So, I’m Doing Whole30 : What is that?

Image Courtesy of Jessica Quirk (whatiwore)

If you follow me on other social media you’ll know that , “Eat Good Food” is the motto of Whole30 created by Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig . An intense 30 days of clean eating, Whole30 is not a diet.  The program restricts legumes, grains, and sugars. It requires saying “no” to a lot of traditionally delicious foods.  But, it also says no to stepping on the scale or taking any body measurements for the full thirty days of the program.  The goal of Whole30 is to push the “reset” button to clear your body of hormone-unbalancing and gut-disrupting foods to improve your overall body composition.  The point isn’t to lose weight, but to impact your health and change your emotional relationship with food for the rest of your life.

Here are the general rules to stick by:

  • No added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. (maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc)
  • No alcohol in any form, not even for cooking
  • No grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa.
  • No legumes.
  • No beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts.
  • No soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • No dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt, and sour cream.
  • No carrageenan, MSG or sulfites.
  • No use of “approved ingredients” to recreate baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients. So no pancakes, cookies, or clever vegan milkshake recipes found on Pinterest.

So what do you eat?   Well, if you think of how much of what we eat is crammed between thick slices of bread, you can come up with many alternative sandwich creations.  For example, big leaves of lettuce can “sandwich” just about anything.  I personally love to stuff them with avocado, tomato, and chicken.  Another clever technique is using portobello mushroom caps as a bun option.  There are some fabulous ideas on Whole30’s website.


I have to admit that getting through the first week was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done (and I’ve gone to law school).  I was hungry.  I craved my daily greek yogurt like nobody’s business.  Couldn’t I crumble just a tiny bit of bleu cheese on my greens?  This phase, however, reminded me of why I decided to take on the Whole30 challenge in the first place.  Plus, my body’s reaction to the changes proved how drastically I needed to change my relationship with what I was eating.  I had such a wonderful experience with my first round of “Whole30”, that I’m preparing for another round. I’ve learned so much about my personal nutrition philosophy in my first 30 days that I have a ton of inspiration to implement in this new month.

Image courtesy of whatiwore.

from Rachel Bouman – Fitness


Fit and Frugal: Free Classes & Health Hacks Everyone Should Know

yoga-774243_1280These days, there’s always some new hip way to stay fit. One month it’s SoulCycle, another month it’s bikram yoga, and another it’s The Bar Method. These classes can be wildly expensive though, and the average person may feel left out of all these new exercise trends. Thankfully, there are free, wacky fitness classes popping up in major cities all over the United States. If you’re not located in these cities, don’t fret; there are great, cheap alternatives to the standard exercise routines as well.

Fun & Free In DC

1. North Face Mountain Training (DC)Offered by the athletic-wear company North Face, this free training program takes place in the District of Columbia. The classes aims to prep you for your own climbing, skiing, or running trips. Each class is taught by trainers from the North Face company.

2. Nike Training ClubGet clad in your finest Nike workout clothes and join the party. This class feels more like going to the club than going to the gym, so if that appeals to you, this is the free class for you.

3. Yogalates and Pilates in the Park – Stretch and get that good aching feeling in your muscles twice a week at The Golden Triangle’s classes in Farragut Square. Held on Tuesdays and Thursdays right after work (5:30pm), they’re the perfect way to get a little workout in before heading home.


Health Hacks (Alternatives to the Exercise “Norms”)

1. Take Quarterly Private Yoga Classes Instead of Regular Classes – Instead of paying the average $19 a class, invest in quarterly private sessions that run for about $120 a session. These private sessions give you personalized instruction and a take home kit tailored specifically to you.

2. Use Online Personal Training Instead of In-Person Trainers – Online companies offer exercise and nutrition packages that can be designed expressly for you. They are available for any fitness level and gives you access to an entire online community.

3. Buy Resistance Bands Instead of Free Weights – The bands are a great, portable alternative to free weights. They usually retail for an average of $40 for three different resistances vs the hundreds of dollars that a set of free weights usually cost.


For a list of more free classes in DC and other fitness-on-a-budget tips, click here and here.


from Rachel Bouman – Fitness

Defeating Your “First Year of Law School” Demons

library-869061_1280Starting law school is as terrifying as it is exciting. As crippling as that fear may be, it can definitely be used for your personal growth if you approach it the right way. Here are a few of the most common first-year-of-law-school fears and how to deal with them.

  • Picking Your Own Courses – The idea of picking your courses can be daunting. Often times, you’ll want to avoid certain courses because they sound scary. If the legends are true, the professor is evil, you’ll never pass, and your GPA will be destroyed forever. But don’t allow those fears to dictate which courses you take or don’t take. The courses that you are most fearful of are the ones that you probably need the most help in. So take those “scary” courses. Work hard. Excel.
  • Law School Exams – Freezing up on exams happens to everyone. It’s even worse when you can hear all of your classmates scratching or typing away at their tests, while you can barely comprehend the first question. The fear of looking unintelligent on paper is very real; you know that your professors will read your exams and be judging your answers. Try to relax. The professors are not out to make you look bad, and will be looking to find the good (or salvageable) in all of your work. Just take the time to write out all of your thoughts on the topic, and then go back and edit. Your first year of law school will be the perfect time to get over your fear of tests. You’ll be ready for the bar exam before you know it.
  • Speaking Out Loud….In Front of Anyone – Talking in front of anyone in law school may seem terrifying at first. Whether it’s a normal conversation during a lunch break or answering a question in class, speaking out loud, where everyone can hear your thoughts and judge your words, can cause you to freeze up. Just remember that if you’re being called on in class, your professor is training you to work under pressure. If you’re nervous about whether you match up to your peers, just remember that you got into law school just like the rest of them. You’re qualified and you should use this time to grow confident in yourself and exercise your conversational abilities.


For more advice on surviving your first year of law school, see this article.


from Rachel Bouman – Law

Just How Binding are Verbal Agreements?

woman-rachel boumanEvery kind of contract, from a multibillion dollar Department of Defense contract to a scribbled on piece of napkin, must meet certain requirements in order for it to be considered valid in the eyes of the law. First, there must be an offer with clearly understood terms extended by one party that is met with an unforced acceptance by another. There must be mutual assent and awareness of the creation of the contract by all parties. All parties must give something up of actual value in exchange for the contract. Proving the validity of a contract, especially of a verbal agreement, is necessary for enforcement by a court.

Verbal agreements are contracts, even though they are not set in writing. If the contract is found to be valid, a verbal agreement between parties is binding. However, verbal contracts have a few unique complications that often arise when trying to establish validity.

He-said, She-said

It can be difficult for a court to decipher the terms of a verbal agreement when the parties involved have accounts of the agreement that may differ or even contradict one another. Sometimes parties may not agree that there was even a contract to begin with. It falls on the party who is seeking enforcement to prove the terms of the contract to the satisfaction of the court.

Proving It

Possibly the most difficult aspect of enforcing a verbal agreement is proving its existence. Without a written agreement, plaintiffs must turn to alternative means to plead their case. They can provide evidence of performing services called for under the contract. They can provide proof of payments to demonstrate that there was an exchange between parties, though this does not prove the terms. If there were witnesses to the original agreement, they may be called on. Written communication between parties in reference to the services may be also be submitted as evidence.

Statute of Fraud

Certain contracts, under state law, must be in writing in order to enforce them. Contracts regarding land, marriage, and debt are prime examples of topics that may have stricter requirements of enforcement that often include requiring a written contract in order to be found valid.

Statute of Limitations

This is the time limit in which a party can file a lawsuit against another other party if there is a breach. Due to the nature of verbal contracts, which often require fresh evidence and witness testimony, verbal contracts typically have a much shorter statute of limitations than written contracts.

If you’re entering into a verbal agreement with another party, the best thing you can do to protect both yourself and your financial interests in the future is to have that agreement drawn out in a written contract, ideally with the assistance of legal professional.

For more on this topic, visit the original article here.

from Rachel Bouman – Law

4 Female Youtubers in Fitness

runner-rachel boumanYoutube has become a platform for viewers to learn almost anything. Many people also use it as a source to follow for exercise. One can find weight lifting tips as well as full yoga and pilates routines. Learn more about several female Youtubers dedicated to fitness!


Cassey Ho, a certified fitness instructor shares pilates based workouts on her Youtube channel. Her music is uptempo and her exercises are known to be high intensity. She even has short five minute videos designed to target certain areas such as the abs or arms. Cassey’s channel has over 2 million subscribers.


A pair of fitness industry instructors from Oklahoma came together to create dance workout videos for Youtube. Their content includes footage from actual classes taught in their area. One of their most watched videos was a choreographed routine to a Lil Jon song.

Yoga with Adriene

Adriene Mishler comes from a background in acting and movement teaching. She hails from Austin, Texas and gives a variety of instructional videos for different circumstances. Mishler shows her audience of over 700,000 subscribers how to do yoga at their desks and how to do yoga for headaches. For a month of yoga, she has a 30 day series of various techniques available on her channel.

Sarah Fit

As both a lifestyle blogger and fitness instructor, Sarah exhibits a passion for helping others live healthier. In addition to exercise videos, she shares recipes and eating suggestions on her channel. Her routines don’t require the purchase of any equipment to follow along. Sarah has over 200,000 subscribers.

To learn about other fitness Youtubers, visit Business Insider online here.

from Rachel Bouman – Fitness



this fruit is the best fruit i have ever seen. It has chocolate white chocolate even if you don’t like white chocolate you might not be able to taste the white chocolate any way.

a super interesting fact

Did you know that strawberries are the only fruit that have their seeds on the outside? Those tiny little flecks are future strawberries, provided you don’t chomp them down first. And if you’re looking to start your own garden, you only really need one piece of fruit to get going. The average strawberry has a whopping 200 seeds!

These plants are also quite historically significant, believe it or not. The ancient Romans put a lot of stock into the little guys – they believed that strawberries helped alleviate symptoms of melancholy, inflammation, fainting, fevers, blood disease, and pretty much any other ailment you could think of.

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