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.”

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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.
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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.

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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.

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.

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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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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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Cajun Sliders Recipe and Tuscan Soup Recipe!

This week I made Cajun Sliders from a recipe I pulled out of a magazine. The recipe called for half ground beef and half ground turkey. But to clean it up I just used a whole pound of 99% lean ground turkey and it still tasted amazing.

Here is an image of the recipe page!

The best part was how easy the meal was. I was done in 20 minutes. I broiled my red peppers in my toaster oven for about 6 minutes while the sliders were done cooking in under 10 minutes. Talk about FAST. I was able to make the meal, serve up Ben’s plate and cover it with foil for him to eat later and wrap mine up and take it to go in no time. I served it with peas because I LOVE peas and the extra red peppers that didn’t fit on the sliders. We used whole wheat slider rolls and I halved the mayonnaise in the sauce to make it even healthier.

Now onto the Tuscan Soup! I’ve been eating soup everyday for lunch for the past 6 weeks or so and the weight I’ve been struggling to get rid of that I gained when I started grad school has just fallen off (more on that another day)!

Soup plus fruit, and sometimes a veggie if the soup doesn’t have a substantial amount of veggies, is my lunch 5 days a week and I think it works wonders. The past few soups I’ve pulled from my Weight Watchers cookbook and I loved them – this week is no exception. Here is a link to the soup I made this week (I used wine instead of water, which is in the cookbook!). I also split this soup into 4 portions and I have only needed to eat this and a piece of fruit to be totally full for hours.

Today’s workout was a 5:30 am Camp Gladiator workout with lots of running, lunges, squats, and resistance. I have a strong feeling my glutes are going to be a little sore tomorrow. Tonight I’m also going to do some yoga because I’m getting a massage this afternoon before a concert and I want to go to bed reaping all the relaxing benefits of my massage. I HIGHLY recommend massages for musicians and athletes alike – I feel like my whole body functions better after an intense full body massage! 

Mileage – CG workout, Yoga for Runners

QOD – Eating crappy food isn’t a reward — it’s a punishment.

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Recovery Week and Upcoming Recipes!

After the strenuous race on Saturday, this week has been a recovery week! And a fun past few days because I got to see the JMU Women’s Basketball team in the NCAA tournament in College Station, TX! While they lost in the 2nd round, they won their first NCAA tournament game since 1991 (which is before some of the team members were born!) and really gave A&M a run for their money in the 2nd round game. I was so excited to watch my favorite JMU sports team play live again and hear the Pep Band – proud alum right here! That band is always amazing and makes every opponents fans fall in love with them because they are THAT good. 

I did my Yoga for Runners on Sunday and Monday morning and Tuesday I did a CG workout. For the most part I actually felt pretty good on Tuesday. I think making sure I wear my compression socks, doing yoga, and foam rolling immediately following a long run makes a huge difference in how I feel after a rough long run. 

Today was supposed to be my first run since the race, but I’m truly exhausted. I’ve hardly slept the past 48 hours and I may have accidentally given myself food poisoning with a bad bag of lettuce….oops. And since it was raining and cold – I have no time to get sick, my recital is 1 month away! – I decided to take it easy today and just go hard tomorrow morning in my CG workout and get a run in on Friday which is my normal rest day. I definitely need to get a full night’s sleep the next few nights to get my body readjusted. I’m normally pretty serious about getting proper sleep (but sometimes it must be sacrificed)!

I missed Sunday Grubday, but tomorrow I HAVE to post this delicious recipe I pulled out of a magazine (probably years ago) and finally tried for the first time this week. Cajun “Sliders” with broiled red peppers. OH MAN. The recipe called for a mix of ground beef and ground turkey but I was sneaky and used 99% lean turkey and the meat seasoning did an amazing job of flavoring. Ben loved it and had no idea that it was ground turkey! I’ll also try to find a link to the delicious (and Weight Watchers) Tuscan sausage soup I’ve been eating for lunch this week.

Mileage – Rest day!

QOD – Some people train knowing they’re not working as hard as other people. I can’t fathom how they think. (Alberto Salazar)

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Sunday Grubday – with St. Patrick’s Day Recipes!

My 3 week meal planning project is 1/3 of the way complete! Yesterday was a cooking for fun kind of day and I made a recipe out of the Giada cookbook (this one!) that my parents gave me for Christmas! I made her ceviche and tomato-avocado salad! 
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My thoughts on the dish:
1) I love ceviche, and while she recommended halibut I couldn’t find any so I used sole and I would have preferred a thicker fish. 
2) The ceviche “cooks” for 3 hours in the citrus juice and I think that was a bit too long – the lime was a little over powering! 
3) I LOVED the tomato and avocado salad, I don’t like tomatoes all that much and I still thought it was really fresh and a great vehicle for the ceviche 
4) Overall I would definitely make the dish again but I would hold out searching for the right thickness of fish and maybe marinate for a little less time. 

THEN to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day I made Guinness Extra Stout brownies! You can find the recipe HERE – I originally found the recipe through Pintrest. I wanted to make cupcakes with beer but the only recipe I had required a few too many ingredients and was pretty labor intensive which I didn’t have time for. These brownies do have a few steps – but they are totally worth it. They aren’t as cakey as other brownies which I love because I’m not a huge cake fan and they have the aftertaste of a dark stout which makes them all the better for St. Patrick’s Day! Gorgeous brownie photo:
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While I didn’t totally plan on it I’m making all my lunches this week pretty green with my Weight Watchers Cookbook Split Pea soup (here’s a link to the recipe) talk about a seriously easy recipe!! Plus my dinner tomorrow and Wednesday (which is also out of Giada’s book) is grilled tofu with a beautiful green avocado cream sauce. 

I’m making some really delicious foil packets this week for dinner with Ben so be on the lookout for that recipe!!! 

Mileage – 7.5 miles 

QOD – Real athletes run, others just play sports. (I find this quote hilarious mostly because almost every sports player has to run at some point in their athletic career)

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