Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Seeing the light!

Finally the chaos of the last month or so is coming to a close!!!  I am finally moved in with the BF and as of last night our house is totally empty and cleaned up!  I also got a 92% of one of my MBA exams and a 89% on the other which I will totally take since I didn't study one bit oops.  We have the whole summer planned out and all of our vacations booked and coordinated.  I can finally breathe!!

Random weekend updates....I was a super clutz and tripped up my stairs (yup up) while moving and totally busted up the inside of my foot.  Thankfully it doesn't hurt to walk or run but when it has pressure from my shoes and such it isn't super pleasant.  This is how I spent my friday night.... I wasn't too sad to have to stop moving to take a wine/pinterest/ice cream break lol

Saturday we headed out to my Alma Mater Western Michigan University to see my baby sister graduate.  I could not believe that I was that old and that she was about to become a full fledged adult.  It was a perfect day out and a wonderful ceremony.  I really could not be more proud of her, I have talked before about how she is more like my daughter then a sister and I really did feel like a proud momma bear watching her walk across that stage.  I think the champagne was more for me then for her lol but it did make for an amazing day!

Philly Stuffed Peppers

I spent last weekend "back at college" celebrating my baby sisters graduation... everytime I go I realize why I gained so many lbs lol!  Every meal was something oh so bad for me but oh so tasty!  It is crazy once you start to cut out a majority of the bad stuff that you can feel your body act differently when you put it back in. By Sunday night I wasn't feeling so great and I was craving something with some nutrients.  I pinned this recipe awhile back and figured it would be the perfect thing to try.  I loved that this had no refined carbs and was super filling for under 180 calories a pepper half.  Also it took a few ingredients and not too much prep work to make which is perfect in my book.  I got the original recipe here but modified it to make it a bit bigger and a bit healthier!

Philly Stuffed Peppers

4 green peppers cut in half and seeded
1 tbs coconut oil
1 small sweet onion chopped
1 package button mushrooms sliced
1 clove garlic
1 lb roast beef sliced, and cut into strips
8 pieces of mozzarella cheese


1) In large skillet heat coconut oil, add onion, mushrooms, garlic, and S&P to taste
2) Sautee until onions are translucent and mushrooms become tender
3) Add roast beef and heat through
4) Place pepper halves in large baking dish, place half a piece of cheese into each half, top with some beef/onion/mushroom mixture, then top with other half of cheese
5) Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes until peppers are soft and cheese is melted (you can include a little bit of water in the bottom of the pan to help the peppers soften up while cooking if you like them softer)
6) Enjoy!
If you like these you can also check out my Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Weekend update

How is it already Monday?  Even though I still have 4 days of work I am already looking forward to my long three day weekend coming up!

Friday I was able to get in a solid 2 mile run and caught up on my lack of lifting for the week.  Doing shoulders and back/bi day was really difficult but I made it through.  That night was supposed to be birthday party for my bestie J but sadly she got really sick and we decided to postpone the events since the birthday girls couldn't attend!  Instead we did a small BBQ with some friends and called it a pretty early night.

Saturday woke up bright and early to take care of some errands and then we headed over to a local 5K for the One Fund Boston organization. We really didn't expect much since the event had to be thrown together so quickly but we were immediately impressed with how well they had done. Local companies donated t-shirts, bibs, timing equipment, food, drinks, and everything else you could want at a race. This meant that 100% of the funds raised could go straight to the fund! The same race was held in 13 other cities at the same time so it was great to feel like a part of something much bigger. The race director was also able to find 4 local runners that had participated in the Boston Marathon this year, that wanted to participate in the 5K. I did not expect to see anyone from Boston, the second I realized who they were I had goose bumps, and it made me even more motivated to be there!

Saturday night was the birthday party for my other good friend and it was so much fun to get together with some of my favorite people in the area.  We had a low key BBQ and then proceeded out to the clubs for dancing!  I love to dance and we can rarely get the boys to go so it was awesome to see them all be good sports and come along.  I also had one too many glasses on wine which prompted an obnoxious BF and I photo shoot which I didn't realize until the next morning so here are some of the highlights lol!

This week will be insane since this is the big move,  I have 2 exams, and need to keep up on my 10K training but I think I should be able to get it all done.  The best part is the weather this week... today is supposed to be 60 and sunny when I get out of work which means that it will actually be easy for me to lace up my shoes and get out for a run. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

My breakfast is green!

Can we please get a little break?  This winter has been dragging, now I know I live in a Northern state but this is a little sad.  The snow left us a few weeks ago but the frigid temps (below 40) stayed.  Then finally this week we reach the upper 50's and what happens RAIN every single day.  I am not sure I can run on a treadmill any longer.  All winter I stuck with it for my Disney training but now I am just done.  This week I sucked it up and was able to get in about 10 miles total but at this point I am waaaay over this view

Today is calling for more rain so I am going to try to get in a few miles and a good lift, and then tomorrow rain or shine the BF, a few friends, and I are running a local 5K which supports the One Boston charity.  It will be nice to run for a good cause and hopefully the rain will hold out and it will miraculously be a beautiful day! 

Thankfully however this week I have been able to do super well on the nutrition front.  I have been trying to cut back on my sugar intake and really keep most of my meals as "clean" as possible.  I have been using MyFitnessPal app for the last few weeks pretty consistently which made me realize a few things in my diet that I needed to change.  The first was that I was consuming far too much sugar which I have been able to curve this week, the second was that my calcium was low which I helped with some vitamins I already owned, and last night I realized that my potassium is really low.  Even with all of the bananas, leafy greens, and legumes I eat I still only seem to get about a third or less of my daily recommended intake.  Did some research and apparently potassium is pretty hard to get in the adequate levels and it can lead to fatigue and lack of endurance which are both things I struggle with.  This week I am hoping to scope out some supplements but in the mean time I figured I could at least add some spinach to my morning smoothie.  Not so sure about the green color however it tasted exactly as it usually does and doesn't add many calories so it looks like it will be my new go to morning shake! (PS don't mind my unmanicured thumb tonight is manicure night thank goodness)

So what is on schedule this weekend?  Basically throwing away all of my hard work (kidding.. kinda)  two of my best girlfriends had birthdays this week and this weekend are there awesome parties.  Tonight we are heading to a cowboy bar (not my choice trust me) and then tomorrow a dance club.  Both are preceeded with BBQ's which will be awesome but we all know my willpower is basically zero in social situations so I am hoping I can keep on track.  Can't wait to celebrate with these girls and then get back on it next week!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Peanut Butter Protein Bites

It is no secret that I have a sweet tooth so I set out in search of a sweet treat that I didn't have to feel too guilty about.  I had seen this recipe before and decided that it was the perfect time to try them out.  The description said they tasted just like a no bake cookie which were my favorites growing up so I figured I would give it a shot.  Well they are AMAZING!  They really do taste like a cookie and they are super easy to put together.  Because of the ingredients they are a little over 100 calories a piece so they aren't completely guilt free and do require some willpower.  I always end up snacking on a few hundred calories of sweets anyway so I decided that I would much rather be taking in those calories with real ingredients rather than my coworkers boxed brownies!  They are also perfect after a workout before dinner which is a horrible snacking time for me since I am always starving while I cook.  I adapted the recipe from this website to fit our own tastes and I feel like anyone could throw in whatever extras they happen to have on hand. 

Peanut Butter Protein Bites

1 cup dry oatmeal
2/3 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup dried cranberries chopped
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tsp vanilla

1) Mix all ingredients in medium bowl
2) Roll into individual balls (I was able to make about 20) and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to harden
4) Store in sealed baggies or container
5) Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

#RunnersUnite for Boston

Just like so many others yesterday I was in shock... I couldn't believe what the news was telling and couldn't bear to watch the videos of what had happened in Boston. This race was something that people had worked so hard to achieve and I couldn't believe that someone so brutally destroyed what should have been a great day for. It sickens me that people can take the lives of and injure innocent people because of their own problems and issues with the world. Obviously there is still a lot of questions that need to be answered like who and why but I am never sure I will fully understand what makes a person or a group capable of such brutality.

Any runner knows that no matter what the distance the finish line is the happiest place in the world, seeing that line means that no matter how badly you are struggling that you all of a sudden have the strength to push through. It is also a place that has your loved ones, friends, and most of the time complete strangers willing to cheer you through those last few minutes. Whoever chose to tarnish that line in Boston will have their own debts to pay; however, they forgot that anyone one who is a runner in the first place is used to pushing through the tough times and overcoming every obstacle in their way. No one will ever forget what happened yesterday and today it has brought the running community even closer!

This quote came up a lot yesterday and it really is worth sharing. The videos of the blast were so difficult to watch, but after this I tried to concentrate on the amount of people that immediately ran to help without knowing what would happen next. There are people in this world that will do whatever they can to destroy faith, but there are many more that are there to rebuild it. Keep faith, and keep Boston in your prayers!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

When life gets in the way

There is no way around it.... I have been slacking! Hardcore slacking, like not running in 2 weeks and barely getting to the gym type slacking. In the past three weeks I have only attempted to run once and made it to the gym only a handful of times. This is a definite issue because today my wonderful friend reminded me that I only have 4 weeks until I am running a 10K in Grand Rapids. No I know I have ran further than that but I am not at the point where I can just go out and run 6 miles without proper training.

I have also been slacking on the food front, the last few weeks have been crazy busy and I have really quickly lost motivation to prepare and plan for meals ahead of time. The BF and I are usually really good about planning but in the last few weeks we have lost it. Most days I can find something to eat for breakfast and lunch (although quite boring) however dinners have been mostly eating out and take-out which is not usual at all!

So what is my excuse? Change and uncertainty, which are two things that I do not tend to enjoy.

So first I am moving which has two huge pieces of chaos. The first is that the BF and I have decided to live with each other for the summer to save money and to kinda do a "trial run". For most people this would be exciting however for me it is terrifying. I lived with someone in the past and it didn't work out well at all, it is actually what led to our break-up so going into it this time is a little scary. I may be over there all the time but I know firsthand it is a huge difference then actually living with each other. The second piece of chaos is that after the summer I will be taking over the lease from my current roomie in our new house which is still to be located (with less than 2 weeks until we move out). Finding a house/apartment is a pain in the a** and every time we find something we love it is leased before we even have the chance. We have a few more places to look at this week and hopefully we will find something so we can get it done with!

And the next and biggest part of life right now is that the BF has decided to attend grad school at the University of Minnesota. Since we began dating over a year ago I knew he wanted to go to grad school full time which is something I 100% support. I know he is meant to do big things in the business world and the only way to get there is for him to get his MBA from a reputable school. He applied to 2 schools in Michigan and 1 in Minnesota (his home state) because they were the best in the Midwest. After a few months of interviews and campus tours he finally decided on Minnesota. I know in my heart that it is the best school for him and the place he will excel the most which is what is important but it still does bring on a lot of stress that I wasn't prepared for. We have already discussed that we are in this for the long haul but it has now made the next 2.5 years very uncertain. Because of my job and his first year course load we have decided to do long distance for the first year, LDR's suck there is no way around it and historically I haven't been very good at them. I am a time person and I feel most loved when I am given someone’s time which is something the BF will not be able to provide his first year. Since we both know this the current plan is for me to make the move in spring of 2014, which will solve one set of problems but bring on a whole new set. I love my job, and to be honest I am damn good at it. I have excelled faster than most employees and have the potential to excel well into management and a six figure income in the next few years. Working for the federal government means that there is usually a lot of room to transfer but sadly there is nothing in Minnesota. This means that I will be starting over new, and will be switching from the public to the private sector which will be huge! I know that in the end this is what will be best for the BF and I since it will give us the life we both want but in the mean time I am just trying by best not to freak out and be supportive as possible even when it hurts.

So what is the outcome? That I need to pull up my big girl panties and suck it up. If I can't keep to my goals during this type of stress there is no way that I will be able to keep it up later in life with kids, a house, a hubby, hopefully a few dogs, and lord knows what else. I need to make working out and eating right a priority because it will make everything else in my life just a little bit better. Today I packed my food and I have a great meal planned for tonight, this weekend I am hoping to unwind and just enjoy my friends and BF. This weekend I plan to make a weekly meal plan and grocery list to try to keep myself more organized so that I can't blame time anymore. I guess it took me 3 weeks but I guess this morning was my realization that I need to make some changes!!

Coconut Chicken Tenders

Chicken is my go to protein but it can get old really fast!  I have tried to make baked chicken fingers a few times but adding the coconut set this recipe over the top.  These are also really good for packing in lunches through the week and a new staple in my kitchen!
Coconut Chicken Tenders
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into tender size pieces
1 cup flour
1 egg
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs of choice
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I use sweetened)
1 TBS choice seasoning ( I use Ms Dash products)
1) In small bowl beat egg with a little bit of water
2) Pour flour in another small bowl
3) In a medium bowl mix bread crumbs, shredded coconut, and seasoning of choice
4) Take chicken tenders and individually coat with flour, dip into egg mixture, and then coat with coconut mixture
5) Place coated tenders on a baking rack over a cookie sheet (if you don't have a baking rack it is okay just make sure to flip the chicken half way through cooking to make sure they cook even)
6) Cook in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken
7) Enjoy!
Extra:  If you want a fancy sweet dipping sauce I usually just take a little bit of orange marmalade and mix it with my favorite BBQ sauce and pop it in the microwave for about 15 seconds.  The sweet compliments the coconut amazingly.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Breakfast is a must in my life, if I don't eat within an hour of waking up I am guaranteed to be hungry/cranky the whole day. I get to work at 6:30am so breakfast is usually something easy to pack and transport AKA yogurt, fruit, dry cereal, smoothies, hard boiled eggs etc. However on the weekends I love to make a little something more! Friday I decided to make homemade apple cinnamon oatmeal. Now don't get me wrong I love the stuff that comes out of a packet but this is so easy there is almost no excuse not to make it from scratch.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
1/2 apple of choice
1/2 cup dry oats
1 dash cinnamon
1 dash apple pie spice
1 pinch sugar
Milk of choice

1) Peel and chop 1/2 of an apple into bite size pieces, mix with seasonings and sugar and set aside
2) Make oatmeal according to package directions (I usually use old fashioned oats which still only have a 5 minute cooking time)
3) Place oatmeal into apple mixture and top with milk
4) Enjoy