Halloween! HallowClean!

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We had some non traditional Halloween plans today…cleaning!!!

Over the past few weeks, life has been moving quickly and we’ve been accumulating stuff and creating piles to be addressed ‘later’.  After the last few weekends of fun and travel, this was our first quiet weekend at home. So when everyone asked what my exiting weekend plans were this week, my only answer was it’s official house cleaning weekend.  Woo hoo!

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Before the cleaning, we were up early this morning for another joint workout.

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It was brutal but awesome, and the BOY discovered that he hates the ropes : )

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After our workout, the BOY requested some down time.  We found ourselves drooling over the delicious meals cooked on the Food Network (a old-new favorite we recently rediscovered) and making lists of all the things we were going to cook this weekend.

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I made a post workout snack for the BOY of apples and peanut butter and was inspired by my Everyday Detox cookbook and the gorgeous apples we bought in Door County to make a smoothie (recipe below!) for me.

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Then we got down to work…

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After a few more cuddles.  We started upstairs with bedrooms and bathrooms.  Then took a quick lunch break before tackling the kitchen (and setting up our amazing new wine fridge).

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For hydration (and motivation), we sipped on Door County Cider.

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At 3pm, we were ready for trick or treaters despite getting no more than 10 in the past 5 years that I’ve lived here.  We got Cooper all set in his costume…just in case we got anyone : )

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As I said on Instagram, there is nothing funnier than a really mad cat in a shark costume…except the one who rides around on a Roomba!

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Seriously, we never have any trick or treators so I only got two bags of candy (with plans to turn the rest into ice cream toppings).  Despite the rain, we were out before the first hour, but I found some other fun stuff in our pantry to give out.  When our Thai food arrived, I thought he was a trick or treator and tried to hand him a granola bar instead of my credit card…LOL!  No Joke!  We stopped cleaning and shut down during dinner to dig into Chicken Curry and Basil Fried Rice (YUM!) while finally sitting down for some football.

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We sipped on beer and LaMarca and decided to be done with the cleaning for the day.  There is much more to do tomorrow, but luckily, we have an entire extra hour to do it!

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What did you do this Halloween?

What will you do with our extra hour?

 

Fresh Apple Pie Smoothie

Ingredients

1 large handful spinach

1 cup coconut/almond milk

1-1.5 small apples, diced

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Generous toss of apple pie spice (or cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice)

Ice

Directions

Combine the milk, spinach, and apples and use ‘food chop’ or low setting to combine.

Then add the rest of the ingredients, expect ice, and blend on high.   Taste to determine need for more/less spice.

Add ice and blend on high until smooth.

Enjoy immediately!

By the Books…

This week, I busted out the cookbooks.  Not intentionally, but it started with one and then another, and then a third followed.  And the next thing you know, I had a pile of cookbooks, dinner in the crockpot, and a smoothie in hand.  Success!

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It helped to have all of our new kitchen gear!  For dinner, I went with a new recipe from a tried and true cookbook 150 Healthiest Slow Cooker Recipes on Earth.  I used some of my new knife skills to dice the onion.

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Then topped it with chicken thighs and sauce.  I don’t typically cook with thighs but figured I would give it a chance.  Costco has some deals on organic chicken, so I picked up the thighs instead of breasts.

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Once the chicken was ready to go, I was eager for a snack.  Enter cookbook number 2!  The new Everyday Detox book from Detoxinista.  I recently purchased this one in an attempt to aid my digestion and IBS.  I find the concept of food combining very interesting and like that the recipes are simple and clean.

Everyday Detox : 100 Easy Recipes to Remove Toxins, Promote Gut Health, and...

My first recipe was the Blended Apple Pie a la Mode.  I subbed in almond butter for the avocado which kept the filling fat and kind of went against the food combing, but it turned out delicious!  Sadly, I lost the picture on my phone along with a few others…total bummer!  I did capture dinner, which turned out flavorful and delicious!

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The last cookbook I used was the BetterHomes Baking book.  I’ve had a zucchini bread recipe tagged in there and a few zucchini’s ripe and ready for peeling in the fridge.  But you’ll have to wait on that recipe!

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Until then…sweet ice cream dreams : )

Do you use cookbooks or the internet for your recipes?

 

Lower Sugar BBQ Pulled Chicken Thighs

From The 150 Healthiest Slow Cooker Recipes on Earth

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar free ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Sucanat
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions

  1. In a medium size bowl, whisk together the ketchup, tomato paste, cider vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Sucanat, garlic, paprika, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  2. Make a layer of onion on the bottom of the slow cooker, sprayed with cooking spray.  Lay chicken thighs over the onion and pour the sauce evenly over everything.
  3. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-5 hours, until chicken is cooked but juicy.  Using two large forks, pull apart the chicken and finely shred the meat and stir well to mix with the sauce.
  4. Can serve in taco’s, with a potato, or over slaw.

 

Blended Apple Pie a la Mode

From Everyday Detox

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 raw avocado or 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced
  • 3 soft medjool dates
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Handful of ice cubes

Directions

Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy!  Enjoy immediately!

Not Enough Hours

I ran out of hours yesterday…not just to write a blog post but to do a few other important things, like get my oil changed.  Ugh! I dread car maintenance and more because of the time than the price.

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Monday morning’s breakfast was another variation of 2 Ingredient Sweet Potato Pancakes (this time I added in flax and pumpkin pie spice).  They were delicious!

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Then I hit the gym for a seriously intense strength session.  After Sunday’s double workout, I was feeling pretty good and proud of myself…that was until my trainer suggested jump squats: )

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I drove back home, windows down and blasting the Governor’s Ball on Alt Nation, where I scooped up the BOY for our weekly grocery store run.  Before we left, I whipped up a smoothie.

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Into the Blender

1 cup almond milk

1 apple

~1/2 cup beet juice

Handful of Spinach

Few ice cubes

 

I drank my refreshing smoothie as we wound our ways through the aisle of Mariano’s figuring out our meals for the week.  I planned to make curry for Monday night’s dinner using my new French curry powder.

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And planned to let the BOY grill up the rest of this week’s meals.  He ended up doing a lot of the work for the curry, for which I was grateful, as I scrambled around unpacking groceries, prepping lunch, and switching laundry.

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I planned to make a few adjustments to this recipe, but misread the instructions and added in the coconut milk right away.  I will leave the recipe as intended below but note that if you want to make it ahead or are feeling lazy, it works this way too.  I had about a million things running through my head but needed to shower and get out the door.  Meanwhile, my printer wasn’t working and the BOY required my assistance on a cover letter…leaving me to feel that there are just never enough hours in the day.

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I drove into Chicago, battling rush hour and Hawks traffic, for a neat opportunity that you will have to wait to hear about…Sorry Friends!  But there were clear streets and clear skies ahead when I flew back home to suburbia.

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The BOY had just dug into the curry and I was excited to try it.  I have to tell you that this veggie combo is awesome…I’ve never done cauliflower in the crockpot before, but I am a fan.  I think that the recipe could use a bit more spice, but I’m not exactly sure which one.  I had leftovers for lunch today with a a sweet potato and it totally hit the spot.

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I did stay up to watch the Hawks game but was pretty tired by that point, so most of my to do list didn’t get done (and might not until next weekend).  Because today was an extra long work day, which left me thinking…there just aren’t enough hours in the day!

 

What spice do you use in your curry?  Do you run out of hours?

 

Meal Planning 6/08/15

Monday: Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken Curry

Tuesday: Turkey Taco Tuesday

Wednesday: Scallops (chef’s decision)

Thursday: Pork and Veggies

 

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken Curry

Adapted from Le Creme De La Crumb

Ingredients

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped

SAUCE

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (or one 14-ounce can + ½ cup chicken broth)
  • 3 tablespoons yellow curry powder 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • optional: corn starch slurry (see note)

Directions

  1. Add chicken pieces, peppers, cauliflower, and onions to the slow cooker.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together chicken broth, curry powder, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper if using. Pour mixture into slow cooker and stir to coat chicken and veggies. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low 4-5 hours.
  3. About 10-15 minutes before serving, stir in coconut milk. Stir just before serving and top with cashews and freshly chopped cilantro.

Juiced

Doesn’t it seem like everyone is juicing?!

Pinterest is full of delicious looking concoctions, and I have to say I find it an awesome way to up my intake of greens!

 

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So I don’t actually have a juicer or even a vitamix, but I have a pretty new blender that makes some awesome, healthy drinks.  I’m a huge fan of the green smoothie, and I’ve recently started getting into the juice.

 

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The benefit of juicing in a blender is that you don’t get rid of the pulp.  With a good blender, you barely notice it and it keeps all of the nutrients of your veggies in the drink

 

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This week, I used some of the sweet strawberries from my Costco sized container and a few slices of kiwi.

 

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The rest got packaged up for lunch during the week.  So although juicing isn’t new to everyone, it’s new to my kitchen, and I just might be addicted.

 

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Especially since now that I know I can double my batch and have fresh juice ready for the next morning.

 

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It just needs a shake and then you can grab it and go!

 

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Do you make juice?

Share some ‘recipe’ links!

 

 

Strawberry, Kiwi, and Kale Juice

 

Ingredients

1 cup strawberries

1 kiwi, sliced

1 large handful of spinach or kale

1 cup coconut water or tap water

1 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds (optional)

Lemon juice from 1/4 of a lemon

Ice cubes

 

Directions

Place water and greens in blender and chop.

Then add the rest of the ingredients and blend on low for about 1 minute.  Increase to high and blend until smooth.

Add ice and blend well!

Store in water bottle or glass jar.

I Made Pumpkin Bread Instead

Yup…that means I didn’t go to yoga this morning.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE yoga, especially at my studio.  But my body is exhausted (and still sore) and their Hot Yoga class is REALLY hard!  And the Yin style classes are at 8am or 6pm, neither which worked into my schedule today, so I…well, made pumpkin bread instead!

 

We didn’t set an alarm this morning, but Cooper’s internal breakfast alarm can be counted on.  At least he waited until after 7am today!  The BOY and I took our time getting moving, but Cooper missed the slow Sunday start memo and was bouncing around waiting for food.  It may sound like I am talking about a dog here, but he is just a bouncy and continuously hungry kitten.

 

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Maybe they won’t see me here and I can spring into the water when it turns on…

 

So you may have noticed that I am yet to make anything pumpkin this fall!  Or maybe you haven’t noticed, but it’s true, and with the end of October approaching, it is time for that to change.  I went straight to my Everything Pumpkin board on Pinterest and started making the first bread recipe that I saw (not surprisingly, there is more than one pumpkin bread recipe on the board).

 

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Meanwhile, I made myself a Green Smoothie.  In an attempt to assess my current eating habits, I’ve been keeping track of what I’ve been eating this past week.  One obvious note…there are not nearly enough veggies in my diet.  So I picked up some spinach at Costco yesterday because that is easy to mix with everything.

 

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I started with my typical smoothie base of spinach, banana, and almond milk.  I added in some Chia seeds and then went looking for something to build in some flavor.  I had no frozen fruit, but did find the ginormous bag of cranberries that I also bought at Costco yesterday.  I rinsed them off and threw in about a cup.  Then 2 handfuls of ice cubes.

 

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I went in for a taste test and my smoothie was AWESOME!  I couldn’t believe how good it was.  In retrospect I should have added some cucumber as well, but I didn’t notice I had any until after I was half way done.  As you can tell, veggies just haven’t been on my radar recently.  I scrambled up some eggies to go with my smoothie and waited patiently for the bread while the house filled with the smells of the season.  I tried to get the BOY talking about this week’s meal plan, but we didn’t get much further than tonight’s dinner.

 

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We let the bread cool, only enough to remove it from the pan, before slicing off an end.

 

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This pumpkin bread is scrumptious!  I love how the crust is crunchy and sweet while the inside stays moist and full of flavor!  You should definitely add it to your pumpkin board and probably your Sunday as well!

 

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The Best Pumpkin Bread Recipe Ever by Recipe Girl

 

 

Just in case you are looking to spend your Sunday making pumpkin bread instead,

here are a few other recipes to try…

Pumpkin Banana Bread

Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Pear Bread

Maple Pumpkin Spice Bread

Pumpkin Molasses Muffins

 

All of which pair well with a refreshing green smoothie!

 

 

Spinach and Cranberry Smoothie

 

Ingredients

1 cup almond milk

1 large heap of spinach

1 banana, sliced

2 Tbsp ground flax or chia

1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)

Ice

 

Directions

Combine milk, spinach, and banana in your blender and chop until spinach is broken down and everything begins to mix together.  Add flax or chia and cranberries and mix on high until well combined.  Add in ice and blend until desired consistency is reached.  Enjoy!

 

 

Did you make anything pumpkin yet?

What ideas should I add to my Pinterest Pumpkin board?

Rain Rain Go Away…

Don’t come back on Saturday!

 

So the plan this morning was to take my new shoes out for a 5 mile pace run.  At 6:30am when we woke up to thunder and lightening, it didn’t look good for a run.  But by 8:00am, when the alarm sounded the rain seemed to have stopped.

 

I have a shoe dilemma…

My awesome purple shoes that I have been training in since May have too many miles.  I started feeling the effects during some recent long runs and wasn’t exactly sure what to do.  I ended up ordering some new shoes (awesome black and blue color) and an adorable long sleeved tshirt.  I paid the extra $5 on top of my free shipping to expedite the shipment.  My shoes arrived last night and as soon as I slipped my foot in this morning, I knew that the extra support was exactly what I needed.

 

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I took the shoes for a test drive with an aggressive morning pace run.  During which I began to think about my plan to get these shoes ready for the marathon in just a few weeks.  Ugghh!  So my dilemma…which shoes do I wear for Saturday’s 20 miler?  I fear that wearing my old (purple) shoes will cause unnecessary aches and pains, but I’m not sure the new (black) shoes are ready for 20 miles.  Ideally, I’d love to wear the new ones for the first 12 miles or so, and then switch, but that’s not an option.  So help me…what should I do???  Do I wear the shoes with too many miles or too few?

 

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The saddest part about this new shoe situation is that I picked out my neon green socks to go with my purple shoes (I love green and purple together) and I’m not sure how good they will look with the black and blue shoes.  Ok, back to more important things than my race day outfit…this morning’s run.  It appeared that the rain was done and that I would only be joined only by fog and humidity, but with a little over a mile left to go, the skies opened and the rain came pouring down.  I was in the perfect place to take a short cut home and after some debate, and another gust of rain as I rounded the corner on to my street, I decided to cut my run a little short.  Even with a slower last mile, I finished my 4.6 mile run below race pace averaging 8:33 min/miles.  It was tough to maintain that pace, but I’m happy I pushed through this morning.

 

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I didn’t eat breakfast before my run, which may have made that last mile tougher.  I had a fantastic plan for my post run recovery snack…Summer Sander’s Post-Run Smoothie!  I discovered this in Women’s Running magazine while reading it last night.  It’s definitely different than my usual smoothie and I LOVED every sip!

 

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I’m sure it feels like the majority of my posts have been about running lately.  This is mostly because the majority of my life has been about running lately.  With a side of work, eating, and maybe some sleeping.  If you’re not into the running stuff, then you’ll be happy to know that my last long run is this weekend and then the taper begins!  Wish me luck on Saturday’s 20 miler and cross your fingers for a rain free day!

 

One last thing…

Did you know tomorrow is Run at Work Day?

Love it!

 

celebrate run at work day, brooks running run at work day, when is run at work day, run at work day 2013

Source

 

 

Ok seriously…which shoes should I wear this weekend? 

Is three weeks enough time to get new shoes ready for 26.2 miles?

 

 

Summer Sander’s Post Run Smoothie

From Women’s Running Magazine

Serves 2

 

Ingredients

1 cup ice

1 cup almond milk

2 tbsp peanut butter (I used almond butter)

1 ripe banana

1 tbsp honey (I used 1/2 tbsp agave)

4 pitted dates

 

Directions

Add all ingredients into blender.  Mix until smooth. Enjoy!

Another Week in Training

Truth be told…this morning, I just wasn’t that into running.

The alarm went off signaling that the BOY and I should become awake, and Cooper who has learned this sound, took the opportunity to raise his own alarm from the other side of our bedroom door.  I let him in for a 7 minute snooze/cuddle before he began demanding his breakfast.  The boy (kitten…there are two in the house now, so I am out numbered) is cute, but recently he has had a lot to say (when he is not getting himself into trouble…then he is rather quiet).

 

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It was already 70 degrees and although I had a short 5 mile run scheduled, I just wasn’t feeling it.  I ate some breakfast, read some emails, considered if I should go run indoors on the track instead of in the heat outside, read a few blogs (I still have a ton to catch up on after my weekend away), and finally climbed the stairs to change for my run.

 

Surprisingly, the weather was not too bad and I found a nice breeze on the way back.  I decided to let my body pick the pace and not worry at all about time.  My miles hovered right around 9:20 for the first 4 with a slower (9:37) last mile back to my house.  My legs were tired throughout, so I figured that’s not too bad. I’d be thrilled to crank out some 9:20 miles during the last 5 miles of the race on marathon day.

 

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Mostly this week, I am feeling tired.  I have taken naps the past few weekends and although I sleep 8-9 hours a night, my body just wants more sleep.  I had forgotten just how much sleep your body needs to log in long miles week after week.  It brought me back to this fun post I wrote while training for my first marathon, titled Lessons Learned in Marathon Training.  If you haven’t read it, you should definitely check it out my training words of wisdom : )

 

In honor of training season, I picked up some dark chocolate almond milk at the grocery store this weekend.  There is some research to support that chocolate milk is one of the best recovery drinks out there and I just find it to be tasty and refreshing.  The perfect treat during these tough, high mileage weeks.

 

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After this morning’s run, I decided to turn my chocolate milk into a smoothie.  I had tons of good ideas, but my problem was that Cooper kept photo bombing my smoothie photo!

 

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I wanted to add some spinach for the extra greens and nutrients and kept my smoothie pretty simple.  You could definitely add in flax, chia seeds, or some nut butter for more protein.

 

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Or fresh berries and more ice cubes.  This smoothie was the tastiest thing EVER.  I love me some dark chocolate almond milk and can’t wait to create more smoothie combinations!

 

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Chocolate Covered Berry

Green Purple Smoothie

 

Ingredients

1 cup chocolate milk of your choice (I used almond milk)

1 large handful of spinach

1 cup frozen mixed berries

4-6 ice cubes

 

Directions

Combine milk and spinach in blender and chop.

Add in mixed berries and ice cubes.

Blend on high until smooth.

 

Do you drink chocolate milk?

Thursday Thoughts and Dinner in the Crockpot

After a few busy weeks of training, it was almost hard to sleep in this week…almost!  I took Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday off from working out.  One reason is because I have had a lot to do at work.  Another reason is because I still have EVERYTHING to do before I leave for Israel in less than one week!  Plus, it’s always just nice to catch up on some sleep.

 

I did figure out dinners for this week even though I didn’t blog about our Meal Plan earlier in the week.  Monday was dinner on the go because I had a late night meeting.  This Hidden Menu has made me fall back in love with Panera.  I’m slightly obsessed with the Hummus Chicken Bowl!  Don’t have a picture, but I do have one of the rainbow in the Target parking lot Monday night.

 

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I’ve been a bad blogger with pictures, but Tuesday the BOY made a Mesquite Pork Tenderloin on the grill (with a huge salad) and Wednesday we had Lemon Pepper Grilled Shrimp with grilled peppers.

 

For tonight, I am back on dinner duty.  And by me, I mean the Crockpot : )

 

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I may have stayed up late to watch the Hawk’s game last night (darn over times), so did not bound out of bed this morning. Recently I have been channeling my 101 year old grandpa who for dinner, throws everything (leftovers rice from my aunt, veggies) into his soup. I have been doing this for breakfast with my eggs.  Leftover salmon…yum!  Sweet potato…delish!  A veggie burger when there’s nothing else…somehow it still works

 

Yet this morning, I found myself out of eggs.  After some deep thought, I ended up throwing together a Chocolate Almond Butter Banana Smoothie. 

 

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With a pretty lazy start to my week, I was pondering some activity, but instead I dawdled on the computer and then had to run some errands before my trip.  I am hoping to have time over this three day weekend to actually get packed up, but I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t slightly stressed out (yet totally excited!) about my upcoming trip.  Ok…back to dinner…I discovered this Crockpot recipe over the weekend and immediately added it to this week’s meal plan.

 

Is it not crazy that at my new job where I have been working for less than 2 weeks, they already ask me what’s in the crockpot for dinner?  I think it’s because I was raving about these Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps on my first day!

 

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The tricky part of this recipe was that I needed to get everything set and then talk the BOY through the cornstarch portion since he gets home before me (and because this is my last day before Israel, I knew it’d be a later night).

 

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Good News…he was able to figure it out.

 

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Bad News…he misunderstood the timing and I got home a little late from work, so our dinner was slightly overcooked.  Still absolutely delicious but when we make this again, it will be on a non-work day.

 

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We served dinner over rice with a side of green beans and an ice cold Wisco beer.  I don’t think that the pictures due it justice because this dinner is fantastic!

 

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And so is this new New Glarus beer that I brought home from my camping trip.

 

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There have been plenty of dinner leftovers for lunch this week, which has been awesome.  One of the best things about my new schedule is that I have two work days where I am eating lunch at home.  It is great to prepare my meal, sit down, and enjoy a laid back lunch (as opposed to a stuff your face with food during a meeting in between patients kind of lunch).  Over the past two weeks, I have been making healthier decisions and mindlessly snacking less.  I’ve lost ~2 pounds and feel refreshed.  It’s pretty incredible to notice how much stress was impacting my life and my health!

 

Speaking of that…it’s time to chillax with my beer, the BOY , and our DVR!

Thanks for listening to my Thursday thoughts!

 

 

What are your Thursday thoughts?

Does anyone else like New Glarus beer?

 

 

 

Chocolate Almond Butter Banana Smoothie

 

Place the following ingredients in blender and blend on high.

1 banana, sliced

1 cup almond milk

1/4 cup oats

2 Tbsp cacao powder

1-2 Tbsp almond butter

2 handfuls of ice

 

 

Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken
Recipe From Chef In Training

*Note: this is the doubled recipe…I only made half (or one) portion for tonight!

 

Ingredients

2.5 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thighs would be fine too)
Salt and pepper
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tablespoons diced onion
4 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoon canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tablespoons water
Sesame seeds

 

Directions
Season both sides of chicken with lightly with salt and pepper, put into crock pot. In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken.
Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce.
Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened.
Cut chicken into bite size pieces, then return to pot and toss with sauce before serving.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or noodles.

Greek Turkey Meatballs

OMG, the work week is almost over and I am thrilled with my schedule.  Wednesday nights used to be a mess of rushing home, making dinner, eating dinner, making breakfast, getting ready for bed, picking out clothes for Thursday, packing Thursday’s workout bag, writing blogs, reading blogs, checking email, crashing into bed, reading, sleeping…

 

Instead, last night I came home and the BOY had dinner (grilled salmon and broccoli) ready.  I cleaned up a few things, got into my comfies, and sat on the couch to watch the Hawk’s game.  Any other cleaning and meal prep could be done today!  I almost didn’t know what to do with all of my time, but I liked it! 

 

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I was not able to stay awake for the entire Hawk’s game, but the BOY reported their win when he came up to bed.  Despite the big storms rolling through last night, Thursday appears sunny.  My first thought this morning (after tea of course) was to get started with dinner.  I found a fun looking recipe that would allow me to use my mint plant for the first time.  I have been working so hard at keeping him alive that I forgot I should be using the mint.

 

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I began with the non-meat related ingredients and got stuck when upon cleaning out my spice cabinet (yikes…there were things that expired 2 years ago and at least 3 cumins) discovered that we have no oregano.  Since I was planning on running out this morning anyways, I stopped dinner (putting the bowl in the fridge for later) and got started on breakfast.

 

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Another eggie concoction consisting of a Dr. Praeger’s Veggie Burger with 1 egg + 2 egg whites and a splash of seasoned salt.

 

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After breakfast, it was off to the pool for one last swim after a stop at Target for a few things, including oregano.  I am a tad worried about Sunday’s swim portion of the triathlon.  Should one really swim for the first time in a brand new wetsuit in a race?  I have used wetsuits before, so it will have to be okay and thankfully it is only a 1/3 mile swim.  I can float my way through that, right? 

 

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This morning, I had the most amazing swim epiphany.  In the past, I have prepared minimally for the swim section of the triathlon (seriously only swimming twice before last year’s tri) and it is typically in a pool.  This year, I have been swimming almost every week since March so I should be much more prepared.  Expect this morning I realized that I am not as prepared as I thought when I attempted to swim a few laps in a row without stopping.  See…I can’t do the flip turns because my goggles fill up with water and then my contacts hate me, so I typically touch the wall, grab a few quick breaths of air and then continue on my way.  I didn’t fully understand how limiting that was (I mean it’s not like I was hanging out for a full minute after each lap) until this morning when I pushed on without the extra air.  I kept my same slow steady pace, but my heart was racing, and I when I got to the next walk, I lunged at it gasping for air.  Ahhh…It all makes sense….why when I am in the water for the triathlons without walls to grab ahold of, I struggle with my breathing, end up getting nervous, and pop my head above the water anxious and sucking in air.  Maybe it’s the runner in me that is used to breathing in/out nonstop throughout a workout that makes swimming even tougher, but it was clear to me today, 2 days before my triathlon, that I do not train properly in swimming.

 

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With that being said, I swam my 15 minutes, eventually building up how many laps I could do without rest, before lazying in the hot tub for a few minutes.  At this point, there’s not much I can do before Saturday and I’m hoping my wet suit will help.  Plus, I know how to breast stroke when I need the air.  But as I am considering another late season tri, I will definitely have to make some changes to my training.  Suddenly, ladder drills are making a whole lot more sense.

 

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I returned home starving, so I threw together a Cucumber Mango Green Smoothie before hopping into the shower.  I had plenty of time to finish putting together the meatballs for tonight’s dinner before work.  My thought is that the BOY can make a Greek meatball pita and I will use my leftover lettuce from the Teriyaki Chicken Wraps.  But, I’m guessing these meatballs would be great over pasta or spaghetti squash as well.  I rolled the meat into balls and left them in a baking dish where the BOY could find them when he got back home after school/work.

 

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I’m not sure how he is feeling about it, but I am loving this tag team dinner prep!

 

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I ended up staying later than expected at work, but the BOY was all set at home sticking the meatballs in the oven for 25 minutes.

 

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And dinner was served!  These meatballs are seasoned perfectly, very flavorful, and super tasty!  I highly recommend them for your next week night meal! 

 

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The BOY and I are enjoying a quiet night in with Downton Abbey before our busy weekend!  It’s been a fantastic first week of summer scheduling including some delicious dinners.  Enjoy!!!

 

 

 

Greek Turkey Meatballs

From The Eat Clean Diet

 

Ingredients

    1 lb. lean ground turkey

    1 cup low-fat feta cheese

    1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

    2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint

    2 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano

    2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

    2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning

    3 garlic cloves, minced

    1 (12 ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry and chopped (I used an 8 ounce jar which was sufficient)

     

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Mix lean ground turkey, feta cheese, parsley, mint, oregano, lemon juice, lemon pepper, garlic and roasted red peppers together in a large bowl, blending in cheese until no chunks remain.

    Using a 1/8 cup to measure, roll into 16 meatballs and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake until browned and cooked through, about 25 minutes.

    Serve with Greek yogurt cucumber sauce!

    Chocolate Almond Butter and Banana green Smoothie

    Good Monday Morning!

    I hope that ya’ll had an excellent weekend!

    The BOY and I were super low key, which meant that I was in bed every night between 10-11pm and sleeping until 8am.  I must say 9+ hours of sleep per night does a lot for your energy levels.  I am feeling refreshed after a crazy work week and ready to tackle the day.  This is easy for me to say, remember, because I don’t work on Mondays : )

     

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    My first job was to tackle breakfast.  For me breakfast is the hardest meal of the day to figure out on Passover.  I didn’t prep anything last night and just wasn’t in the mood to make pancakes.  Smoothies for breakfast don’t typically fill me up (especially since I couldn’t add oats), but I decided to try making a hearty Chocolate Almond Butter and Banana Green Smoothie.

     

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    Mostly because I had the ingredients in the house and because a smoothie sounded refreshing this morning.

     

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    I may have gone a little overboard in an attempt to fuel myself through this mornings workout, so feel free to adjust ingredient quantities as desired.  I will tell you that this smoothie comes out thick which is perfect to sip slowly while you check email and prepare for the day ahead.

     

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    I was able to find a similar recipe on the blog for a Chocolate Peanut Butter Green Smoothie.  It was just over 1 year ago, and I can’t believe it was warm enough for me to exercise in the back yard!!!

     

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    After breakfast, it was off to tackle ‘Barbara’

    Five rounds, each for time of:
    20 Pull-ups
    30 Push-ups
    40 Sit-ups
    50 Squats

    Rest precisely three minutes between each round.

     

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    I chose to do ‘Barbara Lite’ as recommended for those doing CrossFit less than 2 months.  I think I’m right at that 2 month cusp, but 150 pushups just seemed, what’s the word…oh yeah, impossible!

     

    Barbara Lite

    10 Pull-ups (I used the green band)

    20 Push-ups

    30 Sit-ups

    40 squats

    5 rounds with precisely 3 minutes rest in between each round.

     

    This was a really challenging workout but thus far one of my favorites.  No heavy weights to lift and a busy group of people getting their work done while cheering each other on.  I may feel differently in the morning when I can’t move…I’ll let you know.

     

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    The last task of the day (because I got a lot of laundry and boring house stuff done yesterday) was meal planning.  And this week’s planning was fairly simple.  Tomorrow night is the end of Passover and the BOY will be ordering a pizza the moment he walks in the door with or without me.  Plus, I have dinner plans for Thursday.  I wanted to make a Sweet Potato and Kale Soup today for lunch this week, but the grocery store was out of one ingredient and a few others didn’t look so fresh, so I scratched that idea.

     

    Sunday: Beer Can Chicken

     

    Monday: Grilled Flounder with Broccoli (Hooray for grilling season!)

     

    Tuesday: Pizza for the BOY/Thai Veggie Burgers for Me

     

    Wednesday: Grilled Garlic Pepper Shrimp (from the BOY’s BBQ book)

     

    Thursday: Out to Eat

     

    Friday: As always, we shall play it by ear

     

    Lunch: Strawberry Balsamic Quinoa Salad

    Snack: Coconut Fudge Balls

     

     

    Do you drink smoothies for breakfast?

    What is your favorite one?

    Anyone play an April Fool’s prank today?

     

     

     

    Chocolate Almond Butter

    and Banana Green Smoothie

    Ingredients

    1 handful of kale

    1 banana, chopped

    1 cup of almond milk

    2 tbsp (14g) of cacao powder

    1 tbsp (10 g) ground flax seed

    2 tbsp (32 g) of almond butter

    Ice

     

    Directions

    Place all ingredients except ice in the blender.  Combine well.  Add ice and blend to desired consistency.