WIAW

Happy Wednesday! I spent about ten minutes going back and forth on whether I should bring this up on here but I’m going for it so…WHO watched the Pretty Little Liars summer finale last night?! All I have to say about that is what.the.wow. I know I am 25 but I am hooked on this show and last night’s episode was crazy.

Please tell me I’m not the only one.

Anyways, it’s Wednesday and you know what that means…time for another What I Ate Wednesday! As always, thanks to Jenn for hosting this link-up!

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Breakfast: Yogurt bowl with plain greek yogurt, crunchy peanut butter (crunchy is SO much better than creamy), a banana and strawberry preserves from TJ’s. Where has this been all my life? If you’re a big PB&J fan like I am, you’ve got to try this.

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Also, want to know something weird? Nick HATES PB&J. Had I known this when we started dating, it could have been a serious dealbreaker. ;) But who hates PB&J?! It is now my goal in life to get him to change his ways.

Snack: A peanut butter cookie Luna bar and an unpictured apple. I love this flavor, but kind of went crazy with it my freshman year of college when I bought three boxes and ate one every single day for what seemed like forever. Needless to say, I couldn’t eat them for quite some time after that.

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Please excuse the car picture. I was on the go yesterday and forgot to snap a picture before I left!

Lunch: To be completely honest, I’ve been all about smoothies for lunch lately. This one was TJ’s Very Cherry blend, a frozen banana, one scoop of TJ’s’s soy protein powder, blueberry greek yogurt, almond milk and lots of spinach. It came out a lot prettier than I expected.

IMG_8050Afternoon Snack: Banana with peanut butter. Simple, easy and so good!

IMG_7819Dinner: A Chipotle burrito bowl. I don’t understand why people hate on Chipotle so much. Sure, it’s definitely possible to load your bowl or burrito up with lots of “unhealthy” options (cheese, sour cream) but I think Chipotle is one of the best places to get a nutritious meal that won’t make your wallet cry. It’s a great option on the go and the food always tastes fresh, which is a lot more than I can say for most other fast food restaurants. This bowl had brown rice, black beans, chicken, extra salsa, corn, lettuce and guac. Look at all of that beautiful guac.

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And that’s that. So now I want to know YOUR feelings on Chipotle. Do you like it? Love it? Hate it? Or, never had it? (crazy).

Dark Chocolate Protein Brownies

Because I’d much rather eat a brownie than a protein bar. I think we can all agree with that, right?

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I’ve had homemade protein bars in the back of my mind for quite some time but have always been too lazy to actually make them. To be honest, it’s just easier for me to grab them at the store and throw them in my purse, in the car, in my back pocket…you get it. ;) I finally sucked it up and made some chocolate protein bars that, to me, came out a little more brownie-like than protein-like. And that’s perfectly okay with me!

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 However, I will NOT try to convince you that these can compete with real brownies because they just can’t. Protein bars are not desserts in my book. But if you’re looking for a little more of a healthy option and want to help curb your sweet tooth at the same time, well then here you go.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 scoops of protein powder (I used Vanilla Growing Naturals Brown Rice)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 TBSP baking powder
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 eggs

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil or spray a loaf pan.
  • In a large bowl, combine protein powder, cocoa powder, coconut flour and baking powder.
  • In a small bowl, mash banana and then add eggs and milk.
  • Pour wet ingredients into large bowl and mix until you have formed a thick, fudgy batter.
  • Pour batter into loaf pan and even out.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Next time I think I’ll add some peanut butter…

What’s your favorite kind of way to eat a brownie? I love them warm with vanilla ice cream and, of course, peanut butter and hot fudge!

 

Crabcakes & Football – That’s What Maryland Does!

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend! I had one of the best weekends of the year. It’s weekends like this past one that make me so thankful and grateful to be back in Maryland. My best friend Becca was back here for the weekend and we had lots of fun stuff going on. We spent Saturday tailgating and then went to the Ravens game, and we spent Sunday at Becca’s parents’ house and had a crab feast. Typical Maryland, right? Crabcakes and football…that’s what Maryland does! (Name that movie!)

After a long week, Nick and I spent Friday night relaxing and in the kitchen! In preparation for the tailgate, I made two trays of buffalo chicken dip, two trays of chocolate chip cookies and some dark chocolate brownies. They were the best I’ve ever had.

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Saturday morning started off with a 4 mile run at the gym and some juice. I had to swing by Target to pick up some last minute tailgating accessories and grabbed this new Naked juice to try. The verdict? Ehh…it was okay. I usually like their juices but I didn’t really like the aftertaste. It was a little bit too kale-y for me.

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Once we got into Baltimore, we met up with some of Nick’s friends and then all headed over to tailgate. We had a huge tailgate (about 30 people) and it was so much fun – even though it was pouring down rain all day long. My brother, my sister and her fiance also came and it was fun to spend time with so many of our close friends. Luckily Nick’s friends and my friends get along really well and we always have a blast together!

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Sunday morning Nick and I woke up early to take Bentley hiking at Patapsco State Park. We met another couple with their dog Zoe and she and Bentley had so much fun splashing around chasing after a ball. Please check out the best photobomb ever…

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And then we went to Becca’s! We spent the afternoon around the pool eating crabs, talking and playing with the cute kids! My friend Holly brought her six month old, Carter, (I can’t believe he’s already six months old!) and my friend Courtney brought Emma.  I may or may not have to compete with Emma for Nick. ;)

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Oh well, at least if I’m going to lose my boyfriend to someone, it’s going to be my favorite little girl!

Once we got home, we went right to bed. It was a long, busy weekend but I am just so happy. You all know that I really questioned our move back here and had a lot of mixed feelings about leaving Orlando. It was really hard for me to wrap my head around leaving my home in Florida, even though we were coming “home”. For the last two years, Orlando was my home and I really struggled with moving for a while – I bawled my eyes out as we were driving out of the city the morning that we left. However, it’s weekends like this that leave me with a feeling that I’m right where I need to be.

Hope your week is off to a good start!

 

 

So Much Cuteness & A Tip

I really, really wanted to run outside today. I ate my usual pre-run snack (banana and peanut butter), downed some water and headed outside and then I saw the clouds. Change of plans yet again! One of these days I WILL be able to get outside and run. It just might be in a few days.

Anyways, once I got to the gym the idea of a 3 – 4 mile run on the treadmill sounded incredibly boring to me so I did 20 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill and followed it with 20 minutes on the arc trainer. HIIT really is the most effective kind of cardio out there – I jumped off the treadmill covered in sweat and continued to sweat through my tank top while on the arc trainer. Hot. ;)

I also did the same upper body strength workout that I did on Monday. Triceps dips are no joke! My arms weren’t that sore until I finished with them and now they’re shaking as I am typing.

But the highlight of my day was not my workout or any food. It was time spent at Centennial Park with one of my best friends, Courtney, and her adorable daughter Emma.

IMG_8037 IMG_8040I die of cuteness.

Thanks to Trader Joe’s and their amazing guac and delicious veggie chips, I made the most amazing tacos for dinner. I tried to eat mine as lettuce wraps sandwiched between chips and even though it didn’t end well for me, they were so good.

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Here’s an easy tip to beef up your standard taco base (pun intended: After you brown your meat and add your taco seasoning, throw in some green peppers and black beans too. Nick and I both agreed that these were much better than the usual ones.

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And then lots of tomatoes, cheese, guac and salsa mixed in. I need to write a post on all of the new-to-me TJ’s products that I am currently in love with because that list is getting to be quite long.

I’m off to find some chocolate and hopefully get into bed early! Have a good night!

 

A Special Birthday & Chocolate For Breakfast

Good morning! I have to start off this post with some special birthday wishes to my fabulous and hilarious boyfriend! Happy Birthday babe!

IMG_8027Today I just need to to brag a little bit. I don’t talk about this that much, but I need to today. I am SO proud of Nick and everything he has accomplished, especially in this past year. He is so driven, motivated and has already accomplished more at 24 than some people do by the time they’re 40.  He is by far my biggest supporter, biggest fan and pushes me to be better every day. I’m so excited to celebrate tonight and with all of our friends this weekend. He deserves the best birthday possible!

So yesterday I was 0 for 2 on my planned workouts. My run didn’t happen, and neither did BodyPump. It looked like it was going to rain all day long so I decided not to risk getting rained on and went to the gym. Unfortunately our gym only offers BodyPump at 4 PM on Mondays (weird, right?) so I just did my own workout. I spent 40 minutes on the arc trainer increasing the resistance by 5 every 3 minutes and then did an upper body strength circuit that looked like this:

  • Shoulder press – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Biceps curl – 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Bent-over rows – 3 sets of 12
  • Squats to shoulder press – 3 sets of 10
  • Triceps dips on bench – 3 sets of 10

While I was at the gym, I saw a guy doing pull-up burpees. He would do a burpee, jump up and do a pull-up, and then repeat.  I watched him for a solid five minutes because I don’t think there is any chance I could do them. I definitely don’t think I could do them in public…so more power to him!

What’s the craziest move you’ve ever seen someone do?

You guys are going to be so proud of me today too. Guess what was for breakfast? NOT a yogurt bowl, thank you very much!

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A green (and super chocolatey) smoothie! This one was  1 1/2 frozen bananas, almond milk, peanut butter, spinach, plain greek yogurt and cocoa powder. I was a little heavy-handed with the cocoa powder so this was super chocolatey but there’s nothing wrong with that. Chocolate for breakfast is always okay in my book!

And on that note, I’m out. See you guys tomorrow!

 

Stuck In A Rut

I’m stuck in a breakfast rut and I can’t get out of it.

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How many more of these yogurt bowls can you really see?

If I were you, the answer would be no more.

You see, every day I wake up with the best intentions but then I walk into the kitchen and they fly out the window. It doesn’t help that I have yet another peanut butter obsession in my life.

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Trader Joe’s, you never steer me wrong. For a crunchy peanut butter lover like myself, this is perfection. But, I need to break out of this rut. I’m hoping to make some of this crack  soon in an effort to switch it up a little bit!

Today’s workout hasn’t happened yet, but I’m thinking it will probably be a long run tonight when it’s a little bit cooler. I may take BodyPump tonight as well, but it depends on my run. I love this weather. It’s the perfect running temperature. :)

I leave you with this picture of Bentley. I can’t get over his chubby cuteness.

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Have a great start to the week!

Breakfast recommendations anyone? I’d love any and all suggestions!

Workout Recap: Back to Hot Yoga!

Happy Friday! This week has gone by pretty quickly for me but I’m not complaining because it’s the weekend! I have a lot of fun stuff planned that I’m looking forward to and I just think it’s going to be a great weekend. And, in just one week from today my best friend Becca will be back in Maryland (she lives in Nashville) and next weekend we have a ton of fun plans with our friends. I’m already counting down the days!

But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, let’s recap this week’s workouts. It was a good week of workouts and I just felt really strong. I took Sunday as a rest day and I really think that just lounging around and relaxing helped me to come back even stronger in the gym this week.

Monday - 4 mile run &  upper body strength circuit

Tuesday -  30 mintes on the arc trainer + 15 minutes on the bike & abs

Wednesday - 25 minutes on the arc trainer + 15 minute incline walk on the treadmill

Thursday - Hot Vinyasa at Charm City Yoga. It was a little different than my studio in Orlando, but I really loved the class. The teacher was great about actually teaching instead of just leading us through poses. I have always struggled with handstands but last  night I was able to hold one twice, which was a huge deal for me. My friend Michaela and I both really loved how our teacher actually taught us to get into the poses – she showed us how to position our shoulders and hips so that we would be able to actually support ourselves and taught us a few different ways to kick up so that we could choose which worked the best for us. I hadn’t been to yoga in a LONG time and I’m actually quite sore today. ;)

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Friday - 2 mile run and 2 mile walk + abs

My friend Courtney and I have plans to run tomorrow and I’m really looking forward to having a running buddy! While I do generally prefer to workout alone, I do like to have someone to talk to as well as to push me when I start to feel lazy or get tired. Court and I run at about the same pace so I won’t have any excuse to slack tomorrow! ;)

And now, coffee. Have a great weekend!

 

Checking In

It’s been a few days since my last post. I’ve been keeping myself pretty busy but I do miss my little blog! I try not to blog unless I have something to say and really hate forcing posts just for the sake of posting, so I’m happy to have a little bit of time to check in!

I’ve been running a lot lately. When we lived in Orlando, we belonged to the Y and we carried our membership over to the Y up here. However, the Y here is much smaller and doesn’t have the same assortment of machines that our old gym did. As a result, I’m pretty much limited in terms of my workouts. It kind of blows my mind that there aren’t any ellipticals or stairmasters. I’m hoping that I’m just clueless and have missed a whole room in the gym somewhere, but for now, the cardio aspect of my workouts consists of running and time on the arc trainer. And lots of long walks with Bentley.

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This morning it was really cool and felt like fall. I walked outside in a tank top and shorts and turned right back around to grab a jacket. We’re not in Florida anymore! ;)

On a food note, I’m still as obsessed as ever with yogurt bowls for breakfast. Although, I had a can of pumpkin in my hand at the store the other day and had to make myself put it down. It’s ALMOST time!

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I’m giving my legs the day off of running and taking a hot yoga class with my friend Michaela at Charm City Yoga. It’s been WAY too long since I’ve practiced and I’m excited to get back on my mat. My muscles are sore already. ;)

It’s almost Friday! What are you looking forward to this weekend?

Weekend Recap: So Excited!

Happy Monday! What a weekend I had. Let’s skip any little fluff and get to the most important part…my big sister is engaged!

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I am SO excited for her and her fiance, Steve. I can’t wait to help her start planning out her special day and am so happy to see my sister so happy. :)

Obviously that takes the cake of the weekend. But, there was lots of other good stuff going on! Friday night I went out with my friend Michalea, our friend Austin and a bunch of Nick’s frat brothers in Baltimore. It was a late night and coffee was non-negotiable Saturday morning. Nick and I spent the morning running errands and I picked up this iced coffee from Nordstrom. So random, but they have GREAT coffee. Although this shouldn’t be surprising since the Nordstrom Cafe is pretty good too!

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We kept Saturday night low-key with a sushi date, froyo and a movie. I fell in love with the sushi at Katana Sushi  (not to be confused with my beloved Sushi Katana in Orlando) and think that the Baltimore roll is the best I’ve ever had.

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It’s crab, spicy mayo, tempura flakes and Old Bay. SO good.

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Followed by some Reese’s flavored froyo topped with Reese’s cups, peanut butter chips, hot fudge and peanut butter.

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Talk about a perfect food night! ;)

And Sunday morning was house hunting that turned into neighborhood hunting/exploring and somehow ended up with a trip to the driving range. Oh, and a quick lunch at Pazani. I love the make your own salad option – I think it’s so rare for an Italian restaurant! Mine was full of veggies, chicken and goat cheese.

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And that pretty much sums up the weekend. Hope you had a marvelous one as well!

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As always, thanks to my girl Katie for hosting this link-up!

Workout: Arms, Abs & Legs

After Tuesday’s long (to me) run, the last thing I wanted to do yesterday was run. Or really any intense cardio, to be honest. My legs were a little bit sore and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to make it to BodyPump, so I decided to just make up my own little workout. Sometimes it’s easier for me to just put together a bunch of different moves than scour Pinterest for the “perfect” workout. That never happens, because I usually get distracted and start pinning food.

Truth. And I know I’m not the only one who falls victim to those Pinterest boards either!

So I just threw this together as I went and I thought it was a pretty effective workout. You’ve got all your bases covered – arms, abs and legs. And, if you’re like me and follow it up with a long walk with your dog, then it’s even better!

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Now get to sweatin’!

And, if you have any questions about any of the moves, let me know!

What’s your favorite body part to strength train? I love working my arms!