Monthly Archives: December 2014

The Pizza Trap + Tuesday Happenings

Hi there! Before we get Tuesday really started, I have a confession to make… last night I came home around 8pm… hungry, tired, sick (I am actually starting to feel better, but maybe I can use that one last time?)… and I fell into the pizza trap. Feel bad for me, I’m a victim.

I actually felt like I could have gone straight to bed.  But I wanted to be responsible and eat dinner (ahhh, responsibility).  So, low and behold – I opened the refrigerator door thinking “What can I eat for a quick dinner? I am definitely not going to eat that leftover pizza. I don’t even want it that badly.” – and then, I ate the pizza.  I didn’t even bother to heat it up.  I just devoured it on the spot with ruthless abandon.  I’m not proud.

I don’t have much to say for myself, except that I fell into the pizza trap. Big time.

But, on a brighter note… I did one thing yesterday that I feel may have evened the score. I was supposed to have a hair appointment in the evening, but in order to salvage my budget in the aftermath of Christmas, I rescheduled.  I know, I was so brave.

So in summary, it was a roller coaster of a Monday. I laughed, I cried, I ate healthy until 8pm, I fell into the pizza trap, I sacrificed my hair, and I went to bed.

Today I am sticking to the same routine as yesterday:

Breakfast

The other half of a Wolferman’s English muffin with Justin’s Vanilla Almond butter and small glass of OJ.

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Coffee

Lunch

Kale salad with dried cherries, walnuts, a slice of Trader Joe’s smoked gouda (broken into small pieces), with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

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Green Tea

(the new tea was really good!)

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Snack

Cottage cheese with pomegranate arils and a sprinkle of cinnamon,

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Dinner

Wing night!

Workout

I’m going to try to sneak in a mile run and a circuit workout at the gym between work and wing night.

And on a side note, my orchids are getting so close to blooming again, yay!!

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Time for me to get to it.  Have a great day!

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Monday Meal Plan

Happy Monday! If you are headed back to work today, I feel your pain.

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After all of the holiday binging I just wanted to pop in and share my Monday meal plan

Breakfast

1/2 Wolferman’s English muffin with Justin’s Vanilla Almond butter and small glass of OJ.  And of course, coffee when I get to work.

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These English muffins are so good. Kris received a variety pack of them as a Christmas gift and I have a feeling I know who will be eating them all…

Lunch

Kale salad with dried cherries, walnuts, a slice of Trader Joe’s smoked gouda (broken into small pieces), with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

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This is my go-to detox lunch. I am in much need of some detoxing.

Snacks

Cottage cheese with pomegranate arils and a sprinkle of cinnamon,

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This new tea I’m excited to try,

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And some coconut water because I’m still feeling a little under the weather.

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Well I guess I should go to work now.  Gotta run, have a good Monday!

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Christmas Weekly Workout Summary

Happy Sunday! I don’t know about you, but I am definitely battling a holiday hangover (and a nasty head cold). And as if that isn’t bad enough, it looks like we will be taking down the tree as well.  yuck. Is there anything worse than the aftermath of the holidays?  At least we still have New Years, and we’ll be gaining some daylight back.

Here’s the weekly recap, although I don’t think it did much justice considering all of the food and alcohol that I consumed this week.

Sunday – run 3 miles

Monday – rest

Tuesday – run 3 miles

Wednesday – Bikram yoga class

Thursday – rest

Friday – run 3.5 miles

Saturday – rest

Not too bad for Christmas week, but I am looking forward to getting back on track and beginning my half marathon training plan for 2015!

The Christmas Pajamagram

Merry Christmas! I hope you spent the day surrounded by family and loved ones. We spent the last couple days hanging out with family, devouring delicious food, and getting in the Christmas spirit.

On Christmas Eve morning I went exploring into downtown Buffalo and checked out a local yoga studio.  I went to the Hot 90 class at the Evolution Yoga studio in Buffalo, NY.  I’m no yoga expert, but I would call this class a hot Bikram class.  It was the first time I have ever taken that type of yoga so it was a little different than what I am used to.  I have only ever done the hot vinyasa flow classes.  In Bikram yoga there are 26 poses that you go through twice per pose, vs the constant flow that Vinyasa style provides.  It also incorporates shavasana in between the floor poses, which was much different than finding final rest at the end of practice. This class was a good opportunity to practice good form for many poses.  Overall I would say I do prefer vinyasa style (I like a little more cardio with my yoga), but I would definitely take a Bikram style class again.

After yoga Kris and I went to Duff’s, a chain restaurant famous for it’s Buffalo wings, and kicked off the Christmas festivities!

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When we got back to the house there was a special surprise that had been delivered while we were out…

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a pajama-gram!

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Yep, it’s got the zip-off feet and everything.  I lounged around in my new Christmas jammies while we opened presents and sipped on beverages.  Then we got ready for Christmas Eve mass where I tried to be on my best behavior (something about church just makes me revert back to childhood every single time):

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Now I’m excited to enjoy Christmas round 2 in Pittsburgh with my family 🙂 But first I think the B dog and I need to hit the pavement for a short run, I definitely ate a bag of potato chips for dinner last night (whoops!).  Happy holidays!

Don’t Step in the Lava

Good morning!

Today is a busy one! Breakfast was a yummy whole grain English Muffin with Justin’s vanilla almond butter and a small glass of OJ. (Shocking, I know… you never saw it coming.)

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I guess I may need to switch it up a little bit for the new year.  It’s nearing time for a change, and my almond butter is nearing the bottom of the jar.

I’m rushing around doing some cleaning, last minute shopping, and hoping to squeeze in a run with B. Speaking of the little stinker, she’s been a real help so far this morning (not).

One of my biggest pet peeves is coming home to a messy house, so since today is the big road trip to the great white north, I have a few chores to do. Can you find the little B dog?

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Yep. No help at all.

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I’m pretty sure everyone as a kid played the age old game where the floor is lava.  Am I right? And it was an awesome game.  Well, B has the lava complex (and while it’s comical, it’s not all that awesome).  Yesterday she got herself stuck in the bathroom on the shower mat, because she thought that she couldn’t cross the lava to get to the carpet outside of the bathroom (it’s maybe a 3 ft space). I went downstairs thinking she would just manage to escape on her own, but she sat on that shower mat and whined at me until I came and got her. She is literally her own worst enemy. Once she realizes she has bolted onto an uncarpeted floor she immediately panics and suddenly starts slipping all over the place.  She is lucky she’s so darn cute.

Well I better get to it.  Have a great day!

5 Tips for Holiday Road Trips

Happy Christmas week everyone! I am one of the many that will be packing up and hitting the road this week.  We are spending Christmas in Buffalo with my boyfriend’s family.  This is the first Christmas that I will not be spending with my family and it makes me a little sad, but I’m also very excited to partake in Kris’ family holiday traditions! In honor of my tendency to become alarmingly hangry when my routine is switched up in any way, I thought I would share some tips to prepare for a healthy (and happy) road trip.

1. Eat a real meal before you leave

Especially if you are planning on working out before you hit the road.  There is nothing worse than riding that workout high riiiight until you get in the car and realize you are starving.  And subsequently end up at the McDonald’s drive through ordering a Family Dinner Box. Then hating yourself for the remainder of the trip day.  Make sure you include protein to hold you over for a while.

2. Pack portable snacks!

Pack snacks not just for the road trip but also in case you get hungry during the trip.  That way you know you have something healthy to munch on instead of waiting until you are starving and eating the entire tray of Christmas cookies.  Is there really ever a time that there should not be snacks readily available?  I always keep granola bars, nuts, a banana, or some sort of snack in my bag.  I am so guilty of of being hangry (hungry + angry), and most times there is no warning. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 😡 <—— that’s me.  We watched the Lego movie this weekend and I totally related to Uni-kitty (a little too much), this is me when I’m hungry:

happy.happy.sunshine.rainbows.HANGRY

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Hangry.
Hangry.

3. Prepare your Entertainment

Sometimes when I am sick of the radio I prepare something ahead of time that will keep me entertained and more importantly – awake. Maybe some holiday Christmas music?  The Transiberian Orchestra has an awesome Pandora holiday station.  But if you’re not feeling the music, you can also download an audio book from iTunes.  I did this for a long road trip in October and I loved it.  I am so guilty of almost falling asleep when it gets dark and I’m in the car, so I needed something that would keep my interest.  The only downfall is that you have to download it with wifi, so it takes a bit of preparation. There is also a podcast for just about every interest, which is a great time killer. Also –  I like to stock my kindle before I go anywhere so that I know I will always have entertainment if the need arises.

4. Plan Milestones / Pit Stops

If at all possible, plan ahead for pit stops or milestones in your trip.  Maybe you know there is a Starbucks off of a certain highway exit?  This gives you a chance to stretch your legs, get some caffeine, and have something to look forward to that doesn’t seem as daunting as the final destination.

5. Plan for Workouts

Many times the holidays fly by and it feels like you don’t have a moment to spare.  Sometimes there is just no time to fit in a workout, especially when you are spending time with loved ones that you don’t see very often.  But if you need a little endorphin boost (or a stress reliever), there’s no harm in having a no-equipment workout on hand.  I hate to admit it but I am so much happier when I get in a workout.  Maybe it’s the endorphins?  Maybe it’s a feeling of accomplishment? Maybe there is something wrong with me? But I’m pretty sure I do everyone a favor when I get my butt out of bed a little early to sneak in some sort of physical activity.

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Safe travels!

Weekly Workout Recap + Weekend Egg Sandwich

Hi! I hope you’re having a great weekend. Before we get to the weekly workout recap, I had to share one of my favorite weekend traditions… egg sandwiches. Nothing is better than waking up, having a couple cups of coffee, and enjoying a delicious egg sandwich.

We usually make ours with a toasted whole grain English muffin, scrambled eggs with crushed red pepper (the secret ingredient):

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Trader Joe’s smoked gouda (this is probably the best cheese ever)

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And bacon! (we switch it up between turkey and regular)

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And of course, B gets a slice of bacon (her favorite weekend tradition)

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This week in workouts:

Sunday – rest

Monday – one mile treadmill run + circuit workout

Tuesday – rest (does Christmas shopping count?)

Wednesday – Fusion class

Thursday – rest

Friday – Fusion class

Saturday – rest

Not my most inspiring week ever, but every little bit counts!

Tomato Kale Swiss Pizza

Good morning! Last night I made an awesome pizza (yes, we broke the Friday Mexican streak). I originally got the idea from a blog that I had shared in a prior meal planning post.  However, I did not follow that recipe. The original recipe required 18 hours of rising time, which not only is an insane amount of time, but also an awkward time (1am prep time anyone??).

For the crust, I found this awesome pizza dough recipe.  I modified this recipe a little with wheat flour and about 2 hrs of rising time. But I have a feeling the original is just as awesome.

Pizza Dough Recipe

Ingredients:

– 2 cups warm water

– 1 Tbsp dry active yeast

– 1 Tbsp salt

– 2 cups wheat flour

– 3 cups all purpose flour

Instructions:

Mix yeast in with warm water and let sit for 5 minutes.

Combine 1 cup wheat and 1.5 cups all purpose flour and mix with yeast/water mix in Kitchen Aid mixer (I do not have a dough hook so I just used the regular attachment.)

Combine remaining 1 cup wheat and 1.5 cups all purpose flour and mix until it just sticks together

Flour a countertop and knead the dough until it is in a smooth ball.  Place the dough ball back in the kitchen-aid bowl and cover with saran wrap.  Let sit for a minimum 20 minutes (I let sit for 2 hrs, but it even could have risen more).

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Take dough out and flatten onto a pizza pan, brush with olive oil and add toppings.

Cook for 18-20 minutes

Note – I used the entire batch on a 16 inch pizza pan and it was pretty thick.  So if you like super thick crust, go for it.  But if you want a little thinner crust, I would freeze half of the dough for another time.

Tomato Kale Swiss Pizza

Ingredients:

– Pizza dough recipe above (or store bought)

– Olive oil

– Garlic salt

– Crushed red pepper

– 3 medium roma tomatoes

– 1 large heirloom tomato

– Kale

– 1 bag of shredded swiss cheese

Brush a light coating of the olive oil on the pizza (if you have not already completed in the above recipe). Add the garlic salt and crushed red pepper (both are very strong, so I would error on the side of caution – you can always add more!)

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Slice the tomatoes and layer them on the pizza, add kale as desired (remove any stems).

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Cover with the bag of swiss cheese:

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Bake for 18-20 mins (I baked for 18, but my oven runs hot)

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Enjoy! (Preferable with some wine) 🙂

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5 Tips to Stick to Your Budget During the Holidays

Hi there! I know we are deep into the holiday shopping season, but we are certainly not in the clear just yet.  So here are 5 tips to help lesson the blow to your wallet during the most wonderful time of the year.

1. Make a budget.

This may sound like a no brainer, but I have been guilty myself of not making a budget at all.  Then I look at my credit card statement and wonder how all of those “here and there” splurges added up to an astronomical balance. Is there really a reason to buy a Starbucks drink a day just because they have red cups? (yes) Not really. There are tons of holiday traps that we fall into. Every single purchase adds up, no matter how small.

2. Hold yourself accountable

Trust me I can rationalize just about anything.  And I mean anything.  But that doesn’t do me any favors when I’m trying to stick to my budget. No one else is going to pay your credit card statement in January, and I’m betting one of your New Year’s resolutions is to save money, get out of debt, etc. Do yourself a favor, don’t start 2015 in the hole.  Trust me, you won’t regret it.

3. Learn how to use Microsoft Excel

The basic functions of Microsoft excel provide everything you need to get your budget started.  Maybe I am partial to Excel because I use it almost daily, but it’s so simple to track just about anything in a spreadsheet. If you are extremely Excel averse, there are also a handful of free apps that can help you as well:

Toshl

Level Money

Mint Personal Finance

4. If you don’t love it, don’t buy it.

OK, the reality is we are all going to do a little shopping for ourselves during the holidays.  Whether we get gift certificates, or can’t resist a cute Christmas decoration or a shirt at the mall (or target).  But hey, that’s what the holidays are for, right?  Splurging a little on your diet and your wallet.  My best advice for both is if you are not absolutely in love with it (aka – if you have to even think twice about it) then do not get it.  Personally, I know when I find “the one” – whether it’s a shirt, a Christmas tree, etc. – but I am still constantly tempted with imposters.  So when it comes to shopping (and food), if I have to even double take – I probably don’t want it that bad, and I will regret the purchase.  Here’s the great part – if I go home and regret not making the purchase (or eating the donut) – guess what?  It will still be there.

5. Use the power of tunnel vision

Don’t venture into the mall without a purpose.  Unless you have budgeted a small shopping spree, it will not end well.  So let’s assume you’re walking in with a purpose (to buy a particular gift for someone?).  Now here is the key – do not forget that purpose!  Don’t even look at that super cute purse that’s staring you down when you walk into Nordstrom’s. Put it on your wish list, and do some research when you get home.

The struggle is real, but stay strong!  We’re almost there.

Honey Walnut Pomegranate Parfait

Happy Friday!!! We finally made it through another week!

I started my morning bright and early with another Fusion class.  When I got home I turned on the news and cut up a pomegranate so that I could create this delicious breakfast.

Honey Walnut Pomegranate Parfait

– 1/2 cup 0% plain greek yogurt

– handful of walnuts

– handful of pomegranate arils

– drizzle of honey

Mix it all up and enjoy!  So simple, yummy, and nutritious!

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Have a great day!