Thursday, February 28, 2013

How To Make a Thursday Exciting..

The answer is simple...buy things online, go away for a few days and then return home to CHRISTMAS!! Haha.

My shipments included a Groupon purchase of makeup brushes (originally $80, purchased for $19.99). They even came in this cute leopard case!



The Advocare Herbal Cleanse and Probiotics. (I'm doing the Cleanse Challenge with MamaLaughlin and SkinnyMeg). I plan on doing updates about how its going and what I think of the products.


My FitKit!! I won this through a Twitter chat for #BYHO2013. It's an awesome kit that includes resistance bands, a jump rope, reflective arm bands, a pedometer with an alarm you can pull if you run into trouble, and more! I will be doing a review of this kit soon. I know I'll be using it a lot since I'm traveling so much for work these days!


After looking through my goods, I ate a quick snack and headed to the gym to meet my friend for spin class. Seriously, meeting someone at the gym is much more motivating than going by yourself. I ended up burning 600 calories during the hour long class. Woohoo!


Tomorrow I'm getting my nails done (more pampering, she's so annoying, I know) and then Saturday my boyfriend and I are going on a fishing expedition! We'll see how much I can help with my freshly painted nails :p

-J
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Clean Eating Linkup!


Here's my super delicious recipe for the Clean Eating Linkup with MamaLaughlin and Skinny Meg!

Spicy Chinese Shrimp Stir-Fry:
Ingredients:
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¾ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • ½ green pepper, sliced into strips
  • ½ cup sugar snap peas
  • ½ cup baby corn
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¾ cup chicken stock
  • 1/8 cup cornstarch
Shrimp - Oil and Sauce
Nothing organic here—girl on a BUDGET ;)
Directions:
  • Pour oil into pan and allow to heat for 2 minutes. Add garlic and cayenne pepper. Next, add vegetables. I also added some cayenne directly onto my shrimp before cooking. What can I say? Some like it hot!
  • Cook for 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • Add shrimp, cook until opaque (this color usually means shrimp are thoroughly cooked! and took me about 5 minutes).
  • Combine chicken broth and cornstarch in a bowl, stir until combined. Add to pan and continue to mix.  (This should thicken the liquids into a sauce…cornstarch is amazing)
  • Eat plain or serve over brown rice :)
Shrimp
Shrimp Cooking
Tips – I’m by no means the world’s best or smartest chef, but I’ve found that heating the pan to medium works best for me. Otherwise I get overwhelmed and behind on stirring and garlic burns or vegetables burn. It may not technically be “stir-fry” because it’s being cooked at a lower temperature, but it still rocks. Also, use whatever vegetables you want. Sometimes I use what I listed, other times I throw in the vegetables from the fridge that are close to death. Have fun with it!
Final Shrimp Cooked Served over brown rice.
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

On The Road Again...

Hey y'all!!

Greetings from Lake Michigan :)



It is absolutely beautiful up here. Just a little too cold for my taste. I prefer to be near the water when the only thing I have to wear is a swimsuit and sunglasses. Not when the first few feet of the water are iced over! Nevertheless, its a great place to be forced to go to for work. I'm here all week in order to visit multiple sites. (Don't want to go into too much detail, I think work should remain private) Anywho, here's what the hotel looks like....

Entrance to the Hotel

Lobby!
As MamaLaughlin might say...amazeballs. I'm feeling very spoiled, just wish my boyfriend was here with me! Unfortunately the food is less than spectacular. I tried to get a salad last night with grilled chicken but the lettuce was wilted and the dressing was gross. I usually remember to ask for dressing on the side, but I forgot this time. Lesson learned. Hopefully I pick better tonight! I have my eye on a roasted beet salad that looked pretty interesting.

Last night I also made my way down to the fitness room. Nothing fancy, but worked for what I needed! Tonight I'll get in a run (and hopefully remember to wear my heart rate monitor), then follow it up with a few Tone It Up routines! No excuses even when you're on the road, ladies!



Here's a picture from this morning, as I quickly caught the elevator with my oatmeal in hand. I got too caught up in watching Good Morning America with my coffee to be on time!



Cheers to another relaxing afternoon and happy hour with some co-workers! You can check out my updates on Instagram :)

And don't forget to check out my GIVEAWAY here!! A Fitbook to help you keep track of everything you eat and all the exercise you do! Great way to keep yourself accountable!

-J
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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Reflecting + GIVEAWAY!

Do you ever get the feeling that things happen for a reason? You keep telling yourself how much you wish people would read your blog, or how much you are dying to have 1 follower on Google, or 1 comment. Someone to just say "I read that post and it was"...interesting, weird, powerful, boring, cool, anything! Believe me, I know all of that comes with time. I'm just a self-aware impatient person. I want to make a difference now, I want to make people laugh now, I want people to enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy reading others. I guess Tom Petty really said it best, "the waiting is the hardest part." 

That being said, I can't help but feel humbled right now. Friday I wrote a post about my personal experience with heart disease for #BYHO2013. I did it because I have a lot to say on the subject. If you read it, you know that heart disease had a huge impact on my life and made me rethink a lot. Not just my own health and fitness, but the health of my family. I want them to be successful in their goals just like I'm trying to be successful in mine. My goal right now is to lose 15 pounds. Yes, its slightly embarrassing because I'm an RD and I know how to lose weight, but something just isn't clicking. Luckily I've found what that something is!!

I'm lying to myself. I pretend that I didn't eat those 3 handfuls of M&M's last night, and I've been getting away with it because there's nobody to answer to. The answer: Fitbook. The motto: Write it down, make it happen.

Planning is the key to success and I haven't been doing that. Have you? Fitbook takes the guesswork out of it. There's a 12 week planning section so you can jot down your long term goals. Weekly planning pages so that you can create short term goals. And daily tracking pages to write down everything you eat and all of your exercise. There's no way to lie to yourself if you are writing it all down!


The Fitbook team at Fitlosophy has been kind enough to offer one of my readers a RED Fitbook as a way to continue to spread the word of awareness for heart disease. Check it out here!! Want to win? It's easy!! Here are your options, just leave a comment for each separate one saying you did :)

  1. Follow CarpeTheSangria with Google Reader (top right of the page!)
  2. Leave a comment telling me something, anything :)
  3. Tweet this: "I'm entering to win a @Fitbook from @CarpeTheSangria to help spread heart disease awareness!You can too! http://bit.ly/ZtjzPG"
  4. Follow CarpeTheSangria on Instagram
I'll pick a random winner on Sunday, March 3rd!

Even if you don't want to enter...here's a promo code to get 14% off!! When you checkout at the website use this code: GORED14

-J
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Friday, February 22, 2013

#BYHO2013



This afternoon I participated in Blog Your Heart Out 2013 (#BYHO2013) chat on Twitter. Don't ask me how I found it, because I can't remember. But as with all Twitter chats I was intrigued. I quickly found out what it was all about: bringing awareness to heart health for women. So, here's my own personal story and struggle with heart disease.

I guess I always knew that heart disease ran in my family. You know the story, you're at the doctor with your parents and the doc asks who has what disease in your family, which side: maternal or paternal, and if you're like me… you just sat there not caring and waiting to get that gross light stuck in your ear. It wasn't until I went to college that I really started taking control of my own health. Partly because I was forced to, and mostly because I decided I wanted to become a Registered Dietitian. After my first general class on nutrition I decided to get my lipid panel checked, for fun...let me tell you, the results were not fun. Somehow I had high cholesterol? Wait, wait, wait...an 18 year old with high LDL and total cholesterol? YES. That's what genes does to you folks!! I quickly reassessed my eating habits and changed the kind of fats I eat and, how frequently I would binge on French fries. It helped a lot and within 1 year I brought my levels back down to a normal range. PHEW. Crisis averted...for me at least.

When I was a dietetic intern in graduate school heart disease hit my family pretty hard. My dad met with his cardiologist and told her about how one time he felt pain in his chest when running. She said that his last stress test was perfect and just to be safe she'd prefer to do a full-on heart catheterization. Since this came from the cardio doc, my dad didn't even question it. The next week he went under anesthesia and had his heart cath. Within an hour after the procedure he was diagnosed with what some people call a "widow maker." A 100% blockage on his right main coronary artery, a 65% blockage of his left anterior descending coronary artery and an 80% blockage of his left main coronary artery...along with a valve that needed to be replaced. HOLY SH*T was the first words that really came to mind. An aggressive course of action was plotted by a remarkable team of surgeons, doctors and nurses. He was going to have open heart surgery the next week (yeah, dad was pretty stressed during the week between diagnosis and surgery. But the doctors insisted it would be fine as long as he didn't go out and try to run a marathon in the meantime). So, finally he had CABGx3 (Coronary artery bypass grafting, times 3) and an aortic valve replacement. I don't think anything can prepare you to see your dad laying in the ICU on a ventilator. That's one of the most vivid memories I have of that time. He was so helpless--not the dad I grew up with. Thankfully he recovered quickly and is doing great now.

Here's the facts: my dad was just your average guy. Not fat, just a little overweight which one would expect when you’re 54. Didn't eat fast food a lot, and took cholesterol meds like he was supposed to. But sometimes you can't outrun genes.

PLEASE get checked for heart disease if you know it runs in your family. Get checked even if you don't know. Take control of your own health and tell your doctor you want a lipid panel done. It's a simple blood draw that can help save your life. Eat healthy, exercise and laugh every day. Fight back against heart disease by being proactive. 

Awareness and taking action are the worst enemies for heart disease. 

-J
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Thursday, February 21, 2013

I just have a lot of feelings...

Two posts in one day? Consider yourself lucky...



But seriously, I had a great night! Hit the gym and did weight training. It was my first time in the "Lady Golds" section of this new gym and I really enjoyed it. There were plenty of mirrors and free weights for me to do what I wanted to do. My little heart rate monitor said I burned 400 calories in my hour long workout!



  
On the way home from the gym I stopped in at the grocery store and picked up the essentials for the salad that my BOYFRIEND wanted to have for dinner. I imagine this is how a proud mother feels. He was the pickiest eater when I met him. Somehow I've got him from Mac and Cheese and white bread...to salads and wheat bread, even broccoli!

Here's the recipe for the Strawberry and Feta Salad with Toasted Almonds and Homemade Dressing that I guarantee everyone will love!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/3 cup Blueberry Pomegranate vinegar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup almonds
  • Romaine lettuce
  • 1 package sliced strawberries
  • Feta crumbles
Directions:
  • Turn stove onto medium heat and place sliced almonds in pan. Slowly toast almonds to your likeness. (Warning: there's a small window between perfect and burnt. And yes, I found that out first hand haha)
  • Combine garlic, Dijon mustard, honey, blueberry pomegranate vinegar, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and oil together with a whisk. This is your dressing!
  • Prepare the salads however you want, a large bowl or separated on plates. Place strawberries, feta and almonds on top and dress lightly. 
  • Enjoy :)


-J
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10 Things You Didn't Know About Me





I swam from the time I was 12 until I was 18.
Holla to all my fellow swim team members out there! I grew up in a pool during the summer and was on the Flamingo Swim Team. HARDCORE I KNOW! My events included 100m backstroke and 100m-250m freestyle. You could throw me in a sprinting event like a 50m, but I would fail. I've never been fast at sprinting. I literally think there is a part of my brain missing that makes the connection between I need to sprint, and my body actually doing it. Fun fact: I never go anywhere without my swimsuit and goggles in the summer!

I went to Penn State and always knew I wanted to be a Registered Dietitian.
Hail to the Nittany Lions! I worked my butt off in high school to get accepted to Penn State Main Campus as a freshman. College was by far the best experience in my life (thus far). I knew that I picked the right major when I would hate sitting through all my classes except nutrient metabolism. I just loved figuring out how carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals get processed through our digestive systems...why they give us energy and how to get the most out of food. I also worked my butt off through college to get a Dietetic Internship, which have come to be a very competitive process. I got accepted to my first choice not because I was the smartest, but because I brought life experiences and work experiences that made me stand out from the rest of the crowd. I'm a big believer in hard work getting you to the next level, not just your brain. Because my brain can fail miserably...like on multiple choice tests. YUCK!

I have been dating my boyfriend for almost 4 years.
Yes, I know...4 years is forever! But I couldn't be happier. We live together in Wisconsin where neither of us are from, which has made our bond even stronger. We've been with each other through college and through some tough shit! I don't know what I would do without him. He's my rock.

My brother is a professional golfer.
I know, cool right!!! He's not on the PGA tour, but he's damn good. He's very successful at his job and will someday be the CEO, I just know it.

My mom has survived breast cancer, twice.
Yeah, proud of this one too. My mom is my inspiration. She was first diagnosed when I was 8 and then again when I was 18. I learned a lot about life after her second diagnosis and the challenges that our family faced from that. And I think that's all you can do with bad situations, find the lesson and learn something from it...or else what was the point?

Sometimes I consider myself a runner, sometimes I don't. 
Like right now, I don't. But last year at this time I did. I competed in my first half marathon last May and finished in 2 hours 15 minutes. Lately I've been getting the itch to run again....so I may or may not sign up for another race! I've found that races motivate me the most, not the goal of weight loss. 

I have a bad addiction...to french fries.
Yes, it's true. And yes, it's a problem. Haha. I LOVE french fries. And I just can't say no. So what I've done frequently over the last year and a half is "give them up" for a certain amount of time. I gave them up for lent last year (40 days SUCCESSFULLY completed). Then, I gave them up before a trip to Las Vegas... I find the all or nothing approach works best for this addiction. And the nothing is better for my health. 

I have another bad addiction...to white teeth.
Have you every noticed that all pictures of my coffee have straws? That's why. By drinking coffee through a straw it avoids hitting my front teeth, which avoids the yellowing that happens when you drink 2 cups every morning like myself. I also use Crest Vivid White toothpaste every morning, afternoon and evening on my Sonicare toothbrush. I am very invested in my dental health...plus, when my teeth are white it makes my pasty skin look tanner. 

I am nowhere near having my dream job.
I don't mind my job, but I don't love it. I want to interact with people more than I do right now. I'm more of a technical assistant to people rather than a knowledge of nutrition, diet and digestion. I have my hopes that a job will open up within the year that will be closer to my dream job. Helping patients one on one, rather than talking through regulations. But for now, I have a job that pays me well and has great benefits. 

If I don't drink at least 60 oz of water a day, I will get a bad headache.
Time and time again this happens. If I don't drink at least 2 of my 32 oz bottles of water at work...I'll be a crank pot in the evening, which is no fun for my boyfriend. I guess I'm just really sensitive to a change in routine and dehydration. 

EXTRA fun fact: I was a lifeguard for 8 years! 

-J
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Damn Deer.

Talk about an epic fail. Last night for dinner, I killed a deer roast that was already dead. I found an awesome recipe to cook it, but apparently had underestimated the size of my boyfriend's deer. Now, I know what some of you may be thinking...how could I cook Bambi? But hang on just one second, Bambi is the most nutritious meat I had in my freezer! 




If you've heard that deer is low in fat before, then you shouldn't be surprised. But if not, here's a breakdown:

Beef Tenderloin, Lean = 220 calories, 9 grams fat, 3.2 grams saturated fat
Chicken Breast = 190 calories, 4 grams fat, 1.2 grams saturated fat
Venison (Deer) = 180 calories, 3.6 grams fat, 1.6 grams saturated fat
Source: eatright.org

So, pretty much this means it's a better option than the beef you buy in the grocery store. Because, lets face it-- its not always the leanest or unprocessed food.

As compared to chicken its pretty dead even (no pun intended, okay, maybe a little). But, I know exactly where the deer was killed and by who...whereas that chicken I buy is probably from a nightmare of a warehouse that you've seen on the news. Don't get me wrong, I love chicken...but for variety and health sake, you can't beat deer!

But you can kill it again, which is what I did. The slow cooker couldn't handle that size of a roast and it took FOREVER to cook. I eventually gave up and cut off chunks of meat and slow cooked those for an extra 30 minutes. If I could go back, I would use the same recipe...but simmer the deer on low for 10 hours. This would give me that pull apart meat that I love from the crockpot. 

Here's the UPDATED recipe :)

Crockpot Deer Roast

  • 3 pounds, BONELESS Deer Roast
  • 1 large Onion, Sliced
  • 1 tbsp Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp Garlic Salt
  • 1 package (1 oz) Onion Soup Mix
  • 2 cans (10.75 oz each) Cream of Mushroom Soup
  1. Place deer roast and onions in crockpot. Pour Soy sauce and Worcestershire Sauce over Roast, sprinkle with garlic salt.
  2. Combine soup and onion mix in a bowl. Pour over roast. Simmer on low in crockpot for 8-10 hours.
I'll be giving this another shot in a few weeks, so I'll let you know how round 2 goes!

-J
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mini-Vacay!

Hey y'all!

I'm back from my mini-vacay! And it was great :) My boyfriend and I flew home to Pennsylvania so that we could visit our alma-mater, PENN STATE. This weekend was very special to both Joe and I because it was the Penn State Dance Marathon. We both volunteered tons of our time throughout college to this philanthropy, and it's actually how we met! 

The Penn State Dance Marathon, or THON, is the largest student run philanthropy in the WORLD benefiting the Four-Diamonds Fund at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. This fund supports families of children diagnosed with cancer. It pays for ANYTHING that insurance does not cover, as well as meals and gas for the families. This allows all of the parents, siblings, grandparents and family members attention to go toward making the child healthy, not worrying about bills. THON is a 46 hour no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon. There are over 700 dancers who have raised money throughout the year and thousands of volunteers to support them through this weekend. Although the dancers are up this whole time and pushing themselves to the limit, the weekend is really all about the KIDS. They get to do whatever they want, whenever they want. From meeting the Nittany Lion Mascot to dancing with the cheerleaders, the possibilities are endless for these kids. They run the event. They squirt college kids with water and play hide and seek for hours. It's the one weekend to let them FORGET they had cancer, or are still fighting cancer. It lets them be a kid again with the "cool college kids."



I am so unbelievably proud to be an alumni after once again seeing the great work my college puts towards this event. We raised another record breaking amount, $12,374,034.46! This means that since THON's inception in 1973, Penn State has raised over 100 MILLION DOLLARS FOR THE KIDS. I am speechless and humbled.



After such a great weekend it is bittersweet to come back to Wisconsin, the badger territory where I am not surrounded by my Penn State family. But, luckily the folks in Wisconsin are among the NICEST in the Big 10! 

How was your weekend?
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Weekend Getaway!



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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Gym Rant

I have had quite the busy week, and its only Tuesday? Love/hate when that happens. Yesterday at work I had an awful meal. And I don't regret it at all. We went out to celebrate a co-workers last day at a gourmet burger restaurant. I got a burger topped with port wine-onion marmalade, creamy blue cheese spread and arugula. Well worth the $8. Then, I split a french fry with a friend. Moderation ladies. 

My personal victory, I didn't use this an excuse not to workout! Instead, I jetted my butt straight from work to the gym and caught a spin class. Burned 361 calories in 45 minutes. Then, I met with a gym rep to get all set up for my membership. Cue annoying rant: I really disliked how I was approached to buy a membership at this gym. I felt pressure to buy a personal training package at $52/session for a minimum of 18 sessions (that's $936), on top of the $30/month. I gave the guy some slack and let him tell me his 'schpeal', but nicely turned it down stating that I just do not have that kind of money. This is where it turned ugly. He told me to use my credit card to cover the cost because "nothing is worth your health." Excuse me, sir, I am a registered dietitian and i KNOW that. I also know that living beyond your means is not worth it! Having debt at the tender age of 24 is not worth it. How dare you try and trick/force/guilt young people into paying that kind of money. If I need a personal training session, I will tell you. And I would appreciate some respect for my choice. Don't put me down and say that I won't reach my goal without it. I can do anything I want, and losing some pounds and toning up for summer is one of them. Mark my words gym-man, I will reach my goal however I see fit. And, my bank account will look good too. 

Thanks for reading that. It felt really good to write. Because I didn't have the courage to say it all to his face. I am a polite person who just continually said no and finally got MY point across. I just want to stress to all you who may read this, go in with a budget. Stick to it and don't give in just because it seems like a good deal. 

Tonight, I'm making Spaghetti Squash. I'll post pictures and a recipe later :)

-J
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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday Check-In

Sunday nights are always a mixture of relaxing and depressing for me. Not that I don't like my job most days, but waiting for another week to start just stinks! Lucky for me...I don't have a full week!!! YEEEE. I am taking off Friday and Monday to travel home to Pennsylvania for the weekend. There's a big event at my Alma Mater, Penn State! I'm going to do a whole blog post about it this week, so stay tuned!

Today I tried out the Gold's Gym nearby. It was huge!! So much bigger than the one I went to in high school. I took a BodyPump class...I forgot how much I love it!  I'm definitely going to be sore tomorrow. And, my heart rate monitor worked! Check out my pic below!


I followed up my workout with a grocery hall. Had a nice salad bar salad for dinner then!

I hope you have a great start to the week :)

-J
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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Holla Holla

Happy Saturday night, y'all!

My night is not exactly exciting, but I'm enjoying it. It's packed with cleaning, cooking and Law and Order: SVU. Confession: I'm obsessed with Law and Order of any variety haha. But I'm also enjoying a little glass of vino!


Earlier today I was doing a lot of running around. I started out at Best Buy and purchased something I've had my eye on for a while....a heart rate monitor!!!

The first workout with it was not good. I could not figure out how to get it to keep working!
Every 10 minutes or so it would lose contact with the heart rate strap. I read the directions again after working out, but really didn't understand what I was doing wrong. Cue why I totally love social media. Not long after posting on Instagram that I had problems, I was told why! I found out that the strap was not wet enough, obvi because I was too scared (I mean come on, who runs water over something that's supposed  to be electronic?!). Tomorrow I'm going to give it another shot! With a lot of water.

Tomorrow I also plan on making my first ever spaghetti squash! Anybody have a need-to-know tip? I could definitely use it.

Other than that, I've been thinking about switching gym memberships. Right now I have a yoga gym membership for a really great hot yoga studio in the area. It's been great, but I miss my more intense workouts like from spin class and body pump. Still debating, but Golds Gym might get my business pretty soon.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

#OOTD Tuesday!

Hello hellooooo!

Happy Tuesday! But ughhhh, what a long day I had. For some reason I just could not motivate myself to get down to business today. But, I looked damn good at my desk. And you wanna know why? My Kiki La'Rue top came! It was my first purchase from Kiki La'Rue since finding them through MamaLaughlin, who is my fashion idol at the current moment. I mean come on, she wears clothes that are affordable, work appropriate, and cute for going out...what more does a a young professional need?

Anyhow, here's my outfit!

For now, this is the sad mirror I have to put up with. Moving in 2 months though!
Top - Kiki La'Rue, Ombre Cardigan Grape (Medium, perfect length for with leggings)
Bottoms - F21 Leggings
Boots - Fergie c/o Shoe Depot

To say I felt fashionable all day is an understatement. I received lots of compliments at the office (which is always a little self-esteem boost). And, I was so comfortable. The fabric is super soft. I'll definitely be buying more Kiki La'Rue once my wish list gets restocked :) Update: 2 minutes after posting this Kiki La'Rue had restocked! Get it while its hot girls.

Then, this evening I was on my own for dinner. I'll be honest...I had a  PB&J Sandwich. But, it fueled me through my evening workout. I did 30 minutes on the elliptical followed by the Tone It Up Love Your Booty workout and a few arm reps!


Tomorrow I'm back on the road traveling for work. My goal is to bring a workout DVD to do in the hotel room, and stick to a lean dinner. Also, I'm weighing in tomorrow! Lets hope to see a better improvement than on Monday!

-J
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Monday, February 4, 2013

Chickpea Cookie Dough..wait, What?


Happy Superbowl Sunday!! Today I went a little cray-cray in the kitchen with dips. Not like chip dip, but DESSERT DIP. A co-worker of mine made Chickpea Cookie Dough the other week and I felt the need to spread the love. But for those that are coming to the party, I also made a Funfetti Dip that is more “main stream”…here are my recipes!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookie Dough
Ingredients:
  • 2 cans drained, rinsed chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Directions:
  • Blend (the heck out of) the chickpeas. If you feel like committing to a real time commitment, shell the chickpeas first. This will allow the blend to be even creamier than the version I made (ain’t nobody got time fo’ that).
  • Add maple syrup, blend.
  • Add peanut butter, blend.
  • Add vanilla extract, blend. Continue blending until you get a texture that you like.
  • Place batter in container, add chocolate chips and fold in.
  • Refrigerate 1 hour to get a real cookie dough consistency. Enjoy with graham crackers or by the spoonful (my preferred method) :)
DSCN3071In a perfect world, this would all be organic. But, girls got a budget and this was already in the apartment!
DSCN3072
Blend, blend, blend :)
DSCN3074
Final Product.
Now, onto the main stream version of Dunkaroo Dip!
Funfetti Dip
Kid Tested, Adult Approved
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup Funfetti cake mix
  • 1/2 cup cool whip
  • 3 TBSP vanilla yogurt
Directions:
  • Mix all ingredients together until there are no cake mix clumps.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour and serve with Teddy Grahams
Tips:
  • I personally like a lot of cool whip to give it a really fluffy texture. Add as much as you want!
  • My favorite Teddy Graham is the chocolate chip kind.
DSCN3075
DSCN3077
Not the best picture, but this is the consistency it should look like!
Enjoy your Sunday, and let me know if you try any of these recipes!
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A Little Celebration


Last night I got home late from work because I was traveling. 3 hour drives are so much more fun with a friend!
RoadTrip
And check out this cool ice sculpture! They just hang a mist-spraying hose up high and over the winter months this is what has happened!
Sculpture
Anywho, to my surprise, I still beat my boyfriend home! It was so good to see him, even 1 night away was too long (cue gross yuck face haha). And he had some very exciting news..he was surprised with a really nice raise at work!!! I’m so proud of him. He works long days, at least 50 hours a week and deserves all the compensation the company will give him.
So, we went out to celebrate! After putting my heart on the line with my post about my body measurements yesterday, you would think I would have held back! And I did, in my own way! I enjoyed a buffalo chicken sandwich. I made it healthier by taking the bread off the top, and only eating half. My side order was hot apples with cinnamon. SO GOOD. My real indulgence was 3 lite beers in honor of the boy with the raise!
Then we went out with some of his friends, and I served as the designated driver :) Safety first y’all!
My question for any of you who may read this, do you have a heart rate monitor? I’m in the market for one and would like some suggestions!
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Spicy Chinese Shrimp Stir-Fry


Yesterday was kind of awesome. I had to leave work early to be able to safely get home (my little car doesn’t like the snow). So, I came home and enjoyed the day. See my snowy picture from the workout room here.
Then, I dove into dinner. Sometimes cooking dinner is like therapy for me. Especially going from nothing to something that I love! The icing on the cake? When my boyfriend loves it too! He’s quite a picky eater, but I’ve somehow conquered most of his fears. I mean the kid is eating Chobani yogurt as sour cream now! SUCCESS!! He’s also doing The Biggest Loser Challenge with me at the apartment complex, and he’s rocking it. He’s cut back on his cheese and ranch consumption and has dropped 5 pounds so far. I love that he’s dedicated. Because of that dedication, he’s eating all of my healthy “voodoo” food that I make him. (He’s a country boy so some vegetables still freak him out lol). Last night I made us a Spicy Chinese Shrimp Stir-Fry. I played around with this recipe a lot and this is the final product:
Spicy Chinese Shrimp Stir-Fry:
Ingredients:
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¾ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • ½ green pepper, sliced into strips
  • ½ cup sugar snap peas
  • ½ cup baby corn
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¾ cup chicken stock
  • 1/8 cup cornstarch
Shrimp - Oil and Sauce
Nothing organic here—girl on a BUDGET ;)
Directions:
  • Pour oil into pan and allow to heat for 2 minutes. Add garlic and cayenne pepper. Next, add vegetables. I also added some cayenne directly onto my shrimp before cooking. What can I say? Some like it hot!
  • Cook for 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • Add shrimp, cook until opaque (this color usually means shrimp are thoroughly cooked! and took me about 5 minutes).
  • Combine chicken broth and cornstarch in a bowl, stir until combined. Add to pan and continue to mix.  (This should thicken the liquids into a sauce…cornstarch is amazing)
  • Eat plain or serve over brown rice :)
Shrimp
Shrimp Cooking
Tips – I’m by no means the world’s best or smartest chef, but I’ve found that heating the pan to medium works best for me. Otherwise I get overwhelmed and behind on stirring and garlic burns or vegetables burn. It may not technically be “stir-fry” because it’s being cooked at a lower temperature, but it still rocks. Also, use whatever vegetables you want. Sometimes I use what I listed, other times I throw in the vegetables from the fridge that are close to death. Have fun with it!
Final Shrimp Cooked Served over brown rice.
Tomorrow I’m on the road all day again for business, but hopefully it won’t be as busy! 
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Smoothie Obsession!


To say I have a smoothie obsession would be an understatement, especially since Christmas. This year my parents gave me my first really grown-up present…
A NINJA SYSTEM BLENDER.
Ninja Blender
(looks red, but mine is more pink!)
It’s the best!! No frozen fruit is too much for it to pulse through. I haven’t used it for anything besides smoothies yet, but I’m planning on trying to make my own hummus shortly…maybe this weekend, we’ll see. Anyway, back to the smoothies…
For a long time I was doing smoothies all wrong. Everyday I would add orange juice as the liquid to make the smoothie blend. I figured out that on average I was adding 6-8oz of orange juice to my smoothie everyday. That is WAY TOO MUCH. A lot of sugar and calories are packed in 6oz of orange juice. I was trying to be healthy and sabotaging myself along the way. So, I started looking for alternate recipes. Tone It Up had so many, but all of them involved almond milk, and I’ve never really loved almond milk. But just like kids, I guess it can take me a lot of exposure to really like something! This is my third time really giving almond milk a try and I’m hooked on it (in my smoothies at least). The vanilla flavored almond milk gives any smoothie a tasty-kick, and more protein. Here’s what I threw in the blender this morning!
Fruity Smoothie
  • 1 cup frozen fruit (seems like a lot, but they’re big chunks of fruit and stick together!). I used a mixed fruit blend with peaches, mango, strawberries and pineapple.
  •  scoop vanilla protein powder (I use Perfect Fit by Tone It Up!)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
Blend and Enjoy :)
Smoothie
So after I blended up my morning, I went off to work. Weather was pretty bad today in the Midwest so I was able to leave early…and good thing! My little car had some trouble on the way home. Glad to be safe and sound now.
After I got home I hit the workout room and had a great view of the road and plows going by!
Snow Workout
Now I’m going to make some Spicy Shrimp Stir-fry packed with veggies.  Check out the recipe tomorrow :) Thanks for reading!
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Chipotle Style Burritos

Dinner from last night! Which was my therapy session. It was quite delicious, if I do say do myself. I had a hankering for Mexican food, so I searched the Internet for some inspiration. I knew I found it right away when I saw the word "chipotle!" My boyfriend is a huge fan of Chipotle Restaurants, so I made us both "Chipotle Style Burritos." Here's my recipe:

Ingredients:
  • 1 TBSP Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • From a can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, mince 2 peppers and set aside. Also set aside 2 TBSP of sauce from can
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 4 Shakes Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Can Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Chicken Breasts, cooked (I had leftover chicken from the night before)
  • 1/3 Cup Water
  • Brown Rice, cooked with lime juice added in. As much as you want, I cooked 1 cup and added 1TBSP lime juice.
  • Any condiments you like! Cheese, lettuce, salsa, etc.
Directions:
  • Begin cooking rice according to directions with lime juice added in!
  • Heat oil in pan for 2 minutes on medium heat. Never go above medium for this recipe :)
  • Add garlic, chili powder, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, cumin and cayenne to pan. Stir and let seasoning mixture become fragrant for 1 minute.
  • Next, add pinto beans and cooked chicken breasts. Stir and let stand for a few seconds before adding 1/3 cup water.
  • After adding water, let ingredients simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Mash up the pinto beans before assembling your burrito!
  • Assemble however you like!! I added Chobani as my sour cream substitute, reduced fat shredded cheddar and lettuce
Spices

Rice
Cooking
This recipe is definitely a little bit spicy, but oh so good. The seasoning mix really reminded me of how the steak tastes from Chipotle restaurants, without the fat and salt :) WIN!!
What's your favorite Mexican recipe? I'd love more ideas!
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Happy Monday!


Happy Monday y'all!!
Welcome to my “Make It Better Monday”
I’m thinking this will mostly deal with food because, well, I love food. I just hate sodium and fat. So, “Make It Better Monday” will explore some of my favorite recipes and how I've done-gone-and-changed them healthy!
Up first? MANGO LASSI!
Mango Lassi 3
I fell in love with the Mango Lassi at a local Indian Restaurant about 2 months ago. It tasted SO GOOD. I could only drink about half of it because it was super sweet, but I loved the flavor. After researching online I found out the main ingredients in the Mango Lassi are cream, yogurt, mango pulp and sugar. No wonder my taste buds loved it. So this morning, I MIB'ed it out.
Healthy Pineapple-Mango Lassi (inspired by recipe from ToneItUp)
-1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
-1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
- 4oz tofu
-1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
-1/4 cup pineapple juice
Mango Lassi 1
Directions: Put in blender, being sure to add liquid last. Some websites tell you to add liquids first, but that’s never worked for me! Blend and enjoy :)
Mango Lassi 2 
And lets clear things up right away, I know what you're thinking--and I thought it too! Tofu in a smoothie? GROSS! But I promise you it tastes so good :) I like my smoothies creamier which is why I use frozen fruit, but if you like them juicier, use fresh fruit!
I made a mistake and bought extra firm tofu, which proved to be a challenge in the blender (and the reason I added 1/2 cup pineapple juice when I only should have needed 1/4). Be sure to buy a softer tofu and the numbers above will work great!
After enjoying this tasty smoothie for my breakfast I got REALLY healthy at lunch and ate my BEETS BEETS BEETS. Pickled beets are my favorite, but sometimes I’ll buy Trader Joe’s roasted beets plain and put Truvia on them for some added sweetness. Nature’s candy FO’ SHO.
Beets
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