Celebrity Runner: Julie Bowen (Modern Family)

I’m OBSESSED with Modern Family. Literally just obsessed. I watch it so often I feel like I have a personal relationship with the characters. So, it delighted me to read about Julie Bowen’s running story, and I wanted to share with you all in case there are any other Mod Fam fanatics out there!

 

I’m a Runner: Julie Bowen

The ‘Modern Family’ actress discusses running—on and off screen.

Media: I'm a Runner: Julie Bowen

Occupation: Actor, Modern Family
Age: 41
Residence: Los Angeles

I know that you run a lot…
Well not a lot for Runner’s World! People are so easily impressed by running, but I run pretty frequently.

Have you always been athletic?
No. Running was the first thing I discovered that I was any good at. I grew up playing field hockey and lacrosse—prep school sport—and I was terrible at them. I really thought that I was not athletic at all and then one summer in between schools I decided that I would try running. I was about 13, and I started by running about 15 or 20 minutes each day, and then I got to school and it made a huge difference. Suddenly, the run before practice was no big deal and I was like, ‘Wait a minute, I can do this!’ I still stunk at lacrosse and field hockey. It was horrible. Anything with a ball that I had to catch, it was awful. But, I started being a good runner and then when I switched to my high school, where they had track and field and cross-country, I started doing that and I found out that I was not bad.

So have you stuck with running this whole time or has it been an on-and-off thing?
I ran throughout high school competitively, and then I got a lot of injuries. In college, I had to back off a little bit, so I swam in order to repair my aches and pains. Ever since then, I have been delighted to be a recreational jogger. I trained for a marathon and then got injured doing that, so now I am just a recreational runner.

You’ve said running helped you lose the baby weight the first time around. Did it also help after twins?
Yes, after having the twins, definitely. More than losing the baby weight, it helped me to regain my sanity. When you are in a house with lots of babies, no sleep, and everything is about their needs all of the time, I found that going out for a run in the morning before they got up—even it was just for half an hour—made me feel like I did something for myself. It’s wasn’t just all about babies, and it made me feel okay.

Did you run while you were breastfeeding, too?
I don’t know why I have a surplus of energy, especially early in the morning, but I seem to and I think there was a lot of anxiety; I have a lot of anxiety in general. Life sort of just gets me wound pretty tightly, and there was a lot of anxiety about starting a new job. I was starting Modern Family, and all of these new babies, and I wasn’t sleeping well. Something that really helped me to get rid of the anxiety, take a breath, and feel calm was running.

Did you use a baby jogger?
I only started using a baby jogger recently. My first son, Oliver, didn’t like it when he was little and we’re lucky because my husband works at home, so why bother? I would leave him in his bed, and I could go running then. Now though, with three, no amount of babysitters or husbands is enough! Someone is always happy when I take them for a run. So two out of three of them were happy in the jogger.

Does Oliver like it now?
Oliver does now! I run to the school sometimes and I’ll bring him along. To school and back takes me about 55 minutes, I have no idea what the mileage is. Going there is slower, obviously, because I am pushing 40 pounds of kid, and going back is faster, so really I don’t know what the mileage is. I gave up running for the mileage. Oliver chills out, listens to his iPod, and talks to me a lot. I try to explain to him sometimes that while I am pushing him up this hill, I cannot talk. It’s funny because running back from school, I have an empty stroller and you can’t tell if I pull down the shade so people must think I am insane. Running there I am careful and I avoid cars and potholes, but running back I am a madwoman! People probably think that I am insane running in traffic with what they believe is a baby. There is actually nothing there.

Do you get funny looks from people?
Oh my gosh, yes! Mostly angry sort of fist-shaking looks like, How can you? Why would you? I know that it’s an empty stroller so this is okay.

Do people recognize you when you run now?
I run in this one park in L.A. and I have been running there for years. People say hi, and every time I go running, at least one person says, “I love your show.” But it’s very nice, and it doesn’t feel like I’m getting gawked at or anything. I mean its L.A. You can be Annette Bening and the person behind you can be a porn star, so I am just another person on the hill.

It sounds like you run a lot.
I consider a day without running a crappy day. When I don’t get to run, I am a grump, but some days my schedule just doesn’t allow me to. I have to be at work at 6 a.m., and if I want to see my kids later at home, there are just days when I don’t get to run. But, for the most part, I try to go every day. It usually works out to about five or six times a week or sometimes four times a week. But if it’s four times a week, I am a pill. Nobody wants to be around me. Cranky! Everything looks bad, my children seem too loud, and my job seems like fun but not as much fun. Like, I love my job, but suddenly my pants aren’t fitting right and everything just seems wrong.

Your character Claire is a runner on Modern Family. Did the writers work that in because of you?
No, I think I play the wife of every runner on our staff. I am pretty sure she’s an amalgamation. And, the show’s creators, Steve Levitan and Chris Lloyd—Steve’s wife Krista is an avid runner and I would say that 70 percent of the time that you see her she is in running clothes. I think that was based on her and it just so happened to be convenient that I enjoy running. I don’t think that they would make me do it, if I didn’t enjoy it. We did scenes on a treadmill. After doing it for two hours’I guess it’s a good thing that I am not a hideous runner.

And you got in a workout at work.
That was a bonus!

Does anything from your own life cross into the show like running?
I am so similar in a lot of ways to Steve Levitan’s wife, I always think it’s hard to tell. I think that these things are coming from me, my family, or my life, and then I’ll discover that they have been coming from so many other different places but nothing directly. I just like running.

Are you as competitive about running with your husband as Claire is?
My husband and I used to run together and we don’t anymore. I haven’t gone running with him in years, and I don’t know why. Mostly because somebody is sort of on duty and somebody is not, so we both can’t go and do it. I would like to say that I am a very relaxed, loving person who is not competitive, but that’s a lie! But I run alone, so I don’t know. I have a lot of private conversations, a lot of counting steps like, I wanna quit, I wanna quit. Okay, you can quit when you get to 300. It does work.

Do you ever run with your costars?
No, my costars all have their own thing going on. Sofia does a lot of Pilates.

I read in Self magazine that she was afraid to work out with you.
Oh please! Sofia is the best. I’m sure that was made to sound more competitive than it is. We are so different. She is so graceful and athletic and she is a really good dancer, and I am like, “Put on the shoes and go on a straight line.” I do yoga. I go swimming. I do that stuff. But it’s a totally different time commitment and needs a whole new set of equipment. And I mean, I have seen the best things I have ever seen while I am out on runs.

What’s the best thing you’ve seen on a run?
I remember that my junior year of college, I lived in Italy and I ran there. Running wasn’t super big there then, and I don’t know if it is now. It’s certainly not like girls running through the streets, but I was going through these medieval streets in Florence, and then in the hills above Florence and these tiny little towns that nobody would ever see because there is no commerce there, and past falling-down, old palazzos, roosters crowing in the morning. It was like running through a painting, and I used to think to myself, I wouldn’t get to see this if I wasn’t the person that got up and ran around in the morning like a crazy chicken with my head cut off.

Do you always run in the mornings?
I don’t always run in the mornings, but I am definitely better if I run in the mornings. Well, my job, God bless it, they slap all of this hair and makeup on me, so once I get through the beautifying process, you don’t want to un-beautify. So it’s best to do it when you’re still ugly and makeup-free in the morning.

Do you sometimes run on set?
I have and it is extremely rare because it makes them very nervous. You have to have a very loving and caring makeup team who is willing to redo you and luckily I do. I have said to my ladies, Stephanie and Mary Ann, “I have two hours between scenes. Would you mind if I went running?” And they are so wonderful but there are times that I know it’s going to kill them, so I do it very sparingly. I remember being on Ed and Tom Cavanagh would go and play basketball all of the time in between takes. He was dripping sweat and it didn’t matter. They just sort of slapped powder on his face and ran their fingers through his hair. But that’s not going to be so good for me.

Women go through a lot more!
Yes, we do suffer, but I do have wonderfully indulgent and lovely people that I work with that know that I keep a bag in my car with workout gear. I have a tendency to get dressed in the morning for a run and then start my day, and if I am at the car wash and it’s going to take an hour to get the car washed, I’ll just run.

Where do you run on set?
Outside. They have a park across the street from where we shoot. There is a neighborhood. I love nothing more than running though the neighborhood and looking at houses. It’s so fun to see the way other people live and there are things you don’t see when you are driving through the neighborhood quickly. I had a great run once in Africa. I was on safari with my family and it was just the greatest vacation ever, but because of the animals, we weren’t encouraged to go off running alone because there were lions. So I would go stir-crazy after a while. The guide drove around this big huge field like four times to stare out at anything hiding in the bush. And then they said I could run for about a half hour because things will come back into the grass. About 20 minutes into the run, I ran past this field with some form of monkey that sounds cute but was terrifying, and they all started screaming so I said, “That’s it! No more running in Africa.” Because they were not adorable monkeys. They were screaming and I clearly violated something of theirs. Maybe they were baboons. I couldn’t tell you exactly what form of primate they were. And you are really feeling high on your horse because you are running around this incredible field. I could hear the lions far away—I knew I was safe—and elephants and it was magical, but then I got chased away by a family of monkeys. It’s a good running story, but people who don’t run are like, “You are an idiot. You are in Africa. Don’t run, what’s the big deal?” What cooler thing to do but running in Africa and see stuff up close?

Do you still like wearing old-school nylon shorts to run?
I am horrible and I don’t know where this sort of sloppy aesthetic entered my world, but it always seemed very strange to me to buy workout clothes. Growing up, they just didn’t do that, so I still have a tendency to wear my husband’s shorts. I have gotten better. I have a few pairs of running tights now, but for the most part, I don’t care what I look like when I’m running at all as long as it’s comfortable.

Everyone else in L.A. seems to care so much!
Well I should care because there are paparazzi around some of the time. Once in a while there will be a picture of me and I think, Hmm, maybe its time to retire my husband’s basketball shorts, but I really don’t care. I just can’t seem to make myself care about what I look like when I am working out. I used to work out like a slob. I used to do yoga in slob clothes, and then I realized that you can’t. In order to get all bendy twisty, you need your clothes to be tight-fitting so that you are not tripping over yourself. I get it. But running, as long as you’re comfortable, who cares?

Do you listen to music when you run?
I do. I have some playlists for when I am running, but I alternate them with Fresh Air from NPR. I listen to pretty much all of it. I don’t think I’ve missed one in a year or so. I just don’t know why that makes me happy. I guess it sort of distracts my mind. I’ll put on music sometimes if I want to change it up and get all excited to run up a hill. Generally, I like to not think when I am running, and when I am listening to something interesting about science or art, I don’t think. I just listen.

Like a book on tape?
I have done that, too. My sister has me listening to a book on tape now but it has not caught my fancy, so we won’t mention it.

What book?
Its called Cutting for Stone and it’s written by a doctor. My sister is a doctor, and I call it doctor porn. It sounds like he is writing porn but its like, ‘His fingers probed her liver delicately.’ And you are like, “Gross!” I think she takes it from a different point of view. When someone is talking about their sobbing scapula or whatever it is, she knows what they are talking about and it means something to her. She keeps telling me to stick with it.

When you were on Weeds?
That was so much fun because I never get to play bad girls, and I got to be such a bad girl. I was terrible. It was super fun.

Did you ever run with any of the cast members?
No. Well first of all, I am a bit of a loner on the running circuit, so I am not prone to running with people because I am afraid that they are going to run too fast and or I am going to be too fast. I’ll run with my sister the doctor—she is like one of my closest friends—or my cousin Katie, but only people who I know are not judgey.

How old is Oliver now?
Oliver is 4 and the twins are 2.

You were talking about a marathon where you got injured. What happened?
Nothing dramatic. Twenty miles into my training, I was just running perfectly happy on a nice long run and all of a sudden, my hip felt like someone stabbed me with a knife, and sure enough, I had torn my labrum. It’s the rotator cuff of your hip, and there is no fix for it except to stay off of it for six to eight weeks. I was on crutches, and I had to swim. It was a drag, and I didn’t like it. That’s when I had one kid under one and I couldn’t carry him. It stunk, and it scared me enough that I really do want to do a marathon, but I don’t know. Being injured is so awful. [Younger sister] Annie said to me, “Would you rather be someone who can casually run until they are 90, or someone who ran a marathon and could never run another step?” So I would rather be the person who can run until I am 90. I just wouldn’t want to do permanent damage. That’s not to say that I don’t run, but I don’t want to push it to a point where I can’t run and I get hurt.

What marathon was it?
L.A.

Do you ever run around your neighborhood at home?
I love running near work. There are a lot of hills where I live, and that’s really good and challenging and it makes you feel like Superman. I love running in Hancock Park because it’s my fantasy to live there. I can run for like an hour there just running up and down and looking at the houses. Real-estate envy. I just love that. I would love to run at the beach, but its just too far. When I am up in Santa Barbara, I do run at the beach.

You have a place in Santa Barbara?
My parents have a house up there and, when we visit them, I run at the beach a lot. It’s nice, although I do find running at the beach here like running on the highway with all of the people. There are so many people and it’s fine, but sometimes it’s nice to have a little solitude.

What’s the best running advice you’ve ever gotten?
My running coach in high school said that when you are running downhill just fall, and still to this day I think of that when I am running downhill. Just like, don’t try to control, don’t try to rein in the energy that the gravity is giving you.

What do you eat the night before a big run?
I am horrible. I eat healthily, but I am just as apt to have a bowl of cereal for dinner as I am to have, like, chicken and a salad. And a lot depends on what my kids are eating and what I eat off of their plates. There are times when I eat their whole dinner, Dino Bites and French fries, but my default mode is that I eat pretty clean salads and chicken. It used to be salad, salad, salad, and now it’s Dino Bites, peanut butter and jelly, and whatever. It’s fine. I don’t really care. Some of it’s not bad. I did rediscover French toast.

How do you know when you’ve had the perfect run?
When it’s an hour later and I don’t want to stop and I feel energized. I walk back into my house with sort of a happy buzz, and I feel psyched to take the garbage out. I can do all of this stuff. All of the mundane stuff that can get on your nerves seems like an easy thing to do. It’s not like I suddenly do something different, but the stuff that I am doing seems much more manageable and fun.

Do you have a running ambition?
The marathon is my running ambition, but otherwise my running ambition is just to continue to run healthily and without injury because I hate injuries.

Easiest Salsa Chicken Fajitas

Yesterday was tough on the brain front. It always seems like 2 days before a CPA exam is my freak-out time. Even though I know plenty of anxiety-reducing activities and behaviors I should employ, I never seem to take my own advice. I didn’t do as well as I’d like on a practice test I took in the morning, and by the time I got to work, my face told the story of my morning. It was one of those days where I wore my emotions, and couldn’t pep up to save my life – the stress took me over! My boss noticed my worry, and let me go home early to finish preparing. I was so grateful and was able to take another practice test to ease some of my fear. I couldn’t let his good nature go unrewarded, so I plan to smother him in baked goods from Publix today.

My easy 30 minute run and 30 minutes of stretching also helped to calm me down – I love it when that happens! I hope to keep my nerves in check today because I know that getting worked up isn’t going to help me perform better tomorrow. This guy makes me feel so much better

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Outfit of the Day

Don’t ya love cheap finds? I love mixing higher end items with more economical pieces!photo-66

Dress AND Chambray shirt: Target; Shoes: Steve Madden; Bag: Louis Vuitton

Dinner

I know this isn’t the first time I’m saying “this was the easiest dinner ever!”, but I REALLY mean it with this dish! Literally, a baby could make this. I tossed a few chicken breasts in the crock pot,  and called it a day. Ok, ok, not that simple. But this is how it went:

Ingredients

3 large chicken breasts

 1 jar of medium salsa

1 cup of low sodium chicken broth

1 tbsp oregano and pepper

Directions

Trim fat off of chicken. Place chicken, salsa, chicken broth, and spices in a crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours (or low for 6-8 hours). When chicken is cooked, reduce heat to “keep warm”. Shred with a fork and knife, and serve with fajita toppings and tortillas.

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image-233This recipe had my mom saying “This is my favorite recipe so far!” for the 3rd time this week. They all seem to be her favorite 🙂 What a way to boost my confidence!

I hope you all have a happy and healthy day!

Shrimp Pasta with Tomatoes and Asparagus + A Super Sweaty Circuit Workout

Well HELLO there! I woke up yesterday morning to the funniest hand-written notes on the kitchen island. My nephews wrote these after I went to bed on Sunday night:

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How could I decline such polite requests? We didn’t have any waffle mix, but I found a suitable replacement: Van’s Pancakes.

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The breakfast was well received! Post breakfast, I made time for a quick work out before heading to work. I wasn’t feeling a run, and thought it was time to change my routine up a bit. After a 7 minute jogging warm up, I completed the following workout by performing each exercise for 1 minute with a 20 second break between each exercise. I followed it up with a 7 minute jogging cool down.

1 minute madness

 

The workout was no-nonsense and took about 25 minutes from start to finish! Since I had school until 10pm last night, I wasn’t able to cook dinner. But I did cook for my family on Sunday night, and wanted to share the recipe with you all:

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Shrimp Pasta with Tomatoes and Asparagus

1 1/2 lb shrimp

1 box high fiber linguine or angel hair

2  14oz. cans of diced tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 bunch asparagus, tough ends removed

1/4 cup white wine

1/3 cup shredded parmigiano reggiano

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp oregano

salt and pepper to taste

Remove tails and devein shrimp. Season with salt, pepper and oregano and set aside for 10 minutes.  After removing the tough ends of the asparagus, cut the asparagus into quarters. In a large and deep saucepan (or a shallow pot, if you don’t have the saucepan) over medium-high heat, pour olive oil and add shrimp. If shrimp are cooked, only leave in pan for 2 minutes. If shrimp are uncooked, cook until pink, about 5 minutes. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside. Reduce heat to medium and add chopped garlic to pan and cook until golden. Add in tomatoes, asparagus and white wine and simmer. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions (I prefer an al dente noodle). Add shrimp back to tomato and asparagus sauce for 2 more minutes, and then remove both pasta and sauce from heat. Drain pasta and serve on a plate. Top with sauce, shrimp, and parmigiano-reggiano

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Hope y’all enjoy it if you try it! Have a happy and healthy Tuesday, everyone!

A Weekend in Foodie Paradise + Chicken Milanese

Happy Monday, friends! I’m finally getting around to sharing the recipe I promised you all last Thursday.  But first I’ll recap you on my weekend.

My taste buds were truly spoiled on Friday. I was so excited to have lunch with my friends Laura and Liz, and we went to a cute cafe in the Hyde Park area of Tampa called Piquant. Laura just returned from graduate school in Paris – she’s been there for a year and I seriously missed her! It was only fitting that we go to a French restaurant – I’m sure she’s having withdrawals.

Fast forward about 6 hours and I find myself at Bern’s Steakhouse, one of my favorite restaurants in Tampa (that was recently voted the 2nd best steakhouse in America by The Daily Meal)! Bern’s is a Tampa landmark and always a special place to go. Since it was my nephew’s birthday, we followed our dinner with a tour of the kitchen and wine cellar (largest private wine cellar in the world), and finally ended up in my happy place – The Harry Waugh Dessert room atop Bern’s. I had to roll myself home.

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On Saturday morning, after a 4 mile run with Derek in the new ‘hood, I spent the day shopping for an outfit for a special occasion with my mom. It was a successful trip! Plenty o’ hours were spent studying, and when the evening rolled around Derek and I met his sister and friend Maddie for a wine tasting and dinner. More foodie happiness for this girl.

And yesterday was spent churching, drinking coffee, studying, cooking and a lousy/slow 3.5 mile run!

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Finally the good stuff!!!!!

This spin on a chicken milanese dish was the first meal I cooked in the new kitchen – it’s always weird finding your way around and  working in an unfamiliar kitchen, but I can’t wait to get used to this one. Here is how the dish came together:

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Ingredients

6 thin chicken cutlets

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1 tomato diced
1/3 onion, diced
2 tbsp oregano
juice from 1/2 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp balsalmic vinegar
salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 450°. In a mixing bowl, whisk vinegar, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper and oregano and add in the diced tomato and onion. Set aside and let marinate. Place chicken in a large glass baking dish (sprayed with cooking spray). In a separate bowl, mix together crumbled feta and panko bread crumbs. In a measuring cup, mix together olive oil and lemon juice, and then pour over chicken, making sure to coat both sides. Spread the bread crumb mixture over the chicken, also coating both sides. Top the breaded chicken with the tomato and onion mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
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I served the chicken with couscous and an arugula and spinach salad.

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Photo Share 7/28

Long time no talk, friends! I hope you all had a phenomenal weekend. Mine was filled with family, friends, and great food. Not much more a girl can ask for!

photo-112Lunching with friends @ Piquant

image-213Celebrating my nephew’s birthday @ Bern’s Steakhouse

66100_10200236504891061_184242437_nDad + the boys

image-211Post-dinner treats @ the Dessert Room

image-216Sunday Fuel @ Buddy Brew

image-215Evening with friends
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I have some recipes to share with you this coming week, and my FINAL cpa exam is in 3 days. Out of the 3 CPA exams I’ve taken thus far, I received the best score on the most recent, which happens to be the one I took 3 days after starting this blog. I hope blogging is my good luck charm and I can pull another passing score on this last one! Pray/cross your fingers/rub a bald head for good luck for me!

Dirty v. Clean Produce

I’m not sure if you all share my confusion on which fruits and vegetables we should be buying organic, and which are okay to pass on the organic versions. While I would LOVE to purchase all my produce in the organic section of my grocery store, my wallet just isn’t havin’ it at this point in my life. However, I recently stumbled upon an article in Health magazine that helped me decide which fruits and vegetables are worth splurging on for the organic version. Health compiled a list of the top 10 dirtiest produce items, and the top 5 cleanest (as researched by the Environmental Working Group). Cleanliness was determined based upon the number of pesticides found on the foods, with the dirtiest totaling SIXTY-SEVEN pesticides! SICK! Here is the list, perhaps you can bring it with you next time you find yourself wondering which fruits and vegetables you should drop a paycheck on:

Veggies

Dirtiest

1. Celery – 67 pesticides. The stems on celery cup inward, making it hard to wash the entire surface.

2. Peaches- 67 pesticides. The exterior of peaches make them attractive to pests, which is why they are sprayed so frequently.

3. Strawberries – 53 pesticides which are easily absorbed by the soft skin of strawberries.

4. Apples – 47 pesticides. Washing apples helps, but isn’t 100% effective

5. Domestic Blueberries – 13 pesticides on a single sample.

6. Sweet Bell Pepper – 63 pesticides. While many can be washed away, chances are some will still remain.

7. Spinach, Kale, Collard Greens – 45 on spinach and 67 on kale.

8. Grapes (imported) – Thin skin which allows for easy absorption

9. Potatoes – Careful for the skin! Studies have found it is associated with 36 pesticides

10. Domestic Cherries – Found to have 3x the pesticides as imported cherries!

Cleanest

1. Onions – No samples were found to have more than 1 pesticide

2. Asparagus – 90% tested had no detectable pesticides.

3. Eggplant – The thick skin of eggplant protects it from pests, so a lot of spraying isn’t required.

4. Avocado – The thick skin acts as a barrier for chemicals.

5. Pineapple – Fewer than 10% of detectable pesticides.

I plan to keep this list handy next time I find myself in the produce department of my supermarket. Another way to reduce your exposure to pesticides: thoroughly wash your produce!!

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Yesterday I decided to switch things up a bit on the exercise front. Instead of my typical running and strength exercises, I arrived at the gym and hopped on the stationary bike for 20 minutes. I love how mileage racks up twice as quickly as with running, and was pleased when the bike told me I rode 4 miles. After warming my legs up, I attended the Bodyflow class, which is a “Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates workout that builds flexibility and strength and leaves you feeling centered and calm” (from the Les Miles website). It was a great switch up from my normal routine, and helped me get in some serious stretching. I need to remember the importance of incorporating yoga and stretching into my fitness routine, as it seems really beneficial to not only my running, but my emotional health as well.

For dinner I prepared an easy and tasty (says Derek) chicken dish that was my take on a Chicken Milanese. This was my first time preparing a meal in the new kitchen, and boy oh boy did I enjoy myself. I promise to share the recipe with you later!

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And finally, TGIF! Have a happy weekend, everyone!

Poor Little Louie + Baked Banana’s Foster

I’m starting off this morning sleepy and worried – not the best combination. I was up for parts of the night with a sick puppy. He’s had stomach issues for about a whole day now (trust me, you don’t want details), and it breaks my heart that he can’t talk and tell me what’s wrong. I called the vet this morning and was told to just watch him for the day and bring him in if his symptoms persist through the afternoon. Anyone have any experience with a sick Yorkie?

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The good news is he was his normal happy self this morning, and didn’t seem too emotionally affected by the messy events of last night.

Moving on… Yesterday my gym routine was similar to the day before – I ran 3.5 miles in a little under 30 minutes, and did weight workouts that targeted my arms, abs, and legs. I have a hard time fully committing to a full-on leg workout, since I know it will make walking such a chore for the next few days.

Snapped a pic in my new Lululemon top

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Don’t you love my failed attempt at a pre-gym selfie? How come I can’t even figure out how to look in the mirror properly? Oh well.

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Now I know I’ve said it before, but I am a dessert ADDICT. One of my favorite desserts in the world is Bananas Foster from the Harry Waugh Dessert Room at Bern’s Steakhouse in Tampa. They flambe their version in liquors, setting the mixture on fire right at the guests’ table. Because I’m not rolling in the dough and can’t take myself to Bern’s twice a week, I’ve created my own version. And my version is much easier, healthier, and safer!

Ingredients

1 banana

1 tsp cinnamon

1 packet natural sweetener

1 tsp brown sugar

1 tbsp honey

aluminum foil

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°. On a piece of aluminum foil, slice your banana length wise, and then slice each length in half (you will have 4 parts). sprinkle cinnamon, sweetener, brown sugar and honey over all 4 pieces. Wrap in foil, and place in oven on a cookie sheet. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Serve hot over vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt, vanilla greek yogurt etc. for a healthy and tasty dessert!

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The picture doesn’t do it justice – sorry about that!

I hope you all have a wonderful day – I’m anxious to get home and love on my sweet Louie. Cross your fingers that he feels better, please!