Thursday, January 31, 2013

What's for lunch?

So this week was a little rough for me in terms of lunches!  Work was much busier and I was actually in training offsite for 3 days which made it a little more difficult to pack not knowing if I would have a place to store or heat up my food.  We also had a potluck one day which is always difficult!

I did do a few smart things though that can keep anyone on track.  I knew I would be short on time so I ordered a large salad from one of my favorite places and broke it in to three separate meals, 1 dinner, and 2 lunches.  I made a little more dinner then I normally would so I would have extra leftovers readily available, and when I went out I made sure to immediately box up half my meal so I would not only eat less but have a prepacked lunch.

So here are some of the lunches I have eaten lately!

 < Chicken with grilled veggies and Quinoa, this is the meal I ate out the night before and loved it the day after

> Black Bean Quinoa Burger over lettuce with Mac n Cheese light prepared

 <Potluck Day: Chili with fritos, potato salad, baked beans, salad

> Chicken noodle soup, veggies and honey mustard yogurt dressing

< Greek salad with slice of pizza

> Greek Salad, with some ranch quakes

Yup maybe not the healthiest week of meals but I figure I can try really hard most weeks so that on weeks like this I am able to let it go a little more!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Rain rain go away

It's January, I live in Michigan, however it is currently 57 degrees and raining! This is chaos! It will be back to 20 degrees tomorrow so I am hoping that I can get in a good (and probably wet) 4 mile run in today.

I did cross training and lifting on Monday and yesterday I was at work and school all day from 6:30am-9pm so I didn't get any workout in at all. I never thought I would actually be antsy to run so no matter what I will be going tonight! Hopefully I can also squeeze in my new back/bi workout.

Random upside of rain in January.... More use of my adorable Sperry rain boots!! No worries I changed into heels but if this look was work appropriate you better believe I would be wearing them all day!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Upper Body Catch-Up

Now that my running is in check and on schedule I decided that I really wanted to step up my weight training routine.  A few years back the only cardio I would do was in an aerobics class and I would lift 4-5 times a week.  When I was training for my first half-marathon I decided that running was enough but I could tell that my arms and my abs were not nearly as toned as they used to be.  Even though my legs are in top shape I want my whole body to look better than it ever has!

I read a lot of different fitness blogs and websites and find different bits and pieces of each to apply to my life.  One of the websites I read is He and She Eat Clean, (of course I found it through pinterest) and I have liked reading their stories and hearing about a lot of the new trends in clean eating.  The other day they knew just what I was looking for and had 2 great workouts posted.  I liked that these were simple, and that I would be able to do them in my tiny gym at my work.  During the last week I have done both a few times and it is crazy how much you can feel it the next day.  My plan is to do each one twice a week so my schedule will be running 5 days a week, lifting 4 days a week, and resting/stretching for 2.  Bikini body here I come!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

Let's start with the Lows: 

I gave in to Taco Bell!  Yup TB is my go to drunk food, sick food, just plain hungry food but I have been strong for about 6 months.  Friday night that all went downhill!  I am blaming the mix of Malibu Black, Absolute, Miller Light, and Corona.  Moral of the story is I ate it, I loved it, and I fully regretted every bite the next morning.  Even in my drunken stooper I took photographic evidence which I honestly didn't remember until the next morning.

The weather is horrendous.  This weekend was frigid and had way more snow then I ever like to see.  Last night I saw a forecast with little sleet droplets and thanked goodness for telework so I wouldn't have to leave my house.

And now for the highs:

The wings won!!!  Wahooooooo!  The game was amazing, we had an absolute blast, and randomly were able to meet up with some good friends afterward for some more drinks.

The concert was "FUN.".... a huge group of us went to the FUN. concert and it was well worth it.  The Fillmore is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been in and I would love to be able to go there again.  The band also put on a great show and the crowd loved it!

I actually got in my LR!!!  Yup after all of that I was still able to get in my 8 miles yesterday.  For the first time in my life I realized that the treadmill actually stops after 80 minutes and you have to reset it.  I was shocked but pretty proud that I had made it that long in the first place.  I was able to keep up with my pace and I am surprisingly not that sore today.  Let's hope that I can keep it up since there are only three weeks to go!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Downtown Adventures

Downtown Detroit gets a bad rap, watching or reading any news and you'll see it.  Every city has it's problems and Detroit is no different; however, there are so many things to do and see if you just give it a chance.  The BF and I try to get down there often to try out any of the amazing restaurants, bars, shows, sports, or any other entertainment.  We stay in the safe areas, always travel in groups, and always make sure we know where we are going, which I feel like is the standard protocol for entertainment in any big city.

This week we will spend three straight nights there and I am super excited about it.  Last night we went to the North American Auto Show to see all the new shiny cars and awesome displays.  I have gone for about 5 straight years, but this is the first time I actually went while car shopping which actually made it a lot more fun.  Well a lot more fun except for the fact that I decided that all I really want is my Audi Q5 or an Aston Martin... oh to dream!  Sadly my car potential list is even higher now but we had a great time and got to see some amazing concepts and dream cars.  I also had a little fun with the giant statue of the Michelin man!

Tonight we are heading to the Red Wings game!  Thank goodness hockey is back, the only thing enjoyable about winter for me is hockey.  Detroit plays Minnesota tonight but the BF and I decided that we would just watch from home but that all changed when we saw the billboard on the way into work this morning.  Thanks to stub hub we now have tickets in hand and I can't wait!

Saturday a huge group (14) of us are heading back downtown for the FUN. concert.  Concerts are usually a good time in my book no matter what the band is and trust me I have been to some really odd ones.  This however should be a really cool show and a good time with friends.

On the running front:  2.5 miles yesterday, and I was pretty sure my calves were going to explode.  Made sure to love the foam roller last night.  Today I am hoping to get in 4 real quick after work before we leave for the game. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

One month to go!

It's official... only one month to go until the Disneyworld Half-Marathon!!!  I am super excited, a little nervous, and just ready for it to be here.  Training has been slacking lately but I have been able to keep up with my short runs and I just need to become a little more dedicated to my long runs.  It is much harder having to train on a treadmill but in this weather is it all I've got so I have to make it work. 

In sad news the Disneyland Half-Marathon race this September is already sold out.  Registration opened 2 weeks ago, I looked at it on Tuesday of this week to make sure I had the dates and times correct so we could coordinate flights and it was only 60% full.  Last night the BF and I went on to register and it had already sold out.  Yes I know this isn't a real world problem but I was really pumped to be able to do the coast to coast challenge and to have my mom and family be able to see me run a race when we visited.  Hopefully we will be able to find another race to run in California but it will sting a little bit that we aren't able to do this one. 

Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken

Oh pinterest... words cannot describe my love!  I'd have to say that 99% of the time the recipes I try are amazing and this one is no different.  The recipe seemed easy enough but I made a few changes to the original to lighten it up a bit.  This was the perfect cold weather dinner and paired with steamed veggies and some homemade mashed potatoes, and then even more perfect sliced up over a salad the next day.

Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken

1/2 cup honey mustard
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 cups hard pretzels

1) Combine mustards, vinegar, and water in medium bowl,
2) Set aside 1/2 cup sauce for future dipping
3) Place chicken breasts and remaining sauce in Ziploc bag, coat chicken thoroughly
4) Coarsely grind pretzels (a food processor would work best but I also did this with a rolling pin and Ziploc baggie, the pieces just end up a little larger)
5) Remove chicken breasts from baggie and coat in pretzel crumbs
6) Bake on a wire baking rack over a cookie sheet in 350 degree oven for 20-25 depending on the thickness of chicken
7) Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dayquil is my Lover

Yup the cold bug has finally caught up to me!  So far no fever and thankfully no flu so for now I am living off hot tea and Dayquil and hoping to make it through the day.  Since my mind is a little fuzzy with a flurry of Vicks and meds figured a random thoughts post would be best!

1) In one month I will be out of uggs and in the ocean!!  This thought makes me beyond happy.  The last two days we haven't gotten out of the single digits and yesterday the temp held around 0 for far too long.  This time next month I will be officially in Disneyworld soaking up the sun and carbo loading for the big race!

2) My roommates are enablers.  Now it’s not fair to blame it on them but when I uttered the words "screw this I am just going to order pizza" when my healthy mac and cheese turned out less than stellar they should have yelled a collective NO.  Instead it was MMMM which meant that I ordered a pizza, breadsticks, and a salad only to eat a piece and decide that I was full.  My coworkers are happy though that I brought it in so that they all have a free lunch.

3) I have skinny girl problems.  So I have been lucky enough to lose some weight over the last month or so and my legs have leaned out a ton.  Now even though this is the intended goal now none of my work pants fit, not a bit.  They are all saggy in the butt, hips, and thighs and most are way too big around the waist as well.  Even though I know people wish they could have this complaint with dress pants at least $65 a pair the last thing I want to do is go out and buy all new ones.

4) Technology is awesome!  The BF has been gone most weeks the last few months and is home only on weekends.  I have never been a big phone person and we learned that he isn't either.  However with both of us being Apple people we have learned the amazing power of FaceTime.  It's much easier for us to just log in and chat and be able to still carry on with random stuff like eating dinner of folding laundry.

5) I already did my taxes because I am a dork like that and like to submit them ASAP.  Pretty sure this is the last year I will get a substantial refund so I will take it while I can.

Pretty sure that’s all I got. Now I am going to attempt to concentrate on work and hopefully this Dayquil will kick in fast!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What's for lunch?

I think one of the keys to keeping your diet on track is to make your own meals as often as possible.  I love to go out with my friends or the BF for a few dinners throughout the week so I make sure to make my own breakfast and lunch as often as I can.  Work for me starts at 6:30 which means that I have become really good at being able to pack breakfast and lunch the night before so I can quickly grab it in the morning.  Being "too busy" really isn't an excuse, packing my breakfast and lunch usually takes me about 5 minutes each night, the key is having your fridge and cupboards stocked with healthy and tasty foods.

Here is a look as my usual lunches:

< Chicken tortilla soup, light string cheese, carrots

> Canned noodle soup, half chicken breast with BBQ, mixed greens

<Tuna and egg salad over mixed greens on a slimwich, carrots, roasted red pepper hummus

> Quinoa, craisins, spinach, feta cheese with some juice on the side

<Chicken Tortilla soup, with a side salad of
mixed greens, peas, and yogurt dressing

>Grilled chicken, brussel sprouts, and brown rice with soy sauce, with an applesauce cup
Breakfast for me is usually an Oatmeal Smoothie, yogurt, dry cereal, fruit, hard boiled eggs, oatmeal, or anything else that sounds good and is easy to pack.  I try to keep my breakfast and lunches under 300 calories, high in protein, and high in fiber.  I also add about a tablespoon of ground flax seed to one of my meals.  Its an easy way to boost my fiber intake and is easily mixed into applecause, smoothies, or juices!

I had to post this because I thought it was funny.. my lunch for today is Chicken Tortilla soup, hot tea, and a day quil.  I have of course caught one of the many colds going around and thanks to an insane work/school schedule I had to come in so this is what is getting me through the day today!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bottomless anything is not a good idea!

This was supposed to be a 4 day weekend for me thanks to my Bi-weekly Friday off and MLK JR day but it ended up into 3 days of weekend fun!

Friday I ended up putting in 7.5 hours of work on my day off but when I get to turn that into vacation time it will be well worth it.

Saturday started off with a lunch in downtown and car shopping.  I actually test drove 2 of my top 4 cars and I have officially written one off my list.  I am pretty sure I will be buying the Chevy Equinox but I still want to look at a few more before I really decide!  Saturday night I decided it had been far too long since I had danced so a big group of us went to a new club in downtown Ferndale to shake it.  The club was a classic dance club which didn't make the boys too happy but us girls had a blast.  I also was able to wear my new statement necklace which I bought on a whim and am still trying to convince myself that I don't look like a freak wearing it!

Sunday Fun Day!!  A big group of us had made plans to meet up at a local brunch place and have a good long day of drinking.  The restaurant offered bottomless mimosas and bloody marys and my oh my did we get our fill.  We stayed at that bar for about 4 hours and I lost count of my refills about 10 in!    Needless to say the rest of the day is a little blurry... we went from there to another bar and continued until about 5.  That means we clocked in a full 7 hours of drinking... I haven't drank for that long since I was in college and boy did I feel it.  It was an amazing day with some great friends but I can tell I am still paying for it today.  I'm not sure where the random lion was but this picture is pretty much one of my favorite of the day!

Thank goodness I didn't have work this morning and I made it count by sleeping in until about 10 and getting in a bunch of relaxation.  I did finally get my booty to the gym and got in a solid 4 miles on the treadmill and a full upper body lift.   I can't believe that the run is coming up in about a month and I have to get my butt into full gear if I hope to run at well as I want to.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Not sure if it counts but I got in my 4 miles yesterday.  I planned on doing the full thing on my lunch hour but was called half way through by my boss telling me I had an urgent meeting.  Yup nothing like walking into a meeting a sweaty mess!  So I only got in about 2.5 miles and decided that I would have to finish the rest at home.

Trying to stay motivated to run when it’s only 30 some odd degrees outside is really difficult, but I did it.  I am pretty sure Under Armour deserves a shout out from any winter runner because their cold gear is seriously a life saver.  I am sure there are plenty of other brands out there with products that are just as good but I love my UA and that it keeps me warm through rough winter runs!  I also love that everything comes in cute colors lol

Knowing that I had a busy day today meant that for the first time in my life I woke up to work out before work.... if that isn't dedication I don't know what is!  I start work at 6:30 so I had to be at my work gym by 5:15 in order to get in my full run, some upper body lifting, and a shower.  That means my alarm had to be set for 4:55, pretty sure the only time I have set my alarm that early was to catch a flight.  Surprisingly I was able to get up and out the door only a few minutes later then I wanted.  I got in about 2.5 miles and was able to do a full body lift all before I had to be at my desk.  This WILL NOT be my new routine but I am happy that I now know I have this option on days when I am super busy.

Tonight will be happy hour with my girls and then dinner at a traditional German restaurant which will be interesting.  Tomorrow is my day off and I am pumped to sleep in and have a full day to relax.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cupcakes are the enemy

Today the enemy is the ever so tasty German Chocolate Cupcake!!

My whole life I have loved to bake, and loved to share the things I bake with those around me.  I am the go to girl in the office when it comes to any birthday or event, and happily take on the role.  This however means that I make, carry, distribute, and of course eat an absurd amount of cupcakes. 

Can we please take a note of my super awesome cupcake carrier for a moment.  Yup that thing is amazing and probably the best $20 I have ever spent.  I ate one last night (for tasting reasons duh) and today I have already had one.  Here is to hoping my willpower will kick in so that I stay away from the rest of the container. 

Didn't get to run yesterday thanks to a 10 hour work day and 4 hours in class so today I will be making up my 4 mile run.  Fingers crossed it goes well so I can work off the extra 200 calories worth of cupcake I just consumed!

Chocolate Oatmeal Smoothie

So I have been loving my oatmeal smoothies in the morning and have been sticking to the original recipe I posted awhile back here.  I decided though that I would need to make a few more recipes in order to keep my morning smoothie habit stick.  The other day I ran out of greek yogurt and came up with this new recipe which I love. 

Don't let protein powder scare you.... I usually buy whey protein powder in chocolate (trust me chocolate is the way to go).  There are a lot of options on the market so look for one with few additives and low sugar, some of them are packed with a ton of stuff that you don't really need.  This shake clocks in at about 275 calories and 21 grams of protein. 

Chocolate Oatmeal Smoothie
-1/4 cup dry oatmeal
-1/4 cup frozen raspberries (or strawberries)
-1/2 banana
-1/2 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
-1 cup skim milk

1) Blend all ingredients in mixer
2) Enjoy

Monday, January 14, 2013

Weekend Wrap-Up

Friday:  Since it is so slow at work on Friday's I was lucky enough to get into the gym at lunch and get in a solid 3 miles.  After my outside run on Thursday I was really bored to be back on the treadmill but proud of myself for sticking through it.  Friday night my roomies and I went wine tasting at a place not too far from our house.  We have all been gone for the holidays and it was wonderful to be able to catch up, it’s crazy that you sometimes need to catch up with the people you live with!  We also all came to the sad realization that we are now adults... our conversation focused more on investing, retirement plans, buying homes, and other old people stuff that we had to change quickly LOL.

 Saturday:  Car shopping... pretty much the scariest thing ever.  Not sure why in the world I am so afraid of car shopping but it gives me serious anxiety.  I finally worked up the confidence and had the BF come with me to a bunch of dealerships so I could make a short list of the cars I am interested in.  I was doing just fine until one of the dealers asked me a ton of questions and then asked me if I wanted to test drive, yes this is standard but I was not ready for all of that yet.  Thankfully I already had a pretty good list, this week I need to sort them out and then next weekend will be some test drives and hopefully a purchase! 

Saturday night we decided it had been far too long and did a date night downtown.  We started at the DIA which is a gorgeous and absolutely huge art museum in downtown Detroit.  There was so much to see but definitely a place better seen in small doses.  After that we got drinks at one of our favorite spots Coach Insignia at the top of the tallest building in Detroit. There are gorgeous views and even tastier drinks.  We finished with an Italian dinner and more drinks with a good friend.  It was a great date night and since the BF will be gone for the next few weeks with works a perfect way to say bye for a bit.

Sunday:  Thanks to an awkwardly warm weekend everything melted and threw my allergies into high gear.  I am highly allergic to mold so the only time my allergies aren't a mess is when the ground is frozen.  This left me feeling sick all day, which means I did not a thing.  The BF was nice enough to make me some chicken noodle soup and we got froyo for dessert, which was by far the highlight of my day.  Sadly I skipped my long run since I didn't even have the energy to move off the couch but I am hoping to get in a few extra miles today to make up for it. 

Hope everyone had a good weekend of their own!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Time To Bundle

I'm sure like most other states winter in Michigan is in full blast!  Yesterday the sun fooled me and I convinced myself that since I have been super bored on the treadmill that I would be able to run outside.  The second I stepped out of work I knew I had made a mistake but decided that it would be a test of my willpower (and more an excuse not to run HA).  I needed to run 4 miles and convinced myself that I could just do a quick 2 mile lap and call it good.   I had on a headband, scarf, gloves, tech tee, long sleeve, UA hoodie, soccer socks, leggings, UA yoga pants, and another pair of socks for good measure.

Well to my surprise I actually bundled a little too well and the run went amazing!  I ran 4 miles straight and crazily enough my time improved with each mile.  It felt good to be outside again and I actually had to take off my gloves and scarf half way through since I was getting so warm (which sounds crazy when its 40 degrees out).  The weather this weekend is supposed to be in the mid 40's with chances of rain so I hope that the rain at least holds off long enough each day to let me get a good run in.

Then to continue on the "let’s forget its cold outside" theme the BF and I went to froyo.  I am already a sucker for self serve froyo and a new place opened up not too far from us.  It was amazing!!!  My favorite is always vanilla with some type of fruit and oats.  The BF usually goes the complete opposite with every type of candy and syrup you can find.  As long as you are conscious of what toppings you are using and how much you eat it is actually a perfect sweet treat for anyone trying to stay healthy and on track. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Weekday Wine Night

My name is Ashley and I drank too much wine! 

Happy hour always seems to get the best of me, not sure why I haven't learned my lesson yet.  Last night J and I decided to meet up after work to catch up and take advantage of happy hour.  J is my girlfriend who was in the hospital for almost a full month in December and even though I visited almost every day we still haven't been able to just catch up since almost November!  3 glasses of wine (each), and a months worth of gossip later we decided we should probably call it a night.  Not sure what it is about wine and girlfriends that is just the perfect combination no matter what day or time!

Now with that being said I have realized that I really need to cut down on my drinking.  For the last month or two I have been drinking 3-4 nights a week.  Most weeks will consist of at least one happy hour, a few dinners out, and two weekend nights (or days) with friends.  For example this week will have one happy hour with J, a wine tasting with girlfriends on Friday, and a date night downtown with the BF.  The habit hasn't been good on my waistline or my wallet!  The drinking won't help with my running or diet which are two things I am working way too hard on to not see results.  One day a week is going to be my new limit and it doesn't mean I can't go to the events I just need to order water instead of wine and really stick to my resolution of being commited to my goals. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Back to School

Last night I started my Capstone Course for my Masters program!  I can't believe I am getting so close.  I have been taking classes one at a time and this is the last core class that I have to take, my next three are all electives to choose a specialization.  My workplace is awesome enough to pay for us to continue our education so it was a no brainer to go on and get my masters but it has still been a lot of work, especially when everyone around you isn't going to school.  This class will for sure be the most work intensive but he teacher is extremely knowledgeable and I am excited to learn from him. 

Class is on Tuesday so I work from 6:30-4 then go straight to class from 5-9.  This means that I have to pack a dinner otherwise I would want to eat my pen.  I laughed to myself when I realized that I basically pack the exact same things that I did when I was a kid, just slightly more adult.  Peanut butter and Jelly was my staple growing up and not much has changed.  Last night instead of a PB&J, chips, and a juice box I had a PB&Banana on slimwich, ranch rice cakes, and green goodness juice.  And yes the juice looks chunky but that is because I add a TBS of ground flaxseed to it to make it even better for me!

On the running front I was able to get in 3 miles yesterday.  I struggled through mile 3 so instead of running I did sprint intervals to cover the distance.  I am thankful today is a rest day I can tell my body really needs it.  I plan on getting in a long walk and a good session with my new lover the foam roller.