Tag Archives: Yoga

Friday Favorites [& a Giveaway!]

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I’m hoping to get back into regular blogging again. I’ve been in a bit of a cooking slump – I’ve been preparing meals, but haven’t been creating anything particularly noteworthy but I have high hopes that’ll change soon. Plus, now that I’m back to running I’ll hopefully be able to talk about that more, too! That being said, let’s kick off my attempt at getting back to blogging with some of my current favorite things. I also have a giveaway for you at the bottom of this post!

Kate Spade Saturday + New Balance Collaboration Cross Training Sneakers

When I saw these badboys on Instagram, I knew I had to have them. I run in New Balance 1400s (I currently have three pairs of v1’s stocked in my closet and ready to go) and I absolutely love Kate Spade. Since becoming a runner, I never really spent time to buy myself sneakers other than ones I planned to run in – I’d usually just use older running sneakers when cross training or needing to throw on a pair to go outside for something quick.

KS_NB

Now that I’m trying to be better about cross training (hello Refine) I knew I should have a solid pair of sneakers to wear – not just a pair of old running shoes (that are developing holes in the upper). They had quite a few different prints to choose from, and while I was first drawn to the floral print as well as the all-over stripes, I eventually settled on a pair of black 810’s with stripes on the soles. I figured they were still fun, but in an unassuming kind of way. I’ve worn them twice now since getting them on Tuesday and I absolutely love them. They manage to be both lightweight and supportive, and I love the funky soles!

Hindsight

Hindsight is a new TV show on VH1, and I’m obsessed with it. As soon as I saw the previews for it I was excited to watch, and it hasn’t disappointed me yet. It’s based on a woman that grew up in the 90’s and is suddenly transported back in time right before her second wedding. She’s given the opportunity to live her life again knowing what she does about the future.

source

Getting to relive some of the trends and things that were “cool” when I was growing up is so much fun. And it makes me really glad most 90’s fashions are no longer a thing.

Good Eats in Rochester, NY

This past weekend I had a chance to visit my sister in Rochester, NY thanks to a flash sale from JetBlue for $32 each way tickets. Everyone always says that I’m such a great cook and so creative, but my little sister is seriously impressive. You name, it she can make it… and a lot of times without a recipe! So in addition to her awesome cooking, we made sure to get some good eats out too, because Rochester has a really impressive food scene!

Sticky Icky Plate, Breathe Smoothie, Pasta w. asparagus & mushrooms, and Gouda grilled cheese w. tomato soup!

Sticky Icky Plate, Breathe Smoothie, Pasta w. asparagus & mushrooms, and Gouda grilled cheese w. tomato soup!

When I first visited my sister in Rochester back in 2011, we went to Sticky Lips BBQ. Even though I’m a vegetarian, their fried pickles and vegetarian Sticky Icky Plate were two of my favorites, so I insisted on going back this visit. My sister also discovered a new yoga studio not too far from her apartment that in addition to yoga classes, they have an awesome boutique and juice bar. While my sister doesn’t practice yoga, she does enjoy smoothies and juices, so she took me there for breakfast on Sunday before the Super Bowl. I got a smoothie with peanut butter, dates, bananas, and almond milk, and it was SO delicious. I just wish there was a cute little yoga studio like that near me!

Yoga Challenges

Quite a few people I follow on Instagram are really into yoga and do challenges frequently. So when I saw one for arm balances in January I figured I’d give it a try. I quickly realized that there were a lot of poses that seemed pretty impossible to me that I just couldn’t do. But there were also a lot of poses that seemed pretty impossible to me that I could do!

yoga

I’m trying to get better at having a more well-rounded approach to my fitness and running (hello Refine Method), so doing yoga at least once a week has been on my to-do list. The challenges have helped me try things I wouldn’t normally try, and it’s an extra opportunity to practice patience (which I am not so great at) and perseverance. I definitely want to keep working on my yoga – I know that it’ll help me get my core stronger, which I’m constantly reminded is so important.

SEPO Sauce

I’ll be the first to admit that I love condiments. I’m always looking for something to use as a dip or spread – and I’m not ashamed of it! You can usually find me spreading dijon mustard on my sandwiches, hot sauce on my pizza, dunking my french fries into BBQ sauce, and more. So when I was contacted and asked if I’d be interested in giving SEPO Sauce a try and doing a giveaway with it, I couldn’t resist. The sauce is creamy with a hint of garlic and horseradish, and it reminded me a lot of Caesar dressing, only better. I’ve used it on a bunch of different sandwiches (grilled cheese, egg and avocado, etc.), as a dip for french fries, as well as with salad. My jar is almost empty… and I want more!

sepo

Luckily, I have a jar to give to one of you! All you have to do is leave a comment below and tell me something you’re loving lately. I’ll randomly pick a winner by Tuesday 2/10 at 9pm EST!

Update: The giveway is closed! Thanks to random.org the winner of the SEPO Sauce is commenter #7 – EMG!

Winner

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Filed under Food Blogging, Life, Restaurant, Travel, Vegetarian/Vegan

Running Update: Physical Therapy & Massage

Last time I mentioned running on the blog I wasn’t running, but rather cross-training a lot. I figured an update was due even though much hasn’t changed.

For those of you that don’t remember, I first noticed some weird IT band tightness and aching on the outside of my left knee in the middle of October. I thought I was being smart about it and skipped a few runs, foam rolled and tried to do as much at-home strength work as I could, and crossed my fingers and toes. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough and by the end of October I had full-blown ITBS. I had to drop out of the Philadelphia Marathon, but assumed I would be back to running by the end of November at the latest. Well, here it is the end of December and I’m still not really running.

The funny (and frustrating) thing about this injury is that it doesn’t hurt unless I’m running. I can walk miles and have no issues, go to Refine Method, take a spinning or yoga class, and feel fine. But previously, if I went for a run, I’d start to feel discomfort that turns into pain anywhere between miles 2 and 4 (when it starts to hurt is random – depends on the day!). So as you can imagine, I’ve been doing everything but running. It stinks that I haven’t been able to run, but I’m thankful that I have access to so many different kinds of cross-training to help keep me sane. And it doesn’t hurt that I’m already seeing results from my Refine Method classes!

My cross-training best friends

My cross-training best friends

When I realized a few weeks ago that the ITBS wasn’t going to go away on its own I decided to visit a Physical Therapist. The first visit was an assessment where she had me do lots of walking, random movements, and basic strength tests. It was determined that my IT band and hamstrings weren’t actually that tight, but that the general area was tight and weak…. including a weak butt and core. I was given instructions to continue my at-home strength work (clam shell variations, leg lifts, etc.) and to come back for some manual massaging, stretching, and Graston. I also made an appointment for (and had) my first ever massage.

Originally I had dismissed the idea of going to Physical Therapy. I assumed they would just tell me to keep doing the exercises I’ve been doing without much else. It hadn’t even crossed my mind that they would be able to do manual massage and some myofascial release, which could be a huge help considering the injury I have. So when I went for my second appointment and she took out what resembled Medieval torture devices, I knew things were about to get serious (and painful). I’ve heard horror stories about how painful Graston is during as well as after, and I’ve seen pictures of some gnarly bruising. I don’t know if I just have a high tolerance for pain or my PT was just being gentle, but it really wasn’t that bad.  Sure, it was uncomfortable, but it wasn’t painful at any point. What I found most interesting was when she’d be working on one area, and another would hurt… goes to show it really is all connected!

Graston - torture tools

Graston – torture tools

I’ve had two more Graston and massage sessions since then (the second included some serious knot removal from my glutes), and as I mentioned earlier, I got my first-ever deep tissue massage on Sunday. Now if we want to talk about something that was simultaneously relaxing and painful, that would be it. Since it was my first massage and I’ve been dealing with injury, I splurged and went with 80 minutes versus 50… and it was worth every penny. She spent plenty of time with my legs and glutes, and on top of feeling relaxed when I left, I felt as though my legs were ready to run. So, that’s exactly what I did. On Monday during lunch I decided to go for my first run since December 1st (with only 3 runs before that in November).

I ran two pain-free miles! It wasn’t fast, it felt kind of awkward, and I spent the whole time worrying and waiting for that twinge of pain to start outside my left knee, but it never did. I had a slight ache outside my right knee for a moment (before being stopped at a light), but I’m hopefully that was just getting the cobwebs out. I’m hoping this is finally the end of my ITBS drama (it’s been 2 whole months!). I’m going to start out slowly and work my way back to regular running at a much slower pace than I have before, and I’m going to keep up with my strength work and cross-training… something I always say I’m going to do, but never fully follow through with. I’ve decided that 2015 is the year I become the strongest I’ve ever been. I need to invest in myself and my fitness (both running and just overall). I’m excited to see where it takes me. #GetStrong2015

Tell me…
Have you ever had a sports massage? Love it? Hate it?

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Filed under Running

Friday Favorites: What’s In My Gym Bag

It’s been quite some time since I did a Friday Favorites post! I thought now that I’m attending a lot of fitness classes, it would a great opportunity for me to share with you the favorite things I keep in my gym bag. So far since being injured I’ve taken a bunch of different yoga classes (including aerial!), spin classes, and my current beloved, Refine Method. It’s almost a guarantee that I’ll be a sweaty mess after every class, so I make sure to pack my bag accordingly – doesn’t matter whether I have errands to do after class or I’m just going home… no one wants to smell or be sweaty on the train or while walking home in the cold!

Gym Bag Essentials | FoodosaurusRex.com

My collage making skills are less than stellar, so this one goes counter-clockwise… which kind of drives me insane, but I don’t have the patience or time to re-make the collage.

Forever21 Gym Bag

The most important piece here is my gym bag, obviously. I never had the need for one before, but since I started taking classes that require me to hop on the train, I knew it was time to upgrade from my old Long Champ Le Pliage tote. I really loved the look of quite a few bags, but didn’t want to plunk down the cash for something that was just going to hold my sweaty clothes and sneakers. Eventually I found one from Forever21 that was only $23 and had great reviews. I figured that for $23, I couldn’t go wrong! I’ve been using it multiple times a week for a few weeks now and couldn’t be happier with it. It has plenty of compartments both inside and out, and is large enough to hold everything I could possibly need without being a huge bag. Unfortunately they don’t have the same bag online anymore, but they do have a few others that look awesome!

Pacifica Coconut Water Facial Wipes

I got these facial wipes as a sample pack in the Fitness Magazine Meet & Tweet goodie bag, immediately fell in love with them, and went to Target to buy some. They smell amazing (think coconut butter on a tropical island) and do a good job of wiping off all the dirt and sweat without being harsh. My skin is really sensitive (and dry and acne prone, yay!) so I have to be careful about what products I use. I love them so much that I also bought some of their body butter which is equally amazing.

Nathan Power Shower Body Wipes

These bad-boys are a life saver. I’ve had plans after almost every Refine Method class (usually errands or brunch and not something that required a full shower) and I sweat a lot, so these have come in handy. One wipe is all you need to refresh yourself and feel like you can go about your business without being the smelly kid in class. They aren’t a shower replacement by any means, but they definitely keep me from feeling gross. I bought a bunch on Amazon and they’ve been perfect after races where I want to hang out and cheer or go grab food after!

Nuun/Picky Bars Water Bottle

This might seem silly, but I’m kind of picky about my water bottles when it comes to working out. I want something that I can easily grab and don’t have to struggle with to get a drink from. The bottles that I’ve gotten from Nuun and Picky Bars do the trick! The body of the bottle has enough give so I can squeeze it if I’m in dire need of water, and the  top doesn’t require anything fancy from me in order to actually get water out. Plus, it fits perfectly on a FlyWheel bike, next to my yoga mat, or in between stations at Refine Method!

Infinity Scarves! 

With winter (officially) only a few days away, I’ve found an infinity scarf is the perfect thing to have with me for pre and post class. It keeps me warm on the walk there, but it also helps to keep my sweaty hair off my neck for the walk home! My favorites are the Oiselle Runfinity scarf (I have the regular stripe in fresh green, the lux runfinity in fast red, and the fleece infinity scarf) as well as the Lululemon Vinyasa scarf. I pack one even if it’s a “warmer” day because by the time I’m heading home and back out in the cooler air after sweating, I need a little something extra. Once the cooler weather months hit, you can almost always find me wearing some type of scarf, so it seemed only natural to wear it to and from my workouts, too!

Tell me…
Do you have any gym bag essentials? 
What’s your favorite group fitness class?

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Filed under Life

More Than Running

When you love a sport, you want to do that sport all the time. And when you’re trying to be competitive in it (whether “competitive” means against others or just yourself), it’s easy to get wrapped up in doing just that. But if there’s one thing I know as an athlete, it’s that you need to do more than just your sport in order to excel.

As a swimmer in high school and college, I understood the importance of “dryland.” I didn’t always make it a priority, but I always tried to remind myself that there was more to swimming than just swimming. When I actually hit the weight room and did things to supplement my time in the pool, I saw results. I’ll never forget the summer after a disappointing freshman year season – I made as many 6am long course practices as possible and, thanks to not really having a job (which was not so fun when I had no money sophomore year) I also did a lot of running and weight training. It paid off big time and I told myself I’d be diligent with cross-training for the rest of my swimming career.

No shame then, no shame now. See, I used to swim!

No shame then, no shame now. See, I used to swim!

Well, my swimming career ended (for now), but I didn’t keep the promise to myself to be good at cross-training when I started running. I’ve found myself being great at it when I’m injured, but as soon as I start to get into the depths of training for whatever upcoming race, my cross-training falls by the wayside. It’s a combination of things; I’m tired, I’m spending more time running and have less time for “other stuff,” and if we’re being honest, sometimes I’m just plain lazy. But with this last injury preventing me from running a fall marathon for the second year in a row, I realized it was time to get serious. Or as my mother would say, time to shit or get off the pot.

Since I’m slightly injured right now, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to explore some cross-training options that would allow me to help me reach my running goals. Not having to worry about weekend morning long runs leaves time for fitness classes that I would otherwise skip because I wouldn’t want to waste energy on a non-running activity, or be afraid I’d be too sore. I’m also much closer to a variety of fitness options that I didn’t really have before… so there’s really no excuse!

Swimmer turned runner... kind of.

Swimmer turned runner… kind of.

This past weekend I got adventurous and tried two new-to-me workouts. First up was yoga with Dori on Saturday at a local yoga studio. After finding an Amazon Local deal a few weeks ago, we decided it would be in both of our best interests to check it out. The studio, Jivamukti Yoga, offers a variety of classes throughout the day, which is convenient. Unfortunately they don’t offer any early classes, making it a weeknight and/or weekend-only kind of thing.

Since we’ve both practiced yoga before, but it’s been awhile for us (and we’re far from experts), we decided to try the Beginner Vinyasa class. The mid-afternoon class was small (there were 7 of us including myself and Dori) which allowed for personal attention and a relaxing environment. We started with some chanting which I always have to try not to smile/laugh during because I’m a child, and then we moved on to some basic poses and a few sequences. It felt good to stretch out while also getting a little bit of a workout (my back and arms were slightly sore the next day). We ended the class working on an assisted shoulder stand, but both Dori and I agreed it would have been easier with out the blanket prop. It also made me realize the importance of a shirt with an elastic or adjustable waistband! Since we purchased a 5-class package, we’ll definitely be back. I’m looking forward to trying some of the other types of classes they offer, like their spirit warrior class which is a one-hour workout styled class, as well as their aerial vinyasa.

On Sunday, I finally tried out Refine Method, which I’ve been meaning to try for a long time. I have a lot of friends who love it, so now that I’m a quick PATH ride away from the city, it was the perfect time to give it a try.

As with all new things, I was a little nervous for my first class. Not because I thought I wouldn’t be able to do the work, rather I was scared of the unknown. I didn’t want to look like a total newbie, and sometimes when I’m working out I don’t pay close attention to instructions which leaves me clueless. Thankfully I had nothing to worry about because Dori was with me to help, and it was all really straight forward and simple – I wasn’t confused at all! The instructor, Laura, took the time to introduce herself and set me up on their pulley system, and to tell me what weights she thought I should use. Once the class started it was go-go-go for 55 minutes (followed by core-work and a cool-down for the last 5 minutes).

I was dripping sweat by the end of the class, and knew I’d be sore on Monday. We did everything from side lunges with single leg squats, to jump-backs (burpees) and kettlebell swings. My favorite part about the class was that each exercise was done for no more than a minute at a time, and just as you were starting to feel like you couldn’t continue, it was time to switch to the next exercise! And each set included a move targeting your upper body, followed by one targeting your lower body (or vice versa). It really is a total body workout that pushes you without feeling impossible. I felt really accomplished by the end of class, and was already thinking about when to go back! I think doing workouts like this two times a week could really help with my running because a lot of the exercises are things that are part of my simple strength work now. The classes are a little expensive, but I think I can make it work if I scale back on other things (aka my online shopping habit).

Needless to say, I’m ready to put in the work – both with my runs as well as my cross-training to make sure I stay strong, healthy, and get to the start line so I can crush my goals!

Tell me…
Do you cross train to supplement your running (if you’re a runner)? And if so, what do you do?
What’s your favorite workout?

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Filed under Life, Running

January’s Fail

And so another month has come and gone. Hard to believe I’ve already given myself and “completed” three months of personal challenges. January was a month of no meat, and while I tried, I would be lying to you and myself if I posted here saying I completed the month successfully. While it wasn’t a total failure (i.e. eating meat frequently), I did have some. I’d say I got a D on this, you know, if we were giving it a grade.

For the most part, I stuck to a full-fledged vegetarian diet. However, while on vacation, I quickly realized that our society truly does cater to the meat-eaters of the world (for the most part). There were some restaurants that didn’t have one vegetarian  item listed; and I’m talking not even a pasta dish where I could request it without some ingredients. Sure, I could have asked for something vegetarian and off the menu (especially since I was in Disney and they are very accommodating), but I didn’t want to go through the hassle. That may seem like a cop-out, but it was the reality of the situation and the way I decided to handle it. My husband liked to declare throughout the month, “you’re the worst vegetarian ever!”

When I had the choice between meat and no meat, I always went meatless – even if it meant passing up my favorite chicken fingers and honey mustard sauce, or filet mignon at my in-law’s. I also cooked completely vegetarian for the month, but that’s standard far in our household.

[Source]

So, I guess you can say I learned something this past January. I prefer a vegetarian lifestyle, but when faced with only meat options, I’ll eat it. Similarly, there are times when I really just want a hamburger. Though, the thought of meat has become increasingly unappetizing. While waiting at the deli counter with my husband over the weekend, I couldn’t bring myself to pick something out. So, the bottom line is that no, I am not a full-fledged vegetarian. I don’t have a need for the label, so we’ll leave it at that. I prefer veggies, grains, and legumes over meat on most days, but every once in awhile, at least for now, I need some meat in my life (insert “that’s what she said” here). Who knows, this all may change – but for now that’s my eating philosophy; eat what you want, how you want, and when you want.

What’s on deck for February, you may ask? Yoga! I’m hoping to do yoga at least once a week, preferably more. Since I’m not really working right now (hello student teaching), they’ll all be done at home either with Pocket Yoga, On Demand, or my own routine. That way, I can save the dollar bills but still get in my practice. Hopefully this will go better than last month – we’ll see!

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Filed under Project, Vegetarian/Vegan

A New Project!

I don’t know how or why this idea came about, but I’ve decided to try something new for the next few months. Each month, I’m going to tackle something, and do it for the entire month (hopefully). I just recently finished reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (check out the blog here), and of course was subsequently inspired. Now, I’m not looking to “happify” myself (yes, I made that word up) per se, but rather to try and do things whole-heartily that have been swimming as ideas in the back of my head for months, maybe even years. I’ve already got ideas for the next four months, and then I’ll reevaluate the project after that.

You are probably thinking; “what does this have to do with food? This is a food blog.” Well, each month may not necessarily deal with food, and if that’s the case, I’ll likely leave it off the blog. But for those food related months, you better believe I’ll be writing about it! Conveniently, two out of the three ideas that I already have are food related, which should come as no surprise since it’s one of the only things I think about (alright, that isn’t true, but it’s high on the list!).

As you’ll see from the months below, they follow a pattern, which I didn’t even do on purpose (at first). The months flip flop between being food related, and being fitness/health related. These are by no means “new year’s resolutions,” and I feel the need to point that out for a few reasons. First, it’s almost November, and there are still two full months until the New Year. But more importantly, if I label them as such, I’m likely setting myself up for failure. These aren’t requirements so much as things I would like to increase and do within my every day routine. I’m not going to punish myself if life gets in the way and I can’t make it out to run 4 times one week in December, or if it just isn’t in the grocery budget to buy ingredients to bake one week… I’m doing this to increase my personal enjoyment and do things I like – not make them into chores (I have enough of those)!

Hopefully November and January will prove to be a success in terms of finding and creating new recipes to meet my goals. I’ll likely start off each month with a plan of action, and update within information accordingly. If I do what I’m supposed to in January, there should be at least one baked good posted a week – but we’ll see!

So, here’s the plan. Fingers crossed I stick to it, and this isn’t something I abandon right away, or even a month or two into it. I’d like to at least tackle the four months I already have outlined. After that, I can reevaluate.

November: bake something every weekend (other’s recipes, or my own)
December: run at least 4 times a week – it doesn’t matter if its 2 miles or 20 miles – get out there
January: go full-out vegetarian for the month
February: practice yoga at least 3 times a week – can be at home, or in a studio

Have any of you had similar goals/projects for yourselves? Have they been successful, or complete washes? Any advice? Spill!

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Cracker, what?

A few weeks back, I received a large box of assorted crackers from Westminster Cracker Company. I was psyched to get them since I love crackers (especially oyster crackers!) but I wasn’t sure what to do with them. I thought about just throwing them into a soup or stew, but that didn’t seem to exciting to me. So, I figured why not try to use oyster crackers as a coating on baked fish? Since I don’t know much about fish, I wasn’t sure what type I should try the coating with. My first thought was cod, but that seemed kind of boring. Plus, Wegmans had some large bags of frozen tilapia, so that’s what ultimately aided in my decision. Paired with some french fries, it was my own fun spin on fish ‘n chips!

This past Monday marked the official beginning of our Philly marathon training. So, we ran the Firecracker 4 miler on Monday, another 4 miles on Wednesday, 5 on Saturday, and then we tackled 8 on Sunday. Since I’ve been battling shin splints on and off since November (I’m going to get rid of them this time!), I’ve been nervous to increase my mileage. I’ve decided that this time, though, unlike all of the others, I’m going to try to keep my pace significantly slower. I think the combination of the faster pace plus the increased mileage is what has caused me trouble in the past. Fingers crossed!

In addition to the running, this week I also had a solid yoga class on Saturday, and went swimming on Sunday! I really wish there was a gym nearby that had a pool, I really miss it sometimes. I’m tempted every now and then to look up masters programs and check them out, but I’m yet to bite the bullet on that. Maybe one day. Perhaps it was my time in the pool on Sunday that inspired me to make the oyster cracker baked tilapia and fries for dinner that night. Or it was just because we had a giant bag of frozen fish in the freezer. Either way.

Once the fish were thawed, the recipe took a total of 20 minutes (including cooking time). I cheated a little and just had frozen french fries, but that’s because last week at Wegmans the fiancé bought a giant bag of them. Might as well use them up! Now that we still have quite a few filets left, I’m thinking fish tacos are definitely in order. But next time you’re looking for a quick and easy dinner, and you have a bunch of crackers (any kind will do) on hand, you should consider this!

Cracker Crusted Tilapia
– Serves 2 –

Ingredients:
4 small tilapia filets
2 cups crushed crackers of your choice (I used Westminster Oyster Crackers)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beatten

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Meanwhile, beat two eggs in a shallow bowl, and crush crackers over a large plate, mixing in the cheese. Take each filet, dip it in the egg mixture, and then place it on the plate. Flipping it from side to side and pressing, make sure the filets are coated with the cracker crumbs. Place each filet on a well greased baking sheet.
3. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the fish begins to flake.

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Filed under Recipe, Running

Muffin Remix

I haven’t been posting much these days, but I promise I’ve been in the kitchen! Even though I’m done with classes for the semester, a new project has taken it’s place – wedding planning! Obviously, I’ve been planning the wedding for quite some time now seeing as that we got engaged back in January 2010, but with the wedding a mere three months away, I’m in wedding overdrive.

Having taken off two weeks from running to try and rest my achey and less than perfect legs, I set out for a two mile jaunt sans music and GPS, just to get myself back in the swing of things. It was hot (85 degrees with 70% humidity), so of course it felt much worse than it actually was. Either way, it was nice to be back out there. I’ve been having a lot of fun experimenting with yoga, and I can already see some extra definition in my arms, but running is still my favorite.

After the run and a much needed shower, I decided to make some muffins. I basically took the same recipe from my Coconut Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins, and made them Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins… YUM! I left out sugar simply because I wasn’t paying attention. So, if you want your muffins sweeter, I would suggest adding 1/2 cup of brown sugar to the mix. Whoops!

I love muffins for one simple reason – you can eat them at any time of day as an acceptable snack. Sure you typically associate a muffin with breakfast, but you really can eat it at any time of day without breaking eating rules. We all know I’m not one for following rules, especially when it comes to eating, but you get my point.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins
–  makes 12 muffins –

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup oatmeal (not instant)
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup butter
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup of chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl (including coconut)
3. Heat butter, and stir in milk and the egg. Add that mixture into the dry mixture, to combine, finally adding in the chocolate chips.
4. Spoon mixture into greased cupcake/muffin tin, and bake for 15 minutes.

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Filed under Baking, Recipe, Running, Wedding

Feeling Free

For the first time in I’d say probably about a year (since I started grad school), I didn’t have any solid plans on Saturday aside from yoga in the morning. The thought of being able to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted sounded absolutely glorious; I felt like a 17 year old that had just gotten her license and was free to cruise around town with her friends (well, one non-family member these days).

Don’t get me wrong, I like having things to do and structure in my life is important. However, it was great to not have homework and assignments plaguing me in the back of my mind. Taking the summer and fall semesters off so I can train for the Philly marathon and even more importantly finish up planning my wedding will hopefully leave me with a few more ounces of sanity. And it lets me start my weekends with things like this…

Beginning the day with yoga is great – it’s a relaxing way to get your body warmed up and ready for the day, while getting in physical activity. By the end of our hour and fifteen minute session, I could feel the weakness in my arms. In addition to logging miles, I’m hoping to incorporate more fitness-y activities as well; yoga, strength training, some different classes at the gym here and there, and of course reconnecting with the pool, etc. I’m hoping that by upping my overall fitness level, I’ll also help my running and even more importantly, prevent more injuries.

So, after yoga I got to work in the kitchen. I’ve had a few things I wanted to make backed up for awhile, so I figured it was time to actually make something. Since I hadn’t gone to the grocery store and needed important ingredients like flour, I opted for a recipe that only called for one cup of flour, and saved the other recipes for Sunday. I stumbled on this recipe from Andrea’s Recipes, and aside from using regular flour instead of whole wheat, chunky peanut butter instead of smooth, and less chocolate chips, I stuck to the recipe, and it ruled.

The only problem is that now I have it sitting my fridge, screaming my name. In order to ignore the cries, I went out for a solid 3.15 mile run, just to make sure I could enjoy more of the goodies later. And oh, they were (and still are being) enjoyed!

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Filed under Baking, Running, Wedding

The Making of a Yogi

For the longest time, I’ve wanted to seriously try to practice yoga. Being that I’m rather shy (only at first though, ask my fiancé about what happens when I get comfortable!), the thought of going to take a class by myself and do something I’ve never done before is extremely intimidating. I give myself a workout simply by thinking about that type of situation – elevated heart rate and all! That being said, I’ve put off taking an actual yoga class for years.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve done yoga quite a few times through FitnessTV, and also with my iPhone/iPad/Macbook (hello Apple nerd). But, I’ve never ventured to have that actual yoga class experience. Turns out, though, one of my co-workers and friends is actually in the process of becoming a certified yoga teacher, and in the process he has to do practical hours. Think of it as student teaching for yoga. When I mentioned to him how I’ve been interested in yoga for quite some time, he offered to do some classes with me to help complete his hours. Of course, I jumped at the offer.

So, after a late night on Friday at a local bar in support of a friend’s fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, we had our first yoga session Saturday morning. I don’t know how I managed to get up at 7am, but it was likely a combination of excitement and knowing there were people that would be waiting for me. In addition to my co-worker, two other friends (one a veteran yogi and the other a newbie such as myself) joined me in my living room for an excellent 1-hour session. Of course, I had to dress the part too, with some newly acquired Lululemon attire.

Lululemon Wunder Under Crops & Ballerina Tank

I realized a few things during this session; 1. I am NOT flexible (I knew that already, but man, it’s serious), 2. My balance isn’t as bad as I thought it was, and 3. yoga is pretty awesome. I really can’t wait to practice again. Maybe after I get a little more comfortable with these small group sessions, I’ll venture out to an actual yoga studio for a class. Any suggestions for the greater Central New Jersey area would be greatly appreciated!

After yoga, I went for a 10 mile run on a local trail with my fiancé. I was a little wary as to how my legs and body in general would react based on being out late the night before, getting up early, and already having done some physical activity. It wound up working out pretty well, though, and aside from a side-stitch at one point, it was a decent run!

If I keep up this yoga and running regimen, I’ll be one svelte bride come September 10th!

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Filed under Running, Wedding