Free Cupcakes!!

Yes, you read that correctly.  I had the chance to sample some free cupcakes from The Cup through our Merchant’s Fair that we hold during the first week of every semester.  Hooray for being a university employee!  Free stuff, free food!

Confetti

CONFETTI

(Image Source: The Cup)

Oh, YUM!  Less sometimes really is more.  And that is exactly the case for this cupcake.  Decadent french vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream frosting.  The cupcake I sampled had red & black sprinkles (our school colors, very festive), but that did not hinder my cupcake experience.  It was absolutely delicious.  Plain & simple.  It made my taste buds appreciate the simple things in life!

Double Chocolate

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE

(Image source: The Cup)

Also a free cupcake, this one did not disappoint either.  Again, a simple “no muss, no fuss” cupcake that really hit the spot on my “I need sugar NOW” radar.  The double dose of chocolate was just right, not too much chocolate (if there is such a thing).  The chocolate buttercream really kept the dark chocolate cake light and moist.  I wish I had eaten all of the cupcake…I shared it with a coworker since I had already eaten my week in calories in a matter of an hour.  But it will definitely be a regular cupcake in my rotation once the Cupcake Challenge is over!

You better believe I had a MAJOR sugar crash that afternoon.  It was all I could do to walk to my car after work – my glucose levels hit rock bottom after all the free cupcakes!  Worth it.

Next cupcakes on my list: Smores (!!!!) and Peach Cobbler (!!!!).  Oh my goodness, I cannot WAIT for these to become available.  September 4th.  I’ve started my countdown!

I survived Week 0 & Week 1

Yes, blogger friends.  I am still alive.  Well, for the most part.  Good golly, Miss Molly…these last 2-3 weeks have been MADNESS at work.  Pure madness.  16 straight days of work.  Sheesh.  I was starting to forget what day it was because my mind is all over the place.

So many insane things to update you all on (that will come in a later post):

  • I have 2 cupcake reviews to provide you…both of the cupcakes were free.  Yay for working at a university 🙂
  • First ever Class of 2016 Service Day at my university
  • Dairy-free adventures
  • My quest to NOT let go of my life just because my job leaves me drained of every ounce of energy
  • My pain-free 10-miler!  10 miles, NBD…Pain free? AWESOME!

More on each of these in a bit.  For now, I’m going to do a bit of light reading…for work.  Yuck.

A very Happy Weekend to all of you out there! 🙂

Return of Sunday Rundays!

Well said, Kara.  Well said.  This was the perfect quote and perfect picture to sum up my recent Sunday Runday.  It was my first one “back” from my vastus lateralis tear/strain PT regime and it felt gooooood.  Not because the run was one of my best performances (it wasn’t, I lost speed in my recovery process) but it provided me a solid hour of reflection to remind myself how great life is.  This return of Sunday Runday came at a crucial time with my job gearing up for the most stressful & busiest time of the year.  It’s easy to get bogged down on the things that aren’t going right or the things that keep you from your free time.  This run reminded me that even a 6-miler at a 10 min/mile pace can make all right again in my little world.

Did I mention the weather was perfect?  A “brisk” 65 degrees with a light breeze and  much-welcomed cloud cover.  Quite the reprieve from our extreme heat & drought conditions we’ve experienced all summer.  Delicious.

And if a great run wasn’t enough to make the day perfect, a nice pot of home made chili and a bejankety downloaded version of The Hunger Games rounded out my Sunday.  Bliss.

 

CHEESE!

I know I told you I’m on the quest to phase dairy out of my diet.  So far, it’s gone well and I’ve gone 2-3 whole days without yogurt or ice cream.  I’ve still added a little bit of cheese (feta & mozz) to my egg for breakfast, but it is such a small amount it doesn’t seem to bother me.  Plus who can eat just eggs with veggies?  Yuck!

BUT…I found this seriously awesome natural Velveeta “remake” called “MomVeeta” from from Momables.com.  I haven’t had Velveeta or any Velveeta recipe dip in years because it’s so processed and just plain bad for you…don’t worry, I’m not so food righteous that I don’t think it doesn’t taste delicious.  Because it does.  But just thinking about the salt & processed junk in Velveeta almost instantly makes me feel bloated and yucky (again, technical medical term).  I’m sure this MOMveeta is crazy expensive to make, but MOMveeta isn’t something you eat every day and with football season quickly approaching (and potluck season!), this could come in handy!

In other news, I am one sore gal.  My PT & Orthopedist “released me” this week so I’ve been able to resume running and leg weight workouts…slowly.  On Thursday I ran 2 miles (pain free, so important) and wrapped up the workout with Bosu ball squats, lunges (2-5lb weights), single-leg squats (2-5lb weights), dead lifts (2-8lb weights), bridges,  side lunges (2-10lb weights).  I was TANKED.  My poor legs were quivering before I left the gym.

Needless to say I’m movin’ slow today.  DOMS is evil and always hits me hard.  It’s funny how much muscle strength I’ve lost in the 1.5 months since I realized I should stop running/doing leg workouts.  I’ve never had an injury where I couldn’t continue with leg workouts…I’ve only had to stop running to let previous injuries heal.  So this injury will be interesting in the bounce-back process.

I have a warm epsom salt bath and easy bike ride planned tonight & tomorrow to ease the DOMS.  Woof! Too bad there’s not a magical pill that will make it go away! 🙂

Not All Calories Are Created Equal.

Yesterday was a true example of this statement.  I’m one of those people that can have the same thing for breakfast, the same thing lunch, and supper for months.  For example, since…well, I can’t remember “when”, I’ve had 1 egg w/feta or parmesan and 2 pieces of whole wheat toast for breakfast every day (week day…not weekends too!).  I might get a little crazy and change up the kind of jelly I put on my toast or switch the eggs from sunny side up (yolk nearly cooked) to scrambled, but that’s the bulk of my  breakfast.  For lunch, it’s been a huge salad (spinach, celery, carrots, broccoli, cucumber, & green peppers) and salmon for lunch.  I switch between almonds & pretzels for a little extra crunch on my salad. And I’ll switch up the “3rd course”, but for the last several weeks has included a sweet potato with a bit of peanut butter (don’t knock it ’til you try it!).

Well, yesterday I decided to switch it up.  I had my typical weekend post-long workout breakfast of steel cut oats, 1/4 cup pumpkin, 1/2 of a banana, cinnamon, and 1 tbs of peanut butter (all mixed up and delicious).  The calorie amount was even more than my normal egg & toast breakfast.  Yet I was STARVING well before my normal mid-morning/pre-lunch hunger point.  The oatmeal concoction on the weekends lasts well into mid-afternoon (with the help of exercise-induced suppressed appetite), but not so much during the week, even after a hard weekday workout.  Peculiar.

Given that eggs are a powerhouse and keep me full for hours, I had my scrambled egg w/feta, spinach, peppers, & yellow squash for lunch to take care of the protein & veggies lunch-requirement followed by my delicious sweet potato/peanut butter for “dessert”.  I was ravenous before dinner.  This never happens.

Granted, I’m willing to admit that maybe I just had a “hungrier than usual” day.  But goodness, even my stomach & metabolism don’t do well with change!

This morning I went back to my beloved egg w/veggies & toast.  At least I can count on it to power through until lunch!  Good grief…

Any thoughts on this?  Do you eat the same thing everyday or do you die from boredom & routine?

Food Ban

Any of my readers out there (bc there are SO many, haha) given up a food group or specific food lately?  Meat? Red meat? Dairy? Chocolate (it’s a food group in my world)? Coffee? Cheese?

I ask because I’m seriously considering cutting out dairy from my diet.  I’m not lactose intolerant by any means, but lately after I eat a dairy product (mainly yogurt or ice cream), I just feel bloated and “yucky”.  <— Real official term, right? Apparently this is pretty common: the older we get, the less tolerance we have with dairy digestion.

I know you’re all probably thinking, “But Sarah, do you realize dairy/whey is in nearly EVERYTHING?”.  *Sigh*…yes…I’m aware.  But fortunately, since I eat very little boxed/processed things these days it would be more of a “direct source dairy cut”.  No milk, no cheese, no ice cream, no yogurt.  I really don’t drink milk anymore simply because I can’t even buy a half gallon without it going bad since I don’t eat cereal (I don’t eat cereal for several reasons: cost, serious lack of energy nutrition, usually not “clean”, etc.).  Although I admit, I had a hankering for some Trader Joe’s Honey Nut O’s and caved last week…

Anyhoo…I know I’ll struggle with no ice cream and no yogurt.  I eat Greek yogurt nearly every day.  It’s a great source of protein (and no fat!) and I pile it high with fruit.  It’s a great “dessert”.   And no ice cream?  It would probably be easier than I imagine – I would just need to get creative with my after-dinner dessert.  And when all my buddies call me (haha…right…) to grab ice cream, froyo, or frozen custard, a slip here or there won’t hurt.

Another question: “But Sarah, you’re missing out on some serious calcium consumption!”.  False.  Have you checked nutrition labels lately?  Almond milk (unsweetened) has over twice the amount of calcium as cow’s milk, less sugar, and less fat.  I’ll admit, I don’t like the taste of almond milk alone…I drink it in my smoothies.  I wouldn’t like it on top of cereal (unless I tried the sweetened kind, maybe?).  Also a great source of calcium in my diet comes from all the leafy greens I eat: kale, romaine, spinach…YUM!  Oh yeah, and I take a multivitamin just in case I have a day with less-than-ideal food habits.

What are your thoughts on going sans dairy?  Do you have a certain food/food group that you avoid?
 

 

 

3 Cupcake Reviews = 3 hour-workout!!

Sorry blog friends, I’ve slacked on my blogging duties.  Blame work. Work is evil. No matter how much I love my job.  Anyhoosier…

Guess who has gotten to run THREE times at physical therapy?!  Yup.  This gal!  I started small at 5 min, then 8, then up to 10 minutes…PAIN FREE.  So awesome.  I even got crazy and ran 10 minutes (also pain free) during my workout today.  One word: endorphins!  WOW!  I’m so excited to get back on track with my marathon training plan.  Running rocks, friends.

I only have 1 more PT session and an appointment with my orthopedist before I’m officially “released”.  And I could not be happier.  Although, I’m going to have to find a different excuse to get a cupcake since my PT office is located in the same building 🙂

Speaking of cupcakes…Yes, I can cross 3 more off my list:

Summer Crush

SUMMER CRUSH

(Image source: The Cup)

Oh my goodness.  This sweet little cupcake was delicious.  Orange cake with orange buttercream AND cream filling…I forgot about the cream filling so it was a pleasant surprise that led me to give this cupcake 2 thumbs up.  The orange cake and buttercream combo was SO refreshing.  No wonder this is a summer cupcake.  It was a nice little reprieve from the heat and drought.  This was definitely one that I couldn’t just eat half.  Before I knew it, I’d inhaled the whole thing, before supper.  Oh well.  Dessert for dinner is always an ok option for me!

Banana Split

BANANA SPLIT

(Image source: The Cup)

This double-dessert treat was a great idea for a Friday night “date night” with one of my girlfriends.  The Cup has an adorable sitting area with couches & comfy chairs so we bought our cupcake, had a cup of coffee, and chatted away until the store closed for the night.  Bliss.  The Banana Split is such a creative cupcake: banana & strawberry cake (very dense), vanilla buttercream, and chocolate drizzle.  The only thing that would have made this cupcake better…would be a scoop of Blue Bunny Banana Split ice cream.  The banana flavor seemed to overrule the strawberry cake, but the chocolatey drizzle was a great touch!  The perfect compliment to my cozy cup of coffee!

Triple Key Lime

TRIPLE KEY LIME

(Image source: The Cup)

This one doesn’t really count.  Why, you ask?  My friend chose this one for our Friday night “date” and let me have a few bites (I returned the favor, of course!).  WOW! This is one of those cakes that makes you close your eyes and savor every single flavor.  Key lime cake, key lime buttercream, and key lime cream filling.  The filling again surprised me (not sure why…TRIPLE…3 key limes…HELLO!). But anyway 🙂  This amazing cupcake is BETTER than any key lime pie I’ve ever had.  Honestly, I’ll probably never eat key lime pie again because the cake-option was so much lighter and decadent.  The graham cracker crumbs on top added additional flavor and visual appeal.  This one will definitely be the one I purchase on my last PT day.  Only 2 days until I can have this one all over again.  My mouth is already watering.

Well done, The Cup!  You have, again, left my taste buds satisfied and ready for more!  After sampling the Triple Key Lime, I’ve decided the “fruit” inspired cupcakes are my favorite.  Blasphemy for me to say “fruit over chocolate”, but it’s true.  The pleasure centers in my brain agree.

Well, since I consumed 2.13 cupcakes this week, you can bet my workout today was INTENSE.  2 hours of intervals on the stationary bike, 10-minute run in between each 1-hour bike session, my PT leg exercises, ab work, 1-leg bridges, 1-leg squats, and bosu ball squats.  All on a fairly empty stomach and a horrible case of heartburn.  Rain forced me to the gym instead of cruising around on the bike trails for 3 hours.  But you won’t find me complaining about rain this summer.  Nope, nope, nope!