Friday, August 23, 2013

I Hope You Dance

I've been a little MIA from this blog, but still enjoy reading other blogs on a daily basis for inspiration, motivation and sometimes "just because".

I typically always find an interesting recipe, a great workout idea or the true gems are when some of the blogs I follow post more introspective topics that speak to my heart.

I plan to get back on the posting train, but as of right now I'm in the midst of getting really excited for my bachlorette weekend, which is starting in just a few hours! It's amazing that this weekend will be in celebration of my upcoming wedding to the most incredible man who helps me up when I feel weak, believes in me more than I believe in myself sometimes, and who genuinely cares for me and our relationship.

I was recently flipping through some of our photos together and noticed that a lot of them involved a common theme when we're at weddings - dancing!

Here are some of my favorite photos sprinkled in with the Lee Ann Womack's song "I Hope You Dance." (Warning: The below is little cheesy I know, but I'm feeling extra mushy lately about this man :)

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.


I hope you dance....I hope you dance.


I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin' might mean takin' chances but they're worth takin',
Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth makin',
Don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin' out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.


I hope you dance....I hope you dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance


I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance, 
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.


I hope you dance....I hope you dance.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Parmesan Truffle Popcorn Recipe

Holy yum.

Parmesan cheese. Sea Salt. White Truffle Oil.


It may not look like much, but it's better than anything you've ever bought from the store.

After Justin and I inhaled this, he said he didn't know how we ever bought popcorn from the store before this, and I totally agree.

Homemade popcorn is so much cheaper and healthier. You can buy a bag for less than $2 and it makes at least 15 servings. We typically make about 3-4 cups at a time.

I was recently flipping through a magazine and came across a healthy snack idea. It said that 3 cups of popcorn with 2 tsp. Parmesan cheese and some sea salt was only 120 calories.

This inspired tonight's snack; however, ours included a secret ingredient - white truffle oil. Its aroma and flavor just take this popcorn over the top.

The back of the kernel bag gives directions on how to make the popcorn. These directions pretty much say to heat canola or vegetable oil in a pot over medium high heat. Place a kernel in the center and cover. When this kernel pops, you add your desired amount of kernels to the pot, making sure to keep it as one sparse layer. If you add too many kernels, they won't all pop.

I like to slightly crack the lid once I put all of the kernels into the pot to give it more air, and I recall reading that it helps keep the popcorn from burning.

Once you hear the kernels stop popping, quickly remove from heat and into a serving bowl. I generously sprinkled fresh Parmesan cheese, sea salt and a light drizzle of white truffle oil and then sifted the bowl around to coat evenly.

Enjoy!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Simple, Delicious Pork Tenderloin in Slow Cooker Recipe

During the week, I'm all about quick, simple and delicious meals.

I've especially loved using the crock pot to help me. Nothing is more amazing then coming home at night from the gym and having dinner waiting for you.


My work is close to home, so I go home for lunch every day. Thankfully, I use a few minutes of this time to throw what I need into the slow cooker in preparation for dinner. You can even do it in the morning if you can't take your lunch break at home.

Planning in advance for meals is key to eating healthy. If I don't have my normal staples in the house, I cannot throw together a quick, healthy meal. I'm always planning my next feast :)

This slow cooker recipe was almost a goner because we lost our wine opener and the recipe called for 3/4 cup red wine. I considered scratching the whole thing, but then called Justin for some words of widsom. Naturally, he recommend googling a substitute. Genius. He always has a calm response to my nonsense, mini meltdowns.

Without further ado, here is the super yummy pork tenderloin recipe. Oh, and it's cheap! I highly, highly recommend!


Simple, Delicious Pork Tenderloin in Slow Cooker Recipe
Serves 3-4
Adapted from Allrecipes

Ingredients:
1.5 pound pork tenderloin
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 cup water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 chicken bouillon cube
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

Directions:
- Place pork tenderloin in the slow cooker with the contents of the soup packet. Pour water, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and crumble bouillon cube. Turn the pork in the mixture to coat. Carefully spread garlic over the pork, leaving as much on top of the roast during cooking as possible.
- Cook on low for 6 hours. Serve the cooking liquid as au jus on the side.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My Favorite Workouts

Whenever I'm in the mood for a good interval run or feel inspired to tone my arms, I typically refer to a few tried-and-true workouts that always leave me fatigued and satisfied. Below are some cardio and toning routines that have become my favorites.

Arms
This workout from Tone It Up is my favorite one for toning my arms. The movements are simple, but I instantly feel the burn. Make sure you use weights that challenge you. It's interesting because I don't feel the burn with 3 pound weights, but when I use 5 pounds, I'm struggling to finish. I guess this shows how much I need to work on my upper body strength :)



Legs
I have a hard time committing to a toning workout if its not a Body Pump class, but this Tone It Up leg workout is fun, challenging, and leaves me super sore the next day.


Cardio Circuit
I randomly gave this workout a whirl when all of the cardio machines were taken at the gym, and it left me utterly sweaty and sore. It combines cardio and strength, which makes one effective workout that takes 20-25 minutes. Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers has a number of other great cardio circuits that make cardio fun and fly by if you're not in the mood for the elliptical or treadmill. Also, I substitute high knees for box jumps and mountain climbers for jump rope if I don't have the equipment.


Walking Workout
Sometimes I just don't want to run or do the elliptical, but want something challenging. This walking workout by PBF looks like a breeze, but leaves me huffing and puffing. Honestly, running would be easier then trucking up these inclines.


Treadmill Workouts
This is my absolute FAVORITE treadmill workout when I'm in the mood for a distance run on the "dreadmill". I easily get bored if I'm running a steady pace on the treadmill so intervals or progression runs like this one keep my mind occupied and my body sweating.


 Tone It Up teamed up with Shape Magazine last spring and posted several HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts, and I wrote them all down. When I'm whipping myself into shape, I typically try and do these at least twice a week. Some are less than 30 minutes and really push you. They've made me so much faster and stronger as a runner, but they also quickly leaned out my body. When I did their HIIT runs twice a week, I noticed results after the first week, and peak fitness after a couple months. Here's an example of one:

 
Hope you enjoy these workouts as much as I do!



Friday, February 1, 2013

My Blogger's Digest: II

In the mood for something light, but interesting to read? Check out some blog posts that stood out to me this week :)

So Hum Mantra - Jen from Peanut Butter Runner shared the mantra So Hum, which can be used in your yoga practice or meditation. Jen explains the meaning behind the mantra beautifully. It really resonated with me.

Chicken Crust Pizza - You may have seen the cauliflower pizza crust recipes swirling around Pinterest; however, did you ever think to try ground chicken to make a crust? I certainly have not, but Gina's photo and recipe sound delicious.

77 Healthy Crockpot Recipes - Need I say more? I have loved trying out new recipes to make in our crockpot. Since Justin and I have been working out in the evenings, our dinners need to be quick and healthy.

Skinny Superbowl Recipes - Buffalo chicken dip to guacamole to stuffed mushrooms, this website has it all. I love using Gina's Skinny Recipes when I'm in the mood for baking cookies with a healthy twist.

Superbowl Recipe Ideas

I was surfing my Pinterest board for recipe ideas to make for Sunday's big game and found so many that I can't decide between. We're hosting a pot luck at our place so everyone is bringing something fun! So far we have chili, buffalo chicken dip, meatballs, and dips for veggies. Here are a few that I'm thinking about:





 
What are you making for the superbowl? Any must-try recipes?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Green Smoothie + HIIT Workout

Avocado in a smoothie is the best idea EVER.

I've been wanting to make a green smoothie for some time now. Finally, I had a couple ingredients to make it happen. And it was yummy! A definite keeper.


Green Smoothie
Serves 1

Ingredients:
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/3 avocado
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup plain Almond milk
- Optional sprinkle of Truvia or stevia for sweetness

Directions:
- Add to blender and enjoy!

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Mmmm the avocado made this so creamy. It was delicious. You really can't taste the spinach. It had a hint of natural sweetness from the banana, but I added a sprinkle of Truvia for just a tad more. This smoothie was a great way to refuel my body after a sweaty gym session with protein, healthy fats, and fiber.

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Last night I was in the mood for a run. Not just any run, I wanted a heart-pounding, sprint until you can't any more, run. Whenever this urge strikes, I turn to HIIT (high intensity interval training). My go-to interval workouts are on the treadmill. Tone It Up has a great collection of HIIT workouts for the treadmill and overall toning. Check out their Pinterest page for some ideas (see above link)!

Last night I did about four miles on the treadmill with this workout:


I absolutely love this workout. It's short, intense, and gets the job done. Also, you can scale it to any fitness level. HIIT workouts are beneficial because you burn more calories, lose more fat, during a shorter period of time versus doing longer steady state cardio. I followed Cupid's Cardio up with my favorite Body Pump class, which satisfied my sweaty, hard workout craving.

Do you have a favorite workout? What do you like to do when you're really wanting to push yourself physically?