Archive for February, 2012|Monthly archive page

Tuscan Pasta w/ Tomato-Basil Sauce

In Uncategorized on February 27, 2012 at 3:02 am
I’m sharing another Pinterest recipe that we tried tonight and it might be my favorite yet! It’s amazing and better than most Italian restaurants I’ve been too. I’m picky about ravioli, but this was so good!
20-oz frozen ravioli (four cheese if you can find it)
1 jar sundried tomato Alfredo sauce
2 tablespoons white wine
Handful cherry tomatoes – chopped
1/2 c. chopped fresh basil
Grated parmesan cheese
Prepare pasta according to package. 
Pour Alfredo sauce into saucepan. Pour 2 tbsp white wine into sauce jar and mix around, then pour into saucepan. Add basil and tomatoes. Let simmer for 5 or so minutes, until it’s heated through. 
Either toss with pasta or pour over. Top with parmesan cheese and grated basil (if desired).
I used a frozen brand of ravioli called Celetano (I think?) and the Classico sun-dried Alfredo sauce. I would NOT recommend the Buitoni brand, not good. 

Running Mate.

In Uncategorized on February 25, 2012 at 5:06 am
Training for races, whether they are 5K’s or marathons can take up quite a bit of time out of your schedule. And if you’re anything like me, making yourself train alone can be a huge downer. I have a friend in Fredericksburg (yes you Carlie) who doesn’t even KNOW how much encouragement she gave me. We were the biggest gym rats and she pushed me through several dreaded treadmill runs. But having her right beside me was such an encouragement. I didn’t realize what I had until moving out here to California and having nobody. Yes, of course my husband is a big supporter, but he just doesn’t have the time to train with me.
Carlie even got up super early to come support me in my first 1/2. I mean, she is amazing for real. I was so sad that I wasn’t able to do the same for her first 1/2. But she did amazing and I was cheering from afar! 
Anyways, I was able to get connected with one of our churches wonderful ministries called Rock Runners & Triathletes. I met two awesome ladies who I’ve been able to run and ride with. They are both triathletes and are such an encouragement and make each mile more enjoyable. 
I guess my point of this post would be that if running or being active is intimidating, try finding someone who will support you each step of the way and train with you. 
Having Carlie, motivated me to train and be better. Her kind words lifted my sometimes doubting spirit and always helped me push through. 
My Rock runners push me to a better pace each run…just today I did 2 miles at my best pace yet. I believe the Lord puts people in your lives for a reason. I’m absolutely blessed to have met people that share similar goals and interests. California doesn’t seem so lonely now!
So, while running today, I knew I needed to take the time to say ‘thank you’ for those encouraging people in my life. Even if I’ve only known you a few weeks. (Danielle and Cristina) 

Sweet Tooth?

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2012 at 7:25 am

I love it when sweet treats are recommended to me so I thought I’d pass along my most recent favorite find. Skinny Cow. I have a huge sweet tooth, that usually kicks in around 10p.m. I’m SO good during the day, but I could seriously sabotage all my hard work after 10p.m. I’ve been known to inhale a pop-tart before bed or 7 oreos. Portion control? Yeah, I struggle with that. Anyways, back on topic, I recently discovered Skinny Cow ice cream and their Heavenly Crisp bars (yes, that’s what they’re called).

Their mini ice cream cups are 150 calories. If you eat the whole thing you are getting 17g of sugar, which is a little on the high side, but not terrible. I tend to eat half a container at a time. But honestly, you could do MUCH worse. Like the spell I went through last summer of McDonald’s Oreo mcflurries after EVERY spin class. I had a serious problem.
Even better than the ice cream cups, are the milk chocolate heavenly crisps. 
These are 110 calories, with 9 grams of sugar. Honestly, they taste exactly like a Kit-Kat bar. I love anything that is a wafer. These are delicious. 
Now I’m not saying these are necessarily ‘healthy’. But I feel much better about eating the above two items over the 7 oreos. My sweet tooth thanks you Skinny Cow! 


In Uncategorized on February 20, 2012 at 9:17 pm
Saturday after my long run, we loaded up and took Sophie exploring up North. We heard about a great apple pie shop in Julian and decided we needed to check it out. On our drive up there, we passed through Cuyamaca State Park and we are already planning a trip back there to hike Stonewall Peak. 
It was a fun day, we ate some yummy BBQ, bought TWO pies, saw a little bit of snow and the desert. 
Stonewall Peak.

Snow at the bottom of the peak.

Caramel Dutch Apple pie.

Apple Mountain Berry pie. – Apples, raspberries, strawberries, & boysenberries. Yum!

Entrance in to Anza Borrego desert. We just wanted to see how long of a drive it was.

Going up! We got up to almost 6000ft.

Desert mountains behind the green ones.

Canyons…Sophie kept saying “wow,wow”.

Mini Bagel Bites – Homemade

In Uncategorized on February 20, 2012 at 9:07 pm
Found this great recipe for homemade mini deep dish pizzas. I thought, this is definitely a better alternative to store bought bagel bites and boy was I right. Taylor has the day off so I thought I’d try them for lunch. He said the sauce is better than most pizza sauces he has tasted, score! My favorite marinara sauce is Newman’s Own – Organic. So I used that as the base.
What you will need: 
3-4 whole wheat tortillas (or whatever you have)
1 can pizza sauce – Like I said, I used the Newman’s Own Marinara, and I didn’t use even close to 1 can. But I’m not a huge sauce person either. 
3/4 cup shredded mozz. cheese
Parmesan cheese (the original recipe says 1/4 cup, but I didn’t measure.)
Regular or turkey pepperonis (minis would be best) Or just cut a whole into 4 pieces. 
1 tsp. italian seasonings (or basil, oregano, etc…)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Pinch or sweetener, I used organic sugar
Pinch of pepper
Of course you could add ham, veggies, anything you would normally eat on a pizza. 🙂
Use a cookie cutter to cut 12 circles from the tortillas.
Line a muffin tin with each tortilla. You have to push them down in there, some will pop out. This was the most frustrating part.

Pour pizza sauce in to mixing bowl.

Add parmesan.

And spices (including sugar)

Spoon sauce mix in to each tortilla.

Top with mozzarella. 

Then pepperonis.

Bake at 425 for about 12 minutes. Edges should be crispy and cheese melted.

Serving Size: 1 bagel, 66 calories. 
Original recipe found here.

February Tanning

In Uncategorized on February 16, 2012 at 8:10 am
In case you missed them on Facebook…
Working on our winter tans. 🙂

NAS Beach, looking at Point Loma.

Enjoying the sun!

Thankfully, Target had their beach toys already out. We bought a few.

Minimalist Running.

In Uncategorized on February 9, 2012 at 3:04 am
My adventure in to barefoot/minimalist running started about 2 months ago. I bought a pair of Merrell Pace Glove shoes, Shape Magazine awarded them ‘best trail shoe of 2011’. I read MANY reviews all being positive and ultimately went with the Merrell’s because both my husband and brother-in-law use them.
Here are my spiffy barefoot shoes. They have the Vibram sole and weigh a mere 4 ounces. They have a 0mm drop, truly minimalist. I fell in love. 
On a side note, I would recommend buying a more neutral colored shoe. Yes, I know this sounds vain, but these shoes just don’t go with any of my running gear. I look a little bit ridiculous. That is beside the point though, they are great shoes!
My first minimalist run was back in the beginning of December. I ran 1.5 miles and was instantly sore when I got back to my car. I had been warned, but I thought, I’m in decent shape, 1.5 miles is nothing. Well, I was wrong. I couldn’t walk straight for 3 full days, but I didn’t care. The minimalist shoe changed everything about running for me. I’m not trying to recommend barefoot running to everybody, it’s definitely a choice you have to make for yourself. At the end of the day, you have to wear whatever shoe helps YOU run your personal best. But if you are the least bit interested in running minimal, I would definitely encourage you to give it a try. Once the soreness was gone and I was able to build up my endurance in them, I really noticed how much time they took off my 5 and 8k pace. The farthest I’ve run is only 6 miles, but not one time have my feet hurt and the best part – no shin splints! 
The biggest reason I wanted to try minimalist running is because of shin splints. I had been to the Dr. about 3 different times over shin splints. For whatever reason, my shins always bruise and I’m in a lot of pain. My Dr., who just happened to be a marathoner as well, couldn’t figure out why I was having so much trouble. I went to a running speciality store in D.C. where they filmed me running and broke down my running style and assessed my gait/strike. But nothing that they suggested was helping. I didn’t run much after my 1/2 marathon last year because of the shin splints. 
After 2 months, I’ve yet to have a shin splint or bruised shins. I did end up twisting my ankle. But I honestly believed that was from a beach run, not really related to the shoes. So in my opinion, the barefoots are serving their purpose! I’m going to look in to buying a more true minimal ‘road/racing’ shoe, but I’ve been VERY happy with my Merrell Gloves. 
This is just my personal opinion and experience. Like I said before, minimalist running is not for everybody. With that said, I’m not sure I can ever put back on a regular running shoe. If for no other reason, they are so heavy now!
I will be running my second 1/2 marathon in just a few short weeks, excited to see how I feel about minimal running after adding some distance. Until then, happy running!


In Uncategorized on February 8, 2012 at 12:16 am
Can I just say, I LOVE kettlebells. I’ve been using them 2-3 times a week instead of traditional weights for almost a year now. They provide such an amazing core based workout. I wanted to give a review of the two workouts I’ve done using kettlebells.
First off, these are the kettlebell’s I own.
I started out with this 10lb Danskin kettlebell from Wal-Mart. It was around $16. Very reasonable price for a good product.
After a few weeks of using the 10lb bell, I had ‘outgrown’ it. So I looked into buying a kettlebell that was adjustable, because that just made more sense to me. So of course, I went with Jillian Michael’s kettlebell.
It’s adjustable up to 20lbs. Which trust me, is about all you will need. You will get an awesome workout using 15-20lbs. JM’s bell is a little clunky and noisy, but I’ve gotten used to it. It’s a little bit harder to do snatches with because it’s heavy duty. Where as the Danskin one is rubber on the outside. But my arms have adjusted to the JM one.
Now, I started out doing Jillian Michael’s Shred it With Weights. I still alternate between the two workouts.
1. They are both awesome workouts.
2. She mixes intervals in with the kettlebell that keeps your HR up.
3. She drives home good form and practices it.
4. 30 minutes!! What???
5. She has modifications if you are new to kettlebells or fitness in general.
I don’t have many cons except, it does get a bit boring. Boring maybe, but the intensity never really dies. If I find myself getting bored, I add a weight plate. Or I’ll do both workouts back-to-back. Overall a great kettlebell DVD and it really helped me build a strong core which is essential to running.
Now, to help with the ‘boring’ factor I decided to try Bob Harpers Kettlebell Cardio Shred dvd.
 I main reason I’m doing this review is I didn’t read any before purchasing it and now wish I had. Don’t get me wrong, it can still be a killer workout and in fact is. I had to remove a weight plate while doing it this morning. My gripe is his form along with the other trainer. There were a few times I thought she was going to hurt herself slinging the kettlebell around. There were a few moves that were just hard to keep correct form because of the sequence of moves. The windmill comes to mind. I really liked how he would build on moves. Like starting out with a basic squat, to adding the bell to make it front loaded, then adding the upright row at the end. Really gets your HR up there. But when there are so many moves that your form starts slacking, I have a problem with that. So I would say, unless you really know good form, stay away from this DVD. 
So there is my review, take it for what’s it worth. 🙂 Don’t let kettlebells scare you, they are amazing and torch calories. I absolutely love them!

Lemon Protein Slush

In Uncategorized on February 6, 2012 at 6:48 pm
I’ve made this delicious Lemon Protein slushie type drink for breakfast about 3 times this past week! ha ha. I’m addicted to it! It’s great with any meal, I just usually drink it in the mornings. 
I’ve yet to figure out why it foams so much at first, but it does go away. 
What you need:
1 Lemon
1/2 Lime – optional.
Crystal Light ‘Pure’ lemonade drink packets. – I use the ‘Pure’ because it’s sweetened with Stevia and not aspartame. 
1 scoop vanilla whey protein
8-10 ounces of water
10-12 ice cubes.
(Depending on how big your blender is.)
Blend, but leave ice a little chunky.
This makes about 2 cups for me. So I just refrigerate the rest for later.

Breakfast is served!

Trader Joe’s Top 10

In Uncategorized on February 6, 2012 at 6:42 pm
10 reasons I love Trader Joe’s and what I always buy from there. I’m not going to include produce, because I buy ALL our produce from TJ’s. IMO, they have the best selection. Everything from potatoes, spinach/lettuce, apple slices, grapes, bananas, strawberries, blueberries – it’s all good!
#1. Whey Protein. The best tasting whey I’ve found. I mix this in just about everything! ha ha. I need to add chocolate to  my collection.

#2. These awesome chicken burgers. I know, it sounds gross, but they are really good.

And seriously 150 calories and 19g of protein? And look how short the ingredient list is. Definitely give these a shot!

#3. Chicken breasts. I buy the individual packaged ones because they just suit my family better.  Usually about 5-6 in a bag.

#4. WW Flour.

#5. Rolled oats.

#6. They have delicious peanut butter! It reminds me of growing up, you still have to stir it and keep it refrigerated. My mom used to buy similar.

#7. My two favorite “protein/energy” bars. Both are clean, especially the Larabar. It’s base ingredient are dates. The power crunch bars are yummy with on average about 14g of protein per bar. And they aren’t loaded down with sugar either. TJ’s has the best prices on them, that’s why I buy them there.

#8 Olive Oil spray.

#9. Butter – unsalted.

#10. TJ’s deli turkey meat.

Other honorable mentions are their condiments and juices. They also have great tortillas! Now as far as meat, I’ve started buying that from a little market on Coronado. All their beef is grassfed and it tastes really good.