Mini Pumpkin Seizure

G’morning! Today is the first week day of DLS time. I thought I woke up late this morning because the sunlight was already peering through the window at 6:00 a.m!

Glad you all enjoyed the pictures from the breast cancer benefit for my friend’s mom! It was such a good time:)

—-

Although yesterday started out slow moving, once back home, I was struck by an overwhelming urge to cook and bake in the kitchen!

Usually I do some weekly meal prep on Mondays – but today my day is FILLED – so I took advantage of the free hours yesterday, and made some dinners for the week.

First up was Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan’s Polenta Casserole!

IMG_0129

A mixture of beans and tomatoes:

 

IMG_0126          

topped with polenta and cheese!

IMG_0130

 

I can’t wait to try this out – it’s going to be tonight’s dinner 🙂 I have to spend a lot of time working at the gym today, and then have a late volleyball game across town, so popping this in the oven for a few minutes to warm up will be uber convenient.

Next up – Easiest lentil veggie burgers!

 

IMG_0139

 

I love making my own veggie burgers, but really dislike all the pre-cooking. That’s where these burgers come into play.

There were seriously like 4 steps:

– Boil half a bag of lentils and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

– pour in food processor, along with 2 garlic cloves, 1 chopped green bell pepper, salt, pepper, 1/4 c. tomato paste, and a little EVOO.

– While processing, add in a little more EVOO, and then pour in 1/2 . ww bread crumbs

– Form patties with wet hands, place patties on a greased baking sheet, and cook for 30 minutes, flipping half way through.

Voila! Simple as pie. A store bought pie, not a homemade apple pie. Which actually isn’t too bad to make either 😉

Only then did I look in the fridge and saw that I had a tupperware container of some pumpkin that probably needed to be used. I wouldn’t want it to go to waste….;)

All of the sudden, I think I had a mini pumpkin seizure, and I was pouring ingredients in the stand mixer and making Mama Pea’s Pumpkin Bars.

 

IMG_0128

So I went with it, and continued on.

 

IMG_0131

Guys. These bars are the moistest (ew, dirty word!) and densest bars ever! Absolutely delicious.

And the frosting. Ohhh the frosting.

 

IMG_0137

Oh. the. frosting.

And although I did perform a minor rookie mistake of turning on a mixer full of powdered sugar without the guard on…

 

IMG_0133

IMG_0134

IMG_0135

oops

They were worth it.

 

IMG_0144

 

I die! And go to pumpkin bar heaven.

—–

I’m off to do a little strength training and take a spin class! I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Fridays class! 🙂 haha I do have an upcoming 5k to run this Sunday, so perhaps tomorrow will be a running day.

Hope you have an incredible Monday!!

Did anyone else freak out and think you overslept this morning when you saw it was already light outside?

Two a Day’s

Good morning. Hap, hap, happy Friday:D

Niko got all spiffed up for the weekend this morning:

IMG_6378
“I gots my weekend scarf on!”

IMG_6374

This week literally sped by! I worked at least 13 hrs every day this week, so that just might have something to do with it;) I’ve had two a days every day this week! Nope, not the work out kind, but the job kind. Can’t complain though, my clientele for personal training is increasing at an awesome rate! And I love it. It’s so rewarding, really.

Sorry for skipping out on posting yesterday. Last night I had to travel to small town about a half hour away to put on a two hour fitness and learning workshop for a group of people. The first hour I explained the basic concepts of a good fitness plan, myths, tips, and tricks. Then the second hour, we put the words to action and all did a workout from it. It was seriously a blast, and I hope to do more workshops like this, but I didn’t get home until late.
However, when I got home, I had such a hard time unwinding. It didn’t help that I watched the whole Oprah episode that the Glee cast was on when I got home. I couldn’t help myself! I LOVE GLEE! 😀

Naturally, this excitedness lead to a restless sleep. Nevertheless, I woke up in time to get a kick butt workout in. Due to my long work hours, I’ve already skipped two workouts, so I figured I’d go ahead and go anyway. Normally, I’d choose sleep over workout. At the gym I ran 3.5 miles and got in about 15 minutes of back exercises. ‘Twas wonderful!

Got home, dressed, and ready for work, and guzzeled a smoothie  with granola in a beer mug, a la Kath:

IMG_6370
This green monster was amazing!! Frozen bananas, frozen cherries, 1 scoop of Jay Robb, 1 scoop of Amazing Grass, maca, water, and a boat load of spinach.

IMG_6373

It was so filling!

Other eats throughout the day:

IMG_1172

Spinach, cukes, baby bellas, zuke, avocado, goddess dressing.

IMG_1171

New (to me?) Clif Bar. It was aight. Nothing to write home about, in my opinion!

Plus some Oikos + kashi heart to heart, a plum, and a PBJ Clif Mojo bar
After the ol’ desk job, I headed to the gym to train three clients; each went swimmingly!
When I got home I was starving, naturally, and wanted food NOW. I opened the freezer and saw a container of leftover Quinoa Confetti Casserole (a la Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan) and heated up some Quorn meatless nuggets:

IMG_6379
Fantastico!

IMG_6381

Quinoa and chickpeas freeze excellently, if you were wondering 🙂

Happy Friday, everyone! Got any fun weekend plans? I have a few clients to train, another 11 miler, and most importantly, it’s my mom’s birthday on Sunday:D

A Dilly Dally Day

Morning!
Have you guys recovered from the time change yet? I don’t think I have yet. It almost feels like jet lag…weird. However, I did like that it was still light out at 7:00 p.m. last night 🙂
I’m eeeaassing into the work week, and this is helping somewhat:

IMG_5924

IMG_5925
AB&J oats!
-1/2 c. water
-1/2 c. almond milk
-1 c. oat bran
-1 packet of Purevia
-1 T. hemp protein powder
-1 banana
-Handful of raisins
Topped w/ 1 T. raw almond butter and 1 T. organic strawberry jam. Loooved this combination! And that bowl was FULL. I could only finish about 2/3 of it!

Yesterday morning I dilly dallied around the house for a few hours – did some laundry, made the hubski pancakes, and messed around with LLC business names. Still haven’t nailed down that last one, but we’ve narrowed it down to a just a few. Such a hard decision!
Finally made it to the gym around noon, and did an easy 3 mile recovery run and then lifted – shoulders, chest, triceps. Was in and out in an hour!
Hopped on over to Wal-Mart and Fresh Market and was back at the crib to a quick n easy lunch before working more on LLC schtuff:

 

IMG_5916
Cold Papa Murphy’s veggie pizza from last night. Was just as good! And to drink, I had a little POM juice + Seltzer water:

IMG_5917IMG_5918
Mixing it with seltzer water not only jazzes it up, but it makes the oh-so-precious POM bottles last longer!

Eventually, I came up for air to take the pupster for a walk and get started on dinner. I made Mexican Lasagna!
I adapted the recipe from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan’s Avocado, Bean, and Corn Lasagne and it was fantabulous:

IMG_5921Hubski’s on the left, mine on the right:

IMG_5920
Had it with a simple spinach salad and Goddess dressing.

IMG_5922

IMG_5923
There may or may not have been a couple Caramel Delight cookies eaten afterward 😉
The rest of the night, I took it easy and kicked it with the husband watching none else but 24

Got some fun posts coming up this week including my favorite core exercises video and a major giveaway 😀

Berries and Cherries

Hi friends!

Three cheers for Friday night! Are you all whoopin’ it up?? I’m afraid there’s no whoopin’ being done over here. I have a 5k to run in the morning, and want to do my bestest. It’s the first one of the year! I did go out tonight, but it was G rated. More on that in a few:)

Since today was a day-before-race rest day, I slept in a little, and woke up with ample time to make a stove-cooked breakfast:

IMG_5797

Stovetop oats containing:

  • 1/2 c. oats
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 c. almond milk
  • 1 T. chia
  • 1 packet of Purevia
  • 1 banana
  • 1 T flaxmeal

IMG_5798

 

Plus a little almond butter swirly to bring everything together. So good I was tempted to lick the bowl!

It also put me in a fabulous mood! Off to work I go…until…I see the berries and cherries. And not the yummy kind 😦 Yep, got pulled over. Yep, I was speeding. And yep, I got a ticket. URGH! The cop didn’t even give me a chance – he’d made up his mind that he was giving me a ticket when he saw me going 40 in a 30. Although I had it coming, the same policeman pulled over TWO of my friends within the past two weeks. Ruthless, I tell ya! After shedding a few tears and muttering some obscenities, I was back en route to work – obeying the speed limit 😉

To cheer up my not so great morning, I met my friend, Debbie, at Panera for lunch!

IMG_1106

Had the vegetable and pesto soup w/ the Mediterranean sandwich on whole grain bread. Aaand perhaps a big ass chocolate chipper cookie…

IMG_1107

 

Side note: I used to work at Panera during college, and I became OBSESSED with this cookie. I also gained 5 pounds 😉

Before I left work I had an unpictured PBJ Lara Bar. It’d been a while since I have had a Lara Bar, and this completely rekindled our love 🙂

I came home after work, and had about an hour before I had to leave the house, so I baked up a batch of spelt flour and oatmeal cookies from Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan:

IMG_5799

IMG_5803 

My parents are coming up to watch my race tomorrow with the hubski and I always try and have some kind of healthy baked goods for them when they take the time to come visit me. Plus my mom might take me shopping for my birthday (this month!)  😉

IMG_5805

The hubski tried one, and I may have had a half of one (omg, cookie overload today) and we both give it 5 raisins 😉

After the baking quickie, I said goodbye to the husband and Niko…

IMG_5801

LOL

and met my friend, Carmody at a charity dinner called Empty Bowls. It was a charity event at the local high school, and the students made and painted ceramic bowls to sell for $10. Everyone who went paid $10 for a ticket, and then chose a bowl to take home with them. Then when everyone had their bowls, soup was served!

My bowl:

IMG_1109

And since the only vegetarian option was broccoli cheese, I opted for that, but only ate a couple bites. Did eat all the carrots though!

IMG_1108

 

Just got home from the dinner, and made a second (kinda) dinner…

IMG_5806

Air popped popcorn + nutritional yeast + sea salt. I prepared it LVAY style by spraying the popped popcorn with olive oil spray before adding the seasonings. Worked perfectly! The spray helps the yeast and salt stick to the popcorn instead of just sinking to the bottom.

IMG_5807

Awesome combo! Have you tried this yet? Try it! Try it!

Now it’s kinda late and I’m watching 24 with Shane and will probably hit the hay soon. Got an early morning for the race!! It’s supposed to be mid thirties and sunny for the actual race, so that’s pretty good. Early March is iffy weather-wise in Illinois. Still not sure what to wear, though. Perhaps running tights and a long sleeved tech shirt? Maybe a headband or hat? We’ll see (and you’ll see, because you know I’ll write about it!) So excited!!       

 

When is the last time you got a speeding ticket, if ever? Before today, it had been nearly 7 years!! I was going so strong, and then BAM, it happened. But like I said, I had it coming. I’m a speeder, and I need to slow my booty down. I wasn’t even late for work! So there was no reason I should have been going ten over the limit.      

Food, Friends, & Football

Goood morning! Happy Super Bowl Monday 😉

CONGRATS to the Saints for the BIG win last night! Go Saints!! 😀

Yesterday after my morning post, I accidentally lied about my work out! I had planned on doing a full body weights sesh, but forgot it was day 2 of my half marathon training plan! So instead, I did (as planned) a three mile run + back and biceps. Was in and out in an hour and it felt great! I’m feeling very confident in my running thus far into my training 😀

After picking up a few last minute essentials for our Super Bowl party, I came home, cleaned, and finished preparing all the food. But first, a quick refuel:

 

IMG_5310

 

Brown Rice Flour toast + cottage cheese + best jam ever.IMG_5309 

Best jam ever = Fresh Market’s Organic Strawberry Jam. Love Plus some random odds and ends while finishing up cooking.

And then, I cooked.

Quinoa Confetti Casserole from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan:

 

IMG_5311

Before

IMG_5318

After…oh, so gooood.

IMG_5314

Meat meat balls (in homemade BBQ sauce)

IMG_5315

MeatLESS balls

IMG_5317

Hot wings and Tequila lime wings

IMG_5312

Got a request for Averie’s raw chocolate vegan balls (and they did NOT last long, lemme tell ya ;))

And the rest of the spread:

 

IMG_5313  

Which included cookies, biscotti, two types of hummus, veggies, crackers, chips, guacamole, and store-bought salsa.

IMG_5316

Best salsa I’ve ever had.

After the food was taken care of, it was Super Bowl time!! But this Super Bowl didn’t involve any Colts or Saints, just puppies, half time kitties, and bunny cheerleaders!

 

puppybow;

Flag for being too Rrrrruff!

Then we had a few couples over and ate tons of food, drank lots of beer, and cheered on the (real) Saints!

Luckily, Clarabelle took charge and took care of every one in the beer department.

IMG_5319

No kitteh, that’s my Bud Light!

Since I do have to work this morning, I kept the beer to a minimum, but still had an awesome time with awesome friends!

IMG_5320

A little before 10:00, everyone headed home, and it was time to wrap the party up!

 

 IMG_5324

 

 

Haha, as I was cleaning up the kitchen, I heard a noise over in the corner, and couldn’t figure out what it was, until finally I saw…A kitty in a bag!

Hope you all enjoy your Monday. Start this week off with a great attitude, and hopefully the attitude will follow you into the week 😀

 

Did you “do” Super Bowl last night? I paid attention to part of it, and mingled with friends for part of it, and LOVED the commercials. I think both the game and the commercials were great this year!

A Baking Bonanza, + Hers Lasagna Rollups Recipe

Good morning bloggies!! Happy New Years’ Eve!! Got any big plans tonight?

We’re just doing the ushe. For the past four or so years, we’ve hung out with the same couple, Destiny and Steve, and this year our friends, Kim and Jason will be joining us! We usually stick around our house, because in this college town, going out to the bars means fighting the college crowds, and this year, baring the single digit degrees. Yiiiikes!

I got up bright and early yesterday and busted out el juicerino again to make a delightful carrot and grapefruit juice:

IMG_4496IMG_4493

OK, those of you who said juicers were a PITA (pain in the as*) to clean up, were right on the money. Shane did the dishes on the first morning I made one, but I did yesterday, and man o’ man is it a pain! I’m thinking juicing is going to be strictly prohibited on work mornings.

——————–

Since I knew I wanted to hit up the gym after work today, I got to baking last night as soon as I got home. I made two different batches of cookies – each by the ever so clever, Dreena Burton.

First up were her Someone got Their Peanut Butter in my Chocolate Cookies:

IMG_4500 

 

IMG_4503

They turned out magnificently! I know, because I tried one 😉

The second were Carob Coconut Pecan Cookies:

IMG_4507

Yeah..these were a flop. A flattened, pancake, cookie flop. Woops. I mean they tasted delicious!! In fact, the husband kept going into what I salvaged and breaking off a “piece” of a couple cookies that had welded together, haha. I knew it was over when I put the maple syrup in the “dry ingredients” bowl. Doh! I would have started over, but I was plum out of spelt flour. Anyone have any ideas on how I can possibly salvage these babies?

At least the first ones turned out, aaaand I got to use a new, fun Pampered Chef toy! 😀

IMG_4498

Next, I made a sweet appetizer of sweet pumpkin dip!

IMG_4509 

I’ll be setting out these lovelies for dippers:

IMG_4515IMG_4514

 

Sweet Pumpkin Dip:

 

Ingredients:

  • -1 cup of pure pumpkin
  • -1/2 block of extra firm tofu
  • -1/2 block of neufatenel cheese or cream cheese
  • -1/2 T pumpkin pie spice
  • -3 T maple syrup
  • -3 T pumpkin butter (optional)

In a food processor, puree the pumpkin, tofu, and cream cheese until well combined. Toss in the rest of the ingredients, and pulse until smooth. Sprinkle a little of the pumpkin pie spice on top. Devour! Easy peasy 😀

——————

A few of you asked about the His and Hers Lasagna Rollups I made for our Christmas party on Sunday. Man are they good!

His and Hers Lasagna Rollups

Recipe adapted Ellie Kreiger, Food You Crave

Hers – Ingredients:

  • 5 w.w. or regular lasagna noodles
  • ½ T of olive oil
  • ½ of an eggplant, chopped into small pieces (Note: this wasn’t included in Sunday’s meal, as I was out of eggplant, and there was a blizzard out sideJ)
  • 5 oz. of portabella mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 c. of tomato sauce of your choice (I think I just used Progresso)
  • 8 oz. of ricotta cheese – whole or skim (I used whole)
  • 2-3 c. fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ t. oregano
  • A handful of Romano cheese (make sure you have exactly one handful ;))
  • ½ c. mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook 10-12 whole wheat or regular lasagna noodles according to the package; lay each flat on a paper towel or tinfoil when done.

While noodles are cooking, heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant, and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the mushrooms, and cook for 3-4 additional minutes, or until mushrooms are slightly browned. Add in chopped spinach and cook until wilted. Pour in half of your tomato sauce, and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

In a medium sized bowl, mix the ricotta, egg, oregano, and spinach until well combined.

Spread a spoonful of the ricotta mixture on each noodle – cover each noodle, but leave 1-2 inches uncovered on each end. Then, spread 1-2 spoonfuls of the veggie and tomato sauce mixture on top of the ricotta spread.

Lightly grease an 8×8 (or whatever you have on hand) baking dish. Roll each noodle from the bottom up, and stand it up in the dish.

IMG_4441

Take remaining tomato sauce, and evenly pour on top of the rollups. Top the sauce and noodles evenly with the mozzarella cheese. Cover with tinfoil, and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the tinfoil, sprinkle on the romano cheese, and bake for another 10 minutes.

Then devour!

IMG_4464

For the “His” version of the rollups, instead of sautéing the eggplant and mushrooms in oil, simply brown the meat, then add the tomato sauce. Then continue per the directions above. I did still include the steamed spinach in the His version, just because I think spinach goes excellently with lasagna!

——————-

Anyway, after all this baking for today, I wasn’t really hungry come dinner time (who, me? Eat the leftover dough? Well, I nevahh!!) but I did make a little somthin’ somethin’ cause I didn’t want to be hungry later. Enter, house salad:

IMG_4520IMG_4522

Romaine, spinach, kale, broccoli, yellow bell pepper, TJ’s meatless balls, goddess dressing. Now that salad is the size of a house!

 

I hope you all have a fun and safe New Year! Don’t get too crazy, now 😉

IMG_4524                    (better watch out for this one, she’s already got the crazy look in her eye goin on!)

Have a great day!

Vegan For a Day #1

 

Yesterday I spent the day as if I were vegan. I ate no foods containing animal products (meat, eggs, dairy, what have you) at all. I’ve teetered on the idea of veganism ever since deciding to become a vegetarian,as I have a hard time justifying why I won’t eat tortured animals, but I’ll eat products that contain their byproducts (unfortunately, almond mnm’s are not vegan. hmph.) So I thought I’d jump on board with the other bloggers who are taking up the challenge of going Vegan for a Week and Vegan for a Day.

So it goes…

As you know from yesterday’s post, it started out kinda shaky when I poured out my first cup of coffee I made with half and half. I have an excuse though! My brains don’t work until you insert coffee!!

IMG_2161

While sipping on coffee and catching up with your lovely bloggies, I dug into my delicious (and favorite) breakfast cookie. So glad the fitnessista introduced these to my world! 😀

Before leaving for work, I organized my vegan snacks for the day:

 

IMG_2160

IMG_0921

Luckily, I was able to come home over lunch, because I saw that there was honey in my Clif bar! And while it was organic, supposedly honey is not vegan. Note: if I ever go vegan, honey will beee an exception. I don’t care for bees.

While home, I warmed up some of the chili from Monday night’s meal from ED & BV:

IMG_0920 

Chili is so good on its second day. So good, and so filling. On the side I had some almond butter and a nanner on Ezekiel. At first, I grabbed for the Naturally More Peanut butter, but then saw it contains egg whites (!) which is a little bit more blatantly non-vegan than the Clif Bar. So instead, I reached for the old’ faithful:

IMG_0918

 

Pure, vegan, raw, goodness. And since I was home, I traded out my Clif Bar (which I will devour today, mind you ;-)) out for some veggies and hummus:

 

IMG_0922

Ahh perfect combination. Not so perfect crunching noise in a quiet office, however. Regardless, I chomped away anyway.

Last night was my second to last night of personal training class, and I have to admit, I’m pretty darn sad about it 😦 I really like the group of people and the instructor in the class, and it’s just so fascinating to learn about the body and fitness in my opinion. I did, however, learn that the cost of the class covers the cost of the exam. Baller 🙂

Before class, I was able to sneak in a quick ab routine. I was torn on whether to play with Niko or workout, so I tried to compromise:

 

IMG_2166

by bringing my stability ball from our workout room to the living room! As you can see, Clarabelle was intrigued, but all Niko did was growl. Apparently it threw off the feng shui for her or something in her dog land brain. Alas, I did my workout upstairs: ab roll out on ball, plank, side plank, crunches on ball.

Then I got to work on dinner:

Pumpkin Spice Roasted Veggies and Lemony Cashew Basil Pesto Pasta

Phew – that was a mouthfull. Anyway, first I chopped up a sweet potato and two large carrots, and tossed them with:

  • 1 T rice wine vinegar
  • 1 T apple cider
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1.5 T coconut oil
  • 1 t pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 t sea salt

 

 

IMG_2163IMG_2162

And roasted at 350 º for about 35 minutes

IMG_2164

   Meanwhile, I whipped up the pesto, which came from…you guessed it, ‘>Eat Drink and Be Vegan, and boiled some water for the pasta:

IMG_2167 

Seriously, can Dreena do no wrong?!IMG_2169 The veggies turned out gloriously as well.

IMG_2170 And some candy TJ’s dried mango for dessert:

IMG_2171 IMG_2172

Class went swimmingly, and we gave our instructor a gift card to Target at the end for being such a kickass instructor! She really is awesome – energetic, fun, and very knowledgeable.

After class, I came home to dessert #2, which was a glass of vino, chocolate, and a side of the Hills.

IMG_2173

Scrrrrumptious.

Wow, now if that wasn’t a food post, I don’t know what is! All in all, I was surprised by the ease of eating all vegan foods for the day. I didn’t feel extremely limited or frustrated like I thought I would. The Vegan for a Day challenge is supposed to be on Thursday of this week. Originally, I was just going to try it out for today, as my Thursday is a little more hectic, but what the heck, I’ll just consider today a practice or warm up day for Thursday! :-D  I doubt I will become vegan anytime soon, however, today let me know there’s hope that is could eventually be a possibility for me!

Do you ever feel guilty for leaving your pet to workout? I do all the time! It’s hard to evade those sad puppy eyes 😦