Changing habits.

Lately I have been thinking about changing up my environment every once in a while.  Working from home, I find myself feeling stifled often and while I do have an office I have the option to go into, it is 50 minutes away and full of transient consultants.  My HR colleagues are never in the office, so that defeats the purpose of going in to socialize.  I need to start going to coffee shops, and since a CERTAIN MONOPOLISTIC BRAND has taken over every small coffee shop in this area, I have one choice and one choice only.

image from starbucks.com

We do have a really nice Starbucks just 5 minutes away from me so I wonder why I am not taking advantage of that- probably because I am the cheapest person on the planet and can’t bear to pay for a coffee drink when I can make a perfectly good one at home.  A Vanilla Rooibos tea would be delightful though.  I need to start a new routine where I pack up and get out once a week because while I’m not going stir crazy (take note I am essentially a recluse so I love being home for work), my weekday routine is precisely this: work at home all day, take  run outside, make dinner, sit on the couch all night either watching the DVR or reading blogs.  I don’t even want to know what I will turn into once I have babies.

I found that I was dreading my scheduled interval run yesterday afternoon so I thought that instead of doing my usual route that I am quickly becoming tired of, I would run on the treadmill.  It helped that it was 86 degrees outside so 78 in the gym was sounding mighty cool.  I came to the conclusion that I certainly need to find a new running route because I usually avoid the treadmill at absolutely all costs.

It was actually a great run, usually I am much slower on the treadmill, but I think that I kept the same interval paces as I would have run if I were outside in perfect weather, though I was embarrassingly DRIPPING in sweat while I was leaving.  It was disgusting, and I swear people were staring.

I also created a new recipe last night out of necessity and it came out really delicious and was the perfect balance I needed after my workout.  I was planning to make THIS chicken dish, but realized I had bought tenderloins instead of breast, so I re-worked it into something new.  I of all people know how hard it is to have cheap nutritious meals but depending on the price of feta and tomatoes in your area, I think this could be a great option to fit in your healthy food budget!

I know you can’t tell, but I feel obligated to bring to your attention that I am not a professional photographer

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Halloween leftovers

I did something very profound today.

I made cookies without making a mess AT ALL.  My man accomplished the great feat of deep cleaning our kitchen last night (and that is a GREAT feat considering I’m the cook and create a disaster zone 3-4 times a week).  I knew if he came home to a mess he’d want to kick my butt all the way to the north pole.  It took me double the time to make cookies but I was successful…. layering the counter tops with towels helped.  Why haven’t I thought of that before?

I didn’t want to finish off all of the Halloween candy I accumulated from November 1st sales, so I did something very smart and chopped them up and put them into cookies that I will probably eat twice as fast.  All I need to do is have willpower for ONE DAY until my parents and brother come into town because after that the treats will be gone.  The way I show my love is through food and both my husband and my family understand and joyously accept this 100%.

All I had left in my stockpile were mini 3 Musketeers, mini dark chocolate Milky Ways, and fun sized Twix (my favorite!).  It turned out to be a great combination.  No special recipe to be found here, just chop ’em up as small or chunky as you’d like, and throw them into your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe in lieu of the chips.  I use this one as a base- clearly it is the best because it calls for 2 sticks of butter (I tried the oreo part once and it is terribly sinful. By terribly I mean exquisitely).

The BEST part is when the caramel oozes out and adds a touch of crispiness to the soft and gooey cookie

While we are on the topic of fattening things, I wanted to share just how excited I am to be running again.  I’ve hit PR’s every time I set out to run (which doesn’t say a LOT since I am essentially starting from scratch again, but it is still very motivating)!  My most recent is 4.17 miles in 40 minutes which not only is the longest I have run continuously, but also the fastest steady pace.  I’ve shaved 1 minute off my pace in just two weeks.  I’m getting suspicious sciatic pain in my left glute muscle (and still have knee pain) but I am stretching and icing and praying that my muscles and joints stay healthy.  I have my sights set on a half marathon for early next year (definitely a big deal for me).

Anyone joining me on being a fairly new runner?  Are you following a specific plan?  I have been running on and off for a year now between “injuries” but I am trying to stay on track, be more responsible and actually increase mileage now to achieve a half marathon finish.  I might start tracking my mileage on here, but I’m not sure yet.  I’m doing timed runs on Tuesdays, interval runs on Thursdays, and distance runs on Saturdays.

Are you still trying to get rid of Halloween candy?  Did you get any in the first place?

Comfort zones

There is ONE (1) bad thing about my husband all of the sudden liking all of the shows I watch. It is NO LONGER EXCITING when I get my cozy night alone when I can light candles and watch all of the TV I want without judgement or complaints because OH WAIT, all of the crap I have been salivating over on my DVR is now a list of shows he wont’ let me watch without him!  I am now resentfully marathoning house hunters and oh I guess I will watch the debate and transition to hating on picky house buyers to everyone in my social media feed.

I also had a really weird Friday night for the same above reason and it ended with me eating pickles on toast for dinner because steak and shake and mcdonalds don’t deliver.  If you never understood the blog name before, now you do.

At least I FINALLY had my first week back to running thanks to these full priced, brand new running shoes on my credit card (& I tell you I NEVER buy anything in retail full price):

I love them more than anything right now, and after taking almost 2 months off I’m back to my painfully average pace of 10:30 miles.  Here’s to hoping there’s nothing but speedier runs from here on out.  I did 8 miles this week and icing my knee for 20 minutes after every run.  My goal is a 10k by Christmas and a half marathon next year.  I know this is more modest than it should be but the excuse is that I have to worry about my pathetic knee.

Since variety is the spice of life and I really like being spicy, I am now stepping out of my comfort zone at work (which I hate because this is the first job I AM happy with, I’m usually itching for a change after a year) and in the kitchen.  I invited my little brother over for dinner who goes to school 45 minutes east of us and since *GOD FORBID* I spend over my weekly grocery budget, I had to think a little bit.  He is in college so I knew he was going to eat a lot, and since Bry and I go to the gym every afternoon into dinner time I LOVE having leftovers on a Monday, therefore, much meat was needed.

Chicken thighs!

Dark meat chicken is something I have literally never cooked before; my health nut mother always talked me out of liking it.  It’s tender, juicy and so hard to dry out unlike chicken breast (I HATE COOKING CHICKEN BREAST!)  I liked it a lot, plus it is obviously more economical.  I think I got 4 pounds of meat for under $10.00.  Here in Florida, chicken breast usually goes for $3-5 per pound.

Anyway, here is what I made.  I took a recipe from Webicurian and added some other spices I happened to have on hand since I am in constant fear of flavorless chicken.  Here is what I came up with, but first, some questions.

How different are your TV habits from your spouse/significant other?  

Dark meat or white meat?

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This is me thinking I am super healthy

Two things today:

I LOVE MARINADES!

I HATE LEG WORKOUTS!  Don’t cardio work outs such as spining, kickboxing, and running work your legs enough?  I did an epic and painfully wobbly leg work out yesterday by combining two livefit leg work outs (also subbing and what not, forget this program, it’s getting ridiculous and I don’t want to look like a body builder so I’m just using it to structure my own made up workouts.).  If you’d like to not be able to walk for the rest of the day because your legs are buckling, I invite you to try the following;

Lol at me being too lazy to recreate this without the stupid red spelling error underline.

Please note that I have no formal training, I just put together work outs that I feel are best for my abilities and body type.  This took me about 1 hour to complete, and I will reiterate again, I’ve been working out for 5 weeks at this intensity level and I was still very sore afterward.  Maybe I’m just a little baby weakling though.

Now to the marinades – I have recently stumbled upon this website: GroceryBudget101.com.  Grilling marinated chicken is my go to healthy meal when I just need something light and wholesome, and this Key West Chicken just sounded divine.  This is the second time I made it and added an extra clove of garlic because I don’t like kissing my husband.

Really though, the lime and garlic just marry together and caramelize into a sweet and tangy glaze on the chicken.  PLEASE grill this, and if you don’t have a grill, cook it on cast iron (like we did).  Also, since I had such a hard time with chicken for so long- I learned to take it out of the fridge about 15 minutes before grilling, that way it won’t toughen up and will cook evenly from room temperature.

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A post about healthy things

I have to toot some horns here about my workouts this week.  I worked out every single night after finishing up work around 4pm.  Ever since our Mexico trip my schedule was alllll over the place between vacationing, making up for vacation at work, moving, etc.  I’m so glad I’m back to being able to work 8-4, giving me plenty of time to work out before dinner time.  Should I be more consistent about posting workouts here?  I feel like my fitness posts completely contradict my entire life, because my mindset is all about food and vacationing.  The only reason I work out is to eat and the only reason I want to work/make money is to go on vacation (which is synonymous with being lazy and eating and drinking).

  • Monday – Fit Sugar’s Arm Plan, some random ab work
  • Tuesday – 2 mile run (not so good)
  • Wednesday – Fitness Magazine’s Metabolism-Boosting superset workout (I LOVE this one, it goes by so fast and is so good)
  • Thursday – 2 mile run (very good)
  • Friday – Immediately after publishing this, I plan on doing a shoulder workout and an in depth ab work out.  My glutes and hamstrings are still so sore from Wednesday’s supersets

I tried to be a chef the other night making the following dish.  First I burned the onions because I used olive oil by accident on high heat instead of grapeseed oil (let this be a lesson to all of you!) so I had to start over again with my wine sauce and then once the whole dinner was done I realized I didn’t cook the vegetables. This threw me so out of sorts but everything ended up coming together, even if I did have to throw the pasta in the microwave before adding the asparagus & mushrooms.  I hope you do better than this.

This dish is inspired by Ms. Skinny Taste‘s Poached Egg Asparagus Pasta, and while it happens to be super healthy I added more fat and calories because I am on a mission to create my own special go-to white wine sauce and thought it would be incredible with this.  It was pretty good but the wine sauce isn’t perfected yet.  Oh and I am TERRIBLE at poaching eggs, I think I might just fry them sunny-side up next time.  The necessary component to this is the runny egg yolk anyway so I suppose it doesn’t matter.

I kind of wish that egg was a giant piece of mozzarella cheese instead

Linguine with Asparagus Mushroom Wine Sauce

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