2 October Challenges, family visits + I can’t stop eating M&Ms

Couple things to talk about today…the most interesting might be that I physically cannot stop eating M&Ms.  Like seriously impossible.  My mom gave me a bag of the minis which she said we were suppose to save and give out as Halloween Candy (um, have you met me and my sweet tooth) and I wasn’t going to open them I swear, but I got snacky on the car ride home from Olympia and well, pretty much I’ve done nothing but dive into the bags ever since.

And while eating all that candy wasn’t good I’d like to think of it as my last hoorah before October challenge number one starts tomorrow.  Challenge one = no sugar.  One of the pilates teachers and the Zumba teacher at the gym are giving up sugar and I’m joining in.  They’re following this 21 day detox plan which includes both sugar and alcohol and I’m sure a couple other things that you can find in the guide.  I haven’t gotten the guide and I don’t know how closely I’ll follow the alcohol plan because cutting out sugar is enough.  And we’re not talking natural sugar, we’re talking sweets – candy, cookies, M&Ms’ etc.  Last weekend I told my grandma I was going to give up candy starting last Monday and I did good until the weekend when I blew it on some delicious banana, oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies that Chris’ grandma made me so hopefully a new month will give me that push to really make it happen.  Let me know if you want to join me, I could definitely use the support.

October challenge number two is a fun little contest I found here. It’s called the Rocktober challenge and basically every day there’s a fitness/healthy challenge that you need to do and take a picture of and then tweet it to @MichelleLMyers.  Tomorrow is “athletic shoes.”  Easy.  I looked at the rest of the month and they’re pretty fun – wall sit, favorite nut butter, fitness quote that inspires you…Oh and best part, you are entered to win prizes if you complete the whole month.

And now, the actual reason I started this post, the recap of my weekend.  We went up to Seattle to watch my Washington State Cougars take on the Oregon Ducks.  I knew it was going to be a blow-out so I didn’t have very high expectations but surprisingly the Cougs held their own for the first half before stinking it up big time in the second.

And because we like to pack in as many things and people as possible, we hung out with Chris’ grandma and cousin on Saturday where beyond just feeding us delicious cookies made a tasty lunch of grilled turkey, grain salad, fresh from the garden tomatoes and avocados.

We also hung out with my dad, step-mom and sister.

And on the way home this afternoon we stopped in Olympia and had lunch with my mom, brother and grandma at Red Robin (and it was delicious – the whiskey river BBQ chicken wrap with honey mustard for the fries in one of my most favorite meals).

And now that I’ve written a novel it’s time to go.  Revenge is on!

Off the Grid

This weekend I had no cell phone, no computer, no Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram…off the grid.  Completely.

We went camping at Barlow Creek up near Mt. Hood and it was great.  In the history of our relationship, Chris and I have had 1 sunny weather camping trip with all the rest taking place in the pouring rain.  Not this time!  We finally had glorious weather for our outdoor adventures.  It was a great campsite with the picnic table area up near the road and then our own private beach down by the creek.  And to be honest, we really didn’t do much besides relax, play cornhole (the boys), read (the girls) and eat (all of us).  Not going to lie, I certainly enjoyed some bad for me food (um lets not even talk about the amount of licorice or giant doritos I consumed this weekend).  But it was great.  Well deserved rest and relaxation.

When we got home I actually hoped on the spin bike (in all my filthy camping grossness…please still be my friend) for 45 minutes and then did a tiny arm circuit (front & side raises, shoulder press, tricep extension, front rows, bent over lateral raise) and finished off with about 250 crunches.  And then finally I showered.

And then we ate pizza.  Whoops.  Clearly I will be losing my diet bet.  I hope those of you who are doing it are having more success than I am…However this was our last “big” weekend before football season starts (have I mentioned we have season tickets to the Beavers) so I hoping I can pull things together these last two weeks before tailgating starts.

Alright off to watch the closing ceremonies and Newsroom.  What was your favorite moment of the Olympics?  I’m going to go with swimming.  I still love Michael and I’m a new fan of Missy.

And I’m back

Earlier today we got home from an awesome weekend.  I mean, we’re talking like one of the highlights of my summer :)  We headed up to my hometown of Olympia, WA Friday night and hung out with my mom, grandma, uncle and brother and then Saturday headed North on HWY 101 to DaBob bay which is in the northern part of Hood Canal, about 30ish minutes from Hoodsport.  It was beautiful.  We were out there with Chris’ family and I had a blast.

Here is a glimpse into my weekend…

Olympia

DaBob Bay (more pics to come later in the week)

Sunday Prep –

I mixed up a big bowl of chicken salad – boiled & shredded chicken, 1 can each of black beans and corn, 2 roasted sweet potatoes, leftover salsa and 2-3 oz of goat cheese.

And I slow jogged for 45 minutes on our new to us treadmill.  Our friend Mindy moved downtown and needed to get rid of stuff out of her garage and we lucked out and got her treadmill.  It’s awesome.  On the older end of things but great for some easy jogs.  I’ve been on it twice and love it.  I love the bike but I will always be a treadmill gal.

And now I’m out to watch Newsroom.  Have you seen it yet?

 

Sunday iPhone photo dump

I just spent waaaaay too much time online researching DSLR camera bags (like the whole afternoon) but I finally bit the bullet and bought what I hope turns out to be a beautiful lady. Once she arrives I’ll tell you more about her :) In the meantime, here’s a recap of the past 24-48 hours.

(Rainy) Organic Brew Fest

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Hopkins’ joint bday celebration at Old Gold

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Morning workout

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Lunch

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Dinner

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And that’s all I’ve got for you. Hope you had a great weekend. Tell me what you did…

Peanut Butter Watermelon Smoothie

So yesterday I got a little crazy. We took Chance to happy hour at Sniff (Dogs play for free humans hang at the bar) and before we headed down I made a quick protein shake so I wouldn’t eat all their delicious snacks starve. I’d tossed some watermelon in the freezer earlier in the week and decided to play around with that and ended up mixing in peanut butter and almond milk. I was a little scared about the combo, I mean the potential for grossness was big. But turns out, it was delicious! I made Chris try it (he didn’t know what was in it) and he was like, “hmmm watermelon and peanut butter. Weird but it works.”

And I loved it so much yesterday that I had it again for breakfast while Chris opted for plain peanut butter. You seriously can’t go wrong either way.

Peanut Butter Watermelon Protein Smoothie
Serves 1. Blend everything up. Enjoy.

  • 1 cup frozen seedless watermelon
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (I used Justin’s Honey PB)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • Handful of roasted, unsalted peanuts (leftover from the time I made peanut butter)

Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie
Serves 1. Blend everything up. Enjoy

  • Approx 8 ice cubes
  • Handful of roasted, unsalted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder

I rounded out breakfast with 2 eggs + Frank’s Hot Sauce and coffee (black with a splash of almond milk).

I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing for a workout today. I had a great weight session at the gym yesterday involving a bosu ball, step-ups, squats, tricep dips, single leg raises and tricep extensions and now I’m sore. Thinking some spin-bike cardio or maybe a little Jillian. I haven’t seen her crazy, smiling face in a while…

What are you doing for your workout today?

And in other news. We hosted dinner club at our house on Thursday and I never got around to uploading the pics so let’s take a little trip backwards…

We did taco bar with ground turkey breast, soft/hard shells, lettuce, avocados, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream and beans. Friends brought rice, chips/salsa and the most amazing guacamole I have ever had. But because things were so delicious you only get to see my plate (and yes I put ketchup on my tacos…weird but I’ve done it my whole life).

Does anyone else do this? Or do you have weird food combos you love?

But my favorite part of dinner club was baby John. He’s grown so much since last month’s dinner club. I love his chubby little cheeks.

How cute is he asleep in his momma’s arms?

And I loved that Chance was so good with him. He’s never been around babies and he was super gentle and just wanted to lick him all over.

Alright and now we’re back to the present…Later this afternoon we’re checking out the Organic Brew Fest which is always a good time as long as the rain holds. The forecast calls for a 60% chance of showers so we’ll see.

Do you guys have any fun plans for the weekend?

Rest day

Today is my rest day.  As in there will be no working out for my body.  I’ve worked out every day this week and normally I would go for a walk or a light bike ride (active rest) but my in-laws are in town and they’re the priority.  I’ve heard horror stories about people hating their in-laws but I’m lucky.  I absolutely love mine.

This morning, my mother in law and I went for manicures and pedicures at Dosha.

Then we met back up with Chris and his dad and grabbed some lunch on 23rd.  Then we headed to a grocery store near our house to get some nut butter that my friends Sunny and Andy have been raving about.  It’s called Bee-nut butter and it’s natural peanut butter with honey and sea-salt.  Chris doesn’t get it.  He says we already have PB, honey and salt so why spend the money to get something we already have all the ingredients to?  I say, it sounds amazing and can’t wait to try it.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

While I was there, the check-out girl and I started talking about nut butters and she said one of her fave breakfasts is toasts with coconut oil, peanut butter and a sliced banana which I’m definitely going to try.  I’ve never thought to put coconut oil on my toast…has anyone else tried something similar?

Not sure what we’re doing with the rest of our day…shopping, dinner, who knows.  It’s beautiful out so we’ll be taking advantage of that I hope.  Maybe dinning somewhere al fresco…

Hope you all are having great weekends.  Are you doing anything fun for father’s day tomorrow.

Do not try this at home

This morning I woke up and wanted protein pancakes which I’ve made many, many times.  Except I make them with cottage cheese and we don’t have any cottage cheese.  So I proceeded to make up a random recipe.  Um yeah, don’t try these.  Unless you like a weird, mushy-filled, good-smelling pancake.

Don’t try at home protein pancakes:
Makes 4-5

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 cup oats
  • 4 tablespoons almond milk
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour (pretty sure this is the culprit for the grossness.  Every time I use coconut flour whatever I’m making is not good.  You think I would learn my lesson by now right?)
  • 2 tablespoons water

But they just smelled so good so I ate them anyway with peanut butter (courtesy of my foodie penpal),  and honey. Side note – Right now Luke Bryan is on TV singing “Drunk on you” and one of the lines is about a drip of honey.

PS if you want good protein pancake recipes, I’d head over to Peanut Butter Fingers and check out Julie’s recipes.  They look amazing.

I completed my breakfast with a mug of coffee + almond milk and a blueberry smoothie sans protein powder.  I feel good that I no longer have any fake food in there but I’ll warn you that these take some getting use to.  Little sour since it’s non-fat, plain greek yogurt.  I put some honey and cinnamon in there this morning and it was much better than earlier versions.

Blueberry Smoothie:
Makes 2 16 oz glasses

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 cups spinach (today was a mix of spinach and kale)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup organic non-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1 & 1/2 cups non-fat, plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • dash of cinnamon

As it’s currently 10:40 I need to start pulling myself together.  I’m thinking a 3.5 mile run (although my knee is feeling a little iffy) or 45 min on the spin bike.  We have a wedding to go to at 2:30 so I don’t have a whole lot of time to be lazy today.

Last night we grabbed drinks (I only had 1 glass of wine – go me) with some friends who are in town for the wedding from the Netherlands.  It was great to catch up with them and I’m excited we get to spend more time with them tonight.

And before that we had dinner:

Strawberry salad

And chicken penne pasta (minus kale)

Yesterday’s workout was a good one – a pilates reformer class plus 15 min on the elliptical (alternating between leaves 7 and 10) and 15 min on the treadmill at an 8:30 pace…so a little over 1.5 miles.  I’m going to try and get back into more of a 3 day a week pilates routine.  I’d been pretty consistent before my physical therapist told me to quit and in the time I took off I definitely noticed a change in my body.  Pilates really helps to keep my muscles long and lean and since I wasn’t doing that, instead doing more weights, I felt like I was getting a little too bulky.  Especially my arms.  So for the next couple weeks I’m going to try a pure pilates reformer/cardio mix and see what happens.  I’ll keep you posted.

Wow, I feel like I’ve written a novel and I still have one more thing to get though.  I wanted to let you know about this challenge that Powercakes is doing.  For the month of June, she’s challenging you to focus on clean eating, with a new meal/food to try each day.  Yesterday was “eat a rainbow” which actually was harder than I thought.  Today is to eat something red so I’m thinking yogurt and berries will be in my future later.  Let me know if you guys are up for trying it.  I’ll post what I eat on here for ideas but I think it’s a pretty cool concept.

Eat a rainbow

And I’m out. Finally.  Hope you all have good weekends.

 

Reading Books

When I went to bed last night I told myself I would be out the door and on a run by 8 and then I would work in the yard and clean the house.  But when I woke up this morning I decided it would be ok to read one chapter of The Hunger Games.  Except one chapter turned into 4 straight hours of laying in my bed reading.  And when I finally finished book 1 I got out of bed (after buying book 2 and charging my ipad), ate breakfast and made some coffee.  And then it was noon so I put on my bathing suit and headed outside.  To read more.  And that’s pretty much how I spent my entire day until Chris got home from his bachelor party at 3:30.

And at first I felt a little guilty for doing nothing with my day.  I kept thinking maybe I could spin on the bike, or take Chance for a walk but I quickly brushed those thoughts aside.  Sometimes you just need a day to rest, to give your body a break.  And today was my day.  And guess what?  It’s been glorious.  I’ll get back on the workout train tomorrow.  I’ll push myself hard at the gym every day this week but today, I’ve 100% enjoyed not pounding the pavement, not lifting weights, not getting sweaty from anything but the sunshine.

Me and Chance – my “fur” son – spending Mother’s day together.

Oh but I did make sure to take some time out of my busy book-reading day to call my mom.  She lives in Olympia and I wasn’t able to make it up there.  She’s spending the day with her brother and my grandma, working out in the yard.  And even though I told her on the phone, I want to make sure she knows just how much I love her so I’m putting it out here on the internet.   That even though I’m not there with her in person, she still means the world to me.  That I love being her daughter and that I’m so proud to have her as a mom.  I could never have asked for a better person to be my role model.  For a better example on how to be a genuinely good human being.  She’s an amazing lady my mom.  And I love her very, very much :)  Thank you for being my mom and everything you do for me.  I love you!

 

Bring on the heat

Apparently mother nature has decided to reward us for suffering through a crappy summer last year by giving us a bonus stint of sunshine. Seriously. It’s 80+ right now and it feels fantastic!

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Currently I’m lounging in an adirondack, sipping on a frappuccino (homemade version….more to come on that at another time) and contemplating cracking open the Hunger Games as I’m sure I’m the last person on earth who hasn’t read it. Later I’m heading to a BBQ.

And if we were to rewind my day, it would go a little something like this:

7am wakeup call from a hungry dog, small amount of reality TV watching, 2 rounds from Jillian Michael’s DVDs (level 4 of Ripped in 30 + level 2 of whatever the glutes/legs one…why can’t I remember the name if it?). Those were followed by an easy 30 min spin ride and breakfast of a protein shake, English muffin with PB & honey and a big mug of coffee (consumed while watching Thursday’s DVRd Grey’s Anatomy).

After all of that I cleaned the kitchen, planned out meals for the week, went to the grocery store and made a batch of protein bars.

And that takes me right back to here. In the sunshine. Loving life. Hope you’re doing the same.

Sunday Fun-day…with bikes!

Yesterday was awesome.  Not only was I super productive but I spent the entire afternoon outside.

Chance was up and at em at 7:30 in the morning and while I really wanted to sleep in I made myself get up and crank out a Jillian.  Level 4 of Ripped in 30.  I was still sore from Friday’s Jillian’s and barely made it through (even had to drop down to my knees for some push ups).  After that, I popped in some laundry and then I rode the spin bike for 50 minutes.  More laundry and then I headed into the kitchen where I roasted some veggies and cooked quinoa for lunches for the week.

Oh yeah, and before that, for breakfast I made myself a:

Strawberry cheesecake protein smoothie:

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar-free/fat-free cheesecake instant pudding
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries

And by the way, all of this happened before noon.  At which point I headed to the airport to pick up Chris.  And we headed straight to the Hillsdale Farmer’s Market.  It was our first time there and even though we didn’t buy anything we saw some awesome stands.  We’ll definitely be spending more time there this summer.

After the market we headed home, had some lunch (kale chips plus toast with almond butter for me) and then got out our bikes.  I’ve mentioned before that we like to cruise into the village on our bikes and because the weather was amazing and Chris wanted to embrace our neighborhood after spending a weekend in Sin City we decided to have a Sunday Fun-day.

Our 1st stop was Lucky Lab where we met up with Dan and Cassie.

And after that we headed into Hillsdale (still on our bikes) to the Hilllsdale Brew Pub where I had a purple haze.  So delicious.

And then we headed to Salvador Molly’s where I had a margarita and a delicious salad with black beans, corn, cojita cheese, salsa and guacamole.  Delicious.  I didn’t take any pictures so you’ll have to imagine.  FYI if you ever come to Portland you have to check out Salvador Molly’s.  It’s been featured on Man Vs. Food for their great balls of fire challenge (basically you have to eat 5 of these super spicy balls.  I’ve eaten a 1/4 of one and thought I was going to die).

It was almost 8 by the time we rode home and we decided to go back through the village which made for a few more hills than I was anticipating (normally it’s downhill all the way home).  It’s about 3 miles from our house to Salvador Molly’s so if you just counted that, we would have ridden 6 miles but because we rode around various spots in the village I’m thinking maybe we were closer to 7 or 8?  So that, plus my time on the spin bike earlier in the day, and all the hills…leg burner for sure.

Moral of the story?  Take your workouts outside.  Yesterday was so much fun, I enjoyed every single minute of it, even those crazy hills.  Granted, the sun had a huge amount to do with it – who doesn’t like feeling heat on their back while sipping on a delicious brew?  But I definitely pushed myself up those hills to keep up with Chris and got a solid workout.  So much more enjoyable than plugging away mindlessly on a treadmill or exercise bike.  I mean, working out yesterday was fun!  So much in fact that we might end up taking it outside again today.  In a crazy turn of events, Portland may be getting sunshine for an entire week so I think after dinner we’re going to go strap on our bike helmets and race up some hills.

Did anyone else do anything active outside this weekend?  Or have any plans to workout outside this week?