Vanilla protein pancakes

Pancakes are incredible. That’s a fact. But if you’re like me and you need a healthy, satisfying power breakfast that packs enough protein to keep me full and fueled for the day, sometimes the classic pancake isn’t enough. Luckily, pancakes are easily subject to fitness hacks. I’ve seen loads of protein pancake/skinny pancake/etc. recipes floating around on Pinterest, so I decided to try my hand at them with the ingredients I had on hand.

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Vanilla protein pancakes
Makes 3-4 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup flour (all-purpose or other)
1 egg
2 tbsp Earth Balance (or butter/other butter substitute)
Pinch of salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
Drizzle of vegetable oil (I only had olive oil on hand and it worked fine)
1 packet Vega vanilla protein powder

I added sugar when I made them, but honestly there is no need to, at least if you are using a flavored protein powder like I was! And if you use syrup or some other sweetener, it’s really more than enough sweetness!

Warning: these are SUPER filling! They truly are a power breakfast, perfect for days where I need energy for a high intensity workout. The girlfriend and I made them with bananas, but other fruits would be great, too, as would toppings like peanut butter or jam.

Enjoy!

Peace, sweat and love,

G.

Hemp Hearts review

Happy Tuesday!

I hope everyone’s week is off to a good start. I’m OK myself, just chugging along and thrilled to be back in good health.

So, earlier this month, I was given the opportunity to review Manitoba Harvest’s Hemp Hearts through their partnership with Sweat Pink. As promised, Manitoba Harvest sent me some sweet Hemp Hearts to sample all the way from Canada. When this arrived in the mail, I was super excited:

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There are TONS of ways that you can use these little guys. But first off, what are they? Well, hemp hearts are what remains after the seeds of the hemp plant have been shelled or de-hulled. They are a treasure trove of healthy fats, proteins, and omegas 3 and 6! A serving of hemp hearts boasts a whopping 10 grams of protein AND 10 grams of omegas 3 and 6 – comparable to the more well-known flax and chia seeds.

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Besides the fact that they are nutritionally dense, hemp hearts are also just plain yummy! They have a lovely, subtly nutty flavor that blends well with a wide variety of foods, both sweet and savory. These would definitely be amazing in salads, as well as stir frys. But I must admit that I am so devoted to my new favorite snack of yogurt sprinkled with hemp hearts, that I haven’t been getting as creative as I could! That said, I think they would be amazing with seafood stir fry, in salads, in veggie burgers, and in hot cereals.

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Study break! The protein and fat in these hemp hearts add a vital kick to plain old yogurt – which adds interest in terms of taste and texture, as well as a nutritional boost.

Curious? I sampled them, and I still am! There is definitely a lot of hemp heart potential that I haven’t been able to explore thus far.

Lucky for you (and me) Manitoba Harvest has provided Sweat Pink Ambassadors like myself a coupon code for readers. You can get 20% off at Manitoba Harvest’s site when you use the code “HHSweatPink14” – just in case you needed a little more of a nudge to try out this superfood for yourself 😉

Peace, sweat and love,

G.

Weekend recap + training

Hi friends!

Hope you all had a great weekend – I know I did! I’m so, so glad that the weather out here was so nice. Happy to be able to go outside and soak up some sun!

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Major New England love right now! 😀

Another great thing about this increase in me time is that now I have more time to prepare and pick out good food! On Saturday a friend and I went to the Providence farmer’s market and browsed through the delicious local goods there. I came home with local pickles (ate the entire jar already), assorted macarons, and some delicious ginger chèvre for my family. Definitely plan on going back next weekend! I love love LOVE picking up fresh food and cooking – having more time to breathe means rekindling my love for cooking/baking/food prep!

Kale chips! Will definitely be making (and rapidly eating) these all summer.

Kale chips! Will definitely be making (and rapidly eating) these all summer.

In addition to enjoying sunshine and fresh produce, I’ve continued with my training for the 5k Foam Fest and of course August’s Tough Mudder. A friend of mine wants to run a 5k together (we ran our first race together a year or so ago this summer!), so I might add in another event somewhere in there, too.

I’m also looking to run longer distances in my training for TM, so I was considering doing another longer race too. There is a 10 miler in Newport this summer, but right now I’m on the fence about signing up. We’ll see! If I can get someone to do it with me I’d be more eager to register. I think it might help break up my training, but don’t want it to be another source of anxiety.

In addition to my time at the gym and on the road running, I’m trying to make more yoga time. My new obsession is finding free or “community” yoga classes – ideal for someone on a student’s budget! And of course who couldn’t use more time on a yoga mat? This is a summer of prep and self-care, that is for sure.

I’ve drafted a TM training plan. Thus far, here’s what it looks like:

TM training plan

This is subject to change, of course. I’m excited but nervous – hope my DIY plan is up to par!

Any former Mudders have any other suggestions/tips for me? Or any other folks knowledgeable in this area?

Peace, sweat and love,

G

 

sorry i’ve been kind of absent lately…

… I’ve been busy GRADUATING FROM COLLEGE!!!

Gack! It has been such a crazy couple of days in every sense. I want to feel more than I can about graduation right now, but it’s still too early for me to hash out all my feelings. There’s just so much that I still don’t even know what or how to feel! All I know is that leaving Wellesley is bittersweet – perhaps even more bitter as it sinks in later on. For now, I admit that I am glad to go home and recuperate from a crazy couple of days (weeks, really, with finals and senior week and then graduation week). I’ve subsisted primarily off of champagne and cupcakes until now, so boring as it is I am thrilled to get back to real, home-cooked meals… Not to mention a regular exercise routine again! During really crazy times my body pulls through no problem, but once the insanity is over (finals, a major event I had to prepare for, etc.) I just crash. I’m definitely going to sleep 12 hours a couple nights this week just because I will naturally need that pseudo-hibernation to get me back into a normal routine. Will be sure to practice good self-care this week, even as I check things off my to-do list and unpack (ughhh).

But first, a visual recap of my graduation is in order. I am absolutely blessed to have an amazing, supportive family – so supportive that two of my relatives from Italy came to my graduation! That’s right – these family members flew overseas so they could see me walk across the stage and get my diploma! I am very close with my family in Italy, but unfortunately am physically far from them most of the time. It meant the world to me that they chose to be there for this moment in my life. That, and of course my nuclear family and relatives from closer by showed up wearing “Proud Wellesley Family/Parent/Sibling” pins! Though I can’t figure out my feelings on graduating, there were definitely tears to be had out of love and amazement at the dedication of my amazing family.

My little brother congratulates me.

My little brother congratulates me.

The family

The family

Some of the women of the family

Some of the women of the family

Friendship!

Friendship!

<3

No caption necessary.

The day after graduation, my family threw me a little graduation luncheon. Family and close friends (from home). Incredibly, my visiting relatives refused to let my mother order bagels and instead cooked everything themselves, minus the beautiful cake from a local bakery.

Ricotta-stuffed phyllo shells with peppered veg topping

Ricotta-stuffed phyllo shells with peppered veg topping

Mozzarella, breadcrumb, and basil stuffed and baked tomatoes

Mozzarella, breadcrumb, and basil stuffed and baked tomatoes

Pesto farro with cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, and ricotta... The farro is actually from the region in Italy that we are from!

Pesto farro with cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, and ricotta… The farro is actually from the same region in Italy that we are from!

A fish made out of fish! An adorable concoction made of tuna, pureed potatoes, and capers.

A fish made out of fish! An adorable concoction made of tuna, pureed potatoes, and capers.

Herbed ricotta dip with pine nuts and pureed olives

Herbed ricotta dip with pine nuts and pureed olives

mozzarellini and pomodorini skewers

mozzarellini and pomodorini skewers

And of course, a tiramisu cake from a local bakery! Did you know "tiramisu" is Italian for "pick me up"?

And of course, a tiramisu cake from a local bakery! Did you know “tiramisu” is Italian for “pick me up”?

On few occasions have I been more proud of my heritage 😉

Well, with that quick recap of a whirlwind weekend, I’m off to bed. I need to start getting my energy back!

Peace, sweat and love,

G

Spring in my step

Hello!

It is high time for another post. Don’t think I had forgotten!

Today in Boston it reached 70 degrees. Do you know what that means? Everyone was in full-on tanning mode, in shorts and t-shirts like it was mid-July! I’m so happy that it is finally getting nice out – it’s been a very long and harsh winter! Cheesily, I must remark that this long and harsh winter’s melting away into a late spring mirrors my own senior year. Basically, after spring break’s sunshine and acceptance into law school, I am emotionally pounds lighter than I was in the winter!

What I want the rest of my senior year to be.

What I want the rest of my senior year to be.

My training thus far for my upcoming 10k has been going really well – I have been consistently faster and stronger than I have been in the past! If you recall I have run a 10k before, so this will be my 2nd one. I have been doing really well during my speed workouts, and even set a new (indoor) 5k PR for myself! I can’t say exactly what my goals for this 10k are at this point in my training (besides finishing with relative ease and comfort), but I would really love to come in at under 10’00″/mile. I know that doing that with my 5k is one thing, but twice that distance is another for me. By the time the first mile or two have gone by, I’m rapidly slowing down if I’m running off a treadmill.

That said, I was able to get in the longest run I’ve been on in a while outside today with the gf because it was so gorgeous. Maybe even too gorgeous… I was so thirsty! I have a great Nathan hydration belt, but I discovered it doesn’t work very well on my body. I think those things are really meant for men and women with curveless bodies, not someone with a lot of junk in the trunk but a small waist! Luckily, my gf fit much better into the belt, and we were able to bring along much-needed hydration for our 6 miles. We felt great afterward! Running outside again is key for me, as I haven’t been able to do much of that until recently, and the uneven surfaces, dips, and inclines are something you can’t do as well on a treadmill! As I type this I’m goofily wearing compression calf sleeves under my jeans 😛

Evidence of spring - finally!

Evidence of spring – finally!

The Rec Department at my college also adorably hosted a “Spring Day” today, and there were so many cute dogs (we all know about my animal obsession… right?). They had fun little crafts and activities, so the gf and I went to say hi to friends and grab some free swag because I am like a Depression-era grandmother in my dedication to free things. Included in our swag were green Wellesley rec sunglasses, little gym towels (perfect for sweaty old me), and tons of energy bars (Luna bar, Clif, and Kind) and even a Gatorade table with free gel chews packs and drinks. More snacks are always a necessity for me – I always get hungry at work between lunch and dinner!

Speaking of food, because I am a totally obnoxious “foodie” who Instagrams pictures of her food, I need to share pictures from last night’s date here. Yes, I know I am a tool. No, I will not stop OR give you a bite! That means that I can provide you delicious pictures like the one below from last night’s date with the lady:

Korean stone bowl with tofu, rice, veggies, a fried egg, and slightly spicy and sweet sauce drizzled on top. Don't tell me that's not internet-worthy!

Korean stone bowl with tofu, rice, veggies, a fried egg, and slightly spicy and sweet sauce drizzled on top. Don’t tell me that’s not internet-worthy!

I’m going to have a busy day tomorrow – lots of homework to do, and I will be participating in the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center’s Walk for Change in the AM! Pictures and a recap to follow.

Peace, sweat and love,

G

 

A Post from Cloud Nine

You guys. I have so much news. So much exciting news!

So, obviously, you have my Friday post announcing 2 big things: a Vagina Monologues -spinoff I helped organize, and my St. Pat’s 5k. Basically, what happened is that BOTH WERE AMAZING SUCCESSES. I’m so happy. I can’t even…! I’ve just been floating around this weekend.

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The Wellesley Monologues? Well, a picture is worth a thousand words, and I’ll let the crowd that showed speak for itself…

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The pub was PACKED – perhaps to the point of not meeting fire codes, whoops. Our cast was nothing short of incredible. They rocked it Friday night! The audience was laughing crying, and clapping throughout these amazing personal stories. It was the biggest middle finger ever to Eve Ensler – haha! The original script doesn’t even come close to the real, unfiltered stories of different people.

After this incredible success, we were all ecstatic. We raised more money than I had expected in this “experimental” year – $550 and counting – for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center!

And then the next morning I had my first race of 2014 (“Wow, you never stop!” was a response from a cast member, which I took as a compliment 🙂 ). If you read my previous post and races I’ve run, you’ll know that my 5k PR is a 9’48″/mi, and that I really really wanted to hit 9’40″/mi, but would’ve been happy in the 9’50” range as well (my last 5k I just managed to break 10′).

Well… I ended up doing way better than I had imagined! I managed to run a 9’30″/mi 5k and came in under 30 minutes! Beyond excited. I really pushed myself during this race because I wanted to beat my PR, and all my work paid off – even with my stupid shin splints 🙂 I was just pumped to run in my beautiful  Providence (proud Rhode Islander right here!).

Guess which one is me? LOL so many dudes in green...

Guess which one is me? LOL so many dudes in green…

We ran past familiar streets starting at the gorgeous State House, past the Lithuanian Society, churches and Chinese restaurants of the South Side. People came out of their homes to watch and cheer us on – it felt so incredible to be running in my familiar city!

My ponytail is doing something serious right here - is it being magnetically drawn to the State House?

My ponytail is doing something serious right here – is it being magnetically drawn to the State House?

And as my first mile came to a close, my Nike+ announced that I had just run a 9’22” mile! I was relieved and thrilled. I pulled through, up hills and while weaving through crowds, and broke into a huge grin when I crossed the finish line with a solid 9’30” pace.

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Best of all, my adorable parents and girlfriend had made the trek out to see me race. Thanks to them, we have lots of sweaty photos of me!

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Because my mom is fantastic, she cooked lasagna for a sweet family dinner after the race. It was even more delicious than usual, and that’s saying a lot.

Rosemary -infused mushrooms and garlicky spinach lasagna with a light bechamel sauce <3

Rosemary -infused mushrooms and garlicky spinach lasagna with a light bechamel sauce ❤

So because I’ve obviously been dancing around to (my beautiful fashionable flawless cheekbone-having boyfriend) Pharrell’s “Happy”, here is a video made by Tunisian Star Wars fans to the song. Because, duh.

Peace, sweat and love,

G

A Highly Belated Update

You guys. I have been SO BAD. My last blog post is from February 8th. It’s March 1st! Harumph. I know there’s not anything I can do about it, but stiiiiillll…

I am just coming off of the busiest of weeks. It’s ~*midterm season*~ so I’ve been totally blessed with huge amounts of work + extracurriculars + jobs + trying to make it to the gym + feeling slightly under the weather + not sleeping enough.

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So as I write this, I am currently sitting slumped in my bed like a burned-out college zombie catching up on blogs I follow, attempting to figure out how to write such a belated update, and eating delicious yogurt.

I don't know what constitutes "Australian style" yogurt, but I do know that this organic banana vanilla flavor is delicious.

I don’t know what constitutes “Australian style” yogurt, but I do know that this organic banana vanilla flavor is delicious.

I think the best way to catch up in my blogging absence is stick to the handy ABC- format. So, What have I been doing between now and my last post?

A) Celebrating Valentine’s Day with my lady 🙂 I, of course, was not going to mess up our Valentine’s Day/Anniversary (we like to call it Vanniversary), so I made reservations at a fancy restaurant in December. Naturally, I was feeling like I pretty awesome girlfriend/human.

How the gf woke me up on Feb 14 <3

How the gf woke me up on Feb 14 ❤

We dined at Bondir in Cambridge where they offered a crazy prix fixe menu. I wasn’t able to get any decent food pictures because they had dimmed the lights for a romantic atmosphere, but suffice it to say that it was so delicious that my all-American, sandwich-loving gf ate snails and liked them (as did I!).

Pre-dinner selfies

Pre-dinner selfies

B) I finally bought new sneakers. I went to a local running store and they did a gait analysis, and apparently despite my flat duck feet, I do not over-pronate and have a pretty neutral, normal gait. Great news! I still went for my tried-and-true Nike Lungarglide, this time updated from my old and desperately worn out Lunarglide 4’s to the Lungarglide 5. It’s already so, so much better. My old sneakers were so bad that even just putting them on and walking around in them would make my shins start to ache! These new shoes feel like amazing, arch-supporting clouds on my feet.

I bought them in black - goes with everything! And I like to be creative/bright with the rest of my fitness ensembles ;)

I bought them in black – goes with everything! And I like to be creative/bright with the rest of my fitness ensembles 😉

C) I went running! Finally, with the help of my new shoes, I am experiencing barely any shin pain. That, and I’m making sure to put the new Pro Compression socks and Trigger Point foam roller to good use (they couldn’t arrive soon enough!).

D) I went to yoga. I’m in love with the fact that Lululemon stores hold free yoga classes – crucial to a college student/athlete like myself who can’t afford the expense of yoga classes! I’d love to go again tomorrow, but we’ll see how things work out.

Bad off-to-yoga-class selfies FTW!

Bad off-to-yoga-class selfies FTW!

E) I treated myself.

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I found of the the Cool Racerbacks from Lululemon on sale – $29 as compared to the usal $42. Feeling pretty good about being fabulous but also thrifty.

Best part? I'd been eyeing this cute color combo for a while.

Best part? I’d been eyeing this cute color combo for a while.

F) I fueled my body. I gave myself healthful, nourishing foods, but also remembered to let myself live and enjoy food, not fear it. In honor of Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I give a big middle finger to the ED that used to rule my life. My favorite means of doing so? Brunch.

A gruyère, mushroom, and fresh spinach omelette, homefries, and a raw-sugar encrusted scone topped off w/ organic coffee and fresh grapefruit juice. HEAVEN.

A gruyère, mushroom, and fresh spinach omelette, homefries, and a raw-sugar encrusted scone topped off w/ organic coffee and fresh grapefruit juice. HEAVEN.

Peace, sweat and love.

G