A very berry WIAW!

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What’s the best part of summer? The berries!

Okay, well, I”m sure there’s many other things as well, but as a foodie, I’m all about the berries, and today’s What I Ate Wednesday is a testament to that. Not part of the WIAW trend yet? Head over to Peas & Crayons to see what it’s all about! This week’s eats come from yesterday…

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Breakfast: (You saw this yesterday!) 1/2 c. oats, 1 Tbsp. chia seeds, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/3 scoop vanilla protein powder, natural crunchy PB, strawberries and blueberries

Morning snack: Pink lady apple

Lunch: 1/4 c. quinoa with chicken and bean crockpot “chili” + baby carrots on the side

Afternoon snack: 3 oz. plain greek yogurt + 3 oz. black cherry CHO with puffed wheat and oats mixed in (I am loving these mason jars for my yogurt!)

And, then came dinner…

I was planning on photographing a yummy pasta dish that came together fairly quickly yesterday, but it just so happened that my side dish stole the show. I mean, if you put this together, would you be able to resist photographing this plate of summery, clean eating deliciousness?

Spinach strawberry feta salad

 

Fresh spinach, sweet strawberries, crunchy walnuts, a dusting of feta…

 

Spinach strawberry feta salad

 

I’d love to share the “recipe” per say, but does anyone really measure salad ingredients? Here’s what was in the mix:

  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • Chopped strawberries
  • Small handful of walnuts
  • Sprinkle of feta
  • Trader Joe’s fat-free balsamic vinaigrette dressing

What’s your favorite part of summer? What’s your favorite “summer” food?

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Looking forward to lunchtime

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Turkey and salad

If your lunchtime salad looked like that, wouldn’t you be pretty excited too?

I’ll divulge what’s in the mix in a second, but let’s back up a bit. We haven’t talked about workouts at all this week, and they definitely deserve a mention as I head into peak marathon training season! After an unexpected rest day on Monday, I knew I needed to be ready to hit the gym Tuesday morning. I had a six-mile speed session on the agenda for the day, but knew before I even got on the treadmill that it was going to be a rough workout. It was.

I struggled through a five mile speed workout…I hit the “Stop” button not once but TWICE during the workout, which I absolutely hate. Restarting the treadmill makes me feel like I’ve made no progress at all. Anyone else? After finish hitting that coveted 5.0 mark, I finished off the morning with a 10-minute lower ab circuit workout. Rough but I made it!

Yesterday morning was much better! I jumped on the elliptical for 20 minutes and then completed three rounds of this plyometrics/leg circuit…

  • 30 squats with exercise ball 
  • 15 flying lunges
  • 30 sec. wall sit
  • 30 step-ups
  • 30 box jumps
  • 30 sec. high knees
  • 15 lunges to front kick (both legs)

In between each circuit, I completed a two-minute plank workout that looked like this: (I did each exercise for 20 sec.)

  • Plank jacks
  • Reptile jacks
  • Straight arm plank
  • Elbow plank
  • Up-downs
  • Knee to elbow (alternating legs)

After I had finished three rounds of the above circuits, I hopped on the treadmill for ten minutes of incline walking/jogging. I set the incline at 10 and alternated speeds between 4.0 (fast walking) and 5.0 (jogging). Bam! I hit a lot of different machines, got in a lot of different exercises, and really enjoyed my time away from straight running!

This morning, it was back to the gym for a run. I’m increasing my mid-week mileage, so I had seven miles on the agenda today, which looked like this…

  • Miles 0-2: 7.0
  • Mile 2-3: 7.1
  • Mile 3-4: 7.2
  • Miles 4-6: 7.3
  • Mile 6-7: 7.0

I finished in about 58:30, which isn’t bad for a seven miler. (Just over 8:30/mile) It felt pretty easy overall and nothing like Tuesday’s five miler. Crazy how that can happen!

Okay, did you skip all that just so you could get to the goods about that amazing salad? I don’t blame you. Here’s what was in the mix:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Shredded red cabbage (I picked this up on a whim at the store the other day, and I really enjoyed it! It added some good crunch and didn’t alter the flavor much.)
  • Chopped red onion
  • Yellow pepper
  • Cucumbers
  • Deli turkey
  • Sliced almonds (I had sunflower seeds yesterday which were also good!)

I topped it off with some Trader Joe’s Fat-Free Balsamic Vinaigrette and crushed two crisp & light Wasa crisps over top. (I love how they’re like 25 calories each!) Delicious!

Did you look forward to your lunchtime today? What did you enjoy?

Healthy Thanksgiving Happenings

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Heading to a Thanksgiving meal this week? Want to bring something fresh and healthy to balance out all that turkey and carbs you’re sure to consume? This tasty fall apple salad is sure to impress!

Serves 5 (Double or triple recipe as necessary)

  • 2 heads of romaine lettuce, cleaned and chopped
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 large honeycrisp apple, sliced
  • Half of a large red onion, sliced
  • 1/4 c. raisins
  • 1/4 c. sliced raw almonds
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  1. In a large bowl, combine lettuce and spinach.
  2. Top with onion, apple, raisins, almonds, and parmesan cheese. (If you’re waiting a while before serving, be sure to sprinkle lemon juice over the apple slices to prevent any browning.)
  3. Serve with balsamic dressing.

How to “level up” this recipe

How to “level down” this recipe

  • This is very simple to add in or take out whatever you want. Make it to suit your tastes!

How are you staying healthy this Thanksgiving? What healthy dish are you providing for your Thanksgiving meal? (I’m making roasted sweet potato wedges!)

Fit Friday Finds: 11.9.12

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This week, I have two fun Fit Friday Finds for you! One is just a new food obsession of mine (super easy to recreate!), and the other is a fun new blog I stumbled upon this week.

First up, balsamic apple salad!

I love eating healthy, but I’m not a big homemade salad person. However, lately I’ve been eating salads like crazy, and I think it’s because of two reasons — romaine lettuce and delicious add-in’s! The romaine lettuce makes the salad crisp and fresh more so than spinach or spring greens, and additional toppings, like onion, cucumber, apples, and walnuts help give it some staying power and flavor. Here’s what I have been putting in mine:

  • 2 cups of chopped romaine lettuce
  • Onion
  • Cucumber
  • Half of a medium honeycrisp apple, chopped
  • Sliced walnuts
  • Raisins
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Low-fat balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  • Grilled chicken (optional)

It’s easy to transport and stays fresh all day. (I’m always eating on the go, hence the continuous food photos in plastic containers!)

And, now for my second Fit Friday Find: Peace, Love, & Oats! I mentioned this blog yesterday when I wrote about my awesome HIIT treadmill workout, and I’ve been loving all of the great recipes and workouts her blog offers. Best of all, there are a TON of great oatmeal recipes, so how could you NOT love it?! Check it out…