Almost home

I’m almost home! Well, sort of. I’ve got about an hour and a half left at the airport and then a 5 and a half hour flight but then I’m home. Can’t wait. I haven’t slept in my own bed since last Tuesday night so I’m pretty jazzed.

You know what else I’m excited for? Pilates! I’m signed up for a class at 12:15 tomorrow and am crossing my fingers that nothing at work comes up to get in my way.

And speaking of workouts, I managed to clean up the past few days and get some workouts and veggies back into my system. Normally work functions are crazy – lots of food/drinks etc and while all of that was definitely offered, I was better than I’ve been in the past – skipped desserts and only had one glass of wine last night.

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Plus I worked out all 3 days (FYI this Westin workout facility paled in comparison to others I’ve been to). Cardio and weights Monday. 40 minutes on the treadmill Tuesday, and a quick 30 minute Nike Training Club session in my hotel room this morning.

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Oh and before I forget, I have to tell you about the BEST yogurt I have ever had (not kidding, probably the highlight if this trip). It’s some sort of homemade Greek variety with real vanilla flecks. It was sooooo good. I’ve tried to research it and thinking it might be made by Atlanta Fresh? If anyone in the Atlanta area has ever heard of this yogurt let me know. The catering company was A Divine Event. I’m borderline so obsessed with this yogurt (and homemade granola) that I might contact them to see if there’s anyway they can tell me where they got this yogurt. I NEED it in Portland.

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What else, what else. Oh here’s a photo of me in grown-up clothes (taken in my closet). No real reason for this other than I like to document that my work wardrobe now includes things like dress pants and belts as opposed to hoodies and sneakers. I mean, right now I’m at the airport wearing a blazer. Wow-e.

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And with that, I’m off. I have a little reading to tackle before I go hunt down some dinner. Let me tell you. There are NO healthy options here. What I wouldn’t do for some Subway…

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I have become a grown up

Want to know why? Because I now go into work before flights. We leave at 12:45 for SF and before, I’d take the full day off. No need to be stressed on travel days.

Nope.

Now I go to work to bang things out. And I put my cell phone # on my out office and tell people to call me. I say things like “responses may be delayed.”
Um, they should be. It’s my vacation.

Who am I?

A lady who crams a lot into a little. Take my workouts for example. All occurred before work this week. A run on Monday. Pilates and the elliptical Tuesday and the spin bike + some jumping jack/squat/sit-up/push-up action yesterday. No workout today because we headed to the coast after work to see the in-laws and drop Chance off with them. And then we got up this morning and drove straight to work from the beach.

Side note – I love nights like last night. Got to hang with awesome people, see the stars, hear the sounds of the ocean as I fall asleep. Fantastic.

And now I’m off to the airport. Hope you are all having great weeks so far. Woo hoo for being this close to the weekend.

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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.

Work trips + guest post

I’m officially on day 2 of the new gig and I’m coming to you from Chapel Hill North Carolina. Apparently starting a new job wasn’t enough…instead, my boss wanted me to start it in NC during a 3 day offsite with people I’d never met before. While I was totally freaking out Sunday night, I’ve made it through the travel and the awkwardness of meeting everyone so hopefully the next 2 days will be smooth sailing.

I can’t wait to get home and chat more about staying healthy while traveling but for now it’s off to a meeting.

I’ll leave you with 2 things.

This is what my morning looked like: 4 miles on the hotel treadmill (PS 5:30 AM EST = 2:30 AM PST).

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And if you really miss me you can head on over to Healthy Living Blogs where I’m guest posting today.

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?

Spicy chicken tomato cream sauce over broccoli

Wait, what is going on here? Someone is blogging about her day the day it actually happened? Like for real, on an actual computer? Pinch me I must be dreaming.

And what great things do I have to share with you today? How about a little twist on a classic? Like I’ve mentioned here before, Chris looooves pasta. If it were up to him, we would have some sort of penne pasta every night (or maybe bean and cheese burritos). And tonight was no exception. I needed to use up some of the last tomatoes from our yard and had chicken thawed from earlier in the week (note – we buy organic chicken breasts from Costco but I split each breast in two. They are gigantic). So of course, we had pasta. I pretty much followed this spicy shrimp pasta recipe, tweaking things ever so slightly.

I chopped up 2 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Sautéed them in olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes.

Then I chopped up a bunch of smallish tomatoes (probably 8-10).

Then I added said tomatoes to chicken (and sprinkled in more garlic and flakes).

I stirred that around on medium heat for 5ish minutes. The sauce will start to thicken just a bit.

Then I added in goat cheese (about half of a container) and about 1/4 cup non-fat, plain greek yogurt.

I poured it over noodles for Chris.

And steamed broccoli for me.

Don’t forget to top with sriracha.

Lemme tell you, this meal was delicious. I’ve been trying to tone back my noodle intake but it’s been hard since Chris loves them so much and tonight’s dinner proved a great solution. Besides steaming the broccoli, this wasn’t any more work than making one big batch of pasta and I felt so much better about what I was eating. Highly recommend it.

In other news, I have become obsessed with the gym stepmills. I’ve always loved these machines but they hurt my knees. I hopped on one the other day to test things out and at I realized that the machines store all the other people’s workouts. You hop on and you can see the weekly average and highest “score” (stairs and calories). Um, are you kidding me? Amazing. I did 30 minutes on one Tuesday and got the 2nd highest score (you can actually enter your name into the machine) and then today did 28 minutes and climbed 130 floors to take the top spot. I am a dork. And also my knees hurt. Clearly I cannot continue this.

Um ok, now it’s time to watch Grey’s. They totally jumped the shark last season…hello plane crash? But I’m too invested in it to quit watching. Hope you had a great night and happy Friday.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Muffins

Like I mentioned here I procrastinated yesterday and baked instead of being productive.  Well, good thing I did because these muffins were worth it.  You know what else was worth it?  Being home and able to take pictures in perfect light.

And now for the recipe.  I started with Tina’s Pumpkin Walnut Paleo muffins and then subtracted a few things (almond butter) and added in a few things (cream cheese).

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cream-Cheese Muffins
Makes 12

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond flour/meal
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter ( I used Justin’s Honey PB)
  • 1/2 cup honey + 1 tablespoon for filling
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 oz light cream cheese

Directions
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix pumpkin, almond flour, eggs, PB, 1/2 cup honey, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt together.  Fill greased muffin tins halfway full with muffin mixture.  Set remaining mixture aside.  Mix cream cheese and remaining honey together.  Add a dollop of cream cheese mix to muffin tins.  Top off muffin tins with remaining batter. Bake for 32 – 35 minutes.

Questions?

I could never be a housewife

I’m off work this week and had grand plans to accomplish a bunch of things I never got to this summer – cleaning closets, organizing the gym etc. And today, I had a rather large list of things I was hoping to check off. And yet somehow it’s 2:17 and nearly none of those have been accomplished.

Except one.

So that’s good I guess.

And now, while I still have the opportunity to be productive I’m sitting here waiting for some delicious smelling things to be done in the oven. Because of course the logical thing to do when you have a million tasks to accomplish is to bake pumpkin peanut butter cream-cheese filled muffins. Duh.

So the lesson we have learned here today friends is that I could never be a stay-at-home housewife. I would have the dirtiest house ever, my husband would not arrive to a home-cooked meal, and I’d weigh a million pounds.

But he would have muffins.

And speaking of my husband, he is amazing. Because of some work stuff we celebrated our anniversary at home last week which I completely enjoyed. As long as we’re together on 9/11 I don’t care what we do. Except he did. He decided to surprise me with a night in Hood River after we got back from the rodeo. It was perfect. And I have tons of pics to share but downloading and editing them are on my list of things that have not been accomplished.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with one of my favorites.

And that’s all I have for you today.

Things I am jazzed about

Can you tell I’ve been busy at night enjoying our glorious weather that seems to be never-ending?  Instead of trying new recipes, taking pictures or talking about my workouts we’ve been celebrating our anniversary, meeting friends downtown for dinner, going on long walks and eating Chipotle.  Ahhh the life.  And the best part, it looks like the sun is going to stick around at least for another week which is even better because I’ll be able to lay out all day and enjoy it.

“How?”  You ask?

Because this gal is taking a vacation.  Except not really.  I just have tons of time off saved up. So much that if I don’t use it I’ll lose it so I took all of next week off.  Chris and I might go to the beach for a couple of days or we might not.  And on the days he has to go to work and I don’t, I’ll be laying out on the deck.  Soaking up those fleeting summer rays.  Can’t wait.

You know what else I can’t wait for?  The rodeo!  Tomorrow AM we’re heading to Pendleton, OR to catch the finals of the Pendleton Round Up.  We’ve never been to this rodeo and I’m super excited.  As long as I can find a cute dress to wear…that’s my after-work mission.

To match these boots.

But first I have to get through the rest of today.  A couple of meetings, a workout, the Coug game.

And while we’re on the topic of workouts, it has been a pretty good week on that front.  Pilates + cardio Monday and Wednesday, circuit workout + cardio Tuesday, and yesterday I went for a 4 mile run outside.  The best part – my knees didn’t hurt on the run, after it or this morning.

Alright, I feel like this post has been random enough so I better get a move on.  But, I will leave you with one of my favorite photos from Tuesday’s 2 year anniversary photo session (and by photo session I mean me strategically setting the camera on the deck and running back and forth between auto-timed shots).  Chance dog was so excited for me to be in the pic that he full-on licked my face.  That guy.

Hope you all have good weekends.

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?