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Apple Salad

10 Oct

Today flew by!

After posting this morning’s post, I buckled down at my work computer and before I knew it, it was was lunch time.  I decided to spend my lunch in the gym doing a “quick” and “simple” workout and chose my Simple Treadmill Circuit.  I should really think about changing that name…I was a sweaty mess.  Since I’ve been running outside more with this beautiful fall weather, the treadmill and I are not doing so well.  I also kept my incline up at a 2.0 the whole time I ran.  I felt it.  Tomorrow is a long run before my NYC trip this weekend.  I’ll be walking, but I won’t be running at all from Friday to Sunday 😉

For lunch, I started with my favorite Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie before putting together a leftover bowl of soup.

I used Pacific Foods All Natural Southwest Vegetable Soup as my base and added some leftover pulled chicken and leftover Buitoni Whole Wheat Three Cheese Tortellini for some added depth.

Warm me up!

It tasted pretty awesome and made it’s way to my dinner plate as well.

Apple Salad

While tons of blogs are blowing up with all of their tasty  pumpkin recipes, I can’t forget that there is another favorite food in season as well.  Apples are getting tastier as the temps cool and I decided to put together a fall apple treat to change up all the pumpkin I’ve been consuming in the past week.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup of cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise (I used light Miracle Whip)
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups apples, diced
  • 1.5 bananas, sliced

Blend the cottage cheese, mayonnaise, cinnamon and sugar in the blender until creamy (about 3-4 minutes).

Pour mixture into a bowl and toss apples and bananas together.

Serve and dash with a little extra cinnamon for some added flavor.  Extra cinnamon is always allowed.

That’s it!  A simple dessert or side dish to go with your next meal.  I plan on eating more with my breakfast tomorrow. 😉

While making this dish, I kept humming that song, “I like to eat, eat, eat, apples and bananas!”  Does anyone else remember that song?  I can’t remember the whole thing, but I know one thing is for sure,  I’ll take my fair share of both any day!

What are your favorite apple recipes?

I love hot apple cider and homemade applesauce.  Anywhere there is hot apple cider around fall time is where my spending money goes.  It’s the perfect cool evening, non caffeinated treat.  Motts doesn’t hold a candle to homemade applesauce.  The chunkier, the better!

Have you entered my Who Nu? Giveaway yet?  Only a couple more days to win a sweet and nutritious treat!

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Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie

6 Oct

Last night, Ed and I ran to Target to tackle some birthday gifts and pick up something on my want list that I have been anticipating for awhile now.

It is now in my possession.

We popped up some homemade microwave popcorn and popped the blu-ray in for a date night in.  Ed had never saw this movie before and we both enjoyed the classic touches the movie had throughout.  I had to explain to Ed that the castle at Disney World was Cinderella’s castle and we would be running through her castle in January.  He had no idea.  🙂  I specifically enjoyed the orchestral music throughout the movie.  You don’t hear real, live instruments like this in movies anymore.  It was an enjoyable and nostalgic night.

This morning, Ed and I woke up and split up before 7:30AM.  Ed had a “Men’s Breakfast” (and yes, you should say this with a deep and manly voice at all times) at church this morning and I headed to the park for a different change of scenery.

A solid start to the morning.

Three miles of my run was spend on the trail head which made things a bit more challenging, but enjoyable.  Being in the trees away from the morning sun glare was helpful.

When I got home, I showered and made a fall inspired smoothie to cool myself from the sweat of the morning.  Even my hair was soaked when I took it out of the ponytail.

I was inspired by Julie’s Pumpkin Protein Smoothie and tweaked it with what I had in my kitchen.

Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie

1/4 – 1/3 cup of pumpkin

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1/2 cup milk

1 frozen banana

1.5 tsp. pumpkin pie spice plus some for sprinkling

5 ice cubes

Blend and serve.


The thickness was perfect and I opted for a spoon instead of a straw.  It tasted more like a pumpkin milkshake.  Yum!

Yes, I am one of many that includes pumpkin in my diet throughout the season and at points throughout the year too.  I love pumpkin flavors!  Thank goodness for all the health benefits!

What is your favorite pumpkin recipe?  Are your pumpkin goodies sweet or savory?

I’m not the best baker around.  I do well, but there are few things that I do really well.  Pumpkin Iced Cookies are my specialty though.  They are requested throughout the season for both Thanksgiving and Christmas for events or bake sales and I enjoy making them.  The recipe came from All Recipes originally.  The cookies are light and cake like which always has people coming back for more.  (I’ve already made 2 batches for events this week.)  I am looking forward to sharing the recipe with you soon!

Super Sweaty Elliptical Workout

3 Oct

When I work from home, Ed always tries to find things to keep himself busy.  Our place is so small that he can become very distracting once he is awake.  We talk, the TV is on, he is making something in the kitchen.  Every noise distracts me from my work.  So, he decided to sleep in and once he got up, went for a run at the park before work.

I get a call about an hour later.  Ed had dropped the car key somewhere on the path and he took my car.  I had no way to get to him since I don’t feel comfortable enough to drive his stick shift car by myself.  So, like a good wife, I told him to start walking 🙂  I know, I’m terrible, but the park wasn’t that far away and in my work mode mind, I just couldn’t think of anything else at that moment.  He eventually called his work and someone came to pick him up and drop him back off at the house.

Good news, Ed was happy to announce that he got 7 miles of running in when he had to add the extra running time for re-jogging the path to try and locate the key.  Way to go, Ed!

Moral of the story, if you want to increase your distance for the day, loose your keys!

🙂

Due to all the drama, I skipped lunch and was craving for 4:30PM to get to the gym for some cardio.

I have NEVER sweat so much doing an elliptical work out.  I opted for this machine since it was 85 degrees of humidity outside and I was in the need for a good interval sweat.  Either way, it was a great workout for below the belt, backside area.

After that sweat I came home, changed out of my sopping shirt (seriously, gross) and stretched.  I am really intrigued to find a yoga class in the area.  I have taken a total of one yoga class in my life and I think it would be great for running.  I’m also really intrigued by hot yoga.  What can I say, I love a good sweat 😉

Dinner

Dinner was quick since I was on my own tonight.

Garlic Butter Muscles, Brown Rice and Fresh Steamed Broccoli.

Simple and filling.  I was snacking all day long which called for a healthier dinner.  No snacking for this girl tonight.  I gave up my snacks to all the cheese sticks I consumed throughout the day.

My weakness.

Have you ever locked yourself out of your car?  

What are you snacking weaknesses?  How do you curb your appetite?

Cheese.  I love cheese.  My newest find is Munster cheese.  It tastes great melted over half an English muffin or waffles.  Yum!

Chilled Tomato Soup with Shrimp and Pesto

2 Oct

I can’t really catch a break this week with the weather and running so far.  It has been a down pour of rain since yesterday and massive puddles just everywhere.  I didn’t want to risk another short run in between rain spurts, so it was me and the treadmill today.  You know what though, it wasn’t that bad…

The last five minutes of this run was a slow cool down.  I was just under 6.2 miles when I hit 60 minutes.  I’m dangling on my goal of hitting a 10K in under 60 minutes this month.  We’ll see.

Chilled Tomato Soup with Pesto and Shrimp

Over the weekend, Ed and I teamed up and made one of our favorite dishes from our honeymoon cruise last year.  We had so much fun on our honeymoon that started as a Disneymoon and ended cruising the Caribbean.  We both had never been on a cruise before and were overwhelmed with all the delicious food at dinner to order.  We had so much fun testing our taste buds on some of the most delicious appetizers, main courses and desserts.

Formal night at our final dinner on the ship.

For our Chilled Tomato Soup recipe, I worked on the soup part after finding a recipe in All You Magazine and Ed made his homemade pesto sauce.  We broke out some shrimp we had in the freezer and dinner was on its way.

Chilled Tomato Soup with Pesto and Shrimp
Original Source: All You Magazine

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • 3/4 lb. cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pesto (store bought or homemade)

Directions:

Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic and let cook while stirring until fragrant.  About 1 minute.

Stir in tomatoes with their juice, sugar, Italian seasoning and cayenne and bring to a boil.

Boil, boil.

Once boiling, puree the tomato mixture in batches.  I used my blender.

This made my blender HOT!

Chill in the refrigerator or over a large bowl of ice.  I chilled ours in the refrigerator for over 2 hours before serving.  Season with salt.  (If you just want a non-cream based hot tomato soup, this would be the perfect place to stop. ;-))

Freeze baby, freeze!

Once chilled, ladle soup into bowls and add shrimp and pesto sauce (store bought or homemade).  We used Ed’s Homemade Pesto which contained basil, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and sunflower seeds.

It was cold and a nice healthy option to add to our soup recipes!  Plus it brought back great memories of the yummy food we had each night while cruising the Caribbean.

Per Serving

255 Cal., 11 g. Fat (1 g. Sat. Fat), 130 mg. Chol., 2 g. Fiber, 21 g. Protein, 21 g. Carb., 2,001 mg. Sod.

Have a bite!

What was your favorite dish to recreate after your vacation?  Was it a success?

This is the first real dish I have ever “recreated” after a vacation meal.  It stood out because I wouldn’t normally order cold soup in a regular restaurant.  I do now though 😉

October Goals

1 Oct

Happy October!

Today was a crisp 72 degrees and I loved every minute of it.  It’s the perfect day for a run which is exactly what I did with Ed after work today.  Well…we tried.

About a mile and a half in, I ran into a little girl who fell off her bike.  Ed wasn’t far behind when we found that her shoelace was completely stuck around her petal.  Three other guys helped till her dad caught up and had nail clippers on him to clip her loose.

It never fails to amaze me what people have on them in time of need.  Nail clippers.  In his pocket.  On the running trail.  Sure.  It got her loose though and although a bit shaken up, she was riding again in no time.  Kids are so resilient.

Immediately after that, the rain started to pour down and we booked it to the car.  Did I also mention that I forgot my shoes at work today, so no lunch workout either.  It’s the workout that never was.  Sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do and hope for a better day tomorrow.

October Goals

I have a lot of goals lined up in my head for this month.  I’m really motivated to put a lot more cardio into my daily routines and lengthen my workout time for the month.  It’s challenging with working full time and be a full time graduate student, a wife, a friend, etc.  These are my tops goals:

  • Run 80 miles in one full month. I stole this one from Katie when she beat it last month.
  • Run the Marine Core 10K (October 28th) in under 60 minutes.  This is possible, but I’m not holding my breath.  I need to really commit to sprint training the next 28 days.
  • Finalize our Disney Budget and pay off our trip for the Disney World Half Marathon in January.  I’m looking forward to showing you all how we paid for this trip without touching our savings account even once!
  •  Stay committed to our 40 Days in the Word study with the addition of schoolwork next week.  Make it a daily priority instead of an afterthought.
  • Have a fantastic girl’s weekend in New York City!
  • Wake up by 5AM most weekday morning and 6:30AM on most weekends.  I really do love the mornings and feel the day is more complete if started before 8AM.  I think this will help with my extra cardio goals too.

What are your goals for this month?  Fitness?  Personal?  I want to hear them.  Let’s encourage each other!

Banana-Ricotta Pancakes

30 Sep

Good morning!

This morning I’m feeling much better and just in time for another busier Sunday.

I woke up and did one round of The Ab Mix Up Workout before cracking into leftovers from yesterday’s breakfast.

These were just as tasty as yesterday and with good reason.

As I was getting ready to post this recipe I found from All You Magazine, I noticed a very important detail I hadn’t noticed before making these sweet breakfast treats.

See that “D” word?  Yep, I made dessert for breakfast.  Oh well.  Talk it up to the 99 degrees of heat coming from my head yesterday.  🙂  It’s probably still better then a fried donut.  Plus, I was really excited to use the ricotta cheese in my fridge.

Banana-Ricotta Pancakes
Original Source: All You Magazine

Prep: 5 min.
Cook: 4 min. per batch
Serves: 4
Cost per Serving: $.80

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 small ripe banana, mashed
  • Caramel sauce, optional (I used syrup)
  • Sliced banana, optional

First, in a medium bowl, whisk all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt).

In a larger bowl, whisk together remaining wet ingredients (ricotta, egg, milk, butter, vanilla, banana).  Gently add the flour mixture to the wet mixture until fully blended.

Heat greased skillet over medium heat and drop tablespoons of batter into skillet.  Flip pancakes until golden brown on both sides.  Take about 4 minutes total.

Stack on a plate and serve with your choice of topping (caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg, chopped nuts).  I chose sliced bananas and syrup.

Nutrition Information Per Serving

352 Calories
16 g. Fat (9 grams Sat. Fat)
95 mg. Cholesterol
2 g. Fiber
12 g. Protein
40 g. Carbohydrates
529 mg. Sodium

This was definitely a sweet treat for a Saturday morning breakfast, but tasty and filling all the same.  I love most anything with bananas!

What’s your favorite breakfast dish you like to “splurge” on?

Mine is definitely pancakes or french toast.  I never liked donuts and can usually limit my carb intake at breakfast time.  Eggs and lots of veggies are my favorite and most filling breakfast though.  I can put most anything in my eggs and be happy.  Veggies, milk, cheese, hummus.  They all taste good to me.

Friday Run Around

28 Sep

This morning, my alarm went off at 6:15 AM and I was ready to conquer the world.  The weather had other plans though.  It was pouring!  This was no drizzle.  The storm started last night and stuck around awhile.  I would have been drenched within seconds.  So, instead of skipping the outdoor run, I cuddled up with my Kindle for a while until the rain subdued and was able to get a short run in around 7:30 AM.

The hills got the best of me today.

It had to be short since I had to shower, eat and drive to my 9 AM doctors appointment.

With the humidity during my run from the rain, I was a sweaty mess and wanted something cold and quick.  A refreshing Cocoa Raspberry Protein Smoothie was all that sounded good.

Ingrediants

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 large handful of frozen raspberries
  • 1 8 oz. cup of Raspberry Chobani Greek Yogurt
  • 1 scoop cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp. cocoa
  • Enough vanilla almond milk to get everything moving
  • 1 packet of instant coffee (optional)
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

I added the coffee to put a pep in my step to get the day going and it worked 😉

Chocolate Raspberry Smoothie

It was such a pretty color too!

After the doctor, I zipped through Wegman’s for a few produce things before lunch and my hair appointment at 12:30 PM.

Lunch

In an effort to clean out the fridge I used the last of some spaghetti sauce to make mini pizzas with Nature’s Own Multi-Grain Sandwich Rounds in the toaster oven.  I added some extra mushrooms to the sauce and onions.  I sided it up with a big salad, with baby carrots and three different salad dressings (balsamic, zesty Italian and regular Italian).  There was a only a small amount left of a couple of those, so my salad was extra flavorful today. 😉

I added a clementine for some sweetness that I picked up at Wegman’s. These things are just so darn good!

Cute and delicious!

Soon I’ll be off to get my hair cut and I’m still unsure which direction I want to go.  I have been growing my hair out for some time and it is looooong.  I think I’m good with committing to 1-2 inches, but don’t want to go to drastic.  I was thinking about going darker, but I’m not sure I’m ready for that dramatic look just yet.  I’ve always been a blonde.

What is the most dramatic thing you have ever done to your hair?

When I was in high school, I was much more adventurous (and had a lot less bills).  I had blonde highlights with red streaks and low lights often.  I was constantly in the hair salon and usually just told my stylist to do what she thought would look best.  She loved seeing me come in because my hair type took to color so well and she got to experiment.  Now, it’s strictly blonde highlights.  I tried going back natural for a while in an effort to save money, but I’m a true “dishwater blonde” and I felt so washed out every time I looked in the mirror.

Oh, the things we sacrifice for beauty 😉

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