Recent Eats + Early Morning Workouts

by Jen on March 26, 2014

Hi and happy Wednesday!

I just finished teaching my 6:30 a.m. yogis at Y2 Yoga. This is one of my favorite classes of the week. Most of the people who come to this class are getting their yoga in before they go to work and they’re serious, focused and hard working! It’s so special to help them get their day started with a big dose of sweaty flow!

When I first started practicing yoga I was a regular in the 6:30 a.m. classes before I’d head off to work. Yoga is such a gentle and kind way to wake up the body and get your energy flowing. I’m not so good with high intensity exercise super early in the morning (like CrossFit) but a yoga class or an easy run are a great way to get going.

Are you an early morning exerciser? If so, what feels best for you first thing? Can you go all-out intense or do you need an easier start?

Okay, tons of recent eats to share with you today. My food choices have been all over the place…definitely still in comfort food zone given that we’re still trying to break out of winter and into spring. (It was 26 degrees when I left my house this AM.)

Let’s get started!

Breakfast

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Favorite smoothie combo as of late is simple but so good…spinach, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, almond milk, plain greek yogurt and peanut butter.

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Overnight oats at the gym after early morning clients before heading off to teach yoga. I’m still not feeling the overnight oats. Maybe I’ll get back into them this summer?

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Breakfast wrap with spinach, mushrooms, scrambled eggs, colby jack and avocado and served with salsa for dipping. Fresh fruit on the side.

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Now this was a delicious breakfast…Panera Mediterranean Egg White Sandwich. Egg whites, sundried tomatoes, spinach, pesto and white cheddar pressed on ciabatta. Just ate this while writing this post before I head off to another appointment.

Lunch

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I shared my favorite recent smoothie combo, now let me share the salad combo I’m loving. Arugula, spinach, pears, dried cherries, walnuts, avocado and gorgonzola. I don’t buy gorgonzola or blue cheese often but it’s so good with the pears. Homemade balsamic tomato soup on the side. Recipe for that coming soon!

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Wrap with deli chicken, spinach, guacamole and colby jack. Served with salsa for dipping with grapes and soup on the side.

Dinner

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I cooked dinner at a friend’s house on Saturday. Stuffed chicken, baked risotto, roasted broccoli and baby carrots and steamed green beans.

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I had appetizers at Napa on Providence on Sunday before seeing The Grand Budapest Hotel. There was nothing healthy about what I ate but it was delicious! Mozzarella stuffed meatballs over polenta cakes and fried calamari tossed with a honey Thai sauce.

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Oh and bread with honey butter to start. Mmm… :)

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This dinner is a little healthier and just as delicious! Arugula, spinach, pecans, avocado, gorgonzola, pears and dried cherries topped with lemon herb broiled grouper. The grouper was such a nice way to switch up salmon. I love the mid flavor and how “meaty” it is. I topped it with a lemon honey vinaigrette.

Etc. 

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I get asked if I snack. Usually not between breakfast and lunch but always between lunch and dinner. I have fresh fruit like an apple, pear, grapes, mango, etc.  (sometimes with peanut butter) or a bar most of the time. Yesterday it was a big juicy mango. And then I snack on cheese and crackers while I’m making dinner because it’s always 7-8 p.m. by then and I’m starving!

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I made a batch of Chocolate Covered Raisin Oatmeal Cookies on Sunday afternoon (recipe testing…it’s coming soon!) and I have proceeded to eat one after every lunch and dinner this week. I love oatmeal raisin cookies!

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And you know I have to leave you with a picture of Sullie. I found her laying on my shoes and she’d stolen my lacrosse ball that I’ve been using to roll out my feet lately. Stinker!

Have a great day!

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 elizabeth March 26, 2014 at 10:00 am

I love running first thing in the morning, unfortunately, I’ve had a foot problem lately, so I’ve had to stay off the pavement. Still running off road on the snow with my dogs everyday, just not as far.
My body seems a bit stiff in the morning for yoga and my house is usually way to cold for bare feet, so I usually do yoga later in the day. I’ll have to give morning yoga another try, because it would be a great way to start the day. Does it take you a while to loosen up during your early morning yoga?

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2 Jen March 27, 2014 at 1:16 pm

i’m so sorry to hear about your food elizabeth. that stinks.

regarding the yoga, i’m definitely more open later in the day but it’s nice to have to work with a stiffer body to gently open yourself up in the morning. totally different experience on the mat!

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3 Kim March 26, 2014 at 10:14 am

I tried the 6am CrossFit thing for awhile. It wasn’t so much the intensity of the workout, but rather physically getting myself out of bed that was the issue.

So now I’m a dedicated 6:30pm WODer. And while there are some days when I walk into the gym thinking, “I. Am. So. Tired.” I always leave with 10x as much energy. Endorphins, I tell ya!

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4 Jen March 27, 2014 at 1:14 pm

i agree! i always feel SO much better after a workout. even if i was dragging before. it’s a great way to unwind and transition from your day into your evening.

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5 Samantha @ The Faithful Runner March 26, 2014 at 10:24 am

Your Mediterranean Egg White Sandwich looked amazing! :) I like working out first thing in the morning, but sometimes find myself rushing my workout so I’m not late for work. I tend to exercise best in the evening when I have nothing in my way.

I LOVE Sullie. Keep adding pictures!

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6 Jen March 27, 2014 at 1:14 pm

i will! :)

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7 Sara @ LovingOnTheRun March 26, 2014 at 10:29 am

My dog always steals my lacrosse ball that I used to help roll tough tight areas! I have to make sure it is up high so she doesn’t go and play with it. Silly girl :)

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8 Austin March 26, 2014 at 10:33 am

Hey Jen! What kind of tortillas do you use for your wraps? Also i love your sneakers!

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9 Mariana March 27, 2014 at 12:43 pm

I’m wondering this as well!

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10 Jen March 27, 2014 at 1:13 pm

lately i’ve been using trader joe’s wheat and flax tortillas but they break easily and are kind of a pain. i just switched to ALDI wheat and flax flatbreads and they’re so much better.

i usually heat them for about 20 seconds in the microwave (because i store them in the refrigerator) with a damp paper towel to soften them up and make them easier to wrap. then i put all my sandwich stuff in it, wrap it up and press it on both sides in a skillet with a grill press on top to weigh it down.

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11 Austin March 27, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Thanks! I will have to try those. I need to get a grill press, right now I just have a George Foreman that i can grill paninis on but they don’t turn out very great..

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12 Jennifer March 26, 2014 at 11:02 am

Early morning is my favorite time to run, and I’d love it if there was a yoga class I could attend first thing. I’d seriously take one at 5:30am but apparently that option is not popular since no one seems to offer it. :) In the meantime, home yoga workouts via DVD in the mornings will suffice.

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13 Mickelle March 26, 2014 at 11:06 am

Your wraps always look SO good! What kind of tortillas do you use? They look warm too, how do you cook them? Thanks! :)

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14 Jen March 27, 2014 at 1:13 pm

lately i’ve been using trader joe’s wheat and flax tortillas but they break easily and are kind of a pain. i just switched to ALDI wheat and flax flatbreads and they’re so much better.

i usually heat them for about 20 seconds in the microwave with a damp paper towel to soften them up and make them easier to wrap. then i put all my sandwich stuff in it, wrap it up and press it on both sides in a skillet with a grill press on top to weigh it down. make sense?

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15 Mickelle March 27, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Yes, makes sense, thanks! LOVE your blog! :)

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16 Jen March 27, 2014 at 1:21 pm

thanks for reading mickelle! :)

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17 Rebekah {aCricketSang} March 26, 2014 at 11:13 am

The breakfast wrap looks delicious! I keep going back and trying to work out in the mornings, but my body just dosent seem awake and willing to work. I find myself only getting through half of what I planned. So now I make a harder effort at scheduling time to work out in the evenings.

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18 meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles March 26, 2014 at 11:17 am

Now that is just the sweetest picture of Sullie ever…. I am a total morning runner, the earlier the better!

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19 Laura March 26, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Definitely a morning exerciser, though I also prefer to do slightly less intense stuff since it’s usually between 5-6am. Easy runs and strength training are usually my preference for that hour. I tried taking a 5:30am BodyPump class but that was definitely too much – I’d rather do my regular strength workouts at my pace that early! I like ending the day with yoga; there’s a 5pm BodyFlow class at my gym that I really enjoy as a good way to unwind before going home to cook dinner.

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20 Jen March 27, 2014 at 1:11 pm

laura – i used to teach a 6 a.m. bodypump class on mondays and a 6 p.m. on thursdays and it was night and day difference in my energy and how much i could lift. i feel so much stronger later in the day!

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21 Nancy March 26, 2014 at 12:43 pm

I actually love to do my high intensity workouts first thing in the morning. I perform better with an empty stomach and find the energy surge I get usually lasts through the mornings. I love yoga in the evenings though. It helps me wind down and relax after a busy day. Isn’t it weird how everyone has a different preference?

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22 Jen March 27, 2014 at 1:10 pm

yeah, it shows how different we all are in what feels good and right for our bodies. i think it’s awesome!

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23 Liz F. March 26, 2014 at 12:47 pm

I actually prefer running or harder workouts in the morning and yoga at lunch or in the evenings. If I run first in the morning, then go to yoga, that works too (Usually do that on Saturday’s). My hamstrings are super tight when I wake up and it’s hard for me to get deep in my practice first thing in the morning even when it’s a heated class, so I try to let them stretch out as the day goes on, which they always do!
… yea, my hamstrings are pretty much the only reason :)

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24 Amanda Bee March 26, 2014 at 12:47 pm

I always like working out in the AM because I feel good the rest of the day, and can just chill in the evening. But some workouts, like yoga and running, I really like to do at night because they help me unwind. So I guess it just depends on my mood.

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25 Aurora@Fitness is Sweet March 26, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Overnight oats took me a while to like, but now I really do love them if I’m in the mood!

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26 Brittany March 26, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Adore that pic of Sullie. So sweet! I definitely prefer early morning workouts. I do mostly strength training or circuit-style conditioning. I enjoy yoga more at night to unwind.

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27 Kim @FITsique March 26, 2014 at 3:38 pm

I love morning workouts. My schedule used to only allow me to work out in the evening and I hated it because I was always so tired by that point in my day. I always say that 10am is my sweet time, but obviously with work and school that is IMPOSSIBLE, so now I moved things around and workout first thing in the morning and do so much better!

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28 Jen March 27, 2014 at 1:09 pm

i hear you on 10 a.m. i always have tons of energy that time of day too!

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29 Elizabeth {Positively Healthy} March 26, 2014 at 4:57 pm

I like to workout after breakfast. I have really low blood sugar and need to eat a good breakfast before I can do any exercise. :(. All of your food looks awesome!

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30 Amy March 26, 2014 at 5:18 pm

I did your 6:30 a.m. yoga class for the first time today. Loved it..Definitely the highlight of my day. I usually don’t do yoga in the morning because I always remember feeling not very flexible and not enjoying it as much as in the evenings, but not the case today. I’ll be back!

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31 Jen March 27, 2014 at 1:08 pm

THANK YOU so much for coming to class amy! and i’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it and that it was a good start to your day! :)

i also teach thursday evenings at 6 p.m. if you ever want a night class!

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32 elizabeth March 26, 2014 at 6:44 pm

I noticed from your old posts, as a runner, running up to 40 miles a week, you had a hard time avoiding injury. I was curious if you ever tried switching to running on trails/dirt, instead of pavement and if it made a difference for you?

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33 Jen March 27, 2014 at 1:07 pm

i never really tried that because there weren’t trails close and accessible.. my issue is more of my body mechanics just aren’t good for running lots of miles.

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34 elizabeth March 27, 2014 at 2:03 pm

I’ve had arthritis in my feet since my early 20’s. I’m afraid to find out about my body mechanics!
One of the perks of living in the boonies, is a lot of off pavement running close by. Last year I got orthotics for my feet, which helped a lot and I was able to run more miles on the pavement, but it must be too much for my body, so I need to go back to more off road running, although there isn’t any dirt right now, only snow! What kind of professional did you learn about your body mechanics from?

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35 Jen March 26, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Jen, how on earth do you have the discipline to eat only ONE cookie post lunch and ONE post dinner?!? Send me some of your self-control (and baked goods) ;) Love, love, love your blog!!

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36 Jen March 27, 2014 at 1:06 pm

haha, mostly because i’ve eaten so many of them in the last few days that i’m kind of over it! you should have seen me sunday afternoon with all the batter and warm cookies out of the oven! :)

thanks for reading! :)

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37 She Rocks Fitness March 26, 2014 at 8:43 pm

We have a 6:15 AM class here in Houston and it is the exact same energy. I love it. It’s such a wonderful way to wake up. Oh that bread and butter and that cookie! Please give Sullie a big hug for me and a kiss. XOXO

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38 Erin March 27, 2014 at 7:29 am

LOVE all the food choices on this post!! Everything looks so incredible. I haven’t had colby jack cheese in so long and you sparked my memory – definitely picking some up today and making that breakfast wrap!!

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39 Hanna March 28, 2014 at 12:34 pm

You have such beautiful photographs and eat such beautiful food, Jen! You are definitely a huge inspiration to me. Keep it up :) And give Sully a pet from me!

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40 Jen March 29, 2014 at 2:12 pm

aw, thanks hanna! i appreciate the kind words. have a great weekend!

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