The weekend where all I ate was halloween candy

I’m dead serious.

This weekend could easily go down in history as the weekend when I did nothing but lay around the house, watch Dirty Dancing (twice!) and eat Halloween candy. And guess what? It was glorious!!!

Chris was on a work trip and with him went my camera so you get to enjoy my talents with the iphone.

Friday was rather traumatic as I had to pick Chance up from the vet after he had surgery to remove a skin tag (gross). Everything went perfectly normal except he was super drugged up on morphine and I opted to spend my Friday afternoon working from home with a 90lb dog snuggled up by my side on the couch (which never happens but the guy had stitches so what can you do?). Pretty sure we stayed there until we went to bed (except for the time I got up and moved the bowl of Halloween candy right next to me).

Saturday I stayed in my jammies until around 2 and then cleaned the house, rode the spin bike for an hour (while watching Stepmom – um, do not try to workout while crying. There were a few moments where I seriously couldn’t catch my breath) and hit up Nordstrom rack from some new work clothes and Petsmart for toys for Chance (which he promptly tore up). And ate more Halloween candy.

And then I came home and watched the Beav game. Yay. Beavs win. And then I found Dirty Dancing on TV and watched it. Love. Favorite movie ever. It will never get old to me.

I woke up Sunday, ate breakfast and hopped on the spin bike again and low and behold, Dirty Dancing was on again!!! Count my lucky stars. I spent 45 minutes watching Johnny and Baby have the time of their lives and the best part was this must have been the special 25 year anniversary version because there were actually scenes that were new to me. NEW! I have every line in this movie memorized so it was like an early Christmas present or something to see new scenes. Now I feel like I need to buy that version to go along with my other version.

And then I picked Chris up at the airport. Went grocery shopping, walked Chance (awesome, warm, fall night) and ate pizza (but did not eat Halloween candy!).

There you go. My weekend. Riveting I’m sure. I gained 5 pounds and want to take dancing lessons but it was great. Especially since things are about to get nutty with a 3 day work-week, PTO in San Francisco straight to some work meetings in Atlanta.

Giddyup.

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Orange Juice

Today I can’t wait to wear this shirt (under my layers of black…down vest, rain jacket etc – 48 degrees at kickoff).

I’m so proud of my husband for helping to bring this to market :)  Go here for some info on the whole Beaver juice  story.

In other orange juice news, I used the freshly squeezed variety to make a super tasty dinner earlier this week.

Orange Paleo Chicken (adapted from original recipe here)

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 3 T coconut oil
  • juice of 2 oranges
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 1 t fresh ginger
  • 3 T reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 T sriracha

Directions
In a medium size sauce pot, add the orange juice, zest, ginger, soy sauce and sriracha. Set over medium heat and let simmer to reduce and thicken while the chicken cooks.  For the chicken – heat coconut oil over medium high heat in a separate pan. Add the chopped chicken and cook until a nice brown crust has developed on the chicken pieces, about 6 minutes). Add the chicken to the sauce pot and stir to coat with the orange sauce. These were the directions from the original recipe which I followed.  However, to cut down on pans I think you would be fine to cook the chicken until almost done and then just add all the sauce mix to the chicken and let everything thicken that way.

Serve over quinoa with a side of spicy green beans (olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic, cooked over medium heat).

And unrelated to orange juice but more related to my overall health – I finished week two of the new job and am still alive (but tired).  I also managed to get in a workout every day this week even though some of it had to happen before and after work.  Here’s how they shook out:

  • Monday – Lunchtime pilates (with new work friends) + 30 minute incline treadmill walk after work
  • Tuesday: 45 minute run on the treadmill before work
  • Wednesday: 30 min cardio + lunchtime pilates (leaving a few minutes early)
  • Thursday: Quick 2.5 mile run after work on a new to me trail while waiting for Chris to get out of a meeting
  • Friday: 30 minutes of elliptical intervals + 30 minute butts & Guts class with my new workout pal Laura.

And finally, I wrapped up the week with half a high school football game (sideline view was nice).

Followed by dinner and a delicious sour beer at the Racoon.

And a cider at Journey’s.

And that brings me to now.  Off to pull myself together for game day.  Hope you all have great Saturdays.

Efficient workouts + shrimp pasta

Week one of the new job is one the books.  Done and done.

I also tried out my new lunchtime workout schedule for the 1st time and I feel like it’s going to be doable.  Honestly the only negative thing that was going through my mind when I was dealing with all this job stuff was the fact that the building was off campus which meant I could no longer walk to the gym at lunch and will have to drive.  Huge bummer since that’s a massive part of my day but in the end I realized I can’t base my career on gym access.  So I’ve vowed to make it work.

The commute definitely adds some time into the equation so I’m realizing I’m going to have to get a lot smarter about my workouts.  Gone are the leisurely hour and a half sessions + locker room time.  From now on, it’s 60 min or less in the gym with 15 minutes to get ready, giving me 15 minutes for commuting.  Here’s how things shook out for day one:

30 minutes of intervals on the elliptical.  Varying between resistance levels 7 -12, I alternated 30 sec to 1 minutes bursts to really get my heart rate going.  After that I did a quick dumbbell weight circuit 3 times through:

  • Front Raises 8lbs x 10
  • Lateral Raises 8lbs x 10
  • Single Arm Tricep extensions 8lbs x 12
  • Bent over rows 8lbs x 10
  • Squats 25 (varied between regular, side and sumo)
  • Side ab bends 16lbs x 25 per side
  • Step Ups on the weight bench 8lbs x 10

I did all of that in under an hour.  Nice.

And you know where else I was efficient this week?  With our Thursday night dinner.  I was still tired from my trip and Chris had firewood delivered and had to deal with stacking that.  We were going to go out or get pizza but I really wanted something healthy so I raided the kitchen and this is what I came up with.  It was delish.

Spicy shrimp Parmesan Pasta

  • 20 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 crown broccoli
  • Whole Wheat spaghetti noodles
  • olive oil
  • red pepper flakes
  • sea salt
  • shredded parmesan cheese
  • garlic powder

But because I was being so efficient I didn’t measure anything.  Here’s my best guess at directions to recreate:

Spray some olive oil on the shrimp, and toss with red pepper flakes, garlic and sea salt.  Steam the broccoli on the stove in a steamer basket while your noodles are cookie.  Cook your shrimp on a pan over medium heat.  Add the shrimp and broccoli to the noodles. Toss in a bit of olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking and top with parmesan cheese.  I probably added about a 1/4 – 1/2 cup?

And of course, I topped it with sriracha.  So good.

Can you believe this is October? + My favorite Salmon

Um seriously how are we still getting weather like this?  We are living on borrowed time my friends because any day now the rains will come.  But until they do, we’re taking advantage of it.

Like yesterday when we decided to hit up Journeys after work (me in flip flops and shorts).

Sadly they are no longer serving hard cider on draft.  This may be a blessing in disguise.  I certainly don’t need those extra calories.

And before we hit up Journey’s we had a delicious salmon dinner.  This is one of the 1st meals Chris made for me when we were dating and I’ve always loved it.

Sweet & Spicy Salmon rub (courtesy of Chris)

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

2 ingredients.  How easy is that?  Dump them directly onto the (fresh) salmon filet, rub it around and throw it all on the grill.

We served it with grilled, spicy asparagus (olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes) and wild rice (from a box – not my finest moment).

So good.  I could eat that meal every day but I admit that salmon is the one protein we don’t eat enough around here but we need to be better.  So many nutritional benefits.

In other news, my workout yesterday was pretty typical – a pilates reformer class and 30 minutes on the elliptical split into before and after class segments.  And as for my two challenges, I am not at all doing good with the sugar-free variety.  Those darn M&M’s from my mom are just too tough to exist.

And with that, I’m out.  I shall leave you with this picture of my night.  How glorious is that for this time of year?

Home-grown tomatoes & bike rides + Indian Summer

We have had something crazy like 58 straight days without rain.  That is unheard of in the Pacific Northwest.  It’s been amazing.  Nothing but day after day of gorgeous weather.  I’m hoping it continues and we get a full on Indian Summer.  Cross your fingers.

And because this is it – the last time we get to taste summer for another year – I’m trying to take advantage of it and enjoy things like grilled corn on the cob, chilled white wine, salmon burgers, BBQ chicken, sleeping with the window open, and evening bike rides.

Like this one tonight.  Neither Chris or I had time to work-out today (work is crazy for both of us) so we jumped on our bikes and rode around through the village.  It’s so nice to still be feeling warm, summer air on your face as you coast down hills.

And before the bike ride we enjoyed another summer treat – home-grown tomatoes!  I had no luck with my tomatoes last year but this time is a whole different story.  I’ve been getting legitimate edibles from my plants.  Very exciting.

Tonight’s entire shrimp pasta was made with tomatoes from my yard.

And speaking of my yard, tomorrow we’re going to try to spend a little quality time with it before we have to pack away the lawn furniture and fire pit.  We’re thinking drinks and s’mores around the fire and maybe if we’re feeling really crazy we’ll spend the night outside on our air bed.  Wild side I tell ya.

And with that, I’m out.  Chris has just turned on the Pac 12 Network and I need to go negotiate alternate TV programming.  There’s only so much football I can handle around here.

Question for you – what are you going to miss most about summer?

Cutting back on carbs

Not sure if my body has finally adjusted or what but this morning I got up at 5am to work out and I don’t feel like a tired zombie yet…Technically the night is still early so who knows, I may wind up in bed by 9… we shall see.  Let’s just hope my body’s not too used to early AM alarms because I’m really looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow.  At least until 8:30 or so.

Instead of going to the gym like I planned, I opted for 45 minutes of my friend Jillian :)  I did levels 1 and 2 of 30 Day Shred and felt great.  So great that I decided to add in yet another double day and went to Zumba this afternoon.  Someone will be feeling sore tomorrow.

On the food front, also a good day – breakfast was a tasty little number I whipped up involving watermelon and bananas.  I swear, frozen watermelon is so good in smoothies.

Watermelon Banana Protein Smoothie:

  • 1/2 cup frozen watermelon
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup protein plus peanut flour
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Lunch involved a Larabar after the gym plus leftover chicken from last night’s fajitas mixed with some goat cheese.  Not my best effort but it got the job done.  Dinner however, was fantastic.  A random little salad beast with my new favorite dressing.

Turkey Spinach Salad

  • 1 giant bowl of spinach
  • 1 chopped organic tomato
  • Goat cheese crumbles
  • 4 slices of deli turkey meat torn into pieces
  • Honey balsamic vinaigrette (1/2 c olive oil, 1/4 c honey, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar)

That dressing makes for more than just one salad FYI.

And then washed that down with a little popcorn – air popped with a tablespoon of melted butter, cheese sprinkles and nutritional yeast.

Pretty nice little Friday I tell ya.

But let’s be honest, all that stuff above was nice but I’m sure you really want to know why the title of this post is cutting back on carbs, right?  So I had my annual physical today – not like my lady physical – I share my life but some stuff doesn’t need sharing.  This was just my physical where they do your blood work and test all your cholesterol and such.  Technically my dr said I only need to come in every couple of years but my insurance covers a full work-up every year so of course I’m going to take them up on it.

Excluding your lady physical, how many of you go in for regular, yearly physicals?  How many of you actually know what your cholesterol is?

Everything came back awesome.  The first thing my doctor asked me before he even told me my results was if I exercised :)  He said my labs were fantastic and it was very evident that I’m in shape and physically active.  Yes!  Apparently my good, bad and combined ratio of cholesterol is phenomenal.  My iron levels are good, my liver functions are good, lipids are good… basically if this was a test in school I would have gotten an A+.  Except when it came to my glucose.

I should mention that I have a family history of diabetes.  Not like my mom or dad, more like on my mom’s dad’s side (which is a side I don’t know so I can’t ask them for more details)  so my doctor has always watched my glucose numbers because unfortunately a family history of diabetes can kick your butt even if you are super healthy and follow an amazing diet.  Now, my glucose levels are not out of the “normal” range, but they did happen to fall on the absolute highest level of normal…basically I’m 10 points (?) away from being pre-diabetic.  That is no good.

And again, he was not overly concerned with this but brought it up as something to watch.  Especially because at some point Chris and I would like kids and having a family history of diabetes can sometimes make a woman more susceptible to gestational diabetes which while temporary in some women, could push my levels over the edge and turn me diabetic which is really, really scary.

So we chatted and his best advice was to “stay slim.”  He said that’s actually a “prescription” they give to patients who become pre-diabetic.  He said the best thing I could do was to keep exercising and cut back on carbs – bread, pasta, rice.  And I admit, while I’m not a big bread eater we do eat a lot of pasta in this house.  A lot.  I would say that 75% of our weekly dinners involve some type of noodle.  It’s actually super interesting to me that this is the first time my levels have been this high and this past year I’ve been eating pasta a lot more than I had in the past.  Coincidence?  I’ve been trying to cut back on the noods anyway so it’s kind of nice to have a medical reason to take it easy.  Might make it easier to actually follow through.

Wow, ok this post is super long.  I need to get out of here before I write a novel.  Hope everyone has a great Friday and has some fun weekend stuff planned.  Tomorrow my mom and I are going berry picking and then we’re going to can things.  Can’t wait.

What time do you eat dinner? + great new dinner ideas

So Chris and I were driving home at around 5:45 and I asked him what time he would like to have dinner…and he told me 8.  Which is what led me to this post and made me realize I wanted to see what life is like at other people’s houses.

I love my husband very much but the one thing we are pretty different about is food.  As in he naturally eats like a bird where I eat more like a dinosaur. I swear he could go an entire day without eating.  Even on days where he runs 7 miles, he never gets hungry (I admit I could be exaggerating…he probably gets hungry… but for the sake of this post, humor me).  Now me, if I get hungry and there are no plans for food in the near future it’s not a good situation…picture a crazed animal on the attack. And it’s frustrating sometimes to not be on the same page.

Needless to say, I like to come home and eat my dinner right away.

I typically eat my standard protein shake breakfast at 7:30.

Today’s included blueberries, watermelon, spinach, peanut flour, protein powder and almond milk

And I follow that up with a snack at around 10:30/11, lunch after my workout around 1 or 2 and some sort of light snack around 4 or 5 with dinner preferably at 6 or 6:30.  But the problem is that Chris never wants to eat before 7.  For the most part, this is because he’s not hungry but I think this also has to do with “work style.”  He likes to come home and do tasks – walk the dog, work in the yard, misc chores etc and then relax where I prefer to relax, eat, and then do my tasks.  They say opposites attract right?  :)  Oh and let me also clarify that I am not some 50’s version June Cleaver who always does exactly what my man likes.  There are definitely days where we eat earlier or compromise.  Like today when we landed on 7:30.  Equal opportunity household here :)

Typically to get me through I end up having to eat a snack.  Like today:

Not the best choice but at least it wasn’t a bunch of chips.   Even though I ate that I’m still hungry but at least it’s manageable.  Plus I’ll head into the kitchen pretty soon to start working on dinner…penne rosa pasta with shrimp.  I seriously cannot wait.

Speaking of waiting…do you remember the movie, Can’t Hardly Wait?  I loved that movie when I was in high school and ended up watching it this morning while I ran on the treadmill.  I’ve totally gotten into a new favorite routine.  I dial up a movie on HBO on my ipad and watch it while cranking out 30-60 minutes of easy jogging.  Today I went for 60!  That’s the longest I’ve run in who knows when.  My knee only slightly started to hurt at the end and didn’t bug me at all once I got off.  I think my body is telling me it does not like hills and that all the hilly runs around my house contribute to my knee pain more than I thought. I also went to a pilates reformer class at lunch time.

All around great workout to kick off the week.

Now it’s your turn.  Tell me about your typical food eating routine. 

What time do you guys eat dinner? 

Do you have to work around the needs of other people in our house? 

Any tips for how to not be starving after work?

Oh and last thing – wanted to pass along this awesome collection of recipes my friend Amanda sent me.  How good do some of these look?

I will definitely be trying some of these out in the next few weeks so be on the lookout.  You can also check out my Pinterest Board for new healthy recipe ideas too.

Have a great night/good morning.

Watermelon infused water + our dinners for the week

If there is such a thing as “hot spinning,”  I’m pretty sure I did it.  I hopped on our spin bike around 5pm and rode for 45 minutes in what felt nearly identical to a sauna.  Sweat-y.  It was in the 90’s today and we don’t have air conditioning so the ceiling fan and an open window was all I had.  Glad to be done with that :)

I also got sweaty when I helped Chris for a bit in the yard, shoveling river rock into the backyard for our latest project.  I’m super excited, it’s looking awesome!  I’m particularly pumped for this one because it involves a new home for my garden.  Instead of having all my beds and various containers on the backside of the house, he’s creating a new area and new beds right outside the kitchen.  Much more accessible for my “farm to fork” dinners.  Which we enjoyed the last of tonight (sad).

I’m officially out of greens.  They’ve all bolted so from now on, any strawberry salads will have to be made using store-bought greens.  Such a travesty.

And while we’re on the topic of store-bought, here’s a glimpse into what I got at the store today.

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I meal plan and then grocery shop once a week and we try as hard as we can not to go back until the following week.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Here’s what dinners those groceries are going to turn into:

As you can see from the list above watermelon was not included in any of those dinners.  While not originally on my list, when I saw it at the store I had to have it and immediately cut it up when I got home.  I put some in the fridge for snacking, froze some for some delicious PB watermelon smoothies, and then decided to make some watermelon infused soda water with the rest.  It just felt like the right thing to do on a hot day like this.

Watermelon infused soda water:

  • 6-8 cans club soda
  • 2-3 cubs cubed watermelon
  • Ice

Pour everything into a big jar and enjoy.  Note – mint would be awesome with this but when I went to grab some out of the garden I realized I forgot to water it and now it’s dead.  Whoops.

And now I’m off watch some TV and waste some time on Pinterest and try not to melt :)

Question for you – how do you handle your grocery shopping?  Are you like me and go once a week with your planned out meals?  Or do you wing it?  Go whenever you need stuff? 

 

 

I have 1 million mosquito bites

I’m serious.  Like it looks like I have the chicken pox.  And they’re everywhere, including places bugs should never be venturing.  And it’s baffling to me.  Did I not feel the bugs when they were crawling/flying/biting these places?  Am I numb?  Were these magic bugs?  Chris was adamant about the mosquitoes when we were in Bend, so much so that he took nightly baths in OFF bug spray and I thought he was over reacting.  Who’s laughing now?

The good part is that for the most part, they don’t itch.  Except when they get scratched.  Which I try to avoid except when it’s impossible to do so.  Like when there’s one right at the spot the tongue/collar of your shoe hits.  See example below:

And don’t call me out here. I know nothing is rubbing against the bite in this picture. I was not wearing these shoes at the gym.  I was wearing my running shoes which come up higher and I swear, every step I took started this fury of itching.  But I toughed it out and did 60 minutes of cardio that looked a little like this:

  • 22 minutes treadmill – running at a 6.0 pace
  • 20 minutes elliptical – 10 min incline 2, resistance 7/10 min incline 2, resistance 10
  • 18 minutes on the bike – alternating between light/heavy resistance in and out of the saddle.

I followed that up with a variety of crunches – probably around 200 or so and attempted to do push-ups but thanks to Tuesday’s SUP, I didn’t make much progress.

And to follow-up my solid workout, I whipped up one of my favorite summer meals – Strawberry salad with homemade dressing.  This time we just split one chicken breast (normally we use two) and I subbed in spinach instead of mixed greens (all my lettuce bolted).

It was delicious.  We might have some popcorn later during the Olympics but overall I feel like I had a nice and healthy day of eating.  Blueberry smoothie for breakfast, rice cakes with hummus and turkey for lunch and an apple with almonds for my afternoon snack.  So far, so good with my Diet Bet.

And speaking of good.  Guess what I got in the mail today?  Peanut Flour!  I was so excited.  Like a little kid on Christmas morning even.  I’d been using PB2 (primarily in my smoothies but also good mixed with greek yogurt, in oatmeal, for peanut sauce etc) but it’s just a little too sweet for me so I switched back to my ‘ol favorite, Protein Plus Peanut Flour.  Less sugar and more protein than PB2 and just a smidge cheaper.  You can read about the time I tested them all here.  Just look how pretty it is.

Does anyone else use peanut flour?  Do you have a favorite brand?

How is everyone else doing on their Diet Bet?  Did you get the app?  I’ve found it to be super easy to use so far.

And I’m out.  Off to watch Lochte vs Phelps.  I’ve managed not to see who wins today which is a workout in itself hahah.  Have a good night and happy almost Friday :)

Sun River + the best smoothie ever

Hola! Happy Saturday morning to you :) Today is an extra good one for me since I’m hanging out in Sun River for the next few days. For those of you not familiar, Sun River is near Bend in Central Oregon and just so happens to be one of my favorite places ever. I just love the dry, sunny, dessert like climate. And everything smells deliciously of pine trees. Glorious.

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We’re here with my in-laws to celebrate my Father-in-law’s birthday on Tuesday and to just relax for the rest of the days. We got in last night (ps Chris and I both got up at 5am to make sure we got our workouts in. He ran, I rode the bike before we dropped Chance of for boarding…go us) walked down to the Village for dinner where I was good and ordered a chicken salad instead of a pulled pork sandwich and sweet potato fries and drank water while everyone else had beer. However I promptly ruined my good day of eating when we got home and discovered that a previous renter had left a big bowl of Reese’s PB cups in the cupboard. Whoops. Let’s not talk about how many I ate. Or the cookie I had after that or the glass of wine…(but in my defense I kept it to 1 only).

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But today’s a new day and a fresh start to eating. We brought our Magic Bullet so we could make smoothies and I whipped up a blueberry, banana, peanut butter concoction. Which was good but nothing like the one I made yesterday. It may have been my best smoothie EVER! You have to try it and tell me what you think.

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And now we’re off to check out a couple properties for sale (perfect world has us owning a vacation home here), followed by some pool time, bike rides and my honey dijon chicken and quinoa for dinner.

Hope you have a great day. Question for you – What’s your favorite place to vacation close to home?