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GROCERY LIST MAKE-OVER CONTEST WINNER!

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And the winner of the Facebook “Like” me contest is….

Emily!!!

Send me an e-mail at trebleinthekitchen@gmail.com so that we can get crackin’ on that grocery list make-over ūüôā

Like Me? Then “Like” Me!

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Last night, I made a deliciously simple meal that was nearly made of all local ingredients.

The wine was from Easley Winery, the main dish was a U-Relish Farms crockpot meal (review coming soon!),¬†and the salad…well it came from the grocery store. ¬†But even still the salad, crockpot meal, and wine were the perfect end to a long work day.

Like Me?

Having this blog is great because the blog time is like “me time” and I am really able to focus, write down my thoughts, get creative, and do things that I truly enjoy. ¬†One of the great things that I love about the blog is the opportunities that it gives me and the people that it allows me to meet. ¬†I know that I am only getting started and there is so much room for me to grow, but I continue to want to sink my teeth in and bite off more and more projects that allow me to promote a healthy lifestyle, experiment in the kitchen, meet people with similar interests, find new ways to be active, and learn new lessons.

As I have recently been researching more opportunities for me to “put myself out there”, I have come across a small obstacle. ¬†Some promotional opportunities require a certain amount of Facebook¬†“likes.” ¬†Currently, I am at 89 Facebook “likes.” ¬†Here is where I¬†need your help.

I need your help to get me to 100 (or more!!)¬†Facebook “likes!”

In order to make this a little more fun for you, (and for me ;)) I am going to host a contest through Saturday morning.

The prize:  Grocery List Consultation Evaluation

As a young professional and recent college grad attempting to eat a healthy diet on a dime I have a few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to saving money on quality ingredients. ¬†I will look at what you are doing now, listen to your goals about where you would like your budget to be, what changes to your current food intake you want to make, ¬†and look at potentially new foods you may like to try. ¬†I want to help you save money and show you some healthier alternatives to current foods you may be eating because healthy living doesn’t have to be expensive or out of your price range!

Previously, I did a Clean Shopping On a Budget Series, and in the past year I have learned even more tips and tricks of the grocery shopping and healthy eating trade.  To check out the series, click on the links below:

The consultation and evaluation will include:

  • cost saving tips and suggestions
  • coupon sources
  • healthy food swaps
  • meal preparation tips
  • anything else you may need help with!

In order to¬†enter this contest¬†simply “like” my Facebook page, and comment down below on this post letting me know that you did!

It won’t take many to reach the 100 mark…so let’s see how far we can surpass it!

Summary

What:  Contest to get 100+ Facebook page likes

Prize:  Grocery List Consultation Evaluation

When:  Now until Saturday, August 11 at 9am

How:  Like my Facebook page and comment below telling me that you did

Playing Catch Up

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Sundays have turned into my food preparation days for the following week, which I really love! ¬†That means I get to go grocery shopping and spend all day in the kitchen…sign me up ūüôā

I am trying a new technique with my grocery shopping and budgeting this month. ¬†I went to Sam’s Club yesterday with Brian’s mom and picked up a ton of the bigger more expensive items such as fish, veggie burgers, frozen fruit, and frozen veggies so that I can keep them on hand and use them all month long. ¬†I am not quite sure how this will work. ¬†Hopefully it will save us some money, but we may end up starving with no food in the freezer at the end of the month…who knows!

I swear that you can find anything at these large wholesale stores…I think that is the biggest can of tuna I have¬†ever¬†seen!!

There is my cart full of veggies, oatmeal, hummus, and tons of goodies that will hopefully last all month!

Breakfast

This morning, breakfast was something that I had not had in a looong time….

Overnight oats in a jar! ¬†I added a little peach on top making these oats sweet, creamy, and delicious…yum.

Workout

This morning, I took a sleep break from my scheduled ¬†workout. ¬†Lately, I have been so tired from teaching so many group fitness classes, working a full-time job, and attempting to have a social life…so I just took a break in order to catch up on much needed rest. ¬†And I am ok with that, because sleep is important (believe it or not!) and I have a plan for the rest of the week so that I can stay on track.

I hope you all have a good Monday to our week with a holiday smack dab in the middle!

Do you ever take the moring to catch up on sleep rather than workout or do you just power through??

Bachelorette Party and Weekend Recap!

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*Warning: ¬†some of these photos are extremely blurry…

Yesterday, we celebrated Erin’s upcoming wedding with her bachelorette party. ¬†The day was FULL of activities and I felt so special to be included in all of it!

We started the day bright and early heading out to the lake where we rented a boat. ¬†With a slide on the back! ¬†We literally spent the entire day in the sun…it was glorious!

We then showered and got ready as fast as we could so that we could get back in time for dinner, presents, and the CHICKEN LIMO!

We tried to all fit in the lovely chicken limo…but unfortunately it literally started dragging and squeeking on the bottom…so we had to have the limo driver take two trips…oops!

That would be the chicken limo behind us

The bachelorette herself!

It was a great day and night, everything was perfect and memorable!

Today

Yesterday was my Dad’s birthday. ¬†He spent the day in Fort Wayne celebrating with mom, but this morning, my sister and I took him out for breakfast at a little restaurant called Biscuits.

This restaurant is a little hole in the wall place that serves breakfast and Mexican all day.  Two random things to put together?  Not at this joint!  And their specialty?  Biscuits and gravy of course! It is located between 5 and 10 minutes from where I went to college, and I remember many a hung over morning heading to this eatery for some delicious biscuits and gravy.

Even though the memories from the past are from those glorious morning after moments, my sister and I agreed that the food served seemed like the perfect “Dad” food.

I enjoyed an egg white omelette with veggies…honestly, I was kind of surprised that they could do egg whites! ¬†It was pretty tasty ūüėČ

It was great to see Dad and my sister Brenna this morning, what a great way to start the day!

Body Pump

Today marked a pretty big milestone in my group fitness and Les Mills career…I taught my very first Body Pump class completely solo. ¬†That’s right, no video taping, no other instructors around…just me.

Did I make a couple of mistakes….yes, but did I keep going, have fun, and finish on time…YES! ¬†It was a great feeling. ¬†The band-aid has been ripped off, and now I can’t wait to do it again.

Sunday Errands

After Body Pump, I drove to the grocery store and on the way I snacked on a Lemon Zest Luna Bar….so yummy!

I love little bars like this because I wasn’t starving because I had only eaten breakfast a couple of hours before, but I knew that I needed to eat something so that I didn’t want to buy¬†everything¬†at the grocery store. ¬†They are so small and easy to throw in your bag and have on hand all the time…it’s my “emergency food.”

I headed to the store, filled up my cart with lots of goodies, then headed back to the house to fix up my meals and snacks for the week.

I love that on Sundays I “have” to do the things that I love….shop and cook!

Now, I’m off to prepare a workout for a class that I am teaching tomorrow morning featuring…

the Bosu Ball…post including the workout¬†coming soon!!

I hope you all had an amazing weekend, and are getting ready to start the work week off on the right food tomorrow!

The Day After

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I am sure that you all have heard that muscle soreness occurs the day after a workout, or that you can see the results of your workout the day after, but has anyone ever heard that you get extremely hungry the day after an intense workout?

Well, I had never heard of hunger striking the day after a workout, but believe me…today I felt it! ¬†I felt like I couldn’t get enough food in my body…the entire day. ¬†In fact, I still feel hungry.

While volunteering at the symphony I ate a full protein bar, rather than my usual half.

I then came home and had a large salad with tuna for lunch while clipping some coupons.

After the salad (and still clipping coupons) I was still hungry, so I mixed a little plain Greek yogurt, natural peanut butter, and sugarless jam. ¬†Tasty….but I was still hungry.

Once my list was compiled, my coupons were clipped, and I was ready to head to the grocery store I made myself a small smoothie of 1/3 banana, 1 scoop of protein powder, 1 cup of unsweetened original almond milk, and some ice cubes. ¬†Thankfully that held me over a little bit so I wasn’t soooo starving during my grocery shopping trip.

I then came home from the store, and as I was unloading the car I saw the UPS man arrive. ¬†I had ¬†been expecting a package, so I kindly asked if any of his packages were for Tara Deal…and one of them was! ¬†This was a package from iherb.com. ¬†iherb.com is a great site where I order my protein powder, certain grains, natural beauty products, and so much more! ¬†This site is great because it has such a wide variety of items, gets orders shipped out promptly, is constantly offering different discounts, and always has a section on the web site dedicated to free trials.

This order included Plant Fusion protein powder which is a blend of pea protein, artichoke protein, organic sprouted amaranth powder, and organic sprouted quinoa powder, Maca Up which is a vegetarian energy protein made from pea protein, organic brown rice protein concentrate, organic maca root powder, and oat bran fiber.  Currently, I am experimenting with different types of protein to see what I like the best, and what my body likes the best.  I also ordered a jar of PB2.  Chocolate PB2 to be exact.  I have read about PB2 several times and have always wanted to try it, so I was very excited to finally receive it in the mail today!

PB2 is a peanut powder with 85% of the fat and calories removed without using chemicals.  All you do is simply mix it with water to get a peanut buttery like substance.  I am looking forward to making it a mix-in in my overnight oats and smoothies!

I also received a free trial sample of chocolate pea protein powder, digestive enzyme tablets, and kumquat jam.  I always love it when a freebie is thrown in.

Because iherb.com is so great, they have given me a special code to share with you. ¬†If you use the coupon code¬†OGA946¬†when you make your order as a new customer, you will receive $5 your entire order automatically! ¬†Sounds like a great deal to me ūüėČ

 

Once the groceries were put away, I was ready for dinner. ¬†Since Brian was studying at the med school library, and I was on my own for dinner, I opted for my favorite meal of the day…breakfast. ¬†I made some veggie scrambled eggs topped with the last of my mom’s homemade salsa.

Now, I am off to practice my Body Pump. ¬†After all, I am making my Les Mills instructor debut tomorrow morning, and I want to make a great impression ūüôā

Have a great evening!

Two New-to-Me Foods

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Good Monday morning!

Before we move into the beginning of this week, let’s recap what went on yesterday.

After singing in the church choir, Brian and I used up the last bit of our Starbucks gift card on a little mid morning chai tea drink break.  Because of the chill in the air, sipping on a nice, warm beverage was a great idea.  Brian then headed home, and I headed out to the grocery store.

Sometimes Brian comes with me to the store, but usually he gets very bored and antsy at the store because I like to take my time and look at all of the options and new foods I have yet to try…so most of the time he lets me do the shopping alone ūüėČ

Because it was lunch time, and I hadn’t had lunch yet, I was hungry.¬† While at Good Earth Natural Foods standing in line waiting to check out, I spotted little packets of Lush Nuts, which is something that I had actually been wanting to try!¬† For $1.50, I had a little snack and I got to try something on my list of new-to-me foods.

I grabbed the Hot Curry flavor, and it did not disappoint.¬† My mom makes a curry dish that is probably one of my favorite meals.¬† When eating the curry dish, we top our meal with a little coconut, pineapple, and peanuts.¬† These Hot Curry nuts hit all of the same flavor notes.¬† The actual peanuts were crunchy and mixed well with the spicy curry flavor, just like adding peanuts on top of my mom’s dish.¬† These nuts were also slightly sweet, which was the perfect compliment to the heat of the curry and really reminded me of the sweetness that the pineapple and coconut add to my mom’s curry dish.

Lush Nuts are made right in Michigan by a young girl using her family recipe.¬† I absolutely love the fact that these are made with a family recipe just above my little state of Indiana.¬† I can’t wait to try the rest of the flavors.

After spending a couple of hours picking up meal items for the week, I then came home, unloaded the groceries, and made myself a little snack of scrambled egg whites with lots of veggies and my mom’s homemade salsa.¬† For some reason, I had been craving scrambled eggs all day…and these hit the spot!

After my little snack break, tidying some things around the apartment and getting ready for the week to come, Brian and I headed over to his parent’s house for our little Sunday night dinner tradition.¬† Last night’s menu included grilled zucchini (one of my favorites!), and an orzo salad.

For dessert, I was introduced to something new.¬† A couple of days ago, Brian told me he had a craving for a napolean from Long’s Bakery.¬† A napolean??? I had zero idea as to what this napolean thing was.¬† When we arrived at his parent’s house last night, his mom surprised him with the dessert he had been craving.¬† I must say…they are pretty good.¬† The dessert was layered puff pastry with whip cream, strawberry, and cream filling topped with powder sugar.¬† So simple, yet so delicious.¬† Good choice, Brian ūüėČ

And because it was Earth Day, his mom had a baggie of goodies to share with us from Target!

In a mini reusable shopping bag we received all sorts of “natural” shampoos, toothpaste, lotion, and even a granola bar!¬† You know how I love anything free

Today

Today, I did not start the morning with a workout.  My workout will come in the evening in the form of a Boot Camp session with Brian and a BodyPump class.  My training for BodyPump is this weekend, so this week I am going to all of the classes that I can!

Instead, I started the day with some overnight oats in a jar.  I had a little bit of almond butter left on the bottom of the jar, so instead of making my overnight oats in a bowl I put them right in the jar!  The taste of the almond butter was delicious.

I added some frozen peaches to the mix this morning.¬† Luckily, I saved two jars of almond butter that were about empty…so I can have this same breakfast again soon, maybe tomorrow.

Now, I am off to volunteer with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, study BodyPump, and do some promotional work at one of the gyms I am teaching at.  I hope you have a great start to your week!

Things to Check Out:

Not Exactly A Couponer

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This morning I woke up knowing that I would be busy all day. ¬†I quickly made myself a bowl of “in the morning” overnight oats because I didn’t know if I would be in the mood for oats this morning….and I was!

Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • a little less than 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 scoop vanilla Sunwarrior Protein Powder
  • 1 dash cinnamon

Mix all of those ingredients together and let them sit in the fridge for 30 minutes, or overnight.  Remove from the fridge and add:

  • 1 cup chopped strawberries (mine are frozen)
  • 2 tsp MaraNanthaAlmond Butter

The reason I am rushing this morning, is because Easter is in two days, and Brian and I are hosting it at the apartment!  I am so excited about this, but to say that I want everything to be perfect to look nice is an understatement.  While eating my breakfast, I spent my morning checking the ads to see where I should do my Easter shopping based on which stores had the best coupons and deals.

I wouldn’t call myself a “couponer” by any means, but I do love a good deal and saving a few dollars!! I honestly don’t know how those couponers can walk out of the store with cart fulls but pay $60…crazy. ¬†All that I do is simply clip the ones I need, and maybe go to a couple of different stores to get the best deal, nothing too over the top. ¬†Besides, who really needs 20 tubes of toothpaste all at once???

I hate feeling like this...

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Before I hit the store, I am off to do a little 3 mile run.  Enjoy your Friday!

Things of Interest:

Early Morning Workout

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I went to an early morning workout class today. ¬†I used to be the girl who ONLY worked out in the morning, but sometimes life changes the schedule a bit and there are opportunities to workout after sun has risen, ¬†but I must admit, I love the feeling of having my workout done before 8am! ūüôā

Then, it was time to come back to the puppies, shower up, and eat breakfast (which happened to be another bowl of overnight oats! …I just can’t get enough of the stuff!)

I then headed out to Starbucks to meet with a friend from Butler! ¬†What a great way to spend the morning. ¬†Because the Starbucks was right next door to Whole Foods (literally…right next door), I couldn’t¬†not just go in to¬†look. ¬†Of course, whenever I go in to just look…I come out with something. ¬†Luckily, they were things I was planning on putting on the grocery list this week…so now I will just remove those items from the list and the expense from the budget. ¬†It all balances out ūüėČ

The items were on sale too, which makes it even more ok!

I just finished off a plate of roasted veggies and cheese as a light lunch/noon-time snack, and now it is time to play in the kitchen. ¬†Let’s see how I do at avoiding the temptation to try my concoctions one too many times.

Hello Kitty Plate!

 

I hope you are all having an amazing Thursday and are getting ready for the weekend!

 

Today’s Question:

Do you prefer to workout in the morning or evening?

I can workout anytime, but I feel that when I get it done in the morning, I am more productive throughout the rest of the day…it just gets me going!

Happy Monday!

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Yesterday was truly a productive day, just as I had hoped that it would be!

I was able to go for a run, grocery shop, and prepare snacks and food for the rest of the week.

The Groceries

It was fun trip because I got to use my reusable grocery bag that my grandma made for me!  I got so many compliments on it while I was at the store.

It is made out of very durable mesh that literally expands to basically double the size so you can fit a TON of groceries in it. ¬†And the fact that it is super cute is another great factor ūüėČ

Last Night’s Dinner

For dinner last night, I thought I would try out the Romertopf clay pot cooker that my mom gave me.  She showed me how to make a delicious, nutritious, and easy meal of fish and veggies so I thought I would do the same.

I soaked the clay pot for 10 minutes, just as the directions stated:

I then placed green beans, broccoli, and onion on the bottom and topped the veggies with two fillet of haddock. ¬†It smelled delicious while cooking, but when I pulled it out the veggies were not bright, fresh, and crisp. ¬†They looked more soggy and wilty…so I think I overcooked them. ¬†Luckily it still tasted great!!

Overcooked?...Nah!

Next time it will turn out better ūüėČ

After dinner, Brian and I spent the evening reading the Hunger Games. ¬†Seriously, that book is addicting!!! ¬†I honestly feel like we could sit and read it all at one time…if I could stay awake… We are making our way through slowly but surely, I can’t wait to finish it and see the movie.

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Breakfast

This morning, I woke up on the right side of the bed, ready to conquer the day.  I started the morning with a little ab routine to wake up the tummy muscles.  I am attending a group fitness class later in the day at Butler and plan on doing a little run for some cardio beforehand.

I then made myself a bowl of protein oats with a sliced apple.  I am feeling ready to knock down my to-do list for the day.

I hope that everyone has a happy Monday and isn’t suffering too much from a weekend of St. Patrick’s Day fun!!

Of Possible Interest:

No Pumpkin?!

Today was actually an early day of work, and Brian got done early with class. ¬†Even though he usually doesn’t like going to the grocery store, I still asked if he would come with me…and he said yes!

A couple of days ago, I purchased a Living Social deal that was $10 for $20 worth of food at Whole Foods. ¬†I love shopping at Whole Foods, but find that the prices don’t usually fit my budget, so I definitely jumped at the chance to purchase food for basically half of the price.

After heading to Whole Foods, I saw a stand for fresh produce at a little stand outside of a store, so I also jumped at that opportunity because I have found that many times I am able to get more bang for my buck when buying fresh produce from a little stand rather than a major grocery store.

We then proceeded to head to Kroger, which is a grocery store similar to Marsh or Publix. ¬†We found everything else on our list that we needed except one item….canned pumpkin. ¬†When I asked a store associate where I would find the pumpkin, she replied by telling me that it was too early for pumpkin so they didn’t have it out……WHAT?!?!

I see Halloween decorations everywhere, fall scented candles and leaves adorning every store yet it is too early for pumpkin??? ¬†I was shocked….literally shocked. ¬†So, Brian and I drove across the street to Target to pick up three cans of Libby’s canned pumpkin. ¬†Crisis thankfully diverted.

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I think it is strange of her to say that it is too early for pumpkin to be out on the shelves, when I was able to buy a can of it in July…but that is just my opinion.

 

Dinner

Grocery shopping took a little longer than planned, and Brian and I were a little cranky because of a lack of food in our system towards the end of the trip.  Once arriving home and putting away all of the groceries I quickly whipped up some veggie gyros adapted from this recipe suggested by my mom.  We made them on Flatout flatbread instead of pitas, the only thing missing was some feta.  They were still totally delicious though!

Included: ¬†Greek gyro sauce (in the recipe!), cucumber, red onion, red bell pepper, tomato, spinach…delicious!

 

Tomorrow night, a friend of Brian and me is having a welcome home party for another one of our friends who recently came home. ¬†I volunteered to bring dessert, and cheesecake is the guest of honor’s favorite. ¬†My mom has an amazing recipe for Marble Cheesecake, but I have never made it or any other homemade cheesecake for that matter. ¬†I guess there is a first time for everything! ¬†Wish me luck ūüôā