Archives for July 2013

Pinterest Fail…Almost

My day yesterday started early…another 5:30am-er at the gym.  I found this workout on another blog I follow (along with about a billion other readers).  If you haven’t checked out the Peanut Butter Fingers blog, I highly suggest you do!  This “All Over the Place” workout was just that- all over the place, just how I like my workouts. 🙂  It was a great way to jump start my day!

IMG_20130725_070020I spent a little more time at the gym than I thought I would.  And by that, I mean I hit the snooze button one too many times….either way I was running late, per usual, so I didn’t have time to eat breakfast at home.  I grabbed a Greek yogurt and headed out the door.  I keep a variety of snacks in my desk at work, and luckily that includes ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, and chopped walnuts.  Sounds really random, I know, but I eat yogurt A LOT and prefer mine with some added crunch, so I make sure to have at least one of these on hand at all times.  Those three additions, along with a few blueberries, made for a delicious breakfast.  I also ended up having half of a homemade protein bar (I ate the other half before my workout) because the yogurt wasn’t extremely filling.

IMAG0011

Now let’s talk about dinner.  Dinner was almost a Pinterest FAIL.  Almost.  You’ve seen those photos, right?

Like this one:

pinterest-fail-penguin-cake-pops-640x883And this one:

pinterest-fail-bunny-rolls-600x600Seriously, they get me every time. 🙂  Pinterestfail.com has some good ones too, if you’re ever in need of a good laugh.  Anyway, back to MY almost-fail experience.  I’ve seen recipes for Squash Croquettes on Pinterest and my mom recently sent me one she saw on Facebook.  I believe the source is here.

Well, they were supposed to look like this:

1006148_10151705761316117_1576424512_n

And turned out more like this…at first.  Whoopsie!

DSC01072

Luckily, I got the hang of it…kind of.  They don’t look too appetizing, but I have to say, they were really tasty.  Even Matt loved them!  Not to toot my own horn, but, beep beep. 😉  I’ll be honest, I think the problem was that I tried a little too hard to make them even healthier.  I used olive oil, not vegetable oil.  Normally, this probably wouldn’t make a difference, but I didn’t put 1/2in in the pan like the recipe says to.  I mean 1/2 in of oil, who needs that?!  Annd, I might have also replaced the all purpose flour with almond flour.  Hey, I tried.  I also made homemade black bean turkey burgers and then roasted some broccoli as a back up plan.  Always good to have a plan B when you are taking on a Pinterest project. 🙂

Turkey Burger

Black Bean Turkey Burgers  (original recipe can be found here)

Ingredients:

1 15 oz can black beans

1Tbsp dried green onions (I didn’t have this, so I used chopped red onion)

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce

1 lb 99/1 ground turkey breast

Directions:

1. Blend first 6 ingredients in food processor .
2. Mix turkey into ingredients in a small bowl.
3. Form the mixture into patties and grill in a skillet on the stove for about 5-6 minutes, or until fully cooked.
This recipe makes 18 mini burgers, but I chose to make bigger patties, so I came out with around 7 or 8.  I topped mine with light ranch and chipotle mustard, but I told Matt we should have added some pepper jack cheese or salsa and avocado.  That’s the great thing about a burger, you can get creative with the toppings, especially when they are low-cal like these are!
Squash Croquettes
Ingredients:
2 cups yellow squash, finely chopped (I actually used zucchini and I don’t think it makes a difference)
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp all purpose flour (I used almond flour)
vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine squash, onion, egg, salt and pepper. Mix well. Stir in flour.
2. In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.
3. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls into oil.
4. Cook about 3 minutes per side or until golden brown, turning once.
5. Drain croquettes on paper towels.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrition Facts per Serving: Calories – 100, Total Fat – 5.5g, Sodium – 15mg, Total Carbohydrates – 11.1g, Protein – 2.7g

Enjoy!

Baby Sprinkle and White Chocolate Popcorn

Last Sunday my friend Lori and I threw a baby “sprinkle” for our friend Dana.  Dana already has a 2 year old little boy and this time around, it’s a GIRL! I absolutely cannot wait to spoil her. 🙂  Since this is her second baby and she obviously had a big shower the first time, Dana didn’t want us to make a big deal about it…but of course, we couldn’t resist the chance to throw a party!  It was so much fun to “sprinkle” her with girlie gifts and catch up with friends!

DSC01069

Two of my favorite parts were the ice cream “sprinkle bar” and the popcorn covered in white chocolate (and sprinkles…are you sensing a theme??).  Of course, both of my favs involved sweets….weird…

DSC01068

 

DSC01066

 

Having said that, I can’t end this post without giving you the recipe for the white chocolate popcorn!  It is beyond delicious.  There were literally only kernels left by the end of the party, so that’s always a good sign. 🙂  It’s also incredibly easy to make.  Annnnd equally as difficult to stop yourself from eating the entire batch in one sitting.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

White Chocolate Covered Popcorn

Ingredients:

2 bags popcorn (I used Fat Free, so the butter wouldn’t make it taste funny)

1 pkg almond bark

Directions:

Pop the popcorn, pour into a large container.  Melt the almond bark and pour over the popcorn, then fold/stir slowly until covered. You can add sprinkles in any color, to match the occasion!  I had this at my bridal shower, at other baby showers, and holiday parties and it’s always a hit!

*Make sure you melt the chocolate SLOWLY, otherwise it will burn.  I made my own double boiler by putting a little water in a sauce pan, bringing it to a boil and then put the chocolate in a smaller sauce pan and placed it in the water.  Another option is to put it in the microwave on low and stir it frequently.

File this one away for a good cheat day. 🙂

 

Girl with a Plan

I hope you are enjoying your Saturday!  I will be spending mine at the pool and going out to dinner for one of my college best friend/sorority sister’s (insert Valley girl voice here ;)) birthday.  I am really looking forward to seeing all of my girlfriends and catching up.  Although most of us live in the same city, we still don’t see each other as often as we would like because of that little thing called big-girl life seems to always get in the way!  Speaking of…if you have a group of girlfriends you can’t live without, you will relate to this post…and you will also most likely cry, but in a good way.  35 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About My Girlfriends

As I set out for the gym this morning, I was determined to go with a plan in mind.  Sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn’t. There are many days when it is considered a success just to get my butt to the gym, but when I go in without a plan, I almost never end up getting the level of workout I could (or should).  It doesn’t take long to do, it’s just about taking a few extra minutes, maybe the night before, and writing down my plan of action.  Then, you don’t spend half of your time wandering around aimlessly, when you could be breaking a sweat!  Below is my workout for today, along with a little cardio.  One of my goals lately is to improve the muscle tone in my legs, so you may be seeing a lot more leg workouts in the near future!

Legs and Abs Circuit

Exercise Demonstrations & Links:

Sumo Squat to High Pull

Lateral Lunges with Knee Lift

DSC01081 DSC01083

Cross-back Lunges with Knee Lift

DSC01084 DSC01085

Kettlebell Swings

Walking Overhead Lunges– Walking lunges holding weight above your head, elbows straight.

Standing Side Crunches

DSC01087 DSC01089

Arch-Bridge-Pike

DSC01090 DSC01091 DSC01092

Upper Russian Twist

Stability Ball Pullovers

DSC01093 DSC01094

Have a great weekend!

Fighting that cardio boredom…

Hey there!

I started off my morning yesterday with a little 5:30 am workout, per usual.  I have to admit, I wasn’t really in the mood to “get after it” like I usually am but hey, I figured I’m there, might as well make the most of it right?  My hamstring is STILL giving me issues, so I decided to take it easy on the cardio.  I started off with 10 min on the bike, 10 min on the elliptical, then my boredom got the best of me, so I decided to do a quick 10 min Tabata workout to switch things up, before I finished with 10 more minutes on the elliptical.  On it’s own, this Tabata workout only adds up to 10 minutes, but paired with extra cardio and a workout like the 24 x 24 Leg Burners, it’s a quick and easy way to break a sweat and avoid the boredom.

Timely Tabata

Plank Spider Squat

Start in straight arm plank position.  Bring your right foot up next to your right arm, come back to starting positions.  Repeat on left, come back to starting position.  Then, jump both feet to squat position, keeping hands on the ground.  Return to starting position and repeat continuously until the time is up.

 DSC01040DSC01039 DSC01040 DSC01041 DSC01042 DSC01043 DSC01044

 P.S. I got these adorable monogram Nike running shorts as a bridesmaid gift last weekend.  Note to brides out there: LOVE this idea! It’s not another tote to add to the collection, and obviously something I will wear time and time again. 🙂  Thanks Kelly!

DSC01045

One of my latest obsessions is protein pancakes.  I’ve tried a million and one recipes out there and, I have to say, most are pretty darn good!  This recipe is a combination of some of the recipes I’ve tried.  I just opened up my pantry and decided to give it a go. If you haven’t gathered this by now, I’m a sucker for anything and everything low carb, and I think these fit into that category so I have a little extra love for them. 🙂

Protein Pancakes

 If you make a smiley face with the syrup, it tastes better. 🙂

Protein Pancakes

Mix together the following ingredients:

1 whole egg

2 egg whites

2 tbsp oats

1 tbsp almond flour

1 tsp (or more) cinnamon

1 tsp (or more) stevia

1/8 tsp baking powder

Optional add-ins- chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, etc.

Makes one large pancake.  I usually top it with a little peanut butter and sugar free syrup.

Skinny Rules

I ran across these “Skinny Rules” by Bob Harper on Pinterest one day and thought I would share!  I realized that I have actually been living by these rules since I started cheering and working with personal trainers and they seriously change the way you think about food and your overall health.  I’m not saying I follow every.single.one of these rules every.single.day of my life (ahem, #1, 12, 13, 18), but try incorporating a few at a time and I don’t think you will regret it!  Not only will you have more energy, you will feel better about your body overall and, if paired with exercise, you will more than likely start seeing the results you want!

Skinny Rules

When I set out to make dinner last night, I realized a common theme…lots and lots of GREEN on the plate!  Doesn’t get much better than that, right?!  Well, of course pizza, french fries and ice cream might be a little bit better, but that’s neither here nor there.  It IS swimsuit season after all…

Dinner consisted of roasted green beans, kale salad and salmon.  The recipes are below and let me tell you, this kale salad is to die for. That is, if you die over things like kale.  Hey, it’s the little things in life right? I will take what I can get. 🙂  All of these recipes are super easy to make.  I don’t know about you but when I walk in the door after work I’m usually starving, so  if I can spend less time cooking and more time eating, all the better!

DSC01034

Roasted Green Beans

Preheat oven to 400.  Place cleaned and trimmed fresh green beans on a baking sheet that is lined with foil and sprayed with olive oil spray.  Drizzle the green beans with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 20min, or until they are on the crispy side, turning once.  Baking times will vary, depending on your oven.

Salmon

For the salmon, I cooked it on the stove in a little olive oil and lemon juice, then sprinkled it with Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper seasoning (because it’s salt free!) and pepper. Ok, maybe I added a little salt too…

Kale Salad

Mix together the following ingredients:

  • 1 pkg Kale (I found mine already cleaned and cut up at Trader Joe’s, I think it was about 10 oz)
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Shredded Cabbage
  • 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 cup Stevia (or sweetener of your choice)

Let the salad chill in the refrigerator for 20-30 min so the flavors have a chance to “blend”.  I sound like a real chef, don’t I? 😉

Enjoy!!!

Yoga…Take 2

Welp, looks like I’m a yoga rookie no more! 🙂  My friends Kate and Kelly convinced me to try hot yoga the other day.  Like me, Kelly is a bit of a rookie at this whole yoga thing and since this was a HOT yoga class, we were especially out of our element.

Needless to say, beforehand, I felt a little like this:

DSC00951

(I’m obviously a newbie at this whole “selfie” thing…don’t judge, I’m aware I’m not really all that glamorous.)

I was a bit nervous going into the class.  #1, the last yoga class I took did not live up to my expectations; however, I had higher hopes for this one, because several friends vouched for it.  #2, I had this vision of getting overheated, feeling claustrophobic, passing out and/or having to leave early…not over dramatic at all, I know.  Turns out, it was a GREAT workout!  I have never sweat that much in my life. Literally, every single inch of my body was sweating, and not a cute sweat either.  We left the class feeling energized and I was definitely glad I tried it.  It was nice to feel like I got a good workout and was able to get my sweat on without my muscles feeling strained and sore afterwards, for once.  I think this might end up being a good supplement once a week for my otherwise high intensity exercises.  I have 6 free classes at this yoga studio, so there may be a several yoga classes in the near future!

Kate and I were bridesmaids in Kelly’s wedding this weekend, so we were definitely #sweatingforthewedding. (I’m aware this is not really the place to use hashtags, but #dontcare.) 😉

DSC00958

Not our best look, but managed to get it together for the big day. 🙂

DSC00998

After yoga, I was in the mood for something light, yet filling.  I didn’t want to undo all of the hard work I just put in, but was also so hungry I could eat everything in sight.  We had some leftover turkey pepperoni, so I mixed that with scrambled eggs (1 whole egg, 2 egg whites), spinach and a tiny bit of shredded cheese, then paired it with a green apple (which, I found out recently, are lower in sugar than other apples- bonus!). I’ve also been making these breakfast scrambles with chicken sausage lately, and it’s even better!  It was delicious and a good way to change up my usual breakfast of plain over-easy eggs with fruit.  Since I’ve gone over to the dark side (ahem, low-carb life), I try to replace the majority of my grains with a good amount of fruits and veggies.  With this meal, I can add in as many veggies as I want, pair it with fruit and voila!- a well balanced meal that won’t leave you hungry or undo all of that hard work you put in at the gym.

DSC00633

Hope everyone had a great weekend!