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keeping active

Happy Wednesday!  Thank you all so much for the congrats!  We are so excited to have a little one on the way! 🙂

It feels so great to have our baby news out in the open…it will make it so much easier for me to post my meals and recipes and tips.  I don’t have to worry about slipping with cravings or if what I eat is just plain wierd!

I woke up yesterday morning and snacked on 2 slices of toast with maple almond butter.  Then, I headed outside for a run.  I have been trying to keep as active as I can because I think that it will help me throughout my pregnancy.  There are wonderful benefits to working out while pregnant, but I just have to remember to listen to my body and rest if that is what I need.

I make sure to always carry water with me (or stop at the water fountains frequently) in order to keep hydrated!  I definitely get tired more quickly now, but I still feel good while running (and swimming and walking).  It is nice to not worry about time, just to run by how I feel.  I have really been enjoying it!

I walked for about 10 minutes, ran for 35 minutes, then walked for another 10 minutes.  I love my warm-ups and cool-downs now, whereas before, I hated them and often skipped them!

After my run, I whipped up a smoothie to get some nutrients and protein.

In the mix:

  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 cup hemp milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen berries (cherries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 tsp honey
  • shake of cinnamon

Blended in the Vita-Mix for about 30 seconds until smooth.  And, served in my new glass smoothie jar!

I saw this idea awhile ago, but just got around to having my Dad drill a hole in the lid.  Just take a glass mason jar, drill a hole in the plastic lid and enjoy your smoothie.  It fits my glass straws perfectly!  And, I don’t have to worry about plastic or anything spilling.  I love it.

Smoothie’s taste great on humid days.

When lunch time rolled around, I didn’t really want my packed lunch.  So, I stopped at Panera Bread for a salad.

BBQ Chopped Salad with romaine, corn, black beans, peppers, tomatoes and tortilla strips.  Ranch dressing and BBQ sauce on the side.

I drizzled on a little BBQ sauce and shook it up.  It was a great salad dressing!

After my salad, I snacked on some a lot of dried canteloupe spears.

I skipped my afternoon snack today because I wasn’t very hungry, and surprisingly I still wasn’t hungry when I got home!  For some reason, I haven’t been very hungry at night…but, I know I need the extra fuel!

Dinner was simple, but so delicious!  A salad with CSA greens, dried cranberries, kaia curry flavored sprouted sunflower seeds and honey balsamic dressing.

And, a grilled cheese with apple on flax grain bread.

This was a perfect light dinner…and it made it feel like fall with the apples.

We’re having a pizza party tonight!  Have a great day. 🙂

i ate chicken today

That’s right…after about 5 months of not having any meat, I gave in.  I ate chicken at lunch today.

Now, don’t get me wrong – there is nothing wrong with eating meat.  Personally, I have never loved meat, and even poultry made me a little quesy.  It makes me feel sluggish after eating it.  So a few months ago, I decided to cut it out of my diet to see how my body responded.

I responded well.  I added in more beans and other forms of protein and fueled my body in a way that worked for me.  I felt great!  I feel great!  For the past few years, I really think that the only reason I ate chicken was because it was what we made for dinner every night.  Once I started to really get into cooking, I realized that I can make so many fabulous vegetarian dishes, that I was never missing the meat.

I never wanted meat after that.  I craved fresh vegetables and beans.  I loved eating big salads with veggies, nuts and cheeses.  I still love that.

Recently, however, I have been wanting chicken.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe because my eating has been a little sub-par due to not making grocery shopping a priority or maybe because I haven’t been eating as much protein.  Whatever it was, I wanted to see how my body responded to the chicken after so long without it.

So, today I took a leap and ordered chicken on my salad!

I only ate a small amount to make sure everything sat well in my tummy – so far so good.

But, let me tell you what I discovered – I did not love it, by any means!  I want to continue to be open with myself and eat what my body wants.  I would choose a vegetarian dish over meat any day, no doubt.  But if my body thinks that I want chicken, then I might give it a little chicken every now and then.

I have never considered myself to be a vegetarian, but I do eat a mainly vegetarian diet.

I eat fish every so often, especially in the summer and sometimes want tuna fish, like last night.  I want to eat what my body craves, so even though I don’t see myself making a chicken dinner any time soon, I am happy with my decision today! 🙂

The best part about having a blog, is that I can look back and actually see when the last time I had chicken was!  Check it out:

So cool!

Anyways, enough rambling about my meat eating…on to my eats for the day.

Breakfast was fun.

2 scrambled eggs with a cinnamon raisin bagel

It felt like the weekend with this meal!  I loved it.

For lunch, I headed to Panera Bread and ordered the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad with no cheese and the dressing on the side.

Served with a baguette, this salad was delicious and very summery.

I love cheese, but sometimes I order salad’s without it.  If the salad already has a lot going on, which this one did, then I don’t need the cheese and extra calories.

This salad and baguette really filled me up, so my afternoon snack was light – yogurt and cherries.

After work, I headed out for a run.  Just a quick run tonight (30 min ~ 3.5 miles) + a 10 minute cool-down walk because I was hungry for dinner!

I heated up some Trader Joe’s Tomato Soup & a Grilled Cheese and had dinner within minutes!

Mmmmm…simple dinners are perfect for the summer!

keep your healthy habits on vacation

…or over a long weekend away!

When on vacation with a group it is sometimes hard to always eat what you want.  Not everyone has the same tastes, you don’t want to spend a lot, etc.

In order to keep from stressing too much about that, I just make sure to bring my own snacks and healthy additions to meals and desserts.  It is much easier to bring food along when you are going on a road trip, but it is definitely still possible to throw some simple things into your suitcase on a plane.

Before the weekend, I made a trip to Trader Joe’s to pick up some simple and healthy snacks.

I picked up bananas, almond milk, and a few packets of protein powder to make quick, simple, satisfying and healthy smoothies.  These can be made for a quick meal or for a mid-day snack.

I packed my small Magic Bullet, too!  I just got this blender, but I plan to take it with me regularly on trips now, including on a plane.  It does not take up a lot of room and you could pack protein powders in the cup itself to save room.

Yogurt, bananas and granola can always be eaten for a meal or snack.

Hummus, avocados and crackers (and I will be sure to pick up some veggies when we get down there) for me to bring out to snack on when the bags of chips and other snacks come out.  Hummus and avocados can also be added to salad or veggies to make a meal!

Another simple and easy thing to bring is pre-cooked rice and beans!  Trader Joe’s has a great variety, my favorite being the Black Beluga Lentils and the Brown Rice.  These pre-cooked packets can be heated on the stove or microwave in a couple of minutes and make the perfect addition to any meal.

Other snack items include dried fruit, trail mix, granola bars and peanut butter packets that you can pack and bring anywhere with you.

I also made sure to make some healthier homemade muffins and cookies.

Carrot Banana Muffins (see recipe here)

Blueberry Muffins (see recipe here)

Super Charge Me Cookies (see recipe here)

By bringing my own snacks, I can piece together simple meals if need be.  I feel better about myself and my body feels better when I continue to eat as I normally do.  I want to feel good while on vacation, so a little planning beforehand is well worth the effort.  Plus, once you get into this routine, it takes no extra time to prepare at all!

Yes, this may seem like a lot, and it is because we are taking our car, which means a cooler is available.  If you are flying somewhere, pack some granola bars, dried fruit and protein powder packs in your suitcase for snacks and hit up a grocery store for fruits and veggies once you arrive at your destination.

I also always pack my resistance bands and exercise clothes.

The bands are easy to use for 10-20 minutes each morning for a quick workout along with pushups and situps.  While walking and/or running is a perfect way to explore a new area and a great way to squeeze in some exercise!

Working out and eating well while traveling can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be!  All you need is a little prep and your vacation can be all that you want it to be. 🙂

Happy traveling!

farmers market finds

Yesterday, my mom and I headed to the South End Open Market (SOWA), which is a mix of a farmer’s market and an artist’s market.  There are multiple farms that set up stands and numerous artists as well.

Below are just a few fun finds from the market!

Radishes

Garlic Scrapes

Workout

After taking ALL of last week off of exercising, I started to really miss it.  I spent the first half of my week panicking about my test, and the second half having trouble getting motivated!  All of a sudden I didn’t have to study anymore and I was completely exhausted.  I figured that catching up on sleep was the most important thing for me to do.

But, it’s a new week and I’m back at it!

After work today, I hit the road for a much needed workout.  I ran 5.25 miles in 51 minutes, then walked for another 9 minutes to give me 60 minutes of cardio.  Once home, I spent a good 20 minutes on strength, balance and stretching exercises.

After taking a break from weight training, I am trying to focus on my stability and balance before jumping right back into it.  That last thing I need to do is get hurt!  Tonight, I focused on a circuit session with squats, lunges, pushups and plank, then stretching.  It felt good to stretch so much!  So many people jump right into weight training and forget how important it is to stabilize your core before hitting up a tough routine.

Breakfast

For breakfast, I had some Steel Cut Oats that I had previously prepared.  Yesterday, I made up a big batch of oats for the week.  I used 1 cup of steel cut oats and 4 tbsp of freshly ground flax seed.

This morning, I took out a serving and mixed in a little bit of milk, 1/2 of a mashed banana and 1 tsp cinnamon, then heat it up in the microwave.  It surprisingly came out just like normal!  I am trying to find ways to make my breakfasts easier in the morning to be able to enjoy then instead of eating on the go all the time.  This worked wonders…and I have enough to last me all week.

I added 1 tbsp vanilla almond butter, raw granola and a few chopped strawberries for toppings and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast!

Native strawberries might be my favorite summertime fruit!

Lunch

For lunch, I packed my leftover Cabbage Pizza from Saturday with some hummus and salsa for dippers.

And, the last of my Saratoga yogurt with a few strawberries and Kaia Raisin Cinnamon granola.

Before my run, I snacked on a Pear Ginger Prana Bar, then came home to make an easy summertime dinner.

Dinner

The Clean Food cookbook is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.  Terry Walters, the author, has so many wonderful and simple recipes in the book (and, I cannot wait for her new cookbook to come out soon)!  It is definitely worth purchasing.  Over the weekend, I sprouted some grains to have for the week (more on how to sprout later this week!), so dinner was easy to put together.

Sprouted Quinoa with Strawberries and Lime (recipe from Clean Food)

I chopped up the following:

  • 1 heaping cup strawberries
  • 1/2 jicama
  • 2 tomatillos
  • 1 daikon radish
  • bunch of radishes from farmers market
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 apricots

And, mixed up a dressing which I changed around a bit since we didn’t have all of the ingredients the recipe called for.  We mixed up 1/8 cup olive oil, 4 tbsp lime juice, 1/8 cup lemonade, 1 chopped jalapeno.

I added the dressing to the sprouted quinoa and fruits.  I kept the avocado separate and gently mixed that in afterward to keep it from getting mushy (this technique worked well!).

This was such a refreshing meal served on a bed of lettuce.

I enjoyed it with a few small slices of black bean bread and a glass of my Mint Mojito Iced tea.

I love summer!

notice a difference?

I started the day with a little weight session. I kept it simple with a circuit session (2 full sets with 12 reps of each exercise).

  • Pushups
  • Squats with Overhead Press
  • Deadlift with Upright Row
  • Lunge with Biceps Curl
  • Lunge with Triceps Kickback

Then, I set out on a 5 mile run.  It was so humid today!  But, breaking a sweat felt great.

For breakfast, I couldn’t decide what I wanted.  Finally, I decided on a fruit smoothie with 2 small quiches.

The mini quiche muffins contain eggs, cottage cheese, parm cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and basil.

They are delicious!!

The smoothie contained:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 6 frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup lime coconut water
  • 1 tbsp pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Pepitas are a great source of iron, amongst other things.  I have low levels of iron probably from not eating any red meat and have been taking iron pills for about a year now.  I decided that I wanted to try other ways to boost my iron, so I started adding a tablespoon of raw pepitas to smoothies and it seems to be working!  I don’t feel sluggish like I do when not taking the iron pills, so I can’t wait to get my iron levels re-checked!

For lunch, I broke into an yogurt bowl.  I had 1 serving (1 cup) of plain greek yogurt left in this container.  To the container I added an apple, chocolate banana granola and cinnamon!  It was yummy.

Full of lots of good stuff which actually kept me satisfied for hours.

Mid-afternoon, I snacked on a Prana Bar and a few slices of watermelon.  I wasn’t sure about this flavor bar, but once I tried it, I loved it!  It was tart without being too tart…and the amaranth adds a bit of crunch.  (Full review to come!)

Dinner was low key.  I had a few pieces of Veggie Pizza.

The pizza contained spinach, onions, zucchini, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes.

Do you notice any difference in my photos from today?!  I got a new camera, so I can finally have some good photos of my food!  Just a new point and shoot for the time being…yahoo!

downtown

Happy Memorial Day!

I woke up feeling super groggy and with a pounding headache yesterday.  UGH!  I think it was going to bed so much later than normal…and eating dinner so much later.  Nothing a little juice can’t fix!

I swear – fresh squeezed juice helps every time.  It is loaded with antioxidants and helps to give you that boost that you sometimes need in the morning (without drinking coffee!).

In my juice:

  • 2 huge carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 apple
  • 1-inch piece of ginger
  • 1 tsp spirulina stirred in at the end

I chugged my juice and it helped so much.  I felt alive after drinking it!

What is spirulina?

Spirulina is a blue-green algae.  It is 70% complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids that our bodies need in a perfect balance.  It also contains a high concentration of nutrients and is easily absorbed into the bloodstream, which makes it a great mix-in for smoothies or juices!

After my juice, we sat down to breakfast on the porch!  That is one of my favorite things about spring and summer.  I love eating on the porch!  While everyone else munched on pancakes and bacon that Brant whipped up, I made up a big bowl of Greek yogurt, chia seeds, museli, banana, granola, cacao nibs and a drizzle of honey.

On the side, I had some juicy watermelon.

The perfect summer day breakfast if you ask me (tied with a smoothie, of course!). 🙂

We spent the day walking around downtown and stopped for lunch at B. Good where I got a big Hatchback salad with spinach, arugula, almonds, dried apples, dried cherries and balsamic vinaigrette on the side.  I snagged a few of Brant’s ‘baked’ fries as well.

Then, hit up Emack & Bolio’s for some black raspberry ice cream.

Nothing is better than walking around the city on a warm day with ice cream!

Once home, I headed out for a quick run before dinner.  I needed a pick me up since I was feeling super tired.  I ran for 30 minutes…it just felt great to get out there, even though Castle Island was packed with people.

Post-run snack:

Coconut water and a slice of multigrain with almond butter and apples to hold me over until another late dinner of Mexican!!

We hit up Border Cafe in Harvard Square to show our guests the area.  The place was packed!  I ordered a Sangria which I sipped throughout the meal.

For dinner, I chose the Vegetarian Fajitas with no rice and extra black beans.  Check out my spread!

I made up a plate with one cup of the black beans, all of the veggies and the salsa and guacamole.  I skipped the cheese and white tortillas.  I always forget how much I love mexican until I have it again!

After dinner, we hit up an outdoor bar in Harvard Square – Tory Row.

It was a cute place with the doors and windows opening to a patio.  Lots of hightop tables and very minimal decorations.

I ordered the Lillet Spritzer which was a white dessert wine with seltzer water and a squeeze of lemon.  It was very refreshing on a warm night!

Another long day!  Good thing it’s a Monday holiday today.

feeling dehydrated

It sure is a hot one out there today!

I started out my day feeling so dehydrated.  This weather will really do that to you before your body adapts to it.  But, I was determined to get out there and run so I chugged some water and ate a few dates as pre-run fuel and set out for a run.

I ran along the water and enjoyed the cool breeze!  I ended up running 6.5 miles in 60 minutes.  It felt great to run.  Next week is the start of a new month, and therefore, a perfect time for me to kick my butt back into gear.  May has been a pretty slow month…

After my run, all I wanted was a smoothie.  I was so hot, that I couldn’t possibly think of eating anything else, except maybe ice cream. 🙂

I know I eat (drink) a lot of smoothies, but be prepared to see even more now that the summer is upon us!  They are definitely a favorite of mine.  Now, if I could just get a Vita Mix. 🙂

In the pink smoothie (a twist on the Vivacious Princess):

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 2 tbsp vanilla spice hemp protein powder
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 scoop chocolate Amazing Grass
  • 1 tbsp raw cashew butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup water
  • topped with chocolate banana granola

Just what I wanted!

Mid-morning, I chugged some more water and had a homemade Maple Granola Bar.

Lunch was leftover Bean Chili with Dr. Krackers.  Like I said before, this week is ‘eat up your freezer foods’, so I grabbed a chili on my way out the door this morning.

Not the best lunch for a hot hot day, but I work in air conditioning, so I’m usually freezing.  Served with a super juicy pear.  Hot weather = I crave juicy fruit all day long!

Mid-afternoon, I broke out a juicy grapefruit, yogurt and a new flavor of coconut water (which I have been sipping on since lunch).

Zico came out with 2 new flavors of their coconut water – Lima Citron and Pomberry.  I tried both of them at the NYC Half Marathon expo back in March, but it was just recently that they hit store shelfs.  I saw them on Sunday and was psyched (obviously!).

I tried the Pomberry today and liked it.  It contains coconut water and natural pomegranate and berry flavors…nothing else.  Nothing artificial.  It has just the slightest a hint of flavor.  I still prefer plain coconut water over anything else, but these hints of flavor are a nice change once in awhile.  It would be great after a long workout on a hot day!  Each bottle contains 14 ounces, which is one serving and contains 60 calories.

Who knows what dinner holds…maybe a veggie burger on a sprouted bun with a salad?  We shall see what leftovers we break out. 🙂

Edited to add: Veggie Burgers for dinner!  With a slice of american cheese and ketchup.

On a sprouted bun with farmer’s market greens mixed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.