Tag Archives: pinterest

Blogging Nonsense & A New Ice Cream Discovery

The other day, I opened Pinterest to my home page, and this is what was staring back at me:

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THE BUSINESS OF BLOGGING 

Over the past year, I’ve looked for a couple of blogging tips so I can make my sidebar look nicer and improve a few other aesthetics. Now Pinterest has overloaded my home page with blogging tips…how to make money blogging, how to attract more twitter followers, how to use the endless number of plugins available, how to write for your audience, how to get more instagram followers…blah blah blah blah blah.

When I began blogging just under a year ago, I simply wanted a space to write down my thoughts about food, fitness, body image, and other things I felt like jibber-jabbering about. (I actually really enjoy writing, no matter what the topic may be.)

Since then, I’ve learned there’s a massive, ever-evolving blogging world (actually, multiple worlds). You can make money from ads, sponsored posts, affiliate links, sponsored tweets & pins, or selling some of your own products.  There are several major blog conferences throughout the year (that costs hundreds of dollars!) to teach you how to keep readers and make money.

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For a brief moment, I thought this blogging business trend might be a nice way to go. Then I quickly learned that those who actually profit from blogging have a significant amount of time on their hands! Post after post is written about having a set time each day for writing, social networking, reaching out to sponsors, editing, reading other’s blog posts, and revamping old portions of your site. Who has time for that? I’m currently in grad school and have a full time teaching job, so the writing and social networking blocks of time simply don’t exist.

At first, I was upset that I wasn’t as good as other bloggers. My posts aren’t as consistent and my pictures aren’t as nice. I thought about maybe abandoning the blog and going back to just being a teacher and not having the additional time commitment of blogging. But then I remembered…

I LOVE writing. I enjoy working out. I enjoy making delicious food. Why not write about what I love? Twitter, instagram, and sponsors are entirely secondary. I really appreciate my readers (you are a small, but appreciated, population!), and I enjoy the blogging basics. So, I’ll pick up on a few tips here and there, but for the most part I’m just going to keep blogging in the way it works for me :)

HALO TOP ICE CREAM

On an entirely different note, I found a wonderful new ice cream at Whole Foods! Halo Top, a new brand I discovered in a Whole Foods in Atlanta, makes diet ice creams. Generally, I don’t think diet dessert is a healthy choice. It’s usually full of sugar and strange ingredients I can’t pronounce or even pretend to know what they really are. This brand, however, has a pretty short list of organic, recognizable ingredients. And while it doesn’t quite fall under the Paleo/Primal umbrella, I believe it’s the perfect solution when you’re looking for a natural sweet treat.

Today, I tried the lemon cake flavor. I figured that lemon was hard to mess up, and there couldn’t be anything too weird about it. (I was worried about this diet ice cream brand because I’ve had NO luck with that funky Arctic Zero diet brand. That stuff has a weird and off-putting consistency.) The verdict?

100% delicious! It tasted like a lemon cake. It wasn’t too sweet, it had a good consistency, and even my Ben & Jerry’s loving husband said he enjoyed it :) I can’t wait to try their other flavors! Here are a few quick facts on this flavor:

Yep…240 calories per pint! Of course, that’s no excuse to finish off a pint of ice cream. But it does mean that a typical bowl of ice cream won’t set you back like it usually would. Enjoy every bite of it!

Questions:

  • Fellow bloggers, what do you wish you had more time for?
  • Are there any other Whole Foods gems I’m currently missing out on???

Useful Health Apps: Food & Fitness on the Go!

I was really frustrated after my short run yesterday. My ankle has been bothering me (old stress fracture injury), so I took off a week and a half from running. My ankle didn’t really hurt…I just felt something in the same vicinity as the fracture. However, after taking a week and a half off from running, I felt a sharp pain while walking up the steps after my run. ::Sigh:: I guess that means I need to take off more time.

I feel a little confined because I have no gym membership here and there is no exercise equipment in the house, so I’m stuck with walking and body weight exercises. And even though those are perfectly legitimate forms of working out, I get BORED easily. And I’m bored. You know I’ll update when I discover something more enticing than yet another walk :)

Today  I wanted to share a few apps I use that help keep me on track. I don’t use any of them religiously except for one very simple workout calendar. But I’ll get to that! First, let’s talk food :)

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Useful Health Apps: Food!

 

 Big Oven is a fantastic recipe organizer, menu planner, and grocery list app. When I find a recipe I like, I can quickly add it to this app and have access to it just about anywhere. You can organize recipes in folders you create, and you can drag them into a weekly (or monthly, if you’re ambitious) menu planning calendar. You can also add a recipe to your grocery list, and it’ll sort everything for you into a list along with any other recipes you’re making that week.

     

My Fitness Pal is incredibly helpful when you want to know the nutrition facts behind your daily eating habits. You can input common foods and even your own recipe’s ingredients to find out what you’re consuming. You can also track calories burned during cardio exercise. (For some reason, it doesn’t track calories burned during strength work or lifting exercises.)

If you are completely unaware of the amount of calories you consume every day, then it might be a good idea to track for a week just to get a good idea. Be careful though…it can be a slippery slope. Some people get too excited when they see a calorie deficit. You can’t live your life in a calorie deficit, so I suggest just using it to get a general idea of your intake.

I use it to track carb intake every once in a while. I used to count calories obsessively, and it turns out I was really just hungry most of the time. Eating more fat/protein and fewer carbs is the way to go :) If you’re interested, click here to watch a video about why sugar (not fat) is our real problem. Ok…backing off from my soapbox. The point is that My Fitness Pal is a good website and app to check in with yourself every once in a while.

Useful Health Apps: Fitness!

I use a very simple workout calendar app to track my workouts. There is really nothing special about this app. I imagine most people could use Google or Yahoo calendar in the same way. There’s something about the picture of the running man on the front of the app that reminds me to track my workouts more often!

It’s pretty straight forward. I can add whatever exercises I want and check them off when I’m done. When I open the calendar, I can see dots for planned workouts and check marks for completed workouts.

Every day I can check off my completed exercises.
Today I went for a walk before completing an
upper body workout, so now I can check them off!
 

The Nike Training Club App is a fantastic app for keeping things interesting! They have many different categories (“Get Strong,” “Get Toned,” and “Get Lean,” just to name a few) and varied levels based on your abilities. There are also video explanations for any exercises with which you’re unfamiliar. And you can play your music through the app. It’s wonderful.

Another Nike app, Nike Plus Running App, is a convenient way to keep track of your training runs. Whether you run short or long distances, this app will keep you updated on your pace and total miles completed each week. It’s fun to race against yourself, too! At the end of a run, you’ll get a friendly message from and Olympic runner saying something along the lines of, “That was your best 5K time yet! Keep it up!” Sure, it’s a tad cheesy, but it can be quite motivating. :)

 Useful Health Apps: Catch Alls!

 I use Big Oven and Workout Calendar on a daily basis. There are also two “catch all” apps I consult on a daily basis.

  Reddit is an enormous, quirky community where you can find information on anything from the paleo lifestyle to teacher support to veganism to gaming to world news. It’s. Huge. Do yourself a favor and read through some of their forums. I follow fitmeals, paleo, teaching, science, fitness, world news, running, history, flexibility, and many others. If you want to read specific forums, I suggest signing up with a username. (Pause and think about your weirdest quirk. There’s definitely a reddit forum for it!)

 And last but not least…Pinterest! I’m sure many of you are already huge fans of the site. I use it mostly for looking up recipes, workouts, and home improvement ideas. If you’re vegetarian, vegan, paleo, or everything in between, there’s a recipe for you. And of course, there are also countless workout ideas…but read them carefully and modify them as you see fit!

Question of the day: What apps do you love???? Any suggestions?