Workout Revelations and an Easy Lunch Idea!

Happy Thursday everyone! I can't believe it is almost the weekend, and almost mid-December! This month is flying by. I leave for a 2-week Hawaiian cruise with my parents in exactly 8 days and am getting more and more excited as the days go by! I'm planning on writing next week about how to have a healthy vacation (yes, even a healthy cruise!) and what my plans are during the vacation! I have been successful on 2 cruises in the past and actually came home having lost weight! So believe me, it IS possible! Today started out like any typical day. I had hoped to sleep in but woke up at exactly 5:55am and could not get back to sleep. But I did some early morning quiet time with Jesus, which I love, so it was worth it! I got ready for the gym and had my 2 carrot cake squares (check previous posts for the recipe!) while Pinteresting. Check out the cute pin I found a couple days ago! I want all of those disney workout shirts!!!!

photo 1

After having my pre workout meal, I headed to the gym for a double Elliptical and Bike workout, with some toning exercises. I have been having a workout revelation lately. As many of you know, I am a runner, but about 2 months ago my hip and knee starting giving me problems. The hip pain has resolved, as it was most probably an overuse injury. But pain in both my knees continued until I finally saw an orthopedic surgeon at the end of last month who believes I have many different "runners knee" type symptoms, as well as cartilage breakdown and possible meniscus tears in both knees. She told me to hold off on running for a couple months, and I am planning on starting physical therapy at the beginning of January! In the meantime, the list of approved exercises she gave me was very short: elliptical, stationary bike, toning workouts for my quads, hamstrings, and calves, with no squats or lunges (or bending in general) allowed! These limitations have caused me to become extra creative in and outside of the gym! I used to believe running was the best form of cardio, not to mention I absolutely loved running in general. But, I realized this week that, even though it has taken a while, I am actually enjoying my current workout regimen! I usually split up my cardio time between the elliptical and bike, and then either do some machines for toning at the gym, or come home and do a "body blasting workout" (BBW) of my own creation. My BBW is similar to my arm blasting workout (check a few posts back) but I have incorporated some leg movements to work my lower body in the most low-impact way possible. I'll try to post more about what this workout entails, but for now let's just say that I have definitely been feeling the burn! Between deadlifts, leg lifts/raises, and donkey kicks on the ground, not a day has gone by without my lower body being just as sore as my upper body! I've been absolutely loving all the toning work I've been doing. I've also realized that my time on the elliptical has been serving as a warm up for my new-found cardio love...the BIKE! I sweat like no other on that machine and always play around with the resistance to challenge my body. Wearing my heart rate monitor has also shown me that my heart rate on the bike is just the same, or sometimes even higher, than my heart rate would be when I would run. This shows that I am still getting a great cardio workout without any impact on my joints. Anyways! Long story short, or maybe it was still long :)...I am thoroughly enjoying my workout routine, even though I am anxious to get to the physical therapist in January and hopefully get back into running soon, while still incorporating the exercises I have been currently doing.

photo 2

After my workout, I headed to Trader Joe's to get a few things. I was already hungry before my workout (should have had that 3rd carrot cake square!) but didn't want to get too full before working out. I picked up a few essentials for us at the store, then headed home to make my egg white, chicken sausage, kale, and pepper scramble. I had zero patience while cooking my breakfast and had a banana while I waited! :)

After breakfast, I did a few things around the house (laundry, cleaning, etc.) and headed to the mall to get some quest bars! I'm in love with the new double chocolate chunk flavor and want to stock up before our cruise! I know the cruise has food available at all times, but I just love these bars so much I have to take a few with me!

Around 12:30 I started getting hungry for lunch. I wanted to whip up something quick, easy, healthy and delicious. I had some leftover rotisserie chicken in the fridge and wanted to put it to good use! I love how versatile rotisserie chicken can be! I sautéed some broccoli in olive oil while I chopped up a sweet potato to pop in the microwave. I usually bake my sweet potatoes, but I was in a hurry so I used the microwave! I shredded some of the chicken breast off the rotisserie, and added that as well as the microwaved sweet potato into the skillet with the already sizzling broccoli! To season, I just used some garlic powder and salt-free cajun seasoning. You could also add buffalo hot sauce, sriacha, or even BBQ sauce to this bowl, but I just wanted to keep it simple and tasty! The combination of these foods tasted delicious and I was very full and satisfied afterwards!

photo 4

And now I am off to the mall again to meet up with one of my best friends! I just love the mall during Christmas...and might pick up a few more quest bars...haha :)

I hope you all are having a great Thursday so far!