Archive of ‘Fitness’ category

First class

Um, it’s the Tuesday before thanksgiving.

Can you believe that? Wasn’t it just the 4th of July?

I woke up today raring to get on an airplane…. but instead I scooted my booty over to the gym for a quick workout (weights and the stationary bike since I missed-on-purpose the 6 am spinning sesh). By the end of it, all I could think about was breakfast. That’s an appropriate way to wrap up an hour of sweating in the gym, isn’t it?

I thought so.

It took a lot of internal strength for me to actually shower before heading into the kitchen to make breakfast, but when I finally got there I wanted to eat the quickest – and warmest – thing possible.

Cinnamon dusted oatmeal (and a dirty window).

Blah blah boring, but an excellent vehicle to the exorbitant amount of peanut butter I wanted to consume this morning.

Plus I needed to use up those blackberries before I head out of town tomorrow. If I had more patience, I think they would’ve tasted better in something like this, but…. we know how that goes before 9 am in the morning around here.

I desperately need to spend the rest of the day (after the whole work thang) cleaning up  my room and figuring out what exactly I’m bringing home to Las Vegas with me tomorrow for Thanksgiving break (<–calling it that makes me feel like I’m back in school). I mean, I’m only going home for a few days and I just wear spandex leggings and slippers everywhere I go, so that shouldn’t be too tricky.

Luckily I should have plenty of room to basically bring all of my belongings if I really want since I was upgraded.

Why yes, that’s right… I was moved up to first class!

I guess now I can wear all my diamonds and furs through security. 😉

Apparently all of my hard earned work as a frequent flyer the last two years (visiting Penpal) have finally gotten some due respect. That or I’m the only freak flying to Sin City for Thanksgiving.

I’ve only flown first class once before, and it was when I was younger with my dad (who used to be more of a frequent flyer than myself). I haven’t been this excited for something since finding Mickey Mouse-shaped pancakes back in the summer.

I mean, really. They serve breakfast in first class. That’s actual food that doesn’t come in a shiny blue package the size of my palm and isn’t broken into miniscule pieces. And booze too! A mimosa at 8am? Ok, sure!

After tomorrow, I have a feeling I’m going to be channeling Jerry and ElaineI can’t go back to coach.
But now it’s time to get back to work! Catch you all tomorrow from Vegas!

Have you ever flown first class? I want to hear about your experience, and some horror stories of sitting in coach. 😉

Autumn beef and butternut squash stew


The weekend.

Time to sleep. Get in a good workout.


Grocery shop for more than just bananas.

Quit my 12-cup a day habit.

And cook. You know, that thing you do to feed yourself when you don’t feel like shelling out $9 for a slice of pizza and salad at dinnertime. 

Whole Foods owns me.

The weather is crisp in that ‘need a scarf+peacoat’ type of way now, so I decided that this afternoon was the perfect time to make one of my very favorite fall recipes- autumn beef and butternut squash stew.

It’s really more of a stoup. Not too thick, but too hearty to be regular ol’ soup.

And it has the addition of some yummy fall flavors, like butternut squash, pumpkin pie spice and extra cinnamon.

Tastes ridiculously good with cornbread, too. Try it… you’ll like it.

Autumn Beef and Butternut Squash Stew


  • Mushrooms (big handful, or half the container)
  • 5-6 carrots, chopped
  • 1-1.5 pounds beef (for stew)
  • small butternut squash, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup water
  • cinnamon
  • pumpkin pie spice (or nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cinnamon)


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Once oven is hot, roast butternut squash and carrots on a cookie sheet for 40-45 minutes, dressed with cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and olive oil (I actually use olive oil cooking spray).

2. At the same time as number 1, brown beef in a pan til tender and no longer red inside. Once about done, add mushrooms and cook for a little bit longer- until beef is ready and browned fully and mushrooms have gotten softer. Make sure not to burn beef.

3. Fill large pot with chicken broth and water, and add all of the above (beef and veggies). Add salt and pepper and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon. Bring to a boil on medium heat, and then reduce heat to low and continue to cook for about 30 minutes.  

Makes 3-4 servings, and freezes very well.

The (temp) unemployed life

Hi guys!

It’s a dreary Wednesday here in Washington, and I’m trying to find the motivation to drag my sorry butt outside to workout and tackle some of the many errands monopolizing my To-Do list… or, you know, to shower.

My roommate is pretty pleased with my temporary unemployed status this week. I look terrific. 😉

Since I’ve had zero deadlines to meet this week, though, it’s been such a struggle to get myself moving in the mornings. Hence why I’m currently writing to you in pink pajama shorts and bedhead. I know you wish this was actually a vlog, right?

I’m starting to feel extremely grateful (well, even more so than I was before, that is) that I actually found other employment in the face of being laid off, because the picture of me in indefinite unemployment is not pretty.

Right now, though, I feel sort of like a trophy wife. You know, just lounging around with the occassional mid-day workouts and mall run..

As seen at my gym yesterday.. see the sparkly gym bag?

Yes, I’m stereotyping, sorry. But I was enthralled by her gym bag.

Only minus the extreme diamond ring and never-ending cash flow, and with midnight snacks of baked ziti while enjoy a new addicition to the 90s drama Felicity.

It’s instant streaming on Netflix… don’t ask.


Clearly I haven’t done anything physical yet today, but yesterday morning I hit the gym for an awesome treadmill workout.

Hello, legs. Thanks for playing.

I followed Tina’s incline interval walking workout with some tweaks, and it was great! I was a sweaty mess by the end, which I always take to be proof of a great workout.

I always find it tricky to read workout plans while actually at the gym and on a machine, but this time I stuck with it instead of simply making up my own intervals plan on the fly.

I email myself AND have a gmail label called 'Workout,' okay?

It made the time (over 45 minutes) literally fly by!

And yes, I did almost fall of the treadmill trying to read my email (Where I had the workout plan saved) and keep up the varying inclines and speeds.

I’ll post my version on the new Workouts page very soon!

I actually had tried to run briefly when I first hit the treadmill since my knee hasn’t be giving me any problems in weeks (I’ve just been avoiding running just in case), and it started out fine for the first couple of seconds, and then I felt the odd pulling pain again in my calf and toward my knee.

Maybe I just need to foam-roll better? Or a massage?

Or I should just stay broken up with running for a bit longer.

Pumpkin oats and microwaveable pancakes

Oats are back in my life! 😀

But first, some disappointment.

These are gross.

I’m sorry Trader Joe’s, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but these gluten free/dairy free pancakes are lousy (read: mushy!) and have no taste.

Straight into the garbage.

I should have known better than to be tempted by pancakes that can be microwaved for heaven’s sake. I mean, who am I?

But they reminded me of my long lost childhood obsession with Eggo’s pancakes.

Let me be the first to point out that the TJ version were each the size of a saucer (case in point- they’re swimming on a salad plate in the above photo), whereas the Eggo ones were a bit larger. Not homemade big (or, the diameter eaten regularly in my household, I should say), but at least as large as the palm of my hand.


Now I need pancakes.

Anyways, back to the oats!

After over two weeks living gluten free and dairy free, I’ve come to the conclusion (extemely unscientifically) that it is in fact dairy that often gives me issues (like I’ve been told for the past few years), not specifically gluten-filled products. I also just truly think I feel at my very best when I limit/drop grains from my diet, however being I have a love affair with pancakes and waffles, that is often a mighty big challenge that I’m uninterested in addressing.

All in good time, grasshoppers.

And as they say, know your own body.

So after the sad pancake situation, I whipped up some pumpkin oats.

Oh yes, friends. They’re back, and I even had some leftover pumpkin in my fridge from a recipe I made last night.

Topped with peanut butter, a drizzle of maple syrup (after the pancake debacle, I had to), and some blueberries. 

And I made good on my pact with Katie and Cait to enjoy some pumpkin in our lives, asap. It’s midway into October, and before last night I still hadn’t had any pumpkin (outside of beer form)! Unacceptable.

This bowl hit the spot, although truth be told I’m always still a little hungry after oatmeal for breakfast.

I know some other people share my pain, but what is the deal?

Okay, time for me to actually carpe diem. Happy Wednesday! I’ll be back later with a savory pumpkin recipe. 🙂

Make me feel better- have you ever bought a food item you sort of knew would taste disgusting, but hoped it would surprise you?? And how do you feel about incline walking workouts? 

Moves like Jagger

Good morning!

I think hell may be freezing over, because I am actually finding myself sort of excited about these cooler temps and the fact that winter is heading our way.

I think the east coast is brainwashing me to think it has to be freezing in order to eat pumpkiny things, wear scarves, and celebrate holidays.

Like Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday!)- flight officially booked last night, and no you don’t want to know what it cost. 😉

Thanks for all of your advice on flights!

Spinning and pasta

After work last night, I made the choice between spinning class and yoga.

I’m trying to mix up my workouts (that was actually one of my New Year’s goals this past January), and obviously one of my fall goals has been to up my yoga practice.

Last night, however, was chilly outside… or at least, you know, chilly to me, because I shudder at the first signs the temperture ducks below 85 degrees. Since my gym is literally 2 minutes from my apartment, and the yoga studio would include at least 15 minutes walking outside, I went with spinning.

Lazy? Maybe.

Especially since I just confessed I am finding myself strangely enthusiastic about the impending winter.

But trust me, once I was in the spinning studio, there was NOTHING lazy about it. Good Lord.

It was actually a great class, and reminded me how I much love spinning classes- especially because of their awesome (usually) soundtracks. The insane instructor is just a bonus.

Last night’s soundtrack included Maroon 5’s ‘Moves Like Jagger’ song… twice.

Is it stuck in your head now, too?

Dinner post-spinning was comforting and warm – perfect after I had just sweat my face off.

You can’t tell, but there’s a party of roasted veggies down below the spaghetti noodles. Cherry tomatoes, bell pepper slices, and cauliflower from the other night.

They’re shy, and drowning in my mom’s homemade bolognese (meat) sauce. Remember how she made me a giant vat of it a while back when she was visiting?? I still have a ton of tupperwares in the freezer containing this delicious liquid.

And yeah, I’m still on the gluten-free kick, so that spaghetti = rice pasta courtesy of Trader Joe’s. It was overly chewy and sticky, though. Not a suitable stand-in for regular wheat pasta in my opinion.

Truth be told, though, the sauce is my very favorite part, and I like to soak up every last drop.

That’s a chunk of gluten-free bread, yo.

Dunking is totally acceptable and welcome at my table.

I’m telling you, my mom’s sauce is the best in the world.

More time in the morning

Since it’s now staying so dark outside in the early morning hours when I’d normally wake up to hit the gym, I’m finding it harder and harder to peel myself out of bed and into workout clothes!

Instead of fighting this, as I’ve attempted since I moved to D.C. almost two years ago, I’ve decided to try out the whole ‘working out in the evening’ thing. I sort of love gymming it bright and early, but evening spinning and yoga classes are giving me even more of an incentive to put this plan into action.

As a result, I’m showering at night (bye, bye dirty hair!), and actually had a lot more time than normal this morning to do things like eat and prepare a lunch.



Breakfast today was another lovely scrambled egg and whole grain GF waffle, smothered in strawberry jam.

Is  wafflewich a word? Because it is now.


Don’t worry- I added a lot more jam before stuffing this guy in my mouth.

And if you think jam plus eggs is gross (like my roommate and Penpal both do), well… You’re wrong.

Try it! 🙂

I also had lots of time to get my lunch together, because God knows I hate doing it the night before.

My eventual children’s futures look bright, I know.

I had roasted an acorn squash I’d been hoarding, though, so this morning  I just pulled that guy out and added some other veggies plus leftover white rice that was in the fridge, and a side of grapes.


I seriously feel very accomplished now.

We’ll see how this night workout thing holds up in the next few weeks… Yoga tonight!


Time for lunch! Have a great day! 😀

Do you prefer to workout in the am or pm during the colder seasons/winter?

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