Tetherball + Hemp Hearts

Yesterday morning, I thought I was going to get a third off day in a row thanks to the people at the Y.  When I got there around 5:15am, the person who was supposed to open it hadn’t made it there yet, and everyone was waiting outside.  Luckily, someone else who worked there called someone else to bring a key, but not before a few of us headed out back to get our workout in however we could. 

There’s a huge tire and a sledgehammer and a bunch of other fun stuff to use out back, and I’ve been wanting to do a workout out there, but what caught my attention yesterday was the tetherball pole.  Remember that game?  I got smoked in about three seconds when the ball got hit over my head and my 5-foot body couldn’t jump high enough to reach it, but it was fun while it lasted!

Once they finally opened up the building, I headed inside and got in what I could.  It was short but still effective: 

  1. 1 clean + X front squats + X push presses
    1. 10 @ 55#
    2. 7 @ 75#
    3. 5 @ 85#
    4. 3×5 @ 95#
  2. Workout (4 minute tabatas):
    1. Box jumps
    2. Push-ups
    3. Hollow rocks

When I got home, I decided to make a quick smoothie for breakfast.  It’s easy to eat while I work, and plus it’s super tasty and filling.  I made this one with plain Chobani, frozen strawberries and blueberries, a little bit of a Power-C Machine Naked Juice I had in the fridge, and a whole bunch of spinach.  It didn’t come out looking very pretty, but it tasted wonderful. 

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For lunch, I made a salad with lettuce, spinach, carrots, green peppers, chicken, balsamic vinegar, and a new-to-me addition called hemp hearts. 

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I got these in my Bestowed box but hadn’t even thought to use them yet, so when I wanted to add something a little extra to my salad, I decided to go for it. 

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They had a slight nutty flavor, and they added a great texture to my salad, plus they’re high in omega-3′s and omega-6s, and a good source of protein and amino acids.  I’ll definitely be using them again soon!

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After work, I headed to the grocery store to get that out of the way for the weekend.  I still had some things in the fridge, but a lot was on sale, so I stocked up on regular stuff as well as things I knew I’d use. 

I guess that’s how I ended up with three dozen eggs in my fridge… I think I know what I’ll be having for breakfasts next week!

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I also picked up a couple Naked Juices (I’m officially hooked) because they’re cheaper at the grocery store than at work, plus veggies (carrots, cucumbers, spinach, peppers, green beans, zucchini, tomatoes) and almond milk.  And see that huge 5-lb pumpkin-looking thing in the front there?  That’s an acorn squash.  I’ve never tried one but I heard they’re delicious, and I sure hope so because that thing is going to take me a while to get through.  

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I also stocked up on fruits – strawberries, blueberries, grapes, bananas, and cantaloupe are the ones of choice this week.  I read somewhere that pears and apples can sometimes lead to upset stomachs, so I’m going to stay away from them for a little while and see what happens. 

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That yogurt container is on its way out, but I did stock up on chicken and turkey for the week.

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And speaking of chicken, I went with my signature Friday night meal last night for dinner: rotisserie chicken with green beans and grapes.  So good!

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I’m off to spend the day at the lake with my dad and his girlfriend and (hopefully) catch some sunshine while we’re there.  The weather forecast is looking a little iffy, but there are only so many summer weekends so I’m going to get out there and enjoy it while I can!

Have a good one!


It’s Monday Already?

This weekend was a little bit backwards from how my weekends normally go – mostly because of the weather.  Saturday started off cloudy and rainy, and I had to go into work for a few hours in the morning, so I decided to get all my weekly chores out of the way right off the bat.

After work, I headed straight to the gym to get in one more workout for the week.  Being at the Y on a Saturday morning between 9 and 11 is really not fun to me because of how crowded it gets, but luckily by the time I was finishing up, it was clearing out.

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Despite the crowds, I do love Saturday workouts because they often mean I can spend as long as I want in the gym.  I can move slower, spend more time on things I want to work on, and practically get as much in as I feel like with nothing pressing to rush off to.  That’s definitely how it went this weekend, and it was good to spend some extra time stretching and working on some new moves that I’ve been trying to master. 

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Here’s what my Saturday workout looked like:

  1. Warm-up + stretch
  2. Back squats:
    1. 12 @ 95#; 10 @ 105#; 8 @ 135#; 5 @ 155#
    2. 5×3: 185#; 155#; 135#; 105#; 95#
  3. 15×3 @ 35#:
    1. Shoulder press
    2. Upright rows
  4. Front squats: 5×5 @ 95#
  5. 1 Snatch + 5 Overhead squats x10 @ 55#
  6. Squat cleans: 5×5 @ 553
  7. Sumo deadlift high pulls: 5×5 @ 55#
  8. RDLs: 5×5 @ 55#
  9. Snatch drills

After my long workout, I headed home to clean my apartment and do my laundry, stopping for lunch in between.  I wanted Mexican, so I cooked up chicken and peppers in a pan on the stove with chili powder and cumin, and had some chips and salsa on the side.

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The rest of the day was spent shopping for new workout pants (found a pair at TJ Maxx) and running errands.  And while I was out… all I was thinking about was pizza.  I haven’t had pizza in quite a while, so I was thinking about stopping to pick one up, when the idea hit me: cauliflower crust pizza.  I’d been wanting to try it out for a while, and with some time to kill and a craving for pizza, it seemed like the perfect opportunity.  It came out absolutely wonderful too, so I’ll definitely be sharing the recipe later this week.

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I woke up early on Sunday and started the day off with a big batch of extra-green spinach banana pancakes with syrup, berries, and bacon.  I’m not quite sure what went wrong this time, but they all stuck to the pan and it was rather devastating.  Luckily they were still delicious (even if they weren’t that pretty), but I think it might be time to buy a new, non-burnt pan…

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After breakfast, I hurried off to meet up with a couple friends to hike Mt. Monadnock.  It was the absolute perfect day for a hike – sunny and warm but not brutally hot. 

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Apparently a lot of other people had the same idea as we did because the parking lot was packed, but luckily the trail didn’t feel crowded at all.  We took a trail I’d never done before, which seemed far less-traveled than the main one, and we only passed by a few other groups the entire time. 

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The clear skies made for picturesque views all around, and I took it all in from the top.  I’m severely directionally-challenged, but on a clear day, they say you can see Boston from the summit. 

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How lucky am I to live in such a beautiful place?!  (The correct answer would be: pretty dang lucky.)  I absolutely love it here. 

Once we made it back to the base, I headed home and spent a couple hours out lounging by the pool at my apartment.  It wasn’t quite warm enough for me to want to take a dip, but it was nice to get a little sun.

And the last stop of the day was the kitchen for some meal prep.  Since I did groceries on Friday, my fridge is absolutely filled to the brim with food… Chicken, steak, eggs, fruits, and veggies galore!

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This week, I decided to take the easy route and make one batch of meatloaf filling and turn it into two different types of meals.  Sometimes I make a meatloaf that lasts me practically an entire week, but I’m so sick of it after a few days that I’m shoving it in just to keep from wasting it. 

To avoid that, I combined a pound of ground turkey, two plum tomatoes, one green pepper, one egg, about 1/4 cup of almond flour, and a couple tablespoons of tomato paste (ingredients: tomatoes), to make the base.  Then, I put half of it into a loaf pan and topped it with bacon, and made half of it into meatballs.  I baked both in the oven, cooked up some green beans to go with the meatloaf, and peppers to go with the meatballs (I’ll probably add fresh spinach when I actually eat them), and voila – two very different meals. 

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I don’t usually add tomato paste to my meatloaf, but I tried it out for dinner last night, and I think it was a great choice.  I had it leftover from Saturday’s pizza, and it definitely gave the meatloaf an extra kick and made it nice and moist. 

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I also had quite a few bananas laying around, so I made a batch of banana bread muffins using three bananas, six eggs, about 1/3 cup (maybe?) of almond flour, a big tablespoon of coconut flower, a pinch of baking soda and baking powder, four teaspoons of coconut oil, and a crapload of cinnamon.  (I’m so precise, I know.)  Since the loaf pan was occupied with the meatloaf, I used my individual brownie pan, and they came out wonderful.  It made six pretty large muffins, which would be perfect for either breakfast or dessert!

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So between working and spending too much time at the gym and shopping and cooking and hiking and napping by the pool… this weekend certainly flew by.  Sometimes though – like in this case – that’s the sign of a really good weekend, so you won’t hear me complaining.  We’ve only got so many summer weekends to enjoy, and I think I’m off to a good start!

Questions:

What did you meal prep for this week?

What did you do this weekend?

Do you like hiking?


Real-Life Extreme Couponing

Another thing that I love about my new job is that I’m busy all day long.  Being busy can of course be stressful at times, but what I like is that it makes the days fly by.  It seems like one second it’s Monday, and then before I know it, the week’s already over!  

That’s certainly how this week went, and Friday totally snuck up on me.  I was hoping to do something fun and summery for the long holiday weekend, like go camping with my dad, but Mother Nature had other plans for us up here in New Hampshire… it actually snowed last night! So with the cold and rainy weather forecast dampening my plans, I decided to stick around town instead.

First up on my list of things to do after work on Friday was groceries.  You know you’re getting old when you spend Friday night at the grocery store, but I had no food, so it was a must.  As I was picking up what I needed, I also grabbed one of their rotisserie chickens. After getting home late from a long day, I knew I wouldn’t feel like cooking, and these read-to-eat chickens make things pretty easy.

Along with the chicken, I had two things I haven’t had in quite a long time: wax beans and cherries.  My grandmother used to make wax beans all the time, and I sort of forgot about them until I saw them on the produce shelf.  I threw them in a pan on the stovetop with olive oil and basil, and they were delicious.  I used to love cherries (from a jar) as a kid too, and these fresh cherries made a nice, sweet addition to this delicious dinner. 

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I have been on a serious pancake kick lately, and that’s exactly what I wanted for breakfast yesterday morning. I wanted to try something a little different though, so I combined about 6oz plain Chobani, 2 eggs, 1 tbsp coconut flour, and 1 tsp cinnamon in a bowl. 

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I was a little nervous (as I always am when I just throw things together and hope for the best) but the batter looked to be the right consistency, so I went for it.

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I poured the batter onto a hot griddle, and lucky for me, it worked!  Between the tart yogurt and the coconut flour (which I’m not all that fond of), they weren’t the absolute best-tasting pancakes I’ve ever made, but I did still like them.  I topped them with some crunchy peanut butter and berries to switch things up a bit, and it was a great change!

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After breakfast settled, I headed to the gym, where my workout ended up being a killer one.  I often have more time to spend there on Saturdays, and I take advantage of that whenever I can.  Here’s what it looked like:

  1. Warm-up: 5-10 minute walk/run
  2. Back squats: Warm-up, 5×5 175#
  3. Plié squats: 4×8 135#
  4. Front squats: 5×5 95#
  5. 20-15-10-5 @ 35#:
    1. Reverse curl to OH
    2. RDLs
    3. Behind head shoulder press
    4. Lunges
    5. Rows
    6. Side lunges
  6. 4x:
    1. 12 Cable high rows @50#
    2. 12 Triceps pushdowns @ 40#
    3. 12 Calf raises
    4. 6 T2B
  7. 4x:
    1. 25 Bridges
    2. 25 Crunches
  8. Cool-down: 5-10 minute walk

Once I was finished at the gym and all showered up, I headed over to my friend’s house to chat for a while, and then we were off to do some shopping.   She is an amazing real-life extreme couponer, with her own binder and everything, and she showed me all her tricks.  I was amazed at how organized she was, with all of the coupons filed by type, and by how much she knew about store ads, manufacturer ads, and how to save the most money.  I am all about saving money, and I wish I could do it like she does!

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First we hit the grocery store, and then Target, where I got to use some coupons myself.  She says all this couponing sometimes makes her feel like a crazy old lady, but hey, saving money is for people of all ages!

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My mom and cousin are visiting today, and as excited as I am to see them, word on the street is that my cousin is bringing some of his homemade biscotti, which I need to get him to share the recipe for.  Let’s hope the weather holds up enough for us to go out and do something fun!

Have a great rest of your weekend! Smile


Can I Have Every Friday Off?

Yesterday was a glorious day off, indeed!  The weather was beautiful, I got everything done that I wanted to do, and I got to hang out with some great people! 

I decided to get up at my usual 5am wake-up time and head to the gym early in order to get it out of the way.  It was a great choice, and I was glad I didn’t have to think about my workout for the rest of the day.  Here’s what it looked like:

  1. Warmup: 5-10 minute walk
  2. Front squats:
    1. 15 @ 60lbs
    2. 12 @ 95lbs
    3. 8 @ 115lbs
    4. 3 4 5 2 1 @ 135lbs
  3. Workout (7x):
    1. Walking lunges one length of the track
    2. 10 Shoulder presses
    3. Run one length of the track
    4. 10 Wall balls
  4. 50 Box jumps
  5. {12 Barbell curls + 12 Close-grip bench presses} x4
  6. 50 box jumps
  7. Cool down: 5-10 minute walk

When I got home, I took a little nap, and then made quite a fabulous breakfast.  I have a George Foreman grill with removable waffle plates, but I don’t use it often enough.  With extra time, I decided to pull it out, and used my usual pumpkin pancake recipe for the batter.  I topped it with blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and maple syrup, and it was totally delicious. 

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After breakfast, I cleaned my apartment, did a little blogging, and sat out on my balcony for a little while taking in some sunshine.  One of my favorite things to do is watch the morning talk shows on TV, but it doesn’t happen too often!

For lunch, I met my friend at my favorite local bakery and café, and decided to go with the salad.  This salad had mixed greens, grilled chicken, strawberries, almonds, and balsamic vinaigrette. 

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We ate lunch outside, and it was like summer in a bowl!

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After lunch, I ran a few errands, including a stop at the grocery store.  I had a few things still in my fridge (frozen meats, almond milk, green veggies, apples), but I picked up some other essentials to get me through the week.

Green + red peppers, tomatoes, cantaloupe, spinach, strawberries (on sale for $1.49 so I got three containers even though I already had two in my fridge)…

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Bananas, grapes, carrots, corn, jicama, steak, and chicken…

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Plus an angel food cake that I just couldn’t resist sampling.

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Once everything was put away,  I sat outside in the sunshine for a bit reading my new book.  I am only six chapters in, but I am absolutely loving it.  It’s a mix of science and common sense, and I love the way the authors present their arguments.  Not only do they talk about the science and research behind it all, but they also give all kinds of real-life examples that make it easy to understand. 

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For dinner, I had the leftover chicken and veggies I made on Thursday.  I was a little worried that the zucchini would be soggy after it was reheated, but that was not the case at all!  That’s good news because it means this meal can be worked into my weekly meal prep and taken to work for lunches. 

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After dinner, I went over to the high school lacrosse field to see my good friend from high school.  She coaches a high school lacrosse team that was playing the local high school team, and it was great to get to see her for a few minutes! 

Next, it was off to the bowling alley to have some fun with some people from work.  The event was a fundraiser for the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, and my team raised over $500!  The night was low-key, and we all had a lot of fun!

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I’ve got another busy day planned for today, starting with a workout, so I’ve got to hop to it. 

Have a great weekend! Smile


There’s Nothing Like It

Hola amigos!

Vacation was so much fun last week, but it is also so good to be home!

I got back to my apartment yesterday after a night at my mom’s, and I may have had the best sleep of my life last night!  I love getting to travel and check out different hotels, but there really is nothing like sleeping in your own bed. 

I hit the grocery store first thing this morning to get my shopping out of the way – and it felt so good to be back there as well.  I didn’t have much of anything in my fridge, so that combined with the fact that I feel like I haven’t eaten a vegetable in about ten days meant I went a little wild in the produce section today.  Having other people cook for you and access to unlimited food buffets is awesome, but there is nothing like grocery shopping for fresh produce and cooking in your own kitchen!

After a week of sweet indulgences, I’m going to make a solid effort to get back on track, so to that end, I made sure to stock up on all kinds of good eats for the next week or two.

Meats/proteins: Chicken, steak, pork, eggs, plus ground turkey I pulled from the freezer

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Fruits: Strawberries, blueberries, apples, lemons, kiwis, bananas, plus a cantaloupe I was cutting up

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Vegetables: Lettuce, spinach, green peppers, red peppers, green beans, tomatoes, carrots, spaghetti squash, zucchini, asparagus, and broccoli

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(I went to the grocery store really set on picking out some different veggies this week (like Brussels sprouts), but they were really lacking in the produce department, so I had to take what I could get.  Maybe next time.)

I’ve decided that I’m going to bring back some yogurt into my diet, so I picked up some plain Chobani, plus two of the smaller vanilla chocolate chunk cartons.  I don’t expect that quitting having dessert with every meal after the week I just had will be easy, so hopefully the sweet goodness of my favorite CHO flavor will help me keep cravings at bay!  (There’s also berry and chocolate Bolthouse Farms smoothies hidden in the back from before vacation.  Those things are so good!)

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I also picked up a new carton of almond milk (plus I still half a little left from before)…

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And some tea (which was on sale), pumpkin, and crushed tomatoes…

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I stopped by Trader Joe’s to pick up some almond butter, cashews, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, and some dark chocolate (which hopefully I can eat in moderation…).  My collection of nuts and nut butters is getting a little outrageous!

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In order to get a jump start on the week, I did a little bit of meal prep today as well.  I was feeling undecided as to what specific meals I’d want to eat, so I just made a few things to have on hand, which I’ll be able to use in a variety of different ways. 

Hard boiled eggs:

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Spaghetti squash:

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Sliced green & red peppers:

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And turkey meatballs:

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Now that my laundry’s about done, my bags are all unpacked, and my apartment’s clean, I think it’s time to curl up on the couch, catch up on some TV shows I missed, and do some studying.  It’s snowing outside, and I couldn’t ask for a more perfect Sunday afternoon at home… there really is nothing like it!

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!


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