Efficient workouts + shrimp pasta

Week one of the new job is one the books.  Done and done.

I also tried out my new lunchtime workout schedule for the 1st time and I feel like it’s going to be doable.  Honestly the only negative thing that was going through my mind when I was dealing with all this job stuff was the fact that the building was off campus which meant I could no longer walk to the gym at lunch and will have to drive.  Huge bummer since that’s a massive part of my day but in the end I realized I can’t base my career on gym access.  So I’ve vowed to make it work.

The commute definitely adds some time into the equation so I’m realizing I’m going to have to get a lot smarter about my workouts.  Gone are the leisurely hour and a half sessions + locker room time.  From now on, it’s 60 min or less in the gym with 15 minutes to get ready, giving me 15 minutes for commuting.  Here’s how things shook out for day one:

30 minutes of intervals on the elliptical.  Varying between resistance levels 7 -12, I alternated 30 sec to 1 minutes bursts to really get my heart rate going.  After that I did a quick dumbbell weight circuit 3 times through:

  • Front Raises 8lbs x 10
  • Lateral Raises 8lbs x 10
  • Single Arm Tricep extensions 8lbs x 12
  • Bent over rows 8lbs x 10
  • Squats 25 (varied between regular, side and sumo)
  • Side ab bends 16lbs x 25 per side
  • Step Ups on the weight bench 8lbs x 10

I did all of that in under an hour.  Nice.

And you know where else I was efficient this week?  With our Thursday night dinner.  I was still tired from my trip and Chris had firewood delivered and had to deal with stacking that.  We were going to go out or get pizza but I really wanted something healthy so I raided the kitchen and this is what I came up with.  It was delish.

Spicy shrimp Parmesan Pasta

  • 20 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 crown broccoli
  • Whole Wheat spaghetti noodles
  • olive oil
  • red pepper flakes
  • sea salt
  • shredded parmesan cheese
  • garlic powder

But because I was being so efficient I didn’t measure anything.  Here’s my best guess at directions to recreate:

Spray some olive oil on the shrimp, and toss with red pepper flakes, garlic and sea salt.  Steam the broccoli on the stove in a steamer basket while your noodles are cookie.  Cook your shrimp on a pan over medium heat.  Add the shrimp and broccoli to the noodles. Toss in a bit of olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking and top with parmesan cheese.  I probably added about a 1/4 – 1/2 cup?

And of course, I topped it with sriracha.  So good.

Things I am jazzed about

Can you tell I’ve been busy at night enjoying our glorious weather that seems to be never-ending?  Instead of trying new recipes, taking pictures or talking about my workouts we’ve been celebrating our anniversary, meeting friends downtown for dinner, going on long walks and eating Chipotle.  Ahhh the life.  And the best part, it looks like the sun is going to stick around at least for another week which is even better because I’ll be able to lay out all day and enjoy it.

“How?”  You ask?

Because this gal is taking a vacation.  Except not really.  I just have tons of time off saved up. So much that if I don’t use it I’ll lose it so I took all of next week off.  Chris and I might go to the beach for a couple of days or we might not.  And on the days he has to go to work and I don’t, I’ll be laying out on the deck.  Soaking up those fleeting summer rays.  Can’t wait.

You know what else I can’t wait for?  The rodeo!  Tomorrow AM we’re heading to Pendleton, OR to catch the finals of the Pendleton Round Up.  We’ve never been to this rodeo and I’m super excited.  As long as I can find a cute dress to wear…that’s my after-work mission.

To match these boots.

But first I have to get through the rest of today.  A couple of meetings, a workout, the Coug game.

And while we’re on the topic of workouts, it has been a pretty good week on that front.  Pilates + cardio Monday and Wednesday, circuit workout + cardio Tuesday, and yesterday I went for a 4 mile run outside.  The best part – my knees didn’t hurt on the run, after it or this morning.

Alright, I feel like this post has been random enough so I better get a move on.  But, I will leave you with one of my favorite photos from Tuesday’s 2 year anniversary photo session (and by photo session I mean me strategically setting the camera on the deck and running back and forth between auto-timed shots).  Chance dog was so excited for me to be in the pic that he full-on licked my face.  That guy.

Hope you all have good weekends.

This heat is too much…too much

Look closely at this picture.  Notice anything strange?

Ooooh, right.  Portland is never supposed to be 108 degrees.  Ever.  Now granted my car was sitting directly in the sun so it wasn’t quite that hot but when I get into the car and can’t touch anything – the seats, the steering wheel, my sunglasses…I kind of reach my limit.  Not to mention I didn’t have time to workout during the day and planned on riding the spin bike at home…hahahahah.  I’m all for a good workout but riding my bike in the Sahara is just plain crazy talk.

Instead I’ve kind of been lying around on the couch in my non air-conditioned house, melting, and feeling generally unsettled.  Chris made chicken fajitas (but it was too hot to get my camera out) and then he met his friend for a drink and I’ve managed to waste multiple hours on the internet pinning things, reading celebrity gossip and randomly grabbing handfuls of chips from the pantry every time I walk in to get water..someone has boredom hunger.

And now I’m giving myself 7 more minutes of my “it’s too hot out” pity party before I have to be productive.  Priority #1 being to pack my gym bag for yet another early morning workout.  I’m aiming to get to the gym by 7 to do some weights before my 8am meeting and then hoping to get back at lunchtime for Zumba.  We shall see.

Ok and now I’m down to 4 minutes…better get a move on.  But before I go, here are a few pics from last night.  A last-minute birthday celebration for Dan.  Dinner and drinks at Rouge (where we barely missed the Real World Portland cast and then later went and stalked their house) and then back to the village to cap off the night at Journey’s.  Excellent.

Is anyone else experiencing a heat wave right now?  Or what about the people who deal with this kind of weather all the time.  Does it ever just kick your butt?  Do I sound like a total baby right now hahah?

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?

 

Morning cardio and gym bag fails

Currently my hair resembles a lion’s mane and there’s a strong possibility that I will end up flashing my co-workers before the day ends because my skirt is hanging on my hips by the tiniest of threads.

How have I gotten myself into such a predicament you ask? Morning cardio.

I spent 30 minutes on the elliptical on incline level 1. The minutes broke down like this:

  • 0 – 10: resistance 7
  • 10 – 20: resistance 8
  • 20- 30 at resistance 9

Then I ran a slow 2.5 miles on the treadmill.  And followed that up with some leg extensions.  I did light weight (20 – 30 lbs) and high reps (25).  My hamstrings are so freaking tight from Tuesday’s workout that I thought leg extensions might balance things out and make my quads sore.  I mean, if my legs are going to be sore, let everything be sore?  And then I painfully rolled out with the foam roller and followed up with 10 minutes of ice which felt amazing.

And now back to the skirt/flashing/lion’s mane situation…

See I packed my gym bag last night.  I knew it was going to be in the 80’s so in went a tank, flip flops and a skirt.  Sounds good right?  Except that I hadn’t worn the skirt since last summer and didn’t try it on beforehand to realize it’s too big.  Having my clothes be too big is always a good thing.  I’d love it if all the clothes in my closet no longer fit me.  As long as I was learning this info in my own room in my own closet where I had the option of putting something else on.  But when you’re getting ready at the gym your only option is the outfit you brought or sweaty gym shorts. So I put on my too big skirt and made the best of it.  And then I spent the next 10 minutes in a mad rush to finish getting ready so that I could make it back to my desk for a 9 AM meeting.

Which is where the lion’s mane comes in.  I have naturally curly hair which I prefer to wear straight but on rainy days or days with limited getting ready time I do it curly.  It also grows fast and I can only wear it curly for so long before it gets too big and turns into what Chris fondly refers to as “the lion’s mane.”  Well, my friends, we are totally in lion’s mane territory.  And the worst kind of lion’s mane is the one where I don’t have enough time to fully let it dry/diffuse and have to leave it wet.  Which was today. Can’t wait to get home to pull this crazy mop back into a headband.

How do you guys handle morning workouts if you have to get ready at the gym?  Do you try on outfits before? Wear your outfit to the gym and then change?  Ever have any major fails?  I’m convinced one day I’m going to forget something likes shoes or pants…hahah.

Horrible Shoes

If my feet could talk they would be screaming obscenities at me for what I just put them through.  A 30 minute round-trip walk of pain.  I was walking back from a meeting and just about the time I took this picture I was seriously considering taking them off and walking the rest of the way back to my office barefoot.  But it’s hot out and the pavement would have burned my feet (not to mention my co-workers would wonder what I was up to) and I figured blisters would be better than burns?  I might be regretting that decision tomorrow. Who knows.

I’ve had these shoes for at least 5 years and have never experienced anything like this before with them.  In fact, they’re some of my go-tos for comfort so I’m not quite sure what happened.  I guess they will now be relegated to the back of my closet, only to come out to play on days when I’ll be sitting at my desk for long periods of time.  Sad.

They did manage to get me through my walk to the gym where I changed into sneakers and did a pilates reformer class (my abs were on FIRE!) and 25 minutes of intervals on the elliptical.  Note, we had a mini photo shoot session in class today to accompany an awesome guest post I have coming your way all about pilates.  Hopefully I’m building up some good anticipation.  Seriously.  Get excited.

They also got me through a walk to the coffee cart where I got this:

Grande iced Americano with a splash of rice milk

and this:

I love coconut

Luckily the day is almost over and I will definitely not be wearing them when I walk Chance dog tonight or when we’re eating leftover BBQ Chicken Quinoa salad for dinner.   Cardio tomorrow is going to be rough and band-aids for my blisters are definitely in my future.  Stupid shoes.

Do you guys have shoes that look cute but kill your feet?  Any good flat brands you’d recommend? Clearly I’m in the market.

 

From pin to plate + killer legs

Pinterest has seriously become my go-to place for recipes and I pinned this one on there what feels like months ago (if you don’t know about Pinterest then I’m pretty sure you’re living under a rock. Go there now and thank me later).  In fact it may have been one of my 1st pins.  There have been many weeks that it goes on our menu but for one reason or another we never get around to making it.  But not this week.  Today I made the BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad that has been staring me in the face every time I log on to one of the most amazing websites ever.

And it was good.

BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad 
Original recipe belongs to Gaby at What’s Gaby Cooking.  My version of the recipe below.
Serves 4

2 boneless organic chicken breasts – marinated in BBQ sauce overnight and grilled on the BBQ (this is separate because you need to at least marinate it ahead of time)

  • 1 can corn – rinsed and drained
  • 1 can black beans – rinsed and drained
  • 1 jalapeno – washed and chopped (including the membrane and seeds)
  • 1 avocado – chopped
  • 1 handful cilantro – chopped
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (3/4 cup dry)
  • Shredded cheese
  • 2 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • Light sour cream

Directions:
Mix corn, beans, jalapeno, quinoa, avocado, BBQ sauce and chicken together.  Add cheese and cilantro.  Top your bowl with sour cream if desired.

So easy and so good.  We’ll have leftovers for tomorrow and I can’t wait.

If you want to see more of my Pinterest finds, head on over there and follow me.

And because today has been all about things I found on the internet…I was so inspired by Young Married Chic’s awesome legs that I decided to add a little weight training to my usual cardio day.

My workout:
60 minutes on the elliptical.  30 of those minutes were dedicated to steady-state cardio of a level 8 resistance at incline level 1.  The next 30 minutes were spent interval-ing it up:

  • Min 30-40: 30 sec speed/1:30 recover
  • Min 40-50: 30 sec speed/1:00 recover
  • Min 50-60: 30 sec speed/30 sec recover

And after that I worked out my legs.  I did this circuit 3 times through with a 30 lb barbell and no rest.  Just plain old wham bam thank you mam.

  • Deadlifts to upright row x 10
  • Deadlifts x 10
  • Squats x 10
  • Side squats x 10 (per leg)
  • Calf raises x 20

After that, I headed into the stretching room and did this 4 times through:

  • Roman twists with a 6 lb medicine ball x 50
  • Fire hydrant leg lifts x 10

And I ended the whole workout with a 60 sec wall sit followed by a 60 sec plank.

Phew.  I’m exhausted just writing it out.  I’m off to watch some TV with Chris and enjoy some popcorn.  But I shall leave you with an adorable picture of Chance during our walk today. And a question:

If you could have any celebrity’s legs, whose would you pick?  I’d go with Carrie Underwood.  Hands down.

If you give a mouse a cookie…

He’s going to want a glass of milk*

Except we’re not talking mice and baked goods.  We’re talking about these guys:

How beautiful is that strawberry???  I came home after work to water my plants and saw that my strawberries had finally popped.  Woo hoo!  There is just something about growing your own food in your own backyard that makes you feel good.  Like, “I did that thank-you-very-much.” Plus, it feels like a sign of summer.  June strawberries = summertime.

And what did I do promptly after seeing said berry?

Ate it.  Duh.  But like I mentioned earlier, if you give a mouse lady a cookie strawberry, she’s going to start craving a strawberry smoothie :)  Which is exactly what I made.

Strawberry Cheesecake Protein Smoothie

  • 6-8 fresh strawberries (I wish I could say these came from my garden but we’re not quite there in.  These came from the organic section of Fred Meyer)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar-free, fat-free cheesecake pudding mix
  • 6-8 ice cubes

And the outtake:

Delicious.

We’re meeting some friends for dinner at Matador which is my favorite mexican restaurant and I wanted to make sure I didn’t go there starving. Did you know a protein smoothie makes a great post-work, pre-dinner snack?  My smoothie was around 200 calories with 12 grams of protein and approx 6 grams of fiber. Much better than a handful of chips.

What about you?  Do you eat a snack before dinner?  Even though I usually have something around 3-4 I always want to eat something right when I get home.  Sometimes it’s just because I’m home and eating something after a crazy day at work relaxes me and then sometimes it is genuine hunger.  This is a big area for me to work on.  Eat when I’m hungry instead of eating because I like being snacky.

Luckily, today was true and honest hunger.  Probably because I got my boo-tay kicked this afternoon at spin & sculpt.  Spin & sculpt is a class just like it sounds – 30 minutes of a spin class plus 30 minutes of sculpting (HIIT workouts – 60 seconds at a variety of stations).  I used to go to the class pretty regularly, at least twice a week, but the sculpt tends to bug my knee depending on what we’re doing.  But now since I’m not running Hood to Coast I’m a little less concerned about how my knees feel.  I’m sure a doctor would never agree with that advice but too bad (for now).

Anyway, spin was crazy.  Lots and lots of intervals in and out of the saddle.  I actually thought I was going to puke at the end.  And then we started the sculpt portion which looked like this:

Run up, around, and back down the gym stairs.  repeat the circuit.  Finish with abs, including a side raise toe touch thing that I’d never done but love (and can’t find an example of anywhere so at some point I should just make a video) along with a 30 second plank where I was the only person in class who was able to take it to the next level and raise one leg.  Thank you pilates.

And now I’m actually off to foam roll my legs so that I can walk tomorrow.  Happy almost Friday my friends.

* Please tell me you all have read and love, “If you give a mouse a cookie.”  It is probably my favorite children’s book.  That, and “Love you forever.” 

Sweat is fat crying

And there were plenty of tears shed in my gym tonight.

But before we get to my sweaty workout, let’s rewind a bit.  To this morning.  When my gym bag was all packed up and ready to head out the door at 6:30 for an early morning workout.  Except when the alarm went off Chris said he wasn’t really feeling the gym so we slept in a little bit.  In hindsight, I’m thinking we really should have gotten up because I ended up getting pulled into a couple of meetings and by the time I could get to the gym it was almost 4 and I really wasn’t feeling a workout and by the time I got in the car with Chris I was in a super crabby mood.

Thankfully I have an understanding husband who could tell that I was not going to be a fun person to hang around until I was able to fit in a sweat session so he offered to handle all the house duties – garbage/recycling take-out, walking the dog and making dinner while I spent some time in the janitor’s closet gym. What a guy I married :)

I decided to try the Fitnessista’s summer shape up workout 1.  You can learn more about the entire summer shape up here.  She is my absolute favorite fitness blogger and you need to go check out her site.  She’s always posting great workouts and does a summer and winter shape up.  I won’t be following this whole thing but I probably will be getting occasional workouts from it.  Here’s her print-out of the workout and you can see the explanations here.

It involved doing this 3 times through:

  • Bicep curl & plié squat with upright row
  • Push-up & toe touch
  • Bent-over row & tricep extension
  • Step up with knee lift
  • V-up & superman
  • Walk the plank & mountain climbers

And followed it up with a 5 minute warm-up on the bike followed by 25 minutes of high intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio also on the bike.  For 30 seconds I stood out of the saddle, cranked up the resistance and rode as fast as I could and then I recovered for 1:30.  I did this until I reached 30 minutes and all my crabbiness had disappeared.  It’s amazing what a good sweat can do for you.

And because I want to encourage you all to workout, I’m giving you a little tour of my home gym. It’s a huge mess right now and I barely have any space to do anything but I still did it.  Was my workout as intense as it would have been if I had the space of a gym studio?  No.  But it was a workout.  I’m fortunate to have a spin bike but even if you don’t, you can do HIIT’s by jogging in place for the 1:30 and then doing jumping jacks for 30.  No excuses.  You won’t find that here.


But you will find tasty dinners.  Like this one we had tonight (note, our meal plan for the week has been switched up a bit.  Sometimes you gotta go with the flow).

Turkey Burrito Bowl

  • Lean, ground turkey breast
  • Taco seasoning
  • Fat-free zesty salsa re-fried beans
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Low-fat sour cream
  • 1 can of corn
  • Salsa (we use Emerald Valley’s “Hot”)
  • Spinach

Cook turkey and taco seasoning in one pan while warming up the beans in another.  Layer a bowl with spinach, beans, turkey, corn and cheese.  Top with sour cream and salsa.  Eat.  Enjoy.

And now I’m off to watch Grimm and maybe later, have some popcorn.  In the summer we catch up on shows we haven’t seen before.  We have about 20 episodes to get through before they expire from On Demand on Saturday.  So far it’s a pretty good show plus I love that it’s filmed in Portland.

Question for you – are any TV shows filmed in your hometown?  Does it make you more likely to watch them?

Snack Attack

Can we just talk for a minute about this amazing snack I had yesterday?  I mean, like seriously the best thing ever.  Are you ready?  Have I built up enough suspense?  Are you totally dying to hear what I’m going to say?  How about an iphone edited Instagram photo instead? (side note – I’m obsessed with Instagram.  You have to get it.  You can also follow me @whitlikesfit, but be careful.  You might find yourself turning all your iphone pics into fancy vintage shots).

What is that you ask?  I’ll tell you…

Apple Cinnamon Greek Yogurt

All you need is 1 non-fat plain greek yogurt cup, a bunch of cinnamon and an organic apple.

I considered chopping up the apple into the yogurt but I was a little lazy so I just stirred the cinnamon into the yogurt, chopped up the apple (yes, I store a sharp knife in my desk) and then dipped the apple slices into the yogurt.  I wish I could share taste with you through the internet but because I can’t, you need to trust me when I say that what I tell you here is the truth :)  You need to try this.  I will admit this was an amazing apple.  Super sweet.  It wasn’t a pink lady but something similar and I’m sure that helped with the sweetness so if things are still a little sour for you then add a tiny bit of honey.  It’s kind of like a creamy apple pie.  Yum. I will be having it again this afternoon.

To be honest, the above snack was the most exciting thing that’s happened to me in the past 24 hours hahah.  Dinner was leftover BBQ chicken pizza and a strawberry salad. My workout yesterday was a pilates reformer class, 30 minutes on the elliptical (varying between levels 7 and 15!) and then I did a 5 minute wall-sit!  I didn’t mean to sit that long but Boyfriend by Justin Bieber came on and embarrassingly enough rocking out to that song (in my head, my body was pretty static) helped carry me through.

This morning we got up and hit the gym before work.  I ran 2.5 miles on the treadmill (my knees hate me by the way), 25 minutes on the elliptical doing 1 minute intervals between levels 7 and 12, 15 minutes on the rowing machine and this 3 times through with very little rest between (wearing a short dress to the wedding this Saturday and need to get my legs in shape):

  • 20 squats (20lb)
  • 20 deadlifts (20lb)
  • 20 step-ups (each leg)

And then I brought bags of ice back to my desk and held them on my knees while simultaneously holding the phone with my other hand and talking on a conference call.  Multitasking at it’s finest.

Do you guys ever do wall-sits?  My family is crazy and we would have wall-sit competitions to see who could do it the longest.  Try it and see how long you can hold it for.  Here’s info on how to do a proper one. Key things to remember – knees over toes with a 90 degree bend in the leg.  This video says you can put your hands on the wall or your thighs but I always keep my hands out in front of me or clasped.  For an extra challenge hold a medicine ball in front of you or over your head :)