Chocolate Peanut Butter Stuff ‘Cakes

I saw a recipe online that included chocolate stuffed pancakes and I was very much for it. My usual go-to pancake recipe is one I’ve shared before on the blog. In the past, I’ve mixed my favorite chocolate peanut butter into the batter and while tasty, it never quite tasted as chocolatey and peanut buttery as I’d hoped. Cue the internet!

Frozen chocolate peanut butter discs. The original post I found this from used Nutella, but I’m not a huge hazelnut girl, so I stuck with what I knew.

I used my own pancake recipe, minus the peanut butter in the batter.

Don’t mind the creepy hand shadow. These discs were spread onto plastic wrap (the only thing I had for it) the night before in anticipation of making this recipe. Once I’m up, I want to eat, so there would be no waiting for a pre-freeze in the morning.

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Once everything was prepared, I dropped a dollop of batter onto the hot pan, delicately plopped the peanut butter disc on top, and covered it with more batter.

UM.

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Served with eggs of choice (scrambled), preferred hot beverage (coffee), favorite fruit (all the berries), and topped with syrup or nothing at all because the chocolate peanut butter upped the ante. The perfect weekend breakfast.

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Yes, please and thank you to the blogger who inspired this meal!

Workout Shake-Up

These next three weeks of workouts include total body compound movements that have consistently left me sore. I took a week off when I went home for a few days and my body paid for the absence. Though it was a struggle some days to move, it was the good kind of pain — I realize I probably sound crazy.

For this cycle, I’m strength training three times a week with a few minutes on the bike, as well as running and (in theory) working through some yoga sequences three days a week. While my morning workouts continue to be consistent, I find it difficult to wake up with enough time to fit in my yoga and just end up running. Yay for cardio, but also, I could use the yoga. Awake and alert me understands this. Sleepy Caitlin does not.

I’ve returned to circuit training, performing three moves consecutively, four sets of twelve reps, four total circuits. In between sets, I rest for about 45 seconds and a minute between circuits. Such exercises include squats with lateral raises, curtsy lunge step-ups, skull crusher chest flies, jumping squat chest throws, and more. In total, these workouts take about 45-60 minutes. I’m quite proud of myself on this routine because I hit each muscle group multiple times a workout.

Maybe because I’m organized or perhaps because I’m enthusiastic about exercise planning, but I’ve already written out my next two three-week cycles of workouts, which I’ll be sure to share. Next week, I’ll share Day One of my strength training routine for the week. Consider this a teaser.

Get moving!

Food

I have a bunch of food pics collected on my phone that I need to share. So here we are.

Peanut butter topped waffles with a drizzle of honey and fruit.

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A bowl of oats mixed with peanut butter and blueberries.

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Crockpot cherry oats with walnuts and fresh banana.

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Shrimp, cheesy orzo, spinach, and a salad.

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Cod with some greens and rice.

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I was very much into the cheesy orzo for a bit. This time around served with chicken tenders and broccoli.

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Alfredo pasta with sausage, red pepper, zucchini, and spinach.14B535B1-911F-4E75-A8E4-3923F11A331A

BBQ steak nachos with a spinach salad.

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Reflection Time

First of all, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to my mama. She’s the best.

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On Friday, I realized it had been five years since I graduated college. This made me reflective and several pages in my journal is a testament to that. The truth is, the years don’t really matter, except that we can no longer count life in “school years.” I am no longer a super-senior of real life. I just am. And yet, I still have nightmares where I’m lost in high school and can’t find my classes, so what does that signify?

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When the picture above was taken, I felt like I was on top of the world. I had just lost a ton of weight, I was graduating with honors, and even though I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life, I had a temporary summer job, and I figured I would figure it out. Five years later and I’ve held five different jobs, all for the better, lending to well-rounded life experiences and honing professional skills, and I keep telling myself that it’s important to figure out what you don’t want to do, as much as what you do want.

Life is not perfect or easy, but I have been blessed. There have been struggles and losses and hardships, but I’m choosing right now to focus on the good. Those top three, since graduating, include becoming a published writer, getting my personal training certification, and moving to LA- if only because I had been talking about it for five years, so it was move or shut up.

*My parents would probably like me to insert my Master’s degree into this list and while yes, this is an accomplishment, I have (un)gracefully retired from teaching and will never use the degree in the traditional sense. Call it an invisible fourth choice if you must.

I should also note that this blog is also five years old and I’ve been trying for five years to find a direction for it, but it’s been chaotic. Such is life.

Looking back at pictures of my friends, I found this gem.

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This was taken six years ago right before I started my weight loss journey. This girl is me, and yet, I do not recognize her. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t particularly enjoy looking in the mirror at this time. But, a few months after this was snapped, I did look at myself in the mirror, long and hard, and I discovered that I was worth more than I realized. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million times. My relationship to myself did not better after I lost weight. I chose myself and saved myself because I liked myself, and it helped me find the strength to exercise, eat right, and be kinder to my body, mind, and soul.

It’s funny that I struck this particular pose because in just a few months, I would be employing that strength, both physically and mentally, and completely uprooting my life for the better.

This blurb was longer than I expected when I first started typing, but the only other matter of the weekend I’d like to discuss is that I saw Billy Joel at Dodger Stadium and it was awesome. I love him and I’m not sorry for it.

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Also, Dodger Stadium looks strange without that large looming wall in left field. Just sayin..

lately

TV: Cheers…am I missing home?

Books: Emma by Jane Austen. I’m making my way through her works. I love making the Clueless comparisons. A re-watch is a must after!

Music: old playlists entitled RUN CAITLIN- a weird assortment of pop music, Eminem, and musicals- and back to Hamilton

Food: nothing all that different than usual

Exercise: total body compound strength training, lots of running

Hobbies: the usual reading, writing, procrastinating

Things I’m Looking Forward To: Stephanie visiting this weekend!! and of course, still Disney

weekend and travel plans

This weekend was one of relaxation after traveling. I did a lot of nothing, with some exercise thrown in to assuage the guilt.

I had taken a week off from working out thanks to my travel last week and it was much needed. On Saturday, I got back to it with a total body strength routine and some spinning and I was feeling those DOMS on Sunday. A run/walk combo helped stretch out my sore legs in particular, but they were still achey on Sunday night and this morning! I have a love/hate for this kind of pain, but it is the good kind of pain. I guess it was time to mix things up with my plan.

I was also able to catch up on sleep, which had gotten messed up when I took a red-eye to Boston last Friday. I don’t sleep well on planes, especially with my legs feeling a bit cramped. I had a couple of hours to nap once arriving home before my mom and I got mani/pedis for my cousin’s wedding. It was dancing time at the beautiful ceremony and reception and we were up past 2 am, which meant I was awake for the better part of 24+ hours and jet lagged. Whew. But it was well worth it.

The rest of my break was spent with my family, shopping, going to movies and dinner, and spending some quality time. It’s always hard to leave, but it was great to see everybody. Even though it’s a long flight from coast-to-coast, particularly east-to-west, it was nice to gain three hours of the day on the way back.

I captured some snapshots from the plane:

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It was hard to not include the wing of the plane in my photos, so that accounts for the odd angles.

Somehow, it’s Monday again. Enjoy it!