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Doubles with my Dude

9 May

Things I had on my list for possible fun things to do this weekend:

Visit Basha Kill Winery

Dinner at a new BYOB in our town

See the movie Date Night

Drinks out with High School friends on Friday

Things I actually did on this list this weekend = ZERO.  It’s funny how you can really plan and plan and plan, but the majority of life is just going with the flow!  And that’s what makes it fun.

So Patrick ended up taking a major detour on his drive here and didn’t end up arriving until after 11 pm 😦 so understandably, he was not in the mood to head out immediately, and I was pretty beat by the time he got here also.  We ended up laying on my couch in sweats, watching ESPN, drinking iced tea, and just talking on Friday night, and it was perfect ❤  Having a long distance relationship, it’s important to remember that while you want to do so many things with your significant other when you actually get to see them, it’s really important to have couple down time and just enjoying one another’s company and b-r-e-a-t-h-e

This left me plenty rested for a Sat morning run.  Patrick wanted to sleep in since he had a long week, so I took advantage of our different sleeping patterns and squeezed in a 4.5 mile run at the gym.  I wanted to make it speedier than normal in case Patrick woke up earlier than expected, so I pushed it and completed 4 miles in 32 minutes 🙂 which is the fastest I’ve completed 4 miles so far – and then I had a 1/2 mile cool down, followed by 3 1-minute planks and some more easy core strengthening.

Patrick and I  did some fun shopping around the area for more Australia things I needed and had a leisurely lunch outside, even with the 30+ wind gusts!  He told me over lunch that he wanted to get in a good run Saturday afternoon while he was visiting and was hoping I would go with him.  A fun run with my boyfriend, YES PLEASE!  So instead of heading to the winery, we decided to run outside together…how healthy of us!  My thought = the winery will always be there (for a while anyway), but my boyfriend does not ALWAYS want to run with me.  It was an easy choice.

We ended up doing a slower paced and relaxed 4.5 miles outside together.  I didn’t even time it, how not Type A of me!  It ended up being one of my favorite runs though, combining some of my favorite things, boyfriend, running, & sun 🙂 I was so proud of our distance though because Patrick isn’t that big of a runner and I thought my legs would get tired earlier since I already did a run earlier in the day, but neither ended up being an issue!  This bumped up my running total for the day to 9 miles = awesome for me.  Here’s my happy running partner ready to go!

After getting back we really weren’t in the mood to hurry and get ready to go out to dinner so we opted for cooking in and enjoying some cold beers and red vino!  We tried a recipe I got off of Runner’s Kitchen – Middle Eastern Stuffed Peppers!  We modified it slightly depending on what I had around the house.

Ingredients

  • 4 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1/2 – 1 lb ground turkey breast
  • 1/4 cup chopped olives
  • 1/2 cup golden raisin mix
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp diced garlic
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup cooked brown wild rice

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Cut tops off of bell peppers, save tops and set aside, remove seeds, and place peppers in a small baking dish
  • Spray a medium frying pan with cooking spray and cook meat, garlic, cinnamon, and cumin over medium heat for ~4 minutes
  • Add tomato sauce and raisins and cook for another 4 minutes
  • Remove from heat, stir in olives and rice
  • Divide meat-rice mixture evenly among the bell peppers
  • Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees or until tender

I enjoyed mine with a glass of pinot noir and Patrick had a cold Warsteiner –> it was a new try for him!  It’s a pilsner which is his fav, definitely not my fav type of beer, but I actually liked this brand!  I’m still not converting from my wine though!  The peppers ended up being DELIC!  I loved the middle eastern flavor the cumin and cinnamon added to the peppers.  Patrick and I were happily stuffed like the peppers!

The rest of the evening was spent at some local bars catching up with my high school friends! I guess my Friday night agenda was moved to Saturday night.  It was such a great quality time evening, especially since we ended up rolling in at 3 am!  All in all – a successful weekend!

Tonight’s Mom’s Day will be wrapped up watching Sherlock Holmes w my mom and drinking some tea in this colder than normal weather.

Drinking tea before bed is one of my FAV daily rituals!  What are some of yours?!

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Eight Mile Monday

26 Apr

So in case anyone was wondering, Monday’s are NOT just as hard for the unemployed as the employed.  I used to wake up on Mondays and immediately feel my cortisol levels shoot through the roof – I swear! – thinking of what the week ahead held for me…which was a lot of long, mindless days in a very anxious workplace.  I am keeping myself plenty busy and I have a lot on my plate w/ many things that are self – induced, but I can actually breath easy on Mondays for the time being knowing I am so much more in control of my life now 🙂

After 2 days off from exercise and a mini college reunion on Saturday, my body needed a good run today for many reasons!  Now I am not an expert by any means in running terms, but as I was on the treadmill today I tried to remember best I could what I was doing so I could recount them here.  Here is my first shot at this (please excuse the lack of formality).

Today’s Run

  • About 1.5 miles @ warm up pace
  • 1 mile @ 7.0mph
  • 1 mile @ 7.5mph
  • 1 mile recovery
  • 5 minutes @ 7.0
  • 5 minutes @ 7.5
  • 1 minute alternating between 7.0 mph and 8.0 mph (3x)
  • A couple minutes of recovery
  • 1 minute alternates:
    • (7.0-8.0 mph)
    • (7.1-7.9 mph)
    • (7.2-7.8 mph)
    • (7.3-7.7 mph)
    • (7.4-7.6 mph)
  • Cool Down
  • Total: 8 miles in about 1 hr 11 min

I felt great afterwards!  I notice that for me the first 2-3 miles are the hardest, which is probably why I never really ran more than that distance in the past.  When I get up to 4+ miles though, I really feel like I hit my groove or something and I could keep going for so much longer than I imagined.  For now though, I know I can’t push myself too far though b/c I am still working on increasing my distance and I am intent on increasing it in a safe manner so I do not injure or burn myself out.

I rolled out of bed and did this workout first thing in the am… an even better way to start your Monday! So when I returned home, I was pretty ready for a good breakfast.  I knew I wanted to get a run in first thing this am, so I prepped a bfast cookie the night before for immediate devouring!  I added two new things to the breakfast cookie this morning #1 Almond Butter w/ Honey-random TJMaxx purchase (God I love that store!) #2  1/2 scoop of unflavored Whey Protein Powder (I’m not the biggest fan of enhancement supplements like protein powders, but proper nutrition comes first and I knew I would need some extra protein/calories in this morning’s mix after a long run).

Naturally pictured half devoured…

Whey Protein not pictured – I thought that would be ok!

As usual, I followed up breakfast w/ a wonderful cup o’ joe and some Dr. Oz.  My stomach was growling earlier than normal so “lunch” was had in pieces today.  Round #1 Dannon Blueberry Yogurt w dried tart cherries thrown in the mix (have I mentioned these are great for joints!) Round #2 WW Pita stuffed with Turkey and “hummus salad” which consisted of shredded carrots, cabbage, red onion, red bell peppers all mixed up with a couple heaping spoonfuls of original flavored hummus – this is a great fill-in for a mayo based salad.  And Round #3 Homemade fruit salad – strawberries, ultra juicy oranges, and grapes – mixed with some Kashi Go Lean.  I think I covered just about every food group here – Go me!  And everything was ultra satisfying.

This is a semi-ok pic of my pita:

I have some healthified chicken quesadillas on the menu for dinner served with a side of The Blindside.  I still haven’t seen the Oscar winner and am dying to!  Nothing better than a movie for a rainy, rainy evening!

Also, as promised here is my recipe for the Chicken, Peanut, & Slaw Wrap I made on Friday.  I would love to hear if anyone makes it and/or makes some of their own modifications to it!

What is your hardest “hump” to get over/through when it comes to long runs?  How do you manage?

Bulk is the way to go

24 Apr

Happy Friday!!  I’m sure everyone else out there is looking forward to the weekend just as much as I am.  To start my day yesterday, I had stove top oats sans PB!  Do you believe it?  I don’t know what it was but my stomach didn’t want something so heavy.  I opted in banana and strawberries instead and mixed half water and half sweetened vanilla almond milk to give it a creamy fruity taste instead.  It was a good change up for today, but I know PB will be back in circulation soon enough!

Yesterday must have been my day o’ experimental recipes because for lunch I tried up a new Chicken, Peanut, & Slaw wrap.  It was pretty easy to throw together and was a really great fun lunch option.  Though I rarely get bored with the variety of my turkey or tofu salads and wraps for lunch, this one has an asian taste to it which was a little bit more exciting than the norm.  I will definitely make this again for a healthy & PB infused meal though I may make some small changes next time around- I’m not sure exactly how, I’m sure it will just depend on my taste-buds at the time! Pictured below, clearly with srirachi sauce on the side!  I’ll put the recipe up later.

Right after lunch, I received a wonderful little surprise in the mail!  Ok, it wasn’t exactly a surprise since I did order it, but I wasn’t expecting it so fast.  Via Hungry Girl I received a discount code for buying a variety of chocolate VitaTops online.  I have been meaning to try these for months, but my grocery store is always sold out of the chocolate flavors and I wasn’t sooo into buying any of the Bran flavors.  Luckily, I recently bought the last 4 pack of the chocolate flavor at my grocery store, and was instantly hooked!  I found that these little treats were the most perfect guilt-free after dinner/pre bedtime snacks.  When I ran out (which was fast!) I found myself searching the fridge and pantry for something and ending up so disappointed because all I really wanted was a VitaTop!  I decided that buying in bulk was def the smarter, easier, and more economical way to go with the Hungry Girl discount. The package was 4 different chocolate flavors (5 each) and 2 “free” Chocolate VitaHearts for $29.99 w free shipping.  Now I must say the free shipping sold me, so I went ahead and ordered.  Hello deliciousness…


VitaHearts – So cute!

Another successful bulk story…my quinoa!  This grain is going a long way.  In the mix this time around was quinoa, balsamic marinated tofu, LOTS of goat cheese (mmmm), spinach, and a new cherry berry dried fruit blend – it consisted of regular raisins, golden raisins, dried cherries, and craisins.  What a perfect blend of tastes.  This is definitely a combo I’ll return to!

I must run for now!  Dinner with my mom is on the horizon tonight.  We’re trying a rustic restaurant in Pennsylvania tonight which I’ve never been to!  Very excited 🙂

What is your favorite item to make/buy in bulk?!

Makeover

21 Apr

So I knew blogging would be a time consuming project, but the upfront time you really have to spend on it has surprised me!  I am a perfectionist so I am playing with all kinds of themes, fonts, pictures, tags, categories, pages, blogrolls, etc.  I really want to write and its too bad the other necessary things that come w blogging are taking up a lot of my time right now!  But once they are all done and i have my blog looking and running the way I want, I will be so pleased with myself and I can just worry about the actual blogging portion of it!

So for a quick recap, I spent two days at Penn State last wk to sit on a student/alumni q&a panel for the College of Liberal Arts.  I absolutely LOVED it!  The parents and students asked terrific questions and I was able to answer so many of them.  Afterwards, I had parents, students, and faculty commend me on how well I did and how all my answers were wonderful.  It was such a good feeling!  I truly love everything about Penn State and my experiences there, so I am more than happy to offer any help/advice to the faculty, students, and prospective families!

Mom and I got in the night before and went to my FAV downtown restaurant The Deli.  They had a great new beer menu with all different kinds of beers from different, smaller breweries around the country.  Mom had 2 Sierra Nevadas (nothing too exciting) and I had a Weyerhopper from Easton, PA?? It was a good IPA beer, which are my favs when I’m just having one (or 2 in this case).  We called it an early night though bc I did have to get up at 7:30!  This was no vacay.

Since we were in a hotel, breakfast was one Fage 0% Yogurt, banana, and Splenda!  On my way to the auditorium though, I stopped at Dunkin Donuts aka HEAVEN for a medium lite latte bc I knew I would need something to hold me over until lunchtime!

HELLO HEAVEN

The day was gorgeous and I was so busy talking with the parents and prospective students that it just FLEW, and before I knew it, it was time to head home to NY!

Since being home, I have been so productive.  I unpacked all my stuff, brought EIGHT bags of clothes/random stuff to the salvation army that was just sitting around my house – Mom and I did some serious spring cleaning!, I joined the gym here and have not missed a beat with my normal workout schedule (which I was afraid of) so I’m patting myself on the back for that one, and I have done a couple of the recipes that have been on my “to make” list for weeks now!

#1 Breakfast Cookie

Please DO NOT underestimate how wonderful this simple recipe is!  I have eaten it a couple times already, have made it for my mom, and she has since given the recipe to other people- all since Monday!  This recipe is from the wonderful Fitnessista blog and there are many versions you could make of this.  Mine have consisted of 1/3 cup rolled oats, 1/2 banana, a liberal tbsp of PB, a couple splashes of sweetened vanilla almond milk, one Truvia, and cinnamon.  All you do, is mash all the the ingredients, except cinnamon, together in a tupperware container or appetizer plate really well.  The milk soaks into the uncooked oats making it really easy to mash together.  I then flatten it with a spoon and sprinkle a ton of cinn on the top as a fun top coating.  Since I put mine in a tupperware container, I then just stick the lid on it, and let it set overnight.

In the morning, just get a spoon out and make sure your taste buds are ready!  This is absolutely TDF (to die for)!!!!  Your life will be changed…

# 2 Grilled Banana French Toast

I took some pics with my blackberry instead of my camera and they are too atrocious to post, so I snagged the pic below from the blog Healthy Tipping Point.  I got this recipe from my fav blog Runner’s Kitchen, but she originally got it from Healthy Tipping Point….don’t you just love word of mouth!  I made some personal adjustments to it, but that’s what recipe swaps are all about!

I enjoyed the banana recipe after a solid 5 1/2 mile treadmill run so my body was craving all of this!

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of Food for Life Genesis 1:29 bread whole wheat bread (great carb)
  • 1 organic Eggland’s Best egg, Shoprite brand, beaten (protein)
  • splash of milk and vanilla extract
  • 1 banana, sliced lengthwise and then into thirds (fruit/carb)
  • Splenda
  • cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Siggis Icelandic Yogurt (protein)
  • 1/8 cup reduced sugar maple syrup

Directions:

  • Combine egg, milk, and vanilla in shallow bowl and soak the bread
  • Coat frying pan in non-stick spray and heat over medium-high
  • Add bread and banana to pan, sprinkle tops of bread with cinnamon
  • After about 2 minutes, turn the bananas over
  • Flip over the french toast and sprinkle cinnamon on the side now facing up
  • When french toast is cooked to your liking, remove from heat, and place bananas between the 2 slices of french toast
  • Let them sit on the warm pan for about a minute on each side to solidify the sandwich
  • For dipping if interesting:
  • In a separate little bowl, combine the yogurt, syrup, Splenda, and more cinnamon

Cut in halves, quarters, or devour whole.  I enjoyed mine w a wonderfully strong Zarbar coffee!

HOLY YUM

Enjoy the recipes and please send more my way!  I’d love to hear feedback.  Even though I feel boring sometimes, you can clearly see my affection for banana, carbs, and peanut butter!