celebrating the beginning of a new week

Happy Monday!

It’s the last day of the month and ironically the beginning of a new week. As we say good-bye to January 2011 let us embark on a new week full of adventures and aspirations.

In honor of a new week…celebration pancakes.

These pancakes have been spotted all over the blogosphere and clearly I was inspired to make some of my own.

Batter up!

Sprinkles are calorie free. Right?

A girl can dream.

My cakes topped with 1/2 banana, 1 tbsp peanut butter and sprinkles. Plus a side of low-fat vanilla yogurt for dipping.

Lunch was a packed salad that consisted of lettuce, cabbage, carrots and a hard-boiled egg. raspberry yogurt, two clementines, 5 stoneground crackers, and 1 laughing cow rounded out the meal.

It took 20 minutes to remove a thick sheet of ice from my car windows before driving home from work.

RightNow

Light Snow                                                           Wintry Mix  Wintry Mix    Wintry Mix

Light Snow Tonight Tomorrow Tomorrow Night
Wintry Mix Wintry Mix / Wind Wintry Mix / Wind
26°F 22° 27° 23°
Feels Like: 17°                                                     Low High Low

Dinner was a late an I probably could have skipped it, but sometimes if I don’t eat enough before bedtime it affects my falling asleep.

 Comfort food.

 Scrambled egg with peppers, cabbage, dash of garlic, dash of cumin, S +P, and nutritional yeast. Of course I had a small side of chips and salsa, what can I say I’m addicted.  Sadie’s Salsa and Naturally Preferred Tortilla chips both seem to be lower in sodium than some other well-known commercial brands.

Dessert.

Easy mango bowl

  • 1 cup frozen mango (found at Trader Joe’s)
  •  1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tbsp granola
  • sprinkle of coconut.

I’m not really sure I can call this dessert because in my opinion it is so dang healthy. Is it possible to call something “healthy” dessert? I think so!

Speaking of desserts my goal for January was limit them to three per week. Overall I think I did pretty well, except for last night when I raided the cookie jar.Smh oh well.

seriously though have you had a chace to think about your goals for February?

December’s goal was to drink less coffee and diet coke and instead drink more water. Done.

January’s goal was to limit deserts to three per week. Done

February’s goal is to eat out less. In progress.

Buono fortuna!

Maria

when you start counting miles, you become a slave to miles

This morning’s run was shared with my dear friend Cassie.

Can you believe she just had a baby 12 weeks ago, she looks great! Waking up at 7:00AM on Saturday morning and running in 30 degree weather is what I like to call dedication.

Cassie and I met about two years ago when she moved into the neighborhood with her now hubby. We hit it off immediately and have been friends ever since.

 Back in our heyday. Clearly both of us are Colts fans.

Cassie joined The  Blue Mile running club two weeks and is training for a half-marathon the same day as mine but in a different city. I missed the first week due to a work conflict but made it in today.  The Blue Mile is a locally owned and operated running/walking store with three locations in Indy. The owner Shelly is a really nice guy with lots of experience. I had a few concerns about the program and he was kind enough to give some advice. You see I have always ran by miles rather than timed runs. His training schedule is  based on timed runs rather than miles. This is a total different way of thinking for me.

For example:

 Runner’s World smart coach  (hard) week of 1/3-9  Remember I started training early so to compare fairly I had to use the second week of training for both programs.

Mon- rest                                            

Tues -2 miles @ 10:13                                                                                                                                                 

Wed-rest    

Thurs-3 miles @ 10:13

Fri-rest  

Sat-rest

Sun-3 miles @ 10:13                                                                                                  

=8 miles total

Blue mile training program week of 1/29-2/4 (intermediate)

Sat-40 minutes or 4 miles easy/steady

Sun-rest

Mon-30 minutes easty/steady

Tues-rest

Wed-25 minutes easy

Thur-rest

Fri-20 minutes easy jog or cross train, yoga, or walk

=Total 1 hour 55 min or 11.5 miles based on a 10 minute mile.

With the first training program the week starts on a Monday with long runs every Sunday. The running days and miles are clearly set.  Of course with any training program the mileage and speed will increase over time.

With the second program the week starts with a long run every Saturday at the club. The good thing about doing long runs on Saturday’s vs. Sundays is having an  extra day to recover before having to go back to work Monday morning being extra tired.

I have always trained alone except two years ago when I joined the Ken Long running club to get ready for 26.2 miles. I felt like doing something different this year. I knew I wanted to be around people and build relationships with fellow runners. By joining the Blue Mile running club I figured this would be a good place to start. Only time can tell if you can teach an old dog new tricks.

I feel pretty optimistic about the program and realize that I will actually be running more. Shelly said “when you start counting your miles, you become a slave to miles.”

Todays run was very good. The cool air didn’t bother my stride or time. The only thing that hurt a little was the cool air hitting my chin. If spring doesn’t come soon, I may need to invest in a ski mask (not very Kardashian like..I know).

The trail was beautiful.

A little snow.

Lot of people.

Distracting artwork.

The combination of scenery, good people and lots of eats on Friday contributed to such an easy run.

This was definitely a great way to start the weekend.

Chocolate covered cherry oats

I got a little carried away with Friday’s breakfast.

Did you know their’s a whole day dedicated to Nutella?

yep,

February 5th, is World Nutella Day!

Once this was brought to my attention I became inspired to have some Nutella with oats and cherries.

In the mix

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup soy milk
  • pinch salt

Topped with

  • 1 heaping tbs Nutella
  • 5 mini nutter butter’s (random)
  • 3 chopped almonds
  • 7 sliced cherries

I packed a pretty basic lunch and ate around noon, sorry no pic.

Friday nights dinner consisted of a little of this and a little of that.

Stoneground crackers a sliced apple and steamed carrots with ginger.

Dessert was a mango smoothie.

  • 1 cup frozen cubed mango
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup plain lowfat kefir
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 2 tbs Vega mango tango protein powder
  • 1 tbsp better n peanut butter

Look at the heart in the center of that creamy goodness. I didn’t do that on purpose.

We watched Toy Story 3 and sipped on Pero.

Toy Story 3 was a heart felt story about change, growing up, and the circle of life. I’m so glad I took the time to watch it. Even if you don’t have kids I highly recommend giving it a chance. It won a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film just a couple of weeks ago.

 I think I did a great deal of resting and carb loading to get ready for Saturdays 8:00 AM run in bone chilling 30 degree weather.

 I’ll let you know how the run went.

Happy Weekend!

Maria

Confessions of a runner

I like broccoli,

I like cheese,

but never the two together.

I always stop to pick up change.

I only pick up pennies if their heads up.

I will always be a MAC girl.

I secretely want to be a Kardashian.

I die for BCBG.

My feet want a pair of these,

I should have been born in California, New York or Arizona.

My new favorite tool is Smashbox fan brush #22

I am a runner.

Wednesday night, party night (WIAW)

I’m having a party with Jenn at Peas and Crayons every Wednesday night!

Peas and Crayons

What I ate Wednesday is way to share with y’all everything I ate on Wednesday and hopefully get you involved too. Feel free to share something  about a favorite food you had on Wednesday or any other day during the week. I’ll either be showcasing a few of my favorite meals, or giving a full Wednesday recap. Since I’m already a day late, I’ll show you what I had yesterday

First up breakfast:

Sweet or savory? Pancakes or eggs? Coffee? definitely coffee. Breakfast could possibly be my most favorite meal of the day. I wake up for the sheer pleasure of starting the day our right with a fabulous meal.  Other times I wake up stumble to the kitchen prepare a little somethin somethin and tow it back to the room with me.

 French Toast

One slice of bread dredged in a beaten egg with a splash of soymilk. Topped with 1/2 grilled banana, 1 tbsp nuttzo, a dab of pumpkin butter and sprinkle of apricot granola. And a cup of joe of course.

 

Lunch:

75 minutes of hot vinyasa left me wanting protein and apples. Yoga was…uneventful. Maybe I should have been concentrating more instead of letting my mind wander. It’s so hard to be still sometimes. Ya know!?

Egg sandwich

A fried egg between a toasted english muffin topped with one morning star sausage link and a glob of Sadie’s salsa. On the side was a handful of Food Should Taste Good Chips in their Olive flavor, new for me. A sliced apple with Stoneyfield apple cinnamon yogurt (also new) for dipping. Both the chips and the yogurt were very good. I highly recommend them.

Dinner:

The hubs and I had another date night at the YMCA. I think he’s the one dragging me to the gym now, instead of vice versa. He ran two miles and lifted weights while I ran a slooooow five miles on the treadmill. It took way longer than I care to admit to run five miles. It’s not that I felt heavy or sluggish just a little wore out. Maybe 75 minutes of hot yoga is not such a good idea the same day as long run, you think? After our date we picked up L.a and went to a small Mexican establishment near our home for a fundraiser. The restaurant gave back 15% of our meal to L.a’s school.

Gauc, salsa, and chips shared among the table 

 Vegetable burrito with a side of refried beans

Look at all that veg! I was so hungry I started eating before taking a pic. oops. The burrito came with rice but I requested beans instead for the added protein. I was so surprised at how fresh and clean the vegetables tasted, definitely not frozen. The flavors were mild and comforting.

The night ended with a little

Dessert:

and a small glass of vino.

If you’ve never had Toblerone run out and get some now, or ask for some for Valentines Day. In my opinion the original is the best but any variety will do.

 Nite. Tomorrow’s Friday!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

 

Valentines Day is just around the corner and if you’re looking for a special recipe to make for your hubby, boyfriend, son or daughter or anyone else whom you admire. Then these cute little cupcakes are just what you’re looking for.

I have never quite understood the infatuation with red velvet cake. The idea of putting a whole bottle of Wilton’s food coloring into otherwise perfectly fine cake batter has never sounded appealing.  

It wasnt until recently that both my daughter and hubby proclaimed their love for the dark red cake. In an effort to make them happy and see for myself what all the fuss was about I decided to do my own research and bake a batch of  red velvet cupcakes from scratch.

 

I’m glad I did, otherwise I would be missing out on a rich velvety cake with a creamy icing.

Trust me these cupcakes are good and well worth the consumption of a little red dye. Like the English poet Thomas Gray says: “Where ignorance is bliss,/’Tis folly to be wise.”

In other words: “Ignorance is bliss, bake these cupcakes today, don’t worry about the dye or even the calories for that matter.”- Maria

Did you know?

  • During World War II when ingredients, bakers would use boiled beets to enhance the color and flavor of their cakes.
  • Many bakers believe the additional ingredients of vinegar and buttermilk will turn the cocoa into a deep red color.
  • Using traditional cream cheese frosting adds a dramatic contrast to the actual color of the cake.
  • Legend claims a woman staying at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City loved the cake so much, she asked the baker for the recipe. After receiving the recipe in the mail with a rather large bill in the amount of $100.00. She was so furious she began circulating the recipe to everyone she knew for free. Much like the famed Neiman Marcus cookie.
  • 

Red Velvet Cupcakes:

source: Annie’s Eats

Makes 24

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tbsp. cocoa powder (a must)

1 tsp. salt

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk

2 tbsp. (1 oz.) liquid food coloring

1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 tsp.

 distilled white vinegar

cream cheese frosting*

Tools to have on handy:

cupcake pans, 24 cupcake liners ( I used dark  ones from cake create. You can find them at most baking stores, try Sur La Table or Williams Sonoma.), 1 medium bowl, electric mixer, bowl and whisk attachment, rubber spatula, whisk, wire rack, measuring spoons, sifter.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

2. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa power and salt; whisk until just blended.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar. Beat on medium speed until well blended.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients on low speed and beat until smooth.

5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners. About 1/3 cup.

6. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking until a toothpick inserted into the center of one cake comes out clean. About 18 minutes.

7. Allow to cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

8. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream cheese frosting

Ingredients:

8 oz. cream cheese

5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

Directions:

1. Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth. About 2-3 minutes.

2. Mix in the vanilla extract.

3. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated.

4. Chill frosting for 5-10 minutes before using.

 

 

 

In a pinch? A fresh off the treadmill glow!

This is going to be a really random post. Part this blog to express myself and talk about things I love. A few of those topics in no particular order.

  • food (well duh)
  • health
  • fitness
  • family
  • love
  • yoga
  • fashion
  • makeup

I was reading Kaths post the other day about organization and noticed that her makeup box compared to mine is tiiiiiny. Now I don’t know about you all but my makeup stash is twice that size.

Just to add to that stash I went shopping for lip gloss and ended up walking out of Sephora with this.

 Iv’e read really good things about NARS especially their best selling blush in orgasm (where do they come up with these names?).

http://www.allure.com/beauty/2010/06/2010_readers_choice_awards#slide=6

Allure describes it as a pinky peach color (pinch)? A fresh off the treadmill glow! Count me in!

After getting home and experimenting with the products, I thought to myself “Did I really need all of this”? Of course not but I did need lip gloss remember and that was whole reason I went to Sephora in the first place.

Anywho,

The blush is awesome, the lip gloss not so much. It leaves glitter stains! Ugh, what’s a girl to do!?  So I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t buy this lip gloss, stick to what you know. I think I’ll be taking everything back and punching the blush separately.

Do you have a favorite lip gloss? Have you ever tried buxom?

Now for the rest of yesterday meals:

Snack: 6:00 pm

Small sbux coffee (not my fave but it did the trick) and a small apple, while waiting for L.a’s choir practice to be done.

Dinner: 8:00 PM

The wine was only $5.99 a bottle at Whole Foods. It was very good. I had one glass while cooking and another with dinner.

 

The photographer went a little crazy.

Clearly I was enjoying myself.

Okay that’s enough!

 

Chicken quasadillas with salsa, pea avocado (I’ll explain later) and tortilla chips on the side.

His plate

Her plate 

 If you look real close you’ll notice the burnt edges. actually they all turned out that way on one whole side I just flipped them over so you couldn’t see it. Note to self: Learn how to use the broiler

They tasted really good though thanks to some awesome tortillas and hot salsa, both from AZ.

 

 

 Still no dessert waiting for Wednesday nights dinner outing.

Maria

One plate wonder

Are you having a fabulous Tuesday? Was breakfast and lunch good?

So far it’s been great one on this end.

Pre-fuel breakfast:

English muffin toasted and topped with 2 tbsp better n’ peanut butter, 1 tbsp apple butter, 1/2 mashed nanner, 2 tbsp apricot granola.

Workout:

1 hour athletic conditioning class

2 mile treadmill run

Post-fuel lunch:

One plate wonder

Simple salad , drizzled with apple cider vinegar thanks to  http://www.lifeaskristina.com/ for the idea. Apple cider vinegar has zero, ZERO calories. The vinegar reminds me of coleslaw, it just makes sense to add it on fresh veggies, yum. Also on the plate one hard-boiled egg,  about a cup of cantaloupe, five stone ground wheat crackers and a laughing cow.

Today’s beverage of choice was a shot of kefir. Tangy.

On my way to run some errands. Have a wonderful afternoon.

Sweet Monday

Monday morning started out with some hazelnut chocolate.

 

My spoon went into the Nutella jar more than once, but after much debate with myself I opted for 1 tbsp instead of two. Nutella is to die for.

 Wasn’t in the mood for coffee so I tried some yerba mate tea again. Better the second time around, it gave me just enough energy but didn’t make me feel like jumping off the walls.

After breakfast I went to a 75 minute hot vinyasa yoga class. It was a very sweet class with an instructor I’ve never had before. While I was unpeeling my layers and getting ready for class she looked at me and said “Amy”? apparently I look like Amy an old instructor who moved to Florida this past December. Lucky her. While in savasana (corpse pose) I fell into meditation, it was awesome! I’s only taken me a year to get there.

I ate a speedy lunch before heading out to the Little Aprons fourth grade class to volunteer. Phew fourth grade is tiresome, props to teachers for having so much patience and stamina.

I snuck away in the afternoon to treat myself to some coffee at Panera bread for a little pick me up.

(borrowed photo)

I actually prefer Panera’s coffee over Sbux, they have a wider variety of blends and I like the self-serve counter. Sbux is sometimes a little too strong for my stomach, if you know what I mean. Since it was getting late I ordered a small light roast.

Once the hubs got home from work we went on a gym date. I was supposed to run on Sunday but never had made the time. I made up for it today and ran three miles on treadmill in 30:30. How’s your training coming along? Do you make up runs/workouts if you miss one, or do you skip it?

We came home and made dinner as a family. The hubs and L.a had pasta with meat sauce, while I opted for pasta with tempeh. It took me a long time to realize that “I don’t have to eat the same thing as everyone” else and neither do you. It’s okay to adjust your meals to your liking, trust me you wont offend anyone, your family will understand.

Fusilli with veg and tempeh:

1 cup of fusilli

1/2 cup zucchini, chopped

1/2 cup frozen mixed peppers

1/4 wedge tempeh 

1 cup spaghetti sauce

1 garlic clove, minced

dash of oregano and pasta seasoning

Cook cubed tempeh in a hot pan coated with cooking spray. Add zucchini and cook until browned. Add peppers, spaghetti sauce, garlic and seasoning. Serves 1

I kept this dinner vegan friendly with nutritional yeast sprinkled on top. A side of garlic bread courtesy of the hubs, and a mocktail. No dessert.

I’m saving desert for Devour Downtown which runs from January 24-February 5th. It’s basically restaurant week with lots of good dinner menus for really cheap.

As promised: Those yummy crackers I was telling you about yesterday.

(borrowed photo)

 http://www.backtonaturefoods.com

 

hangry for tortilla chips

Sunday in review:

Sunday was another busy, busy work day. I was hangry all morning, not hungry, hangry!

Urban dictionary:

 hangry=when your lack of food causes you to be angry, frustrated or both.  

I’ve noticed a huge increase in my appetite this past week. Could it be from, increased running mileage, stress, climate change, or all of the above?

Anywho,

(shout out to  http://thechiclife.com/ for using the word “anywho” so much. Dianna has me stuck on it).

Normally a bowl of Wheat-fuls keeps me satisfied longer than five hours, but not today.

Breakfast: 6:00 AM

One cup of Wheat-fuls, 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 medium banana, 1 tbsp peanut butter, sprinkle chia seeds. Side of coffee.

Lunch: 12:30 PM

By lunch time I was ready to chew my arm off.

Luckily the hubs and little apron swept me off the unit and took me out to lunch. McAllister’s deli has a diverse menu all three of us can enjoy. The hubs ordered a massive plate of nachos the size of a tire. Little apron ordered a spud and cup of clam chowder, and I had my favorite combo.

From the pick two menu: 1 cup veggie chili, and 1/2 sweet chipotle chicken salad drizzled with chipotle peach dressing. I also stole a hand full of tortilla chips from the hubs’s plate. mmm hit the spot.

Snack: 5:30 PM

This mojo bar was to die for the salty crunchy peanuts and pretzels was like eating a cookie. I’m inspired to recreate this in my own kitchen.

Dinner: 8:00 PM

Soup, soup, lovely soup.

Cup tomato soup, 3 meatless meatballs, spinach, red pepper flakes sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

On the side: 1 clementine, a wedge of laughing cow and some new crackers the hubs bought me. I can’t think of the name of them right now but if want to know what kind they are I can post it later.

Sipped on some Pero while watching sunday night football, and the Kads. Did anyone else think Kourtney and Kim stepped up their style? Not that they needed too, or for that matter did I think their style had room to get any better.

Anywho,

I was hoping the Pero would taste better, not sure if I like it or not.