Post Run Pyramid Workout

ES EL VIERNES!!! POR FIN!!!! 

I’m so excited it’s finally Friday, more so than other Fridays because next week is Carnival aka I don’t have school aka I’m jetting off to the Canary Islands for the week to explore and experience one of the biggest Carnival celebrations in Spain–Santa Cruz de Tenerife! I’ve been really busy this week and last night was the first time in a few days I actually had time (and energy) to go to the gym (woof the highschoolers have been wearing me OUT lately!). So 8:00pm rolled around and I began getting ready. I already knew what workout I wanted to do and had it all planned out in my head and was pretty excited to go lift, but I couldn’t find my gym card! I’m sure if I would have went to the gym and told them, they would let me in, but my gym is kind of far away and I didn’t want to chance it and end up wasting my night. Instead, I decided to run outside along River Nervión for around an hour and when I got back I did a post run pyramid workout on my yoga mat. It took about 15 minutes for me, but you can do it at your own pace to fit your needs. I like it because it’s quick and targets a lot of different areas on the body. It’s great for a post run workout, because has more reps for arms and abs, but there is still some cardio (burpees) and leg exercies (glute kickbacks) as well to make it well rounded. 

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That photo was taken in Hawaii last year when I went with my dad. By far the most relaxing vacation of my life….TAKE ME BACK! Well, this is a short post, so check out my other posts from the week:

  • Monday – Hiking to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe
  • Tuesday – A Day In Tuscany
  • Wednesday – No Time, No Problem (reblogged from Chelsea)
  • Thursday – Why Girls Should Be More Like Andi from The Bachelor

If you do this workout, I hope you enjoy it! Have a good weekend! 

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Do you do workouts at home? Have you ever celebrated Carnival or Mardi Gras? 

Why Girls Should Be More Like Andi from The Bachelor

I wish I could be doing a WIAW post right now, but in short, my eating was awful yesterday. To give you an insight, this was my lunch, at 3pm, after teaching english all morning and skipping real lunch at 11:45 to teach a private lesson.

Sad excuse for a lunch, but I mean, it was really good? (Click for source)

The struggle was so real yesterday. SO REAL! But alas, I came home and iTunes had (finally) uploaded the latest episode of The Bachelor. The MOST SHOCKING episode yet.

My response every time I hear Chris Harrison say it is the most shocking episode of The Bachelor yet (click for source)

In my “About Me” on this blog, it says I have a passion for travel, life and health & wellness. There is one passion I have been hiding (from people who don’t know me personally) that I am ready to come clean about. I have a passion for The Bachelor. Yes, I know it is trashy reality television at its finest, but watch an episode and try to tell me it didn’t keep you entertained. I’ve seen every episode since the very first season. If I didn’t live in Spain right now, I would be live tweeting The Bachelor on Mondays and probably have lost about 50 twitter followers in the process.

This used to be me on Bachelor Mondays in the states (click for source)

Anyways, to recap, basically what happened this week is it is Fantasy Suite dates (where The Bachelor, Juan Pablo, and each remaining woman get the chance to spend the night together in the Fantasy Suite date and get to know each other better without the cameras). After deciding to “forgo their individual rooms” and spend the night in the fantasy suite date, the show cuts to the next morning when Andi says that the Fantasy Suite “turned into a nightmare for her.” QUE FUERTE! She explains she realized that Juan Pablo was basically just a really conceited and self centered person, as he never once asked her about herself, only talked about himself and kept name dropping. He even talked to her about his other overnight date with Clare. VENGA JUAN PABLO, VENGAAAA.

PREACH! (click for source)

In short, she had her Aha Moment. Lucky for her, she was on a TV show and the decision was easy. She decided to leave. And while I do love the drama of The Bachelor, I did really enjoy the message behind this episode. I think a lot of times, we have Aha Moments in life about a lot of things: careers, goals, interests, relationships, etc. But sometimes we don’t act on them. I personally think the hardest time to act on an Aha Moment is when you are in a relationship and I have so much respect for Andi for speaking her mind. I will admit that I’ve definitely stayed in relationships (or kept talking to somebody) even after I had my own Aha Moment just because I still had strong feelings for them. But, like Andi, I’ve learned that people will eventually show their true colors and if it feels like they aren’t asking about you or don’t know much about you, it’s because they really don’t care.

It’s ironic how this is one of my favorite scenes from The Bachelor ever, as it has no romance, no fancy date, no Arie kisses, no adorable elephant riding into the sunset or no tear-jerking proposal. While it doesn’t have the usual storylines I’m used to seeing, this scene has love. Self love. It takes someone who truly knows, respects and, most importantly, loves themselves to do what Andi did. I hope that after seeing this episode, that is what women take from it. Not that Andi is dumb for leaving the hot, latino Juan Pablo; but that she is smart, empowered and inspirational for doing what she did, and to always respect and love yourself first. 

LOVE YOURSELF FIRST, LADIES! (click for source)

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Thoughts on The Bachelor this season? Have you ever changed your life or made a big decision after having an Aha Moment?

No Time, No Problem

My friend from college, Chelsea, wrote this post and I couldn’t agree more. Some days, I am really busy teaching english all day and by the end of the day I am “too tired” to go to the gym (aka I want to lay in my bed and watch The Bachelor). I love her tips and would recommend it to anyone who has a busy lifestyle but is trying to become healthier and get more active! I recently bought a yoga mat and do yoga and little pinterest workouts some nights and it has really helped me. Check out her tips below!

Her Healthy Kitchen

With interning this year full time, I feel like I gained a lot of respect and sympathy for those who work for 8 hours or more each day and really just don’t feel like they have the time to go to the gym or workout, even if they want to. I understand now the feeling of “I’m just too tired to go to the gym” or “After finally getting home and getting a chance to relax, the last thing I want to do is do a tedious 1 hour workout.” This post is all about things that I have done this year to help me stay fit, even while I am working full time as an intern and taking class on my day off. There are also some other general ideas that I have come up with to still get a quick, effective work out in, even with only a minimal…

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A Day In Tuscany

click for source

click for source

When it rains in Bilbao, I always let my mind wander. Today, my mind has been in one place, and one place only: Tuscany.

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During my Eurotrip last May and June, I spent a little over a week in Italy, visiting Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre and Rome. We stayed in Florence for a few nights and decided to do a day trip to the Tuscan vineyards. BEST DECISION EVER.

View of Florence from Tuscany

View of Florence from Tuscany

We made a last minute decision and booked a day trip through Tuscany Bike Tours.

I remember taking this picture with our helmets on to prove that we rode bikes....lol

I remember taking this picture with our helmets on to prove that we rode bikes….lol

I remember sitting in our hostel in Venice (the city we visited before Florence) and just deciding to book a tour. For booking small tours or day trips, I would always recommend to wait until you are in Europe or in the specific city before you book them. Lots of hostels offer day tours or have a wall of brochures for every day tour imaginable, that you probably wouldn’t find through a google search. We booked day tours for the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, Stonehenge in Great Britain and Tuscany in Italy while we were in Europe. I know this might seem like a bad idea, but trust me, when you travel plans change and you want to have flexibility without feeling like you HAVE to go on a certain tour because you dropped 80 euros for it. For other tips on planning a Eurotrip, check out my blog post: How To Plan Your First Eurotrip.

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Anyways, the Tuscany Bike Tour included shuttle to/from Florence, bike/helmet rental, guided tour through vineyards, villas and olive groves of Tuscany, tour of a wine cellar, tasting of Tuscan wine and Tuscan olive oil, meal at a family run restaurant near the vineyard, which was amazing.

Wine cellar

Wine cellar

The guys who led the tour were awesome and I would recommend this day trip to anyone who likes wine, exploring, vineyards, pretty scenery, riding bikes and TUSCANY!

Classic Italy

Classic Italy

My favorite part of the tour was tasting the wine and getting a nice buzz during the day then riding through the hills of Tuscany.

Olive groves

Olive groves

Visiting the old castle and wine cellars weren’t bad either.

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Basically, if you are in Italy, anywhere near Tuscany, GO. If you are thinking about traveling to Italy, add Tuscany to your list. It was one of my trip highlights and my favorite thing I did while I was in Italy. Tuscany is one of those naturally beautiful places. It doesn’t have the fanciest architecture or big cathedrals everywhere, it has rolling hills of vineyards and olive groves. And to me, the natural beauty and simplicity of Tuscany is prettier than a lot of cities I’ve visited in Europe.

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Have you been to Tuscany? Do you prefer places with more natural beauty or more architecture? 

Hiking to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

Since moving to Bilbao, I’ve spent a lot of my weekends hiking and exploring! Basque Country is also known as The Little Switzerland because it has so many mountains. After living in Ohio my whole life, living around mountains is such a nice change from the flat farms I’m used to! My first hike I did was  one of my favorites and definitely my most memorable. Two of my auxiliar friends and I decided to hike from Bermeo to Bakio and make a stop at San Juan de Gaztelugatxe (pronounced: GAZ-TEL-U-GA-CHE). Our hike overall looked (something) like this:

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We took the bus from Bilbao to Bermeo (about an hour). Bermeo is right on the coast and had a beautiful port.

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On the way to the mountain, we ran into a market in Bermeo and took a few minutes to explore it! It was adorable.

Different kinds of tea leaves

Different kinds of tea leaves

After that, we began our ascend into the mountain and after some climbing, we could see a view of Bermeo.

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When you leave the pueblos in the Basque Country, there are a lot of farms and random houses along the roads in the mountains. Whenever I hike, I always see more animals than people….sheep, cows, chickens, etc. I always get a good laugh from the farm animals in Spain.

Get some serious side eye from the cows

Get some serious side eye from the cows

After about 3 hours of hiking, we reached San Juan de Gaztelugatxe POR FIN (okay, let’s give it a nickname… SJDG for short)! The thing about SJDG is you have to hike to it. There isn’t a bus that goes to it, but once you are there, you also have to climb 274 stairs to get to the top. After a hike up a mountain from Bermeo and back down to see SJDG , the stairs were a little rough, but totally worth it! One things I’ve learned through all my travels is that the climb is always worth it (whether it be the Bell Tower in Florence, the million stairs in Cinque Terre, etc).

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After seeing SJDG (and climbing the stairs to SJDG), we were pretty tired. It had been about 5 hours of hiking at this point, but like I said, there is no bus that goes to/from SJDG, so we had planned on hiking to either Bermeo or Bakio. Luckily, when we were hiking to SJDG, we already saw a view of Bakio, so we didn’t really care which pueblo we took the bus back to Bilbao from. We just really wanted to get to the closet bus stop and get back to Bilbao.

Bakio

Bakio

We began walking on the road, thinking we were going the right way only to be greeted with some traffic cones and the road being closed. Did I mention this whole road was uphill? At this point, we were stumped. We thought we were heading back to Bermeo to catch the bus, but the road was closed. A car drove up and we tried to ask them a question, but they weren’t very helpful and they drove off. So there we stood. Three Americans on the coast of Spain by a dead end road, completely exhausted from hiking all day but 5k from BOTH towns with bus stations. The struggle was real. Just when I was running out of hope and coming to terms with the fact that we were going to be walking from SJDG to Bakio, another car sped up the mountain and stopped at the dead end. We asked them which pueblo was closer and they looked at us like we were crazy for considering walking to either. In the car was a lady, man and their child. I heard the lady and man speaking in Basque. Next thing I knew, he was rearranging stuff in his compact car to make room for us! They drove us from SJDG to Bakio. When we got to the Bakio bus stop, the lady promptly got out of her car to check to make sure the buses were still running for us. Once she found out the buses were still running, she let us leave. We graciously thanked her and her family, and then hopped on the bus back to Bilbao. At least now, I can officially check Hitchhiking off my bucket list….

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Have you ever hitchhiked? Do you enjoy hiking? What’s your most memorable hike? 

3 Ingredient Lowfat, High Protein Hummus

Buenas dias!

How good does this look? Scroll down for the recipe! Nommsss.

How good does this look? Scroll down for the recipe! Nommsss.

It’s really nice here in Bilbao today! No rain, 55 degrees and sunny. Yesterday I was really busy teaching all day. But I got to wear my really cute new shirt from Zara, so it was okay.

Zara, I love you.

Zara, I love you.

Yesterday was exhausting because I teach ALL day. After school I teach a private lesson too, which makes my day around a 12 hours day. I had to run to Corte Ingles after my private lesson and THE BEST THING EVER HAPPENED. I found Starbucks lattes. I obviously had to buy one, and this is how I started my day today:

It's like I never left the states, except I bought the Starbucks at a mercado and Cosmo is in Spanish.......

It’s like I never left the states, except I bought the Starbucks at a mercado and Cosmo is in Spanish…….

And yes, that’s still the same magazine I’ve been reading since last week. The funny thing about buying magazines in Spain is a February issue actually takes me all of February to get through since I’m still learning Spanish. In the USA, I breeze through magazines in about 20 minutes.

Anyways, once I week, I usually make hummus and eat it all week long. I’m a hummus addict and you don’t want to see me when I run out of hummus…I get HANGRY. I ran out of hummus Thursday, so today was the day to replenish. I was so busy snapping pictures (and maybe dancing to One Direction in the kitchen….) so I could post the recipe for my normal hummus, that I forgot a main ingredient (olive oil)!! I didn’t even realize until I was eating it and the rest was already in a tupperware container in the fridge. But it tasted great, so I wanted to share this accidental recipe I stumbled upon today!

3 Ingredient Low Fat, High Protein Hummus

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Ingredients: 2.5 cups chickpeas, 1/3 cup lowfat greek yogurt (purchased at Lidl for Spain readers), 1/4 cup lemon juice (juice of 1 or 2 lemons)

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Prep time: 5 minutes | Ready in: 10 minutes

Directions:
Rinse 2.5 cups chickpeas and pat dry with paper towel. Cut and squeeze juice from lemon. Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smoothness desired. Store in air tight container in fridge for up to a week. Enjoy with sliced vegetables, pita chips or on a salad (my favorite way).

Nutrition: 1/4 cup serving contains
100 kCal | 1.8g fat | 15.8 g carbohydrates | 4.3 g dietary fiber | 5.4 g protein
(Compared to Sabra Hummus, 1/4 cup contains 140 kCal, 10 g fat, 8g carb and 4 g protein)

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This hummus has a tangy taste, but the greek yogurt still makes it really creamy and the lemon enhances the flavor! I usually add some olive oil into mine, but it totally slipped my mind today and this recipe happened! I plugged in the recipe to get the nutrition facts and was pleasantly surprised to see how much protein it has and how lowfat it is. I would recommend it to anyone who loves hummus but is trying to cut down on fats or increase protein in their diet. In my opinion, pretty much everything tastes better with hummus and if you don’t love hummus I just don’t think we can be friends…. 

Me, every day. (click for source)

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Do you love hummus? Do you make your own hummus or buy it? What’s your favorite store to shop at? Spain readers, what’s your favorite store in Spain to shop at? 

What I Ate Wednesday

Hi loves!

Real question here: How many times is it socially acceptable to (re)watch episodes of The Bachelor? (asking for a friend). I was a fan of Chelsie from the beginning, since she was an OSU alumni and I’m pretty sure she was in one of my chemistry classes during undergrad. I was sad to see her go, but she’s to good for Juan Pablo anyways. In the beginning of the season I was obsessed with JUANuary and Juan Pablo, but after the whole him and Clare in the ocean thing, I kind of lost respect for him. Also, I don’t know what changed this week, but all the sudden I’m not really a huge fan of Nicki the nurse. Not really a huge fan of any of the girls he has left to be honest. I thought him and Charlene were really good together though, and then she left! Did anyone see the previews for next week? SOMETHING GOES WRONG IN THE FANTASY SUITE! Oh no! I wonder if it’ll be as bad as Jillian Harris and Ed’s fantasy suite date….

Anyways, yesterday was Wednesday, so time to post about what I ate!

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I started off the day with a green smoothie, same as last Wednesday. I try to drink one at least every day (when I’m not traveling).

Spinach, banana, strawberries, almond milk, peanut butter and chia seed goodness

Spinach, banana, strawberries, almond milk, peanut butter and chia seed goodness

After downing the green smoothie, I headed into the city center to do some paperwork, which took twice as long as I thought it would because of printing problems and the post office just taking FOREVER. After that, I was originally looking for new reading glasses, because mine are currently taped together, but I got distracted by Zara, and ended up shopping there for an hour. Woops. Before I knew it, it was time for lunch. I got home and was STARVING, so before I made lunch I ate a spoon of peanut butter.

Peanut butter is always a good idea.

Peanut butter is always a good idea.

Awhile ago, I pinned a recipe for Zucchini Pizza Boats that I’ve been dying to try. So for lunch, I used Sonnet’s recipe as my base, but used some different toppings and sauces. I made each one different to figure out which kind I would like best, however the sauce was either pesto or marinara/pizza sauce.

Pesto zucchini boats

Pesto zucchini pizza boats

Marinara zucchini pizza boats

Marinara zucchini pizza boats

 

Even though I love all things pesto, with the zucinni, I definitely like the marinara pizza sauce better. I also liked the one with all the toppings–olives, tomatoes and both cheeses (mozzarella and feta)! Nommms. I only ate three of these, so I was still a little hungry after lunch and had a small cup of yogurt with muesli and a drizzle of honey. (I will post the whole recipe and everything for the zucchini pizza boats soon!)

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Then I had to go work for a few hours. I was teaching my students action verbs today, and they were playing a memory game and I was trying not to laugh. PRIMERO, these two kids are always drawing during the lesson too, so when they need to erase things they always ask me “for the rubber.” LOL. It’s the british english word for eraser. SEGUNDO, one of the action verbs I was teaching was cook. They kept saying “cock.” So between those two things and me being mildly immature, I had to hold back laughter the whole lesson. I just kept telling them to try to pronounce it like “COOOOOOOK.” When I got home a few hours later, it was already 8pm and I just wanted something quick, easy and sweet (read: not a salad or leftover zucchini pizza boats).

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Yogurt bowls always win when I need something quick. And I also sipped some green tea with lemon (so good! I’m not a fan of green tea by itself, but squeezing some lemon in it is a game changer) before heading out on a run.

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On Tuesday, I ran 13km (8 miles) and am feeling shinsplints coming on. Wahhhh. I haven’t had them since I was 15, but I think I might be upping my mileage too fast. I really want to run this marathon in May, but it’s so hard to consistently train with traveling on the weekends.

After dinner last night, I did manage to go outside and run about 5km (3 miles) at a really easy pace. I was only in pain for the first 10 minutes, and then I came home and did some yoga to stretch out. My general rule with running and pain has always been try to run and if the pain doesn’t shake itself out within the first mile or 10 minutes, stop running.

Last time, when I trained for the marathon, I used a foam roller ALL THE TIME. I remember if I went on a weekend trip, or went home for the weekend from college, my foam roller came with me. It was like my shadow during marathon training. They are great for IT bands and shin splints. I’m thinking about buying one here to use. I just keep buying stuff, knowing that my time here is limited, so it’s hard to keep buying more things. Remember last week when I bought a random mug because it was cute? That accurately describes my spending habits here in Bilbao. But I think since I KNOW the foam roller will help me with (possible) marathon training, I’ll go ahead and buy it. I just can’t let myself get sucked into buying other things at Decathalon (the athletic store here in Bilbao, similar to Dicks back in the states). Last time I went to Decathalon, I went to buy running shoes and I left with running shoes, a swimsuit, goggles, swim cap and yoga mat….

This needs to be me. (click for source)

Since I’m writing about it and have made it public, now I WILL practice self control when I buy my foam roller. I have to, or else I’ll have to shamefully write on here how I couldn’t restrain myself….

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Thoughts on The Bachelor??? Do you use a foam roller? Do you have the same problem as me of going into a store for one thing and leaving with multiple things?