An Early A.M. Swim & Garlicky Mushrooms with Kale

Hello and happy Friday, friends! It’s a beautiful and very warm one here in NC.

I started my day bright and early with a little cross training in the form of an early morning swim at the UNC pool! It’s a really nice pool — Olympic sized but with a divider in between so you can still swim shorter laps in some of the lanes if you want.

CIMG0126 (2)

I can only park on campus until 7:30 a.m., so I arrived at 6:20 to give myself plenty of time. I spent 45 minutes in the pool and it was wonderful! I love starting my day in the water — relaxing and nice me time to think, but also a great workout. I swam in one of the shorter 25m lanes, and just alternated between breaststroke, freestyle, backstroke, and, every once in awhile when I was feeling particularly hardcore, butterfly. :) I didn’t follow any sort of plan, just did what I felt like and kept mixing it up so I didn’t get bored! I used to swim when I was younger so it’s nice to know all the strokes so well still — I think I would get bored just swimming freestyle all the time. Swimming is definitely something that you’ll never forget once you learn it!

As I was getting ready to leave, I ran into my friend Lauren who was working out two lanes over! So funny. She taught me how to aqua jog — I’d never done it before and it was fun, but super hard! I can see why it’s great to use in place of running if you’re injured — it was a great workout.


Anyway! Before I left for my workout, I ate one of these muffins:


Those are my Carrot Cake Muffins and I can’t believe I’ve never posted the recipe on the blog before because they are probably my very favorite muffins, ever, and I‘ve been making them for years! As always super healthy but super delicious. Recipe to come on Monday :)


p.s. Did I mention they’re vegan? :)

In other news, I’m obsessed with kale lately apparently! I used the other half of my kale bundle (leftover from my "Cheesy" Vegan Coconut Sautéed Chickpeas and Kale) last night to make a delicious side dish for dinner.


Mushrooms and kale sautéed together is one of my new favorite combinations — I first made a variation of this a few weeks ago for me and Matt, and he absolutely LOVED it! He even asked what the name of the veggie (kale) was again so he could buy some in the grocery store in DC. Win!


Making this side dish is super easy, too. All you need is kale, mushrooms, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice (fresh is best but bottled works, too!). Plus cracked pepper and salt to taste!


Just toss a generous amount of kale (it will cook down a lot) into a pan with the mushrooms, a hefty drizzle of olive oil, a few squirts of lemon juice, and a minced clove of garlic.


Stir the mixture until the kale is fully wilted, add some cracked salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!


I enjoyed the kale & mushrooms with half of this fun ravioli I picked up at the co-op the other day.


I love ravioli — such an easy and tasty dinner!

020 019 

Yum, yum. :)

I just got back from class and now sadly have to do work the rest of the day — we have a CRAZY week coming up next week — not one, not two, not three, but FOUR tests, plus one big group paper assignment due. Arg. Matt’s staying up in DC this weekend since I’m going to have to buckle down and get some serious work done for most of it. :( Boo! But I do have my very last half marathon “long” training run & brunch with the girls on the docket for tomorrow morning — 7 miles! Crazy that that seems short to me now :)

Hope the weather is sunny where you are, too!

~  ~  ~

What’s your favorite type of exercise to do in the morning? In the evening? In the morning, I love swimming or running (or just the gym for elliptical/weights). In the afternoon or evening, I like things that are outside and social (like walking, biking, or tennis — I played last night for the first time in FOREVER and it was so much fun!), or things that are super relaxing, like yoga or pilates. Not a big fan of running in the afternoon/evening b/c I’m usually tired and my stomach will hurt b/c I’ve been eating all day!


  1. 1

    We have that ravioli at our grocery store and it’s really good! I also like kale and have been trying to incorporate it into more dishes. I like that it doesn’t get all slimy and floppy like spinach can!

  2. 2

    Another muffin recipe for me to fall in love with! can’t wait!

  3. 3

    I am the opposite–i cant run at all in the morning–my legs sleepy and i always feel dehydrated. I do yoga in the morning because the stretching wakes me up and then run in the afternoon when I am alert. I would love to be the opposite, though!

  4. 4

    Morning swimming is THE BEST. Especially with butterfly thrown in.

  5. 5

    When I saw that there was garlic mixed with my two favorite veggies, kale and mushrooms, I actually said “oh yeay!” outloud! haha. I love working out in the morning, I feel so invigorated for the rest of the day, and feel more accomplished.

  6. 6

    How do you aqua jog? I have a broken foot and can’t do most exercises until at least May, so this sounds perfect! Also, I just bought a house with a pool and can’t wait to use it as much as possible.

    • 7

      You basically just pretend you’re running, but in the water. I’d recommend googling it – there’s probably some instructional videos! Not sure if it would work with a broken foot or not but maybe!

  7. 8

    I’m a bigger fan of afternoon/evening runs because I hate running on an empty stomach, and I don’t have much time in the morning before classes to run. Yoga classes at night are my favorite because they just relax me for the rest of the night.

  8. 9

    You are so lucky that you can swim. I am so envious. My favorite exercise in the a.m. is walking ( I am up to 5 miles now)Yah. My evening exercise is bending over and bathing grandkids.(haha) Which I need to lovingly ask, what’s wrong with this picture, the mama is in front of the TV and the grandmama is bathing the kids, duh.

  9. 10

    Wow, In just posted my blog about my first experience with water jogging tonight before reading your blog – it was one crazy hard workout, like a hill training workout, my goodness!
    I’m not much of a morning person, but I do love solo morning runs when the sun is just starting to come up.

  10. 11

    The kale looks awesome! I have been eating tons of the green stuff lately, as it’s been completely affordable and it’s delicious with garlic and olive oil. Yum! :D

  11. 12

    I’m up at 5:15 AM and out the door at 6:30 AM for work. As much as I would like to run in the morning, I don’t think I can wake up any earlier and running in the dark freaks me out. I could get a treadmill but that sounds equally as bad as running in the dark. So after work running is my only option and I regret that when it starts getting hot here in Central Florida.

  12. 13

    Whoa! Those carrot cake muffins look amazing. Can’t wait for the recipe! :-)

  13. 14

    I love to swim! I havent been able to in a month or so, and I miss it! (I love the fact you work out, but dont realize your sweating haha)
    I have never tried aqua running- how does it work?

  14. 17

    Nice, big thumbs up for ravioli :) I like the nuovo ones too, always interesting ingredient combos instead of just plain. I’m itching to make my own but haven’t found time to sit down and really try it yet. Soon, after graduation ;)
    As you well know, I like to do almost nothing in the morning. Sometimes yoga, maybe a laid back bike ride at the beach, but basically nothing. I’m all about the post-work workout! I’m awake, my body is awake, and it’s not hungry :) Nice way to blow off steam after a stressful day.
    Glad to hear you’re swimming again! That’s the only thing I miss about my new (much more awesome in every other respect) gym, no pool :(

  15. 18

    My exercise preferences are similar to yours. I crave my morning runs! In the afternoon, however, I would rather do a sporty activity than something structured like the elliptical, treadmill, or even an outdoor run. Now I want to go play kickball!

  16. 19
    Elise Anderson says:

    Kale dish looks delicious. I make stir fries with garlic and kale (among other vegetables) quite often. You might try sauteing the mushrooms well before the kale, as doing so really gives them time to cook down and develop a gorgeous dark color and taste. I think mushrooms taste so much more decadent that way!

Speak Your Mind