An awesome weekend, all around!

I could have put up half of this post yesterday, but I was having much too grand a time lounging on the couch with the puppies and Drums of Autumn.

I mean really, who can deny this:

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(Yes, my shirt says Born to Knit and the skull has a ball of yarn with knitting needles sticking out of its head/eyes 😀 )

But this is what Hubs and I have been eating all weekend long:

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Looks yummy right? Well I can actually share the recipe today, but just a warning, it makes a ton:

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Hubs was browsing around for dinner ideas Thursday night and found one on Epicurious for vegetarian couscous.

We pretty much followed the recipe but left out the chickpeas (he’s allergic and I just don’t like them), subbed craisins for dried currants, and only had one bunch of scallions because I just assumed it only called for one. No cilantro either, for the same reasons as the chickpeas.

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It was pretty good! Next time I would definitely double the amount of spices used because I couldn’t taste them at all. But we literally both had good sized portions and then filled 5 tupperware containers with the rest!

Other than eating lots of couscous, my weekend was pretty awesome (and the food was pretty good too!). I got pretty much all of my reading done Saturday (because honestly, reading a chapter on Darwin in a bio textbook just isn’t the same as reading the actual Origin of Species which I did about this time last year. kids stuff.), we took the dogs to the dog park, gave them a bath, and I hiked some trails at the state botanical gardens with Sarah. So pretty!

Sunday I cleaned the tub and grocery shopped and basically lay on the couch reading until Alex got off work after which we ran/walked the mile and a half up to five points for some ice cream. She’s trying to get back into running, and I needed the extra motivation!

Dinner tonight was pretty good too. I’m reading up on everyone’s blogs from over the weekend (its a process, you know!) and came across Angela’s Protein Power Bowl recipe

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This one require a few more substitutions since we didn’t have everything on hand. Hubs sauteed a zucchini, summer squash, frozen okra, one small onion, and some canned mixed vegetables in some evoo and I cooked 1 1/3 cup quinoa in 2 2/3 cup water. After the quinoa was cooked I mixed in some Trader Joes sesame ginger dressing (because it the lid is broken so I figured we should use it up) and served the veggies on top with a handful of cashews.

(confession: I always forget to rinse quinoa before cooking it. I’ve never rinsed it, it just never occurs to me and we don’t have a fine enough strainer anyway. Maybe the next bag we buy of it I will)

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Yum yum yummy! I went light with the dressing and Hubs added more to his, but I honestly was happy with out being able to taste it! Next time I’ll just leave it as an option for him.

I loooooooove zucchini, summer squash, and okra. This dish made me very happy!

And as a side note, these things are much to accessible:

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I won the ‘guess how many jelly beans in the water bottle’ game on Easter (guessed: 337, actual: 296). Hubs decided he was going to use the water bottle so pour the jelly beans in a coffee mug where they call to you anytime you walk through the kitchen. They’re nearly gone too. That means I’ve eaten over 100 jelly beans this week. That seems like a lot!

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Whether or not I’ve mentioned it on the blog, I’ve been lacking all inspiration to run since the second half marathon. I completely blame the weather too, 80 degree weather in April is not appreciated, it’s supposed to still be in the 70s! But today I read Andrea’s blog post about starting Hal Higdon’s spring training plan and found my inspiration!

His spring training plans are meant to fill the 12 weeks between Chicago’s LaSalle Bank Shamrock Shuffle and the start of his 18 week training plan for the Chicago LaSalle Bank marathon. No real goal in mind other than improving your running fitness. Sounds perfect to me!

I’ve decided to try the intermediate level plan which might be a tad ambitious after having taken a full month off of running. It has a person running 6 days a week which is way more than I’ve ever done, so I may drop a few days off the plan, but I started strong today with a three mile run (in 31 minutes) followed by level one of the 30 Day Shred for the strength component of the day. My arms are le tired (link not for the delicate of ear) and I’m pleasantly drowsy after such a hot workout and filling dinner. I’m not sure I’ll even bother staying awake to read for a bit!

Goodnight y’all!

A fan of Henry VIII

Breakfast: Well needless to say, the blender was still dirty come time to work on today’s food so I used up the last of my Greek yogurt with some cereal

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Snack: I’ve noticed that most people eat things like bread and almond butter before a workout. Carbs and protein. So I reversed the order in which I usually eat my snacks and ate my melons in the morning. I had left half this container in the fridge at work yesterday knowing I’d eat it today.

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Lunch: Back to salads! Today’s was a bit of an experiment, I added some of my leftover garlic and herb flavored brown rice and ate it with the Ken’s Lite Raspberry Walnut dressing. Once the flavors had a chance to meld it was better, but not something I’d particularly recommend. I also had some sprouts and red, green, and yellow peppers hiding under the spinach.

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Snack 2: Another homemade energy bar! The pumpkin seeds totally soothed my craving for something salty, thankfully! That was driving me crazy!

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Fitness: After my housemates left for various jobs and class I got down and dirty with my favorite trainer. Today I got to move up to level two of the 30 Day Shred! It was so so so exciting to have some new dialogue and learn some new moves! And I can’t tell you how pleased I was to be able to do ALL of the walking pushups, and not on my knees! All of the level one pushups were done girly style but not today! That was a boost of selfconfidence… which was soon torn down when we got to the cardio bits. Hot damn, woman! The strength stuff I can handle, I’m used to being frustrated by my lack of arm strength, and I used to do pilates at least once a week, every week so the ab work wasn’t too bad but that cardio kicked my ass! Which is excellent, by the way 🙂

Dinner: Din-din was more leftovers, but the rice is now gone and there’s only about one serving left of the pasta. Still just as tasty though! 🙂

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I might have also indulged my appetite by trying a Gardenburger California burger. It was good! I think there’s cabbage in there, which reminded me of spring rolls. Yum!

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And I finished off last night’s stack of roasted vegetable Ritz crackers. Yum yum yum. This times about 2 or 3. A bit gluttonous perhaps, but now that this package is gone I won’t be tempted anymore.

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Entertainment: Now that Husband is back in school I get to take over the Netflix queue again and I got The Other Boleyn Girl today! I went through a major Henry VIII kick about three years ago which actually coincided really nicely with our Christmas trip to England. My dad even got a picture of me posing with a life size wax figurine of Henry when we visited Warwick castle (though Henry himself never bothered to visit). I haven’t read all of Phillipa Gregory’s books about the Tudor period but I have read this one and as far as I can remember (having read it 3 years ago) the movie basically stuck with it. Unfortunately you totally lost all sense of time such as how it took years for Henry to break with Rome and nearly as long for Anne to actually conceive which probably caused more strain in their relationship than the actual religious strife did. Of course having months and years flash up on the screen every few seconds as new events occur would be completely lost on most viewers. And I won’t do more than mention the fact that Eric Bana looks nothing like Henry, though nor does Jonathan Rhys Meyers which is part of why I refuse to watch Tudors (though might soon give in thanks to the power of Netflix and my summer professor saying there are some worthwhile historical bits mixed in amongst all the sex). But I do like Natalie Portman and the costumes were lovely. Obviously it was never intended to be completely historically accurate, but I’d definitely watch it again!

I took a break about 2/3s of the way through the movie to do the dishes and reward myself with some dessert:

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After dinner last night Hubby and I ran to Walmart and by his work where he got a free sandwich and I got free cookies 🙂 I might have neglected to mention the one I ate last night in the car… So good.

Off to watch the special features! I should probably put together tomorrow’s smoothie and salad first though :/ I imagine I would regret it if I didn’t.

Date night!

With this lady that is:

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Goodness when I first picked up on healthy living blogs she was EVERYWHERE! I swear! Everyone’s done with their 30 days by now, but I figured I’d give her a shot too. See if my pilates body could hold up. But we’ll talk about that in a bit.

Breakfast was slightly different in that I bought the big containers of vanilla Activia last time I was at the store, so I had 6 oz. of yogurt instead of the usual 4 (food scale makes me happy. Thanks mom!). I think I’ll stick with the 4 oz most of the time but it was a nice treat.

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With the ubiquitous flax and Kashi Go Lean Crunch (big box from Wally World!).

More flax for lunch (see, I know my vocabulary) using a Flat Out wrap (since I’m out of any other kind of wrap) with plain hummus and spinach. I’m really not that big a fan of the taste of these wraps, but I got the super healthy ones. They are kinda particle board tasting so work better with more flavorful things like the humbecue or maybe a burrito (haven’t tried that yet). Or even hummus, onion, spinach, and feta might work, but just plain hummus and spinach was a bit dull.

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Lets see, the blood orange was eaten when I got off circ desk at 9, the Sun Chips at about 10:30 (they were staring at me, calling my name) and I polished off the last serving of rice snacks with lunch. I very small handful of almonds finished the work day at about 3. Ignore the corkscrew, I use the little knife bit to cut Rose’s glucosamine pills, also almost pictured.

Came home hungry so ate as soon as the husband left for work. Dinner was Annie’s shells and cheddar with 1/2 a bag of Green Giant steamers frozen broccoli

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Yum yum yum. Granted it was a whole box… 2.5 servings… and it was more broccoli stems than heads, but the heads were yummy!

I might have also finished off that bag of Tostitos natural corn chips… a bit more than a serving… After feeling slightly guilty about eating a whole box of macaroni.

But that’s why I broke out the 30 Day Shred! It’s so great that its only 20 minutes because that is something I might actually find the motivation to get up and do before work. I’d only have to get up at about 4:50. I’ve done worse for a workout. That’s the only way I’ll get it in tomorrow. The local boys (who are also all of my roommates as of July) are celebrating the end of the semester tomorrow and the original plan was to go to the Terrapin Brewery, but I think that’s kind of been pushed to the side. So it’ll probably be beer, liquer and poker.

But enough of that tangent. How’d I do? Well I have no hand weights so I was using two 28 oz. cans of baked beans. That’s not even two pounds. How weak. Well overall I found it extremely easy, except for the shoulder bits. I can lower from a full pushup all day if needed but the actual pushing up… well I was struggling after even a couple of girly ones. And the anterior raises had me nearly put those cans down. But I’m still sore from Tuesday (which is embarrassing and shows how long it had been since I’d done real pilates and yoga). The ab workout was a breeze! Too bad you can’t see mine better.

So I will follow the trend and do this as often as I can for 30 days, upping the level after the first 10 and 20. I will try to get up and do them before work, unless I slept absolutely horribly the night before in which case I reserve the right to sleep those extra 20 minutes. I have taken my measurements and when the Husband is home tomorrow I will take before pictures for my own records (I can’t for the life of me find the self-timer setting on my camera). Maybe I’ll post them at the end of my challenge but for now I’ll keep them private.

And even though I just exercised I’m still going to try to get to bed early (as in soon) since waking up has been so impossible this week. We’ll see if I make it up for Shred tomorrow morning. My poor shoulders!

Oh and the Hungry Yogini is giving away Lipton teas here!