Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hootie and The Skinnyfish

Growing up my Dad often made us listen to his music. Whether it was playing in the house or on 12 hour road trips to New York, I quickly learned songs from the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Eagles, The Who, and the list goes on.

It comes in handy at weddings because people love to play the throwbacks and I usually know them all. I also can appreciate cover bands at events. Thanks, Dad.

For some reason, when I was younger, and my father mentioned "Hootie and the Blowfish" I always pictured this band of really fat guys. I guess I assumed that if a group was calling themselves the blowfish, then they must be larger than life. So one day I searched the band online and came to find that they weren't overweight at all. In fact, they were quite thin.

The oh-so-witty preteen Kali then started calling them "Hootie and the Skinnyfish" anytime my Dad would ask "Do you know who sings this one?"

Whenever Dad said "blowfish" I would correct him, "It's skinnyfish!"

Now I realize this joke is lame, but that's not the point of my story. I never really appreciated the Hootie songs back then. I don't know if I didn't give them a chance or never really paid attention, but I pretty much wrote off the skinnyfish.

Fast forward to my adult days. "Hootie" is now Darius Rucker, a crazy successful country singer. I start loving his songs and realize that this man has the most incredible voice I've ever heard. It's one of those effortless voices that sounds phenomenal without trying.

Then it hits me. This is HOOTIE. Like, ringleader of the skinnyfish, Hootie.

If his voice is this good, then....

Download and listen to every single Hootie and the Blowfish song they ever made.


Instantly become obsessed with Hootie and the Blowfish.

And now I'm sad! Because I didn't appreciate them when they were actually a band. And now I'll never see them live in concert.

I keep looking out for Darius to tour near me, hoping that maybe he'll sneak some throwbacks into his set list.

I even think "Hold My Hand" would be an awesome father/daughter wedding dance song. Especially with our history with the skinnyfish.

Until then, you'll find me driving with the window down blaring some Hootie and the Skinnyfish any chance I get.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Diet Battle: Tips to Make Small Improvements

I saw this quote the other day and it really resonated with me. I've heard from multiple trainers and nutritionists that losing weight and being healthy is 80% diet. And now matter how many times I hear it or read it, my heart sinks every time. I'm not a fast-food-eating kind of girl, but I do love my queso.

The very first time I even thought about losing weight, I immediate thought I would simply increase my physical activity (ie: start working out) and the pounds would just come right off! I quickly realized I no longer have the metabolism of a 16 year old, and that wasn't going to work.I also realized that I don't just want to lose weight. Yes, I'd like to lose ten pounds or so, but more importantly, I want to be healthy overall. We only get one body and one life, so I want to take care of myself as much as possible. We recently had a wellness seminar in the office that focused on the consequences of what we eat. Our speaker pointed out that you should care about what foods you are eating not just because they may make you fat, but because they may harm you in other ways as well.With all of that knowledge, the 80% still gets me. I'm no gym rat, but I still find it much easier to go out for a run than to say 'no' to Happy Hour. Social activities involving food are my love language. They say that making small changes is easier to do than to overhaul your entire life at once. So that's what I've been trying to do. I've talked about how I struggle with motivation, how setbacks have no bearing on future performance, and other fitness topics, but today I want to share what I've learned about focusing on that 80%. Some of these things I've been successful at integrating into my life. Others I'm still working on.1. Make Breakfast EasyI eat a KIND bar every morning when I get to work. My favorite is Nut Delight so I make sure I have a full stock in my desk drawer at all times. I eat only one and that's it. No more last minute stops at gas stations on the way to work to get some powdered donuts. No more quick drive-thrus for a breakfast sandwich. Those things are so bad for you and I've found that starting each day off right has helped my energy level and reduced my stomach pains during the day.
2. Replace All Drinks with Water
Really, there are few beverages that are good for you. Coffee, tea, sports drinks, soft drinks - they all have their setbacks. I refill my tumbler with water all day at work and just sip away. I also try to order water if I go out for lunch or dinner. (Bonus - it saves money!) I often splash some lemon juice in my water if I just need something extra. It tastes better and has a lot of health benefits.It's not easy, I know. I probably still let myself have two Diet Cokes a week. But I'm working on it!3. Let Yourself Feel FullWhen you're eating something you really like, it's hard to not overeat. Try to slow down during the meal, then it'll be easier to pay attention to when your stomach is actually full. Then stop! Portion control is important. 4. Know the Difference Between Taste Cravings and HungerOften times after lunch or dinner I'll want something sweet, or salty (usually the opposite of what I've just had). I need to remember that I am no longer hungry, my taste buds are just craving something else. It's difficult to not give in to these temptations!5. Meals Should Energize YouYou know that feeling after going out to lunch? You come back to your desk and you get so tired? You hit a wall and your energy tanks? Our wellness coach told us that meals should energize us, not make us lethargic. If you are eating the right things, and the right amounts, you should feel rejuvenated after lunch and ready to tackle the afternoon. I must say I can tell the difference when I eat well.7. Keep Working Out for the 20%Even though I know the biggest battle is diet, I will continue to make physical activity a part of my life. There are so many benefits of working out that go beyond calorie burning, that it is definitely worth it to me.
Hopefully these tips are helpful to those of you who, like me, really appreciate tasty food. And hopefully I can come back to this list when the next queso-filled happy hour is staring me in the face. One day at a time!

Hot Tips for Planning an Extended Trip to Europe

If you're going to choose the best continent for overseas travel, Europe is probably it. It may not be the largest, but that gives it an advantage. You can see so many different countries within a relatively small space. Rail travel is excellent, and it's just as easy to drive or fly to wherever you want to go. Plus, the Schengen Agreement makes it simple to enter and exit different places without a complicated border check. If you're thinking about a trip around Europe, here are some recommendations for planning.

Set a Budget
You might not like it, but money makes the world go around. The first thing you'll need to consider is how much you have to spend, and how you're going to spend it. You might not get as much for your money as you would have twenty or thirty years ago. But if you choose the right places and find ways to save, you can make your cash go further. As a general rule, countries in Eastern Europe are cheaper. And they're becoming more popular as tourist destinations. When you create your budget, you'll need to think about travel, food, accommodation, and activities.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Dogs are the Perfect Fitness Companion


I like to keep fit, as you can probably tell. I spend a lot of time working on my health and fitness. And recently earlier this year I made a pledge to run 30 miles in June. As you’ll be able to see from the post I took my dog, Piper Jane, with me. And that’s what I want to talk to you about - taking a dog as a fitness companion.
Now, a lot of people like to run with friends, and this is perfectly fine. However, I find that it can be difficult with different schedules and fitness levels. So I decided to start taking my dog with me, and it’s worked great! Here's why I think dogs make such good fitness companions.