Saturday, March 31, 2012

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 6

Today is Day 6 of the 7 day green smoothie challenge!! I made my smoothie with bananas, almond milk, apple, spinach, and chia seeds. Very delicious, but I have officially decided that I like the taste better when it is made with water and not almond milk. Just a personal preference.

I ended up meeting a friend at Nosh today, so naturally I had to get the peanut butter smoothie. I call it a peanut butter smoothie, but its actual name is "In-Training." So, if you ever go to Nosh in Durham you must try the "In-Training," and if you want to get it exactly how I like it you'll have to order it without chocolate syrup and soy milk instead of regular. That's the best way, because my taste buds are superior. 

So basically everything that is inside the "In-Training" is bananas, peanut butter, protein powder, and soy milk. I try to re-create it, but I can never do it justice. Probably a good thing though, because otherwise I would have one everyday and weigh 35847283457 more pounds then I currently do. Oh peanut butter... why do you have to be so calorically dense? 

I actually took a picture of me outside Nosh holding my "In-Training." I figured I have talked about it enough for it to deserve a picture. I'm pretty sure it is against social norms to stand outside the entrance of a restaurant and take pictures of yourself drinking a smoothie... It was rather embarrassing.

Wait, are those yoga pants that I'm wearing out to lunch?! yes...

Posing with the Peanut Butter smoothie...

Embarrassed because I am taking pictures with a smoothie...

Happy Saturday! (Half Marathon Tomorrow!!!)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Chocolate Coconut Granola Bars

Happy Friday!!

I made a recipe today and thought I'd share. I loved the cocoa granola bars I made a couple weeks ago, so I decided to make my own recipe. Enjoy :)

Chocolate Coconut Granola Bars:

8 oz Medjol Pitted Dates (~20 dates)
1 c. Raw Oats
1 c. Dried, Organic Coconut
1 & 1/2 c. Pecans
2 tbsp. Vanilla Extract
1 tbsp. Water
1/2 c. Chocolate Chips

Put all ingredients (except the chocolate chips) in a food processor and blend till it turns into small course particles, and has a dough-like consistency. Place wax paper in a small pan, and press the dough out into the thickness that you want your bars to be. This is optional, but in order to make the top perfectly flat, I covered the dough with wax paper and gently rolled it with a rolling pin. Then, put the bars in the freezer for about 15 minutes. During this time, melt the chocolate chips in a bowl large enough to dip the bars. Finally, dip the bars and place them chocolate-side-up in a container. Leave in fridge until ready to eat.

As for today's workout... It consisted of 30 minutes of foam rolling. I ran 5 miles yesterday and I am giving myself two total days of rest before my half marathon Sunday! (I'm pretty sure foam rolling is the most painful thing I have done to my body in a long time, but it hurts so good...)

Have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Synergy: Raspberry Chia

When I got to my first period this morning, I realized it had been cancelled. I quickly ran to get my favorite soy latte (because I am running on 4 hours of sleep) and a Synergy drink for later. 

I tried a new flavor: Raspberry Chia!

It looked so beautiful and bright and had a delicious flavor, but having thousands of chia seeds flow down my throat is just a little too weird. Kind of grossed me out... But I am a fan of chia seeds. They have 8 times the omega-3's found in salmon, more antioxidants than blueberries, and more fiber than oatmeal. Wow... that's a powerful little seed. I am just hoping it won't make me grow hair like a chia pet.

After my post on Monday about the green smoothie, I visited Peanut Butter Runner, one of my favorite blogs, and found out about her 7 day green smoothie challenge! Of course I had to join.

So here is my green smoothie I drank from Whole Foods, because I was too busy to make my own yesterday. It had kale, spinach, lemon, and apples in it. It was good, but more watered down than I prefer. (Side note: don't judge this picture. It is only proof that I am completing the challenge. It was taken by my iPhone in my car. Did I mention I was in a hurry?)

Moving on to today's lift...

Legs, Shoulders and Back:
Squat 3x10
Shoulder Split Press 3x10
Hamstring Let-Downs with Partner 3x10
Wide Grip Pull-up 3x8-10
Wall Sit with Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3x10
Dumbbell Row 3x10/side
Russian Twists on Decline Bench 3x15/side
Leg Lower, Hip Lift 3x10 (slow)

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tasting Is Believing

You've heard people raving over green smoothies and you continually put it behind you thinking, "There's no way I'm screwing up a perfectly good fruit smoothie with spinach." Well I think it is time that people stop talking and start drinking. Green smoothies, that is.

Ahhh so insanely good!!! I think between this green smoothie and the peanut butter smoothie from Nosh I could have a completely liquid diet. They will never get old. Ever.

Here's what I put in my green smoothie: (although this can obviously be altered to add any of your favorite fruits, protein powders, nut butters, chia seeds, ground flax... you get the point)

1 large frozen banana
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cored and sliced apple
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup dried unsweet coconut


(I had a total of 5 green smoothies in the past 4 days...)

On a completely random note, I have an amazing friend named Meagan who gave me a birthday present this year that simply can't be topped. (I'd like to quickly point out that it was an extremely belated gift.) Being the talented design student that she is, Meagan made a book for me. Like literally made the binding and pages and filled it with awesome pictures, quotes, Bible verses, etc. Pretty much the best thing ever, and because words don't do it justice, I have provided pictures.

And a quick pic of meagan and me just for fun :)

My weekend was filled with homework, but I did manage to fit in a 9 mile run yesterday. Today's lift has not yet happened, but I'm about to go complete it. Here's the plan:

Full Body:
Back-loaded Lunges 3x10/leg
Incline DB Chest Press 3x10
Bulgarian Squats 3x10/leg
EZ Bar Bicep Curl 3x10
Tricep Extension with Rope 3x10
Reverse Push-up 3x10
Vertical Leg Crunch with Med Ball 3x50
BOSU Ball Full Range Crunch 3x10
Slow Bicycle Crunch 3x15/side

Oh Monday's... How I despise you.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Painful Blisters

Let me begin by telling you about yesterday. I woke up and hung out with my cousin Jenni and her two adorable children Lillie and Lola. I thought it would be a good idea to make these cookie dough bites that Jenni posted on her blog a couple days ago. The thing is, it was like 10:30am when we made them. I tried to wait till after lunch, but as Lillie would say, I kept "sneaking" them...

After completely filling my stomach with cookie dough bites, I headed out for a 7 mile run. I made it, but cookie dough is definitely not good running fuel. I wish I had enough will power to say I will never do that again, but I never learn from these kinds of mistakes.

The link to Jenni's blog and those delicious balls of joy can be found here.

Today I was walking to class and I realized a weird poking pain on my foot. Around lunch time I took off my shoe to investigate. Not only did I find huge blisters on the ends of my toes, but I had them between my toes and in a crease underneath my toe. Rachael said that it was her first time ever seeing a "crease blister." I must admit, it was mine too. Regardless, we went and had a great workout today at the Rec Center.

Upper Body:
Chest Press 3x10
Body Weight Dips 3x6
Hammer Curls 3x5/side then Regular Bicep Curls 3x5/side
Arnold Press 3x8
Dumbbell Row 3x8/side
Sit-ups holding 10lbs on Decline Bench 3x10
Plank on Stability Ball (Roll ball in and back out with feet) 3x10
Russian Twists 3x20/side

Happy Friday!! :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Yummy Raw Energy Bars!

Yesterday I made delicious raw and vegan granola bars that had a wonderful consistency and delicious flavor (in my opinion). I was very pleased. I even cut and individually wrapped them so that I would actually take them on-the-go this week instead of just secretly eating the whole batch in my dorm. Tempting...

I wish I could take credit for this recipe, but none of it was my idea. It is adapted from a blog called Sea Salt with Food. Regardless, I wanted to share it because they are so yummy!

Raw Energy Bars ~ Chocolate, Cashew, and Almond
Sadly, I can't take credit for these beautiful pictures either!

2 Cups (300g) Moist Medjool Dates, pitted and chopped --> you can buy them already pitted, and my food processor didn't need me to "pre-chop" them
2 Cups (280g) Raw Cashew Nuts --> I actually used Pecans
½ Cup (60g) Raw Almond (without skin) --> I used Almonds with the skin
¾ Cup (75g) Cocoa Powder
A Pinch Of Sea Salt
½ Cup (40g) Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
2.5 Tbsp Cold Water

Equipment: Food Processor
11 ½ x 4 ½ inches (29 x 12 cm) Loaf pan, lined with aluminum foil
Combine chopped dates, cashews, almonds, cocoa powder, and sea salt in a food processor. Pulse and process all the ingredients together until the texture is coarse. Then add the shredded coconut, a quick pulse, and add the vanilla extract, a little water at a time until it reaches a dry but moist dough consistency. Scrape the dough mixture into the lined pan, press evenly with a rubber spatula, and chill for about an hour before serving. After the hour was up, I just cut them into bars and wrapped them with plastic wrap. I store them in my fridge until I'm ready to grab one.


So please try this recipe :) 

Today's workout was exhausting! Rachael, Kate, and I almost passed out! Here it is...

Lower Body Focused
Leg Press 3x10
Front Loaded Squat to Shoulder Press 3x8
Goodmornings 3x10 (slow and controlled)
Reverse Pushups 3x8
Standing Row 3x10
Split Jumps with Squat Holding Med Ball 3x10 (lunge right leg, lunge left leg, squat, repeat 9 more times)
Hamstring Curls 3x10
Flutter Kicks 3x25/leg
Plank on Stability Ball 3x20 (roll the ball out and back with your elbows for one rep)

Have a good night!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tobacco Road Half Marathon

The official times are in! I ran a 1:55:07, so around a 8:50 mile pace.
I really enjoyed the whole race. It was perfect weather for running: cloudy and no sun. When I crossed the finish line I made a beeline for the Great Harvest Bread Co. booth. I ended up re-feuling with 4 slices of their cinnamon chip bread. I felt like I deserved it.

I know I did so yesterday, but I want to give another congrats to Camille for finishing her first half and it was under 2 hours!! Also, Mrs. Tupper for running a 2:03:07!!! PR I think?? Way to go! I love you both!

After hiding in the back of church in my sweaty race clothes, mom and I enjoyed lunch at Nosh where I had the infamous "In Training." Yes, this is the best peanut butter banana smoothie, and is now making it onto my blog already for the second time... pathetic, I know. I paired that with their cheesy grits and I was one happy camper.

All that to say race day was a success. And I just signed up for the Raleigh Rocks Half on April 1st. Get excited Meagan. I'm heading to your side of town.

Look at the beautiful Porta Potties in the background. I make fun of them, but every runner knows how essential they are for peak performance... :)
Cute race photos courtesy Sconya Hove :)

Todays workout was very energizing. I have missed lifting this past week, and it was nice to have it back. Very minimal legs today, as can be imagined.

Upper Body Focused
Squats on Smith Machine 3x8
Overhead DB Triceps Press 3x10
Single Arm Chest Press on Stability Ball 3x8/side
Alternating DB Bicep Curl with Shoulder Press 3x8/side
Lat Pull Down 3x8
DB Raises 7,7,7 x3
Seated Row 3x9
Hanging Leg Lifts 3x20
Oblique Crunch on BOSU 3x10/side

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Half Marathon!

The Tobacco Road Half Marathon was so fun and made all those monotonous hours of training completely worth it! A big thank you to Mrs. Tupper who not only picked up our race packets Saturday, but skillfully drove us to the event making it completely stress-free! THANK YOU!! And congratulations to my training buddy, Camille, for finishing her FIRST half marathon today! Not to mention it was under 2 hours... Way to go Camille!
Tomorrow I will post a couple pictures and more info about the race, but the official times are not up yet, and I really need to be writing a paper... So, I'll save that exciting post for a later date.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I Heart Avocado

Yesterday I ran 5 miles. It was not that interesting. Today I'm taking the day off so that my muscles will be completely rejuvenated for the race on Sunday. Not very interesting.

But, I have been eating delicious vegan avocado sandwiches everyday this week and they have been VERY interesting and delicious.
Doesn't that look so good?!?!

I know what you're thinking. Wait, is that cheese? How is this vegan... ? SURPRISE! It's delicious rice cheese. I highly recommend this:

Okay well I'm going to go outside and soak up the sunshine with some of my friends! Have a happy Wednesday!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Slow Moving

Today was just so slow. The only reason I pulled myself out of bed was because ground flaxseed and dried coconut oatmeal was calling my name. And it was so delicious.

I had some pretty good eats today. For mid morning snack I had a couple "cookie dough" balls, and then lunch was an open faced avocado sandwich with a spinach salad. Pre workout snack was a delicious NuGo bar and then dinner was carrots and veggie soup, and then I topped it off with some extra dark chocolate and almonds.

What is my favorite chocolate? Hands down Endangered Species Extreme Dark Chocolate. It's well worth the money, if you like bitter chocolate. This has like 5 grams of sugar in the whole bar. Pretty awesome.
And as for the NuGo bar... man that should not be legal. It is really amazing. Not to mention it is vegan and  contains 10 grams of protein. It has that distinct sweet, but salty taste. Okay I'm getting hungry again. I need to stop.
So the food was good, but my day was rather blah. I just went to class and then sat around until I went to the gym at 5pm. I enjoyed Kate's company :) good to catch up with her. After that, I went back to the dorm and... sat around. So unproductive. 

Alright here it is. Today's workout:

Full Body
(This workout had higher reps and lighter weight. I don't want to be super sore for half marathon this weekend.)
Decline Bench Press 3x15 - the last 5 were narrow grip
Squat on Smith Machine 3x3x5 - 5 single leg lunges per side, then 5 squats legs together
Barbell Shoulder Press 3x10
Dumbbell Row 3x10 per side
Seated Hamstring Curl 3x10
Dumbbell Hammer Curls 3x8 per side
Decline Bench Crunches 3x10
Decline Bench Russian Twists 3x10 per side

And that is all. Monday conquered.

Cruisin' 2012

Just because I took a break from blogging to go on a cruise does not mean that I took a (total) break from exercising.

My cardio for the trip consisted of a spinning class, a 10 mile run, a 3 mile run, and a 5 mile run. The ten miles were pretty awful. I was full from delicious cruise food and I was alternating between using the treadmill and the mini track on the ship. (they were equally awful).

I would post my lifts, but I can't even remember them... I only lifted three times total.

And now for pictures.

Check out the size of this chocolate cherry cake. The frosting was so good. I wish I had a picture of it before everyone got to it.

Our adorable waitresses for the week. So sweet.

The Coast of Cozumel, Mexico

Our cruise ship.

View from our floor down into the lobby of the ship.

Out to dinner in Sarasota, Florida after our cruise.

Okay that is the end of the pictures. But anyways, the weather on the cruise wasn't that nice, but we had fun spending some quality family time. Much needed. We spent the last couple of days in Sarasota at some of our friends' house and had such a nice time. The weather was perfect and I loved nerding out on healthy foods with Diana. So fun. I learned that hemp is another great alternative for milk. I also learned that golden berries taste like organic, all-natural Sour Patch Kids. Could it get any better? I think not. Thank you Diana! 

Okay now I must go lift after a long day of classes. Workout to come later tonight.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cookie Dough!

It's been a while since I have been able to post, but in my defense I was out of the country on a cruise for Spring Break. It was so nice to get away, but that is enough about Spring Break because I am going to do a post tomorrow recapping my entire trip, so stay tuned. So for now I'll just start with what I did today.

Recently I have been much more reluctant to run, but today the weather was so perfect I enjoyed every minute of the first 7 miles. The last one was fine, but not as enjoyable. I ran at a 9:15 pace and it took me a total of 1:13:39 to complete the 8 miles. And to think I will be running in my half marathon one week from today!

I've been really focusing on eating healthy foods, primarily raw and vegan if possible. So in order to combat hunger this week I have created some raw granola bites. I think they taste similar to cookie dough so I'm calling them that so more people will be inclined to make them...

Healthy Raw "Cookie Dough" Bites
Excuse this horrible picture, but I was just talking to my friend Maggie and we both agreed that no one ever makes a recipe without a picture. So this is my effort in trying to convince you to make this recipe, however pathetic it may be.

1 c. almonds
1 c. oats
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
<1/4 c. honey (or agave nectar to make this a vegan recipe)
<1/4 c. peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract

additional add-ins: raw cacao nibs, dried berries, etc.

1. Put first four ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it turns into a substance a little thicker than flour
2. Pour "flour" into a bowl and add the final three ingredients
3. Combine all the ingredients until the mixture is appears fairly dry, but is sticky enough to form balls
4. Combine any additional add-ins and form dough into balls on a plate
5. Place in fridge until you're ready to eat them (I recommend 30 minutes in fridge before eating)
6. Enjoy!

I don't think this could be any easier. It's pretty much impossible to mess up. And it is insanely good. I think I'm going to be taking some to eat between classes this week (yes, Rachael you can have one during psych)

Alright, I'm going to call it a day. Mondays after vacations are the worst... bring it on...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Leg Day Postponed

Uh still too sick to workout today. I felt fine in the morning and then as the day progressed I felt worse... I'm going to try to pack in 2 workouts tomorrow before I leave for my cruise :) yay!

Ambitious I know... We'll see how it actually goes.

Legs: (Supposed to be Thursday's workout)
Bulgarian Squats
Leg Curls
Good Mornings
Stiff Leg Deadlift

Shoulder/Abs (Supposed to be Fridays's workout)
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Anterior and Lateral Dumbbell Raises
Arnold Press
Seated Smith Machine Shoulder Press
Leg Lifts
Medicine Ball Oblique Twists
Hanging Leg Lifts