Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Chocolate Granola & SW Couscous Salad

If you would have seen me today, I would have either looked like this...

Putting my apron to use!

Or in some sort of position resembling this...

My day pretty  much consisted of hitting the books and messing around in the kitchen with some new-to-my-kitchen recipes! So what were these new-to-my-kitchen recipes?  Southwest couscous salad which I got from Trading Up Downtown and chocolate granola!

The SW couscous salad is chock full of nutritious vegetables and natural flavors.  To be honest I was surprised by the strength of the natural flavors! I think I was surprised because I am not used to natural flavors with all the artificial flavors that are in so many sauces, crackers, etc. that we all eat now days.  Anyone else feel this way? I made a few changes based on what I had in my refrigerator... I used canned corn and canned tomatoes instead of fresh ones and I accidentally picked up oregano instead of cilantro when I made a special trip to the store for the herbs.  Dang it!  The flavor was still alright (I wouldn't know any better, I'm not good with herbs), I think it was a little too strong for me, I'd like to try cilantro like the recipe calls for.  Overall though, I would recommend the recipe!

As you can see from above, I normally put the name of the website from which I found a recipe in the top right corner if I got it from someone else so that if I make it and want to blog about it, like so, I know who to give credit to.  However, silly me I forgot to put where I got this recipe! So if this is your recipe, please let me know so I can give credit  where credit is due!  For now I will pretend I created this delicious recipe ;)   The flavor in this was awesome!  The perfect combination of chocolate and peanut butter to make this a light treat.

The only thing I would change about the recipe is to make a little more "glue" (PB, honey, butter) because my granola did not clumpify (yes, I just made that a word) like I hoped it would.  Not to worry I did not let it go to waste!

I used my granola to make a little dessert following my meal that included the couscous salad and a hummus wrap with ricotta cheese, roasted red pepper hummus, jalapeƱos, green peppers and ranch dressing.

Other bites include a banana and gluten free hot cereal with 1/2 Tbsp peanut butter, 2 dates cut up and coconut.

Iced coffee with sugar-free almond syrup
Smoothie - plain yogurt, frozen fruit and milk
BBQ sunflower seeds 
3 caramel corn rice cakes 

2 miles in 16 minutes
30 minutes biking
30 minutes lifting
  • Bench press 2 x 15 @ 55 lbs
  • Bicep curls 2 x 15 @ 10 lbs DB
  • Back squats 2 x 15 @ 65 lbs
  • Shoulder circuit (lateral, frontal & shoulder press) 2 x 8 each move @ 5 lbs DB
  • Triceps kick backs 2 x 15 @ 10 lbs DB
  • SB med ball twists 2 x 8/side
  • Declined bench sit ups 2 x 15 @ 10 lbs med ball 

30 minutes BL yoga


Downward Dog


I love doing yoga when I get to look out at the sunset while doing it :)

I'm going to miss this apartment when I move out in July :( 

Where do you like to do your yoga?  
I generally do mine right here in my room, looking out over the city!

What is your favorite pose?
I'm a big fan of warrior 2 and downward dog.  When I first start my yoga routine I don't care for downward dog, but then once I keep going I always remember that downward dog is a break from the rest of the routine!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Good Luck Charms

Happy Memorial Day weekend!  Jed and I passed a vehicle pulling this boat, which seemed to sum of the weekend for most people.  Well, this and remembering and honoring all of the great things that men and women in the armed forces do for us and our freedom everyday!

We did not have a boat out this weekend, rather we spent a solid 8 hours in the car with each other, if we didn't kill each other then I think it's safe to say we really are meant for each other :)

Anyway the reason we spent so much time in the car this weekend was because we were going to...

Since I don't want to make this post incredibly long and bore you to death I am just going to share a few pictures from our weekend in Milwaukee at the games!

Inside and outside of Miller Park.

In case you forgot what I look like ;)  Oh and meet my new friends!

Goofy Pictures

Me and my friends


Of course I couldn't turn down a Bloody Mary and a a picture with Ryan Braun!

Bloody Mary

Ryan Braun

And the best part about the whole trip was I got to spend it with this guy!  

Love him!

Partner in crime

Love him!

<3 him!

My man!

My man!

My man!
P.S. I think we're good luck charms!  They won both games :)

What did you do this weekend?

What kind of "lucky charms" do you or did you have?
I used to collect trolls and rabbits feet when I was younger!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Three Cheers for a Long Weekend!

It's only noon and my day has been crazy already!  Aren't Fridays supposed to be days you unwind and relax on?  Anyway here's what it's looked like thus far...
  • 4 mile run (37 mins) 
  • BL Yoga (30 mins)
  • Breakfast - I did not have breakfast food this morning, in fact I had lunch food.  Roasted red pepper hummus wrap with all the fixins' 
  • Read Blogs
  • Dishes
  • Changed Luther's water 
  • Stopped at the library 
       It just so happened that two books I had on hold showed up today, so I stopped over to pick them up!

  • Packed my bag for the weekend 
  • Hunted for my lost ring :(  Not joke I was out looking for it every I had been yesterday for an hour and it's still missing... sad face. 
  • Called Victoria's Secret - unhappy customer because they gave me a late fee even though I never got my statement
  • Ate lunch
Even though I have a long and stressful day today, I'm looking forward to relaxing the rest of the weekend.  Tomorrow my lovely boyfriend and I will be heading to Milwaukee to watch two Brewer's baseball games over the weekend!  They've been on a winning streak at home, so lets hope they can keep that going.  This will only be my second time going to a Brewer's game, I was raised as more of a Twins fan since I am originally from MN.  

This is us last time, let's hope I don't have to whip out my rally cap again :)

Other than the Brewer's game I will be playing the weekend by ear... ahh I like the sound of that!  What will you be doing over Memorial Day weekend?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Book Review x 2

Lets get the good stuff out of the way... and by good stuff I mean my eats and workout :)

Most of these were the same as the past few days...

Breakfast- GF Tasty Hot Cereal 
Lunch- Lasagna + Smoothie + Iced Mango Peach Tea
Dinner- Lasagna, yes I had it twice today.  Not only because it is so good, but because when I got home from the event I was working tonight I wanted to eat my arm off because I hadn't eaten in 8 HOURS!  I eat like every 3 hours, if not more frequently so my body wasn't willing to wait for this girl to make something.
Snack- After seeing Meghann make on of Tina's 3 minute cookies, I decided I needed to try it and I love sweets so it didn't take much to convince me to make something as simple as this



Mine did not exactly turn out like the other ladies, I did something goofy.  However, I was pleasantly surprised!  Instead of it being like a cookie, mine was more like a pannekoeken!  Like I said I was pleasantly surprised, I wish I could tell you what I did to make it like this, but I have no idea.

My body was pretty sore today, so I didn't try out the P90X instead I went to the gym and took it a little easier...

  • 2 miles @ 8:20 pace... This is way faster than my 1/2 marathon pace (9:30/mile), but I'm trying to increase my pace so I guess this is a start :)  The primary purpose of running these two miles was to ease into running 4 days a week and up my weekly mileage a little since I am banking on signing up for a 1/2 or full marathon soon.  
  • 10 minutes biking... I got bored real quick, so I wasn't on very long
  • 20 minutes of shooting hoops
  • 20 minutes lifting weights... same routine as last time

For those of you who do not know, I love the city of New Orleans!  It has a soft spot in my heart for a number of reasons: 1.) I've visited there twice and love both trips! 2.) My boyfriend used to live and teach down there and his love sparked my love for the city. 3.) The Hurrican Katrina tragedy broke my heart and to hear stories from my boyfriend, since he was down there right after the storm to help out while he taught, and read about stories of individuals and families it breaks my heart.  Both times I was down there the people were the kindest of kind.  Although I am from Wisconsin and the Packers are my favorite team, I have grown to love the Saints as well.  I have never been to an athletic event that was more fun and full of energy than the Saints game I went to in the Super Dome this past December!

Anyway, I could go on for ages about how much I love that city, but the real reason I tell you that is because that is what drew me to this book.  Home Team is a book that talks about the hope, renewal and survival of not only the Saints team, but the city of New Orleans.  This book shows the real character in the Saints players that we don't always hear about or see in professional athletes.  Although a good chunk of the end of this book is about the Saints Super Bowl win, the majority of the book tells about struggles and choices that Sean Payton and his team have had to deal with and how he learned from them and became motivated by them.  I truly think is an inspirational book and I would hope that all of you, whether you have the passion that I have for that city and that team, would love it as well! If you have read it or do read it in the future, let me know what you think!

Now on the totally opposite end of the spectrum for me was What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.  Now going into this book I did not really know anything about it, but I know it was talked about quite highly by some people I know as well as by some of the bloggers I follow.  But, unfortunately for me, this was not a book that tricked my trigger.  I'm not sure what I expected, but I know it was not a ramble.  To me I never could quite figure out where this book was going, what the point of writing and publishing this book was.  Maybe I missed it (if I did please help me out), I wouldn't be overly surprised by that ;-) Anyway, I actually read to page 102 of 180 hoping that it would miraculously spark my interest, but it never did.  I even skipped to the end to see if maybe something back there would hint to me what this book was about, but I just wasn't havin' it.  Despite the fact that this book did not entertain me, there were some interesting pieces in it, for example:

"Human beings naturally continue doing things they like, and they don't continue what they don't like... That's why I've never recommend running to others.. If they're not interested, no amount of persuasion will make any difference."
"Muscles are hard to get and easy to lose. Fat is easy to get and hard to lose. A painful reality, but a reality all the same."
Don't take my word on these books though, try them out for yourself, but be sure to let me know what you thought of them :-)  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How to Make a Personal Pan Buffalo Chicken Pizza & Mango Peach Sweet Tea

I've gotten a couple questions on my recent rentals, so I'm going to quickly tell you my initial thoughts on the ones I have dug into.

Rental #1

I started my day off with some Biggest Loser Yoga this morning and found myself in more of a sweat then I anticipated... on level 1! Now I'm not a regular yoga goer, but I go in streak with it, recently I was on a dry streak.  I started on level 1, which kicked my butt, and I'm hoping to follow the "plan" that goes with this DVD, which is do level 1 4-5 times a week before moving to the next level.  The only bad part about this DVD is that I only get to keep it for 16 days... I can't even get through the six week program in my allotted rental time! Needless to say this DVD will be going on my wish list... can I put Bob on that list too?

Rental #2

Today my original plan for working out was do BL Yoga in the morning then go for a 5-6 mile run with a friend who has run 11 marathons, including the Boston and one that he just took first in last weekend!  Now you need just a hint of background on this... Jarrod, my marathon friend, was talking to my boyfriend who told him that I was mildly interested in running a full marathon. Jarrod being the running enthusiast he is invited me to run with him, in which I graciously accepted under two conditions... he slows way down, because I'm very slow compared to him and we go on a average (for me) distance run.  He promised we could go my pace and whatever distance I wanted.  He also promised he would bring me some of his first marathon training plans so I could use them if I wanted. Anyway (this is coming back around to my rentals I promise), today was the day we were supposed to go running together.  He told me he would call me when he finished work at 5pm.  Well come 4:50, I decided to myself this isn't happening, it has been raining ALL DAY LONG and it is still raining and coming down at a steady pace. Me being the comparatively inexperienced, naive runner that I am said "nope, we're not going running today" and popped in my P90X video that I rented.  I got through 5 minutes of the warm up before I got a phone call from Jarrod. Jarrod was ready to roll and that was moment I knew I was going to become a road warrior today :)  The run was surprisingly pleasant, we went a little faster than my normal pace, but that's good for me right?  The rain and cold actually wasn't too bad either.  Normally I'm a pretty fair weather fan when it comes to running, which is going to have to change if I'm running a marathon, so I was surprised the rain didn't bring me down.  Anyway, back to the P90X again... after seeing that first 5 minutes I'm not sure if I'm going to like it very much, the lead guy is SO incredibly cheesy!  Does the same guy lead all the P90X videos? I'm going to give it another try tomorrow, we'll see if my opinion changes.

Rental #3

I just started this today, so I'm only on page 26, but I'm already a big fan!  I can tell by the knowledge I have gained through my Human Performance Masters that the information in this book is viable information.  Thus far, he seems to be taking a very healthy outlook and making sure that readers know this is a healthy way of getting to your peak performance weight.  He focuses primarily on muscle mass over the number on the scale.  I wish I didn't have so much to read for my Theory and Methodology of Periodization class, because I could totally sit down and finish this in a day if I had the time.  I love it so much... almost as much as this...


 The worlds best frozen fruit mixture!


What did I do with the worlds best fruit mix you ask?  Well I made the most delicious smoothie of course!  This drink was so fruity it was like I was sitting on a tropical island (minus the fact that it's raining and cold outside) drinking the most delicious tropical drink!  I didn't add much to the fruit, just some milk, plain yogurt, and spinach.  Pure bliss!  Thank you Aldis for always having fiesta fruit blend in stock!

Also on my plate today.... 

Breakfast Fruit Bowl

Grapefruit & Strawberries
Does anyone have a good method to eating grapefruits?  I've tried every method, but inevitably I always make a complete, sticky mess.

Mango and Peach Sweet Tea

I made this sweet tea just like I make my southern sweet tea, except I only used 1/2 cup of sugar, which after tasting it I could have reduced that amount a little.  But such a great summery treat! 

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

I have never made this as a single serving, normally I make it in a 9x13 pan, so I was excited to turn it into a personal pan pizza.  I used one of these for my crust, coming in at only 100 calories a piece! 

I then continued to cook a chicken breast on my George Foreman until it was thoroughly cooked.  Side note: does anyone find it disturbing that a chicken can have a breast larger than some women?  One of my girl friends brought this point to my attention last time I had a chicken breast.  

 Popped it in the oven at 375* and cooked it until the cheese was melted, about 5 minutes.  And boom! It's done and ready to eat!  

I of course had to add some extra hot sauce for dipping on the side, because nothing can be too hot, right?

I don't know the exactly calorie count on this, but I imagine it is probably not something you want to eat by yourself if you're trying to lose weight.  There are probably some ways you could cut the calories a little though. 

What was your favorite food you ate today?
I would have a tough time choosing between the tea, the pizza and the smoothie... all great items on my plate today. 

Any good reads I need to check out?  Have you read any of the books I checked out yesterday?