Treat Yourself Tuesday: Back on Track

Today, I’m linking up with my favorite lady Becky (who I get to see in 1 month minus 1 day at BLEND!!!)  for Treat Yourself Tuesday. As Becky puts it, Treat Yourself Tuesday is a way to reflect on the ways you’ve treated yourself lately:

“Do whatever feels best for you. Do something that will make you feel relaxed and loved and happy. Treat yourself well and treat yourself often so that you will become the best you possible and in turn be your best for others in your life!”

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With things as busy as they’ve been lately (as I mentioned on Friday), it’s been more important than ever for me to remember to slow down and take care of myself. Now, while that often includes indulging in comfort food (or dranks), sometimes the best way for me to treat myself is by treating my body AND soul well…and that is just what I did this Sunday! It was a great way to start my week on the right foot and get back on track.

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It all started with a nice early morning bike ride to the Farmers Market. Tulips, rainbow chard, sweet potatoes, portobello mushrooms, medjool dates, and sugar snap peas…all for about $20. Win. I don’t do it all the time, but I love treating myself to flowers!

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Next up was a longggg overdue pedicure. I hadn’t gotten one since December (due to the whole being on a budget thing), but I decided my poor feet couldn’t go any longer without! I calculated it out, and I had run over 300 miles since my last pedi. DANG. My feet are much happier now!

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After bringing home my loot, I changed into gym clothes and checked out the brand new California Family Fitness (CalFit) on K Street. This crazy ab machine has had my core in a world of hurt ever since I took it on!

The gym literally just opened on Friday, when my friends and I went over to look at the facilities:

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Ummm yeah, that’s a ROOFTOP basketball court. There will also be a bar with wine & beer. Needless to say, I was sold! I now have my first actual gym membership for the first time in almost 3 years! I am really excited about it and am pumped to try out some group fitness classes and switch up my routine a bit. Did I mention the gym is only 3 blocks away from my office? There was really no downside to joining!

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After a good stair master & core workout, I headed home to be even more productive! I prepped some food for the week- made more curry patties (this time with white beans instead of chickpeas), chopped up broccoli and bell pepper, made snap pea baggies to bring to work for snacks, and par-cooked a couple of sweet potatoes.

I did this all in about 1 hours time while I chatted on the phone with my mom. Easy peasy, and it feels good to know I won’t be eating out or skipping any lunches this week!

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And to top off a seriously perfect day…we arrived at the dodgeball gym only to be greeted by FREE BEER. The gym is located in a German cultural center and they had leftovers from a fundraiser. Twist my arm, why don’t ya.

I felt so energized, healthy and productive on Sunday that it really put me in a perfect place to start the week off right. I had 3 good meals yesterday thanks to meal prepping (OK, and the fact that Yvette hosted ladies Dance Central night and made spaghetti 😉 ), and I woke up bright and early for a quick work out at my new gym this morning before work. Happy body = Happy Katie!

What are your favorite ways to treat yourself?

How do you get back on track after days/weeks/months of slackin’ off?

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5 Ways to Stay Healthy, Even at Your Busiest

I feel like I say this every time I’ve written lately, but life has gotten really busy.

I thought that cutting out a night of dodgeball each week would free up extra time in my weeknights, but in true Katie fashion, I’ve really just used it as an excuse to take on more non-dodgeball activities. My evenings seem to fill up with meetings, appointments, trips to my parents house to do laundry…..and sometimes a girl just needs to hit up happy hour after a long day.

Between work and after-work meetings (slash the aforementioned happy hours 😉 ), I often find myself arriving home after being out of the apartment for 10-12 hours and immediately plopping down on the couch to zone out while staring at the wall to give my brain – and body – a break. Ain’t nobody got time (or energy) to make dinner after a day like that!

Don’t get me wrong — I love my job and I love being busy. However, I also love feeling good about my body and what I’m putting in it. And to be honest, I don’t know that I can say I do right now. I’ve been struggling to find a balance between the two — being busy and being healthy — and I think my lack of substantive updates on the blog probably reflects that struggle.

To give myself some credit, I have been keeping up with my workouts – I still run 3x per week and ran 70 miles in April (which was the same # of miles that I ran in January and February, when I was training for my half marathon). I do strength training 1-2x per week, and I’ve been organizing weekend practices with my Ultimate Frisbee team…

However, I’ve also eaten cheese & crackers and/or french fries for dinner most nights this week.

In the spirit of keeping myself in check, and inspiring others to do the same, I’ve come up with a list of 5 tips for surviving the hectic workweek while still keeping a healthy lifestyle. As always, I’m hoping that writing this down for the world to see will help me be inspired to practice what I preach. That has yet to be seen, but at least I’m trying, right?

1) Break up the day with an actual lunch break

This is one that I could definitely work on. On the days these past weeks where I actually exit my office for at least 30 minutes for some kind of break in the middle of the day, I always end up feeling the most energized. That 2pm feeling of dread and desperation for coffee doesn’t exist on days that I actually see some sunlight or take a walk in the middle of the day. And chances are, if I’m not feeling bored/exhausted, I’m not as likely to dig in to the snack cabinet in the kitchen for a pick me up, either!

2) Eat 3 full meals

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Actually making sure you have 3 solid meals throughout the day is a big help in keeping you energized and also ensuring that you’re taking care of yourself. Of course, for me this is easiest when I do meal prep on the weekends (see above) and have stuff to grab in the morning for nutritious breakfasts and lunches. But making sure you don’t skip a meal is so clutch! I might try to rationalize a crackers & cheese meal as “hey I’m getting my protein AND my carbs!”….but we all know that’s a stretch 😉

3) Get up and move when you can

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I get it…Not everyone is gonna wake up at 6:30am to run 5 miles (and of course take a pre-run #workoutselfie that they then snapchat to all their friends).

If you can, great. But if not, there are other ways to stay active throughout the week that don’t involve your typical workout: Bike to work! Take a break to walk around your office building. Walk to lunch! I always feel like I’m more active on the days I walk to work, even if biking is a “tougher” workout. If you have the option, it’s nice to be able to spend your commute taking a relaxing walk and listening to music instead of struggling to get through traffic. That’s gotta be a good thing, right?

4) Swap out the junk food for healthier snacks

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If you need snacks to get you through the day…Make sure they’re good ones! Luckily, my office keeps some pretty healthy snacks in our breakroom. Pretzels, cashews and almonds…not too shabby! However, I’m pretty sure even the healthy fats in cashews and almonds lose their nutritional value when you have 5+ handfuls throughout the day. I try to buy baby carrots and other random fruits to snack on instead of fatty nuts. BUT I do love me some cashews…old habits die hard.

5) Most importantly….Don’t beat yourself up if you have an off day.

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If you have a rough ass day at work and you want to just come home and have a drink with some chocolate and cheese…Then by all means, just do it. If you snoozed through your workout this morning after yesterday’s stressful late night at work, don’t turn down pizza night with your friends because you can’t afford the calories today.

Being hard on yourself just contributes to the stresses of life. Of course it’s great to have a regular fitness routine, and eat healthy…but we often forget that treating ourselves right emotionally is just as important.

It’s all about finding a balance.

Have a great weekend! Check back next week for a budget update 😀

 

How do you manage stress at work/school? I like taking at least one day out of the week to clean my room and paint my nails – those are my 2 relaxation activities!

What is an indulgence you never feel guilty about? I think having a glass of wine or 1 beer at the end of the day is one of the best things about being a working adult.

Weekend in Photos

Good afternoon, blog land!

I am currently coming to you in between coffee jitters. For some reason I’ve been craving hot (and iced) coffee lately, even though it gives me stomachaches and makes me tweak out. I generally drink tea, but I love the taste of coffee. I also just love having a hot drink with me in the morning…it was 45 degrees outside when I woke up this morning! So I had 2 cups of coffee and have switched to decaf so I don’t completely crash before lunchtime 😉

On to the weekend!

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I took a short (not even half) day at work on Friday and started it off right – got a pumpkin latte from Peets (actually probably better than S*bucks if you ask me!), bought a pumpkin, and since they don’t have pumpkin kombucha I settled for the also very fall-like cranberry flavor. It wasn’t my favorite, but it’s good to add another flavor into my not-very-expansive kombucha repertoire.

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I took the short day at work because my dad and I decided to go to the Bay Area to hang out with my grandma, as it was the 1st anniversary of my Papa’s death. Some of you may remember my Papa passing suddenly last year (see that post here) and that my dad and I went to be with family that day. I baked pumpkin bread for everyone who was mourning with us that day, and decided to keep up the tradition this year, roasting up the pumpkin I bought that morning and making it into pumpkin bread (it totally stuck in the pan, so Grandma and I went at it with a fork! 😀 )

I also made us a simple little ravioli & tomato sauce dinner. I had a great time catching up with my grandma, and especially enjoyed our obligatory Happy Hour where we talked about life and boys while watching her favorite Westerns on TV 🙂

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My dad and I made it back that evening, so I called it an early night. I woke up well-rested, knowing I wanted to run at least 5.5 miles…after 3, I was feeling fantastic and decided to go for it- I ran another 10k! I also beat my race time by a whopping 3 minutes — I attribute this to the fact that I a) have been keeping up with my long runs and b) ran on my regular completely flat running path. Afterwards, I went to the Farmer’s Market for and picked up just a couple of things. (Flowers, brussels sprouts, greens, and my favorite salsa)

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After my run, I refueled by making a smoothie with my new NINJA ULTIMA BLENDER!!! Thanks to Becky, who tagged me in an Instagram contest at the Healthy Living Summit, I won this beaut! It created probably one of the smoothest smoothies I’ve ever made, and the single serve cups are awesome. I loaded it up with frozen bananas, plain greek yogurt, a spoonful of peanut butter, chocolate protein powder, and some almond milk.

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Not so smooth…. was my phone falling out of my pocket while biking on Saturday night. No insurance + no AppleCare = looks like Katie’s gonna be payin at least $140 to get it fixed! Anyone have an old AT&T iPhone they don’t need? 😉

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After less than 5 hours of sleep, I woke up bright and early on Sunday morning (7:30am!) stressed out about life and my phone and couldn’t get back to sleep. So I did the only thing I was sure would make me feel better – went to the gym and watched Food Network! I was the only one at the gym at 9:30am on Sunday morning…. quelle surprise 😉

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I had a few hours to kill before our first Sunday dodgeball game of the season, so I did some food prep! Not much, but it is enough to keep me eating clean for at least a few days. I thawed a chicken breast, made roasted tomato salsa (also with my new Ninja!), chopped up veggies for stir frying throughout the week (um, shredding brussels sprouts with a mandolin is amazing!), and made a pot of brown rice. Easy peasy!

I’m pretty proud of myself for exercising a fair amount of moderation and working out both days this weekend, especially after the debauchery of last weekend. To be honest, I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress at work and in some aspects of my personal life, so it’s nice to know that there’s something I can control that makes me feel good!

What’s your favorite smoothie combo?

Any advice on the shattered iPhone screen?

Did you food prep this week?

Weekend Food Prep

Soo I wasn’t so great on the healthy eating thing these past four days.

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the Six Pepper Pizza at the Dodgeball league bar – pepperjack cheese, jalapenos, pepperoncinis, bell peppers, pepperoni, and crushed red. SO GOOD.

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got a hankerin’ to bake m&m chocolate chip cookies on Friday night… so i DID!

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had an epic picnic for two on Saturday. sandwich fixins, cheese, crackers, mango, MORE cheese, hummus, and carrots/bell peppers for dipping

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this is how much cheese T-Man put in our eggs yesterday morning when i requested “not too much cheese” haha

It was bound to happen, since I had an insane week at work and was too busy enjoying a baseball game last Sunday to do any food prep.

Meanwhile, I’ve been quite good and have kept up with 1 gym trip and 1-2 runs per week, and due to T-Man’s work schedule I’ve been biking to work 5 days a week (holy mother my quads are getting BIG!), so I’m not too concerned about a few days of “gluttony”, if you can even call them that.

It’s not the worst mess-up in the history of people-trying-to-eat-healthily, but all the same I feel a bit guilty. Actually, that feeling might be indigestion 😉

In order to avoid similar mistakes this week, I made some food yesterday.

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A lotttt of food.

So here’s the thing: I don’t like to meal plan. There, I said it. I know some people get off on it, but it’s just not my bag. I am very finicky when it comes to deciding what I’m in the mood to eat (especially for dinner). It gives me anxiety to imagine choosing what to eat more than a few hours before the meal happens, let alone FOUR DAYS. But what if I’m not feeling like chicken that night? What if someone cool wants to go out to happy hour and grab a bite to eat?….you get the picture.

I can, however, get down with prepping a bunch of food that can go together in different ways throughout the week. Yesterday, I made a couple of plain chicken breasts – this week I can shred them up for tacos, slice one to put in a sandwich, or just saute one to eat with some veggies and oven fries. Three different options already! And the best part is, once I decide what I want to eat on Wednesday night, I’ll already have done most of the work days before. I like this food prep business.

Here’s what I did this week:

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I started soaking some dry black beans while cleaned the kitchen. Cleaning is my #1 procrastination tool. If I ever have a big task ahead, you bet your ass I’ll find something to clean before I can get started.

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Lots of clutter… which, with the help of awesomely bad music….

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Became slightly less clutter. (also, all the dirty dishes in the sink that I didn’t tell you about are now clean. Boom.)

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I put the beans in the Crockpot for two hours thinking that would be long enough. Hahaha, silly Katie. I used it as a timer to see how long it took to prep the rest of the food. The result: everything was finished in less than 2 hours! (except for the actual thing cooking in the Crockpot of course.)

First course: Breakfast. Frozen Yogurt squares it is!

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Yogurt, fruit, oats, honey, mix mix mix.

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I’ll deal with you later.

Next, vegetables. I decided on a kale and mushroom saute, and instead of spending 35 minutes making rice, I decided to get creative with my cauliflower.

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Cauliflower rice! I’m kind of excited to try it.

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Meanwhile, crappy music was still blasting on my iPad.

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Kale and mushrooms were sauteing.

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And a couple of chicken breasts were poached.

Let’s break down the results.

For breakfast:

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I am set for the week! I have 2 leftover Oikos, which I pair with Fiber One brownies. For the rest of the days of the week, I’ll have a Frozen Yogurt square paired with Fiber One bars. (The FroYo squares are fewer calories than a yogurt cup, so I pair them with a higher cal bar to even it out)

Next: protein!

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Two chicken breasts, and nearly 2 cups of black beans will be readily available to me this week. I also made a batch of my spicy peanut sauce. I kinda just want to dip everything in it. Is that bad?

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I split the kale and mushroom saute into two servings – I’m thinking I’ll pair one with beans (on a workout day, for protein) and the other with cauliflower rice.

Obviously this won’t last me all 5 days this week as far as lunches and dinner goes. So far, I only have evening plans on Wednesday and Thursday this week, so I will have enough time to make a normal dinner most other nights. Some other things I have readily available in my fridge/freezer that I can use for meals this week:

  • Enough Spring Mix for a big salad or 2
  • Sprouts and bread for sandwiches
  • Soup cup at work
  • A serving of frozen ravioli + like 4 servings of my mom’s pasta sauce in the freezer. It’s my emergency pasta stash, y’all!
  • Lentils + veggies and a can of diced tomatoes = lentil stew (if I have time. Plus I can make enough so I have leftovers!)

Do you meal plan or do food prep? If so, which is more helpful to you?

What is your go-to lunch to bring to school/work?

Convention Weekend in Photos

What. a. weekend.

Last year, T-Man and I went to San Diego for the convention and it was a pretty good time, but there’s nothing like having it in your own city! Being involved in some of the planning made it all a lot more rewarding too.

This morning is kind of weird at my office since we just got switched over to this new system…I mentioned on Friday that we’re switching to Windows 7, which is fine and dandy…but we’re also in this new “virtual desktop environment” now which is taking some getting used to!

Anyway…check out the photos of the weekend 🙂

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Our set up at the Masonic Temple on Friday! I was in charge of the dessert bar.  The bottom picture is of the offerings in our VIP area. It was *supposed* to be exclusive…however, when you put a volunteer in charge of manning the list, exclusivity kinda falls by the wayside, as we learned. I stayed up there most of the time, not indulging in the beverages so much as I was doing damage control, haha.

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The theme was the “Progressive Era” and my roomie Hanna and I decided to dress the part! Near the end of the party, the parking lot was transformed into food truck CENTRAL. And later, at Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom’s bash, Suchin Pak of all people (of MTV fame) introduced the Lt Gov before he spoke.

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Checked out the General Assembly on Saturday afternoon and heard some pretty good speakers, though we missed all the elected officials like Nancy Pelosi, John Chiang, Gavin Newsom, etc.

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After the General Assembly was the Taste of Sacramento event put on by Senator Steinberg’s office (who I interned for for almost a year before my current job). Local beer, local wine, and pizza from a wood fire oven!

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Saturday night was the night for hospitality suites, and from the balcony of one of them you could see my office 🙂 Aaand photobooth fun from our party!

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My “recovery” day on Sunday involved cleaning the heck out of my room. You can imagine 2 days of hurrying home to change and hurrying back to the Convention Center left my room in some disarray…

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I also did some Food Prep in anticipation of a hectic week! Made a pot of brown rice, a couple of servings of a kale + chickpea saute, roasted a red pepper for veggie sandwiches, and prepped some fruit to be frozen for smoothies! Not bad…Not bad at all 🙂

What did you do this weekend?

Have you ever been to a political convention?

Weekend in Photos

Happy (?) Monday, everyone. For once, I feel somewhat rested today — I kept it low key this weekend because next weekend is the Democratic Convention here in Sacramento and I am sure to get zero sleep 😉

Let’s start with Thursday night, shall we?

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I felt this series of photos was worth sharing.. I asked T-Man to take a picture of me (just one!) with our new team socks on…And he started shooting away as fast as my little iPhone camera could go. There were actually 15 more pictures of me total. As soon as I realized what he was doing, I ran and hid behind a chair. Apparently, I’m a little camera shy 🙂

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It was my boss’s birthday on Friday and he was out of town celebrating, so I finished my workday by starting to re-watch the last few episodes of the last season of Mad Men in anticipation of Sunday’s finale! – On my way home, a very nice {and possibly homeless} man gave me a rose picked from a nearby park and told me to have a nice day.

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T-Man’s brother flew in from San Diego on Friday night (Hi Nick!) to spend the weekend in NorCal, so we took him to Bonn Lair, our favorite pub.

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I woke up on Saturday and only had one goal for the day……to purchase an iPad! I’d been on the fence for a while {I don’t have a laptop, so my phone is my only portable electronic}, but after mailing in my tax return and being promised a hefty refund, I decided to go for it. I love it so far!

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Dinner on Saturday was pretty snacky – crispy asparagus a la How Sweet Eats and a perfect poached egg {#yolkporn central, amirite Theresa?}, sweet potato fries, lots of leftover Easter candy, and a couple of glasses of wine while I binged on the rest of Mad Men Season 5. {I was really into Mad Men this weekend ok?}

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Sunday was Convention party shopping. I’m on the planning committee for the Sac County Young Dems welcome party…it’s tough work, guys. In ~2 hours, we hit up: Party City, JoAnns Fabrics, Michaels, and finally ACE Hardware for cheap mason jars. Our party is gonna be awesome.

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Next was food prep for the week. I ended up with 4 Frozen Yogurt Bars and 4 quinoa/black bean/veggie stuffed peppers. Along with other ingredients in my fridge, that should tide me over for breakfast and lunches this week!

While making stuffed peppers, I thawed out pizza dough that I made last weekend – it was weird because I winged it on the recipe, but it made a fine vehicle for jarred tomato sauce, beef & jalapeno sausages, {more} jalapeno, storebought shredded cheese, and a little arugula on top! Just call me Sandra Lee, I’m apparently the queen of Semi-Homemade 😛

Afterward was the moment I’d been awaiting: Mad Men premiere!! I thought it was pretty solid, though not much happened. Mad Men is usually like that though – not much action in the first few episodes of the season, but it builds and builds and then sh*t hits the fan. My biggest question: what’s up with all the facial hair?

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Now that I have an iPad, I’m hoping to get back into reading a bit more. You can get all these apps on the iPhone, but why? Such a tiny screen.

First up, I am a big fan of Baz Luhrmann films (Moulin Rouge is one of my all time favorites) so I’m going to try and re-read The Great Gatsby before the movie comes out next month. I “read” it in AP English in high school, but don’t remember a damn thing. Also, I’m hoping having the NY Times on my iPad will make me more likely to read the news when I wake up in the morning, rather than Twitter. Anyone else just read social media on their phone in bed for the first 20 minutes after waking up?

Do you watch Mad Men? What did you think of the premiere?

Are you an eBook fan, or do you prefer the real thing? Recommend me some eBooks/magazines!