Peanut Butter kind of day

My new shipment of PB2 was on the porch when we got home from work today.  I had been in out peanut flour for a while and it was horrible.  I was so sad.  I’d been using real peanut butter in our smoothies (oooh the horror!) and even Chris noticed.  The other day he asked what had happened to our peanut butter smoothies?  Thank goodness my stock is replenished.  I wasn’t thinking but I should have taken a pic of box – 2 jars of regular, 2 jars of chocolate and a bag of regular.  I don’t mess around I tell you.

And of course, I wanted some immediately so I whipped Chris and I up a pre-dinner protein shake.  I read somewhere that a protein shake made just with the powder and water/milk is a great way to fill up and help you avoid overeating at dinner.  I’ve tried it a couple of times and it seems to work.  Anyway, I got sidetracked.  Back to my smoothie. It was amazing!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

  • 4 tablespoons chocolate PB2 powder
  • 3/4 scoop protein powder ( I used Designer Whey French Vanilla)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • A handful of ice
  • 1 banana

Even though I’m super stuffed from dinner I wish I was drinking one right now.  I think I need to start stocking up on bananas because I feel like this would be great as a dessert.  Plus it served its purpose.  After we had these, Chris went out and mowed the yard while I got back on to the computer to follow-up on some work stuff.  Not only has work continued to be super busy but I found out today I’m going to be in a workshop all-day-long for the next 3 days.  Sheesh.  Looks like it’s morning workouts for this lady this week :)

Speaking of workouts I was hoping to get to my normal 12:15 pilates reformer class but I had to go to a lunch meeting.  Some people might like lunch meetings but I do not.  The noon hour is my time – my WORKOUT time.  A free sandwich does not make up for that.  But thankfully I found a little free time in my calendar and made it to the gym for some cardio.

  • 25 min slow run – we’re talking 5.6 pace.  I wanted to see how my knee felt going slow.  Surprise, surprise it still hurt.
  • 15 min on the rowing machine
  • 25 min on the bike at a decent resistance with the last 10 being 1 minute seated/out of the saddle intervals.

I ended it with some stretching and abs.  All the foam rollers, even the crummy ones, were mysteriously missing from the stretching room so that was a bummer.  I actually should be rolling out right now.

But before I head out, I have to tell you about my dinner.  Which also in a pleasant coincidence, included peanut butter.  Last week I was trying to come up with something that would allow me to use some leftover broccoli and I found this recipe. Because we didn’t end up getting to it last week I slated it for tonight’s dinner when I was meal planning yesterday.  I almost followed the recipe exactly.  My only changes? I used yakisoba noodles and added in chicken.  Seriously good.  We both loved it.  The only complaint is that it made A LOT of sauce.  I only used half of it and am going to attempt to re-use it tomorrow with red peppers instead of broccoli. If you don’t plan on re-using it I’d recommend halving what the recipe calls for – I’m pretty sure you’d get the same consistency.

Peanut Sauce with Linguini and Broccoli
Recipe from Will Cook For Friends


And now I’m off to foam roll and drink some water.  How are you all doing with the #hydrateinjuly challenge?  Slowly but surely I’m drinking more water in the morning.

 

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Making homemade peanut butter

So recently I’ve become obsessed with Bee-Nut butter.  I picked some up last Saturday and the jar is almost gone and that made me sad.  I was going to pick some up yesterday but it’s almost $7 a jar and I got to thinking…the only ingredients are peanuts, honey and sea salt…it couldn’t possibly be that hard to make my own right?  I’ve made almond butter before and it’s super easy.  You just dump almonds and a little olive oil in a food processor and let it go.  So I figured peanut butter (the nuts only cost me $3) would be more or less the same.  And it was.  And it was equally delicious.

Honey Coconut Peanut Butter
Makes 16oz.

  • 2 cups roasted un-salted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Sea salt to taste

Place peanuts and oil in a food processor.  Process for about 2 minutes and then scrape down the sides, add in honey and then process for few more minutes.  The peanuts will get crumbly looking and you’ll start thinking that you’ll never end up with peanut butter but all the sudden it starts turning into a big blob and then BAM. It gets creamy.  That’s when you know you’re in business.  At that point I started adding in salt until I liked the taste.  After eating a couple spoonfuls, I transferred the peanut butter into a mason jar and stored in the fridge.  Can’t wait to have it on my apples today.

Note – Make sure to use a larger/stronger food processor.  Don’t use a mini or it could overheat and break.  I think mine is a 7 cup? 

Has anyone else made their own nut butters?  Any good recipes to share?

And since I had my food processor out, I decided to make hummus using this recipe.  I packed it up in one of our glass containers (we have zero plastic storage containers in our house by the way.  BPA freaks me out) and will be having it plus carrots this week for my afternoon snack.

And since I was in prep-mode, I cut up a huge seedless watermelon so that any sweet cravings I get this week can be satisfied with fruit and not candy. Some went into a bowl in the fridge and some was packed up for work food.

And finally, because I just hadn’t messed up enough pans, spoons and bowls, I made us some spicy penne rosa with shrimp (minus the spinach) for dinner. I added a little more greek yogurt than normal and it was so much creamier.  Not sure if it was because it was the first meal I’d eaten that didn’t require being grilled on the campfire or what, but it was extra amazing.

All that work in the kitchen seriously wore me out but I’m so glad I did it.  All my snacks for the week are prepped so now when I get up in the morning it’s an easy grab an go.

What about you guys?  Are you Sunday food preppers?  Any other favorite easy snack ideas to share? 

The jam plan

Do you remember the Friend’s episode where Monica breaks up with Richard and in order to feel better she makes tons and tons of jam?  I think eventually she gives up the jam plan and then decides to just have babies or something along those lines…I miss Friends.  Such a great show.

Anyway, back to the point of my story.  Jam.  I love jam.  And lately I’ve been seeing tons of recipes for chia seed jam and it’s been intriguing me. First, a little review of what chia seeds are…they look like this:

And sometimes come in a package that looks like this.  I typically buy Bob’s Red Mill brand but I couldn’t find them this time.

The benefits of chia seeds are awesome.  They have omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, iron and protein.  I’ve put them in my overnight oats, on peanut butter toast for a little crunch, and in my smoothies (beware they do get in your teeth).  And now I’ve made jam with them. See, once you soak the seeds in liquid they expand and turn sort of jelly like and I’m assuming that quality is what led people to start making jam with them.

I’d seen a couple different recipes floating around but I decided to try out this one from Brittany at Eating Bird Food (mostly because her pics looked amazing). The original recipe is here but I had a few more strawberries than she did so I modified it just a little.

Strawberry Chia Jam (courtesy of Eating Bird Food)

  • 1.5 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1.5 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • Agave nectar to taste (you could also use stevia or honey)

Directions:  Mash up the strawberries (I tried using a fork but that took too long so eventually I just tossed them into the blender).  Add chia seeds, water and agave. Cover and store in the fridge for at least an hour.

I poured the jam from the bowl into a mason jar before storing in the fridge.  I mean, jam just belongs in a mason jar.  I really had no choice.

And then later I broke it out for a taste test.  I topped a plain rice cake with Justin’s Honey PB and then added the jam.  Verdict?  Winner!  Honestly it tasted like regular strawberry jam and I felt really good knowing there was nothing funky or artificial in it.

In fact, the jam was so good even Chance wanted some.

Well actually he probably wanted the PB but I’m sure he would have enjoyed the jam.

And in other non-jam news, I’m working from home today and even though I wanted to just sit around and watch the Today Show, I hopped on the spin bike for some sweaty cardio.  I rode for 30 minutes at a moderate resistance (while watching the final segment of the Weight of the Nation documentary) and then 15 minutes of intervals – 1 minute recovery, 30 seconds out of the saddle with hard resistance.

And then I ate this for breakfast…blueberry protein smoothie, an egg pouf with hot sauce (2 eggs microwaved for 1:30) and some coffee with almond milk.  Breakfast of champions I tell you.

And I’m out.  Off to get some work done before we go camping.  Normally I would be super excited except that in typical Pacific Northwest fashion, the weather forecast is calling for nonstop showers which ironically doesn’t phase me all that much since the last 3 times we’ve camped it’s been in the rain. Luckily I’ve got some rain pants.

Do you guys have any fun plans for the weekend?  What are your thoughts on rain camping?  Would you still go or bag it?

Oh and I also wanted to pass this along.  The Fitnessista, my all-time favorite blogger was picked as one of the top 10 online fitness influencers.  How freaking cool is that?  She’s the one who inspired me to start blogging and start experimenting more with foods.  Love her.  And of course my fave lady ever, Jillian, took home the #1 spot – freaking rockstar.

What do you guys think about this list?  Are you influenced by anyone on there?

 

 

 

 

If you give a mouse a cookie…

He’s going to want a glass of milk*

Except we’re not talking mice and baked goods.  We’re talking about these guys:

How beautiful is that strawberry???  I came home after work to water my plants and saw that my strawberries had finally popped.  Woo hoo!  There is just something about growing your own food in your own backyard that makes you feel good.  Like, “I did that thank-you-very-much.” Plus, it feels like a sign of summer.  June strawberries = summertime.

And what did I do promptly after seeing said berry?

Ate it.  Duh.  But like I mentioned earlier, if you give a mouse lady a cookie strawberry, she’s going to start craving a strawberry smoothie :)  Which is exactly what I made.

Strawberry Cheesecake Protein Smoothie

  • 6-8 fresh strawberries (I wish I could say these came from my garden but we’re not quite there in.  These came from the organic section of Fred Meyer)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar-free, fat-free cheesecake pudding mix
  • 6-8 ice cubes

And the outtake:

Delicious.

We’re meeting some friends for dinner at Matador which is my favorite mexican restaurant and I wanted to make sure I didn’t go there starving. Did you know a protein smoothie makes a great post-work, pre-dinner snack?  My smoothie was around 200 calories with 12 grams of protein and approx 6 grams of fiber. Much better than a handful of chips.

What about you?  Do you eat a snack before dinner?  Even though I usually have something around 3-4 I always want to eat something right when I get home.  Sometimes it’s just because I’m home and eating something after a crazy day at work relaxes me and then sometimes it is genuine hunger.  This is a big area for me to work on.  Eat when I’m hungry instead of eating because I like being snacky.

Luckily, today was true and honest hunger.  Probably because I got my boo-tay kicked this afternoon at spin & sculpt.  Spin & sculpt is a class just like it sounds – 30 minutes of a spin class plus 30 minutes of sculpting (HIIT workouts – 60 seconds at a variety of stations).  I used to go to the class pretty regularly, at least twice a week, but the sculpt tends to bug my knee depending on what we’re doing.  But now since I’m not running Hood to Coast I’m a little less concerned about how my knees feel.  I’m sure a doctor would never agree with that advice but too bad (for now).

Anyway, spin was crazy.  Lots and lots of intervals in and out of the saddle.  I actually thought I was going to puke at the end.  And then we started the sculpt portion which looked like this:

Run up, around, and back down the gym stairs.  repeat the circuit.  Finish with abs, including a side raise toe touch thing that I’d never done but love (and can’t find an example of anywhere so at some point I should just make a video) along with a 30 second plank where I was the only person in class who was able to take it to the next level and raise one leg.  Thank you pilates.

And now I’m actually off to foam roll my legs so that I can walk tomorrow.  Happy almost Friday my friends.

* Please tell me you all have read and love, “If you give a mouse a cookie.”  It is probably my favorite children’s book.  That, and “Love you forever.” 

Snack Attack

Can we just talk for a minute about this amazing snack I had yesterday?  I mean, like seriously the best thing ever.  Are you ready?  Have I built up enough suspense?  Are you totally dying to hear what I’m going to say?  How about an iphone edited Instagram photo instead? (side note – I’m obsessed with Instagram.  You have to get it.  You can also follow me @whitlikesfit, but be careful.  You might find yourself turning all your iphone pics into fancy vintage shots).

What is that you ask?  I’ll tell you…

Apple Cinnamon Greek Yogurt

All you need is 1 non-fat plain greek yogurt cup, a bunch of cinnamon and an organic apple.

I considered chopping up the apple into the yogurt but I was a little lazy so I just stirred the cinnamon into the yogurt, chopped up the apple (yes, I store a sharp knife in my desk) and then dipped the apple slices into the yogurt.  I wish I could share taste with you through the internet but because I can’t, you need to trust me when I say that what I tell you here is the truth :)  You need to try this.  I will admit this was an amazing apple.  Super sweet.  It wasn’t a pink lady but something similar and I’m sure that helped with the sweetness so if things are still a little sour for you then add a tiny bit of honey.  It’s kind of like a creamy apple pie.  Yum. I will be having it again this afternoon.

To be honest, the above snack was the most exciting thing that’s happened to me in the past 24 hours hahah.  Dinner was leftover BBQ chicken pizza and a strawberry salad. My workout yesterday was a pilates reformer class, 30 minutes on the elliptical (varying between levels 7 and 15!) and then I did a 5 minute wall-sit!  I didn’t mean to sit that long but Boyfriend by Justin Bieber came on and embarrassingly enough rocking out to that song (in my head, my body was pretty static) helped carry me through.

This morning we got up and hit the gym before work.  I ran 2.5 miles on the treadmill (my knees hate me by the way), 25 minutes on the elliptical doing 1 minute intervals between levels 7 and 12, 15 minutes on the rowing machine and this 3 times through with very little rest between (wearing a short dress to the wedding this Saturday and need to get my legs in shape):

  • 20 squats (20lb)
  • 20 deadlifts (20lb)
  • 20 step-ups (each leg)

And then I brought bags of ice back to my desk and held them on my knees while simultaneously holding the phone with my other hand and talking on a conference call.  Multitasking at it’s finest.

Do you guys ever do wall-sits?  My family is crazy and we would have wall-sit competitions to see who could do it the longest.  Try it and see how long you can hold it for.  Here’s info on how to do a proper one. Key things to remember – knees over toes with a 90 degree bend in the leg.  This video says you can put your hands on the wall or your thighs but I always keep my hands out in front of me or clasped.  For an extra challenge hold a medicine ball in front of you or over your head :)

Snacking on Strawberries

I bought Bob Harper’s, The Skinny Rules over the weekend and while I’ll admit that I haven’t really read it yet, I did skim the table of contents to see what all the rules were.  Overall, there was nothing super surprising in the book.  Just good common sense with helpful ways to actually do them.  I’ll try and talk about all the variety of rules as I get further along in the book but here are a couple that I’ll talk about today:

  • Eat apples and berries every single day
  • Eat 30-50 grams of fiber every day
  • Eat protein with every single meal

I actually try to do these 3 things every day anyway.  I have blueberries every morning in my smoothie, make sure I eat things high in fiber (whole wheat pasta, apples) and thanks to Chris, never eat a meal without protein (he’s a firm believer in eating protein to keep you full).  However, as I was looking at Bob’s list of high-fiber foods, I was surprised that strawberries are at the top of the list.  He says that 1/2 cup of strawberries have 9 grams of fiber!  That’s a lot!  And so I was thinking, “hmmm, how could I combine those 3 rules into 1 healthy snack?”  Oh wait, I know.  Strawberries and greek yogurt for my mid-morning snack.  So I chopped up a bunch of strawberries and plan on taking them to work and mixing them in with non-fat, plain greek yogurt.  An under 200 calorie snack with 15+ grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber.  Pretty good, don’t you think?

Oh and this has nothing to do with strawberries but more to do with fiber…Bob included this protein/fiber/meal replacement drink. I haven’t made it yet but definitely will be trying it out. You know how I love my smoothies.

Bob Harper’s Mean, Green Drink Meal Replacement

  • 2 tablespoons protein powder
  • 1 cup chopped fresh kale
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 small banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 20 ounces water

Directions: Blend everything up in a blender.  Enjoy
14g fiber, 340 calories.

Thoughts on Bob’s rules?  Makes total sense.  Good antioxidants and fiber in the fruit plus protein to keep you full.  No brainier if you ask me.  Sometimes it just has to be spelled out in plain English to make you actually do it.

Has anyone else read The Skinny Rules?

No resting at the gym

Yesterday at the gym I saw 6 different people on the elliptical resting their arms during their workout.  6.  6 people.  Including a guy.  That’s crazy to me.  I get that some days you’re going to hop on a bike or elliptical with a trashy gossip magazine and leisurely pedal your way through 30 minutes of easy cardio but I just don’t believe that all 6 of these people were having that type of day.  I think these people we just phoning it in (Jillian Michaels’ term)  a little bit and not giving it all their all.  When you’re doing your cardio, do your cardio.  Work up a sweat.  Move your arms!  Do not rest them on the sides of the machine.  You’ll raise your heart rate and burn more calories.  And while we’re on the topic of cardio, please add some resistance.  It’s great if you’re pumping your arms and moving your legs but you need some resistance on there to make a difference.  Plus it will help you build muscle.  And that’s good.

Now that I’m done ranting, here’s what I did at the gym:

20 minute warm-up on the rowing machine
Leg Extension: 50 lbs. 3 sets of 20 reps
Leg/Chest circuit 3 times through:

  • Deadlifts – 50 lbs.  15 reps
  • Squats – 50 lbs.  15 reps
  • Squats with leg lift – 15 on each side
  • Chest flies (lying on a weight bench) – 15 lbs. 12 reps.
  • Chest press (lying on a weight bench) – 15 bs.  12 reps
  • Step ups – 20 on each leg

Tricep extension – 25lbs.  3 sets of 12.
Leg press: 160 lbs.  3 sets of 12.
20 minutes on the elliptical.  Alternating minutes of level 7 (slower) and level 4 (quick).

I got home and we had a quick protein smoothie to hold us over until dinner.

Banana Strawberry Protein smoothie (serves 2)
Blend everything and enjoy.

  • 1/2 cup frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 4 scoops vanilla protein powder (I use vitacost whey)
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 cup non-fat organic milk

After smoothies, we headed to the driving range where I realized that all of my golf lessons from last year have been forgotten.  I was pretty bad.  More than 50% of the time I swung a club and didn’t hit a ball.  But it was still fun.  I’m going to go back this weekend.

And then after golf we headed into the village and hit up Lucky Lab where I only ate one slice of pizza.  That’s big.  I never eat just one slice.  Go me.  And then we headed to Journeys.  1st time there in 2 weeks!  I had two glasses of Rose and then we headed home.

Talk about no rest!  I was go go going until 10pm.  Sheesh.  Things are almost back to normal today.  Longer than normal morning meeting but I’m going to try to get to pilates at 1:15.  Can’t wait.

Question for you – when you’re at the gym, are you guilty of not giving your all?  Do you rest your arms on the elliptical?  Or veg out and watch TV?

 

Fun with protein powder on a Friday night

Wild Friday night over at this house.  Let me tell you.  While Chris is off in Vegas at a Bachelor party I decided to experiment with protein powder and see what kind of semi healthy treats I could make.  I made 3 things and while all of them are delicious, I don’t know how “healthy” any of them are.  I’ll let you be the judge below.

Butterscotch Oatmeal Protein Cookies

I saw a recipe on the back of our oatmeal box and tried to figure out how to make it healthier and add in some additional protein.  I know baking is a science and things need to be a certain way to turn out right but I’ll tell you right now I don’t roll that way.  I dump stuff into a bowl and see what happens.  And these turned out pretty good. After they came out of the oven I let them cool and then stored them in the freezer.  Mostly so that if I really want a cookie I have to let it thaw and hopefully that will prevent me from eating a million in one setting.

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 350F.  Mix everything together and place slightly flattened balls on an un-greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Makes 24-30 cookies

  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup protein powder (I used vitacost vanilla whey)
  • 1 cup coconut flour (if I make these again I would use regular flour)
  • 1 &1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1/2 bag butterscotch chips

Nutrition per cookie (from myfitnesspal):
130 calories
5 g protein
5 g sugar
7 g fat (this is good fat from the coconut oil)
3 g fiber

Up next is something I don’t even know if I should share on here because they are so good they’ll probably get you in trouble.  And then you’ll get mad at me for telling you about them.  But they’re soooooooo good.

I started brainstorming about a new protein bar on Monday after I ate a Zone bar in the car on the way home from the beach. The protein bars I made a couple of weeks ago were good but I wanted that crunch from the Zone bar.  And so I found a recipe from Dashing Dish.  If you have not checked out her updated site, you must.  It’s awesome.  I mean, how could you not want to make something called Peanut Butter Protein Rice Crispy Treats?  The DD version had 9 grams of protein per bar and only made 9.  I wanted to double that amount and get a couple more grams of protein so again, more experimentation.  And I will admit at one point I was dumping random things in so I’m hoping this is an accurate recipe.  Worse case, follow the one on Dashing Dish.  You won’t be disappointment.

Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Protein Bars
(Original Recipe belongs to Dashing Dish).  My version makes about 18 bars.

  • 5 cups gluten free rice crispy treats (the GF brand was cheaper than Kellogg.  Unless you have to be GF you could use the original)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used TJ’s creamy Valencia with sea salt)
  • 1/4 cup protein plus peanut flour
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax meal
  • 2 cups protein powder (I used vitacost vanilla whey)
  • 1/2 bag dark chocolate chunks
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

Now the directions is where it gets a little tricky.  In the DD version, Katie says to mix everything together in a bowl. Instead, I started out with the food processor because I wanted the apricots chopped.  I got through the apricots, PB, peanut flour, honey, banana, flax, protein powder, and then after adding in 2 cups of the rice crispies I realized I had a problem.  The food processor ground up the cereal so that it was super fine and that’s not what I wanted.  I wanted the crunch of the crispies.  So at that point I transferred everything out of the food processor and into a bowl and painstakingly mixed in the rest of the cereal.  I DO NOT recommend this method.  The mixture was so gluey from all the fruit and honey, plus the protein powder was getting thick… It was a serious workout getting everything mixed.  I even had to give up and eventually mix it all by hand.  If I were to do this again, I would mix up the apricots and banana in the food processor and then transfer to a stand mixer or huge bowl and then mix everything together.  I think it would be a lot easier.

After I got everything mixed, I pressed it into a 9×13 pan sprayed with olive oil.  Then I melted the chocolate plus coconut oil in the microwave (you really need to watch this so it doesn’t burn.  I’d go about 15 sec, mix and then 15 more).  The chocolate will be super liquidy but that’s ok.  Pour it over the rice crispy mixture and tilt the pan so it covers everything.  Pop the whole thing in the freezer for a couple of hours.  And voila.  Done.  But be careful.  Don’t try them or you will end up eating 3.

Nutrition per bar (from myfitnesspal):
300 calories
13 g protein
10 g sugar (These would be good without chocolate which would cut down the sugar)
15 g fat (this is a lot but some of it is good from the coconut and peanut butter)
3 g fiber

And after I had made both of those I had leftover bags of both dark chocolate and butterscotch chips.  And at first I put them in freezer and was done in the kitchen for the night.  But then I realized that unless those chips were used up, I would be going back to the freezer constantly until I’d eaten my way through both bags.  So I came up with this completely random recipe.

Butterscotch/Chocolate haystacks
Melt the chips and mix everything together.  Scoop into balls and freeze.  Store in the freezer.   Makes about 18 stacks.

  • 1/2 bag dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 bag butterscotch chips
  • 4 tablespoons ground flax
  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • 2 cups Kellogg bran buds
  • 1 cup GF rice crispies

Nutrition per stack (FYI I’m not claiming that these are good for you):
130 calories
3 g protein
11 g iron
5 g fiber
14 g sugar
7 g fat

These are definitely a dessert and I’m hoping one of these little guys will be enough to ward off those after dinner sweet cravings I always seem to get.

So there you go.  3 ways to use protein powder.  After all of that time in the kitchen I was exhausted so I curled up on the couch and caught up on Revenge and New Girl.  This morning I got sucked into a marathon of Bethenny Every After and now it’s almost noon and I feel like I’ve done nothing with my day besides watch TV, blog and eat oatmeal.  I’m going to spend some time with my friend the spin bike and then I have a bridal shower to go to at 2.

I know it’s Cinco De Mayo but after my big bday last weekend and with Chris out of town, I’m not super into it.  I would be quite happy if I spent another night cozied up on the couch with a girly chick flick.  But I might hit up Journey’s with some friends later.  Do you guys ever have weekends like that?  Where you want to do nothing but stay in?

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Mind over matter

That’s what Jillian told me this morning, “mind over matter.”  She said this to me as I was doing her 30 Day Shred.  The ENTIRE DVD.  That would be all 3 levels in descending order.  See normally, you’re supposed to do 1 level for a good 20 minute workout but I wanted to kick my butt so I did them all.  Am I a crazy woman?  Maybe so.  Am I going to be sore tomorrow?  You bet.

See, I just haven’t felt like I have it together this week.  Last weekend I enjoyed myself and didn’t worry about food or fitness.  And normally I’d get everything back in order during the week – eat good, work-out etc.  But this week has been super random.  I went out with some friends for a belated bday celebration Tuesday (had Mexican food and drinks) and then the rest of the week has been spent at the photo studio, totally throwing off my normal schedule.  I’ve had to squeeze workouts in at random times and I haven’t been able to push myself as much as I normally like to.  Add that to a table full of sweet temptations at the studio (which I’ve enjoyed) and larger than normal lunches and I just feel like of blah.

I did manage to eat a pretty healthy dinner last night though.  Left-over stir fry with some kale chips.  I’d made kale chips once before and they were kind of a fail but last night I followed a recipe from Kath Eats Real Food and they were fantastic.  Highly recommend them.  I actually ended up eating my whole bunch of kale so I’m going to need to pick some more up this weekend.

Kale Chips (Recipe from Kath Eats)

  • Preheat oven to about 375
  • Use about 1 OXO salad spinner’s worth of kale (which was a stuffed grocery store veggie bag). Tear the leaves off the thick stems into bite size pieces. Spread out on cookie sheets.
  • Drizzle with about 2 tsp of olive oil
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan, Asiago or your seasonings of choice. Plus a sprinkle of kosher salt.  Note – I added some cayanne.  I like my food spicy!
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, until edges are brown and kale is crispy when moved in pan.

After dinner, my random schedule continued when I went over to my friend’s house to drop off some dinner and visit with the most adorable 1 month old ever.  Can I just say that baby John is so cute???  Chris and I aren’t quite ready for kids but after holding this little guy for almost 2 hours the idea is certainly a little more tempting.  He just smelled so good and when he was all cuddled up, sleeping in my arms… kind of blissful :) Not to mention I was able to enjoy a mason jar of beer while holding him.  Multi-tasking at it’s finest.  I also learned some lessons from the new parents – apparently the Happiest Baby on the Block is the method to follow if you have a crying baby.  Good to know for the future.

When I got home, it was around 8:30 and I still hadn’t gotten a workout in and I was dying.  Just feeling a little gross.  So I hopped on the spin bike and rode for an hour while watching TV.  I’ll admit, not the hardest workout but I did get my heart rate up and worked up a sweat.  And I felt better doing something.  Plus Chance kept me company :)

And even though it was pushing 10pm when I finished, I made myself a protein shake.  Mostly because I wanted something sweet as opposed actually needing the protein.

Cherry Cheesecake Protein Shake:

  • 1 cup frozen dark pitted cherries
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar-free/fat-free instant cheesecake pudding mix

And then as I was crawling into bed later I told myself I was going to get up in the morning and work-out.  The shoot was probably going to go long and then I had plans to meet up with friends later so I knew that getting a workout in was going to be challenging.  Plus, at least for me, I tend to make better food choices if I know I’ve already worked out.  For example, I’m much less likely to snack on peanut M&Ms when I know I can’t work them off.  Make sense?  Yesterday for example, I kept telling myself, “I’ll workout after work and work off all of this that I’m eating.”  Basically erasing the calories I’ve consumed.  But with working out at the beginning of the morning, I won’t have the chance to erase things and I’m more motivated to keep my diet clean.

But when my alarm when off at 5 am I was just not feeling it.  I seriously laid in bed, hitting the snooze for almost 45 minutes trying to talk myself into getting up.  I kept rationalizing why it would be okay to skip my morning workout…I’ll eat good, ride the spin bike after work, skip drinks with my friend.  And finally at around 5:45 I just got up and MADE myself but on my training shoes.  And I’ll be honest.  It sucked at first.  I was cold and tired and Jillian was yelling around.  Ug.  But then something happened.  By the time I was halfway through the 1st level I had found my groove.  The cobwebs were gone, the workout endorphins were starting to kick in and I was so glad I’d made myself get up.  Mind over matter.  Jillian was right.  No excuses.  Just do it.  Sometimes you just have to force yourself to get out of that bed and work up a sweat.  You’ll thank yourself later, because I honestly can’t think of a time where you’d regret it.  And then because I was enjoying (is that the right word hahah?) I made myself do all 3 levels starting with 3 and going backwards.  I’ve only done that one other time and all I remember is being super sore the next day so I’m pretty sure that’s what I’ll wake up to tomorrow.  But it will be worth it.

Allrighty, this has turned into the longest post ever and if anyone has made it this far, nice work!   Hopefully you all have some fun plans for the weekend…Until tomorrow :)

Know your audience

My degree is in communication and all through school my professors hammered the importance of knowing your audience.  As in, understand who you’re talking to.  Giving a presentation to a room full of designers?  Don’t run through a million spreadsheets, make it visual.  Talking to kids?  Make it fun.

What does this have to do with being fit?  Well, yesterday my co-workers surprised me with some birthday treats and instead of the standard muffin/cookie/bagel spread, they brought out humus, veggies and sesame crackers.  And it just made me so happy.  Obviously it’s great that they care about me, I couldn’t ask for cooler people to work with.  But beyond that, it made me feel so good to know that they GET who I am. I try every day to lead a healthy life, and be an example to others.  And it makes me realize that my daily treks to the gym, protein smoothies in the break room, and random emails about the newest health trend don’t go unnoticed.  That whether or not they chose to follow my lead, they’re at least aware of where I’m going.  They knew I would never eat a bunch of brownies but that I’d dig right into some carrots and dip.  They knew their audience.

It totally made my day.  And if any of my co-workers are reading, thank you.  It meant a lot to me.

Healthy snacks

And flowers

The rest of yesterday was relatively uneventful.  20 minutes on the elliptical and 25 min on the bike.  Not the hardest workout, but a nice way to ease back into things.  I went to the grocery store after work which meant I got home later than normal and had the most random dinner ever.  While Chris had a leftover steak burrito, I had a cherry cheesecake protein shake (recipe to come, still perfecting it) and fresh crab leftover from Saturday (can I still call it fresh?). Told you it was random.

I’m heading off to the gym for cardio intervals on the treadmill and some weights.  Tonight we’re celebrating my bday with some friends in town at my favorite Mexican restaurant.  Can’t wait for another large marge.

Have a great Tuesday.  Do you have any fun co-worker stories to share.