Blend, Spartan Race, NASM, and Food

Hey there! How’s your Tuesday going so far? Mine has been decent—it’s been my first day off from work in a while. However, I had classes, so it wasn’t exactly a day off. Speaking of classes…now that it’s Spring term, I’m only taking 8 credits…and compared to the 17 credits I took last term, this is CAKE. And I like cake, so it all works out. YAY CAKE!

Despite the fact that this term is so much less stressful, I still don’t have days off…but, I do have hours off…and it’s quite glorious! I mentioned a little while ago that I got a second job at a restaurant. Guess what? I got ANOTHER job. Yep, that comes out to 3 jobs (I realize I’m nuts). In addition to school. In addition to taking 2 kids to school every morning for a mom that I know. The new job that I got is at my gym, so I’m really excited about it! I spend so much time there already, I may as well work there! Ha!

Oh, and guess what?!

I’m going to BLEND this year!

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I bought my ticket for it a while ago, and I just purchased my plane ticket today….so it’s official! I’m real stoked. For those of you who don’t know what blend is, here’s a little blurb from the website:

“The BLEND Retreat (named so because we wanted to combine “blogger” with “friend”) is a relaxed, laid-back retreat for healthy living, food and fitness bloggers across North America. Instead of focusing on seminars and speakers, the focus will be on friendship and having a weekend away to get to know one another in real life.”

If you are interested in going, click here to register!

 

Also, I’ve been thinking of signing up for a Spartan Race!

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I’ve been doing a lot of research on it lately and I really would love to take on the challenge. A Spartan Race is an obstacle course race which is supposed to be extremely challenging and freakishly muddy! If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I’m not a fan of running….or cardio in general. I know that both good cardiovascular and strength endurance is essential for a Spartan race…so I’m really trying to up my cardiovascular endurance. I’ve been doing a whooooole lotta burpees because 1. they’re hard and will help with my endurance and 2. if you can’t complete an obstacle in the race, your punishment is 30 burpees. Ouch.

 

One other thing that I wanted to mention is that I’ve started studying to become a personal trainer! As I’ve mentioned before, my boyfriend got his certification through NASM. He’s letting me read his book (thankfully because they aren’t cheap). I’m in no hurry to finish the book and take the test. I’m just reading a little bit here and there when I have the time, just kind of on the side. I’ve really fallen in love with fitness, specifically lifting weights. I swear it gets addicting, watch out.

That’s all I got for today, have a good week and I’ll talk to you soon! :)

Oh wait. HOLD UP. Did I just go a whole blog post without posting any pictures of food? That’s just not allowed. Here’s a few pictures from what I’ve been eatin’ lately.

 

Pasta with chicken & veggies

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Steel cut oats, granola, almonds, cashews, pear slices, peanut butter & cinnamon

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Baked chocolate peanut butter banana oatmeal topped with granola and peanut butter. Coffee on the siiiiide

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Rib-eye steak with gorgonzola cheese, baked potato with plain Greek yog, roasted brussel sprouts, and sautéed onions & garlic. YUM.

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Erika.

Pancake Omelet

Winter term is over! The worst term of my life is over! MY LIFE IS BACK!

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Let’s celebrate with pancakes, shall we? Of the omelet variety. What? While there is an egg in the pancake mixture, this isn’t your typical omelet. I guess it’s just omelet style.

I go through these phases—breakfast phases, I call them. I tend to get hooked on one breakfast and eat it for a week (or longer) straight. For awhile, it was oatmeal. Then it was eggs and toast. Then it was peanut butter infused greek yogurt. Then it was pancakes. Now, peanut butter infused greek yogurt meets pancakes. They’re now the best of friends and are so happy that they met.

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On this occasion, I added some berries for a PB&J like effect. Served with coffee & almond milk, per usual.

It’s really quite simple. I basically make my Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Dip (<—click on that for the recipe, super simple), add in some dark chocolate chips, nuts, and other fun toppings, such as: chia seeds, berries, crumbled graham cracker, cinnamon, etc. I guess you don’t HAVE to add peanut butter into the greek yogurt if you want a different flavor combo, but for me, peanut butter is a need—not a want (okay, well maybe both). For the pancake, I either just use Bob’s Red Mill whole grain pancake mix or use this recipe. All you gotta do is slather your mixture onto your pancake, fold it in half, and top it all with more toppings…because…toppings! Yay! Weeeeeee!

The pancake omelet makes me really happy. It makes me so happy that it also kind of make me sad. What? Yep. Every time I eat one, I get sad thinking about the fact that with every bite, I’m one step closer to it being done. That makes me sad. So if you’re anything like me, you’ll innovate and not fold the pancake in half in order to allow more bites.

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And you’ll drink coffee and read blogs to really complete the morning. I realize that this takes away from it being a pancake “omelet,” but for the sake of more bites, I’m willing to make that sacrifice.

I literally ate this every day for 2 weeks. One day, I ate it for breakfast and dinner. No shame.

After my 2 week pancake stretch, I switched over to cold oats mixed with protein powder. Now, I’m back to pancakes. However, lately I’ve been dipping them in greek yogurt.

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P.S. Tillamook greek yogurt is my new fave. Perfect texture…and do you see the flavor in the above photo? Cinnamon hazelnut—delish. Makes for the perfect pancake dippage.

 

Every time I’ve mentioned that I had pancakes for breakfast to people, the look at me with a “wait, you’re a healthy person and healthy people don’t eat pancakes” sort of look. It’s actually quite funny. However, I’m getting my carbs (whole wheat flour), protein (greek yogurt and the egg in the pancake batter), and healthy fats (peanut butter).

Which makes it totally acceptable to eat pancakes every day.

 

Erika.

Hey, hello, hi!

Well hellooooooo there! Long time no blog, eh?

You may or may not be wondering where I’ve been for…umm…ever? Let’s catch up, shall we?

Well, in my last post, I mentioned how I was having computer problems and was posting from my phone. First of all, I give big props to Dell Support for being so nice and helpful, even though it took some time to get my computer up and running. My laptop wouldn’t turn on at all—it would just stay on the loading screen. At first, Dell thought there was something wrong with my operating system so they sent me a new one to download…and that didn’t work….so they sent me ANOTHER operating system…that also didn’t work. Eventually, I ended up sending my computer in to them for them to fix, and then they sent it back to me. All of that took at least three weeks. Ick. Buuuut it’s all good now, except for the fact that I lost EVERYTHING I ever had saved on my laptop…pictures, documents, you name it—I lost it. I had to re-download Windows Live Writer (what I use to type up my posts) and everything.

I started classes again at the beginning of January, and although I knew it was going to be hard, I had NO idea of what I was getting myself into. Here’s a lil’ list of all my big priorities going on right now:

  • 17 credits at school…..including: microeconomics, microbiology (with lab), psychology, personal health, and weight training. It’s rough.
  • Working at the good ole’ Cruise In Country Diner.
  • Taking two kids to school every morning as a little side job.
  • Working at Henry’s Tavern…oh, I got another job! Wow, have I really been gone for that long? Dang. Yep, I’m now employed at a big restaurant in downtown Portland. The commute kinda sucks because I park my car at a train station, then take the train into town, then walk a few block to get there. It usually takes 1 1/2 – 2 each way.

So, I’m basically dying. I literally don’t ever have a day off between work and school. I have to get up extra early just to do homework. I have no social life. I don’t get the amount of sleep I like to get at night.
When I’m this stressed out, I get in kind of a down-in-the-dumps sort of mood. Lack of time to myself and with others makes it a little hard to stay sane. A little while back, I was REALLY sad/upset/frustrated about everything going on. I was extremely jealous of everyone I saw that was remotely having fun (I know, how nice of me). I was literally stressing myself sick. I got really nauseous one day and thought I was getting the flu. I felt a little better the next day and then started getting a cold. I. Was. Miserable. I didn’t think things could get any worse…until…

My dog ran away. Yep. My mom had him for a weekend (my parents are recently divorced and my dad & I let my mom take him about one weekend a month) and he got out one night. I was asleep when she texted me about it at 1am. When I woke up in the morning, I called her…she told me she hadn’t found him yet. I was a WRECK. I ran into my dads room to wake him up, fell on the floor and just bawled my eyes out. I was so upset that I felt like I couldn’t cry hard enough to express how I felt. I took Monkey’s jar of peanut butter and drove down to where my mom lives. I looked like a crazy person…peanut butter in hand, bawling my eyes out, and yelling “Monkey Monk!” With no luck, I eventually went home. My dad notified all the vets around us, as well as animal control. I called out of work, lied in bed, and cried all day long. I couldn’t bring myself to do the loads of homework I needed to do. I couldn’t even believe what was happening. Eventually, I heard my dad on the phone and he called my name. I came out of my room, teary eyed, and he told me that someone had him. I cried harder, this time tears of joy. I was BEYOND happy. I verified to make sure someone really did have him…and they did. I went to pick him up and I had never been happier. He traveled a good 5 miles (and crossed lots of busy roads) and ended up following someone home. Here he is in my car after I picked him up :)

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I love him SO much. All the stress from homework, classes, and work seems so irrelevant as long as I have this little dude. I still look at him multiple times throughout every day, so SO thankful to have him back. I don’t know what I would do without him.

Any who, let’s get to some more happy things!

The reason I actually have time to post right now is because I’m stuck inside for the weekend. Oregon has gotten lots of snow over the past few days, and I’m completely snowed in. I was supposed to go to Eugene this weekend to see Alex, but there’s NO way I’m driving in this (womp, womp). On the plus side, I have time to catch up on homework (and blog!).

Look how cute he is in the snow!

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Things That Went Into My Mouth Worth Noting

A clever heading, yeah? It was going to be “Meals worth noting”…then I realized not everything is a meal. So I was going to go with “Foods worth noting”….then I realized not everything is a food. Things That Went Into My Mouth Worth Noting it is.

Freaking Good Burger

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I can’t exactly remember the name of this burger….but I guarantee you it was freaking good. Some freaking good bleu cheese, freaking good balsamic glazed tomatoes, freaking good prosciutto, and some other freaking good things on a freaking good bun. Served alongside a freaking good salad. FREAKING GOOD.

Turkey Meatballs

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I obviously didn’t eat raw turkey….but I didn’t take a picture of the cooked meatballs. But they were freaking good. Should I stop saying freaking good now? Yes? Okay. Maybe.

Protein Waffle

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Aren’t waffles just the greatest? This was one serving of chocolate protein powder, 1/2 C. oats, and some almond milk…all blended up and cooked in my waffle maker. Topped with PB2 mixed with almond milk and some bananas…even though I don’t really like bananas—I try to.

Savory Breakfast

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I usually don’t like savory things for breakfast, but I went though a phase for a few days when eggs and toast sounded really good. This was a piece of Dave’s Killer Bread, a sunny side up egg, tomatoes, avocado, and peppaaaaa. Delish.

Turkey Almond Cranberry Protein Bar

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Ummm…weird, right? I found this at Whole Foods before work one day and decided to give it a shot. Verdict: Odd. But good. Maybe not freaking good….but good. It was like soft jerky with some almonds and cranberries. Definitely not bad!

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

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This was my first time making cauliflower crust pizza! I used this recipe and then topped it with mozzarella, turkey bacon, ham, and spinach. Freaking good.

Salad

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Why have I never put sweet potatoes on a salad until recently? Why??? This was romaine, chicken, roasted sweet taters, and quinoa. Yep, freaking good.

Yogurt Bowl

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I’m on a MAJOR greek yogurt kick right now. This was 2% plain greek yog (mixed with vanilla extract and a tad bit of stevia), topped with cashews, bananas, goji berries, dark chocolate chips, and 2 kinds of peanut butter….because you can never have too much peanut butter. I also topped it with kashi whole grain nuggets and chia seeds, however I put them in a baggie on the side so they wouldn’t get soggy while I was in class.

Pancake “Omelette”

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If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen a few of these pancake omelets I’ve been creating. I’m literally obsessed with them and will be creating a whole post on them later. Yeah, they’re THAT good.

Peanut Butter Cup Coffee

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I went into Winco the other day to use the bathroom. Walked out with this. How could I not? Never have I ever seen any coffee that is peanut butter flavored. YUM.

Frozen Yogurt

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This was my own homemade version of frozen yogurt. I mixed into my mug: 2% plain greek yog, Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter, creamy peanut butter, PB2, stevia, a little almond milk, and some dark chocolate chips. Then, I popped it into the freezer for 30ish minutes, stirred it up, and topped it with a healthy brownie cookie thingymajig. Freaking good.

New Seasons Salad Bar

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Salad bars are my favorite. Since they’re charged by weight, I get a little OCD and try to pick the lightest ingredients, ha!

Almond Encrusted Sweet Potato Corn Cake

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Being snowed in, I’ve been forced to use ingredients I have on hand. More on this in another post :)

I know I have a lot more things to say because I’ve been gone from this little blog of mine for some time, but I’ll be back soon :)

Oh, PS.

How cool is this?

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Yeah, SO cool.

Erika.