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Finding the balance of physical and mental health through adventures and fitness

Tag Archives: farmer’s market

Yesterday marked the last day of my third week reversing my diet since the Cutler Classic. To say this week was easy would be a lie, but to say it was hard would be a stretch too.

At the beginning of the week I was traveling for work. Just like prep, I researched what was around my hotel as far as food options, I looked into a gym facility because getting my workout in even when traveling is important to me. Lastly, I packed snacks and loosely prepared meals i.e. pancakes for Pancake Monday.

I hit the gym like I do every Sunday morning, but it was important that I get in and out and home to pack. My flight took off in the afternoon, just before dinner, so I knew that I needed to have something to eat on the plane. My last meal at home was lunch and knowing that my flight wouldn’t land until 8 with an additional hour of driving in the car, I spread my meals out a little differently.

Lunch was higher in protein and lower in carbs because I wanted to make sure I didn’t run out of food too fast.

Sunday’s lunch: chicken with mushrooms, peppers and onions topped with salsa and jalapenos

For dinner, I essentially packed the same thing I had at lunch, sans jalapenos and I used a different spice blend.I had never been more thankful that dinner didn’t smell as I was when I opened the bag on the plane. No one wants to be that guy.

I also packed some snacks. Sarah sent me S’mores Boom Chica Pop Popcorn and it was a great snack to try on the plane. It says “I can be dessert if you pretend I am.”

And because I know I get hungry at specific times of the day, like 8ish at night when my dessert usually takes place, I packed a protein bar to try on my drive to the hotel. It was a newly released bar and I was so excited to try it. Sadly, this one just didn’t hit the spot an I may have reviewed it on Instagram.

But have no fear, I do eat a lot so I had dessert when i got to the hotel room. I was able to try my 5th Cookie Department Cookie. It’s called Tough Cookie and is their peanut butter cookie. Amazing. Soft and chewy and I mean just amazing. This was really winning and probably the best way to close my macros for the night.

But, my night didn’t end at the hotel. The room had a number of issues, the biggest one being the door wouldn’t shut and close properly. I had no faith in the manager on duty, so I called a different hotel to check on room availability and I left. That was the end of that night.

I started my Monday off the best way I know how – at the gym. Since I was traveling and knew my options were limited, I snagged a day pass at Planet Fitness. It’s not my favorite place at all, but I figured I could get the job done.

I thought they were kidding when I saw this sign. However, when the “lunk alarm” went off around 6 am I knew they weren’t kidding. I have no idea what set it off because I was in the zone, but it scared the hell out of me and kind of made me uncomfortable. So I got in and our as fast as possible.

The rest of my trip was pretty amazing actually.

Like I said, I packed my pancakes, which always starts my week off right and I was happy to find some whip cream in the eating area of the new hotel.

I had some time and I explored for the beach.This was the first time in about 3 years that I had gone to the beach in a swim suit. I felt pretty awesome and to me, it was meaningful. I also brought Bella along for the sun and she enjoyed it too!

We explored the area a little bit and because I am a planner, I knew where to find a cupcake shop! We picked up a gorgeous chocolate cupcake and had it late Monday night for dessert.

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Tuesday started of with a beautiful sunrise before we headed back home.We also had a chance to celebrate Taco Tuesday at the airport! #IIFYM

After a flight of binge watching the Food Network, I came home and was prepared to get creative in the kitchen, but only after I hit the gym first.

Egg white and raspberry omelette with cream cheese, topped with blackberry and blueberry reduction sauce

I do love traveling for work, but there is something about grocery shopping and making your own food. I had a ton of fun making meals this week. I also got the latest issue of Food Network Magazine, which only furthers my addiction of getting busy in the kitchen.

Feta and Spinach Salmon burger with sriracha mayo and a glass of sweet red

Breakfast grilled cheese was a thing this week (recipe already posted!)

I tried some new to me foods this week.

Oh Yeah! has other bars that were much better than this one…

Sarah understands my desire for all the peanut butter.

I went to lunch with my coworkers and was able to make some pretty great decisions.Surprisingly, I do really well with eating out. Even through prep this wasn’t an issue, it was just a matter of looking ahead to make sure I had options. I loved what I tried, but I can’t wait to go back see what else this restaurant has to offer.

I celebrated a coworker who recently finished their masters degree. No one knew what snacks would be at the party we were having and I figure it was better to bring something than wish I had. So I made a protein brownie and stuffed it with break and bake chocolate chip cookie dough. There were a number of good decisions made for that dessert to happen. Also, when I got to the party the only healthy item was a bowl of strawberries, there were cakes, brownies and rice crispy treats otherwise. Planning ahead works for me and I’m glad I didn’t wing it.

Try About Time protein brownie with break and bake chocolate chip cookie dough

Even though I had gone out to lunch and had an office party, I had promised myself I would get out of my apartment Thursday night. I’m a part of MeetUp in my area and they had planned a social at a new restaurant in town. I had planned to go to this specific event a few weeks ago and was able to build a beer into my macros, which was an excellent way to finish them off. I also had some great conversations and got a few numbers so I can hang out with other locals outside of MeetUp.Being social locally is something I struggle with because I don’t work in the city I live in and I’m not originally from the city I live in. Going to the gym is easy; it’s my alone time and I don’t have to have a buddy to with, but exploring would be nice with a partner. Also, this gave me an excuse to wear jeans for the first since Sunday.

Friday brought more experimenting in the kitchen.

Egg whites and pumpkin spice Nuts N More on a cinnamon raisin English Muffin

Caramel Turtle Oats for lunch

I had my second pre-op appointment Friday afternoon and I talked about that here. Overall, I’m excited for the surgery. This surgery is necessary for my peace of mind, for me to feel comfortable with myself. I say it all the time, I’ve worked so hard the past few years and I’m so thankful that there’s a permanent way for me to show off the hard work. There are definitely a few things that make me nervous, such as the eating, but that’s why I’ve worked with my coach on a plan. We’ve talked about my macros in relation to recovery and no exercise and will be adjusting them accordingly. JP and I have talked about some things that he can make for me that will be nutrient dense so that I can reach my macro goals or come close to them.

In preparation because I am that planning girl, I have a box of some snacks I want eat through recovery. They include some Cliff bars (carbs), Combat Bars and FitCrunch (protein). There’s a few other bars I’ve added. We have also talked about pancakes and oatmeal as great carbs and protein sources that I can eat without too much effort. One piece of feedback I’ve gotten from a number of women who have had a similar surgery is that eating was a lot of effort and that they felt nauseous. I have been prescribed a medication to help with that, but I also have some small meals planned so I can eat quickly and not worry about the “rocking the boat”feeling.

Saturday brought my last exploration before surgery. I went into Boston with Bella to see the Boston Public Market, Fanueil Hall and to go to lunch. I also had the plan to pick up cupcakes because cupcaking has been something I’ve been enjoying since prep ended.

 

 

Lunch at Durgin Park

Farmer’s Market outside the Public Market

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August 2012 versus May 2016

Lastly,  while I sent in my progress photos and weight to Alaina in the morning like I do every Saturday, I did my write up for her last night.I’m just as impressed as she is that I’m handing this reverse to well. It’s 3 weeks post show and I’m only up .2 pounds from stage weight. I’m also eating more. Before my check-in I was up 5F and 33C. I knew that with this check-in that we would be increasing something this coming week. Proud to say that my body is loving these increases and we’ve increased fat again by 2g and carbs by another 10g.

Now, please don’t think this is all sunshine and cupcakes. After having focused on losing weight and being in a deficit for so long, increasing my food is hard mentally.  I love food and I think that’s clear by how I get creative in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t get intimidated. I still believe in balance and vegetables and lean meats are a huge part of my diet, but now I can have a little more fun with other foods. That’s why I have been cupcaking about once a week since prep ended. I’m making up for lost cupcakes!

For the first time in a long time, I feel like I am enjoying all aspects of food. I’m using it as fuel for my workouts, but I’m enjoying the experience of having a really great cream cheese frosting. I have grown in so many ways, but the past 3 weeks I haven’t really feared food or been concerned with weight gain like I believe I was early in my journey. Every day has new challenges, but I’m trying to live every day and have some fun. There is more to life than working out and while yes that is a big part of my life, I’m excited that I am enjoying all the other labels I am – cook, girlfriend, lifter, competitor, writer, movie lover.

It’s going to be an interesting summer, but let’s get through this week first.

Surgery is in 4 days. The countdown is real.

❤ Cristina

 

 

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I had the best time yesterday at the market in Boston. It was the coolest thing I have ever seen. It was also the cheapest produce I have ever purchased! I grabbed some necessities like green peppers and asparagus, but I also bought some things that sounded like a good time, such as apricots and a papaya. I still haven’t decided what to do with the papaya, but that’s a post for another day.

So apricots, aside from eating them raw, I was interested in finding something else to do with them because while, yes food can be consumed in its natural state, that’s just not as much fun.

Pinterest apricot screen shot

So after a few quick searches on Pinterest, I decided that 1. I was over thinking this and 2. I really wanted to eat them with breakfast and to eat them hot. So baking them it was.

Sundays are my favorite day to play with breakfast recipes. Probably because after lifting legs nothing is more satisfying that a big breakfast, but also, I have nothing else to do on Sundays except eat and relax – my two favorite things.

What You’ll Need

  • Whole apricot
  • Goat cheese
  • Cinnamon (optional)
  • Cooking spray
  • Knife
  • Baking sheet
  • Oven

Directions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. Lightly spray your baking sheet. I used a mini pie pan since I was only making enough apricots for myself, I didn’t want to dirty up a larger dish than necessary.
  3. Cut your apricot in half and remove the pit. Then cut a little bit off of the end your apricot. This will give you a flat bottom and your fruit won’t roll around in the baking dish. I ate the ends, but do what you feel.
  4. Using a small spoon, scoop your goat cheese and slightly shape it into a ball. This will go into the hole where the pit was. I used maple pecan goat cheese I found at the store, but you can use any kind. If you don’t like goat cheese, you can also use another soft cheese like cream cheese or mascarpone.
  5. Place your fruit on the baking sheet and dust with cinnamon.
  6. Bake for about 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is soft and slightly melty

 

 

 

Step 3

 

 

Step 4 and 5

 

Baked apricot

I ate these with my breakfast, but I’m sure if you made a lot of them you could use them as an appetizer. I did find a recipe that used apricots and goat cheese, but wrapped them in bacon- it just seemed like a bit much for me. I have a few more apricots, so I may play with them this week leading up to surgery. We will see!

❤ Cristina


Is when everything you’ve accomplished doesn’t feel like work. There are some weekends when I have my game plan written down and I sigh at it because running errands and laundry just aren’t appealing. Not that laundry magically became fun this weekend, but for the first time in a long time I enjoyed my weekend.

It started Friday at the Big E. Living in Massachusetts there is no state fair, instead there is a large regional fair instead. I don’t go to these usually because you spend an absurd amount of money of bad games, greasy food and you end up with a stomach ache. However, there was a free concert that I couldn’t pass up – Brett Eldredge.

I made a plan for myself and I stuck to it. My plan was to eat well during the day and have a treat at the fair. As we all know, fairs are notorious for having the most ridiculous foods like a burger between two donuts. Who comes up with this stuff? After walking around, I decided nothing was actually that appealing to me. I was slightly disappointed, but I also know what will happen to my stomach if I try to consume foreign foods. My compromise was a gyro loaded with onions, tomatoes and tzatziki sauce.

It was probably one of the best gyros I had ever had, including at a restaurant.

After settling at the concert venue, I took a round of selfies and played on my phone until the show started. This side by side was a result of my selfies.

This also reminded my why I learned to compromise at places like the fair. I still had something tasty, but I didn’t go nuts and over do it. I have told my friends many times that my one fear is going back to where I was. But I know that with the knowledge and willingness I have I probably wont. I managed to get in 8K steps on my fitbit just from 3 hours of walking around at the fair and back to my car; I don’t think I would’ve done that much a few years ago if I didn’t need to.

After the drive home and crashing in bed, Saturday was bright and early and my booty was in the gym. Happy cardio Saturday? 98 floors of the stairmaster to start my day because #growabooty.

Following my cardio, I took my booty home for some sweet potato pancakes (recipe up shortly) and a trip to the farmer’s market.

It’s about a mile away from my apartment and it’s some pretty awesome local business there.

Some jumbo zucchini!

The prices aren’t half bad either. With the items I bought at the market I made my version of ratatouille served with a side of focaccia bread topped with sundried tomatoes and mozzarella and 4 ounces of chicken. Seriously, date night with myself is pretty damn awesome.


I sweat I did more than workout and eat. I also did the laundry and cleaned up my apartment. I watched 4 movies while cleaning. I haven’t watched a movie in the living room, during the day in forever. I managed to get in almost 13K steps too. Not too bad for a Saturday of adulting.

I was riding the struggle bus a little this morning – at first, but only because I actually slept in. By sleeping in I mean I work up around 8. I know that’s not sleeping in for most, but it was kind of nice to just be in bed for a time later than 6 am.

It’s week 8 of Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide. I’m still going strong, but today I modified the circuits for arms and abs because of the space I had at the gym. I had no issue in the free weight area or getting on a machine, but dropping to plank wasn’t ideal this morning with the number of us in the gym. I did get a solid workout in by incorporating some of her exercises with dumbbell, barbell, rope and cable workouts I like to do. I ended the session with three 5-minute sets on the stairmaster. I guess that’s my favorite cardio machine lately.

A week and a half before starting BBG again vs. half way through week 7.

I follow up the afternoon with another trip to the Crompton Collective and lunch Birchtree Bread Company with my friend Eva. It’s about a mile away from my apartment so I took advantage of the gorgeous day and walked. Music in my ear and fitbit on my hip. For once I had nothing to do today, so I got to enjoy downtown and not rush through lunch. And of course we saw the best things and we wanted to buy them all.

Two mugs I actually bought :]

I did end the day with some meal prep and chili cooking in the crockpot, but for once I didn’t feel like if I didn’t prep I would fail during the week. I did a lot this weekend, but I didn’t feel a time crunch like I normally do. I mean I’m actually sitting on my couch writing this on my laptop, not in bed from my phone – which is where most of my blogging happens. I’m glad this weekend felt relaxing because this week will probably not feel like that. With 2 visits and 3 receptions/events with meals on the calendar I may slightly loose my head.

My meal planning is going to need to be on point and my gym schedule will be sporadic, but it’s going to happen. I will get my booty in the gym and I will get my fitness on. I guess I’ll just have to look forward to Saturday night when my work week is done.

Time to set my coffee pot and get ready for bed. Tomorrow is an early to rise kind of morning for a gym session and then off to Boston for work. I hope everyone else had a good weekend and enjoyed Sunday Funday. Let’s crush this week.

❤ Cristina