Getting Back on Track After 2 Long Weekends

To say I’ve had an out of the ordinary couple of weeks/weekends would be an understatement!

Going to Utah for a weekend definitely threw off my mojo, even if we were eating healthy and exercising most of the weekend. I struggled to get back into the swing of things at work last week, and did one workout on Tuesday that put me out of commission for several days.

Fast forward past dodgeball playoffs on Thursday…

Oh hay look, it’s the girls of our team. Aren’t we sassy?

Ahem, moving on… ๐Ÿ™‚

Memorial Day weekend was of course full of drinks and I had some great food in San Francisco. I did get in a few walks and bike rides, but I have felt pretty sluggish these past few days at work. So yesterday instead of working I put together a rough food and exercise plan for the week!

Yes…I’m posting my weekly plan on Wednesday. Whatevaaaaa, I do what I want.

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t like meal planning. Weekend food prep is awesome, since it means I have easy ingredients available for any meal I want. But I don’t like sticking to a set meal plan because I tend to like eating what I want when I want it. Giving in to food cravings is the only way to stifle them, friends!

So here’s what I came up with as far as food goes. The important part was planning lunches, because I’m hoping to work out most days at lunch this week, so I need to have something I can prep in the morning or night before.

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{as far as breakfast goes…I have enough Muesli Fusion and Hemp Protein Muffins to last me the week!}

Tuesday: Lunch – rice/avocado/turkey sausage. Dinner – some kind of veggie sandwich
Wednesday: Lunch – rice/avocado/veggies/tortilla. Dinner – sprouted whole grain pasta {from the BLEND swag bag, of course} & mom’s meat sauce!
Thursday: Lunch– sausage & pepper sandwich. Dinner– chicken + oven fries + veggies from Farmer’s Market
Friday: Lunch– wing it…aka probably frozen burrito. DinnerConcerts in the Park…aka probably food trucks & beer.

I’m trying to stay away from dairy and alcohol {already botched the alcohol part, since I had to try a few sips of T-Man’s wine last night. Oops!} this week because I noticed dairy was giving me digestive issues last week. And wouldn’t we all be better off drinking less?

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So far, so good on Tuesday’s meals! I devoured this veggie sandwich with roasted bell peppers, zucchini and hummus last night. Not pictured is the corn on the cob (!!!) I had on the side. I’m sooo excited for corn season!

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One of my new favorite breakfasts: Overnight oats with Muesli Fusion An-Ox, unsweetened plain almond milk, and chia seeds. The An-Ox blend includes goji berries, cacao nibs, dried bluebs, and walnuts. It has so much texture and no added sugar…perfect for this lazy girl who doesn’t want to have to add a bunch of ingredients herself ;-).

exercise

Normally, I work out 3 times per week and have dodgeball on Thursdays. This week, we don’t have dodgeball so I’m going to aim for 4 workouts in 4 days, taking care not to overdo it or do the same thing two days in a row.

Tuesday: Easy workout to ease my way back into things- elliptical + abs!
Wednesday: The high temp is only 84 [as opposed to 90 and 97 Thursday and Friday] so I will try for my first run in 2 weeks.
Thursday: Some kind of gym workout! Last week I tried Christina’s Bikini Season Workout and it kicked my butt – I was sore for like 3 days afterward and I only made it 1.5 times through the workout! I want to incorporate more CrossFit-type stuff (burpees, squats, mountain climbers, etc) into my routine because it’s such good cardio AND muscular training.
Friday: Rest if I’m sore, easy elliptical + abs again if I’m not!

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Workouts have been extra bright with my pink shoelaces from Becky ๐Ÿ™‚

This is the workout I tried last week {minus the kettle bells, since my gym doesn’t have them} that totally kicked my butt…in the best way possible!

And this is how I looked after going through the routine…ONCE. {took me about 10 minutes}

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If you can’t tell, that is fear in my eyes of what would happen were I to actually do that workout over and over for 40 minutes. I would prooobably barf. Clearly, given how out of shape I felt while doing this workout, I need to expand my workouts beyond running and elliptical/abs/weight lifting!

I’m actually proud to announce that during my “easy workout” yesterday, I followed up my 25 mins of elliptical intervals by randomly doing a 1 min 30 sec plank! That’s the longest I’ve ever done, and 30 seconds closer to my New Years Resolution of holding a 2 minute plank! Holla.

So on that note, I’m off to go get changed for lunch and my run! It’s only 73 degrees outside now…I don’t think I’ll be getting many runs in in comings weeks, as the high isn’t supposed to dip back below 90 for at least 10 days. Yikes!

Do you plan out your workouts for the week?

How do you get back into the swing of things after a long weekend?

Aaand another question: any recommendations of similar workouts to the one above?

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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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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Our set up at the Masonic Temple on Friday! I was in charge of the dessert bar.ย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

What did you do this weekend?

Have you ever been to a political convention?

Week in Groceries

Calling all grocery shopping cart voyeurs!

Am I the only one who thinks it’s super interesting to see what other people buy during their grocery shopping trip? I hope not, because this post is allllll about groceries.

As I’ve mentioned before, where I shop for groceries is mostly a matter of convenience. I don’t have a car, so if the store in question is more than .5 miles away, I probably don’t shop there regularly. This is the same principle that keeps me away from Target (thank heavens) and, until Saturday, Trader Joe’s.

The funny thing is, both of these places are actually only 2 miles from my house. Could totally bike there if I wanted…but I don’t. So Safeway and Groc Out it is.

I decided to wander outside my norm this weekend. I batted my eyelashes at T-Man and asked if he’d drive me to Trader Joe’s…And I had every intention of just buying some “bulk” items at TJ’s, then biking the (gasp) 20 blocks, or 1.6 miles to get the rest of my produce at the Sunday Farmers Market bright and early the next day.

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Needless to say, the Farmer’s Market never happened.

I was really surprised at how cheap TJ’s in season produce (cauliflower, broccoli, oranges) was. Soo I piled it in.

It had been over a week since my last grocery haul, and this was a big “stock-up” trip for me, as I recently ran out of essentials like rice, quinoa, lentils, etc. Even T-Man found a couple of things he liked (he has been RAVING about their lobster ravioli that he found in the refrigerated section).

So here’s what I got:

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Produce: Cara Cara oranges, kiwis, onions, a russet potato, cauliflower, broccoli, bag of baby lettuce mix, and a bag of pre-cut kale (this stuff is amazing. So much more tender than full leaf kale)

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Bulk items & Dairy: lentils, quinoa, hybrid corn/flour tortillas, brown jasmine rice (this 3 lb bag lasts me over 6 months!), a can of beans (I already had black & garbanzo beans at home) plain Greek yogurt, flavored nonfat Greek yogurt (I tried 1 so far which wasn’t fantastic, but the price was right), and eggs.

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These are two new-to-me products I was really excited about because I’m a food nerd I’ve never spotted them at Safeway before: red lentils and quinoa! I always get green lentils, or plain old quinoa. I haven’t tried the lentils yet, but the quinoa was yummo ๐Ÿ˜€

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Miscellaneous: tortilla chips (these are DELISH), Luna bars, almond butter, chicken broth, peppermint tea, and light coconut milk

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I spent a lot of time looking through all the protein and nutrition bars, and settled on my tried and true Luna Bars. So many bars are too high in calories and fat, or don’t have enough overall nutrition for me to justify buying them. And the ones that did were all superexpensive. So Lunas it is! I haven’t tried the Chocolate-dipped Coconut or Peanut Butter Cookie before. YUM!

And my grand total (which I’m predicting will last me nearly 2 weeks) only came out to: $54.28!

I was really surprised at how little I spent for so much stuff! Lots of things (coconut milk, tea, yogurt) were actually cheaper at TJ’s than Safeway. And I probably saved a lot by avoiding the frozen/refrigerated aisle.

Also, I had another one of my famous “weird illogical theories” (dubbed so by T-Man of course :-P), I was convinced it would be cheaper to make almond butter than buy a jar.

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I quickly ditched my 1 lb, $6.99 bag of almonds for the MUCH cheaper $5.99 jar. Those almonds would have hardly made one cup of butter!

So what have I made with these groceries?

I made a vague meal plan for the week. Check it:

Breakfast: Used the plain yogurt I bought, and frozen fruit and granola I already had, to made a batch of Lindsay’s Frozen Yogurt Bars. Those bars plus my yogurt cups and Fiber One brownies will suffice for two weeks worth of breakfasts! And if I run out, there’s always oatmeal at the office. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lunch and dinner:

Monday: burrito bowl for lunch (black beans, broccoli, hot sauce & tortilla), Kale & Broccoli pasta dish for dinner

Tuesday: leftover pasta for lunch, happy hour & drinks for dinner {I ended up having fries & wine, haha, so I supplemented it with fruit & a Luna bar!}

Wednesday: burrito bowl for lunch (with chicken this time), some kind of lentil + coconut milk dish for dinner

Thursday: lunch with a friend, leftover lentil dish for dinner after dodgeball game

Friday: Wing it! Bike home for lunch, or if not enough time, have emergency soup cup at the office. Make nice dinner with T-Man?

While this isn’t a full list of what I eat every day (there’s been at least one snack of leftover crackers + cheese from my office’s reception each day, plus dessert and other random snacks), I usually stick to a plan much like this…e.g. make dinner Monday and Wednesday, eat leftovers for lunch the next day.

Since I’m just about over my cold, my workouts have been pretty scattered. Usually, I plan my workout days first, then my meals…That way, I know to plan for protein-packed meals on workout days. This week, I’ve just been cookin’ with what I have, and supplementing my meals when I should.

Do you meal plan?

Do you create a weekly fitness plan?

Do you like Trader Joe’s, or do you like Trader Joe’s?