Celebrating the Small Things

After breakfast yesterday, I got started on my workout. Up first was a dumbbell circuit that included bicep curls, standing tricep extensions, shoulder raises, weighted lunges, alternating front raises, and inverted rows. I performed each move in 6 sets of 8 reps and felt strong after my rest day on Sunday. For something a little extra, I went through a plyometrics/cardio circuit of box jumps, jump rope, rope swings, push ups, and sit up twists.

To top things off for the day, I hopped in the pool for a swim. I’ve learned the hard way that my watch does not track swimming, so I still have to count laps to make sure I’m staying on track. It can be a pain, but I break the laps down into groups of twelve, as each set is 1/3 of a mile. When I started, it took me a good 17 minutes to finish each round of 12 laps, which totaled approximately a 51 minute mile. Swimming is slow, especially for me, but I’ve been growing stronger and faster as I practice and learn good form. Yesterday, I swam a consistent 13 minute 1/3 mile swim and put in a little extra effort that last bit to make up a 39 minute mile. That is three year’s dedication right there! I think, when you put in effort and determination, we’re allowed to celebrate the small things as much as the big.

Whether in swimming, running, or lifting as of late, I’ve been noticing myself growing stronger and I take a lot of pride in that. For exercise to be effective and consistent, you have to find what works for you, what you enjoy, and be mindful of how it takes care of your body!

This should be the motto for anything we do in life. It’s hit me lately that if I put as much work, consistency, and determination into other things in my life as I do exercise, I can really make things happen. I consider myself lucky that the greatest challenger to myself and what I do in life, is myself. Not everyone can say that.

To recover from my workout, I enjoyed a lunch of leftover whole wheat spaghetti with peppers, mushrooms, and spinach along with a piece of parmesan crusted tilapia I had prepared the day before. I will share that recipe soon!

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While grocery shopping on Sunday, I checked out the sushi section and decided to try something different. I’m new and unadventurous to the sushi world, but I went with the spicy tuna roll and thought it was delicious! For an extra hit of veggies and protein, I enjoyed a side of carrot and celery sticks with peanut butter for dipping.

Breakfast this morning was a one-egg, two egg-white omelet with spinach, peppers, tomato, and jalapeño and some cheese. I paired the delicacy with two pieces of buttered whole wheat toast and a side of fresh blueberries and raspberries.

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With a little blogging and digesting, I’m off to the gym to fit in another great workout!

Bones, Moon, Friends, Family, and Fun: Weekend Update

Hello and Happy Monday! I’m spending my morning memorizing bones in the human body. I’ve made a ton of progress in studying anatomy- as it pertains to personal training- and I have my friend Nouha to thank! Let’s recap the weekend to find out how.

I was unable to truly appreciate National Pancake Day on Saturday because I opened at work. I had to make due with some peanut butter toast and a banana.

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Not that I’m complaining because it was still a great meal!

After work, I headed over to Nouha’s house where she tutored me on some of the more harrowing subjects, mainly, the nervous system and skeletal system. While my textbook offered me a good amount of information, I was coming into it without a lot of knowledge, so I needed someone to help fill in the gaps and talk it out with me to make sense. I’m feeling a lot better about it now!

For lunch, we feasted on rotisserie chicken sandwiches, which I enjoyed with some cheese and mustard and a handful of tostitos. Thanks for your wisdom, Nouha!

By the time I got home, my legs were itching to go. Motivated from my great run last weekend, I was hoping I could work that magic again. Success! I headed down to a local track and took off for what ended up being a 7 mile run. I felt strong and proud, especially by the end, and I think I could have gone on a bit longer had I not had plans that night. I ended with a sprint for the last leg of the lap.

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The one thing I will say about running that sucks is how it leaves sores all over my body. This includes chafing- which didn’t happen thanks to my leggings!- and the points where my body rubs against the lines of my panties and bra. I don’t feel it during the run, but after it’s a bear. I need to research better ways to avoid/heal this phenomena, but if anyone has any recommendations, please let me know! As I grow stronger in running and realize that I can make it through longer runs, I’m wanting to go further with it and a lack of pain will be an enormous help!

For my recovery meal, I had dinner with my friend Rachel and indulged in a delicious cheeseburger. I took off the bun for the second half of it and enjoyed with a veggie-ful salad on the side. I didn’t want to detriment my gains so badly, but I was raring for that burger!

It was cold on Saturday night and I was more than happy to cuddle up under the covers with the chill seeping out of the window. Maybe that’s why I’m feeling a little sniffley today…

Sunday morning, I was up for grocery shopping. Before that, however, it was time to celebrate National Pancake Day a little belatedly with this plate of peanut butter goodness.

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With the groceries put away, I also folded laundry and chopped some veggies for dinner to throw into the crockpot before I went out to lunch with my mom. We ended up at a bar in a local pizza place to watch Tom Brady land his 400th touchdown pass- no big deal. Along with pumpkin beers, we shared honey chipotle wings and a red pepper pizza. Go Pats!

Back at home, I set up in the backyard for a study session. Out of the direct sun, I actually had to throw on a sweatshirt. To get in some extra steps as it was my rest day, we walked the dog some more before dinner.

Chicken cacciatore was on the menu and cooking for the majority of the day in the crockpot. It included tender chicken that fell right off the bone, a medley of bell peppers, mushrooms, and onion- which I actively ate around because I hate them. Some broccoli and angel hair pasta rounded out the meal.

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I was in the shower when I got the call about the moon, so I tossed on some warm clothes and headed out to see what the fuss was. I had high expectations, and it was pretty cool, though I thought the moon might look a little redder. It was fun to congregate out in the street and backyard by the fire pit to watch.

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Seemed a lot closer when watching in person.

This morning, I woke up and made myself some breakfast. Today’s choice was an omelet with cheese and chicken sausage. I paired it with two whole wheat waffles and a big bowl of fruit. Notice how I’m rocking the Halloween mug in the corner.

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For the rest of the day, I have a workout and studying before work. Hope everyone enjoys another great week!

It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane! No Actually, It’s Just a Tomato

Less than a week since my post in support of nurses went semi-viral and I’ve already descended back into mediocrity. I had a taste of fame and it slipped through my fingers. I never even had an opportunity to pull a Lindsay Lohan on everyone.

No, really, it’s fine. I’m perfectly content with my readers mostly being my family. It keeps me down to earth and fueled with motivation to better myself and all that crap.

I think maybe my posts (in jest) about the apocalypse and Taylor Swift taking over the world may have scared a few people off. But I was hoping a few more might stay!

I’ll just have to lure them back in with pictures of my meals.

We lead off with last night’s dinner. After work, I swam a mile to fit in a workout and came home ravenous!  I filled a tortilla with steak, grilled peppers, and cheese and paired the quesadilla with spinach rice and green beans.

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This morning, I kicked things off the right way with a healthy breakfast and a workout. My meal consisted of an egg and two egg whites and an english muffin with a smear of peanut butter. I don’t know where my picture went…

Starting with a spin class, which kicked my butt, I completed a dumbbell circuit, squat presses, leg presses, and a body strength circuit that left me feeling strong and tired at the same time. It’s an interesting feeling. Notice the droplet of sweat on my nose.

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After I showered and flounced around the house for a bit doing some housework, it was time for lunch. I decided to duplicate the quesadilla I made last night, but make it more gourmet. I chopped up a jalapeno and another tomato from my garden and sauteed them in a spritz of olive oil with a mound of baby spinach. Once everything was starting to cook, I added leftover bell pepper and steak to the mix. Here’s everything compiled on top of a whole wheat tortilla. Of course there’s cheese!

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Once on the plate, it is a thing of beauty. I do think I make a quesadilla better than any restaurant because it’s packed with a ton of healthy and nutritious ingredients, but also so damn delicious! For a little crunch, I added a handful of tostitos.

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It was love at first bite. I mean, really.

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Speaking of tomatoes from my garden, I would love to know what would come from it if I put in a little more effort. The tomatoes are falling off the trees and are so sweet. I also had a huge cucumber (one must have escaped the mating with zucchinis) and two more peppers are growing! One tomato was so good that it broke my knife the other day. It looks so innocent and sweet…

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But my knife knows better from where it now belongs…the trash!

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I will say that it’s also totally reasonable that the knife was just past it’s prime and I just happened to be chopping a tomato when it broke. I prefer to stand by my super-tomato theory.

Woohoo for Friday!

The Radio Needs to Pull Themselves Together

Here at Give Me My Crown Already, we are all about truth and honesty, so I’m going to lay one on you. I’m a little bit nervous about it actually, but here goes.

Taylor Swift kinda scares me.

There, I said it. I can’t take it back.

Sometimes despite myself, I love Taylor’s music. Each song is catchy and sing-along-able and just fun.

But does it make anyone else a little nervous about how good she is at spouting these songs off? I used to think that she was throwing cheap shots at her exes and enemies, but then I realized that’s the essence of almost every other creative facet, so why shouldn’t she do it? More power to her. But damn, she’s a strong song writer.

There was an SNL skit a few years ago that satirized the way in which Taylor Swift has taken over the world. And yes, I think she might have actually taken over the world, this cute little blonde woman who holds so much power. In the skit, all of these people would try to deny liking Taylor Swift, but then one of her songs would play and it would hit them, they liked her music. Everyone does, unless of course you are strongly Team Katy.

My idea for this blog post was inspired by my conversation with my mom this morning in the car on our way to our shopping adventure. I was having her listen to the new song Wildest Dream because the other day, as I was driving to work, every single one of my pre-set channels was playing that song. This might say more about what I select as my pre-set channels, but still, I think we can agree that the radio can afford to play different songs once in awhile.

So yes, Taylor Swift in her overwhelming popularity kinda scares me, but she is one kick-ass chick and so far, I’m finding I’m quite alright with her world domination. We could have far worse options. For example, she would make a better presidential candidate than say, Donald Trump.

To recap the day thus far, I woke up this morning ready for breakfast. I scrambled up an egg with two egg whites and heated up two whole wheat waffles to accompany it. My phone was charging while I was eating so there is no picture.

As I mentioned before, my mom and I headed up to our local outlets for a much needed therapy shopping trip. Shopping is good for the soul and for your health because we racked up a ton of steps! I got a few more pair of pants and some cute new shirts, so I’m very pleased.

Mid-way through, we stopped for lunch as I was starting to feel a little hangry. We both enjoyed a balsamic chicken wrap with lettuce, peppers, and tomato. Not too shabby! On the way out, we stopped for a cone at the Dairy Queen, which was so refreshing.

In the stores, it was so cold, we suspect because they want us to buy all the warm fall and winter clothes, but outside it was still nice and warm. Now we just want to wear our fun new clothes, but I will not rush the sun away.

Have a good rest of your day!

Confessions of a Chocaholic

I have a problem, two actually, and neither include that supposed apocalypse that was hyped. Well, so far, we’re safe.

First problem, my sweet tooth is out of control. Sugar is addictive and I am not strong against it. We’ve discussed my want for ice cream at length. I don’t just mean during the warm summer months. The need is hard even during the frigid winter. A day without ice cream is a wasted day, not worth living something in which I have to grow accustomed.

When it comes to sweets, I’m not big on the fruity candy or fancy desserts. I love ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate. On occasion, I’ll enjoy some cake so long as there’s ice cream on the side (don’t even think about putting it on top!).

Here’s what I have become.

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Yes, that is a candy wrapper (one of the Hershey miniatures) stuck in my STEERING WHEEL. In my defense, except there is no defense, the wind picked it up from one of my cup dispensers when I was driving with my windows down and it must have lodged into the wheel. I had to snap a pic and share in the embarrassment. If we can’t laugh, then I’m just a little bit pathetic.

I think we’ve all learned to pick up after ourselves and maybe to better combat cravings.

That second problem I mentioned: flies! I am being hunted down by what I’m pretty sure is the same pack of flies, whether I’m at work, running, sitting in my backyard, and even in my bedroom! Okay, that last one was an exaggeration as they were not in my bedroom, but the others were true. Usually it’s mosquitoes that are all up in my business, but they’ve been blessedly absent this summer. Back off, bugs!

Maybe if I stopped eating so much sugar, I wouldn’t seem as sweet…

Let’s move onto food. Last night’s dinner was veggie heavy. I enjoyed a piece of grilled swordfish with brown spinach rice, squash, broccoli, zucchini, and red pepper. Yum!

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This morning’s breakfast included an egg, chicken sausage, and pepper jack cheese sandwich with a banana and scoop of chocolate peanut butter.

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The goodness fueled me through my morning run before work. I ran two miles and ended with a couple of sprints that left me breathless in the best way! I need to be better about including intervals into my training, but they knock you out! I have some Yoga on the menu for later to top things off.

After work, I had lunch with a friend at Whole Foods. I was good and stacked my plate with lots of yummy vegetables, like fresh bell peppers, grilled artichokes and zucchini, and marinated mushrooms. I then added a scoop of macaroni and cheese and a chicken finger, but we all need our indulgences once in awhile.

Now’s the time for studying in my backyard with the beautiful breeze and warm sun shining down. God, do I love fall!

Apocalypse Scares and Food Photos: Just Another Tuesday

It was only a few weeks ago that I was thinking to myself how nice it was that we haven’t had any apocalypse scares as of late. My uncle would ruin this on Friday night when he told me that people were now focusing on September 23 as the end of the world. I will say that he himself did not believe it, but that all of the eery coincidences were curious, as they always are, that leave you with at least a speck of ack-what-if!?

It’s not that I’m actually scared of the apocalypse or that I believe any of the “facts” that go into it, but no doubt, whenever that date people zone in on comes to pass, there is a nagging fear in the back of my mind. It’s embarrassing. I happen to be a sucker for conspiracy theories. Again, not because I believe them, but because it makes for an intriguing story. Usually I just stick to reading Dan Brown books for my fix.

The reason I thought of a pending apocalypse in the first place was because I was watching Buffy and for a second I thought, well this isn’t that bad, but then I remembered that Buffy doesn’t actually exist and I’m not certain I trust any human enough to save the world as I would Buffy. And even though I adore Sarah Michelle Gellar, I do have the ability to separate character from actor and I don’t think she would be up for the task, at least alone. Unless of course she or someone else have already been doing that for years without us knowing, in which case, thanks bud!

So maybe there is an apocalypse scheduled for tomorrow, but probably not. There’s nothing any of us can really do at this point, so we might as well just go on living per usual until we can’t. That does mean that you can have extra ice cream tonight (or your treat of choice) just in case. At the very least, we have a few things that we can be thankful for to ease our minds as we continue onto our potentially fiery deaths.

  1. I’ve experienced mild celebrity with my blogging
  2. Donald Trump could not be made president
  3. I will not have made it to 26 and will therefore not have to come off my parents’ health insurance
  4. Chris Evans won’t have married anyone else
  5. No more snow to shovel
  6. I am finally blonde
  7. No more reality TV
  8. Since we’ll all go out together, Heaven will be way more fun
  9. There should be unlimited free wifi in Heaven (right!?)
  10. No more damn apocalypse scares

It is possible that my priorities are different than yours and that’s fine too. In all seriousness, I suspect that tomorrow will come and go and we will (mostly) all be fine, unless something personal happens to you or me, in which case, I’m sorry.

For the record, apocalypse is a difficult word to type and I feel like my fingers got in a nice workout.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll continue onto our regularly scheduled blogging. Yesterday’s workout consisted of a dumbbell strength circuit, a body strength circuit, and a swim. I was pleased to find that I wasn’t experiencing any pain after my long run, but the swim was a good antidote to easing sore muscles anyways.

Dinner was homemade chicken parm, whole wheat penne, and sautéed spinach.

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I’ve decided my next read would be Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. I read it in high school and loved it, so I’m curious to see how I feel 8 years later. I cracked the book open as I dug into this plate of magnificent peanut butter pancakes this morning, leaving both my mind and tummy happy.

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Check back in again tomorrow for more adventures, probably.

Humbled by Fame: A How-To Guide

Whoa. This weekend has been so much fun and it has everything to do with my mild internet fame. My mom and I want to thank everyone for reading and sharing and for the overwhelming support of my latest post, which you can read here if you have no idea what I’m talking about: http://givememycrownalready.com/2015/09/19/dear-joy-behar-a-thank-you-from-a-nurses-child/.

Nurses are awesome, especially my mom and I’m so happy that so many are agreeing!

Here’s all of the wonderful things that have happened to me since I experienced the instant rush of success:

  1. I was offered my own TV show deal
  2. Chris Evans proposed
  3. Amy Poehler and I are best friends
  4. I lost 30 pounds by increasing my daily calorie allowance
  5. I made delicious pumpkin waffles

Okay, so only one of those things happened. Any guesses as to which??

Yes! You are exactly right. We’ll be married next summer and all of you are invited!

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Psh, wishful thinking. Plus, that ring would have been a whole lot bigger had it been real. Reality is more like:

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Still pretty delicious.

This weekend was fun with or without Chris Evans. On Friday, I got my day started with a dumbbell strength workout, worked, then headed to my aunt and cousin’s nail party. I got some Jamberry’s picked out based solely on my mom’s choosing all of the holiday options they have available. They were cute though so I won’t complain.

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Clearly I’ve mastered the pout.

On Saturday, I worked through the morning, but ate this yummy oatmeal to fuel me through it.

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After helping cover up the pool for the season- it’s now fall!- I had this for lunch. I’m big on waffles and eggs these days and I don’t care for which meal I eat them!

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I wrote my now famous blog post, then met my friend Katie in the city. We went to a Greek festival for dinner and ate yummy gyros and baklava before meeting another friend at a Gatsby-type themed bar.

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Sunday morning started with some grocery shopping. My mom and I met my Aunt Stacy and cousin Erin for lunch. Blackened salmon salad for the win!

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After, we all scooted over for a Paint Nite afternoon. I can totally see why people love painting, and I also love to draw, but I never know what to create without someone telling and showing me how. I have a lot to work on when it comes to painting, but I don’t think it looks half bad.

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Glowing from our newfound fame.

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It was so beautiful out yesterday and by the time I got home, my legs were itching for a run outside! I headed down to the track to run on a consistent flat surface and I felt s-t-r-o-n-g. The intention was to go 4 miles, but by the time I reached my third, I knew I was in a good place, so I kept pushing. By the end, I got to 6.4 miles (had I realized at that point I was .1 away from 6.5, I would have gone for it, but oh well). I think I honestly could have run longer had it not been dark out, but also my legs were chafing! I can’t wait to run with pants on instead of shorts because it soothes things so much better!

I watched bits and pieces of the Emmys. My goal is to one day host and I think I could do a better job than Andy Samberg who felt choppy. I suspect we got spoiled by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey so many times. Maybe within the next few years, I’ll be receiving an award for my own show and hosting, and you can say you knew me when!