The Middle of March: Vacation Survival and Injury Report

I apologize for the lack of posts! I’ve been in Minnesota visiting family for the good part of the month. I love vacation but get a little angsty about them at the same time. Going to unfamiliar restaurants while trying to change your eating habits can be intimadating, but it can be done! It’s getting a lot easier!

Here’s a little bit of what I ended up eating on vacation.

The hotel had free breakfast with hard boiled eggs, oranges, and bananas. I stocked up on bananas for pre-workout and I got up every other day at 5am to take advantage of the fitness center for an hour, then ate a post workout banana and egg. The days I didn’t exercise, I had an orange because I slept in late. On one of the days, I managed to pick up a sample of the Cookies and Cream Quest Bar for a pre-workout snack. SO GOOD.

If your hotel has a breakfast bar, opt to fill up on fruit if available. You can’t go wrong. Eggs, a couple slices of toast, and oatmeal are all really awesome choices.

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Many of my lunches were salads I modified. (Asking for dressing on the side, etc.) They’re huge, filling, and I always feel good after eating them.

I found this yummy salad while at the Mall of America. Greens, cranberries, chicken, goat cheese, and pecans.

Cold Stone was one of our stops at the mall. As tempted as I was to get a huge Birthday Cake Remix, (and I would have been fine to, remember, MODERATION!) I saw they offered sorbet! I ended up with a delicious watermelon treat with fresh raspberries and strawberries mixed in!

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Anytime I can substitute a side of fries for fruit or veggies, I do. Sometimes I get both! I wasn’t the best at remembering to take pictures, but we ended up at Applebee’s on of the nights. Their 600 calorie and under menu makes it a little easier. I opted for the salmon and veggies. Fuddruckers made a mean grilled chicken sandwich which I paired with a side salad. I had dinner with my grandparents at a nice restaurant which offered seafood choices! I had a lobster tail, (no butter!) a side salad, and a side of green beans. The picture below is a ham, turkey, tomato, and lettuce wrap that was offered at our hotel restaurant.

Remember to BE a “pain.” Ask for substitutions, no dressing or condiments, etc. You can enjoy vacation while staying on track. I went so far as keep my Pact apps pacts as is with food logging and veggies to help me make better choices. The only thing I changed was my GymPact, because the app can’t verify most hotel gyms.

I still made $2.75 for the week!

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But sometimes.

You have to splurge. Remember how I opted out of Cold Stone?

I was saving myself for Mac’s.

Mac’s is a macaroni and cheese shop in downtown Wisconsin Dells. If you know anything about the Dells, you know the food is disgusting for the most part. But not Mac’s. I had been there once last October and was itching to go back to get my fill. Thankfully, we stopped on the way back home.

Behold, my friends.

Loaded Baked Potato Mac. The best mac and cheese in the world topped with bacon, sour cream, chives, and baked potato. Seriously. Runner. Carbs. Moderation.

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The other part of my post is “Injury Report.” Remember how at the end of 2013, I hit 6 miles of solid running then sprained my foot in the middle of January? Well, I hit 6 miles around the beginning of March and guess what? I sprained my ankle the morning of vacation.

I have been so determined not to go back to starting my 10K app all over like last time, though I am more willing to. Instead of sitting around, I’ve been doing the elliptical. Which I HATE. At first, I set to no resistance and aimed for the number of strides similar to my running, but I felt like I was doing nothing. So I went for the interval training program offered on the hotel elliptical and went on for an hour. I burned about 100 calories less than I normally do running and I was a mile short, but MAN. I was sweating, my heart was going, and my muscles were WORKING. My ankles feels good now, but I have to be careful. I’m doing the elliptical for the rest of the week, then starting the running again on Monday.

Here’s to hoping I’ll be back to 6 miles within a few weeks! I want to start half marathon training.

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2.17.14-2.18.14: Case of the Mondays and Dad’s Birthday

Monday:

On Mondays, my mom is usually off of work. We hit the gym, do some housework, errands, then usually have lunch at one of my favorite places. This Monday was no different. 

I hit the gym at 8am and could only do 15 minutes/1.5 miles again, which yet again, frustrated me. I shook off my anger and decided right then to stop fooling around and just start my 5K to 10K app over the next day, since I really didn’t get a workout in.

Around noon, we headed to Jake’s Bagels in downtown Aurora and I got my favorite: a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese. I eat *pretty* clean for the most part (I’d say 70/30, but I stay within my calories at more of a 90/10 ratio) but I look forward to Jake’s with my mom on Mondays. After lunch, mom surprised me by picking me up 2 boxes of Quest Bars! They are amazing, but $25 for a box of 12 is hefty. She apparently has appreciated all the cooking I do, but I just like to do my share to help my fambam out. Really.

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I made healthier Chicken Enchiladas for dinner and it was a hit. I hit the sack around 8pm because Tuesday was going to be busy.

 

Tuesday:

My old man and best friend turned 55 today! He had to spend the day at work, but that’s okay, because we still had a great day. I went over to babysit two of my favorite McNuggets at 8am today. They are so much fun, but the kiddos have a case of cabin fever. I cannot wait to take them outside to run around or go to the park instead of sitting inside watching Scooby Doo and making loom bracelets. (Even though that is pretty fun!) I was so hungry today even though I didn’t go to the gym until later. When I woke up (around 7am) I ate a slice of banana bread, at 9:30am, I had an apple, 10:45am, a bowl of cheerios with milk, then 15 minutes later, I had my Quest bar. I don’t know how I survived today.

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I got done babysitting a little early, so I headed out to Nothing Bundt Cakes to grab dad’s birthday cake: a double chocolate chip cake. If you haven’t had Nothing Bundt Cakes before, you need to find your nearest one and GO. They’re perfect. The cake is moist and light. The cream cheese icing is sweet and the perfect consistency, but I digress, this is supposed to be a somewhat healthy blog…(I’m a firm believer that you should enjoy life and foods you love in moderation. =)

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After picking up the cake, I headed to the gym for an early afternoon session. I DID start that app over and hit all the goals I was supposed to (running for 10 minutes, walk for 1 minute, repeat 3 more times) and instead of feeling discouraged like I have been, I actually felt good and look forward to doing it again on Thursday. I even got to watch a little Olympic hockey.

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Dinner and spoils were shared at Olive Garden. Normally I have 2 helpings of their “salad” and at least 4 breadsticks, along with the spaghetti dinner I normally choose. Today was a big win for me. I had one helping of salad, one breadstick, and ordered a pasta from their “under 575 calories” menu. It was all delicious and I felt full without feeling overloaded. It’s probably the first time that has happened at Olive Garden for me.

After dinner, dad opened his gifts and we enjoyed cake. My dad just started playing hockey again (he played from when he was 11 years old until about 45 because of work and us kiddos) so we got a custom jersey made for him as well as a new goalie mask. He was blown away. It’s awesome to get him stuff he wants because he never tells us and always ends up with clothes. I’m glad this year could be different.

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I also decided today I will NOT be running the Pulaski 10K in Chicago. I don’t want to be in the race if I’m not going to be actually running it. That sounds stupid to some, but it’s important to me. INSTEAD, I will be running the Fox Valley Park District’s Spring Gallop 5K at the end of March. By then, I should actually be close to hitting 10K again, then I will find another one I can do. After I hit 10K, I will then begin my half marathon training, which SHOULD take me about 3 months to complete. (Possibly by June.) I would actually like to do a local half before the Disney Princess Half, so I know what to expect and so I can be in a “better” corral. I know there is a lot of stop and go for Disney, but I’d like to still finish in a decent amount of time and not get stuck behind 3480293482309482 other people who are constantly stopping.

2.14.14, 2.15.14, 2.16.14: Valentine’s Day and Weekend.

Friday:

My plan was to wake up at 4:30am to go to the gym and run. The gym ended up being closed do to sprinkler issues 8am, and I had to go babysit at 9 for the day, so I decided that since it was a lighter eating day, I’d go Saturday instead.

I took baby to lunch with my momma, then enjoyed the rest of the afternoon with the little nugget.

Lunch!

Lunch!

Me: pumped. Brooklyn: Not sure.

Me: pumped. Brooklyn: Not sure.

The rest of the day consisted of family time. We went to Texas Roadhouse. I always get a little apprehensive going out and eating at a place I don’t normally, especially places with free peanuts and yeast rolls with cinnamon honey butter shoved in my face but I came out on top. I order the shrimp skewers with a house salad and tons of veggies. I allowed myself one biscuit and felt good about my dinner.

Texas Roadhouse.

Texas Roadhouse.

Saturday:

Started Saturday with a rough session at the gym. As I’ve said before, I haven’t been able to hit 6 miles since the middle of January. Saturday was just awful. I only ran for a mile and a half before I was absolutely exhausted. I don’t know what’s up with me, but I’ll try again on Monday. Furthest I could run was early last week at 4.5 miles. I want to at least hit that again. Arg.

After the rough gym session, I hit up Portillo’s with the fambam and then baked banana bread (with Nutella! Forgot to take pictures!) I spent the rest of Saturday enjoying good company and watching movies.

Portillo's Apple Walnut Salad. SO GOOD.

Portillo’s Apple Walnut Salad. SO GOOD.

Sunday:

I got to sleep in (finally!) and had a lovely lunch with my family. Oatmeal with berries and granola and egg whites.

Sundays are normally spent watching movies and just chilling with the family. If you haven’t seen the pattern, YES I am 22 years old and have a decent amount of quality friends, but I really enjoy just hanging out with my fambam. Today was no exception.

Dinner was less clean. Left over pizza, noodles, and a couple of pieces of chocolate from Valentine’s Day. I enjoyed everything and didn’t overeat by any means, which is a BIG improvement from before!

Hoping this upcoming week will be better for running. I’d really like to hit 6 miles again before the 10K race so I can start half marathon training in March. The program I found takes you from 10K to a half marathon in 3 months; I’d love to be able to run that during the rest of 2014 just to prepare my body and get it used to that distance. Besides a couple of weekend meals, I’ve stuck to pretty clean eating (things I make at home, ingredients I can pronounce, etc) and trying to eat more fruits and veggies. I don’t feel as sluggish, which is glorious, I just wish the rest of my bod would catch up.

2/13/14: Yoga Flow

Today, I woke up at 6:30am to watch USA dish out a spanking to Slovakia and to drink a smoothie before heading to yoga at 9am. I need to get better at incorporating greens in my smoothies, but the combination I make is just so good, (that, and today is grocery day so there are almost no veggies in the house) I can’t bear to throw spinach in at the moment. I throw in apples, pineapple, strawberries, and raspberries, along with either vitamin water zero, water, or green tea. SO GOOD.

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Yoga this morning was a vinyasa flow class and it KICKED my butt. I was sweating so bad, but I look forward to going every other day. I am so far enjoying it more than the traditional strength training I was doing. I feel like it goes better with my running with not only the strength aspect, but the balance, breathing, stretching, and mind. Whenever I sling my yoga mat over my shoulder after class, come home and make green tea, I feel I like I go from hipster to hippie in .00233422 seconds. =)

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After yoga, my mom and I went to lunch and ran errands. I’ve taken over making dinners for my family, so we did the grocery shopping for next week. We’ve changed up our shopping and meals to save money and to eat better, so our shopping trips are smaller. I adore it. I’m trying to fully get rid of boxed meals, but we still have some in our cabinets, so I’ve been incorporating and trying to improve them one dinner a week, just so we can use them all up. Today, we had a vegetable soup mix that I threw in the crockpot and some cornbread. It was tasty and light.

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My GymPact will be complete tomorrow. I committed to 3 days of gym and 5 days of food logging. Next week I’ve already committed to 4 days of gym and 7 days of food. I’ve also looked at my Disney visa and have earned $90 in Disney Dollars! So excited. I need to start doing more surveys through opinion outpost to earn some more Disney cash. I’ve earned 15 bucks from there as well. It’d be nice to not fork over any of my own money for Disney. I love my jobs and I meet all my obligations and bills, but I never seem to have any extra to save, so these are nice little things to put away extra money. =)

2.11.14: Pinterest, GymPact, and Today.

I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. I love all the ideas, inspiration, recipes, and the way I can organize it all. I hate broken links and dreams when I see the price tag on the clothes I pin. I have 4 favorite boards on Pinterest: “If I was a normal woman and could cook…”, (which funny thing now, I CAN because of Pinterest) “Hipster,” my clothing board, “Lift Weights, Drink Shakes, Get Dates,” my fitness board, and of course, my Disney board. I often sit at my computer, drooling at the thought of cute clothes, chili dogs, and kicking it with Mickey Mouse. As I type this, I’m longing over tonight’s dinner: healthier oven chili dogs, a twist on a recipe I found. You sly dog, you.

I’m good at budgeting, but as a college student, I don’t have a lot of money to budget. I came across this app some time ago called GymPact. The concept is simple. You bet money ($5 minimum) and for every day you workout and/or log your food, you make $0.50-$0.75. For every day you promise you will but DON’T, you pay up five bucks. A lot of people use this as motivation, which isn’t a bad thing. I’m a very self-motivated person, I don’t need money as an incentive to go to the gym, but if I’m getting paid to do what I love already, even if it’s a small amount, why not? I’ve waited so long to join because of various bug issues, but that seems to have been resolved for the most part. I’m going to use the money I make on the app to save for, take a wild guess, the 2015 Disney Princess Half. =)

Today consists of seeing one of my best friends. We have lunch and the mall on the agenda for today, followed by my angelic self coming home to whip up those chili dogs for the fambam, hitting up yoga at the gym with my sister, then finishing up the night with my favorite tea from Harney & Sons.