What I Ate Wednesday: Packing in the Protein

What I Ate WednesdayDisclosure: This post was sponsored by Nature Valley™ through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Nature Valley™ Protein Granola, all opinions are my own. 

I’ve done a few of these daily food diary blogs in the past, and when Nature Valley™ sent me some of their Protein Granola to try out, I thought it’d be a fun way to incorporate it into a post. Every day my caloric intake and food choices are a little different because I don’t have any strict dietary restrictions, but I barely eat meat (sushi and eggs are the exception), and one of the questions I get asked a lot is about protein deficiencies. I think, in general, people underestimate the value of plant-based protein. You don’t need to eat meat to get enough protein in your diet! Without even consciously trying, I got protein in at each meal this day—beans, quinoa, tofu, and the Nature Valley™ Protein Granola. Eggs were the only animal protein I ate this day. 

[6:30AM] My Morning Juice

What I Ate Wednesday (daily food diary)I love starting the day off with juice! I switch it up and base the ingredients off of whatever I have in my kitchen, and this time it was a beet, carrot, apple and ginger combo. I downed my glass and ran off to take a morning class at Btone.

[8:30AM] Eggs for Breakfast

What I Ate Wednesday (daily food diary)After my workout, I was more than ready for breakfast! I kept it simple, scrambling up two eggs + 1 egg white and then chopping up half an avocado and a small mango. Delicious! I enjoyed breakfast while catching up on some blogging work.

[11AM] A Couple Handfuls of Nature Valley™ Protein Granola

What I Ate Wednesday (daily food diary)Granola is one thing I have to be careful about keeping in the house because I have no self control with portion size. One handful turns into one bag oh-so quickly. :) I strategically didn’t open this bag until I had to run out the door so I wouldn’t have time to down the whole thing, but the Peanut Butter ‘n Dark Chocolate flavor sent to me is rich and super filling, so I actually wasn’t tempted to overdo it—definitely a good thing! According to the bag,  ½ cup Nature Valley™ Protein Granola provides 10 grams of protein and 22-26 grams of whole grain; at least 48 grams of whole grain is recommended daily.

In addition to eating it plain, you can check out these creative recipes using the granola.

[2PM] Leftover Black Bean Soup with Tofu Croutons for Lunch

Black Bean Soup with Tofu CroutonsI made this black bean soup as part of another blog project I’m working on, and can’t wait to share it with you all—it’s delicious! I heated up a bowl of the leftovers for a late lunch.

[6PM] A Big Ol’ Salad for Dinner

What I Ate Wednesday (daily food diary)The first time I made this salad it was just a random compilation of anything and everything I could find in the kitchen, but my boyfriend and I loved it so much, I ended up making it for our dinner just about every night that week. It’s a scoop of quinoa over a bed of mixed greens topped with roasted sweet potato chunks, grapes, avocado and raisins.

[7:30PM] A Nature Valley™ Protein Granola and Almond Milk Treat

What I Ate Wednesday (daily food diary)Talk about delicious. I was craving something sweet, and added almond milk to a mini bowl of granola to enjoy while watching some Netflix at the end of the day. The chocolate in the Nature Valley™ Protein Granola sorta melted off into the milk and made for a yummy, satisfying, healthier dessert option.


Fitness Style Picks: Wear White after Labor Day

fitness style picks: white after labor day 1. Adidas by Stella McCartney Mesh hooded jacket • adidas by Stella McCartney • $212.00
2. Nike Tailwind Loose Women’s Running Tank Top • Nike • $34.97
3. Powerhouse Tank • Athleta • $49.00
4. Champion® Training Gear Powered All Out Support Full Figure Sport Bra • Champion • $46.00
5. Nike Club Tie Asymmetric Tee • Nike • $30.00
6. ADIDAS ORIGINALS T-shirts • adidas • $26.00
7. T by Alexander Wang Jersey sports bra • Alexander Wang • $58.50
8. Wildfox Lover Bottoms Cropped Morning Sweats • Wildfox Couture • $74.20
9. Women’s Flyknit Lunar2 Running Shoes • Nike • $79.98–149.99
10. Pink Lotus Drawstring WST Sweatpant • Pink Lotus • $26.99
11. adidas by Sella McCarney Sudio Mesh Hoodie M60725 Women’s Sweashir • adidas by Stella McCartney • $200.00
12. Nike Tech Cape Women’s Cape • Nike • $130.00
13. Champion The Zip Wire-Free Racerback Sports Bra • Champion • $42.00
14. OLYMPIA Activewear Corfu Shirt • $70.00
15. MSGM pleated track pants • MSGM • $329.60 

The “no white after Labor Day” rule holds about as much weight as Pluto’s ranking as a planet these days. You can wear white all year round—and that includes to the gym. I’ve rounded up some cute white pieces of athletic wear and athletic-look wear (the stuff that looks sporty, but wouldn’t actually hold up in a workout). Most are reasonably priced or even steals, but I threw in a couple splurge items as well because, hey, a girl can dream.

Hope you all had a great long Labor Day weekend! Mine was super relaxing—9+ hours of sleep each night, lounging by the pool, naps, a few good workouts. It was just what the doctor ordered!


One-Bell Kettlebell Workout

One-Bell Kettlebell WorkoutHello there, long-lost readers! Sorry for the silence on the blog lately. Last weekend, the world lost an amazing person and friend, and in the wake of such a tragic loss, blogging/work/everything has been put on hold. It was a sore reminder of how fragile life is, so take a moment today to reach out to friends and just let them know how important to you they are. 

I’ve slowly built up a decent collection of kettlebells, but I know many people don’t have the space or budget to purchase a bunch of different weights, so I wanted to put together a workout that only requires the use of just one. I’m using a 20-lb bell, but you should adjust the weight to match your fitness level.

One-Bell Kettlebell Workout

Equipment I Used:

This workout will take you 30 minutes to complete. Set an interval timer for 30 rounds of 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest. You’ll go through the following circuit of exercises five times.

One-Bell Kettlebell Workout

  • One-Arm Kettlebell Swing (RIGHT): This is your basic kettlebell swing, but holding on to the bell with only one hand. The main form difference is that your hand will rotate with the swing, as opposed to a two-hand grip where your knuckles are always facing out. Start holding the bell in your right hand, feet shoulder-width apart with a soft bend in the knees. Swing the bell back between your legs, thumb-first, leaning forward with a straight back and bending the knees a little deeper. As you explosively swing the bell forward and up, thrust the hips powerfully forward, rotating your hand so that knuckles face forward, bringing the bell up to chest-to-face height. Swing it back down, again rotating the bell so that your thumb leads the way.
  • Weighted Curtsey Lunge (RIGHT): Start standing with kettlebell in your right hand. Step your right foot behind the left, sinking down into a lunge (on the left) as you reach the right foot as far to the side as you can. Once the left knee is bent as close to a 90-degree angle as you can get it and the kettlebell is hovering close to the ground, push through the left heel to stand back up, returning the right foot to the right side of your body.
  • One-Arm Kettlebell Swing (LEFT)
  • Weighted Curtsey Lunge (LEFT)
  • Goblet Squat Clean to Overhead Press: This is a three-part movement. Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart, holding the kettlebell with both hands (it should be hanging in front of you). Squat down. Explosively come up from the squat, pulling the bell up towards your chest as you flip your grip mid-air so that hands are now at the base of the handle (versus the top). As you catch the base of the handle at chest height, sink back down into a (goblet) squat with bell held close to your chest. As you come up from that second squat, do an overhead press, lifting the bell straight up overhead as you stand up straight. Reverse the move back to starting position.
  • Russian Twist Full-Body Crunch: You’ll do a Russian Twist to each side, followed by a full-body crunch. Start seated, holding the kettlebell in both hands at your chest, feet lifted off the ground with your knees bent. Lean back slightly, core engaged, balancing on your tailbone. Twist to one side, bringing the kettlebell to the outer side of that hip; then repeat in the other direction. Really twist at the waist—you want your chest to be totally facing whatever side you’re bringing the bell. After you’ve twisted to each side, hold the bell at center and lean back, extending your legs straight out and reaching the bell in front of you. When you get to your fullest extension, crunch everything in, sitting back up, pulling the bell into your chest, and bending your knees. That’s one rep; you’ll go right back into the Russian Twists next. The pace of this move is quick: twist, twist, crunch, twist, twist, crunch.

One-Bell Kettlebell Workout

WEARING | tank: Style Stalker // leggings: Michi // sneakers: Nike // sports bra: Cory Vines

Today I’m wearing two of my current favorite pieces of clothing: a muscle tank referencing my Queen (did you see her VMA performance? Beyoncé is flawless) and Michi workout leggings with sheer mesh detailing. Michi is a splurge brand for sure—up until now, I would just drool over their leggings on Shopbop with no intent of buying. But Btone actually has small retail sections in the Boston and Sudbury studios, with the selection in the city currently being 30% off. These Michis are so incredibly comfortable and I love the trendy design—seriously can’t take them off.

Enjoy the rest of the day! Feels good to be back bloggin’! :)