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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


  • 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





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!


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.

Pre-Cardio Interval Snack

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Good Morning!

Today is day number 2 on the job, and I am really looking forward to it.  The hotel offers complimentary breakfast to our guests, and one of my supervisors suggested that I eat breakfast there today.  It should be fun!  At least I know they have fruit, oatmeal, and coffee.

Before heading to the gym this morning, I made myself a pre-workout snack to tide me over until my hotel breakfast.

It was like a mini smoothie!  In the mix was: 1/3 frozen banana, 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup almond coconut unsweetened milk, 2 tsp peanut butter, stevia, and vanilla extract.  It was smooth, creamy, and the perfect pre-workout fuel.

Cardio Intervals

Thursday mornings, I teach Cardio Intervals.  I am really enjoying this class because it gets pretty intense and sweaty, and the group I teach is simply amazing!

Here is a look at the super sweaty cardio and strength training workout we did today:

Now, I am off to work!

After work plans:  attend and study Body Pump (it is one of our instructor’s last class!), make a delicious treat to bring into work on Friday…that is the best part of the job, someone to eat all of my treats 😉

Happy Thursday!

I Found My Inspiration

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Last night after Body Pump, I was parched, but I could not find my water bottle anywhere…luckily I have a backup.  When I got in the car to head to the gym to teach this morning, I figured out where I left my bottle…

I would rather be safe than sorry, thank goodness for double water bottles.

We then had an amazingly sweaty workout session.  Seriously, this workout was hard, but it felt good.  It was the kind of hard where you have to talk yourself into finishing, and at the end you are so glad you did.  Literally, I was drenched by the end.

Here is what we did in our second round of Cardio Intervals:

Running Inspiration

As soon as I got home, I switched my top (yeah, I was that sweaty), and headed out for my 7 mile run.  Yes it was the first time this week that I went for a run, but I was feeling good.

The run started out pretty slow.  I decided to go downtown and run through the city, so there was a lot of stopping at stop lights, going up and down streets trying to avoid stop lights, and basically I wasn’t really pushing myself.  At the beginning of the run, I honestly thought to myself

“Just log the miles…”

Then I saw her.  My running inspiration.  She didn’t look over the top fit, she didn’t have amazingly long legs, but she was taking long strides, she looked confidant and like she was enjoying every step that she took.

In that instant, I changed my mindset of “trying to log the miles” into “I want to challenge myself, and enjoy this run!”  My short, quick steps turned into (what felt like) long, luxurious strides.  I sang along with my ipod, looked around the people walking through the city, and the next thing I knew, my run was finished.  I felt great, accomplished, even more sweaty than when I started, and satisfied.

Sometimes it is easy to forget why we do what we do.  No one MADE me go on that run at 8:30 this morning, I wanted to go, so why shouldn’t I enjoy every second of it?  I am so glad that I found my inspiration.

Today’s run:  7 miles with an 8:53 pace.  16 seconds per minute quicker than last time.

After stretching, I then made myself a delicious Pineapple Banana Smoothie, and I drank it as Brian and I layed by the pool 😉

Pineapple Banana Smoothie:


  • 1/3 banana
  • 3/4 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup Almond Breeze unsweetened almond coconut milk
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder
  • 1/4 cup nonfat Chobani plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 packet of stevia
  • ice cubes and water to desired consistency


Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into your favorite cup and enjoy!


Calories:   246.3  Fat:   2.9g  Carbs:   38.6g  Protein:   20.6g

The protein powder and the Greek yogurt give this smoothie a protein punch to aid in muscle recovery after a hard workout.

Brian and I relaxing in the morning sun

I hope you all have a great Thursday in preparation for the long weekend, and basically the first weekend of summer!

Question of the Morning:

  • What was your workout today?

Once in a Lifetime View

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Happy Monday morning!

After a restless night’s sleep, I started off the morning with a bowl of overnight oats.


I topped the oats with 1/3 of a frozen banana and a teaspoon of peanut butter.  I love overnight oats because they have serious staying power, and I know they will hold me over for a while and give me lots of energy when doing my own workouts and teaching classes.

Solar Eclipse

There was a solar eclipse yesterday!  Did anyone see it?  Unfortunately, the news informed me that the eclipse was not visible in Indianapolis.  The hot spots were from Texas to California and in Southeast Asia.

This eclipse happened during the day when the moon passed in front of the sun creating a “ring of fire” effect.   There are lunar eclipses, which happen at night, and solar eclipses, which happen during the day.  Other than that, I didn’t quite know what the difference was between the two, so I did a little research.

Apparently, lunar eclipses are much more common than solar eclipses because the moon is so much closer to the sun.  Also, when a lunar eclipse occurs it can be seen in most places throughout the world, but when a solar eclipse occurs there is very limited viewing.  When viewing a lunar eclipse, one can look directly at the moon, but when viewing a solar eclipse one’s eyesight can seriously be damaged when looking directly at the sun, and special eye protection must be worn.

The news stated that the last solar eclipse occurred in the United States in 1994, and I remember seeing it!  At the time, I was in kindergarten and stayed home from school because I was sick.  I remember my mom rushing to get me outside to see the spectacular once-in-a-lifetime view.  I did not have special glasses, but there was a woman there who had a mirror for safe viewing.

It is a pretty special experience to have seen such a wonder of the world.


Today, I am subbing a spinning class at 8:30 this morning, then I plan on doing some upper body strength work.  I am also team teaching Body Pump tonight and making a test video to make sure that everything will go flawlessly when I do the entire release.


Question of the Morning:

  • Did anyone see the solar eclipse yesterday?
  • Has anyone ever seen a solar eclipse?


Hunger Games Obsessed

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Last night, Brian and I stayed up a little later than planned reading The Hunger Games.  I feel like everyone I know has already finished to book, and if we didn’t have to sleep last night we could have easily finished the story.

My sister is also a Hunger Games fan and finished the book yesterday.  As an avid reader, she has always fallen into the trends with book series like Harry Potter


and Twilight


I, on the other hand, have never found interest in books that were currently topping the book and movie charts.  So, now that I am completely in LOVE with the Hunger Games, I am also excited that I am finally on trend with my reading 🙂  I can’t wait to read some more tonight!



I decided to switch up my oatmeal a bit this morning.  Here is what was in the mix:

  • 2/3 cup oats
  • 1 tsp World Berries Raw Cacao Powder
  • 1 scoop Sunwarrior Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 2/3 frozen banana
  • 2 tsp peanut butter

I like to call it Monkey Oatmeal Bowl…simply delicious!

It will definitely full me for my group fitness audition later this morning.  Have an amazing and productive Tuesday!


Of Possible Interest:

Full Of Emotion

Tomorrow at 3:55pm, I will have boarded my flight and will officially be on my way to London.




I can’t believe how fast it has come!  All sorts of emotions are mixing around in my head making it hard to decipher what is actually going on.



I am so excited about the adventure that I am about to embark on.  I have no idea what to expect…well ok I guess I think I have a little idea of what to expect.  But I have never been abroad before, let alone all by myself and I am so excited to see all of the people that I will meet and the places that I will travel.



I tend to worry and get nervous about most situations.  Not in a debilitating way that interferes with my life, but just enough that keeps me on edge. I am worried that I won’t have enough money, that I will have missed some huge important detail and be unprepared, that I will be sent home for some crazy reason, and the list goes on.  All of these worries are slightly irrational and something that I just have to “go with the flow” on.  I think a little nervousness is normal though…right??



The holidays are my absolute favorite time…ever.  This year, I am missing Thanksgiving with my family and Brian’s family.  I am also missing Christmas this year.  Usually for Christmas it is just Mom, Dad, Tara, Brenna, and Kenny, but this year my mom organized it so that Grandma and Grandpa are coming for the holiday season!

I absolutely love spending time with my family and can’t believe that I am missing this family event!  Also, last year was the first Christmas that Brian and I spent together.  We started some of our own traditions and were able to spend Christmas Eve with his family in Indianapolis and Christmas day with my family in Fort Wayne.  I know that all of this will pick back up and resume when I get home, but I am sad that I am going to be missing it this year.



I have no idea where I am going after my training in London.  The details of my schedule for the next coming month are something I haven’t been informed of yet.  What will my room look like?  How many roommates will I have?  Where will I keep my stuff?  How does laundry work?  What kind of food are we eating?  When do I have to wake up every day?  Will I have to study? All I feel I have are questions with very little answers, but come Monday I am sure that I will be able to answer them all (or at least most!)


Now on to the important things…


Dinner Last Night

Last night, my mom made a new-to-us recipe called Chicken Sputnick.   It was a recipe that she found in the local newspaper, and I have to say that the reviews were right…it was delicious!

The dish was made of potatoes and onions cooked with sherry cooking wine, paprika, pecorino romano cheese and chicken.  Everything was full of flavor and so tender!  The steamed broccoli on the side was the perfect accessory 😉



For breakfast, I had a bowl of Coco Wheats with banana…I forgot how great this stuff tastes!


Because today is literally my last day, I have a list of things to accomplish, a special family dinner, and a family movie outing!


Happy Friday!

My Last…

I finished packing up everything for my big adventure, and then odds and ends (3 tubs worth!) to take back to my parents house in Fort Wayne.  I did have a little help from these…

If you haven’t tried Space Bags, then I highly recommend them!  Not only do they give you a little extra space while packing things up for travel or storage, but they are fun to use! (at least to me 😉 )


Last night was the last dinner that I cooked for Brian before I leave to work on the cruise ship this coming Saturday.  We are heading to Fort Wayne once Brian gets home from school today, so the rest of our dinners will be cooked by Mom 🙂

I wanted to make something special since it was our “last meal”, but it was also grocery week and I had little left in the refrigerator.  I experimented a little after looking at a couple of recipes and made a delicious batch of butternut squash soup.

Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 2-3


  • 1/2 peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste (I used about 1 Tbsp)
  • pepper to taste (1 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 5 cups water
Begin by cooking the onions in the oil in the bottom of a large pan for about 8 minutes, or until tender.  Then, add in the squash, spices, and water.  Allow to come to a boil, then simmer about 15 minutes.  Next, remove butternut squash and onions with slotted spoon and put into the cup part of the blender.  Add a little bit of the broth from the cooked vegetables.  Pulse for a short amount of time so that it is slightly pureed and slightly chunky.  Mix the blended mixture back into the pan of broth.  Allow to boil once more, then bring down heat and serve.
Since last night was my last dinner, this morning is my last breakfast aka my last homemade smoothie for a while.  I made one of my favorites to kick my craving until I get home.
Banana, coffee, chocolate smoothie 🙂

What’s Up This Weekend?!

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It’s Friday!


I just love the start of the weekend, even if I don’t have anything special going on.  Everyone just seems a little happier, a little less stressed, and a little more relaxed about things.


I started off my Friday morning with a super duper sweaty workout, literally super sweaty.  I did the Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs workout.  Seriously, I was sweatin’.  I quickly cooled off when I took Bella on a walk this morning.  This weather is totally tripping me up.  I can literally see my breath in the morning, but by lunchtime I can wear shorts outside!



I really wanted something that was going to last for breakfast today because I have to work a long shift at work.  Another bowl of buckwheat.

I  mixed a really old and mushy banana into the oats before cooking them, so when they were done cooking they were super creamy and banana flavored!  I also mixed in vanilla extract and a tablespoon of peanut butter.  Mmmmm so delish!  I also had a side of chocolate glazed donut flavored coffee!! Bella’s family has a Keurig (I really enjoyed it last time too!) and they have all sorts of fun coffee flavors 🙂


Question of the day:

What are your plans for the weekend?!  Anything fall themed???  

Not Expecting Autumn

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After seeing the beautiful weather outside the past couple of days, I just had to lace up the running shoes and get out there!  The highs in the afternoon have been in the 80s, but in the morning the weather has been in the 40s and 50s.  So cold that I can see my breath.  This brings up the dilemma of what to wear when working out outside.

Today, I opted for running shorts and a sweatshirt, but it still wasn’t the right combo.  My legs were freezing the first portion of the run, and then I felt like I was burning up after the first 10 minutes.  There just isn’t  a way to balance it, I guess.


Because my knee has been hurting lately I was a little nervous about running, and I actually forgot to wear the knee brace that I purchased to help give me a little extra support.  I set out and told myself that my goal was to run for 30 minutes, and as soon as I felt any sort of discomfort in my knee that I would stop and walk….and guess what!  I never felt any discomfort and was able to complete the entire 30 minutes pain free, thank goodness!


After the run, I walked Bella around the block, then came inside and did Jeanette Jenkin’s 10 minute Booty Bootcamp video again, then did the following:

  • 50 center crunches
  • 10 push-ups
  • 50 crunches on each side
  • 15 bicycle crunches
  • 10 push-ups
Because it is sooo dark until practically 7:45am here in Indiana I definitely ate breakfast before my workout (I woke up around 6am). Since Brian and I are dog-sitting, it was easier to transport buckwheat than it was to transfer all of my frozen fruit and blender so I had buckwheat for breakfast!
The buckwheat was mixed with cinnamon and half of a banana.  It kind of tasted like banana bread!


Not Expecting Autumn

Ok, so it is clearly autumn.  The weather is cooler, the leaves are changing color and falling, pumpkins and cornstalks are adorning each house.  I have purchased and cooked up pumpkin and butternut squash, apples, and started cooking warm soups.


But to me it just doesn’t feel like autumn.  Maybe it’s because this fall is totally different from any other fall has been for me.  Usually I am getting out all of the fall decorations, planning my halloween costume, making trips to haunted houses and apple orchards.  This year is different.  Because I leave in a couple of weeks, I did not get out any fall decor, there is no reason for me to plan a halloween outfit, and I have yet to purchase a pumpkin to decorate and carve.  I have realized that because I am leaving, I mentally planned to not be here for any holidays, and therefore did not anticipate being here for the season change.  But I am here!!  Brian has his big exam on Monday, but after that I am going to plan plenty of fall activities for us to do so I can get out of “season limbo.”


What are some ways you have adapted to the season change?  Decorations?  Special baked goodies?  Visiting an apple orchard?  A fall festival?  Let me know!!!

Why Do YOU Do It??

It’s Friday!

This week has felt a little long to me because I had two days off right in the middle of the week.  I’m the kind of girl who loves a routine so the random days off and inconsistent schedule of working in the retail world kind of trip me up.


After my workout this morning, I had a delicious bowl of fruit and granola.

Apples, bananas, blackberries and granola on the bottom.  Tasty!



This morning’s workout was another video from the Insanity series.  I woke up with my knee feeling great, so I was ready to test it a little more with some of the high intensity moves.


At the end of the workout, Shaun T (the instructor and creator of Insanity), said that as a fitness professional he sometimes wonders why he does what he does, but then he realizes he does it to look good.  This made me think.

Why do I workout most mornings?  Why do I do what I do?


I would be lying if I didn’t say a portion of why I work out is so that I am proud of the way I look, but that isn’t the only reason.  As an 8th grader (so long ago!) I was in a science group that studied childhood obesity.  We focused on the importance of balanced and wholesome nutrition accompanied by fitness and leading an active lifestyle when educating elementary school children about how to be “healthy.”  It stuck with me.  I know that the working out and healthy diet that I strive for now will pay off years down the road.  I do what I do so that I can live a long, healthy life.  I want to be exercising when I’m 90!


I also do what I do because it makes me feel good.  For me, physical activity is a natural mood lifter.  Whenever I am feeling bad about myself, having a sad day, or am just in a funk the second I begin some sort of physical activity I seriously feel infinitely better.


So, my question to you this morning is Why do you workout???


Things to check out today: