Sunday, December 15, 2013

Southwestern Quinoa Bites

I am back and ready to rumble!

 Halloween 2013 Where's Waldo!

So many things have occurred over the past few months that I cannot wait to talk about! First off I teamed up with Beachbody and became a Health and Fitness Coach with them. I want to help others become the best and healthiest beings that they can possibly be. This has always been a passion of mine! I also started T25 upon joining as well as creating virtual challenge groups via Facebook to keep others as well as myself accountable! I am always looking to assist others so just let me know if this interests you!

Ryder has been getting so big as well! I cannot believe he is about a year and a half already!

Cannot believe my nephew is getting so old!

Now on to the meat and potatoes of this post: Southwestern Quinoa Bites.

These little gems are perfect to bring as an appetizer to a party or just to snack on throughout the week! This recipe was inspired by So Very Blessed.

Southwestern Quinoa Bites 
1/2 cup raw quinoa
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup water
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup diced yellow onion

1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles, drained
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
6 Tbsp liquid egg whites (or 2 large eggs)
1/2 cup reduced fat fiesta blend shredded cheese
2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
1 packet reduced sodium taco seasoning
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder

-Preheat oven to 350F.
-Rinse quinoa and add to pot with water and salt.
-Bring pot to a boil then cover and reduce to simmer for 20 minutes.
-Once quinoa is cooked, combine all ingredients together and mix well.
-Place about a tablespoon of mixture into greased mini muffin tins until it is even with the top.
-Press down gently so they combine well.
-Bake for 20 minutes.
-Let cool for about 5 minutes before removing from tin.
-Enjoy with salsa!

These little gems clock in around 120 calories per 5 bites! Talk about a nutritious little treat and not to mention extremely packed with protein!

Question of the Day

What are you health and fitness goals?

I want to complete T25 from start to finish as well as start training for my half marathon that is in Charlotte in April!

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Personal Record

So I did it! With strength training and perseverance I was able to achieve a personal record in the half marathon!

I mentioned back in May that I wanted to run another 13.1 miles and obtain a PR as well. I decided to run the Ultrafit Half Marathon in Canal Winchester, OH at the last minute. I was debating whether or not to run it since my aunt was not able to partake in all the fun. Five days before the run I signed up and boy oh boy was I glad that I did!

Even though I ran so well on this course I do not think I would choose this one ever again. The course was a straight shot 6.55 miles one way and then a turnaround to 6.55 miles back. Yes, the scenery was beautiful and very shaded since it was at Three Creeks Metroparks. But being the loud woman that I am, I need noise and excitement! So I hope to be able to run the Country Half Marathon in Nashville next year! I love country music and I feel this would be an amazingly fun race.

Oh my goodness. I almost forgot to mention what my time in this race was! I ran 13.1 miles in 1:54:26. This was a whopping 6:08 faster! I am still stoked needless to say.

PR 1:54:26

If you have a goal in mind, do not put it on the back burner! Just get up and get going! Never put your dreams on hold! With strive and positivity, anything is possible.

Question of the Day

What is on your bucket list?

My bucket list is endless. I want to do everything from drinking wine in Italy, to going on a food adventure in Paris, to riding on a dolphin, to trying a Butter Beer in Harry Potter World! But the next on the list that I want to put checkmark next to would to go on a run at Central Park in NYC.

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Blueberry Maple Overnight Oats in a Jar

It's getting hot out and I simply cannot fathom cooking hot oats over a stove in the morning. I also really am too sleep to before I have my morning cup of Joe. Time to introduce to you these blueberry oats that I found here. So good.

Blueberry Maple Overnight Oats 
Blueberry Maple Overnight Oats in a Jar  
1/4 cup uncooked old fashioned oats 
1/3 cup light soy milk 
1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt 
1 teaspoon dried chia seeds 
2 teaspoons sugar free syrup (more or less to taste)  
1/4 cup blueberries cut in half (or enough to fill jar)  
Optional: chopped nuts

The ingredients!

-In a half pint (1 cup) jar, add oats, milk, yogurt, and 1 tsp syrup.
-Put lid on jar and shake until well combined.
-Remove lid, add blueberries and stir until mixed throughout.
-Return lid to jar and refrigerate overnight.
-In the morning add 1 tsp maple syrup, chia seeds, and the optional chopped nuts.

Quick and easy not to mention exceptionally delicious!

Question of the Day
What are some of your favorite quick and easy recipes?

I truly believe that the simplest of recipes turn out the best. Anything that can be thrown into a crockpot is my favorite. A one pot meal that I don't need to watch! Turn it on in the morning and in a few hours...Voila!

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Sunday, June 2, 2013


Do you eat a mostly vegetarian diet but occasionally consume meat? Well, then you are just like me and follow a flexitarian or semi-vegetarian diet. Whether it is for health reasons or environmental issues, following this eating regimen is extremely beneficial.

The benefits of following this way of life are endless. Not only will you save money in the long run since meat tends to be more expensive on the grocery bill, but studies have shown that while eating a plant-based diet one can live an average of 3.5 years longer and weigh approximately 15% less than those who eat meat more regularly. Thinking of switching to this way of eating due to environmental issues? Eating an earth-friendly diet can be a way to reduce greenhouse gases. Even following the Meatless Mondays trend can help reduce our carbon footprint!

Now, I did not even realize that I was a flexi until a few months ago. The epiphany occurred when I was talking with a friend and she was talking about it. She was describing me to the tee! Over the past year I have cut out red meat from my diet drastically. I honestly may only consume it a handful of times per year. I just do not crave it anymore. And lately, I cannot fathom eating these animals for environmental issues. I care about those creatures!

Veggies are our friends.

I would not doubt for a second that I will eventually become a full blown vegetarian over the next few years. It is a personal choice and I will never criticize those that eat carnivorously. They choose their own way of living and that is completely fine by me.

Now all this veggie talk has made me hungry! Time to whip up some of my Aunt Sandie's yummy garlic vegetables!

Garlic Vegetable Medley
2 medium sized red potatoes, cut into chunks
2 medium sized carrots, sliced about ¼ inch thick
1 zucchini, sliced about ¼ inch thick
1 red pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
½ white onion cut into ½-1 inch pieces
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Cooking spray

The ingredients!

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

-Combine olive oil, basil, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small dish.
-Spray a 13x9 inch dish with cooking spray.
-Add potatoes and carrots and toss well with ½ of the basil mixture.
-Bake for 18 minutes.
-Meanwhile, toss the zucchini, peppers, and onion with the other ½ of the basil mixture.
-Stir into the potatoes and carrots and bake for another 18 minutes.

The healthy!

Question of the Day?
What is your favorite vegetarian dish?

I love grilled veggies! It must be something with the way the grill brings out an amazing flavor in these beauties. 

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Keep Going!

When the going gets tough just keep on swimming.

I've been itching badly. As badly as a thousand mosquito bites to run another 1/2 marathon. I don't know whether it's the beautiful weather or the fact that summer is right around the corner. Either way, all I know is that I need to run those 13.1 miles.

I signed up to run the Presque Isle 1/2 Marathon in Erie, PA with my aunt in July. As soon as I signed up, I realized that it is my sweet little nephew's first birthday party that same weekend.

Check out those shoes! He's sure to be a runner someday!

Luckily, my aunt understood and the race search resumed once again. I could have given up... but then I would not have accomplished one of my New Year's resolutions! We narrowed the choices down to three:

Ultrafit Columbus Half Marathon in Canal Winchester, OH on August 11
Little Miami Half Marathon in Morrow, OH on August 18
Emerald City Half Marathon in Dublin, OH on August 25

Now that the choices have been narrowed down I can't wait to finally choose and start my 10 week training program!

First 1/2 marathon in Columbus! Finished in 2:04:38!

Question of the Day
What has been your favorite race or event that you have participated in?

My favorite event by far would have to be the Columbus Full Marathon back in 2011. I cannot possibly think of any greater accomplishment than that.

Finished in 4:15:48!

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cheesecake Greek Yogurt

I am sure you have all caught on by now that I have a minor sweet tooth that is out of this world...

Post-marathon and NO I did not eat this all by myself!

I also love a scrumptious breakfast in the morning. I have written about easy breakfast ideas and this one is another great one to add to the list! The flavors of cheesecake and fresh berries all wrapped up in a blanket of Greek yogurt.

Cheesecake Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp instant sugar-free cheesecake pudding mix
1/2 cup mixed berries

The ingredients!

-Combine the yogurt, vanilla extract, and pudding mix in a bowl. Stir.
-Fold in mixed berries.
-Voila! Berry cheesecake for breakfast!

Warning! This dish will make you want to instantly devour. Be sure to savor each bite before scarfing down!

Question of the Day
What is your favorite cheesecake?

Whenever I go to The Cheesecake Factory and am handed the cheesecake menu I am always extremely overwhelmed with all of the choices! They have everything from Oreo to Reese Peanut Butter to Apple Pie and so much more! However, I always tend to gravitate towards the ones that are mainly fruit based. Nothing can beat the taste of good ol' fashioned strawberry cheesecake...well maybe this Greek yogurt dish can!

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

In the Moment

I'm back! You may have been wondering where in the world have I been for the past month. You see, I have been doing this thing where you live in the moment. The new phrase YOLO has been my daily mantra lately which is entirely unlike me since I am the typical Type A personality and having a core plan is a must.

This spur of the moment attitude all started a few weeks ago when my dad called me in the morning declaring that he scored good absolutely, positively, incredible floor seat tickets to the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Miami Heat. I had been telling him for the past year that if he ever got free tickets to let me know and I would drive up from Columbus since I've never been to a game. So I made sure I finished up work quickly, went home, packed an overnight bag, and was off to Northeast Ohio. The Cavs lost but it was still an awesome time and a moment I'll never forget!

I had to leave Cleveland and head back down to Columbus at the crack of dawn around 4:30 that next morning. While at work I kept debating and pondering over a decision. You see, my friend was down in Orlando for a fitness workshop and had asked me a few days prior to join her. I told her that there was no way I would be able to take off 3 days of work. But as the minutes passed that morning, I really got to thinking that I only have one life to live and I might as well live it to the fullest. So I booked my flight at noon that day and was in the air by 5pm that evening!

While in Florida, not only did I get to go to Disney World for two days, but I also got to workout with Shaun T. from Insanity twice and Leandro from Brazilian Butt Lift as well!

This was my first time at Disney so I definitely lived it up! My friend Allie and I spent the entire first day at Epcot exploring the many different nations and getting a little taste of each!


We had plum wine in China...

Wine in Italy...

Tried on gorgeous kimono's in Japan...

Wore beautiful celebratory apparel in Morocco...

Made phone calls in the United Kingdom...

I also got to meet a few celebrities!

Sleepy Beauty!

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!

Sorry Daisy...Donald is mine!

I was obviously excited. Ariel is my favorite!

This was truly an amazing trip where I met so many awesome people who shared the same passions as me: fitness and health. Needless to say I didn't want to leave.

Question of the Day

Have you ever done something completely unlike yourself? How did it make you feel?

This Disney World trip was an eye-opener for me. We really need to realize that we only have one life to live. Years from now I don't want to wake up and regret not taking an opportunity because of some doubt that I felt. I want to wake up years from now feeling content that I do not take anything for granted and lived life to the fullest. This spur of the moment trip made me feel alive. As the saying only live once!


Friday, March 8, 2013

BBQ Chicken Pita Pizza

Happy Friday! Here is a little riddle for you: What do you get when you are in a time crunch and need to use up some leftovers?

You get an absolute masterpiece! I had some leftover shredded chicken and veggies that needed to be used up. I was also craving dying for some pizza so I put my thinking cap on and delved straight to work. My thinking cap was right on the bull's eye. This BBQ Chicken Pita Pizza was so amazingly delicious with a tangy sauce and crispy crust.

So I grabbed a frozen whole wheat pita out of my freezer, wrapped it in a moist paper towel, and zapped it in the microwave for 10 seconds. I flipped it over and warmed it up for 10 more seconds. Next, I carefully used a knife to open the pita up and split it in half. I then spread 2 Tablespoons of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce on the bottom of each half and topped both with shredded chicken, chopped up peppers, diced tomatoes, and a sprinkle of reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese. Into the toaster oven this creation went and I baked it for about 7 minutes.

BBQ Chicken Pita Pizza

This recipe is ridiculously easy and good for you too with fiber from the pita and veggies and protein from the chicken. Plus, who doesn't love a tasty BBQ chicken pizza?

Question of the Day

What is your favorite pizza topping?

Veggies, veggies, and more veggies! Heck, just give me a plate of roasted veggies with a side of cheese, crust, and sauce.    

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Friday, February 22, 2013

30 Minute Treadmill Walking Workout

There are days where I am completely and utterly exhausted. There are days where I just do not want to leave the couch. There are days where running on the treadmill is just too strenuous for my tired body. So when I found this walking workout I was beyond ecstatic that I adapted my version from her. First off, I love Julie's blog. She combines her passion for healthy eating and exercise just like me. I cannot wait to try out some of her yummy recipes such as her Oatmeal Cookie Dough Overnight Oats, Healthy Honey Almond Hazelnut Granola Bars, White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn, and Cinnamon Sweet Potato Fries!

I could go on about food for eternity. So enough of that and back to what I really wanted to get at!

Anybody can do this workout. Even though it consists only of walking, the constant increase of incline really gets the heart pumping and sweating dripping! If you are recovering from an injury, just getting back into the shape, or need a break from your normal routine, this may be for you!

Question of the Day

Do you follow any blogs?

I follow about 10 different blogs! They all deal with food and health and can be found at the right side of my page!

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