Archive for February, 2013

I Got Socks for Valentine’s Day

FRIDAY!!!!!!!

Hope you’re as excited for the weekend as I am!  I’m gonna back up to yesterday…. Valentine’s Day!

Chad and I don’t really do the valentine’s day thing anymore, but he did manage to surprise me yesterday morning anyway.

Valentines

I was definitely not expecting to see this at 4:30 am. He had set it all up the night before to make sure I got it when I woke up. 🙂 A heart filled with Reese’s, balloon, card, and socks. Yes socks. I told you we don’t really do “valentine stuff,” but he did know that I desperately needed socks. My big toes stick out of all of mine. 😉 

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After getting my surprise, I briefly thought about climbing back in bed for another hour. But, the coffee was ready, the dogs needed to go out, and I was already dressed for the gym, so I went for another HIIT workout on the treadmill. I did the same one as last time,only I added another 5 minutes of HIIT intervals before cooling down at the end. 

Oatmeal for breakfast. It never gets old!

photo 4

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After work, Chad and I talked about what we wanted for dinner and just did not like the sound of what I had planned. (Tilapia, sweet potatoes, and asparagus) So, I made a quick change in the menu and decided to make pancakes! No pictures though. I thought it would be better to leave my camera alone for the night.

After dinner, we sat on the couch with a small glass of wine and a bowl of ice cream. It was pretty wonderful. 🙂

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4:30 came wayyyy to soon this morning, but we still made it to the gym for a shoulders/back workout. My shoulders were on fire. I only use 5lb dumbbells for the different shoulder raises, but let me tell you, it burns like crazy!

Breakfast was two fried eggs and pear slices with pumpkin butter.

breakfast

I’m loving pears lately!

Our students were dismissed at 12:00 today because we had a professional development workshop in the afternoon, so I decided not to bring my lunch and eat at home. I did have an apple mid-morning when I got hungry. My usual lunch time is around 11:00, so I knew I’d need something to tide me over until I could get home for lunch.

lunch

I went back to the gym after our workshop for a little cardio on the elliptical. Nothing too intense, just enough to feel like I counteracted some of the candy and ice cream from yesterday. 😉 I kid, I kid.

workout

Sorry for the blurry picture! And I’m just sayin… there’s absolutely no way I burned almost 500 calories on the elliptical for 45 minutes. That calorie count is extremely inaccurate.

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Chad and I are planning on going our for fajitas tonight, like we do literally every weekend. haha Then I have no idea what’s on the agenda for the rest of the night.

My running plan for the weekend is a long run on the treadmill tomorrow. I’m hoping to try see how far I can get in one hour. The treadmills at my gym time-out after an hour, so I’ll just plan on stopping then. I know I can make it to 6 miles, but maybe I can push myself to go faster and farther. We’ll see! 

Hope you have a wonderful Friday and weekend!!

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February 15, 2013 at 5:12 pm 4 comments

Lent Day 1 and WIAW

It’s day 1 of the Lent season and so far so good. I haven’t opened my Google reader on my iPad, phone, OR computer! I’m trying not to even look at how many unread posts I have because I don’t want to get overwhelmed. I’ve been favoriting different posts via twitter so that on Sunday, I know which ones I want to read. And, like I said yesterday, I’m hoping this will help me clear out the blogs that I don’t really read (the ones where I just scroll through the posts) so my reader is more manageable. 

This morning when I sat down with my coffee, instead of looking through the countless blogs on my reader, I opened up my bible study app and began the process of reading through the entire bible. It’s one of my 30 Before 30 goals to read the bible from cover to cover. I’ve started this before and gotten pretty far into the old testament,  but I always end up quitting, forgetting, giving up, etc. The app I’m using gives me a daily schedule of how far to read so that I will eventually finish the entire bible in one year. What better time to make this a morning habit than during the Lent season! 🙂

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Even though I’m technically not reading blogs, I can still participate in link-ups right?? 🙂 So, I’m joining in the WIAW party today!


So backing up to last night… After publishing yesterday’s post, I got to work on dinner. On the menu was pork chops, roasted broccoli, and carrots.

dinner

I roasted the broccoli and carrots in the same pan, but seasoned the broccoli with garlic salt, onion powder, and paprika.. I seasoned the carrots with cinnamon, brown sugar, and a drizzle of honey. They were seriously delicious! As for the pork chops, I went with a simple seasoning using Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime salt free seasoning and cooked them on medium in the skillet for about 5 minutes on each side. 

After dinner we had to get dressed to go take our picture for the church directory. As soon as we got home, I made a quick dessert/snack before bed.

Rice Cake with Peanutbutter

I’ve been loving caramel rice cakes with peanut butter lately!

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This morning’s workout was focused around chest and biceps. Here’s a look at what we did:

workout

Basically with each exercise, you start with heavy weights and do as many reps as possible. For me it was anywhere from 7-10. For the second set, you lower the weight about 1/3 or 1/2 and do as many reps as possible. You should be able to do quite a few more during this set. For me it was 12-18 reps. Then on the third set, you drop to the lowest weight possible and go until failure. Sometimes I made it to 20 reps, other times I made it to 50. It just depends on the exercise.

My arms were like JELLO.

Breakfast this morning was a mixture of sweet and savory.

breakfast

I made an omelet with mozzarella and franks hot sauce, and I also cut up a pear with some cinnamon and pumpkin butter. Delicious and filling!

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For lunch, I packed a leftover pork chop from last night with some cheddar cheese to melt on top, baby carrots, and a fuji apple.

lunch

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I ordered some Quest Bars the other day, and they were in my mail box when I got home!

bars

I really wanted to try the new chocolate chip cookie dough flavor, but I ended up going with chocolate peanut butter today.

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And that’s all I have for you today! I’ve still got to pack up my dinner to bring to church, and then we have our Ash Wednesday service. I’ll more than likely be digging into another peanut butter/rice cake combo after church tonight. 😉

Have a great evening!

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Question: Are you giving anything up for Lent? If so, what is it? 

February 13, 2013 at 4:56 pm 5 comments

There is so much randomness that I cannot give this post a title…

How’s that for a captivating title?? 

I am so sad that I had to miss out on the Marvelous in My Monday fun yesterday with Katie. Sometimes it’s just not possible for me to get to the computer. Oh well. Here’s a little bit of what my weekend was like.

Saturday morning I met a group from Team Total Health for a 5 mile run. I’m really liking running with this group because they keep me accountable for my run, plus they make me go fast! haha I made it 5 miles in just under 46 minutes with an average pace of 9:11. Whoop!

Run and Breakfast

Breakfast was ready when I got home thanks to some prep work the night before. Hello overnight oats in a jar!

Later on in the morning we had a special brunch at our church in honor of our organist who is retiring, and after that, I literally laid on the couch all day in my ProCompression socks. It was glorious! While on the couch, I watched three different documentaries.

Spirit of the Marathon

Spiritoffthemarathon_cover

Oh my gosh this movie made me cry. I always get emotional when I watch people finishing races or things that they’ve trained hard for. And now, I want to run the Chicago Marathon so bad!

Hungry for Change

hungry-for-change-300x3001

This one really opened my eyes to all the processed foods (or as they said, “food-like products”) that we eat. It was so informative and I would advise everyone to watch it!

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead

images

This movie made me want to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on a juicer! I never realized how little vegetable we eat, and juicing seems to be the most effective way of getting in all those nutrients. I’m seriously considering buying a cheap-o juicer so I can start adding juices into my diet.

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Sunday was a weird day. I was really emotional for some reason? I forgot to bring my apple with me for my pre-church service breakfast and proceeded to cry. I ended up finding a random bag of Teddy Grahams in Chad’s office which made things a little better. At least I had my post-church service breakfast of oats in a jar with me!

After church I had to make a trip to the grocery store. I got everything I needed, got a short check-out line, and had everything bagged. When I went to pay, I noticed that I had forgotten my wallet. I apologized to the cashier, walked out empty handed, and cried in my car for a solid 5 minutes. It was pathetic. haha I know I should have just gotten over it, gone home to get my wallet, and gone back to the store. But like I said, it was an emotional day.

Sunday afternoon, things started to look up. We celebrated my sweet cousin’s 14th birthday with lasagna, wings, chips & hummus, and cake! A lovely mish-mosh of my delicious food!

Dinner

And later that evening, I think you all know what I was doing.

the-walking-dead-eye-for-an-eye-poster

So my emotional Sunday ended on a good note. 🙂

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Monday morning, I decided to sleep again and go to the gym after work. Sleeping in on Mondays are starting to feel reeeaally nice. Anyway, after work Chad met me at the gym and we completed the same leg torture from last week. This time, it was a bit easier for me to get through the workout, but poor Chad had it rough. He did it though! I even typed it out on my phone so you guys can try the torture for yourselves! Mwahahaha. 😉

Legs

Next week, I have to go from 3 sets to 4 sets. Not looking forward to that. :/

After the gym and a quick trip to the store (WITH my wallet!), it was time for dinner. Chicken fajitas were on the menu for the night!

fajitas

I eat mine straight from the skillet. No tortillas or extra toppings. It’s just how I like it. 🙂

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This morning my legs felt pretty good (though I was worried about being sore from Monday’s workout), so I drove to the gym for a short HIIT workout on the treadmill, along with The Biggest Loser.

run

I went really simple with this one: 5 minute warm-up at a brisk walk, followed by 10 minutes of 30 seconds hard (8.0) and 30 seconds easy (5.5). Then I finished it up with another 5 minute cool down walk and an added one minute sprint (9.0) at the end. It only lasted a little over 20 minutes, but I was a sweaty mess!

Breakfast was a giant bowl of oatmeal with pumpkin butter swirled in and peanut butter on top.

oats

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So, now that all of that is out of the way, I have a very important announcement to make!!

As you may know, tomorrow is Ash Wednesday which starts the season of Lent. Usually, you give something up (i.e. soft drinks, candy, meat, etc.), fast, or do something from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday to prepare for Holy Week and to commemorate the 40 days that Jesus fasted. Last year, I decided to give up the scale and add in a morning devotion time. This year, I’ve decided to give up something that takes up A LOT of my time. I spend most of my morning before work and most of my time after work doing this. It’s not blogging. It’s reading other blogs. I love love love reading healthy living blogs, and I love finding new blogs to read even more! I’ve realized it takes up way too much of my time, and my Google reader has seriously gotten OOC.

So friends, my promise for this Lent season is to give up reading other blogs/checking my Google reader until Easter, with the exception of Sundays! Sunday is the day that you can “break” your Lent promise, so I’ll be catching up on all my favorite blogs every Sunday. Don’t be surprised if I comment on a post from 5 days ago! 😉 This will also help me get rid of some of the blogs I follow but don’t actually read. They just take up space and time.

I plan on replacing the time spent reading blogs with other productive things, but most importantly prayer and time with God. After all, that’s what this is all about!

And now it’s about time to get started on dinner! We have to get pretty after dinner for church directory pictures, so we’ll see how that goes. 😉

February 12, 2013 at 5:07 pm 6 comments

Plans for the Week 02/10

I missed this last week, so I’m back with my meal and workouts plans for the week!

Workouts

M- Leg Strength
T- HIIT/Cardio
W- Arm/Chest Strength
Th- HIIT/Cardio
F- Shoulders/Back Strength
S- Long-ish Run
Sun- REST!

Meals

M- Chicken fajitas
T- Pork chops, broccoli, and roasted carrots
W- Church
Th- Tilapia, sweet potatoes, and asparagus
F- Out/Wing it
S- Out/Wing it

February 10, 2013 at 8:54 pm 2 comments

Five Things Friday

Hello everyone! My life has been pretty boring this week. I don’t feel like I have anything to recap in my usual Five Things Friday, so I’ll just turn this FTF into a simple list of five things I want to share.

1. I’ve been slacking a little on my cardio/running this week. Usually, I’ll get in at least two good runs during the work week, but because of the leg torture from Monday, I’ve been too sore to move. Today was the first day I woke up and felt like I could even attempt a run. But sadly, it was a strength day. I have a 5-7 mile run scheduled tomorrow though, so I’ll just have to wait until then. Taking six days off from running sure does give me restless legs. I’m ready to get back out there!

2. Meals from the week have been good, but it’s all stuff you’ve seen before. Stir-fry on Monday. Buffalo turkey burgers on Tuesday. Wednesday we eat at church. And last night was healthy chicken alfredo. We’re going out for fajitas tonight like we do almost every Friday. I guess we’re just creatures of habit… and really really really like Mexican food. 😉

3. This is Pierre to a freakin T.

20130208-155236.jpg

4. I told you once that I had a recipe for skinny chicken tenders.

20130208-155354.jpg
Well it’s not really a recipe. It’s more like a tip to make your usual “fried chicken fingers” a little bit healthier. Here’s what I do.

For the “breading,” mix 1 cup of crushed rice krispies with any spices you’d like. I like to use garlic salt, onion powder, paprika, and pepper.

Cup up chicken breast into strips (or buy boneless chicken tenders). Whisk an egg in a bowl to dip the strips in. After dipping the strips in the egg, toss them around in the breading mixture and cook them in a skillet for 5-10 minutes. Viola! “Skinny Chicken Tenders”

5. I completely forget about something very very very important!!!!!!! Yesterday was my ONE YEAR RUNNING ANNIVERSARY!!! It was exactly one year ago yesterday that I set out on my very first run using the Couch to 5K plan. Here’s where I wrote about my first run…. it kind of pains me to read that old post. haha Anyway, I’m so proud of how much I’ve accomplished since then and how much I’ve fallen in love with running! In one year I’ve run one 2 mile race, five 5ks, one 5 mile race, one 10k, and one half marathon! I’m currently working towards a 15k, my second half marathon, and a full marathon in the fall! I’ve placed 2nd in my age group once and placed 1st in my age group in 3 different races. It’s safe to say that one year ago yesterday, my life was changed! 🙂

P.S. I updated the recipe page and organized it a little better! Go check it out and see if there’s anything you want to try! 🙂

February 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm 6 comments

WIAW Back in Action!!

After taking an extra long break from the What I Ate Wednesday madness, I’m finally back with a look at my daily eats!

Breakfast 6:45 am:

breakfast

I tried something new today. Monica from Run Eat Repeat posted a two ingredient pancake recipe, so I thought I’d give it a try. I used one scoop of protein powder and 1/2 cup of egg whites (she used 1/3 cup). Poured it all into a pan to cook. It seemed like the pancake was a little runny, so I thought I’d change it up and make it more like an omelet. I put some almond butter in the middle and tried to fold it over, then it proceeded to break in half. Oh well. I flipped a few times to let the almond butter melt inside and then threw it on a plate with some sugar free syrup.

It did not taste like a pancake and had a very strange texture,but for 300 calories and 45 grams of protein, I’ll definitely make it again!

Throughout the morning at work, I sipped on some coffee and chugged my water.

coffee and water

Many bathroom breaks were needed.

Lunch 11:00 am:

lunch

Sorry, this does NOT look appetizing! I brought a leftover buffalo turkey burger for lunch and topped it with a wedge of laughing cow light swiss cheese, fat free ranch, and more buffalo sauce. On the side were some cucumbers and a fuji apple.

Snack 3:30 pm:

PURE PROTEIN BAR

I soon as I got home, I dug into this Pure Protein bar. 180 calories and 20g of protein!

Dinner 5:45 pm:

dinner

wedges

Since I’m posting at 4:00, I obviously haven’t had dinner yet. But, I’m bringing this microwavable bag of veggies in a cheese sauce and some sweet potato wedges (that are still cooking) to church with me for dinner. I’ve also got a caramel rice cake and pumpkin butter for “dessert.”

Snack 8:30 pm:

Chobani Bite pineapple caramel

If I’m hungry again when I get home from church, I usually have a snack. Lately I’ve been eating rice cakes and peanut butter, but I think tonight I’m going for one of the Chobani bites I have in the fridge. I’ve just got to decide if I want caramel pineapple or coffee with dark chocolate. It’s a hard decision guys…. the struggle is real.

Thanks for checking out my What I Ate Wednesday post. If you want to see others, head over to Peas and Crayons for dozens of other links! 🙂

February 6, 2013 at 4:58 pm 4 comments

Leg Torture + Healthy Alfredo Sauce!

Hello hello! I hope this Tuesday has treated you well so far! It’s been a pretty good one over here so far. I feel like this week will go by pretty quickly, thank goodness! I hate weeks that feel like they last foreverrrrrr. Anyway…

Yesterday I decided to skip my morning workout for an extra hour of sleep. It was so amazing! I woke up still feeling full from all the cake and ice cream, plus chips and dip from dinner the night before, so breakfast wasn’t appealing to me at first. After getting ready for the day and having some coffee, I finally decided on two eggs and a pear. I decided at the last minute to spoon some almond butter on the pear slices and OMG…

breakfast

That is a totally delicious combination! Besides the fast that it kind of looks like poop. 😉

This breakfast kept me full all morning, which is usually hard to do. I ate it around 7:00 am and didn’t get the least bit hungry again until 11:30. 4 1/2 hours of fullness?? That’s pretty awesome for me.

After school I knew I needed to workout, so I grabbed my bag and hit the gym. I literally almost pulled right back out of the parking lot when I saw how full it was, but I went in anyway. Then I almost walked back outside when I saw all the people. I decided to just go change into my gym clothes and see if it looked any better when I came out. Well it didn’t, and I really had no idea what I was going to do workout wise. I was heading over the cardio machines when one of my co-workers called my name. He and another co-worker wanted to show me their infamous leg routine that had them sore for days. I had heard about it and thought I could handle it, so I agreed.

MISTAKE.

They put me through an hour of pure torture. Think of 60 single leg squats, walking lunges while carrying two 20lb kettle bells, pressing 300 lbs and going straight to 100lb calf raises, plus more. I mean, I can barely move today because of that workout. I don’t think I have ever worked out my legs that much in one workout. The funny thing is that I fully plan on doing that routine again next Monday. haha

Needles to say, I was pretty tired last night after the gym. The last thing I wanted to do was cook, so I made a quick and simple stir-fry using a bag of frozen veggies and sliced chicken breast.

dinner

Easy, simple, and yummy.

It was definitely an early bedtime kind of night for us. I slept like a ROCK.

This morning, I went to the gym and hopped on the elliptical since I knew running was not an option for these sore legs. 25 minutes later and I switched to the treadmill for some walking to stretch out my legs. Nothing too heavy today.

Breakfast was an extra large bowl of hot pumpkiny oats with peanut butter!

photo 4

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It’s been a few weeks, but you may remember seeing this picture from dinner one night.

photo 1

After doing a little recipe research, I came up with an easy and healthy alfredo sauce for pasta, chicken, or whatever you want to put it on! For me, it was spaghetti squash and grilled chicken breast.

Healthy Creamy Alfredo Sauce (serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tbs butter (25 cals)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (20 cals) OR skim milk (45 cals)
  • 3 wedges of laughing cow light garlic and herb cheese (105 cals)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tbs Parmesan cheese (20 cals)

Melt butter in a sauce pan. Add in milk and cheese wedges. Cook until everything is smooth/melted. Add garlic salt, pepper, and Parmesan. Cook on low until creamy, being careful not to burn! Pour over whatever you want and EAT! 

I used the unsweetened vanilla almond milk because that’s all I had at the time. I was a little afraid that the taste would be off, but the vanilla really brought out the sweet flavor of the sauce. Husband approved, so it’s a winner!

The sauce comes out to be about 170 calories total, so if you split it with your husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, grandma, whoever, it’s only 85 calories. (But who’s counting right?) Depending on how many you’re serving, you can double, triple, quadruple, etc. Let me know how you like it!

February 5, 2013 at 4:50 pm 6 comments

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Hello, I'm Grace! I'm a 24 year old living in a small town in Alabama. I'm married and have the most amazing job teaching music to elementary students. I blog about healthy eating, exercising, running, and the random things that happen in my life. I've recently completed my second half marathon and can't wait to pursue that 26.2!

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