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Honeymoon Mystery and Deliciously Simple Asian Tofu Salad

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Yesterday, Mom and I spent the morning driving up to Michigan to meet my dad and be with family for the morning.  On the way up there, we saw about a bazillion hot air balloons.  I know it’s hard to see in the picture below, but all those little specs are hot air balloons!  We had no idea why so many were out on a Wednesday morning, or even that so many people owned hot air balloons, but it gave us some nice scenery along the drive.

The trip to Fort Wayne and Michigan was short and sweet, so before I knew it, I was in the car and heading back to Indianapolis to meet with our Travel Agent to speak of honey moon plans.

It was a long day of driving, so I needed snacks in the car.  Mom packed up some cucumbers, radishes (yum!  I don’t eat these enough!), green pepper, and dried apricot.

It was great talking with the travel agent.  Brian and I just keep getting more and more excited about the wedding and our honey moon each day and can’t wait for next summer!

We haven’t booked anything yet, but hopefully soon we will have our arrangements all settled to travel to one of these locations…

Cinque Terre, Italy

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Negril, Jamaica

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The Bahamas

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Any guesses as to which location Brian and I are trying to make our honeymoon destination? We will let you know the answer once everything is all booked!

Dinner

When we arrived home, it was later than our usual dinner time and both of us were a bit hungry.  Luckily, I had prepped a meal on Sunday so we had to wait almost no time for dinner to be on the table.

Asian Tofu Salad

Yields:  2 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 cup of cubed tofu
  • 2 cups of lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup of chopped cabbage

 

 

 

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and olive oil.  Stir until combined.  Pour about half of the Asian dressing over the cubed tofu to marinate.  Spray and grease a baking sheet, and lay the tofu on the sheet.  Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.  Remove from the oven, stir the tofu around and place in the oven for 10-15 more minutes until it reaches your desired crispness.

This tofu can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days so that you can have this meal later in the week, or you can serve it right away.  

Divide the lettuce and cabbage into two bowls.  Top with the tofu and the remaining dressing.  Eat and enjoy!

This meal was delicious and tasty, so simple, and we both cleaned every bite from our plates!

Hope you all have a great Thursday!

Of Possible Interest

 

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Simple Things A to Z

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Last night, Brian and I met with the planner at our wedding reception venue.

Right from the get-go she took us upstairs, offered us some wine and cheese and said let’s get to business.  She is my kind of girl!

The meeting was everything I needed.  Basically, we were just touching base to make sure that we were all on the same page since we made these arrangements over a year ago.  She told us we were ahead of schedule, and made me feel like we really had a handle on things!  Thank goodness!

Breakfast

I knew exactly what I was having for breakfast this morning when I woke up.

Yesterday, there were little scrapings of peanut butter in the jar, so I immediately made myself a batch of overnight oats in a jar to eat this morning.  My oats were then topped with blackberries and strawberries and totally hit the spot.  Yum!

Friday

Ok, so it is Friday, and I really don’t feel like sitting at a desk all day and doing “work” stuff…but I gotta!  So, In order to make Friday fun, I found this little survey to share the simple things that make me tick.  You can see Julie’s survey on Peanut Butter Fingers, Chelsey’s survey on Clean Eating Chelsey, or Dory’s survey on Living with Healthy Hunger.  Enjoy!

The Simple Things: A to Z

A – Almond butter.  I have to restrain myself around the stuff, because it is just so. darn. good.  My favorite varieties are homemade, Justin’s, and Maranatha

B – Brian, my fiancé.  He is my best friend, and I can’t wait to marry him!

C – Christmas. I absolutely LOVE the holidays, especially Christmas.  I love the feel in the air, the traditions, and being close with my family and friends.  Needless to say, I can’t wait for the winter season to roll around.

D – Down time.  I need to work on taking advantage of it more often.

E – Exercise.  Moving, being active, and challenging my body is something that I do, and love to do most days of the week.

F – Friends and family.  Mine are pretty awesome, and I can’t live without them!

G – Grocery shopping day.  I love to go the grocery store,  slowly go through the aisles, and pick the perfect ingredients for every meal coming in the next week.

H – Help.  I love to help out when I can and feel like I have a job and I am needed.  I also welcome help when I need it! 😉

I – Ireland.  Brian is Irish, and his family has remained in close contact with his relatives there.  I can’t wait to meet them someday!

J – Jewelry.  I love accessories and I feel that jewelry totally makes an outfit.  It doesn’t have to be the fanciest or most expensive, just something that puts a little flair of “you” in whatever you are wearing.

K – Kangaroos.  Australia was one of my favorite places to visit while I was working on a cruise ship.  I was lucky enough to feed some, pet some, and get very up close and personal!

L – Love…

M – My Mom. She just gets me when no one else does, she is a great listener, and love how our relationship has developed into my adult life.

N – Nuts.  They say you are what you eat…well, I eat a lot of nuts. 😉

O – Oatmeal.  One of my favorite breakfasts whether it is hot, overnight, in a jar, I love it all the same!

P – Planning.  I have to have my planner with me, and I love trying to schedule everything…even though that is impossible!

Q – Quiet time.  Typically I love to be loud, and around people, but I need that time to myself where I just think.  It’s nice.

R – Running. I love it because all I truly need to complete a run is me, myself, and I …and my running shoes.

S – Strawberries.  They are my absolute favorite fruit. Growing up, we would go strawberry picking each year and I would eat so many that my tummy would hurt…every single time!

T – Traveling. I love experiencing different cultures, different traditions, and just seeing how other people live!

U – Upcoming events.  I love putting things on the planner so that I can look forward to it all the way until it gets here!

V – Vegetables!  I love them so much, and they make me feel so good J  I love them raw, roasted, steamed, baked, any way you make them… I will eat them.

W – Weddings. This summer, Brian and I have attended more weddings then I think I have in my life. I love being a part of the celebration and being able to celebrate this special day in the newly weds’ life.

X – X rays…ummm…Xcellent food! (that was a STRETCH!)

Y – Yoga.  I never had a true appreciation for yoga until I began taking it in order to prepare myself to teach it on the cruise ship.  I haven’t kept up with it as much as I should, but I love the completely relaxed, loose, and free feeling I have after a great yoga session.

Z – ZZZZs… I love getting my Z’s in 🙂

What are some of the simple things in your life?

What is Paleo…Have You Tried it?

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I tried something new this morning.

I had seen Clare from Fitting it all In try these a couple of days ago, and love trying new things and I was running out of eggs  to make for breakfast so I made myself a bowl of Oatless Oats.

They were surprisingly simple to make and really tasty.  In the picture above, they are just plain, but when I ate them for breakfast this morning I topped them with a bit of peanut butter, strawberries, and blackberries…oh so good!  I will be promptly adding this little meal to my list of “regulars.”

How to Make Oatless “Oatmeal” (original recipe from Fitting it all In)

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 mashed banana (I took a frozen banana and thawed in the microwave so it was nice and mushy)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • shake of cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax meal

Directions

Mash the banana in a bowl.  After the banana is mashed, combine all ingredients in the bowl until mixed will.  Then, simply place in a saucepan and heat until the texture of the mixture becomes creamy.  When you get that creamy texture, you are finished!  Simply place in a bowl and serve with your favorite toppings (nuts, nut butter, berries, fruit, or plain!)

**I made mine the night before and ate them cold in the morning…they were delish!  Highly recommended!

Why Oatless and What is Paleo?

Some of you are probably wondering why anyone would want to eat oats without the oats.  One huge reason is because the “Paleo” or “Paleolithic” diet cuts out all grains.

Now, I am very new to this whole Paleo way of eating (you may have heard of it referred to as the “caveman diet”), so I have been doing a lot of reading on it lately, and I find it very interesting!

Basically, anyone following the Paleo way of eating guidelines eats anything that would have been available to a caveman and nothing more.  So, grains really aren’t an option.  The main foods that are eaten following this lifestyle are:

  • Nuts
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Meats, Eggs, and Fish

Things to avoid are sugar, legumes (beans), and basically anything that is processed and packaged, because that’s not what the cavemen ate!  There are many web sites outlining various details and health benefits of the diet.  To me, it all makes sense and sounds like a great plan to follow for some.  I completely believe that every person has different needs and will find a different eating plan and lifestyle that just works.  So, while I think that this whole “Paleo” thing is interesting, I don’t think it is something that I want to try full-out…but I will still sample a few of the Paleo recipes here and there!

Dinner

Moving on from the Paleo diet…(that was a smooth transition…)

I made a DELICIOUS meal last night, and I can’t wait to share the recipe with you.  Unfortunately, all I can offer you right now is a little tease:

 

It was as delicious as it is pretty 😉

Workout

As for my workout today, this is my last Cardio Intervals class of the summer.  In honor of the last class, I will be doing another mixed bag workout much like last week.  Also, to show my class their appreciation I made them some little goodies.

 

The special gift is a colorful workout towel with some homemade “Luna” Bars.   Next week, I will be starting a new boot camp class!

Wedding Update!

It has been a while since I have posted anything about the wedding, but never fear…it is still on!  Brian and I are meeting with the reception venue contact tonight.  I can’t wait!

Question of the Morning:

  • Have you tried a Paleo recipe?  What is your favorite?

This is my first Paleo recipe, but I plan on trying more in the near future!

*PS.  One of my co-workers owns a photography business called EBT Photography.  Recently, he has been nominated to win the Wedding Industry Experts Best Indianapolis Photographer Award for 2012.  So, share the love and click this link to vote for his company!

 

Upper Body Workout and Indianapolis Bloggers

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Upper Body Workout and Indianapolis Bloggers

I have so much to share with you today!

Indianapolis Bloggers

Yesterday, I was invited to join a group called Indianapolis Bloggers.  Indianapolis Bloggers is a community of all kinds of local bloggers living in the Indianapolis area.  Being apart of this community will allow me to connect with other bloggers in my area, and it will give me the opportunity to promote various events and happenings in the Indy area in addition to earning some free swag occasionally.  Needless to say, I am very excited to be apart of this great community and can’t wait to see what opportunities come my way.

Office Arm Challenge

Yesterday, while glancing at the Twitter app on my phone, I saw that Brittany at Eating Bird Food posted a link to something she started called the Office Arm Challenge.

Like many others, I work in an office where I am sitting down for most of the day and really only take breaks to get water several times a day and go to the bathroom.  Not exactly what one could call physically demanding.  When I saw this challenge idea I thought that it was perfect for my office!  I recruited one co-worker to try this first week with me.  Maybe next week we will have more!

Tricep dips

Basically, we will be taking a 10-15 minute break once a day to do something great for our body and minds.  Seriously, I felt so much more awake and motivated to finish the day strong after completing the short workout stint.

Brittany started this with one of her co-workers so that their arms look amazing in their wedding dresses next year…so even though this is a great way to get my body movin’ during an otherwise idle business day, I don’t mind the fact that my arms will get a tad more toned while completing the challenge!

A dress is not an excuse to wimp out on push-ups

Upper Body Workout

And in the spirit of toning my arms, after my teaching my spinning class this morning I decided to complete this upper body circuit!  Get ready to feel the burn 😉

Question of the Day:

  • If you sit at a desk most of the day, what do you do to break up your day and move around?

Instead of getting water out of the fountain just outside the office door, I walk to the other end of the building to fill my bottle with the cold filtered water 🙂  And now I do the Office Arm Challenge!  Thanks Brittany!

PS:  If you are looking to order protein powder, nuts, flax seed, PB2, natural products, vitamins, grains, etc then check out iherb.com!  Currently, my special code will get you $5-$10 off your first order!! Gotta love a discount 🙂  Simply click this link for the code.

Cravings All Over the Place

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After teaching my Saturday morning Body Pump class, Brian and I got all gussied up to head to a wedding of two of Brian’s childhood friends.

 

This was some dangerously delicious punch made by the groom’s mom.  It tasted like pineapple juice, but I have a sneaky feeling there was a little something secret hidden in there 😉

 

I love attending events in Brian’s hometown with his childhood friends because I am always meeting new people.  At Butler, Brian and I very much hung out with the same group of people.  I knew his friends and he knew mine, and on a lot of points…the crowds just mixed!  These new people are fun, welcoming, and they are becoming not-so-new anymore!

 

The couple was happy and I know they will have an amazing future together 🙂

Breakfast and Work Day Sunday

This morning, my taste buds and brain were all over the place.  I hope that is not a prediction of how productive my day is going to be!

Did I want sweet?  Always.  Did I want peanut butter?  Yes.  Did eggs sound good?  Of course!

In order to satisfy all of my cravings, I made a little breakfast sampler platter of sorts.  Some egg whites (with one whole egg) and spinach topped with salsa, apples topped with some almond milk and cinnamon, half of a whole wheat english muffin with a little dab of peanut butter.   YUM!

 

Now, it’s time to hit the grocery store (yay!), cook up some food for the week, get some computer work done, and hopefully have time to relax!

What Are Your Sunday Plans?

  • Relaxing or Getting Things Knocked Off the To-Do List??

For me?  Hopefully both!

 

More Wedding Glory

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Good Sunday evening!!

This weekend has just been amazing.  It all started with the surprise date I took Brian on, a wedding yesterday evening, and then a completely productive day today.

Seriously, I can’t believe how many weddings Brian and I have been to this season…and the season still isn’t over!  I feel like each wedding gives me a new perspective (and new ideas 😉) of things to use in my wedding.

Here are some beautiful photos from the wedding:

Sam and Anna…the newly wed couple!

Tori and Kegan (they are newly weds too!)

The bride and groom arrived to the reception in a golf cart…it was such a creative entrance!

The wedding favors were little fans with our names and our table numbers on them.

One of the things that I am loving about attending all of these weddings is that I get to see friends that I haven’t seen in a while.  Last night, I saw one of my great friends, Jenni, from college and we had a great time catching up on our lives 🙂

I then spent the day today practicing Body Pump, prepping meals, and had a great family dinner with the Rochfords, Brian’s Aunt and Grandma, and my sister.

Now, I am off to watch the Next Food Network Star and get some beauty rest….tomorrow is the new release of BodyPump 82 at one of the gyms I teach at and I  am team teaching the new release!

I hope you all had an amazing weekend and are ready to start the week!

Finally Perfect Protein Pancakes and Erin’s Wedding

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This morning started out with a good Sunday morning breakfast…pancakes! With a little protein punch for some added staying power.

I have seriously been trying to create delicious protein pancakes for about 2 months.  They always come out too yogurt-y tasting, with no flavor, a weird consistency, or just somehow not right at all.  Well, today I did it…after two months of experimenting (and finally receiving my favorite protein powder in the mail!!) I came up with the most tasty protein pancake recipe yet!

Perfect Protein Pancakes

This recipe makes about 16 pancakes, so it is perfect for making on a Sunday so that you can save the rest for later in the week when you have less time!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of oat flour (or oats processed in a blender or food processor)
  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 servings of Sunwarrior protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2-2 cups water (just add a little bit at a time until you reach the desired consistency)

Directions:

Heat a skillet on medium heat, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined.  Once the skillet is hot, pour 1/4 cup portions of the batter onto the pan to cook for about 1-2 minutes per side.

I topped mine with 1 tbsp almond butter and 1/4 cup blueberries…but you can top yours however you want!

Nutrition per pancake…3 pancakes makes one serving:  

Calories:  67  Fat:  1g  Carbs:  14.5g  Protein:  7g

Erin’s Wedding

This past Friday, a life friend of Brian and a sorority sister of mine (Erin) got married!!  Here are some pictures of the wedding.  Everything about the weekend was elegant, beautiful, and so much fun.

Congratulations Erin and Matt!! Have fun in Cancun!!

I was asking the waitress what this was (the vegetarian option) and I thought she said veggies with the mother of the cheese….she actually said “mozzarella cheese”!!

Now, Brian and I are off to the gym, church, then the grocery.

What are your Sunday plans to help prepare for the week?