Puerto Rico Adventures!

Back in the spring one of my BFF’s Caitlin and I decided to take a trip to Puerto Rico in the fall. I saved a portion of cash from all my gigs last spring in a piggy bank to save up for the plane tickets (so it wouldn’t get mixed in with my Europe savings) and bought my ticket in August!

We only had 2.5 days together as Caitlin left early Sunday morning and my flight was late that afternoon, but we had an amazing time! We stayed in two different hotels in Candado in San Juan and really enjoyed that part of the city. We had beach access and were in walking distance of most things that we wants to do in the city!

On Thursday we checked into our hotel, showered, changed and went out to explore/eat. We walked from Candado to Old San Juan, which was a bit of a hike, and settled on the cheapest Puerto Rican restaurant we could find. The main meal was probably the worst of the trip but we were starving and the appetizer was really delicious. The first hotel was a little place, nothing special but a good price. After dinner we stopped at an Italian place for drinks, we loved it so much we went there the rest of the trip for after dinner drinks!

IMG_6765.JPG

On Friday, after I went for a brutally hot run, we packed up and rented a car and drove out to El Yunque National Park for hiking, swimming in the waterfalls, and exploring the rainforest. It was about an hours drive and absolutely worth it!!! The views were gorgeous and we wish we could have spent more time there.

IMG_6828.JPG
We drove home, showered and headed out for dinner closer to our hotel, we decided on a Latin restaurant. Our mojitos came and they were very weird and our least favorite drinks of the trip so we were very nervous we had made a terrible mistake. But the mofongo was AMAZING. It was absolutely delicious and we were relieved.

IMG_6802.JPG
On Saturday we went to Old San Juan to shop around but lost of stores weren’t really open yet, which was disappointing. We had delicious mallorca sandwiches for breakfast and packed up at our hotel, and walked down the street to the La Concha resort. My dad had gotten us a night there with his Marriott points and it was an amazing hotel. I HIGHLY recommend it!

We sat out on the beach Saturday afternoon and then walked down to the lagoon and went stand up paddleboarding which was sooo much fun!

IMG_6844.JPG

We had dinner at a fabulous Cuban restaurant and finished the night off with dessert and drinks at our favorite Italian place (di Parma’s).

Sunday morning Caitlin left and I ran on the treadmill and lifted some weights in the gym before an awesome breakfast and a last few hours on the beach.

It was fabulous and I already miss it!

Mileage – yoga, rest day

QOD – Relax.

Helloooo October! (1 week late)

Yesterday was the final performance of Baylor’s production of Into The Woods! I was playing in the pit, which made for a crazy two weeks since we had only 1 night off in the almost two week run (we had tech rehearsals the first few nights of week 1). It is an amazing show though and I had a blast playing Sondheim’s music! I’m pretty excited for the movie coming out in December! Anyone else?! Official Trailer in case you haven’t seen it!

During the show I managed to get in all of my weekday runs and workouts except 1, I was just too exhausted that morning. Most importantly, I ran a 9.25 miler and a 12.5miler on the two Saturdays. I knew if I didn’t make it through the show weeks my training plan might be ruined – but I survived!
I’ve also been working on a scholarship application for a possibility after graduation, which is due THIS week. On top of class, recital prep, and thesis writing. So it’s been pretty insane in my world, but hey I’m a busy bee kinda-gal.
But I made one healthy meal for my lunches this week that is super delicious so I had to jump on here and share. Honey Lime Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Corn. I made this sweet potato taco filling sans honey, and I am eating it on it’s own with some avocado and it’s just too good!
I also made an incredibly delicious and easy breakfast pastry (not clean but not too terrible for you). Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. I didn’t use all the butter and I didn’t make the frosting, which makes them a smidge healthier. I only kept 3 out and froze the rest to have for breakfast the next 2 or so weeks.
Mileage – 7 miles
QOD – “So many people are insanely busy nowadays, and it’s easy to say, ‘Ah, I’ll workout tomorrow.’ But you have to set aside a time and stick to that schedule.”

laziness therapy copy

New Recipe Favorites!

The past 4 days I’ve been working like crazy for my assistantship (auditions and making orchestra folders) and at my new part time job (bookstore so we’ve got textbook mania going on right now). BUT I’m hoping as I settle into a schedule I can make my blogging more consistent.

I’ve been chipping away at my runs – most sitting in the 3-4 mile range as I readjust to 80 degree heat even at 6am and making sure my legs are healthy and ready for marathon training. Mileage buildup for pre-training prep starts again this week! 

I’ve also been cranking out new recipes and I have two awesome ones to share. 

First is a collection of smoothie recipes and tips on freezing them! I made 3 weeks worth – and while I LOVE the recipes and the concept – I don’t have quite the time once I get into the semester to blend one up every morning and make sure the blender is clean for the next day (you have to dry it fast or the fruit cakes on, even while soaking). I’ve been eating them with my muffin tin eggs but I may go back to something I can have fully cooked on Sunday and just grab and go every morning once I run out of all my smoothies. I love the smoothies because I control all the ingredients in them – I even eliminated the apple juice and water as my liquids and have just been using fresh pressed orange juice for all of them. 

The second is one of my dinners for this week and I am possibly now obsessed with this dish. Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad! My only changes were that I used a microwave steam bag of broccoli since I had it on had and I used just bottled buffalo sauce because it’s a personal favorite – I also may have added extra cabbage and carrots. I love all the veggies mixed into the salad, the protein, and I get all the taste of buffalo wings (a personal favorite) without the frying and creamy bleu cheese dressing! Plus it made enough for 5 meals for me easily. It also cooked up quick – I had everything ready to go in 30 minutes. 

Not the prettiest but dang delicious
photo

Time to get back to practicing! 

Mileage – 3.3 miles, Nike+ Training “Sculpted Arms” workout

QOD – Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
IMG_5276

Sunday Grubday – European Style!

Sorry for going MIA upon my return – I was working and spending lots of time with family and friends! I’m currently at my family’s happy place – Bethany Beach! But onto the post I previously promised…

The food in Paris and Italy. Yep, I miss it already. The funny thing about eating overseas is I can eat out daily (although I didn’t), never have any stomach problems, and eat all the foods that I love but rarely eat in the States – aka carbs, carbs, and more carbs.

A well picked restaurant means fresh ingredients and all the processed nonsense that messes with my body in the US just isn’t in the food – but even European processed food is usually cleaner than American. I didn’t eat out everyday because I honestly couldn’t afford that and a good portion of the trip there was no need!

In Paris we went out to one fancy dinner the first night and for a few days I lived off sandwiches from a bakery and fruit I bought at the store. I usually ate a hearty breakfast of yogurt, fruit, “granola bar” things, and fresh cheese. The last few days all my lunches and dinners were fruit, some cucumber, and sandwiches I made myself from a loaf of bread, world’s best goat cheese, and simple sausage I picked up in stores in St. Germain-de-pres.
IMG_5787

IMG_5899

I found these stores through an interview with Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) where she listed her favorite shops in her Paris neighborhood! I’m not joking, the cheese was seriously the best goat cheese I’ve ever eaten and despite it’s cost I would go buy it again in a heartbeat and it lasted for 6 or 7 meals!

In Assisi we were provided a huge breakfast spread every morning by our hotel. I usually ate eggs, fruit, and granola in pineapple yogurt (no really it’s delicious) or a croissant with hazelnut spread. The croissants were baked during the night and we could always smell them when we came in for the night!

For lunch I bought peanut butter, bread, and fruit, and would snag something snacky from breakfast and that lasted me about 10 days. When that ran out I would go to the local market and get an amazing sandwich with fresh sliced meat and cheese for less than 3€!

Our dinners were really something. We had many courses with bread always on the table to start. Then antipasto, a soup and pasta OR two pastas, then a meat, cooked vegetable, raw vegetable, then a small digestif salad before dessert. The desserts were usually something you can serve a large amount of people quickly so we would of course have gelato after the last concert. The antipasto, pasta, and soups were usually my favorite dishes. I also LOVED the raw tomatoes – which normally I don’t like – and amazingly fresh watermelon we were frequently served.

I saved my real pizza eating for Rome because the pizza in Assisi was more American style with a thick crust. I love truly thin crispy crust and pizza Diavola, with spicy salami and cheese, is my absolute favorite. I ate at least 5 pizza diavolas during my 7 days in Rome and tried a few other pizzas as well. I also got pasta and sandwiches.

IMG_6252

One odd thing I noticed now that I was paying for my own meals in Paris and Italy is how insanely expensive salads usually are! I mostly ate carbs and protein because a salad menu could start at 15€! I definitely will be enjoying lots of greenery over the next few days because I’ve missed my leafy greens.

If you can buy, store, and make your own sandwiches, meals, etc with fresh local ingredients while traveling in Europe I highly recommend it! It’s not only cheaper but you’re eating like the locals rather than possibly getting trapped at a touristy restaurant.

Sorry, but not really, I just rambled about my eating for the past month – but for me it was way out of the norm, delicious, and something I wanted to share!

Post coming soon about some running updates!

Mileage – probably a gym day, not sure yet!

QOD – Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is of great importance to the morale.

Running when you’re sick

I know I’ve tackled this subject once before because the beginning of last summer I decided to do a running streak and I was punched in the face by a cold and had to take a few days off.  

I said I was going to run 4 miles yesterday but I didn’t because I was too busy blowing my nose and coughing. I managed to sleep last night without NyQuil and when I woke up this morning my sinuses felt much clearer so I headed out for my run. I had mentioned I planned on doing 9 miles today, but my body wasn’t there yet and that’s okay. I managed to stay out there for 55 minutes, with three 3 min walk/cough up gross stuff breaks. 

So should you run when you’re sick? How do you get back into it?  

Well the rule I hear the most is that if you have a fever DO NOT workout. Your immune system is fighting off whatever you have in overdrive and exercise will only make things worse. Another rule to go by is the “neck rule” – if there are symptoms below the neck then take time off, if the symptoms are purely in your head such as a runny nose you are fine to workout.

However, according to some researchers whether you should workout or not depends on the severity of the cold and head sickness. Because I had facial pressure, headache, and a chest cough I chose to use the 72 hour rule and take 3 days off from running. Here is a great article from Runner’s World – Should You Run When You’re Sick?

Now to tackle how to get back into running when you’ve taken those few days off.

This time around I was lucky because Friday was my usual day off so I only missed 2 regular running days. Today I eased back into it by running longer chunks of time integrated with walk breaks, bringing water, and going a little slower. I ran for 17 min, walked 3, ran 12, walked 3, ran 7, walked 3, ran 10. By the end I still felt like I had worked hard but I didn’t think I had over worked my respiratory system. Some people go by the 50% intensity rule after a sickness – here is an article on that! 

Tomorrow is only 3 miles and weights so I hope to be able to do that run without stopping just a tad bit slower than usual and be back to my normal running self by Wednesday or Thursday! 

I just ate a delicious mixed berry, banana, and greek yogurt smoothie and an egg while typing this up so now it’s time to do my running yoga and get ready for the rest of the day. Happy Monday! 

Mileage – 5 miles, yoga

QOD – To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. (Buddha) 

Image

 

Not my recipe, but equally delicious! 
Image

Sunday Grubday (2 Recipes)

This past week’s awesome meal was definitely the massive chuck roast that made 4 night’s dinner for Ben and I! I used the Mississippi Roast recipe from Table for Two.

We ate the roast along with baked potatoes and fresh green beans! I’m so glad green bean and corn season has begun! Corn on the cob and grilled green beans are two of my favorite summer dishes.

I’ve been trying to find more recipes for the crockpot for meat besides chicken because while I LOVE chicken, I like to mix things up. This beef recipe was perfect. We’re trying another one later this week – but I’m not sure how it will work out so I’ll save that one to share later if I approve.

However tonight we’re going back to chicken and this pesto chicken sounds (and already smells) delicious – here is the recipe!

I’ve been fighting a seriously nasty cold this week so I had to take yesterday off so I’ve moved my long run to Monday since I don’t have classes. Hopefully I’ll be able to breathe better tonight while I run.

Mileage – 4 miles, yoga, foam roller

QOD – ‘Tis healthy to be sick sometimes.

Image

Image

 

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. 

Image

Image

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. 

ImageImage

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.

Image

Image

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.

Image

Image

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.
realfoodriserun