March 10, 2014

Staying on track(MondayTalk #9)

I am so glad to have stayed on track this week. Going to college, learning, reading! The only thing missing is the social aspect, but oh well! I may have been sick and not gone to a party but the rest of the week was good!

Last week it was all about C#, this week, I tackled Java. It is a very good thing that the languages are very similar and both are simpler than C++. I enjoy a good object like the next girl, but surely it is easier not to worry about pointers! That darn star sure was annoying.

This week will mark the first end of month of the second term. In two weeks time midterms will start and project will be due! It will be chaos. I am still trying to jam a lot of information now so that I don't need to cram it all in at the very last minute.

I haven't been eating very healthy lately. My mothers, after loosing 30kg(66 pounds, I think), has kind of given up and started buying a lot of processed, unhealthy, cheap foods. We have no more vegetables in the fridge and no more cans of more healthy stuff. That being said, food has become an enemy for me. I skip breakfast and lunch and only eat a bit at night. I don't work out that much anymore just because I know I will lose to much energy. I have to do something soon or else when I start eating again, any progress I have made eating healthy will be out the door and down the street.

I don't have any more confessions to make for now. I am excited for this brand new week to start and to see what new adventures I get to go on. Also, I am up to date with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so...Booyakasha!

March 7, 2014

Metabolism boosting foods(FactFriday #9)

I don't know about you, but I get very frustrated when I see my aunt eating everyday near the point of puking and not getting a pound heavier. She obviously has a fast (light speed) metabolism. On the other hand I drink half a glass of water and I become a land whale.

I have a very slow metabolism and I hate it. So recently I have been starting to look into foods that can make me digest food faster so I can burn calories more efficiently.

Firstly, metabolism is the process of breaking down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to yield the energy your body needs to maintain itself. The rate of your metabolism depends on the interaction between the number of calories you consume, the number of calories you burn while eating and exercising, and the calories you burn based on your individual genetic makeup.

Naturally,the metabolism slows down with age but we can help boost it if, like me, years of dieting and putting your body into starvation mode has destroyed its natural rhythm.

Here is a list of 10 well known metabolism boosting foods. These are not only good for you but also are very delicious!

  • Egg whites, they are rich in branched-chain amino acids, which keep your metabolism stoked.

  • Lean meat, it is full of iron. Deficiencies in the mineral can slow metabolism. Eat three to four daily servings of iron-rich foods, such as chicken or fortified cereal.

March 5, 2014

Morning burst(FitWednesday #9)

Ok, so I know morning are the worst for some, but if you don't work out in the morning then you will have a slimmer chance of convincing yourself to put on that working out gear and getting to it. This is why a short, 10 minute burst in the morning is the best way to start your day.

March 4, 2014

Filled brownie (RecipeTuesday #9)

I don't know about you but i really enjoy a brownie from time to time and my favorite kind of brownies are the ones with filling in the middle. Last night I had a sweet craving and instead of going out and buying something pre-made I decided to make this recipe.

What you need:

What to do:

March 3, 2014

Productivity( MondayTalk #8)

This week has been such a productive one for me. I went to classes, I did homework, and studied! And this isn't even finals week. I was very proactive, if I can say so myself.

I don't know what is it with this semester but I am more inclined to studying and doing my best. I love my professors(with some exceptions), love my classes and I am so happy that I get to learn two new programming languages( C# and Java). This is all very exciting.

On another note, I have a tone of project due very soon and I haven't even started them yet, which is sad. To tell you the truth, I feel like it's the third week of school and I should get moving and groovin'.

I applied for mandatory practice at some firms that are partners with my college which is kind of thrilling, to be honest. I can't wait to see if I can make the cut. There are a lot of students who have applied and I really hope I get in. The alternative is me finding a firm to intern for, on my own and that isn't an easy task. The good news is that two firms already answered me! I was so excited to read mails and a bit relieved, like I have a chance to do something and prove that grades aren't that important.

Going on the idea of grades in college, I have learned that it isn't important what your grade card says. The most important thing is for you to actually learn something. I have noticed a trend in my grades, and that is: if I love a subject (say C++), i will study for it and practice and learn quick. There are subjects that I hated and no matter how hard I tried, I still got low grades. In high school, it wasn't important if I liked a subject or not, it was way easier to get a high grade. What I am trying to say is that college is different. You get to a new level of learning and you actually get a chance to pursue what you like. 

This will be kind of a short blog entry. Although I have been very productive, it all revolves around college and studying. There is no point in me talking about my homework, however excited it might be for me. So this is it for this Monday Talk.

February 28, 2014

Negative-calorie foods( FactFriday #8)

A negative-calorie food is a food that requires more energy to be digested than it provides. While this concept is popular in dieting guides, there is no scientific evidence to support that any of the foods claimed as negative-calorie foods are such. Personally I think is more a placebo effect but as long as it tastes good and it feels me up with natural whole substances, I don't think what scientific studies show is relevant.

As a negative-calorie beverage, ice water has no calories but requires the body to expend a very small amount of energy to raise the liquid to body temperature. So it will help boost your metabolism. Same goes with hot water with lemon.

Foods that are negative in calories are mostly low-calorie fruits and vegetables such as:
  •  celery

  •  grapefruit

February 26, 2014

Sexy legs (FitWednesday #8)

We all want sexy sculpted legs and a nice perky butt. I have been seeing some improvements after doing this workout. It is fun, quick and you will feel you heart rate go a little bit faster(bit a little I mean a lot).

Without any other stalling here is the workout:

February 25, 2014

Video games( MondayTalk #7)

You might have noticed that for the first time in two months I haven't put a blog post up on Monday. I was meant to write it on Sunday night but an interesting thing happened...I bought Sims 3. And anything and everything was put on hold.

Last week was the first week of the second semester. It was such a busy and a bit stressful experience. I have, yet again 7 courses, I have to do a three week internship which will be evaluated and I will get a grade on. Also some of my professors are not on the same page as me in terms of my future plans. I do have some really awesome ones that start to tear us apart to build us up again. I do genuinely appreciate those types of professors more.

Other than that, there was a party on Thursday which was a lot of fun. I had a chance to unwind and let my hair down, dance with my girls and also catch up with friend. I did wash down a number of beers but it was all in the name of good fun. After the party ended I went on a walk with my best friend and waited, like true ladies for the subway and buses to star their schedules. I did have a pizza when I got home, but again, all in the name of not starving myself and in good fun.

This week I have to start on my projects. I have 6 projects these term and they are hard stuff. I can estimate I will have to write a 30 page paper on a macroeconomic subject, a 15 page paper on an entrepreneur and a combined number of  5000 code lines for the other 4 projects. And the code part we are doing it in teams and I will have some help. It is still a lot of work for just 11 weeks of school, now just 10 weeks.

That's about it for tonight. Uploading program will be resumed to normal as of today and tomorrow. I do hope I can keep it up because it is actually really fun doing blog posts. I get to put all of my knowledge in one place and have kind of a weekly diary type post which is fun!

Stuffed red pepper (RecipeTuesday #8)

If you have noticed, I don't eat a lot of meat. I do like vegetables so much more than meat and I want to find ways to make them taste different and delicious. I experiment with different combinations and seasonings. This is my stuffed red pepper and it is soooooo good.

Here it goes:

What you do:

February 21, 2014

Why is water important? (FactFriday #7)

I have been seeing people lately stress more the importance of drinking water. I for one know that I don't drink half as much as I should. The other day I got a zit(gross, I know) and I realized that I haven't had that much water. That got me thinking....why is water so important.

February 19, 2014

4 minute intense workout (FitWednesday #7)

There is no excuse for not doing this workout. It only takes 4 minutes, it will burn calories after you are done and it is fun. My favorite music to listen to when I'm working out is dubstep and most song are 4-5 minutes long so this is perfect for me. I just put on a track that I like, and by the end of it I actually finish the workout.

February 18, 2014

Easy crepe recipe (RecipeTuesday #7)

Crepes are one of my favorite things to eat. Either for breakfast or just dessert. I find it odd that most people eat american pancakes. I don't associate them necessarily with pancakes. As someone from Europe, my version of pancakes are crepes. Thin, elegant, light, delicious.

This is my grandmothers easy and healthy recipe for crepes. I do indeed enjoy eating them as often as I can(even as a midnight snack).

What you need:

What you do:

February 17, 2014

New semester (MondayTalk #6)

As I anticipated, the break has gone by faster than the school year. I feel excited that this semester I get more into my specialization: economic informatics. This means that I will have a lot more subject for programming, which is AWESOME! I am so glad I don't have to learn silly things that I will not use ever.

This break I haven't done as much as I wanted. I did learn some things for a computer application for the ONG I'm in. This was fun. I love learning useful information that can help me in my future career. For my drivers licence I haven't done anything, I have to squeeze this in as soon as possible. I really want this summer to drive to my friends that don't live in my hometown.

Last week was relaxing, I got to paint and draw and sleep. This might be my most favorite thing to do when I have time. I didn't want the days to end. I felt so good.

February 14, 2014

Dealing with insomnia(FactFriday #6)

Any student at some point in time had had problems with getting enough sleep. Either it is because of the partying, exams, stress or bad roommates, we all have dealt with insomnia.

To help during those sleepless nights I have compiled a list of reasons for insomnia as well as some natural remedies that can help ease you in to the land of rainbows and unicorns!

February 12, 2014

15 minute crush! (FitWednesday #6)

Time is of the essence. I would rather prefer learning something useful or reading or watching a dumb TV show than work out. But in life, you have to work hard for everything and anything you have and health is no exception. I have been on a break for so long with all the commotion  at college with finals and learning that I missed a lot of workout days.

That didn't spot me get back on the horse when I finished all of the madness and I am a bit disappointed that I did not make more time to do something that I start hard but by the end of it I want more. That is an odd thing about working out on a regular basis. You dread starting the workout and by the end of the hour you are pumped for more!

February 11, 2014

Healthy brownies(RecipeTuesday #6)

I have been on a sweet kick lately so of course I want to stay healthy but not compromise on anything. This is the recipe I came up with. It is a delicious brownie, full of good ingredients. It could be more wholesome but I cannot quick white flour, you could change it with some oat flour or any type you like, this is just my personal favorite.

Here we go:

What to do:

February 10, 2014

End of finals! (MondayTalk #5)

I had my last exam on friday and I went on an end of the semester party ever, and boy I sure blew some steam. It was a long and hard period, way harder than the first two semesters of college. Oh well! I am glad it is over, I didn't fail any of my classes and I have a week to regroup and take a rest.

This week, I am sure of it, will go by like nothing! But I am determined to do something that relaxes me and not just sit on my ass all day. Today I painted for the first time in 4 years and it felt so good. I almost forgot how to hold a paint brush. But the end result was a simple but very cute tree. I love painting nature just because I have more freedom. Also I draw a samurai looking armor. I felt inspired by the last episode of Teen Wolf. I felt so good and relaxed and in my element. I sure enough have to go out and buy more drawing pencils, I don't know how I misplaced mine.

February 7, 2014

Beat the blues (FactFriday #5)

Every once in a while everyone gets a bit down and not so motivated to go on. Believe it or not there are foods out there that can help you not feel so blue and down.

The thing that we should understand is that we should not stuff our faces just because we are sad. In no way shape or form am I suggesting to go out, buy a ton of junk food and sit in a dark corner and eat your feelings. These are just mood boosting snacks that can help but food is not an answer.

1. Chocolate helps with STRESS! Not only does chocolate taste divine but it can also help with stress. Opt for dark chocolate because it is jam packed with antioxidants.

2. Salmon is great for anxiety. Because I have been in the finals period of the school year, I have a fair amount of stress. Salmon is wonderful way to calm oneself.

February 5, 2014

Crossfit for home (FitWednesday #5)

What is crossfit? Well, it is a strength and conditioning program with the aim of improving muscular strength, cardio-respiratory endurance, and flexibility. Crossfit programming is decentralized but its general methodology is used by thousands of private affiliated gyms and by many fire departments, law enforcement agencies, and military organizations.

It is an all round good exercise routine. Some of us though, either don't have a gym near by, don't have the time to go or just don't want to show how unfit we actually are(that would be me). That being said, here is a crossfit exercise routine that anyone can do at home a break a sweat!

February 4, 2014

Cocoa and cinnamon muffins (RecipeTuesday #5)

Oats are my favorite thing ever so of course when I think of a dessert I think of something with oats. Today I wanted some fun muffins to eat with my afternoon tea so I wiped up this recipe in no more then 20 minutes!

What you need:

What you do:

February 3, 2014

End of exam season(MondayTalk #4)

The end of my exams is near! I only have 2 left(which aren't the most easy but oh well!). 7 is A  LOT of exam to take in 2.5 weeks. I hate it how even if I don't find a subject useful I still have to take it and get a honorable grade.

I don't know what to do with myself after this period  is over. I have a week break between the semester so I will have time to regroup and refocus. The bad part about starting the second semester is that I have mandatory practice hours at a company in my area of future expertise and we have to figure things out ourselves. There is no program that can help us with an internship or anything so pretty much I have to go to interviews and put my resume out there. That should be fun...I hope I won't be that stressed.

So I told you at the beginning of these blog posts that I thought that the exam season is the perfect excuse to start a healthy lifestyle. Boooy, I did not talk into account the stress I am going to be put under. The snacking wasn't a problem, I ate pretty good at home, I even skipped meals because I was concentrated on my studying and I wasn't burning a lot of fuel so my body didn't really needed that much. The bad part is that I have gone from working out every day to maybe once a week(thank God at least for the FitWednesday posts). So that isn't too good.

Another thing that I have notices is that by the end of any exam (I don't eat until I have taken the exam) my body is in the same time hungry and also craving beer. Don't know whats up with that, maybe the alcohol numbs me. And I don't have early exams, most of them are at 1pm so I don't really eat. After the exam I drink a beer and then I eat like there is no tomorrow either pizza or pasta anything carb loaded. And then I don't eat for the rest of the day. That isn't healthy but I make myself think that it is ok since I only do it because of the exam.

I can't wait for the 7th of February to roll around and be done with all this chaos! I will have a clean sleight next semester and maybe do more studying during as opposed to at the end of it. I want to get back to working out every day and also I am thinking of joining a climbing gym. I think it's an active thing to do and maybe it will get me moving more and get a better grip.

This is the end of my rambling! I think it's enough. At the beginning of the post I had somewhat of a writers block. I didn't know what subject to cover, I was undecided and kind of on the fence with this post. I don't what to put something up just because I need to, I want to want to! I use a technique that my English teacher thought us. Basically I write anything and everything my mind can produce (it's called continuous flow) and after reading all of the madness from above I slap the title on. Apparently I worry about not giving exams, well I guess that's a thing.

Ok, now I'm really done!   

January 31, 2014

Skim milk VS whole milk (FactFriday #4)

As I started talking about the good and bad fats, I saw that many, many, many, many people don't know that dairy products are better left whole. Because I cannot cover all of them I will start with the most basic of them all: MILK!

So...which is the healthier choice?

January 29, 2014

Finals workout (FitWednesday #4)

Soooo, as I was saying in my last MondayTalk, finals are horrible. But working out helps not only your physic but also your mental health. Because I don't want to spend hours sweating and I much prefer studying I have made my own quick workout to do every time I get sluggish or demotivated or just feel like I need to move.

January 28, 2014

Healthy pasta (RecipeTuesday #4)

Lunch is the perfect time of day to load on carbohydrates because that is when your metabolism is at it's fastest. I love a nice plate of pasta at any time but because I am trying to be more health conscious these days I only eat carbs around 12-1 PM-ish so that I don't deprive myself of anything but not compromise my silhouette.

When pasta is all I can think of, I go for a more simple and less damaging alternative. 

This is what I use:

And this is what I do:

January 27, 2014

Staying motivated (MondayTalk #3)

Because I live in Romania and my educational system is different, I don't have finals week. Finals last 3 weeks here and an average Romanian students has about 5 exams. I myself have 7 this year.

It is so hard during this time of the year to stay motivated and study, study, study. Today I have to study for an exam that I will take in 2 days and I did nothing. Granted I have a 10 on my midterm but that is not the point. Instead of lying around all day I should have worked on something, anything productive! But no... I just sat around and watched tv series like Greek and Grimm. I imagined a lot too. I pictured myself in an Ivy League college, doing a project and loving every minute of it.

As it so happens I love doing projects, research, giving presentations, tests/exams not so much. Even the most basic exam for which I over-studied scared the crap out of me. Giving a presentation, not so much. 

But because I cannot pack up and go and should get back to my own world of studying. Before that I am going to leave you with some tips that make me keep going even when the level of boredom hit an alarming level.
  1. If you can take it no more, take a nap. 15 minutes of napping will be like a restart for the brain. When you get up, you will be energized and some of the knowledge will have steeped into your mind.
  2. Call a friend. Yes, this can be distracting but if you call someone that is motivated then he/she could help you go on with your own studies.
  3. Listen to music. I keep some music rolling on a 5% volume at all times. I don't know why but I can work longer if I have music playing in the background.
  4. Have something to drink at all times. The thirst might be an illusion that you are hungry and before you know it you are in the kitchen cooking a four star meal and neglecting the fact that the next day you have an exam.
  5. Don't stay up all night. It is not worth it (unless you actually have no choice). Your brain needs time to soak in the information and if you don't sleep for at least 5 hours you might get flustered and screw it all up.

January 24, 2014

Tea bags! (FactFriday #3)

If like me, you are a tea drinker you might experience the same syndrome: Not wanting to let go of a tea bag. Well, after some research, I have found some ways to reuse the lovely pouches of wonderful ingredients!

Here are some of the ways you can recycle the bags!:

  • Relieve tired eyes. Soak two tea bags in warm water and place them over your closed eyes for 20 minutes. After that you are as good as new! 

  • Make you hair nice and shiny! Yes you can do that with just a couple of used tea bags. Soak the used tea bags in water and give your hair a wash. Not only will it make your hair liveliness but if you have a couple of grey hairs, they will be gone!

January 22, 2014

15min leg workout (FitWednesday #3)

Some days we are all tired and cranky. Maybe it was a rough day at school or maybe you just wasn't feeling it. It is essential, especially during those days to workout at least 15-30 minutes. Not only is it beneficial for your overall health but also, working out releases endorphin(aka the happy chemical), turning that frown upside down!

January 21, 2014

Healthy vegetable soup! (RecipeTuesday #3)

So I was taking a look in my fridge and I was wondering what to have for dinner. A very good, low calorie alternative is a vegetable soup. It is wonderfully delicious and also good for digestion at night.

What you need:

What you do:

January 19, 2014

Reading. A dead sport? (MondayTalk #2)

As I curled up in bed with my current book, a thought downed on me. It was 1 AM and I was just then closing my computer and trying to sleep, even though I had to get up in 5 hours. I remember years back when I used to get in bed at a reasonable hour and read till a fell asleep. Back then I got plenty of rest and I was much more productive.

So is reading a dying sport? As technology develops more and more, people are starting to be more attracted to artificial reading mechanisms such as tablets, laptops and computers. No one wants to read a classic book. This is bad not only for our eyes but also for our sleeping schedules. Think back on all the night I thought I had insomnia...

January 17, 2014

Benefits of working out (FactFriday #2)

We all know that working out is good for you body and mind and that it gets you in shape. There are many more benefits of dedicating 30 minutes a day (at least) to doing some exercise and be active. I have listed below the top 5 benefits:

  1. Reduces stress levels. Exercise increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress. So if you are having trouble at school or even at work, go for a run, do a 15-30 minute quick workout and feel yourself slowly relaxing.

January 15, 2014

Lazy day workout (FitWednesday #2)

We all have those day were working out is the last thing on our mind. We are tired, we are cranky, we are bored or just not feeling it. Those are the most important days TO move. We shouldn't embrace the laziness and let it ruin everything we worked for up until that point. Because some exercise is more important than none, I have made a lazy day workout!

Remember how I was talking about having that one day in which we are just not moving and grooving, and because of that we end up not working out for weeks? Well this workout is simple, quick but still will make you sweat it out.

January 14, 2014

Healthy cheese pizza( RecipeTuesday #2)

I know that I do no not like to eat a substituent pizza crap( cauliflower base and all) . The taste isn't the same and it makes no sense to eat cheese on vegetables and call it pizza.

I made this pizza for lunch the other day and I thought I would share it here. It has only natural ingredients that actually fill you up and give you energy. I two slices of it for a meal, you could it the whole thing, but remember, everything in moderation!



January 13, 2014

Finals and stress ( MondayTalk #1)

For all the students out there, I know you fell my stress and panic for the beginning of the final exams and the handing in of projects. If you live in Romania or have a similar educations system, then probably you are knee deep in test and project right about now.

I like to joke about being a professional test giver and that that is my major but on a serious note, I know how stressful this time is and not being my first rodeo, I have some tricks and tips for before final period/during so that nobody has a nervous breakdown or anything.

January 10, 2014

Fats, good or bad? (FactFriday #1)

For some years now, I have been hearing that fat is bad. And I agree to a certain degree with this. You should definitely not pour a tub of lard in your mouth, but some fats are good.

If you think about whole milk and you are under the impression that the "skinny" version is healthier, you are sorely mistaking. The milk is more processed so that the fat can be eliminated. The natural, from the cow, whole milk is just pasteurized (like in the olden times), so that all of the bad bacteria can be killed. I remember my mum buying from farmers milk and boiling it! It was so good and helped me grow and be a healthy kid (that is until my dad and I found McDonalds).

If you think about it, all foods contain some amount of fat. Our bodies know how to handle fats that come from natural places. In moderation fat:
  • is a source of energy. We store some of it so when their is a hunger, the body consumes what fat is in the body. This is why we create a deficit when we try to louse weight, so the body can use up all the fat that is stored away safely.
  • is actually an essential fatty acid. These are the very known omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that are found in fish. These help us inflammation,  mood and behavior. 
  • helps with the good functioning of our nervous system and brain. The nerve cells are actually covered in a fatty material that acts like bike oil. Actually our brain contains a lot of essential fats.
  • helps maintain healthy skin and other tissues. The cell membrane contains a bit of fat, which is perfectly acceptable. When the amount of fat in these membranes gets out of hand, that's when we become overweight. 
  • helps for steroids, which are needed for many different processes.
So all in all, fat is not that bad. But which type should we avoid at all cost? Well the saturated and trans fats are bad. They raise your cholesterol and increase the risk of heart diseases. On the other hand, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats lower your cholesterol and help fight heart disease. 

Good fats
  • Monounsaturated
  • Polyunsaturated

January 8, 2014

30 minute workout (FitWednesday #1)

So, as I promised myself, I have started working out again. The feeling is so familiar and it makes me so happy. I think the reason why I get into the state of mind where I don't want to do anything, basically is missing a day of activity(aka sitting on my bum and caching up with TV shows). Last summer I did exercises for 2 straight months, without missing a day. Then I went on holiday, missed a couple days here and there, saw that nothing happened and boom, back to the same old, same old. Laziness, procrastination, getting more and more demotivated. Fast forward start of college, homework, projects and volunteering. All that and no desire to work out.

Well no more! Since finals are coming in less than a month and I will have study time at home, I think that this is the best opportunity to eat right, work out and also study! Because of my past experience and a lot of research, i have compiled a 30 minute workout that will sure enough make anyone break a sweat. It is fun and engaging and it sure makes me want to die.

January 7, 2014

Oat muffins (RecipeTuesday #1)

As I made my way out of bed  this morning, the hunger struck me. I prepared myself a healthy breakfast with some of my favorite things. These are, I kid you not, the most delicious and filling oat muffins you could ever find. I made five and only ended up eating two. Also they go great coupled up with a strawberry tea.


For the ones how do not use the metric system, here are the measurements:
  • 2/5 cups oats 
  • 1 whole egg 
  • 2 tablespoons low fat milk 
  • 1 oz cottage cheese 
  • 4 black olives 
  • 1 oz cheese

January 6, 2014

New year, old me?

So for the past 4 years I've had my mind set on getting in shape(and not a square) and being healthy. I have had a goal weight for so long that it seems just a dream.Every God damn Sunday I tell myself that from the next day my life will turn around, and then my mom broth me a bag of chips. Not to be misunderstood, I don't look fat, but I am skinny fat. I have no muscle definition and a hole lot of flabby skin. It is annoying.