Work it Out: My Fitness Journey

Life is a jungle gym.

 

And I like monkeying around.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned lately is life isn’t linear.  This sounds obvious even as I write it, but over and over I’ve been surprised when my carefully laid plains deviate from the path I’ve plotted.  Things change – you grow up.  You learn new skills.  You have setbacks.  Life happens.

Plan changes have happened in all aspects of my life – career, relationships, fitness, etc. – and I’m sure you’ve experienced the same.  I gt a lot of questions about how I began competing, so today’s Work It Out is my fitness journey.  My jungle gym.

sprint2table-workitout

Before I get into it, I want to be very clear that this is my path.  I’ve done things that were right and that were wrong.  Some are tender subjects; they were part of my journey.  I know you all have your own stories.  I simply submit that I hope no matter where you are in your journey, that you stay true to yourself and have FUN.  No regrets. 

_______________________________________________________________________________________

I love a competition.  Sports, spelling bees,  pie eating… you name it, I’m up for the challenge.  It’s how I’m wired.  This has taken me on many a fun ride in my life.

Related to fitness, I have tried just about any sport you can think of.  I was lucky to have parents who encouraged me to sign up for all sorts of things – from ice skating to horseback riding to softball.  Softball stuck – I still play every season!

softball

Years later I still morn the day that bat broke.

 

In my college years, I wasn’t very active unless you count partying and working.  I was a bartender.  I smoked, drank too much, and ate crap.  Not surprisingly, I gained the “freshman 15″ (and the sophomore 15) and was always tired.  When my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer something clicked in my head.  His disease wasn’t related to unhealthy living; he had actually lost a ton of weight through diet and exercise a few years prior and never smoked a day in his life.

The message that life is short came loud and clear to me.  While my dad was getting treatments he continued light exercise to keep strength that allowed him to turn 6 months into 4.5 years with the disease.  Through his example, I was inspired to clean up my act a bit and started workout out casually.  It wasn’t a total turnaround… but it was a start.

no one wins

Which beer shall I drink first…

 

Fast forward a few years and I discovered a new passion – roller derby.  I only wish my dad had been around to see that!  I had a blast, met some really cool people, and skated about 12 hours a week.  It was thrilling.  I’d found a sport I loved again!

It also proved to myself that it is impossible to out exercise a bad diet.  I was doing intense workouts nearly daily but gaining weight.  I am not saying I was “fat,” but I wasn’t healthy and, more importantly, I didn’t feel good.

derby

 

Looking at my unhealthy habits, I decided it was time for a cleanse.  It was the derby off-season and I took the opportunity to give my body a break from getting beat up (literally and figuratively).  21 days of clean eating was amazing for me.  I reset some habits, had boundless energy again, and I learned to love running.

That Thanksgiving I ran a 10K with my baby sister and my mom!

Gobble Jog

 

Then came a new season of derby.  I was still doing really well with healthy living and had come back for the next season with more energy and passion and ever.  Whatever was in stow, I was ready to jump on it.  Life had other plans.  

I broke my jaw during an expo bout (bout = a roller derby game).  It was miserable.  I looked like Jay Leno and it cost me a pretty important trip in my new job.

 

6 weeks later my jaw was as good as new but I decided it was time to find something a little safer.  Plus, I’d lost a TON of weight from not being able to eat solids, which was not good for playing a contact sport.  I looked unhealthy, and I’d basically forgotten how to eat.  All I’d been able to have was soup, pureed oatmeal, and smoothies!

I struggled with the aftermath of that injury for a while.  Rather than derby, I ran all the time.  I was faster and going longer than ever, but – even though I was eating – my new teeny body couldn’t keep up.  When you are at a deficit and continue to workout at the level you were before… well, you are just going to get skinnier (read: my mom was worried sick).

I almost didn’t post this pic. It pains me to look at it… but it’s what happened.

 

Unrelated to that, my knee decided to give out.  I got half a mile into a run and was in so much pain I had to stop.  The doctor told me my ACL was hanging on by a thread and if I wanted to run distance again I’d need to have surgery.  That may have been the best thing that could have happened to me.

 

Time for a new hobby!  Instead of going under the knife, I decided to go the route of building.  Body building.  If I could build up my quads, my knee wouldn’t bother me in daily activity and running short distances.  I’d always loved lifting weights and had done a round or two of P90X, so it seemed to be the perfect next bar to grab.

Two and a half years ago I met with my trainer the first time and started down the path of something that would forever change my life.  Lifting feels like it did when I fell in love with softball – I look forward to going to the gym, I want to talk strategy with anyone who will listen… it’s my passion!

Lisa and me at Palmetto – both Top 5!

Since then, I’ve gained 10 solid pounds of muscle, 2 pounds of  boob, and competed in 2 figure competitions.  Much to my surprise I placed in both!  Rounds 3 and 4 are in 3 and 4 weeks… they are on very competitive stages, but I’m excited just to have the experience.  I’ve been watching the success of others around me and am stoked (do people still say that?) for the off season and a sold year of building.

I feel great: inspired, focused, and having fun.

 

Fitness looks like a million different things.  What you do isn’t important, as long as it’s something you love and something that contributes to your health.  Don’t be afraid to change your course as you evolve.  Yoga, walking, lifting, cross-fitting… whatever.  Find something you are passionate about and embrace it.

Having been both active and inactive to my detriment, I can promise you that finding balance and the thing that turns you on will make all the difference.  That high, that endorphin rush, is sheer joy.  It’s worth it to make time for it.

YOU are worth it.

***

Need some inspiration?  Check out this post full of inspiring athletes from all walks of life.

Have you always been “healthy,” or was there a turning point for you?

What brings you joy?

 

Marvelous in My Random Monday

Warning: This post is totally random.

 

Making it reflective of the thoughts that run through my head.

I’m really loving the idea of focusing on why life is good on my (former) least favorite day of the week.  Katie’s Marvelous in My Monday link up is a great reminder to keep the good weekend-vibes up!

Marvelous Monday

There was a lot of awesome this weekend.  Most of it is completely unrelated… if you aren’t a fan of unfocused posts this will drive you nuts. #sorryimnotsorry ;)

_______________________________________________________________________________________

At the end of last week I was inspired by a FitFluential twitter chat to make my own standing desk at work.  I’ve long been a fan of sitting on a stability ball at work, but I still dislike sitting ALL day.  In a big company it’s hard to get approval for a fancy standing desk, so I did a little improv:

Homemade standing desk

Much better use of those Girls Scout cookies, no?

Side note: I made it through cookie season only having eaten 1/2 of a Samoa.  I would have eaten a Tagalong, but never did find a box of those lying around.  No one wanted to share the best flavor ever?!

 

Saturday morning called for pancakes.  I finally got around to trying out the Strange But Good pancake recipe Alina shared a couple of weeks ago.  Her Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes were inspired by my Oatmeal Cookie Shake!  I loved the creativity.  Please overlook my inability to make brown food look appetizing.  These were amazing.

(Shameless plug: Go back and check out last Friday’s link up – it was the biggest one yet!!!)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes

My only modifications were to replace the 2 T of banana with more pumpkin puree and to use carob chips instead of chocolate chips.  The nutritional yeast in these (and the shake) may sound strange, but it makes the recipe!

I topped them with sugar-free syrup, but they honestly didn’t need it.  Next time I’m eating them plain like a cookie.

 

After my workout, I did a little shopping.  I don’t know what happened, but over the past couple of years I have totally lost interested in clothes shopping.  I’d rather buy workout clothes and fun groceries!  Saturday’s goal was to buy new clothes for work, but instead I found a jacket and some lip plump.

This jacket was on sale and then an addition 40% off at Banana Republic – $180 jacket for $90.  Score.

Banana jacket

Photo from bananarepublic.com

 

And the lip plump… that was an impulse buy at Sephora.  It added a little more pout to lips, but it tingled more than anything!

Soap & Glory lip plump

I’m pretty sure I bought this for the name alone.

 

Saturday night I had a date with my best friend for the first time in MONTHS.  I really missed her!  We had a fabulous meal at Miller Union.  One of my favorite ways to eat is to order a bunch of small plates and a single entrée to share.  I have to try everything!

This is round 1 of the small plates.  A kale salad with pecans, fenneland orange and grapefruit segments, massaged with creme fraiche dressing.  In the middle is a feta cheese dip with fresh veggies.  And wine.

Miller Union kale salad

 

Sunday was going to be a rest day… but I got restless.  And I had some wine to sweat out.

I popped in my old DVD standby – P90X Plyo.  After all that bouncing I had to get a calf shot.  My trainer has had me doing weighted calf raises 3x a week to elongate my calves… but I never really believed it was possible.  Now I think it actually worked!

P90X burn and Carrot Cake Smoothie Bowl

I refueling with an old favorite: my Carrot Cake Protein Smoothie.  Xanthan Gum is one I’ve used for a long time to thicken smoothies up, but after this Butternut Banana Shake post I took several of your suggestions and bought Guar Gum to use too.  What resulted was a creamy concoction so thick I ate it from a bowl with a spoon.

Xanthan was great for getting smoothie thick, but that Guar really amped up the creaminess.  Definitely worth a try if you don’t already use it!

 

After my workout I heard a massive thud.  I wasn’t sure what it was, but I live in a city.  I have become accustomed to tuning out noise.  I’d totally forgotten about it until I left for the farmer’s market.  That noise was this happening:

Tree down in Midtown Atlanta

After days of rain storms, this huge old tree split at the base.  The marvelous part?  That building is abandoned and no one was hurt!

 

Finally, one of my favorite activities.  Kombucha brewing!  I love kombucha, but it does get pricey.  Months ago I purchased a Brooklyn Kombucha home-brew kit on Open Sky and I brew my own stash every week.  It’s unbelievably easy.  Click here to head over to Open Sky if you’re interested in starting!

Kombucha home brew

Recycled ACV bottles are perfect to store it in!

This week’s flavors:

  • Blood orange with cinnamon and ginger
  • Rosemary with cinnamon and ginger
  • Chili pepper and ginger

***

One more marvelous: today is leg day with my trainer. #hurtssogood  

Does sitting at a desk drive you nuts?  How do you stay active at your job?

Do you like kombucha?  What flavor would you like to brew?

 

Habit Formed

Hiking is habit-forming.

 

Ever since the awesome hike in Boulder at the Blend Retreat, I cannot get enough!

 

 

This weekend I took off for North GA to a place called Tallulah Gorge with Heather, Kirk, Lindsay, and Nancy.  The gorge is a 2 mile long, 1000 ft deep canyon about 90 miles north of Atlanta.   They even have a suspension bridge and  a sliding rock!

It’s a good thing we were armed with our FitMixer BCAA drinks!  (Click here for more on the benefits of BCAAs.)

 

Photo Credit: Heather/Kirk

 

After the crazy hike to the bottom (think lots of sliding down rocks on my butt), we were wishing we’d thought to bring swimsuits so we could use the rock waterslide!  Next time it’s on.

 

 

See the bottom right pic in the collage above?  That’s a snake skin.  Snakes are the only downside to hiking…

One 4 mile round trip and about a million stairs later, we were STARVING.  Like good bloggers, we already had a lunch spot picked out.  By we I mean Heather.  Anytime she picks a place you know it’s going to be good.  Grapes & Beans (not to be confused with frank and beans) in Clayton, GA was no exception.

 

 

Small town cafes can be surprisingly good!  They had a gorgeous patio where we ate while listening to jazz music.  As an appetizer we shared a delicious curry hummus (hummus + curry = win).  For my entree I had a portabella pita sandwich with mixed greens, tomatoes, carrots, and herb-garlic tofu dressing.  Yes, the dressing was as good as it sounds.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Wednesday I leave for Argentina.  Exercise there will consist of mostly sight-seeing/walking/jogging.  I love my weight though, so these next few days I’m going to squeeze in some good strength training workouts.

This past week I had a decent week of workouts on top of the hike, so I treated myself to a rest day Saturday.  I’m beginning to appreciate their value, and so is my body.

 

Workout Recap (5/28- 6/3):

  • Monday – 4 mile run/walk, Back, 100 push-ups
  • Tuesday – Personal trainer (full body), 5 mile run/walk with Carol
  • Wednesday – Bis/Back with plyo, 3 mile walk, 100 push-ups
  • Thursday - Shoulders with plyo, 3 mile run/walk 100 push-ups
  • Friday 3 mile run, Ab Ripper X, 100 push-ups
  • Saturday - REST
  • Sunday –  4 mile hike, 100 push-ups

 

***

Having worked 60+ hours in the past week, I’m so ready for vaca that it almost hurts.

Are you afraid of snakes?

Do you take rest days regularly?  Have you found them beneficial?  I need encouragement.

 

BENGAY Zero Degrees + Lots ‘o Legs

Injuries and soreness aren’t fun.

 

Lately it seems like I can’t stay well (thank you, knees), so I was particularly excited when BENGAY contacted me to review their new Zero Degrees product.

What makes it so cool?  It literally IS cool.  According to their literature it is “the first and only topical pain reliever tha can be stored in the freezer, combining the instant sensation of ice with the long-lasting, trusted pain relief of BENGAY GEL.”

 

 

This weekend was fun, but pretty strenuous on my body.  If you’ve been reading for a while, you may know that I’ve had some trouble with my knee for the past few months.  I was in serious need of BENGAY Zero Degrees after a 7 mile hike Saturday followed up by a 3 mile run and 2 softball games on Sunday… and one lovely strawberry on my toosh:

 

 

No, I didn’t put BENGAY on my open wound (NOT a good idea).  I DID slather it all over my aching knees after spending some QT with bags of frozen peas.

I loved that BENGAY Zero Degrees comes in a deoderant-like stick, making it easy to apply – no sticky hands or pain when you forget and stick you finger in your eye.  Another plus is that it doesn’t stink like most other products out there.  My knees may make me feel like a granny, but I don’t need to smell like a granny too!

 

 

BENGAY has offered to send one of these cool Zero Degrees sticks along with some other fun goodies (I received a tote bag, hair ties, a workout towel, and Karina Smirnoff’s dance-inspired workout DVD) to TWO readers!

 

Receive up to 4 entries by:

 

  1. Subscribe to the Sprint 2 the Table RSS feed or email
  2. Tweet: You could say something like: I entered to win 1 of 2 BENGAY Zero Degrees prize bags in the @sprint2thetable giveaway: http://wp.me/p16jDn-1hS  #giveaway #fitness
  3. Be Social: Twitter Follow mePinterest Follow Me and/or Pin Something of MineInstagram Follow Me
  4. Comment: What do you do to help your body recover?

 

Please leave a *separate comment* for each entry!

 

Contest ends at 11:59pm EST on Thursday, May 24th.  The winner will be announced on Friday, May 25th.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

This week’s recap should explain why I need that BENGAY!  :)

I’ve been incorporating more plyo/active rest into my weight workouts.  It’s made a big difference in my appetite!  I feel like I’m getting more out of my workouts and I’m craving protein like a caveman.  Still not going too big on the meat, but I’m killin’ some protein shake creations.  After Sundays games in 85 degree temps and direct sunlight I couldn’t get to the blender fast enough!

 

Put me in coach!

 

Workout Recap (5/7 – 5/13):

***

I just realized this post is filled with pics of my legs from various angles.  I love an unexpected “leg day.”

What is the last injury you had?

What is the best workout you’ve had lately?

 

Wining and Dining at Food & Wine

Sometimes you throw it all out the window.

 

The Food & Wine Festival coming to your town is one of those times.  I ate red meat for the first time since October, inhaled sweets, and sampled more bourbon than I knew existed.  Needless to say it was quite the weekend!

Yup – I brought a snack to a food festival.

 

When I picked up my schwag, I was excited to see that I made the brochure!  This pic is from a volunteer opportunity at a local farm during last year’s festival.

Can you tell which one is me?

 

I remembered why I quit eating red meat (omg – the tummy ache!), and why I quit eating so much sugar (my sleep quality was soooo bad).  Not that I’m complaining.  I loved every moment of it… but I look forward to returning to clean eating this week!!

 

I took full advantage of the education opportunities and the ridiculously expensive 3 day pass.

 

The first class was the “History of the Southern Cocktail.”  The panel was impressive and I learned a lot.  For instance, ice was actually a sign of aristocracy in the South in the 1800s.   Due to the heat and the fact that freezers weren’t yet invented, ice was more expensive than meat or dairy.  It had to be transported from the North!

The traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby, the Mint Julep, was packed to the brim with ice to ensure Derby attendees knew who was part of the upper crust.

 

We sampled two drinks:

  • Chatham Artillery Punch – lemon, sugar, bourbon, Cognac, Jamaican rum, and sparkling wine
  • Crusta – bourbon, Cointreau, Angoustura bitters, Marischino liqueur, and lemon (SO good!)

My second class of the day was “How to Taste Blind.”  The two sommeliers in the session picked out the wines perfectly!  I proved  - once again – that I have a terrible palate.

 

I picked the Sauvignon Blanc, but didn’t get the region or year (FYI – a greener color to a white wine indicated a younger age).  This was a 2009 from France. The reds were a 2007 Syrah from France and a 2008 Camenere from Chile.  I was way off on both!

This was just the first part of day 1!  I have lots more to share throughout the week!

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Despite the indulgence, I did have a good workout week.  Post-Blend I took Monday off before diving into it.  It must have done my body good because I was able to run 3 miles straight through for the first time since January!  I have an appointment with an ortho to have my knee looked at next week… part of me thinks I could cancel, but better safe than sorry.

Saturday morning I knocked out a P90X Plyo workout… it left me a sweaty mess, but was the perfect thing to do before heading back to F&W Festival for day 2!

 

Workout Recap (5/7 – 5/13):

  • Monday – REST
  • Tuesday – This Pinned workout, Bis/Back, 100 push-ups
  • Wednesday – Shoulders w/ plyo, 3 mi run, P90X Ab Ripper X, 100 push-ups
  • Thursday - This Under 10 Legs workout, 2 mi walk, Legs/Core
  • Friday Tris/Chest w/ plyo, 100 push-ups
  • Saturday – P90X Plyo, 100 push-ups
  • Sunday –  3 mile run

***

Rainy mornings should mandate a work from home day.

Have you ever done a blind wine tasting?

Have you ever thrown any food “rules” out the window for a big event?

 

Purposeful Running

Today I have a guest spot!

 

 

I was flattered to have been asked by Laura @ Mommy, Run Fast! to write a post for her series, Purposeful Running.  Click here to check it out Laura’s site and my post on why I run.*

*Disregard the fact that I haven’t been able to run much due to my knee… in the words of Ah-nold: I’ll be back!

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Blend was amazing!  More to come this week!  For now, a workout recap:

 

Workout Recap (4/30 – 5/6):

    • Monday - This Pinned workout, Bis/Back w/ plyo, 2.3 mile run/walk
    • Tuesday – This Pinned workout, P90X Cardio, 100 push-ups
    • Wednesday – Shoulders w/ plyo, 2 mi run/walk, 100 push-ups
    • Thursday - This Quad + Core tabata workout, 2.5 mi run, Legs/Core
    • Friday This Pinned workout, 3 mi walk/run, upper body weights
    • Saturday – Blend Boot Camp and Hike
    • Sunday –  Blend Boot Camp

***

 I need a weekend after my weekend!

What was the best part of your weekend?

If you are a runner, why do you run?

 

Contemplating Carnivore + WIAW

Don’t cry for me, Argentina…

 

 

I recently decided on my 2012 international trip and there’s no crying here!  Two of my best friends from grad school and I are going to Argentina AND Uruguay!  Leaving just 6 weeks from today!!!

 

Here’s my dilemma: Argentina is known for meat.  I love to travel and try new foods, and I always said that whatever veggie-food thing I have going is out the window when I travel.  No restrictions.  But now I am scared I’ll get sick… and meat just doesn’t appeal to me like it used it.

I did eat 3 bites of meat at dinner tonight… so far so good.

 ______________________________________________________________________________________

 

Meat dilemmas aside, Jenn (who called me a genius last night) @ Peas and Crayons is hosting  What I Ate Wednesday this month in the theme of veggies:

 

 

Check out my veggie eats (plus a couple of meats) below; then click here to see what everyone else enjoyed for WIAW.

 

Breakfast:

This morning I woke up feeling jumpy… in a plyo way.  I bounced out of bed and down to the gym for 60 mins of Plyo with Tony Horton (from P90X).  In case you haven’t tried it yet, this plyo DVD with kick your butt.  It left me hot, sweaty, and STARVING.

I ran up to my condo for a tasty Banana-Maple-Ginger Smoothie accompanied by a (vegan) Raw Cookie Dough Ball, compliments of this recipe by Lisa @ Healthful Sense (I always keep a batch in the freezer for a quick snack or smoothie topping).

 

Banana-Maple-Ginger Smoothie

  • 1 small banana
  • 1 C spinach
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp maca (optional)
  • 1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 T ground flax seed
  • 5-6 drops vanilla liquid Stevia
  • 1/2 in piece of fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp maple extract

 

Lunch:

Working from home makes me happy because I get to MOVE so much more.  Bring chained to a desk is really hard for me.  In the interest of movement, I walked to one of my favorite spots – MetroFresh – to meet a friend for lunch.

MetroFresh’s menu changes daily, but they always offer 5-6 soups, 7-8 salads/sides, and a couple of sandwiches.  They also designate which items are vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free.  Love that.

 

Today I had a Swiss Chard and White Bean Stew and a Maple-Citrus Wild Rice Salad with Mushrooms, Feta, Cucumber, Black Wheatberries, and Dried Cranberries.  Finger-lickin’ good.

Side note: Did anyone watch Doogie Howser or Party of 5 growing up?  The owner of MetroFresh, Mitchell Anderson, played roles in both hit shows!

 

Snacks:

My lunch was pretty filling, and I knew I was going out for dinner so I was a little light on the snacks today.  I did enjoy a Kombucha, a banana (topped with a failed attempt at chocolate-peanut butter – the texture was nasty), and a piece of chocolate (to help me feel better after the PB fail).

Dinner:

Apparently is was a day for dining out.  I had dinner with my mom and cousin at a local Indian spot called Cardamom Hill.  This place is amazingI blogged about it here when they first opened, and they have only gotten better since.

For appetizers we ordered Pork Vindaloo (pork shoulder slow-cooked in a flavorful vinegar sauce with turmeric and cardamom served with a side of appam), Coconut Curry Vegetable Stew, and a Squid special that was cooked in a red chili sauce and served with a side of fried plantains.

 

I did take a bite of everything… it was the first time I’ve had pork in months.  It was delicious, but I still couldn’t imagine eating a whole order.  The vegetable curry soup was my favorite!

 

Remembering how delicious it was the first time there, I ordered the Vegetable Platter.  It wasn’t quiiiite as good, but that is a preference thing.  They do change-up pieces of the dish, and on my first trip there was more heat incorporated.  I love spicy food. 

 

From L to R: Avail (lightly steamed vegetables in a shaved coconut sauce), Sambhar (a stew with okra, carrots, and potatoes), stack of sliced warm Beets layered with housemade yogurt and mustard seeds, and seasoned rice.

My favorite was the Avail.  That shaved coconut sauce was perfect – not too sweet or heavy, complimenting the root veggies it was served over.

The winner was my mom’s dish (unpictured).  She ordered the Kerala-Style Fried Chicken, served over vegetable pileau (rice with veggies).  Yup, I took another bite of meat… I don’t regret it.  This chicken was among the best I’ve ever tasted.  Don’t skip it if you are in the neighborhood (and you eat meat).

 

Dessert:

Someone once said there is a whole separate part of your stomach for dessert.  They weren’t kidding.  I should have been stuffed after all of that… yet I came home and enjoyed a So Delicious coconut ice cream bar.  The bar is dairy-free and contains only 1g of sugar… and you would never be able to tell.

 

So Delicious, indeed.

 

***

Another reminder to enter my NuNaturals giveaway – there are 4 chances to win the new NuNaturals Orange and Lemon Liquid Stevias!  Contest ends Thursday at 11:59pm EST.  Click here to enter.

Have you ever been to Argentina, or South America?  Any suggestions?

Have you ever gone back to eating meat?  How did you ease back in to it?

 

Sneaky Monday

Can you believe it’s already Monday?

 

I’m so tired I almost can’t stand it.  Why?  Because I woke up at 2:30am.

Apparently I fell asleep with my phone in my room.  My sheets were still in the dryer, so I crashed on the couch… and when my mom called I didn’t hear the phone.  This worried her and when I hadn’t gotten back to her by 2am she decided to drive 30 minutes to make sure I was ok pay me a visit.  No joke.

 

Here’s the Top 5 from the weekend:

 

1. Zucchini Bread Oats

 

 

I stayed at my mom’s one night and made these again after a brief hiatus.  She hadn’t had them and was skeptical… turns out she loved Zucchini Bread Oats!

 

2. Sticky Toffee Pudding

 

 

I went to a dinner party at my friends Katherine and Giles’ house.  Joined by Heather and her husband Kirk, we had a fantastic vegan fest.  My contribution was this Vegan Sticky Toffee Pudding.

Recipe to come soon… I need to take some better pics. :)

 

3. Foodie Penpal

 

 

The revel isn’t until the end of the month… but my foodie penpal package arrived!  The box she shipped it in got me excited. 

 

4. PB&J Yogurt

 

 

This was is my new love.  How can you go wrong with anything PB&J-esque?  In my yogurt was:

  • 1 C Greek yogurt
  • 1 T peanut flour
  • 5-6 drops vanilla Stevia
  • 1/2 C strawberries

 

5. Softball Sunday

It was another softball Sunday!   We won one game and lost one.  No split this week though. :)

 

 

One of my teammates rides a unicycle.  I love this time of year. 

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

I thought my knee was cured this weekend when I ran a mile pain-free.  Then I tried for 1.5 the next day and was back in pain… *sigh*

It’s more P90X for me.

 

Workout Recap (4/2 – 4/8):

  • Monday – This Pinned workout, P90X Chest/Back, Ab Ripper X
  • Tuesday – This Pinned workout, P90X Yoga
  • Wednesday – P90X Shoulders/Arms, Ab Ripper X, 100 push-ups
  • Thursday - This Pinned workout, P90X Kenpo, 100 push-ups
  • Friday - P90X Legs/Back, 100 push-ups
  • Saturday – This Pinned workout, 4 mile walk, 1 mile run, Ab Ripper X
  • Sunday –  1.5 mile run, 2 softball games

 

***

I’m looking forward to a low-key week.  Knock on wood.

Has your mom ever driven to your house to check on you?

What was the best part about your weekend?

 

Catering, Cupcakes, and Chillaxing

Weekend?  What weekend?

 

This was the sort of weekend where you stay so busy you aren’t really sure it ever happened.

Not that I’m complaining – catering and cupcakes iced with a little chillaxing is a good time.

 

This week I am looking forward to sharing some fun new recipes with you, but for today I’ll stick to the highlights.  Here is the Top 5 from a weekend so crazy that I was in bed by 11p last night (that’s unheard of for me).

 

1. Say Cheese

Though I spent a lot of time prepping Saturday’s catering gig, I took a little break to make a hummus, veggie, and cheese board.

 

A wandering afternoon in the cheese department while was supposed to be catering-shopping lead to the discovery of a new favorite cheese.  Mitica Quadrello di Bufala (buffalo’s milk cheese).

 

I’m not ashamed to admit… I couldn’t stay vegan for the love of cheese.

 

2. Wedding Shower Catering

This was my second “official” catering job and it went really well.  The event was a was a joint wedding shower for a bride and groom.  I was asked to come up with a “Southern” menu for ~30 people.

 

On the Menu:

  • Chipotle Roasted Corn Hummus (remember this from last summer?) with veggies and chips
  • Spring Endive Boats
  • Caper and Chive Deviled Eggs
  • Mac ‘n Cheese Minis
  • Whiskey BBQ Turkey Sliders
  • Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

 

If it’s any indication of success, there was hardly any food leftover. :)

Recipes coming throughout the week!

3. Easter Bunny

Sunday I woke up still exhausted from the previous day’s catering; however, I was energized by the fact that the Easter Bunny had come!

 

 

I will always spend the night at my mom’s on holidays.  Shameless.

 

4. Poolside Mimosas

A girl’s day by the pool with my mom and baby sister was just what I needed.  That and a tasty mimosa.

 

We laid out, talked, and ate a poolside Easter lunch of watermelon salad, endive salad, pretzel bread, carrot soufflé, and mac ‘n cheese.  I was too busy chillaxing to take pics of any of it. #fail

 

5. More Cupcakes

4 dozen Chocolate-Nutella cupcakes in one weekend clearly wasn’t enough.  We came in from the pool and wanted something sweet.  Being a good kid, I whipped up some vanilla bean cupcakes to go with the last but of Nutella icing.

 

This recipe will be coming soon!

________________________________________________________________________________________

This week I was all about the P90X.  I’m still not following the prescribed program, but I did a workout with Tony Horton just about every day this week.  Good thing because my diet was abysmal.

#PROOF

 

Workout Recap (4/2 – 4/8):

  • Monday – P90X Shoulders/Arms, Ab Ripper X
  • Tuesday - This Tuesday Trainer Tabata workout from Lindsay (50 sec work, 10 secs rest, 2x), 6 min plank rotation, 100 push-ups
  • Wednesday – P90X Tris/Chest, Ab Ripper X
  • Thursday - P90X Cardio X100 push-ups
  • Friday - P90X Biceps/Back, Ab Ripper X
  • Saturday – 100 push-ups, 90 squats, rest/cater
  • Sunday –  P90X Plyo, 100 push-ups

 

***

And now the reveal you’ve all been waiting for.  What was the “lie” from Friday’s post?  #9 “Monday night I ate octopus for the first time.”  

Many of you guessed the right answer, but for the wrong reason.  I have NEVER eaten octopus.  The tentacles creep me out.

Did the Easter Bunny come visit you?

What food prevents you from ever going vegan/vegetarian, or – if you are vegan/vegetarian – what food was hardest for you to stop eating?

 

Being Serene

Sunny weekends seem shorter.

 

I never want them to end!  

Before diving head first into a crazy week, here are the top 5 highlights that I remembered to take a picture of:

 

1. Serenbe Cooking Demo

While at my team’s retreat we were treated to a cooking demo by the founder of Serenbe, Marie Nygren.  Serenbe (“be serene” spelled backwards) is a small sustainable community just outside of Atlanta.  It reminds me of Seaside (where The Truman Show was filmed), but without the ocean.

 

Marie led us though a short cooking demo in her home.  She prepared collard greens two ways, kale, and cabbage.  It was all delicious… and her house was GORGEOUS!

 

 

2. *Almost* Justin Timberlake Sighting

Justin Timberlake is in Atlanta shooting “Trouble With the Curve,” with Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams.  Below is the camera crew.  No Justin… but I swear I saw Jessica Biel walking down the street the other day.

 

 

3. Softball Sunday

My team won!!!  The second game.  

Our problem is that we aren’t morning people.  We don’t wake up until half way through the first game.

 

My groin woke up too early thanks to play at first base.  I did a full split and caught the ball for the out.  And pulled my groin.  Ouch.

 

 

4. Powdered Hummus?

On my weekly trip to Whole Paycheck Foods I came across hummus powder in the bulk bins.  The instructions say all you need to do is add is water and olive oil.

Does this sound awesome or weird?

I haven’t tried it yet, but will report back soon!  They also had a powdered black bean dip.

 

 

5. Green Thumb

I’ve mentioned before that I have killed every plant I have owned.  I even killed mint.  Yesterday I helped my mom plant flowers.

 

They are so pretty, right?!  I hope my black thumb doesn’t affect them.


________________________________________________________________________________________

I miiiiight be allowed to try running again tomorrow.  I go back to the doc and he’s going to give me the green light.  Or not.  I’m a little nervous since by the end of softball today it was a little sore from running bases, but nothing like before.

This week was a little light on workout intensity… and the clean eating… but I’m not going to kick myself too hard over it.  Sometimes you just need to take it easy.

 

Workout Recap (3/26 – 4/1):

  • Monday – This BodyRock, stationary bike, 100 push-ups
  • Tuesday – This workout by Lori, 100 push-ups, 20 mins of P90X Cardio… then quit in favor of playing tennis. :)
  • Wednesday – P90X Tris/Chest, Ab Ripper X
  • Thursday This Pinned Workout (3x), 100 push-ups
  • Friday - Rest
  • Saturday - This BodyRock, Back/Bis, 100 push-ups
  • Sunday –  Softball 2x, P90X Plyo, 100 push-ups

 

***

I totally forgot it was April Fool’s yesterday.  We should have the whole month to mess with people!

Did you play any April Fool’s Pranks?

Have you seen powdered hummus before? Is it good?