Easy Peanut Sauce Stir-Fry

Hi Friends 🙂

Ah, the start of a new workweek – did you have a nice weekend? I did – I got in a glorious 8 mile run on Saturday and on Sunday I did some cross-training at home because a little of this happened:

MORE SNOW.  Just when I thought MN might be done with snow, we get dumped on again. Last week I was running outside! I guess I’m doomed to the treadmill for another week or so.

I worked out with Jackie first:

The workout is 30 minutes long and really intense. I had to stop and take a break for a few minutes because it was too much! She uses lots of compound moves (lunges with bicep curls, squats with overhead presses, that sort of thing) – it “looks” easy but it is tough. I like Jackie because she uses basic moves – nothing too complicated or “dance-like” so I’m able to follow along easily.

After I was done with Jackie, I turned to Chalene:

I did the 40 minute stretch and holy cow did my body need it! My hamstrings were so tight and now they feel much more relaxed. I need to take the time to stretch more often.

After being cooped up in the house all day long I decided to make a more “special” dinner for Jason and me – I wanted to make a Pad Thai/Peanut Sauce Stir-Fry and it turned out really good!

Easy Peanut Sauce Stir-Fry

¼ pound pasta (make whatever you would make for 2-3 people – could be more or less)

1-2 tsp oil or non-stick spray

1 clove garlic, chopped finely (more if you prefer!)

1 chicken breast, cubed

2 cups or so of chopped veggies (I cheated, see below)

Peanut sauce (see below for recipe)

Prepare pasta as according to instructions. Meanwhile, heat skillet and add chicken and garlic. Stir until chicken is almost fully cooked through (about 5 minutes or so). Add veggies and stir for 3-4 minutes (you want the veggies warm but still firm). Add peanut sauce to veggie/chicken mixture and stir until well combined. Once peanut sauce/veggies/chicken are all warm, stir in cooked pasta. Serve immediately.

(You could also serve the peanut sauce/veggies/chicken over brown rice instead of pasta, and you could easily omit the chicken as well)

Easy Peanut Sauce

(I loosely followed this recipe)

¼ cup creamy peanut butter

 1 TBSP low sodium soy sauce

A splash of lemon juice

3 TBSP water – added 1 TBSP at a time

Mix peanut butter, soy sauce and lemon juice together. Stir in 1 TBSP of water at a time until fully combined. You could add 1 additional TBSP water to thin the sauce out even more. (I threw everything in my Magic Bullet and stopped to add more water)

Instead of chopping veggies, I cheated and used a few handfuls from this Stir-Fry mix from Trader Joes:

Jason and I agreed that this was a good dish and one that we will make again! It was very peanut-y which we thought was a good thing!

*How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?

*What do you like to do when you’re cooped up in the house all day?


Dairy Free Beef Stroganoff

Hi Friends 🙂

I hope you day is going well!

For dinner on Wednesday night, I pulled some inspiration from one of my favorite blogs: N Her Shoes. I have been reading Bobbi’s blog for almost a year now. I loved reading about her marathon training, her recipes, her life! She has a strong faith which I appreciate and enjoy reading about. Last week she made Cooking Light’s Crockpot Beef Stroganoff, and it looked so good! I made a stove-top version since I didn’t have 8 hours!

Dairy Free Beef Stroganoff
I followed the Cooking Light recipe, except I made it on the stove top with browned ground beef and this “special ingredient”:

We get Tofutti brand soy cheese slices and cream cheese but I had never tried their sour cream. This dinner turned out so creamy 🙂

After dinner I worked out with Jillian:

I don’t have a kettlebell, so I used a handweight. It was a pretty good workout – it doesn’t seem hard at the time, but my legs were definitely sore the next day. I think this is the dvd that prompted all that scandal with Jillian? That she doesn’t have credentials or something? I can’t remember and to be honest I’m too lazy to look it up 🙂 If you have any idea what I’m talking about, let me know!

I’ve got some gifts to wrap and then Top Chef All Stars is on 🙂

Where do you get ideas/inspiration for your meals? Cookbooks? Cooking shows? Blogs? Family recipes?

Last Chance Workout & Turducken

Hi Friends 🙂
My back is feeling much better, thanks for all the nice comments yesterday. Honestly the hot baths and foam rolling sessions really helped me – and I’m working on sitting up straight at work (I even put in a request for a newer, more supportive desk chair).
I kind of slacked over the weekend with my workouts, and since my back was feeling out of whack on Monday I just didn’t “feel” like working out. I need to exercise consistently or I don’t do it at all. Not to fear though, Netflix to the rescue!

The Last Chance Workout! Now, I’ve explained some of my Biggest Loser thoughts before and you all have left me some great comments as well, but as a whole I do enjoy their workouts:

This workout was tough — I don’t know if it seemed hard since I hadn’t worked out for a few days, but it was rough for me. Jillian leads the workout, and it also features 8 former contestants. After a 7 minute warmup, you switch off between 30 seconds of cardio (jumping jacks, jump rope, mountain climbers, etc) with 30 seconds of strength training (lunges, squats, bicep curls, pushups, etc) for a total of 30 minutes. There are also two 10 minute toning routines, but I didn’t try either of those. I probably won’t buy this dvd, but I might keep it from Netflix for a while.
What I didn’t like: Jillian doesn’t so the exercises — she just says “pick up your weights and start your lateral raises” — and then everyone looks at each other and then someone starts the moves. It was just kind of awkward when she would call out exercises that I don’t know by name — I wish she would just start them right away. And she seems to pick on these contestants quite a bit. Again, maybe I’m just being too sensitive but she seems extra vicious.
And after my workout? What did I do? I watched The Biggest Loser. I just can’t get enough of the drama.
For dinner we had a nice comforting meal 🙂
Chicken breasts stuffed with turkey and soy cheese. It made me think of those Turduckens – you know what those are, right?
A turkey stuffed in a duck stuffed in a chicken. Sounds awful to me!
My recipe may not have looked the best, but it tasted good:
Stuffed Chicken Breasts
2 chicken breasts
1/4 cup shredded cheese of choice
2-4 slices of turkey (could use ham as well)
Seasoning of choice (I used some original Mrs. Dash)
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Slice a pocket into chicken breasts, stuff with turkey slices and shredded cheese, sprinkle with seasoning. Cook breasts in a skillet (you could use any oil or butter to coat pan) over medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side. Place entire skillet in oven and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes. Serve with some steamed veggies:
1. Is there a TV show that you have a love/hate relationship with? I definitely hate/love Biggest Loser, but also: 
I can’t get enough even though I can feel my brain rotting as I watch! And honestly same goes for any Real Housewives show: Atlanta, New York, DC, New Jersey, etc. 
2. How much TV do you watch per day? What are some of your favorite shows? I watch quite a bit TV, I am ashamed to admit. I know there are better things to do with my time. I love Hoarders, Top Chef, Real Housewives, The Apprentice and Househunters. I probably watch those shows the most consistently.
3. If you miss a workout (or 2 like me…) how do you get moving again? Do you do anything differently or do you just jump right back into your routine? When I miss workouts I do something new: a new dvd or I switch up my routine. Anything to make it “exciting” and new again.
Enjoy your day!

Costumes Fail & P.P.Pudding

Hi Friends 🙂
Well, do you have a costume picked out for this weekend? What are your plans?
Jason and I have a pumpkin carving party to go to on Saturday and then later that evening we have a Halloween party to go to. My costume making skills are not the greatest, and as I work more and more on our costumes I am getting more and more frustrated 😦

Here is the lump of fabric that SHOULD BE a nice long cloak for Jason to wear as Obi Wan Kenobi.

So after hours of work, it doesn’t really fit right — and now I just want to throw the whole thing away. I have 2 days to really get that thing put together! Wish me luck!
Workout of choice for Wednesday night was my beloved TurboFire 45EZ:

It isn’t EZ, let me tell you that much. As silly as some of the moves are, it gets my heart pumping and I can always feel it the next day.
For my post workout meal I had some Pumpkin Peanut Pudding. I got the idea from Katie, on her blog Making Food and Other Stuff.

The recipe calls for a mixture of pumpkin, peanut flour, pumpkin pie spice, ice and a bit of sweetener. I used a sprinkle of brown sugar and it seemed to do the trick! It tasted like cold pumpkin pie — without the crust obviously. Thank you Katie!
I *love* pudding. A few days ago I made this Chocolate Avocado Pudding for Jason:

I don’t remember which recipe I used, but I’ve tried both Averie’s Chocolate Mousse and Gina’s Chococado Pudding and they both taste amazing. I think I used a mixture of these recipes? Jason loved it.
1. Are you a pudding lover? What is your favorite flavor?

2. Did you watch The Biggest Loser on Tuesday? Or have you ever? Do you find it to be motivating or are you just sick of it? I personally find it motivating to see the contestants working out and losing weight – although I wish it were in a more healthy way and not so drastic. I also *hate* the game play – the alliances, lying, etc. I wish the person with the lowest percentage of weight loss each week was kicked off. Keep it simple and keep the drama out of it. But then maybe no one would watch it. And don’t get me started on the product placements…those are super annoying.

3. What are your plans for Halloween? Do you hand out candy or do you go party?
Enjoy your day!

Easy Guac Rocks!

Hi Friends 🙂
Thanks for all the nice wishes for Jason, I think he’s feeling much better! I swear, Potbelly chili is the ultimate healing food. It works every time!
It has been super gloomy here in MN. Raining off and on, cold, windy and gray. We have a high wind warning! It seriously sounded like the house was going to blow away last night — the wind whistled the entire time!

So instead of going with the regular hot soup/sandwiches (our go-to meal when it is cold and gloomy out) we went with Tacos! I had also read Averie’s blog yesterday and her quick guac recipe had me craving tacos 🙂 

I love that sticker!

I chose to have mine in lettuce cup form: romaine leaves held salsa, bell pepper, ground beef,  pinto beans and avocado. The salsa made it pretty messy, but it worked.

Usually I just go with mashed up avocado as our “guac” – but I tried Averie’s suggestion and mashed it with some seasonings. I used some Garlic Gold nuggets and Mrs. Dash spicy seasonings. It sure made it taste wonderful!

I had Jillian help me with my workout today:

This is definitely one of the better dvds I have – it is less than an hour long and it really “feels” effective. I like that she uses some Jane Fonda floor moves at the end. It brings me back:

1. Do you still have a VCR? Do you use it?

2. How do you make your guac? Or do you just use the quick method (mashed avocado) like me?

3. How is the weather near you? Is it still really warm or is Fall and Winter slowly moving in?
Happy Humpday 🙂

Posted in Dinner, DVDs. Tags: . 30 Comments »

I’m Getting Ripped!

Hi Friends 🙂

Thanks for the nice words about my 100 posts – and my clean garage! I can’t tell you how nice it is to park in there. No more “warming up the car” while I get ready for work. My car is already warm and waiting for me!

Normally after a hard workout I have a small protein shake mixed with some frozen banana and almond milk – but last night I had a really really good shake:

Perfect Fall Smoothie

1 banana

Blob of pumpkin butter

½ scoop vanilla protein powder

½ cup almond milk

Blend in a blender (or Magic Bullet) with 4-5 ice cubes.

This was obviously taken from Angela’s Pumpkin Pie Monster, but the pumpkin butter has the pumpkin pie spices and sugar all mixed in. It was sweet and really delicious. The banana gave it great texture and even more sweetness.

So why did I need such a wonderful post workout shake? One word: Jari.

Jari Love’s Get Ripped 1000!

Don’t mind the small hippo next to the tv. I swear it isn’t mine!

I honestly don’t remember where I heard about Jari Love – and the title alone was too hilarious. I was so happy to see it was available on Netflix. This is a really good workout – lots of strength training with small bursts (one minute or less) or cardio like jumping jacks, jogging in place, etc. I like the they use heavier weights (10 lbs +) than most other workout dvds (2-3 lbs). Jari is straight out of the 80s (even though the disc says 2006…) and the music is awful, but the workout is good and you definitely feel the burn! The workout itself was around 45 minutes long. I think I’ll keep this dvd for a while 🙂

My other favorite workout dvds:

Check out my Exercise DVD review tab for more 🙂

*What’s your favorite post-workout fuel?

*Do you like workout DVDs? What is your favorite? I like strength training ones the best – but I also like the dancey ones – it takes me a while to learn, but they are pretty fun too. TurboFire is dancey at times, but it sure makes me sweat like crazy.

*Have you carved a pumpkin yet? Don’t forget to submit your picture to The Great Blogger Pumpkin Carvgin Contest

Enjoy your day!


Deja Vu

Hi Friends 🙂

What a surprise: the weekend went waaaaaay too fast. It feels good to get back into the work routine, but at the same time, I sure wish I could sleep in every morning!

First up, here is the epic eats of the day:

Gina’s Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili. (Yes I had chili the day before too — it is the perfect fall food!)

And some sweets for my sweetie:

Katie’s Pumpkin Pie Cookies. These were great! Tasted like cinnamon pumpkin muffin tops. And yes I made pumpkin blondies not too long ago – deja vu 🙂

So I mentioned a few days ago that I was thinking about training for Grandmas Marathon again next spring, but to be honest I have changed my mind every day since then. So I’ll keep thinking about it and trying to figure out if I should just go for it. I know I have time to think, but I like to make decisions and stick with it! Thanks for all the nice thoughts though, I appreciate the encouragement!

I have been working out with this dvd:

20 lbs in 30 days? I don’t think so Jillian — even if you are TV’s toughest trainer (right, Katie?!?) 🙂 Jillian is tough — My shoulders burn after doing this workout and I love that it isn’t a dancey-aerobics type dvd. Sometimes its fun to dance around my living room, but getting down to business with pushups and squats is more fun, dontcha think? 🙂

Jason and I have decided to go to VEGAS in November — now we have to decide where to stay and what to do! Any suggestions? For now we have no set budget amount…

1. What was the best part of your weekend?

2. Have you seen any good movies lately? All I have been watching is Hoarders episodes On Demand. I can’t stop watching that show!

3. What is your favorite breakfast? I have been eating oatmeal or eggs/toast every morning for weeks now — any suggestions for something different or new?

Have a great Monday!


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)


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!


The Beauty of Blogs

Hi Readers! 🙂
Today I finished the TurboFire HIIT 15 minute workout. I know, 15 minutes sounds short, but this is pretty intense. I followed it up with a 30 minute sculpting routine and I am feeling good now!
My afternoon snack was a MIM. (Muffin in a Minute!) I saw the idea today on The Art of Kaztronomy 

I used the original recipe, except I used ground chia meal instead of flax meal.

Fresh out of the microwave:

Out of the mug and onto a plate:

 It tasted very much like a bran muffin — would be good with some PB spread on top!
After TurboFire I made dinner.  
Dinner: Chicken/pasta/veg with a side of green beans (Thank you Trader Joes!)
 Lots of beautiful veggies!
Tomorrow night J is taking me to Inception – have you seen it? I’ve heard it is really good but kind of confusing? I need to make sure I pay attention!
I was thinking today about what I want my blog to become, and I realized I need to just go with the flow. Every day I think of something new to write about, or a new tab I want to add to my menu of options. I need to just take it day by day and enjoy the ride! I am already overwhelmed with the amount of comments and emails I have already received and I cannot wait to see where this goes.
I first started reading food/healthy living blogs about 4-5 months ago. I stumbled upon a few healthy living blogs. These women were all strong, fit and healthy. I found it motivating to read about their lives, their exercise and food habits and I started implementing changes in my own life.
I had recently lost some weight with Weight Watchers, but I never really knew much about food. What is healthy? What is unhealthy? How much is too much? How much is too little? Seeing photographs of food and reading why certain foods are good for you truly helped me gain a better understanding of what I should be eating throughout the day. I was training for my marathon at the time and I was clueless about what to eat and how to fuel my body. I learned a lot from the blogs and I hope readers learn from my blog as well!
So do we really need another food/healthy living blog? Of course! The more ideas and motivation we get from blogs, the better off we will all be. Another reason I loved reading blogs is because they detailed accounts of actual people. Look at the beauty you can find in food and in feeling healthy. Today I read Live Laugh Eat  which had beautiful pictures of a dragonfruit – who knew they were so beautiful?!

I’m working on my workout dvd reviews, they should be up later tonight!
Question of the Day: What makes a good blog? Would you like to be included in my blog roll?