World’s Almost Most Boring Dinner

Hi Friends 🙂
I hope my title intrigued you – I mean, who doesn’t want to see the World’s Most Boring Dinner, right? Well, I hate to break it to you, because I made dinner slightly LESS boring because of this impulse buy at Target last night:
The ingredients weren’t too shabby (especially compared to other BBQ sauces):
I went to Target to get a few apples and a few other things – I am really trying to not buy more food this week. We leave for our trip on Thursday night and I don’t want a fridge full of food over the weekend.
Monday dinner was originally the super boring chicken breasts and broccoli dinner – but I jazzed it up with the BBQ sauce. I swear – any meal that needs jazzing up just needs BBQ 🙂
It tasted so good – very smokey and brown sugary. Even the broccoli tasted good dipped in some BBQ.
After dinner I got a great cardio workout in, I used Jessica’s At Home Cardio Blast. It looks “easy” but it was not. I was sweating like a beast (how’s that for a visual) and I love the mountain climbers/pushups/plank moves because it makes my shoulders burn. Post workout I had a bit of fruit sorbet: blend frozen berries with almond milk:
After my workout  I went to the mall to meet my mom for another walk – it is so nice to get together with her a few times a week. We only live about a mile apart (pure accident, Jason happened to live close to my parents when we started dating) – but somehow if we don’t make “appointments” to see each other, we just don’t.  Plus, by walking at the mall I can scope out any sales 🙂
Questions:
What is your favorite quick workout? I’m talking 20 minutes maximum, what do you like to do? I know Averie posted about her at home workouts, and I also like Jessica’s home workouts. I recently found Bodyrock.tvHolly (no not me, ha!) posted about it last week too. I’ve used a few of those workouts when I’ve been in a time crunch.
How do you eat on vacations? Do you eat the way you normally eat? Splurge a little? Bring all of your own food and keep it in the hotel? Does it matter WHERE your vacation is?

~Holly

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:
Questions:
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!
~Holly

Fancy Salad & AM Workouts

Hi Friends 🙂
 
How is your day so far?
 
Poor Jason stayed home from work yesterday – I wonder if he got the “change of season” bug? I usually get it around this time of year but (knock on wood!!!) I have avoided it so far. Since I’m a nice wife I brought home Potbelly for dinner: 

I swear their chili has healing properties. Any time one of us is sick we usually go get a bowl of their chili – I think it burns all of the germs right out of your body!

I had one of their salads –I usually get their roast beef sandwich, but their salads sounded (and looked) good!

I had the Uptown Salad <— so fancy, right? 

Rewind to earlier Monday morning (much earlier…) – I had planned on getting up early and working out. I thought that would help with my sleep schedule (since I have been having trouble falling and staying asleep). Well, friends, the alarm went off at 5:45am and I got my workout clothes on (I had them sitting next to my side of the bed) and proceeded to stay in bed. I could not bring myself to get out! It was much too warm and cozy.
 
I figure I made some progress, since I was AWAKE that early and I was dressed. Next step: getting out of bed and exercising 🙂

1. Are you an AM exerciser? Tell me your secrets! And describe your schedule: when do you need to be at school, work, etc.

I’m sure I could force myself to get out of bed — but does it get easier? (please tell me for the love of God it gets easier…) I know I don’t *need* to exercise in the AM, but I think it would help me get to sleep at night. When I workout in the evening I’m just too energized to sleep!

2. What do you do when you start feeling sick?

I try to get as much rest as I possibly can. I also drink lots of water, drink Emergen-C ( I love this stuff — no idea if it actually helps or if I just *think* it helps)

and I try to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. But extra rest probably makes the biggest difference for me (and for Jason too — I think he slept the entire time I was at work!)

Enjoy your day 🙂

Holly

Tabata & Quesadillas

Hi Friends 🙂

I finally got to bed early last night (before 10pm!!!) – I thought I’d get a decent night’s sleep, but I really didn’t. I wonder if working out in the evening is hindering my sleep efforts? Perhaps I need to start getting up and exercising before work…if you are an early bird exerciser, what are your secrets?

I may have had a hard time sleeping due to the cardio workout I did last night: Tabata. I first heard of this workout on Oh Healthy Day a few weeks ago – Maria mentioned it and I wanted to look into it more. Then, later in the week I happened to see a post on Foods of April about Tabata, and finally I found this in an article in Women’s Health:

The article explains the Tabata method: 20 seconds of all-out effort followed by 10 seconds of rest, which are then repeated for a total number of 8 times. I haven’t looked into this method enough to know if these numbers are only recommended by Women’s Health – or anyone following the Tabata Method.

I followed the workout April had posted. Check it out! My heart rate was through the roof and the whole workout only lasted about 15 minutes!

Or maybe it was my delicious dinner that kept me up all night?

Easy Chicken & Black Bean Quesadillas

Wrap tortillas in foil and warm in 300 degree oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare your fillings. I used shredded chicken, black beans, sliced green pepper, shredded soy cheese and the best salsa ever.

It was a gift and it is the best salsa I’ve ever had! It is hot but not burn-your-mouth-off hot.

Warm the beans, chicken and peppers in the microwave. Take out the tortillas and pile on the fillings. Fold over in half and place on a cookie sheet:

(uh, thats 2 for Jason and 1 for me!) Move the oven rack to the highest level and warm the quesadillas until the cheese is all melty. Cut in half and serve with mashed avocado:

Oh man this was good! And the tortilla got crispy so it held together nicely.

Whether it was the workout or the delicious dinner, I know I need to get more sleep. The goal is in bed before 9:30pm so I have time to wind down and get some restful sleep.

*When do you go to bed? Does it take you a while to fall asleep? Lately I have not been sleeping well at all. I have been waking up every couple of minutes and cannot stay asleep…until 6am rolls around and I need to get out of bed. Then suddenly I feel like I could sleep for days!

*Do you stand up for yourself? If someone insults you, whether they know it or not, do you tell them? Does your answer change if I am talking about a coworker or a family member? Lately I’ve been having an issue at work where I feel one of my coworkers is insulting me and bullying me in a very passive aggressive manner. I know I need to say something, but I struggle with finding the right words and the right time to talk to him. Other than that I don’t find many people insult me too often so I don’t have to deal with this.

*Have you heard of/tried Tabata? What did you think?

Enjoy your day! ~ Holly

Hello Fall! Goodbye Running?

Happy Monday!
Saturday was a beautiful day! Breezy  and cool, but warm in the sunshine. 🙂 It totally got me ready for Fall. I know everyone has been talking about Fall, but it is finally starting to hit me. What really pushed me over the edge was stepping into this place:
And then I stepped out with a few purchases. First, a few candles:
Aren’t these little pumpkins and corn cobs the most adorable things?
And if you want to see cute pumpkins things, check out Holly’s post (woohoo for another Holly) 🙂
I also picked out this lovely mug, and a little guy I just couldn’t say “no” to:
I was thinking I should make regular ole’ oatmeal in my orange bowl-mug (bug? mowl?) but I decided to make Gina’s Breakfast Cookie Dough Cereal instead:
I added sliced banana and a few pecan pieces on top. It was perfect.
So you know that 10 Mile race I signed up for in October? I talked to Jason and decided that I’m not going to run in it. I haven’t been running…or doing much exercise at all. I schedule my running days (Tues, Thurs and Sat each week) but I don’t do it. And I tell myself I shouldn’t do any exercise because “I’ll run tomorrow” and each day I keep putting it off. So instead of doing exercise I enjoy (TurboFire, power walking, TaeBo, Female Body Breakthrough strength workouts, Jackie Warner strength circuits, etc) I have been doing little to nothing for the past 2 weeks.
I have been putting too much pressure on myself to do well at this 10 Mile – I want to do well but I haven’t been putting in the training or effort – so I figure why beat myself up for not training when I could just call it quits and do something I enjoy?
So I have said goodbye to running until I feel like picking it up again. When I finally told Jason, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off – just thinking about the race was stressing me out, and not in a good way!
Questions:
  1. How is the weather near you? Is it finally Fall? Here in MN the leaves are starting to change, the air is cooler and it is getting darker earlier each day. What is your favorite season? My favorite season is Fall – the perfect weather, the need for afghans/sweaters/sweatshirts/boots (not all together though!)
  2. Do you consider yourself a good driver? Do you ride on the tails of other cars for them to get out of your way? Do you honk your horn a lot? Do you flick people off? What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to driving? I think I’m a pretty good driver, although Jason might disagree…I get irritated when drivers don’t use blinkers to signal their turn or to signal them coming into my lane!  I don’t flick people off, but I think plenty of awful things about them (I’m such a badass, right?) 🙂
  3. What was the highlight of your weekend? For me it was definitely sleeping in on Saturday morning. I got up to post to the blog and then went back to bed. It was lovely.

***Anyone else have a sudden surge of Spam messages on their blog? I usually get a few each day, but Sunday was ridiculous!***

Enjoy your day!
Holly

Deep Fried Reese’s PB Cups

Good Morning Friends 🙂

I’m glad you liked my MN State Fair pics – I asked you to guess what this pic is:

And most people guessed Deep Fried Oreos – you were close, but these are Deep Fried Reese’s PB Cups. Here is a look at the inside:

It was glorious. And I loved that we got two, one for each of us. Some of you asked about the state of MN cardboard cutout thing: those were wine samplers!

Jason and I were at the fair for what seemed like days, but it was really only 4 hours. It was so hot and there were soooo many people there. The biggest bummer of the day? The barns were closed – CLOSED for cleaning. When we got to the fair, I wanted to eat first, then go to the barns – smelling the animal poo and then eating did not sound appetizing! Well, we got to the Cattle Barn at 2:58 and then it was announced that the barns close at 3pm for cleaning and will reopen on TUESDAY! Ugh, this happened last year (barns closed) and I checked online BEFORE leaving for the fair, and I couldn’t find any information on barns closing. It was a sad day. I did manage to snap a few pics of animals on our way out – but I never did get to see the big bunnies or chickens, or ducks, or geese, or sheep, etc. 😦 I understand they need to clean the barns, don’t get me wrong, I was just bummed that we didn’t get to go in.

We did get to see a Lumberjack contest, which was pretty cool. Axe throwing, chainsaw art, wood chopping, etc. We would have stayed longer but I felt like I was baking under the hot sun, so we got moving.

I finally went running on Saturday!!! Maybe I won’t have to walk my 10 mile race in October. It felt great to just get out there and do it – I don’t have a Garmin or any kind of gadget, but it took me about 40 minutes to run 4.5 miles.

On Monday night I did 20 min HIIT (TurboFire) and a FBB Strength workout – I love feeling so STRONG. After this 10 mile race I am definitely devoting more and more time to strength training. It makes me feel good and it makes me look good. What could be better?

For my post workout snack I had this:

Peanut Protein Ice Cream. I followed HEAB’s basic recipe and added some peanut flour (instead of cocoa flour) and some choc chips and…some red/green sprinkles. They were sitting in the cupboard just waiting for Christmas, so I cracked them open and threw some in. It was wonderful and was so cool and soothing on this (super hot!!!) MN day.

In other news:

Check out The Nutrionist Reviews Giveaway: Wheatgrass!

Check out Tina’s 30 Days of Reflection for Self-Love which starts on September 1st (tomorrow!) – I will be participating, and I hope you will be too!

What: 30 Days of Reflection for Self-Love
Who: Anyone!! Literally – pass this along to whoever. Share it on your blog or with people outside of the blogosphere. Everyone can participate. This is NOT a prayer or Christian only cause. It is for every person who wants to take time to love him or herself and gain a new perspective on their value. Call it prayer, meditation, self reflection, quiet time…whatever. It is for EVERYBODY! If you know you want to participate and feel like this can reach others the same way I believe, CLICK HERE to join!
Where: Here on Faith, Fitness, Fun with a very short post published every morning with the brief message to reflect on each day.
When: I will begin the daily reflection posts on September 1 and they will continue for the 30 days of the month of September. Take literally 5 minutes sometime throughout each day to reflect on the topic.
How: Click and comment on THIS POST to let me know of your interest. Then, simply jump in by taking a few minutes each day for self reflection on the given topic. Comment as much as possible on the daily reflection posts. I want there to be more focus on taking the few minutes for reflection over anything else. However, participating with comments helps you to declare the affirmations and something about having them in writing makes it feel more real. Also, I’m hoping for this to continue in future months and plan to include thoughts/quotes from other bloggers in future reflection posts.

Question:

What is your favorite post workout snack?

Do you like fair food? What is your favorite treat? I love pronto pups and mini donuts!

Have a good one,

Holly

Pancake Fail

Good Morning!

I spent all day yesterday cleaning up the house and getting ready for my sister, niece and nephew to come and stay with us. I did squeeze in some time for TurboFire 45, cooking and a little reading. 🙂

Plus we went to Best Buy and Home Depot to look at washers and dryers. We also looked at cameras – we are thinking of getting one for J’s mom for her birthday. She is taking a trip to Italy in October and we think she could use a better camera! J really liked this one: 🙂

I finished The Lovely Bones! To be honest it was a very depressing book. What I didn’t like was the description of Heaven – it sounded like a sad place. If you’ve read the book, do you agree? I wanted to finish it because I want to move onto a new book:

I’ve had it since Tuesday but I haven’t had a chance to open it up. The Lovely Bones was pretty depressing, so I am looking forward to reading a much more positive book.

Here are some of my favorite OB posts from last week:

Michelle

Angela

Tina

There were more, but these three stood out to me, in the best way possible. Thanks ladies for the great posts!

Today I used up some Farmers Market goodies while making lunch. I wanted to celebrate Pancake Sunday in honor of HEAB. 

I made Potato Pancakes.

I used a recipe that you can find *here*. But I didn’t fry them in oil, and I used oat flour instead of regular flour.

Here is the “batter”:

In the skillet:

 

And the final product, topped with eggs:

The verdict? They were ok. Once J and I dumped salt on top of these babies, they were ok, but they really lacked flavor. Next time I will add more seasoning, and I will make them thinner – the outside was nice and crunchy (like hashbrowns) but the inside was pretty soggy 😦

So I threw them out and we had some cinnamon toast instead. 🙂

So I’ve been totally putting my 10 mile training plan to the side and only using TurboFire. Why? Because TurboFire is fun and running just hasn’t been as much fun. This week I need to start focusing on running more, or that 10 mile is going to feel like a marathon.

You know what might help? Compression socks. 🙂

Good thing I won a pair from Shelby’s giveaway on Eat, Drink, Run! I hope to get a pink pair just like Shelby:

Thanks again Shelby!

Don’t forget that my OpenSky shop opens tomorrow – woohoo!

Questions:

Did you write an OB post? Tell me and I’ll go check it out!

What do you do when you lose motivation to workout?

Do you wear compression socks?

Pies, Pickles and TurboFire Results

Good Morning Readers!

First, let me give you a little TurboFire update. I have finished a month of following the program, and here are my results:

Left Bicep – 1/ 8 inch lost
Bust – 1 inch lost
Waist – 1 ¾ inches lost
Hips – 1 inch lost
Left Thigh – 1 ¼ lost
Total – 5 1/8 inches lost
Total weight loss: 4 lbs

I wish I had gotten my body fat tested, but I used what I had: a scale and a measuring tape. I’m not trying to lose any more weight here, but I’m ok with losing more inches! I can definitely feel everything firming up – I can see it in my legs the most.

Conclusion: TurboFire is an awesome program! 🙂 It has definitely been worth the cost – I love having a good mix of dvds that really challenge me! Plus, the workouts are fun and as corny as it sounds, they don’t seem like actual exercise some of the time. It is just dancing around and having fun.

Last night J and I went to dinner here:

 Betty’s Pies is such a cute little place. The original location is in northern Minnesota and is a total tourist stop. Anyone who vacations on the North Shore has been to Betty’s Pies (and if they haven’t, they are totally missing out!) They opened a location near St. Paul a few years ago. I think when they opened my Dad went there at least once per week, if not more than that! Here is their pie menu:

I ordered the Cobb Salad. I was so happy to see that the lettuce was romaine and not iceberg! Plus there was a lot of avocado and a lovely wheaty roll.

J got the spicy chicken wrap and sweet potato fries. I may have had a few. They were crinkle cut sweet potato fries – the best kind!

We also got pie afterward and I forgot to take pics until we were both half done. But, here they are anyway. I got the Great Lakes Fruit (pear, blueberry, raspberry with a crumble top) and J got the Butterfinger Cream. We also ordered a full Great Lakes Fruit to give to J’s mom. It is her birthday today!

So, remember these pickling cucumbers I got at the Farmers Market last weekend?

Well, I decided to try making pickles today. I found a few recipes online that didn’t require jarring the pickles so I took a little bit of info from each recipe and threw together my own.

First, I washed and cut my pickles into spears. Then, I sprinkled them with sea salt and let them sit in a colander for 20 minutes or so. This is supposed to dry the pickles out. Then, place pickles in a large bowl:

Bring the following ingredients to a boil:

2 cups water
2 cups vinegar (I used 1 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar, which is what most websites recommended, plus 1 cup apple cider vinegar, which was also recommended)
2-3 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsbp dill weed
1 tbsp fennel
¼ cup sugar (you could add more if you want sweeter pickles)

After the mixture is boiling, pour on top of the pickles:

Let the pickles mixture cool to room temperature. Here, you are supposedly able to eat and enjoy the pickles, but I wanted to wait overnight before trying them.

The verdict? Not bad for my first time making pickles. Next time I will use more water and less vinegar. I also would have thrown some fresh dill on top of the pickles — but my grocery store was out of fresh dill!

There were so many recipes, and most of them said to throw spices into a vinegar/water mixture, bring to a boil, cover the pickles and wait. Easy peasy!

Saturday plans:
Farmers Market
J’s Mom’s bday – stop by after lunch with the pie!
TurboFire 20 min abs, 40 min stretch
Run 3 miles
Laundry
Clean the house like a madwoman – my sister, niece and nephew are coming up to MN (they live in OK) next week and they are staying with us! The guest room is in a shambles and the rest of the house could use some sprucing up too!

Questions:

What are you doing this weekend? Any fun plans?

Have you tried TurboFire? What workout have you enjoyed recently?

Have you ever made your own pickles? Do you like pickles?

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?

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