Cobb Salad

Ingredients

  • black beans (half can or 1 cup)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 cup corn
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • spinach/arugula mix to your preference.

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 4 oz blue cheese (or other crumbled cheese)

Toss all together and serve!

Mini Spinach Quiche

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This recipe is adapted from one of the many gifts I got before my wedding in 2011. A good friend of mine let me go through her recipe files and copy out the ones I wanted to have on hand (since I had not been cooking for a small family yet in my life.) She was also one of the first examples in my life of truly healthy eating and exercise.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 2 cups cheese (shredded cheddar in this case)
  • 1 12oz package steamables chopped spinach
  • 1 cup chopped ham
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl, and mix well. Mix the dry ingredients together and then add them to the wet (in the bowl). Add salt and pepper. Scoop 1/4 cups of mixture into greased muffin tins. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 350 and bake another 12 to 20 minutes (watch to see them get a little crispy on the edges, and then pull them out). Let them cool for 5 minutes before trying to remove from muffin tin.

Mini Flourless Chocolate Tortes

Miniature rich and dense chocolate tortes. Your guests will never know these are gluten free!
Serves: 15-20
Ingredients
  • 12 oz semi sweet chocolate
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs
  • raspberries (optional)
Instructions
For the Tortes
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Grease a mini muffin pan and set aside.
  3. In a medium glass bowl melt chocolate and butter over a double boiler stirring frequently until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Crack eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high until pale yellow and frothy. About 3-4 minutes.
  5. Stir in the salt and arrowroot powder into the melted chocolate until well combined.
  6. Pour 1/3 of the egg mixture into the chocolate and stir gently until combined. Continue 2 more times until all of the egg is combined.
  7. Fill the muffin tins half full with the chocolate mixture.
  8. Bake at 325 for 7-10 minutes. Mine took a little longer at 12 minutes because I halved the recipe.
  9. Allow to cool and top raspberries.

 

Workout Wednesday : Simple HIIT Treadmill Workout

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I don’t mind cardio but in the winter, when I can’t be bothered to go outside (especially right now with two feet of snow in Maryland…), I need a little bit of a push to get the workout done.

That’s where this HIIT workout comes in.

This is a great place to start. Personally, I really struggle with balance so going even at the fastest rate on this is difficult for me, but at the same time I need that challenge so I don’t get bored and give up on the treadmill.

I also lift at least four days a week, and try to get to the barre as well! I will definitely post some workouts like those in the future. But for now… with the snow, this helps me get my butt out of the house and DO something.

 

Fit & Healthy

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After this past week of reading my fellow Hot & Healthy Habits Girls first fitness images/idols/and motivations (all the fitspo wrapped up into one thing). I decided to write about my own … and how I got here. I have such a hard time talking about stuff like this, but it is my hope that sharing will help you feel connected as reading about all these wonderful ladies has helped ME in turn feel connected to them.

This was me, (I’m the tiny blonde in white shirt/blue shorts in the first picture, and in the veil/flower boa thing in the second picture) at my bachelorette weekend. All these beautiful women with me are some of my closest friends who were in my wedding party.

How did I get to this place?

Well, it all started in the swimming pool. When I was growing up, I had a brother who was an amazing competitive swimmer and my mother had been a swimmer all her life as well. They were both tall and thin and it seemed like they could eat whatever they wanted because of how many calories swimming burns. I was a lifeguard at that time, and so the last thing I wanted to do after a shift guarding the pool – was get in it and swim!

Flash forward to college. I was still a lifeguard, and after my first semester in the dorms I had ballooned up to that stereotypical ‘Freshman 15’ and all I wanted was to go back to normal! So, I started swimming. I would work early mornings, swim, shower, and walk to class from the pool. I would always find time to lift a little bit during the day as well, and I would run on the days I couldn’t get in the pool.

Post college, I was walking everywhere or biking. I would drive up to the gym in the morning before work, walk/run on my lunch break, and then lift and bike or run in the evenings. All this work, I thought I might as well start trying triathlons.

So I signed up with a triathlon team. And this is probably where I really met the person I wanted to emulate. She was my coach, a Timex triathlete who had won the Kona Ironman and a personal trainer.

I just wanted to look like her – be fast and win big! And I loved how endurance sports made me feel, but I never figured out how to eat enough to actually complete an Ironman without bonking at some point on the race … But I was stubborn, I just wanted to try.

It was at this point that I met my husband, it took years, but through his love and encouragement I gradually got to a point where working out wasn’t the be all end all of my life and I wouldn’t feel guilty or get anxious if I didn’t do a serious endurance feat that day.

I’m also learning how to eat better. I was always healthy but I never figured out that I could eat quite a bit of good healthy food and not blow up like a balloon… because after my Freshman year I was convinced that food made you fat.

Your body is your life, your story. It won’t be perfect, but it is yours! It took me a long time of being misrable to realize I can’t judge myself against others, or a scale. I am who I am and who I am making myself to be. Own your own image and try to love it!!

I am learning how to be strong – physically and mentally. How to enrich my life through my relationships (especially with other women! sometimes it is so hard being away from those amazing ladies in the picture above).

I am so grateful for the lessons I have learned – especially this year, from my friends in the fitness world, from Ander Wilson and Amanda Adams Rowland and I am thrilled to be part of the #omgneverdietagain movement. I know that this will just keep helping me grow and become the women who can teach other women about being healthy. Precisely what I have always wanted!

I would love to hear your story as well – Where did your first images of fitness come from or who did you look up to as a fitness idol?

 

Gear for Winter Running

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As a transplant to Baltimore City over a year ago I have been trying to figure out this new space and climate for running. Having come from Atlanta, where I spent my time running 2 to 5 miles every other day most weeks, and running at minimum a 5k race a month – Baltimore is brand new territory and the WINTER – winter here calls for a whole new kind of outfit.

Some of my very favorite gear is ubiquitous in Baltimore – Lululemon and Under Armour. Of course, one must add a little bit of Nike for balance.

So, to run in the winter and stay comfortable, it’s all about that #base. Base layer, that is. So to start, I would layer up with my trusty Under Armour ColdGear Women’s Leggings  and on top I would wear Lululemon’s Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve Crew for warmth as well as because it is the most comfortable shirt I have EVER worn. That’s saying a lot, since I don’t usually like to spend that much on a shirt I will wear a million times. For a run where I don’t plan to be wet, I would have Under Armour’s No Show Socks, which come with a moisture transport system fabric to wick away any sweat and keep you both cooler and drier for longer. Otherwise, I am a loyal fan of Smart Wool socks but I always prefer to wear no show socks even in this fabric.

Shoes – of course, will be the Nike Flyknit. I don’t wear Nike right now, personally, but I would if it was possible to try them on in the store before I bought them! I love these though and I want to replace my old Merrells with them one day.

And if it’s snowing – because snow is so wet and cold in Baltimore, I wouldn’t venture out without a heavy layer I can take off and tie when needed. Like this Nike Tech Fleece Jacket. Old Navy has a much cheaper version out now, that I own and would try for November Project at the first sight of snow.

Now that I finally have enough hair for a ponytail, I would put Lululemon’s Run and Done Earwarmer on with the ponytail window.

And if I’m NOT getting out there, nohow, I will throw all this stuff in Under Armour’s Storm Watch Me Duffel to run to the gym and get on that treadmill (#sacriledge) … or to get there anyway and get my lifting done.

If I AM on the treadmill though, I will probably wear shorties instead of leggings to keep cooler. These Boogie Shorts from Lululemon work hard both on the treadmill, in the class, or in a hot yoga room where the heat is definitely not going to work with those leggings (they’re my favorite because they come in the animal swirl deep coal print).

So, if you should see me in the gym – say hi and if you should see me out pounding pavement around the city, join me for a bit. I cannot wait to get to know more about my new home. #BMoreLove

Gift Guide for Husband

My husband is one of those men who is infinitely difficult to shop for. If he wants it, chances are he’s already bought it for himself and a duplicate for me. So… I get to shop for those things that are less than fun, replacement clothing, shoes, and a few other gadgets to make life easier.

Husband Gift

From top left to right:

Men’s Cloud Layer Pro Full-Zip Fleece Jacket – First, I linked the jacket in my husband’s very favorite color, green. He already has a blue one that he wears almost daily. We’ve had that one for about two years now and it is both too small, and beginning to show wear. So I highly recommend this jacket. (Bonus, has the perfect chest pocket with zipper for hearing aid storage).

Men’s Tall L.L.Bean Pathfinder Cargo Pants– My husband is 6’6 and wears pants that are a 34 inch inseam. It is a difficult inseam length to find. His best and longest wearing pants are from LL Bean and Eddie Bauer. These are great for both dressing up or down.

Eddie Bauer Tall Traditional Fit Jeans – I prefer the look of straight fit jeans on my husband, but these are the only ones currently in a straight cut and long enough for him. He definitely could use a few new jeans!

UP3 by Jawbone – If your husband is not the least bit fitness inclined (like mine) something like the UP3 is a good gift because it’s a fun tech toy. My husband loves using his to look at how far he has walked and how well he slept. Sometimes I can even make it into a competition… But not often!

Tactical Desert Boots (size 15) – Being 6’6 means my husband also has pretty big feet! He goes through about one pair of boots a year and his absolute favorite are army type desert tactical boots. They’re nearly impossible to find though!

Doohikey Multi-Use Tool – This neat little toy is something I saw featured on Putting Me Together’s blog post. My husband had a really neat bottle opener on his old key chain but we can’t get it to fit on the new one so … we have been looking for a replacement. This one has a Box Cutter, Bottle Opener, Wrench, Ruler, and Flat Head Screw Driver. Fun!

Hydro Flask Insulated Water Bottle – I actually ordered one of these for me. If your partner is anything like mine… you might see if this helps motivate him to drink enough water. I always worry that with all the coffee and the coke, he will end up dehydrated!

Hope these things help you have a Happy Holiday if your partner is like mine and difficult to shop for!❤

Clean Recipe: Cilantro Lime Chicken

cilantro-lime-chicken-5I love cilantro lime chicken, cilantro lime rice… cilantro lime anything. I have been working on recipes to try and come up with something even remotely like the cilantro lime chicken salad that we have had at a local restaurant. Here’s my creation.

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Ingredients:
1.5 lbs. chicken breasts
Juice from 2 limes
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 tsp. cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a freezer bag, mix well, freeze until ready.
Write on bag:
Remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours.
Cook in the crockpot on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
*Serve with tortillas and toppings such as with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and cheese.

Thanksgiving Veggies: Clean Dill Dip

Dill Dip

Ingredients
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 cup greek yogurt
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 Tablespoon onion flakes
1 Tablespoon parsley

Directions
measure and mix all ingredients in glass or plastic bowl.
refrigerate dip for about two hours until it thickens.
serve with raw veggies for dipping.

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Happy Anniversary!

It has been 9 YEARS since I started blogging on wordpress. Wow. Does that make me feel old or what?

Some big things have happened in that time. I am just going to post a photo collage of life and write it out.

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First, I worked in Colorado for a nonprofit legal aid firm. Later I worked for a government contractor.

In 2010, I met my husband-to-be. He cheered me on as I did a 50 mile walk fundraiser for MS (the purple shirts in the upper left). In 2011, we got married. The second top picture is from my bachelorette hike party in Golden, Colorado near Red Rocks Amphitheater.

2013 in December, we took pictures with Nones and Holes for our Christmas card. We celebrated New Year’s Eve in a friend’s apartment off of Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta. In January of 2014, I started training to be a personal trainer – First at Body Design Atlanta, then through ACE.

In February of 2014, my parents came for a visit. My dad was working nearby and got stuck in his hotel for most of that week due to the latest bout of the Snowpoclypse.

I discovered Pure Barre.  This is from a run with the Pure Barre Run Club at Virginia Highlands.

We got a new truck… and Wes finally fulfilled his lifelong dream of owning an Airstream.

We took a long road trip. During that trip, we spent two weeks in Colorado where I went with my mom to quilt my first King size quilt on a long arm quilting machine.

Wes accepted a new job in Baltimore, so we went there for two weeks. He worked while I looked for a new place for us to live.

While we were in Baltimore, I tried to nail down my situation as a barre instructor. First, I took Soul Body Barre instructor training in White Marsh.

That was not my favorite brand of barre, so after trying for a long time to learn their choreography, I found and fell in love with the yoga method of barre at the local M*Power Yoga Studio.

I went on my first ever trip alone – with Nones. I went to LA in June for the IDEA World Fitness Conference.

I took the Behold the Barre Teacher Training at M*Power. And after that, me and my classmates all started working on teaching and perfecting our skills over the summer.

I had been running with the local chapter of the November Project – but this is from when I made it out to PR Day in September.

The next week, my brother came out to visit us in Baltimore for the first time.

Finally, a picture from a weekend class I attended in the early spring. This is where I met my good friend, Lauren, and we have stayed in touch ever since!