Archive for April, 2013
April 30, 2013
The weather is finally starting to warm up and I could not be more ready to bask in the
Florida Michigan sunshine. Even if that means a few days of raining and thunderstorms, I am alllll for it.
Wait… maybe I should have saved that sentence for after the Detroit Tigers Game Scott and I went to over the weekend.
Even though it is the off-season, Scott and I still remain close with a lot of our Pistons Family. Outside of the NBA, a large group of us (and majority of the city!) also follows other major sports teams in the area.
Sunday was Scott and I’s first time seeing the Tigers play live, and it was a complete blast to go with a ridiculously large group of friends!
The only thing I was not looking forward to was the rainy weather. Detroit baseball is played outside (while ironically, Tampa Bay baseball is covered) rain or shine.
Instead of a normal pre-game gathering in the parking lot, we met just a few blocks down from the stadium at Bookies Bar & Grille.
The group of twenty-one of us was quite impressive, and I was a bit worried we would not be able to all sit together. Luckily, we found the upstairs bar about ten minutes before any other Tigers fans and took the tables over. Whoops!
I love that the girls I dance with also share a love for professional sports. Every one of them wanted to go to watch the game and have a good time, just like it was a Pistons game.
(Who said baseball is just for guys, anyways?)
With more than full bellies, we decided to walk over to the park during the second inning. Nine innings in the rain can be less than enjoyable, so I am considerably proud of us for holding out for seven of them!
Upon entry, we were those people eager to pile up in front of the giant tiger statue. Can you spot my husband?
He would be the floating upside down head in the bottom row. Sheesh.
Eventually, we made inside and up to our seats, which were somehow the only few rows in the third level covered by awnings. Strategic!
With at least a drizzle the entire time, I was surprised to see the stands as full as they were. As the game progressed, fans began to leave and some even came up to join us all the way on the third level just to be covered.
Looks like there are benefits to those nosebleed sections after all, huh?
Although I appreciate all professional sports, I have to admit that baseball is probably my least favorite. I still had a good time, but I know I would have enjoyed it more if it were in the daytime and in the sunshine. I give us girls props for hanging through it all with smiles on our faces!
We ended with a win, and even through the rain the Detroit fans were loud and proud to support their home team.
As the summer approaches, I am looking forward to attending more games and getting the full experience and love of sports here. One of our friends gets Tigers tickets about once a month, and has offered to take us to again to an afternoon game. Hopefully then I can write more about the game, and less about the weather.
Have a great Tuesday! I am spending the rest of mine trying to get ahead for the weeks ahead. I am flying down to Florida on Friday and have a lot to finish before my vacation begins. See ya tomorrow!
Questions of the Day
• Have you ever been to an outside MLB or NFL game when it is raining? Does it bother you, or is that something you can ignore?
• What is your favorite MLB team?
April 29, 2013
While training and dancing professionally, I learned early on that protein “to go” is a beautiful thing. Often running from one job to workout to another, I needed something to fuel my body, and I needed it fast.
Back in my server days, protein bars, shakes and powders were the only way I could get through a day’s shift when the busyness of the restaurant only allowed a few minutes to re-fuel. In fact, a small group of us shared powders, mixes, yogurts, and bars, and took turns covering each others sections when one of us needed “Protein Time!”
I have about three to five bars circulating in my gym/dance bag at all times, and it is not out of the ordinary for me to eat more than one a day. After any kind of strength training workout, I always grab something loaded with protein directly after to help my muscles recover.
(I guess you could say protein and I have had quite the relationship.)
When I got selected to review a few products by Designer Whey, I had no idea they were going to spoil me with a huge box of goodies. I have seen the brand pop up all over the Internet, but had yet to try any of their products. To say I was excited to get started and dig in just would not do my feelings justice. I was pumped!
*Disclaimer: I was provided with these products by Designer Whey, free of charge, through my ambassadorship with FitFluential. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!
So how did their products stack up? Lets start with the most talked about.
Their specially formulated protein powders come in a variety of different flavors, and my eyes got huge when I read the flavors I was about to experiment with… White Chocolate and French Vanilla. (Yum!)
Off hand, I can list three simple ways to use protein powder:
Their website lists easy recipes with great ideas on how to use their powder flavors. After a quick browse, I felt inspired to use the White Chocolate to create my own mini muffins.
I created a few different smoothies using both flavors throughout the week. Being in a hurry for most, I only stopped to document one of them. This Sweet + Simple Green Smoothie uses the same protein flavor, but I can assure that both the White Chocolate and French Vanilla are fantastic.
I had a smidge of favoritism for the White Chocolate, though, and below is what I think to be a personal best green smoothie.
So simple, yet so sweet. Overall, I am diggin’ the looks of all of their flavors, and would love to get my hands on some more.
Powder = Win!
Protein bars and I go wayyyy back. Like I mentioned above, you can always find me carrying one (or five) around at any given time!
Perfect for a healthy snack on-the-go, I like how these whey protein bars are 170 calories or less. With only 10g of protein, however, they come up a little short when compared to some of my other preferred protein bars.
When it comes to flavor, all three of these were one hundred percent satisfying for my ever growing sweet tooth. If I had to choose a favorite, it would be the Chocolate Caramel Crunch.
I was fond of the protein shake flavors, which says a lot coming from me. I am a bit of a protein shake snob, and do not like the majority of them out there.
I never buy packaged shakes, and on the rare occasion that I drink them, it has to be extremely cold, over, or even blended with ice.
Most shakes are strong in their flavor and can taste a bit chalky. I found these shakes to have a lighter taste, maybe even like they were watered down a little. It may sound weird, but I like that.
I also appreciated the 18g of protein, which is perfect to drink up before or after a workout!
The last product I tried is different than anything I have seen before. Although I am not a supporter of artificial sweeteners, at times I have grabbed anything that can flavor my water when I am sick of drinking it.
Admittedly, I rarely drink regular water anymore, unless my body tells me to. When I realized these were fruity drink mixes filled with protein, I became immediately intrigued. Tropical, summery flavors are just not what I think of when looking to add protein to my drinks.
I went from skeptical to pleasantly surprised after my first bottle of the Lemonade flavor. It actually tasted like lemonade. I was used to this taste from a drink mix, but never expected to find one with an added bonus of protein to it. Score!
Mixed berry was probably my favorite, with tropical orange being my least. All Protein 2 Go flavors, however, were very refreshing and came with me to drink in and out of the gym.
As a whole, I am very impressed with this brand. Whey is a lean protein, which is why I have always preferred to use it as my form of protein powder. This is the first time I have knowingly tried whey protein outside of powder, and I enjoyed the lighter taste.
Upon opening my box, I was hoping to fall for every product, so I could portray a genuine excitement for sharing their products.
At the moment, I have a few products left, and will continue to use them even though I am done writing about it. That is a true test of whether I care for the products sent to me, and I am a fan across-the-board.
If you are interested in trying out a few staple Designer Whey products, they offer a Starter Kit for just around $20! Sounds like a good investment to me.
April 26, 2013
Who would have guessed that one day I would live in a city with a great history and love for sports? Only a handful of cities can even go by the name Hockeytown, and Detroit is one of the biggest!
As you all know, Scott and I took a big move up to Michigan just about six months ago. As the months pass by, there are more and more things I am beginning to love about Detroit (which is nice to counteract the ridiculously long and drawn out winter this year).
Reason number one is the sports!
Growing up in Orlando, I had the option to follow two major sports in the area: the NBA (Orlando Magic) and NHL (Orlando Solar Bears… for about five seasons). When looking at the city from the outside, Orlando would never be considered a “sports” town, but instead a town known for entertainment with Disney, Universal, and Sea World parks just around the corners.
Detroit, on the other hand, is filled with professional teams and fanatics.
With the Lions, Tigers, and Red Wings all located downtown, it seems like there is always a game to catch at almost any time of year. From late October through mid-April, you can throw the Pistons in there too, if you travel over to Auburn Hills.
I think it is safe to say this city takes an active part in the sports world!
Scott and I were excited to attend our very first Red Wings hockey game Wednesday night. With plenty of time to find parking, grab tickets, and explore the arena before game time, we walked up to the Joe Louis Arena with about an hour to spare.
I am really glad we did, because it gave me a chance to learn a little more about the team. For starters, there are a number famous hockey legends who got their start right here with the Red Wings.
Gordie “Mr. Hockey” Howe is one of them, and is known as one of the greatest hockey players of all time!
I guess that is why there is an entire entrance named after him. Pretty cool!
The second thing I noticed were two ginormous hovering purple octopi.
Although the team does not have an official mascot, an octopus named Al is the closest thing. Throwing octopi onto the ice during important Red Wings games started all the way back in 1952, and you can read about the Legend of the Octopus right on the team’s website.
When I first heard the story, I thought someone was playing a joke on me because I am known to be a tad gullible. This, my friends, is a true story!
After a lap around the arena, we went to indulge in some classic Detroit concessions.
(Vegetarians: shield your eyes.)
This was my first experience with a Coney Island hot dog, and Scott convinced me I needed to try at least one in my life… so I did. It was okay. I am a huge chili fan, but I have never really been into hot dogs. Scott, however, is borderline obsessed so I ordered one mostly to impress him.
Alongside the coney, I ordered what is starting to become a Michigan sports event tradition: Tim Horton’s coffee.
Speaking of famous hockey players, Tim (inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame) is one of the ultimate legends. Before moving up here, I had not heard of him before. (<- I know, bad hockey fan.) Although he passed during a car accident at the age of forty-four, his legend lives on through the game and through his chain of restaurants.
On the way to our seats, I found one more hockey player who made me want to stop for a photo: Henrik Zetterberg, or <insert female hockey fan>’s “husband.”
He is certainly a favorite of the ladies!
We made it to our seats with about twenty minutes to go, and I was shocked that we seemed to be the only ones around our section.
Right around game time, those seats quickly filled and the place was packed with 20,000 fans!
I have been to a few NHL games before, but this was the first time I actually cared to pay attention to what was going on in the game. I read up on some of the players and asked questions to learn some basic hockey rules from Scott.
He tried hard to convince me that the three twenty-minute periods played during the game are called “poots”. I may be gullible, but that is something I did not fall for. No sir!
The game was so fun! The crowd got really into it, and it was the first time I heard people answer chants with a simple “Let’s-Go-Red-Wings!” with one fan saying it one time.
This team and arena felt very traditional compared to other ones I have been to, which is kind of cool to see. The lights didn’t go out, the music wasn’t all that loud, and the fans there were there to see hockey.
Throughout the entire game, both Scott and I marveled over the number of flags hanging. Who even wants to count?
Then, what I had secretly hoped for happened during the second period.
Out of nowhere, an octopus appeared on the ice during a time out. The crowd instantly cheered and the place went nuts! The superfan culprit ended up getting escorted out, but I am guessing by him raising his hands and dancing all the way out that he would say it was worth it. The legend lives!
poots periods, the Wings got a win, and the crowd exploded. It was so fun! You can tell this city loves their team and has a lot of die hard fans behind it.
I am usually up to going to any sports game, but it is very rare where I admit to actually having fun. A great time we had, and I would like to personally introduce you to Detroit’s newest Red Wings fans!
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are coming up and we are hoping to snag a pair of tickets to see the Wings play again. I bet those games get even crazier.
Only a few hours away from weekend, I am excited to spend it home tomorrow and then at a Detroit Tiger’s game on Sunday. Can’t wait to see another batch of Detroit sports fans go crazy!
Questions of the Day
• What is your favorite professional sports league and team? (NHL/NBA/NFL/MLB)
• Do you remember the first time you really enjoyed yourself at a game? Or are sports just not your thing?
April 25, 2013
Birthdays are funny. Today happens to be mine, but it feels just like any other day… minus the extremely sweet calls, texts and messages from my family and friends. (Thanks guys!)
With Scott at work, I am taking the day to catch up on some tasks I have been meaning to do, and bake something yummy is one of those things on my list! It been ages since I have even posted a recipe on the blog, so today is the day, friends.
I am well aware that we have moved into spring, but the fact that the temperature outside is still in the forties here makes it completely acceptable for me to include pumpkin in today’s recipe. So I am.
I have been testing out a few different flavors of Designer Whey protein for a little over a week now, and nothing I have created has disappointed me thus far.
Today, I pulled the White Chocolate flavor and used it as my inspiration to combine a few of my favorite ingredients together: chocolate, oats and pumpkin.
At first I wasn’t sure the white chocolate flavor would mix well with pumpkin. Then I remembered how much I swoon over the combination of regular chocolate and pumpkin. Has anyone really ever said no to double chocolate?
Lucky for me (and you!) the end result was delicious. Bite sized muffins are the perfect power breakfast to grab in the morning or even later on for a healthy snack on-the-go!
1 1/2 cup oats
4 scoops White Chocolate Designer Whey protein powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 egg whites (3/4 cup egg white liquid)
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup low-fat (or skim) milk
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
*Regular whey or chocolate protein could also be a great substitute.
prep time: 10 minutes
cook time: 15-20 minutes
servings: about 30 mini muffins
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray, or line with mini cupcake liners.
2. Mix the dry ingredients: oats, brown sugar, whey protein, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients: egg whites, pumpkin, milk.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, then slowly mix in chocolate chips.
5. Pour into muffin tins and bake for 15-20 minutes.
*If using a regular muffin sized tin, bake for 25-30 minutes.
Mix the dry ingredients (minus the chocolate chips) in a large mixing bowl, then wet ingredients in a separate one.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients bowl.
Slowly add in chocolate chips.
Mix well, then pour into muffin tins.
If using a mini muffin tin, bake for 15-20 minutes.
If using a regular muffin tin, bake for 25-30 minutes.
Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy!
I would be lying if I said I haven’t had more than my fair share of these guys today. I also learned that if you pop a few in the microwave, they taste hot and fresh from the oven again.
Apparently, my thought of making them mini muffins has had the opposite effect. Mini = more. Good thing it is my birthday! No judgements allowed…
Now off to get some things done around the house before dinner.
Have a great rest of your Thursday!
*Dislcaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this post or recipe. Designer Whey White Chocolate Protein was provided to me, free of charge, from Designer Whey through my ambassadorship with FitFluential.