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.

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Homemade It Up!

Well, hello there! 

Let’s start off with yesterday’s source of strength. For my workout, I ran outside and it just happened to be as it was growing dark, so the beautiful moonlight shone over me. It took me awhile to get into things because I was on the track and feeling a little bored, but as it got darker, I felt stronger, so I was able to push myself through my four miles. I actually would have been able to run longer had I not had to pee (!), but I sprinted the last leg of the lap and have never in my life ran so hard. I felt like I was flying and it was an amazing thing!

My lunch yesterday was a product of me feeling creative. I put a salad together, poached two eggs, and enjoyed them altogether. I also had a slice of cinnamon raisin toast to top things off. It was quite tasty!

  
Dinner after my moonlit run was pizza and salad. I guess I was so excited about it that I forgot to snap a picture. I’m pretty sure you know what it looks like.

I woke up this morning with a hankering for waffles, but I decided to go the homemade route. It was really easy because of the Kodiak Cake mix, which is an all natural pancake/waffle mix. All I needed to do was add water. For a little spice, I added in some cinnamon to the batter. I topped the waffles with a little butter and syrup. Blueberries and bananas were my fruit source and for some protein, I had a cup of Greek yogurt with a spoonful of peanut butter and some grapes. This is my favorite yogurt flavor! How pretty are those waffles?!

  
Harry Potter is always creeping in the corner in this house.

Breakfast was followed by a great workout. I started with a kettlebell circuit and performed three sets of sixteen reps each. The moves were swings, goblet squats to high pulls, tricep push backs, shoulder to knee presses, kickback rows, and weighted step ups. I moved onto some medicine ball workouts, also three sets of sixteen reps. This circuit was side lunges with arrow chops, wall tosses with split squats, wall rotations, mermaid raises, elevated hip lifts, and Russian twists. I was sweating hard by the time I hopped into the pool for a half hour lap swim.

Before heading off to work, I had some leftovers for lunch. I finished off my chickpea medley and a little bowl of macaroni and cheese. Delicious!

Now off to grab some dinner and spend some quality time with my textbook. Cheers!

Crack of The Bats

The Red Sox came back in dramatic fashion. All winter we’ve been talking about this hot and heavy offense and that’s exactly what we saw today with five home runs, four solo shots and a grand slam. We also heard a ton about the lack of an ace on the pitching staff, but Clay Buchholz is trying to show he’s still got it. I won’t get ahead of myself, but his outing today was his best I’ve seen in a long time- and pricey Jon Lester couldn’t secure his mediocre team a win last night- and I think people just have to wait and see how it turns out.

I get it. We are baseball fans. We are Boston baseball fans and we like to complain. The winter we’ve had gave us a lot to cry about. Jon Lester not signing with the Sox was probably better received than if he had because we could complain about it. But there’s a lot to enjoy this season. We have an offense that, if they stay healthy, will provide a ton of fun throughout the summer and well into October. Let’s be honest here, pitching might win more games, but an explosive offense is just more fun to watch. Few go to the park and squeal with glee at a 1-0 pitchers’ duel through seven.

We don’t have a World Series title to defend and we are coming off a losing season, which means, if patterns of late continue, we are in for a title. The young kids are taking over and for once in a longtime, it appears that the Red Sox might actually get lucky and live up to the hype. Mookie Betts will be the player. Jacoby Ellsbury showed flashes of. Xander Boegarts, inspired by the likes of Ortiz, Ramirez, and Sandoval, will regain the cocky confidence a player his age needs to show signs of being a star. By  June, we will have a young stud catcher behind the plate in Blake Swihart and another young, quick, athletic star of an outfielder in Rusney Castillo rounding out the team. It’s just a blow that we have to wait a year for Christian Vazquez who might prove useless once we get used to Swihart.

The bullpen might be a cause for concern, as will the starting rotation, but we also have a line of guys who are looking to prove themselves, either coming off a season of injuries or out of the shadows from Bona fide stars on another team. I’ll say it first, this pitching staff will be better than everyone expects, even outstanding for stretches. Don’t underestimate the power of the ground ball and the all-star, gold gloves in the field.

Speaking of, did everyone see and hear what Dustin Pedroia had to say on this opening day? Not quite? Well, he will show you the rest of the season. Pedroia is the heart and the soul of this Red Sox team. He will work his hardest and he will be the greatest and he expects everyone else around him to do the same. He won’t necessarily say it, but he sure will show you. Papi, Ramirez, and Sandoval will make things fun as much with their personalities and self-assurance as with their bats. They will be the type of trio you would call obnoxious and egotistical if they were on the opposing team. People will hate them and we will love them even more.

Baseball is growing more exciting in the next few years. Younger, cheaper teams are in the forefront. We will worry about the Mariners, Royals, and a host of National league teams the way we used to worry about the Yankees and Rays. The Yankees are old and the Rays are silly and we will laugh, while reminiscing about the good ole days of such a rivalry. Younger, cheaper teams play harder because they want it more and they don’t feel entitled. And some of the more expensive teams will feel as though they are among the younger and cheaper because they will bring joy back into the game- but maybe I’m a little biased because the Red Sox have that good vibe going.

Did I mention the Yankees suck?

Meal time! Before my workout this morning, I woke up to a hard-boiled egg and a cheesestick. It fueled me through a kettlebell strength circuit, a barbell strength circuit, and a run/walk that had me running faster at a steadier pace than I have in awhile. It felt good to be running that fast and feeling my heart beating. Got the Monday going off to a good start.

Breakfast was this bowl of overnight oats I made the night before and gobbled up after my workout. Oats, walnuts, raisins, dates, banana, milk, and cinnamon. Divine.

I was bummed when I realized I forgot my popcorn at home, but this salad was filling and delicious. The usual medley of I egged and some grilled chicken made my tummy happy.

Dinner was a delectable pasta meal. Spicy sausage, a meatball, whole wheat penne, and stir fried zucchini and red pepper. So good with a little red pepper flake and Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. I couldn’t resist a piece of toast to sop up the sauce at the end.