Sojourn Yoga and Peanut Butter and Banana Overnight Oats

Tuesday began week 4 of the couch to 5k work out: Brisk five-minute warm up walk, then: Jog 3 minutes, Walk 90 seconds, Jog 5 minutes, Walk 2-1/2 minutes, Jog 3 minutes, Walk 90 seconds, Jog 5 minutes. The entire sequence takes 26.5 minutes. I added an additional 3.5 minutes to make it an even thirty and= to cool down … I have noticed this workout training guide does not include cool downs … I imagine stopping abruptly is not advised and, have been adding a cool down to all my runs even if it is just walking home from the gym. Immediately following, I went to a 7:30 flow class taught by Marilyn to Sojourn Yoga in Drexel Hill to stretch myself out. Sojourn is my absolute favorite yoga studio … it’s so peaceful. And, the owner, Liz, is the person who introduced me to yoga … she is the best. It’s just a nice place to be and I felt great upon leaving.
At home, we had mac and cheese left overs … not a good idea. The dish was much better the day of.

However, my attempt at healthy cooking did not end with mac and cheese. Every day this week, I have been making overnight oats with peanut butter and banana for breakfast. I picked this recipe up from someone in one of my fitness classes, but it was so along ago, I don’t remember who or when taught me. It’s slightly high in calorie, but keeps me full all morning.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup natural whole grain old fashion oats
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon all natural peanut butter
1 banana

To make:
Mix all ingredients together in a small container of your choice. i use Tupperware so i can bring it to work in the morning. Let mixture sit in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, stir mixtures, heat in microwave, stir again and enjoy. Sometimes, depending on my mood, I add an equal packet.

Healthier Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese in 15 Minutes

Woo hoo!! This week was fantastic! I got right back into the routine of working out and trying to cook healthy meals. Due to my missed week of training, I busted out week three of the couch to 5k in two days, Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then two repetitions of the following: Jog 90 seconds, Walk 90 seconds, Jog 3 minutes, Walk three minutes. The first session, as previously mentioned, was on Sunday followed by 4 sets of Tabata. On Monday, I repeated the sequence twice and nixed any weight training.

I went home and made 15 Minute Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese from Ambitious Kitchen …. Slightly modified. I was thrilled to find this recipe. I am a huge mac and cheese lover, but always try to stay away from it because it is so unhealthy, but this recipe offered a great alternative. I put a link above to the original recipe, but here is what I did:

16 oz whole grain Rottini (only because this is what we had in the house and I have been wanting to use it).
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
1 package GO Veggie! Lactose and Soy Free Cheddar Shreds (about 2 ½ cups)
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 head of broccoli
Several dashes of Garlic
Ground black pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
Cook noodles according to package directions in a large pot. This is important … I accidentaly used a small pot and it was a disaster. I recovered, but it was irratating. A few minutes before pasta is finished cooking, addd chopped brocolli. Drain cooked pasta and broccoli and pour back into the pot. Return to heated stove. Reduce heat to low and immediately add in butter, almond milk and GO Veggie! Cheddar Shreds. Gently stir with a wooden spoon until cheese begins to melt and form into a nice and thick sauce … If the sauce is to thick, add more Almond Milk. Stir in breadcrumbs and garlic. And, finish with pepper to taste. Makes about 7 servings.

I loved it and so did John Paul … the cheese was gooey and delicious. However, my girlfriend hated it …. she and her family thought there was a funny after taste to the cheese … She added a ton of hot sauce and it all worked out. I didn’t detect an after taste, but she also did not include the garlic, bread crumbs and pepper. I will be adding this to my recipe index for future use.

Shoe Less Workouts

This was a hell of a week. Work was hard and my ankle blew up on Monday so I could not get a good work out in to clear my head … I didn’t even do the couch to 5k training. I took Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday completely off… No workouts. I attempted to put on my sneakers on Wednesday as the swelling had gone down considerably, but it didn’t work out … my ankle swelled right back up again. By Thursday, I was itching to get back into my routine. To avoid a repeat of Wednesday’s shoe incident, I resorted to shoe less activity that could be done in my living room … Yoga for Core Strength, Yoga for Toned, Strong Arms, and, my favorite, Yoga for Runners:


Friday, there was no time for a full workout, but I started walking to the train again …. I took off for the week to let my ankle heal. And, I went on a long walk at lunch. Through out the day, I walked approximately 5 miles.

On Saturday, I still was a little apprehensive about putting my sneakers back on, plus, I got sucked in to Mr. Robot. Excellent show. I was on a major time restriction because I had to leave my house by 4pm to go to a graduation party and also get to at least episode nine of Mr. Robot. So, I proceeded to work out in my family room. 100 Push-ups, 100 Rowers, 100 Squats and two minutes of planking. I broke them into sets of twenty five and did twenty five kettlebell swings:

  • 25 push-ups
  • 25 kettlebell swings
  • 25 rowers
  • 25 kettlebell swings
  • 25 squats
  • 25 kettlebell swings
  • thirty seconds of planking
  • 25 kettlebell swings
  • Repeated three more times.

I completed the workout with Five Turkish Getups on each side.

Today, I started week three of the couch to 5k training plan: Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following: Jog 90 seconds, Walk 90 seconds, Jog 3 minutes,
Walk three minutes. I wanted to do more than two sets, but decided not to push it. I jogged home and continued my workout with a little tabata training. I did four rounds … each round includes 8 sets of twenty seconds separated by ten second breaks:

Round One:
Plank Jacks
Jumping Jacks
Round Two:
Squats
Kettlebell Swings
Round Three:
Rowers
Mountain Climbers
Round Four
Push-ups
Plank Roll to Plank

Proceeding my workout, John Paul and I went for a long walk to continue with our ongoing quest to find pokemon followed by a trip to Dairy Queen … it is National Ice Cream Day!

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Philly Pop Up Yoga

Yesterday, I was supposed to complete day one of week three of couch to 5k training schedule, go on a pokemon go walk with John Paul and cook a healthy dinner. None of this occurred … around 3pm yesterday afternoon, my ankle just began to swell to like twice the size of my original ankle … ugh!!! I don’t know how it happened, but I opted to stay in and relax.

Today, my ankle is still swollen. It’s definitely getting better hence why I am not running to the doctor. But, it’s not workout better. I’m pretty disappointed. I wanted to go to to Philly Pop Up Yoga on the fourth floor terrace at the Philly Free Library. Sounds pretty cool and I feel like I have not done yoga in forever, but I had to pass. I want my ankle to fully heal. Plus, there are plenty of pop up yoga classes through out the summer. On the train ride home, I found a list of YouTube Yoga Videos on Be Well Philly … A great source for yoga at home … you know, when you are so busy, a scheduled class doesn’t fit in your schedule or you wake up early and want to relax with a quick yoga class before work. It even includes “Yoga with Adrienne” … a yoga video I very much enjoyed after one of my runs last week.

My swollen ankle is also hindering my ability to continue with the previously mentioned couch to 5k program, it’s week three, day 1: a brisk five-minute warm-up walk and two repetitions of the following: Jog 90 seconds, Walk 90 seconds, Jog 3 minutes, Walk 3 minutes. It’s Tuesday, hopefully, my ankle swelling will go down and I can fit three runs in before the end of the week along with a few strength training workouts … maybe even a yoga video or two.

Weekend Workouts and Chicken Sandwiches!!!

The weekend is over … the weather was amazing and my activity level high making it very difficult to come back to office life. I went to the gym on Saturday and completed day three of week two in the couch to 5k program: a five minute walk proceeded by alternating 90 seconds of running and 2 minutes of walking for 20 minutes. I had some extra time so I increased the duration of the workout to an hour. I felt great! Afterward, I went swimming at a pool party … awesome day. On Sunday, John Paul and I both downloaded pokemon go. It is so fun … You create a character, mine is Shellyxzy, his is Smurfiskhan, and walk around trying to catch pokemon. The game has been around for one week and almost has as many downloads as twitter …. amazing. And, it got us walking. With coffee in hand, we happily walked around Lawrence Park for 3 miles Sunday Morning catching pokemon!!

I am definitely not strict with my diet over the weekend … however, this weekend, I hung out with my Mom and she made me one of her delicious chicken sandwiches:

  • Sprout bread toasted
  • Roasted Red pepper hummus on one side
  • Trader Joes Spinach and Artichoke dip on the other
  • 1 quarter of an avocado
  • 3 oz chicken seasoned in garlic powder and broiled 5 minutes on each side.
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato.

It was a amazing. My mom is the master of creating interesting, tasty combinations out of simple foods. Plus, its healthy and lite. I lived at her house for a small bit when I first moved back to Philadelphia from Boston and she pretty much made me lunch and dinner everyday … delicious salads, sandwiches snacks … I miss that. It was lovely. Our day ended with a trip to Penns Wood Winery, our local spot, for some Sunday Funday Drinks! Super Fun!

Southwestern Black Bean Couscous Salad, Fun Friday, Workouts and more!

I had to charge my fitbit at work yesterday and forgot all about it … again!! I’m the worst. However, I did almost the same amount of walking I did the day before minus the walk at lunch due to work obligations so I have a rough idea of steps.
After work, I went to the gym and completed day two of week two in the couch to 5k program: a five minute walk proceed by alternating 90 seconds of running and 2 minutes of walking for 20 minutes … I did 35 minutes. I feel like I needed a little more cardio after my weekend away. Afterward, at home, I did a variety of strength training exercises:

  • 100 kettlebell swings with a 25 lb kettlebell. I broke them into sets of 25 with approximately 10 seconds rest between each set.
  • 25 plank to squats (I’m not sure of the name of this exercise, but I’m referring to the half burpee)
  • 25 burpees
  • 25 jump squats
  • 25 push-ups to planks
  • 4 30 second planks

200 reps in total and planks …. that’s enough. It was time for dinner. I was in the mood for something light and summery so I went for a recipe I found a while back on fitfoodiefinds.com, Southwestern Black Bean Couscous Salad, which I modified ever so slightly. So good. So easy.

What’s in it:

  • 1 cup Israeli orzo
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup of corn
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 carton of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Mexican Cheese … An add an from the original recipe. I will leave it out next time. it didn’t do anything either way for the recipe.
  • Light ranch dressing. I did not have a food processor to make the recommended homemade dressing.
  • Topped with fresh cilantro

I served this dish warm. Huge mistake. I cooled it down in the fridge for a bit and it was like a whole new dish. And, exactly what I was looking for on a hot summer day.

Peanut Butter Smoothie

I found I wasn’t that hungry for dinner last night. I think its the heat. It’s so hot. I needed something high in protien after my workout so I made a Peanut Butter Smoothie slightly modified from AllRecipes.com … it was amazing!!
What’s in it:
1 banana (no, two banana’s in one day is not a great idea, but it is what it is.)
2 table spoons of peanut butter
1 cup of Unsweeted Almond Milk
1 teaspoon of honey
A dash of cinamon
10 cubes of ice. I like extra thick smoothies.
***Note: this made a lot of smoothie. I am assuming due to all the ice I used for thickness. There was more than enough for breakfast this morning and it filled me right up
Approximately 450 calories (cut into two servings … 225 calories)

In even more exciting news, yesterday, Fitbit told me I walked 19,644 steps, which is 8.57 miles. This includes a walk to and from the train station, a small walk at lunch and the first day of week to in the couch to 5k program. This week’s work is a five minute walk followed by alternating 90 seconds of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for 20 minutes. I never know if workouts written like such means 20 minutes includong the five minute warmup or excluding the warmup?? Regardless, I went for 35 minutes including the warm up and cool down. When I got home, i googled beginner yoga and found this 20 minute yoga by adrienne video:

It was exactly what i needed after a long day … basic and simple. It was more of a cool down stretch than a yoga practice. However, one of the things I love most about yoga, is that no matter how simple or difficult the program, I always learn something new about my body and my movement … I love it!!!

Boston Work Out!!

My weekend in Boston was super fun and relaxing. Our hosts were beyond generous and we could not have had better weather. However, all our fun led to practically no exercise.

I did, however, get the fourth of July off to a bang with a solid workout. I started with a half mile run. I read recently that bailing on a warm up is one of the biggest mistakes of runners … I am very guilty. I am always trying to save time, but it’s unwise so I’m being eXtra dillihent abought my warm ups.

During my warm up, I found a baseball field where I continued my work out: 25 push-ups, 25 rowers, 25 squats, one 30 second plank followed by a quarter mile run around the field repeated four times. I am so bored of this workout. I realize i could just continue running, but, according to fitmess magazine, its encouraged to incorparte strength training into workouts and circuit training is the best! And, this workoit is an excellent full body workout, plus i have there runs left in week 2 of my. I have not allowed myself enough time devise a new one and am usually on some sort of time constraint, even when on vacation. Plus, it is an excellent outdoor, full body workout.

The rest of the day was filled with drinks, good food, fenway and fireworks. Amazing fourth!!

Couch to 5k and Full Body Workout

I finally got my fitbit back on today. Fully charged, it’s ready for an active weekend. And, today,I have already reached my goal of 10,000 steps! The long weekend is off to a good start!!

Last night, I drove home from the train. I had to drive that morning due to some unavoidable work obligations. I walked over to the gym immediately after I got home to avoid post work fatigue. There,I completed the third and final day of week one of the couch to 5k training program. 11 weeks to go. Seems daunting and boring … hopefully I’ll full full my mission to find some fun classes and workouts to alleviate the mundane treadmill routine. I just feel like everytime I try to go to a class, the weather threatens to interfere. Proceding my run / walk, I headed over to the mats and did two sets of ten of each of the following:

  • Jump Squats
  • Squats
  • Rowers
  • Plank Jacks
  • Push-ups
  • Burpees
  • Push-up to Plank
  • Mountain climbers
  • Kettle Bell Two Handed swing
  • Jumping Jacks (2 sets of 25 because who only does 10)

I ended with 4 30 second planks. I started the 30 Day Planking challenge back when I started this blog. But, to be honest, I just kind of forgot about it, which is so odd because I try to incorporate planks in all my workouts since you can do them everyday. I don’t know what happened. The 30 Day challenge may appear again.

This may be my last workout until next week. John Paul and I are going to Boston to visit friends for the 4th of July. Obviously, I brought my workout clothes and sneakers, but I don’t know what this weekend holds. I should be fine. I really only need space to do squats, push-ups, rowers, jumping jacks and / or burpees. And, I found a few yoga studios in walltham that look interesting and I would love to try. And, Boston is always accompanied by a ton of walking …. I’m looking forward to it.

Active drinking hour!!

My FitBit ran out of battery last night before I was able to make it to my goal of 10,000 steps …. disapointing. My charger was at work, so I let the battery charge all day only to end up leaving it at work. I’m the worst! I understand it doesn’t matter as long as the steps are complete, but I’m kind of too competitive in that way for that rationality to work out in my head.

I had to get up at 5am to complete day 2 of the couch to 5k because I never made it to the gym last night. This is due to the following series of events. Around three o’clock yesterday, my phone started flashing severe thunderstorm warning so, naturally, my girlfriend and I bailed on out door yoga. She is legitimately afraid of being struck by lightening and I just didn’t want my phone to get wet. It turns out my phone was wrong. It never rained. The missed yoga class led to a trip to our local beer store where John Paul and I split a flight and two beers. I went home, downed a bunch of water and did 100 squats, 100 push-ups and 100 rowers. I realize a post beers workout is not recommended, but it happened so I’m sharing. I broke the 100’s down into sets of 25 and did 25 jumping jacks between each set. Afterward, I did some calculating figured out this workout burns approximately 200 to 250 calories depending on weight and intensity of thhe workout. Afterwards, John Paul and I walked to wawa for dinner! He had a hoagie. I was still full from the beer and ended up having a scoop of peanut butter.

As previously mentioned, I woke up this morning to run / walk … mostly walk. It sucked. But, now I just need to get one more run in before the end of the week. Proceding a hot shower, I walked .8 miles to the train and treated myself to one of my favorite breakfast sandwiches, egg white, avocado, bacon and cheese wrap. It was the perfect way to start my day!!