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Dig-IN A Taste of Indiana

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Yesterday was a beautiful, warm, sunny day in downtown Indianapolis.  It was perfect weather to spend downtown, outside at the third annual Dig-IN A Taste of Indiana event.  

 

Brian and I purchased tickets to this event all the way at the beginning of the month.  I saw a discount for it on Twitter, read about what the event actually was, and Brian made the immediate impulse purchase of the tickets, but I am sooo glad that he did!

Dig-IN is an annual event that “demonstrates that investment in Indiana food and agriculture, through education, experiences and  conversation, benefits our community and economy.”  This event truly showcased and advocated the slow food lifestyle while featuring local food and food growers, while providing educational speakers about food from local food producers and experts.

Not only was this event educational and tasty while celebrating Indiana’s farmers, it was simple!  All that we did was purchase our ticket in advance, check-in, receive a wristbad, and a passport telling us what was at each station and where each station was.  Once we were in, each taste was included in the ticket price.  The only extra thing that needed to be paid for were full glasses of beer and wine, but tastings were complimentary!

 

We met up with Kegan and Tori for our afternoon full of Indiana eats.

 

As we entered, it was almost overwhelming.  There were so many booths, we didn’t really know where to start.  We were extremely hot, and the first thing we saw was a frozen treat that we immediately gravitated toward.

 

The treat was a blueberry buttermilk popsicle from Nicey Frozen Treats, and it was so good!  Very creamy, and very delicious.

 

We then wandered on to sample more things.  Brian found some chicken and noodles.

 

I then saw some homemade maple syrup, and rather than trying a sample, I tried to listen in on what sounded like the recording of a commercial!

 

Best Boy & Co had some delicious chocolate sauces and barbeque sauces.  My favorite was a hot mustardy sauce…it tasted like mustard pretzels!…and my second favorite was the chili hot fudge.  The chili hot fudge was so smoky and flavorful, yet sweet at the same time.  Yum!

 

They even had eco friendly spoons for us to sample with.

 

Frittle Candy offered a tasty selection of peanut brittle with sesame seeds.  It was nutty, tasty, crunchy, and sticky.  The mini treat was so simple and cute all the way down to the brown boxes with their logo stamped on it and their mini business cards.  I loved it!

 

The wine cake mix samplings.  It was very tasty (we tried the strawberry), and I felt pretty clever since I had done this myself before with just a regular box of cake mix!

 

We then wandered around to the back of the park, and Brian heard a familiar voice.  We popped inside the tent with the Dig-IN Speaker Series to see one of our classmates and his friend from Butler, Kristin Hess!

 

She is pretty awesome and worked with David Hoppe to create a book called “Food for Thought:  An Indiana Harvest.”  This book really captures the personality of Indiana food through stories and beautiful photos taken by Kristin herself.  It was really a neat experience to sit in and listen to them both speak so candidly about their experiences gathering these stories and photos from Indiana food growers and producers.  I definitely want a copy of that book!

After listening to Kristin, it was time to head to the wine tent.

 

Not only were tastings included in our ticket price, but we got nice, glass Dig-IN wine glasses to take home.

 

Then, it was time for some food truck action.  Brian’s favorite dish came from a food truck called Spice Box that featured Indian dishes.  The dish served yesterday was Channa Masala, a sample of spiced chicken and chickpeas.

 

My favorite came from this little food truck, Duos.

 

It was a potato, mustard greens, and goat cheese quesadilla with salsa verde.  All of this was served on a whole wheat tortilla.  Seriously, it was soooo good!  I think I am going to try to recreate it at home sometime 🙂

 

We then sampled our way through some more wine and delicious eats.

 

Zest! Exciting Food Creations, Indianapolis featuring house-made ricotta with peach and white corn puree topped with Twisted Sistaz popcorn made exclusively for them by Just Pop In!.

 

These cookies were by Just Rennie’s Cookie Co. and they were seriously the bomb.  They were soft and delicious, and so gooey.  They were really, really good.  Out of the three flavors sampled, the Cranberry cookies were my favorite.  I think I am going to recreate that recipe too!

 

We then stopped at the Traders Point Creamery booth.  I have eaten at this restaurant once and want to take Brian their because I know he will love the delicious cheese.  This farm is completely organic and raises their own grass fed cows, pigs, and organic free range chickens.  Their sample was a delicious gazpacho…so good.

 

I started to chat with one of the ladies at their booth, who happened to be the marketing manager.  She gave me a block of their famous Fleur de la Terre cheese to sample, and boy is it delicious.  The taste is slightly sharp, salty and just plain good!  I made sure to save some to experiment with in a recipe this week.

 

Fermenti Artisan featured their fermented garden krout with capriole and farms old Kentucky Tomme (goat cheese).  Tasty.

 

Our last taste of the day was at Black Swan Brew Pub’s booth.  I seriously have to take my mom and sister there when they visit next time.  Their sample was the Black Swan Signature Reuban, and it was so good.  I requested mine without the meat and was seriously impressed by the delicious flavor of the entire little sample.

 

They built the sandwich right in front of us, then torched the top to melt the cheese.  How cool is that!?

 

All in all, Dig-IN was an amazing experience and way to showcase Indiana food and agriculture, and I cannot wait to go back next year!

High Protein Banana Muffins and My New Spin Playlist

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Last night, I made a pretty big accomplishment….

I took the pit out of an avocado…with just a knife for the first time EVER! Now, don’t get me wrong, as I have tried and failed many times before.  Seriously, it felt great to do that!!

Brian and I then enjoyed that avocado in some homemade guacamole in meatless Mexican salads.  I used the Morningstar Farms meal starters with some chili powder, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, and pepper (all unmeasured), and it tasted so good.

Snack Time

I am so excited for my snack today.  One of my favorite things ever to make is muffins.  I can remember being a little girl using the Jiffy Cornbread Muffin mix to help my mom out with breakfast (corn muffins are a guilty pleasure of mine!).  For some reason, muffins just have a special place in my heart.

On Saturday, I scoured the internet for some high protein muffin recipes, and found tons.  Many of the recipes were similar to each other, so I took some notes, put my creative hat on and came up with a delicious banana creation.  Keep in mind, they do have a slight “protein” taste, so I love them, but Brian thinks they need peanut butter on top 😉

High Protein Banana Muffins

Yields:  10 Muffins

Nutrition Information:  Calories-63.2  Fat-2.1g  Carbs-3.2g Protein-8.3g

Ingredients:

  • 1 large banana, smashed
  • 3/4 cup liquid egg whites
  • 1/2 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (oats ground up!)
  • 2 scoops of your favorite protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

 

 

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined.  Scoop batter into 10 paper lined and greased muffin tins.  Bake for 15-18 minutes.  ENJOY!

Workout

This morning’s workout was my Tuesday morning spinning class followed by some shoulder and ab work.  I have been rotating the same three playlists and switching out various songs for quite some time now in my spinning class…so I decided to create a completely new playlist.

All of the songs totally got me pumped up and working up a sweat!  I loved it.  At the end of class, I asked for suggestions for next week’s playlist…so keep your eyes peeled for another great workout mix.

On that note, it is time for me to head into work, but first…

Question of the Morning:

  • What is your favorite workout song and why?

I LOVE the Black Pearl song from Pirates of the Caribbean.  For some reason, it just gets me pumped and thinking I can push through and do anything.  It also ALWAYS seems to play when I am getting tired and need that extra energy and confidence boost.

New Workout Page and Honey Peanut Buttery Granola

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Boy, oh boy do I have a recipe for you!

But first, I want to tell you about some updates I made to the blog yesterday.

After the usual Sunday grocery shopping and food prep, I got out of the house and headed to Starbucks to completely focus on getting some blog work done.

 

The end result was a mission accomplished!  I updated the workout tab on the top bar, and created a drop down list categorizing various workouts that I have created, my race stats, and I compiled all of my fitness related posts into one place.

So, if you are in need of  a workout routine, then head on over to the workout page to check it out!

Now, on to the important stuff…

Honey Peanut Buttery Granola

I had really been wanting to make a batch of granola recently, so I decided yesterday was as good as a day as any!  I looked at several of my usual recipes, took bits and pieces from each and threw in a little of my own flair.  The end result was completely tasty.

Ingredients (warning, this recipe makes a TON!! So you can definitely half it or even quarter it!):

  • 1 1/2 cups honey
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar syrup
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 cups oats
  • 2 cups sunflower seed
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat germ
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the peanut butter, oil, honey, vanilla, and agave.  Place in the microwave and heat for about 1 minute, or until it is slightly bubbly and easy to stir and combine.

Place dry ingredients in peanut butter and honey mixture.  Stir until combined.  Place the mixture onto one or two greased cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and stir.  Reduce the oven temperature to 250, and place the granola back in the oven for 10-15 minutes removing it to stir and replacing it back in the oven until it is the desired brownness.

When it is done cooking, spread the granola on waxed paper to cool, then store in a sealed container.

ENJOY!!!

Sweet Snacks

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Hello again from Florida!  Here is a special guest post from Courtney over at Sweet Tooth Sweet Life sharing some delicious summertime treats with all of you today.  Enjoy!

Guest Post:  Sweet Tooth Sweet Life – A Summertime Favorite: Sweet Snacks

Hi everyone! My name is Courtney and I’m the author behind the blog Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life. I’m a 28-year old personal trainer and former elementary school teacher (you can read a bit more about that here if you’d like). I live up in Upstate, NY with my husband and high school sweetheart, Jay, and have lived here all of my life. When I’m not training, you’ll most likely find me blogging, in the kitchen, or spending time with some of my favorite friends and family.

Before anything, let me just go ahead and give a quick shout out– “Thanks so much, Tara, for inviting me to guest post while you’re away! Hopefully you’re having a blast while on vacation on sunny Florida!”

So anyways…let’s talk about summer for a second. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love summer. Living in Upstate, NY, I don’t have the pleasure of experiencing warm weather year-round, so when it’s here I make sure to soak it up as much as I can.

I love to dine al fresco, enjoy a cool glass of wine on the back deck, and just hang out by the pool with some yummy snacks. Oh yes…I love my snacks. I also have quite the sweet tooth (in case you couldn’t already tell by my blog title) so you can bet that, a majority of the time, there are going to be some deliciously sweet snacks out by the pool.

In case you’re like me and enjoy the occasional sweet snack now and then, here’s a few ideas for you to try for the next time you’re hanging out by the pool…or heading to a barbecue…or doing absolutely nothing at all. 😉

Creamy Fruit Dip

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwiches

Cookies & Cream Cake Mix Cookie Bars

White Chocolate Oreo Cream Squares

Enjoy!! 🙂

How to Streamline Your Week Nights: Sunday Meal Prep

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Yesterday, Brian and I started off the morning pumping iron at the gym.  Brian went through my chest and back workout with me, and it was so great!  I don’t mind working out on my own, but I feel a different level of intensity when I am working with someone else, I have the ability to push myself that much harder.

While I love working out, and enjoy it as a hobby, Brian doesn’t have the same feeling about heading to the gym.  He is a great sport and has run two races with me, allows me to take him through workouts, and puts up with all of group fitness class planning, training, and everything else that I put into my fitness obsession.

When Brian told me that he would head to the gym with me, I was so excited because I honestly felt as if it were a new way for us to bond.  Overall, he did an amazing job and we both challenged each other…but I think that we will make things a little harder next time 😉

Lunch

After our workout, we headed to church and then to lunch at Panera with my sister.  Boy, do I love Panera!  Today, despite the 100 degree heat, I opted for the you pick two with blackbean soup and the Thai chopped chicken salad (minus the fried wonton strips, the chicken, and dressing  but with extra edamame added…boy am I difficult!)  It was great to see my sister, because even though we live close,  I don’t see her nearly enough.

After lunch and chatting about an upcoming family vacation to Florida Brian and I headed to the store to purchase some groceries for the week.  After the grocery, it was time to prep my meals for the week.  I swear, each week I get faster and faster at the process.

Sunday Meal Prep

Getting ready to roast some veggies

It helps that Brian was my partner in crime and assisted me in prepping our food.

Since I began working full-time in addition to teaching group fitness classes throughout the week, I realized that coming home at 6pm, preparing dinner, packing lunch for Brian and I, preparing for my group fitness classes, and doing whatever else comes up for the day didn’t leave me with very much time for spending time with Brian, or just spending time taking a break.

I have found that prepping my food on Sunday is the only way that I can not spend 3 hours in the kitchen when I get home from work at 6pm.  So, I designated Sundays as my food prep and grocery day.  Two things that I absolutely love to do, but when I am short on time….they can seem more like chores and the joy is taken out of the activities.

The foods that I prep on Sundays (and maybe a bit on Saturdays) are:

  • On the Go Breakfast Biscuits:  these are great to throw in a little plastic container to eat after teaching one of my group fitness classes at my desk at work.  I think they are even great cold, and they do not take long to bake up at all.

  • Roasted vegetables and/or sweet potatoes: I use the same method for both of these.  I simply chop them into the desired size and shape, spritz the pan with nonstick cooking spray, and toss the veggies in garlic salt.  I then place them in the oven on 400 degrees for around 20 minutes, and stir them up at the halfway point. It is so simple and delicious, and these taste great heated or cold as well!

  • Baked Oatmeal:  I make these little oat cakes in various flavors by simply adding various fruits, or no fruit at all!  I store them in the fridge and incorporate them into my breakfasts throughout the week either eating them on their own, mixing them with Greek yogurt to make a little parfait, or topping a smoothie bowl.

  • Barley, quinoa, or brown rice:  These are great to make a large batch of because they can be easily heated up and doctored up as a side dish, or made into a little salad by simply adding protein and veggies.
  • Chopping up veggies that I like to eat raw for lunches:  It is so simple and easy to grab the amount of veggies you want and stick them in a baggie to toss in the lunch box, and if you decide you want to cook them up for a meal later in the week, they are already bite sized!

I find that prepping these simple foods on the weekend completely streamlines my week.  I truly enjoy eating foods that I have prepared, and it takes a lot of time to prepare them…but one thing to remember is that it is not impossible.  All that it takes is a little bit of pre-planning, and maybe a little bit of help from your partner in crime (thanks Brian!) 😉  Of course everything doesn’t always go as planned, but if you have a plan for the healthy meals that you want to eat for the week, and the foods are readily available than there are no excuses between you and your healthy, delicious, satisfying meals!

 

What do you do to streamline your week night routine??  Do you prep most of your meals on one night?

Taste Like they Came from the Bakery Healthy Blueberry Muffins

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When prepping food for the week, I usually like to bake something that is easy for Brian to eat as he runs out the door in the morning to the dental clinic.

This week, I was in the mood for a little red, white, and blue in honor of the 4th of July holiday this past Wednesday…so blueberry muffins it was.

In this recipe, I use white whole wheat flour, which has a less dense texture than regular whole wheat flour (and keeps the fact that they are healthy a secret!) I also substitute Greek yogurt, and applesauce for the majority of the oil to lessen the fat content, provide an extra burst of moistness and protein.  Enjoy!

Secretly Healthy Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/8 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup almond milk or skim milk
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • Ingredients for crumb topping:  1 cup white sugar, 2/3 cup white whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup cubed butter, 3 tsp cinnamon
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place muffin liners in muffin tin.
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.  In a separate bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, applesauce, oil, eggs, and milk.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined (don’t over mix!).  Fold in the blueberries.
Fill the muffin tins to the top, and sprinkle with the crumb topping.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Crumb Topping Instructions:
Mix together the sugar, flour, butter , and cinnamon in a food processor, with a fork, or with your hands.  You just want the mixture completely combined and crumbly.
Enjoy!!!
My First Cathy Savage Check In
Last week, I shared with you all that I am now a “Savage Girl” and have just begun my journey with the program.  One aspect of the program that I love is that we have bi-weekly check-ins to really assess how things are going so that changes can be made where necessary.
Here are how things are looking after my first week:
  • The eating plan is fine, I am eating 6 small meals a day.  My biggest problem is that packing for the next day takes a long time, and I snack too much while packing for the next day.  My plan to help with these problems??  I have started prepping lots of my meals on Sunday, and I will whiten my teeth while I prepare my meals for the next day. 😉

  • Energy levels are pretty normal, considering I have been lacking on sleep lately.  My plan for this problem…try to get to bed earlier and truly shut my brain down.
  • How I feel about my body….I think it looks the same since it has only been a week, but the scale has gone down a tad, which probably just had to do with the time of day I weighed myself (so many things affect your weight!)
  • Overall:  I feel good, and ready to kick this program’s little butt!

Why Did I Join Cathy Savage Fitness

Some of you have asked why exactly I have started this program because I already enjoy eating healthy foods, I workout all the time because I enjoy it, and I am not trying to lose weight.  Those are all very valid points, but I promise that I have a method to my madness.

  1. I have a very round and soft physique.  I always have.  I am ok with that, but I would like to attempt to have more muscle tone and definition.  In slang terms….I want to be “cut.”
  2. I am very interested in nutrition, and I have done a lot of self research and reading on how nutrition truly effects the way the body looks (you are what you eat).  I am interested to see how these little changes that I am making my nutrition are going to effect my body’s appearance and performance.   When it comes to nutrition, everything makes a difference, and you really have to get specific…even the timing of when you eat what matters when you are trying to sculpt your body.
  3. I am always looking for a new challenge, and I think that this is going to be a good, educational, fun, tough challenge for me.
  4. If it is at all possible, I would like to compete in at least one body building competition next year.  Now, there are several different kinds of body building for women, and I would probably compete in the division that is the least muscular and the most feminine looking.  What can I say… I love to compete, and I love to challenge myself!! I at least have to give it a try.
  5. Many people ask me questions about health, nutrition, and fitness.  I have answers to a lot of things because of my personal training education and background, personal experiences, and a lot of self-research…but I have questions too!  With the Cathy Savage program, I have my very own health coach that I can do all of the asking to, which is one aspect that I absolutely love!  I love asking questions and I love getting answers.
I want you to tell me about any new challenges that you have decided to take on!

4th of July Traditions

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HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!

Hello all!  I hope that your mid-week vacations are off to a fun start.

This morning, Brian and I woke up nice and early.  5am to be exact.  We needed to be up and refreshed with food in our tummies to fuel us through our little 4th of July tradition.

Breakfast for me was half of a baked oatmeal mixed with some Greek yogurt, topped with raspberries, and almond butter….yum!  I let it sit in the fridge overnight so that the baked oatmeal gets nice and soggy while sitting in the Greek yogurt.

After breakfast Brian and I headed downtown to run our 2nd annual Firecracker 6 6 mile race.

Pre-race last year

We started the tradition last year, and after having such a great time training together and running together we had to make it an annual event!

Next year, this will be the day before our wedding (crazy!!!) so we plan on having all of our family members and people in the wedding party either walk or run the race with us.  I can’t wait!

Pre-Race Smiles!

We finished!

Last year, Brian and I made a point to stick together throughout the entire race, but this year Brian said that I could go off on my own 😉  He ended up finishing in under an hour (woo!) and I ended up finishing in the top 75 females with a pace of 8 minutes and 5 seconds and a finishing time of about 48 minutes…a personal best for me!

Brian and I were reading about the awards a couple of weeks ago, and when we read that the top 75 females and males each got a glass goblet, I immediately decided that was a goal that I had to strive for.  Did I mention that I am slightly competitive???

I started of in the 8 min/mile bracket, and as I ran, I kept my pace around 7 minutes and 40 seconds for the first 4.7 miles…I was completely shocked because it didn’t feel like I was going any faster than usual…but I just kept chugging along.  Needless to say, I am very happy with my results and I needed that little confidence boost!

I got a fancy goblet for finishing in the top 75!!

After the race, Brian and I decided to walk around the City Market to see the various food stands that were open.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have any money so we were just window shopping.

U-Relish Farm

As we were window shopping, I saw a cute little station with a ton of neatly packed crock pot meals.  If you are a regular reader, then you know that I have been searching for little ways to save time by preparing meals on the weekends, and even using the crock pot…I was very intrigued by this little shop.

I started talking with the shop owner, Cara, and she was so personable and knowledgable about the ingredients in her crock pot meals.  She owns the U-Relish Farm, where she creates and sells pre-packaged dehydrated meals containing fresh ingredients from her own farm that you simply pour in the crock pot, add a little water, and let the crock pot do it’s thing.  How amazing does that sound!!?

We hit it off right away, and I informed her of my little blog and that I would love to write a review of her products.  She sent me home with some goodies and I was on my way!  I can’t wait to try these little goodies out.

Now, we are at our friends’ (Caitlin and Dave) apartment for the day just hanging out…but before I have a chance to hang by the pool, I have to practice a little bit of Body Pump (and eat some snacks…meal number 2:  broccoli, hummus, egg muffins, and a quarter of a peach!)

Happy 4th of July!

What are your 4th of July traditions??

  • Growing up, we would always go camping and watch the fireworks at a large baseball field near the campground.  At the time, I hated fireworks and would spend most of the time hiding under my blankie crying….I was a really fun kid 😉  Now, I love to play a little game where we guess what color the next firework will be!  It keeps things interesting.