Can’t beat the classics

Well hello there and happy Saturday to you.  Did you know that here in Oregon we’re about 1/2 an inch away from beating the rainfall record for March in Portland?  No bueno.  I was hoping to actually get outside and do something active this weekend but that is not going to happen. So instead, we’re spending the day here being lazy.  Protein smoothie & coffee for breakfast, CMT top 20 countdown on TV and computer time – me on the blog, Chris researching house stuff…our standard weekend morning routine.  Love.

And because I was writing on my phone last night, I’ll run though a little recap of the past two days.

Green Smoothie Challenge day 5 (Friday breakfast) – I was inspired by Jen’s recipe and decided to add some caffeine to my protein.  This one was tasty but it left a weird aftertaste in my mouth.  Probably won’t do it again.

PB Banana Coffee smoothie
Serves 1.  Mix the below together and drink.

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup non fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup coffee (I saved the leftover coffee from the day before and let it cool in the fridge overnight)
  • 1/2 unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup protein plus peanut flour

For my weight circuit yesterday I headed back in the vault and pulled out a classic.  When I was a sophomore in college I lived at home and went to a Jr. College so that I could be around the 1st year of my baby sister’s life.  And because I really had no life that year outside of my family time, I spent a lot of time at the gym and started working out with a personal trainer named Swede.  He was awesome.  Big guy, power lifting champ.  If you life in Olympia, WA I highly recommend hunting down this guy.  Anyway, he had a workout he’d run me through which I loved then and still love to this day.  I tend to always fall back on it when I need a good all over body routine.

The Swede Classic
Using 10 pound dumbbells go through this circuit 3 times with minimal rest between each move.

  • Weight bench step ups (20 on each leg)
  • 15 squats
  • 15 sumo squats
  • 15 deadlifts
  • 10 lateral raises
  • 10 front raises
  • 10 bent arm lateral raises
  • Single arm tricep extensions (12 on each arm)
  • 10 shoulder presses

And after that, I did 3 sets of leg presses with 45 lbs on each side.  And then finished up with a diamond set of low rows.  12 reps at 55 lbs, 15 reps at 40 lbs and 20 reps at 25 lbs.

I discussed lunch in yesterday’s post and dinner ended up being another classic.  I whipped up my favorite shrimp, goat cheese and broccoli pasta.  So good.

We ended up at Journey’s with some friends later in the evening and killed my second keg (such a rush).  But because they messed up somehow in the scoring one of Chris’ kills is under my name so I’m actually up on the board in 2nd place with 3 kills.  Seriously I think something is wrong with me that I get this excited about drinking the last beer in a keg.  I did pretty good only 2.5 drinks.  But I did come home and have some cinnamon toast.  There’s just something about coming home and eating when I get home from a bar.  I really need to stop that.

This morning my green smoothie wasn’t so green but it was one of my favorites.  This is pretty much our standard smoothie but because Chris and I both have it I usually make it with half almond milk and half non-fat milk (he hates almond milk).  But we were out of the NF so it was a little sweeter than normal.

PB Blueberry (green?) smoothie:
Serves 2

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup non fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup protein plus peanut flour
  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 4 tablespoons flax meal

And there you go.  That takes me to right now.  Noon.  We’re going to head to the gym in about an hour.  I’ll probably just do straight cardio and abs.  I’m thinking 30 min on the bike + 30 min on the elliptical.  This afternoon we’ll be watching some March Madness which I’m now super invested in because if Ohio State makes it to the final game I’ll win my work pool!  Go Buckeyes! Tonight should hopefully be pretty low key.  Turns out the 2nd season of Texas Women is on CMT.  We loved it last season so it will be great to see what the ladies are up to now.  Wild night around here :)

 

Womens’s Health + 90s on 9 = my Friday night

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Yes, this is what I’m doing right now. Chris’ flight gets in at 6 and normally it only takes 20 minutes to get to the airport but today I gave myself an hour, thinking traffic at 5 on a Friday would be a mess. Apparently not. So now I have some time to kill (can I interrupt this post to share that “I wish” by Skee-Lo just came on? Classic). Anyway, I’m finally going to crack open this Women’s Health. We got it a while ago and I just haven’t gotten around to reading it which makes me a little sad. I use to LOVE magazine in the mail day. I would basically drop everything and read it cover to cover. But now I feel like the internet has ruined print (this is very obvious with newspapers). I basically read all about everything they cover way before it even gets to my mailbox. Not to mention I follow them on Twitter and Pinterest…And while they always have great workouts, I feel like its so much easier to find one that I can save to my phone on the web.

Anyway, kind of bums me out and makes me think I should spend a little more time in the print world. We’ll see how that goes.

The rest of my Friday has been pretty packed. I woke up, got out of the shower and had to deal with doggy vomit. Poor Chance. He is the most emotional dog and always gets sick/sad/depressed when one of us is gone too long so I wasn’t too surprised by his upset stomach. Once I cleaned it up we had to spend some good cuddle time. He was super needy but seems to be ok now. He’s hanging in the car with me waiting for dad.

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Once I finally got into work it was a total mad house. I work in the digital world and sometimes things are just nutty. But luckily it finally died down and I was able to get to the gym where I walk/ran for 45 min and then did one of my favorite weight circuits. Once I get back on my real computer and not my phone I’ll write everything up.

Breakfast was another green smoothie (details to come) and lunch was this: leftover quinoa, goat cheese, carrots and peas. Totally random but totally delicious.

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Not sure what dinner is going to be. My guess is that we end up at Journey’s. Chris’ favorite beer (Double MT Vaporizer) is next up on tap as soon as a keg is killed so I’m sure after a week in Texas he’ll be ready for some NW microbrew.

Alright off to my magazine (and Poison by Bell Biv DeVoe) Have a great night!

Justin Bieber award?

Nope, sorry.  Actually earlier this week, Sara and Julia, at Across country quilts gave me a Liebster award (and Liebster sounds like Bieber…so there you go).

I had to do a little research on this since I’m new to this whole blog world.  Turns out, Liebster is a German word meaning favorite, dearest or beloved. The Liebster Blog Award is awarded by bloggers to other new bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers, to help spread the word about their blogs and to help them gain wider recognition.

The Liebster award comes with four conditions that each recipient must satisfy when accepting:

1. Choose 5 up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers to award the Liebster to.

2. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.

3. Post the award on your blog. List the bloggers you are giving the award to with links to their sites. Leave comments on their blog so they know about the award.

4. Share 5 random facts about yourself that people don’t know about you.

I’m all up for something like this.  I love telling people when I’ve found a great blog but the problem is I’m not entirely sure how to tell if a blog has 200 followers or less.  My guess is that some or maybe all of these blogs are followed by a lot of people.  Figuring, if I’ve found them, so have other people.  So to the below blogs that I mention, please do not be offended if you have more than 200 followers.  I’m certainly not trying to say you are a new blog or that no one reads you.  You just happen to be some blogs that I enjoy reading and think others might too.  Sorry if that breaks the rules of the Liebster but it’s my blog and that’s how we roll over here.

A Tall Drink of Me.  Steph loves healthy eating and fitness and just moved to New York for a new job and a fantastic life adventure

You Say it Best.  Mandee is a runner, a pilates instructor and shares tons of delicious recipes and restaurant reviews.

Barefoot Being – A great blog with healthy recipes (using natural, local ingredients) and various other posts including topics in the news like pink slime (eww) and food labeling.

The Healthy Diva – Sarah is dedicated to living a healthy balanced life of fitness, good food, happiness and self love. And the other day she referenced my favorite children’s book (if you give a mouse a cookie) in her post.

Fit and Fun in Third: A newlywed 3rd grade teacher who writes about staying fit and having fun.

And 5 random facts about me:

  1. I hate foods that don’t have any texture in them – jello, mouse, yogurt, whipped cream, soups… something about the smoothness makes me want to gag.  I always have to mix something crunchy in with it.
  2. Every girl on my mom’s side of the family has a boy name – Jeri, Randi, Tracy, Billie… when I was born, Whitney was actually a boys’ name (there’s a Facebook group for boys named Whitney).  Right after I was born, Whitney Houston became famous and Whitney became primarily a girls name. To keep this tradition alive, I already have the perfect dual gender name picked out for if we ever have a little girl.
  3. My favorite show of all time is Dawson’s Creek.  I’d like to think I was Joey Potter and that Chris was Pacey (although he disagrees and thinks he’s Dawson…put Pacey got the girl right?)
  4. I’ve never needed braces or contacts.
  5. My favorite thing to do in the entire world is lay on a dock, on a lake, and read a book.

Oh Home Depot I am not a fan (but I am a fan of my tasty green smoothie)

We had Home Depot install 3 new windows in our house about 3 years ago.  We’d checked around, read reviews and felt pretty good about the whole process.  Home Depot has always been our go-to spot so we had no reservations about them also doing our windows.  On the day of the installation, 2 (Russian ?) dudes who spoke very little english came out and installed them.  I was the one who had to work from home that day and trusted that they did everything correctly.  And while our new windows looked good, our window sills looked like crap.  Totally had cracks and jagged cuts from where they had to take the old ones out.  Great.  So I call up HD, work from home on another day where they come out and nail some wood strips over the cracks.  Gee thanks.  Pretty sure I could have done that myself.

Fast forward to a year or so later and I start to notice mold in one of our bedroom windows.  Not cool.  Call Home Depot, stay home from work, they send another guy out (maybe it was the same one?) who tells me there is nothing wrong with my window and that I’m getting mold because  1, my dog(!) is getting up on the chair and breathing on them (um, my dog has never gotten up on a chair in his life) and 2, my bathroom fan (which is in a totally different room) is not working well enough and causing condensation from my shower to affect my bedroom.  He told me to get some mildew remover and I’d be fine.  Cool.  Strike 2.

A couple of months go by and we notice a puddle of water on the windowsill of the family room window.  Call Home Depot, work from home again.  Meet another (Russian ?) guy who tells me something is wrong with a seal and they need to fix it.  And oh by the way, the bedroom window also has a leak (guess my dog isn’t breathing that hard after all).  Work from home for another day while more guys come out to cut some stuff out, add more caulk and promise me things are fixed.

Oh but wait.  A couple of weeks ago Chris finds a huge puddle of water on the family room window.  Great.  This time he takes time off work, Home Depot sends out a dude who tells him they need to completely remove two of our windows, put on some flashing and then re-install them.  Could this get any better?  Oh it could, they can’t actually come out to fix it for a least two weeks.  Thanks.  I’ll just keep a towel on our window sill to soak up the rain.

And that takes us to today.  The 5th time one of us has had to stay at home and deal with this.  Chris was out of town so it was my turn.  And of course, 2 more (Russian ?) guys come and one does not understand english at all and I basically have to yell at him a million times to please not open my fence because my dog is in there.  But of course, traipse through my house with your muddy clothes instead.  I explain the situation, that they’re suppose to completely reinstall the windows.  And he says.  No, they don’t need that.  There are just some cracks and they need new caulk. But no matter how much I argue with him he tells me this will fix the problem.  Sounds like something I’ve heard before.

So I’ve sat here all morning while strange dudes rip, cut and glue things for what feels like the millionth time.  And the best part?  From all the water damage, my once beautiful windowsills are super jacked.  Cracked paint, warped wood… I’ve left a message with Home Depot Home Services to see if I can get any compensation to help repair them but haven’t heard back yet.

The one benefit of working from home is that I can still be in my pajamas even though it’s noon.  I got up early and did a couple Jillian Michael’s DVDs (level 3 of 30 Day Shred and level 1 of Killer Buns & Thighs) and I might need to do something else later to work off some steam.  I wish I had a punching bag right now.

Chance is also annoyed by all of this.

On the plus side, my green smoothie today was so tasty! In fact, I think it’s been my favorite of the week.  I essentially took yesterday’s mix and got rid of the carrots and sweet potatoes.

Banana Almond Smoothie
Serves 1. Mix everything.  Enjoy.

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup non fat plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons rice protein powder
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 tablespoon flax seed
  • 1 & 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Trying new things

Chris is gone this week on a work trip which means I got to be a little more experimental in the kitchen.  While Chris will always try what I make, I don’t want to make him try something gross so I like to test most new creations out before I debut it.  Glad I did.  Because nearly all of today’s concoctions were failures.

Breakfast was a green smoothie for day 3 of the green smoothie challenge.  If I thought I was crazy with the carrots yesterday then today took it to the next level with sweet potatoes.  It sounded like a great idea.  I love pumpkin in my smoothie so this felt like it would be similar, and while I liked the taste, I didn’t like the texture.  It almost reminded me of applesauce.  I think if I’d added a little more milk it would have been fine but I didn’t taste it before I poured it.  If you like thick smoothies you’d probably like this one.  I just like mine super thin, almost watery.  But on the plus side, I think it filled me up more because I didn’t get hungry once today.

Sweet potato, almond & banana smoothie
Mix all the ingredients together.  Serves 1

  • 1 cup roasted sweet potatoes/yams
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 scoops protein powder (I used this)

My “during the day” food was pretty normal (almonds, quinoa bean salad mix).  It was once I got home that things went downhill.

I attempted to combine 2 recipes – A black bean goat cheese burger with a quinoa burger.  I only used the black bean recipe as inspiration, thinking I’d just add black beans to the quinoa burger recipe.  I started by mashing black beans.  Easy.  Then as I got through the rest of the ingredients I saw that it called for splenda (which I don’t eat) and flour.  Perfect, I thought.  I’ll use coconut flour to bring in the sweetness.  Bad plan.  And I didn’t have cottage cheese, so I skipped it.  It couldn’t matter that much right?  I ended up with a decent consistency and scooped out 4 1/4 cup, cute little burgers and started frying them.

Cute little guys

But then they kind of fell apart.

Burger turned bowl

To be honest, they weren’t that bad.  A little dry so I mixed up some fry sauce (ketchup and light mayo) and  that helped but I threw out the rest of the mix after the first 4.  Lesson learned here?  If I want a burger get some turkey.

Then I wanted some dessert so I thought, I’d whip up something similar to this chia seed protein powder pudding.  I was suppose to let the chia seeds soak in the liquid for 20 min.  But I wanted it right away so I didn’t.  Just dumped chia seeds, almond milk, protein powder and honey in a glass.  Taste was great.  Texture was like chunky milk.  Fail.  But I actually ate it anyway.  Don’t judge.

What did I learn tonight? Recipes are written for a reason.  And I should follow them.  I also learned that I’m tired of trying new things and maybe I’ll just eat cereal for the rest of the week…

Carrots in my smoothie??!! + other daily eats

So I joined a 7 day green smoothie challenge that Jen from Peanut Butter Runner is coordinating and yesterday I posted my standard smoothie recipe.  Today I wanted to change things up so I made a peanut butter, banana, spinach and carrot smoothie.  Yes, carrot.  I bought some organic shredded carrots (you read correctly, I am too lazy to shred my own carrots) for a recipe I may or may not make this week and when I was in the fridge grabbing other smoothie supplies I saw the carrots.  I know this is a green smoothie challenge and I definitely greened it up with spinach but I’d like to think that adding in additional veggies is still a good thing, even if they’re not green.  Turns out you couldn’t even taste the carrots!  Chris is gone this week but I’m thinking I might try and sneak them in to smoothies next week without him noticing.

PB Banana Carrot Smoothie (serves 1)
Blend the below ingredients, pour in a jar, drink.

Hurried pic on the iphone on the way out the door this morning.

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 non fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1/4 protein plus peanut flour (could also use regular peanut or almond butter)

For my pre-gym snack I had two deviled eggs.  Healthy tip – use greek yogurt instead of mayo when mixing up the filling (I used greek yogurt, egg yolk, spicy mustard, and paprika).

Deviled egg

Lunch was spinach, roasted yams, black beans, sunflower seeds and goat cheese.  No dressing because I couldn’t figure out what would taste good.

Lunch

I had an afternoon snack of non fat plain greek yogurt with a variety of cereal (Kashi go lean crunch, and some bran buds), dried cranberries and almonds. But I only ate half of it.  I think I’m burnt out on yogurt.

Too much yogurt

Dinner was garlic roasted brussels sprouts and broccoli (chopped garlic clove, sea salt and pepper all mixed up and tossed with olive oil.  Roasted at 350 for 25 min).   And leftover scratch spaghetti (I added in some sour cream for a little extra zest).

I love green veggies

For my workout today I did Zumba.  According to my Fuel band  burned 650 calories and earned 2000 fuel points in one class! I love all the cardio but hate how it makes my knees feel.  Hopefully they aren’t too sore in the morning.

Tomorrow I’m going to try another new smoothie.  Unfortunately my “greens” are pretty limited to spinach.  I even went to the store after work to get spirolina but couldn’t find any… I also thought about doing a mint smoothie but not sure if mint can be characterized s something green?

Find something that makes you happy

The other day I was listening to a Jillian Michaels’ podcast (check them out, they’re free on iTunes) and she was talking about depression and ways to prevent it.  Now, I’ve never had any issues with depression so that area is foreign territory to me but as she was listing off some things to help with it she said something along the lines of find something that makes you happy.  And it got me to thinking…I really truly am happy when I’m working out and being active.  Some people hate working out and they never do it, some people work out because it’s healthy and good for their body even though they’re not big fans of it.  But me, I would work out even if those benefits didn’t exist.  I’m a happier person because of exercise. It makes me feel good, relieve stress, challenges me and makes me stronger.

This was super apparent yesterday when I actually went for a run.  A real-life, outside, no stopping and walking run. The 1st of it’s kind since Hood to Coast. And it was glorious.  I’d been planning on doing mat pilates but as I was sitting at my desk, looking out at the weather and seeing sun I decided it was just too nice not to get outside. It was only 3 miles but it felt so great.  My knees were a little crunchy but it didn’t matter (side note – clearly PT is working).  The sun was shinning, I had great tunes blaring and I was happy.  So happy.

Today, my challenge to you is to do something that makes you really crazy, happy.  Maybe that’s going for a run, maybe that’s getting a pedicure, maybe that’s buying a new shirt.  Whatever.  Just be happy today.

Better in a mason jar

Did you know I almost named this blog “Jars of Mason?”  Yup, even had the URL and everything.  See, I love mason jars.  I know they’re pretty trendy right now but I’ve loved them forever.  Seriously.  I’m not just saying that so it looks like I’m not jumping on the vintage train bandwagon.  I ate homemade canned peaches and strawberry jam when I was little and since then they’ve always reminded me of good things.  Now, I’ll admit we had them at our wedding as decorations, but we also actually served beer and wine in them (16 oz for beer, 8 oz jars for wine… however things got a little nuts when people started using the beer jars for wine but that’s another story).  Speaking of beer, any bar that serves it in a mason jar automatically gets a gold star.

Because we had quite a few jars leftover from the wedding they’ve actually become our primary cups/glasses/drinking jars and I love it.  Not sure what it is exactly but something about drinking out of a mason jar is just better (not to mention, glass jars do not contain BPA)  Not sure if it’s the thickness of the rim or what.  But they make the beverage that much more enjoyable which is especially helpful when drinking water.  We all know you’re suppose to drink at least 64oz of water a day (8 glasses @ 8oz each) and I’ve found I crush that amount by drinking out of my jar.  See, I carry around a 32 oz jar everywhere! I have one at home and one at work.  And trust me, I’ve gotten my fair share of strange looks (and plenty of comments about moonshine) when I walk into a meeting carrying a giant jar of water.  But it works.  My goal is always to drink 3 jars at work and 1 jar at home for a total of 120+ oz of water and I’m pretty good about hitting it.  And while people initially thought it was strange, I’ve brought jars in to at least 3 of my coworkers and even Chris brought one to work to drink from.  You can also make them portable by putting on the canning jar lids (and now this company is selling plastic lids but I haven’t bought into this, feels too hipsterish for me).  The only place I don’t take them is to the gym, glass and workout equipment makes me nervous.

Water

Anyway, over the weekend I made smoothies for 4 people instead of 2 and we didn’t have enough of our normal magic bullet cups so I poured them into mason jars and I’m pretty sure the smoothie instantly tasted better.  Seriously.  There is just something about mason jars.  This is our standard smoothie right now, I checked my recipes and realized I haven’t posted this one yet.  So tasty and about 30 grams of protein.

Peanut Butter Blueberry Smoothie:
Mix the below together.  Pour into a mason jar. Serves 1.

  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup plain, non fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 c protein plus peanut flour
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax meal

PB Blueberry smoothie

And because mason jars make me think about all things country and I also referenced moonshine in this post, thought I’d share a song by my favorite country artist Jake Owen all about (apple pie) moonshine. Hope you love this song as much as I do.

Reasons why Oregon is amazing

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My brother and his girlfriend came down from Olympia this weekend to visit so we wanted to do something fun with them and decided to go snowshoeing.  We lucked out with the most amazing weather!  It was so freaking beautiful out.  I just couldn’t believe it.  It was one of those perfect days where it just makes me appreciate where I live so much.  The sun was shining and the air was so fresh.  I could have stayed outside forever.

Beyond being an incredibly scenic hike, it was also an amazing workout.  Snowshoes really force you to fire muscles you wouldn’t think about – your quads and hamstrings have to work to keep you stable over all the uneven paths, your shoulders/arms are burning from digging your poles into the snow, and I even felt my abs trying to keep myself upright. And lets not forget the super steep hill you had to climb up to get back to the parking lot.  Killer.  But I loved it.  Overall, it was about a 4.5 mile hike and my fuel band said I burned about 900 calories!

Friday (Fit) Faves

Happy Friday.  I’ve already been to the gym once this morning for weights with Chris and then back this afternoon for Zumba.  Love days when I get two workouts in!  Tonight should be pretty low key.  We’re doing spaghetti for dinner with Dan and Cassie and then my brother and his girlfriend are coming down to hang for the weekend.  Tomorrow we’re going snowshoeing.  I’m so exited!

To help motivate you today, here are a few of my favorite inspirational pictures/sayings floating around the web (found all of them on Pinterest):