March 3, 2014
February 28, 2014
Hello, and happy Friday! I first saw the idea for a “Thing’s I’m Loving” post on Julie’s blog, and have been pulling together a list of things I’ve been loving lately in my head for the past week.
Things I’m Loving Friday
- Injinji Performance Toe Socks
I was a little apprehensive when my boyfriend first got me these. He had been using toe socks for his workouts and really liked them, but I’ve always been a little anti-toe socks. I gave them a try during one of my Nike Training Club classes last week, and ended up loving them! NTC involves a lot of jumping and balance movements, and I felt like the toe socks gave me better balance because I could move my toes more and actually use them. Aside from the toe factor, the socks are also great for workouts – moisture wicking, comfy, and well-structured.
- 36 Hours: 150 Weekends in the USA & Canada
This book was one of my birthday presents, and I’ve been randomly flipping through it for the past month. Although I don’t have any trips on the horizon yet, it’s definitely a great resource for when I do (and inspiring me to obsessively check for flight deals!)
- Brooks’ and MapMyRun Transcend the Run Challenge
While I normally use Runkeeper (and have loved it), I saw this challenge on Twitter and decided it was the perfect time to test out MapMyRun. One lucky participant in the challenge will win a trip to the Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll Half in July, and Brooks is giving away two pairs of their new shoe, the Transcend, every week from February 1 – March 17. All you have to do is download MapMyRun, create a profile, and join the challenge. Then log a run a week to win the shoes and 10 runs before March 17 to be entered to win the Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll trip. Easy, right? Granted, I’m a little late to the game but I’m hoping I can catch up
February 26, 2014
Hello! This week’s What I Ate Wednesday is a little different than my usual planned and eaten at home meals. Rick was on a snowboarding trip last weekend with friends until Monday night, so when he texted me at work Tuesday afternoon and asked if I wanted to get sushi for dinner, I was all in for a midweek date night. Always a fun way to break the week up!
Rewinding to Tuesday morning, I headed to an early Nike Training Club class. This time we headed outside and did some running intervals midway through class, which was a fun addition to the usual routine. If you’re wondering why there’s two pics of my heart rate monitor, I was doing a little experiment to see how many calories I burned after the class. The first pic is after 55 minutes of class and a cool down, and the second is about 10-15 minutes later, after I drove home. I burned almost 100 extra calories while sitting in my car, which is pretty crazy! And why I love HIIT!
I’m always extra hungry on the days I take the Nike Training Club class, so I’ve been making Banana Oat Protein Pancakes
to keep me full longer. I’m loving this recipe, and thinking it’s time I experiment with a chocolate version soon!
Hardboiled egg + two clementines
My Greek Yogurt Tuna Salad
with crackers and strawberries.
I brought carrot/apple/ginger juice to work with me, and had crackers/cheese/veggies/fruit from this awesome spread at work.
Sushi with Rick! Not pictured are miso soups, another roll, and nigiri. And some hot sake
Question of the Day:
What’s your favorite mega-calorie burning workout?
February 24, 2014
Hello! In lieu of my usual Sunday workout recap (because I only exercised twice last week – yoga and a Nike Training Club Class, and two workouts isn’t exactly recap material), I thought I’d post a recipe I make pretty much every single week for breakfast. Banana Oat Protein Pancakes!
I first started out making protein pancakes with the Tone It Up recipe, and while I could eat them, I didn’t like them all that much. They were too thin, too dry, and tasted too much like whey protein (though I’ve heard they’re actually really good if you use Tone It Up’s Perfect Fit Protein). So I started messing around with their base recipe and adding in different things I’d seen other people use, and came up with this recipe. It tastes somewhat banana bread-y, and the pancakes come out denser and moist.
Banana Oat Protein Pancakes
1/2 banana, mashed
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder, poured into a 1/2 C. measuring cup
quick cook oats, enough to fill the measuring cup with protein powder
1/4 C. low-fat cottage cheese <- if you’re not a cottage cheese fan, don’t worry you can’t taste it and it doesn’t affect the texture at all!
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1. Mash the banana with a fork in a bowl.
2. Add in the other ingredients. For the protein powder, I put half a scoop in a 1/2 C. measuring cup, then fill the rest of the cup with oats. This way, I’m getting added protein without the extra whey-y taste.
3. Blend with an immersion blender until fairly smooth (see picture).
4. Spray a non-stick pan with canola oil cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Spoon the batter onto the pan in four pancakes (smaller = easier to flip ).
5. Cook for about 3 min, then flip and cook another 3 min or until lightly browned on both sides.
6. Top with the other half of your banana, maple syrup, greek yogurt, or whatever else you want and enjoy!
February 19, 2014
Good morning, and happy hump day! It doesn’t feel like it’s already Wednesday after a long weekend, but I’ll take it After a non-stop President’s Day Weekend, I was in no way prepared meal-wise when Tuesday morning rolled around. Thankfully, I had some pretty delicious (and healthy!) leftovers to fall back on.
After a week more or less off the workout train from doing a three-day juice cleanse
and having visitors in town, I was more than ready to head to my favorite Tuesday morning class – Nike Training Club! Even though I felt a little weaker than usual, I still walked out smiling and headed home to make a version of my Kale Lemonade Smoothie
(I subbed clementines for cucumber and added in vanilla protein powder).
My morning snack was pineapple spears plus some Raisin Bran. I’m not sure why, but lately I’ve been loving putting cereal on top of fruit bowls.
Here’s where my leftovers came in handy! I brought home-made flat bread pizza with pesto, goat cheese, and butternut squash to work with me and leftover Ceasar salad.
My afternoon snack was two clementines, plus some of my leftover smoothie from the morning. Since I messed with my usual proportions, I ended up with almost a whole glass extra. Always a good problem to have.
Dinner was another leftovers moment. Earlier this month I experimented in the kitchen and came up with a Mexican Quinoa Casserole that’s good, but needs a little extra in the flavor department before I post a recipe. It did however make great leftovers last night!
Dessert was a delicious ice cream sandwich! Chocolate peanut butter ice cream inside two oatmeal raisin cookies.
What are your favorite leftover meals?
February 18, 2014
Happy Tuesday! I’m pretty excited about the short week this week, and even more excited to head to Los Angeles this weekend to see family, friends, and hopefully some sun. I’m skipping the workout recap this week since I didn’t do much exercise last week (I was on a juice cleanse for part of the week, then had my boyfriend’s family in town the rest), but thought I’d pop in with some fun photos from my three day weekend.
Saturday morning we headed to the Farmer’s Market at Fort Mason and sampled amazing fresh produce and cheeses. We also picked up an amazing pork sandwich from the RoliRoti food truck. I used to go to the Farmer’s Market almost every weekend, so it was good to be back and have some of my favorite Farmer’s Market treats!
Saturday night we had reservations at a fun restaurant in the Alamo Square area called Bar Crudo. We were lucky to catch the tail-end of happy hour, and had a mix of fish tacos, amazing clam chowder, and fresh sea food. Even better, Bi-Rite Creamery is across the street, so we ended the night with ice cream
Sunday morning we took advantage of the clear skies and warmer weather and went to Land’s End, a hiking trail along the Pacific Coast with amazing cliff-side views of the Golden Gate bridge. If you have out of town visitors, I definitely recommend checking out this trail!
After the hike and some downtime, we went to House of Prime Rib to celebrate Rick’s parents anniversary with amazing prime rib, salad, creamed corn, English pudding, and baked potatoes. Even for someone who doesn’t love red meat (or the potato-y sides for that matter), this meal was delicious and House of Prime Rib had a great atmosphere for celebratory dinners.
I love having an extended weekend! After catching up on errands in the morning, Rick and I went over to a friend’s house for a BBQ and so he and the guys could help chop down a gigantic agave plant in their backyard. Fun (but not so fun for us) fact: raw agave is actually poisonous to human skin in the same way poison oak is. Luckily, we realized this pretty quickly and were able to wash it off our skin, but it made for a fairly uncomfortable couple minutes. After the poison agave incident, we fired up the BBQ and made sweet chili marinated chicken and shrimp skewers with tons of veggies, plus a coconut lemon pie for dessert. It was a great way to end a long weekend!
February 15, 2014
Hello! I’ve successfully finished my first juice cleanse, and transitioned back over to eating normal foods again. Just in time for my boyfriend’s parents to come to town and to enjoy all the delicious restaurants and meals we have planned
If you missed my first two days of recaps, check them out here:
Cleanse Day 3
Before I get too into my thoughts on cleansing, I’ll quickly recap my third day on the cleanse. For this day, I chose Evolution Fresh’s “Balanced” pack of juices. This one was by far my favorite – it had a couple green juices broken up by fruitier ones.
The first juice of the day, Sweet Greens & Lemon, is one that I normally find to be very green and not actually that sweet (there’s only part of an apple in it), so I was surprised when I drank it the morning of Day 3 and found it to be a lot sweeter than I had on the first day of the cleanse. It’s crazy how quickly your taste buds adapt!
The rest of the day passed like the first two, but by afternoon I had a horrible headache. I was having a fairly busy and stressful day, but I don’t normally get headaches, so I think the combination of juices and lower levels of protein/fats plus the stress got to me. After a walk home in fresh air and the last of my cashew nut milks, I felt a lot better.
Rather than ramble about my take on juicing, I’ve divided my thoughts into pros and cons.
- Controlled cravings. I went into the cleanse wanting to control my sugar and snack cravings at work, and though I’ve only had two days back, I feel like my snacking is more controlled than it was before, and sweet things taste much sweeter than they used to be.
- Easy. No thinking involved, just juice drinking. It was nice not to have to plan meals, and just follow a laid out, pre-made plan.
- Price point. Evolution Fresh’s juice cleanse packs run around $35 a day, much cheaper than other cleanses. I do recommend adding in a nut milk of some kind for some added healthy fats and protein though.
- Exercising is hard. Though I didn’t try any strenuous exercise, I felt weaker doing yoga during the cleanse, and actually felt like I came out with less muscle tone and strength.
- Nutrients are lacking. While fruits and vegetables are great, they don’t provide all the nutrients your body needs and I definitely felt the lack of protein and fats. I’ve never craved chicken or avocado so much in my life.
- There’s only so many types of juices you can drink. Eating the same foods over and over gets boring, and drinking the same juices on repeat is just as boring. I like meals I can look forward to!
I started my cleanse expecting to feel healthier and “de-toxed” at the end, but since I wasn’t exercising and felt like I was missing major nutrients, I actually felt somewhat unhealthy toward the end. While I would do a one-day juice cleanse again to “reset” my eating habits, I don’t see the benefits of an all-out multi-day cleanse. Still, I’m glad I gave it a shot and tried something new!
February 12, 2014
Woo! 2/3 of the way done with my first juice cleanse. I’m still wrapping my head around how I feel about juice cleanses, but Juice Cleanse Day 1 and Day 2 have passed and I’m ready for Day 3 to start (and finish ).
Cleanse Day 2
I woke up feeling pretty normal – not bursting with juice cleanse energy, but not tired at all either, so I decided to do another Tone It Up yoga video to start my day off. About 5 minutes into the 20 minute video I started feeling the negative side effects of juice cleansing. My muscles felt tight, and my arms were not wanting to hold me up during the vinyasas. Although I was expecting to feel weaker, I didn’t expect to be so…annoyed by it.
So when my boyfriend starting making a protein shake for himself (a mix of protein powder, creatine, raw meal, banana, peanut butter and coconut milk), I asked him to make me a little extra to have alongside my first juice of the morning.
Today I started in on Evolution Fresh’s “Greens” package. I’m anticipating being a little over juice by tomorrow, so thought it would be best to stick the Greens in the middle so I had some nice and fruity juices to look forward to at the end. I brought most of them to work with me, and made my way through the day until my desk looked liked this:
Like yesterday, I didn’t feel hungry most of the day until I got to the afternoon. The combination of amazing smelling food my coworkers were eating, the cold weather making me crave soup, and accidentally clicking on Pinterest (note to self and future juice cleansers, bad idea) made me want solid food more than I have since I started the juice cleanse. I told myself I’d gotten too far to quit now, and made a mental list of what I wanted to eat on Thursday (first day off the cleanse). At the top is…you guessed it, soup!
February 11, 2014
Juice cleanses are everywhere these days. I feel like every time I open my email, there’s a Groupon/Living Social/whatever deal in my inbox for a new juice cleanse. I make green juices for myself every now and then, but I’ve always been a little curious about full-on cleanses. I’ve had friends that have done them and loved them, and friends that have hated them with a fiery passion.
A few days into January, a coworker and I saw a Gilt City deal for a three-day Evolution Fresh juice cleanse, and jumped on it. I don’t remember the exact number, but I think it ended up being right around $20 per day for six juices a day. I wanted a little more protein and fats than the Evolution Cleanse offers, so I also grabbed some Forager Project nut milks from Whole Foods to add on at the end of my day.
Evolution Fresh is a Starbucks’ owned pressed juice company that has a store-front in San Francisco (you can also buy some of the juices at Starbucks!). They have three different juice cleanse packs you can choose from, or you can make your own. I opted to mix it up and chose to do one package of each (Easy, Balance and Green) for the three days.
I did some reading online and found some pre-cleanse advice and tips, like stay away from processed foods, meat and sugar. I then proceeded to follow none of it and ate a combination of turkey burgers, chips, and cookie dough (at least it’s raw?) the two days before my cleanse. Oops. I did manage to drink a Kale Lemonade Smoothie on one day though!
Cleanse Day 1
I started off my juice cleanse with Evolution’s “easy” option. Evolution gave us a cooler bag to pack our juices in, so I brought juices 2-5 to work with me and drank the first of my juices, Greens with Lemon, on my walk to work.
My second juice of the day, Spicy Lemonade, was one of my favorites. It had a delicious ginger-y spicy kick and was really refreshing. Part of me also wanted to add some vodka/rum to it and make it into a summery cocktail…
The rest of the day, I felt more or less like I normally do at work, though I was definitely craving food whenever I smelled someone’s lunch or snacks (pastries…tacos…soup). I also realized I wasn’t actually hungry when I wanted any of those things. Since I’m a huge snacker and tend to eat whatever without thinking much about it, it was definitely good for me to realize the difference between casually wanting something, versus actually being hungry for it.
When I got home, I did a quick yoga video to relax (and occupy myself!), finished Juice #6, and drank one of the Cashew Nut Milks before giving myself a mental pat on the back for a finished Day 1 and heading to bed.
February 9, 2014
It has been rainy and dreary in San Francisco the past few days. It’s good (we need water!) but not the greatest workout motivator. Luckily, I got some great workouts in the first part of this last week, so I haven’t felt too bad about lounging around all weekend. I ventured out of my apartment this morning though and met my coworker at Evolution Fresh to pick up the juices for my first 3 DAY JUICE CLEANSE! I’m a little nervous about only drinking juice for 3 days, but I haven’t been eating as healthy as I could be lately so I’m excited to give myself a little reset. I’ll report back with how it goes!
Now, on to the workout recap
Morning run down to Fisherman’s Wharf and did Tone It Up’s Love Your Body Circuit before work.
Nike Training Club class.
30 minute run with a beautiful sunrise and abs.
Nike Training Club class.
Friday – Sunday
I’ll check back in tomorrow night with a recap of Juice Cleanse Day 1!