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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Weekend Yummies

The past couple of weekends have been busy ones.  We celebrated a friend's 30th birthday and I took a delicious pesto tortellini pasta salad (and got to use one of my new serving bowls from my wedding registry! Thanks Susan and Lloyd!)

It was super easy to make: Just cook tortellini's according to package directions, add in pesto (i have my own homemade from my garden, but you could use store-bought too!) to your liking, I also added in halved cherry tomatoes and lightly chopped red and green peppers as well as a bit of chopped basil.  I took a container of parmesan cheese with me to add just before serving. It was delicious!! 

A super fast, warm, healthy breakfast when you are in a rush. I made one packet of Apple Cinnamon oatmeal (my husband's favorite), and sprinkled chia seeds on top.  This spoonful is before I mixed it all together, which I would recommend :)

Friday afternoon I began a new class at Smith Recreation Center called Core Stability. Id love to have you in my class so please come on over or email me for info on how you can join in! 

We had friends over this weekend from out of town. It was so great to catch up with them and spend some time together. One of them was the best man in our wedding and the other two are good friends who are getting married in a month!! We took them to Bodo's Bagels (a Charlottesville staple!) and I tried out a egg, cheese, avocado, and tomato sandwich. It was SO good. Although the avocado was more of a spread and not slices, which I think would have made it a little better and less messy.  

And now we are getting ready for Thanksgiving week! I am so excited about spending time with my in-laws! Im currently battling tonsillitis though so hopefully my meds will all kick in soon so I can feel much better! 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Make ahead meals: Quinoa Enchiladas

These are not the ones I made, but I forgot to take a picture of mine. These look the same though! :) 

So my husband (I have one of those now!) was traveling out of town this past week.  I knew I had a busy schedule this week so last Sunday after I dropped him off at the airport I made meals for the week.

One of the meals I made was Quinoa Enchiladas. They were so easy, and sooo yummy!

You'll need:

6 Whole Wheat Tortillas
1 can vegetarian refried beans
1/2 cup quinoa
Sharp cheddar cheese
1 small can of enchilada sauce

Preheat the oven to 350
I cooked the rinsed quinoa (1 cup water and 1/2 cup quinoa to a boil then simmer 20 min until water is absorbed) then combined it with the can of beans and 1 cup shredded cheese.
Spread a little bit of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x9 glass dish. Spread a little enchilada sauce all over one side of a tortilla then spoon some of the quinoa/bean mixture down the middle in a line. Fold the edges over and then the sides.
Place in the dish and repeat for the remaining tortillas (I made six easily). Then spread the rest of enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top (however much you like).

Pop in the oven for 20min and you're done! I let these cool for a bit and then put them in the fridge. They freeze well too though!


Monday motivation

Ever have that feeling? We know about the "runner's high" effect that some people experience while out running.  We know we feel better after we exercise, and that we sleep better too.  But what really makes running have a great effect on mood and changing our days? 

What you are aiming for is the release of endocannabinoids which give you that mood boost. These hormones can be released after just 30 min on a treadmill (walking or running). The additional long term benefits such as improved self esteem and confidence come from making that routine a habit.  Even more reason to continue your routine? Mood boosting effects can help turn around not just a bad day but can also improve depression.*

Regular exercise, such as running, also improves sleep which can enhance mood and concentration, as well as energy levels.  Which makes sense, we all feel better when we sleep better!! 

How much regular exercise for these benefits? Try for at least here times per week of at least 30 minutes. 

*Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2006

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Pumpkin muffins and sunshine!

Its a gorgeous but chilly fall day here. After teaching Kettlebells this morning, one of my class participants, came up to me with a container of three pumpkin muffins. She said she used a recipe similar to Hotcakes' but without the oil.  I definitely need this recipe, they are SOOOO good. I hadn't packed a snack for after my workout and I had to go straight to two other classes and clients and meetings so it was perfect to have these to snack on! 

After a meeting and before a few more evening clients, I took sweet Georgia bee for a walk. More like a roll.  She had a blast running all over and rolling in the grass.  Its a great day for pumpkin muffins and its a great day to be a pup! 

Im not a big fan of pumpkin spice lattes or stuff like that, but man, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin dip, pumpkin waffles, Im all over it. I love love love it.

Did you know?

Pumpkin is rich in fiber which leaves you feeling fuller, longer.

Despite this, its a low calorie food, at just 26cal per 100g.  It is jam packed with beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E so its great for eye and skin health.  Pumpkin also contains other vitamins and minerals such as the b-group of vitamins (folate, niacin, B-6, thiamin and more) as well as copper, calcium and potassium.  There isn't any saturated fat or cholesterol in pumpkin so its perfect for those watching their diets for cholesterol.

Some of my favorite pumpkin recipes:

What are your favorite pumpkin recipes? 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Monogram obsession

If you follow me on Pinterest, you'll know that I have a gazillion boards relating to planning my wedding. Many of which are followed by some really top notch wedding websites and businesses. You may also note that I have an entire board devoted to "Monogram Obsessed".  I cant help it, I was born and raised in the South. Its in my blood. How does this relate to fitness? Well, its getting close to the holidays and its almost time to post my "What should you get your workout/running/bodypump obsessed friend/familymember/wife for Christmas" post. Like last year

I somehow a few months ago found the website It has daily boutique deals (smaller scale than Zulilly) and I look at it ALL.THE.TIME.  Soooo many cute products on the site from women's clothing to kids toys, party supplies, home decor, and some fitness stuff too.  The thing I like the most is that there is always lots of personalized and monogramed products and gifts and they are all at pretty great prices. Ive done a good bit of Christmas shopping already just using that site. The products are different every day and there are usually limited quantities too.  

Anyway, I was thinking about some of my favorite things that I have for going to the gym and thought I'd share a few things I saw on the site.  And no, this isn't a hint to any friends and family members of mine. I swear! 

I was looking for a long time for a small necklace or charm that I could wear while working out but wouldn't be banging around or catching in my hair or whacking me in the face during burpees. I have this one from Stella & Dot, but I thought these were nice too. 

A great makeup bag is essential for all of the little touch ups after a workout.

Ok, I confess, I just thought this "Wifey" tee is cute :) 

And of course a great monogrammed baseball hat to hide, super cute! 

Comfy fleece lined leggings for after the workout around town errands. 

Or a cute monogrammed hoodie :) 

Bluetooth headset for the cardio machine lovers. 

So I would definitely suggest checking out and see what you find. They have great stuff!! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pittsburgh Weekend!

My husband and I went to Pittsburgh a couple weekends ago for his cousin's wedding.  The wedding was in a gorgeous church which part of it has incredible architecture. We had a blast at the reception, dancing the night away with my sister in law, mother in law, and my new aunts :) 

 The drive up was gorgeous with all of the leaves in peak color, the sun wasn't quite cooperating for this one, but you get the idea!

 Downtown Pittsburgh was really cool.  It was much less dark, dreary, and factory-ish than I thought it was going to be.  We drove up to Mt Washington to take in the view of the rivers, bridges, and buildings.

On the way home from the weekend we stopped at Dunkin Donuts for coffee and hot chocolate. I guess its that time of year now!!

Traveling as a vegetarian can be one of the most challenging parts of this lifestyle. Its not as much of a challenge when you are in your own town and know where grocery stores are and vegetarian-friendly places to eat are. I made sure to pack lots of snacks with me as I've lately been fairly sensitive to my blood sugar changes.  I packed hummus and cut up peppers (orange and red bell peppers were on sale that week! yey!), as well as apple slices and protein bars.  
I didnt get to go running like I had hoped as we were on a pretty tight schedule and wanted to see as many family members as possible, but I figured since I danced all night Saturday it was ok. :) 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

No Excuses November

No Excuses? None? At all? 

This November I want to stay on track.  Im pretty sure you do too. A great way is to sign up for a turkey trot or a jingle bell run held around Thanksgiving and in through December.

There are tons of great ways to incorporate workouts into your day and I want to share some with you. Because believe it or not, I do realize that not everyone gets paid to workout out like I do :)

I would love to help you learn great ways to fit your workouts in and awesome workouts to do.

This is a challenge you can make as public or keep as private as you want! Set a goal for yourself.  Examples?
1. I want to run 3x per week each week of November
2. I want to run 60 miles in the month of November
3. I want to improve my 5k time by 15 seconds in November (you don't have to do an organized 5k, you can time yourself on your own)

Or, if you need more motivation in another area of fitness, try some of these:
1.  I want to do 4 yoga classes this month (one per week)
2. I am going to strength train 8 times this month (2x per week)
3. I am going to stretch after each run for 15 minutes.

Food/diet related goals:
1. If you are thinking about becoming a vegetarian or eating less meat overall but aren't ready to commit to the full thing, try maybe making 3 meat free meals each week.
2. I will eat 80g of protein each day (or whatever your goal should be-ask me or a nutritionist to find out how much you should be eating!)
3. I'll eat 3 servings of fruits or vegetables each meal
4. I'll drink 6 glasses of water each day.

Do any of these appeal to you? Give yourself an incentive  (guilt free pumpkin pie works for me!! as does a new workout outfit from black friday sales!!).

Email me or comment below with what your goal is if you'd like. It really does help accountability to have it out in the open somewhere. Id love to hear your progress!
Make a checkmark on your calendar or planner each day or time that you get closer to your goal. Stay  on track, no excuses. You can always find little ways to be active and more healthy even if your original plans have to be tweaked a bit.

Have fun!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Speed workouts

While Im not currently training for any race in particular (though hope to find one soon!), keeping speed workouts in the weekly mix is very important. Its also a fun way of adding variety to your normal routine.

Typically, speed workouts are midweek, since long runs are usually on the weekends, but I'll post about them today anyway :) This workout that I've done is mainily for increasing 5k speed. A usual warm up around the track consists of me running the "wrong" way along the very outside or the far lane for two laps (1/2 mile) and then some pick ups (gradualy increasing the speed and length of stride over 100m) and dynamic movements (high knees, C-skips, bounding, etc). I'll then run another 2 laps at a medium effort to get my body ready for the speed work to come.

Then onto the workout: a series of 400m runs faster than 5k race pace with 200m slow jog recovery. Mine for example, if my ideal 5k pace was 8 min/miles, I am running the 400's with a goal of 1 min 50 seconds. I'll do between 4-8 of these depending on how much time I have, the temperature/humidity, how I'm feeling, etc.

After the speedwork, I'll then jog another mile or so, making each lap a little slower to cool down while contemplating my sanity.