Monthly Archives: January 2012

Took it to the Streets

Where did this Sunday go? I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend and is ready to tackle this week head on.

My Sunday started out as it always does with some fueling up – had the usual whole wheat english muffin with PB, half a banana, and a glass of water. No picture because it went down quick (TWSS) to satisfy a grumbling belly.

I’ve been running it out on the dreadmill lately but was getting sick of staying inside (and I was running out of decent DVDs to watch while running) so I decided to check out the paved trails all around the BWI.

It was perfect winter running conditions sunny, cool, and just enough wind. I felt like I hit my stride by mile 4 but was kind of shuffling along for that 11th mile – will definitely keep an eye on steadying my pace this week. I definitely will be returning to these trails for the remainder of my long runs.

Supah schweaty half way point

11 miles done!

Of course I was more than ready for some food and a shower when I got back and chugged this huge glass of chocolate milk while these mixed berry kodiak waffles cooked up. Delicious with some 0% plain Chobani on top.

Lunch came shortly after that plate of awesome. Steamed kale, brown rice, and (yes – you guessed it) chili – all enjoyed while catching up with my google reader.

My afternoon was just how I liked it – nice and lazy 🙂 Just lounging around, watching tv, and reading.

Dinner rolled around and I was more then excited to dig into some of Mom’s spicy sausage pasta – salad and bread with oil to dip on the side.

Perfect Sunday filled with nothing.

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SBJ is the new PBJ Power Bars

In addition to enjoying some awesome weather and family fun yesterday I was in the kitchen whipping up some great bars as inspired by Oxygen’s new Fat Blasting foods guide.

SB Protein Power Bars

Great as an afternoon pick me up with some green tea or some quick post workout fuel, these are super quick to throw together and the flavor combinations are endless. I’m thinking an almond butter and dried cherry batch is next 😀

*Inspired by Oxygen – Fat Blasting Food Guide with a few tweaks in ingredients for what I had on hand.*

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes (includes time in fridge to set)

Ingredients

8 oz dates

1/4 c water

1/4 c sunflower butter

1/4 c flax meal

1 cup vanilla whey protein powder

pinch of salt

4 oz dried apricots, diced

1/2 c Uncle Sams Original cereal, divided in half

Instructions

1. Blend together dates and water in food processor

2. Add sunflower butter and blend until smooth. May need to add more water to help thin mixture slightly *I could probably eat just this mixture smeared on a waffle or toast with banana – soooo good*

3. Add protein powder, flax meal, and salt; blend thoroughly. Add diced apricot and half of the cereal to food processor and pulse until just combined.

4. Place a long piece of wax paper into a baking dish – leave enough wax paper to hang over edge. *I highly recommend using the wax paper if you want your bars to come out in one piece – not pieces. The tin foil was kind of a fail*

5. Pour mixture into baking dish and use the wax paper to press evenly into baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cereal on top of mixture.

6. Place in freezer for an hour to firm up enough to cut into 8 pieces. Store individually wrapped in fridge or freezer.

Seriously delicious and a cinch to throw together! Totally recommend picking up  any of Oxygen’s publications but especially this Fat Blasting Food Guide – tons of great tips and recipes as always.

23 and … Part 2

Earlier this week I felt empowered to go crazy share my lack of BFFness thanks to MWF seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche.

I’ll reiterate that: no I’m not complaining and no I’m not ashamed of that proclamation. I want to take charge of the situation and tackle this part of my life head on – maybe with the help of several books along the way … so I hope no one is opposed to the self help section of Barnes & Noble :/ Who knew I would end up getting so new age-y

So after some reflecting and continued reading (over a hundred more pages to go!) I’ve decided that I want to change/focus on/accept the following things:

*Forget about being embarassed

This, of course, will be easier said than done… Everyone cares about how they’re presented in public but when putting yourself out there to new opportunities and potential friends that has to go out the window. Just go ahead and say Hi to the girl next to you in yoga class – you have nothing to lose.

*Don’t overanalyze/get hung up on what others think

Yes another Ha, I’ll believe it when I see it theory but this definitely is key to getting over what has happened in the past with various relationships and moving forward with new relationships in the future. Sure this person may not be a great fit, but there’s someone else out there who might be. (Wow this is really sounding like finding a boy to date …)

*Just do you, bro!

Yes I am that girl that gets inappropriately excited/nerdy about some of my favorite things (comic books, tv shows, food, etc) and that can either be a good or bad thing to some people… For the longest time I tried to keep certain aspects of my personality under wraps – but now I’m ready to let my crazy flag fly. Maybe just letting it all hang out will attract birds of the same feather so we can flock together 🙂 (I am also that girl who enjoys cheesy sayings and puns)

*Sharing is caring

I am not naturally someone who shares with … anyone really and as I’ve been reading in MWF seeking BFF sharing is a huge cornerstone of building new friendships. Whether you’re sharing stories from your past, why you like your favorite band, or whatever’s on your mind it helps to forget that connection (duuuuh).

I think recognizing that something needs to change and being able to put those changes into words (poorly – but there they are) is a pretty good start for me. Go get ’em tiger.

Is it still January?

Hey Hey!

Today’s weather is blowing my mind – in a good way 🙂 I’ll take flip flops in January always.

Yesterday night was just some low key QT with the boyfriend. We had dinner at a local Mexican restaurant – usually some pretty good stuff but last night was just meh. It definitely doesn’t hold a candle to mom’s food and can’t touch what my grandmas can throw down.

Beef tacos with rice and beans

Sopapillas!!!

But the Santa Rita Margarita was top notch 😉 I don’t usually go for the fruity margaritas but I was intrigued by the Chambord and Peach schnapps combo.

We ended up watching Paranormal Activity 3 to round out the night. It was suspenseful but we kind of knew what to expect from the first two movies – it still made for some freaky dreams…

Eats so far include

Nutrigrain waffles with a spread of cottage cheese, apple butter, and cinnamon with  strawberry/banana Chobani

and yes, more chili 🙂 It’s like springtime outside but I still won’t turn down a hearty, spicy bowl of chili – it seems to be our thing these past couple of weekends.

I usually pass on the flavored waters but this was only $1 at Target so I decided to give it a go. It’s not my favorite (pretty artificial tasting) so I’ll just leave it on the shelf next time.

Today is a rest day before I tackle 12 long miles so I’m loading up on carbs and water like it’s my job. I’m looking for a new area to run around and am curious to try out the loop around BWI.

Any Baltimore runners/cyclists tackled the loop around BWI? Yay or nay?

Friday! Friday! Friday!

Wow – I was so nervous to publish that post but now that it’s out there it feels damn good. I’m not ashamed of my proclamation but I don’t want the post to come off as whiny “whoa is me” because I am by no means complaining about my life. I have rich relationships with both my family and the boyfriend’s family and I love the boyfriend to pieces. It’s just that boys weren’t built for girl talk (I know – crazy but true) and now that I’m in my 20s I feel like I’ve gotten to the bottom of why my occasional buddies haven’t made it to the level of true blue BFF. I’ll wrap it up there and publish my Part 2 – Solving the Lack of BFFness later tomorrow.

Getting back to today!

It was one of those I’m going to hit the snooze button 209432374839 times and totally miss my alarm mornings. You can’t help it when it looks like this outside…

Rainy and thunderous weather has this little lady running scared and following me everywhere I go. My own mini furry shadow I guess.

Old picture but it's a rare occasion when she looks at the camera

Breakfast was just a redo of yesterday with some kale added into the scramble. Breakfast of champions fo’ sho’.

I don’t know what got into me today but I hit my house from top to bottom in a cleaning/organizing frenzy. Totally out of character …

It could be chalked up to my anticipation for the official offer letter for my new job! Which is now happily sitting in my inbox 🙂

Before lunch was served I decided that I needed some hummus in my life so that was quickly blended up to accompany another snacky style lunch. Just not really inspired when it comes to my midday meal lately :/

Super delicious nonetheless – Veggie patty wiht mustard, my homemade hummus with mini sweet peppers for dipping and (yes) more Laughing Cow swiss cheese with some wasa style crackers.

I’m not sure what the night will bring but I hope everyone has an awesome Friday night!

PS – I’ve been loving Kimbra‘s channel on Spotify. If you love a cool slightly jazzy indie influenced style check her out. She’s been on repeat allll day long 😀

What music have you been playing on repeat lately?

23 and …

on the hunt for a BFF – more specifically of the female persuasion.

I should probably explain that last part … Being the older sister of two younger brothers I find that I can better relate to guys – or maybe that’s just something that I’ve been telling myself since … well, forever. Of all the Spice Girls I liked Sporty Spice the best, thought glitter was annoying, and much preferred my sneakers when I was younger (read just until college) so I would perpetuate that I was a tomboy and that’s why I didn’t really have tons of close girl friends. But I think it goes a little deeper than that and that’s something I’ve been hashing out recently.

I really can’t believe that I’m writing about this now… but this topic has been rattling around for a while and hey isn’t this blog for sharing? So, here it goes!

All of this self-aware discovery type stuff has stemmed from my fortunate discovery of HelloGiggles.com – a website all about celebrating BFFness, creativity, and pure awesome – which led to finding and quickly purchasing MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche.

In her late 20s she finds herself married in a new town without any close girlfriends to call “just to say hi”. She takes on the quest to find a local BFF with 52 girl dates in one year and provides a witty, informative, and totally relatable memoir. I love the fact that she includes the newest social research to kind of ground the stories of her girl dates and the insights that she’s taken away.

I haven’t gotten through the whole book (but am rapidly working my way to the finish) and I’m floored with how close she is hitting to home. Though her story starts a bit differently than mine (which I’ll get into a bit later) I can’t count how many times I have had her thoughts in my real life or just sat and had my “A-HA!” moment.

I would have to say that my string of surface friendships started when I moved from Texas to Maryland in the middle of elementary school, with another move to happen a short 2 years later before middle school. Being the glaringly new kid (southern accent with slightly brown skin and darker features in this area was a novelty) coupled with my shy demeanor did not work in my favor for those first couple of years. Not to say there was any racism but I just wasn’t like everybody else and that’s never a good thing at that age. By that third year of middle school I finally felt settled enough with a group of girls just to have us go our separate ways to various high schools in the county.

I wanted to use high school as a fresh start  – I would know some people but had the chance to make a new impression on an entirely different group of people – I felt more comfortable in just putting myself out there. But hey it’s always one step forward and two steps back – at this point in time my parents were my main mode of transportation and kind of put the kibosh on some of my new friend making activities. They were all about studies first and you can have fun later … maybe – as long as those activities don’t involve drugs, alcohol, etc.

There were no objections to those stipulations on my end but they always seemed to find one road block or another when it came to my social life. In hindsight I know all of their worry and precaution was for the best but that wasn’t really clear in high school. It was just difficult to explain to potential new friends why your parents expected phone calls upon arrival/departure, insisted on a 10pm maybe 11pm curfew, among other restrictions. And the surface friendships remained just that as we moved onto college.

My college experience definitely was not traditional. I spent two years living at home while working full time and attending a local community college full time. The community college didn’t inspire that close knit community with loads of school spirit so – again no real connections there. I finished out my last two years in North Carolina again juggling work and school full time. Sad to say but I didn’t put forth too much effort in establishing/maintaining deeper friendships at this time because I knew I would be done in two years and move back to Maryland.

I met the boyfriend during my second year of college and got to know his group but with all my moving and wacky work schedule, those have remained mainly surface relationships. Work friends have remained work friends – no keeping in touch once someone moves onto another job. All of my hesitation, laziness, and cautious guarding stops now.

I’ll end the post here with Part 2 – Solving my lack of BFFness to come. If you’ve read this far kudos to you – it is much appreciated. I promise that regularly scheduled posting of fitness and food will commence later this morning.

Listen or Push

With that tasty breakfast I was more than ready to knock out that housework. Confession – I had Teen Mom 2 playing in the background … So much drama but I couldn’t look away.

When lunchtime came around I was feeling snacky and put together a plate of pickles, Laughing cow swiss cheese, carrots and yogurt ranch dip, and a peanut butter sandwich.

My 6 mile tempo run quickly became a 3.5 mile tempo run due to a coughing fit that just would not stop. I listened to my body these past few days and have taken it easy on the cardio front so I would be ready to push hard tonight. Again I listened to my body and cut the run short for the sake of my lungs not making an appearance outside of my body.

In the past I would have been hung up on not meeting my goal and not hitting that scheduled number of miles. But now it’s all about keeping in tune with my body – with both fitness and food- and making sure to listen or push as needed. This is, of course, a work in progress so I would call today a win.

My dinner ended up a visual fail (so no picture) but tasty win. Just a random mix of stuff in the fridge – brown rice, meatballs, marinara, and steamed kale.

I have a heavy (well heavy for me) post scheduled for tomorrow morning and I’m totally nervous to hit that publish button … I’m just not sure how it will be received :/ I’ve told myself that this blog will be a space to express whatever I want so this next post is me walking the walk/talking the talk/and all that great stuff.

Anyone else guiltily watching Teen Mom 2? (other reality tv show confessions also welcome) – I don’t know what it is about their stories that draws me in so I can’t turn the tv off but it definitely made for interesting background noise for my house work.

Protein Pancake Perfection

Hi!

I did not have a moment yesterday to sit and spend some time with my computer to post after getting the day started with chauffering (spelling?) the little brother and Mom around.

I snacked on some blueberry Chobani and kashi GoLean honey almond flax as a pre-workout snack.

After a quick 2 mile run (no wheezing or coughing!!! just a slightly running nose) and some heavy lifting I was more than ready for a real breakfast. Enter the protein pancake to rule all protein pancakes 😉

I mixed up

1 egg

1 egg white

1 scoop of chocolate whey protein powder

1 tsp chia seeds

2 Tbs oat flour

sprinkle baking powder

sprinkle cinnamon

sprinkle stevia

Into the pan and then into my belly with a smear of peanut butter and banana on the side.

With that epic breakfast win I was off to do some random errands around town. I snacked on an apple and string cheese while grocery shopping – that little trick was supposed to help me not over shop but I don’t think it worked…

Lunch was a tilapia salad of sorts (I would definitely add more greek yogurt to bind) in a whole wheat pita pocket with a Laughing Cow swiss cheese wedge and pickles/carrots.

The day was rounded out with dinner at Qdoba (half of a greasy chicken quesadilla that was just ok and definitely not picture worthy) and some time at the ice rink with the boyfriend and his cousin. They skated around spraying each other with ice while I sat on the sidelines reading my newest favorite non-fiction MWF Seeking BFF.

Today … so far

Today’s breakfast was also an epic win. I was craving a good old fashioned American breakfast but cleaned up of course 🙂

An egg/egg white scramble, NutriGrain eggos with a drizzle of maple syrup and Applegate turkey bacon (a great find at BJs wholesale club! $10 for 1.5lbs). A tasty mid week breakfast treat.

I would have to dub today’s coffee the “poor man’s mocha latte”.

I’m trying to ween myself off of using flavored creamer in favor of just skim milk and stevia, so as an intermediary step I decided to use some all natural chocolate milk and a sprinkle of stevia. The “poor man’s mocha latte” 🙂

I have some chores to take care of around the house and a 6 mile tempo run to tackle but this booty is pretty sore after hitting the weights hard this week… I think I’ll hit up Pinterest in search for some motivating images/procrastination.

Back From a Zombie State

Wow this past week has been rough ..

It was filled with some fun times

But for the most part it was spent battling bronchitis and a sinus infection – I’ll spare you the pictures of my snotty rags and antibiotics but I was pretty excited to be prescribed an inhaler (I was dorky and thought they were THE coolest when I was younger … just me? ok …)

Most of my eats lately have been of the hearty, comfort variety

Banana Nut Oats

Kodiak cakes

All natural pot roast with root veggies and whole wheat bread

I’m proud to say that I felt good enough to make it back into the gym yesterday for some lifting. It’s crazy how weak I felt and how sore my body is feeling today – not sure if that’s from my coming back from illness or the strength sessions I missed this past week. I’m not looking forward to see how this unexpected illness has affected my running stamina – I’ll find out with this Thursday’s tempo run …

I was a bit of a zombie this past week as far as my fitness and food were concerned but I have gotten some major things done on the job front and can’t wait for everything to fall into place 😀

Today is all about FOOOOD!!! (actually that’s an everyday focus in these parts) More specifically I’m putting the pieces together for a post about how I tackle my shopping list, grocery store, and toying around in the kitchen for a new recipe post later this week.

Go get it ya’ll 😉

Anyone else been hit hard with illness this winter?

Homesteading in 2012

I hope everyone is enjoying a productive Monday.

My afternoon continued with some much needed yoga at home – assisted by a certain furry friend

At home yoga set up

Lunch was sweet potato and beef chili – chili seems to be a recurring theme this winter. You really can’t beat how easy,  tasty, and cheap a pot of chili is to make.

Dad and I made an information gathering trip to Maryland Homebrew.

With plans to make our own cheese, brew our own beer, and a vegetable garden in the works, I feel very Little House on the Prairie 😉

Now it’s time to settle down with JJ Abrams’ new show Alcatraz – a little sci fi, a little history, and a lot mysterious!

Any others trying out the DIY life/homesteading? I’ve made my own bread before and technically beer is liquid bread so hopefully it won’t be too hard. I’m pretty stoked for some fresh and tasty vegetables for this spring/summer 😀