Saturday, February 27, 2010

Brewvival & Answers

Hooray for Saturday! After teaching Body Step this morning, I ran home to get showered and to get ready for Brewvival:

Brewvival is a beer festival that was put on by the Coast brewing company in North Charleston. The festival featured around 24 breweries, food, and music! Josh, myself, and a number of our friends headed up to the festival. I am not a big drinker, so I only took a few sips here and there, but enjoyed the cool, laid back vibe of the festival and some of the food. I also played the supportive role of DD ;). Here are some pictures from the event. Goat cheese samples at one of the Coast booths:

One of the most delicious brews, Meph Addict, tasted like coffee:

Josh & I:

Our friends Mandi & Bryan:

Josh & his friend Jeremy:

My Aunt, enjoying a tasting of Sexual Chocolate (haha some of the beers had such funny names):

Me & Mandi:

Josh's pulled pork & pickles:

Such a fun day! We went out for some dinner afterwards and plan to spend the rest of the night relaxing. What did you do today?
Keep the ask me anything questions coming! Here are some of the Q&As so far:
What blogs are must-reads for you?
Who is your favorite housewife of all time?

Oh gosh! A very important question! I like Teresa from NJ. HILARIOUS!
What's your best advice for healthy weight loss?

Great question! Healthy weight loss is all about healthy habits. Consistency in exercise and eating a little bit of everything in moderation. Find a form of exercise that you actually enjoy!!! You will never stick to a workout routine if you hate it. And there are no miracle diets!
Do you ever have slip ups with your healthy lifestyle? or is it easy just to say no to junk sometimes, do you have lots of will power in that category? ha-sorry over flow of questions!

Hello :) Sure! Everyone has slip ups! As I have grown more and more to appreciate a healthy lifestyle, I think my slip ups occur less often. However, I think its healthy and necessary to have a good treat every once in a while! I don't consider those treats slip ups. I also try to find ways to enjoy traditionally unhealthy dishes in a healthier way (aka baked sweet potato "fries"). To be honest though, I do have a good amount of will when it comes to junky foods. I usually try to think about how I will feel after I eat it and that deters me from falling into the junk trap! Hope that helps.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Les Mills Launch & Ask Away

Half way through the week at last! Its been a crazy one over here- how about for you? In my last post, I mentioned I was on my way to teach at a new gym to help introduce the club to some of the Les Mills programs. I figured I would share some of the pictures from the event. Our team taught Body Pump, Body Attack & Body Flow.

The event was a lot of fun! We had a great turn out and a VERY sweaty workout! If you've never tried any of these classes- I suggest you give them a go.
Since I've been getting quite a few questions lately, I figured I'd jump on the ask me anything train (yes, I am super behind/slow). Click here to ask me anything! I will post some of my responses up on the blog.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunday Brunch & Vegan Banana Chip Muffins

Hello! Happy Monday! Thank you all for the kind words on my party foods! I find it fun to try and figure out a way to have a good balance of healthy foods vs. treats at parties. How was your weekend? The rest of mine was great! Sunday morning, I drove up to my parents house to join them and my Aunt & Uncle for Brunch to celebrate my Mama’s birthday. We ate at a beautiful restaurant that overlooked the ocean:

View from my seat:

Gorgeous! I got an egg white omelet with cheese and onions & peppers:

and double fruit:
and coffee (of course):

Me and the BEAUTIFUL birthday girl! My Mom is an amazing lady! She taught me how to have a healthy and balanced life and to work hard for what I want. Love you Mom!

The rest of my Sunday was spent running errands and hanging out with Josh and Frank:
This morning, I taught Body Pump. After pump and before starting into work, I baked up some vegan banana chip muffins. This is my second attempt at these and I think this recipe is a winner:
  • 1 tablespoon flax & 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 medium ripe bananas or 2 large
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • Mini or full sized carob chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In two separate bowls, mix wet (flax, water, applesauce, sugar) and dry (remaining ingredients except chips) ingredients. Combine and then fold in chips. Fill mini muffin tins (I used 1 rounded tablespoon of batter for each muffin). Bake for 11 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean). Let cool and enjoy!

Tonight, we are introducing the Les Mills programs (Body Pump, Attack, Flow etc) to the members at a gym my gym just bought out! We are teaching 30 minute segments of each program. I am really excited because I know the room will just be FILLED with energy. I am bringing the mini muffins to share with the other instructors!

One more quick thing- a few of you asked what recipe I use for my granola. I must say, the LOVELY Sarah (of Suite Apple Pie) got me started on granola making. The recipe has morphed a little over time and is now as follows: 1 ½ cups oats, 1 cup coconut, 1 ½ cup mixed nuts & seeds, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons ground flax (sometimes I also add in cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice or vanilla). Preheat oven to 250. Mix together honey and oil and then add in all dry ingredients and mix until well coated. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, stirring once in the middle. If desired, add dried fruit.

Enjoy your week!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cooking, Baking, Party Making

Are you enjoying your weekend so far? I definitely am! Last night was pretty low key. I had to teach Body Attack and then we hung in. I also got a little baking done (felt like it had been forever since I last baked). I made up some granola for my dad:
And some Pumpkin Walnut bread for my Mom (its her birthday tomorrow- HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAMA!!).
This morning, I taught Body Step, went food shopping, ran errands, and then got ready for a little "party" we had tonight. We had sooooooo much beer leftover from Josh's birthday last weekend that we decided to have a second get together this weekend in an attempt to make some room in the fridge. On the menu...a lot of the usual suspects, Broccoli Hut's Artichoke Hummus:

The hummus and some un-pictured salsa was served with veggies and tortilla chips and pretzels:

I also put out a platter of homemade Mint Chocolate Chip cookies and chocolate pieces:

I also put out my cool whip dip (1 container cool whip (or tru whip) mixed with 1 fruity yogurt) and tons of un-pictured fruit:

I baked up some Stromboli with cheese and turkey pepperoni and served them cut in slices with marinara (roll out pizza dough, top with whatever you want, roll back up creating a spiral, brush with olive oil and sprinkle on desired spices, bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes until nice and golden brown):
And lastly, our friend Bryan made up some sausage balls that are always a big hit with the meat eaters ;). Let me know if you're interested in the recipe and I can ask him for it!

We all hung out and watched Couples Resort. Now, its time for some more relaxing and then bed :) Tomorrow, I'm headed up to my parents to celebrate my Mom's birthday with a nice brunch. What are you up to? Whats your favorite healthier party food?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Few of My Favorites & Protein Report

How has your week been so far? I hope its coming along nicely! Mine has been very good but busy! First off, I have seen a few bloggers sharing lists of their favorite products and I decided to hop on the bandwagon. Note: I purchased all of these products on my own with the exception of the Flax. I try to stay away from a lot of processed foods, but do have a few new favorites including, Stevia in the Raw (yummy in coffee):

Unsweetened Almond Breeze - both chocolate and vanilla (I use this in my protein shakes and drink on its own, heated with cinnamon!)
Bumble bars (the nutty pack rocks!):

Pizzey's Premium Golden Flax. I won this through a contest on Emily's Blog. I am loving this flax (I use it in my granola, oatmeal, yogurt, etc!):

Last but not least! Josh had a dinner meeting tonight, so I decided to treat myself to Carrabba's Insalata Fiorucci. According to Carrabba's website, this salad contains "Artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers and grilled eggplant in vinaigrette, topped with a hazelnut goat cheese medallion." I got it without the roasted red peppers and added my own raw green pepper. I'm not a big chain restaurant fan, but I love this salad! I also ran into a reader when picking it up- Hi Carrie!! (hope I spelled your name right).

Totally delicious! So there ya have it! What is on your favorites list lately? Any new favorites?

One more quick item, as I noted in previous posts, I'm working on increasing my protein (at least 75 grams per day). My totals for last week:

  • Sunday (7th): 76 g
  • Monday: 93 g
  • Tuesday: 81 g
  • Wednesday: 76 g
  • Thursday:86 g
  • Friday: 79 g
  • Saturday: 83 g
  • Sunday: 75 g

Wahoo! How are you doing on your goals? Workouts going well this week? I have a pretty heavy teaching schedule again so the extra protein is defintely helping me kick my way through it :) Have a fabulous night

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day of Love

Thank you all for the sweet comments on Josh's birthday party!! Happy Valentine's Day!! Whether you love or hate the holiday, you have to admit, its kind of fun to have another reason to share some extra love (with your significant other, family, friends or self!) and maybe indulge in a little something special!

Earlier this week, my gift from my Secret Valentine, the awesome Jessie from Vegan Minded, arrived. In the mix, pop chips (which I had yet to try and LOVE), amazing grass, chocolate, plantain chips, tea, shower gel and a puff. Such an amazing package- thank you Jessie!!

Are you doing anything special today? Josh and I went out to brunch at a new to us restaurant, Charleston's Cafe.

Charleston's Bookstore Cafe on Urbanspoon
The menu is filled with lots of great southern options, traditional egg breakfasts, pancakes, and parfaits.

I ordered the fruit parfait (granola, yogurt, strawberries & bananas) and coffee (obviously):

While Josh got the Three Grain Pancakes with the stewed peaches & raisins on the side:

Both were DELICIOUS. The coffee was also exceptionally good! And they offered skim milk, which you rarely find out at restaurants. I love that the restaurant has an option for everyone and even makes speciality coffee beverages like lattes and espresso. Loved my special breakfast with my Valentine:

Plan for the rest of the day- relax and switch up choreography for my classes this week. What are you up to?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Josh's Birthday Party

Hi Everyone! I hope you're having a very nice weekend! Yesterday was Josh's 28th Birthday! Since his favorite number is 8 and mine is 2, I decided this was cause for a BIG celebration! I enlisted the help of my side kick and got to work...
Since Frank doesn't have thumbs, he wasn't much help! I have tons of pictures to share, so I will keep the words to a minimum. I started with a few gifts (a Polar HRM, a new modern looking ceiling fan for our bedroom, and a bulldog t shirt):

Yes, I wrapped his gifts in little boy birthday paper ;). The prep work started with baking up some meatballs. I kept these on the dry side, as I planned to put them in the crock pot with marinara for a few hours prior to the party (if you make them too moist, they will fall apart in the crock pot):

I had placed an order for mini desserts at WFs, so I ran out to pick those up. I got key lime tarts (Josh's favorite), fruit tarts, and chocolate/raspberry tarts:

I also made up some chocolate dipped pretzels based on inspiration from the fabulous Sabrina (melt chocolate in microwave (30 second increments, stirring between), dip pretzels in chocolate, lay out on parchment or wax paper to solidify). These disappeared VERY quickly:

We had plenty of beer on hand (this was a manly party after all). Miller Lite in our keggerator, that I purchased for Josh for Christmas a few years ago):

Other beers in the fridge:

Had to make my fruit and fruit dip (1 container cool whip or truwhip mixed with 1 single serving fruit yogurt):

Simple spinach salad (spinach, walnuts, mandarin oranges, dried cherries):

Sabrina's Zaatar Bread:

Josh had made a comment earlier in the year that his ideal birthday would include beer and chickfila nuggets and fries. So...I made it happen ;):

The meatballs cooking up:

Josh and I at the end of the night (I was too busy during the party to take pictures!):

The craziest part of the night? It SNOWED in South Carolina! Its almost completely melted now, but here is a picture of one of the palms in our backyard not looking too happy:

I think the party turned out well and we both had a blast!

Due to the snow, the classes I was supposed to teach at the gym this morning were canceled (yes 1-2 inches of snow cancels everything here!). My plan is to do some things around the house, hit up the gym for a short run and go food shopping. What are you up to???