Personal Goals, Personal trainer!

So, I finally did it! I joined a gym! I have always been pretty active. In college I took fitness classes, and would go to the gym pretty frequently throughout the week. When I moved to Phoenix I would utilize my apartment’s gym. It was actually pretty decent for an apartment gym! Not having to pay for a gym membership seemed worth it at the time, when I could easily get an elliptical machine, or treadmill. Unfortunately, my apartment complex’s gym here is pretty bad. Only 3 treadmills, and 2 are broken…. it is impossible to get any piece of equipment, and its all hot and crowded. I don’t know about you, but I like my personal space when I’m working out and all sweaty!

Not only did I join a gym, but I also signed up for a personal trainer twice a week. I have ALWAYS wanted to do this! I have been lacking motivation to work out lately, so I thought this would be perfect time as any! My first training session was yesterday morning, bright n early!

Day 1:

I went to the gym to meet with my personal trainer. When I arrived he asked me a few questions, took my weight, and my BMI. Stepping on a scale in front of someone (especially a nearly 300 pound body builder) is always uncomfortable, but I just kept reminding myself that you have to start somewhere! and it’s only going to get better from here. I have never ever in my life had my body fat percentage taken, so naturally I was very nervous. There are 3 ranged of BMI – bad, good, and excellent. Thank goodness I fell into the “good” category! That’s a “good” place to start 🙂

After this, my trainer had me do a light warm up. So I immediately went up to the track and ran about a mile and a half. Im usually an avid treadmill runner, having just started really enjoying running in January, so this was different for me, but I LOVED it! There’s something about actually moving, and not being stationary that really intrigued me. It was also nice to have other people running on the track next to me, and being able to peek down into the weight room & around the gym while I was going. I will definitely make this part of my routine!

Rope test

After my light run, my trainer ran me through a few strength tests. And, boy oh boy, am I SORE today! I can’t believe how weak I am! We did a giant rope test, where I had to take 2 heavy ropes in each arm and lift them over my head 20 times.. it was awful. And SO difficult. I cant wait for it to be easier….one day….The photo above obviously is not me (yet 😉 ) but this is what I had to do! I find it very hard to believe this lady’s smile is genuine 😉

Ab workout

After this we did a few ab workouts (which I loved!) Where I fastened my feet into little harnesses, into a pushup position, and did mountain climbers and burpee-type moves. It felt like I was flying! (Again, this is not me in the photo)

After this we were finished. I could barely even catch my breath for quite some time. Im excited to get stronger!! My trainer said the reason I was hurting so bad and didn’t have energy was because of my breakfast. Or, in his words, lack there of. This morning before the gym I ate a greek yogurt, topped with blueberries and a small handful of cinnamon bunches of oats. Normally this breakfast would fill me up just fine before a run or just to fuel me until lunch, but as soon as I told my trainer I had eaten this, he shook his head in disappointment! I was shocked! He said this would make a great snack, but not a pre-workout breakfast. He suggested eating 4 egg whiles, 1/2 cup of oatmeal, or eggs and vegetables. I will definitely do this next time to ensure I have more energy for these difficult workouts Im about to embark on.

breakfast

Smoothie

After my workout I was ravenous! I went home and made myself a filling, post-workout smoothie:

Green Smoothie:
• A big handful of Kale
• 1 frozen banana
• handful of blueberries
• 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
• a scoop of greek yogurt
• a little bit of almond milk to get things moving
 

It hit the spot and kept me full for awhile! After getting ready, I went to meet up with my dad & brother. My brother just moved back to Columbus for law school! I am beyond excited to be living in the same city as him again, and being about an hour and a half from our parents 🙂 I helped him move in a little bit, and then my dad took us out to lunch.

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After lunch I headed back to my apartment to meet Alex and we went to see maybe the best movie I’ve seen in a LOOOONG time…MONSTERS UNIVERSITY! It was amazing. I love all Pixar movies, but this one was exceptionally amazing! GO SEE IT RIGHT NOW! 🙂

salad hummus

After the movie we went to grab some takeout from Aladdin’s for dinner! I love Mediterranean food, but had yet to try this place. And let me tell you, I may eat there every day for the rest of my life. It was THAT good. There were tons of options, I was almost overwhelmed with all the goodness! I opted for the Greek Chicken Salad, and a side order of pita and hummus for me and Alex to share. It was yummers!!! I will definitely be going back again very soon.

Today is about being lazy, grocery shopping and preparing for the week ahead! Hope you have a wonderful Sunday 🙂

As of lately…

Guys, I just moved across the country….again. Phoenix was great, but I moved to Columbus, Ohio to pursue my career as a graphic designer at an advertising agency! Because I haven’t posted in forever and a day, I decided to do a mini recap of things I’ve been cooking/baking/eating.

Now that I’m all settled in, more real posts to come soon! 🙂

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1. Peanut butter, banana, chocolate, protein smoothie.

2. Three ingredient Nutella cookies (from better baking)

3. Banana berry oat bread (from immaeatthat)

4. breadcrumb Eggplant, goat cheese, spinach, english muffin melt.

5. Went out for margs & fish tacos with my friend at a cute little mexican place down the street called Local Cantina 🙂

6. Overnight Oats! (easily my new favorite thing! So easy, so delicious)

7. Zucchini fries!

8. Tomato, cucumber, chickpea salad w/ goat cheese.

San Francisco Adventures!

This past weekend my boyfriend Alex and I took a quick trip to San Francisco! Let’s just say, I didn’t want to leave. San Fran is hands down the most beautiful city I have ever been to. Here’s a few highlights from the weekend.

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Golden Gate bridge!

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I just really loved these trees…. Living in Arizona, we don’t see much of this!

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It just so happened to be San Fran Brew week!

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we had a picnic in Alamo square!

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Dinner at Rossco’s cafe. Mmm! Loved the wall decor.

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Yum!

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We saw a stand-up comedian!

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San Fran claw chowder & crab cakes! Delicious!

Valentine’s Treats! Nutella & strawberry frosted pop-tarts

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Happy belated Valentines Day! I know I’m a little late, but believe me, this recipe is worth the wait! I’m not usually huge on baking, but for holidays I can’t resist making adorable, cheesy, holiday color-themed treats. Plus, I mean, these pop-tarts are super delicious and super easy to make, so what’s not to love? My boyfriend and I have a weird obsession with Nutella. If you’re reading this I’ll go ahead and assume you’re thinking, “Oh, me too!”,  just to make myself feel a little better about my spoon-licking-eat-it-straight-from-the-jar-with-my-fingers obsession. BUT, the beauty about Nutella (besides everything) is that it pairs nicely with fruit flavors. So I decided to get a little craft in the kitchen and pair Nutella with strawberry preserves. This recipe is a little different from my pumpkin pop-tart recipe from Fall because I did not make a filling, per-say. But it turned out just as delicious!

 

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Ingredients:
• Pie Crust
• Nutella
• Strawberry Preserves
• Butter
• Milk
• Powdered Sugar
• Sprinkles (if desired)
• Food coloring
• Cookie cutter

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First , sprinkle flour on your working surface so the dough doesn’t stick. Make your desired shapes.

 

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Fill. I did not put a ton of filling in mine, but later I kind of wish I would’ve!

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Place the top and bottom together, melt butter and brush it along the top, using fork prongs seal the 2 pieces together.

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Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

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Let cool! Meanwhile, mix 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk together to make icing. Add food coloring if desired.

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Add sprinkles! (the best part!)

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Enjoy 🙂

New Year, New Obsessions

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Happy Weekend! Most of you were probably delightfully enjoying this phrase yesterday, on a normal person weekend start day, but working for a newspaper means you get really weird hours/schedules. SO. TODAY is the beginning of MY weekend.

I don’t know about you, but I go through phases when it comes to my favorite things. Mostly with food. Once I find something that I love, I can’t get enough of it, and eat pretty much every day for like…a month. My current obsession for January: OATMEAL!

It all started with the obligatory New Years Resolution of being healthy. I usually  don’t make New Years resolutions because I break them before the end of the month, so this year I’m taking the approach to just simply live healthy. Oatmeal is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. I’ve always LIKED oatmeal, but I never loved it. And that’s probably because I never realized how FUN it can be! I’ve tried about a trillion different things in my oatmeal (some successful, some not so much) and have found that this tasty treat has a little something for everyone.

Baked Oatmeal:

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Strawberry ,banana, peanut butter:

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berry fruity:

 

Caprese Skewers

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Yesterday was the Christmas potluck at work! So many delicious goodies. I made caprese skewers. These cute treats are so super simple to make, and only require a few ingredients. I got all of my ingredients at my favorite store in the world, Trader Joes!

All it takes is: 
* 1 pint cherry tomatoes
* 1 pint yellow tomatoes
* 1 pound fresh marinated mozzarella (I used two containers)
* 1 cup fresh basil leaves, gently torn into 1/2-inch pieces
* Pinch red pepper flakes, to taste
* Sea salt, to taste
* Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
* Wooden skewers, for serving
 
1. Beginning with a fresh basil leaf, spear the basil, followed by a cherry tomato, mozzarella piece, and yellow tomato, as center. Repeat with each additional skewer.2. Lightly drizzle the assembled skewers with extra-virgin olive and sprinkle with red pepper flakes and sea salt.

Food Truck Friday

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Friday’s are always everyone’s favorite days for many different reasons, right? Well one of the reasons it’s my favorite day is because it’s Food Truck Friday! When I moved to a Phoenix, I was wondering where all the food trucks were hiding! Well, I finally found out! Every Friday at the Phoenix Public Market food truck vendors from around Phoenix congregate and serve their specialty item. There is everything from jambalaya, burgers, creme brûlée  and pizza, to hot dogs, cheesy tater tots, pulled pork, and my personal favorite — the “un-bun veggie burger”. I always order from the Uprooted Kitchen. They specialize in vegetarian and vegan items. Their food is always so fresh, and they have a new addition to their salads every week! This salad I have here is the Mediterranean bowl. Being a greek food fanatic, I really enjoyed the different tasty vegetables and the spicy hummus dressing. Yum! Happy food trucking 🙂