Bounty of Fruit and Restful Weekends

Greetings!

What a lovely weekend it’s been here so far! I’ve gotten TONS done and managed to make it very relaxing along the way 🙂
Yesterday after Shane and I got back from playing volleyball, I turned into a cleaning fiend! I cleaned the entire main floor and boy did it need it.

After cleaning, I headed to the grocery store. The produce enticed me a little too much, and I went about $40 over the Running Around a Budget budget. However…the bounty of fresh fruits and veggies in my fridge are definitely worth it.

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While I was cooking dinner, we used part of the bounty to make a delicious fruity drink:

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5 nectarines + 1 T. stevia, + ice + rum = flash back to Hawaii: IMG_6770

And the only drink mix included REAL foods:

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Sooo good. I wished we had enough for just one more.

My dinner:

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Mashed sweet potato + veggie baked beans and steamed green beans. Such a delicious combo.

For Shane, I made him a healthy version of country fried steak using cube steak, whole wheat bread crumbs, and seasonings:

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He loved it! The gravy was a beef broth + milk + cremini mushrooms combo.

Shortly after digestion, we headed on down to the theatre room to watch Avatar. Shane had seen it in theatres, but I still hadn’t been able to watch it. Pretty awesome movie. We got it on BluRay and that with the big screen made the picture insanely sharp.

Movie snacks were puppy chow popcorn:

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Can’t beat this dessert.

This morning I woke up around 7:00 even though I wanted to sleep in, but the tummy was a-growling, so I made some oat bran:

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Aaaand then brought it back to bed with me:

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Breakfast in bed on a Sunday morning is one of the finer things in life if you ask me. This had 1/2 c. oat bran, 1 c. almond milk, 1 banana, Nunaturals stevia, flax, and PB.

After finishing up laundry and piddling around the house some more, I decided it was time for a run. It was mid fifties, so I geared up and headed outside for a quick and hilly 5 miler.

Stats were 5.2 miles in 47 minutes 15 seconds. Go me!

Even though it was only in the mid 50’s I wore a long sleeved Lulu shirt and was a sweat beast by the end. I was also a hungry beast and my muscles wanted nutrients fast.

A fast way to get nutrients? Blend them up and drink  slurp them!     

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Ezekiel granola is the best granola for smoothies. So crunchy!

 

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And later some guac I made with an avocado that was on its last leg:

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I was planning on doing a little strength training, but between Insanity and volleyball yesterday, I’m pretty sore. So I nixed it and did a little work instead. Since I have a new client starting this week, I had to print off some forms and think about training plans.  Then I was off to hit up Von Maur with Heidi!

I found a SUPER cute light yellow tank I really wanted:

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Dressing room picture, what!

When I got home, Shane and I were both getting hungry, so I got started on some dinner. Had a glass of pinot grigio while I did that:

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The end result was a delicious Asparagus Pamesan Risotto:

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Melt in your mouth umm-mazing.

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This dish was absolutely fantastic! I’ll make sure to post the recipe, which was adapted from one in this month’s CE magazine, in the "recipe tab" I’m creating next week. There. I said it. Now I have to do it (I’ve been putting it off for-ev-er!)

Now I’m watching The Blind Side with the hubski, which is turning out to be a really good movie as well. I’d recommend both this and Avatar. Sandra Bullock is very cool as a yuppie southern hard ass 🙂

Tomorrow is going to be a LONG one. I’m talking 14 hours of work straight between training job and planning job. Just gotta get through it. And try and have a good time along the way 😉

What’s the best movie you’ve seen in a while? I think the Blind Side is a little better than Avatar so far, but for different reasons.

Have a fabulous Monday everyone!

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If It Hatha be Monday…

Good morning! I can’t believe it’s already Monday again! And so the cycle re-starts. I just finished a wonderful Gentle Hatha yoga session to help bring me into the work week. I just love this little yoga habit I’ve gotten myself into 😀 If it hatha be Monday, might as well start it with peace and calmness.

I think I did pretty good with my back on track goals – I know I got in my fruits and veggies, and I definitely gave Niko her share of walkies. It was absolutely gorgeous out in central Illinois yesterday – with the temperature reaching 70 degrees!

I had plans yesterday morning to meet my friend, Heidi at the gym when I woke up. But first, I wanted to make the hubski some pancakes using some of Trader Joe’s pumpkin pancake mix I scored a few weeks ago:

 

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He gobbled them up as soon as I snapped a picture! I snagged a bite, too, and I must say, they’re quite delicious.

I however, wanted some toast and jam – the simple route. So I got out the whole wheat Great Harvest bread I got a couple days ago, and wrapped a couple pieces in tinfoil to toast in the oven.

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Slathered in black cherry jam, basking in they’re deliciousness, gym fuel:

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Gym workout  cardio-wise was an easy 20 minutes of incline walking on the treadmill (didn’t want to over do it after my cardio party from Saturday) and the following full body workout:

Bicep curls: 2 sets of 12 @ 15 lbs.

Chest press: 2 sets of 12 @ 15 lbs.

Overhead tricep extension: 2 sets of 12 @ (one weight) 15 lbs.

Bent row: 2 sets of 12 @ 20 lbs.

Lat pull down: 2 sets of 12 w/ 45 lbs.

Pushups: 10

Squats: 2 sets of 12 w/ 2 15 lb. dumbbells

Roman Deadlift: 2 sets of 12 w/ 2 15 lb. dumbells

Crunches: 25 on stability ball

I was pretty beat and shaky after this workout, and needed to get some protein to these muscles, and I did just that. We drove over to Starbuckie’s where we each got a latte and chit chatted for about an hour. And made got some humor out of a few Starbuck’s go-ers who were just too cool for school. You know what I’m talking about! mahaha

Got some housework and odds and ends done, and then fried up some lunch.

Two egg, one egg white omelet, fried in butta, with tomato, yellow pepper, and spinach:

 

IMG_2001 Made with Free Range (and happy!) chicken’s eggs.

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Is it sad that my Great Harvest bread is almost gone? hehe

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Fueled and ready to learn, I set up shop for the rest of the afternoon for some studying:

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I have to learn these neurons, muscles, joints and tendons! ack!!

Oh, on an exciting note, I signed up for a CPR/AED course to be certified so I can sit for the fitness certification exam. Holla! Not so exciting: I sit for the exam the day after I get back from my cruise in December. Looks like someone will be toting around a study guide while basking in the sun. It’s a rough life, no? 😉

A little while into studying, I did not feel well at all. I felt tired (and even fell asleep,) weak, and lethargic. I’m pretty sure I was dehydrated. After all the workouts I did this weekend, I don’t think I took in enough fluids at all. Plus, I haven’t been making a conscious effort to drink lots of water lately. Don’t want to slack in that department! Perhaps I should add “drink more water” to the back on track list? 🙂

After several cups of this:

IMG_2006 And a couple other methods of hydration: IMG_2008

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I felt quite better, and was able to finish my study time.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get all of it done that I wanted to (do we ever??) but it was then time for the last event of the hubski’s birthday weekend celebration! His fam and mine all got pizza from the best pizza place in this city:

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Lucca Grille – mmmm!

I didn’t take a picture, but I got what I get every. single. time. Veggie pizza with extra tomatoes. Yumtopia, my friends. Afterword, we all sat around and had a beer while we caught up – and a good time was had by all 😀

Time to go make some moneys –  off to that work place!

How was your weekend? Did you have awesome weather, too?! It seems like almost every blog I read this weekend mentioned something about the great weather!

Holy Guacamole!

I think I had the tastiest lunch I’ve ever had here at (insert name of my company here.) We recently got a new vendor called, “Balanced Choices,” and usually it’s hit or miss, but today it was a hit out of the park! They were featuring a whole pita stuffed with feta, hummus sauce, tomato, and spinach with a side of whole wheat pita chips served with an edamame guacamole. Holy guacamole.


The picture really doesn’t do it justice. I really hope they serve it again soon!

The rest of my day went just swimmingly. I was super excited to start out my day with a Green Monster (soup?) made from my new blender!


I used frozen bananas, frozen pitted cherries, spinach, a carrot, flax, and almond milk. Yumtopia!

About an hour after I got to work, I made myself a bowl of Natures Path Optimum Zen, and added some of my own dried cranberries to the mix. This was very good, and I was oh-so-full afterward. (But not too full to enjoy my delightful lunch later.)


As always, I got hungry mid-afternoon and busted out my new favorite Lara Bar, Peanut Butter and Jelly:


Nom nom nom 😀

That held me over for a while, but then my stomach was wanting MOAR again. And I was out of snacks for the day! Luckily, I have an emergency stash at my desk.


Yes, my friend, that is a very large zip lock bag full of peanuts! haha

I’ve been pretty much a bottomless pit today, but I guess getting to the gym at 4:45 a.m. for a 3.5 mile run will jump start your metabolism into high gear bright and early!

I wanted a snack before starting dinner, which will be eggplant parmesan tonight! 😀 So I cut up a Pink Lady apple and ate that along with some of Mary’s Crackers and cheese, and topped the crackers off with some sweet pepper jam I had from the Farmer’s Market a couple weekends ago:


On a non-food/fitness related note, we finally found a sub for our 12th player for Bunco this Friday, so now we don’t have to play with a ghost-player! 😀 I love that we get together for Bunco once a month, because it’s a great way to all hang out outside of work (this group of ladies consists of all my work friends!)

Do you hang out with your work friends much outside of work, aside from “work-functions?” I feel very lucky to have met a wonderful group of girls that I’ve become great friends with!

Girls’ Night In

Ahh I can’t believe Friday is almost over. I’ve been running non stop today. Granted, I’ve had some detours, such as giving my friend a lift to her car (only to realize half way there, she forgot to bring her keys with her LOL) :-P. Oh yeah, and then today at the insane grocery store, I finally got to the cashier in the checkout line, only to realize I forgot my wallet in my gym bag back in my car. Sadly, I packed my groceries back into my cart, got my wallet, and started all over again at the end of the line. hahah what a move! Luckily today was only a half day at work.
So I tried the GREEN SuperFood this morning in my GM. I can’t believe all the healthy goodness this stuff contains! Check it out for all the nutritional info. Ahh antioxidant overload.

Now for the taste. I was actually pleasantly surprised. I was expecting my GM to taste a little bit like, well, grass. While I could detect the new flavor, it wasn’t overwhelming, and didn’t take over the other ingredients’ flavors.
I found it also curbed my appetite a bit more than the usual run of the mill GM 😉 I didn’t get hungry again until about 3 or 4 hours later. So I had some oats with Dark Chocolate Dreams PB.

After work, I did a quick run at the gym with a half mile warm up, a 3 mile quick-paced run, and a half mile cool down. I felt a little sluggish, so I might take tomorrow off. I knew I’d be hungry after, so I had the world’s juiciest plum.

Juicy plums are the best. Except when they’re so juicy they drip all over your white pants. =-(

Darn.

And a new health bar! It’s called Boom Bar. I don’t really know if it’s new, but it’s new to me!

It was really good and had a strong honey taste to it.
After grocery shopping, I finally got back home to do some deep cleaning and prepping for girls’ night. I pretty much scrubbed the house clean. Did everything except vacuuming. (I absolutely abhor vacuuming, so that’s Shane’s chore. That and the garbage 🙂 hehe.)
By this time, I was a little hungry again for lunch, so I made a wrap. I got creative and threw together some ingredients. On the wrap went: avocado, goat cheese, summer squash, black beans and spinach.

It actually turned out really good. I was surprised!

Then I got to baking! I ended up making Angela’s On the Glo Cookies.

They turned out really good, and I think everyone enjoyed them.

I also made avocado dip (unpictured), which is always a big hit.
After a while of convincing, we decided to get Indian Food for dinner. Sorry, but no pictures, as I forgot to take them. I tried to order Baigan Bharta but they were out 😦 So I ordered shrimp tikka masala instead, and it was not good. I figured if chicken tikka masala was so good, this had to be too, right? Nope. I figured wrong. Oh well, more room for cookies, and of course red wine!! 😀

We ended up watching Confessions of a Shopaholic after dinner. It’s such a good movie, and I love hanging out with the girls! It’s really important for me to have a solid group of friends, and I feel I’m so lucky to have such awesome girl friends in my life!! ❤
Well, I have to be up bright and early to help a friend out with her garage sale…so I better get ready for some sleepy time. I hope everyone enjoyed their Friday!!

Personal Record and a New Recipe!

Hi there! I hope everyone is having a nice evening. I, for one, am glad today is coming to a close. Was your Monday as crappy is mine? Ok, enough about the negative. Luckily it’s winding down, and tonight has been fab 😀

I was SO not feeling my run after I got off work. I was stalling big time. Instead of heading straight to the gym, I went home, piddled around, and took Niko on a walk. Fortunately, I had slipped out to Target during my lunch hour to score some new workout clothes.


They really helped the motivation factor. I told myself all I had to do was try them on, and when I did, I was ready for a work out!

I headed out the door to the gym at about 6:00. An ofcourse, all the good treadmills were taken. Don’t you hate that?! So I had to wait about 10 minutes until I could scavenge one- ha! I really felt like a treadmill predator. Rawr.

When I started running, it felt awesome! Before I knew it, I had run 5K already, and had beat my own record. I ran 5K in 27 minutes!! This is great for me. But I kept going, saying I just had to make it to four miles. When I made it to four, I told myself, meh, what’s just one more mile. So I did it. I ran 5 miles! This is also a personal record in distance for me. After I cooled down, I stretched, and left the gym feeling like the queen of the world! Are you competitive with yourself, too? I’m always trying to beat my own records, hehe.

Continuing with my indecisiveness that seems to be the trend today, I was all set for ordering sushi and picking it up on my way home, but I again changed my mind.

Even though it was getting late, I wanted to grill up the egg plant that I bought at the farmer’s market on Saturday. I had hubski slice it up while I showered, and then I seasoned it up with a little EVOO, salt & pepper, and a mix of seasonings we call the “pizza seasonings.” After frying it on the stove, I topped them with freshly grated mozzerella, then some marinara, and on top of that, some parmesan. YUM-FRIGGIN-TOPIA.

For a side, I made sweet potato fries. Mmmm. I sliced these bad boys up and tossed them in EVOO, s&p, and cumin. Then popped them in the hot box at 450 degrees for 40 minutes.

I was so going to make some watermelon salsa tonight, but after I cut up the watermelon, I realized I didn’t have any chile’s. Damn! Am I the only one who that happens to a lot? I’ll start making something, only to realize I don’t have (at least) one of the ingredients.

Oh well, this is where improvisation comes in! Right?! I figured I already chopped up some watermelon, why not add some other friends to make it a fruit salad! So into the pool went blueberries, a pear, and a kiwi. It was a delicious combination. And, it was dessert!

Eep, sorry about the scary knife jumping in the picture.

My plate, in sum (after I scarfed down an eggplant pie.)


With a glass of Pinot Noir.


Ahhh…feels good to be full.

The fruit salad was HUGE, though, and we couldn’t finish it. Oh you know it won’t go to waste.


That’s right. I popped that sucker in the fridge, because tomorrow it’s joining the Green Monster club. Oh yeah. 😛

Day time eats weren’t nearly as fun as night time eats. However, I did get a little creative with my sandwich for lunch today! On some ezekial, I had turkey, tomatoes, home made guac, and some brie. It was a tasty combination.

Oh, and this was honestly the high light of my work day. (Excluding Target of course!!)

In other news, I tried a new Lara Bar today. Let’s just say Peanut Butter cookie gives Lemon a run for its money. Ok, who am I kidding? Peanut Butter Cookie kicks the other bar’s lemony butt!

Well I hope everyone had a good Monday! And if you didn’t, you’re in luck, because it’s almost Tuesday 🙂

Quinoa Challenge


Hi there! Sorry it’s been such a long time in between posts…tonight’s been quite the night…

Anywho, I hope everyone had a great Tuesday! Mine was great – I managed to keep my mood upbeat and positive all day long. For some reason, that started to change after work. A couple things didn’t go as planned, and all the sudden, I’m in a foul mood, snapping at my mom when she called, and then my husband. Yikes :-/ …but I digress…

Before I begin rambling about my day, I just want to say thanks so much for the well wishes for me to feel better from everyone. That was really sweet and made my day 😀 Unfortunately though, I do think I’m feeling the beginning signs of a cold. Crap! Well, I guess I haven’t had one really all year, so I should count my blessings.

Eats:

My green monster I had around 6 this morning held me off for a good few hours before the tummy started rumbling again. I decided to have a bow of strawberries before lunch to calm the beast.

It worked 😀

Lunch was with Shane, at the cafeteria. I had my usual crazy big salad with spinach, broccoli, egg, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, tomato, and olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. It was fantastico!
That held me over for a few hours, when I decided to have some fage + Kashi Heart to Heart.

It was a good combination, but it could have really used some honey!

As I mentioned before in my morning post, I was going to try out a new recipe tonight for din. It didn’t really go as planned…too much quinoa, not enough shrimp, DH didn’t like half the ingredients in it, and so on. But, it looked pretty and I liked it! 🙂

I thought it was pretty good! Shane said it was edible. Meh, ya win some ya lose some, right? Oh wellll…
I was planning on following the quinoa dish with some yummy banana ice cream 😛 However, after the night I made for myself, er I mean, had, I needed something a little stronger.

A glass of red (as I’m writing this post!) sounded much better. It’s really going to take some time to get used to this new schedule of working out at night. It throws everything off, and I need to learn that that’s OK.

Even though I think I’m coming down with a cold, I think it’s going to be a head cold, so I stuck it out and did some cardio at the gym. In my personal opinion, I think it’s OK to workout if one’s sickness is above their chest. Anything chest or below, should require a rest day or a very light workout day. Don’t worry though, after using the machines I sanitized the heck out of em!

Stats:
Treadmill:
5 minute warm up and cool down, then…
3 miles @..
9:40 pace
– I’m not sure of my cals, because I forgot my HRM

Then I did the stair climber for 15 minutes and called it a day. Tomorrow’s a strength training day. I’m excited because I’m going to be trying some of the new machines at my gym 😀

Oh, and after working out, I downed some Emergen-C to try and ward off this cold.
I’ve never had it before, and was pleasantly surprised at the taste! I also thought it was cool that it replenished electrolytes after a sweat session. Double bonus!

How do you decide if it’s OK to work out when coming down with a bug?

Rainy rainy Wednesday

It’s been raining all morning today. Hopefully the sun pops in to visit sometime this afternoon.

Sorry I’ve been MIA all day. I went to Starbucks to blog, and I didn’t realize they didn’t offer free wifi! I might start having a lot more lunches over at Panera because of this! Besides, I wouldn’t mind having a Fuji salad a couple days a week ;-)Since I was already at Starbucks, I went ahead and ordered an unsweetened passion fruit iced tea. I love these things!

This morning’s workout was a good one. I was a wee bit late, but I got in about 20 minutes of cardio before Body Pump. The tri workout was extra tough today.
When I got to work I had some Kashi cereal for breakfast.
Lunch was in my car, unfortunately, because of poor planning on my part. That, and because Starbucks, unlike Panera, doesn’t offer free wifi to their loyal customers! But I digress… Lunch was an ABJ on Arnold’s 100% whole wheat flax bread, with a peach and some watermelon.
It was delightful, and the peach was extra juicy!
Snackies: Two bars – Lara and Luna:

Speaking of Luna Bars, Shane and I both really love the White Chocolate Macadamia flavor, so I’ve been sending one with him to work every day. Yesterday, he came home and told me one of his buddies started ragging on him because it says “for women,” on the wrapper! I’ve never noticed this, but it’s in plain sight. Does anyone know if the ingredients are actually geared toward women? I wonder if he’ll stop taking them to work…hehe
Since I succeeded to wake up earlier than heck again today, tonight I’ll have time to do an after-work task of: cleaning out the fridge/freezer. This one should be fairly easy since I really need to go shopping as it is, but there are a few things in there that need to be pitched.
10K Training Plan
As I said in yesterday’s post, I’m training for a 10K. Not too long ago, I finished cool running’s Couch25K training plan, and now that I’ve started running, I’m an addict. I’m up to 4.3 miles now, but I prefer to follow a training plan to minimize injury and maximize motivation. It just works for me.
For the 10K training plan, I’m using Hal Higdon’s plan, with my own spin on it. I run three to four times a week – the first run on Tuesday, which is a short 3 miler. Each running day gradually increases. I’ll maybe do a 3.5 miler on Thursday, a 4 miler on Friday, then a 4.5 on Sunday. I’m going to continue this, but each week, add a tenth of my distance onto Sunday’s run, until I reach 10k. The days I don’t run, I do cross training, such as Tuesday’s elliptical work out, or strength training, like today’s Body Pump session.
While training, I’m also working on increasing my speed for running a 5k. I’m running in my 5k first race (weee!!) on August 8th, and I want to try and make my best time.
Oh how I love running. Oh, how crazy it is that I’m typing that? I never ever thought I’d actually enjoy running. Growing up, running was always my least favorite part during the practice of all of the sports I played. I guess it’s just another part of me that’s becoming more and more like my mom– she used to be a marathon runner! I doubt I’ll ever get to that distance, but who knows?
Is there a type of exercise you thought you’d never like, but then tried and loved?