Monday, April 30, 2012

Creating Motivation

How I chose to spend my day after taking an 8am Portuguese exam:

First, I stuffed all my clothes that I had in my dorm into my laundry basket and carried the enormous bag home. Then, I sprawled them all out on my floor because I'm determined to clean out my closet before I put all of these clothes back.

Then I realized I was dead tired, so I took a nap.

I woke up and realized I was so hungry. So I ran out to the kitchen and microwaved a bowl of leftover Tomato, Lentil, and Kale soup. Because we still had so much leftover quinoa, I got really creative and made a new recipe! I made Quinoa Burgers, like we had this weekend because they were so amazing. And because the exam sucked away any creativity that I previously possessed.

Notice a trend... both the soup and the burgers were recipes in the last post. I'm so boring.

While the Quinoa Burgers were frying on my little pancake griddle, I thought about how I really should go on a run today. I need to get my body moving after taking an exam and a nap. But I honestly don't have any motivation to go outside and sweat for an hour.

What do you do when you lack motivation? Create it. In the form of food, of course...

So I made my Sinless Chocolate Milkshake, only this time I added a scoop of chocolate protein powder instead of ground flax. But instead of guzzling it right away, I put in the fridge. It's my run motivation and post-run recovery drink. Now you know it must be good if it can motivate me to get outside and run!

So, with my milkshake waiting in the fridge, I laced up my Saucony Kinvara's and headed out for an 8 mile run. It was completely exhausting, but it felt good to finally fit in a long run.

And now I am going to go have dinner with my friends because some of them are already done with exams. I'm so jealous. I want to be done. I can't wait for Friday!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Delicious Dinner!!

So I didn't plan to post tonight's dinner because I feel like the only thing I have done recently is post recipes. But then dinner turned out to be so good I just had too... We had Quinoa Burgers made from this recipe that I found on Pinterest and they were phenomenal. Loved them!

Quinoa is a great meatless source of protein. I'm not a huge fan of it plain, but this recipe makes it taste so creamy and amazing.

My mom made Tomato, Lentil, and Kale Soup for lunch. The recipe made a lot, but it is divine so I will be enjoying the leftovers for a while.

Looks like the next couple of days will be all leftovers because we've made so much recently!

Now I'm looking forward to getting some froyo with friends tonight!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sinless Chocolate Milkshake!

Do you want a chocolate milkshake that will satisfy your sweet tooth, BUT only cost you around 200 calories... and is considered healthy? Of course you do. Now, I used to think this was impossible, but today I conquered the impossible. I present to you the Sinful Chocolate Milkshake.

Here's how to make it:
1 Large Frozen Banana
1/2 c. Silk Pure Almond Milk (Dark Chocolate Flavor)
5 Ice Cubes
1 T Ground Flaxseed

It's seriously amazing. Don't take my word for it. Go make it. And for around 200 calories, dare I say you can have it after lunch and dinner...

For dinner tonight, my mom and I made this Quinoa Edamame Salad with Ginger Soy Dressing. Very yummy. We recommend eating it cold and drizzling a little extra soy sauce. It's very filling and healthy!

Okay now I really need to study for exams.

Watermelon Mango Salsa

Last night was such a colorful dinner! I wish we had eaten when there was still daylight outside so I could have taken the pictures in natural light. As I said yesterday, our dinner consisted of cooked spinach, a little bit of grilled chicken, raw carrots and guacamole, and watermelon mango salsa.

The guacamole was made up of 2 mashed avocados, some lime juice, chopped cilantro, chopped red onion, and salt and pepper to taste. I love dipping carrots and sugar snap peas in guac instead of chips! It makes it much healthier!

The watermelon mango salsa sounded so gross to me, but my mom insisted that it was amazing. And she was 100% right. I could LIVE off this stuff... although it makes a huge difference that the watermelon and mango we used were super sweet and fresh. It was probably the best watermelon I've ever tasted.

Watermelon Mango Salsa:
2 c. Cubed Watermelon
1 c. Cubed Mango
1/4 c. Red Onion
2 T. Cilantro
1 T. Lime Juice
1/4 tsp. Sugar
1/4 tsp. Salt

It tastes better if you let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so in order for the flavors to combine, but it is not required.

I'm thinking my workout for today will be this. It was posted by Jen from Peanut Butter Runner, and I'm excited to try it. The goal is to warm up with a mile run, repeat her circuit 2-3 times, and then cool down with a mile. Well see how it goes...

Happy exam studying, my college friends!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Today's Eats

Today was just one of those days filled with delicious food. I started off my morning with 2 protein pancakes. I adapted the recipe from my friend Meredith. It can be found here on her blog. 

The only thing I changed to her recipe was I added a blended banana (so it was completely liquid), and I added 2 tsp. agave nectar instead of stevia. I also put my 1/2 cup of oatmeal in a food processor so it was more like oat flour than oatmeal. It is such delicious and filling breakfast. I had 2 of them! I had already consumed one by the time I took this picture... I just couldn't wait.

And for lunch I had the rest of my Avocado Egg Salad, and a Pineapple Mango Green Smoothie!!

The ingredients were as follows:

1 Banana (unfrozen)
1/2 c. Water
1 c. Frozen Pineapple and Mango Cubes
1 Heaping T. of Ground Flax Seed
2 Huge Handfuls of Spinach

First I blended the water and the banana together to create a liquid base. Next, I added the frozen pineapple and mango. This came in a back from Target; it also has strawberries in it, I just didn't put them in this smoothie. Then once all that was blended, I dump in the flax and spinach. Ta-Da!

My dinner was truly something to behold. I made it with my adorable mom and we had such a great time stuffing ourselves on delicious fruits and veggies. I will post pictures of my dinner tomorrow, but as for now I will just tell you what we ate: cooked spinach (always with salt and vinegar), homemade guacamole that we dipped raw carrots in, leftover mediterranean chicken, and finally watermelon mango salsa!! The salsa is divine and I will post the recipe and pictures tomorrow.

Oh, and I almost forgot, we topped off dinner with a bit of dark chocolate. A perfect day.

I fit in a 6 mile run today at a 9:17 mile pace. Felt great to run after taking a week off from sickness!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

3 Bars of Death

I realize many of you are visiting my blog via my cousin Jenni's blog, Dear Lillie. She posted a picture of Lillie and I that I wanted to share. Lillie seems to be going through that phase where smiling doesn't come too naturally, but then again I can't say anything because mine isn't much better... haha!

Ahh I love her!! When I look at her sweet face I just melt inside :)

Anyways, I wanted to recognize my favorite lunch that I have all the time, and to continue showing my love for avocados. So here is one of my all-time favorite lunches: avocado slices on whole wheat toast with a slice of rice cheese (or regular cheese).

Maybe I love avocados because I just love the color green so much! It is so bright and happy. But really I love this lunch because it keeps me full for so long. (I usually have double the amount shown, which ends up being half of a regular-sized avocado.)

For today's workout I completed a circuit that I did in high school and it basically put me out of commission for two days. I wanted to re-create that feeling of total exhaustion, so I did it today! The name says it all...

Three Bars of Death (with added ab exercise):
Bench Press
Hang Cleans
Ab Leg Let Downs

Go through the entire circuit doing 10 reps of each exercise, then 9 reps of each, then 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1! I timed myself so I can do this again and try to beat my time. I did it in 24:55. Not too bad. I challenge you to beat my time!!!! Go do it now.

Have a wonderful, sweaty evening!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Avocado Egg Salad

As of today, I have not run for a solid week. I have been sick and I just didn't feel 100% today, so I didn't want to push myself and make it worse. Hopefully Thursday I can really go hard and try to conquer a 10 miler. I feel like I should since I wasn't able to participate in my 10 mile race on Saturday.

For lunch today I made a delicious avocado egg salad! It is good to eat plain, on a piece of toast, or on a bed of raw spinach.

I got the recipe from a website called Skinny Taste. The recipe can be found here. The only thing I changed was instead of chives I chopped up a little bit of red onion and some fresh cilantro. I highly recommend using less salt than the recipe calls for, and I added quite a bit of pepper.

Definitely a recipe I'll be making again.

Yesterday's workout was SO enjoyable. I have missed lifting! It had been a week since I had lifted and I was so ready to feel sore again. Here it is:

The "I'm Done Being Sick So I'm Going To Make Myself Sore" Workout:
DB Chest Press x10,9,8,7
Squat on Smith Machine x10,9,8,7
Barbell Dead Lift to Bicep Curl x10,9,8,7
Reverse Pushup x10,9,8,7
Overhead DB Tricep Press x10,9,8,7
Plank with Feet on Stability Ball 3x20 knee tucks
Plank Hold 3x30 sec

Now it's time to buckle down for exams and then it's SUMMER!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Setting My Sights Straight

"For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." 1 Timothy 4:8

The past couple days I have been unable to run or exercise, and I have felt so miserable. I feel as if I am worthless because I haven't had a heavy lift or a challenging run. This verse reminded me that exercise isn't where I should ultimately place my value. Instead, I need to "fix my eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

Hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and focus on what really matters in life!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tarheel 10 Miler

So I was unable to run the Tarheel 10 Miler today. I have been sick all week and I just knew my body would not be able to handle it. It was such a disappointment, BUT it allowed one of my best friends to run her first race!

I could not be more proud of Kate! She ran 10 miles in just a little over a 10:00/mile pace. I am so proud of her for not quitting and giving it her all. She is a great friend and a great runner. Now I just need to get her to start running some half's with me :)

How cute is Kate? 
(Wearing a race bib that says "Lauren" haha!)

I basically have been moping around all day because I feel awful. Not an exciting day. But, I was looking at one of my favorite blogs, Peanut Butter Runner, and she posted a while ago on yoga stretches for runners. I thought this would be good to include since were on the last couple days of our Stretch for Seven Challenge.

So here are Jen's pictures of these poses. These are completely her pictures, not mine

Check out her informative post where she explains the benefits of these poses.

1. Downward Facing Dog

2. Low Lunge

     (Low Lunge Variation)

3. Pigeon

     (Pigeon Variation -- if you're experiencing knee pain)

I hope you all try these poses and really feel the benefits. (Especially you, Kate, after all that running!)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cashew Cookie Lara Bars!

This is definitely a homemade granola bar recipe that you need to try. It has a very similar taste to the Cashew Cookie Lara Bars, but I added a layer of peanut butter just to make them extra decadent.

8 oz Pitted Dates (~18 dates)
1 generous c. of Cashews
1/2 c. Dried Coconut
1 1/2 c. Oats
1 tbsp. Water
4 tbsp. Peanut Butter (Can vary according to how much peanut butter you want on top)

1. Put the dates, cashews, coconut, and oats in a food processor and pulse until is looks like a textured dough.
2. Add the water ONLY if the consistency of the mixture seems too coarse, like it won't stick together. (you may even need more water... it depends on how moist the dates are)
3. Put parchment paper in a 9x9 pan and spread mixture. The pan will be too big, so only spread it in 3/4th's of the pan. You could even spread it in two loaf pans instead, but I didn't want to dirty two pans.
4. Place in freezer for approximately 30 minutes.
5. Melt peanut butter and pour over the frozen dough, spreading evenly throughout.
6. Freeze until peanut butter hardens and then cut into individual bars.
7. Store bars in fridge until ready to eat.

If you don't put the peanut butter topping, then it is much easier to take these on-the-go because the peanut butter won't melt and get all messy. I really like the added flavor of the peanut butter, but it's simply not as practical.

Congrats to those of you on day 4 of the Stretch for Seven Challenge!! Keep it up!