Clara Barkton

I’m sick.


I hate being sick, and I really hate missing work because I’m sick. Does anyone else suffer from serious guilt when they have to call in sick to work? What is it about us that makes us want to refuse to take a break, even when our bodies desperately need it?

Anyways, last night I started feeling gross, and today I’m pumping the OJ and the DayQuil hard.


When I was younger, I used to secretly love sick days. A chance to stay home from school and watch TV all day? Awesome!

Now, I hate being sick. Unfortunately, I’ve struggled with being sick this year. Towards the beginning of the year, I fought chronic digestive problems, and I’ve caught my fair share of bugs since then. It’s annoying.

I know that I did a lot of damage to my body during my active ED, but it’s frustrating being patient and waiting for my immune system to fully heal itself. It seems like I catch every single bug that passes through work.


If only life imitated Stinson.

On the upside, I can take this as a lesson in why I want my body to heal. It’s definitely an incentive to keep pushing to live a healthier life.

But until then, at least I have my own Clara Barkton to nurse me back to health.


Since we’re talking about my health today, I want to make an announcement that’s hopefully going to affect my health and my wallet in positive ways.

I’m going to give vegetarianism a whirl. Working with animals, I’ve started thinking a lot about the factory farming industry in America. If I know that it’s inhumane to eat Roxy or Callie, why should I feel like it’s okay to eat Bessie the cow?

I’m not going to get on a soapbox and preach to those who eat meat…I don’t know if vegetarianism is going to be right for me. But I do know that I want to eat as healthy as I can to help my body heal itself. I don’t believe that factory farmed meat is healthy for me, and it’s pretty tough for me to afford humanely farmed meats.

It seems like the logical solution here is to, you know, not eat meat.

I’m going to give myself the full month of November without eating meat and then reevaluate how I feel (meatless Thanksgiving…I know!). Until then, there will be lots of updates with recipes, factoids I pick up along the way, and posts on how I’m feeling.

Also, I’m ashamed to say, half marathon training got a little derailed, but I’m hoping to be healed enough this weekend to try a 10 mile run.

Hopefully my little doggie nurse will make me feel all better.

photo (1)

What a headshot.

How do you react to getting sick? Do you enjoy a day off, or do you feel guilty for missing work?

Just for fun

A fly on the wall

Eep! This is the longest I’ve gone without blogging since I started Adventures in Living Lean. And I’ve missed it. I was dealing with some family things this past week, and honestly, blogging wasn’t a priority.

It is really cool that I’m at a point in my life again where I can say “family comes first” and mean it. Because when I was 17-22…it didn’t. Social life definitely came first. And these days, it just doesn’t.

However, I did sneak in some social life time last night to see my friend PJ play with his friend’s band.


There’s the man of the night with me and my roomies. Also, if you watch Walking Dead, he was a walker on the first episode of season 3. Yeah, he’s pretty cool. I guess.

I tell you, I have talented friends. Now, can they help a girl out?

It’s strange to go back into a bar after staying out of them for a while. I spent quite a few years of my life being a barfly, and eventually, it stopped being fun. I didn’t want to go out, but I felt like I had to in order to have a fulfilling social life. Today, I go to a bar when I have a reason to (even if the reason is that I just want to shoot pool with some buddies), instead of feeling like I’ll be left out if I don’t show up that night.

There’s been an interesting shift in planning my social calendar. Instead of saying “which bar do you want to go to?” we say “well, we could watch movies, play board games, or go hear a band.” Planning my life doesn’t revolve around the bar.

Frankly, most of the time, I’d rather catch up on my Tivo and go to bed. I keep telling you guys, as much as I pretend I’m cool, I’m really lame. I guess that’s where acting like an adult comes in.


Nah, I’m not depressed. I actually like being an adult. Most of the time.

Of course, it saves me from looking like I could be Tara Reid’s long-lost sister.


It’s so much more fun to watch the girls who act like this instead of worrying about being the girl who could act like this.

Not to mention, I save tons of money not drinking. Or buying Gatorade and Advil for the hangover. Or trying to blot out the moral hangover. Let’s just agree, hangovers of all forms suck.

As you’ve gotten older, how has your social life changed?

What do you and your friends normally do for fun?

Budget shopping · Just for fun

My favorite things: legs edition


Clearly, this picture constitutes everything I like to wear on my bottom half. End of blog.

Really, I’ve spent time over the years finding what products I can’t live without, workout or otherwise.

Nike Tempos


I have a rainbow of Nike Tempo running shorts. That picture is probably only half of the Norts (Nike shorts, see what I did there?) that I own. Some are in the laundry, some are at my parents, and some have probably been sacrifices to the closet gods over the years.

I wear them all.the.time. For running, for walking, for weight training, for circuit workouts, for grocery shopping, for laying around the house, for sleeping, etc. If it’s an occasion where I’m not required to look like a semi-decent human being, I’m probably wearing Tempos.

I’ve been on the Tempo track since high school and early college. They’re just so darn comfy. And the length hides my upper thigh chub. In fact, when TJ Maxx had them on sale, I eventually had to ban myself from going. Seriously, I’d walk in for a tank top and walk out with 6 new Norts.

Joe’s Jeans Honey Curvy Boot Cut Jean


Another closet staple since early college, the Honey Boot Cut has been my large-bootied and small-waisted self’s best friend. For eons (okay, puberty to 19), I struggled to find jeans that wouldn’t gap like the Grand Canyon in the back. If they fit my waist, they weren’t going over my hips. If they fit my hips…gap city, trick, gap gap city, trick.

Then Joe’s entered my life. I’ve never had a gap issue with the Honey. I would probably have built a collection worthy of its own closet now, but I couldn’t wear them when I was at heavier weights.

But since Joe is fitting again, our relationship has resumed. The length, the hip-to-waist ratio, the fabric—it’s all spot on. They’re pricey, but I can often find them on sale at Loehmann’s and Nordstrom Rack. Or ask really nicely for them for Christmas.

Spanx Look-at-me Leggings


Spanx. The word itself brings to mind celebrities shimmying into they’re control tops before hitting the red carpet. But since I’m nowhere near a red carpet, I decided to take a more laid-back approach to my muffin-top wrangling. Or, my mom bought me the leggings and I fell in love. Take your pick.

These are perfect under all those slightly-too-short dresses that I bought thinking they wouldn’t shrink in the wash. Spoiler alert: they shrunk. And are now not so decent for wear by themselves. But these leggings fix that. Don’t worry. I’m not running around with my booty out. I’m just a little more modest than wearing mini-mini-mini dresses in public. Or private, for that matter.

Not only do I get a great way to wear dresses that had been eliminated from my wardrobe, but I also get to reap the smoothing benefits of the LAM’s. They just have a way of making little lumps and bumps disappear. It’s a beautiful thing.

That wraps up this episode of My Favorite Things. I know you’re feeling the urge to run out and buy all this stuff right now, just because I said it’s cool and you want to be like me… DO IT. DO IT NOW.

Do you have any brands you swear by?

What is your favorite brand of jeans?

Any pricey items you think are totally 100% worth it?

Healthy living

Taking it back

In my post yesterday, I talked a little bit about how much the UnderArmour What’s Beautiful challenge inspires me.251198_436011746456385_125224122_n

One of my favorite things I’ve seen from the challenge is the concept of “taking it back”. What exactly are they talking about? Under Armour is talking about taking back the concept of the woman athlete from the media. Women who work hard, get sweaty and dirty, and who don’t lie about busting their rumps in the gym.

It got me thinking about the things I’m “taking back” in my life.

I’m taking back my health.

I’m taking back my confidence.

I’m taking back my beauty and my strength.

I’m taking back my self worth.

I’m taking back all the things that ED stole from me for the last decade.

I’ve officially joined the What’s Beautiful challenge, so I’ll be updating with videos on their website (ahhhh! Vlogging…big fear of mine!). Whether or not you want to do a challenge like I do, I want to “challenge” all of my readers to find something beautiful about themselves to celebrate today. See what I did there? Consider yourself challenged.


No matter what we’ve been through, celebrating healthy living and treating our bodies well is a major milestone in any woman’s life. And we don’t celebrate it enough. Whether it’s losing weight, gaining weight, mastering a new yoga pose, setting a PR, or just feeling better, every step we take is a beautiful, thrilling thing.

And we don’t rejoice in it enough. I know I’m bad to beat myself up over little things.


But I have a lot to be proud of. I’m training for a half marathon and running 9 (!) miles tomorrow. I’m reestablishing a regular yoga practice. I have more confidence, and I feel lighter and happier.

That could just be the almond M&M’s talking. After all, chocolate always makes me happier.

Even on days (like today) that I don’t eat as well as I wanted to, or I didn’t work out like I’d planned, I can be grateful for all the things I can do now that I couldn’t when I was consumed with disordered eating. You know, like focusing on my running, and not worrying about what people think of the “fat” chick trying to run. Never mind that I’m always inspired when I see a heavier girl pounding out the miles…no one would ever think the same about me.

Because I am so special and different that the entire world focuses their energy on me. Duh.

What are you going to celebrate about yourself today?

What are some of your healthy living goals for the rest of the year?

Get fit · Healthy living

Excuses, excuses

So far, so good on Operation Earlybird. I got up early on Monday and Wednesday and did 30 minutes of exercise. It made a big difference in how I felt throughout the day, and I’m planning to keep the cycle going until it’s habit.

However, I had to seriously talk myself into getting out of bed both mornings. I mean, full-on internal dialogue with the proverbial angel and devil on my shoulder.


The conversation goes something like this:

Angel: “Time to work out!”

Devil: “Hit snooze. It’s fine. You’ll work out tonight.”

Angel: “You know you won’t work out tonight. That’s why you started getting up early.”

Devil: “Okay, then you’ll work out tomorrow.”

Angel: “That defeats the purpose of today. You’re not going to fall back asleep anyways and you’ll feel guilty.”

This convo goes on in my head for at least ten minutes in the morning. Have I mentioned that I’m so not a morning person?

Thankfully, the angel on my shoulder has won so far. I think it involves her threats to slap the devil into next week. She’s feisty.


I love this quote. If working out and eating right are truly important to me, I’ll find a way to make them happen. If not, I’ll keep making the same excuses I’ve made for years.

In honor of that, I’m listing some of my favorite excuses and how I can bust them up. Like. A. Boss.

  1. “I’m too tired to work out!”…“Working out gives me more energy throughout the day. What now?”
  2. “I’m still sore from yesterday’s workout. I can take today off.”… “Isn’t a workout one of the best ways to flush lactic acid out of your system? Nice try!”
  3. “The rest of the world is still sleeping.”… “Except for the people who aren’t making excuses.”
  4. “I’ll workout tomorrow. I promise!”… “Yesterday you said you’d start tomorrow. Guess what? It’s tomorrow.”
  5. “Missing a day won’t kill me.”… “Maybe not, but the disappointment you’ll feel for skipping might.”

Take that, excuses. My internal dialogues can get a little sarcastic and catty.

Today is one of my allotted days to sleep in, so I face a different set of excuses today. The excuses that tell me it’s okay to sit on my bootay and eat chocolate all day. Not that there’s anything wrong with chocolate.

I’m going to bust through those excuses by doing a short run and a circuit workout. I think. I might do an extended yoga practice. But I’m going to break a sweat no matter what.


I love the UnderArmour What’s Beautiful campaign. I love that they focus on health rather than a picture of rock hard abs. This is a big excuse buster for me. It doesn’t matter what I do. It matters that I move every day, whether that be running, yoga, strength training, or dancing around like an idiot.

How do you bust through your mental excuses?

What’s your favorite way to sweat?

Budget shopping · Recipe time

Oh, slow cooker, my love…

Dear slow-cooker,

You are the light of my life. You make the most delicious meals with so little effort on my part. The perfect fall and winter foods are child’s play for you.

Pot roast? No big deal.

Lamb stew? On it.

Pulled pork? Bring it on.

I just thought you should know how grateful I am for your awesomeness.




I seriously love the slow cooker. Unfortunately, I’m currently lacking one at my casa, but my wonderful mother let me use hers (exactly like the above picture) all day today to make a twist on a traditional beef stew.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good, traditional beef stew, but I also love trying new recipes and playing in the kitchen.


So, so, so true.

Yesterday, at Harry’s Farmer’s Market, I came across a pretty good price on stew meat, so I picked up a pound. That’s not even close to how much I usually use, but it will make enough servings for me to have leftovers this week. Remember folks, I’m lame and cook for one.

I decided to take a Mediterranean twist on traditional stew.

photo (2)

It’s not the prettiest picture, or great quality, but that’s what I get for packing it up and taking it to my house before remembering I wanted to blog about it.

Mediterranean Stew


  • 1 lb stew meat
  • 1 bag Whole 365 frozen Mediterranean blend veggies
  • 1 packet garlic vinaigrette mix
  • 2 small potatoes, roughly diced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (I use low sodium)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic


  1. Put meat and veggies into slow cooker.
  2. Mix broth, water, seasoning packet, and garlic together in a small bowl. Pour mixture over meat and veggies.
  3. Cook on low, 8 hours. Serve hot.

Easy-peasy. It makes 3 large or 4 medium servings. For a larger group, I’d double the ingredients to make a big batch of stew. The stew itself has a nice little kick from the garlic and the red bell peppers, but is still mild enough for most palates. Also, you can leave out the garlic if you prefer something milder. That’s what I love about cooking…the results are almost endlessly customizable.

All-in-all this stew cost me about $9 to make. That’s a little pricy for me, but it still comes out to under $3 per serving. Considering I can’t eat at McD’s for that, I’ll totally take it.

Healthy food and some extra moolah in my pocket? That makes this broke girl very happy.

Do you have any awesome slow cooker recipes? Do tell!

Do you like to cook? What’s your best dish?

Healthy living · Just for fun · Running

Talkin’ peppy

Since I have to head back to work tomorrow, I decided to take it easy today. That is, after I earned it with a long run this morning.

The first day of the Great Early Bird Experiment went well. I woke up and the (not) crack of dawn (7 am) to get ready for an 8-miler.

It. Sucked.

I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to give up on a run so badly before. In fact, at mile 5 I did give up. I had just taken a gel and drank about 16 ounces of Powerade, and I was trying to talk myself into finishing my last three miles. But I just turned off my Nike+ and stopped. Keep in mind, I was still 3 miles from home. However, I stopped for a few minutes to stretch and give myself a pep talk. I had been running without music, so I popped my earbuds in and started jamming out to some 90’s music.

I pushed through. It was ugly, it was slow, and it wasn’t fun, but I pushed through it. And I’m proud that I did.

After the run, my mom came up and we did a little dress shopping for my friend’s wedding.

David’s Bridal and Jessica Simpson to the rescue! I won’t be revealing the outfit until the wedding day, but I’m pretty excited about the choices.

I usually hate shopping for dresses. I don’t have a lot of confidence dressing up for events…I still feel like a little girl playing in mommy’s closet. This is one of the first events I haven’t been able to go to my LBD for. I decided on a grown-up, sophisticated look for this event, and hopefully, I’ll own it. I’m still working on the confidence, but it’s coming a little at a time.

Now, after a full day of running and shopping, I’m going to spend the rest of the evening curled up under a blanket, reading this:

Feet up, magazine in my hand, Once Upon a Time on the boob tube. Can it get better?

Get fit · Healthy living · Running

Aliens from planet early bird

I’ve had a really rough time getting my workouts in recently. I just lose all motivation throughout the day. Not to mention, it’s cold and dark by the time I get off work. Not exactly conducive to lots of motivation.

I’ve always envied people who can wake up at 5 am and workout. Personally, I’m kind of convinced that they aren’t actually human…they’re another species taking the world over one workout at a time.

monring jog

I read a great post on Peanut Butter Fingers where Julie’s husband guest posts about why he started getting up at 5 to go to the gym. It’s got me thinking…I already get up way early for work (5:45). At that point, what does an extra 45 minutes really matter? Could I realistically get up at 5 in the mother fluffing morning and go for a run or do some yoga?

Well, the answer is I can. However, what I’m really questioning is my willingness to do so.


Just looking at that alarm clock makes me a little sad. However, if I could get in 30-45 minutes of running, circuit training, or yoga, how much better can I feel during the day?

I’ve done runs early in the morning, and I love the way I feel throughout the day. I just can’t seem to get my lazy patoot out of bed more often to do it. But, I’m going to try to change that.

I’m calling this the Great Early Bird Experiment. And it may fail massively. After all, I do really, really like my bed. But, I’m going to try to get up at the butt-crack of dawn this week and get in at least 30 minutes of exercise. Keep in mind, I have a weird schedule, so I’m off three days a week instead of two. However, I’m thinking that on my off days, one will be a rest day where I can sleep in, and the other two, I’ll try to be up by 7 to workout. Also, I’m going to allow myself one early morning to sleep all the way until (almost) 6. That’s only 3 super early mornings out of 7 days.

When I think about it, it doesn’t sound that bad. But we’ll see what happens when my bed starts trying to seduce me in the early morning.

Caroline, stay here with me. I’m comfy and warm, and I love you.”

Yes, I have conversations with my bed.

Didn’t I already mention that I’m weird?

When do you work out? Morning/lunch/evening?

If you’re an alien from planet early bird, how do you do it? How do you motivate yourself in the AM?

Healthy living · Just for fun

I’m weird

One of my favorite quotes is from the Breakfast Club.


However, I’m tired of hiding that I’m bizarre. Pretending to be perfect is exhausting. This past year, I’ve been learning that lesson on a regular basis. Not only is it exhausting—it robs us of who we really are.

This is all coming up for me because one of my closest friends is getting married in a few weeks. Many of the guests are going to be people I haven’t seen in close to a year. Instead of being excited to see my old friends, my first instinct was to figure out how I could make them think that everything was perfect in my life.

Guess what? Everything’s not perfect. I don’t have a car, I work for fairly low pay, and I don’t look like Heidi Klum. But life not being perfect doesn’t mean that life’s not good. Life, in reality, is pretty awesome most of the time.

And part of my awesome life is being bizarre. I mean, I really am a ginormous nerd. I don’t say that in a self-deprecating way—I’m a proud nerd! I wrote a research paper on Scooby-Doo in college, I’ve read every Harry Potter at least 10 times, and I play hidden object games on my computer to pass the time. And I think that’s pretty sweet.


I’m lucky to have friends who love my bizarre-o ways. The conversations I have with my close friends can be absolutely insane. And that’s part of what makes life so good today. I love having people in my life who not only accept my nerdiness, but embrace it.

In honor of them, here are 5 bizarre things about myself that I think are actually cool:

  1. In addition to writing a term paper (that I got a 97 on) about Scooby Doo, I have seen every episode and movie ever made. At this point, I realize the direct-to-DVD movies are awful, but I can’t not watch the new one!clip-art-scooby-doo-308243
  2. I still listen to MMMBop on a regular basis. Don’t tell me you don’t still heart Hanson.
  3. I follow both Voldemort and Snape on Twitter. Expect retweets to start happening.
  4. I am obsessed with all things Wizard of Oz. “Tin Man” was epic for me, and I own an I Red heart OZ shirt that I wear with pride.
  5. I frequently break out the “Cameron Diaz” on the dance floor. Not in my underwear, though. I’m not that bizarre!


So to sum it up: weird and nerdy is awesome.

What weird things about yourself do you think are actually incredibly awesome?

How does your inner nerd come out?

Get fit · Running · Sports

Sweat It Out review

Welcome to a new series on the blog: product reviews! Apparently I’m super cool, and companies totally want me to try their stuff. Okay, honestly, I reached out to the extremely kind folks at Sweat It Out, and they decided to let me wear their stuff and let y’all know whether or not it’s worth it.

Sweat It Out is a fairly small company, specialized in compression and sweat-wicking athletic clothes. They offer tons of compression items, but they sent me a set of runner’s basics:

Here I am wearing the shorts, sports bra, and socks.


Overall, I was really impressed with the products. They were comfortable and worked really well on my runs.

Let’s start with the shorts. You can’t see it from the picture, but they are very high rise, in order to support the lower back. I’ve have back pain since my rowing days, and sometimes running aggravates the old injury. I’m not gonna lie: I was a little worried when I saw the shorts were unisex that they weren’t going to fit my hips and my waist, but I was very pleasantly surprised. I also really liked the length—no chance of chafing! Also, the higher rise gave me abdominal support in addition to back support. I like that it sucked in my gut a little and made my posture a little better when I ran. Also, those babies didn’t move during a seven mile run.

That’s the pros. The biggest con I found with these shorts was that there’s a tag in the back that can take a little getting used to. It didn’t rub or itch, but I did have to wear them for a little bit pre-run before I forgot it was there. Also, even though the unisex short work really well, I do hope that Sweat It Out will eventually come out with a women’s line.

Overall, the shorts are definitely becoming a running staple.

Second, let’s talk sports bra.


I wear a D or DD cup, so sports bras can be the bane of my existence. This was probably the item I was most excited to try. While it didn’t completely cut out the booby-bounce, it did do a pretty good job containing the ladies. I also wore it out on that seven mile run, and it certainly did an above average job of keeping everything in in its place. My complaint here is that the front isn’t double-lined, so you have to wear the bra under a shirt—I’d love the option to wear it alone. Despite these slight problems, I was pretty happy with the product as a whole, even if my search for a bounceless bra continues. I would say this bra would be excellent for ladies C cup or lower and well above average for D and DD cups.

This post is getting awfully long, so I’ll wrap up the rest of the review tomorrow.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated by Sweat It Out in any way other than the receipt of these products. I am under no obligation to provide a good review.