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!

ONOATS

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:

Dunkin_Donuts_Pumpkin_Spi

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!

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Happy Labor Day!

Holy goodness friends, I am TIRED! This has been going on for a few days now and I’ve had quite enough! At first I thought it might be from the famous 5k, but I actually think it started before that. I’m wondering if it might be because I haven’t been eating my normal staples that involve foods that are slightly more nutritious than pie and restaurant fare. Let’s hope that’s it!

Anyway, the show must go on! Happy Labor Day! (Also, Happy National Yoga Month!)

As you all know, I’ve been reeling for quite some time over the lack of school in my life that will start this fall. The timer is going off! I should be in a dorm room! I should be spending my days roaming between work and class and my nights holding club meetings and trying to pretend that campus food isn’t all that bad. But no, that is not what this fall will be at all, so I better get used to it! Labor Day has come and (almost) gone, the kiddos will be headed back to school tomorrow (which means that the most frequently asked question at work will now go a little something like this: “Shouldn’t you be in school instead of working?”–as much as I DESPISE this question that I get 200 times a day from customers, I do get a kick out of telling them that I’ve actually graduated. It’s even more fun when the conversation progresses to “Oh! Good for you! ….but no college ???!” When I inform them that I’ve also graduated from college, they usually just get sheepish looks on their faces and move right along.) It’s been a great summer with the perfect balance of work and friends and family. Hello, September. So long summer!

FitnessI decided that if I have any intentions whatsoever of maintaing an organized, effective workout regime now that my 5k training is over, I better start planning. I am definitely a planner. I love calendars and lists and schedules and I do very well with that sort of organization. Earlier today, I started crafting the next month of workouts! I’ve never planned it out like this, but I think it will prove to be quuuuuite effective. It’s a work in progress and I’m sure I won’t stick to it 100%, but here’s what I have so far:

In other news, there’s not much new in the life of 5ks and Coffee Beans today either. My sister is headed back home tonight which is a definite bummer! It’s been so nice having her around for the week. Every time she leaves I find myself wishing more and more that she lived just a little closer! Also, I’ve been doing some research on possible certification programs for various training/teaching/instructing positions, but there is SO much out there it can get to be quite overwhelming! It’s just like choosing a college! (Only not really at all…)

Before I sign off for the night, I wanted to pass along an interesting run-down of sweetener options that I stumbled across today. As a coffee FANATIC, I have often wondered if it’s worth swapping out the couple of teaspoons of sugar I put in my cup for some alternative. I’ve also been curious about the differences between all of the options and I’ve never been able to get a straight answer on what sugary chemical is what, which ones are bad and whether or not it’s really worth the trouble until I found this article! Extremely informative!

Also, two quick blog-related updates for you…

1) 5ksandcoffeebeans is now on Twitter! Click the button to the right to follow my Tweets!

2) Chobani yogurt “favorited” one of my Tweets! Haha. So exciting!

See y’all tomorrow!

On Location

Hello friends!

Thanks for coming back again! Being away from home riiiight before the big 5k day should be interesting indeed. I just downloaded the Map My Run app and I’m hoping to find a manageable, decently nearby trail to hit up, but we will see. (Also, there is an elliptical machine here, but it DOESN’T WORK. I was so bummed when I made that discovery because the machine itself is on the back porch with a BEAUTIFUL view. So sad.

Due to that unsuspected snafu in my workout plan for this morning, let’s talk about food instead. Breakfast was delicious and filling. Oatmeal with fresh peaches and a pinch of brown sugar plus a Raspberry Chobani! (I don’t think I’ve ever tried the raspberry before today, but it was just as enjoyable as the rest of them are.)

 

Peach Oatmeal Breakfast So the food portion of this meal was perfect. It was seasonal and fresh and delicious. The COFFEE, on the other hand was a disaster and a half. I’m not entirely sure what went wrong, but the only coffee pot on hand here is one of those cup-by-cup Keurig machines (which I swear are cooling in theory than they are in actual practice). Anyway, we also don’t have any milk or sugar yet, so it was too strong to begin with and I had NOTHING to dilute it with! Ick. Better luck tomorrow I suppose!

And for lunch…

This is one of my very favorite staple lunches that is SO easy to make! Nothing more than sliced avocado and tomato on whole wheat bread! A banana on the side makes it even more filling. This was so summery and delicious I was a very happy camper.

So, I suppose that’s all for now my dearest readers. I will be back with more tonight! Hopefully with some ridiculous story about how I rigged the elliptical up to my car and managed to get it working. Only not really.

 

 

A Very Rocky Start to an Otherwise Lovely Day.

Well friends, it’s bound to happen. Sometimes even your BEST laid workout plans completely fail and you feel like a fool, give up and go back to bed   move on with your day and hope things run smoother tomorrow.

So this is how I *planned* for this morning to go: I would wake up at 8, head to the gym for an hour or so (just enough time for my Couch-to-5k run for the day and hopefully squeeze in some legs and arms). Then I figured I’d get ready for the day, head to Starbucks and work on my responses for an application for a little while before work which wasn’t until 1:30. Sounds fantastic, right?

Well here’s what actually happened. I woke up at 8 (got that part right). Got alllllll ready for the gym and went to head out the door. But wait. Where were my keys? NO WHERE to be found. Searched high and low, called my mother at work after convincing myself that they were in her car (which wouldn’t have helped me a stitch anyway because she works about half an hour away). Decided to just run around the block instead. (Planned run = 25 minutes long, Brittany’s run = 6.5 minutes long (at a staggering .0005 mph pace with flailing arms and bad posture)…legs hurt, arms hurt, soul hurt, life hurt. Came home ENTIRELY annoyed. Many minutes later, FINALLY located the AWOL keys, made it to the gym, jumped on the elliptical with an interval workout in hand. Couldn’t for the LIFE of me get the SPM (strides per minute) up to the suggested pace, felt like a failure. Finally made it back home and decided to call it a quits for the day.

On the bright side, the elliptical still assured me that I had burned about 350 calories which is promising. Also, it seems highly unlikely that TWO workout mornings in a row could *possibly* go that wrong (so things are looking up for tomorrow!)

On the other bright side, the breakfast I had when I returned was quite a treat. Vanilla greek yogurt with chia seeds and a crumbled peanut butter cookie on top. (Although, might I point out that on my way home from the gym this morning, I stopped at the grocery store to grab a couple of Chobani yogurt cups ONLY TO LEARN THAT the local Chobani supply is very, very short. Evidently the Chobani people decided to open a new, closer plant, but it didn’t open in time to supply the ENDLESS DEMAND fueled by Chobani’s sponsorship of the Olympics! Very sad. I KNEW CHOBANI BEFORE IT WAS A FAMOUS. I had to resort to Brand X, but even despite my complaining, it was very delicious 😉 )

So moral of today’s story my dear readers. Sometimes workouts suck. Sometimes MORNINGS suck! They don’t go the right way, everything feels wrong and you can’t find your keys. Give yourself a break and don’t let it muddy up your day. As it turned out, the weather was lovely and I had a perfectly nice day at work so all is well that ends well.

Until tomorrow…