Friday, January 3, 2014

Back Again...New Year, New Me!

Has it been forever since I wrote a blog post or what? The last couple months were busier than I could even manage and I just had little to no free time on my hands. I started a new job...well two which I am very excited about and just got caught in the whirl wind of the holiday season. Thankfully, I stuck to my healthy habits pretty well. Now don't get me wrong I had a Christmas cookie or two and enjoyed family dinners but I didn't turn those splurges into anything more than one meal or one cookie.

I also stayed on track with my workouts throughout the month as well. I have been kind of all over the place with my workouts but I am staying active no matter what. I try to at least have 5 days with cardio and I strength train 3 days.

This year I am all about bettering myself. Usually my resolution is to lose weight but since I am already doing that I decided to make more specific resolutions.

Resolutions 2014

Nutrition Wishes: 
·         Eat slower! 
·         Better portion control. Use my food scale more and measure my foods better.
·         Drink more water.
·         Eat less processed crap. Even though it’s “fat free,” doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
·         Cook at home more and meal prep weekly

5 Kitchen Wishes:
·         Keep less junk food in the house.
·         Clean out old spices and buy fresh.
·         Use more fresh herbs in my cooking.
·         Recycle more.
·         Switch over to glass BPA free storage containers.

5 Fitness Wishes:
·         Try new things…classes, challenges…whatever!
·         Stretch everyday.
·         Take rest days with stride and learn to not feel bad about letting my body rest.
·         Do more workouts with my boyfriend.
·         Step out of my cardio comfort zone. Try cycling or start swimming!

5 Life Wishes:
·         Stop putting off things till the last minute. Make to-do lists and actually do them.
·         Plan a vacation with Zach.
·         Continue to chase my MUA dream.
·         Be more financially aware. Record what I spend and cut out unnecessary splurges.

·         Take more time to relax even if it’s just meditating 5 minutes a day. Stop worrying so much!

I I can't wait to kick my Fitness up a notch. I am still doing Dietbet's though I keep saying "this one will be the last one." I just like money too much haha. I was mostly sucked in this month because two of my favorite fitness bloggers were hosting them. The Blogilates challenge is going to be fun though because she has a lot of interactive stuff on her blog that goes along with the challenge like workouts and meal plans. She also added extra bonus incentives. 

December In Pictures

 Probably one of my favorite items that I got for Christmas was my Polar FT40 watch. Check it out here! I have wanted one for quite a while so I knew exactly what to ask for from Santa. I did plenty of research before deciding on the FT40. It was reasonably priced and had the best rating and reviews. It also had all the functions I wanted without being too complicated. I have been using it all week and I am in LOVE. Way more accurate than the gym machines and it also pushes me to stay in my targeted heart rate zone when I workout.
 Been all about those healthy meals you know. I especially was really into salad and soups this month. Cold chilly weather brings out the soup lover in me. I made quite a few healthy soups myself but on this particular day I was eating the Progresso Light Vegetable Soup. Word to the wise: Do not get this soup. It was so bland I thought I was eating veggies in water.
 I go through phases with breakfasts. Eating breakfast at all for me in a huge feat because when I first started my journey I hated breakfast. I almost never ate it. Now I am learning to love it and look forward to breakfast in the morning. Like I said I go through phases throughout the month. One week all I eat is cereal, then I am all about carbs like English muffins or toast, and then I get on a huge egg kick. This month for almost the whole month I was in the egg zone. Egg scrambles were my food of choice and I made them almost everyday but I made different versions. The one above was peppers, onions, turkey ham, and hot sauce!!! Oh ya hot sauce has been a recent favorite of mine too. I am eating it on a lot of things I never did before.
 I have been doing great with incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables into my diet. I have been trying to use what is in season at the time but my counters are usually sprawled with fresh produce.
 I have started to make meal prepping a priority especially since I now have a lunch everyday for work in a place that has lots of unhealthy options close by (Pizza, Chinese, Arby's, Bakery's) so packing ahead has been crucial for staying on track. I have found that I love making foil packets of things. This being Salmon above. I just put the salmon in the foil with olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic, parsley, and pepper and baked it. It was amazing and lasted me three days worth of lunches.
 A yummy salmon pasta I whipped up quick one night. This photo does not do it justice but it was to die for. Yolk free egg noodles, Salmon (cooked the same way as above), Italian seasoned diced tomatoes, and feta cheese. So easy and soooo yummy!
 Like I said I have been all about eggs and fresh produce lately. I just thought it was cute how my breakfast looked like it was smiling.
 I had an amazing Christmas with my family. Santa was good to everyone and I enjoyed every minute of being with my loved ones.
 Another gem I got for Christmas. I have only tried this once but man is it a good fat burner. It is going to take some time for me to get used to the routines but so far it's pretty great. Plus the instructor is so motivational and full of energy.
My sibling and myself with my grandmother. I just love this picture. Apparently black was our color this year. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Never ending Sea Of Fitness Information and Recent Food and Fitness!

Today I am feeling overwhelmed. Do you ever have days when you think "will I ever get this right?" That is how I feel right now. Just when I think I am on track with my eating and my workouts something comes along and messes it all up. For me it was winning a giveaway on Instagram! I know you are probably thinking "How is that bad?" and it isn't all bad. I would say this scenario is bittersweet! You see I am a huge Instagram junkie in fact I follow over 100 people (Insert gasp here!) but I just find that it is motivating for me. I know right now there is a lot of argument over whether seeing half naked girls flexing is fat shaming or not but I don't think it is. For me it is inspiring and uplifting. Now I know everyone is built differently and I will never look just like the woman I am about to talk about but it still makes me want to get up and move, get up and lift something! ha...Anyway, I won a giveaway from a woman on Instagram who's body is RIDICULOUS (in a good way)! She goes by marysfitbody on Instagram and she is one fit mothatrucker! I was so excited to win a 90 day diet/fitness regimen and coaching package from her, I can't even tell you. She set me up with my own program and went over everything I needed to know. Well it wasn't until today that I realized that my method I had been doing was totally opposite...le sigh!

It is never a bad thing to be active and I was doing myself good by just getting up and getting moving but now I have to kind of start over and retrain myself. I never knew that I should lift before my cardio, I always did it the opposite. I am extremely grateful for being able to work with her it's just stressful getting it all down right now!

Rant Over!

Recent Eats:

Zach and I have been on a roll with learning how to make healthier versions of meals we really like that are not very good for you. Monday he said he really wanted chicken pot pie so we set off to find a healthier version. I ended up deciding on this recipe from Cooking Light. I didn't follow it exactly but it was pretty close. 
 Do you like the cute little baking cups that I found this week at TJ Maxx for $10?
 Mmmm yummy veggie, chicken, and gravy filled heaven. So this was before I had to dump the filling into a pan and start all over. Zach pointed out to me that the dough should be inside the cup. Apparently I forgot that Chicken Pot Pie was a PIE!
 Ah-ha that's better!

 I decided to cook in my gym clothes since I had just gotten home from the gym! No I am not the type of person that matches everything together at the gym. I am going to sweat and throw it in the laundry so I don't care what I look like as long as it is comfortable. Notice the flour on my lady parts?
 So this is the end product. Zach and I decided to make our own and he totally won! His looks like a real pie and mine looks like someone threw up a pie ha! They both tasted good though.

 I have really been craving a good sandwich lately. After a nice hike with a friend we decided to make turkey clubs with turkey bacon. Here is our nice fresh toppings! Look at that beautiful avocado.

 I have really been digging smoothies for breakfast this week and as a post workout refuel. This particular morning was a smoothie with plain greek yogurt, banana, strawberries, vanilla unsweetened almond milk, and  chia seeds.
 I don't know why I have never thought about putting avocado in my tuna before but man am I glad I decided too because it is delicious. The other day I wanted a tuna sandwich but I wanted to find a way to jazz it up so that I wouldn't be so sad about nixing the mayonnaise in it. I mean before I started eating better tuna fish sandwiches with globs of mayo were a staple in my diet. I concocted this combo on a whim. Tuna, plain greek yogurt, avocado, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. It was pretty awesome. Next time I might add some pickles or celery for a little crunch.
 Mmmm tuna salad!
 I also have been really into putting bananas in my cereal lately. I have cut down on eating cereal in the morning and have tried to pick breakfast with more protein, less sugar, and better complex carbs but every now and then I just want cereal....with bananas. Like when I was a kid. Some of my more recent breakfasts include (Egg whites with turkey ham, tomato, and spinach! Steel cut oats with Truvia and fresh strawberries or organic pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice! Whole grain toast with almond butter and chocolate almond milk!)...see what I mean.
 The was the pre-workout fuel I needed earlier this week. Lately my sleep schedule has been all off due to having some time off work and some other stresses in life. By the time I get to the gym I am pretty exhausted but I found eating a snack an hour before or so really helps. I only eat one piece before the gym the picture above was actually my breakfast one morning. Anyway, It's whole grain toast, banana, Planters Nutrition Peanut Butter with Granola, and chia seeds.
 A month or so I was having a busy day and forgot my lunch so I decided to pop in to Tops to grab something quick for lunch. I ended up deciding on these chicken spring rolls which looked fresh and delicious...they were! Well since that day I have been on the lookout for them again but they are always out of them. The other night I popped in after the gym and they were in stock but they were $6 for 4 spring rolls which I thought was a little crazy. That is when I got this idea to MAKE MY OWN! Crazy concept I know :)! I couldn't find spring roll wraps so instead I decided to pick up some wonton papers and make a sort of healthy chicken wonton recipe! So the next night that is what I did.
 Wonton wrappers are actually a pretty smart alternative for pasta. This brand was only 150 calories for 8 wraps not to mention they have a good amount of protein, low sugar, and almost no fat. they also are only $3 for a lot of them.
 I tried to put as many veggies in there as I had on hand. I settled on green onions, celery, and carrots..
Part of the cooking process. So I cooked the chicken and shredded it. (I made a separate batch for Zach which were Buffalo chicken). I also shredded the carrots, chopped the celery, and chopped the onions. I then added them all back together in the pan with some olive oil and fresh chopped garlic. I let it saute a bit until the pan was sizzling. I then added ginger, onion powder, low sodium soy sauce, and some lime juice. I let it cook for another couple of minutes. I then removed it from heat. Set my wonton wrappers out along with a small bowl and pastry brush. I filled the wontons with the chicken filling, sealed them, and then put them in the pan to cook on each side till golden brown. Served em up with a bit of sweet Thai chili sauce and BAM! The end! They were pretty awesome. I really want to try other variations of wontons. In Zachary's I put shredded chicken, buffalo wing sauce, and the Skinny Cow Jalapeno Cheese.


I haven't been doing anything too exciting lately. A lot of cardio on the arc trainer at the gym. I devote a day to upper body using a mixture of body weight, free weight, and cable machine exercises. I also have a leg day which involves a lot of weighted squat variations, walking lunches, step ups, leg press, wall sits, and kettlebell swings...seriously I got crazy on leg day because it's my favorite. I also have a back and ab day! I did throw in a good hike this week though to switch things up! 

I have to admit I love the scenery up here in New York. Even though it is starting to get cold there are still such beautiful sights to be seen. This hiking spot is one of my favorites by far. I love that it 1)has a really steep uphill in the beginning with a lot of stairs. You really feel a workout on this hike and your legs get a lot of action. 2)There are some of the best natural rock formations and the erosion makes some awesome designs. 3)The last part is pretty flat and good for running. 4)Um look at the cool underwater rock circles that someone built.

Well I think that is all the ramblings I have for today! What are you guys eating this week? Anything new that you love?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Love With Food Box November 2013 Pictures and Review!

Happy dance, happy dance! I opened my mailbox the other day to find my little red box of joy waiting for me. It was my much anticipated Love With Food Box. If you are unfamiliar with what Love With Food is click here to see last months box and a description of what it's all about.

There are a so many things to love about this company. I could go on forever about them. This month's box was just as awesome as the last one. Since I have only gotten 2 boxes so far and really love both of them I can tell that this company and I are going to really like each other. The November box is AMAZING let's go through what came in the box.

This month's box was inspired by Chef Ryan Scott and was called Flavors of Fall. This month all the meals that Love With Food donates will be donated to Harvest from the Heart which donates Thanksgiving meals to the needy. I love the generosity that Love With Food has.
This box like last month's was packed full to the top. Just a quick glance inside and I could already tell I was going to love the contents. 
The first product was a pouch of tea from Mighty Leaf tea. It describes it as a balance of floral and citrus flavors with a touch of ginger and lemongrass. I have never tried this brand of tea but I LOVE tea especially this time of year so I can't wait to try it. I also love the cute little sachet that it comes in though I think I am going to be sad that I have to throw them out. They look like they are made of good materials. 
I then got a packet of Sweet Corn Crunch from Sensible Foods. I haven't tried these yet though I think that Zach is more excited about them than I am. 
I also got a little packet of shortbread cookies from the Dancing Deer Baking Co. The flavor intrigued me since Rosemary is not something you typically see in a cookie. It tends to be more of a savory seasoning. I won't lie I didn't love these. Now they weren't bad but they weren't out of this world either. I don't like Rosemary all that much and these really tasted like Rosemary. The cookie was nice though. Not too sweet with a nice crumbly texture. I would like to try other products from this company but probably not this flavor ever again. 
The next package was of gourmet popcorn from a Seattle based company called Kakaruza. The flavor is Tuxedo which is a caramel corn with millk and white chocolate. This package made it long enough for me to take a picture of it before I opened it. It was AMAZING!! Buttery, sweet, and creamy from the chocolate. It was so good. I am already wishing that the bag would magically refill itself but for my waistlines sake I am glad that it doesn't. 
I think I am going to give this one to my mother. It sounds delicious and I would love to devour it but she loves anything maple and I know this is probably right up her alley. This is a Maple Fudge from Laura Secord. It's a pretty decent size of fudge. 
Next we have an Almond, Apricot, and Yogurt bar from Eat Natural. I have yet to break into this but the ingredient list and nutritional content is pretty impressive. With an endless see of nutrition bars out there to chose from I like that this has the yogurt coating which kind of sets it apart from the others I have seen. 
Next is a bag of PopChips in Sweet Potato. I have seen PopChips a million times all over the place but I have never tried them. I am weird when it comes to textures of food sometimes. I don't like the texture of products that want to be potato chips. For instance I hate Pringles, Munchos, and Special K Cracker Chips. It isn't the flavor that bothers me but the texture I don't like. On the outside of the package that is what PopChips makes me think of. I am excited to get to try them and see if I was wrong about them. 

Next we have some Organic Dark Chocolate from Green & Black's. I already know that I love this stuff so this was exciting for me. I also love the cute little brown satchel it came in. I like to buy the Green and Black's bars and break of a piece and put it in my coffee in the morning. It's a great way to satisfy my sweet tooth and sweeten my coffee without a pound of sugar. 
The last thing I got the an Authentic Indian Spice Blend from Arora Creations. I just happened to have a package of Asparagus in the fridge when I got this and knew I was having a lunch date after the gym with a friend so I was pumped to use this. It was everything I anticipated it would be. It was a lovely Indian flavor and reminiscent of a Curry Masala. A little sweet but packed with wonderful flavor. I would love to add some chicken to this and place it over some rice. 
The last thing in the box was a collection of coupons for various things. 

Overall, I absolutely love this box. I think it is worth every penny I spent. I am eagerly awaiting my next box already. 

If you want to check out Love With Food or sign up click here

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Food and Fitness Journal November 13, 2013 And New Food Finds!! Thomas's English Muffins Review and Dole Dippers Review!!

Here I am again all bundled up with my fuzzy blanket and over sized sweatshirt. This will probably be my late night ritual from now until April when I thaw out. Today was my first time driving in the snow and all of the anxieties came back. I like looking at the snow and I really don't mind the cold but I can't stand driving in it. It makes me so stressed out. I am glad to sit down and relax for now.

Today was another successful day. I made it to the gym and at three healthy meals! Woo hoo. It's getting easier and easier day by day! I wake up feeling so much more energized and liberated. I am excited to get up and face the day and it is a great feeling.


Breakfast: Better Oats Mmm Muffins Oatmeal Cookie Oatmeal. Kahlua K Cup with Coffee Mate Eggnog Creamer.
 I love this brand of oatmeal a lot. There are so many varieties and I own about 5 different ones right now. One of my favorites in the raisin cookie one. It is the perfect mixture of sweet and hearty plus it has real raisins in it. What I like about Better Oats is that they add extra little things into the oatmeal so it is more than just oats. This flavor has flax but there is other ones that have Chia seeds, Quinoa, and real fruit chunks.

Lunch: Capicola sandwich with Hellman's light mayo, lettuce, and tomato on whole grain white bread.

Dinner: I made Zach and I a healthier version of his favorite meal. Chicken Parmesan!!! I dipped the chicken in almond milk and rolled it in a coating which was a mixture of whole wheat bread crumbs, italian seasoning, garlic powder, and pepper. Zach had ziti on the but I decided to make sauteed spinach for myself. I used garlic olive oil and onions. The meal was delicious and almost carb free.


Here are where some of my new favorite things come in. I spotted these Dole Dippers a couple weeks ago while I was at Walmart. I was going to buy them because they looked amazing but I already had the Artic Zero in my cart so I decided not too. I try not to buy more than one sweet/dessert thing as a time. Well these dippers have been daunting my mind ever since. I mean come on they are all of my favorite things in one...BANANA, CHOCOLATE, AND ALMONDS...Yummy! I had found a coupon for them so while grocery shopping tonight I picked them up. They are amazing....delicious!!! I ate two of them when they were frozen and they were great but when you let them thaw out a little bit they get even better. They are kind of gooey and melty and just so good. The dark chocolate gives you just the right amount of sweetness and the almonds give you a little crunch. It is like chunky monkey but not so bad for you. It is a great way to curb a sweet tooth. I think from now on though I am going to make them myself. With a couple bananas, dark chocolate chips, and chopped almonds you could do it fairly easily. I think that price wise it may be a little more expensive to make them yourself but that way you can cut out some of the extra unnecessary ingredients that the Dole ones contain. However, I know I won't always want to go through the trouble on making them so I will be buying these again!

Another wonderful thing that I have found recently are the new Limited Edition Thomas's English Muffins with Real Cranberries.
I found these bad boys at Walmart. I love that Thomas's is doing these limited edition flavors. I like having a little change in the variety from time to time. The pumpkin ones were great and these are pretty awesome too. They have a slight orange hint to me which pairs amazingly well with the cranberry. The cranberries are great too. They are a little sweet, a little tart, and gooey! I loved them. 


I was feeling rather ambitious today while at the gym and was on the arc trainer for a whole hour. 5 miles and lots of calories later I was feeling tired but amazing all at the same time. I really got a workout in today. I love days when my cardio isn't a chore and I just get in the zone and smash my miles. I listen to Slacker radio when I workout. I usually listen to a different station every time and today I found the BPM Workout station. It was awesome. All of the songs were upbeat and put me in a rhythm. I them did an upper body circuit which I found on Pinterest.
Upper Body Circuit Workout!