Tag Archives: smoothies

NROLFW update & more mango

I’m halfway through the first stage of NROLFW and wanted to do a quick update on my thoughts/progress so far with the plan.

Stage 1 calls for 16 workouts, alternating between workout A & workout B. After 3 full weeks, I’ve completed 8 of the workouts at the “2 set” phase and just today moved into the second half of stage 1 which increases the sets to 3.

I’m not going to do any updates on measurements yet, I’ll wait until the end of stage 1 for that. Sorry, no awkward full body muscle pictures today. Winking smile 

In general, I love it! In these 3 weeks, I’ve learned to live and function in a perpetual state of soreness (in a good way!). This is the longest I’ve ever stuck with a strength training program before. I seriously look forward to each and every workout. I think a few things are contributing to that:

  • The way the program is structured it encourages you to add heavier weights as the workouts progress.
  • It gives you “beginner” moves when necessary so it’s easy to tell when you’re gaining strength because they start to feel easy and you move onto the “real” moves (push-ups are an example here).
  • I think the emphasis on dumbbells and barbells instead of machines makes it more easily recognizable when you can handle increased weight.
  • I already see a difference in muscle definition. Positive reinforcement baby!

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These are me not flexing. I’m going to call them my “rolling hills” and I’m pretty sure they weren’t there before. Winking smile Well on my way to looking like the book cover.

NROLFW

Click here for before pictures (granted, I am flexing in those so they’re not totally comparable).

A few fun facts:

Prone jackknife is my favorite move of this stage.

Step-ups are my least favorite (boring and tedious)

-I can now do 3 sets of 10 full push-ups!

-In general this is how I feel about deadlifts:

Diet wise I haven’t been doing anything out of the ordinary besides being more cognizant of my protein intake. I will try to have a protein smoothie or something high in protein after each session. It doesn’t always happen, but I’d say about 75% of the time.

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Today’s smoothie, which overflowed the second I put the camera down and which Ginger promptly licked up.

Stay tuned after another 3 weeks for a full Stage 1 recap.

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Now, let’s talk about mangoes. Again.

I actually bought 2 mangoes for last week’s Mango black bean salad but only ended up using one because the other was hard as a rock. 6 days later after hanging out next to the bananas getting all ripe, it was begging to be used. After reading Jenna’s recap on her fruit detox, I had been craving fruit and couldn’t even think about “real” dinner foods. I just wanted fruit. The practical side of me kicked in though and somehow I ended up with this.

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Quinoa, mango, spinach salad.

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With a piece of whole wheat sunflower seed bread. Delicious, light dinner.

Quinoa Mango Spinach Salad

Makes 2-3 full dinner servings or 6 side dish servings

  • 3 cups cooked red quinoa
  • 2 cups chopped baby spinach
  • 1 mango chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half a lime
  • juice of 1 small orange
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

Rinse quinoa and toast with coconut oil before adding water and cooking normally (optional, but recommended). Combine next 6 ingredients in a large bowl. When quinoa is finished cooking, add to bowl and mix to combine. Whisk together last 5 ingredients and pour over salad. Toss. Chill in refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.

 

What’s the weirdest craving you’ve ever given into for dinner (or any meal)?

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18 Comments

Filed under Dinner, Recipes, Strength training

Home sweet home

We got home Friday night just as the sun was setting only to see the jungle that our entire yard had become. It was raining the 5 days prior to us leaving for Ireland so we never got to mow the lawn or do anything outside. Fast forward 8 more days and the place looked like it had been abandoned!

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I wish I had a ruler to illustrate how high the weeds grass actually was. Ginger has this thing with long grass and for some strange reason feels compelled to eat it. It happens on walks all the time but then she’s on a leash and I can pull her away. I didn’t really think of it when we let her out yesterday morning and she spent the next 20 minutes chomping her way around the yard. When she finally came in she wouldn’t eat her food and as I sat on the couch next to her I could hear her stomach making obscenely loud noises for a dog. 10 minutes later she was running to the door to be let out to then have a 15 minute puke fest from the ingested grass. Lovely. Thankfully, Ulysses mowed it before going to work so we didn’t have to deal with that the rest of the day.

After breakfast I spent the entire morning yesterday cleaning up these…

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Those damn seed pods are everywhere! I definitely don’t remember this happening last year. The worst part is we just mulched around the entire yard and now all my pretty black mulch is covered with these things. It’s impossible to blow them off the mulch without blowing the mulch away too so I just gave up and instead cleaned the deck, porch, walkway and driveway.

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Despite the “fun” morning, I’m definitely happy to be home for a few reasons…

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1. A workout!

Yes, I ran inside yesterday even though it was gorgeous out. Since I wasn’t done with operation seed pod clean up until almost noon it was pretty hot out by then and I really wasn’t in the mood to fill up the camelbak. #lazy. The run wasn’t nearly as hard as I was expecting after 10 days off. I ended up doing 4 miles with some intervals.

  • Mile 1: warm up 6.2mph
  • Miles 2&3: alternating 1/4 miles of 7.2 & 6.2
  • Mile 4: cool down 6.2mph

Some abs and pushups later I felt much better about those 8 scones over the past week. Smile

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2. Water

Oh how I missed my beloved Under Armour water bottle. This thing comes everywhere with me. I love the ounce markings on it so I can keep track of how much I’m drinking in a day. I usually drink somewhere between 70-100 ounces/day. That’s 3.5-5 of these. It’s not that water wasn’t available in Ireland, it was just inconvenient to drink that much when you’re constantly on the go because of the obvious side effects…needing to pee every 45 minutes or so. When you have to pay or buy something from a store to use a bathroom in most places in Europe it would have been annoying to drink my usual amount so I drastically cut back. I felt gross because of it too. I woke up parched every morning and I’m pretty sure it was a contributing factor to how blah I felt by the end of the trip body/health wise.

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3. A packed fridge (and fruit bowl)

We actually went to one grocery store on our way home on Friday because I couldn’t bear the thought of having no produce upon waking up yesterday morning. Then yesterday I hit up the other grocery store for a few remaining essentials. Having so much produce that it doesn’t all fit in the drawer makes me happy. I think I went a little overboard though. Eating 85% carbs for 8 days will do that to you.

In produce alone I bought:

-arugula

-spinach

-salad greens

-broccoli

-cucumbers

-zucchini

-tomatoes

-avocados

-kale

-Swiss chard

-sugar peas

-peaches

-nectarines

-bananas

-blueberries

-strawberries

-raspberries

-blackberries

-apples

-cantaloupe

We have a lot of eating to do!

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4. Healthy food

Besides a yogurt bowl that escaped photography this morning, these were my eats for the day. A strawberry banana protein smoothie, a big salad with a bit of everything, and coconut crusted baked tofu with overcooked steamed broccoli and Trader Joe’s harvest grain blend. The tofu was a wing-it kind of thing and it came out amazing! Just mixed shredded unsweetened coconut with some bread crumbs, salt & pepper for the crust. Dipped the tofu slices in an egg + coconut oil + milk mixture and then rolled them in the crust mix. Baked for 20 minutes at 425. Really good! Might be my new fav tofu recipe.

And lastly,

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5. Shorts & flip flops.

Ireland was cold. It made me happy to be able to wear these today. Smile

And to end with a little fun, while I was traipsing through the rain and wind in Ireland Tina @ Love, Sweat, and Beers nominated me for the “7 things about me” award. I actually found it pretty hard to come up with 7 things because most people reading this right now probably already know these about me so just as a disclaimer to friends and family you’re probably not going to find out anything earth shattering here, sorry.

7 things award

1. I have never wanted to have children and after almost 5 years of marriage we’re both still “eh” about it.  As everyone around us starts having a family though I wonder how our friendships might change if we are the only ones without kids.

2. I have a secret desire to go to culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in France. When we lived in Florida I actually applied at their Miami location, paid the application fee, got accepted and then never followed through. I wish I had realized this desire before starting a career, getting married, buying a house, etc.

3. I’m severely allergic to any animal with hair/fur and get allergy shots and take zyrtec & nasonex daily just to have Ginger.

4. I despised oatmeal as a kid. Now, I’d consider it one of my favorite foods.

5. I’ve worked at the same job since graduating college for the past 7 years and have changed positions 6 times. Some promotions, some lateral, and some backwards just for a change.

6. I bought a stick shift car without knowing how to drive it because I wanted to learn. It worked. It sometimes feels bad-ass to be able to drive stick. Especially, on the other side of the road, shifting with your left hand.

7. I have only thrown up once since I was 5. It was my 21st birthday and that’s a story for another day. I hate throwing up and will avoid it at all costs.

And now I’m passing this on to these ladies:

Hayley @ Oat Couture

Kim @ Book Worm Runs

Kate @ What Kate is Cooking

What’s something random about you?

10 Comments

Filed under Around the house, Dinner, Lunch, Meals, Running

Ode to Ireland

First things first. Breakfast was too good not to share. This girl knows what she’s talking about when it comes to smoothies. I’ve been wanting to try these dough boy smoothies for quite some time and yesterday morning was the day. Boy am I glad I did. Such a nice change of pace for breakfast. It really does taste doughy too!

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Those white clumps are coconut butter and definitely the best part. If you haven’t tried these yet, do it.

<Insert long work day here>

But that’s ok because it’s only a 4 day work week for me. We leave for Ireland on Thursday night! We’ll be headed there for just over a week and plan to explore much of southern Ireland from Dublin —-> Cork –> Killarney —> Shannon. We’re going with Adrian & Doreen so you’ll be seeing a little bit more of those two. This is my first trip to Europe that we’re planning completely on our own and not with a group of some sort so, it will be interesting to see how everything pans out from driving our stick shift rental car on the other side of the road to figuring out how to get from city to city.

I decided to get ready for our trip by incorporating one of the few foods I associate with Ireland (maybe I’m naïve but, what food is actually Irish?) into last night’s dinner. Cabbage! I’ll admit that my assumption of cabbage being Irish is based solely on the whole corned beef & cabbage St. Patrick’s Day tradition. So I apologize if it’s not but, I promise the recipe is good anyway!P1012649

There were slim pickings in the produce drawer of the fridge and since we’re leaving on Thursday I really didn’t want to buy too much either. Enter this coleslaw/salad that I can make a ton of, will keep just fine for a few days, and satisfy my vegetable quota. Hope Ulysses likes it because it’s on the menu every night between now and Wednesday!

Honestly, I don’t even know if I can call this a “recipe” it’s so simple. Simple is how I roll. I don’t have time for long, elaborate meals during the week while working full time and trying to fit in some sort of workout after 5pm. (Don’t even try and talk me into a morning workout. It will not happen. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve tried only to totally dismiss the alarm clock when it goes off.) My goal is to try and keep it healthy, quick, and of course tasty. That’s it. I think this satisfies all three.

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These 4 vegetables cost me $4.32 at my favorite store. I plan on having them last me for 3 dinners/lunches. Can’t beat that.

Ever had jicama?

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This was actually my first time buying it. I’ve had it in plenty of store bought vegetable party trays but never bought it myself. It looks like a root vegetable and you just peel the outside layer off much like you would a potato.

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Once the jicama is peeled, just julienne it along with the red pepper.

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This is a loose interpretation of a “julienne”. No need to be perfect here.

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Moving onto the cabbage, I actually take out the white inner core as I think it’s kind of bitter and then just slice it.

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Add all your sliced vegetables to a bowl. I actually threw in some un-pictured raisins too for some sweetness. I also thought about adding a sliced up apple but then realized I didn’t have any left.

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Now it’s time for the dressing. This is where most coleslaws go horribly wrong. I wanted to keep this one light and obviously healthy but, I also wasn’t in the mood for just a vinegary dressy.  I ended up kind of winging it and it came out great!

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp mayo
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 tsp sugar
  • salt/pepper

Just pour the dressing into the bowl with the sliced vegetables and toss to coat.

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I let this sit in the fridge for a couple of hours but, there’s no reason you couldn’t eat it right away.

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I was alone for dinner last night and this was the perfect side to my grilled cheese and tomato sandwich. Smile

Now it’s time to start packing!

“Irish” Coleslaw:

Serves 8-10 side dish portions

  • 1 small head of red cabbage, sliced
  • 1 small head of green or savoy cabbage, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 jicama root, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup raisins, chopped
  • salt/pepper to taste

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp mayo
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 tsp sugar
  • salt/pepper

Directions:

Thinly slice all vegetables and combine in a large bowl with chopped raisins. Whisk together all dressing ingredients and add to bowl with vegetables. Add salt & pepper to taste. Toss to coat and serve or refrigerate.

Have any of you been to Ireland? Any suggestions on things we must do while there?

14 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Meals, Recipes, Travel