Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday - Vegan Before 6 Edition

Happy Wednesday and happy 37th (holy cow!) Workout Wednesday (WOW) linkup with Diatta Harris from Femme Fitale Fit Club, Sheila Simmons from The Frugal Exerciser, Natalie from Clean Eating Teen, Jenn from Comeback Momma, and yours truly!

As I mentioned in Monday's post, I received a copy of The VB6 Cookbook for review from Blogging for Books and am doing the whole vegan before dinner thing for at least a week. Going mostly vegan sounded a little crazy to me (no bacon?1?) when I first read the book, so I thought I'd give you a look at what I ate for my first day on the diet.

Breakfast was super easy since I meal prepped a giant batch of Almond Quinoa from the cookbook. All I did was pop it in the microwave and top with some bananas and yummy passion fruit from a coworker's garden.


Lunch was a big mixing bowl salad with meal-prepped VB6 Phony Bologna, mesclun, green beans, fresh peas, avocado and salsa. Pretty easy and similar to a normal lunch for me, minus the cheese

Snacks were the hardest thing to keep vegan. Someone brought a yummy homemade tart in to work. I walked by it about 20 times through the day, which made me want to cry/eat an entire mini watermelon by myself. I also had some dairy free dark chocolate, but it just wasn't the same. Later in the afternoon, I needed something with more sticking power. My go-to is normally Greek yogurt, but instead I ate the last of my almond butter out of the jar. 


I came home starving and ate a protein shake while I made dinner. Being consciously vegan the whole day definitely had me looking forward to making a super yummy non-vegan dinner with animal products galore. I cooked up a Trader Joe's wild salmon burger, topped it with a delicious runny fried egg, and served it over stir fried Cruciferous Crunch with sesame oil, amino acids, and vinegar. Definitely worth the wait until 6!


After dinner I was (surprise surprise) craving something sweet, so I ate a bowl of cherries with a little more dark chocolate.


So far the whole vegan before dinner thing hasn't been too bad (except for that tart incident). We'll see how the rest of the week goes!

But enough about food. On to the party!


Point & Purpose: The purpose of this link up party is to mix and mingle and support each other’s sites by visiting, subscribing and/or leaving a comment. Please do not drop a link here, disappear and not follow through by visiting other party goers’ sites. 

Theme: We are linking up blog posts, Google+ posts or Facebook posts related to FITNESS, RUNNING, HEALTH or WELLNESS.


Simple Rules:
1. Follow, Like and/or Subscribe to your hostesses and co-hostesses:
2.   Don't be a wallflower.  I can not stress this enough.  Show some comment luv and support to other party goers of this link up by visiting their blogs and either leave a comment on a post, subscribe or both!  Visit at least others who have joined the party.
3.  Also join our WOW Link Up Pinterest Board (http://www.pinterest.com/curleedst/workout-wednesdays-link-up/ ) so you can PIN your post to it.
4.  Invite your like-minded friends!  We love finding and reading new blogs so spread the word so we can increase the size of our parties every week til we make the walls sweat!!!!  I told ya we party hard!  :-)
5.  Use hashtag #wowlinkup when you comment on someone's post for easy identification.
6.  Last but definitely not least, HAVE FUN!  This IS a party.

GRAB OUR BADGE CODE: 

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Monday, July 21, 2014

VB6 Mostly Vegan Meal Prep

Happy Monday! My weekend flew by, mostly because I spent half of it not getting to San Diego. Long story short, we had crazy car trouble, drove in circles, spent the night in LA, took 4 hours driving back to Santa Barbara, and didn't get home until Saturday evening. Oh well, that's life for you.


(Image Source)
On the plus side, unexpectedly getting my Sunday back gave me time to meal prep for the first time in weeks! And, as an added bonus, I got this awesome new cookbook in exchange for a review from Blogging for BooksNothing like free stuff to brighten your day!



Disclaimer: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for writing a review. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.

The VB6 Cookbook
is a follow up to the #1 New York Times bestselling VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health...for Good
The concept presented in VB6 is pretty self explanatory: eat vegan meals every day before 6:00 p.m. and then enjoy a variety of foods for dinner. The cookbook has shopping tips, meal planning suggestions, and hundreds of recipes to help you stick to the plan.

I love the taste of meat but I've been trying to eat more of a plant based diet for health, environmental, and budget reasons. Especially since moving to California, I eat vegetarian meals pretty regularly and have a lot of vegetarian recipes in my repertoire. But since most of these meals rely on plenty of eggs, cheese, and Greek yogurt for protein, going VEGAN seems way more difficult.

Luckily, The VB6 Cookbook starts by breaking down the foods that make up a mostly vegan pantry. So, after consulting the helpful tables in the book, here's what I came home from the grocery store with:

As you can see I ended up with a ton of vegetables and plan on getting my protein from quinoa, beans, nuts, and tofu. For my "after 6" animal products, I picked up some egg whites and will probably also eat some eggs and salmon burgers I already have. In fact, this is pretty much what I would buy any other week, except without the cheese and Greek yogurt.

After my shopping trip, I made two recipes from the book. For breakfast, I made the Almond Quinoa.


It was fairly simple to make since all it consists of is toasted almonds and a big batch of quinoa cooked in almond milk. Really similar to a lot of my normal meal prep breakfasts, but a little lower in protein since I didn't add egg whites or Greek yogurt. We'll see if I notice any difference in how long I stay full.

I also attempted to make Phony Bologna for a lunch protein. I made the recipe in muffin form instead of loaf form since I wanted to cook faster and my blender would not blend the tofu mixture, so I'm not exactly sure how these turned out.


I'm definitely going to try a few of the dinner recipes throughout the week as well (time-permitting). I have my eye on the Beans, Shrimp, and Fennel and this yummy looking Steak Au Poivre with Mushrooms.


I'll post a full review of the book after trying more recipes and seeing if it's easy for me to stick to this whole VB6 thing for a week or if I have a crazy bacon binge break down.

Q: Do you always, sometimes, or never try to eat vegan food? Do you think I'll go into crazy animal-product withdrawal?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Five Favorite Spotify Workout Playlists

Happy Friday! I'm linking up with Eat Pray Run DCMar on the Run and You Signed Up for What?! for the Friday Five LinkupThis week's theme is "Friday Favorites" but I'm pretty indecisive and have a lot of favorite things. So to narrow it down, I decided to share 5 of my current favorite workout playlists.



I don't know about you but music can totally make or break a workout for me. But I have the attention span of a toddler and hate spending time crafting the perfect playlist, plus I get sick of music quickly. Spotify is perfect for me because there are TONS of free playlists that someone else spent the time making. Genius. Here are my current top Spotify exercise playlists.

Billboard Exercise Songs

Super eclectic and hard core, this playlist is just what I need to get pumped up for a tough run or lift. 

 


Revolve Run

This list is put together by my favorite Spin studio in DC, Revolve Fitness. It has more of a variety of song tempos and I like it for long cardio sessions.



FitSugar 90s Workout Jams

The 90s are totally back in a big way (have you SEEN all the sunflowers at Forever 21 lately) and there's nothing like some oldies but goodies for adding an extra burst of happy to your workout.



Filtr US' Ultimate Make You Sweat Playlist

This playlist is super pop-y and is over EIGHT HOURS long, giving you plenty of music to listen to without getting bored.



FitSugar Cardio: Hip-Hop

I really love the mix of songs on this list since they aren't ones I constantly hear on the radio now. As an added bonus, the included songs are all the clean radio versions so it's good to go if you need music to play out loud.



Q: What's your favorite music to exercise to? Are overalls and REALLY back? Do I need a pair or am I too old for that?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Run Commuting/Run-mute Tips

Happy Wednesday! How's your week of workouts been so far? I've been doing a pretty good job of sticking to my July goal of exercising in the morning and have even gotten back in to running to work. 

I love that I live close enough to the office that I can save time by combining my workout and commute, and that I'm done with the day's exercise by the time I get to my desk. So for today's Workout Wednesday post I'm sharing some tips for your next running commute aka run-mute.


1. Plan ahead
Definitely the most important part of a successful runmute! Make sure you bring a change of clothes, toiletries and everything you need for the office the day before your run. I'm lucky enough to have a shower at work (which is good because I sweat a TON) so I'll bring body wash and a towel. I don't wash my hair because drying it is too annoying, so I stick to dry shampoo. If you don't have access to a shower, you could probably get away with wet naps, face wash, dry shampoo, and deodorant to reapply. 

2. Leave early
It takes time to get from run-mode to work mode and you don't want to stress about being late. Although sometimes literally "running" late can make you run faster :)  

3. Carry the essentials
For me that's my phone, keys, ID and credit card. I carry it all in my running belt, which is super helpful.

4. Fuel yourself post-run
I don't know about you but I'm always super hungry post-run so I make sure I have a good breakfast waiting for me when I get to work.

5. Figure out how to get home
This is a very important step! If it's too far/tiring to walk home after running to work make sure you secure a ride home for a friend or figure out how to take public transportation.

Q: Have you ever tried runmuting? What's your favorite morning workout?

Ok now on to the workout Wednesday link up party!


Point & Purpose: The purpose of this link up party is to mix and mingle and support each other’s sites by visiting, subscribing and/or leaving a comment. Please do not drop a link here, disappear and not follow through by visiting other party goers’ sites. 

Theme: We are linking up blog posts, Google+ posts or Facebook posts related to FITNESS, RUNNING, HEALTH or WELLNESS.


Simple Rules:
1. Follow, Like and/or Subscribe to your hostesses and co-hostesses:
2.   Don't be a wallflower.  I can not stress this enough.  Show some comment luv and support to other party goers of this link up by visiting their blogs and either leave a comment on a post, subscribe or both!  Visit at least others who have joined the party.
3.  Also join our WOW Link Up Pinterest Board (http://www.pinterest.com/curleedst/workout-wednesdays-link-up/ ) so you can PIN your post to it.
4.  Invite your like-minded friends!  We love finding and reading new blogs so spread the word so we can increase the size of our parties every week til we make the walls sweat!!!!  I told ya we party hard!  :-)
5.  Use hashtag #wowlinkup when you comment on someone's post for easy identification.
6.  Last but definitely not least, HAVE FUN!  This IS a party.

GRAB OUR BADGE CODE: 

<div align=”center”><a href=”http://femmefitalefitclub.com/?page_id=5741″ title=”Femme Fitale Fit Club”><img src=”http://femmefitalefitclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/10411245605_4348135958_m.jpg” alt=”Femme Fitale Fit Club” style=”border:none;” /></a></div>

Monday, July 14, 2014

ProCakes Protein Pancake Mix Review

As you guys probably know by now, food and free stuff are two of my favorite things in life. So I was SUPER excited when I got the opportunity to review a free sample of ProCakes Protein Pancake Mix as a FitFluential Ambassador.


Disclosure: I was provided this product free of charge for review. I was not compensated for my time. All thoughts and opinions are all my own. Obvs :)

According to the company, ProCakes is "a high protein pancake mix, designed to satisfy cravings for comfort food while providing a healthy dose of protein to help maintain a lean and strong body," plus it's gluten free and has awesome nutritional stats:


But, I'm not gonna lie, when I saw the suggested serving size was 3 pancakes I was all like:

(Image Source)

I decided to mix up a batch anyways. I assembled my ingredients...


And mixed everything together. 


Because I used coconut milk, I followed the package directions and added about 1/2 cup instead of 1/3 cup of dairy milk, which seemed to give me a nice pancake batter consistency.

Then I cooked my three (pretty large) pancakes over low heat until they started to bubble, flipped them without any sticking, and cooked some more until they felt firm in the middle.


I have to admit, I was impressed with the size of the resulting stack.


But how do they taste? 

Delicious! The texture is just right, not too dense like some high protein mixes or too grainy like gluten free baked goods can be. And after adding my egg and coconut milk and loading them up with 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt and 1 cup of frozen berries, I had a filling, under 400 calorie breakfast with 27 grams of protein!  

Bottom Line:

These pancakes were easy to make, tasted great, and have good nutritional value. The only downside is that the mix is a little pricey. The $17.99 bag with free Amazon Prime shipping still works out to about $2.25 a serving, so it's definitely worth it to have a bag around for a quick nutritious breakfast option.

To find out more about ProCakes, visit their blog or check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.

Q: Protein pancakes--love em or hate em? What's your favorite quick healthy breakfast+

Friday, July 11, 2014

My 5 Latest and Greatest Workouts in Pictures

Since it's Friday I'm joining the Friday Five Linkup with Eat Pray Run DCMar on the Run and You Signed Up for What?!This week's theme is "Fitness Snapshots" so I thought it'd be fun to show you my last 5 days of workouts in pictures.


I went back East to see the bf over the holiday weekend, so I was able to reunite with my favorite DC-area trails. Love my beach runs but I sure do miss those shaded paths sometimes (but not the humidity)!



I got off the bus from LAX to Santa Barbara just in time to make my Monday night women's beach volleyball rec league. Good thing too. After a 5 hour flight and 2 hour bus ride, there's probably no way I would have worked out if my partner wasn't depending on me to show up.



On Tuesday I woke up early for my July goal of doing two pre-work morning workouts a week. I was able to knock out three Blogilates videos in about half an hour: Extreme AbsArms on Fire and Want You Back Arms. Then, after work it was back to the beach for my coed beach volleyball rec league. Love the extra summer daylight and getting so much beach time during the week!



I ran a little over 3 miles to work on Wednesday. It was a little foggy and my legs were pretty tired from all that volleyball, so it wasn't the best runmute ever. It was awesome to have my workout done before 8:00 AM though!



I kept my early morning workout streak going Thursday with a 30 minute super sweaty Nike Training Club strength workout (Perfect Score). I couldn't stop snacking after dinner and was feeling restless, so I distracted myself with some more strength training including another Nike Training Club routine (Shoulder Ripper) and a killer 10-minute Arm Circuit.  

Today's my rest day so I'm just biking to work and trying to walk enough to fill up my Fitbit. And maybe sneaking in a little ab work. Rest days are the worst!

Q: What have you done for this week's workouts? Anybody else hate rest days?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Gear Shift Track Interval Workout

Happy Wednesday! I'm trying to use this East-West jet lag to help me with my somewhat contradictory July goals of sleeping more and waking up early to workout. So far so good. I'm even run-muting to work today!

(Image Source)

For today's Workout Wednesday (WOW) Linkup,  I have a great track interval workout to share with you.

For the past few weeks, my awesome coworkers and I have been heading down to the track to do some group running (and stair running. ugh.) workouts together. I love that my office is so into fitness and it's super motivating to have a built-in bunch of workout buddies. Here's my favorite track interval workout, designed by one of my coworkers:


The idea is pretty simple: jog 2 laps to warm up and then run 1 lap at 4 progressively faster speeds for each 100 m (quarter of a lap) until you are sprinting for the last 100 m. Then, jog for 200 m (half way around the track) to recover and start the process all over again. 

The gradual increase in speed is no joke, and completing the interval just 4 times for a measly 2 total miles was definitely tough for me! It's also a great workout to do with a group as it's totally customizable for different fitness levels as everyone can set their own "gears".

For more track workouts, check out my easy track interval workout and track interval routine roundup.

Q: Do you ever hit the track? What's your favorite track interval workout?

Now on to the party!


Point & Purpose: The purpose of this link up party is to mix and mingle and support each other’s sites by visiting, subscribing and/or leaving a comment. Please do not drop a link here, disappear and not follow through by visiting other party goers’ sites. 

Theme: We are linking up blog posts, Google+ posts or Facebook posts related to FITNESS, RUNNING, HEALTH or WELLNESS.


Simple Rules:
1. Follow, Like and/or Subscribe to your hostesses and co-hostesses:
2.   Don't be a wallflower.  I can not stress this enough.  Show some comment luv and support to other party goers of this link up by visiting their blogs and either leave a comment on a post, subscribe or both!  Visit at least others who have joined the party.
3.  Also join our WOW Link Up Pinterest Board (http://www.pinterest.com/curleedst/workout-wednesdays-link-up/ ) so you can PIN your post to it.
4.  Invite your like-minded friends!  We love finding and reading new blogs so spread the word so we can increase the size of our parties every week til we make the walls sweat!!!!  I told ya we party hard!  :-)
5.  Use hashtag #wowlinkup when you comment on someone's post for easy identification.
6.  Last but definitely not least, HAVE FUN!  This IS a party.