Engine 2 Blueberry Cobbler

Hi Friends!

I am getting ready to head to the Twins game (will take lots of pics to post tomorrow), but I wanted to see if anyone has heard of/read this book:

It is written by a firefighter/triathlete who lives “plant strong” – a 100% plant based diet: fruits, vegetables, legumes, buts, seeds. I am not interested in living this lifestyle, but he has alot of good research in his book, as well as lots of good recipes. Including this one:

Blueberry Dumpster Fire Cobbler (found in The Engine 2 Diet book)

I used oat flour instead of whole wheat and frozen blueberries instead of fresh. Check it out before it went in the oven:

And after it was finished baking:

Look at all those delicious blueberries. Oh it was so delicious. I had a small piece and shared the rest with friends.

Question of the day: What was the last health/diet/fitness/cook book you read? What did you like about it?

Have a great night,

Holly

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In Hog Heaven

Hello!

This morning J and I got up early to run 3 miles. After training and running our marathon a few months ago, I am LOVING these low mileage days. We are in week 1 of training for our 10 mile race in October.
Then I went to the St. Paul Farmers Market. I have been to smaller Farmer Markets before, but St. Paul is pretty large. I was in hog heaven. Check out what I got:
 Beautiful flowers
 Green and yellow zucchinis
 Green beans
 Potatoes
 Swiss Chard
 Kale
 Beets
 Sweet Onions
 Pickles!
All of this totaled $20. My wallet was as pleased as my belly will be!
I didn’t buy any, but I saw big bundles of Bok Choy for $1. I recall buying that same amount at Whole Foods for over $10. I know I’m late getting on this Farmers Market bandwagon, but I am hooked!
Now I need to figure out what to make with these wonderful veggies. Those potatoes look so good, they might get eaten first!
Plans:
TurboFire 20 min abs, 40 min stretch: one of my favorites, the stretch feels so good!
Lunch!
Twins game tonight with friends
Hopefully catch up on some Real Housewives of NJ!
QUESTION OF THE DAY: What are you having for lunch today?
Have  a great day,
Holly

Italian Sausage & Arugula Pasta

Hello!
I love that there are so many Full House fans! After thorough online research, I found that Full House was on TGIF for their first 4 seasons, then the show moved to Tuesday nights for the remaining 4 seasons. 🙂
FOOD
Tonight I made a fabulous pasta dinner. It was delicious and smelled great!
Italian Sausage & Arugula Pasta
8 oz. Italian turkey sausage
6 oz. whole wheat pasta
2 handfuls of arugula
1-2 chopped tomatoes (I used 2 small ones)
 
Start by preparing your pasta.
As the pasta cooks, crumble and brown the sausage in a large skillet.
 
 
After sausage is cooked, throw in a few handfuls or arugula and a ½ cup of water:
 
 
Cover skillet until arugula wilts. Throw in the chopped tomato and stir until the pasta is ready.
Top pasta with the sausage/arugula/tomato mixture. You could also drizzle on some olive oil if you prefer.
Finished product:
 
 
It turned out great! The sausage really makes the dish and the kitchen smelled amazing. Plus, the whole dish was really easy.
 
FITNESS
I just finished my TurboFire 45 min EZ workout. Let me tell you, EZ does not mean easy! It just means there aren’t any fire drills (1 min HIIT circuits). It definitely keeps your heart rate up.
FUN
I started The Lovely Bones last night. It is already a disturbing book to read, but I am already loving the main characters. It is definitely a much different type of book than the last book I read (one of the Sookie Stackhouse books).
QUESTION OF THE DAY: What are your plans for this weekend?

TGIF & OIAJ

” It’s Friday night, and the mood is right…Gonna have some fun, show you how it’s done, TGIF!”

I used to watch TGIF shows every Friday – anyone else? I’m trying to remember the lineup. I remember Family Matters:

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Followed by Boy Meets World:

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Followed by Step by Step:

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And finally Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper

(source)

*edit: I remember the lineup changing frequently, with shows including Perfect Strangers, Full House and Dinosaurs (I think!)*

Oh this brings me back. Once Sabrina the Teenage Witch started, TGIF went downhill. What was your favorite show as a kid/teenager?

This morning I thought I’d try something different. I didn’t have a smoothie or a green monster this morning. WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO? I decided to try OIAJ. I prepared some oatmeal, poured it in the basically empty PB jar and added ½ sliced banana and a sprinkle of walnuts.

It was delicious. I got a nice scrape of PB in every bite. Thank you Kath!

I’ve got an egg salad sandwich for lunch today, thanks to this little guy:

He did great! The egg and the potato peeler from yesterday are both from HomeGoods – they have all sorts of fun, cheap kitchen stuff.

And, finally, to keep my promise from yesterday:

MAYOR McCHEESE! He is so distinguished and fancy.

Friday plans:
Dinner: ???
TurboFire!
Keep reading The Lovely Bones (started it last night and am loving it so far – the author is wonderful)
Relax

Question of the day: What was your favorite TGIF show?
Have a great day,

Holly

Carrot Fries

Good Evening!

Look who helped me with dinner:

Perfect for a Coach Potato Athlete, huh? I love this little guy. He helped me make Carrot Fries.

They turned out great! I love sweet potato fries, but I have a hard time finding good sweet potatoes this time of year. I’ve heard of using carrots before, so I wanted to give it a try.

Carrot Fries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel, wash and cut carrots (about 2 lbs worth) into 4 inch slices. Cut them down to the size of a regular fry.

Toss carrots with 1-2 tsp of canola oil in a large bowl.

Place foil or parchment paper on a baking sheet. Line up your carrot sticks and sprinkle with sea salt.

Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Here’s my plate with my salmon burger:

So delicious! J thought they tasted BETTER than sweet potato fries.

Tonight the plan is to relax, read and get to bed early. I already got my TurboFire HIIT workout in, and now it is time to dig into The Lovely Bones.

Question of the day: What is your favorite vegetable and why? What is your favorite way to prepare vegetables?

Big Mac & Cool Cucumber

Hi Readers!

What could be better than a Green Monster in a Big Mac glass?

Did you know that Big Mac is a police officer? I didn’t, until I got these glasses. J bought them for me for our first wedding anniversary. Yes, I said “them” – there is another glass that I may show you tomorrow…any guesses?

(source)

Who is that pirate guy and the guy in the lab coat? Hint: don’t guess either of those guys, I’ve never seen them before!

Well you all answered my pleas for cucumber recipes. I decided to go with something simple, and Alycia from Fit n Fresh gave me the perfect idea of using vinegar and sugar:

Cool Cucumber Salad

2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
I whisked together all the wet ingredients and then tossed the cucumbers slices in the mixture.

It turned out great! You could definitely play with the vinegar/sugar amounts to suit your tastes. I like a slightly tangy, vinegary taste.

So did you watch Top Chef last night?

Do you think that Alex “stole” Ed’s pea puree? I was watching the show/folding laundry/reading blogs at the same time, so I may have missed some key information, and I know how Bravo likes to edit their shows. I don’t really like Alex, so maybe he did do it!

Plans for later today:

-TurboFire HIIT
-Short run with J
-Dinner: salmon burgers and carrot fries
-Start reading The Lovely Bones (have you read this?)
-Watch Bethenny Getting Married (?)
-RELAX!

Question of the day: What book are you reading right now? Or, what book would you like to read next? I have been reading the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) books, but I decided to take a break and read The Lovely Bones. With all this Eat, Pray, Love hoopla going on, I may have to pick that up too.

Have a great day!

Holly

Top Chef and Top Baker

Hi Readers!

Thank you so much for all the suggestions for what to do with my beautiful cucumbers! I will definitely try something new tomorrow night.

And for those that asked, I live near St. Paul, Minnesota and the weather is always crazy here – you never know what you’ll get. Lately it has just been HOT. I can’t wait for Autumn.

Dinner tonight was Chicken Fajitas.

On the stove:

Chicken breast, green pepper, red pepper, onion

Mashed avocado:

My plate — notice the nice globs of avocado on the side. Avocados were MADE for fajitas.

I love making a quick and easy dinner but I wasn’t done in the kitchen just yet.

The original recipe is taken from this book:

But I changed a few things which are noted below. Have you heard of this book? J and I followed our blood type diet for a few months when we first got married, and it wasn’t easy to eat dairy-free, wheat-free, soy-free and have restrictions on certain fruits/vegetables. I really do admire those of you who do follow such dietary restrictions. I know it cannot be easy.

Banana Blueberry Oat Muffins

Makes 12 muffins
Ingredients:
1 cup oat flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup canola oil
½ cup brown sugar
1 mashed banana
1 egg + 1 egg white
½-1 cup blueberries or ½ cup walnuts or both!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pans with spray or muffin liners. Mix dry ingredients together in one bowl and all wet ingredients in another. Blend together. *Don’t overmix the batter like I did, the batter became very thin*Fill muffin cups half full and bake for 20-22 minutes.  

Check out the inside:

These are perfect treats for J because they are dairy-free and they taste delicious.

Tonight I felt like a Top Chef…and a Top Baker — dinner was great and the muffins were a success! I love how the whole house smells wonderful and warm. Yes, even when it is 90 degrees outside I like a warm house because of baking! (as long as the AC is working)

Are you going to watch Top Chef tonight?

Plans: Watch Top Chef (how many times can I mention this in one post?), say goodbye to M and T (moving to Texas tomorrow morning!) and get to bed early. J and I have a 5:30am running date!

Question of the day: Do you like to bake? What is your favorite cookie/bread/bar/pie/cake that you have made yourself?

Have a great night,

Holly

Clouds & Cucumbers

Hi Readers!

I’m so glad so many of you have been to a Mongolian restaurant before, it is such delicious food! When we were walking out to the car we saw a huge wall cloud:

Check that thing out! A big storm was headed right for us:

I sent them into our local news station, but I forgot to watch the news, so I don’t know if they included out photo (they usually show pics taken by residents). It ended up storming hard for most of the evening, the sky turned yellow/green for a while, it was crazy!

I stayed up way too late last night, so drinking a GM this morning was just what I needed:

Nothing special, same as every other day: almond milk, spinach, 1/2 banana, whey protein, chia seeds, peanut butter

What is your favorite smoothie?

Lunch is almost the same as yesterday too! I know I eat basically the same thing every day, but this is just getting old!

Romaine w/chicken breast, blueberries and almonds, with an Ezekial tortilla and carrots.

J brought these beauties home yesterday:

Here they are with a Larabar so you can see how thick they are!

So, I’m thinking we need to include a cucumber in tonight’s dinner. How do you like to eat cucumbers? Do you have a favorite recipe?

Plans for tonight:

1. Grocery shop
2. Laundry (ugh)
3. Clean kitchen (ugh)
4. Dinner: chicken fajitas
5. Bake blueberry muffins (recipe will be posted later tonight!)
6. Top Chef!

Question of the day: Do you plan your night ahead of time or do you like to go with the flow? I “need” to plan, I love to make to-do lists and plan ahead.

Have a great day!

Holly

Buddha Belly

Good Evening!

J and I had a BLAST at Khan’s – their food is unbelievable. Have you ever been to a Mongolian Barbeque?

We were greeted by this fellow:

And our server was nice enough to take our photo:

We met up with my parents, sister K, my sister M, her husband T and T’s mom and sister. We started with the standard appetizers:

 Chicken wing, soup, cracker, sweet/sour sauce

 Then it was time to hit up the buffet.  You load up a bowl full of frozen meats, seafood, tofu, veggies, noodles and seasonings. Then your meal is cooked in front of you.

 Here’s my plate:

 It was so delicious.

They also bring out white rice and these delectable treats:

I don’t know what they are called, but they are some kind of donut with sugar syrup/sesame seeds in the middle. I think these are the cause of the Buddha’s belly.  J had 3. 🙂

My fortune: You are very persistent in pursuing your goals in life. <———- not a fortune really, more of a statement, but I’ll take it!

 We’re going to miss you M and T!

 Question of the day: What is your favorite restaurant? How often do you eat there?

Christmas in July

Hey everybody!

I was so restless last night! I finally got my TurboFire workout in at 8:30pm – needless to say I was wired afterward and had a hard time getting to sleep. Then, my body woke up at 5am! I was planning on getting up at 5:30am to run with J, and I wanted/needed that half hour of sleep! At 5:30am the alarm went off and J and I got our running clothes on (I had set them out last night to save time) and hit the road.

We set out to run 3 miles, but it started to rain so we only ran 1.5. I’m ok with that. It is only the first week of our 10 mile training plan.

When we got home I whipped us up some green monsters:

I love the green and red together, it is like having Christmas in July!

Do you buy presents throughout the year (for Christmas, birthdays or other holidays)? Or do you wait until the last minute? Sometimes I buy gifts months ahead of time and then forget about them. But I usually wait until the last minute only because I seem to find good things when I am really looking!

Here’s lunch:

Romaine with chicken breast, almonds, blueberries and poppyseed dressing, with 2 big green pepper scoops on the side.

Tonight J and I are going out for dinner to Khan’s Mongolian Barbeque. They have the most delicious food. I’ll post about it when I get home tonight. We are going to say goodbye to my sister M and her husband T – they are moving to Texas on Thursday! M got a teaching job down there and they are so excited to move. I sure will miss them!

If you’ve checked out my Exercise DVD reviews, you know that I love Jillian Michaels. She is not perfect by any means, but I think as a whole she gives great fitness and health advice. I get email updates from her website and found the following article interesting.

“A Cheap and Easy Stress Reliever” explains how writing in a journal can be beneficial in relieving stress. I personally like to write/type out my problems and think about solutions, or how I could/should react to a specific situation/issue. Jillian gives some topics to write about if you are having trouble getting started:

  1. Your day.
  2. Your goals.
  3. Specific problems or worries
  4. Priorities and to-do lists. (lists help me tremendously!)
  5. What you’re thankful for (helps you to think more positively)

(source)

Question of the day: What do you think? Do you write in a journal? Does it help keep your thoughts organized? What do you do to relieve stress?

Have a great day!

Holly