Spiralizing Queen

If it’s a vegetable, I will spiralize it. So maybe I’m a little late to the vegetable noodle game, but my mom and I have embraced the madness and our lives are forever changed. I mean, maybe zucchini noodles just seem more fun than the simply chopped zucchini coins, but the taste seems to have been upped too. It could be scientific, might not be. You can either challenge me, or just spiralize it up too!

Monday means meal prep day, especially considering that Tuesday is a long one, and I got to cooking (and spiralizing) up a storm to make sure I fit in all my nutrients. First up, zucchini! I lo-ove zucchini. There’s an insane amount of zucchinis in my fridge and they will all be eaten within the week.

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It’s a beautiful thing! Side note: I started watching How I Met Your Mother in full and so far, it’s been an excellent life choice.

Next, we find the startling creature: the sweet potato.

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I tossed each separately into pans with garlic and olive oil.

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That’s all the zucchini needed, but I did a little more for the sweet potato and created a recipe I am excited to share with you all in the near future! *I can’t give away too much in just one post!

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Final creations of meals are to come, but the options are endless!

Now onto the weekend: After work on Saturday, I met up with my friend Alison to get lunch and then headed to the gym with my sister and brother-in-law to fit in a butt kicking workout. We just ran through a quick total body strength circuit before I hopped on the treadmill for an interval run. Almost fell off trying to watch the Red Sox on the TV screen to the right of me, but I kept my stride!

Sunday included a double-header softball games that led to one of my fears coming true! I play catcher, but since this is a slow-pitch league, there is no equipment, and I took one off the head! It all seemed to happen so fast and I didn’t have time to protect myself, but thankfully, the bruise is covered by my hairline and I don’t think I was concussed. It was scary and I was in a bit of shock as I walked off the field. The wooziness a little later was more from the tequila I enjoyed with lunch than any side effects of my injury, probably.

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And yeah, of course, I had to snapchat this moment. I was a wounded warrior!

The rest of the day was spent being productive, doing laundry and writing up all the workouts for my clients for the week. I also did a fair bit of writing, which felt so good! Now onto Monday and figuring out what to concoct with all those veggies!

Tacos and Weights

Before I prove to you that I make the best tacos you could ever imagine, I also want to inform you as to why you should be lifting heavy. Not only would it take added supplements, an insane diet, and hours in the gym for a woman to get “bulky,” but muscles need to be exerted in order to grow and the best way to do that is to lift heavier. For awhile, I’d been focusing on endurance lifting, but it wasn’t pushing me enough to my limits. I realized I needed to put more effort into lifting heavier on the compound movements, like squat presses, deadlifts, and so on. It works!

I initially lost ten pounds, but for a few weeks the scale hasn’t budged, and yet, my clothes are fitting better, I’m feeling trimmer and a whole lot stronger.

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It’s very serious business, as you can see from my expression, but I think it adds to the idea that the scale is only one way of checking in on yourself, and it’s not even the best way. We know how we feel, whether we’ve had a good week or bad, if those clothes are loose, tight, or just right. We tend to focus on the flaws and not the positives, but when you start working out, doing something that purely benefits only yourself in the best way possible, you’ll start to notice the strengths. You’ll want to push yourself, treat yourself right (indulgences included!), and you won’t need the scale to tell you whether or not you like yourself that day. Strength training doesn’t only offer physical benefits and for that, I couldn’t recommend it to you more!

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The other day marked four years since I graduated college, which seems insane, but that also means I have maintained my 100 pound weight loss these past four years. People always ask how I did it, the weight loss and the maintenance, and it’s a question I ask myself all the time.

It certainly helps that I love working out- not every day, but even then, when I have to push myself to go, I always feel better- as it helps with my anxiety and has become a part of my every day living. Exercise is so important and can be healing in so many ways, especially strength training (seriously, lift those weights!), but it’s only a fraction of the entire picture of healthy living. Number one, you have to be positive. So often, I hear my clients remark negatively on their bodies and themselves and it makes me sad because no matter what, you need to love yourself. You also have to be mindful, when you’re eating, exercising, working, spending time with family and friends, watching your favorite movie or shows, going for a walk, everything that you do because it’s life and life is precious and fleeting- something that I’ve learned the true reality of these past few months.

And then there’s food, this strange thing that we put into our mouths to fuel us. In our society, and in most societies, food is not simply fuel. It’s part of celebrations, outings, and daily living. Food is meant to, and should be, enjoyed. For people who struggle with their weight, on either side, it’s become the enemy. I am not afraid of food. I love eating and I don’t shy away from it. I just have higher expectations for it. We all have our favorites that should be eaten and enjoyed, in moderation. Many people tell me that moderation is the problem, that they can’t stop at one serving and so they’re better off depriving themselves. This is when positivity and mindfulness kick in. Know what you’re eating, enjoy it while eating, and be satisfied when you’re done. There is a learning curve, but it’s worth it. Trust yourself and your trust in food will grow.

That leads us to those tacos.

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They start with warmed corn tortillas, a sprinkling of cheese, sliced zucchini and red bell peppers, fresh grilled chicken, a dollop of sour cream and guacamole, and chopped jalapeños. I enjoyed these immensely with a side of sautéed spinach for a hit of greens and felt so full and satisfied when I finished. This is good eating, fresh food, all the right nutrients, and a little splurging. We don’t always have time to put creations like this together, but there are simple ways of choosing the right foods and putting them together to cook something great.

Put some time and effort into yourself and the things you enjoy because so often, life is about these simple things.

Quinoa Three Ways

At least Monday’s bringing some sunshine! It was a dreary weekend after a dreary kind of week weather-wise. Friday night included some curling up on the couch time watching the Red Sox lose to the Yankees, which was disappointing. Saturday was a full-work day that was followed up by a long run on the treadmill, not friendly for these hips, and more time curled up on the couch watching the Red Sox lose to the Yankees, even more disappointing. I was up early again on Sunday for a softball game, followed by Mother’s Day celebrations. I ended Sunday with a massive load of laundry, which always feels so productive, while watching the Red Sox beat the Yankees, far more satisfying!

This morning, we jumped right into some food prep for the week! I haven’t made quinoa in forever, so I decided to get a little fanciful. Quinoa three ways!

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First up’s quinoa with chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, and feta!

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Next we find quinoa with cilantro and lime, a little knock-off from Chipotle’s cilantro lime rice.

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Finally, we have caprece quinoa with fresh tomato, mozzarella, and balsamic vinagerette! I’ll enjoy this one for dinner tonight as it won’t last as long as the others in the fridge.

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To go along with my delicious quinoa concoctions, I made a batch of Tasty’s garlic parmesan chicken tenders, which are amazing!

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Fret not, I didn’t forget my greens! This zucchini and spinach dish (mixed with a little garlic and olive oil) will have to be replenished a few times over to meet my needs for the week, but it’s a start!

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I’ve got meals to keep me fueled and workouts planned to keep me strong. Starting off on the right foot!

I would be remiss not to flash a picture of my breakfast this morning. This time, I went with the peanut butter Kodiak Cake waffle mix, and I was not disappointed. And look at those berries! (Butter is difficult to spread).

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May The Fourth Be With You!

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It’s Star Wars Day and we will go back to pretending that Han and Leia lived happily ever after (because after 30 years why mess with that?!)

This has pretty much been my breakfast of the week because it’s so good! The waffles are a game changer!

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This has also been the salad of the week. Grilled chicken, chopped mozzarella, tomato, carrots, peppers, cucumber, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

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A dinner from the week: chicken sausage and meatballs, whole wheat penne, zucchini noodles, and spinach.

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I had a killer back/bicep workout on Monday, ending with some core work and a quick run focused on speed. Yesterday was a scheduled rest day, but I’ll be back at it today to work the chest and triceps. Hopefully I can get outside for another run, even if the sun won’t come out.

Weekend Recap and Food Pics

Hello to Monday!

I finally have some food pictures to share- I’ve been so bad about that lately. Let’s start with last night’s veggie heavy dinner.

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This dinner included a huge greek salad, grilled peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini, asparagus, and a delicious piece of salmon that I drizzled with barbecue mustard. Yum!

Now to today’s breakfast!

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My favorite scrambled egg/egg whites with cheese, berries, and waffles. I stopped at Target yesterday to buy myself some new sheets- excellent choice!- and couldn’t help but browse the food department. I found two new pancake/waffle mixes. I’ve had the Kodiak Cake brand before, all-natural and whole grain, but they now have protein-packed versions and I couldn’t help but buy both the buttermilk and the peanut butter variety. I went with buttermilk this morning and was not disappointed!

Yesterday, I found myself on a bit of a shopping spree, buying a few shirts and a cute jacket for the summer at the Loft and my new sheets and an organizer for work at Target. In addition to the mixes, I found my favorite protein bar flavors. Yay!

After, it was time to play some softball! I was feeling a little rusty, but I wasn’t a complete failure. The rain made things a bit on the unpleasant side because it was cold.

Going back to Saturday, I did very little more than sit on the couch for the evening, watching the Red Sox whoop the Yankees. Before that, I did earn my rest with a full morning of training and then a beautiful run outside. I’ve been lifting heavier this week and my limbs are starting to feel it. It pretty much wasn’t my fault that I was couch-ridden on Saturday because I was S-O-R-E, but in the best way. DOMS are real, man. Thanks to increasing my intensity, I actually am cutting down to only five official workouts a week. One day is mostly rest, but the last day will be active rest, like softball, Yoga, hiking, etc. Since we’re now in May, I think it’s the perfect time for it! I also really need to give my body a chance to recover from the strain!

Let’s all have a great week!