What inspires you?

Happy Thursday! I’ve got a really exciting post today with a guest post (eek!) to share with you. But first, a quick recap of my night!

I met my oldest friend, Alanna, for dinner last night at Del Seoul in Lincoln Park. She’s finally moved down to the city to be as close to me as possible, so we had to celebrate that fact with Korean BBQ. Neither of us had been here so we were very excited.

Any place that keeps Sriracha on the tables is a winner in my book.

Alanna got the Kalbi BBQ tacos, which she said were delicious.
Look at that! Her first time being blogged and she already knows how to pose with her food. She’s a natural and I guess we’ll have to hang out more because of that.

I got the Sesame-Chili Shrimp Banh Mi Sandwich, which looked so pretty with all its fresh veggies on it!
You really have to excuse what I look like after 10 hours in a classroom of 2 year olds. They don’t judge how greasy my hair gets; you shouldn’t either.

The sandwich was so delicious, and literally exactly what I wanted to eat. The crunchy veggies were the perfect complement, and it wasn’t very spicy either so I tasted the sauce on the shrimp perfectly.

And then we went to the newly opened Yogurtland across the street from my apartment for some “quality control” testing.


Alright, now down to business! A short while ago a reader, Michelle, got in touch with me and wanted to collaborate on something for National Women’s Health Week. Naturally, I was super excited at the idea that someone read my blog enough to want to be on it, so of course I agreed!

She and I were both interested in finding out what inspires people to stay healthy and we focused on that for this post. Here’s what Michelle has to say about staying healthy!


The Journey to Good Health Can Begin with a Few Easy Steps


With heart disease ranking as a top killer of American women and Type II diabetes extremely common among adults, now is the best time to work on improving physical fitness and incorporating a healthy diet. Not only do diet and exercise directly impact physical and even mental health, but many diseases can actually be managed or even avoided by practicing proper eating and exercise habits.

Changing poor eating habits can be a challenge. Women who fear such a change may be too drastic to implement at once should consider gradually making small changes. For example, “eating the rainbow” is an easy to remember, helpful guide when it comes to nutrition. By concentrating more on fresh fruits and vegetables and attempting to consume at least one that represents each color of the rainbow each day, a woman can be sure she is receiving many if not all of the vitamins and nutrients that are recommended on a daily basis. As more healthy foods are incorporated into the diet, the proportion and even the cravings for unhealthy foods will gradually diminish.

Starting a new fitness routine can be just as challenging as throwing out all unhealthy foods and suddenly switching to a strict diet. Similar to making gradual dietary changes, exercise can be implemented on a gradual basis as well. Women who are virtually inactive and even those who are relatively active may increase exercise by choosing to implement a hobby they enjoy, whether it be going for walks in the park, walking around the mall or a farmer’s market a couple times each week, playing a sport, jogging on the beach, or even gardening. Engaging in an activity that is enjoyable allows participants to incorporate exercise gradually without dreading the monotony and sore muscles that may come with exercising in the gym all the time. Tying fitness into a free time activity enables women to look forward to being active each day they participate.

Women who have a busy lifestyle may feel they are unable to take on a new hobby or even resume one they used to enjoy. Fortunately, there are even ways to get a good workout while doing common chores. For example, parking further away from the store entrance and walking a few extra steps can translate to increased endurance and extra calories burned over time. Making several trips up and down the stairs instead of combining trips can also provide a great working. Washing windows, vacuuming, and folding laundry can translate to opportunities to tone the arms.
National Women’s Week in May marks is a time for women to celebrate their femininity. Women’s Week is also an excellent time to incorporate new healthy food and fitness habits.

Using an “inspiration board” format can help you outline your goal.  Make sure what is on the board is what you really want.  Taking the time to create and maintain a fitspiration board is a fun yet powerful way to keep you motivated on the path towards the fit lifestyle you’re yearning for.  Here is an example:

Is it obvious that purple is my favorite color? Everyone has his or her own source of inspiration, but to me the color purple makes me really happy, so I’m using this color as the source of my inspiration.  Whenever I see the color it boosts my mood! And a mood booster is what I need to improve the healthy balance in my life.  Last spring I started learning more about gardening.  I enjoy the being in the garden and watching blooms take life as the warmer weather approached. Lilacs are one of my favorite flowers, plus the smell wonderful!

Nutrition is also something I need to work on for sure.  Eating poorly is taking an effect on my energy levels during the workday.  Crash diets are not for me, because those I feel those are an unhealthy approach.  I’m looking for a long-term improvement, not a temporary fix.  I’m looking to experiment with healthy recipes and swapping bad snacks for healthier options. As part of improving what I eat, I plan to cut back on those tempting sugary cocktails, and opt for a “mocktail” version instead.  I found a great mocktail recipe from Bar10der.  Makes for a fun alternative to water or soda.  I may even try them as an afternoon pick-me-up, or a power breakfast.

An easy way to feel motivated is to buy some bright colored workout gear, like a new pair of Running Shoes.  If you feel good wearing it, you’ll be more excited to wear it when you exercise.  I love this tank from Athleta Tank.

As part of my goal to spend more time doing activities outdoors, I’ve started to learn how to golf at a Syracuse golf course near my work, Kaluhyat. I don’t usually golf all 18 holes but it’s nice to be able to spend most of the time walking. What I like about it is that it’s a leisurely sport, nothing too strenuous.

What’s in your Fitspiration board?



I was so excited for this collaboration and it definitely got me thinking about what inspires me to stay fit! It inspired me (how many times can I use that word here? haha) to create my own inspiration board. As a gargantuan addict of Pinterest I saw this as a perfect opportunity to create yet another board and I wanted to share that with you too!

Feel free to browse it! My favorite pin on it (for the time being-we all know I’ll be adding more to this in the future) is this Shakespearean quote:

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 7.33.30 AM

I’ve made it my unofficial life motto and it really helps me so much. Whenever I’m having a tough day (mentally, at work, or even while running or working out) I repeat this guy to myself a few times and it always makes me feel better and helps me to push myself through whatever challenges I’m facing. For whatever reason, this really resonated with me and guarantees I’ll be able to face anything.

^^^And that, my friends, is a sneak peek into the very nerdy things that go on on my head 🙂

Question: What inspires you? How do you remind yourself of these things?
Lots of things inspire me, but sometimes I need a quote or picture to remind me that I can achieve it all if I want to.


2 thoughts on “What inspires you?

  1. Wow! lots of links to keep a person busy here for awhile! Have you tried Korean Wing places like Crisp or Dak?
    And as a dad of a toddler that is almost 2, don’t worry, I am veeery far from judging lol

    Question: What inspires you? How do you remind yourself of these things?
    Age inspires me, realizing that my years of peak activity is dwindling, I want to stay healthy and do what I can with the time I have. My family inspires me, they don’t deserve an unhealthy and overweight dad/husband. Annnd…
    Frozen Custard and cupcakes inspires me, eating it guilt free is great 🙂

    1. I love Crisp! The wings are incredible…When I was at Del Seoul I was telling my friend we need to go there soon.

      Family is a great inspiration! And so is food! Haha it definitely feels good eating some dessert after a great workout.

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