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I’ve Got the Itch….

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It is Friday afternoon, and I am feeling the weekend itch!

Brenna taught me a new way to curl my hair a couple of days ago.  I tried it this morning.  Can you see a difference??

I can’t really see that much of a difference because I don’t think I did it completely right.  Oops!  Looks like I need to keep practicing!

Lunch

Because I had a late night, Kate packed a little lunch for me again.  All that I needed to do was add some protein to my salad.

I whipped up some egg whites mixed with cottage cheese and spinach this morning, let them cool and then plopped them right on top of the romaine salad with green peppers, zucchini, and tomato…to top it all of, some of Brian’s dad’s homemade pico de gallo…delicous 🙂

Now back to the daily grind, but here are some fun lunch time reading materials to leave you with.

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8 Mile Run and the Greenwood Farmer’s Market

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Last night after work, Brian and I headed straight out to the store to get some supplies for an extreme camping trip that he is going on.  He has been going on this trip since he was in high school and now he is a staff member.  This year, they will be going to the Colorado and the Grand Canyon.  Food is provided for the majority of it, but for three days they do a thing called “back country” where they have to provide their own food, which is mostly shelf stable food since there are no stoves or kitchens on the trail.

We also made a pit-stop for a special treat.  We both had Blizzards on the brain since I mentioned them in my food survey yesterday.  Cookie dough for him and banana cream pie for me…what a yummy treat!

We then came home, and Brian packed for his trip while I cooked up a ton of goodies for his car full of high school kids.  I am still not finished with all of the baking though!

Today

This morning, I actually slept in…it was much needed.  As much of a morning person as I am, waking up at 4am everyday does take it’s toll and being able to sleep until 7:30am is much appreciated!

I started out with some frozen blackberries and banana topped with a little peanut butter as some pre-run fuel.

It is a hot one today, so I wanted to get my long run done early!  A couple of days ago, Peanut Butter Runner blogged about how she uses coconut water during her runs in order to aid in rehydration and electrolyte replacement.  With the heat, I knew I would need a little something more than plain water, so I decided to try using Vita Coco coconut water.

Well, I finished a couple of hours ago and I still feel great, so I would say it did the job!  Unfortunately, the store only had pineapple coconut water, which tastes good but during a run it is almost too much.  So, next time I will water it down or stick with plain.

In the mail last night, I received the Body Pump 82 release, and I am already obsessed with it!!  I can’t wait for the launch next month.  I listened to it during the entire run.

I ended up finishing 8 miles with an 8:50 pace.  Not too shabby 😉

After the run, showering, and downing a delicious smoothie, Brian and I headed to the Greenwood Farmer’s Market!

It was so cute, the people were so friendly, and there was a really good variety of fresh produce and meat.

I ended up spending a mere $4 on some lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a yellow squash.  I can’t wait to use them!

We then came home and whipped up a quick lunch.  For me, egg whites, reduced fat cheese, and some roasted veggies leftover from the week.

Next on the agenda:  heading to the pool!

Happy Saturday!!

It’s Already Thursday?! and Another Easley Recipe

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This has been one crazy first full week of work, and I cannot believe that it is almost Friday.  Eek!  Where did the week go?

I started this morning by teaching a full Body Pump class.  My dad came along to video tape it so that I could send it in for an assessment so that I can finally be OFFICIALLY certified.  It was only my second time teaching the full class, and while I made a couple of mistakes with my cueing, the girl who usually teaches the class told me that my coaching was strong, my technique was good, and that EVERYONE makes mistakes…even her, and she has been doing this for 5 years!!  So, I will have to watch the video and evaluate it before I decided if I want to submit it.

Then, it was time to hit the showers and get ready for work.  On my way to work I enjoyed another baked oatmeal.

For some reason, I didn’t think of it until just yesterday to make multiple baked oatmeals at a time.  It truly is a no-brainer idea, but I was literally making a baked oatmeal every single night.  Next week, I am going to make a bunch either in muffin tins or a flat 8×8 pan that I can cut into squares so that I have one less thing to prepare after I get home form work.

I then sat at my desk and started working.  I am enjoying the new job, but it is very hard to stay organized.  I am managing the sales of two different properties that are two different brands with two different systems and a different method of filing things…needless to say even for a person who enjoys being organized, it is confusing!

When noon rolled around, I was very happy for the lunch break.  Last night, I made a little experiment with egg whites, cottage cheese, and spinach.  I didn’t measure anything, but they turned out very tasty, so next time I will be more precise so that I can share!

Today’s lunch included a salad topped with leftover brussels sprouts, roasted sweet potato, bell pepper, tomato, onion, salsa and one of these little egg white muffins.  Yummm…

Tonight, after work I will be hanging out downtown for a bit so that I can teach a 30 minute abs class.  Although it will be a later night, I am looking forward to teaching 🙂

On that note, have an amazing Thursday, and I will leave you with another Easley recipe.

Reggae Blush Strawberry Cake Balls

These treats are truly delicious.  Using wine in the batter actually replaces the fat needed for baking.  By combining applesauce and wine, this treat will have less fat than adding oil and have a unique flavor that you would not taste by using a traditional cake mix with oil and eggs.  A special treat suitable for all ages!

What you Will Need:

Cupcakes:   

  • 1 box strawberry cake mix
  • 3.9 oz box of instant vanilla pudding
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup Easley’s Reggae Blush Wine
  • ½ cup unsweetened organic applesauce
  • 12 oz of white chocolate chips for dipping the cake balls
  • 1 cup Buttercream Frosting (recipe bleow)
  • 24 cupcake liners

 Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbsp milk*

Instructions:

Buttercream Frosting:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter for about a minute to soften.  Alternately, add in the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients.

*Only add the milk until the frosting is of the desired consistency.  You may need a little more, or a little less.

Cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place 24 cupcake liners in a cupcake pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.  Mix at a medium speed for 2-3 minutes until the batter is smooth and thoroughly combined.  With an ice cream scoop, scoop batter evenly into cupcake liners.  Bake in the oven for 18 minutes, or until a clean knife inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely.  Once cooled, remove cupcakes from the liners and smash into crumbs.

 

Place the cake crumbs in a large mixing bowl.  Use 1 cup of icing (or if using store bought icing use 1 full container).  Mix until the cake and frosting are thoroughly combined.

Place in the fridge for 1 hour, or overnight.  Once cooled, remove from the refrigerator and roll into walnut sized balls.

Place the balls back in the refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight.  Melt white chocolate.  Roll each cake ball in the white chocolate and place on waxed paper to harden.

*If making a half batch of cake balls, use 12 cupcakes and freeze the other 12 to thaw and serve for a  quick treat at a later date!

The Big Move

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Hello!!!

We are officially moved in!!

Now, we just have to put everything away in it’s new home 🙂

Friday night when I arrived home, Brian and I shared a glass of wine with our “last meal” at the apartment.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t anything super fancy, it was made up of a ton of leftover, and random produce in the fridge that I could easily get rid of.  But it still tasted good!

Brian was sad to leave.

We then worked through the night making sure all of the odds and ends were packaged up and labeled.  Then, the morning came, we put the finishing touches on packing and the movers arrived.

They had the place cleared out in an hour and a half!

We had a lot of heavy wooden furniture, tables, a bed, and a couch, and we thought that it would be safest if we hired movers (for us and the furniture!).  Brian and I had never hired movers before, but we now highly recommend it.  We decided to use Two Men and a Truck  simply because we had heard of them before and we had friends that had a good experience with them in the past.  Their slogan is “movers who care”, and they really do live by that.

I was so impressed with their speed at getting things into the truck (after all they are paid hourly!), the care that they gave our belongings, and their friendly personalities.  With each item that was large, they wrapped it in a blanket surrounded with a seran wrap type material to keep it in place.

They were so careful with things that could potentially get damaged.  For example, Brian and I had a lamp that was laying out for them to take.  The movers asked us to remove the light bulb and take the lamp shade ourselves so that nothing could get damaged.

Overall, I was very impressed.  It made the move smooth, easy, and quick.

Now, all we have left is the unpacking part.

After the movers got everything into the house, it was time for lunch.  I made myself a salad of spinach, romaine, broccoli, onion, tomato, egg whites (with cottage cheese in them), all topped with salsa and balsamic vinegar.  Very tasty.

After getting somethings in the kitchen put away, we headed out to a graduation open house for one of Brian’s cousins.  Of course, snacks were involved.  For me:  some veggies and dip, a pickle, a delicious purple iced sugar cookie, and some Reese’s Pieces.   I haven’t had Reese’s Pieces in a while, and I realized why I don’t buy them…they are addicting!  Brian and I kept going back for more, and we even took some “for the road” to snack on in the car 😉

We then came home, and got the clothing situation mostly organized and took a break to eat some of Brian’s dad’s homemade French onion soup and a side salad.  Delish….as I was eating it, it made me think of Christmas!  I already made the request to have this dish again during the holidays.

Today

Today, I woke up early, had some egg white oats with strawberries and a bit of peanut butter for breakfast.

Now we must finish the unpacking, organizing, and decorating…happy Sunday!

It Tasted Like French Toast!

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Good Morning!

A short week is always a good week in my book.  So, although it feels like Monday today, it is in fact TUESDAY.

Tuesdays are when I teach my 6am spinning class, and although I am a morning person and don’t have trouble getting out of bed before the sun, sometimes I have to do a little self pep talk in order to make sure that I am cheery and peppy for my class.

For whatever reason, driving makes me extremely tired, add to that a lack of sun, a warm sweat shirt, lack of caffeine, and on days like today rain….and by the time I get to the gym I am ready for a snooze!  On days like today, I have to just sit in the car for a couple of minutes, mentally prepare, then enter the gym and say hi to everyone.  Seriously, I don’t know if it is the act of smiling or talking or both, but that is what gets me going!

Workout

After teaching spin, I always like to do a 30 minute strength workout, and today I focused on shoulders.

Upright Row:

source

Arnie Press:

source

Single Arm Dumbbell Front Raise:

source

Shoulder Rotation:

Step 1

Step 2

This workout left my shoulders fatigued.  Each week, I try to increase my weights by just a little bit so that I can keep that burn coming after each workout.

Breakfast

Breakfast this morning was a bit of an experiment.  One of my friends who has similar interests in nutrition and exercising as me told me that she often cooks her oatmeal in the morning with egg whites for an added boost of protein rather than using protein powder.  I thought about trying it, but never actually got around to it…until this morning.

Boy, was that a great decision!  The oats tasted like french toast to me because of the slightly eggy flavor.  I will definitely be doing this again 😉

Egg White Oats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 packet stevia
  • a sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract

Directions:

Combine all ingredients together in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave on high for 1 minute.  Remove from the microwave and stir, then cook for 1 more minute.  Once you are ready to eat, you can eat them as they are or top with your favorite toppings.

Today’s toppings: frozen peaches, and 1 Tbsp of crunchy peanut butter…delish!

*2 egg whites adds in about 8 grams of protein with only around 32 additional calories!!

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Let the Packing Begin

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Yesterday started out bright and early with a 30 minute elliptical warm-up at the gym followed by a strength training workout focusing on my legs.  I must admit that after running 7 miles the day before…my legs were a tad bit tender.  After the workout there was plenty of foam rolling to ease some of that muscle soreness.

I then came home, quickly (very quickly) showered, got ready, and whipped up three egg whites, and apple and a tablespoon of peanut butter.  I forgot how much a really like apple and peanut butter…it seems like ages since I have last had it.

Brian and I then headed out to get my car fixed.  It had been shaking a lot while I was driving it and making this weird popping noise, and the engine light was on so Brian and I decided it was time to take her to the shop.

While my car was at the shop, Brian and hung out with his mom at Einstein’s bagels.  They enjoyed onion bagels with veggie cream cheese while I sipped on an iced coffee.

It was then time to head to the outlet mall.  Brian and I are going to be taking our engagement photos in about two weeks! (I can’t believe it is coming so soon!) and Brian wanted to pick up a couple of new shirts.  I have been wearing the same shoes for running, teaching group fitness, and just about everything under the sun since October so I was in the market for a new pair of group fitness shoes and a separate pair of running shoes.

The pair of shoes that I got for group fitness I really love.  They are the Adidias Fly By W.  According to the information provided online they are very breathable and for a person with a neutral foot position (that’s me!) that wants lightweight cushioning.

I wore them on a walk with Brian last night and thought they felt great!  The pair that I bought for running I have read a lot of mixed reviews about.  They are more for someone who needs a very sturdy/stiff shoe who overpronates.  I don’t fall into that category and don’t want to risk being in pain when I run.  I am going to think about it a bit more, but I may return them.

We then went to pick up my car, which she now works like a charm, and then got back to the apartment to start packing.

It really wasn’t that bad once we finally got started.  Now, I am just ready to get everything boxed up and be done with the whole process.

While Brian and I were unloading the drawers and cabinets in our living room Brian found something…the last Easter egg!

I hid that one 😉  Must have been a pretty good hiding spot if it took us two months to find it!

We then had leftovers from the night before for dinner and headed out to walk around the city.  The weather is so nice and warm, there was no way we couldn’t take advantage of the beautiful night.

Today

Today was another early day for me.  I started by working on another component to my “special project.”  Here is a hint as to what part of this project is.

Buckwheat pancakes for breakfast with a special blueberry sauce.  They were both delicious and tasted great together.

Now, off to teach a spinning class and pack pack pack!

I hope you all have a wonderful Saturday!

What Do You Eat After?

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Hey Team!

That is what I call my group fitness classes 😉  Today, I am in total Group Fitness mode!  I am teaching three classes today at three different facilities.   Luckily, I have had several hours between each class, so I am not rushing around.

I taught Pilates at noon, and did a quicky arm workout afterwards.  Whenever I teach during a meal time, I feel like it kind of throws my eating schedule out of wack a little bit.

I knew that I needed to eat lunch afterward, but I wasn’t really craving anything.  My mom had the great idea of eggs…perfect!  So, I sauteed some broccoli, cauliflower, and onion in water.  I then added in 4 egg whites and a slice of pepper jack cheese to give the eggs a little spicy kick.  Once they were cooked all the way through, I topped the eggs with a little bit of salsa.

It is important to eat a good balance of carbohydrates and protein after a workout.  The veggies provided me with carbs and the egg whites and cheese provided me with protein.

While I was eating, I decided to do a little research on some more post-workout meal/snack ideas and I found a great article on the ACE Certified Professionals archives.

Some of ACE’s post-workout meals included:

  • Graham crackers, peanut butter, and chocolate milk–Nancy Clark MS, RD, CSSD submitted this idea because the carbs from the graham crackers and chocolate milk refuel the muscles, while the protein from the peanut butter and the chocolate milk aid in muscle repair.
  • Yogurt, an orange, and red bell pepper–Suggested by The Nutrition Twins, these are easy to grab and eat on the go when doing a workout midday, or when on the run.  The orange and bell pepper are high in water, which helps to rehydrate after an intense sweat session.  The yogurt provides the carbs needed for refueling and the protein needed for the repairing and rebuilding of muscles.  The calcium and potassium in the yogurt also help to eliminate muscle cramping.
  • Smoothie made of plain nonfat yogurt, pineapple, mango, cinnamon and toasted wheat germ–Emily Ann Miller MPH, RD suggested this tasty treat because of the rehydrating properties of the fruit, the carbohydrates from the fruit and the yogurt, and the protein from the yogurt…everything that your body needs post-workout.

Question of the Afternoon:

  • What are some of your favorite post-workout snacks?

I love smoothies, homemade protein bars, and overnight oats made with a bit of Greek yogurt and protein powder.