Here Comes the Snow…and the Food!

It seems that after a lack of snow this winter, we are about to get hit with it all. I’m half excited and half annoyed because I love a big snow storm, but the numbers being predicted on this one are huge.

Food last week started with these beautiful peanut butter pancakes. Full of whole grains, banana, pomegranates, peanut butter, and no added sugar, they were a healthy treat.

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In the morning, these tortilla wraps are so quick, easy, and delicious. I toss in a tablespoon of peanut butter, half a chopped banana, and some chopped strawberries. Just like with hard-boiled eggs, it gets the metabolism running and keeps me energized, but not full for my workout.

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I tried something a little different for my overnight oats. Instead of vanilla, I used almond extract, threw in shredded coconut, raisins, and chopped almonds.

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I am a huge fan of using cottage cheese in my scrambled eggs. It makes it so creamy and adds an extra pop of protein. With toast and a bowl of fruit, I had a perfect meal.

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After starting with another wrap, after my workout, I cooked up an egg over easy and made myself an egg and cheese sandwich. It’s so easy to assemble, but full of flavor and goodness.

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Hard-boiled eggs are the easiest, most portable snack. After my workout, I grilled up some toast and even had time to toast up my coconut.

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On one of the best days of the year, National a Peanut Butter Day, I made myself from French toast. Of course, I covered them with my chocolate peanut butters, some jelly, and toasted coconut. With a bowl of fruit, I was fueled through my afternoon of shoveling.

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Though I would have enjoyed taking my time and making some poached eggs, I had quite a few errands to run in the morning on Sunday, so I settled on an English muffin with peanut butter, half a banana, and blueberries. It did the trick and got me through my errands and my workout. It kind of looks like a smiley face…

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We have a favorite take out place where we get kebab Greek salads. I don’t know how they season their meat, but it’s the best. Usually I go with the chicken, but it was intrigued by the honey barbecue steak tips and they did not disappoint.

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I like to plan out my lunches for the week in advance so that I don’t have to spend time at night or in the morning putting them together. This week, I cooked up a huge portion of sesame chicken stir fry and broke them up into dishes. With an assortment of veggies, I tossed the entree onto either whole wheat pasta or brown rice. This one was whole wheat pasta.

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For a break in the week from my pre-scheduled lunches, I had a gyro with a side Greek salad. The pita bread and salad were the best parts, but it was still great.

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Here’s more of the stir fry, this time over brown rice.

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And one more again, over pasta.

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Leftover pizza and a humongous salad!

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At the back end of my errands, I stopped into Panera for a bowl of soup. I’m so sad to hear that they no longer serve whole grain baguettes. They made up for it by giving me a warm piece of bread.

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Dinners started with a spinach salad with some rotisserie chicken on top. A piece of buttered toast nicely rounded out my meal.

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I guess I forgot to take a picture of my next meal. It was a shrimp dish over whole wheat spaghetti and a ton of roasted veggies. It was a thing of beauty, but now you’ll never believe me.

Another salad, this time of the Greek variety with steak tips. I had baked up some sweat potato fries, but over salted them so they weren’t my finest. A piece of toast made it that much better.

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Friday night, my meal came in pieces. I started with this huge salad, so that I got in my veggies. After, I tucked into my pizza and a few buffalo chicken wings. I had every intention of including a picture of the second part of dinner, but it seems I was over eager.

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On the snowy evening, I grilled myself a burger, topping it with a piece of muenster and a side of veggies. For some reason, I am really digging the barbecue sauce lately, so I went with that as my condiment instead of the usual ketchup and mustard. English muffins are the best buns.

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For a family Sunday dinner, my mom made chicken cordon bleu, along with some spinach rice, roasted squash, cauliflower, and broccoli. Excellent way to end the week!

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Good Sweat, Bad Sweat, What’s the Diff?

As I’m sure you know by now, exercise is my main stress reliever. This past week, I’ve been incorporating more core work into my routine as well as some intervals. I haven’t been as organized when it comes to scheduling, but rather focused on doing what I feel like on that day.

This week I had two runs that felt a bit on the painful side. Today, I was going to run at the track, but I chose the time when school gets out so it would have been a crowded, jammed mess- and that’s just the parking situation. Instead, I ran around my neighborhood, up and down and up and down even more hills. Then I went on a nice long walk with my friend Molly. When I went with my mom to walk the dog around the block, very short, it was growing cooler outside, which is very exciting. I love throwing on a sweatshirt and Yoga pants. Though it is kind of a pain to be cold in the morning when you leave for the day and hot and sweaty when you’re heading home or out and about. All about the layers!

I also started today off by meeting my friend Nouha at the gym to do a quick couple of minutes on the bike, followed by an intensive body strength and core workout that worked up a nice sweat and burn. This included jumping jacks (250 total!), prison squats which we affectionately entitled “Pipers,” alternating lunges, alternating standing kickbacks, push-ups (no more modified for me!), mermaid raises, leg lifts, hip lifts, sit ups, and everyone’s favorite, Russian Twists. We did five sets of ten reps. After, I did a 3.1 run that was hot and sweaty because I didn’t realize how warm it was until I was already on my way.

Yesterday, I worked the polls all day and didn’t have time for a workout. This was the perfect time for me to take my rest day because on Monday, I was feeling a bit off and weaker than usual. On Monday, Nouha and I did a strength workout using dumbbells, four sets of twelve reps. I followed this up with a few minutes on the bike and elliptical because my body wasn’t feeling any high intensity intervals. Finishing off with a strong core workout left me ready to relax and recover.

On Sunday, I pushed myself through four miles on my hilly route. My legs and lungs weren’t feeling as strong as they usually are, but I made it to the end, up a very steep hill that left me clutching my side for breath. My allergies were definitely in effect, but didn’t hurt me until the point I stopped running and started to walk. After a long recovery period, I did some Yoga moves before bed.

I found myself arriving to the gym just in time for the storm to roll in on Saturday. I heard the thunder looming, but the minute I stepped through the doors, the rain started pouring. Lucky me for once! I performed a strength workout using the barbells, nervous about clutching a large metal sticks with thunder and lightning striking outside, but I’m probably just paranoid. Before the gym closed, I finished off my workout with a quick ten minute sprint session on the Elliptical. I believe I mentioned I took a short break from swimming while the pool was being renovated, but I’m looking forward to getting back to it.

My scheduled rest day had been on Friday because it was so hot! That Thursday, I had a nice long run just as the sun was going down for the day, so I wasn’t quite as drippy or gross. I’ve learned that there is a good sweat and a bad sweat. The good comes from hard work, the bad from heat and humidity.

My fitness goals for fall is to extend the length of my runs, despite any hills, and to be able to perform my push-ups all the way touching the ground. TBC!