Meet Me at the Barre

I should start by confessing that I have been moving and thinking non stop for 12 hour and am thrilled to sit down, unwind, and blog a bit.  That being said, hang in there with me if I sound a bit loopy as I collect my thoughts : )


This morning started with a wake up from Cooper, breakfast, and paperwork.  My abs were talking to me a bit after yesterday’s yoga class, which is always a good feeling.  Then I braved the cold to get my car emissions checked before my training session at the gym.  I was ready to go after missing last week’s session to work.   Afterwards, I grabbed my yoga mat and attended the 11am barre class.  Although I don’t typically double up on workouts, I have been wanting to try a barre class for a year or so.  My yoga studio just added them to their schedule…hooray!


The class times don’t work great with my work schedule except for this one, so I had to check it out.  The class got started and we never stopped.  I was expecting a bit of warm up…maybe a stretch or two, but no.  We did lunges, plies, releves, and arm work.  And that was just the first 10 minutes.  After my strength session, I could barely lift my arms without the weights, but I hung in there.  And then we got to our glutes.  The glute series was brutal and my new friend next to me (who came from the yoga class) and I were laughing by the end because if not, I think I might have cried…ha ha!  And then we finished with core, which was phenomenal and 1 hour later, I was nothing shy of exhausted…but also exhilarated.  The class was REALLY fun!

By the time I arrived home, I was starving.  I had some leftover chicken for lunch on a salad, showered quickly, and then the BOY and I headed out to Costco and the grocery store.  I must say that we have fallen into an easy rhythm of meal planning, and I have fallen into the habit of letting him make dinners during the week.  A habit I could get used to!


When we got home, we had enough time to unpack our groceries, love on Cooper, and pack up our bags for the library.  The BOY has been a trooper about coming with me while I study, and I find I am way more efficient outside of the house.  The other exciting thing (after 3 straight days at the library) is that I discovered that it has TONS of CD’s.  I have been borrowing some new age and kids music to update my yoga playlists.


We came back home around 6:30pm and noshed on cheese, crackers, and apples while we started cooking dinner.  The BOY made some delicious shrimp to top our pasta and zoodles.


I call this photo #couplesthatcooktogether.  Dinner turned out wonderful!  And I even have leftover shrimp for lunch tomorrow.


Which brings me to now…finally a moment to sit and relax (in between folding laundry) and complain about my sore and tired muscles…ahh!  I had plans to bake these bars tonight, but crashed with some dark chocolate instead.  Life has been exhausting and busy lately.  It has occurred to me that for the next two months that is probably just how it will be…moving from one place to the next, cramming in study sessions where I can.  I’ll  definitely try to sneak in some good workouts (more barre please) and baking too!


Have you tried a barre class?  Any tips for beginners?


Meal Planning 1/26/15

Monday: Pasta/Zoodles and Shrimp

Tuesday: BBQ Pulled Pork

Wednesday: Chili Night

Thursday: Pork and Veggies

I Still Like Running



Although you haven’t heard much about it, I am still running (finally outside now) and still just as in love with the sport as ever!  Yesterday morning, I ran outside along the path before work.  It was a little chilly (especially for May), but gorgeous and peaceful.  I ran a little over 2 miles and then turned around to come home.  Less than a mile in, I saw a deer grazing along the side of the path.  As I got closer, I expected her to dart, but instead she stopped eating and looked up and I stopped too.  We stared at each other for a while (I said ‘good morning’) before I crept along trying not to startle her for fear she’d run in my direction across the path.  Instead, she went back to eating grass and I started kicking myself for not having a camera.  What a lovely way to begin the day and how fun to be back along my path saying ‘good morning’ to the deer.


My first race of the season is a little late this year at the end of May.  For a few reasons, mostly schedule and weather, I have adjusted any expectations.  I typically like to try to beat my best time from previous years, but I haven’t trained at that level.  Also, the last two years, I did a half marathon in early May making 10 miles look easy.  This year, my longest run was 6 miles and it was pretty slow and rather steady.



Cooper hunting his dinner…


Tonight, I would have loved to have gone for another run.  But the BOY and I had dinner making plans.  I had a slow day at work and walked in the door just as he was wrapping up his studying for the day.  He fired up the grill and I got started making the marinade for our shrimp and mango.  We didn’t have any spiced rum, so instead of buying a new bottle, I used Bacardi.


IMG_1570 IMG_1571


I cut the recipe in half (because reheated shrimp isn’t my favorite and I have plenty of Crockpot Orange Chicken for lunch this week).




This dinner made the perfect week night dinner because it really came together start to finish in about 40 minutes.  We struggled a little bit keeping the mango on the skewers, but in the end, the grilled mango was fantastic.




The shrimp, too, was flavorful and fun!  Definitely tasty enough to serve at your next gathering but easy enough to become a weeknight summer staple. 




I’m so excited that I made the first of my cookbook recipes this week.  I found this one in Great Food Fast by Everyday Food.  Grilled mango may be our new summer dessert!



Rum Glazed Shrimp and Mango

From Martha Stewart

Everyday Food July/August 2005



1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice plus 1 tablespoon (3 limes)

1/4 cup dark rum

3 tablespoons dark-brown sugar

1 tablespoon finely grated, peeled fresh ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

32 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (tail on)

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 ripe but firm mango, peeled and sliced lengthwise into 8 slivers, each about 1 inch thick

2 tablespoons vegetable oil for grates



Make glaze: In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup lime juice, rum, sugar, and ginger; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat; simmer, whisking occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water; stir into lime-juice mixture. Cook, stirring, until thickened, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat; let cool.

Thread shrimp onto 8 skewers, using 4 shrimp per skewer. Season on both sides with salt and pepper. Thread mango slivers onto 4 skewers, using 2 pieces per skewer. Brush shrimp and mango all over with glaze.

Heat grill to medium-high; oil grates. Place shrimp and mango skewers on grill; cook, turning once, until blackened in spots and shrimp are opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes.

Serve with rice or green veggies.

And I Made Dinner!

With a busy last week, the BOY stepped up having dinner ready most nights.

Now that he starts school tomorrow, it’s my turn to make some dinners.  We had a wonderful weekend with our close friend’s in town, but I was left Sunday with a bad cold/cough.  I knew it was coming as I’ve been pretty healthy ALL year.  I dosed myself with some Musinex (a personal favorite) and tried to drink as much water as possible.  I also needed some naps with Cooper.






I dragged myself out of the house for a walk (I haven’t exercised since Friday’s long run) and a trip to the grocery store.  I found an easy and healthy recipe for dinner that looked promising.  I put Tuesday’s dinner into the crockpot and got started on the jambalaya.




Since we are having chicken later in the week, I left that out of the original recipe and used a little more turkey sausage and shrimp.




Confession: I have no idea how to make foil packets and ended up with two very different configurations.




Which made this meal seem a whole lot more difficult than I expected.  When it came time to check my rice, I was nervous, but it was done.  But not all of my sausage pieces were cooked through.  I put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes, which did the trick.




The spices in this dish are super, and the BOY told me that he definitely wants me to make the recipe again!




We devoured it quickly, and I have some leftover for lunch tomorrow!




This is a great easy week day meal to add to your list.



Meal Plan 8/18/13


Sunday: Cajun Jambalaya


Monday: Clean Peanutty Thai Chicken


Tuesday: Leftovers


Wednesday: Out


Thursday: Mediterranean Grilled Chicken



Cajun Jambalaya

From Clean Eating Magazine

Makes 6 Servings



1/2 lb raw shrimp, 26/30 size, peeled and deveined, tail on

4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced into 1-inch pieces

1 all-natural low-sodium turkey sausage, sliced

1/2 medium white onion, diced

1 medium green bell pepper, stem and seeds removed and discarded, diced

1 rib celery, diced

1 handful of cherry tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 tbsp salt-free Cajun seasoning

1 cup all-natural instant brown rice

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Olive oil cooking spray



Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a large mixing bowl, toss together all ingredients except cooking spray, mixing well until combined.

Prepare 2 foil pouches. Spray each piece of foil with cooking spray. Divide mixture evenly among both pieces of foil and seal.

Place pouches on a baking tray and slide onto middle rack of preheated oven for 25 minutes or until rice and proteins are fully cooked. (NOTE: When cooked, rice will be soft and proteins will be firm and opaque.) To test for doneness, carefully open 1 pouch and taste a few grains of rice from the center of the pouch. If necessary, close pouch and return to oven for 5 more minutes.

Carefully open pouch and pour mixture into a large serving bowl; serve immediately.

3 Bags Full

I came out of hibernation today.  It seems that my hibernation was a little premature being that it reached 45 degrees outside.  I also had a lot of worthwhile places to be.




After a filling breakfast of eggs and toast, I hit the trail for a ~4 mile run.  The air was damp but the weather was warm.  I kept having to remind myself that it was December 8th!  There is nothing more refreshing after a run than a Green Smoothie




Especially this time of year when greens are replaced with holiday sweets!




This morning’s blend included:


1 cup almond milk

1 banana

1/4 cup oats

Frozen mango (whatever was left in the bag)

Ice cubes




I’m still getting used to how powerful my new blender is.  It’s incredible how quickly everything comes together.  My old blender had to be 8 years old which is pretty ancient in terms of kitchen gadgets.  I grabbed my smoothie, and the BOY and I headed out the door for our biannual dentist visit.  It was a happy visit for both!  Look Mom…no cavities!


On the way back we stopped for lunch.




It was the first meal the BOY and I have had together in a few days, so it was nice to sit and catch up for bit before heading our separate ways.  The BOY was off to the library (1 final down, 3 more to go), and I was back here for a facial.




This was a HUGE treat and I walked out almost 2 hours later literally glowing!  Clean teeth…clean skin…what a day!  I swung by Whole Foods and then Target before making my way back home to return to hibernation.


Can you guess what I am doing this weekend?




And No, the BOY and I didn’t break up…ha ha!




I stocked up on sugar, chocolate, more sugar, butter, and flour for Sunday’s Bake-a-thon which I am SUPER excited for!

1 Trip to Target = 3 Full Bags of baking goodness!




I walked in the door, unpacked my goodies and gave the BOY the hand off to get started on dinner.  I picked up the food and he was in charge of cooking it.




My jobs…pouring the wine!




And making this simple seasonal dessert.




Dinner was ready (yummy shrimp fajitas!), and the BOY and I sat down to watch the DVRed Indiana Basketball game.




There’s definitely something nice about fast forwarding through the commercials and getting to replay all of the acrobatic dunks.  After a busy day, it feels great to be back home in hibernation mode with the BOY.  But I can’t stay up too late because I have a busy day of baking with my Mom ahead of me.




Happy Hanukkah!

Baked Coconut Shrimp

The minute I saw this recipe in Clean Eating Magazine, I knew I wanted to make it soon!  My mouth was watering just checking out the pictures and it looked like a fresh idea to our meal rotation that wasn’t too complicated.  Perfect for a quiet night in after a long holiday weekend!


IMG_9564 IMG_9565


Which means I made it Monday night.  I did skimp on the homemade dip though and just picked one up at the store.


IMG_9566 IMG_9567


I was a huge fan of this recipe before I even put it into the oven.  Three bowls, four ingredients, and it all reminded me of a fun art project.


IMG_9570 IMG_9572 

IMG_9574 IMG_9577 


Don’t these guys look tasty?  The whole time, I kept thinking about what else can I dip into coconut/panko and bake?




I would suggest baking them slightly longer than suggested to get your shrimp EXTRA crispy!




In less than 20 minutes, dinner was served!




And it was a really good dinner!






We will definitely be making these again soon and adding them to our meal planning rotation!




I am a huge fan of a quick, easy, healthy, and satisfying dinner!

And I think that you will enjoy this recipe too!



Baked Coconut Shrimp

From Clean Eating Magazine



Olive oil cooking spray

2/3 cup whole wheat flour

2 large eggs

6 tbsp panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

24 shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on



Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray.  Place 3 wide, shallow bowls on work surface.  To first bowl, add flour; to second bowl, add eggs and beat lightly; to third bowl, add panko, coconut, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.

Pat shrimp dry with paper towels.  Holding 1 shrimp by the tail, dip in flour, shaking off excess.  Quickly dip in egg, then in coconut mixture, coating thoroughly.  Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining shrimp.  Bake for 11 minutes (or longer if needed), turning once, until shrimp are firm to the touch and browned.

1 Week To Go

The TOUR is over, but sadly my class is not : (




Even though I’m back in class tomorrow, I stayed up a little later than expected tonight to watch the exciting finish to the Tour de France.  It was fun to view this impressive race over the past three weeks, and I have a whole new knowledge and appreciation for this international spectacle.  I am all hyped up for the Olympics and more importantly, my first (and most likely only) triathlon of the summer next Sunday!


Although this weekend has not been ideal for training (or blogging), I have been able to get in some bike rides (Hello Bike Commuter!) and runs.  I am slacking on the swimming (story of my life), but since there is no expectations or pressure for this race, I’m not stressed, just excited!


Speaking of stressed, spending 6 days in class (instead of my usual 3 day weekend) has been rough on me.  Luckily, the BOY was in charge of dinner tonight, and he prepared us an amazing dinner or shrimp fajitas.  He made one spicy version using a salsa pepper from my friend’s garden and one less spicy.


IMG_5809 IMG_5811


Both were incredible!  We combined them with grilled veggies…




And added in the fixin’s needed for a tasty dinner!




We even had enough leftovers for me to take for lunch tomorrow.  For dessert, we had a special treat.  The red, white, and blue bottle was awesome looking and the champagne even better!


IMG_5805 IMG_5804


Since I’m in charge of the course breakfast tomorrow, I made a fruit salsa and by request, some fig and date bars tonight before settling in to fold some laundry and finish the tour.




The fig bars also made a great dessert tonight!

I apologize for post of random thoughts, but that is just where my brain is at right now.  I think they call that fried!  Only two more days of class and then two more days of work and then we are off to Wisconsin for the triathlon weekend.  Hooray!



Race Countdown: 1 week to Triathlon Time!!!

Pasta for Dinner

You know what this means…




Tomorrow is race day!




Rewind to Thursday…I was able to get in another run in my new shoes before work.




They are super comfortable, and I am excited to take them out for the 10 miler tomorrow.  I am just hoping that it doesn’t rain!




After my run, I packed up the Chocolate Covered Cake Batter Popcorn to bring to work.  It was WAY TOO addicting to keep around the house!  One thing that I learned is that you have to wait for everything to cool before packaging or you will end up with soggy popcorn.  It still tastes great, but you lose that popcorn crunch!




The popcorn was delicious, but I needed something healthier to fuel my race tomorrow.

I was craving my typical pre-race pasta with olive oil.  I picked up some veggies at Costco on my way home from work, and the BOY threw them on the grill with some shrimp.




He used our new Herbs de Provence olive oil on the veggies which was fantastic!




I tossed in some grilled shrimp…




And whole wheat pasta




I drizzled on a little olive oil and a sprinkle of aged parmesan cheese.


IMG_4223 IMG_4227

IMG_4228 IMG_4229


Dinner was incredible!  Even the BOY was raving about how good it was (he had the same thing, but with regular pasta).  He did such an amazing job seasoning the veggies and the Herbs de Provence is our new favorite olive oil.  If pasta always tasted this good, I would make it more often!




Now that I am loaded up with carbs, I am off to bed early.  The race starts at 7AM, so we will be up before the sun!

Wish me luck!  Not that I need it…tomorrow’s race is ALL ABOUT FUN!