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

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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 🙂

Lower Body Weight Workout

Good Morning! Woke up this morning to piles and piles of SNOW. hello. its march now. snow needs to go away now please, its spring time! But in a week and a half I will be on the beach, so I cannot complain too much.

I had a great workout at the gym yesterday that I wanted to share! It was a leg lifting day for me, and I combined it with some intervals on the elliptical and bike and some body weight exercises. I hate the bike and the elliptical.. but combining sprint intervals and going back and forth between the two made the time go faster and actually kind of kicked my butt.

The Workout:

Elliptical:

  • 5 min warmup
  • 5 min speed/push
  • 5 min hills

Body-Weight Exercises:

  • 50 air squats 
  • 25 mountain climbers
  • 50 alternating lunges
  • 25 jump squats
  • 25 lunge split jumps

Leg Weights: (3 sets of 12 reps)

  • Deadlift
  • Alternating lunges (20 lbs)
  • Single leg bench squats (20 lbs)
  • Squat machine
  • Side lunges (15 lbs)

Bike 15 min

  • 3 min easy
  • 1 min sprint
  • 2 min rest
  • repeat (do this on a hill program for an extra challenge)

Body-Weight Exercises

  • 25 pushups
  • 25 tricep dips
  • Wall sit (1 minute)
  • 25 burpees
  • Plank and side planks (hold for 1.5-2 min)

Elliptical

  • 15 min easy to cool down 

Ta Da! My butt and thighs are pretty sore today, so it was a successful workout. If Steph and I can dig ourselves out of the feet of snow, we are heading to the gym again later today. I am going to do some intervals on the elliptical and bike again, my triceps-biceps-shoulders routine (see post in workout posts folder) and some body-weight exercises like burpees, push ups, and planks. Hold the squats, my legs need a breather.

But for now… I am just going to dream of warm, sunny air and palm trees 🙂 and maybe attempt some homework. Cleo is coming up tonight for some wine and movies and what is sure to be some yummy eats, so ill post about that later 😉

Eggplant Fries and New Strength Routine

Morning! It has been a few days since I have posted.. but thats because nothing exciting or noteworthy has really been going on. Seriously. This week is dragging. Workout, Eat, Class, Study for Argus, thats about the extent of it. Argus Exam is on Friday, cant wait for that to be over with!

I made some Eggplant Fries on Monday night, recipe from Oxygen Magazine. They tasted like the ones I got at Max Burger once ——> soooo good.

Eggplant Fries w/ Yogurt dipping sauce: 

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Slice up 1 large eggplant into wedges (this makes a lot of fries, you could use only half the eggplant)
  3. Beat 2 eggs in a bowl, throw in some pepper or seasonings
  4. Pour 3/4 cup of either panko breadcrumbs, oat flour, or almond flour (for gluten free) into another bowl (I used breadcrumbs and they were delicious)
  5. Take your eggplant wedges and dredge them in the egg mixture, then roll in the flour mixture
  6. Place on a baking sheet lined with tin foil or parchment paper
  7. Slide into the oven, and bake for 25 minutes!
  8. Optional: combine some hot sauce, paprika, and plain nonfat greek yogurt for a yummy, spicy dipping sauce
  9. Enjoy! 20130219-141548.jpgWe had ours paired with a roasted red pepper and feta turkey burger.

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In running news, I strained my hip flexor during my long run on Sunday, so I have been taking it easy this week. I have a half marathon in Hyannis on Sunday so I suppose I could call this my taper week. I am just praying that I will be okay to run it! I swam yesterday, and did 2 miles on the treadmill this morning, but it felt tight.

I am so excited for this marathon, but I am looking forward to focusing on weight lifting and getting stronger after it is done. Today I did Shoulders, Triceps and Biceps. I try to vary my workouts around to switch things up and use different muscles, but here is the routine that I am liking right now:

Shoulders, Triceps, and Biceps Strength Routine:

(Group each two together as a superset pair, do 10-12 reps of each, 3 sets)

  1. Standing Shoulder PushPress
  2. Hammer Bicep Curl
  1. Incline Bench Bicep Curl
  2. Lunges/Squats
  1. Squat Overhead Shoulder Press
  2. Seated Reverse Dumbbell Curl
  1. Cable Curl
  2. Lying Tricep Extension (try to do a triple stop at as you extend behind you and when you bring back to starting position)
  1. Standing Triceps Pressdown
  2. Dumbbell Side Lunge
  1. Standing one-armed Tricep Extension 
  2. Single-leg Bench Squat/ or Weighted Bench Step Up
  1. Shoulder Raises (out to the side and out to the front)
  2. Tricep dips (I usually do 20, but do to fatigue)

If your feeling ambitious and dont have a race or a 20 mile run coming up,  finish with the leg squat machine! And always finish with some sort of ab workout!

So that routine combined with my chest & back routine (which I posted about earlier) Is what I have been focusing on. I think I am seeing results, I have been pretty sore, and my shoulders did look good in the mirror at the gym this morning! 😉

Have a good day!

Chest & Back Day

Monday is usually my spin day, but I am feeling quite lethargic from my 18 mile run yesterday, so I did something totally unlike me and decided to skip spin and take it easy today. Today was a lifting day anyways! It was chest and back day. I have been varying around the different types of workouts that I do but I found one sequence that I am enjoying. It helps that Cardio Express has some great back machines I can make use of.

Chest and Back Lifting Workout:

(I do all 3 sets of 10-12 reps)

1. Bench Chest Press – im at 65 right now, need to work on that

2. Lat Pulldown (on machine)

3. Incline Bench Chest Press

4. Back Row (on machine)

5. Incline Dumbbell Chest Rows

6. Standing Lateral Raises

7. Bench Dumbbell Back Row

8. Pushups (20 each set, I need to work on that to…)

9. Assisted Pull-up machine (I have 20 assisted so pulling up 100…. i NEED to be able to do an unassisted pull-up!)

 

So there it is! I am feeling my upper body right now as I am typing this… I had some creamy and peanut-buttery oatmeal in an almost empty peanut butter jar this morning. Studystudystudystudystudystudy is the plan for day…. so pumped! I just have to remember to breathe and on Friday afternoon it will all be over.

Birthday, Wine and Snow!

First things first… HAPPY 21ST BIRTHDAY to my beautiful ginger best friend i love you so very much and cannot wait to celebrate with you tonight and Wednesday and Thursday and at the CASINO this weekend!!!! Here she is:

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Always ready to drink!! Cupcake Angel Food wine, Candy Apple Martinis, Pesto crockpot chicken, sweet potatoes and quinoa on the menu for tonight 🙂 Topped off with Biggest Loser.

Workout: reunited with my beautiful spin shoes this morning for class! Going to try and get back on the regular Monday morning 7am spin class routine.

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Breakfast: Vanilla Cinnamon Protein Pancake with blueberries and copious amounts of (unpictured) almond butter:

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Highlights of today: Snow. One class. Crockpot magic. Sarah’s lovely birthday and copious amounts of yummy wine with apples and martinis.

The Spread: Buffalo pulled chicken, celery, brie cheese, wheat crackers, and Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc with apples.

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Crockpot pesto mozzarella chicken with sweet potatoes. Caramel Apple Martinis for dessert. Yumm classy dinner night over here.

 

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