Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Recent Workouts and Breakfast Veggies

I don’t know what has gotten into me, but somehow I have managed to get in a workout every day since Saturday. This is a noteworthy fact because lately I’ve been lucky to get in one or two workouts a week! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining – I just hope this motivation sticks around for a while. I definitely need the exercise. I mean, something’s gotta balance out all of those extra calories I’ve been taking in lately.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 12.05.54 PM At the winter Microbrew Festival two weeks ago.

On Sunday I had to work so I wasn’t in the mood for a super intense workout after being on my feet all day, but I still went to my apartment gym and squeezed in this 35-minute incline walking workout on the treadmill:

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I started a speed of 4.0 for the first five minutes, and then dropped it down to 3.7 and eventually 3.6 for the majority of the workout. Those inclines are no joke! I was huffin’ and puffin’ from minutes 9 through 23. Unfortunately, I’m guilty of holding onto the hand rails when I use a semi-steep incline and I know you’re not supposed to. Since some of your weight is supported, your calorie burn decreases and the quality of your workout suffers. According to this article, it is more beneficial to decrease the speed than to hold onto the hand rails, so I’m going to try that next time and see how it goes.

Another workout worthy of mentioning is the one I did yesterday. It was essentially Julie’s Row, Row, Row Workout but with a few modifications. I started with 20 minutes on the step mill before moving onto the row portion. (Side note – check out my Facebook page to see what made the step mill the best part of the workout ;).) Here’s what I did for the row part:

row 2 minutes, followed by 20 squats –> repeat 2 more times

row 2 minutes, followed by 20 walking lunges (on each leg) –> repeat 2 more times

row 2 minutes, followed by 20 deadlifts –> repeat 2 more times

My legs are noticeably sore today, but not to the point where it’s difficult for me to walk or do normal every day activities. It’s what you would call the “good kind of sore.” I’ve done a lot of workouts before where I will work so hard that will my muscles will be painfully sore the next day and to be honest, I’m not a fan of that. Sure, it’s proof that you worked your butt off, but it’s extremely annoying and inconvenient when your job requires you to stand and walk around all day and you are sore for days.


In addition to getting in some good workouts lately, I’ve also been trying to clean up my diet a bit. The biggest area I need to improve on is one that I’m sure many of you guys can relate to: eat more fruits and vegetables and less junk. Back in the day, I used to eat a spinach salad every single day with/for my lunch. These days, a salad is a rare occurrence in my diet and that needs to change. I don’t want to jump into everything too quickly (too many changes too fast inevitably leads to frustration and failure), so I’ve slowly started incorporating them back into my meals in ways that work for me and that I enjoy. For example, my breakfast everyday for the past year has almost always been eggs with goat cheese and a piece (or two) of toast. Well, this week I sautéed up my favorite omelet veggies and added those to my eggs for some added nutrients.

I started with a package of sliced mushrooms and tossed those in a pan with a little EVOO and seasoned them with garlic powder, onion flakes, and oregano.

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After about ten minutes – you’ll know the mushrooms are done because they’ll shrink considerably in size and all of the liquid in the pan will disappear – I added a huge handful of spinach and let it wilt for a minute or two.

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I added some of the mushroom and spinach mixture to my eggs, along with the goat cheese of course, and quickly amped up the nutrition and staying power of my normal morning meal.

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So good. There is something about starting your day off with vegetables that just makes you feel so healthy. It really does help keep me on track for the rest of the day.


Okay, this girl has a spin class to get ready for. It’s my first one in AGES so I’m actually sort of nervous. I am fully prepared to have my butt kicked.

I’d love to hear your tips on how you sneak veggies in your meals! Please comment so we can all see them :)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Trying to Stay Motivated

Brr. It’s cold over here.

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I know it’s totally cliché to talking about the weather, but this winter has been brutal! It’s made it really hard to find the motivation to leave the house any more than I have to. Unfortunately, this means I’ve been spending more time watching Netflix on my couch than I have been working out and trying to get some of these extra pounds off. Oh well, what are ya gonna do?

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I have two future events that are supposed to be my motivation to help me stay on track – my upcoming cruise (!!) and my friend’s wedding this summer – but I have STILL been struggling. I know, shocker. I actually have this picture hanging out my refrigerator to remind me of why I need to stop stuffing food in my face:

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The first photo is self-explanatory, the one on the right is a photo of the bridesmaid dress I’ll be wearing, and the third photo is one of a friend and I when I was at my smallest. If only I could fit in those clothes again!

My cruise is in a little less than two months, which means I still have time to drop a few pounds (15 would be ideal). I’m going with three of the girls I graduated with and regardless of how I’m going to look in my bathing suit, I am still pumped. We are leaving out of Miami and going to the Bahamas and back. I’m stoked.

It’s weird, because some days I am totally on board with the whole healthy eating thing and then other days, I just throw it all out the window and eat everything in sight like some sort of wild animal. Today has actually been a very good day so far. I talked to my friend Chelsey this morning and she has been all about the workout train lately. This girl works 12 hour days and then goes to the gym for 2 hours every single day. If she can do that, surely I can manage one hour at the gym four days a week, right? Talking with her definitely restored some motivation in me, at least for today. Ha. After we got off the phone I ate breakfast and then drove to the gym and did 30 minutes on the step mill followed by this upper body workout:

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Nothing too intense, but I’m sure I’ll be sore tomorrow!

After I was done with my workout I stopped at Target before coming back home and making a protein smoothie for lunch.

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(Woah, a workout AND a healthy lunch all in the same day?! We may have a breakthrough here…)

My smoothie contained the following:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup Chobani banana Greek yogurt
  • 1 spoonful peanut butter
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • splash of milk

Mmmm…it was delicious!

While we’re on the subject of food, I wanted to mention this pasta salad I’ve been eating for lunch almost every. single. day. I’ve posted pictures of it before, but I have tweaked the recipe a number of times and I finally have it down. I make this every week and probably get 5 or 6 servings out of it. Here’s the “recipe:”

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Balsamic Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese

  • 1/2 – 3/4 box of pasta of your choice
  • 1 – 15.5 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 – 3.8 oz can sliced black olives, drained
  • ~ 1 cup quartered artichoke hearts (I buy the canned marinated ones)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 oz crumbled goat cheese
  • salt, pepper, and oregano to taste

Simply boil the pasta, then pour it in a bowl and add all of the other ingredients. It’s so easy and you can add or take out whatever you want. I never get sick of this pasta salad – I even made it as a vegetarian alternative at our family Christmas.

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Okay, hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend! I have to work the next three days but then I get a five day weekend :) I’m about due for some time off – the stress at work is really starting to affect my mood. I’ll be having some fun next weekend, too. Some friends and I will be driving down to Detroit for the annual MPA (Michigan Pharmacists Association) Convention that we attend every year. This will be my 6th year in attendance!

See ya lata!

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