My butt is SORE! Lovely way to start a post, right? But (no pun intended) honestly, my legs are smoked from yesterday’s strength workout. I forgot that heavier weights killed my lower body so much. Really, if you’re at a … Continue reading
How’s everyone’s December going so far?
It doesn’t really feel like december to me yet, I think some snow would make it seem more official (hint, hint, mother nature get on it!)
I thought I would check in about how the no sweets for a week thing is going. So far it’s been surprisingly easy. I think allowing myself to eat my own baked muffins was a good choice. I get grumpy if I can’t bake things, and if I bake something I have to be able to test it. I may actual put up a new pumpkin muffin recipe this week. Yum
Total Body Strength Supersets
My hip has been feeling a little achey lately so before hitting then gym today I tortured it a bit with a tennis ball.
Confused? I don’t have a foam roller so I use my tennis ball to massage tight and sore muscles. It takes quite a while to roll big muscles but it’s perfect for little areas on the side of the hip.
After that I went to the gym and for the first time in a couple of weeks did some heavier weight training.
I did this with a 70 lb barbell and a 22 lb dumbbell. When I first started this workout I noticed the barbell was really heavy. I was quite bummed thinking that I must have lost some strength. Finally I realized that the barbell had 10 extra pounds on it… whoops. Good thing I noticed towards the beginning of the workout or I might have had a very humbling workout experience.
Almond-Coconut Chai Tea
While at the grocery store last week I picked up one of my favorite non-dairy milks.
Oh my goodness this stuff is so good, if you like almond or coconut milk you will love this. I knew I had to turn it into some sort of seasonal hot drink.
1 cup of Almond-Coconut Milk
1 black tea bag
tiny pinch nutmeg
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1. Heat up your almond-coconut milk and then steep tea for 5-7 minutes.
2. Remove tea bag and add in spices and vanilla. It’s really up to you how much spice you want to add to your chai.
3. Stir and enjoy
So simple yet so delicious!
Question of the Day
What’s your favorite festive winter drink?
Anyone else struggling to get back into the work/school groove after the holiday break? I’m counting down the days till christmas
Treadmill Hill Repeats
I decided to challenge myself in a new way today on the treadmill by doing some hill repeats.
I actually really liked them. Once I got over the fact that I was not going to be running fast I was able to really focus on getting through the higher incline. I’m not going to lie, the “hills” were tough but it feels really great running at normal incline after you finish them.
It turned out to be 4.19 miles in 40 minutes. And yes it was a big struggle deciding if I wanted to go for exactly 40 minutes or exactly 4.2 miles. Minutes won today
My December Goals
In the beginning of November I made it a goal to get a stronger core. Between extra core workout videos and plank challenges I think I did a pretty good job. I’m not exactly (or even remotely) sporting a six-pack but my stomach feels tight and strong.
So since November went so well I wanted to make some goals for december. I want them to be fun to achieve so I’m not going to make them super hard. Challenging but realistic goals.
Goal 1: Running
Run 13 miles in 2013. My previous longest distance is 11 miles so I know I’m capable of reaching this goal in december. As long as I stay motivated and don’t get injured I should hit this in the next couple weeks.
I also want to incorporate different types of running, like todays hill repeats, into my running. I’m trying to experiment to see what sort of things will make me a stronger runner.
Goal 2: 10 Pullups
Ok, this one is not a given. I’ve really been trying to up my pullups in the last couple of months and would be so happy if I could get 10. I’m at about 6-7 right now so I’m not sure how likely it is that I’ll hit this goal. However I can do 8-9 chinups so if I hit 10 chinups by the end of the year I’ll call it complete.
Goal 3: Have fun with my workouts
I want to get back into heavier weights but I also don’t want to feel like I have to do any certain type of exercise. My goal for this month is to make sure I’m enjoying my workouts and not just doing them out of obligation
Goal 4: Be moderate with holiday season eating
I did pretty well with thanksgiving so that makes me confident for the christmas season, however christmas tends to be a bit heavier on the pre-holiday festivities. I don’t want to start the new year feeling like I need to start my eating habits all over. Moderate Indulgence!!!
Goal 5: Be Happy and Grateful
As always this goal is a given. Still it’s important to remind myself of how lucky I am to have the things that I do and people who support and love me. I’m going to try to focus less on what I don’t have and more on appreciating what I do have.
Hope you’re having a nice start to your week!
Question of the Day
Any December goals?
Thanks to my family’s incredible eating capabilities our house is almost completely out of thanksgiving leftovers. One thing that we still have plenty of however is turkey.
What can I say? It was an 18 pound bird, even our enormous appetites are incapable of eating that much meat that quickly. Give it a week….
If you also find yourself in the “what to do with leftover turkey” predicament you might enjoy trying this Turkey Noodle Soup recipe. The name doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as nicely as chicken noodle soup but it tastes just as good.
Turkey Noodle Soup
2 celery stalks
3 cups cooked turkey pieces
3 cups al dente (just a little underdone) pasta
48 ounces of turkey broth
salt and pepper (and whatever other spices you like)
1. Cut up the carrots, celery, and onions and saute for 10 minutes.
2. Add in your broth and bring to boil. Turn down heat and bring to a simmer, simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add in your turkey and al dente pasta.
4. Season with salt and pepper and cook for another minute or two.
5. Enjoy your post-thanksgiving soup
I will warn you that this turned out to be a pretty packed soup. If you like your soup with a bit more broth you can cut down the amount of noodles, turkey or vegetables.
Question of the Day
Do you have Thanksgiving leftovers?
Happy last day of november! Only one more month left in 2013
I’m not going to lie the morning after thanksgiving I got really excited and started listening to christmas music.
I have a strict no christmas music before thanksgiving rule and I was super excited to listen to my holiday jams for the first time this year. Christmas music is an essential part of my holiday experience.
Before I talk about my run I’d like to quickly acknowledge the epic thanksgiving leftover sandwich I made yesterday
That’s two slices of bread covered in cranberry sauce layered with turkey, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, and green bean casserole….. and yes, it was good
I had a pretty normal pre-run breakfast.
Some Coffee and In The Morning Oats.
While my food was digesting I did some internet surfing and got started on a running plan for my sister who is going to be running a half marathon next year (yippee!).
Before my run I got in my last plank of the month. According to the challenge calendar it should have been 5 minutes but instead I did 3.5. After 3.5 my form starts to crumble. I’m not really disappointed though, often times challenges like these can get a little unrealistic towards the end. I do think it helped me strengthen my core though and I’m hoping to improve my time with good form in december.
Then I went for my run, it was a shorter run (4.5 miles) than my usual long run but it felt really good
Here are my splits and time:
No Sweets for a Week
Many times the trickiest time for holiday over-eating is not the holiday itself but the days after the holiday. I think it’s important to enjoy your holiday and indulge in the delicious food, however it can be hard to let go of that mindset after the holiday itself is over.
I’m happy to say that I got through Thanksgiving with almost no guilt about the amount I ate (and it was a GOOD amount) and then managed to get through the next day off leftovers while eating with my normal eating patterns. When you have an old habit to fall back on it really only takes a day or two of mindfulness to get back into a good pattern.
In effort to keep up the trend of enjoying my holiday but eating well otherwise I’m going to start my December off with a no sweets for a week.I’ve seen people do these sort of challenges for a month but there was no way I was going to do a no sweets in december challenge (I’d probably have an emotional breakdown), so I decided to make it more realistic and do a week.
Not allowed -sweets such as cake,cookies, pie, chocolate on its own (I’m not going to stress if its in a snack bar), etc.
Is allowed – muffins as long as I make them, Store bought muffins are usually high in sugar so they are a no, however I don’t think it’s a problem if I eat my own muffins which are usually meant to be more of a snack than a sweet. Sugar in my coffee is also fine, but I will try to use less
I think it will be good for me too get out of the habit of eating so much sugar and also will hopefully help me stay healthy during this colder season (too much sugar is bad for your immune system). I’m not the greatest at sticking to these sorts of things so I’m hoping the blog will help make me accountable
Time to start December on the right foot!
Question of the Day
Do you struggle to get back to “normal” eating habits after a holiday?
I got to stick butter into between the turkey and its skin…..
Our Thanksgiving spread
Green Bean Casserole and Everything Bagel Stuffing
Turkey and Sweet Potato Casserole
Cranberry Sauce and Salad
and because you can never have too many carbohydrates, rolls
PIES!!! Apple Bottom Pecan and Pumpkin
Topped with more yumminess
It was a lovely thanksgiving, full of food and family. I could not be more grateful
Question of the Day
How was your thanksgiving? Favorite dish from this Thanksgiving?
I hate to betray my own pie but the apple bottom pecan pie my sister made was to die for!
hey guys, I’m back!
Time for the fun part of my pumpkin pie recipe, the pie. If you need the recipe for the crust it’s right here.
Now onto the pie!
The real star ingredient of this pie that makes it different from a lot of other pumpkin pies is the condensed milk.
Not only does it get the creamy aspect and the sweet aspect of the pie in one ingredient it’s also freakin delicious.
1 pie crust dough
2 cups of pumpkin puree (basically a can of it)
14 ounce can of condensed milk
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Roll out the dough and place into your pie pan. For easy instructions on making a pretty border for your pie check out this video. It was actually my first time making pretty edges and I thought I didn’t do it half bad
2. Stick your pie crust in the fridge to chill out a bit while you pre-heat the oven to 425 F and get started on the filling.
3. Combine the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl and blend until everything is fully combined. (my filling looks a little lighter than usual because the pumpkin I used was a lighter color)
4. Take the crust out of the fridge and fill her up!
5. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 F and then set the temperature back to 350 F and bake for another 35-40 minutes.
Let cool for at least an hour before sticking in the fridge to chill to your hearts desire. If you like your pumpkin pie warm you can technically eat it a bit after you take it out of the oven but it might not be quite as firm.
Isn’t she a beauty? I can’t wait to eat some tomorrow!
Have a great Thanksgiving!!!
1 Day to go!!!
I’m really enjoying not having to go into school for a couple days. I’ve been able to get some school work done early, bake and just relax. I don’t think I would mind if we had a holiday every month
Today’s run took place at my apartment complexes gym rather than my school gym for the first time in a long time. It was definitely a little harder motivating myself to run while not at school. When I’m up at school I know that it’s the only time I’ll get a chance to squeeze in the run so I don’t even consider putting it off, however it’s quite easy to procrastinate while at home.
Eventually I got myself together and started my run, I was planning on just doing whatever I could force myself to get through but actually ended up feeling ok and got in some speed work. It went something like this:
5 Minutes @ 6.1
30 seconds @ 10.0 then 1 mn @ 6.1 (x5)
1 Minute @ 8.0 then 1 mn @ 6.1 (x5)
then I did 2 more rounds of the 30 second sprint interval and then
5 Minutes @ 6.1
I also did my plank today, it was supposed to be 4 minutes but it was more like 3:50 cause my lower back was starting to give out. I probably won’t get to 5 by the end of the month but I’d be happy doing 4 minutes with good form.
As everyone knows Thanksgiving is tomorrow, so to help things run more smoothly and because my oven will be busy cooking turkey I will be making pumpkin pie today. I thought I would share my recipe in two parts. 1 being the dough and 2 being the pie. So onto the dough!
This dough is meant for a sweeter pie, unlike the crust I make for Quiche I was not particularly trying to healthify this crust. If you are looking for a healthier crust check out my broccoli quiche recipe. I really wanted the best crust possible for this pie so I didn’t want to sacrifice the results by trying to healthify it, save that for after thanksgiving
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp sugar
pinch of salt
dash of cinnamon (opt.)
7 Tablespoons of very cold butter
1/4 cup ice water
1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Next you’ll want to grate (yes I said grate) the very cold butter into the flour mixture. I recommend freezing the butter for a 10 minutes beforehand to let it really harden up.
3. Use your hands to smoosh it into the flour mixture.
4. Next add in your water and form the dough into a ball.
5. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour before using. Then make sure to let it sit out for 30 minutes before you roll it out. It can be stored in the freezer for up to a week (maybe longer, I’ve never tried).
I’ll be back later with the pie part!!!
Question of the Day
What kind of pie is going to be at your Thanskgiving table?
I’m obviously doing pumpkin but since we apparently need two types of pie my sister is doing an apple pecan one. There are only going to be 6 of us……….
2 days left till thanksgiving!!! and 3 until I can start jamming to christmas music
I’m doing another week of workout video strength work but I plan to get back to some heavier gym stuff in december (can’t believe it’s almost december!). It’s always fun to change things up!
Here’s what I did today:
Jillian Michaels Body Revolution Workout 9 – this one isn’t quite as hard as workout 11 but it was definitely a shoulder burner
12 Minute Core Workout - I remember doing this workout a couple of weeks ago and I’m happy to say it felt much more doable today. It was still tough though
In terms of my plank challenge I completed Day 25 – 3.5 minutes yesterday and had a rest day today. I’m supposed to do 4 minutes tomorrow but if I don’t feel good about my form I’ll go for shorter. Quality over quantity!
Since we are quickly approaching Thanksgiving I thought I would share with a couple of my favorite holiday recipes. I started off simple with cranberry sauce.
If you don’t like cranberry sauce I don’t blame you, my earliest memories of the stuff were of an odd red jelly substance in a can. Looked like jello, did NOT taste like jello. However my idea of cranberry sauce evolved once I realized you could actually make it yourself from fresh cranberries.
I made it once and was totally converted. Cranberry Sauce, the real kind, is the bomb dignity. It’s sweet and tangy and the perfect complement to all of those savory flavors in a Thanskgiving meal.
I’ve made this recipe to be a little less sugary than normal recipes, to help you justify that second slice of pie
12 ounce bag of cranberries
1 cup orange juice ( freshly squeezed is ideal but not necessary)
1/2 cup sugar
zest of one orange
2 shakes of cinnamon
1 tiny shake of nutmeg
1. Combine your orange zest and your sugar in a small bowl. Try to smoosh the zest into the sugar, this is supposed to help the zest release its oils into the sugar and hopefully make for a better taste.
2. Combine the orange juice and sugar in a sauce pan. Then add in your cinnamon and nutmeg.
3. Bring to a light boil and then simmer for 5 minutes while periodically stirring the mixture. I highly recommend taking a whiff of the mixture, it smells divine
4. Once simmered for 5 minutes add in the cranberries and continue to simmer for 10 – 12 minutes, stirring every now and then. The cranberries will very soon start to pop, so don’t be alarmed.
If you want to store the cranberry sauce in a jar make sure to cool it for at least 30 minutes, otherwise you can eat if whenever, hot or cold. If you’re not going to eat it in the next couple hours though make sure to store it in the fridge after it’s cooled.
it tastes so good! I dare any cranberry sauce hater to try it and not like it
Question of the Day
Are you anti or pro cranberry sauce?
I don’t know about you guys but it is getting cold where I live, this was the temperature as I was commuting to school this morning:
cold!!! I know there are probably people who live in much colder places but this was frigid for me. My rule with cold weather is that if it’s going to be that cold it has to snow
5 Essential Clothing Pieces for Winter Running
The weather this morning conveniently brought me into this posts topic: dealing with cold weather while running outside. I know it’s techinically still fall but I think it’s officially cold enough for me to call it winter.
Here are 5 clothing items that are invaluable to cold weather running:
1. Running Leggings
I was initially on the fence about whether I wanted to be one of those people running in skin-tight leggings. Once I got these though I was totally converted. Not only do they make you feel like a ninja they manage to keep your legs surprisingly warm.
Embrace the skin-tight leggings!
2. Long Sleeve Shirt
It seems pretty obvious but make sure to have one that is NOT cotton, you want a shirt that will keep you dry when you sweat so that your sweat does not freeze you! Probably something nice and synthetic that your mother always told you not to wear
3. A Fluffy Vest
Sure you could wear a wind-breaker or a full jacket but I personally prefer the vest over long sleeve style. It helps keep me warm but also allows for a little more arm movement and control over my temperature.
4. A Hat
Anyone whose gone inside a warm house after a long cold run only to feel like their head is about to explode knows this is essential. Especially if you rock the hairless look….
Last but not least! Numb fingers are no fun and extremities like fingers and toes tend to be the first to freeze up in cold weather so make sure to keep them bundled. If you’re really high-tech you can get those special iPhone/ipod ones so you don’t even have to take them off to change your music.
Despite the nature of todays post my run for today was an indoor one. Here’s the breakdown:
5 Minutes @ 6.0
1 Minute @ 6.2
4 Minutes @ 6.0
2 Minutes @ 6.2
I kept adding 1 minute to the 6.2 portion and subtracting 1 from the 6.0 portion till I got to 1 @ 6.0 and 5 @ 6.2 then I did
5 Minutes @ 6.5
5 Minutes @ 6.o
I ‘m taking it tad bit easier this week after my longer mileage last week. Then I’ll hopefully be able to hit a PDR in december (fingers crossed)
Enjoy the rest of your day!!!
Question of the Day
At what temperature do you really start to feel the cold?
I hate being cold in general but I find it particularly miserable once the temperature dips below freezing.