Go Aztex! + Weekend Highlights

Hello! Coming to you a little later this morning. I did not follow my own food prep rules at all, and let it get way out of hand. I was still cleaning up the kitchen around 9:30, and got sleepy very fast. In fact, I even had to put off making the Paleo Bread since it was already late. I am setting a timer next time!

Go Aztex! + Weekend Highlights

How was your weekend? You may have already had your morning coffee and blog reading time, but I wanted to pop in today to share a few weekend highlights. On Saturday, I enjoyed my morning routine of yoga class, and then a quick trip to Whole Foods. I also met up with Scott at the Aztex soccer game later in the evening. Go Aztex!

Aztex Game

I snagged a package on groupon a few weeks back for Dharma Yoga in Austin. It happened to pop up on my computer, and it was perfect timing. As someone in a new area it is kind of nice to have a place of routine where everyone knows your name. Like they used to sing on Cheers. In fact, one of the teachers who was there said hello to me by name even though I only took her class once. Plus, the studio just has a very unique and inviting presence.

Yoga Studio

Off to Whole Foods after my 90 minute Hatha Yoga Class. We did a bunch of my favorite poses, and I am gradually become more comfortable with partner work. It used to feel very strange to me to start “doing yoga” with a stranger. But I am cool with it now…sort of.

Dharma Yoga

Whole Foods was a mob scene as you can well imagine on a Saturday.

Spring

I grabbed a quick lunch and ate at one of the food counters. Kale salad, grilled salmon and a side of La Croix. After years of traveling for work I have become fairly comfortable with eating meals alone. The more casual the better, but I wish I had brought a book with me for company.

Lunch

I grabbed some staples, casually pondered guacamole and headed towards the check out. A random man buying wine hugged me like we were best buds, but other than that it was all very typical. No joke, he just turned around and gave me a hug while I was getting my salmon.

Scott had to leave early for the soccer game so I headed out much later to meet him. I got to the stadium in record time and did not get lost which is huge for me. However, the line for parking was staggering and I ended up very high in the parking garage. Here is the view:

View

So I was 20 minutes late to a game that is only 90 minutes. I recall repeatedly saying to Scott the game seemed really short. I also walked to the “wrong side” of the seats. I must have misunderstood what the ticket taker said because I went to the opposite side of the stadium. I wondered why Scott had gone missing and no one was wearing a blue shirt (Aztex team color) when it dawned on me.

Sign

My family has said for years that I do very ditzy things and I may have to accept that they are right. Once you miss a flight because you were getting coffee there is really no going back.

I walked around to the other side of the stadium, found Scott, and got settled on a bench. Soccer is a really fun and fast paced sport so I find it to be fun to watch. The Aztex have a great fan base in Austin, and they are always very animated in their support. The Aztex won!

Game

The health nut in me was cringing a little bit as I saw kid after kid eating a dinner and/or snacks consisting of chips, snow cones and buckets of popcorn. I certainly understand treats (especially for kids), but this seemed like a bit much. Scott and I are interviewing Michele from Paleo Running Momma for the podcast this week. I made a mental note to ask her how she manages to not let her children eat this way.

Sunday was beautiful. We decided to go to the later church service and afterwards swung by our local farmer’s market to walk around a bit.

Farmers Market

We ended up with some chicken and vegetables which are typical purchases for us. Below is Scott struggling to see so he reluctantly put on my large sunglasses. Always keep sunglasses on hand in Austin!

Scott

Then we saw a new tent for ginger beer. We tried it, it was delicious and we ended up bringing a bottle home.

Soco

I put Scott on sweet potato duty and he came up with this delicious hash that is a mix of different types of sweet potatoes and butternut squash.

Sweet Potato Hash

The rest of the evening was a blur and went something like this….meal prep, workout, meal prep, and clean up. Not even an episode of The Killing. I have to reign myself in next time.

I am almost done with my coffee so I am going to get going. Busy day ahead! I am also working on a new post for tomorrow with some suggestions about what to eat before a workout. See you bright and early!

Your turn: How was your weekend? What’s on your agenda for the week? Feelings on partner yoga?

Linking up these highlights with Katie and Erin.

Xo,

Lauren

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Spring, Meals, Fitness

Hi there! How is your weekend going? Spring/Summer is definitely on the horizon in Austin for sure. The temps are up high and people were out in droves when I was out and about on Saturday morning. I braved the traffic for my hatha yoga class. Totally worth it.

Yoga

Speaking of which, I realized during my car drive (of all things) that I have not shared any of my personal meal or fitness plans on the blog in a while. No time like the present, right?

Spring, Meals, Fitness

Meal planning is not one of my favorite things to do. However, when the week gets underway I am so grateful that I took a little time to get a jumpstart. Even if I only have an hour or so I will do as much as I can. If you have an idea of what you are making you can shop accordingly so you waste less time both at the food store and when it comes to pulling weeknight dinners together. Does the phrase “what is for dinner sound familiar?” Those all too familiar words can have us running for the quickest pizza menu. If you are going to be healthy then you have to get a little busy in the kitchen. This way you know what is in your food and you can pack if up for work or whatever else the day may bring. I shared my meal planning tips in this post a little ways back. I have certainly improved the process over the years. Trial and error!

Dinner

I usually food shop 1-2 food times a week. On Saturday, I will survey what we have on hand, and make a grocery list so I can shop as efficiently as possible.

Here is the meal plan attack:

Sunday Meal Prep

  • Veggies – I typically grill/bake a whole lot of mixed vegetables to eat over a salad or dinners. I also chop lots of raw veggies (carrots, celery, yellow or red pepper) for snacks. Clean and chop kale and cabbage so they can be quickly sautéed. This is a huge help! Cleaning that salad spinner is a job in and of itself.
  • Proteins – Grill steak and chicken. Form turkey meatballs and regular grass-fed burgers to be cooked during the week. Make hard boiled eggs for snacks and/or salads.
  • Starches – The usual suspects: quinoa, brown rice, squash and sweet potatoes. These take a while to cook so having them sitting in the fridge is a huge help.
  • Extras – I am going to follow Elana’s recipe for Paleo Bread which is more like a sandwich bread than a sweet bread. I only hope I can make mine look as good and “loaf-like” as hers. Mix up and set aside small batches of chia pudding. Cook up some protein pancakes. I will most likely use the recipe I shared last week. If time allows I would like to experiment a bit with some homemade protein bars or bites to have on hand. If they turn out well, I will certainly share the recipe!

Here is what the week is looking like for fitness:

Workout

  • Sunday: Squat Workout
  • Monday: Anything goes – I like to think of these as my fun workouts where I do whatever I am in the mood to do. A lot of times this is a combination of cardio, runs and/or a circuit with kettlebells, etc. If I want to try out a class that is an option too.
  • Tuesday: Yoga Class
  • Wednesday: Squat Workout
  • Thursday: Anything goes
  • Friday: Yoga Class
  • Saturday: Squat Workout

As you can see, I tend to lift heavier (squat style workouts) three times a week. I do not usually take days “off” because I always kind of like to be doing something. It is my personal preference. The yoga classes I take are more of the restorative than intense variety so I consider them my recovery days from working out. Of course there are days the schedule gets thrown out the window, but this is my general structure. I have been working out regularly for a long time so it is all about a slow build. This schedule would have had me running in the other direction years ago! I always tell clients to commit to what they think is feasible in the beginning, but as it becomes more of a habit they can handle a little more. Consistency is a huge factor in becoming stronger.

I have to boogie since I am finishing up this post while getting ready to go to the Aztex season opening game. Enjoy your Sunday!

Linking up with Amanda, Laura and Jill today.

You turn: Do you meal prep on Sunday? What’s your favorite sports team? How do you pass time in traffic?

Xo,

Lauren

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Friday Faves {3.27.15}

Good morning! How have we arrived at Friday already?! I think with being so laser focused on my CPT exam I sort of lost track of the days. Any fun plans on the horizon for the weekend? I have a yoga class on my fitness agenda along with a squat workout. I have my fingers crossed that Scott will have time to train me. He has been working a ton of hours, and this weekend is no exception. Although I am capable of training myself there is so much value in having a coach. I find that I push myself more, use heavier weights, and my overall workout is just better. Speaking of Scott, the Aztex (Austin’s Soccer Team) is having their season opening game on Saturday night. We will be there with bells on!

So moving onto my little round up of favorites from the week! As always I invite you to share anything you are loving in the comments section below. Let’s kick it off!

Friday Faves {3.27.15}

Ab Straps for the Gym

I totally enjoy our garage gym. My sister joked when she visited that she would have no idea where to start if she had to do a workout. I guess I am used to it? As I have trained more I actually believe that you need less and less equipment. I am no longer such a big fan of the large machines. They have their place, but I do not use them very frequently. I am a big believer in accessories though – like these arm straps.

ab sleeves

I used to have a love/hate relationship with them. When you find them at a bigger gyms they are often sweaty and gross which makes you not want to use them. However, they are hard and work your abs like crazy! I am a fan.

The Killing

the killing

After working your abs you need couch time to recover, right? I usually say that Scott and I rarely watch television. This is true…mostly. Even with our last show, True Detective, we only watched one episode every few nights. Unfortunately we cannot seem to do this with The Killing. My mom and sister raved about this show when they were here visiting.

Last week, Scott was less than enthralled with my movie suggestions so he brought up The Killing. We found it on Amazon Prime and we were off! By off, I mean we loved the show, but were still able to watch only one episode. There was a time over last weekend where we watched four in a row. Oops. So much for moderation.

Travel Plans to Duck

Scott’s sister, Betsy, is getting married in Duck, North Carolina in May.

wedding

As I have mentioned before there is no cuter airport than the Austin airport. However, the downside is that it is quite small and does not fly everywhere. I had no idea the weeding was so fast approaching until I was getting my hair done and realized that it was going to be somewhat sooner rather than later. Perhaps I just do not keep track of days or time well? I knew our trip to Duck would involve a few connections and renting a car so I felt a big relief to get that squared away this week.

Flashback to our last trip when we brought a bit of country style to the beach!

2013-09-24 02.12.06

Sumo Oranges

I am sort of crushing on sumo oranges at the moment. They are easy to peel and eat which is an added bonus. I hate scraping away at a traditional orange because I sort of want to give up. Not so with the sumo! Love these.

sumo oranges

The Definition of Motivation

I was reviewing my notes for the CPT exam and was struck by the definition of motivation on the chapter dedicated towards goal setting. Motivation is a psychological contract that arouses and directs behavior.

motivation

This was interesting to ponder because what makes one person more motivated than another? If I was to answer it in a word I think it is desire. Whatever the goal might be, you have to WANT to make it happen. Results and success often take longer than we anticipate so keeping our motivation is what pushes us through when it feels like nothing is moving.

Have a wonderful weekend and stay motivated my friends!

Linking up for Friday Faves with Heather, Clare, Katie and Jill.

Your turn: Favorite thing of the week? How do you stay motivated??

Xo,

Lauren

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Protein Pancakes + A Warrior

Little confession…I have a huge affection for protein pancakes. When I have the time they regularly find their way into my breakfast. They even pop up at dinner sometimes when I want to do that breakfast for dinner thing.

I made these Pumpkin Oatmeal Protein Pancakes for breakfast yesterday morning, and they were delicious. I know pumpkin is typically more of a fall flavor, but I enjoy it year round.

Protein Pancakes + A Warrior

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

  • 1/3 Cup Uncooked Oatmeal (I use Gluten Free)
  • 2 Whole Eggs
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1 Scoop Vanilla Sun Warrior Protein Powder
  • ¼ Cup Organic Pumpkin Puree
  • ½ Teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

I simply put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, used my immersion blender to blend, and waited for the stove to heat up my frying pan. A bit of coconut oil spray and then I added the mix to the pan. When they formed a bubble (like regular pancakes) I flipped them. This process took about five minutes. I added a little bit of Kerrygold butter and natural maple syrup (about a teaspoon of each) and voila!

Discovering Protein Recipes

When I started to clean up my eating years ago I started adding protein to my meals on a consistent basis. I had really no idea how to make healthy food taste good so I stuck with egg whites and an English muffin every morning for the longest time. I was definitely in a food rut, and searching for something different.  Well, as luck would have it a fitness model I had started following on Facebook randomly shared a recipe for “protein pancakes” from the Tone It Up girls. Say what? Protein via a pancake?? I was fascinated and immediately tried their recipe. Once I knew of the concept I started seeing more of these recipes online and in women’s fitness magazines. I was completely hooked on healthy protein pancakes.

Pancake Warriors

Given my affection for pancakes, I was naturally drawn to the blog, Pancake Warriors, when I became more active in the blogging community. I connected with Sam who is the author behind the blog and we share a lot of the same philosophy when it comes to clean eating and women getting stronger.

Last month, Scott and I had the opportunity to interview her for the Well-Being Podcast and she shared some great background with us.

Podcast

Sam has a unique story to share in terms of how she became interested in fitness and working out. After years of smoking and not taking care of herself, Sam decided she wanted to start running. Even though she had quit smoking it was a slow battle given the damage to her lungs, but she persevered. Her interest in running led towards lifting weights and eventually fueling herself with more nutritious foods. It was a complete transformation to a healthy lifestyle.

Pancake Warriors

Starting her blog was a way to share her passion for these things and a way to connect with other like minded people. Sam is equally impressive to me in all that she accomplishes. She teaches group fitness classes, works out regularly, is employed as a full-time accountant, and shares lots of wonderful recipes with her readers almost daily. Pancake Warriors is a joint endeavor with her boyfriend, Dave. They work on the blog together and both have a love of fitness and yoga.

One of their rituals as a couple is protein pancakes for breakfast every Saturday before they gym. This routine turned it to the inspiration behind their blog name. I also love the selection of the term warrior and the thought behind it. Their philosophy being that you should bring your all in every situation. Claim your inner warrior and take your A-game with you to the gym, the kitchen or the pursuit of your goals. I love this message!

It was so great to connect with Sam and awesome to hear her story. Check out the podcast at the link for  “Girls that Lift!”

Visit their blog, Pancake Warriors, for awesome recipes, workouts and health tips.

Thanks, Sam!!

Linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons today.

Your Turn: How did you become interested in healthy living? Were you motivated by personal health, a race, a random recipe search or maybe a fitness idol? I would love to hear about it!

Xo,

Lauren

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NSCA Certified Personal Trainer

Oh hi….long time, no chat. I guess that new posting schedule of mine has not been working out so well! For some reason, when I was posting more on frequently I had a ton of things to say. When I cut back on my schedule, I suddenly felt a lot of pressure (by no one other than myself) to only provide the best posts possible. As we all know, pressure never really enhances creativity. So I have been busy nursing my writers block, and working on another little project of mine that was fast approaching…

NSCA Personal Trainer Certification

NSCA

Remember that personal training certification I have been cranking away on? After breakfast yesterday, I retreated to my little green room to study one last time before I headed out to take my exam at a local test center.

When I get distracted I selfie (and surf the web)…

NSCA

When Scott pops in to say he is leaving, he also takes a picture…

NSCA

Do not be fooled by my smile! I started to work myself up into a state of nervous anxiety as the clock ticked away, and it was close to time to leave. Growing up, I never worried when it came to tests or performing in any way. I breezed by, and as a result always did fairly well. I had a few butterflies when I went on stage to perform, but they usually eased up within minutes. As I have gotten older, I frequently find myself making a bigger deal out of the small things. I miss that younger girl who was fearless because what was really the worst that could happen? Now the idea of not passing one test makes my blood pressure rise…

I was reminding myself of positive mantras and then imagining what the worst case scenario would be as I drove along in my car. When I arrived at the testing center (a local H&R block) I had finally talked myself down off the ledge.

The exam was 155 questions and I finished fairly quickly. You are allowed three hours total. I chose to use the extra time to go back and thoroughly review all the questions and make sure I was certain of my answers. One of my big realizations when I used the online practice exams is that I tend to rush a little bit, and not read every single word. A few words can be very significant so I wanted the opportunity to double check myself thoroughly.

This took what seemed like forever and then I hit “cover” which is the process to submit your test since it is all done via computer. I grabbed my things from the testing site and headed to the lobby area to check out. As much as I had rationalized that it would not be life changing, I was absolutely thrilled to receive a passing grade on the exam.

NSCA

I will be putting together a more comprehensive study guide of tips for those out there who are studying for a similar test. In my research, I found a lot of tips for studying for the NASM CPT online. My certification is through the NSCA, but I found a lot of the same guidance to be valuable. I have my eye on a few other certifications, but they are workshop based. I need a break from text books and flash cards!

I am off to take a walk (the Austin weather is gorgeous tonight) and figure out something for dinner. When Scott gets home we have a date to watching The Killing. Have you seen this show? We are ADDICTED.

Have a good one!

Your Turn:

Any certified or aspiring personal trainers out there?

Have you experienced a career switch? I was a professional non-paid actor (it is really a thing), an editor, a marketing “jack of all trades”, and an aspiring teacher for a hot minute. Yikes, I have had a few jobs.

Xo,

Lauren

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