Strawberries and goat cheese

Gotta make this quick… it’s past 10 pm already.  Yikes!  To make up for my lack of creativity tonight, here are a few giveaways for you to check out…

Heather and Mark are having a giveaway for almond butter… yum!

And Kelly is having another book giveaway.  I want both!! :D

BEST MEAL OF THE DAY

I give all credit for today’s meal of the day to my sister and her boyfriend, who brought us the best strawberry balsamic vinegar and basil infused olive oil EVER (from Old Town Oil in Chicago)!!  I tried the strawberry balsamic here and raved about it the first time, but today I actually added fresh strawberries to the salad which brought out the amazing balsamic vinegar sweetness and strawberry flavor even further.  The vinegar + oils turned a delicious salad into an extraordinary, lick the plate clean amazing meal (and yes, I did in fact lick the plate after I was done … no joke!).

In today’s salad I used baby spinach, grape tomatoes, fresh strawberries, goat cheese and pecans – all dressed in 1 tsp of the basil EVOO and 1 T of the strawberry balsamic.  OMG, strawberries and goat cheese in a salad… how did I live for over 26 years without ever trying this combo??!!

strawberry/goat cheese salad

Pre-dressing closeup:

salad closeup

On the side I enjoyed 4 crackers with some Trader Joe’s olive bruschetta.  It was a really great lunch!

crackers with TJ's olive bruschetta

OTHER EATS

Banana/barney butter sammie

grapes + 2% cottage cheese

Peach chobani with a clementine and 1/2 kashi chewy trail mix bar

Kashi dark chocolate oatmeal cookie

Chicken/mushroom and broccoli ww pasta in creamy mushroom sauce

For the dish above, I followed this recipe found on Lara’s blog.  I added extra mushrooms because we love mushrooms in this household :D  7.5 oz of dry pasta, 1 lb of raw chicken, a broccoli head and a big handful of fresh mushrooms + sauce made 4 HUGE servings.  In fact, I couldn’t finish this bowl so I had dessert instead…

2 sweet sloops

Total calories for the day: 1678

WORKOUT

I had a great workout today!  I was actually really excited about it which made a very vigorous bootcamp class (recently renamed to “extreme core training” and yes it was extreme) very enjoyable.  I started with a 15 minutes of abs, followed by 40 minutes of a bootcamp class (we alternated between jump rope and crazy exercises for 1 minute each) and finished with 20 minutes of pilates.  I was actually going to do the whole pilates class but my legs were shaking so much after 20 minutes I thought it may do more harm than good so I left in the middle of the class.  The instructor was a little upset, but whatever.  She’ll get over it :)

By the way, I’ve been using my Ab slide 3 times a week (I didn’t do it today… I just figured I’d mention it so you guys know I’ve been complying with the Sexy six pack challenge rules :) ).  I’m up to 60 rolls already! :D

And that’s all I’ve got for you today!  I have a little dinner + movie date with my friend Katie tomorrow so there may be no post tomorrow night… or a really short  one!  I’m just warning you ;)

Pretty hair + sweaty workout

 Heh, that title was kind of funny.  I couldn’t think of a good one.  But actually, that’s what totally made me happy yesterday.  I finally made it to the gym (for the first time in 4 days!!) and made sure to have a great extra long workout.  I missed the gym so much.  I really do go through serious withdrawals and don’t feel like myself at all, if I skip a few days.  Sometimes I feel like I drag myself there because that’s what “I have to do” but seriously if I don’t go, I miss it.  I’m weird like that.  After the gym, I straightened my hair which was looking kind of greasy and not so hot lately.  So take a great workout + nice shiny straight hair, and you get a happy Elina for the rest of the day.  I was in a great mood.  And… I’m totally back to being excited about my healthy living again.  It took a few days to get back into it – part of it was because I couldn’t work out (too much work) and the other part was that my stomach was still kind of freaking out from the Sunday + Monday binges so after a few days of cleaner eating and a sweaty workout, I’m “healed.”  :lol:   Much better!

Since my workout was totally the highlight of my day, I’ll start with that….

WORKOUT

I started with a 15 minutes abs class at the gym.  It was nothing crazy just lots of crunches and stuff.  Then I took a 40 minute spin class, followed by a 3.3 mile walk/run on the treadmill (originally I was just going to walk, but then after a few minutes I got bored, so I slowly increased my speed and ran for a solid 3 miles… cooling down again with a short walk).  I used the “fat burn” function on the treadmill and it let me set a target heart rate (I originally picked 150, then moved it up to 160) which adjusted the incline to constantly maintain my HR.  It was fun because there were random hills along the way and I was in control of adjusting the speed if I thought I could take it.  I ran at 6.2-6.6 mph (a little slower than usual because I was already tired from spinning).  To finish my workout, I jumped on the elliptical and did another 20 minutes there while watching the Food Network.  I love multi-tasking like that :)   Workout stats (exclude a 5 min stretch):

  • Duration: 1:48
  • Calories burnt: 960 (35% fat) – Yeah!! :D
  • Ave HR: 150 (included the abs class which kept my HR at a low rate); Max HR: 226 (that doesn’t seem right!  during spinning my high was usually at 168, not sure about the run but 226 is def wrong).

 I also used my Ab Slide right before going to bed.  I did 20 straight rolls, 10 on each side, and another 10 straight rolls (50 in total).  That’s 10 better than the last one.  I think I could have done more, but I was ready for bed.  I’ll push myself for a few extra ones today or tomorrow.

BEST MEAL OF THE DAY

I wish I took progress pictures of this meal because it looked so pretty along the way, with the spinach and the cheese… mmm.  Anyways, today’s best meal of the day was my dinner (although leftovers for lunch were awesome too but I already featured the scallops).  We had some ricotta in the fridge and since it spoils so quickly after opening the container, I wanted to make baked ziti.  So baked ziti I made.  I added grilled chicken for some extra protein and some baby spinach for extra veggies (+ I really love spinach with pasta dishes).  Here is the whole thing when it came out of the oven.  Doesn’t it look good?  Cheese will make just about anything look mouth-watering, I think.

baked ziti with chicken and spinach

And my serving (1/4 of the pan).  Yum!

baked ziti with chicken + baby spinach - my portion

OTHER EATS OF THE DAY

yogurt w/ 1/2 banana, clementine, pb puffins, chocolate granola, dried cranberries, roasted peanuts + flax

2 ak mak crackers, 2T sabra roasted garlic hummus, baby carrots

leftover-scallops-with-brussels-sprouts-and-brown-rice

office cake

orange

kashi dark chocolate oatmeal cookie

+ a glass of Pinot Noir I enjoyed with some co-workers after work :)

Total calories for the day: ~1775 (includes a rough estimate for the cake bites).  It’s over my usual limit, but I’m cool with it since I burnt so many calories at the gym today.  See, I’m healthy AND sane ;)

Oh yeah, and check out Kelly’s weekly giveaway at here.  That book sounds like something I’d enjoy… maybe you will too (if you win) :)

Another tie

It’s another tie for the best meal of the day.  I knew work was going to be busy again, so I got up a little extra early to make a special little breakfast.  For dinner, I made a delicious dish that was unsurprisingly amazing.  So I can’t chose between the 2.  Don’t make me, ok? :)

BEST MEAL OF THE DAY – PART I

breakfast closeup

What you see is 1 slice of Arnold’s double fiber whole wheat bread, toasted, spread with ricotta cheese, 2 prunes, pecans and a tsp of maple syrup.  To die for!  I had some amazing fresh blueberries on the side.  These have seriously been the best blueberries I’ve ever had (they were on sale 2 for 1, but we’re still almost out :( )

toast with ricotta, prunes, pecans and maple syrup + blueberries

BEST MEAL OF THE DAY – PART II

panko/butter "crusted" scallops

I love love love scallops, but I think this is the first time I’ve ever made them!  Why you ask?  Well for some reason my husband thought he wasn’t crazy for scallops even though he usually loves them at restaurants.  Maybe he secretly didn’t trust my scallop making skills :lol:   Well, I proved him wrong tonight.  I used this recipe from Cooking Light as the base, but didn’t actually make the bay-scented butter (just used Smart Balance butter instead – a little less than the recipe asked for).  I also These were SO good!  Btw, I don’t know if Cooking Light was planning on serving this to birds but 1 serving is definitely not enough for a person. ;)  I made probably about 7-servings worth according to them, and I ate about 30% of it.  Of course I could eat even more but this way I get to have leftovers! :D

On the side, I had some trusty parmesan brussels sprouts (this is the only way I make brussels sprouts because they are amazingly delicious and take less than 10 minutes as opposed to baking which takes more like 30-40 minutes) + 1/2 cup of brown rice.  Great dinner!

scallops, brussels sprouts + brown rice

OTHER EATS

KIND bar

salad: baby lettuce, grape toms, cucs, carrot, 2 sl. turkey, 2T hummus with 1T Annie's goddess dressing + 1/2 srvg wheat thins

salad closeup

TJ's 100 calorie dark chocolate bar

apple

TJ's light string cheese

There was also another unphotographed cookie that jumped in my mouth before I knew what happened.  It’s ok, I was a good girl all day! :D

Total calories for the day: right around 1650

By the way, I finished my project at work today!  It was another busy day, but I did it – it’s done!!  I was/am so happy about it.  My boss was very appreciative, so I feel great!  Yay!

Re: gym, I still haven’t gone and now dinner is sitting like a rock in my stomach (thank god I didn’t go back for more!) so I don’t know what’s going to happen with that.  I know I definitely will use my ab slide before bed.  Gotta get those sexy six pack abs!!

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