Monday, August 30, 2010

Birthday Wishes & A Winner

Monday, Monday…I hope yours is treating you well! What do you have on tap for this week? I am traveling for work the first couple days of this week and then Thursday is my birthday! I will be turning 28! What is your ideal birthday? For me, its the little things that really make the day special. My wishes for this year are as follows:

Lots of time with Josh:


My parents:



and my fur child, Frank:


I’d also like to go for a nice, long run. In terms of eats, I’m not a big cake person, but instead would love some Charleston’s Cafe parfait action:


and a pumpkin spiced misto from Starbucks (I heard they come out on Tuesday!!!!):


Other than that, not a whole lot I need :) I may treat myself to a new pair of Ryka cross trainers (my favorite!!), as the two pairs I currently have are pretty beat up from all of the teaching I’ve been doing lately:


(photo courtesy of Ryka).  I’m excited for the year ahead!!

And now, for the winner of the Galaxy Granola giveaway….

Stacey from Healthy Life!!! Congrats, send me an email (itzyskitchen at gmail dot com) with your address and I will get your prize sent to you. Thank you again to Galaxy Granola and Fruit Not Fat for the giveaway.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Crazy Cook & Blogger Meet Up

Thank you all for the feel better wishes & keep those galaxy granola entries coming!! I didn’t end up going to the Quarterly, but am back to feeling 100% today and have had a great weekend so far. Last night, we headed to Cuoco Pazzo (the crazy cook) for dinner with our friends Mandi, Bryan, Lindsay and Patrick.

meetup 001 One of the funny things about the Charleston area is that some of the better restaurants are hidden and don’t look like much from the outside. This is exactly the case with Cuoco Pazzo. The restaurant is basically one small room with only about a dozen tables.  We called ahead and made a reservation.  For dinner, Josh got the Pollo alla Parmigiana:

meetup 002

And I got the Spaghetti Aglio E Olio (spaghetti with red pepper, garlic, parsley and olive oil). It was basically enough pasta to feed a family of four :). Luckily, I had a very hungry husband to share with.

meetup 003

Everyone enjoyed their meals. One of the neatest parts about the restaurant is that they have a man who sings (in Italian) a few nights a week. He was there last night and was amazing!  The ladies (Mandi, Me, Lindsay):

meetup 004

Cuoco Pazzo on Urbanspoon

I woke up this morning and fit in a great six miler before it got too hot:

 meetup 005

Then I did a few things around the house and headed downtown for a blogger meet up with a very cool lady, Kelly from Fitting Back In, who is in town for a wedding.  We met at Caviar and Bananas, an adorable market & cafe in downtown Charleston.

meetup 009

meetup 006

 meetup 007

Caviar and Bananas offers everything from baked goods

meetup 008

to coffee, to beautifully prepared salads, sushi, sandwiches, etc.   Since I am officially a parfait expert, I had to give theirs a try. I also got a cafe au lait.

meetup 010

Their parfait was very yummy, but again, no match for my favorite from Charleston’s Cafe.

Kelly is adorable and so easy to talk to! We gabbed for almost an hour. I also got to meet her husband, Austin, and two of their friends. They were all so, so sweet. Kelly & Austin are a fabulous couple.

meetup 011

On the way out, I grabbed two key lime tars for Josh:

meetup 012

Caviar & Bananas on Urbanspoon

The rest of my day has been spent running errands. I am going to head to the pool for an hour and then will be packing up for a work trip. What have you been up to this weekend??

Friday, August 27, 2010

Galaxy Granola Giveaway

Hello All! Thank goodness for Friday! Since I am supposed to headed to the Les Mills quarterly today (not feeling too hot right now…), I figured it would be the perfect time for a giveaway! I’ve talked about Galaxy Granola before and how I love their fruit not fat message.

Monday 001

  I’ve used the granola to make bars and beautiful at home parfaits (Maple Pecan Quinoa granola, vanilla yogurt and a pluot):

 Monday 005
Monday 006

Monday 007 







And now you too can try Galaxy Granola:

Monday 003Monday 002

To enter, leave me a comment telling me your favorite parfait combination. For additional entries, join the Fruit Not Fat blog on Facebook and Twitter and leave me a SEPARATE comment letting me know you did so.  You DO NOT need to have a blog to enter. This contest is open to residents of the US and Canada only. The winner will be selected randomly and entries must be received by Monday, August 30 at noon. Good luck!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Quick & Easy Schwan’s Pasta and Veggies

How has your week been so far? Mine has been very nice. Aside from the usual work & working out, I have been able to spend some time with Josh & Frank, fabulous friends (Happy Birthday Mandi!):


and even fit in a little baking! Vegan pumpkin chip mini muffins:


As always, my nights have been a little more on the busy side. In order to make sure we still have tasty and healthy dinners, I’ve been doing my usual prep ahead of time. Two products from Schwan’s (disclaimer: I received these products for free) have made this even simpler! First off, Schwan’s sent me individually packaged chicken breast filets:


These filets are the perfect size and have made preparing Josh’s dinners a snap:


I also tried their fabulous Mini Bow Tie Pasta and Vegetable blend mix:


Pasta & veggies with no other strange additives in one bag? Winner! This product can be the perfect side dish or main dish (with a few simple add ins).  So far, I have made a Mexican-ish vegetarian main dish using the pasta/vegetable blend. I simply cooked the mixture up according to the package directions (which took less than 8 minutes total). Next, I added in drained and rinsed black beans, additional corn (cut right off the cob) and salsa.


Later, I topped the dish with cheese. Other topping ideas: sour cream, cheese, Greek yogurt, jalapenos.

Other fun ideas for the mixture:

  • Mixed with marinara and mozzarella cheese cubes
  • Baked in the oven with mini meatballs and marinara
  • Cooked, then chilled, topped with a little olive oil, lemon juice, parmesan cheese and served cold as a pasta salad.
  • Mixed in and baked into a frittata

I can’t wait to try all of the above! This Schwan’s product and many others are perfect for easy dinners (especially given its back-to-school time!).  Like I said, the above took me literally about 10 minutes to prepare and I think most of their products can go from freezer to table in 30 minutes or less. Thank you Schwan’s!

And since its workout Wednesday, my plan for the week:

  • Monday:  Ran to warm up, taught Body Pump
  • Tuesday:  Taught Body Attack
  • Wednesday:  Morning run outside!!
  • Thursday:  Teach 45 minute Body Step, 45 minute Body Pump
  • Friday:  Off
  • Saturday:  Les Mills quarterly (aka almost a full day of taking Les Mills classes- can’t wait!)
  • Sunday:  Off

What is your workout plan this week?

Another big Happy Birthday out to Josh’s brother Justin!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Vegan (or not) Almond Butter Granola Bars

Sunday morning:


…never lasts long enough :). Hope your weekend has been treating you well. Mine has been so, so nice. Lots of time with my Mom, Josh and Frank….


I wanted to share with you a few pictures from two restaurants I visited this weekend, as well as a pretty tasty almond butter granola bar recipe.

First up, Daniel Island Grille. Saturday morning was my idea of perfection. My Mom came down early to take my Body Step class. I hope to goodness I am able to stay in as great of shape as my Mom is in. As I’ve told you before, she was the one who really got me into Group Fitness and has always been a healthy balance role model. After class, we showered up and headed to Daniel Island Grille.


They were offering both lunch & brunch.  I ordered coffee:


and…shocking, a parfait. Their parfait was heavy on the yogurt, super light on the granola and had whipped cream on top. It was served in an elegant little glass. Very tasty, but much lighter than my usual Charleston’s Cafe parfait love.

 IMG_0202 My Mom got the family circle spinach salad. She said all of the ingredients tasted super fresh:


Daniel Island Grille on Urbanspoon

I also tried a second new restaurant this weekend, Your Pie.


Your Pie is owned by the people who own Moe’s and the concept is the same, customizable pizza & calzones. They also offer salads in bread bowls, panini’s and gelato. I first heard about this restaurant from Amelia. Josh and I met some friends there for dinner. I got a 6” kids pie with marinara and veggies (no cheese). It was pretty tasty, but the restaurant is somewhat far from our house….and it wasn’t good enough to make the drive out to again.  Josh also ordered a calzone that was pretty tiny (no picture)


We also tried their gelato. They use lower fat ingredients, so I think the gelato is actually something like 93% fat free. We got the mint chocolate chip and coconut. Both were pretty good.


Your Pie on Urbanspoon

Last up! I made some tasty Vegan (or not) Almond Butter Granola bars this morning. I think they turned out well.


  • 2 cups dry oats
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup (or honey for non vegan version)
  • 1/3 cup apple sauce (unsweetened)
  • ½ cup almond butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix together dry ingredients (first 6). Add wet ingredients. Mixture should just pull together.


Spray baking pan and press mixture into the pan using the back of the spatula/spoonula.

Bake for ~25 minutes. Let the bars cool and then cut into squares.

sunday 002

I may tweak the recipe a bit, but I think this is a great start! How are you spending the rest of your day? My plans are still up in the air ;)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Lighter Panzanella Salad

Happy Friday! How was your week? The second half of mine has been pretty relaxing & wonderful. I have gotten a lot done around the house, spent some time in the sun and even went for a nice run today. Lindsay and I were going to run the bridge tonight, but she developed a terrible cold (send her some loving!). So instead, I ran 5.75 miles outside this morning. It was hot, but glorious. The best form of stress relief (in my opinion).

 friday 005 When I first moved to South Carolina, I couldn’t run for very long/at all in the heat. I have adapted, but advise that if you plan to run in heat you follow a few simple guidelines:

1. Run in the morning or later at night. In the South, its usually cooler in the mornings.

2. Hydrate well before and after (and during if its a longer run)

3. Listen to your body, if you don’t feel good…STOP and walk!

4. Build up. Start by running shorter distances or just walking. Then, slowly increase your distance.

5. Pick a shady path. The sun can be a killer- so pick a path with more shade.

For more tips, check out and Runner’s World.

A few weeks ago, I had amazing panzanella salad at Evo and I have dreaming about it ever since. I decided to try my hand at a homemade version tonight and added in some sweetness with cantaloupe.


  • 2 tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cucumber, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/8-1/4 a cantaloupe- cut into bite sized pieces or balled
  • 3 oz fresh mozzarella (part skim) or goat cheese
  • bread (I used Arnold's thins)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • spice mixture (I used TJs 21 salute seasoning)


Mix together all ingredients except bread and place in fridge for 1-2 hours.

Preheat broiler and toast bread on both sides.

Tear bread into pieces and mix in with other ingredients, serve.

Simple & delicious.  Makes 2 larger servings.

friday 003

What are you up to for the rest of the weekend? I am teaching Step tomorrow morning and my Mama is coming down to take class. After, we are planning on lunch and shopping. Other than that??? Hopefully relaxing with Josh and this guy:

friday 001

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Booty & Workout Wednesday

Hey All! I apologize for being MIA. I finally made it through the craziness and officially started my staycation today! And what better way to kick it off than with a Charleston’s Cafe Blueberry parfait?



The rest of the day was/will be spent catching up with things around the house, relaxing, and then heading to a work dinner for the man. What are you up to?

The other day I received a very fun package:

booty 002

At first, I had no idea what it was and then I saw this sticker on the back:

booty 003

The nice folks at M Booth and Pirate’s Booty sent me a treasure chest filled with six bags of booty ;).

booty 004I was super excited (disclaimer: I received this product for free, but the opinions listed are my own). So far, I have only tried one flavor, New York Pizza:

booty 005

I love the texture of Pirate’s booty (light and fluffy) and the flavor was spot on without tasting too fake. The best part about Pirate’s Booty, the nutritional stats! According to their website, Pirate’s Booty is all natural, baked, trans fat and gluten free and I can read and understand the entire list of ingredients! They also sent me a few cute temporary tattoos, which I immediately put on:

booty 010 

I think this would make a great snack to take to work or to put in your kids lunches. What is your favorite quick, grab and go snack?

And since its Wednesday, here is my plan for the week! Since Josh has a few work dinners I had/have to attend, my schedules a little different this week:

  • Monday: Quick run to warm up and taught Body Pump
  • Tuesday:  Gym- ET and ran
  • Wednesday:  Medium duration run outside in the morning (glorious!)
  • Thursday:  Teach 45 minute step/45 minute pump
  • Friday:  Run/walk with Lindsay (can’t wait!)
  • Saturday:  Teach Step
  • Sunday:  Off