Recap: Outdoor Adventures, Dog Paradise, & Groceries

Hello! It’s Sunday evening and a gloomy, cool night in Chicago. I love this type of weather because it’s perfect for exploring, aesthetically beautiful, and puts me in a writing mood. This week was filled with fun adventures and went by really quickly. As much as I can’t wait for Halloween, I feel like I didn’t even have much of a summer (but such is the life of someone stuck in an office!).

Last time I blogged, I was ready to head out for a day with Julian and Oliver. We visited my grandma and I made her a salad of mixed greens, peppers, tomatoes, shredded rotisserie chicken, and a light coleslaw dressing for dinner. I didn’t eat while I was there, but I was starting to get hungry. Since it was a gorgeous day, we decided to go to Palmer Place in La Grange so we could sit out on the patio. I had the fried green tomatoes and crispy green beans, and I got to try hard kombucha for the first time. I didn’t taste any alcohol, so I am guessing it could be dangerous! I love anything with ginger, though, and this definitely delivered on a big ginger taste.

I also picked up a haul from Aldi to get through the work week. I got swordfish, kombucha, Romaine, spinach, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, apples, zucchini, tomatoes, avocados, cucumber, and a Perfect bar.

Monday, I decided to do some intermittent fasting. I try to do it once every week or two as it can help improve cholesterol, fight inflammation, promote blood sugar, boost brain function, and more! After work, I did an arm workout. I focused on body weight exercises but also used a kettle bell, 10-lb dumbbells, and a resistance band. After, I went for a short run around the neighborhood and then came back and made spinach ravioli and broccoli. Julian and I went for a drive later on and I spent the rest of the evening reading.

Tuesday, I started the day off with a green smoothie and had a lunch of chickpea pasta with broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and a homemade garlic vinaigrette.

After work, I went shopping because I needed some new flats, washed my car, walked Oliver, and did yoga! I did a flow that was designed for stretching, and I needed it since my muscles were sore from my Monday arm workout. Plus, since I’m sitting in a desk chair all day, I really like to loosen up my muscles. I made a dinner of swordfish steaks with avocado, tomato, and cauliflower rice and then baked apple cinnamon protein muffins.

It was a jam-packed day, but it helped me fall asleep quickly! I’ve been having some trouble sleeping lately, even though I’ve reduced caffeine. Our apartment is pretty tiny, and we have to move the bed to the living room in the summer since that is where the AC unit is. We’re right next to a bunch of factories and I sometimes wonder if the air quality in the surrounding area is unhealthy. I filled my apartment with lots of plants to try and make the air breathable.

Wednesday, I had another green smoothie for breakfast and a lunch of chicken salad, avocado and cauliflower rice. After work, I wanted to do a full-body workout. I did this HIIT workout three times and then did a mile-long run in the wooded park near our apartment. I was definitely hungry after, so I made a pasta bake. I cooked chickpea pasta, sauteed mushrooms, onions, garlic, and spinach in a pan, and baked low-carb chicken meatballs. I mixed all of it together in a pan and then baked with some reduced-fat cheese. It was very filling and a great post-workout meal! After, I took a short walk and read for a bit before going to sleep.

Thursday, I had a green smoothie for breakfast. I realize that it sounds like that is all I ever have breakfast, but it is really because I just don’t have time in the morning, mostly because I don’t want to wake up earlier to prepare breakfast and don’t mind breakfast on-the-go, especially one packed with so many antioxidants and nutrients. Lunch was leftover chickpea pasta. I spent the rest of my break sitting outside in the beautiful weather and reading a book.

When I got home from work, I cleaned my whole apartment because my mom was coming over to watch Stranger Things. She brought tacos with her and I supplied the chopped lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, and black beans. It was a really fun night!

Friday, I started the morning with another full-body workout from MadFit. I got super-sweaty and my heart rate was definitely up! I like her workouts because they are good if you don’t have a lot of time but want an intense workout or if you want to do multiple rounds of a good circuit series. After, I ran about a mile around the neighborhood and then headed to work. I wanted to get my hair trimmed after work because it grows really fast and I hadn’t had it cut in a few months, so I wanted it to look a bit healthier. I had some Nut Thins and a turkey, avocado, and lettuce sandwich for dinner. Later, we decided to take a walk at Lake Katherine. It’s very peaceful and beautiful there, and a great place to relax and take in the serenity.

Saturday, I decided I wanted to take Oliver to the dog beach! It’s been a while since I’d gone, and we always have so much fun. I went to bed pretty early Friday because I had some painful cramps, but I woke up well-rested and jumped right into a leg workout. I did my own circuit of squats, deadlifts, side bends, lunges, calf raises, kettle bell swings, and standing crunches, and then I did a super-set of squats with side kicks, step-out side squats, and squats with forward kicks. I also did a MadFit leg workout and then ran a mile outside. I made a quick breakfast of eggs with a side of berries and apples and then packed up sparkling water, Kind bars, fruit, and sunscreen!

Oliver was super-excited when we got there. He is not a huge fan of the water, but he does like seeing all the other dogs. I love the dog beach because most of the dogs there are well-behaved enough to have free reign. Every time you turn around, there’s a new dog by your side waiting for pets!

After the beach, we grabbed a quick dinner. We spent about six hours at the beach and the sun and excitement had me exhausted. I fell asleep pretty quickly, but I was happy that we’d had such a full day, and I especially love when my pup is happy.

Today, I woke up early and made eggs with avocado. It was gray and a little cool outside, but that is my favorite weather for exploring some of the historic cemeteries of the Chicagoland area. There are several that are in close proximity to us, and there are all kinds of interesting things to see there, like busts on top of tombstones, intricate grave markers, and small family mausoleums.

After exploring, we drove through the woods. The air on a damp, rainy day smells so good, especially when someone in the distance has a fire going. We went to Best Buy after because I was looking for a newer Word subscription and then hit Disc Replay to look for some horror movies. Finally, we stopped at Trader Joe’s for some groceries. I got siracha tofu, mixed greens, spinach, green tea, white tea, seaweed, cauliflower gnocchi, cauliflower rice, protein bars, and eggs. I love going to Trader Joe’s!

While I don’t love the taste of coffee, I do like the smell, so I have a coffee-scented candle going, the cool evening air coming in the window, and plan to spend the rest of the night relaxing and reading a thriller novel. I hope you have a great week!

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