Tag Archives: cardio and tone

A Sore Return

9 Jan

Whew! Either the two weeks out of the gym completely took it out of me or maybe I’m still recovery from being sick, but the Cardio and Tone class I went to during lunch yesterday has left me s-o-r-e. Like, waddling around, bracing myself to sit on the toilet sore. Definitely didn’t see that one coming, but it was a fantastic workout. The instructor was upbeat, knowledgeable, and offered varying levels of difficulty for each of the exercises so it was good for all fitness levels. The class was set up like high intensity interval training (HIIT), except there wasn’t much rest time from what I could gather. It was basically a bunch of supersets (one exercise immediately followed by another), taking a rest break when you absolutely needed to. Wowza!

The nice thing about going to the gym during lunch is that I get to go home straight after. There was a package waiting on my doorstep when I arrived home. How I love getting mail!

IMG_1813[1]My dad had wanted to buy a winter coat for me for my birthday, but waited until I was home in December so I could try them on myself and see what fit best.

IMG_1817[1]It’s so warm and cozy and purple! I love it. It looks pink in this picture, but I assure you that it’s purple. Also, don’t mind the fact that I’m wearing PJ pants underneath the jacket – I may or may not have changed right into them as soon I got home from work. Major plus on the coat?

IMG_1823[1]Thumb holes! I love them.

After modeling my coat for myself, I went downstairs to rummage for some food because if I’m not at the gym, I’m eating (duh). On our recent Costco trip, I bought two pounds of cherry tomatoes and a box of individually packaged Sabra hummus to bring to work in lunches, so I decided to break them out and see how they were.

IMG_1825[1]Sabra is not really my favorite hummus, but the individual packs are a perfect serving and will pair well with some sliced cucumbers (my fave) and the tomatoes.

Then I parked myself on the couch and watched the rest of season 1 of Downton Abbey. Whoops. I had big plans to clean my room and do laundry and all that fun stuff, but it was thrown by the wayside in favor of the drama of the Crawley family. I won’t give anything away for those who haven’t seen it but the episode with the Turkish attaché just knocked me on my butt. Touché, Julian Fellowes, touché.

While on the phone with Stef last night, we were discussing our plans for this weekend. Our anniversary is on Friday so we are hoping to do something a little more romantic than our usual Trader Joe’s grocery date. Honestly, I can’t think of a better way to spend my Friday night than walking in a giant room full of food with my boyfriend. I’m kidding, I think.

Anyway, the weather is supposed to be really nice this weekend, get a load of this:

IMG_1827[1]Highs in the sixties over the weekend??? Tell me this is actually the middle of winter. With warm temps on the horizon, we are hoping to find something fun to do outside over the weekend.

This morning’s breakfast was a lox and cream cheese wrap using some smoked salmon from Trader Joe’s.


It was also featured in my omelette yesterday and I’m having a salmon fillet for lunch – overkill? I also had a bowl of honey Greek yogurt (the best flavor) mixed with some frozen wild blueberries that I briefly thawed in the microwave. The smokiness of the salmon really made the wrap and the juice from the blueberries turned my yogurt a beautiful shade of purple. Simple and so delicious.

Body Pump is on the books for tonight, though my muscles are fatigued and I don’t know how effective my workout will be tonight. It’s pretty amazing what two weeks of being sedentary will do to you after months of regular activity.

Food For Thought: Do you go through periods where you eat the same thing repeatedly? What are some of your favorite food regulars?






Costco Treasures

8 Jan

There is a new Costco that opened up in DC, which great because it means Stef and I don’t have to drive out to Maryland to go to the one near the University of Maryland in College Park.

It has been awhile since we have made a trip to Costco and I definitely needed to replenish some of my staples, namely the big bags of frozen vegetables and frozen berries I like to keep handy. The veggies are great for throwing in just about anything to get an extra handful of vegetables when you can. I also love the berries because they are perfect for smoothies – no ice needed! I just mix them with Greek yogurt and some soy milk and they’re good to go!

This time around, a discover a new-to-me Costco treasure: frozen salmon fillets! I am always hesitant to buy fresh fish, because I worry that I won’t make it before it goes bad, so the pre-packaged frozen servings are a wonderful discovery for me.

I decided to try them out for dinner last night and cooked the salmon (after letting it defrost in the fridge overnight) on the stovetop with some garlic and herb seasoning. It took about 7 minutes on each side at medium heat.

I broke out my new bag of frozen veggies and sautéed those quickly, while a sweet potato cooked in the microwave for 4 minutes. It still blows my mind that you can cook sweet potatoes and squash in the microwave – it saves so much time!

A little Greek yogurt adds some nice creaminess to the sweet potato.

I finished off the meal with two chocolate chip cookies and an episode of Downton Abbey. I had never seen the show, but people all around me are really into it so I decided to give it a go once I realized I couldn’t get the channel for the BCS game last night and Downton Abbey was on Netflix.

I love period movies and shows (hello, I’m a woman!), but I’m not hooked on this one yet. I’ll give it a few more episodes before I pass judgment.

I went to bed nice and early last night so I was awake before my alarm went off, which gave me a little extra time to make this masterpiece:

That’s a three egg omelette with tomatoes, half an avocado, some sliced mushrooms, a few piece of smoked salmon, and a sprinkle of feta. It was as massive as it looked and I had a bit of trouble flipping it, so the end result was a bit burnt and didn’t look so pretty.

Nothing a little salsa can’t fix, though! I have to say that I am super full and will have no problem waiting for lunch.

I am contemplating a lunchtime ‘Cardio and Tone’ class because I want to get home earlier and didn’t manage to do a morning workout. Does anybody have any tips on getting to the gym in the morning? I always end up sleeping through the morning workouts because I know I can just go to a class in the evening and sleep sounds so much better.

Food For Thought: What time do you exercise? Is there a time of day when you tend to have more energy?


7 Dec

It’s FRIDAY! And it’s raining. But it’s Friday! Two weeks until I get packing for Seattle because, let’s be honest, who EVER packs earlier than the night before an early flight? Our flight leaves at 7:45 AM – ouch. I feel like late morning is a much more civilized time to fly, but the good news is we land around 10:30 AM in Seattle (thanks, time zones!) so we get that full day.

My office does casual Friday, which means I get to wear jeans – my favorite. I am loving this pair of Banana Republic jeans I just bought from Twice, which is this really great online secondhand clothing store. It’s exactly like regular online shopping, but each piece is unique, so if you put it in your basket, it’s not available for any other shoppers unless you let your time expire. I purchased a DKNY dress  for $55 (it was originally $279!) that I had hoped to wear to my office holiday party. On a whim, I also bought a pair of skinny jeans. Funnily enough, I ended up hating the way the dress fit and loving the jeans. The great part about Twice is if you want to return something, they will send you a return mailing label so you can mail it free of charge.


Let’s talk lunchtime workouts again. I went to another one yesterday, a class called Cardio and Tone. It was essentially a circuit workout, but I enjoyed doing it in a group style because the instructor really pushed us to the max. Downside? MORE BURPEES! During that one class period, we did a total of 100 -count ’em- ONE HUNDRED BURPEES. Whyyyyyy???? I was cursing the instructor during the class, but I’ll admit that I felt extremely productive and accomplished after that class. And sweaty. Very, very sweaty. Luckily, my desk is off in Siberia, so my co-workers weren’t forced to interact with me too much.

Unlike the spin class the day before, I was starving when I got back to the office and scarfed down my lunch, which was one of my favorite salads, plus the usual sides.

IMG_1599[1]I also snagged some trail mix from the office snack basket – that Planter’s Nuts and Chocolate trail mix is my ideal combination of peanuts, M&Ms, raisins, and almonds.

A quick happy hour after work  was followed by an even faster dinner prep.

IMG_1600[1]In no time at all, I was in my comfy PJ’s and ready to hang around the house. There was a huge pile of laundry to be folded, but I turned on Pandora and got it all done so I wouldn’t have to spoon my socks and underwear in bed that night. Even after tidying up, it was still only 9:30 – it’s amazing how much time I have when I don’t go to the gym after work.

This weekend I’m hoping to get some Christmas shopping in and meet up with my friend Marianne, but nothing huge on the books since the onslaught of holiday parties doesn’t start until next week – I’ve got four in the same weekend! Looking forward to a restful weekend before the Christmas season begins in earnest. Wishing you all a fabulous next few days – check in with you Monday!

Food for Thought: Do you have any special Christmas/Hanukkah/Solistice/Kwanzaa/etc. parties planned this weekend?


PTX Concert

6 Dec

Hello everybody! I had a wonderful evening out with my roommate last night at Howard Theatre. I had tickets to one of my favorite artists, an a capella group called Pentatonix. You may have heard of them from the Sing Off, where they were the winners of Season 3. They got super famous after a couple of their videos on YouTube went viral and they have become really popular. I just love a capella and they are particularly good. My roommate went to college with Kevin, the beatboxer, and so we were both pretty excited about getting to see them live!

IMG_1587[1]The Howard Theatre is an absolutely beautiful venue in Washington. The layout is a bit unusual, in that the main area for viewing is set up with tables where dinner or dessert can be served. I have never been to a show where you can sit and eat dinner while the group is performing! My roommate and I had already eaten dinner, but we decided to order dessert. She ordered their glazed mini donuts and I ordered apple pie with a cinnamon spice glaze.

IMG_1592[1]Super tasty! The donuts came with all sorts of things to use for dipping: caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, and a variety of different sprinkles.  The only drawback was that both of them were served pretty lukewarm. I prefer all my baked goods to be nice and hot, so that was a little disappointing. The cinnamon glaze on the pie was really good, though.

The show was so wonderful! They sound just as good live as they do on their videos and just had a great energy about them. It looked like they really seem to enjoy performing for people and that they love being around each other. They’re just finishing up their 2012 tour, but be on the lookout for the next time they come to your city! Also, their ‘Carol of the Bells’ cover is my new favorite holiday song of the season.

Incredible, right?

I managed to rush home from work and grab a quick dinner (veggie burger!) before leaving again. As I mentioned in my previous post, I decided to do a lunchtime workout because I knew I wouldn’t be able to do my usual Body Pump class due to the concert. I signed up for spin and hustled my butt over to the gym for the 45 minute class.

So, what do I think about lunchtime workouts? Fabulous for efficiency, terrible for hygiene. It was a pretty exhilarating mid-day energy boost and it helped me power through the rest of the work day without getting the usual afternoon slump. I swear, I felt like I had just injected myself with some kind of energy drink – I was wired. The only downside is that I don’t have enough time to shower and groom myself after the class, so I had to change back into my work clothes after a quick wipe down and felt pretty gross with my sweaty hair. Verdict? Not my first choice, but definitely a possible alternative if I have evening plans.

I ate lunch at my desk after I returned from spin and wasn’t as ravenous as I usually am by lunchtime, probably due to the exercise.

IMG_1569[1]In the lunchbox was a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese, some mini sweet potatoes, and a packet of trail mix. I also raided the office snack basket that was out in the kitchen and came up with an nutrition bar I’ve never tried.

IMG_1570[1]I don’t know anything about the Zone diet and I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve eaten a nutrition bar, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

IMG_1585[1]That’s my ‘what the heck is this?’ face. Please excuse the post-workout hair – seriously, it was not cute. The bar turned out to be okay, though I would prefer 210 calories worth of real food over a nutrition bar any day. I was pretty impressed with the touted 14 grams of protein, though.

I’m going to be a little drowsy today at work because of the late night last night, but it was so worth it and tomorrow is Friday! I am going to do another lunch workout today because I have a happy hour with friends after work and I’m trying a new class! It’s called ‘Cardio and Tone’ and it is described as “A perfect combination of cardio and toning exercises to shape your body. This workout includes cardio fitness and with intervals of sculpting exercises using dumbbells, body bars, tubing for upper and lower body. Abs included.” Sweet.

Before I sign off, I want to show you the breakfast I have been super into the past few days: 2 fried eggs on a whole wheat sandwich thin, with a spread of a Laughing Cow cheese. Yum! I always forget how easy it is to cook eggs in the morning. I’m usually deterred from using the oven in the morning because I associate it with time-consuming meals. This took about ten minutes from start to finish. Get that stove top going!

IMG_1597[1]Okay beautiful people, time for me to head out, but I wish you a wonderful Thursday! Much love ❤

Food for Thought: What is your favorite holiday song this winter?

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