Category Archives: Breakfast

Foam Rolling

Good morning!

Yesterday morning, I had my normal oats for breakfast but I put them in an almost empty peanut butter jar to eat. The jar had about half a tablespoon or so of peanut butter left in it so I just cooked the oats in the microwave and then added them to the peanut butter jar.

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Oatmeal with peanut butter is amazing. Actually peanut butter makes most things better – french toast, apples, crackers, chocolate, pretzels. :)

Since I went to CrossFit on Tuesday night, I just decided to stick to cardio at the gym on Wednesday morning.

I ran/walked 3.5 miles on the treadmill. I haven’t gone that far in a long time! Unfortunately, my Achilles tendon still bothers me when I run so I’m glad that I cut back on running lately but I still like to run shorter distances sometimes.

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I make sure to foam roll almost every time I go to the gym. My calves are always tight, my quads are usually sore, and my glutes get sore, so I really focus on foam rolling those three areas.

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If you’ve never used a foam roller before it’s a great way to loosen muscle knots. Foam rolling is also called myofascial release and when you use a foam roller to apply force to a muscle knot, the muscle fibers go from a bundled position into a straighter alignment.

When you apply pressure to a muscle that is sore or tight, you stimulate the Golgi tendon organ and create autogenic inhibition. This decreases the excitment in the muscle spindle, releasing the tension in the muscle. Basically, foam rolling helps break up knots in the muscle.

I usually start rolling back on forth on my calves until I find a spot that is really sore or tight. Then I apply pressure to this spot for at least 30 seconds. It takes at least 30 seconds for autogenic inhibition to kick in. The same goes for stretching -hold stretches for at least 30 seconds.

I usually foam roll all the tight spots on my calves, quads, and sometimes glutes, then I stretch. I break up the knots first with the foam roller and then I make sure to stretch them out.

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I also have a foam roller at home to use! You can find them for less than $20.

Foam rolling doesn’t always feel the greatest. It might hurt slightly depending on the muscle knots but it will really help later so stick with it! You can also use other object like a tennis ball to help break up knots.

When I was running and foam rolling at the gym, Jaden was taking a cooking class downstairs. My gym is also a park district so it worked out that his cooking classes were in the same building!

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Jaden loves to cook. He went to a breakfast and lunch cooking class and today he’ll be taking a dinner cooking class.

Last night, we went to my mom’s house and out to dinner with her to celebrate her birthday!

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We’re off to Jaden’s last cooking class. Have a great day and don’t forget to foam roll! :)

  • Do you foam roll or stretch?
  • Favorite thing to put peanut butter on?

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

Birthdays, Shoulders, and CrossFit

Good morning!

Happy birthday to my wonderful mom today!

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This picture is old but it’s great picture of my mom with her two kids. :)

Tonight, we’re going out to dinner to celebrate! Love you, Mom!

Monday, I did a great cardio workout followed by a shoulder workout at the gym. I did four sets of 20 reps of three shoulder exercises. Sometimes, I’ll use lighter weights but do more sets and reps. It’s good to change things up! The shoulder exercises I did included:

  • bent arm lateral raises
  • upright rows
  • alternating arm front raises

Then I stretched.

IMG_20150622_130027Crazy eyes or what?!

Speaking of changing things up, I’m usually boring with my breakfast choices. I either have egg whites and yogurt or oatmeal. Yesterday, I decided to do something different and I made an egg white omelet with sauteed spinach, red onions, and feta cheese. It was a nice change from my normal boring egg whites.

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I also had a whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter. Yum!

Last night, I went to CrossFit and Jaden came with me.

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CrossFit is like a giant playground to an eight year old.

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He loves the rings.

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Yesterday’s CrossFit workout was great and hard, as usual. We practiced deadlifts and then did our workout of the day which included wall ball throws, push-ups, and ring rows. So many push-ups.

Today, we have a few errands to do and then Jaden has a cooking class later this morning.

Have a great day!!

  • What’s your favorite breakfast?
  • What exercise is hard for you?

 

4 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, CrossFit, Working Out

Food and Cardio

Hello, friends!

Breakfast

I don’t always feel like eating the morning, but I always make sure to have something little especially if I’m going to the gym. Today, I had plain Fage Greek yogurt mixed with one packet of stevia. Then I added blueberries and some Special K Protein cereal on top for some crunch.

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After breakfast and getting the kids to school, I headed to the gym.

Today, I just did an hour of cardio. I started with 15 minutes on the arc trainer. Then I did 30 minutes of intervals on the treadmill. I finished with 15 minutes on the stationary bike and some foam rolling.  I like to mix up my cardio rather than just spending an hour on the same machine.

After my workout, I taught my Women on Weights class.

Lunch

After teaching, I came home to make lunch. Like I’ve mentioned before I usually stick to the same lunch for a few weeks until I get sick of it and move on to something else. For the past few weeks, I’ve been eating grilled veggie flatbread pizza but then I decided to bring back a favorite – chicken tender salad with honey mustard dressing.

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This salad is amazing. I use Applegate Naturals chicken tenders and Bolthouse honey mustard dressing. I also add some croutons and carrots.

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Yum!

Thank you for all the birthday wishes on yesterday’s post. Tomorrow is my actual birthday and I am celebrating with a much needed hair appointment!

Don’t forget to enter my  Stubb’s BBQ sauce giveaway! There’s still time to enter!

  • What is your favorite cardio activity?
  • Cardio or weights? 
  • What did you have for lunch today?

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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Lunch, Running

Strawberry Lime Protein Smoothie

In anticipation of the nice weather that’s coming soon, I’ve put together a smoothie that’s perfect for a hot summer day – a strawberry lime protein smoothie. Cold, refreshing, and packed full of protein!

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I’m always looking for ways to add extra protein to my diet because I know how good it is for building and repairing muscles. It also helps keep you feeling fuller longer, boosts energy, and can help aid in weight loss. But really, this smoothie is just delicious!

Strawberry Lime Smoothie

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 container key lime yogurt
  • juice from one lime
  • 2 oz cashew or almond milk
  • 1/2 (approx. 5 oz) container Premier Protein Strawberries & Cream shake
  • 4-6 ice cubes

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Directions:

Blend all ingredients and enjoy!

238 calories/2 g fat/ 26 g carbs/ 29 g protein

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This is probably one of my favorite smoothies that I’ve ever made. I love the strawberry and lime combination. It’s prefect for breakfast, a snack, or after a workout to repair and rebuild those muscles!

And of course, since I was making a smoothie, the kids wanted a smoothie too. Jaden is allergic to dairy products so his smoothie contained: Silk dairy-free mango peach yogurt, frozen strawberries, almond milk, honey, and ice cubes.

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Everyone had a delicious smoothie this morning!

  • What’s your favorite smoothie recipe?
  • What’s your favorite smoothie flavor?
  • How do you add protein into your diet?

 

4 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Recipes

Naturally Smart Eggs at Mariano’s

Recently, I received an email from Mariano’s about their exclusive release of Naturally Smart Eggs.

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Mariano’s is a grocery store local to Illinois, and I  wrote a post about the opening of a store near us a couple of years ago. They are an amazing store with an incredible produce, bakery, salad bar, and meat section.

Yum.

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Mariano’s continues to redefine the traditional grocery store by introducing an exclusive collection of new, health conscious products. The latest Chicagoland exclusive product is the new Naturally Smart Eggs which feature True Grade Hen2Home Technology.

These eggs are currently available at Mariano’s – three weeks before they debut nationally. This new egg technology introduces a new standard of quality to the fresh egg industry.

How the new eggs work: Each Naturally Smart Egg is marked with a Use By Date so the consumer knows exactly how fresh the egg is, Brand Identification for a safety stamp of authenticity, and a Trace Code which easily enables the consumer to find the exact farm the egg was sourced from by visiting http://www.naturallysmarteggs.com/.

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How cool is that?! Isn’t technology crazy awesome? You can actually find the farm an egg came from!

When I got the email about these new eggs, I was immediately intrigued. First, I love that each egg has a Use By Date on it. I am a little bit weird about expiration dates. I know some foods stay fine past their expiration date but I cannot eat a product after it’s expired. I rarely even eat leftovers so there’s no way I’m going to eat a food past its expiration date.

I am weird enough about expiration dates that I even write the date that I open my coffee creamer on the bottle.

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I’m the only one that drinks coffee in our house so I never finish a whole bottle before it goes bad. I drink it for exactly ten days after I write the date on it and then I pitch the rest. Hey, we all have weird food quirks, right?

I also thought it was really cool to see where your eggs come from. I thought this would be great for the kids. They would love to go online and put the number from the egg into the website and see where it came from.

So, we took a trip to Mariano’s. Luckily, we have one that’s only about 15 minutes away.

We bought a carton of the x-large eggs.

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They have large and x-large eggs for only $2 a dozen.

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While we were there, I was super excited to find the new Yasso bars and Arctic Zero ice cream!

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We bought the toffee crunch Yasso bars and the vanilla maple Arctic Zero. I have been looking everywhere for those Yasso bars and am a little too excited about eating one tonight.

We stopped at the smoothie bar on the way out and Jaden got a berry smoothie to try. They have a bunch of great smoothie flavors and I can’t wait to try some of the other ones!

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I eat eggs for breakfast every day and this morning was no exception.

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I loved the Naturally Smart Eggs and loved that each one has it’s own little expiration date stamp.

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Check out the Naturally Smart Eggs exclusively at Mariano’s in Illinois and nationwide soon!

Disclaimer: Mariano’s did contact me about writing this post but I bought the eggs myself. All opinions about eggs and expiration dates are my own. 

  • What do you think about the new egg technology?
  • Do you eat foods after their expiration date?
  • Have you ever tried Arctic Zero?

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Filed under Breakfast, Product Review

Is it Spring Yet?

Today is going to be 50 degrees in Chicagoland, and I saw a bird and a squirrel. I’m pretty sure spring is on its way!! This winter has felt like forever and I can’t wait for nice weather and to spend time outside.

Yesterday

Danny and I went to the gym yesterday morning. We worked on back and abs. Usually we do biceps also but my wrist is sore so we skipped biceps this time.

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The rest of the day we spent relaxing and enjoying the fact that it stays light out longer. Yay spring!

Today

The Bikini Body Mommy DietBet officially started today! There’s still time to join if you’re thinking about doing it! I started out my day with a normal breakfast – Fage Greek yogurt with strawberries and two egg whites.

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At the gym, I started with the Bikini Body Mommy strength workout. I did it once and then did some shoulder exercises including lateral raises, upright rows, overheard presses, front raises, cable lateral raises.

After my shoulder workout, I decided to try out the treadmill. I haven’t been on the treadmill in a long time and since I’ve been avoiding jumping exercises for the most part, I decided to see how my Achilles tendon felt. I walked for three minutes and ran for one minute for a total of 21 minutes.

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My Achilles felt fine at first, but the longer I went the more I could feel it starting to hurt. I finished up my walk/run and then foam rolled and stretched. It felt nice to run again but I don’t think my Achilles is going to agree. It’s so frustrating to be over hip surgery recovery and then have this happen. My plan is just to take it slow.

Have a great day!

  • How’s the weather where you live? Are you ready for spring?
  • What are you most looking forward to about being outside? I can’t wait to run outside, take family walks, and go on bike rides!

 

 

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Running, Working Out

VitaEgg Flatbread Sandwiches

I’m back to teaching group fitness! Today I taught my first class since my hip surgery. I am no longer able to teach BodyPump but I am teaching the Women on Weights class!

Before I taught my class, I did a workout of my own. I did the elliptical for about twenty minutes followed by two rounds of the Bikini Body Mommy strength workout.

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I’m not back to doing the BBM cardio workouts yet, but the strength workouts aren’t a problem.

Before I went to the gym, I had a VitaEgg Flatbread Sandwich. Vitalicious recently sent me these new flatbread egg sandwiches to try.

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They’re the same company that makes the VitaTops which I love!

Today was the perfect day to eat one because I needed something fast, easy, and still healthy.

I had the cheese and veggie flatbread.

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They also come in turkey sauce and veggie sausage.

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The new flatbread sandwiches are between 120 and 160 calories each. They have 10-15 grams of protein, 7-9 grams of fiber, 1.5-3.5 grams of fat, and 160mg of omega-3 DHA.

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I love that these have a lot of protein and fiber because that’s what I struggle with getting enough of in my diet.

Danny tried out the turkey sausage flatbread. He even took a picture of it on his phone without me even asking him to!

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He liked the flatbread sandwich but he said that he would have preferred it with cheese. Luckily, the veggie sauce flatbread does have cheese!

These sandwiches leave the yolks in the eggs which is important because they contain lutein for eye health, choline for brain health, and omega-3 DHA for heart health. I’m usually not a huge yolk person but in a sandwich they taste great and have so many  health benefits.

These sandwiches don’t have any artificial preservatives,coloring, or cholesterol. They are available online and in the freezer section at the grocery store.

I’ve really been trying to stick to my healthy eating lately. Yesterday for lunch, I had leftover California roll from Whole Foods and a salad with the organic chicken tenders.

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I love this salad. I honestly eat it almost every single day.

For dinner, I made coho salmon which I also got from Whole Foods.

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I haven’t had salmon in so long. I seasoned it with a little bit of olive oil, garlic, and dill. Then I cooked it in the oven in a foil packet on 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. I ate it with green beans and a sweet potato. Yum!

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Lots of healthy eats!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What is your favorite healthy breakfast?
  • Do you like fish/seafood? Favorite?

Vitalicious sent me these new flatbread sandwiches to try out at no cost to me. All opinions are my own…and Danny’s. 

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Fitness, Product Review, Working Out

Circuit Workouts

Good afternoon, friends! How are you today? I must tell you, I am so sick of the snow. I hate snow. If I never saw another snowflake again, I would be perfectly happy. I am counting the days until spring is here!

I have been really good about getting my diet back on track this week, with the small exception of going out to celebrate my dad and stepmom’s birthdays on Tuesday night. Let’s just say there was a lot of Mexican food and margaritas involved. But I am a firm believer of everything in moderation.

I made sure I was back on track Wednesday morning. Before work, I had plain Fage Greek yogurt mixed with a packet of Stevia and topped with raspberries.

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I love eating this for breakfast because it’s starts my morning out with a lot of protein!

I went to the gym this morning, but I decided that it was in my best interest to hold off on the Bikini Body Mommy workouts for a few days. They are great short workouts but the amount of jumping and squats involved has really been hard on my body on top of the other workouts I’m doing.

I was a little bit disappointed because I made it 40 days straight without missing a workout but I’m really trying to listen to my body and do what’s best for it.

I still managed to get a good workout in, focusing mostly on upper body and core work. I found a circuit workout in the Sarah Fit book and added a couple more exercises to it.

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My circuit consisted of:

  • single leg bicep curls x 20 (10 each leg)
  • triceps dips with feet on a stability ball (I forgot how hard these were!) x 12
  • chest presses on stability ball x 15
  • bentover rows x 15
  • upright rows x15
  • dumbbell deadlifts x 15

I rested about 2 minutes in between each circuit. I did the circuit three times each.

Then I moved on to a core circuit. For this circuit I did:

  • Russian twists with a medicine ball x 16 (each side)
  • single leg heel touches x 10 / double leg heel touches x 10
  • bicycle crunches x 15 each side
  • plank 30 seconds
  • dumbbell side bends x 20 (each side)

I did this circuit three times, resting one minute in between.

After the gym, I stopped at Target where I found these individual bags of Jack Links on clearance.

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I love the Jack Links and always buy the big bag. I have never seen the individual bags at my Target and suddenly there was a bunch of boxes on the clearance shelf. Where did they come from?!

Now I’m at home sipping on some Cinnabon coffee and getting a few things done. I’m working on a workout for my first Women on Weights class that I’m teaching next week!

Have a great day!

  • What’s your favorite kind of food? I love Mexican food. I could eat it everyday.
  • Do you ever do circuit workouts?
  • Favorite ab exercise?

6 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Straw Propeller Gourmet Foods Oatmeal

It’s Monday! I’m glad today is Monday because I feel like it gives me a fresh start after my horrendous week last week.

I’m back on track with my eating and workouts.

Yesterday, Danny and I went to the gym and worked on chest and triceps.

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Everyone has their own way of working out muscle groups – full body, upper body, lower body, biceps & triceps, etc. I usually workout the “pushing” muscles together – chest and triceps. These are the muscles you use for pushing exercises such as chest presses or push-ups.

I workout the “pulling” muscles together – back and biceps. These are the muscles you use for pulling exercises such as lat pulldowns and rows.

Then, I have a shoulder day. I incorporate core and leg exercises throughout the week depending on how much time I have to workout. The bikini body mommy workouts incorporate a lot of leg exercises and I still do some of my physical therapy exercises. My hip and quad still tend to get sore very fast so I take it a bit easier on the legs.

Today, I got back on track with my workouts and worked on shoulders. I did:

  • dumbbell front/lateral raises
  • shoulder press machine
  • plate front raises with a twist
  • kettlebell upright rows
  • overhead dumbbell presses
  • cable lateral raises
  • around the worlds (can be seen at 8:00 in the video)

I also did the bikini body mommy strength workout, walked, and did a little bit of stretching and foam rolling. When I woke up yesterday my quad was seriously killing me and I’m not quite sure why so I’m trying to take it a little easier on leg exercises.

Straw Propeller Gourmet Foods Oatmeal

Lately, before a workout or on the days I work, I have been eating Straw Propeller Oats for breakfast. I love that these oats help keep me feeling full for a long time especially when I’m working.

Straw Propeller was awesome enough to send me four of their oats flavors to try out.

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The four flavors I tried were Cherry and Chia, Apple Crisp, Maple Oats, and Orange Cranberry.

Of these four, my favorite was the Apple Crisp. It was delicious! I loved the chunks of apples, walnuts, and white chocolate chips.

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I love that Straw Propeller Oats use only real ingredients without additives or preservatives. Their oats are also gluten-free. And I love all the add-ins in their oats!

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My all-time favorite oats are their PB&J oats. I can’t even describe how good these are – peanuts, strawberries, and peanut butter chips. I could seriously eat these everyday.

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I buy the PB & J flavor at Target. Target and Whole Foods are the stores near me that I’ve found them at and they carry some great flavors!

Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you have a specific workout plan?
  • Do you like oatmeal? Favorite?

Straw Propeller sent me the four oatmeal flavors to try for free. I purchased the PB&J oats on my own. All opinions are my own. 

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Filed under Breakfast, Product Review, Working Out

Friday Favorites

Good morning – it’s Friday! How is your week going?

Let’s jump right into today’s favorites!

Friday Favorites

  • Cascadian Farm Fruitful O’s cereal

I am such a cereal addict. I purposely buy cereal for the kids that I don’t like because I can eat so much cereal without a problem. It’s addicting. I try to not even start eating it because I can eat about 75 bowls of cereal.

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I tried these Fruitful O’s and they were delicious so of course, I had to eat tons of them. I figure they’re better than Froot Loops though, right?!

  • In Death Book Series by JD Robb

I love the In Death series by JD Robb (who is actually Nora Roberts). I have been reading the series for years and years and Obsession in Death is the 40th book in the series.

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(Source)

The nice thing about this series is that you can pick up any book and not be lost with the story line. Of course, you’ll understand more if you’ve read the whole series but each book can be read as a single story.

  • Whole Foods Sushi

Whole Foods sushi is my favorite sushi. It just is. I love their California roll but my second favorite is the Philadelphia roll.

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I love that Whole Foods uses brown rice because I am not a fan of white rice. I love the how much more flavor brown rice has not to mention how much better it is nutrition-wise. White rice is so bland and unflavorful to me. Yay for brown rice sushi!

  • Race Season!

Spring is the official start of race season and I am officially signed up for my first 5ks of the year!

I haven’t run a lot since my hip surgery and haven’t really been running at all lately since my Achilles tendon still bothers me. My goal is to take it really slow and just ease back into running at my own pace. I think it’s going to be quite a shock after not running for so long but I’m going to do my best.

The first 5k I plan on doing is the is the Bunny Rock 5k in Chicago.

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I was lucky enough to win a free entry on Facebook! Right now, I’m about 75% sure that I’m going to run this race. We have something going on the day before and the day after is Easter. I plan to start walk/running soon so I will see if I’ll be ready in time for this race.

My next race which is a 100% for sure race is the Run Like a Mother 5k.

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I have run this race for the past 4 or 5 years and my grandma who had both hip replaced is planning on walking the race so I really look forward to doing this race again!

Those are my favorites for today! Have a great Friday!

  • What are your Friday Favorites?
  • Any plans for the weekend?

 

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Race, Running, Working Out