Archives for August 2013

Exactly Where I’m Supposed to Be

Last weekend, my friend Brigid and I went to visit our other friend Kristen, in LA.  The three of us have been friends since our time as sorority sisters at Mizzou and I love that we have managed to keep our friendship going strong after all of these years!  Brigid and I hadn’t seen Kristen since they were both in my wedding, almost two years ago….NOT ok.  So we decided enough is enough, packed our bags and headed out west.

I love everything about travelling.  The hustle and bustle of airports, packing (just not unpacking), relaxing on the plane with a latte and a good book….this time was no exception!  And anyone who says you can’t eat healthy in an airport is mistaken.  It might be a little more difficult to find something relatively nutritious, but I promise you, it’s out there.  Plenty of restaurants offer oatmeal or fruit and nuts, and there is always a newsstand with protein/granola bars, just have to watch the sugar content (or don’t, I won’t judge).  We started off our morning with a non-fat sugar-free latte and a Double Dark Chocolate Zone bar, one of my personal favs.  Then, since it WAS vacation and all, we decided to have a drink on the plane…which turned into two.  It wasn’t our fault, one of the flight attendants must have thought we looked like a couple of girls ready for the weekend, because he gave us drinks and didn’t charge us.  I could get used to this. 🙂

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I also had a little bit (ok, a lot a bit) of this…the most recent little gem of a snack I found at Target.  If you haven’t tried it, I highly suggest you do. Not sure if trail mix can really be life changing, but this is pretty close.

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Finally, we arrived in LA and spent the rest of the weekend at the beach, walking around Santa Monica, catching up over wine at Malibu Wines and dinner at Villa Blanca. For all of my fellow RHOBH fans, that’s Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurant.  Much to my disappointment, Lisa was not in the house, but her daughter Pandora and her husband were…I’ll take what I can get! 🙂

DSC01149That’s Brigid on the left, Kristen in the middle, and me and my armpit on the right.  When you have the longest arms, you are automatically the designated selfie-taker.

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DSC01186I think this one pretty much sums it up…

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We talked, we laughed, we cried, and then we laughed some more.  I love these girls more than I can say. It really doesn’t get any better than having those lifelong friends you know you will be talking and laughing with when you are old and wrinkly (and making fun of each other for just how old and wrinkly you really are). They get me and I get them.  This weekend, I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

 

Skinny “Fish & Chips”

Anyone else feeling like this sums up their Monday?

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(Thanks Kate, for the much needed laugh today!)

I had to throw that out there.  That’s all.  Anywayyyy……back to your regularly scheduled programming.

One of the go-to meals in our house lately has been fish and chips.  No, not your heart-attack-on-a-plate fish and chips.  This dish is more like I-can’t-believe-this-is-actually-healthy fish and chips.  Keeping with the low carb theme that is my life, I replaced half of the bread crumbs with almond flour.  I tried doing all almond flour, but it wasn’t as crispy, more like a mushy mess.  Not cute.  Then, instead of greasy french fries, I made homemade sweet potato “fries”.  I knew this meal was a keeper when Matt wanted seconds. Sometimes he doesn’t love my “replacement” meals.  You know, when you try to make something unhealthy, healthy?  And usually that “something” is delicious because it’s unhealthy?  Some things are better left to a cheat meal, but this time, I think I brought home a winner! 🙂

Skinny Fish and Chips

Baked Cod

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Almond Flour
  • 1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1 egg

(may need more/less of each of these ingredients depending on the amount of fish)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Pour bread crumbs and almond flour into a ziploc bag and shake until mixed.  Whisk the egg in a small bowl, then dip the fish in the egg until it is covered.  Place the fish in the ziplock bag and shake until covered.

Bake for 20-30 min.  Time may vary, bake until bread crumbs are golden brown and fish is flaky.

Sweet Potato Fries

(original recipe found here)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp ground cuming
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp oil (I used olive or coconut)
  • 2-4 medium size sweet potatoes (depending on how much spice you want on each)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 5oo degrees. (If you are doing the cod at the same time, you can decrease the temperature, just bake the fries longer)

Cover baking sheet with foil and spray with olive oil.  In a small bowl, mix the spices together with a fork. Cut the sweet potatoes into about 1/2″ x 1/2″ fries. I leave the skin on.  In a large bowl, combine the oil with the fries, tossing with one hand.  With the other hand, simultaneously sprinkle the spice mixture and continue mixing until the potatoes are evenly coated.  Arrange the potatoes on the baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake for 20-25 min, turning the fries halfway.  Time may vary, bake until edges are crispy.

 

I hope you enjoy! 🙂

 

Lake Weekend & Back to School Ladder Workout

Following up on my last post, in case anyone is dying of curiosity ;), Matt was promoted at work, so that was the reason for the celebration!  I’m really excited for him, he is the most determined person I know, and his hard work is paying off!

This past weekend, Matt and I went to Table Rock Lake, near Branson, Missouri with his parents for a little getaway.  The lake is about four hours away from St. Louis, and although I’ve been to the Lake of the Ozarks more times than I can count, I’ve never made it to this lake so I was excited to see what it was all about.  I’ve heard that Table Rock much cleaner and more calm than Lake of the Ozarks…when there is a place called “Party Cove” things can get weird.  Maybe it means we are getting old, but we were looking forward to a nice, relaxing, Party Cove-free weekend. 🙂

We were a little skeptical because the day before we left because we heard on the news that Branson got 6 inches of rain.  Yep, that’s right, HALF a FOOT of rain, highways closed, the whole shebang.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I love myself some sunshine and that rain is not good for the hair “poof”.  Lucky for us, the rivers decided to recede before we made the trek down there.  Friday was pretty cloudy so Matt and his dad spent the day golfing and I spent the day with his mom shopping at the outlet mall.  I mean, what else better to do on a rainy day?

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DSC01119 We had a delicious dinner Friday night and then went to go see a Beatles tribute band.  Matt and his parents are huge fans of all things music, and what family vaca would be complete without a good serenade?

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On Saturday, Mother Nature gave us a break, and we ended up having a great day boating and fishing.  And by fishing, I mean the guys fished and the girls read a book. 🙂

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Today, it was back to reality.  And things for us are about to get REAL.  We have to take one of the busiest streets in St. Louis to even get to a highway, and when school is in session, it literally doubles our commute time to work.  Welp, that time is now and the kiddos will be going back to school this week. Goodbye summer, hello road rage.

On that note, I came up with a Back to School Countdown workout!  Do 10 reps of each move, then 9, then 8, and so on.  If you’re feeling extra motivated, repeat until you can’t anymore!

Back to School Ladder Workout

For all of you teachers out there (shout out to my mom!), enjoy these last couple days of summer while they last! 🙂

Most of the exercises are probably self explanatory, but here is a link to the Ball Jack Knifes, in case that one throws you for a loop.

Shrimp Tacos & Skinny Margaritas

Friday night, Matt and I had a reason to celebrate (more on that later…no, I’m not pregnant, hence the margarita recipe below. :)) so we decided we would stay in and cook a “gourmet” meal for ourselves. Sometimes we like to fancy ourselves chefs.  He found this recipe for shrimp tacos and avocado salsa, and we knew we couldn’t pass it up.  The recipe says the salsa will be too hot to eat on it’s own, but let me tell you what, this salsa was G.O.O.D.  I didn’t think it was too spicy at all (and I’m a big baby about that stuff).  I will definitely be making it again for a party, as a salsa for chips.  We couldn’t get enough of it.  I also decided that, since it was gourmet night, I would try my hand at making quinoa.  I was a little unsure if I would like it, and Matt was really unsure but we both ended up liking it!  Quinoa is a good substitute for rice, because it is higher in protein.  I will definitely be making that again!  We paired that with black beans, and made the tacos with corn tortillas. Although it contained a few more carbs than I normally eat for dinner, overall, it was a very tasty and healthy dinner!

DSC01108Avocado Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, quartered and seeded
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tomato, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 c loosely packed, coarsely chopped, fresh cilantro
  • 1 avocado

I actually found a container of already diced shallots, garlic and onion, at Trader Joe’s, so I cheated a little. Hey, why make things more difficult than they have to be? 🙂

I combined everything except the avocado in a food processor.  Once everything was finely chopped, I cut the avocado into small chunks and added it to the mixture.

Of course, what Mexican dinner would be complete without margaritas?!  I found this recipe a while ago on Pinterest, and have been obsessed ever since.  It uses real fruit, no sweet and sour mix, and I use Stevia instead of real sugar.  I used frozen blueberries and a few frozen strawberries, then blended it with the tequila, stevia, lime juice and triple sec.  Hello, skinny margarita!  All of the delicousness, without all the guilt. 🙂  Those who know me, know that I am in love with a Mexican restaurant here in St. Louis, called Chavas.  It was kind of a tradition that the cheerleaders would go there after Rams games to get our eat on, because we deserved it after a long game day!  Well, the best part about this place is their fresh fruit margaritas and on Friday night, Matt said he thought these tasted like Chavas’ margs. Best. Compliment. Ever.

Skinny Margaritas

Cheers! 🙂  And yes, that’s Stevia on the rim of my cup….when in Rome….

Skinny Fresh Fruit Margaritas

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 c tequila
  • 1/2 c orange liqueur
  • 2 cups frozen berries
  • 1/4 c fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 c Stevia
  • 4 c ice

Blend together and enjoy!

Look At Those Legs! Workout

I have another leg workout for you today!  I started out with 20min of light cardio, before getting to work on the circuit below.  I used a 25# kettlebell for the KB Swings and held a 15# kettlebell or two 10# dumbbells for the rest.  You could also finish this off with the 24 x 24 Leg Burners, or add burpees to the beginning/middle/end, if you’re feeling extra fiesty. 🙂

Look at Those Legs Workout

 

Exercise Links/Demonstrations:

Kettlebell Swings

Lateral Lunges (knee lift optional)

Plank Spider Squats

Sumo Squats (lift right heel, pulse 10x, then repeat with left heel up)

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Lunges with leg lift (pulse leg that is lifted 20x on each side)

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Squats with leg lift (pulse leg that is lifted 20x on each side)

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Have a great day!