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Monthly Archives: February 2011

I’m Alive :)

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It’s been awhile, huh?  Sorry for the brief hiatus.  I have been working on make-up stuff for school and playing catch up for all the things I had missed due to away games for basketball and our Championship travels.

This little article was brought to my attention by a guy at the gym who asked if I had seen my quote yet.  Haha.  I remembered talking to another reporter at some point, but forgot it was for the school’s paper.

The weekend was filled with some of my favorite things…In no particular order of chronology, here are some highlights:

I got to watch my little sis show off her skills on the basketball court.  She’s got game!  I wish I had more time to spend with her working on things and playing together.

I think she’s got a good shot at playing in college as well, if she chooses.  She developed much quicker than most of the kids her age.

Along with athletic events, school work came into play during my leisure time.We had to do expository demonstrations in our Speech Communications class on Saturday morning…I missed two classes already, so I clearly felt behind.

  I was the FIRST person to go, on top of all of that.  I chose to do mine on Yoga positions, with the creative title, “Strike A Pose“.   I began my demonstration on the floor, but was quickly asked to move to the table top so that everyone could see.  I was more nervous about falling off of the table than I was about giving the speech!

Some other topics of choice included “Baby Changing 101“, “How To Fashion a Paddle“, and “How To Avoid A Heart Attack“.  Overall, I was pretty happy with the way things went and I received positive feedback from my professor along with my peers.

You can bet that I had some awesome meals this weekend…a few of the classics, that I can’t seem to get enough of are roasted vegetables,

Squash, broccoli, parsnips, yellow pepper, baby bellas, and cauliflower with reduced sugar ketchup and Cedar’s Cucumber Garlic Tzatziki for dipping.

Spaghetti…squash style 🙂

Salted and peppered, topped with cooked spinach and canned mushrooms, swimming in an ocean of Light Ragu

Colorful salads

Romaine shreds, cherry tomato halves, cucumber, canned beets, orange diced peppers, and Raspberry Balsamic Glazee

And then there were some NEW things that I got to try!

Dr. Praeger’s  Sweet Potato Pancakes

I thought the ingredients list was pretty impressive, as were the nutrition stats.  Plus, anything sweet potato, short of being deep fried, is okay in my book 😉

 

I figured they would be convenient and perfect for quickly packed lunches, but I couldn’t resist trying them out the day I got them.

They’re yummyyy, that’s for sure.  A little on the pricey side, but it’s not something I buy on a daily basis, so I’m okay with a splurge now and then.  I just popped mine in the microwave and nuked them for about 2 minutes!  They would probably have been better baked though, as the edges would’ve gotten crispy!

There were presents received this weekend, too!

Kopali Organics sent me some of their dried mango and chocolate covered dried banana to try out along with this cute green, organic tank.

Sure, the tank was adorable…soft and completely comfortable, but the product was AWESOME. 

I love mango, but it’s hard to get ripe.  I couldn’t believe there was no added sugar to this perfect snack!

Oh yes, and there was another present that I received in the mail…but I’m going to hold you all in suspense and just show you a sneak preview photo rather than get into the details for now.  There will be a review coming soon, but trust me, you don’t want to get me started on these babies, or this post will be a mile long.

See what I mean?  Glorious 🙂

 Of course, along with food comes fitness!  I enjoyed quite a bit this weekend.  There was a workout everyday.  Don’t sweat sessions just make everything better?   Maybe it’s just me, but I thoroughly enjoy a good workout.

Each session starts with Shaun T and Insane Abs…because, well, he’s the best eye candy ever…oh, and he does a job on my abs that I’m sure I’ll be thankful for, come beach weather!

As you can see, I like to stay entertained while I ellipticize by watching episodes that I miss throughout the week of things like One Tree Hill, The Biggest Loser, and Extreme Makeover Home Edition.

Before I know it, I’m down about 2 hours and 600 calories.  Nothing beats a basketball practice as far as calorie burn, but these workouts are nice and leisurely.

You know…they keep me sane.

To top off the weekend, I saw a new flick in theatres with my surrogate.  I love hanging out with her! 

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Personally, I don’t think it’s possible to make a bad movie when you’ve got Jen Aniston and Adam Sandler on the cast.  It was pretty cute…predictable, but cute.

So.  Tell me, what have I missed?!  What’s new and exciting in your lives?

XO.

FoodScience of Vermont

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FoodScience of Vermont was a company I heard Tina talk about on her blog, so when I heard that they would be interested in sending samples for me to do a review for you all, I was a little more than excited!

First of all, a little bit about the company:

With over a quarter century of experience in producing the Highest Quality Nutritional Supplements available, FoodScience of Vermont® has created an exceptional line of products including Joint Support Formulas, Herbal Extracts, Performance Products, Energy Formulas, Amino Acids, and Multiple Vitamin/Mineral Formulas. Our formulas have been developed based on the latest scientific research to include nutrients like Alpha Lipoic Acid, Lycopene, Phosphatidylserine, Bioperine™, and natural Herbs like Pygeum, Saw Palmetto, Ginkgo Biloba, and Grape Seed Extract.

We pride ourselves on the fact that we use the purest, highest quality, natural nutrients available to produce all of our formulas. Our nutritional research focuses on the complex relationships that exist among available nutrients. FoodScience of Vermont’s extensive research into the exciting properties of N,N-Dimethylglycine (DMG) has been unparalleled and has significantly broadened the boundaries of knowledge relative to this vital nutrient. FoodScience holds 5 U.S. patents on DMG including 3 dealing with Immune Response.

Being that I am totally into Nutrition and the Science behind it all, it was cool to get a grasp on what a company like this really does and what all they pride themselves in.  Their mission is simply to “expand nutritional awareness through professional publications.”  Their Research and Development Department is under the direction of a Ph.D Nutritional Biochemist with over 20 years experience in nutritional research and product development.

Other tidbits:

  • All FoodScience supplements are of the highest quality and integrity and are doctor-evaluated for effectiveness and reliability.
  •  Raw materials used in FoodScience products are evaluated for quality, purity, and potency before they are approved for use in our products. Superior quality control and good manufacturing procedures are followed at all times to guarantee that our exacting standards are met.
  • All ingredients used are as natural as possible and are guaranteed to contain no artificial flavorings, preservatives, colors, sweeteners or other foreign substances.
  • Most FoodScience products are yeast, sugar, and starch free. Every label clearly indicates all fillers and binders used as well as what each product is free of such as corn, egg, gluten.
  • Their packaging material is made from 100% recycled and recyclable paper along with their catelogs.

They’ve got everything you could possibly need including vitamins, minerals, digestive aids, amino acids, herbal extracts, joint and muscle supports, weight management products, children’s formulas, and anxiety/stress/sleep supplements.

I got to try out some of their Whey Superior Charge Vanilla first!  I’m a big fan of protein shakes after workout sessions because they tame my belly long enough to whip up an acceptable “meal”.  Not to mention, they’re delicious and dessert-like!

FoodScience of Vermont’s version of Whey protein powder was easily one of my top 5 favorites out of all the kinds I’ve tried.  It’s best blended up with a machine, but you can also use a plain water bottle, too.  They extracted their high-quality product from the pristine herds in New Zealand!  It is a naturally complete protein that provides essential and non essential amino acids to support healing, muscle building, muscle and tissue recovery, energy and the immune system. 

Check out the stats:

Unbeatable!

 The next three products are especially unique to the company, and I couldn’t wait to try them out in my smoothies, mixed into yogurt, and any other way I could come up with!

Superior Greens, Reds, Oranges, and Purples.

They can be bought packet style, or in 30 serving containers.

Superior Reds is an awesome combination of fruit powders which are rich in antioxidants such as strawberries, cherries, apples, and other potent plant extracts that support optimal liver, immune, neurological, cardiovascular and eye functions.  It’s even considered vegetarian safe!

The Superior Greens are backed by the same idea of using nutrient rich plants, rich vegetables, fruits, herbs, herbal extracts,
Chlorella, Soy Lecithin, Royal Jelly, Bee Pollen, enzymes and probiotic cultures to support, detoxify, and rejuvenate the body. 

You would be amazed what all of those little extras in the proprietary blends can do for your energy level and overall bodily functions.  It was like a refreshing splash of cold water for my entire body.  They taste awesome too and can be virtually undetectable in things like smoothies or yogurt.  The fruity ones are especially easy to dress up!

 

Superior Purples combines 19 rich WHOLE FOODS (LOVE!) like blueberries, purple cabbage, eggplant, purple carrots, blackberry, elderberries, and figs to bring together an antioxidant powerhouse with phenols, anthocyanins, ellagic acid, proanthocyanidins, bioflavonoids and Vitamin C

To sum up the purples, they support:

Healthy aging*
– Circulation & vascular health*
– Memory*
– Smooth, healthy, radiant skin*
– Mental clarity & focus*
– Immune system function*
– Cell health & function*
– Nerve and brain function*

Last, but not least, we’ve got Superior Oranges.  You probably already know that Vitamin C and immunity enhancement is a key benefit of most orange whole foods, so it should be no surprise that this tool, too, is in support of those things.

Considering, I eat copious amounts of sweet potato and pumpkin, I hardly need another orange substance to encourage my oompa loompa glow, but for those of you who aren’t a fan of these kinds of foods, you can always add this creamsicle-tasting powder to just about anything!

This stuff is super energizing, with the Green Coffee Bean extract that provides natural caffeic and chlorogenic acids to support energy levels without the negative effects associated with caffeinated beverages.* DMG, Taurine, Inositol and White Panax Ginseng further enhance this fast-acting formula !

 Make sure you check out all of the awesome stuff that FoodScience of Vermont has to offer on their website! 

 

Weekend Tidbits & A Winner.

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Although I was disappointed that we didn’t win the State Championship, I couldn’t complain about any kind of lack of effort.  Our team left it all on the floor that day!  The rest of my weekend was nice and relaxed for the most part, especially since I had President’s Day off of work.

Before I get into the deets, without further ado, here’s the winner of the Green Giant Blogspark giveaway!

Congratulations, Louis!

Please email me your shipping address, so I can have your prize package mailed to you right away!

Now for some noteworthy weekend eats 🙂

I made my FIRST spaghetti squash ever.  I know, pathetic, right?!  I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for over a year now and this is my first attempt.  It intimidated me before because I wasn’t sure how to cook it. 

Turns out, it’s SUPER simple.  I actually cooked mine in the microwave, that’s how easy it was.  Basically, you just cook it (however you prefer) until tender, after cutting it in half and scooping out the seeds.  The flesh turns into these stringy strands that I pulled pulled from the rind with a fork.  Add some salt, pepper, light ragu and veggies and you’re set!  I wish I would’ve had some meatless meatballs to add!

On my day off, I took advantage of the morning and worked out at a leisurely pace while catching up on One Tree Hill episodes that I had been missing for classes and games. 

507 calories, 154 max hr, 2hrs 11min.

The routine usually starts with Insane Abs, proceeded by biking, and then hitting the elliptical in my basement…this time was no exception.  Each day I like to get at leat 30 minutes of cardio in.  My legs and heart will thank me someday.

I was hungry for pizza, so I decided to use these AWESOME Kim’s Light Flat Breads that I was sent to try out.  Off the record, these just may be my favorite.  They are HUGE.

I used light ragu for my red sauce, sliced onion, green pepper, mushrooms, and light string cheese on one half and then I wanted to try my luck at white pizza, so I used fat free cottage cheese, broccoli, onion, and mushroom on the other half with light string cheese shreds.

Perrrrfectionnn. 

On my day off, I had a TON that I wanted to get accomplished including a workout, studying, dropping clothing off at the consignment store, getting my necklace from Bran repaired, and returning some boots that I got online which didn’t fit. 

I literally made a to-do list and checked things off as I got them done.  My girl, Mandy came with me to Harrisburg to run errands…which, admittedly resulted in a bit of shopping.

I wanted to get a few short sleeved tees since running weather is just around the corner and Lady Foot Locker had them $4 for $19!  How can you pass that up? 🙂

I had bootcamp Monday night along with girls’ nightThe Bachelor is officially down to three girls!

I’m rooting for Emily, I think. 

Do you watch the Bachelor?  Which girl do you want to win his heart?

XO.

The Road To The State Championship

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At about 6:30PM on Friday night, we pulled up to hotel in West Virginia.  We were pleasantly surprised that the brand new hotel we were staying in looked nothing like its surroundings…rundown, empty space.

After a quick check-in, we each threw our bags into our rooms, admired the clean, classy space, and got changed to head to dinner and practice.

It was a little odd to us that the entire back wall of the room was a huge mirror. 

My friend, Julie asked me if we could room together and I quickly agreed!  I’d say she is my best friend on the team 🙂  We have a lot in common with our faith and we’ve really been support systems for one another throughout the season.

There was a nice flat screen in the room, but we actually didn’t even use it!  Most of our time in the room was spent getting showers, sleeping, and doing devotionals! *Note, the Enjoy Life cookies on the desk!  I brought them for my roomie because she has to eat gluten-free!  She LOVED them!  I sent her home with the remainder of the box 🙂

After a quick minute of regrouping, the team headed for dinner together.

I’m telling you, this place was in the middle of nowhere.  We saw only a handful of restaurants that were within 10 miles of the school/hotel.  I thought that within a college town, there had to be more to do…I was wrong!

Dinner was interesting to say the least.  The menu wasn’t too shabby, and I ended up ordering a roasted turkey breast sandwich on rye bread with lettuce, tomato and onion with a side salad and vinegar on the side.  The lighting was total crap, though and I didn’t get a good shot of the meal.

The meal was much more about the company than the food, though.  Team bonding is important, especially before a huge game!  These two ladies are our sophomores, Julie & Steph…some of the sweetest girls you’ll ever meet!

I’m going to miss these girls so much.  The season wouldn’t have been the same without each and every one of them.  Don’t worry, though, we are already checking out beach houses this summer for a long weekend trip together! 

After dinner, it was time for our last practice.  The gym was super old!  One of the guys told us that the brick was all original, too! 

We ran through some basic quick drills consisting of layups, shooting, and press breaking.  After brushing up on all of our plays and getting in some foul shooting, we headed back to the hotel to shower and get some rest.

In the morning, Jules and I got some breakfast.  I made her a greek yogurt mess with banana and cereal.  I don’t know how I managed this, but for some reason, my food pictures escaped my camera!  Ironic, isn’t it?  Seeing how this is a food blog and all?!  I had packed the go-to breakfast as of late – aka banana peanut flour oats.

Next up, we did our devotionals together.  It was a really cool thing to be able to have a friend to talk to about spiritual growth and seeing Jesus in our daily lives. 

Before we knew it, we were lacing up our Nike’s and it was gametime.  The school we played, Potomac State College of West Virginia, had 15 girls, which to us was unheard of, considering we had gone through our season with a total of 7-9.  Two of their players were there on scholarships as well.  I wasn’t intimidated in the slightest, however, which was abnormal for me.  I was just excited to be there.

Potomac State had quite a few big girls.  Coach decided to put me on their best offensive player while we were in man defense, and she wasn’t too difficult to guard. 

The only thing I struggled with was getting pushed under the basket when it was time to box out and rebound.  I can’t complain about the way our team played.  We fought until the very end, but a dry spell toward the beginning of the game gave the opponent a quick lead that we just weren’t able to close the gap on.

Potomac State 88, HACC 70: The Lady Hawks (16-2) came up short in the Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Association championship game after falling behind early. Sami Cox (Halifax) and Lakisha Lemon (Milton Hershey) scored 19 points each to lead HACC. 

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I’ve got more action shots, but they’re on Momma FF’s camera, so you’ll have to wait until I can upload them! Like I said, we had a wonderful season.  Friendships were grown, talents were shared, and a family was born 🙂  We adore both of our coaches, and can’t wait play again for them next season.  I’m really going to miss Jules and Steph (our two sophies, though!)  We plan on putting together a summer league team, too! EPCC Champs and State Runners-Up; Final record: 16-2.

After the game, all of the fans and the team hit up Ruby Tuesday’s for lunch.  The game was at noon, so we were all starving by the time we reached the restaurant!  I was so thankful that my family came the whole way to WV to watch me play.  They are the greatest.

Gram & Pops

Morgy & Paige

Incase you’re a new reader of the blog and don’t already know about my love of GREAT salad bars like the one at Ruby Tuesday’s, here’s a reminder!

I don’t think my team had ever seen a person eat so much salad.  They totally followed my lead, though 😉  Haha.

They all joked that my salads were a work of art, piled high with baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, zucchini slices, red beets, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, carrots, edamame, mushrooms, cottage cheese, and chickpeas all bathed in some balsamic vinegar. Perfect post game meal if you ask me!

When we left, we saw Bumble Bee in the parking lot from the Transformers movies!  I kid you not.  It even has the emblem!

The latest Transformers movie was actually taped in Washington DC, so it’s a good possibility that this car was the actual one, right?!  At least that’s what I told myself to amplify the “coolness” factor 🙂

Haha.  All in all, it was a wonderful trip with wonderful people.  I cherished every moment of this season and am so thankful that God gave me the opportunity to be apart of something special! I owe it all to him!

More on the weekend, coming up in the next post!  And stay tuned for the winner of the Green Giant giveaway!

XO.

Be A Top 10.

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Thanks everyone, for your encouraging words about my situation at home.  I never realized how many of you guys actually find yourselves feeling the SAME way I do. 

My devotional this morning was a definite good reminder.

One thing that I always pray about, is the fact that I want God to help me make a positive impact on the lives of anyone I come in contact with, but especially my teammates and coaches.  I want them to see Him shining through me…that there’s something different in my life than most.

Breakfast is easily my favorite meal of the day.   From egg white omeletttes to oatmeal, some of what I consider to be the tastiest foods ever are comsumed at breakfast time.    Another fave of mine used to be bagels…that was before I realized exactly how many calories I was taking in with each and every one…not to mention, toppings.

Those Bagelthins just didn’t do it for me…the whole bagel taste just wasn’t there.  It was too much like a sandwich thin…I’d rather have toast.  Then I was sent these awesome little guys from Kim’s Light Foods to try out!

(1 Kim’s Light Wheat Bagel + 1 smashed nanner + peanut flour paste: 1/4 C. peanut flour, sugar-free vanilla syrup, pinch of salt, and water to thin)

Bagels and I rekindled our old flame 🙂

Things are definitely looking up around here.  The weather, for starters, is absolutely fantastic!  I am so excited that Spring is around the bend!

Check out the temperature reading from my car yesterday!  That’s almost shorts weather! Thank you, Lord for the sunshine!

I discovered yet another bruise at work today.  Haha.  Just had to share.

Lunch was eaten at my desk.  I’ve been really into eating eggs lately…they’re cheap, convenient, delicious, and nutritious.

(A side of snap peas accompanied by a kale salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, yellow pepper, and a microwaved egg + 1 white all tossed in peach balsamic glaze)

The money shot 😉

Not that I didn’t know this already, but my Nutrition class and MyPyramid Diet Analysis confirmed the fact that I consistently eat quite a bit more vegetables than the daily recommended value.  Can’t hurt, right?

Snacktime was another Kim’s Light Bagels’ treat.  PB&J before my gym workout and basketball practice!  It would be our last practice this season on our home court.  We’ll be having one more practice down in WV at the court we will be playing on for the Championship Saturday!

I took it easy because I didn’t want to have tired legs.  A good practice was necessary to calm my nerves about the upcoming event!  Before practice, however, I was interviewed by a man from The Patriot News about our season so far!

Here’s a link to the article if you’re interested 😉

2:29:15; 757 calories; 205 max hr

After practice, I scurried home to get a shower, pack for the weekend, eat some dinner, and get some good rest.

Momma FF emailed me earlier in the day and asked if I would like Chinese for supper…does she really have to ask?! 🙂 hehe.  She’s the sweetest!  She picked it up for us on the way home from her softball open gym.

To hold myself over until she got home (which ended up not being until about 8:15!), I made a green monster and had a light wheat bagel with sonoma jack’s pepperjack cheese + splenda.

And thennnn came the entreee 🙂

Steamed shrimp and chinese vegetables with lite garlic sauce, you know…the usual.

It took awhile for me to get in my head what exactly I wanted to bring with me for the roadtrip.  Obviously, I’m hoping for a Skype date with D on Saturday morning, but he has to be able to find Wi-fi first.  I packed the webcam, just incase 🙂

Just before bed, I had a cup of unsweet almond milk with some Newtree belgian biscuit chocolate.   Does anyone else know where to find this stuff in stores?  The only place I’ve seen it is at Target!

HAPPY FRIDAY!

Who are the most influential people in your life?  What’s one thing you’ve learned today?

XO,

In A Funk.

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I hate downer posts as much as the next blogger, but sometimes they just need to happen to get things off my chest.  Things are going so perfectly in some aspects…I get to hear from D at least once a day (typically), the team is preparing for our State Championship game this weekend, and the more I learn about Health & Nutrition through my school work, the more I love it.  Things at home are a different story.  I am 22-years old.  I like to come and go as I please, be able to sit down for a meal when I get home from practice, cook and bake when I feel like it, and have my own agenda in general.  Understandably so, my family also wants to be able to do those things, and since it is THEIR home, obviously they should be able to.  More often than not, this causes conflict if they get home and I’m in the kitchen.  I truly do my best to stay out of their way, but sometimes it’s inevitable that we will need to be in the kitchen at the same time.  I get very stressed out, because I can hear the sighs and eye-rolling as I’m preparing my food.  They just don’t understand why I refuse to make things easy on myself and eat like a “normal” person.    Lately, I feel as though everything I touch, say and do is a mistake.  I get so stressed out, while they stand there waiting me to finish up what I’m doing and get out of their way, that I usually end up rushing, spilling something, or just doing a crappy clean up job resulting in tears streaming down my cheeks and a night kept to myself reading in my bedroom.  I just need some elbow room…you know, just to be me?  I’ve been looking at apartments for awhile now, and I’m thinking it’s soon time.  I just want to finish up my Associates Degree and get my car paid off first, so I have some payments out of the way. 

Okay, therapy over – food time.

Breakfast looked a whole lot like an english muffin & peanut butter, huh?  Think again 🙂  It’s one of my infamous oatcakes cut in 1/2 with banana peanut flour paste.

(Oatcake: 1/3 C. old fashioned oats, 1/2 mashed banana, sugar-free vanilla Torani, cinnamon, 1 egg white, pinch baking powder all mixed together and microwaved for two minutes; Banana peanut flour paste: 1/4 C. peanut flour, other 1/2 mashed banana, pinch of salt, sugar-free vanilla Torani, and water to thin)

 I know that it takes more time and effort to create a lot of my meals, but I think it’s a lot of fun.  Blogging about it is even MORE fun.  This is one of the few things that I do purely for my enjoyment, and I’m sorry, but I’m not willing to give that up.

Lunch was a beastly taco salad!  Meatless and all.

(Chopped lettuce, diced tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow pepper, and onion with Quorn meatless crumbles mixed with Pace salsa and topped off with low-fat Cabot Greek yogurt and more salsa)

Throughout the day, I usually sip on numerous bottles of water.  I contribute to a water fund that provides a Crystal Springs water cooler in our office.  It’s only like $1/day and I DEFINITELY get my money’s worth.  I probably fill up at least 3 times. 

I always snack at my desk, since I know I want to have enough energy to get me through a two hour basketball practice with 1/2 hour of strength training/cardio beforehand.  Vitatops are great because I can just throw them in my bag!  They’re only 100 calories and provide a protein/fiber punch along with lots of vitamins & minerals and are low in fat…not to mention they’re one of my favorite versions of chocolate. 

Right before practice, I try to get some natural sugar in me so that I’m amped up and energetic.  Cherries are a great source of natural sugar and provide Vitamin C and fiber…also considered a SUPER FOOD for your joints!  Not to mention…it’s National Cherry MonthWhy not celebrate? 🙂

3 hrs, 4 min; 968 calories; avg. HR 111

I went straight from practice to my Nutrition class, where I was presenting a healthy dish that I created to share with the class.  Each of us was in one of three groups: Lipids (fats), Proteins, or Carbohydrates.  When I think of complex carbs, I think of grains immediately, so when I saw this recipe on J’s page, I knew I wanted to make it, adapted of course.

It tasted GREAT!  Thanks, J!  Your recipe was a hit.

 There were several other recipes that people brought, and at the end of the semester, we’re going to compile them into a cookbook!  Pretty cool, huh?!  I’ll be sure to share some of my faves with you!

Here was my plate, aka dinner:

(L-R: Broccoli Pesto and Fusilli Pasta, Maple Pumpkin Oat Muffins, Whole Wheat Garden Pizza, Mediterranean Couscous Salad, and in the middle is a Banana Blueberry Smoothie)

Since everything was just a sampling (not an actual serving, or even half for that matter), and I had just burned off about 920 calories, I also had an EAS chocolate protein shake and some celery sticks which I packed in my bag.

I didn’t get home until 10:30 PM from class, so I crashed pretty much immediately.  Of course, my stuff was strewn across my room.  I was exhausted and in no shape to reorganize.  Sorry, family.

XO.

Mardona Specialty Foods

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Mario, Mario, Mario:  THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing your amazing line of  MarDona Specialty Foods with me!  Thanks to you, some of my favorite foods were taken to a WHOLE new level of flavor!

Ever since I saw Julie bragging (;)) about her experiences with MarDona Specialty Foods, I knew I had to try them.  After all, we are like foodie twins seperated at birth. 

First and foremost, I’m going to make your mouth water by talking about my absolute favorite line of goodies from MarDona, AKA the flavor infused BALSAMIC GLAZES That’s correct, you heard me right…GLAZES…not vinegars.  Thick, syrup like, flavor-bombing balsamic glazes.  Check it outCherry, Peach, Red Apple, Fig, Raspberry, Black Truffle, Original, & White. 

I couldn’t get enough of the Cherry and the Peach.  I could’ve eaten them on anything.  Honestly, I contemplated trying them on oats because it was virtually impossible for them to taste bad, but I didn’t want to freak out the blogworld!

Each Tablespoon only has 10 calories.  I know, right!?  Go ahead and swoon.  You have my permission.  I also love the fact that they come in squeeze bottles for optimal decorating capabilities.  🙂  I had fun with mine.  The flavors really play up grilled chicken and even fat-free cottage cheese!  I’d imagine you could make a killer Caprese salad with these babies, too.

Next up: Flavor Infused Olive Oils!

 

Lemon Olive Oil – Great on fish, poultry, veggies & meat!

Chili Pepper Olive Oil – My favorite on eggs and veggies!

White Truffle Olive Oil Perfect for roasting butternut squash or mixed with balsamic vinegar and used as dressing!

Garlic Olive Oil – Amazing spritzed on toasted wheat bread with a little bit of reduced fat cheese melted on top!  Reminded me of texas toast!

Valencia Orange Olive Oil – A great compliment to seafood, surprisingly.  I loved it with on shrimp!

2.5 CALORIES PER SPRAY

I’m telling you, this company knows what’s good.  They are SPOT on with each of the flavors.  Light, refreshing, and tasteful.

Some other specialty foods that they sent for me to try out were the following:

Spicy Brussel Sprouts

These were fantastic salad toppers!  I loved throwing a few into a bed of greens for added kick!  Again, just 10 calories per serving! 

There was also a jar of this Muffuleta enclosed in my goodie box!

You can get either the Mild or the Hot!

The olives, peppers, pimentos, celery, and spices come together quite nicely to make a great sandwich topper!  The healthy fats from the olives are a plus as well, along with the 1g of each protein and fiber.

Last, I’m going to review these awesome Sweet & Spicy Garlic Cloves because I made an amazing recipe from JG with them, and you should too 😉

Garlic Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

Here’s the recipe (adapted from meals & moves)

Ingredients:

  • 20 large mushrooms with the stems pulled out
  • 3 oz lump crab meat
  • 1 stick low fat string cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain chobani yogurt (I used 0%)
  • 2 TB fat-free cream cheese
  • 1-2 cloves of Sweet & Spicy MarDona garlic cloves
  • salt, pepper, and other seasoning to taste
  • Mix it all together and stuff in the mushroom caps!  Bake @ 375° for 20-25 minutes and enjoy!

    Mmm.

     Thanks, so much Mario & MarDona!  I absolutely adore each and every one of your products!  You readers can check them out online and purchase straight from the site!  They even have free shipping for orders over $50!

    The “L” Word.

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    Valentine’s Day for me isn’t limited to the love for a significant other…I think we should all be celebrating the people we love in our lives.  Of course,  this post is a little behind, seeing as “the big day” was Monday, but I still feel like it needs to be said. 

    (Breakfast: overnight oats – 1/3 C. oats, 1/2 mashed banana, 1/2 sliced banana, 1/4 C. peanut flour, in an almost empty apple butter jar, drizzled with 1/2 C. unsweet almond milk)

    I’m happy for all of you who have found their perfect match and the opportunity to celebrate with them, but for those of you who didn’t, realize that there are SO many people in your lives that love you more than words can say.  I, for one, feel blessed to have such a supportive, tight-knit family.  My family doesn’t just consist of blood relatives.  

    Friends of the family, teammates, co-workers, and classmates are all considered my brothers and sisters as well.  I think its important to LOVE PEOPLE. 

    The world is much too cold of a place not to… even more importantly, to love strangers and people who treat us badly or take advantage of us…I mean, isn’t it easy to love the people who love us?  Anyone can do that…God challenges us to love our enemies and those people who persecute us.  I think it’s God’s will for us to constantly be showing ALL of the people around us His love…after all,

    “We love because He first loved us” [1 John 4:19] 

    So, enjoy your flowers and chocolate – or in my case, flowers & sugar-free jello 🙂

    But I say, we make an effort to love people year-round.

    XO.

    We Are The Champions, My Friendsss <3

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    Of course I was a bundle of nerves the entire day.  I had to wait for 4pm (gametime) to roll around so I could get it all out of my system.  The only thing that calmed me was a song that I listened to on the way to church, thanks to Mr. Matthew West for his encouragement…to be honest, I don’t even remember what song it was.

    I’m in breakfast groove with peanut butter banana oatmeal1/4 C. peanut flour, 1/3 C. oats, 1 mashed banana.

      Here’s a nice little shot of me on my way to church…half asleep.  Just kidding!   I know you all asked for shots of my entire outfits, because you want to see what my fasion taste is like, but I simply didn’t have time this morning…Sorry!

    Don’t mind my fuzzy jacket.  I think it needs dry cleaned pretty badly…

    Anyway, on to more exciting things…like what our message was on Sunday morning.  It was all about loving people and being unselfish on a daily basis.  Thinking of everyone around us and their needs over our own

    Since our game was at 2pm, we had to be there at 1pm to get our jerseys and warm up.  I packed lunch to eat on the way so I wasn’t playing on an empty stomach.

    (Peanut flour paste: 1/4 C. peanut flour + sugar free vanilla Torani + pinch of salt & water to thin, with sugar free strawberry jam on 2 slices Arnold 10 grain bread, celery and carrots that actually went uneaten, and cherries that were also saved for later)

    I couldn’t eat too much because I was so nervous, so I just stuck with my PB&J 🙂

     The game felt like it was here and gone in a flash!  We were down by TEN POINTS at half-time.  The team totally came out on fire in the second half and I got to play the entire game, not coming out one time!  It was all tied up in the fourth quarter and they fouled me on a drive to the basket.  I made a foul shot, putting us up by 1 point.  There was 17 seconds left on the clock, it was our ball, and coach called a play that we had run in practice, where someone sets a screen for me, and I take a long pass from our point guard down the entire length of the court…It worked!  I got to shoot a layup at the buzzer and we won by 3 points!

    Afterwards, there was an awards ceremony where we were presented with our trophy.  Coach received “Coach of the Year“, which she totally deserved, and I was surprisingly awarded the Eastern Conference Most Valuable Player🙂 God deserves all the glory, of course.  He gives us things and can take them away in an instant.

    (1 chopped apple + butternut squash sprinkled with cinnamon & splenda, then microwaved until soft; along with a huge salad of lettuce & baby spinach with chopped yellow pepper, tomato, and cucumbers; peach balsamic glaze for dressing)

    I figured a celebratory dinner was in order.  When I got home, I showered and packed something to take to my cousin’s house.  She was having a pizza party for her daughter, whose birthday is on Valentine’s Day! 

    After counting up my bumps, bruises, and scratches from the game (it was VERY physical), I headed out to my lil’ cousin’s birthday party.

      She was born on Valentine’s Day!  I’m a little disappointed with the quality of these pictures!  They don’t do justice to the beauty of these bruises.  They were all such gorgeous shades of purples and blues 🙂  haha. 

    When it was over and I got home, I admired this stunning sunset view from our deck.  The little sister and I were on our own for the night because my parents were celebrating Valentine’s Day early and staying over at a cozy cabin somewhere.  I was glad they did.  They NEVER go and do things just the two of them, and I think it’s important that they get time to themselves.  Besides, it was nice having the chance to hang out and take care of Morgs.

    I ended the night with some ice creammmm.  Because that’s the best way to end any night, right? 🙂 

    It still amazes me that cookies and cream Arctic Zero manages to pack in 16g of fat-free, whey protein for just 150 caloriesUh-Ma-Zing.  Not so amazing? The price.  Oh well, you win some, you lose some, right?  Nothing wrong with splurging every now and then.

    On to States on Saturday in Western PA vs. Potomac State CollegeWish us luck!

    And before you go, check out this awesome Vitatop giveaway at Oats & Spice!

    XO.

    Saturday Stats

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    Breakfast of champions for a game day!

    (1/4 C. peanut flour, pinch of salt, mashed banana, 1/3 C. raw oats, sugar free vanilla Torani to taste)

    If it’s not broken, why fix it? 🙂

    I had Speech Communications in the morning from 9:00-11:50 and then I ventured home to make some lunch.  Tip-off was at 4PM, so I wanted to get a nice, balanced lunch in before I left for the gym!

    (Grilled chicken sammie on Arnold 10 grain bread with 1 tbsp. Cedar’s garlic lovers hummus, reduced sugar ketchup, lettuce & tomato)

    On the side, I had about 1/2 of this container of steamed snap peas.  Dontcha love the vibrant green?!  My droid takes some great snapshots sometimes!

    I left the house much earlier than I needed to for my game because I wanted to get my passport taken care of and my parking ticket paid.  

    Unfortunately, the passport center was closed, but I did manage to hand in my $14 ticket!  I’m not really sure how I earned this, either…  It was a day that I came in to work later because I had the sniffles.

    My normal spot had been taken, so I snagged another one that I had seen cars parked in before.  Apparently, they were illegal, too!  On a positive note, I paid it in time, so they couldn’t tack on an $11 fee.

    After paying, I headed straight for the gym.  The two teams that played before our game, the 2nd and 3rd seed teams started at 2PM and I wanted to be prepared to play either of them the next day, so I went to watch.

    Since we were 1st seed, everyone in the Conference came to our court to play, which was really cool.  Also, we each got “support the cure” t’s to wear instead of our oversided warm ups, along with pink laces to replace the ones on our sneaks.

    4PM rolled around rather quickly, and the game started out a little bit slow.  We took a few minutes to get warmed up, but in the second half we really played tough.   It is so neat to see your team get pumped up and come together to win a big game!  Nothing like it in the world.

    Feb. 12th- For the second time in the history of the Women’s Basketball program, HACC is host to the EPCC Women’s Basketball Tournament, which they earned with being the first place team in the EPCC Conference for Women’s Basketball, with an overall season record of 14-1. MIchele Kieff was named Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year for the 2010-11 season.

    The first seeded HACC Lady Hawks secured their spot in the 2011 EPCC Women’s Basketball Tournament Championship Game, with a tough win over fourth seed Lehigh Carbon CC Cougars on Saturday, February 12th. The Lady Hawks were tied 33-33 at halftime with the Cougars, as they both fought for a win in their first round game of the EPCC Women’s Basketball Tournament. The Lady Hawks regrouped at halftime, and came back full steam ahead, pulling ahead of the Cougars, to finish the game 80-56. Sami Cox lead the team with 25 points on the scoreboard, and was assisted by Lakisha Lemon with 12 points. Ashlan Clark, Julie Shumate, and Eryn Spangler each contributed 10 points to the final score.

    The Lady Hawks advance to the Championship Game, which is scheduled for Sunday, February 13th at 2:00 pm at the Evans Center Gymnasium on the HACC-Harrisburg Campus. They are slated to play CC of Philadelphia, who defeated Montgomery CCC 51-43 earlier in the day to advance. 

    I love the look on this man’s face!  HA.

    After the game, we decided some Chinese buffet was in order for dinner.

    Momma FF

    Plate #1 – the whitest celery I could find, steamed shrimp & cocktail sauce, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and imitation crab (white rice omitted because it was hard and nasty)

    Plate #2– The place we went to had a “build-your-own” section, which was obviously what I went for.  They even cook it at your request!  I got mine steamed and then added some low sodium soy sauce.  It was SO good.  Imagine this x2.  Steamed broccoli, snap peas, onion, mushroom, bean sprouts, and chicken!  Perfection.

    Last, I had some fruit including orange slices and cantaloupe.

    Oh yeah, and then there was ice cream 🙂

    Reduced fat, no sugar added vanilla.  ❤

    I couldn’t have imagined this day going any more perfectly.  Stay tuned for the championship post next!

    On a more fun note, check out this sweetheart’s giveaway of some Peeled goodies!

    XOXO.