Fantastic February

First off, how is it Friday already?!

Second, it’s already March?!

2013 seems to be speeding by!

Tina always does monthly round ups of her favorite moments from the past month, which is something I’ve always admired and wanted to do but the first of the month always seems to sneak by. Not this time my friends…not this time.

 

So here’s a look back at some of my favorite February posts.

 

It’s Christmas in February…an AMRAP holiday workout that you can do any time of the year.

12 Days of Christmas WOD

 

What I’ve been up to lately…and why the posts were a little spotty in February.

 

February was the month for hopping on…falling off….and hopping back on the Daily Burn Challenge wagon.

That's Anja asking me to push harder (source)

And I’m back in the daily burn game! (source) 

Of course the past month was full of recipes of all kinds-desserts, dinners and everything in between.

February Food.jpg

 

Plus I got to try out a new gadget (update coming soon!)

Fuelband

Hope your February was fabulous (had to!) and your March is even better!

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Apple Crisps + A Birthday Wish


First things first,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!


HappyBirthdayMom.jpg

Here’s to the hardest working, smartest, most fabulous lady I know. And the one that’s put up with me for 26 years. Love you!!

On to the regularly scheduled content…

——————————-

I had a few apples that were less than edible, but not ready for the trash bin, so I decided to try out some dehydrated apples.

It was super simple and they taste great on their own or on top of oatmeal or yogurt!

 

All you have to do is-

Apple Slices

Apples and Cinnamon

Apple Shake

Baked Apples

Finished apples

 

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Chocolate Coconut Date Balls

Hello!

Yes, I’m still alive! I spent a lot of the weekend spending time with these -

This is gonna be me!

This is gonna be me!

finishing up on work work and relaxing.

Pat and I even had time for one of the hardest Daily Burn Inferno workouts I’ve done so far (update coming soon!)

Yesterday I arrived home in need of something chocolatey and I had a lot of dates hanging around from my Super Bowl creation, so I got a little experimental.

The result?

DSC_1271 

Delicious! My boyfriend said they would be great on top of ice cream (or a dairy free blizzard!) and didn’t know that they were actually good for him. And he came back for more. I know I’ve succeeded with a recipe when he eats more than one serving.

So if you’re looking for a good for you, on the go treat, check out the recipe below.

 

Chocolate Coconut Date Balls

Yields 14 balls

Ingredients

1 cup pitted Medjool dates

3/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup. rolled oats

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp. vanilla

 

  1. Boil a small pot of water. Once water is boiling, reduce heat to medium and add dates. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until soft.
  2. While dates are cooking, combine coconut and oats in food processor and process until finely ground. Set aside in bowl.

DSC_1261

3. Remove dates from heat and drain, reserving 2-3 tbsp of water. 
4. Add dates to food processor and process until smooth, adding reserved water tablespoon by tablespoon.
5. Add vanilla extract and continue to combine.
6. Add coconut and oat mixture to food processor and process until well combined.

DSC_1266

7. Form into balls and place into glass cooking dish.

8. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and enjoy! Store covered in the fridge for up to a week or even freeze them to enjoy later!

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Sweat-tastic Super Bowl

Hello and Happy Monday….night.

I know tonight’s post is coming at you a little bit later than usual, but after cleaning up after last night’s Super Bowl festivities, the only thing I wanted to do was sit down and watch Girls…for five minutes…until I fell asleep on the couch.

To my credit, “cleaning up” entailed tidying up after a 30 person party and “de-stadiumizing” our couches. Yes, my boyfrined made multi-tiered seating for the event.

IMG_2690

Although I was skeptical at first, I’m now convinced that stadium seating is necessary for any get together.

And we took Rosie on a beach run Sunday morning in order to tire her out and prevent her from harassing our guests.

Rosie at the Beach

On top of that, I also had to recover from the insane amount of screaming and singing I did during the halftime show.

She runs the world (source).

Girlfriend killed it. Then, when Kelly and Michelle joined Beyonce for the Destiny’s Child reunion, I lost it. Bottom line…the combination of the 49ers’ roller coaster of emotions, beach playtime, Beyonce and playing hostess with the mostest tired me out.

Oh yes! I forgot to mention the food! Although I failed to get a picture of the full spread, I can tell you we had a vast array of delicious dishes. We had everything from crabmeat, goat cheese and cheddar mashed potatoes, which I made per my boyfriend’s instructions and contain an ungodly amount of butter (read:delicious) to Nutella and Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies.

As far as my contributions, I failed miserably at making some Philly Cheesesteak dip from Clean Eating Magazine (I didn’t even serve it) and had mediocre success with a Clean Eating Magazine 5 Layer Dip. The real winners amongst my contributions were the gems pictured in the forefront of the photo below-

Peanut butter, chocolate and date balls. De-licious.

Peanut butter, chocolate and date balls. De-licious.

Although the veggie platter I threw together was great, the Clean Eating Chocolate Peanut Butter Date Balls were delicious…and surprisingly easy to make. I’ll try to post the recipe soon!

Anyway, on to the fitness-y things!
Today, I started Inferno, a new 21 day workout series from Daily Burn.

Anja might be smiling...but I was not.

Anja might be smiling…but I was not

I’ll tell you more about why I’m doing it tomorrow, but holy crap was it hard. Even though the workout was just seconds shy of 34 minutes and only required a plyo box, it kicked my butt. I was sweaty and heaving by the end. At the end of the workout, I let Anja know how I felt-


and received confirmation that she is not kidding around.

Happy Monday-see you tomorrow!

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Is That Really A Serving?

Last night when I was looking for an after dinner snack, I decided to pour myself a portion of dark chocolate sea salt popcorn and paused when I poured it-was I actually eating a serving size? Well, you’ll find out later on in this post, but first I’ll drop a little knowledge on you.

(source)

The bowl of popcorn, the confusion around servings and portions and my food scale got me thinking “How well would I do with guesstimating food serving sizes?” I grabbed my handy dandy food scale to find out. Read on to find out how I did.

Ghirardelli Semisweet Chocolate Chips

  • Serving size=15 grams
  • 70 Calories


ChocChip Serving Size w text

Womp, womp! I would normally grab nearly double the suggested serving size. That serving size looks so sad.

Red Wine (I used juice because we had no wine open-shocking, I know)

  • Serving Size: 5 oz.
  • 105 Calories

This one’s a doozy.

This is a depressing realizationThis is a depressing realization

Somehow it’s not shocking that I nearly doubled the suggested serving size for the wine. I live in wine country-wine flows freely here.

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Popcorn

  • Serving Size=30 grams
  • 130 Calories
Popcorn Serving Size w Text

That happened!

Yes, I used the same image twice, but shockingly I was right on with this one. I’m pretty sure it was pure luck. Don’t worry I ate double the suggested serving size throughout the evening :)

So there you have it! Don’t worry, I don’t measure out everything I eat-that would drive both me and those around me crazy-but sometimes I do like to have an idea of what a serving is especially when it comes to desserts and items that I normally eat right out of the bag. If you’re on the go and want to get a good idea of how to pretty accurately gauge a serving, check out this post!

How well do you think you’d do with “guesstimating” serving sizes?

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Plan It, Do It-Week 2

Last week, I did a post on planning my workouts, which you can follow here.

This week, I outdid myself and planned both my workouts and my meals.

Yep, I deserve a pat on the back. (source)

This week’s workouts and recipes all come from Clean Eating, Oxygen, Fitness Rx (a new to me magazine that I found in the Dallas airport this weekend) and my longtime favorite, Fitness.

Planning frenzy.

So here’s the plan for my weekly meals:

Note: I would post recipes from Oxygen Magazine, but they won’t let me :(. If I find links, I’ll definitely update!

Monday

  • Dinner: Coconut Shrimp

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • Breakfast: Oxygen Magazine Pumpkin Protein Pancakes (I’m obsessed and have had these every morning for the past week)
  • Lunch: Chicken Masala leftovers
  • Dinner: Coconut Shrimp leftovers and kale

Thursday

  • Breakfast: Oxygen Magazine Dark Chocolate Protein Pancakes
  • Lunch: Ginger Pork over Romaine Lettuce
  • Dinner: Oxygen Magazine Chicken Strips and Caramelized Pears

Friday

  • Breakfast: Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal
  • Lunch: Oxygen Magazine Chicken Strips and Caramelized Pears
  • Dinner: Oxygen Magazine Shrimp Pad Thai

Saturday

  • Breakfast: Protein Pancake
  • Lunch: Oxygen Magazine Shrimp Pad Thai
  • Dinner: On the fly

Sunday

  • Breakfast: Spicy Egg Scramble
  • Lunch: Leftovers
  • Dinner: Leftovers

Weekly meals and snacks

And here’s my plan for weekly workouts, which you can also find on my workout calendar:

Monday

Tuesday

  • AM: Oxygen Magazine “Treadmill Trek” Cardio and Fitness Rx Holiday Upper Body Workout Option #1

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

  • AM: Oxygen Magazine Treadmill Trek and Fitness Rx Holiday Lower Body Circuit #1

Saturday

  • AM: Full body Fitness RX circuit

Sunday

  • Rest/Lululemon yoga

I’ll post a midweek update to let you know how it’s going!

Do you do weekly planning for your workouts and meals?

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Pumpkin Muffins

If you’re an avid blog reader you know October marks the beginning of Pumpkin-palooza season, when any and every recipe incorporates pumpkin

This meme is appropriate for all situations. No, I will not stop using it constantly (source).

Why, you might ask? Aside from the fact that Halloween is right around the corner, pumpkins are nutritional power houses. They are-

  • Full of Vitamin E, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus
  • A great source of dietary fiber (source)
  • A source of Vitamin A (helps your eyesight!), Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. (source)
  • Packed with beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant (source)

Since I raided the local Target and stole all of it’s Libby’s pumpkin puree, I decided I had to do something with it. After some searching, I found a recipe for Paleo Pumpkin Muffins on Cait’s Plate , tweaked it a little and gave it a whirl!

I get no presentation points on this one.

Since I had made some almond and coconut flour last week, I incorporated them into the recipe and what resulted was a super moist muffin (coconut flour requires more moisture, which is why I added more pumpkin-mmmm) that makes a great snack or breakfast.

Happy Tuesday!

Pumpkin Muffins

adapted from Cait’s Plate’s Spiced Paleo Muffins

Yield 12 muffins

  • 3/4  cup almond flour
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 tsp. almond butter or unsalted peanut butter (I made my own by food processing peanut butter)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer and combine until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  3. Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray or line with muffin liners.
  4. Spoon mixture into muffin tin and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until knife comes out clean.
  5. Cool and enjoy!
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Take It Slow

Contrary to the warm weather that has arrived in San Francisco, we’re well into fall and I’ve been all about warm meals made in my crock pot.

 

I love my slow cooker because you can throw ingredients into it at night or in the morning before leaving for work (or wherever your day might take you) and when you come home, dinner’s ready!

Here are three standbys that I’ve made along with their super short recipes.

Meats Asado Tacos (I know this is not proper Spanish grammar)

Ingredients: Trader Joes Pollo Asado OR Trader Joe’s Carne Asado + ½ chopped onion + 1 diced red pepper

This week I made both carne asado and shredded chicken tacos. What’s even better is Trader Joe’s makes pre-seasoned meats, meaning there’s NO effort involved. Both of them are super easy to make and the meat makes a great salad topper. Pulled pork is also another delicious crock pot option!

Instructions: Layer vegetables on bottom of cooker and put meat of your choice on top. Cook on low for 6-7 hours. Shred and enjoy in corn tortillas. Also works great on top of salads!

It might look like a hot mess…but it was delicious.

It might look like a hot mess…but it was delicious.

Sweet Potatoes

Wrap three sweet potatoes in tin foil and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Fluffy and delicious

I had always thought that slow cookers were just for dinner or winter stews, but they can do breakfast too!

Steel Cut Oatmeal

1-1/2 cups fat-free milk (or substitute non-diary alternative like almond milk)
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
Non stick spray
Cinnamon

Coat inside of crock pot with non stick spray (make sure you do this, or you’ll wake up to a burnt mess…I learned the hard way) and all ingredients. Cook on low for 6-7 hours while you’re sleeping and wake up to deliciousness. Add in apples, walnuts or whatever suits your fancy!

 

Do you have a crock pot? How do you use it?

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Daily Eats (and Treats)

I usually don’t do #WIAW, but I took pictures of everything I ate yesterday to help reinvigorate my  promise to eat clean (more on that later), so I figured why not post my eats!

So here’s a full day of my meals yesterday-minus my lunch because it wasn’t pretty and I was working while eating. Don’t worry, I put a nice little substitute photo in there for you.

Breakfast: Coconut Flour Pancake (recipe courtesy of Petite Athleat) with Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter

Morning Snack: Fage with…you guessed it Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter

Lunch: Lemon Chicken Salad from this month’s issue of Clean Eating Magazine. I have no pictures, so I’ll substitute with a shameless Rosie picture I took when I was leaving for work yesterday-

I don’t want to go to work either.

Snack: Carrots, Broccoli, Trader Joe’s Original Hummus and Trader Joe’s Hot and Sweet Mustard

plus a tablespoon of nuts. Desk work is rough.

Dinner: Kale with leftover lemon chicken, almond cheese and an egg. Clare is right-an egg does make a meal.

Dessert (because that’s essential)-Single Serve “Cookie Dough” Blizzard

Happy Wednesday!

What were your daily eats?

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Sonoma Sunday

Happy Monday! Yes, I’m finally doing a Monday post.

As if last weekend’s activities weren’t enough, this weekend we decided to leave the city and went to wine country.

Wine!

My friend Christin treated us to an awesome tour of four wineries in Sonoma.

Our tour started at 9:30 a.m. when we met our amazing tour guide Dan and set off to Sonoma to visit four wineries-Nicholson Ranch, Kaz, VJB, Homewood.

We crossed over the Golden Gate Bridge, but it was too foggy to see in the morning hours, so just imagine it’s majestic beauty.

With that imagery in mind, I’ll take you on a photo journey of our tour. Get ready for a lot of pictures.

First stop-Nicholson Ranch! Pepper is the resident dog you see in the photo.

Then we visited Homewood, which was a small winery with beautiful views and a laid back atmosphere.

Homewood Winery

On the left-mature winetasters. On the right-That’s actually my really excited face.

After our first two wineries, it was time to stop for lunch. I didn’t take pictures of downtown Sonoma (which is adorable), but I did take pictures of the El Dorado Hotel -

I’m pretty sure I should now photograph for Architectural Digest…or just my blog.

which housed the restaurant where we ate, El Dorado Kitchen. I’ll have to come back and stay in the hotel because it fits the quaint, yet trendy Sonoma hotel image I had in my mind.  And of course there’s pictures of the food. I can’t forget the food-

My wine, my lunch, manfriend and I, manfriend in the throes of food anticipation.

and the largest plate of truffle fries that the four of us were afraid we wouldn’t be able to finish.

Dominated.

Next, we went to Kaz, where we got to taste wines (duh), crush some grapes

We’re making the 2012 blend-it’s going to be a best seller. I can tell already.

and drink grape juice straight from the fermentation bins (it’s delicious and tastes somewhat like a bubbly smoothie).

I could drink this every morning.

We even bottled and corked our own wines!

Our final stop of the day was VJB Cellars.

There’s a t-rex sculpture out there. Trust me.

We finished off the day with a ferry cruise back to San Francisco that was complete with scenic views of San Francisco-

 

All in all, I’d call it a pretty perfect day.

If y’all are ever in my neck of the woods, let me know and we can go to Sonoma together! ;)

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