Nothing blatantly “health-related” about this post because I haven’t done a whole lot that is health-related in the past few days…and I am perfectly happy with that. My roadtrip back to school for the Eli Young Band kickstarted a whole summer weekend with all the cliche activities that everyone should have on their to-do list. The Simple Summer Checklist:
- Dairy Queen Blizzards
- A picnic is the grass
- Read in the grass and sunshine
- Minor flip-out over aggressive grasshoppers
- Explore the the forest and trails (which results in picking wildflowers. Which leads to subsequent selfies with the best friend.)
- Sunset photos with a picture-perfect water tower
- Coffee shops for breakfast
- Lazy afternoons with sangria
- BBQing for dinner (grilled zucchini and sweet potatoes are a must)
- Back to school shopping with a bestie
- Staying outside as long as possible
Aaaand after a full day, it would be a shame if we ended the night quietly at home. A little group of us headed downtown, replaying Chase Rice’s “We Goin’ Out” no fewer than 8 times as we got ready.
To add to the perfection of the weekend, Friday night is Country Night at my favorite bar :) Country music, line-dancing, yard jar drinks. People in cowboy boots and hats.
Why does a cocktail taste so much better in a mason jar?!
When everyone else seemed to know every step of the Footloose choreography to Big & Rich’s “Fake ID” we agreed that we would Youtube instructions before going out next time so we could join the fun ;)
This summer weekend was stereotypical in every way and my heart was so happy :)
On Tuesday I’ll have to share some of my “Extra-Credit Exercises” for the week after an extra-fun-but-not-so-healthy weekend like this one. Speaking of which, it’s time for SUNDAY LONG RUN.
What’s on your Summer Bucket List?
I’m a big fan of all the activity taking place in August so far. I’ve uncharacteristically avoided the gym in favor of outdoor exercise each morning and evening. After work, I take a walk/run around the neighborhoods and enjoy all the sunshine I can. My mom has joined me a couple times and it’s a welcome dose of nature after sitting in an office for 9 hours. Lemon water for days….
This morning I blasted out a “Body Weight & Plyometric Circuit” that I’ll share with you! It took 35 minutes in the backyard, all done before the sun woke up :)
Plyometrics are exercises that incorporate jumping and explosive movement, using intensity and power for a short duration. The shock landing forces muscle contractions and aids in strengthening ankle, knee and hip joints (not recommended for people prone to joint pain/injury.) It’s in-between a strength workout and a HIIT workout.
Body Weight & Plyometrics Circuit: 4 Rounds of 8 exercises
I set a HIIT timer (using the “Seconds” app) to complete 35 seconds of each exercise followed by 25 seconds rest.
*You will need a jumprope and mat. You can also add light weights for the lunges and squat jumps*
Lately, I prefer to incorporate body weight exercise over weight lifting. At this stage of the game, I am concerned with being toned, not “making gains.” I want to use the muscles I have without building any more if that makes sense.
After 32 minutes of the circuit, my mom and I walked a cooldown lap around the neighborhood as the sun just started to light things up. We both agreed that we LOVE being outside at dawn and at dusk. Something about the glowy lighting. Sunrise runs are UNBEATABLE, nevermind the 4:30 wake up call. I will miss my sunrise runs with my high school teammate and good friend Matt. We’ve been doing summer cross country training together for six years now!
Another August trend I’ve been loving is trading an evening epidsode of House Hunter’s for some new novels I just bought. A friend at work suggested some titles including Beautiful Disaster and I already can’t wait to read it’s sequel, Walking Disaster.
And the rest of August won’t be slowing down. Time for this morning’s balanced breakfast: oats with flaxseed, blueberries, and half a banana. You already know the coffee’s been loooong gone. ;)
Favorite summer workout and/or summer read…GO!
My warm-weather friend made my weekend infinitely brighter. I call Chelsea my “Sun Buddy.” She traded the mountains and snow for the desert to become an ASU Sun Devil. She is my beach lovin’ friend! Miss Chelsea and I can talk for 8 hours straight and always find fun in outdoor adventures or some sort of healthy cooking. Saturday we made the greenest cupcakes you ever did see with a modified recipe from the Oh She Glows cookbook.
Please make these cupcakes. Shred some zucchini. Bake it in a cake. Get a little fancy with pistachio crumbs. Impress your family. Don’t tell them it’s made with vegetables. Laugh about the lime green frosting. We call them Shrek Cakes!
Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cupcake Recipe:
(Adpated from Oh She Glows) Makes 12 large cupcakes
- 1 Tbs. ground flaxseed
- 3 Tbs. Water
- 1 1/4 cup almond milk
- 2 tps. apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tbs. pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 Tbs. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (we used mini!)
- 1 1/4 cup shredded zucchini
1. Preheat over to 350 degrees and line cupcake pan.
2. Stir ground flaxseed and water and set aside. In a separate bowl, stir almond milk and vinegar and also set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
4. Pour flax mixture into almond milk mixture. Add in maple syrup, and vanilla.
5. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips and shredded zucchini.
6. Bake for 15-18 minutes; set aside to cool
- 1 large very ripe avocado
- 3 Tbs. confection sugar
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Mash avocado. Using a mixer, combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to frost cupcakes. Garnish with crushed pistachio pieces.
**We joked that avocado frosting would taste like sweet guacamole. It did not, though the avocado is still detectable and I think that is a very good thing. Californians have a special obsession with avocados. ;)
So Clean. So Green.
We loved the cupcakes (and so did our taste testers!) but I think everyone agreed they were best without frosting. The avocado topping is great for looks but the muffins are perfect just by themselves (or with fresh coffee, but that goes without saying.)
Baking aside, I had not properly celebrated Chelsea’s 21st birthday yet! We hit up downtown and stopped for a drink. At an espresso bar. Appropriate? I think so. :) I’m way too excited for our autumn plans, tailgate parties, football games, and all things pumpkin.
I am so grateful to have a friend with such a big heart. People who prioritize their friends and relationships, who can have a conversation without looking at their phones, who make an effort and make time to make silly memories are (sadly) rare. I’ve had too many experiences being someone’s friend when it’s “convenient.” This applies to relationships too. It is painfully obvious when someone values your friendship less than you value theirs. When you find a friend like Chelsea, count yourself lucky.
SUN BUDDIES FOR LIFE ;)
Now go get your green on and post it up on Insta!