Chef Caitlin

In another life, maybe I should have been a chef. Let’s discuss.

At breakfast, I put together this bowl of oatmeal and cooked it in the microwave…about five seconds too long because a bit spilled out over the sides. But only a little- every great chef has a kitchen mishap or two. Topped with banana, raisins, and walnuts, it was a tasty treat.

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For a snack, I pulled the microwave trick again and cooked an egg and put it atop a piece of toast and cheese.

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I happened to enjoy it so much that I had another with my quinoa, chickpea, and veggie lunch.

I was raring for dinner after my workout and grilled a piece of cod in a buttery, garlic sauce and placed it on two corn tortillas with a drizzle of soyaki. On the side, some green beans and a giant caesar salad made with baby spinach leaves, a sprinkling of parmesan, caesar dressing, and crushed tostitos.

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They may not look restaurant-worthy, but the dishes tasted great and I think that merits some points.

Speaking of my workout, it was upper body day, so I worked my biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest, and back. For the bi’s, tri’s, and shoulders I did two exercises per muscle group. For the chest and back, I worked three exercises, all three sets of twelve reps. To top things off, I did three core exercises and ended with 20 minutes on the bike.

Happy December- it’s officially Christmas time! No matter that it’s in the sixties and I’m finding this “chilly.”

My Washer/Dryer Is Trying to Kill Me, Among Other Things

It took exactly two weeks, but I’m happy to be back in the world of employment! A start to chasing those dreams.

On a side note, my washer/dryer is trying to kill me.

I know I’m lucky  to have a washer/dryer (it’s an all-in-one machine, which is strange in itself to this suburbia kid!), but the machine promises “quiet” and “effective” and all I hear are confusing, loud banging noises and it takes hours. I  have to leave my clothes in for a slow dry if I want them to dry at all. Ah, the markings of being an apartment renter! This isn’t Kansas anymore, kid! (But also, I’m thankful for not having grown up in Kansas, not that there’s anything wrong with it per say, but- I’m losing focus).

In summary, the washer/dryer is freaking loud and I think it is trying to kill me.

So how about Tuesday?

Things got moving early (and by early, I mean a lot of people would side-eye me for that comment if they knew what time I awoke) around here. After hopping in the shower, I enjoyed breakfast.

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After spending the morning running around town, and by town, I mean Hollywood, I came home ready for lunch! Thank goodness for meal prep! Quinoa, black beans, corn, broccoli, orange pepper, and soyaki! A side of hummus and chips complemented flavors nicely.

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Dinner was out with a classmate of mine from college who just happened to move to LA about a month before me. I can’t tell you how great it was to see a friendly, familiar face, especially one who is facing the same challenges and positives as me! For food, I had a cup of yummy chicken tortilla soup and a side of brussels sprout and bacon mash. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into with that dish, but it was just mashed potatoes with some chunks of sprouts and bacon. With cheese!

For a workout, I got things moving with a bicep, back, and core workout and finished with twenty minutes on the spin bike.

I’m feeling good! How ’bout you?

 

Where The Celebs At?

Happy Wednesday, party people! I’ve officially been in LaLaLand for one whole week and I’ve yet to see one celebrity. Say wha-at? I don’t even want to consider the number of celebrities that might have passed me by and I missed because I wasn’t observant enough. I was fairly certain I was going to be super famous and best friends with all of them by now… No? Well, at least I thought I’d be married to Chris Evans.

Maybe it’s because I’m spending so much time cooped up in the library getting some work done. Throughout college, I worked at a library, so it’s one of my happy places and never fails to make me productive.

Recap of yesterday:

Tuesday morning, I rolled out of bed for some cheesy eggs, an English muffin, and raspberries. Not a bad way to start the day at all.

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After getting some work done at home, I drove into Hollywood, which, weird!, to meet my cousin for lunch. It’s all about friendly faces these days, let me tell you. I’m still not used to looking up and seeing palm trees or the Hollywood sign in the distance on my commute.

It would be nice to insert a picture here, but alas, driving and snapping pictures is frowned upon.

When in doubt (or stress or anything), gym time never fails me and I crushed it with a strength training line-up of biceps, back, legs, and core before finishing up with a quick interval ride on the bike. For strength, I worked through four sets of fifteen reps, two exercises for biceps, five for back, and five for legs- those bad boys were shaking (in a good way). My core workout included three exercises and I meant to do three sets of twenty, but ended up doing four sets, so a good ‘oops’ I guess.

Let’s take a look at that workout:

Biceps- Cross-Body Curls, High Bicep Curls

Back- Single-Arm Rows, Weighted Supermans, Back Extensions, High Pulls, Standing Rows

Legs- Front Squats, Lunges, Deadlifts, Kneeling Side Leg Raises, Kettlebell Swings

Core- Flutter Kicks, V Ups, Side Plank Dips

Once I finished on the bike, I was good and sweaty and ready for a snack and a cup of coffee at home!

Greek yogurt will never be the same for me after I had the homemade version at a local Greek pantry back at home, but I made do with good ol’ Chobani, mixing up the strawberry flavor with a handful of blueberries and some almonds.

To the library it was, but first, I got a phone call from an old friend/advisor that was very much appreciated. I can’t express how grateful I am to get calls and texts from family and friends in general, never mind that I’m in a new state, following my dreams, and pretty much by my lonesome.

As I mentioned, I do love the library, so I pretty much closed it up and headed home to make dinner. If it works one night, why not make it again the second? Whole grains, check. Protein, check. Veggies, check. Fat, check. Yum factor, check!

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The rest of the night consisted of some reading and writing quality time. I must still be on East Coast time because as I’m typing, I’m longing to go to bed, but it’s only 9:40 here. Soon!

Here’s a selfie shot I had to take because my hair was on point and it would have been a waste for no one to have seen it.

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Traipsing About: Words and Workouts

I’ve been watching quite a bit of Gilmore Girls lately, thanks Netflix, and I’m really enjoying it. When it was on, I would watch an episode here or there, but it was never one of my core shows. The dialogue moves fast, but that’s one of the aspects I like about it. As a writer, I am trying to learn more about how dialogue flows and pertains to certain characters, so really, it’s a learning process when I watch…

One thing I’ve noticed is how frequently they use the word “traipsing.” This might seem like an odd stand-out, but the emphasis stems from the fact that I learned how to properly pronounce traipsing from the show. It’s difficult to convey to you my history of mispronouncing words, mostly because the element of humor and appreciation would be best viewed from hearing it. There was the “compromise” situation that started it all, pronounced by me, “com. promise.” Most recently, I learned that the word “acquiesce is not pronounced in the manner I always assumed (and to be honest, my pronunciation is far prettier). I tended to stretch out the word when apparently it’s just a jumble. I can’t even explain how I would say “traipsing,” but I’ve learned and now Gilmore Girls won’t let me forget it. Lesson learned!

Onto some exercise talk, which starts with the swim I did last Thursday where I last left you. My incorporation of sprints in my swim time is fun, necessary, and exhausting. It does make swimming, which has the tendency to be boring and repetitive lap after lap, move more quickly and adds another challenge. It wipes me out in a good way and I feel more satisfied when leaving.

The more I exercise and it has been an ingrained habit, the less effect exercise has on my body. In order to do real “damage,” and I mean that on a positive level, I need to keep upping the challenges and this becomes difficult. Sprints are one way I blast through a plateau. I add them in my swimming, running, biking, and jump roping and I’m planning on including them in my strength workouts for this month as well. I’ve mentioned quite a bit about Tabata intervals, which means you perform one move for twenty seconds, rest for ten seconds, over a course of four minutes. This is an effective workout and should be included with the more stable exercises, such as a longer, steadier run, swim, bike ride, etc. Having the body go from a resting state to a high intensity state has an awesome effect on your body and fitness level. I like to leave my workouts with a thick glaze of sweat coating my body, which has proved more difficult than it has in the past. Having to up the ante may seem like an annoying, difficult process, but I see it as an accomplishment and challenge to go even further.

On Friday, I headed to the gym to do a series of strength workouts. I started on the barbells doing a series of key moves like deadlifts, bench presses, squat presses, and leg presses. Since I was crunched for time, I moved onto a couple of kettlebell circuits that get in both strength and cardio exercises.

Before the fun adventures on Saturday night, I went out for a run. I started off feeling ambitious about the hills, but my body was tired and not on the same page, so I took a few of them at a slow run or even a fast walk. Hill runs are another element I want to include in my workout a few times a week. I’ll start at one and see how it goes and hopefully add more the better I get at it.

I do love working out and it is my biggest stress relievers, however, I have no shame in informing you that I planned my rest day last week to fall on my birthday. I was too busy celebrating with friends and family to fit in any time at the gym. The effects of a relaxing, fun rest day was just what I needed to rejuvenate and I headed into the gym on Monday raring to go! I got through a strength workout that incorporated some moves using medicine balls and the stability balls, including that burpee move I couldn’t get through last week. I followed up my strength workout with another swim and felt nice and tired, but energized on my way home.

I renovated my strength workouts a bit and on Tuesday, I tried out my new dumbbell routine using the stability ball. This helps my core while strengthening my muscles. I did a circuit that included shoulder presses, lying tricep extensions, shoulder flies, and bench presses. I was once again a bit overly ambitious and attempted to perform some plank rows with my feet on the stability ball. This will have to be an accomplishment I work towards and instead had no trouble balancing on the ground. After four sets of twelve, I moved on to do two kettlebell circuits that focused on strength and core work. To end, I tried to jump rope, but for some reason, I wasn’t in my groove and couldn’t keep a consistent pace.

I’m headed now to do a Yoga sequence before traipsing* out for a run. Here’s to hoping I don’t slip on any wet, gross leaves. You’ll hear about it if I do!

*I realize that traipsing means moving without care, but I couldn’t resist the pun!