If Anyone Needs to Find Me, I Will Now Be Living at Whole Foods

Hi everyone!  I hope you all had a fun and relaxing weekend.  Although it was chilly on Sunday and quite frigid on Saturday, I still went out and did a little bit of exploring!

On Friday night, I actually – don’t ask me why – got started on the next chapter of Orgo reading and problems.  I totally told myself that I could have the week off from Orgo work after Monday’s exam, but I was feeling the need to be productive.  And guess what: I actually finished the chapter on Sunday!  Hopefully that will reduce my workload over Easter break. 🙂

Saturday morning, I got up bright and early (per usual!) and made myself an AWESOME breakfast to power up for housing selection at 10:26.  (I kid you not, 10:26 on the dot…and we had ONE MINUTE to select before the next group could start selecting.  Talk about anxiety!)

I like a little bit of pancake with my peanut butter. ;)

I like a little bit of pancake with my peanut butter. 😉

This giant pancake is one of my go-to breakfasts both on the weekend and during the week because it is so easy and super tasty!  I just combine 1/2 c. oats, a mashed ripe banana, 2 eggs, a pinch of baking powder, and cinnamon to taste and cook it in a non-stick pan.  When I have canned pumpkin, I like to add some (~2 T.) to the batter – it makes it super fluffy!  The recipe is also delicious with fruit mixed into the batter, but you have to be careful because the pancake will break/fall apart in the pan if the moisture from the fruit thins the batter too much.  (Other good mix-ins are ground flaxseed, a few tablespoons of greek yogurt, or cocoa powder…basically, you can alter the recipe however suits your mood for the day!)  Then, of course, I top it with a liberal amount of PB and enjoy it alongside a few cups of coffee!

Housing selection was definitely nerve-wracking, but we had a good lottery number, so we ended up scoring a really nice apartment in a really good on-campus location!  It’s exciting to think that next year I will be a junior…but also kind of crazy – these first two years really flew by.

After selecting our apartment (and subsequently going across campus and creeping on the one we picked), I headed out into the unseasonably cold day to trek to Whole Foods with one of my future roomies!  She had already been planning to go and I was itching to get some fresh air, so I asked if I could tag along.

I scored some awesome fresh produce (including a few giant Fuji apples, which have become a favorite of mine lately), and couldn’t resist picking up food from the hot bar/salad bar to take back for lunch.

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I made myself a kale + romaine salad with buckwheat (it’s hidden under ALL the veggies), shredded cabbage, grape tomatoes and cucumbers (I may have eaten them before I took this picture……….), shredded rainbow carrots, and the most AMAZING grilled tofu.  I don’t always go for tofu – I have to be in the mood – but I did on Saturday and it was definitely a good choice. 🙂  I also enjoyed one of the apples I bought with my salad once I got back to my room!

I spent the rest of the day relaxing and working on Orgo, then met up with a friend for dinner.  After that, I had a date with an episode of Grey’s Anatomy (and snacks…always snacks).  Because, ya know, I like to keep things wild and crazy on my Saturday nights!

I waited until after lunch on Sunday to head out into the city, hoping that it would get a little warmer so that I wouldn’t have to go full-Eskimo to walk anywhere.  I don’t think the temperature really went up, but the wind died down and the sun came out, so it was actually perfect walking weather!  I headed over to Foggy Bottom/GW area and moseyed around for a while, checking out potential restaurants and coffee shops of interest.  I found a couple that I was intrigued by, but they were all closed on Sundays!  Guess that means I’ll just have to go back another day. 🙂

I actually ended up camping out at Whole Foods to get some primary lit reading done for Neuro.  The cafe area in that WF is really nice, so I parked myself on a stool right in front of one of the big windows with an almond milk latte in one hand and highlighter in the other and got down to business.

Not gonna lie, I think I should probably just live at WF…because first of all, I’m apparently there all the time (haha) and second of all, they have genius things like this:

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A GRIND-YOUR-OWN-NUT-BUTTER STATION.  Whoever came up with this, let’s be best friends.  I didn’t get any yesterday (poor college student problems), but believe me, I will be going back to grind myself some nut butter in the future!

So that’s what I did this weekend!  Unfortunately, I didn’t venture out as far into the city as I had wanted to because of the chilly weather, but hopefully spring is going to happen for real now so that I can check out some of the other places on my list.

As for this week, I have off on Thursday and Friday for Easter break, so I am headed home tomorrow after my noon class!  I am looking forward to family time and relaxation. 🙂  Only one more day!

I hope that you all have a wonderful Tuesday!

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What is your go-to weekend (or weekday!) breakfast?

Easter candy: Reese’s eggs or Cadbury Creme eggs?  Reese’s, ALWAYS.

Fast Five Friday!

Hey friends!

I’m so glad that it is Friday!  Did anyone else feel like this week took forever?  …I think I feel that way every week…haha.

It’s been a busy week, and I have a busy day today – class at 9, meeting with a professor, class at 12, and lab from 1 to 5 – but then it’s the weekend!  Weather permitting, I’m planning to do some adventuring in the city this weekend…I have a list of places I’ve been wanting to visit, but this is the first weekend in I-don’t-know-how-long that I’ll actually be able to take some time away from studying to do that.  So I’m excited!  Also, our housing selection is Saturday – we get our lottery number tomorrow, so fingers crossed for a good one!

Now that I’ve filled you in on my [very open] plans for this weekend, here’s what I have been up to this week, “Fast Five”-style!

1. Eating ALL the veggies.  I don’t know what it is, but some weeks I just want can’t get enough vegetables!  I actually texted multiple friends…and my mom…raving about my salad last night and the veggies and chicken I had Wednesday night.  I guess there are worse things to go crazy over…? 😀

Roasted chicken + every vegetable I could find on Wednesday night.

Roasted chicken + every vegetable I could find on Wednesday night.

Yesterday's KILLER salad from Sweetgreen: wild rice + kale + chicken + caramelized onions + roasted mushrooms + cherry tomatoes + carrots + hummus + lemon squeeze.

Yesterday’s KILLER salad from Sweetgreen: wild rice + kale + chicken + caramelized onions + roasted mushrooms + cherry tomatoes + carrots + hummus + lemon squeeze.

2. Surviving midterms.  No, I did not fail my Orgo exam.  HALLELUJAH.  I swear, Organic Chemistry does this thing where it takes my heart and puts it in a blender and turns me into emotional soup.  Usually I don’t let classes get under my skin like that, especially because I usually end up doing okay on the exams, but there’s something about Orgo…

3. Walking.  Soooooooo many walks.  And I love it.  Yesterday, it was SEVENTY-FOUR degrees outside.  Maybe it’s actually spring…?  (Oh wait, tomorrow’s high temp is only 45.  Nope, just kidding…not spring.)  But hey, this week was pretty nice overall, and yesterday was awesome, so I can’t complain too much. 🙂  And what could be better than jamming out to music, exploring this beautiful city, and getting in some exercise all at the same time?

4. Morning quiet time.  I used to get my exercise in before breakfast-time, but there were two problems with that: 1.) I was sacrificing some sleep to do so, and 2.) my morning hunger is a raging beast from basically the moment I wake up (seriously, ask my family…don’t get between me and my breakfast when I’m hangry!).  So I’ve been waking up a little bit later for the past few months – albeit way earlier than most college students – and having breakfast while reading my daily devotional, enjoying my coffee, and easing into the day.  Let me tell ya, it is nice. 🙂  And it really helped me stay grounded this past week and a half in the midst of midterm stress!

My favorite message from this past week's devotionals (I use SheReadsTruth).  Exactly what I needed to hear!

My favorite message from this past week’s devotionals (I use SheReadsTruth). Exactly what I needed to hear this week!

5. Not wearing real pants.  Yep, you read that correctly…no jeans for this girl!  I managed to go through the whole week without wearing anything besides leggings, crops, or sweats.  Reason #258712398425741 why I’m single…

So there ya have it!  That’s the quick-and-dirty on what I’ve been up to this week.  Make sure to drop by on Monday to hear about my weekend shenanigans! 🙂

Have an awesome weekend!

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What are you doing this weekend?  

When Life Gets Crazy.

This past week and a half has been a whirlwind of stress, craziness, and emotions.

While I enjoyed my spring break at home with my family, during which I did things like…

…find oddly shaped sweet potatoes…

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…eat colorful veggies…

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…and team up with my mom to WIN at the breakfast game…

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…I also had this big heavy cloud of anxiety hanging over me because of all of the assignments and midterms I knew were coming in the week and a half right after returning from break.  A history paper due last Tuesday, a Neuro midterm on Wednesday, a Psych midterm on Thursday, and an Orgo lab report due Friday…then an Orgo exam on Monday night…it was like a nightmare.

Usually, I manage my stress fairly well – not well, but good enough – but that is because I rely heavily on running to be my stress relief tool.  However, because I am currently not running, I discovered just how stressed I am capable of getting…and it was pretty ugly.  One of the many things I’m working to improve! 😀

Although being stressed sucks, it is forcing me to find ways other than running to get some of that negative energy out, which is a good thing.  Taking walks through the city while listening to music, yoga (sun salutations are my jam!), and writing seem to be helping.  I also have been making a conscious effort to hang out more with my friends and really open up to them this semester, because I tend to pull away when I’m feeling stressed or upset.  And I’m loving it!  I’ve made some good memories this semester, strengthened some existing friendships, and made new friends – which, let me tell you, is way harder as an adult than it is when you’re a kid!  Haha.

Life gets crazy.  It’s inevitable, and we can’t keep our cool all the time…and that’s okay.  It all works out in the end! 🙂

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What are some of your favorite ways to relieve stress?

A Weekend of Runs, Fun, and Good Eats!

The older sister left to go back to college yesterday afternoon, so we spent Friday evening/night as a family…which meant a delicious dinner of gnocchi (zoodles for me!) + sausage + sauce with fresh basil AND a fire and s’mores later.  Perfect summer night!

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Speaking of zoodles and zucchini…

My grandparents have a, uh, THRIVING vegetable garden so operation eat-all-the-zucchini was in full force this weekend.  Zoodles on Friday, zucchini crust pizza for dinner last night, zucchini in eggs this morning…

Zucchini crust + sauce + a little bit of shredded mozzarella + leftover sausage + olives + mushrooms = perfection.

Zucchini crust + sauce + a little bit of shredded mozzarella + leftover sausage + olives + mushrooms = perfection.

…what can I say?  I am happy to eat ALL the zucchini.  You know, just doing my civic duties, eating my veggies, all that jazz.  (Also, they were delicious, so there’s that.)

And we should probably talk about these gorgeous roasted veggies from Thursday night:

Pre-roasting...

Pre-roasting…

...and the finished product!

…and the finished product!

Baby golden potatoes + pixie eggplant + onion + pepper + zucchini (What did I tell you?  ALL the zukes.  In everything.) tossed in olive oil and a little bit of sea salt.  So good!!

While we’re still talking about food, I have discovered that Larabars are fantastic.  Where have you been all my life, Larabar?

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I loved this flavor and I have a Peanut Butter & Jelly one sitting upstairs that will probably be eaten tomorrow.  Oh, and I ordered 16-packs of three different flavors today to take back to school with me.  Needless to say, I was immediately sold!

…And I finally tried out a new breakfast recipe that I have seen floating around on the internet for a while.  I was pretty skeptical about it because it seemed too easy, but I tried it out…BANANA PANCAKES!

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Easiest recipe ever: 1 banana + 2 eggs + pinch of baking powder + cinnamon, vanilla to taste.  You could sweeten them if you wanted to, but I didn’t and don’t think they needed sweetened at all.  Basically, you mush up the banana (I used a fork), whisk in the eggs, baking powder, cinnamon, and vanilla…then cook like normal pancakes!  They have more of a crepe-y texture than normal pancakes but I thought it was nice that they were filling but didn’t sit heavy in my stomach.  A single batch makes four large pancakes, and I topped mine with strawberry jam. 🙂

So much good food this weekend!

…But I promise I do other things besides eating…like running!

My runs this weekend were great.  I felt like I was running slow both days but when I looked at my Garmin, I was surprised to find that I was running much faster than expected.  What a nice surprise!  Friday’s run was 3.55 miles at 8:38/mi pace and today’s run was 3.60 miles at 8:21/mi pace.  I am slowly (and carefully) picking up speed!  I am itching to get back on the track to work on my speed and stride length.  One step at a time!  (And yes, my ankle is still feeling fantastic.  I am so thankful!)

Whew.  Busy weekend!  Hope you guys enjoyed your weekend as much as I enjoyed mine. 🙂

Tell me about your weekend!  What did you do?

Did you run this weekend?  Any races?  Tell me all about it. 🙂

What I’ve Been Up To…and BIG NEWS!

Hey there!  Remember me? 🙂

Sorry that I’ve been MIA for the last…month…?  Summer has been in full swing and is keeping me nice and busy!  I’ve really missed Muffins though, and I am glad to be back. 🙂  Here’s a little peek into what I’ve been up to while away from da blog:

– Eating plantains the size of my face.

photo 1 (16)– Spending time at the BEACH!!

photo 3 (12) photo 2 (16)(I know, I know.  They’re not pictures of the actual beach…I am kind of the WORST at taking pictures.)

– Enjoying one of my birthday gifts.  I absolutely love them!

photo 2 (17)(Other gifts included an iPod Shuffle and a Garmin running watch!)

– Lots and lots of running (of course). 🙂

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– Post-run breakfast dates with the best momma ever!

(That, folks, is what happens when I tell my mom to smile while she's chewing her food.  Sorry Mom!)

(That, folks, is what happens when I tell my mom to smile while she’s chewing her food. Sorry Mom!)

– Cooking and eating lots of tasty food…

...which included teaching myself to poach eggs (a fantastic decision).

…which included teaching myself to poach eggs (a fantastic decision).

And, lastly…BIG NEWS!!!

I am running a 5K this Saturday!  Yes, THIS Saturday.  Three days from now.  (More specifically, the Frederick Women’s Distance Festival 5K.)  I am SO excited to be back at it and actually racing!  Of course, I will be taking it easy and listening to my body during the race so that I don’t push it and re-injure my ankle.  This race isn’t about time, or medals, or placing in my age group – it’s all about the comeback.  I will just be happy to finish. 🙂

I am now officially back to the blogging grind, so make sure you stop in here on Muffins and say hello!  And stay tuned for an official race recap this weekend following the 5K.

What have you been up to this week?

Is anyone else racing this weekend?  What are you running?

Oh Hi. Remember Me? (And Some BIG NEWS!!!!)

Oops…

Obviously, I have taken a little blogging hiatus for the past two weeks.  Things got busy, and I’m at a point of transition right now.  All good things, don’t worry. 🙂  And I have some BIG NEWS for you at the end of this post, so if you’re in a rush, just scoot your boot to the bottom of the page and check it out!  But first, here’s what I’ve been up to while I was away.

There has been a lot of baking, cooking, and eating…

Trying out Vega protein powder to go in my smoothie bowls on strength training days.  Full review to come, but spoiler alert: I like it a lot!

Trying out Vega protein powder to go in my post-workout smoothie bowls on strength training days. Full review to come, but spoiler alert: I like it a lot!

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Sandwiches.  All the sandwiches.

Sandwiches. All the sandwiches.

I BAKED CHOCOLATE-ALMOND BISCOTTI AND IT IS WONDERFUL AND DELICIOUS.  That is all.

I BAKED CHOCOLATE-ALMOND BISCOTTI AND IT IS WONDERFUL AND DELICIOUS. That is all.

…camping…

What would I do without my best friend?  Love that girl (and we're just precious).

What would I do without my best friend? Love that girl (and we’re just precious).

…and lots of workouts.  I was inspired by Megan‘s post a few weeks ago and have been incorporating a deck of cards workout once a week.  Absolutely loving them! 🙂

And now on to the BIG NEWS…

I HAVE BEEN CLEARED BY MY PHYSICAL THERAPIST TO START A RUNNING PROGRAM!!!!!!!!  Of course, it starts slow and the progression is going to be slow.  I have not been able to run for a long time and my ankle is basically brand new, so I have to be careful.  But as of Monday, I AM OFFICIALLY BACK IN THE RUNNING GAME!!!!

Words cannot describe how excited I am.  I’ve already been planning where I’m going to go Monday morning to do my workout, what I’m going to wear, and what I need to take with me.  Can you tell I’m ecstatic?!?  It’s been a long road to get to this point and I am so glad that I was patient and gave myself the time to get healthy and focused on my recovery.  Muffins is about to enter a whole new phase!

I will be taking a complete (NOT active) rest day on Sunday to make sure my legs are prepped for Monday’s workout.  I rarely do full rest days (because I’m antsy and I hate sitting around) but I think it will be the best thing for my body to prepare for my running program.

Speaking of Muffins‘ new phase, you will probably see some changes around here over the next few days/week.  I’m working on getting a banner in place, updating/adding pages, and changing some formatting.  I welcome your feedback and I hope you like the updates!

Have a wonderful Thursday (heyoo, best day of the week), everyone! 🙂

Change Is Good.

Sometimes, regular routine just gets boring.

So why not change it?  I have a special talent for getting into a food rut and having the same thing for almost every meal, every day.  But today and yesterday, I wasn’t very hungry after my morning workouts and just didn’t feel like having my usual eggs, toast, and fruit.  So this happened…

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SMOOTHIE BOWL!  The recipe I used:

– 1 frozen banana

– ~1/2 c. vanilla Greek yogurt

– handful of fresh baby spinach (probably about a cup, but I didn’t measure it…)

– 1/2 c. sliced strawberries (fresh or frozen both work)

– 1 T. peanut butter

– handful of ice cubes

Yesterday I just kind of grabbed things out of the fridge/freezer and threw them in the blender and I liked the flavor, plus it made the perfect amount…so I used the same recipe today and liked it just as much!  It came out nice and thick, and held me over until lunchtime (surprisingly…haha).

Speaking of lunch…we’re going camping with family friends this weekend and breakfast on Saturday morning is going to be pancakes, so I made a batch of GF pancakes today to take (makes Saturday morning less complicated for everyone).  Do you know what that meant?  Pancakes for lunch today!  Breakfast all day, every day.  It’s how I roll.

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These pancakes use oat flour and always come out super fluffy.  I topped them with almond butter and a diced Granny Smith apple.  PERFECTION.  Who can say no to pancakes for lunch?  Definitely not me, that’s for sure. 🙂

Supposedly, the weather is supposed to be great for camping this weekend!  I’m really looking forward to it.  Plus, S is coming with us (she’s coming down from PA) so that is super exciting. 🙂  I will take lots of pictures to share on here next week!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thursday!