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Miami Beach!

First — Happy Birthday to my sister Megan! She’s 24 today!!

Since we last talked… I went to Miami Beach! I know what you’re thinking, “but Erin… didn’t you just get back from Florida?!” YES! I did. This whole being unemployed thing, aside from my diminishing checking account, is actually kind of nice because I can take off whenever I want to. Okay, not really, but after years of hard work in class, the internship, and studying for my exam, I’ve earned a vacation! Or two.

So anyway. My mom went to Miami Beach last year and went again this year for 8 days. I decided to join her for a few of those days for some sun, sand, and salt (water). South Beach is a very… interesting… place. Colorful. Yea, that’s the right word. While in Miami, I got some sunburn (the downside to being Irish!), some fun runs in, and ate some really good food.

Day 1 (Saturday):

Not much to report since I wasn’t feeling too great but a memorable points: I made it to O’Hare just in time to board my flight, the weather was HOT and SUNNY, I read (and finished a book!) by the pool, and my mom and I made salads for dinner (it was a good salad… and I hate homemade salads).

Day 2 (Sunday):

I was up and out early to catch the sunrise with my mom and a 10K on the boardwalk before the crowds struck. (It was Pride Weekend in South Beach so there were people EVERYWHERE! So many crowds.) Along the boardwalk are all the super nice hotels you see in music videos & movies so it was fun to run along those on one side and the beach on the other. Here’s a photo of the beach and a doofus-selfie.

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Day 3 (Monday):

Aside from the usual morning run + beach/pool day, mom & I walked over to South Point Pier where we watched a cruise ship embark. THAT was pretty cool. I knew cruise ships were huge but seeing one in person? Ginormous. We also had a late/lunch early dinner at an Italian restaurant.

Day 4 (Tuesday):

Our last full day! I took the morning off from running and instead went for a walk along the beach. I tried, as hard as I could, to spend time with my mom in the sun but ugh, I was sun burnt and being out hurt. But I made it a few hours! After our day on the beach, we headed to Naked Taco for dinner. The reviews on Yelp do not do this place justice! We sat outside on the porch and were welcomed with a (complimentary) tequila & pineapple juice shot. From there, we ordered the chips and guacamole (so creamy!), mom got lobster tacos & I got an assortment of taco-lettuce-wraps.

Day 5 (Wednesday):

Our last day! I got up early and while my mom was cleaning up the Air BnB, I went out for a quick 3 miles. Afterwards, we (and by we, I mean she. She’s a cleaning machine) cleaned up a little more, packed up, and we were on our way home! I got the airport fairly early for my flight and was in and out of security within 5 minutes – if only O’Hare was that quick!

And now? I’m on my flight home, watching the season (series? is it a series?) premiere of Real Housewives of Dallas! (I’m a sucker for reality tv.) I’ll admit I’m ready to be home – I have a few interviews lined up for the next few days and I need to get back into my running routine. The half is 2 1/2 weeks away!

 

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Meez Meals: A Meal Delivery Review

Edit: I received these meals for free. Meez is not paying me nor did they ask me to review their meals. After trying them out, I sent a message to their CEO letting them know I’d be writing about my experience and he sent me a promo code. I am not receiving any commission off the sales from my promo code.

Hi everyone!

I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to try out a healthy meal deal service and wanted to share my experience with you. The past week, I’ve made three meals from Chicago-based Meez Meals and with the promo code “mwfitnessfoodie” you can get $30 off your first order.

So first things first – like many meal delivery services, you will have to create an account and log in. From there, you can view the menu and order for the next week. In order to get your meals for Monday, you will need to get your order in by Friday at 12pm CST. While placing your order, you can select a delivery time and no, you do not need to be home for your delivery! Meez will pack up your foods and place in a cooler with several ice packs so that if you’re not home, the food will stay cold for several hours.

Once you get your delivery, you’ll open up your cooler and notice that all of your meals are neatly organized into their own bags. So if you order a taco meal, all of your prepped goodies will be in one bag while your other meals will be in their own respective bags.

One of the really cool things about Meez is that it is the only certified DIY Meal Kits Green Restaurant in the nation. They use local, fresh ingredients, reusable delivery bags (and ice packs), and they do all their own composting. Another bonus is that nearly all of their meals can be made gluten free, dairy free, nut free, and vegan-friendly. If you have other allergies or food preferences, be sure to specify and their team will work with you to create an amazing experience.

Okay now on to my own meals. I received all of these meals courtesy of Meez. Above I said I had three meals but I only got photos for two. (I had to quickly cook the third and eat it at work!) For all of the meals, I ordered two servings and it was more than enough for two people to eat.

Meal 1: Sweet potato, kale, and rice bowl with peanut sauce.

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Here are all of my prepared ingredients: the chopped kale, peeled & diced sweet potato, the amount of rice needed, the tofu and (not pictured) the peanut sauce. Along with the ingredients, you’ll receive a recipe card. The recipe card includes how to actually cook the meal (including time from start to finish and ease of preparation) along with a nutrition snapshot, modifications you can make to the meal (like adding meat, omitting rice, etc).

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This picture does not do this meal justice. I never thought I was a tofu-fan but this meal definitely turned me into one. This meal was delicious both with and without the peanut sauce. All in all, it took me 40 minutes from start to finish but only 20 minutes were spent “hands on.” 2016-04-05 19.22.132016-04-05 19.42.05

Meal 2: Balsamic Glazed Caprese Chicken Pasta. It was… amazing. It tasted like I spent hours on it when in reality, I spent under 30 minutes from start to finish. The pesto was rich and the cooking instructions for the meat left me with juicy, tender chicken.

Meal 3 was by far my favorite (because I love Mexican-American food): a steak and rice taco bowl. All of the components were perfectly executed. The seasoning provided for the steak had just enough flavor without a lot of spice (though you could definitely add some, if you wish!), there was more than enough steak for 2 servings, and the salsa was fresh and zesty, even though it had been sitting in the fridge for a few days. All I did to make it my own was serve it on top of some greens and sprinkled some shredded cheese and voila! I had a healthy, delicious taco bowl.

Should you get confused or have questions throughout your cooking process, Meez is standing by on their Dinner Hotline. Their customer service is fantastic: they answered any and all questions very quickly and they even send follow up emails! And because the meals were so delicious, I have kept all of the recipe cards to attempt on my own 🙂

Interested in trying Meez for yourself? Check out their delivery area by entering your zip code on this page and clicking on “Where We Deliver.” If they deliver to your area, use the code MWFITNESSFOODIE for $30 your first order.

Let me know what you think!

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Thoughts Per Mile

Luckily for me, the weather today was much better than yesterday. The sun was out, the temps were up slightly, and the wind wasn’t as strong. So I laced up my shoes and went out for my first(!) double digit run in this training cycle.

Mile 1: Woo, okay feeling good. Going a little fast but I should be able to keep this pace for the next 9 miles.

Mile 2: Ooh! The lake looks pretty. I should snap a picture (it’s a little blurry…)

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Mile 3: Where is this trail? It’s supposed to be right here. Pace still feeling good, running about 15s off race pace.

Mile 4: Found the trail. Geese are the enemy. Almost halfway.

Mile 5: …I’m only halfway.

Mile 6: Geese are still the enemy. Make it to 7 miles and you can have a piece of gum.

Mile 7: I wish I brought my chapstick.

Mile 8: Less than 25 minutes of running left.

Mile 9: How am I still not done?!

Mile 10: *dies*

By the time I finished, my pace per mile was about 30s off of anticipated race pace so I’m feeling pretty good about myself. I cooled down with a quarter mile walk/dynamic stretch before heading inside.

Once home, my post-long run routine is to grab some Gatorade, a blueberry muffin (I’m on the hunt to find my favorite!), stretch, and sit with my legs up the wall. So I turned on the Kardashians (judge me.) and did just that. Until I realized how sweaty & cold I was and it was time to shower.

What’s your post-run routine like? Do you have the same snack after every run or do you switch it up? 

How do you feel about geese? 

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April (Snow) Showers & Meez Meals!

Here is a picture of my dog, a dog I saw while driving, and a water bottle my dad and Lynn got me. There are no pictures the rest of this post so… sorry.

Oh, happy Monday. I’m currently out of work so… today really is a happy Monday.

I woke up super early (no really, I did – 5:45am) and was able to have two cups of hot coffee, a delicious and easy breakfast (1 maple + brown sugar oatmeal packet + 1/2 cinnamon coffee cake muffin from Target and a clementine), and I caught up on the shows I missed last night because I went to the Bulls game!

After I let my food digest, I decided to brave the weather and head out for my first double digit training run. Well, I was brave until I actually got outside. And it was 34F, windy, and flurrying (IN APRIL!!!!). “I can do this…” I thought as I turned my Garmin on.

Nearly 3 miles in and I had had enough. The wind was blowing from every direction, the snow picked up a bit, I couldn’t feel my ankles (I wore ankle tights), and I was frustrated (I’m a baby, get over it). “This sucks,” and “OMG how much longer?!” kept running through my mind. I turned around and ended up with just over 5 1/2 miles on the day. Not bad but… well, you know. I’m hoping the weather tomorrow is a little

But after my disappointing run, I made a grocery run and a trip to my dermatologist to hopefully clear up this skin infection/reaction I’m going through right now. Ya know, because being on Accutane wasn’t enough, my skin decides 7 months post-treatment to react to something.

Tonight will be better though! I’m cooking my first dinner courtesy of Meez Meals – I’ve got a chicken, sweet potato, kale, and rice bowl with peanut sauce on the menu. I’m very excited to try this as I’ve never done a meal prep service before! And more importantly, Southern Charm is back on! I’m a sucker for Bravo.