Well I officially went a full week without going out to eat! I technically did pay for a slice of pizza in the wee hours of the morning after last night, but that doesn’t really count, right? Because of this challenge I was able to force myself to be more creative in the kitchen and be better about prepping food the night before. When your veggies are chopped and your snacks are all in Ziploc bags in your purse, it makes #diningin so much easier. It didn’t even feel like a challenge, to be honest. That being said, OF COURSE I decided to do this challenge during RESTAURANT WEEK in Chicago haha. OF COURSE I did.
The best thing I ate all week (3 times, actually)?
Sweet Potato Nachos. Susie, I will forever be indebted to you for this inspiration.
I’m also back on a Vitatop craze. Have you ever had them? They’re 100 calories (chocolate chips not included haha) and they taste like a piece of chocolate cake. They aren’t the cheapest things in the world but they were on sale at Jewel so I stocked up on a few boxes to satisfy my ever-present chocolate cravings.
And instead of going out to brunch on Sunday, Megan and I had the brilliant idea of inviting friends over and making our own. It was the best idea we’ve had in awhile and for approximately $0 we had an incredible two hour meal full of eggs, potatoes, banana muffins, mimosas, and country music.
Don’t look at me like that. I worked up quite the appetite the night before dancing until dawn. My friend Kelsey was housesitting for a verrrrry wealthy family in Lincoln Park so we had a few drinks there before going out. We spent a few hours drinking nice wine, eating nice cheese, and taking “fancy lady” photos in their living room. And next to their elevator (that was IN the house). I honestly didn’t know places like this existed in Chicago.
Afterwards we met up with some friends for a girls night out in the River North neighborhood. We danced until the wee hours of the morning. Those are the best kind of nights — you start off at a Swift-level 2, just bopping around in a general fashion.
By midnight you start throwing some random arm motions in there, taking it to a Swift-level 5…
And then by 2am it’s a full-blown Swift-level 10, and you think you’re the hottest thing in the fifteen-mile radius.
On the workout front it was a pretty successful week. I’ve stuck to my goal of working out 5x/week in 2015, but haven’t been able to make it 6x, like I said I was trying to do lately. Oh well — 5 feels like a great balance, where I can still manage to work, write, have a social life, and workout consistently. I’m just going to go with it.
- Monday: Sweat Chicago (bootcamp #1)
- Tuesday: 25 min HIIT
- Wednesday: 5 mile run
- Thursday: Yoga Sculpt (60 min)
- Friday: Sweat Chicago (bootcamp #2)
- Saturday: REST
- Sunday: REST
6 Rounds of :45 Work/:15 Rest at Each Station of:
- Box Jumps
- 5% Incline Walk (4.5 Speed) w/ DB Presses
- Double Crunches
- KB Goblet Squats
- Plank Row to T Rotation w/ DB
3 Rounds w/ 1min Rest Between of:
- 4min Incline Run (Increase Incline 1% EMOTM)
- 1min Rest
- 4min AMRAP of:
- 8 Push Ups
- 8 Tricep Box Dips
- 8 DB Bent Over Tricep Ext (Together)
- 8 DB Curl & Presses
- 1min Rest
- 4min AMRAP of:
- 8 Russian Twists (Per Side)
- 8 Sit Ups
- 8 DB Toe Touches
I’ve been attending Sweat a lot more lately, as I’ve grown close to the owner and a lot of the people who workout there. I love that it’s always a variety of high intensity exercises that last approximately an hour, but it doesn’t include Olympic-size weights. Now that I’ve officially lived in the city for just over two months, I’m going to calm down on the “try all the workouts in Chicago” approach and start being more consistent at Sweat. I’ve settled on what I love and what I don’t care for, and I know that at the end of the day, consistency is key to me being in the best shape. So Sweat it is!
Phew. Is it Friday yet? I want to do it all over again.
- What was the best thing you ate all weekend?
- Vitatops: yay or nay?
- Dancing: do you follow my Swift-levels theory or are you just an all-out amazing/terrible dancer?
I have never had vita tops but they sure look like they would satisfy the sweet craving. Sounds like you are always having a great time in Chicago. What a fun city. I need to get there sometime.
Come visit! I’ll show you all the great food spots haha. And you should definitely give Vitatops a try just to see that for a “healthier” food they really do taste like cake!
Australia doesn’t even know what chocolate is so of course we are unaware of vitatops. I LOVE chucking brunches for friends- Such a great idea. And Taylor Swift….I didn’t even know she danced. Also- I need an elevator. To Chicago.
Hahaha what is it with Australia and chocolate? Get it together! Homemade brunches are highly underrated, that’s for sure.
Vitatops–I loved, loved, loved them. But they were not cheap to say the least!
Yeah no kidding 😦 that’s the one big downside to them
I think every night out should be judged on the Swift dancing level scale – saying that even when I’m doing my weekly cook up in the kitchen listening to tunes I am so level 10 – love it!
Hahahaha thank you for agreeing with my system! I think it’s pretty fool-proof. And when I’m alone in my apartment it’s always straight to Swift-level 10 too 😉
Hahaha! Yes, to the Swifty dance scale! She’s so awkward and hilarious. It’s like watching myself dance on national tv.
She is so awkward. Thank god no cameras cut to me when I try to dance!
Swift level 10 hahah you kill me. Or rather, she kills me. Having people over for brunch sounds like a brilliant idea, and that food look scrumptioussssss.
It was scrumptious! Perfect word for it. It was so nice because we both realized that, combined, we had the ingredients for an awesome brunch! Then our friend brought over champagne and we were in heaven.
I have not had a Vitatop in forever, but I used to love them. I am similar in my workout frequency – I try to get to 6, but settle on 5. It’s a good goal, but you have to balance in the other stuff too. Love the fancy lady pics and the elevator. 🙂
It’s nice to have lofty goals 😉 haha but I’m not angry when I only make it five. Those five workouts are almost always HIIT, never just chilling on the elliptical like I used to do, so five sounds about right. You work your butt off too so five sounds perfect for you as well!
Hahhaa I absolutely love your T-Swift progression – so true. The houses in Lincoln Park amaze me, that is so cool you got to go in one and lounge around 🙂 Ummmmm I need to know more about Vitatop.
I felt so lucky just to be IN that house…I can’t even imaging owning it!! haha. Go try Vitatops asap! They’re really great.
Homemade brunch is a brilliant idea! And you made it look like it was at a restaurant! Nice job eating in for a whole week- it definitely saves a lot of money!
Thanks! My roommate set the table and she went all out haha. The whole week really did save me tons of money! I need to do it more often. Maybe not during restaurant week next time though….haha
Haha the Swift level dancing = accurate. I pretty much always start at a level 5, though. I haven’t been out dancing in forever and now I want to!
Do it! Test my theory and let me know how it goes 🙂 level 5 is pretty impressive. I usually need a glass of wine to get past level 2! haha
Love those Swift levels…they have me cracking up right now : ) I have stories like that of nights at Beaumont’s….ah those were the days!
I still haven’t been to Beaumont’s!! My friend lives right by there too. Not sure if I want to see what it’s all about though haha I’ve heard stories 😉
I have never heard of vitatops, but the UK never gets anything good. *sulks*
That was one thing about studying abroad in Paris I didn’t like haha I was like “where’s my variety of crazy sweets and snacks to buy??” They really limit stuff over there I feel like! Which is probably better 😉
Yay Sweat! Im glad I will be seeing more of you!
The best thing(s) I ate this weekend were chocolate chip mug cookies. In 45 seconds I had delicious cookies and now the world will never be the same!
You will! I tried to drag myself out of bed for 7am this morning but it didn’t happen — heading over for Paul’s 4:30 class soon! Mug cookies/cakes are dangerous!! I feel like that’s exactly what Vitatops are, only cheaper haha gotta try that soon!
I’m all over those sweet potato nachos this week. Quote me.
They. Are. Killer. I think I’m making them for dinner AGAIN tonight. I always do this though…I get obsessed with one meal/snack and then eat it all the time until I get sick of it and can never have it again haha. I hope that doesn’t happen here!
Ha, I totally forgot Vitatops were a thing. They used to be SO COOL in Blogland, but I haven’t heard about them for awhile. Should’ve kept a better eye out when I was at Jewel yesterday. I also have to say that I appreciate your photo arrangement for the Vitatop picture — having a headline of “Causes of Obesity” right above your Vitatop. Haha!
I’m single-handedly bringing them back. You’re welcome, Vitatops. Hahahahahahaha I was hoping no one would notice that. How funny is that!
Haha I love all your levels of T-Swift. Too funny!
And I’d heard about VitaTops but have never tried them. I feel like I can trust your opinion on good food 😉 so I may have to give them a try at some point…
Oh trust me, grasshopper. They won’t disappoint!
I love VitaTops but don’t normally buy them because like you said they are not cheap!
Yeah I need to learn how to make mug cakes — talk about saving money!
I used to love Vitatops but kind of forgot about them! And sweet potato nachos are my new favorite thing!
I had them again for dinner tonight haha I really need to find a new love…it’s getting excessive!
So true about the Swift random dances and jives! I swear she always cracks me up on the awards shows because she gets SO into the musical performances. Your “fancy lady” photos crack me up. Sounds like something I’d do. And aren’t the sweet potato nachos the best?! I’ve been doing them for a few months now and they’ve become a regular in my household. Sweet potato>regular potato any day. 🙂
I go back and forth between loving sweet potatoes and regular ones. Nothing will be a big plate of fries from a diner or something, but if I’m preparing them, sweet potatoes are the bomb. They can be sweet or savory, which I love! And they can be a very substantial base of a well-balanced meal.
I love your Swift gifs! My coworker loves Taylor so much she calls herself a “Swifty” =P I have never had a vitatop but my friend is making me lemon poppyseed muffins this week so I’m excited! The best thing I ate this past weekend was buffalo chickpeas 🙂 🙂
I love lemon poppyseed muffins!! Lemon sweets are highly underrated.
HAHAHA to Swift levels. So much yes. And that homemade brunch-ness looks INCREDIBLE. So impressive to not eating out for a whole week too. I give you all of the high fives.
High fives all around! Thanks, lady 🙂 It felt good to get my eating-out under control. I celebrated today with some very unnecessary Starbucks. But I definitely will be more careful in the future now!
Yum I have had vitatops before! They are sooooo delicious. I’ve also had their vitapizzas before which are pretty decent!
I’m totally a taylor swift-type dancer. Do I care? Not a chance. I dance my heart out no matter what. I’m always the first one to get on the dance floor….zero shame over here haha
That’s the way to live! There’s a quote out there that says “You look ridiculous if you dance. You look ridiculous if you don’t dance. So you might as well dance.” You pretty much live that quote!
That brunch. Seriously. Brunch is one of my favorite things in life. And I haven’t had a vitatop, but pour chocolate chips on almost anything and I’m good to go.
You km now I love to change people’s lives 😀 I love vita tops but they are expensive. They used to make a vitamuffin baking mix that I lllllooovvveeeddd. Wish they still did. Good for you for getting your dining in on so well! T swift level 10 dance for that for certain!
I have a bag of chocolate chips in my cupboard that comes in handy for sooooo many desserts and snacks 🙂
Brunch is the best part of the weekend 🙂
Hey that’s way cool about not eating out for a week!! SUPER impressed you even made that goal!
Thank you! I was very proud!! And now I feel more balanced about eating out in the future.
I haven’t tried vitatops yet but have pondered it. The idea of adding the chocolate chips just may have tipped me over the edge. That’s awesome that you didn’t dine out for a week! It can be tough to stay prepared when you are busy! I love the T. Swift dance references…too funny!
Yeah it definitely was tough turning down a few quick lunch/dinner invites but the money I saved was so worth it! It was getting a little out of hand 🙂 chocolate chips on something that’s already super chocolatey is never a bad idea.
Whoa sweet potato nachos!!! Thats now a must try on my list. The best thing I ate all weekend was…hmm I had this pretty great turkey sandwich on sourdough with sprouts, avocado, tomato, balsamic and goat cheese. Other than that, my eats were pretty boring! (Well, boring but good 🙂 )
Sprouts are so good on a sandwich! Highly underrated 🙂 wait that whole sandwich just sounds incredible. Send me one, please!
I think it’s safe to say you have a girl crush on t-swift? Haha!
Best thing i ate all weekend.. hmm.. I had a pretty good fajita type salad from Applebees & a great brunch @ this french restaurant called Paul’s.
Hahaha not even a girl crush I just see so much of myself in her 😉 Basic to a T.
The chocolate thing tho.