Friday, February 28, 2014

Making Progress!

Good morning!

I'm enjoying this rainy Friday morning curled up in my bed with a hot bowl of oatmeal. This will be the last Friday morning I can do this for a while because I've accepted a job back at my previous office starting Monday! I surprised myself by accepting the job, but I think round two will be much better :) I like to stay busy, and with the extra income Jeff and I can manage an apartment together which will be a VERY welcome change from living with the parental unit, as I'm sure many of you can relate.

Anyway, I have some super exciting news!!! I weighed myself this morning and I am OFFICIALLY under 200 lbs!! I weighed in at 199. I still have about 30 pounds I want to lose, but I can't even recall for the life of me the last time I weighed under 200. High school? I'm grateful that I'm tall and have an athletic build because my weight is distributed pretty evenly, however, I'm still technically overweight. My journey to getting healthy is paying off every day; and even though it has been a long, emotional ride, it is so worth it!

I've started incorporating more strength training over the past couple of weeks in addition to all the cardio I've been doing and I'm definitely noticing a difference. I try to do an every other day type of schedule. So strength training one day, next day cardio, next day strength, and so on. Combined with a lean, healthy diet, strength training is one of the most effective ways to burn fat and build muscle. When I first started trying to lose weight a few years back, I was so concerned with getting "beefy" that I hardly ever incorporated weights or strength training.  I know now that was a huge mistake! And it was probably why I hit so many plateaus. Your body requires more energy to maintain muscle, so you end up burning more calories throughout the day (AKA it raises your Resting Metabolic Rate). I was so concerned back then with being "skinny" I never even considered the benefits of strength training. If this blog is any indication, I obviously never got skinny! (haha) I know now that what is important is being healthy. I don't want to be a skinny girl anymore. I want to be fit  ...and look awesome naked. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

SoulCycle Class and Hiking Mission Peak :)

This week has been full of pushing limits and stepping out of comfort zones. Thursday night Lauren of Lauren Lives Healthy and I drove to Palo Alto to try out SoulCycle. I had done it one other time and was itching to get back on the bike and have another great experience. Between the friendliness of the staff, and the intense, motivating workout you get in the 45 minute class, it is well worth the drive. Lauren and I got there just in time for class to start, and even though it was challenging, we came out feeling more energized (and SWEATY!) than we had before we went in. It is really unlike any cycling class I have been to in the past, and I would highly recommend it for beginners and more experienced cyclers.

As if I didn't get enough of a leg workout the day before, two of my amazing girl friends and I drove over to Fremont to do the popular, very challenging Mission Peak hike on Friday. I love hiking and unfortunately don't do it enough, so this was definitely a treat.  The weather was absolutely beautiful! After a minor detour while trying to navigate our way to the entrance to the trail, we began our hike in high spirits. It was much harder than I was anticipating. I didn't quite know what to expect, and there were times it looked like we would never get to the top, but we made it!!

 Our view was breathtaking; not only because of how hard we just worked to get there! Clear blue sky, city below us, and a perfect view of exactly how far we had come in just 90 minutes. The way down was full of laughs, good talks, and a feeling of accomplishment all around. I would absolutely recommend this trail for an intense workout and beautiful scenery. Each way is around 4 miles, and it took us beginners 2 hours and 45 minutes from start to finish.  When my legs recover I am definitely looking forward to tackling this trail again!

Hope you all have a great start to your week! :)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Recipe: Vegan Black Bean Tacos

Ahhh! I knew I was putting off a blog post, but I didn't realize how much time had passed. I'm adjusting to a whole new schedule and it has definitely thrown me off my game.
I wanted to share a super simple recipe for a quick weeknight dinner!
I've definitely been in the mood for Mexican food lately, as I've had some variation of it several times within the last week. I got the original idea for tacos from Pinterest, and put my own spin on things :)

Vegan Black Bean Tacos (serves 2)

What you'll need:

4 corn tortillas (I used gluten free tortillas from Whole Foods)
1 can of organic low sodium black beans
1 tomato
1/4 of an onion
1/2 an avocado
Vegan cheese of your choice - I used Daiya cheddar shreds
Optional: add salsa, jalapenos, lime, or vegan sour cream for extra flavors

Rinse and drain can of black beans. In small pot, heat the beans on low. While you're warming the beans up, dice your tomato and onion and slice up your avocado. Warm tortillas in a pan or skillet until nice and hot. Layer beans and then toppings of your choosing and enjoy!

This recipe was so stinkin' easy, filling, and delicious! I'm the laziest cook on the planet, especially when it comes to dinner. The faster I can make it without sacrificing health benefits or flavor, the better. I absolutely enjoyed this dish to the fullest, as did the boyfriend.  I will definitely be making these tacos again in the near future :)

What are your favorite quick go-to dinners? I'd love to hear more ideas!