Fitness Friday

Text with both hands. Use scissors. Cut food in a straight line. Play dodgeball.

Run 4 miles. Hold a long ass plank. Learn to play (and win!) beer pong left handed.

Despite my injury, I’ve been trying to focus on things that I can do, instead of things that I can’t.

Last summer, I had a really hard time trying to get around with my broken hand, and my frustration at not being able to do the simplest tasks really took a toll on me. I stopped working out almost altogether, was generally unhappy and feeling hopeless, and mysteriously dropped 5 pounds.

It helped that I had a support system (boyfriend) last summer. This time, I didn’t have someone to insist on taking me to the ER right away. I didn’t have someone to make sure my arm was elevated while I slept. I have to drag my bike up my stairs all by my damn self. And while that realization really crushed me when I broke another bone last week, I had another thought that brought me back to reality: I’m the only person who can control my happiness.

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thank god for BFFLs

So I’ve turned my focus to something that I can control, something that lets me set goals and achieve them: fitness! And more specifically, running. We had a break in the 90-100 degree days and dropped into the high 80’s this week, finally allowing for some bearable lunchtime running weather.

On Saturday morning, I went on my usual run and did a pretty speedy (for me) 5K: finished in 28:44, which is a 9:15 min/mile pace.

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It was pretty hot early in the week, so I opted for the sorority girl workout I mentioned on Wednesday: elliptical and abs allllll the way.

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[kickball was definitely more about fun than fitness this week :-P]

I usually skip workouts on Wednesdays and Thursdays because I have kickball on Wednesdays (which is a good workout! I’m guaranteed at least 3 at bats and, thus, 3 sprints to first base) and dodgeball on Thursdays (ok, not really an intense workout), but since I wasn’t going to be able to play dodgeball last night and the high was only in the mid 80’s, I decided to go for a run at lunch.

When I run, I usually hate it the entire time. I am constantly calculating how far I’ve gone and, more importantly, how far I have left, and telling myself things like “OK, I’m 1/5 of the way done…just 4 more times!” I also usually have a distance in mind before I run.

On Thursday, I knew I wanted to go at least 3 miles, but I wasn’t sure how much further I was going to push myself. The furthest I had ever ran was 3.4 miles, and I felt like I was gonna die when I did that. So I decided to play it by ear.

To my surprise, I felt great during my entire run. I feel like I finally experienced that runner’s high that everyone talks about. I started thinking, “oh my god, maybe I can make it to 4 miles…just maybe!” I also started off very slowly and gradually increased my speed, just like you’re supposed to.

This is probably the main reason why I could keep going for .6 miles further than my previous furthest run…

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Yep! I made it to 4 miles!

I couldn’t believe it, and I felt so empowered for pushing through and achieving something I previously thought impossible. Maybe a 10K is in my future!

I was so happy that I was inspired to sign up today for the Color Run happening in Sacramento tomorrow. 5k is no sweat to me anymore 😉

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Super excited to participate in this. I don’t even care if I run the whole thing, it’s going to be a blast!

Have a great weekend!

What I Ate Wednesday

Though I have been blogging for well over a year now, there’s one typical “healthy living blogger” blog post I’ve never done…until today!

What I Ate Wednesday.

I try to avoid posting pictures of every.single.thing I eat, unless what I’m eating is particularly good looking, great tasting, or if it’s a meal I’m really proud of making. Well, none of the things in this post are good looking or mind blowing recipes.. but I generally don’t eat anything that isn’t delicious 🙂 Thankfully, even if I don’t share it on the blog, I have friends who don’t mind me snapping pix of everything I eat to them on Snapchat (Hi Linda Li!)

I’ve also been known to post what I can actually eat/make with a cast, and this time around is no exception! Actually, I’ve found that eating might be even harder with this broken thumb than it was with my broken hand. Though I eat with my left hand, I require my right thumb to chop veggies and hold a spatula. Also, washing dishes is interesting:

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(wearing a rubber glove, Grocery Outlet bag, and a plastic produce bag)

Without further ado, here’s what I ate yesterday.

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My standard breakfast for, like, the last month is 2 slices of Alvarado Street Bakery sprouted toast + Laughing Cow Smooth Sensations cream cheese spread. I won 5 wheels of the stuff in a Twitter contest back when I was at Blend, and I am still working through them! Pictured is cinnamon (left, SO yummy) and strawberry.

I am also really loving Alvarado St. bread at the moment. You can find it at Trader Joe’s (I got their Essential Flax bread there), but my trusted Grocery Outlet discount store recently started stocking it for way cheap! I usually get the California-style complete protein bread, or sprouted whole wheat. They’re the perfect size, pack some protein, and are only 80-90 calories a slice!

And since we’re on the subject of breakfast…

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I was so stoked to be able to make my overnight oats in almost-empty nut butter jars TWICE in the past couple of weeks! Although that also means I’m out of peanut butter and almond butter 😦

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This morning, I had an epically fruity yogurt bowl. Banana cream pie yogurt, fresh pineapple, blueberries, and a dollop of my grandma’s apricot jam. The apricot jam and banana yogurt were actually a really yummy combo!

Since Friday, I have also been having either a calcium pill or multivitamin with breakfast 🙂

Snacks during the workday for the last 2 weeks have not changed:

SO ADDICTIVE!

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I only grab 3-4 at a time, but I always end up eating 2 servings (20 pretzels) worth in a day, haha. I have stopped trying to fight it, but I at least limit myself to one serving before lunch and one after 😛

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As is somewhat normal for me, I did a short workout at lunch. I lifted one small (5 lb) weight and, after realizing it was kind of painful, decided I probably shouldn’t risk injury. So, I’ve relegated myself to the sorority girl workout: elliptical and abs! I’ve made it my goal to have a 6 pack by the time my cast comes off in 4 weeks, haha. Yesterday, I did 20 mins on the elliptical, followed by a 1 min plank, 30 sec side planks, 2 sets of V-ups and Stability Ball sit-ups, and a little bit of work on my obliques.

Also, related note: be glad you’re not friends with me on Snapchat 😛

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Lunch was part 2 of the summer stew I prepped on Sunday: onion, garlic, zucchini, fire roasted tomatoes, corn, lentils, and bell peppers. Aaand a La Tortilla Factory 100-calorie tortilla. LOVE those. 100 calories, 8g of fiber, and they’re huge! I was kind of ravenous after my workout, so I also found an Oats n Honey granola bar to tide me over till dinner.

Last night was laundry night so I was at my parents’ house for dinner:

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BLT’s are probably my family’s most common summer meal, since my dad grows so many tomatoes! Mine was 2 slices of 12-grain bread, 3-4 slices of juicy garden tomatoes, 3 slices of bacon (the real kind, not turkey…my brother’s request) and lots of arugula. On the side was honey dijon Kettle chips, pineapple, and a Lagunitas IPA! Seriously, perfect summer meal.

After dinner, I folded laundry and watched Breaking Bad (I’ve been catching up for almost a year, and am finally on season 4!)

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…while snacking on peanuts and tasting some sangria my mom bought. Yum!

Do you take pictures of everything you eat?

What’s your go-to breakfast?

Any ab/core workouts to recommend?

Weekend in Photos

So this weekend turned out to be a pretty long one, folks… Whether that’s a good or bad thing, I’ll let you decide…

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I ended up taking more or less of a half day on Friday. I went in to Kaiser in the morning and learned that my dodgeball injury had resulted in a “small crack” in my thumb. Womp womp. They sent me on my way with an itty bitty finger brace and I thought I had made out pretty well…until I got a call from the NP an hour later saying that she had an actual radiologist look at the X-ray and it was worse than they thought. I headed over to another Kaiser and left 2 hours later with this monstrosity of a splint. Sad face.

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I had already planned on attending a Young Dems BBQ/pool party, but ended up focusing more on the BBQ and less on the pool. After we left the party, we headed over to the guys’ house to play drinking games with some really bad champagne.  Felt like I was in college again!

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Despite the massive splint, I went along my normal Saturday morning routine – starting with a nice run. This was my first run in 2 weeks, and my fastest 5K since my race back in March!

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I missed the Farmer’s Market last week since I was in SF with the girls, and I couldn’t believe 1) how many tomatoes there were and 2) how beautiful all the colors were! I also picked up some zinnias, which finally looked pretty and healthy enough to treat myself to 🙂

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Despite not having one of my thumbs, I made lots of stuff with my produce this weekend! A summer veggie lentil stew to bring for lunch today + tomorrow and an epic herb & veggie omelet.

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Sunday concluded with 2 trips to the mall: first to buy shoes for my cousin’s wedding (I went with the slingback peep toes on the left to pair with my yellow dress!) and later, to see an 11pm showing of The Conjuring. We had a shot of Fireball before to calm our nerves 😉 I thought the movie actually wasn’t too scary…I got way more freaked out at Paranormal Activity 1 and 2!

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I spent a loooong lunch hour today (3 hours, to be exact) following up at Kaiser. Essentially, there is a small crack in my thumb, and though nothing is out of place and by all means it should be an easy thing to heal…The crack goes all the way through to the joint and affects the cartilage. So I have to wear a cast – AGAIN. Hopefully for only 4 weeks this time. Here’s hoping all the precautions I’ve been taking since my last broken bone will make this recovery much speedier than the last! At least I got a color that will match my shoes at my cousin’s wedding! 😉

Have you ever broken a bone?

What is your favorite produce and/or flowers to spot at your Farmer’s Market?

Women & Bone Health: Why I Take Calcium

Last summer, this happened:

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I broke my left 4th metacarpal playing this “children’s” sport:

For those of you who weren’t loyal blog readers yet this time last year, a ball came hurtling towards my face from point blank range during a fateful dodgeball match…I threw up my hands to protect da moneymaker, and the ball shattered my left hand. I instantly knew something was wrong, it wasn’t so much painful as much as it was…discomforting. Something definitely felt out of place. And I was right!

In February (about 4-5 months after getting my cast off), I made my triumphant return to dodgeball.

Though a lot of people thought I was crazy (Hi Mom), dodgeball played a key part in making my post-college life bearable. When I started playing dodgeball, I had few friends left here at home, was living at my parents house, and working an unpaid internship 16 hours a week…that was all I had going for me. Dodgeball gave me a social life, new friends, my first serious relationship, and best of all…I’m pretty good at it! 🙂

So back I went, and back I’ve stayed. However, there was a lot of risk involved in returning to this sport that had screwed me so badly just months before.

Because my hand took 10 weeks to heal instead of the normal 6-8 (and honestly, I saw my last xray– it wasn’t even completely healed when I got the OK to get my cast off), my doctor ordered a bone density test and it was determined that I have clinically low bone density, a condition that is referred to as osteopenia. I was on the very cusp of what is considered “osteopenic”, so I wasn’t prescribed any routine medication other than a daily calcium regimen.

The way a bone density test works is a machine measures the density of your hip and spine, then compares it to that of a “young, healthy adult”. This test is obviously normally ordered for women of menopause age or older…The technician at my test was shocked to see a 23 year old getting her bone density checked. The test results in a T-score…if your T-score is between -1 and -2.5 standard deviation below the norm, you have osteopenia. Any lower than 2.5 and you have osteoporosis. I was at exactly -1.1. So basically, when compared to other healthy adults of my same age, my bones are weaker.

When I discovered this, I wrote a blog post about what I thought was the culprit and some ways I planned to keep my bones healthy. My “diagnosis” was kind of a wake up call for me to forget about achieving or maintaining a “goal weight” and start thinking about getting the right nutrients. I also noted that I needed to do more weight-bearing exercise and obviously start taking calcium pills.

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I only know that I have low bone density because I got a bad injury. But with more than half of Americans ages 65 and up meeting the clinical definition of having osteoporosis, it’s better to be safe than sorry when you’re in your 20’s and 30’s and your body is developing (not in the pre-pubescent way…but you know what I mean).

Check out these tips for keeping healthy bones from the US Office of Women’s Health:

1) Get enough calcium each day

The OWH recommends 1,000mg per day. My doctor (and the bone density test technician) said any calcium pill that has both calcium and vitamin D is A-OK. One of my big fat calcium pills is about 60% of my daily recommended intake. I have actually switched to a multivitamin that has 500mg, but it has all the iron and other vitamins I need as well.

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toast
Incorporating calcium into my diet has also been key in maintaining my bone health. I switched to yogurt for breakfast and started buying almond milk (which often has more calcium than dairy milk!). The last few weeks, my breakfasts have consisted of 2 slices of toast, each with a wedge of Laughing Cow cream cheese and sometimes with a dollop of grandma’s apricot jam. (Each wedge of Laughing Cow has 10% of your daily calcium!)

2) Get enough Vitamin D each day
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ahh! the pale! it burns =P

Vitamin D is my favorite. This is because the best source of Vitamin D (outside of actual Vitamin D pills) is sunshine! Just 10-15 minutes in the sun can give you what you need. OWH recommends 600mg per day. I may be pale, but give me some SPF 70 and I cherish my time in the sun! I am a sun baby for sure.

3) Eat a healthy diet

produce

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Kale, black beans, and chicken = recipe for healthy bones?

Protein, vitamins K and C, and several other nutrients are also key in bone health. Leafy greens actually have some calcium, and the WOH suggests lean proteins like poultry and fish.

4) Get moving
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Check out those baby muscles!

Weight-bearing activity (anything where your body works against gravity) is best for keeping healthy bones. Walking, running, and lifting weights (a new-ish practice for me – see above) are all activities I do several times per week to keep me strong.

5) Don’t smoke

Never have, never will!

6) Drink alcohol moderately

Well…depends on your definition of “moderate”. I do have more than one drink (usually no more than 3-4) a couple times per week. This is definitely an area that can be improved upon 🙂

7) Make your home safe

WOH recommends things like bath mats and less clutter to avoid falling in your home… The main thing I really have to worry about is flying objects:

This may seem like a random topic for a post, but I had a scary encounter last night at dodgeball that has me pretty nervous:

I jammed my thumb pretty badly 😦 It’s currently swollen to about 1.5 times its normal size, is hard as a rock, and is lookin’ all kinds of blue and purple. Heading to the doc in about an hour to get it checked out… lots of happy thoughts please!

When all is said and done, I’m hoping all the precautions I’ve been taking for the past year that I’ve outlined here have served me well and that it’s just a really bad sprain.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Have you ever broken a bone or had a bad sports injury?

Does osteoporosis run in your family? Start taking calcium!!

Fitness Friday

After getting caught up on Wednesday with all my blogs, my Google Reader (yesss I will continue using it until I reallyhaveto switch. It’s just so easy!) has been getting backlogged eeeeven more. Want a hint as to why?

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i love that my real work is being overshadowed by my current obsession..

Need another hint?

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YEAH. It’s March Madness time.

I wasn’t into March Madness until my sophomore year of college, when my dorm had a TV and my hallmate Kate and I got ob-sessed with watching the games. In the last 5 years, UCSB has actually made it into the tournament twice! They were ranked #15 both times and played #2 seeds. They had a worthy attempt against Ohio State when I was still in college (so close!) but in 2011, they got destroyed by Florida. We’re talkin’ a 30 point blowout.

We didn’t make it into the tournament this year (University of the Pacific won our conference’s championship), but I still have a stake in the tournament: the law firm I work for offers a $600 prize for the first place finisher in our pool! If Kansas had beaten Kentucky last year, I actually would have won 1st place in our 100+ person pool. They didn’t, so I got more like 15th place, but needless to say, I have done my homework and I’m in it to win it this time!

I guessed about 10/16 correctly yesterday and only had 1 upsetting loss (I’m lookin at you, New Mexico!), so I’m not doing too badly so far.

Aaaanyway. On to the Fitness.

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obligatory makeup-less workout clothes mirror shot pic!

I had a bad head/chest cold for a week at the end of February, so my workouts suffered. But then I got back into the swing of things and had 2 good weeks of workouts, eventually reaching the 3 mile mark during a run on Saturday! Proud moment right there.

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Do you all remember this song? I listened to it during my 3 mile run and I’d like to think it inspired me 🙂 Unfortunately, I tend to run as fast as the beat of whatever song I’m listening to, so my pace was preeeetty slow with this song taking up a majority of my run. {the picture on my background is my brother in front of my Papa’s favorite tree behind my grandparents’ house, by the way!}

After that awesome run on Saturday, I got sick again on Monday. Yeah. WTF? I sucked it up and had a mini gym workout on Wednesday. Would’ve gone for a run outside, except that it looked like this:

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I love how seemingly everyone in the US had a blustery/rainy/snowy first day of Spring. But with the wind that came with this storm came an onslaught of POLLEN everywhere. So I’m currently unsure whether I have a sinus infection, or just really bad allergies. Knowing my luck, I probably have both.

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I was really hoping that with last week’s successful runs I’d get back into a 3x per week routine, but that was just not in the cards this week. My gym workout was a little less intense than usual, but I really didn’t want to push myself. It’s looking like we’re back into the 70’s today, so I’m hoping to go for a run. Don’t worry, I have my nasal decongestants ready to go! I also have my sunscreen:

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So important for me. I need to find a way to protect my scalp too (I had a cancerous mole removed there earlier this year) but the thought of wearing a hat while I run is not my favorite.

I’ve also got some leftovers to look forward to for lunch! From a protein-packed veggie burger I made this week. Looks like you all have a Meatless Monday post comin’ your way soon 🙂

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Happy weekend, and best of luck with your brackets!

Do you follow March Madness?

How do you stay active when you’re sick?

My Nutrition Goals – Staying on Track

You know when people talk about how girls love bad boys? Some girls just love a guy who’s a jerk. You know he’s a jerk and that he hurts you, but you keep on goin’ back to him. It’s like you crave his approval or something.

I don’t exactly like bad boys (my boyfriend is as selfless and kindhearted as they come). There is, however, something in my life that keeps pushing me down that I keep on going back to:

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Dodgeball. You evil vixen.

Last night was T-shirt pickup night for my first full season of dodgeball since the incident.

For those of you who haven’t followed the whole saga, dodgeball and I have a complicated relationship. I did meet T-Man when we were placed on the same team a year and a half ago (cute “how we met” story, I know), but…

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I also broke my hand upon switching to the Thursday “A” league in June. The Thursday league plays with a heavier ball and, as you can imagine, “A” league is somewhat competitive.

I’ve since found out that I’m borderline osteopenic, and I’ve had stomach issues, lost weight (mysteriously, without trying), had a basal cell skin cancer removed from my scalp, and generally just been in ill health.

But I’m ready to put that behind me! I’ve been regularly taking my calcium pills since signing up, and I’m looking forward to being more social during the week again.

So a few weeks ago, I posted about trying to eat better (read: MORE, given this summer’s missing 7 pounds). I set some goals. I’ve been tracking most of what I eat on an app called LoseIt.

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(The first time I’ve been over my calorie limit since changing the settings to “maintain weight” haha. Thanks tooo 2 IPAs and a slice of pizza at the dodgeball bar.)

I actually used LoseIt to successfully lose about 12 pounds after graduating from college, but now I’m focusing more on the nutrition stats than the calorie count. Here’s how I’ve been doing:

Daily Nutrition Goals

  1. Fat = 40-45g, 20-35% of total calories
  2. Fiber = 20g+
  3. Protein = 43.6 g (sedentary) – 70.9 g (active), 10-35% of total calories

Week of December 24th (not including Christmas Eve + Christmas Day)
Fat: 41.7g, 25%
Fiber: 21.1g
Protein: 44.5g, 12%

Week of December 31st (not including New Years Day):
Fat: 36.5g, 23%
Fiber: 20.9g
Protein: 40.5g, 12%

Week of January 7th (up until today):
Fat: 41.7g, 28%
Fiber: 23.2g
Protein: 51.8g, 15%, woo hoo!

As I predicted, I’ve been pretty good in all areas except protein. My protein during Christmas week was acceptable since I wasn’t really exercising much. But the last two weeks I’ve had a few gym trips and a jog on New Years Eve day, so my protein really should be higher.

I often have Greek yogurt for breakfast (it has protein AND the calcium I need) and I love love love beans. I eat a fair amount of chicken, but could probably stand to eat it more often. I also buy ground turkey when it’s on sale. Even so, I need to find a way to add another 20g of protein to my diet on days that I exercise! I’m a little stumped on how to do that.

I haven’t had many stomach issues in the past few weeks though, which I’m really happy about. It feels good counting nutrition stats instead of calories– since I used to count calories, I have pretty good eating habits as it is, but now I don’t feel restricted. I want to build up more muscle again and get back into working out more often…I’m even thinking about joining the yoga studio across the street from my apartment. Lots of ideas swirling around in my head, and of course I haven’t forgotten that I “resolved” to run a 5K race this year!

What are your favorite sources of lean protein? Help!!

When Life Hands You Lemons.. And Limes..

To say that I’ve been having a tough time lately would be the understatement of the year. And, speaking of years, to say that I’ve been having tough year is…also an understatement.

The summer started with me breaking my hand, it taking ~3 months to heal, and then finding out that I have clinically low bone density

My hand on June 28th, and 10 weeks later on September 5th…still pretty much broken.

Plus, all that time, I was having digestive problems, which I just chalked up to my pain meds and the summer heat. Plus, T-Man was working 70-80 hour work weeks.

In short, I was feeling like this dog:

I’m not sure anyone could avoid digestive problems after a few too many PBRs!

The cast eventually came off, but the stomach problems didn’t go away. In fact, when my cast came off, I found out I had lost 5 pounds…I never did regain those pounds…

The passing of my grandfather didn’t help much either.

just a couple o’ sad pandas

My doctor had prescribed me acid reflux medicine via e-mail, but it was making it worse. I avoided making an appointment because, without a car, I’d have to rely on one of my parents to drive me (T-Man was extremely busy and stressed the last month of his campaign).

Bawwwwww, sadface.

I finally saw my doctor when my brother took me to Kaiser the day before T and I went to New York. I scheduled some tests (including a biopsy of a mole on my scalp) for the day after we got back.

I’m only smiling cause we hadn’t eaten yet!

The trip was fine and dandy (with the normal stomach issues, but they were manageable)…and then came our return, and the return of bad news.

No conclusive results from an abdominal ultrasound, but I had/have a basal cell carcinoma (non-life threatening skin cancer) on my scalp. D’OH!

Stick a fork in me.

That was last week. On Monday, I posted about abdominal pain. Well, 4 days and 3 Kaiser visits later…I’m on an antibiotic regimen for some kind of digestive infection, and have at least an endoscopy (if not a colonoscopy as well :-O) scheduled for 2 weeks from now. 3 Thanksgivings can really wreak havoc on a girl’s insides, yadadimean?

I came back to work yesterday and I’m feeling much better…physically, that is. It’s tough to stay positive when a shit-storm of bad things have happened to you.

Plus, an actual shit-storm is happening outside:

for katie, sunshine –> happy

Last month when my Papa passed away, I sat down to listen to a comedy segment my dad had sent me weeks earlier. All he told me was that it was “Louis CK‘s favorite new comedienne” and that she talked about having cancer. Uh…okay. Sounds like a real knee slapper, Dad.

Here’s what Louis CK had to say about Tig Notaro‘s performance, now available for $5 purchase on his website:

I hadn’t seen Tig in about a year and I said how are you? She replied “well I found out today that I have cancer in both breasts and that it has likely spread to my lymph nodes. My doctor says it looks real bad. “. She wasn’t kidding. I said “uh. Jesus. Tig. Well. Do you… Have your family… Helping?”. She said “well my mom was with me but a few weeks ago she fell down, hit her head and she died”. She still wasn’t kidding….She held up a wad of note-paper in her hand and said “I’m gonna talk about all of it on stage now. It’s probably going to be a mess”. I said “wow”. And with that, she went on stage.

I stood in the wings behind a leg of curtain, about 8 feet from her, and watched her tell a stunned audience “hi. I have cancer. Just found out today. I’m going to die soon”. What followed was one of the greatest standup performances I ever saw. I can’t really describe it but I was crying and laughing and listening like never in my life.

Basically, the gist of her set is this: bad shit happens. You might think you’re at rock bottom, but there’s always something worse that could happen…and sometimes it does. Why not just be straight up about it, and try to laugh a little when it does? When I first listened to her set, I thought, “Well OK, at least I don’t have cancer I guess.” Now I do! (Albeit a seriously not dangerous form of skin cancer, but hey.)

It’s a very inspiring set and it has helped me put things in perspective. I recommend it to anyone who has ever felt sad. Yeah that’s right….if you’ve ever felt sad, listen to it.

Another thing that has helped: 33 Dogs and Cats That Just Don’t Know Anymore (the source of all of these amazing depressed animal pictures!)

Have a great weekend.