Favorite Things Friday 10/24/14

It’s almost the freakin’ weekend!  Sorry, I was totally channeling R. Kelly there, which I should probably not admit to?  Oh well whatevs, I love the remix to Ignition, because it’s hot and fresh out the kitchen, that’s why,  Okay, okay …sorry!  So it’s Friday again and I’ve acquired some new “favorite things” this week that I’d like to share with ya’ll, because maybe you’ll love them too!

Favorite Things Friday 10/24/14

1.  Jessie Ware’s new album Tough Love.  O.M.G this album is IN-CRED-I-BLE.  Stream it on Spotify, buy it, go on YouTube, or whatever you gotta do to listen to this album.  I loved her first album Devotion and thought she couldn’t top it, but this new album is the bomb diggity.  I love you Jessie Ware.  My aim is true.

2.  Sam Smith’s single I’m Not The Only One.  I absolutely love Sam Smith.  His entire album In The Lonely Hour is SO amazing.  I played this song as a cool down song in my class this morning.; it’s so relaxing and soulful.  Love, love LOVE him.

3.  PiYo!  So I just completed my 30 Day Yoga Challenge through DoYouYoga.com and I decided two days this week to try out the PiYo craze.  Wow!  Shiz be no joke.  What is PiYo?  PiYo combines the muscle-sculpting, core-firming benefits of Pilates with the strength and flexibility advantages of yoga.  And, cranks up the speed to deliver a true fat-burning, low-impact workout that leaves your body looking long, lean, and incredibly defined.  Not a bad deal, huh?  Nope.  I was sore the next day, but in a “hurts so good” sort of way ;)  If you want to strengthen, shape, and nurture your body, give it a try.   I started this week with Melissa McAllister’s demo on YouTube and it was really great.  I suggest giving it a try – once you’re bit by the PiYo bug, you’ll be hooked too.

Who wants to get me some PiYo with Chalene Johnson for Christmas?   Thanks! :)

4.  Arnicare Gel.  This stuff is so amazing.  Arnica has been used for a long time to treat swelling and bruising, and guess what?  It’s great for post-workout soreness too!

awesome.

awesome.

I sadly think it’s time for me to say “goodbye” to running, as I have been experiencing knee issues, for the past 9 months associated with the high impact effects of running.

so sad.

I went for a jog the other day and ended up hobbling back home in tears the last mile.  However, after methodical icing and applying Arnicare Gel to my knee and shin I’m feeling much better.   I’m going to see a doctor about the pain, but I know my body and feel like the time has come for me to part ways with running.  Sniffles.  LUCKILY, there are so so so many other fabulous low impact types of  exercises out there to enjoy, so it’s all good! ;)

I hope you’re having a good week and have an awesome weekend ahead.  Have a glass of vino, run a bath, and listen to some Jessie Ware.  You can thank me on Monday.  Seriously, you will. ;)

What has brought you some joy this week?

xoxo

Awesome Arms Thursday: Jump Rope Tabata Workout

attachment (29)
It’s “Awesome Arms Thursday” again!  Today’s arm workout is going to be a tabata based jump rope workout I’m loving.  So, last Friday in my favorite things list I talked about my new jump ropes my pal Joe made me AND the Gymboss 2 App for interval training.  Well I’m going to show you how pairing a timer and a jump rope for just MINUTES can work your arms, shoulders, and everything down to your toes!

Awesome Arms Thursday

How does jumping rope tone my arms?

Jumping rope  requires you to grasp a handle in each hand and rotate your wrists and shoulders to swing the rope from the front to the back of your body. Your arms control the speed of the rope, which sets the timing for your jumps.  This also forces you (with proper form) to keep your forearms in an isometric contraction which helps to strengthen your entire arm.  Also, when you keep your arms bent at an angle to swing the rope, the biceps contract to maintain your arm position, and this static contraction strengthens your muscles in that position, which in turn helps to build strength in the entire arm as well as your shoulders.  In fact, in a study conducted by The Journal of Sport Rehabilitation suggests jump rope training has been shown to improve the overhead strength in athletes such as volleyball players!

Tabata for Beginners

If you’re not familiar with Tabata here’s a little background.  Tabata training was discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.  Tabata protocol calls for 20 seconds of active exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest.  Tabata  conducted research on two groups of athletes: one group trained at a moderate intensity level while the other group trained at a high intensity level. The moderate intensity group worked out five days a week for a total of six weeks; each workout lasted one hour. The high intensity group worked out four days a week for six weeks; each workout lasted four minutes and 20 seconds (with 10 seconds of rest in between each set).

The results:  Group one had increased their aerobic system (cardiovascular), but showed little or no results for their anaerobic system (muscle). Group two showed much more increase in their aerobic system than group one, and increased their anaerobic system by 28 percent.

High intensity interval training has more impact on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems.

On to the workout!

I found this workout on skinnyms.com and it’s quite a sweatfest!  There are three versions of this workout:  Beginner’s, Intermediate, and Advanced.  Start out with the Beginner’s level and progress as you see fit.

Beginner’s Level: complete 2 sets per day
Intermediate Level: complete 3 sets per day
Advanced Level: complete 4 sets per day

Here’s the breakdown of the 4 minute workout**:

20 seconds for exercise + 10 seconds rest = 30 seconds, 30 x 8 = 240 seconds (4 Minutes) 

Broken down:  Your going to perform 20 second intervals of fast paced jump rope work, take your 10 second break and repeat 8 times total (for beginner’s).

**I used my Gymboss 2 Interval Timer App for the 4 minute workout – it’s free, awesome, and highly worth it, but you could set up your own timer on your smart phone or just an old fashion eye on the clock!

Here’s a couple of videos to help you get started!

As with any workout I promote on this blog PLEASE listen to your body, push yourself just enough, and get clearance from your physician before doing this or any exercise.

Do you enjoy Tabata workouts?  Do you like working out with a jump rope?

xoxo

Pasta with Butternut Squash and Italian Chicken Sausage

Happy Hump Day – and another WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday) post! I think it’s no shock that I am a fan of butternut squash, as it has been mentioned many a time up on this blog.  It just so happens that bnuts (hehe) were on sale for about 48 cents per pound the other day, so I totally stocked up.  I’ll be eating butternut squash until the cows come home, quite literally, because I won’t be buying anything else to eat.

I also love chicken sausage and I love pasta; this is the truth. There is something wonderful, as well, about the combination of sweet sausage and butternut squash – they pair so nicely, and both offer equal elements of sweet and savory to any dish.

For my choice of pasta, and these days it seems like you can get anything made into a noodle, I went with ditalini.  As a confession, I really love the ditalini pasta shape because it reminds me of the junk canned spaghetti my Nana would let me eat.  I can’t believe I loved Chef Boyardee.

boyardee

Why do I feel like after making that statement a Real Housewife of New Jersey is judging me right now?

Ouch, I felt that.  Anyhoo, here’s what I made and despite it being “as Italian as the Olive Garden” it was really delicious!

bnuypasta

 

  • 1/2 box of pasta shapes (I used ditalini, but any would work)
  • 1 package of sweet Italian chicken sausage
  • 1 whole (medium sized) butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup of grape tomatoes, whole
  • 1/4 cup of soft goat cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups of reserved pasta water (to create a “sauce”)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 425 F as you clean, peel, and chop your butternut squash.   Roast squash for about 40 minutes (turning over at the  half way point).   In a large skillet on medium/high heat add 2 tbsp of olive oil and allow it to “get hot”.  Cut your sausage into slices or chunks and add into the pan and cook thoroughly.   Cook you pasta separately for about 8-10 minutes and keep the texture “al dente”.  Add your chopped onion and tomatoes to the skillet, cover, and reduce to low/medium heat.  Drain your pasta  (reserving 1.5 cups of the water) and place aside.  Once butternut squash is cooked, add into the skillet along with your cooked pasta.  Cover again, and continue to cook 3-5 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.   Remove from heat and stir in the 1/4 cup of goat cheese and reserved pasta water (the cheese is optional, of course) and serve!  Makes 6 one cup servings!

Hope you’re having a great week so far!

What did you eat this Wednesday?

xoxo

 

 

The Fine Line between Opinion and Judgment (Semi-Rant)

“Is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me.”

J.K. Rowling

Warning:  Rant!  How about this blog post title?  Who’s got their claws out?  Haha, nah, it’s not like that.  Well, really, it sort of is.

This morning I was out running some errands for my upcoming wedding, and I stopped in a little pub to have some lunch.  While sitting there, minding my own business,  I couldn’ t help but overhear two women sat in the booth directly behind me.  The waitress we had was a little on the heavy side.  Now sure, I notice other women’s bodies, because have my own insecurities, and hey, it’s human nature.  However, what I was listening to on the other side of that booth was atrocious.

“They shouldn’t let fat people serve food in this place – it’s supposed to be a health conscious establishment – it makes me not even want to eat.”

This is what one of the women seated behind me said to her friend about our waitress and what’s worse was the poor girl heard her!  I don’t want to be a hypocrite, because there was a point in my life where I might have had that same thought.  However, I was wrong to have ever thought so negatively, so a grown woman should know better than to think it, let alone  say it, within earshot of another living, breathing human being.

I wanted so badly, and imagined in my mind (à la Ally McBeal) that this girl would come over with the check and ask “seriously, did anyone ask your opinion about whether or not I should work here?”   Or say something like, “they shouldn’t let judgmental and ignorant people eat in public, but hey, the World’s an imperfect place.”  It would have made my day.

I don’t know about you, but judgment is getting WAY out of control these days.  I don’t blame the Internet, because obviously intolerance and judgment are as old as dirt, but I do feel that it has made us all feel much more free with our opinions.  For instance, today one of the biggest Twitter discussions is about Renee Zellweger’s face.  People have judged her for everything from her weight to the shape of her eyes over the last decade.  Leave the woman alone, again, did she ask for an opinion? Also, there’s NOTHING else going on today more pressing or worthy of an “opinion” than the flaws found in complete strangers?

Seriously, unless somebody asks, why feel the need to leave a nasty, critical comment?  Why should another person even care what is thought about them?  I’m taking a risk even sharing what I think right now.  Like, who the hell am I to have an opinion about having an opinion?!  Wow!  I’m dizzy now.

The only thing I can say is the next time it seems like two cents are desired, ask, “is this person asking for an opinion?”  If they want an opinion, give it.  Believe me, I am full of opinions, and not all of them are sunshine and rainbows.

The point I am trying (and possibly failing) to make here is this:  There’s a time and a place for thoughts and judgments,.  However, unless someone actually wants an opinion, 99% of the time, that time and place is just plain ol’ kept to oneself.

Okay, I’m done.

Do you ever catch yourself being judgmental?

xoxo

Emotional Eating: How to Fight Back!

junky

When you take that first bite out of a piece of cake, your body releases the “feel good” chemical, dopamine, which stimulates the area of your brain that tells you that you feel pleasure.

We’ve all been there, right?  You get some crappy news, you get a parking ticket, or you have a fight with a friend or family member, and what’s the first thing you want to do?  If you’re like me some days,  hit the snack aisle.

 

What is emotional eating?

Emotional eating is the practice of consuming large quantities of food — usually “comfort” food or junk foods — in response to feelings in place of actual hunger.  Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions formulated to make us believe the food can bring us comfort, well, at least in the short-term.

 

What triggers emotional eating?

In short, anything that makes you feel out of control.  A rude customer, a fight with a friend, or a high heating bill could be the cause.  Not every person is affected in this way, however, but  people with control issues linked to anxiety, depression, or addiction can be at higher risk for this behavior to kick in.

 

Why do I always eat the worst stuff when I have an emotional eating episode?

Simply stated, your body craves highly refined carbohydrates, sugar, salt, and fat, because they are pleasing to us.  We crave french fries, chocolate cupcakes, and pizza because the minute we bite into these foods, they go straight to our heads, literally.  When you take that first bite out of a piece of cake, your body releases the “feel good” chemical, dopamine, which stimulates the area of your brain that tells you that you feel pleasure and even euphoria!  You want to feel better so if that piece of candy or cake makes you feel better, what’s the big deal?  The big deal is that it rarely ever stops at one piece, and once you’ve finished swallowing that food your remorse kicks in and you feel more powerless than you did to begin with.  #Drag.

Do I suffer from emotional eating?

The first step to stopping your emotional eating habit is to admit that you have it.  How can you assess whether or not you emotionally eat?

  • You eat when you’re not actually hungry
  • You have a negative relationship with your body image
  • You fabricate the truth when it comes to how much you eat
  • You feel guilt after eating certain foods or amounts
  • You’re known on a first name basis at drive-through windows within a 20 mile radius of your home.

…Okay, maybe not the last one, but if that is true, you’re either really friendly or you order habitually.

Psychology Today actually offers a free online assessment which takes about 20 minutes, but it is pretty insightful and could help you be more aware of your actual relationship with food.

 

I am an emotional eater, okay, now what?

I wish I could say it’s easy – or that there’s a magic herb or book or something to help you stop, but I can’t.   The only way to actively stop your emotional eating is to be aware of it and to find other ways to feel good.  Obviously it’s easier to buy a milkshake when you’re feeling stressed or depressed than it is to jump on a treadmill or contort your body like a pretzel doing yoga, but there are other ways to manage this.  Confide in someone you trust who can help you when you’re feeling stressed, take a walk, or go on BuzzFeed and look at pictures of cute otters (seriously, this is one of the ways I deal with my EE).  The bottom line is:  Emotional eating  is just as controllable as it is controlling, meaning when you’re aware of it you can seek out a plan of action to stop yourself from feeling helpless.  Just ask this guy.

otter

 Do you suffer from emotional eating?  If so, how do you manage it?

xoxo

Blog Well Summit

mood boost mondays

Happy Monday!  I hope your weekend was great!  I spent the weekend painting and also attending the Blog Well Summit.  How did I paint and attend a blogging summit, you may ask?  Well, The Blog Well Summit was a VIRTUAL event – that’s right 100% online, and it was really fantastic!  As I have only been blogging for about 13 months, it was really wonderful to get some (much needed) insight from a group of seasoned professionals.  Every single guest speaker was amazing and had incredible advice and knowledge to share with those of us tuning in.  There is so much to more to blogging, and really just Internet consumerism in general, that we are not aware of.  Like, how the average reader thinks and operates, and how to really direct and reach out to your audience, or just how to create an audience in general!  So many facts I don’t know where I should start.

If you’re thinking, “I wish I knew about this event – I would have loved to attend!” – fear not!  I am a registered Blog Well Summit affiliate and can hook you up with the purchase of this amazing event.  It is a small price to pay to get the information you receive.  Seriously, it’s like spending hours and hours with blogging specialists one-on-one – I highly recommend it!

I have so much respect for every single person who gave their time and insight to those of us  wanting to improve, expand, or even start up a blog.  Some of my favorite speakers from the summit were Carla Birnberg (LOVE this lady, she’s super bright and brave), Meghan Telpner (absolutely brilliant and the founder of Academy of Culinary Nutrition), and Josie at YumYucky.com (hilarious and totally no-nonesense lady).  I especially enjoyed Brooke Birmingham’s talk about what to expect when you’ve gone viral — which was a recap of the events following her response to SHAPE Magazine’s attitude while covering her personal weight loss story.

The very best thing about this summit is the fact that no matter what you’re creating, building, or managing the message is the same:  You are a brand and you’re selling yourself, so do yourself a favor, KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOUR BRAND IS!   That message is very true of life as we know it.  We are all selling ourselves each day; whether it’s at work, on Facebook or Twitter, or just to get our friends and family to listen to us, we are selling who we are.  If that’s the one clear message I got hammered into me this past weekend, I think I’ll be alright.

If you’re interested in purchasing the Blog Well Summit archives you can do so here.  Um, you really should.  Really.

Which people inspire you?

xoxo

 

Favorite Things Friday!

Woot woot!  Countdown to the weekend!  I have such a strange schedule these days, but everything I’m working on these days doesn’t feel like actual work to me, so Friday feels a little less important …but no less awesome.  However, if you’re about to have two days off, you should totally be doing this inside.

I love Friday mornings, because I lead an indoor cycling class that always gets me super pumped and full of energy for the day.  This morning in particular, I had an awesome playlist; it got some great feedback as well (who doesn’t want to sprint to ‘Sheena Is A Punkrocker’?)  Music is so important during a class like indoor cycling; it’s important period.

Favorite Things Friday 10/17/14

I’m really into the whole “Factual Friday” posts from some of the bloggers I follow, so, I think I’m going to jump on the bandwagon!

  • Pumpkin Spice Thomas English Muffins; these have been a godsend while I’ve been trying to avoid sugary sweets.  Pumpkin seems to be everywhere and anywhere you go, which is amazing, but I have had to seriously restrain myself from buying muffins, doughnuts, and cakes left, right, and center!  Anyhoo, these pumpkin muffins are not too bad, nutritionally speaking, and with a serving of cream cheese and a teaspoon of Allspice, they easily have satisfied my pumpkin craving.
sweet & savory

sweet & savory

  • My new jump ropes!  My friend Joe makes awesome stuff out of Paracord:  Bracelets, keychains, ziptips (hehe), belts, and recently he made me a couple of awesome jump ropes.  He says these jump ropes are just a prototype, as he is working on a way to make them more sturdy, but I’ve certainly been putting them to the test and I love them!  I keep telling him he should start his own blog or Etsy shop for his rad stuff!  These jump ropes are lightweight, colorful, and lots of fun!
so fun!

so fun!

  • Gymboss  2 Interval Timer App.  I love, love LOVE HIIT and Tabata style workouts – they are just so invigorating and awesome.  I have been searching for a decent interval app for a while now, and a couple of weeks ago a friend recommended the Gymboss app to me, and I have never looked back.  It has intervals for tabata, regular circuits, boxing, and even rest intervals.  It’s super handy, accurate, and great for those short (but intense) exercise sessions.
awesomes.

awesomes.

  • The food blog Bean A Foodie.  I love so many of the recipes on this blog.  The author, Maria Tadic, proclaims she and her husband are ‘98% vegetarians’, which I feel is, an accurate description of myself at the moment. Simply put, she’s got some tasty recipes and I hope to make a few of them this weekend  Perhaps the Lemon Ricotta Pasta.   I have to admit, I’ve been on foodie blog overload these past couple of days since I joined the Healthy Living Blog community.
  • The Amazon series Transparent.  I really, really like this show.  I don’t think that I’ve liked something this much since Six Feet Under, my all time favorite show.  It has such a great cast and the family is so pleasingly dysfunctional.  Also, it stars Jeffery Tambor the eccentric and hilarious dad from Arrested Development as a man in his 60’s coming to terms (and coming out to his family) with his transgendered identity.  It’s really a great show, my friends; watch it!

transparent

So there you have it, a handful of some of my favorite things from this week!  I hope you have an awesome, spectacular, and healthy weekend.  I will be attending the Blog Well Summit which I am SO excited about.  At the Twitter pre-party last night I met some awesome fellow bloggers and hope to connect with many more.

What are some of your favorite things these days?

 

xoxo

Awesome Arms Thursday

As I may have mentioned before, I am getting married on November 28th.  I’m so excited and stressed, but mostly stressed.  I realize I am a fool to have planned my wedding less than one month after Halloween and less than a day after our family Thanksgiving dinner, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Okay, that’s a bit dramatic.  I just want to look really nice in my dress, which is sleeveless, so I’ve been really working on my guns …ahem.  Nothing makes you looks sexier in a sleeveless dress than strong, toned arms and shoulders.  I had been slacking on my resistance training for a couple of months, but that has all changed.  I listed some of the important reasons everyone should add in resistance training to their fitness regimen; you can read about them here.

I have been using my “Awesome Arms” workout for the past week or so and I’m really starting to get my strength and shape back.  Woohoo.  It’s a circuit style workout you can add in 3-4 times a week.  I am going to be creating a “30 Day Bride-to-Be” workout to get me feeling confident and sexy for my wedding.  Stay tuned, but for now, give this a try!

awesome arms 1

 

For descriptions, these exercise are included into an (ever expanding) library of moves I like from the IDEA database.  You can find that here.

xoxo

Spiralized Carrots with Cranberry Tarragon Goat Cheese Salad : Return of the Veggetti

According to Live with Kelly and Michael, Wednesday is the new Friday.  So, for whatever that declaration is worth to you, it’s almost the weekend again!

I’m really getting into the WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday) World.  It was created by Jenn at Peas and Crayons – an amazing blog with spectacular recipes – many of which are on my “food bucket list”.  Also, I would love to be Internet friends with Jenn.  #blogbuddies
WIAW button

 

WIAW 

For this week’s WIAW post, I made a spiralized carrots with cranberry tarragon goat cheese salad.  I felt like it would be very fallish (word?) of me and also pretty and delicious – so why not, right?  Right.

Return of the Veggetti

Remember when I posted about the Veggetti?  Google webmaster sure does.

 So, I grabbed my handy little ASOT (As Seen On TV) companion and proceeded to make salad magic, oh yes.

delish.

delish.

For this salad you will need, carrots (the shorter and thicker the circumference, the better), goat cheese*, walnuts (chopped, or give whole ones a good bashing), dried cranberries, tarragon, olive oil, and garlic.

salad magic

salad magic

*I used this brand, which was an easy (and delicious) step.  Prep for a DIY version would be mixing together crumbled goat cheese, dried cranberries, and dried tarragon (refrigerate for 2 hours prior to making salad).

sooo. good.

sooo. good.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 large carrots (cleaned and peeled)
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of cranberry tarragon goat cheese (or 1 TBSP plain crumbled mixed with 1/2 tsp of dried cranberries and 1/2 tsp of dried tarragon)
  • 1 tbsp or crushed walnuts
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper

To spiralize your carrot, stick it in and give it a spin.  I bet Hilah would appreciate that slogan.  Hilah is another Internet friend I long for.  Hilah, can you hear me?  Didn’t think so.

this describes my life right now.  perfectly.

this describes my life right now. perfectly.

 Once you get your carrot all spiralized and beautimous, drizzle 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and add in 1 tbsp of chopped walnuts along with your one chopped clove of garlic.  Mix carrots, olive oil, walnuts, and garlic together evenly.  Add in 1 tbsp of goat cheese mixture, 1 tsp of salt and pepper and mix, again, thoroughly.  Chill for about 30 minutes prior to serving.  Makes two, half cup sized servings.**

**Serving size and ingredient amounts will vary depending on how big you want to make your salad.  I used two large carrots which made 1 cup of salad.  My suggestion is, for every additional cup of salad you want to prepare, add an additional tablespoon of cheese mixture, 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, 1/2 tbsp of walnuts, additional garlic, salt, and pepper to taste.

 

Nutrition per 1/2  cup of salad:

100 calories

7.5 grams of fat (6 of which are healthy fats you need!)

3 grams of protein

Not forgetting the added β-carotene (Betacarotene) which our bodies convert into much needed vitamin A that we need for healthy skin and mucus membranes, our immune system, and good eye health and vision.

pretty, festive, and healthy.

pretty, festive, and healthy.

It seems like everybody is jumping on the spiralized wagon.  However, most people actually own a real spiralizer, but I’m going to do me, and stick to my Veggetti.  I bought my Veggetti about 5 months ago for $14.99 and it’s still going strong.  In fact, right now I think they are BOGO.  So worth it!   #buyaveggetti

Do you spiralize?

xoxo

Coconut Flour Pizza Crust and a Smile: Mood Boost Monday #3

Happy Monday!  Hope you’re having a great long weekend if you’re fortunate enough to get Columbus Day off, but for the other 99% of you out there that don’t, I hope work isn’t too painful.  Speaking of painful, I woke up a couple of days ago with several enormous spider bites.  After Googling, self-diagnosing, and asking the pharmacist “am I going to die?” whilst lifting my shirt up at Rite Aid – I think I’m going to live.  As for that poor pharmacist, I can’t say he isn’t feeling a little more traumatized than I am.

Anyhoo, I thought this might be a good Monday to discuss motivation, because I have failed quite a bit so far this October – and it will make me feel better.  However, not everything I have tried has resulted in failure.  First, the positives!

Currently Winning At.

Eating the daily recommended amount of sugar for women.  It was a rough week; you really don’t know just how much added sugar you’re eating daily until you start actually paying attention.  I feel so much better, I mean aside from being covered in mystery bites, that is.  My energy level is up, my stomach bloating is down, and I can fit into my skinny jeans again without having to lie down on large, flat surfaces.  Awesomes.

ZUMBA classes.  I started instructing ZUMBA at the gym at the end of September, and I’m happy to say I’ve started to get a small following, and it’s becoming very fun.   It’s an hour of just not caring about how you look or how you move, but still getting in some cardio and a chuckle or two.  It is adorable how people laugh at themselves.  Also, by people, I mean me, mainly.

Wedding planning.  I officially have a dress, a Justice of the Peace, photographer, and catering crossed off my “I do/to do” list (geek).  Luke has also got his uncle crafting our wedding bands, which I am so excited to see!  Also, how incredible is it that I am marrying the most amazing guy on Earth, and he also happens to have a custom jewelry designer for an uncle?  Pretty f’n incredible.

Honorable mentions:  I have officially picked my cake out, but haven’t found a baker that has agreed to make it.  Halfway there?

Currently Failing At

STUDYING for my ACE Health Coach Exam.  OMG, I am really stressed about this one.  It is so hard with all my current distractions to settle in and get studying.  I have tried really, really hard, but I’m apparently going to have to try harder.  Though, I only got SUPER serious about studying for my NASM exams the last 6 weeks prior to the test and I passed that with flying colors – so I am hoping the same thing happens this time around!

30 Day Yoga Challenge.  I have been trying and I was doing really, really well until about 5 days ago; I have to admit.  However, I have been doing well when I give yoga my all.  I can see improvement in my flexibility and, honestly, my stress levels would probably be much higher if I wasn’t making the attempt.  So, I guess it’s progress not perfection, right?  Yes, Daniel son.

Gratitude.  Yes, I said it and I admit it wholeheartedly, I have been super whiny and forgetting to remember that I’m a very, very lucky person.  I am well.  I am loved.  I have lots to look forward to.  I am committing to remind myself of this over and over again each day.  Sometimes the day-to-day life we live makes it hard for us to keep this thought clear and present, but we all should be thankful and grateful for every thing we do have going our way.

A Happy Medium

Coconut flour crust pizza!  This weekend was my first attempt at making a coconut flour pizza crust from this recipe I found on Pinterest (lurve that site!)

the goods.

the goods.

Ingredients for this crust are very basic.

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup of coconut flour – I used this (my homeboy, Bob’s Red Mill)

1 cup of Coconut Milk – I used this brand

1/2 tsp of sea salt

1 tsp of onion powder

Preheat the oven to 375.  Mix all the ingredients in a bowl – I STRONGLY recommend sifting the flour.  I did not do this, which is why I my crust turned out the way it did.  Though it was still tasty, I would have preferred a much crispier crust!  Also, let the mixture sit for about five minutes after mixing, as the flour gets a good chance to absorb better.  I highly recommend using an electric mixture if you’ve got one.  I don’t have one …ahem, wedding gift.  :)

play-doh, anyone?

play-doh, anyone?

Place parchment paper on top of cookie sheet or pizza stone and spread the dough mixture evenly.  NOT a fun task, again, I think this is because my mixture was quiet a bit thicker than it should have been.

not a perfect circle, my friends.

not a perfect circle, my friends.

Cook the crust for 25-30 minutes.  Remove from parchment paper and place directly on cookie sheet or pizza stone and add toppings.  Cook pizza an additional 8-10 minutes (depending on topping choices).  I chose marinara sauce and scraped together the last bit of shredded cheddar cheese we had.; not the best combo, but pretty tasty anyway!  I have to give this recipe a high rating, as it’s a great alternative to traditional white/whole wheat flour crusts, but if you want your pizza to turn out better looking than mine, I suggest:

  • sifting the coconut flour
  • using an electric mixer
  • using a well-floured (word?) rolling pin
  • actually checking that you have cheese you want to use on it.
it tasted way better than it looked, which I know isn't saying much, so.

it tasted way better than it looked, which I know isn’t saying much, so.

I did, however, have the cutest assistant in the kitchen dining room on hand, and ready to pick up scraps.

i love cheese.

i love cheese.

Here’s to trying new things, staying positive, and looking forward.  I hope you have a great week!

xoxo

Have you tried anything new lately?