Winner Winner Beet Lunch

Good Morning!

First I’ll announce the winner of the Raw Crunch Bar giveaway!

And the winner is  The Empty Nut Jar! You left the 35th comment! Please email me at couchpotatoathlete@gmail.com with your name and address and I’ll get those Raw Crunch Bars shipped ASAP!

I got in a great workout last night, I did some FBB strength training and some TurboFire HIIT – I love when I feel my blood pumping!

Katie’s post really influenced my decision to do more strength/weight training. I love cardio, but I really want to be STRONG. Thanks Katie for the push in the right direction!

I made a really simple lunch today. My sister L made it for me when she was visiting last week. We picked out some lovely beets at the Farmers Market. I boiled them up, let them cool a bit and then peeled and sliced them. My hands didn’t get too pink from the beets:

I added some goat cheese and dressed the salad with this:

Who could not love Paul Newman dressing? Ok, who could not love anything with Paul Newman’s face on it? Then I sprinkled the salad with some walnuts, and ta da:

I’m going to add this to a bed of greens, but it looks so purty on its own!

Speaking of purty, check out what I got in the mail:

I’m pretty sure there will be a giveaway involved with this as well. Maybe Saturday?

I’m working on a series of posts about budgeting, specifically budgeting for food and meals. I’d like to use you all as research 🙂
1. About how much do you spend on food/restaurants each week? Is this just for you or for you + spouse/sig other/roommates/etc?
2. What dietary needs do you have? (example: we are a dairy free household)
3. Do you plan meals/snacks ahead of time or do you decide each day what to eat?
4. What is your favorite meal to make at home?

Have a great day!

Holly

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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?

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

Frozen Berry Cloud

Hi Readers!
 
What a lovely day! I finally got my workout schedule all figured out: Well, I have this week figured out!

Sun: Fire 45/Stretch 10
Mon: Fire 45 EZ
Tues: Run 2 miles (AM) HIIT 20, FBB Strength (PM)
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Run 2 miles (AM), HIIT 15, FBB Strength (PM)
Friday: OFF
Saturday: Run 2 miles, Core 20/Stretch 40

 

I decided on having 2 full rest days. If I decide to do anything extra on those days, great, but there is no pressure. I’m already nervous about following this schedule the second week of August – my sister/niece/nephew are coming up from OK to visit us. What do you do when you have company over? Do you still make time to work out? I know that week will be a challenge for me.
 
I forgot to post a pic of my lunch earlier today. Here is my grilled chicken salad with Poppyseed dressing:
 

 
Minestrone soup:

 

 
So delicious. What do you like to eat for lunch?
 
Dinner was the always delicious Tilapia, brown rice and green beans:

Yes this is the same pic from yesterday — I ate my dinner too quickly before I had the chance to take a pic, but you get the idea!

Best part of the day: dessert/post workout snack:

Mixed Berry Cloud

You will need:

 3/4 cup almond milk

 1 cup mixed berries

 a small pinch of each to thicken it up

Throw it all in a blender (or a magic bullet in my case):

And here’s what you get:

I didn’t blend it completely, that way there were chunks of berries still inside. It is a freezing cold fruit sorbet. Thanks Susan for the recipe — it is adapted from Hungry Girl.
 
Tonight the plans are cleaning up the house, getting some TurboFire in, and getting to bed early. I stayed up too late last night and I’ve been dragging all day as a result.
 
Question of the day: When do you go to bed at night? I try to get to bed before 10pm because it takes me a while to fall asleep.

The Missing Banana Truck

Hi Readers!

I am so happy to see that I am not the only one who goes to so many grocery stores on a weekly basis. (and I’m also glad to see that I’m not the only one who has had odd results from VOO – I should just stick with the original recipe!) Here is where I go for grocery supplies:

Cub Foods (regular grocery store): basic cooking things (sugar, salt, almond milk, eggs, some produce, snacks for J)

Trader Joes: more produce (sweet potatoes, bagged lettuce, etc), granola bars, vitamins, almond butter, peanut butter, jam, frozen meals (orange chicken, egg rolls, frozen veggies, frozen brown rice, frozen berries), soups, bread, clif bars, larabars, trail mix

Healthy Ways (local health food store): protein powder, larabars, chia seeds, chia meal, flaxseed

Target: paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, etc), trail mix packs (only Target has the certain brand I like!), bottled water

Our Target did get produce, but not much. I was a little disappointed when I got there – they had 1 aisle of produce: grapes, blueberries, raspberries, bagged lettuce/spinach and baby carrots. Eek. I didn’t even see bananas! Now, this was their first day with fresh groceries, so maybe the Banana Truck didn’t make it up to MN yet. I’m hopeful!

I’m still working on my training schedule, does anyone have any tips? The running plan is only 3 days per week of running, FBB strength plan is only 2 days per week and then I wanted to sprinkle in a few TurboFire workouts throughout the week.

What is your workout schedule like? Or do you like to go with the flow and decide each day?

Lunch was really good today, I had a bowl of this soup:

And a sandwich made with turkey, veggie cheese and green peppers on whole wheat.

Look how gooey the veggie cheese got!

Dinner was equally amazing. I made Paula Deen’s Baked Tilapia. You know what that means: BUTTER.

 Here is the tilapia before it went in the oven.

I also made brown rice and some steamed veggies.

Here’s my plate:

So good.

I have brownies in the oven.right.now. I made them for J to take to work – pray for me that I don’t eat them all as soon as they are done!

Question of the day: What is your favorite treat? I love brownies, cookies and ice cream. And pie. And cake. Ok I love them all but I’d have to pick brownies as my favorite. Especially when they are really gooey on the inside.

Have a great night!

Holly

First Attempt at VOO

Hi Readers!

Last night I decided it would be the perfect time to try out Angela’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Vegan Overnight Oats. I had to make a few changes, I omitted the raisins (didn’t have any) and I used chia meal instead of chia seeds (didn’t have any seeds!). I was hopeful that the recipe would still work.

Last night:

 I whipped them up, just like Angela suggested.

This morning:

 I thought they would solidify more (?)

In the glass with some maple syrup on top:

It seemed pretty thin:

 (those were all the chunks from the bottom)

It was ok. I think the chia seeds would give it a better texture than the chia meal. I am picking up more seeds today and will give this another shot. It smelled absolutely divine. And I ate it anyway! I will try again later this week.

I updated my blog roll last night – if I missed you, please let me know! I’d be happy to add you to the list. I love finding new blogs to read and learn from.

J and I recently signed up for the Medtronic TC 10 Mile Race in October. Our last race was a Half Marathon in July (before that it was our marathon!) and I’m excited for a shorter race. I am working on a training schedule that can incorporate running, TurboFire and strength training. I recently read this book (FBB for short) and will use the workouts in here as well:

I’ll do a more thorough review of this book later on today. I need to reread a few parts and get my schedule all figured out. I’d love to get some feedback on it as well. FBB is all about lifting weights (and not the pink “Barbie doll” weights). The author writes about how strength training is key in getting the body you want.

I’m ready for my TurboFire workout, then I am off to our beloved Target store, which recently added fresh groceries. I can’t wait to see what the store looks like! For now I shop at 3 different grocery stores and it would be great to only have 1 or 2. Cross your fingers that Target has everything I need!

Question of the day: Where do you shop for groceries? Do you have to go to a few different stores to get everything you need?

Enjoy your Sunday!

Holly

Fresh Fruit & Family

Hi everyone, how is your weekend so far?

Mine has been great, mostly because I spent most of the morning and afternoon with my sister in law D and soon-to-be aunt in law E. We have so much fun together.  E is getting married to Uncle M next year, so we got to talk about all sorts of wedding stuff. She brought her books/magazines and we talked about colors, flowers, dresses, food, cake, songs, etc. Everything. It was fun for me because J and I had a small wedding with just family, and then six months later we had a huge party/reception for friends/family. With E’s wedding being so large, it is definitely fun to help plan and share ideas.

But the best part of the day (except for seeing my niece Lil D) were these:

O

M

G

Can you believe those cinnamon rolls?

They reminded me of her:

 (source)

How about these delicious cherries, strawberries and almonds:

Or, can you believe these beautiful grapes and peaches?

They were all bought from the Minneapolis Farmers Market (which I have sadly never been to, but I am planning on going next week now!). All of the fruits were so delicious.

I had 1/3 of a cinnamon roll, and a small plate full of fruit. And a bunch of almonds. They were delicious and had some type of crunchy coating. Yum.

After hours of wedding talk, I finally came home and played some Mario Kart on the Wii. I didn’t do well (no surprise) but I actually had fun (what a concept, right?)

The rest of the night should be pretty low key for J and me, I’m planning on putting more features on the blog, updating my blog roll (if you haven’t told me you’d like to be included, please let me know!), updating TurboFire, etc. Oh and I also have to DO my TurboFire workout for the day: 20 min Abs, 40 min Stretch. Should be a great workout!

Have a great night!

Holly