And Then There’s Snow.

Still riding high on that nice weather, even though the weather app on my phone is threatening snow!

I fit in a bike ride on Wednesday afternoon and felt warm in only a sweatshirt! I’m still getting back into riding an actual bike, much of my experience in recent years has been spinning. Cycling outside makes me nervous, so I stick to side streets and bike paths for now at least! And yes, I will always wear a helmet.

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Wednesday’s breakfast was an impressive omelette consisting of an egg, two egg whites, baby spinach, red bell pepper, tomatoes, and feta. I enjoyed it with whole wheat toast.

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For lunch, I had visions of crafting a beautiful salad, but was starving by the time I got home and had leftover chicken broccoli ziti (with a piece of leftover salmon instead).

Dinner was chicken with spinach rice and a big spinach salad.

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I’m trying to be more creative with my cooking, especially as I’m back to blogging.

Stay warm, everyone. Tomorrow’s Friday!

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goal, accomplished.

Five year ago, it was around this time that I decided to get healthy. This was taken of me and a friend on spring break during my junior year of college.

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I’ve been running for years now, a feat I never thought I was capable, but on Sunday, I ran my first official 5k. I feel silly in saying I felt emotional during the race, considering I’ve run the 5k distance hundreds of time and even more miles than that, but the “official” part of the run made it seem a little bit more special, an accomplishment. This was a checkmark on my bucket list and I’m not ashamed to say that I’m proud of myself. My journey has been a testament to the idea that hard work pays off. And as I say to so many people who say they hate running or could never be a runner, if the girl above on the left could do it, they can too.

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As I had had a productive Saturday , there wasn’t much that needed to be done on Sunday by way of chores for the week. Since it was cloudy and I got my exercise in early, I spent some quality time with my couch, watching 30 Rock, writing, and eating this grilled cheese with extra soup from my lunches ahead:

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As I am writing this in the afternoon, I will not have yet watched The Oscars, but by the time the post goes live, I will have watched and continued to relax. The next couple of weekends will be busy with visitors, so I’m content to curl up now.

On Saturday, I slept in and enjoyed a pancake breakfast before heading out for some errands. First on the list was to collect my racing bib and t-shirt. Next, I went to the gym and worked my shoulders, ab/adductors, glutes, and core before finishing up with a quick cycling session and stretching my legs for race day. I also did my grocery shopping and meal prepping, guzzled a lot of water to stay super hydrated, then headed out for a karaoke night with some friends.

I thought I’d suffer from stage fright, but apparently, I love holding that mic…

Going back to Friday, I did a whole lot of nothing, except force myself to the gym a bit on the late side than usual and watch 30 Rock. The trick is to drive there and go through the motions without overthinking. Habits are easy to follow! It was an early night ‘cus this girl was tired!

Overall, this weekend was the perfect combination of relaxing, active, and productive. I’ll just ignore the fact it was colder on the southern west coast than it was in the northern east coast where my family resides. This is what I get for all the teasing I’ve done whenever it snowed.

Have a great Monday!

Beware the Pigeons

Happy Monday! A little recap of the weekend lies ahead.

On Friday, there was nothing more that I wanted to do than sit on my couch and veg. I watched some 30 Rock and just chilled, but was lulled to sleep fairly early.

I even ended up waking before my alarm on Saturday to eat a pancake breakfast and work it out at the gym.

In the afternoon, I went to the Science Center to try and be smarter see the Pixar Exhibit. My first impression was of these beautiful trees that made me feel as though I was transported to a magical world.

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Expectations were high, but then I met up with my cousins and we got lunch. Tables were full, so we ate outside and I can’t tell you how many birds surrounded the seating area. Every so often, as one, they would fly away suddenly. Long story short, on one of these instances, a pigeon clipped my head with its wing.

I got hit in the head by a pigeon.

I don’t know how else to emphasize this. Such an instance has inspired me to blog again because although ridiculous, it is also hilarious. A few minutes later, I was then hit in the head by a balloon that a kid popped. On the way home, I was worried for my noggin, you know, rule of three, but thankfully, all circumstances seemed to end there.

Back to the reason I was at the museum in the first place, the Pixar Exhibit, it was cool, but overcrowded by kids with minimal supervision and limited understanding of any of the science behind it. I give the museum itself an, eh, but that, as my cousin Sebastian pointed out, is probably thanks in large part to the Boston Museum of Science being amazing. Nothing else can quite live up to it.

Because I’m a cool cat, the rest of my Saturday included grocery shopping, meal prepping for the week ahead, lots of Netflix (30 Rock and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), writing, and reading. I wanted to watch Saturday Night Live, well, live, but I was tired and ending up falling asleep early.

On Sunday, I slept in a bit, enjoyed breakfast, and tried to make a lentil soup that ended up looking more like lentil goop. I’m sure you’ll see evidence of this travesty at some point this week because although it looks disgusting, I’m not above eating it. For the record, it still tastes well enough.

I was quite active, starting with Yoga on the new mat I purchased for 7 dollars. This feels like a steal, so please don’t take that away from me. I ran through my own routine, which oiled me up for the best run I’ve had in awhile.

Speaking of running, while my family suffered another snow storm back home on the east coast, I took to the sunny streets of Los Angeles for a sweaty run. It was in the seventies something and amazing outside.

Maybe I wasn’t the nicest daughter/sister/cousin by sending out this shot, but I couldn’t resist. At least many of them get a snow day today!

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After my run, I fueled up with a piece of peanut butter toast and yogurt with strawberries and lots of water before I decided it was far too nice out to be locked up inside and took my bike out for a spin.

With the beach on my mind, there was only one destination intended, but the ride was not smooth. For whatever reason (there’s a reason), this ride was hard and slow (-er than usual) and I realized, on my eighth mile back from the beach and because another rider called out to me, that my back tire was low. Whoops. Here I was thinking I was out of shape, when really, I’m in excellent shape to ride that long on a flat tire. That’s what I’m telling myself.

Once at the beach, I pulled over to do some writing while taking in this view.

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Had I not been by bike, I would’ve stayed to watch the sunset, but it’s February and the weather has been what it’s been, so I think I’ve got some sunsets in my future (knock on wood).

For the rest of the afternoon, I had some errands to run and things to do, but once I got home, I made myself dinner, threw in the laundry, and prepped for the week ahead, including a new workout plan. Call me a nerd, but there’s something satisfying about a new workout plan.

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As I write this on Sunday night, I’m hoping to wake up earlier than usual and exercise in the morning. It all depends on how I sleep tonight. It would be nice to just go home, eat, write, and sleep in the evenings, but thus far, I’ve been consistent with my post-work exercising. My body’s ideal workout time is late morning, early afternoon, which is prime for very few people’s schedules. Pick your poison I guess!

No matter how your Monday or week goes, at least you won’t get hit in the head by a pigeon. Probably.

Go Ahead And Ask Me How The Red Sox Did

Really baseball? I was so excited about the start of the season, in yesterday’s post I wrote, “At least I have baseball,” and what happened? Baseball was cancelled! It wasn’t that Monday was a bad day so much as it was an off one for me. Weird, not terrible but not great things happened and I was in a bit of a funk, which I think is to be expected. The snow certainly didn’t help, nor did the POSTPONEMENT of the baseball season thanks to a bit of cold (it could have been freezing, I don’t even know).

I at least did get a good amount of writing in during the day, which rarely happens. I just have to be consistent with it. Once I trekked through the snow to the gym, I fit in a killer tricep, chest, core workout before work. Always helps to get a sweat on.

Anyways, today is a new day and I’m bursting out of my funk! Here’s a food pic!

This lovely revelation was last night’s dinner, consisting of pulled pork, brown rice, zucchini, peppers, and spinach. Delicious!

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Here, have another! This morning’s breakfast was a heaping bowl of warm oats to fuel me through my early morning run and workday.

Dare I say, Go Red Sox!? (Or is it still to chilly for the big bad boys of baseball?)

Monday Snow Day

Oh hey, it’s the second day of Spring and we’ve got…SNOW! It was a fairly pleasant day welcoming Spring yesterday, but a bit on the chilly side. However, the family came over for dinner and we spent some time outside playing Spike Ball. I was a bit rusty, but not as bad as I expected. Here’s a nice action shot:

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But now:

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I started the weekend off on Friday with an awesome total body workout that kicked my butt! It was the same set up as last week with 3 sets and 15 reps and by the time I was done, I was ready to face the day. After work on Friday, I enjoyed a big hunk of a salad with honey BBQ steak tips while watching the Amy Poehler and Tina Fey movie Sisters. I really wanted to like the movie because I love them, but I just didn’t. I didn’t laugh out loud once. Cue sad face here!

Saturday started early with work. I love that Daylight Savings Time provides more sunshine towards the end of the day, but when you have to wake up early in the morning, it can be a tad painful. All good though! Once I finished, I headed out to lunch with my parents and grandma and a visit over to BB & the P’s house. Before the sun set, I had time to fit in a quality run outside and was feeling strong. I’m already noticing those few pounds I’ve lost has made a huge difference to my runs. Saturday night, I went over to my sister’s house for a meal of leftovers and a throwback film: She’s All That. I also spent some quality time with my nephew and realized that some Snapchat filters work on him:

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Too cute!

On Sunday, I started off the day with a great workout. It’s pyramid training week, which I described last week, so it’s fast-moving and hard! Feeling pretty strong (and sore) today! I also mentioned the family dinner and some Spike Ball and there was a scary moment when I tripped in a hole and rolled my ankle. Before bed, I put some ice on it and elevated my leg and there’s no soreness at all this morning, phew!

With the snow falling (and already starting to melt, yay March!), I made myself a delicious breakfast this morning.

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It was also weigh-in day and I’m happy to report that I’m down another 1.4 pounds, which brings me to a total of 5 pounds lost since I started two weeks ago! The incredible part of this is it’s all been in my stomach, which is just convenient!

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Please pardon the state of my hair. It’s a snow day kind of morning.

Feeling good so far! If you’re trying to lose weight as well, remember, it’s not all about the scale. Weigh in once a week, but try to focus on the way you’re feeling, from your health benefits, the way your clothes fit, and if you like to take measurements. Anything you do, from eating healthier to exercising more, is benefiting your body and mind, regardless of what the scale claims. Keep at it and stay positive!

Snow In February, WHAT?!

Remember a week ago when it was in the 50s/60s, warm and sunny, and not snowing? Actually, I’m okay with snow because it’s February and I live in New England. Yes, driving in it can be scary, especially when you live on top of a few massive hills, or when you get stuck in a parking lot that hasn’t been plowed but you can’t be late for work- shout out to the plow man who guided me through that discouraging time! But then you drive around post-storm and this is what you see and you start to believe in heaven on earth:

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And there’s nothing quite like being comfy and cozy and warm at home, curled up with a book or rewatching The Office, one of my brightest decisions, and watching the snow accumulate (knowing that soon you will be cold and itchy and shoveling).

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Was that bitter? It sounded bitter.

After shoveling (great source of cardio and resistance training!), I headed to work. My post-work meal was dinner out with my friend Molly. I feasted on a blackened salmon salad made up of baby spinach, black beans, corn, and red pepper. Delicious! Even though it was cold and still a tad snowy, we went out for a frozen treat. I opted for the black raspberry frozen yogurt that was yummy!

On Saturday, I woke up early for work and then headed over to my aunt and uncle’s house for lunch. Like I mentioned, the ride over was amazing. My body was sore from all that shoveling and the rest of my workouts for the week, so I enjoyed my rest day and opted to stay in for the remainder of the night for a relaxing Netflix and writing evening. For dinner, I had leftover pasta, chicken meatballs, and so many delectable roasted Brussels sprouts.

Sunday morning started with some auntie and kitty time. I’m sure my sister and brother-in-law are thrilled that my mom and I stopped in to visit with Coconut, but they really have no choice. After, we headed over to the grocery store, with everyone else in the state, it seems. Yesterday, it was so beautiful out, so my mom and I took the dog out for a long walk to warm me up for my workout. My official workout consisted of strength training- biceps, back, shoulders, and core- followed up with HIIT cardio- burpees to box jumps and sprints on the bike. I’m fighting off symptoms of a cold and my chest was burning, so cardio was a little difficult.

Be on the lookout tomorrow for a new snowy day home workout that I am about to start planning! I happen to have a few exercise items at home that most people might not, but I will include some modifications that anyone can do! Just because it’s snowing and you’d rather stay under blankets, doesn’t mean you can’t get your heart rate up for anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour. If you want that hot chocolate and couch time, you better earn it! Happy Monday!

Pick Up A Bat, Dust Off That Glove

The Red Sox start a week from today. I repeat. The Red Sox start a week from today. It doesn’t matter that there is still a bunch of snow on the ground. The weather is still gloomy and frigid. Blankets will be needed at games and it will feel more like October baseball than the games are worth. But the boys are coming back and are bringing a banging offense with them and at the moment, it’s the only true sign of spring.

Like, hello? Easter is on Sunday. I’m used to wearing dresses with flowly skirts and bare legs, sitting outside and enjoying the sun. This is not spring, but spring things are happening, so maybe the weather will catch up. I’ve been wearing many dresses and skirts lately, hoping to inspire some changes, but this morning, I walked into work just as it was starting to snow.

Do you know how glorious it will be to step outside in the morning and not be freezing despite being bundled up in layers? I need to defrost at the gym before I can even get moving. But April is coming, Easter eggs will have to be dyed, and the Red Sox will still play and eventually, the weather will warm along with it.

Speaking of Easter, my mom and I are currently belting out lyrics to Jesus Christ Superstar. I love that musical- though there are few that I don’t. The music is very catchy and singable. Tis the season!

When my alarm went off Monday morning, I was shell-shocked for a few minutes, but then I rolled out of bed and felt fine. I enjoyed a quick tortilla wrap filled with peanut butter, guzzled some water, and nestled in my car with a warm cup of coffee. I actually don’t mind the darkness in the mornings- though it will be nice when it gets lighter and warmer to run outside!- because it’s my time to really wake up and I feel like I’m the only one awake. Once I step out of my car and into the gym, my day moves quick and loud, so that silence is much appreciated. 

At the gym, I kicked things off with some kettlebell action. In my circuit, I performed each move in four sets of twelve reps- swings, alternating shoulder presses with step ups, high pulls, tricep kickbacks, and shoulder raises. I moved onto heavier weights with the barbell after, four sets of eight reps, doing dead lifts, bicep curls, rows, squat presses, and bench presses. For my cardio, I started off thinking I’d do my run/walk incline/speed workout, but after my first walk cycle, I was feeling strong and I just ran, upping my pace every couple of minutes. I never know when I’m going to have an amazing run, so I jump at it when things run smoothly.

For breakfast, I had an overnight oatmeal brewing in an almost empty jar of dark chocolate peanut butter. With the bits of peanut butter left, I enjoyed oats mixed with milk, raisins, dates, walnuts, and mashed banana. I was still feeling a but hungry after, so I had some strawberries and a cheesestick.

  

For lunch, I had this salad. I chopped up some rotisserie chicken as a hit of protein on top of my usual salad fillings. I’m seriously obsessed with this blush dressing. It’s sweet, but not overly so, and compliments the veggies well, upping the flavor. I had a Baggie of popcorn to go with it- lately, I’ve been digging Angie’s kettle corn brand. Again, it’s sweet and salty, but in a nice subtle way. It’s good that I don’t have the entire bag with me at work because I could eat it all!

 

Part of my spring cleaning meal plan is to incorporate more fish. For dinner, I had swordfish grilled in a blackening spice with cauliflower au gratin, spinach, and brown spinach rice. A great, healthy, and tasty dish!

As I type, I’m happily sipping peppermint tea from my new mug. It’s way bigger than anything I’m used to though so I keep spilling all over myself. The rest of the night, I’m planning on hunkering down to work on my script and perhaps doing a little reading before bed.

A little tease for tomorrow’s blog: I READ A BOOK THIS WEEKEND AND WATCHED A NEW SHOW. Review time! And no, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke.