Remember when Facebook had those survey questions?

 

 

Well, there is currently one going around the blogosphere.  When Gina from The Fitnessista did it, I knew it was cool so I decided to give it a shot.  P.S. – Read her blog if you don’t…she’s got great recipes and workout videos, along with an adorable family.

 

Current Books

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is currently on my nightstand, but I also have a few on deck: Born to Run, The Poisonwood Bible, and The Inner Circle.

How do you guys read your books?  Kindle, library, book you purchased?  I do a combo of all three.  I love my Kindle and it’s SO convenient, but I also try to support the Free Library.  If I really love a book, chances are I’ll buy it to add to my overflowing bookshelf.

 

Current Music

The Les Mis Spotify Station.  Who doesn’t love Les Mis?

 

Current Guilty Pleasure

Planters Nut and Chocolate Trail Mix.  One of those junk-ish foods disguised as a healthy snack.  Oh well…long hair don’t care.

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Current Nail Color

Sabrina by Zoya. Some magazine ran a special a few months ago and I got a super good deal on a few polishes.  I still prefer Essie, but I can’t turn down a bargain.

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Current Drink

Water, as usual at the point during the day.

 

Current Show

I am newly obsessed with Graceland on USA and I will tell anyone who will listen.  I am a sucker for Aaron Tveit.

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And here he is 1. in plaid 2. with puppies. Have mercy. (Image source.)

 

Current Wish List

Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes! mascara.  It’ll be off my wish list at 5:05pm when I can get to Sephora.

 

Current Need

A nap.

 

Current Indulgence

I bought soooo many burgers at Whole Foods this morning.  Buck a burger sale!

 

Current Blessing

All of the friends that I’ll be having those overpriced drinks with later.

Fools

God, I am so lucky.

 

Current Outfit

A purple dress from the Gap, black cardigan, and navy Toms (they don’t match, but it’s Friday…gotta get down on Friday).

 

Current Excitement

It’s Friday.

 

Any exciting plans for the weekend?

 

Guess what…

I AM GOING TO THE US OPEN!  Not golf…tennis.  And I can’t wait.

Every since I started taking tennis lessons through the recreation department when I was a kid, I have had this weird obsession with tennis.  I’m not very good (read: not good at all) and I don’t get to play that often, but I have been known to eat strawberries and cream during a certain fortnight in July…it’s the only way to watch Breakfast at Wimbledon.

I was lucky enough to go to Wimbledon in 2004 and even though it rained and I didn’t see a lick of tennis, I still couldn’t believe how cool it was.  Now that I’ve got an Open ticket, I’m one step closer to crossing an item off of my bucket list: seeing every Grand Slam tournament.

We’re row six million in Arthur Ashe Stadium, so I probably won’t be able to tell Rafael Nadal from the Williams sisters, but I’ll feel the electricity.  And I’ll be there with my two favorite ladies: my mom and my aunt!  Both excellent tennis players in their own right, I’m just hoping I’ll pick up some quick tips so that they don’t kick my ass next time we play.

And now, I leave you with this totally unrelated photo…Rory McIlroy imitating Rocky at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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Courtesy of me and my Rory stalking skills.

 

What sport are you weirdly obsessed with?  Do you ever play tennis?

People actually study this stuff?

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I read stories on various health and fitness studies and think “Wow! I never thought of that!”  Hopefully by rounding up these random links we can all avoid what seem to be common health and fitness mistakes while learning something new!

  • Would you like two hours of exercise with that? – Studies show that seeing the calorie count of an item isn’t likely to influence your decision, but seeing the time you must spend in the gym to burn it off might.  Does this ring true for you?  I don’t think it would for me.  As someone who loves the gym, I think the calorie counts would scare me more.  It already works when I go to Starbucks…I haven’t had that delicious lemon pound cake in a year. 😦
  • LC to the rescue! – Speaking of calorie counts, you can try reducing them by using these healthy-swap tips from everyone’s favorite Laguna Beach resident, LC.  Considering she looks better now than she did when she was being hated on by that meanie Kristen, we might want to listen to her.
  • The recovery benefits of compression wear. – I purchased my first pair of compression socks at the Philadelphia Marathon expo last year and wore them after the race. While I almost injured myself trying to get them on (those suckers are TIGHT!) I will say that I wasn’t as sore as I was the year before.  I’ll let you know if I ever get up the courage to run in them!
  • Cheesy Quotes – I mean, some of these are TRULY cheesy, but if one person gets any motivation from them, they have done their job.

Speaking of motivational quotes, let me leave you with my favorite…

Run

 

Meatless Monday: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

Most of you have probably heard of the concept of Meatless Mondays.  It was an international campaign started by the good people at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health that encourages people to make healthier choices at the beginning of the week, and one of those healthy choices is to cut down on the amount of meat in your diet.

I’m not necessarily a Meatless Monday devotee, but I am cutting down on the amount of meat and dairy in my diet and trying to replace it with fruits and veggies.  Some days it’s easier than others, but as I learned from my failed juice cleanse, everything is better in moderation.

I took this Meatless Monday (Sunday, really) as an opportunity to try a new veggie-filled recipe from one of my favorite bloggers, Anne at Fannetastic Food.  I figured since she’s Anne and I’m Annie, it was only fair to invite my friend, also Anne, to reap the rewards of my cooking.

Best part of the recipe? Super simple and easy clean up.

You start by boiling the sweet potato in one pot, while combining all of the other ingredients in a skillet and sauteeing until the spinach is wilted.

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Use a big pan for all of the veggies…I ended up having to transfer it from a smaller one to this one because I couldn’t stir it.

After everything is cooked and the sweet potatoes are mashed, spread some of the potato onto a tortilla and pile on the veggies.  Roll up the tortilla and place it in a baking dish with a thin layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom. Repeat until you’ve used all the veggies and potato (it made about six for me), pour the rest of the enchilada sauce on top and cover with cheese and some fresh cilantro.

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Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees and you’re good to go!

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Uh…yum.

They are SO filling, which I didn’t anticipate since it’s mostly veggies and I’m more of a meat and pasta kind of girl.  I can’t wait to make these again!

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Anne is saying she loves it but it’s hard to understand with her mouth so full of enchilada deliciousness.

You can find the full recipe at Fannetastic Food.  It gets a full seal of approval from all the Ann(i)es in Philly!

Be Well Boot Camp

As many of you know, I was the marathon blogger for Be Well Philly last year during my training for the Philadelphia Marathon.  When the editor, Emily, asked me if I would help out at the second annual Be Well Boot Camp by moderating the Conquer Your First 5K panel, I jumped at the chance.  I also got to attend the event, which was awesome.

Local fitness studios, such as Ploome, Pure Barre, and Lithe held classes so people could try out the workouts without committing to buying any packages. In addition to free snacks, there were a ton of freebies as well as great discussions.  While I didn’t get a chance to try any of the fitness classes (gathering up all the freebies took awhile) I was lucky enough to attend Ali Shapiro‘s “Truce With Food” lecture.

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It focused on all of the other reasons that we eat, which for me includes…everything.  Half of my family are emotional eaters, while the other half are Italian.  There is ALWAYS a good reason to eat!  My fight with food is probably why I struggle with my weight and accepting my body.  Basically, Ali (who is seriously adorable) offered four guidelines for overcoming a food problem:

1. Choose one meal to make over per day.  She suggested lunch. Make sure it has the healthy amounts of veggies, protein, fat, and carbs.

2. Take time to eat lunch.  Make lunch your biggest meal of the day and sit down at some point from 12-1:30pm and truly enjoy your meal.

3. Eat lunch in a beautiful environment, whether it be a restaurant or a park.

4. Eat clean and destress as much as you can.

I’m going to incorporate these four steps into my lunch this week and see what happens.  I will keep you posted, of course.

After that, it was time for my panel!

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I’m so official! P.S. – That is my excited face. You’ll see this a lot.

My panel focused on preparing and running your first 5k.  I spoke with John from Moss Rehab, Ross from Philadelphia Runner, and Dr. Ballyamanda from Drexel Medicine.  They had great advice on staying motivated and healthy while getting ready to run!

Overall, I think it was a great event.  I can’t wait to attend next year!

Annie Runs on Donuts Today

First order of business, it is National Donut Day.  You have approximately three and a half hours (more if you’re a lucky West Coaster) to get a donut and devour it completely guilt-free.  After all, you’re only being patriotic. Luckily, I have the best boss who recognizes national holidays and she swung by Federal Donuts on her way into the office.


From left to right: lavender sugar, Indian spice, cinnamon sugar, and s’more. My favorite flavor was E. All of the above.

After consuming many tiny pieces of donuts,I had lofty goals for my lazy Friday night: go for a long run, hit up Whole Foods, and do laundry.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans and dumped an ocean’s worth of water on Philadelphia since rush hour last night.

I still got my workout in, albeit on the elliptical, but Whole Foods was just not happening.  So here I sit, waiting for my leftovers to heat up.  Laundry is happening, but only so I have clean workout pants to wear to Philadelphia Magazine’s Be Well Boot Camp!

I was lucky enough to be a guest blogger for Be Well Philly during my marathon training last year. A few weeks ago, the editor contacted me and asked me to be the moderator for the Conquer Your First 5K panel and I couldn’t be more excited!

It wasn’t long ago that I was a newbie runner, hoping not to finish last in her first 5K (I did).  I’m still not breaking any records, unless there’s a record for biggest smile while crossing the finish line, but I have definitely learned a lot since that race.  Two marathons later and I’m not looking back! I know the panel experts will have a lot to offer to runners of all levels, so if you’re attending the Boot Camp, please come check it out!

I leave you with this thought…

I run...I'm slower than a herd of stampeding turtles through peanut butter, but I run!

Do I feel cleansed?

Today is the day after my juice cleanse was scheduled to end.  I should be telling you about how awesome I feel, how clean my insides are (TMI, sorry) and how I’m ready to eat only nuts and berries for the rest of my natural life.

Cleanse

Yes, yes I do.

Except, I can’t say those things.

My name is Annie and I am a juice cleanse dropout.

The day started out well enough.  I woke up a half hour early (Am I the only one who has trouble doing that if they’re not going for a run?) to juice and be healthy.

Pineapple

First good thing to happen in the juice cleanse? I overcame my fear of not knowing how to cut fresh pineapple.

Made all of my juices….

Juice

All of my “meals” for the day…so much green.

And started my first juice of the day…the “green juice.”

Green juice

Yummy? Actually, yes.

And not to toot my own horn but (toot toot) I was a ROCKSTAR at work.  While the rest of my office was basking in the glory of free catering (all of the administrative assistants out there know what I’m talking about), I was diligently drinking my many juices.  The green juice? Not bad.  I wouldn’t say it’s like having pancakes, but I’d drink it again.  The pineapple juice?  DELICIOUS.  My second green juice of the day?  Still good.  I wasn’t hungry, I wasn’t cranky, I was ready to go.

And now, I begin my downfall.

The lemonade, Master Cleanse-ish juice?  DIS. GUST. TING. I wouldn’t even make Chris Brown drink it (I was going to say “my worst enemy” but it’s better to put a face to the name).  Seriously.  Just don’t do it.

So around 5:30, I go home to make my beet juice for dinner.  Originally I thought it was because I had never eaten a beet in my life, but I thought the juice tasted like someone had thrown dirt in a glass and made it purple.  Later, I come to find out that it’s actually what raw beet juice tastes like.   Interesting.  I wasn’t warned.

After sipping on that, I fell asleep for three hours…not my normal routine, especially when I have my final paper for my graduate class due next week.  I was absolutely exhausted.

I woke up only to juice for the next day, brush my teeth, and go to bed.

Fast forward to the morning, when I’m lightheaded and sitting on my couch drinking yet another green juice…

And I decided this was not for me.  I am used to being an active, awake person and apparently I can’t sustain that while only juicing.  One greek yogurt later and I was feeling like a new person.

I’m not saying juicing is bad, it’s just not for me.  I’ll likely incorporate the green juice into my diet, but I can’t go without protein and solid foods.  Call me crazy.

I have noticed that I have far less sugar cravings after only a day and I’ve been maintaining healthier eating habits since juicing.  Maybe it’s all the veggies I have left in my fridge.

P.S. – Roasted beets?  Not bad.