Archive for June, 2010

I’d rather be camping

Thank you for the get well wishes! They must have worked because today was a lot better than yesterday. I still don’t feel 100% myself but pushed through and accomplished the things I wanted throughout the day. Instead of getting up early and running like a freak (I already had plans for Group Power tonight) I decided that one work-out was more than enough and slept in until I had to get up for work. I was literally counting down the minutes to get out of there so I could go pump some iron in Group Power. I was hoping that the endorphins from my favorite work-out of the week would make me feel a litte better and give me that burst of energy I had been missing.

First, I wanted to try this “almond butter” I see everyone blogging about. I spread a little on some whole-grain toast before my work-out and survey says?? I’m a JIF girl. I grew up on that stuff and while Almond Butter is OK, it’s going to take some time for my tastebuds to get used to. None the less it gave me plenty of energy for the class, so I was thankful for that.

I was right about my mood and energy perking up from Group Power. I was practically skipping out of the gym because I was so sick of the way I had been feeling prior to the class. I had to take a picture  because I seriously love GP. Running is something I am starting to love but still struggling with, it’s challenging and therefore provides a great rush but GP is all about strength training and it has helped immediately with lower back pain, posture and just my overall strength.

When I got home I made Chris and I dinner, and I was actually pleasantly surprised on how much I liked this recipe.  I got it off the blog carrotsncake.com and boy was it tasty for a healthy dish!

Tuna and Chickpea Salad with Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 2 15.5-ounce cans (3 cups) chickpeas, roughly chopped
  • 1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and thinly sliced
  • 24 black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, thickly sliced
  • 3 6-ounce cans tuna, drained
  • 5 tablespoons store-bought pesto
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 sprigs fresh basil (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, red peppers, olives, celery, tuna, pesto, salt, and black pepper.
  2. Divide among individual plates. Garnish with the basil (if using).

I placed the salad on a bed of greens to add more substance and as a side I ate multi-grain sesame pita chips with some yummy humus. I heart humus. This one had a little kick to it and I have to say, I’m not disappointed.

I was feeling like some dessert tonight and I had some peaches that I wanted to eat before they went bad. I decided that instead of making a full on crisp I would just pop a sliced up peach in the oven for a few minutes, once it was warm I put it in a bowl with a small scoop of vanilla bean ice-cream. I topped it off with some chopped up walnuts and a dash of brown sugar and it hit the spot!!! I had to have a cup of apple cinnamon caffeine-free tea with the dessert because I’d hoped it would help me sleep….

On a personal note, I’m super bummed I’m not camping with my family in California right now. My Dad sends me pictures pretty much every couple of hours of the things they are doing, kayaking, playing at the beach, eating, and sipping on some microbrews. Wish I could show you these pictures, they look like post-cards but unfortunately they are being sent to my phone and they are too small to upload 😦

Hump Day is tomorrow and we are moving right along with this week! Tomorrow me and the DD running club are going for a nice 3-mile run and then hitting up Eclipse. I can’t believe I’m not going to the midnight showing but Eclipse was my least favorite book in the series, so I can wait until the day after. I’ll let you guys know how it is!

 

Case of the Monday’s

I do not get sick very often and to be honest, I still can’t quite figure out if I’m officially sick yet or not, but I ended up leaving work early because I felt so bad.  As soon as I got home I took a nap till about 7:30. I’m feeling better but still congested. This is not the week to be sick at work and it’s only Monday so I’m trying to drink plenty of fluids and I will definitely be hitting the bed early tonight. I had originally planned to go to spin class this morning but when my alarm went off at 5:30 am I was not feeling it. Not getting a work-out in today kind of stinks but I don’t want to push myself, especially this early on in the work week. I had planned to make a turkey meat loaf with roasted red peppers and a salad for dinner tonight, but that got postponed as well and instead I ended up making some boxed Thai noodles from Trader Joes instead. I made Chris a frozen dinner pizza and my meal was ready in about 15 minutes with minimal prep and effort. (Isn’t this supposed to be a cooking blog too??) Let’s chalk this up to bad timing and here is an example of what I have to eat when I don’t cook 😦

I cooked up some broccoli and shrimp to add to the rice noodles. Gotta get those veggies in there somewhere!

I just recently started eating Thai food and I have to say the peanut flavor and mild spices in tonight’s dinner was interesting and refreshing. I’m glad I added the shrimp and broccoli because I was hungrier than I thought.

On another note, I made the Green Monster smoothie and let me tell you, it’s phenom! I ended up putting a banana, 1 cup milk, a scoop of whey protein powder (vanilla flavored), ice and 2 cups spinach. You couldn’t even taste the spinach! It kept me full all morning long.  Too bad it was kinda all down hill after that…

I am going to watch The Bachelorette and then going to bed. Hope everyone else had a better Monday and I really am going to try and get some actual running talk and some cooking in this blog once again! Cross your fingers that Tuesday is better!

 

A Dehyrdated Weekend.

One of my favorite things to do during the summer is to go to concerts. This weekend I went to the Rascal Flatts concert with some girlfriends and we had a great time. With 94 degree weather, there were many Shock-Top beers consumed throughout the day and not enough water. No maintenance means I have a headache and feel pretty gross today. It’s always fun to have a night-out like that but for me they are becoming few and far between so recovering is hard.

The tailgating wouldn’t be complete without some good eats! To my delight there wasn’t anything too unhealthy. Marinda brought some great multi-grain “pin-wheels” filled with cream cheese and Tab made a really great salsa dip from scratch. My contribution was some fruit skewers which I thought added a nice balance and was a great cold food to snack on in the heat. *This is my last post using my phone for pictures! Yay.

After waking up this morning feeling a bit yucky and dehydrated, my body was craving a good breakfast. I went downstairs and immediately got to work on an omelet. I love omelet’s and usually just throw in whatever I have in my fridge at the time to make them. Today I added mushrooms, green peppers, red onion along with Monterrey Jack cheese and cheddar cheese. I had some extra fruit leftover from the tailgate skewers so I ate those as a side. I love to go to brunch and when I can’t I try to make my Sunday morning meals feel as much like a morning breakfast out as I can. Hence the champagne flute filled with O.J. 😉

Today started off calm but quickly got busy. After breakfast I had a softball game to play in at 3:30. I’m in a league that plays every Sunday and if it weren’t so hot outside these days I’d probably enjoy it more. On a positive note it is a nice way to get some exercise in without thinking about it. After softball I went to Trader Joes. Grocery shopping got so much more interesting when they finally got a TJ in Charlotte! I love this grocery store. I grabbed all the items for our upcoming weekly dinners with an added bonus: the ingredients to the famous “Green Monster Smoothie.” Check out the movement here: http://greenmonstermovement.com/

I’m very excited to try this smoothie out. I plan on making one after my cycle class tomorrow morning so I will let you know if it is really good or not. With ingredients like, 2 cups spinach, ice, milk and a banana…I have my concerns 🙂

By the time I got home I was exhausted from the 16-4 defeat and errands so tonight’s dinner was a quick dish courtesy of Giada. Pasta with Red Pepper, Almonds and Breadcrumbs. Nothing special at all, but it was easy and I was tired.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound pasta
  • 3 cups purchased garlic-flavored croutons, (about 5 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds (about 1 ounce), toasted
  • 1 cup julienned roasted red bell peppers
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl.

Place the croutons and the almonds in a food processor. Pulse until it becomes the texture of bread crumbs. Add the crouton and almond mixture to the hot pasta. Add the peppers and the olive oil. Toss to combine and serve.

Happy Friday :)

Wa-whoo it’s the weekend! My running buddy Lindsay and I finished off the week with a really great run at Latta Plantation. It’s the kind of run like today that makes me love running outside. Latta has so many great trails and they keep your body guessing. Through hills, turns and the nature I almost forgot I was running. Not quite, but almost. I will say that the last three times I’ve run with Lindsay I think it has really helped. She is a better runner than me and they say running with someone who challenges you is a great way to get better. I’m not sure the mileage of today’s run because the trail wasn’t marked but we guessed it was about 3 miles.

Speaking of running, I am so paranoid that I’m going to pass out from the heat sometimes when I’m running outdoors. I live in the south and it is HOT. It tops out in the high 90’s most days and while I can always run at the gym, I have found it to be more beneficial to run outside for realistic purposes. When it comes to running races, I won’t have air-conditioning and all flat surfaces. I’ve been researching some gear to see what would help me out and right now I have my eye on this little guy…it’s pay day too so you never now. I might just nab it tonight off Amazon. Does anyone run with a utility belt? Or have any other great ways to beat the heat and stay hydrated during long runs?

After the run I got to work on dinner for Chris and I. I have our weekly meals posted on the fridge so I already knew I was making Parmesan-Crusted chicken. It was good, but honestly it wasn’t what I expected. I’m not going to blame that on the recipe however, since I didn’t really use one. That most likely added to the disappointment. I usually always work off a recipe but for some reason decided to wing this one. Furthermore, I’m almost embarrassed to post the picture of it I took with my phone because it’s horrendous. I will be so happy to get my camera back tomorrow so I can step up the blog in this area.

I paired the chicken with some steamed asparagus and some cous-cous. Chris has a new obsession with this side and requests it whenever possible. Dessert was a chocolate chip cookie right from the oven. Perfection.

Tomorrow I plan on hitting up Group Power at 10:30 at the gym. I love this class and try and take it every Tuesday and Thursday. I usually run on Saturday morning but I’ve run a lot this week and feel like switching it up. As much as I’d like to take a rest day, I have the Rascal Flatts concert and I know I will be pigging out on tailgating food (who can resist!?) and a few cold brewskies.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

Here We Go…

I am really excited about starting this blog! While it is a little intimidating (have you seen some of the other healthy living blogs out there?) I am giving it my best shot and hoping to find comfort in all this eventually. I’m dying to start a post so even though I don’t have my trusty camera with me at the moment I settled for a picture with my blackberry. Don’t worry, the quality will get better, I promise.

The one thing I truly love about summertime is grilling. Not that I have ever personally grilled before this season, but eating grilled food is a favorite past time! I figured since I was starting to learn my way around the kitchen, why not give grilling a try?  One of the best grilled meals for me is a kebab. Classic and easy. I figured I would try a recipe I found on MarthaStewart.com and see what happens. I’m pleased to say that I did a good job my first time out. After watching my fiance build the charcoal grill numerous times I had no problem setting everything up. In the kitchen I made my kebabs and then took a nice pale ale beer out with me once I was ready to sit and wait. My Dad has always taught me, the key to grilling, is to never leave the grill. So that is what I did. Sat, turned, sipped…sat, turned sipped…and to my delight, they were delish!

Grilled Greek Chicken Kebabs with Mint-Feta Sauce

Ingredients:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into twenty-four 1-inch peices

1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into sixteen 1-inch pieces

1/2 small red onion, quartered, layers separated (I substituted red onion for white onion and added a red bell pepper)

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1/2 cup crumbled feta (2 oz.)

1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt

1 cup fresh mint leaves

Directions:

In a resealable plastic bag, combine chicken, zucchini, onion, oregano and 2 tablespoons vinegar; season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and teaspoon pepper. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes (or refrigerate up to overnight).

Heat grill or grill pan to medium. Soak eight, 6-inch wooden skewers in water for 15 minutes.

Onto each skewer, alternately thread 3 pieces of chicken with 2 of zucchini and 2 of onion. Grill skewers, turning occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, 12 to 14 minutes.

Meanwhile, make a dipping sauce: In a food processor, blend feta, yogurt, mint and remaining tablespoon vinegar until smooth. Serve kebabs with dipping sauce.

In other news, a vendor supplied our E-marketing department with cupcakes as a sort of apology for some mix up. While I am an advocate for making healthy eating choices, I don’t turn down cupcakes, especially from Polka-Dot. I didn’t beat myself up too badly for it. It is mid-week and I have managed to run at least 5 miles since Sunday. Did I mention I”m obsessed with trying to become a better runner? It is not for the faint of heart. Running is tough.

Tomorrow is Friday and I hope to run the bike path with Lindsay after work, if we can survive the heat. Charlotte has been unbearable as far as the weather goes lately and it’s making it harder and harder to run outside.

What are everyone’s plans for the weekends? Any fun meals or activities planned??