Jan 29, 2013

"Better" Scrambles & Tempting Tuesday Threads

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Hi darlins'! It's great to see ya here!

Last night, since my living room was in a quite a state of disarray from the new entertainment system setup that's been going on, and pretty much everyone I know was busy -- I spent a ton of time at the gym just doing my thing! I had a good 3.2 mile run followed by some excellent ab work and 2.3 exceedingly sweaty miles on the stepmill.

This morning I indulged in a delicious ( and less cholesterol-filled) twist on my usual coffee cup scramble, it was so yummy, I just had to share:

Egg White Coffee Cup Scramble

  • 2 Egg Whites and 1 Whole Egg
  • 2 Tbsp. of Water
  • 1 Slice of cut-up ham steak
  • 1/2 of a Baked Russet Potato
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
You'll need a pre-baked potato on-hand for this version (although it can obviously be left out or substituted with peppers etc.)

Instructions: Coat inside of coffee cup with non-stick spray, then combine egg whites, egg, cut-up ham steak and salt & pepper. Stir in water. Place cup in microwave, covered, for 45 seconds. Take out, stir, and put back in the microwave for another 30-45 seconds. If you do use potatoes, I've found it's best to heat up the potato separately in the microwave and add to the cup once the eggs are fully cooked.

Bon appetit!

Tuesday Threads

On another note...I saw some seriously adorable workout gear yesterday, and that of course led to me wistfully clicking away online. I discovered some pretty marvelous threads, and so I thought I should just go ahead and share. I apologize in advance for how expensive some of these pieces are...Enjoy darlins'!








I already own this in Black & Grey and I'm obsessed with it!







Thanks for reading and good luck with all your goals this week! If you want some more fun and instant motivation, check out Greatist's instamotivation.com! It did wonders for me yesterday :)

Today's Question: I bought my first pair of compression pants over the holidays, but now I'm thinking about getting a pair of shorts because I don't like how tight the fit is on my ankles. Do y'all have an opinion on compression pants vs. compression shorts?

Jan 28, 2013

Let's get Organized! Monday Meraki no. 5

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Hi darlins'! It's great to see ya here!

I'm so excited that it's the start of a whole new week! I thought of this wonderful sound bite right when I woke up this morning...


Today I'm going to do a rundown of where I'm at with my "goals of the moment", and also share some ways I stay organized (because I think organization is simply marvelous!).

#100byVday Challenge: So far, soooo good. As of today, I've run 58 miles at an average pace of 9:32!

Daily routine improvements: Definitely keeping the daily planking, ab work, leg work and wall-sits up, and honestly, I feel myself improving all the time :)

Stepmill: I've been having trouble incorporating stepmill time while I'm at the gym ever since I started pushing the envelope on my running speed (to be sure, I've become noticeably quicker!). To remedy this, I've started to track my time on the stepmill in the same place where I record my running and daily planking. I know me, and if I link these all together visually I'll be more compelled to follow through on my plans!


Now, let's Meraki, Organization-style!

Organize to Stay Fit: 

  • Write down your goals. It doesn't have to be incredibly specific, but it's helpful to have a fitness plan that's stable and you've committed to ahead of time. I always have a general 6-week plan for my workouts that I update at the end of every 6-week period. I keep a printout of my plan hanging up at work where I see it everyday.
  • Log your workouts. Almost more important that creating a plan in advance of workout sessions, is holding yourself accountable when you meet/exceed/fall short of your expectations. Every day I try to scribble a little note beside the previous day's plan that describes in brief what I actually accomplished. Even if I did absolutely nothing, I make a note that I rested.
  • Keep your plans interesting. Doing the same workouts over and over would absolutely kill my motivation. I try to add/subtract different exercises and vary the concentration of time I spend on a given fitness goal to keep myself engaged in what I'm doing.

Organize to Eat Well:

  • Prepare snacks ahead of time. I usually do all my grocery shopping on Sundays. Once I get home, I make an effort to immediately wash all of the produce I've purchased for snacks and separate it out into 100 calorie portions. That way, when I'm heading out the door for work or looking for a quick afternoon snack I have pre-portioned, healthy snacks that I can grab without thinking. It makes eating well ridiculously easy :) 
  • Be a perimeter shopper. Ever notice how most of the tempting junk food in grocery stores is concentrated in the aisles? Try to stick to the outside circuit of the grocery store as much as possible to avoid impulse junk food decisions.
  • Shop like you're poor. While you're wandering about the perimeter of the grocery store, gear your produce shopping for the day towards the fruits and vegetables that are on sale. Not only will it help save you money, but it will also encourage you to switch up your fruit and vegetable consumption!

Organize to "Do Dixie" (or whatever place you live in):

  • Don't put off the "little tasks". Make your bed every morning. Fold your laundry as soon as it's dry. Put away your dishes as soon as they're clean. If it takes less than 2 minutes, don't put it off, do it now! Getting those little annoying tasks out of the way as soon as you think of them will free you up to enjoy the more important things happening around you!
  • Keep up on what's happening in your city. Life would be no fun if it just revolved around eating healthy food and getting in sweat sessions. One of the most pathetic excuses for not enjoying fun things happening in your city is to say that you didn't know about them. There are literally hundreds of people who make it their job to tell the internet public about cool stuff that's happening around you. One of my favorite such resources in Nashville for this type of info is Nashville Guru. Jump right in and start following these groups on twitter, instagram, facebook, or whatever. I always want to be aware of the fun stuff going on around me so I can plan to make myself a part of it!
That's all I have to share for now, I hope your week is getting off to a great start!

Today's Question: Do you have any unique or helpful methods for bringing more order and harmony to your life?

Jan 22, 2013

Deliciously Smooth Hummus & Tuesday Threads

2 comments:
Hi darlins'! It's great to see ya here!

One of my favorite things in the world to eat is hummus, and since I was gifted a food processor for Christmas a couple years back I've made more batches than I can count! During that time, I've tweaked the original recipe my mummy (a.k.a. the wonder chef) bestowed upon me and also taken some great tips from fellow hummus lovers (e.g., Smitten Kitchen).

Since I've had several friends ask me for the recipe, I thought it would be easiest just to share here, enjoy!

Deliciously Smooth Hummus

1 can of chick peas (drain and reserve liquid to add back in later)
1/4 c. tahini
3 Tbsp. EVOO
1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp. minced garlic (I usually add a couple more tsps than this...I love garlic)
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Drain chick peas, and reserve liquid to add back in later. Peel the chickpeas (Please don't hate me. I know it sounds crazy, but trust me it's worth it!) by placing each chick pea in between your thumb and 1st and 2nd fingers and squeezing gently.

for reference, it took me about 3 TV scenes of Mean Girls to peel the entire can...
Add peeled chick peas, tahini, EVOO, lemon juice, garlic and spices to food processor. While processing, slowly add back a small amount of the chick pea liquid (not too much now!) until you reach your desired consistency. Add garnish (I just used minced garlic in the picture below) and let set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.



You can either stop there and have a wonderfully simplistic garlic hummus, or get a little crazy and add your favorite flavors to the mix. I'm always switching up the recipe, and lately, I've been adding a little pesto to my batches.

Goal Update:

100 miles by Valentines day (#100byVDay): Ooooh Ooh we're halfway there (almost)! 49.8 miles ran so far at an average pace of 9:36, woot-woot!

Daily routine improvements: I've started adding leg lifts to my daily fitness routine... and I'm probably having way too much fun with them. The other night I rammed my heel into the bathroom door handle while brushing my teeth! Other than my novice multitasking hiccups, improving my daily fitness habits with planks, crunches, wall sits and leg lifts has been going swimmingly :)

Stepmill: I increased my time/distance on the stepmill last week, but there's definitely room for improvement.

Trying New Group Exercise Classes: I loved my first Mat Pilates group class, and I can't wait to try again!

Tuesday Threads:

Just for fun, how wonderful is this sports bra from H&M?? If it had thinner straps I would have bought it 30 seconds ago. Seriously.

try not to be distracted by the model's awkward facial expression... although my internal monologue is having fun with a caption contest...

Have a Happy Tuesday y'all! Best of luck with all your wellness goals for this week! You got this!!

Today's question: Since we're talking hummus, do y'all have any favorite flavor combos or tips to share??

Jan 14, 2013

Trying New Things (#TNT): Mat Pilates edition & Monday Meraki no. 4

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It's great to see ya here!

It was a super successful weekend here in Nashville, and I hope y'all had great weekends too! I'm still ahead  of the game on my goal to run 100 miles by Valentines day. As of yesterday afternoon I've run 27.8 miles at an average pace of 9:46.

On Saturday, I woke up bright and early and had a delicious, homemade breakfast burrito before heading to my first ever Mat Pilates class! In short, I loved it, and I definitely want to make it a regular part of my weekend workouts going forward :)

I've done a lot of pilates in the past with home workout videos, but doing the work in a large group setting definitely had several new pros and cons that I noticed:

Pros

  • No equipment necessary
  • Exercises can be modified easily to be more or less challenging
  • Relaxing pace that emphasizes keeping your breath
  • Some of my favorite moves are incorporated (i.e., Planks)
  • Almost all of the movements help build core strength

Cons

  • Not using a thick enough mat makes for a very sore body, two full days later and my tailbone is still bothering me
  • I barely broke a sweat, so this really wouldn't be the class I'd count on to get a solid workout
  • Group classes can get REALLY crowded
  • Depending on how you're positioned in the room, you can get more than an eyeful of other ladies' business if you know what I mean

All in all, I can't wait to head back to Mat Pilates again!

Considering how full Saturday was with workouts and errands it was wonderful to sleep in on Sunday. After heading into work in the morning to wrap up some projects, I skipped on over to the gym and blasted out a speedy run. I'm definitely getting faster!

I also got in my weekly snack prep yesterday afternoon, so many yummy snacks!!

My Sunday evening was filled with crafting and OnDemand tv indulgences :) I'm currently re-vamping this fun thriftstore find (it was a pretty icky white-ish green tinged color when I picked it up for $25 at Thrift Smart):

All the crafting actually inspired me to share more about how I've made some old things new. I've found that if you walk into thrift stores with an open mind and a little buzz of creativity you can make some wonderful things happen. So, without further ado, here's a bit of thrifting Merkai!
I picked up this yellow dress for $7 at a thrift store and used it to pull together my Morton Salt Girl costume for Halloween 2012. Matt was my salt shaker...Halloween may just be my favorite holiday :)

I wanted to give some customized DIY gifts over the holidays so I bought a bunch of XXL jersey cotton solid color tees from Goodwill (spent probably ~$3 a shirt) and made these fun and unique scarves! They're surprisingly warm, and I'm planning on making more for myself in the near future :)

I picked up this adorable wicker shelf for $5! It fits perfectly in my closet and houses the shoes I wear the most during the week. I thought about spray painting it another color, but for now I like the white.

Everything you see above originated from a thrift store in Nashville. From Halloween costumes, to DIY gifts, to cute little pieces of furniture--thrift stores offer so many funky and unexpected surprises. I get such a kick out of making old things new!

I'll be hitting the gym this evening for a couple miles of running and a renewed effort on the stepmill :) But for now it's on to work, so Happy Monday y'all! Best of luck with all of your fitness goals! Make yourself proud!!

Today's Question: Have any of you re-vamped a thrift store find lately?? I'm going to be doing a little bit of redecorating in the near future and I would love to hear your ideas! Thanks for reading :)

Jan 9, 2013

My Quick & Yummy Eats

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It's great to see ya here!

Because of my profession, I'm an early riser. Every morning I'm up around 5am and in the the office by 6, usually working ~10-12 hrs a day. So unfortunately, in my evenings during my week, after I carve out the time for an hour workout or errands it can be hard to get in even 6 hours of sleep -- let alone prepare a healthy, balanced dinner on the spot. Today I'm going to share a couple of my favorite quick and healthy recipes that I carry ingredients for at all times for those time-crunched days. But first, I'd like to update y'all on my goal progress!

#100byVday: Since starting this challenge last week I've run 15.2/100 miles at an average pace of 9:41. After a speedy (for me) 4.5 mile run last night I'm currently ahead of my target progress mileage of 15 miles!

I ran it at a well-paced 9:26/mile!
Daily routine improvements: Super proud that every single time I've brushed my teeth (and flossed) over the past week I've done wall-sits during! I've also been really good about doing planks and crunches every day (especially since I started #PlankADay and @PlankPolice is watching me!)

Stepmill: I think my 5 miles/ week goal is definitely attainable, but I just haven't been making the time for it. I do love me some running, but seriously I need to change it up more!

Pilates Class: I wasn't able to make it last Saturday (yet again), but I can assure you if I don't go this coming Saturday there are going to be some serious self-inflicted penalties on the stepmill.

Now, let's talk on my favorite quick meals!

The Speedy Smoothie (Great Anytime - I make at home in a blender):


I've been on an Orange/Vanilla flavor kick lately (dreamsicles have always been a house favorite), so my smoothies of late have all been thus flavored, but really, you can add any kind of fruit or protein flavor you'd like. It's the ultimate custom meal! No matter how I customize though, I always start with an ice base (more or less depending on how thick I want the smoothie to be) and a liquid (for me, milk). I bought a carton of vanilla almond milk for the first time ever recently and it tastes amaaazing in my dreamsicle smoothies! Here's one I concocted yesterday evening (after a 13 hr work day and an hour at the gym, woof):

Recipe:
Ice
1/2 c. of Kroger Vanilla Almond Milk
1 Banana
1 Scoop of Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
2 very ripe Clementines

The Barely Any Prep Broccoli Bowl (Lunch or Dinner - I make in the microwave):

This steamable mix had cauliflower, yum!
This is a more recent go-to recipe of mine. Take 1 whole bag of some variety of frozen steamable vegetables (I usually use a broccoli mix from Birdseye), and mix with a serving of cut up protein of your choosing (I usually lean towards cut up chicken tenders since they're so cheap in bulk). Voila! A filling and healthy freezer meal!

The 1:30 Scramble (Great Anytime - I make in the microwave) :
I ate my scramble this morning almost as quickly as I prepped it!
I've shared the recipe for this with y'all before in my post on the importance of rest days. Since then, this meal has become a daily staple of mine. So much so that I've actually formed a habit of picking up an 18-count carton of eggs on my weekly forays to the grocery store. The scramble pictured above was made with 3 eggs, a hamlet slice and a few Tbsp. of water, that's it!

And there you have it, those are my favorite minimal-effort meal ideas. I hope you like 'em! Work calls, so that's it for now :)

I'll be giving updates on daily workouts and such via twitter, I hope some of you join me in #PlankADay fun! You can totally do it!!


Jan 3, 2013

New Year, New Goals!

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It's great to see ya here!

Today started with a cute little hash tag that intrigued me: #100byVday

After reading a few motivational tweets, I was immediately sold. So I quickly crafted a plan to make that 100 miles by Valentine's Day happen!

I'm nothing if not organized! And Yes. The typo on "Week 1" bothers me.
Keep in mind that "Cross" translates roughly to "Whatever happens happens, just get your booty moving!"

I've added a weekly pilates class because I've been jones-ing to try some new group workouts. I've never done a pilates class before and it's making me really excited to get back into the swing of things! The beginning of my week has definitely been a little too restful for my taste, but that's probably exactly what I needed after traveling over the holiday and a party-filled NYE :)

Ringing in 2013 in Nashville!

One of the best parts of getting back into a normal groove is eating my favorite breakfast everyday. Eggs! It was surprisingly difficult to get in a good scramble while on the go, but I'm back! Please, also note the adorable contraption keeping my tea nice and hot. It's a Charles Viacin silicon lid that suctions your cups/bowls and keeps stuff warm. Matt's brother gave me a sunflower and lily pad version for Christmas! It's works pretty well, and I'm already obsessed :)



Tonight's workout (a.k.a. 'Cross (40)') will be a combination of running ~2.5 miles and a stepmill workout. It'll be my first go on the stepmill in 2013, how fun! I'm still rocking the same workout beats, but I'll probably change it up in the next week or so, so keep an eye out for that :)


Well that's it for today, I'm off to the gym soon!


Anybody have any advice on group exercise classes? Which types do you prefer?