Category Archives: fitness

Move It Monday

A couple months ago, someone lit a fire underneath my post-baby butt. Instead of doing my usual elliptical/freeweights, I started going to a few classes at my gym- and the instructor somehow learned my name and has pushed me to my max every. single. class. I am loving the accountability, and also am finding that I have a new love for group fitness.

I tend to be the type that likes to just focus on my own workout alone, go hard, and then be done. I am not the person chatting it up at the gym, in between machines. However, these classes have really pushed me out of the box as far as pushing different muscle groups and breaking out of my plateau. The two classes I attend regularly now are spin and muscle blast {BodyPUMP is getting there}. Each class, I think I’m not gonna make it through- but I always do and I always manage to push myself a LITTLE further. It’s exciting AND it’s addicting. I find that scheduling my workouts and having people notice when I don’t come are HUGE motivators. Also, I’m not going to be the only one that can’t do 8 million lunges- if SHE can do it, SO CAN I!

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On days when we don’t hit the gym, Gabs and I work out together. Usually its a walk or run with the stroller, other days she and I do core stuff. And other days, we eat chocolate chips and salad and cuddle on the couch. This may or may not happen more often than I’d like.

Gabs’ workout compilation comes to you, free of charge.

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Bicycles & Push-ups : She’s laughing at me because I still do modified ‘girl’ push-ups. Wimp.

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There ya have it. She is next Jillian Michaels, and I’m pretty proud. Scared, but proud.

What do you do to stay in shape? I love hearing what others do for exercise!

~M

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Filed under Favorite Things, fitness, Uncategorized

Weekend Faves

Thank you, thank you, THANK you for all your responses and encouragement regarding my last post! I’m touched and encouraged that there are others right alongside me- so encouraged, in fact, that waking up early is starting to almost be funny.

It’s weird to do ‘daytime activities’ in the middle of the night, but weird in a fun, ‘I might as well’ sort of way. Like, bake doughnuts at 3:30 am. And fold laundry. Clean the kitchen. Give Gabby a sink bath. Drink copious amounts of quarter-caff coffee. I could do this for a while! Yeah, probably not.

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Anyways, it’s the weeeekend!! In order to celebrate, I’ve rounded up a couple favorite things for ya’ll to check out in your free time.

1. I could make these at home, but Fatty Sundays just packages them so dang cute. They’d make a great gift!

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2. Old Navy just had their 40% off everything sale= new favorite//affordable//stylin’ clothes for Gabby (or your kid).

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3. Searching for pretty free fonts? Stumbled across these and am in love.

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4. Need. This. Cake.

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5. Favorite run of 2012– time to do it again.

 

6. Can happiness be ‘found’, or is it an attitude? 

7. And my favorite, favorite weekend thing?
Liverpool games with these two goobs.
 

 

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~M

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Filed under Dessert, Family, Favorite Things, fitness, Uncategorized

Spicy Chai Latte Blender Muffins

I love Saturday mornings, and I LOVE cold weather. It might be premature to say it’s ‘cold’ outside, but we’re getting there! Being a nurse, I used to work most Saturdays- especially since weekend shifts are the ones that you want to pick up when you’re new to the profession. I loved Saturdays for a different reason when I was working them- but now that we’ve got Gabs and I’m working less, Saturday mornings usually consist of: fresh brewed coffee, breakfast with the husband, snuggles with Gabs, and watching soccer while watching the sun come up.

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It’s great. I love it.

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Aaaand Gabs is 7 months now!! I’ve been without a phone for a couple days, so I don’t have a good new picture of her (Gasp! The horror!) but I’m sure that’ll be rectified soon. In the meantime, I have some delicious muffins for ya’ll.

You can make ’em in the blender.

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My mom recently got a Vitamix (totes jelly) and it came with a fantastic recipe book for making pretty much anything in a blender! I don’t have a Vitamix, but I just used my regular blender for the muffins and things turned out okay. Deliciously okay.

We changed up a couple things on the recipe to suit our tastes, aka less sugar, less chocolate chips (what?) and spicy chai latte mix.

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If the name of the recipe has ‘chai’ in it, that means it’s healthy right?? I don’t know, but these are super good and a perfect breakfast, snack, or post-workout re-fueler. In this case, a pre-workout snack- I’ve started going to some classes at my gym and am hooked. I don’t know how I keep going back because usually I can’t hardly move for 2 days after the class. Muscle Blast and Spin Class are my recommendations so far- each is led by an awesome instructor who is awesome at motivation and using music to keep up the intensity.

She made me do an extra set of push-ups because I merely mentioned Krispy Kreme in her class. Yeah. I LOVE intense fitness instructors though- I’m a glutton for punishment. Anyways, I usually save breakfast for after class, but these muffins are small enough and not super sweet, so they are a perfect energizer for a good workout.

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Best part about using a blender to make muffins? To clean the blender, Vitamix recommends just blending hot water and a drop of soap for 30 sec or so, and then rinsing. Then wah-LA! Clean! Changed my life.

Hope your weekend is wonderful!

~M

 

Blender Chai Latte Muffins 

adapted from the Vitamix recipe for Jamocha Tea Bread

Makes 12

INgredients:

{dry}

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3 TBSP spicy chai latte mix

{wet}

2 eggs

1 stick of butter, softened

1/2 greek yogurt

1/2 milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. In the blender, put all the {wet} ingredients. Once fully blended, add the blender mixture to the dry mixture and stir well. Add more chai mix to taste 🙂 Bake for about 20-22 minutes at 350 degrees.

Enjoy warm with BUTTER!!

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Filed under Baking, fitness, Food Stuffs., Uncategorized

Baked Cheesy Quinoa Mac

Ah, a breath of fresh air provided by my non-vegetarian sister. Felt gooood! I talk to her almost daily and it is so inspiring to hear her talk about her day whether it be at her internship or at work. Way to go Katie! Next step, doctorate. You know it’s gonna happen, even if you don’t accept it yet.

While she’s busy finishing school and eating her meat, I’ve been cooking up quinoa and deciding that cheese is my favorite. My cheese drawer in the fridge (I think that drawer is actually meant for lunch meat, but in its absence, it is filled with CHEESE) is absolutely packed.

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Goat cheese. Parmesan. Feta. Gruyere. Tillamook sharp cheddar. Boursin. Gouda. Fontina. Ay yi yi I can’t get enough! I was desperate for some mac’n’cheesy last week and cheesy quinoa mac is what I came up with, with some help a lot of help from Giada de Laurentiis.

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I got the recipe from her book , Giada At Home. A lot of times, I find that I don’t have half the ingredients that she calls for in her recipes (fresh herbs, weird pasta/grains, gourmet meats) but usually the recipes still work with the substitutions I use. Improv, dudes.

The recipe is actually online and available for you to see without having to purchase the book! Woohoo! My substitutions were: quinoa instead of farro, no mushrooms, no tomatoes, dried thyme, and I added cheese to the topping, obviously. Why didn’t I add the mushrooms/tomatoes?? That would have been delicious… I must have not had them on hand. Don’t leave them out!

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I used my leftovers all week in my lunches- usually just heated up and mixed into a salad, or eaten cold by the giant spoonful.

I’m totally into cooking large batches and eating leftovers for days right now- makes it SO easy to choose good things to eat for lunch. I started logging my eats in an app called “Lose It” and am slightly horrified at my habits- I don’t usually have a hard time eating healthy main meals, but my snackage logs more calories than my meals all combined! Niiiiice. Sounds like I have another challenge to undertake… or just delete the app. 🙂

In other news, we are SOOO ready for fall! I am a lover of cool weather, and bundling up to go outdoors. I am jittery with excitement for when I can wear sweats and put Gabs in a cozy tracksuit and hit the trail!

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~M

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Baby, fitness, Food Stuffs.

Grilled Flank Steak Marinade

We’ve been on a super delicious dinner kick lately. Don’t look at me! It’s all Joey. The two of us, we make a good pair in the kitchen. Oh, and in life too. 🙂

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Despite the glorious intense heat outside, we love the grill too much to neglect it. I whipped up the marinade and prepped all the food indoors with Gabs while Joey manned the grill. In less than 14 minutes (not including marinating time), dinner was born.

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Maybe it’s because we were both starved? Maybe it’s because it’s summertime and everything is better in the summer? All I know is, we are making this again. And next time, we are having s’mores afterward!

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The marinade was quickly thrown together in about two minutes and not measured, but here are my rough calculations.

-1/3 cup olive oil

-1 TBSP minced garlic

-2 TBSP red wine vinegar

-1/2 cup soy sauce

-1/3 cup honey

-1/2 tsp black pepper

(plus salt and pepper on the steak)

We marinaded the steaks for about a half hour (it’d be even better overnight!) and then continued to coat it throughout cooking. For ultimate yum factor, serve alongside zucchini straight from the garden and roasted sweet potatoes thatsomehowtastelikemarshmallows. I’m not sure how that happened, but they seriously tasted like CANDY. And I like candy.

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Anyways, hope ya like it! I’m writing this post in the evening(now yesterday) and planning to wake up at 4:45 tomorrow(today) am for a early run. I still can’t believe I’m planning on doing it- and the only way I think I’ll follow through is if I make it official on the blog so looks like I’m gonna be taking an afternoon nappy tomorrow! It’s just too hot to go running any later and my jogging stroller has a flat. So… until I pump that up, I go solo and before the Gabby dearie awakens!

Eek!

~M

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Filed under Baby, Family, fitness, Food Stuffs.

More Almond Butter, please

Well, lets start with the good news!

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I’ve been working on improving my average pace and sub 8 minute miles have been a goal for a while now- Joey watched Gabs for a bit this morning so I could leave the stroller behind. I don’t mind running with the stroller, but sometimes it’s nice to run & be able to move my arms!

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I was back around 7:30 and now we are awaiting the Internet guys to come fix us up. Until then, let me tell ya- Gabs is getting sooo big. And loves to talk. And loves to have her cheeks squished. And loves stories & songs. Actually, sometimes she sings along!

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Not sure she’s a true fan of baking yet, but we’ll get there. Apparently the dish soap seems more fun so far- maybe she’ll volunteer to do the dishes? For now, you can just enjoy your pretty little reflection, pumpkin.

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She sat with me in her Bumbo while we whipped up a batch of scones a few mornings ago- my little sister was staying with me for a couple days while Joey was in Washington D.C. for a dairy politics trip, and I wanted to wake her up to the smell of something delicious. Is there a better way to wake up, I ask you??

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Linds didn’t think so, either. These scones are so flaky and melt-in-your-mouth that its hard to tell that they are pretty low-fat in the scone world. Ok, maybe I just tell myself that to condone having one with almost every meal, but hey- I ran fast this morning ok?

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Check these out and tell me what you think! Only thing I’d change about the recipe is to add more almond butter, please!

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What’s your favorite way to wake up in the morning?

~M

Whole Wheat Almond Butter Scones

Ingredients
1 cup AP flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 stick COLD butter
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
3/4 cup almond butter (original recipe called for 1/2 cup)
1 bar (chopped) Dove dark chocolate (original recipe called for 1/2 cup choc chips)
Optional: 1 TBSP butter’ melted with 2 tsp almond butter for brushing on scones

Make your own healthy buttermilk!
Mix 3/4 cup almond milk with slightly less than 1 tbsp lemon juice. Let sit for 5 min before using!

Directions
Preheat oven to 400, and grease a large cookie sheet.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Cut the butter into chunks and put into flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until it looks like pea-sized chunks. You want the butter to stay as cold as possible, so touch it with your hands as little as possible! The colder the butter, the flakier the scones.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond butter milk and 1/2 the egg (half the white, half the yolk) until combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry flour mixture and add the almond butter. Mix til incorporated, and add chocolate. Mix but don’t over knead!

Pat into a large circle on a floured surface and cut into 8-10 triangles .

Bake for 18-22 minutes and enjoy warm!

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Filed under Coffee, Favorite Things, fitness, Food Stuffs., Fridays

PB & Toasted Coconut Energy Balls

Yesterday we had to say goodbye to my brother, who had come to spend Mother’s Day here in CA with the family- we totally wish it was a longer visit but we’ll take what we can get! It was his first time meeting Gabs, and she is already in love with her Uncle ‘Merck’ 🙂

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My brother just got his helicopter pilot’s license a few days ago- so proud of him! He has a few more licenses that he wants to obtain yet, but pretty soon he’ll be flying me all over Hawaii for free, I’m sure. I mean, why else does he need a helicopter license?? Juuust kidding. Won’t say no though, bro.

Anyways, up early again this morning with a hefty to-do list for the day! I was going to start out with a run, but I peeked outside and saw that it was sprinkling- and decided to put off my run until later and bump a couple other items on the list to priority. Enter: no bake energy balls.

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I’ve heard a lot of people talking about different recipes they’ve used for these nutrient-packed little snackies, and had never gotten around to making any until now. And man, have I been missing out! These are like little balls of cookie dough, dude- SO stinkin’ good! But healthified. A perfect little pre-run bite or afternoon pick-me-up. Or even dessert! Or crumbled on top of oatmeal. Or… I don’t know, probably good any way you choose to eat em.

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You can pretty much throw in whatever you want to make these- these are so versatile! I decided to make mine with the following ingredients:

1 cup dry old fashioned oats

2/3 cup toasted {unsweetened} coconut flakes

1/2 cup all natural peanut butter

1/2 cup wheat germ

1/2 bar of Dove’s dark chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

{Mix all these things together, let chill in fridge for 1/2 hour, then roll into balls and viola! Better than cookies.}

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Now that I’m recalling what I put in them, I’m planning out my next energy-ball attack. Craisins, white chocolate chips, almond butter, pepitas.. ooooo I’m getting so excited.

Any other good combos out there that you’ve tried??

~M

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Filed under Cookies/Bars, Family, fitness, Food Stuffs.