Mini vacation

In my mind, it’s Tuesday. That’s probably because school operated on a Monday schedule yesterday, even though it was Thursday, and also because I’m riding a very Tuesday-esque struggle bus. We had Monday-Wednesday off for a little winter long weekend, and when the students disappeared on Saturday after classes, a peaceful quiet overtook campus. Happy sigh.

On Monday, I woke up slowly, ate breakfast, and hit the gym for a 25 minute interval workout on the elliptical and a challenging strength circuit. Here’s what I did after warming up:

-10 step-back lunges each leg (20 total)

-sled push (45 seconds), 90 pounds total weight (you probably have one of these at your local gym)– this thing kicks my BUTT. For those of you who aren’t lucky enough to know the pure burning torture of one of these things, it’s a sliding “sled” with two bars, to which you can add weight. You could replace this with planks, supermans, or any other full-body/core intensive exercise.

-10 dumbbell bicep rows each arm (20 total)

-10 pushups

Repeat cycle for a total of three sets.

After I ate and showered, I sort of looked around my room aimlessly and realized that for the first time in a while, I literally didn’t HAVE to do a thing. I immediately grabbed my keys, jumped in the car, and went home to hang with my momma for a few hours. After heading back around 4 to avoid icy conditions, I popped the last of my leftover veggie chili in the microwave, and paired that with TJ’s organic tortilla chips and a little greek yogurt as “sour cream.”

Tuesday morning was much of the same. I woke up at nearly 8 am (!!), ate more of my mom’s delicious almond-extract-infused banana bread, and hit the gym for a 20 minute run and a core workout:

-30 seconds dumbbell rows in plank position (OUCH)

-45 second plank

(repeat for a total of three sets)

Followed by stretching and 3 sets of 12 bicycle crunches (24 total; 1 “crunch” = each elbow taps opposite knee).

Tuesday was extra special because, after a recovery smoothie, more documentary time (I’ll discuss that in a bit), my mom and I met up at the mall to look at kitchen gear for Rich and my’s registry. Her job was to help me figure out not what Rich and I like (we can figure that out 😉 ), but what we actually need. She was a huge help. The best part of the day (besides spending MORE time with my ma) was that we spent some time in the Nordstrom bridal boutique, and I tried on my first wedding dresses. Talk about surreal. 🙂

I actually hammered out about 3 hours worth of grading on Tuesday afternoon after the mall, which made my day yesterday significantly lighter on the planning front. TJ’s jasmine green tea to the rescue (plus popcorn).


On Wednesday, I tried yoga for the first time! The Wednesday class is usually at 5:30 am (GAG.), for which I just plain cannot wake up, especially given that on Wednesdays, I don’t actually teach until 9:45 (and I roll up to my building around 9:43…). However, since we were on break, the class was at 9 a.m. I THOROUGHLY enjoyed myself. It was definitely a challenging class, but the instructor was super helpful and adjusted my positioning as needed. I’m sore in all sorts of weird places, which I love…I know those are newly activated muscle groups.


Simple pressed BBQ tofu: press water out of extra firm tofu for 15 mins with paper towels and heavy plates; marinate with 2 tbsp natural bbq sauce and season with sea salt, pepper, and a dash of chili powder. Bake at 400 for 30-35 mins (until a little crispy). Lazy tofu din and leftover lunch.


Killer salad with leftover dark romaine leaves, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and raisins for topping. I rocked this at lunch all week.

And because I’m crazy, I ran 2 miles after class. More because it was 40 degrees and sunny (MIRACLE) and not 20 and frozen over (today), but I was hurtin’ yesterday (and this morning…).


Dinner Weds. night was SO GOOD: roasted spaghetti squash topped with Divolo sauce (Wegman’s organic brand with chunks of tomato and hot red peppers), freshly sliced bread, and peas.

I’m taking the day off from exercise, and plan on getting a nice 30 minute elliptical workout in today after track practice.

Besides being all ‘bridal’ over the long weekend, I also binged on documentaries on Netflix: Hungry for Change, Forks Over Knives, and Vegucated. Talk about a triple-whammy. Vegucated was a little too “preachy” for me (it touts the environmental/socio-political impacts of choosing veganism more than the nutritional side of things), but Hungry for Change felt like a slap in the face…a good one, if that’s possible.

From their website:

We believe…

That nature knows exactly what our bodies need.

In science – and in the undeniable evidence behind the benefits of whole-food, plant-based nutrition.

In sharing stories to celebrate personal transformations and achievements.

That our bodies have the power to ward off or reverse chronic disease when nourished with whole plant foods.

That natural, healthy, food should be delicious and satisfying.

That a plant-based diet is more humane and requires fewer natural resources.

That a healthy community can be a powerful, positive influence on the world.

Check out their full website here.

Um…yes, to all of the above. I would also add that the power of moving our bodies really cannot be underemphasized.

While I’ve been a vegetarian for a long time now, it has really never dawned on me just why I feel so. much. freaking. better. physically and emotionally than I ever have in my life. I’ve reversed my chronic IBS, shed poundage (as a by-product of a plant-based diet), and discovered a passion for road races. This person was inside all along; nature just brought it out of me.

Have you thought about changing your diet? Tell your story in the comments section, or e-mail me at if you just want to vent/celebrate.

Enjoy the weekend! I’m hoping to work in a long run, attend a bridal event, and do some food prep for what is going to be an absolutely CRAZY week.


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