Catching Up

It’s been about a month since I’ve written on here, but let’s be honest, that was a recipe – that’s not real writing.

I’ve said it before on Facebook more recently, but here as well – I write when I feel compelled. I write when I feel it’s the most beneficial to me. I feel like this is something I always write when I’m coming back after a hiatus of not writing as well. But sometimes I need the reminder of why I blog or why I don’t, and I think you do to.

This year has been all over the place. I think it started with adventure and a new high. A new direction, a path that I was excited to take and discover. I felt that I was going to learn more about myself and the biological world that I had barely scratched the surface of. I’m sure some of you sat there and thought, well damn her life’s a mess – I’m pretty sure I said that a few times from my living room floor.

Academically, I have pushed myself well out of my comfort zone. This pursuit started so I could better meet my clients needs. I had been asked many times to help with weightloss and meal planning, I had been asked to coach people to help them create a healthier lifestyle, but people were asking based on my experience alone. For me, that’s not enough. I don’t think you can just have an education, and I don’t think you can just have experience. You need to blend the two and be open minded to learn more and learn often.

I’ve taken some classes that are straightforward like anatomy and physiology, and I’ve taken some that are more fluid like nutrition and sociology.

With finals I started to feel slightly burnt out, but that’s normal after writing thousands of words, reading through dozens of studies, studying for hundreds of hours and filling up multiple notebooks. It doesn’t matter if you take one course or five courses – it’s brain power. Along with my classmates, I had been saying I was ready for this semester to be over, but I’m also so excited and ready for next semester.

My courses: medical microbiology, chemistry and epidemiology. Eleven credit hours. All in person. All night classes. There are going to be some long days because I still work three days a week in a doctor’s office. I will also be starting an internship.

I start an internship for my program that should last for at least half the year. It’ll total roughly 300 hours at least. it combines my love of health and education along with serving specific populations – in this case, children. I think if we start the conversation while their young and the parents are involved, then positive habits can be created and in a fun way that doesn’t make them seem so tedious and boring.

On the more personal end of things- yoga, lifting and running have helped me get back to feeling like I did before with my activity. I’m feeling good about the ratio of ass sitting to mobility. I’m physically feeling more comfortable in my skin and have been working on getting my strength back up. I know the upcoming semester will be a little more unique as far as scheduling because I will have some long days shifting from work to internship to class to coaching, but that’s part of goal development. At different times, some routines make sense and others don’t. I’ve gotten better at not fighting it, and going more with the flow.

Since October 1st, I’ve run 76.62 miles. Nothing ground breaking, but a lot more than I had been running earlier this year because it wasn’t necessary to my training and I didn’t feel it in my heart to do so.

Eating has been normal. Indulging in a lot of cocoa and some treats that are only available at this time of the year. However, I’m creating a balance. I’m making the decision to indulge versus mindlessly doing so or feeling guilty about it. Stress hasn’t felt out of control, aside from the standard academic stress – I’ve been meditating a little less than I was before, but I also don’t think that’s a bad thing. My meditations have also changed, which wasn’t something I was expecting.

It’s been three months since I’ve been off birth control and hormonally, I’ve noticed a lot of change. My anxiety is different, reactions to similar situations are a little different – I feel less wiped out and that has been the biggest change.

Sitting down writing this out is weird because in my head I think I want to share what my next steps are, but then part of me goes who cares?  That’s the honest truth. I’ve always had both thoughts in my head, but the one always overpowered the other. I think about what is different, and I think I finally realized the answer.

I want to help people and that’s not a bad thing, but it also means that I forgot I can help someone indirectly by sharing my perspective.

On Facebook, I’ve started to share more about my interest in public health, my investment in organizations on campus, what I’m writing and talking about in class, but I’m going to start doing that here too. Writing has never been something I felt like I had to do, it wasn’t something that was an outlet for me. After talking with friends and doing a few too many videos on Facebook, I’ve been missing it.

My goal is to be more active in writing because I do enjoy it, but I need to protect it so that it doesn’t feel like an emotional burden. Some part of me also believes that there are people who click on my posts to actually read them, not just skim them to see if I’ve fallen on my face. So there’s that – the indirect way to help someone else.

I’m not putting a schedule out there for writing, but my promise to myself is that I’m going to sit down more often. I have a few recipes in my drafts folder I’ve been meaning to finish as well. So that’s on my to do list during break.

I have a list of things I want to do over the break before the spring semester starts. There’s no penalty if things don’t get crossed off, but I have a wish list, but that’s for another conversation.

❤ Cristina



6 miles, a perfect day off and rocky week to follow

For those of you who don’t live in Massachusetts, Monday was Patriot’s Day, also known as Marathon Monday. It’s a state holiday and since I didn’t have to work either job, I took myself hiking. For those of you who don’t believe me that this is a thing, here’s a wiki-link for it. It’s to celebrate the battles of Lexington and Concord because I’m sure middle schoolers are very concerned with the American Revolution and its’ battles giving them days off.

Here are some pictures from my hike.







With my little map in hand and heart rate monitor on, I hiked 6 miles of trails around Well State Park, which is about 25-35 minutes from me depending on traffic. It had great, clear trails and it’s one I would definitely do again, but only after I cross a bunch of others off my list. Needless to say after my hike and fruit bar snack, my Monday was pretty great.

The rest of the week not so much.

The work week was short and that was great, but mentally I don’t think I was into my overall health to feel driven. I managed one day at the gym this week (Friday). I accomplished almost 30 minutes of free weights on my lunch hour. Aside from this my eating was all over the place and I was the face of stress eating. From pizza to sushi and french fries. This was definitely a low week in my better lifestyle that I have had the past two years. I can’t even pin point what made me feel so low. But if I wasn’t stuffing my face then I was forgetting to eat, and only a crazy person forgets to eat.

By Friday night, I had a gala to attend and it was a self serve buffet… let’s not talk about it.

The upside to the weekend was I chopped off some of my hair and got layers. This is a big deal for me. While it may not look like anything is missing, the shortest layers is shoulder length, she had to cut off 7″ for that. I would say this was a ballsy move and kind of what I needed to get me moving for this week.


I acknowledge my failure and this week is going to be different. I’ve pre-registered for Bikram tomorrow. I’m in serious need of finding my center and sweating this funk out. I was going to pre-register for that HIIT like small group training class for Wednesday, but it’s completely booked. There’s one at 7:30 on Friday morning, I need to check with work and see if I can come in late instead of taking my lunch hour because I would really like to end the week on a powerful note like that.

In between these days I want to try to get two runs in, no specific distance yet, hopefully around 2 miles a piece.

For the “in my belly” segment of this post, I’ve made chicken and steak for the next two days at least. I bought produce this weekend including salad fixings, mangos, bananas, squash, onions, sweet potatoes, oranges and lemons. I need to get back on track and stay on track. Summer is around the corner and more importantly I don’t want to reverse my hard work.

Here’s to kicking ass and taking names this week. We stumble and fall and pick ourselves right back up. This is just a bump in the road.

❤ Cristina



Mental health clearly affects physical health

I am so glad the weekend is almost here! This week has been one of those weeks and I have a nice run planned for Saturday with a girl I met named Sarah. We’re going to do the loop I ran last weekend at the park. We’re shooting for 4 loops to make 3 miles. Fingers crossed.

So the past few weeks I’ve been having a facial tick that has been pretty annoying, but nothing I would normally care too much about; except that it’s been almost a month now. My diet hasn’t been fantastic, but it’s not awful; my sleep hasn’t been any more or less than normal and I don’t think I’m more or less stressed than usual. I really have no idea what could be causing it. My doctor ordered an MRI for me yesterday and results came back today that every thing is normal.

So before I get into my “ask the blogosphere” here are some pictures post MRI. I’m slightly claustrophobic and even though it was an open machine I was a little panicky so I needed a little pick me up to get myself in check.



Steak Fajitas Quesadilla with extra guacamole and Sangria from On the Border


Springfield Museums: Dr Seuss Sculpture Garden “The Lorax”


“The Wrestlers” by Laugier


The Grinch and Max





Oh the Places You’ll Go!


“Rehearsal before the ballet” by Degas


“Merry Go Round” by Reginald Marsh


Lunch and museums were the perfect thing! I had to pull myself from the French Impressionists so I could see the rest of the museum. I fell in love with them all over again.

Now to my “ask the blogosphere” portion. If my facial twitch is from underlying stress what can I do about it.

For a while, I meditated and I liked it a lot, but it definitely made me sleepy; it was something I tried to save for before bedtime. I have been running and working out on lunch when I can’t work out at night; which helps break up my work day and makes me more productive for the latter half of the day.

My doctor is suggesting that I try to drink more water, try to get more sleep and keep up my workouts. What do you do when you’re stressed? What workouts help you relax?

Until I figure out something, I have a lunch run planned for tomorrow before heading into a long work day at both jobs, followed by a good night’s sleep.

I can’t wait to read some of your suggestions and I can’t wait for the weekend.

❤ Cristina