Juicin’ Up and Lara Bar Winners

Hiiii guys! This is gonna be a quickie post because this girl needs a nap. I slept horribly last night but luckily, I have a few hours until my next client…

Yesterday turned out to be pretty busy for a Sunday! I was at the gym training and getting a workout in myself from about 8:30 until 12:30.

I came home and promptly juiced up.

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Apple, 2 carrots, 1 small beet

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Mmmm- such a great combination!

I drank the juice alongside a deliciously fresh salad.

 

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A salad dressed in balsamic + EVOO, topped with shrooms, kamlata olives, feta, and tempeh.

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Nomtastic!

For dessert, my hand snuck in Shane’s animal crackers:

IMG_8187 A seal!

 

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Ooh, a lion!

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With food in belly, I mustered up some motivation to get a little desk work done. I have a couple projects going on that need much more attention than I’ve been giving them lately. My 4 miler + weights sesh must have revved up my metabolism, because at 5:00 I was down stairs cooking dinner!

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I peeled and chopped an eggplant and sauteed it with an onion. Next, I made my very own Tikka Masala sauce completely on a whim. You can imagine my surprise when I discovered it actually tasted wonderful! I’ll post the recipe soon in the recipes tab.

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Yay for Indian food!

Eaten alongside asparagus and a jalepeno cheddar roll.

IMG_8191   This meal was hot-hot-hot!

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So hot, that it called for a cool down a few hours later. This my friends, is banana soft serve w/ dark chocolate chips mixed in.

IMG_8199 Utterly amazing.

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And now for the winners of the variety pack of the new Lara Bar flavors giveaway!

Before I announce it, I just wanna say how much I appreciate the comments about the blog – and for the lurkers to step in and say “hi!” I’m very thankful for every one of my readers – even those who aren’t commenters 😀 Thanks for the participation, ya’ll 🙂

OK, and the two winners of the Lara Bar variety packs are…

 

numbernumer2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

reader Lauren and Morgan from Healthy Happy Place 

Congrats on winning some FABULOUS new Lara Bar flavors, ladies!

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Have a good Monday all – See ya’s! 8)

Long Weekend=Long Runs!

Hi guys! I just got back from a super awesome run!! I’ll tell you about in a minute, but first – last night. After I had my own personal happy hour, the hubski and I went to Chevy’s where we enjoyed a super yummy meal.

We started out with drinks and chips n’ salsa:

I could eat the crap out of those chips. For dinner, I ordered the fajita salad, dressing on the side:


This thing was SO good. I loved finding little chunks of avocado with every few bites:)

We got home, and watched I Love You, Man, which was actually pretty funny! I thought it might be kinda stupid, and it was, but it was also pretty humorous. After movie number one, we had dessert on our minds.

For Shane’s, I was inspired by Angela’s snack she posted on her blog the other day, and I created a variation of it.

5 minute apple crisp:


Toss 1 chopped up apple, a smidgen of butter, a smidgen of almond milk, and a bit of RAW sugar in a bowl, and microwave for one minute. Stir. Add in 1/4 cups of granola of choice and heat it up again for 30 seconds. Then I added butterscotch chips and stirred those in, because Shane’s obsessed with them. He pretty much licked the bowl clean.

Mine:


Yep, the deliciousness that is banana soft serve. 😀 I also added some dark chocolate chips to the mix.

OK, so back to my run this morning. I usually take my long runs on Sunday, however, the long weekend + the rest day I had yesterday enticed me to take my long run today instead. Plus, I slept through the Body Pump class I was planning on taking haha.

So I went down to the running trail (oh my gosh, there are SO many runners out there on Saturday morning – it’s awesome!) to put in 6 miles. I had planned on 7 miles, but my throat’s been acting up and I didn’t want to push it. So I ran 6 miles on the beautiful, beautiful trail. It’s so awesome how it goes right through ISU – brings back memories on each run 😀

Here were my stats:

Average HR was 162

Yeah, yeah!!

Post run fue was 2 Newmans Own Fid Newtons and a Pumpkin Spice Lattel:

Perfecto!

After my run, I was of course a sweaty beast, so I threw on another shirt in my car, and ventured to Hobby Lobby and the Running Shoe store, Often Running.

Unfortunately, I had to take my Adidas Supernova’s back, because they made my left ankle hurt like a mother. I have also been experiencing some dull ankle pain in my other ankle, but not as much as these made my left one feel. So the guy there was SUPER helpful, and took me outside and had me run for him. He noticed that the Asics I was wearing might have too much cushion. So had me try on a few pairs, and then watched me run in each. Afterword, he gave me two pair he recommended, based on what he saw and what I told him they felt like. Both were Mizuno’s, but one pair was $140, and the other was $90.

Guess which ones I picked.

(Not sure what took a bite out of that box)
Like my mama always said, I gots expensive taste. So much for staying under $100 for running shoes 😦 Oh well, you gotta do what you gotta do, right? Ankle pain can lead to a stress fracture, and that would be a very bad thing.

However, by now, the price is long forgotten and I am SUPER pumped to run in these shoes! They feel freakin’ awesome, and hold/support my ankles like no other 🙂 I’m praying these stand up to their price.

Well, now it’s time to tackle the TO-DO list:

  • Give Niko a bath
  • Eat lunch
  • Clean both bathrooms
  • Work on the mountain pile of laundry

Later we’re going to an awesome tapas restaurant with another couple! I’m so excited – I loove this place:)
What are your Labor Day plans?

Overnight Oats and a love for Alton Brown

Hey hey hey! How’s everyone doin? I, for one, am thrilled that it’s Thursday and the work week’s almost over:D Only one more (half) day to go! Whoop whoop!

Today followed the trend and passed like molasses. However, I can’t kick. No one would listen any way 😛 (My Papa always used to say that, hehe)

Last night before I went to bed I started my breakfast. Yep, last night. That’s how I rolled last night.

Alton Brown’s Overnight Oats!
(And while that’s how I rolled, these oats were not rolled)

Have I proclaimed my love for Alton Brown enough yet? Well, I love, love, love him! These oats were made with steel cut oats (omg, love!) and a crock pot.

All I did was mix 1 cup of steel cut oats (or pin head oats as Altie Alton calls them,) 4 cups of water, 1/2 cup of almond milk, 1 cup figs, and 1 cup of mixed dried fruit (I used mixed berries.) Stir all those friends up, and set your crock pot to low.

Go to sleep.

Wake up.

Stir, then add White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut Butter (or whatever floats your boat.)

Devour.


Holy yumtopia! Ok, I know the picture doesn’t look awesomely appetizing, but please, take my word for it.

I actually had to put my serving in a tupperware container because I was late for work (shocker, I know.) And, I didn’t have a great feeling about them because the right side of the pot had burned them a little. So I left the rest of the batch on the counter in the crock pot, to wait to be washed until I got home from work. However, when I took my first bite, I knew I made a huge mistake!! I could eat this for days!! It was SO good. Luckily, Shane saved the day by taking PT early on in the day, and put a batch in the fridge for me. 😀 All is well in breakfast town.

I found that this recipe held me over longer than my usual creamy oats (or it could be that I didn’t workout this morning like a crazy person…) But I wasn’t starving like I usually am by lunch.

However, I had to eat lunch early anyway, because I had a noon meeting. Lunch was tilapia with roma tomatoes, with a side of marinated veggies.


The veggies were freakin’ awesome! However, there’s something left to be said about the tilapia. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t wow me. I guess the greek dish I had the other day for lunch set the bar a wee bit too high. haha

This left me wanting MOAR, so I tried to dig into my Braeburn apple I had packed.

But alas, it was mealy. Do you spy something yellow and filled with potassium?

That’s what I had instead. yum!

Snacks were a Tropical Fruit Tart Lara Bar (unpictured,) perhaps a chocolate chip cookie that were free at my nooner meeting, and a juicy mango!


And I’ll leave you with a beautiful picture – some banana ice cream the hubski and I made last night.


Made with these ingredients:

And tonight I’m SUPER duper excited because my friend, Kori, from Orlando is coming to see me!! She’s a college buddy that took off after college (while I still remain in the city I went to college.) SO excited to see her 😀 We’ll be going out for dinner and drinks with her boo and Shane.

I hope everyone enjoys their last weeknight of the week! Hooray!!! 😀

Race Day is Hheeaahh!

It’s here!! Race day – wooo hooo!! 😀 I’m gonna kick this 5 K’s butt. I’m really excited, because not only is this my first race of the season, but it’s the first of my life!

I’m about to take off, and I think I’m all ready. Now I’m just waiting on Missy to get here so Shane can drive us there. He’s going to be our photographer 😀

Getting nervous…

For my pre-race dinner, I had Avanti’s. This place is a central Illinois staple, and has great (cheap!) Italian food. They deliver, which is freakin’ awesome, so we had Avanti’s a la take out.

I had chicken parmesana, with a big ol’ hunk a bread.

I almost ate it all, and it almost knocked my head off! So good. How’s that for carbing up 😉

Afterward, I settled in my comfy clothes for ultimate relaxation time! The rest of the night included lots of being horizontal while watching One Tree Hill and Enterouge marathons.


I think I could call that a perfect night! Well, maybe if I had a glass of wine, too. However, this was a nice substitution.

Oh, yes I did! Banana ice cream twice in a week. Hells yeah! Tonight I added some of these bad boys:

They added in an awesome flavor! And it was a nice way to change it up. And as always, I made some raw syrup to go on top 🙂

I almost had some of these guys…


…they are pretty good. I got to try em out – Thanks Late July! They’re nice for a healthy version of the sugar-filled cookie sandwiches. I’d buy them myself. But I didn’t have them, and instead had a nice calming mug of sleepy time tea, to put any nerves to rest (pun intended ;-))

This morning I woke up cursing myself for being up so early on a Saturday bright eyed and bushy tailed around 5:00, and made my oatmeal in a jar first thing (after coffee of course.)

Deliciousness. I ate it so early because I didn’t want to have stomach cramps while running. I usually don’t eat prior to working out in the a.m., so I’m a little nervous. How do you fuel (or not fuel) for your early morning workouts?

Well I’m off to go run! Don’t worry there will be lots of pictures and a re-cap! 😀

I might be able to do a post run post, but we’ll be in a hurry to get on the road for the Jimmy Buffett concert, so we’ll see. I might stash the lap top just in case. But this might be the only post.

Wish me luck!! 😀

Lucca Grill…a Cornerstone of Bloomington/Normal


Last night I dined at a local favorite here in Bloomington at a pizza/italian joint called Lucca Grill. Established in 1936, this place has hardly changed at all! Actually, it’s where my parents used to go for pizza and beer back when they went to ISU. They’re in their early 60’s now, so you can do the math 😉 Almost every time they come up and visit and stay for dinner, we dine here. Every time we go, they mention how they can’t believe how much hasn’t changed – from the floor to the tin ceiling, the walls to the bar, it looks almost exactly the same.

My parents and brother were in town tonight because they had to drop my SIL off at the airport, so they had to stop by and have some Lucca’s pizza. I met them there, and as always, I shared a veggie pizza, double veggie, with my mom. My brother and dad shared the polar opposite – a meat lovers! lol

Veggie-topia:

Sorry it’s blurry, I just whipped out my iPhone and took the picture. Their pizza is the best. Honestly, I don’t even look at the menu at all because this is the only thing I ever order. They have the best sourdough cracker-like crust. I could have eaten this whole thing by myself. Thankfully, mom was just as hungry as I was! I wouldn’t be lying if I said this was my favorite pizza south of Chicago.

The pizza was sooo good. And yes, I stuck to my challenge rules and didn’t have any beer. It was tempting though, as mom and dad were putting them back, but I sipped on my water. I needed the water after my run anyhow.

After we parted ways, I came back to the house and walked Niko. It was an absolutely gorgeous summer night out. The sun looked like a ball of fire as it was setting.

And no, this picture does not do the sunset justice.

After Niko did her biz, I started making some banana softserve for the hubski and me. However, I improvised a little tonight.

This is what I like to call Banana Soft Serve Remix!

It begins with just your typical banana soft serve, then enter chopped frozen strawberries and mangos, and sprinkled unsweetened coconut on top. I also topped it with some raw chocolate syrup (maple syrup + cocoa powder.) Doesn’t that look sinful?! It isn’t! I promise! I was actually trying to recreate the ice cream Shane and I always get at the local ice cream shoppe by our house. I have to say it came pretty close.

No, kitteh, that’s my banana soft serve remix!!

hehe, isn’t she a beauty?

Do you have a favorite local restaurant that’s a cornerstone in your city?

Can You Clone Me?

Is this week done yet? I swear, the level of hectic-ness is through the week this week. I’m sure I created some of it on my own, but MAN time goes so fast when you have a lot of things to do. Sometimes I feel like I need to be two people to do it all on my own.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a wonderful Wednesday! We’re through the hump! Yippee!

I was very good at the purse party last night and only bought two pairs of earrings. One pair for myself, and one for my BFF, whose birthday is next Friday 😀 Oh, an I also had this:

Twas very good.

It wasn’t until around 7:00 that I left Missy’s house, and I know I didn’t feel like coming home to spend an hour cooking a meal. Shane’s been working alllll week at night, so I didn’t expect him to cook either. His hours are crazy lately. So I did the only thing left to do, and picked up sushi!

Mmm I had tuna, salmon, shrimp, and a california roll.

I swear I gobbled it up in 2 minutes.

After showering and cleaning up the house a bit, I was itching for some ice cream, but knew I’d probably already indulged in enough fat grams for the day, so I bet you can guess what I had insteaaaddd.

That’s right! Banana Icecream!

With some banana protein powder.


Soon I’m going to make a post about protein powders. I don’t include powders in my diet as much as I used to, but still do to some extent, and would like to know your thoughts, but I digress.

And you know I topped it with raw chocolate syrup.

It was soooo good.

R U N N I N G

My run was awesome. It included lots of hills, so it was nice for me to get a little bit more used to that. I did about 4 miles all together, with a half mile warm up job, 3 mile tempo run, and half mile cool down. It was hard, but I’m glad I finished.

I’m excited today because not only is it a rest day, but it’s also go shopping day! I’m hitting up the shops with my girl Heidi. Even though we’re mostly going maternity clothes shopping (it’s her first time, and she needs moral support,) I always have a good time with Heidi! And I’m so going to try on some pregnant bellies and take a picture. Then I’ll show the picture to Shane and freak him out. Muahahaha.

But speaking of rest days, I’m thinking about increasing them to two days a week. I know almost everyone works 40 hrs/wk, but I just can’t seem to find the time to get everything done. Maybe that extra 1-2 hours can help me find balance. Gotta do what ya gotta do.

What do you do to make sure you have balance in your life? How do you manage to get the day to day tasks of life checked off the to-do list?

A Little Liftin’ Lovin’

Good morning! We made it past the hump! Almost TGIF 😀

I ended the hump day with a nice, creamy, delicious bowl of….you guessed it! BANANA ICE CREAM! This attempt was so much more successful than the last. I didn’t add any orange blossom honey – and used plenty of bananas. I did, however, top it with a delectable raw chocolate sauce. Holy yum, this tastes like the real deal 😉

Then, I said, what the heck, might as well add some Mighty Maple Peanut Butter to the mix. I mean, why the heck not?!

Ugh, it was the PERFECT combination. I wanted MOAR!!!

It was so funny though, because Shane and I always watch Good Eats or Triple D in bed, and on Good Eats, Alton was showing us how to make banana ice cream! Cool huh? 😀 However, his version included cream and light corn starch. Not raw, and definitely not as healthy 😉 I’d definitely still give it a try though.

Going with this week’s trend, I whipped up a green monster, which was darker than most of them I’ve been making lately.

I think it was the strawberries and chocolate protein powder that made it darker in color. I also used half swiss chard, half spinach, so the chard might have darkened it up a wee bit. Either way – it was yumtopia.

So about that strength training plan I was talking about last night. Well, I gotta say, workout number 1 sure did its job because man am I sore! -particularly my chest.

Hubski is a lifting fiend, so he helped me devise a plan. According to him, it’s a good idea to do “groups of muscles” on the same day. Let me explain…

Strength training day #1

  • Triceps
  • Chest
  • Shoulders

Do you know why these are grouped together? (Or am I the only one who hasn’t heard of this phenomenon??) It’s because they are the “push muscles.” If you think about it, if you’d be pushing something, you’d be using mostly your shoulders, chest, and triceps muscles.

I did this set of muscles last night on their own (no additional cardio besides the warm-up/cool down) because there’s three different areas involved, and I knew it’d take some time.

Strength Training Day #2

  • Biceps
  • Back

These are the “pull muscles.” I was planning on doing this workout tonight before my four mile run, since there’s only 2 areas involved. But actually now my parents are coming to visit tonight! So this entire workout is being pushed to tomorrow, making today my rest day. But I digress..

Strength Training Day # 3

  • Legs
  • Glutes
  • Abs

I know abs are kind of random in here, but this is where I chose to put them. I really, really need to work on my abs. I genetically have a flat stomach, but that doesn’t mean I don’t need to build stronger muscles in this area. I need to get that through my head!

So, you’ll be hearing a lot more about strength training from this lil’ lady! I have to admit, though, what spurred my interest in strength training all of the sudden, is that I’ve been hearing more and more about how important strength training is for being a good (and non-injured!) runner. I’d been doing strength training, but not as routinely as I should have been. I’d do Body Pump twice a week, and then maybe I’d get in one iron pumping session on my own. Maybe.

How do you split up your strength training so it works for you??