To Peek or Not to Peek

I was finally able to sleep past 7 this morning (both Saturday and Sunday I was up at 7 for no reason and couldn’t fall back asleep), but I was afraid to get out of bed and see the state of my car.  Luckily, the temperature was well on its way to today’s 40 degree high, so my car looked wet and not frozen.  That’s a bonus!

 

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I had all of the ingredients needed to make Elixer, so that is how I started my day.

 

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I got a little overzealous with the cayenne pepper, but I was able to fix it and enjoy my morning beverage.  This is definitely a spicy way to start the day, but I liked it.  The only problem was that I started to overheat a little bit which may be secondary to the above mentioned 40 degree weather combined with our heat still being turned on and the cayenne pepper.

 

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Breakfast was Trader Joe’s frozen oatmeal with mashed banana and covered in homemade peanut butter.  While I nibbled on my breakfast, I debated whether or not I should look up today’s WOD before CrossFit.  I was curious, but sometimes I think the element of surprise is helpful with a tough workout.  But…I checked it out anyways!

 

Pull Ups (to fatigue) *I used the green band

1 minute rest

Push Ups (to fatigue)

1 minute rest

x7 Rounds

 

Yikes!  I might not be able to move my arms for a week.  Just like last week, everyone was very friendly when I arrived.  One of the benefits of the 9:30 Monday morning class is that it’s mostly women which I find less intimidating.  We all got down to business when the clock started. I was surprised by how many pull ups/push ups I was able to do, but my arms were exhausted before I was halfway done.  But I stuck with it, pushed a little farther, and was proud of my finish.  One of the things that I like about CrossFit is that as everyone finishes, they stay and cheer each other on.  One of the harder things for me is remembering to keep my form.  I am all about alignment and preventing injury, which I had to remind myself as I was trying to crank out my last few reps each round.  As expected, my arms felt like jello before I even walked out the door.  I finally made it to get my oil changed before coming back home for lunch.

 

I had an early lunch of leftover Lentil Chili, which was even better reheated today.

 

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A few hours later, I was watching Scandal and craving a green smoothie.  Typically, I have a few favorite recipes that I use, but I got a new idea while flipping through the pages of Cooking Light magazine last night.

 

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This one involves ginger and apples with my favorite green leafy veggies.  I would have loved to make green juice, but I didn’t know if my blender could handle it.

 

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So I added in a little almond milk with a few ice cubes to make a smoothie.  It was a little thick and pulpy, but I loved it!  One of the best green smoothies I’ve had in a long time.  The addition of ginger is genius!

 

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As I look back through these pictures, it was definitely an awesome day of eating!  I have a few more recipes from this weekend to share throughout the week, but for now I am logging off for a quick trip into the city.  I need to go pick out a book for the train!

 

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Green Juice Smoothie

 

1 big handful of spinach

3/4 apple chopped with peel on (I ate the other 1/4)

1/2 chunk ginger, peeled and chopped

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

5-6 ice cubes

 

Place all ingredients in blender and blend on high until everything is smooth.  Drink fresh!

Elixir and Exercise

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I have a new obsession…

 

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And I’m not talking about my new computer.  Ok, obsession is probably too strong of a word.  But I have a new favorite AM beverage…hot water with lemon!  Over my winter break, I read that it was a good way to start your day because of it’s detoxifying principles, so I decided to give it at try.

 

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Shortly there after, I noticed hot lemon water popping up on numerous blogs.  I was intrigued…was there more to this than I realized?  Or does everyone just love the taste (like I do)?

 

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Then a few nights ago, Whole Living magazine shared a recipe for elixir as part of their 3 week new year cleanse.  Their version included lemon, ginger, turmeric, and honey to taste.  Since I don’t love honey, I left it out.

 

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I was nervous to try this odd combination, but pleasantly surprised with how refreshing and tasty it was.  I think I will pick up some fresh ginger this weekend because I have heard that it is even better.  I have no idea how detoxified I actually am, but overall, I am feeling really GOOD!  I am working to decrease my stress levels, eating clean, and figuring out a new winter workout routine. 

 

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At the risk of getting too personal, I am also highly pleased with my Good Belly probiotics.  Without oversharing, I can tell you that since starting to take this probiotic a few weeks ago my stomach has felt fantastic.  I was even able to have some Yogurtland without a flare up.  Awesome!  I would have told you that I was skeptical about probiotics, and now I am a huge fan.  I drink one every morning before my lemon water and breakfast.

 

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And hot lemon water is totally necessary when this is the start to your Friday morning!

 

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Now, on to the exercise…

 

I definitely got my workout groove back this week starting with some much needed strength training.  And when the temperatures dropped below my comfort zone, I found myself an indoor track.  Actually two indoor tracks. One near work that is new, 3 lanes and free. The other is 5 minutes from our house, smaller, but less crowded and costs only 2$. The possibilities are endless!  Since I don’t have a gym this winter, I am committed to using these resources and trying some new classes.  Along with my CrossFit groupon and incredible hot yoga studio, I should be all set for an active winter.  Now…I just have to figure out how to get the BOY to join me : )

 

BTW, if all of this talk about working out is making you hungry, feel free to make one of these amazing peanut butter recipes in honor of yesterday’s National Peanut Butter Day.  It’s never too late to celebrate…right?!

 

 

Golden Elixir

From Whole Living Magazine

 

Ingredients

1 cup hot water

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/8 tsp turmeric

1/8 tsp ground ginger

Cayenne

Honey

 

Directions

In a mug, stir together water, lemon juice, turmeric, ginger, and cayenne and honey to taste until combined.

 

 

Do you drink hot lemon water?  Why?

Like I said, I am intrigued by this new health trend!

Does anyone else take probiotics? What do you think?

Hide and Seek

For whatever reason, I am so scared to make any changes with this blog.  The main reason is because I have absolutely NO idea what I am doing when it comes to the technical stuff.  Not that I really know much about blogging in general and I basically wing it every day, but I know much, much, much less about the behind the seasons stuff.  Tips accepted!!!

 

So, that being said, I delayed pressing the button that would transform me (I thought) from WordPress to http://www.luvwhatyoudo.net for at least a week.  Exciting…right?!  I’ve never had my own website before…hence the fear.  And fear is exactly what I felt when I Iinked, clicked, and totally LOST my blog for about 30 minutes.  Yikes!  Meanwhile, I went back and forth between the WordPress and GoDaddy help sites realizing I still have no idea what to do.  So, I called in for support and was told to wait 2 hours….

 

During which, I got started on making Chili (recipe to come) and nursed a bit of a headache.

 

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Wii games and bubbly last night…what a way to end your week?!  I try not to vent too much about work stuff on the blog, but this week was just SO STRESSFUL that the BOY and I took Friday night to unwind with these guilty pleasures.

 

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Which leaves me now sitting on the couch watching the DVR and sipping on lemon water.

 

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I love this stuff!  And this morning, I could use the detox properties : )

About 1 hour into my waiting, I just had to see if my blog was found.

 

And…ready or not…here I am!  Introducing Luvwhatyoudo.net!

 

I know that I have been unplugged the last few days, but I have some exciting new recipes to share (once I have recovered from this tough week)!  A three day weekend will definitely help!

 

 

Do you make your own blog changes? 

Any tips for the new(ish) girl?

 

9 Degrees

I woke up this morning, saw 9 degrees on my phone, and knew an outdoor run just wasn’t gonna happen.  Since I don’t currently have a gym and have not figured out the best solution for this dilemma, it means I have to get creative with my workouts.

 

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So I heated up oatmeal for breakfast and sipped on some hot water with lemon (I recently read that this is a good thing to drink in the morning and find that I like it) before making a switcheroo.  Winter wear out…indoor gear in.

 

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I drove the 30 miles to work…kind of.  About a mile from work there is a fitness center with a FREE indoor track.  I tend to forget about this option before and after work and really should use it more often.  By the time I got to the fitness center (traffic was BAD), the sun was shining making the weather seem much warmer than it was.

 

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So I made the quick decision to stay bundled up and run along the nature path instead of going indoors.

 

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This trail is really beautiful and has the perfect training hill!

 

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I made my way to the hill slowly as I began to thaw out.  Then ran up/down 5 times to boost my heart rate and add some interval training.  19 minutes into my run, I could finally feel my fingers.  And the fresh air was a huge morning mood booster!  Although it was definitely COLD!

 

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The view from the top is a nice reward after each push up the hill.  I had to pause and take a quick picture timeout!

 

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I finished my 38 minute run with a 2 minute plank before showering, making a Starbucks run, and  then heading into the office for a long day of work.  I must admit that I had big plans to post a delicious chicken stirfry recipe tonight.  I also had plans to make it home before 8:30 pm, but that didn’t happen. So the BOY kindly made me plain chicken breasts in the oven which although they were tasty, are definitely not blog worthy. I’d much rather leave you with images from my morning run!

Feels Like Friday

Does anyone else’s work day end like this???

 

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It would be nice to know that I am not the only one who sits in their car, flipping through radio stations, constantly switching lanes in an attempt to go above 8 miles per hour in their post-work day pursuit of home : )  At least in tonight’s case, it was also the end of the work week!  Hooray Weekend!

 

The good news tonight was that the BOY was not too far behind me when I finally made it home feeling exhausted after a LONG week at work!  I was ready to celebrate the weekend!

 

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The BOY picked out this affordable wine during our last trip to World Market, and we were both looking forward to trying it.  I pulled out our grown up glasses in anticipation of his arrival.

 

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And brought out maybe my best batch of Garlic Hummus EVER for a pre-dinner snack!

 

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Dinner was simple and thrown together based on what we have in the house.  I had some of Dr. Praeger’s newer veggie burgers, the Bombay Veggie Burger, that I found on my most recent trip to Trader Joe’s.  Have you tried them yet???  They are incredible.  All the healthy deliciousness of your California burgers with a hint of curry.  Love it!

 

Dr. Praeger's Sensible Foods Curry Veggie Burgers

 

 

But probably not as much as I love this new wine!

 

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I was so busy this week that I didn’t have time to properly celebrate National Blueberry Muffin Day yesterday.  I actually didn’t even know that it was Blueberry Muffin Day until I checked out Renee’s website.  You should definitely pop over to to Bendiful and check out her new and updated website.  Even though I am a day late, I wanted to share one of my favorite Blueberry Muffin recipes with you.  And because it feels like Friday, I feel like I can even stay up past 9pm to finish this post.

 

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These Lemon Blueberry Muffins were an early early addition on the Luv What You Do blog. And although this batch turned out blue (note to self…don’t use frozen berries), this is not the norm!

 

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They are actually quite tasty and the combination of lemon and blueberry is superb!

 

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Perfect for a weekend treat!  Especially since blueberries are now in season!

And if you are a lemon and blueberry fan, you HAVE to try these Blueberry Lemon Cookies from Itty Bitty Bakes!  And these Healthy Banana Blueberry Muffins from Baker on the Rise look divine!  But if you happen to pick up some zucchini at the farmer’s market this weekend, I recommend this Blueberry Zucchini Bread from My Baking Addiction.

 

Happy Friday Feeling!  And Blueberry Muffin Day!

 

 

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

 

Ingredients

Nonstick cooking spray

1/2 c firmly packed light or dark brown sugar

4 T trans fat free soft tub margarine spread, chilled

1 c lowfat lemon yogurt

1 c blueberries

1/2 c yellow squash puree

1 large egg

2 t pure lemon extract

1 t grated lemon zest

2 c all purpose flour (can substitute whole wheat)

1/4 c flaxseed meal

1 t baking powder

1 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

 

Directions

-Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.

-In large bowl, beat the sugar and the margarine with a wooden spoon. Stir in the yogurt, blueberries, yellow squash puree, egg, lemon extract, and lemon zest.

-Add the flour, flaxseed meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir just to combine, but do not over mix-batter is supposed to be lumpy.

-Divide the batter amongst the muffin cups. Bake until tops of the muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center, 13 to 16 min. Turn the muffins out onto a rack to cool.

-Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or wrap individually and freeze for up to 1 month.

Chickpea and Lentil Salad with Grilled Lemons

So I know I promised you a recipe and I will get to that, but I have to tell you about new favorite workout….jumping rope!  I have been wanting to get a jump rope to add some cardio to my weight workouts.  I finally found what I wanted at Sports Authority. It’s this Nike Weighted Jump Rope, which is also available online.  I added 1 minute of jumping between weight sets during my past 3 Thursday morning workouts.  The added cardio boosts my heart rate, which in turn burns more calories and increases my energy levels at the start of the day.  Plus, I must admit, it is super fun.  I advise everyone to get out there and add something new AND FUN to your workout routine this spring.  Ok, on to the recipe…you’ll be hungry after all that jumping.

 

 

Chickpea and Lentil Salad with Grilled Lemons

 

Ingredients

3 cups water

1/2 cup green (French) lentils, picked over, rinsed, and drained

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded

1 (15.5 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

3 scallions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (I omitted because I didn’t have it)

HEALTHY EXTRA: Add a large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced to the salad.

 

Directions

1. Bring water, lentils, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt to boil in large saucepan.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are tender but hold their shape, 15-20 minutes. Drain; transfer to large bowl to cool.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together lemon zest and juice, paprika, oil, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl.  Add lemon slices; toss to coat.

3. Spray ridged grill pan with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat.  Lift lemon slices from juice mixture; reserve juice mixture.  Place lemon slices in grill pan and cook until browned, about 2 minutes on each side.  If desired, transfer to cutting board and coarsely chop.

4. Add lentils, lemon slices, chickpeas, scallions, and parsley to reserved lemon juice; toss to combine.

 

Nutrition (per 1 cup serving/375 g):

Calories: 185

Fat: 3 g

Sodium: 543 mg

Carbs: 35 g

Fiber: 9 g

Protein: 11 g

Points Plus: 5

What’s For Lunch?

In an attempt to defy lunchtime boredom, I went searching for a different lunch option (besides my usual turkey sandwich or PB & J).  I found this in a Weight Watcher cookbook. I am always looking for other sources of protein, especially at lunch.  Lentils and chickpeas are healthy, vegetarian options, so I figured I would try this.

I found the French (green) lentils at Whole Foods…surprise, surprise!  They are fun colors and I was excited to try them.

They were much easier to make than I expected.  Combine the water, lentils, and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, oil, smoked paprika, and remaining salt, whisking to combine.  I found this great addition to my Salsa Maker. I never knew I had a juicer, but what a great day to find it!

Slice the lemon and soak in the oil mixture.  Then grill over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Cut the lemons and return them to the oil mixture with the chickpeas (rinsed and drained), scallions, and lentils (rinsed, drained, and cooled).  Stir to combine.

I was pleasantly surprised with how tasty my salad turned out…especially with the smoked paprika!  The textures of the lentils mesh perfectly with the chickpeas.  My salad made for a fun lunch today with  grilled toasted cheese and some fruit.  I also had my baked oatmeal (from yesterday’s post) for breakfast…what an exciting day of food!

If you haven’t given lentils a try yet, I highly suggest it!  They are high in fiber AND protein AND very tasty!  I had to type this out twice (because of a computer error) so I am off to bed.  Stay tuned for the recipe later this week!