May 30, 2013

Time to Feel Bad Ass Beautiful (Inside and Out)

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Hi darlins'! It's great to see ya here!

Sabrina, over at Lit Laugh Love, and I got together as fellow Sweat Pink Ambassadors and IU Alumni (GO HOOSIERS!) to create an exciting fitness challenge for the month of June. We know that it’s just as important to do something a little special for yourself as it is to treat your body right. That’s why our challenge focuses on a total ‘Inside and Out’ approach! A shot of cardio, a boost of strength, and a treat for the soul is what we got:

No time to exercise every single day? No problem! Since the challenge is in the form of a Bingo card, you have 24 opportunities to get a little frisky with your routine. Plus, you get to feel the immense satisfaction that comes with crossing something off a list!

We've knocked our heads together and created two workout circuits that combine several of our favorite strength and cardio moves to help you build muscle while keeping that heart rate up:


Stick with us by posting in the comments section and let us know how you’re doing. We’ll also be posting some fun updates as the month goes by. Do you have a suggestion for our next challenge? Throw it up there in the comments!

What are you waiting for? It’s time to feel Bad Ass Beautiful!

May 29, 2013

#WIAW no. 6 - Friday Fixins

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Hi darlins'! It's great to see ya here!

For today's What I Ate Wednesday I'm sharing some very fresh eats from last Friday...

I started the day off with an avocadolicious scramble for breakfast. This one had 2 full eggs, 1/2 a vine ripened tomato & 1/2 of an avocado. Absolutely scrumptious, the tomato complemented the avocado so well! Check the recipe here.

After reading Greatist's 2013 "Dirty Dozen" list (a MUST read in my humble opinion), I've been gravitating more & more towards organic produce. For example, I opted for organic Gala apples on my last grocery trip, and this one made an excellent morning snack.

For lunch, I combined the rest of my leftover tomato & avocado from breakfast with some homemade garlic pesto hummus on a wheat tortilla. YUM.

Immediately after work, I mixed up a strawberry protein smoothie (check here for my standard recipe). Normally, I don't eat before workouts but this snack hit the spot. I blended about 1 cup of strawberries (non-organic) with Vanilla Almond milk and Vanilla protein powder for a fruity pick-me-up before my run.
When dinner time rolled around I was really hankering for some chicken. Luckily, I picked up a whole rotisserie chicken on our last grocery run and a couple drumsticks paired quite well with steamed Italian green beans :)
If you'd like to see more delectable dishes by some other amazing bloggers, you can check them out at Peas & Crayons.

For a look at what made the 'Dirty Dozen' and 'Clean Fifteen' lists this year, check here, you may be surprised by what you read!

Thank you for reading & Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

May 28, 2013

Back to Reality (& Healthier Choices)

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Hi darlins'! It's great to see ya here! I hope your holiday weekends were fabulous :)

Mine was spent enjoying the company of my little sister and more cookies that I would care to admit. We were outdoors A LOT, hiking, hanging out poolside and at the ballpark (which my sunburn unfortunately boasts). But alas, all good things must end, and I started my work week out today with some healthier, less sugary eats.

Apart from hiking with the sis, I didn't really workout over the weekend. Resting was nice, but now I can't wait to get back to running! My goal is to knock out a 45+ minute run this evening and then make up on some core sets since I skipped a couple over the weekend.

I can't believe there are only four more days left to finish May Core Challenge! If you've missed some or most of this month's challenge, no worries! Just smile and remember, it's never too late to get your plank on :) Thanks for reading!

What's your favorite Memorial Day weekend activity? It's a toss up between laying out by the pool & shopping...

May 23, 2013

Morning Battles & A Goal Update

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Hi darlins'! It's great to see ya here!

So, these types of shenanigans are becoming a daily ritual. Everyday at 5a.m. like clockwork, the Shadow/Mojo dueling begins...
I like to think they do most of their battling in the bathroom because I'm in there to witness it and be impressed.

On another note, I had a great workout last night :) I ran 3.6 miles in 35:31, did a May Core Challenge (Week 3) set and then ran another 1.61 miles in 18:10. The best part is that I thought I wasn't going to have time to workout at all!

A moment of clarity happened around 6 o'clock that got me completely pumped for my run. My motivation? I had this random vision of Tim Gunn with crossed arms and furrowed brow saying to me "Make it work." If that makes me some kind of odd ball, whatever, because it totally worked.

It was pretty late when I got home and finished up work for the day, so there wasn't really any way of keeping my goal of not eating 2 hours before bedtime, I was starving! I had some incredible leftover red bell pepper and sausage pizza, then promptly hit the hay post-shower. But speaking of goals, other than last night's hiccup, things have been going great!

1. Drinking more water. 
  • I think I'm doing a great job here!
2. No eating and only drinking tea/water 2-3 hours before bed 
  • Not going to lie, this girl has been loving her bourbon/wine/whatever night caps lately, but I'm going to try to be better about this.
3. May Core Challenge
  • Into week 3 of the challenge with a 100% completion rate so far. Pretty good I'd say :)
I've also been doing well with daily planking (big thanks to Goal #3).

What new goals and challenges are you setting up for yourselves? Dreams of doing a full marathon this year...

What are your favorite core workout moves? Twists & Planks

May 22, 2013

#WIAW no. 5 - Carby Weekend Eats

Hi darlins'! It's great to see ya here!

Today for WIAW I'm sharing eats from last Saturday. Typically, on the weekends I find myself snacking less and gravitating towards larger (and more carb-filled) meals. Hey, it's the weekend right? :)

I'm a big lover of pancakes, and when I saw this recipe for pancakes made with coconut flour I just couldn't resist swinging by Whole Foods to grab the goods and try them out. Verdict -- They would be good by themselves, but the kiwi and bananas really made the difference! For Breakfast, I enjoyed them with a drizzle of syrup and a big steaming mug of coffee.

At lunchtime, Matt & I decided to head to a local microbrewery we'd never tried before and split some NY style BBQ pizza. I also snatched a few of his onion rings and ordered a side of spiced apples with my slice. Not pictured are the few drinks we had, but fun fact - the brewers there give naughty names to all of their beers (we enjoyed the Yeast Nasty, CircumSaison and Pecker Wrecker varieties).
Around 4 o'clock or so, I noshed on about half an English cucumber with a bit of my homemade garlic pesto hummus while catching up on a little Game of Thrones reading. I'm in the middle of Book 5 and things are getting REAL.
Dinner was a classic option for me. Eggs + Peppers + Potato + Chicken + Tortillas + Hot Sauce = Heaven.

If you want to see many more wonderful posts for WIAW by others, check out Peas and Crayons.
Or, if you're interested, here are some of the other naughty brews that Cool Springs Brewery concocts.

Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

May 16, 2013

When to Sweat It and When to Not?

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Hi darlins'! It's great to see ya here!

I got to thinking about 'worry' this morning. We all worry about a lot of things, and I think it's fair to say that most of our worries either never come to fruition or don't really matter in the first place. F. Scott Fitzgerald's name has been bandied about quite a bit lately (kudos to the Gatsby film I have not yet seen!) and my thoughts about worry led me to one of his less famous works, A Life In Letters.

Here's an excerpt of F. Scott's advice to his daughter:


Things to worry about:

Worry about courage
Worry about Cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship
Worry about. . .

Things not to worry about:

Don't worry about popular opinion
Don't worry about dolls
Don't worry about the past
Don't worry about the future
Don't worry about growing up
Don't worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don't worry about triumph
Don't worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don't worry about mosquitoes
Don't worry about flies
Don't worry about insects in general
Don't worry about parents
Don't worry about boys
Don't worry about disappointments
Don't worry about pleasures
Don't worry about satisfactions

Things to think about: 

What am I really aiming at?
How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to:

(a) Scholarship
(b) Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?
(c) Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it?


The writing above really makes me take a step back and laugh at some of the ridiculous things I occasionally catch myself worrying about (e.g., that's too much sugar in my coffee, my breakfast didn't have enough lean protein, that run should have been 2 minutes faster, that hair cut didn't cost enough, how angry one of my sisters was with me in a dream, etc. -- you get the idea).

What's one of your frequent outlandish worries? how my voice sounds when played back to me

Do you disagree with any of the Worry about/Don't worry abouts that F. Scott listed? mosquitoes

May 15, 2013

#WIAW no. 4: Leftovers and Misc. Food Galore

Hi darlins'! It's great to see ya here!

I'm back with a new edition of What I Ate Wednesday, just another great day of random meals :) You can check out other fun WIAW posts at the link below -- there are a lot of them.

Kicking off my day with a hearty breakfast was a two-egg, half baked potato scramble with a couple of spicy paleo meatballs...
Morning Snack: Banana
Afternoon Snack: Blood Orange Chobani

Quick, easy and fruity!

Lunch was a quick mix of Bird's Eye lightly sauced steamed Italian green beans and chicken... 

Later, to re-fuel post-workout, I slammed a pint of drained off chickpea liquid...

JUST KIDDING. But I did add about half of that drained off chickpea liquid back to the batch of pesto garlic hummus I made for Matt :)

Dinner was essentially a random mix of leftovers in a bowl -- iceberg lettuce, steamed creamed spinach and a baked sweet potato. The flavors mixed together weren't half bad, but the texture left something to be desired. Even with the odd end result, it was really filling and I felt good about not being wasteful with my produce :)

Hope you enjoyed the food, I know I did -- Have a really Happy Wednesday!!

May 13, 2013

Spicy Paleo Meatballs

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Hi darlins'! It's great to see ya here!

Over the weekend I tried making homemade meatballs for the first time, and it turned out to be quite a yummy experiment :) I felt even better about the copious amounts of garlic I added after reading this article on Greatist today.

Spicy Meatballs

What You Need:
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 3 tsp minced garlic (or more to taste) 
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

What To Do:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F and cover a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together in a medium bowl, then make 16 golf ball-sized meatballs and place them on your pre-foiled baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until cooked through.
  4. Let cool for a short while, then enjoy!
That's all for now, I hope your week is getting off to a great start!

May 9, 2013

Mojo: 1 Year Old!

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Hi darlins'! It's great to see ya here!

It's so hard to believe that a year ago today my little fluffy ball of calico sunshine was born, she's such a joy in our lives, now I could never imagine our home without her :)

I realize cats don't eat birthday cake, but that's not going to stop me from whipping up something special tonight -- only -- I can't decide which cake I should bake...

Question: Should I go Blueberry Lemon (paleo with coconut flour) or Strawberry Jam White (Mama's recipe)???

May 8, 2013

#WIAW no. 3 - A 6-Meal Day

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Hi darlins'! It's great to see ya here!

It's What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) today, and so I'm going to share my eats from this Monday.
It was a long day so I ended up having 6 separate meal times! 

For starters... at around 5:30am I had a quick smoothie. I only finished about half of it because I was in a rush, but it was still really filling (and Matt was happy to have the rest).
Ingredients: Frozen strawberries and peaches, 1 whole banana, a scoop of vanilla protein powder and about 1/2 c. of vanilla almond milk (much like my previously posted smoothie recipe, just with different flavors).

For Breakfast Part Deux, I whipped up my usual dose of scramble for the day at about 8am.
Ingredients: 1 whole egg, 1 egg-white and 1/2 a baked potato.

Around 11... I turned to coffee flavored with a bit of SF hot chocolate mix, strawberries and a little piece of Girl Scout Cookie shortbread happiness :) The sugar was a wonderful pick-me-up.

For Lunch a couple hours later... I cooked up a microwave concoction of steamed green beans and chicken. I'm a huge fan of freezer meals for busy days, and this one is just a full bag of Bird's Eye SteamFresh green beans with chicken tenders added in.

Around 4pm, I noshed on about 1/2 a red bell pepper and some baby carrots. Eating raw veggies around this time of day usually fills me up just right before heading to the gym, and this snack was no exception. Monday night I ran 3.9 miles in ~37 minutes followed up with a core workout and felt great!

At about 7:30pm, I decided to get a spicy with dinner and delight in some homemade Tomatillo Salsa Verde & tortilla chips paired with a Brinner Burrito doused with my favorite hot sauce.
Ingredients for the Burrito: 1 Whole Wheat Tortilla, 2 eggs, 1 chicken patty and red & green bell peppers.

I hope you enjoyed my random day of food, thanks for reading, and good luck with all your nutritional and healthy living goals this week! You can totally do it :)

May 6, 2013

Tomatillo Salsa Verde & Rainy Weekend Wrap-Up

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Hi darlins'! It's great to see ya here!

I've got a yummy salsa recipe for you today, along with a wrap-up of our weekend. Nashville was rained on hard, so the last couple of days were spent mostly indoors relaxing, reading, watching movies and catching up on some much needed Zzzs. Even in the crummy weather, I managed to keep up with all my workout goals and my Sunday evening run felt amazing after the time I've taken off from the treadmill.

Speaking of workout goals... I have yet to share my excitement on completing the 30-Day Squat Challenge! I'm really happy (and so are my legs) to have finished it up at the end of last week with a day of 250 squats :)

In total, I did roughly 3,300 bodyweight squats over the last 30 days.

Now let's talk Salsa!

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Matt loves salsa, and he was inspired by this recipe to experiment in the kitchen on Saturday. I'd never cooked with tomatillos before, so I was pumped to try it out :)

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that we got to use a bunch of fresh herbs from our garden. Matt thought the heat was perfect, and though it wasn't tremendously watery (once you let it set for a day in the fridge to thicken up), we'll probably adjust the recipe next time to include ~1/2 c. less water. All-in-all, this was definitely a great experiment, I hope you enjoy!

Makes 8 Servings

1 lb. tomatillos (husked)
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 serrano chile pepper, minced
1 anaheim pepper, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. fresh chopped oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Salt to taste
1 1/2 c. water (original recipe called for 2 cups)

Put tomatillos, onion, garlic, peppers and seasonings in a saucepan.
Add water.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the tomatillos are soft (takes about 10 minutes).

Then, using a blender, carefully puree the contents of the saucepan in batches until smooth.


That's it for now! And if you're so inclined... Follow my blog with Bloglovin!

May 1, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday (#WIAW) no. 2: A Tasty Tuesday

Hi darlins'! It's great to see ya here!'

I don't have any cute theme for my 2nd WIAW -- it's just a random day of food...enjoy!

For starters...

Breakfast was a mix of 1 whole egg + 2 egg whites and 3 chopped up Italian meatballs. MmmMmm!

Mid-Morning Snack: Blueberries
Mid-Afternoon Snack: Baby Carrots
Early Evening Snack: Carmelized Onion Hummus w/ Tortilla Chips

Lunch was a mish-mash of leftovers. I combined about 1/4 of a leftover black bean quesadilla stuffed with spinach, grilled peppers, onions and cheese with a chopped up baked potato and some more baby spinach!

Dinner was served over the grill by Matt - Jalapeno bratwursts and asaparagus seasoned with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Spicy! Since I just ate about half of the asparagus pictured above and only 1 of the juicy bratwursts Matt thought a picture of his individual plate would be more entertaining to share ...

...what can I say? The man likes his mustard :)

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!