Hello friends! To start off the morning, here are some pictures of the adorable (and wacky) kittens I get to play with every Thursday morning.
Somehow one of the kittens managed to get in the wrong cage, which is an issue because these kittens aren’t 100% healthy, so that would spread disease really quickly. Each kitten has a card where its weight is recorded, and his cage number and been rewritten in. Luckily, I noticed this because that little guy was the troublemaker who jumped off the table last week! On another note, I’ve decided which litter or kittens I want to adopt. Because you can’t possibly separate them, right?ย 

Sadly, I don’t think my parents would be too happy with one kitten, let alone 4. Having 6 cats would kind of make us crazy cat people. Well, crazier. In other cat antics, one kitten managed to tackle another kitten off the table. They were both going down, but I was able to catch one of them! Luckily, cats always land on 4 feet!

Ok, onto the topic of this post. Hanna and Haley posted about their Terrific 21 Plan, which is a set of overall goals, along with week to week goals. Miranda had a lot of success with something similar, her Operation Prom Dress. As you may recall, I started something similar with Miranda, but failed miserably. Whoops…

But this summer, I planned on re-figuring out my eating habits. I don’t want to spend too much time or energy figuring out HOW to be healthy and feel my best during the next school year-I want to get it all figured out this summer. I need to be able to focus on SCHOOL. So what better way than a Summer Shape Up? (I’m not sold on the name yet, so if you can think of anything better that starts with an “S”…) I love the idea of weekly goals; I think it makes it easier to achieve overall goals.

So along with the whole “how” to eat thing…here’s a little explanation (some longer-time readers will know what I am talking about). I developed some new food sensitivities/reactions to foods around the same time I started college, where everything I normally ate changed as well. Over the summer before I started college, my face started breaking out like crazy, out of nowhere. I FINALLY pinpointed nuts (especially peanuts) as the cause in like March…So a previous dietary staple had to be cut out (and my face definitely thanks me). My other sensitivity (maybe) is grains. I don’t know if it is a gluten thing or a carb thing, but there’s something off. My roommate last year had a gluten allergy, so she opened my eyes to the symptoms. I get what I like to call a “carbocrash.” After eating grains, I can’t keep my eyes open. It’s like getting hit by a brick wall (that made no sense…). …but then it passes. I’ve also noticed other things lately…so I want to figure that all out this summer. I am planning on getting allergy tested ASAP so I can get everything squared away!
Oats AND peanut butter :'(

So without further ado, here are my Summer Shape Up Goals!
Summer Shape Up Banner

1. Figure out my food sensitivities, and what to eat to feel my best.

2. Find a manageable workout routine- I’m definitely going to be working out more over the summer because I have more time, so I want to figure out a balance of activities for the fall.

3. Do at least 5 minutes of abs every day. Youtube is such a great resource-why haven’t I thought of this before. (Thanks Miranda!)

4. Be able to eat sweets in moderate quantities. I’m kind of all or nothing in this respect. I want to tame my reaction to sugar. When I have sweets, I have to have a LOT. This is half physical, and half mental. I do have kind of bad reactions to sugar, so figuring this out is a priority as well.

5. Fuel my body for energy. There’s nothing worse than a bad meal ruining a workout!

6. Lose the college weight. Yeah, yeah. This isn’t something I like blogging about, and I probably won’t talk much about, but it’s part of figuring out what to eat that is best for my body. Plus, running 13.1 miles extra heavy is not going to be terribly pleasant. I’m a little concerned that there is something else going on besides just calorie in/out balance though because all of the gain came after having mono, and it came on REALLY fast. And I was definitely eating healthier than before getting sick, and although I wasn’t rowing, I was still working out pretty hard. Yayy doctor’s appointment…

Right now, those are my overall goals. Basically, figure everything out. So, I didn’t exactly figure out what my specific plans for this week are…and what would be a good day for the week’s post? Maybe Sunday?ย 
Here’s the deal. I am a big proponent of the idea that good nutrition can fix health woes. Feeling tired? Eating well will help. Getting sick a lot? Sugar weakens the immune system. Earthquake? Start eating better. Ok, maybe I’m a little TOO convinced that what we eat affects us in tons of less obvious ways. I have the tendency to blame anything that goes wrong in my life on sugar. (I’m kind of obsessed with sugar metabolism, and after college I want to do research in this field.)

Sugar seriously messes with my hormones and can make me super moody. But now I’m wondering what other foods affect me? I’ll be honest. I haven’t exactly felt like myself lately. I’m normally a super happy, optimistic and energetic person, but these past few months I’ve been feeling…kind of down. (Mono could be part of it). That is, until yesterday. The difference? I had eaten mostly Paleo that day, and the night before. And I. Felt. Awesome. I had a 6am wake-up, ran 5 miles, had no trouble stopping eating when I was full, and was more than ready for afternoon weights and a dog walk. I think the Paleo helped because of whatever weird grain thing is going on…But it was amazing! My mom suggested I try a week of Paleo to see how I feel, but before I try it strictly for a week, I want my vegetarian sister to be gone (it’s hard to find meals we would both be able to eat). So, I guess that is this week’s goal! I won’t try it strictly until maybe Sunday. So you’ll be seeing more meals like this for a while:
Good thing I recently fell in love with Turkey burgers!

Sorry for the lengthy post, I have a way of writing…and writing…and writing…

Who’s up for a fun summer challenge?