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Weekend Full of Events

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Hello friends!

Sorry for the slight blogging hiatus.  This weekend was action packed with a lot of fun activities, and a little bit of behind the scenes blog work (more on that later this week!).

Saturday started out with my Body Pump class.  I am getting more comfortable with Pump each week, and I find myself adding in more little jokes, singing a bit more, and just having more fun with everything overall.  I absolutely love starting out my weekend with this amazing class and workout.

 

After teaching Pump, I headed over to visit Brian at an open house for the student run dental clinic that he is a part of.

I was able to meet the dean of his program as well as some of his class mates.

 

The facilities were so new. I was very impressed by how nice everything looked.

 

 

Once we were done with the clinic open house, it was time to shower and clean up for the evening.  We had not one but two cookouts to attend.  The first cookout was for Brian’s clinic group in dental school, and the second was for our friend, Tori’s, birthday.

 

 

 

 

It was a perfect night to be outside, so the cookouts were great to have as our evening plans. At the dental school cookout, everyone brought a different dish, and there was such variety!  I brought my homemade hummus along with some veggies and pita chips.

 

There were so many things to sample, I didn’t know what to pick.  The dessert table looked pretty darn tasty, so I kept my pickings pretty small in order to save room.

Celery with some corn and bean salsa, corn chips, potato salad, more veggies, cheese, and some plantains.  Yum!

 

After our food settled, Brian and I shared some goodies from the dessert table.  Not quite sure what everything was, but there was a little chocolate and peanut butter goody…that little gem was by far my favorite!

 

After chatting and hanging out for a bit, we then headed over to Tori and Kegan’s house.  We were happy to celebrate Tori’s birthday, but we were super excited to meet the newest member of their family…

TEDDY!  Isn’t he adorable!?

 

We spent the evening chatting outside, drinking a little wine and just relaxing…so perfect!

 

Sunday

I made sure to limit myself to one small glass of wine last night early in the evening because I knew that I was heading out for my long run today.  9 miles was on the agenda, it felt oh so good to check it right off the list!

 

I then made a delicious breakfast of carrot cake pancakes for Brian and I (recipe coming soon..), showered up and got ready for the day.

 

Brian and I had plans to attend Dig IN-A Taste of Indiana with Tori and Kegan.  This event showcased Indiana growers and their high quality dishes in sample sized bites in the beautiful White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis, IN.

This event was so amazing, and I can’t say enough great things about the people, the food, the atmosphere, about everything…so I will be dedicating an entire post to this wonderful event later in the week 😉

 

 

After Dig-IN, Brian and I were definitely ready to go home.  We ran a couple of errands, then came back home to prepare for the week.  We weren’t exactly starving for dinner, but we needed a little somethin’ somethin’ in our bellies, so I whipped up some veggie and cheese plates.

 

The cheese was from Trader’s Point Creamery.  Trader’s Point is an organic dairy farm in Indianapolis, IN.  They had a booth with delicious gazpacho soup at the Dig-IN event, and while we were in line I think that we just hit the lucky spot because the marketing manager just happened to be standing there and gave us some cheese to take home to sample!  You know how I feel about free things…

She didn’t just give us any cheese, she gave us some of their famous Fleur de la Terre.   This cheese was slightly salty, and had a slightly sharp flavor…so delish!  I made sure not to eat it all and save some for a recipe later in the week 😉

After such a busy and fun weekend, I am more than ready for a good night’s sleep.

Hope you all had a great weekend too!

What was one fun thing that you did this weekend?

  • Attended the Dig-IN A Taste of Indiana event…can’t wait to share the details soon!
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My New Favorite: Frozen Cherries!

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Last night was a pretty simple and great night.

After arriving home from work, I immediately changed my clothes so that I could get between 7 and 8 miles in on my running log.  My time wasn’t that great, there were lots of stops and starts due to stop lights, but I logged 7.5 miles.

Due to a kind of wacko schedule, I have been completing my long runs in Friday evenings after work.  When it comes to working out, it is ALWAYS easier for me to do in the wee hours of the morning…so running after a full day of work is tough for me.

In order to prepare for my long run during the day yesterday, I made sure to do a couple of things thanks to some comments on a post on the Fitfluential Running Board:

  • Eat well throughout the day. (I packed extra snacks so there was no chance that I would be hungry or lacking energy)
  • Drink plenty of water. (I tried to drink a full large Tervis of water every hour!! Boy did I go to the bathroom a lot!)
  • Get up and move around. (I tried to get up and move around when I filled my bottle each hour.)

I think all of those tips were great, and I felt much better than last week when I went for my evening run.

After the run it was time for dinner (gotta refuel!) and grocery shopping.  It was just a quick trip to the store to purchase some veggies, cheese, eggs, and Greek yogurt.

 

Then, it was time to relax…such a nice, stress free evening!

Breakfast

While at the grocery store yesterday, I had the urge to purchase something new.  Frozen cherries.  I have seen them in the stores many times, but I never thought that I would like them so I never purchased them.  Well, I saw a little recipe that Runner’s World tweeted yesterday that called for frozen cherries.  The recipe sounded delicious…so I bought some, and boy am I glad that I did!

Seriously, those little gems taste like sweet sweet candy and I could probably eat the entire bag in one sitting!! Yum!

I made sure to incorporate them into my smoothie this morning:

 

  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries
  • 1/3 frozen banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened original almond milk
  • 3/4 scoop protein powder of choice
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 1 packet Truvia
  • ice cubes for thickness

The cherries gave the smoothie a creamy milkshake-like texture and it was OH SO GOOD!  I just kept mmm…mmm…mmm..ing my way through it 🙂  Thank goodness Brian wasn’t awake so I didn’t have to share with anyone 😉

Workout and Afternoon Plans

Now, I am off to practice Body Pump then teach it.  Then, Brian and I are headed out for a super secret surprise trip…don’t worry, I will tell you tomorrow!

Have a great Saturday!

What New Foods Have You Fallen In Love With Lately???

  • Frozen cherries!!

My Favorite Running Gadgets

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Good morning!

Before heading to the gym to teach my final Yoga Sculpt class and do a bit of running, I started with a delicious bowl of berries, bananas, almond milk, a little bit of protein powder, cinnamon, and a teaspoon of peanut butter.  Seriously, this little bowl was so delicious, I wish it was bigger!  It was just the thing I needed to give me some fuel before my morning workouts.

Half Marathon

Recently, I mentioned that I was resuming my half marathon training.  I must say that I am a little bit nervous about this one because I had to take a break due to a lack of hours in the day, and I am coming back to training still searching for the time to run.  What I am trying to do is squeeze runs in anywhere I can, so I am going to do a short run at the gym before I teach today to focus a bit on speed, and I will complete my long run of 7 miles on Friday.

The race is September 28, and I know that if I stick with my plan and just keep logging miles I will be fine….but I am still nervous!

In the spirit of my half marathon training, I thought I would share some of my favorite running gadgets that help me plug through those 13.1 miles:

 

Garmin 305

I must say that I LOVE my Garmin Forerunner 305.  When I ran my last half marathon, I did not have a watch that logged miles for training and solely relied on pre-mapping my trails online.  With the Garmin, I feel that I have the freedom to explore somewhat new places, I love that I can keep track of my pace which allows me to be more competitive, and I can see my overall time as well.

All in all, I don’t know what I did without it!

 

Road ID Bracelet

Mom got me this Road ID bracelet for Christmas because I on the cruise ship, I would frequently go running when we stopped in various ports, and didn’t have a simple way to carry any sort of identification.  I love this bracelet because it is lightweight, simple, PINK, and it has my name, my parents information, and Brian’s information.  You can even put an inspirational saying on the bracelet 🙂  Needless to say, I no longer run without it.

Nathan Handheld Water Bottle

I love this little guy!  If it weren’t for this Nathan handheld water bottle, I would be dying of thirst on my runs over 5 miles.  It is great because it literally straps to your hand, does not leak, and is easy to just put to your lips and get some water out without making a mess or having to stop running.  Seriously, it is awesome and I highly recommend it…especially in the summer!

Spi Belt

My mom also got me this little gem.  I was having trouble when running because when I would go long distances, I didn’t have anywhere to put my phone, car key, or any other random little tid bit that may be floating around and need a place to go.  The Spi Belt is great because it easily fits my phone (which is a rather large iPhone in a big case), and even includes a waterproof pouch so that things don’t get ruined by the sweat.  It simply straps around the waist and can hold almost anything you need it to.

 

Body Glide

Last, but not least, the beloved Body Glide.  During the training for my first half marathon, I started to have some trouble with chafing during my longer runs right under my armpits and a little where my shorts would rub between my legs.   In order to prevent this, someone recommended that I use Body Glide.  It is honestly like chapstick that you put on your skin, and I was a little skeptical as to how well it would work…but believe me, it works wonders!  Now, I don’t even risk it and I always wear it!  And that little stick of body balm will last you forever.  Seriously, a great investment.

 

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Now, that you know some of my favorite running tools…I’ve gotta run!  Literally 😉  Have a happy Wednesday!

Question of the Morning:

  • What are some of your favorite pieces of running gear?  Favorite shoes, running top, watches, headbands, anything?!

Friday in a Nutshell and the Foodie Blogroll!

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I had a pretty eventful Friday…here is what went on (in a nutshell 😉 )

I was invited to be a member of Foodie Blogroll!!

Foodie Blogroll is a blogging community that features different blogs each week, allows members to participate in exclusive promotions with various food companies, and is a great way for food bloggers to connect with other food bloggers. I am so excited to be a part of this community, and I can’t wait to be involved in my first promotion.

Lunch Date

Yesterday, Brian showed me just how great of a fiance he was by stopping by the hotel to take me out to an unplanned lunch date!

 

It was very unexpected, but much needed.  Panera was our restaurant of choice.  Seriously, I don’t think that I could ever get sick of that place.

 

My lunch was one of the You Pick Two combos including the vegetable soup with pesto, and the Thai chopped chicken salad…sans the chicken.  So good, I need to figure out how to make that salad at home!

 

After we were finished with our lunch, we ran next door to Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up a wedding gift for the wedding we are attending later today.  Unfortunately, we had to order the gift to be delivered to the couple, but luckily they had a coupon code that I could text to receive on my smart phone!  Gotta love savin’ some moolah 😉

 

Running

My work day ended with a meeting downtown.  Since my workout scheduled for the day was my long run for the week, I totally took advantage of this and made sure to pack workout attire.

I stopped by one of the gyms I teach at to change, then headed out along my usual path.  Sadly, I didn’t charge my Garmin last night and she died about .2 miles in…so I think I ran just about 6 miles.

 

I got pretty thirsty along the way and forgot to bring my mini water bottle, so I stopped at a hotel and creeped around until I found this little beauty.  It was glorious!

 

Dinner

After the run, I was pretty hungry and so thankful that I had leftovers from last night’s salmon patties.  Even though they weren’t perfect, they were still a tasty and quick dinner.  I just added a side of green beans and called it a day!

 

Ella’s Frozen Yogurt

The other day, Brian and I stopped by a friend’s on our way home just for a moment to say hi and see her new house.  On the way we drove past this cute little frozen yogurt shop!

 

We didn’t stop then, but I knew we would be making a trip in the very near future.  Ella’s Frozen Yogurt was decorated so cute, the toppings were displayed perfectly making Brian and me want to try each one, the staff was incredibly friendly giving us samples and recommendations, they had live music, and special discounts every day of the week! They had a live band playing outside too. Not to mention the frozen yogurt tasted delicious!

Topping Station:

 

More Toppings:

 

Even More Toppings:

 

Tara’s Creation:  1/2 Snickerdoodle and 1/2 Cake Batter Frozen Yogurt topped with granola, peanut butter drizzle and a few cookie dough bites to snack on in the car.

 

Brian’s Creation:  1/2 Cake Batter and 1/2 Strawberry frozen yogurt with cheesecake bites, butterfingers, strawberries, and peanut butter drizzle.

 

The best part about the whole thing was that it only cost $5!! Friday’s promotion is 40% off for students, and Brian and I completely took advantage of that discount.  A delicious Friday night treat!

Breakfast

This morning, I woke up pretty hungry, so I immediately ran upstairs to make myself a delicious strawberry protein smoothie bowl (strawberries, almond milk, Sunwarrior protein powder, spinach, ice and water, raw oats, and a bit of peanut butter on top).

It totally hit the spot!

 

Now, it’s time to review some Body Pump before teaching my class later this morning.  I hope you all have a great Saturday!

Question of the Morning?

  • What were your Friday night plans?
  • Anyone else eat some fro yo? (or ice cream??)
  • What is your favorite Fro Yo topping??

My absolute all time favorite fro yo topping would be….granola!  I love the crunch, the sweetness, everything about it.  Yum!

I’m Not a Runner

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Hello friends!

I hope that your week is off to a great start.

Here is what my Monday night looked like…

I placed a meal in the crockpot so that when I got home, dinner would be served…well the meal completely burned.   No time saved there!

Instead, I made a couple of flounder fillets in the oven and placed them over a bed of veggies.  It was a very quick and tasty meal…thank goodness!!

I then frosted some lemon blueberry cupcakes for Kate, Brian’s mom, to take to a bridal shower that she is hosting today.

I then went to bed at 8:30pm!!! And it was glorious 🙂

This morning started off with a batch of leftover protein pancakes.  Yum!  I am so glad that batch made extra!

Now, let’s talk about running…

Last week, you may remember that Brian and I ran our second race together as our 4th of July tradition, the Firecracker 6 mile race.

Brian did amazing, especially considering that he didn’t complete very much training and finished in just under an hour with less than a 10 minute per mile pace!

Me and Running

This race was pretty significant for me, because I hit a personal best with my time (48 minutes on the dot!) averaging 8 minute miles.

Believe me, I was as shocked as ever to finish with this time, because I have never really considered myself a “runner.”  In middle school, I though it would be a good idea to join the cross-country team, but quickly cut that commitment short when I was literally the last one to complete the running trail and I landed a leading role in the school musical, “Oklahoma!”

Running was never something that came easy to me.  It is a challenge, and many times I have to repeat to myself in my head that it is ok to feel uncomfortable during a run.  Because of the challenge, I feel such a sense of accomplishment after each run, and I think that is what keeps me going.

In high school, we were required to run a little bit in cheerleading, and I hated every second of it.  I remember running one mile on the track outdoors, thinking that the one mile would never end.  One summer, I was involved in less activities than usual and wanted to stay in shape for cheerleading and show choir, so I laced up my shoes and found a little one mile loop to run.  I wasn’t on a regular running schedule by any means, but whenever I felt like it I would head out for a jog.

It wasn’t until college when I really started “working out” that I really started running, and even then, it wasn’t for a specific time, it wasn’t for speed, it was just to keep moving.  I remember coming home from my first year of college, and that day I had the itch in my legs and went on a 3 mile run, which to me then was like a marathon.  I decided that I wanted to sign up for my first 5k race!

I trained for that first race by completing a 3 mile loop in my neighborhood several times a week, and when it came to race day I completed the entire thing without stopping.  I was super tired at the end, but I did it!  And it felt good.  From that moment, races are what really got me going.  I love setting a goal and having something to work towards.

Now, although I have been running for several years now, I have never considered myself a runner.  I like to run, but I’m not a runner.  That was the mentality I had, and although I had several friends that also loved to run, I was always too intimidated to ever ask them to join me.

Slowly, but surely I have gained my running confidence through completing two 6 mile races, a couple of 5ks, and a half marathon, but this 4th of July race truly did it for me.

Obtaining a pace of 8 minutes on the dot in over 90 degree weather was the little kick in the pants that I needed in order to truly believe in myself.  I am so happy to have reached this PR, and I can’t wait to conquer the next challenge and continue to improve.  Although I don’t feel that I am any faster, or run any better, or any different…I now feel ok to ask some of my “running” friends if they want to go for a jog with me!  What a great feeling!!

The day after the race, I was teaching my cardio intervals class.  We were all chatting about what we did on our mid week break for the 4th of July and when I told them about my race one woman (who IS a runner) exclaimed, “You can REALLY call yourself a runner now!”…that is truly what got me thinking and inspired me to write this post.  So, while I never really considered myself a runner…maybe a should!  Honestly, it doesn’t matter the time, it doesn’t matter the distance.  What matters is the heart, and if running is something that you do because you find enjoyment out of it, you like the challenge,  or whatever…you can call yourself a runner too!

What are some of your personal fitness accomplishments??

The Boys Area

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Good Friday Mornin’!

The weekend is within reach, and I can hardly wait!  This morning, I was actually able to sleep in.  I must say, not having a 4am wakeup call was pretty glorious.  Usually, I complete my workouts in the morning before work, but today I am going to complete my long run for the week…after work.  Wish me luck!

Breakfast

I woke up in the mood for almond butter, and since we had a ton of almonds…I made some!  It seriously took less than 10 minutes.  Yummm!  10 minutes to warm, creamy, homemade almond butter…sign me up!

The next thing on my list of things to eat this morning was a smoothie bowl.  I miss eating these throughout the week because I eat half of my breakfast before I workout or teach and half in the car after, and smoothies are a little bit difficult to split up.

This was an almond and blueberry smoothie (almond milk, blueberries, and spinach to give it a nice blue green hue!).

I have made blueberry smoothie with spinach before, but I have never seen a color like that!

The color of my breakfast reminded me of those crazy colorful ketchups.  Even though they tasted just like regular ketchup, I always expected them to taste different…like grape or something.

source

Anyone else expect a funky flavor to accompany the bright color?

Workout

Moving on…

Last night I taught a 30 minute functional core class, but beforehand I wanted to complete a legs and core routine.  Actually, I wanted to attend Body Pump, but sometimes I know that I just need to focus on my individual muscle groups so that I can work to lift heavier in Body Pump!

So, I arrived at the gym already to go with my iPod strapped to my arm, and my workout routine in hand. I have gone to the weight room…often called “the boys area”, several times in the morning before work and never thought twice about it, but today when I was at the gym in the evening during peak hours I got nervous.  The entire room was filled with guys and one other girl, and I was intimidated.

I slowly walked around the room, seeing what equipment I needed and where it was placed, thinking the entire time that the room full of big, muscular guys was wondering what the heck I was doing in there.  At first, I wondered why I felt this way.  I had been in there so many times before so, this anxiety just didn’t make sense.  Then, I realized that the only time I had completed a workout like this was with someone else.  Having someone else with me instantly gave me confidence in the past.

Then, I had a reality check.  No one was judging me, no one was wondering what I was doing there, no one cared about me….except for me.  I realized that if I acted confidant, than no one would even question my presence in the “boys area.”

I simply changed my attitude, acted confidant, and completed my workout.  It. felt. good.

Question of the morning:

What was your workout today?

Today, I am doing my long run and I am a little nervous because I am doing it at the end of the day rather than the beginning.  Does anyone have any tips or pointers for completing a long run at the END of the day???

Back in the Routine

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Last night, as soon as I got home I changed my clothes, laced up my running shoes, and headed out the door for a 3 mile jog.  I thought about doing 4, but with the heat being so hot I thought 3 today and 4 on Wednesday.

After taking a week long hiatus from running I was ready to jump back into a routine this week, heat and all!

I ran 3 miles with an 8 minute and 30 second pace, not too bad considering the weather!

Dinner

Dinner then came together in just 20 short minutes.  I simply roasted some green beans and reheated a salmon burger patty that my mom left me with from the weekend.

I topped the burger and dipped the green beans in a mixture of Greek yogurt, dill seasoning, and a little garlic salt.  The dill makes the dip taste so fresh and light!  Perfect for a summer meal after a hot and sweaty run.

Homemade Luna Bars (based on the recipe by Chocolate Covered Katie)

Luna bars have always been a favorite snack of mine.  Easy to throw in the bag and tasty.  I have been eyeing this recipe for a while now and I am so glad that I tried it!  The recipe is very simple, it comes together quickly and tastes amazing!  A perfect treat-like snack for anytime of the day.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups brown puffed rice cereal 
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • 2 Tbsp of protein powder
  • melted chocolate chips

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine the vanilla, salt, agave and peanut butter and melt together in the microwave.  In a large bowl, combine the puffed rice cereal and the protein powder.

Pour the peanut butter mixture over the puffed rice cereal and mix well.  Use a potato masher to mash everything down, squashing some of the rice puffs.

Place a piece of wax paper down in a baking pan.  Spread the mixture in the baking pan and press down firmly.  Melt the chocolate chips and spread on the top of the bars.  Freeze for about 30 minutes or more before removing to serve!

Enjoy!

Nutrition (recipe makes about 20 bars)

Calories:  122  Fat:  6.6g  Carbs:  11.3g  Protein:  5.8g

Breakfast

This morning, I had a new flavor of baked oatmeal….

Strawberries and cream baked oatmeal!  It ended up turning out pretty good, but I had a little kitchen mishap so the measurements got kind of wacko…so no recipe. 

Over the weekend my mom gave me a kind of stevia that is extremely strong compared to the regular stuff.  In my recipe, I added 1 Tbsp for 4 servings not thinking that was a lot…well that was wrong, completely wrong!  So, I continued to add more and more of each ingredient in hopes to cover up some of the strong stevia taste.  Thankfully, I figured out a winning combo (not sure what it is though!) so I didn’t have to waste the entire batch of baked oats.

 

Question of the Morning:

  • What kitchen mess up have you had lately?