Good Food + A Run That I Loved?!

Three more days until Christmas and only two more days until Christmas Eve!!!

Thought I’d do the math for you, you’re welcome. Stats didn’t help with that at all, by the way.

This past weekend has been all about seeing high school friends and spending time with family. I really only have these next few days to see New York friends before my family heads to Florida for 2.5 weeks! I guess that’s why I feel like I have to squeeze in all my friend time ASAP. Luckily, I think I accomplished that this weekend!

Friday

I met up with some dance friends for dinner at Bareburger on Friday night. It made me smile so hard to catch up with these wonderful ladies!

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That meal also made me smile real big. I had a black bean burger with spinach, tomato, goat cheese (yaaassss), and stone ground honey mustard on a multigrain bun. The panko-crusted fried zucchini sticks and sweet potato fries were also perfection.

And guess what! Before Bareburger, I ran for the first time since November 22! It was dark and cold outside, but I had just gone on a walk and started running home on my last lap around the neighborhood. I actually came inside to do a strength workout, but I was sore, so I went back outside and ran. It just felt right. I currently only run if I’m feeling in the groove, and on Friday evening I was feelin’ it!

According to the RunKeeper app my pace was 9:08 for the 3.6 miles I ran, but I felt like I was flying, so I don’t give a darn about what it says. I think I actually loved that run.

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My reaction to myself.

Saturday

Moving back to food…

Saturday morning’s breakfast was brought to you me by my food idol, Kylie @ Yeah…Imma Eat That. I prepared this “banana pudding for breakfast” on Friday night and dug in on Saturday morning. The only thing I did differently was rather than using vanilla Greek yogurt, I used plain Greek yogurt mixed with apple sauce, honey, and cinnamon.

Holy smokes, life will never be the same.

I’m on a mission to make as many unique breakfasts as possible during this winter break. #winterbreakbreakfastmission <— can we trend this? yes? yes?

My moves on Saturday: This “triple 8” workout from Purely Twins. All the incline exercises really worked the upper back! It was a fun one, and I finished in about 27 minutes.

After my workout, I visited my dance school’s holiday party where I reunited with old and new dance company members and instructors. Oh how I miss dancing! (Groovin’ has fallen on the wayside in college.)

I also went on a freezing-cold walk with my good friend Samantha in the afternoon. She understands my love for walking, especially now that we don’t have a big wide campus for roaming.

Nighttime came, we went to Mass, and then this family dinner happened:

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Mom’s homemade shrimp pad thai

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Arman’s balsamic roasted brussels sprouts (I also added some honey  for some sweetness!)

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A pumpkin gingerbread bar with vanilla ice cream

Everything about this meal was comforting and satisfying. It was so nice to sit down with the whole family at the dinner table, holding hands, saying grace, singing kumbaya…

Sunday

The Greek yogurt bowl is BACK.

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plain Greek yogurt mixed with maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chia seeds + half a sliced banana + pumpkin gingerbread + almond butter

Tip: Under-bake muffins ever so slightly. It results in a soft, doughy, delicious muffin that is perfect for things like the above yogurt bowl.

I had lunch only two hours after breakfast because I woke up at 10, ate breakfast, and then went to my church for a religious education staff/faculty luncheon at noon. I taught third grade Sunday school for two years in high school, and the principal was kind enough to invite me back!

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My dad took me to his gym in the evening, where my moves included 5 min. on the arc trainer + 12 minute tabata + kettlebell burpee pyramid workout. I loved this workout!

I also appreciated the fact that the CrossFit Invitational was on TV at the gym. How could you not be inspired to work out when you’re watching the fittest people on earth?

{10pm snack as I type this post}:

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green smoothie made with ½ c. almond milk, a huge handful of spinach, half a frozen banana, and half a scoop of vanilla protein powder

Brother: “Why spinach and banana?”

Me: “You can’t taste the spinach.”

Brother: “But there’s spinach in it.”

Me: “Taste it!”

Brother: *tastes it* “Oh, you really can’t taste the spinach.”

Me: “You’re welcome.”

I hope you all have a fabulous day! Eat (or drink) your spinach!

So tell me:

What did you eat this weekend?

Do you ever feel like you’re flying during a run, even though you’re not going THAT fast?

Where will you be spending Christmas?

Baking Binge

Hey!

I hope your Fridays have been off to a lovely start! Mine started later than I anticipated when I rolled out of bed at 10:00. I got 7 hours of sleep two nights ago when I tried to “sleep in”, so I guess my body is finally accepting the fact that I can sleep in!

Yesterday’s breakfast was green, creamy, and banana-peanut butter-y — some of my favorite adjectives (in proper context).

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Amanda’s cookie dough oatmeal smoothie plus spinach + Greek yogurt for dippin’

For lunch, I knew I wanted avocado toast, because I missed that green food also. On the side I had some of my mom’s homemade salmon and tofu curry with mushrooms and bamboo shoots. Home cooking makes my heart sing fa la la la laaaaaa la la la la.

Sing along with me!!

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While I was eating this lunch, my baking binge began. I mean, the last time I baked something was during Thanksgiving, which wasn’t long ago, but the Christmas season (along with the one billion recipes I have bookmarked) gave me the URGE.

I wanted to use up some unsweetened, unsalted sunflower seed butter that tasted like pasty nothingness. Arman’s paleo cranberry walnut cookies were perfect for transforming the pasty sunflower seed butter into something mighty tasty!

Not before this happened though…

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Cleaning up an egg is messy business.

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There are only four cookies left now if that says anything about how good they are. No, I wasn’t the only one who ate them.

I visited my high school and met up with several friends in the afternoon. It felt weird, different, and the same all at once. I had to remind myself that it has only been six months since I’ve been at the school. I’m only barely an alumnus, but once you pop that high school bubble, things just aren’t the same because you’ve experienced so much more!

Then I made a trip to the grocery store to get more baking ingredients because I have a problem. I ate more curry for dinner, went to my high school’s winter concert, and came home to bake again at 10 pm.

First up was Amanda’s pumpkin gingerbread bars. My brother requested something pumpkin pie-like, and when he saw the pictures of Amanda’s bars, he pointed to it and said, “make that one!”

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Being me, I forgot to add the brown sugar to the pumpkin filling, so halfway through baking (when I realized I forgot to add the sugar), I poured about ¼ cup of maple syrup all over the bars to sweeten them. That’s why the bars look kinda dark and splotchy on top. Luckily, my desperate measures worked, and the bars were perfectly sweet and delicious!

My mom and I had our heart set on some bread-like treat, so I also made Kylie’s healthy pumpkin gingerbread since many of the ingredients for it were the same as those for the bars. It was past 11pm when I finished the batter for the bread, so I made muffins instead of a loaf to speed up the baking time. Also, muffins are cute.

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I made 12 in this mini Bundt pan, plus five more in a regular muffin pan. I contemplated having mine with vanilla ice cream, but I decided on a more nutritious accompaniment for a late night snack— Greek yogurt and peanut butter!

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YUM.

Now I need to share the bounty of baked goods! Or at least…I should share…

After the muffins, I finally turned in the whisk for the night and chilled out to Christmas music with my brother before going to sleep.

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Upon rising late this morning, I made myself a fancy brunch! I whisked together one egg and two egg whites with some salt, pepper, dried thyme, and dried sweet basil. Once it set in the pan, I added fresh spinach and parmigiano reggiano cheese. Then I topped the omelet with cranberry sauce because I’m a fan of the sweet/tart/salty flavor fiesta. I OD’d on it though, so I only had about half of the amount of cranberry sauce you see in this photo.

On the side was a pumpkin gingerbread muffin and banana!

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I ♥ brunch.

Ahhhh it’s past noon already! I am determined to be productive today. I’m hoping to work out, make a Christmas playlist for our road trip to Florida next week(!), and see some more friends. I’m having dinner with some dance friends tonight too! Pumped.

Happy Friday!

So tell me:

Do you ever go on a baking/cooking binge?

Pumpkin bread or gingerbread?

What do you want in an omelet this very minute?