Monthly Archives: June 2014
Better than a restaurant…
We made it to Friday again! *coffee cup clink* It’s also Food Truck Friday (the office will have 4 food trucks come for lunch) and Frizzy Hair Friday (I wore my natural “curls” to work today. No, you do not get a selfie of that hot mess going on.)
The weekend is hours away. My “grown-up” plans? Shopping for the new apartment! Assuming everything goes smoothly, I sign a lease to my apartment for senior year with two of my best girl friends this weekend. Since I’ve been doing the on-campus housing thing for three years, it’s time to invest in some furniture like mattress, dresser, desk….you know, the essentials.
I can’t wait to get to the non-essentials and have taken to Pinterest to plan my new digs:
In the middle of our shopping we will no doubt stop for lunch. But you know what’s better than a restaurant in my personal (though very reliable) opinion? A picnic. Seriously. Packing your own snacks is a healthier route and opens up so many options. Last weekend I picnicked with my mom’s best friend from high school and her daughters. We usually meet up for dinner at Panera or Olive Garden so the outdoor, sit-on-the-ground, pack-a-cooler play date was fun. We had the little league baseball games going on in the background which made it extra cute J
Summer produce makes it so dang eeeeasy to fill a cooler with all sorts of juicy colors.
Cherries, Grapes, Strawberries. We topped a bed of mixed greens with strawberry slices, almond slivers, chicken, cucumber, bell peppers. *If you pack a salad on a picnic, bring the bottle of dressing itself. Avoid a soggy salad that’s been sitting in dressing too long.
Plus something crunchy, so we opted for Quaker POP chips.
Other crunchy sides:
Handful of almonds, pistachios or other unsalted nuts
- Whole Wheat Pretzels
- Whole Grain Crackers
This is similar to the lunch cooler we bring to work everyday.
Restaurants are great for socializing but I’d rather be outside (assuming the weather isn’t in the triple digits, which are coming next week!)
On an unrelated note…
Anybody else watching the new season of Big Brother? YIKES. I watch the ridiculous reality show every summer and usually love it. There are always a few likable players to root for (Um Jordan and Jeff?!) but this season…..oh my. I’m embarrassed for the contestants. They’re too obnoxious to handle, I don’t know if I’ll make it through the whole season. (I say that now, but ask me what I think in a month. It hooks me every time.)
Guilty pleasure I guess!
Double Days & Quest Bar Crunchies
Ever have one of those days where one workout just doesn’t seem like enough? ;) Yeah I’m guessing it’s pretty rare. Cross country, track and summer training introduced me to “Double Days.” Yesterday was one of those days.
Double run = double shot cappuccino.
Run #1: My high school teammate Matt & I covered just over 5 miles around the neighborhood in the misty morning June Gloom. It had to be quick becuase I’m on the road to work before 7am!
My training goals right now require more than 40 minutes a day, which is all I can fit in the mornings. Solution: add a second round after work. A double run day means a 5:00am five-miler and a 5:00pm five-miler. (And a 2:00pm iced coffee from the shop next door!)
Run #2: took place in the air conditioned LA Fitness cardio section while watching the College World Series. Two words: Baseball boys. Or three words: College baseball boys. (I take advantage of treadmill sessions to watch whatever news or sports are on to stay up to speed!)
Performing 2 workouts in a 12 hour period can require a bit of extra motivation and fueling. Morning is the easiest time for me to run, on an empty stomach with cool air. Evenings after a couple of meals and snacks, the hot sticky air and some exhaustion from the previous effort needs some preparation:
Motivation: What is the purpose of your second workout? Sometimes I need to finish my mileage for the day. Other times the second run is a “Shake Out” run to start eliminating lactic acid from the morning’s more taxing workout. Somedays it’s to burn off the unexpected chocolate pretzels I splurged on at lunch ;)
Set yourself up for success with a different route from the morning, some music or entertainment, and remind yourself that sleep is only a few hours away!
Fueling: After your morning run, it’s important to put some protein and carbs into your morning meal to kickstart recovery before Round 2! Running “double” does burn a substantial amount of calories, like my ten-mile total yesterday. But consuming your “extra” calories in between runs might hinder your evening effort. Give your body at least 2 hours to digest before the second run. Hydrate all day long to replenish what you lost from the morning and prepare to sweat it all out again!
Protein Snack: Quest Bar Crunchies
My lunch hour yesterday took me to GNC to make a beloved Quest Bar stop. I stuck with my favorites: White Chocolate Raspberry, Cookies & Cream, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. (Sweet tooth much??) Which were immediately devoured in the form of: Quest Bar Crunchies!
The bars are so versatile because of their soft chewy texture.
*I promise this is not an endorsement, I am just a loyal customer ;)
Quest Bar posts a bunch of fun and low-sugar recipes on their web pages, and the simplest one is definitely the cookie crunch. Break up a bar, bake at 350 for 8 minutes, flipping them over half way through.
Like tiny cookies, best devoured hot from the over. (I also love mine with almond milk and a spoon, like cereal. Ridiculously good cereal, not that shredded wheat crap.)
I used 3 different bars and split the pan with my mom an dad. We couldn’t choose a favorite flavor! One bar is about 180 calories, 2 grams of sugar and 3 grams of net carbs with mega protein.
So good I could eat double :)
Fresh 4th of July Dessert!
4th of July means a Friday off of work to celebrate. If you’re making a festive and patriotic menu (nothing like a theme party, right!?) then you’ve probably taken to Pinterest to plan. Red, White, & Blue Overload!
I contemplated dipped & decorated pretzel rods, a berry cobbler, and a parfait before deciding on cute fruit skewers. Who doesn’t love shish kabobs! (I actually just like the word “shish kabob.” SHISH KABOB. Okay I’m done.)
This dessert is easy breezy because it takes 4 ingredients, minimal time & effort, and the skewers keep the portion control in check. Light, fresh, and beauuuuutiful if I say so myself.
Strawberry slices and whole blueberries are interupted with fat chunks of Angel Food cake. Angel Food cake mixes require only water. Can’t get much simpler than that. I set out a dish of light whip cream for dipping.
I like the simplicity and summery quality to this dessert.
Last year I brought you Light Cherry Berry “Pies” which I can’t wait to recreate now that cherries are back in the produce section. Loooooove me some summer fruits! I used to say without a doubt that peaches were my favorite summer fruit. Then it became a close tie with strawberries. Now I’m hooked on cherries…grapes…apricots…pineapple. I CAN’T CHOOSE. Luckily, I don’t have too. :)