Fridays = The Best Days

Happy Friday!

I know we shouldn’t live for the weekend, but Friday has long been my favorite day and I can’t help but feel happy when it arrives.

Let’s start it off by going back to Thursday, which wasn’t bad itself.

I woke up Thursday morning and enjoyed a classic breakfast sandwich of my own making before heading to the gym.

First, I weighed myself and realized I’m down 1.6 pounds!

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My workout included 40 minutes of arm and core exercises, as well as a treadmill run. I’m running “long” distance twice a week and once a week, I’m working on speeding up my mile. I’ll run one mile, then complete sprints.

A quick snack to refuel was this peanut butter toast and berries.

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After my morning shift, I came home and threw this delicious salad together. With a kale base, I threw in bell pepper, carrots, peanuts, tofu, and chicken with balsamic vinegar. So good!

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Dinner was leftovers during my night shift. Chicken with white sauce, spinach rice, and sautéed spinach and kale.

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snacks for days

Yesterday was my rest day, so I enjoyed a walk around the neighborhood, as well as some running around with Simba. He has this one mouse toy that he loves, but keeps losing so it’s a constant struggle to stay on top of it. Right now, it’s hiding in my pocket until I can supervise playtime.

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For breakfast, I enjoyed leftover pancakes, greek yogurt, and blueberries.

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I had two snacks throughout the day, the first was a homemade trail mix consisting of a tablespoon each of pumpkin seeds, peanuts, almonds, and cashews, as well as a clementine.

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My second snack was a simple combination of baby carrots and almond butter.

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I try to make the most of my snacks with protein, fats, carbs, and veggies and fruits, which helps me get nutrients and feel fuller.

I had a gorgeous, but un-pictured BLT for lunch, subbed cheese for mayo because bleh!

Dinner was another not-photographed dish, chicken broccoli ziti with spinach.

I’m super excited to get outside and run today! In theory, (and by the time you’re reading this, I will be finished) it’s supposed to be in the upper 50s/60s today! C’mon spring, goodbye snow!

food, in pictures

Update on the fly: it’s still here, in my room. I’m starting to suspect devious intent.

I told myself I’d snap pictures of all my meals this week, but I broke that habit awhile ago and it was hard to remember all the time.

My one photographed breakfast: instant oatmeal (Trader Joe’s variety so it’s less icky with fake stuff, but quick in the morning) with an egg and cheese on a piece of toast. Fresh blueberries and banana were swirled into the oatmeal.

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My lunch of the week was sesame chicken with broccoli and red pepper made in the crockpot. I found a quick, easy, and few-ingredient recipe to whip up in 4 hours and it hit the spot, every day. Served with brown rice.

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My healthiest snack of the week were these carrots and almonds.

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One dinner this week was a giant spinach salad with veggies, chopped nuts, and grilled chicken. The grilled zucchini was an excellent complement to the uncooked peppers, carrots, and spinach.

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A second dinner was a chicken, veggie, quinoa alfredo. Quinoa does not cook glamorously in the microwave, but it does cook fast.

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Not a lot, but not too bad. Next week will be better.

Happy Thursday- let the countdown to the weekend commence!

healthy living

Well lookie here, a back-to-back post. It’s sad that we’ve come to this. I’m still thrown off by the fact that it’s already Wednesday, but it doesn’t suck! I can start planning my weekend already, woot.

Since the New Year, aka the end of endless treats, I’ve been making an effort to be healthier. I’ve put on a few pounds, which is nothing I can’t handle, but I haven’t felt as healthy as usual. To get back on track, I downloaded an app to track my meals, which prevents me from mindless eating.

For breakfast, I had a piece of toast with peanut butter and two hard-boiled eggs. I had grapes in my bag and forgot about them.

Lunch was ravioli, chicken sausage, zucchini, spinach, and red bell pepper. Meal prep makes life so much easier, especially healthy eating.

I snacked on a cheesestick and some wheat thins in the afternoon to prepare for my workout, which we’ll get to in a moment.

I threw together some cod tacos with salsa verde, tostitos, broccoli, and half a sweet potato for dinner, which is the only picture I can grace you with.

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Back to that fresh start, I’ve upped my workouts. Since yesterday was upper body weight training, I followed it up today with lower body body weights and plyometrics. I finished with some core work before hopping on the treadmill and racking up those steps. Hopping around might not look smooth, but it felt great and got the heart pumping. For the record, running after suffering through some wall sits is excruciating, but well worth it.

Something unexpected that makes my workouts easier are the new head phones I purchased with my new phone. It was one of those things the salesman mentioned at the end and I was hesitant because I’ve been bamboozled before, but I’m quite pleased with my first pair of wireless headphones. I usually don’t listen to music when I strength train because I had no where to put my phone (unless I stuffed it in my bra, tmi?). Game changer. And my phone doesn’t take such a beating while I exercise.

This is a random thing to end on, but I started watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend after having it on my list for awhile and I love it. It’s funny, smart, relatable, and a musical. Win-win-win-win.

Happy Hump-Day!

I Pulled A Stale Pretzel Out of My Purse and Ate It

The title speaks the truth. It’s weird because I don’t even eat pretzels all that much. If I want some salt, my preferred choice would be tostitos or cheezits. I think people were eating pretzels at work the other day, so one must have fallen into my bag. That is no excuse as for why I would have popped it into my mouth, but it was more of a gut reaction than anything. I think the heat is getting to me.

You can see I am a true foodie…

After breakfast yesterday, I took some time to get organized. I have a bunch of cover letters and resumes saved from last summer’s job search that I definitely don’t need anymore, so I cleared them all out among other files I don’t need. To clean my room, I folded and put away laundry and tidied up my desk.

By the time I finished cleaning, I was ready for a workout. It was super cold in the water when I first dove in, but it felt nice and refreshing, especially as I got moving. I swam a mile and some change before calling it for the day.

I needed to pick up some groceries, so I helped myself to the Whole Foods salad/hot bar. I don’t know what it is about the way they cook their vegetables, but they are so good! I love the mushrooms, zucchini, and peppers in particular. Whenever I try to grill them over the pan, they come out mushy. Maybe I use too much oil. I stacked my bowl with veggies and tossed in a scoop of the creamy macaroni and cheese and a chicken finger.

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Before work, I fit in some quality studying time. As an English major in undergrad and an Education major for my master’s, I didn’t do a ton of studying in the sense I am now. Whatever studying I did do focused a lot on memorizing, but there is so much information on the test and I don’t think that’s the best method. Plus, the information I am trying to learn is not just for the test, it’s for my livelihood. I’m used to reading, analyzing, and dissecting passages into essays, so I’m struggling a bit to find my best methods. Yesterday, I tried a new strategy that seems to be going better than what I was doing before.

Last night, I also spent a great deal of time writing. It’s been difficult lately because I have so many ideas floating around in my head that I can’t focus on just one. I’m afraid if I don’t write every idea and all that comes with it down, then I’ll lose the thought. I need to be better focused on one idea so the writing actually gets done! Here’s a little product of my procrastination of studying and writing last night.

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As I said in my instagram post: Not all art is beautiful, but there is beauty in all art. I just like to write in cursive and draw with crayons.

Dinner included grilled turkey tips, zucchini with marinara and a little parmesan, and spinach rice. Sorry about the lack of picture. I got home late and guzzled it down!

This morning, it was hot again and though I had an interest in some pancakes, that egg/waffle combination got to me first. Less exertion in the end! I cracked two eggs into the pan, swished them around with a pat of butter, and scrambled them into what I feel are perfect eggs. A sprinkle of cheese on top with some salt and pepper added to the perfection. Along with two crispy, buttery waffles, I found solace in having fresh berries again with strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries added to half of a chopped banana.

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I know I need to start making my own waffles in my waffle maker, but convenience is just easier sometimes, especially when it’s hot! I’ll be in the market for some new recipes.

Enjoy your Wednesday!

A Little Bit of Madness Never Hurts

What is this madness? A double post? It may not happen every day, but it will happen on some days. I told you things were changing (for the better) around here.

After my breakfast and fighting with my phone after I attempted to sync new music onto it and it failed to work, I headed out to the gym. It was a heavy strength day using barbells. I can definitely feel myself growing stronger as I worked through my sequence and added a little bit of weight to each move. Starting with dead lifts (105 pounds!), I continued onto bicep curls, front rows, high pulls, shoulder presses, squat presses, leg presses, bench presses, lying tricep extensions, and shoulder raises. I hopped onto the bike for a thirty-minute ride and finished my workout with a killer ab routine. By the time I was done, I was nice and sweaty, which always leaves me with a sense of accomplishment.

It was very much time for lunch once I got home. I threw some greens and carrots into a bowl with a serving of chickpeas and topped it with my caprese pasta salad. I just tossed whole grain pasta, cherry tomatoes, yellow bell peppers, spinach, mozzarella, balsamic vinegarette, and olive oil into a bowl and let it stew. So delicious! Topped with a little Italian dressing and a tangerine on the side and I had myself an excellent recovery meal.

  
A little later on in the day, I needed some sustenance. I enjoyed some grapes and pineapples topped with kefir. Notice the text book lying underneath my snack. Yep, it’s back to the studying grind, but this is at least something I’m excited about!

  
After a walk, in which my mom and I discussed whether I could survive in the woods and if she could start listening to Christmas music at this point (I think she was kidding), it was time for dinner. 

Teriyaki glazed steak with more pasta salad, beans, broccoli, grilled peppers and mushrooms. The steak tasted great, especially with a little barbecue sauce. Despite the little black flies hovering, I am typing this post outside, digesting my yummy dinner.

  
I think one of the buggers bit my face!

May Greetings!

It must be the end of the week because I just had to be told I was wearing my sweatshirt backwards. The terrible thing is, I thought it was strange when I couldn’t find the front pocket, but it didn’t alert me to maybe see what was happening. One could say I have so many other things going on, I couldn’t be bothered with such frivolous details. One would be too kind.

The day started off with a little bit of an eff you from my alarm. I thought I still had some time, so I rolled over to lay on my side just as my alarm blared. It was really mean, but it offended me such much, it woke me right up. Nicely played, Siri? *When speaking in terms of iPhones, I just blame Siri for everything.

I got things moving with a body strength workout at the gym. Side step ups are harder than they look, especially when followed by elevated calf raises, two different types of squats, two different kinds of lunges, kneeling kickbacks using a very tight resistance band, and elevated hip lifts on a stability ball. My legs were sore! I also went through tricep dips, push ups, mountain climbers, mermaid raises, sit ups, Russian twists, and roll outs. After, I was stoked to hop in the pool, even though it was a bit crowded and I was wall side in my lane, which in hate because I feel claustrophobic. I also enjoy swimming in the middle lanes of the pool because it has the whole open water effect. I’m a freak, I know. *For the record, if you out me in actual open water, I would panic and drown myself by accident. I fit in a solid mile and left the gym jazzed for the day.

For breakfast, I heated up the new breakfast sandwich machine to excellent results. It’s super easy to use, it’s fast, and you don’t have to do much fussing about, so I can get organized without feeling rushed. This also allows me a little longer time at the gym. Fresh fruit topped off my yummy meal.

 

I was- ok, my mom- was right about the whole fat in my meal thing. A little cheese left me fuller for longer and I didn’t even think of eating again until a few, appropriate, hours later. Lunch was a stir fry with buckwheat noodles,  chicken, veggies, and the aforementioned cheese. For a snack, I had the juiciest orange and a cup of Trader Joes coconut cream Greek yogurt that was incredible. Seriously, it was so good, but it did have a little more sugar than I would normally allot for a snack.

  It was all about the veggies for dinner. I tossed a shaved Brussels sprout salad together for a fresh side,malong with kebabs with grilled chicken, pepper, and zucchini. Because we were going to make it earlier in the week and didn’t, we also had cauliflower au gratin and a side of brown spinach rice. So good!

It’s Friday, friends, which means one more morning until I can sleep in! Also, only a few more hours until I get to see my husband, Chris Evans, up on the big screen again. Avengers Assemble! 

Oh! And happy. May!