Posted by: Jess | August 23, 2011

Such is Life

In a perfect world…

there would be as many hours in a day as necessary

a blogger wouldn’t go weeks at a time without writing a quality post

her Nikon camera would always be strapped around her shoulders just begging to be used

a Google reader wouldn’t have 700+ posts marked “unread”

a junior in high school wouldn’t spend her last two days of summer vacation babysitting 19 hours (even if it was SUPER fun and with a very sweet girl.. but if school started on Thursday that would be perfect, k?)

5:00 a.m. wake-up calls would not exist

she would be caught up on “Love in the Wild” (on episode 5. newest addiciton)

diet soda wouldn’t have artificial flavorings/preservatives

DVR’s would be near-empty as she would have time to sit down, chill, and watch her favorite show(s)

all gyms would be open 24 hours a day

the stair-master would have a personal T.V.

And lastly.. 

there would be no such thing as “back to school”

But, such is life. So we take a deep breath, re-focus, and move on. 

Junior year starts tomorrow. I’m excited for it to come so it can go and I can finally be a SENIOR!

Love to you all. 

Fill in the blank: In a perfect world, _____.

Posted by: Jess | August 8, 2011

Longest. Post. Ever.

HELLO ALL!! Phew, it’s been far too long since I last posted. This post is a doozy, so feel free to scroll around as you please Open-mouthed smile 

Side note: I am ADDICTED to vitamin water zero. As you can see…

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I am so, so behind on my Google reader. Like 200+ behind. But I have been enjoying my summer to the FULLEST! I can’t complain about that. Sometimes blogging has to take a backseat, or it can become an unhealthy hobby in my opinion. Unless it’s your full-time job or something Winking smile 

Whole Foods breakfast on SATURDAY with my daddy! So fun & SO GOOD!!

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shrimp and asparagus frittata + potatoes + blueberry compote/cinnamon apples + eggs (some with cheese, some without) + maple sausage + a few candied pecans

I also went there for dinner last night…with my dad again! I am a lucky girl Open-mouthed smile

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three different types of chicken + kale with veggies + cauliflower + roasted red and yellow peppers in a red sauce + white fish in herbs

I’ve received a good amount of products in the past couple of weeks that I’m STOKED to try out either through giveaways or product reviews! Or try again as far as the NuNaturals go (LOVE their products; they’re still in the box). P.S. Gotein GIVEAWAY coming soon!! Open-mouthed smile

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Seven LINKS…

Thanks so much to all of y’all who tagged me!! I’m going to include posts from my OLD blog, because this blog is relatively new.

1. Most BEAUTIFUL: Week Off from Liftin’

2. Most POPULAR: Warriors Workout + Nut Butter Addict

3. Most CONTROVERSIAL: No controversy here, unfortunately?!

4. Most HELPFUL: Jessica’s Top 10 Ab Moves OR My Legs + Biceps/Triceps Workout

5. Surprise SUCCESS: Confessions OR Confessions Part II

6: Not enough ATTENTION: Uganda

7. Most PROUD: Getting Stronger IS Possible

If any of y’all have not been tagged yet, consider yourself tagged
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After seeing the mini-meal idea on Carrie’s blog, I tried a day’s worth of mini-meals, and I REALLY enjoyed it!! It’s not something I can always do, but it kept me satisfied throughout the day. Collage_AutoCollage_11_Images

More foodie GOODNESS!

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flat out wrap w/ hummus & natural ham + sweet potato + apple

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peanut butter + banana a la the NUT BUTTER + BANANA QUEEN!!

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grilled chicken + tomato + grilled veggies

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Umpqua Oats (Lei’d Back) + melty peanut butter

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broccoli. ha.

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peanut butter + banana… FROZEN!! so yummy. perfect for the HOT HOT summer!!

Hope everyone has a FANTABULOUS week and beyond Smile. I’m off to do some summer reading. FUN (not).

Are you a fan of mini-meals? Or are you more of a three big meals a day kind of person?

Can I be BOTH!?

Posted by: Jess | August 3, 2011

Food Labels & You (GUEST POST!!)

Hey GIRLS & GUYS!! Today I have a fantastic guest post from James Kim, who is a writer for foodonthetable.com. He contacted me and asked if he could do a guest post on what food labels TRULY mean…

Food Labels and You

Most people try to be quite conscious of the content and quality of their food.  Food packaging and labels are made to inform the consumer about the food they are buying.  Here are some food labels to look out for in your meal planning.

Local – Local food is usually defined as food that has been grown within 100 miles from a certain place, without any official certification, inspection, or standards involved.  These local foods, which do not have an official local seal, may be found in a specific area of a grocery store.  Although some local farm companies are able to pass the inspection exam technically, many lack sufficient funds to get the organic certification.

Organic – Organic food, as described by the USDA, is food “produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation.”  Food and farm handling companies are inspected by a government approved facility first in order to pass as “organic.”  Some certified food labels include “100% organic,” which is made with at least 70% organic ingredients.  Another one is “organic” (95% organic ingredients), and “contains organic ingredients” (less than 70% organic ingredients).  This is the best food term to look out for as it has passed the necessary inspections.

Fair Trade – Fair trade standards are made to alleviate poverty and are applicable to both producers and traders.  Offering better trading conditions, fair trade standards contribute to more effective sustainable development.  The FLO-CERT Company is responsible for the “fair trade certification.”

Natural – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s website explains that, “It is difficult to define a food product that is ‘natural’ because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth . . . The agency has not objected to the use of this term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.”  Therefore, it is best not to rely on this food term. Check the food nutrition facts on the back of the package and decide for yourself whether it is “natural” or not.

Certified – The Food Safety and Inspection Service (which is under the USDA) states that “certified” means that any meat product of “grade, class, as well as other quality characteristics” has been evaluated by them.  This definition is rather vague for the process of certification for a meat product.  However, definitely use “certified” meats by the USDA especially when buying from a grocery store.

Do not be misled by enticing food labels.  Get to the bottom of this dilemma by researching your food.  Know the nutrition facts as much as possible before buying a food item because, in the end, “you are what you eat!”

James Kim is a writer for foodonthetable.com.  Food on the Table is a company that provides online budget meal planning services.  Their goal is to help families eat better and save money.

Thanks so much James! If you have any questions, just leave them in the comments! Smile 

Upcoming posts from me…

1. Seven Links

2. Day’s Worth of FOOD (I recently tried a day of MINI-MEALS after seeing the idea on Carrie’s blog, you’ll hear my thoughts on that, too!)

3. Updated Workout Routine (+ Bodypump 78)

Posted by: Jess | July 25, 2011

Week Off From Liftin’

Hey all you LOVELY ladies!! And hey to any gents out there, too Winking smile 

I’m currently nursing the WORST SUNBURN OF MY LIFE. Um, yeah. I would take some pictures, but this pretty much sums it up.

To clarify: I applied sunscreen TWICE but somehow forgot to do my face the first time! And I COMPLETELY forgot about my legs. I’m dumb.

To explain the sudden BURN, I’m on VACATION—WOOP WOOP!! Here are some snacks I packed in my suitcase…

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Can you tell that PowerBars were all on SALE this week?! They are not my go-to bars, as I prefer REAL food, but they are good when I am lying on the beach burning my face off and HUNGER STRIKES!!

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I’ve decided to make this a “Week off from Weight Liftingactive recovery week! I’m focusing a lot on yoga and bike riding around the beach where we’re staying. I’ve been making some major strides in my lifts, so my body’s feeling a little bit beet beat up (HAHA, GET IT?… no? oh, okay).

I’ve also been UPPING the food!! Not as in overeating, but as in better FUEL for my body, my workouts, and my life. Kristi recently had an AWESOME post on fueling yourself, HERE. GIRLS, listen up…

WE NEED LOTS OF FOOD! I can say, from personal experience, that ruining a metabolism is NO fun. I’m still working on repairing it!!

Okay, that is all Open-mouthed smile

FOOD PHOTOS!!

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sweet potato + broccoli + chicken w/ avocado

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lettuce + green/red pepper + tomatoes + three-bean salad + avocado + sweet potato + flank steak + hummus

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2 egg whites + 1 egg + vanilla Chobani + blackberries/blueberries + banana + PB

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sweet jazz apple + sweet potato + chicken w/ avocado

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my boyfriend’s dessert, also known as vanilla ice cream with homemade hot fudge sauce, whipped cream, and a cherry

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vanilla Chobani + Optimum blueberry cinnamon cereal + blueberries + Kroger natural crunchy PB

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broccoli + apple + artisan flatbread w/ avocado & all-natural deli ham

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sweet potato + turkey-spinach meatloaf

Stay tuned for a “7 LINKS POST!!” Thanks Alexandra!!

& I have other awards/tags I need to complete!! Sorry about the delay!!

I also need to work on a “Blogs I Love” List…I read so many amazing & inspirational blogs. This could take a while Winking smile  PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT if you want to be included on my blog list!! Just to make sure I get them all!!

Y’all rock. Seriously.

<3 jess

xoxo

P.S. T-MINUS 4 MINUTES UNTIL THE BACHELORETTE!!

Posted by: Jess | July 19, 2011

Picture Overload

Hey all! Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend & start to the week. The highlight of my week has been squatting 105 pounds (woop woop!!) & watching the Bachelorette + Extreme Makeover: Weightloss Edition with my boyfriend and friends. SO much fun…butttt a late night last night made for a tired morning.

As soon as I woke up, I was SUPER hungry, so I headed downstairs and groggily made myself a delicious, balanced breakfast…

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vanilla Oikos Greek yogurt + Optimum cinnamon blueberry cereal (new find!!) + blueberries + blackberries + banana + Kroger natural creamy peanut butter

I found the Optimum cereal at Harris Teeter for buy one get one the other week…after realizing it has a WHOPPING 9 grams of protein per cup, I snagged two boxes.

Another NEW (to me) find was these Artisan Flatbreads made by the same people who make my beloved “flatout wraps.” They are ADORABLE, have 9 grams of protein, and most importantly, are delicious Open-mouthed smile

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artisan flatbread + hummus + natural deli ham + lettuce + tomato + green pepper + large sweet jazz (my FAVORITE apples. period.) + “glow” vitamin water zero

A couple bars I’ve been snacking on…

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almond brownie balance bar + berries GoMega odwalla bar

I’m absolutely obsessed with stir-fry’s lately!! They are SO good, easy, and nutritious.

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stir fried green pepper, onion, lean ground beef, sweet potato, and tomato on top of lettuce

I DEFINITELY had the SAME exact lunch the next day…

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Anyone else in LOVE with quinoa?!? It is SOOO good. & super versatile.

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quinoa salad (quinoa, cucumber, artichokes, tomato, feta cheese, green pepper) + natural deli turkey/ham + sweet potato

SNACK TIME!!

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mango + almonds

YES, I do eat the skin. Don’t judge me.

GIVEAWAY ALERT…

Carrie is giving away some DELICIOUS-SOUNDING coconut peanut butter HERE!!

Have a GRAND rest of the week <3

Posted by: Jess | July 13, 2011

Squats + Sweet Potatoes

Hello all! I apologize for my prolonged absence. No real excuse, just that I’ve been LIVING up summer 2011!! I have been spending loads of time with friends, the boyfriend, and doing as I please. It’s been quite…lovely Open-mouthed smile 

But what EXACTLY have I been up to…?

  • summer reading (um, BOO)
  • working out (hittin’ up the WEIGHT ROOM…no longer afraid of ‘dem boys)
  • tanning
  • photography
  • Starbucks & pool dates with friends
  • organizing email inboxes, installing Quicken, and other odds & ends that needed to be done on the computer…

On the FITNESS front…

I decided to get over my fear of certain parts of the “macho men” weight room. Hellloooo there, squat rack, nice to meet you Winking smile . No more hiding in the ‘Group Exercise’ room for me!! I squatted 95 pounds on Monday!! A definite first for me.

Today was hamstrings/calves day. (I also did “workout B” of the Advanced Ab Workout Plan For Figure routine found HERE!! + other abdominal moves) This is what my workout looked like…

  • Good morning 3 x 8 85 lb
  • Dumbbell straight leg dead-lift 3 x 12 50 lb
  • Leg curls 3 x 8-10 75 lb
  • Hamstring machine 3 x 8-10 105
  • Dumbbell static lunges 3 x 10 50 lb
  • Calf raises 3 x 12 170 lb
  • Calf presses 2 x 12 (per leg, in/out) 140 lb
  • Calf raises on step 2 x 10 (per leg) 50 lb
  • Calf press 2 x 12 (both legs, in/out) 280 lb
  • 45-degree donkey calf raises 3 x 10 90, 140 lb
  • Seated calf raises 2 x 8-10 50 lb

I loveeee leaving the gym with shaky legs. Smile 

So now that we’ve covered the “Squat” part of this post…what about the SWEET POTATO part? As you may or may not know, I normally eat a sweet potato a day (to keep the doctor away!!) and I adore them. I typically eat them post-workout…

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chicken + sweet potato + cucumber + tomato

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whole foods hot bar… two different types of chicken, tofu, collard greens, marinated grilled vegetables, steamed vegetables, half of a smoked sweet potato (AMAZING!!), brown rice, and tropical sweet potato mash

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chicken + sweet potato + tomato + cucumber + red pepper

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lettuce + sweet potato + cucumber + steak + chicken sausage + tomato + salsa + broccoli

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chicken + sweet potato

Other eats!!

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creamy peanut butter “Think Thin” bar…NEW FAVORITE BAR!!

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lettuce + chicken + black beans + tomato + mixture of light ranch/salsa + hard-boiled egg + avocado

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banana + maple almond butter

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vanilla chobani + raspberries + blueberries + chopped almonds

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chicken +  sweet potato + tomato + avocado

That’s all I have for now!! I have a busy night tomorrow. One of my friends travelled to Mexico on a missions trip, so tomorrow night she’s making us a homemade Mexican meal. Then, we’re going shagging, followed by a midnight showing of the final Harry Potter movie. PHEW!!

Love to you all!!

<3 jess

xoxo

Posted by: Jess | June 28, 2011

Warriors Workout + Nut Butter Addict

It’s NO secret that I may, just MAY, have a slight addiction to nut butters…

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But what MIGHT be a secret to you is that last night I went to a Warrior’s Workout at my gym! It was a special class because yesterday was member appreciation day. It was described as a 90 minute-long class that incorporated BodyPump, BodyCombat, and BodyFlow. IT ROCKED MY WORLD. I’d never tried BodyCombat before, and now I’m hooked. I have never sweat so much in my life (except for hot yoga!). I’m so glad I ditched my “workout schedule” and went for it.

I split up my dinner (since the class was 6:00-7:30) and ate half a banana + peanut butter & a honey-flavored Greek yogurt before. It stayed with me REALLY well!!

After class, I was MORE THAN ready for some real dinner food…

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turkey meatballs + broccoli + sweet potato + lots & lots of water

Late night snacks have been looking a LOT like this!!

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cinnamon toffee almond butter + coconut butter + Jif natural crunchy PB + apple slices

This morning my legs were REALLY feeling it, and I decided to forego the intervals on the elliptical I had planned and opted for an hour long yoga session. Best decision ever! I also completed a shoulders & back workout at the gym.

Post-gym lunch…

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lettuce + tuna + turkey + tomatoes + honey mustard + sweet potato

Some exciting news on the FITNESS FRONT…

I can now do 3 x 15 hanging leg raises. Trust me, they are NOT easy. But they are my new favorite abdominal exercises.

A DELICIOUS dinner I had the other night!!

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broiled chicken + ketchup + roasted butternut squash fries

That’s all for now, folks! I have a hamstring/calves + abs workout tomorrow A.M. then I’m babysitting tomorrow afternoon. Got to make some money to spend frivolously at Whole Foods, RIGHT?! 

Some giveaways you MUST enter. Oh, wait. I want to win. Don’t.

http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2011/06/bamboo-travel-skirt-giveaway.html

http://www.peanutbutterjenny.com/2011/06/27/its-about-time-you-tried-this/

http://cleaneatingchelsey.com/2011/06/27/crunchy-cookies-giveaway/

HAPPY ALMOST-JULY!!

<3 jess

xoxo

Posted by: Jess | June 21, 2011

Confessions Part II

  • I am in love with my new shoes. What makes them even better? I got them buy one get one half off AND they were already on sale. 100_4524
  • It may have taken me forever to finish this, but I finished Skinny. I REALLY enjoyed it! It definitely made me think.DSC_0089 (2)
  • I bought these Starbucks gift-cards several, several days ago. Have I mailed them? You bet NOT. DSC_0091
  • I am obsessed with mangoes…of all varieties! I found some new ones  that are from Mexico and taste like a cross between lemon + mango.

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  • I almost peed my pants when I found out that my grocery store now carries a NEW type of all natural, Greek yogurt that is CHEAP(er than Chobani/Oikos).

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  • I am not partial to ANY brand of Greek yogurt, though. I love them all!

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  • I eat chicken + sweet potatoes like it’s my job.

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  • Roasted is my favorite way to enjoy vegetables. 100_4513

roasted butternut squash + roasted broccoli + roasted brussel sprouts + green bean fries + turkey meatballs

  • I will never stop eating pizza.

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Greek pizza with whole-wheat crust

  • I regret not making this sooner…

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homemade cinnamon-toffee almond butter

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homemade coconut butter

  • That almond butter may just be the BEST thing I’ve ever tasted. I’m off to go swim in it.

Share YOUR latest “confession”!

Posted by: Jess | June 14, 2011

Mish-Mash

Hey all! Long time no speak Winking smile I have a MISH-MASH of a post, so here we go…

I started a BRAND NEW workout plan that I adapted from some magazines while reading at the book store. I started it on Monday and so far, I LOVE it!!

Monday: Glutes/Quads + Abs

Tuesday: Shoulders/Back + Cardio

Wednesday: Hamstring/Calves + Abs

Thursday: Chest/Biceps/Triceps + Cardio

Friday: OFF or Spin/Cardio + Yoga/Pilates/Abs

Saturday: Hamstring/Quads + Abs

Sunday: Yoga/Pilates + Cardio

I typed up my workouts, and then printed/folded them for easy access at the gym.

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I also purchased some workout gloves & a new pair of Reebok shorts from a sporting goods store…tried them both today! Helped with the hand pain from lifting + better grip!!

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Been LOVING Oxygen magazine lately…and Vitamin water zero. “Rise” tastes like ORANGE JUICE. Yum!

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In other exciting news……

MY PACKAGE CAME!!

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CANNOT WAIT to make some cinnamon toffee almond butter and some coconut butter!

I took the boy to TRADER JOE’S for his FIRST TJ’s experience. I think he really liked it…he bought some chocolate covered pretzels and couldn’t stop eating them Winking smile 

I bought some goodies…

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BIG NEWS!!

I have officially cut out DIET SODA from my life. I WISH I could have a couple a week, but it becomes an addiction wayyyy too fast for me. I’ve had days where I drank 2-3. NOT okay. I haven’t had ANY in nine days and, instead, have been drinking 8-10 glasses of water per day. Open-mouthed smile 

The boy also tried a sweet potato (cooked in the microwave, NOTHIN’ fancy) and he REALLY liked it. He said he’s going to start eating them…SUCCESS!!

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Speaking of food…

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vanilla Chobani Greek yogurt + Kashi GOLEAN + cherries/peaches/strawberries/blueberries + cinnamon

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mushrooms + hummus + turkey slices + broccoli + watermelon + cherries(x2)

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ugliest picture of fruit ever blackberries/blueberries/green grapes/red grapes/cantaloupe/watermelon/cherries/strawberries/green apple…fruit is OVERFLOWING in our refrigerator lately. and I love it.

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mango!!!!

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leftover salad + veggies + chicken + salsa/hummus

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sweet potato + mushrooms + tomato + chicken salad + broccoli

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sweet potato + green pepper + mushrooms + chicken

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2 egg whites + 1 egg scrambled with mushrooms & vanilla Chobani Greek yogurt with strawberries + cherries

I think I’ll leave you with some recent PURCHASES…

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That purse…SEVENTEEN dollars at TJ MAXX!!

These bowls were also purchased at TJ Maxx…

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Have a FANTASTIC rest of the week, everyone!! I’ll be sharing more details of my new workouts later Smile 

Thanks for hanging in with me for such an ALL OVER THE PLACE post!!

<3 jess

xoxo

Posted by: Jess | June 7, 2011

Summer EATS + Leg workout

Hello loves!! I hope EVERYONE is in summer mode, or at least finding some time to relax, lay in the sun, and eat copious amounts of watermelon.

Last night I ordered some AWESOME foodie-related goodies online via a giveaway I won from Melinda for the NUTTY GUYS!! I ordered some coconut (COCONUT BUTTER!!), dates, cinnamon toffee almonds (nut butter!!), and almond flour. I’m pretty excited!!

Things have been pretty low-key over here…I’ve been working out, taking LOTS of naps, sleeping in! Overall just RELAXIN’ after such a tough academic year. I deserve some rest!

This workout is NOT relaxing to say the least, though…You MUST try it!! I am sore for days after…

adapted from one of April’s leg workouts—found HERE!!

  • Hamstring: 2 sets of 10 (105 lb)
  • Hip Adduction/Abduction: 5 sets of 10 (210 lb)
  • Leg Curl: 2 sets of 10 (70 lb)
  • Standing Calf Machine: 2 sets of 12 (170 lb)
  • Calf Presses on Leg Press Machine: 2 sets of 10 turned in/2 sets of 10 turned out (120 lb, per leg)
  • Glute Pushback Machine: 2 sets of 10 (95 lb, per leg)
  • Step Ups: 1 set of 15 (30 lb, per leg)
  • Sumo Squats: 2 sets of 15 (43 lb)
  • Squats: 2 sets of 15 (43 lb)
  • Lunges: 2 sets of 10, per leg (43 lb)
  • Stiff Leg Deadlift: 2 sets of 10 (43 lb)
  • Quad Machine: 2 sets of 10 (20 lb, per leg)

On the food front…

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2 egg whites + 1 egg + mushrooms + vanilla Chobani +  watermelon

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lettuce + green pepper + chicken + sweet potato + ketchup

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lettuce + green pepper + mushrooms + tuna + sweet potato fries + roasted broccoli + roasted carrot fries + tomato + ketchup

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the best mango I’ve ever had!!

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vanilla Chobani + Kashi GOLEAN + strawberries/blueberries/blackberries/raspberries

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same as above

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chicken + broccoli + sweet potato

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same as above

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wrap w/ turkey & mustard + apple + banana/strawberries/blueberries

CLEARLY…

1. I’m obsessed with fruit in the summertime (more than normal anyways)…

&

2. I am a repetitive eater. Hey, what can I say? I enjoy what I eat!!

That’s all for now! I am off to eat a mango and watch some TV! Season premieres of White Collar & Covert Affairs, anyone? Please don’t judge. Oh, and eat several spoonful’s of Nutella. Pretty normal night!!

<3 jess

xoxo

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