Man – 2 miles.  2 miles and a lifting session.  That’s all I managed to get in for workouts this week.  To be fair, we had a few late nights and other “to dos” to take care of, but man.  2 miles and a lifting session.  2 workouts.  Bummer. 

But, miles are miles – as a good friend reminded me last night during my self loathing session.  And there are a few things I can learn from this week of laziness/somethingcameup/I’lldoittomorrow/thisonebitewon’thurt. 

1.  I am very competitive with myself.  Even if I know that 2 miles is all I’ll have time to squeeze in between steaming and sauteing dinner, I still hit that 2 mile mark and think “was that even worth it?”.  I felt this way during training.  And in the end its an incredibly unfair mindset.  Yes.  2 miles is ALWAYS worth it.  Walk it, jog it, run it, sprint it.  Less miles or more miles.  It is always worth it.  Even if it is hard to be ok with it and to not keep going. Worth it. 

2.  A week of guzzling water followed by a week of “another cup of decaf” “another mug of tea” and not a lot of water guzzling is a pretty effective way of showing the benefits of water. 

3.  Even if its visible only to me, a week of not working out consistently and giving in to the seemingly harmless snack cravings – has a definite effect. Physically and mentally. 

4.  Finding a balance between all of that is HARD. 

5.  Inspiration can be inspiring.  No inspiration can be numbing. 

6.  Weeks where I eat healthy and by all accounts should feel the need to workout are exactly the times when I WANT to workout and is easier to motivate myself to accomplish.  Weeks where I don’t eat as healthy and are logically the times that workouts need to step it up a bit to compensate are likewise the times that I don’t want to workout and find a million and one reasons not to.  Funny how that works…

So there you have it.  A nice list of things I have thought to myself this week. 

Also: That bourbon and grapefruit juice cocktail I told you about?  I made this one.   It tasted remarkably similar to a whiskey sour.  

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Which was good, but not what I was in the mood for.  Although its good to know I can get the same style drink without the mix.  So I finished off my night with that dirty martini I’d been craving.  

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Tonight I get to meet up with some long lost friends at an Irish pub to kick off the long weekend.  I’ve got big plans for bike rides, coffee on the couch, college football (!??!), a bottle of red wine and starting off on the right foot workout wise.  Hope everyone has a good labor day weekend planned!

xo

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Decisions Decisions…

August 23, 2013

Another week, another Friday.

First of all – can we just for a moment, contemplate how awesome I have to be to grow a cucumber shaped like this?

cucumber

I’m going to say this is not a weird cucumber, its a rustic cucumber.  Uh huh.

I snuck in another good and sweaty workout last night and I am looking forward to relaxing a bit this weekend –I have big plans to see and spoil my favorite 2 year old girl, have coffee with my old college roommate, a local small town baseball game (Go Barnstormers!) and maybe fit in a bike ride or nice easy outside run somewhere in there.

But first and foremost I get to enjoy my Friday night.  Ever since really sticking to my water weekdays plan, I’ve gotten a lot more picky about what I choose to drink come the weekend.  Sometimes a beer is just too heavy or honest, not good enough to justify the drink.  And since its rare that I can finish a bottle of wine in a weekend – I’ve been experimenting with making some fun cocktails and enjoying them out on the deck while the summer sticks around.  For the past few weeks I’ve been trying to teach myself to enjoy tequila – but this week, I’m giving that a break and thinking I may go for another one of these:

 greyhound

 A greyhound, with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and vodka (although I have seen it made with gin).  Insanely refreshing (if you like grapefruit juice) and just a nice, easy to make, easy to drink kind of drink.  But then again, should I repeat or go for a new drink just for fun?

I’m a Rye girl through and through and still love my grapefruit juice – so this recipe caught my eye.

But then again, a greyhound can also be made with gin – and that got me thinkin’, it could be a dirty martini kind of night (double the olives, please!)

That just leaves me to figure out what the heck to make for dinner…I mean, chips and salsa doesn’t count…does it?

 

Happy Friday ya’ll! 🙂 Go make someone’s day

xo

Keeping Motivated

August 21, 2013

When I first started running and was serious about getting back into a workout schedule, I found the motivation to be a lot easier than it is today.  I signed up for races and had a training schedule that told me when and for how long to run.   I joined a gym that had a class schedule that I followed in order to make my monthly payments worthwhile.  Since then, without a training or gym class schedule to follow, I’ve been trying to figure out different ways to get myself motivated to put in the miles.  The recent move and tough summer resulted in completely undisciplined workout schedules and basically getting it in when I could-so on top of trying to figure out a good routine,  I was also working against my lack of motivation and definite loss of endurance – i.e. the idea of putting in even a few miles on the treadmill was enough to make me want to quit before even starting.   So I started out slow, focused a bit more on lifting, which I honestly enjoy and took an active re-interest in creating fun and nutritious meals, while slowly working the cardio back into piece by piece.   

All of this to say, that even though I’m not motivated to just run 3-4 miles straight as my workout, I AM getting in my mileage.  Lately, I’ve been experimenting with running intervals and breaking them up with a lifting set.  Not only is this helping to keep me from losing focus or getting bored, its also a good way to incorporate lifting and work on endurance/speed.  It’s a lot easier for me to sprint a shorter segment than try to maintain a faster pace for a whole run.  Plus, it lets me focus on certain muscle groups on different nights.  So, I started out with running quarter mile segments between lifting sets, and tacking on a mile or so afterwards, then I upped it to half mile segments with a walk to finish.   Last night, my workout looked something like this:

Run:  1 mile

Lift:  Squats + calf raises x10

        Lunges x5 forward and rear lunges per side

         DB Bench press + butt lifts  -x10

        DB leg curls – x10

Repeat for 3 miles. 

 See?  Still getting in my mileage and still working hard.  Even though I didn’t get in a solid 4-5 mile run, (or hell, even a 3 mile run) – I sprinted the last few minutes of my final mile and enjoyed that exercise high that you can get when you push yourself pretty hard and you break that peak of endorphins.  Its moments like that, that I remember why I’m working so hard to get back into a schedule, on top of all the other benefits – sometimes it just feels good to kick some ass 🙂

 xo

It is Friday again (yay!) and if you remember, last Friday I was making a Cajun Margarita.  

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I have to say – as far as presentation goes, kudos to me.  And the drink itself was actually decent and definitely delivered on the cajun front.  My only two “mehs” about this drink were really of my own doing – after the picture was taken I decided to get extra fancy and drizzle some hot sauce on top as a garnish, which  worked for a short while.  Eventually though, the hot sauce balled up and sank down into the drink, which left me with little pellets of hot sauce in every couple of sips, which set my mouth on FIRE.  Again, not a fault of the original recipe, just me being me. 

The second issue – I should really learn that I just do not like salt-rimmed drinks.  I took one sip with the salt and immediately made a mess trying to wipe it off the rest of the glass.    So in the end, I went for one of B’s homemade vodka lemonades.  

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The jury is still out on which drink looks prettier – which my husband rolled his eyes at, but honestly, we have the glasses, might as well use them! And who doesn’t like to have their drinks have a little more fun?

Despite all of this, the sense of “yay I tried it and it was new and that’s fun” was a good feeling on a Friday night, even if I don’t think I’ll be making that particular drink again anytime soon.  But here’s my problem – I now have a bottle of tequila sitting on my shelf and this strange self determination that I WILL learn to like margaritas. And you know, its Friday again and why fix it if it ain’t broke?  So – for my next trick:

blueberry mint margaritas

With mint straight from the garden and a bottle of red sitting in the corner…just in case 🙂

Also, these may or may not (emphasis on the may) have happened this afternoon.  I’m waiting for B to get home so he can eat them all.  I licked the spoon and they are going to be a serious sweet overload.   I haven’t been eating a lot of sugar lately other than in the form of fruits, so these are a bit of a switch – we’re heading for a bike ride tomorrow with some friends, so I can a) work off the indulgence of tonight and b) give away some of these suckers.  I did however make them a touch healthier (lets be honest here) by switching out the ingredients for Newman O’s, Brown Rice Krispies and Earth Balance.  Not technically vegan, because of the marshmallows (gelatin), but sometimes a treat is a treat- and finding vegan friendly marshmallows in small town PA isn’t as easy as it sounds…

Now, just waiting for the 2nd half to get here so I can start the chips and salsa destruction.  

Happy Friday ya’ll!

xo

 

When at home

August 13, 2013

This weekend the family was together for a sad goodbye to our cousin, who passed away the week before.  Although its never easy to go through, our entire family is taking a lot of comfort in kmowing that he isnt in any pain anymore, and he had his fair share.

Even though it was a sad reason to be home, I am always grateful for the chance to be in the same spot with my brothers.

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We clearly are never to be left without parental supervision when in public. 

Despite being away from home, I managed to whip up some healthy eats (we will ignore the wine and chinese food binge that may or may not have happened Sunday night) for lunch, based on what was fresh in the house.

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Just another simple summer salad of cukes, tomatoes, onion and white beans with red wine vinegar, s&p.  Im not sure what it is about the cucumber and vinegar combo, but I cannot get enough! A nectarine and fruit&nut bar finished off the lite meal to hold me over through the funeral.

And…despite 2 out of the 3 for our family gym date bailing on the early am wakeup call, I didnt let my morning go to waste.  I got in a decent workout, combo-ing some yoga with a total body workout, consisting of jumping jacks, tricep dips, modified burpies, jumping lunges and butt lifts (there has got to be a classier way to say that….) on repeat for 3 times.   Not a traditional Cardio and lifting routine, but I pushed myself to finish three rounds fast enough that I was tired for each round. 

And now, im back home and hoping to get the last coat of paint on the walls in the master bedroom and maybe squeeze in a workout.   Its been an interesting experiment juggling the commute, house projects, getting dinner on the table, a workout and some qt in with B all before between 5 and 10:30 ( yes, I am lame).  Im learning to be a little better with accepting alternative workouts and healthy eating as being good enough for the day if thata all I can realistically accomplish on any given night. 

Progress, not perfection, yes?
Xo

It is Friday friends! 

After a week of work, I’m heading home to make THIS recipe for Cajun Margaritas.  I usually prefer my margaritas fruity and frozen, but if for some reason these puppies caught my eye and I was determined to make them.   I’ve got some tequilla infusing with jalapenos and serranos as we speak (go big or go home, right?) and if I can still feel my face by next week, it’ll be a success!  

Combo’d with a little chips and salsa for happy hour and some spicy grilled veggies w/ corn on the cob for dinner – sounds like Friday night is a-ok. 

While I’m definitely the girl that is just as happy to start my weekend off with a beer, it can be fun to try new things 🙂  Here’s hoping you find something new to try this weekend!

xo

This weekend

August 6, 2013

I’ve been feeling pretty bummy lately, so this weekend I made a concentrated effort to let myself enjoy things and to do things that I know make me happy to help move that along.   It was a low key weekend, as far as weekends go – but it was a productive one and a fun one.   We ran errands, did some projects around the house, went for a Chinese food dinner date, had some simple summertime good eats and…

drill

played with power tools.

On Sunday we hosted my in laws for an impromptu afternoon hangout.  They brought steamed shrimp, corn on the cob and greek salad fixings, so B and I supplied the pre dinner munchies:

veggie tray

dip tray

Since it was going to be a relatively lite dinner, I opted for some sliced baguette with homemade bruschetta and herbed olive oil, with some cut veggies and homemade hummus (for us) and veggie dip (for them).  Served alongside some grapes, crackers and olives, it was delish.    Its been a recent goal of ours to rely less and less on prepackaged foods, so I love making our own dips and spreads like this when we’re able to, its nice to know what goes into our food and usually ends up being cheaper and tastes better too!

tempeh

I also did a simple marinated tempeh with olive oil, lemon juice and cracked pepper to grill up for dinner while everyone else enjoyed the shrimp!  Simple and delicious, the epitome of summer time meals for us.  A ton of food, but we never really felt like we had eaten too much.

rice salad

This weekend I also whipped together this easy rice salad when we couldn’t figure out what to eat on Friday night.  Neither of us were feeling anything too heavy and I had veggies to use up, but neither of us wanted to snack the whole night either.  So I threw together some brown rice, chopped up the last of the red onion and cucumber, tossed it with some leftover chickpeas, fresh mint from our planter, LOTS of lemon juice and pepper.  It was simple, refreshing and lite.  Another perfect summer time meal.  The great thing about this salad, is that it made enough for leftovers and keeps pretty well in the fridge, so I’ve been throwing it on my salads for lunches too.

Hope everyone else is enjoying their summer time flavors as much as we are! Clearly, I have a thing for fresh veggies and lemon juice this year…

xo