Sunday, March 31, 2013

Weekend Recipe Roundup

Happy Easter everybody! I hope you were able to enjoy your time in whatever you did! Joe-Joe and I went to church and then helped set up an Easter Egg Hunt. Small children really go nuts for candy filled eggs...and luckily only a few fell.

This afternoon we went over to a friend's house to eat some food. We both ate too much and put ourselves into comas. But that's okay, I'll kick my butt in the gym tomorrow.

I made a few dishes to add the chaos, neither of which are extremely healthy. BUT, they are both really good and a lot healthier than other versions out there. So, enjoy!

P.S - Stop back tomorrow to find out about a HUGE giveaway that I'm a part of!! You won't want to miss it!

Colored Deviled Eggs

Disclaimer: This is not my picture, I forgot to take one! *worst food blogger ever*
Ingredients:
  • 12 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat mayo
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • Paprika to top
Directions:
  • Place eggs in pot, cover with cold water. Make sure there is at least 1/2  inch of water above the eggs. Add a shot of vinegar to keep egg whites from leaking out in case shell breaks. Bring to a rapid boil, then reduce heat to gentle boil and let cook for 15-20 minutes.
  • Drain hot water from pot and place eggs gently in strainer. I like to run cold water over them for a bit. Peel as soon as possible, eggs are easier to peel the warmer they are.
  • Cut all eggs in half.
  • Scoop out yolk and place in bowl.
  • At this time, I died the egg whites using food coloring --but you don't have to!
  • Combine yolks with mayonnaise, garlic powder, ground mustard and pepper. Stir until no lumps remain.
  • Spoon yolk mixture into egg white.
  • Refrigerate until you are ready to serve, top with paprika!

Oreo Pudding Poke Cake


Ingredients:
  • Chocolate Box Cake (+ ingredients to make this! Usually water, egg and oil)
  • 2 packs Oreo Instant Pudding Mix
  • 4 cups Milk (I use 1%)
Directions:
  • Bake cake according to directions on package.
  • 3 minutes before cake is done, begin mixing pudding according to package. Let sit until cake is done. You want the pudding to be semi-formed so that some of it soaks into the cake but not all of it.
  • When cake is done, remove from oven and poke holes using the end of a wooden spatula.
  • Poor pudding over cake.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Optional: Crush Oreo's and place on top.


Enjoy!

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Sorry to be MIA!

Things have been so busy with the move!! Can't wait to officially be moved in tomorrow, but for now, I'm stuck without Internet and surrounded by boxes! I hope you all have a wonderful Easter and I'll be back up on Sunday with a healthy Deviled Egg recipe AND dessert!

God bless!

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

ENERGYbits!

Here’s a sneak peek picture of our new apartment! I can’t wait to get everything over here and unpack 😊
 
 
But packing can be tiring and long, luckily I was just sent ENERGYbits!! (Good transition, I know)
 
ENERGYbits are made by the company Bits of Health. I found them through Twitter and they wanted to send me some samples to try out. Because I'm a self-proclaimed nutrition nerd and a Registered Dietitian they had me hooked from the word algae. I love weird food. Weird food that's nutritious? I'm sold.

After opening the canister my first reaction was "smells like it's healthy." Joe-Joe's reaction was "that stinks." Well, boys will be boys and  you can drag a horse to water but you can't make him drink. So why would anyone eat these not-so-glamorous-smelling tabs? For energy ya fool!


ENERGYbits are made from 100% organic, non-GMO spirulina algae. Through the information I was sent by the company I discovered just how healthy algae is. I went to research it on my own, but couldn't find many recent studies about algae. I always like to confirm what I read from a company but just couldn’t find  everything. So, I’m going to stick to the facts.
 
Lets talk about how algae is a food and NOT a supplement. I love this. The company boasts that their product is made in nature, not a lab. This makes it more recognizable by your body, which in turn helps you digest it better. One little tab contains protein, cholophyll, beta carotene, antioxidants and vitamins that all work together to give your body an awesome energy boost.  And, at only 1 calorie a tab I’m not sure it could get any better.
 
Here’s my first hand experience with ENERGYbits...

I’m an afternoon crasher. I’m motivated to do work all morning and go workout after work until about 2pm. Then, I hit the metaphorical wall and start day dreaming about my couch. I put off my workout and say “I’ll run after I take a nap.” HAH. Usually doesn’t happen and I waste a solid hour sleeping when I don’t really need it. Plus I don’t burn any calories. Today I took 20 ENERGYbits at 2pm (serving size they suggest is 30, but I was nervous okay!). By 2:45pm I felt ready to go! That strong desire I had to workout all morning was back. I got to the gym around 3:15 and got in a kick ass workout---20 minutes on the stairmaster, 20 minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes strength training. My favorite part about ENERGYbits is that I never felt jittery, nor do I now. I didn’t feel that heart pounding scary feeling of drinking too much caffeine before a workout. I just felt energized and motivated to get an awesome workout done.
 
The only downside to ENERGYbits seems to be the cost. It can be hard to bring yourself to pay $150 for anything, let alone an energy food. Let’s hope that America catches on and this takes off, then, perhaps that price can come down!

Side note---Bits of Health also makes RECOVERYbits which I am dying to try! It’s claim to fame is helping to cure hangovers. That sounds too good to be true and I think I should test this claim. After all, I’m a 24 year old who still wants to play with the young kids on the weekends. Who better to be a guinea pig?
 
Have you every tried ENERGYbits? Another supplement maybe? Do you suffer from the afternoon slumps like me?
 
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Monday, March 25, 2013

I'm a Dress Code Violator

Happy Monday! I can't say that my weekend was entirely exciting..it consisted of a LOT of packing. Joe and I are moving to a much newer, bigger and nicer apartment this week! Knowing all of that made the packing easier, but still annoying. In total, Joe and I figured out that he's moved 7 times in the past 5 years, and I've moved 5 times in the last 4. That is entirely too much. We're hopeful this will be a place we can stay for at least a few years! We pick up the keys tomorrow so you better believe I'll be posting some pictures for you to see! Here's a sneak peak:

Dreaming of the warm weather so that I can use this!
But let's get serious for a minute and talk about what's on my mind. Today at work we were "reminded" of the dress code. The first "tip" was wearing no jeans while we are representing the department outside of the office -- totally get it, totally haven't broken that one. However, the second "tip" was no sweatshirts--ever. Now, I have to admit that I have broken this rule before. A lot. I love wearing my Penn State sweatshirts on Friday's (casual Friday mind you). It's one of the rare days that I'm able to rep my university out here in cold WIsco.

So, here's my question... what is appropriate at the office to you? Here's my 3 rules: no butts, no boobs, no belly. I had the no boobs one ground into me during my year long internship, and looking back I really want to thank them. You can't be taken seriously if your boobs are talking. The no butts rule is just because I'm uncomfortable wearing leggings that don't have a long shirt to cover it. My no belly rule is because I hate short shirts. Like with a passion. But why can't I wear my sweatshirt on Friday? Sassy comments welcome.

I guess I will use this as an opportunity to go buy more clothes :)
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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Turkey Bean Chili

Today I had the burning desire to make chili...probably because I watched a food show all about how to cut the fat and make chili recipes healthier. Yeah, crazy Saturday right?! Anyway, after sifting through tons of recipes I found one that I used as a guide. It had to have meat in it because Joe-Joe doesn't like just beans. He's a meat and mac&cheese kinda guy. We went to the store to get the essentials, during which we bickered about how many beans to add. I love beans, he doesn't. So we compromised and only used one can...but I got to pick the kind! Red beans all the way. After 1.5 hours of simmering it was ready and I had 2 guinea pigs. Both Joe and our friend loved it! Good thing, because this recipe definitely makes enough to have leftovers for the week! Enjoy :)

Healthy Turkey Bean Chili


Ingredients
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans petite cut diced tomatoes  
  • 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can red kidney beans
  • 2 cups medium, chunky salsa
  •  3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
Directions
  • Heat oil in a large sauce pan (medium heat). Add the turkey and cook until it is browned.
  • Add green pepper, onion, celery, jalapeno and garlic. Cook about 8 minutes until all veggies are tender.
  • Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, beans, salsa, chili powder and cumin in a large stock pot. Heat to a boil.
  • Once tomato mixture is boiling, add the turkey mixture.
  • Bring both of these together to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 hour.
  • Serve with reduced-fat shredded cheddar, Greek non-fat yogurt as "sour cream" or scallions.

Here's my IG upload of some of the details...I am completely obsessed with my Microsoft Surface Tablet, it's the best cooking buddy! Also, completely obsessed with reduced sodium canned items. Same price, so much better for you.


Let me know if you try it!
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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Running and My Playlist

Today, I fell back in love with running... Quite honestly it had been a while since I enjoyed a run. The winter months means dreadmill time and the two of us don't get along. I get so bored and end up just wanting to walk it out with the incline up.

But today I felt like I was in a funk after work...instead of napping it off I laced up, put on my Under Armour and hit the pavement. Totally loved ever second of my 2 mile run that took 22:27.


Do you follow me on IG? If not, here's my move of the day I posted. Squat with a Side Leg Raise:


And finally, my most recent playlist:
  • Sail - AWOLNATION
  • We Still in this B*tch - T.I. and Juicy J
  • Locked Out of Heaven - Bruno Mars
  • It's Time - Imagine Dragons
  • Can't Hold Us - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
  • Red - Taylor Swift
  • Girls - Santigold
  • Dancing On My Own - Robyn
  • I Love It - Icona Pop
Enjoy and I'll let you know how sore I am tomorrow! ;)
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bloglovin Link Up!

I'm kind of mad that Google reader is going away, I just got used to it! But happy that its allowing me to make new friends through Bloglovin'!!

Follow on Bloglovin
Join the linkup below and click around!



If you found me because of it, HI THERE! So happy you could stop by, where ya from?

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Life Lessons

Disclaimer: this has nothing to do with health or fitness, just some thoughts I've had lately :)

I am a believer in something I call "the lesson." I'm not sure if anyone has coined this term before, but in life, I'm always looking for it.

When you're young it's pretty straight forward: fail a test, what's the lesson? You should have studied harder, longer, smarter. Get hurt by a friend (over and over), what's the lesson? You deserve a better friend. But what happens when you grow up and the lines become skewed and grey? What happens when the lesson is a hard one, and you don't want to learn it?

First, I should start with a confession: I'm used to getting what I want. And I promise I don't mean that in a bratty way. I worked hard in high school and was accepted to Penn State (main campus). I worked my butt off in classes and was hired for a great job my senior year of college. This job set me apart in my dietetic internship applications, which, coupled with good grades allowed me to get my first choice internship. I graduated from the internship, applied for 4 jobs and was quickly given the job opportunity I currently have. (Huge shotout to my dad and mom who footed the bill for me to fly out and interview in person. I don't think I would have been hired without it.)  Anyway, my point is that I've worked hard and have taken full advantage of the great opportunities I've been given.

So, what happens when you fail? That's what I'm trying to figure out right now. I recently interviewed for a position within my company and found out that I did not get it. In fact, they picked another employee over me. Ego killer. Beyond the bruised ego, I'm trying to find the lesson in this failure. For me, I think it means I am meant to do something else. I'm meant to get fulfillment and help people in a different way. I know that I will get there, but it's not the path I thought I would take, because it's not the safe one. (The safe one is having a guaranteed full time job, not a 2 year full time job that ends in 2014. Yikes!) In the meantime, I'm going to keep my head up and try to find opportunities elsewhere. Hopefully this turns out to be a good "forced" transition.


Have you ever been 'forced' into changing your career path? Life path? 
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Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patty's Day Weekend

Top of the mornin' to ya! Even though its 2pm. Are you enjoying the holiday weekend? Let me catch you up on what I've been doing...

On Friday night Joe and I had date night, at the gym! He got a free 7 day pass to my gym so that he could try it out. I don't think he'll sign up for a membership though, he's usually okay with the stuff that's in the workout room at our apartment. I, however, need spin class in my life. I managed to burn a good amount of calories in the 45 minutes that I was doing cardio! Then we played on all of the machines. Such grownups.



Afterwards we hit up Target to look for some green stuff and get the ingredients for my Green Sangria (recipe below). Then we had subs for dinner and ended the night with a movie. Now that's my kinda Friday night!

Saturday was our St. Patrick's Day Celebration!

We started with green eggs and pancakes...


Then came the Sangria..


And then all of the celebrating, green hat and all.


Needless to say, I'm too old for this. We ended the night with some pizza and were in bed by 830pm. Solid day with great friends!

Now onto the Green Sangria Recipe!



Ingredients:
  • 1 Liter Bottle Moscato Wine
  • 3 ounces Triple Sec (about 2 shot glasses)
  • 2 Limes
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples
  • Grapes
  • Optional: 1 can Sprite

Directions:
  • The day before your event, cut up the lemons, limes, apples and grapes.
  • In a large pitcher, combine Wine and Triple Sec with fruit.
  • Let sit overnight.
  • Before serving, add optional Sprite for extra fizz :)

Enjoy!

What's your favorite green drink?
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Friday, March 15, 2013

Technogel Pillow Review

About 3 weeks ago I was gifted a Technogel Pillow for participating in a Fitfluential Twitter Chat. I joined the chat mostly because I'm dying to be a Fitfluential Ambassador, I am always up for a good education session.... and I was stuck in a snow storm at a hotel. So it was pretty much a win, win, win. Here's what I found out about Technogel!
They started as a company who designed and created gel cushions for long-term patients to avoid developing pressure ulcers. From that, they created a complete range of wheelchair cushions and other supports for the disabled. After such great success in the clinical world, they turned towards the furniture market. I read that they make ergonomic accessories for personal computers--I'm dying to try whatever that is. This desk job is killer! Anyway, eventually they got into footwear and inserts...DR. SCHOLL'S ANYONE?? So now, they have a new division for Technogel Bedding Products. This is where my awesome prize enters the picture. Isn't she a beaut? 
I requested the company send me the Anatomic Pillow. It's recommended for those who sleep mostly on their sides. I figured I'd give it a shot, even though I'm a belly sleeper. Unfortunately, it didn't really do anything for me. I shouldn't have been surprised, sometimes I don't even sleep with a pillow at all.

However, I'm a really great girlfriend (and curious consumer) so I let my boyfriend try it out. The difference has been amazing! He's been sleeping on it for the past 8 days and has never felt better. Usually he wakes up 4-6 times per night, tossing and turning. Just with the Technogel Pillow and no other changes in our routine...he's only waking up once or twice. It's more than halved!! But that's not what he was most excited about, he loves that the pillow ALWAYS stays cool. I have no idea how it works, or how they did it, but its amazing!  
 
So, all in all, my boyfriend is sleeping 100% better and waking up more rested. What does this mean for me? Less complaining, less waking me up in the middle of the night from tossing and turning, and I feel good about sharing :)
Now, if Technogel could start making Spin Bike Seat Covers...that would be superb.
Do you have a hard time sleeping? I strongly suggest  you check out the Technogel Pillow!! It's worth the money, night after night ;) (pun intended)

Disclaimer: I got nothing in return for this review. I just seriously love everything this pillow has done for my boyfriend's sleep!
 
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Thursday, March 14, 2013

It's Snowing...again.

I'll never forget the first thing I said to my boyfriend after the big snow storm Wisconsin had in December: "why on EARTH did you make me move here??"


It took me an hour to get my car out of that empty spot.
Don't worry, I remind him everyday how lucky he is that I'm here. Haha. After I got past the fact that it snows a lot here, and got my boyfriend to move to an apartment where I have underground parking, I calmed down. I've embraced the winter in Wisconsin. Ice skating on a pond with my best friends from PA, indoor events like the Beer and Cheese Festival (yes, it was as awesome as it sounds) and ice fishing in the middle of nowhere on a lake.


It was -12 degrees out this day.

Endless beer and cheese samples. Heaven on earth.


Pretending to kiss a Northern Pike..at least Joe got a kick out of it.

But now, I'm done. Your flakes don't impress me anymore Wisconsin! I want the spring and summer back. Summer here is way to much fun for you to not just change seasons already. I have big plans for this summer too! Taking off early on Friday's to go lay out by the pool, watching Joe play softball while I lounge (no, I will not be signing up with him. I'm too scared of the ball), running without fear of slipping on ice, camping and consuming copious amounts of sparkling sangria. So please, hurry up summer. I'll be dreaming of you in the meantime.


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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Day Off!

Today I woke up feeling tired, worn out and NOT in the mood to go to work. Luckily, I have plenty of sick days built up...so I took a mental health day. My boyfriend was really jealous!

I went back to sleep until about 9am, woke up, and enjoyed a cup of coffee and egg whites while Kelly and Michael were on TV. Anyone else completely in love with them? They're so much fun! I did some job searching as well. My current position is only funded for 2 years, and for the sake of stability I would like to find a permanent full time job as soon as possible!

If loving ketchup on my egg whites is wrong, I don't wanna be right...

After some resume tweaking (totally DON'T miss this by the way!), I headed to the gym. I did a 20 minute elliptical session and a Body Pump class. Both were really awesome! I was able to clear my head by concentrating on how heavy the weights were and left feeling really happy.

Not too shabby!

Of course, I had to stop at the grocery store on the way home. I'm currently simmering some pea soup and bought a rotisserie chicken for dinner... don't worry, I'm not eating the skin ;) AND I bought the ingredients for these awesome pancakes. Here's the recipe!

Indulgent (but still kind of healthy) Pancakes
 

Ingredients:
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Flaxseed Meal + 2.5 Tbsp Water (combine and let sit for 3 minutes)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbsp Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 Tbsp Canola Oil
  • 3 Tbsp Almond Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Chocolate Chips (or M&M's like I had to substitute!)
Directions:
  1. Heat cooking pan.
  2. Mash banana together with baking soda.
  3. Add flaxseed meal (that has sat with water in it) with oil, vanilla, peanut butter, almond milk and stir.
  4. Stir in oats and flour until batter is just combined (to avoid over mixing).
  5. Add chocolate of your choosing!
  6. Scoop 1/4 cup measurements of pancake batter onto lightly greased cooking pan. Cook for 2-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  7. EAT. You can always add some syrup or agave nectar if you need more sweetness!

ENJOY! :)



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Monday, March 11, 2013

My Inner Workout Monologue

I know that you’re supposed to be really zoned in when you’re working out.  Forget about the world, concentrate on yourself...but I have SUCH a hard time doing that. Below are the random thoughts that went through my head today during spin class:

- My ass hurts
- I need ass padded bike shorts
- My legs hurt
- I love this song (I Love It by Icona Pop)
- I hate this song (Harlem Shake)
- What should I make for dinner?
- That guy is sweating a lot, good for him.
- Why am I not sweating that much?
- My heart rate is only at 140, better pick it up.
- Why is there a shamrock on the water tower for our town?
- I can’t believe I live in a water tower town (reference to country music song, Water Tower Town by Scotty McCreery
- I like those Lululemon pants she’s wearing.
 
There you have it!
 
Are you good at concentrating during workouts or does everyday life sneak up on you?
 
Do you like the new blog design? I’m obsessed!
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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Most Expensive Weekend of My Life!

Hey y'all! Happy Sunday night :) I hope your weekends were great! Let me give you the rundown of what I did...

Friday night I posted about my mishap with my computer, and how I decided wine was the perfect solution. I also thought friends were a great distraction...so we ventured downtown for an exciting night of bar-hopping.

One of my best friends in the city, Kelly! Not the random boy.
On Saturday my boyfriend and I decided it was time to start couch shopping! We move at the end of the month to a much bigger, cleaner, newer place that I'm so excited about!! The new, grown up apartment deserves a better couch than the free one from Penn State we inherited. Here's  a breakdown of what we looked at....


This one had tons of space for "spooning." Very high on my priority list!

So much space for entertaining friends!

This one was extra long. Positive for tall people!
 
This felt like quality furniture that would last forever.

..but the winner is:

So comfortable! The ottoman makes the couch seem bigger too!

We got such a good deal at 35% off and decided to also buy the ottoman that matched because it can store the millions of blankets we have (cause seriously, Wisconsin is freakin' cold!). Hope you enjoyed the pictures of my boyfriend...he'll be pissed that he's in all of them. :)

My final investment for weekend...a new computer!! After weighing the pros and cons I decided to just do it. My screen would cost at least $100 to replace and it was pretty old. What did I get? The Microsoft Surface Tablet! Yes, the one with all the dancing in the commercials and girl scouts. It runs Windows, so I can have Word, Excel, and Powerpoint at my fingertips. I can also take it everywhere!! It clips in and out of the keyboard so easily. No more worrying about blog reading on my work computer, I can just do it on my tablet! YAY!

So there you have it. The most expensive weekend of my life!

Have a good Monday morning!

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Friday, March 8, 2013

Less Than Perfect Afternoon

This is what happened to my most precious baby pink netbook today:



Cue complaining.

This is how I'm coping:



Happy Friday! Now tell me what computer to buy! Thanks!!
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