Category Archives: Workout

Gym Habits and Free Samples

Last night, I came home to find that my free sample of Power Bar ProteinPlus Bites had finally come. I think I filled out the request like 2 months ago and totally forgot about them, until I spotted them in a Wawa two weeks ago at the beach. I get an e-mail from All You daily with links to free stuff.

I opened it only to be disappointed by the Fudge Brownie. Clearly, these people do not know my obsession with peanut butter, which is the other flavor. Okay, I guess I can’t expect them to know that.

They redeemed themselves by giving me a coupon to go buy the peanut butter. That was their plan all along, I bet.

Maybe I should have added another ball or two to this picture.

I wanted to make something with them so I figured I would just cut up some pieces and top off a smoothie.

Turns out they are much better enjoyed plain and simple. With peanut butter.

Moving on to gym habits. The other day at the gym, I was running on a treadmill and a girl placed her ipod, water, etc. on a treadmill two down from me which just so happened to be the end treadmill. Now,this chick always goes on this particular treadmill. When someone gets off, I see her sprinting to go get it. The problem is, she puts her stuff down and leaves for a good 30 minutes. I am not kidding. So, back to the other day, a guy came and moved her stuff to the treadmill in between us and starts running. About 15 minutes later, I see her walking towards us with a stink eye. I decided not to remove my right earplug to hear what she had to say to him because her hand and face motions were funny enough. I couldn’t believe that the dude got off and just walked away, didn’t even get on another treadmill!

I came home and told Joe about it because he always tells me about her and I thought it was so funny that I had witnessed it first hand today. We then started discussing habits. Both of us tend to always goto the end or corner treadmills. I don’t know why, but I always choose the last in a row and I don’t like to run in between two people, unless there is none left and I have no choice. The only thing is, it’s never the same treadmill. I rarely use the same treadmill two days in a row. I know everyone has different habits, but I’m not sure how I feel about “saving” a treadmill.

Today, I did my 45 minute 5-4-3-2-1 interval routine, which left me super sweaty in this 95 degree weather!

I made a smoothie for my ride to work, but I was craving a bagel for my mid-morning snack so I took a sweet wheat Alternative Bagel out of the freezer for work. I brought some peanut butter and my new apple spread find from this weekends grocery store trip.

All it contains is apples and apple cider. It seemed like a good combo with PB.

Indeed it was.

I’m off to enjoy this little peanut butter cup treat brought in from a co-worker, and get back to work.

Do you have any weird gym habits? How do you feel about people saving machines at the gym?

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Peanut Butter Banana Protein Oatmeal

Yesterday after work I met up with Claire one last time before she headed back to California. We were sitting in Bryant Park when our 3rd roommate from college walks by. We could not believe the 3 of us, well 4 (Elliott), would run into each other at such a random place and time! Claire just so happened to be visiting, and I just so happened to be meeting up with her, and Lanna just so happened to be walking out of work and through the park. We were all kind of in awe and also so excited to see each other again. The three of us haven’t been together in years. We lived in a small apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan during college with Claire’s little Elliott!

Claire, Lanna, and I (above), talked for about 30 minutes until we all had to go our own ways. At that point, I was starvin’ marvin’ so I headed back to the dirty Jerz, stopped at Joe’s restaurant to see what was going on, and then headed to Garden of Eden to pick up a quick dinner because I couldn’t bear the thought of cooking while my tummy was growling that much. I ended up bringing home a turkey burger and brussel sprouts from the hot bar and added my own cheese, ketchup, and Nayonaise. I scarfed it down immediately.

I also picked up this:

I give this four thumbs up (I’ll have to use my toes). It’s all natural and only 30 calories per serving compared to 70 for regular hummus. Obviously the “kid approved” part caught my eye. My love for pizza and hummus is combined at last. Some turkey burger bites were dipped in this. I then washed it all down with this enormous ooey gooey cookie that Claire gave me from Levain Bakery on the Upper West Side.

Ummmm! That thing was the size of three cookies combined. The picture is about 1/4 of it, because I was so nice as to leave Joe a bite.

Today

Joe and I woke up around 8:30 and headed to the gym. I had intentions of getting up earlier because I have so much to get done today. Oh well. Joe had me do a new upper body routine and by the time I was done I was sweaty, sore and shaking.

Shoulders (7.5 lb dumbbell per arm for all, 1 min rest between all 4)

  • Military Presses: 3 sets of 15-20 reps, 10 seconds in between
  • Front Shoulder Raises: 3 sets of 15-20 reps, 10 seconds
  • Side Shoulder Raises: 3 sets of 15-20 reps, 10 seconds
  • Sitting Flys (5 lb dumbbells): 3 sets of 15-20 reps, 10 seconds
Back (55 lbs. on machine, 1 min rest between each exercise)
 
  • Lat Pull Downs (behind head): 8 sets, 18-25 reps, 10 seconds in between
  • Close Grip Front Lat Pull Downs: 6 sets, 15-25 reps, 10 seconds
Chest (10 lb. dumbbell per arm)
 
  • Laying on Incline Flys: 6 sets, 15-20 reps, 10 seconds in between

After that I did tricep raises (behind head) and bicep curls as I normally do, but I was already feeling it in my shoulder, back, and chest! I completed 25 minutes on the elliptical and an ab workout as well.

As soon as we got home we were both starving. I cooked us up both some protein oatmeal. I made mine this way:

Peanut Butter Banana Protein Oatmeal

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds (they make it nice and fluffy)
  • 1 banana, cut into pieces
  • cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • drop of honey
  • peanut butter
  • drop of vanilla extract
  • 1 scoop Vanilla SunWarrior protein powder

Bring the oats, milk, salt, and chia seeds to a boil. Add in cinnamon, vanilla extract, and honey as you prefer (to taste). Add in half of the banana slices and whip it up. Add in the protein powder when it’s pretty much fully cooked. You might need to add some water if it gets too thick. Drop in a bowl and top with remaining banana slices and drizzle peanut butter all over!

After fueling up, I was then determined to start knocking stuff off of my to-do list. I started with laundry, which was 90% gym clothes. It’s amazing how much laundry accumulates in one week. I guess both of us wear like 3 outfits a day though. It felt like forever to fold it all!

Monster pile

Next up was the grocery store.

Lots of goodies! ..and a PB cup for cheat day Sunday!

I like to prep as soon as I get home to get it over with. I marinated chicken to grill later for lunch next week, chopped up bananas to freeze for smoothies, and cut into the watermelon.

A few bites were consumed.

Still on my list: more laundry, a mani/pedi, TJMaxx (for some odds and ends, such as bowls and place mats to make prettier picture for you guys!), get a gift for a bridal shower tomorrow, and take my bridesmaids dress to get fixed (thinking 6pm on Saturday is too late for that, Monday it is). Ohhhh chores! Currently, blogging and organizing my life over a smoothie bowl. Catch ya later.

Sprinkle Massacre!

Sugar Intake

Happy Friday! I always feel so productive on Friday and I figured out why. First, let’s cover my workout and breakfast (x2). Yeah, that’s right.

Workout

Today is leg day again! I feel like I just got over my extremely sore glutes and hammies.

  • 20 minute ab workout
  • 32 minutes on the treadmill: 3.5 miles
  • 6 sets of 10-15 reps assisted squats: 50 lbs
  • 6 sets of 12-18 reps deadlifts:
  • seated (machine) calves raises: 5 sets of 20 reps at 20 lbs.
  • hip adduction machine: 4 sets of 20 reps at 100 lbs.
  • leg curls: 4 sets of 15 at 20 lbs.

Time to eat! I am starting to like my new habit of waiting until I leave for work to make my smoothie (in my new cup!). It makes my car ride more enjoyable.

This morning’s mixture was extra thick and took longer than usual to finish during my commute.

  • 5 ice cubes
  • 5 frozen strawberries
  • a few peices of frozen banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 heaping scoop of vanilla SunWarrior protein powder
  • 1 tbsp. Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder
  • a handful of spinach

For some reason it was extremely thick, no qualms here! Maybe it was just the ice/milk to powder ratio.

My second breakfast that I usually eat about two hours after my smoothie when I get to work, and is usually a Vitatop, was extra special today too! Last night I decided to mix up some overnight oats in a jar in a recently devoured jar of PB.

In the mix went:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 scoop vanilla SunWarrior
  • 1/2 fresh banana, mashed
  • sprinkle cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup of almond milk (or enough to mix it up)

This morning I added some more milk to soften it up and 1 tbsp. chia seeds because I totally forgot last night!

I finished it and practically licked the jar clean while I was having my productive morning at work. I think that I get a lot done on Fridays because I have less stress. Friday is just an overall carefree day and knowing that the weekend is only a few hours away gives me that extra push to complete all my work. I guess it is a good thing.

Sugar Intake

I feel like lately, between treats at work,

Cookie cake for my co-workers promotion to another area

..and all of the fruit (strawberries, bananas), sweeteners (agave, honey, and stevia) that I use for my smoothies, I have been consuming so much sugar. I eat nanners like they are going out of style! Joe brought home 4 bunches that were extra from his restaurant, which are pictured in the background below. Bad news, but more to freeze for smoothies! Last night I was craving ice cream so I went and bought my favorite substitute, Arctic Zero.

 
This stuff is amazing. Check out the stats:
 

Of course there is organic cane sugar in it, along with all other natural ingredients like xanath for thickening. But of course, I topped it with nanners, whip, and sprinks.

This clearly added to my sugar intake. I decided to do a little research on fruit sugars, specifically bananas.

Bananas (source)

  • You don’t need to eat bananas for the potassium! (Although it is present in bananas, potassium is the predominant nutrient among most all fruits and vegetables.)
  • Bananas are high in sugar, so they should not be eaten if you have blood sugar problems.
  • Don’t eat bananas on an empty stomach; combining them with a bit of protein will help to normalize the insulin response caused by the sugar in the banana.
  • Green-tipped bananas are better for your health than over-ripe bananas.
  • On a side note: Because bananas are so popular, rainforests are often destroyed to make way for banana plantations.

Wel it’s a good thing I pretty much only eat them with protein (shakes, PB, etc) and that I contribute to rainforest distinction. Great.

I also found this to be interesting. Bananas can affect your mood. I mean, I know that bananas make me happy! But so does peanut butter, and cake, and chocolate. I think bananas get a bad rep because of the carb content, too, but at the end of the day it is a peice of fruit and it’s only 100 calories. It’s better than eating a bag of candy!

Anyway, obviously natural sugars are better for you than artificial sweeteners and your body processes them differently. Sugar is still sugar, though. In leui of my sugar concerns, I opted out of Dunkin Donuts free donut day offer and got my usual starbucks coffee instead.

It’s Friiiday Friday Friiiday! Does anyone else listen to Madison on Alt Nation? Cracks me up….

Out of Hand

I mean….really?

Why did I feel it necessary to include 5 thousand ingredients into my smoothie (last night’s dinner)?

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 7-8 frozen strawberries
  • 1 heaping scoop of Hershey’s dark cocoa powder
  • stevia packet
  • pinch xanath

Blend together until thick and creamy. Garnish with a dollop of cool whip free, a sliced strawberry, a leftover chocolate covered strawberry from this weekend, a pizzelle (thin italian cookie–I used chocolate), and sprinkles. Gotta make it a sprinkle massacre. This was more like a strawberry massacre.

I proceeded to make one for Joe when he got home.

Workout and Breakfast

Today was my upper body strength training day. I mixed together a couple of my usual routines and had a really good workout! I also did abs and 25 minutes on the ellyptical.

I was super hungry when I got home and had already thought about what I was going to make while I was at the gym. I forgot about the blackberries I got this weekend and decided I was going to use them.

After blending up half of a frozen banana, a big handful of blackberries, 3/4 cup vanilla almond milk, a handful of spinach, and a scoop of vanilla protein powder, I got this big grey mess:

My smoothie kick continues…..

Restock

I get really excited when it’s time to order from Netrition. I needed a restock on a few things, and then I throw in a few extras to get to $200 so I get the 5% discount. They ship for $4.95 flat, no matter how much you spend, and it comes in like two days. It’s awesome. They have Joe’s turbo teas and pure protein shakes and I finally ordered the Sun Warrior protein powder I have been reading about everywhere. We always have Isopure on hand but I really wanted to try this. I got some pure vanilla because I’ve been adding it to my smoothies. Lastly, I threw in some MaraNatha almond butter because really, you can never have enough nut butter around the house. As usual, I got the free offer –  a gym towel. Now I have three! Good for those sweaty runs.

 

Workout & Breakfast

This morning I had to be quick because I had an early appointment at the foot doctor. I did a 15 minute mat abdominal workout followed by 45 minutes on the treadmill (plus a 5 minute cooldown) covering about 5 miles.

I made a yummy green monster this morning by combining;

  • 3/4 frozen banana
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • stevia
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach

Of course I had to have a few spoonfuls of PB.

My foot doctor is going to check with my insurance and I’ll probably have another set of orthotics made. He didn’t want to take them from me because he said he knew I wouldn’t stop running for two weeks so I would probably hurt myself. He is probably right. So, I have a follow up next week to take molds and get another pair, then have the old ones refurbished.

Today is another rainy and foggy day in the NYC/metro area. Can you spot the Empire State Building going into the clouds next to the raunchy graffiti?

Yes, this is the nasty view I have while sitting in Holland tunnel traffic on my way to the train to goto work. I hope there is nicer weather out there somewhere for you guys!

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!

Sick Day

When my alarm went off at 4:45 this morning, I knew that even after a few snoozes there was no way I was getting my butt out of bed because I felt like..well, butt. My head was a balloon and I couldn’t breath out of my nose, at all. I slept until 7 to see if I felt any better, but even going to work then seemed out of the question, so I unfortunately had to use one of my vacation days. We get a lump sum that includes vacation, personal, sick, etc. so I still have enough left.

Joe didn’t have to work today (technically) but he had a few meetings later in the day, so it was nice to sleep in with him. We got up around 10 and saw that it was beautiful outside! Almost 80 degrees today. I decided that laying in bed all day would only make me feel worse, so I attempted the gym to get myself moving a little bit. I ended up completing a 5-4-3-2-1 workout with 5 minutes being incline walking and the 4-3-2-1 minutes being 6.5 to 8.0 speed. I did this for an hour and Joe ran the full hour, followed by a 5 minute cooldown. I usually do about 7.5 miles running the whole hour, so for being sick, 6.35 wasn’t too shabby. Although, somehow I feel I shouldn’t have done this while being sick, but Joe always says “Your body will tell you when it needs a break”, and I felt like I got enough sleep and was well energized!

Excuse the terrible iPhone photo

It was so hot in the gym today, we both looked like wet dogs when we got home. We had to hang our clothes outside to dry. I usually bring a towel but jeez. Time for AC people!

That poor chair

My last mile at the gym consisted of my saying o-ver-night-oats….I couldn’t wait to get home to my dark chocolate oats and add peanut butter for the first time after Lent. I swear, PB tastes even better now!

In tupperware, as I thought I was going to work today

After Joe left for work, I went to the grocery store since our kitchen was bare from my not being home this weekend. I bought the usuals as well as some sick person goodies, but somehow I ended up leaving with a few extras.

Vitamin C, Mint Green Tea, and Chicken Soup ingredients

I was also excited to find these. My mom told me about both. Pizzelle’s are amazing. They are only 23 calories and 1 gram of fat per “cookie” and they’re perfect for spreading PB on or breaking up in yogurt. Plain with tea is great too! As for the natural PB, I just wanted it, it’s a totally different story than Skippy all natural.

I immediately cut myself up a monster california navel orange.

I swear this thing was as big as my head

Then, I got crackin’ on the soup. I stole the recipe from Julie over at PB fingers. It was so easy and so yummy! I subbed Carba Nada noodles though. I served it with toasted wheat portuguese bread.

I downed two bowls! Now for some tea and TV. Let’s hope this cold gets what it has coming! No more stuffy nose at 5am! I want to enjoy this beautiful weather. Speaking of which, the tulips in our backyard bloomed and they looked so pretty today as I walked out to goto the store, that I had to snap a pic. I hope you are all well and not sick like me! I do have to say that my sick day wasn’t all that terrible though! 🙂