Jump Rope Circuit

First things first…

I’ve had a lot on my plate the past couple weeks, and had a very emotional evening so I decided to attend a Hot Yoga class last night. I haven’t been to one in a while and every time I go, I always feel refreshed, both physically and mentally. Let me just say, the class was PACKED, but I instantly felt the energy upon entering the room. I am so happy I went. It definitely eased my mind and gave me a good stretch..especially the Pigeon pose (my favorite!) This is a great hip flexor stretch to do if you’re a runner!

Now for today…

Happy Hump Day Ya’ll! I woke up this morning feeling a little groggy from staying up until 1:30 AM watching all the presidential election shenanigans. All I will say is, I am so grateful for the results and especially grateful for caffeine!

I knew I needed to get in a quick workout before work this morning so I completed the total body jump rope circuit workout I created yesterday (I was supposed to do Workout B from Best Body Boot Camp but I didn’t have time to go to the gym before work and I know I won’t go after). Yay for at-home exercising! I think I underestimated how sweaty the jump rope circuit would actually make me. By the end of the first round, I was red-faced and glistening. This workout is no joke!

…and repeat!

 My breakfast was simple but satisfying: Apple Cinnamon Chobani with Kashi Cinnamon Crunch cereal and Fuji apple chunks. Talk about apple cinnamon overload!


finished product!


..and a hint of refreshment! 😉

I need to go on a quick 3 mile run after work if I’m going to run this half marathon on Sunday! Crossing my fingers that I will be able to transfer from the 8K I originally registered for to the Half Marathon 🙂 I find out on Friday!

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Exercising: My Right To Vote

So, I went to bed last night with the greatest intention of waking up early this morning and getting in a good workout. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. My alarm went off at 5 AM and I quickly reset it for 6:30 AM. I think my body (and mind) will thank me later in the day. Once I woke up, I spent about 20 minutes searching different blogs for something to make for breakfast. I knew I wanted something warm and hearty since it was a whopping 32 degrees outside! Talk about COLD! What’s better than pancakes? Yummy and filling J I found a great recipe on Edible Perspectives for Coconut Flax Pancakes with a Greek yogurt drizzle on top. Sounded perfect to me! I ended up using Blueberry Chobani and eliminating the strawberries. It was fairly simple & quick to make, and 3 hours later, I’m still full (which is surprising for me!)

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After scarfing down my breakfast and getting ready for work, I headed out the door to go rock my vote for this year’s election! Surprisingly, this is my first year voting. I was eligible to vote last presidential election but I felt as though I was not interested enough in politics to just go out and vote just because I could. I feel very strongly about “voting just to vote.” I believe people should be knowledgeable about what they are voting for, rather than just voting for a Republican or Democratic Party because that is who their parents support. Let me just say that I am proud of my decision and it is a wonderful feeling knowing that I have made a difference in this upcoming election.

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On a different note, I found this quote this morning and it has really given me the inspiration and motivation I need for this upcoming work day (and I hope it will for you as well!)

There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow. So today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.

Dalai Lama

There is nothing we can do about yesterday, it is gone. There is nothing we can do about tomorrow, it has yet to come. Live in the present and make your choices in the now; do what makes you happy now. Remember, tomorrow is not promised, this may be your only chance.

P.S. I created a kick-butt total-body-jumprope-circuit workout and I can’t wait to complete it after work and share it with you all! Hope everyone has a rockin’ Tuesday!

Stress-Be-Gone Treadmill Workout

I woke up this morning dying to go on a long run but when I looked outside and saw how rainy and cold it was, I knew it was going to be a treadmill interval day, which was A-okay with me! The chilly weather was also making me crave some hot oatmeal but since I had prepared overnight oats last night, I was forced to eat those. They turned out to be pretty tasty so in the end, I wasn’t too bummed about it. I didn’t follow any particular recipe when I made the overnight oats, it was kind of just a go-with-whatcha-got type of thing 🙂 The recipe looked like this:

  • 1/2 cups of old fashioned oats
  • 1- 6 oz container of vanilla Chobani
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp apple butter
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 packets of Truvia

tah-dah!

They definitely filled me up and gave me enough energy for my run! After digesting for a couple hours I headed to our apartment complex gym and completed my Stress-Be-Gone interval workout. If the entire workout is completed, you will have ran 7 miles! Whoohoo! However, some of you may not be as crazy as I am and you may pick and choose the order and speed. Caution: You WILL be EXTRA sweaty after this one!

I felt very accomplished after this one! Once I got home, I poured myself a nice glass of chocolate milk and iced my knee. For the past couple weeks my left knee has really been bothering me. It would probably be a good idea to a.) go see a doctor and b.) give it some rest but I’m very stubborn. Maybe one day..

my favorite post-run snack!

I totally forgot to take a picture of my lunch which consisted of, 1/3 cup of egg whites, a handful of spinach, some mushrooms and zucchini, 1/3 cup of canned chicken and 2 tbsp of garlic hummus. Oh my was this good! I was still a little hungry after that so I grabbed a chocolate fudge thinkThin bar.

healthy alternative to chocolate!

The great thing about the thinkThin bars are they have ZERO sugar, lots of protein and for all you gluten-free-ers out there, no gluten! Time to enjoy the rest of my day! Happy Tuesday! 🙂

Awake Before The Sun

Good morning! My day started off with a nice, sweaty hot yoga session at 6 AM. Let me just say how weird it is waking up when it’s still dark outside! Since I got a good run in yesterday morning, I decided today would be good for yoga and some strength training. The one thing I hate about doing yoga first thing in the morning is that they recommend you to not eat anything before your practice, so about half way through, my stomach is a-rumblin’. Needless to say, the last 20 minutes, all I could think about was what I wanted for breakfast. Fattie at heart.

Once I decided that pancakes sounded tasty, I came home on got on Pinterest for some inspiration. Fortunately, I was able to find a new blog with lots of yummy breakfast recipes (my favorite meal!) Her name is Chelsey, and her blog is Clean Eating Chelsey. After browsing through her recipe section, I came across Chia Seed Greek Yogurt Pancakes. PERFECT. I love Greek yogurt and chia seeds! Her recipe (which you can find by clicking the link) makes 4-6 inch pancakes and since I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat 4 pancakes, I cut the measurements a little bit. My version made two perfectly sized pancakes and it looked like this:

  • 1/4 whole wheat flour
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 packets of Truvia sweetner
  • 1/4 cup strawberry Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds

And that’s it!

I ended up not using the almond milk.

After mixing all the ingredients together and putting them in a skillet for about 4 minutes on each side..

Scrum-deli-umptious!

..yummy pancakes were ready to eat!

The topping that I used also came from Chelsey when I was trying to decided whether to make the Greek Yogurt Chia Pancakes or the Blueberry Oatmeal Flax Pancakes. It is simply about half of a banana and a tablespoon of peanut butter. Melt them in the microwave together and spread over pancakes. Why haven’t I thought of this before?!

I’m off to relax a bit and then start packing for another visit to Norfolk 🙂 Casey is going to a Steelers Vs. Eagles game this weekend (lucky duck!) so it’s a good excuse to go back to my native land 😉

Paleo “Oatmeal”

After not blogging for about a week and a half, I’m back! My schedule has been crazy between visiting Norfolk, visiting my parents in Nags Head and applying for jobs, so I have sadly been neglecting Strides & Sweets 😦 After some of my sorority sisters bug me about wanting to read my blog, I decided it was about time to get back on the blog train!

I started out my morning with a five mile run. It was very cloudy, and it actually started sprinkling half way through, but the breeze felt fantastic. I stopped my training plan that I was following for the Wicked 10k that I’ll be participating in, in a few weeks, simply because I noticed that I’ve been on a running schedule since May, back when I started my half-marathon training. Being on a plan for that long, at least for me, takes away the joy of running. I found myself dreading to do the “assigned” workout of the day (especially the 9 x 400s) and I don’t want running to become reluctant. I genuinely love running and I want every run to be desired, not forced. With that said, I just run every two days. I run whatever my body is telling me, whether it’s a long, hard run, a short, easy run or treadmill intervals. In between, I’ve been focusing on strength training with the help of Casey 🙂 and hot yoga. Hot yoga is extremely beneficial, especially for runners (not to mention a great detox!) After completing my run, I walked through the door and found myself craving something warm. Luckily, I had something in mind that I’ve been wanting to try for weeks now.

I’ve been going back and forth about whether or not I want to experiment with the “Paleo Diet.” I honestly think I could do it no problem, if it weren’t for the “no peanut butter or Greek yogurt” rule. Despite that, I made Paleo oatmeal for breakfast. I came across the recipe while reading Peanut Butter Fingers, in which she found the original recipe from Joelle, blogger of On a Pink Typewriter. (You can find her original recipe by clicking the link!) I mostly followed Joelle’s recipe, except, since I didn’t have cinnamon or vanilla extract, I just swapped them for 2 packets of Truvia. I originally planned on using pumpkin pie spice to substitute the cinnamon, but after realizing that the flax seed I purchased at Kroger yesterday had mixed berries in it, I decided against it.

finished product!

I ended up adding a handful of blueberries and a tablespoon of almond butter to thicken it up a bit! Although peanut butter is a no-no, almond butter is Paleo-friendly! Apparently peanuts are considered a legume, not a nut? Who woulda thought?

In all honesty, my initial reaction to trying the “oatmeal” was “eh.” I guess I had high expectations for this to be similar to real old fashioned oats. After eating a few bites, I slowly became accustomed to the texture, which is very fluffy. It kind of reminds me of bread pudding almost? Or chocolate mousse? I’ll definitely be making it again though, it’s filling and satisfying!

I hope everyone has a happy Thursday! I’m off to donate plasma. This should be interesting..

Six at Sunrise

Although hearing the alarm go off and dragging myself out of bed before the sun is even awake might possibly be one of the most evil things ever known to man kind, watching the sunrise as I run always reminds how worth it is. This morning I ran 6 miles. Saturdays are supposed to be my ‘long run days’ but since I’ll be in Norfolk and having a grand ol’ time with my Zetas, I know I won’t get any sort of workout in. 😛 I knew I wanted to participate in the Wicked 10K again this year so not soon after my half marathon, I created a 10k training plan. I’m tellin’ you, I’m a running fanatic! I will be honest though, I haven’t been the best at really sticking to it; between moving and job searching, my runs have been extremely frustrating. I was looking through Pinterest this morning to get some motivation and I stumbled across this from Jenny Sugar on FitSugar which was all I needed:

Always remember that tomorrow, you want to be proud of what you did yesterday, not regretful. Do what you love, everyday. Make each day have a purpose.

Once I stepped outside and realized how chilly it was (fall is finally here, yay!) I decided to make it a treadmill-semi-interval-long-run-kinda-day. As much as I enjoy running outside, running on the treadmill gives me the chance to listen to my audiobook I downloaded a while back. Laugh all you want but for me it helps me focus on listening to the story rather than concentrating on how much further I have until I’m done. After lacing up my shoes and eating a small banana I headed to the gym.

Awesome read! She’s like a female Nicholas Sparks!

I stepped on the treadmill and instantly remembered I had stashed a couple mints from a friends’ work last night. I have this weird habit of always having to chew on something when I run whether its a mint or a piece of gum. I think it’s another mental thing? It helps me focus and concentrate? Who knows.

They even have Breast Cancer Awareness ribbons on them! 🙂

I made up my run as I went but kept a mental note of it so I could come home and share with with you all. I was definitely red-faced and sweaty when I left but felt great about it. Maybe I’m starting to get my stride back. 😉 Here’s a break down of my 6 mile treadmill run. If you follow it exactly, it will have you finishing 6 miles in a little over 52 minutes which is goal finish time for the Wicked 10K!

One book and fifty-two minutes later, I was done!

I originally had planned on coming home grabbing a small bite to eat and heading to Hot Yoga at 9:30 but my stomach was screaming at me to eat so, I listened. I was craving peanut butter and carbs and of course Greek yogurt, so I whipped up something quick. While I toasted a whole wheat English muffin, I grabbed a strawberry Greek yogurt out of the fridge, took a little from the container and mixed a tablespoon of peanut butter with it.

I spread the mixture onto the toasted English muffin and ate the remaining yogurt by itself.

Voila! A quick, healthy breakfast!

No more hunger pangs=happy girl.

Now, I’m off to do a little cleaning and packing before making my mini road trip to the 757! I’ll post an update later tonight!

Numero Uno

Well, here it is. My first EVER blog post. I never thought I’d actually start a blog, it’s always been a “why do people write those things” kind of question to me. But after becoming an avid “pinner” and discovering Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers, I fell in love with the idea. It not only gives me a chance to really express all the crazy thoughts that go on in my head all day but also share opinions and ideas with other blog readers who share the same passions as me: fitness and health. Before finally deleting my Twitter account (which I ended up reactivating) I noticed that all I really “tweeted” about was my pride in running, how great it made me feel to run those long, exhilarating 12 miles, my countdown to my first half-marathon,  and uploading all the yummy, and not mention, healthy dishes I make and then quickly gobble down (sometime I can’t help but to just INHALE them). Then I realized, Twitter is very similar to blogging; you tweet your thoughts and interests, why not just begin a blog where I am able to put my thoughts all on one page rather than being forced to condense it to less than 140 characters? (gosh, that killed me!) So, here I am, doing what I have discovered that I love to do.

 
As you read in my About Me section, I’m still in the process of finding a job so, bright and early this morning, Casey and I visited a Career Fair in hopes of discovering the perfect jobs. Boy, were we wrong. A couple weeks ago I actually experienced my first job fair ever and was not very impressed so I had high hopes that this one would be 10x better. Nope. Pretty much the same. After getting ready and professional-ish, we headed there only to turn around and come home 25 minutes later. I’ve sworn off career fairs for a while I think.

After coming home, I had a HUGE craving for a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks but I was feelin’ lazy and didn’t feel like driving up there. Then I remembered I had pinned a “Easy Pumpkin Spice Latte” from FarmGirl Gourmet thanks to Pinterest! I lessened the servings to make one just for me (Casey isn’t a coffee-sorta guy).

At-Home Pumpkin Spice Latte (serves one)

  • 1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 2 packets Truvia sweetener
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee (I used 2 packets of the Nestle Classic Coffee

Just heat the milk, pumpkin, Truvia, vanilla extract, and pumpkin pie spice over medium heat almost to a boil. Once heated, put mixture into a blender until milk becomes frothy. I’m not sure if it’s because I used almond milk or what but mine did not become very frothy. Heather from Farmgirl Gourmet says it should take about 2 minutes. After it’s reached your desired frothiness, pour into a cup, add the coffee and enjoy!

A little taste of Fall

After getting a nice little kick from the caffeine, I definitely wasn’t feeling lazy anymore. Thank goodness Casey mentioned the gym cause after I scarfed down a thinkThin Bar, I was ready to go! Today was supposed to be my “off” day but I needed some upper body strength training in my life and I knew I could count on Casey to kick my butt with a little weigh lifting. Indeed he did. This is what our workout consisted of:

My arms were like Jello after this workout. I am definitely going to be sore tomorrow!

Once we got home, I made myself a protein smoothie that consisted of chocolate protein powder, half of a banana, strawberries and a 1/2 cup of almond milk. This didn’t satisfy me for very long so I dug into my chocolate stash by my bed and had three Hershey’s Simple Pleasures dark chocolate. Chocolate craving fixed!

okay, I couldn’t resist..I had three more..

After having turkey burgers on the grill for dinner at Casey’s mom’s house, we are about ready to settle down for the night. I’ve got to wake up early and get my long run in before I head to Norfolk/Old Dominion this weekend for our Zeta Alumni football game tailgate! I am beyond excited to see all my sisters!

My definition of “settling down” 😉