Category Archives: Fitness

Back on Track

I honestly didn’t think one week off would affect me as much as it did. If you read my previous posts about being sick, I discussed how I felt it was a good idea to take an extra few days off after my sinus infection started to clear up. I was not at the gym for a total of 9 days (a Saturday through the following Sunday).

Monday and Tuesday of this week, I jumped right into my usual 30 minute ab routine followed by 45 minutes to an hour of cardio. My cardio consisted of interval running and incline walking both days. My abs are unbelievably sore and it was actually difficult to get the amount of reps I was getting the week before. Today, I did one of my usual upper body workouts. It felt a little easier than abs, but it was still hard. My arms felt fatigued immediately after the gym. I can tell I am going to be one sore human being by the end of the week.

I thought about it, though, and I miss the burn! I have been working out 6 days a week with no FULL WEEK break for a long time. All of my weight lifting routines seemed to get easier and I had to increase the weights. I like feeling that burn again like you haven’t used the muscles in years. Crazy enough, it has only been 9 days and I feel that. I guess it’s a love/hate thing.

Another thing I am noticing, now that lent is over, is how much peanut butter I really eat! Giving it up didn’t seem that hard, but right now I am loving it more than ever. I recently switched from Skippy all natural to Crazy Richard’s. Joe and I go through a jar a week because it is so runny (all of the natural oils, I guess). I feel like I am overdoing it with the healthy fats here because I tend to go way over the 2 tablespoons serving size. Ooops! I plan on buying Marantha almond butter this weekend to change things up.

Speaking of almond butter; when I got home today I was pleasantly surprised to see that my mini food processor had arrived from Amazon.

Yeaahh check out those stats. No, it really is a strong little 3 cup processor though. I made some almond butter to test out its skills.

Perfectly creamy. I am super happy with it.

I was starving since I wasn’t in the mood for the last snack I had brought to work (EAS protein shake). Joe’s parents left for Florida last night and his Dad told me to use up the fresh tomatoes they had. His parents actually live upstairs. Our house is split between the top floor and bottom floor (two separate one floor houses). I had a great idea for the tomatoes considering I had leftover basil and mozzarella from Sunday’s grilled pizza. On my way to get the tomatoes, I spotted these puppies in the dining room.

I mean…come on! YUM! I actually saw them on one of Gabriela‘s posts a few days ago and was salivating. What a coincidence!

Onto the Bruschetta! Being that I was on a food processor craze, I decided to just throw all the ingredients in and pulse once or twice. I combined:

  • 1 tomato
  • 1/4 cup basil
  • large chunk of mozzarella
  • 1 clove garlic
I pulsed only once and it was diced up nice and small. I added:
  • drop of olive oil
  • drop of balsamic vinegar
  • dash salt and pepper to taste

I didn’t even need bread! It was so good. I’ll probably make more tomorrow but I really was just anxious to test the new gadget. I gobbled the one person serving down in a second.

Next, I made what I had really been craving all day. Cookie dough cereal! I saw it on Fitnessista and really wanted to try it. I added:
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • cinnamon
  • stevia packet
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of vanilla extract
  • 1 T Hershey’s dark cocoa powder (my addition)
I mixed it up and added 1 T Crazy Richard’s peanut butter and 1 T of my homemade almond butter. I crushed it up until it was crumbly and then added almond milk, strawberries and half of a banana.
I am now sufficiently full for the night. Watching Modern Family and reading some more Carrots ‘N’ Cake will surely put me to bed. Goodnight!

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My Fitness Story

I figured it’s about time to share my motivations and reasons for my gym and eating habits. But first, I’ll show you the interesting lunch I am eating as I blog.

I took Tuesday night’s leftover bulgur wheat and mixed it with a can of tuna and some sugar snap peas. I wasn’t sure about heating up tunafish, but it is pretty tasty!

Last week when I was tackling my Spring closet cleaning, I brought down my Tupperware full of spring clothes to make the sweater switcheroo. I tried on all of my shorts and bottoms from last year, and to my shock, I was swimming in most of them.

I began working out more steadily last January. It was my new years resolution. Before that, I had a few months here and there where I was consistent, but hip surgeries, laziness, and other things always somehow interfered. I was active in high school sports and always tried to make it to the gym regularly. Once I was on a routine when I started my first “big girl Job”, I was able consistently go every morning. It took a while to get used to, but now I can’t imagine not working out before I head to work. It gives me energy for the day. (This is not to say that I don’t take a day off if my body tells me I need a break or I’m under the weather.) I do it because it makes me feel good, not to become so skinny that people begin to assume things. I sometimes find that although that’s not my intention, it may come across that way to others.

I told my mom how my Spring clothes from last year were big on me and she said “maybe you’re not eating enough”. Now, one thing I do not do is deprive myself of food. Aside from Sunday, which is my cheat day, I still enjoy every meal during the week. I always make sure I get enough protein, fiber, and whole grains and constantly dream up new recipes that help me stay healthy and enjoy my meals. I don’t keep count of calories everyday, but I do know that I eat more than enough for my body weight.

Strength training is also very important to me. I may run a lot and lose the weight but I build muscle just as much. It took over a year to really see physical results, but my workout habits have really made a difference in my mood and energy from the start. I increasingly adjust my workouts as I become stronger, so I keep myself challenged. I also recieve a lot of help (and motivation) from Joe. He gave me most of my strength training workouts and since he goes 6 days a week, he keeps me on my toes!

I find that I do talk a lot about my eating and gym habits, so that was one of the reasons I felt that I wanted to start a blog. I love to share my ideas as well as take a spin on other bloggers workouts and recipes. I also think it will help me become more diversified with my workouts and get me back to making creative meals.
Overall, I feel that you need to do what feels best for you. If you can’t make it to the gym but you have healthy eating habits, or if you take a long walk everyday but still enjoy dessert right after, that’s fine. What works for you doesn’t always work for everyone else. All we can do is respect others decisions but also try to motivate and inspire people who want to be pushed a little.

I hope I can inspire some people with this blog to try new recipes and workouts! 🙂

NO POTATO SALAD?

I woke up to about 4 e-mails from my mother. One, telling me that her iPad has finally shipped. She has been waiting for this thing forever. Another, asking me if it was okay if she didn’t make potato salad for Easter.

WHAT? Wait, stop right there! Potato salad has been a tradition at our Easter dinner since I can remember. Why? I don’t know, but it’s my favorite dish. I’m certain that it is #1 in some other family member’s hearts, too. So, I told her I would help her make it the day before…and blog about it! That will be a fun one. I can’t believe Easter is less than 2 weeks away!

Anyway, I was having some major hip issues this morning. I think I pushed it really hard last week and I was in a lot of pain this morning. I had a hip arthroscopy for a labreal tear (due to a bone spur) on my right hip about 4 years ago. I also had it on my left about 2 1/2 years ago, but that one does not bother me like the right.

I started with 20 minutes of abs with just a mat, no weights. I couldn’t do the 7.5 mile run that I had planned, so instead I opted for incline walking and attempted jogs once in a while. After about 30 minutes I decided the pain wasn’t worth it, and finished with 30 minutes on the ellyptical. I still worked up a great sweat but I hate when I can’t run. Nothing compares!

Breakfast was my ever so exciting frozen banana, almond milk, honey, & vanilla protein powder smoothie. I can’t get enough of it. I can have smoothies all day long—breakfast, snack, and dinner yesterday!

Lunch

I bought lox again this week, only because it was on sale. I made a lox, goat cheese and cucumber sandwich and paired it with a broccoli slaw, sliced almond, and snap pea salad (with annies lite gingerly dressing).

Giveaways

Go check out these two awesome giveaways I entered today! Yea, I know, lessening my chances of winning – right?

Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers is giving away a Stella & Dot necklace.

Lindsey from Cardio Pizza has two giveaways – a $25 gift certificate to Running Warehouse and some Amazing Grass bars!

Hopefully someday my blog will build up to something amazing like Julie & Lindseys. Giveaways are awesome — thanks so much girls!

Back to work. Blog ya lata.

Oops! I ate PB.

I’m baaaack! Atlantic City was a great time and it was so nice to take a break from work! Right after we checked in around 3pm, we headed to lunch at the Metropolitan in the Borgata, where we stayed. I had a greek salad with chicken. It was a huge portion and enough to fill me before heading up the wine show.

I have never seen anything like it! Picture a huge room with booths beyond booths and glasses galore. Grab a glass and start tasting! Now, obviously the girls were “working” and finding some new wines for the restaurant. We started with the bubblies and worked our way to the Burgundy since Carrie (manager) needed to find a new one. Towards the end, we decided to try the wines that we would probably never order ourselves or taste again, because they’re so expensive. We also found time to stop by the buffet and get some lobster risotto!

After the show, we headed back to the room. However, I decided to make a pit stop at the gelato bar! After some wine, I was really in the mood for dessert! I did something terribly wrong though. I’d like to advise everyone to be careful when drinking during lent so you don’t accidently break your sacrifice. Yes, I did it. But I would like to just say, that my sacrifice was actually to not eat PB out of the jar, as you know I like to do so with sprinkles and whip. So, I won’t say that I completely ruined it, but come on—she even gave me one of the garnish reese’s with the gelato!!

The death of me

Tell me that doesn’t look like a piece of heaven. Honestly, I didn’t even think about it until today that I had eaten peanut butter. So be it–what can you do?!

Anyhoo, we went up to the room to change for dinner. The vendor’s took us to Seablue, also in the Borgata. We continued drinking wine and the four of us girls split 4 appetizers and 4 entrees. Who wants just one thing when you can try it all? For appetizers, we had the lobster corn dogs, tuna tartare, beet salad, and oysters (east and west coast). For entrees, we split scallops, miso glazed chilean sea bass (I usually order this anywhere that has it), beef tenderloin, and dover sole. Of course, we got dessert. For the table, we had the most amazing warm and gooey chocolate chip cookies. They actually came with the root beer float but I requested just the cookies, because– seriously? Also, we had these doughnut zeppoli things and a chocolate pudding/red velvet mixture (not my fave). Dinner was yummy, but I was so full after.

Amanda, me and Nancy

We then attempted to gamble, and I would like to just give you the short version of my story since I am still a little sensitive to it. Joe gave me a game plan, and I followed. On roulette, I put $10 on 5 numbers and I won on #17. As roulette is 35 to 1, I won $350. I then decided to double it, feeling lucky, and lost, lost all the way to losing the $50 I started with. Then wasted another $50. This is why I don’t gamble. I am a “win and walk away” person, but since I followed Joe’s plan, I ended up losing. This is also why we had a free massage when Joe and I went to Aruba–I walked away on a win and used the money for a couples massage! Okay, so there’s my sad sad story and it’s over with. Moving on…

We hung out at the Casino and had a drink at one of the bars, but the smoke inside started to get to me so by 1:30 I was up in the room. It was still a really fun night!

Me, Nancy, Amanda, Carrie, and Megan

We woke up, got Starbucks (necessary),had breakfast (I got dippy eggs, being that I was in the mood for them the last week or so), and got on the road. I knew I was going to head the to gym as soon as I got home because I just felt weighed down from all of the food that I ate the night before.

Workout

I unpacked and went right to the gym. I did abs for 30 minutes and had a spurt of energy. I ended up doing a cardio workout similar to yesterday. I did intervals of running for 2 minutes, sprinting for 30 seconds, and in between doing that for 10 minutes, I did a 5 minute 9.5 incline walk. It felt so good and I went for a full hour! I think the fact that I brought my iPhone for a change and played the “Robyn” station on Pandora, helped. I was dripping, but still did my leg workout because Friday is the only day of the week I lift lower body. I run a lot so I don’t feel like I need to lift  my legs two times a week as I do my upper body.

I froze some strawberries before I left to make another smoothie bowl when I got home.

Chocolate covered strawberry in disguise

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate almond milk
  • frozen strawberries
  • pinch xanath gum
  • 1/2 tablespoon Hershey’s dark cocoa powder

I love using frozen fruit as a substitute for ice. I added some honey to sweeten and dug in! As usually, creamy goodness. I’m now just enjoying some green tea–trying to use antioxidants to cleanse a little from last night. I actually don’t feel as bad as I though I would.

Tomorrow I am volunteering all day for my friend’s charity group, so I’m off to get a good night’s rest!

Atlantic City Workout

I got to sleep in until 7:10 today. That may not be sleeping in to some, but to me, it makes all the difference from 5:15! Joe gets up at this time so, so since I’m not leaving for AC until 11:30, I got up with him to workout and get some more stuff done before heading out. We hopped out of bed and got to the gym by 7:20. Thursday is normally a 5 mile run day for me. Joe started running for an hour on Thursdays like we do on Tuesday’s, but because of work I usually end up cutting mine short. He pushed me to do the full hour today, but after 15 minutes of intervals (2 1/2 minutes at 7.0, 30 seconds at 8.0, repeat), I was doing math in my head with the minutes on the treadmill (like I normally do, being a crazy person, while Joe puts a towel over the treadmill stats) and got an idea. Considering I will be consuming lots of food and drinks in AC, a little extra cardio will do me good.

My workout ended up looking something like this;

  • 15 minute intervals (as mentioned above)
  • 5 minutes at 9.0 incline, 4.0 speed
  • 10 minutes intervals (7.5 for 2 minutes, 8.5 for 30 seconds)
  • 5 minutes at 9.2 incline, 4.2 speed
  • 10 minutes intervals (same as last)
  • 5 minutes at 9.5, 4.5 speed
  • 10 minutes intervals (7.5 for 2 minutes, 9.0 for 30 seconds)
  • 5 min cooldown

That way, I took the extra 15 minutes Joe pushed me to do and did a serious incline walk. I was a sweaty mess. Joe actually was grossed out by the beads of sweat on my shoulder when we were stretching. But yet, it’s okay for him to ring his shirt out on the ground when we get home.

Breakfast

I was dreaming of breakfast about 45 minutes into my cardio. I made overnight oats for us last night and we actually got to enjoy breakfast together this morning.

Mushy goodness

  • 1/2 cup Almond milk
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 tbsp. dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1 packet splenda
  • 1 scoop Vanilla protein powder

Yum yum! Joe’s was subbed with 2 scoops protein and lactaid milk. I cut up strawberries and bananas for us to add in this morning. I froze the rest to make a shake for myself before leaving for AC, knowing that I’ll be in a car for over 2 hours.

I made some coffee, showered and finished packing!

All packed and ready to go!

I am so excited to be off work for 2 days and just get away! The only thing I hate is not sleeping next to Joe, but hopefully tomorrow he will be out of work early and we can get in some quality time.

I am waiting to be picked up, blogging, and enjoying my new favorite smoothie that I made yesterday and cannot get enough of! This time, I added frozen strawberries to the mix and topped with agave nectar! Smoothie bowls ROCK!

So thick I had to scrape the rest out with a spoon!

Sweeten her up!

Num num num

I won’t be back until tomorrow afternoon, hopefully able to do atleast a half-ass workout–better than none at all!

Back on Track

I was unable to post yesterday due to a crazy day at work. I have those sometimes, or a lot of times… Anyway, it felt so good to work off all of that icebox cake the last two mornings.

Monday Workout

I usually wake up between 5:00 and 5:30 AM, depending on my workout, my day at work, and if Joe is driving me to the train or not. I usually drive, park and walk myself, but if he decides to go into work early with me, it saves me some time! Luckily, Joe woke up with me, and my Monday workout is usually just shaking off the rust from the weekend. We did Abs for 30 minutes, which always consists of:

  • 2 Lower Ab excercies
  • 2 Upper Ab exercises
  • 2 Oblique exercises

Then, I headed to the treadmill, which is unusual for a Monday, while Joe headed to the ellyptical. I tend to stick to the ellyptical as my body is still trying to digest Sunday. I decided to do intervals of jogging and incline walking instead. I did 2 minutes at 6.5, no incline, and 2 minutes of 4.5 with a 9.0 incline. It varied a little but basically followed through the 30 minutes. I then hopped on the ellyptical for 20 minutes at “25” since I was already sweated up! I definitly felt like this workout was better than my normal Monday routine. I need this after the weekend.

Breakfast

Breakfast was a xanath gum connundrum! Yes, I attempted xanath gum in my shake for the first time, and when people say a “pinch”, they mean it! A little goes a long way. I through my usuals in a blender and added a tablespoon, bad idea! It is a thickening agent, which is great for shakes–in small doses!

The blender basically stopped dead in its tracks and I had to scoop out the thick mess inside. I decided to grab a shower and try again after, being that I was already running late. Joe just laughed at me as he made his PB2 and Protein Powder shake. We typically have two 7.5 lb buckets of Isopure hanging around–chocolate and vanilla, that I order from Netrition. I like Netrition because they always ship so quick, for only $4.95 and everything is always right! Plus, you get 5% off with orders of $200 or more and I always get something free (towel, t-shirt, water bottle so far)!

I attempted the same after I got ready, and took it in a to go bottle for the ride. It came out just right with a “pinch”! I also wanted to share the slight disconnect at my daily Starbucks stop. My mom’s worst nightmare and why she did not name me Gillian with a G.

Lunch

I bought a lot of new products at the grocery store this weekend since I have been bored with my lunches, so I was excited to dig in to what I had packed because it was such a crazy day! I brought turkey with Nayonaise (dijon style) on a whole wheat sandwich thin, with a side of Mann’s Broccoli Slaw and  Annie’s Lite Gingerly dressing.

I ended up having a late night at work and was excited to just get home and get back into bed! I made a quick protein shake with a banana before doing so.

Today’s Workout

Tuesdays are a love/hate day for me, because that describes my relationship with running. Joe got me into the habit of doing a long-run day, which for me has gone up to 7.7 miles at most. I always wake up dreading it, but a few minutes in I love it! I preceded my run with a 20 minute one prop ab workout (a mat, on the floor).

Today I ran 7.53m in 65 minutes, with a warum up and cooldown baked into that time. It was a good day because I was able to interval a bit (sprinting at 8, 8.5, and 9, throughout the workout for 30 second), while keeping at a steady 7.0. I had surgery on both of my hips, which I will save for a later post, that sometimes defers my running.

Today was the first day that it was warm when I walked out the door at 5:15. I usually just run out in shorts no matter how cold it is, but today I didn’t get that chill! It is a rainy-ish day, but it’s atleast close to 60 degrees. Spring, finally! I always feel like my workout is intensified in the heat! I definitely sweat (sweated?) more than usual today. Even after I got out of the shower and got into my robe, I still had to open the bathroom door when I was blow drying my hair. That normally only happens in the middle of summer!

For breakfast, I made a shake with chocolate protein powder, a banana, and chocolate almond milk. It’s been my recent kick. Well, bananas really have been. I also made overnight oats (dry oats, almond milk, 1 tsp. dark chocolate cocoa, and strawberries) last night that I brought to work to eat as a snack. I always make sure to eat extra calories on days that I run (good calories, of course)!

Lunch

Lunch was a goat cheese (I use Chavrie), turkey, and spinach on a whole wheat wrap with carrots. Sorry, I bit into it before I took the picture! I will get in the habit of taking more pictures of my food once I get this all up and running, but for your enjoyment I have my iPhone photos, for now!

Now, I have to finish up my day at work. Enjoy your day! 🙂