Health & Fitness

An inside look at my eating habits

People often ask me questions about my diet and the things I eat. The questions arise due to my various allergies and sensitivities. Many people are just curious how I maintain my habits as a super busy college student.

First things first, I do not do any extreme diet plans or health fads, BUT by default I must avoid various foods because my body has reactions to them. Here is a little inside scoop on my allergies and common foods I eat.

When I was in third grade, I developed anaphylactic allergies to tree nuts and shelled fish. As a result, I carry an EpiPen with me because if I ingest these foods my face will swell, I’ll break out in hives, and my throat closes. NOT FUN AT ALL. I avoid these foods always.

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When I was a sophomore in high school, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, which is an autoimmune disorder where the body rejects gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, malt, and (some) oats. My body’s cells were attacking each other causing awful and painful skin rashes, hair loss, weight loss, and digestion problems.

At first not eating breads, pastas, and various carbs was hard, but gluten free options are becoming more assessable in grocery stores and restaurants. I must be cautious about cross contamination because it can make me sick.

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In the past couple months or so, I have been working on limiting my dairy intake. I found myself consuming more dairy daily than recommended and it often left me bloated with stomach pains and bathroom issues.

Since then I have been working towards completely cutting dairy out of my diet starting with replacing milk with almond milk (almonds aren’t tree nuts so I can eat them) and cheese with soy or vegan cheese. I also regret every time I eat ice cream so I started to substitute with coconut ice cream and it’s so yummy!

Some other conscious choices I make include not drinking any soda and limiting sugary juices. I consume alcohol very rarely. I drink coffee maybe once a week. I try to not eat a lot before bed.




It drives me a bit bonkers when people say things like “I wish I had your allergies, it’s like a forced healthy diet!” or “how do you stay so skinny!” and “do you even eat?”

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Truth be told, just because I have various allergies and sensitives doesn’t make me automatically “healthy”. Gluten free substitutes often have higher calories and fat than its regular counterpart.

YES, I DO EAT AND IT’S OFTEN. My favorites included: Lucky Charms, sugary candy, fruit snacks, Italian ice, French fries, Frappuccino’s, various Frito-Lay chips, tater-tots, tacos, fried rice, and sushi. The difference is I eat these things in moderation. (most of the time!)

In all reality, I just try to eat a simple balanced diet that we all learned about in elementary school. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, then protein and grains, along with fats, oils, etc.

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I do not count calories. I eat breakfast every day. I drink tons of water and kombucha. I take a women’s multivitamin.  I eat when I am hungry, no starving myself here!

I really don’t have any secrets. I am just conscious about what I eat. Whether I am preparing food at home or going out, I take the time to make choices that will make my body feel good. It isn’t always easy, but taking the first step and creating a plan will help.

I do indulge in my favorite unhealthy foods, but I do my best to balance my diet with nutritious and filling foods.

(images found on google)


 

Coming Soon! Simple and quick meal prep for busy bees like me!

My Life

Take A Deep Breath

Lately, I have been all over the place. In my thoughts, my actions, my goals, and just overall my daily living. My mind has been shooting in every direction and at the speed of light. Life has been full of so many twists and turns that it’s been hard to keep up.

Right now, I feel like I have strayed away from my intended path, but I am realizing that’s okay. At one point or another, each of us get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the responsibilities and opportunities life brings to us. Sometimes it becomes stressful, overwhelming, and just straight up confusing.

I have been doing so many different things recently. Life is changing and transitioning for me. I feel like there are parts of my life that I need to move on from but can’t. I feel like there are things I should dig deeper into but don’t. I honestly feel like a mess. I need to stop aiming for perfection and just start living with an open mind.

I am writing to clear my thoughts, center my mind, and ground my soul to the universe. I need to rally off words in my head, document them, and commit to changing my perspective.

 It is time to just take a deep breath, stop stressing, and remind myself that everything will fall into its correct place. 

There is no need to break a sweat over the small stuff. There is always going to be hardships and obstacles to overcome, but If I just carry myself each day with a positive attitude and continue to do what I love, I can conquer the world.

Take a deep breath. Everything doesn’t need to be figured out right here, right now. Stop getting so caught up in things that don’t matter. Embrace each moment, be present mentally, physically, and emotionally. It is OKAY to not quite know what is going to happen next. Don’t let the fear drag you down, use the unknown possibilities to fuel your personal greatness.

I don’t know about you, but for me that expressing my racing thoughts helps calm my mind and body. It is nice to have something to look back on, to re-read when needed, and to have a reminder that everything will be okay.

I recommend to anyone out there that feels overwhelmed, confused, stress, or overall uncertainty to just start writing. Put the thoughts down and keep going until they stop. Take a deep breath. It will help you see the world around you a little clearer.

 

-Kasey Elizabeth-

My Life, photojournalism

For the LOVE of Wanderlust

♥For the LOVE of Wanderlust♥

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This past weekend I attended my first Wanderlust event in Chicago. It was the most inspiring and self-empowering health and fitness event I have ever been too. To be surrounded by 3,000 people who share the same passion for self-love and personal growth was truly remarkable.

If you are unfamiliar with Wanderlust, it a company that motivates each and every one of us to reach our full potential through events and experiences. When one exposes themselves to the magic that Wanderlust offers, transformation begins in the mind, body, and soul. It is an eye opening and rewarding experience.

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The festival I took part in was called Wanderlust 108, which partners with Adidas and No Kid Hungry. It is called “108” because $1.08 of every ticket sold gets donated to help end child hunger. Wanderlust 108 events happen all over the world at various destination sites. Wanderlust 108 Chicago took place at the beautiful Grant Park in the heart of Downtown. We had perfect weather for the event; sunny, warm, and a view of Lake Michigan.

Wanderlust 108 is considered the world’s only mindful triathlon featuring a 5k, a 90-minute yoga session, and a 30-minute mediation. It is not some race where you show up, do your thing, and leave. From the moment, you enter the festival grounds you are connected to those around you, grounded in the moment, and filled with a sense of love and joy

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Wanderlust provides an opportunity to form new friendships and create new connections with people. It is an opportunity to engulf yourself into a community that works together to lift one another up. It is an opportunity to see and support people who are following their dreams and crushing their goals. It is so much more than just a mind-body workout.

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♥Personal Journey♥

My first Wanderlust experience has me feeling truly grateful. Grateful for who I am, what I offer to this world, and what I am capable of.  Grateful for where I am, how I got here, and where I am going.

Major gratitude for the path of life I am on!

I attended this event with one of my best friends who is currently at the same time of her life as me. We are both college students who are at a moment of transition, we both struggle with a healthy work-life balance, and we both have a fire for learning about life and the greatness that comes along with it.

Now my friend and I, we are not serious runners, we are not super flexible yogis, and we don’t mediate regularity. On the other hand, we are fortunate enough to work for a company that inspired us at our young age to explore within our ourselves and adventure through the world.

We both usually just stick to our regular schedules of work, school, and some form of physical activities. We decided to attended Wanderlust one evening while working together. We impulsively bought tickets in a moment of “my life is so boring.” Little did we know that our lives were already filled with so much that make it exciting and something to love.

Wanderlust 108 taught us that who we are and what we are doing in each of our lives is important. That we are who we are meant to be and we are loved for just being true to ourselves.

Sometimes you just have just have to jump out of your comfort zone and step into a place of interest to be guided to something greater.

That is what I feel liked happened to me.

Wanderlust 108 has inspired me to keep expanding my knowledge; to keep growing in every aspect of my life. To learn to accept the moment I am in and to work towards where I want to be.

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♥Photos & Fun♥

To try to explain everything Wanderlust has to offer wouldn’t do it justice. So, I decided to take a bunch of photos to share with a little explanation just to give you a little insight on all the magic it has to offer.

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The Entrance to the festival. No better way to be welcomed than with the city in the background.
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When I got my race gear!! Super pumped. It included a bandana, a ticket to check my bag to keep my things safe, and a ticket for a WanderBowl for lunch! It was vegan friendly that fueled me and filled me up. 
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This is my friend and I post run and before yoga. #Wanderlust108 #Cometogether #Wanderlust2017 #AdidasWanderlust
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The woman who painted this is on a mission to paint 10,000 buddha paintings throughout the world. Check out her work through the hashtag #10000buddhas on instagram!
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Centering my thoughts before I begin my practice. My outfit features: lululemon, spiritual gangster, boho band, and of course I accessorize with my fitbit and swell water bottle. 
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Snapchat selfie after we got our warrior face paint on.
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My favorite, Kombucha. I swear by this stuff. Fermented tea that is 100% raw and organic, vegan, and gluten-free. Kombucha nourishes the body, delights your taste buds, bolsters your immunity, and makes your spirits fly.

 

Here are a few more photos I took during the event. They include some of the awesome vendors, views, and fun activities offered once you complete the triathlon. (and of course my beautiful friend who I appreciate so dearly!)

Find what inspires you and pursue it.

Don’t ever hold back.

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Click the link below to visit the Wanderlust website for yourself and join the experience that will change your life!

Wanderlust Website

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-Kasey Elizabeth-

photojournalism

Tweets on Tweets on Tweets

Just adding to my photojournalism portfolio. This assignment was an exercise in using social media and creating simple, clear cut, and creative captions with a photo. The requirements included that it had to relate to Harper College, and topics for the photos included: music, theatre, sports, classroom stress, being social, nature, safety, and education. The social media outlet we used was Twitter, which limited the number of words we could use. We also had to either tag @harpermasscomm or #harpermasscom so they would show up on the class feed.

Here are the tweets I came up with and the photos that go along with it!

 

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photojournalism

Captions before Photos

About a month ago, I was assigned a project in my photojournalism course that consisted of capturing photos from a list captions laid out beforehand. My initial reaction after seeing the list was something along the lines of, “oh great! how the hell am I going to get this done?”

Shocking, right? It is not that the captions were challenging to snap a picture of; it was the fact that they were specific events, people, and places that required me to be at a certain location at a certain time. I was mostly annoyed that I didn’t have enough free time because I had four other classes to shuffle, two jobs, and my own personal things.

After complaining to my professor and stressing more than I needed to, I decided to face this project head on in my own creative way. This assignment was meant to be an exercise in basic photojournalistic skills and I knew I had to complete it to the best of my abilities and because I needed the good grade.

 Below is my final product. The photos are taken either on my iPhone 6 or a Cannon DLSR Camera.  Below each photo is the actual caption I was assigned. Under that, for the fun of it, I decided to expand a bit on each photo my creative attempt behind capturing it.

 

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“Used car prices are on the decline.”

No better place to take a picture of used cars then the Harper College parking lot.  I myself drive a lovely used jeep, and from the look of the cars in this lot I am not the only one blessed with a used vehicle.

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“Harper College Student Exhibition Opening”

This student art exhibit, located in Building C at Harper College is filled with so many great pieces displayed so nicely. I decided to snap a picture that shows some depth with corners of the walls. I don’t know about you,  but I think this picture looks pretty cool.

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“Harper Hawk Softball Team prepares for their next game.”

Honestly I could never get a chance to snap a picture of the players practicing due to my own work schedule, but that didn’t stop me from snapping a relevant photo.

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“As the weather changes many are taking advantage of local parks.”

This is Lake Arlington Park, a common place for people to gather, workout, and relax when the weather is nice. Every photo with lots of people in it, I didn’t like. But, if you look closely there is a old man walking in the background.

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“Commuters rushing to catch their morning train”

Well I waited around for commuters rushing to catch their train, but people really know how to plan ahead and stick their schedule. This lead to a photo of commuters just sitting around waiting for their train.

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“The new craze in exercise is circus yoga.”

I don’t really know where you can participate in circus yoga in the Chicagoland Area, but aerial yoga is an super fun exercise craze that uses silks suspended from the ceiling.

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“Harper students prepare for final exams.”

This one is pretty self explanatory, it is a photo I snapped of a student actually getting their work done at school.

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“Local Barista makes latte art.”

I stopped by this small, family owned, cafe in the Lincoln Park area. The old lady who was running the counter struggled to even make me the latte. She burned the first one.

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“Dean of Liberal Arts, Dr. Jennifer Berne.”

Dr. Berne, what a trooper for letting so many students disrupt her to snap a photo. She was really funny before I snapped this picture of her reading with her bowl of candy.

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“Niki Safakas has been elected as the new student trustee at Harper College.”

Though I never got a chance to meet Niki Safakas, her photo will be added to this wall for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Documenting my projects like this one is part of my photojournalism course requirements. As always, I appreciate feedback on my photographing and writing skills.