It’s a Sunday evening, and while part of me is dreading the start of the work week tomorrow, another part of me is just happy that spring is here. I am writing next to an open window, and the 65-degree air is blowing in. I have a perfect view of both the crescent moon and the pinks and blues of the setting sun. In Chicago, it’s easy to get the winter blues with all of the snow, sleet, and cold, but warm weather can really do wonders for my mood and mindset!
On Monday, I started the day with a green smoothie. I used about 1/2 cup of V8 Healthy Veggie (low-sugar) blend, a tablespoon of hemp seed oil, 1 cup of baby kale, a handful of raspberries and blueberries, ginger, collagen peptides, supergreen powder, chia seed, and flax seed. I also had a “shot” of two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted with water and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
I tried the new Trader Joe’s herbal detox tea and I liked it. I also had a kiwi and Perfect Bar for a snack, and lunch was a salad with kale, romaine, cabbage, sunflower seeds, and avocado. I had to work late on Monday so I decided to just work out at home. It was a little chilly but the sun was out, so I started off running a mile around the neighborhood. Then, when I got back, I used 5-lb and 10-lb weights to do a series of arm exercises, and I tried a video from YouTube. If you browse, there are a ton of them! They usually involve arm circles, intense punching, triceps dips, push-ups, and more. Dinner was veggie chili with cauliflower rice, zucchini, red, yellow, orange, and jalapeno peppers, onions, garlic, and spices.
After another long day at work Tuesday (with pretty much the same breakfast and lunch as Monday, I decided to stop by a local garden center to get a couple plants to brighten up the apartment and feel even more like spring. They are just adorable.
I also had a 20% off coupon for Vitamin Shoppe that was set to expire soon, so I stopped there. I got vitamin C supplements, cod liver oil supplements, hemp seed oil, Quest Nutrition tortilla chips, Know Foods cookies, Flapjacked protein muffins, and some pre-workout drinks.
The cucumber lime Celsius was really refreshing! I also did some at-home yoga (this time with a focus on abs) and had leftover veggie chili for dinner. I took a walk around the neighborhood with Julian before bed.
Wednesday, I woke up not feeling very well. I was having stomach cramps and the thought of food was not appetizing at all. I didn’t eat anything during the work day, and I was hesitant about going to the gym. I know when to listen to my body, though, and I felt okay enough to go. I did a quick squat jump circuit, donkey kicks, lunges, and some ab work. I used the stair climber for a bit but wanted to take a mile walk around the neighborhood since the weather was nice.
Julian and I had the next day off work for the Chicago White Sox home opener, and it ended up being cancelled! But since we had the day off anyway, we decided to go out Wednesday night. We went to Burger Antics for dinner again. I got their black bean and rice veggie burger with coleslaw. I also tried a Zombie Killer Cherry Cyser. It was good! Not too sweet, and the alcohol percentage isn’t too high,
Not the best photo – my arms aren’t long enough and I always cut his head off! We had another drink at the White Owl bar nearby and then took a Lyft home. Thursday was cold and rainy. We had a bit of a “staycation” day and got food from Home Run Inn. I had their Caesar salad, which comes with mixed greens, wheat croutons, and chickpeas. I was totally exhausted all day Thursday (not sure if it was because of the weather or if I was still recovering from whatever made me feel sick Wednesday) and was in bed by 10.
Friday, I fasted most of the day and had a good workout at the gym. I used the Bosu balance trainer to do a series of ab and leg exercises. I didn’t really use any weights except for when I did side-bends and kettlebell swings. I tried to focus on my core, form, and breathing. I also ran a mile and walked at the highest incline for ten minutes.
At home, I had a random dinner. I had a whole crown of raw broccoli with roasted garlic hummus and sliced vine tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, olive oil, salt, and pepper on top. After I showered, I used a dermaroller on my face and then used a Vitamin C serum and gel moisturizer. I am still not yet sure about a noticeable difference, but my skin always feels smooth and soft. Julian and I played the video game Overcooked for a little while and I went to bed somewhat early for a Friday. I knew it was going to be a beautiful weekend and I wanted to get an early start!
Saturday, I was up and at the gym early. I did a leg workout that consisted of squats, deadlifts, lunges, calf raises, and used the leg press machine, the adductor machine, an ab crunch machine, and leg curl machine. I did a high-level interval workout on the stair machine and rushed home to eat a quick salad and enjoy the beautiful weather.
We took Oliver to the woods for a long birthday walk! His birthday is Monday, April 8th, and he will be 7. I can’t believe it. I’ve had him since he was 8 weeks old, and he is the best friend I could ask for. I always told my mom that I wanted a dog who wouldn’t leave my side, and that is Oliver. He would be curled up next to me while I studied or did homework, napped when I napped, and would even cry while I was in the bathroom. He is the sweetest, most loving dog, and I cherish all my time with him. He’s like a little coyote!
We had a great time, but the woods were super-muddy and he definitely needed a bath when he got home. Like most dogs, he absolutely hates baths, but his legs were so covered in mud that he looked like he was wearing boots! After his bath, I walked him around the neighborhood to let the sun dry him a little more. We picked up Jimmy John’s on the way home because I hadn’t been grocery shopping and we are surrounded by mostly fast food restaurants, so that seemed like the best option. I had a veggie sandwich with avocado spread on the new wheat sub.
In the evening, I met up with my friend for a drink at a local bar. I had one Angry Orchard and then stuck to White Claw (low sugar/low carb). Julian met us over there a little later and then he and I walked around for a bit to continue enjoying the weather.
Today, we had a bunch of errands to run. I needed to go to Petsmart to pick up Oliver’s birthday gifts. I got him a bunch of healthy treats and food. I used to like getting him toys, but Brutus steals and destroys them now! We also stopped at Target, where I picked up this mini haul.
Yes, that is Kool-Aid beverage enhancer and yes, I’m a child! But it has zero sugars or calories. I am excited to try the cinnamon almond butter. The strawberry kombucha is my fav, the ginger is super-easy to throw in smoothies, and the frozen veggies and Realgood enchiladas are great for fast dinners.
I had a giftcard to Noodles and Company, so we went to grab lunch there and then eat in the picnic pavilion of a forest preserve. I had the truffle zucchini “mac” with zucchini noodles and mushrooms. It was really good! I’ve honestly only eaten there once in my entire life, but I love that they offer zucchini noodles. After that, we went home and opened a window to let all the fresh air in, and that was my week!
I hope everyone else had a good week, too. What’s your favorite thing to get from Target (besides everything?)