Beverages


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?

 

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Good morning!

Last night I learned that riding a road bike is 100x easier than riding a mountain bike.  Why do I even own one?  I’ve only gone mountain biking once!  I think I’m going to sell it and then buy a road bike (or look for one on Craigslist).

Chris and  hit the American Tobacco Trail yesterday and road a smooth 10 miles.  It was SO much more enjoyable than our bike ride on Tuesday.  After our ride I ran two miles and Chris went off to play soccer. 

Oh, and Chris ended up doing a great job of picking out a bathing suit and bike shorts for me.  I was very impressed. Thanks Chris!  Can’t wait to test everything out!

As for dinenr last night, I am not quite sure where my pictures went,  but I guess you could say it looked something like this:

omelete

I had a 1 egg, 2 egg whites omelete with:

  • Green peppers
  • Banana peppers
  • Jalapenos
  • Sun gold tomatoes

And a side of Kashi Crackers and Laughing Cow cheese.

Once Chris got home from soccer we went to the local pub, Dains, for trivia night!  We both swore we were going to abstain from alcohol all week because of the triathlon, but both of us couldn’t help getting one beer to sip on :)

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I got a Triangle Brewery Blegian White Ale.

Trivia night didn’t go exactly as planned.  We couldn’t even hear any of the questions!  So we just ended up chatting with friends.

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And now onto this morning!

I mixed things up slightly this morning.  I wasn’t in the mood for cereal & milk, or granola & yogurt, so I had cereal & yogurt!

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What is that??

It’s a mix of Kashi Autumn Wheat & Island Vanilla crushed by a meat pounder.  I decided I want to add crushed cereal to my yogurt :)

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I used Stonyfield raspberry yogurt, and added sliced peaches to incorporate a serving of fruit.

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I really enjoyed the mix of crunchy and creamy!

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Good stuff.  I can’t wait to make it again.

Since I wasn’t able to share snack suggestion # 8 with you last night, you’ll find it below!

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Melba Toast with cream cheese and cranberries.

Enjoy your day!

We made it back safe and sound from a long weekend in Georgia.  And what a great weekend it was!
Are you nice and comfy?   This one’s gonna be a long one I think :)
 
Thursday

We brought a few snacks with us in the car.  I had some cavity causing gummy worms.

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I only had two :) And a pear.

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We arrived around 7:30 p.m. and immediately dove into some pizza and beer.

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Yuengling!

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Mellow Mushroom!  Yum!  I had a slice of white and a slice of the Philosopher (steak, portobello, mushrooms, artichokes, olives, feta).  Looks like a weird combo but it was superb!

Since we had been sitting in the car for 5 hours, after dinner we took a little stroll to the ice cream shop up the street.  We probably walked a little over a mile.

I got a mix of cinnamon vanilla and white chocolate ice cream

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It was delicious!

Friday

On Friday morning the guys woke up early to play golf, and my sister-in-law had to work, so my mom and I went on a nice nature trail walk.

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I think we walked for about an hour.  And boy was it muggy!

Before our walk, I had a half a bagel with butter, and a bowl of plain yogurt with peaches and honey

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 And a cup of coffee.

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Check out this cool eco-friendly coffee carafe!

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It removes all impurities.  This coffee was ten times better than the kind we make at home :)

After our walk we drove 1.5 hours to Marietta, GA to visit my Aunt Louise, my mom’s oldest sister.

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For 11 years, we would to drive to Marietta for two weeks during the summer to visit my Aunt and Uncle.

It had been 15 years since I had been there! 

We met the guys in Marietta Square after their round of golf for some lunch.  We pretty much just picked the first place we could find.

I got a Cajun chicken sandwich with steak fries.

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 I polished off every bite, with the exception of the top half of the bun.

We dropped my aunt off after lunch and then headed back to Athens in an effort to beat the Atlanta traffic.  Because of all the sitting in the car again, Chris, my mom, and I took a walk to a place I have never been before!

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Earth Fare!  I’ve heard such great things about this health food store.  I’m so jealous my brother and sister-in-law can walk to it!

I picked up:

  • Organic creamy peanut butter
  • Vanilla granola
  • Agave nectar
  • Shredded coconut

I wish I could have bought a lot more but didn’t have room to bring it back with me!

Once we got back we freshened up for dinner.  We had reservations at Farm 255, a restaurant that serves local foods in season.

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My brother actually volunteers to help out at the farm. 

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Family pic!

This restaurant was unbelievable!  I had such a hard time figuring out what to order so I ordered a glass of sauvignon blanc while I pondered over the menu.

Hi Mom!

Hi Mom!

For appetizers we shared a cantaloupe & ginger chilled soup with curried pumpkin seeds, and a bowl of muscles with chorizo and cherry tomatoes.

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For an entrée, I ended up choosing the shrimp & grits because it was their specialty and I have yet to have tried shrimp & grits since we’ve been in the south.

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So, so good.

I was very close to getting the pulled pork.

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But had a taste of my sister-in-laws instead.

After dinner we walked around down town for a bit before heading home and turning in for the night.

Saturday

Saturday included more driving! A huge thank you to Chris for carting us around everywhere.

Before we set out in the car again, Chris and I went for a nice sweaty 3 mile jog.  My legs needed it!

After our run I had a multi-grain bagel with 1/2 cream cheese and 1/2 peanut butter.

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Then we drove to Lake Chatuge in Hiawassee, GA to visit my Aunt & Uncle, which was about a 2 hour drive.

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What a nice day it was to be at the lake!  This was the view from their driveway.

It was a very enjoyable trip.

We enjoyed some cold cuts and chips for lunch.

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We enjoyed a boat ride.

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And enjoyed a swim in the lake.

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Even Nylah joined us with her noodle!

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Then we enjoyed a game of ladder golf.

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 And enjoyed cocktail hour.

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Enjoyed some snacks.

That's my brother's fingers, trying to be annoying :)

  That’s my brother’s fingers, trying to be annoying :)

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Juicy watermelon.

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Scrumptious strawberries.

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And some more wine :)

Then we enjoyed dinner.

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Roast beef, rice, and green beans.

And lastly we enjoyed dessert!

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Vanilla ice cream with strawberries!  My favorite.

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

On Sunday morning we took a group nature walk for an hour, and then went out to brunch.

At the suggestion of many, we went to The Last Resort.

We were seated way in the back by the kitchen, which was not ideal for picture taking, so I only took one shot of my food.

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A wild mushroom omelet with tomatoes & jack cheese, new potatoes, fruit, and a scone.

Chris and I also shared a side of bacon.

It hit the spot!

And before we knew it, we were on the road again.  Most of us were pooped and needed a nap on the ride home. 

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Especially Nylah :)

Once we got back home Chris and I ran out to get something for dinner.  I had a falafel wrap – it was not that good.

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But I was starving so I ate the whole thing :)

So who stuck around to read the whole thing?!??! :)

This week I have a guest blogger planned and will also be implementing some changes to my blog so please bear with me!

Also – snack suggestions will resume tomorrow!

Hope you all had a great weekend! Night, night!

Holy hot.  There is a heat advisory until Tuesday and when you walk outside it is just a wall of thick, hot air.  It’s 8:30 and weather.com says it feels like 99 right now. There’s not much you can do to cool off other than sit in a tub of ice cubes.

Needless to say, the lake this afternoon wasn’t all that refreshing.  We did have our own private little beach though!

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And Nylah swam without hesitation for the first time!

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Fetching a stick did the trick.

We stayed at the lake for about an hour, and then made our way back to our apt.  In an attempt to cool off, we were hoping to pass a Dairy Queen on the way home for some ice cream, but settled for frosty’s from Wendy’s.

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Did you know that Wendy’s has vanilla frosty’s now?!?  Woo hoo!  I’ll choose vanilla over chocolate any day.

We made our way up to the pool with friends after we got home assuming that the pool water would keep us cool.  Um, no, not really.  But it was better than sitting on a chair in the hot sun. 

As I was contemplating other ways to cool off, a lightbulb went off in my head.  An ice cold beer would do the trick of course!

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Skinny Dip!  This was the first time I’ve tried this beer and it was very refreshing.

After another one of those it was BBQ time! 

Here’s some of the snacks we had lying around.

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I had way too many handfuls of chips, and way too much pita & hummus, but I enjoyed every single bite :)

Grillmaster Mike made this amazing pulled pork he slaved over last night. It was gone in seconds!

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And check out the wide array of sauces he brought for it.

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Clearly I choose the hot sauce option.

The grillmaster at work.

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What a trooper.  Only Mike would be excited about grilling for 50 people in 100 degrees.  Although he doesn’t look too excited, does he?  He was, I promise.

In addition to the pulled pork, there were hot dogs, hamburgers, and turkey burgers.

I stuck with just the pulled pork though since I rarely ever get a chance to eat it.

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I also had a scoop of potato salad and peach coleslaw. 

And for dessert?

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Some sort of cheesecake with a strawberry and whipped cream topping.  If I waited any longer to eat it, it would have been cheesecake ice cream :)

2nd year Fuqua Partners rock :) 

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What the heck is a Fuqua Partner??  We’re the wives/husbands/significant others of Fuqua business school students.

Despite the heat, it was a fun day, and I’m glad Nylah got a chance to swim.  Since I didn’t get around to cleaning the aptartment, I’ll have that to keep me busy tomorrow night.

Ready for snack suggestion #2 before I go?

A small bowl of plain oatmeal topped with berries and a splash of skim milk.

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Yum!

There was a great turn out at Happy Hour last night!  We went to Alivia’s on Main St. around 6 p.m.  I went to Alivia’s for the first time a few weeks ago, and have now been three times since then.  Not sure why we never went there last year?  It has the best outdoor seating!

I decompressed from work with a Corona Light.

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And a lime :)

And a plate of nachos were shared between the table.

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I had two chips before they were whisked away to the other end of the table.

Following one more Corona Light, we got hungry and decided to walk across the street to Niko’s for some Greek food.

We had never been there before, but I think the fact that the restaurant was pretty much empty should have been a sign that we should have turned back around.

But then we saw that Busch Light was on special for a $1!  Score!

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For an appetizer, we split two hummus platters amongst the table.

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This hummus was deeelicious!

Chris and I also split the mixed greens salad.

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It was topped with carrots, tomatoes, onions, and a feta dressing.  It was good, but the dressing was very oily.

For my entree I got a shrimp & mushroom dish in a red sauce, with feta on top.

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It was also very oily. I kept having to dab the shirmp and mushrooms on the side fo the plate.

While I’m glad we tried Niko’s out, I’m not sure I will be running back there anytime soon.

It was almost 10:30 by the time we left dinner, so Chris and I just came home and crashed.

What’s your favorite Greek dish?

There were several reasons for celebrating tonight:

  • Chris completed his 10 week internship!
  • New student orientation is over! (Chris was the co-chair of the new student orientation that took place last weekend, which was fun and successful, and which he spent months and months and months preparing for)
  • This is the first time in 4 years that we haven’t had to move! 

Yes, that’s right, we have moved every year for the past 4 years (actually for Chris, it’s been like 7).  You should probably just consider us professional movers :)

I’m not sure about you guys, but I think all of the above are reasons to celebrate.  So what did we do? 

Went out for Sushi!

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Mt Fuji in Brightleaf Square has buy one get one free sushi all the time! How can you pass that up??

And it just so happened that they had half-priced martini’s too. :)  I am normally not a martini fan, but I am fan of things that are half-priced!

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I ordered the French Martini.  It was pretty good.  A little sweet, but overall good.  And the best part?

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There was a cherry at the bottom! I love cherries!

For an appetizer, we ordered the fried calamari.  We almost ordered the grilled calamari, and I kept hearing this voice inside my head saying  – “Meg, you know the grilled is healthier, the grilled is healthier…”  But you know what?  I like the fried better!  And I don’t eat fried food all that often.

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It was mmmm, mmmm, good.

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I definitely ate half the plate.

We ordered 4 sushi rolls for dinner.  But they were specialty rolls so I can’t remember the names of them all.  I do know that we had a wasabi roll, and a rainbow roll.

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I know this one (above) was the wasabi roll.

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And this was a piece of rainbow roll.

We had discussed getting gelatto from next store, but we were so stuffed and decided to pass.

Of course a half hour after we got back from dinner Chris made this.

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At first I didn’t think I wanted any, and just when I asked for a bite he had the last spoonful in his mouth!  Bummer! I was still feeling pretty full anyway I guess. :)

Must. go. drink. water. now.  Too much sodium!

Congrats Chris!

And yay for Friday tomorrow!

Not quite sure I agree with the “no pain, no gain” motto.  I mean, what can I possibly gain from having a painful IT band?  I have gained a lot of frustration for sure, but I don’t think that counts :)

Last night I went on a 3 mile trail walk with some friends and my IT band was very tight by the end. I rolled on my foam roller for what felt like hours when I got home, trying to release some of the tightness, and popped an Aleve.  Then I did a couple rotating exercises on the Bosu Ball.  These exercises really strengthen your core.

3 sets of 10 push ups

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Notice that my back, legs, and hips are in a straight line (at least they should be!)- I actually think I could improve on this a bit after seeing this photo..

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And continue to be in a straight line as I lower.

I also did 3 sets of 25 bicycle sit ups.IMG_1186

And 3 sets of boat pose held for 30 seconds.

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I am a very visual person, so I thought it would be helpful to show pictures of my Bosu Ball exercises.

After my quickie workout, I went over to Jen’s for dinner, drinks, and dessert.

My contribution was a sweet cabbage salad.

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This was super easy to make, and I used my food processor to chop up all the veggies. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups shredded cabbage (about 1/2 head)
  • 1 cup shredded carrot (I used red pepper because I didn’t have carrots)
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 chopped red onion (I left this out)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1.2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard (I didn’t have dry mustard so I used my standard Dijon)
  • 1/2 tsp celery seeds (didn’t have these so I added two stalks of chopped celery)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl; toss well.  Combine sugar and remaining ingredients in a mall bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Pour vinegar mixture over cabbage mixture, tossing genlty to combine.  Cover; hill 1 hour.

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A much healthier option that your standard cole slaw :)

Jen made some delicious chicken & veggies kabobs with pineapple.

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While the kabobs were grilling, I had a class of Penfold’s Koonuga Hill Shiraz Cabernet.  One of my go-to wines! 

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It was so good that I had another glass with dinner :)

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Good stuff!  And oh my, wait until you see what we had for dessert!

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Coconut cake!  Happy Birthday Ashley!

With vanilla bean ice cream.

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Heaven.  Really.

Although I think from all the sugar I had a hard time falling asleep?  Totally worth it though :)

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Despite the tightness in my leg last night, I went to the gym this morning and did the elliptical.  I know, I shouldn’t have gone.  But the elliptical has never bothered my IT band before!

I planned to do a 40 min. crescendo.  I rarely maintain the same level and speed on the elliptical becuse I tend to get bored.

After a 5 minute warm up on level 5, I increased the level by one every 2 minutes.  Once I reached level 13, I decreased the level every two minutes.  Only I had to stop after 32 minutes because my IT band hurt too much :(

So I did some upper body strength training:

  • 3 sets of 12 bicep curls (10lb free weights)
  • 3 sets of 12 triceps pull downs (20lbs on weight machine)
  • 3 sets of 12 seated row (40lbs on weight machine)
  • 3 sets of 8 lateral arm raises (8lb free weights)

Followed by several minutes of rolling on the foam roller and stretching my IT band.

Followed by a bowl of steel cut oats :)

Oats are really starting to grow on me!  I had some leftover from the batch I made yesterday.

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Cran-almond oats with a sprinkle of cinnamon (those are Craisins).

I added a splash of milk and microwaved them for two minutes to warm them up.

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I enjoyed them very much. 

And I hope you all enjoy your day very much!

I know it’s early, but I’m already looking forward to dessert tonight!  I’m going to a very unique place :)

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