New Shoes, Insanity, Crop Tops, and Good Food!

Hello Comrades!

I hope you all had a lovely past week. Mine was pretty eventful.

On Wednesday, I made the voyage to NJ in preparation for my return to Insanity the following day. I needed to buy new shoes and it was suggested that I go and get my feet fitted at Fleet Feet in Montclair. And what a wonderful suggestion it was!Image

The staff is super friendly and informative. I had my feet measured and tried on 3 different types of shoes in different sizes based on my foot shape. I ended up investing in this lovely pair:

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A much welcomed improvement from what I was previously using:

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I’m honestly embarrassed that it took me so long to get a new pair of sneakers, but I’m glad I have them now. No way I’ll be making that mistake again!

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When I did my first Insanity workout on Thursday, the positive impact my new shoes had on my workout was incredible. My old ones were much too small  and probably contributed greatly to pulling my calf. But, you live and you learn!

On Friday, I was in the mood for a healthy dessert, so I whipped these lovely apples up!

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Baked Apples with Blueberries and Granola

So simple: Set the oven to 400 degrees. Core and slice 3 apples. Drizzle with honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, blueberries, and granola on top. Keep in the oven for about 30 minutes, and that’s it! Tasted like apple pie.

I liked this recipe so much that I made it for breakfast this morning, except I left out the granola, did one apple each for Mike and I, and we put it in with our oatmeal. Looked like this:

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Today, Mike and I went to Target to get some new pillows, salad bowls, and large mugs. While we were out, I went to Marshall’s just to try on some things. So many cute spring and summer stuff out! I had to resist purchasing a bunch. I don’t really have the money to buy things right now, but I also want to wait a little longer before investing in new clothes because I’m still in the process of losing. I now fit comfortably into size 8 pants (started at size 14 in November). Feels good to be in the single digits 🙂 Can’t believe I’m on my way to size 6! I did purchase this denim crop top that I plan on wearing when we are on the beach in May for the Hang Out Music Festival on the Alabama Gulf Shores. (I didn’t plan on posting this picture online, but Mike suggested that I should to show my progress)

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I held off on buying those denim and lace shorts though, for the previously mentioned reasons.

After Target and Marshall’s, we went to get us some fruits and veggies.

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Mike is chopping things up as I write this in preparation for roasted veggies and for an eggplant, tomato, pepper crock pot recipe that I will post about after we make it.

I’ll finish up for now with a highlight on some of my favorite meals from this past week. I’m also going to promise to write a post this week on why you should try new foods (I’m writing this here to ensure that I do it!)

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Roasted tomatoes, garlic, onion, carrots, zucchini with sauteed kale and spinach and some chopped Trader Joe’s sun dried tomato chicken sausage (It was one of the rare days that I was in the mood for a tiny bit of meat, but I would definitely eat this meal without the chicken sausage as well, or maybe substitute it with some Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs).

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Smoothie with banana, strawberry, pineapple, natural peanut butter, granola, soy milk. 1/4 cup cheerio’s and 1/4 cup multi grain o’s w/freeze dried raspberries and soy milk.

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One piece of whole wheat toast (Trader Joe’s low fat sprouted fiber bread), half with natural almond butter and strawberries, and half with natural peanut butter and banana.

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Dr. Praeger’s Veggie burger with sauteed brussel sprouts.

Weekend Review!

Weekend review, take 2 (I wrote this post in the morning, only to find that everything I wrote for some reason was erased and unsaved when I entered it to be posted)

I had a lovely weekend with a lot of good meals and wanted to highlight a few.

On Friday, Mike and I went out for Mexican after work. I had a veggie paella which consisted of quinoa, baby corn, baby carrots, roasted hon shimeji mushrooms, asparagus, and cauliflower (tried to take a picture but it was too dark). I’ve been attempting to expand my pallet and try new foods whenever possible, which this meal had two of for me. I’m not a big fan of mushrooms, but the hon shimeji mushrooms were pretty good! This was also my first time consuming asparagus since I was a child, and I guess I’d give it the same review as the mushrooms: pretty good. The first few bites I really liked, then it seemed just okay. I didn’t hate it, but I don’t anticipate it becoming a favorite or staple in my diet. I’d definitely revisit both things though.

On Saturday I had the opportunity to yet again, try something new! Mike’s roommate picked up some Tai food, ordered more than he could eat, and offered us some. It was pineapple curry with tofu, peppers, and onion that we put over jasmine brown rice. Super delicious. I’ve been meaning to try Tai food and after this meal, I’ll be having some more in the near future.

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On Sunday morning, I made myself a tasty breakfast of kale, avocado, Trader Joe’s soy chorizo, and scrambled egg whites with a Dr.Praeger’s spinach pancake on the side.

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I started off with some extra virgin olive oil and kale in a pan followed by a few pieces of avocado. I only used a tiny bit of the soy chorizo because even though it’s very yummy, it’s a little high in sodium, and a tiny bit goes a long way. Stirred the egg whites in last and breakfast was served!

I also made a wonderful snack that I found on Oh She Glows‘ blog and have been meaning to try. It was a huge hit with Mike and his roommates and came out even better than I anticipated. It’s listed as homemade crispy twix bars in the original recipe. I’d describe it more as a peanut-buttery caramel dark chocolate rice crispy treat. What ever you want to call it, it’s delicious. I only made some very minor modifications.

Peanut-Buttery Caramel Dark Chocolate Rice Crispies

Starts off with

  • 1 & 1/2 cups rice cereal
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of fine grain sea salt

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Stir ingredients together in a bowl and then place into an 8 inch pan. You may want to line the pan with parchment paper, saran wrap, or tin foil to keep the treats from sticking. Place the pan in the freezer while you move onto the next step.

Date Caramel

  • 1 1/2 cups pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 4 tbsp soy milk, or more if needed
  • pinch of fine grain sea salt

Place ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.

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Remove pan from freezer and smooth caramel on top

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Return to the freezer while you move onto the final steps

Chocolate Coating

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (optional)

Melt chocolate and coconut oil t0getuer either in a pot or in the microwave. For the stove, place the ingredients in a small pot on low heat until 2/3 of the chocolate has melted. Remove from heat and stir until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. For the microwave, place ingredients into a bowl and heat for about 20 seconds at a time and stir each time until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.

Remove pan from freezer and pour chocolate sauce on top.

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Return pan to the freezer for 3 minutes and then remove to cut into pieces before the chocolate has completely hardened. Return to freezer for another 10-15 minutes. The treats are now ready and can be stored either in the freezer or refrigerator 🙂

 Exercise

I’m still on a week break from Insanity after pulling my calf. I’ve been missing the workouts though! I never would have thought I would miss Insanity haha. I’m both excited and nervous to start Insanity on Thursday. I hope that my leg is okay once I start again. I also hope that I’m not too discouraged and frustrated if my ability to keep up with the workouts has decreased due to the break. I just have to do the best I can and push through.

I did, however, do some ab work and the mat portion of Insanity Cardio Abs on Saturday.

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Even though I been resting from workouts, I’ve been very conscious and good about my diet, so I’m still seeing some weight loss. As of right now, I’ve lost 23lbs and have 13 more to lose to reach my initial goal weight. It’s still a little hard to comprehend and I feel like I still have a long way to go, but I’m extremely happy to have gotten this far and will continue to push myself.

I picked up a freelance job from the production studio I used to work at. I think I might like to use most of that money to invest in a Nike FuelBand. I’ve been wanting to get one, but they cost $150 and I’m on a pretty strict budget these days. But I’ve been doing some research on it and I think that it would be a great motivational tool for me and worth the investment. If anyone has experience/reviews of the Nike FuelBand, I’d love to hear from you!

It’s been a pretty long day. Mike and I just got back from having an amazing dinner at a Mediterranean place in the village called Taim. We shared a mixed salad platter of roasted tomatoes and eggplant, carrots, and beets as well as a falafel platter with hummus, tabouli, and shepherd’s salad. Seriously, best falafel I’ve ever had, particularly the red pepper falafel. So good.

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I’m sure I’ve probably left out some information from my original post, so I apologize, but this was the best I could do to rack my brain for a rewrite. I hope everyone else had a lovely weekend and I promise to write again soon! 🙂

Coffee shop, eggplant pizza, and juice fast

Yesterday at the coffee shop the health inspector showed up. For those who may not know, health inspectors do not give you an exact time telling you when they are going to show up. The owners knew we were due and that they would be arriving soon, but exactly when, they did not know. We were informed via email last night that anyone who is working while a health inspection is taking place will be given a cash bonus if the store gets an A grade. Having a health inspector at the shop while you are working is kind of like having a cop driving behind you on the road. Even if you know you’re not doing anything wrong, you still feel a little paranoid and on edge and do your best not to do anything dumb while they are around. At the very same moment that the inspector came in we also had a HUGE rush out of no where (I think they might have been production people from a set that was shooting near by). Luckily, we got through it all and received an A! Just in time as a Christmas bonus! I also served Steve Buscemi his morning coffee for the first time (apparently he’s a regular at our shop). And supposedly Patrick Stewart was sitting in the corner of our shop while his friend ordered a coffee, or so I was told by one of the other customers after he left, but I didn’t see him.

When I got home from work, Mike had made us lunch. It was a great little recipe I found and sent to him for Eggplant Pizza. Quick, easy, and delicious! It’s pretty much slicing up some eggplant and using the eggplant in place of pizza dough for yummy little mini eggplant pizzas. I’m definitely going to be checking out Kath’s Blog for some more great recipes and ideas.

I started watching a documentary called Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead on Netflix yesterday and it’s pretty interesting. It starts off with an Australian man on a journey to become healthy starting off with a 60 day all juice fast as he travels around the United States. I’m thinking doing a 10 day juice fast might be something I’d like to look into.

Even though I haven’t been able to work out because of bronchitis, I’ve been doing really well with my diet, so I’m proud of that. And the coffee shop definitely keeps me moving for hours at a time. I’ve been sick and/or busy this week so I do have some recipes that I’ll post when I get around to it! Hope everyone has a good weekend!