Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday things

Woah, two posts in a day! I couldn't help myself...

First, someone posted this amazing link on Facebook this morning that I just couldn't resist sharing. As someone who stands tall at 5'1", this list of "44 Things Every Short Girl Can Probably Relate To" pretty much sums up my existence. I can't tell you how many people have come up to me in my life to declare "wow, you're short". Thank you, I had no idea! Or how about the time in college, I was suddenly lifted up in a bar and carried over someone's shoulder just because they couldn't believe how miniature I was. Then there's the whole weight gain thing: yes, gaining 5 or 10 lbs when you're 5-feet-tall is very noticeable - I can vouch for that! I will also add that my arms have become very strong over the years from having to hoist my body weight up on the counters to reach things high up in the cabinets while cooking. Why don't I just have Brent get things out of my reach, you ask? Well, I'm stubborn and find it reassuring to know I can still be independent :-) I went up to bed around 10 o'clock last night, and Jasper followed me up, as usual. When I fell asleep, he was curled up at my feet chewing on a bone. Brent was finishing up some work, so he came up a little bit later. He goes into the bathroom to take out his contacts, turns on the light, and sees this...

It's single digit temperatures outside, and my dog is sleeping on a tiled bathroom floor, wrapped around the ice-cold toilet. No words...

Fat-Blasting HIIT Treadmill Workout

Yesterday's Workout:
4 miles HIIT (see below)
30 minutes yoga

You guys already know how much I love interval training. I've been incorporating 2 HIIT workouts a week into my schedule, and those are the days I most look forward to exercising. I've found that Pinterest is a great tool for finding treadmill interval workouts. I typically find one I like and alter it to my level, like the workout I did yesterday (adapted from this workout). 

Done as written below, this workout covers just over 4 miles in 40 minutes, and because your mind is engaged the entire time while alternating speed and hill intervals, the workout flies by. Everyone who has ever gotten on a treadmill knows how mundane it can be, and even if you're feeling great physically, it's always a mental struggle to run in place for miles at a time. I've found that interval training combats that mental struggle because you are focused on the constantly changing speeds/inclines rather than the completion time or total miles. HIIT workouts tend to be lower on the mileage end than a typical endurance run, but your body will work even harder to keep up with the interval changes, burning fat for hours after the workout. 

I will warn you...though the workout does not exceed 7.0 mph (which is roughly a 8:30 min/mile), you will feel the burn. That 10% incline that peaks his head out at the 15-minute mark is KILLER. I found it to be the hardest 2 minutes of the workout and had to fight every urge to not decrease the speed to a walk. It's guaranteed to get your heart pumping and your quads burning. Challenge yourself! 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

First fitness goal of 2014

Yesterday's Workout:
5K run in 24:44
Upper Body Strength (with 10 lb dumbbells)
Chest: 2x12 push-ups, 2x12 chest press, 2x12 chest fly
Biceps: 4x12 bicep curl, 4x12 hammer curl
Triceps: 2x12 tricep kickbacks, 1x12 skull crushers, 1x12 tricep press
Shoulders: 1x12 shoulder press, 1x12 front raise, 1x12 lateral raise, 1x12 upright row
Back: 1x12 bent-over row, 1x12 deadlifts, 1x12 one-arm dumbbell row, 1x12 back extensions on stability ball

I'll be running my first 5K of 2014 at the end of April, so I wanted to do a test run to see where my level is at right now. My PR for a 5K race is 24:34. I was able to run one last night in 24:44, which was better than I expected - granted it was on a treadmill, but I did run at 2% incline to mimic a more realistic course.

Did I feel great during the run? No, not really. My breathing was a little rough (lungs are still recovering from the bronchitis), and I struggled a bit mentally, especially in the last half mile. If anything, this will give me something to work towards for the next two months. I haven't really set any fitness goals for myself in awhile, and I tend to be more efficient when I do. So I will be focusing on improving my speed and stamina over the coming weeks by incorporating a 5K "race" once a week into my schedule. Hopefully, it will start warming up in April so that I can finally run outside again!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Quest Bar Newbie

Yesterday's Workout: 5.5 miles
5.1 mile run (42:00)
0.5 mile walk 
Ab work on stability ball

Christmas came Quest bars arrived last week!

These things have been all over the fitness blog/social networking universe the past few months, and I was dying to see what all the rave was about. Needless to say, Brent and I are now addicted.

We ordered a box of the chocolate chip cookie dough bars and a box of the cookies and cream bars on Amazon. Each bar packs an entire 21 grams of protein and only 3 grams net carbs, and at only 180 calories per bar, they're the perfect snack. I've been eating them as a mid-morning hunger-reliever or a post-workout refuel as a way to incorporate more protein-rich snacks into my diet.

We both agreed the chocolate chip cookie dough bars were our favorite, but the cookies and cream were really good as well. I don't know how the company managed to do it, but they taste like dessert rather than plain old protein bars. SO GOOD!

Have you tried Quest bars yet? If so, what's your favorite flavor? I'm dying to try some of their other ones!

Friday, February 21, 2014

50% Dog, 50% Snowman

Yesterday's Workout:
Ab circuit:
25 crunches on stability ball
20 leg lifts with stability ball
30 crunches, heels on stability ball, knees bent 90 degrees
40 bicycles
90 second plank
(Repeat circuit 2x)

We're entering a heat wave here for the weekend (temperatures will be in the 40s/50s), and it could not have come at a better time. We're traveling down to NY tomorrow, and we needed the weather to be on our side for the drive. Luckily, it's all working out, and it will be really nice to get away for a weekend!

We've been trying to make the most of the snow as best we can. With the roads being full of salt/sand, which really isn't good for your pup's paws, and the sidewalks temporarily covered, we haven't been able to get out for our usual walk these days. Instead, we've been playing in the yard a lot more. The other day we got hit with some really heavy, wet snow. I took Jasper out to play in it, and half an hour later, I took him inside and realized he had somehow morphed into a snowman.

It's cute for like 5 minutes...until you realize he is melting all over the couch. Disaster, I tell ya!

Well, that's all I have for today. I wish everyone a nice, warm weekend ahead!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Light Garden Vegetable Dip

Yesterday's Workout:

For Lauren's shower, I brought along a veggie platter. I love putting together veggie platters myself versus buying the prepared ones - although the packaged ones are great if you're in a pinch! This time of year, produce is - well, let's just say, less than desirable. I didn't want to get stuck with 3 pounds of dried-out carrots, celery, and brown broccoli. Luckily, there is a wonderful produce market near by office, so I was able to pick up some really great veggies.

I tried to go as colorful as I could and made sure I got a variety of goods. Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, celery, and something a little different: fresh green beans. If you haven't tried these with a veggie platter yet, you don't know what you're missing! Some other great additions are snap peas, radishes, parsnips, and asparagus spears. The more crunch, the better!

I wanted to spruce up the display of it a bit, so I did a quick search on the almighty Pinterest before assembling and came across this genius idea. Who would have thought to use peppers as dip holders?? Like I said: genius. And so extremely simple. I took three bell peppers, cut the tops off, hollowed out the inside, gave them a good rinse, and voila, I had three all-natural dip containers ready to go. I also laid out the vegetables on leaf lettuce leaves to make it look nice. 

The most frequent question I've got though? What was in the dip. So here you go!

Light Garden Vegetable Dip

1 small crown broccoli, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 Serrano pepper, with seeds, diced
1/2 C bell pepper (I used a mix of red, yellow, and orange)
1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced
8 ounces light cream cheese, at room temperature
1 C light sour cream
1/2 C light mayo
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Put veggies in food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. I over-pulsed mine a little, which produced more liquid than I wanted, so I strained the liquid out using cheesecloth. Worked like a charm!
  • In a large bowl, whisk together cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, lemon juice, salt, and pepper until smooth. 
  • Add the veggies and mix well until combined. Season with addition salt and pepper.
  • Serve with vegetables or crackers.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Weekend Recap: Valentine's Day and Lauren's Baby Shower!

Yesterday's Workout: 6.6 miles
6 mile run (51:00)
0.6 mile walk (9:00)

After a long weekend, I tend to get a little confused as to what day it is when I do eventually have to go back to work. I'm realizing it's Wednesday, but I'm going to do a weekend recap anyways because lots of fun stuff happened!

Friday was Valentine's Day. I arrived at work to find a gorgeous bouquet of roses and calla lilies waiting for me at my desk - calla lilies were the focal point of my bridal bouquet, I absolutely adore them!

Unfortunately, I ended up working just shy of an 11 hour day on Friday, so a romantic night out was exactly what I needed. Brent took me to Papa Razzi for dinner. Like most restaurants on Valentine's Day, this place seemed to over-book on their reservations and were running somewhat behind.  We did eventually get seated, and I have to say, it was very well worth the wait. We were famished and basically inhaled the bread basket within 10 minutes.

We stuck to the Valentine's Day special menu. Our appetizer had marinated peppers, tomatoes, and onions alongside fresh mozzarella with a balsamic drizzle. Brent went with the 12 ounce rib-eye special that came with asparagus and Gorgonzola-whipped mashed potatoes. I went totally out of my usual zone and got a spaghetti dish that had fresh cold-water lobster, brussels sprouts, and butternut squash tossed in a saffron cream sauce. It was amazing. Also, incredibly rich, so I ate maybe 1/3 of it. That's okay, it meant I could have leftovers all weekend, so I was totally cool with that. For dessert, we went with their signature one: an oak-fired fruit medley (apples, bananas, strawberries) baked in cinnamon and brown sugar then topped with vanilla gelato. Yeah, I didn't care how full I was - I made room for that baby. And I licked the bowl clean. Then I spent an hour on the treadmill Saturday morning to make up for it.

Saturday, I attended a baby shower for one of my best friends. Lauren and I have been friends since we were kids. We went to elementary, middle, and high school together, played softball together, lived 2 minutes from one another, spent the summers pool-hopping together, gossiping about boys, discovering our parent's liquor cabinets (woops!). We were front and center during all of each other's wedding festivities. It was so nice having someone else there who was experiencing the same thing at the same time that I was. Though she lives a few hours away in Vermont and we don't get to see each other as often anymore, Lauren is one of those friends that the second you get together, it's like no time has gone by and you can pick up right where you left off. Pregnancy looks absolutely amazing on her, and it's pretty incredible that in just two months, she will officially be a mommy! She and her hubs are going to be wonderful parents, and I feel really blessed to have been able to be a part of celebrating the new addition of their growing family this past weekend.

In typical Mahler fashion, her family threw one incredible baby shower for Lauren and her hubs - and their little baby boy!

Ahhh we can't wait to meet the little guy at the end of April!!!

Sunday and Monday, we spent watching season two of House of Cards. As in, we finished it. There's not a whole lot else to do when you have over 2 feet of snow on the ground and it's 10 degrees outside. Seriously, is winter over yet? Jasper is even starting to agree...

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Yesterday's Workout:
10 min run @ 7.5 MPH
5 min walk @ 4.3 MPH
Repeat 2X for a total of 3.25 miles in 30 minutes
Leg Circuit (with 20 lb weights)
1 x 20 sumo squats 
1 x 20 lunges (each leg)
1 x 20 calf raises
1 x 20 squats
1 x 20 deadlifts
Repeat circuit 3X

Happy Valentine's Day, all! I'm anxiously waiting for the end of the work day so I can go home to get ready for our little date night tonight! Brent is taking me out to a restaurant in Concord. It will be nice to unwind over a cocktail, eat some delicious food, and enjoy my hub's company. Since having bought the house, our date night excursions have become more of a rarity - it also happens to do a LOT with this horrible winter weather. We've come to really appreciate staying in, opening a bottle of wine, and making a meal together in our own kitchen. Plus, he's kind of fun to cook with!

I'm a very lucky lady. I don't know if I can say enough what a really wonderful guy Brent is. He's definitely the best part of my day, every day, and I make sure tell him that as often as possible - seriously, there's not a morning I don't leave the house for work without telling him I love him. So if you're reading this, B - I love ya!

While it may be a made-up Hallmark holiday, it gives people an opportunity to shut out the everyday stress and celebrate being happy together. There's plenty of other days in the year to deal with all the other stuff - work, bills, to-do lists, kids (or pets, in our case!), and sometimes you just need an excuse to be a little more romantic than normal. I know there's a lot of Valentine's Day haters out there, and that's fine. I truly hope you all find something fun to celebrate today and that you are blessed with luck in love very soon! :-)

The Energizer Puppy

Yesterday's Workout: 3.25 mile HIIT workout on treadmill
30 minute HIIT: 
Warm-up: 2 min at 6.5 MPH
[1 min at 7.0 MPH, 0% incline
1 min at 8.1 MPH, 0% incline 
1.5 min at 7.0 MPH
30 sec at 9.0 MPH, 4% incline
1 min at 4.0 MPH, 0% incline] x 5
Cool-down: 3 min at 4.0 MPH
+ ab work on stability ball

I hopped on the treadmill yesterday for the first time in almost a week, and it felt great! By the end, my lungs have had enough, so I called it a day.

Today, I'm sitting at my kitchen table working from home, watching yet another snow storm cover my yard. We're predicted to get up to 10 inches of snow today, on top of the 10 or so inches we already have on the ground. I feel like I complain about the weather a lot lately, but seriously - this winter is one of the worst I can remember. The weekly snow storms are one thing, but the bitter cold is unbearable this year. Don't even get me started about what it costs to heat our house these days.

While it's nice to be able to work from home, it's not as easy with this dude begging for attention every 5 minutes. He's going through a stage where he will just sit and bark at us every time he wants to play - which is the majority of the morning so far. In the past 3 hours, he's been in and out of the house many times to run around in the snow, we've played the chase game around the house a few times, and we've done some obedience training. He's into it while he's being entertained, but then the second I go to sit down and work again, he throws a fit. Anyone with energetic dogs have any suggestions for a puppy with cabin fever?? It's dangerous to be going out for walks with a snowstorm outside - I'm running out of ideas!! I'll suit up in a bit and take him outside to run for awhile. I hope it helps with his seemingly boundless energy!!

Everyone on the east coast - stay safe today!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Baked Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

I made these a few weeks ago when I had a lone sweet potato sitting in my pantry. I personally am a HUGE fan of sweet potato fries, and I was intrigued by the protein-packed egg white coating in this recipe. So I figured I would give it a shot.

Not only were they super easy to make (less than 30 minutes between prep and cook time), but they were absolutely addictive. Scary addictive. I found myself picking them off the scorching hot pan and couldn't seem to stop, even after I burned the roof of my mouth - woops! The spice mix is a great addition to the fries and makes them ridiculously flavorful. They have a nice kick to them for all you spicy fans, while the cinnamon adds a subtle sweetness.

Baked Spicy Sweet Potato Fries
Adapted from Muffin Topless | Serves 2

1 sweet potato
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and heavily spray with nonstick oil. If you have a Silpat, I strongly urge you to use it because these babies stick!
  • Slice sweet potatoes into french fry shapes, about 1/2 inch thickness. Place into a bowl, add egg white, and stir until the fries are evenly coated. 
  • In a separate small bowl, mix the garlic power, chili powder, cumin, salt, oregano, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Sprinkle the spices over the fries and toss until the fries are evenly coated with the spice mixture. 
  • Spread the fries evenly onto the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, flip the fries, then bake for an additional 10 minutes (or more if you like your fries extra crispy). 
  • Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.

These would be great dipped in my chipotle cream sauce!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Circuit training, food prep, and Jasper selfies

Yesterday's Workout:
Jillian Michael's Body Shred - at decreased intensity

I really wanted to do some sort of physical activity yesterday, but I didn't want to stress my lungs too much, so I opted for a circuit training exercise. I took a one minute break (versus 20 seconds) in between each circuit to allow my breathing to adjust to normal, and I stuck to 8 lb weights instead of the usual 10. The workout tired me out more than it usually does even with the decreased intensity, but I felt great having gotten through it. I even woke up this morning to a very welcome muscle burn, letting me know my body worked hard yesterday. My lungs feel a little better today, so I may tackle a very light treadmill workout tonight, whether it's a light jog or just a brisk walk, no more than 2-3 miles. We'll see. 

I did a big food prep for the week last night. I made a pot of my favorite white bean & kale soup to have through the week for lunch and dinner. I got to use up the last of my homemade chicken stock, and it took the soup to a whole new level. I also added some diced parsnips this time, since I had them on hand. This is seriously my all-time favorite soup - lucky for me, it just happens to be super healthy!

I also prepped a huge batch of roasted winter veggies from my roasted winter vegetable salad recipe so that I can have them with dinner every night. Man, did my house smell amazing last night while they were in the oven. I actually like these best after they've been sitting to cool for about 20 minutes. They taste like candy (I attribute it to the addition of cinnamon and nutmeg in the spice mix!), and I have a hard time not reaching into the baking sheet every minute for some. 

And OF COURSE my little side-kick helped in the best way he knows how...surfing the kitchen island trying to see what was up there within mouth-reach. We're working on that. In the meantime, we practiced the art of selfies. Dude loves the camera...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Taking it easy

Like other active people out there, I have a really hard time being told to "take it easy." When training, rest days are a boring blip in the schedule, and I strongly dislike them. Also, if I'm going to dedicate an hour to exercise, I want it to be tough. I want to be sweating 10 minutes in, wishing for it to be over. And when it's over, I want to feel like I accomplished something big. Know that feeling?

For the first time in months, I didn't log any workouts over the weekend. Unfortunately, my stupid cold I caught last week worked its way down into my lungs and is wreaking havoc in the form of bronchitis. Because of my asthma, I am much more susceptible to developing acute bronchitis after a cold. The general advice I've found on the internet is that if it's below the neck, rest and recover. So I'm heeding that advice so that this doesn't get prolonged more than it already has.

In the past, I have pushed myself to exercise, no matter what. Sometimes, it turns out fine. I've also had times where I go too hard too soon and end up with a lingering cough for 2 months - NOT WORTH IT! I admit, on Friday, I started to feel like maybe I was overcoming my cold and briefly considered going home and hopping on the treadmill for an easy 3 miler, just to get my heart pumping. When I got home from work, my normally high energy level was running on almost empty, which was a sure indication I wasn't totally feeling myself. Saturday came, and I was completely down for the count.

  • It's been one hell of a long winter so far (and we still have over a month left of it!). If you find yourself sick, don't be afraid to take it easy for a few days and use precaution when exercising. 
  • If you decide to continue training, decrease your intensity.
  • Keep hydrated, avoid alcohol (it's a major dehydrator!), get at least 7 hours of sleep a night, and pay attention to your symptoms. If you feel dizzy at ANY time, do not try to exercise!
  • While there's no sure way to avoid a cold moving to your lungs, you can try to control it. Over-exerting your lungs can lead to damage and potential scarring. If you start to feel any chest pain or shortness of breath when running, slow down to a walk or take a rest day. 
  • If you're going to take few days off in order to recover, make sure you're eating well. 

As always, you're the best judge of what your body can handle.

On a positive note, this was one of the highlights of my weekend:

God, he just loves the snow. I trimmed his facial hair after this though because the snow was causing his eyes to "ice" shut. Silly pup!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Advanced HIIT Treadmill Workout

My current favorite workout is HIIT. I find myself actually looking forward to getting home and hitting the treadmill for HIIT as part of my weekly routine. It breaks up a mundane endurance treadmill workout and is great for burning that winter fat we're all guilty of storing!

I did this workout last night and loved it. It's pretty basic: 5 minute warm-up at a light pace followed by 12 one-minute on/one minute off high-to-low intensity repetitions, and finishing off with a light 5 minute cool-down.

I like to incorporate pretty high-speed segments into my HIIT (greater than 8.0 MPH) to really get my heart pumping. As always, the workout can be altered to suit your fitness level. If you are a beginner to HIIT, try decreasing the high intensity speed to between 6.0 - 7.0 MPH and work up to higher speed intervals.

A workout like this will have your metabolism revved up for the day and will continue to burn fat for up to 3 hours after you finish! 

3.6 miles in 35 minutes

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bacon Jalapeno Mac and Cheese

As is the recipe for Bacon Jalapeno Mac and Cheese that won third place last weekend in the cook-off. 

Warning: this is not a diet-friendly recipe like the ones I typically post, but it is guaranteed to knock the socks off your comfort-food-loving family and friends! 

Bacon Jalapeno Mac and Cheese

16 oz elbow macaroni
4 slices bacon, diced
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, with or without seeds (I kept half the seeds in for more heat)
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
2 1/2 C milk (I used 2%)
1/2 C heavy cream (can use all half & half or milk if you don't have cream)
2 C sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 C swiss/gruyere, grated 
3 oz cream cheese
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the macaroni according to package directions for al dente. Strain and rinse with cold water for 1 minute to stop pasta from cooking. Set aside.
  • In a dutch oven or other large pot, heat over medium heat and cook bacon until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the cooked bacon bits to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
  • To the bacon fat, add 3 Tbsp butter, onion, jalapenos, and garlic. Cook until soft, about 5-8 minutes. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the milk and cream and bring to a boil, stirring frequently (about 5 minutes). Reduce to simmer and cook for an addition 3 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally. 
  • Remove from heat and add the cheeses and macaroni, stirring until combined. Add paprika, salt, and pepper to taste.

*At this point, I added it into a greased Crock Pot and allowed it to cook on low for 2 hours to keep it warm for the cook-off contest. However, if I was serving this immediately, I would have eaten it as is. It was creamy, delicious perfection.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sick of snow!

Yesterday's Workout
1 mile brisk walk to warm-up
Leg Circuit, with 20 lb weights:
1 x 15 squats
1 x 15 deadlifts
1 x 15 (each leg) lunges
1 x 15 sumo squats
1 x 15 calf raises
1 minute cardio (jumping jacks, burpees, skater jumps, jump rope)
*Rest 30 seconds after cardio and repeat 4x

I woke up yesterday feeling a bit under the weather, and it only got worse through the day. I needed a break from running anyways, so I stuck to resistance training instead. I find that when I'm sick, if I am getting some type of exercise, it really helps my mindset and makes me feel worlds better, if only briefly. I'm a go-go-go kind of person, so being sick is very frustrating to me, mostly because of the lack of energy it leaves me with. Luckily, the snowstorm is in full effect, so I'll be home all day with nothing on my to-do list beyond some work stuff and possibly some baking. Oh, and being Jasper's "let-me-outside-bitch." He's already been in and out 4 times since 6 o'clock this morning. What does he do out there? You tell me. We caught him sitting out in the front yard watching the snow falling earlier. He's the only one in this house excited about the foot of snow coming down today, I can tell you that!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Yesterday's Workout: 3.5 miles
[ 1 mile @ 8.0 MPH (7:30 mile) + 2.5 min walk @ 4.0 MPH ] x 3 = 3.5 miles in 30 minutes
15 minutes of Pilates ab work

Well, what do you know - we're getting another big storm here tomorrow. 6-10" of snow. I haven't been able to see my lawn since November. So yeah, I'm over it.

On a totally different note...people still drink Gatorade? I've always thought it was gross, even as a kid. The only time I've willingly drank this stuff in the last twenty years is when they handed it out at races. This post about how bad Gatorade is for you did not shock me at all; I'm actually surprised this information took so long to be passed around the health blog world. This author recommends 4 natural alternatives to Gatorade/Powerade that will replenish your electrolytes after a tough workout. While I've never tried any of these 4 concoctions, the only two I would even consider are the "Juice" and the "Blend" versions. The other two sound absolutely disgusting. I have to believe coconut water is something you either love or hate. I was really excited to test this out and was thrilled when I discovered they were handing out freebies before my half marathon. I grabbed it and chugged. Instant gag attack. It tasted like old dirty water to me. Add some chia seeds in there, and you've got yourself just about the least appetizing drink ever. Oh wait, nope, the salt + baking soda + lemon juice + maple syrup one might have that beat.

Also, think about the majority of Gatorade consumers: kids. I totally understand wanting to replace that unnatural stuff with good-for-you alternatives. But if adults find these natural concoctions less than appealing, I can't imagine a 10-year-old would want to partake.

I am a believer of keeping things simple. After long runs, I stick to hydrating and replenishing electrolytes in the easiest way possible with simple ingredients. Full glass of water. A spoonful of sugar (granulated, maple syrup, honey, whatever you prefer). Dash of salt. I would recommend following that with a glass of blended frozen banana, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/2 Tbsp natural peanut butter, and optionally, 1 scoop of protein powder. Not only does it help fuel recovery, it's absolutely delicious.

What do you do to hydrate after a tough workout?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Weekend Recap

Yesterday's Workout: 6 miles
5.1 mile endurance run (42:00)
0.9 mile walk

Weekend Recap. Go.

We got some stuff done around the house - we've been slowly working on hanging things on the walls (only took us 5 months!) and doing small shopping trips for decor, etc. I do most of my shopping at Home Goods and small consignment shops. While we won't have any big ticket furniture items left on the list, it never hurts to look. It's kind of my dream I will stumble across some amazing antique buffet for under $200 that I can completely refinish to go in our dining room. So far, no such luck. But things are coming together for the most part. While none of the rooms are quite 'finished', I will get around to posting pictures of the house eventually. Most likely in the spring. I could probably start an entire new blog on everything home-related, but I will hold off on that.

Saturday morning, I sweated my way through another Jillian Michael's workout. On Saturday night, we went to visit my mom and participated in a Crock Pot Cook-off. It was kind of a last-minute decision, and I was having trouble finding a recipe. My go-to Crock Pot recipe is this BBQ pulled chicken, but my mom used it last year in the same contest and placed 2nd, so I had to go back to the drawing board for this year. I decided to try my hand at bacon jalapeno mac and cheese. This is by no means a healthy meal, but maybe I'll post the recipe this week anyways. I ended up placing 3rd out of almost 20 submissions! I submitted the dish under Brent's name since his name is much more unique than mine. So naturally, when they called his name as third-prize winner, he was gallivanting around, taking all the credit. Obnoxious. He had us laughing when he bounced up to accept his prize though. Such a dork.

I was full of energy on Sunday morning and needed to burn off everything I ate at the cook-off, so I hopped on the treadmill for an endurance run. I've been really into HIIT lately, and it's making a hugely positive impact on my endurance. I plugged out 6 miles and felt amazing!

Jasper had a case of the lazies, so we snapped him out of it by taking him to the dog park to play for awhile. I could spend the whole day there watching all the pups play, it's adorable! We came back to watch some of the Puppy Bowl. Jasper could have cared less until he heard the puppies barking on the TV. Then he was glued. I swear he was actually watching it.

The actual Super Bowl left much to be desired. I LOVED the half-time show though, and the commercials during the first half were pretty good! We picked up some buffalo chicken tenders at Roche Bros before the game to have alongside some leftover mac and cheese and fresh raw veggies. Since I'm not really a beer drinker, I made myself a Kir Royale (black currant with prosecco) to sip while watching the game. Turns out buffalo chicken and prosecco don't really mix so well - hello, heartburn! I ended up falling asleep 5 minutes before the game ended, but it's not the Broncos were going to come back to win it.

And just like that, the weekend was over.

Is it Friday yet?