Fitness with a Side of Food

Today was a Monday as far as food’s concerned :P.  I had a bagel and cream cheese from Starbucks for breakfast (eaten in the car, so it went unphotographed) and a double shot of espresso, to which I added one cup of almond milk.  I’m a total milk snob these days!

For lunch I had half of a ginormous baked sweet potato with about 1/2 cup of vegetarian baked beans.  The ingredients list was nice and short and in english ;), so I figured I’d give them a go.

The flavor wasn’t nearly as good as my usual “homestyle” Bush’s baked beans, but gave them a little life by adding about a 1/2 tablespoon of spicy brown mustard and  one tablespoon of ketchup :D.  Trust me it’s delicious.  If I’d had molasses on hand at work, I would have added about a teaspoon of that too!  There will certainly be more of these in my future!

Afternoon snackage was a peach!  I was so excited to have my first good peach of the year!  I had tried one or two a few weeks back and they were not ripe.  Good peaches are easily my favorite seasonal fruit!

Dinner was this Wolfgang Puck soup I discovered at the store. 

It was great, but the ingredients list was a perfect example of organic not necessarily meaning unprocessed!

It was a bit disappointing, but cooking wasn’t going to happen, it turned out to be a great soup (of the canned variety), and you can’t win ’em all, so it’s a compromise I’m willingly to make!

On to fitness.  Tonight I ended my exercise hiatus I’d been on since the horse debacle last weekend.  I took Kaya on a 3 mile walk and it went great!  It was by no means strenuous, but the cool part: I did the whole thing in my five fingers!! 

Vibram Five Fingers 😀

It’s the longest I’ve gone in them (in general and it was all on concrete sidewalks) and there was absolutely no discomfort!  One month in and I am very excited about these shoes and will keep you up to date as I work them into my running more and more!

On another note, I have decided to challenge myself to improve my upper body strength with a simple goal this month.  I would like to be able to do 50 push ups consecutively with correct form.  Katie over at Yes, I Want Cake is taking on 25.  Maybe this is a better choice :P.  But maybe if this month goes well, I’ll up the ante in August!  Or maybe I’ll still be working my way towards 50 in August :).

I know this isn’t a super balanced upper body strength training program, but the way I look at it, it’s better than nothing, and I tend to get burned out when I do full on weight training programs.  Weight training just isn’t my favorite thing to do, so I’m going to ease into it, starting with a small goal this time.

And lastly.  I’ve been trying to get signed up with a team to run the Wild West Relay from Fort Collins, CO to Steamboat Springs, CO. 

It’s a 200-miler with teams of up to 12 people!  One day while googling races, actually trying to find a half marathon to do in the fall, I stumbled upon this gnarly abomination of a race :P.

If I can’t get onto a team, though, I am going to do a half marathon in September or October, so I will keep you updated on that as well!  Keep your fingers crossed for me, because this would definitely rank in the top 5 most awesome things I’ve ever done and I’m really hoping I can find a team to adopt me!

Now I’m off to see just how many push ups I can do correctly!  Because between you and me, I don’t have the slightest idea what that number is right now ;)!


Ho Hum Mondays

Well, as the name of this posts suggests, today was a Monday.  A ho hum, I was out of town, so no fun stuff was waiting in my fridge for leftovers at work today, Monday.  Breakfast pretty much went down on par with last week.  Granola and Fage 0% greek yogurt.

As you can see, it did get a little kick when someone in the office offered me some berries as she was putting her lunch in the refrigerator :D.  To which, I decided a little coconut butter addition wouldn’t hurt!  It was cool because the cold temperature of the berries solidified the coconut butter.  They were like little candy crusted gems in my “ho hum, I’ve been eating this for one week now, granola and yogurt” ;).

Lunch had the potential to be quite lack luster ho hum (may as well stick with the theme here) and entirely too small, but was saved by some left over roast beef and dinner rolls hangin’ out from a meeting luncheon last week!

OK, it’s still not exciting by any means, but it’s cool Mondays, you’re better than Wednesdays in my book any day!  The soup is Amy’s Organic Chunky Tomato Soup with some added dried basil and red pepper flakes :).

With my first bite, I thought it was a bit on the salty side and a quick glance at the nutritional label confirmed my suspicions.  In 1/2 of the can (the same amount that’s photographed) there is 680 mg of sodium :(.  Oh well, it’s all about balance I suppose.  Bright side: at least it was organic and a fifth grader could spell all of the ingredients :)!

Afternoon snackage.

I told you it was a Monday.

Thankfully, dinner marched in to save the day when I got home!  I was looking for something small, because on the way home, my hand was stuck in a consant motion of back and forth between a new bag of organic cherries and my mouth.

I rummaged through the fridge and freezer and found these sweet potato gnocchi that I’d forgotten about from this winter!

I made up a crazy simple sauce to go with them.  Really, it’s so simple, I don’t think the word sauce actually applies, but we’ll just go with it.  Step 1:  melt 1 tablespoon of butter and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.  Step 2:  Add ~2 tablespoons dried cherries.  Heat through.  Done.

Add cooked sweet potato gnocchi, toss and serve.  And fondly remember the brandy and egg nog you were enjoying with it only 6 months ago with slippers and your favorite couch blanket donned.

Now, I’ve got Mama Pea’s African Peanut Stew hangin’ out in the crock pot overnight (since I usually only average a depressing 6 hours of sleep each night). 

Tuesday certainly will not resemble Monday.  Thanks for being so reliable Tuesday.  I always look forward to you.  Unless you’re my Monday because it was my three weekend off from work.  Then, not so much.  OK, I think that’s enough “crazy lady rocking back and forth on the park bench surrounded by pigeons” rambling for one night. 

It’s bed time blog world!

Half Way There

OK, I am not starting this post until 10:30 pm, because I just got done working at the climbing wall (tonight I was belay slave :().  It ended up OK, though, since we were slow.  I got to climb a bit and do some maintenance on some of the routes.  So if it seems like someone with a 3rd grade education wrote it, that’s why.  Just sayin’. 😛

So last night was one of those, “let’s just throw random things into a pan and see what happens” kind of nights. Said things turned out to be:

  • shrimp
  • sliced red onions
  • spinach
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • splash of white wine

It looked like this.

Not too shabby.  I cooked the onions on medium low for about 15 minutes in an attempt to caramelize them.  I don’t think they quite got there, but that was the intent. 

Next I added the shimp.  Then I threw the tomatoes, garlic clove, and spinch in and deglazed the pan with a splash of white wine. 

I seasoned it with S&P and red pepper flakes (add as little or as much as you like depending on how well you get along with spicy ;)).  Don’t forget to pull out the clove of garlic!

Breakfast was the same as the last day, but I did forget to tell you about the chia seeds!  Honestly, I’m just delving into these so I’m no expert, but if you’re interested google the awesomeness/history of the chia seed! 

They’re all hiding in this photo, but if you look at yesterday’s, you can see the little black seeds!  I’ve been adding 1/2 of a tablespoon to my 1/2 cup serving of granola in the morning.

My lunch was leftover dinner plus half of a baked sweet potato.

Wondering what’s on that sweet potato?? 

It’s coconut butter!  Well what’s coconut butter? some of you may be asking…  It’s amazing.  And so simple as long as you have a food processor. 

Simply buy a bag of unsweetened shredded coconut.

Throw it into a the processor and turn on.  Don’t forget the lid :P.

First you’ll start to see some of it sticking together like so.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl just this once if you must, but it’s not necessary.

Then, it will start to look like this.  Still very grainy. 

Then a few minutes later you have…

…coconut butter!

It tastes amazing (provided of course that you like coconut).  Just throw it into an old jar or tupperware container.

It hardens at room temperature and there is no need to refrigerate it.  My last stash lasted me about 1 month, so I don’t know how long it will keep because I never got there :D.  Honestly, I’m guessing it has a pretty long shelf life.  I learned how to make this addicting substance from this informative post by HEAB.  Now say it all together:  “Thank you, Heather.”

There are endless addicting way to use this stuff.  On top of oats, on top of pancakes, as icing, dip your chocolate in it (which I totally did today :D). 

A Little Dark Chocolate to Go with my Coconut Butter 😉

Also, extremely good drizzled over banana coconut muffins from my fave sweets extraordinaire.  The list goes on and on!

When I got home today I had the other half of my banana soft serve.  It was topped with the same raw chocolate syrup, minus the almond butter.


It was just as delightful as I remembered it. 

I will share my dinner with you tomorrow because I am tiiiirrreedddddd! 

Oh, and I’m off to a wedding this weekend in Blacksburg, VA (home of my most favoritest place in the world, Virginia Tech), so I’m driving down to Denver tomorrow to stay the night before I take off at 6 am :(.  Posting will be spurratic, but I’m hoping to get a lot done on the plane for the blog (especially Kaya’s puppy photo’s, which I just got in the mail, and more for the About section)!  Have a wonderful weekend!

No Food Mondays

Mehhh.  Mondays are always super hard when I’ve been out of town all weekend.  Usually, I finish all of the leftovers before I go and I don’t really keep food around that doesn’t need to be prepared and cooked.  Today was one of those Mondays.  

Every day I get up at 4:30 am to shower and throw a bunch of random food into a bag make my lunch.  I must leave my house by the time my microwave says 5:07.  Yeah, that’s right, I have it down to the minute.  That doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for standing in front of the refrigerator with a blank stare.  Today I almost missed the van to work, because that definitely happened.  Stupid Mondays.

Breakfast.  I knew I had some Kashi Autumn Wheat cereal stashed in my desk at work, so I grabbed the carton of Silk Almond Milk and threw some in a tupper ware container.  Breakfast.  Done.

Once I got to work, I knew there was no way this would hold me over though, so I scavenged the work fridge and found some eggs.  I hard boiled one of those bad boys and used one of my fave hotel continental breakfast tricks (it can be hard to get anything but refined sugar at those things!).

Peanut Butter and Hard Boiled Egg Whites

Haha, OK, it doesn’t look too appetizing, but if you like PB it’s good!  And it’s an awesome way to boost the protein action in your breakfast.  I mean the egg white doesn’t really have any flavor, so it’s like a big spoonful of peanut butter!  Just the right addition to my whole wheat cereal to keep me full until lunch :D.

OK, back to the blank stare in front of the fridge at home.  At 4:50 am.  Lunch….  This could be a little more interesting.  Need protein…  Proscuitto.  I can work with that…  One last whole wheat pita.  I might be making some progess…  Leftover marinara sauce!  Open the marinara sauce tupperware.  Not so much.  There might be 2 tablespoons left.  So I desperately grabbed the box of tomato sauce, poured it in, dumped in some spices and tada!  Totally sketchy marinara sauce for one last pita pizza ;).

Actually it didn’t turn out too bad.  And for good measure I grabbed a handful of spinach and some cherry tomatoes and threw them in a baggie for a salad. 

Very simple, but hey.  It’s a Monday.  I grabbed the leftover Honey Dill Vinaigrette for the dressing. 

Afternoon snackage.

Almonds and canteloupe.  And I swear I had more than 5 almonds!  They were just consumed before the camera made it out.

Finally time for dinner.  I did not go to the grocery store, but at least I now have time to cook something :).  Quickly, though, because I had some friends to meet up with.  I made a couple of turkey meatballs and nuked a sweet potato.  I decided to add something to the sweet potato, I’ve been seeing for a while.  Baked beans.

I put ’em on the side, though, because I had no idea how I was going to feel about this one.  Guess what!  It was great!  I guess it makes sense in hind sight.  I like brown sugar on my sweet potatoes, so baked beans doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch.

Turkey Meatballs:

  • 4 oz ground turkey
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp minced dried onion
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • S&P

And with that I am off to bed folks.  I made some of my standard granola tonight, but it’s my bed time, so you’ll just have to wait for the recipe!  I’ll share it with you tomorrow…

Granola Teaser Photo 😛

Happy Memorial Day!

Here I am!  Sorry for the absence of Sunday night photo overload, but I didn’t get back home until 1:30 am last night (I’ll reveal the reason in due time :o).  Boo-hiss.  I know.  And, trust me, this morning it showed.  Work was heinous definitely a Monday (operations didn’t exactly go according to plan this weekend) and while I don’t usually make a habit of drinking coffee – it was definitely a coffee day.  And then, when I thought the day had turned around (aka I was on my way home 😉 )…  I realized that I left my camera at work again.  Luckily, my friend, Rick, left his camera here, so I did take pictures of my official Memorial Day grilling session for all of you beautiful people!

Lonely Turkey Brat

Poor little dude.  I’m totally laughing right now.  I know it looks slightly fully pathetic, but I’m counting it :P.

With my grilled hot italian turkey brat, I had some low and slow sweet potaters!  And I added a little somethin’ tasty in the form of…

….creamy, melty brie!  Oh, so good kids!  I sprayed the sweet potatoes with canola oil and baked them at 300 degrees for 1 hour, then put the brie on top for a few minutes.  The potatoes were slightly dried out, though, so next time I’m going to raise the temperature to 325 and try them for 45 minutes.  Any suggestions from you guys would be more than welcome!!

And with that, here’s dinner.

Brat and Sweet Potatoes with Brie 😀

I had spicy brown mustard and ketchup to go with the brat and the potatoes that didn’t get the brie treatment (I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but I def wish I’d put it on all of them!).

Now I’m off to run with the Kaya-face.  No hail in the forecast this time ;).  And I have this gem waiting for me when I get home. 

Juju Ginger Ale from Left Hand Brewery

Yeah, definitely not the most effective rehydration method (I promise I’ll chug some water with it), but if you had to work on Memorial day too, you’re probably sipping one right along with me!  Cheers!

And fear not!  I do have loads of great pictures from this weekend, so I’ll lay it all on you tomorrow friends :D.