Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mission: Unplug

Hey bloggies!

Do you sometimes feel that you can't unplug? I do. Every day.



Let me give you a glimpse of my schedule as of late.

6:30am: alarm goes off
6:40am: alarm #2 goes off [just in case]
7:00am: check e-mail after showering
7:50am-4:00pm: sit in front of a computer for 8ish hours at work and occasionally check my phone (blogs, facebook, etc.)
4:00pm-10:00pm: call family/friends to catch up, watch episodes, read blogs, etc.

My face is either glued to a computer or my hand is glued to a phone for over 12 hours a day. This folks, is a problem.

This inability to unplug started in grad school. I would spend from 7am-7pm on campus in class or working. After that, I would come home, eat dinner fast or in front of the computer, and proceed to do my homework [typically on the computer...hello SPSS] until 11pm or later!

There is a teeny tiny difference between then and now. I don't have to be glued to electronics once the clock strikes 4pm. If I don't want to sit in front of a computer, I can choose not to.

So here it is...Mission: Unplug.

I will unplug for a few hours a day by doing different non-computer/cell phone/TV related things. Such as...
  • Eating dinner at the dinner table (no phone allowed)
  • Reading a novel when I get home
  • Getting together with friends (when schedules permit)
  • Exercising
I accomplished night #1 of eating dinner at the dinner table in complete silence. It was glorious.

Simple Spaghetti
  • Saute 1/2 cup of chopped onion in EVOO until translucent 
  • Add 1 can tomato sauce, 1 can tomato paste, and 1 can diced tomatoes
  • Add garlic, basil, pepper, and salt as needed
Garlic "Bread" Pita
  • Butter pita, grate Parmesan cheese over top, sprinkle garlic powder and paprika, toast






I challenge each of you to unplug at least once a day. Experience peace and quiet. Allow yourself to actually process your day. Whether it's turning your cell phone on silent for an hour to sit in thought or spending one less hour in front of the TV, that's a start. And that's huge.

Keep me posted. Let me know how you unplug, and I'll do the same.

Have a relaxing and unplugged evening, y'all!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I Love HIIT

Hey friends!

I hope everyone's hump day has been going well! I'm surprised I even remember what day it is. With work being so busy lately, the days are speeeeeding by!

You will be happy to know that I semi-battled the break room munchies today. I got out with only a mini kit kat and snickers, then ate them + an apple at my desk. I didn't even touch the doritos and cheetos as they stared me down on my way out...dun dun dun...;)

Once I got home I decided to get a real workout at the gym in my complex. While the equipment is better than my previous complex's gym, it's definitely a downgrade in terms of the amount of equipment! There are only 4 treadmills and 4 ellipticals, 6ish weight machines, and no dumbbells! Apparently students work out more than adults? Now I understand why guys splurge for gym memberships because there definitely aren't enough weights to work all of your muscle groups. I think I'm going to start using my bands at home and doing some P90X arm and leg workouts to supplement my cardio workouts.

I am going to be hurting tomorrow after today's HIIT workout. That's the abbreviation for High-Intensity Interval Training. Basically, you're alternating high and medium intensity exercise. To get myself back in the HIIT groove, I did the following workout:

*First column is minutes and the second column is speed.

1-2          6.0-6.5
2-4          4.0
4-6          6.0-6.5
6-8          4.0
8-10       6.0-6.5
10-12     4.0
12-14     6.0-6.5
14-16     4.0
16-18     6.0-6.5
18-20     4.0
20-30     4.0

To me this is my favorite way to get me back into running for longer lengths of time. Once I'm back in the running groove, I try to do a HIIT workout at least once a week. The coolest thing about the treadmill I used was that you could program your own workout, complete with intervals and speed and elevation changes! This way, I wasn't able to talk myself out of hitting the speed up when my running interval came. ;)

I'm off to make some hummus and eat dinner! Remember, 2 days until the weekend begins!

--
Do any of y'all have a good HIIT workout that you like?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Battling Breakroom Munchies

Hey everyone! Sorry I went so MIA this weekend. Although I want to create a regular blogging schedule, sometimes you are just too busy living life to write about it :) Don't worry, I'll catch you up to speed later.

Tonight I want to post about something relevant to all of us: battling the break room munchies. You know what I'm talking about. From time to time, sweet treats find their way into your office's break room. Usually this isn't a normal occurrence. These treats could be leftover from a business luncheon or brought in by a coworker who decided to whip up a batch of her famous brownies over the weekend.

Currently, I'm battling the break room munchies. Big time. So, we have a huge event that we plan every year at work. This event is happening soon, so right now it's crunch time. As a reward to get us through the last few hills, there have been some mysterious snacks that show up in the break room every afternoon. Chips, candy, fruit, you name it! And you know I don't grab the fruit when there's chocolate and carbs involved!

After indulging the first few days I thought to myself, "Okay, only 2 twix bars tomorrow" or "Swap your beloved Doritos for pretzels instead!" Let me tell you friends, a trend was started and it won't end easily. I have definitely noticed a difference in my quality of sleep and energy throughout the day. I rarely eat processed/junk food, and my body realized it. I definitely needed to make a change and create more satisfying meals that contained a lot more fruit and veggies. This way, I'm not as tempted to grab snacks at work.

After work today, I loaded up on veggies at the grocery store to make some awesome lunches, snacks, and dinners! This was probably the first legitimate shopping trip that focused around meals I planned to make. Here's what I made with the ingredients:

Lunches: whole wheat pitas stuffed with red bell peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, and hummus
Snacks: fruit and/or cheese
Dinner: Back on Track Cilantro, Lime, and Wheatberry Salad (AMAZING, you must try this). I added more cumin and substituted a vidalia onion for a red onion.

I'm excited that I now have more satisfying meals and snacks that will help me battle the break room munchies! If all else fails, I'll avoid the break room! ;) How have you battled them in the past?

I'm off to watch the finale of Bachelor Pad and call it a night!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rainy Days

Hey everyone! Are you tired of the rain or what? It has poured and poured...and poured here! This is how I've felt:



source

Gotta love LOLcats :)

Although rain typically turns me into a hobbit, I ventured out last night so that my social life didn't take a hit. I successfully navigated thought parts of NOVA at night, in the pouring rain, and without a GPS. Well, successfully on the way home. I missed a few signs on the way there. ;) I'd say that's pretty successful! I have to admit, I've become pretty reliant on my GPS like most people my age.

On rainy days I just want to make comfort food. Specifically, this chili, these cookies, and all of these. I also want to curl up on the couch in my pjs and watch tv...or Bachelor Pad on Hulu. That's an extremely guilty, and embarrassing, pleasure...I know.

I don't have any new recipes for you all so far this week. Unless you call scrambled eggs with mushrooms, spinach, and pepper jack cheese a recipe! I'm sure I'll come up with something soon. But until then, make one of those comforting recipes to brighten your mood!