Friday, June 29, 2012

We've Been Eating!

Last time I blogged I was on my way out the door to take my friend Erin out to dinner. I have ONE condition when I go to eat. It must NOT be a chain restaurant. I cannot stand 95% of chain restaurants. She let me pick and said we could do ethic so I picked my FAVORITE! Al-zaytoun Kabob & Grill. It is so amazing. All the food is hot and fresh (especially the bread!). The spinach has a nice kick I can't say no too......

And then, because that mountain of food just wasn't enough, we hit up Bluberri, the new Fro-Yo place in town. I really like this place because the fro-yo isn't sweet. It is tart and perfect (I dig the non-fat part too! lol). Then you add the sweet toppings....

In retrospect, jelly beans are NOT an awesome idea unless you eat them very quickly. They froze and were rocks! The rest of the crap on there is crushed Heath Bar (I have a serious affection for toffee) and there is mango on the other side:-)

Here is Erin's. I have a moral objection to cheesecake.....but to each their own...and that fruit looks awesome.

After dinner I headed up to Southern MD to hang out with the boy. Saturday morning we found ourselves at the Farmer's Market. We ran into his mother and stepdad. I mentioned I was thinking about baking a pie for the first time and she requested blueberry. I aim to please....

It actually looked really pretty but I started to cut the first piece before I remembered to take a picture. I am told that I scored a homerun with that pie! My mother has requested one now , too. It will be made tomorrow night.

The other pie I made with a graham cracker crust (seriously good) and made it Chocolate Cream.

I had a really busy week at work and I'm excited that it's Friday again. We are, per the usual, in Southern MD with the boy. I may or may not be enjoying a couple ice cold Coronas. After all, it is 110 degrees today. I wish I was exaggerating. Tomorrow is his son's birthday so I'm on cake detail tonight. Let's see how it goes.

PS - Good thing I have been KILLING it in the gym this week. I am SO sore. I cannot wait until Tuesday. Follow-up on my foot! Eeeeekkkk.....I hope to at least be able to put a sneaker on. Running isn't even an option, so biking it is!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bottom of the Barrel

As much as I love my free weights and ankle weights, I grew bored with my workout routine this week. I needed a change......I dreamt of jumping on the rowing machine, maybe the bike? but I talked myself out of it. If I do not rest this foot properly I will only be in this boot longer. As I sat there pissed off and grumpy at work for lacking motivation, my friend suggested that I do some weight machines. I don't tend to use them too much but I jumped on the chance to spice it up.

I looked ridiculous....

Probably even more so since I was in the gym taking pictures...Luckily I was using my iPhone for my music so nobody could tell.

Be jealous.....

It is quite disheartening being in this cast and continuing to go to the gym sometimes. I get lots of people who tell me "I just need to rest", "I'm crazy", "I'm addicted", etc. However, the past few times I have gone to the gym I have gotten at least one person telling me how motivational I am. How strong and dedicated I must be and how I make them think "if this girl can get in here, in a cast, everyday, I have no excuses". I have to tell you. That makes it worth it. They totally understand me:-)

I dug into this lunch after my workout:
 You might be able to tell that I am very much in need of a trip to the grocery store....this happens toward the end of the week. This is the bottom of the barrel. Carrot sticks and orange, red and yellow peppers with hummus, another gigantic apple and a pickle. After this picture was taken everything but the apple was showered in my beloved Cholula (I go through at least a bottle a week.....)

Yesterday when I got in my car after work it read 106 degrees!! Wow. So of course, I headed to the pool. My work friend let me borrow a "water running vest". It was interesting.....I did it for about 20 minutes...but I couldn't get into it. I need sweat, heavy breathing and intensity. So I swam without it and guess what? I can kick pain-free! It was on:-) A few laps by myself, then it was time to race my younger brother. He brought it. Best cardio workout I've gotten since the break.

While I was kicking it at the pool, my mother was at my house because she had looked after my daughter that day. I mentioned that I had this great recipe I'd been dyyyying to try for Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers.....and the fact that I had nothing else in the house. No fresh fruit and very little veggies. No meat thawed out....nothing quick. So she slaved away in the kitchen while I swam....holy crap. They were everything I wanted!

I tossed some stewed tomatoes on mine. (I told you, I reallllllly need to go shopping) and a ton of Chipotle Cholula, half a baked sweet potato (with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and seasoning salt) and a pickle.

This morning I had no fresh fruit to put in my yogurt. As much as I love my plain Chobani I need a tad bit of flavor. I hit up the store at my work. Discouraged that they have fruit that looks like it's been there a week and most products have wheat or soy, I was excited to find this little number......

It wasn't my norm but it wasn't bad at all....

I'm breaking my normal sweats on the couch with a movie routine this Friday night and going to take my friend out to dinner at my favorite restaurant. Then I'm scooping my beautiful girl up and headed up to MD to hang out with the boy:-)


White Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes

For those you do not know, I LOVE to bake. Last weekend, for Father's
Day, I made the boy chocolate cupcakes, filled with a semi-sweet
ganache. Half were topped with PB Butter cream and half were topped
with a whipped cream frosting. All garnished with mini Ghirardelli
chips. I am still hitting myself for not taking pictures because I am
told they were AMAZING.

This week’s creation I decided to step outside my comfort zone. I
usually go with chocolate. The majority of people like it and I have a
few staple recipes I can alter and make things people love. However,
where is the fun if I'm not being challenged? :-)

I found this recipe: White Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes

1/3 cup butter (room temperature)
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
6 oz white chocolate (1 1/2 bars chopped)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chocolate in 10-20
second intervals. (microwave times may vary so make sure not to burn
your chocolate.) Stirring between each interval until the chocolate is

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with your hand mixer, beat the
butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time,
making sure well mixed, then add vanilla extract and melted white
chocolate. Scrape down sides periodically.

With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the flour and milk.
Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for approx 19-22
minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack

Raspberry Filling
12 oz package of frozen raspberries (if sweetened just use less sugar)
1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch
1 juiced lemon
1/2 cup sugar

In a sauce pan, combine all the ingredients and slowly. Continue
stirring until thickened. (if a thicker filling is desired use more
cornstarch, if you like it runny use less)
Taste along the way since fruit can vary in tartness (just be careful,
hot berries can really burn)
Remove from heat. Strain mixture, discarding the seeds. (unless of
course you like raspberry seeds in your cupcakes)
Let cool.

(Recipe courtesy of

I did make a few very minor changes. Firstly, I never ever add salt
when I'm baking. (and rarely when I'm cooking for that matter...).
Secondly, on the filling I used 3 Tbsp of corn starch, (I was really
worried that if the filling was too runny it would soak into the
cupcake, leaving a nasty, mushy mess) a sprinkle more sugar (it was
very tart when I tried it) and bottled lemon juice (sorry but I forgot
to grab a lemon and I had it on hand). I was very worried about the
filling. After I strained it to remove the seeds the quantity was MUCH
smaller. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to fill them all.

As far as the frosting goes, I did half of them with a raspberry cream
cheese and half of them with normal cream cheese icing (my personal
favorite!). I did not follow the recipe on the website. I have my own
recipe that I always use and is all received well. It is:

1 stick of butter (room temperature, no subs)
1 package of cream cheese (room temperature)
A splash of milk or heavy whipping cream
A splash of pure vanilla extract/raspberry extract
A bag of powdered sugar......

Sorry that I couldn't be more exact for you. I don't measure when it
comes to making frosting. Make the base with the butter and cream
cheese and add the rest until you get the consistency and flavor that
you want (be careful not to do TOO much don't want to
lose the cream cheese taste). If doing regular cream cheese frosting
use the vanilla extract. If doing the raspberry use the raspberry
extract. Very simple :-)

I do have a personal word of advice to people who are baking. Use
quality ingredients. They make a HUGE difference. When the recipe says
"sift" do so. It gets out any lumps and blends well. Make sure your
baking powder is fresh (a jar lasts forever! but it really does make a
difference when it comes to getting your cupcakes to plump up). Make
sure you plan ahead so your ingredients are all at room temperature.
It's very important. Especially the butter and eggs.

Finished product below:

I gave some of these to my mother (Happy 50th Birthday to her), some
to the boy (always my taste-tester) and the rest I brought to work.
They were well received:-)

On a side note.....can you check out the size of this apple? I had
three. As big as a baby's head, crispy and crunchy. Perfect. My little
brother tried to take it last night. I threatened to kick him with my
walking boot! :-)
lol juuuuust kidding......

Do you see how my hand is stretching to hold it!? Pure awesomeness.
and this is the fabulous snack I have every single day. 8:30 am with a
grande black drip loaded with cinnamon (from the fake-me-out Starbucks
at my work)

And while the only subject I'm on is food.....Are these actually
healthy? They don't look too bad for you (of course, you can't eat a
whole bag). The actually have vegetables in the chip. Not just a
flavored powder like most "veggie chips". These wheat and corn
allergies make it hard to find a quick healthy snack from a convenient
store (As much as I try to stay away from processed foods, sometimes
hunger is hunger and we need a fix fast).......I loved the jalapeƱo
part. Not a huge ranch fan, but beggers can't be choosers!

Anybody else baking or loving their healthy snacks?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Fitness Bucket List

I'm going to jump on the bandwagon here. Today, I have read a few blogs in which people have their "Fitness Bucket List". I think this is a great idea. I have one for other things in life and fitness is a big part of that, so why not make one for that as well.

**Sidenote: I actually did not have any bucket list until I met my boyfriend (frequently referred to as "The Boy") two and a half years ago. We created one together. We've actually crossed some things off of it as well. I carry it in my wallet, just for a reminder.....Here is said list:

We've actually crossed quite a few things off.......

Hiking in the Shennandoah!

Luray Caverns

Skydiving!! (I swear, that boy is absolutely gorgeous.)

Back to the purpose of this post. My Fitness Bucket List. Things that I want to accomplish/do in the realm of fitness.

 1. Run a sub 1:45:00 half marathonn. Obviously, this is my holy grail at the moment. It was during my quest    to accomplish this goal that I broke my foot. I know that this pace (8:00 min/mile) doesn't sound very fast to some people but it does to me. Over the past year and a half my "average" mile pace has dropped by about 90 seconds! This is big for me. I will do it.

2. Run a sub 3:30:00 marathon. I ran my first marathon on March 17, 2012 of this year. My goal was sub 4:00:00. I hit the wall at mile 20 to be exact. I knnoooooow I didn't push myself to the max. I got 4:01:55. (Many marathoners have also told me I choose a VERY difficult course for my first marathon). I know improvement is in the works.


First Marathon: March 17, 2012. Rock and Roll Marathon DC
I know I look TIRED. It's warranted. My sister looks adorable....

My dad and daughter cheering me on! I saw her the last 1/2 mile......It's like there was no wall. Next time I will strategically place her at Mile 20!

3. Become registered/certified. I know that is a bit vague but so is my goal. I know that I want to go and receive some sort of higher education for this area of interest. (I currently have a BBA, not interested in what it taught me at all). Even if I don't use the certification or training. I want to know it. Just for me.

4. Run the path of the "original" marathon in Greece. I think this is just the coolest thing ever.

Plus I've never been out of the U.S. (except a cruise to the Bahamas when I was 16) so I'd be estatic!!

5. Do a Triathlon. I am not a good swimmer. I am definitely not a good biker. I am a mediocre runner. Being stuck in this boot for the past 4 weeks has made me realize I really need to round it out some. Pre-break I was starting to explore swimming and yoga, I hope to continue that and add biking as well. To be frank, I've become obsessed with buying a bike in the past week. I know that as soon as I get the go-ahead from the doctor I am gong to want to run out and sweat my ass off. Hopefully, a bike will give me an alternative to all that impact.

Let's be honest. I have goals in mind for weight and size as well but we aren't going to discuss those. Actually, I want to add one more goal:

6. Throw away the scale: I'm cliche. It rules me. It sets my mood and tells me whether or not I've been well-behaved, if I'm not working hard enough,  etc. It's ridiculous. I am educated enough to know that YOUR WEIGHT IS NOT AN INDICATOR OF YOUR FITNESS LEVEL. I have been body-fat tested, shown to be almost at the "athletes" normal body weight. I have been shown that I am in the 114th percentile (still confused on that) for muscle mass for a women my age. None of it matters when I step on the scale. I'm a tool.

So those are my goals. Before I die (hopefully before! LOL. Maybe I'll shoot for before my 30th birthday, which is 5 years away) I want to accomplish these things.

Wish me luck:-)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Eating Wheat Free and Hitting the Weights

I have really surprised myself the past couple of days. I have really gotten into my weights routine! I've always been a fan of weights but not as a whole workout. I am learning how to push myself in order to break that coveted sweat and hit that endorphin high.

I've yet to feel comfortable taking pictures during my gym excursions so I don't have too much to show. I do feel great though. My back muscles are sore, my shoulders are tight and my hips feel worked:-)

To mend the wound of not being able to run, I have turned to food. LOL. jk. But being recently diagnosed with allergies to wheat, corn, soy and peanuts I have had to leave my beloved peanut butter, granola bars, bread, etc. behind and find some new staples...

OATMEAL! I am in love. I don't know how I did not enjoy this every day of my life. Admittedly, I've only tried it one way because I have an obsessive personality, but it is BOSS. I top it with pureed pumpkin, a TON of cinnamon, and sunflower seed butter (replace the raisins in this picture with that. I only tried that the one day...not crazy about it).

 SALADS! I've found that when you cut out corn and wheat.......that cuts out a LARGE amount of any processed foods that I was eating. I've always been a fan of salads, but I tended to get bored with them......and when you have the option of them or a sandwich on a fresh whole wheat roll, well it just didn't compare. Since the rolls are out the window I've been eating a salad at least once, but usually twice a day! I've had to find different ways to mix them up and keep them interesting. The only below was a night my sister came over. Our version of a taco salad...ground chicken, salsa, black beans, chick peas, zucchini, squash all over a large bowl of fresh spinach. Magic happened that night :-)

This was actually last nights dinner. I didn't actually cook it, my mother did, but it's just another example of how you can eat wheat free and healthy and still make it awesome!

Green beans and almonds, roasted sweet potatoes and lean pork tenderloin, all topped with a ginger, pineapple, soy sauce dressing......I usually don't eat pork. I've been told though that I might need to start incorporating some more meats in my diet to up my "good fat" intake.

Despite not being able to run, I still have a lot of things going on. My beautiful daughter Kaitlyn finishes Kindergarten tomorrow! For her end of the year treat she wanted to do M&M cookies. Any excuse for me to bake! Plus I threw in some Island Blondies. They are blondies with toasted coconut, macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips.

I also have  a TON of family obligations arising. (I absolutely love hanging out with my family though, so thats not a bad thing). Last weekend I had my stepmothers and my boyfriend's nephew's birthday party. This little girl had a blast!

She actually lost a tooth during the birthday party! So exciting. The party was held at one of those play places with moon bounces, slides, etc. I usually LOVE these places. I go nuts and race people and get an awesome workout. Being the gimp that I am right now I just sat there until I saw a claw machine calling my name. I actually won something!! Not just one something! TWO OF THEM! Boy was I proud to give my glowing daughter those stuffed animals!

This weekend is going to be VERY hectic. Tomorrow we celebrate my mother's 50th Birthday, Saturday is my Sister-In-Laws birthday and Sunday is Father's Day!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Serious Break and a Lindsay Lohan.

It’s been quite a while since I blogged anything. (I know my three followers are having withdrawals right about now. lol). This is because I am taking a break from running. This break is not by choice. It’s because I have another break. My foot. The second metatarsal to be exact. Turns out that pain I was feeling during the Marine Corp Half Marathon was a little worse than I thought.  It was more like a bone snapping and the broken parts grinding against each other (fragmenting one end of the break) until one piece became displaced enough to alleviate some of the pain.
So this is what I will be doing the entire summer. Sitting on my ass………

I haven’t been a completely lost soul since the incident occurred. I have taken to LOTs of ankle weights, core work, and free weights sitting down. This way I will keep my stability muscles strong and ready for action as soon as I get the go-ahead. I have tried some swimming as well. I have to go REALLY slow because any kicking irritates my foot.
As distraught as I am that I am missing out on running, ESPECIALLY with all the fabulous weather we have been having. I am enjoying a little bit more free time. Every weekend I would plan my activities around my long run. Now, there are no alarms and that is pretty awesome. I have also had much more time with this little girl….
She just learned to ride with no training wheels. We cannot get her off this bike:-)

My little girl is a fish in water. I put her in swim when she was three and she just took off. She's currently trying to teach me proper form.

No summer is complete without ooey gooey smores!
Oh! And I decided to buy a new car. My old car was not too bad to me. So I didn’t have power steering for almost a year….guess what? My biceps are rocking. Seriously. You don’t want tickets to this showJ
Last week it turned on me though. I went to open my driver’s side door and ripped the damn handle off! I mean, who does this even happen to? I had to climb in the passenger door and over the middle console in the short jean skirt I decided to try and look cute in that day. That wouldn’t have been too terrible except for the fact I had that damn boot on and it got stuck….totally pulled a Lindsay Lohan…..I decided that I had earned the right to a new car.