Kashi

pressing the reset button

I always feel pretty out of sorts health-wise whenever I come back from time spent on vacation. Since the past month I’ve been out of town every weekend, indulging and skipping workouts, I knew this Monday was a good time for me to press the reset button.

The whole day was a jumble since I got home from my flight at 9am (after the airline lost my bag and I had to fill out all that fun paperwork) and had to jump directly into work. My eats yesterday were healthy and wholesome, however, which I was especially proud of myself for considering when I’m tired, all I want is easy-cheesy carbs and sugar.

The highlight yesterday was dinner! All the stars aligned and I had every single ingredient for a Nicoise Salad!

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For those of you who don’t know, a Nicoise salad is NOT your typical rabbit food.  It has some serious staying power, thanks to tons of protein in its variety of ingredients!  When I studied abroad in Paris this was one of my favorite things to order (when I wasn’t diving head first into a croque monsieur).

Here’s a quick recipe for those who don’t know the ingredients:

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Nicoise Salad

  • Leafy greens
  • One small can of chunk light tuna, drained (4 oz or so)
  • 1 hard boiled egg (chopped and sprinkled with salt and pepper)
  • Green beans (just a handful or so…steamed, roasted, whatever! but they should be served cold on the salad)
  • Chopped tomato
  • Dijon mustard dressing*

Dijon mustard dressing

  • Dijon mustard or something similar (this time I used the garlic mustard aioli from TJs)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil

Whisk the mustard and vinegar together first until very well combined. Then add the olive oil and whisk together for a few minutes.  Proportions are hard to say exactly for this, but I usually start with about 2 tbl of mustard, add in 1 tbls of vinegar, and then add olive oil to taste.  You really have to try it for yourself. You really can’t mess this up as long as you whisk the vinegar and mustard first and then add the oil slowly afterwards.

This salad comes together so beautifully, and if you have all the ingredients on hand (which, let’s be honest, how often does that happen?) it is so easy to make.  Even if you normally don’t have this stuff at home, make it a point to try this salad sometime.  It’s delicious and stays with you for hours, thanks to the protein from the tuna and egg.

An hour later I had some dessert: healthy but still indulgent

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Plain greek yogurt mixed with truvia, vanilla, unsweetened cocoa powder, and semisweet chocolate chips. Yum!

This morning I got down to business at bootcamp.

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Tough workout! Especially because I decided to wear all black and we spent most of the time running. All in all, including the warmup run-through of this WOD and the core work at the end, this was only a 30 minute workout.  However, I worked my butt off and my muscles feel like they’re still twitching! Crazy.

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Feeling exhausted but strong and powerful at the same time–the BEST kind of workout.

I came home and took two L-glutamine supplements hoping that will help my soreness when I head back to bootcamp tomorrow.  Breakfast before work was simple:

ImageKashi GoLean + flax seeds + banana + almond milk. Quick and easy, because I had a conference call for work to get on!

I’m feeling really motivated for a full week of healthy eating and challenging workouts! Maybe it’s the changing of the seasons but it always gives me that extra boost of motivation.

Question: when during the year are you most motivated to eat right and exercise? Is it only when bikini season is right around the corner?

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if i die it’s because i ate the expired yogurt in the fridge

so yeah. there’s that.

Today was my first day commuting downtown for work! Exciting, I know, but to be honest the day couldn’t possibly have started out worse.

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Minus this sunrise. I came out of a 5 am spin class and it was so breathtaking. The little things…

So my day started off on the wrong foot. I completely underestimated how long it would take me to get ready after the gym in order to make the train. After sprinting in the door, getting ready, and making breakfast (all without pausing for a second), I knew if I didn’t eat my cereal in the car I’d be late.

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Kashi vanilla graham topped with peaches and almond milk. I am all about this cereal right now.

Sadly as I was running out the door I dropped the bowl on my foot (ouch). Not only did it shatter, but I was covered in milk. Lovely. No time to change though, otherwise I’d miss the train. So like the champion I am, I powered through, milky hair and all.

Bad luck #2:  I still missed the train. We drove up just as it was pulling away. What a tease. Luckily my dad is a sweetheart and hung out with me in the car until the next train came ten minutes later.

Bad luck #3: Because I didn’t purchase my ticket at the station it was an additional $3–cash that I didn’t have. Luckily the woman behind me practically jumped out of her seat to help pay for my ticket, but it was still mortifying.

Well I eventually made it downtown, ready to start my first official day as a big kid.

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The building where I work is awesome! You can tell it’s an old building that has been renovated–it has a cool hipster vibe.

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I do solemnly swear to never ever take the elevator. The stairwells are awesome!

I settled into my “desk” (I’ll be moving around the office for awhile) and got the grand tour.  It’s a small company and the building is no different, but that makes it incredibly low-key and comfortable.

Oh, and the best part? READING FOOD BLOGS (just part of the job, folks)

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Heavenly.

I snacked a lot throughout the day, including this delicious 3-week-expired yogurt.

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By the time I was halfway through it I noticed the expiration date. It was slightly chunky to say the least (TMI?) but I’m still here to tell the tale. If I don’t check in tomorrow you’ll know why.

I ended the day meeting up with Megan for happy hour, but not before stopping at Starbucks for some more snacks. PS there is an amazing looking bakery close to my work–I can’t wait to try it out!

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Megan and I met up at Moe’s Cantina in the River North neighborhood for drinks after work. It was so nice to hang out just the two of us, spending a few hours catching up and talking about life.

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Margarita for her, mojito for me.

Then we walked around a little more, exploring the River North neighborhood (which included stalking the Trump Tower and seeing if Giuliana Rancic or Ashton Kutcher would make an appearance).

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So for a day that started pretty much as bad as it gets, ending it with my best friend on a gorgeous day in the city wasn’t a bad deal.

Question: do you eat expired foods, or throw them out the day the date has passed?

 

a day at the beach

It was a perfect 75 degrees in downtown Chicago today, complete with a beaming sun and comforting breeze. It was definitely a beach day.

I made plans to meet up with some friends at Oak Street Beach for the afternoon, so I knew I had to get a workout in beforehand.  On a day when you’re rocking a bikini you definitely have to have the confidence and endorphins in your body that only come from a good workout. 

Crazy enough, I’m still sore from Monday’s bootcamp workout, so I took it pretty easy and didn’t work the muscles that were still sore.

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I spy with my little eye….one of the only people working out in the gym!  I went on the elliptical for 45 minutes, alternating resistance every 5-10 minutes to keep it challenging.

Followed by the best and greatest ab workout of the past 30 years:

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Oh 8 minute abs, you’ll never go out of style.

I got showered and ready to go, but of course didn’t miss breakfast.

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1 cup Kashi GoLean Crunch, 1 banana, 1.5 cups almond milk

I had to walk from my boyfriend’s apartment to the beach where my friends were.  I say “had to” like it was a tough walk, but really it looked something like this:

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Tough view, I know.

Well, besides getting burned (I’ll never learn) and being surrounded by a camp full of 11 year olds with iPhones (crazy), it was a gorgeous day at the beach.

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After about 3 hours Megan and I got antsy, so we decided to leave and take a walk down Michigan Avenue.  Since Megan just moved back she hasn’t explored Chicago in awhile and it’s just so nice to stroll down the main streets, taking in the shops, sights, and everyday happenings of the city.

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Hint: walk in, get free sample, walk out. Day=made

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One of the most interesting things happening this weekend in Chicago is the Windy City Rubber Duck Derby. It’s an event where people can “adopt” a rubber duck and watch as it is placed in the Chicago River and competes against other quacks in a floating race to the finish line.  The event benefits the Special Olympics, and I think it’s just one of the coolest ideas. Plus all the banners around town to “Adopt a Duck!” were too cute.

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We grabbed a late lunch before I had to catch the train home.

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I had a Nicoise Salad! It totally reminded me of my time studying abroad in Paris.  It was made up of tuna with capers, green beans, hard-boiled eggs, a few small roasted potatoes, tomatoes, and butter lettuce dressed with a Dijon vinaigrette.  Baguette on the side, of course 🙂  This was so refreshing and filling at the same time (and worth it, even though it was a very expensive middle-of-the-day meal).

I had just a few minutes to spare before I had to head to Union Station to catch the train home, but Megan and I knew we wanted to take a picture at The Bean for fun on such a sunny day.  The Bean, aka Cloud Gate (but you’ll never hear a Chicagoan call it that), is essentially a sculpture that sits in the middle of one of the biggest parks in Chicago (Millennium Park).  It won a design competition about a decade ago, and while some people said it wasn’t possible to construct and wouldn’t be popular anyway, it has become a Chicago sensation.

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I mean, come on! It’s just so unique.  There’s nothing in the world quite like seeing a reflection of yourself.

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Oh, and did I mention it’s Tourist Central? It’s always jam-packed with people trying to Instagram their reflection or come up with the coolest new pose to do in front of it with their friends. We just had to sneak a quick, cute picture in.  And I’m glad we did! It was the perfect ending to a long, fun day.

The train ride was longgggggggggg (and I almost got away without paying but my Honest Abe ways got the best of me).  It was made better by this (surprisingly) delicious iced coffee from Corner Bakery.

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Caffeine is appropriate no matter the hour.

I hope you all felt the sunshine in your cities today too! It finally feels like summer 🙂