Tag Archives: biking

A, Surprise, Thoughtful Gesture & Packing Up!

21 Dec

Hey readers!

I hope everyone’s travel plans are all set and everyone safely arrives wherever their destination for the holidays may be! As for the blog, let’s rewind to Thursday.

I woke up in the morning, took my time getting out of bed then packed up my bag, cleaned up my room, and made a big smoothie for breakfast to help me power through.IMG_1583 IMG_1584 IMG_1585 IMG_1587 IMG_1588It will be so nice to come home to a super clean room 🙂 I’m really looking forward to that. As for the smoothie in the blend was: 1 banana, 1/3 of a bag of Very Berry Trader Joe’s Frozen Fruit, 1 cup Fage 0% Plain Yogurt and a splash of Vanilla Almond Milk.

After I packed up for the day, I did some relaxing, took a nap, then I was off to my last time babysitting until the New Year! Weird. When I got there there was an envelope on the counter with my name on it! I love holiday cards so I was excited to open it – especially because Max had been telling me how much he disliked the photo selection for this year so I wanted to see what all his fuss was about.IMG_1589I thought the photos were super nice! Inside my card was a check, and I thought it was my weekly payment with a little extra for the holidays. However, when I spoke with Max’s parents, they informed me it was my holiday bonus for being so reliable and having a good relationship with Max! How sweet! I was blown away and didn’t really know what to say, except thank you about 6 times. It was such a sweet gesture and was an absolutely wonderful surprise.

Unfortunately, from there the evening took a bit of a nosedive. I dropped Max off at basketball practice then went to the gym to do a couple max lifts. (You slowly build up the weight and see how much you can lift for each exercise as you decrease the number of reps). I had an okay lift, then went to go grab Max, we had to buy something in Whole Foods to validate the parking, then go back to the gym to find my water bottle – only to discover it was in the car the whole time, then we got back to his house at 640. Kevin’s wrestling match started at 7!! I hopped on my bike, but it was a torrential down pouring outside. So. Much. Rain. Of course, I had chosen sweatpants as my outfit for the day so by the time I got to campus, I was soaked.

I hoped they hadn’t started with his weight class, 149, but they started at 141. By the time I got there I only caught the 3rd period of his match 😦 I then proceeded to watch the rest of the match in my soaking wet clothing eating cold leftovers.IMG_1591At the end of the match I went over to Kevin and he had this huge smile on his face and asked me “What happened?” He thought I missed the whole match because he couldn’t find me in the crowd! I was super bummed I missed the majority of his match, but he was just glad I was able to see at least part of it. I caught up with one of the younger wrestlers and when they were all done the team had Chicken Out and Kevin and his roommates brought some out of the room and sat to eat with me. I was still hungry from my meal since it didn’t have any fat in it. I actually felt like my stomach was a bottomless pit. I scarfed down a small whole wheat roll and some broccoliIMG_1592

After we all got a ride back, thank goodness, I was still hungry. Kevin made and I made icelandic pancakes together. His mom sent him the syrups they use at home so he was eager for me to try them out.

Recipe:

1. 1 cup flour

2. 1 cup milk

3. 1 egg

4. 1/2 stick butter melted

5. A little extra milk

Whip all of it together and make the pan on the stove very hot. Pour about 3/4 cup of the mix onto the pan and tilt the pan until the mix goes all the way around the circle. Flip when you see it bubbling in the middle and around the edges, then flip again in 1-2 minutes. And voila! (They’re kinda like crepes)IMG_1593And always so so delicious. Pictured above, I went with maple syrup on one, the Boysenberry Syrup (that Kevin’s mom sent us) on one, and then brown sugar inside the third with cinnamon on top. Hit. the. spot.

Tomorrow morning I leave back home for Connecticut. I think I am the most excited this year. I really need the break from working and everything in DC and am excited to get the chance to see all my friends from home. It’s going to be great 🙂

What are your travel plans for the holiday?

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Research, Research Research & New Running Shoes!

17 Dec

Happy Monday everyone! It’s back to the grind one last time before the Holidays!! We’re so close, hang in there!

My Sunday was off to a very slow start. Which was a good thing! So many times I run all around and try and fit a bagillion things into my schedule. It’s important to remember to slow down and enjoy yourself, especially when such a horrible event takes place. Growing up in Connecticut, the shooting that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary hits very close to home. Fortunately, my relatives and friends do not live in the area, but I do know a close family friend who teaches in Newtown. I put a call into them, but I do believe they are alright. My heart goes out to those who are suffering during this time.

With that in mind, it’s been good to focus on the things I can appreciate in my life currently that I am extremely lucky to have. Kevin also pointed that out last night, to take a moment to appreciate the wonderful set-up I’m lucky to be a part of right now and not always daydream about the future or how everything could be better (which is funny because I used to do that for him! It’s good we can do this for each other though)

So Sunday I woke up late, around 11 and started to figure out what my plan was for the day. An old friend who was in town mentioned Eastern Market, my roommate Autumn wanted to watch Inglorious Bastards, but while waiting to hear back on the first plan Autumn and I decided to pick another day. All in all no plans ended up being made – but I held true to my goal of doing some Christmas shopping!

First things first, I was starving when I woke up. I snacked on a couple prunes to hold me over until I could make some breakfast.

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Love prunes. After blogging and catching up on a couple things I was super hungry so I went back to the kitchen for some cereal and blackberries. Yum!

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In the bowl was some skim milkPumpkin Flax Granola, and Total Multi-Grain Flakes and, of course, my blackberries.

It was super filling which was great! Around 2 Kevin started making “breakfast”, I wanted a little bit of peanut butter so I snacked on half a piece of toast and he whipped me up my first Sunny Side Up Egg.

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After that we got moving and headed out the door around 3. We decided to bike to all our shopping destinations of the day. I was so happy with this decision ultimately because I wasn’t sure I wanted to do a in-house circuit workout or take the day off. However, biking was a great form of exercise and got us where we needed to be really quickly!

First stop, the running store! Kevin did a lot of research on which present to get me, but knowing me, decided to share his thoughts and opinions with me rather than give me something different, even though it might better, than what I asked for on Christmas. From there we started doing a lot of research together, but wanted to see the watches in person. I was deciding between the Garmin Forerunner 10 and the Forerunner 210.

We originally set our budget for between $50 and $75 dollars because we bought a lot of big ticket items for each other throughout the last year. We also decided we wanted to do less “big” presents and focus on smaller, more meaningful gifts. I was joking with Kevin because the Forerunner 10 runs at $129 and the Forerunner 210 at $199 (due to the capability to be a Heart Rate Monitor as well). I told him no matter what, he was going over budget! (The original watch on my list, Timex GPS Marathon runs at $99). He insisted that this is what he wanted to get me and had the money to do so.

Once we got to the store, we liked the fit of both, I have THE world’s smallest wrist so they are going to look kinda bulky either way, but ultimately decided on the ForeRunner 210 since I know I want to have a HRM down the line, it’s better to have the all-in-one watch versus one that can do only one function. Both have Garmin Connect though (a program that uploads all your running data to your computer and provides a TON of feedback) which was what won me over on the Garmin versus the Timex. We ordered it off Amazon (to avoid taxes and shipping and the store didn’t have the white) so it’ll be here Wednesday!!

I proceeded to ask the woman who was helping us about running shoes (another item I put on my Christmas List and Kevin was deciding between the watch and the shoes). I had done some research on this as well and felt confident I wanted to switch from running with Mizuno’s to Brooks. Well, I picked the right woman. Not only was she sporting one of the Brooks shoes I was looking at, but she was extremely knowledgeable about all of their features, design specs, and differences. I tried on the PureConnect and the PureFlow (part of the Pure Project…check it out!!)

Although the purple color was enticing on the PureFlow’s, I ultimately chose the PureConnect. They are an approach to a minimalist shoe so they bring you down to 4mm (as opposed to 0mm in a minimalist shoe). I felt SO connected to the ground while testing them out and decided that’s the experience I want going forward as a runner – or at least to test out 🙂 They were on sale for $69 bucks. TOTAL DEAL. So I purchased them for myself 🙂 Merry Christmas to me and my feet! I also got a pair of shorts on sale.

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I’m also super glad I tried them on. I’m normally a 6.5-7, 7.5 in running shoes, but I never would have guessed I was an 8! If I had the money, I definitely would have also bought the PureFlows and used them as my competition shoe. Who knows what the future will hold though 🙂

Next we were off to the Verizon Store to look at phones for Kevin, then to the apple store for some Mac questions, then back to the Verizon Store. Kevin ultimately decided he wanted to do even more research on all of the Android phones currently on the market, once he decided against the HTC Windows 8 phone. At this point, I was starving. We had a Groupon for The Burger Joint so off we went!

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I ordered “The Burger” with “The works” except with the Mojo sauce on the side. It came equipped with lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, and pickles. I chose grilled asparagus with Parmasean cheese sprinkled on top and a Strawberry Milkshake. They put chunks of fresh strawberries in it, which makes it even more delicious! Kevin ordered the same thing, except for a Chocolate Shake and Sweet Potato fries. It’s a bit on the expensive side, but for me it’s worth the indulgence once in awhile.

After that, we biked back towards home and stopped at Safeway on the way for some cat food, and random supplies. We picked up eggnogg, since I’ve never tried it before, so I’m excited to give it a go. I’m gonna look up some recipes and see what it would be good to pair with!

As soon as I was inside I popped my new shoes right on and began to walk around in them, as suggested by the woman at the store. I’m seriously so in love with them. I’m even wearing them at work right now! 🙂

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Some interesting facts about these bad boys is the shoe is completely biodegradable in 25-30 years (most running shoes take at least 1,000 years!), the shoelaces are made entirely from recycled materials and it’s a completely vegan shoe! Way to go Brooks! I think you’ve sold me 🙂

Until next time,

Natasha

Through Sickness and In Balance.

5 Dec

Good morning readers!

First of all, I am very sorry for my hiatus in posting this week. Ever since I ran on Sunday, I’ve been having a weird stomach issue going on. It seems to be pretty unhappy with me no matter what I do. Before we go into that, I’ll do a quick recap of what my week was like.

Monday I went into work for a couple hours at the lab to try and get some data organized and brainstorm ways to increase recruitment. I quickly made a Sweet Breakfast Scramble and then biked to work 🙂 I bike to work every morning. Not only does this save me gas money, and the time of walking, but I bike up a long hill to get to campus so I get a quick cardio challenge in first thing every morning!

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I know, I know, I could really use a new seat. Have no fear, I ordered one that afternoon when I got home from work. It was time.

Kevin had also returned back to DC from Vegas and was sick as a dog. Poor guy. After work, I took a nap, heated up some leftover Trader Joe’s Eggplant Goodness, we played with Liam a little bit, then hopped in the car to take Kevin for some Robek’s. Robek’s is an awesome healthy smoothie place in our neighborhood. They have a ton of different flavors to try and even make their own fresh juice! You can also add kale to any smoothie – aka it’s the perfect place for me. I chose the Emperor Acai and I forget what Kevin ordered, but it was a ginormous citrus smoothie with tons of Vitamin C.

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We also did some grocery shopping, picked up my Mom and brought her home, then I dropped my car off back at my apartment and biked over to Kevin’s apartment. We started a new video game together, Donkey Kong Country Revenge, which is pretty fun and challenging. We played that for a little while, then around 730 made some dinner.

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I had leftovers from my vegetable chicken wrap dinner the night before with Chocolate Milk and carrots with hummus. I tried this chocolate milk before and it’s really good! It’s skim milk, has extra Omega 3s and extra calcium! I treat myself to it about once a month. (this is a photo from October)IMG_1444

Kevin heated up some Mac n Cheese, a corn dog, and then Lima Beans.

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I know, polar opposite meals right? It used to be really hard for me to not over indulge when I ate with Kevin. He is a varsity athlete and needs to take in double, if not triple, the amount of calories and nutrients I do. For awhile, it was keeping me off track and I was making excuses for myself or didn’t want to miss out on an experience with him. For awhile, Kevin actually was cutting back on what he ate around me so that I wouldn’t over eat. While it was a very very sweet gesture, it was also hurting Kevin because his body wasn’t getting what he needed. I had to learn how to manage my own eating, whether or not I was around other people. After Kevin and I talked about it a few times, I knew I had to step up. I had to start holding myself accountable. I started to think about the goals I wanted for my health, maintaining strength, feeling strong throughout my body, etc, and realized I needed to keep these thoughts in mind when I was eating around anyone, including myself. It’s easy to get caught up and eat half the pint of Ben and Jerry’s after you have seconds, or maybe thirds, at dinner. But I knew that wasn’t what I wanted for myself anymore. I wanted a balance. Not over indulging all the time, but not skipping out on meals or restricting myself. I’d have to plan ahead a little more with my meals and be aware and conscious of my goals whenever I was constructing a meal. Although it was a tough one for me to learn, it has definitely paid off in the long run. Now, I stay on track with my way of eating and can balance myself out much much better.

Have you guys ever struggled with staying on track while you were around others? How have you worked on it?