Pizza Muffins and MIA Earbuds

Today was a strange little day indeed. First off, I had to wake up at the crack ‘a dawn for an appointment. Much to my dismay, it wasn’t at the typical location which meant that I had to drive all over and PAY FOR PARKING. Very uncool.

I had been planning to take Chloe to my gym with me while she was home for break and we decided to do that today, but for some reason, when I got back home this morning, I was so tired that I could barely think about standing up straight, let alone dragging myself through a workout. I bummed around the house, took a nap and then met Chloe for a workout around noon.

Of course, as soon as we swiped our cards, I realized that I didn’t have my earbuds and because I have the motivation of a SLUG when I don’t have my jams blasting in my ear, I actually raced home to grab them. The fact that I can only make it about .1 miles without tunes is the perfect illustration of what I have always known: running road blocks are ALL in your mind. Granted, there comes a point where you really are burnt out and simply can’t go on, but that doesn’t happen quickly for most people.

When I returned, the floor was packed. It really does something to my mojo when there are people lurking around EVERY corner. I also hate being that person who leaps onto the elliptical/treadmill that is parked between two other people just because it’s the only one free! Despite that, I managed to get a good workout completed that included 20 minutes at a pretty quick clip on the elliptical followed by a cardio/ ab circuit routine and I thoroughly enjoyed both!

I intended to complete the Best Body Boot Camp workout today, but once I got to the gym, I realized that there were actually several moves that I had no idea how to do and I failed to look at the demo videos before heading out this morning! I shall try again tomorrow!

Next, we decided to try for a walk along the canal path nearby, but unfortunately despite the fact that it was a perfectly beautiful day (perfect for walking outside!), the trail was very, very icy and almost impassible so we turned around pretty quickly. Disappointing!

winter walk

 

Sure, it might not look THAT bad, but trust me. It was quite treacherous!

When I returned home, it was time for some food! I was pretty proud of myself because I managed to incorporate a VEGETABLE! (You probably all know that my dislike of vegetables is my deep, dark secret. It’s the Kryptonite to my otherwise very healthy lifestyle.)

Lunch Time

In addition to some broccoli that I “steamed” in the microwave (seriously, those steamer bags are the greatest!), I also threw a 100-calorie multigrain english muffin into the toaster oven and topped it off with some sauce and cheese. Talk about elementary school throw-back! English muffin pizzas, anyone? Delish!

That’s about it for tonight! See y’all tomorrow! = )

A Wrist Workout

First of all, for those of you who have suggested some new workout attire for me, thank you! I think it’s time to reinvest. A couple of new workout outfits are on my horizons.

Now, on to business!

Every once in a while, I come to realize that some things are worth dropping an extra dollar or two on. It is that simple. Take for example, fall squash.

One of my favorite fall foods is winter squash. I like just about every one that I’ve tried, but my favorites are butternut and acorn. Last weekend, I happened to pick up a butternut squash with intentions of testing out a creamy risotto-style fall squash dish which I finally got around to today!

In the end, it was very filling and quite delicious, but oh my goodness, the work it took to get there!

Let me tell you, if I have ever wished that I shelled out a couple of extra dollars for a convenience item, it was tonight! Those little packages of pre-cubed squash that are all peeled and washed and diced are genius. I fought a good fight today. And almost lost a finger or two!

Step one was cutting off the bottom of the thing so that it had a flat surface to stand on. Sounds easy enough, no? Well that took about 5 minutes.

Next, I peeled the beast:

Fifteen minutes later,  I was left with this and was juuuuuust about ready to order Chinese.

Miraculously, I was able to cut the thing in half. PROGRESS! 

After about three and a half hours of slicing, peeling, dicing and swearing, I was left with this:

SUCCESS! Plus, I still have all ten of my finger and no new band-aids 😉 I’m not sure what the deal is, but about two weeks ago, I cut my finger cutting a potato and ever since then, I have been a little sheepish about slicing things! (Also, for the record. This definitely did NOT take me three and a half hours…)

Anyway, I wish I could offer some fantastic tips for preparing squash, but all I have to say is be careful, and get ready for quite the wrist workout!

In the end I ended up with a delicious batch of the faux-sitto if you will (Faux-Risotto? Get it? Ha. Not funny, I know.)

With less than a tablespoon of olive oil in the whole dish, it was a healthy and filling dinner that I had along with one of my very favorite non-meat staples:

MorningStar “Chick Patties Original” can’t be beat. One has just 140 calories and they taste just like chicken nuggets! The only difference is: with these you know exactly what you’re eating– no mystery meat here! I am definitely not a vegetarian and I don’t think that I could ever go totally vegetarian (though I’ve done it before for Lent!), but I love these alternatives anyway. I have about a dozen different healthy “staple” dishes that involve various MorningStar products!

Anyway, I wish that I could give you some helpful tips on preparing the impossible winter squash, but all I can offer is to BE CAREFUL.

Today’s workout was pretty simple and involved bits and pieces of my two favorite Jillian Michaels’ DVDs.

Tomorrow I plan to start the day off with a trip to the gym that will include my new favorite total body conditioning class! I also get to enjoy lunch and an afternoon outing with Katie! I love Mondays! (How many times do you hear that statement?)

 

 

 

Wacky Mac!

I love having a weekday off from work. It’s so fun to be able to cruise around when normal people are at work/ kids are at school. It makes me feel old and important! I also had a very productive day afternoon which is a bonus. (I would say “day”, but my “day” involved lazing around like a punk all day, taking multiple naps that were interrupted only by mini meals and Boy Meets World. (Have I mentioned how much I HATE sleeping a day away? It’s awful. But today I think it was necessary.) Anyway, let’s talk about the parts of my day where I actually did things! This morning I did manage to keep my eyes open long enough to fix up a tray of these cute little scones:

Immaculate natural scones

 

They come in a tube like dinner rolls from the refrigerator. At 180 calories a pop, they proved to be a perfectly reasonable breakfast option. Additionally, they’re “all-natural”. Hooray? (Please note: I do not put much stock in the “all-natural” business. I do appreciate the fact that there are no artificial preservatives and also no hydrogenated oils, but all-natural can mean SO many different things and so many meaningless things, I sort of just take it with a grain of salt at this point. Also, I wasn’t necessarily looking for “healthy” scones. Just ones that didn’t have 550 calories each like the other ones that I used to be obsessed with!)

Later on, I took an adventure to a gym and I think I’m sold. I really loved this one. I also couldn’t believe their monthly cost! For less than I paid for a one month membership to the local community center, I could join this gym that has all sorts of bonuses that the community center did not. Here are some of the things I appreciated the most about this facility:

  • Group exercise classes are included in the cost of membership. They also just introduced Les Mills classes (including BodyPump and RPM! Victory!)
  • They have a multi-activity room. Remember when I said that one of the big things I was looking for in a new gym was a simple, open room? Seriously, such a simple request, but it’s not easy to come by! I just want a wide open room where I could do my circuit workouts and random dumbbell-things and they have that!
  • It’s very bright (LOTS of windows)
  • No contract/ enrollment fee
  • Fantastic hours
  • Right around the corner from work AND home

Seems like a win to me! I now have a “trial” pass, so I’ll give it a go a couple of times this week and make sure it lives up to my dreams. I must say, there were a LOT of big, scary, intimidating dudes there. Usually, I don’t care one bit about that at all, but this was a little hard to ignore!

Next, I pretended to be a real person AGAIN and went to the grocery store! I love, love, love grocery shopping. I know some people absolutely hate it, but I could spend hours in the store. Why? I have absolutely no idea. I think you could probably trace it back to the days of my grocery store play set that I had when I was little. That was my favorite toy for the better part of my first decade. Anyway, my favorite find today was this little gem:

Pumpkin spice coffee creamer?? Sign me up.

Next it was dinner time. My very favorite college dinner was Annie’s macaroni and cheese. The purple box. It’s easy. Delicious. Done deal. (There is an infamous tale of me falling asleep with a half-eaten bowl of Annie’s in one hand and a highlighter in the other as I tried desperately to keep myself awake long enough to eat dinner and finish studying after work. Clearly, neither one happened.)

This is actually the first time that I’ve had this meal since MAY! As much as I hate to face the facts, I know that macaroni and cheese isn’t a particularly healthy meal and it’s also wildly addictive, so I figure it’s easiest to just avoid it, but tonight I figured I’d outsmart it!

Enter: peas, carrots and broccoli.

I am a notoriously awful vegetable-eater. I HATE raw vegetables, I don’t like salad (at least healthy ones– throw in some croutons and creamy dressing and maybe we could talk,) and I don’t love them cooked either. However, just like a little kid, if you disguise them in my favorite meals, I’ll be just fine! So that’s what I did tonight.

Annie's Mac and Cheese with veggies! After fixing up the box, I threw in some broccoli, peas, and carrots which resulted in a tasty and MUCH healthier version of one of my favorite standbys. A definite win (which is a relief after yesterday. 😉 )

So even despite the soul-consuming fatigue that kicked off the day, I’d definitely consider today a successful day off!