What’s so super about superfoods?

There are so many diets out there these days; Paleo, Whole 30, Keto, Atkins, Intermittent Fasting, Liquid (terrible idea)…the list goes on and on and on. What I don’t understand, is why people go on these diets when they don’t have to, and why people believe that a diet is the epitome of living a healthy life. The goal of a diet is to ELIMINATE, and no one enjoys that. This is why I’d like to talk about ADDING superfoods to your daily diet. To set perspective, the reason diets “work” is because it creates a calorie deficit- THAT’S IT. There is no magic! But by adding superfoods, they have the same effect because they don’t take much to leave you feeling satisfied/not starved, and they have so many essentials that your body needs to function. The only difference is that you can still eat stuff you want (in moderation of course), and that it truly is healthy. In the long run, you will be healthier due to the benefits, and not feel deprived of all the goods leading to healthy habits rather than quick fixes. Through my FND journey, I have been put on many supplements, informed about what foods do what for my body and brain, and have learned why each mineral (zinc, magnesium, etc) is important, and how they serve my body. All of these superfoods have these minerals that I am taking in capsule form! Why take a bunch of supplements everyday, or settle for feeling less than great, when you can incorporate these superfoods into your recipes and feel super all the time?

“Superfoods are the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.  We use superfoods to fill our snacks with nutrients your body needs like vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber.”

-Health Warrior

I recently became sponsored by Health Warrior Superfoods, which means I get the privilege to promote, give away samples, and be provided with their great products that I have been using for about a year now! Their products are all made out of superfoods, which make them a great option for everyone, and are a good place to start if you are wanting to give superfoods a try. In this post, I’m going to talk about what superfoods Health Warrior use, and why you should start to incorporate the lucky 13 into your diet.

1. Chia

Nope, not chia pets. Just like other healthy trend words like vegan, Kombucha, acai bowls etc; you may have heard chia, chia seeds, or chia pudding thrown around a bit. This isn’t just because it looks good on Instagram, or makes you sound like you are a health nut. Chia seeds are so good for you! They provide more Omega-3s than salmon, more protein than an egg, more calcium than milk, and more fiber than flax. Talk about hitting two birds (or four) with one stone! Chia seeds are a great option for those who are vegan, because they still provide enough nutrients to keep them going strong. A lot of people struggle with how to incorporate them into their diet because eating them straight out of the bag doesn’t work real well. Health Warrior’s most popular (and first) product is their chia bars that come in so many different flavors. I have tried every single one of them, and I love them all (definitely a toss up between chocolate chip cookie dough and coconut). They make for a great snack, on the go breakfast, pre workout, or even dessert. The bars may be small, but that is because these chia seeds seriously fill you up, it doesn’t take much. Once the seeds get into your stomach, they expand, which creates that satisfied feeling. If you are looking to try some of these bars, Health Warrior gives you the option to select up to six of their flavors to try as a part of their sample box! (Can also be found at Target). That is how I got hooked.

2. Turmeric

I have been taking turmeric supplements for my FND, but really, turmeric should be in everyone’s diet. This yellow-orange powder is famous for its anti-inflammatory properties, has been proven to combat chronic diseases, has preventative powers, but also stains everything it comes into contact with (dorm room dresser, floor, and many shirts in my experience). I have taken it in both liquid, and capsule form, but the fact that it is included in Health Warrior products already is a huge benefit for those who don’t take additional supplements or want to stain everything you care about. You may think that you don’t need turmeric because you aren’t inflamed at all, but I bet that you are wrong. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there, and I bet you will feel so much better after adding this in your diet. I know I feel so much better after making my inflamed insides calm down.

3. Cinnamon

As good as cinnamon is for you, that doesn’t mean you can go to Cinnabon everyday (although I wish that is what it meant). Anything remotely healthy is often associated with tasting terrible, but this is here to prove that thought wrong! Cinnamon has been used in a medicinal sense around the world for hundreds of years because of its anti-inflammatory effects, and high antioxidant levels. Some common ways to add cinnamon to your diet are in teas, homemade granola, energy bites, and added to foods in small doses. My favorite is sprinkling it on my popcorn, it just intensifies my popcorn addiction. Some of you may remember videos of the “Cinnamon Challenge”….please don’t do that, as that has absolutely no benefits.

4. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkins seeds aren’t just good at Halloween, they should be consumed at all times of the year! Why? They are the second most protein-dense plant seed on the planet, and they work to repair and build muscle (because that is what protein does). They are also so good for you because they are packed with magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and iron. To further explain, phosphorus is needed to filter out your kidneys, and to help you move your muscles…I guess that sounds important, right? Zinc on the other hand is needed for literally everything! I have noticed a huge difference in my energy levels, and even how I feel in general, by adding more zinc to my life. This is why pumpkin seeds are Health Warrior’s number one ingredient in their protein bars! I’ve seen a lot of posts on social media asking where vegetarians and vegans get their protein. THIS is where.

5. Oats

You may have heard this one before, but the more you hear something, the more it is validated. Do oats have a lot of protein? No. But what they do have is fiber. Oats are a superfood because it doesn’t take a lot of them to keep you full- that’s because they have all that fiber! Protein is so hyped up, but fiber is just as important because it is basically nutrition’s cleaning crew. (My dad can tell you that eating one too many Fiber One bars is a one way ticket to the nearest bathroom). It keeps you feeling full, gives you more energy due to the complex carbs, and also supports your immune system! For those who totally ignore oats because they don’t have much protein (just add protein powder or protein filled toppings), or “too many carbs,” fiber actually cancels out carbs. Say that a bowl of oatmeal is 20 carbs, but has six grams of fiber. Your bowl of oatmeal has 14 carbs, which is about the same as a bowl of fruit, and most don’t eliminate fruit because of “too many carbs” since fruit is considered healthy! So are oats!

6. Cacao Powder

You may be wondering why this one is on here, as it is mostly associated with being in desserts that are kind of the opposite of super. Cacao powder isn’t good just because it gives your brownies existence, it is loaded with antioxidants, magnesium, iron, and calcium. At this point, some of you may be wondering why the heck you need magnesium and iron anyways. Magnesium is important for maintaining bone health, relieves anxiety, and helps to aid in sleep. I am on a magnesium supplement powder that I take before bed, and wouldn’t be on it if it weren’t important! Iron is crucial for the blood, as it helps to make oxygen carrying red blood cells. I remember seeing cacao powder when I was little and when my mom wasn’t looking, I ate a big scoop of it out of the container, not realizing how bad of a move that was- bitter! That being said, there are a ton of healthy sweet treats out there such as protein energy bites, oat based cookies, and others that incorporate it in the recipe! Overall, I basically am telling you to eat more things that call for chocolatey goodness 🙂

7. Yellow Peas

Most of the time, people overlook peas because their backstory isn’t anything exciting like the fact that Cacao was considered a food of the Gods by the Incas. But also peas=gross to a lot of the population. Those who are vegetarian or vegan have a little bit more knowledge on the matter because pea protein is a very common source of protein in their world. Yellow peas also have vitamin K (helps anchor calcium in the bones). That’s right, these little buggers have protein, and aren’t only on your plate to annoy you. Most things that you read that say “plant based protein” mean that it is this pea protein. Health Warrior uses this kind of protein in their protein powder, as well as the protein mug muffins. I’ve been so thankful for this protein source because of all of my allergy restrictions in the past, and even though it is made from peas, that doesn’t mean it is a less effective source. So, as your parents would say, eat your peas!

8. Wildflower Honey

Hey honey! Honey is on this list because it is a great source of antioxidants, and is a immune system booster. I’ve said antioxidants a lot, for those who aren’t antioxidant experts, they are good for your heart, and prevent infections, and some forms of cancer. That isn’t the only reason honey is on this list though. Because of its natural sweetness, it can be used instead of sugar to add a little sweet to your desserts, or tea. One of the most useful things you can do for yourself is try to find healthier alternatives to ingredients used in your dishes. Honey is very versatile, and can be used in so many things, which is why it is in all of Health Warrior’s products, making their products very low in sugar, but still give them their sweet. Do you typically find that you feel better/have more energy when you eat healthier? It isn’t a coincidence. Food is fuel!

9. Dark Chocolate

Yes, chocolate is on this list. No, dark chocolate Milky Ways don’t count. Dark chocolate is made from the seeds of the cacao tree (superfood!) Normal diets will tell you that all chocolate is off limits, but I am here to tell you that you should be adding dark chocolate to your diet (in moderation of course). Did you know that chocolate has a good amount of insoluble fiber? It will leave you feeling satisfied. How about antioxidants? But wait! There is more. Dark chocolate contains more iron, magnesium, copper manganese, potassium, phosphorus and zinc, than any of the other superfood! It is actually recommended to finish your day with a small square of at least 75% cacao dark chocolate because of the magnesium it contains to help you sleep, and calm you down. Chocolate is good for the soul, but also your body.

10. Cherries

This may be the only thing on the list that you can just straight up eat. (I guess you could eat cacao powder like I did, all power to you). I was first surprised to see this one on the list, but then I made the correlation to why my mom had me drink cherry juice after gymnastics practices. Cherries are amazing anti-inflammatories because of all the Vitamin E they contain. Did you know that fruits with red skin contain more antioxidants? Well you do now! Red fruits contain more flavonoids, which contain antioxidants like lycopene, which reduces heart disease, and infections. If I don’t say so myself, cherries are pretty red, hence all the antioxidants. This also goes for apples with red skin, and grapes (the purple grapes are actually red for those who didn’t know that yet). A (red) apple a day keeps the doctor away is real, people! In addition to all the Vitamin E, they also contain melatonin, which is a natural sleep aid. This is also why cherries are on the list for before bedtime snacks. Better sleep leads to better body regeneration so you are ready to eat more superfoods the next day 🙂

11. Almonds

I learned this Thanksgiving that apparently there is more than one way to say almond, and it’s based on where you live. So all you Northern California/Montana/North Dakota/South Dakota folks out there, and my cousin Sam; it is al-mond, not am-end! Whether you say it the right or wrong way, they still have the same great health benefits. As I mentioned before, all great foods must be consumed in moderation, and while they pack so many nutrients into a small quantity, they also pack many calories into a small quantity. This is no reason to avoid them, because you need them! One serving may not seem like a lot (usually 24 nuts), and may be hard to believe that they will fill you up, but because of all they contain, they really do serve as a satiating snack. Almonds are a powerhouse in the nut family because of the healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, protein, Vitamin E, and antioxidants. Aka, almonds help to fight aging, aid in heart health, satisfy hunger, and help to control blood sugar.

12. Coconut

I have learned that people either like coconut, or they don’t. There is no in between. For those who would rather eat a bar of soap than some coconut because they kind of taste the same, just hear me out and I may change your mind. Coconut is versatile, and all the benefits are received in whatever way you consume it (coconut water, dried coconut, at Chino Latino, raw coconut,..not sure if Almond Joys count). Like I mentioned before, one of my favorite products from Health Warrior is the Coconut Chia Bar. This is because it tastes good, but also because it energizes me before a workout due to all that coconut does for you. Here is why they are so good; they have a high amount of ascorbic acid (good for developing connective tissue), B vitamins, and proteins. I’m currently on a B vitamin supplement to help give me more energy during the day, and would gladly incorporate more coconut into my diet if it meant not having to swallow that horse pill. It also is a good source of natural energy because of the high amount of electrolytes, and hydrating properties! Maybe we should all be carrying coconuts around the gym instead of Gatorade.

13. Quinoa

You didn’t think I was going to leave out the hardest to pronounce, but most common/ trendy/ “basic white girl” superfood did you? You’ve seen it on Instagram, all the trendy restaurants, mod cookbooks, and in stores..but what actually is quinoa (keen-wah), and why is it worshipped by health gurus? This “grain” is not actually a grain. What we are eating, is the seed of the plant. It may have seemed to become popular just recently, but this crop has been cultivated by ancient Americans for hundreds of years. The reason it is so good is because compared to other grains, this “grain” has a higher amount of protein, antioxidants, and essential minerals. This is why quinoa is becoming more of a common substitute for rice in meals. Don’t let the reason that you can’t say the word at a restaurant be the reason you are missing out on these benefits! KEEN-WAH.

Use the code NEWYEAR20 to get 20% off your first order! Just a few of my favorites here.

Hopefully by reading this, you have learned several things. The first, is what superfoods actually are, and why you should consume them. Second, why vitamins and minerals such as phosphorus, Vitamin B, Vitamin K, antioxidants, zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, fiber, fats, and protein are important for your body. We hear those words so much, but did you really know what they did for you? Third, I hope you learned about a new brand that you can try out, and while I am in no way cut out to be a salesperson, I wouldn’t promote something that I didn’t believe in! Lastly, I hope by now you know that I truly am a credible source when it comes to nutrition, and what is good for you! I’m not just a 20 year old college student telling you to eat your veggies. With all my FND experiences, allergies, and my own health journey, I have learned so much about what does what for what. As confusing as that sounds, it can be! I can tell you what foods are good/bad for what parts of your body such as that dairy is a natural inflammatory of the brain. I can tell you why you need to eat fats to lose fat. I can tell you what vitamins and foods help certain neurotransmitters, and other brain functions. I can tell you what apple has the most nutrients (Pink Lady), and lots of other weird but helpful food facts. Doing research helps, but living and experiencing it yourself teaches you so much more!

You are what you eat, so be super!


10 Most Embarrassing Moments

A while back, I shared my Terrible Tuesday experience of the custodian walking in on me in the shower right as the whole shower rod fell off the wall. I won’t go into any more detail about that, I still don’t like to think about it! I thought I’d go ahead and share the rest of my embarrassing stories because reading about people’s lowest moments in life is pretty entertaining, don’t deny it. Enjoy!

1. “Cooking”

This one took place in Kindergarten. I debated even putting this one in here because I can’t even think about it without cringing, and I don’t want my former classmates to find the evidence. I can’t remember the exact situation that led me to this embarrassment that still haunts me to this day because it is published in a cookbook. What I suspect happened, was that we were assigned to get a recipe from home, and bring it to school in order to put in a class cookbook. I’m assuming I forgot to do the assignment. My other theory is that I didn’t understand what a recipe was, or what made from scratch meant. By now, you all should know just how bad I am at cooking by how many times I have mentioned it…well this is where it all started. The day the assignment was due, we were individually pulled aside to tell our teacher our recipe. Kindergarten Lauren didn’t have anything in mind, and didn’t even know how to make the simplest things such as the recipe for cookies. I am not one that is able to think logically when I panic, and I tend to come up with the weirdest on the spot responses, even to this day. This was one of those situations. When my teacher asked what my recipe was, I searched my memory stores for any recipe I knew how to make, and came back with nothing, so I told her the first thing that came to my mind. A Pop-Tart. At first, she looked impressed because I think she thought I was going to tell her how to make one from scratch. We were told to explain the recipe step by step. So I did. 1.) Take the Pop-Tart out of the box. 2.) Take it out of the wrapper. 3.) Put it in the toaster, or don’t. 4.) Once it’s done, put it on a plate. 5.) Go watch TV and eat the Pop-Tart, edges first. Our recipes then had to have illustrations that accompanied it, so I drew a picture of me sitting in front of the TV eating a Pop-Tart, as well as a giant Spongebob edition Pop-Tart on a plate. My recipe is now published in this cookbook along with other recipes such as pan fried fish, a cake, cookies, pancakes etc. that was sent home to everyone in class, making it impossible for me to get rid of all the evidence that I actually did this.

2. Cafeteria crash

I feel like it is a rite of passage to dump food in the caf during your college years at least once, but that doesn’t make it any less embarrassing. I remember my first, and hopefully last, time doing this like the back of my hand. It was the very last day of classes of spring semester my freshman year at Gustavus. It was mandarin orange Friday in the caf, so I helped myself to a nice big bowl of them to add to my pile of spinach. I swear, Gustavus picked out the bowls that make the loudest sound when they hit the ground just to draw more attention to the person who screwed up. Louder than dropping the shampoo bottle in the shower. Those things show absolutely no mercy. I was all ready to go with my rabbit food, and went over to the silverware counter, forgetting that I set my bowl of mandarins right beside me. My elbow knocked the bowl and sent it flying, and when it hit the ground, the bowl hit just right so it kept bouncing in the puddle of oranges. With every bounce, my face turned a darker shade of red. The loud sound was basically a signal to everyone in the caf to turn around and see what person royally embarrassed themselves this time. I got a nice round of applause after that. To make things even better, the person walking behind me didn’t see the traces of the fruit puddle on the ground, and totally wiped out, dumping their tray all over the place. (Shoutout to them, the attention was now shifted from me to them). I now no longer participate in mandarin orange Friday.

3. Flipping failure

Ah yes, the high school days of trying to impress your current crush at the time. I remember some girls trying to impress their crush by acting all cute, sending notes, following them down the halls, and posting an Instagram picture and hoping they like it, but me? That’s not how I did it. I have always liked to try to impress people with my athletic abilities whether that be gymnastics, basketball, mile time, pull ups, etc. At the time, my crush was in my Individual Fitness class, our gym credit. I would always go run with the guys to be with him, usually being the only girl that could keep up with the guys. Things were going well that day, it was the first day I was not really shy around him. We never really talked to each other, we were both very shy. I asked him if he wanted to see a cool trick, and he said yes. I’ll let you in on a secret; I was never taught how to do a backflip back in my gymnastics days. You’d think a gymnast could do one any time, but that is just something I was never able to do. Apparently that day, I thought things would be different. I got all set up, went over the cues in my head; load, set, tuck. That is not what happened. I loaded, but I think I forgot the set part, as I did the slowest back tuck in history, leading me to landing square on my face. Most people would joke about something like that, and now I would be able to shake it off and make fun of myself, but at the time, both of us were too shy to say anything after that. This left us with me lying on the ground face down too scared to look and see the expression on his face, and him standing there unsure what to do but hold back a laugh. I laid there for a good while before I pulled myself up off the ground with an injured dignity and pride, then booked it inside. I avoided him for a good two weeks after that. To a high schooler, nothing is more embarrassing than doing something wrong in front of your crush.

4. Not so restful rest stop

In my recent Holiday Traditions post, I mentioned “the drive” to Kentucky that we do every year. Usually these drives are pretty uneventful; flat roads, several stops, Redbox movies, lots of sitting etc. That’s about as exciting as it got. This particular year, it was different because we decided to rent a van instead of take our own car. The Casey clan was sporting a black mini van with a bright yellow license plate from New Mexico. I was not used to riding in this van, which led to this unfortunate incident. It was at our favorite rest stop in Wisconsin, I had just come outside and was going to get back into the van. I got to the black van and pulled on the handle for the door to open. The door was starting to slowly automatically open, revealing who was inside. It was not my family. I stood there staring at a whole different family, and them staring back at me. It took me a few seconds to understand what was happening, until I heard a bunch of laughing. I looked to see where the laughing was coming from, and it was from another black van a couple spots down, containing my actual family. I turned my attention back to the people that were still staring at me standing there, and then I bolted for the correct black van. I got in and pressed the button for the door to close, wishing that those automatic doors could close faster, because the family was still staring at me.

5. Moment of un-silence

If there is one thing I can’t handle, it is an awkward silence. As bad as it sounds, I can’t stand being in church when we take moments of silence, because a memory of a funny video (usually the flying lawn mower video) immediately comes to mind, or I imagine a funny scenario such as the pastor tripping up the stairs. I also can’t help but laugh when people eat something crunchy when it is dead silent (my professor was eating carrots during a test one time and I was about to lose it). At the same time, having a giant group of people stare at me is one of my worst nightmares, and I would hate to be the person that laughs during a moment of silence, or has their phone go off in a movie theater, which is why I have managed to keep my laughter in all these years. At Gustavus, we have a Vespers student led church service that happen occasionally throughout the year. This again happened my freshman year, and was the first Vespers service of the year. All was well, until they announced that we would take a moment of silence for loved ones who had passed away, or to take a moment to reflect and let go of your struggles. No, I did not laugh, as that would make me feel like a horrible person. Instead, I started to choke on my spit because it went down the wrong way. It is incredibly hard to suppress a cough when you are choking, and I tried the best I could. My efforts caused my face to turn tomato red, but I finally couldn’t hold it in anymore. I started choking and everyone turned around to stare at me, making me an even darker shade of red. One of my worst nightmares came true. The icing on the cake was having to go in front of everyone again for communion, still as red as a firetruck.

6. We got a runner

Many years ago, my Grandma Pat had my family dog sit her puppy, Maggie. Grandma, if you are reading this, which I know you are because you always read my blogs (thank you), you have never heard this story. I was in elementary school at the time. Maggie is a Bichon/poodle, and my dog’s half sister. At the time, Maggie was still a puppy. She loved to run, get the toilet paper out of the bathroom and run around the house with it until the roll was out, but most importantly, be chased. This day, we took Maggie to Christopher’s baseball game, and I was so excited because I finally had something to entertain me. My mom let me take Maggie on a walk around the complex, but she gave me one rule: don’t let Maggie off her leash. Spoiler alert: I let Maggie off the leash. This led to Maggie taking ME on a run, instead of me taking her on a walk. Have you ever been to a baseball game when a fan jumps the wall and runs across the field? That is essentially what happened. Maggie ran and ran all over the open soccer fields, took me through the park, and lastly, my brother’s game. When I saw her heading for the field that my brother’s game was on, my heart dropped. I couldn’t let Maggie run away, my grandma would be so mad if she came back and I told her lost her, so I followed Maggie out into the outfield. I got incredibly lucky, as the game was in a current time out due to a flock of pigeons that were sitting in the infield, but still, it was terribly embarrassing to be “that person”, and I wasn’t even a drunk fan like most are! You bet I never took Maggie off leash again.

7. Staircase serenade

This one doesn’t sound terrible, it is more of a personal thing. Elementary school choir concerts, absolutely hated them. The things we had to do for that were so weird now that I think about it such as when I participated in a dance about a goat named Yesh (still remember the song). As embarrassing as that sounds in itself, it gets worse (at least in my mind). Let me remind you once again that I am an introvert, and don’t like attention being brought on myself. One day after school in fifth grade, I thought I was totally home alone, so I thought I would practice one of the songs that I was struggling to remember the lyrics to. I pretended I was a famous singer and cascaded dramatically down the stairs, singing as loudly as I could about snowflakes. I finished the last chorus, doing my best dance moves and thought I sounded amazing, only to realize that once I cascaded down to the bottom of the stairs, my family was there the whole time. Now, this might not sound like an embarrassing moment, but to my family, something like this was totally out of character for me. In my family, I have never really been one to show much emotion, sing, dance, etc. I keep to myself. They kept telling me how great it was and that I should keep going (but my brother was trying to keep from laughing). I was absolutely mortified, and hid in my room the rest of the day.

8. Talent show regrets

Speaking of out of character for me, talent shows fall under this category. My friend Morgan and I thought we had the greatest idea in fourth grade of making up a dance and performing at the talent show. My first initial thought was absolutely not, but she told me I could do some gymnastics during the dance, and I was sold. We made up a dance to Carrie Underwood’s “All American Girl”, and I will let you know, this dance did not require any talent. We would practice everyday after school on her trampoline. The matching outfits were a must back then, mine pink and hers blue. The day of the talent show, I was absolutely terrified. When it came to be our turn, we got everything set up, and started out real strong until it got to the gymnastics part. We got to the part of the synchronized handstands, and I remember seeing Morgan tip over mid handstand. Being a person who doesn’t know what to do when things go unexpectedly, the dance was totally thrown off, as we could not recover from the handstand detour. The best part of the dance for me, was when it was finally over. I still can’t listen to that song without this experience playing in my head. Best part? My mom filmed the whole thing.

9. Crotched beams, crushed dreams

This one isn’t an exact moment, because it has happened more than once. For those who don’t know what crotching the beam means, it is when your feet are supposed to land on the beam, but instead your feet straddle the beam and your crotch lands full force on it instead ( this is the reason guys don’t do beam). While this isn’t an uncommon thing to do in the gymnastics world, I can’t help but be embarrassed when it does, especially during a meet. I get embarrassed about this because it is in front of all the fans, the opposing teams, but most importantly, the judges. The first thing I want to do when it happens, is grab a microphone and announce to everyone that I promise I can execute the skill, and that I’m a better gymnast than what they just saw (it’s a pride thing). Of course, I’d get deducted so badly for doing that. Crotching the beam is also embarrassing because after I do it, it is incredibly hard to act natural and not want to start crying. I’ve done some weird things to try to “walk it off” such as walking like I just rode across the country on a horse, smiling and saying “it’s all good” while tears are welling up with a twisted smile, little hops around the mat, walking in circles while doing some heavy breathing, lots of rubbing in an awkward place, and my personal favorite; getting immediately up on the beam again, then realizing I shouldn’t have, as I proceed to do my routine, only to crotch the beam again. These attempts to look natural and that I’m not phased at all instead make me look the farthest from natural. It also doesn’t help that the whole arena goes “oohhhh” whenever someone crotches the beam.

10. Speech spooks

Public speaking was not my friend back in high school. We had our last speech of the year in ninth grade, and it was about highlights of the year. Usually when I had to give a speech, I would write a manuscript, and memorize it word for word. This time I figured I wouldn’t because it was a casual speech, and seemed easy to talk about. I should have known that I wouldn’t be able to speak casually and normally in front of 60 people. To prepare for this speech, I memorized a brief outline of speaking points, practiced a couple times, and felt that I would be just fine. Out of all my embarrassing experiences, this one has to be the worst. I learned a couple things from this speech. First, I shouldn’t have assumed that I could speak freely about something under pressure. Second, Victoria’s Secret leggings show sweat in a certain rear end area, so don’t wear those when nervous. Third, when in doubt, flip it out. I was so nervous before I had to go up there, I was getting hot thinking about everyone staring at me. I got up to the podium, and recited the introduction that I memorized. To my surprise, no one was looking at my face, but rather, kind of lower (I will let you connect the dots here, I’d rather not say what they were looking at). Once I got done with my introduction, I completely blanked. I didn’t remember any of the points I memorized. Any person could probably talk about highlights of the year easily, but me being someone who can’t logically think under pressure and when my plan goes astray, I was a deer in the headlights. Because of this, I did the only thing I knew how to do. Gymnastics. I stepped away from the podium into the open space (people still looking at my butt), and threw three back handsprings in a row down the aisle of desks. After that, everyone started clapping and told me how cool it was, making them forget about the catastrophe that just happened right before their eyes. Since then, I now memorize all my speeches again.

Well, there you have it. I know that in the future, I probably will have more moments that make me want to go crawl inside a hole. As much as I hated having to experience all these moments, they are totally worth it because they make for great stories (once several years have passed), and help me to learn to laugh at myself. You know what they say, you learn from your mistakes, and because of this, I will not be in a talent show anytime soon, will be cautious in the cafeteria, will make sure I can speak in a speech, know which car is mine, make sure the coast is clear when I put on a performance, accept that I can’t do a backflip, not take the dog off the leash, and know that putting a Pop Tart on a plate doesn’t count as cooking even if that’s the best of my abilities.

I’d love to hear some of your embarrassing stories! Shoot me an email or leave a message in the comments. Have a great week, and I hope your resolutions are going well!