Booty Bronze: Get your Workout Outdoors

The ultimate summer holiday weekend is upon us and I’m ready to soak up the sun on the last few days of summer. I have a pool 10 steps from the front door of my apartment and it is calling my name.

IMG_1736IMG_1372

In my world, summer long weekends mean swimsuits, rosy cheeks and towel dried hair. They also mean that I don’t see the inside of a gym. Since I have a job that keeps me indoors, I go a little stir crazy if not spending a sunny Saturday outside. I also tend to get a little grumpy when I don’t get my endorphins fix. So, why not combine the two?

Here are a few ways I like to take my workout outside:

  • Running: This is the easiest and most obvious way to take your workout outdoors. Want to add in a little strength training? Mix up your run by breaking it into 3 minute intervals. Stop every 3 minutes to do triceps dips on a park bench, push ups on the pavement, crunches in the grass, and lunges down the street. IMG_1272
  • Pool Workout: Try this pool workout that mixes in strength training and cardio. Best part about this one? You don’t even have to put on a sports bra!

water_workout_dip1

(source)

  • Bike: Grab a friend and go for a ride around the neighborhood, local trails or mountains. The weekend is a great time to explore new areas with your bike. Bring a picnic basket and stop for lunch!

IMG_0697 IMG_0707

  • Lake: Summertime in Indiana means lakes and boating. If you’re at the lake, try out some water sports. Skiing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding and even tubing (you WILL be sore!) are great ways to get a workout in. Don’t have a boat? Go for a swim or tread water for 30 seconds on and off.

IMG_1230

  • Paddleboarding: This summer’s craze seems to be paddleboarding. Standing on this surf board in the water will work your core, balance skills and arms while you row down the river. Surf the web for local outfitter shops in your area to rent a board. Most places let you rent them by the hour.

Unknown

(source)

  • Take a hike: Beat the heat and hit the shaded trails for a hiking adventure with your friends. Search for parks in your area (even flat Ohio has hiking spots!), or take a short trip to hoof a few hills. I promise your glutes will thank you.

DSC07311

Cheers to the weekend! Have a fun and SAFE Labor Day!

What will you be doing this Labor Day weekend? 

Any other suggestions for outdoor activity?

Advertisements

Last Wedding Before My Own!

I’m still alive! No worries, I don’t post on Mondays remember? I’m trying to get better at blogging on the weekends, but my weekends are extremely full of wedding planning and working on my tan.  😀 Anyway, this past weekend was no exception and I had a fantastic time at one of my good friend from high school’s wedding. It was the last one I’ll be attending before my own, so the experience was a little surreal for me! The wedding was in Ohio, so you know what that means… Florist, videographer and pastor appointments flooded my calendar and RSVP cards were begging to be opened.

We spent a few hours on Friday night going through our RSVP’s and laughing at all of the funny responses we got. Our RSVP cards were Mad Libs style and I’ll be writing a post about them soon. 🙂

I woke up bright and early Saturday morning to get a 5 mile run in before errands took over my day. I always feel better when I get a good workout in before a busy day, it just makes me a little bit more calm. And I definitely needed the calmness on Saturday. We met with our wedding videographer and then drove straight to the church for our final meeting with our Pastor. It was so weird to actually start talking about vows and our ceremony timing. It’s actually happening!

After our meeting, we went to my parent’s for lunch where my mom filled me in on her appointment with the florist. I wasn’t able to go to the florist meeting because I overbooked myself on Saturday (womp womp), but I sent my very capable mom with all of my notes and pictures. After lunch it was time to get ready for the wedding!

One of my good friends from high school married her high school sweet heart of 8 years! It was so special to watch two people you have seen together for so long, finally tie the knot. They have been through so much together and truly belong together. My heart pretty much melted on the floor when they pronounced them husband and wife.

The wedding was a beautiful mix of teal, purple and black and the bridesmaids carried broach bouquets. This was the first time I had seen this done and I thought it was so unique and beautiful. It’s strange when you are planning a wedding, you start to look at other weddings a little differently. You appreciate the time it took the bride to make a seating chart and you notice creative details a lot more than before. 🙂

IMG_1733

The bride was absolutely stunning and seemed so relaxed the whole day. I hope I’ll be that relaxed!

IMG_1731

This wedding was a lot of fun because so many of my high school friends were there! These two ladies, Lauren and Amy, have been my best friends since 6th grade and will also be standing up with me in my wedding.

IMG_1728

My crazy brother is good friends with the groom, so he made an appearance as well!

IMG_1725

I can’t believe that we are next!! How did this happen so fast??

Any high school sweet hearts out there? Go you!

Do you like your weekends to be go-go-go with fun activities or do you like a laid-back, relaxing weekend? 

Usually, I like my Saturdays and Sundays to be full of fun activities, but we have had so many of those in a row, that I’m ready for a weekend with nothing to do…Maybe that will happen in November? Haha

How to Eat Out without the Guilt

I had a major food baby Tuesday night.

I met one of my best friend’s, Kelly, for dinner at a local restaurant and this place has amazing food. Kelly and I were roomies in college, which means: 1. We can talk for hours, and 2. I’m not embarrassed to put away food in front of her. If food is in front of me for a few hours at a time…it doesn’t stand a chance. I end up snacking until that last pita chip, pretzel roll, or shrimp cocktail is gone from the table. I left feeling full of love for my friend, but also full of guilt from my food choices.

CS2

I don’t go out to dinner very often (aside from Chipotle of course) for a number of reasons, but on the rare occasion that I do go out to dinner, I run into this same problem over and over again. I get a little too excited about the rarity of the occasion and go overboard and overeat.

I have a tendency to justify unhealthy dishes by saying, “I could make a salad at home but I can’t make this awesome pasta dish.” I also tend to let myself cheat since I cook dinner or pack my lunch everyday, I feel like I can go all out once in a while. While I don’t discourage cheat meals every once in a while, I don’t think bingeing and justification is the right way to go about it. After I felt sick with guilt after one too many pita slices smothered in gouda cheese, (yes, it is as good as it sounds) I vowed to not let that happen again. I made a list to help myself dine out without the guilt.

1. Three’s Company: Stick with two indulgences with your meal. For example, if you are getting wine and an appetizer with your meal, you can’t get a dessert. Or, if you stick with water as a beverage, go for that appetizer and maybe even a dessert. Always choose two, not all three. This will help to cut calories and save money.

2.H20: Whenever I go out to eat and I am starving, I end up eating the whole bread basket before my meal gets to me. Instead of slamming rolls, or even taking a sip of your wine, try to drink a whole glass of water. Then, see if you still want the rolls.

Texas-Roadhouse-Rolls-038-1-410x327

Texas Roadhouse Rolls….my ultimate weakness.

3. Doggie Bag: People tend to eat more when the food is right in front of them and restaurant servings are way bigger than a normal serving size. Ask the server to box up half of your meal before it even comes out to avoid overeating. Now, you’ll have leftovers for lunch!

6a00d8341c89ee53ef017d41ac8561970c-500wi

That’s a whole cow on one plate!

4. Alcohol After: Having that glass of wine before your meal helps you relax, but it could also cause you to overeat and get a case of the “buzz munchies.” Relaxation turns to sluggishness after an indulgent meal out, so save your alcohol for after dinner. It can replace dessert as a treat. Or, ask for wine with club soda, you’ll still get the taste, with half the calories and sugar.

IMG_1664

Sugary margaritas can have as many calories as an entree! Watch out!

5. Pre-Restaurant Snack: Don’t ever go out to eat on an empty stomach. Trust me, it’s not pretty. When you’re hungry/hangry, you’re going to want a big, juicy burger, not a wilted salad. Try to eat a banana or yogurt before you go out to eat so that you can navigate the healthy side of the menu.

6. Enjoy the experience: Half the fun of dining is the social side of it. This is your chance to talk with friends and family away from home, in a relaxed atmosphere. It is a fun experience to be waited on, cooked for, and cleaned up after. If you’re indulging in a nice restaurant, get what you really want. Go for the T-bone steak with mashed potatoes and enjoy every bite of it. Just remember to enjoy the experience.

Those are just a few tips that I have learned and I try to adhere to. Sometimes I forget, and that’s okay, my queasy stomach usually reminds me and I vow to do better next time.

Now its your turn. Do you follow any “rules” when you go out to eat to avoid overeating or overspending? Let me know in the comments below!

Obstacle Courses and a Peachy snack

Good morning! It’s Tuesday already? I didn’t post yesterday because, honestly, Mondays kind of depress me. Even if I have something sweet to do on a Monday, I still don’t like them. Negative Nancy in the room. 😦 But hey! It’s Tuesday now, so let’s move on to talk about food.

I’ve had some yummy snacks and meals lately that I want to share with you. These are all super simple, can usually be prepped in 15 minutes or less, and have minimal ingredients. Perfect for summer nights when you don’t feel like cooking or light snacks before heading out to the pool for the day.

IMG_1682

ZICO Dark chocolate Coconut Water: It has a ton of electrolytes in it and hydrates your body after a sweat fest. Regular coconut water is great too, but I like the taste of this one the best. 🙂 I usually take 3 big gulps as soon as I get inside from running. It is gluten, dairy and lactose free so it doesn’t upset my sensitive stomach. Winner winner!

IMG_1685 IMG_1686

Clean Tuna Salad: I’ve had this for lunch a couple of times and love it! Super easy to prepare and it’s a “clean tuna salad” because it doesn’t have any mayonnaise or a cream base to it. Steamed egg whites, tomatoes and tuna top spinach with rice vinegar and balsamic vinegar as the dressing.

IMG_1698

Garlic Quinoa Stir Fry: You’ll see the words “stir fry” quite a bit on this blog. It’s easy, fast, and you can pretty much throw anything in a pan and I’ll eat it. My soon to be sister-in-law gave me some zucchinni and tomatoes straight from the garden so I had to use them right away! I love quinoa because it is packed with protein and a great substitute for rice. Some people can’t get over the texture of quinoa–ahem, Jord–but I try to use it as a mixture in my meals instead of the the base. I cooked the quinoa with minced garlic, sautéed zucchini and onions and added cold tomatoes at the end.

IMG_1626

IMG_1627

Jord’s brother has a huge peach tree in his backyard. The peaches are so ripe that they fall right into your hand with just a touch of the branch. I plucked several to take home with me.

IMG_1684

Cheesy Peach Toast: I cut up a juicy peach, nuked some brie cheese and placed it on top of toasted Ezekiel bread. Yum! This was an awesome snack. And you know how I like my sweet and savory concoctions. 🙂

Those are some fun additions to my eats that I’ve been enjoying lately. I get bored with things pretty easily so switching up food is one way to make sure I stay on track with my healthy eating. I also like to switch up my workouts often since our bodies are intelligent and when they get used to a certain routine, they stop changing and stay stagnant. One way to switch up your workout? Compete in an obstacle course race!

Jord and I ran in a mud run this weekend called the Warrior Dash. It was our first one and we had a blast!

IMG_1650

I’ve run 5k’s, 10k’s and a half marathon, but mud runs have an entirely different atmosphere. It wasn’t so serious, everyone was just there to have fun! This was the first race in my life that I didn’t care about my time, or competing with everyone else. About 17 obstacles covered the 3.4 mile course and almost every one of them was covered in mud.

The first obstacle we went through was a 3 foot deep trench with barbed wire over the top, so you had to crawl on your hands and knees to get to the other side.

Trenches_1

I had to hold my breath so that I wouldn’t gag in the muddy water…I know, I’m such a girl. I quickly learned that a little trench was the least of my worries.

IMG_1653IMG_1639

We were constantly going over bridges, walking on wooden planks, and climbing up walls. It reminded me of playing the “lava game” when I was a kid where you had to jump to different obstacles without touching the ground, except this time, the fire on the ground was real. IMG_1644

Even if we wanted to go for time, we couldn’t have since our heat was so crowded, we often had to wait in line for obstacles. Waiting in line wasn’t as bed as you would think. We got to meet people, catch our breath and watch how other warriors attempted the upcoming obstacle.

GreatWarriorWall_1

One of my favorites was the “Warrior Wall.” We had to wait in line for this one but it was exciting to cheer for people that made it over and a little scary because some people would get to the top and fall straight down to the ground. Eeek!

We came away with a couple of bloody knees, a fun “Warrior Medal” and lots of memories.

IMG_1663

IMG_1660

BEFORE
IMG_1629

IMG_1630 AFTER

Have you ever run in an obstacle course or mud run? 

Did you use to play the lava game when you were a kid? 

What you should eat Pre and Post Workout

I have a confession to make..

IMG_1614

When I get stressed out I gotta have a Coke. It doesn’t happen very often, but I succumb to the vending machine at work every once in a while. Today  was one of those days I found myself scrounging for loose change. I know that diet sodas contain a lot of scary things that are hard to pronounce and even harder to spell, but if it only happens every once in a while it’s okay. That’s my justification and I’m sticking to it.

Whew! That’s off my chest, let’s talk about pre and post workout fueling. This is something that I just started paying attention to since I became a little  more well rounded in my fitness regime. I used to be a cardio junkie that would only run and do Zumba. Since I’ve started researching fitness, I’ve learned that cardio burns the fat, but strength training is what is seen under the fat. A lot of females believe strength training will make them bulky, when in reality, it does the opposite. If done the correct way, lifting weights will help you get lean muscles and amazing definition. I actually dropped a pants size when I started strength training!

I’ve also learned that I don’t get a great workout or great results when I don’t eat properly. Think of your body like a corvette. I don’t know much about cars, but even I know that if you put crappy fuel in a nice car, it isn’t going to run properly and it won’t run for very long. You should be fueling PRE and POST workout to maintain fitness goals and a healthy lifestyle.

Pre-workout fuel is important to keep your engine running and post workout fuel is imperative in repairing your fatigued muscles. My pre-workout snacks usually involve a simple carbohydrate that gets my energy up without weighing me down.

Pre Workout Fuel:

Piece of toast with nut butter (sometimes fruit on top) IMG_1556

Apple or banana 

1/2 sweet potato (plain)

1/4 cup of oats (plain or w/fruit on top)

I try to eat at least a 1/2 hour before my workout and I don’t add any sauce/seasoning to anything I’m eating so that it can digest quickly and easily. Post workout snacks should be consumed within a half hour of your workout and should include protein and carbohydrates.

Post Workout Fuel:

Protein shake with chocolate UMP protein powder IMG_1594

Tuna on toast

Banana with nut butter 

Greek yogurt with berries

Turkey slices with a little cheese

Here are some other sources on the subject:

What do you all eat before and after you work out? 

If you don’t eat anything, WHY? Are you going to now? 🙂 

Snack Attack and a College Bound MOH

I am a lover of small meals and snacks in between them. Last night turned into a night that I snacked my way right through dinner. Not mad about it. 🙂 Wednesdays are my long run days and I always go home first to get a little pre-run fuel in me. My favorite pre-workout fuel is usually a banana with nut butter or piece of toast with nut butter. Last night started out innocently enough when I got home from work and found my hand stuck in the jar of mixed nuts. Then, because I was procrastinating on my long run, I ate a banana and a granola bar. As I was lacing up my running shoes, Jord came in to change before heading to the gym. He opened up a bag of my favorite, gluten-free chips….

BNT001_id

And I think you know what happened next. I finally got out the door for my run at 6:40 and completed 7 miles. My legs felt fresh because I’ve been focusing on a lot of cross-training and stretching. When I got home, I wasn’t too hungry but knew that my body needed fuel after the long run. I showered quickly and fried a couple of eggs with toast, mozzarella cheese and tomatoes. I slept like a BABY last night and woke up feeling a little sore this morning but not bad at all. 🙂 I ate another egg with toast, cashew butter and raspberries and raced to work. Can you tell that eggs are one of my go-to meals? They are easy and extremely nutritious.

IMG_1610

Obviously, my iPhone takes beautiful pictures… P.s. I like to smash the berries on the toast because it reminds me of jam. Yum. Halfway through the morning I ate a peach.

IMG_1604

And now we are all caught up!

My baby sister is leaving for college today! I can’t even believe that this little girl is old enough to live over 400 miles away from us. She is the baby of the family and the last one to fly the coop, leaving my parents as empty nesters for the first time in 26 years.

281913_10150269907217937_6152457_n

Alex and my older brother, Ben (pictured above) were always joined at the hip growing up. She is an aspiring singer/song-writer I can’t wait to get her first autograph. 🙂

184440_10151329233117937_142459508_n

My parents are driving down with her today and staying for the whole weekend before driving back home on Sunday…Yea, they are having a little trouble with this one. Apparently, so is my little brother, Pippin.

IMG_1611

They found him in my sister’s car this morning as they were packing up. Sorry, Mr. Pippin no dogs in the dorm. I Facetimed with the whole family last night and it was so exciting to get to see and hear the excitement going on as they were packing up 18 years of memories.

IMG_1612

She is updating her Instagram account of the whole process and  it reminds me of when I moved away for college. I had so much adrenaline, anticipation and anxiety running through me, that I didn’t even have time to feel sad about leaving home…Until about 3 days into my classes. I was a little bit homesick my first couple of weeks, but after that, you had to beg me to go home. I think my sister will be the same way. I am so excited for her and this new journey she is about to begin.

I really grew up in college and think a lot of my friends did too. You find who you are and start to learn how to be independent. I can’t wait to see what the next four years will bring for my sweet sister.

Oh, and did I mention that I won’t see her, my MOH, until the week of my wedding??!!! Ah! That makes me sad and anxious and stressed out. Thank God for FaceTime and email.

If you went to college, what was your favorite part about it? 

The best part about college was that I was always surrounded by my best friends. How  lucky was I that I got to live with them??

Do you ever snack your way through dinner like I did last night? 

Minute to Win It Dinner

I am not a good cook, nor do I really enjoy cooking. My Pinterest board of Food would have you thinking otherwise, but that’s because most of those recipes were pinned while I was hungry…or hangry.

Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 4.53.56 PM

My board is called “YUM” and it is basically food porn, so don’t look at it if you are trying to stay away from carbs, sugar and anything else delicious.  Hello, my name is Anna and I am a Pinaholic that has yet to actually cook a Pin-spired recipe.

I know, I know, I KNOW! I’m a downright embarrassment to the Pinterest world and should probably get kicked off. My excuse for not cooking is that I currently have about one pan, one pot and 2 spatulas to my name…and until one month ago, before I won an oven mitt at a bridal shower, I was using dish towels to get things out of the oven. 🙂 Hey! I’m resourceful! Oh and I do have some lemon garlic salt I like to season everything with. I haven’t wanted to buy spices and fancy cooking utensils because I’m getting married in 2 months and we registered for a lot of these things.

I know that I probably won’t cook much after we get married, (sorry Jord) so I have come up with some tasty dinners that involve minimal effort and time. Last night, I made a veggie-tuna fry that got a thumbs up from the fiance!

IMG_1598IMG_1600

Mine is on the left –adding tomatoes at the end is optional. Fiance’s is on the right. Also, if you don’t care for tuna, chicken would be a great substitute.

Veggie Tuna Fry Ingredients:

1 Medium white onion

1 Medium red onion

1 green bell pepper

1 tbsp of minced garlic

Juice of 1 lime

1 cup of brown rice

12 oz. of Starkist Tuna

Limes

The best part about this dish is the lime. HANDS DOWN. Don’t forget the lime!

Step 1: Get out your trusty Wal-Mart knife and start chopping!

Step 2: Mix tuna, bell peppers, onions, garlic together and start cooking rice in a separate pot.

Step 3: Throw tuna mixture on skillet and heat for approximately 15 minutes. Squirt juice of half a lime, or if you are fancy–get out your little grater and zest that lime.

Step 4: Mix rice and stir fry together. Enjoy!

IMG_1602

Jordan loved it and I loved that it took no skill to prepare and practically no time at all.

Do you like to cook? 

If you do enjoy cooking, what is your favorite part about it?