Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Foodie Pen Pal

Whoop! Whoop! Another great pen pal package in the books! The day I received this package it had been a long one... work at 5am, hanging out with my sister and nephew, workout, karaoke with friends... so when I finally got home at 2am I was so stoked to see my pen pal package sitting by my mailbox! 

This month my package came from Kelly over at Laughter, Strength and Food! I loved her personalized cards that had her initial on it, super cute and simple!

Kelly sent me lots of great goodies! In the box she sent me a Health magazine (which didn't take long to read), Lifesavers Gummies, trail mix, coffee & cream chocolate, green tea and a coffee mug. Seriously, great picks Kelly!

The first thing I took attention to was the coffee & cream chocolate and I'm not ashamed to say that I ate half of it that day! I need to find out where these are sold.  If you are a fan of the coffee flavor, you will no doubt love this bar!  When I pulled out the Lifesavers Gummies, I instantly thought of my boyfriend and how much he would love these (and how he did).  The Health magazine, thankfully was not one I already had, was put to good use pretty quickly. I love me some good health/fitness magazines!

Since I primarily drink coffee, even though I'm trying to drink more tea, it took me a couple days before I busted into the green tea. I tried the green tea with honey lemon ginseng without too high of expectations since I don't usually like lemon flavored water.  To my surprise I actually liked it though!  The trail mix was great, even though I do wish it had more granola in the dried fruit mix, but that's my personal preference. 

The final item in my box was this cute coffee mug!  You actually got a sneak peak of it in another post, but probably didn't even realize it.  I love the saying and I love that it is a tall mug rather than fat and round like most of my others.  

Thanks a million Kelly!  Whoever gets that girl for February will be in for a good treat! Be sure to stop over at Alex's blog Yums and Love to check out the awesome package she got ;)

If you're interested in joining the Foodie Pen Pal program be sure to get a hold of Lindsay over at Lean Green Bean or by emailing her at theleangreenbean@gmail.com!  Lindsay does an awesome job organizing the growing program so be sure to let her know how much you love it after you join :)  

Monday, January 30, 2012

MMM: Choice Not Chance + Calorie Crusher #3

Anything goes this week with Motivate Me Monday, so here goes...

My weekend in La Crosse for the Basketball Alumni Weekend reminded me of the phrase "Choice Not Chance".   It reminded me of the great times I had with my friends/teammates, the hard work we put in on and off the court and all the struggles and triumphs we made it through together. 

"Choice Not Chance " was the motto of my senior year of college basketball that our coach introduced to us at the beginning of the season.  Each year we had a focus, a motto, but the motto of my senior year happened to be the one that stuck with me most, perhaps because it is applicable beyond the basketball court.  I still have the bracelet that my coach gave each of us as a constant reminder that our destiny was determined by our choices as an individual and as a team, not by luck or chance.  

"Choice Not Chance" is something that just recently I have begun reminding myself of every day again.  It is a simple, self explanatory phrase that can apply to your fitness, your diet, your health, your family and every other aspect of life.  

On the other side of the bracelet it says 212 degrees, which is described in a book given to me by my coach. 

In the book 212 Degrees The Extra Degree it says, "At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And steam can power a locomotive.... Seemingly small things can make tremendous differences." Give the extra degree in everything you do in life!

With this motto in mind here is my FITNESS PLAN, I won't be leaving anything to chance this week :)

Monday: Lift (see below for Calorie Crusher #3) + 30 mins cardio (check)
Tuesday: Run with Brita 
Wednesday: Lift + 30-45 mins cardio
Thursday: Run with Brita
Friday: Lift + Run?
Saturday: Run 
Sunday: Off 

Yes, the 300 yard shuttles suck, but it's something new and it's good conditioning... keep track of your progress and see if you improve. 

What is your motivational saying? 

In other news I just finished The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo on Friday and am now about 3/4 through The Hunger Games (cannot put it down!!!).  I'm planning on finishing it today and then moving on to Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, yes I am on a movie-book streak right now.  Both The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Hunger Games have been so riveting I cannot handle it! I spent 6 hours finishing the first book on Friday and now I have been spending every little moment reading The Hunger Games... cleaning and chores have been put on the back burner the past few days.  

Are there any good reads out there I should be checking out at the library?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Calorie Crusher Part 2 + Recipes

What to do while at work at 5:15 am, when your appointment cancels on you? This looks good...

Normally I don't do this, but at 5:15 in the morning it's tough to get motivated to do anything when you client cancels on you.  Plus I am totally sucked into The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo!  I feel like it's taking me forever to read though... I guess it is 465 pages long. 

After work I did Calorie Crusher #2, compliments of a program written up by one of the trainers there, and ran 4 miles...

I wore my heart rate monitor during CC #2 and burned 600 calories (not including run)! It is definitely a calorie crusher!  I didn't wear it during the first one, but next time I do it I will be sure to wear it and report back on the results. 

 In case you missed the first one, here it is :)

After getting my sweat on I went to my sister's to visit with her and my nephew... we spent most of the afternoon hanging out in a Scooby Do tent in the living room... the great outdoors!

Note the wild life... zebra and frog

Sisterly love

Taking pictures on his "camera"


Dinner and snack yesterday were both new recipes and both delicious!  

Ham & Cheddar Frittata 
(From The Low-Carb Bible Cookbook)

3 eggs
3 egg whites
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 c frozen broccoli florets, thawed
6 oz deli smoked ham, cut into cubes
1/3 c red bell peppers, cut 
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 c shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
(Note: if you don't like your food really salty, cut out the salt; the ham will provide enough salty flavor.)

Picture from cookbook
I didn't have a skillet that I could put in the oven like it called for so I tried just baking it in a pie pan.  It worked, but it took much longer than it was supposed to.  I baked my frittata at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. I then bumped up the heat so I could broil it for about 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes on broil I noticed there was still liquid from the eggs, so I drained a little of the excess (we were hungry!) and put it back in for another couple minutes.

Here are the instructions that you should follow if you have a skillet. 

1. Preheat broiler. 
2. Beat eggs, egg whites, salt and pepper in large bowl until blended. Stir in ham, broccoli and peppers. 
3. Melt butter over medium heat in 10-inch oven proof skillet with sloping side. Pour egg mix into skillet; cover. Cook 5-6 minutes or until eggs are set around edge. (Center will be wet.)
4. Uncover; sprinkle cheese over frittata. Transfer skillet to broiler; broil 5 inches from heat source, 2 minutes or until eggs are set in center and cheese is melted. Let stand for 5 minutes; cut into wedges.  

The recipe was really great, I wish I had the equipment though.  My boyfriend, J, really liked it and said "you can make that any day!" It really is just a glorified omelet, but it is awesome!

Roasted Spiced Pecans
(From The New Atkins For a New You Cookbook)

2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne 
1-12 oz bag pecan halves

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil. 
2. Combine butter, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and cayenne in medium bowl; add pecans and toss to coat thoroughly. 
3. Spread evenly onto baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until lightly toasted, about 8 minutes, stirring once. Cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container.  (Note: Because the nuts are high in fat, they can go rancid quickly at room temperature. Store in the fridge, where they'll stay fresh for up to 6 months.) 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Have You Ever Wondered About Ducks?

I dressed up like Darth Vader this morning and head out the door to fight Mother Nature....

...On a short 20 minute run.  When I looked out the window this morning I saw that it was snowy pretty good, but I still had an itch to get out and get my blood flowing before I had to go to work.  I got a little bit of shelter on my route from a tunnel, but that was pretty brief. 

My turn around point was the old foot bridge.  I love this bridge, it's pretty in the winter, but it's gorgeous in the summer and fall!

You can tell from the flag at the other end of the bridge that it was pretty windy. Wind + snow = snow blowing in your face. 

I'm not sure what these ducks are thinking hanging out in Wisconsin in the winter!  They are totally nutso! It is bad enough living on land during the winter, I can imagine what a cold bum I would have floating around in   freezing cold water.  I should do some research on them, because I don't know how it is possible they can be comfortable in that bitterly cold water.  Brrrrr!  Any duck experts out there?


Fitness Plan

Monday: Run 4 miles + lift
Tuesday: Run 3-5 miles
Wednesday: 30 minutes cardio + lift
Thursday: Run 4-5 miles
Friday: Lift
Saturday: Alumni basketball game at UW-L... WAHOO!
Sunday: Rest... it'll be needed!

What is your fitness plan for the week?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It Was Inevitable... DOMS

Okay, I'm not going to pretend you're an idiot, but just in case you didn't know DOMS stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness... and I have a serious case of that after yesterday!  I'm sure you've read many posts or articles about DOMS and how it causes muscle pain in the day or two after intense exercise, a new routine, or a new exercise program.  My DOMS is from a combination of all three of those reasons! If you experience DOMS don't be alarmed!  This is a normal response to exercise and is actually a good thing because it is part of the muscle's adaptation process (= you are getting stronger).  Needless to say, I will be having a love affair with this guy all day long...

I love my foam roller!

My workout today is going to be a super easy bike just to loosen up my muscles and get a little reading in :)  When was the last time you experienced DOMS? 

I just started reading this late last week, it's a little hard to get into but about 50ish pages in I am finally starting to get interested.  Have you read this book?  What did you think?


For those of you who comment on my blog regularly you know that I usually try to get back to you in a timely matter, however, for some reason my blog (I use #blogger) is not allowing me to "reply" to your comments!  I have tried searching in the help box of Blogger, but no luck.  If you know anything about this please let me know how to fix it!  In the mean time keep your comments coming, I love hearing from you!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Calorie Crusher

Hi my name is Calorie Crusher!  I like to burn tons of calories by making you sweat like a mad man.  I do a wonderful job at making your legs feel like jello and your lungs feel as if they are going to burn into flames.  I come in four parts, but I am only going to reveal one part of me to you today.  You can make me as hard or easy as you please, but remember you only get out of me what you put into me.  And now, this is what I look like...

.5 mile warm up (I did a 1 mile warm up)
DB incline 10x (25#)
Box Squat 10x (135#)
Popover 3-2-1 box 1:00 each
.5 mile jog
DB low lunge 20 yards (20#)
KB BOSU row R/L  10/10x (25#)
Stairmaster 1:00-2:00-3:00 
.5 mile jog
Each group of exercises in blue is done 3 times in a row (circuit fashion) before moving on

....aren't I a beauty?!  I was able to get my two miles in at 17:40 and the entire workout took me 55:00.

Oh and call me a complete nut job, but my first client of the day asked me if I'd do here workout with her, so of course I said yes... two strength/circuit workouts in one day, I'm going to be feeling it tomorrow! My other workout was as follows:

4x each
Hi step ups 6/6x (25#)
VASA triceps extensions 10x

1x each
Suicide 40 yards/10yards
Hammer 40x
Ab wheel 10x

4x each 
SB DB Pullover 12x (20#)
Biceps curl 20x (25#)

1x each
Suicide 40 yards/10yards
Hammer 40x
Ab wheel 10x

4x each
Lever row R/L 12/12x (20#)
Pull ups 10x

1x each 
Suicide 40 yds/10yds
Hammer 40x
Ab wheel 10x

What is your workout for the day? Have you ever done two strength/circuit workouts in a day?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Surprise Party Update

Major #fail on my part in documenting my dad's surprise 60th birthday party!  I really did have good intentions of taking pictures, but things got a little crazy when we found out that my dad was planning on getting home 45 minutes earlier than anticipated!  Okay, let's rewind a little...

I arrived at my parent's at 8:30am on Sunday morning... with a soaking wet car! Remember how I said I was in charge of the potatoes? Well, I had to soak the potatoes in salt water overnight to keep them from browning.  When I put them in my car to transport 3 miles to my parent's house I didn't realize the water from the pot was slowly dripping all over my passenger seat!!  I noticed it when I got to my parent's house and totally freaked out!  The water soaked through a blanket I placed under the pot and through my passenger seat to soak the back seat floor area.... yes, a flood occurred in my car.  With temperatures hovering around 25 degrees lately, I didn't know how in the world I was going to get it dry. I told my mom when I got to the house and she get me a wet-dry vac to try to suck up most of the water... most of it was sucked up, but it was still damp.  Oh well, I guess!  I haven't really checked on the situation since it happened because I was so busy all day yesterday, but I'll have to check it out today (hopefully it's not molding or anything).  

Photo from last month
After cleaning up the water in my car, I went in the house and got to work... Making mashed potatoes, broccoli-corn bake, cooked carrots, chocolate chip cookies, apple crisp, and some cleaning were among my duties for the morning.  Needless to say when we found out my dad was coming home earlier than we planned, things got a little hectic! My siblings arrived around 11:30 to help my mom and I out in the final hour before he would arrive. 

Guests were instructed to arrive at 12:30 (the time my dad normally gets done with work) and park across the street (behind the house) in the church parking lot. We were expecting my dad to arrive at the house around 1, so plenty of time for people to walk the block to our house and get settled.  

My dad rolled into the house at 12:30, while we were still slaving over the stove and guests were still arriving... oops! My dad was happy to be able to have members of his family and well as my mom's family around to celebrate his big day with him.  After he said hi to everyone, we asked if he was surprised and he said that he suspected something was up... it's hard to get things by this guy! 

Happy 60th birthday dad!!!

I also have to give a shout out to my boyfriend too... happy day of birth sweetie!  His birthday is the day before my dad's (dad is the 16th, he is the 15th), he doesn't really acknowledge it in January though,  he celebrates it on his half birthday because it is in the summer (no work as a teacher and great weather!). So even though we celebrate it in July, I always have to say "happy day of birth" to him :)  My parent's and his parent's think it's a load of crock that he does it this way so they give him gifts and such in January, but I kind of like that he celebrates in the summer, because then I can focus on my dad in January for his birthday.  Love both of these men so much!


Saturday night while I was chillin' at my place by myself I made some of Kasey's chia jam!  So quick, so easy, and so good!  I made the cranberry version, not my favorite fruit but I had some on hand. Tip: eat it while it's warm, it's so delicious warm!



Monday: Run 4.5 miles
Tuesday: Lift + run 2-3 miles
Wednesday: 60 minutes cardio 
Thursday: Run 3-4 miles + lift
Friday: Lift + cardio
Saturday: Run

For a while now I have been trying to increase my running mileage to 20 miles a week to prepare myself for starting a marathon training plan, but for some reason that is incredibly hard for me!  My past 5 weeks mileage have been: 15, 16.5, 14.75, 14, and 10.  Seriously, why is this so hard for me!  My mileage has increased since I started running with Brita though, so that is a good thing.  Maybe I just need other people to run with me!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Catch Up Time

A lack of posts lately means I have a lot of random stuff in today's post...

  • We are making a switch to a low-carb diet in my household, per request of my boyfriend.  Part of me likes this and part of me doesn't.  Let me explain... I am the queen of carbs. As a basketball player all my life, I thrived on carbs as my main fuel source. In high school I used to eat an entire box of macaroni and cheese by myself before basketball and volleyball games (thanks heavens for an incredible metabolism and active lifestyle at that point in my life!)! Now as much as I love carbs, I don't always eat the good carbs, I find myself eating chips, buns, crackers, etc.  I will continue to eat some carbs (more than my boyfriend, since I'm not trying to lose weight), but it is my hope that this helps me clean up my carb choices.  Thus far, after a week, I have noticed better quality carbs than I normally eat! 
  • My boyfriend is out of town tonight and I was craving some macaroni and cheese hardcore (see above)!  Normally I just make some off brand mac and cheese (yes, off brand is way better than name brand Kraft mac and cheese... for real!), but today I was feeling adventurous and I tried making it with a rue. FAIL! It tastes okay after I put some Tony Chachere's creole seasoning on it, but next time I need to try putting more cheese in it or try adding Parmesan cheese in it. 

1.5 Tbsp butter
1.5 Tbsp flour
1.5 c milk
1 c(ish) cheddar cheese (I didn't really measure it)

Don't be fooled by how terrific it looks

  •  I did not fail all day though... I was totally winning with my Chinese shrimp pizza! I was planning on making my pizza with pizza sauce, but I didn't have any on hand so I tried some hoisin sauce instead. 

1 whole wheat tortilla
1.5-2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1/4 lb (or less) cooked shrimp
Sweet red pepper, chopped 
Onion, chopped

Baked at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes

  • Our Christmas tree has officially been converted to a Mardi Gras tree! Laissez les bons temps rouler!

  • Workouts this week so far have gone according to my plan. Today was a 3 mile run, stairs (4 x 100 steps = bun burner!), and 15 minutes of lifting. 
  • What are you doing tonight?  Nothing.  Okay, why don't you come over and join me in peeling 25 pounds of potatoes?  Ya, I know, sounds super fun! My mom, sister and I are throwing a surprise 60th birthday party for my dad tomorrow!  Since my dad works 3:30am - 12:30 pm, the time when most of us are working/sleeping, it has been difficult to get prep and baking done without him suspecting anything.  So in an attempt to make things a little easier on my mother, I offered to do potato duty. 

What are you doing tomorrow? Have you ever thrown a surprise party... was it successful?


PS If you haven't heard Rafflecopter is having a super sweet giveaway!  I found out from Jenn's Adventures, check out her post for more information :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January Grub Club

You guessed it, a new Grub Club means new recipes! This month the recipes were hit or miss, last time we liked pretty much everything, but this month there were some that weren't liked at all....see below for quick reviews of each recipe.  Recipes for this month were...

(From left to right, top to bottom in the picture above; not all recipes have been posted from everyone so I just included the ones we had, if you're really interested in a certain recipe let me know)

Crab Cakes- I really liked these, but not everyone was a huge fan; they have a little zing to them
Avocado-Banana Smoothies- Crowd favorite! I've had it on three other occasions since last week
Garlic Spaghetti Squash- This recipe isn't being posted since no one really like it
Lemon Custard- A delicious, warm treat
Fruit Bars- Grandma called this fruit cake, but I changed it to bars so it didn't scare people off, yummy!
Chewy Chocolate Cookies- I've made these before; infused with extra fiber; from NuNatural cookbook
Hummus- Very good, but after being stored over night it didn't taste the same
Lemon Mousse- Another favorite, refreshing treat
Black Bean Veggie Burgers- Very good, but didn't stick together the greatest
Ham Casserole- Could use some extra flavor added in, sauce made with yogurt
Baked Spinach- Love it!  I needed to put some salt on it, but a very yummy dish

Even the little man liked the avocado-banana smoothie!!

Fitness Plan
Monday- 5 mile run with my running partner, Brita! 
Wednesday- Distance repeats with strength exercises in between (see below)
Thursday- 60 minutes cardio
Friday- Run with Brita 
Saturday- Lift + cardio or easy day
Sunday- Run or day off

Wednesday workout
1 mile run
Push up ladder (over and back)
.75 mile
MB inch worm (5 yards) 
.75 mile 
VASA- 10 swimmers, 10 breast strokes, 10 chin ups
.75 mile
Push-pull-press 10x each
.75 mile
1:00 SB lockout 

40 minutes biking  (easy-moderate)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Quick Stop

Short and sweet here this morning...

Grub Club tonight!  Be prepared for some recipes next week :)  Leave me a message with any recipe suggestions you may have, I still need to make something.


I think I found a running buddy!  A fellow trainer got in contact with me wondering if I was interested in running with her.  We got together this morning for our first trot...she's fast, I'm slow, but we made it 4.5 miles together.  I asked her part way through the run if she normally runs that fast, and she said she doesn't really have a pace, she just likes to go out... so she was cool with slowing down a little bit!  She is a young mom, so she doesn't get out to run very much anymore (even though she can still kick my butt!), so she is just ecstatic to get out running regardless of the pace.  We're planning on getting together next week sometime again to go running... I think I can get used to having a running partner and who knows maybe she'll make me faster!

Do you have a workout buddy?
I've never had a regular workout buddy, I generally workout on my own. I'm totally open to a partner though, scheduling is just so much more difficult. 
What are your plans for this weekend?
I don't have much planned for this weekend... I don't work so I might just be lazy and clean my apartment over the weekend, oh and enjoy some football on Sunday :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

(Football) Party Recipes

Like Sarah alluded to yesterday, Monday was a "Bummer Badger" kind of day, but that didn't stop me from making some great football food!

The star of the show was the Chili...

1 lb ground beef
1 bell pepper (any color)
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 med/lg onion
1 can stewed tomatoes 
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 c chicken/vegetable broth 
2 Tbsp chili powder
Salt & pepper to taste

Cook the ground beef until browned thoroughly. Chop all vegetables and drain the beans. Throw all ingredients into a crock pot.  Turn on high for about 4 hours.  Easy peasy!

On the side was Avocado-Black Bean Salsa that I shared with Tori in the Foodie Pen Pal Exchange.

3 avocados 
3 Roma tomatoes 
1 small red onion
3-4 green onions
1 can Mexicorn, drained
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
2 envelopes seasoned Italian dressing 
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/3 c olive oil 

Chop all vegetables and drain/rinse canned vegetables, throw in a large bowl. Add the dry Italian dressing packets, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Toss to coat. Store in refrigerator for at least an hour so the flavors can blend and soak up.  

Also on the side were Crescent Pinwheels.... they were awesome! This recipe is really flexible, so here are basic guidelines...

Deli meat (I used ham, 1/2 poundish)
Plain or flavored cream cheese (I used plain)
Vegetables (I used spinach and green onions)
Seasoning (I used dill)
1 can crescent rolls 

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Separate the dough into rectangles, press the perforated seals so it stays together. Spread each rectangle with cream cheese and top with your veggies, meat and seasoning.  Roll up each rectangle and press the edges of the dough together to ensure it stays in tact. Use a knife to cut each of the rolled rectangles into about six slices. Place the sliced pieces onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 13-17 minutes. Should be golden brown when you take out... best when eaten warm!

So far this week workouts have been going pretty well...

Monday I ran 5.5 miles to start burning off those holiday calories.

Tuesday I ran 3 miles, alternating from 6.7 mph to 7.5 mph at a 1:1 ratio in 27 minutes and took a boot camp.

This morning I did the WOD Tina talked about on her blog the other day.  I got it all in in 11:48!  It got tough at the speed I was trucking at around round 7.  I've been eating like a monster today, so I'm hoping to get a lift in before work this afternoon so I don't feel like junk all night.

What have you been doing for your workouts this year? 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year Means New Goals

My friends and I really know how to bring in a new year!  Our night spent in the cities was a fantastic time and I couldn't have been more thankful to spend it with the people I did!

Clock cupcakes made by JC

Looks like trouble

Thank goodness for iPhones apps.... 7-14-21

First kiss of the new year!

What did you do for New Years? Did you spend it with friends, family or both?

2012 GOALS
And with a new year comes new goals! I usually make some new years resolutions and they usually fall through within the first month, so I'm hoping with my blog I can look back on this post throughout the year and remind myself of my goals.

HEALTH- Get health insurance * Eat 6 servings of veggies & fruits a day (so hard for me at times) * Try 2 new recipes every month * Maintain my weight from last year
FITNESS- Run a marathon * Try new fitness classes * Run one race of every length (5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon)
COMMUNITY- Get involved in the community through volunteer work (Girls On the Run, Races, etc.)
FAITH- Pray everyday * Go to church more often (that shouldn't be hard to beat from last year :-/ )
FAMILY- Visit my grandparents more than just at family events
EDUCATION- Keep my CSCS Certification current by completing my annual coursework

What are your New Years goals?