Blink

This will be a simple, quick post because (to be frank) bed calls. I’ve been having a wonderful weekend with lots of sleep, lots of friends, and a little bit of paper writing. This is the last week of school for me, and I have just one paper between me and a month’s break from school.

I’m trying not to think about the future when I’ll have two classes, a full time job and a 14-hour/week field placement. Pushing that a bit further back in my brain as we speak.

In fitness news: I ran the farthest I’ve ever run before!!

TWIW (This Week In Workouts)
Su – rest
M – Circuit Strength 1
Tu – 5.16 mi run @ 9:26min/mi pace (yay!!)
W – TRX Circuit Class
Th – Yoga
F – Circuit Strength 2
Sa – Boot Camp

Alright, time for some good-ole rest.

Order up

It’s 7:00 PM on a Sunday evening, I have a couple hours before bed, and I have time to just do whatever I want. My room is organized, the dirty dishes are all getting clean in the dishwasher, and I don’t need to do anything for school for at least another week. I have to say, it’s sort of weird! I feel like there’s something that I should be doing.

I am going to bask in the glory of having time to just chill and simultaneously bring you your 5 Things Thursday: Sunday Edition that I thought I wasn’t going to post for you this week!

This week’s theme is: Five Things Fitness

1) Ever wonder about what’s going on in your body when you’re working out?

This article tells you about some hormonal changes that happen when you work out.

2. Need a Quickie workout?

Check out these 15 minute workouts for those days when you just don’t have any time.

3. Starting (or thinking about starting) to run?

Here’s some helpful beginner advice.

4. Have asthma but still want to run?

These are some tips for managing your runs with asthma.

5. Ever wonder about what trainers eat?

Here are some foods that trainers swear off.

The effects of following my blog. ;-)

Ok not really, but isn’t he just the cutest?

And now I leave you with ThIs WeEk In WoRkOuTs:
Su – rest
M – Full Body Circuit Strength 1
Tu – 4.98 mi run @ 9:30/mi pace
W – TRX Circuit Class
Th – Yin Yoga (60 min)
F – Full Body Circuit Strength 2
Sa – Boot Camp class (45 min)

Peter Peter

get it?

Well folks, I finally did it. I cooked with a Pumpkin:

A real, once-live pumpkin that didn’t come out of a can. Of course, upon actually cooking with it I realized that my Libby’s canned pumpkin couldn’t possibly be from this type, but it deterred my not! But before I delve into the cooking world, I promised Halloween pictures!

Please proceed to guess what I am

awwww

Now back to what you really came for:

The inside:

I did not take this photo.

This baby was impossible to cut (even for a computer) and I ended up baking it for a little, cutting it in half, and baking it for a wile longer. And when it was done it surprisingly was like a stringier butternut squash! Quite unexpected. So what did I make with it you ask?

Pumpkinified Indian Spiced Chicken & Barley – Slow Cooker Style

serves 6

Ingredients
- 1 lb chicken breasts
- juice of 1 lemon
- ~1 tsp turmeric

- olive oil
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 turnip, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 2 tsp coriander
- 1 1/2 tsp indian spice blend
- 1 – 15 oz can no salt added diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 can-fuls of water
- 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (alternatively you can use 28 oz can diced tomatoes total and only 1 cup of the water above)
- 1 cup barley

- 1/2 baked pumpkin, scooped out of the shell

- 1 cup plain yogurt

Directions:

1. Place cleaned chicken in the bottom of your slow cooker. Pour/squeeze juice over it and sprinkle with turmeric.

2. Heat oil in a large pan. Add carrots through bell pepper and cook until softened. About 5 minutes. Add garlic through spice blend and mix for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add canned & fresh tomatoes, water, and barley. Bring to a boil.

3. Pour boiled mixture over chicken. Add the scooped-out pumpkin.

4. Cook on High for 2 1/2 hours or Low for 5 hours. Mix well – the chicken should shred nicely into the whole mixture.

5. Add yogurt and cook on High for 30 minutes.

clearly there was a time lapse - no sun

This dish is mm mm good! It takes some prep, but I like the slow cooker aspect of it. It’s awesome with thighs as well and the fattier your yogurt (obvi) the better.

And now, since I never posted it before:

ThisWeekInWorkouts
Su – 45 minute elliptical
M – Circuit Strength 1
Tu – 4.63 mi run
W – rest
Th – Circuit Strength 2
F – 45 min Cycle
Sa – rest

Have you ever cooked with fresh pumpkin? If so, what did you make?

What’s the best fall thing you’ve made lately?

Tell me about your workouts!

I Fell.

It was a Tuesday morning around a quarter past 6. Since Fall had begun, and the days were getting shorter, the sun wouldn’t rise for another half hour or so.

As I made my way down the last leg of my morning (4.63 mile) run, I entered a street with poor lighting and a brick sidewalk. I was running along, almost done with my run, and contemplating if I would be able to up my mileage for the next run, when WHAP! My foot caught a jagged rise in the sidewalk, and I toppled to the ground, catching my fall with my hands and left knee, then rolling onto my left hip.

But upon hopping back up from the ground, I was met with a super-adrenaline rush. I suddenly felt refreshed, as if I could keep running for miles. But I ran home.

The moral of the story:

And give yourself a good scare the next time you want to add mileage to your run.

TWIW (This Week In Workouts)
Su – rest
M – 45 minute Circuit Strength Training 1
Tu – 4.63 mile run @ 9:21 pace [ I keep getting faster! :-) ]
W – 45 minute Circuit Strength Training 2
Th – 60 minute Hatha Yoga
F – 60 minute Body Shape class [ muscle endurance class ]
Sa – 50 minute Boot Camp [ w/4 (!) Tabata intervals plus regular intervals throughout. (Probably one of the most intense workouts I've ever had) ]

And it begins

Ah, life. Busy, busy, busy. So I’m going to make this ever-so-brief.

I promise that after I get a handle on things, I’ll post my super-awesome Mexican-Style Spaghetti Squash Casserole (in honor of Columbus day, as an afterthought… but not on Columbus day…speaking of which how do you feel about the whole “Columbus Day” thing?) that I came up with yesterday.

But let’s get back to the whole dramatic “and it begins” thing: I started my new job today! (yay) Well, I had the first day of orientation, which was basically all HR stuff and no actual job-job stuff, but it’s all related, right? Plus I got out about 3 1/2 hours early. (Oh the joys of orientation + salary work)

And now for…

This Week in Workouts 10.2.11 – 10.8.11
Su – 45 minute elliptical (w/magazine. heaven.)
M – Circuit Strength Training
Tu – 4.63 mile run
W – Circuit Strength Training
Th – Hatha yoga (yay!!!)
F – 20 minute run (out of town, didn’t map it for mileage)
Sa – rest

Have any cool life news?

What are your workouts looking like lately?

Dream World

I’ve been doing a lot of paper writing lately (well, I’ve been writing one paper but dragging it out due to my full-time work-work) and I think because of this I’ve been having really memorable dreams.

And so I decided to take a break from diligent paper-writing to share my latest with you.

Picture this: True Blood theme will she choose Bill or will she choose Eric?

Only I’m Sookie, my boyfriend’s Bill, and Eric’s Eric.

It was a good, but trying dream. (I chose my boyfriend of course, duh)

But basically, I’m dying for the next season of True Blood. Someone come glamour me so I can forget about it until next season. Why am I sounding so nerdy?

And because I didn’t post it Saturday…

This Week in Workouts (TWIW) 9.18.11 – 9.24.11
Su – 45 minute Cycle class
M – Circuit Strength Training
Tu – 4.63 mile run @ 9:45 pace
W – Circuit Strength Training
Th – off
F – Circuit Strength Training
Sa – 45 minute Cycle class (including a 4-minute tabata part!)

Frown Fixing 101

You ever have one of those days?

You know, one of those days when you feel…

Me too. It usually happens when I have a lot of alone time with minimal social interaction. (I am probably your textbook extrovert)

And then, when I feel this way, I start to think… “Man, I need a change of pace.” Food is less exciting (yet somehow more inviting). My home starts to repulse me. I start to actually  be bothered by the enormous clutter that I’ve collected in my room since I moved in this past week. And then I’m stumped for what to do.

So I decided to make up a little list. I searched high and low (via Google) and came up with my own mixed-tape, if you will, of the best Frown-Fixing-Blue-Banishing-Mood-Lifting advice. We’ll call it the Great Frown Fixing List.

The Great Frown Fixing List

 Frown Fixer #1: Move Your Body

Alright, so if Beyonce doesn’t happen to show up in your workplace/home/cafeteria there are other alternatives. I like a quick walk outside- it seriously turns my day around. Several studies show that exercising outdoors improves mental well-being. And a brisk, 15-minute walk “can improve your mood and increase your energy for up to two hours,” (Thayer, R.- a psychologist as quoted here)

Frown Fixer #2: Listen to the Music

The same R. Thayer (psychologist Robert Thayer of California State University) found that after exercise, music is the second-most effective way to turn around a mood.

I, personally, use this method when I’m working on something that’s really stressing me out (i.e., a paper for school, notes for work). Basically, when I’m stuck inside doing what I’m doing and the chain-chewing-gum-monster in me is rearing its ugly head, music is super-effective in improving my mood.

Frown Fixer #3: Coffee

OK, OK, so I didn’t find this on any one of my “mood booster” google searches. But coffee is for-real an awesome mood booster! (for me) I’m a regular coffee drinker, so it’s part of my daily routine at this point, but I have a particularly vivid memory from several years ago of coffee’s blue-banishing powers:

For reasons that I will not go into, I was feeling really sad one day and spending time with one of my good friends/roommate-at-the-time and we decided to get some coffee before walking over to “The Lawn” at UVA where tons of little kids were trick-or-treating in their Halloween costumes (because it was Halloween weekend). Well, once the powerful-elixir started to kick in, all of a sudden I was optimistic and hopeful about life! And that + lots-of-cute-little-children made my day.

Frown Fixer #4: Laughter

So, obviously it’s fun to laugh. And studies show that laughter not only makes you feel good emotionally but also, “after you laugh, you go into a relaxed state,” (John Morreal, here) Your heart rate/blood pressure lowers and you release endorphins. For quick laughs, The Onion is a great spot:  Tom Brady Questionable For Sunday’s Game After Waking Up Ugly
Or maybe SNL’s Digital Shorts are more up your alley.

Frown Fixer #5: Phone a Friend

Or visit a friend or make plans for a later date with a friend or whatever friend-related thing you can do. For me, this is an instant mood lifter. (Like we addressed earlier, I’m your textbook extrovert) And social support can even help you live longer.

Frown Fixer #6: Think quick!

This one’s pretty neat. Next time you’re feeling down (or need a break from school/work), do a rapid thinking exercise. This site uses these examples: quickly list all kinds of uses for a paperclip, solve a sudoku puzzle as quickly as possible. I used to take breaks from my schoolwork by playing Text Twist.

So now that you’ve boosted your mood, go and be merry! Or check out…

This Week in Workouts
Su – rest
M – Circuit Strength Training
Tu – 4.26 mile run at a 9:40 pace
W – Circuit Strength Training
Th – rest
F – Circuit Strength Training
Sa – Boot Camp

Coming up for air.

Do you ever feel like you’re so busy with work or school that when you’re able to actually enjoy the company of friends or sit and write a blog post, you feel like you’re coming up for air? Like when you were a kid and your swim coach told you to try coming up for air less often so that you could swim faster and you struggled and waited in anticipation until you reached the desired amount of strokes to take a breath? That’s how life is feeling right now. But oddly, I think I’m handling it alright. In the process of adjusting. Not terribly stressed, just feeling like I don’t have a lot of free time.

OK, enough blahness-talking. Let’s get into the cool things that happened this weekend:

I went to the farmers’ market!

My beans came with a “receipt” from the owner of the stand’s daughter.

This, my friends, is Lemon Basil. I never knew that it was a thing until I found it at the market! Apparently it keeps best if you cut off the ends, and stick it in water to keep it fresher. Who knew?

FOOTBALL season is here!

Today commenced the start of an exciting season (in my opinion). I went over to a friend’s for a game and gloated over my Eagles’ victory earlier in the day. I love football season for the social gatherings – nothing brings people together quite like football.

And now since bed time is quickly approaching, I will just leave you with…

This Week In Workouts (TWIW) 9.4.11-9.10.11
Su – Circuit Strength Training
M – 20 minute HIIT on step mill
Tu – Circuit Strength Training
W – 20 minute HIIT on step mill
Th – Circuit Strength Training
F – 45 minute Cycle
Sa – 45 minute Boot Camp

I missed my yoga workout this week :-( I’ll just have to make extra-special-sure that I don’t miss it this week. And once again, have no fear, this week was sandwiched by rest days.

TWIW + Weekend Recap

Hey guys, it’s me again. In a word, this weekend was superb. I say this weekend and not this past weekend because I took a paid-time-off day today. It’s been glorious just being able to do whatever I wanted without really worrying about a schedule.

Friday night was spent hanging out with cool people (i.e., my friends).

I had my boyfriend and a few people over at the end of the night but went to bed before they left. Well, I woke up Saturday morning to a phone call from my boyfriend informing me of: the incident. What incident you might ask?

This incident.

In a nutshell: my computer no longer functions. So, I’m posting from my sister’s computer. But I’ll finish this story later.

Saturday was spent being stormed in with friends by Hurricane Irene as it made its way up the coast. There was chitchat and Amaranth Chili (made my yours truly). {Luckily my friend’s apartment never lost power}

Picture from my local paper

 

Sunday was another mostly lazy day indoors with friends and the BF. There were several trees down in my area, and it was pretty crazy to see these massive trees uprooted from the ground. The bottoms almost reminded me of baby teeth – you know, how they have that flat-ish, ridged bottom when they’re coming out?

Which brings us to Monday and the rest of the dead computer story.

I AM NOW THE OWNER OF A BRAND NEW 13-in MACBOOK PRO! :-)

“But wait,” you say, “I thought that you said you were posting from your sister’s computer.” Yes, I am indeed posting from her computer, but only because I am getting my data transferred from my old computer to my new one! (yayyy!) The major good news in this story is that the hard drive did not appear to be damaged, so they can transfer my data for me! (for a fee, but let’s forget about that part) I seriously need to get an external hard drive.

And now I shall leave you with…

This Week In Workouts 8.21.11-8.27.11

Su – rest
M – Circuit Strength Training
Tu – 4.06 mi run (9:32 min/mile pace)
W – Circuit Strength Training
Th – Yin Yoga (super-stretching yoga)
F – 45 minute Cycle class
Sa – Circuit Strength Training

Self-Evaluation: I like what I see for the most part. 3 strength days. 1 yoga day. 2 cardio days. If I had to pick one thing to change, I would try to work another cardio session in there somewhere.

Have you had any computer woes lately?

Were you impacted by Hurricane Irene?

What workouts are you into lately?

TWIW 8.14.11-8.20.11 + SOTJ Farmers’ Market

Today has been quite a lovely day for me. I woke up, ate a nice bowl of oats with berries, flax, chia, and almond butter and then headed out to my local farmers’ market.

South of the James farmers’ market was a good mix of local culture (via music, jewelry, etc), produce, meats, and prepared foods. I enjoyed a nice walk around the area and then selected my produce picks.

UPDATE (now with pictures)[side note: I love iPhoto but it is WAY TOO SLOW]{side note x2: I figured out HTML text sizes!}

sweet potatoes & onions

sweet peppers

these red peppers also came in the $3 pesticide-free pack (score!)

butternut squash & 2 light-purple egg plants

I bought all of the above items + garlic for under $10. I love the farmers’ market!

I had a pretty lazy Saturday and wasn’t really planning on working out until 5:30 rolled around and I suddenly got on an urge to go on a run. (I know, crazy right?–> Especially considering how much I’ve talked about how I’m not really a “runner” lately) So, without further ado, here This (past) Week In Workouts:

Su - rest
M - 45 minute Cycle class
Tu - Circuit Strength Training
W - 20 minute HIIT on treadmill (plus 5 min split between warm-up/cool-down
Th - 60 minute Hatha Plus Yoga class
F - Circuit Strength Training
Sa - 32:08 minute, 3.35 mi run