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Writing is Coming.

30 Apr

So, I was casually scrolling though Facebook, as one does, and I came across a blog that was written by a girl I went to high school with.

Now I knew just looking at the title that it was going to be some absurd journaling experience about fitness or health. So, of course I just had to click on it and see what the hype was all about.


This girl from high school was always really fit and brought super fantastic lunches to our club meetings, therefore I was sure the blog would not disappoint. And disappoint it did not. She started her introduction about how she was getting more “fit” this year, and I rolled my eyes at the thought that this already VERY fit person was trying to reach yet another goal. But then as I continued through the very short post, she described something that caught my eye: Journaling every single thing you eat, everyday.

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Now at first this sounded pretty outrageous. How could someone possibly write down everything they’ve eaten in a day. A handful of grapes? 27 chips? I mean how viable would it be to actually calculate all this stuff. But as I looked at her posted picture of her color-coded eating habits, I was enthralled by the organization of it all.

I didn’t immediately decide to start journaling my food at first. That is, until I went to Office Max  weeks before school started and laid my eyes upon the most gorgeous looking notebook in the entire store. I just needed an excuse to have one, and this was the only thing I could think of at the time.

And so it began…

Everyday, since the 9th of January 2017 I have journaled every single thing I have put into my body. And wow. It has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Now I am not one of the people who count every single calorie, or never indulge in sweets and chips, but what I have discovered about my eating habits after journaling everyday has been an eye opener for sure.


If you start writing things down, you realize a couple of things. 1. That there are generally patterns in what you eat and when. 2. You may or may not snack insistently like myself. 3. You are skipping really important meals due to time. 4. You have wwwaayyy too many sweets for one day.

Since journaling, my eating habits have improved exponentially. I am more mindful about the wholesome foods I am putting into my body and I am more mindful when I deserve a good treat.

I highly recommend journaling to anyone that is considering changing their eating habits or who are trying to reach a goal.

Plus putting in my entries every meal is like a really fun puzzle everyday! I can’t even imagine my life without my notebook!


Here are some pics of how things have progressed in my little book so far!

~ Mandi


#JumpStartJanuary: Kicking the Procrastination Addiction

2 Feb

Like most college students, I fear that one of my biggest struggles is time management. It’s that thing that all of us are constantly trying to achieve and the one thing that keeps getting farther and farther away. I definitely survived the past few semesters but I couldn’t help but feel that it could have been easier. I have always considered myself a good student, but the older I get the more room for improvement. Because of this, I have made it a goal to change the way I treat this next spring semester. As I am heading towards upper-classman life, I need to create good habits before procrastination takes a permanent place in my life.

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The worst part about procrastination is that you get accustomed to it after a while. It’s like a drug that I slowly became dependent on if I did not want to feel miserable. If an assignment was due at 11:59pm, I was finishing it up at 11:58pm. The worst part of an addiction, is that the deeper into it you are, the harder it is to escape from it. I was fighting a battle that was becoming infinitely harder to deal with. I needed to make a game plan before I got thrown back into the mess, and the break between semesters was the perfect time for me to stand back and come up with a game plan for the spring.

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My goal for this semester is to first prioritize my work. I should definitely expect to spend more time on harder classes, so how am I going to allocate more time for them? By completing the smaller stuff as soon as I can, I have more time to deal with the larger things. For example in my math class I have decided that I am going to complete each homework as soon as they are available to me, just so I have more time afterwords to worry about my biology class. Not only am I ahead in my homework if I do this, but I have more of a chance to better my understanding in both classes.

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All in all I am really excited for this semester. Not only am I taking classes that I am enjoying, but I am planning ahead so that I have more room for studying. The last part of my plan is to moderate myself so I don’t get burnt out in my studies. I need to remember to give myself time for relaxing, but I cannot let that be a foothold for procrastination. As long as I can remember to balance my life I will have a great spring semester!

Andres Quiroz

#JumpstartJanuary: Hiking endeavor

2 Feb

Dear reader,

Bad luck has been my close friend this year! In order to remain positive and kick off this spring semester I decided to go on a hike to Tumamoc  with my boyfriend and his overly hyper dog, Aria. I’m hoping this will also serve as motivation for me to start working out.

Before I start talking about the hike, let me describe Aria for you. Aria is an Alaskan Malamute which are known as HUGE dogs. She’s only a year old and already weighs close to 200 lbs. Her size along with her hyper-activeness are not a good match. At only a month and 1/2 old, she bit through her plastic kennel and destroyed everything in her sight. She’s a chewer. I think this hike will be good for her because it will tire her out and if we go often enough, we’ll be able to tolerate her hyperactivity.


Hike Day:

Keep in mind this is my first time doing any sort of physical activity in the last 6 months ( I know…sad). It was definitely a hard task to accomplish and you bet I had to stop quite frequently to catch my breath. My boyfriend and Aria were waaaaaay in front of me, but they were nice enough to wait for me…once in a while. On the bright side, Aria was so tired from the hike that she took a nap when we got home. Nevertheless, it was a lovely afternoon and the city lights along with the sunset were beautiful.


Definitely a nice way to start my semester!

Until next time,


#JumpStartJanuary: Baking Is Life

1 Feb

I didn’t choose the baking life, the baking life chose me. Baking is one of my most delicious hobbies. It helps me get out of my head and work with my hands, which is a tremendous stress reliever. I don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions but this year I decided to push myself to learn at least 1 new recipe per month.

Since it is Jump Start January, I decided to get started early and choose my first recipe. My first recipe of the year was Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. A friend of mine requested this specific type of cookie, and because I don’t often eat what I bake, it was perfect to know that the cookies would not go to waste.

I found a quick and easy recipe online that outlined everything from ingredients, to prep time, and baking time. I did not have most of the ingredients, but thankfully I was heading to the grocery store that day. I was a little nervous to try the recipe because I had never worked with brown sugar or oatmeal as my main ingredients. I was very strategic about my baking process because I wanted to make sure that the cookies came out correctly. The one hiccup I had was when I wasn’t sure how fluffy my wet mixture was supposed to be before I added the dry ingredients. After paying close attention to what the mixture did as it sat for a few minutes, I realized what level it should rise to and I moved forward. I did a little experimenting with baking times so that I could figure out how to cook them properly in my oven. I found that they needed to be cooked a few minutes longer than the recipe called for.

I am happy to report that my cookies were a hit. They were crispy around the edges and soft and chewy in the middle. The recipe made around 24 cookies or more, but they were devoured in less than 2 days amongst 4 people. I plan on keeping the momentum going by learning how to make apple pie in February.


#JumpstartJanuary: Makin’ Healthy Changes

1 Feb

New Year’s resolutions are often broken by the end of the first month (if not the first week) of the new year. How many times have we heard, “this year I’m going to go to the gym three times a week and eat healthy foods.” Because of this I didn’t want to make a New Year’s resolution this year I wanted to make a lifetime goal and implement a healthy diet into my lifestyle.

“Yup, that means no more fast-food!!!”


Okay lets be honest cutting out all fast-food restaurants for the rest of my life will most likely not happen. But cutting my consumption of fast-food in half this year seems pretty realistic. Last year I spent about $110 a month on fast food; thats almost a phone bill spent on pizzas, burgers, and hot wings every month!


This January I decided that things will be different: less fast food, healthier eating habits, and most importantly more money!!!


Okay so now you’re probably asking, “Well what are going to do to implement a healthier diet into your lifestyle?” Its quite simple actually. I set up an diet plan where each day of the week I eat two to three meals that contain a healthy portion of vegetables, grains, and proteins. Thus far I’ve noticed my favorite meals to prepare are grilled chicken with rice and broccoli for sides. Im also limiting myself to only eating fast-food three times a month.


Since I’ve changed my diet I’ve noticed a major change in my energy throughout the day. Its easier for me to get out of the bed in the morning and I’ve been getting a lot of work done, and most importantly I feel better about myself.


Overall, I can say that this change has been great. I’m looking forward to continue this diet for a while and maybe one day I’ll have a new goal or change to implement into my lifestyle.

Until next time,

Darius Amos

#JumpStartJanuary: Eating Healthy, Staying Healthy!

1 Feb

As a college student it is really hard to stay healthy, especially if you are far away from home. That’s when you miss your mom’s healthy home-cooked meals. Although difficult, it is very important to maintain a proper diet. Since this is the first month of the new year, I have decided to eat healthy and to stay healthy.

I have started to implement foods that I used to eat very infrequently, such as a bowl of fruit, juice blended with different fruits and vegetables, dry fruits, and protein rich foods. Along with that, I have also started doing at least 25-30 sit-ups daily. Even walking is a good way to burn calories, so you can start keeping a track of how many steps you walk each day!


#JumpStartJanuary: Prepping for a New Semester

1 Feb

Classes have finally started. Waking up early, meeting new people, more assignments, and more memories to be created. It’s time to hit the ground running once again. These are a few things I do in order to get ready for school:

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1.) Agenda

Fill out you planner/agenda with homework assignments, tests, review sessions, and any online homework. Don’t forget to also plan fun events such as going to the movies, when you are going to see your family, hanging out with friends, when you plan to work out,  etc… Color coordinating helps keeps you organized and is easier to find things for a specific class.

2.) Meal Prep

The weekdays can get heavy and that can lead to not having time to cook and fast food has gotten old. Pick your lightest day and cook for the whole week. Typically I make 3 different kinds of meals and alternate them throughout the week. I split the food into portion size containers and when you are on the go, you can just open the fridge door, grab a container, and run to class. If it’s food that needs to be heated, there are a couple of microwaves available to students around campus for FREE!

(P.S. Pinterest has some fast and delicious recipes ideas)

3.) Outfit Prep

Picking out the outfit for the next day may seem as insignificant, but it can really save you those minutes you needed to get to class on time. You can even prep your outfit for the whole week. Lay out your clothes, socks, undergarments, shoes, and even the accessories you plan to use.

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School can get chaotic and free time is rare. Don’t forget about the simple things in life such as sleeping, eating, and taking showers. Although these seem like basics, it is easy to forget or push them aside. Hope you have an unforgettable semester!


#JumpStartJanuary: Making Healthy Choices

1 Feb

New year’s resolutions are very common among college students. This year I decided not to call it a “new year’s resolution.” I decided to call it a change in my health habits. I realized I was not taking care of my health and I needed to take care of it. Here’s what I did:



Last semester I was always so busy. Honestly, I wasn’t as busy as I pretended to be because I would still stay up scrolling through my phone and watching Netflix. It has been three weeks since school started and, although I still scroll through my phone, I know that I have to be asleep by 10 to wake up at 6. I didn’t expect those eight hours of sleep allow me to wake up very energized and not grumpy, but it’s been great!

2. Eating habits:


My eating habits have always been unbalanced. When I was in high school, I had less stress and more time to prepare my own food at home. Starting college I was so stressed to make my own food, so I started eating out a lot. The student union has a variety of foods, but I went towards the Panda Express, Burger King, and Pizza. Those foods are obviously unhealthy. By the end of the semester I had gained twenty five pounds. In three weeks, a lot has changed. I am making sure that I have a good breakfast, along with bringing lunch, and bringing two or three snacks for the day. So far I have lost ten pounds and it has made my bank account “healthy” too.

3. Physical Activities:


Along with sleeping better and eating better, I have found a way to reduce my stress and help my health. I’ve been going to the Rec Center. We already pay for the gym here at the U of A, so why not go? I would always make the excuse that the gym is full or that I had too much homework to go. I decided to stop making excuses and I am now going in the mornings. Since my sleeping habits have changed I do not feel lazy to go. Yes, I am very busy, but I have found time to go to the gym at least one hour a day. My routine is thirty minutes of cardio and thirty minutes of weight lifting. This really help me with stress and it is healthy for me.

4. Drinking water:


We all know that drinking water is essential for our health. Ever since I changed my sleeping habits, I don’t need as much coffee. I’ve replaced it with water. I especially need water because I am working out now. I have seen an improvement with my with skin. I make sure to bring a larger water bottle to school and fill it up during the day at least three times. Drinking water also helps me get full faster which helps me when trying to eat better.

As we all know being healthy is harder than it looks, but it is all about making it a habit. It takes twenty-one days to create a habit. Good Luck !

#JumpStartJanuary: Calendar Ready!

1 Feb

At the beginning of every school year I buy myself a 12 month calendar booklet that I keep with me everyday in my backpack. This habit of mine first started in middle school when I was given an agenda for the first time ever. In high school it continued and I was lucky enough to continue to get free agendas. Entering my freshman year of college I was given an agenda from my scholarship, but last year was the first year I had to go out and find my own agenda! Agendas can get pretty pricey, depending on what you need. I first looked at the bookstore but I was very disappointed at the small size, so I had to head to Target and Walmart. Target and Walmart had a wide variety of agendas with different colors and sizes, so you can find the perfect one for you!

Once you have the perfect agenda that you want to keep for the year, collect all your syllabi and fill out your calendar with all the important due dates of assignments, midterms, finals, and extra credit. After the first week of classes, I prefer to attack my planner with multiple colored sharpie pens. Then I start with each syllabus one by one. Besides just school related due dates, I also write down birthdays, dinner plans, holidays, and other events that I need reminders of. It may seem long at first to write down all these days, however, during any given week it is exceptionally helpful to be able to look and see what is coming up that needs a head start.

This habit of mine helps me stayed organized and I highly recommend it for every one. It can be useful for a multitude of reasons, but it is the first thing I tackle to jump start every semester!

#JumpStartJanuary: Becoming a Morning Person

30 Jan

This is my 8th semester at the University of Arizona and quite possibly my most difficult. Fortunately academics has nothing to do with it whatsoever. That’s right, it’s not my GPA that will suffer, but rather my sleeping patterns. Which I know doesn’t sound all that detrimental, but when you’re not a morning person, it certainly feels like it is.


The sleeping patterns I adopted over winter break probably weren’t much help either. My boyfriend and I became way too comfortable staying up until 4 or 5am then sleeping in until 2 in the afternoon. Of course we lied to ourselves when agreeing to go to bed earlier before the spring semester started. It just couldn’t happen even if we wanted it to.


So long story short, I’m either waking up at 6 or 7am throughout the entire school week and I’m struggling to stay awake while writing this very blog. So seeing that I can’t do anything about my schedule, I’ve decided to focus on my body and what I can do to help it bounce back this January. These are some of the tips I’ve come up with so far:

  1. Spend any extra time you may have while on campus completing coursework. Check out a study room in the Main Library or the Electrical Engineering Library and get as much done as you can so there’s less do to once you get back home.
  2. I know fast food is tempting, being that it’s usually cheaper, requires little preparation and is all over campus. But try to stop by the U-Mart or the Highland Market; fruits, salads, and granola bars are easily accessible in those two locations.
  3. Don’t skip breakfast!!!
  4. Lay off the soda (or any other caffeinated beverages) in the evening. I know it’s tasty, but good luck falling asleep at a decent time.
  5. If you want to avoid visiting the rec, trying walking around campus or your neighborhood park. It’s quick, it’s easy, and usually causes a lot less sweating. Just 20 minutes of exercise a day will make you sleep better at night.
  6. Avoid staring at your phone or a TV screen too long right before you go to bed. I’m not exactly sure why, but my mom drilled this into my head when I was a kid, so it seems like sound advice to me.

I’m sure as the semester continues, I will think of more “groundbreaking ideas” to improve my lifestyle and start this semester on the right foot.

Wish me luck!