Lots of Foodie Adventures

29 Apr

Janetha over at Meals and Moves created a fun little challenge for April to help motivate us to try a few new “adventures” in April! I put adventures in quotes because it could really be even the smallest adventure- last week mine was to work out early in the morning as opposed to the mid morning workouts I’m used to! This week I decided to have quite a few adventures related mostly to food because one of my goals this week in Best Body Bootcamp was to try a new recipe every DAY! I thought this would be hard but it was actually pretty easy- especially because most of the recipes I tried were pretty simple. :D

adventurous april

My first adventure was making pancakes on a griddle. I’ve been wanting to buy a pancake griddle for-ever and I finally did. I tried a new recipe- Janetha’s Whole Wheat Yogurt Pancakes. They were absolutely delicious AND boyfriend approved. I’ve been on a huge protein pancake kick lately, but these were a nice change for a lazy Saturday as they were more of your “normal” pancake (hence the boyfriend approval! ;) )

My second adventure was grilling tofu! This was my first time making my own tofu (aside from using it to make “ricotta cheese” for a lasagna once) and I actually really liked it! I pressed the tofu with my LSAT study books (putting them to good use..) then marinated it in an Asian marinade then grilled it while the boyfriend grilled out chicken sausage. I used to be really scared of the taste/texture of tofu- but I’ve decided I actually really like it as an alternative to a meat based protein source. I served it along side roasted cauliflower which was another first for me- I always thought I hated cauliflower. I was wrong. It’s pretty good. (But broccoli is better.)

I’m sad to say that bootcamp is officially over this week. I loved having my workouts planned out for me and it really motivated me to keep up with the workouts because I didn’t want to miss out on any of the awesome workouts Tina created! However, I plan on repeating a lot of the workouts now that it’s over- at least until the next bootcamp begins ;)

Well, finals week is here which means lots of studying + paper writing for me this week. I hope you all have a good week! :D

WIAW – I’m baaaaaaaaack!

25 Apr

Long time no blog! I wish I could say it’s because I’ve been relaxing, enjoying life, living in the moment, etc..but that would be a lie. I’ve been swamped with end-of-the-semester papers, projects, and beginning to prepare for finals, all in the midst of studying for the LSAT which is (way too) quickly approaching. Anyhow, I have really missed writing and blogging the past week so I’m glad to be back with a WIAW post! :D

Breakfast: Protein Pancakes topped with PB2 sauce + bananas

Lunch: Quinoa + leftover grilled tofu + roasted cauliflower + soy sauce

Snack: Apple + string cheese + crackers

Dinner: Avocado, egg, and cheese sandwich + salad

Dessert: Stuft Mama’s Protein Cookie Dough (<– I’m really obsessed with this stuff lately! I’ve also tried the pumpkin version, which is delicious too.) topped with a little Cocoa Almond Spread from TJ’s- yum! :D

What is the best thing you’ve eaten this week?

Fitness Friday!

12 Apr

Happy Friday!! This week Tina’s Bootcamp had us doing a new-to-me type of strength training called drop sets. Basically, you do 6-8 reps of an exercise using a heavier weight than normal, then switch to a lighter weight and do as many reps as you can at that weight. It’s fun and I really like lifting the heavier weights for the reps at the beginning! I’m really enjoying the workouts she has put together for us and I’m sad there are only two weeks of workouts left :(

In addition to Tina’s Bootcamp workouts, I have also been trying to run at least 3 days a week to continue to build a solid running base. This week my ‘long’ run was 6 miles! I felt pretty awesome during the run and I really surprised myself with keeping an average pace of 9:45 (<– fast for me for that distance!) After the run, I had some pain in the bottom, outside of my left foot but the pain seems to have subsided a bit today so I’m hoping a few days off and I’ll be good as new!

adventurous april

Finally, this week I participated in Janetha’s Adventurous April and got up extra early to complete my workout! I usually work out later in the morning because I’m afraid if I work out first thing I’ll just be too tired or won’t have the energy or I’ll be exhausted for the rest of the day afterwards. Well, that is not true! This week I finished my run + strength + stretching before 9am, which is pretty early for me because I usually prefer working out right before lunch. Not the biggest adventure ever- but it was definitely stepping outside of my comfort zone.

Enjoy your weekend :D

How do you encourage yourself to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new? I’m pretty bad at this, even though I usually enjoy the results when I actually do it. :)

WIAW- Bulking Up My Meals

11 Apr

A few weeks ago, I went to a seminar on Nutrition for Runners and the nutritionist that gave the seminar told us that anyone with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina health insurance is entitled to 6 FREE sessions of nutrition counseling a year! I had no idea about this, but I love nutrition, so I figured I’d set up a free appointment with the sports nutritionist who gave the seminar. One of the things she wants me to do is increase my calorie intake to a certain number. (That I won’t mention here because I don’t really like talking numbers on the blog)

ANYWAY, my WIAW post this week reflects me trying to meet my new caloric intake goal so I’ve tried to bulk up my meals a little more than usual! I’m not quite where my nutritionist recommends yet, because some of my disordered eating habits are still floating around in my head..but I’m getting there. :)

Breakfast: My favorite pumpkin protein pancakes topped with banana slices and pb2 sauce

Lunch: 2 egg + 1 egg white omelet with provolone cheese, spinach, and chicken. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to top it with salsa or ketchup- so I did half and half :D with an orange on the side for something sweet

Snack: Granny Smith apple + almond butter + string cheese

Dinner: Whole Wheat pasta + eggplant meatballs + TJ’s Marinara + Parmesan cheese

..And the picture I took somehow magically deleted itself. And that pasta is long gone by now-so use your imagination :D

Nighttime Snack: Peach Chobani + Kashi honey almond flax granola (LOVE this flavor!)

I’m off to run- 6 miles on the agenda today. This will be my longest run (on my own) to date! The only other time I’ve ran this distance was my 10K a few weeks ago..wish me luck! :D

Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes

6 Apr

I have always, always hated cottage cheese. I thought it looked disgusting and the texture weirded me out beyond belief. I don’t even know if I ever actually tasted any when I was younger, but I just knew I hated it. Last week, one thing led to another and I came home from Whole Foods with a container of Organic Valley Cottage Cheese..I had a coupon, I was trying to eat more protein, and I really wanted to at least try it..and I am so glad I did! I wasn’t a big fan at first taste but it quickly grew on me and I’ve been incorporating it into breakfasts (stir into oatmeal or greek yogurt- tastes like cheesecake!), snacks (mix with a little stevia, cinnamon, and chopped apple- yum!) and then I decided to try it in pancakes. I also wanted to use up some of my PB2 stash so I came up with this recipe!

Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes

1/4 c whole wheat flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon
2 T PB2

1/4 cup cottage cheese

1/4 c milk

3 T egg whites

1 t vanilla

Mix all of the dry ingredients. Whisk all of the wet ingredients and add to dry. Spray griddle or frying pan and heat to medium-high heat. Place spoonfuls of batter onto the griddle/pan, let cook ~3 minutes, flip, and cook ~1 minute on the other side. Top with syrup, sliced banana, greek yogurt, more cottage cheese, etc! Enjoy :D

These have a ton of protein, are quick + easy, and pretty tasty! If you are afraid of cottage cheese- don’t be :) You really can’t taste it.

Nutrition for Runners

2 Apr

This past Thursday night I went to a nutrition for runners seminar at Fleet Feet Sports here in Raleigh! Before I get to that part of this post- let me share with you what happened right before the seminar: Whole Foods bar. There is a Whole Foods right beside Feet Fleet, so naturally I fit that into my Thursday night plans as well :D

Anyways, back to the seminar. A registered dietician from a nutritional counseling group near by gave the seminar and I left with quite a bit of knowledge that I didn’t have before! The things that most surprised me during the seminar were in regards to hydration. I’m really, really, really bad about bringing water with me when I run. I hate running with a water bottle in my hand and I honestly kind of hate wearing my hydration belt too. I just feel like no matter what, it jiggles around and I just don’t like it! However, for every 1% of fluid lost during a run (or other exercise) your heart rate increases by 7 beats per minute. In addition, once you reach the point of being truly dehydrated during a run, there is really no way to drink your way back to hydration. It’s best just to call it quits at that point.

I also learned that you should consume 16-24oz of fluids for every pound of sweat lost during exercise and you do not need sports drinks (Gatorade) unless your activity will be longer than 60-90 minutes. Otherwise, hydrating with water is the best option. Another cool thing I learned was that the G2 Gatorade (the low calorie, low carb Gatorade) is NOT good for refueling during a workout. You need at least 14g of carbs to refuel your glycogen storage during a long run and the G2 Gatorade has less than that. However, consuming more than 19g of carbs to refuel could lead to an upset stomach. Regular Gatorade and Gu, Sports Beans, etc. have the optimal level of carbs for refueling during workouts so those are all great options!

We also went over a few natural sources of fuel during races or long runs. (as an alternative to Gu, Sports Beans, etc.) Some of these included: dates, raisins, frozen grapes and bananas, coconut water, watermelon dipped in salt, dehydrated fruit, natural honey, and making your own homemade gels like Gu or homemade baby food.

To make your own homemade gels: Combine: 7 1/3 T honey, 3/4 t black strap molasses, and 1/10 t of salt. Place in a small Ziploc bag and enjoy like you would a Gu or other gel!

To make your own homemade baby food: Just blend up any fruits/veggies you like so that it is easy to digest and pack it in Ziploc bags and suck it out like a gel when you are ready to fuel. She said that carrots, sweet potatoes, bananas, and apples all work great.

I think all of these natural foods seem like a great alternative to processed fuels like Gus, however, I’m not sure how they would taste or how practical it is to carry around slices of  salted watermelon during a long run or race..hmm. It would definitely be trial and error with all of these different foods, including Gu’s, Sports Beans, etc. because everyone’s body reacts differently to pre, during, and post workout fueling. One of the biggest points stressed during the seminar was to try a variety of pre, post, and during fueling sources to find what works best for you, and then stick with what works best on race day. Never try anything new on race day!

Aaaand right after this seminar on nutrition and healthy eating? Frozen Yogurt. Hey, she did mention the 80/20 rule… :D

Do you have any pre/post workout nutrition tips or advice that I forgot to mention? Please share!

Yoga Update!

30 Mar

This week I tried out a few yoga classes at a studio downtown that my mom bought me a Groupon for a few months ago, but I just never got around to it since I was training for my 10K. I wanted to give my body a break this week so it seemed like a perfect time to use my Groupon! I really enjoyed the classes that I took this week and I will definitely be back for more classes (at least until my month of unlimited classes run out..after that, it’s really just a bit out of my student budget to buy a monthly membership!)

This made me laugh :D

I was a bit nervous at first because I’ve only taken a few yoga classes at the gym we have here at school, but never any at an actual yoga studio! The instructors were SO helpful, kind, and full of modifications! The other people there for the class were all super sweet too and there were a lot of beginners so I felt a lot better! So, for this week’s FLOW post I decided I would post a few facts about yoga and some of my favorite poses that I learned this week!

In Sweetness and In Health
Fun Yoga Facts:
- Yoga has been practiced for over 5,000 years and about 11 million Americans practice yoga currently
- Yoga stretches your muscles and all of your soft tissues, and results are generally seen fairly quickly. In one study, participants had up to 35% improvement in flexibility after only eight weeks of yoga!
- Many yoga poses focus on upper body strength, such as downward dog, upward dog, and the plank pose. (<– I NEED upper body strength!!!!)
- Some studies show that yoga has a positive effect on learning and memory (Let’s hope so with finals coming up in a month!)
All facts from here.
Some Favorite Poses:
Downward Dog
This pose really stretched out my hamstrings which felt great because they were pretty tight from the 10K!
Boat Pose
This pose is great for your core and I could definitely feel it the next day!
Triangle Pose
This pose was tough for me, and I actually ended up modifying it by putting my hand on a block because I couldn’t reach my hand all the way to the floor! According to my instructor, this pose can help improve digestion. And I can use all the help I can get in that department :)
I hope you have a great weekend, and try a few yoga poses if you have time! :D

WIAW & Yoga Newbie!

28 Mar

Happy WIAW! Head on over to Peas and Crayons to find out what everyone else has been eating this week! :D

Breakfast: Kashi Go Lean Honey Almond Flax  + Arrowhead Mills French Toast Squares (REALLY good and great nutritional stats) + 1 1/4 c almond milk with 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder mixed in + 1/2 sliced banana

I’ve really been craving cereal, especially as it gets warmer and hot oats become less appealing. I decided to add the protein powder to give this bowl a little more staying power, and combined with the high protein + fiber in the cereal it actually kept me full as long as my usual breakfasts!

Lunch: Chickenless Chicken Tenders + sweet potato wedges + this amount of ketchup, times 5.

I’m not usually a big fan of meatless “meat” products, but I had a coupon for a free box of these and I couldn’t pass that up! They’re actually pretty tasty, but I just feel like I can buy humanely raised real chicken rather than a fake processed soy product if I’m really craving chicken/any other meat. Just my opinion :)

Snack: Apple + greek yogurt frosting dip

Dinner: Eggplant and Tofu Ricotta Lasagna from Claire

This recipe was simple, delicious, and way healthier than a traditional lasagna yet still felt like comfort food!

Dessert: Blood Orange Chobani and a few squares of dark chocolate. As usual, unpictured, because I was too lazy at this point in the night. :)

I’m off to a power yoga class today because I have a Groupon for a month of unlimited yoga classes that I started yesterday! I wanted to mix things up now that I don’t have any races on my calendar for a while so I’m pretty excited to start! Do you have any tips for yoga newbies?! Please share :D

Chick-Fil-A Connect Series 10K Recap!

25 Mar

Whew, this weekend was busy! Saturday morning started bright and early around 6am for a little pre-race fueling. For the past 3 races I have done (which were a 5k and two 8k’s) I had 2 pieces of toast with peanut butter and half a banana sliced on top, but I kept cramping up during the race and I thought maybe that was the cause. So this time I went a little lighter with half a banana with a little PB and a rice cake with a little PB on top! I still cramped up a little around mile 2 but it was nothing like it usually is. I think my body really prefers running on just about empty, but I knew I would never have the energy for that distance on nothing!

It was raining all morning and went through periods of drizzling and light rain throughout the race. I was dreading it at first but it ended up being a nice cool down :) I went into this race with no expectations except to finish, however, in the back of my mind I REALLY really really wanted to finish in under an hour, which was my original goal before my training plan got a little out of whack the last two weeks.

AND I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!! I was on cloud nine for the rest of the weekend! The race was ALL hills but I somehow caught a burst of energy around mile 4 and it was amazing. I honestly almost enjoyed (?!!?!?!?) the hills. I felt SO strong and accomplished throughout the entire race because it was just constant hills. I kept repeating to myself that the easy things in life never feel as good as really pushing yourself. And push I did :D


Mile 1- 9:47

Mile 2- 10:04

Mile 3- 9:43

Mile 4- 9:35

Mile 5- 8:45 <—um, what!??!

Mile 6-9:39

Last .2- 1:37

Total: 59:14

After the race there was a ton of free Chick-Fil-A which I gobbled up and some other awesome things to do at the race! My family and I stuck around for a while to just hang out then I ran home to shower and picked up my sister for our art class! It was a water color painting class and it was really fun! By the time I got home I collapsed in my bed. Between all the driving, the rain, and hurrying to and from activities I was spent! The rest of the weekend was filled with rest, stretching, foam rolling, and eating yummy food! Froyo was had twice, sweet potato pancakes were Sunday morning breakfast, and calzones from Moonlight Pizza were dinner tonight! Needless to say I’m ready to get back to healthy eating tomorrow morning. I’m also going to a new yoga studio tomorrow because my entire body has been s-o-r-e today and I think a little gentle yoga is just what I need. I’m taking this week off from running and keeping things light for the first few days of the week, then tackling some bootcamp workouts and cross training later this week!

Froyo #1

                                             I didn’t say I was Picasso….                                                   

Froyo #2 

Have you ever taken any yoga classes? Do you like them? I’ve only taken one or two yoga classes at the gym at my school, so I’m excited to try something new!

Workout Recap & New-To-Me Bootcamp Exercises!

23 Mar
Happy Friday!! :D I am soo glad it’s the weekend! Is it just me or does the last month and a half of school just seem to draaaag on forever?! This summer weather is definitely not giving me an ounce of motivation for school work, but it is making for some nice early morning runs! Tomorrow I’m actually running in my first 10K! Be on the lookout for a recap :)
I’m a little nervous, mostly because I had an upper respiratory infection that I just got over at the beginning of last week, so I went about 10 days without any running. Not to mention this course is all hills from what I’ve heard…I really need to start looking at the course for races BEFORE I sign up! After the race Saturday I’m going to an art studio with my sister because I bought a Groupon for a painting class that we’re going to do together! I know she loves art and I don’t see her nearly enough since I live about 40 minutes away from home now that I’m in college so I think it will be fun to see each other and (try) to paint.  If my art work is half decent it might make an appearance on the blog!
On to this week’s workout recap:
Sunday- 2 mile run + Best Body Bootcamp Workout C (from the first phase of bootcamp workouts)
Monday- 3 mile run + Best Body Bootcamp Workout A
Tuesday- Best Body Bootcamp Workout C + at home cardio intervals in between (jumping jacks, burpees, high knees, etc.)
Wednesday- 2 mile run + core work
Thursday- Long walk with the pup :D (I’m dog sitting this weekend!)
Friday- Lots of stretching planned for tonight!
Saturday- Chick-fil-a Connect Series 10K!!
I really feel like I’m finally learning to work out for pleasure and for my health rather than caring about calorie counts and it feels amazing. In the past, I would have never taken a long walk after dinner like I did on Thursday, it was either a full on rest day or I had to burn a ton of calories. Anything in between was just a waste of my time! I am SO glad I’ve changed my way of thinking in that area because now I know that any activity is good for my body and active rest days are awesome and important :)
One of the things I’ve loved about Tina’s bootcamp is all of the new exercises I’ve been exposed to that I would have never learned about otherwise. This week one of my favorites was the surrender squat. Basically, you transition from standing to kneeling one leg at a time then stand back up. That doesn’t make much sense, but just watch this quick video and it will make more sense!
Head over to Lindsay’s Fitness Loves of the Week post to find some other great work out posts from this week!
In Sweetness and In Health
What are your plans for the weekend? How were your workouts this week?
PS: Argghhhh I can’t get WordPress to put space between my paragraphs!?!?

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