Happy Dance, Happy Dance!

Hey hey! Sorry I missed my morning post. As you could probably guess, I was running late. Again. Which kind of perplexes me, because I just told my boss I’m going to be changing my schedule. Instead of coming in 7:00-4:30 M-Th and 7-11 on Fri, I’ll be working 6:30-4:00 M-Th. and 6:30-10:30 Fri. My reasoning? Well, 1., it’s getting darker earlier. I want to be able to leave work and go for a run when it’s still light out in the winter. And 2., all the good classes start at 4:30 at my gym, and I’m sick of missing them! Sounds good enough for me 😀 But I digress..

Dinner last night was leftovers as I predicted. With so much yummy food in the fridge, we just couldn’t have anything else. Shane requested leftover steak, in which I turned into steak quesadillas:


And I reheated the Pork and Slaw dinner from Monday night:

Reheater


And a yummy side salad with tomatoes, goat cheese, and Goddess dressing.

Drool face.

Then I was SUPER STOKED to find this lying on the table when I got home:


Yay!! My first issue. I did a little happy dance (happy dance, happy dance – Baseketball anyone?) when I saw it:D

In fact, when I woke up today, I put it to use by doing a little runner’s yoga by following the stretches in this article:


Then had an awesome Green Monster with spinach, kiwi, pineapple, plain yogurt, and ice and almond milk.


The tanginess of the yogurt added a wonderful taste to the monstrosity.

Once I got to work, I had my most favorite breakfast EVA. Bananaberrybutter oats + flax. but my picture did a disappearing act on my camera, so use your imagination. Or just go here 😉

That’s some yumtopia right there.

Oddly enough as usual I was a hungry beast today, and was grumbly just two hours later, so I busted out some strawberry Chobani:


It was really good, though I’d still love to try out the new flavors that are no where to be found!

Then came the highlight of my day! My company has one day each month where they have a “Walk Around the Lake” for the “Live Well Be Well” program there. I managed to sneak out over lunch with my friend Missy for a quick loop around the lake (1.6 miles.) It was such a nice day and it felt great to get up and move. Plus, they were giving out free loot!

You know I like free T-shirts!


Holler!!

Lunch was a wrap that, let’s face it, we’ve seen before this week (a couple times, yes?) and then a few meetings later and I was ready to try out my Dark Chocolate Amazing Grass SuperFood bar.

I was a little hesitant, since the last bar I tried wasn’t too tasty. However, this bar was excellent! It was even better than the peanut butter chocolate one I tried last week! I gobbled it up and felt perfectly satisfied:)

Currently, I’m trying to motivate myself to walk a few steps over to our workout room to do some strength-training. Motivator: I get to watch Gossip Girl while pumping ze iron.

Question: Who do you go to when you just need to vent or spew out your problems/daily occurrences to? I go to my mom. She usually has something profound to say, to make me realize and see the big picture, or she sympathizes when I need sympathy. She’s pretty good at it 🙂 And when she’s not, she just let’s me vent.

Sweet, Sweet Green Monsters

Usually my Green Monsters don’t contain anything but whole ingredients from my fridge and pantry.

I’d say my Green Monsters have evolved over time, too.

Some are super sweet green monsters:


and some that are mild:


Some that were favorites:


And some that were not so stellar:


My friend Kim, told me she made a Green Monster but it was just too bland for her. It got me to thinking how she could kick up the taste factor a notch, and I realized that now I can drink a GM containing just ice, a frozen banana, milk and spinach, but when I first started making GM’s, they needed to be a lot sweeter.

In that sense, Green Monsters are somewhat of an acquired/evolving taste in my opinion. So I thought I’d write out some ingredients that I used when first making Green Monsters to sweeten them up a little:

  • honey
  • agave nectar
  • stevia
  • apple cider rather than water or milk
  • orange or pom juice instead of water or milk

Then I decided to ask Green Monster creator herself, Angela at OSG, what she thinks are some good elements to make a Green Monster both Green and yummy! She said:

“I find all that is needed is a banana! (ripe is best). But like you, as I got used to them I only use about 1/3 of a banana these days! I find other fruits can taste tart, but bananas always taste sweet and creamy!”

So perhaps if you’re not using some banana, go ahead and add one, and if you already are using some, either add more, or use one that’s a wee bit more ripe.

What are some ways you make your Green Monsters nice and sweet?

Managing Stress…

When your schedule is jam-packed?? How do you stay calm when your schedule looks more like your 8th grade history notes than a calendar?

I’ve just been babbling about my day-today life lately, and thought I should bring you all to speed on the exciting things that I’m experiencing lately! Let me tell you…my calendar is packed to the max this month. And I’m going to need to practice my tactics for keeping myself stress free.

I’m in a 5k race this Saturday! It’s in my hometown like the last 5k I ran.


I had forgotten all about it, too. My mom used to send me mail all the time, with comics, recipes, jokes, money, etc. She hasn’t sent anything in quite a while, so I was surprised to see mail from her yesterday. Inside was a post-it that said, “5K race this Saturday – me and you!” Doh! Totally forgot about it. (sorry mom) Hey, I’ll take a race and a free T-shirt any day! Plus, I’ll be running it solo (mom is run/walking it) so I can go for a PTR!!! 😀


On the 19th of this month,
I’ll be running in my first 10K!!!!It’s for the Pumpkin Festival in a nearby town. See what you’re missing here in Central Illinois? 😉 I’m so excited. I was kind of going to use this Saturday as my last long run day, but it looks like that’s really not going to happen now, since I’m in a 5k. Oh well…impromptu taper week! I’m so excited for this 10k 🙂

Then…yesterday I came home to this box:


And opened it and was stoked to see Amazing Grass products! Not that this makes me busy or anything, but it’s still something exciting happening this month! Amazing Grass sent me these samples to try:


Including some of their new bars:


I’ll let you know what I think as I consume 🙂

The LAST weekend of September, I’ll be participating in an event called, “Walk for the Mind.” I go with ALL of my family to support my beautiful, cousin, Beth. She has brain cancer, but it SUCH a strong and BEAUTIFUL person. If you didn’t know she had, you honestly wouldn’t be able to tell. I love her so much and am so happy to support her.

Lastly, also the last weekend of September is Shane and my 1 year anniversary!!! 😀


Aww…first dance. *tear* This year has gone by the fastest of any I’ve experienced yet, and I’m so blessed to be spending it with the love of my life.

This is all among 5 different friends’ birthday’s to celebrate, and a bunco night thrown in the mix.

Phew! September is a busy, busy month.

So how do I stay calm when my schedule is not? I have a few different tactics…

  • First and foremost, I keep up with my workouts. Yes, I know, this seems like just another thing to keep up with, but it keeps me sane. As I’m sure you all agree, working out is a HUGE stress reliever, and I’m a firm believer that exercise is what makes me happy on some days. This isn’t to say hat I might skip a day – if I do, I just don’t stress about it

  • I keep up with my day to day tasks. This is a hard one, and it’s easy to let this one slip. However, if I start to fall back on something like laundry (I do 1-2 loads a day, because as I said when I first started this blog, laundry doesn’t deserve its own day) it mounts up, and just weighs on me. So I take the extra 15 minutes to do a couple loads. I’d rather give up the 15 minutes than have the stress and pressure of knowing there’s a mountain of laundry in the laundry room rather than just a steep hill 😉

  • I also carve in time for laziness. If I don’t have anything going on on a Wednesday night, and I’ve caught up with all of my “must-do’s” (vs. my “to-do’s”) I fully enjoy some horizontal time on the couch guilt free.


What are some ways you stay sane and stress-free when you just seem to be on the go-go-go?

Good Mood Monday and Zucchini Pasta Recipe

Hey hey! Happy Good Mood Monday! I really, really wanted an extra weekend day this week, so this is hard for me to be super positive right now, but I’m trying 😀

Today I’m thankful for:

  • Being able to do fun things like go to Cubs games
  • My legs that carried me through my awesome run yesterday
  • Time spent relaxing with my husband
  • Time spent chilling with my girls
  • Already getting in my workout!

My workout, by the way, was 40 minutes on the elliptical along with some bicep and back work. Felt great!:D

Now I’m enjoying a green purple monster with blueberries, mango, banana, GREEN Superfood, and water. Mmm mmm.

Yesterday continued on to be a pretty awesome day. I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to (hello, dirty floors!) but I had a fun time procrastinating.

I made some black bean burgers for Shane and I for lunch around 2:00 after doing some laundry I made them like the last time, but omitted the corn meal and doubled the flour. I also added hot sauce, soy sauce, onion, and green bell pepper to the mixture.

They turned out even better this time around! On top was some guac, ketchup, mustard, tomatoe, and pickle.

mmmmm!

After some more laundry and being shamelessly lazy, I rolled out my yoga mat to do some yoga from On Demand. As soon as I set my mat out, Clarabelle came over and did her best cat stretch! I SO wish I had my camera in hand.

It was great to roll around the floor with the pets do some yoga again. However, Niko and Clarabelle wanted to get in on the action too. At least one of them was on the mat the entire time I was practicing. No joke. It was still fun though 😀

Dinner was a new recipe I conjoled together. I’m not sure what to call it yet, but we’ll start out with shrimp and baby bello squash pasta.

I just sauteed some frozen shrimp, asparagus, portobello mushrooms, tomatoe, and spinach in a pan with some garlic and EVOO. Next, I peeled half of a summer squash and half of a zucchini for my “pasta.” At this point, I was wishing I would have told Shane to order me some pizza when he ordered his. I wasn’t too sure how it’d go, but I continued on.

Finally, I added some salt and pepper and tomatoe sauce, and heated everything up in the pan.

After adding a little parmesan cheese, I had myself a damn good meal!! I couldn’t believe how well the zucchini and squash substituted as pasta. I will definitely be making this one again.

On the side, I had some of this:

With a little of that on top:

It tasted…OK. I’m not sure if the hemp bread is an acquired taste or what, but it’s very different. I’ll eat it again, but it’s not my favorite. I was surprised too, because I like Ezekiel bread so much. The sunflower butter was kinda “meh” too. Maybe I just need to try another brand, or just give it another chance.

My favorite nut butter by far is plain old (MaraNatha) raw almond butter. What’s your favorite nutt butter?

Also – I survived the night without dessert!! It was pretty hard, especially around 9:00, when I remembered I had Annie’s Bunny Grahams in the cabinet, but I prevailed 😀 Only 6 more days of hell to go!

What are YOU thankful for today? What’s one thing you’re looking forward to today?

Lazy Sundays=Great Sundays!

Hey hey! I hope all of you are soaking up the rest of your weekend! Today has been nice and relaxing for me. But before I get into the details, I wanted to let you know I’m revamping my blog! 😀 You might have noticed I changed my background today. I hope ya’ll like it. Next up, I’m getting a new header! Shane and I cruised through the city today taking pictures of possible candidates for a header graphic. If I have a hard time picking one, I might be asking you for your opinions.

Personal Record Run!

I did it! I ended up running 5.5 miles this morning. At first I didn’t think it was gonna happen. I just didn’t feel that into it. I was even stalling by taking out the garbage (something I never do!) and asking Shane random questions haha. After eating half of a banana…


…I finally got my butt out the door.

I can’t believe how easy it felt! I did a nice slow pace (for me) and finished in about 53 minutes. Here are my other stats:

It felt amazing!!! I really felt like I could run longer, but I was back at my front door, so I just headed inside lol.

Naturally, I was famished afterward, so I started to whip up some
bluuueberry pancakes. I used the Zesty Recipe again, but made a couple minor tweaks (including the blueberries.)

Wet ingredients:


Dry Ingredients:


Voila!

On top was a choice of pure maple syrup and natural blueberry syrup.

Mighty Maple turned out to be another topping for my cakes.

All together now!

They were so delicious. This recipe makes a butt-load of pancakes (yes, butt-load is a measurement!) so I saved the rest to eat either tonight or tomorrow morning.

After showering and taking pictures all around Normal I made myself a Green Monster. I used the Amazing Grass – Wheat Grass in today’s smoothie. I could taste it, and while it’s an excellent serving of antioxidants and vitamins, I favored the Green Super Food taste more. It did give me a little pick-me-up, though! (Mental or not, I was happy to take it!)

What else went into the pool:

For lunch, I just had to bust out my handy dandy George Foreman Grill. Shane wanted a grilled cheese, so I whipped up one of those babies in no time!

I really wasn’t sure what I wanted, but somehow ended up making an egg fritada with a side of Ezekial toast. The fritada had summer squash, goat cheese, and red pepper sprinkled on top.

And one two of these bad boys for dessert.

I’m trying to decide what I’ll cook for dinner tonight. I wanted to make mango chicken, but I can’t find that recipe anywhere! I swear I got it from Carrots ‘N Cake, but I couldn’t find it on her blog. We’ll see though!

How’s your Sunday going? Hopefully you’re enjoying it 🙂

Sale Over Here!

Hi Everybody! How’s your weekend going?

I just got back from my girlfriend, Missy’s garage sale. Oh man was it crazy! There were tons of people there, especially in the early morning. It was a lot of fun though. So many friends showed up to help out, so it made it a good time 😀 Plus, the weather was perfect.

She had me bring Niko (Missy absolutely loves Niko and thinks she’s the greatest thing on earth) so she would attract customers LOL. Niko did her job…but I think Missy was talking about human customers.


I knew I was in for a long day, so to fuel for the big sale, I made myself a green chocolate monster before I left. I used the GREENSuperFood Chocolate packet:

and added it to 1 c. spinach, 1 banana, 1 T of flax, 1 scoop of fage, 1/2 c. of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a scoop of almond butter, and a half scoop of Lean Dessert Chocolate Fudge protein powder. It was great! I can’t really tell you that I tasted a distinct flavor, because I really couldn’t. The smoothie tasted awesome, though!

It’s definitely a lot more filling than a typical green monster because of the almond butter, but a nice breakfast to fuel me against those crazy power shoppers 😀 I grabbed the GM, and was out the door and ready to help sell.

Everyone everyone except me ordered McDonalds around noon (even Niko got a couple fries off of the ground – her first fries, so you know tonight won’t be good :-X). I didn’t get hungry until I smelled everyone else’s food, so I dug into my (unpictured) Cherry Pie Lara Bar. I love this kind, and it held me over until I got home to make lunch around 3:00.

Lunch was made in a product of the garage sale. I traded my new bamboo cutting board for Missy’s George Foreman Grill!!

Heck yeah! I’ve been wanting one of these for a while, and to get it for a trade it awesome!!! 😀

I made a grilled pita with goat cheese, cheddar cheese, summer squash, spinach and turkey. It was so good and melty and toasty. haha. On the side I had a granny smith apple and one two On the Glo cookies:

Perfect Saturday post-garage sale lunch! I’m not huge into garage sales, so I pretty much helped out by watching the kids, and providing conversation, hehe. I’m not sure why I don’t like them much – I guess I just am lazy don’t see the worth in the hassle. How about you? Are you a garage saler? Or seller?

Now it’s off to do some laundry before getting ready for the night. Tonight the hubski and I are joining another couple (Heidi and Doug) for dinner at a cute little quaint restaurant here in town. It should be a good time.

One more note – if you have some spare time, check out my guest post on Branappetit!

Girls’ Night In

Ahh I can’t believe Friday is almost over. I’ve been running non stop today. Granted, I’ve had some detours, such as giving my friend a lift to her car (only to realize half way there, she forgot to bring her keys with her LOL) :-P. Oh yeah, and then today at the insane grocery store, I finally got to the cashier in the checkout line, only to realize I forgot my wallet in my gym bag back in my car. Sadly, I packed my groceries back into my cart, got my wallet, and started all over again at the end of the line. hahah what a move! Luckily today was only a half day at work.
So I tried the GREEN SuperFood this morning in my GM. I can’t believe all the healthy goodness this stuff contains! Check it out for all the nutritional info. Ahh antioxidant overload.

Now for the taste. I was actually pleasantly surprised. I was expecting my GM to taste a little bit like, well, grass. While I could detect the new flavor, it wasn’t overwhelming, and didn’t take over the other ingredients’ flavors.
I found it also curbed my appetite a bit more than the usual run of the mill GM 😉 I didn’t get hungry again until about 3 or 4 hours later. So I had some oats with Dark Chocolate Dreams PB.

After work, I did a quick run at the gym with a half mile warm up, a 3 mile quick-paced run, and a half mile cool down. I felt a little sluggish, so I might take tomorrow off. I knew I’d be hungry after, so I had the world’s juiciest plum.

Juicy plums are the best. Except when they’re so juicy they drip all over your white pants. =-(

Darn.

And a new health bar! It’s called Boom Bar. I don’t really know if it’s new, but it’s new to me!

It was really good and had a strong honey taste to it.
After grocery shopping, I finally got back home to do some deep cleaning and prepping for girls’ night. I pretty much scrubbed the house clean. Did everything except vacuuming. (I absolutely abhor vacuuming, so that’s Shane’s chore. That and the garbage 🙂 hehe.)
By this time, I was a little hungry again for lunch, so I made a wrap. I got creative and threw together some ingredients. On the wrap went: avocado, goat cheese, summer squash, black beans and spinach.

It actually turned out really good. I was surprised!

Then I got to baking! I ended up making Angela’s On the Glo Cookies.

They turned out really good, and I think everyone enjoyed them.

I also made avocado dip (unpictured), which is always a big hit.
After a while of convincing, we decided to get Indian Food for dinner. Sorry, but no pictures, as I forgot to take them. I tried to order Baigan Bharta but they were out 😦 So I ordered shrimp tikka masala instead, and it was not good. I figured if chicken tikka masala was so good, this had to be too, right? Nope. I figured wrong. Oh well, more room for cookies, and of course red wine!! 😀

We ended up watching Confessions of a Shopaholic after dinner. It’s such a good movie, and I love hanging out with the girls! It’s really important for me to have a solid group of friends, and I feel I’m so lucky to have such awesome girl friends in my life!! ❤
Well, I have to be up bright and early to help a friend out with her garage sale…so I better get ready for some sleepy time. I hope everyone enjoyed their Friday!!