Because there is more than just workouts and recipes. And because rainy nights make the best time for brewing coffee, burning a pumpkin candle, and blogging.
So what’s happening lately. Well I’ve been watching Angel’s games, adding sugar-free pumpkin spice creamer to my oatmeal, using far too many emoji’s in group texts, feng-shuing the apartment furniture, and falling asleep before 10pm. We’re experiencing weird side effects from the tropical storms and there is a weird limbo period right now between summer and fall. Most mornings I’m not sure if I should wear a sundress or a scarf.
Lately I’ve been thinking about where I’m going after graduation. All summer long, I basically researched cities in Washington, Idaho, Virginia, Georgia, Colorado, Tennessee and every where in between. Where am I going after graduation? Not here. Not home. My heart kept going back to North Carolina. And the more I felt pulled towards Carolina, the more it would pop up. My two FAVORITE bloggers moved to Charlotte over the summer (Simply Taralynn and Peanut Butter Fingers). Their pictures and posts are filled with Charlotte-this and Charlotte-that. Meanwhile, I’m looking for a post-graduation career in sports marketing. Charlotte = NASCAR capital, not to mention part of the “triad” (an area of D1 schools with incredible athletic programs). The character in the book I’m reading – NC native. My new athletic marketing boss – NC graduate. My running buddy at my local running club – ran for NC collegiate team.
One city that is too cute to be true: Wilmington, NC. I have to go there. I have to at least see it. I’ve spent hours on the internet, researching the demographics, the history, the culture. Drooling over pictures of the historic downtown, picturesque boardwalks and scenic parks. It’s basically a straight-line on the I-40 from here to Wilmington and I honestly day-dream about what an amazing roadtrip that will make after graduation.
Plus, Chase Rice is from North Carolina. I’m doing my part to keep the cd industry alive and picked up his new Ignite the Night album the other day because my car pre-dates modern technology to plug in iPods and I wanted some new music to drive around to. Good Lord. After listening to the album start to finish, I searched for Mr. Rice’s concert tour dates. He’ll be two hours away next month. Aaaand now so will I :)
At the risk of looking reeeaallll creepy…..I totally looked up Chase Rice’s instagram and fell in love when I saw this picture.
Lately, I also searched the Spotify workout playlists for some fun new upbeat stuff to fill my iPod.
Current playlist —-> Habits (Stay High) by Tove Lo; Black Widow by Iggy Azalea ft. Rita Ora; Ugly Heart by G.R.L.; Ex to See by Sam Hunt; We Can Glow by Royal Teeth; Animals by Maroon 5; and I’ll totally admit it……Shake it Off by Taylor Swift.
I do HIIT regularly with body weight strength exercises but prefer to get sweaty than get swole. Cardio of choice: forever and always running.
So lately, there’s been some running on the treadmill:
And running on the road:
Running at running club. And tonight I’m running with an old teammate :)
So that’s me lately. :)
This week my running mileage went up by almost 100%. I follow a training schedule my coach prepares, and last Sunday night I was a little surprised when I saw “60 miles” next to my name. However, I’ve run 48 miles since Monday and after my 12-mile long-run tomorrow, I will have hit my goal! My metabolism definitely gets a little boost when I start running over 50 miles a week, and I’m not going to lie: so does my sweet tooth. I won’t even pretend that I am perfect and eat clean 100% of the time. (I’m a girl after all…chocolate is, like, a necessity.) But I don’t eat dessert everyday; when I do, I know portion control, and I try to find something with a little nutritional value!
An increase in running/workouts isn’t an excuse to eat whatever we feel like. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone say, “You can eat that pizza/cinnamon roll/frappuccino; you ran today!” NO. I don’t run to burn calories from junk food. I run to push my limits, become stronger & faster, and compete in races. Food is fuel and should be taken just as seriously as a set of hill repeats!
With that said, when cravings hit (usually at 8pm like clock work….) I have some healthy go-to’s:
I adore oatmeal, and there are so many varieties that I have yet to ever be bored with it. Oatmeal has complex carbohydrates and fiber to fill you up, with low sugar and fat. Even the low-sugar/no-sugar oatmeal tastes delicious, especially with the addition of some dried cranberries, banana slices, almond slivers, or plain ol’ cinnamon. There is no rule that says oatmeal is only a breakfast food!
Honestly, sometimes just a simple cup of decaf coffee is dessert enough. It’s warm and filling, and even adding a fat-free flavored creamer makes it sweet enough without excessive amounts of calories and sugar. If you’re not a coffee-addict like me, Swiss Miss makes “diet” hot chocolate packets that are 25 calories with 2 grams of sugar that make another perfectly sweet treat ;)
Then there are times when we need a chocolate fix… Check yourself before you wreck yourself by heading toward that vending machine Hershey’s bar. Instead, try Dove dark chocolate squares. They are individually wrapped so you can watch your portion (44 calories each). And dark chocolate has actual health benefits, unlike pure milk chocolate. Milk chocolate is diluted with sugar and cream. Dark chocolate contains flavinoids, filling it with antioxidants. It often contains less fat than milk chocolate. Really any brand of dark chocolate is fine, but I especially like Dove because of the cute little messages on the inside of the wrapper!
The other night I had an evening gym session (in order to hit 60 miles this week, I had to do a couple double-days.) Obviously when I finished, I wanted a night time snack, but chocolate ain’t exactly recovery food. Luckily I had stocked up my fridge, and I had a Yoplait Honey Vanilla Greek Yogurt, adding in some cinnamon & banana slices. Tasted like dessert to me! Greek yogurt is fat-free and contains twice as much protein as regular yogurt. I’m a fan!
There are a ton more healthy sweet-tooth cures that I will leave for a “Part 2” but feel free to share any of your healthy sweet-snacks! I’ve been seeing some pretty amazing recipes on Pinterest lately that I can’t wait to try. With this rainy, dreary weather (which I lovelovelove by the way) it seems like the perfect time to do some experimenting in the kitchen….