Jillian Michaels and Chipmunk Cheeks

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Hello! Just checking in at the end of an uneventful weekend and the beginning of finals… hell week. But this will be the last one ever of my collegiate career! Since that part of my life is almost over… crazy how time flies. The above picture is me driving home from school on Thursday afternoon, all bright eyed and bushy tailed because it was a beautiful and sunny afternoon and I had no idea what awaited me Friday morning. Well, I did, but no idea of how annoying it would be.

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Wisdom teeth surgery! Yahooooo! Happy happy joy joy. Friday after the surgery wasn’t so bad. Doctor said that I would not be able to focus on schoolwork so I took the excuse to lay around on the couch all day and catch up on magazines. Mum and I went to the store and I stocked up on smoothie ingredients, and the day felt like a nice, relaxing and detoxifying vacation. Then Saturday the chipmunk cheeks arrived. I slacked on the icing, went out shopping with Mum, and am paying for it today.

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I am sore, hungry, hangry, grumpy, and my belly is squirmy because it is too full of juices, soups, and smoothies. It doesn’t help that the weather has been gorgeous all weekend so Mum has been BBQing on the grill and it smells heavenly. Oh I cannot wait to be able to bite into a juicy turkey burger again! And go for a RUN! My body is probably loving this break though, from alcohol and all the pounding of the pavement that I have been doing lately. I am going to study hard tonight, get to bed early, and hopefully be a little more de-puffed by tomorrow.

In other news, Thursday night my friend scored us SECOND ROW SEATS to the Jillian Michaels show!! I knew that she was on tour, but never in a million years thought that she would actually be coming to Hartford. But she was! And she touched my hand! And we made eye contact for 3.7 seconds! (I counted).

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The show was great. I was shocked, even though I shouldnt have been, at how much energy that woman had! She must have spoke for almost 3 hours with only a 15 minute intermission. And she was jumping around the stage and yelling and laughing. Your probably wondering how on earth could you listen to her talk for 3 full hours? It actually went by super fast. She broke the show up in to 3 parts, all important to reaching your weight loss goals and being the healthiest you that you can be. The 3 parts were Science, Sweat, and Self. 20130505-085702.jpg

For Science, she went through all of the important tools and calculators used to measure your calories taken in and weight loss goals. Her weight loss philosophy was so simple and true, that it was comical: “Eat less, move more!” So plain and easy, yet millions of people struggle to do this. And there are so many simple equations to make sure that you are not eating too much. For example, she gave a formula to calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate, which is an estimate of how many calories you would burn by simply doing nothing, being at rest. It is the minimum amount of energy that your body needs simply to breath and keep your body functioning.

My BMR is about 1,579.9 calories per day. This means, that on days that I do not exercise, if I do not eat more than that amount of calories, then I will not gain weight. Multiplied by my exercise expenditure for a light physical activity level (x 1.2) I get 1,895.88 calories per day that I am allowed. If I do some exercise that day, then I can eat more! Woo!

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Jillian also talked about all of the bad things and chemicals that you should watch out for in your food, the things that are really making Americans fat. This included trans-fats, hydrogenated oils, pesticides, antibiotics, and even bug spray. She showed a picture of a pumped up on steroids fat cow, and a cow that had been naturally raised and grass-fed. The slabs of meat were identical, but the cow on steroids’ meat was huge, with fatty white streaks running throughout it, and compared to the lean slice of darker red meat that was the grass-fed cow. Almost just put me off red meat in general. Almost.

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Another interesting topic Jillian brought up was the importance of counting calories, at least to start off with your weight loss plan to keep you accountable and so you really know how much you were consuming in a day, since all of those “extra” calories do add up. She suggested treating your  calories like money to be cashed in each day. You should really be choosy and picky on how you want to “spend” those cash calories and how much that cupcake is really worth to you. If you have extra calories to spend, go for it, but if it is breaking the bank, then hold back. I need to refocus my financial goals at this moment and work on reigning in that spending, so I like the idea of treating calories the same way. Choosing wisely what to “spend” my calories on throughout the day is a really interesting and novel way to look at food recording. Lately I havent had to worry too much, since ive been spending my calories on healthy fruit smoothies and blenderized soups. I wonder if I will lose any weight on this liquid diet or just turn into a bloated ball of watermelon.

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While we are on the topic of soft foods and I am trying to think of something to make to satisfy my growling stomach, lets talk about some of the smoothie creations I have come up with! I have become quite the smoothie master if I do say so myself.

This morning’s one was worth mentioning:

Strawberry-Banana PB and J Smoothie: 

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 tbsp PB
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 oz vanilla greek yogurt

“Good for your Skin” Avocado Mango Strawberry Smoothie: 

  • half of an avocado
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup mango
  • 2 oz vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Tropical Banana Mango Pineapple Smoothie: 

  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup pineapple
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • Naked mango juice (optional, I had it on hand)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

I made this one for dessert the other night:

“Dirty Monkey”: 

  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp pb
  • 2 oz vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Blueberry-Banana Smoothie: 

  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • 2 oz vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • cinnamon

And I am gonna whip up this one for dessert tonight:

Chocolate Covered Cherry & Berry Smoothie: 

  • Frozen mixed berries and cherries
  • 1 tbsp chocolate chips
  • 2 oz vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Told ya I have been making a TON of smoothies! Anyways, I am off to get some more studying done and prepare for this week. Wish me luck and some de-puffiness tomorrow!

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PR’s in Nashville to Cannolis in Boston

Spring is in the air! And I can feel summer creeping around the corner! The weather is gorgeous, and I couldn’t be happier. It is nearly impossible to be feeling down when the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the weather is warm, and its the perfect time for RUNNING. Lets talk running.

Last weekend I finally visited Becca in Nashville, TN! She is my friend from home, and she goes to Vanderbilt University (well, went, she just graduated, the lucky duck). Unfortunately for me I left the nice weather home in CT and brought the rain and clouds, but it was still a good weekend non the less. What made it even better though, was that we were running the Rock n’ Roll Country Music Half Marathon together!! I love love love the Rock n’ Roll race series races. So many people, so well organized, good music, pumped up atmosphere, its a PR breeding ground.

When I got off the plane, Becca picked me up and we went for a 3 mile shake out run and headed into downtown Nashville to the race expo to pick up our gear. And get the obligatory expo picture —->

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2:03 was not our finishing time 🙂 Race morning, we woke up bright and early, ate our respective breakfasts (pb, banana, and toast for me). Of course, it was pouring rain, so donning trash bags was completely necessary. 20130430-094315.jpg

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It was a good look. So. THE RACE! I was not too sure of how it was going to go for me. I had not been training too hard, just doing normal runs, one speedwork session a week, and getting in a long run on the weekends. I have been focusing on biking and swimming also since my triathlon is fast approaching (GAH). Becca warned me that the course is super hilly, and given the fact that it was pouring, I was just looking to go in and run a good, pain free race and enjoy running through the city of Nashville with Becca. Well. You know how that goes. Your in the race, heat of the moment, adrenaline pumping, crazy runners sweating and spitting all around you, all plans for the race fly out the window. Oh, it was on.

Becca took off speedy at the start, and I was worried I wasnt going to be able to keep up with her for long. Our second mile was 7:37!! She glanced at her watch and goes “oh wow, that was really fast” and me huffing and puffing “Yeah… we really should slow down”. Mile 3 comes along, and I spot the 1:45 pacer! We had plans to find him at the beginning and run with him, but those plans kind of died and washed away in the downpour. By now the rain had lightened up, and I honestly dont even remember realizing it was still raining. My eyes were glued to that pacer sign and I was off. I lost Becca somewhere between miles 3 and 4, and stuck with the pacer group for a good distance. Around mile 6 or 7, I started fading, and thought I would have to drop back from the pacer group. But I did not let myself. And thank god I didnt. Racing really is a true test of what your body is capable of. Mind over matter. The Gu that I took at mile 6 finally kicked in, and at mile 9 it was like someone lit a fire under my butt. I was off! Seeee ya pacer group!

I flew through the last 3 miles, and when I glanced at my watch and noticed that I might actually have a chance of coming in under 1:40, that spark was struck even more. I channeled my inner voice and my idol bloggers and their speedy times, and basically sprinted the last mile, in order to come in under 1:40. My final finishing time: 1:39:00. ON THE DOT.

I am still in shock. 7:34 min pace!! Who am I?? Where did this come from? 19th in my division and 95th female finisher. Wooooo. I attribute this speedster in me to once a week speedwork, more cross training (swimming and biking), and more frequent leg weight lifting. I try to do legs about once or twice a week, and I really felt a difference skiing this winter and I think it is making my legs a lot stronger, so I was able to fly over those hills. And hopefully all of this strength training is preventing injury! 20130430-094339.jpg

Becca did great and finished around 1:46. It was pouring at the end of the race and we were freezing, but so happy for our PR’s. This view is supposed to be the best view of the city of Nashville, when it is sunny I suppose. Oh well. Next time Nashville! 20130430-094346.jpg

Country bumpkin curls and boots, along with our race medals. It was a great night out at the country bars to celebrate. 20130430-094357.jpg

And the adventures did not stop with my flight home! Cleo was awaiting for me and we had a fun date night in Boston 🙂 Walked around the seaport and enjoyed the beautiful evening, and strolled on down to the North End to pick which restaurant would supply our hearty Italian feast. It was a difficult choice. So many options! If I lived in the North End, I would make it my life goal to eat at each and every one of those cute little Italian restaurants. I would be a big girl. 20130430-094409.jpg

We finally settled on one called Florentine Cafe. I highly recommend it! The gorgeous flower boxes and the windows open like doors to the streets caught our attention, with cute little tables all mushed together all European like. We ordered martinis, and were served with delicious warm bread and oil for dipping. Oh how I love Italian dinners. My gorgeous date and her meal:

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Cleo ordered some amazing, creamy tortellini dish and I had some spicy noodle dish with shrimps, mussels, and lobster tail. Yummm. And of course, no trip to the North End is complete without the purchase of a mouth watering cannoli from Mike’s Patries. I was too full to eat this baby, but have been nibbling on it for dessert over the course of the week. 20130430-094442.jpg

In other news, I have had some great runs this week! I took Monday off to rest the legs after the half marathon, but Tuesday I did 2 miles after swimming (Triathlon training!) and then 5 with Sarah, and Wednesday Jen and I had a great and steamy (it was almost 80 degrees!) 8 mile run, complete with many hills including Horsebarn. My legs are sore and exhausted, but I managed to get in 4 miles this morning, since its my last run before my wisdom teeth surgery tomorrow 😦 I am kind of looking forward to a weekend of relaxation and being a bum. And attempting to study… since… oh, ya, next week is finals week and all.

Another honorary mention… today marks my LAST DAY EVER OF COLLEGE CLASSES. EVER. Wow. 4 years gone by just like that! I will probably do a long post after graduation with a ton of reminiscing. But it has been some of the best, most rewarding, life enhancing, empowering, and inspiring four years of my life. I have done so many amazing things and met so many people who I love and treasure so much today. I am so thankful for everything that has happened to me! Off to give one final presentation…. LAST CLASS EVER. WOOHOOO. I am a tad excited. See ya when I have no wisdom teeth!

Summer Hair Style and Real Estate Awards Banquet

Hi Everyone! Its been a nice, low key weekend for me, besides that craziness on the TV yesterday with the Boston Marathon Bomber manhunt. Steph and I were glued to the news all day. Thank god they found the bombers, and now future marathoners can rest assured that their race is safe and the guys are not still running around out there. I cried on Monday when I found out what happened. It just hits so close to home. Who would bomb marathoners? Who are showing such pride, determination, dedication, spirit, everything that the human race needs to strive for? I have been reading a great quote around the blog world this past week:

“If you want to hurt the human spirit, the wrong group to target is Marathoners”. 

It is so, so true.

I have had some great workouts this week! I started my triathlon training, and biked/ ran Monday, swam Tuesday, ran Wednesday and Thursday, and biked Friday! I need to work on the amount of times I get in the pool. It needs to be at least twice a week but its difficult to get there, when I could just go for a run instead. I have also been successfully lifting as well, 4 times this week! I had a moment of vainness and self-appreciation when I took this picture… I do not normally do the “selfies” or ab/muscle pictures, but I am pretty proud of how my abs are looking recently. They have really developed, which I think I dedicate to a mixture of running and eating better so I am losing more body fat overall. 20130420-100020.jpg20130420-100032.jpg

Wednesday was finally a gorgeous, sunny spring day! I celebrated by skipping class, going to the Dairy Bar (finally), and going for a long drive in Ellie to get my hair done! Finally a day to open the sun roof (which I accidentally left open all night.. whoops). This is the before picture, when my hair is still dead-of-winter brown. 
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And I got highlights! I was going for the Jennifer Aniston look… What do you think?

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It was nice to feel pampered and have my hair done, I think it has been 4 years since I last changed up my hair style/color. And I am more than ready for long summer beach days that naturally turn my hair a lighter color. I just need to get than tan! It was definitely time for a fresh new summer cut.

On Thursday night I attended the UConn Center for Real Estate Annual Awards Banquet where I had to present that dreaded speech that I had been procrastinating… the verdict…. I blew everyone away. It was amazing! I am so glad that I found the confidence, I knew I had it in me. (The 2 and a half glasses of wine I consumed with dinner probably helped a bit…). My voice was shaky when I first started off, and I stumbled over one line when my mind strayed a bit, but as soon as I cracked my first joke and got a laugh out of the audience, I found my groove and was able to deliver it with a strong voice and confidence. It was easy to express my gratitude to Debbie and my parents, and what I said was so heartfelt and true, that the words just flowed at that point. I almost teared up when I started speaking about my parents.

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Aren’t they just so adorable? I love them, and am so so thankful to have such awesome parents. They really are my best friends, and I feel very lucky to be able to say that. Its not often that 21 year olds love hanging out with their parents so much. These two should be grateful haha. 20130420-100112.jpg

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Mum bought me roses, and I received a plaque for the Student of the Year Award. Such a great and rewarding night, I truly feel so blessed for my family, my school, my hard work and dedication, and my future that lays ahead of me. 20130420-100139.jpg

And thank god for Mum who kept purchasing me glasses of wine LOL. Definitely gave me the confidence boost that I needed to walk up to that stage and stand in front of all of those important people.
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In running news…… I signed up for the Rock n’ Roll Montreal MARATHON!! I know, I know, another marathon attempt? What is this, my third try? I desperately do not want to get injured, and this is a sure fire way to do just that, but I am going to go into this one with an open mind and just see how the training goes. I do not have to start training until the beginning of June, and I will work my way up the miles each week, and see what I have time for come this summer when my co-op position starts in Toronto. I also have the triathlon training to think about as well. So if all else fails, I will drop down to the half. Easy peasy. And pray that I do not get injured along the way.

I just cant seem to give up the dream! Running a marathon will always be on my bucket list, and I plan to cross it off one of these days. And this race is a perfect Boston Qualifier, which would also knock that off of my bucket list…. So we will see what happens. I found a plan in Women’s Running Magazine to help me reach the Boston Marathon qualifying time of 3:35 for my age group, which is an 8:14 average pace, so that is what I am training for.

Steph and I are off to the Wooden Spoon… pancake fuel yum. I am going out in Hartford tonight and doing a long run and shopping day tomorrow! Talk to ya later 🙂

Burgers, Sushi, and Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Goobers

Today is a giddy, elated, tingly, weird-feeling-kind of day. After a lazy and out of sorts weekend (read, hungover), I am anxious and excited to start this week off fresh, on the right foot, healthy, motivated, detoxed, and ready to focus. The case of senioritis has plagued me deep, and refuses to be shook off. I cannot seem to find a cure. So, I am going to roll with it. Because, in all honesty, I should be feeling at the top of the world right now, elated, happy, fulfilled, relieved, and proud. I graduate college in 4 weeks. I get a month to relax and enjoy myself, and in June I get to move to Toronto for 4 months on a yet another new adventure and phase of my life. Am I nervous? Hell yes. But these are excited-nervous butterflies.

Why am I not waking up feeling like it is Christmas morning every morning? This weekend was great, and spent with my amazing friends who I do not get to see enough, but it left me with a sense of emptiness in my stomach, and a weird nagging feeling that there is something else that needs to be done, something I am missing out on or forgetting. But even as I sit here pondering it, I still cannot hit the nail on the head. What is this feeling? Is it the fact that my body is angry with me for running so much and my hip/foot are constantly reminding me of that, keeping me from participating in one of my most loved activities? Is is the fact that I keep procrastinating planning this speech that I have to make on Thursday in front of 150+ people (as I am blogging right now instead of planning it), or is it the fact that in less than 4 weeks, all this, my life as I have known it for the past 4 years, will abruptly come to an end, and a new phase will begin? No more classes, college schedules, meetings with professors, Thursday & Saturday night shenanigans, shots after shots to make the bars more enjoyable (although my body will appreciate me for this)?

But first lets recap this weekend. Don’t get me wrong, it was a blast! But gave me an important life lesson: I fail at functioning at life when I am hungover. I must remember this. The next day will be shot and worthless.

Thursday night Steph and I made bunless roasted red pepper and feta stuffed turkey burgers on lettuce wraps for dinner, to go with our malibu bay breezes. Cleo came up and we went to Jaimies, and then went to the bar. It was your typical drunken Thursday night. Poor Cleo finished off a bottle of champagne and was struggling the next morning. I was feeling pretty useless as well after 8 too many shots.

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Friday night my dear Kara came to visit and Chelsea, Sarah, Kara, and I all ordered sushi. This was my plate —>

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The girls had their own platters unpictured. Only joking, sadly. Asian Bistro compiled all of our sushi rolls onto one platter, which we found quite amusing. Yummm hungry girls love their sushi. I had a spicy crabmeat roll, and shared the salmon avocado roll and Paradise roll with Kara. Paradise roll = heaven in your mouth. No other way to describe it. Shrimp and Banana (BANANA) tempura, drizzled with mango sauce. Hollyyyy goodness.

And what girls night would be complete without chocolate? At least none of my girls nights. As soon as dinner is over, the sweet tooth flares. And on this particular night, it flared for dark chocolate melted and layered around juicy strawberries. 20130413-141418.jpg

We also experimented with frozen banana bites, and my oh my these will definitely be becoming a new staple in my diet. They are so simple and easy to make, and I am already planning on the little banana and peanut butter frozen sandwiches covered in a layer of melted dark chocolate that I will be making tonight. Must buy more chocolate chips…..

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I had a great chest/back/leg strength training workout this morning and spinning class afterwards kicked my Monday blues.

Triathlon training starts now. 10 weeks until the Toronto Triathlon Festival, on June 21st. My first sprint distance tri. I am so pumped. I need this break from running, and I think the workout adjustment will do my body good. I am going to do a complete post soon about my training plan and equipment, but I plan to spin while still at school twice per week, then get out on my bike about 3 times per week when I get home. I am going to up my swimming sessions to twice per week, and incorporate more sprint workouts into them. I am going to run about 3-4 times per week, and still try and do one interval session and one long run on the weekends (if my nagging body will allow it, it isent too happy with my running at the moment). I also still want to get in 3 good strength training sessions, and keep incorporating leg weights. Phew. See what I mean? Who has time to worry about schoolwork anyway with all of this good stuff going on?

This is the picture of my girls from Saturday night, when we all finally got together to go out to the bar for Ladies Night. It has been so soo long since the 5 of us (Chelsea is unpictured) have gone out together, and that night may have been the last before graduation. But I truly hope not! These girls have been my core 4 friends since we all met and lived on the same dorm floor back in sophomore year. Times have changed and so have we, but we still know how to drink and have a great time together when it matters.

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Last night’s dinner is worth mentioning. I have been on a spaghetti squash kick lately, and found a roasted red pepper sauce recipe that I had to try. It really was so simple. You can cook up a spaghetti squash by poking holes in it with a fork and cooking it in the microwave for 15-20 min, depending on the size of your squash. Then toss it with whatever your heart desires and it will usually end up being delicious!

Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:

I cooked the spaghetti squash like mentioned above. While it was cooking, I sautéed one onion and two garlic cloves in olive oil, added one can of diced tomatoes and half a jar of chopped fire roasted red peppers, and a little bit of red wine vinegar. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and add basil, oregano, and spinach. Once the squash is cooked, peel the spaghetti strands out and add it to the sauce mixture, stir to combine, sprinkle in some feta cheese so it gets nice and melty (goat cheese or parmesan would be delicious as well). Once stirred and all the strands are coated in the sauce, but in bowls, top with your favorite toppings, and enjoy! I love walnuts on pasta so I served mine with chopped walnuts, kalamata olives, and some more feta cheese. Deeeeeelicious and nutritious.

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Finished off dinner with some more of those frozen banana bites and strawberries topped with melted peanut butter. 20130415-110055.jpg

One more picture —> I had to show you the gorgeous sunrise that greeted me before my 6am strength session at the gym this morning. It was great motivation, pays to be an early riser! I got rewarded for getting my butt out of my warm bed, where it was soo tempting to snooze my alarm this morning. Thank god I didn’t; I ended up getting in a great workout and enjoying this beautiful view and some perspective on my week. I hope that your Monday is just as rewarding and introspective! 🙂20130415-110101.jpg

Crepes A La Carte and Free Bear Hugs

Here are more pictures of the beautiful mountain views, as promised! This is the day that we skied at Breckenridge. It was supposed to be a rainy day, but we got so lucky with a clear and sunny morning, perfect for taking pictures of the mountains. 20130409-184141.jpg

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It was so sunny that I had to break out the sun goggles! Mum and Dad —–>

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We rode a T-bar up to the highest peak of the mountain, it was sooo windy and this was the gorgeous view that greeted us. You can see the whole mountain ski town of Breckenridge. The Main Street strip is full of local shops and restaurants, and we went and explored them the next day and stumbled upon…. 20130409-184242.jpg

CREPES! Obviously, it is no ski town without a local crepery serving fresh, hot-off-the-grill melty gooey and buttery crepes. I was debating between the savory apple and brie crepe or the sweet chocolate and berry crepe. Decisions, decisions. I have been on the biggest chocolate kick lately, (actually, when am I not on a chocolate kick…) and I went with the Berry Swirl, which was raspberries and blueberries with melted dark chocolate and white chocolate chips. Absolute heaven. Paired with Starbucks coffee of course, because no crepe is complete without fresh coffee. 20130409-184253.jpg

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So melty and gooey and satisfying. I was oooohing and ahhhing and every bite. The customers of Starbucks may have been concerned. 20130409-184306.jpg

We went walking afterwards to burn off our crepe bellies, and the little shops were adorable. One was full of these hand carved bears: 20130409-184315.jpg

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I wanted to carry one onto the plane so badly but Mum said that security might have a problem with that and she was not buying another plane ticket for a wooden bear. Drat. It was an amazing trip, but with the blizzard that hit Colorado on our last day and the 8 degree weather in Denver as we were leaving, im more than happy to be home in CT!

I love traveling and being away, but I always miss being on a regular routine and it is nice to come back to normal scheduled workouts and meal planning (obsessive compulsive freak disorder… I know, I know). I meal planned quickly this morning for the remainder of the week, since it is Thursday! Today feels like my Monday. Tonight we are gonna make turkey burgers, and this weekend break out the crockpot for buffalo chicken lettuce wraps! I will do a full grocery shop this weekend and meal plan for next week.

I got to enjoy a warm spring run around my favorite neighborhood this morning also! 5.5 miles with an 8:30 average pace. My last few miles were under 8 min miles, it is amazing how much easier it is to breathe here, I was flying! I want to start upping my milage gradually, but carefully because of my hip. It would be the worst thing imaginable if it flared up again.

Cleo is coming up tonight, and we are finally going outttt! I am sure I will have some naughty pictures to share of the evening 😉 And tomorrow I am going back to PT for a check up on my hip and then have a great 8 mile running date!  Have a great Thursday 🙂

Spring Skiing at Copper Mountain and Breckenridge, CO

Hi 🙂 How was your weekend? Mine was spent the best way I know how, with family, relaxation, some good runs, and some great skiing. This was the gorgeous view that greeted me from our balcony when I woke up on the first morning. 20130407-185505.jpg

Can’t get much better than that can you? I did a weight workout in the gym, and then went exploring the village of Breckenridge to find the bike path that I planned to run on the next day. It was a beautiful, sunny day with clear skys and gorgeous views. 20130407-185517.jpg

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We did not ski the first day in order to give us time to get acclimated to the thin air and change in elevation. I went for a 4 mile run on this bike path the next morning, before we went skiing, and wow could I really feel the difference. I had to exert so much more effort for this run, and most of it was flat! I guess this is good training… I felt a little lame and out of shape though struggling on a measly 4 mile run but that just means that once I get home the runs will seem easier!

We skied Copper Mountain on Sunday, and again we were very lucky with a beautiful, sunny day that allowed us to fully take in the mountain scenery! We skied a full day, 9:00 to 3:00, and my legs were really feeling it. 20130407-185615.jpg

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The end to a perfect day on the slopes? First, I enjoyed a Nutty Irishman (so strong and gave me a buzz after not eating a big lunch) and then straight to the hot tub with some Sauvignon Blanc in classy plastic cups. Ahhhhh relaxation. 20130407-185628.jpgToday we skied at Breckenridge Mountain, which was definitely not up to Copper Mountain standards in terms of the difficulty of the hills. It was another sunny and gorgeous day though, so no one was complaining. And after I attempted to run again this morning, I do not think that I needed much more of a challenge on the slopes. I have gotten in some great workouts this trip! I always record my workouts on a schedule to keep me accountable. My schedule is currently at my apartment, so in order for me to not forget:

Friday: MUCH needed rest day

Saturday: Circuit weight workout, bi’s, tri’s, and shoulders. 3 mile speedwork

Sunday: 4 mile run, ski

Monday: 4 mile run ski

Tuesday: Chest, back, leg circuit workout

Tomorrow we are getting a blizzard…. in April! They are calling for over a foot of snow…  it is supposed to be spring! But Wednesday I get to fly back to hopefully warm and sunny CT weather. I am hitting up the weight room tomorrow and getting some studying done for the exams that await me upon my return from this mountain heaven. Ill post more pictures soon of the gorgeous views from today! Have a great start to your week 🙂

Danger: Slutty Brownie Recipe and Breckenridge, CO

Hi from Breckenridge, CO! We just arrived today, and the effect that the increase in elevation has on all of us already is crazy. We flew into Denver, and it was sunny and warm and we walked around the U of Denver without any problems. But then once we drove two hours out into the mountains, we were all so out of breath and lightheaded simply walking up the stairs! My run tomorrow morning should be interesting… hopefully there are no stories of me passing out on the side of the road. We are staying in a really nice condo right by the mountain, and there is a gorgeous and picturesque ski town that we will go explore tomorrow.

Lets go back to the events of this past week shall we? Cleo came over Tuesday and if course that meant wine, pizza, and copious amounts of chocolate in some sort of form.20130405-201533.jpg

When the two of us are together, we always crave something sweet and delicious. So, using inspiration from our favorite European blogger, we created these sweet babies:

Slutty Brownies. 

I give you, the heavenly, filthy, delectable, delicious, tantalizing, dangerous, slutty brownies. Oh boy are these filthy, in so many ways. So named because of the gooey, globby, fudgy, chocolately mess of a form that they are in when you eat them fresh out of the oven. Once you let these babies cool, they harden like a thick rock of sweet and rich chocolate tantalization. And they are literally 25 pounds each. They turn into chocolate sugar bricks. Your probably like ok… slutty brownies… what the heck are these? Let me explain. 20130405-201546.jpg

Take a box of cookie mix, or prepared dough (because life is too short to actually make cookie dough from scratch), patten it onto the bottom of the pan, layer with Double Stuffed Oreos (the more stuffing the better), and then cover with brownie mix. Bake at 425 degrees for 35 minutes. Take out of oven. Drool, salivate, dont burn yourself as you dig into the fudgy goodness because you simply cannot wait any longer. 20130405-201554.jpg

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Cleo and I were debating whether or not to make these, she even suggested that she bring some fresh fruit over for us to snack on instead because we had been over doing it in the chocolate department lately. But then I realized, and as cliche as it is, you only live once. When am I going to have another chance to make and eat a slutty brownie? We told ourselves we would enjoy and savor just one and then throw the rest away. Wellllll you can probably guess that didnt happen. I enjoyed a sliver the next morning, and again the next day. And then I gave some away and threw the rest out. Sad, sad times. But it had to be done. Just means that I need to make them again soon… and this time, with Reeses Peanut Butter Cups in the middle ….. 20130405-201615.jpg

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Random picture of my dinner the other night because it turned out so well and I was so proud: Greek Feta Cucumber Salmon Burger 20130405-201636.jpg

This morning I had a 3:30 am wake up call to meet my family at the airport for the plane ride to Denver! See the mountains when we landed? 20130405-201645.jpg

And I am now a proud owner of a new mug to add to my Starbucks collection. I now have Tampa, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C, and now Denver! And I am proud to say that I have actually been to all of these places to personally collect these mugs. 20130405-201655.jpg

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The view from the balcony of our condo. Pure gorgeousness. I cannot wait to get out on the mountains. Tomorrow we are taking it easy in order to get acclimated to the higher elevation, I think we are like 9,000+ feet above sea level! And it is even higher up on the mountains. I am going to attempt to go for a light jog tomorrow and see how my breathing is, and then hopefully do some lifting in the little gym here. 20130405-201720.jpg

20130405-201725.jpgHave a good weekend people! I will be back with what will hopefully be gorgeous pictures of skiing in the mountains 🙂