Corepower

Saturday night bakery runs = always a good idea

Sorry I checked out for a few days — I made an unexpected trip to the suburbs (the heat in our apartment doesn’t work too well and it’s been freezing in Chicago) and forgot my laptop. I probably could have blogged from another computer but I didn’t really do anything noteworthy anyway so yeah.

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But otherwise my weekend was great–I woke up bright and early Saturday morning for Girls On The Run coaches training!!

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I can’t tell you how excited I am to be involved with this organization! I’m sure many of you have heard about it, but Girls On The Run is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. I’m going to be working as a head coach for a group of 10-20 girls twice a week, where we work through lessons about understanding themselves, valuing relationships and teamwork, and understanding how we connect with and shape the world. We’ll also do running each week, teaching the girls the importance of health and fitness. They’ll work up to a 5K at the end of the season. I’m pumped!

The rest of the day was pretty low-key: I went grocery shopping (a dream, as always) and FaceTimed with Kaitlin, who’s currently living in Mississippi. It was so nice to catch up with her and hear about her Mardi Gras shenanigans. Living so close to New Orleans has been good to her!

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How adorable is she?

I spent the rest of the day just generally being lazy until dinner, when Colleen and I went out for pizza at Homeslice. All that talk about running earlier in the day really worked up my appetite. We sat on the patio, which was covered and heated. I can’t wait until they open it up for the summer but they did a really good job making it cozy for winter too.

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One of the most endearing things about this place is that the owner’s french bulldog, Gary, runs around the patio the whole time. He was not the biggest fan of that giant balloon in the background so there was a pretty scared pup running around our feet the whole time. It was adorable!

We both started with the Pamarita: a pomegranate margarita with lime, soda, and jalapeno.

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I went with the Schulz’s BBQ Bird, because barbeque chicken pizza is one of the most underrated foods on the planet. You can quote me on that.

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After dinner we walked a few blocks to Sweet Mandy B’s, a famous bakery in Lincoln Park that I’ve always heard of, but had never been to. Because I hadn’t been before I went a little nuts, but it was all in the name of sugar. And Saturdays.

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I left with chocolate cheesecake and three cookies: confetti (sugar), ranger (oatmeal with chocolate chips and Special K), and coconut cloud (coconut meringue). Bring on dat diabetes.

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I had the confetti cookie this morning with my coffee and it was perfect. Definitely a new city favorite.

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Sunday was a lazy day until the afternoon when I went to a CorePower sculpt class and finally got the age-old “Why won’t anyone sit by me?” question answered. Just kidding. My adorable personality makes up for the sweat stains.

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If you’re in Chicago and have ever wanted to try CorePower’s Free Week of Yoga but aren’t sure which location/classes are worth your while, I highly recommend the Lakeview location. Ariel’s sculpt classes are the bomb — they’re set to faster-paced music, though, so if you’re looking for calm, relaxing yoga this ain’t your thing. But it does live up to it’s name and it will sculpt. you. up (because you can’t visit a pizza place and a bakery and expect things not to jiggle the next day).

I missed the Oscars because I worked the inventory night shift but I hope you all threw crazy wild viewing parties so I can live vicariously through you! Once again I said I would see all the Oscar-nominated movies and I didn’t see one. Crushing goals one day at a time over here.

Questions:

  • Did you watch the Oscars? What was your favorite movie in the last year?
  • Favorite kind of non-traditional pizza
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What I Ate Wednesday: back in business

The past two days have been “stock up on food and quit spending money at restaurants” central.

Haha good joke — I’ll keep spending money at restaurants but a girl can dream of a world where her kitchen is better than a restaurant, right?

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Highlights included:

  • Vegetables: peppers, onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, avocado
  • Fruit: kiwi, apples, bananas, grapes
  • Frozen: spinach, Morningstar veggie sausage, shrimp, whole wheat bread and English muffins (I keep them in the freezer because I don’t go through them very fast)
  • Fridge: eggs, coffee creamer, minced garlic, salsa, Chobani 4% plain yogurt, Chobani key lime and coconut yogurt, raspberry jam, turkey deli meat
  • Pantry: peanut butter, black beans, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, Parma Rosa sauce mix, whole grain tortilla chips
  • Spices: cinnamon, bay leaves, paprika, tabasco sauce

Is my grocery haul usually this big? Nope. But by some grace of God I ran out of staples like peanut butter, jelly, creamer, eggs, etc. all at the same time. So it was quite the loot! But my eats recently have benefited from all the effort I gave at the grocery store.

And with that, my first WIAW in…..what, four months? Not cool! So let’s walk through my Tuesday eats.

WIAW

I woke up and had half a cup of coffee with half and half and stevia. My body and brain just can’t handle a full cup of coffee anymore!

Breakfast

After seeing what Kathie Lee and Hoda were up to and answering some emails/working on blog stuff, I started on breakfast.

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Egg sandwich: 1 egg, a few egg whites, onion powder, red pepper flakes, spinach and Parmesan cheese, plus a piece of veggie sausage and raspberry jam. SO GOOD.

I headed to work early to do a little shopping and add to my rapidly expanding lululemon collection. Hey, when you work there, it not only becomes justifiable, but necessary. I put together my lunch and snacks before I left because I knew I wouldn’t be home until around 10pm — food prep is so helpful to not only stay on track, but also to keep myself from eating out.

My break came at around 4pm, so a little later than usual. I snacked on some unpictured almonds while I worked and then finally it was “lunch” time (when I work the closing shift my day is pushed back a lot, so my breakfast usually is around 10 or 11, snack around 2 and then lunch around 4).

Lunch was what I like to call a “snack pack”:

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4% plain Chobani with grapes and stevia, a mini Luna bar, some carrots and sugar snap peas and a kiwi. I also packed some Skoop protein + almond milk but completely forgot about it.

As soon as work was over I scrambled to take a Hot Power Fusion yoga class at Corepower Yoga with my roommate, Colleen. I didn’t get a picture of the before, during or after (which, to be honest, is probably best, seeing as we were both sloppy messes by the time the class was over), but I’ll share a few photos from my Monday workout instead. I woke up bright and early to attend Sweat on State, where we got our sprints, ball slams, and triceps push-ups on. KILL ME NOW. My triceps still hate me from that workout.unnamed (52)

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The instructor was able to catch me mid-triceps push-up. I wish you could see my face here because it was pure agony.

I finished in just under 25 minutes. Normally I would never think 25 minutes is enough. But I literally lay on the floor after that workout in so much pain and I couldn’t wait to get back home and crawl into bed. Sometimes, 25 minutes of pushing yourself to the max is enough. I love Sweat on State more and more each time I go — I’m starting to build a great fitness family there and really appreciate not only the intensity and variety of the workouts, but the sense of community that exists there.

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Flashforward to yesterday’s workout — Colleen and I ended up getting home around 10pm, and just as I imagined, I was famished. I made the quickest, most appealing dinner I could think of:

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Whole wheat toast with tonnnnns of peanut butter, sliced banana and cinnamon

Now it’s late and this Cinderella needs to get to sleep before the clock strikes 12. I’m about to grab a few handfuls of chocolate chips, some carrots and a cheese stick (because I’m always hungry), and head to bed. It was quite the full day and I’m ready for some zzzzs.

Questions:

  • What was the best thing you ate yesterday?
  • What was the laziest meal you’ve made lately?

WIAW: back on that Portillos grind

If I had a dollar for all the times I turned to nachos for meals in the past five weeks I’d have a down payment on a Prius.

But it’s a new week and with my new goals in mind, I’ve started making meals (and, thankfully, worshiping vegetables again).

So without further ado, a day of my (recent) eats:

Breakfast

I’ve downsized my usual breakfast sandwich into an English muffin – it fills me up just the same as a bagel (thanks, protein!) but makes me feel less guilty about the half and half I need (yes, need) in my coffee.

1 egg, 2 tablespoons egg whites, bell peppers, onions, Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes and onion powder on an English muffin. It ain’t pretty but it sits in my stomach like a cheesy, delicious rock, so I go with it.

IMG_8159Lunch

I had a day off yesterday before I started my new job, so lunch was spent at home. My mom and I split a pizza from Trader Joe’s: spinach, feta and mozzarella with greens on the side. Dressing is easy as pie: TJ’s balsamic glaze + olive oil.

IMG_8161In the afternoon I went to my first hot yoga class. Spoiler alert: hot yoga is hard.

IMG_8173Between the heat and my general distaste for water/addiction to coffee, this was no picnic. I had to take a few breaks just to wipe my mat down and guzzle water. Now, let’s call a spade a spade: this was no typical ashtanga session. It was a Sahara bootcamp. 100 degrees of slippery mats and sumo squats. Needless to say I was lightheaded and gasping for air like a fish out of water, but about twenty minutes after I left the building my body was overcome by the inevitable high that can only come from exercise and I basically floated home. Beautiful session, beautiful afternoon.

Snacks

An unpictured Larabar. Exciting stuff, I know.

Dinner

Once I was back in the burbs I was about ready to eat my hand. I knew I wanted veggies, as many as I could possibly shovel into my mouth, so I drove straight for the motherland: Portillos.

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Good things come to those who wait (and yes, the line is always this long). This is, by far, the biggest thing non-Chicagoans are missing out on. Italian beef, Chicago hot dogs, cheese fries (ooooh the cheese fries), chocolate cake shakes, and the chopped salad. If you locked me in a Portillos for 30 years I wouldn’t even be mad.

IMG_8184Oh my goodness – the closeup is what really does this salad justice. And just so you don’t think I’m too healthy, they serve their salads with a huge chunk of bread which I quickly slathered with butter and demolished. It was all gone in less than 20 minutes and I spent the next thirty lying on the couch in a glorious food coma. Hot yoga makes you hungry, apparently. Or any activity besides Netflix, I guess.

Dessert

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Be still my heart.

Question:

  • If you’ve ever visited, did you try Portillos? Have you ever heard of it?
  • What have you been craving this week? Let’s talk food! It’s been too long 🙂