KUWTC

I apologize for my lack of blogging this month.  February has been a crazy month both at home and at work.  At home, I’m still trying to get used to hubs off days and it’s leaving me a little frazzled and work…well it’s been very busy but it makes the days go by very fast!

So what have I been up to this month?  

Traveled to the wonderful state of AZ for 5 days to attend a work conference.  While I was there, I got to climb up Cholla trail on Camelback Mountain.  The view was amazing and had I not had a husband and child waiting for me back home, I probably would’ve moved there.  GORGEOUS and so much to do, recreationally!

hikeupcholla

Completed my first ever juice cleanse.  After eating out and consuming some yummy beverages, the week in Arizona left me feeling less than healthy.  As soon as I got home, I got familiar with our juicer and completed this juice cleanse.  The cleanse is originally 3 days, but I only did one.  I had a special valentine’s day dinner to attend the next day.  It was nice to get some vegetables into my life and get back on track with healthy eating.  I felt really good just after one day.  Maybe I’ll complete the three days in March, for a spring clean your diet challenge…we’ll see.

Signed up for Birchbox.  A full review to come this week.  This is my first monthly box subscription, and so far I’m really happy with it.  I love getting fun stuff in the mail :-)

Attended a surprise baby shower for one of my best friends.  She lives in DC and is pregnant with her second baby, but first girl.  Her sisters thought it would be a great idea to fly her out here for a surprise shower since some of her friends couldn’t attend the first one.  I love surprising people.  She was speechless.

meanderika

 

I’ll be back later this week (hopefully!) with more details on Birchbox and a review!

5 Things Friday

Hey guys!  TGIF.  What a week it’s been!  Work was super busy and Madelyn was home sick from daycare for two days.  No bueno.  But she’s back to her happy self, just with a runny nose.  So for 5 things Friday, I decided to share the 5 highlights from my week.

1.  36. 47. 97.  Remember when I said that I was interested to see how attending Barre on a regular basis (3-4 times a week) would help me with pushups on my Air Force PT test?  Last year, I did 36 in one minute.  This year, I maxed out at 47 before the minute was up.  I lost 2 inches off my waist, and shaved 40 seconds off my 1.5 mile time.  I raised my overall score from a 91 to a 97.  It’s nice to see hard work pay off.

2. Finding balance.  The key to life.  I stayed home with Madelyn on Wednesday and hubs stayed home with her Thursday.  By Thursday afternoon, she was back to her normal self and so I dropped her off at daycare this morning for a 1/2 day.  I took today off because my work schedule changes slightly next week.  I had the perfect morning: Interval Barre, Chai tea latte at Milwaukee Public Market followed by the first pedicure I’ve had in over a year.  After all my running and marathon training, it was well deserved and LONG overdue.  After my pedicure, I picked little miss up from daycare and we enjoyed a delicious lunch at the Whole Foods hot bar.  My lunch date was surely the highlight of my week.

madelynnonap

3.  Pizza Pizza.  Today was Madelyn’s first day eating pizza.  She LOVED it!  I found a really good dairy-free frozen pizza at Whole Foods.  The “cheese” melted perfectly and she couldn’t get enough.  I will definitely be buying this in the future.

daiyapizza4.  More race Bling.  Two days ago, I signed up for my first 1/2 marathon of the year.  That makes this numero 5 for me.  A little nervous for a few reasons.  It’s on March 15th.  The weather has been less than stellar (I think it reached 2 degrees today) and the longest run I’ve done is 6 miles…on a treadmill :-/ BUT I’m running with my mom and it’s her first 1/2 marathon ever!  So this one isn’t for time, but for moral support.  I can’t wait to add another medal to my collection and another sweatshirt to my clothing collection :-)

racebliing 5.  I bit the bullet.  I’ve been eyeing this up for almost a year now.  After talking to several people about their Fitbits and reading online reviews I decided to try it out for myself.  I was especially interested in it after reading an article in Runner’s World about how sitting is the new smoking, especially for runners.  I consider myself a fairly active person.  I workout 5-6 times a week but I find myself sitting A LOT throughout the day.  I’m hoping this little gadget helps get me up and moving throughout the day and analyzes my sleep at night, which I know I don’t get enough of.

What was the highlight of your week?  My PT test was a pretty big deal, but watching Madelyn wave and say goodbye for the first time probably takes the cake.  She said it at least 10 times before I left out the door today.  Melts my heart.

Asian Chicken Salad

Happy Tuesday!  How was everyone’s weekend?  Ours was pretty busy over here, with drill and the last of our work holiday parties plus taking care of a sick kiddo.  Let’s just say, I’m looking forward to the weekend.

Last week, I was on a mission to use up some of the pantry items I’ve had on hand for awhile.  There were a lot of random meals being made and at one point, I said to hubs as we sat down to dinner, “I have no idea how this is going to taste, but all these things sounded like a really good idea.”  And it was.  I did, however, make one meal that I knew would be a for sure winner.

Every time we have a big family gathering, my grandma makes this Oriental Salad and it’s always a hit.  The salad is made with a pack of ramen noodles and you use the flavor packet as part of the dressing.  It’s amazing.  I would like to experiment with making the dressing completely from scratch one of these days just because I know how much sodium is in that little flavor packet.  If anyone has any ideas, I’m all ears!  To serve as a main meal, I cut up two chicken breasts into bite size pieces and sautéed them in sesame oil and black pepper.  The chicken definitely added some staying power to the salad.

IMG_2488Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb bag angel fine cole slaw
  • 1 pack oriental flavored ramen noodle
  • 1/2 c diced sweet onion
  • 1/2 c honey roasted sesame sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 c roasted almonds sliced

Dressing

  • 1 flavor pack that comes with noodles
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 c oil

In a large bowl, mix up all of the salad ingredients.  Crush the ramen noodles up for garnish if you want to.  It adds a nice crunch to the salad.  In a separate smaller bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dressing and stir.  Mix well into the salad.  Add in the chicken.  There you have it!  A salad packed with flavor that has some staying power.  Win win!

This week, my meals are well-planned out but my workouts are kind of all over the place, but I’m getting it done!  Here’s what’s on the agenda for this week:

Monday: PF Chang’s Asian Lettuce Wraps (thumbs up!) + Interval Barre & Running 3 miles

Tuesday: Runner’s World Meatloaf  (sooo good!) + foam rolling & stretching

Wednesday: leftovers + barre bee

Thursday: Jerk shrimp stir-fry + my Air Force PT Test!! (I’m anxious to see how all the push-ups in barre have helped me!)

Friday: Mexi night + Barre & running maybe?

I’ve been putting my Runner’s World cookbook to use!  I have yet to make a disappointing recipe from it and can’t wait to try out some of the desserts.  It was one of the most useful birthday presents that I received last year.

Question of the night:  What’s your favorite recipe book?  I could always add more to my collection!  My favorite would have to be a gift from my grandma.  One year for Christmas, she made up books for all of the women in my family of all of her best recipes.  It’s a cookbook I will keep forever!

Do One Thing a Day that Scares You

lululemon1

And this morning, I did just that.  I tried out Crossfit for the first time.  It’s something that has peaked my interest for awhile but I never really had the balls to try it because it looks extremely intimidating.  That is, until a co-worker of mine (6 weeks postpartum), told me that she wanted to try it out.  The conversation went something like this:

Me: Hey I heard you want to try Crossfit.  I’ll try it with you when you come back to work!

K: Great! Let’s go next week!

Me: Uhhh…I was thinking more like next month.  It can be “my thing” for February.  And didn’t you just have a baby?

K: Gotta start somewhere!

And somewhere we did.  We went to a Crossfit gym 5 minutes from where we work that just opened up this past fall.  Verdict?  I’m still not sure how I feel about it.  It’s really hard to write a fair review based off of one single class, but I will share my experience with you as best as possible.

When we arrived at the gym, there was no place really to sign in, but a rack of clipboards and pens with waiver and liability paperwork that we had to fill out.  The coach was writing the workout on the wipe board when we walked in.  We introduced ourselves and told him it was our first time.  Luckily, there were only 3 other people in the morning class, who were all experienced “crossfitters”, so he spent a majority of his time with us.

The Warm Up
7 min AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible)
-10 dive bombs (reminded me a version of chatarunga in yoga)
-5 pull ups
-20 front rack lunges

The warm up consisted of the above exercises done within a 7 minute period.  He went through the exercises once and then set a timer up for everyone to see.  I was able to repeat the workout twice through.  We did pull-ups on the bar but with a band and I’m convinced that no matter how strong my upper body becomes, I will never be able to do a pull-up…It was the exercise I hated the most.

Weightlifting
Behind the Neck Jerk (5 sets of 3)

This was probably my least favorite part of the class, but also the most important because we worked on technique and skill.  The instructor spent a lot more time talking us through the movement instead of showing us.  Finally, my friend asked him if he could just show us.  His response was “it’s kind of hard to just show you.”  I get it.  There was a lot of movement with your hips that really could only be felt and not seen.  We did it with just the bar for awhile and then I added 20 lbs on.  It was challenging, but in a good way.  My arms, back and shoulders definitely got a workout.

WOD
Marguerita (timed)
50 sets of:
-Burpees
-pushups
-jumping jacks
-sit ups
-handstand (scooter walks)

My favorite part of class: super sweaty cardio!  The whole workout was done for time, so you had to work as hard and fast as you could.  This part of the class really challenged and pushed me to give it all that I had.  Especially with the class being so small, no one wants to come in last.  Each exercise was 50 reps.  The last exercise was physically the most challenging.  The instructor modified it for us twice.  I tried to do the intermediate exorcise, which were wall climbs, but I felt like my feet were going to topple over so I moved to the scooter walks.  In scooter walks you basically put your feet on a scooter (gym-class style!) and you use your hands to “walk” yourself across the gym floor.  We did that 5 times and, somehow, I ended up doing 6 times.  This was probably the hardest workout in WOD, and I wished I would’ve stuck it out with the wall-climbs.

CF WOD

Pros:

  • Incorporates strength-training moves
  • Challenges you to work hard and push yourself for personal bests
  • Modifies exercises based on your fitness ability
  • Personal attention

Cons:

  • Would’ve liked more dynamic stretching/warmup
  • more focused on reps rather than proper form
  • no cool down or stretching included
  • first 1/2 hour was slower-paced and very instructional and not a lot of doing

Overall, I’d like to give Crossfit another shot.  I could see myself really loving certain workouts, especially when they incorporate running sprints, but I don’t see myself loving it enough to make it a routine thing.  I still like my barre classes because I leave there feeling like I’ve worked every single muscle group in my body.  Hubs and I have talked about trying out the Crossfit gym near our house since it’s the only Reebok certified Crossfit gym in WI AND they offer a free introductory class on Saturdays just for first-timers.

Now that I’ve tried Crossfit, I can definitely see why there is such a big following.  It is the one workout that I’ve tried where you can actually track your progress in the studio and watch yourself get progressively better.  I do love a workout that pushes you to beat your own time :-)

Have you tried Crossfit?  Thoughts? Love it or hate?

Timing is Everything

Happy Sunday!  I hope you’re enjoying your weekend.  Ours has been pretty relaxing.  Madelyn and I bundled up and headed out to the gym yesterday for a 6 miler on the treadmill, while she ran around at the kids club.  I’m ready for winter to be OVER.  The only thing that got me through 6 miles on the treadmill was reading Runner’s World on the iPad.  Today, my mom came over and watched Madelyn for me while I tortured my thighs at Barre…in a good way of course ;-)

So yesterday, after my run I was pretty proud of myself for having another good long run on the treadmill.  I texted my sister if she wanted to come celebrate with me by drinking some wine and eating gourmet frozen pizza, compliments of Trader Giotto’s.  She happily accepted :-) I usually reserve my few glasses of wine for the weekends.  I’ve found that when I have even one glass during the week, when I have to wake up super early, I’m extremely tired in the morning and all day long.  Totally not worth it.  Last Thursday, a co-worker texted me and asked if I was drinking wine…I responded with “No but, should I be?”  Instead, I was drinking camomile tea while reading Runner’s World in bed.  Wild, I know.  29 going on 70 here folks!

While I was browsing Facebook the other day, I came across an article that really put a damper on my weekend wine consumption: alcohol slows down fat-burning and your metabolism!  I knew it wasn’t good to drink if you were trying to lose weight, but I figured it was just because of the sugar/empty calories.  I tried to go back and look for the article so I could link it, but I didn’t have any luck :-/ To sum it up, it basically said that the timing of your drinks after a workout really mattered, but if you wait too long and drink too close to bed time, it can disrupt your sleep.  So what’s a girl to do?  Luckily, I’ve been getting my weekend workouts done first thing in the morning so it’s not too much of an issue.  It also helps that after one glass of wine, I’m feeling pretty good :-)  I am also making more of an effort to switch over to water a few hours before bed.  I hate feeling tired on the weekends.

wine

So what’s on the workout schedule/menu this week?

Sunday: Barre Bee / Beef & Broccoli with brown rice (recipe up this week!)

Monday: Barre Bee + Run 3 mi / Chicken Tortilla Soup

Tuesday: A new to me workout…stay tuned!

Wednesday: Barre Bee + 4 mile run

Thursday: Run 3.5 miles + gym workout with my mom!

Friday: Interval Barre

I didn’t share too many meal ideas for this week, but I went to the store and bought a bunch of random things :-/ So much for meal prep this week.  I have a lot of stuff in my refrigerator and cupboards that I’ve been wanting to use up.  So, dinner’s kind of a toss up this week.  We’ll see what kind of creations I come up with :-)

I’m off to go finish watching the Grammys and later on, GIRLS!   Have a great night!

Clean house, Happy House

Happy Monday Friends!  Did everyone enjoy a long weekend?  I feel like weekends are never long enough.  I had Friday off of work.  Instead of doing something fun and enjoying the day, Madelyn went to daycare and I went to a quick workout class and then home to clean.  It’s much easier to do a deep cleaning when there isn’t a toddler running around destroying everything in her path.  After 5+ hours of cleaning, I promised myself that I would never spend a Friday off of work cleaning again.  Enter the long awaited chore chart.  cleanhousehappyhouse

I’m surprised this wasn’t done sooner.  But it is here and I’m really hoping that it works, because spending your whole day cleaning is zero fun.

Also done this weekend?  My longest run since the Chicago Marathon.  After the marathon, I look a very long, much needed break from running.  It was nice to casually get back into it and run for fun not because I had to.  I had been keeping it around 3 or 4 miles each run, mostly because that’s all I could muster for the treadmill.  But on Saturday, I was feeling really good and I just kept going.

5miler5 miles done.  Now to increase my mileage and get ready for a half marathon in March.

Here’s what’s on the workout and dinner schedule this week:

Monday: Barre & leftovers from date night in (Recipe coming this week!)

Tuesday: Easy 3 miles/pasta with italian sausage, veggies and sauce

Wednesday: Barre/roasted chicken and butternut squash

Thursday: Run 3.5 + core / Fish tacos and beans

Friday: Much needed rest day! No set dinner plans.

I’m off to go get dinner prepared for Madelyn and then to get studying for my NASM test.  I hope everyone has a good week!

What’s the one household chore you hate the most?  Mine would be cleaning the shower!  Luckily, I came across a very helpful pin that will hopefully make it less painless.

Meals & Workouts for the Week + a Cardio Playlist

Oh Monday…so nice to see you :-)  To say it’s been a long week and weekend would be an understatement.  A long week followed by a drill weekend is no bueno, but it did end on a high note:

GIRLS

GIRLS is back on TV!  So excited and thrilled to see what’s in store for Season 3.

Last week’s workouts consisted mostly of low-mileage runs and barre classes.  I’m just getting over some kind of sickness and my lungs were just not feeling it.  I didn’t complete a run longer than 4 miles.

This week, I’m feeling better and am starting to train for a 1/2 marathon I have coming up in March.  I’m hoping to get outside today for a run since it’s so nice!  I can’t remember the last run I had outside.

Here’s what’s on the agenda for this week:

Monday: Strength train plus run 4 miles / Spaghetti with veggies & pasta sauce
Tuesday: Run 3 miles + Abs and lower body / Slow cooker Sweet potato Chili
Wednesday: Barre Bee / leftovers
Thursday: 3 mile run + abs /Meatloaf from Runner’s World Cookbook
Friday: stretching & foam rolling

One of the things that’s been getting me through runs on the treadmill are my playlists that I’ve made on Spotify.  Inspired by some of the music I heard at barre, I decided to make a DIVAS cardio playlist.  It’s pretty much awesome.