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Week in Review

16 Jul

Last weeks was one of those crazy weeks that ends up with you screaming in your car. If you’ve never screamed in your car, you should really try it. It’s a nice stress reliever.

The month of July is notoriously busy at my job and last week was my second week of going full force. Perhaps it wasn’t smart of me to make plans for every day after work, but after the yoga challenge, I was excited to rejoin the social world.

Monday

I started my week off with Hatha. I was still feeling optimistic about my week. :)

Tuesday

My friend Rachelle invited me over to her place for a virtual wine tasting. You never have to ask me twice if it involves wine and food and lady time!

On my way over, I stopped at Whole Foods to pick up some “hard cheese.” I’m no wine aficionado, so I asked the Cheese Lady for some help. After I told her what type of wines we would be tasting, she suggested a gouda. I asked what I should pair the cheese with (thinking she would respond with a cracker), she suggested a peach or a pear. I opted with pears, since they are crispy and I wanted that texture.

When I got to Rachelle’s I was super excited to see the food spread, and my friends of course!

This chardonnay paired perfectly with sparkling grapes (grapes flavored with JELL-O crystals)

The gouda went perfectly with the pears and the reds

My new favorite pinot noir

Also at the table:

  • A flat bread pizza that Rachelle made and was AMAZING
  • Brownie bites
  • Bagel chips and soft cheese spread

It was such a fun night! However, I found myself dragging Wednesday…

Wednesday

My day was super busy, so I had to force myself to ignore that headache I woke up with. After work I took off towards College Park, to join the Central Florida Lady Bloggers at Taste for the July meet-up. It was a large group of us, and I got there late. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself sitting next to Victoria from Running Peanut. She’s about 19 weeks pregnant, but is tiny and you can barely tell. I spent the early part of our meet-up asking her fun pregnancy questions.

The second half of the meet-up we were led in a discussion of how to fit in blogging in the midst of our busy schedules. There were a lot of great ideas shared, but I was too busy figuring out how I was going to fit in my exercise last week to think about blogging. Ha!

Thursday

Another busy day at work followed by an hour and a half of Ashtanga. Somewhere in between work and yoga I did some car screaming.

After yoga I found out there was a small hiccup in the home buying process. This was just what I needed to go home and cry. Honestly, if I hadn’t been so worn out from my day I think I would’ve taken the news in stride (as I’ve taken the whole home-buying process). However, I was too tired to be strong.

Friday

Most people dream of going out Friday night. I spend the day dreaming of sitting on the couch Friday night. Finally, my work day ended and my couch-sitting started. Aaaahhhhh …

Saturday

I hit my snooze for an hour straight and then at the very last possible minute decided that I was going to wake up after all and go to my 8:30 AM Ashtanga class.  I’m super thankful for my new yoga friend that knows I have the habit of walking in at the last minute Saturday mornings and now saves me a spot next to her so I don’t have to practice at the front of the class.

I spent the rest of my day running preliminary moving errands (donating books, buying storage bins, taking all of my CDs out of their plastic and into a organizer, drinking a Venti frapp, etc.). I was pooped, but when the boyfriend suggested we go to dinner I figured I could pull myself together for an evening out.

We were both so hungry it was hard for us to decide on a place to eat. And since it was a Saturday night we knew we would be facing long waits everywhere.

After doing a little calling around, we found out that the Dexter’s in Thornton Park has zero wait. We were there in 5 minutes.

I was craving red meat, so I opted for the bacon-wrapped meatloaf. I’ve seen this on the menu before and always opted against it, but after recently watching The United States of Bacon on TV, I was in the mood for something like this.

D went for the Fish of the Day, which would’ve been my pick if I wasn’t pining for red meat:

Fish of the Day at Dexter’s

We were starving so we also ordered a side of their truffle fries as an appetizer. They were so good that we ate the whole thing before our dinners came.

Both of our dinners were amazing! The meatloaf wrapped in bacon had the perfect flavor and the boyfriend’s fish came with a fried spinach that melted in our mouths. And the polenta that came with his meal was delicious too! So. Good.

Bacon-wrapped meatloaf … Doesn’t look as good as it tastes. :)

Fish of the Day: Snapper, served with fried spinach, shrimp, polenta and asparagus.

While my meatloaf was definitely the star of the plate, the snapper had a very strong supporting cast. We were happy with both of our choices, and enjoyed our leftovers yesterday for lunch!

Sunday

I spent my morning drinking coffee and deciding whether I would hit up Hatha at 11:30 AM. When I got a text from a friend saying that she was at a Starbucks nearby, I decided to throw on my yoga clothes, visit her for a bit and head over to yoga.

My Hatha class rocked my face off. I definitely had to remind myself to breathe often. :)

By the time I got home from yoga, I was hungry. Good thing I had some amazing leftovers!

Sunday night we headed to the grocery store to stock up for the week. But first, we stopped at a friend’s house who had tons and tons of boxes that we could have for moving. She posted on Facebook that she had boxes to give away and you better believe I responded immediately. A big thanks to Lauren for the boxes!

And staying true to the old rule “Never go to the grocery store hungry” we decided to stop at Gringos Locos for a quick bite. I got the sloppy taco and the double D. Both were yummy, but afterwards I was stuffed. I would’ve been fine with just one taco.

Sloppy Taco and the Double D

This week I’ve got plans to start packing and sorting through my clothes and yoga in between. It’s time to finally donate those expensive work pants that I can no longer fit in. Besides, if I ever do get back down to a size 8, I’m sure I’ll want to buy new pants to celebrate. :)

How do you manage a busy schedule? 

Shrimp Scampi Made with Coconut Oil

19 Jun shrimp_scampi_made_with_coconut_oil

While at Whole Foods Sunday, I noticed that the the fresh (and deveined) shrimp were on sale so I decided to pick up a pound.

Since I don’t cook much shrimp, the only recipe I know how to make with them is Shrimp Scampi. I picked up the rest of the items I knew I would need: gluten-free angel hair pasta, fresh parsley, a lemon, and mushrooms. I knew that we had butter, Grey Poupon, grape tomatoes and romano cheese at home.

However, on my way home I called Donnie to tell him about my great buy and the first thing out of his mouth was, “I don’t want all of that butter.”

After wrecking our brains for a little while, I remembered the Cocconut Oil I had bought at Whole Foods, also on sale.

I had purchased the coconut oil because a co-worker had suggested I put some in my hair for some good conditioning. I wondered if we could just use the coconut oil instead of the butter. After some good ol’ Googling, I figured it was worth a shot.

Here were my ingredients:

2 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoon Grey Poupon

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 lemon, cut in half

1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

handful of grape tomatoes, slice in half

handful of white mushrooms, sliced

angel hair pasta

grated romano cheese

salt and pepper to taste

1. Throw on your cutest apron. It makes cooking so much fun!

2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Melt the coconut oil in the pan. Add the garlic, Grey Poupon, and squeeze half of your lemon. Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3. Add the shrimp with the cayenne pepper and parsley. Cook, tossing occasionally, until shrimp are opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add mushrooms mid-way through those 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes when shrimp are almost opaque. Season with more lemon juice, salt and black pepper.

4. Serve over angel-hair pasta. In our case, it was gluten-free. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Our shrimp scampi with coconut oil instead of butter turned out to be amazing:

Yes, butter would’ve tasted the best. But while coconut oil is high in saturated fats, it’s cholesterol-free and better for you than butter. And we ended up using much less coconut oil then the amount of butter we typically use for  scampi.

Afterwards, I took a tablespoon of coconut oil into the shower with me and conditioned my hair with it for about five minutes. I made sure to shampoo after I conditioned, so my hair wouldn’t be left greasy. My hair felt so soft.

Who knew I’d get so much use out of my coconut oil right off the bat?

How do you use your coconut oil?

The 30-Day Yoga Challenge :: Days 14 and 15

18 Jun

Since the goal of the 30-day yoga challenge is to complete 26 classes of yoga during the month of June, that means I’m finally past the halfway point. Woohoo!

Let’s take a moment to look at the numbers:

  • How many loads of yoga laundry I’ve done: 3
  • How many times I’ve had to say “Oh, I would love to join you but I have yoga class” to my friends: 4
  • How many downward dogs I’ve done: 150 (estimate based on 10 per class)
  • How many times I’ve promised myself a cupcake if I make it through class: 10
  • How many cupcakes I’ve actually had: 1
  • How many times I’ve been late to class: 0 <– This is pretty amazing for a Puerto Rican!
  • How many days since my last run: 42 :(
  • How many times I’ve asked Donnie if my shoulders look stronger: 3 :)

Friday was my rest day and it’s a good thing. When I got home from work, I was exhausted from my day. I did a couple of things around the house, then lay down for a “minute” around 6 PM. I slept until 9 PM on a Friday night and work up starving! Nothing California Burrito Express couldn’t resolve.

Saturday I woke up feeling exhausted. My original plan had been to hit up a morning Hatha 1 class before I headed off to a very special 2-year old’s birthday party, but I just couldn’t move off the couch or say goodbye to my cup of coffee. I decided to double up my yoga on Sunday and take a second rest day.

Willow Tree Cafe

After the birthday party, Donnie and I drove over to historic Sanford and hit up Willow Tree Cafe. Since we had a few snacks at the party, we each got a beer and split some sausage sliders and potato pancakes. We asked if they could serve the sliders in gluten free bread (for Donnie’s sake) and they were happy to oblige. I’m sad I didn’t get a pic before we dug in… each sausage was served in a mini loaf of gluten-free bread! It was pretty funny looking.

The gluten-free bread was okay, but it didn’t taste as good as the bread they served at the start of our meal, so I popped my sliders into the table bread. I heart gluten.

Willow Tree’s bread is made fresh

The potato pancakes were yummy. I topped mine with both sour cream and apple sauce:

Yum.

It was a much needed rest day and I took it with pleasure.

Day 14: Hatha 1

Sunday I woke up feeling ready for some yoga. My first class was at 11:30. I was running on Puerto Rican time since I’ve gotten some stuff done in the morning, but got there two minutes early. Carolina from Peas in a Blog was there so we caught up briefly.

What I love about taking so many different classes is that the instructors all have a different way to explain a  pose. It allows me the opportunity to take in all that information when I set up a pose. Our instructor that day has such a great way of explaining each pose, and it’s usually her voice I hear in my head when I get in position.

We seemed to have more core work than usual, which was torture awesome. That’s definitely a trouble spot for me, and a strong core is important for good running form so I tried not to curse in my head too much.

After class I headed home for lunch and to rest for a couple of hours.

Day 15: Yoga Basics

I arrived 10 minutes early for my 4 PM Yoga Basics class. I took those 10 minutes to do my ankle exercises. After the marathon I developed some tendonitis in my right foot and it seems the yoga has been exasperating it. No stranger to tendonitis in my feet, I started to do my exercises as soon as I noticed it getting worse.

The class surprisingly went by quickly. I had imagined that it would drag on because I was doubling up. The class was taught by one of my favorite instructors (the same from earlier that day) and since it was a beginner’s class I focused on really breathing and getting good form in my positions.

After class I headed off to Whole Paycheck Foods to do some grocery shopping for the week. Fresh shrimp and coconut oil were both on sale, so I snapped them up. I’ll tell you about the delicious dinner I made with them later.

I also picked up this little reward:

My favorite things: peanuts and milk chocolate

I’ve had a sweet tooth lately and we have nothing in the house to appease it. I bought this bar and told myself I can only have two squares a day as dessert from dinner. I did good yesterday and only had two squares.

I’m off to start what will undoubtedly be another crazy week. I’m going to focus on trying to get enough sleep every night and drinking lots of water and eating clean. And coffee… but I will try not to increase my intake.

How do you get through busy weeks?

Meatless Tuesday Dinner?

23 May

Since weekends tend to be a free for all for us when it comes to food, we’ve been doing Meatless Monday dinners. It’s nice because it resets our palette for the coming week.

However, this Monday was a BBQ at my best friend’s parents’ house, so we had to put it off until Tuesday.

Dinner was super easy. We headed to Publix and wandered aimlessly picking up random items.

Here’s what we bought at the store:

  • Snap peas
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Sliced mushrooms

Here’s what we had at home:

  • Quinoa
  • Lentil beans
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • Spices: salt, pepper, garlic powder, rosemary

Donnie went to cooking the quinoa (per instructions on the package) and the mushrooms (sauteed with just a bit of olive oil) and the snap peas (same) while I prepped the tomatoes and walked around complaining how hungry I was. :)

For the tomatoes, I sliced them up, laid them on some parchment paper and seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and rosemary. I drizzled on some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, closed up the parchment paper, and baked them for 13 minutes on 375 degrees. They turned out perfect, and complimented the rest of the meal.

Sometimes when you head to the store with no idea of what you’ll make for diner, it comes out perfect. Props to Donnie for wanting to stick to the plan. I was tempted to buy a rotisserie chicken and call it a day. Instead, I got to eat this delish meal:

Quick and easy

Have you gone meatless, even if for just one day? 

Wednesday

16 May

The highlights of my Wednesday:

  1. Woke up at 6 AM so I could give myself a pedi and shave my legs. Which I had to do before I…
  2. Went to Doc for an 8 AM appointment to check out my leg. Glad I completed said pedi and shave. It seemed like everybody and their mother (Doc, Nurse, X-Ray tech) touched my smooth legs and had their faces near my nicely polished feet.
  3. Received bad news: I can’t bend my right leg because my IT band is tight and overworked. Apparently it thinks I’m the bitch and is refusing to work with me.
  4. Received good news: This confirms that it is just my IT band, I didn’t tear anything and that I will one day be able to run again.
  5. Had a slice of lasagna pizza for lunch. Not to celebrate. Just because this is an every Wednesday occurrence for me and my co-workers. It’s the pizza of the day every Wednesday at Pizzeria Valdiano in Winter Park Village. If you’re ever in the area on a Wednesday, I strongly suggest you stop in for a slice of sausage, sauce and ricotta cheese deliciousness! Trust me on this one.

My half eaten slice of lasagna pizza from Pizzeria Valdiano

I’m off to stretch every single muscle in my legs and show that IT band of mine just how bitchy I can be. :)

Rewarding Oneself

12 May

When I train for a race, I tend to bribe reward myself along the way (for example: a new running outfit, ice cream, new heels).

As for the big reward after the race, I’ve promised myself a tattoo after each of the last five races, though I’ve only actually cashed in on my reward once:

My hibiscus tattoo

I got my hibiscus after I ran my first two half marathons. It was supposed to be my reward after running the first one, but I jumped right into training for my second one and didn’t have the healing time needed when you get ink done. (By the way, I got the hibiscus done at Ascension by Hoffa and absolutely love it. I hope to have him do my next piece!)

It’s tough to get ink done in the midst of training for your next race and I’ve been training for one race or another for the last three years. Since I still owe myself the big piece I was going to get on my shoulder after my first marathon (mainly because I jumped right into training for another marathon) this marathon’s reward was much simpler and all calorie-based:

Monday: Bistro Burger topped with BBQ sauce and served with sweet potato fries from Miller’s Ale House

Tuesday: Chocolate Cookie Crumble Frappuccino *with* the Whipped Cream!

Yup, a BBQ burger and a frozen coffee beverage with whipped cream got me through 26.2 miles. Both were absolutely amazing. What can I say? Sometimes, I’m easy to please. :)

As for the shoulder tattoo, I keep going back and forth on whether or not to miss beach season (sun and water are tattoo healing no-no’s).

Do you reward yourself after races? How?

Pick-Hey-Up-From-Failed-Run Day

7 Apr

This AM was scheduled to be my 20-miler. I woke up feeling good. I twisted my hair up, brushed my teeth, dressed and was out the door, eating overnight oats as I drove to meet up with my group.

The run started off good. I was optimistic and looking forward to freeing up my weekend from this wicked run. I was laughing and practicing my “weeeeeeeeeeeeeee…. weweweeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” for Flying Pig Marathon.

Then a couple of miles in I became distracted. I had to use the restroom and it now became the focus of all of my attention. This is what I get for recently bragging about my lack of bathroom issues during runs.

Finally around mile four we ran by a 7-Eleven that could fulfill my needs. Sure beats a port-o-potty.

Back on the road I was happy that I could finally relax and enjoy the run. This feeling was short-lasted. Around mile seven I started to feel a familiar twinge to the side of my right knee. I was running with my IT strap on my left leg, because that’s where I’ve been having the problems, and contemplated whether I should switch legs with the strap. The problem is, I know that once the pain starts, it’s not going to go away. The point of the strap is to keep that agitation from starting in the first place. I left in on my left leg. The last thing I wanted was for both of my knees to hurt.

Around mile 10 I moved it over in vain.

A little less than 12 miles into the run, we were minutes away from a water stop when I felt a sharp pain run up my right leg. Expletives flew out of my mouth and I started to run with a visible limp. The dull pain had become sharp and unbearable.

My group was awesome. Immediately they started to tell me that I should stop running and spend the week rolling my leg and icing it and try again next weekend… It wasn’t worth making the injury worse today, especially with plenty of time before the marathon. They are wise women, and I decided to heed their advice. I called it a run at 12.23 miles. I called Donnie and asked him to come pick me up.

Here were my stats (I didn’t stop my watch for any breaks, including 7-Eleven):

  • Distance: 12.23 miles
  • Time: 02:58:19
  • Avg Pace: 14:34/mile

He came to get me with the dogs in tow. It was genius on his part. C’mon… It’s hard to stay disappointed in yourself with a pug trying to lick your face.

We decided to grab breakfast with the dogs at the Briarpatch on Park Ave. The pugs were pretty excited to be dining al fresco on such a beautiful morning:

Rex trying to make new friends on Park Ave.

The conversation went something like this:

Donnie: (to the dogs) You don’t get to come to Park Ave. every day. This is a special occasion.

Me: What’s the special occasion?

Donnie: Oh, it’s Pick-Hey-Up-From-Failed-Run Day.

Sometimes you have to know when to say when. And it doesn’t hurt to reward your smart, yet disheartening, decision with a delicious breakfast afterwards. I had the truffle fried eggs, over medium. The eggs were served over vegetables: peppers, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and fresh basil. It was delicious! Briarpatch really never disappoints.

Truffle fried eggs at the Briarpatch.

Next week is a scheduled mock half marathon with Marathonfest. I’m going to have to wake up early and run seven miles prior to it. To be honest, I’m not particularly excited about spending another week thinking about running 20 miles.

Have you had a run recently not go according to plan? How did you improvise?

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