dear UCLA

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dear UCLA,

it seems like just yesterday that i was setting foot on campus for the first time as a student, seventeen years old and incredibly excited for the next four years of my life. and here we are, in may of 2016, so close to graduation i can almost taste it.

graduation 2016 ucla

four years ago i never would have imagined that i’d be where i am.

you challenged me in so many ways. there were days that i felt like the stupidest person in the room, days that i hated going to class, and there were days that made me feel so accomplished. there were tests that went great and some that didn’t go so well. there were classes that i hated with every fiber of my being, but those classes made the good ones (although few and far between) that much better. you saw me through three changes in majors, and what seemed like many life crises.

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(trust me, i was never this happy in a library… haha)

but i am so grateful i got to be here, because it was working in the hospitals here that eventually sparked a desire in me to become a nurse. it was those hours spent in the hospital, going on errands, talking with patients, playing with patients, even braiding patients hair, that allowed me to see just how big of an impact nurses have on people’s lives and hearts. and i’m entirely convinced that it was my experience here that allowed me to have the opportunity to head to emory next fall.

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during my time here with you, i fought through a period of depression my sophomore year, i made it through a fitness leadership program that i never thought i would make it alive out of, i survived heartbreak during a finals week or two, and so much more. you taught me to persevere, you taught me to be stronger.

you made me hate living in LA but also made me feel incredibly grateful for the experience of living in a big city. this city allowed me to go to countless concerts, trips to disneyland, late nights out line dancing, and do so many things that made me feel so alive.

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you witnessed a huge transformation in my fitness. from someone who could barely perform any olympic lifts to teaching classes that involved them, from someone who always took group fitness classes to someone teaching them. i ran a marathon when i was 19 years old, participated in plenty of fun obstacle course races, PR’d every single lift, and became a leader. during my time here i escaped the depths of my negative thoughts surrounding my body and food and allowed so much more freedom and happiness in my life.

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finally, one of the most important things of all: being at UCLA led me to meet some of the most amazing people i’ve ever had the privilege of being friends with. through thick and thin there were always people supporting me and making me feel at home even through the worst of times. when i felt broken and beaten down my friends were the people that told me that i could keep going. they were the ones who made me laugh so hard i cried, who went on mcdonald’s runs at midnight when we thought we couldn’t survive one more final, who were there to wipe the tears over a guy, who made birthdays and holidays so much fun, who went on late night drives with the windows down blasting our favorite music, and so much more. i can’t put into words how grateful i am for these people.

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i had the blessing of living with these three girls in one of the tiniest apartments and they were the ones that made it bearable even when we didn’t have electricity in the kitchen or someone was having yet another obnoxious party outside our bedrooms or when yet another thing stopped working in our apartment. and we made it through everything together.

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and i can’t write a single thing about this school without talking about my family. my parents who made it possible for me to even be here, for working so hard to provide for me and for Jay. the many phone calls i made to my parents when i was in tears thinking that i wasn’t going to pass a class, get into a major, make it into nursing school, survive heartbreak, and so much more. every time i called whoever picked up the phone managed to calm me down and tell me: you can do this. and they were right.

to my brother Jay, who i got to live within 5 minutes of for three years, who helped me move and build furniture, who went to the store for me when i was sick, who ran a freaking marathon with me, who always let me come over and rant when i thought i just couldn’t take it anymore, who celebrated my birthday with me when everyone else was busy, and so much more. i wouldn’t have made it without you.

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(flashback to Jay’s graduation last year!)

and honestly, this post doesn’t do any of this justice. my words fail to explain just how thankful i am for the last four years of my life and the people in it. i am a different person than i was when i walked on campus at seventeen years old. as i prepare to leave this place for the last time as a student at twenty one years old, i feel so grateful for all the change that has happened, everything i learned, and everything that made me stronger. i am ready for all the changes that are ahead knowing that i have some of the best people in the world by my side.

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so, UCLA: thank you for everything. Bruin born, Bruin bred, Bruins til the day we’re dead.

4 more weeks until it’s official!

xo,

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photos by Evan Yang Photography

(sun)day in the life

hi guys!

i haven’t done a day in the life post in a little while so i thought i’d share with you a full day of eats/workout/general sunday laziness, haha!

i always sleep in super late on the weekends, so i didn’t wake up until 10:30 or so (and i went to bed just before midnight) and didn’t get out of bed until 11. my body needs a lot of sleep and i actually function the best if i get at least 9 hours so it’s always nice to be able to sleep even more than that on the weekends.

when i got up i made some coffee which i sipped on while making breakfast! i usually eat eggs for breakfast but last week my favorite frozen blueberry waffles were on sale so i decided to make some of those. for those of you who shop at Kroger/Ralph’s they’re the simple truth organic gluten free waffles. i’m not against gluten in the slightest but these gluten free waffles get so perfectly crispy on the outside and i like them the best! i topped them with cashew butter, strawberries, and a drizzle of honey and also cooked up a side of bacon. such a good breakfast!

blueberry waffles and bacon

while i was eating i decided to go to the gym even if just for 20 minutes to get a little sweat on. i wasn’t super feeling like going but also wanted to get in some steps for the day, so i made a preworkout drink to get some more energy and told myself i could leave after 10 minutes if i wasn’t feeling it.

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this is my favorite preworkout drink ever! i mix one scoop of slap nutrition pumpkin preworkout with about 1 cup of coffee and 1/2 cup of unsweetened soy milk (or almond milk or whatever i have on hand) and add a crap ton of ice. i definitely do not recommend this if you are sensitive to caffeine, haha!

once i got to the gym the preworkout energy started kicking in and it was super empty so i actually got in a great workout!

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i did 3×10 of each of the following, alternating between the first two exercises, then the second two, etc:

  • bench press
  • single arm row
  • push-ups
  • cable rows
  • wide grip lat pulldown
  • bicep curls
  • tricep extension
  • hammer curls

and then finished everything off with 10 minutes on the arc trainer for a little cardio. that thing is no joke!

once i finished my workout i came home and mixed up peanut butter slap nutrition whey protein with 1/2 water 1/2 unsweetened soy milk while i decided what to eat for lunch.

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i made this hodgepodge rice bowl last week when i didn’t have many groceries and it wasn’t my favorite dish, but i needed to eat it before it went bad so i sucked it up. at least i had cheese and avocado this time! i think the rice bowl was just a bag of steam in bag brown rice, a bag of frozen mixed vegetables, a can of black beans, and leftover cooked chicken breast. i think it wasn’t too good just because the veggies and chicken were a little old… #ew

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after this i started two loads of laundry and facetimed my family for mother’s day! when they left to go to the movies and hung up, i had the intention of getting work done but ended up just starting to watch once upon a time on netflix again (i used to watch the show a lot when it first aired but haven’t seen it in a long time). after my laundry was done my stomach started to really not feel good- now that i think about it, it was probably the kinda old food i ate for lunch- so i decided to just take it easy and lay on the couch for the rest of the afternoon.

i made some comfort food for dinner later in the evening: domino’s pizza that i decided to put a fried egg on which was a freakin’ awesome idea! my favorite domino’s pizza is white sauce with mushrooms and sausage and the egg just completed the meal. i ended up going back for a third slice and another fried egg because it was so good.

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after more couch potato-ing i caught up with my roommates and then we decided to go get froyo instead of doing homework. because dessert > responsibilities and we all have senioritis in a bad way.

we went to a new froyo place and i got tart yogurt with mochi, strawberries, gummy bears, sprinkles, yogurt chips, and these little chocolate curl things. ’twas delicious.

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after we came home i ended up just browsing social media and going to bed after i realized that nothing productive was going to happen, haha. i didn’t have anything due so it wasn’t imperative that i get anything done, and i think i really needed the break!

this is a pretty good example of how my weekends usually go- i start the day off pretty healthy and then usually end up eating less healthy food and more treats in the evenings, which usually doesn’t happen during the week. it makes me happy and works for me!

how was your weekend? do anything fun? 

weekly workouts + body positivity

hi guys!

this week was a great week of workouts for me (+ i’m obsessed with my new fitbit! more on that later) but also had me thinking a lot about body positivity. i think what really got me going was that crossfit posted a “before and after” photo of a woman on instagram who said that she feels better than she ever has been in her life. it made me happy to see someone so happy in their body, and then i started reading the comments on the post. i can’t tell you how many people (especially men- even men with CHILDREN) who commented on the post saying “she looked better before”. this really got me upset and angry. how do people think it’s okay to just throw off comments about other people’s bodies without thinking twice about it? why does it matter what everyone else thinks? do you think your opinion about a woman’s body when you have CHILDREN of your own should matter? do you want your daughter to grow up and be judged on the internet by humans like you?

all that SHOULD matter is that someone else is happier in their own body than ever before. and that’s awesome for her! our bodies are our OWN bodies, and just because you post a photo of your body on the internet does not mean that anyone should feel the right to body shame you.

this has become a much larger trend and i keep seeing it everywhere on the internet- people body shaming others for being too thin, too fat, too muscular, not enough muscle- i could go on forever. none of it is ok. we should be cheering each other on, we should be thankful for our bodies and what they can do for us, and we should be POSITIVE. no one’s opinion about your body matters except your own.

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*pausing rant to share my weekly workouts with you guys!*

monday: travel/rest day

tuesday: sub a 1 hour spin class. here’s my playlist!

wednesday: 45 minute spin class- i have an assistant in this class who’s in the fitness leadership program i was a part of a few years ago, so she taught the whole class!

thursday: 

  • 5×5 sets of back squats up to 155#, then i did three drop sets of 8 reps at 135 and 125 pounds
  • 3×8 push press 65#
  • 3×5 deadlift 135# (my back was really sore, so i didn’t want to push it)
  • 3×10 1 legged romanian deadlifts (each leg) with 20 and then 25 pounds on the last two sets
  • 100 calorie row

friday: zumba!

i woke up planning on working out but i ended up being pretty sore from the day before, so i spur of the moment decided to take an hour long zumba class instead! it was awesome and i had so much fun. i think it’s funny that i used to never take zumba because i thought it wasn’t a ‘real’ workout- when i was sweating like a mofo and having a blast the whole time.

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i was thinking a lot about body positivity during class, because i was wearing spandex shorts (which normally i always wear pants/capris). i used to be so self conscious when i wore spandex shorts, especially for track meets in high school, but today, i didn’t care one bit. because no one in class was looking at me or judging me- and even if they were, i felt awesome and strong and badass and that’s all that should matter. i was focusing on such positive thoughts about my body and how much fun that i was having in class and it just put me in a great mood.

all this to say, YOU DO YOU. do what makes you happy. wear what makes you happy. be positive about your body because it’s the only one you’ve got. and body positivity = more happiness in your life. no one else should get a say in what your body looks like or what you wear except for you. as long as you are healthy and happy nothing else matters.

*ends rant*

i hope you guys are having an awesome week!

no question, just want to hear your thoughts!

xo,

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virtual coffee date 5.5.16

hello friends! let’s grab a cup of coffee & chat, shall we?

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if we were having coffee this morning… i’d tell you that i’m excited to get back to more old-school blogging. in the past few years blogging has gotten so much more popular and now it seems like every post needs to feature beautiful photography or an amazing workout or recipe that’s pinnable. but this blog isn’t my full-time job and it started as a way to document my life through health and fitness and i’m excited to get back to that. i love sharing snapshots of my days or really simple & great meals that i make & so much more with you guys and i haven’t been sharing as much lately due to being busy and feeling the need to have each and every post perfected.

if we were having coffee this morning… we’d chat about social media and how big of an impact it has on our lives. i recently took a much-needed weeklong break from twitter, instagram, and facebook (although i did check facebook once each evening just to make sure that i didn’t miss anything important that was school related). i took the break for a variety of reasons – one of which i have a post about coming soon – and it was really refreshing. the time i used to spend scrolling through social media i used to be more effective with my schoolwork, take walks and get outside, and just be with the people that i loved.

on a social media note, however, i decided to split up a personal instagram account (@juliannafoster) from my regular instagram account. there are a few reasons for it, but mostly it was to feel a bit more freedom in posting fairly often on my blog account without feeling like i was spamming my friends/family with a bunch of fitness and food posts (i know i shouldn’t care, but it is making me happy to have them separate, and i’m looking forward to growing the blog through instagram as well). it seems kind of counter intuitive to take a social media break only to come back and make yet *another* account, but i’m going to try to limit myself to instagram once in the mornings and once in the evenings so as to be able to focus on being present throughout the day. long story short, if you’d like to follow me on my personal account, you can do so here!

if we were having coffee this morning, we’d chat about summer plans! i don’t have too many yet, other than going to the idea fitness blogfest in july (and my girl Kaila is coming to visit!!), but am hoping to fit in lots of outdoor adventures, camping, family time, and soaking up the time that i have left with these sweet humans in LA!

if we were having coffee this morning… i’d tell you that i’m simultaneously scared out of my mind and ridiculously excited about moving across the country soon. i had a rough patch of a couple of days of feeling really sad and down due to something else going on in my life, and that was when those fears creeped in the most. i’m focusing on the things i’m looking forward to (like getting the hell out of this tiny apartment, excuse my language) and all the adventures that will be had instead of focusing on being far away from loved ones.

if we were having coffee this morning… we’d chat about weekend plans. aside from a CPR class that i have to take on saturday, i am fully planning on being a couch potato for most of this weekend. after 3 weekends of travelling last month (i went to oregon last weekend!) i am desperately in need of some relaxation, couch time, and extra sleep. 

if we were having coffee this morning… i’d tell you that i actually WON an instagram giveaway recently, and the prize was a FitBit Charge HR! such a cool giveaway from powerbar and the fitbit finally just got here in the mail. i’m obsessed, to say the least. a post on this is coming soon!

if we were having coffee this morning… what would you tell me? 

xo,

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#FeelAmazingEveryday amazing grass protein superfood + giveaway!

hi friends!

i’m excited to share with you a new awesome plant-based protein powder from amazing grass! read on for deets + a discount code + a giveaway! as you guys know, i love my slap nutrition whey protein, but i recently have been trying to increase my intake of plants + micronutrients since i’ve been slacking in that department lately, so i was really excited to try this protein superfood blend from amazing grass! i also know there are a lot of you out there that can’t have dairy or are looking to add some more micronutrition into your diets as well so i was really excited to try this and share it with y’all.

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i have always loved putting amazing grass greens powders in my smoothies so was really happy to see that this protein powder has their green food blend with  7 alkalizing organic greens, as well as two full servings of fruits and vegetables (including acai, banana, beets, carrot, goji, pineapple, sweet potato, and rosehip).

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(this little #FeelAmazingEveryday package was the sweetest! i can’t wait to go back to hot yoga to use that towel + how cute is this little tumbler?!)

there are three flavors of the protein superfood blend – original, pure vanilla, and chocolate peanut butter – and they are sweetened with organic stevia and have no added sugars! the protein blend is a unique blend of pea, hemp, chia, and quinoa and i absolutely loved the vanilla flavor. it went perfectly in my berry smoothies and was really smooth, especially for a plant-based powder! this line’s unique pea protein is the only source that is 100% grown, harvested, and processed in the U.S.

it’s an all in one nutritional shake and i really like drinking it in the morning. it’s a great way to start your day off on a healthy note as well as fuel you up with plenty of protein to keep you full all morning!

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so you guys can try this stuff and #FeelAmazingEveryday, you can use the code SWEATPINKJFOS16 at checkout to get 30% off any order! (expires 5/31/16)

Discount codes cannot be used for gift cards, recurring orders or holiday blends.

in addition to that awesome discount code, my friends at amazing grass are offering a lucky reader a chance to try a tub of  protein superfood in the flavor of your choice! use the widget below to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

knowing i’m getting in more plant power + micronutrients is helping me #FeelAmazingEveryday – i’d love to hear something you’re doing to feel amazing every day in the comments below!

xo,

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This is a sponsored post with Fit Approach. As always, all opinions are my own! Thank you for your support. xo