Hello, everyone. Today has been a somewhat dreary Sunday, mostly gray and rainy with a bit of sunshine making an appearance in sporadic bouts. I had a pretty busy week, and I’ll take it back to Monday, when I got back from Washington.
The day started off super-rainy, and I was kind of bummed because I was hoping to be able to take Oliver to the dog beach. It cleared up a little later on, so Julian and I decided to explore a nearby forest preserve on a trail we hadn’t been on before.
We walked for a few miles and found some very cool secluded spots with access to great views of the lake. The weather started to get warmer, so we drove over to another nearby waterway and spontaneously decided to rent a paddle boat. It was a lot of fun and super-nice being out on the clear water with a gentle breeze from the earlier rain. Next time, we will do a kayak or canoe.
After spending about an hour on the lake, we went to one of my favorite vegan/vegetarian restaurants in Chicago, Handlebar. Every time I go there, I tell myself I am going to try something new but I always go back to the fried avocado tacos. They are so good! They come with fried avocado, a black bean spread, cotija cheese, and a cabbage slaw.
Since I hadn’t been grocery shopping in a week, I had to pick up a few things. I forgot to snap a photo and had already put everything away, but here is what the refrigerator looked like after.
I got spinach, broccoli, Romaine lettuce, honey Dijon salad dressing, zucchini, strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, kiwi, hummus, mushrooms, avocados, Greek yogurt, Zevia ginger ale, chia and kombucha drinks, and coconut water.
After returning from trips or weekend indulgences, I always like to jump right back into good nutrition and mindfulness. I found out that the gym I’ve been going to for over 5 years permanently closed without any notice. I had to go through a big debacle of cancelling my membership with the billing company. I have not yet decided on which new gym I’ll join, but I’ve had to get creative with my workouts at home. After drinking a green smoothie, eating a salad, and snacking on kiwi, I did a full body yoga flow with Sanela. For dinner, I marinated tofu in cilantro-lime dressing and prepared a side of black beans and zucchini with sweet peppers. I did not take a picture because refried black beans don’t look super-appetizing on camera.
Wednesday, I had a green smoothie for breakfast and leftovers for lunch. After a super-long day at work, I got home and did an hour’s worth of random circuits. Lindsey Baker has some awesome workouts for inspiration! I didn’t stick to any one muscle group; I just did a variety of exercises with 10-lb dumbbells, a kettle bell, and my yoga mat. For dinner, I made tuna steaks topped with avocado, broccoli, and mashed cauliflower.
Thursday was another long day at work. I ate some leftover broccoli for my lunch (very exciting, I know) and used the rest of my break to stop at Vitamin Shoppe. I was out of Vitamin C and apple cider vinegar, and I had a coupon for $10 over so I wanted to grab some drinks as well.
I found a new keto pre-workout on the sale rack and though I’d give it a try. I am a big fan of C4, but I haven’t gotten the powdered kind in a while. I like taking pre-workouts that have nutritional health benefits. I made vegetable chili with zucchini, butternut squash spirals, red, yellow, orange, and jalapeno peppers, and diced tomatoes and seasonings. I also watched Quicksand on Netflix. I am always really fascinated with crime dramas and particularly interested in the mechanics of the brains of mass murderers. It’s a really interesting show. It rained pretty much all week, but the sunsets were beautiful.
Friday was really exciting for me because I got to meet Jeff Mauro from the Food Network! He is actually from Chicago and won Food Network Star and is the host of Sandwich King and The Kitchen. Within the past few years, I have developed a huge love of cooking and food writing, and he is among the many Food Network chefs that are inspirations to me. I am a very, very shy and quiet person, so going to this event was kind of tough for me. I walked in, saw him standing there talking to a bunch of people, and walked away instead of saying anything. Because I am such an awkward, shy idiot, I walked back to my car and was getting ready to leave when I realize that I let my shyness hold me back from a lot and would regret not saying hello. So, I went back in to meet him and he was super-nice! He even acted interested in my blog and seemed very humble and gracious. I am so glad I got a chance to talk to him.
When I got home from work, I hit a trail near my apartment and went rollerblading for about 3-4 miles. Back home, I did a circuit in my room with a resistance band. I ate leftover veggie chili for dinner, took an evening walk, and watched the new Bob Lazar Area 51 documentary on Netflix.
Saturday, I woke up and tried to recreate the circuit I usually do at the gym in my room. It was definitely harder without a squat rack and leg press machines, but I improvised. I did a bunch of different styles of squats, deadlifts, and lunges, and I did a series of squat jumps and kicks. After, I ran about a mile around the neighborhood, but it was really hot out so I came back to chug water and eat breakfast. I made a scramble with garlic scapes, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, and potatoes with a side of kiwi.
I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning and doing my nails.
Since I spend a lot of time typing and lifting weights, I don’t do my nails super-often, but it’s fun when I do. Later, we went to Bernie’s (Julian’s cousin) graduation party. He graduated from film school and has a ton of talent and creativity. Check him out! It was a really fun party and his brother set it up so that loops of his short films played in a theater. It was awesome to see his work and I hope that he continues to find joy in his passion and make tons of amazing pieces.
The rain kept me from being outdoors today, but I spent a lot of time reading and writing. I have been working on a horror/thriller novel but keep getting stuck. I am hoping to find inspiration soon. I still have some groceries left from last week but picked up a few small extras. I have professed my love for the Beyond burgers plenty of time, but I also grabbed some protein and kale chips, pineapple-jalapeno hummus, a keto-friendly cookie, and some of the Ice energy sparkling waters.
I am hoping that the rain settles a bit so I can squeeze in an evening walk, but if not, I might just walk in a waterproof windbreaker. I love the smell of rainy air in the evening. This week will be cool because it’s a three-day work week. I am not big on celebrating the Fourth, but I like days off and day-drinking, so I’m sure I’ll survive. Have a great week and be safe!