Tag Archives: lunchtime workouts

Quickie Lunch Workout

30 Jan

Supposedly, we’re in the middle of winter over here, not that you’d be able to tell…

IMG_1972[1]Makes zero sense. I don’t even know how to dress myself when I go outside! I won’t complain though, it’s nice to not have to brace yourself when you walk out the door.

My friend Lucy arrived in the city yesterday and I picked her up from Union Station after work. She’s only in town for a couple of days, so I’ve planned on doing my workouts on my lunch break so I am free after work.

Workout

Yesterday’s workout was quick, but intense. I was totally covered in sweat by the end, plus I didn’t have to rush to get back to work because it left me with enough time to clean myself up. Double win.

Quickie Lunch WorkoutI did my warm up and cool down on the treadmill at an easy 12 min/mile pace. All in all, it took me just a little over half an hour to complete the workout, from the moment I stepped on the treadmill for the warm up, to when I stepped off at the end of my cool down.

IMG_1971[1]If you are using any of my workouts, I highly recommend that you download the GymBoss app (it’s free) for your phone, or invest in some kind of interval timer (GymBoss has them on their website for ~$20).

While looking over the workout, if some of the activities look unfamiliar to you, you can find demonstrations of them on YouTube quite easily. I have linked some of the exercises below:

Eats

Lately I’ve found myself falling off the clean-eating wagon over the weekends. My meals on those days consists mainly of carbs and fat -I ate two cheese quesadillas for dinner the other night – and it leaves me feeling like I have to play catch-up during the week. One of my goals for this weekend is to stick to my 80-20 plan so I don’t feel ‘blah’ on Monday morning. The weekends need to have less of this:

The 'S' was for Sharks, as in the NHL team.

The ‘S’ was for Sharks, as in the NHL team.

And more of this:

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Monday night’s dinner: salmon fillet on a bed of mixed rice, side of sauteed stir-fry vegetables.

and this:

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Yesterday’s lunch + pre-workout snack: Leftover rice and vegetables, sweet potato medallions with cinnamon, tangerine, green grapes, and trail mix.

Tonight, Lucy and I are meeting some old high school friends for dinner and then more girl-talk at home. Having a guest in the middle of the week is such a nice way to pick things up!

Food for Thought: Do you tend to eat differently over the weekend and during the week? What is your biggest obstacle to eating healthy food?

Mixing It Up

17 Jan

Yesterday at lunch I had the wonderful chance to meet up with my friend Amanda from Rome, who is back in the DMV area to see her family. Long time readers may remember her from when I last saw her over the summer. She is finishing up school in Rome and caught me up on all the latest news from Italy. Massive Romesickness aside, it was great to see her and catch up! I just wish our visits were more frequent than bi-yearly.

We went to Chop’t for lunch, dubbed by Amanda as the “Coldstone of salads”, which is so true. For those of you who have never frequented the restaurant, it is basically a massive salad bar, where you tell the people behind the counter what you want in your salad, they throw it all together, and go at it with a mezzaluna. The result is a very finely chopped salad with all sorts of delicious ingredients inside.

When I make my salads for lunch at work, it almost always goes like this:

  • 1/2 bag of TJ’s baby spinach
  • 1 chopped Roma tomato
  • 1 Persian cucumber
  • A sprinkle of feta cheese
  • Drizzles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy those salads just fine. I am a person of routine and rather enjoy eating the same foods ad nauseum. During my last trip to Trader Joe’s, I was walking down the canned foods aisle and decided to mix my salads up by adding some extra goodies to them. Last night’s dinner was one of my “upgraded” salads and it was so delicious.

IMG_1873[1]Along with the usual ingredients, I also added some cannellini beans, chopped dill pickle, and canned artichoke hearts. It’s amazing what a difference it made! These simple additions turned the salad from a usual humdrum meal to one with all sorts of unexpected flavors. The tang of the dill pickle and the texture of the artichoke really amped it up. Let that be a lesson to you (and me) that it doesn’t take drastic change to spice up something ordinary!

My ipsy package also came in the mail!

IMG_1870[1]Can’t get enough of their bright pink packaging.

Does anybody love packages in the mail as much as I do?

IMG_1871[1]This month’s bag included:

  • Josie Maran’s argan oil (retailed for $14 at Sephora – more than the cost of one entire Ipsy bag!)
  • Big Sexy Hair hairspray ($6 on Ulta)
  • Nailtini Straight Up Color in Bloody Mary ($13 on Nailtini)
  • SoHo crease brush ($8.99 on Soho Beauty)
  • Pacifica Blood Orange body butter ($7 on Pacifica Perfume)

If I had purchased all of these products individually, the package (that also comes with a cute little bag) would have been almost $50! How ridiculous is that? I love this because it means I get to try out different products without spending huge amounts of money. If I find a product I like, then I’m free to buy more it on my own.

One product I had never heard of was argan oil, so I looked into it before I put it on my body (the package says it can be used on your cuticles, your face, your hair, or your body – talk about versatile!).

arganoil

 

Sephora had this to say:

“This 100% Pure Argan Oil is a legendary oil that’s rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, and grown organically in Morocco. With its multitasking benefits, Argan Oil can be used for many areas including hydrating and nourishing skin, as a daily moisturizer, skin treatment, treating spilt ends, and softening cuticles. It’s gentle enough to use on all skin types and is believed to help with skin conditions including acne. Argan Oil easily absorbs into skin to give you a youthful, dewy glow, and has astonishing healing, conditioning, and antiaging properties to keep your skin and hair nourished and revitalized and to keep you looking beautiful from head to toe.”

You learn something new every day!

I am totally a nude-colors girl when it comes to my nail polish, so I was pretty surprised to open the Nailtini box and find a bright red color.

IMG_1872[1]I am envious of my friend Allison, who received a nude color in her bag. I tend to stick with neutral colors just because they match everything, but this might force me to switch things up and wear some bright colors or maybe I will re-gift it to somebody.

On the books today is a lunch workout! I have really been digging this Cardio and Tone class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Not only do I get a huge wave of energy post-workout to power me through the afternoon, it leaves the evening open for anything that may come up. Today’s is my roommate’s 25th birthday, so we’re going out to dinner to celebrate! It’s nice to have that flexibility during the week, especially since early morning workouts don’t really seem to be on the horizon for me.

Wishing you a fabulous last couple of days leading into the weekend!

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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!

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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:

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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.

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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?

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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