First Weekly Recap

I love when my favorite bloggers share recaps of their weeks. It’s a great way for readers to unwind, enjoy content, and be inspired! While some of my weeks will be overly normal, others will be filled with fun and great eats!

Last Sunday, it was incredibly windy in Chicago, and the city was really living up to its namesake. I could hear it howling throughout the night and into the morning, and when I walked my dog, Oliver, I saw doors slamming against porches, flags coming unhinged, and trees falling down!

My beautiful Lab-Shepard mix, Oliver

Oliver can walk for miles without getting exhausted, but it’s a little difficult in Chicago winter because the salt and snow can hurt his paws. Occasionally, I end up carrying him, which is a little difficult with a 60-lb dog! He is about the size of a coyote.

Sunday evening, I cooked up a big batch of vegetable chili. I sauteed onions, garlic, red and yellow peppers, jalapenos, zucchini, diced tomatoes, hominy (this is my favorite thing to add to chili because the texture is very meaty and the addition makes the chili very filling), kidney beans, and cauliflower rice, and I added cumin, paprika, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. Chili is a great way to sneak in a lot of vegetables, and it’s a great item for meal prep!

Mondays can be difficult, but I always plan a great workout to start the week off on a positive note. This Monday, I focused on arms and abs. I like to do small circuits and use lighter weights and resistance bands to really challenge my muscles. I did:

  • Forward arm raises (10 reps, 3x)
  • Reverse flys (10 reps, 3x)
  • Triceps extensions (10 reps, 3x)
  • Bicep curls (10 reps, 3x)
  • Triceps dips (10 reps, 3x)
  • Push-ups (10 reps, 3x)
  • Planks (1 min. each, 3x)
  • Russian twists (25 reps, 4x)
  • Side bends (25 reps, 4x)
  • Kettle-bell swings (10 reps, 4x)
  • Chest raises (10 reps, 3x)
  • Lateral press (10 reps, 3x)
  • Hammer curls (10 reps, 3x)

I like to finish my workouts with 20-30 minutes of cardio, and I usually change up the machines and intervals I use. I like walking at a high incline and switching to running. The ArcTrainer is also excellent for interval training. As always, a good stretch is necessary after every workout!

Monday’s dinner consisted of pan-fried salmon with a broccoli and tomato pasta salad (avocado mayo, apple cider vinegar, and Italian seasoning).

Tuesday, I had a mixed greens salad with tomato, avocado, and tuna for lunch, and when I got home, I did 30 minutes of yoga in my living room. I like to light a candle and dim the lights when I do yoga. It helps me feel more relaxed and creates a calm environment.

Wednesday’s lunch was a little odd, but that’s because I forgot to bring one! In a pinch, the Morning Star vegetarian items are great.

I do not drink coffee, but I love trying new energy drinks! My current favorite is Bang, because it has no sugar or carbs and most of the flavors are delicious. I found this new flavor at a health food specialty store near my house. It tasted like grape soda!

My Wednesday workout consisted of my favorite step-board circuit! I use anywhere from 5 – 7 steps.

  • Lunges (using the board as a foot base) (25 reps, 3x)
  • Step-up hamstring leg raises (20 reps, 3x)
  • Jump squats (onto board) (10 reps, 3x)
  • Side-to-side jumps (20 reps, 3x)
  • Knee raises (20 reps, 3x)
  • Sumo-squat jumps (10 reps, 3x)

I also used a heavy resistance band to do various stretches and squats, and finished it up with cardio. Wednesday’s dinner was spinach, mushroom, and Gruyere ravioli (purchased at Aldi) with no sauce, and sauteed broccoli and zucchini.

I don’t dine out often, but I haven’t had a chance to sit down with my mom in a while, so I invited her to dinner on Thursday. We went to Tequila in Chicago! Although I guess it could be considered a “cheat meal,” I didn’t beat myself up over it. I just enjoyed my time with my mom and knew I’d have a fresh start Friday morning!

Cheese enchiladas with tomatillo sauce, rice, and beans

Friday started off with my daily smoothie, and I did an unintentional intermittent fast for the rest of the day. I was incredibly busy at work (and had to continue working after-hours), so I got to the gym later than anticipated! I used the bosu ball, resistance band, and a 15-lb bar to do a small circuit that focused on toning exercises. I’m wrapping up the night with a glass of wine while I grade papers.

How was your week?

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