Friday, October 31, 2014

LIFESTYLE: POPTART GAINS?


What's your favorite poptart flavor? Mine is any berry flavor or fudge sundae. Voters on sodahead.com agree with me. What if I told you that you could use these sugary, flaky pastries to help you gain muscle and burn fat? You'd tell me I was crazy and to go eat a banana. However, before you start heckling me, let me tell you this is an actual phenomenon in the exercise nutrition field. I'm here to give you the low-down on this sweet myth.



BMH Fitness used one of my favorite food philosophies as a health nut/food lover when they stated, "Foods all contain calories and of those calories are macros: Proteins, Fats, and Carbs," in their article about this topic. Basically, don't freak out about eating one poptart, freak out about eating five poptarts. "The body cannot distinguish what it’s digesting, whether it is a chicken sandwich from a fast food joint, or baked chicken, spinach, and a handful of almonds – both meals can render the same amount of macros if measure appropriately."

I'm not saying you should go make poptarts your new go-to snack. Poptarts can be instrumental for recovering from an intense workout. After an 8-mile run, or an intense Zumba class, your body has probably used up a lot of glycogen (carbohydrate) stores in your body, and may have even used fat or protein as a fuel source. After exercise, your body spikes insulin and starts the protein synthesis cycle. Anything that can help your body build and recover that protein post-workout can ensure that when you work out next, you'll have as much or more energy to use when you worked out last. Poptarts, due to their amount of simple sugars, can help with insulin production and therefore can boost the rate of recovery.


I don't advise eating a poptarts after every workout, however if a workout really kills you, you may want to try one in order to feel less sore tomorrow. People always confuse "muscle building" and recovering. Protein help synthesize tissue (muscle), so that post-workout protein shake helps your body recover those amino acids, the true way you build muscle is by increasing your amount of resistance.

I have been eating poptarts here and there - this blog post isn't all just secondary research. I used poptarts to recover from hard cross country workouts on 4 occasions - 9/5, 9/11, 9/28, and today. Those dates in September I didn't feel sore all the next day, and I was ready for my workout the next day. Today, I really hope my poptarts helps me after a hard hill repeat workout at race pace, with a long warm up and cool down. Cross country probs, right? 


TELL ME -  what's your "super secret" gym/gain food?



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Saturday, October 25, 2014

REVIEW: iOs 8.0.2

Apple is always trying to make our iPhone experience more fluid and accessible. The new iOs 8.0.2. boasts a more organized camera roll, contact profile, texting, and more. It's the little things that really make this software update worthwhile. 

Here's some new, exciting features:
  1. Smart Albums that organize photos for you
  2. Health Calorie Tracker
  3. App Sharing
  4. Fluid Design
  5. Quicktype
  6. Location Sharing



Here are my personal favorite new features of iOS 8.0.2.



Evert get lost at an event, park, or mall? Ever meet up with your friend at a new location and not know exactly where? You can send your location via iMessage. 


Sending pictures at the touch of a button makes communicating and sending pictures way easier. You can still send pictures the old fashion way, however this makes it snappy. (Get it?) You pick your picture and send it all on the same screen.


This is one of my favorite features of the new iOS. Not only can you select what app to close to go to when you hold down your home button, but you can also access recent texts. I don't have a picture of this - but you can also reply to texts when you get them on the notification screen.


The button on the slide-up screen buttons look different now!

Siri now has Shazam built in now so you never have to guess what that song is again.


Now every contact has a profile - you can DND someone, see what pictures you've sent someone, share your location, text, call, or FaceTime them. 


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Friday, October 17, 2014

STYLE: TRANSITIONING INTO FALL

Fall means different things for different regions. Here in New England, it's usually a mix of balmy, freezing, and crisp temperatures with shortening days, pumpkins, apples, and the most breathtaking foliage in the US.

Salem-Marblehead Harbor from the lead mills bike path.

Lately, however, the weather has been more indecisive than me at a buffet. Last week was pretty much all cold days, this week it's going to look like summer. What does this weather call for outfit wise? Tights, cardigans, boots, dresses, scarves, aka layering pieces.

Dress - TopShop
Cardigan - Forever 21
Socks - Forever 21
Tights - Forever 21
Boots - Doc Martens



While picking out this outfit, I felt like focusing on three things: layering, fall neutrals, and comfort.
I think I succeeded on all my goals, right?

Don't mind the face... wind a sun...

The comfort of the cardigan was heavenly, and it added a texture difference in the outfit between the smooth dress and the course-looking cardigan.


These colors may be different however I think they all work together,



TELL ME: What are your favorite pieces to layer with in the fall?


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Monday, October 13, 2014

LIFESTYLE: HOW MUCH CARBS DO I REALLY NEED? #MacrobreakdownMania

It's time for the second of three installments of the #MacrobreakdownMania, where I, the nerdy Nikki tell you the bitty gritty of exactly how much of the three macronutrients (carbs, lipids, and protein) that we really need to survive. However, carbohydrates (CHO) seem to have the worst rep. Little do most people know, they're actually the most vital macronutrient out there. Where would we be without carbs? We'd be energy-less, tissue-less, and motion-less.



Carbohydrates consists of CHO (carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen). It's functions are to make energy to preserve tissue, and to fuel your central nervous system. So, next time you're feeling sad about eating that last bread stick, think of it this way: would you feel sad for not fueling your metabolism or your central nervous system?

Carbs give us energy during workouts/activity by producing ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which kickstarts your metabolism to give off energy essentially. Not only do we need carbohydrates to fuel our workouts, but to replace the tissue lost in our workout if our workout was high duration or intensity.


image credit

Part of the reason that carbs get a bad rep is because the composition does break down into sugars. Simple carbohydrates inclue monosaccarides and disaccarides (single and two sugars). These easily break down, so if you don't use them ASAP they will store as glycogen in either muscle or tissue. These are found in processed foods, table sugars, fruits, and milk products
However, polysaccarides are complex carbs, which don't break down as easily. They include starch and fiber. They're found in vegetables, potatoes, rice, and whole wheat pasta and bread.

I can't tell each and every one of my readers exactly how much carbs you need (unless you e-mail me), however I can say that the recommended daily value for carbs is 45-65% of your calories. That's a big percent, more than the other two macronutrients combined. So, long story short, don't sweat it! Unless we're talking about exercise, then in that case, yes, sweat it. Happy carbo-loading, lovelies!


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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

STYLE: MY HERCAMPUS FASHION WEEK EXPERIENCE

Lights, camera, runway! With this Friday and Saturday came the long-awaited (since August) HerCampus blogger network College Fashion Week. The event for us models was two days: rehearsal and a Bare Minerals pre-party at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree, MA, and the actual event on Saturday night on October 4th at The Estate in Boston. 


I wasn't aware of the Friday rehearsal before last week started, however I couldn't pass up free cupcakes, mocktails, and makeovers (who could?) When the event was starting at the Bare Minerals store, Windsor (co-founer of HCBN), took us out into the mall so we could practice our catwalk. The two main lessons were to smile and be s l o w. There was even an incentive to keep us walking slow for a picture-friendly walk: a free pair of shoes from boohoo.com! 

After the rehearsal, we got to enjoy the party. I was starving, so the pink lemonade and sprite was delicious as well as the mini cupcakes. I got my makeup done at the store as I learned some tips and tricks along the way. I think my favorite part of the night was seeing my roommate, Amanda, get her makeup done. She never wears any (nothing wrong with that) but she looked fabulous! My second favorite part of the night was meeting and networking with other girls and bloggers my age that are also obsessed with HCBN!

The next step was Saturday. I took my uber car to the Estate for 3:30. It was cold and rainy outside, however spirits were high backstage. When I got backstage, all of the looks carefully curated by the ladies at boohoo.com were hung up on racks as well as fun accessories! There were three "scenes" we would be modeling based on trends of the fall season: Imperial, Brooklyn Princess, and Woodlander. I was a "Brooklyn Princess", so my pink pleather skirt, white shirt, grey jersey jacket and black sandals had so much sass, I couldn't even. Some girls has two looks, some had one, I was the latter.

© Alyssa Greenberg

This was the application process for our "Brooklyn Princess" crowns. Half of our head was braided tightly, gel was applied, then blow-dried, then gold or rose-gold foil was painted on the braid. I never wanted to wash mine out! The amazing stylists at Tresemme really did a wonder with this look.

© Alyssa Greenberg

I didn't get to wear these shoes - but I wish I did! Rachel from Tufts strutted these down the runway. These shows are the definition of a "Brooklyn Princess" to me.

© Alyssa Greenberg
The Bare Minerals artists followed us to the event on Saturday to do our makeup there as well. I've never had such a light foundation on that worked so well before. The girl who did my makeup works at the Bare Minerals at the mall close to my house, small world, right?


This is my finished hair and makeup look. I'm so obsessed I may have to hire out Tresemme and Bare Minerals to be my own glam squad.

The night started with makeovers by Bare Minerals, headshots at the Tresemme headshot center, shopping at the Boohoo style squad, drinks, music, and mingling. Of course, us models were all too busy with hair, makeup, eaitng Luna bars, and freaking out to do any of that. The actual fashion show started at 8. Not only was there entertainment from us models, but there was also performances from BC Irish Step Dancers, BU Acapella group "Dear Abbeys", and the BU Jalwa dance team.

© Alyssa Greenberg

Talk about college pride!

© Alyssa Greenberg

This is my favorite picture of me on the runway. At first I was excited and not nervous at all. I had my choreography down pat. When I saw the lights hit me on the runway I just had to take it all in. Step, pose, click. I loved every second of it: posing, smiling, playing with my jacket. When I got off stage my legs were still shaking until I finished the scene two finale. 

It was such a fun experience! I'd like to thank everyone from Her Campus, Tresemme, Bare Minerals, and boohoo.com. I'd also like to thank professional fashion photographer Alyssa Greenberg for taking fabulous pictures of us all night. I never wanted to leave. Can't wait to do it next year, and then eventually intern at HerCampus so every day can be that exciting!


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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Monthly Link-Up: OCTOBER GOALS



Happy first day of October! It's a special first of the month here in Salem for me, because I'm in... Salem! For all of you who didn't know, I go to school in the heart of Halloween. The historic witch trials occurred here in the 1600s. Ever since that ended, Salem has been associated with all things haunted. All month long  parades, festivals, haunted houses, and more are held. It's a great place to be for Halloween, of course. What better inspiration for me to accomplish my goals?

September Goals
  • Starting using and utilizing my planner more  - Success! I guess
  •  Be more thorough with things, don't rush -  FAIL... next month...
  • Start off the semester with all A's this month Success! Two of my classes don't have the grades up yet but I know I'm awesome sooo... yeah
  • Run sub-22:50 at theUMass Darmouth race  - Fail! I Got a 24:06
  • Start lifting 40 lbs - FAIL! I haven't done much lifting, just abs...
  • Do free-writes twice a week I forgot this was a goal...
  • Get in 8 hrs a week at work - Success! Literally 8 though
  • Plan out HauteMess and DollarStoreDiva posts for the month of October In progress...
  • Do the Keurig VoxBox post Success
  • Become A-list on the Kim K game (very important) SUCCESSS!!!!!!!!!


October Goals

  • Be more thorough with things - homework, chores, blog posts
  • Lift/ do abs twice a week
  • Keep 8 hours of work up a week
  • Schedule Hautemess and blog posts for November
  • Figure out Christmas gifts for me and others
  • Go to bed earlier
  • Study for at least an hour for every exam
These are things that I definitely want to accomplish this month, but now I have a way to track them! Check out the original post here.


How it works:
The linky goes live on the first Wednesday of each month.
  • Follow all three hosts: My So-Called ChaosA Peek at Karen's World, & Jenee Thompson
  • Write up a post recapping previous goals & setting goals for the next month. The post needs to include the Monthly Goals button, use the code above!
  • Link-up your Monthly Goals post in the linky below!
  • Visit other blogs in the linky to show support!


Link Up Your Goals:

Please link up your Goals post!  The post must include either a link back or the button!
Monthly Goals

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