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Posts Tagged ‘Lunch’

October 1, 2014

Studying Anatomy Advice

Hi friends! I hope you have had a great Hump Day so far. Ever since I posted this morning’s WIAW, I have done nothing but study my face off.

The majority of you know what I am referencing when I say that I am studying. I am exactly two weeks away from taking my exam to become a certified personal trainer through NASM!

By the way, can we just relish in the fact that today is October 1st for a second? (What? How?) And if that didn’t freak you out, just think about it being only three months away from 2015. You’re welcome.

Yup, T-minus fourteen days until the big test day. I shouldn’t feel too freaked out because I finished reading all of the material and watching all of the online videos last night. I have a sense of peace knowing I have two full weeks to study my notes and notecards and know I will be fine.

That’s what I keep telling myself at least.


After checking some emails, I went to the refrigerator and was happy to see lunch ready just a few minutes later. Yay for leftovers!

veggie noodle spaghetti and side salad

I enjoyed the same spicy pasta and salad from yesterday, minus the turkey and black olives.

Side salad: baby spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, red, yellow, and green peppers, carrots and feta cheese with balsamic vinegar.

dinner leftovers

Pasta: veggie spaghetti noodles in Sockarooni Pasta Sauce with spinach, mushrooms, and Al Fresco Sweet Italian Sausage with added spices of pizza seasoning and crushed red pepper flakes.

After lunch, my lower body felt extremely sore from barre class and I spent a good ten minutes foam rolling my legs and glutes.

cali and foam roller

Per usual, I had to dodge pets right and left. They always crack me up!

If I even think about getting on the floor, they always instinctively know it’s happening and instantly appear to roll around with me. It’s hilarious.

aspen stretching

Speaking of glutes… I need some advice, ya’ll.

Studying Anatomy Advice

I don’t even remember taking anatomy in high school. There was no need for any class of the sort in college with a Mass Communications degree, and I definitely never dissected a frog or any animal for that matter.

I received a question from a reader who is also in the midst of studying to attain her CPT through NASM and I wasn’t quite sure how to answer it:

“I’m trying to figure out what the best study technique would be to learn all the anatomy. Did you study each origin, insertion, isolated function, and integrated function? My thoughts are to print out each page in Appendix D and put the pic of the muscle on the front and in my own terms write out what each muscle does on the back.

What was your technique through that process? I find myself in a rut and putting off studying because I don’t have a solid study technique for this process. How is the rest of your studying going? Do you feel like you retain all the info for each chapter or do you find at times you have to go back?”

So you can reference what we are talking about, here is one of the many pages that make up the muscles in Appendix D.

studying anatomy and muscles with NASM

Here is how I replied:

“To be honest, Appendix D scares the crap out of me. All of the muscle groups blend together and I can’t remember the names of each one no matter what I do or how I try to remember them. I was feeling similar to you around Chapter 6 and felt stumped. I actually quit studying for a while! I promise it gets better.

The middle of the book was the hardest for me to get through. I studied Appendix D as much as I could and just moved on knowing I would have to revisit it. I can recognize some muscles when the names are in front of me (like if they were listed on the side and I had to choose the right one for the right area), but I couldn’t tell you what the names are just by looking at a skeleton. I even took two anatomy sessions at the IDEA conference for this very reason! I was feeling very frustrated like you.

My plan of attack for this test is to finish my material, then force myself into the library and review all the notecards and vocabulary from each chapter. I plan to spend at least a couple of days just on Appendix D, so hopefully it comes a little easier this time around.

I’m not sure of the best way to go about it… to be honest, I’ll probably google cheat sheets and tips for remembering the names of muscles and hope to find an easier way to go about it. Maybe find some flashcards? I’m sure spelling won’t matter, and if you have a general idea of what does what, you’ll do fine. That’s what I’m hoping for anyways.”

close up anatomy studying with NASM
Since I finished the textbook last night, the first thing I wanted to do before diving back in to review all of the material I covered over the last five months was take the CPT Practice Test. It is easy to access online and consists of 100 questions.

I predicted that I wouldn’t score very high, considering I haven’t even glanced at the notecards I made myself throughout the chapters. As expected, questions that required a general knowledge of the muscular system and specific muscle functions popped up.

anatomy questions on CPT with NASM

I took the test and scored a 49. I answered just under half of the questions right, which could have really freaked me out in a huge way. Instead, I remembered that I still have a lot of reviewing to do.

I plan to re-take the practice test at least a handful of times before my test date and as long as my scores keep improving I’ll know I’m doing okay.

In the mean time, I still have no idea how to ease into remembering the names and functions of all of these muscles. A lot of them are very similar and it confuses me. Those of you who have taken this test before, or even needed to memorize the anatomy of the body for a specific job and/or certification, do you have any tips?

Any online (preferably free) resources to check out?

I would greatly appreciate any advice!

All right. It’s time for me to get out the door on a training run. I’ll be sure to check back in with how everything is going in the next week or so.

Thanks in advance for the help! <3

October 1, 2014

WIAW #67: Spicy Pasta is My Jam

I often get questions about what my every day eating habits are like, and to help sum it up I participate in Jenn‘s What I Ate Wednesday link up (almost) every week.

In no way do I plan meals out for the purpose of looking healthier or more “on track” than I normally would. I eat what I eat, I document it, and I share it with you! That’s the beauty of doing it so often.

Nothing about my day of meals is planned just for this purpose, and for the record, I barely even plan any meals at all! My “food prep” merely consists of a trip to the grocery store once a week and keeping my refrigerator and pantry organized enough to sort through. I guess that is another post and topic for another time though…

I have been feeling a bit under the weather over the past couple of days (thanks a lot, unpredictable back-and-forth Michigan weather), and know my body is trying it’s best to fight something off.

Since I hadn’t been getting a ton of sleep, I turned in early (for me) last night and ignored my alarm this morning. After a good ten hours of shut-eye (!!!), I finally feel human again! It’s amazing what a little R&R will do for the body and soul.

Anyways, let’s get to the eats!

What I Ate Wednesday Tuesday

wiaw fall into good habits button

My Tuesday started extra early with a 6:30 a.m. workout at Xtend Barre.

Xtend barre class

Taking a clue from my first class, I made sure to grab smaller weights for the warm-up arm series. Laugh all you want, those 1 and 2 pounders creep up quickly when you’re circling and pulsing your arms for minutes at a time.

Class was challenging and we (Alex has been joining me!) celebrated with breakfast at Starbucks afterwards.

starbucks turkey bacon breakfast sandwich and skinny vanilla latte

Veering off from my normal spinach and feta wrap, I ordered the reduced-fat turkey bacon breakfast sandwich on a whole wheat English muffin and a skinny vanilla latte.

Alex is able to work from home every other Tuesday, so she joined me in working the morning away at the coffee shop. We wrapped things up for a break around 11 a.m. and she mentioned stopping into Papa Joe’s to pick up some groceries. How have I never been here?

Papa Joe's Gourmet Market

Correction. I have been in once (a looong time ago), my mind was blown, then somehow I completely forgot it existed. Why, I’ll never know.

As much as I love Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, I sure do miss my weekly trip to a Fresh Market ever since we moved. Papa Joe’s gave me that similar comforting feeling I always get walking through FM doors. Is that weird?

Papa Joe's market pumpkin

Over a hundred dollars more than I planned on spending later, I loaded my car with groceries and headed home.

grocery re-stock

Roadie seemed extra anxious when I arrived, so we went on a walk around the neighborhood.

fabletics salar pants reebok skyscapes

(Still swooning over these Fabletics Salar Leggings + Reebok Skyscapes.)

As soon as we returned, I snacked on fruit salad while I made lunch.

fruit salad

I was hungry and craving lots of greens!

veggie and turkey salad with feta

Baby spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, red, yellow, and green peppers, carrots, black olives, deli turkey, and feta cheese with balsamic vinegar.

Once I put everything from lunch away, I went upstairs for a shower and returned wanting a snack. I picked these Glutino gluten-free pretzels up at Papa Joe’s and dominated half of the bag right then and there. Whoops.

glutino gluten-free pretzels

Feeling tired, I made myself a cup of coffee and typed up my afternoon blog post. Funny, it was about coffee and why it’s okay to have an afternoon cup every once in a while…

coffee makes you smile

I spent another hour or so on the computer afterwards and did a load of laundry before I sat back down to study.

Two hours later, I finished reading my very last chapter of my NASM CPT book! Woo hoo! Dinner with a celebratory glass of wine sounded perfect.

spicy healthy pasta and wine

Veggie spaghetti noodles in Sockarooni Pasta Sauce with spinach, mushrooms, and Al Fresco Sweet Italian Sausage with added spices of pizza seasoning and crushed red pepper flakes.

spicy chicken italian sausage pasta

It was spicy and delicious! I also made a slice of wheat toast and decided I was too full to even think about dessert.

Scott and I spent the rest of our night watching The Voice (Adam Levine, I’ve missed you…) and went to bed right around 11 p.m.

It was a great little Tuesday!

Questions of the Morning

• Do you ever order or make your pasta spicy?

• What show are you most excited about tuning into (if any) this fall?

It’s funny, I never used to like spicy food. Until about the age of 22, I never even tried anything spicy. Once I started dating Scott, he introduced me to a ton of new foods and my tastebuds adapted well. Now, I love the extra hotness in dishes and almost always make my pasta spicy! Arrabbiata sauce is my favorite to order out!


• If you liked this WIAW post, head on over to Peas & Crayons to check out plenty others, or even link your own.

• Also, you can always find my latest What I Ate Wednesday posts by exploring the “WIAW” tag on the right hand sidebar.

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I am not a registered dietician, nutritionist, or certified fitness professional. The workouts I post are what work best for me, but might not be the right type of exercises for you.

I do NOT post everything I eat. All content I post on this blog stems from my personal experience and knowledge, and I recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet or fitness routine.

Also, please understand that affiliate links may pop up on the blog from time to time. I acknowledge when they appear and always genuinely appreciate your support! ♥

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