Archive for March, 2013
March 29, 2013
Happy Friday! I hope you have had a great day so far. I, myself can’t complain over here… the weather outside is (finally) sunny and gorgeous!
Mind you, the temperature is still considered to be chilly in the 40s, but I digress. If the sun is shining, I am one happy girl and like to take advantage of it by spending some time outside.
Yesterday I received something I have been anxiously waiting for in the mail. New running shoes! Ahhh!
If you are a runner, you completely understand how exciting this is. Truth is, I have been running in my old and incredibly worn out running shoes I bought to train for my half marathon last March. Ummm… yeah… for the number of miles I have put on those bad boys, they should have been retired a good six to eight months ago!
Lucky for them, it has been a little too cold for my liking to run outside, so I have found other ways to get my cardio and have put running aside for a while. Not today! When I woke up and saw a forecast for a morning in the 40s, I deemed it the perfect excuse to get out there and run again.
Cool (not cold) weather + new running shoes + sun shining = best runs ever!
I am including a pre-photo of my entire outfit because I got a few pieces at an absolute steal. At first I was worried that I might need more layers, but with a fleece lined thermal top and patch pocket athletic pants, I was perfectly warm, not too hot, and good to go!
Thermal Top: Champion via Target Activewear – (75% off) $5.99!
Patch Pocket Athletic Pants: Forever21 Activewear – $19.80!
iPod/iPhone armband holder: NATHAN Sonic Boom case via Track Shack
Headband: purchased at the 2012 Gasparilla Distance. It’s super soft fabric and I wear it over my ears to keep them warm and to hold my earbuds in. You can find probably find something similar at running specialty stores!
and of course… the new kicks.
Believe it or not, I got these online from Amazon.
When I decided to start seriously training for my first race, I went to my local running store and got professionally fitted for running shoes. If you are interested in racing, or even running any kind of long distance, I strongly urge you to do the same. It only takes a few minutes, and you will be amazed at what it feels like to run in the right brand and shoe size for your personal running style.
Ready, I set off for a run with a fresh playlist and no end mile goal in sight. I just wanted to enjoy being able to run outside again, and I certainly succeeded.
At about the two mile mark, I saw a running trail I was tempted to hop on.
Since I wasn’t sure where it ends up, I took it for a quarter mile and turned back around to head back home. After all, it had been a while since my last run and didn’t want to overdue it.
Five miles later, I returned home feeling great to have ran at a 8:30 pace! What I wore was perfect for the weather, and I barely even broke a sweat.
It was a great start to the day!
After a quick shower, I headed downstairs to make something I haven’t even thought of in quite a while: a smoothie! Like I said… it has been freezing up here and the last thing I have been wanted to put in my body is ice.
Today, however, it sounded refreshing.
Without any kind of recipe in mind, I just started throwing random ingredients into the blender. For going in blind, I have to admit that it was pretty darn good!
• frozen strawberries and blackberries (about 1 1/2 cups)
• 1/2 a Granny Smith apple
• fresh spinach (about 1 cup)
• 1 scoop whey protein powder
• orange juice (about 1 1/2 cups… maybe a little more)
It blended easily and made enough for two. I put the rest in the refrigerator to enjoy later on (which I am actually finishing it off as we type!) and sided it with one of my favorite afternoon snacks.
Baby carrots, Reduced-fat Triscuit crackers and a big ‘ol dallop of Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. So delish.
It has been a pretty Good Friday around here. I woke up feeling well rested (which has not happened a lot lately), in a good mood, and ready to take on the day. While sipping coffee, I realized it is also Good Friday.
As Christians, Scott and I observe today as a religious holiday symbolizing the crucifixion of Christ, then end the weekend celebrating His resurrection on Easter Sunday! Although we will not be around family, I am really looking forward to attending a Saturday night service at the church Scott and I have been going to.
We have so much to be thankful for, and this is always a weekend that gives us a reminder of everything we have been blessed with.
I shared a photo on Instagram this morning, and wanted to also close today’s post with it.
It is a picture of a Forever 21 shopping bag. Have you ever really looked at one long enough to see what is on the bottom of it?
One of my favorite bible verses, perfect for Good Friday – John 3:16
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Whether you are celebrating Easter, Passover, or just plan to enjoy time with friends and family, have a wonderful weekend everyone!
March 28, 2013
It has been four weeks since I started working out with Cathe Fendrich. For the entire month of March, I committed myself to the 30 Day Cardio + Strength Training Program that is part of her new XTrain workout series.
Today is the 28th, and I am excited to have successfully reached the end of the program! Can I take a second to say a big “HECK YES” to myself? Okay, great… glad we got that out of the way.
Instead of thirty straight days I originally expected, I realized this program is instead packed with four intense weeks of six training days a week. For twenty-eight days, I have shared my positive training experiences with you week to week, as well as my struggles and disappointment in myself for missing training days.
A home video workout series has not been an easy thing for me to stay committed to, but after looking back at the entire process I am so glad I pushed myself to do it! Let’s get on to how the fourth and final training week went, shall we?
XTrain Workouts : Week 4 Check-In
Curious to catch up?
Past recaps include:
As always, this week was made up of the same type of workouts: HIIT, Tabatas, Kickboxing, and Legs (with an specific arm group added into each day).
I have not hidden the fact that I have had missed a few training days along the way, with the majority of them being days focused on legs. As a dancer, I have always been afraid of bulking up my thighs and calves too much and prefer to keep a long and lean frame. For this reason, it was easier to give into a skip day if it was one I thought I did not necessarily “need” anyways.
Yikes! Now that is not a way to fully get everything out of a training program, is it? This week was an opportunity for me to re-assess.
I buckled up with an end goal of completing at least one of the two leg days from start to finish including the optional ten minute barre section in the middle.
Done and done.
As much as I felt like my legs did not need the extra training, I gave it a shot and enjoyed getting back to the barre (or in this case, chair with cat).
At the end of the video, my legs were jello, and I almost regretted forcing myself through while at dance practice the next day. Almost. I was super sore and had to try twice as hard to change my levels, but knowing I hit my goal made it all worth it.
When I got to the middle of the week, I added another goal of completing all six workout days for my final week. Then I remembered I had two games and three practices to dance through.
When you consider the number hours of practicing, running stadiums (stairs) and dancing involved in each day, I am pretty sure I compensated for the burn I would have gotten out of my last Cardio Leg Blast day. With that being the only day I missed, I feel pretty okay with it.
Overall Thoughts – Week 4
Ahhhh! I cannot believe it’s over!
This video workout series flew by and drug on at the same time for me. Like I mentioned from day one, it is really hard for me to commit to a strict workout program already planned out for me.
I consider myself one to float around at the gym and take advantage of the different types of group fitness classes, cardio machines, and workouts available to me. I like the option of waking up and deciding what I feel like doing, rather than looking at what I am supposed to be doing for my workout that day.
Knowing that, I have to admit that I enjoyed this video series more than I expected to!
Just like the previous weeks, I enjoyed the Hard Strikes (cardio kickboxing) DVD the best. I happened to have few extra frustrations this week and really got into it. Hey, whatever works right?!
I am ending the series today feeling proud of pushing myself through the days and nights I just didn’t want to complete a video workout.
I feel stronger, tougher, and even rekindled a spark to start kickboxing on a regular basis again!
I plan on doing a full video review of XTrain next week, and am excited to share my overall thoughts and recap my experiences of training at home with you.
Now off for a celebratory run outside with Roadie. See ya soon!
*Disclaimer: The XTrain Workout Series DVDs were provided to me, free of charge, from cathe.com through my ambassadorship with FitFluential. I was not compensated in any way for this review, and simply exchanged sharing workout experience for product. As always, all thoughts and opinions in this series of reviews are my own. Please see my full dislaimer before starting any kind of new workout routine.
March 27, 2013
It’s Wednesdayyyyy, and I know you are excited to see the final edition of…
At the beginning of March, I started taking part in What I Ate Wednesdays, hosted by Jenn. Each moth has a specific focus, and March’s was going green by adding more green (or fruity…or “vegeteable-y” things) into your meals.
As a lot of you already know, I have never really had the nine to five type of work schedule, and my daily responsibilities vary day by day. Some days I am able to work home the entire day, while others I am on-the-go running around from early morning to late at night. I just never know!
WIAW#4 : Eating On-The-Go
I mentioned from the beginning that I would highlight different types of days in this series, and here is my first one spent almost entirely away from home.
Last Thursday was not a game day, or even a practice day, but instead a day full of running around with the treat of a date night afterwards!
When I know I am not going to have much time to make breakfast in the morning, I like to make some type of overnight oats concoction the night before. I introduced them in last week’s WIAW, and you here is my favorite and general type of overnight oats recipe by Julie.
This time I made chocolate banana overnight oats and it was fantastic!
I always eyeball everything, but if I had to measure it out I would stick to her recipe starting with a 6 oz. container of low-fat Banana Chobani Greek yogurt, then adding 1/2 cup rolled oats, 2 Tbsp. chia seeds, and 2/3 cup light chocolate Silk soy milk. After letting it sit overnight, I sliced a banana on top and enjoyed the yummy banana-chocolatey goodness the next morning!
There are so many ways you can play with this recipe, and you better believe that I will be featuring a lot more of these in the future. Overnight Oats = Genius.
Although I was craving a sub, I was craving a vegetable loaded chopped salad even more and did just that… ordered a salad and loaded it up!
The guy went a little nuts with the salt and pepper, but under that you will find every vegetable option possible, with the exception of raw onions. I wasn’t too keen on sporting onion breath for the rest of the day.
I started by ordering turkey with American cheese, and as always mixed the base with lettuce and spinach. I then asked for “the works” (including jalapenos, excluding onions) and got regular oil and vinegar for dressing, then salt and pepper topped it off.
I just love chopped salads! I am one of those people who will literally sit there for five minutes cutting everything up into small pieces before taking a bite. True story. (Is that weird?)
This time, Subway did it for me!
I felt content after practically scarfing the salad down, and enjoyed a bag of Cheddar & Sour Cream Baked Ruffles later on between errands.
Okay, I admit it. I have a chips obsession. Ain’t no shame in my game!
I got home a few hours later, worked a bit on the computer, and snuck in an XTrain workout before Scott got home from work.
Date Night Dinner
Since Scott has been a little travel bug this month, we named Thursday night as that week’s date night. We try to treat ourselves to a dinner out (with just the two of us) once a week, and we have been set on trying a new restaurant in our area until we have visited all we are interested in!
This time, my craving for Italian pushed us to East Side Mario’s. There are only two locations, and one is less than five minutes away from where we live.
*Disclaimer: Date nights are usually my excuse for a cheat meal. I always try to order healthy, but at the same time am not afraid to indulge in a glass of wine (or two), bread, and/or dessert! I am a firm believer that everyone deserves meals like this every once in a while.
With that said, this picture sums up the deliciousness of our Italian dinner date.
When ordering, I was looking for some type of chicken and vegetable pasta and went with what they called a Hell’s Kitchen Chicken.
You probably can’t make it out, but under that big pile of spicy mushrooms, chili peppers and Arrabbiata sauce is a large seasoned chicken. Fresh seasonal vegetables were served on the side, as well as spaghetti with Primavera sauce.
(Sorry about the poor quality on these. Romantic dinner lighting does not exactly make for the best food photos!)
A few bites in, I made Scott cringe by mixing everything on my plate together.
He laughed and said I ruined it, while I explained I made my chicken and vegetable pasta I was looking for all along. It was spicy, full of flavor, and I ended up taking half of it home to enjoy for lunch the next day!
While I usually end my night with some kind of low calorie dessert, I was still pretty full when we got home and opted out. Just this night, though.
From this post, I hope that you gather a few things:
• Clean (and green) eating can be done practically anywhere – at home and on-the-go!
• Everyone has cheat meals, and I am not afraid to share mine with you!
• Healthy eating is a lifestyle any one of you can embrace. It just takes an open mind (and set of open taste buds!) to transition into.
Don’t be afraid to love your veggies and join the WIAW party by linking up your own.
Have a great rest of your Wednesday!
March 26, 2013
I have been surrounding myself with motivational quotes and people lately.
When I first started putting this post together, I simply wanted to make you smile. I am still trying to do that, but as I kept compiling, I realized I should also share why I have been looking for a little extra motivation.
If you have not personally gone through the experience of moving to a completely new city, I can tell you that it is not an easy thing to do. In fact, it is pretty darn scary. With the end of an NBA season quickly approaching for Scott and I, it has made me take a step back and reflect on what has happened in our lives in the last five months.
Lots and lots of changes!
As exciting it is to start over, the thought of being the “new girl” has been just as intimidating. In five months time, we have settled in, but know that neither Scott or I call Michigan home yet. In a sense, we still both feel very new, and at times… a little different.
I came from a world I was completely comfortable in. I had family and friends I have known for decades around me every single day. I had a church community full of uplifting people rooting us on, and my main job of dancing for the Orlando Magic consumed my time, life, and passions.
Over the past month or so, it has just started to hit me how much my life has changed – and to be honest – it has been a little bit of a hard pill to swallow.
I mean, who really likes change anyways? I, for one, am terrified of it.
But you know what they say… life comes and you fast. You never know where you are going to end up, who you are going to be with, or what you will be doing. All you can do is take advantage of the opportunities given to you and embrace the present.
So that is exactly what I have done. I have accepted that change is good, and I am learning something new from it from every single day.
Housewife Glamour Mantra
I can say that accepting change has pushed me into a tougher, stronger, more driven person. Sticking my neck out of my comfort levels and fighting past my insecurities has helped me live in the moment and enjoy life.
My drive to succeed is bigger than ever, and it just makes me want to share it with you! So I am.
Below are just a handful of quotes and pictures that have stuck out to me recently. Some are health and fitness related, while most are about life in general.
Take a moment and breathe it all in!
• “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw
• “To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone.” – Reba McEntire
• “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” – Robert Frost
• “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky
• “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” – Mae West
• “Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.” – Leon J. Suenes
• “Life is short, live it. Love is rare, grab it. Anger is bad, dump it. Fear is awful, face it. Memories are sweet, cherish it.” – Unknown
• “Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are.” – Markus Zusak
• “No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself.” – Madonna
And last but not least, my absolute favorite straight from the the good word:
• Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. ♥
- Romans 12:2
Even if “you” feels different, remember…
Be YOU. Embrace YOU. LOVE YOU!
Question of the Day
• What is one of your favorite inspirational quotes/mantras?