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?

Advertisement

Smart Dough

Good Morning!

I feel so privileged that I got to share Zubaz with so many of you! I remember at one point in my childhood seeing almost every 30-40 year old man wear a pair of purple/gold Zubaz with a Vikings jersey or sweatshirt. Yikes.

Tuesday morning I got in a great 3 mile run with J – it is so hot in the morning (we got up at 5:30am!) but we got through it. I saw a 8 wild turkeys all huddled together too – not something you see every day! I only wish I had my camera with so you could see them all.

For dinner I really wanted pizza. Normally we order from Papa Murphys (where you pick it up fresh and then bake it at home), but I wanted to make my own. So, I got some help from Bob:

I really wanted this to work, since it is dairy free (for J) and had decent ingredients. I started by mixing up the crust dough. I was bummed to see that I had to let it rise for 20 minutes (I know, I know, I’m not much of a baker and forget that you have to do these things!) I followed the instructions, divided the dough in two and let it rise.

Meanwhile, I busted out a TurboFire HIIT workout (20 minutes long!) – I think the dough “knew” I needed to workout and the timing was just right.

After 20 minutes I was covered in sweat. The dough had risen quite a bit in just a short time. I pressed the dough in a cookie sheet (no pizza pan here, folks!) and baked it for a few minutes. Meanwhile, I chopped my veggies and shredded my soy cheese:

Red pepper, orange pepper, onion, spinach

I took the crust out of the oven and saw how amazingly thick this crust is. YUM! I threw on the tomato sauce, veggies, some cooked Italian sausage and the soy cheese:

And after 15 minutes in the oven:

Delicious pizza. The crust was so thick and crunchy (and soft at the same time) – it was just perfect. I wasn’t expecting much from a dairy free/wheat free/gluten free crust, but it was awesome!

I did look for some new shoes, but I couldn’t find anything I liked. Where do you like to buy shoes?

I did find something to buy:

I can’t wait to read it!

Question of the day: What are your favorite pizza toppings? Do you prefer to make your own, or do you have a favorite pizza place?

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:

(source)

Followed by Boy Meets World:

(source)

Followed by Step by Step:

(source)

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

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.

Wise Yoda Is

Hi Readers!

I loved reading the comments about favorite treats! The brownies lasted through the night and got packed up for J to take to work. I love having a kitchen smell of chocolate though!

Breakfast today was the usual GM:

Almond milk, pb, whey protein, chia meal, ½ banana, handful of blueberries:

I’m having a great lunch: minestrone soup with a grilled chicken salad. So satisfying. I love soup/sandwich and soup/salad lunches. They really fill me up!

Tonight I have a million things to do, including finishing up my 10 mile/FBB/TurboFire training plan. Thanks everyone for the tips!

HEAB is hosting a give away on her blog (for a bottle of avocado oil!), check it out! She is hosting it for Jessica, who has a blog Give Away One Thing A Day, where she has daily giveaways, and the winner is then asked to pay it forward by giving away an item of their own. What a great idea!

A friend gave me some great motivational quotes today, and I thought I’d share them with you! (Thanks Kim!)

The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places.Will Rogers

You don’t drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there.Edwin Louis Cole

And some more of my favorites:

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. Albert Einstein

Do or do not…there is no try. – Yoda

(source)

That’s for you Jason.

Angela has a page with great quotes, check it out!

Question of the day: What is your favorite quote? I love motivational quotes, but funny movie quotes are fun too!

Have a great day,

Holly