Monthly Archives: July 2013

Move It Monday – Kettlebells and Core!

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Happy Monday! 🙂

After this past weekend and our burger binge, my body was begging for a good workout. It was a bit windy for a long run last night, so I traded it in for an hour of plyometrics. Plyometrics is a form of jump training. It’s a series of explosive movements that require lots of energy, for short amounts of time. If you haven’t tried it before, it may seem intimidating, but it’s a great workout. If you find yourself in a fitness rut, plyometrics is a great way to get out. 🙂

The rest of the week’s workouts/dinners looks like this:

Monday – Cereal (I work late)

Warm-Up – 2o minutes treadmill (10 walk, 10 run)

Kettlebell Circuit (see below)

Tuesday – Grilled Pork Chops w/ Sauteed Onions and Green Beans

2.5 mile run

Bodyweight Circuit

Wednesday – Chicken and Quinoa Stir Fry

Monsoon Sweat Workout (click to open)

Thursday – Grilled Beef/Mushroom Burgers w/ Sweet Potato “Fries”

Indoor Cycle Class -1 hour

Friday – Out for dinner

2 mile run outside

Bodyweight Circuit

Saturday  – Ball Park Grub 

Walking, Walking, Walking (out of town) 🙂

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I told you that I was going to give you a good core workout, but instead I am giving you my core AND kettlebell workout from today. It’s a keeper. 🙂

Pink Kettlebell

(photo source)

(click on the exercise for a video how-to)

Kettlebell Circuit

Swings – 20 lb, 1 minute

Sumo Squats w/ Raise – 20 lb, 1 minute

Figure 8’s w/ Twist – 20 lb, 1 minute

Split Squats – 15 lb, 10 reps each side

Get Up Sit Up – 15 lb, 10 reps each side

Plank w/ Row – 15 lb, 10 reps each side

-repeat this 2x’s, for a total of three sets. You may have to adjust the weight and reps/time. Just listen to your body and adjust accordingly.-

Core

Up and Down Plank

Scissor Twist

V Sits

Tuck and Hold

Cross Leg Sit Up

You are going to do as many reps as possible for one minute on each exercise. Rest only as much as needed, and move to the next exercise. Repeat this 2 times. Again, you can modify this workout according to your fitness level. 🙂

Hope you feel the burn!

Do you plan your meals or workouts for the week? Or the month, even? What are some of your favorites?

I try to plan both every week. I think planning your meals can be a money and time saver. You can plan meals that use crossover ingredients, cutting down on waste. Also, you can prep all of your veggies and what not in advance.

As far as workouts go, I think planning them is always a good idea. Things happen and sometimes we have to improvise, but if we have a plan in advance, it’s harder to make excuses for not squeezing that workout in. What about you? 🙂

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Kid Rock & Greasy Hamburgers

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Hope everybody had a great weekend!

A few weeks ago, I was going through the motions of trying to find a doctor out here in CA. After the appointment, I was talking to him about how I like my new home, the area, yada-yada-yada.

During our conversation, he said something that made so much sense. “In order to appreciate this area, you have to leave.” He’s totally right. Our corner of the Mojave desert doesn’t exactly have a thriving nightlife, good shopping, or an eclectic food scene. I mean, I love IN-N-OUT burger, but. . .

There is so much to do just an arm’s length away, and this weekend we took advantage!

We drove down to LA to see Kid Rock! I have forever been a fan. Like, since junior high. Adam listened to him a little here and there, but I definitely am taking credit/blame for his new found fondness.

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We saw a show in Oklahoma a few years ago, and it was intense. I think the guy burns about 20,000 calories a night. Plus, it’s a great place to people watch.

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The next day, before heading back home, we stopped at this killer burger place in Huntington Beach, Slater’s 50/50 – Burgers by Design. If you aren’t into juicy burgers wedged between soft, grease soaked bread, with any topping you can imagine, skip this post. 🙂

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When I say these burgers were killer, I mean it. The patties were 50% beef, 50%. . . BACON. They were beyond rich and delicious, as the photo series below will prove. But first, a few things.

First, bacon salt. Yup, D was in heaven.

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Now, the sides. Sweet Potato Fries and Onion Rings. They served the sweet potato fries with a sweet and creamy pumpkin sauce. To. Die. For.

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D’s burger. He created “The D-Busta Burger” complete with 2/3 lb (after cooked) 50/50 patty, cheddar, fried egg, and baconaisse. Yes, baconaisse. A little bacon infused mayo, D’s dream condiment.

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My burger. The B’ B’ B’ Bacon Burger. 50/50 patty, bacon, fried egg, cheddar. and bacon island dressing. All of that on a bacon pretzel bun. Beyond worth it. I will be trying to recreate these soon.

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Lucky for us, we were only able to eat half, so we had leftovers! 🙂

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We only ate half so we’d have room for a Maple Bacon Milkshake. It was the highlight of my weekend. Quite possibly the best milkshake I have ever had.

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We have been trying to save a little money for a few upcoming weekends, so we decided to take it down to Huntington State Beach and watch the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing. We didn’t actually see any surfing, but we did watch an hour of skateboarding. Pretty cool stuff.

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Look out for a good core workout tomorrow! 🙂

Banana Butterscotch Smoothie

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Good morning, all!

I’m sitting here drinking my creamy, sweet coffee and catching up on things. Probably my favorite time of day.

I tend to start and end the day in the same fashion, with a touch of sweetness. In the morning, coffee. And the evening, a smoothie.   And let me tell ya, I made a good one last night. It was D approved, and most importantly, it wasn’t super unhealthy.

I’m not gonna sit here and tell you it’s full of super-fruit and antioxidants. But a small one won’t make your pants tight either. Winner!

Banana Butterscotch Smoothie

Start with these guys. On the back right, in the baggie, there’s sliced, frozen bananas.

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Put 2 cups of ice in the blender, followed by about 1 cup frozen bananas, and 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt.

Then add 2 TBSP of instant, sugar/fat free butterscotch pudding powder. Or not. Use the real if you want. I had this on hand.

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Then add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and cinnamon to your liking.

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Add 1 1/2 cups of almond milk. Or skim milk. Whatever you have on hand.

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Give it a whirl.

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The next step is very important. You have to put it in cute glasses like these.

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Topping it with a little whipped cream and some cinnamon is optional, of course.

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Enjoy!

Banana Butterscotch Smoothie

2 c. ice

1 c. frozen bananas, sliced

 1/4 c. greek yogurt

2 TBSP fat/sugar free butterscotch pudding mix

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 c. almond or skim milk

cinnamon to taste

whipped cream (optional)

1. Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. You may have to add ice or milk, depending on the thickness of the smoothie.

2. Pour it into precious soda shop glasses like these and drink up!

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We have our third beer league softball game tonight. My goal is to stop every ball and not get a black eye. D’s goal is to hit a “dinger.” For all practical purposes, a “dinger” is the same as a home run.

Hopefully we’re both successful. Happy Thursday!

Grilled Almond Butter Sandwich

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Grilled Almond Butter Sandwich

It’s Wednesday.   Here ya go.

The highs this week have been in the low 90’s!  I mean seriously, this is huge. I know, I know, it’s not exactly a cold snap, but I’m taking it. Personally, I’d rather be outside sipping on an adult beverage, catching some rays than spending too long in the kitchen. Just in case you fall under that category, here’s a quick sandwich I make for D at least once every weekend.

(Warning: Very sweet, not-so-healthy, deliciousness ahead!)

Crunchy. Creamy. Sweet. Buttery.

Grilled Almond Butter/Nutella Sandwich.

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This is D’s version, mine is slightly different. I opt for almond butter, (homemade) sandplum jelly, and very ripe bananas on whole grain. BUT, here’s D’s!

Start with this line-up.

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Take two pieces of sourdough bread and slather almond butter on one and nutella on the other. As thick as you like.

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Now, this next step is a little tricky. You spread jelly on top of the almond butter. But, I use homemade jelly. My dad has been trying his hand at growing grapes, and then making jelly. Adam prefers his jelly. I prefer anything homemade, but always go for the sandplum. It reminds of all the little scrapes and cuts we incurred crawling through thick bushes, hunting those little berries so my mom could turn them into the sweetest, prettiest jelly.

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Now all you have to do is grill it up! Melt a pad of butter in a non stick pan over medium heat and plop it down.

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Give it a flip once it’s golden brown.

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Notice the ooey, gooey-ness? I know I do.

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I served this bad boy up with a cookie and some apples, to keep the kid-friendly theme in place. Milk is  MUST for this dish. Seriously.

D approved! (of the sandwich, not this picture 🙂 )

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I ended up using the sandplum jelly for D’s sandwich, because he has depleted our grape supply. But he would love some more, apparently. 🙂

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I’m one of those humans that constantly has to be doing something. Cooking, sewing, working out, yada-yada. . .

Lately I have been working on my sewing skills. My mom and the women in her family can sew, like for real. So I use the term loosely when referring to myself. Yesterday I got these little gems. They make it SO much easier. Trying to go it without them was rough.

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This was my first project. Gotta start somewhere, right?

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I’m sure I’ll whip a few more out over the next week for practice.

Have a great day! 🙂

Summer Fruit Pancakes

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I woke up super early (for me) this morning so I could get a few things done. While I was drinking my coffee, I switched around the news channels. There was one story getting quite a bit of coverage on every network I saw. It was “breaking news.” The story was about how skipping breakfast correlates  to a higher risk of heart disease. You can read more about it below.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/07/23/204567839/SKIPPING-BREAKFAST-IS-RISKY?utm_source=NPR&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=20130722

Now, to celebrate these “new” developments, I have a little breakfast recipe! And, it’s good for ya. 🙂

Summer Fruit Pancakes

 I use blueberries and peaches in this recipe, but as the title indicates, you can use whatever you want.

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Here’s the line-up. Oatmeal, whole wheat flour, one egg, greek yogurt, one peach, cinnamon, baking powder and soda, and vanilla. (not pictured: skim milk and honey. 😉 )

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First, make your oatmeal into oat flour. I used a coffee grinder, worked great. A blender or food processor would work, too. Heck, you could go after them with a knife if ya had too!

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Combine all of your dry ingredients together: 1/4 cup oat flour, 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 tsp each, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder. If you have a cool, old-fashioned Pyrex bowl like mine, use it. Feels nostalgic.

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In a separate bowl, crack one egg, 1/4 cup skim milk, 2 TBSP greek yogurt, and 1/4 tsp vanilla and whisk together. Now, dump those wet ingredients into the dry, and mix until just combined. Set aside for a minute.

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Take one, juicy, delicious, peach and give it a chop.

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Add about 2/3 of the chopped peaches, 1/4 cup blueberries, and drizzle 1 TBSP honey over the pancake batter. Fold it all together.

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Heat a non stick skillet over med-high high heat. Spray lightly with non-stick spray. Once heated, add your fruity batter. Cook until bubbly on top and browned on bottom.

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Take your leftover peaches and some blueberries, and add maple syrup to you liking. Give it about 45 seconds in the microwave. Now you have fruity syrup for your fruity pancakes.
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Seriously, these pancakes are so good. They are so soft and comforting, with a bright pop of flavor when you hit the fruit. They leave you full, without feeling sluggish, ya know? 🙂

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Summer Pancakes

Makes 4 medium pancakes

1/4 cup oat flour

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 egg

2 TBSP greek yogurt

1/4 cup skim milk

1/4 tsp vanilla

1 ripe peach

1/ cup blueberries

1 TBSP honey

maple syrup

1. Grind oats into oat flour. Mix oat flour and next 4 ingredients together.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk egg and next 3 ingredients together. Add the wet to the dry, and just combine,

3. Now chop the peaches. Add 2/3 of the peaches, the blueberries, and 1 TBSP honey to batter and fold together. Cook in a skillet over med-high heat, using non stick spray.

4. While cooking, microwave leftover peaches, blueberries, and maple syrup for about 45 seconds. Serve ’em up hot and enjoy! 🙂

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On another topic, Gillian Flynn’s novel, Gone Girl, is coming to the big screen! 🙂 I know, I know, this isn’t exactly breaking news. However, I’m so pumped about it! Ben Affleck was casted fror the the role of Nick Dunne. Perfect.

Ok, that’s it. No more information about it, because you need to read this book. Need to. No spoiler alert here.

Before you go and see a book turned big screen, do you read the book first? Or just watch the movie?

-Growing up, I couldn’t  have cared less. However, my feelings have evolved, and now I feel strongly that you should always read the book first. By reading first, you get the author’s original idea. You read it before it has been edited, cut, and transformed into something different. Just my opinion, let me know yours! 🙂

Move It Monday!

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It’s Monday. I’m not any happier about it than you are.

What better way to start off the week than burning a few calories?? Chances are, at some point this weekend, you ate something that was super delicious, as we should have! For me, it was good old-fashioned chocolate chip cookies. Worth it. 😉                                             (recipe another time, don’t worry!)

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Now is the time to counteract. . .shall we? 🙂

Here’s what my workout looked like today:

  • Kenpo – Low intensity, P90x kickboxing workout

Circuit w/ Timed Sets: (do as many reps as you can in the specified amount of time)

           Do each exercise for 45 seconds, resting the same between each. After you complete one full round, rest 3                      minutes, and repeat 2 times. 

Cool Down – 5 minute walk

I like to do a really quick explosive circuit after a workout like Kenpo. Considering Kenpo isn’t high intensity, I pair with a circuit like this to get the most out of my time.

Always warm up. Always cool down. Always stretch. 🙂

my little garden & a summer salad

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Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Roses

We moved into our house in December, and life was moving 90 mph. I’m sure there were a lot of things that I missed during that time, but there was one particular thing I didn’t notice until a couple months later. In my front yard, right next to the sidewalk, I had 3 beautiful rose bushes! I must have walked past them 100 times in those few months. Talk about a lack of observation on my behalf!

I know that roses are supposed to be pruned, but I definitely missed the window of time for which that was supposed to take place. Now, instead of walking down the sidewalk and admiring the beautiful antique pink roses, you must accommodate them. They’ve taken over!! I know that roses are to be pruned during a particular time window, and I’m pretty sure it was missed when the house changed hands.

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I can’t prune them now, so I decided to work on some planted pots. I’ll be up front, I do not have a green thumb. Example? I only have a 66.6% success rate with cacti. I LIVE IN THE MOJAVE DESERT. So they are pretty now, but we’ll see how long that lasts.

Potted Cacti Oleander

Potted Plants

Anyway. Remember those beautiful beets and strawberries from the farmer’s market? They turned into this bad boy.

Beet and Berry Salad

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This salad is full of so many different flavors and textures. It’s quickly become of my favorites. Especially for summer.

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You start by scrubbing a few beets clean and wrapping  them tightly in foil. Lay them in a baking dish and bake in a 400° oven for 45 minutes – 1 hour. Basically until you can stick your fork into them with ease. Nice and tender! You can do this step ahead and use them a few days later, if that’s more convenient.

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Next, take the bacon and fry it nice and crispy. I definitely suggest the low and slow method. This makes the bacon cook evenly and stay flat to the pan, instead of curling up! Then just let it cool and crumble.

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Next, slice up the strawberries and beets. And crumble the goat cheese (those beets are like tie-dye, I’m telling ya).

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Now all you have to do is throw everything together! Top the spinach with your beets, strawberries, goat cheese, and bacon. then drizzle it with balsamic glaze! Another good dressing is Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar mixed with honey (1/2 cup to 1TBSP ratio).

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D opted for the no beet route. And used his own dressing. Whatever. 🙂

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Beet & Berry Salad

Serves 2

4 cups baby spinach

3 slices thick bacon, crumbled

4 strawberries, sliced

2 beets, sliced

2 oz goat cheese

balsamic glaze

Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar and Honey

candied pecans (optional)