Category Archives: Cardio

Secret Ingredient for Boxed Mac n’ Cheese

Yesterday at work we hosted a Farmers Market, showcasing some local businesses in the Cleveland area.


We spent the morning setting up the picnic grounds area as the vendors began to arrive. Everything was going smoothly until a major down poor of rain came through the area…

Luckily most of the vendors had their tents set up and came prepared for the weather!

Eventually the rain went away (thankfully!) and the sun came out just in time for the employees (and their families) to enjoy the market.

We had a variety of vendors come and each showcased their unique products.

Honey, jellies, and more

Bread and other goodies

Olive Oils and Vinegars

Produce

Hummus, pitas, and other goods

There were also vendors selling purses and handmade bags, flowers, maple syrup, salsas and hot sauces, and gyros.  It was a nice variety!

Lunch

On my lunch break I took time to shop and eat! I managed to buy a lot of goodies for Andy and I, as well as a couple of things to use as birthday gifts coming up.

Produce, monkey bread, nut roll, hot sauce, pepper jelly, and BBQ sauce

For lunch I went to the gyro stand and purchased a chicken pita.

It was delicious! I especially loved the yogurt sauce.

I think the Farmers Market was a big success! Everyone seemed to have a great time and enjoyed the vendor selections.

Dinner

I was in the mood for more roasted tomatoes to have with dinner last night.  I decided to use the fresh ones I purchased at the market along with the zucchini.

I sliced up the veggies then seasoned with salt and pepper and drizzled with olive oil. I also chopped up a head of garlic to roast with the tomatoes and zucchini.

The veggies cooked in the oven set at 375 for about 40 minutes.

I wasn’t sure what else I wanted with my veggies until I saw a box of Whole Foods brand Shells and Cheese.  We had a winner!

I cooked the macaroni according to package directions.  Then I added my secret ingredient to make it extra creamy: A Laughing Cow cheese wedge!

Along with the cheese wedge, I added a splash of 2% milk and about a tbsp of real butter.  It really ups the flavor! I think boxed mac n’ cheese is rather bland without the extra additions. Try this combo! It will not disappoint!

Workout

Today’s workout included a hot run with Boo and Sophia. It’s supposed to be in the 90s today and by the the time we hit the pavement it was already 75 and humid.  Luckily there was a slight breeze that made the 2 mile run pretty enjoyable.

That still didn’t stop me from looking like a total sweat monster:

Sophia was hot too, and jumped straight into the bushes when we got back:

Boo just looked stunned,  like he was blinded by the light:

I swear they enjoy running with me 🙂

After cooling down, we all relaxed for a bit before I headed off to work for the day.

Weekend Plans

My mom and dad are coming from Cincinnati to stay with Andy and I for the long weekend. I can’t wait to see them! We have dinner plans tomorrow night and we’re thinking about going to the Zoo as well.  I love family time!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Secret Ingredient for Boxed Mac n' Cheese

Yesterday at work we hosted a Farmers Market, showcasing some local businesses in the Cleveland area.


We spent the morning setting up the picnic grounds area as the vendors began to arrive. Everything was going smoothly until a major down poor of rain came through the area…

Luckily most of the vendors had their tents set up and came prepared for the weather!

Eventually the rain went away (thankfully!) and the sun came out just in time for the employees (and their families) to enjoy the market.

We had a variety of vendors come and each showcased their unique products.

Honey, jellies, and more

Bread and other goodies

Olive Oils and Vinegars

Produce

Hummus, pitas, and other goods

There were also vendors selling purses and handmade bags, flowers, maple syrup, salsas and hot sauces, and gyros.  It was a nice variety!

Lunch

On my lunch break I took time to shop and eat! I managed to buy a lot of goodies for Andy and I, as well as a couple of things to use as birthday gifts coming up.

Produce, monkey bread, nut roll, hot sauce, pepper jelly, and BBQ sauce

For lunch I went to the gyro stand and purchased a chicken pita.

It was delicious! I especially loved the yogurt sauce.

I think the Farmers Market was a big success! Everyone seemed to have a great time and enjoyed the vendor selections.

Dinner

I was in the mood for more roasted tomatoes to have with dinner last night.  I decided to use the fresh ones I purchased at the market along with the zucchini.

I sliced up the veggies then seasoned with salt and pepper and drizzled with olive oil. I also chopped up a head of garlic to roast with the tomatoes and zucchini.

The veggies cooked in the oven set at 375 for about 40 minutes.

I wasn’t sure what else I wanted with my veggies until I saw a box of Whole Foods brand Shells and Cheese.  We had a winner!

I cooked the macaroni according to package directions.  Then I added my secret ingredient to make it extra creamy: A Laughing Cow cheese wedge!

Along with the cheese wedge, I added a splash of 2% milk and about a tbsp of real butter.  It really ups the flavor! I think boxed mac n’ cheese is rather bland without the extra additions. Try this combo! It will not disappoint!

Workout

Today’s workout included a hot run with Boo and Sophia. It’s supposed to be in the 90s today and by the the time we hit the pavement it was already 75 and humid.  Luckily there was a slight breeze that made the 2 mile run pretty enjoyable.

That still didn’t stop me from looking like a total sweat monster:

Sophia was hot too, and jumped straight into the bushes when we got back:

Boo just looked stunned,  like he was blinded by the light:

I swear they enjoy running with me 🙂

After cooling down, we all relaxed for a bit before I headed off to work for the day.

Weekend Plans

My mom and dad are coming from Cincinnati to stay with Andy and I for the long weekend. I can’t wait to see them! We have dinner plans tomorrow night and we’re thinking about going to the Zoo as well.  I love family time!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Star of the Morning

I had big plans to accomplish a lot on my “to do” list yesterday, but didn’t really get much done! I spent a little too much time reading blogs, writing a blog post, and ultimately watching too much TV.  Oh well, it was a Sunday.  Sometimes ya just gotta relax!

Sunday Recap

One thing on both Andy and I’s “to do” list was attending a friend’s BBQ.  We spent a few hours chatting and catching up with friends, eating and drinking while enjoying the nice weather. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

We got home around 7PM and just in time for a new episode of Jersey Shore! I have been forcing Andy to watch it with me, and bless his heart he does. He doesn’t understand why I am interested in half the shows I watch.  I don’t know why I am either, but ultimately I feel relaxed watching mindless reality TV.  I guess it’s only fair that I watch a Cleveland Brown’s Football game with Andy this season!

After Jersey Shore we watched the MTV VMA show.  I really enjoyed what I saw (I fell asleep at 10:30) and appreciated Lady Gaga cross-dressing for the evening.  I swear, she keeps everyone guessing! I was not expecting that.  The girl has some serious pipes and a world of talent, so I enjoyed it! But I enjoy anything she does really, I’m a huge fan.

Monday

I awoke today feeling completely refreshed. I slept like a rock! Nothing beats a good night’s sleep.  I can eat as clean as I want and exercise an hour a day, but if I don’t get enough sleep, I feel like crap.

To start the morning off, I took these two hyenas for their morning rabbit hunt walk:

I refuse to look at you after calling me a hyena

It was a nice morning, the weather has been just beautiful lately.  The temperatures have been in the mid 70s and just so pleasant! I’ll take it while I can before it turns into a Winter Wonderland around here!

The pups and I walked for about 25 minutes around the neighborhood, then they played in the fenced-in back yard for a while.

Having a fenced in yard has been amazing.  When I lived in Georgia I didn’t have one and I had to constantly leash them up.  Now they are free to roam and play!

Whenever Andy and I decide to buy a home or have to move again, a fenced yard will be a must-have!

Unless you have steak in your hands, we ain't coming!

Breakfast

After playing with the pups for a bit I headed in to make breakfast.  Cereal and coffee were on today’s menu!

Fresh strawberries that I got at Whole Foods Saturday were the Star of the Morning.  They were so sweet and delicious.

Strawberries are definitely my favorite fruit.  I never get sick of them. I seem to get sick of other fruits, such as bananas and apples, after so many days of eating them.  But I could probably eat strawberries multiple times per day.  In fact, I am having them again tonight as part of my evening snack!

Workout

Today’s workouts were the two classes I taught today: Step, Jump and Pump and Cardio Pilates (read more about the classes I teach here!).  Since I teach two classes on Monday’s and Wednesdays, I don’t do anything extra besides walk. I get plenty exercise from the classes.

In today’s Cardio Pilates class I decided to take the class outside for The Hill Workout.  It was perfect weather for it and we all worked up a sweat climbing up that sucker!

After about 30 minutes of being outside walking/jogging, we took it back inside for the Pilates portion. I included one of my favorite exercises in today’s sequence: The Rotating Side Plank

Start in a push up position:

Do a push up:

Rotate into a side plank, stacking your hand directly under the shoulder and stacking your hips on top of one another.  Hold for a couple seconds.

Do another push up then rotate to the other side:

Repeat for as many as you desire.  Today we did 10 total push ups (5 side planks on each side).  These are tough, but fun! 🙂

Have a great night everyone!

Questions:

Did you watch the MTV VMA show? Who was your favorite performer? I didn’t see all of them, but I enjoyed Lady Gaga’s (I love the song “You and I”!) and Chris Brown did really well too.  He’s got some serious dance moves! And Adele is seriously amazing!

What is your favorite fruit? Strawberries for me!

Anniversary Dinner and The Hill

Thank you for the congrats on Andy and I’s anniversary!  We had a nice time celebrating with a late dinner to Noosa Bistro. Unfortunately I think I ate some bad dairy during lunch at work (left over tacos) and I did not feel too well for the rest of the day. I even saw the on-sight doctor at work to get some over the counter antacids to  help sooth my stomach.

However, as the day went on I did feel my appetite start to come back and began to feel a bit more like myself.  And luckily we didn’t eat until 9pm (since I worked late) and I could enjoy a meal without feeling like I needed to puke.

Drinks and Dinner

To start, Andy ordered a glass of red wine and I went with one of their many martinis. I chose the Georgia Peach since I actually was one for a year 😉 (April 2010 – June 2010 on the blog I was in Georgia for any new readers!)

The Georgia Peach consisted of peach vodka, peach schnapps, champagne, and sour mix.  It was definitely a winner! Strong yet tasty.

Andy looking extra chipper

As an appetizer I ordered the Tomato Basil soup, which is so delicious.  I get it almost every time I go to Noosa.  Andy decided not to get the soup and stuck with the fresh bread and butter as his appetizer (which I also consumed!) Lucky for him I filled up quickly and I gave about half of my soup to him.  It was our 5 year anniversary after all.

For the main entree Andy ordered a rack of lamb and I got the tilapia with lobster mashed potatoes (amazing) and broccoli.  The meal was so good, but my stomach began to feel a bit off so I only ate a little bit of my meal and took the rest home.  I also ordered tiramisu to take home as well, which is fabulous.

Gifts

Since Andy and I spent a lot of money on our recent trip to San Diego we decided that we’d only spend $15-20 on each other for our anniversary.  I gave Andy a picture frame with a picture of us from the beach and a candle.

Andy definitely knows that the way to my heart is through my liver stomach.  He stocked me with one of my favorite drinks: Skinny Girl Margaritas!

The rest of our weekend was pretty boring in terms of blogging material.  Andy had Fantasy Football meetings to attend (apparently it’s a big deal) and I wanted no part of it.  Instead, I spent the majority of the weekend relaxing on the couch, taking naps, and running errands.

The pups joined me in some relaxing and spent time sunning themselves outside:

They looked like a couple of lions in the wilderness:

I took this picture creeping from the kitchen and it wasn’t long before my cover was blown:

Her again...

The Hill

Now that Monday is here it’s back to the grind! I got plenty of rest from the weekend so I am ready to tackle the week!

To start my day off at work today I took my noon class outside for a workout since the weather was sunny, warm and a perfect 75 degrees.  I also decided to introduce them to “The Hill”.

The hill is a side road along beautiful woods and streams.  My boss and I did it the other week during our lunch break and I’ve been meaning to get my class out there.  Today was the day! 

We started jogging on the outside track before crossing the street to tackle the hill:

Then we went downhill (some walked some jogged):

We passed the creek and wooded views:

Then it came time to go uphill…it’s tough!

Once at the top we went back down and back up once more and ran around the track once (which is one mile).

It was such a beautiful day to be outside!

We even spotted some friends hiding in the woods:

Do you see them?

Running down and up the hill two times and running the track for a mile took about 25 minutes.  For the remainder of the class (20 minutes) we did some walking lunges, dips on the outdoor benches, step ups, and core work to round out the workout.  Not a bad way to start off a Monday!

Now it’s time for me to get back to work and prep for class number two today: Cardio Pilates.  Have a great day!

Question:

Do you enjoy walking/running hills? I love the variety that  hills can provide a workout, either outdoors or on the treadmill!

Blizzards for a Cause

Apparently I can’t get enough of interval workouts because yesterday on my lunch break I tackled yet another one.   This one was brutal and I wanted to yell obscenities much like I wanted to while completing this interval workout last week.

I used this deadly interval combination to come up with another rendition. I call this one: Intervals of Death Part II.

To be honest, I originally planned to do another incline running interval at minute 25  (5.5mph at 10%) and complete a full two minute interval for minute 19, but I completely ran out of steam! So the above  workout is what I actually did, not planned.  Regardless, it was a tough cardio workout!

Waffles n’ Eggs

Since coming back from San Diego our refrigerator and pantry is pretty empty. Luckily I can always count on enjoying breakfast for dinner on nights like these!

For dinner last night I made Waffles n’ Eggs.  It’s such a delicious combination.  I love the savory (eggs) with the sweet (waffles and syrup) mixed together in one meal.


I topped two waffles with real maple syrup:

On the side I made an omelet with one whole egg + two egg whites and a splash of soy milk. I filled the omelet with chopped onion and tomato and topped with a shredded Mexican blend cheese.

I love breakfast for dinner!

Whenever I am cooking eggs (or anything really) I can always count on these two for company:

I hope this woman drops something

Don't you ever share?

Lucky for them I do in fact share and gave them each an egg yolk.  Andy often asks if he can have the extra yolks but I always give them to Boo and Sophia. Sorry! 😉

Blizzards for a Cause

While I was driving home from work yesterday I heard a radio commercial mention that the local Cleveland Dairy Queens were giving the proceeds from blizzards sold on Thursday to the Children’s Miracle Network.  I thought it was the perfect opportunity to make a charitable contribution (and not to mention give me a reason to eat my second blizzard of the week.  Moderation is not my thing apparently)

Andy was feeling extra charitable and bought us both medium blizzards.  And they were beyond delicious as usual.

In my mix: Reese cups and Oreo.  Try it, it’s a winning combination! Andy gets a Turtle Pecan Cluster which is a close second to mine 😉

Now I just need the local pizza restaurants to start giving some of their proceeds to charity.  It’s Pizza Friday after all!

Weekend Plans

Tomorrow I am planning to attend an early Yoga class that’s being offered for free. I love taking Yoga classes and I don’t get to take them that often so I’m excited to go.

We also have another wedding Saturday night for one of Andy’s family friends.  Another excuse to drink way too much and act a fool on the dance floor.  Can’t wait 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone!

Question:

What’s your favorite Blizzard, ice cream or frozen yogurt combination?

I Love Interval Workouts

Since coming back from San Diego I’ve had to jump right back into my workout schedule since I teach Group Exercise regularly at work.  I find that getting right back on track with my workouts after a vacation is the best way to get back on a normal schedule.

I go through a slight post vacation depression (typically Monday morning!) but as soon as I get back on a schedule I feel much better. And as much as I miss vacation, and partying with my friends, I certainly don’t miss the hangovers!

Interval Workouts

Tuesday during my 30-minute lunch break I tackled an interval workout on the treadmill that I came up with.  Here’s what I did:

This workout was pretty challenging and just what I needed to get my workout mojo back post vacation!  It was not as hard as this interval workout (which makes me want to say some really bad things while running on a 15% incline!) but it was still a great, sweaty cardio workout (especially the minute at 6mph and 10%!)

I love interval workouts and typically do them when I am pressed for time.  Since I only have 30 minutes for lunch I like to make the most of it by working hard.  I simply don’t have time to slack.  I put my head phones on and I go!

Taco Tuesday

I’m not sure if there is a correlation between interval workouts and increased cravings for Mexican food, but I seriously have been craving it like crazy! Luckily Andy and I share the same passion for cheese, salsa, and sour cream so our Taco Tuesday tradition has not gotten old!

I made my usual taco pile with the following ingredients:

  • Spanish rice
  • Vegetarian re-fried beans
  • Organic sour cream (organic tastes so much better! It’s worth the extra dollar or two!)
  • Mexican blend cheese
  • Tomato
  • Onion
  • Salsa

I went back for a second pile:

I love Mexican food so much that I’ve had it 4 days in a row!! And I could probably keep it going, but I think tonight I’ll mix it up and make something else….we’ll see 😉

Work Picnic

On Wednesday my work had a picnic and awards ceremony for our directorate group.  We enjoyed a nice spread of cook out foods, like hamburgers, BBQ chicken, veggie burgers and an array of side dishes and dessert.  I love having a party on the clock! 🙂

I filled my plate with a sampling of all sorts of goodies including a veggie burger, potato salad, pineapple casserole (which is awesome!), hummus, and salad.  For dessert I had two small brownies.  It was all delish!

We spent the afternoon eating, mingling, and playing games.  All in a days work 😉

Have a great day everyone!

Question:

What meal could you have multiple days in a row and not get sick of? Along with Mexican food I could also eat seafood bisque and crab cakes day after day…oh how I miss the beach!

Blog Inspired Workouts

Remember how I had a major blah workout the other day? It turns out that all I needed was a little change and inspiration to get my workout mojo back again!

Blog Inspired Workout

One of the things I love most about reading health and fitness blogs is that you can get so many great ideas on an array of things including exercise, fashion and recipes. I especially love looking to other bloggers for workout inspiration.

During my lunch break on Thursday I decided to try a workout that Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers posted on her blog.  She said it was one heck of a workout and one of the hardest she’s posted on her blog.  I knew I wanted to try and tackle this workout! Plus, it was 30-minutes long which is all the time I have during my lunch break. Perfect!

I followed the workout exactly how Julie posted and it looked like this:


This was a great workout and I loved every sweaty minute of it! I especially enjoyed the variety of running and incline walking. The workout really flew by!  I would definitely recommend this workout to anyone wanting an intense 30-minute cardio workout that kicks your booty.  This certainly was not a blah workout!

Dinner

Due to my intense cardio session on my lunch break and the Total Body Toning class I taught at work, my appetite was in full force yesterday.  I was craving a hearty dinner and I knew that pasta would satisfy my grumbling tummy.

I searched my pantry and freezer and came up with the following ingredients to make a delicious pasta bake:

  • Whole Wheat Pasta
  • Frozen Chopped Broccoli
  • Canned Diced Tomatoes
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Chicken Sausage
  • Shredded Cheese

Once the pasta was finished cooking, I began layering the ingredients in a baking dish:

I spruced up the ingredients by adding salt, pepper and Italian Seasoning.

I topped the pasta with shredded cheese because I believe cheese makes just about every dish so much better 🙂


Since the sausage was precooked and I microwaved the broccoli, the dish didn’t have to bake that long.  I cooked it at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes until the cheese was melted.

I then let it sit in the oven on a lower temperature to keep warm since I was waiting for Andy to come home.

The Stare Down

I wasn’t the only one waiting for Andy though. Boo and Sophia anxiously looked out the window for him to come home:

I just know he'll be here

Dad?

While creeping out the window Sophia had a serious staring match with a bunny:

If this glass wasn't here, you'd be toast rabbit!

You don't look so tough

Luckily Andy came home and broke up the staring match. They were so excited!

Dad's home!

They were so excited they broke out into a serious wrestling match:

I promise they are only playing…don’t let Boo’s crazy snarl face full you.  They were giving each other kisses just moments later.  Ahh, sibling love 😉

The rest of the evening was spent eating pasta  (which was good, but next time I think I want to add some ricotta cheese for more creaminess!) and relaxing on the couch catching up on some shows.

Weekend Plans

This weekend is packed with babies! I have a baby shower for Andy’s cousin on Saturday and on Sunday Andy and I are watching his baby niece, Claire, for the day. Wish us luck because neither one of us has ever babysat, let alone changed a diaper!!

Have a great weekend!

Questions:

1. Do you have any workouts you enjoy that you’ve posted on your blog? If so, please share the link so we can all get some workout inspiration!

2. Any tips on baby sitting a 5 month old? 🙂