9 Ways to Work In Working Out

9 Ways to Work In Working OutI don’t know if you guys were aware of this, but law school is time consuming. When you add in keeping up with this blog (kinda!), and trying to maintain personal relationships, I have to be very intentional about how I allocate my time. If I’m not careful, sleep and exercise tend to get squeezed out as time becomes tight.

Here’re some tips that I’ve found help keep me on track.

1. Commute Actively
Running or biking to work or classes is a great option to stay in shape. Unfortunately my bike ride would be about an hour, but I know several people who live closer that bike to school or work on a regular basis.

2. Write it down
When you’re busy it’s important to schedule time to work out. I like to give myself 20 minutes, 4 days a week to workout (plus time to get ready and clean up afterwards) and to do one somewhat physically intense activity (like play Ultimate Frisbee).

3. Short intense
I actually only work out for longer than 20 minutes once a week when I add cardio in. The other days, I do a weight lifting circuit with no rest between exercises. That makes my workout really efficient.

4. Exercise study break
I like to study for 45 minute increments and take 5 minute breaks. Some of these become my tea time, but during others I’ll do burpees (and ignore the stares if I’m at the law school library) or other short circuits.

5. Work out first thing in morning
I usually work out at night, but when I’m particularly crunched for time I work out first thing in the morning instead. This saves me time by streamlining the process. Instead of getting ready in the morning, then changing to work out in the evening, then showering and getting ready again, I can just work out, pop in the shower, and get ready for my day. It doesn’t save a ton of time, but sometimes those 10 minutes count.

6. Avoid peak hours at the gym
Working in a squat racks or weight machines wastes a ton of time, so if your gym tends to become over crowded consider finding out when the gym is less busy. My gym is busy 7:30-8:30 a.m. and 5:30-7:00 p.m. during the week and 10:00-2:00 during the weekend so I do my best to avoid those times.

7. Learn while working out
Read on the treadmill, listen to audio lectures while lifting. Bonus points if you find a workout partner who can quiz you between sets.

8. Socialize with exercise
Having a workout buddy is a great way to stay motivated, but it can also be a way of working in quality time with a friend. A light jog allows you to hold a conversation and having a partner for a weight lifting session comes with the benefit of a built in spotter.

9. Use your veg time
I like TV. I know watching a bunch of it isn’t great for me, but Netflix makes it so darn easy and entertaining. I try to make the process a little less negative by adding a work out into the mix. Since Netflix doesn’t have commercial breaks, I like to do unobtrusive exercises while watching, like squats, wall-sits, bridges, and various yoga poses. If I’m binge watching I’ll also pause between episodes and do some more intense exercises like jumping rope.

These tricks help make sure that my hectic schedule doesn’t get in the way of my fitness. Hopefully some of them will help you too!

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Crabbie’s Orange Spice Ginger Beer

Crabbie’s Orange Spice Ginger Beer ($15 for a 4 pack)

I consider myself pretty good with spices, but I still almost always base my flavors around cinnamon, ginger, garlic, or cayenne pepper. Ginger plays an especially important role in my cooking because of its ability to play well with savory and sweet foods. It also plays a pretty important role in my drinking. The first liqueur I ever made was a homemade Domaine De Canton and my favorite vodka drink is by far a Moscow Mule. I fell in love with Crabbie’s Ginger Beer when I tried it a year ago, so when I saw the orange spice variety I new I had to give it a try.

Crabbie's Orange Spice Ginger Beer

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Brandied Apples

Brandied Apples

The 20th is National Brandied Fruit Day, so I decided to get a jump start and make some delicious brandied apple rings. I’d only had brandied fruit once before-and never brandied apples-so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed these sweet bits of alcoholic goodness. They’re a bit of a process to make,  but the result is certainly worth the effort. Continue reading

Brandy Alexander- October’s Cocktail of the Month

Brandy Alexander- October's Cocktail of the Month
As the weather gets cooler I find myself more and more drawn to creamy drinks. Something about the smooth, silky texture screams luxurious self-indulgence and when made and consumed at home they save me from stepping out in the chilly night air.

My current obsession is a classic cocktail that’s stood the test of time: the Brandy Alexander. Lightly sweet and supremely creamy, this drink is the perfect accompaniment to a good book and a crackling fire.

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Home Cocktail Woes: 5 Reasons Your Drinks Don’t Taste Like a Mixologist’s

Making cocktails at home is much cheaper than going to bars and is, in my opinion, also infinitely more satisfying. If you’re cocktails aren’t coming out as well as those made by mixologists, there are 5 mistakes you can avoid to up your game and enjoy exceptional cocktails in the comfort of your own home.

You don't balance sweet and sour- 5 Reasons Your Drinks Don't Taste Like a Mixologist's

1. You don’t balance sweet and sour
For your cocktails to provide unforgettable flavor, you must make sure to balance sweetness and sourness. Sweet components include the obvious such as sugar, honey, and agave, but also liqueurs and many fruit juices. Sour components include citurs juices, cranverry juice, vinegars (such as shrubs), and vermouth. When trying out a new cocktail or ingredient, it is important to taste the finished product to make sure it is balanced.

You mangle or underutilize Herbs- 5 Reasons Your Cocktails Don't Taste Like a Mixologist's

2. You mangle or under-utilize herbs
Herbs need to be somewhat disturbed to access their flavor and aroma- simply tossing them in a drink will do little to enhance the drinking experience. On the other end of he spectrum, if you over-muddle herbs, especially mint, you can release the unpleasant bitterness of chlorophyll.

You are inattentive to technique- 5 Reasons Your Drinks Don't Taste Like a Mixologist's

3. You are inattentive to method
Shaking and stirring are very different methods of preparation. If you shake a cocktail that should be stirred (Manhattan, Old Fashioned, Negroni)you will get a different mouth-feel and dilution. If you stir a drink that should be shaken (most citrus-centric drinks) the flavors will not meld and be as lively as they could be.

You don't measure- 5 Reasons Your Cocktails Don't Taste Like a Mixologist's

4. You don’t measure
Unless you’re an eyeing wizz kid or have been working in the industry for years, you really should measure everything. When a cocktail is only 4-6 oz, even being .25 oz off can make a huge difference in flavor.

You undervalue ice- 5 Reasons Your Cocktails Don't Taste Like a Mixologist's

5. You undervalue ice
Please, please do not build a perfectly composed cocktail over ice that’s been in your freezer for three months. The ice will have soaked up the flavor of everything in your friends and those flavors will make an appearance in your cocktail. Similarly, it is worth it to strain your chilled cocktail over fresh ice to avoid over diluting it.

Hopefully these tips will help you make even more delicious cocktails to enjoy at home.

3 Smoothies to Try on your 3-Day Weekend

love smoothies. It is a deep and passionate love made even more intense by my daily 7:00 am departure from home that prevents me from having time to make a smoothie, enjoy it, and clean the blender.

So when the weekend comes around I take deep pleasure in piling fruit, soy milk, and any other fixings I’m feeling that say into the blender. I generally don’t follow a recipe, but the past three weekends I’ve decided to try new things out. These are the three best recipes I found, and I plan to enjoy them on this long weekend!

Strawberry Orange Protein Smoothie

The Greek yogurt in this smoothie packs a protein punch and the strawberries and orange juice make it lively and full of vitamins.

 

Almond Coconut Mocha Protein Smoothie

almond coconut mocha protein smoothie 10

Coffee is king, so anyone who fits it into food becomes one of my favorite people. This delightful recipe features intense coffee flavor and strong notes of coconut and almond. The addition of protein powder makes this a great drink for gym day.

Raspberry Almond Chia Smoothie

This smoothie is not only pretty, its loaded with protein and calcium and packed with flavor. The perfect breakfast to start your day!

Chia seeds make almost anything better, and this smoothie is not exception. Frozen raspberries make this drink light and refreshing.

 

 

12 Reasons I Invest in My Fitness

My last class of college was a personal finance class that lasted for one month and was held from 9 am to 12 pm Monday through Thursday. I learned many useful facts and skills in that class, but what stuck with me was the massively different outcomes from beginning to save at 22 vs 35.

saving-at-25-vs-saving-at-35-continued-saving-prettier

My professor showed us a graph similar to the one above and it made a remarkable impact on me. At that moment I decided that as soon as I started working I would start saving.

My professor showed me that graph shortly after I started getting really into fitness. It took me a while to really draw the connection. Like financial investments, investing in fitness requires you to give up something now (time and perhaps money) to gain something later.

So here’s a list of my top 12 reasons reasons to put that time in now.

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Mojito- August’s Cocktail of the Month

Mojitos are delightful drinks. They are light and refreshing so they are ideal for hot August weather. They are fairly time intensive to make, though, so give your bartender a break and make one at home.

Mojito- August's Cocktail of the Month

Mojito

2 oz white rum
1 oz lime juice
1 oz mineral water
2 teaspoons superfine sugar
15 fresh mint leaves
1 mint leaf (garnish)

1. Gently muddle the mint leaves, superfine sugar, and lime juice.
2. Add ice, rum, and mineral water. Stir to chill and combine.
3. Rub the remaining mint leaf around the rim of the class then set on top. of drink.

 

Hopefully this inspires you to try this classic cocktail out for yourself!

Cape Codder- July’s Cocktail of the Month

 

Here in Indiana some people have been enjoying poolside bliss for several weeks now.  But for wimps like me, it’s finally getting to be swimming weather! I anticipate spending a lot of time in my apartment building’s pool during July to get in some exercise and sunlight.

Sometimes, however, a refreshing dip in the pool isn’t enough. Luckily my pool allows us to bring drinks to the pool area, so I can cool myself from the inside out as well as outside in.

My favorite so far has been the Cape Codder because it’s fruity but still light and not sweet.

Hopefully you all have a lovely, sunny spot at which you can enjoy one too!

Cape Codder

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DIY Ginger Beer

DIY Ginger Beer

Ginger is one of my favorite flavors. It makes its way into almost all of my cooking and ginger beer makes it into many of the drinks that I enjoy at home. From Moscow Mules to Nor’Easters, ginger beer makes a regular appearance in my drink rotation. I have found several brands that I enjoy, but given the the regularity  with which I use ginger beer and the perpetual presence of ginger in my fridge I wanted to try out a DIY option. Continue reading