Sunday, December 16, 2012

Buddy Benefits

No, I'm not talking about those types of buddies with benefits. Get your heads out of the gutter people! I'm talking about workout buddies and the benefits that come with them!


There have been countless polls and surveys that have results of people successfully working out when others are involved. For instance, I personally love working out with others. My accountability and success for getting my workout in is a no brainer when others are involved. That's why I cherish the Fit Club that I'm in and having a few running buddies in town. It's nice to be able to pick up the phone and see if they want to go on a run. Majority of the time, they do.

The Fit Club I am in has challenges as well which is another great idea! I'm one who likes needs a challenge to be keep my excitement high. This December is a "Squat-a-thon" and I've been following it to the tee!


As far as running buddies go, one of my good friends Kristen and I run at least once or twice a week. I've known Kristen since Kindergarten and we have gone to school together ever since starting at St. Greg's, to St. Peter Chanel High School, and ending at Ohio State! We both love the benefits of running and working out. Just yesterday we ran in the Doomsday Dash here in Columbus! Apparently, this is our last race we'll ever run since the world is coming to an end...but since we all know that's really not true, Kristen and I made a pact. Our pact is to run one race each season together. I'm already excited searching for Spring runs!


So moral of the story? Find a buddy who likes to be fit, is motivating, and is accountable. Make them your workout buddy and start seeing results of all the hard work you've put in!

Question of the Day

What is your favorite workout routine?

I love running. But lately I have really been into group fitness. Every Monday I get together with my Fit Club and we workout to a different fitness video. We've done TurboFire, Insanity, and many others so far!

        

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Peanut Butter M&M Pretzel Buttons

Have you ever been in a bind where you completely forgot about something and then had to be creative last minute? Yup, that was me just the other day. I forgot about a cookie exchange that was happening and I had to whip something up in a flash. I've been meaning to try this recipe for about a year now and BAM! Just like that, I created it.


Peanut Butter M&M Pretzel Buttons
Mini pretzel twists
Hershey's Special Dark Kisses
Peanut Butter M&M's

The ingredients!

Directions
-Place pretzels on a microwaveable plate.
-Top each twist with a Hershey Kiss.
-Microwave until chocolate looks shiny, about 1 minute.
-Press M&M on top.
-Enjoy!

Tasty treat on the go!

These are gems I swear. So tasty! I have always been a fan of chocolate, peanut butter, and saltiness. This recipe combines all three! There are so many different types of variations that you can do such as using different flavor kisses and M&M's. I've even heard of some using Rolo's and pecans in place of those. The possibilities are endless!

Question of the Day

Do you seem to always be early, on time, or late to events?

I'm always early to anything that I have planned. I get so nervous even being one minute late! You know what they say though...the early bird catches the worm!

          

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Rocky Road Oatmeal

In case you haven't realized it already, Christmas is just around the corner. Have I started any of my Christmas shopping yet? Nope. But I have been listening to the festive music lately! One of my favorite religious Christmas songs is Go Tell it on the Mountains. I love the beat and what the song is about. The song inspired this oatmeal recipe as well that I adapted from here.


Now you probably are wondering how in the world does that tune and Rocky Road Oatmeal tie in together? Well the song talks about mountains and there are the Rocky Mountains...

Breathtaking.

Rocky Road Oatmeal
1/2 cup Old Fashioned Oats
1 cup water
1 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
1 pinch salt
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp Splenda brown sugar
1 Tbsp chopped nuts
14-16 mini marshmallows
1 Tbsp mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

The ingredients!

Directions
-In a small pot, bring the liquid to a boil.
-Add the oats, give it a quick stir, and reduce the heat to low.
-After 2 minutes add the cocoa powder,
vanilla, salt, marshmallows, and nuts. Stir.
-Cook 3 more minutes and right before transferring the oatmeal to a bowl, stir in the brown sugar and chocolate chips.


Devour with caution.

I had to tell myself to slow down while eating this nutritious indulgent tasting breakfast. The marshmallows add a sweet creaminess while the chocolate chips add a rich flavor and the chopped nuts complement the entire meal with a slight crunch. It is that good my friends. So you should probably go and make it right this instant.


I sure do love Rocky Road.

Question of the Day

What has been your favorite gift you've ever received?

When I was younger I was obsessed with my Barbies. I would play in my room with them hours on end. So when my Nana got me a Barbie yellow beetle bug for Christmas, I started crying bawling my eyes out. Tears of joy!




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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...

It's after Thanksgiving which means that it's officially Christmas season!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

However, I am still upset that I will not be home for the holidays this year due to work. So to turn my frown upside down I went bargain hunting for festive things to spruce up my apartment! The end result?

'Tis the season to be jolly!

Now I'm not one for fake Christmas trees. I've always had a real one growing up. But sometimes one needs to adjust in order to make things work. I found this 6 ft Christmas tree on sale at Big Lots for $62. Ornaments were extremely inexpensive there as well. I set up this entire tree and decorations for $83! Wooh! I love a good deal. Always have, always will.

So if you're looking to decorate your place on a budget, Big Lots is a great place to start!
 
Question of the Day
 
What is your favorite part about the holidays?
 
I absolutely love giving gifts. Seeing a loved one open up a gift that I carefully picked out for them brings such joy to my life. I would much rather give than receive!
 
Merry Christmas from Columbus!
 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Reality Check

Hooray! Woohoo! Hurrah! Woopie!

After the Color Run!

I am excited. Can you tell? Do you want to know what I'm excited about? I have finally gotten back into the swing of things with working out. Not only am I excited, I'm also relieved. When I first started working for Nabisco it was a huge transition from being a college student to a full-time employee. At first I was able to run a little here and there but then my workload increased tremendously once I got the promotion to a Sales Associate. My day would consist of waking up, eating breakfast, going to work, coming home, and passing out from exhaustion since I am on my feet all day. I felt like a robot with absolutely no life.

Do you remember Rosie the Robot from The Jetsons?

My family and friends kept saying that it takes a month or two to get used to a job and I just did not want to believe them. My stubborness was definitely showing its true colors. So my fitness level decreased and so did a little spark inside of me as well. Running is a way that I can unwind and have some peace and quiet and a moment to just myself. When I was not running for about a month or two, a little piece of me went missing.

But I have found that piece again and put the puzzle back together. I have made a few adjustments with my workouts. I have always preferred running in the morning, but I realize that it's just not possible with work beginning around 6am every morning. So once I get home from work, I change into my workout gear, lace up my running shoes, and head out the door. I get that time to myself once again to clear my mind. Every Monday evening I also go to a Fitness Club that I joined and workout for an hour with a great bunch of people! It's a great way to change up fitness routines for a better overall healthy living.


I also signed up for a 5k which will take place in about a month! I'm beyond excited to have something to work towards. It was hard for me to accept that I'm now training for a 5k and a little over a year ago I finished the Columbus Full Marathon. It was a major reality check but I need to accept the fact that I just do not have the time to train for a marathon at this point in my life.

Ran my first marathon in 4:15:48

So on December 15, I plan on kicking the Doomsday Dash right in its behind!

Question of the Day

What motivates you to workout?

I love ice cream. I've probably mentioned it a few thousand times before. Yet, I know eating ice cream daily is not very friendly on the waistline. So running is my motivation to workout so then I can devour that ice cream and not feel guilty about it!

 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Crockpot Southwestern Chicken Chili

It's a bird...it's a plane...it's Super Ryder!

Ryder's ready to save the day!

I'm sorry I had to get that out of my system. He is just too cute for words and I had to share it with the world! I also have to share with the world this good mouth watering recipe. Like any other recipe I found this one while on Pinterest. I swear, this site is an unhealthy obsession.


This chili is healthy and packed with protein from the beans and chicken! It also has a slight kick to it which I absolutely love. You can easily make this completely vegetarian by subbing the chicken for other types of beans. The possibilities are endless!

Hearty. Spicy. Delicious.

Crockpot Southwestern Chicken Chili
3 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
1 14.5 oz can no salt added corn, undrained
1 16 oz jar salsa (I used medium)
1 14.5 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.5 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 green pepper, chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
1 bunch of celery, chopped
1 package reduced sodium taco seasoning
1 package ranch seasoning

The ingredients!

Directions
-Line crockpot with slow cooker liners. Mist with cooking spray.
-Place chicken in the pot followed by the celery, green pepper, and onion.
-Sprinkle the ranch and taco packets on top.
-Pour tomatoes, corn, and beans over.
-Cook on low for 5 hours.
-Shred chicken and put back in crockpot giving it a quick stir to combine.
-Cover and cook 30 minutes longer.
-Ladle chili into your favorite bowl, sprinkle with hot sauce, and enjoy!

This recipe is definitely a keeper!

This chili is almost indescribable if you ask me. It's flavor is a fantastic combination of a taco and chili. If you prefer foods without a kick, use mild salsa and nix the hot sauce at the end!

Question of the Day

Do you go shopping on Black Friday?

I've gone pretty consecutively in the past. But this year I won't be attending in the madness due to work. I also believe that you can get just as good of deals going other days and not having to risk your life getting tampled upon wait in long lines for hours!

I'd rather be munching on this than waiting in line!
                 

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Free At-Home 15 Minute Workout

Do you hear something? Off in the distance? You probably can hear my heart thudding inside my chest. You probably can hear me panting. That's exactly what I'm doing right this very moment on the 1st of November. I just finished an intense 15 minute workout right in my very own apartment!



There are days where I just do not feel like heading to the gym. There are days where it is just so windy outside that I'm sure to blow away while running in it. There are days where I am just too lazy to step outside my door. Today is one of those days.


Sleepy brother and sister!

I found this workout while reading my friend's amazingly awesome blog and was inspired. To be honest I didn't think this would be difficult whatsoever. But man oh man was I wrong. My body feels like jello right now.



This is a great cardio and strengthening routine that is sure to get your heart pumping and muscles twitching! I started really feeling it during the mountain climbers and again during the second round of pushups and tricep dips. But do I regret feeling this way whatsoever? Nope.

So if today is just one of those days, try this workout from your very own humble abode.



Question of the Day

Did you partake in any Halloween festivities?

I went to Toledo for the Halloween weekend and spent time with my cousins. We dressed up both Friday and Saturday and it was an absolute blast! I was a fairy on Friday and Indiana Jones on Saturday!


Fairy
 
 Group shot
 
Family
 
 Indiana Jones!

Ryder was a pumpkin :) 


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Monday, October 29, 2012

Crunchy Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal

Today is October 29. In other words:

Happy National Oatmeal Day!

To celebrate quite possibly one of my favorite days of the year, I cooked myself a heaping bowl of steamy yumminess. It's also a great way to take the chill out upon waking in the morning in this frigid weather! This is one of my absolute favorite oatmeal recipes that I originally found here and adapted it to my liking.


Oh oatmeal. How I love thee.

Crunchy PB Chocolate Oatmeal
1/2 cup Old Fashioned oats
1/2 cup light soymilk
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Splenda packet
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp PB (I used PB2)
Sprinkle of semi-sweet morsels and chopped nuts



The ingredients!
Directions
-In a small pot bring water and milk to a boil.
-Stir in oats and reduce to a simmer.
-After 2 minutes, stir in cocoa powder, Splenda, vanilla, and PB.
-Cook for 3 more minutes.
-Transfer to a bowl and top with chocolate chips and nuts.
-Enjoy!


Oatmeal and coffee: two of my favorite things.

This bowl of oats brings together two of the tastiest treats on Earth: chocolate and peanut butter.

Question of the Day:

What do you do to help wake yourself up in the morning?

As soon as my alarm sounds, I instantly pop out of bed and make it up. If I don't get up right away there is no turning back. I then do a mini 10 minute workout routine consisting of jumping jacks, planks, squats, crunches, and lunges. This is a great way to get my blood flowing and kickstart my day!


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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Blueberry Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

I must admit that I'm going to miss being able to buy blueberries for next to nothing since they're going out of season. After my small pity party I decided that these little gems needed a last hurrah. I originally found this recipe and put my own little healthy spin on it by using white whole wheat flour, egg whites, and zero calorie brown sugar. The end result? Paired with my morning Cup of Joe, nothing could be better!

Blueberry Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

Blueberry Greek Yogurt Banana Bread
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup zero calorie brown sugar (like the kind by Splenda or any off brand)
1/4 cup sugar
2 large ripe bananas
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup liquid egg whites
1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt
1 cup fresh blueberries

The ingredients!

Directions
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
-Start by combining flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
-In a separate bowl, mash bananas with a fork until they are gooey and liquid-like.
-To this bowl, add sugars, egg whites, vanilla, and Greek yogurt.
-Whisk everything together until there are no lumps.
-Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined.
-Fold in the blueberries.
-Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and distribute evenly.
-Bake 50-60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Perfect combination

This is a great dish to bring to a brunch, bake for a new neighbor, or just enjoy with that morning coffee.

Question of the Day

Do you prefer flavored or regular coffee?

I'm definitely a flavored coffee girl. My all-time favorite would have to be Buttery Caramel by Archer Farms (Target brand). I drink it straight up, no sweeteners or cream necessary! Granted, there are days where normal coffee hits the spot, but those days are not regularly reoccurring.

       
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