After working the last two weekends in a row (both BODYPUMP® trainings here in the Carolinas), it was so nice to have a weekend at home! The weather was so amazing, I tried to spend as much time as possible outside, including starting my weekend with a Friday Happy Hour.
And by Happy Hour I mean sitting on my front porch drinking a protein shake. I normally only drink protein shakes post-workout, but I'm on a major bender with this Pretty-In-Pink shake lately. It was all I wanted to celebrate the start of the weekend!
Once my husband got home from work, we headed out to dinner at Wolfgang Puck Kitchen & Bar. I'm so lame you guys. I get the same thing every time: the chopped salad with salmon on top. The salad is loaded with veggies - all chopped up nice and small - tossed in vinaigrette and dusted with parmesan cheese. Their salmon is always perfectly cooked: good sear on the outside and still soft on the inside. (Is there anything worse than overcooked salmon? I don't think so...)
On Saturday morning, I taught my regular 10 a.m. BODYPUMP® class and then, the rest of the day was a complete blur. I got lost in a new project I'm working on for 2017, and before I knew it, it was way past dinner time and I was tired and starving. I made a batch of protein pancakes and then, a couple hours later I had to make a grilled chicken salad because it was one of those days where I just needed more food! Two dinners? Why not. Saturday could have been better. I should have done more - relaxed more, gone outside more, etc. - but I'm *really* excited about the plans for Fat Loss Foodies in 2017 and I just wanted to put my head down and grind out work. (Good thing it doesn't feel like work, eh?)
Sunday morning, I got up early (my dog and cat see to that) and started cleaning my house with a vengeance. We are 99% sure my mom is coming to North Carolina for Thanksgiving! She hasn't seen our house yet since we moved here, so this is a big deal! It wasn't just casual vacuuming and dusting. I'm talking deep clean, lots of elbow grease, and SCRUBBING. The kind of cleaning that feels like a workout! (I am my mother's daughter. I learned this from her!)
Traveling for work the last several weeks has left the outside of the house as neglected as the inside, so I hit Home Depot at 9 a.m. and loaded up on mums and pansies and a new planter for the front porch.
Very unlike me, I got them all in the ground as soon as I got home.
There. Now it looks like someone lives in my house again.
At some point amid a good 3-4 hours of cleaning, shopping, and planting, I managed to grab brunch at one of my top spots here in Greensboro: Printworks Bistro. Their menu changes because they always feature seasonal and local ingredients, so going every few weeks actually works out better. I wish I could go every weekend, but then it probably wouldn't seem as special. The menu wouldn't feel like a surprise every time I come.
I ordered one of my usuals: the omelet. But this egg white omelet was bangin'. Absolutely do not mock me for putting "egg white" and "bangin'" in the same sentence. Just let me tell you what was in it. Write this down:
Bacon, leeks, butternut squash, and aged Tickler cheddar. (It's a good sharp white cheddar.) I will definitely attempt making this at home; the flavors were excellent together.
You might be looking at the pic below and wondering why there are Brussels sprouts on my plate at 9 a.m. on a Sunday, but it's because Printworks has these insanely good Brussels sprouts. I swap out the breakfast potatoes and get these veggies instead.
Sunday afternoon I shifted gears and got back into fitness mode. I've been sick all week with a cold, subbed out my classes on Thursday, and didn't work out Friday. Saturday and Sunday, I was ready to hit it again.
My husband (also a National Trainer for BODYPUMP®) had the brilliant idea last week that we should run through the BODYPUMP® Challenge. It's a workout we put all of our new instructors through on day 2 of instructor training.
BODYPUMP® is a high rep, relatively low weight strength training program, but the Challenge is more like a weight training workout you'd do out on the gym floor. It consists of five rounds of supersets. Each superset is two exercises back to back, around 15-20 reps of each exercise. We go a good bit heavier than we lift while teaching or taking our classes - and that's the point.
Walking out of the group fitness studio post-Challenge, I had this GREAT idea to see how many pull-ups I could do.
Answer: 1. My arms and back were shot. Worst idea ever. But I got up there and did it, and I'm back around 3-4 unassisted pull-ups in a row. My goal is 10 in a row by the end of 2016, so you'll see more pull-up talk here soon. Pull-ups are such an all-around bad-ass exercise!
Of course, I have to end my weekend recap post with a fun little recipe I whipped up before I went to the gym. A local company named Fit Station used to sell these little high-protein "parfaits" - just Greek yogurt with whey protein powder stirred in. It's surprisingly good. Fit Station went out of business, probably because people like me figured out how to make things like this at home for cheaper.
Cookie Monster Parfait
1 c. 2% Greek yogurt
1 serving Quest Cookies & Cream whey protein powder
2 Tbs. You Fresh Naturals Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Muscle Frosting
1. Stir the protein powder into the Greek yogurt until smooth. Divide into two servings dishes.
2. Top each serving with a tablespoon of the Muscle Frosting. Refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes; it tastes better chilled! Grab a spoon and dig in!
Each serving has about 25 grams of protein. Game on! You can make it with any flavor of protein powder and it's great topped with almond butter or peanut butter, too.
I'm wrapping up my weekend on the couch with Duke. He's sleeping and I'm watching "Parts Uknown with Anthony Bourdain." He's in London and just had a beer and Scotch eggs with Nigella Lawson. If you don't know this about me, now you do:
Nigella Lawson is THEE person who made me see food differently. I found her when I was in my mid-20s, already quite exhausted and feeling like a failure from dieting and doing Weight Watchers for years. She made food fun, carefree, even sexy. I don't cook many of her recipes any more but I will always be grateful to her for being a part of my own personal food journey.
The last weekend of October - that's a wrap.