Foodie PenPal Awesomeness

Ok friends, why oh why did it take me so long to join in on the Foodie Penpal-ness? I was super stoked for the package and had so much fun sending my package (it gave me a great excuse to finally explore our local Amish market!) and I can’t WAIT for July.

Check out the amazing goodies from Elizabeth

Inside my package… (twss?)

All sorts of fun goodies!!

A lot of fun local things from Michigan, and some recipes that I can’t wait to try! Hubs is much more of a granola fan than I, but I’m certainly growing into it (I think it’s because I don’t eat yogurt). The dried cherries were an AMAZING addition to my salad the other night…perfectly sweet and had the consistency of a dried cranberry. Deeeeelicious!

And now it’s time for some details about Foodie Penpals.

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penpals is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

Interested in July? Sign up here!

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{Foodie Friday} Go To Recipes

I don’t have one particular recipe to share but here are a couple recipes I’ve been loving lately that are super easy. I’m a huge fan of easy recipes if you couldn’t tell. I’m quite proud that I’ve done really good eating in since Adam has been gone on his two week training. They were both (mostly) healthy too! #proud

{pita pizza}

{Personalized Pita Pizzas}
whole wheat pitas from Trader Joes
Sauce (I used organic from TJ’s – about 4 Tbsp spread evenly)
mozzarella cheese (I used it generously – put as much cheese as you like)
mushrooms cleaned and chopped

Normally on my pizzas I’ll also include peppers, onions, broccoli and spinach but I was out of the veggies so I went with just a mushroom pizza which worked for me. I would also consider adding some sausage slices.

Preheat oven to 350
Bake for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted

{burrito & rice}

 {Tempeh Tacos & Spanish Rice}

Tempeh grated finely
Spinach/lettuce mix
Cherry Tomatoes sliced
Whole Wheat wrap
1 T sour cream
dash of mexican blend shredded cheese
2 T salsa of your choice
1 pkt taco seasoning of choice

Grate tempeh, cook in fry pan. Add taco seasoning and follow directions til cooked fully.

Not sure why I put this on the  wrap since it’s usually too big to wrap, one of these times I’m going to try baking the wrap so I can make a neat type of taco salad. But it’s still delightful and satisfying and one of my favorite dishes.

I struggled to get up this morning so after work I’m going to go to a 5pm yoga class and possibly a bike ride after, if only a short one.  I figure it’ll be a nice way to kick off the weekend before my swim/bike BRICK tomorrow.

What are some of your favorite go to meals when you’re super busy? 

 

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National Pancake Day

So as I was recently recruited to work with a personal trainer I know to work out some teenagers, he’s got big goals for this project so I’m really kind of honored that he’d ask me to help out. We’re still in the planning phase but I’ll definitely be blogging more about this adventure! Tonight we scoped out the space,  next step is to set up workouts and actually get these kiddos moving! I’m pretty stoked to be a part of it all.

I got home earlier since I worked 8-5 yesterday so when I got home whipped up a smoothie since I was starving (lunch today was at 11:30a and I forgot a snack so I was famished), changed and got ready to go.

The meeting didn’t last long as I had planned, so I was home for good at a decent hour which was really nice (foreshadowing to March 12!) I didn’t have a run on the schedule and I didn’t want to go over to the gym so I created my own workout in my living room.

DIY Workout

5 sets of 10 for time
pushups
tuck jumps
squats
sit ups
burpees
25 jumping jacks

total time: 16:35.9

set 1: 3:09.5
set 2: 3:11.1
set 3: 3:26.3
set 4: 3:23.1
set 5: 3:25.4

Because here’s the thing that I’m learning every day –  all it really takes to get in a good work out is a little motivation. It’s always the first step that’s the hardest – like putting on sneakers at 8p when you get home after working a 10 1/2 hour day. This work out had me dripping with sweat by the time I was done and effing exhausted – what’s up FIFTY FREAKIN’ BURPEES (granted not all at once). I took a minute rest between each set to grab water but all in all I pushed myself. Pretty sure my downstairs neighbors probably think the same of me as I think of my upstairs neighbors whom I’m pretty sure run a gym out of their living room based on the amount of banging and dropping heavy weights or whatever on the ground.

Then I made pancakes.

I saw on facebook that it was National Pancake Day so I made my own at home. Thank you Trader Joes Multigrain Pancake mix and some frozen blueberries (if you haven’t tried it, I recommend picking up a box). I cut the batch in half – i have no use for 12+ pancakes. I figured 6 was a good number.

Clearly I am not the best pancake maker. But they were delicious which is really all that matters.

I had 3, then I saved the rest for breakfast (best breakfast EVER).

With a side of Green Monster.

This green monster has….

3/4 c almond milk
1 1/2 frozen bananas
2 T flax seed
2 1/2 T Peanut butter
1/2 c. spinach

Blend. Enjoy. Your welcome.

What are your favorite post workout treats?

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80/20

I had a complete glutton fest this weekend.

Well more so friday than the whole weekend (which is a good thing), but still.

It started with lunch.

Swillis and I went to celebrate at Vapianos. We both got pizza. I was well intentioned with saying “I’m only going to have two slices and bring the rest home for dinner.” Then I had two slices. I was still hungry. I tried drinking water in between bites to curb the hunger.

Oh no. I didn’t stop at two. Nor did I stop at 3. Or four. No no, I finished the whole damn pizza.

So much for restraint.

I was going to go home, fit in some cross training. I did do my burpees mind you.

But instead of going home, cooking a nice dinner, and chatting with the hubs, I went to the Westfield.

I walked around. I had a mission, which wasn’t accomplished but I did get another Jackie Cardigan from JCrew on sale. (#win)

Then I decided to get taco bell for dinner. Because it was late. I had stayed at work late for MOT. So after walking around (walking is exercise right?) I popped into the Food Court for the bell, which if in moderation, I think is the better of the fast food/food court options.

But I didn’t have moderation. 2 bean burritos and a chalupa.

I only finished half the chalupa because it was too much.

But THEN I got a milkshake from Chick-fil-A.

I don’t want to do the math of all the calories. Probably like a thousand just on dinner alone. Which well…might not be too far from the truth. I did better the rest of the weekend, but am seriously considering cutting dairy out of my diet – each time I have milkshakes they do really really bad things to my tummy. Cheese is okay (which i don’t eat that much of anyhow). And I’ve only been eating FroYo or Soy Ice Cream sandwiches if anything for dessert but those milkshakes? They get me every freakin’ time.

I can’t say no. Just like I can’t just have two slices of pizza. It’s a bad bad habit.

That being said…

Saturday morning I ran. 3 miles but I ran. I was supposed to run 6 but I had an appointment for the car then had to go to work to finish up MOT. Considering I skipped 3 workouts this week because of said Mandatory OT, it wasn’t so bad to lace up my sneaks and blow off some steam. Saturday morning was quiet downtown but with plenty o’ runners out and about. My form was a bit off so my calves and achilles were incredibly sore which apparently is common with these types of shoes if you heel strike which I was doing BIG TIME.

I freakin’ love running in this town. How beautiful is that image??

Still finished 3.2 miles in 33 minutes.

Sunday…

I fit in 6 miles and I’m on day 9 of the 151 burpee challenge. It was a little cool out, but I felt really good.

Splits:

Mile 1: 10:02
Mile 2: 10:05
Mile 3: 11:07 (bridge into Eastport)
Mile 4: 10:36
Mile 5:  11:21 (hill around state house)
Mile 6: 9:27 

My goal was to keep my pace faster than 10:30/mile.

I remembered reading somewhere that the more you run, the faster you’ll get. It’s so simple but so true. Having been running pretty consistently 3-5 times per week since Hubs left in early January (give or take…most weeks), I’m running more consistently in the 9:30-11:00 range rather than 11:00-12:30 range. Goal wise? I want to be running 8:30-10:00 range.

I know speed isn’t everything but keeping a goal, a focus if you will, in mind reminds me to stick to it. Even on cold or rainy days. Even when I don’t want to run after work. Its not always easy but when I ran today I was reminded just how important sticking to my 80/20 rule is – 80% of the time be healthy. Stick to workouts. 20%? Well that 20% don’t count.

week 1 mileage total:
goal:
16 miles
actual: 12 miles

This week…

I’m heading to San Antonio this weekend to visit hubs. I’m excited to get some running in shorts in! I have a team outing on Thursday and well…there’s other stuff going on that I can’t really talk about (yet) on here. Let’s just keep it at that.

week 2 training:

M – rest
T – 3 miles
W – speed – 5×400 @ 8:30 w/1 minute @12:00/mi
Th – cross train (MUST be AM workout)
F – 3 miles in San Antonio!
Sa – 7 miles in San Antonio 🙂
Su – rest

Mileage goal: 15 miles

How do you stay balanced in your diet/workouts/life? Do you live by an 80/20-esque mantra?

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Breakfast is…

So recently hubs sent me an article about breakfast – about how apparently eating cake (or other such sweets for breakfast) is not as bad for you as people initially thought.

In the study, obese participants who ate a breakfast high in protein and carbohydrates that included a dessert were better able to stick to their diet and keep the pounds off longer than participants who ate a low-carb, low-calorie breakfast that did not include sweets.

The findings suggest that both meal timing and meal composition play a role in weight loss. Carbs and protein eaten at breakfast may keep us full throughout the day, plus allowing ourselves some sweets helps to stem cravings for these foods, said study researcher Dr. Daniela Jakubowicz, of Tel Aviv University in Israel.

Now here’s my ish with this. We all know that breakfast kick starts your metabolism in the morning and gives you the energy you need to get through the day. Some foods, are definitely better for you than others (especially those higher in protein) but noshing on cake at 7a? I mean, it’s probably up there with having Fruity Pebbles or other such sugarlicious cereals that we all loved as kids.

If you really must have a cakey type of food for breakfast? Check out this article on Health that has 7 healthy cakes to enjoy.

Personally, since I was a little girl I’ve always had breakfast be my favorite meal of the day – who doesn’t love cereal with marshmallows right?  These days I usually have a whole grain bagel or oatmeal or cereal that’s bran heavy. On the weekends after my runs, I’ll go get Naval Bagel – my order usually being something like a whole/6 grain bagel with eggs and vegetables (they have an amazing sandwich called the Vegetarian that’s a personal favorite). I’ve come a long way since the double serving of Lucky Charms (when you actually measure out a cup of cereal which is the case for most serving sizes you actually don’t get that much….).

The real point of this all is that like all meals, balance is key. What they’re saying with this article is that an unhealthy breakfast is better than no breakfast and that by starting our day with sweets we curb our cravings. Which, if you look at it that way, I definitely agree with but err on the side of caution.  Just be careful, with a diet like that you can not indeed have your cake (ah-hem) weight loss and eat it to. At least not every day (wink wink).

What are your favorite breakfast foods? 

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Cookie Monstering

Freaders, so sorry I’ve been MIA but I’ve had a lot keeping me busy between work and friends, I’m incredibly blessed to be super preoccupied with amazing things like Junior League and great pals and a job I enjoy going to. Last weekend, Lexi hosted the third annual cookie swap! A tradition started by Lexi and C back in 2008. What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than with good food, good friends and good wine (well beer in my case).

 

Though Foodie Friday is coming up TOMORROW, I’m going to share my gems because they were AMAZING.

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

{inspired by this recipe seen over at Going On Goals}

Ingredients

2 cups peanut butter
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
52 milk chocolate kisses

Directions

In a large bowl, cream peanut butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition (dough will be sticky). With floured hands, roll tablespoonfuls into 1-1/4-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake at 350° for 14-16 minutes or until tops are cracked. Remove to wire racks. Immediately press a chocolate star in the center of each. Cool.

Then you get these amazing gems which were a hit and SUPER easy to make mere hours before the swap.

I am a BIG fan of easy recipes. This one? I’m perrrrtttyyy sure tops the cake. Thanks google reader for the star feature and thanks to Going with Goals for sharing will definitely be adding this one to my recipe box!

What are some of your favorite holiday recipes??

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Perfect weekend

There are some weekends when you just end it with a sense of perfection.

You see, Saturday is still technically my Friday. So after work, on the perfect Friday I met up with the girls at Las Placitas for a much needed girls night.

That ultimately involved one too many margaritas and a round of tequilla on “la casa” (this place has been a regular that hubs and I have been going to for like..ever.). More margaritas at Banana Cafe. Annnddd then a sleepy car ride home after the hubs picked me up at New Carrollton.

It was…a rough night.

But then came perfection by beach side.

Rehoboth Beach, DE.  Perfection.

There was beach time. Playing in waves. Playing mini-golf (where the picture was taken from), meandering up and down the boardwalk. JCrew outlet (I was searching for skirts. Since I bought one the wrong size by 8 sizes) with no success. THEN finishing the day trip with a lawnmower at Dogfish Head Brewpub and some of the greatest fries ever known to man.

Nom.

The perfect Saturday (Sunday) ended with a not too long drive home where we saw not ONE but TWO shooting stars in the clear, wide open, pollution-less Delaware sky. Feeling kind of lucky right about now. I’m convinced that Rehoboth Beach is one of my new all time favorite places.

Then today! We sat out by the pool – and actually went in for a change (usually we just lay outside) but then we were starving. We did not go for our 6 mile run as I had planned because we got home at like 1am and slept til like 11am. Whoops? I think it goes with my schedule right now that I need one day without an alarm.

After pool time, we headed over to Coconut Joes for $2 crabs. I had a salad with a crab cake – a dish I had seen at Dogfish Head the night before but opted instead for a pizza.

The dish was perfection.

Seriously. Perfection.

Hubs had $2 crabs. Some of them were missing claws but for the most part they were tasty.

We ended the night downtown to check out the new Market House, grab a pint at Castle Bay which has been a favorite place since before we moved here and then ended with a touch of ice cream at Annapolis Ice Cream Company.

De. Freakin’. Licious.

Granted, we have a mini break coming up going back to CT where we’re going to see U2 on Wednesday, I’m going to a yoga class on Thursday with my favorite yoga instructor of all time at my favorite Studio of all time, and then lunch with friends, tubing (or beaching) on Friday, and celebrating a birthday with the family Saturday.

Have you ever seen a shooting star? Did your wish come true?

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Summer reads

 

I’m getting better with the quick, easy and healthy meals. I mean it helps when you get home before 8pm at night. Tuesday  night we had english muffin pizzas.

We used:

3 whole wheat english muffins
pizza sauce (i used about a T on each muffin)
fresh basil
cherry tomatoes sliced lengthwise (it’s what I had)
fresh mozzaralla (sliced)

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes or until crispy (not burnt!) And wham bam thank you ma’am. Another speedy meal!

Last night we met up at Ram’s Head with one of my old co-workers who will be housesitting for us while we’re out of town. Can’t have my plants dying on me now can I?

So the lovely people over at Simon & Schuester contacted me regarding the paperback release of “Last night at Chateau Marmont” which my sister recently gave me (birthday or Christmas) in hard cover. I loved it. Lauren Weisberger wrote “The Devil Wears Prada” which is quite possibly one of my go to feel good books. Not to mention I watch the movie pretty much every time I have a day off.

So this book is another feel good beach read, perfect for a mindless summer.

So, because I already have a copy of this book, I thought I’d give away a copy to one lucky reader! So tell me what YOUR favorite summer beach read is in a comment here. For an extra entry? Tweet  “@missheidi is giving away a copy of “Last night at Chateau Marmont!” http://ow.ly/5u4dv”
I’m off for another #tripnorth  so posting will be rather light over the next couple days. I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday when I return to start my month of swing shifting it (1p-10p ICK!) thankfully…I will survive and at least for July, I don’t need to get up at 5:30a to go running! #winning right?

Right.

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A very Maryland weekend

A four mile run. Sitting by the pool. Crabs at Canter’s. Enjoy a nice Saturday night on the deck at Coconut Joe’s. It really was the perfect weekend.

Saturday for the most part was kind of m’eh. Hub’s friend came down to the area and hung out with us. We were kind of not exciting hosts after breakfast at Naval Bagel, but later in the afternoon, we popped over to Cantlers across the river. Amazing.

Personally, I’m still warming up to crabs. So instead of mashing things, I had a crab cake sandwhich (without the bread)

Hubs and his pal certainly enjoyed the crabs and I may have had one of them as well. I just don’t like to get my hands dirty with food.

Later, we went out to Coconut Joe’s and enjoy a few orange crushes. We opted to cab it there and back just for shits. Also because we knew we’d be drinking and well Orange Crushes are strong. Who knows how many it does (or doesn’t take) to be over the legal limit.

Sunday, hubs and I got back into running. Last week was rough and or…not exactly the most productive of weeks in terms of fitness but running the 4 miles yesterday morning definitely had me feeling good.

After our friend left, hubs and I got some work done (me overtime) and then laid by the pool. Hubs neglected to heed my sunscreen advice and is now as red as a lobster. It’s kind of funny if I hadn’t been there. Many times.

After pool time, we baked and cooked dinner.

By the way. This is a perfectly measured out meal. It was incredibly delicious and generally filling.  Whole wheat pasta, vodka sauce and a bit of chicken/sun dried tomato sausage with a side of blood orange italian soda. NOM. This whole weight watchers thing is making me much better about portion size.

total points? ~9 points.

Then. The best part?

I made these muffins. Many thanks to Beth for the recipe – they are AMAZING so ya’ll should definitely make them up!

Banana Zucchini Muffins

10 muffins. ~3 points+ (probably more since i used sugar)

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 medium banana, mashed
  • 1 cup zucchini shreds
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (or vanilla)
  • 1/2 c sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine all your dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir ingredients together until well combined and set aside. Crack your two eggs into a separate bowl, beat, then add into wet ingredients. Stir until well combined. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir well. Grease a muffin pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until a knife/toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for five minutes then

Seriously – recipe amazing. That’s the great thing about the blogosphere – the amazing recipes people share. I haven’t gotten great about creating my own recipes but eventually I will. When I have more time to experiment.

What’s the favorite recipe you’ve gotten on the internets?

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Monday

It’s a beautiful day here in the DC area. Last night, after an awesome Easter potluck with friends, hubs and I lazed about watching Gilmore Girls on DVD and listening to the storms that raged through Annapolis last night.

This morning, the sun was shining but we had gotten to bed just a little too late to wake up and go for a run. Kind of regretting that now, but hubs and I promised each other that we’d do the 30 day shred. As an alternative this week to running in the AM, we’ll do the 30 day shred because it’s a quick easy workout we can do at home together.

Work out schedule:

M – 30 day shred
T – run 30 mins
W – run 30 mins
Th – yoga
F – off
Sa – run 1 hour

I’m training hubs and since I’m not training for a race at the moment, I figured I’d just start running time lengths rather than miles. Also I’m rebuilding my endurance so it’s kind of nice not feeling pressured to finish a certain amount of mileage. Hubs and I ran a little over 2 miles doing 2 minutes of running and 2 minutes of walking. We’ll stick with that through this week, and then next week move to 3 minutes of running to 1.5 minutes of walking. It’s an abridged version of the Couch to 5k program.

Eats

We’re trying so hard to not eat out. Today since we woke up late, we ate breakfast at Cosi. I got a Cheese, Tomato and Basil omelette type on a whole grain bagel with a fresh squeezed OJ.

 

Lunch I had a vegetarian burrito bowl from Chipotle. I only ate about half of it since they’re MASSIVE. But they’re easy to order (lunch lines tend to be long in this area) online and calorie wise they clock in around 450 calories for a burrito bowl with black beans, rice, pico salsa, guac and sour cream and cheese. I hate that they LOAD ON the guac and sour cream and find that I like the burrito bowl much better when I make it myself at home.

I checked the scale today and well, let’s just say I haven’t been doing myself any favors by not taking advantage of my time better. So, here’s to managing my time and being a PLANNER. I’ve always tried to be a good planner. When I don’t that’s when things usually don’t work out so well for me.

Meal Planning

All that being said about planning – this week I gave hubs a list and sent him on his way to get me some groceries after work today (he gets out of work two hours earlier than I do).

M – Leftover salad from last night with chicken (I made an awesome arugula salad with apples, dried cranberries, feta, cucumber, tomatoes and walnuts for last nights pot luck. We came home with a decent amount left over which is awesome!)
T – Summer Sausage and Broccoli Shells. {As spotted here. Thanks Sarah for the inspiration!}
W – Leftovers (I have a junior league meeting so hubs is on his own)
Th – Tempeh tacos (nom)
F – Royal Wedding watch party (thanks DVR) at Lexi’s.
S – Annapolis Cup/Date night

Goals for the week

*Wake up early 2 days this week. Thursday doesn’t count cause hubs has to be at a work event in downtown DC at 6:30 so I’m going to a 7a yoga class.

*Bring lunch 4 out of 5 days. Since I ate out today, I’m going to bring my lunch the next four days.

*Go to sleep before 11p every night this week. The biggest impediment to my getting up early to work out is that I’m incredibly nocturnal by nature. Especially since I work 11-8 currently and get home between 8:30-9:30 each night. Usually around 9ish. So it makes eating dinner and decompressing that much harder.

*No MORE soda. Going cold turkey. I don’t drink diet coke but rather ginger ale and sprite which even though it’s not filled with caffeine is still equally bad. So this week, I’m givin’ it up and going for the water bottle.

Are you a morning person? If so, were you always? Any tips/advice to getting your bum out of bed in the early morning??

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