The Connection Runners + running

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Lessons From the Lion King

As odious a character as Scar was in the Lion King, he did have one piece of advice that I managed to carry with me over the years: Be Prepared!

(Yes I am super nerdy)

Of course it has meant different things to me over the years- being prepared has gone from remembering my shin guards, cleats, and water bottle for soccer practice to a topic much more relevant to my current lifestyle- my meal situation. I grew up with a wonderful mom who packed my (balanced) lunch, but I was always the kid who wanted what I couldn't have- namely the cheesy pizza and fries that were the cafeteria special on Fridays. Now, facing the hospital wards without proper ammo is a massive detriment to my energy levels, my attitude, and my overall well being.

Yes folks, I have a few confessions to make:

I am a tupperware lady.

I have about 5 pieces of silverware in my purse at any given time.
My pockets are stuffed with pens, notepads, reflex hammer, and protein bars.
I am the proud owner of a child's lunchbox (complete with ice pack)

And the best part about it- I'm not ashamed!

First thing's first.
To me, this is the most important meal of the day. No black coffee and juice for me, this is the jumpstart (and highlight) of my day.

Todays breakfast- 1/2 Zone bar, Oikos 0% plain, granola

Zone Bar, Greek Yogurt, Granola. In fact, here's a new granola recipe to get those cylinders firing:

Get Up and Go Apple Cinnamon Granola
Hints of cranberry, raisin, apple, and cinnamon make this one a perfect, hearty pick me up:


  • 3 cups thick cut rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup unsalted cashew pieces
  • 1/4 cup almond slices
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 2 TBSP apple butter
  • 1/8 cup pumpkin
  • 1 t vanilla stevia
  • 1 TBSP blackstrap molasses
  • 1 t apple pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove)
  • 1/2 cup sugar free maple syrup
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup oil ( I used smart balance omega)
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the oats, nuts, seeds, coconut and flax
  3. In a small bowl mix the spices, vanilla, syrup, and oil.
  4. Stir wet into dry and mix through, then spread on a large rimmed non-stick baking sheet
  5. Bake the granola in the center of the oven for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until nearly dry.
  6. Let the granola cool and mix in raisins and cranberries.

Today was a prime example of the gamble you make when deciding to pack/not to pack lunch in medical school. Today's provided lunch:

Needless to say, I was glad I had my trusty (albeit nerdy) lunchbox on me to save the day! It's funny how my opinion has changed since the third grade :-). Today I had chopped veggies and hummus, a hard boiled egg, greek yogurt, granola, and baked lays.

These are also crucial if I'm running around all day without a break til lunch/dinner. Today I had an apple and the other 1/2 of my Zone Bar- which was super helpful in warding off the late afternoon cookie snack we were provided.

Y'all know I'm pretty keen on making a protein and veggie dish for dinner. I'm pretty sure tonight is no exception, after my ZUMBA class of course :-).

What about you? Do you pack lunch or wing it? Are you ok with whatever is provided for free lunch or are you willing to go the extra mile (or two) for your health/well being?

Cue end of scene---"Be Prepparreeedd."

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