Only a few hours left to enjoy of the weekend!  NO! :)

This afternoon was a tad stressful because there were a few issues with tomorrow’s BIG surprise, so while I was at the grocery store I picked up some fresh flowers.

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And immediately felt better.  Flowers do that, ya know?

Dinner tonight was a little bit of a mix n’ match.

I wanted to use a summer butternut squash I received from Bella Bean last week.

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After I peeled of the skin, and removed the seeds, I cut it into cubes and placed it in a baking dish.

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On top I sprinkled:

  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

I baked it at 375 for 45 minutes.  The aroma reminded me of Thanksgiving!

While those are the measurements I used, I would recommend using less butter.  The final result was very buttery.  It was delicious, but I could have done with a little less butter.

We also made BBQ pork chops.

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And grilled okra.

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I brushed a wee bit of olive oil on the okra before it was placed on the grill, and added a sprinkle of S & P.

For a dipping sauce, we used chili & garlic sauce.

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This made the okra a little more bearable :)  I am not yet sold on the taste of okra, and think I may try frying it next time.

Even thought there was a little Southern…

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BBQ pork.

A little Asian…

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 Because of the Asian dipping sauce of course!

And a little Thanksgiving…

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 It was fabulous!

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Dessert followed dinner almost immediately.

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Vanilla ice cream with Recee’s Pieces!

Before I head back to finalizing the surprise, I must apologize that I forgot to post snack suggestion #10 & #11 the past two days!!  I can’t believe I did that…  So tonight I leave you with THREE! (insert your hooray’s)

Snack suggestion #10

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A hard-boiled egg with freshly ground black pepper.

Snack suggestion #11

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Greek yogurt with chopped almonds and honey.

And last but not least….

Snack suggestion #12

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One whole-wheat English muffin with peanut butter (or almond butter).

Has anyone tried any of the snack suggestions yet?  Which one(s)?

Can’t wait for tomorrow morning!

Boy is this Sunday flying by!  I have been spending hours on the computer working on a BIG surprise I have for you tomorrow!

Remember those blueberry pancakes we brought home from Elmo’s after our brunch?  We dug into those around 4 p.m. yesterday afternoon.

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They were sooo good and were full of warm blueberries (after we heated them up in the oven)!

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They were a great afternoon snack :)

We couldn’t figure out what to do for dinner, and neither of us were motivated to whip something up a home, so we got pizza!

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Plain cheese with a stolen piece of Chris’s pepperoni.  The slice was enormous!

I also got a side Greek salad.

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And to celebrate the completion of our first triathlon, we opened a bottle of cabernet savignon that my parents brought back from Italy for us.

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Great job picking out a bottle of wine mom & dad!  It was delicious and so smooth.  I had one glass before we headed to the bowling alley to meet our friends Ashley & Matt.

They arrived before us and we caught them playing Duke Hunter!

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Too funny.

And what’s bowling without beer?  We got a pitcher of bud light for the four of us.

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The bar even provided frosted mugs!

We ended up bowling 3 and a half games, and had a little fun with the last one -everyone was required to bowl with their opposite hand.

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My first left handed bowl I got a strike, and every frame after that I got a gutter ball.  No joke!  I was awful.

But I had fun!

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And now onto breakfast and lunch today!

My arms were sore when I got up this morning, but I couldn’t figure out if it was because of bowling, or the tri? :)

For breakfast I made myself (and Chris) PB & J on awhole wheat bagel.

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I used organic peanut butter from Earth Fare and Smucker’s blackberry jam.

And also had a  side of blueberries.

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Breakfast hit the spot.

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As did lunch!

After breakfast we picked up friends from the airport, and took Nylah for a 3 mile trail walk, and before we knew it we were hungry for lunch!

I had some leftover Greek salad and leftover chicken.

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There wasn’t much salad leftover so I had to add some spinach, carrots, and green peppers.  And I used the dressing that it came with last night.

As a side I had some Kashi crackers and Laughing Cow cheese.

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 I probably should have had a sandwich since my 7 day no sandwich challenge begins tomorrow! :)

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So there ya go – three meals in one post!

I am off to the grocery store to try and figure out what I should have for lunch all week!

Chris and I successfully completed our first sprint triathlon!  I had so much fun and can’t wait to do another! 

We left our apartment at 6:45 this morning and walked out the door into a wall of humidity.  Sweet.  I guess I should be used it by now??  And the temperature on our car read 77 degrees.  We thought the forecast was for clouds and thunderstorms, which we were psyched about because we didn’t want to bike & run in the sun.  Of course when we showed up to the tri site it was bright and sunny – which made it feel that much hotter. 

Here I am getting my transition area ready.

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I look like a big dork :)

And here’s my swim to bike and bike to run gear.

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I swam in a full piece bathing suit, and pulled on a pair of running shorts for the bike & run.  I didn’t wear the padded bike shorts because it would have been too uncomfortable to run in them, and it’s not like the bike leg was that long.  I can deal with a sore bum for a day or two :)

After we finished getting our transition areas ready, we dug into some bagels with peanut butter.  We weren’t hungry enough to eat as soon as we got up, and wanted to fuel up closer to the start time, so we brought these with us.

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And we split a banana 1/2 hour before the swim.

Speaking of the swim, I’m not sure I would do another sprint tri that involves swimming in a pool.  It was crowded, and hot, and no one had proper passing etiquette.  I had to barrel over people a couple of times :)

But aside from that, I loved it!  I don’t know what my official time and splits were.  But I believe I finished in 1 hour and 20 minutes, and if I had to guess, here’s what I think my splits were:

  • 400 meter swim – 7 min. 15 seconds
  • 12 mile bike – 46 min.
  • 5K – 26 min.

Chris started about two minutes behind me, and ended up catching up to me with one mile left in the run (if he was a stronger swimmer, he would have passed me on the bike). I told him to go ahead once he caught up with me, but he said he wanted to cross the finish line with me (sweet, huh?). Of course when we were 50 yards from the finish line, Mr. Competitive decided to take off so another guy wouldn’t beat him.  I tried to keep up but my legs just couldn’t do it!

We didn’t stick around for the awards ceremony because we wanted to treat ourselves to brunch.  Once we scrubbed our numbers off and cleaned up, we went to Elmo’s Diner.

One our way to breakfast, maybe an hour after the race, the sky looked like this.

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I take back my complaining about the sun being out during our race!  I think I preferred that over the downpour we ran into 2 minutes after I took this picture and the constant thunder & lightning.

I had the hardest time deciding what to order for brunch.  I was hungry, but wasn’t really in the mood for anything – especially breakfast items.  I finally decided on a chicken cesear wrap.

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Which came with fries.

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And coleslaw.

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The dressing came on the side, which I liked.  Usually chicken cesear wraps either have way too much, or way too little dressing.  Don’t you agree?

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I ate everything except the coleslaw (have never been a fan of mayonnaise), and a couple of fries.

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We also ordered two blueberry pancakes to go, which we are looking forward to later!

Now it’s time for a movie and a snooze :)

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekends!

Chris and I picked up our race packets and surveyed the triathlon scene earlier this evening!  We also attended an informational meeting for “first timers”.  We were happy to see we weren’t the only ones :)

I mentioned before that I was not thrilled that the swimming portion was in a pool, but I’m sure there will be plenty of other opportunities to do an open water swim tri!

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We will swim 16 lengths total, 2  lengths per lane.  I hope I don’t bump into anyone!  After we checked out the pool we drove the bike course so that we could familiarize ourselves with it.  Doesn’t seem too hilly or anything – thankfully!

In addition to a t-shirt, we got a few other goodies in our race bag.

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Endurolytes capsules, which I’ve never seen before, but they apparently offer superior cramp prevention.

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And Hammer Gel, which I have also never used.  I have used GU and Power Gel before and they’re similar enough.  Not sure I’m digging the apples & cinnamon flavor though?

Once we got home we fired up the grill for chicken and boiled some water for pasta.

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Once the chicken was on and the pasta was cooking, I chopped up some squash & green peppers to saute in garlic and evoo.

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For a sauce I used Bertolli’s tomato & basil (bogo this week!)

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Please disregard the almost overflowing pot of pasta in the background :)

For flavor I kept it simple and added:

  • S & P
  • Garlic powder
  • Red pepper flakes

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Red pepper in pasta is a must!

Chris did an excellent job grilling the chicken.

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Which was placed on top of a plate of pasta.

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To top if off I added a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and some fresh basil.

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I wanted our meal to include:

  • Carbs – whole wheat pasta
  • Protein – grilled chicken
  • Healthy fat – olive oil

I thought my plate was huge, but I think I’m feeling a little hungry again at the moment?  I may need some toast and almond butter or something.

Before my race tomorrow I plan to eat a bagel with peanut butter and a banana.  The swimming portion officially starts at 8:00 a.m., but since Chris and signed up so late our start time isn’t until 8:50.  That’s a lot of waiting around!

I’m off to go get everything ready! Wish me luck!

Does a wrap count as a sandwich??  It probably does, huh?

I braved the blistering heat and humidity and went home again for lunch today.  Even though I’m only outside for probably 15 minutes total (if you include Nylah’s walk) , it’s such a shock to the system when you go from freezing AC to temps that feel like 100!

I was out of bread, so for lunch I made a Flat Out wrap with:

  • Turkey
  • Avocado
  • Mozzarella
  • Spinach
  • Dijon mustard

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Mmmm… mozzarella.

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I used avocado to include a healthy fat – and also because I love the taste!

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I was starving when I got home so this was gone in about 5 seconds.

It took me about 10 seconds to finish this.

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Carrots and hummus.

And 10 more seconds to finish these.

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A handful of Kashi crackers.

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And then I had a stomach ache because I ate too fast.  Typical.

I brought a banana and some fruit leather with me as an afternoon snack, and tonight we are going to load up on carbs!

See ya!

Happy Friday!

I’m starting to get really excited about tomorrow’s triathlon. I think I may even sleep in my bathing suit tonight.  Just joking!

I was in the mood for a protein filled breakfast this morning, so I threw together some tomato & basil scrambled eggs.  For two, I used 5 eggs and a dash of milk.

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Be prepared to see basil in most of our meals in the next week week :)

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I also added some S & P and garlic powder.  No tabasco this time!

And I had the last piece of Omega-3 seed bread with almond butter.

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I am slowly started to phase out my cereal-every-day routine!

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Let’s just hope I can do the same with sandwiches :)

Now onto something fitness related – the benefits of swimming.

Last night at the BBQ, I was talking to a few friends about how much I loved to swim.  From a young age I have enjoyed swimming. I was involved with a summer swim league from age 5 to 15, and was on the swim team my freshman year of high school. 

Here are a few reasons why I enjoy swimming so much:

  • It’s a low impact exercise – so I dont’ have to worry about pressure on my joints
  • It’s a full body workout
  • It improves cardiovascular conditioning, muscle strength, and endurance
  • I find it relaxing

During our swimming discussion, someone brought up the question of whether or not swimming burns fat.  I had not really thought about this before, so I did some research.

And what did I find?  A lot of conflicting information!

  • One article said swimming is less effective than other forms of exercise at promoting weight loss, and has a minor impact on metabolic rate after exercise.
  • Another article said that swimming leads to the growth and strength of lean muscle and muscle growth means metabolism growth, which increases the ability to burn fat consistently.  The same article states that swimming burns more calories than most any other aerobic exercises.

Confused?  Me too!

Here are my thoughts:

  • Regardless of how much fat swimming burns, it is an excellent low impact, full body workout!
  • Losing weight is about burning calories & swimming is  aerobic – so you are burning calories!
  • For maximum benefit, vary your workout routine.  Don’t just swim or run or bike everyday.  Your muscles get used to the same thing and will eventually plateau. Mix up your cardio workouts and combine them with strentgh training.

Does anyone have any additional information on the benefits of swimming and whether or not it burns fat?

 

I was so happy for the workday to come to an end today.  Boy does it feel good that tomorrow is Friday!  After I got home I made my way up to the gym and ran an easy 3 miles on the treadmill and swam 20 laps in the pool.  Tomorrow will be a day of rest, relaxation, and rolling on the foam roller!

For dinner tonight we went to the Fuqua Partner’s BBQ #2. There was now way I was going to miss out on Mike grilling!

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He looks much happier than last time, huh? :)

Here’s what was offered:

  • Bratwurst with grilled peppers and onions
  • Chicken wings – buffalo style and honey glaze
  • Cheeseburgers
  • Turkey burgers
  • Various salads (pasta, potato, spinach)
  • Chips, chips, and more chips!

Everything was delicious!  Which was no surprise since Mike was in charge of the grill.

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I had a turkey burger with cheese.

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And some grilled onions.

I had some of the spinach, celery, feta, & craisins salad that I brought.

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And some fresh grapes.

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Not too shabby.

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Doesn’t the cheese kind of look like fondant icing?  Or maybe I’ve been watching Ace of Cakes too much?

I was very proud that I restrained myself from getting chips!  It was mostly because I was chit chatting a lot and could never make it over to the chip table, but still…

And for dessert I had a piece of yellow cake with a chocolate glaze icing.

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It was just OK.  Kidding Jen!  It was delicious! :)

I now present you with snack suggestion #9!  Whoa, two in one day – you guys are lucky :)

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A Larabar!  Or any energy bar that contains at least 4 grams of protein.

See you in the morning….

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