Black Beans

Apartment Gym Tour

Woohoo it’s finally Friday! Three big reasons I’m happy today:

  1. I have no major plans this weekend besides an 8 mile run and some much needed relaxation.
  2. I got an email yesterday and it looks like things are going to work out with me working for Weight Watchers!! I still need to figure out a schedule and make sure there’s a meeting I can “own” and commit to every week, but assuming my availability works out with the open meetings, I got the job!! Exciting stuff.
  3. I ordered Beth’s Journey business cards! My friend Sydney designed them for me, and you can see them here. It makes me feel legit!

Good stuff!

Last night, I was having a lot trouble getting motivated to go to the gym. It was one of those nights where I just wasn’t feeling it. Since I skipped Wednesday night’s workout, I really needed to get a 4 mile run in so I’d be in good shape for running 8 this weekend. My main strategy in getting myself ready to workout even if I don’t feel like it is to change into my gym clothes immediately when I get home so I have less of an excuse.

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Then I remembered I’ve been wanting to give you guys a tour of my apartment gym since I work out in there almost every time I work out lately, and that was the final push to get me out the door.

I’m lucky that my apartment gym is pretty nice. There are three separate areas – one side with the cardio and weight machines, one side with free weights and a weight station, and a separate room with some spinning bikes and a good amount of room to stretch in and do ab work.

For cardio, there are 3 treadmills which have been recently been replaced so they’re in really good shape (and they sync with my Polar HRM so I can see my heart rate the whole time!)

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There are also 2 ellipticals and 4 bikes, so 9 cardio machines in total.

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On the opposite side of the same room, there are six weighed machines. Lat pulldown, row, shoulder press, chest press, one for your calves (can’t recall the name!) and one for your quads.

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On the other side of this room, there’s an area with more weights.

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I like this part a lot because there’s a mirror I can stand in front of when I’m doing free weights, plus its pretty open so you don’t feel as crowded as you do in the area with weight machines.

The last part of the gym I got a really crappy picture of because people were in there and I didn’t want to skeeve them out.

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This is a separate room with these 3 spin bikes, a few ab machines, and the other side of the room that you can’t see is just open space with some mats and stability balls for stretching/floor work.

The best part about the gym besides the fact that it has a lot of equipment to choose from, is that its on the penthouse level of my building, overlooking the airport. The treadmills face directly out the window towards the airport, so when I’m running I can watch planes take off and land. I love that.

I left the gym feeling a lot better than I felt before I went…

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Creepy, yes, but also happy I got in a good workout. Smile

I pounded out 4 miles in 38:36, and felt really good once I got past the first 2 miles. I ended up running the last 2 miles at a 9:22 pace (6.4mph) and it felt surprisingly good. I really think the speed work is starting to pay off!

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I finished the active part of my night with an awesome bowl of rice and beans.

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With black beans that will change your life, cilantro rice, some oven roasted tomatoes that Wil brought home, 1/4 of an avocado, plus some chopped cilantro. So fresh and so delicious.

What’s something making you happy today? Where do you do most of your workouts? How far do you have to travel from your house to get there? I’m really lucky that I only have to go up a few floors in an elevator, or else just outside if the weather is nicer and I’m going out for a run or bike ride.

Cabbage: Take One

How is it only Tuesday!? I woke up today and could barely believe we’re only into day two of the week… I have so much to do that it wouldn’t be possible to get it all done if it was Thursday, but still.

To help console myself, I made pancakes for breakfast. Not just any pancakes, but Chocolate Frosted Banana Pancakes.

I realize that frosting looks like it leaves something to be desired, but it was delicious, I promise. I had made these once before, but this time I put banana in the pancakes as well as in the frosting.

I love how the bananas caramelize in the pan and get all brown and gooey.

In the mix:

  • 2 tbsp pancake and waffle mix (1 pt)
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (1 pt)
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds (.5 pts)
  • 2 tbsp egg whites (0 pts)
  • 1 medium banana (1.5 pts), divided (1/2 in the pancakes, 1/2 in the frosting)
  • 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder (0 pts)
  • 1/4 cup light soy milk (2 tbsp in the pancakes, 2 tbsp in the frosting)

These were awesome and the perfect thing to get me motivated to start my day.

Lunch was my first use of the 4 heads of cabbage (1/2 down, 3.5 heads to go) and it was quite a success!

I made a chopped cabbage salad which coincidentally is vegan as well.

The mix had:

  • 1.5 cups raw cabbage (0 pts)
  • 1/2 cucumber, deseeded and chopped (0 pts)
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped (0 pts)
  • 1/2 mango, chopped (1 pt)
  • 1/2 cup black beans (1 pt)
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar (0 pts)
  • 1 tsp olive oil (1 pt)
  • salt and pepper to taste (0 pts)

It was AWESOME. I honestly wasn’t too sure how it was going to turn out because I just kept randomly throwing things in there, but it worked perfectly. The textures and colors went so well together, and the vinegar was the perfect background flavor. I probably would have added cilantro if I had some, but overall, take one on the cabbage was a big success! With the salad, I also had some organic red grapes (1 pt).

So the whole lunch was only 4 points and super satisfying.

Whats your favorite produce right now? I have been loving peaches lately since I’ve been getting them in my farmshare for a few weeks, but grapes are always a favorite. I’m lucky I love fruit and veggies so its very easy for me to get lots of servings of them in every day.

Holy Veggies

I just got my entire day’s worth of fruit and veggies in 20 minutes. Let me show you.

First, I had a Mexican Style Salad.

It had:

  • Red Leaf Lettuce, no slug (0 pts)
  • Fresh cilantro (0 pts)
  • New Jersey Corn (1 pt)
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans (1 pt)
  • 1 oz 75% RF Cabot Cheddar (1 pt)
  • Salsa (0 pts)
  • 1/2 serving baked tostitos (1 pt)

On the side, I steamed some broccoli (0 pts)

And then had 2 baby cucumbers sliced, and 1 cup of cherries.

Everything that I ate (besides the canned black beans, cheese, salsa, and baked tortilla chips) was organic and from a local farm. It was so filling and satisfying, and the whole huge meal was only 5 points. As you can probably venture to guess, I’m trying to use up all the fruits and veggies I have because I have a new farm share box coming tomorrow! Normally I won’t have a problem using up everything but because I’ve been traveling on the weekends, its been tough trying to use it all.

What are some of your favorite ways to add extra flavor to meals, without adding too many calories? Adding fresh herbs to a salad is one of my favorite ways to add tons of flavor with minimal calories. I also love to use garlic and vinegar in cooking, and salsa for salad dressings, dip, or as a topping on baked potato.

The Flavor Was There, But…

Hiya! Thanks for all your responses on my post from this morning. It looks like most people are morning exercisers, which makes me feel like I should be less lazy and just get up and go! To think about freeing up my evenings is pretty desirable too, and I think it is great to get my day started on the right foot. I can already feel how much more on track I am today than on days where I don’t work out.. an M&M here, starburst here… bite of whatever is in the office kitchen, etc.

So unintentionally I haven’t been to the grocery store in ages. I’ve been traveling for so many weekends and stopping at farmer’s markets here and there and just haven’t made the time to go. It’s made me go out a bit more than normal, but also get a little creative in the kitchen. For lunch today, I decided to make some black bean burgers.

Into the food processor, I threw:

  • 1/2 cup black beans (1 pt)
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese (1 pt)
  • 1/2 large carrot
  • 1/4 onion
  • fresh dill

I pulsed that until combined so it looked like this:

And then formed it into patties:

I realized once I started forming them into patties they were a little too wet. I should have added 1/4 cup of panko crumbs, and also rinsed and dried the beans better. I was in a rush though, so I just went with it. The texture of these was sort of like a thick bean spread, so when I heated them up they kind of melted a bit together. The flavor of them, however, was awesome. The fresh dill and parmesan make SUCH a difference – I think that’s the trick to delicious homemade veggie burgers.

I ended up taking a flatout wrap (1 pt) with some greens, and put the heated “burgers” on top and wrapped it up.

Again, the consistency was way off on these, but the flavor was awesome. It tasted great spread in the wrap. On the side, I had some more fresh broccoli (0 pts) from my farm share with some salsa (0 pts) to dip.

I had an apple (1 pt) for “dessert”

I am off to wrap up the day. Be back!

What are you looking forward to tonight?

Eww!

Hello! How’s your Monday going so far? Mine is good and fast! Lots to do so the day is flying by. Lunch today was reworked leftovers with some of the veggies from my CSA.

I had Shrimp Fajitas for dinner last night, and only ate about half, so brought the other half home to bring in today. I grabbed some red leaf lettuce from my farm share and washed it 3x before packing it up. I brought it out today and look what I found:

A slug! I know its actually a good sign because you know it really came from the ground and is fresh, but…

Ew!

I almost couldn’t eat my salad but I washed the lettuce two more times and carefully inspected each piece to make sure there were no other creatures trying to get in my belly.

I threw together:

  • 2 cups of red leaf lettuce (0 pts)
  • 1/2 cup black beans (1 pt)
  • 5 shrimp + veggies (3 pts)

It was actually quite delicious! The shrimp + veggies were so good and added a ton of flavor to the salad. I didn’t eat all the lettuce because I was still a little nervous about the slug discovery.

On the side, I had some broccoli from the farm share.

I had some salsa to dip it in, but the broccoli was so delicious that I didn’t even use it! What a difference fresh broccoli is from what I usually get at the store! It was so flavorful and crunchy, and just perfect. I ended up eating this x2 and loved every second of it.

So time to check back in on my June goals, even though they are really not going as well as I would have hoped.

1.) Drink more water. Check on this one. I’ve been consistently drinking more water and making an effort to have at least 8 glasses during the work day, and more at night.

2.) Be consistent with exercise. Check on this one, too. I managed to wake up early Friday to get in a run and then did a 17 mile bike ride yesterday even though I was away for the weekend. I’d like to be getting in 5 days a week but 4 is more reasonable with the amount of traveling I’ve been doing lately.

3.) Get back to strength training. I have done strength training 2x this month so far, which is more than normal, but I’d like to get in 1-2x a week. I plan to do at least one day this week, so half check. I also ordered The Shred from amazon.com, so hopefully once that arrives (early next week) I’ll be able to get it in more consistently.

4.) Go back to Weight Watchers Meetings – Hopefully I’ll make it this Thursday. I weighed myself this morning and it’s not looking too good, but I definitely need to just suck it back up and go.

5.) Limit alcohol consumption – Fail. I haven’t been going crazy or anything, but I have been having a lot of unnecessary drinks here and there – and high calorie ones at that (margaritas!). I need to cut back in this department, though I have a happy hour for work coming up Thursday…

6.) Count WW Points. Half check. I’ve been good about counting my breakfasts/lunches, but not so much about dinners and eating out. Have to be more consistent about this until I’m at goal weight.

So I guess its not as bad as I was thinking, but I really need to get it together so that I can look and feel my best in my best friend’s wedding in August. I have 7 weeks from Saturday, so definitely enough time, but I need to get my butt in gear and stop making excuses! I realize that I’ve had a lot going on the past few weeks, but there’s always a lot going on, and I can’t keep using it as an excuse to get off track and not be so focused on my goals.

Two Trips

What an incredible day it is outside! This was reason enough for not one, but two trips outside this afternoon. The first was to eat lunch in the courtyard. I used some of last night’s leftovers from the Veggie Fajitas and made a huge burrito like wrap.

This had:

  • 1 flatout wrap (1 pt)
  • 1/2 cup black beans (1 pt)
  • Leftover Fajita Veggies (1 pt)
  • 1 oz 75% RF Cabot Cheddar (1 pt)
  • Pico de Gallo (0)

It was delicious! I love reworking leftovers into something new so you get two different meals out of the same thing.

Nom, nom, nom. I also had the rest of the leftover Chinese broccoli from Sunday night (1 pt)

Plus an apple for my first dessert.

Trip two was to Yogen Fruz for some frozen yogurt. ‘Twas the perfect day for it. Today I mixed it up a bit and got chocolate frozen yogurt mixed with frozen cherries and topped with dark chocolate shavings… need I say more.

Incredible.

Not sure what tonight will bring but I’ll be back!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers

Lunch today was a new creation that you must try. 3 ingredients total – so simple, healthy, and delicious.

What you need (for one serving):

  • 1/2 cooked sweet potato (1.5 pts)
  • 1/4 cup black beans (.5 pts)
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (1 pt)

Directions:

1.) Wash and poke holes in a sweet potato and microwave it for 5 minutes. OR use 1/2 leftover baked potato

2.) Put 1/4 cup canned beans and the sweet potato in a food processor and pulse until combined

3.) Put mixture into a bowl and add the panko crumbs.

4.) Mix until combined and form into patties.

If I was eating at home, I would have cooked them in a pan, but since I brought them with me to work, I microwaved them for 45 seconds and then threw them into the toaster. I served them open faced on a toasted arnold thin

And then added a spoonful of salsa onto each patty.

I served these with a side salad of romaine and radicchio with chopped garlic sprouts

And then leftover broccoli from the chinese restaurant

Oh my gosh, these burgers are amazing. And they take no time to prepare, especially if you have leftover sweet potato to throw in there. You probably know by now that sweet potato and black beans is one of my all time favorite combos, and I’ve just started making my own veggie burgers, so I thought why not a black bean sweet potato burger? I’m so happy I thought of this and tried it!

Total points for lunch today was 3 (burgers) + 1 (arnold thin) + 0 (salad) + 1 (broccoli – just a guess bc of the sauce which I mostly washed off) = 5

So much food for the points. You’ll definitely be seeing these burgers again, if not in your own kitchen, on here!

Happy Wednesday!

Limo Ride

Happy Friday afternoon! Just a few more hours and it’ll be the weekend. Woohoo! I had a banana (1.5pts) for a snack this morning because I got hungry around 11:30am… that’s what I get when I eat lunch at home instead of at work!

Lunch was a remake of Tuesday’s salad, in a wrap form with a few tweaks.

  • 1 flatout wrap (1 pt)
  • 1/2 cup black beans (1 pt)
  • 1/2 cup corn (1 pt)
  • 2 cups mixed greens (0 pts)
  • 1/4 tiny avocado (1 pt)
  • salsa (0)

On the side, I had the same as yesterday…

Tomatoes, Baby Carrots, and RF Cheddar Cheese (1 pt). I seriously love this combo.  The cheese makes eating the veggies so much better. Who am I kidding? Cheese makes everything better.

So if you follow me on twitter, (@bethsjourneytt) you might have seen that I got a ride to the airport in a limo on Monday when i was coming back from OKC. This limo, to be exact.

Here’s Kelly and I, one of my friends/coworkers.

And Kelly, Kobi, and I.

Even though the hotel name was on the side of the limo, it still felt pretty snazzy to be taken to the airport in it!

Have you ever been in a limo? When/where/what’s the story?

Not Alone After All

Can you believe it’s already Wednesday afternoon?? Crazy. I usually feel like the week drags by after a conference since I work all weekend, but not today! I almost forgot how long my oats hold me over when I add a little protein powder. I was full until after 1pm, so over 4 hours, without a snack! Love it.

Lunch was sometime you’ve seen before, and so, so good.

This monstroncity of a salad had:

  • 2 cups greens (romaine + radicchio)  (0 pts)
  • Grape tomatoes (0 pts)
  • 1/2 cup corn (1 pt)
  • 1/2 cup black beans (1 pt)
  • 1 oz RF Cheddar (1 pt)
  • 1/4 very small avocado (1 pt)
  • 1 serving baked tostitos (2 pts)
  • 2 lime wedges (0 pts)

It was AWESOME. Loaded with tons of veggies and protein, this salad had only 6 pts and was really fun to eat and delicious. I tasted it at first and it was a little bland, and then I remembered the lime wedges. Once I squeezed those over the salad, it really popped and made a huge difference in flavor!

What low cal additions do you like to make to food that add a ton of flavor? I love lemon and lime, vinegar (rice wine, balsamic, white, apple cider), garlic, and fresh herbs!

So time for another highlight from my trip to OKC. On Thursday night (the night my computer died), I had dinner by myself at this cute little restaurant called Nonna’s. It was probably the best meal of my whole trip, and I got to sit outside on the roof top. The weather outside was perfect and I brought along a book and really enjoyed my whole meal. Sometimes its nice to be by yourself and just relax and enjoy being alone! I ended up getting a Strawberry Salad which had candied pecans, sliced radishes, FRIED goat cheese, strawberries, and spinach.

It was divine. It came with a black pepper balsamic which I got on the side and used sparingly. For my main course, I got an appetizer that was a mango, avocado, and crab stack.

It was awesome! The crab was actually crab remoulade, and I would have preferred if it was just lump crab, but this is definitely something I want to recreate at home. It was really tasty and pretty to look at. Plus, the flavors went together sooo well.

My waitress gave me a basket of bread with the salad, and I had one piece and then pushed the bread bowl to the side of my table so I wouldn’t eat anymore. After I finished my salad, I started reading while I waited for my main course, and the guy at the table next to me started saying something. I looked up to see this

Birds! I was so glad to have my camera handy and the jumped into my bread bowl and started eating the rolls.

How funny is that!? I didn’t end up having dinner alone after all!

Leftovers!

Hey! Today is FLYING by. I loved reading all your comments on today’s Yoga Pose May post about your favorite types of yoga/positions. One funny little story is that my friend Kara read it, and she saw the first picture and said “That looks SO easy. I could totally do that!” before scrolling down and realizing giving yourself a yoga hug isn’t the WHOLE posture, just step 1. Ha!

Today’s lunch was leftovers from Wednesday night’s Chinese food plus a little office leftovers mixed in! I had the rest of the Mooshi Veggies with the hoisin sauce on two of the pancakes.

These are so good. I have no idea what the nutritionals are but they can’t be TOO bad since its mostly veggies and a little egg. They are kind of doused in the sauce but I’m going to pretend its really good for me. 🙂 My boyfriend had ordered Schezuan Jumbo Shrimp with Veggies and had some leftover veggies, so I added in 1/2 cup of black beans and threw it over a bed of spinach on the side.

It felt good to use all the leftovers because a lot of times we don’t use them all before they go bad, and I hate wasting food! This was really delicious – the Schezuan sauce was spicy but it was evened out by the beans + spinach.

For dessert I had the rest of the Farmer’s Market strawberries.

But then I was told there were leftovers in the conference room from a work lunch, so I had to check it out! I grabbed all the fruit that was garnishing the cookie and sandwich plates, and added it to my strawberries.

Some starfruit and kiwi, and one strawberry. The strawberry was not good compared to the fresh ones from the farmer’s market! It was firm and not sweet at all. I also had to snag one of the cute little cookies:

How cute is that!? Yum.

Now I’m off to wrap up the day so I can get ready for this long weekend!! Does anyone have any fun plans? I’m just laying low and lounging by the pool if weather permits, but cannot wait to just relax and hopefully get a little less pasty!

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