(Kind of) Wordless Weekend.

Kind of wordless, but not really. Here’s what I’ve been up to the past few days:

 

Half eaten Friday night fro yo. Tart, bananas, dark chocolate chips, peanut butter sauce and Nutella. Pure. Heaven.

 

I spent Saturday afternoon working on a loacl Habitat for Humanity house. It was hard, sweaty (It was 100 degrees) but rewarding work. I helped put up siding (there was none on the house when we started) and only hammered my fingers five times. Success! I now have a sunburnt scalp as a souvenir. For a pale person I’m horrible at putting on sunscreen.

 

Purple smoothies are a good post-Habitat recovery beverage. Blueberries, banana, vanilla protein powder and soymilk. Purple is my favorite.

 

Dinner was steamed kale, frozen mixed vegetables topped with salsa a crumbled black bean burger (recipe coming!). Simple but delicious.

 

Just pressing some tofu for Sunday dinner. No big deal.

 

So. Much. Sweat. Pre-work super sweaty 6 AM workouts are oddly addicting. So is making ridiculous faces. Can’t help myself.

 

Two Moms in the Raw Cranberry Nut Bar from my Healthy Surprise box eaten in my cubicle at work. SO DELICIOUS. I could have eaten 5 more in the same sitting. But the wrapper was ridiculously hard to open, I actually had to use a box cutter to get it open. Don’t get between me and a tasty snack.

 

My brother drew my portrait. Clearly he is an artistic genius.

 

So many sales! Two Larabar Uber bars for $1 each, a PB&J Larabar for $0.63, a Good N’ Natural bar for $0.64 and a sprite melon for $1. What’s up Kroger bargains. You should know I carried all this in my arms to the car because I’m a hippie and hate plastic bags. And I didn’t even drop anything.

Have you ever worked on a Habitat for Humanity House?

What’s your favorite snack/protein bar?

What did you do this weekend?

I Feel Validated

 

Now I’m going to go make some coffee.

Can We Talk About

The Olympics for a second?


Sweet bike.

I’m so excited for the next three weeks. It was my goal to watch every minute of the Olympics, well it’s the first day and I’ve already failed that one. But I plan to watch religiously for the next three weeks.

I personally think we should declare the Olympics an international holiday and not have to go to work. I think that sounds pretty reasonable. Who’s with me?

I loved the opening ceremony last night, even though I think I might be the only person that did. It was amazingly ridiculous with more British stereotypes than I could count. And a 100 foot Lord Voldemort.


All international sporting events should include oversized Harry Potter characters. Duh.

I was thoroughly entertained. I had many good laughs, WTF moments and watched some cool effects, what more could I ask for. Oh and Freddie Mercury made an appearance. Yes yes yes.

Fun Olympics story: I went to high school with a guy who is competing. His name is Wayne Davis and he’ll be competing with the Trinidad and Tabago team (where he was born) in the Mens 110m hurtles, keep an eye out for him! We were actually in PE together freshman, so I’m hoping he wins a medal so I can tell people I ran with an Olympic athlete. And I guess because he’s really nice and deserves it.

I’m really excited for gymnastics (including rhythmic!), the marathon, triathlon, track and field, diving and basically everything.

What did you think of the opening ceremony?

What events are you looking forward to?

 

You’re Stronger Than You Think

You should know I’m listening to the Disney station on Pandora while I write this. I love it. Favorite new Pandora station? I think so.

Now I just want to watch the Lion King. Anyway…

My eats have been pretty uninspired lately. I’ve been working later at my internship because they’ve needed some extra help. I’ve been prepping my lunches at night so I can just grab it on the way out the door in the morning. Genius culinary invention doesn’t typically happen 30 minutes before bed time around here (or um, ever).

Tempeh, frozen veggie mix and edamame with some teriyaki sauce and sriracha. There has been a distinct lack of fresh veggies in my life the past couple of days. I need a grocery trip asap. I also had a farmer’s market peach (the last one, very sad) on the side. Peaches from the farmer’s market are a million times better than peaches from the grocery store, those aren’t even worth buying. I’ll be sad when peach season is over!

I had a snack of sweet potato and peanut butter at my desk while working on some projects:

Such a good combo. I don’t know what it is about sweet potatoes and peanut butter, but I’m convinced they were absolutely made for each other.

Dinner was a smoothie:

Soy milk, vanilla whey protein powder, peanut butter and cinnamon. Not the most nutritious but it’s what I was craving, and I’m all out of spinach and wasn’t going down the kale route again. I ate half of a cantaloupe with it (no joke) so that makes up for any missing nutrients right? Let’s hope.

I had a really fantastic workout after dinner:

You know it’s a good workout when even your knee caps get sweaty. Sweating dirty for sure.

I took a 30 minute cardio class followed by a 30 minute strength training class (taught by my favorite instructor!). In hind sight you should know that half of a cantaloupe and a smoothie combined with a plyometrics based cardio class is the best mix. My bladder got a good workout during that one.

I really pushed myself during this class. I’ve noticed that I tend to wimp out when a workout starts to get intense. I start to pull back as soon as I start feeling the burn, or a little tired. Well that’s just lame. I mean obviously if something is hurting I should stop, but a little burn never hurt anyone. In fact, a little burn usually makes good things happen. As the instructor reminded the class “you’re stronger than you think”. (She is one gem of a fitness instructor, two blog posts in one week? Impressive)

I really focused on pushing myself past the point where things start to get hard. That’s where changes are made right? Coasting through a workout (or life in general) is not going result in much progress and it’s not going to make you stronger. So dig deep and do it! Physically I’m strong enough to keep going, it’s just not giving into that lazy little voice in the back of my head that wants me to give up. No sir, I’m in beast mode now.

What do you do to push yourself through a tough workout? I try to dig deep and start counting down. You can always do 5 more reps.

What’s your favorite Disney movie? I love them all, but I think the Lion King is my absolute favorite.

Thursday Tangents

It’s been kind of a crazy week. Tangents are necessary.

  1. I’ve had the most ridiculous songs stuck in my head lately. In the past couple days I’ve had “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” and the theme song to Gullah Gullah Island stuck in my head. What? I don’t think I’ve heard either of those songs in a good five years.
    I can’t say I don’t miss that show though, Binya Binya Polywog was the best.
  2. I got my first paper cut at work, it was bound to happen sooner or later.
    Boo hoo. I can thank the thousands (not an exaggeration) of sheets of  I punch holes in yesterday. I’m glad I can be so dramatic over the teeniest cut ever. You’re welcome. I feel like paper cuts are a rite of passage when you’re working at a print shop. Except I guess when you’re doing their graphic design work, because that job doesn’t actually involve handling paper.
  3. I’ve been quite the barefoot hippie lately.
    I’m just not a fan of shoes. I took advantage of working in the back of the store because it meant I could go shoeless and customers wouldn’t judge me. I’m sure my co-workers did though. I think I’ve spent too much time in Boone, I’m getting hippie-r by the minute.
  4. Speaking of barefeet, I’ve been doing some reading lately:
    And so is my cat apparently, though I think he’s already got that whole barefoot running thing down. It’s a pretty interesting to read and the more I read the more I’m convinced barefoot is the way to go. I’m not sure that I’ll be chucking out my running shoes just yet, but the book brings up a lot of good points and I might have to try it out sometime.
  5. I’ve been on the biggest smoothie kick lately. Usually I’m not the biggest smoothie person, not because they’re not delicious (because they are), but they rarely keep me full. I bought some protein powder at Trader Joe’s the other day and adding it into the smoothie mix and now they have way more staying power.
    Oatmeal peanut butter green monster, all in a sweet university housing cup (I think that cup cost at least $10,000, yeahhh overly priced dorm living) Lesson learned today: if you run out of spinach, kale is not the same thing. It was all I could taste in the smoothie, it probably would have been good with fruit, but peanut butter and oats? Yuck. I still drank the whole thing though, so obviously I didn’t hate it too much. I’m thinking about making a smoothie recipe compilation post, anyone interested? I promise to leave out the kale.
  6. I’ve been digging into my Healthy Surprise box slowly but surely. Maybe by this time next year I’ll have it finished, at the rate I’m going I’ll probably never get sent a product to review again.
    Snack #1: Oskri Chewy Coconut Bar. It had a short ingredient list (coconut, rice syrup and cherries) which I love but, I was on the fence about this guy. The bar wasn’t bad but it was very sweet and pretty greasy (aka not a good snack to eat at the computer, found that one out the hard way). I wish it had more cherries or something crunchy it in. It was good, but I probably wouldn’t buy it myself.
    Snack #2: Gone Nuts! Thai Lemon Curry sprouted nut blend. You could also call it curry-flavored crack. This stuff is AMAZING. I love all things curry so these were right up my alley. The nuts were deliciously savory and the curry flavored gave things a little kick. I could have easily eaten the entire bag in one sitting. I’m really glad the box came with two bags!
  7. The Olympics start tomorrow! I’m beyond excited about it.

What song have you had stuck in your head recently?

Have you tried barefoot running?

What I Ate Wednesday

It’s been a crazy week this week. I’ve been worked full days at my internship lately (9-to-5ing it!) because one of the other employees is on vacation and we have 1000 booklets to put together. I spent 4 hours yesterday punching holes. It’s just as exciting as it sounds. I won’t complain too much though, I could definitely use the extra money.

Fitness:

Thursday: Up early for a LiveFit leg workout before work! I love getting in a workout before leaving for work, but I don’t always fall asleep early enough for a 5:30 wake up call. I suck at going to bed early, I’m like the little kid, I hate naps too.

Friday: LiveFit back and shoulders workout and a 2.25 mile run on the treadmill. My legs were feeling amazing, I would have kept going, but I had to meet my parents for dinner. I missed running.

Saturday: Laying on the beach counts as a workout right? Right.

Sunday: Pilates class and a 2.6 mile run. I’m trying to slowly get back up to racing shape. Running feels so good right now  (my foot is starting to feel better) and I am loving running again.

Monday: Rest day, work asked me to stay late, and my boyfriend had the day off work so that squashed workout plans, but I’m okay with that

Tuesday: I woke up at 5 am (who am I?!) for a early morning spin class. Getting my sweat on before dawn. The instructor was so enthusiastic (she was actually the “a day without burpees is like a day without sunshine” instructor, my new favorite) and I left feeling sweaty and refreshed. 6 am workouts won’t be an everyday thing, but it feels good to get in an early workout on occasion. I also had dance class Tuesday night, I only have two classes left! I’m sad about it.

Food:

Breakfast: Same old peanut butter oats, hey I already switched it up once this week, don’t want to get to crazy.

Post-work: I had a few cantaloupe wedges (best workout recovery snack – carby and hydrating all in one), and cottage cheese with peanut butter and cinnamon.

Morning Snack: I snacked on some carrots and cottage while working on booklets at my internship

Lunch: Sauteed kale, baby portobellos and tofu topped with hummus and nutritional yeast and a side of peach. I was hungry after punching holes all morning! I also had some Starbucks French Roast coffee from the break room Keurig. Strong and black, just how I love it.

Afternoon Snack: an unpictured mini Lemon Luna Bar and some curry nuts from my Healthy Surprise box (review for those coming soon!)

Dinner: Scrambled eggs with frozen veggies, topped with nutritional yeast and sriracha. It looks gross but it was quick and easy and I was hungry. On the side I had a sweet potato topped with peanut butter, and more cantaloupe

Post-dance snack: Peach and vanilla green monster! I’m on quite the smoothie kick lately.

Are you an early morning exerciser?

What did you eat on Wednesday (or any day)?

Beach Please.

Hey, long time no see. I’ve been quite the neglectful blogger lately. Sorry guys. It’s been a whirlwind of a week.

I had Friday off work for a doctor’s appointment. Just a typical physical, I had to fast for some blood work which made me quite the cranky little girl. I don’t understand how people don’t eat breakfast. I didn’t get to eat until 11 and I was DYING. I don’t do hungry so well.

The doctor took some blood for lab tests and they were having trouble finding a vein, so the lab technician had to poke around my arm to try to find one. Yeah, not fun, except while this was happening the lab technician was telling about the time her brother got shot in the head. No joke. Um, okay, maybe my arm doesn’t hurt that bad.

Please note the non-peanut butter oats I ate for breakfast immediately post arm-stabbing. Fasting and blood drawing are not a good combo:

Overnight (actually early morning) oats, plain greek yogurt, vanilla whey protein powder, soy milk and cinnamon, I think this is the first time all summer I haven’t eaten peanut butter oatmeal. Changin’ it up. It was delicious but not the same.

My mom took out for lunch at Neomonde, a nearby Mediterranean restaurant. Neomonde is set up kind of like a deli, you can order plates of different sides, wraps, and kebabs, but they also offer food by the pound and lots of packaged Mediterranean goodies like dried fruits, breads and dairy products.

I ordered a plate with fava bean salad, black bean salad, foul, and fruit salad. Mom got the plate on the left and the pita. I totally didn’t realize that my lunch was almost 100% beans until I sat down to eat. Whoops. Luckily I like a little fiber in my diet. My plate was totally demolished, I was clearly a little hungry. Neomonde’s is always a winner for quality food. Their food is wholesome, delicious, and very vegetarian friendly, and sometimes they give us free baklava. Bonus points.

I also had some unpictured fro yo. Tart flavored with bananas, a small sprinkle of dark chocolate chips with a smidge of peanut butter sauce. So good. I can deal with getting my arms stabbed if it means free frozen yogurt.

 

Saturday morning I was headed to the beach!

I don’t have many pictures, because I was busy living life, but work with me here.

For lunch I stopped by Whole Foods for some salad/hot bar deliciousness when we got into Wilmington. We made a McDonald’s stop for my friends earlier along our trip, so I was free to pick a super healthy/hippie spot for lunch. We passed a billboard for Whole Foods so of course I had to stop. The store was twice the size of the one back home. Heaven. I filled my take-out box with tofu, a superfood salad and steamed veggies. But I neglected to take a picture because I was hangry after the two hour drive. Yes, I struggle to go without eating for 2 hours. I like food.

I did stumble across this magical treasure.

A trail mix bar. AKA what dreams are made of. I resisted though and my wallet and waistline are thanking me.

From Whole Foods we headed to Carolina Beach for a couple of hours of beach time. It was wonderful. The water was warm and it was a perfect 85 degrees. Despite my pale skin, and lack of ability to swim I still love the beach. It’s such a peaceful place.

Although our actual beach time was cut a little short thanks to a storm that was brewing and some intense wind. Strong winds and sand make a really great combination if you don’t like having skin.

Speaking of, I got a little burnt:

Ouch.

It was my goal not to get burnt this year. Total failure. I forgot to put sunscreen on my entire chest/front of my shoulders. I’m such a genius sometimes. Racer backs are currently the only thing that don’t hurt, so I think I’ll be living in a sports bra for the next week. It’s better than last year when I got burnt all around the back of my bathing suit bottom. Not recommended. What’s up Casper.

After the weather took a turn for the worse, we headed back into Wilmington to grab some dinner before leaving town. My friend Lizzie works at the Mellow Mushroom in Wilmington so naturally we had to eat there. Not to mention Mellow Mushroom is awesome and very vegetarian and gluten-free friendly. It was only 4:00 pm (we’re a bunch of grannies) so we basically had the restaurant to ourselves, it was great to get a chance to catch up.

I ordered a build-your-own-salad which I forgot to take a picture of, but it looked something like this:


But not quite. Tofu, artichokes, mushrooms, cucumbers and tomatoes over lettuce with balsamic vinegarette. Tasty.

After dinner we headed back to Raleigh, armed with an iced coffee for the drive.


By the way. iced coffees are a poor choice for road trips. Your bladder will not be happy.

And fro yo was necessary when we got back to Raleigh. Duh. I dropped off one friend and my roommate and I met up with her boyfriend at Freshberry near NC State’s campus. It was a little over priced, and the topping selections were pretty slim, but it was still tasty. But, I don’t think I’ve met a frozen yogurt I didn’t like.  Tart flavored with fruit, again. So predictable.

Then I was a lazy bum on Sunday. I found a tick on my head though.

GROSS.

I don’t even know how it landed on me because I haven’t been in the woods or anything, but now I’m incredibly grossed out. Luckily it looked like it hadn’t been there long. Grossgrossgross.

What did you do this weekend?

What’s your favorite pizza restaurant? I love Mellow Mushroom’s pizza. Good stuff.

Beach!

Beach!

Headed to the beach for the day with some fabulous girls.
I’m excited =)

Heroic.

Heroic.

Today I found out that a guy I went to middle school with was killed in Afghanistan. I didn’t know him well and I hadn’t seen or talked to him since middle school, but I remember seeing his smiling face daily walking the halls of school. He was unbelievably kind and could always make you laugh.

I wanted to take a moment to remember him and thank him for making the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Moments like this remind me just how precious life is and to be grateful for all the people in my life.

Rest in Peace Darrion, I didn’t know you well, but I’ll always remember your smile.

Homemade Larabars

What do you do when your Trader Joe’s employed brother brings home a big box of dates (but still no girlfriend. Kidding)? Stuff your face with them when he’s not looking.

Then make him homemade Larabars to make up for it.

This might be the easiest recipe on the face of the earth. Does two ingredients even count as a recipe? I’ll pretend yes.

Homemade Larabars (vegan and gluten-free)

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • Heaping 1/3 cup trail mix of your choice (I used Trader Joe’s Simply Almond, Cashew and Cranberries trail mix)

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, process the trail mix until no larger chunks remain (about 10 seconds)
  2. Add the dates to the food processor and process until glob-y (technical culinary term), or basically until the dates are broken down and the mixture is beginning to stick together. If the mixture looks too dry you can always add more dates.
  3. Scoop the date mixture into a ziploc bag or onto cling wrap, squish and form into desire shape (bars, balls, one giant Larabar log, or dump into a bowl and eat with a spoon, whatever suits your fancy)
  4. I let mine set in the fridge for about an hour before eating because it helps the bars firm up and not fall apart, totally optional though

Makes 4-5 larabar sized servings.

Easy peasy homemade bars. Bonus: it will even saves you a little money.