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Zesty Black Bean Dip

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Yesterday truly was a lazy day spent by the pool just hanging out, so today I woke up with the mindset to get things knocked off the to-do list.

I started out the morning with a bowl of overnight oats.  This mixture had chocolate, peanut butter, a bit of protein powder, and Greek yogurt all topped off with a little bit of frozen banana.

With the weather being estimated at a high of over 90 today, hot food just didn’t sound appealing to me, but this did the trick at fueling me up for a productive day.

A Recipe

A couple of days ago, I was getting ready to make lunch for Brian and myself when I decided to get a little creative.  We had a can of black beans in the pantry that had been there for a couple of weeks, and I wanted to use it up.  Immediately, I thought to make some sort of black bean dip.  After rinsing the beans and placing them in the food processor with a little bit of this and a little bit of that I had come up with a deliciously easy dip!

Zesty Black Bean Dip

Yields: about 8 servings of 2 Tbsp


  • 1 15.5 oz can black beans
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp green tabasco sauce
  • sriracha to taste


Place all ingredients in the food processor and process until desired consistency.  The dip will be creamy, with a little bit of bean texture.  Serve with chopped veggies, tortilla chips, or crackers.  Enjoy!


Calories:  57.5   Fat:  .2g   Carbs:  10.3g   Protein:  3.8g

This would be a perfect dip to take to a Memorial Day BBQ 🙂  I hope you all have a great extra day of the weekend!

Toilet Incident

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Today, while I was home alone, an unfortunate event happened…

The toilet overflowed.


Now, this wouldn’t have been such a big deal if we had a plunger…but we didn’t, and I had no idea what to do.  I am so thankful for my parents and Brian’s parents, because when it comes to things around the house, Brian and I can be pretty helpless *sometimes*.  So, the toilet is overflowing, and we don’t have a plunger, what is the first thing I do?  Text Brian.  How does he respond?  Call maintenance.  I did not call maintenance.  While this did seem like a big deal to me at the time, I feel like they would have laughed in my face if I called them to plunge my toilet.  Instead, I called my Dad because Dad’s know how to do everything.  He tells me to plunge it…we have no plunger (it looks like there is no way of getting out of this without one).  Then, he tells me to shut the water off.  I thought he meant to turn the water off in the whole building…he did not.  In case you didn’t know, there is a little knob at the back of your toilet that looks like a faucet.  If the toilet is overflowing, you can turn that knob to the right to turn the water off.  Who knew?!

I was shocked to find a picture of this immediately!!

I shut the water off, got dressed, then headed out to the store to buy a plunger.  The store was right down the street, so it didn’t take long.

Once I got home, it literally took one plunge to solve the entire problem.  So, my lesson of the day from this little experience…always have a plunger on hand.



After this little toilet incident, I spent the rest of the morning applying for jobs, responding to e-mails, fixing my budget, and doing laundry.  Just crossing one thing after another off of the good old to-do list.  I then decided it was time to stretch the legs and head out for a 3 mile run.  It was a little bit colder outside than usual.  So, at the beginning of the run I was freezing, despite my long sleeves, and at the end of my run I was burning because of my long sleeves.  All in all, it was a good run.

Finished with an 8 minute and 43 second pace.  Nice and comfortable.


By the time I was done with my run, I was more than ready to refuel.  Since the cupboards are looking a little bit random this week (I don’t know what I was thinking when I did my grocery shopping last week), I made a little black bean and tuna salad.

  • 3/4 cup black beans
  • 1/2 can tuna
  • 2 baby yellow peppers
  • 2 Tbsp salsa
  • a couple of squirts of sriracha

Mix it all up in the bowl and enjoy 🙂


After lunch, I spent more time knocking things off of the to-do list, and the next thing I knew, I was tired of sitting and ready to start moving to the kitchen to make dinner.

I used up the last of my tempeh in this tomato sauce dish.  It was so simple!  I simply chopped some broccoli and asparagus and cooked them up in the tomato sauce until they were tender, then added the tempeh for the last couple of minutes, and voila!  Dinner was served.


Now, I am mentally preparing to teach an abs class at a gym that I have never taught at before!  I am nervous simply because it is a new-to-me facility, and excited because I love teaching 🙂


Wish me luck!

Black Bean Soup and Cornbread

Boy do I have two recipes for you!

Today, the weather in Indiana was cloudy, cold, and slightly drizzly…the perfect fall weather for soup.  Cornbread is one of my favorite things to enjoy with soup, and I had a healthier recipe I wanted to try but I just needed a main dish component to go with it.  I found a black bean soup recipe on and decided to give it a whirl.

Let me tell you, this soup was so delicious!! Brian gobbled his up along with two of the cornbread muffins which were soft, doughy, slightly sweet and totally yummy.

Black Bean Soup (adapted from


  • 1 15 oz can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Put all ingredients into the blender and blend until desired consistency.  Not too smooth, leave it a little bit chunky for texture.  Place in a large pot and bring to a boil to heat.  Garnish with jalepenos and green onions to taste.
Makes 4 servings:  Calories–149.4g  Total Fat–.7g  Total Carbohydrates–28.3g  Protein–8.5g  Fiber–8.8
Super Moist Corn Muffins (adapted from
  • 1 cup canned cream-style corn
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup egg beaters
  • 1/2 cup 0% Fage Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp Splenda (granulated)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine all wet ingredients in a small bowl (cream-style corn, egg beaters, greek yogurt).  In a larger bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, splenda, baking powder and salt.  Combine the dry mix and the wet mix.  Pour into 12 greased muffin tins.  Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
Makes 12 servings:  Calories–84.9g  Total Fat–.5g  Total Carbohydrate–17.4g  Fiber–1.2g  Protein–3.3g
Both of these recipes are simple and delicious!  Enjoy 🙂

Yoga and Black Beans…in Brownies?

Yoga Post of the Day:  Head-to-Knee Forward Bend


This pose looks familiar and somewhat simple, but for a person with tight hamstrings (like myself) it can be a bit uncomfortable and challenging.  




For this pose, I had to do the modified easier variation which is using the band around my foot.  If you are more flexible, then the final step would actually be to reach farther and hold onto your wrist and try to make your back as flat as possible.

I had just finished up my 3 mile run, so this stretch was a perfect way to lengthen my hammies.

Benefits of this pose:  Opens the chest and lungs, stretches the calf, hamstring and lower back muscles, helps relieve menstrual and menopausal discomfort, improves digestion, increases circulation to the liver, kidneys and colon, alleviates fatigue and headache, strengthens the lower back.

10 Things All Women Need

Because I don’t go into work until this evening, I had the opportunity to watch the Today Show.  On the segment with Kathy Lee and Hoda they talked about 10 things every woman needs.  The list included

  1. Great serving pieces
  2. A beautiful throw
  3. Personalized stationary
  4. A signature scent
  5. Personalized facial and beauty routine
  6. An everyday tote
  7. Cashmere sweater
  8. Inexpensive Fall Jacket
  9. Beautiful piece of lingerie
  10. Party dress
I really loved their list because I felt like everything on it was attainable, even for a recent college grad on a budget like me!  I think that my favorite items on the list are, great serving pieces because I love making food for others and having them over to share it, a beautiful throw because I am always cold and always have blankets laying around, personalized stationary because I love the hand written letter and stationary can be so personal, and an inexpensive fall jacket because I love jackets (since I am always cold) and they are so cute!
What are your favorites on the list?
For lunch today, I used some of the leftover canned salmon from yesterday’s salad.  I mixed:
I then had my favorite side…fresh veggies.
I also baked an experimental treat, and I would have to say (with Brian’s agreement) that the experiment was a success.
Blackbean Brownies (Adapted from
  • 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp of applesauce
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 35o and grease an 8×8 inch baking pan.  Place all ingredients in food processor except for the chocolate chips.
 Pulse until completely combined.  Pour the batter into the pan and top with chocolate chips.
Bake for 30 minutes.
**Allow to cool completely before cutting (don’t be too anxious like me) they will be crumbly, and the bottom of several brownies may stick to the pan in pieces…oops 😉
Brian totally forgot that there were black beans even in these brownies when he tried them, so trust me…they are good 🙂






Summer Day Kickin’ it by the Pool

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Sarah and Jeremy (the kids I nanny for) granted my wish and wanted to go to the pool today!  It was sooo hot, so I cooled off with a game of Marco Polo.  I forgot how fun that game was!

Just hangin' out at the pool! Fun in the sun

We met up with one of my friends who nannies for two little girls that Sarah and Jeremy used to play with last year.  The younger one, Alexis has a crush on Jeremy and calls him “Dr. J”  How cute!

Once I was done with nannying, I headed straight to Butler to teach Core Intensity.  The workout we did today was a circuit like last week but I tweaked it juuuust a bit since I ran out of time last week.  Here is what we did:

Ab Circuit (1 minute per station the first time through, then 30 seconds per station the second time through)

  • Balance on the BOSU Ball Seated
  • Core Press—Lie on Back With Knees up and Forearms Raised with Elbows on the Ground, Engage Abs and Roll Up, End with Arms Straight in Front of You and Body in the C-Curve Position (3-5lb wts)
  • Torso Twist using Medicine Ball
  • Dumbbell Crunches on Step (8 lb weights)

Butts and Hip Circuit(1 minute per station the first time through, then 30 seconds per station the second time through)

    • Calf Raises
    • Reach and Squeeze
      • Lie on right side, propped up on right forearm, legs stacked with bottom leg bent, a weight in left hand, left arm extended overhead.  Lift hips off ground into a side plank to start.  Bend elbow and bring weight to shoulder as you lift top leg as high as you can.  Return to start.  Repeat on opposite side.
    • Weighted all 4s
      • Get on all 4s with a flat back and engaged abs.  Place 3-5lb weight behind the knee and lift heel to the ceiling.  Switch legs at 30 seconds.
    • Squat with medicine ball  

Back (all together go through twice)

  • Back extension with hands resting at temple 12 reps
  • Touchdown arms 12 reps
    • Bent over row 12 reps
      • 8-10 lb

It was a really good all over workout.  My supervisor attended class tonight and gave me some great feedback that I can’t wait to try next week!

After class, I came home and was hungry for dinner.  I wanted something quick and simple, so I took half of a Joseph’s flax, oat bran, and whole wheat pita and stuffed it with some corn salsa and low fat pepper jack cheese.  I popped it in the microwave to melt the cheese.  On the side I topped a bed of Boston lettuce with MORE corn salsa, red onion, sriracha, salt, and pepper.  It was perfect, quick, easy, and nutritious!

Tonight is going to be an early night in bed.  My plans:  read over information for the cruise, and catch up on the Next Food Network Star!