Health, Running

A Month Dedicated to My Health ~ Update

Can you believe there’s only one week left in July? This month has definitely flown by for me, and I figured it’s time to give y’all an update on A Month Dedicated to My Health. Better late than never, right?

GoodBelly 12-Day Challenge

First of all, I want to start off by saying how good this juice tastes! I enjoyed every flavor I tried, but mango and pomegranate blackberry were my favorites. I really wanted to try the vanilla chamomile and tropical green as well, but neither of those flavors are carried at my local grocery stores. Now, it’s time to tell you what really matters – GoodBelly‘s probiotic juice did amazing things for my digestive system. Within a couple days of the challenge, I could already tell a huge difference. I won’t go into details (that’d probably be too much information for most of you), so you’re just going to have to take my word for it. I’ve continued drinking GoodBelly every morning even though the 12-day challenge is over, because it is THAT effective. I am so happy that I discovered this juice!

Button Down Dash (5K)

On a positive note, I am very close to being able to run an entire 5K – I can now run 2.25 miles straight through! On a negative note, I am not going to be able to run in the Button Down Dash on August 2. The lease at my current apartment ends on August 1, but the lease at my new townhouse doesn’t start until August 4. Therefore, I won’t be able to stay in Lawrenceville that weekend, and I am either going home or going to Charlotte to visit one of my friends from college. Wherever I am, I plan on running 3.1 miles outside to prove that I could have actually finished the Button Down Dash. I also plan on running in a 5K on August 23 being hosted by the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) at the medical school I’ll be attending. That way, I’ll still be able to cross “running a 5K” off of my Bucket List.

Lose 15 Pounds

As I predicted, this task has proven to be the most difficult of the three. I have lost over 6 pounds since July 1, which is a great accomplishment, but that’s not even half of the weight I had hoped to lose this month. Regardless, I am proud that I have become a healthier person over the past few weeks, and I plan to continue losing weight at a healthy pace until I reach my goal.


Surf’s Up VoxBox Review ~ Part 2

As I said in my Surf’s Up VoxBox Review ~ Part 1 post, I received a summer-themed Influenster VoxBox a couple weeks ago that contained a Sinful Colors Professional nail polish, CoverGirl mascara, a Hawaiian Tropic after sun lotion, a First Aid liquid pain relief shot, and two coupons for Jamba Juice at-home smoothie kits. I reviewed the nail polish and mascara last time, so now I’m going to review the remaining three items from my box.

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration After Sun ($2.99)

I spent a lot of time in the sun while celebrating the 4th of July with my family this past weekend, and my skin was already in desperate need of some attention by the end of my first day at the lake. I started applying the Silk Hydration After Sun as I was getting ready for bed each night, and I was amazed at how quickly my skin felt better. The lotion didn’t feel sticky like traditional aloe vera, but it still left my skin feeling cool and refreshed almost immediately after application. I also loved the scent of the lotion and enjoyed falling asleep smelling faintly of coconut and papaya.


I already use Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen on my body and Neutrogena sunscreen on my face whenever I plan on being in the sun for an extended period of time. Now, I’ll be sure to throw a bottle of Silk Hydration After Sun in my beach/lake/pool bag as well!

First Aid Shot Therapy ($2.99)

I don’t really enjoy taking pills and already down three every morning (a multivitamin, an iron supplement, and a daily anti-histamine); therefore, I was thrilled to receive this liquid pain killer in my Surf’s Up VoxBox. Unfortunately, the effects of the First Aid Shot Therapy pain killer did not at all live up to my expectations, but it was surprisingly easy to drink and tastier than one might think.


After carrying the shot around with me for over a week, I finally found the right moment to try it out when I got a headache at work last Monday. I took the shot around 1:00 in the afternoon, and sadly, my headache did not go away until I was packing up my things to head home more than five hours later. I have no way of knowing whether or not the medicine actually played a role in managing or getting rid of my headache, but I do know that the pain killer did not offer me the immediate relief that it advertised. I have read a lot of positive reviews about the First Aid Shot Therapy, so it’s possible that my bad experience was just a fluke. All things considered, I would not recommend this product, but I would try it again if given another free sample.

Jamba Juice Frozen Smoothie Kit ($2.99-3.49)

I absolutely love smoothies and drink them for breakfast several days a week, so I was really excited to receive two Jamba Juice coupons to use on their at-home smoothie kits in my first Influenster VoxBox. Three of my favorite fruits (peaches, strawberries, and mangos) are the main ingredients in the Caribbean Passion smoothie, so deciding on which flavor to try was pretty easy for me. I already used one of the coupons I received to get the Caribbean Passion At-Home Smoothie Kit completely free of charge but am saving the second coupon, which offers $1 off, for when the smoothie kits go on sale in order to maximize my savings.

I decided to blend the contents of my Jamba Juice At-Home Smoothie Kit with 8 ounces of Tropicana Trop50 Orange Juice and a splash of Silk Protein & Fiber Almondmilk. This made approximately two 8 ounce smoothies – one I drank immediately and one I saved for breakfast the following morning. Both smoothies were delicious, but I definitely enjoyed the first one more. Next time I use one of these at-home smoothie kits, I’ll leave the second smoothie in the blender when I place it in the fridge. That way I’ll be able to more easily blend it again whenever I decide to drink it.

I received all of these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Family, Trips

Happy 4th of July!

Every summer, my aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, siblings, nephews, and I come together at our family lake house in Modoc, SC to celebrate the 4th of July. This holiday has always been one of my favorites, and I look forward to it from the moment the weather gets warm every year.


Each day starts out with my dad cooking breakfast for everyone who’s hungry. Normally, I take my eggs over medium (heavily seasoned with pepper, of course) and served in a bowl with a hefty portion of cheese grits. This year, I decided to change things up and request a vegetarian omelet instead. One morning my omelet was served with a side of well-done hashbrowns “smothered and covered” (like at Waffle House, but better), and the next morning, I had my omelet with my usual side of grits.

After breakfast, we sit on the porch drinking coffee before lathering ourselves up with sunscreen and heading down to the dock. Then, we spend the day swimming, tubing, wakeboarding, sailing, and kayaking – only taking breaks to eat lunch, drink some beer, or reapply sunscreen.

We usually grill hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, or fish for dinner and eat around 7:00 pm before going on one last boat ride as the sun sets over the lake. We normally discover a fireworks display or two, then head back to the house for a competitive game of Chicken Foot or Liverpool Rummy.


There are a lot of strong personalities among the members of my family, so things often become pretty hectic (sometimes even heated) when you throw us all in a house together. However, it’s always apparent that we care for and love each other very deeply, and we wouldn’t want to spend our holidays any other way. The weekend we spend at Clarks Hill Lake celebrating the 4th of July is one of the few times during the year that I get to see all of my siblings and much of my extended family on my mother’s side, and I can’t imagine us gathering at a better place.

Health, Running

A Month Dedicated to My Health

Although I’ve made some significant positive changes to my diet and exercise routine over the past 12 weeks, there is still a lot of room for improvement. Therefore, I have decided to dedicate the month of July to bettering my health and picked three tasks to focus on in order to help me get there. My hope is that by the end of the month, eating well and working out will be so ingrained in my routine that I will have no problem continuing those habits as medical school starts.

GoodBelly 12-Day Challenge

I’ve always had digestive issues, but lately they seem to have gotten worse. I did some research and found the GoodBelly 12-Day Challenge. Drinking one serving of their dairy-free probiotic juice every morning for 12 days is supposed to restore your body’s healthy bacteria and help with both stomach and intestinal problems. I started the challenge this morning and am optimistic about it so far. I’ll post about my overall experience at the end of the 12 days.

Button Down Dash (5K)

I finally found a 5K to do – the Button Down Dash on August 2 in Gwinnett County. I was doing a great job working out at the beginning of the summer but started not doing so well during the month of June. Now that I only 32 days to prepare, it’s time for me to get back into a good routine. I looked at a couple different couch-to-5K programs and made my own schedule to get me ready to run 3.1 miles by race day! This task will not only do a lot to help improve my health, but it will also involve crossing another item off of my Spring & Summer Bucket List.

Lose 15 Pounds

Training for a 5K should help a lot in terms of accomplishing this last goal, but I’m also going to do my best to eat a well-balanced yet budget-friendly diet. I plan on logging my meals on the MyFitnessPal app and weighing in 2-3 times each week to track my progress. If I am able to lose 15 pounds during the month of July, I should have no problem crossing “lose 25 pounds” off my Bucket List by August 18 as well!