35 Minute Upper Body Blast

Hello and TGIF!

I feel like I’ve said this a LOT lately, but Monday of this week was one of the days where I really didn’t feel like going to the gym.  I hope these Monday workout blues don’t become a pattern.  But I literally had to talk to myself (out loud, mind you) on the way home from work to feel even slightly motivated.  I made a deal with myself that I would go to the gym for about a half hour, do a quick upper body workout, and be on my way.

Well, that “quick upper body workout” ended up leaving me sore until Wednesday night.

35 Minute Upper Body Blast

I’m not sure if was the 15 minutes total on the row machine (my body is definitely not used to that) or the heavier weights I used, but whatever it was, I definitely was feeling it for days after.  Like serious DOMS style.  Or maybe it was just that I was really pushing myself to WORK in those 30 (okay, 35) minutes.  Who knows.  It’s just funny that these moves (pretty standard to me) left me that sore.  That being said, I recommend this one!  You could also substitute the row for 5 minutes of your cardio of choice.  Let me know how it goes!

Friday Housekeeping

I also wanted to mention a couple of other things before I check out for the weekend…

–First, I can’t believe we’re almost at the end of Fall Into Fitness Week 4.  Where did this month go!?

–Second, next week I have a super exciting giveaway for my local readers.  Make sure to tune in!

–This weekend should be another fun fall weekend.  Tonight I am meeting up with Slesh and Katrina and hopefully Bridget for some girl time, and then tomorrow Tim and I are heading to Portsmouth, NH for the night to use up a free Marriott night.  We go every fall, and I’m excited for some quality time together (we barely had any this week).  Nevermind being excited for a weekend away that isn’t for a wedding!

Us last year:

New Castle Island

–The next one is also for my local readers.  Sorry, out-of-staters.  I’m totally not trying to hate, even though it probably seems like I’m excluding you this week.  Anyways, my peeps at Ultimate Bootcamp are hosting a “Trick or Treat” workout this Saturday 10/26 at 9am at Arsenal Park in Watertown.  It’s $25 to register, but there will be fitness challenge “tricks” and they will be providing “treats” like gift cards and swag to the challenge winners.  You can also work out in costume for a chance to win prizes as well.  I so want to go but since I’ll be away I hope some of you will go in my absence!

–Finally, this one is a totally shameless self promotion.  I would LOVE if you guys could take a few moments to vote for F&F as your favorite blog in the Around the Plate 2013 Blog Awards.  I’m eligible for Best Recipe Guru and Best Blog of 2013.  I really appreciate all of your support — it’s worth a shot, right?

What’s up for the weekend? Going out? Going away? Staying in?

Whatever you choose, enjoy it!

Ten Tuesday Thoughts

Forewarning:  LOTS of random Athena thoughts ahead.

1.  I can’t decide how I feel about Chobani’s new(ish) Blood Orange flavor.  What do you guys think?  Do you like it?

2.  Lunches made by mom really do taste better.  Don’t you think she was just ASKING for me to take a picture and post it in F&F with that fruit display?  Just saying.

3.  There is nothing more thrilling than free stuff arriving in the mail.  I recently won a Clif bar giveaway over on Itzy’s Kitchen and my goodies arrived last week!  I hope any of you that have won my giveaways in the past get as excited as I do!  By the way, I tried Clif’s sweet & salty Mojo bar for the first time this weekend, and it’s UNREAL.  I loved the chocolate almond coconut flavor!

4.  Check out this gem of a picture I found while working from my parents’ house on Friday.  Really, mom!?  What were you thinking?!

5.  Friday night I went out with a bunch of friends to the Lansdowne Pub in Fenway for Katrina’s birthday celebration.  It was a fun time!  My goal of the night was to 1) not be as hungover on Saturday as I was when I tried to bake sombrero cookies, and 2) to NOT bust out any kickboxing routines in the bar.  Both goals = success, with the exception of doing ONLY monkey arms.  And only because Bridget started it.

6.  The earrings I ordered from Sarah during PCDC night also arrived last week.  Me likey!

7.  Did you guys see my Mother’s Day brunch post featured on Around the Plate last week?  If not, check it out!  Here’s the link:  http://aroundtheplate.org/brighten-moms-day-with-breakfast/

8.  There is nothing worse than the sound of a kid’s merry-go-round thing at the mall or outside a grocery store.  My children will never go on one of those things.  Shudder.

9.  I finished the first book in the “Fifty Shades” trilogy this week.  Holy pornographic awkwardness!!  I seriously was covering the text as I read on the plane ride home from my business trip because I didn’t want the man sitting next to judge.  It’s so dirty!  I think I’m going to continue reading book two and three though.  Anyone have the books I can borrow?  The storyline is so disturbing, but I’m hooked and want to know just why Grey is as controlling as he is.

10.  Went to the dentist last week.  Cavity free for 27 years!  Boo ya.  Yes, I just said boo ya.

What’s on your mind today?!

Grilled Cod with Sweet Strawberry Salsa


Good Friday

It’s Friday, and a good one too.  Literally, today is my Good Friday.  I am spending the day working from home, and then am heading to church tonight with my parents for our Good Friday Epitaphios service.  Do I have any fellow Orthodox Fitness & Feta readers out there?

Pasta Sauce Giveaway Winner

Another reason today is a good Friday.  One of you will soon get three delicious jars of Delgrosso’s pasta sauce shipped right to your front door for free.  Thanks to everyone who entered the contest!!  The winner is…

Mary, who said:  “I think its in the name, but I’d have to go with Aunt Mary’s Marinara!”

Congratulations, Mary – please email me at akaralekas@gmail.com to claim your prize.

Sweet Strawberry Salsa

In last night’s post, I mentioned I was snacking on some Triscuits with strawberry salsa.  On Tuesday night, Tim and I grilled up some fresh cod for dinner and topped it with a new strawberry salsa recipe.  As part of the Around the Plate Writer’s Club, I volunteered to write a guest post on a recipe using strawberries.  Strawberry salsa is what Tim & I decided would be something new and sweet (literally) to try this week.


  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 1 roasted red pepper
  • 1/2 a medium yellow onion
  • 2.5 Tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 jalapeño – optional


For best results, prepare and leave in the fridge overnight.

  1. Dice strawberries, red pepper and yellow onion.
  2. Chop cilantro.
  3. Mix everything together and season to taste with salt and pepper.

This salsa recipe:  Easy, quick, tasty, unique, colorful, and perfect for spring.  Also perfect for snacking!

To grill the cod (1 pound), just brush the fillets with extra virgin olive oil, and then coat with salt and pepper to taste.  Place fish on a hot grill, cook on one side for about 3-4 minutes, flip and cook for another 4 minutes or until flaky.

For more on the strawberry salsa, click over to Around the Plate and check out my Writer’s Club post!

What’s your favorite way to eat strawberries?

Enjoy the day!