Hey gang!! How was your weekend? Friday my hubby and I went on an impromptu date in downtown Tampa. We are at a place called Oak and Ola and it was amazing. I wrote about it on Yelp (Michelle D. in Tampa), but may start writing more restaurant reviews here on the blog again this year.
Saturday we did some errands and went and saw “Jumanji” and we thought it was really cute and entertaining. We also hit up my favorite consignment shop as I still had money left over on my Christmas gift card.
Sunday I slept in which I always allow myself to do when I’m not training for anything, because I have to get up early enough every day for work. I also decided to meal prep for the week, as this is where my diet/exercise regime have gone to crap over the last six months. I made some egg muffins for the week, as well as a big pot of Chicken Soup. (Click the link for the basic recipes but feel free to change up whatever protein/veggies sound good to you!!!)
Tonight after dinner I went for a nice walk with my neighbor, and did my plank. I’ve been planking since October 1st, and haven’t missed a day yet. I did this back in 2016 when my husband was deployed, and managed to plank for an entire year straight.
How was your weekend? Does cooking ahead of time help you? Any tips for burning belly fat?
Today we had 100% chance of rain, and not just for an hour or two like normal Florida storms, no, it was going to rain from 4 am until who knows when. In fact, I think it is still raining as we speak. So both plans to go to Disney and my long run have been postponed. I will run my scheduled 6.2 miles after work tomorrow, and we can go to Disney another day.
Since it was raining, we figured it would be the perfect day to watch movies and relax. We ended up watching “Christopher Robin,” and we all enjoyed it a lot. It was light hearted but emotional all at the same time. Afterwards, we played the Disney version of Monopoly and I am proud to say after a several hour long game, I won!
Hubby and youngest daughter
Lastly, we cooked a simple Sunday supper. Pork loin that was cooked low and slow in the sous vide, and a broccoli mash (see recipe for my cauliflower mash but use a head of steamed broccoli instead and parmesan cheese vs. Italian cheese), and my daughter made us arugula salad with radish and mushrooms.
Sous vide (cooking in a water bath at a controlled temperature)
Hubby took my picture while I was making the mash
My daugher helping out!
Final dish, minus the salad
Which brings me to my thankful part of this post:
Dinner with my family. As busy as our lives get we almost always try to have dinner together, especially on Sundays.
Rainy days that force you to stay in, and having quality time while doing so. So often we get caught up with our faces stuck in our phones. This weekend has been nice and I’ve been mindful of not being on my phone so much.
The fact that my husband has gotten on board with healthier eating. He was cleaning out his closet tonight and found his “fat jeans” (not that he was ever fat) and I am so proud of how he’s embraced eating healthier and exercising more.
Sleeping in on the weekends. I don’t sleep very well, I never have, so I love that I have the weekends (especially when we’ve got no plans) so catch up on the little bit of sleep I get during the week.
Wine on Sunday evenings to calm me down for Monday morning. LOL. I just had to add that in!!
Have you watched any good movies lately? What’s your favorite board game? Does your family eat together in the evenings when possible?
We just finished week one of the Keto diet. My husband is completely on board and it’s helping so much to have his support. Our goal this week was to stay under 25 grams of carbs per day and we stayed on track all week. I’m happy to report he’s down almost 10 lbs, and I’m down 3 lbs!! Woot!!
You know you did a great job when your daughter can’t tell the difference between your cauliflower mash between mashed potatoes. Recipe: one head of cauliflower boiled in salt water until soft. Save a couple of tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Transfer to a food processor and add two tablespoons of cream cheese, two pats of unsalted butter, sea salt, pepper, parsley and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Add the saved liquid and purée on high until smooth!!
We served with a yummy steak that my hubby cooked in the cast iron skillet. Yum!
Have you tried low carb or Keto with success? How was your weekend?
Well I swore I’d keep posting at least once a week, and even though I really contemplated posting that I’d be taking a break from the blog I decided to slap myself in the face and at least write SOMETHING.
Last week, I worked out….ONCE. Yup. Just once. Did I mention I have a half marathon (of which I originally signed up for the full) coming up in three weeks? #allthesuck
I just had too much on my plate. My work days equate to nearly 10 hours with my commute. Rushing home to pick up kids, go to my dental appt. Tuesday, my kids dental appts. Wednesday and getting my youngest to dance class on Thursday completely consumed the evening of last week, which is usually when I work out. The little bit of free time I had was spent cleaning, doing laundry, making lunches, paying bills and trying not to go nuts all in one breath. So Friday we went out for dinner to start our weekend right. I did however spend the rest of my evening cleaning, but hey, what can you do?
I did decide to cut myself some slack and just have a FUN day with my girls on Saturday. My youngest and I ran errands and took the dog to the groomers while my oldest took her time getting ready (Seriously, HOW does it take TWO hours to shower and get ready??? LOL!!!!).
We picked her up, and headed out to see the movies. We saw The Jungle Book, and it was REALLY good. I was highly impressed with the special effects, and have been told the only “real” thing in the movie was the little boy. WOW! We then ate at one of our new favorite places in Geneva, Hache’. Our food was good, but sadly our service wasn’t on point. We chalked it up to “everyone has a bad day” and will definitely return. My youngest daughter came down before going to bed, and presented me with this. Yes, we had a good cry…#allthefeels
Sunday I decided May is a new month, and I will be holding myself accountable by planking every day. No matter if it’s a minute or five minutes I will do my best each day. I’ll be posting my planks on my FB, so feel free to join in.
My youngest and I finished our puzzle, and we spent the most of Sunday relaxing and doing laundry.
I did bake some yummy trout!!! I simply seasoned with salt and pepper and a little extra virgin olive oil, and added shallots, garlic and lemons and dried basil. Wrap it up in parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.
Sunday evening we got our last call for a bit. It was an emotional call, and seeing my husband tear up nearly broke my heart. He has been so strong through all of this, and I suppose a part of me secretly needed to see that he missed us too. Two months down, 10 to go!!!
How was your week? Do you find it difficult to juggle all the things?
I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for the weekly wrap! Please make sure to head on over and give these amazing ladies some love!
It’s gotten too cold outside for me to run the last couple days, so I decided to warm up with some cooking! Especially after having to shovel snow when it’s a real feel of 5 degrees outside. Yup. FIVE. I will say, though, that I am in awe of my 16 year old who offered out of the blue to help me shovel? WHAT? I am still picking my jaw up off the groud. LOL!!
First, we’ll start with meatballs and spinach fettuccini (you can use whatever noodle you prefer). While I don’t make the pasta myself, I do buy fresh made from my local grocery store. I also take a little help with the marinara sauce by letting it simmer and adding some fresh herbs, crushed red pepper flakes, and garlic to give it a little more depth.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 lb. of ground pork and 1 lb. of lean ground beef
1 cup of Italian bread crumbs
1 cup of grated parmesan cheese (use fresh if possible)
1/4 cup of fresh chopped Italian parsley
pinch of salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and Italian herb mix (Approximately 1 tablespoon each, to taste)
1/8 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Combine all ingredients and roll in to small golf ball size balls and place on a sheet tray that has been lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
Take a jar of GOOD marinara sauce (you know, the good stuff small markets make that don’t have all the added preservatives to it) and put into a wide, deep sauté pan. Turn on LOW, and let simmer. Add in fresh herbs, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook on low for 20 minutes. Once the meatballs are done, add them to the sauce and let simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Cook your pasta according to package directions, and toss in your marinara sauce before serving!
What’s your favorite pasta dish? Today I am linking up with Holly and Tricia for the weekly wrap up!!!
I hope everyone has a great week! Things are getting REAL around here, with my hubby’s deployment training starting full speed tomorrow lasting the next 21 days. Our Nanny starts tomorrow, and I pray it will be a smooth transition for us all!
Well, sad to say last week SUCKED. I came down with a rotten cold, which left my chest heavy and my heart even heavier. I managed to get in Tuesday’s 4 miler, and Yoga on Wednesday but the rest of the work week I was down for the count. So yesterday when I hit the road for my 12 miler, I knew it would more than likely be tough. See, solo long runs when you are feeling strong can be really awesome…but when you are already feeling low, the miles can really hurt when you are alone with your thoughts.
When I don’t run, I am not able to release all the life crap that piles up, which leads to a very unhappy Michelle. As the sunshine beamed down on my face, I could feel the energy draining from me rapidly. WHY did I pick a route that had NO shade when I set out for my run mid morning? DUMB DUMB DUMB. Realizing I would run out of water, and had picked a route with NO fountains and NO shade, I decided to turn around for home early. But 9 miles are better than no miles, right?
This week I work all but Friday, so while seeing everyone post on social media about the ‘holiday’ weekend filled with BBQ’s and vacations I am left feeling slightly bitter. And I don’t like this feeling. So today I am going to get out of the house for a couple hours and go consignment shopping with my neighbor in hopes to regain my smile. Gosh, where the heck did I put it, anyhow?
None. Nope. Not a single lb. My nutrition was good minus a few bites of artichoke dip at Friday’s work pot luck, and I’ve cut back on my nightly date with wine but so far, no luck with losing anything. So glad I bought one size bigger capri pants and shorts…sheesh. LOL!
My goals are to get through work and weekend duty with out any casualties, to include myself. I’ll be doing my 20 miler solo, on Friday which is my one day off, and to say I am nervous would be an understatement.
Despite being sick all week, I really wanted to get my recipe posted for this week. I’ve made a healthy and tasty dish!
Baked Trout stuffed with lemon and herbs
4 previously cleaned trout-ask your fish monger to make sure they are fresh
1 lemon, sliced
Fresh herbs-dill, thyme, parsley are great!
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. Spray with cooking spray. Season your fish both inside and out with the salt and pepper, and stuff with the lemon and herbs. Drizzle with EVOO, and cover with foil. Bake for 25 minutes. I removed the heads and tails to serve, because they wouldn’t fit on the plate, LOL!
Sautéed Kale with Sopressata salami
6 pieces of sopressata salami sliced, and chopped
1 bunch of kale that has been rinsed and de-veined
Drizzle of EVOO
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil in a pan, and heat to medium heat. Add in your salami, and sauté until golden brown. Drain any grease from the pan. Add in your kale, and toss gently in the salami and remaining oil. Season with kosher salt and pepper and cook for 5-7 minutes.
Sweet Potato hash
One sweet potato, peeled and cubed
Smoked paprika, kosher salt, pepper, dried oregano, fresh thyme and one clove of garlic, smashed but keep in tact so you can remove.
Pat of unsalted butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar (shhh, my secret to get the potatoes to crisp up)-save this step for last.
Heat coconut oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add your potatoes, seasonings, herbs and garlic clove and cook for 20 minutes. Five minutes before serving add the butter and brown sugar, cooking still at medium to high heat.
Dinner is served!
How do you deal with ‘off’ weeks? I’ve found my delving in to my ‘other’ passions it helps keep me centered somewhat still. Have you ever cooked a fish whole? What was the best part of your week?
Have a great week, y’all. Remember, to keep movin’ forward!!
I preface this post with the fact that I have only been working on speed every so slightly, once or twice each week on short runs in the last few months, and that I am an idiot for not being completely thrilled with my PR.
I’ve done this race now three times, and was excited to possibly break my course record of 2:01, as well as maybe crush that good ole sub 2 goal I’ve had for the last several years. The weather was nearly perfect at the start, with the temps in the low 60’s and a nice breeze. I was giddy as I got to hang out with Wendy from Taking the long way home, as well as the fact that this was my first race of 2015.
With that, I took off too fast, and only was able to hang with Wendy momentarily. But I felt GREAT so heck, I was going to give it my all. “The faster you run, the faster you are done” rang sweetly in my head along with “Slow down you idiot or you’ll burn out!!” I honestly could picture my PR/Sub 2 the entire race, and gave it my ALL. I tried my best to keep my pace at or below 9:09, only faltering on that goal for a couple separate miles. But as the temperature rose, and the sun came out in full force I could feel my head throb and hands swell by mile 11. The spectators and volunteers were amazing, and after a couple high fives from some VERY cute little dudes I picked it back up.
But then, there’s that last mile of the Great Western trail half marathon that isn’t for the faint of heart or weak of mind. It will take everything you have, and more to get through the winding hills, and never ending trail that seemingly is about to end…but then it doesn’t. I pushed, feeling as if I was going to pass out, and then pushed some more. I crossed the line with an official time of 2:00:11. And I cried. Sobbed nearly as big sweaty, salty tears stung my eyes.
And then I got mad, for not being happy that I got a PR, and that I finished strong WITHOUT passing out. My awesome friends were there to hold me up, and celebrate with me all I had accomplished and I am so very thankful I didn’t feel sad for very long.
A huge shout out to the Fox River trail runners, the race organizers, volunteers and spectators. I love this race! (Minus that last mile, lol)
I finished my day by prepping/cooking Sunday Supper. Tonight’s theme was Asian inspired. I even got my mandolin out, and if you recall from my Christmas post the mandolin and I got in a fight. I decided to tackle my fears. Heck, if I could PR in this heat, I can use a mandolin right? Mandolin 1-Michelle 1!
Asian inspired short ribs
What you’ll need:
Short ribs (we used beef, but pork is fine too)-season with kosher salt and pepper and set aside
1 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup of chili garlic sauce
2 cloves of garlic-grated
Juice of 2 limes
Fresh cilantro, finely chopped
5-6 green onions, chopped-use all of white, and some of the green
Drizzle in some extra virgin olive oil and mix well. Pour over your ribs and let refrigerate for a couple hours.
Bake the ribs for about an hour (covered) at 325 degrees. I might try lowering the temp next time, but they were amazing. I served with ginger infused mashed sweet potatoes and a fennel, green apple and baby bok choy salad. YUM!
Did you race or run this weekend? Any new recipes in your rotation? How do you handle missing your goals?
Have a great week, y’all!! It’s time to retire to the couch!
My weekend was all over the place in regards to emotional highs, lows, and everything in between. Although I’ll keep the reasoning behind my roller coaster a bit vague, I will say I have learned from the events and feel better for it. It’s all about moving forward, right?
Friday night was a quiet night filled with Netflix and relaxing after a yummy night of sushi. (Sushi is carbloading too, right? lol). It would be an early night for both the hubby and I as he had his reserve duty weekend and I had a long run in the wee hours of the morning. I got all my gear set out, battled with some tummy issues, and drank some water before bed. I woke up at 5:45 am, battled with some more tummy issues and finally got dressed and headed to run club. My friend Deb agreed to slow her pace and run my scheduled 13 miles with me. YAY!
The first half of our run was pretty uneventful despite me having to stop several times to stretch out my ITB that was pulling hard on my right knee. We laughed, talked, and laughed some more. Halfway through we stopped to take a selfie with the Fox River in the background.
The second half of our run was a bit tougher with some really strong winds on our faces, but we kept pushing forward. We finished strong, and celebrated with coffee (her) and pomegranate lemonade for me. I even splurged and had a breakfast sandwich on an ‘everything’ bagel. YUM.
I spent the rest of the day with my daughter’s, and we shopped til we dropped at “Once Upon a Child, “Plato’s Closet,” and Clothes Mentor” stocking up for our warmer weather wardrobe. We all found some really cute items, and everyone came out with smiles, especially my bank account. Gotta love consignment shopping!
Today was chores, food prep and Sunday Supper. I made my own protein smoothies and stored them in previously used water bottles! Recycling=Winning! The smoothies were simple.
Berry Mocha Smoothie
1/2 cup of blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries
3 scoops of chocolate protein powder
16 ounces of water
Liquefy in a blender, and strain out the seeds. Transfer to the bottles and refrigerate
Banana Strawberry Chocolate Smoothie
1 cup of strawberries
3 scoops of protein powder
16 ounces of water
Liquefy in a blender, and strain out the seeds. Transfer to the bottles and refrigerate
I also spent time organizing my groceries after shopping, getting everything prepped and ready for the week. I am battling the scale and my marathon weight gain, NOW.
Tonight’s Sunday Supper was a simple pork roast in the crock poat with roasted veggies.
Pork Roast in a crock pot
Season pork roast with kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder and season salt. Sear the roast on all sides in a cast iron skillet and set aside.
In your crock pot, add on can of tomato puree, 2 cups of unsalted chicken or veggie stock, roughly chop 1 carrot, 1 onion, 2 stocks of celery and 3 cloves of garlic. Also add in 2 bay leaves (remove later) and Italian seasoning to taste. Add your roast to the crock pot, and cook on low for 6 hours.
While my roast was making magic in the crock pot I decided to go for a walk to stretch my legs. My daughters even joined me, YAY!
1 cup string beans
1 sweet potato-julienned
1/2 cup of Shitake mushrooms-sliced
2 cloves of garlic finely sliced
Place in a bowel, and toss with 1 teaspoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and chives. I also added some grated parmesan cheese for a little bite! Roast at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
Now after a weekend filled with more time on my feet than I care to admit, I am going to retire to my couch!
How was your week? Do you food prep for the week? What’s your favorite smoothie flavor?
I’ll start this post with the fact that I was supposed to be on weekend duty at the hospital. Once every 5 weeks I am deemed in charge of the entire laboratory and it’s mind blowing and scary all at one time. BUT..my amazing peer and friend offered to take my duty knowing I should be home resting with my daughter, and not enduring unneeded stress. I couldn’t thank her enough, so left her a card and a Starbucks gift card on her desk for the weekend. Good friends truly rock.
We had a very quiet weekend filled with normal housework, laundry, and snuggles. I’ve learned a hard lesson that I’ve wasted far too much time stressing over cleaning and mundane chores. So it’s been glorious snuggling up with my girls to watch a show, or take an extra 20 minutes after my J’s shower to brush and dry her hair. No…I’m never too busy for that.
This morning I had 12 miles on deck and had planned to run the miles with my friend Debra. She texted me early at 7 am notifying me the stomach bug from hell was still in the house. Crap. I knew Janel was meeting me for a couple miles, but could I do 12 on my own? You’re darn right I can, and had the help from Melissa, Seth and Janel for the first couple miles, and my sister texting me at mile 10 that I better run faster so I could be DONE faster, LOL! It worked, I finished my last mile in 8:45 with an over all average pace of 10:06.
I came home, made some bacon and eggs, and took a very long shower as I was frozen to the core. Despite the 30 degree temps, the wind-chill made it feel more like 17 degrees and I. WAS. COLD. After my shower I crawled in to J’s bed, and we watched Netflix for 30 minutes. It’s SOOOO good to see her on the mend, and able to do more ‘stuff’ each day.
Sunday Supper rolled around and I decided to make fish tacos with homemade guacamole and red cabbage slaw with a side of twice baked beans and roasted veggies.
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 plum tomato, chopped
1/4 red onion, diced
juice of half a lime
Seasonings: kosher salt, pepper, cilantro, cayenne pepper to taste
Combine in a food processor-pulse until mixed well, but still chunky
Red Cabbage Slaw
3 cups of red cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 red onion
juice of 1/2 lime
splash of vegetable oil/rice wine vinegar
Seasonings: salt, pepper, and cilantro
Twice baked beans
In a sauce pan add one can of red beans, one can of black beans that have been drained and rinsed
Add 1 clove of garlic, 1/4 cup of diced poblano peppers, and salt, pepper, and smoked paprika to taste. Heat until tender, and transfer to your food processor. Puree on high, then transfer to a baking dish. Top with shredded cheese and toppings of choice. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until cheese has melted.
The rest is pretty cut and dry. I roasted my carrots and red peppers for 25 minutes at 375 degrees and grilled my fish for the tacos. All in all? Delish, and healthy.
While on my run today I was reminded of so many things. Why I love to run, how thankful I am for the support my family has, and that we need to focus on those that lift us up, not those who tear us down. And for a moment, I felt myself nearly flying.
How was your week? Log any miles? Make any good food?
Overall week 4 of training went off without a hitch. Despite little sleep, I managed to get in my weekday runs, strength training, and even a shake out walk today. I also finished my week off with a couple hours of yard work, which included glimpses of spring!
But back it up a little…sorry, I am getting ahead of myself-LOL! Yesterday was my scheduled long run, and I had 11 miles on deck. I hadn’t run long outside since November, and my nerves were pretty high. My friend D offered to meet up with me at 8 a.m. as she was starting at 7 a.m. and I could sleep in a little while she started out since she needed 18 miles.
It worked out PERFECTLY. The sun was out, the temps were nearly perfect and I couldn’t have asked for a better morning. Despite being much faster than I am, D offered to slow it down so we could just run, chat, and leave it all on the trails for a couple hours. And that’s exactly what we did…we kept it a 10mm pace, which is my ‘sweet spot’ to run in where I am pushing myself yet can still glide along easily while holding a conversation.
My ITB is starting to feel the miles, so I did have to stop at stretch it out several times. A quick stretch though, was what seemed to do the trick and I tried to ensure we weren’t stopped for more than a minute each time. The run was amazing, but I am guessing this is greatly due to the company I was in. ❤
Since the hubby is working all weekend, I decided to take the girls to see the new Cinderella movie. I LOVED it. They did, too! I highly recommend seeing this film.
Today was a busy day of Fox Valley Marathon planning and my fellow Co-Directors of Volunteers and I met up with the Race Directors for a an overview of the new online tools we will be using. Can’t wait!
I finished the day, as said previously, by working on my yard, raking, walking, pulling up dead stuff and yes…scooping a winter’s worth of dog poo. Gross is all I can say.
Tonight’s Sunday Supper was Red snapper that I pan fried, served with a broccoli slaw with pancetta along with a cauliflower and leek mash. Delish indeed!!!
I’ve posted how I prepare Cauliflower mash previously here and just added a chopped leek to the mix. YUM!
One bag of pre-chopped broccoli slaw
2 teaspoons of Mayo with olive oil
A splash or two of rice wine vinegar
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of pancetta that has been browned with garlic and chopped mushrooms (drain on a paper towel)
Mix well and let chill for an hour before serving
Dry your fillets with a paper towel and season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat a non stick pan with cooking spray and just a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to medium/high heat. Cook skin side down first, add a pat of unsalted butter and flip about 4-5 minutes and brown the other side for just a minute or two until the fish is completely cooked. Finish with a light sprinkle of kosher salt.
As the weekend draws to a close, I am counting my blessings. I truly couldn’t and SHOULDN’T ever ask or want for more in my life, than what I have today.
Did you all get your long runs in? Were you able to get outside this weekend? What’s your favorite healthy meal?