Posts Tagged ‘Healthy Eating’
April 12, 2014
Hello, hello! This weekend is already flying by, and I feel like I have so much to share already that I decided to pop in early with some photos and blurbs.
In about an hour, I am driving over to Royal Oak for a hair appointment and then have plans to attend the Miley Cyrus concert tonight with Scott and a handful of friends. He scored tickets through work, so we couldn’t turn them down. It should be interesting, that’s for sure!
Okay… weekend highlights part one, here we go.
Friday Me Date
Thank you to everyone who came over and linked up in yesterday’s Friday Favorites! You all make me smile. And, just so you know, the link up stays open for six days so it’s never to late to play along!
Yesterday morning started early with an appointment to get the oil changed in Scott’s car. It was long overdue, so I volunteered for the job while Scott went into the office.
Somehow, I found a Belle Tire right next door to a Barnes & Noble and my waiting time went by in a flash! I really need to get out of the house and make my “office” more portable more often.
By 10 a.m., I had a Jeep for the day and made the most of it by running some errands. I made it home by lunch time and spent the day spring cleaning. The weather is perfect outside right now in the sixties, which always translates to me turning off the heat and opening the windows. For some reason, that also then makes me want to clean.
Anyways, the day also flew by and I spent the remainder of my day and night with me, myself, and I.
I got my eyebrows threaded (have you ever heard of that? I love it!), went to the gym, and enjoyed some quality time with the fur kids.
(Expect a new cardio workout up early next week!)
I also might have been dressed obnoxiously bright. It’s fine.
Since Scott was driving across the state for a work event, I was left on my own for dinner. To me, this means I can stop by the cafe on the way out and gets me out of cooking. Woot!
I ordered a fruit and protein smoothie to start, and found an intriguing shelf of pre-made healthy dinners on my way over to pay. Check it out!
I enjoyed my Almond Delight smoothie on the drive home and couldn’t wait to heat the rest up.
Almond milk, strawberries, mango, VegaMax protein, and Dynamic Greens.
It really was the perfect meal for one, and I will definitely invest in more of them on nights where I don’t feel like doing the whole dinner thing.
After a shower, I spent the rest of my night organizing my costumes for our uniform return tomorrow.
It is our very last home game of the season and I can’t believe it is already here! I’ll be sure to share all about it next week.
The Perfect Saturday Morning
Even though Scott didn’t get home until after midnight, he was a trooper and woke up at 7 a.m. with me for a group run at our church.
I am so proud to be representing such a great cause and will be back with more details on that very soon!
As a large group, we kicked off our first training weekend with 3.2 miles. It felt great to be surrounded by such a positive environment and people, and am really looking forward to spending my next six months of Saturdays training with Team Kensington.
Hungry, Alex (above), her boyfriend Alex (<- hilarious right?), Scott and I thought brunch and coffee sounded amazing and headed over to Madison Heights to an adorable mom & pop type of joint called The Breakfast Club.
Just a few days after Scott and I moved up here, we found this restaurant and always rave about it to friends. Everything I have tried is original and delicious… like this cronut, for instance!
(Jelly filled donut + croissant = cronut. Incredible!)
As we sat down, I joked that even though they have a variety of things I want to try, I just can’t stray away from my go-to: Penny’s Favorite omelet.
(Egg whites, spinach, feta, black olives, avocado, and pico de gallo with tomato slices.)
As expected, it tasted great and I almost forgot about the best part of breakfast here. Chocolate covered strawberries with the check!
Feeling more than satisfied, Scott and I were on our way home when we passed a market we had been wanting to visit for quite some time.
Nino Salvaggio Internatinal Marketplace is for sure one of my new favorite things in Michigan. Not only is the produce fresh, but the displays inside are absolutely beautiful.
Right away, Scott spotted the dragon fruit, so we had to get one, regardless of the shockingly high price tag. Just this once.
I felt like a weirdo taking pictures of a marketplace, but I just couldn’t help it. Even the beans and vegetable section made me want to buy everything!
And then there was the ginormous gourmet bakery…
Basically, I left wanting one of everything and am excited to revisit again soon. Hopefully running outside and a stop here will become our little Saturday ritual!
Somehow, I got my basket down to the essentials and snapped one more photo before leaving.
I have a feeling that was Mr. Salvaggio’s orignal vehicle back in the day. Too cool!
All right. I must get out of here before I am late for the rest of our weekend festivities. I hope you have had a great start to yours!
April 8, 2014
Good Morning! Today, I was up early enough to see the sunrise and it was kind of nice. Actually, it was really nice.
The reason wasn’t all that great… (getting our kitties to the vets for a dental cleaning), but regardless, it just reminded me that I need to make a point to enjoy the sight more often.
This morning, I also awoke sore after a great workout last night. Scott and I had plans for a nighttime gym date, which actually turned into a productive evening of grocery shopping and calling it a night early for once. Hopefully, this was just a preview of what the off-season will be like!
Late Night Gym Date
You know what is extra sad? Mostly due to our recent car situation, I haven’t been to the gym in quite some time and have relied on running outside and at-home workouts to stay in shape.
I left my membership card in the locker room on my last trip to the gym, and when I went to go ask for it, the date printed on it was 3/23. Wow. I couldn’t believe it had been that long since I got in a good gym workout.
Knowing this, I wanted to jump right back into it and hopped on the treadmill without any plans of a structured workout. I just wanted to run.
Well, what do you know… after a warm up, I created a goal of 5 miles and wanted to be able to share it with you guys. My hopes in this is to show you that longer distances can be attainable when you least expect them.
Fly Through 5 Miles Treadmill Workout
Before you get intimidated, don’t. If you have no interest in ever running past a mile, then this workout is probably not for you. If what is holding you back is that you think you won’t ever run past a mile, however, then maybe you could give one a go.
But please, please, only try for five if you have done at least three or four in the past. Here’s my go-to 5K Treadmill workout to help get you started!
As always, I recommend only selecting speeds (m.p.h.) that work best for you, which may be lower than mine.
(Although I encourage you to try the workouts I post, please note that they may not be right speeds or exercises for you. Also, please note my full disclaimer in the right sidebar!)
Since it had been a while since I have run hard on a treadmill, I did have to take a few rest moments where I split my legs on the sides and took some deep breaths, as well as a sip of water.
I honestly could have gone for another mile, but called it quits to knock out a quick series of dumbbell exercises instead. Over at the free weights station, I completed the following:
• 20 bicep curls (12.5 lbs) x 2
• 20 walking lunges with weights (15 lbs) x 2
• 12 dumbbell military press combo (12.5 lbs)
• 20 dumbbell side bends (20 lbs) x 2
• 20 chair leg raises x 2
Before heading downstairs, I knew I wanted to get in a good stretch and finally tried out the stretching bars I have been glancing at over the past year. Have you ever seen this contraption before?
Scott mentioned he used to stretch on something similar as part of his rehab after his shoulder surgery a few years ago.
It might look a bit intimidating, but the instructional pictures help guide you into exactly what to do. If you haven’t tried one out and have one accessible, I highly recommend it!
Both leaving hungry, we decided to grab dinner in the cafe that included two protein smoothies and a whole wheat chicken quesadilla to split.
(Guess who’s smoothie was green?)
We had to have something in our bellies before doing some damage at the grocery store…
I don’t usually prefer to workout at night, but I have to admit that after our trip to the gym, the grocery store, and a nice hot bath, I crawled into bed feeling quite content. I really enjoyed are late night gym sesh. Better late than never!
All right. It’s officially time to get the day started. I’m not sure what’s on today’s workout agenda, but I’ll be sure to share anything interesting.
Hope you have a great start to your Tuesday!
April 7, 2014
Hi everyone! I hope your week has gotten off to a great start. Mine kicked off a little later than normal, and you probably just now read my “morning” post… if at all. Whoops.
Anywho, this afternoon I have something pretty simple I have been wanting to share with you for a while now, and it has everything to do with eating your greens. Any spinach fans out there?
I am sure a lot of you have heard the eat your spinach speech from many people throughout your life, and I must share that I used to be one of those who just brushed the concept off.
I mean, what if I don’t yearn to have those big Popeye arms?
You probably already know this, but the leafy green has an extremely high nutritional value and is very rich in antioxidants. Spinach is also a great source of iron and calcium, and the best way you can eat it is steamed or quickly boiled.
Keeping this in mind, I have put in an effort to get on board with it and throw it into my meals as much as I can. And you know what? Not only have I learned to tolerate it, I actually love and crave it.
Easy Ways to Eat (and love!) Spinach
(Not so new) Newsflash! You can make almost any meal effortlessly “better for you” with the addition of vegetables.
My experimenting started with throwing anything into scrambled eggs and smoothies, and over time I have come to learn that there are several ways to incorporate more greens into every day quick, impromptu meals.
Here are my favorites!
• egg scrambles + omelets
Lets begin with how my taste buds starting appreciating the green: on the stove top. Believe it or not, spinach actually tastes great in eggs.
If you are skeptical, start small by adding a tiny handful of it and mixing it with tomatoes and feta cheese. Or, you could always go Greek and add in some red peppers, onions and olives!
These days, I am prone to throw anything into my egg scramble, but spinach is almost guaranteed ingredient.
Also, don’t forget that you can order it the same way out!
• green smoothies
Three cheers for green smoothies!
I have to admit that I too was skeptical of adding the leafy green into my fruit smoothies. It just doesn’t seem to make sense, right?
Take it from me… it does, and is probably one of the easiest, less noticeable ways to start introducing spinach into your diet.
• power bowls
When I have no idea or motivation to create anything elaborate for lunch or dinner, I turn to power bowls. Basically, I throw a mixture of healthy carbs, veggies, and protein in a bowl with a little bit of cheese and hope it all tastes good together.
I love turning to containers of pre-cubed sweet potatoes or butternut squash to start with and steam those separately. Often times, I will also add quinoa or brown rice, and vegetables (which I also cook all separately).
I prefer to use ground turkey or chicken sausage, but if I am not feeling the addition of meat or tofu, I will substitute a half a can of black beans and/or chick peas instead.
The possibilities really are endless!
• monster-mix salads
Okay, this is an obvious one. But I wanted to include it for all of those lettuce, romaine and spring mix only eaters out there.
If you aren’t keen on using spinach as your base, try making a mix of it instead. While stocking up in the produce department, I always buy a variety in greens for a base. Sometimes I branch out with a container of power greens or kale, but most of the time I buy spring mix, romaine, and baby spinach all washed and ready to go.
Have you ever noticed the combos already put together for you?
Most of the time, I still wash the pre-washed greens, but that’s probably just because I am being dramatic. I promise that putting together monster salads really can be easy!
Similar to the power bowls, simply choose the veggies, protein, healthy carbs (if desired), and cheese that make sense together and you’re good to go.
(i.e., combine anything fresh and ready at your disposal.)
• wraps and sandwiches
Spinach tastes refreshing and great in wraps!
All of these pictures are self explanatory… but hey, there was also a spinach flavored tortilla thrown in there as well. (An added bonus, in case you missed it.)
• pasta, sauce and soups
Disclaimer to anyone we invite over for dinner: I try to add anything to sauces without people noticing… especially spinach. A little extra greens never hurt anyone, right?
Since Scott loves spaghetti and pasta, I have learned different ways to enjoy it without it having to be labeled a “cheat” meal. The easiest move is to use spinach or veggie noodles.
(Recipe: Healthy, Easy Chili Over Noodles.)
On top of that, I like to get creative with my sauce and throw in fresh mushrooms, peppers, and spinach if we have it on hand.
Marinara sauce with fresh spinach, tomatoes, and ground turkey on top of veggie noodles with Parmesan cheese.
If I am just not into cooking whatsoever, I will heat up a can of soup and it isn’t uncommon for me to throw a little fresh spinach in there as well.
Is that weird?
Maybe it is, but it tastes great to me!
On top of these easy ways to get you to eat spinach, they are also useful tips on how to use it once you buy it. I have to admit that I will often buy more than I need and instead of throwing it away when I think it might be turning, I throw it into a plastic bag and freeze it!
I will use this fresh frozen spinach for green smoothies, or even as an addition to sauces and soups just like I mentioned above. In fact, after scoping out the freezer food I have available, I sometimes get the inspiration to eat healthier and proceed to make something using it.
So you see? Spinach isn’t all that bad. I hope this post has helped inspire you to give it a try if you aren’t yet a fan!
Questions of the Day
• Do you eat spinach? If so, do you really enjoy it?
• What is your favorite way to cook, eat, or drink it?
April 4, 2014
Good morning friends! I, for one, am extremely excited that today is Friday. Anyone else?
Scott and I both have a Pistons event this afternoon, then have plans to enjoy the weekend. The next to last home game is Saturday, but other than that, the rest of the weekend looks pretty free.
I am really looking forward to finally getting to catch up around the house and lay low a little. Is that lame? Ha. Maybe so, but I’m not embarrassed about it one teeny tiny bit.
Anyways, today I have a brand new batch of things I have been loving this week. Below you will find this week’s compilation of Friday Favorites, and I invite you all to join in on the fun by sharing yours in the comments section and even linking up!
Friday Favorites #31: Week of 4/4
If you have never used the company before, I highly recommend it!
The site offers more than shoes and includes free shipping on everything. If there is something you need to return (including gifts without a receipt), you can make an exchange withing 365 days by calling or even chatting with a consultant online. They will put in the new order by the end of the conversation and send you a pre-paid UPS or USPS label and just ask you to mail back the shoes within 7-14 business days to avoid being charged.
While I originally wanted a tan pair to go with anything, I found this charcoal and pink combo and thought they would be just as versatile!
I received them within two days of making an exchange (<- impressive!) and broke them in on my recent trip to Florida.
I absolutely love them, and have been wearing them with no show PED socks for extra comfort.
My one set back, however, happened on the plane when I somehow managed to spill a drop of juice on them. Thanks to my grandmother, I learned that the best way to get stains out of Sperrys is to dip a rag into white vinegar and gently rub the surface of where the stain is.
Be careful not to rub too hard, as you don’t want to strip the material of it’s color. But, what you see on the front of the shoe pictured are the only remains of dark purple juice drips. Not bad!
• St. Augustine
Every time I make my way south, I want to immediately plan another trip down. There’s just something to say about blue skies, sunshine and green palm trees in March!
I have been to St. Augustine a handful of times, and became quickly reminded of how cool and beautiful the city is on this last trip. The downtown area is full of history, bed and breakfasts, and unique restaurants.
For my 25th birthday, Scott took me up for the weekend (it is about two hours north of Orlando), and we had the best time. We stayed at the Augustin Inn in the Historic District and loved the experience of staying in a family run B&B.
With plenty to do within walking distance, we kept busy visiting the fort, the beach, the famous Fountain of Youth, and even took a nighttime walking ghost tour. Since I never ended up blogging about this trip, I feel like we need to revisit.
Going solo last weekend makes me want to do nothing more but escape back down with my groom and share more stories with you!
• Katie + John’s wedding video
With permission of course, I am sharing the video John ever so lovingly made for his new bride, Katie, as a surprise!
In case you missed it, I posted all about their St. Augustine wedding yesterday.
Right after the speeches, John thanked the guests for coming and sat his bride front and center for a video telling their story. Weeks before the big day, he emailed a group of friends and family and asked us to all film a special segment for the finale to “Happy”.
And just so you know, Scott and I both may or may not have made a couple of cameos at the end!
(In case it isn’t configuring correctly, you can also watch the video here.)
Any brides out there looking for a similar video to show at their shower or wedding? John is available for hire!
• Victoria’s Secret free tote
I recently received a coupon in the mail for a free VS tote with a $75 in store purchase. Since I didn’t really need anything from the store, I didn’t give it a second glance until I saw my friend Alex with the tote at her house the next day. It was so much cuter in person!
Needless to say, I still didn’t need anything from the store, but am very grateful that Alex did. I love when freebies turn out to be cute and practical. (Thanks girl!)
Are any of you currently sporting the same bag?
• Amy’s Gluten Free Pizza
I have been seeing these pizzas in the freezer section for months now and finally bought myself one to try, per suggestion from you guys.
Most of you already know I am an avid Amy’s fan, and this product just made me love the organic, Non-GMO brand even more.
The Margherita flavor was delicious. Anddd gluten free. Score!
• wax lined candle
Scott and I received this beautiful (and amazing smelling!) candle for Christmas from our dear friend, Nichole.
It wasn’t until we finally burned it a few weeks ago that we noticed that the inside is lined with wax. The brand is called Esque candles, and both Scott and I want to purchase more. This one is the Terra Cotta, and you can find them online or at Target!
• sparkly soul headband
I have admired the look of these sparkly no-slip headbands and hope to grow my collection in the very near future.
I have especially been loving this one for dance practice and running, and would love to try a thick one as well!
All right. That’s enough about my week. Now it’s time to hear about some of your #FFavorites!
Have a very Happy Friday!