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!

to the ocean, the mountains, and back again

Another Monday, another wistful look back at the weekend. It was a good one, yet again, a perfect combination of restful and active.

The week was a long one and I was looking forward to the oblivion of a relaxing Friday night at home, but instead, I buckled up and went to a networking event with some co-worker friends. To get some energy beforehand, I headed out for a short run, which allowed me to soak up some sun and positivity. It was a fun night and I enjoyed chatting it up with friends. I very much loved falling into bed and sleeping to my heart’s content as Saturday began.

I didn’t have anything planned for the weekend, so I texted my cousin Meghan to see what was up, and she suggested Long Beach. This was on my to-do list for sure, so I was eager to go, after pancakes and a workout!

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We made the trek and were ready for lunch once we arrived. The idea to sit outside was mutual all around, except we didn’t factor in the wind. Wind in LA spring is real. We lost menus and chips, chips! The food was good though and once our bellies were full, we were ready to explore the area.

You’d think beaches would be easy and plentiful to find in Long Beach, but you would be wrong. I don’t know what our problem was, but it took us forever to find one. Once we were there, it was nice, but windy.

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I’m itching for summer and the ability to dive into the waves and not be considered a crazy person. My love of the ocean often battles my hatred of freezing cold water, but once the summer sun comes out strong and the wind dies down, I’ll gladly numb myself to get in that ocean.

Gotta love walking on the beach!

Once we headed home, I trekked over to the grocery store and did a lot of nothing for the rest of the night.

Sunday was my most active day. It was beautiful out, still windy, but the sunshine was calling my name. My first stop was the local climbing spot.

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Spring is in full bloom in lovely Southern California, and at one point, I stopped dead looking up at the flowers covering the mountain. It was one of those “wow” moments for sure, but my pictures couldn’t captivate the true beauty.

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Once on top, I looked to my left towards the ocean and the right towards the mountains and city.

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Damn.

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I had to make a quick stop at Target (it’s never really quick or cheap!) to pick up an air-pump for my bike, so I could pedal over to the beach. I’m not certain that it made much difference, and my back tire seemed a little draggy, and riding against the wind did not help my cause, but with the beach as my destination, I continued on with determination.

The ride was spectacular. The bike path to the beach is always pretty, but the river was sparkling and the flowers overwhelming and despite the pain of riding, I felt the joy.

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At the beach, I pulled over to the rocks and sat myself down for some quality time with my journal, the sun, and the water. Find me below aiming for pensive and ending up squinty.

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I reveled in the warmth of it all for a long while, until I felt the pull of home. Even though the wind was lessened at this point, my legs were tired (and my back tire probably still low), so it was a challenging ride. Why is bike riding so difficult for me? I’m in good cardio shape. I run and spin at the gym, so something’s not adding up. I think it’s my bike…probably?

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Back at my apartment, it was cooking time. First, I showered and threw on my robe to be my ultra comfiest. I’ll have a post at some point this week with some meals from the past couple weeks, but I cooked my dinner, made a few breakfasts for the week, then even made tomorrow night’s dinner. Pretty nifty.

I’m trying to be efficient with breakfast because I’m going to try and get my lazy butt up in the morning to workout. I’ve been good about my evening workouts, but with the sun staying out later, I’m hoping to free up some time after work.

There’s nothing like time spent at the ocean and in the mountains to fill up the soul. Happy Monday!

Quinoa Three Ways

At least Monday’s bringing some sunshine! It was a dreary weekend after a dreary kind of week weather-wise. Friday night included some curling up on the couch time watching the Red Sox lose to the Yankees, which was disappointing. Saturday was a full-work day that was followed up by a long run on the treadmill, not friendly for these hips, and more time curled up on the couch watching the Red Sox lose to the Yankees, even more disappointing. I was up early again on Sunday for a softball game, followed by Mother’s Day celebrations. I ended Sunday with a massive load of laundry, which always feels so productive, while watching the Red Sox beat the Yankees, far more satisfying!

This morning, we jumped right into some food prep for the week! I haven’t made quinoa in forever, so I decided to get a little fanciful. Quinoa three ways!

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First up’s quinoa with chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, and feta!

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Next we find quinoa with cilantro and lime, a little knock-off from Chipotle’s cilantro lime rice.

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Finally, we have caprece quinoa with fresh tomato, mozzarella, and balsamic vinagerette! I’ll enjoy this one for dinner tonight as it won’t last as long as the others in the fridge.

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To go along with my delicious quinoa concoctions, I made a batch of Tasty’s garlic parmesan chicken tenders, which are amazing!

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Fret not, I didn’t forget my greens! This zucchini and spinach dish (mixed with a little garlic and olive oil) will have to be replenished a few times over to meet my needs for the week, but it’s a start!

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I’ve got meals to keep me fueled and workouts planned to keep me strong. Starting off on the right foot!

I would be remiss not to flash a picture of my breakfast this morning. This time, I went with the peanut butter Kodiak Cake waffle mix, and I was not disappointed. And look at those berries! (Butter is difficult to spread).

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New York City!

It’s Monday and we’re all back to the real world! For me in particular, since this is my blog and it’s a bit of a shock having spent the past few days in New York City, aka my favorite place in the world!

After a whirlwind week of working, my friend Lauren and I hopped on the bus to visit our friends Bobby and Ruben. The bus ride was a little long, especially as the anticipation built, but we got through with a lot of chatting.

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Once we arrived late Thursday night, we had dinner at a Mexican place where lots of chips and salsa were had, as well as a grilled chicken and pepper dish that was pretty okay. It was time for bed as Lauren and I had a busy Friday planned.

On the definite agenda on Friday afternoon was the NBC tour, so we headed towards Times Square and had brunch at a diner. I selected the single pancake, scrambled eggs, and bacon, which hit the spot! I’m not used to waiting so long to eat in the morning, so I was hungry! The weather was beautiful and perfect for walking around, though Lauren and I might have been the only ones wearing shorts. On our travels, we noticed two very long lines, which I thought might be for those elusive eateries that Buzzfeed always posts, but one was for what we concluded was a Hamilton meet-and-greet (understandable) and the other was for Chik-fil-a ( a rousing, huh!?).

After we took in the scene, we found ourselves at 30 Rock! We found where we were supposed to meet for the tour and then we had an adventurous debacle trying to locate a restroom, and then a restroom that was actually open. We did make it back in plenty of time, but almost missed the tour anyways because we were browsing the store. Whoops! The tour was fun and informational, plus just plain cool getting to sit in the audience of SNL (sans actual show), but it wasn’t all that overwhelming. It didn’t help that Lauren and I were bunched in with a bunch of teenagers on a class trip.

Back into the sunshine and away from the teens, we made our way over to the Highline which we walked on our way to meet Bobby.Though it was a little congested, it’s such a nice walk with spectacular views. Here would be a great time to insert a pic of the view, but we were busy taking in the scene. Once we stepped off near Chelsea Market, it was time for some refreshments.

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The final leg of our afternoon took us to Union Square, where we hopped back on the subway to get ready for dinner that night. Lauren and I were excited to try Tao!

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The food was excellent, especially the sweet and sour cauliflower! We also shared chicken and pad thai dishes, finishing off with a giant mousse-filled fortune cookie. Post-dinner, we decided to take advantage of the still-warm and beautiful evening weather and hit up a rooftop bar. I can already predict this will be my favorite thing to do in the summer, even though I don’t think every place I go to will offer views of the Statue of Liberty.

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Once we arrived and got our drinks- boozy popsicles in wine!- it started to rain! There was a cover and heat lamps above us, but they only lasted so long until we were the only ones left and had to leave.

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Lauren and I racked up a ton of steps, especially on Friday- almost 30,000, and then a lot on Saturday too!

On Saturday, we started our morning off right with a workout! I’m now a big fan of hitting up gyms for one-day passes when I travel! For my workout, I spent a half hour working through a strength training circuit before hopping on the treadmill for a run. Since losing the last ten pounds, I’ve definitely gotten faster and was able to stay at a strong, but comfortable pace, except that I was battling a bit of a bellyache. I finished my hour up with a core workout before getting ready for brunch.

This pretty much sums up brunch.

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Bottomless mimosas! For my actual meal, I chose eggs benedict with spinach with a side salad. Delicious! A little tipsy and a lot full, we made our way over to Central Park to sit in the sun and just relax. The best!

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That is the face of a happy girl! I mean, look at this view from lying on my back:

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Once the sun started to go down, so did the temperature, so we knew it was time to head back. For dinner, I had part of an amazing cauliflower (vegetable of the weekend!) crumble and spaghetti in a lemon cream sauce. For after-dinner drinks, we had trouble finding a spot that stuck, but we finally did find one (my poor, sore feet!) and enjoyed a nightcap before heading back to bed.

Sunday sadly was our final day and we kicked things off with brunch. I had trouble deciding, but the waiter recommended the hot dog (kind of an odd choice for brunch, sure) and it didn’t disappoint. By the time we got back to the apartment, Lauren and I decided to pack up and head out to stay in the general area of our bus. Even though we weren’t hungry at that time, we knew we would be once we were on the bus, so we trekked over to Whole Foods with our luggage and got some snacks.I enjoyed a roasted chicken sandwich and a cookie! The journey home was even longer than the one there, and even though I love and miss New York, I was happy to be home.

For one, after a weekend of indulgences, I always love getting back into my food and exercise routine as it’s so motivating to feel healthy again! Another, I always feel so inspired by the city and ready to work hard, so I know I’ve got a lot of exciting things to do over the next few months- and choices to make!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, wherever you are and whatever you did! Happy Monday!

My Omelet Flipping Skills Need Improvement

This morning, I had a vision as to what I wanted for breakfast. An omelet concocted of an egg, two egg whites, chicken sausage, chopped jalapeños, and shredded cheese. Thinking about it in bed, I could picture exactly what it should look like and once I lumbered down the stairs, I got to work!

This is a picture of a perfect omelet that I Googled.

This is a picture of my actual omelet, along with the rest of the meal.

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Forgive the strange lighting of the glare from the sun. Now that I look at it, the omelet almost looks artistic with the chopped jalapeño on top. I could erase everything I’ve written above and pretend like I intended it to look that way, or I’ll just leave it and allow the truth to be revealed- I am a bad omelet flipper!

Let’s talk some workouts now. On Wednesday, it was so nice out so I went for a brisk walk before hitting up the gym for strength training. The week has continued to be total body at 3 sets of 15 reps, so it was fast-paced and tiring to build up that endurance. On Thursday, I headed out for an amazing run. The weather was perfect to run with the sun beating down, but a slight chill in the air. I love Spring (so long as my allergies hold off!)

Now I’m ready to get to the rest of my Friday. I’m going to try to be better at snapping pictures during the weekend so that my recaps aren’t entirely too wordy.

On a more serious note, today is the third anniversary of the bombings at the Boston Marathon. My thoughts are with all of the people who continue to be affected in so many ways by the events of the day. It’s times like these that we must remember to appreciate the good in what life offers, to work hard, take risks, laugh, and love. Lately, I’ve been reminded of the brevity of life, and all the joys that can be found in it, despite the sorrow of loss. Live, and live as well as you can, with whatever you’ve got.

 

 

 

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!