An Early Morning Treat

Every-other Friday, meetings at work bring me in to the office at unreasonable hours. (To be fair, it really wouldn’t be so unreasonable if I worked closer to home…)

In an effort to a) curb some unnecessary spending b) cut my coffee drink calories and c) give me a good reason to get myself ready and out of the door on time on those early days, I’ve made a little deal with myself! Twice a month, on meeting mornings, I allow myself a cup ‘o my precious little Starbucks!

Yesterday, I treated myself to a large (errrr, sorry. A venti) cafe mistoI cannot tell you what a HUGE difference that made in the tone of my morning! It was such a wonderful early Friday kick-off!

 

 

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Hooray for shady car pictures! (Also, don’t be fooled by the light outside of the window. This shot happened pre-6:15 am.)

And now. Get ready. I finally managed to assemble a filling, healthy lunch for myself yesterday that incorporated leftovers from the night before. Yes, I know. Throwing leftovers into a container to bring to work really isn’t a complicated task, but I never, ever manage to do it. (Just read last week’s posts!) I was quite proud.

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That looks pretty disgusting, no? Well let me assure you. It was absolutely delicious. Yesterday’s lunch included a small, breaded pork chop. Mashed potatoes (made with both white potatoes and yams for some added nutrition and a hint of sweetness—sooo good. You MUST try that combo!) and roasted brussels sprouts. I could eat that meal every day for a year.

Unfortunately, I only half-won the Epic Food Battle yesterday. Since it was an especially long day with an evening event and an early meeting, around 3:15, I knew it was time for an afternoon snack, especially since, at that point, dinner was still many, many hours away.

Enter: A whole wheat bagel and peanut butter.

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Bagel.

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Peanut butter.

(Utensils are for losers.)

A little bizarre. Slightly uncivilized, but quite filling and very tasty! One day, I’ll get the whole shebang together: breakfast, lunch, dinner. Maybe some snacks? I can make this happen.

In other (extremely exciting) news, I received a very special present at work:

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A KEYBOARD. A real life keyboard. I know, it sounds stupid, but can I tell you how unreasonably obnoxious the keyboard on my work laptop is? It makes me want to cry every time I type on it for any extended period of time. This new puppy will revolutionize my workdays. Hey, it’s the simple things!

And on that technological note, off I go. I hope you had a great night and I will see you all again soon!

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Caterpillar Convictions

Hello, my friends. I hope your Tuesday was terrific!

My morning was off to a little bit of a bumpy start. About five yards before my exit from the Thruway was up, I realized that I left a couple of semi-important things at home sitting by the front door. As luck would have it, this flustering revelation came in JUST enough time to rattle my cage and I promptly zipped right past my exit! (Yes, again.) Fortunately for me, I was able to turn around pretty quickly and get right back on track. Oy vey.

So now let’s talk about food.

Food:

This morning, I had breakfast waiting for me in the refrigerator. Overnight/ Refrigerator oats have been a BIG deal in the blog world in recent times. I tried it on a couple of different occasions over the summer, but could never really get into it. The texture is a little bizarre and the flavor is… well, complex, but recently, I gave it one more shot and I am hooked. While I’m still not exactly crazy about the oats, I cannot BELIEVE how filling this breakfast is. And on the plus side, you make it ahead (the night before) and leave it in the refrigerator to set up. By the time you’re ready for breakfast in the morning, the consistency is just right and you have yourself the World’s Most Filling Breakfast. Additionally, it’s kind of fun to play with the yogurt flavor/ fruit combinations. Best of all, there are only three ingredients: Greek yogurt, chia seeds (<— remember my obsession with these over the summer? It has returned with a vengeance!), and oats. Easy as pie. You can top ’em off with any of your favorite fruits which will really help the texture factor and also adds some sweetness!

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On a slightly related note, I cannot tell you how wonderful these little split plates are. I found them 2 for $1.50 at the grocery store and they have  revolutionized my life. In this instance, I prepared the DELICIOUS-LOOKING (not.) oats on the larger side and sectioned out some frozen strawberries to thaw in the smaller portion. It works terrifically.

For lunch, I had pretty much the same deal as yesterday: shredded chicken on a sandwich thin:

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It doesn’t look like much, but it packs a flavor punch and once again, is so, so filling. I discovered this chicken “recipe” on a blog a while back and will occasionally return to it. My favorite part is that it’s a make-ahead meal. You can get a few days out of a couple of chicken cutlets and have it ready to go for lunches. We all know that satisfying, simple lunches are my new schtick and this one certainly fits the bill. The next time I make the chicken, I will be sure to post the whole process. It is so, so simple which makes it twenty times better!

I also temporarily reverted to my old habits and finished lunch with dessert:

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I will always and forever love my greek yogurt + banana combo deal.

Dinner tonight came in the form of a sweet potato that I cooked in the microwave. I know you’re jealous.

Also, in the 5ks & Coffee Beans spirit of COFFEE ADDICTION, allow me to introduce you to the bag ‘o beans that has been making my world go ’round for the past couple of weeks each and every morning:

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Source.

Of course, I didn’t discover this coffee until it was on sale at Target, but I was hooked at my first sip. It is a wonderfully bold, spicy coffee that I could drink by the gallon. My travel mug full of this stuff is the only reason I am able to maintain my sanity on the drive to work. This weekend, I returned to Target to stock up and there was only ONE BAG LEFT. And as you may see, it is a LIMITED TIME ONLY flavor. So. Sad. Good old Dunkin’ is already on to their Mixed Berry, Coconut and Strawberry Shortcake flavors! Nonsense.

Let’s skip right along to my workout before we get on to the caterpillar business and namesake for this post!

Workout: 

For sanity’s sake, I decided to come home after work for a bit before heading to the gym. I figured that by pushing it back by a little while, maybe, just maybe, I’d be able to actually procure a treadmill. Or an elliptical. Or a bike. Or a locker. I did! It was, however, incredibly hot. So hot, in fact, that the windows were steamed. Who knows what is going on with that place.

I was feeling pretty tired by the time I finally made my way out tonight, but I committed to two miles on the treadmill and my beloved leg press machine. I zipped through an incredibly mixed up two-mile run/ incline power-walk and then made my way to the leg press. (The man on the treadmill next to me was shooting me mad weird looks as I constantly switched up my incline and speed on the second mile of that run. I think he thought I just didn’t have any idea what I was doing. We won’t tell him that he may have been right! 😛 ) Anyway, I was in and out within half an hour and boy, did I work up a sweat! Despite the fact that, once again, there wasn’t a single woman in the WHOLE facility (25:1), it felt great to get in and out of there without waiting in an awkward treadmill line or being in the midst of 2,000 other people.

And now for some desk drawer wisdom.

When I realized that I was going to have my very own desk and office at this new job, I decided that I wanted to make those spaces as motivating and positive as possible. It may sound silly, but a couple of encouraging words in the midst of a stressful day can actually work wonders on the old psyche.

One of my very favorite proverbs of all time is this guy right here:

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Naturally, I couldn’t pass it by when I found it printed on a magnet a while ago. Over the years, it’s sat in many different places (perhaps most prominently, it was proudly displayed on a couple of my dorm room fridges). And now, it sits on my desk drawer and reminds me that just when things are looking bleaker than bleak, there is something beautiful waiting. I know, I know, it’s a little cheesy, but it is a phrase that has given me hope and insight through some choppy waters and it makes me smile every time I see it.

It’s my very own little Pinterest “inspiration” board right on my desk drawer!

So here’s my question for YOU. What is your favorite proverb/ motivational quote or quip? I have a zillion and one, but I think the caterpillar one will always be one of my very favorites!

Have a fantastic Wednesday and I will talk to you again tomorrow night!