Friday, February 28, 2014

Five Things About Me

Ahh you guys I leave for India TOMORROW! I still can't believe it's really happening! 

In typical me fashion, I procrastinated a lot and don't have a store of posts built up. I do have a few post ideas and hope to try the whole spontaneous, brief check-in post thing, but I may be a little MIA for the next two weeks. 

Because I was so focused on trying to think of things to write while I'm in India, I kind of forgot to think about something to write about today. Oops. Lucky for me, the DC Trifecta is hosting an "About Me" themed Friday Five link up. Boom. Perfect post idea!

So without further ado, here are five things that you may or may not know about me. Hopefully there are a few surprises in here. I like to think I'm not totally predictable.

1. I love trashy, terrible and teen TV shows

I love Downton Abbey, House of Cards and a lot of HBO dramas (anybody watching True Detective?! So scary but so good!) but I also love me some trashy TV. Preferably in glorious marathon, binge watching form. On my recently watched list: Dance Moms, America's Next Top Model, and, most recently Dance Academy. If you haven't seen it, it's a fabulous Australian teen drama about an elite dance high school. I started watching this weekend thanks to a rec from Ashley at Downsizing and I can. not. stop.

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2. I am secretly an arts and crafts fiend

I taught myself how to knit and crochet before college and have made a couple big projects, including a blanket that the bf actually uses! I was really active on Craftster"an online community where people share hip, off-beat, crafty diy (do it yourself) projects" and sewed my sophomore year school bag out of lots of folded up plastic bags. It was pretty sweet.

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3. I wanted to be a home design/DIY blogger

Confession: when I first considered starting a blog, I really wanted to be a home design/DIY blogger. Young House Love is still my most-read blog and I asked for and received their home DIY book for Christmas. But I don't have much of a home to design in and haven't actually made a single one of the projects I've pinned. Healthy living blogging is so much more me!

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4. I'm a huge sci-fi/fantasy nerd

I've read all 14 books in the Wheel of Time series, all of the Song of Ice and Fire (before the HBO shows. holla!) pretty much everything Orson Scott Card has ever written, and am currently on book 4 of the Sword of Truth series. Something about the sweeping stories, larger than life heroes, and magic swords gets me every time. Yep. Giant nerd over here. 

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5. I was once in an issue of robot magazine

I couldn't bring myself to post the picture, but you can find it here. And it's still very easily searchable on Google, and someone once sent me a Facebook request asking me if I was "that girl in robot magazine". Basically before I decided on the whole international development/Asia career thing, I was really into robots. For about two years of undergrad, I was really sure I wanted to get a PhD and spend the rest of my life in a lab doing research. Glad I found out that wasn't for me sooner rather than later!

Q. So how'd I do? Anything you didn't know already? What's one surprising thing about you?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Workout Wednesday - Free Dumbbell Strength Routines

Hey all! As you may know if you follow me on Instagram (shameless follow-me-plug: @eathard_workhard), I bought this adjustable dumbbell set last week.

It was only $29.97 with free shipping after I bought an additional $20 worth of stuff to get to Walmart's $50 shipping minimum (like that was hard). It isn't as fancy as some sets I've seen (this one used in Fitness Blender videos look amazing) and changing the weight is a bit of a pain with the spin collars, but it was CHEAP. Can't have champagne taste on a beer budget. Well I guess that depends how much beer we're talking about...

I'd been seriously slacking on strength training since I decided to be a runner this year. But a fortuitous (ok that may be pushing it, Pollyanna) ankle injury last week got me back into it when running was off the table. So, in honor of my new dumbbell set and Workout Wednesday, I'm sharing a few of my favorite free dumbbell strength routines. 

LivestrongWoman Full-Body Fantastic 5 Workout

With a circuit of five basic moves, a total length of under 15 minutes, and plenty of helpful guidance on form, this workout is great for strength training beginners. It's also a great circuit for lifters of all levels to squeeze in a quick strength session on a busy day.  

Fitness Blender Fat Burning Functional Strength Training Workout

This workout features multi-tasking moves to tone your whole body. And, at just over 30 minutes long, it won't kill your whole night. 

If you have a bit more time to spare or want to take your workout to the gym, this workout from BeFit is a little longer and is helpfully formatted to play well on your phone so you can take it with you.

Purely Twins 20 Minute Time Challenge

This is another quick circuit workout filled with multi-tasking moves. It's done AMRAP style (as many reps as possible) so you can vary the intensity by changing up the weight and speed to get a great workout in at any level in only 20 minutes.

If you just can't resist getting a little bit of cardio in with your strength training, this workout includes a bunch of two-in-one moves that work multiple muscle groups done at a fast race to keep your heart rate up.

Q: Made any fitness purchases lately? Do you splurge on fitness equipment or do you stick to the cheap stuff like your truly?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Meal Prep Monday - Blueberry Pancake Bread and Baked Tempeh

Can't believe it's Monday already! This weekend went by way too fast. On the plus side, I started exercising again after a week off with a sprained ankle. And I got to celebrate my return to exercise with a little beach volleyball on Saturday. On the actual beach! In February! I could get used to this :) 

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm traveling internationally for my new job already (1 month after my first day!). Everything finally got settled and we booked my ticket on Friday, so I'm happy to announce that I'M GOING TO INDIA! THIS SATURDAY!

I've never been before, and even though I'll be super busy with work I'm really looking forward to the trip. I'm excited to learn more about our programs on the ground and (of course) to eating tons of delicious food.

So, in anticipation of the increased eating hard/decreased working hard I'll be doing for two weeks in India, I kept this week's meal prep light and vegetarian again. I still love meat (especially bacon) but I've found it easier and cheaper to go vegetarian since I've been meal prepping for one. And you know I'm all about cheap and easy. I may get sick of it at any moment because I'm fickle like that, but so far so good. 


I saw this yummy pancake loaf recipe on  a recent Diary of an ExSloth post and had to interrupt my baked oatmeal chain to try it out immediately. 

I was planning to stay close to the original recipe, but then Trader Joe's had multigrain pancake mix on sale, I had leftover blueberries from a fruit salad I made for volleyball on Saturday and, as usual, I ended up changing everything. Here's what I came up with.

Baked Blueberry Pancake Bread

Calories: 247 | Fat: 7 g | Cholest: 35 mg | Sodium: 317 mg | Carbs: 37 g | Fiber: 7 g | Sugars: 14 g | Protein: 10 g

1 cup wholegrain pancake mix

1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/2 cup mashed sweet potato
3 liquid egg whites
1 egg
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup almond milk
2 cups blueberries
1/4 cup slivered almonds
3 tbsp chia seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix ingredients through almond milk together until smooth. 

Stir in the blueberries, almonds, and chia seeds.
Poor into a greased rectangular oven safe baking dish (mine was 8 x 6).
Bake for 60 minutes or until bread is firm in the center.
Makes 6 servings.

I'm a fan of this recipe, especially when topped with nut butter or Greek yogurt. It does taste kind of like pancakes, but the texture is a lot more dense and moist. Think zucchini bread. It's not too sweet, so feel free to enjoy it with some maple syrup too to really get that whole pancake feeling. Go crazy with it.


I know not everyone (including the bf) agrees, but I'm a big fan of tempeh. I love the nutty texture and flavor. I've made baked tempeh a couple times and always marinated it. This time, I kept it simple with just a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and popped it into the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes to crisp it up a little.


I love Brussels sprouts but they are kind of a pain to make. All that cleaning and removing the outer leaves of each little tiny cabbage takes forever, so I've never made them for just me before. But, lucky for lazy people like me, Trader Joe's sells shaved Brussels sprouts which totally removes all the prep work. They were delicious tossed with a little lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted in the oven at 450 degrees for about 12 minutes. Along with the sprouts, I also roasted some spaghetti squash and broccoli, and cooked up some peas.


I'm still taking it a little easy on the running to make sure my ankle fully heals, and I'll be spending the weekend on a plane, so this week's workout schedule is a little lighter than usual. Oh well.

Monday: Fitness Blender Total Body Boot Camp, rec league volleyball
Tuesday: Easy 5K run
Wednesday: Zumba? Or maybe spin depending how the ankle feels
Thursday: Easy 4 mile run
Friday: Yoga Sculpt at Corepower Yoga
Saturday: Travel to India
Sunday: On the plane

Q: Have any travel plans coming up? Any ideas for exercising on the plane? Just kidding, I plan to binge watch TV dramas until I fall asleep :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Five - The Big 100

This is my ONE HUNDREDTH blog post!!

I can't believe I've written 100 posts since I started this blog in...(let me look that up)...July! I've really enjoyed this whole blog thing way more than I thought I would and it's been great to document my healthy living journey. I've also loved getting more involved in the blog community and interacting with other great bloggers. Ok let me stop before I tear up.

After trying hard (ok not that hard, but I did try) to come up with a post worthy of this momentous occasion, I decided to join in DC Trifecta's Friday Five and Fitting it All In's Five Things Friday link ups with a look back through my favorite blog moments.

5 Favorite Recipes

One of the best things about starting this blog is how it's encouraged me to try new recipes and get creative in the kitchen. Before blogging, I was pretty lazy about cooking, unimaginative in the kitchen, and always always followed the recipe. Now I'm still lazy and mostly cook fast and easy recipes, but I'm not at all afraid of experimenting and have made a lot of my own recipes. 

1. Vegan Holiday Quinoa

2. Vegan Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili

3. Gluten Free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Balls

4. Cranberry Pear Baked Oatmeal

5. Gluten Free Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins

5 Favorite Workouts

Blogging has also pushed me to try new workouts. I'm pretty fearless when it comes to fitness now--after getting lost in the woods I figure I can handle almost anything!

1. My First 5K

2. Fast and Free At-Home Cardio Workouts

3. Run for the Wounded Warriors 5K/How I Got Lost in the Woods

4. Terrapin Adventures Ropes Course

5. Revolve Spin Class

5 Most Viewed Posts

Going back and looking at my blogger stats for my most viewed posts was interesting. Guess I should review more stuff, huh?

1. Reebock CrossFit Nano 3.0 Review

2. Betty Rocker 30 Day Bodyweight Shred Review

3. Blogilates July Calendar Review

4. Zucchini Banana Coconut Flour Muffins

5. Meal Prep Monday: Veggie Style

Q: Anything you would like to see more of in my next 100 posts? :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Workout Wednesday - Power of Your Om Hot Yoga Tips and Review

Hope everyone's been having a good week! Mine has been a little bit of a bummer because I've been sidelined with an ankle sprain since volleyball on Monday. Can't believe I missed my track workout again!

While it looks like I'll be taking a break from my regular fitness routine this week, I'm joining today's Workout Wednesday Link Up with some tips and a review for a new fitness class I finally tried over the weekend: hot yoga.

I'm pretty terrible at yoga and have been especially intimidated by hot yoga. Doing something I'm not particularly good at in an uncomfortably hot environment just did not seem like my piece of cake. But due to my recent perverse desire to face my fears and got out of my way to try anything that seems scary to me, I decided to give it a shot.

Here's few tips I found helpful before heading off to class:
  • Bring a yoga mat, towel and plenty of water. A yoga mat towel with a non-slip backing that you can lay over your mat is also really nice to have for holding poses with sweaty skin.
  • Wear tight fitting clothes made of sweat wicking performance fabrics and prepare to be barefoot. Some people wear as little as possible, I wore super thin capris because I felt they would keep my legs from getting too sweaty.
  • Drink plenty of water before class and avoid eating a big meal within 2 hours of class.
  • Prepare yourself to sweat. You're going to get all drippy but that's ok, so will everyone else!

Now on to a review of the class I took: Hot Power Vinyasa Yoga at Power of Your Om.

The Studio

I decided to go with Power of Your Om for my first hot yoga class because the studio works to make yoga accessible to everyone. Their website states, "You don’t need to be able to touch your toes or do 25 push-ups to land your yoga mat here. You just have to be willing to move, to breathe, to sweat and to breakthrough your own barriers." Sounds like my kind of place! All of their classes are suitable for all levels and are all held in a room heated to over 90 degrees. The class I took, cutely named Shake Your Asana, was the standard power vinyasa flow set to music. 

The Class

After being warmly greeted and identified as a new student by the instructor at a small reception area, I deposited my stuff in the adjacent cubbies and headed in to the studio to set up my map. There were already a few people inside, so I copied their set up, laying out my yoga towel and mat and folding my hand towel in front for easy access.

We started off the class with some slow, deep breathing. After telling us to cross our legs and place our hands palms up on our thighs, the instructor said that position always made her feel like "we were about to do some weird uncomfortable Eastern thing" but that it really just symbolized being open to new experiences and helped get us ready for the class. I kind of loved her for that.

After the deep breathing we went into a few different flows. The pacing was fast and the flows were challenging--think lots of transitions to different plank positions and moves requiring a lot of balance. There were some difficult arm balances that I am no where near to achieving, but the instructor was good about giving modifications and I mostly felt like I could keep up. There was upbeat music playing during this time but it was mostly instrumental and fun without being distracting

After the vinyasa flow we went into some deep stretches including a bunch of hip opening poses, which felt awesome on my tight runner's hips. The music slowed down but was still excellent and included an awesome acapella version of Lorde's Royals. The 95 degree heat was definitely hot but it wasn't oppressive or hard to breathe. And I definitely felt like it made me more bendy, although I am still pretty inflexible at any heat.


Intensity: I definitely felt like my core muscles working and felt like I got a lot of toning in addition to the great deep stretching. The class also really was appropriate for all levels as there were poses that I think would be challenging even for more advanced practitioners but plenty of options to help beginners keep up.e
Instruction: I loved how accessible our instructor made all of the poses seem and the great balance she struck between giving space and making corrections.
Atmosphere: The studio was light and bright and the music was great.


Space: The studio was a little small and even though we were nowhere close to full, I still ended up running into the wall a few times even though my mat was within the very handy mat "parking spaces" marked out on the floor.

Bottom Line

I really love Power of Your Om's whole philosophy and attitude and found the 95 degree heat surprisingly helpful and not at all uncomfortable. I've read some negative reviews about the studio from yoga purists, but I love that they are trying to get more beginners like me on the mat and would highly recommend checking them out if you're in the Santa Barbara area.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Meal Prep Monday - Peanut Butter Apple Baked Oatmeal and Lentil Sweet Potato Balls

Happy President's Day! I have the day off and the house mostly to myself, so I've been celebrating the long weekend by working my way through my list of fun things to do alone, including a mini road trip to Solvang!

I bought a Groupon and pampered myself with a mani/pedi at the lovely Chiffon Boutique, ate Dutch pancakes at Paula's Pancake House (at the counter, thanks to Courtney of Eat Pray Run DC's advice), sampled way too many of Arnie's Famous Aebleskiver, and visited the infamous Ostrich Land of Sideways fame, all by myself. While it was a little awkward to be flying solo at times (Ostrich Land was full of families, didn't do any wine tastings because they were full of couples) I have to say I really enjoyed the alone time! 

In addition to my mini road trip, I also used to extra time off to meal prep up a storm. And to procrastinate actually writing this post, so it's up a little later than usual. Oops. Sorry about that! 


Even though we've been having 70 degree weather, I still had a big baking urge. Plus I picked up these amazing organic Pink Lady apples, so I decided to put them to good use in a yummy new baked oatmeal recipe.

Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal

Calories: 257 | Fat: 9 g | Cholest: 70 mg | Sodium: 76 mg | Carbs: 36 g | Fiber: 7 g | Sugars: 15 g | Protein: 11 g

1 and 1/2 cup oats

2 medium pink lady apples, chopped
1/4 cup raisins
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup almonds, divided

1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 cup non fat Greek yogurt
2 eggs
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp agave nectar
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients (including only half of the almonds) in a large rectangular microwave and oven safe baking dish.
Microwave on high for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle the rest of the almonds over the oatmeal mixture.
Bake for 15 minutes or until mixture is firm. Broil for the last minute or until the almonds are golden brown.
Makes 6 servings.


I'm still on the vegetarian meal prep train and wanted to use my long weekend to try something adventurous. I started with Healthy Tipping Point's recipe for flax-encrusted sweet potato balls, but subbed lentils for black beans because my whole memory of buying black beans was totally false. Oh well, #makeitwork! I also added in egg and avocado since I didn't need them to be vegan and wanted to make sure they were moist enough to stay together. Here's what I ended up with:

Lentil Sweet Potato Balls

Calories: 237 | Fat: 9 g | Cholest: 0 mg | Sodium: 638 mg | Carbs: 32 g | Fiber: 11 g | Sugars: 8 g | Protein: 10 g

2 cups mashed sweet potato

1 cup cooked lentils
1 small ripe avocado
6 tbsp egg whites
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp sat
1 tbsp black pepper
1/4 cup flax meal

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mash sweet potato, lentils, avocado and egg whites together until well combined.

Add in chia seeds, garlic, salt and pepper.
Form into twenty balls, then roll each ball in flax meal.
Place balls onto a greased baking sheet.
Bake for 30 minutes or until balls form a golden brown crust, turning over once.
Makes 5 servings.

The balls have a nice nutty flavor from the flax meal and are slightly sweet from the avocado, but are pretty neutral. They'd go equally well with salsa, tzatziki sauce, curry sauce, or any number of flavors. 


I took a trip to Tri-County Produce for the first time on Sunday and was blown away by the selection of super fresh and high quality produce at reasonable prices. I picked up a pile of fresh produce, including some great looking lettuce, peppers, snap peas, apples and pears. I'll eat most of it raw, but I roasted the zucchini and squash as usual, boiled corn, baked these cool sweet potatoes with a purple skin, and cooked up some quinoa for this week's hot sides.


My main goal is to get on the track for a speed workout this week, hopefully tomorrow!

Monday: Blogilates Toned Arms and Sculpted Back and Slim Waist workouts, two volleyball games
Tuesday: One of these track interval runs
Wednesday: Zumba
Thursday: Easy 4 mile run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Slow 6 mile run
Sunday: Pilates class?

Q: How was your weekend? Do anything fun, solo or otherwise?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Five Fun Things to Do Alone

Happy Valentine's Day all! The bf is still on the other side of the country, so we'll be spending the day apart for the first time in four years. Plus all my housemates have plans so I'll be alone in the house for the first time over a 3-day weekend. Not that I'm bitter or anything.

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Ok, so maybe I'm a little bitter. But I'm not going to wallow. Even though I'm basically a champion wallow-er. Instead, I'm linking up with the DC Trifecta's Friday Five and Fitting it All In's Five Things Friday link up to share five fun activities to do alone for anyone else flying solo this long weekend.

1. Take a hike/bike ride

Hiking and biking alone means you don't have to worry about keeping up with anybody. And mother nature is the perfect date--beautiful but accessible and always available.

2. Mini road trip

I've never been a great solo traveler, but a mini road trip is a great starting point. Driving by yourself means you control the radio and gives you lots time for self reflection. And once you get to your destination, you'll be able to explore at your own pace.

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3. Try a new fitness class

While it's fun to go to a fitness class with friends, group exercise classes are also great places to get a little social interaction even if you don't have anyone to go with.

4. Hang out at a coffee shop

I know I should be confident enough to feel comfortable dining alone at any restaurant, but requesting a table for one at a fancy restaurant is still pretty scary. Coffee shops, however are the perfect place to eat alone, with or without a great read. Plus  I love coffee shops! There's just something about the whole intellectual atmosphere combined with good food and caffeine.

5. Pamper yourself

I'm super cheap, so getting a manicure or pedicure is a big treat for me. Maybe for you it's a massage, full spa treatment, or just running a fancy bubble bath. Whatever it is, alone time is perfect for doing something that feels totally self indulgent.

Q: What are your favorite things to do alone? Besides watching Downton Abbey and eating chocolate. That's obvious.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Workout Wednesday - Track Interval Routines

Confession--I've been meaning to run at the track ever since I made my 10k training plan a month ago, but I haven't done it yet. Oh and to make matters worse, the track I could be running at looks like this:

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It's a little out of the way, and I've been busy, but I really have no excuse for putting it off. I think part of the reason I haven't gone is because I'm a little intimidated and don't have a great plan. So for today's Workout Wednesday, I'm sharing a few awesome looking track interval routines. (Polar vortexing and prefer to run inside? Check out my favorite treadmill interval routines)

But first, a few tips I found that are useful to know before hitting the track:

  • At most tracks, one lap is 400 meters and 4 laps equal one mile
  • Most tracks run counterclockwise. I've heard some alternate directions but I've never seen it. 
  • Stay in the outer lanes unless you are running fast. If you are walking, definitely stay in the outermost lane.
  • Pay attention to other runners (you are in relatively confined space) and move to the right to let someone pass you if you hear "on your left" or "track".
  • Don't stand on the track and try not to run more than two across to leave room for other runners.
  • And finally, since running around and around in a circle is super boring (at least to me) have a plan to mix it up with an interval routine like the workouts below :)

This is a great track interval workout for beginners! It's easy to follow using the straights and curves of the track as your guide, and will get you doing a lot of fast running for a short distance. Just make sure to do your non-running warm-up and cool down out of the way on the side of the track.

This routine is a little more complicated (hence the lack of a nice simple instruction graphic), but the decreasing recovery time keeps it interesting and helps challenge your cardio fitness.

This routine is pretty simple and easy to keep track of. It covers 5 miles, which is no piece of cake to me, but because you can vary the sprint and recovery speeds based on your fitness level it's still good for everyone from beginning runners (like yours truly) to the more advanced.

Q: Do you run on the track? Is it intimidating or am I being a wuss? Any tips?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Meal Prep Monday - Berry Baked Oatmeal and Lentils

How was your weekend? Mine was super low key and didn't involve anything special, but it was nice to have a cozy and relaxing time. We even made a fire!

Since I've really enjoyed my mostly plant-based diet, I'm going vegetarian with my meal prep again this week.


It's been a little chilly and actually rained a bit last week (super rare for Santa Barbara) so I got the urge to make some warm, comforting food. Baked oatmeal fits the bill perfectly.

Berry Baked Oatmeal

Calories: 251 | Fat: 8 g | Cholest: 31 mg | Sodium: 85 mg | Carbs: 34 g | Fiber: 8 g | Sugars: 11 g | Protein: 12 g

1 and 1/2 cup oats

1 small zucchini, grated
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup almonds, divided

1 ripe banana
2 cups frozen mixed berries
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup non fat Greek yogurt
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 egg
2/3 cup egg whites
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients (including only half of the almonds) in a large rectangular microwave and oven safe baking dish.
Microwave on high for 10 minutes, stirring halfway.
Sprinkle the rest of the almonds over the oatmeal mixture.
Bake for 15 minutes or until mixture is firm. Broil for the last minute or until the almonds are golden brown.
Makes 6 servings.


I made frozen edamame again and also made some lentils. I cooked them in the crockpot so it was super easy. I just put a cup of lentils, 3 chopped garlic cloves, 2 chopped carrots, black pepper, and some Bragg's seasoning into the slow cooker with about 5 cups of water and cooked it on high for about 4 hours. They came out tender but not mushy and will be great when I add salt and other seasonings!


My wonderful housemate Jess figured out how to clean most of the miscellaneous burned junk off the bottom of the oven, so I was able to cook a ton of veggies this week without setting off the smoke alarm once! I roasted zucchini, eggplant, green beans, carrots, and parsnips. I've never made parsnips before but they came out really well! I just cut them into about one inch sticks, tossed with some olive oil, salt and pepper and baked them in the oven at 375 for about 35 minutes. Delicious!


I missed a run last week and really want to get back to three runs a week to make progress on my Run This Year goal. It's also going to be my first Valentine's Day by myself for a long time since the bf is back in DC, so I want to make sure to find a way to treat myself and banish any lonely feelings on Friday :)    

Monday: FitnessBlender Beginner Kettlebell Workout, Rec league volleyball
Tuesday: 6 x 400 interval run
Wednesday: Zumba
Thursday: Easy 4 mile run
Friday: Rest/treat myself to something nice for Valentine's Day :)
Saturday: Slow 6 mile run
Sunday: Bikram Yoga

Q: What's your favorite way to treat yourself? Any ideas to celebrate Valentine's Day alone but not lonely? 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Five Things Friday - February Goals

It's the end of my first week at work and the end of the first week of February! When did that whole new month thing happen? I've been busy and going to a lot of early morning calls in preparation for my hopeful upcoming trip. Promise to share more details when it's confirmed--don't want to jinx it! I've still also been making time to enjoy my new town, like the awesome scenic run to work I did yesterday. Mornings this beautiful even manage to get me out of bed on time (occasionally).

In honor of the (almost) beginning of February, and since I totally checked off my January Goals early this month, I'm joining the DC Trifecta Friday Five and Fitting it All In's Five Things Friday Link Ups with five goals for February. Oh and all of these goals fit into my 2014 goals and theme of growth!

1. Show up to a pick up volleyball game

In the two weeks I've been in Santa Barbara, I've managed to find several weekly pick up volleyball groups. But, I have yet to actually attend one. And, as I mentioned before, finding groups to meet people is easy but you can't make friends unless you actually show up. So I'm going to show up this month! 

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2. Bike to work once a week

I bought a used bike on Craigslist! And after getting it back from a tune up at the bike shop I have ridden it...once. Home from the bike shop. My work is only 2.5 miles away from my house so I bought the bike for commuting. So yea I'm going to actually use it to bike to work at least once a week.

3. Try a new fitness class

I'm thinking pilates on the reformer or hot yoga. Or almost any kind of yoga really. I've still only been to two yoga classes ever. 

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4. Run 35 miles

Still got to get to that Run This Year goal. I ran 32.88 miles in January so I've got 332.12 to go!

5. Phone my friends

I've been doing an ok job keeping in touch with my friends back home via text and email, but haven't figured out how to get precious voice time in with the time difference. Must work on that this month!

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Q: What's your approach to goal setting? What are some of your current goals?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Workout Wednesday - Fast and Free At-Home Cardio Workouts

Hi all! Sorry I've been a little MIA lately. I've been super busy hitting the ground running at my new job and may be traveling internationally in THREE WEEKS! Ahh!

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Since I've been putting in fairly long hours and don't have a comfortable night running route yet, fitting in cardio has been a little challenging. So, in honor of Workout Wednesday, I'm sharing a few of my favorite quick, free at-home cardio workout videos. 

Fitness Blender HIIT Like a Girl Round 2

This is a brutal HIIT routine that will keep your heart rate up pretty much the whole time. It takes less than 30 minutes to complete, and even includes warm up and cool down!

Denise Austin: Ultimate Fat Burn Workout

If you love the feel of a traditional group exercise class but don't have time to get to the gym for a session, this 20 minute video is a great quick alternative!

This workout is low impact but will still get your heart racing. And at 9 minutes, it's easy to squeeze in a super quick cardio session or repeat the circuit to create a longer workout based on the amount of time you have.

Q: How do you fit in workouts even if you're busy? What's your favorite fast workout?