Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fitbit Flex

I'd be thinking about getting a Fitbit for a while and in honor of my new commitment to weight loss I finally pulled the trigger.
My new Fitbit Flex arrived yesterday and I got it all charged and step up to use today.  10,000 steps is a lot. 
It's pretty cool how it works and how it syncs with

Last week was pretty successful food-wise, still struggling to get my workouts in.  The scale was friendly though. 
We did well this weekend.  I got new running shoes yesterday (bright pink, yikes) and went for a 3 mile run on the bike path.  Today I did Insanity with Brad.  We didn't do the entire DVD because we had to get to the bar for the game.  I managed to resist the bar food and ate a salad at the game.  So I'm pretty proud of myself.
Hopefully I can do better this week with the workouts.  My boss is out for the week so maybe that'll make it easier to get out early and make it to CrossFit.

Happy Sunday.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Happy Tuesday

Every week should start on Tuesday, Mondays are overrated.

I did well today, kept food in take under control.  I had to pick Rudy up from camp, he was staying there while we were in AC, so I couldn't make it to CrossFit.  I did get in a 3 mile treadmill run though.  Yay!

And I got to wear one of the new dresses I bought this weekend :-)

Now Rudy is fast asleep on my lap.  Love it when he's tired from camp!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day Weekend in Atlantic City

B, J, and I went to Atlantic City for the weekend.  We'd been trying to go all summer and finally just pulled the trigger and went.  It's insane how much hotel rooms in Atlantic City cost, thank God for Starwood points!

We played some blackjack, hung out on the beach, shopped at the outlets, and had yummy dinners at PF Changes and Ruth's Chris. 
In the spirit of my recent commitment to weight loss, I also managed to get in a 3 mile run.  It's hard to eat well while traveling and during the holidays but I think I at least did better than I normally would have.  That has to count for something, right?

The gambling was a bit of a roller coaster but we all ended up taking home more than we went there with, not something you can always say!
I made some great finds at the outlets too, can't complain about that.

Now back to a normal (though short) work week...

Friday, August 30, 2013

Wake up call

So I've been a lazy bum and it needs to stop!
I've been convincing myself that it's no big deal, and then I saw the pictures from our beach house weekend with the family.  Ugh, NOT GOOD!

For some background, my brother and K rented a house on the sound shore in Clinton, CT last week with T & E.  B and I went to hang out with them Thursday and Friday, took a little detour to Mohegan Sun and then headed home.
The days at the beach house were fun.  The kids are cute and old enough to do fun, interactive things with now.  We (the kids) tortured some fish and crabs they caught on the beach.  We had some kayaks to paddle around in and went to check out the sandbar at low tide.  We had a bonfire on the beach and made s'mores and drank beer.  I got eaten alive by bugs.  All in all, a great summer experience.
I was excited to see the family pictures when K sent them over, since we don't have that many with the kid and me and B.  And...BAM...reality hit.

I was going to share the pictures on here but, frankly, I'm too embarrassed to.  I will just say that I need to lose about 10lbs and my plan is to try to use this blog to help me stay on track.  I'm going to commit to working out more consistently, thinking before putting anything in my mouth, and posting about my progress (and pitfalls).

Probably dangerous making this pledge just before leaving for Atlantic City for Labor Day Weekend.  Or, maybe it'll help me avoid doing too much damage this weekend.  Fingers crossed...

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Awesome and easy chicken recipe

B found this recipe recently when faced with making dinner for himself at home.  Turns out, it's really good, and easy too!

Sorry, I'm out of practice, no picture today.  At least I'm blogging again :-)

Original recipe from: The Ktchn

What You Need

1 to 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon freshly chopped herbs (optional)
Olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
10-inch sauté pan with lid


1. Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness with the handle or flat of a knife.
2. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken breasts.
3. Mix about a half teaspoon of salt in with the flour along with a little pepper. Chop the herbs finely, if using, and mix in as well.
4. Quickly dredge the chicken breasts in the flour, so that they are just lightly dusted with flour.
5. Heat the sauté pan over medium-high heat. When it is quite hot, add the olive oil and butter. Let them melt, and swirl the pan.
6. Turn the heat to medium. Add the chicken breasts. Cook for just about 1 minute to help them get a little golden on one side (you are not actually searing or browning them). Then flip each chicken breast over.
7. Turn the heat to low. Put the lid on the pan. Set a timer for 10 minutes, and walk away. Do not lift the lid; do not peek.
8. After 10 minutes have elapsed, turn off the heat. Reset the timer for 10 minutes and leave the chicken breasts in the pan. Again, do not lift the lid; do not peek.
9. After the 10 minutes are up, take the lid off, and tada! Soft, tender, juicy chicken breasts that aren't dried out in the least. Doublecheck them to make sure there is no pink in the middle. Slice and eat.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Herb-Crusted Steak with Fries

I've been trying to increase the protein in my diet and am kind of sick of chicken.  So, I got us a nice big skirt steak and tried a couple of recipes, here's the first one.

Super easy!

Herb-Crusted Steak with Fries

Mix together 1/2 C sour cream (I used fat free greek yogurt), 2 T horseradish, and black pepper.
Rub 1 1/2 lb sirloin steak (1 inch thick) with 2 T herbes de provence; season with salt and pepper.
Cook in 2 T olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high, 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare.
Let rest 5 minutes, then slice.
Serve with oven baked fries (I made sweet potato fries)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Carrots Au Gratin

Not the healthiest veggie recipe ever, but tasty!

Carrots Au Gratin

There are carrots under there, I swear!
I didn't follow the recipe exactly, just used what I had around, but it worked out.

4 1/2 CCarrots; peeled and sliced- I used most of a baggie of baby carrots
2/3 CRitz Crackers; Crushed- I had some wheat thins and tortilla chips around so used that.
3 Tbutter; divided
1/2 COnion; diced
3 TFlour
1/2 tspsalt
1/4 tsppepper
1 1/2 CMilk
2/3 CCheddar Cheese; or velveeta
Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9×12 baking pan.
Steam carrots (or cook with your desired method) until they are just fork tender, but still a bit firm (approximately 10 minutes).
In a small bowl, melt 1 Tbs. of the butter. Toss the melted butter with the cracker crumbs and set aside.
In a medium saucepan heated over medium heat, melt the remaining 2 Tbs. of butter. Saute the onions in the butter until they are translucent and tender. Add the flour, salt, and pepper to the onion/butter mixture and cook (while stirring) for approximately one minute. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly, and bring the mixture to a boil. Allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes, until it thickens.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cheese. Whisk until everything is smooth and melted.
Fold the carrots into the cheese mixture and coat everything well. Pour the carrot and cheese mixture into the baking pan and sprinkle with the cracker crumbs.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until everything is heated through and cheese sauce is bubbly.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Nassau, Bahamas!

B and I had been talking about taking a vacation somewhere for months and just not pulling the trigger.  We really wanted to get some scuba in, and we just love to travel.

So, on a whim, I decided to check to see who flies out of Westchester County Airport.  After all, it's about 5 miles from where we live!  Turns out, JetBlue has several flights out of HPN and a direct flight to Nassau, very reasonably priced.  PERFECT!

Even though we were only planning about 3 weeks in advance, we decided to see if anyone else wanted to join us and we got 4 of our friends (2 other couples) to come along.

So, last weekend (Thursday to Sunday) we went to the Bahamas for a long weekend with some of our friends.  It was SO nice to be away and to hang out with everyone.

It was literally 8 degrees in NY when we left.  It was in the mid 70s most of the time we were in the Bahamas.  Not crazy hot, but definitely NOT 8 degrees!

We stayed at the Sheraton Beach Resort & Casino.  We picked it because Brad has the SPG points, so it was the right price. :-)  The pool area and beach were nice, the food was overpriced (as expected) and the casino was a little lame.  But, it all worked out nicely.
C&R stayed with us and A&M had their own room (first come, first serve for the free rooms!).

We had our first dinner out at The Poop Deck  .  The food was good, if a little pricey.  We tried our first of many conch fritters, and continued sampling Gumbay Smash drinks everywhere we could (started at the pool!).

B and I went on one scuba excursion with Stuart Cove.  We hadn't been on a dive since our certification dives almost a month ago so it was a little stressful, but we got to see some cool stuff.

For lunch we went to the Fish Fry and tried Twin Brothers.  The food was good, service was mediocre, kind of slow.

Dinner number 2 was at Montagu Gardens.  They picked us up at our hotel more than 30 minutes late, but we tried not too get too frustrated by that.  The driver gave us a little tour and history of the restaurant, he was hilarious, so we were in a better mood once we got to the restaurant.  Since we got there so late, we closed the place down!  The food was good, less expensive than the Poop Deck, similar quality.  The wine, drinkable but not so good.  R&C go the Guava Duff for dessert, they had been talking it up the whole trip.  I tried it but didn't love it.

The next day the whole crew went on the "off road" Segway Tour.  I was really nervous that I would fall off the thing, but I got the hang of it quickly and had a ton of fun!

As I write this summary it's starting to look like we were just wasting time between meals. :-)  Most of that time was at the pool, napping, or in the casino, you're not missing anything.

Our last (and best) dinner was at Brussels Bistro.  The mussels were sooo good, and I'm not really much of a mussels person.  The rest of the food was really good too, and it wasn't that expensive.  Once again we closed down the restaurant.  It's a small place but I'd definitely go back if we return to the Bahamas!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Casino Night and new Goat Cheese Log Recipe

Last night we had 25-30 people over for a game night.  In what is now becoming my trademark move, I did not take any photos.  It's unfortunate too, since I did an awesome job decorating (if I do say so myself)!

**Any readers out there who have pictures, please send them to me!**

I made my standards - crock pot meatballs, empanadas, bean dip, sugar cookies
And some new additions - Oreo balls, Chipotle Rosemary Nuts
And my last minute discoveries
  • Goat Cheese with honey and walnuts (Just drizzle some honey over a log of goat cheese and sprinkle with crushed walnuts)
  • Mad Money Punch - Orange Juice, Cranberry Juice, Vodka, Squeeze of Lime - went through 2 batches, probably would have gone through most of a third if I had enough ingredients to make another.

Of course guests brought some great additions too - lots of booze, quacamole, etc.

Hot games of the night:
- Taboo (which somehow morphed into a very strange, but entertaining, version of charades)
- Uno - who knew adults could play this for hours on end?
- Jenga
- Black Jack
- Texas Hold 'em

We'll definitely be doing this again!!

The things we do for beauty!

B and I are going on a little trip soon...I'll share details later.
In preparation, I decided to try something new - a bikini wax.

A coworker of mine recommended European Wax Center a few months ago.  At the time, the only one in Westchester was in Yonkers.  Sorry to any Yonkers residents who might be reading this, but it's not my favorite place to go, I get lost all the time.  However, they had announced that a new location would be opening in January in Rye Brook - this sounded promising.

So, I signed up for advanced notice of the opening, specials etc.  They ran a deal for free services in the days just prior to their opening to finalize the training of the staff (more the front desk people, not so much the waxers) so I made an appointment for my bikini wax for this afternoon.

I won't lie, I was really nervous.  I left WAY early, which was good because I had a bit of hard time finding the place.  Once I get there everyone was super nice and helpful. 
The place was clean and pleasant.
I only waited maybe 5 minutes before my waxer came to get me.  She was really professional and friendly and did a good job distracting me and not making me feel awkward.
Honestly, it really wasn't that bad.  It didn't feel good, but I didn't feel the need to yell or swear or whatever. 

I bought a packaged visit deal (buy 9, get 3 free) and made another appointment for 3 weeks.  I might have her do a little more next time. 

So, If you're considering doing this or looking for a new place, check them out - ask for Norah, and let them know I referred you (I get $5 off for referrals!).

Friday, January 18, 2013

Avocado, Strawberry & Goat Cheese Sandwich

I had some goat cheese left over after last week's challenge, so I searched pinterest for some ways to use it.  I already had all the ingredients for this one so thought I'd try it for breakfast...

Avocado, Strawberry & Goat Cheese Sandwich

 Avocado Strawberry + Goat Cheese Sandwich [cold]
  • 2 slices of bread (I used Arnold Sandwich Thins. a whole wheat wrap would also work)
  • 1 avocado (I only used about 1/4)
  • 4 medium strawberries, thinly sliced
  • 2-4T goat’s milk mozzarella, crumbled (I used goat cheese from a log)
  • 1t lemon juice (optional)
  • 1/8t salt
  • black pepper + sea salt to top
  1. Toast the bread and place on a cooling rack [avoids sogginess] to stay crisp but not hot. 
  2. Mash the avocado with a fork and then mash in the lemon juice + salt.
  3. Add as much avocado to the toast as desired and add 1 layer of thinly sliced strawberries.
  4. Top with salt, pepper, and about 1T crumbled goat cheese per slice.

Lookit what I did with the pictures,!

Monday, January 14, 2013

No Seasoning Packet Turkey Tacos - Part 1

In an attempt to continue the clean eating pattern, I decided to try to make one of our staple foods (tacos) in a healthier, less processed ways.  This recipe was good, we'll eat it all, but next time I'll try something different.  This one's maybe a 5 out of 10, not a keeper.

Healthier Turkey Tacos

1 1/4 lbslean ground turkey

1 tspolive oil/chicken broth

1 Tgarlic powder

1 TChili Powder

1 MedRed Onion, chopped

1 TPaprika

1 CanTomato sauce; low sodium, no sugar added


1 Tomato

1 Onion

Shredded Cheese

Avocado; or guac

taco shells or whole wheat tortillas
Cook your meat in a non-stick pan using olive oil, or, if you really want to do away with the fat, use a bit of chicken broth.
Stir in the spices, red onion, and tomato sauce.
Prepare the rest of the ingredients for toppings.
Stuff your shells and serve!

Oreo Cookie Balls

I swear I'm not totally off the clean eating track already!  We're having a party this weekend (which I'm sure will inspire many, many posts) and this is one of the treats I'm making (along with the chipotle nuts).

I got this recipe from my sister in law.  I'm not sure where she got it but I'm guessing from someone on Pinterest.

No Bake Oreo Cookie Balls

1 package Oreos
8oz package of cream cheese
1 package white bakers chocolate

Crush Oreos into small pieces (I place in freezer bag and smash with smooth side of meat tenderizer, you can also use a mallet or rolling pin, etc).
Using hands, mix Oreo crumbs with cream cheese until well combined
Form into 1 inch balls and place on lined baking sheet.  Place in refrigerator (overnight is best).

Melt chocolate per direction on bag.  Roll Oreo balls into chocolate, place back in fridge until hard.  Store in fridge or freezer.

Our first attempt at melting the chocolate didn't go well, pretty sure we burned it.  We're blaming our our microwave, which is from circa 1990.  I tried again today, using a make-shift double boiler, much better results!

Clean Eating Reflections

I'm really glad I did the Clean Eating challenge.  I wasn't perfect, but overall ate much better than I usually do (and lost a couple lbs!). 

I found some recipes and ingredients that I like enough to add to my regular meal rotation, once I have one.  I confirmed some I don't like too, which is fine.  I think it's important to keep trying things, you never know.  I eat a lot of things now that I would have said "NO WAY" to a couple of years ago.

I definitely overhauled the amount of food I expect to eat at each meal.  A lot of these meals I just really didn't think would be enough food, but I survived and wasn't even starving most of the time!

I do have a lot more energy...who would have thought that claim was actually true??

I'm inspired to continue on this path as best I can.  Obviously I'll have splurge days (like yesterday at my niece's party) but hopefully I can better control my splurges.

Overall, this was a very positive experience!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts

This is not from my clean eating challenge, though other than the brown sugar, I think they can kind of qualify.
A coworker brought these into the office and once I tasted them I just had to try to make them myself!

They're really easy to make and so tasty!  They've got a pretty good kick, hopefully enough to keep me from eating them by the pound.
Perfect treat for a party.

Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts

  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 cups whole roasted unsalted cashews (14 ounces)
  • 2 cups whole walnut halves (7 ounces)
  • 2 cups whole pecan halves (7 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds (3 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided
  • Kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Brush a sheet pan generously with vegetable oil. Combine the cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, the maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice, and chipotle powder on the sheet pan. Toss to coat the nuts evenly. Add 2 tablespoons of the rosemary and 2 teaspoons of salt and toss again.
Spread the nuts in one layer. Roast the nuts for 25 minutes, stirring twice with a large metal spatula, until the nuts are glazed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with 2 more teaspoons of salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons of rosemary.
Toss well and set aside at room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking as they cool. Taste for seasoning. Serve warm or cool completely and store in airtight containers at room temperature.

Grilled Chicken Salad

I only had a little bit of Greek yogurt left so I couldn't make the shake for breakfast today, so I had Monday's waffles with strawberries instead.  Yum!  Definitely saving the smoothie recipe to try another time though.

Lunch was another winner.  I never really had goat cheese much before but it was very tasty with the blueberries and walnuts on this salad. 

Grilled Chicken Salad
Top 2 cups of spinach with 1 tbs walnuts, handful of blueberries, 1 tbs goat cheese and a piece of cut-up grilled chicken. 
In a bowl, combine 1 tbs. balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp olive oil, season with sea salt, black pepper and garlic powder.  Combine with salad.

Sorry, forgot to take pic so you'll just have to use your imagination on this one.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Savory Penne

No one is more shocked than I am that this one is a winner.  I have been avoiding meals with peanut sauce for years.  I'm apparently going to have to rethink that decision.  This was really good!
Savory Penne

In a bowl, combine 1 tbs rice wine vinegar, 1 tbs peanut butter, 1 tbs orange juice and 1/4 tsp soy sauce.  Stir until smooth.  

In a medium pan, saute 2 cups chopped kale in 1 tsp olive oil until wilted.  
Add 2/3 cup cooked whole wheat pasta, 1/2 cup cannellini beans (rinsed and drained), peanut sauce; stir until warmed through.

Kale Chips

I haven't really posted much about the snacks in the challenge.  Mostly because they're things I would consider fairly obvious (apples with peanut butter, broccoli and hummus, etc).

However, today's snack is Kale chips.  I had serious doubts but in the spirit of the challenge decided to try them.

And, you know what?  They're actually kind of good!

Kale Chips
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Rinse and dry your kale.  Cut into large pieces, toss with olive oil in a bowl then sprinkle with salt.  Arrange leaves in a single layer on a large baking sheet.  Sprinkle with a little salt and bake for 20 minutes or until crisp.  Store in ziploc bag for up to one week. 

Amy's Organic Black Bean Soup

Loving the heat and eat healthy options!  This soup was very tasty and surprisingly filling for soup.  The can says 2 servings, I admit I ate both :-)  It was only about 280 calories combined so I don't feel guilty at all.

I will definitely be trying some more of the Amy's soup flavors!

Note, if you want to eat this for lunch at work, you'll need a can opener!

Zucchini Fritters

This breakfast is surprisingly easy and tasty.  I used roasted red pepper hummus.  It tastes good but I might actually like this better with just salt and pepper (maybe a little greek yogurt/sour cream?). 

Zucchini Fritters
Combine 6 egg whites, 1/2 c oats and 1 grated zucchini in a mixing bowl and mix until well combined.  Spray or coat a non-stick pan with a light layer of oil and ladle the pancake mix onto the pan as you would a regular pancake. 
Note: Watch the heat on these. You may need to keep it closer to medium and allow these to cook longer. You want the eggs to cook completely without letting the pancake burn. Adjust accordingly.  Remove pancakes from the pan when cooked through and top with a bit of hummus.
(You can definitely make these in advance and heat up in the morning for a quick breakfast!)

I froze half the recipe and ate the rest.  I think they're better cooked more rather than less, some I made weren't quite cooked enough, might even try for crispy next time.


Quinoa-Edamame Salad with Sesame-Ginger Dressing

I'll share this one even though I just couldn't bring myself to make it last night.  This just did not sound appetizing at all after a tough Cross Fit workout, so I went off menu.  I might try this another time though.

Quinoa-Edamame Salad with Sesame-Ginger Dressing
In a bowl, combine 1 cup cooked quinoa, 2/3 cup cooked edamame, 1/4 cup shredded carrots and 1/4 cup chopped cucumber.  In another bowl, combine 2 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp rice wine vinegar, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp grated ginger and 1/4 tsp garlic powder.  Toss with quinoa mixture.

Replacement meal: Egg, spinach, grape tomatoes (halved) microwaved 1:30 on high or until egg is cooked through.  Spread 1/4 avocado on whole wheat wrap, add egg mixture, wrap up, and enjoy!

I then went to Trivia night at the bar and managed to 1. not drink (not that hard for me) and 2. not eat any of the popcorn on the table (MUCH harder)!

Salmon and Apple Salad Wrap

For some reason, despite the fact that I don't like a lot of cooked seafood, I'm ok with canned seafood.  I know, it doesn't really make sense.   I've eaten a fair amount of canned tuna in my life, but never canned salmon before.

However, this lunch was good!  I might save it for lunches at home, though since it did kind of permeate the office with a fishy smell.  Thankfully not too many people were there.

Salmon and Apple Salad Wrap
In a bowl, mix 1 can salmon, 1/4 cup chopped apple, 1/4 cup chopped celery and 2 tbs chopped onion.  In another bowl, combine 2 tsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp agave and a sprinkle of black pepper.  Toss with salmon salad.  Spread salad on a wrap, top with 1/2 cup spinach and roll up.  Serve with 1/2 cup broccoli and 3 tbs hummus.

Waffles with Yogurt and Kiwi

Yesterday was a crazy busy day so I did not get to update my blog :-(  I'll make up for it today since I'm working form home and it should be quieter.

Breakfast yesterday was a variation on the breakfast form Monday:

Waffles with Yogurt and Kiwi
Toast 2 whole wheat waffles.  Top with a dollop of greek yogurt, a drizzle of agave, 1 kiwi and 1 tsp walnuts.

I like strawberries more than kiwi so I preferred Monday's, but this was very good and is a great way to change it up or use up some kiwi you have on hand. 


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Stuffed Chicken with Sweet Potato Fries

I need practice making stuffed chicken.  This was a first attempt and didn't come out very pretty.
But, looks aren't everything.  This was yet another tasty meal!  I imagine once I figure out the chicken stuffing process, it'll be easy too!

Stuffed Chicken with Sweet Potato Fries

Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
Cut a slit in a boneless chicken cutlet. 
In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup chopped broccoli, 3 tbs shredded cheddar, 1 tbs salsa; stuff inside chicken. 
Slice a sweet potato into 1/4 inch thick fries. 
On a coated baking sheet, place fries and a handful of asparagus. 
Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp garlic powder and a dash of black pepper.  Bake 15 minutes.
Add chicken to sheet; bake an additional 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Kashi Mayan Harvest Bake

I'm loving that a frozen meal was included in this challenge.  So quick and easy and something I would easily have again.

And, as a bonus, this stuff is delicious!  It would probably be even better if my office microwave wasn't so crappy and I could actually cook it right.

I will definitely be trying more flavors from Kashi.

FYI, I had a hard time finding it, but Target had a great selection.  In fact, they have a huge selection of frozen mealsy (health and not) at the White Plains Target.

Blueberry Agave Oatmeal

Breakfast today was simple and similar to ones I would make on my own.  I prefer to do overnight oats rather than make it fresh, I think because of the consistency.

Blueberry Agave Oatmeal
Add 1/4 cup blueberries and 1 tbs agave to 1 cup oatmeal and stir well. Garnish with walnuts.

I forgot to add the walnuts but it was still tasty.  I'm just starting to get hungry now, perhaps because I'm thinking about food, but it's 11:30, so that's not so bad.

Fingers crossed lunch is good, it's a Kashi frozen meal, details to come...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Penne Margarita

My favorite meal so far, but far.  So simple and definitely something I wold make as part of my regular rotation.

Penne Margarita

In a medium pan, sauté 1/3 cup chopped onion, 1 chopped garlic clove in 2 tsp olive oil, 2 minutes. Add 1 cup halved grape tomatoes, 1 tbsp water; cook, stirring, 1 minute.
Simmer until tomatoes are soft, 5 minutes.
Stir in 1/2 cup cooked edamame, 1 tsp basil, 1/8 tsp salt, a pinch of black pepper; cook 2 minutes.
Serve over 1 cup cooked whole-wheat penne; top with 1 tbsp shredded parmesan.

I had the edamame on the side because I only had it in the pods and didn't want to deal with taking them out of the pods before cooking.


Lentil, Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Today's lunch was kind of a fail.

It tasted ok, I guess.  I don't think lentils on a salad are for me.  The texture was messing with me, then I chocked on some lentils and it was kind of down hill from there. 
I should have known I was doomed when my salad dressing spilled out of the container.  Thankfully I put everything in a plastic bag so it didn't permeate my purse.

I love sweet potatoes but our microwave at work is horrible and it killed it.  I like the idea of potatoes for lunch at work, I might have to bake them at home and just heat them up a bit at the office. 

Lentil, Beet and Goat Cheese Salad 

In a bowl, top 2 cups of mixed greens with 2/3 cup boiled lentils, a few chopped beets, 1/2 cup slices cucumber and some crumbled goat cheese. 
In another bowl, combine 1 tbs. balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp olive oil, season with sea salt, black pepper and garlic powder. 
Toss all ingredients together. 
Serve with 1 sweet potato.

I left out the beets, just couldn't bring myself to add them.

Since I ate so little of this, I "cheated" and had a Dark Chocolate, Nuts, and Sea Salt KIND bar.  If you haven't tried these, you should.  They are DELISH.  They are pretty healthy, whole ingredients, limited sugar, etc.  So I don't feel too guilty.

Egg with Spinach and Quinoa

Todays breakfast was pretty good.  Not quite as good as yesterday's, but I can see myself making this again sometime.

Egg with Spinach and Quinoa
In a microwave safe bowl, crack 1 egg and toss with a handful of spinach.  Pop into microwave for 1 - 1.5 minute, or until cooked through.  Serve over 1/2 cup of quinoa.  Serve with 1/4 cup blueberries.

Again I forgot to take a picture.  Honestly, it's all I can do to get myself up and out of bed in the morning.  I'm impressed with myself for actually eating breakfast at home 2 days in a row! 

Lunch made a bit of a mess on my way into work so I think I'm going to have to go pick up some replacement dressing.  There's a Whole Foods a few blocks away, so I guess I'll just take a little walk over at lunch time.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Citrus Salmon (chicken) Salad and Day 1 recap

This one tasted ok.  It was honestly too much work given the amount I liked (or disliked) it.  That said, I ate it.  I think there were just too many ingredients.  Or maybe it's because I had to prep it after a difficult CrossFit workout...either way, not really a fan.

I managed to stick to the plan today and I'm pretty proud of myself for that.  I did add an after dinner dessert/snack of Greek yogurt, a couple of strawberries, walnuts, agave (basically breakfast without the waffles) and a banana.  But, that falls within the "rules" and was earned at CrossFit :-)

I've prepped for tomorrow and I'm more excited about tomorrow's menu than it was today, so it should be good!

Zucchini and Spinach Soup

I'm going to call this one a runner up.  It's certainly edible (such a glowing endorsement!) but needs a little something.  Maybe I blended it too much or need more lentils or spinach.  It's kind of watery and boring.  The cheese helps.

Zucchini and Spinach Soup

Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in large pan and add 1 chopped onion.  Cook over low heat until soft and slightly golden. 
Add 1-2 chopped garlic gloves, 1 tsp cumin and 1 tsp coriander.  Stir until onion are coated with spices and then add 2-3 handfuls of lentils and 2-3 medium zucchinis, diced into cubes. 
Stir until mixture is covered in spices and cook for a few minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally. 
Add 4 cups of boiling water and 1 tsp salt and bring to a boil. 
Turn down the heat and simmer half covered for 10 min or until the zucchinis and lentils are well cooked. 
Add 5 large leaves of chopped spinach and cook for another 5 min. 
Turn off the heat and with a stick blender (or by running batches in your regular blender), blend until your desired consistency. 
Season with salt and pepper, to taste. 
You may garnish the soup with parmesan cheese.

This makes 3-4 servings so I put one serving in my mason jar to take to work and froze the rest.
A nice chunk of crusty bread would do a lot for this soup but, alas, it is not on my menu.  Maybe by the end of the week I won't crave that so much?

Oh, and not exactly the most appetizing LOOKING thing I ever ate, smells good though.

I had already eaten half when I remembered to take this, oops.  Oh, and some proof I eat at my desk at work :-(

Waffles with yogurt and strawberries

Meal #1 of this Challenge is a definite winner.

Waffles Topped with Greek Yogurt, Agave, Strawberries and Walnuts
Toast 2 whole wheat waffles. 
Top with 1 tbs. of greek yogurt, a drizzle of agave, 1/2 c chopped strawberries and 1 tsp. walnuts.

I got Kashi brand frozen waffles, tasted the same as Eggo's without the ingredients I couldn't pronounce.

The combination of all the ingredients was actually surprisingly tasty and filling.  I ate breakast at about 7:45am, I didn't start to feel hungry until about 11:45.  Not too bad. Noon is my normal lunchtime too, so at least some of the timing is habit.  However, normally I would eat breakfast at 9 or 9:30 while at work and still be hungry at the same time, so I call this a win.  

Sorry I didn't take pictures of this one, I'll try to remember for future meals.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

7 Day Clean Eating Challenge - Pre-Day 1

Judging by the amount of unfamiliar food on the shopping list for this Clean Eating challenge, I'm guessing there will be some amusing moments over the next few days.  So, I guess I should blog about it!

I don't have my recipes for tomorrow yet, but I went to the store to pick up the stuff on the shopping list (except the salmon and can of beets I refuse to eat).  I had to ask where a few things were and had to buy the biggest bag of Kale ever, that's all the store had.  Hope I like Kale!!
Shop Rite is a nice store, but they arrange things oddly.  The organize the food by what you are probably making, not keeping like items together.  So, I had a hard time finding things like sesame oil, which is with the ethnic foods, not the other oils.  And agave nectar was only in the organic section, not with the honey or other sweeteners.

Not sure what people do with ginger root, but I have some now.  I bought the smallest piece I could find.

I can't imagine how I'm going to actually eat all of the vegetables I bought.  It wasn't cheap either, though I have to remind myself that I won't be buying any breakfast or lunch this week.  That will save some money.

Oh, and zucchini/green squash and cucumber look awfully similar, hope I remember which is which.

Part 2
I got my Day 1 menu and have started cooking.

Realization #1 - I'm going to have to eat breakfast at home before leaving for work.  That means I have to get up earlier.  Hmmm....

Here's the menu for the day, I'll add the actual recipes after I try them (and only if I like them)

Breakfast: Whole Wheat waffles (frozen) with greek yogurt, agave, strawberries and walnuts (sounds good to me!)

Lunch: Zucchini and Spinach Soup (smells good cooking, we'll see) - Bonus: I get to use my hand mixer for the first time!  I've only had it for 4 yrs.

Snack: 1 Apple and 1 T peanut butter

Dinner: Citrus Salmon Salad.  You may notice that I'm already going to be cheating on day 1 since I did not buy the salmon, I'm just going to substitute a chicken breast, so it's only a small cheat.

Winter-time fun!

Yesterday was a friend's birthday and she invited us out for a day of fun!

We went ice skating at Bear Mountain State Park.  I don't ice skate much so I'm not very good at it, but I can make it around the rink without holding on to the wall, and I managed to not fall at all.  So I call that a successful venture.

See?  I stayed on my feet.  But do  have a bit of a wide-arm technique going.

Most of our little group.

After skating we had dinner at Lucky Buddha in Thornwood.  Before checking the site I thought it was Indian food, but it's actually Japanese - Hibachi.
The food was good, the chef guy was amusing.  However, he did almost butcher B when doing the knife tossing - one got loose.  And he (or who ever set up his cart) forgot J's salmon.  Thankfully they remembered before we were done and got J some food so he didn't go hungry.
In his defense, we had a group of 12 people which is kind of a lot to keep straight at a table like that.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Fun 'n Games

Parties aren't only about food, you have to actually do something too!

We and are friends are big into "game nights" lately, so I thought I'd share some of our favorites in case anyone is looking for a new, fun game.

1. The newest addition to our repertoire, thanks to R & C, is Wits & Wagers.

R&C randomly found this game in a store and, since our group likes betting on things (yup, big group of gamblers), they decided to bring it to the New Years Eve party to give it a try.
In this game you respond to trivia questions and then bet on who gave the best answer.  All questions have numerical answers and the game follows "Price Is Right" rules of closest without going over. 

Good times!

2. A great game for a large group, whether they know each other well or not, is Things.

The website for this game gives you an idea of how it works.  Everyone answers an open ended question like "what shouldn't you keep in your pockets."  The moderator then reads the answers and people take turns trying to guess who wrote which answer.  The person who guesses right the most winds.  You get some interesting insight into your friends new and old! 

3. Apples to Apples.
This is an oldie but a goodie.  Another good one for larger groups of people. 

Each player gets seven "red apple" cards; on each card is printed a noun or noun phrase.
The "it" player for that round draws a "green apple" card which has an adjective printed on it., and places it face-up on the table for everybody to see or reads it out loud.
Then each player chooses a card that they think is the best match for the green apple card, and places it face-down. The judge shuffles the red apple cards, reads them aloud, and decides which noun is the best match for the adjective based on whatever criteria they want.
This one is a bit easier if you know each other but can be played by groups of new friends too.

 4. A simple, but effective, game - again good for groups (the bigger the better) is Left Right Center.

Each player receives three chips (we usually use dollar bills to make it more interesting).
Players take it in turn to roll the six-sided dice, each of which is marked with "L", "C", "R" on one side, and a single dot on the three remaining sides.
For each "L" or "R" thrown, the player must pass one chip to the player to his left or right, respectively.
A "C" indicates a chip to the center pot.
A dot means you keep that chip/dollar.
If a player has fewer than three chips left he is still in the game but his number of chips is the number of dice he rolls on his turn, rather than rolling all three.
No player is ever "out" (even when they have no chips) because one of the other players may have to pass their chips to them bringing them back in the mix. 
The winner is the last player with chips left.

These are the games we've been playing most often lately.  There are others we like (Cranium, Jenga, dominoes, Taboo) too, but for whatever reason we haven't played these much lately.

What are your favorites?  We're always up for some new games to try!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

So - what is your New Year's Resoluation for 2013?  Have you broken it yet?

My resolution is really the same as last year - to be healthier and happier and take better care of myself.  It's super broad, I know, but I did pretty well with it last year. 

  • I expanded the foods I eat, mostly by adding vegetables and a ton more variety overall.
  • I was more consistent with my workouts (yay Crossfit!). 
  • I focused more on my organizational skills and purging the extras I don't need and created a binder to keep everything in one place. (and check out the bullets!!)
  • I worked with a Health & Lifestyle Coach who was awesome (not a paid advertisement, I swear).
  • I've worked on being more positive, friendlier, more optimistic.  This is hard

So, this year my resolution is to do better.
I'm doing a 7 Day Clean Eating Challenge through the same Health Coach I mentioned above.  It starts January 7th, so if I'm crabby next week it's because I'm hungry!

I've raised my workout goal for my massage reward.  Before I just counted the days I worked out and had a running tally (massage is now scheduled for Sat January 5th, can't wait!).  Going forward I'm counting "successful" weeks.  To schedule my next appointment I need 12 weeks in which I do CrossFit at least twice and run at least once.  My goal is to have a massage quarterly, so if I stick to it, this should work out. 
Since I'm planning to run in the NJ Half Marathon again in May I REALLY need to step up my running!

Technically this was in 2012 but I spent a TON of time cleaning and organizing the condo over the holidays.  I desperately need to take a trip to Goodwill and our storage unit to drop off bags of stuff. I fell off the binder bandwagon for a while but I updated it and am trying to get back on track.

The positivity thing is still super hard.  I'm trying, I promise, but the "external partners" I work with are not cooperating.  People can be such jerks.  Oh, and I live in New York, not exactly known for being the friendliest place on Earth (which I recently learned is Canada). 

Share your goals!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Grilled Cheese and Apples

I'm all about the quick and easy foods - probably because I'm super impatient and generally always hungry.

My newest discovery - Grilled cheese with apples!  I used some pepperjack cheese for a kick, mozzarella to balance the kick (and because it melts so nicely), and Granny Smith apples.  The apples are on the sour side, but it all works together nicely.
And, I used sandwich thins for the bread.

These taste yummy but it's a little awkward grilling them without all of the apples falling out.  Guess I'll have to practice.  Might try adding some more stuff to it too, maybe bacon?  Hmm...any other ideas?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

For the home...

I saw this on Pinterest (seriously addicted)...LOVE it.  So prefect for my ridiculously small kitchen.   I'm always looking for way to get stuff off my counters, this is brilliant.

Guess I'm going to be searching for wall mounted magazine racks for my kitchen! 

Happy New Year!