Oooh Monday

Oh Monday, you’re here again.

A Lil' Tinkle to Start the Week

Here’s the truth, Monday: I pretend to hate you to fit in with the people at work who sigh “Ahh, Monday” in the elevators. If I’m being honest though, I don’t mind you so much. (You may see my “day of the week rankings” here. 🙂 )

I like how Mondays always reset my healthy living goals after a weekend of more indulgent eating (hello soft serve x 1,000, cookies, apple crisp, wine, etc.). I also love Mondays motivate me to have a great workout right off the bat to start my day off on the right foot.

Workout

My Monday morning workout was a good one! I began my workout by taking a BodyPump class and followed it up with 20 minutes of light cardio on the elliptical with a wedding magazine.

Wedding magazines and celebrity gossip magazines are my gym-readings of choice because they’re full of pictures so I don’t have to slow down my workout to read anything. Whenever I catch myself reading, I always notice that my pace slows and my workout suffers a bit.

Breakfast

After my workout and a quick 20-minute with with Miss Sadie, my stomach was ready for some sustenance.

I made myself a big ol’ bowl of chocolate yogurt mousse topped with blueberries and sliced strawberries.

Berries + Chocolate Yogurt Mousse

Deeelish

This chocolatey concoction was the perfect healthy start to the workweek!

Eat Up!

Questions of the Morning

  • What is your favorite day of the week?
  • What is your least favorite day of the week?

Back to the (Healthy) Grind

Clearly my bachelorette party weekend was full of fun… but it was also full of cocktails, deep dish pizza, ice cream, chips and dip, peanut butter bars and more.

I had one of the most amazing weekends of my life (thank you so much to my wonderful friends!), but it definitely does feel good to be back in Orlando, submersed in my normal healthy habits and surrounded by lots of love from Ryan and Sadie. I missed my little family! 🙂

Workout

I flew out of bed this morning excited to head to the gym and do a workout of my choice! For the first time in almost two months, my Tuesday morning did not have to start off with a 5-mile run. I loved feeling the freedom from following my half marathon training planning plan. I completed a sweaty cardio workout by spending 20 minutes on the arc trainer, followed by 30 minutes on the elliptical.

Breakfast

Breakfast was also a healthy meal, comprised of chocolate yogurt mousse and fresh summer berries.

Greek Yogurt + Chocolate Pudding Mix

Summer Berries

I made the chocolate yogurt mousse by combining Greek yogurt with chocolate pudding mix, which made the yogurt take on a sweet flavor and a thick and indulgent texture.

Spoonful of Healthy Tastiness

Thick + Chocolatey

Great Start to the Day!

This breakfast was delicious and I think it would also make a fantastic healthy dessert (possibly served with a slice of angel food cake? 😉 ).

It feels good to start the day on a healthy note after such an indulgent (and wonderful) weekend!

Also, I missed you guys!!! I’m happy to be back and back to a normal bloggin’ schedule. 🙂

Question of the Morning

Do you maintain a healthy lifestyle on vacation, or do you take the time away from daily life to indulge?

Oh Look, We’re Matching!

When I headed off to college, I planned on becoming a teacher.

ABC... Easy as 1, 2, 3

During my senior year of high school I immersed myself in childhood education courses and took a child development class which I absolutely loved. In the class, each high school student was assigned a preschooler to work with throughout the semester.

According to a temperament theory based on a study conducted in the 1950s, my preschooler, Max (who I adored), fell into the “slow to warm up” category of temperaments. He was shy and tended to withdraw from social situations with other kids.

He became quite attached to me, but had a hard time coming out of his shell around others. One way I could get him to approach other children was to point out similarities he shared with them.

“Oh look! Jason is wearing a yellow shirt just like you!”

Max would get so excited and would muster up the courage to tell Jason about the awesome thing they had in common.

I think this experience really stuck with me because I still point out obvious similarities in my day-to-day life. If two people come to work and they’re both wearing a red shirt and jeans, I feel the need to point it out to them.

Today I was quite matchy-matchy myself… with my coffee tumbler. 😀

We Match!

Though my drink and I were a match made in heaven this morning, my breakfast failed to include the color coral and didn’t really mesh with my ensemble.

Breakfast

Today my morning meal was a fast favorite.

Monday Morning Breakfast

I made myself a yogurt bowl with Greek yogurt,  fresh blueberries and Gerber Graduates banana puffs because I’m a kid at heart. 😉

Banana Puffs

Little Darlin', Stir it Up

Just a Spoonful of Yogurt Mush Helps the Medicine Go Down...

Fast. Simple. Satisfying.

That’s how I roll.

Please Help!!!

Do any of you out there know how to publish photos with captions through Windows Live Writer??? I can’t figure it out for the life of me! (Clearly this post was not published through WLW because my photos have captions. I need my captions!)

Question of the Morning

Did you ever change your major in college?

I changed my major a couple of times.

Education –> Psychology –> Advertising & Public Relations

Asiago Cheese Please + Q & A Fun

Sometimes a totally random purchase at the grocery store makes an entire meal taste devine.

Yesterday’s impulse buy was a container of Connoisseur Asiago cheese spread, which I purchased for around $3.50.

Since most gourmet cheese costs upwards of $5, I nabbed this little baby on the cheap!

Asiago Cheese Spread

I incorporated the cheese spread in my lunch by making myself an Asiago and tabbouleh sandwich on a Thomas’ light wheat English muffin.

Cheesy Muffin

Topped with Tabbouleh

On the side I enjoyed fresh blueberries, Emerald smoked almonds and a sliced red pepper.

Blubes

All Together

Tasty!

Q & A Fun

I finally got around to answering the anonymous questions you guys submitted to me through my Q & A Page over the past two months. Thanks for submitting questions! I had a fun time answering them and hope I addressed all of  your lingering curiosities below!

If I didn’t address a question you have on your mind, feel free to email me, post a question below in the comments section or ask an anonymous question by clicking here.

Alright, let’s get to it!!!

I noticed you add a lot of protein powders to your breakfast. Do you do that daily? Would you recommend anyone working out a certain amount to add whey protein powder to their diet? What kind do you think is best?

I do not consume protein powders daily, but I will add them to a smoothie or to a bowl of oatmeal on occasion to help me feel fuller longer. I like the convenience of protein powder and enjoy the creaminess and flavor the addition of protein powder adds to smoothies. I do not think anyone needs to include protein powder in their diet by any means. I will often go weeks without adding protein powder to any of my meals, but if you’re looking for an easy way to sneak protein into your diet and feel fuller longer, it’s a great option! My favorite protein powder is All the Whey and my favorite flavors are chocolate peanut butter cup, cupcake batter and strawberry.

How much gum do you chew per day?

Apparently someone caught on to my intense love for gum. 😉 I am a gum-a-holic and probably chew 6 to 8 pieces a day. I usually chew two pieces of gum at a time. My favorite flavors are Orbit White bubblemint and Orbit strawberry mint.

How many calories do you usually consume for each meal? Do you count calories? I think one day on your blog you should post everything you eat with calories and fat grams noted.

I do not count calories, but estimate that most of my meals have around 300 calories, though my dinner is generally larger and may have closer to 500 calories. Though 300 calories may not seem like a lot to some people, I eat constantly and typically do not go more than three hours without eating, so I never feel hungry. I’ve actually had a couple of requests for a “day in the life” post that includes all of the food I consume in a day with a nutritional breakdown, so I’ll definitely look into that.

Do you restrict carbs?

No.

Do you snack during the day? It seems like you don’t eat that much in meals with as much as you work out!

Yes, yes, yes. I eat five to six times every day and only post the three meals I consume at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I always eat a morning snack and an afternoon snack and will often eat a little something after dinner as well.

Any advice on slimming legs?

Pssssh, I wish I knew! 😉 My hips and legs are my “thicker” areas, but I am slowly realizing that this is because of my body type and isn’t something I can change. What has worked the best for me is incorporating weights and strength training into my routine to help add tone and strength to my legs. Exercises like squats, lunges, step ups and deadlifts are great for toning the legs. If you’re more interested in fat loss, adding some cardio to the mix is a great way to burn extra calories as well. Also, keep in mind the importance of healthy eating. All the cardio and weight lifting in the world won’t change your body shape dramatically if it’s paired with a diet full of cupcakes and ice cream (though I wish it would 😉 ).

What size jeans do you wear?

I wear size 28 jeans.

Do you exercise every single day?

Nope. I typically workout six days a week. You may see my exercise log here.

Did you have any part-time jobs during college?

Yes. I held various part-time jobs throughout college, including working as a public relations intern, public relations coordinator, marketing intern, UCF tour guide and restaurant hostess.

When did you and Ryan move in together? And any advice on living with a guy?

Ryan and I started dating in February 2004 and moved in together a year after I graduated college in May 2008. My best advice on living with a guy is to constantly communicate. This is something Ryan definitely taught me because I tend to “shut down” when I am upset and try to deal with it myself. I’ve learned that this only allows angry feelings and resentment to fester and it’s so much better to throw any issues or problems out on the table and discuss them immediately.

You seem to have the early morning workout routine down pat. Any tips to streamline the morning and make it easier to do it consistently?

Yep! I actually did a post on this which you may see here.

Where are your workout pants with the pink band from?

I am assuming you’re talking about these pants, which I ordered online from Victoria’s Secret.

What do you think of the Insanity and P90x DVDs?

I’ve never tried them myself, so I do not have an educated opinion about the programs, but I think any workout routine that you enjoy that motivates you to exercise is a good one.

What was your major in college? Did you have a job right after graduating?

I majored in advertising and public relations in college (marking minor) and began working the week after I graduated at the Orlando Museum of Art as a public relations and marketing assistant.

How do you manage stress? You mentioned in an earlier Q&A that you are happy almost all of the time. I usually am… until I get stressed!

Stress is such a difficult thing to control and manage. I find that making a list of everything I have on my plate is helpful. I put everything on the list… even small things like going to the grocery store. Then I take the time to physically cross off each item as it’s done. The list not only helps me see everything I need to accomplish, which helps me prioritize what needs to be done first, but crossing off the items as I finish them really helps me feel like I’m getting somewhere.

When stress is caused by something I cannot simply cross off a list, I ask myself “Will this be an issue in a week? In a year?” More often than not, the answer is “no,” and realizing the issue is not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things really helps to calm me down.

In your breakfast barley bowls, how much barley do you use? How much yogurt and how much fruit?

I usually use 1/2 c. cooked barley, 1 c. Greek yogurt and a large handful or two of berries.

Better Late Than Never

Ryan is the alarm clock guy in our house. He sets it, turns it off and is basically the master of the annoying morning buzzer.

Unfortunately Ryan forgot to change the alarm time from 6:30 a.m., which is what if was set for on Friday, to 5:30 a.m. this morning. Around 6:15 a.m., I heard an “Uh oh…” from his side of the bed when he realized his mistake.

Though I was a little disappointed about missing my typical 5:45 a.m. BodyPump class, I still figured I could get in a decent workout on my own. We arrived at the gym 45 minutes later than usual, but hey – better late than never, right?

My morning workout looked like this:

Total-Body Weights Workout

(Once again, the weight noted is the total weight used. Ex: I used two 15 lb. dumbbells for chest press, totaling 30 lbs.)

I alternated the exercises in groups of two (super-sets), up until leg extensions. (Ex: I did one set of step ups, then one set of shoulder raises before repeating the sequence two times to complete the exercises).

Post-Work out Walk

After the gym, Ryan joined me and Sadie on our morning walk.

Typical Morning Walk

Special Guest

It was such a treat to have some extra time with him in the morning.

I think Sadie was more than thrilled to have the extra company as well.

Breakfast

Breakfast this morning was a good one!

I started with a yogurt bowl that included fresh blackberries and blueberries.

Yogurt Bowl

I topped the mix with Gerber Graduates strawberry apple puffs. Yes, it’s baby cereal, and yes, it’s delicious. 🙂

Close Up

I also enjoyed a homemade chocolate chip muffin that I made last night.

When I went to my friend Laurel’s apartment to hang out yesterday, our friend Merri brought over a ton of food from her pantry since she and her boyfriend are in the process of moving, and I nabbed the muffin mix!

Chocolate Chip Muffin

When I made the muffins, I added a bunch of white chocolate chips to the mix for some additional chocolate flava.

Moist and Chocolatey

And I should probably add that a peanut butter finger was also enjoyed this morning. 😉

Typical

Pretty darn tasty!

Messy Mango

I learned something very important this morning.

If a mango is squishy it will be a huge pain in the tookus to cup up.

Mango Mess

I had juice and mushy fruit everywhere.

I’d say about a third of the mango actually made it into my breakfast bowl. I slurped the remaining fruit right off the big pit. It wasn’t attractive, but it was tasty!

I added two handfuls of blueberry and a big scoop of Fage Greek yogurt to the mango to complete my breakfast.

Mangos + Blueberries

Fage Greek Yogurt

Fruit + Yog

After stirring everything up, I dug in!

Ready for Eatin'

I thought the texture of the mango might be slightly off-putting when combined with the yogurt, but surprisingly it blended very well added the sweet, fresh taste of summer to the bowl.

Workout + Snack

The mango yogurt bowl was actually my second breakfast of the day.

I scarfed down my first breakfast shortly after I completed a five mile run with Sadie.

My first meal included a pack of Brothers-All-Natural apple crisps with a cup of Publix coconut créme pie yogurt.

Apple Crisps

Coconut Yogurt

I almost always stick to Greek yogurt as my yogurt of choice because it’s packed with protein, extra thick and contains ingredients I understand, but at the grocery store last night this lil’ coconut guy was calling to me.

The coconut-lover in me just couldn’t resist and though the yogurt contains a list of sketchy ingredients, it still tastes pretty phenomenal. 🙂

Breakfast number one was a great end to a great run.

Though it was still nearly 80 degrees outside, it didn’t feel as hot as it did on our runs last week. Hallelujah!

Here are our stats:

5 Mile Stats

After our run, before digging into my first breakfast, I took 10 minutes or so to stretch on my brand new yoga mat!

Pink is Pretty

I actually stretched my way through the second half of the Bachelorette last night as well.

I think having a yoga mat readily available will make it much easier for me to stretch whenever I feel the desire. Since hardwood floors cover our apartment, I never want to sit down on such a hard surface to stretch. Hopefully this little purchase will help me incorporate some much-needed stretching into my day-to-day life.

Question of the Day

Do you do any fitness-related activities in your home? DVDs, stretching, weights, etc.?

Ryan’s First Fish

Our dinner tonight was extra special because my he-man fiancé speared it himself!

Hogfish

On Saturday, Ryan and my dad went spear fishing. It was Ryan’s first time trying the sport and he successfully nabbed a hogfish!

Trophy Fish 😉

Gotcha!

Check out the teeth on this bad boy!

Chompers

Ryan said he had to shoot it in self defense. 😉

When they returned from their big adventure, my dad showed Ryan how to filet a fish, and we were left with two filets to enjoy for dinner tonight.

I was left with the task of making the fish taste good and wanted to be sure to highlight the flavors of Ryan’s big catch with some yummy seasonings.

Since I love Old Bay on basically any seafood, I figured using that seasoning was a good way to go.

After sprinkling the hogfish with Old Bay, I broiled it for about eight minutes, until the fish flaked with a fork.

Fresh Catch

On the side we enjoyed roasted broccoli and fresh blueberries.

Dinner

Fresh Bluebs

This dinner was quite appropriate for the first day of summer, huh?
 
Freshly caught fish and fresh berries simply scream summer!
 
Question of the Evening
 
In your opinion what food screams summer?
 
In my mind nothing screams summer like watermelon! 😀