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Welcome Fall & The Weekend

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Friday when I got home from work, there was a My Blogspark package on my doorstep.  Did you know that Yoplait added another flavor to their line of smoothie mixes?

Yep.  Chocolate & Banana, here I come.  Along with the free coupon, I got a plastic tumbler, a lavendar eye mask, & a neck pillow!   I would say that this was a positive start to my weekend 😉  I love presents!

Friday night, the boy & I went to meet my parents & sister at the movies to see Abduction.

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The theatre was packed since it was a rainy night and the movie had just come out.  We had a funny audience to watch it with…you know, the kind that claps at heroic scenes and “awhhh’s” at romance. Overall, the plot was good, the acting was not…Taylor Lautner may be nice to look at, but acting wise, he doesn’t impress me.

Saturday, I felt super productive. 

I finally got to try out the recipe for Katie’s Almond CoconutMacaroons.  They were absolutely delicious.  The recipe included all ingredients that I already had onhand…except the 1/4 C. stevia baking blend.  So, for the record, it takes approximately 30 splenda packets to make 1/4 C 😉  THEY.WERE.AWESOME.  Notice, I said were. Boyfriend approved, too.

904 calories, avg. hr 113

Not ALL my Saturday morning productivity happened in the kitchen, as you can see.  I worked out in the basement for a little while.  It’s so easy to get caught up in a workout when you’re watching the Biggest Loser on Hulu (:

For lunch, I whipped up some of Mama Pea’s Mmm Sauce and made a glorious vegetable dish.

Steamfresh cauliflower & broccoli, 1 egg + 2 egg whites with a piece of Stonefire Flatbreads whole wheat roti

‘Twas divine. 

That night we celebrated my cousin’s birthday party at my house.  The camera battery was dead, so there were no pictures, buuuut it was a nice time.  Plus, Jarid and I got some shopping done for a wedding reception we’re attending next month.

Sunday morning was another great sweat session in my basement thanks to Insanity and Netflix, but not before I devoured this delicious little chocolate oat bran cake with peanut flour icing.

cake:

  • 1/3 C. oat bran
  • 1 diet Swiss Miss hot chocolate packet
  • 1 Splenda packet
  • 1 egg white
  • baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • water to thin

icing:

  • 1/4 C. peanut flour
  • 1 splenda packet
  • salt to taste
  • water to thin

Instead of heating up the oven for just a personal sized cake, I nuke mine in the microwave.  They taste just the same!  Easy peasy.

The stats from the cake fueled workout were decent as well.

615 calories, max hr 156

The series we are doing in church now was all about how to be more like Jesus.  A recently converted believer from a non-believer told us her testimony and it was baffling.  She is now part of a discipling program!  How cool is that?!

Jarid & I headed to Wegman’s to get our weekly fix for lunch.

My box of goodies was rather exciting.  I tried three different types of quinoa salads (Quinoa w/ Cranberries & Pumpkin Seeds, Blueberry Quinoa, and Butternut Squash Quinoa) and a tri-color chickpea salad, all of which were scrumptious.  I’m going to try to get the recipes from the website!  Along with the grains, I got some loose vegetables (blanched green beans, broccoli, red pepper, beets, cucumbers, and lettuce) with just a smidge of taco seasoned chicken.  Fit for a queen, I tell ya.

We dined on the way to Lancaster, so Jarid got a wrap for convenience.  He said he chose the wheat one in my honor.  Haha.

We spent the afternoon & evening hanging out and watching football together.  Jarid spent a bunch of time with my little cousin, Cole. 

My grandparents came over later and we all went to dinner together.  Later, they whipped out the “baby Sami” pictures, and we had a nice little trip down memory lane. 

I don’t get to see these guys nearly as often as I’d like, but I am pretty excited that we already have a weekend picked out in October for me to visit!  We are both just SO busy.  If we don’t pick out a time at least a month in advance, our schedules end up conflicting.

The food took a back burner to the company and conversation at dinner.  I had much more fun holding this little guy than I did chowing down on the salad bar & my sweet potato + scallops…although they were pretty awesome 😉

I had a little cup of french onion soup, too, which was mouthwatering, before I ate my dessert plate. I love that Hoss’s is jumping on the “healthy” bandwagon and offering sugar free pudding & ice cream!

Another weekend success.  Tell me about your weekends!  And don’t forget to enter the Stonehouse 27 & Lundberg Heat & Eat Rice Bowl Killer Combo Giveaway

ALSO, Kayla, the winner of the Brat Hans prize package, please email me at freckledfoodielove@gmail.com with your shipping info. I tried to reply to the email you used to comment, but it said the message was undeliverable to that address.

XOXO.

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TidBits.

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I don’t think I ever showed you guys what my sweet boyfriend’s parents gave me for my birthday, did I? 

I absolutely LOVE it.  Probably because Jarid sneaked back to buy it after I picked it out while we were shopping together.  Stinker.

I guess I haven’t shown you what I’ve been learning in A&P, either?

That’s right.  All of the bones in the skull.  From the coronal suture to the foramen magnum.  I’ve got an exam coming up in about two weeks, so I’m really cracking down.  The tough part about the class, is that the NON lab part (textbook reading) is all on us to learn…there’s no lecture.

 

It’s been stress busting trips to the gym, where I can sweat out my anxieties keeping me from pulling my hair out.

Lunches lately have been lackluster, yet healthy.  I had high hopes for this Helen’s Kitchen organic burrito, but the flavors were less than stellar. 

It was all-around kinda bland, which I’m not sure I understand because I love all the ingredients.

It even smelled good when I pulled it out of the microwave and chopped it in half…I’m not sure where I went wrong.

It needed some serious salsa or marinara sauce or something…It didn’t taste bad, it just didn’t taste at all.

Steamed green beans & snap peas on the side.

Anywho, this next tidbit will be appreciated by any chick out there who has thick hair like mine, and even with those seemingly invincible hairties, manage to break a few each week.

I bought these jelly textured hairties at Rite Aid (I think they were Goody brand), and highly recommend them.  They STAY PUT not matter what and it’s next to impossible to break them…coming from the girl who went through three thick ones in one night (TWSS). 

Dinners have to be one-pot-wonders, because they are stashed in a locker until it’s time to feast after the gym and before class. 

That’s right, I’m the girl sitting in my towel on a bench in the locker room chowing down on baby shrimp, broccoli slaw, and black pearl rice.

 I think I’m in a rut… I need some healthy ideas of quickly packed lunches for this fall semester!  Preferably ones I can nuke at work. 

What are your favorite frozen meals?  I love Kashi, but I’m not a fan of Lean Cuisine, etc. 

Oh, This Has Gotta Be The Good Life <3

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I can’t think of a place that I would’ve rather been to spend my 23rd birthday weekend than Avalon, NJ with the boyfriend & our friends, Mike & Julie.  You may remember Julie from basketball season.  I met her at HACC and we’ve been great friends ever since.

These two are a match made in heaven, and are going to be married in June 2012!  They recently got engaged and asked us if we wanted to join them on a beach trip!  We couldn’t go for the entire week, but headed down after work on Friday.

We had beautiful weather the entire weekend, which wasn’t supposed to be the case, but God pulled through and answered our prayers for an excellent time.

This post is basically going to be a plethora of pictures from our experiences there…maybe a few foodie pictures, but for the most part, it was all about the memories (:

We stayed at the Beachcomber Resort, which was just across the street from the beach access. 

It was at a great location, within walking distance to the little shopping strip as well…oh, and Wawa (:

The first morning we were there, I set out on a 5 mile run…mainly because I’m nosey and was excited to explore the new-to-me area.  I really wanted to see what all was around.  

First, I headed around the neighborhood.  There were runner-friendly sidewalks everywhere, but I found my way to the beach.  Then, I proceeded to run through town until I made it to the bridge.

There is something SO serene about running near water & early enough in the morning that you’re one of the only people out and about.

See my shadow on the bridge?

Avalon, NJ is a very quaint little area which I adored.  It was family friendly, unlike OC, NJ & OC, MD where you tend to see a lot of partying, etc.  This was quiet and peaceful with a sweet little strip of shops and things to do in Stone Harbor. 

Not to mention, the place was SUPER gluten-free friendly, which was great to see…especially because Julie has some pretty strong food allergies.  When I got back from my run, Julie & I headed to Coffee Talk which was actually somewhere that Taylor Swift used to play, while the boys headed to Uncle Bill’s Pancake house.

I got some amazing coffee and we sat & chatted for awhile about things God was teaching us, our families, and anything else that came up in conversation. 

When we got back to the room, I had some breakfast.

Fiber One Cereal, chunked banana, & chocolate Light Muscle Milk

Post breakfast, we got geared up in our beach apparel and headed down to the sand. It was already turning out to be a beautiful day!

Don’t mind the frizzy hair (:  Jarid didn’t.  Haha.

Julie, Mike & I played frisbee on the beach while Jarid napped for a little bit.  He drove us the whole way after a long day at work, so it was totally reasonable that he was a little tuckered out.

We all headed back to the room to grab a bite to eat for lunch in the afternoon and stayed by the pool until it was later in the evening.

I’m pretty positive that I could do anything with Jarid and we would make it fun, but this trip had adventure written all over it.  It was my first weekend away with someone I was dating and it couldn’t have been better.  Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure he’s the one 😉

Must be the adorable dimples or the goofy smile that drive me wild (:   Okay, enough gushing…back to the trip!

Mike & Julie were SO sweet.  They got a chocolate cake, frosted it, and sang “happy birthday” to me when we went back to clean up at the room!

Jarid wanted to give me my birthday presents before we went out for our “date night”/birthday dinner, so I happily obliged.

Remember when we went to the Aquarium and got an artist drew a picture of the two of us?

Welllllll, Jarid made me a copy and framed it for my birthday! (:

AWESOME! His parents also gave me a sweet card & gift (which I forgot to take a picture of.  It looks just like THIS, though).  I never imagined I would like the parents of the person I was dating so much.  Even the times we spent at their house chatting on the couch were so enjoyable.

For the grand finale, the boy gave me a large-ish box which contained

THIS!  I was in shock and awe.  I’ve never owned a REAL Coach bag.  I couldn’t believe how amazing he did at picking it out!  I love that I can match it with black or brown.  It is JUST the right size, not too big, not too small. I think I smothered him in kisses after he gave it to me.  So thoughtful. 

You better believe I made the immediate bag switch from my old to my new before we went out.  The place we found in one of the books about the area was called the “Sea Grill” and it was highly recommended.

Turns out, we were both caught off guard when our waitress told us the way the restaurant worked…See, you don’t give your order to the waitress at this place, you take your “tab” up to the chef’s window, order something off the blackboard menu, and tell the chef exactly what size and how you’d like it cooked. 

I ordered grilled chicken and a baked sweet potato to have with my salad bar, while Jarid picked the crap imperial stuffed shrimp.  He let me try it, and I can say without a doubt, I will be ordering that next time. 

He helped me finish off my chicken.  The restaurant was a  tad dark, so the photos didn’t come out so hot, but we had an amazing dinner.

Afterward, we did a photoshoot by the bay on our walk to the shops.

I actually LOVE this picture (:

 

Part II of “the good life” coming up next 😉

XO.

 

Let’s Get Personal

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Breakfast: Kashi 7 grain waffle, 1/2 mashed banana, fat-free cottage cheese, cinnamon, & sugar-free syrup

Isn’t it cool how daily devotionals seem to be JUST what you need to hear sometimes?  I love how God does that.  It makes me feel like He’s really close (even though I know He always is). 

Lunch salad: shredded romaine, tomato, snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, & turkey breast lunchmeat, with homemade honey mustard on the side

Truth be told, I’ve been feeling a little defeated recently.  Things at home seem to be slipping downhill slowly, and I’m not sure how to deal with it.  I will be paying rent, starting next month, and I almost feel like I would rather be staying somewhere else (where I can shower when I want, workout when I want, & come/go as I please) if I’m going to be paying.  Not that I don’t love every single person in my family, but it can be frustrating when I get a lecture for spending all my time working out, for a streak left on the countertop after I clean something up, or for not closing my lips around my toothbrush when I brush my teeth.  Yes, this is a reality at 22 years-old

fresh watermelon snack

As much as I appreciate the fact that my parents put a roof over my head and would do anything for me if I asked, I can only handle so much micromanaging at this point in my life.  For the most part, I have my own schedule, but I feel like they don’t respect me at all as an adult.  In fact, I’ve been told that my job is “a joke”, I don’t “have any real responsibilities”, and I “am very dependant” on them.  I thought about things realistically, and I guess they’re right.  I feel like nothing I do, in their eyes is respectable.

snack #2: peanut flour paste & baby carrots

-I bought my own car & make payments every month
-I’m on my own car insurance plan & have monthly payments
-I’m paying my way through school (although, Poppa FF did pay for my first two books as a special treat)
-I am on my own cell phone plan which I pay monthly (both sisters and my grandparents are on my parents’)
-I work a full-time job & took full-time classese last semester so I could play college basketball
-I’m taking part-time classes over the summer

Dinner: grilled vegetables (squash, zucchini, peppers, onions, mushrooms) in Free Zesty Italian dressing, grilled chicken

My wonderful boyfriend was the one who brought most of these things to my attention when I was venting to him last night.  He is easily the only thing keeping me sane right now, and the parents are actually quite charming while he is around.

Dessert- strawberries mixed with vanilla Oikos greek yogurt

What would you do in my situation?  Are you a twenty some-thing living at home?  Do you pay rent? I’m not sure what to think or feel, so any opinion is welcomed (: 

 

XO.

 

What Drives You?

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Today, I found the motivation I needed to wake up early in this chicky’s pancake recipe.  I would make these everyday if I had an endless supply of fresh blueberries.

I know, I know, you’re tired of hearing about how delicious they are.

Take a peek instead? 🙂

(1/3 C. ww flour, 2 tbsp. oat bran, 1/2 c. blueberries, 1/3 C. unsweetened coconut milk, a dash of salt, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 Splenda packet)

Yes, these were totally worth getting up an extra half hour early to make.

 Okay…this daily devotional really hit home.  You see, it isn’t easy living at home as a 22-year-old, after having lived in an apartment on your own.  Schedules conflict, bathroom time has to be shared, cooking is limited, and heads butt, but overall, I need to remember how important it is to God that I respect & honor my parents. 

After a rush of certifications to process at work in the morning, it was nearing noon quickly, and since the weather has been so gorgeous lately, I couldn’t help but want to be outside. 

After a quick stroll around the capitol, it was time to dig into the lunchbox.

Any guesses?  I’ll save you the trouble…I was reading in my new book, “Must’ve Been Something I Ate” that kelp noodles are SUPER for thyroid health. 

 So, I gave them a whirl at the beach using Elise’s avocado/pea concoction, but Monica’s thai peanut noodles sounded good, too! 

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 C. peanut flour
  • 1 tsp. siracha (depending how hot you like it)
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • a sprinkle of chili powder
  • water to thin

You just rinse the kelp noodles, microwave them for 1 min, and then add the sauce!  Mine were accompanied by steamed broccoli. Thanks for the idea, Monica (my favorite red-headed Mexican ;))

Lunch dessert was fresh watermelon (unpictured).

Getting back into my routine, means returning to my Insane Abs DVD & Ab Ripper X, but also outdoor basketball, which I couldn’t be happier about.

942 calories burned; max hr 183 – DANG.

After my little shenanigans on the basketball court, I came home to a house full of people and a grilled feast on the deck courtesy of Momma & Poppa FF.

My plate was chock full of nutrients and deliciousness.  Squash, zucchini, roasted red potatoes, yellow and red pepper, onion, mushrooms, and grilled chicken breast. 

We each made our own little foil packets and I was quite proud of mine!

Everyone had a wonderful time just hanging out and enjoying the sunshine.  To me, grilling and cookouts were made for summer.

My Momma is such a cutie pie.  I’m a little jealous of her tan, too, as mine has faded immensely since our return home from the beach!

I also made a protein shake for dessert, with the last of my ABOUT TIME protein packets *tear*.  It looked the same as all of those other green smoothies on blogs, so I’ll spare you the picture.

Two question Tuesday time:

What has been your favorite adventure this summer? 

What summer foods are your favorite?

XO.

Paradise Part 4

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Yeah, yeah, it’s just another boring HR monitor picture…I wish there was a better way to capture how fantastic these workouts felt while in the OBX!

With an average HR of 130, I was pretty proud of what I accomplished each morning in just about an hour & a half.

Just like last year, we went out to dinner one night at the beach with my God parents.  It actually ended up being to the same restaurant, too!

I liked how they totally knifed up the bread.  Pay no attention to the fact that my sister is rudely texting at the dinner table 😉

I was too busy listening to everyone talk about how great the crab bisque was!  My Godfather LOVES the soup there.  Personally, my favorite thing about is the view.

They even have live music in the little pavillion out there on the water.  Some older couple began dancing part way through our meal.  TOO cute.

I ordered the lump crab meat, which came with two sides, but I just asked for 1 heaping garden salad (two side salads), and this is what they came out with.  I loved how they chopped the cucumbers into sticks 🙂 I got red wine vinegar on the side for dressing + salt & pepper.

JACKPOT 🙂  I asked them not to broil it with butter…just crabmeat, straight up ❤

Did you know what a protein powerhouse crab could be?

Yeah.  I’d say this dish had about 8oz. which means 140 calories and 28g of protein in my belly. 

After dinner, we went back to the casa and let the food digest.  I spent my time hanging with this handsome little guy while the rest of the family played games.

Bowman & that little chin dimple can melt my heart completely!  Can’t believe he will be 1 year old in a little over a month!

Short recap, I know…  but it was my favorite dinner of vacation!  More to come in a later post 😉

XO.

Heat Wave.

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Oat bran is easily my go-to breakfast when I have time to actually cook  something up.  1/3 C. oat bran + 1 egg white + cinnamon + 1 splenda packet + pinch of each baking soda & salt with fat-free milk and sugar-free maple syrup drizzled on top

And yes, I consider microwaving, cooking 😀

I mean who cares if I wasn’t slaving away over a hot oven to get a result like this, right?

There is a heat wave warning in our area for the next two days, which meant a mandatory sundress for this chick to wear to work.

The boots were probably a dumb idea, since it was so warm, but I promised a lady from work (who is really into western stuff and rides horses) that I would sport them for her before she retires 🙂

For lunch, we went out for our division chief’s birthday.

Any of you locals ever try The Firehouse Restaurant on 2nd Street?  It’s actually an old firehouse converted!  They use an old fire hydrant as the beer tap if you can see it behind the bartender’s head.

My selection was a large firehouse salad which came with chickpeas, onion, tomato, mushrooms, cucumbers, and mixed greens.  I nixed the roasted sunflower seeds.

I was in a toss up between this and the Fresh Seared Tuna Tower which came over a bed of seaweed salad, but it was so warm outside that I was just craving cold, crisp veggies.

1 slice Rudi’s 14 Grain bread with Tribe 40 Spices hummus ontop

When I got home, I had a snack before the boy and I went to the gym.  I did a brief 35 minutes on the elliptical before deciding that it was too beautiful of a day to be wasted indoor exercising, so I grabbed Jarid and we went for a little jog around a nearby development. 

Afterward, we did some abs and headed home to whip up some dinner

Spaghetti squash, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, light Ragu, and fat-free cottage cheese

I was thankful when I got home that I had done a bunch of prepwork this weekend, because I basically threw some veggies in a bowl, threw it in the microwave, and topped it with some sauce and protein and called it a meal.

Dessert?  Mandatory.

Sweet Delites Philly Swirl popsicles

14 calories, 0 sugar

Simple refreshment.  The rest of the night J and I spent watching “500 Days Of Summer” and hanging around in comfy clothes relaxing.  Winding down is my favorite part of the day, lately. 

Before bed, I also had a little bowl of Fiber One cereal with the last of my light soymilk.  It helped me sleep!

 

MAKE SURE YOU CHECK OUT FANNETASTIC FOOD FOR AN AWESOME ATTUNE GIVEAWAY!

XO.

Great Intentions

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Great Intentions

READY: 

“…for, the training of the body has a limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” – 1 Timothy 4:8

Breakfast: Rudi’s Organic Multi-grain English Muffins with Flax, 1 Sonoma Jack’s light pepperjack cheese wedge, and two spoonfuls of sugar-free lite cherry pie filling

SET: 

I recently had breakfast with one of my good friends, Dave Jenkins, and we were talking about the show “The Biggest Loser” and how so many people buy fitness equipment and then never use it. He shared this quote with me: ”The world has all these great intentions. Too bad most end up in the basement unused.” How true. Even in my own life, I’d started to workout, lose weight and get back in shape many times only to stop way too soon. All those efforts fall into the “great intentions” pile.

In 1 Timothy, Paul urges Timothy (who might have been a good athlete) to teach others to focus on spiritual training because it will reap more benefits than physical training in the end of this life and in the life to come. Many young believers start out on fire and growing in the ways of Christ, but as each day passes, like our physical training routines, we get lazy and complacent and stray from our initial desire to get one day better. In this case, to get one day better in Him and closer to Him.

Since our physical life is paralleled by our spiritual life, it begs the question of where we should turn. How many times do we start to read our Bible daily, do our devotions, pray with our families, pray with our spouses, etc., but we fall short and are left with nothing more than great intentions?

What do you want to do about all these great intentions? I know what my desire is: to turn them into great accomplishments for God’s glory. Undone intentions really don’t mean a thing and will not get you where you want to go in life. Start today to turn these intentions into action plans that, with accountability, will become a part of your regular day-to-day life. You can do it, and you can honor God in the process!


Lunch: Katie’s Miscellaneous Quinoa Salad atop a bed of baby spinach

GO: 

1. Have you ever purchased fitness equipment that you intended to use, but wound up casting aside?
2. How does your spiritual life compare to your physical life?
3. What do you need to do today in order to turn your great intentions to amazing accomplishments with God’s help?


Snackage: 1 fuji apple + peanut flour paste (1/4 C. peanut flour, sea salt, & splenda)

WORKOUT: 

Psalm 33:11
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Galatians 5:17

Dinnerrr time

A vegetable peeler comes in handy

Creating pretty little ribbon-like zucchini noodles


Which can be bulked up with some cherry tomatoes, snap peas, and anything else you want to throw in the mix.  I think chickpeas or grilled chicken is my favorite protein in this dish!  Tofu might be yummy, too 🙂

Finish off the dish with a light, summery dressing like Kraft Free Zesty Italian

Just 15 calories in 2 tbsp!

Not the most fabulous ingredients list, considering high fructose corn syrup is the second ingredient, but you win some, you lose some 🙂 

**IF YOU HAVEN’T ENTERED YET, MAKE SURE YOU DON’T MISS OUT ON THE CHANCE TO WIN THIS FANTASTIC COOKBOOK!

XOXO.

Easter 2011 Part III

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What better way to start off Easter Sunday than with a personal sized cake for breakfast?

This little munchkin was just thrown into a bowl and topped with fat-free strawberry cream cheese for icing. 

 

1/3 C. oat bran, 2 egg whites, baking soda, and sugar-free vanilla Torani

After breakfast, I got ready for church

Anyone else out there a HUGE fan of Banana Republic? 🙂  This girl is!

The kids put on a cute little skit during our service.  I wish I had the audacity to whip out my camera phone in the middle of it so that I could share it with you all, but I just couldn’t muster up the courage.

We headed to Lancaster after church to spend time with my Dad’s side of the family, which was a total blessing, since we don’t get to see them much.  My sweet Grammie gave us each an Easter basket!  Guess I’m not too old after all 😉

You know what else I love?  They always make sure there is something as equally yummy for me to eat!  They totally respect my likes and dislikes as far as food, and grilled chicken salads with all the fixings are always ready for me when it comes to meal time there 🙂

Not to mention, delicious fresh fruit!  Lancaster county’s fruit always tastes so much better than the stuff in our grocery store!  Their produce in general is always so FRESH!

The rest of the night was spend just hanging out, playing Phase 10, and enjoying one anothers’ company.  It was a fantastic Easter if you ask me!

Hope you had a beautiful day with your loved ones, too!

XO.

Party Yourself Into Shape.

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Fast Food Beliefs 

READY: 
Wait for the LORD; be courageous and let your heart be strong. Wait for the LORD.”
Psalm 27:14

 

 SET: 
Every time I hear about a coach who has been fired after a year or two at a school, it breaks my heart. I once told an athletic director that it would take four years to turn a program around to contend for a league championship. That was not what he wanted to hear, so I did not get the job.

 In our society we want everything right now. Actually, we wanted it yesterday. A great example is in the fact that we actually drive through places to get our food. At most fast food places they don’t even hold the cup to fill your drink anymore; they put it on a belt, it goes under a fountain, they push a button, and the drink comes out. I suppose it’s faster. I’m not sure it’s better, but it’s faster.

Sports are no different. It’s almost rare to watch one morning of SportsCenter without hearing about performance-enhancing substances or some other method an athlete or a coach has tried in order to get to the top faster. But, that is not what sports were meant to be.

A few years ago I read Coach John Heisman’s book on football. You might know Coach Heisman by the little award named after him. In his book, Coach Heisman never once uses the word “win.” He talks about character and building young men into quality men. Isn’t that what sports should be about?

When we compare sports to our walk with God, the same is true. There are no short cuts. We can’t take a shot or a pill and grow closer to God faster. We have to put in the time and the effort. It doesn’t happen overnight, and there are tests and trials, but, in the end, those hard times are what make the good times that much sweeter. They also build our faith and make us stronger.

Today, I challenge you to invest more time and effort into your relationship with Jesus. After all, that’s the most important relationship you have. If you’re married, think about what your marriage would look like if you were always looking for short cuts. What would your friendships look like if you never invested any time in them? Athletically, what would your skill level be if you never practiced? Our relationship with Jesus is the same way. We have to grow it like any other relationship or pursuit, and that takes time. Be willing to dig in with Him and watch Him transform your life day by day.

1/3 C. oat bran + 1 mashed banana, water to thin, 1 Splenda +fiber packet, and 1.5 tbsp. unsweet Hershey’s dark chocolate cocoa powder

Even more than my chocolate-covered banana oat bran, I love the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ devotional that arrives in my inbox every morning.

The other night, Toni invited me to join her at my first ever ZUMBA class.  She actually held the position that I’m currently in, before she got promoted.   She is a sweetheart, and was kind enough to offer me her guest pass for the night! Since it was my first time, it took me awhile to get into the swing of things…I felt like each time I got the hang of the booty shaking in a particular song, it was time to move on.  Haha. 

It was a blast, though!  I only burnt about 200 calories, but it felt effortless!  Not the hardcore workouts I’m used to, which was a really nice change for once.  I got a little impatient with myself, wishing that I could’ve picked up on it more quickly, but Toni reassured me that I did great and that it’s even more fun if you go on a regular basis, because you start to remember the steps!

 

Anyway, back to bring things back into focus, I had a quite colorful lunch consisting of a green leaf lettuce salad sprinkled with purple cabbage, cherry tomatoes, yellow peppers, and 1 Tyson grilled chicken breast.  Of course the entire thing was covered in a balsamic glaze for dressing.

 Have I ever showed you guys this cute bracelet I got while in Disney?

I pointed them out while we were there, and my sisters pointed out that they would be cute for us to all get!  Each of us chose a different color…Mine, black

Also!  I know it’s been awhile since you’ve seen peanut flour on the blog…such a shame!  Don’t worry, I was out of it for a little while, but I just received my shipment of 4-2lb. bags in the mail yesterday 😀

I have discovered the most brilliant use of it to date…

Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

1 serving: 130 calories, 5g fat (.5g saturated), 17 g protein

-1/4 C. Peanut flour

-2 Tbsp. Unsweet Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder

-1 Splenda packet (or other sweetener)

-Water to thin

Directions:
Combine all of the ingredients in a container, mix well, and freeze! Simple as that!  It makes a HUGE bar, too.

  After snacktime, there was a brief sweat sesh.

Complete with a nice, easy calorie burn of about 400 🙂

Then, I got started on dinner.  I made a lazy girl’s grilled cheese sammie with faux tomato soup.

2 slices Nature’s Own high fiber bread toasted with fat-free swiss cheese and dipped in Light Ragu (since I didn’t have any tomato soup!)

Plus a bigggg batch of kale chips roasted and sprinkled with nutritional yeast powder.

 I’ve got to address something, now.  I’ve done it before on the blog, but some of the newer readers may not be aware.  I got a comment the other day concerning my calorie intake vs. calorie burn.  The reader was genuinely worried that I was not eating nearly enough calories in a day to maintain my body’s structure.  As much as I appreciate her caring nature, I feel the need to tell you all that there is no way I photograph EVERYthing I eat, therefore not everything is posted. 

For example, here’s a list of things that you DIDN’T see from today:

1 handful cocoa roasted almonds
-1 HUGE fuji apple
-1 big glass of unsweet almond milk
-1 peach Chobani

among other things, probably…Being a Nutrition major, I’m very aware of my body’s needs and requirements.  Please understand, if I’m hungry, I eat.  Restrictive eating is not my thing 😉

HAPPY FRIDAY!

Anything exciting on your agendas this weekend?!

XO