It’s Okay To Like Anne Hathaway Again

This weekend, I spent a lot of time working, but I did manage to have some fun on top of that. Friday night, I hung out with my friend Nouha who has been helping me study the science-based information for my Personal Training exam. We did fit in a chapter, but we spent more time catching up, which was much needed.

After work on Saturday, I intended to run, but I already had on my glasses and comfy clothes and I wasn’t feeling the motivation. Instead, I settled on it being my rest day and I put in a few good hours studying. I thought now that I’m more into the actual exercises of my studying that I was past the science and math, but turns out, there’s a lot of math that goes into cardio. Good thing I like a challenge. That night, I went to see The Intern. Decent movie, better than I expected, with a different premise, but I of course did not love the ending. I guess it’s my thing.

Remember for awhile there when people went against Anne Hathaway? I’m ashamed to say I fell for it a bit and while I still did not love the film version of Les Mis or her performance during awards season, I do enjoy the rest of her movies. Also, I’m pretty sure that if I were favorited to win an Oscar, I would be insufferable too. Sorry, Anne. We’re good now.

Having gone to this movie theater in particular, I was reminded of the time when I was in high school and cutting through an alley to get to the street over and an old woman approached me and a friend. She didn’t speak much English, but we were pretty freaked out, which made her mad and I’m pretty sure she put a curse on us. The whole two fingers to her eyes then at us pointy thing confirms that. Though maybe we shouldn’t assume it was a mean curse. Maybe it was a happy curse…

Anyways, on Sunday, I did fit in a run before work, but I’m still suffering from my feet going numb. The sneakers are still new, so that could still be the issue. I’m actually starting to suspect it’s a circulation thing. My sister and I both have oddly cold hands and feet and now that the weather is changing, I’m wondering if that’s what’s happening. I’ll have to verify with an actual doctor because it’s making me nervous!

Monday’s workout included a heavy lifting circuit and intervals for cardio. I’m in the process of mixing up my workouts, which I’m afraid will have to include more intervals in order to spice up my routine.

Now let’s talk about food. Sunday’s stir fry dinner starts things off. Grilled chicken and brown rice with zucchini, red pepper, spinach, and a spoonful of peanuts.

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Monday’s breakfast. It looks like I put a lot of butter on my waffles, but in my defense, it was hard to spread it across the entirety, so it just looks jumbled. Those berries were divine!

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Lunch on Monday. I love a good salad, but lately I’ve been preferring the hotness of a stir fry. This one includes baby spinach, pepper, tomato, cucumber, and carrots with feta, grilled chicken and sesame ginger dressing.

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This morning’s veggie-heavy scramble with chicken sausage, spinach, red pepper, and mushrooms.

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Now off to fit in a workout and get studying!

Don’t Let My Brain Power Intimidate You (And Other Things I Should Never Say)

Happy Friday! I have a busy study day in front of me, but I’m procrastinating wanted to pop in and say hello before the weekend!

This morning, I set my alarm and intended to fit in a strength workout before my spin class, but when the alarm blared, I decided it was in my best interest to delay the workout and fit in an extra hour’s rest. It wasn’t a terrible decision, but I think I would have been fine getting up. I can get up no problem when I have to, but it’s finding that extra motivation when I don’t necessarily have to that is tricky.

So long as I get in my exercise!

Before exercising, my stomach was rumbling, so I fixed myself an egg, ham, and cheese on an English muffin, guzzled two large glasses of water, and sipped on a coffee.

Spin class was awesome today and I found I was able to push myself even harder than last week. Cycling is a great addition to my cardio workouts that mostly include running and swimming. I like keeping it to one day a week and adding a day of plyometrics to round everything out. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of sprinting (in the aftermath).

With my cardio done, I worked through a dumbbell circuit, 5 sets of 10 reps of shoulder presses, bicep curls, lying tricep extensions, shoulder/front raises, rows, and bench presses, followed by barbell squat presses and leg presses. Whew. I finished with a quick core workout- still feeling the effects of that ab roller from Monday!- and headed home nice and sweaty to a yogurt, peanut butter, pomegranate refueler.

Going back to yesterday’s dinner, here’s a look at leftovers: chicken with white sauce, spinach rice, and a fresh vegetable medley of spinach, peppers, and mushrooms.

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Now off to study so I can revel you all with fancy fitness terms like I did yesterday with proprioception. For example, you better believe I was proprioceptively aware of my quads during those final sprints in spin class today. (I’m not positive I used that correctly, but I trust you to believe in me blindly and not research).

Coming to Life

Proprioception is the body’s ability to sense position within itself and with regards to the external environment. It’s something we lose awareness of when sitting at all, whether in front of the computer screen at work or the TV screen at home. I know. We need to work and we also need to watch TV, but giving yourself at least 30 minutes to move your body provides it with much more than calorie burn.

One of the coolest things about studying for my Personal Training certificate is understanding the complexities behind how the body functions and just how cool that is. Now when I exercise, I think about how everything ties together to create movement and it fuels me to work harder. Exercising wakes up the body, makes it move, and brings it to life.

It’s also a battle, messy, imperfect, and hard.

Next time you workout, think about your heart beating, feet meeting the pavement, limbs threading through the water, muscles powering weights, and realize how IMG_4132powerful that is!

This was something that stuck in my head during my morning swim and I found that it pushed me to move faster. I started the day with a kettlebell circuit followed by a body strength circuit that woke me up when my body would have preferred to continue sleeping.

My workout yesterday was a four mile run. It was hilly and difficult. My feet hurt from my new sneakers, which lead them to eventually fall asleep. My calves hurt from the extra pressure on them thanks to the feet. Blisters on my ankles were sore and bloody. I was a sweaty mess and yet, it felt great. Sometimes, it won’t feel great and sometimes I’ll have to walk or struggle my way through. There were obstacles and parts of it that weren’t fun, but it was something my body needed.

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Now let’s talk about food! Grilled tilapia with rice and veggies made up yesterday’s lunch after my run.

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Dinner was a chicken cutlet with creamy white sauce, spinach rice, and grilled Brussels sprouts I tossed with a mixture of olive oil and maple syrup.

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For breakfast this morning after my workout, I knew I need something to power me through a large chunk of time while I was at work. I went with an egg scramble with waffles, raspberries, and half of a banana.

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While I did have to snack on a few almonds at work and I munched on an apple right when I got home, I made a salad for myself with some grilled chicken for protein and a side of cranberry walnut bread that I grilled for an added yummy factor.

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I’m Onto You, Suzanne Summers

I had a dream two nights ago that Suzanne Summers was stalking me, so you better believe I’ve been checking over my shoulder whenever I leave the house. We were cool Ms. Summers, don’t pull a Liza on me.* In the dream, we were participating in a Hunger Games-esque event, except it had nothing to do with death. If I remember correctly, then if Suzanne “tagged” me, then I had to go live outside in nature. This all seemed very plausible in my dream, but now makes no sense at all.

*If you forgot that Liza Minelli stalks me, then lucky you. It’s a thing. I’m sure I’ve written posts about it before. She’s remained stagnant as of late. Let’s not jinx that.

Anyways….is anyone else slightly alarmed that it’s already October 21? I’m sorry, but I thought it was still July of 2012. Time is flying! I better step up my studying because my test date is approaching.

Here are some eats from the past few days we’ve been away from each other.

Scenes from my dad’s birthday dinner Act I. Act II actually doesn’t have a picture, but my family went out and it was fun, happy, and delicious.

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A very interesting looking meal with waffles, scrambled eggs with a chicken sausage, and a big bowl of berries. My breakfasts are often big meals because they fuel me for my workouts and because it’s the best meal of the day.

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This stir fry was impressive. Steak, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, and spinach over rice with ginger sesame dressing drizzled on top.

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Peanut butter toast can do no wrong.

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Grilled tilapia, broccoli, zucchini, peppers, and rotini. Yum!

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This morning’s plate of cakes. I can’t get enough of these!

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Workouts the past few days included grueling strength training sessions, lap swims, spin classes, long runs (slightly painful thanks to new shoes which I’ll debut tomorrow!), and core workouts that left me with sore abs whenever I sneeze (I sneeze a lot, ouch!).

In other news, I hung out with my family a lot this weekend which is always good for laughs and fun, enjoyed the nice weather with a few walks outside, cleaned and prepared for fall/winter (still more to do, ugh!), worked (it’s a blessing to love what I do), and lost a few years of my life trying to buy Star Wars tickets. For whatever reason, they are starting to premiere the new film BEFORE midnight, so my friend Stephanie and I have our tickets for 11:50. We like to stick to the idea of premiering a  movie at midnight, but in this situation, beggars really can’t be choosers. It is very exciting though and we are now two months away!

I can’t get over this picture:

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I also bought another decal for my computer. I like the subtlety of my Harry Potter one that fits right over the apple on the Mac, and I thought I was continuing this trend when I bought this new one. Not so much. It’s huge! I had to cut it.

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I think my nerd is showing just a bit.

Also, my coffee mug looks super creepy in that picture and it was unintentional!

Happy Wednesday!

Food on the Brain

I think I mentioned that I’ve been running more, but I don’t know if I told you how I ran 10 miles. Straight. Yes, okay, so that run ruined my sneakers and is now the reason why my feet go numb when I run (I know I need to get to the store), but it was so worth it. Running 10 miles is a feat if only based on how long it takes me. Note, just short of 2 hours. So I’m not a fast runner, but my clip was consistent and I have the feeling that I could do it again. Even more, maybe. Half marathon, let’s go! Remember, if I can run, you can run. You just have to start.

After that shameless plug, I’ll get back into recap mode. Wednesday’s run seems like a walk in the park with just 4 miles and a few breath-taking sprints at the end, but it was still a great workout on a beautiful day! Thursday’s workout was an early one as I had to work later that morning. It included a kettlebell strength circuit, followed up with some body strength moves, and a swim.

But look what I had waiting for me at home!

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As promised, it’s baked oatmeal time again! My go-to baked oats recipe includes oats, baking powder, cinnamon, mashed banana, chopped dates, and milk of any kind. It’s fun to mix things up and tis the season for pumpkin and apple! I tossed in some chopped apple, canned pumpkin, raisin, and walnuts, baked it for 25 minutes at 350 and had myself a tasty, warm, and nutritious breakfast.

I made it the night before and heated it up for breakfast and it was still fresh and delicious!

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Um, yes, please and thank you. Some peanut butter might have been thrown on top because I can’t help myself.

Lunch was fun too when I got down to it. Quesadilla time! First step, grill those veggies!

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It’s nice to have already grilled chicken on hand like I did, but it doesn’t take much time to cook that up either. Once cooked, mix everything together nice and hot.

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Assemble the tortilla and cheese!

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Top with mixture on one side (you know, where the cheese is). Don’t forget to sprinkle another layer of cheese on top for the sticking factor.

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Let it brew before you chew.  I had to do it without actually doing it. I’m sorry.

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Savor.

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A comfort favorite packed with nutrition and YUM!

And on to this morning’s recap…I had a quick homemade breakfast sandwich before skipping over to the gym for a dumbbell circuit. I held some planks too before getting my butt kicked at a spin class. Nice to mix up the cardio sometimes.

Now time to think about lunch…HAPPY FRIDAY!

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Happy birthday to my dad!

He’s a man of few words, so I will try to do the same.

Over the years, he’s held my hand through everything.

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Shown up to every cheerleading competition, played with Barbies, and sat in princess duck boats.

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Supported and pushed me when I needed it.

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Makes me laugh the hardest and has been the most solid, stable person in my life.

Love you, dad! I hope you have a great day!

Perfection on a Plate

After I left you yesterday, I headed to the gym for a strength training circuit and a swim. I was experiencing some tenderness thanks to the bump on my head and side lunges, but otherwise felt great! The circuit included 6 sets of 8 reps of bicep curls, tricep extensions, shoulder raises, weighted lunges, alternating front raises, and a move that I think are called inverted rows, but I’m not positive. I also fit in a core workout of diamond push ups, mermaid raises, hip lifts, flutter kicks, sit ups, and Russian twists. Phew.

I was super happy during my swim because I’ve once again increased my mile time! Remember when it took me around 50 minutes? I’m now swimming a lap a minute, which after 36 laps that equal a minute equals a 36 minute mile! This also happened last Thursday so I was pleased that I kept my pace.

Important note. Don’t compare yourself to others in anything in life because then people would rarely have accomplishments. I say this because out of curiosity, I asked what a strong average mile swim time was and was told 20-25 minutes. Clearly, I have improvements to make, but I choose to focus on how far I have progressed rather than how much slower I am than other people. I mean, I’m faster than some folks, right?! Not that it matters…

My recovery lunch was this gorgeous thai chopped salad, a crunchy apple, and a handful of cheezits that hit the spot. Salad included baby spinach, red pepper, tomato, carrots, and cucumber with chicken, black beans, and feta mixed in with an Asian sesame dressing. Divine!

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I also felt good about my study time, put in some time at work, and made it back home for dinner and the first of the Democratic Debates. First, let’s focus on dinner. Grilled tilapia, spinach rice, corn on the cob, and grilled zucchini. A little hot sauce and a new mustard-barbecue sauce combination on the side.

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I won’t get too much into politics, but I will say that I enjoyed watching the debate and was impressed by a few candidates and had no patience for a few others. The best part of the night was following Twitter.

After some writing and once again staying up far too late as I was in a good groove, I was ready for bed. I woke up this morning with one thing on my mind- PANCAKES.

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This is my favorite recipe, possibly ever, and it prevents me from eating anyone else’s pancakes (mostly). I mean, seriously. Not only are they chock full of nutrients, but they are so peanut buttery and chocolatey. And look at those strawberries!

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That is a perfection speared by a fork.