Monday Grubday! Mini Apple Pies, Simple Salad, and Clean Tomato Soup

Happy Monday! I love Mondays when I don’t have any classes! It’s slowly works me into the week rather than feeling like I ran into a brick wall and that wonderful thing called a weekend is over.  

Today I have 3 great recipes to share with you! Unfortunately there aren’t any photos…because I accidentally deleted them. Bummer. 

The first is the delicious little desserts I made for Easter. We had Easter dinner with some great friends who made delicious pork, green bean casserole, and sweet potatoes. We brought salad and dessert. I had Ben look through my sweets Pintrest board with me to choose and he loves pie so I had a guess what he would pick – individual apple pies. I got this recipe from Little Bit Funky and halved it since there were only 4 of us. Everyone really enjoyed them especially because I made half of the pies without cinnamon by mixing all the ingredients with the apples EXCEPT the cinnamon first then divided the ingredients into 2 bowls and added the cinnamon to one. 

Number 2 is the seriously simple salad and balsamic dressing that I made as a side. The salad was 1 container spring mix, 1 cup pecan halves, 1/3 cup blue cheese tossed together. The dressing is only marginally more complex:
Balsamic Dressing (all approximate measurements, make to your taste)
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar 
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp sugar  
1/4 tsp Nature’s seasoning 
Combine for deliciousness 

Finally a new-ish tomato soup recipe. This is a take off of a previous tomato soup recipe that I loved but lightened up just a little bit (made it clean!) and with all FRESH ingredients. 

Ingredients 
15 roma tomatoes (diced) 
5 cloves garlic (minced)
1 handful fresh basil leaves (minced) 
1/3 cup plain 0% fat greek yogurt (room temperature) 
Salt to taste 

Directions 
1) Heath diced tomatoes, garlic, and basil over medium high heat in large sauce pan. When it begins to boil, lower to a simmer and cover. Cook for 10-12 minutes. 
2) Blend with an immersion blender or blend portions of the soup at a time in a blender. Return to original pan. 
3) Mix in greek yogurt, stir a lot to really get it blended in. 
4) Enjoy! 

Ben ate this with chips and a big dollop of queso on top and really enjoyed it. It’s super quick and pretty easy and I just love how the flavors come out after being cooked together. 

Mileage – 4.15 miles, Yoga for Runners, foam roller/tennis ball 

QOD – Commit to be fit. 

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Pressed Juicery Cleanse Recap!

Over the past 5 days I’ve been pre-cleansing, cleansing, and post-cleansing with Pressed Juicery‘s 1-day Cleanse 2. Overall I have to say I absolutely loved it. The cleanse itself was on Wednesday and I spent the 3 days before and the 2 days after prepping for and coming out of the cleanse according to their instructions. I was vegetarian from Friday to Friday only eating fish for the first time in that week last night for dinner. I ate quite a bit of broth throughout the week and some other juices for meals.

Cutting caffeine cold turkey was probably the hardest part. I normally drink two mugs of green tea every morning so I tried to wean myself off by only drinking 1 cup of green tea on Friday and Saturday. Since last Sunday I haven’t had a single drop of tea with caffeine and I’ve felt great every day so far. I also cut alcohol which isn’t hard for me on weekdays but sometimes on the weekends it’s more difficult when my friends and I go out. Last night I had a sip to sample 2 of Ben’s beers but I didn’t get anything for myself which is huge for me at a bar because if I don’t want to drink I will just stay in – I don’t stand up well to peer pressure. 

The juices for the cleanse on Wednesday were SO delicious. I really loved my Root 3 juice with the beet and ginger and the Citrus 2. I have to say I’ve always been a little scared of green juices because despite flavors that sound good I was never sure about the texture but all of the ones I had were delicious. I loved the apple and cucumber hints in the green juices. The almond vanilla drink was really good but I wish I had stuck it in the freezer for a few minutes to thicken it up perhaps because it was a little thin after traveling around all evening in an ice packed lunchbox. My least favorite things were the aloe and chlorophyll waters – just a tinge of funny after taste to the water. 

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I was never tired and almost was less hungry than I usually am midday after orchestra rehearsal. I picked a great day to do the cleanse because I was really busy and juices are the easiest meals out there. Grab, drink, go. I would definitely try the 3 day cleanse if I had the money to do so. I only did my Yoga for Runner’s video the day of my cleanse for time and because I didn’t want to push my body too hard the first time I was cleansing and it was fine for me. 

Speaking of the price – I personally thought it was a great deal because shipping was included. For 72 dollars for the 1 day I received 6 juices which is a little more than $10 a bottle. I added the 2 waters for another $7. However when the cost of shipping a fairly heavy refrigerated box immediately over night is included in the $79 I thought it was a pretty good deal. Theoretically you could do it on your own cheaper, however you have to own a juicer (which despite my considerings I do not) and you have to have the time to make all the juices and clean the juicer a million times. 

I didn’t do the cleanse for weight loss but for those who are curious I lost 2.2 lbs the day of the cleanse, but by this morning I’ve gained 1.4lbs – it is definitely primarily water weight for a 1 or 3 day cleanse. 

Mileage – 7miles, Yoga for Runners 

QOD – We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves…The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom. No one can say, ‘You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that.’ The human spirit is indomitable.

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Fitness Friday!

Tomorrow I’ll do a recap of my juice cleanse, but for today – here are some great fitness related apps, photos, workouts, and links! 

Weight Training

The Nike+ Training App! Sorry men, it’s technically for women. I finally tried this after reading about it on other blogs and I love the 15 minute focus workouts, I haven’t tried the other longer ones yet, but I love that I can listen to music and hear all the instructions right through my headphones so I’m not stopping to read things constantly or need a place to set my phone. 

This great medicine ball workout – every gym has them and they are a great tool anyone can use because there are lots of weights to choose from! 

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Yoga

Yoga for Strong Legs! 

Pre-run hip opener yoga! 

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Running

I love Pumps & Iron’s idea of doing a half marathon all on her own – I definitely need to do that when I’m not training for a specific race. Check out her 8 week training plan and give it a try! 

How to get in outdoor workouts plus runs! Stairs are a great way to build strength and speed after or during a run! 

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Mileage – 3 miles, Yoga for Runners 

QOD – Because weights. 

Why I don’t buy “I don’t have time”

I don’t believe people when they say that they don’t have time to take care of themselves. Not just fitness or eating well, but even de-stressing, spending quality time with family or friends, going to religious services, or just generally doing something that makes you happy is so important to our mental well being. Sometimes several of these things all align and that’s great!!! 

I didn’t think about this too much until Sunday. I had just gotten home from a gig rehearsal when a friend texted me and asked if I had been to Mass yet. I said I hadn’t and he said I should come to 9pm since he was playing. My first thought was yes. My second thought was “you have a paper due at 9am that you haven’t written yet.” It was only 3 pages, but still. So I responded saying I didn’t think I had the time, to which my friend replied that it was only an hour. I knew he was right and I’m really glad I went despite Mass definitely going longer than an hour since it was Palm Sunday. I realized afterwards that I had almost tried to pull my least favorite card of all time – the “I don’t have time” card. 

I firmly do not believe people when they say they don’t have time. That phrase actually means things like “I’m too lazy”, “I don’t want to make the time”, and occasionally “I have other things I need to prioritize higher than this right now.” Obviously it annoys me most when people say they don’t have time to workout. I understand my peers and friends are busy sometimes with other rehearsals, papers, etc when they can’t attend a concert or party, it matters to me when people are “too busy” to take care of themselves. 

Most people do have the time. They don’t choose to make time. I understand I don’t have children or a full time job, however I was raised by parents who were always going to the gym, running, playing tennis, playing golf, and doing all sorts of active things despite having jobs and two kids who enjoyed doing the most time consuming activities as possible (I’m sorry Mom and Dad….). 

Fitness isn’t my career. I’m getting two Master’s degrees simultaneously, working as a graduate assistant, playing gigs regularly…oh and giving a recital in 2 weeks. Despite all this I still manage to get 5 -6 workouts in a week because I MAKE time for it.  I understand making time for something isn’t instant and takes some building of new habits. It took training 7 months for a marathon to engrain the habits in me personally. But once you get there it improves your quality of life greatly, exercise is so important to our physical and mental well being. 

I think it’s all a matter of time management, choosing a healthy lifestyle over nighttime TV or afternoon web surfing. Maybe it involves shortening your shower and waking up a little earlier to squeeze in a morning workout (that’s what I had to do this morning). My dad packs a lunch and works out on his lunch break sometimes. It’s all about choices – you choose how to spend your time. Choose to improve your lifestyle! 

Mileage – Elliptical warm up, Arm Shredder Nike+ workout, rower cool down, abs 

QOD – Just do it.

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Sunday Grubday! (Protein Bar Recipe)

As I mentioned yesterday I will be doing a Pressed Juicery cleanse this week. To clarify, while I did say yesterday that the cleanse is to jumpstart getting off my weight plateau, I do not think in any way that a 1 day juice cleanse will help me lose weight. I understand it’s all water weight and that weight could come back. I’m not a magic pill or secret lose weight fast seekers.

However, I think this cleanse will really help though because I did my research on their website and learned there is eating preparation that you should do so the cleanse isn’t a complete shock to your system. They suggest no refined carbohydrates, no dairy, and going vegetarian the 3 days before you start your cleanse and maintaining that diet 3 days after, eating lots of raw or steamed vegetables, fruits, and soups. This means that there is a whole week of eating that is drastically different than my current eating habits which I think will make a huge difference. 

Cleanses also help reset your body because in my case for the 6 days surrounding the cleanse and the cleanse itself – no alcohol, no sweets, no caffeine. This really eliminates cravings which I’m hoping will help me maintain some new habits easier. I’m generally not a sweets person, most of my cravings are savory, but if I start eating sweets too frequently I do begin to crave them.

So this weeks meals are primarily plant based and everything for the most part is pretty basic. Salads with avocados, steamed asparagus and spinach with broth, and finally on Friday night – FISH! However I do finally have the protein bar mash up recipe!! 

Protein Bar Recipe (no bake – inspired by RunEatRepeat and PeanutButter Fingers)
Ingredients 
– 1/2 cup fresh pressed (or all natural) peanut butter 
– 1/2 cup local honey (local is good for your allergies!) 
– 1 packet vanilla protein powder 
– 1 cup oats 
– 1 1/2 TBSP chia seeds 
– mix-ins! (raisins, dried fruit, coconut, choco.chips) 

Directions 
– Put honey and peanut butter in large microwavable bowl and microwave for 1 minute 
– After heating stir the peanut butter and honey together, once blended stir in the protein powder (I recommend using a plastic spatula to stir)
– Next stir in oats, followed by chia seeds, then finally mix-ins. I think doing this 1 ingredient at a time blends the ingredients better. 
– Line a small cookie sheet (I used my toaster oven baking sheet) with parchment paper and create a rectangle with the batter. 
– Put in freezer, let set for about 45 minutes, cut into bars and wrap in foil to store! 

Mine makes about 6 bars and they stay good throughout the week! 

Mileage – 3.2 miles, Yoga for Runners 

QOD – He that can have patience can have what he will.

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Wonderpot Recipes and 1 week Vegetarian!

This past week at school has been insane – tons of concerts, recitals, my recital hearing, a presentation, short paper, long paper, etc. So I really haven’t had much time to blog. However I managed to sneak in 2 nice and fast runs, my final workout with Camp Gladiator, and a yoga session during my weekdays so all was not lost! 

I tried a great new “wonder pot” recipe – which if you follow the recipe is vegan and all cooked in one pot! YES! I hate doing dishes! It was a spinach and artichoke pasta and the sauce came entirely from simmering and cooking down some vegetable broth – it was really flavorful! My version wasn’t vegan because I didn’t use any mushrooms since Ben and I don’t like them and threw some chunks of chicken breast on top. But it would be just as good without the chicken, it was so cheap and easy to make and super delicious. It is definitely going on the “go-to” tried and loved recipe board I have on Pintrest. 

While I managed to jump start my weight loss this semester I’ve gotten stuck at the same number for about 2 weeks now so I’ve decided to make a change this week and try something totally new! This week I’m going vegetarian and on Wednesday I will be doing a 1 day juice cleanse I purchased from Pressed Juicery! I read SarahFit’s review of the 3 day cleanse and I was mostly interested because some of the juices sound so delicious! I initially wanted to try the 3 day, but I’ve never done a cleanse before and I just couldn’t quite afford the 3 day right now. Considering how they deliver the juices and the fact that the S&H is included in the price I think the cost is incredibly reasonable and I can’t wait to try it and let you all know about my experience!

Mileage – 6.3miles, Yoga for Runners, foam roller

QOD -If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.
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Catch-Up Monday

I finally got my computer back late Friday afternoon and spent the whole weekend playing and listening to some AMAZING music. I played my usual Friday night jazz gig then packed up and went a few blocks away to play another gig. On Saturday I had rehearsal for my recital and went two fabulous recitals – a tuba recital and a cello recital. So many different styles of music and both performers played wonderfully. Then on Sunday morning I watched a great filmed performance of Handel’s opera, Giulio Cesare, followed by another rehearsal, and then played a sweet gig with a friend. We played some classical solo rep and jazz standards then got a great meal and drinks, which are always the best gigs. I swear almost all musicians love food just as much as being paid, it makes a bad gig good and a good gig great!

I managed to squeeze in a run Friday morning and an elliptical workout on Sunday between everything. The recovery time is over though and this week I got right to work with a fast run this morning and I’m planning to start piling on the miles. I have a new goal in mind for May but I’m going to save announcing it until after the insanity of my recital and paper are over. 

In the food world I’ve had a few creative genius moments over the past few days. On Saturday morning I was trying to figure out a way to dress up my eggs for breakfast and all I had left in my fridge were pizza toppings, baby carrots, and kiwi…. So I made PIZZA EGGS.  I chopped up some pepperoni and tossed it in with the eggs just as they were finishing cooking to get some of the flavor in there and heat up the pepperoni. Then I put some grated parmesan on top of the eggs and dipped my forkfuls into some tomato sauce. It was the perfect late brunch. 

Tonight I tried out a new homemade breakfast bar idea and I think it turned out amazing. No-bake protein breakfast bars! I’ll post the recipe tomorrow with photos, but I’m super excited because I tried just a taste before forming the bars and I loved it. 

Time to study like crazy for a String Chamber Literature exam tomorrow (sounds fun right?!?!)

Mileage – 3.75 miles

QOD – You only ever grow as a human being if you’re outside your comfort zone.

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Weight Loss Rights vs Wrongs

Apparently my hard drive crashed on Tuesday despite my computer screen showing that the hard drive was fine. It will be repaired FO FREE! but I won’t get it back until tomorrow afternoon – Oh the horror of being without my laptop for 2 days (that was sarcasm). 

One of my FAVORITE bloggers Monica over at Run, Eat, Repeat wrote this great post on concentrating on the rights of weight loss and healthy habits rather than the wrongs. I want to go run a race in California just so I can meet Monica – I seriously love her blog, all her advice, and her hilarious sense of humor. 

She encouraged people to think about the things they do right when it comes to weight loss rather than focusing the things that they might have messed up on. And she’s dead on in saying we love to focus on the negatives. My usual thoughts when it comes to my weight loss habits: 
“I didn’t work out hard enough today and I still got frozen yogurt. That was dumb. ” 
“I drank alcohol, there goes all my hard work” 
“I can’t eat any sweets until this weekend *proceeds to stare at the bag of chocolate chips meant for cookies and then fails and eats half the bag rather than a normal human portion*” 
“If I don’t count every calorie I won’t see progress” (when I miss one meal I fall off the bandwagon entirely) 

I know all of those thoughts are totally skewed. I love food, I think it is a great joy in life and a way of sharing culture, love, and community. However, I used to have a poor relationship with it because I abused it for a variety of reasons and ways. My relationship with food has finally gotten to a comfortable place for me over the past few months and I’m hoping to maintain that. So I’m going to share with you all the things that I think I do well when it comes to health and weight loss.  

1) I work out 5-6 days a week and I’m really proud of that because it means I’ve made it a priority in my ridiculous double master’s student schedule. 

2) I eat lots of fruits and vegetables. I love citrus, berries, and apples and I even force feed myself 1 banana almost everyday. I choose to eat spaghetti squash and I actually crave lettuce and broccoli sometimes. 

3) I don’t drink any soda. I don’t like the taste of soda (except Ginger Ale which conveniently isn’t very popular so I never ask for it) and so I drink almost exclusively water and herbal teas

oh…and alcohol…  

4) I make 80% of what I eat myself. I’ve really tried to devote myself to the 80/20 clean eating and I can really feel the negative difference internally when I eat out or indulge too much.

5) I eat breakfast everyday, no exceptions. I think this has greatly reduced the binge meals in my life and especially stabilized my eating on the weekend when I tend to swap focus for fun. 

6) This doesn’t relate to food, but I wear facial moisturizer with SPF 15 sunscreen everyday and I feel good about protecting my skin from the sun. 

What are your healthy habits that you’re proud of?? Share them with me! 

Mileage – CG workout, foam roller 

QOD – Be positive, patient, and persistent. 

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