Ohio U XC/Track alum. I love to run. I blog about food, health, lifestyle, etc. Tasty vegan recipes: nomeatfastfeet.com | YouTube: Alyssa Atkinson — Subscribe!

You may want to add them to your diet.

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Photo by Jamie Brown on Unsplash

When I headed off to college, I decided I wanted to live a healthier lifestyle, which wasn’t very difficult considering my diet was filled with processed sugar and packaged meals and snacks.

I didn’t have extra money to spend on health products like popular protein bars or fat burning shakes, nor did I want to buy them. One look at the nutrition labels, and I could tell that most of them were just as processed and high in sugar as the foods I was trying to get away from.

So, I took a whole different approach. I educated myself — I read scholarly articles, watched documentaries, and took nutrition courses, and I learned about the power of plant based ingredients. One quote that sums up what I learned and has stuck with me for the past five years…

Key methods to help you lean up faster.

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When I was in high school, I had one major athletic goal — to become a faster runner. I was on the cross-country team, and I wanted to earn an athletic scholarship to run in college at the division one level.

I thought that doing endless crunches would strengthen my core, make me a more efficient runner, produce quicker times, and ultimately help me achieve my goal of running in college.

While I did earn that scholarship through consistent mileage and training, there was one key component of becoming a better athlete that I totally neglected throughout high school — weight lifting. …

Here’s what happened.

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When you work a traditional 9–5 job, you have a set schedule. You clock in, clock out, and repeat. You have a guaranteed pay rate, whether it be salaried or hourly, and you know exactly what you’re getting.

When you work for yourself, it’s a whole different ball game. You are in control of your own schedule. When and how long you work is entirely up to you. Your paycheck isn’t some guaranteed, set rate, and some months you really have to hustle to make enough money (especially when it comes to freelance writing).

Now, this is nothing I didn’t already know when I decided to pursue online re-selling and freelance writing, but that doesn’t make it any less scary. You never know if something is going to take off, and every new business venture is a risk. …

Use them in these unique ways for optimal gains.

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Photo by Chris Yang on Unsplash

When I set out on a journey to improve my overall well being about five years ago, I adopted healthy, sustainable habits that would bring lasting results.

My changes were by no means drastic. I started cooking more at home, cut down on my processed sugar intake, added more plants to my diet, and made daily movement a priority. As a result, I leaned up, gained strength, and felt happier, healthier, and more energetic .

Now, these are not mind blowing strategies that are never talked about. …

It is a serious powerhouse for these 3 reasons.

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Photo by Hai Nguyen on Unsplash

Many years ago, when I was just a young kid, I remember one specific diet that took American by storm.

It was called the low-fat diet. Everywhere you looked, there were advertisements pushing low-fat products. Just about every single food product you could buy at the grocery store had a low-fat or fat-free option. People bought into it like crazy because they thought it was incredibly healthy.

Gradually, it started to lose traction, and when researchers started to evaluate these low-fat products more closely, they quickly learned that added sugar and salt had replaced the fat in order to make the food taste good. …

5 minutes of pain for 30 minutes of pleasure.

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It’s 6 AM. I roll out of bed, grab my laptop, head downstairs, and brew a fresh, hot cup of coffee. I type vigorously as the ideas and words flow from my mind. Almost two hours pass, and they just so happen to be two of the most blissful hours of each and every morning.

By then, it’s almost 8 AM, so I watch the sunrise. The sky is a majestic wave of pink, red, and orange. Once it’s light enough, I head out the door for my daily 30 minute run.

Just a few years ago, I would have feared those first 10 minutes, but not because I don’t like to run (I love running). However, the first mile specifically has always been a dreadful struggle for me, even as a competitive runner in high school and college. My legs felt like absolute bricks, my form didn’t feel fluid, and I certainly didn’t feel warmed up and ready to go. …

It does more than you might think.

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Photo by Eugene Lagunov on Unsplash

Each morning, I go out for a run of at least 30 minutes. I have been doing this repeatedly, day after day, since I was a senior in high school.

Up to that point, I had always played basketball in the winter. However, after receiving an athletic scholarship to run cross-country and track for Ohio University, I decided to switch to indoor track my senior year to focus all my attention on running.

After six years of heading out the door and into the sleet, snow, rain, and freezing temperatures that are non-negotiable when you live in the midwest, I have developed a strong sense of why I run. …

Tips to boost your efficiency and success.

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Like many people, I tend to reference my late teens and early twenties as a period of growth and transformation. This phrasing may make it seem like I made drastic, noticeable changes to my lifestyle during that time.

The truth is, I didn’t go to bed one evening and wake up the next morning a completely different person. I simply made tiny, meaningful changes to my lifestyle which ultimately helped me become a better, more compassionate, and more intelligent human being.

I still remember the day I sat down in my very first coding class about five years ago. Honestly, I was completely lost for most of the semester. However, just a year later, I could code pretty much anything that was asked of me in a fraction of the time. …

They are easier than you might think.

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When I was in college, I kept a pretty strict food budget. I moved off campus my junior year, and for the first time in my life, I had to pay all my own bills for necessities like rent, utilities, food, and Wi-Fi.

I had an athletic scholarship which covered the essentials, but when I moved off campus, that money was no longer managed for me. Instead of being directly deposited to the school to pay for my tuition, room, and campus meal plan, I had to manage that money myself.

I decided to use an Excel spreadsheet, which turned out to be an incredible tool. I was able to input formulas that kept a running total of my expenses. This approach allowed me to track my expenses daily, weekly, and monthly. …

Key benefits to adopting the plant-based lifestyle.

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Photo by Victoria Shes on Unsplash

It has been over four years since I adopted a vegan diet and lifestyle in 2016. To this day, I still get questions from acquaintances and many new people I meet who want to know what I eat, how I do it, why I do it, etc.

These are extremely common questions that annoyed me at first. I quickly realized that most of the time, I was simply being asked them out of curiosity. People genuinely wanted to learn more about the vegan lifestyle, just as they do today. Four years ago, the vegan lifestyle wasn’t near as common as it is now. …

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