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We’ve been away from each other for awhile and I’ve been cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Below are some of the more delectable dishes from the past few weeks.

BREAKFAST

I eat a lot of eggs because they’re zero points on Weight Watchers, nutritious and filling, and super versatile. Sometimes, I want something that’s not eggs for breakfast. I put together a yogurt bowl with non-fat plain greek yogurt, jazzed up with cinnamon and vanilla, 1/4 cup of granola and lots of berries.

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I often will make my own homemade waffles and pancakes so I know exactly what goes into them, but for days I need to have an efficient morning, I pull out kodiak cakes’ protein brand. (Not an ad, I just love their products). I topped this beautiful with sugar free syrup- not bad, just a little less sticky so it makes food soggier faster- fruit, and chopped walnuts.

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On mornings, such as on the weekend, when I do have time for a leisurely morning, I like to concoct more advanced dishes. This is two eggs with marinara sauce, veggies, and mozzarella baked together in a warm bowl of goodness.

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LUNCH/DINNER

Quick and simple, grilled shrimp, brown rice, spinach.

 

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I cooked some 99% ground turkey meat in teriyaki sauce and ate it throughout the week. One of my concoctions was lettuce wraps with an assortment of vegetables, served with brown rice.

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Another variety was in a bowl mixed with lots of veggies and rice, topped with a little drizzle of sweet chili sauce.

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I eat a lot of cod because it’s so easy to cook. Here, I just topped it with salt and pepper and enjoyed it over zoodles cooked in olive oil and garlic and topped with chopped tomatoes and parmesan.

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A blackened piece of swordfish paired well with frozen veggies. It was very easy to pop the vegetables into the microwave and throw some teriyaki on it for taste.

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Any go-to meals to share? I’d love to hear your opinions!

lover’s quarrel: running

Within, you will find the many faces of my post-running experience- there are two expressions, I’m either in agony or thrilled to be done. I can lift heavy, jump all around, but nothing makes me feel stronger than a solid run. This stems from my not natural ability to run. I believe some bodies are made easier to run than others. Being short and stocky is not an example of this, however, the fact that I have been able to run miles despite this, is a point of pride.

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I started running in February of 2012 on a treadmill in the basement gym of my college. 30 seconds of running, 4 minutes and 30 seconds of walking for 30 minutes. Every week or so, I would add 30 seconds to my running time. When I reached 10 minutes, I decided to see what would happen if I kept going, a mile wasn’t far out of reach.

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The first time I ran a mile, it took me 15 minutes. By the time spring came, I could run two miles straight. Being outside and off the treadmill helped me to go longer and faster. I hit 5 miles by that summer.

Running is my most tumultuous relationship as I have been on and off with it for years. Throughout spring, summer, and fall, my running is in peak form, but when winter comes around, it’s back to the treadmill (unless the ground isn’t icy or snowy) and it falls off a bit.

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The most miles I’ve been able to run is 10 and my legs were shot after. Usually I stick to 3-6 miles. Right now, my goal is to hit a 30 minute or under 5k. My most recent run on Sunday was 4 miles at a 10 minute and 20 second pace.

I can sometimes tell how my run will go based on the first two miles. If those feel like a breeze, I can extend my mileage to closer to the six mark. Sometimes I really have to push myself through those first two and then the third doesn’t seem as bad. Once I hit my groove, it starts to feel easier and I naturally gain speed.

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I’m not far off, I just need a better warm-up plan- better than just lacing up my sneakers and getting out there! Practice always makes better! And I hope that with my continued weight loss, running will become naturally easier as well. Considering I started off the summer with a pace of 12 minutes and 59 seconds with walking mixed in, I think I’m making vast improvements!

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Music is everything. I have a proclivity towards musicals and pop music, something that has a little pep and motivation to it. Much of the time, I will also listen to podcasts because it feels like I’m within a conversation- hello My Favorite Murder!

I love the feeling of finding my stride and cruising. I hate struggling and feeling like every step is a battle. Either way and in-between, my runs are always worth it.

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Running is not for everyone and I respect those who keep it from their workout plans. It’s the same reason I don’t do burpees. I HATE them. For me, running is a test of endurance and strength of which does not come easily to me and I enjoy the challenge- most of the time.

What’s your relationship like to running?

aaaand we’re back.

We’re looking a little different around here these days! A fresh start was much needed and I think things are looking good. Please also note that in order to find the blog, the link is now http://www.strongerwithcaitlin.com.

Here’s a funny story to start your Monday off on the right foot. A week ago, in the wee hours of the morning, I heard Simba playing. He jumped up and was super cuddly, a common occurrence for him. Still half asleep and in the dark, I start petting him until I feel something moist but solid next to him. At first, I felt bad for the little guy, thinking he threw up or had a hairball, but then I realized in a year of having him, he’d never been sick. It hit me, in one of those sickening punchy ways what it was. A DEAD MOUSE. I threw it across the room and jumped up, trying to be quiet and thankful to Simba for his hard work, but also deeply disgusted. I stepped on it. At 4:30am, I was scrubbing my hands and feet and then had to throw away the mouse before work.

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How are you?

I’m feeling quite well! My mom and I are on Weight Watchers together and we’ve both made great strides. Thus far, I am down 14.2 pounds.

This weekend, I tried on a pair of black pants I had purchased a few years ago assuming they would fit, but they were always too tight. They fit PERFECTLY this weekend. It’s the small things with weight loss that keep you going.

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I’ll be back tomorrow with a weekend recap. In the meantime, check out the new sections of the blog, including an updated My Weight Loss Journey, Personal Training, and Writing.

Enjoy your Monday!

Workouts of Late

This week, I am down 1.8 pounds.

I’ve collected quite a few sweaty selfies of late thanks to my fitness Instagram- Stronger with Caitlin. Here’s a few of them, along with what I’ve been doing for my workouts lately.

Lots of running.

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Summer into fall is my absolute favorite time to run and I always pick up my pace and length once the weather cools down just a bit. Of course, I try to run outside in the winter, but it’s never for as long. I also detest the treadmill and cannot go for miles unless I’m somehow in a trance-like state.

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I’m excited to see how fast and far I can go now that I’m dropping a few extra pounds. I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts, ranging from True Crime to Disney World themed, during my workouts, although I’ll always return to my favorite playlists and upbeat musicals when I just want to cruise.

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I’ve also been a sweaty mess during my strength training workouts, which I do three times a week. I try to add 15-20 minutes of faster cardio to the end or throughout. My cardio of choice on these days has been jump roping. It’s such a great workout that you don’t have to suffer through for an extended amount of time. I like to do a set of jumps 50-100 after each set of exercises to get the heart rate UP.

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In conclusion, I aim for six days a week of challenging workouts. 3 running days and 3 strength training days. Thus far, I’ve been enjoying the results.

Stay-tuned for the fall when I’ll be mixing things up!

Now Serving…

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?

 

At least you’re not the Yankees today…

Welcome back from the weekend, we’ve survived another hot one.

My Friday started, as it usually does, nice and early thanks to a 4:30am wake-up call. This also means my weekend kicks off early, so I can’t complain. After work and a solid strength training workout, I lounged around the house for a bit before it was Red Sox v. Yankees time. I almost feel bad for the Yankees, but not quite.

I headed into the game with a friend who happens to be a Yankees fan. I did feel bad for her team of losers and made sure to sing along to Sweet Caroline nice and loud for her.

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In college, I was so used to walking to and from the game from just down the street and afterwards, driving into the city, that taking the subway was an adventure. A very hot, sticky, and crowded adventure.

On Saturday, I had a leisurely morning, sleeping in and enjoying breakfast.

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My niece and sister came over for the day and we had a great time just watching this little face.

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It’s crazy how fast they grow!

I went to bed early for a Saturday night and was up early on Sunday morning to fit in a run before my hair appointment. It was warm, but dry outside and I cruised for a solid 4 miles of running. Felt strong!

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After grocery shopping and touching up my roots, it was meal prep time. I chopped up a ton of veggies for salads and made my breakfast for today.

I started watching Sharp Objects on HBO, so far so good.

How’s your Monday treating you?

Arms for Days

Happy August! I’m happy to say I wrote a blog post for every week day throughout the month of July. I’m back and trying to be as consistent as possible. And now…

Have 20 minutes and a pair of dumbbells? You can crush this arm workout.

Many clients come in complaining about their arms, particularly the underbelly. Some of this loosens with age, or in my case, weight loss (from being stretched for so long), but it is not impossible to tighten up everything.

When I say arms, we aim to target the biceps, triceps, and shoulders. Chest and back would still be considered upper body, but I will provide a nice push/pull workout another day.

Here is a quick routine to follow to get the arms you desire:

Front & Lateral Raises

Yes, perform both in sequence. Enjoy the burning sensation in your shoulders.

Plank Shoulder Taps

Holding a plank is hard, now add some movement. To keep too much pressure off your shoulders, lean back into your heels, keeping your hips down. Trying hard not to rock your body, lift one hand to the opposite shoulder, alternating.

Hammer Curls to Shoulder Presses

The trick with any form of bicep curls is to keep your arms close to your body and keep everything still, except for the forearms. Don’t rock your body back and forth. If you do, the weight is too heavy and not hitting the intended target.

High Curls

I enjoy this exercise because I can see the muscles pulsing as they get to work. Also hits those shoulders for the double whammy.

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Tricep Extensions

Again, keep everything steady except for the forearms. Elbows nice and tight, as well.

Tricep Pushbacks

Bend the knees, drop your hips and butt to maintain a nice, flat back, and slowly press your arms behind you as far as you can while still keeping proper technique. Do not swing your arms, it won’t be as effective.

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If you have a lighter pair of dumbbells, 5 pounds each for example, perform each exercise in 3 sets of 15 repetitions. Rest for 30 seconds per set before moving onto the next, OR perform circuit style and rest for 1 minute after each set.

If you have a heavier pair of dumbbells- and I would encourage you not to be afraid of lifting heavy weights- try 3 sets of 10 repetitions each.

Don’t forget that leg day will follow….