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Hills and Flats

Blog Updates

I am currently making the switch to a self hosting blog (using Blue Host) and giving the ol’ blog a makeover, so I apologize that I have not been getting around to everyone’s blogs this past week or so. It’s quite time consuming!

This transition is completely new to me and I am doing it all on my own (I looked at some blog services out there but it’s just too expensive and this is just a hobby for me).  But it’s also kind of fun to figure out all this technical stuff!  Hopefully everything will go smoothly and I can add some more features to the blog soon! 🙂

I decided to make the switch because I want more control over what I can do on my blog, plus I just ran out of media space (total bust!) and by self hosting it’s unlimited.  I figured I might as well try to figure this out!

Hills and Flats

The other day I tackled another interval workout on the treadmill during my lunch break.  Usually when I come up with a workout I map it out ahead of time.  This time I made it up as I went along (and wrote it down right after I was done!)

As I was going through the workout I realized I was doing another version of Rolling Hills.  Only this time the intervals were longer and I spent the majority of time running or jogging. It was a nice mix of running hills and flats.

Here’s what I did:

I started out running 6.5 mph with no incline.  Each minute after that I would up the incline and lower the speed.  I did this for 5 minutes.  After that I ran another flat at 6.5 on no incline.  The next 5 minutes were more hills with the incline increasing even more each minute.  I repeated another 6.5 flat for 5 minutes and ended with a final set of hills.

This was tough but if flew by! I think this may be a favorite out of the interval workouts I have posted.  Try it out!

Question:

Is your blog self hosted? Why or why not?

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Couscous with Goat Cheese

I have been craving goat cheese. I think it’s from reading others’ blogs and seeing their meals filled with the delicious cheese.  I knew I had to get my hands on it soon to satisfy my cheesy craving!

Good thing I had to make a pit stop at Whole Foods yesterday after work.  We’re putting on a Farmers Market at work tomorrow and the nice folks at my local Whole Foods are donating reusable bags for us to give out to the attendees.  So after loading my car with the boxes of bags, I grabbed a shopping basket to pick up a few items.  Goat cheese was #1 on the list!

Dinner

I’m not a huge fan of cooking, especially when it takes up too much of my time.  Therefore I typically only make simple meals with only a few ingredients.  Tonight was no different.  I literally picked things from my pantry and fridge, threw em’ together and hoped they tasted decent at the end.  This meal tasted more than decent.  It was freakin’ awesome! 

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Couscous with Goat Cheese

Serving Size: 2-3 entree portions or 4 side dishes

Ingredients:

  • 2 large tomatoes
  • Head of garlic (I love garlic…a lot.  Like I could eat it by itself, so by all means cut this down if it’s too much for your liking)
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsp olive oil to roast the tomatoes and garlic (could omit and just use cooking spray)
  • 1 box of couscous (I used this brand and flavor)
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • Fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Optional: A good crusty bread to have on the side

Directions

Preheat oven to 375.  Dice tomatoes and head of garlic in large chunks.  Toss in olive oil and place on a baking pan.  Season with salt and pepper.

While the tomatoes and garlic roast (roughly 30 minutes), cook couscous according to package directions.

In a large serving bowl, mix the couscous, tomato and garlic mixture, onion, capers, goat cheese, and basil together until blended.

Slice up some delicious bread if you’d like…

Spoon out a hearty serving and enjoy!

Roasted tomatoes are seriously amazing and I don’t know why I don’t make them more often.  If you have not roasted a tomato yet, DO IT.  You will not regret it. It brings out the most delicious flavors.

I am already looking forward to leftovers tonight! 🙂

Everything in its Place

The morning is my favorite time of day.  I love the quiet and peacefulness that morning provides.  I also love the feeling of a brand new day or a fresh start.

This Saturday morning was no different.  I awoke around 8am feeling refreshed and ready for the day.  I fed Boo and Sophia and then put them outside for one of their daily matches of tug-of-war:

After putting a fresh pot of coffee on, I had the sudden urge to clean and declutter the kitchen.  Strangely, cleaning my kitchen is quite the stress reliever and I always feel so good when my kitchen is spotless.

I started in the fridge, throwing out old food items that had been sitting around for too long or had expired (like old condiments).  Then I cleaned the counter tops and sink and cleared off the counter of odd items that just don’t belong (like batteries and recyclables) and put them in their proper place.

I love having clean counter tops.  I can’t stand having too many things cluttered around.

I get my cleaning habits from my dad.  He always said, “Everything in its place and a place for everything”.  I agree, dad! 🙂

Candle Lit Breakfast

After cleaning the kitchen and getting some laundry started, it was time for breakfast.  Andy was still sleeping, so I decided to surprise him with a candle lit breakfast.

On the menu:

  • Cheesy Eggs (2 eggs with a splash of milk + shredded cheddar cheese)
  • Whole Wheat English Muffin
  • Strawberries

Breakfast was served!

Surprisingly I was not in the mood for eggs this morning.  Maybe it was because I had breakfast for dinner the other night and had my fill of cheesy eggs.  Instead I made a bowl of cereal with fruit, a meal I don’t think I will ever be sick of!

In the mix:

  • Shredded Wheat
  • Flax Plus Multibran Flakes
  • Cascadian Farms Cinnamon Crunch
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Organic 2% Milk

Coffee with organic half and half rounded out my breakfast.

So far this Saturday is turning into a great day. Boo definitely thinks so too, as he’s spending the morning playing with his favorite toy (he even sometimes sleeps with it!)

I'll never let you out of my sight

Now Andy and I are heading to Whole Foods to stock up on groceries for the week then I need to tackle some more cleaning. Have a great Saturday everyone!

Question:

What is your favorite time of day?

Rolling Hill Treadmill Workout

Continuing on the interval workout trend, I tackled another 30-minute torture session on the treadmill during my lunch break.  This one was like a Rolling Hill, as I was going up and down using the incline.

On this particular day I didn’t feel like committing to sprint intervals or hills.  So I compromised and combined them both!  It worked out well because my workout was constantly changing and I was constantly dropping F*bombs under my breath (and my apologies to the guy behind me)

Tailoring the Workout for You

The first 5 minutes are a warm up so if you’d like to try this workout feel free to go at whatever warm up pace works for you.  6.5 seems to be a good pace to get me up and going so I like to start out with that.

The rest of the workout alternates with a sprint (8.0 is a sprint for me, so again, change this up to what suits you), a hill run (with the incline increasing every couple of minutes by increments of 2 and the speed decreasing by increments of 2) and finally a recovery jog (you can certainly walk for recovery if needed).  Following the workout as it’s laid out covers 3 miles.

This workout was tough! But all I have is 30 minutes so I try and make the most of it by haulin’ ass on the treadmill.  Try this one if you want a quick, yet efficient cardio workout.

Being Social

After work yesterday I headed to happy hour at PJ McIntyre’s Irish Pub with some of my co-workers.

I don’t know what has happened over the years, but sometimes I have to force myself to be social.  I guess after the work day I just want to head home and veg on the couch.  However, I find that when I do make myself go out and interact with my co-workers outside of the workplace it makes the work environment better.  You get to see people out of the work element and just relax and talk about things other than work related topics.  I’m glad I went because I had a nice time chatting and eating with everyone!

To start I ordered a Corona Light that was on special for $2.00 a bottle.  The weather was beautiful so I thought a Corona was a nice fit for a sunny, warm evening (having an ocean view would be better but hey, I’ll take what I can get in Cleveland, OH!)

There were plenty of options on the menu and I wasn’t sure what I wanted. It came down to the Black Bean Burger or the Buffalo Chicken Wrap.

Eventually I made up my mind and went with the Buffalo Chicken Wrap with a side of french fries.  It was a good choice too! I ate half and brought the rest home for  Andy.

I had also ordered a side garden salad, but it was pretty lame.  Ice burg lettuce with two cherry tomatoes a couple of cucumber slices and cheese.  Eh.  I did enjoy their ranch dressing though, so that was a plus!

After a nice evening out,  I headed home and spotted a couple of Peeping Tom’s in the window…

We're on Neighborhood Watch

What little creepsters!! But I love em’!

Dessert

I seriously think my life would be incomplete without ice cream.  Luckily Andy loves it too.  Last night I had a small Dairy Queen Blizzard waiting for me when I got home from dinner.  Andy and his parents had gone out earlier so Andy got me one too.  What a gem! I gobbled that sucker right up and enjoyed every delicious bite of Oreo and Reese’s Cups.

Healthy Living Blogger?

I realize I eat a lot of Blizzards and drink way too much at weddings.  And even though I do consider my blog to be “Healthy Living”, my love for soft serve and booze won’t change.  So I apologize to anyone who reads this blog who thought just because I work in fitness I would have a perfect diet with great diet tips.  I really don’t except to eat in a way that allows you to be healthy yet not go insane with “eating clean”.

I do try my best to eat  a lot of the good stuff, but I just can’t go on without soft serve or martinis.  I strive to live the best way I can, but I’m not perfect and I don’t expect perfection from myself especially when it comes to my body and I hope that anyone who reads this blog takes away that message.  It’s OK to not strive for perfection!  You certainly won’t see any of that here!  Phew, glad that is cleared up. Now back to Blizzard eating…

Well I’m off to make Taco Wednesday (Just doesn’t have that same ring to it like Taco Tuesday does it?)

Have a great night!!

Question of the Day:

Do you enjoy being social often or do you find you’re more of a homebody?

My Seven Links

The lovely Kelly  tagged me in this fun blog post called My Seven Links.  Today I’ll showcase past blog posts for each category.  Here we go!

Most Beautiful: My A-Ha Moment

When I had my Oprah “A-Ha” moment it was like a switch went off in my head and my life changed.  This post describes how I changed my thoughts from self destructive and negative to self loving and positive.

Most Popular: How Skinny People Stay Skinny

It’s no surprise that one of my most popular posts is “How Skinny People Stay Skinny”.  You can’t imagine how many people google that phrase!  People are always looking for a magic pill or potion and well, it doesn’t exist.  In this post I talked about how I personally maintain my weight.  To be honest, it’s not one of my favorite posts, but the people have spoken 😉

Another popular post is one about performing a deadlift.

Most Controversial: Is a Figure Competition for YOU?

In this post I wrote about my feelings on competing in Fitness and Figure Competitions and my experience with prepping for one (and quitting half way through!)  I learned a lot about myself during this time in my life.

Another post that could be considered controversial was when I discussed my thoughts and feelings on being underweight and the health risks it can cause.

Most Helpful: How to End Food Obsession Series

My life has drastically changed from being someone who had an unhealthy relationship with food to someone who now has a care free and healthy relationship with food.  It came down to changing how I dealt with my emotions and changing my behaviors. You can read part 1, 2 and 3 on my tips to end food obsession.

Surprise Success: Skinny Girl Margarita Review

This post gets a lot of hits due to the popularity of the drink.  It wasn’t all that great of a post, but people are dying to know how those Skinny Margaritas are! And I can’t say it enough: I LOVE them! 🙂  And I see on her website she has sangria! I can’t wait to try it!

Source

Not Enough Attention: Hot Topics

Any of my posts in the “Hot Topics” section could stand to receive more attention. I think it’s important to talk about things like disordered eating and body image.  You can see all of my posts on body image, disordered eating, and self love all on the Hot Topic page!

Most Proud: Beating Disordered Eating and Thinking and Food Obsession 

I am most proud of my posts on ending food obsession and my post on beating disordered eating and thinking.  I can’t say enough about how much I have changed my life and the only thing I’ve done is stopped the obsession with my body.  I looked inward at the core of who I am and it’s not just my physical body.  We are all much more than our appearance.

Now it’s my turn to tag some of my favorite bloggers in the Seven Links post to keep it going:

Laura @ Never Not Beautiful

Kat @ Keep ‘n the Faith

Shelley @ Finding Happiness and Health

Cait @ Cait’s Plate

Jess @ A Taste of Confidence

Tiff @ Love, Sweat, and Beers

Lisa @ I’m an Okie

Sick!

Just a little note to say that I am SICK…I had to take Friday off of work because I felt so bad.  I’ve spent the weekend on the couch eating lots of soup and toast.  I hope to be feeling better as the week goes on and back to blogging!

Lots of soup!

I hope you all are having a great weekend!

Rock, Paper, Scissors

Good morning!  I hope everyone had a great weekend.   I spent another weekend relaxing.  Andy and I didn’t really leave the house much.  I am the type of person who needs weekends like these.  They help me refresh!  Today, however, I do need to get off my butt and grocery shop and clean the house a bit. 

Perhaps Andy or I will also leave the house to pick up some Dairy Queen Ice Cream after a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors Let me explain!

I am very good at beating Andy at Rock, Paper, Scissors.  It’s one of the only things I am better at.  He’s the type of person who seems to know how to do just about everything and typically will win every game that we play.  Well not the game Rock, Paper, Scissors!  I almost always beat him!

We play the game best out of three.  The loser has to pick up the ice cream from the local Dairy Queen.  Unfortunately Andy finally won last weekend and I had to head out in the literal blizzard to get our blizzards.

Must. Get. Blizzards!

I’m determined to win back my title of ‘best Rock, Paper, Scissor player’ when we decide we want some ice cream (which is usually every week!) Andy always gets a turtle pecan cluster blizzard and I get an oreo blizzard mixed with reese cups. 

Healthy Blogger I was NOT!

Friday night Andy and I decided to get some Chinese take-out for dinner.  I’d like to say that I was a healthy little blogger and got steamed chicken and veggies, but then I’d be a liar 😉

We shared some General Tso’s chicken, fried rice and an order of crab rangoon.  I enjoyed every delicious bite!  For some reason when we order Chinese food we seem to order enough for 10 people.  We have so many leftovers!

General Tso's Chicken

Crab Rangoon

 

Workout

This past week I received a new round of Turbo Kick in the mail.  It was a double pack, which had “The Best of Turbo Kick” workout and “Turbo Sport” workout.  On Saturday morning I decided to try the Turbo Sport workout to learn some new combos to incorporate into my Turbo Kick class that I teach every Friday at work.

Turbo Sport

Original Turbo Kick is a mix of kickboxing, martial arts, high intensity moves, and dance.  Turbo Sport is more athletic based, which is more my style and how I teach. 

Well hello there

The workout was fun and intense.  I learned quite a few new combos that I can use on Friday.  I can’t wait!

TK always starts with a nice warm up of cardio and stretching

The warm up introduces basic punches: Jab, Cross, Hook, Upper Cut

And you do some high knees to really get warm!

Then it's on to some combos. I was punching "Hi and low" here

 This 45 minute workout was a great way to start the day and definitely warmed me up considering it’s only in the low teens this weekend!  Brrr!  Although these little guys don’t seem to mind the frigid temps:

Off to make a special Sundy breakfast for Andy and I: Pancakes!!