Archive for the ‘All-American’ Category

Chris Turns the BIG 3-0!

Last Friday Chris went out-of-town for the Moscone Conference in San Francisco and unfortunately we were apart for his 30th birthday.  We agreed to celebrate this past Saturday and thankfully everything I had planned, turned out great! Let’s recap…

In true Claire fashion, if it were up to me, I would have invited all his friends from all walks of life to a HUGE surprise party to help ring in his “dirty thirty.” BUT…Chris has a different take on birthdays and prefers to not make a big deal out of them…crazy! I wanted to respect his wishes by keeping it down-played and so instead I planned a fun-filled day with just the two of us…and plenty of his favorite foods.

On Friday I made him some rice krispy treats…just to get things warmed up….

I’ve really missed being in the kitchen and my all tofu/salad/semi-vegan diet has kept “cooking” to a minimum, so I really enjoyed making these.

Saturday morning was Starbucks and Belgium waffles from scratch!

After lounging around the house after breakfast, it was time to go to Victory Lanes for some extreme go-karting! We had a blast and Chris was really appreciative of our Saturday adventure plans that I had made for us.

I was kinda obsessed with the fact we got to dress up in fire-resistant suits….

The entire time we were racing around the track I was laughing inside my helmet! Seriously if you have not tried this and live in Charlotte, go!

When we got back we had built up quite the appetite so I made him a big BLT sandwich…

and a tofu wrap for me.

I tried to stay away from the waffles (I just had a green smoothie) and the heavy lunch, because I knew I was going to ditch my dietary standards for the night at the steak house that evening. It was inevitable…I don’t have the strength to order fish or vegetarian when I’m eating at a nice restaurant. It feels like such a waste.

While I can say dairy is all but out of my diet and eating animal by-products have been limited to only about 2 times a week, deep down, I’m still a meat and potatoes girl…

You can take the meat out of the diet, but you can’t take the desire out of the gal.

I had a filet and mashed potatoes for dinner and enjoyed every last bite. Knowing that I would go back to eating a mostly plant-based diet the next day, I figure what’s the point in living longer if you can’t enjoy a nice piece of meat and meltly mashed potatoes every once in a while? Everything in moderation….

I also took a few bites of Chris’ brownie sundae for dessert…

Wow how I have missed butter and ice-cream! I bought a Carvel ice-cream cake, that I will let Chris tackle himself, and leave my bad habits at our dinner table on Saturday night.

Today is a long day filled with cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping and I’m hoping to get a mani/pedi in! It’s a beautiful day outside so I’m thinking a gym session will get nixed for an outdoor activity with Daisy instead!

What are your plans on this warmer than usual Sunday?? Did you all have great weekends!?

Current Conditions  updated 11:52 AM ET
62°
Hi 64° | Lo 42°

Intermittent Clouds

ALSO! I got a sneak peek at the new blog layout and I’m so excited to share it with you guys! I have complete faith in the graphic designer who is working on it and I’m supposed to see some final options on Monday. We are shooting to implement the new design on February 1st and I can’t wait to see what you guys think!


Advertisements

10 to Detox

One of the many perks of where I work is that I can get a substantial amount of CD’s, DVD’s and Books for free and sometimes even before they are available to the general public. (Not that I’m bragging) 🙂

A few weeks ago a co-worker passed along a book to me called, The Beauty Detox Solution. I finally cracked it open and was pleasantly surprised by the useful information and motivation to get radiant beauty from the inside out as well as obtain renewed energy all by changing your diet. I will warn you, the principles that the author, Kimberly Snyder, abides by are more than just challenging, they are a bit overwhelming but at the same time motivating and completely promising.

(source)

I was thinking of an appropriate way to share what I’m reading without hindering her sales. In an effort to more thoughtfully process what it is I’m reading, I’ve decided that for the next 10 days, I will mention a few things that struck me the most in the chapter that I’m reading while purposely not divulging all the useful information Snyder offers.

The book is split into 2 parts: Beauty Detox Basics and Your Beauty Solution

10 chapters=10 posts that will hopefully evoke thought about your own diets and what it means to pay attention to what you put into your body.

At the end of the book, the reader should be primed to embark on their “detox” armed with knowledge on what to eat, sample meal plans, recipes and a lifestyle change that stays with the reader, long after the initial cleanse.

I will apologize for the copy heavy posts that will take place over the next 10 days but hopefully you will find it beneficial and exciting, like me! 🙂

Not yet leaping into a detox without reading the entirety of the book first, I made a salad topped with a crumbled veggie burger for dinner tonight. Group Power was really strenuous tonight and took a lot out of me, including the desire to make any real dinner. I couldn’t have been happier to be there though!

My salad: Iceburg Lettuce, carrots shavings, diced red onion, light honey mustard dressing and a crumbled Morningstar Black Bean burger. The contrast between the warm and crispy burger against the cold salad was awesome…and even better was that it took about 10 minutes to make.

Now onto the recommended reading of the night…

CHAPTER 1 and a few things I found interesting:

  • Basic concept-our body is designed to digest more of a plant-based diet, rather than meat. Humans can get all the protein they need from the amino acids in plants.
  • “There are over thirty-five hundred scientific studies involving over fifteen thousand research scientist that report a relationship between the consumption of meats, poultry, eggs and diary products and the incidence of numerous health issues, including but not restricted to heart disease, cancer, kidney failure, constipation, gout, gallstones, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids and osteoporosis.”
  • Humans resemble herbivores, in terms of both their anatomical structure and internal organs.

What you Can’t get without the book:

  • Astounding Scientific evidence of some of her points that would knock your socks off!
  • Why Humans are primed to eat a more plant-based diet, super interesting stuff that makes TOTAL sense
  • True life stories of how people’s lives have changed by following some of Snyder’s recommendations.

To take a look at Kimberly’s AWESOME AND INSPIRING blog, go here.

 

Just Because…

Just Because….

  • I’m shedding pounds for a wedding, doesn’t mean I can’t splurge on a cookie every once in a while.
  • I’m broke these days doesn’t mean that I can’t have a rich life.
  • I’m into healthy living doesn’t mean that I can’t have a few vices beers every now and then, or every Friday.
  • I wasn’t born and bred in the south, doesn’t mean I can’t be obsessed with seeing “Country Strong.”

Also, just because it’s January (and note this is literally my least favorite month followed by February, so beware) doesn’t mean I can’t dream of and then make summer food.

Enter broiler instead of grill and some chicken kebabs.

I got a great marinade by stumbling upon a blog, but didn’t save it and now I can’t find it 😦 Sorry. From what I can remember there was soy sauce, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary, white wine vinegar and a few other ingredients that I just can’t recall…sorry peeps. If it comes to me, I will definitely post it.

I went all the way with the “summer-dish” dinner and decided to make some pasta salad with it as well. Only thing missing was the gingham tablecloth and some warm sun. Too bad last night I do believe it was somewhere in the 20’s.

I also watched “Going the Distance” which was an oddly brash and edgy romantic comedy. I loved it. Typical.

Today being back at work was NUTS and when I got  home I was anxious to go to the gym. It’s still crowded at night, which leaves me to believe that some people are hangin’ on…looks like tomorrow I will have to show up for GP 15 minutes early and Friday will be a morning routine…

When I got home I did receive a care-package from my best-friend…just because! Inside were “Bride” and “Groom” tumblers, a bride mug which I will take to work with me immediately tomorrow, my havaianas flip-flops I left with her in NY and a CD of pictures from her wedding, finally!

Bets just got married last August and it was so great to see her and bond with her wonderful family.

(Thanks for the package Bets!)

A Celebratory Weekend

Saturday night I went uptown to Crave, a dessert bar, to help celebrate my friend’s Jane and Stephanie’s birthdays! There we feasted on some really great food, had laughs and caught up.

The menu had lots of great dishes and so we dove right in. First we ordered the crab cakes which were delicious, but then again I’ve never met a crab cake I didn’t like….

Chocolate cake was next up on the list, I chose not to eat it but heard it was awesome.

After gabbing and dancing the night away, the next morning I wanted to go to the gym but was still sore from upping my weight load at Group Power or dancing,  hard to tell. For breakfast I went with my usual but added a half bagel with cream cheese, YUM!

I just love this mixture, it’s a perfect combination: oats, yogurt and fruit. TRY THIS! You can add whatever fruit or yogurt flavor you wish. It reminds me of a parfait but healthier version and for some reason does not get old.

After breakfast it was time to meet my mom and sister for a bit of bridesmaid shopping. I loathe this process. I hate them all. I’m trying to walk the fine line between picking something the girls will really like AND trying to keep it affordable. The hunt continues…

After the errands we decided to head back to my mom’s house to make homemade pizzas. It was my step-dad’s birthday and so the agenda included dinner followed by  cake and a hilarious movie, Despicable Me.

Ta-da!!

Not the best looking pizza, but it was good. My sister did a great job baking and icing the cake…she is definitely the baker in the family.

I pretty much headed straight to bed when I got home in order to feel rested for the beginning of the week. BUT, then we got this SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!

Charlotte is officially having a snow-day today! I was surprised that my boss urged me to work from home but I am relishing every bit of it. Chris and I instantly knew we had to celebrate with this:

Hope every one is having a great Monday and for all you Charlotte readers, wa-whooo if you get to stay home like us!

How do you like to spend your snow-days??

Get off my Treadmill.

Dear New Gym Members or former members coming out of the woodwork,

This place isn’t big enough for the both of us. I lift weights…I could take you down. But further more, please don’t send me back to working out in my living room. It’s boring there.

Does anyone else’s gym look like this??

(source)

I much prefer it being empty. Just me and a few other regulars roaming around. We communicate with polite head nods as if to say, “hey there..same time, same place…again.”

(source)

Alas…it is January and this is when everyone decides that healthier living is moving to the top of the priority list. Good for them! Just get off my treadmill 🙂

I’m kidding of course. While I was super annoyed that my group power class was too full to join and the fact that I had to do ab work until a treadmill was free last night, I am glad to see more faces joining the gym. Although, I think I am going to stick to the morning work-out schedule for a while until some of the “newly motivated”, fall off the wagon.

While I hope this isn’t a monotonous food post, I did switch up the breakfast…from apples to strawberries.

Verdict: Not as good as apples.

Lunch this week has been boring and usually involves anything that I don’t actually have to assemble. I’ve been sleeping like a rock the past few days and sleeping in till the very last-minute! Soup & carrots have been the winners this week.

Interesting? No. Fast and Easy? Yes. I swear I will get better about packing my lunches next week. Leaving my house un-organized on Sunday completely put me in a tailspin. I opted to drink wine on the couch if you recall. Therefore I can’t get up on time, have not packed lunches for myself and don’t even get me started on my lack of work outfits from little to no laundry being done.

We had more prime rib for dinner and let me explain. We bought too much for the Christmas Eve dinner so some we froze and now we have to eat. I couldn’t stand another meal with just red meat and sides so Chris and I decided to do subs. This was awesome.

I told him he is just going to have to take down the rest of the leftovers because I don’t want to see Prime Rib again for months.

After dinner, I plopped down on the couch to finally relax (the gym wasn’t as relaxing as it is normally) and devoured some Sex and the City, thanks E!

After the back-to-back episodes (every weeknight mind you) I did a little wedding planning before bed. There are a few items I have yet to check off from my lists but all in all, things are running smoothly.

Looking for invitations this weekend, can’t wait!

The Tree vs. Me

Me and the Tree had quite the showdown.

To say that taking down a Christmas tree isn’t as fun as putting it up, is the understatement of the year…so far.

Everytime I thought I was done, I kept finding ANOTHER strand of lights that just happened to be so intertwined that I was literally thinking of just cutting the strand with scissors to be done with it!

What?…I can always just buy new $4 lights next year.

I didn’t give up. Eventually, I won (sans scissors) but there was major loss of limbs.

After all of the shredding and finger plucking I was ready for some food! A homemade pizza was sounding really good so I fell back on a great recipe I got from a friend earlier in the year, Buffalo-style Chicken Pizza.

With some shredded chicken breast, ranch, hot sauce and mozzarella cheese-this hit the spot. Full disclosure: I ate this while getting sucked into “The Craigslist Killer” on Lifetime. It was bad. I want my two hours of life back…

For the recipe, click here.

It wasn’t the greatest day yesterday, even aside from the tree fight. Being back at work was busy and hectic, wedding pressure is brewing and to top it off I haven’t been to the gym in days. My body has slept like a rock and it’s telling me that rest is what it needs at the moment. My early morning work-outs have been minimal but I’m going to Group Power tomorrow night, yay! One good thing that did come out of the day, came from trusty UPS…

My monitor for the office came!

I’m off to hook it up, but hope you guys had great Monday’s!

Struggling with your Goals

One of the things I was most adamant about when I started this blog was that I didn’t want to only talk about things I was doing right. I wanted this blog to be relatable to my readers and give people some hope that even when you stumble, it’s never too late to pick yourself back up, dust yourself off and keep trying. Some blunders have been opting for the double-bacon cheeseburger, with fries mind you, over the wrap. Currently, it’s realizing I’m not ready for Thunder Road.

I am a wanna-be runner. I want to be better. I want to run longer, faster and enjoy it more than I do. But the truth is I struggle with it tremendously.It’s a serious love/hate relationship that I don’t take lightly and am constantly trying to strive to be better at.

I like to run most days but honestly hate to run others. It’s inconsistent and due to that inconsistency I am not able to run the upcoming half-marathon. I could go out there and run/walk it, post on my blog how much I enjoyed it (which I probably would) but I would also be falsifying my journey.

The bottom line- I’m not ready to push my body to run 13 miles. I’m nowhere close to even having any competitive edge in the race.

After being disappointed in myself, I realized that this is no one’s race but mine. I don’t have to run the race for my friends who are participating, for this blog, for anyone but myself. I might not run this race or have trained well enough to attempt it, but I know one day I will run a half-marathon. It’s just not going to be on Saturday. I am however putting my best foot forward and running the 5k. I figure I can try and beat my time from the Rock N’ Read 5k I did a few months ago. Plus, I have a lot of friends participating in this race and I would LOVE to cheer them on. They are my heroes…serious runners, and trust me, that takes a lot.

Now enough self-loathing (because that’s only OK in small doses)

Friday was a good day! First of all it was the end of the week. I had my overnight oats with a double-whammy of jam.

For lunch I went out to Zaxby’s. They have one salad that I actually don’t mind ordering. It is so good and filling! Their chicken is good and it’s pretty affordable when I want to eat lunch out of the office.

After work I met up with some co-workers for a little Happy Hour. We have been going to Duckworths lately for their awesome selection of draft beers.

When I got home I didn’t feel like making a big meal so I just scrounged up some spinach, mushrooms and provolone cheese to make quesadillas with.

Saturday there was no time messing around with breakfast. A quick bowl of cereal was had before some serious Christmas shopping.

Lunch was our very own home-made Panera 😉

After that, Chris and I opted to not get our Christmas tree due to the freezing rain so instead I begged him to go to Best Buy so we could buy Eclipse! I know I’m a twelve-year old when it comes to the Twilight series, but I can’t help it. I’m a sucker for romance movies with insane soundtracks.

Sunday Chris and I both woke feeling under the weather. We are convinced we caught something on the plane to San Francisco, that or all the traveling and cold weather is finally getting to us…

I opted for some power-fruit in hopes that it would make me feel better for breakfast.

For lunch I had leftovers that needed to be eaten or they were going to have to  be thrown out. I reheated some quinoa and brussels sprouts and added some avocado and greek yogurt to the mix.

With the cold weather I was craving some soup so Chris made me some New England clam chowder with a toasted tuna-sandwich on the side. Perfect. Especially since I didn’t even have to make it!

I’m going to work on a realistic plan for myself for some upcoming races. Other than that I think I’m going to take some solace in my Group Power that I love so much as well as things that are more feasible for me to do to keep active through the colder months. Stay tuned to see what I can come up with!

Have you guys ever felt like you failed a fitness goal? What about a trying to stick to healthy eating? A girl could really use a pep talk about now… 😉