Monthly Archives: December 2011

Back on the Wagon

Hello All!

After the restful and indulgent week I am back with eating clean and working out 🙂

My morning started off with a bowl of warm cinnamon apples and greek yogurt with a side of leftover Kodiak pancake smeared with some natural crunchy peanut butter.

I spent some time cleaning up and getting back to the job search grind and, with the help of my inspiration board, the school search – more on that later this week 😉

My ankle was feeling significantly better today so I decided to tackle the 4 miles of speed work on my training agenda. It felt awesome to just let my legs GO! Shout out to Dad for transforming the basement into our own mini gym complete with TV for our viewing pleasure 🙂 (Sorry for the picture quality – only had my cell phone at my disposal…)

It is that time of the month … (TMI?) so my appetite has been a little weird and decided that some high protein cereal, sliced banana, and skim milk would be the perfect combo of carbs and protein for a post run lunch without upsetting my stomach.

I snacked on a candy cane while picking up the little brother from the mall (absolutely crazy parking lot!)

Now I’m starting the 2nd installation of Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Series – The Girl Who Played with Fire. I flew through the first book and can’t wait to see where this story goes!

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Feeling Inspired

Like most Americans I definitely find it hard to just take time to breathe and be in the moment. I’ve always been go go go with school, internships, work, etc. so to take this time that I’ve had to think about my next step in life has been trying also eye opening. I have the support of some amazing people and that has helped me to really focus on what I REALLY want to do for the long term – not just what I thought I was expected to do.

I have been inspired to put my 2012 goals into a crafty form a la Gina at The Fitnessista 🙂 Such an empowering tool for honing in on my fitness, personal, blogging, and professional goals for the upcoming year.

My 1st inspiration board!

Thanks for letting me have a little moment there … let’s move onto the day!

My ankle is just a little tender after tweaking it on my long run yesterday so I took a day off and spent the day hanging out with my nook (just finished Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo!) and avoiding the gloomy rainy day outside.

Today’s eats were really about comfort food with a family breakfast of Kodiak cakes with PB & J (huge fan of the tart zing of Crofter’s fruit spread!) and a quick lunch of grilled cheese with leftover turkey chili.

Dinner is still to be decided but I’m thinking I’ll keep it light with some cereal and yogurt 🙂

Who else utilizes inspiration boards to help map out their goals? I’m thinking this will definitely become an annual tradition for me to make some sense of what my focus will be for the new year.

Recovering from Christmas Shenanigans

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday weekend! I took a break from the online world to get myself in order (I had a lot of things on my mind to sort through) to enjoy all of holiday gatherings.

We spent Christmas Eve with the boyfriend’s family watching football, opening presents, enjoying great food and even better company 🙂 Everyone was way more than generous with gifts this year and I loved seeing everyone together and spending some quality time. The boyfriend was awesome and got me a bright red Nikon Coolpix S6100!!! Of course it needed to charge so no pics of Christmas Eve but I’ve been playing with it ever since 🙂

Christmas Day was spent with my family. So grateful for all the love, inside jokes and laughing so hard it hurts

always have to pull a prank with mom's gifts

Hidden record player for mom 🙂

Halloween throw back!

Postponed my usual Sunday long run to today but only made it about half way because of a little roadside accident… I took a weird step on the side of the road to get out of the way of some cars and kind of tweaked my ankle 😦 I’ll be taking it easy the next couple of days so I can heal quickly and get back to training.

Who else is taking time to recover from their holiday festivities?

That Pesky To Do List

Sorry for the disappearing act – I was in quite a funky mood on Monday … I guess a lot of things are finally setting in. Thanks to the boyfriend for a hibachi dinner to lift my spirits.

With a laid back Monday I had that ever-present to do list to attend to.

The day included a trip to the gym, some grocery shopping, researching at the library, and some kitchen adventures with Live Fit Recipes from Jamie Eason.

Italian Turkey Zucchini Burgers

Cinnamon Swirl Protein Bread

Eats were pretty clean throughout the day with a focus on refueling my body after starting the 2nd stage in NROLW (and I can definitely feel it especially in the bum)

Eggrito with coffee and milk

A CranRaspberry Protein shake with a side of edemame

Mixed greens with tuna and tomato basil hummus and pita

But after a dinner of lentil soup and chicken snacking set in and in a big way… I think night time snacking especially when Im feeling stressed is going to be an issue I need to tackle.

Today started off a little later than I wanted and with a scratchy throat I definitely didn’t want. I grabbed a banana on my way to the gym to tackle a 5 mile tempo run but quickly went back home because the place was absolutely packed.

With a combination of sore muscles, scratchy sore throat, and lack of motivation that 5 miles quickly turned to 2… I WILL finish out the rest of the run after lunch.

At the point the stomach was growling so next up was breakfast: some oats with chocoalte protein powder and almond butter (the best reese’s substitute ever!) and some TJ’s vanilla cinnamon tea (just what I needed to soothe my throat)

Hope everyone is having a great Wednesday! Only 4 more days til Christmas!

Anybody else break up their workouts? I feel like I couldn’t have finished the run strong but I still want to get the miles in so I figured why not – we’ll see how it goes.

Rainbow Bright – Food Edition

*thought I hit publish yesterday night … oops… it’s up now!*

I hope you all get a chance to make this lightened version of one of my favorite Italian desserts – cannolis! 🙂

It looks like my lunch was sponsored by the color orange. A baked sweet potato smothered in turkey chili and cheddar cheese with a juicy orange.

Dinner was a collaboration between the little brother and myself. He was translating a recipe for Spanish class and needed to have a final product. He chose to make a chicken and rice dish with fresh peas. No recipe because, though it was delicious, I would definitely tweak some of the actual timing of the steps.

With fresh green peas and red bell pepper I felt like I was eating Christmas (no photo … I guess I inhaled my plate before taking a picture) Such colorful and fresh food makes me a happy girl 🙂

It’s now time for Sunday Night Football – GO RAVENS!!! #52 is back on the field and ready to dominate the Chargers!!! *I was so optimistic about the game now I’m praying that Jim Harbaugh give John Harbaugh an early Christmas gift and takes out the Steelers tonight…*

Semi-Clean Cannolis

So the boyfriend and I are all about cannolis for special occasions – especially as an after dinner treat for his birthday.

I thought for the family Ravens Football/Christmas Eve extravaganza next weekend I would try out a semi-clean version of our favorite dessert. We will definitely be enjoying some rich food and drink that day so at least the dessert can be a little bit lighter option for everyone to enjoy 🙂

Semi-Clean Cannolis

This is a somewhat time intensive baking project but totally worth the finished product! Not all of us have tubes for making cannoli shells lying around the kitchen so I thought that the aluminum foil cylinders were a pretty crafty substitute. These shells are baked instead of traditionally fried and the filling is lower fat so don’t feel guilty about indulging after dinner while enjoying a cappucino.

Yield: 12

Prep Time: ~40-45 minutes (shells prep and filling)

Cook Time: ~10-12 minutes (shells)

Ingredients:

Shells

1 package of frozen phyllo dough

1/3 c granulated sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

2 Tbs butter, melted

Filling

1 lb non fat ricotta cheese

4 oz low fat cream cheese

3/4 c powdered sugar

1 tsp orange zest

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp nutmeg

8 oz mini chocolate chips (or you could roll like we do and use basically the whole bag :D)

Instructions:

1. Place a colander in the sink and line with cheese cloth. Spoon the ricotta onto the cheese cloth and let drain until there is no excess moisture. (didn’t actually have cheese cloth on hand so this step was skipped but needed)

2. While your ricotta is draining you can start on the prep for the shells – Pre heat the oven to 375F.

3. Cut out 12 pieces of foil measuring approximately 12×4. Roll into a cylinder (just like a jelly roll) with approximately 1 inch opening and coat with cooking spray.

4. Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

5. Place one sheet of phyllo dough on a cutting board and brush with butter and sprinkle with ~1 tsp cinnamon sugar mix. Layer one more sheet on top and brush with butter.

*Make sure the rest of your phyllo dough is covered with a damp paper towel so it doesn’t dry out and crack*

Unfortunately mine already came dried out and cracked … I guess that’s why it was on sale …

6. Cut the phyllo dough into 4 pieces lengthwise. Roll the phyllo dough with the foil cylinder (just like a jelly roll) and coat with cooking spray.

7. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for approximately 10 minutes and cool completely on a wire rack.

8. Place the drained ricotta into the bowl of your stand mixer and beat on high for about 5 minutes until it becomes light and fluffy.

9. Add in the cream cheese, powdered sugar, orange zest, nutmeg, vanilla extract, and chocolate chips. Mix on medium until just combined.

10. Once the filling is mixed, your shells should be nice and cool. To remove the foil cylinders, gently twist the ends of the foil in opposite directions and carefully pull.

11. Spoon the ricotta filling into a gallon Ziploc bag and cut off ~1/2 in of a corner.

12. Fill the cannoli shells, dust with powdered sugar if you’d like, and EAT!

Nutrition Information:

per 1 cannoli

275 Kcal

11 g Fat

6 g Saturated Fat

40 g Carbohydrates

35 g Sugar

6 g Protein

Long Run Sunday and At Home Yoga

Good Morning All!

Today started off right with an epically successful 9 mile run. I fueled up with a NutriGrain Eggo topped with almond butter, and half a banana.

It was chilly starting out, but I loved how quiet the streets were. Of course on my way back everyone had woken up and gotten started on their day, making for more traffic to dodge than I wanted to. I finished strong and am very proud for sticking/increasing my pace 🙂

I came back and needed a good stretch so I whipped out my mat and this awesome little book detailing stretches and routines for specific for athletes – runners, cyclists, etc. I ended up following their 20 minute post run stretch routine: lots of pigeon and some interesting lower leg stretches. (achilles stretch? ok!)

I haven’t looked too much at the Women’s Health/Tara Stiles yoga how-to but I ended up picking both books up ages ago at Borders (RIP) so with the yoga and pilates classes on hiatus at my local YMCA I thought I would give some at home practice a try. I’ll let you guys know how these two books work but so far I’m really digging the Athlete’s Guide to Yoga.

After stretching it out I needed to fill my belly fast. Kodiak Cakes to the rescue!!!

This is my first time trying out the mix but since Kath raves about them I figured I couldn’t go wrong. Well… I did… Love the whole wheat aspect of the mix and flavor but man they were realllyyyy  thin. I will definitely cut the water in half next time to have a richer fluffier pancake.

The fact that they came out like crepes did not stop me from scarfing these suckers down. I added a sprinkle of chia and the rest of my banana to half of them then smeared some almond butter and apple butter on top. For some added protein I fried up a couple eggs. (Yes I did drink from the Pyrex measuring cup… and was promptly made fun of by Dad… but who needs to wash another cup…)

And now with a full belly I’m off to clean up and tackle some housework and errands for the day 🙂

Hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday so far!

Snapshot Saturday

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I guess the post should really be called Legit BBQ Saturday because that seems to be the only pictures I was interested in taking 😉

NROLW Stage 1 Recap

Today was the final workout for the NROLW stage 1 (I wanted to take a pic of the weight and olympic bar I was lifting but felt pretty awkward around everyone else working out at 7am…) When I started this strength training program the week of Thanksgiving, I was unhappy with my fitness level and the way my body looked (Vain? Yes True? Yes).

I don’t have any starting measurements or starting weight because I totally felt uncomfortable knowing what those numbers were. At this point here are where my measurements stand:

Measurements After NROLW Stage 1

Left Calf 14.5 in           Waist 33 in
Right Calf 14.5 in        Bust 34 in
Left Thigh 22.5 in       Left Bicep 11 in
Right Thigh 22.5 in    Right Bicep 10.7 in
Hips 39.5 in

Again no starting pictures but here is my progress thus far:

I feel strong. I feel healthy. And (slowly but surely) my confidence in my body is increasing.

I enjoyed how the program was laid out with the ability to choose how many times to lift a week (not exceeding 3 sessions a week) and a predetermined number of sets and reps per workout that allowed you to push yourself harder at the end of the stage. I feel like I was able to challenge myself with each new workout – I was so proud when I was able to graduate from preloaded barbells for my deadlift to actually using a olympic bar with weights! Now if I could just make that transition with my squats … I feel like I may fall over when I step away with an unloaded olympic bar – any advice to conquer that obstacle?

There were pictures to accompany each move for the workout which definitely helped a strength training newbie such as myself. The only thing that I really wanted was someone with a little more knowledge to make sure I was using correct form. It’s one thing to see it in a book, read how to do it, then replicate it correctly in real life. I’m also very happy that this strength training program is seamlessly fitting into my half marathon training. If anything I feel like my legs are stronger and can carry me further more efficiently.

Can’t wait to start Stage 2 next week!

Any other fans of the NROLW? This is my second time around with this program. I only made it to stage four a couple of years ago but this time I’m determined to make it all the way through 🙂

Common Cold

Is the thing that I’m trying to fight off right now … Do you know that weird achey thing your body does before it’s a full blown sniffle, coughing, and fever fest? That’s the limbo I’m stuck in :/

Here’s to hoping that tons of sleep, tea, and doggy snuggles kick this thing out of here and I can get back to my schedule and regular posting tomorrow.

Any home cold remedies you swear by? My boyfriend swears that he can keep healthy by drinking his body weight in orange juice.