Friday, March 28, 2014

Five of Friday: Fitness Motivation

Longest week ever! I seriously didn't think Friday would ever come. To celebrate I treated myself with a killer workout this morning and now I'm enjoying a soy latte and raspberry scone. Since I shared my fitness success over the last year Tuesday and this week was the first full week of spring today's 5-er is health inspired. Bikini season is two months away people! It's time to kick it in high gear.

Here are five ways I stay dedicated to working out and living healthy.

one.
No Excuses. I set two alarms for morning workouts, workout before work, go to bed early and set clothes out the night before.

{via Running with Ollie}

two.
Apps. We live on our smart phones so why not let them keep you motivated and on track. I use My Fitness Pal to track food/overall workouts and Run Keeper to track runs. Both keep me personally accountable.

{Run Keeper + 10 best fitness apps via Redbook }
three.
Workout clothes. I'm  usually a sweaty hot mess when I'm working out so why not own awesome workout clothes. You don't have to spend a fortune TJ Maxx, Target and Marshalls all carry great options. I'm personally a big fan of The North Face and own multiple pairs of the GTD Capri Tight.


four.
Make a Schedule. I schedule all my workouts. This goes back to accountability. Consider it a meeting for yourself -- you time. I love my time in the morning. I'm able to clear my head, break a sweat and start the day off on the right foot.

{via Simply Sadie Jane}

five.
Have fun. Yes workouts should be hard, but fun. Mix up your routine. Take a new class. Workout with friends.

{via oh joy!}
What are you waiting for?

Linking up with Liz and company!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

90 Day Challenge -- One Year Later

Being healthy and fit takes determination and dedication. It also doesn't happen overnight. Last year looking to tone up and get ready for bikini season I joined the 90 day challenge at my gym. Little did I know how out of shape I was or how the competition would light a fire within. Over the 90 days I tracked my progress -- catch up on my starting weightthree, sixnine, twelve  and final updates. Nearly a year later I'm amazed at my progress. So you're probably wondering where I'm at today. It's safe to say I'm a fitness junkie and I'm ok with that.

Stats
Height: 5'3"
 Weight: 140 lbs (March 2013); 132 lbs (March 2014)
BMI: 30.6% (March 2013); 20% (March 2014)  

Yes, that's right I lost 10.6% body fat in one year! Hard work pays off!
 March 2013                                March 2014 

Diet:
After the 90 day challenge I didn't follow any particular diet, but stuck to well balanced meals. To jump start healthy eating after the holidays the hubby and I completed Whole30. Since then we have been living a Paleo lifestyle 90 percent of the time. Over the last few months I've noticed a significant change in my body composition as a result of eating Paleo. Hello, abs!

I do treat myself with chocolate, wine or a latte once a week. If I didn't allow for a treat I would probably binge. I'm not trying to "diet" I'm making a lifestyle change. Treats make me successful. I'm also smarter about treats, it has to be worth it. For me ice cream is so worth it, but donuts are not. 

Typical meals look like this.

Breakfast: Smoothie (during the week) or Paleo Pancakes/ Eggs and Sweet Potatoes (weekends)
Lunch: Salad with Grilled Chicken or leftovers
Dinner: Salad or some amazing Paleo dish like Pulled BBQ Chicken, Pad Thai or Salmon over Kale


Against All Grain BBQ Pulled Chicken on homemade Hamburger Buns; One egg two whites over easy with Sweet Potato Hash and Avocado; Sesame Orange Chicken over Brown Rice; Paleo Pancakes with Fresh Raspberries and Banana 

Workouts:
After the challenge ended in June my workouts consisted of spin, mountain biking, running and cross training. Wanting more in September I started working out with a trainer two days a week on top of five morning workouts on my own. Fast forward, my trainer moved and I now have a new trainer who I train with  one day a week to complement my other workouts. It's safe to say I'm a fitness addict, but the results are worth it. 

As of today I workout 1-2 hours a day six days a week at the gym. I don't count snowboarding, mountain biking or walking the dog as workouts, but active recovery. Oh, I forgot to mention I wake up at 5 a.m. to go to the gym. Here's what my schedule looks like.

Monday: Cardio and Body Pump (weighs)
Tuesday: Cardio, 15 min. abs  and spin
Wednesday: Cardio and Circuit Training
Thursday: Circuit Training and Spin
Friday: Cardio and a session with my trainer
Saturday: Circuit Training
Sunday: No gym time



Fallen Leaf Lake a few weeks ago. The weather in Tahoe has been gorgeous.  

Overall: 
When I stopped obsessing over the number on the scale and starting focusing on food and BMI is when I saw the biggest results. I still don't own a scale and actually haven't weighed myself in three weeks. As of today I couldn't be happier, but I'm already setting new goals for the next year. I would like to reach 17% BMI and be toner. Maybe four pack abs.

It's time to stop making excuses and get healthy.

Strong is the new skinny.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Channel your inner Chef with Plated

Love cooking, but have days you don't know what to cook or even want to go shopping? Well let me introduce you to PlatedChef-designed recipes & fresh ingredients deliver to your door. Best box ever!

So it probably sounds like they are paying me to say that, but it's not the case. A few weeks ago on saw one of their promoted Ads on Facbook (yes they work sometimes) and clicked through to see what it was all about. I'm so glad I did.

So how does Plated work?
  1. Browse and pick a dish or a few. Each week there are 7 new chef-designed recipes on the menu. The menu ranges from meat, fish and vegetarian dishes.
  2. Pick a delivery date. Dates vary and are based by where you live. Lucky us, one of our delivery dates is Friday perfect after a long work week!
  3. Enjoy!
Plates are $12-15 each based on whether or not you have a monthly membership. There's no monthly minimum. The membership is totally worth it for only $10 a month you can order as many plates for $12 each and not pay shipping.

So what did I order?


Pan Roasted Vegetables with Creamy Coconut Curry and Na'an


Ingredients
1  yellow onion
1  clove garlic
1/2  inch ginger
1/2 head cauliflower
1  carrot
3  oz. cremini mushrooms
1/2  tsp vegetable base
1  tbsp tomato paste
1  tbsp garam masala
1  cup coconut milk
1  piece na'an
2  cups baby spinach

Directions
Prepare Ingredients: Peel onion and dice. Mince garlic. Pell ginger with a spoon and mince. Rise cauliflower and break into 1 1/2-inch florets. Peel carrot and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel and quarter. In a small bowl, whisk together vegetable base with 1 cup water.

Saute Vegetables: Heat 1tbsp olive oil in a large high-sided pan over medium heat. when oil is shimmering, and onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add cauliflower, carrot, and mushrooms, stir, and cook until beginning to soften, about 7 minutes.

Season Vegetables: Add tomato paste and garam masala. Cook, stirring, until vegetable are coated completely, about 2 minutes. Taste and add salt as needed.

Simmer Curry: Add vegetable base mixture and 1 cup coconut milk and stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. When boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer until curry thickens, about 8 minutes.

Toast Na'an: Meanwhile, heat a medium pan over medium heat. When pan is just smoking, add na'an and toast until charred and warmed through, about 2 minutes per side.

Plate  Curry: Remove curry from heat, add spinach, and stir until wilted, about 30 seconds. Taste and add salt as needed.Divide evenly between 2 bowls and serve with na'an alongside


Thoughts:
One of my favorite Thai dishes is Emerald Curry so when I saw there was a curry option I knew I had to try it. The dish was extremely easy to make and the hubby and I have made it since. There was a decent amount of veggies, but wish it was a little saucer and a bit thicker. It was perfect paired with na'an, but would also be tasty over brown rice.  Rating: C+

Berbere Salmon with New Potatoes and Kale


Ingredients
1     red onion
3/4  pound red potatoes
1     bunch kale
1     lemon
3     tbsp red wine vinegar
2     tsp whole grain mustard
2     fillets wild ALaskan salmon
1     tbsp berbere
1/4  tsp maldon salt
3     tbsp olive oil

Directions
Prepare Ingredients: Peel onion and thinly slice. Rinse potatoes and quarter. Rinse kale and tear leaves into bite-size pieces, discarding stem. Cut lemon into 8 wedges.

Cook Potatoes: place potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Add a generous pinch of kosher salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Marinate Onion: Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss onion with red wine vinegar. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.

Prepare Greens: In a large bowl, add warm potatoes, marinated onion and vinegar, kale, whole grain mustard, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Using your hands, toss, rubing dressing into kale until coated and beginning to wilt. Taste and add kosher salt and pepper as needed. Set aside

Cook Salmon: Rinse salmon and pat dry with paper towel. season with berbere, kosher salt, and peeper, pressing to adhere. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium pan pover medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add salmon, flesh-side down, and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until skin is crisp, 3-4 minutes more.

Plate Salmon: Divide potatoes and kale evenly between 2 plates. Top with salmon and garnish with lemon wedges. Sprinkle Maldon salt over salmon and serve.



Thoughts:
Before this dish I never thought about pan frying salmon, but you better believe it was amazing. The spices were perfect and had just the right about of heat. Regarding the kale salad we'll make it again. The portion size was enough for four people. I loved the idea of red onions with warm potatoes. Rating: B+

Overall:
I love the concept behind Plated. They take the stress out of cooking amazing dishes. What make this box different from all the others? You can actually choose what you would want to receive, when you want to receive it and how often. Moving forward I could see us ordering 2-4 meals over the course of a month.

What are you waiting for, unleash your inner chef today. Order here.

*None of the links in this post are affiliate links

Linking up with Join the Gossip

Friday, March 21, 2014

Five on Friday

one.
Last weekend we welcomed home our Olympians at Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resort.

Maddie Bowman, Hannah Teter and Jamie Anderson
two.
We're in full kitchen planning mode. Which layout do you prefer? Next up permits! FYI: You're looking at the kitchen from the living room. Currently there's a wall dividing the two.

Option 1

Option 2



three.
Apple TV. We cancelled cable back in January and I'm now asking myself why we didn't do it earlier. Full post coming soon. All I can say is we're saving SO much money!

four.
Vitamix. We bought a Vitamix 300 back in September and I'm still in love! If you're on the fence I suggest you buy one today. I make a smoothie or juice every morning for breakfast....you should see my abs. I'm almost bikini ready!

five.
Fresh Veggies. Right now I'm apart of a crop share, but I can't wait until June for weekly trips to the farmers market.


Linking up with Liz and company!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Homemade Veggie Pizza + Whole Foods Market

{Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post brought to you by Northern California's Whole Foods Market}

 
There are a number of things I miss about city living and Whole Foods is one of them. Let me count the reasons why -- Hello amazing salad bar, high quality natural and organic foods, my favorite chai and veggie chips. Oh don't worry there are plenty of other reasons why I love Whole Foods and you should too! If Whole Foods decided to open a location in Tahoe I would do back flips (hint, hint), but until then the hubby and I will continue getting our fix at the Reno, NV store.

You can imagine when they contacted me regarding working together I jumped at the opportunity! Plus, I know the hubby loves pizza and I haven't made it for him in months! There's no take and bake at our house. When we indulge in pizza it's always made from scratch with the freshest ingredients and in this case Whole Food goodness.

The Whole Foods Market Pizza Supervisor, Matthew Driscoll is a member of the U.S. Pizza Team and he's competing in the World Pizza Games next week. Crazy, right? Lucky us he shared some tips and below recipes to try.

Matthew Driscoll’s tips for cooking pizza at home:
  • Soak the dough in olive oil for 45 minutes to help the yeast rise before you begin the kneading process (an important step to help remove the gas from the dough)
  • Place the cookie sheet upside down to increase your surface area for rolling out the dough
  • When your pizza is nearly done, slide it off the sheet to brown the bottom in true New York Style-fashion 
  •  Bonus: Want to make a deep dish pizza at home? All you need is a cake pan!

The weather was gorgeous in Tahoe this past weekend so Sunday I invited a few friends over for a evening of pizza, wine and friendly game of bocce ball. Three pizzas and a few drinks later we found ourselves playing Cards Against Humanity and enjoying a few Monster cookies. 


Homemade Veggie Pizza
Adapted from: Whole Food's Blog 

Ingredients

Dough via (makes two 12 inch pizzas)
1 1/3 cups warm water
1 package active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups flour (half all-purpose, half whole wheat)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar

Sauce 
1 small head organic broccoli
1 medium organic onion
2 large organic carrots
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large organic tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp organic tomato paste 

Toppings 
6 ounces low-fat organic, shredded mozzarella
1 head organic broccoli
1 organic yellow pepper
Handful of organic grape tomatoes








 
Method
Combine water and yeast in a large bowl and let stand until the yeast is dissolved, about 5 minutes.

Add flour, olive oil, salt, and sugar.

Knead for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Transfer the dough to a bowl lightly coated with olive oil and turn it once to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, make the sauce.

Chop the broccoli, onion and carrots and place them in a hot, oiled saucepan. Let the veggies cook for a few minutes and then add the tomatoes. Cook for another 5 minutes or until soft.  Next add the tomato paste and cook on low heat for an additional 3-4 minutes. Season to taste and let cool.

Once the veggies are cool puree in a blender for about 30 seconds or until it’s the consistency of pizza sauce.

Grease 2 pizza stones and dust with cornmeal or flour.

Punch down the dough and divide it in half.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

One at a time, flatten each ball of dough on baking sheet into a 12-inch round. To prevent the filling from making the crust soggy, brush the top of the dough with olive oil. Use a fork to push dents in the surface of the dough, to prevent bubbling, and let rest for 10 minutes.

Top with pizza with deliciousness and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden.
 
We topped one pizza with a yellow bell pepper, broccoli, 3 cheese blend and a handful of grape tomatoes. Another with sun dried tomato pesto, peperoni, spinach, fresh mozzarella and grape tomatoes. The third was garnished with fig butter, red onion, prosciutto and gorgonzola!

What are your favorite pizza toppings?

Linking up with: Nap-time Creations, Mandys Recipe Box and Hun Whats for Dinner

Friday, March 14, 2014

Five on Friday

Who has two thumbs and is excited it's Friday, this girl! Now for my five...

one.
I'm in love with this kitchen! Clean white cabinets + stainless steel appliances = love! This kitchen is ready for any pop of color and my cooking! For more kitchen inspiration check out my pinterest board here or Houzz ideabook here.

two.
Chai lattes at home! I've never tried a powdered chai mix before and decided on a whim at the store to give it a go. Best recent impulse buy. Two things it's not dairy free and it's better with almond milk than water. I picked up the Oregon Chai in the organic section at our local Raley's, but you can order it online here.



three.
Health, fitness and green smoothies! I'm looking forward to Candice Kumai's new cookbook, Clean Green Drinks: 100+ Cleansing Recipes to Renew & Restore Your Body and Mind. Release date is set for April 22, but you can pre order it today! I love and cook regularly from her two other cookbooks  Cook Yourself Sexy  and  Pretty Delicious

{via}
four.
Summer + sandals! Yes, I know it's only March, but Norstrom has my number. Every email lately is all about sandals I just can't help myself. Last weekend I purchased these form Target. I love the new sandals TOMS added to their line this year, but I'm especially loving these mixed rope strappy wedges and may have to add them to my birthday wishlist.


five.
Wanderlust. I'm in serious need of a vacation. Yes, we were in Mexico back in November but it's just time to escape again. Sadly we might give up Europe in the fall for a new kitchen. Fingers crossed we can make both work. Kitchen and travel sponsors welcomed :)

Zakynthos Island, Greece


Linking up with Liz and company!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hello, Monday!

It's Monday which means we have another five days until the weekend, but who's counting. Raise your hand if you're loving the longer days? I'm looking forward to enjoying the sunshine after work. It's actually raining/snowing in Tahoe today, but a girl can dream of summer evenings at the beach, walking the dog or just relaxing on the patio with a cold beer.



We spent the weekend relaxing, kitchen planning and getting a head start on the big yard spring clean up. The hubs even worked in a little ice fishing.

Now for a few March goals.

1. More kitchen planning. Maybe even starting to purchase appliances or other finishing. We actually wont demo the kitchen until August. I have a big event in July and living through a remodel at the same time is not an option.

2. Blog smarter.  I have so much I want to blog about, but sometimes at the end of the day the last thing I want to do is be on the computer. I'm also thinking about changing the name of my blog and switching over to wordpress. Thoughts?

3. Yoga. It's been years and it's time to start practicing again. Yoga just helps me center myself.

4. Pinterest. Stop pinning and start doing. Like most of us I pin my little heart away. It's time to start testing out a recipe or craft now and then.

5. Spring cleaning. My house is typically clean, but it's time for the annual deep clean that we all dread. All tips are welcome.


What goals are you setting this month?

Linking up with Join the Gossip

Friday, March 7, 2014

Five on Friday

One.
I worked out with a new trainer this morning and it was awesome! Oh and as of Tuesday my BMI is down to 20 percent!
 

Two.
I'm looking forward to some all chick shred days!



Three.
Back to fitness. I would really love to add a pair of 15, 20 & 25 lb kettle bells to the home gym.

Four.
Is it summer yet? I can't decide what swimsuit to buy. I'm loving the mix and match pieces at Victoria's Secret


Five.
I made the Against All Grain seven layer bars and they were amazing! -- Sorry no photo they were eaten up before I could snap one :)

Now I'm off to slay a few dragons. Happy Friday!

Linking up with Liz and company!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Life + Weekend Recap

Where did February go?! Seriously, I can't believe it's March.

Life currently...

It snowed last week, finally! The hubby and I headed to Heavenly Mountain Resort Saturday morning for a few powder turns. Fingers crossed we receive a few more decent storms before the season is over.


Saturday night we headed to the Lake Tahoe Blue (junior league) hockey game. The game wasn't great, but the good company and beer made for a fun night!


I'm a snacker, end of story. Over the last year I have been able to gain control of my snacking, but sometimes you just need a little something. The Bare Fruit Apple Chips are amazing and do the trick. The best part is they are 100% apple nothing more nothing less. I picked up a bag at my local Costco.


For my foodie friends...
Plated: Each week, pick from seven chef-designed recipes and have all the ingredients delivered right to your house. All of the ingredients arrive to your door fresh with step-by-step recipe cards! My first box arrives Friday and I can't wait! 


Well, that's it for now.

Linking up with Join the Gossip