Friday, August 22, 2014

Eating straight from a farm

Whenever I visit my family in Slovakia, I love all of the food that they make for me. It is delicious and fresh, mainly because both of my grandparents have farms. My grandparents on my father's side have a decent-sized farm in the countryside where they grow everything from corn to grapes (for wine). I love to just walk around and pick and eat the fruits and vegetables. The meals have so much more taste with fresh vegetables and the fruits are just perfect.

If only I could have fresh tomatoes with every meal.

The plums in Europe are amazing! My favorite!

"Free range" chickens fed a good diet make delicious eggs. 

There's my grandpa and I!

Have you ever gotten fruits and vegetables straight from a farm?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Hiking in Malé Karpaty, Slovakia

On my way to INSEAD in France I visited my family in Slovakia and took a weekend trip with my cousin and his friends to the Little Carpathians, or Malé Karpaty, which are just outside of Bratislava and Trnava. These mountains/hills are nice because they are easy to hike and there are ruins of castles. It is tradition in Slovakia to own a small apartment in the city and also have a cabin somewhere in the mountains. We stayed in our friend, Natalia's cabin in the small town of Jahodnik, near the Smolenice Castle. 

Starting our 6-hour (including breaks) hike up the trail. Hiking is one of my favorite things to do and I like it even more than running because of the scenery and difference in terrain. Walking uphill is a great workout, my legs were tired after. I don't really like hiking shoes and usually wear trail running shoes while hiking, I love my New Balance Minimus Trail Running Shoes.

The Jahodnik town had this awesome track and outdoor equipment for crossfit. I didn't get to try it out but apparently workout on this obstacle course in the summer and then go inside and do weights and typical crossfit WODs in the winter. Looks awesome!

This is the castle ruin that we were hiking to, Ostrý Kameň. There are a lot of ruins and restored castles in Slovakia scattered throughout the country.

View from atop the castle ruins of Ostrý Kameň.

That's Natalia with me above and then we went back to her cabin (below) and cooked a delicious meal over the fire and grill. I made skewers with mushrooms and other vegetables. We also had traditional Slovak goulash, cooking over the fire in the big kettle below. Goulash is a stew with beef, potatoes, onion, and other vegetables. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Visiting family in Trnava, Slovakia

On my way to INSEAD in France, I spent a few days visiting my relatives in Slovakia. Just a little backstory, my parents grew up here and left the country when they became pregnant with me and I was born in a refugee camp in Austria. We then had a chance to start a new life in the United States and so we did! Although it's hard to be so far away from my family, it's nice to be able to travel to Slovakia to visit them. Here's some shots from my week in Trnava, which is where most of my relatives live.

The main street in Trnava.

Up close of the clock tower.

Cottage and garden just outside the city belonging to my grandma and aunt.

Streets of Trnava.

The main square in Trnava.

An old picture of my family (mom's side) that I found at my grandma's house. I'm on the very right in the pink.

Another old picture of me and my parents in Austria.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Farewell Chicago and Hello INSEAD

Tomorrow I'm getting on a one-way flight to Europe, and I don't know when I'll be back. I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous or scared, I haven't even been able to sleep in the last week. I will miss Chicago and all of my friends (and kitten) here. However, I am also really excited for this unique year ahead. Besides learning international business and getting my MBA, I'm also going to make lifelong friends from around the world and travel to places that I have never been to. I know that INSEAD will change the course of my career and life and I can't wait to see what's ahead!

The content of Healthy Fit Goddess will change and evolve but the motivation will stay the same -- leading a healthy lifestyle in both the body and mind. I'll share my experiences at school, travels through Europe and Southeast Asia, the food I eat, the activities I do, and how I will live out of two suitcases. I hope that you continue to follow me on this journey!

Watch the Chicago 15J video! (Chicago INSEAD admits for the class of July 2015). I'll post the final compilation of my class once it's done.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

French Women Don't Get Fat

In the spirit of my big move to France, I decided to finally read something that has been on my reading list for a while, French Women Don't Get Fat by by Mireille Guiliano. The book was easy to read and contained lots of recipes and great stories. It actually made me really excited to enjoy French cuisine while I'm there.

The tips given in the book are pretty common sense, eat real food, everything in moderation, and drink plenty of water. Although I've completely eliminated things from my diet before and done cleanses, I'm a big believer in enjoying the things that you like, in moderation, otherwise, life can get pretty boring. It's also important to figure out what works for your body. For example, I know that cow's milk makes my stomach hurt and is therefore bad for me. So, I avoid it as much as possible but I'm not afraid to indulge in cheese or desserts once in a while.

The problem in America is that we don't value real food anymore and tend to eat out often. Food is about convenience and taste, rather than quality and nutrition. I learned good habits from my European parents. Almost every meal was home-cooked, we hardly ever ate out, and there was no junk food in the house. We also got our liquids from water and not soda or juice. The habits explained in this book are very consistent with what I grew up with and quite different from what I saw in my friends' homes. I was always excited to go to friends houses as a child because there was so much candy and their parents took us to McDonald's.

Healthy food can taste good with the freshest ingredients and spices. Quality ingredients are more nutritious, taste better, and will keep you satisfied. Remember that investment in your health now will pay off later.

One thing I don't cover enough on this blog is ways to stay active without working out intensely at a gym every day. I do group exercise, crossfit, spinning, and running because I like it, but I understand that not everyone loves to break a sweat. The training and amount of working out that you've seen me post about on this blog is overkill, and I don't need to do it all to be healthy.

French (and European) women don't spend hours at the gym but they do make sure to move all day long by taking walks and using the stairs, for example. There are lots of pedometers and fitness trackers that can help encourage to keep active all day.

Mireille Guiliano has other books too, including a cookbook, that you should check out. I'm excited to get to France and start eating like a French woman!