Thursday, May 30, 2013

Summer already? Too hot to run

I was going to write a post about last night's workout (Wednesday May 29th) but forgot to bring in the paper that summarizes what I did. Instead, I'll write about this morning's run, and then do yesterday's later once I get home!

I had another weird schedule today, starting early in lab at 7am. I had a 4 mile run planned, so decided to do it starting and ending in lab. It made it easier, not needing to have my house key with me as well. It was hot out! It's supposed to be a high of 90 today, and I was hoping that at 8am it wouldn't be as bad. From a regular perspective, it was beautiful out at 8-9 this morning, just around 70-75 degrees. I'm such a baby about the heat though. Since it feels ~20 degrees warmer once you're running, that was just way too hot for me. I had to stop a few times just to catch my breath, but still made sure I ran a full 4 miles (at least according to the runkeeper app). The overall pace wasn't that bad. I knew that the first mile (plus a little more) was going to be mostly uphill, but it didn't feel as bad as I thought it would. The next mile was all downhill, which felt really good. But for some reason, once things leveled off again, the heat really got to me. Stopping the few times that I did really helped. Then I just had to pump myself up to keep on going. I came back into lab red faced and sweaty, and immediately went into the 4 degree room (celsius) to cool off. I walked home and downed a water bottle on the way. It took a while before I cooled off. Of course the walk back to lab made me feel like I needed a second shower. I hate summer....

Running Stats:
4.02 miles in 37:46; 9:24 average pace
462 calorie burned
Mile 1 in 9:39
Mile 2 in 9:19
Mile 3 in 9:04
Mile 4 in 9:39

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Workouts: May 27 and 28

I have a really weird schedule this week. First, I'm moving this weekend, so I'm trying to spend all of my free time packing. Yesterday was a holiday, so of course that threw things off. And then I need to be in lab super early Tuesday (today) and Thursday, and I'll be here late those days as well. This is making it more difficult to plan my workouts.

On Monday, the gym was closed. Normally I do kettlebell workouts on Mondays, but that's a bit difficult when the bells I use are locked up in the gym. I'm also not going to be able to do my Sparty workout on Friday, since I'll be doing the bulk of my move-out then. Because of this, I just moved everything around. I'm going to do KB on Wednesday, when the gym is open again. And I did a Wednesday/Sparty style workout on Monday in my  living room.

Workout: Monday, May 27th
Equipment: Yoga mat, lifting gloves (I used my yoga towel instead), 2 DBs, 1 medicine ball

60 seconds at each station, 30 seconds between stations
Take a few minutes break at the end of each set
Go through three times

  1. Pushup position row (no weight)
  2. Goblet squat - 15lb DB (holding it by the head, vertically)
  3. Bent over row - 2 15lb DBs
  4. Superman (no weight)
  5. Split squats - 15lb DB
  6. Squat and press - 2 15 DBs
  7. Triceps lifts - 15lb DB (holding it by the head, vertically)
  8. Burnout jumps (no weight)
  9. Toe touch - 10lb medicine ball
My left wrist started hurting during the second set of pushup position row, so for the third set I did a 1 minute plank instead. I think the plank was harder! I also had a hell of a time with the squat and presses - I think it was too much to do with the 15lb DBs. 

Workout: Tuesday, May 28th

Like I said, I have long days on Tuesday and Thursday this week. I was in lab by 7am, and I'll be here until at least 7pm. However, once I get a few things done, I have a 3 hour window between 8am and 11am. I decided to come into lab in my running clothes, go straight on a run, and then go home to shower and change. It was a bit tricky, but worked out okay. I was STARVING by the time I got back to lab and could eat breakfast. According to my training plan, I was supposed to do 3 miles (slow) plus 3 sets of 20 seconds fast and 2 minutes slow. That's kind of difficult to do outside, especially since I don't know where hills are going to appear, so my plan was to end my run at the gym, and do the intervals there. By the time I got to that point I just wanted to be done, so I changed the run to end near my house. My hip has been hurting a bit, but thankfully felt better during the run.

Totals: 3.02 miles in 29:17
9:43 average pace
351 calories burned

I have to say, it felt pretty good to have done so much by 10am! Not that I'm planning on keeping this kind of schedule unless I have to...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Weekly Finds - 5/26/13

Sundried Tomato Cheese Bread This is beautiful! I think it would make such a tasty sandwich, and it looks like it slices beautifully.
Cheddar Swirl Rolls These look just like the rolls I was obsessed with on the cruise!!! And they're a Smitten Kitchen recipe, so c'mon on...they are being made!

Greek Yogurt Truffles Such a smart idea to use greek yogurt to lighten up truffles! These are made with white chocolate, I wonder if they could be made with dark chocolate
Coconut Salted Caramel Doughnuts I have a doughnut pan that I've used maybe 3 times - I think this gives me a reason to use it
Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze I NEED TO MAKE THESE! I would love to use homemade strawberry jam in them. Now I just need to go strawberry picking so I can make said jam...
Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies This seems like the perfect combination of the flourless peanut butter cookie and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Plus it looks like the oats melt into the cookie and disappear!
Strawberry Muffins These look fantastic! I would say I can't wait to use fresh picked strawberries in them, but would that be a waste! I love that they use greek yogurt.
Chocolate Red Wine Cake with Blackberry Buttercream I love the idea of red wine and chocolate. I usually don't like chocolate cake, but maybe I'll give this one a try.
Green Tea Ginger Ice Cream I bought matcha powder ages ago, and used it once! This sounds like a great summer treat.

Roasted Zucchini and Feta Frittata Wrap I really want to try this. I'm usually boring and have a sandwich every day, and sometimes it really is boring! I wonder if it can be made in the morning or the night before.

Chewy Walnut Granola Bars I'm intrigued by the apricot paste that binds these together. I also like that the author admits they didn't look like they would hold together right when they came out of the oven, but that they still worked out just fine.
Morning Glory Muffins I had a morning glory muffin from Whole Foods last weekend, and it was really good. Surprisingly dense! This recipe sounds pretty tasty.

Quinoa Veggie Burgers with Pickled Red OnionsYES! I was just thinking I wanted to make veggie burgers again. This simple recipe uses ingredients I already have on hand.
Homemade Spinach Pasta Dough I tried making spinach pasta dough once and it was a disaster - the spinach made it too wet to work with. I will have to try it again with this recipe!

Blueberry Mojito Sounds like the perfect summer drink. Maybe I'll make it once blueberries are ready to be picked at my favorite orchard :)

The Perfect Soft Boiled Egg I would love to try this! I love the idea of a poached egg, but you lose so much of the white (at least I do). As long as you break the shell very carefully, this should be a perfect substitute.

Sunday May 26th: Running and Eating

I really didn't want to, but I ran 5 miles this morning. My training plan had me running 5 miles slow today, and I definitely made sure I went slowly. This was especially necessary because there was a long slow uphill between miles 2 and 3. I remember the first time I ran this route, I couldn't even tell exactly that I was going uphill, but I knew that everything hurt and it was really hard! I ended up going at just about a 10min/mile pace, which was exactly what I wanted.

While I was out running, Joey was amazing and got so much done for me. He did two loads of laundry, washed the dishes, made granola; then once I got back and showered, cooked breakfast for me. Best boyfriend ever! And the best motivation to go running, if I know I'm coming back to that :)

Breakfast was amazing. He made breakfast sandwiches of a fried egg + cheese + tomato on a whole wheat english muffin. Then with the granola, we made yogurt parfaits.

Here are the breakfast recipes:

Applesauce Granola
From: Baking Bites
Yield: 24 servings (1/3 cup each)

Note: We only had 1 1/2 cups rice krispies, so we added an extra 1/2 cup rolled oats. Also, we just made up our own spices and didn't really measure.

3 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 cups puffed rice cereal
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
pinch ground cardamom
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups rough chopped almonds
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 325 F and line two baking sheets with foil or parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine oats, cereal and spices. In a medium bowl, whisk together applesauce, sugar, honey and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients along with almonds, and stir to combine. Spread on baking sheets in an even layer.
Bake for 30 minutes, then carefully turn over the granola carefully using a wide spatula. Bake for an additional 15 minutes, until crisp and golden.
Let cool, then enjoy!

Pictured on top of yogurt and fresh fruit

Nutrition (per 1/3 cup serving)
166.5 calories
5.4 g fat
30 carbs
2.8 g fiber
3.9 g protein

Yogurt Parfait:
From: Me
Yield: 1 serving

This isn't really an exact recipe, you just combine what you like! Here are the components I like having
* Good greek yogurt (I like Fage)
* Fresh fruit - strawberries, bananas, blueberries, mango, raspberries, blackberries
* Sweetener - honey, jam, sugar
* Topping - granola, sliced/slivered almonds, chopped pecans, toasted wheat bran

What I made today:
7oz 2% Fage
~1/4 cup chopped mango
~1/2 cup chopped strawberries
1/3 cup homemade granola
~1 tbsp homemade peach jam

Nutrition (estimated):
398 calories
9.8 g fat
63.9 carbs
5.5 g fiber
21.6 g protein

We ran a bunch of errands today, and I got some more packing done. Joey cooked a whole turkey, one that has been in his freezer since the post-Thanksgiving sales! I made another fish sandwich like I made the other day, and a delicious salad with our fresh picked strawberries.

Spinach and Strawberry Salad:
From: Critzer Family Farm
Yield: 2 large servings

3 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
2 mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey
fresh ground black pepper

Put the spinach, strawberries, mushrooms and almonds in a large salad bowl. Whisk together the vinegar, honey and pepper. Pour desired amount of dressing over the salad, mix well.

Nutrition (using all of the dressing):
176 calories
6.9 g fat
27 carbs
4.4 g fiber
5.4 g protein

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sparty Workout + Healthy Fried Rice

I finally got back into doing real workouts this week! On Friday, I did both a "spartacus-style" workout, and part of my running training.

Workout: Friday May 24th

Assisted Pullups:
90lbs assistance: 10, 10, 7

Assisted Triceps Dips:
90lbs assistance: 7
100lbs assistance: 7, 7

I ran on the indoor track. Usually I stick to the inside lane, this time I tried the middle lane. It was really empty, which was nice. I may have lost track of how many laps I ran (takes 21 laps to do 2 miles), but I didn't really care what my time was. I was trying to go nice and slow during it.
Total: 2 miles (probably) in 19:52, 9:56 min/mile

Spartacus Workout:
60 sec at each station, 15 sec between stations
Twice through

Inbred cousin - 14lb medicine ball
Step-ups using low stool
Triceps dips on low stool
DB side lunge with touch - 12.5lb DBs
Plank up-downs
Lunge with rotation - 14lb medicine ball
DB chest fly - 12.5lb DBs
Walkout planks

I like to keep track of some of the sparty exercises - how many reps I can get done in the 1 minute. I like comparing from week to week, plus it gives me something to work toward, to try to beat my reps from the first set.

Burpees: 12, 13
Inbred cousins: 14, 14
DB side lunge with touch: 24, 26 (12 and 13 per leg)
Lunge with rotation: 16, 18 (8 and 9 per leg)
DB chest fly: 22, 27
Walkout planks: 11, 13

I was exhausted when I got home! Joey was in the process of doing all of the dishes from the past few days, which was really nice and helpful. We roasted some veggies, and then did separate things with them. This is what I did!

Healthy Fried Rice with Roasted Veggies and Shrimp
From: Me
Yield: 1 serving

Note: Use whatever veggies you like and have on hand!

2 medium carrots, peeled and julienned
1/4 large onion, halved and sliced in half rings
1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tbsp oil
salt, pepper, garlic powder
1 cup leftover cooked rice
1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
6oz frozen shrimp, thawed
pepper, smoked paprika
1 1/2 tbsp soyaki
1 egg

Preheat oven to 450 F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Toss veggies with 1/2 tbsp oil and seasonings. Cook until soft and caramelized, ~20 minutes, stirring every 10.
When there are 10 minutes left for the veggies, heat the sesame oil in a large nonstick pan on medium high. Microwave the leftover rice with a splash of water, covered, for 30 seconds. Add the rice to the pan, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Line a small baking sheet with foil, put the shrimp on it, and sprinkle with seasonings. Cook at 450 for 6 minutes.
While everything is finishing up in the oven, add the soyaki to the rice, cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the egg and break up with a spatula, cook until all parts of the egg are scrambled.
Turn the heat off, and stir in the veggies and shrimp.

720 calories
25 g fat
71.6 carbs
6 g fiber
50 g protein

Friday, May 24, 2013

Recipe: Kale and Sweet Potato Frittata (with some yoga)

I went to yoga last night! I am excited about this, since I had an all day experiment, and wasn't 100% positive that I would finish in time. Not only did I finish in time, but I actually had some time to spare once I got home and changed. I expected that Dakota would be teaching the class again, and was looking forward to it since she made me feel so good about myself last week. I was really surprised to see Ann when I walked in. At first I was a little disappointed, but then I realized how silly that was. Ann is the reason I love yoga in the first place! Once I got over the initial surprise, I was very happy and had an extremely enjoyable class. It wasn't as hard for me this time - not sure if that's proof that I am improving, or if she just led an easier class this week.

I'm so glad that yoga is at 5:30 on Thursdays in the new summer schedule. It makes it a lot easier to get home and still make dinner. I decided that I really wanted a frittata. I looked at a few recipes (actually in that spare time I had before yoga started) and they all called for onions. We were out of onions. No problem - just ran to Harris Teeter straight from yoga, bought onions (as well as many other things I didn't really need), then was home by 7 to start cooking. The whole thing took me ~1 hour from start to finish. I thought that was acceptable for making dinner, especially since Joey didn't get home until ~7:45, so I was cooking by myself.

Recipe: Kale and Sweet Potato Frittata
Adapted from: Ripple Rock Cooks
Yield: 4 servings

I made this in a 12 inch cast iron skillet, so I upped some of the ingredients accordingly

1-2 tbsp clarified butter
Pinch of chili flakes
1 large onion, diced
2 cubes of frozen garlic paste - all of my fresh garlic had grown mold. gross
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 huge unpeeled sweet potato, diced
1/2-1 bunch of kale, torn into small pieces
8 eggs
Splash of milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
~1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese (note: Harris Teeter has their own brand of fancy shredded cheeses, they claimed this one was Swiss Gruyere. They lied. It was just Swiss. Sad)
2 tbsp chopped chives

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Heat butter in cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add chili flakes and onion, toss to coat with butter. Add in the garlic paste (if using fresh garlic, wait until onions have cooked before adding) and leaves stripped from thyme sprigs, and s&p. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent. (If using fresh garlic, add it now and cook for 1 minute before next step.)
Add the potatoes and a splash of water, cover and cook until soft. Check every few minutes and give them a stir. Add more water if it starts to get dry, but make sure to cook until all of the water has evaporated.
Add the kale, stir around so it isn't all just sitting on top of the onions and sweet potatoes. Cover with the lit and let it steam/wilt for a few minutes.
In a small bowl (it's easiest if it has a pouring spout), mix the eggs, milk and chives. Remove the lid from the pan, and sprinkle with the cheese. Pour the eggs on top, tilting the pan as necessary to make it even.
Put in the oven, cook ~10-15 minutes, or until set. If desired, sprinkle on some parmesan cheese in the last few minutes of cooking, or right when you take it out of the oven.

378 calories
20 g fat
28 carbs
5.3 g fiber
22.5 g protein

Since this was clearly not a full dinner, I had a (slightly stale) piece of baguette with it, as well as two desserts. Going to bed hungry is not an option.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Workout: May 22, 2013 (plus dinner)

I didn't work at all Sunday-Tuesday. Huge slacker. Today I think I more than made up for it. I missed a day of running yesterday, plus KB on Monday, so I decided it would be a good idea to do it all in one day. I felt good after I was done, but tweaked something in my neck/upper back. Hopefully it'll feel better tomorrow.

Assisted Pullups:
90lbs assistance: 10, 10, 6, 4

I did "3 miles + strides." The description was:
3.00 miles slow
0:20 fast
2:00 slow
0:20 fast
2:00 slow
0:20 fast
I did the first 3 miles at 5.7mph on the treadmill, then went up to 8.0mph for the fast sections. I think I ended up doing 3.54 miles in 36:40. I did 1 minute slow jogging to cool down, then walked for 4 more minutes, with a total of:
3.85 miles in 41:40, 444 calories burned

KB Card:
Modified Farmers Walk
10-2 Ladder
Grand Ribbon
Clean and Press (5 each side instead of 10)
Tactical Lunge (5 each side instead of 10)
American Swings
Triple Crush

After the gym I went to a friend's house for a bit, then checked on the plants at Joey's house (they're all looking really good!), then home for shower+dinner. The department had free lunch (fajitas from Baja Bean) so I didn't eat my sandwich, so I was in the mood for a sandwich tonight. I made a delicious dinner, and was so hungry I ate the entire thing without even thinking about photographing it. I'm documenting what went into it anyway.

Tilapia Sandwich with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms
From: Me
Yield: 1 sandwich

1/2 medium onion, sliced into half rings
4 white mushrooms
4 baby bella mushrooms
1/2 tbsp oil
1 tilapia filet (I buy them frozen and individually wrapped at Sam's Club)
Favorite seasoning
2 slices rye bread (seeded)
1 tomato, sliced
1-2 large pieces of lettuce
Sweet and spicy mustard

Heat the oil in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms, sprinkle with s&p, toss to mix. Cook for several minutes, or until starting to brown, but not yet sticking. Add the mushrooms. They will start to release liquid after a few minutes. Keep cooking until the onions are soft and translucent. If they start to stick, add a few tbsp of water.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place the tilapia on the sheet, sprinkle with your favorite seasoning. I used the spice mix for tzatziki sauce (salt, pepper, garlic, dill). You could also keep it simple with just salt, pepper, garlic. Cook fish for 7 minutes.

Toast the bread, then slather with mustard. Top with onion and mushroom mixture, sliced tomato, the fish, lettuce, and then the second piece of bread. Slice in half and enjoy!

Nutrition (estimated)
529.5 calories
13.6 g fat
66.8 carbs
6.5 g fiber
41.5 g protein

Monday, May 20, 2013

Workouts: May 16, 17, 18, 2013

Since I didn't post anything about these workouts right after they happened, here they are all together. Unfortunately I don't have anything to post about tonight - I wasn't feeling that great so I stayed home from work and from the gym. I got some packing done, so it wasn't a total loss.

On Thursday, I got to try out my new yoga towel! I really liked it, I didn't slip around at all. The class was taught by a different instructor, and I really enjoyed it. It was a bit slower than what I'm used to, but we held the poses longer and repeated them, which really worked my muscles. Before the class started, I did 2 miles on the indoor track. It was the first time I did more than a lap or two around the track, so I wasn't sure going into it how it would go. There are 10.5 laps in a mile, so I did 21 laps to get my 2 miles done for my training. It went really well! It's cooler out on the track than in the rest of the gym, and I felt a nice breeze on me as I was running. Thank goodness I had the yoga towel, since I was pretty sweaty going into it. I didn't keep track at all of the running time, but I think it was about 9 minute miles.

I missed Wednesday's workout, which completely messed up my running plan. I was planning on doing 2 miles each on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, before my strength workout. I ran on Monday and Thursday, so had to figure out what I was going to do the rest of the week. I decided to give it a try to run on Friday as well, and then plan on my long run for Saturday.
I did my pullups first:
90lbs assistance - 10, 9, 6
100lbs assistance - 8
Then I ran 2 miles again on the track. This time I timed myself, and did it in exactly 18 minutes, proving I was probably right with my guess for Thursday.
For Sparty, I was kind of lazy, in two ways. I just did the same workout from April 19th, with the exception of regular biceps curls for reverse, and I used 12.5lb DBs. In addition, since I was pretty tired from the running, plus a long day at work (had to stay late in lab to finish analyzing data, so I got to the gym pretty late) so I only went through the sparty set once.

Saturday morning, I did my long run with Joey. I was scheduled to do a 4 mile slow run, so we went to Riverview Park. The original plan was to just run from the parking lot to the end of the path, which was almost exactly 2 miles, and to just run back. For some reason the ball of my foot was really hurting, so we decided to turn around at the 1.5 mile point, and to loop around back at the start if I was still feeling okay. We were planning on strawberry picking soon after the run, making our time a lot more limited, so I didn't want to have to worry about walking back from any point if I hurt too much to finish. My foot wasn't hurting as badly once we were getting back to the start, so with Joey's help, I decided to do an extra loop. We finished the first 3 miles in 28 minutes, at a 9:20 average pace. We took a minute to stretch out a bit, then did the last ~0.87 mile in 8 minutes. 

Oatmeal Honey Bread

I made bread! And then didn't take any pictures of it...Whoops. I can tell you though that it was extremely tasty. I wanted to make bread for the sole purpose of eating it with jam. I also wanted to make something that didn't require any extra ingredients. The bread turned out really well, although it was a bit crumbly. I had to slice it a bit thick so it wouldn't fall apart. But besides that, it was great. Even the end pieces were good!

One comment I will make is that the weight and volume measurements didn't match up (ie 12.75 oz flour was less than 3 cups). I weighed everything, and ended up needing more dry ingredients. I would recommend just measuring it out by cups.

Also, next time I might try using warm milk instead of the warm water + dry milk combo. It's just a lot easier to get regular milk than dry milk (and a lot cheaper!)

Recipe: Oatmeal Honey Bread
From: The Galley Gourmet

3 cups unbleached bread flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup non-fat dry milk
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 tbsp honey
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (or 1 package)
1 cup + 2 tbsp warm water

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine all of the ingredients until it forms a shaggy dough. Mix until smooth, about 5 minutes. If the dough sticks at the bottom, add flour, 1 tbsp at a time.

Shape the dough in a ball. Lightly grease a bowl and place the dough in the bowl, turn to coat with oil. Cover and let it rest for 60 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and shape it into a log. Place the log seam-side down, into a lightly greased 9x5 loaf pan. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and allow to rise for 60-90 minutes, or until the dough has risen 1 inch above the top of the pan.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 190 F (it took ~30 minutes for me). Allow to cool completely before slicing. It's really yummy with jam or butter!

Nutrition (per slice):
Yield: 16
133 calories
1.8 g fat
24 carbs
1 g fiber
4.5 g protein

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Weekly Finds - 5/19/13

I've decided to start adding comments for everything I've pinned. This way it reminds me of why I pinned it in the first place, and also gives more information to anyone actually reading this.

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream I love that this uses fresh mint. This reminds me that I need to plant some mint!
Chai-Vanilla Bean Pots de Creme I've only made pots de creme once, with maple syrup, but this recipe sounds delicious! I love the warmth chai tea brings to recipes.
Apricot, Sage and Hazelnut Galette Wow, this looks incredible! I love sweet recipes that add a savory herb to them, it makes the flavor so much more complex.
Lemon Cheesecake with Ginger Shortbread Crust This sounds like a great combination of flavors - lemon, ginger and berries go so well together. Plus I love cheesecake :)
Lavender Blackberry Scones - I have some dried lavender I've been dying to use, this may be just the recipe to use it for
Sweet Lavender Scones - Another great use for my lavender!
Speculoos Cookie Sandwiches I have been obsessed with speculoos/biscoff since I found it at Trader Joe's. Joey even brought me a jar back from France. And I love how dainty the cookies look!
Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting These cookies would probably be fantastic even without the frosting. Although if I do make the frosting, I think I would swap out half the butter for cream cheese. I love the tang that cream cheese gives to frosting.
Brown Sugar Macarons I am DYING to try to make macarons. I've been wanting to make them even before I had ever tried one (weird, I know). I tried them in France, so now of course I want to make them even more. Side note - Joey and I can't figure out how to pronounce them without sounding silly and faking a French accent, so we just call them "French macaroons" vs "Jewish macaroons"
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies These cookies look amazing, and I love the brown/white sugar and mini/regular chocolate chip combos. The recipe was adjusted to work at high altitudes, so hopefully it works at sea level!
Cinnamon Mousse Tarts with Mexican Chocolate Shells I LOVE cinnamon. The "chocolate cinnamon sticks" are so cute!
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies This is probably the combination of the 3 best kinds of cookies there are. Plus they look beautiful.
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Sandwich Cookies These somehow look like sugar cookies, and the cookie sandwich is so cute.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Cardamom Whipped Cream I love strawberries and rhubarb. I saw some rhubarb at the store the other day, and it was $10/lb!!

Seed Fruit and Nut Bread This looks like a really hearty (and easy to make) beautiful loaf of bread!
Homemade Poppy Seed Burger Buns I don't even like poppy seeds, and I totally want to make these. Although, Joey says I only don't like them because I'm afraid of them all sticking in my teeth.
Whole Wheat Honey Oatmeal Rolls These rolls sound like a perfect side to a healthy breakfast. I wonder if they freeze well...
Savory Caprese Bread I absolutely love the flavor combination in anything caprese, and think this quick bread would be delicious. It looks so moist

Asparagus Pesto Lasagna This sounds like a delicious twist on vegetarian lasagna
Tomato and Mozzarella Risotto I have some risotto rice that needs to be used up, and I love the combination of tomato and mozzarella (especially when basil and spinach are also used)
Southwestern Quinoa and Black Bean Casserole YUM! I love how cheesy it looks

Guacamole Rice Sounds like a great way to spice up some cooked rice
Roasted Cauliflower with Parsley Sauce Roasting cauliflower is my favorite way to cook it, it really caramelizes and makes it flavorful. I think the parsley sauce would be a great way to brighten it up.

Healthy 5-Ingredient Granola Bars I'll have to try these out for a pre-gym snack. They seem really easy to make, especially since they're no bake.
Banana Oat Smoothie This sounds like such a simple, healthy smoothie. I bet it would be great with some peanut butter, as well.
Queso with Roasted Poblano Sauce Ahh I love queso!

Health/Cooking Tips:
How To Choose the Healthiest Salad Greens This is a really nice explanation of the vitamins and minerals found in some common salad greens. I wasn't surprised by the low numbers for iceberg lettuce, but was surprised about arugula!
Guide to Brewing the Perfect Cup of Tea
How to Become a Morning Person - really cute infographic with tips about how to get better sleep and get a better start to your day

"Scientific 7-Minute Workout" A circuit training workout created by researchers from the Human Performance Institute, tried out by people at Greatist
14 Exercise Recovery Tools - I agree about the stick being something every runner loves to hate! That is the only one I've tried from the list.
11 Must-Try Tabata Exercises - A good list of some simple exercises that work well in a Tabata circuit
Advanced No-Gym Bodyweight Workout - This sounds really hard! Maybe something to schedule for the future, once I've mastered regular pushups and planks haha

Fun Links:
Daily Dose of Happiness No further explanation needed - cute pics/videos from the web

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Chipotle Harvest Grains with Roasted Veggies and Peas

I'm such a slacker - I didn't go to the gym yesterday. I left work early to deal with some phone issues (it got wet while on the cruise, and suddenly stopped recognizing my sim card a week, then by the time that was done I was just tired, stressed from worrying about my phone, and not feeling great. Instead, I sat on my couch and caught up on some Grey's Anatomy (an episode from February - I am so far behind), and then got an early start on dinner. Now that I've been going to the gym most nights, it's at least 7 until we even start making dinner, and at least 8 until we eat. It was nice to get things started a bit earlier. We didn't have a ton of fresh veggies, so I pulled together a dinner with what we had. I thought it turned out really well! I didn't really measure out most of the ingredients, so a lot of the items listed are estimates.

Recipe: Chipotle Harvest Grains with Roasted Veggies, Roasted Shrimp and Peas
Inspired by: Me (original recipe)
Servings: 2 large dinner portions

Roasted Veggies:
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
3 medium carrots, peeled and julienned
1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 tbsp oil
salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika

1 1/4 cups Trader Joe's Harvest Grain Medley (can use any other grain)
1 3/4 cups water
~1/2 cup frozen peas

Roasted Shrimp:
10 shrimp (31-40 count) - this was for just my serving, Joey had his with turkey burgers
pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika

To finish:
2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
~1/2 cup imitation crab flakes

Preheat oven to 450 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Slice onion from root to root, and then place flat side down and slice each half thinly. Separate the half-rings and put on baking sheet.
Peel carrots, and cut into strips. Mine were ~2 inches long, and 1/2 inch thick.
Cut broccoli into bite-sized florets. (If you bought the broccoli as a bunch, and have the stem left, then you can peel the stem and cut it into thin strips. They're really good roasted, as well as steamed. However when steamed, they take more time to cook than the florets.)
Toss with 1 tbsp oil, and season. I don't measure, and just shake out a bunch on top.
Check on them every 10 minutes. Mine took ~25 minutes to cook.

In a small-medium pot, bring water to a boil.

Add in harvest grain medley, bring back to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Set timer for 10 minutes. It may not actually be done then (mine usually takes a bit longer). If your peas are already thawed, then add them in at the end. Otherwise, add them in with the grains after ~5 minutes of cooking. It may take longer until all of the water is absorbed, since they release some water.

Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil. Once veggies are done, turn oven down to 425 F. Put (thawed) shrimp on the sheet (I like taking off their tails before cooking them, so I don't have to deal with them later), sprinkle with pepper, garlic, paprika. Cook for 6 minutes.

In a large bowl, add the cooked veggies, the cooked grains, the peas (if you didn't already add them to the grains), the chipotle peppers, crab flakes.

Top with cooked shrimp or whatever protein you would like to add. (And more peppers, if you're feeling adventurous!)

For each serving with shrimp
782 calories
12.5 g fat
130 carbs
19 g fiber
43 g protein
Tons of Vitamin A and C, as well as a good amount of B-6, Calcium and Folate
A bit high in carbs, but I think this was a really well balanced dinner. I would definitely make it again!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Workout: May 13th, 2013

This was my first workout since the cruise, and the first full workout I had done in 2 weeks. It was painful! I intentionally didn't do as much as I normally would, to try to ease myself back into the routine.

I started out with my assisted pullups. I wasn't sure what to expect here. Sometimes, I can do more of them when my arms have had a few days to rest. I just didn't know if 2 weeks was enough time to start to lose muscle. Thank goodness, they didn't go too badly.

Assisted Pullups:
90lbs: 10, 10, 5
100lbs: 6

I skipped the lat pulldowns and seated rows, since I figured just doing the pullups and KB would make my arms pretty sore. I might start those up again on Wednesday.

Since my training plan just has me doing 2 easy miles this week, I decided to add them to my strength workouts. This will give me more time on my free days to pack...ugh
I did 2 miles at 5.8mph on the treadmill. I'm embarrassed to admit how hard it was. I got a pretty bad cramp in my right side, and everything just hurt. Hopefully it was just this one time, and now I'm loosened up enough to do the next runs no problem.

KB Card: Level 2 - Lightning Rounds
For each set of 3 exercises, do as many as you can in 3 minutes. (For example - for set 1, do 10 swings, 10 squats, 5 walk out planks, then repeat as many times as you can until the 3 minutes are up)
Rest 2 minutes between sets.
I used a 20lb KB, and went through twice.

Set 1:
Swings: 10
Goblet Squats: 10
Walk-out Planks: 5

Set 2:
Clean and Press: 5 each side
Goblet Lunge: 5 each side
Figure 8 to a Stop: 10

Set 3:
American Swings: 10
Grand Ribbon: 10
Triple Crush: 5

This is a deceptively hard card. It's the first level 2 card I tried initially, and it seemed just as hard last night as it did that day a couple months ago. In the 3rd set, my grip actually starts to give out before my muscles or lungs do.

Then I did some abs, since I had some time before Joey was going to meet me. I did 50 crunches with my feet down, knees bent. Then 50 crunches with my legs in the air. 50 on each side (for the obliques). And ended with 50 bicycles.

Ooh, I ordered a yoga towel from Amazon! Even though I don't do hot yoga, my hands still get a little slippery, and it makes it difficult to do even just downward facing dog. I ordered a yoga towel that has a grippy back, so it's supposed to stick to the yoga mat. I think this will solve my problem, plus it'll add another layer so it should be pretty comfy. I should be trying it out on Thursday, so I'll give an update as to how it works out.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Weekly Finds - 5/12/13

What I've pinned (bookmarked) this week today! I've been away on vacation, so I'm just getting back to going through all of my favorite food blogs. I'll try to catch up this week!

Coconut Scones with Dark Chocolate Chunks
Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue Tartlets
Raspberry Almond Crumb Tart
Salted Dark Chocolate Truffle Cookies
Ultra Moist Banana Bundt Cake with Greek Yogurt

Spring Vegetable and Goat Cheese Dip

Lemon Ricotta Thyme Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce
Caramelized Banana Sticky Buns (yeah, this one probably should go under Desserts...)

Back from vacation!

Well - I had planned on blogging while on vacation, but that clearly didn't happen!
I was in Orlando (actually right in Disney) for a conference from Tuesday April 30th - Friday May 3rd, then on a Western Caribbean cruise from Saturday May 4th - Thursday May 9th, then back in Orlando (for Sea World) Thursday May 9th - Saturday May 11th. I'm sad to be back! It was such a great vacation.
Here are my workouts (rough recap of strength stuff, since I don't remember exactly what I did!), starting on Monday April 29th.

Monday April 29th:
Assisted Pullups with 90lbs: 10, 8, 6
Burnout Pullups: 100lbs - 10, 110lbs - 10

Kettlebells: 300 degree fryer with 20lb KB - 2x through (American Swings instead of Snatch, Plank position row instead of Get Ups)

Seated Row: 60lbs 12x2
Lat Pulldowns (with mid width grip) 60lbs 15x2

Yoga! I wanted to get one last yoga class in before vacation

Tuesday April 30th:
I wasn't sure when I would get time to workout during the conference, and I really wanted to loosen up my legs. I decided to do a quick run in the morning, then pack up, and then head out to the airport. To make it simple, I did a similar route to the one I had done the week before with Joey.
It was a little more difficult than I anticipated, and with the humidity, I came home completely drenched.
1/2 mile: 4:32 - 9:04/mile pace
1 mile: 9:00 - 9:00/mile pace (8:56/mile pace in last 1/2 mile)
1 1/2 miles: 14:10 - 9:27/mile pace (10:20/mile pace in last 1/2 mile)
2 miles: 18:55 - 9:28/mile pace (9:30/mile pace in last 1/2 mile)
2 1/2 miles: 23:17 - 9:19/mile pace (8:44/mile pace in last 1/2 mile)
Total: 2.75 miles in 25:29 - 9:16/mile pace
Calories burned: 323
Average speed: 6.48 mph

Miles for Boston:
17.95/26.2 miles completed!

Thursday May 2nd:
I decided to skip the morning sessions of the conference and go to the gym instead. I did 2.05 miles on the treadmill (that sounds ridiculous, but I wanted to make my miles for Boston count a bit more even). I ran at a nice slow pace, since I just wanted to loosen up some more for the race the next morning.
0.94 miles at 5.7 mph
1.11 miles at 5.8 mph
242 calories
Lat pulldowns - close grip: 75lbs, 3x12
10-2 Ladder:
Burpees (full)
Russian Twist (10lb med ball)
IBC (10lb med ball)
Back Fly (10lb DBs)
Lunge with Twist (10lb med ball)
Chest Press (10lb DBs)
Plank Up-downs

Miles for Boston:
20/26.1 miles completed!

Friday May 3rd:
For the first time, the conference I went to held a 5k "fun run" on the last morning. It makes sense, since the conference is hosted by The American Heart Association. It started at 6:15 am (so early!!) and there were about 100 runners. The course did a few loops/out and backs throughout the Disney area, and thankfully was almost completely flat. Even that early, it was pretty disgustingly humid. I had no idea what to expect from the other runners, and was a little nervous that everyone would be super fast. I just hoped, as usual, that I wouldn't be last! I used runkeeper as usual, and set it to inform me of my average pace every 1/4 mile. At the first 1/4 mile, I thought that runkeeper was malfunctioning. Still thought so after the 1/2 mile, just based on the time, but realized that where I was on the course matched up to the mile markers I had checked the night before. I was just going really fast! I slowed down a bit throughout, so I obviously started out a bit too fast, but I was incredibly happy with my time. Here's to my fastest race yet!

1/2 mile: 4:00 - 8:00/mile pace
1 mile: 8:10 - 8:10/mile pace (8:20/mile past in last 1/2 mile)

1 1/2 miles: 12:31 - 8:21/mile (8:42/mile in last 1/2)
2 miles: 16:48 - 8:24/mile (8:34/mile in last 1/2)
2 1/2 miles: 21:18 - 8:31/mile (9:00/mile in last 1/2)
3 miles: 25:39 - 8:33/mile (8:34/mile in last 1/2)
total: 3.13 in 26:41 - 8:32/mile average pace

Miles for Boston:
23.1/26.2 miles completed

Saturday May 4th:
Even though I had just worked out (and ran) the past couple days in a row, I was antsy once we got on the cruise. As soon as we set sail, Joey and I put on our workout clothes and headed up to check out the gym and jogging track. The track was on the very upper deck, and was INCREDIBLY windy! We were planning on doing a few miles up there, but after just one mile I had to call it quits and head down to the gym. We went pretty fast though - about 8 minutes. Then in the gym I ran 2 miles on the treadmill, and walked 1 mile. After that I don't remember exactly what I did. I did 2 or 3 sets of 10 reps each of:
Triceps dips
21 guns
Side lunge with touch
and probably a few other things that I don't remember at all!

Miles for Boston:
26.1/26.2 miles completed
I think I'm going to call that close enough, since obviously this was just something I wanted to do for me.

Wednesday May 8th:
The first day on the ship, we took a tour of the gym and spa facilities. They had a few classes that would be offered throughout the trip, but only on days when we were at sea. There was a yoga class offered at 8am on both Sunday and Wednesday morning. I'm so glad I signed up for the Wednesday class, since I barely got any sleep the first night on the cruise due to a bit of seasickness. It was a 30 minute class, and although it was a bit slower than the class I normally take, it was really quite nice. We had something we wanted to do at 9:45, so all I had time for after yoga was a quick mile on the treadmill.

Then the rest of the trip, I didn't do any actual workouts. We did a whole lot of swimming on Monday May 6th while we were at Grand Cayman, and then a lot of walking on Tuesday May 7th at Cozumel, Mexico. We walked 1.5-2 miles to and from dinner on Thursday May 9th, and then at least 4-5 miles around Sea World on Friday May 10th. Even with that, getting back into workouts this week is going to be painful!!

Also, I decided to start a new training plan for running. I noticed while on the RunKeeper site the other day, that they have free training plans. I signed up to do a Sub 55 min 10k Training Plan, starting this week. It's a 16 week plan, ending on August 31st, which is perfect timing since that is the day of the Charlottesville Women's 4 Miler. Once I complete this training plan, I will assess how I'm doing with the running, and think about maybe starting a half marathon training plan. 

Weekly Finds (from 4/28/13)