Monday, April 20, 2015

Stitch Fix April 2015 Review

Hey, Hey!

It's Stitch Fix time again!

If you're not familiar with Stitch Fix, it's a really neat way to shop for clothes wherein you let someone else do just about all of the work for you. You schedule when you want your shipment, or "fix," and write a brief note describing what you might be looking for. Stitch Fix assigns you with a stylist who picks out five pieces they think will be just right for you based on your size and style preferences. When your fix ships, you're charged a $20.00 fee. Once it arrives, you have three days to try everything on and decide what to keep or send back. You're only charged for what you keep, and the $20.00 styling fee is credited toward the cost of your keepers. If you keep nothing, you're out your $20.00. If you keep everything, you get 25% off your total, less the $20.00.  Best of all, you don't have to go shopping. You get unique, quality pieces delivered right to your door.

Sounds pretty sweet, right? If you think so, then consider signing up for your own fix. And, I'd love it if you sign up using my referral code: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/4005981. If you sign up using my link, I get a $25.00 credit when your fix ships.  Thanks in advance! I know you'll love it if you try it out. :)

This is my sixth fix and this time around I asked for white jeans, a classic denim jacket, and a dress or two for my nephew's baptism and summer weddings. I also asked to have the same stylist as last time, Anna.



My stylist definitely followed my requests! I had requested a denim jacket, white jeans, and a dress or two, each of which were in my fix. I also got two tops to mix and match with items from my fix. I could see directly how my stylist picked items for me based on my requests and on my Pinterest Board. Here's what I got in my fix this time:

41HAWTHORN Jace Chevron Print Dress
MAVI Kalie Distressed Denim Jacket
PIXLEY Miandra Embroidered Top
BRIXON IVY Priya Abstract Print Floral Knit Back Tank
MAVI Aiden Skinny Jean

Without further ado, let's take a look at some of the items and outfits I got!

Outfit One, featuring: MAVI Kalie Distressed Denim Jacket, PIXLEY Miandra Embroidered Top, and MAVI Aiden Skinny Jean. 
Let's start with the pants. MAVI Aiden Skinny Jean. I requested white jeans. These are actually not white but a very pale gray. I wasn't opposed to the color upon seeing it, even though it wasn't true white, but when I put them on, it was just enough of an off-white that it looked awkwardly similar to skin color. When I walked into the other room to show my husband this outfit, he said he didn't see that I had pants on at first. That's a problem. They're also probably one size too small and I thought overall not the most flattering on me. I would have felt self-conscious wearing them to school and since that's the primary place I'd probably wear them, that wasn't going to work.  I may tell my stylist to try again. Or maybe I'll search online and see if I can find some white jeans that are a little thicker and more of a true white. I'd like some to wear for spring and summer.  VERDICT: RETURNED.

Next, MAVI Kalie Distressed Denim Jacket. I really liked the color and sandblasting on this jacket. It's pretty much what I was looking for when I requested a denim jacket. The problem with this jacket is that it's just enough too small that it's not going to work. I can't even come close to buttoning it and it was too tight through the shoulders, even unbuttoned. This is nitpicky, but I also didn't like the collar construction. If it's not perfect, I don't keep it, so... VERDICT: RETURNED.

Third piece in this outfit, PIXLEY Miandra Embroidered Top. I knew I would like this item as soon as I peaked and looked ahead at what I'd be getting in my fix. I was not disappointed when it came in! I love anything cobalt or royal blue-- it's a flattering color on me, AND it's one of our school colors. I have a lot in my wardrobe already to wear with this top, and I could dress it up or down. The size is just right on me, too. VERDICT: DEFINITE KEEPER! I wore this shirt to school today with some gray capris, a yellow cardigan and gold jewelry. I love bright primary colors!

Next item: BRIXON IVY Priya Abstract Print Floral Knit Back Tank
BRIXON IVY Priya Abstract Print Floral Knit Back Tank- This piece was clearly the favorite of my dog, Harvey, as he photobombed each of my photo attempts! But seriously, I really like this top, too. It's not something I would have picked out because for some reason florals don't speak to me when I'm shopping in a store, but the fit was great and I found that I have many items already in my closet that I can layer with this top to make different outfits. I actually wore this top on Saturday evening to a wedding with the gray jeans that are pictured, a blue cardigan, bronze jewelry, white jean jacket and my cowboy boots. (It's more than appropriate to wear jeans and boots to a wedding in small town Montana, fyi. I love this state!) VERDICT: DEFINITE KEEPER!

Lastly...
41HAWTHORN Jace Chevron Print Dress

41HAWTHORN Jace Chevron Print Dress. I styled this dress with a red belt I already had, just to break it up a little and help define my waist. These photos aren't that bad, but the dress was actually pretty unflattering on me. The pleats made my hips look bigger than they are and my husband said I looked, "wide" and "frumpy." The dress was also too big through the armholes, and makes it look like I have uniboob. Just wasn't a winner all around. I did ask for a dress or two but this one just wasn't going to work.

Here's a close up of the fabric for the Jace Dress.
It's actually a knit material and to me felt kind of flimsy and cheap. If I'm thinking about it from a production standpoint, it's probably inexpensive to buy compared to a woven, and stretchy, making it more likely to be flattering on many body types. Just not this one. VERDICT: Returned.

Overall, I kept two out of five items for about $80 spent. I'm really happy with my decisions on what to keep and what to send back. Again, I only keep what's PERFECT. What's the point of settling? Then you have a closet full of stuff that you never wear, and that's why I started doing Stitch Fix in the first place! Was my fix stylish, convenient, delightful, and fun? Absolutely! Did I love opening my box and trying everything on in the comfort of my own home? You bet. Did I feel like my stylist chose items that were curated for me? Definitely.

What did you think of my fix? What were your favorite pieces?

Here's the style cards and note that came with my fix.

I am planning on getting one more fix in May, then I'll probably take June and July off. Since I'm not in school those months, I don't have as much going on that I need nicer clothes for. I mostly wear t-shirts when I'm at home on the farm anyway. Then I can pick back up in August in time for back to school.

Thanks for reading, everyone! Don't forget to submit me some photos of places you love and/or are thankful for that I can use in an upcoming Thankful Thursday post! For more details on that, read my previous post! :)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thankful Thursday ~ Pride of Place CALL FOR PHOTOS!

Today's Thankful Thursday post will include a Call for Photography! I'll be asking my readers to submit some photos that will be included in a future Thankful Thursday post. Details will be at the bottom of today's post! Keep reading to learn more!


'Tis the season at work for audits. 

This time of year, an auditor from the State named Beal travels around all over Montana and checks out all the programs that do what we do to make sure we're doing what we do correctly. Some people seem to be intimidated by Beal, but I don't get why. As soon as he got here, I greeted him with a handshake and a friendly hello. My coworker had described him as "an aged Hippie," and the description was apt. That's exactly how he looked and acted. It worked out great for me because I love Hippies and I get along just fine with people like that. In fact, Beal reminded me quite a bit of Jeff's Uncle Dennis, which is a person I greatly enjoy speaking with. He was pretty low-key.  Thorough in our audit (which we passed with flying colors) but low-key and friendly.

As Beal was wrapping up our audit, I continued making genial small talk and stated, "You must do a lot of driving for your job. I bet you see a lot of country."

Beal looked me in the eye and without flinching or blinking said, "Yes, I do, but I love the Hi-Line the best." 

He went on to describe that he really loved the drama of the landscapes-- flat land interrupted by island mountain chains such as the Bearpaws and the Sweetgrass Hills. He loved the Milk River and how it cut dramatically through the Northern Plains. I told him about how our farm is about dead-level to the east of the Sweetgrass Hills and just south of where the Milk crosses from Canada into the U.S. He said, "It must be a pretty beautiful spot, ideally situated." and I agreed that it was.

Then he went on to say that what he loved just as much as the land here is the way of life. He said, "You go to places like Billings, Bozeman, and Missoula and they've become so modern and busy. But here it's not so modern and it feels more like the way Montana is supposed to be." He had a great sense of nostalgia for the Montana of his boyhood, the Montana that he still finds when he's on the Hi-Line.

Beal's words really struck me. I reflected on my first visits to the Hi-Line and how completely different it was from all the places in which I had previously lived or spent significant time. You see, I had only ever lived in places that I think Beal would describe as "modern." I grew up in a college town, spent time in some of the largest cities in the world, then moved to a tourist trap and then back to another college town before moving up north. I was used to a "modern" way of life. In fact, the first time Jeff took me to Havre, I cried. 

Now, that should tell you a lot about me. I can now own up to myself and say that I think I used to be a lot more superficial.  I was so used to living in cities and towns that had all the amenities that that's what I thought I needed to be happy. I struggled to find value in the people and the connections made and community which I now find so indispensable. When I first moved here, I felt mostly a sense of isolation. Now, I feel a solitude and a peace that comes from having pride of place and community. It has taken time for me and humbling growth, but I'm here now. Now, I'm thankful to be here. I'm thankful for my home on the Hi-Line.

If you've made it through reading all of that, I commend you. Now comes the fun part, and the challenge. Typically, at the end of each Thankful Thursday post, I ask a general question: What are you thankful for this week? Well, this week we're going to do things a little bit differently. You have homework. And, instead of asking you WHAT you're thankful for, I'd like to know WHERE you're thankful for. The places you love. READ ON!

I am asking for everyone who reads this to submit at least one photo of a place that you love and are thankful for. It doesn't have to be your home, but it could be. It could be anywhere. I prefer that it is a photo that you, yourself has taken. This is not a contest, so don't worry about image quality. In fact, sometimes the "worst" photos are the best images. Please, if you can, submit the photo to me in one of the ways I'll outline below, and include a caption stating where the photo was taken and why you are thankful for that place. In two weeks, I'll post all the photos I've received for that week's Thankful Thursday post. (I already have something planned for next week, so that's why you have a lengthy two-week deadline!)

Here's how you can submit:
1) You can email your photos to me at: kra1984montana@yahoo.com (or any other email address you may already have for me).
2) You may post your photo on Facebook and tag me.
3) You can send it to me as a picture text if you have my phone number.
4) You can use Instagram and tag me at @katie.r.bangs
Remember to include a caption of where the place is and why you love it! 
Deadline will be Wednesday, April 19. 

Can't wait to see all the places you love and are thankful for! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Protein Challenge Week 2

Today is a review day in the 30 day Protein Challenge I'm doing. I thought I'd just type it out on my blog. I didn't do as good of a job of taking detailed notes this week since I've been super busy with track meets and practice, but I still think it's pretty accurate.

30 Day Protein Challenge

This week I was focusing on trying to eat more protein at breakfast and lunch, and on days when I knew would be long days, i.e. track meet days. On meet days, I am literally on my feet from the moment we get off the team bus until we board it again at the end of the meet. I spend my time walking from event to event coaching kids and often helping run specific events, setting up/taking down hurdles, or judging a relay exchange. They're long days and I need a lot of extra protein to fuel to the finish.

In this past week, I had two meets. In looking at my food journal, I had different protein approaches to each meet. The first meet, my approach was to graze all day on high protein snacks, then I had a fast food sandwich wrap with the team after the meet. My total protein that day was 132 grams. (Remember that goal for a normal diet is 75-90 grams). On the other meet day, I tried eating a more high protein breakfast and then snacked only when I was hungry throughout the day. I had about 35 grams at breakfast and it carried me through most of the way to lunch, when I had about 20 grams. On this day, I felt like I ate high protein and high carb throughout the day, so I ordered a chicken salad at fast food with the team after the meet. On this day, I ended up with 72 grams of protein.

Comparing the two, both approaches seemed to work well, but I felt better at the end of the day on the second meet and I think it had to do with being more conscious of balancing protein with veggies. I still had enough protein to power myself through the day, but I was also getting all of the other yummy goodness that fruits and veggies have to offer.

My other observation after reading through my notes is that I get better, more balanced meals on days I work at school than I do on days I am at home all day. On school days, I eat breakfast and lunch at school and I love it. There are many healthy options available at both meals at school and best of all, I don't have to prepare it.

This week, I'm trying to be better at prepping food ahead of time so that I can have more protein value in meals I do eat at home or on the go. In my previous post, I wrote all about making salad in a jar and I'm really looking forward to seeing how that translates to my energy level and overall healthy eating when I dig into those this week. Jeff had his first one yesterday, really liked it, and is thinking it's a great idea to do again in the future. I've got another track meet this afternoon so I packed a salad in a jar for my post-meet dinner. No fast food for this girl today! I'm really looking forward to digging in!

This photo is from www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com
My mason jar salads look pretty good but a steak salad would be awesome, too!

To read my previous posts about the protein challenge, click below:
30 Day Protein Challenge
Protein Challenge Week 1

Stay tuned in another week to read about how the protein challenge continues!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Salad In a Jar

If you haven't noticed, mason jars are really trendy right now. Just do a Google or Pinterest search and see what you come up with. They are being used for everything from light fixtures to soap dispensers and everything in between, including good old canning and food storage. Here on the farm, we do a fair amount of canning to preserve our garden bounty and Carol also does canned beef every year. We have no shortage of jars around and we're not afraid to use them!

So when this week's Shape Up Montana Weekly Challenge was to make ahead some salads in mason jars, we were completely on board and ready to go! We don't have any garden produce yet, but since we do get a Bountiful Basket every other week, we were able to find some salad recipes that utilized ingredients we had on hand, including lots of fresh produce and grains and some healthy, lean proteins. Yesterday, Jeff, Tom, Carol and I got together and combined our resources and ingredients to put together a whole bunch of mason jar salads to eat throughout the week.
Beautiful jars of Chopped Black Bean and Corn Mason Jar Salad.
The inspiration and recipes for our salads came from an article I found on Buzzfeed. The article featured eighteen recipes, each a different combination of ingredients for mason jar salads. Jeff looked through all of them and found two that worked well with ingredients we already had. When we all got together, Jeff was the task master, too, and coordinated all of the salad creating efforts. The recipes we chose were similar, but contained different ingredients. We made Burrito Bowl Salads, and  Chopped Black Bean and Corn Mason Jar Salad.  Both had southwestern inspiration and flavors, and both had a "dressing" of greek yogurt and salsa.

Jeff places the first ingredients in the jars. I'm showing off his skills with Vanna hands. 
 What took the most time in preparing these salads was chopping veggies and preparing the ingredients. We were more or less starting from scratch, so all the veggies had to be cleaned and diced, chicken and sweet potatoes had to be seasoned and cooked, corn had to be thawed, black beans rinsed and drained, lettuce was torn, rinsed and spun dry. It was a good thing we had all hands on deck because it would have been a lot of work for one person.
While waiting on a few ingredients to be prepped, Jeff and Tom talked farming as Tom read the latest copy of Progressive Farmer.  
 The first salad we started on was the black bean and corn salad. It contained Greek yogurt, salsa, black beans, corn, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, cubed pepper jack cheese, and lettuce. Even though this salad is meatless, the beans, corn, cheese and yogurt will pack a powerful protein punch.
Jeff measures out black beans for each jar.
 We tackled the Burrito Bowl jars next. Ingredients for this one include Greek yogurt, bell peppers, cubed sweet potatoes, cilantro-lime quinoa, diced cooked chicken, shredded cheddar cheese, and lettuce. Again, this salad will be a protein powerhouse as quinoa is high in protein and it also contains chicken, cheese, and Greek yogurt.
Tom and Carol spoon some Greek yogurt into the bottom of the Burrito Bowl jars.
 I think the salad in a jar idea is really great because it allows you to prep some meals ahead of time that can be used later in the week. Jeff and Tom will be able to take them in their lunches while they're working on seeding barley, Carol can eat one for a quick lunch in the house or wherever she is, and I plan to bring a jar to my track meet tomorrow evening. It's a great on-the-go meal for busy people.
Putting lettuce in each jar.
If a person didn't want to spend a bunch of time cutting and chopping, you could use leftover ingredients from meals earlier in the week, or buy pre-cut produce and pre-cooked chicken, etc. I think a person could be really resourceful in using up leftovers from the fridge and making up your own salads whenever odd bits of leftover ingredients are around. 

Screwing lids on jars.
One thing that is important to remember in creating a mason jar salad is to put the wetter ingredients and salad dressings in FIRST. Then progress to drier ingredients as you fill the jar, saving lettuce for last. This way things like lettuce and cheese don't get soggy from sitting in the dressing. Plus, the colorful layers really look great in a clear jar!
Finished! Aren't those layers beautiful?
 When you're ready to eat, just dump your jar out onto a big plate or bowl and chow down. Easy, right?

If you're looking for a fun meal to make as a family that's healthy and delicious, mason jar salads could be just the ticket! Even young kids can get involved in helping and layering ingredients, and you can teach them about nutrition along the way. We had a great time making these together over the weekend and I can't wait to dig in! The four of us will definitely get our ten bonus points for Shape Up Montana, and these will work well for the Protein Challenge I'm participating in, too.

Have you ever made mason jar salads? What are some great, healthy meal ideas you use in your busy house?

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Log Off Shut Down Virtual 10K Sign Up

About a week ago, I read a post on my friend Christy's blog about a virtual race through Goneforarun.com. It's called the Log Off Shut Down Go Run 10K. You can check out Christy's blog at www.christyruns.com, and read on to learn more about the Log Off Shut Down Go Run 10K.

About the time she posted it, I started having some unusual pain and stiffness in my left hip and lower back. It has been seriously tight in that area for a little over a week, and I can't figure out exactly what triggered the pain and stiffness in the first place. I've been a little bummed to skip out on some runs, but kept this virtual 10K in the back of my mind. I knew I wanted to do the virtual 10K but I wanted to wait to sign up until I had a better idea of what was happening with my back and hip.

Yesterday, after taking several days off of running, I went out for a short 2.5 mile jog in town before track practice to test out how my hip and back felt. It had been feeling a little better, and I had been noticing it seemed to feel much better with some stretching. It also seems to feel worse after a long day of sitting than it does after a long day of walking and moving. I logged over eight miles of walking on Saturday during a really long track meet, and the hip felt not terrible at the end of the day. It was no more stiff than the rest of my body after that long day.

The short mile running "the loop" in Rudyard was a good barometer. By the time I got back, my hip was a little stiff but no worse than anything else had made it feel. I decided I wasn't hurting myself by running on it. So, today I pulled the trigger on signing up for this run!

I am super excited about the Log Off Shut Down Go Run Virtual 10K! Signing up for races is just what I need to stay motivated to run, and this distance is quickly becoming my new favorite. Since it's a virtual race, I get to do the race wherever I want. They do specify dates they want it completed- April 24, 25 or 26. I know I have a track meet on the 25th and my nephew's baptism is the 26th, so that means I'll be doing mine on Friday, April 24. That means I have two weeks from today to get ready and increase my mileage a bit. I know I can do it!

The cost for the event is $30 (plus a little extra for a shipping fee), and they send you all the great racing swag you see below:

If you're a dude, you can choose a men's tshirt instead of the tank top. You'll also get an official race bib, a medal, and a car magnet. I'm most excited about the tank top. The magnet will probably go in the prize bin at school or given to someone on the track team.

I know to some it seems silly to spend $30 on a virtual race when I could just go out and run 6.2 miles for free. For me, I think of it as an investment in myself and even as a bet on myself. If I pay the money, I'm more likely to train for it like it's a normal race with lots of people, and I'm more likely to actually do it. I've paid the money, I have a date set, I'm going to follow through. And, I get some cool stuff for signing up, too!

Think you're interested in signing up for this race? Click RIGHT HERE to go to the website and sign up.

If you live in my area and you want to do it with me, I'm running on Friday, April 24, probably on some gravel roads near my house. Let me know if you'd like to come along!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Thankful Thursday ~ Easter Photos

Nothing too heavy on this week's Thankful Thursday post.

I decided I'd just go back through my photos from the lovely Easter weekend we had, and then I kept going through some of my more recent photos from this week. So, this post is inspired by photos, but I also noticed as I went through my photos that there was a theme. Maybe it's something about Easter, or babies, or animals, or springtime, but the definite theme of the photos and the week is gentleness.

Take a look through and see what you think.

Who remembers Benjamin? His leg is healing up nicely!
 Josh, Katie and Brandon (my nephew) were here over the weekend. Brandon was introduced to cows by his Grandpa Tom, with Uncle Jeff and the rest of us nearby. Brandon even got to pet a new calf! (Below)

I always enjoy walking among the herd. This was a cool morning and the mamas were all eating hay we had rolled out in the pasture for them. The calves romped around on the hillside. Sweetgrass Hills in the background.


Can you see the bunny that Harvey is stalking? 

We did have a snow shower or two in the past week. I got a really lovely image of snow on a lilac bud. Springtime in Montana!

Harvey and I took a walk one morning and I coaxed him into holding still for a few moments while I snapped his portrait. Not easy to get a vizsla to sit still for photos when he's on his morning walk! He sat still but he was determined NOT to look at me! ha!

Gentleness is also the Virtue of the Week with the kids I work with at school this week. We discussed how to be gentle both with our actions and our words. Then we did an activity where we blew bubbles in soapy, dyed water and used the bubbles to make a "print" on our papers. We were gentle with our breath when blowing the bubbles, gentle with our words (using manners words to share supplies), and gentle with our hands when we laid the papers on top of the bubbles. Gentleness was a great word for the younger kids especially because it was one they could easily understand and demonstrate.


"Gentleness- being gentle, not being ruf, being kind in words."

"Gentleness- to be gentle with there words, don't be mean."
So what does Gentleness have to do with Thankfulness? Well, we can certainly be thankful for the ability of ourselves and others to be gentle. I appreciate when others speak to me with gentle words and kindness.  According to the book I use at school, "People are very sensitive beings. Many things are delicate and fragile, but feelings are the most fragile of all." Gentleness is being kind and considerate, in addition to moving and acting carefully.

Gentleness is--

  • holding a baby
  • being around and touching animals
  • not shaking snow off of a branch
  • blowing bubbles
  • teaching children
  • being kind in words and actions
  • respecting and appreciating others and ourselves
I am thankful for everything on that very short list! 


Do you think Gentleness and Thankfulness can go together?
What are you thankful for this week?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Protein Challenge Week 1

Hey Everyone!

It's been several days since my last post. I've been busy with family time over the long Easter Weekend (four day weekend! Yay!).  We had a great time with visits from Katie, Josh, and Brandon, and celebrating Carol's birthday and Easter. How was your weekend?

30 Day Protein Challenge
from www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com
Some of you may remember from last week when I posted that I'd be participating in a 30 Day Protein Challenge. It's through www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com. Now that I'm a week in, I wanted to update everyone on how it's going.

The first five days of the challenge were all about data gathering. I recorded what I ate every day, specifically noting how many grams of protein I was consuming. I'm not counting calories, just protein. I'm also noting my mood and energy level, and how much exercise I'm doing. Day six of the challenge I was to review my food journal and identify where I may be able to shift my protein consumption. Day seven, today, is a "rest day," and I'm to eat normally and not worry about writing it down.
The Pen Is Mightier Than the Fork
from proteinchallenge@beef.org email blast.
What did I learn from the first week?

On average, over six days of recording my consumption, I've been eating 81.7 grams of protein each day. According to the challenge website, a daily goal of protein consumption should be between 75-90 grams per day, so I'm right in the middle of that. Some days I was way over (*ahem*Easter*ahem) and some days I was way under. The meal where I have been consistently getting the least protein is breakfast, as it likely is for many people. But I'm still on track for my overall total protein consumption in a day, so what I lack in breakfast I make up for at lunch or dinner.

I also have been charting my mood, or "hangriness," as I've been thinking of it in my mind. I do get a little more irritable if I haven't eaten. First thing in the morning is a challenge for me, especially before I've eaten or had coffee. Not sure what to do about that since I don't want to eat a huge meal right before going to bed. Probably best to just keep warning people and try my best to not be grumpy out loud.

I'm also noticing that when I exercise, it seems to curb my hunger pangs and keep my mood positive. Maybe I need to jump out of bed and do some jumping jacks??? I feel less hungry longer during and right after exercise, but then it hits like a ton of bricks and I want to eat ALL OF THE FOOD like RIGHT NOW!
Here is a sample of a day from my food journal. 
I also struggle on the days I have track practice after school because it's a long time from lunch to dinner. School lunch is at noon, practice from 4-6, then half hour drive home, then maybe eat dinner by 7 or 7:30. Some days, I get my own workout in before track practice, too. Noon to 7:30 p.m. is a looooooooong time.

One other thing I have noticed is that I do a pretty good job of balancing proteins with fruits, vegetables and grains. I don't eat a ton of highly processed foods and do a pretty good job of eating produce. So that's good!

After reviewing my food journal and thoughtfully considering my eating, exercise, and emotion patterns from the past six days, here are some strategies I am going to try going forward throughout the challenge--

- Eat more protein during breakfast. I might have to do a little cooking ahead or having more protein options on hand, such as nuts and cheese.  

- Have a protein-centered snack in late afternoon to tie me over until dinner. Maybe consider having a small snack on hand for after practice on the drive home, too.

- Shift less protein from dinner time to keep balance throughout my day on days when I am having a higher protein breakfast and snacks.

For me, being on track with the total amount of protein I am getting is great. The learning and changing process is more pertaining to when I get my protein throughout the day and strategizing how best to fuel my active lifestyle. It would be good to research whether or not an active person requires more protein, and how much more.

Over the next week, I'm going to be attempting to put my new strategies of shifting protein consumption into play. Stay tuned in about a week to hear about my progress!