First Time Dog Owners: What We Didn’t Expect

As I took Sadie on a walk this morning, I day dreamed about breakfast.

I was seriously craving eggs and made myself an egg white, cheese and Canadian bacon bagelwich right when we got home.

Egg White + Cheese + Canadian Bacon

I love the Toufayan everything-flavored thin bagels. All of the little seeds add so much flavor and give the bagel a deliciously nutty texture.

Check Out the Goods

Bagelwich

This bagelwich totally hit the spot!

Chomp!

Workout

I was surprised that I had a good workout this morning.

By the time Ryan and I climbed into bed last night I was exhausted. Apparently a weekend of wedding-related decisions, activities and errands took a lot out of me!

As I groggily walked to the gym this morning, I wasn’t anticipating a fantastic workout, so I was pleasantly surprised when I felt a surge of energy during BodyPump.

It felt great to get into the gym after two days off and sweat it out!

I followed up the ‘Pump with a 40 minute walk with Sadie.

Strike a Pose

Yesterday as Ryan and I drove back to Orlando, we started talking about Sadie.

Though my parents had a great dane when I was born, and Ryan’s family owned a cocker spaniel when he was younger, we both basically feel like first-time dog owners.

I asked Ryan what has been the most unexpected thing he has experienced or noticed since Sadie came into our lives and he said he was shocked at how needy Sadie is and how he feels guilty if he doesn’t give her attention.

We both started laughing because we pictured ourselves owning a dog that would sit happily at our feet as we sat in the backyard. Little did we know we’d be blessed with a total nut job!

He then asked me the same question and I said I was shocked about two things.

First, I cannot believe how funny Sadie is. She makes us laugh constantly and I had no idea she’d bring so much joy into our lives.

"I'm a Hoot!"

Second, I had no idea I could love an animal so much. I know it sounds corny, but it’s true! Sadie really does feel like a member of our family and I love her to death.

Question of the Morning

If you are a pet owner, what surprised you the most about owning an animal?

Edamamemole (+ Q & A)

The highlight of my lunch today was a concoction I’ll call edamamemole because it reminded me of guacamole, but it was made with edamame!

To make my edamamemole, I combined Β½ cup of edamame with one wedge of Laughing Cow light original Swiss cheese in the food processor. After pulsing the ingredients several times, I had a bright green mushy mix that spread easily onto a Toufayan thin everything-flavored bagel.

Edamamemole

On the other half of the bagel I spread Robert Rothschild raspberry wasabi mustard for an extra kick of flavor.

Raspberry Wasabi Mustard

Raspberry Wasabi Spread

Along with my edamamemole bagelwich, I enjoyed cucumber slices and fresh strawberries.

Cucumber Slices

Fruit!

The Whole Spread

Q & A Time!

It’s that time again!

Time for another Q & A featuring questions submitted on my Q & A page and through the anonymous question form.

Let ‘er rip! πŸ˜€

What are some creative ways that you eat peanut butter?

Peanut Butter Stuffed French Toast

If you were forced to choose only one condiment that you could eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Mustard.

Have you ever used a personal trainer? Would you recommend it?

I’ve only used a personal trainer one time (which you may read about here), and I absolutely loved it. It’s not a realistic expense for me at the moment and I actually enjoy putting myself through a good workout so I do not use one in my day-to-day life.

I definitely recommend making an appointment with a personal trainer if you’re new to working out or are just learning the ins and outs of strength training. A personal trainer can teach you various exercises and proper form, which may make working out less intimidating for those just getting into an exercise regimen.

What is your favorite perfume?

  • Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana
  • Jadore by Christian Dior
  • Fantasy by Britney Spears (It smells like vanilla!)

For guys I prefer none… Just Old Spice deodorant, please! J That stuff smells magical.

Do you follow package serving size recommendations for frozen pizzas, snack foods, cereal, etc.?

No. Well, I try to, but I find the serving size on most snack foods to be teeny-tiny. I try to stay away from snacking on foods like crackers or cereal because even two servings never seem like enough for me. I prefer to snack on some of the options that I mentioned in my last Q & A.

How often do you drink… I mean more than just a drink with a meal? I find that when I drink I eat gross amounts of unhealthy food. Any tips on how to prevent this?

I do not drink all that often and found that my alcohol consumption definitely decreased as I transitioned from college to the real world (isn’t it that way for everyone? πŸ˜‰ ). My last drink-fest occurred a couple of weeks ago in Chicago during my Bachelorette Party and I loved every minute of it! πŸ˜€ I can assure you that after a night of drinking all of us came home and indulged in multiple servings of chips, dip, peanut butter bars and basically any other junky foods we could get our hands on. It was like a college flash back!

Aside from my bachelorette party, I really do try to make good decisions about the foods I eat when I drink. After a night out, I am often hungry when I get home, but try to snack on food that satisfies my junk-food cravings in a healthier way, such as:

  • 100-calorie packs of microwavable popcorn
  • Whole wheat tortilla with cheese
  • Half of an English muffin pizza
  • Small plate of leftovers from dinner
  • Honey-roasted peanuts

English Muffin Pizza

Have you ever read the book French Women Don’t Get Fat? If so, what did you think of it?

I’ve never read it. Sorry!

I’m trying to gain weight. Can you give me some snack ideas that are high calorie, but won’t make me feel like I’ve eaten too much?

Nuts and nut butters are a great option. It’s so easy to eat multiple portions of nuts, so those looking to gain weight can easily ingest a lot of calories without feeling overly stuffed by including nut butters or trail mixes with a lot of nuts in their diet. Smoothies are a great option as well!

What is your favorite supermarket cookie?

I love “kitchen sink” cookies that include a little bit of everything: chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, oatmeal… the works!

Did you see a change in your abs when you started getting into BodyPump?

BodyPump definitely helps tone your entire body. I naturally gain weight in the lower half of my body, and didn’t really see any major changes to my abs that I can attribute directly to BodyPump, though I definitely “feel the burn” during the abs portion of the class. My stomach looks leanest when I keep up my workouts (total-body strength training + cardio) and maintain a healthy diet.

***

Thanks again for all of your questions! If I didn’t answer your question, check my Q & A page and the links from the Ask Me Anything series.

See ya later for dinner! πŸ˜€

Recharging Your Workout Routine

I feel like I flew out the door this morning! I had a lot on my mind as I set out on my run due to an exciting voicemail I received this morning.

After listening to the message, I heard the voice of my friend Leah all elevated and excited saying that she and her boyfriend Matt had some “big news” to share! They’re in Europe so I had no way of calling her back (though I did leave a voicemail on her cell phone just in case πŸ˜‰ ), but I felt 100 percent positive that the news was going to be that Matt proposed! I checked my email just in case and I was right!!! He proposed in a castle. Romantic, huh!?

I’m SO excited. Leah and Matt are such a fantastic couple. I can’t wait to talk to her and hear all about the proposal. I’m pretty much dying right now since I can’t call her! Ah!!!

Congratulations!!!!

YAYYYYY! πŸ™‚

Morning Run

Another reason I flew out the door this morning was because I was anxious to try out my new running shoes.

"Ready, Ready, Ready, Ready to Ruuun"

Clearly Sadie was pretty excited about our run as well.

We tackled five (blister free!!!) miles.

Stats

(In case you are wondering, I don’t map out a perfect 5-mile route every time. I just stop my watch exactly at five miles and walk for about five minutes to cool down and get back to my apartment.)

I took the guy from Track Shack’s advice and laced up my shoes a little tighter before running. I think this really helped keep my feet secure in the shoes and prevented the formation of any blisters. Sch-weet!

Blister Free, Baby!

I followed up our run with 10 minutes of stretching on my fancy pink yoga mat. πŸ™‚

Breakfast

Twenty minutes after a run my body goes into “give me food NOW” mode. Of course I always obey. πŸ˜€

Today’s breakfast was an egg, cheese and veggie bacon bagelwich.

I used MorningStar Farms vegggie bacon strips, which smelled exactly like bacon as they were cooking and turned out surprisingly crisp in the microwave.

MorningStar Farms Veggie Bacon Strips

I topped a toasted sweet wheat Alternative Bagel with a Laughing Cow light original Swiss cheese wedge, two egg whites and the veggie bacon and scarfed the bagelwich down in no time!

Egg, Cheese, Bacon, Bagel

Protein Packed

Breakfast Bagelwich

Perfect post-run fuel!

Recharging Your Workout Routine

As I was conquering the weekly long run of my half marathon training plan last Saturday I started breaking up the run into “sets” in my mind.

When strength training, we often do several sets of an exercise, and each time we finish a set it feels like a mini-accomplishment. By breaking up my eight-mile run into four sets of two miles in my mind, I felt like I was able to check a “set” off my running list every 18 minutes or so. That was a lot better than waiting more than an hour to feel like I accomplished something!

It was a totally mental thing, but for some reason this new way of thinking really recharged my run. It also got me thinking about other ways to rejuvenate my exercise routine. Since we all get into an exercise rut sometimes, I figured you might be interested in some of my tips for recharging your workout routine:

  • Break up your workout: Rather than doing a lot of cardio one day and strength training on its own the next, combine the two workouts and make them last for two days.
  • Change your location: Get out of the gym and go running, rollerblading or biking or take your dog on a hike. If the gym is your thing, visit a different gym for a week (most gyms offer free weekly passes to “potential members”) or visit one of your gym’s sister locations.
  • Take a new group exercise class: Take a strength training class to learn new weightlifting exercises, or take a cardio class to get your heart rate up while the time flies by!
  • Sign up for a race: Sometimes having a goal in mind can really recharge your workout. Sign up for a 5k or a triathlon and focus your workouts to ensure a strong finish on race day.
  • Take a break: If the thought of exercising makes you feel exhausted and you can’t remember the last time you took more than a day off in a week, you may need a few days off to relax and let your body recuperate from your intense training and active lifestyle.
  • Do a cardio hodgepodge workout: I’m a huge fan of breaking up my cardio workouts into 10 minute spurts on various cardio machines. Spend 10 minutes on the bike, 10 minutes on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the step machine and 10 minutes on the treadmill and watch time fly by!
  • Search for new workouts: Browse blogs or flip through fitness magazines for new workout recommendations. Some of my favorite workouts have come from other bloggers!
  • Update your music: Change up the music on your iPod for instant motivation. A new playlist with upbeat music can really rejuvenate a workout!

Question of the Day

How do you recharge your workouts?

Breakfast Bagelwich + Giveaway!

This post is chock-full of FUN STUFF!

First, your regularly scheduled morning blogging… πŸ™‚

Workout

Today’s workout was very entertaining. I didn’t get bored once, which is a little rare for 50 minutes of straight cardio.

I started my workout on the treadmill with 35 minutes of incline walking and running… All mixed up!

35 minute alternate incline walking + running workout:

35 Minute Incline Walking/Running Workout

After treadmill time, I hopped on the elliptical with Real Simple magazine and cranked out another 15 minutes of light cardio.

Breakfast

Last night Alternative Bagels were buy one get one free at the grocery store, so I snagged two bags of ’em!

I love the sweet wheat bagels. They’re the perfect size and have only 110 calories with 7 grams of filling fiber. Not too shabby for a bagel, huh?

I topped my toasted bagel with Justin’s maple almond butter and sliced strawberries for a yummy breakfast bagelwich.

Justin's Maple Almond Butter

(Half of this pack went directly into my mouth and didn’t quite make it on top of the bagel. πŸ˜‰ )

Almond Butter + Strawberries

Tuesday's Breakfast

It was deeeelish!

CSN Stores $40 Giveaway!

I was a lucky little blogger and won my first giveaway ever when Lisa hosted a giveaway for a credit to CSN Stores. (See, it is possible to win a giveaway!)

CSN Stores

After browsing their site (they literally have everything from barstools to kitchen appliances) I used my credit toward a new vacuum.

Now it’s your turn!

To enter this giveaway for a $40 credit to CSN Stores, simply comment on this post stating which product on their site you would like to have. (I have a feeling you guys will be most interested in the products listed on their Cookware.com site.)

I will randomly select a winner tomorrow morning.

Good luck!!!

Use ‘Em or Lose ‘Em

For lunch today I knew I had to use up some veggies that were threatening to go bad before I abandoned them in my fridge for the weekend and they stunk up the joint.

Well, I guess they wouldn’t really stink, but they would shrivel up a bit and look like wrinkly skin. I’ll deal with wrinkly skin in due time, just not in my fridge… and not when I’m 24.

The looming overly ripe veggies made the decision to make a veggie bagelwich for lunch an easy one.

I toasted a sweet wheat Alternative bagel before spreading it with a French onion Laughing Cow Swiss cheese wedge.

Laughing Cow & Bagel

Cheesy Bagel

I used yellow squash and portobello mushrooms as the “meat” of my bagelwich and dug in.

Veggies

Cheese and Veggie Bagelwich

This was pretty darn good, but I’m glad I had a bowl of my cocoa oats at 11:30 this morning, otherwise I think I’d be hungry in no time.

I’ll see ya later from my parents’ house in St. Pete.

To my family: “Get ready, ’cause here I coooome!