Gearing Up For Adventures!

Hey there! Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! Mine was productive, I got a ton of stuff done, but now I can’t believe it’s Monday and our week is going to totally crazy. My girly starts paleontology camp today, we have appointments almost everyday, I’m nannying, and we have to get everything ready to go for our trip! We are heading to Orlando with my hubs this weekend to tag along for his business conference:). I’m super excited because we are going to do Universal Studios this trip and the new Harry Potter expansion just opened up! (insert squeal of delight)
I just need to take my patience pills along with a double dose of caffeine and I should make it to Friday.

Another upcoming adventure I want to share with you all that I haven’t mentioned on the blog yet is coming up quickly. My extended family and I are all going to Japan! Can you believe it? I can’t, and I’m the one who planned it all! We leave next month and I’m freaking out just a tad. I finally have almost every detail taken care of, but I keep finding more things to do! My little family has to cram all the Japan we can possibly manage in just 10 days. So needless to say, our itinerary is madness.

Just a brief summary of what we are doing…
Day 1- Fly to Japan
Day 2- Arrive in Japan, take train down south
Day 3- Meet up with family and tour the city our ancestors are from. Take evening train to Kyoto
Day 4- Tour Kyoto (golden pavilion, manga museum, shopping district)
Day 5- Take train to Mt. Fuji and start climbing it. Sleep in a hut on the mountain!
Day 6- Climb to the summit and back down. Take train to Tokyo
Day 7- Tour Tokyo- Shopping, Ghibli museum, exploring
Day 8- Tokyo Disneyland!
Day 9- Tokyo Disney Sea!
Day 10- Open to tour anything that we really want to see before leaving
Day 11- Head home

That is the condensed version. My family would probably laugh at this little blurb since I just sent them a 6 page detailed itinerary, plus they are getting a packing list, maps, and several pages of tips, haha! Every family has that one member who is just a tiny bit obsessive. I happen to be that family member :)

I wish we could have more time for this trip, but you know, that’s life. I’m just so grateful that I get to go and make amazing memories with my family. I can’t wait to share all the insanity with you guys when I get back from these trips!

K. I’m off to make the most of this Monday! Hope you all have a fab day! xo

More Spartan Pics!

A quick post for this busy Monday. I hope you all had a great 4th of July weekend!

Spartan released the pictures from the race! They got some good ones and some not so flattering ones, haha! It was easy to find some of our pics and then almost impossible to find the others. There was even a gap in the time stamps so I didn’t get any shots from some places where they had cameras, boo! Oh well, they got lots me in the gross mud, which is the money shot, so I can’t complain too much:).
I’m testing out the new gallery option on wordpress so click on the pics an they will get bigger. Then you can see nice big images of me desperately needing a shower.

Spartan Race Tips & Traverse Wall Video

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So yesterday I did my little recap of the Spartan Beast and today I thought I would post all of the tips that worked for me, things that I would have done differently, and one thing that I need ideas on.

But first, look at my cute medal!!  I love it!  I think it matches my pink shorts and lavender toenails, don’t you? :)Image

Ok, tip #1 wear spandex!!

If you do nothing else, do this.  I wore shorts that were mid thighish and they were perfect.  They didn’t collect much water or mud, dried quickly, and didn’t stretch out.  The hubs on the other hand, I hope he’s taking note of my spandex tip:).

I will get a tighter and shorter shirt for next time.  This top is great but it basically became a dress after my 4 time through the mud.  So the name of the game is minimal and tight and make sure your material is synthetic, NO COTTON!IMG_2418

Tip #2 Hydrate the day before

I always hydrate the day before a long race.  I drink around 12-14 cups of water throughout the day.  Yes I pee a lot, but it really helps on race day.  Spartan had water stations but if you were walk-running and taking your time, those station can take a while to get to.  Also, Spartan does not provide sports drinks on course.  They have SALT shakers.  Yeah you read that right and yes, it’s pretty gross.  I drank my free gatorade before the race and was fine.  But there’s your heads up in case you are expecting a sports drink station.

Tip #3 If you need to fuel, bring your own

If you know you need a glucose boost after a couple hours of exercise, make sure to bring a well packaged supplement.  Spartan does NOT provide fuel.  For girls I think you could easily tuck a gel or packet of chews under the back of your sports bra.  I’ve also seen spandex shorts with a slim pocket that is super small and can fit one gel.

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Tip #4 Sunscreen!

I applied liberally before the race and still got a bit red.

Tip #5 Bring a bag with the following suggested items..

A complete change of clothes, flip flops, baby wipes, deodorant, extra snacks, water, sanitizer, triple antibiotic ointment, bandaids, ibuprofen, comb, towel, sweatshirt, lotion (my skin was insanely dry), chapstick, and cash.

Tip #6 Arrive with your spectators.

We didn’t arrive with our family and it was impossible to coordinate with them.  Next time I would arrive together, go over the course and map out the course together so they know where to see you and the order of the obstacles.  Also, they can keep track of your bag for you and you don’t have to pay the $5 :)

Tip #7 The down low on the free spectator ticket that is included with Living Social and    Groupon!

I looked everywhere to see where we were supposed to get the spectator ticket that is included when you bought the spartan race entry from Living Social and couldn’t find an answer anywhere.  I even emailed Spartan twice and received no answer.  Well here is the answer.  Your spectator just needs to give your name at the spectator registration table and they will have a list.  They check off your name and let them in free.  Otherwise it’s $25 at the door ($20 online).  But hey, kids are free.IMG_2432

 

Alright, so those are all the things I can think of right now:).

Now here’s my one Spartan horror story and I seriously need to think of a solution for this!  After finishing the race I was completely coated in mud and very cold.  I was waiting in line for the hoses to wash off and I was getting so cold I started to shake.  The shaking was incontrollable and got pretty bad.  By the time I got to a hose I could hardly grip the handle.  Oh yeah, and the water was pure ice.  I was pretty much shaking, screaming, and hyperventilating.  I hosed off as much as I could until I literally thought I was going to go into shock.  Cam said my hands and lips were blue and my skin was totally white.  I started to breath quickly and erratically and couldn’t form a sentence.  I panicked a bit but luckily my brother in law hustled my toward the asphalt that was hot from the sun and I just lied on it to get warm.  It took me a good 20 minutes to come to my senses enough to make it to a changing area and get out of my wet clothes.  Afterward I had crazy muscle cramps and felt like I had just completed the whole race again!

So I’m trying to think of what I can do so this doesn’t happen.  My first thought was to go straight to the power wash station and have someone use the high pressure washer.  It would be faster and the line wasn’t as long.  But the water would still be ice.  My second idea is to get a portable shower and keep it in the car!  Other than that, I don’t know how to fix the problem I had.  I’m open to all suggestions.  Please send them my way if you have any!

Ok ok, enough drama.  Let’s end this post with a little video shall we?!  This is me doing the traverse wall after I recovered from my popsicle stage.  I saw lots of people fail this obstacle so I thought I’d show ya how I did it.

That’s all for today kids!  Have a fab day!!

Utah Spartan Beast 2014 Race Recap!!

Who’s ready for a Spartan Beast Recap??!!

Saturday morning I was literally bursting with excitement over this race.  I was trying to suppress my giddiness, but it was just oozing out all over the place.  I could not wait to get out there and see what Spartan had in store for us.  I felt so ready to take on the challenge.  I had been training seriously for about 6 months in preparation for this day and it was finally here!

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Here is the course map.  It went all over Soldier Hollow for a total of 12ish miles.  The little green dots are where obstacles were placed.

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I was dying to see the list of obstacles since they do not reveal those until race day.  Of course I was a bit nervous when I saw all of those “classified” tags.  I want to talk about every single obstacle!  But I’m saving that for another day.  Today you get an overall feel of what the race was like:)

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We had a start time of 12:45pm so there were lots of people out on the course when we arrived, some were even finishing.  It was fun to see people doing the obstacles and get ideas on what works and what doesn’t.  In this pic you can see the first rope climb.  What you don’t see it the giant mud water pit that you have to climb into to get to the ropes!

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They had kid races and obstacles in the “festival” area for spectators.  I have to enter Valie next year, she would have loved it.IMG_4406

You could practice your rope climbing skills before the race!  The rope was definitely skinnier than what I’m used to, but it was still climbable.  I didn’t take any pictures once we moved to the starting line, because, well…I knew I’d be swimming in mud and that just doesn’t vibe with electronics.

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So now you get my commentary minus pictures.  Arrival is pretty smooth.  You pay $10 to park, boo.  Walk to the registration.  Print off your waiver and barcode before to save time.  Don’t forget your ID, but if you do, they will ask your b-day.  I know this because…I forgot my ID.  Spartan then gives you a little envelope and sends you on in.  You get two bracelets. One with your start time written on it and one with your timing chip.  You also get a bib and a headband with your number.  I’d recommend tearing off you tags for your free drinks before racing since they are going to get wet and muddy and most likely lost:).  Oh yeah and don’t forget $5 to check your bag…again…boo!

Spartan recommends arriving 2 hours prior to your start time.  I think that is a little much.  We were about 90 minutes early and I was still antsy waiting for our start time.  But I suppose I’d rather be safe than sorry.

Ok now for some actual race talk!  I was so hyped up to start, I’m sure I was annoying the crap out of the people around me.  When 12:45 finally hit I was smiling and bouncing like a complete idiot, only to have my happy bubble burst when they tossed us into a mud moat right off the bat!  I mean seriously, how mean!  They soak you down within the first 3 minutes!  Anyway, moving along…IMG_2450

I thought the variety of obstacles was great.  Some were simple, some were long, some require pure strength, balance, or endurance.  It was great to test your overall fitness.

I did get a few pics of some obstacles after the race.  This is the lattice.  You just climb up.

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Then walk across some beams and climb back down.  This simple obstacle was sandwiched in-between two very hard obstacles.   First the rope climb, which was challenging since the rope was slick and the mud was up to my chest! IMG_2453

And do you see this net thingy?  You had to swing across on it and below you is a giant mud pit!  There is a bell at the end and you have to ring it in order to complete.  This was tough, especially since it’s a net and you have to grab up every time.  It’s not as easy as monkey bars which don’t give.  This gives!  My grip was dying, but guess what??!  I made it!  Out of all the obstacles, I am the most proud of completing this one.  But I feel like they rip you off by not having a platform for those who make it to the end.  You still have to fall into the mud and get out.IMG_2452

Overall I felt great through the whole race.  I never lacked energy or hit a wall.  I ran with my hubby and was just out for fun.  Next year though, oh yeah, I’m running it for time and points!

Our family came out and cheered us on which was super fun and uplifting!  They were able to get some shots of us all nice a dirty.

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This was at about mile 6.5 or 7.  I can’t believe I don’t have dirt on my teeth here!  Most of the race I had a dirt grill, it was gorgeous.Image

The spectators could watch the inverted wall.  It looks harder than it actually is.  I’m a shorty and even I didn’t need assistance.Image

There are lips on the boards that are easy to grip.  So as long as you can jump and hang on at the same time, you’re good.Image

My baby didn’t want and hugs or kisses!  But I may have smooched her anyway…love you Val!Image

When we met up with family again it was by the second rope climb at the bridge.  Yes this is me climbing.  I totally thought it was a dude when I saw the pic, so don’t feel bad if you did too, haha :).  I was elated that I had the energy to make it up the rope again.  There were tons of spectators there!  Not going to lie, it was way fun climbing the rope and then seeing the big dudes have to do burpees.IMG_4380

Ugh, my least favorite part of the day had to be the barbwire crawl.  It was at least a quarter mile mud bomb, rocky as could be, and they were spraying us with a fire hose!  Thank you to my brother in law who had the Spartan chick hose us repeatedly!Image

I may be smiling here, but I was not enjoying this.  My hip bones and ribs were getting torn apart by the rocks.  My forearms were bruised and cut, and I wanted to punch the girl with the hose.  But I digress…Image

I lived and that’s all that matters.ImageImage

Oh wait, it gets better.  This wall was impossible.  The whole thing was pure wet mud and the ropes were just slime.  I was able to grab the first two knots and then luckily a dude I didn’t know just pulled me up and over.  It was insanity!  Image

Yeah, I tried to stay up here and help Cam over the wall, didn’t happen.  I was so coated in mud I was useless.Image

But after the slippery wall it was just jumping over fire and then DONE!!Image

There’s the FINISH!Image

It was a mad house so our family didn’t get a muddy finish pic.  We hustled straight to the hose off area to get clean.  More on that later this week.  I have a thing or two to say about that!

We got our Beast medals and shirts and were so excited to have completed this race.ImageI honestly loved the whole Spartan experience.  I had a great time throughout the whole thing and would do it again tomorrow.  It was so different and challenging and gave me motivation to push my fitness to the next level.  I’m going to keep on training and making improvements and you’ll be sure to see me doing this race again in the future!

Have a fantastic Monday everyone!!  If you have any Spartan questions feel free to ask!

 

Tomorrow is the Spartan Beast!!

Happy Friday Everyone!  

So I am pretty much having a total spaz right now.  Tomorrow is the Spartan Beast!!  I’m so excited and just now I’m getting a bit anxious.  Not nervous, but anxious.  Like I just want to run out the door right now and start the race!  Maybe that is due to me tapering my workouts this week and I have a bunch of built up angst in there:).  Who knows.  But I can’t wait until tomorrow!  

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I wish I had time to fill you in on my current fitness, diet, training, and how I feel overall going into this challenge.  But I have a giant list the isn’t going to check itself off, so my babble with have to wait for the race recap.  Wish me luck!  I’ll be back on Monday with a full report of how it went!  

 

Color Me Rad 5k

This past Saturday I was lucky enough to participate in the Color Me Rad 5k as an affiliate!  I was so excited!  I entered Miss Valie and even my awesome sister in laws joined in on the fun with us.  This was my first “color” run so I didn’t really know what to expect.  The website said to wear white and show up for some fun and the is exactly what we did.

Here we are all nice and clean before the race:).  I’m so glad they gave everyone sunglasses!  It kept the color out of the eyes.

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The start and finish line were right next to each other which made it super easy for any spectators.  However I didn’t see many spectators.  This is such a family friendly race that I think everyone just does it instead of sitting on the sidelines.  Kids 7 and under get to participate for free!

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There are color bomb stations throughout the course.  The color of the arches is the color that you will be splattered with:)Image

The color is just colored cornstarch so if you get it in your mouth, no worries.  Granted, it doesn’t taste fantastic, but it won’t kill ya.

Valerie’s cousins participated in the 5k as well and they all had a fantastic time!  I didn’t hear complaining about the distance, time, effort or anything!  They were just having a ball and getting exercise without even thinking about it.

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When we made it to the finish line we were pretty colorful.  But of course they give you a packet of color as you cross the finish line to make and even bigger mess of yourself.

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I don’t think there could have been a better way to start off the first official day of SUMMER!!

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Selfie Time :)

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And HAHAHAHA, a random photo bomber! Hey, he’s pretty cute ;)

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Um, I would definitely recommend brining old towels or sheets to put in your car when you are done.  Also baby wipes for your hands and soles of your shoes.  I wipes my hands off the best I could, but my steering wheel was still blue by the time we got home.

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Sign of a good time…rainbow hair.

ImageI’d highly recommend this race for families, beginning runners, and those who just want to have a good time.  This is not a serious race and it’s not timed, so if you are looking to compete this is not the place.  But if you want to try something new and colorful with a party atmosphere, you’ve found it.  I’ll definitely be entering again next year:)

 

Recipe: Butterscotch Bacon Popcorn!

Even though I’m trying to eat all clean and stuff, I still have to share this quick and fabulous recipe I tossed together for Father’s Day. I had seen caramel bacon popcorn recipes on Pinterest and wanted to try something just a little different. I had butterscotch chips sitting on my shelf just waiting for the perfect recipe to come along. So I thought I’d give them a go with bacon popcorn.

The result…sweet, salty, and totally addictive!  It’s a perfect party or gift treat. And so easy!

Ingredients:

12 cups air popped popcorn

12 ounce bag butterscotch chips

12 ounce package bacon

2 tsp. salt

optional: peanuts or any salted nut

Directions:

Cook bacon until nice and crispy. Cook anyway you like, oven, stovetop, microwave, it all works. Place on paper towels and blot to get rid of all excess grease. Chop the bacon up into small bits and set aside. Try not to eat all the bacon before popping the popcorn:)

Pop your popcorn and pick out all the unpopped kernels. Melt butterscotch chips in the microwave by heating them in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval. Once melted, pour over popcorn and toss until coated.

Spread popcorn out on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt and bacon. Lightly toss. I didn’t add nuts, but I wish I had! So if you have nuts, add them now.

Let the popcorn sit for about an hour until the butterscotch hardens then dig in! But if you are anything like me you will have to eat a little and then take it somewhere to share, otherwise this could be a dangerous treat to have just lying around:)ImageGive this one a try, seriously, it’s delicious.

 

Back at it with Meal Prep!

Ok, so I was a major roll with fitness and nutrition for a couple of months.  Everything was great, results were amazing, and then ya know, I tripped, fell in the mud, and am still trying to wash the dirt out of my hair:).  Oooo that was a good analogy, haha!  

This weekend I really decided that I needed to quit doing this! (See pic below)

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And start back up doing this! (again, see pic below:))

Treats are my weakness!  It takes me a good 5-7 days to really detox from them.  So if I am crazy for no reason this week, you will know it is due to treat withdrawal.

I finally got a whole week of meal prep done!  My families meals are the ones on the top and middle, mine are on the bottom.  I don’t always meal prep for everyone, but it’s a busy week and I needed the extra leg up.  

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I am also playing around with myfitnesspal for the first time.  I usually track my food for the first half of the day and then get busy and don’t finish.  So I’m hoping that the novelty will of myfitnesspal will last long enough for me to get on a roll again:)  My Spartan Race is in 12 days!  Gotta get my diet cleaned up for optimal performance!  

Wish me luck:)  

Hope your Tuesday is fantastic!!

Easy Homemade Ice Cream via Ziplocks

Hey there!  So yesterday we chatted about healthy vs unhealthy summer treats.  Well one of my all time favorite warm weather treat is of course ice cream.  I mean come on, if you don’t like ice cream, we can’t be friends:)

I had seen recipes on Pinterest and Facebook for making no cook ice cream that you just shake in plastic bag and really wanted to try it out.  My niece and nephew came over the other day to play so it was a perfect opportunity to give it a shot.

I just winged the recipe based off of what I saw online.

I used

  • 3 cups of whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of sugar

You just stir the ingredients together until the sugar is dissolved and then start dividing into snack sized baggies.  I put about a half cup of the cream mixture into each bag.  Make sure to squeeze out the excess air before sealing.

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Next I took a sandwich sized bag and placed the snack sized bag inside.  Again, squeezing out any excess air before sealing.  Doubling the bags keeps the salt we will be using from contaminating the ice cream.

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Now you get a gallon sized bag and put some ice in the bottom with a couple tablespoons of salt.  I used regular old table salt, but you can use the corse stuff.  Place a layer of ice cream bags on top of the ice.  Repeat, layer of ice, salt, and bags until all of your ice cream is  in the big bag.

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I decided to wrap our ice cream up with a rag towel and tie it with rope to keep our hands from freezing and just in case we sprung a leak.

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Then I sent the kiddos outside and had them toss our cute little package around for about 10 minutes.

Oh, and no they are not uber sweaty, they had just been spraying each other with the hose before this:)

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Time to see if this actually worked…IT DID!!  Woohoo, soft serve ice cream made in no time!

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The kids were quite excited about this little experiment and thoroughly enjoyed this yummy treat.  I had a taste and it was quite delicious.  I mean come on, cream, vanilla, and sugar?  It was totally rich, simple, and perfect on a hot summer day.

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I froze the leftover bags and I thought they were even better that way.

Give this little recipe a try for a quick and easy treat!

 

 

 

 

Summer Food: Healthy vs NOT!

Summer is by far my favorite season.  I love everything about it, even the scorching heat.  One of the fabulous things that comes with summer is the seasonal food items.  I do a garden every year and look forward to all the fresh veggies. But all those beautiful fresh items always have some unhealthy competition that just taunt me!

So the goal for the summer is to make more healthy choices than unhealthy.  I introduced Miss Valie to the wonderful world of smoothie joints.  I absolutely love that they now have 100% fruit smoothies as well as “green” smoothies on the menu.  My favorite is the Lean Green from Roxberry, only 170 calories in the giant 32 oz, LOVE.

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Now that it’s getting warmer I’m sticking to mostly salads in my meal prepping.  Quick, easy, and no cooking.  I’m not going to lie though, Valerie’s pb&j and pasta based lunches are tempting the carboholic in me.

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My families favorite warm weather treat has to be shaved ice.  We have been going to these little shacks since before Val could walk.  I try to get the stevia sweetened ones most of the time, but this girl has a hard time resisting the cream topping.  Oh and a little coconut on top too:)

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Of course the fam doesn’t do sugar free.  OMG I tasted theirs after eating mine…shame!  Real sugar is my drug of choice!  My sugar free version was great before I tasted the good stuff.  Note to self: quit tasting everything!

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I have found some good substitutes for my usually sugary fare.  My new favorite yogurt is the Light and Fit Greek.  Only 80 calories, SCORE!  I top them with fruit and it almost beats my ice cream cravings…almost.

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UGH, the struggle of having my cutie home for the summer!!  “Mommy let’s play Goofy’s Candy Company!”  Who says no to that?  Apparently not me.  Do you see these insane chocolate covered rice crispy treats and the crazy amount of candy covering them??!  Yeah, these are going in the freezer and will have to be consumed by my family when I am not in the house.

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As I write this little post about my inner summer food struggle I am eating fat free cottage cheese and an apple.  But I am dreaming about this amazing place that just moved to Northern Utah called Swig.  Um yeah, you must go, you just must.  They have all kinds of tasty beverages, but I went for the shaved ice of course.  Oh, and a sugar cookie:).  Sometimes, it’s just worth it.

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Alrighty, now that we have hashed that out.

What are your strategies for staying on the healthy train this summer??

Please share, I am need suggestions! :)