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I was busy towards the end of last week and didn’t have time to update with a collection of food pictures, so here we are!

Breakfasts

Whole wheat waffles with a red, white, and blue fruit medley. I tried these with sugar free syrup because it’s 1 point versus 11. Not too shabby.

Two eggs scrambled with a slice of muenster cheese and a cinnamon raisin bagel thin with a smear of cream cheese. Big bowl of pineapple and watermelon on the side.

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Oatmeal cooked in water with mashed banana, cinnamon, vanilla, powdered peanut butter, and berries.

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Simple english muffin topped with peanut butter and banana before a run.

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Lunches

I do love tacos. These ones are stuffed with a combination of leftover chicken and steak with veggies.

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Salads are a go-to lunch for me. This one is chock full of veggies and leftover steak.

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Salad with grilled chicken. So easy, yet, so good.

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Another salad with chopped up deli meat: chicken, ham, salami, and turkey pepperoni.

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Dinners

I love a good caesar salad, particularly with steak tips on top. Mashed cauliflower and roasted bell peppers and zucchini on the side.

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A whopping salad served italian style with deli meats.

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Very into the shrimp these days.

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A salmon salad out with friends.

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It’s been a fine week of dining. What’s on your plate?

 

friday food vibes…what else can get you thru to the weekend?!

Another Friday, another week of food pictures.

You’re welcome.

Breakfast scramble with sausage, blueberries, and buttered toast.

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A fancy lunch of poached eggs- I got mad skills with my poaching game (thanks, mom) and a side salad.

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Fish tacos made with cod, black beans, corn, zucchini, and lettuce. Chips on the side ‘cus of course!

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Pancakes! Made with whole wheat flour and sweetened with banana.

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Tacos with black beans, corn, red pepper, and spinach on the side (keeps it from getting soggy when inside).

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This dish is called “I need to go grocery shopping.” Pasta, lentils, and broccoli.

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Steak, broccoli, and rice.

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Hearty bowl of oats- peanut butter, jelly, strawberries, and blueberries.

Post-workout lunch came together quick in the form of an egg and cheese sandwich and side salad.

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Perfectly seared salmon, zucchini, and rice.

Scrambled eggs, toast, and berries.

Pasta with broccoli and grilled chicken.

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These Legs Were Made For Walking

My  poor legs are so tired at the end of the work day that the last thing they want to do is run. At least, that’s what I’m going with.

For my Tuesday night workout, I hopped on the treadmill (ugh) and did a 5-4-3-2-1 run/walk. Walk for 5 minutes, run for 5 and so forth. My body wasn’t happy but it made it through. I ended my cardio with a quick Tabata HIIT Training, four minutes, 20 second sprint and ten second rest.

My body did enjoy the Yoga sequence I worked through after. At least I’m still flexible!

Food was a success, starting with this omelet, toast, and fruit.

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A little bowl of oats with a spoonful of peanut butter, jelly, and blueberries made my first snack of the day.

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Lunch was another bowl of quinoa, chickpeas, red pepper, zucchini, and carrots with soyaki. I also had a cheesestick and a handful of wheat thins to accompany it.

My second snack of the day fueled me through my workout. A salad with lettuce, cucumber, carrot, a dash of shredded cheese, deli turkey, and a handful of almonds on the side.

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For dinner, I baked some chicken tenders and zucchini sticks and matched them with spinach rice and broccoli. Before the white sauce:

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After the white sauce:

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The “white sauce” looks more brown because I used whole wheat flour instead of white.

In other news, my first LA radio station is one that plays Christmas music non-stop. I make my mother proud.

 

Bike Riding and Weird Massages

My weekend once again was the perfect combination of active and relaxing, starting with Friday night.

After work, like a champion, I headed to the gym and ran it out on the treadmill. This week, I wasn’t as tired as last, and I had a solid run before finishing it off with a quick Yoga flow. For dinner, I stir fried up some chicken, veggies, and brown rice.

If you’ve ever wanted to know what bad zucchini tastes like, it is not good. Luckily, I didn’t cut the zucchini into too small bites and I was able to scrape it out of the plate!

Some old Saturday Night Live episodes later and it was time to fall asleep, cus this girl was tired! Working 9-5 is hard, ya’ll.

On Saturday, I met up with a friend-of-a-friend for brunch before going to the gym to knock out a lower body workout. I biked over on the beautiful afternoon, then biked on over to a reflexology massage place for my sore feet. My feet were so swollen on Tuesday of this past week, they didn’t fit properly in my sneakers. This massage was $20 bucks, so I was weary of the quality.

Let’s just run this down for you:

An older man began my experience by massaging my forehead. As we know, I have a large forehead, so a long time was spent on this area. At one point, the gentleman began tickling my outer ears, which I thought was strange, but then he stuck his fingers in my ears, and I learned a new definition of “strange.” It was weird, but I didn’t hate it?

The man was clearly head honcho of this establishment as other workers kept coming over and talking to him, which was unsettling in an otherwise quiet situation. At one point, I thought a woman was trying to tell me to do something, so I opened my eyes and the woman hushed me, apologized, then stuck her hand on my forehead for a long time. I was then blind-folded, which I think was to hide the fact that a new worker took over my footwork, though I will tell you, once you’ve had giant, calloused fingers in your ears, you can decipher the difference of the petite, gentler touch of soft hands.

As mentioned above, my forehead is gaping, so it elevated the blindfold to the point of which I could see clearly. It was good that I distinguished this new individual as female when I was then planked on so that the massager could recenter my hips (or whatever the hell it was she was doing?) After some hand work, I rolled over and got all the sore spots in my shoulders and back worked out.

Listen, it was a weird experience, but it worked. For $20 bucks, I will accept your strange scenario and tip you for it.

It was dinnertime when I finished, so I pedaled over to my “local” taco shop before heading home to read and work on a new project. After some grocery shopping, it was time for bed.

Sunday is a great day to be outside seeking adventures. First up, was hike time. I actually went to the same place I did last week, this time with a meet-up group. The day was cooler, but in no means cool, and overcast, which made it great to be active.

Stopping at home for a few minutes, it was time to take my bike out for its first long journey. 18 miles is no joke. I’ve got a bike path, down the street from me, that leads to the huge Southern California coastal bike path that is remarkable. There are no words to describe the views and the feelings inspired by pedaling down this path.

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My intention was to go to Santa Monica and believe me, I kept waiting to see the enlightening sight of Santa Monica Pier, but as I rolled and rolled, I still couldn’t see it and I almost cried. At a stopover for a water and lunch break, I typed in my GPS location and realized I had ridden in the complete opposite of Santa Monica and had made it to Manhattan Beach. Since Manhattan (New York) is my favorite place in the entire universe (other than home), and I had never been there before, it was fitting.

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On my way back, I prayed for no hills, and had to stop to capture the above picture. I mean, what?

Back at my apartment and nursing my sore quads, it was time to meal prep for the coming week. Soup! It’s not appropriate in the warm, sunny SoCal environment, but back at home in Boston, it’s fall and prime time for soup.

I’ve had these lentils in my cabinets since back home, so it was time to cook ’em. I found the recipe online and added my own touches, such as doubling the recipe and adding zucchini.

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I had enough for four lunches of the week and enjoyed the remnants for dinner, paired with brown rice and a dash of cheese.

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Now I’m all cozy, full, and super sweaty.

It’s Monday, but let’s live like it’s Friday!

Getting Back Into Routine

Happy birthday to my brother’s girlfriend, Cait!

So my sister and I might be the nerdiest sisters around. In truth, she’s the smart (and nerdy) one as she’s a librarian, but we both know more about Harry Potter than is probably the norm.

Such knowledge comes in handy when it’s trivia time. Listen, there are few things in life of which I am certain, but Harry Potter is one of them, so when it came time for trivia, you better believe I was confident.

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Lauren and I knew we didn’t need anyone else on our team and we ended up taking down the rest of the (much more stocked) teams to be crowned champions.

I think it’s okay to gloat a little bit!

It was the cherry on top of a great week of relaxation and vacation!

Monday hit full force with an early wake-up call, but it means I had a far more productive morning than I would if I slept in too late. Here was my beautiful breakfast.

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I love vacation and the occasional indulgence it brings, but I am always so ready to get back into my typical eating and exercise habits. It’s amazing how much the food you eat affects so much of your life, from how you feel to how you look. I tried to be careful-ish, especially when it came to eating between meals (which I didn’t), as well as alcohol consumption, but I definitely didn’t deprive myself of some extra savory and sweet foods.

To help get back into that healthy eating flow, I planned my meals for the week ahead of time. Lots of fruits and veggies make up some well-rounded and nutritious meals, but with a heavy yum factor!

Monday’s lunch was inspired by an unplanned trip to Trader Joe’s. In my defense, I only went to the store next door to pick up a prescription, but it wasn’t ready yet, so I stopped in! Chicken tikka masala minus the rice because I wanted that piece of naan and sautéed spinach. It looked heaping when I tossed it in a pan, but alas, it shrinks down to a mouthful.

Dinner was kind of a beauty, including salad topped with the usual selection of veggies, balsamic, and feta. For protein, I cooked up Buzzfeed’s garlic parmesan chicken tenders, and zucchini to use up the rest of the mixture! On the side, greek yogurt, blueberries, and almonds for a hit of fat and some extra protein.

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A quick breakfast of a hard-boiled egg and cheesestick fueled my Tuesday morning workout, before I came home for a post-workout whole wheat protein waffle and berries.

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Lunch was already assembled, so I apologize for the ugliness of the picture. Packed up includes more of those chicken tenders and zucchini, a medley of carrots, celery, and red pepper with hummus, and Greek yogurt with raspberries and walnuts.

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Inspired in part by the workouts of Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Katie Ledecky, because let’s face it, they’re amazing, I decided to go lighter weight with a heavy focus on bodyweight exercises, and higher reps. I’m not too fond of high reps, but I’m looking to slim down and those exercises lead to it! I’m also upping my cardio, particularly with intervals running and sprinting on the bike, as well as jump roping.

Monday’s focus was on the chest, triceps, and shoulders, with a heavy dosage of core- all day every day! I can’t tell you how great it felt to be back in action! After my strength training, I jump roped, 1minute on, 30 seconds rest x 5, and hopped on the treadmill for a 20 minute workout, 2 minutes walking, 3 minutes running at a higher clip than I usually would for a longer run.

Tuesday’s objective included the back, lots of legs, and more core! For my cardio dosage, I took to the spin bike and cycled happily away. Right now, I like to ride in position one (flat on the seat) for 2 minutes, position two (standing up straight) for 2 minutes, then position three (hovering over the steering wheel) for 2 more minutes x 3 or 4 depending on how much time I have left.

On vacation, I took the entire week off from standardized exercise. I contemplated going on a run or two, but it was honestly super humid outside and I wasn’t feeling it. I wouldn’t normally suggest taking a whole week off, but I go hard 5-6 days a week and my body needed it. It helps me in particular because I know I’ll get right back to it once that week is up. Much of that no-exercise allowance is mental as much as it is physical.

Glad to be back to it!

Meal Prep

As I said yesterday, this week in particular is busy for work (especially in the mornings), so packing healthy food ahead of time is key. Yes, it takes time, but your body and brain will thank you for it later as you reap the benefits!

Here’s a sample of what I’ve been eating both today and yesterday as I’m on the move.

Hard-boiled eggs because you can’t beat the punch of protein. With a cheesestick, I add a hint of fat that will keep me moving, either before a workout or in the mid-morning between breakfast and lunch.

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Almonds with raisins also make a perfect snack combo. I tend to make my own trail mixes, except for the occasional one from Trader Joe’s because a lot of the store bought varieties are laden with sneaky sugar and weird add-ins.

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Today’s lunch is a big, heaping salad topped with feta and grilled BBQ chicken. Hummus and a small whole wheat pita will accompany my meal.

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I also will be enjoying plain kefir with a dash of cinnamon and raspberries, but I didn’t have the space to pre-make it as the fridge is stocked.

Monday night’s dinner was a zucchini noodle concoction.

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Chopped tomato and mozzarella.

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With basil and chicken sausage.

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Lots of veggies, protein, and fats make for good, yummy eating! It also means I won’t be reaching to make bad choices or not eating enough during the day. There’s always a healthy balance!

Rain Drops, Leaves, and Tears

I don’t usually mind running in the rain, but yesterday it was cold and leaves were everywhere. I could easily envision myself slipping and falling to my death a badly injured ankle. Instead, I knew I had to take it inside to the treadmill.

You can see I handled this very well.

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Rather than straight up run, I decided to mix things up a bit, which resulted in a great workout! I started off with a mile run, alternating between a flat incline and a slight incline. A body strength circuit followed with squats, lunges, kickbacks, tricep dips, push ups, supermans, and hip raises. Another mile on the treadmill, this time focused on alternating speeds and another round of the body strength circuit. My third and last mile went back and forth between running on an incline and sprinting. By the end, I was exhausted, but completed one last circuit and ended with a few Yoga moves to cool down.

I came home to make another salad with a black bean burger on top.

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For dinner, I made a steak fajita stir fry that included bell peppers, spinach, mushrooms, and zucchini.

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On another dreary morning, I decided to make something a little fancy. I realized I haven’t eaten oatmeal in awhile, so I went with a fall angle with some apple cinnamon. First step, I chopped up an apple and tossed it in a bowl with cinnamon, vanilla, a pat of butter, and just a teaspoon of brown sugar.

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While my base ingredients for my oatmeal was simmering, I grilled the apples, which filled my kitchen with a wonderful smell!

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The oatmeal finished cooking, so I poured it into a bowl with a tablespoon of chopped walnuts and raisins and laid the apples on top.

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Once everything was stirred together, it was time to eat!

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Yes, thank you.