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How To Cook a Turkey, By Kristy (Age 8)

10 Jan

how to cook a turkey

 

This was re-written by my grandmother, but I’m sure my mother has the original somewhere. I’d say Zach is happy I’m a better cook now than I was back then. Happy Friday!

Microwave Fiesta Quiche for One

23 Apr

Good morning! Boy, do I have a lot to share with you. Work is still busy, busy, busy — I’m doing two jobs still and it only promises to get busier because starting in the next couple of weeks I’m going to be training the replacement for my old position and then a new assistant for myself — so yes! Busy times! Not to mention, I’ve been raising this guy, who is growing like a weed:

frank

Despite the fact that I feel like I’ve not been working out nearly as much because taking care of Frank is a full time job, I have been taking him on several walks a day, so I am moving. It all evens out!

I did get a nice run in on Sunday morning/afternoon. I woke up earlyish, and I could see myself sitting on the couch like a lump all day, so I pushed myself to put on my running clothes and get out there. So glad I did! I ended up doing 5.13 miles, which is my longest run this year!

My artsy 2 mile water break photo.

My artsy 2 mile water break photo.

And in food news, I’m currently working hard to get back to healthy eating habits. As I mentioned before, I signed up for Weight Watchers and then yesterday, I joined Sarah’s Diet Bet  — the current pot is at over $7,000! The way Diet Bet works is you bet a certain amount of money — Sarah’s bet is set at $35 — that you can lose 4% of your body weight in a month. That’s 6 pounds for me, and as money is my greatest motivator, I’m determined to do it!

This morning I developed a little breakfast that I’d love to share with you. It’s based on this recipe. I’m in love with things you put in a mug and microwave. I just think it’s the neatest thing ever! Last night for dinner, I made Cowboy Quesadillas, so I had leftover black beans, corn and tomatoes in the fridge so I decided to make this recipe a bit of a fiesta:

Microwave Fiesta Quiche for One

by: Kristy

2013-04-23 07.38.29-2 (1)

Ingredients: 

1 egg + 1 egg white
1/2 whole wheat english muffin (or bread of your choice)
1/4 c. black beans, corn and tomatoes (I just rinsed a can of each and stirred them together in a container)
1/4 c. shredded cheese of your choice (or a tablespoon of cream cheese)
1 Tbsp butter

In a mug or a bowl, melt the butter in the microwave and swirl it around to coat. In a separate bowl, mix egg and egg white — pour into coated mug or bowl. Then tear the english muffin into bite sized pieces and chuck those in. Add black beans, corn and tomatoes and then cheese. Stir everything together and microwave for about a minute. If the egg is still runny, microwave in 30 second intervals until solid. Top with salsa or ketchup. Enjoy!

This was an awesome breakfast and set me back 9 WW points. Let me know if you try it!

Question of the Day:
Have you been exercising more or changing your eating habits in preparation for summer? Would you ever join Diet Bet? 

Let’s Talk Food

18 Apr

I have a confession — I have not been eating well at all. Dinners out galore (not good for my waistline OR my wallet), lots of beer and cocktails, and out of control snacking has made my weight go up a bit lately. Usually I just don’t worry about the scale at all — I focus on how my clothes fit, but those are also a bit tight so the time has come to do something about it.

blog

 

The problem is motivation. While my motivation to work out hasn’t waned (much), my motivation to eat the right way has been nil. The warmer weather brings lots of hang outs with friends, which usually include alcoholic beverages and food.

However, one definite good thing is that I am devouring produce like crazy lately.

sandwich

 

Especially tomatoes and avocados. I’ve really missed them over the winter! If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy an egg sandwich, mashing an avocado on one half and slicing a tomato on the other half is perfection, I tell ya.

But here’s the thing: I need more help than just adding healthy things back into my diet. I need to cut back on the fatty foods, and my portion sizes. I’m about to make another confession and I hope you don’t judge me. Last night, when I got home from work (late), Zach wasn’t home. Since I didn’t have anyone to cook a healthy meal for, I decided to make myself some macaroni and cheese.

Bad idea.

I really like macaroni and cheese. I can’t control myself around it. I made it and thought, “I can have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!” — there weren’t any leftovers.

Yep, I ate 990 delicious calories of macaroni and cheese. Now, I’m not beating myself up over it — today is a new day — but I did feel awful the rest of the night because I was way too full. No lean protein, no veggies. Just enriched white macaroni covered in salty cheese. Yuck! I think it was the push I needed — I decided to start Weight Watchers, again. But this time I’m doing it right! I actually signed up online and paid the $60 for 3 months. I know I’ll stick with it if my money is on the line.

more blog photos

So, I started tracking today. I’m feeling better already! Plus, I probably will love it when I fit into my wedding dress in 5 months 🙂

Question of the Day:
Have you ever eaten an entire box of macaroni and cheese? Please tell me I’m not alone. 

 

The Benefits of a Large Breakfast

18 Mar

Lately, I’ve been trying to eat a very large breakfast:

2013-03-18 08.37.09

This breakfast is about 500 – 600 calories.

 

I believe I’ve mentioned before that I struggle with balancing my meals throughout the workday. If I don’t use snacks properly, I’ll end up overeating at one of my regular meals. Last week, I was very hungry at breakfast, so I had oatmeal AND a breakfast sandwich — it was a lot of food, but I didn’t feel groggy afterwards like I do when I eat a huge lunch, and I noticed when it came time for lunch, I didn’t eat nearly as much.

So, despite conflicting studies (this article in the New York Times cites a study that says more calories at breakfast merely adds calories throughout the day), I think for me a large (about 600 calories) breakfast is the key to curbing my hunger throughout the day.

Also, let’s stop demonizing bagels, ok? I eat a bagel for breakfast roughly once a week and it’s one of my very favorite breakfasts. If you get a whole grain bagel and don’t go overboard on the cream cheese, it’s actually a very nutritious breakfast. I can see how eating such a large amount of bread daily could be an issue, but having a bagel for breakfast isn’t the end of the world. And it tastes so good!

Anywho, after all that I’m sitting here post-bagel and I’m not sure I can choke down the rest of my breakfast. No big deal, I’ll eat it in about an hour. The key is to not go into lunch feeling like I might die of hunger!

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

How was your St. Patrick’s Day weekend!? Mine was pretty good. Zach and I ended up not doing much of anything in the evenings, however.

On Friday, I went to Crossfit and saw that our first task was to run a mile for time. I was immediately anxious. There were only three of us at class on Friday evening, and the other two were men (one of whom was wearing a t-shirt from a marathon). I was sure that they were going to finish a mile 5 minutes ahead of me. Ever since my injury during the Marshall Half Marathon and the longest winter ever where I’ve been plodding along on the treadmill doing 11 minute miles, I felt like my days of running (relatively) fast were gone. A few years ago, I took a running class at my alma mater’s Rec Center and we had to do a mile for time. My time was 8:08, and I’ve been so proud of that mile ever since.

So, needless to say, while we stretched and foam rolled our muscles at the beginning of that class, I was feeling nervous. We set off to do the mile and I was sure I was going to fall behind the guys, but I kept the pace. I focused on breathing evenly and just kept my pace up, pushing hard at the end. I was glad to see that I was only a few seconds behind the guys when we finished, but when my coached said my time, I was shocked: 7:50! No way! I thought for sure I would have run it slower than my fastest mile. I’m pretty pumped to get back out there and run again after that.

Our WOD, if you’re interested, looked like this:

1 mile (for time)

2 rounds:
10 high pulls (65 pounds)
10 front squats (45 pounds)
Prowler pull
30 sit ups

I finished the mile in 7:50 like I said, and the rest of the WOD in 9:06 (I was the first to finish, but the guys were doing 115 and 65 pounds respectively).

After that, I was content to sit on the couch like this for the rest of the night:

post crossfit

 

The Friday evening Crossfit class has been giving me zero motivation to do any other workouts for the rest of the weekend. I didn’t do anything on Saturday OR Sunday (although to be fair, the weather outside on Sunday was awful! Snow! So over it!)

Our evenings on Friday night and Saturday night were laaaaazy! We just couldn’t get the motivation to hit the town. I’m a little bummed we missed out on all the St. Patty’s Day fun, but  we did manage to spend a little time at a friend’s house on Saturday:

zach

 

I just love this photo of Zach. He’s so handsome.

..and on Sunday, I decided to throw together a vaguely St. Patrick’s Day themed dinner:

irish meal

…which consisted of sausages, sauerkraut (which is cabbage!), Irish soda bread and potatoes. Zach even braved the yucky weather to go get us a six pack of Guiness for the occasion.

Question of the Day:
If you’re a runner, have you ever run a mile for time? If so, what is your best time? 

 

Snacks!

7 Mar

Do you guys watch Daily Grace? Her vlog is the one thing I’m all, “I watched her first!” about, because I’ve been watching Grace’s vlogs since she was filming with a point and shoot, and lived in a sublet with Michelle and a guy named Panda. If you don’t watch her daily vlogs, you really should. She’s so funny and smart! You might want to just go ahead and reserve a weekend where you do nothing but catch up on her archives as well. Now that she’s all famous, she sells merchandise on her website and there is this one hoodie that I’m dying to buy:

snacks

 

Isn’t it awesome? I always say that Snacks is my favorite meal of the day. I do want to talk a bit about healthy snacks, but first! Today, I watched the Crossfit Open WOD 13.1. Even if you’re not into Crossfit, I think it would be interesting to you if you like watching sports. Basically, two very fit men competed in one intense WOD:

40 burpees
30 reps Snatch, 75 lbs
30 burpees
30 reps Snatch, 135 lbs
20 burpees
30 reps Snatch, 165 lbs
10 burpees
As many reps as possible Snatch, 210 lbs

Yeah, that’s intense! I really enjoyed watching, and I learned a lot about Snatch technique, which is the skill we’re working at my Crossfit class now.

crossfit WOD 13.1

 

Ok, snacks.

I’ve had an issue lately where when it comes time for lunch, I’m so hungry that I end up eating way too much. Now, I’m usually pretty good about snacking to avoid getting over-hungry, but what happens is that I’m usually pretty busy the first half of the day at work, so I don’t notice my hunger until I get to lunch. By then, it’s too late.

So, I’ve been trying to set a time to have a snack, regardless of my hunger. If I stop to think about my snack, I usually notice that I will be a little hungry for it, and it helps me  not eat too much at lunch.

Disclaimer: I’m not worried about eating too much because I’m afraid of gaining weight or anything. The reason I don’t want to overeat at lunch is because it makes me feel terrible for the rest of the afternoon. I feel sleepy, sluggish and uncomfortable if I’m overfull.

Ok, so around 10:oo or 10:30, I dig in for a snack. Today, I packed two separate snacks, because I wasn’t sure if I’d be craving sweet or salty:

snacks 2

I ended up going the salty route, I dumped that cheesy mix from my graze box into that baggie of pretzels and it was delicious! I plan to eat the yogurt and strawberries for my afternoon snack.

Snacks are definitely a major part of my healthy lifestyle, because they give me fuel to get through the day and prevent me from crashing from hunger, or eating too much and feeling uncomfortable.

Question of the day:
Do you eat snacks to curb your hunger throughout the day, or are you more of a three meals kind of person? 

I <3 Pancakes.

5 Mar

Yesterday was not a good day! I mean, it wasn’t a terrible day, but it wasn’t good either. Work was a bit stressful and non-stop (the auditors are here this week, too, which puts everyone on edge), and I didn’t drag my butt out of bed in the morning for a run, so I didn’t even have the endorphins to carry me through the day!

Zach and I had plans to go out in the evening, so I prepped a crockpot dinner while we were home for lunch in the hopes of getting a run in before we headed out for the evening. The sun was shining, so I thought I’d be ok to get a run in outside. NOPE! After about half a mile, my nose was running and my fingers were frozen. I turned around and ran right to the gym to get on the treadmill. I ran a little over a mile on the treadmill before it was time to get home and scarf down dinner and head out. So, not the best run, but 2.25 miles is better than zero!

Also, I had a bit of trouble getting out of bed for Crossfit this morning. I was the very last person to show up to class, and I swear I wasn’t even awake until we started the WOD, which was rough:

4 rounds for time:
10 tire flips
20 kb swings (35 lbs)
30 reverse ring rows
40 med ball squat jumps (12 lbs)
50 sit ups

I finished in exactly 30 minutes, and my heart was racing. It took quite a while for my heart rate to come down and start breathing normally. As rough as this workout was, it wasn’t as bad as it looked when I was looking at it before the start.

As usual after Crossfit, I was starving, so I made some new pancakes for breakfast:

pancakes

So good! I had some cottage cheese in the fridge, so I decided to experiment with cottage cheese/oatmeal pancakes. These have 2 egg whites, 1/4 c. cottage cheese, 1/4 c. oats, 1 whole banana, sliced, 1/2 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. vanilla  and a little whole wheat flour to thicken up the batter. They cooked really well, and I topped them with butter, sliced strawberry and a little maple syrup. Really, really yummy — and quite healthy!

I don’t know if you noticed, but I love pancakes. I am constantly making them — protein pancakes, buttermilk pancakes, crepes, etc. — I just don’t know of a better breakfast than a stack of pancakes. This is a new development for me, as I used to be a strictly savory breakfast food person. Now, every weekend I’m trying to talk Zach into pancakes for breakfast (he likes savory breakfast).

After breakfast I was still starving, so I broke into my morning snack:

graze

 

It seems that shipping my Graze box to work is the way to go, because I got this weeks box yesterday morning, right on time. I love their dried fruit packs, but this one was a little too heavy on the coconut flakes. I like them ok, but not that many of them.

Speaking of Graze, I just wanted to talk a little bit more about it. One thing I really love about this box is that every snack has some health benefit to it:

more graze

This is a bit hard to read, so click on the image to see the full sized version.

..and that chart kind of speaks for itself! Again, I don’t know if Graze is worth the price. $5/week seems pretty steep for 4 snacks that aren’t very large. I think if they added a snack to the box or maybe gave you two servings/snack, it would be worth it!

I mentioned in my first Graze Review that I would try to get an invite code for you. This one should work:

ticket

In order to redeem your free box, go to http://www.graze.com then enter the invite code above (LK612JZD).

In other news, I’m publicly pledging to attend the 7:00 PM yoga class at the gym tonight, so if I come back here tomorrow and I didn’t go, you all have permission to publicly chastize me! My muscles have been very tight lately, and I need yoga in my life!

Question of the Day:

Are you a sweet breakfast or a savory breakfast person? 

Lifting Heavy and Two Recipes

26 Feb

If you’re interested in fitness and keep up with current fitness trends, I’m sure by now you realize that the old myth of girls “bulking up” if they lift heavy is just that — a myth. Unless you’re lifting for hours a day, or taking testosterone supplements, you’re not going to get big and bulky from lifting weights.

When I was following my own lifting plan, I thought I was going heavy, but now that I’m doing Crossfit, I’m learning what lifting heavy really means! Since I started the Crossfit classes 4 weeks ago, we’ve been working on elements of the Clean and Jerk, which starts with a deadlift. Today’s WOD looked like this:

Stretch & Roll

Skill: Jump Shrug to Hang Clean

10 minutes EMOM (every minute on the minute)
KB snatch (I used a 25 lb plate)
30 double unders (I did 90 regular jump ropes)

Deadlift: 5 sets of 5

I want to talk a bit about the Deadlift. There were 3 girls in class today, so we buddied up on one bar. We started with 95 lbs, which I thought was heavy. My friend Sarah was talking about adding weight, but I really thought 95 would be the most I could do. So, I did 5 reps of 95 lbs and it was pretty hard. Then we added 10 lbs (to make it 105) and I did 5 reps. Once I started gaining confidence, it wasn’t so bad. I added 10 lbs to the bar each set, and maxed out at 135 lbs! I honestly did not think I was capable of that, so I’m pretty pleased with myself this morning! I even think I could have gone a little heavier, so next time we do that, I will start at 105 instead of 95, and go up from there.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Now, let’s talk a bit about food, because that’s the natural progression after workouts, right? I’ve been pretty adventurous in the kitchen lately, so I want to share a couple recipes with you:

Last night, Zach had to work late so I was on my own for dinner. After a pretty decent round of the Pick a Card treadmill workout:

Really? I couldn't have gone that 0.02 miles to make it an even 3.75?

Really? I couldn’t have gone that 0.02 miles to make it an even 3.75?

I decided a large bowl of pasta was in my future. I’ve been wanting to make peanut noodles for a while, but I don’t like springing something exotic that I haven’t even tried on Zach, so I thought it would be a good time to try it.

Thai Peanut Noodles with Peas, Carrots and Chicken

yummm

Note: I didn’t actually do much measuring while I was making this, so these measurements are guesses. Just taste your peanut sauce as you go to see what you need to add. 

1 serving whole wheat noodles of your choice (I used thin spaghetti)
1/2 c. frozen peas and carrots
1 knuckle of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 Tbs natural peanut butter
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbs plus more to taste Lite Soy Sauce
1 Tbs plus more to thin hot water
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
Crushed red pepper (optional)

Put a large pot of water on to boil, adding salt and oil if desired. Boil the noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat the sesame oil over low heat and add ginger (you could also add scallions or onions if desired). Saute until fragrant. Add peas and carrots, and saute about a minute more. Add peanut butter, soy sauce, hot water and salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until smooth and thick. If it’s too thick, add a bit more water. Taste the sauce and add more soy sauce, salt or pepper to taste. Toss with spaghetti noodles. Set aside. In the same pan you cooked your peanut sauce, turn the heat up to medium and spray with cooking oil. Salt and pepper both sides of your chicken breast (or use 7-2-1 spice) and cook on each side for about 3-4 minutes, or until cooked through. Slice. Sprinkle your noodles with crushed red pepper if you wish and put the sliced chicken on top. Enjoy! 

This turned out to be a really great dinner! Feel free to tweak the ingredients and play with the amounts. Let me know if you try it!

The next recipe I want to share is what I made for breakfast this morning. After Crossfit, I like to have something high in protein to help my muscles repair themselves. I wasn’t feeling like having eggs this morning, and protein pancakes didn’t sound appetizing either. Although, regular old fluffy, buttermilk pancakes did! So, I decided to make a protein-buttermilk-pancake hybrid:

Cream of Wheat Buttermilk High-Protein Pancakes

pannycakes

3 Tbs. Cream of Wheat Cereal
1/4 c. whole-wheat flour
3 Tbs. liquid egg whites
1 whole banana, smashed
1/4 c. almond milk mixed with a splash of apple cider vinegar
Optional: Cinnamon, Pumpkin Pie Spice, chopped nuts, dried or fresh fruit

In a small bowl, smash your banana well. Add the egg whites and smash the banana a bit more. Add cream of wheat and almond milk/vinegar mixture. Stir in whole wheat flour. Add any add ins you wish. 

Preheat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Spray with cooking oil. Scoop about 1/4 c. of the pancake mixture into the pan and cook until bubbly. Flip and cook until golden. Repeat. Top pancakes with butter and jam or syrup. 

This will make 3 large pancakes or 6 smaller ones, so this can be 2 servings or just one. The nutritional information is here:

nutritional

My Fitness Pal is the best for getting nutritional information for recipes!

I ate the whole recipe this morning because I was starving from my workout, but I would cut it in half for a lighter breakfast. Either way, you’re getting 7 grams of protein/serving, which is pretty good, and you’re still getting that yummy, thick, buttermilk pancake flavor! Of course, this recipe isn’t for the carb-o-phobes! If you wanted to cut down on the carbs, you could make them with just the whole wheat flour, but I really enjoy adding in Cream of Wheat to my pancakes.

Question of the Day:
Do you ever experiment in the kitchen? 

Grazing!

25 Feb

This review is a LONG time in coming!

graze

I’ve been dying to share the Graze box with you, but due to some technical difficulties,  I have been unable to do so. Luckily, it allowed for me to more thoroughly review the customer service of the company!

I ordered Graze back at the beginning of this month, by getting an invitation code from a friend. It seemed like a perfect match! Graze is a subscription style box, which charges you $5/week. You get one box shipped to you each week, which has 4 snacks inside. You can choose between the standard box or the light box, depending on your caloric needs, but even the standard snacks are healthy, albeit a bit more calorically dense.

I went with the light box, and I waited patiently for my first box….which never arrived. I did get a nice email from the company saying that the weather woes early in the month were causing some delays, so I held off on contacting them.

Once a couple weeks had gone by, and I still hadn’t received my box, I contacted Graze. They were very kind, and they said that my box definitely should have arrived, and they credited my account for a free box. They told me to keep my eyes peeled for my second box, which was due to arrive any day, and to contact them again if it didn’t come.

Well, to make a long story short, it didn’t come in the time period that they allotted. I waited until after President’s Day to contact them (because no mail), and they once again credited my account for a free box. They also asked if they could change my mailing address to my work address, which I did.

Then, to my surprise I got my box on Saturday! Woo hoo!

graze

I got 4 snacks in my box.

1) Korean chili rice crackers

2) Tropical Daiquiri dried fruit

3) Bounty Hunter (dried cranberries, chocolate drops and shredded coconut)

4) Toffee Apple (dried apples with toffee dipping sauce)

All of my snacks were really yummy! You can see much better photos of the snacks I got here. There are so many snacks on the site I’d love to try, so hopefully I’ll get a new selection next time.

By far my favorite snack was the Tropical Daiquiri dried fruit. It had pineapple, lime raisins and green mango. Typically, I’m not a huge raisin fan, but lime-infused raisins are a different story! They are amazing! The Korean chili rice crackers were also really delicious, and had a spicy kick that I really enjoyed.

So, here is my unbiased review of the Graze box:

The snacks were yummy, and it was really fun getting mail! I had a great experience with Customer Service when I had a problem, and the packaging is pretty. However, I’m not really sure the box is worth $5/week. They call it a “week’s worth of snacks”, but really it’s more like 2 days worth. I guess you could stretch it out to 4 days worth, if you supplement with fresh fruit, but it’s definitely not a week’s worth of snacks. I could spend $5 on a bag of trail mix that would last a month. However, I’m glad I signed up. I got a promotion that my first and 5th box were free, so it will be fun to try out a few boxes, but I’ll most likely cancel after my fifth week.

If you’d like to give Graze a try (it’s by invitation only at this point in time), here’s an invitation code for you: LK612JZ. (EDIT: Oops! Just realized that this invite code is one time use only, sorry! I’m working on getting you all a working invite code) Your first box is free, so it may be fun to at least try it!

Question of the Day:
Do you have any subscription services that you love? 

The Best Valentine’s Date Night

12 Feb

Because I’ll be at a concert with friends this weekend, and also because we wanted to beat the crowds, Zach and I decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day this past Friday night.

For a while now, I’ve been talking about doing a date night where we cook dinner at home, but then go out for dessert/drinks afterwards, so that was our plan.

Our night started after work on Friday. I wanted to get a quick run in, and Zach wanted to get a nap in. While I went to the gym, Zach took a nap on the couch with the cats. I ran 5 miles on the treadmill at about a 10:45 pace, and when I came back, this is what I saw:

2013-02-08 18.21.38

 

Ha! I swear, she isn’t really about to steal his soul, she was just surprised by the flash. I thought it was funny, though.

I made myself presentable and let Zach nap a little longer. After I was pretty, I started cooking. On the menu, NY Strip Steak, baked potatoes and green salad with homemade Greek dressing.

Whenever I’m about to cook something basic (steak, baked potatoes), I first search Google to see how Alton Brown suggests doing it. Luckily, he never steers me wrong. I cooked the steak per his instruction and it turned out perfectly medium rare:

IMG_0410

Look at that giant steak! Of course, I didn’t eat the whole thing, but it was perfectly cooked. Here’s how I did it:

First, I set the steaks out about an hour before I was going to cook them, to get them up to room temperature. I took a tiny bit of canola oil and rubbed the steaks down with oil, kosher salt, cracked black peppercorns, and a few other spices. Then, I put my cast iron skillet into a very hot (500 degree) oven, and turned a burner up to high heat. Once the skillet was very hot, I pulled it out of the oven (using mitts, of course), and set it on the burner. Using long tongs, I set each steak into the skillet and let it sear on each side for 30 seconds. Then, I put the whole skillet with the steaks back into the oven, and let it cook on each side for exactly 2 minutes. That’s it! The steaks were medium rare and perfect.

After our delicious dinner, we headed out to Huntington Prime for drinks and dessert. Our friend Shane was working at the bar, so we sat at the bar and ordered our desserts and drinks based on his suggestions:

dessert

 

On the left are my choices. I can’t remember what the drink was called, but it had a blueberry vodka base, blueberries, lemons, some kind of delicious juice and…well, who knows what else. It was fruity and delicious, but I really liked Zach’s drink better. He got a bourbon based drink, and though it looks pretty fruity, it wasn’t at all. For our desserts, I got the hot chocolate cheesecake and he got the strawberry bavarian cream cake. I’m hungry just typing this post! Both desserts were amazing.

It was such a successful date! If we had done a steak dinner and dessert out, we likely would have spent more than $100, but as it was we spent less than $50 on the whole meal, but it still felt like a fancy date night.

I even had enough steak leftover to make steak fajitas for dinner the next night:

IMG_0417

 

I added in some chicken too, and I ate these leftovers all weekend. Yum!

Valentine’s Date Night 2013 was a success! It’s hard to believe next Valentine’s Date Night will be as a married couple! 🙂

Question of the Day:
How do you keep date night costs down? 

I’m So Hungry and How to Keep the Treadmill Interesting

6 Feb

….well, I feel ok right now, but yesterday I couldn’t eat anything at all. I had ice cream after my surgery, and then I made a mashed potato for lunch, and topped it with some 7 layer dip I had leftover from the Superbowl  It was really good, but I could only manage a few bites. 😦

Furthermore, Zach and I had scheduled our wedding cake consultation for 5:00 PM yesterday, so sitting in front of a plate of delicious cupcakes in various flavors when you’re starving and can’t eat is a blessing and a curse, I’ll tell you.

I ended up choking down a few cheese ravioli when we got home.

This morning, I was bound and determined to get a filling breakfast, but all I could imagine being able to manage was oatmeal. It took me roughly an hour to eat it, but I got it all down. I didn’t eat at my desk, like I usually do, so I picked this up from Starbucks for a morning snack:

juice

I love these juices so much, but I can’t usually justify the cost. Since I’m recovering from surgery, I thought I would treat myself.

You may be wondering why I’m at work at all. A lot of people are surprised I made it, but I’m actually not in very much pain at all, and I’m barely swollen. I figured it’s not too strenuous to sit at a desk, and to be honest, I’m probably feeling well enough to get in a run this evening. I’ll see how much food I’m able to take in — I wouldn’t want to exercise if I’m not getting enough fuel!

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Speaking of running, I wanted to talk a bit about the treadmill today. I’m constantly looking for ways to spice things up when I’m on the treadmill which will trick me into staying on there longer.

About a week ago, I got the idea to make up these cards and take them with me to the gym:

cards

Which, in theory was a great idea! But, in practice, I ended up picking “Sprint” and “Run Fast” alternately about 5 times in a row, and I threw them with frustration onto the ground, and ended up just starting at 5.0 and increasing my speed a little every quarter of a mile. That worked out fine, but I was still on the lookout for something to spice up my treadmill workout. The problem I have with most treadmill “workouts” is that they are like work. If my recent obsession with Crossfit is any indication, when I’m working out at a gym, I prefer it to be more like playing on the playground than working out. (Speaking of Crossfit, I haven’t been since Friday. I signed up for Saturday’s class this morning, I can’t wait to get back into it!)

So, as usual, Janae at The Hungry Runner Girl saved me. A couple days ago, she posted a few ideas for treadmill workouts, and this one looked too fun to pass up:

Screen-Shot-2013-02-04-at-8.36.12-AM

It was so much fun, and much better than my measly attempt at a “pick a card” treadmill game. I skipped over the 10’s, because there just isn’t much room at my gym to jump off the treadmill and do anything, haha. I also skipped over a card because I had gotten three “increase incline” cards in a row and once I picked up the next one, I was like, “Oh no.” — but that’s the great thing about this workout. You have 52 cards in a deck, so if you skip one or two, it’s not like you’ll run out of interesting things to do. The very best part of this, is that you pick a card every 5 minutes, do what is on the card and then whatever time is left over, you just go back to a slow jog, so you’re getting lots of recovery even though each card is pretty tough.

Monday's Deck of Cards Treadmill Run

Monday’s Deck of Cards Treadmill Run

I only had 30 minutes to spend on the treadmill on Monday, because Zach and I had plans, but I managed to get a pretty good workout in. I definitely would have kept picking cards if I had the time!

Question of the Day:
What do you do to keep yourself from getting bored at the gym?