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Got Juice?

In between my classes this week, I decided to take my usual walk down Las Ramblas. As I was walking, I came across many food options for lunch. Pizza, baguettes, and gelato seemed to be the popular options along this street. I was about to settle for a Pan & Company until I came across a large, fresh food market called Mercat de St. Josep Boqueria.

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This market had plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, olives, bread, and even candy. I was fascinated by all the colorful fruits I saw. The market was clean and reasonably priced.

As I made my way through this large market, my eyes kept shifting to the natural juices. There were so many different options. Pineapple, orange, coconut, and strawberry are just to name a few of the flavors. Each juice was priced at only 1.50 euro per juice. This amazed me. Back in the United States, fresh juice is around 6 dollars and it is rare to find.

In the United States, it has been a popular trend to detox with a juice cleanse. A juice cleanse can last one day or three days of just drinking all-natural juices. Now the I have access to organic juices, I will be able to try cleanses while I am in Barcelona. Here a few reasons why a juice cleanse is beneficial for your body:

1. Easier way to get your servings of fruits and vegetables

2. Easier to digest

3. Weight loss

4. Boosts immune system

5. Rehydrates the body

With all these benefits, I was sure to purchase a juice. Strawberry-banana was the flavor I decided to try. It didn’t disappoint. It was sweet and satisfying. I was so pleased with myself that I didn’t settle for a carb loaded baguette.IMG_3898_2

In the market, I came across a massive candy stand. There were truffles, gummies, and all different kinds of chocolates. I couldn’t resist. I chose one small white chocolate ball and one small dark chocolate truffle. They were delicious.

IMG_3910_2It is okay to give into your cravings every once in a while. That way, when you do eat sweets, you don’t over indulge. If you are going to give into your sweet tooth, try to chose a dark chocolate. My favorite type of chocolate is white chocolate, I can’t go through life without it. I have learned to limit myself when trying it.

If you are ever in Barcelona, make sure to check out Mercat de St. Josep Boqueria on Las Rhamblas. The market is full of people but spacious enough to grab what you need. Check out the natural juices and pick your favorite flavor for a cheap, juice cleanse!

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Google Tools are here to help!

Hello, Google Generation! If you were born after 1993, I am mostly talking to you. Our generation has been growing up in a world influenced by the Internet. We are able to achieve almost any information at the touch of our fingers. Believe it our not, our parents never had this much access to the Internet. You could say we are lucky. In my opinion, the Google Generation is pretty cool.o-KID-IPAD-facebook

We use the Internet for just about everything. You can read the latest news that is happening around the world or learn a new skill in a matter of minutes. The Internet gives us knowledge that wasn’t obtainable in the past. Its amazing that if we don’t know the answer to a question, we can just Google it!

Google itself is a sensation. Here are some interesting statistics found by Digital Marketing Ramblings. On average, there are 11.944 billion Google searches a month. Google’s share of the United States search market is 67.5 percent. 187.5 million unique visitors to Google sites per month. Are you still not convinced on how big Google is? Click on the link to see more statistics!

Google is not only a search engine, but an advertising service, e-mail provider, technology producer, and has many other products. Personally, I use Google is search. Below is a list of all the products Google provides.

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Little did I know, there are many digital tools out there to help you search on Google. How can we use these Google tools to help us with our health goals abroad? Here are a few examples.

When I came to Barcelona, I wanted to find a gym that offered classes. In the search engine on Google, I used the word addition tool.

Barcelona Gyms + classes

Earlier in the year, I wanted a subscription to Fitness Magazine. I was able to do an initial search to block out any other content that involves fitness subscriptions. This tool is useful when searching for specific content.

“Subscription to Fitness Magazine”

One of my favorite websites is Health. It gives advice on fitness, relationships, and eating right. If I just want to look for recipes on only http://www.health.com, I am able to with the in “sites” search.

Recipes site: http://www.health.com

These are just a few examples. There are many other digital tools that we can use with Google. The digital tools makes our search for being healthy that much easier.

Connect, Share, Express

In a previous post, I mentioned using social networking sites to help you through your healthy life. There are social networking sites out there designed to encourage your healthy lifestyle. Here are a few I have tried and love:

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 3.46.32 PMMyFitnessPal is a social networking website and application that can be used on the computer or your smartphone. On the site, you can enter what you have ate that day to help you count all of your calories. You can also enter the exercise you completed to help you determine how many calories you actually consumed. You can connect with others by discussing your health and fitness goals through a message board. The messaging boards range from all sorts of topics. Success stories, losing weight, maintaining weight, or fitness and exercise are just a few.

There are many more health based social networking sites that I would like to try. Workout SpoScreen Shot 2015-02-12 at 8.08.51 PMts is a site that allows you to connect to others in your area to find gyms and fitness classes. Weight Loss Waris a social networking site that allows you to compete with others while fighting toward your goals.

You don’t have to choose a networking site purely based on weight loss or fitness. If you are tired of Facebook or Twitter, try some of the new social networking sites out there. An important part of a healthy lifestyle is to be happy and express yourself.

In my Journalism 2.0 class, we learned of many brand new, social networking sites. My favorite site we learned about is called We Heart It. After class, I signed up for an account myself to check it out. It is a social networking site much like Pinterest. It allows you to explore creative images and create a board for yourself. One of my boards is based on healthy images I find. Instantly, I was hooked on this new site. Here is a little taste of my profile.Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 8.49.19 PM

Try a social networking site that allows you to connect to others and express yourself. Along the way, you will learn from connecting with similar people and be able to share your interests. There are so new sites to pick from so, start browsing!

Finding the Fresh Food

Grocery shopping can be difficult but can also be the most important part when eating being healthy. If I have junk food in the apartment, I will be sure to eat it. It is much easier to not crave junk food, if it isn’t there. I make sure to stock my fridge and pantry with all healthy options.

Barcelona has plenty of grocery stores, one on almost every street. There is one right below my apartment so, whenever I am hungry I can go downstairs and grab what I feel like. It is tempting to buy crackers, cookies, and snacks when browsing through the grocery store. Especially, when you go to the store hungry, everything looks more appetizing. 

The first few weeks in Barcelona, I wasn’t sure of what to buy. This was my first time living in my own apartment and buying food for myself was a new experience. I’ll admit, my roommates and I’s shopping carts were full of Ben & Jerry’s and frozen pizzas when we first arrived. This needed to change.

DSCN0270The other day, I was on my usual jog and ran across a huge supermarket. I ended up buying fresh carrots, apples, strawberries, and celery. There are all types of fruits and vegetables, some that I have never even heard of. I was so excited that I found such a great supermarket a few blocks from my apartment. The supermarket also had fresh meat, fish, bread, and coffee stands that are always busy with customers.

DSCN0268This supermarket has become one of my favorite places. Its easy to go before and after class to buy fresh produce. Since I go so often, the workers recognize me now. Its fun to walk in the door with the locals smiling and shouting “hola!”. It makes me feel more at home to see familiar faces.

It is also difficult to grocery shop in Spain because I can never read the ingredients on the package, let alone the name of the item. What I have found is to look for familiar words like calories, fiber, protein, and the word “light”. My usual grocery cart consists of a cheese I get is called Tendre Light, bread thins for 99 calories each, rice cakes, All-Bran cereal, Special-K bars, and light cream cheese.

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When I go to to the supermarket, I try to get the reasonably priced produce. Sometimes eating clean is expensive. Some fruits and vegetables are much more than in America. My favorite fruits are apples, bananas, and oranges and all very cheap here. I’ve noticed grapes, pineapple, and strawberries are expensive here so, I don’t get those as often. Celery, carrots, broccoli, and lettuce are all priced low and are always in my fridge.

My advice is to find a local supermarket with plenty of healthy options. Make a trip once a week to stock your fridge with fresh fruits and vegetables. That way, you won’t be tempted to buy processed, junk food that regular grocery stores sell. When you do go to the grocery store, don’t go hungry and study the labels. Make frequent visits to the supermarket to get to know the locals and enjoy your study abroad experience that much more!

Pick a book!

My biggest role model right now has got to be Lea Michelle. I have been an active Glee watcher ever since the very first pilot premiered back in 2009. Monday nights, I would sit with my mom and wouldn’t miss a single episode. I’ve never really been interested in television shows so, that says a lot. I don’t have Netflix or even own a television, but for some reason I was always connected to Glee.

Why do I want to be just like Lea? She is the perfect example that you don’t need to be 5’9, blonde with blue eyes to be beautiful. She dresses and presents herself in a poised way. Lea isn’t your typical celebrity and I love her for that.

The book, Brunette Ambition, explains how she keeps a healthy lifestyle. She explains her life, health, and beauty tips. Food, workouts, skin care, and fashion are all included in her book. It is definitely what has inspired me to change my way of life and create this blog. DSCN0192

My parents bought Brunette Ambition for me before I came abroad. They thought it would be useful to read on the plane or whenever I have down time. They were right.I have already read it all but always catch myself re-reading it. It is perfect for weekend trips to another country, reading outside at a café, before bed, or the balcony of my apartment.

My suggestion is to find a healthy book you think you would enjoy. There are so many out there. Another one of my favorites is Lauren Conrad‘s book, Beauty.If you pick an author you like, it makes the book more enjoyable for you. Since I want to be just like Lea Michele, this book is perfect for me! Pick a health book that suits you.Desktop

Its simple. Join a gym

Back in the states, working out is my favorite hobby. At college, I live in a sorority house and need some alone time from the 65 girls I live with. The gym is a place I can go by myself for a few hours and relieve all my stress. Running, stretching, and listening to music, are all part of my “me time”. It is very important to me.

IMG_2972After one week in Barcelona without a workout, I quickly realized I needed to join a gym. In google maps, it showed me there were plenty around the city! I decided to join a gym that was a ten minute walk from my apartment called Simply Gym. They gave me a student discount rate that was only 10 euro a month, plus a start up fee. This comes with workout classes that I am very excited to try. Quickly, I fell in love with this gym.

It was very spacious and empty. My old gym was always crowded with college students and made it impossible to get a full workout in. This gym even has a section separate just for women, which I love. The first day, a lady even offered to show me some of the weight machines.

My favorite part has to be the televisions. All over the gym American music videos are being played all day. It is always a good day when Justin Timberlake or Beyoncé  comes on. It forces me to stay on the treadmill an extra video or two longer when I see something I like.

IMG_2975My advice when abroad, join a gym! Gyms abroad are less expensive and all over the city. If you prefer treadmills, ellipticals, cycling bikes, weights, or classes abroad gyms have them. Find one close to you, make it part of your weekly routine, and start sweating!

Run a Routine

Two weeks and half in Barcelona and it feels like I have lived here forever. The first step to a healthy lifestyle is getting into a routine. Figuring out when you have time to eat and what days of the week you can get a workout in are elements you should be thinking about. I am a very visual person. What I do is write out each day on a piece of paper. Then, I list what I will be doing that day to see where I can fit in food and exercise. This helps me stay organized and have goals for the week

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Mondays and Wednesday are the days when I have three classes. My favorite thing is to snack. It is proven to be better for you, if you consider portion size. I eat small snacks throughout the day and in between each class. My last class ends at 7:30. In Barcelona, people eat their dinners much later. I walk home around 8 and make a meal. Then, we usually go out. After a long night of dancing, it is normal to get hungry, come home, and make a late night snack before bed.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have one class from 6-7:30pm. This gives me plenty of time in the day to workout and do homework. Once again, I usually come home and make a late meal around 8pm.

Weekends are tricky because they are so unexpected. You never know what you will be doing, where you will be eating, or how late you will be out. Weekends are my cheat days when I am abroad. Going out to eat and trying new foods are all part of the fun here in Barcelona. If time permits, a workout is definitely necessary.

My schedule and goals are set. Even if I don’t go exactly to plan, it’s okay. There is always next week to try to improve. My advice to you is to write a schedule, make goals, and take it week by week.