Tuesday, May 31, 2011

brie is for me

I can eat brie cheese at any time of the day.  I love it when its all melty and gooey ... I love it on crackers ... and I especially love it on sandwiches.

Today I went home during my lunch break to walk Miss High Maintenance Honey and to grab some quick lunch.  I used one of the 100 calorie sandwich thins, a thinly sliced apple, a few pieces of brie, some fresh baby spinach, and a smear of raspberry jam (all from Trader Joe's) to create a pretty amazing sandwich.  On the side I enjoyed the rest of the apple and some leftover chips from yesterday's lunch at Common Market (where I had a very delicious panini). 
Isn't my new blue sailboat cup so much fun?  Pretty sunflowers courtesy of .... TJ's (shocker I know).  And who's that lurking in the background ...

working out for the troops

The last thing I wanted to do yesterday was work out.  I was too busy enjoying my day off from work thanks to Memorial Day.  Once I dropped off my weekend visitor at the airport I figured I had enough time for a quick run at the YMCA.  I managed to do the following while watching "5 Ingredient Fix" on the Food Network.
3.63 miles in 31:01 minutes
I ran for 30 minutes and then walked for 1 minute as a cool down.  I left the gym with 10 minutes til closing time **they closed at 6pm due to the holiday**

I surprised myself last night by actually making a "real" dinner instead of just a bowl of cereal or frozen chicken nuggets.  Ryan traveled to Houston yesterday so it was dinner for 1 again.
I brought out my trusty grill pan and made a spicy chicken sausage, some asparagus, sweet peppers, and a couple pieces of red onion.  All of it was grilled together on the pan and turned out delicious.  It was like I was having my own private indoor BBQ.

Friday, May 27, 2011

another treadmill zone-out

I had set my alarm clock for 6:45am this morning and definitely woke up, turned it off, and went back to bed.  I laid there until Ryan announced he was FINALLY going to Dilworth Coffee to pick up our pound of beans.  For some reason this sounded like a lot of fun so I dragged myself out of bed and grabbed Honey to join him on this errand. 
So glad we finally had some of our "creamy frangelican" coffee this morning.

I spent my lunch break at the YMCA running some miles on the treadmill.  The treadmill is the best place to zone-out and watch some Food Network, while still managing to work out.  I had originally wanted to run 6 miles but one of the guys on either side of me smelled like poop.  Maybe not poop, but really yucky sweat.  I ended up running the following:
  • 35 minutes - 4.12 miles, then the treadmill shut down
  • 11 minutes (10 minutes running, 1 minute walking) - 1.24 miles
  • grand total - 5.36 miles
Looking forward to a great 3 day weekend.  Counting down until it's time to leave work ... 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

breakfast on the go

This morning I headed to the YMCA for an early morning work out.  I skipped running (wasn't in the mood) and used the seated bike instead. 
  • I cycled for 22 minutes and did 4.5 miles  
Next I headed to the weights area and worked out shoulders.  I hadn't done weights in so long, and it felt good to feel the burn.
  • 3 sets of 12 reps each - overhead shoulder press (5 lb weights)
  • 3 sets of 12 reps each - side lateral raises (5 lb weights)
I didn't have to go to the office until 9am so I used my extra time to walk over to Dean & Deluca's beforehand for a breakfast treat.  (PS we still haven't replenished our coffee supply at home)
I used the rest of my gift card and bought the largest iced chai latte they had and a protein bar.
Both were delicious and I'm definitely full.  I'll be heading to Trader Joe's during my lunch break so I'll finally stock up our house full of groceries.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

liquid lunch

Sometimes a refreshing smoothie is all that sounds appetizing on a hot day.  I headed home for my lunch break and brought out the blender to make a green monster.  In it went:
  • frozen banana
  • handful of baby spinach
  • vanilla soy milk
  • vanilla protein powder
 I grabbed my goblet of green goodness (how's that for alliteration) and headed outside with the latest Shape magazine.  I only lasted about 10 minutes since it was so darn hot, but I definitely enjoyed the break from fluorescent lighting and crammed cubicle. 

I've already torn into my rice cakes as an afternoon snack and have a "wildberry fruit strip" with my name on it for later. 

32 oz of pure happiness

One of my worst nightmares is running out of coffee in the morning and not being able to have any before work.  As we woke up this morning Ryan mentioned that we had run out of our coffee yesterday.  In the past I would have to settle for the really gross office coffee ... you know the kind ... that really cheap kind that sits on the burner all day long and has the powdered imitation creamer as your only non-black option.  Fortunately for me we live a couple of blocks from Dunkin Donuts.  I quickly got ready for work and headed over to grab some drinks and food for Ryan and I before I headed to the office.
Go big or go home.  Or go big and go to work, whatever.  I opted for the 32 oz iced coffee cause it's Wednesday.  No real reason other than the fact that I thought it would be fun to be jacked up on caffeine all morning.  Along with my iced coffee with skim milk and sugar, I enjoyed an egg and cheese croissant sandwich.  I love how I order Ryan the same thing now and always go 'meatless' for his meals when I get a chance.

3 hours later I'm still trying to finish this now watered down coffee.  Mmmmm ... the cheapskate in me will drink every drop and not let it go to waste. 

Running recap from yesterday - ran outside with Ryan.  We did 2.07 miles in 15:30 minutes.  I could feel myself running fast, and you know what, I liked it.  I'm kind of digging this sub 8 minute mile thing I started. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

fast and easy breakfast

Today I'm back at working in the office that my company shares with another company.  I already miss being able to sit at home in my own office ... BUT if my fellow co-workers want me in the office alongside them then I really have no choice.  I promise to only complain briefly about this injustice.

Since I was rushing out of the house this morning I didn't have time for a "real" breakfast.  Instead I grabbed a Larabar to eat while at my desk.
mmmm peanut butter cookie!
 These bars are both delicious and filling.  I definitely need to hit up Trader Joe's to replenish my supply of these tasty treats.

After a few days off from running due to a trip down to Orlando, FL I found myself craving some running yesterday.  The poor treadmill at the YMCA had to feel all of my frustrations from the day, but I believe it's better to take it out on the treadmill than on my husband. 
  • 1 minute of walking as warm up, 25 minutes of running, 1:05 minutes of walking as cool down 
  • 3.25 miles = 27:05 minutes

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

another run, another smoothie

The weather in Charlotte has been pretty gloomy lately.  Between bouts of rainfall and temperatures in the 50's, you would think we were living in Seattle or something.  Since I'm a big baby when it comes running in non-perfect weather I've hit up the treadmill at the YMCA the past 2 days.  Once again I went today during my lunch break and ran while watching the Food Network.  I ran 4.17 miles in 35 minutes (34:30 minutes of actual running, 30 seconds of walking as a cool down).

I wasn't really in the mood for any particular lunch item when I got home so I decided to make myself a smoothie.  I used 1/2 avocado, 1 banana, few ice cubes, 1/3 cup of vanilla soy milk, some vanilla protein powder, and the tiniest bit of vanilla extract.  The result was a creamy, dreamy, delicious dessert smoothie.

Gotta love my gigantic work phone in the background, along with my notepad of random stuff.  At least everyone knows I'm actually doing work once in awhile!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Unbroken

I was very excited when I saw my package from Barnes & Noble had arrived.  I had ordered a few books, but was most anxiously awaiting, "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand.
new book!!
The synopsis from Barnes & Noble -
"On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood.  Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.  It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard.  So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini.  In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails.  As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile.  But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater.  Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion.  His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will."

I was drawn to this book by its historical references to World War II (my husband has made me a huge history buff) and its link to running.  Can't wait to start it tonight ... that is, after the season finale of Gossip Girl :)

will run for leftover pasta

Today's run was sponsored by the leftover pasta in my fridge ...

I headed to the YMCA during my lunch break to crank out a run on the treadmill.  While watching "Paula's Best Dishes" on the Food Network I ran 4.12 miles in 35 minutes (34 minutes running, 1 minute walking as a cool down).

Once I got home I was starving so I pulled out 2 sets of leftover pasta from our fridge ... some lobster mac and cheese from Capital Grille from Friday night (that's not too old is it) and some spinach tortellini that I made on Saturday night. 

What is the expiration date on leftovers, anyways?  Usually I hate eating leftovers but there is something about that lobster mac and cheese from Capital Grille that makes my mouth water ... yum.  Ok enough daydreaming about food.  Just glad that my run is done for the day. 

twilight 5k recap

holy hills!

On Friday Ryan and I ran the Twilight 5k around uptown Charlotte.  The race started at 7pm and the start and finish line were merely blocks from our apartment.  It was a popular race, with over 2500 participants.  I was really looking forward to shaving some seconds off my PR from the CPCC Skyline 5k on 4/30, but unfortunately that wasn't the case.  The race started off a bit downhill and I finished the first mile in right under 7 minutes.  My time after mile 2 was 14:40 minutes, which still had me on pace for a new PR.  Unfortunately right after mile 2 came the longest, hardest hill EVER.  Maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but having the race end with such a hard uphill was cruel and unusual punishment for all of us racers.  I barely dragged myself across the finish line and finished in 23:54 minutes (11 seconds slower than my PR).  I was glad I finished and that I didn't stop to walk during the uphill (like I saw my lovely husband doing who STILL managed to beat me by 2 seconds EVEN with walking breaks).

After the race we grabbed our medals and stormed off.  That hill was not cool and we pouted the entire walk home.  Looking forward to the Summer Breeze 5k on June 18th for another chance of a faster 5k time!

will run for brunch

Yesterday morning I dragged Ryan out of bed to head off on our morning run.  We had plans to head over to our friend Brandon's place for a brunch pot luck and I still had plenty to do in preparation.

My legs were still sore from Friday's race and from walking so much during golf on Saturday.  We struggled through 2.8 miles in 23 minutes and called it a day.  I stick by this mantra, "Something is better than nothing" when it comes to running.  Better to head out there for a mile or two than to skip a work out all together.

Once I was showered I started prepping the food I was bringing over ... turkey sausage patties, apple wood smoked bacon, and chocolate chip pancakes.  All of the food turned out really well and a good time was had by all.  It's hard to screw up brunch when there are bloody mary's served alongside the food :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

indoor corn grilling

The other day at Trader Joe's (isn't it funny how 99% of my blog posts begin this way) I saw that they were selling ears of corn for $0.49 each.  I picked up 2 not knowing when I would get a chance to cook and eat them.  Yesterday was one of those days when I stood in front of the refrigerator with a blank stare trying to come up with something edible to make for dinner.  I decided to grill up some chicken sausages that were in the freezer, heat up some frozen broccoli, and grill that fresh corn.  Since Ryan and I haven't exactly found the grill in our apartment building I decided to grill them inside on my grill pan. 
I slathered some butter on each ear of corn, seasoned with salt and pepper, and laid it on the grill alongside the sausages.  After about 20 minutes of total cooking time they were ready to be served.  I sprinkled some freshly grated Parmesan cheese along with some cayenne pepper on top.  Delicious!  Can't wait to grill some more corn this summer, indoors or out.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

afternoon delight

The other day I bought an avocado from Trader Joe's with no real use for it in mind;  I just wanted it.  After looking around online I found numerous recipes using avocados in smoothies.  I decided to try making one with the following:
ingredients
In a blender went some ice cubes, about 1/4 cup of low fat vanilla yogurt, about 1/3 cup of vanilla soymilk, 1/2 an avocado, and some honey.  
afternoon delight
The result was a creamy, dreamy, delicious light green smoothie.  It totally hit the spot and the only real flavor it had was a combination of vanilla and honey.  A sweet treat that is good for me too!

nice and easy

Today Honey and I slept in ... no 7:15am alarm clock was set since I didn't have to work until 12pm.  Once she got her morning walk in, it was time for me to head off to the gym for a very uninspired run on the treadmill.  It was day 4 of straight running and my legs were definitely feeling it.  I managed to do a slow 3.31 miles in 30 minutes (29 minutes of running, 1 minute of walking cool down). 

I had skipped breakfast and had a cup of coffee once I got back from the YMCA.  After I got showered and got ready for work, I walked to the Dean & Deluca downtown and ordered some "Waldorf Chicken Salad."  OMG.  It was delicious!  I'm getting hungry again and keep looking at the time to see if it's 3pm yet (end of shift).  I'm sure a tasty and filling smoothie will be made within minutes of walking inside my apartment.

I'm looking forward to a rest day tomorrow in anticipation for the 5k on Friday night.  Let's see if I can shave off a couple more seconds off my PR from 4/30. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Zico is for Me-o

Before I start talking about my awesome run during lunch and my new love of coconut water, can we talk about how this is my SECOND post today?  Looks like someone is actually following through with one of her New Year's Resolutions (blog more) ...

Anyways during lunch today I decided to head out with my Garmin and Shuffle (iPod) for a run.  I've been using the Nike app on my iPhone lately, but have had problems with inaccurate distances.  So off I went into the almost 80 degree weather.  I knew I was running faster than normal and kept checking my pace after each mile. 
check out that time ... and the dog in the background
Obviously the pace is wrong ... since it took so long to take the picture the pace just kept increasing.  The actual pace was 7:26 minutes/mile.  I'm glad that I'm finally taking my pace seriously and have definitely gotten faster since moving to Charlotte. 

Once I got home I decided to give the bottle of coconut water that has been sitting in our fridge a try.  I am in love!  I love the fresh coconut taste.  It's definitely helping me quench my thirst and cooling me down after such a hot run outside.  I've seen flavored Zico waters at Trader Joe's ... wonder if they're any good?
love the bird poop stain on our table

no more open windows?

Since moving to Charlotte we have barely used our A/C.  It's been nice seeing such low electric bills from Duke Energy.  We've been keeping our living room and bedroom windows open for the past couple of months.  Open windows + fans = cool enough temperature for me.  Sadly I think our time of using free air conditioning is over ... it's been really hot lately.  Maybe I'll wait until Ryan gets back into town to switch the A/C on; those windows are really tough to shut!

This morning for breakfast I decided to use the fresh blackberries and yogurt I bought yesterday from Trader Joe's.

fresh blackberries

lowfat organic vanilla yogurt and granola

finished product with new spoon

someone is hungry
I love my new bunny spoon that I bought on Sunday from Sur La Table.  That store always gets me in trouble ... somehow I find 10 things that I absolutely NEED from that place.  Oh well.  Fortunately the spoon was a steal at only $1.95 :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

back to the basics

Last night Ryan and I had a long discussion about fitness and working out.  We've both been feeling like lately we've been slacking on exercising and eating healthy.  So we made a conscious decision to get "back to the basics" and make an effort on stopping our slacker ways.

During my lunch break I went to the YMCA to run some miles on the treadmill.  While watching Food Network (duh) I managed to run the following and felt great the entire time:
  • 4.23 miles in 35 minutes (no walking cool down)
After I was done at the gym I headed to Trader Joe's to stock up on some healthy food for the house.  Once I got home I realized my lunch break was almost over and at no point during my break had I actually EATEN lunch.  I decided to continue my "back to the basics" theme and made myself a green monster.
In the blender went vanilla low fat soy milk, vanilla whey protein powder, 1 banana, couple handfuls of spinach, couple of ice cubes, and 1 small teaspoon of peanut butter.  Such a delicious way to get so many nutrients into my body.

P.S. - I am obsessed with the song "Dog Days are Over" by Florence + The Machine.  I can't get it out of my head.

ziplining in S. Carolina

On Saturday morning, my fellow co-workers and I headed to Rock Hill, South Carolina for a little team building adventure.  We were signed up for a 2-3 hour ziplining canopy tour at the Canaan compound.  After strapping on our harnesses and adjusting our helmets we set off on our adventure. 
I think I can safely say that everyone had a good time.  I had previously ziplined while on our honeymoon in Costa Rica, but I was still terrified during the majority of the tour. 

Once we were finished we headed to Carlos' Cafe for some Cuban food.  Oh my god.  I hadn't had any Cuban food since we moved to Charlotte and didn't realize how much I had missed it.  We nearly ordered everything off their menu. 

All in all it was a really good day spent with some wonderful friends co-workers.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

motivation in the form of a margarita

On Friday I headed to the YMCA after work to get in a run before the weekend started.  I figured that by 5:15pm all of the treadmills would be full, but instead the gym was more ghost town than usual.  I flipped the television to the Food Network and began my run.  Visions of jalapeno margaritas danced around my head as the minutes ticked by.  Ryan and I had made plans to go to Loco Lime for some delicious Mexican food to make up for our lack of chips and salsa on Cinco de Mayo.  After 35 minutes I was done and had ran 4.06 miles.  Special thanks to Claire Robinson for having such a great show "5 ingredient fix" that happened to be playing on Food Network while I was mid run.

Once home I quickly showered and got ready for 'date night.'  We arrived at Loco Lime and immediately put in an order for chips with queso (yum) and 2 jalapeno margaritas (extra yum).
mmm me gusta margaritas con jalapenos!
The rest of dinner included numerous tacos, re-fried beans, and white rice.  All in all a very satisfying meal.  Arriba!

Friday, May 6, 2011

running buddy

Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo and all that was on my mind were icy, salty, delicious margaritas, NOT running any miles.  Fortunately Ryan was back in town and was willing to run with me (he's by far my favorite running buddy).  We managed to head out around 5pm for a run around our neighborhood.  Sadly we only finished 2 miles in 16:30 minutes because neither of us were feeling the whole running thing.  Since I try to stay as positive as possible I'd like to think that running 2 miles is better than running 0 miles. 

Not sure what is going on with me this week and my lack of desire to do any running.  Hopefully I can squeeze in another run this evening and a longer run tomorrow morning.  Once I sign up for the Right Moves for Youth Twilight 5k that is scheduled for next Friday the 13th (spooky) I think my motivation might increase.  We'll see.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

guilt

Today I didn't feel like working out.  I was tired from an early morning work meeting (7am yikes!) and just wasn't feeling it at lunch time.  I had decided to just skip working out today until I had 2 squares of Ghiradelli's "Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree."  Oh my god.  This chocolate is amazing.  I love the salty and sweetness of each piece.  Lucky for me I only had 2 pieces and not the full serving size of 3 :)
Anyways I figured if I didn't feel like running I should at least work out from home and do Jillian Michael's "30 Day Shred."


chocolate is fine in small doses ...


Her work out is set up with a 3-2-1 approach ... 3 minutes of strength training, 2 minutes of cardiovascular exercise, followed by 1 minute of abdominal work.  There are 3 circuits of this pattern during the entire work out.  I used 5 pound dumbbells for the following, as needed:
  • 12 reps of push-ups for 2 sets
  • 12 reps of squat/shoulder press for 2 sets
  • 30 second intervals of alternating jumping jacks/jump rope/jumping jacks/jump rope
  • 20 basic crunches and 20 reverse crunches
  • 15 reps of dumbbell rows for 2 sets
  • 15 reps for each leg of static lunges with bicep curls
  • 30 second intervals of alternating butt kicks/cross body punches in squat position/butt kicks/cross body punches in squat position
  • 20 elbow to knee crunches for right and left sides (total of 40)
  • 15 reps of chest flies for 2 sets
  • 22 reps of side lunges/shoulder raises for 2 sets
  • 30 second intervals of jumping jacks/butt kicks/cross body punches in squat position/jump rope
  • 50 bicycle crunches
 It's a fast and easy way to get in a whole body work out.  Guess it's back to running tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

zoning out on the treadmill

I really didn't feel like running today.  It was already bad enough that I dragged myself outside yesterday to do a run during my lunch break.  I had decided to change up my usual course around Uptown and ended up finding all uphill parts and none of the downhill parts.  Awesome.  So of course today I didn't want to deal with that again so I took the easy way out and headed to the YMCA.  I somehow found one empty treadmill (it was after 12pm by the time I got there and the gym was packed with the lunch crowd) and hunkered down.  I set the timer for 28 minutes and started running while watching the usual Food Network programming (today was Paula's Best Dishes).  The time dwindled down and before I knew it I had ran 27 minutes and slowed down the pace to walking as a cool down for the last minute.
  • 3.32 miles - 28 minutes (27 minutes running, 1 minute walking)
I rushed home and made it back in time to power up my laptop at 1pm.  Kind of a rushed lunch break but I'm glad I was able to get a run in today before heading out to dinner at Cowfish, followed by a movie with Heather.  Can't wait to finally see "Water for Elephants" after throwing back some sake bombs.

Monday, May 2, 2011

lucky shorts

I'm convinced those bright green, recently purchased shorts were good luck.  I wore them to the CPCC Skyline 5k on Saturday and PR'd!  I finished the race in 23:43 minutes, by far the fastest 5k I've ever ran.  I was able to shave over 1 minute off my previously fastest time.  I really enjoyed this race and thought that it was well organized and had a great course.  I'm looking forward to running it again next year.  Even Ryan had a PR in this race (way to go!).

After the race we went home and I made us some tasty breakfast ... chocolate chip pancakes, eggs, and bacon.  We definitely were starving after the race and wanted to refuel before heading out to the golf course.  We met up with Jeff and Alex and played 9 holes of golf.  The day was absolutely beautiful and there were literally no clouds in the sky.  We decided to continue to enjoy the day and headed over to Alex's pool for some grilling out and ice cold beers.

The fun filled day continued as we headed out to the Usher concert at the Time Warner Cable Arena.  Sadly we missed Akon's performance since we were running a little late.  Usher put on a fantastic show; we couldn't stop singing and dancing along.

Such a fun weekend with great friends ... sad it's Monday and the work week has begun.