pancakes and workouts.
There are many things I love about breakfast. My most memorable breakfast occasions occur at my summer home on Martha’s Vineyard. It has been years since I have picked fresh blueberries while walking down the mile dirt road that separates my extended family from the town of Vineyard Haven. Another pathway called blueberry trail for that reason alone is a boardwalk that stretches from the road to the beach. The blueberry pancakes we have been made from these berries over the years have to be the best that I’ve ever had. I am sure everyone has at least one delicious breakfast memory. What are some of yours?
OK, before you question why this pancake looks burnt, I have to let you know that the secret ingredient is cocoa powder. Erica’s blog, Sweet Eats, keeps my stomach growling for pancakes, waffles, and french toast. I decided to make her Triple Chocolate Indulgence pancakes with a few modifications (lack of ingredients) and wow, I was truly full. This recipe was chock full of ingredients from the flax meal to the almond butter. The recipe called for chocolate hemp milk, however I only had vanilla almond milk, so I suppose my pancakes were only Double Chocolate Indulgence pancakes. The other modification was that I added a tablespoon of coconut flakes and decreased the almond butter to one tablespoon. These were the perfect way to satisfy my chocoholic cravings. There are two pancakes left for another serving tomorrow, can’t wait. Yes, I ate these for dinner but don’t worry I had a veggie filled lunch.
This is a simple salad of an organic spinach and romaine blend, chopped tomato, julienned carrots and raw zucchini, and one quarter of an avocado dressed with a homemade balsamic dijon vinaigrette. I just mixed a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar with a teaspoon of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of dijon mustard. I was in a hurry to fit in a few miles before it began to rain, so I paired the salad with butternut squash soup from Pacific Natural Foods. The butternut is the only vegan soup if anyway was interested in trying it. Before I began this vegan adventure, I did enjoy the roasted red pepper and tomato soup and I plan on making my own vegan recipe soon.
SOME WORKOUTS FOR YOU:
Here is a good slideshow for anyone interested in weight training, specifically your arms. It has always been a struggle for me to keep muscle in my arms but I feel it is truly important to work on strength training. In high school, I was always very slim and weak in my upper body, but just two to three times a week over the past few years in college has really paid off. Here are a few other favorite moves for both the upper and lower body:
- The Quadraped (called the Bird Dog in the video below) works your abs and butt (glutes) at the same time.
- This video by an elite runner, Josh Cox, shows a typical workout I include in my routine: planks, push ups, and a pelvis/hip lift that works your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
- The Scissor Ab crunch or bicycle is my go-to ab workout. I do this at least three times a week. It may be best to start with three sets of twenty but try to make your way up to 60. Also, try not move too fast because that is why regular crunches don’t often work.
- The Reverse Crunch flattens your lower ab muscles but make sure not to use your arms on the ground to lift your body.
- Triceps are definitely one of my favorite muscles and the Tri dip, also called the chair dip, is one move I have been doing since I was a freshman in high school with my Cross Country running team. Put all the weight in your arms, not your thighs and glutes.
At the GYM:
- The Cable Press-down is great if you have a machine with the rope attachment. This is another Tricep move.
- The Lat Pull-down for back strength helped me over the years with soreness I have had from running with my arms too high causing a sore back and upper shoulders.
- The Leg Curl with a stability ball is great. It is similar to the hip lift I mentioned earlier and its extra difficult when you lift your pelvis with your abs as high as you can. When I first began this workout I would shake because my hamstrings were too weak. Try to move up from one set of ten reps to three sets of ten.
- The Tricep Extension here uses a band but you can also use a weight. I do this at home with a ten pound dumbbell.
- Another back move is the Back Extension. It is important not to go past straight when you are moving back up. If you go too far, you may be sore the next day in your lower back. You can also do it on a stability ball.
As of now, this is my basic strength routine. I do not put much emphasis on lower body moves because I run so often. I hope you can try some of these. Let me know if you have a favorite gym move that you think I should try.