pomegranate, there's always a new selection.  The toppings are great too, from fresh fruit to granola or chocolate chips for your sweet tooth.  Whether you choose to make just a cup or a parfait, Red Mango can be a healthy snack or even an alternative to a light lunch.  Red Mango also has other menu items, like smoothies and teas, that are delicious options as well.  The good thing about Red Mango is the price - 45 cents an ounce!  So, you can choose how much you'd like based on the budget you have.

     I hope you enjoy these places as much as I do, they are delicious and don't put you in food coma at the end of the meal.  Hope you have a great end of the semester, happy eating!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

So little time, so much exercise to do!

Hey guys! As we enter the last month of the semester before summer, you want to have that bikini body but are swamped with projects, papers and exams. It's really important to not get caught up in a sleep, eat, study, work cycle - with study/work being replaced by projects, class, papers - to your own schedule, but make sure you put exercise in there. Not only does it help get your body in shape, but also exercises your mind with a break from the books.

When I say workout, it doesn't necessarily mean spending an hour in the gym, sweating on the treadmill and do crunches. Go for a half hour jog, jump rope, or even go to the stadium to run. When I need to get my mind clear, a nice run in Ben Hill, using the bleachers, ramps and stairs, gets your heart pumping with no weights needed. For that half hour or hour, your pulled into the energy that is always in The Swamp and you can almost feel the excitement of a saturday night football game.

But, if you don't have that time to spare or running isn't your thing, here's a quick video of basic strength training exercises you can do in your room in about 10 minutes. She goes through one circuit, but as you advance in your workouts, try to do 3 or 4 circuits each time. And just because your in your room, don't take it easy...blast the music and PUSH YOURSELF!

Put down the books! Take 15 minutes to let your brain stop burning while your muscles do!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Back To Reality :/

    Hey Everyone!  Sorry I haven't posted in so long....Spring Break and the week leading up to it killed me!!  Of course, I had 3452305462 things to do before I went home for break and didn't have that many hours to do it...but, after being up until 3:30 am multiple nights and getting up at 7 am the next morning, everything got done and I ventured home to South Florida for my Spring Break Cruise.  I was on the open seas for 6 days with 18 of my friends and let me tell you, it was a long and wild week.  I'm home right now in South Florida and dreading going back to the old grind in Gainesville (with a 5 hour drive to start it off in a couple hours).  I'm sure a lot of you are feeling the same way, but here are some ways to keep Spring Break going and before you know it, Summer will be here!
   First of all, I'm sure many of you dropped your diets on your breaks (I did!), but get back into it at school!  It will give you something to work on, look forward to and the changes you see will be well worth the hard work - PLUS you'll be in a bikini all summer long!  Then again, don't kill yourself if you have that piece of pizza or extra late night snack after going out...enjoy being young, you won't ruin everything in one bite!
  Also, enjoy the weather!  This is usually the best time of the year in Gainesville, so lay out by the pool instead of on the couch when you can, walk to class instead of taking the bus, and study on the patio instead of in a stuffy library.
  BUT the most important thing to remember is there are still 6 weeks left of school so STAY FOCUSED! Don't let all your hard work go out the window because your "stuck in spring break" or already in "summer mode."  I know it will be hard, but we can struggle together!  Hope everyone has a safe travel back to school and a smooth transition...back to reality.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

H20h So Important! Drink Up!

     Hi there!  So my last post was about how important sleep is and as I lay in bed typing this - probably should've been asleep an hour ago - I though about another important part of staying healthy - H20!!  8 glasses a day help keep everything hydrated and moving through your system, as well as gives your skin a healthy glow!!  And especially with the weather getting warmer and more days by the pool or time spent outside exercising, you'll need that water next to you!
   Yes, we all love our sodas, coffees, smoothies and juices.  They are all fine, in moderation, just make sure your still downing the water.  I admit, I LOVE Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, going through them a few times a day.  BUT, I try to limit myself to one (if that) a day.  It's hard, especially since I can't keep away from a cold Diet Pepsi fountain soda, but the less you drink the carbonated drinks, the less bloating, water retention, and MORE hydrated you'll be (from your water overload)!
   If you love the bubbles, try Crystal Bay's carbonated flavored water.  They have flavors like cherry, strawberry, peach and white grape.  The drinks are delicious and zero calories, but again it's not an even trade with water.  ALWAYS carry a water bottle with you.  Sometimes, I'll grab a Smart Water because the bottles are larger and last longer.  You can also carry around your own water bottle and fill it up at different fountains.  If I'm around my apartment or driving, I like this type of cup shown below.  They are cute and very easy with a straw!  Stay thirsty, my friends!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sleep - Crawl back into bed, it's important!

     As a college student, sleep is by far probably the hardest thing to control and keep stable in our lives.  With classes, exams, homework, parties, intramural sports, clubs and personal time, where can you schedule in a solid 8 hours of sleep??  I'll admit, it's difficult and most nights not achieved for myself and I'm sure many other students roaming campus.  BUT I just read this great web page about how important sleep is.  You can check it out right here Healthy Sleep.
   For those of you too tired to click and read it yourself, here's the main points!  Only 11 percent of American college students sleep well, and 40 percent of students feel well rested only two days per week.  This, I'm guessing, would be on those days of the weekend when we hit the hay around 3 a.m. and don't roll out of bed till about 3 p.m. the next day.  But, sleep affects all the basics of learning -  acquisition, which is the process that your brain receives the information your professor is blabbing about, consolidation, which is your brain's ability to grow and become stronger for longer periods of time (think studying, long lectures, whole semesters, etc.) and recall, which is the brain utilizing what it took in and using it.  So with all of that said, basically SLEEP = SUCCESS.
    So the next time your exhausted and can barely keep your eyes open in class, don't go out that night.  My suggestion is to try to get on a good routine, so your not waking up at 7 a.m. one day but sleeping until noon the next.  Trust me, you can go out and party tomorrow night, but tonight, crawl into bed and take a nice long sleep - not only will you feel refreshed in the morning, but I bet you will see a change in your mood that day!  And also, try getting a little active.  Yes, you may be exhausted, but trust me again, a short run will make you feel better and wake you up for the day.  This morning, I woke up to do bootcamp at 6 a.m. Yes, 6 a.m. I was so sleepy when my alarm clock went of at 5:45, but as I was walking back to my apartment at 7 a.m., I felt refreshed and ready for the day.  Hope you really consider these options!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New Additions!

     Hi guys!  Just wanted to let you know that I've added two new "widgets", like an app, onto my blog and they are great to use!

     The Wellternatives is awesome!  You can find whatever food your craving, planning on eating, or already ate and see all the nutritional information from most restaurants.  Nutritional info at places aren't usually clearly defined for you to see, so this is a great way to easily search whatever you want instead of going to each separate website to look for a menu or nutrition.  PLUS, it gives you a healthier alternative that is just tweaked a tad.  For most of these foods, you may have not even known about the options offered for a healthier meal outside of your kitchen!

   I also added Inspirational Quotes that change everyday.  I know that I love seeing or hearing little motivational quotes or sayings to get me going or to make it through a long day.  So if your ever feeling just, well "blah", and need something to pick you up to finish your report, go to class, or hit the gym, just check it out for a little help.  One quote I think about is from Tim Tebow (perfect man?):

"Push me for greatness, because I know I can get there."

Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday = Fresh Start!

     Hi there! Hope everyone had a great weekend!  Speaking of weekends, isn't it hard to stay on track with diet and exercise when all you really want to do is lay around and snack on everything you can?  It's definitely a task to stay on top of things, but why waste a week of hard work on a weekend?  That's why I feel it is very important for everyone to have something to look forward to, you need a GOAL.  This goal could be wanting to lose pounds for a future trip, tone arms to wear a killer dress, or just make sure you eat as many fruits or vegetables as you can.

     After spending this past weekend home with my family with a full fridge of snacks and multiple meals out at my favorite restaurants, I realized how important a GOAL is in your life.  For me, I  am going on a cruise for Spring Break with 20 of my friends and I want to walk around in a bathing suit with no image problems or anything to worry about at all - so, when I went to P.F. Changs with my family and really really wanted the Sweet and Sour Chicken and fried rice, I remembered that would not help me get to my goal and opted for the Asian Grilled Salmon.  That being said, we are always working toward a goal or maintaing a goal, so any decision you make could help you move forward or move you further away from your goal.

    My one problem with keeping my goal is my love of sweets - chocolate especially - which you can't really have all the time.  I recently found the perfect treat called Vita Tops (check them out here).  There are the best part of the muffin and only 90 - 100 calories.  With flavors like chocolate chip, peanut butter chip, and apple crisp, there are so many to options to satisfy your cravings.  Vitalicious also makes brownies, breakfast sandwiches and large muffins for snacking.  Check out the website and go pick up a box in your local grocery store, usually in the frozen foods section.  Trust me, my freezer is stocked!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hi There! :)

     Hey Everyone, welcome to my new blog!  I'm really excited to start blogging about something I worry and live around everyday - being healthy - because I feel that even if you don't need to lose weight, it's important to live a healthy lifestyle, as it just makes you feel better about yourself!  I'm always trying to stay healthy and I'll admit, it can be VERY hard.  As a new 21 year old living the sorority lifestyle, it's not always easy to hold back on that scoop of pasta, piece of birthday cake or even that one more beer out at Swamp, but it will be worth it!  I've never been a stick and have always needed to stay active for my body type, but luckily I have an athletic build and love sports so it goes hand in hand.

     The biggest problem I have, along with many of my friends, is loving MY body.  I see my size 2 friends and get so jealous, but my fit body and muscles are great - or at least people tell me that - so this journey is all about loving your own skin and being comfortable in it.  So my first piece of advice is don't base your judgment off other's bodies, because they aren't and will never be YOU!

     The tool to help you get there that everyone should use is  You can sign up for free and track all your meals, drinks and exercise everyday.  The logs give you hints, your improvements you've made and even the amount of calories you've had that day.  All you do is sign in, type in what you ate (they have brands to click with servings), log your exercise  and everything is at your finger tips!  Enjoy!