Becoming a Real Blogger :)

So I thought I’d actually be a real blogger and post what I ate for once:

For breakfast (around 9am) I had a container of Fage 2% plain greek yogurt and eggs:

When I first started eating Greek yogurt, I had to mix in a ton of berries and walnuts. But now I like it plain! Plus I had finished off my strawberries last night.

I always make my eggs the same way: 2 whole eggs plus 2 whites in a flat puff. It looks like a pancake and is easy to pick up and eat with my hands! Sometimes I add feta cheese but I am cutting back on the cheese now that I’m eating so much yogurt because my body’s not used to a lot of dairy.

I have 5 classes from 9:30 to 4:45 every Monday and Wednesday. Because of my schedule I prefer snacking over eating an official lunch. My snacks for the day were half a cup of almonds and a sliced Fuji apple with cinnamon:

Would you believe that I just started eating almonds for the first time in 4 years? I used to eat them all the time then they started giving me headaches so I thought I might be allergic and gave them up. But I tried some on a whim over spring break and didn’t have any bad reactions so I’m bringing them back into my diet! Previously the only nuts I was eating were walnuts–which I like with berries or chocolate–but almonds are a better stand-alone nut. And they’re great to snack on during class–I’m trying to get away from eating so many protein bars!

My outfit today (not super-exciting):

Shirt: Express
Leggings: Forever 21
Cuff: H&M
Bag: Kate Spade Outlets
I had a different outfit planned for today but once I heard it was going to rain I had to wear leggings. I think they go better with boots. And yes, I am wearing leggings as pants but so does everyone on my campus so I didn’t get any weird looks.
I intended to go to the gym right after class but it was raining and I was tired so I ended up lying in bed reading blogs for an hour until I got motivated. I’ve been reading April’s blog from the beginning and just discovered Katie at Faith Food & Fitness–I’m excited to start following her! I also ate my last Greek yogurt 😦
Finally I got up to go the gym. My campus has 2 gyms: a big, state-of-the-art one about a mile and a half from me that I can drive to, or run if it’s nice outside; and an older not-so-nice basement gym within walking distance. I like to switch it up between the two. Today I opted to drive to the nicer one. It has a lot more machines so I was able to add some variety to my leg workout.
Lower Body Workout (75 minutes)
  • Seated Leg Press: 130 lbs, 15 reps x 3
  • Standing Hip Abduction: 100 lbs, 10 reps per leg x 3
  • 45 Degree Leg Press: 90 lbs, 15 reps x 3
  • Hack Squat: 90 lbs, 15 reps x 3
  • Hamstring Deadlift: 30 lb barbell, 15 reps x 3
  • Split Squats: 15 lb dumbbells, 10 reps per leg x 3
  • Lever Alternating Leg Press: 45 lbs, 10 reps per leg x 3
  • V-Squat: 90 lbs on each side, 8 reps x 3
  • Seated Leg Curl: 50 lbs, 12 reps x 3
  • Bent-over Leg Curl: 50 lbs (I think), 10 reps per leg x 3
  • Kneeling Leg Curl: 50 lbs, 12 reps per leg x 3
  • Seated Hip Abduction (Inner Thigh): 70 lbs, 12 reps x 3
  • Seated Hip Abduction (Outer Thigh): 50 lbs, 12 reps x 3
I used this website to get new ideas and to figure out how to use some of the machines I was unfamiliar with. It is an amazing resource! I was so excited about trying new machines that I ended up spending about 75 minutes on this workout, so I skipped cardio even though I had a new Cosmo to read 😦
I made a quick run to Giant for more greek yogurt! Usually I get all my groceries at Trader Joes and Target, but I wanted to make it a short trip Giant was the closest. I bought:
  • 10 (!!) individual servings of Fage 2% plain greek yogurt plus one quart of Choikos plain 0%
  • 4 pints of strawberries (they were on sale!)
  • 2 mangos
  • 2 cartons of light Minute Maid lemonade (only 15 calories per 8oz and so good!)
  • Frozen tilipia
  • 2 bags of frozen brussel sprouts
I also found a new kind of tea:
Right now I have 4 different types of ginger tea! Plus Tazo Organic Chai and Passion Fruit. I drink at least two or three cups per day.
When I got home around 9:15 pm I was starving! I tossed a ton of broccoli, carrots, and a yellow summer squash in a tsp of olive oil plus salt and roasted it in the oven while I was showering. This is my favorite way to make veggies! Then I microwaved about 8 oz of leftover ahi tuna to go with it. I meant to take a picture but I was so hungry I forgot.
After dinner I had a pint of sliced strawberries with a packet of splenda.
Normally I never put sweetener on food but this is my one exception; it reminds me of eating strawberries and sugar as a kid! I also had dark chocolate; I eat some almost every day:
I finished off the remaining half of the black 85% cocoa bar along with a cup of my new tea. They were both delicious! Last night I woke up starving around 3am so hopefully that won’t happen tonight. Night! (I’ll finish adding pictures tomorrow)

Arms and Interval

I posted a leg workout about three weeks ago, so I thought I’d share with you an upper body workout that I typically do. It takes about 50 minutes and is pretty intense!

Upper Body Workout

Circuit 1: Chest and Triceps (on stability ball — 15 reps x 3)

  • Chest press: 15 lb dumbbells
  • Dumbbell flyers: 15 lb dumbbells
  • Tricep extension: 15 lb dumbbell (just one)
Circuit 2: Shoulders (on stability ball — x3)
  • Seated military press: 10 lb dumbbells, 15 reps
  • Seated straight-arm raises (to front): 10 lb dumbbells, 10 reps
  • Shoulder rotators: 10 lb dumbbells, 15 reps
Circuit 3: Biceps and Triceps (15 reps x 3)
  • Bicep curls: 10 lb dumbbells
  • Standing tricep extension: 15 lb dumbbell (just one)
  • Hammer curls: 10 lb dumbbells
  • Tricep kickback: 10 lb dumbbell (both sides)
Circuit 4: Back and Shoulders (x3)
  • Bent-over rows: 15 lb dumbbell, 15 reps on both sides
  • Straight-arm raises (to side): 10 lb dumbbells, 10 reps
  • Upright rows: 10 lb dumbbells, 10-15 reps
Circuit 5: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps (x3)
  • Lateral fly machines: 40 lbs, 15 reps
  • Cable fly machine: 40 lbs, 15 reps
  • Tricep dips, 12 reps
I was happy to get back in the gym; I worked out my arms using dumbbells at home twice over spring break but it’s just not the same! Yesterday I worked out my legs and did an easy-ish hour on the elliptical reading the April Marie Claire (alternating between resistance levels 15 and 10), so I wanted to do some high-intensity cardio today. I came up with a KILLER two-part interval workout:
Part 1: Sprint Intervals, 25 minutes
  • 0-1: 4.0 mph, 5.0 incline
  • 1-3: 8.0 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 3-4: 4.0 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 4-6: 8.5 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 6-7: 4.0 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 7-9: 9.0 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 9-11: 4.0 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 11-12.5: 9.5 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 12.5-14: 4.0 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 14-15: 10.0 mph , 1.0 incline
  • 15-17: 4.0 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 17-18: 9.5 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 18-19: 4.0 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 19-20: 9.0 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 20-21: 4.0 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 21-22: 8.5 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 22-23: 4.0 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 23-24: 8.0 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 24-25: 4.0 mph, 1.0 incline
Part 2: Incline Walking, 15 minutes
  • 0-5: 4.0 mph, 5.0 incline
  • 5-6: 4.0 mph, 10.0 incline
  • 6-7: 4.0 mph, 9.0 incline
  • 7-8: 4.0 mph, 8.0 incline
  • 8-9: 4.0 mph, 7.0 incline
  • 9-10: 4.0 mph, 6.0 incline
  • 10-11: 4.0 mph , 5.0 incline
  • 11-12: 4.0 mph, 4.0 incline
  • 12-13: 4.0 mph, 3.0 incline
  • 13-14: 3.0 mph, 2.0 incline
  • 14-15: 2.0 mph, 2.0 incline
I haven’t done high-intensity interval training in so long, and it was INTENSE. I was sweating so hard that my mascara was running down my cheeks and I looked like I was crying. The incline walking was surprising challenging. I intended it to be just a cool-down but it turned into a nice workout that really targeted my glutes but still was slow enough that I could read the latest People magazine. I’ve read that you’re only supposed to do HIIT 2x a week and I’m hoping that’s true because it was pretty hard!
Well, it’s time for me to get to bed and maybe tomorrow I’ll take pictures of my food for once!

Charleston Recap

I finally have some pictures so I thought I’d post them!

Monument by the water

I went to Charleston with my parents last week for spring break. I think it was originally suppose to be a romantic getaway for my parents, but I insisted on tagging along 🙂 No way was I going to let them go to the beach for during my spring break without me!

Downtown Charleston was GORGEOUS! It’s one of the nation’s oldest cities and was full of historical homes and elaborate gardens.
Home in downtown Charleston
We rented a house on Folly Beach, a funky little beach town about 15 minutes away from downtown Charleston. Our house was RIGHT on the beach, as in you could just leave my towel when you went inside to pee (it’s the little things, right?)
View from our porch
I was a little sad about leaving the gym for 5 days, but I figured that Charleston would be a great place to run and I was not disappointed! The weather was perfect, the roads were flat, and I got to watch the sun rise (on the one day I actually woke up early enough!) I ran (approximately) 5 miles on Tuesday, 3 on Wednesday, and 6 on Thursday.
There is just something about running by the water that makes the whole experience 10x better. I have to have warm weather (as in above 60 degrees) and a aesthetically pleasing environment (ie not a treadmill) to get motivated run, so it doesn’t happen very often. But if I lived at the beach I swear I’d be a marathoner.
I also got in a nice arm workout on a kayaking trip. We kayaked for 3.8 miles.
Me and the ‘rents
On the last day of our vacation we visited Magnolia Gardens. It was gorgeous!
Old plantation at Magnolia Gardens
The one thing I failed on was taking pictures of my meals 😦 I was a little intimidated to whip out my camera at the restaurants. I wish I had though, because we had some amazing meals! We ate fish every day, including:
  • Shrimp
  • Oysters
  • Scallops
  • Crab cakes
  • Calamari
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Tilapia
  • Swordfish.
Whew!  I don’t eat starches so I always roll with a salad or double veggies as a side. Some of the veggies I enjoyed were zucchini, broccolini (it’s a cross between broccoli and asparagus), corn on the cob, and grilled asparagus.
My family doesn’t usually order desserts at restaurants but this trip I really wanted some desserts! I’m blaming all the dessert pics I see on food blogs. Fortunately my dad has a big sweet tooth too so we overruled my mom who is not big on sweets. Desserts included key lime pie, key lime cheesecake, chocolate cake, and leftover cookies from a waiter’s wedding (yes really!)
I will try to put together a better posts on restaurants later because there were so many good ones! But overall I loved Charleston–I am dying to go back and I think we are going to return the following May when my sister will be able to come too (her spring break fell earlier this year but don’t feel too sorry for her because she went to Belize). By then I will be a college graduate–crazy!

Camera Woes and Wednesday Workout

I am horrible at blogging.

Actually, scratch that. I am horrible at taking pictures.

I was camera-less for almost 2 years after, um, a smashed-camera incident one night freshman year. My old camera was a Canon powershot and I loved it. Finally I decided to bite the bullet and get a new one. (I am the worst procrastinator at buying technology stuff I need–when my laptop battery died it took me TEN MONTHS to buy a new one during which time I had to carry the extension cord around everywhere).

I really like the Nikon Coolpix S4000 with a touch screen and spend forever trying to find it. But when I finally got it I was pretty disappointed. The touch screen is hard to use, and the picture quality seemed poor. Granted, I may just have it on the wrong lighting settings, but I wouldn’t know because I have the language set in Dutch and can’t figure out how to get it back to English.

Can you tell I am terrible at technology?

Anyway, I think I am going to return it and get the Nikon Coolpix S3000, which I think will be easier to use plus it’s smaller and a little bit cheaper. I want to take care of that before Saturday because I’m going to Shamrockfest with two of my friends from high school who are back on spring break, and I want pictures!

In the meantime, since I don’t have any pictures I thought I’d post my workout from tonight:

Part 1: 60 minutes legs (each exercise 15 reps x 3 sets)

  • Leg press: 45 lb each side
  • Circuit of squats, hamstring deadlifts, and lunges: 15 lb dumbbells
  • Hack squat: 45 lb each side
  • Leg extension: (setting 3)
  • Sumo squat: 20 lb dumbbell
  • Squats on power rack: 17.5 lb each side
  • Inner thigh abductor: (setting 6)
  • Outer thigh abductor: (setting 5)
  • One-leg hamstring deadlift: 15 lb dumbbells
Part 2: 30 minutes elliptical (alternating between resistance level 15 and 10)

Part 3: 15 minutes abs
  • Circuit One (x3): 60 seconds plank, 60 seconds right side plank, 60 seconds left plank, 10 double leg lifts
  • Circuit Two (x3): 15 crunches with 10 lb weight, 15 twists with 10 lb weight & legs off floor
Part 4: 15 minutes treadmill interval workout
  • 0-1: 7.0 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 1-2: 7.5 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 2-3: 8.0 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 3-4: 8.5 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 4-6: 4.0 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 6-7: 8.0 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 7-8: 4.0 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 8-9: 8.5 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 9-10: 4.0 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 10-11: 9.0 mph , 1.0 incline
  • 11-12: 4.0 mph, 1.0 incline
  • 12-13: 3.5 mph, 1.5 incline
  • 13-14: 3.0 mph, 2.0 incline
  • 14-15: 2.0 mph, 2.0 incline
That workout felt amazing! It was a little longer than usual, but I hadn’t lifted since Friday and hadn’t exercised at all since Sunday. Writing down part 1 took me forever because I don’t know the names of any machines. I tend to call them things like “lie-down leg-pusher,” which actually isn’t much different from the real names. It’s good to know what they’re called though.
I wasn’t planning on doing an interval workout but once I added it in I was so glad I did. I listened to “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones which is the BEST running song and the perfect length to get me through the first four minutes of straight running–exactly 0.5 mile. Then I listened to “Money for Nothing” by the Dire Straits, another favorite workout song. I am working on adding more HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) into my workouts. I am convinced it is more effective and efficient than just spending hours on the elliptical, as I am sometimes guilty of doing.
After I got off the treadmill I felt like I was going to throw up. Call me crazy but I think that’s the sign of a good workout! Maybe I just watch too much Biggest Loser because contestants are always puking during the workouts, and Bob and Jillian are cheering them on. When I ran cross-country and track during high school it was inevitable that someone would throw up during our hard-core workouts, but I never did. I always stopped when I felt sick rather than push myself to the next level.
For my imaginary readers: have you ever thrown up while exercising? Do you see it as a good thing?

>Going Greek

>I tried Greek yogurt for the first time yesterday!

This is especially significant because I haven’t eaten yogurt in over five years. 

I know that’s a little strange, so let me explain: I’ve been a vegetarian for about eight years, since I was twelve. When I was fourteen, I was inspired by a friend to go vegan for a brief stint. That didn’t last but what came out of it is that I stopped eating dairy altogether for a number of years. I was never a huge dairy fan–I’d already preferred soymilk to cow’s milk, for instance–so giving it up was no big deal. Eventually I re-introduced some dairy back into my diet–namely ice cream and a few types of cheese–but I could never bring myself to eat yogurt–something about the texture and live bacteria inside freaked me out.

I’ve been trying to muster up the courage to try Greek yogurt for a long time now. The nutrition stats are amazing, it’s a super-convenient breakfast or snack, and it would be a healthier and cheaper alternative to my beloved yogiberry.

I finally decided that it was time to go for it. First decision: what fat content? Fat-free seems to defeat my point of exploring a new source of healthy fat, yet the whole yogurt has twice the calories which seems like overkill. I decided to go with 2% Chobani–maybe next time I’ll try 4%.

I stirred up a cup of yogurt with blueberries, sliced strawberries, and frozen raspberries and popped it in the freezer for a more yogiberry-like consistency.

The verdict? Delicious!!! It was pretty tart but I prefer that to overly sugary. I ate the container in two days and will be definitely buying more, and maybe some individual serving cups as well.

Question: (as if anyone reads this) What is your favorite brand of Greek yogurt? What fat content do you buy?

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