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Sleep = Success!

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It is crazy what an impact a good night’s sleep has on a person.  I slept like a baby last night, and I think it had a lot to do with the fact that I didn’t do ANYTHING exercise-wise after work, for once, so I wasn’t revv’d up before bed.

Breakfast tasted extra creamy & cookie dough-like.

(1/3 C. oat bran, 1 small banana, 1 1/2 c. water, sugar free vanilla syrup, pinch of salt)

I think it was probably because I used SO much water and the oat bran really plumped up in the refrigerator overnight! 

I washed it down with a shamrock shake pepperminty green monster.

(2 handfuls of baby spinach, 3/4 C. unsweet vanilla almond milk, 1 scant scoop optimum nutrition vanilla whey, 5 ice cubes, a little splash of water, and sugar free vanilla syrup + peppermint extract)

I drank this baby on the way to work, and made sure to wipe off my green mustache before I arrived at my building 😉

So, instead of showing you the rest of my meals for the day, I’m going to get into some other, more exciting things!

Like the giveaway I won from one of my favorite NY bloggers, Katie! Woo hoo for free Oikos & Crofter’s jam!  Not to mention the organic soap, face care, lip balm, and tea! Thanks, girl!

Orrr maybe the fact that I had an appointment to do a walk through of a potential new home last night?!

 

Isn’t it cute?  A perfect little starter home.

I could see a lot of potential, as we walked through each room.  The kitchen was my favorite room, which is totally important!

I love the cabinetry and the fact that all of the appliances were included in the price!  Not to mention, they were Kenmore brand (which, I’ve known to last forEVER).

The one bathroom was pretty basic, but nice as well.  The sink and toilet were new.  My only complaint was that the “tile” in the shower was plastic.  That would definitely have to be changed, eventually.

There are tenants renting it now, so if you’re wondering why it’s furnished, you have your answer.  Another thing that I’d replace was the carpet.  Everything was very BASIC. 

I can’t wait to have my own space to decorate!  I love getting creative with interior design, so I think it was fun for me just to walk through and picture what it COULD look like with a little bit of personal touch 😉

I ended the night with a Skype date when I got home!  My friend Casey (from California) OFFICIALLY booked his trip to PA to see me! 🙂  I’m so excited!!

XOXO.

That’s What You’re Here For.

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Let’s start things out with a daily devotional, shall we?

My parents have been strong spiritual leaders since I can remember.  When I was a kid, they always took us to church on Sunday mornings, encouraged us to stay involved in youth group, and to grown in our faith.  I can’t imagine growing up any other way, and it baffles me that some kids just don’t get that from their parents.  I heard a quote this past Sunday at church that keeps ringing in my ears…

“Don’t say, “Why doesn’t God do anything about all the suffering in the world?”, unless you’re ready to hear God say, “That’s what YOU’RE here for”.

It’s our JOBS to be the people in the world bringing others to Christ. That’s our purpose!

My day began with a lovely bootcamp session with Miss Jessie.  The focus was mainly on ARMS, which I despise…but it was good for me, so I won’t complain too much. 

Almost 290 calories burned by 6:30AM!  Not too shabby 😉 Max HR 143.

By the time I was finished in the shower, my belly was telling me it needed some fuel.  Breakfast was served!

In the fridge, overnight, I left 1/4 C. oat bran, 3/4 huge baked sweet potato, 1 tbsp. chia seeds, and 3/4 C. unsweet vanilla almond breeze with Splenda mixed in.  By the time I got to eat it, it was like sweet potato cookie dough<3

For just a minute, let’s talk about this ridiculous amount of COLD WEATHER that our area has been “blessed” with.  I have to call it that, because for some reason, God must think we need the snow just a little bit longer 😉  Oh well!  His ways are greater than ours, so…

Onto lunch.

It was basicall a mish-mosh of any and every vegetable I had on hand.  Among these, were steamed broccoli, butternut squash chunks, and little bit of yellow pepper.  For protein, some seasoned black beans and a Light Ragu bath.

This is my “I-don’t-have-time-for-anything-but-the-blowdryer” hairstyle.  Literally, I put Aussie sprunch spray in my hair, or Granier Fructis  spray gel, blow it dry, scrunching it up with my hands, and run out the door.  Bootcamp mornings are typically like that.

A little while later, after our walk break around the captiol complex, I had a snack.

Since I missed out on whole grains at lunch, I compensated by having a Light Flat Out spread with sugar-free peach jam + 1 Sonoma Jack’s pepperjack cheese wedge.  A fruit roll up, if you will.

After work, I came home and planned to do AB Ripper X and some more cardio, but after the first few moves, I literally just laid there and took a nap. I burned uh…71 calories. HA.

When I woke up, I mosied upstairs and decided to put some effort into a healthy dinner

I put the goodies I grabbed at the Broad Street Market to good use in this bowl!  Steamed kale, baby bellas, zucchini, squash, and purple cabbage with a mix of a teeeensy bit of black beans, quorn ground crumbles, and garlic lovers hummus topping.

Mmmm.  YUM.  A food baby was born ❤

Dessert was low-cal light wheat toast dipped in sugar-free Log Cabin syrup.  Like french toast, except without the egg and frying part 🙂

Some of you have been wondering how the nail effects stickons are coming along, so here’s an update:

Going strong!  I’m hoping they stay until Easter. 

I can’t even imagine Easter in these temperatures.  Here’s to hoping it warms up by then!  What are your Easter traditions?  Do you have any?  We hunt Easter eggs with my ENTIRE extended family!  Hopefully it won’t be a snowy hunt, this year.

XO.

 

Sweet Success.

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First off, thank all of you for your supportive and sweet comments on my post yesterday.  It’s going to be tough, but I think we’ll be fine 🙂  You blog friends are truly a blessing in my life.

[This photo was from a Superbowl party that we attended this weekend – isn’t he handsome?! I know, I’m a lucky girl]

Breakfast on gamedays usually consists of oats.  I’m a sucker for a good carb-protein ratio, such as the combo I’ve been noshing on lately.

1/4 C. peanut flour + sugar free vanilla Torani + water to thin,  1/3 C. oats ,  1 mashed banana, & 1/2 pack of raisins soaked in the fridge overnight.

Overnight oats are a beautiful thing.  The flavors really have time to blend together for a perfectly sweet beginning to my day. 

Lunch was eaten at my desk around 12PM, as usual.

2 slices 10 grain Arnold bread, oven roasted Oscar Meyer turkey breast, 1 Sonoma Jack’s light pepperjack cheese wedge, 1 tbsp. sugar free apricot jam

Veggies on the side were a sliced yellow pepper and some cucumbers

I really like to end my meal with something sweet and those peppers did the trick.

I knew I wouldn’t feel like eating anything before my game, so mid-afternoon, I had a new favorite snack.

Baby carrots with homemade cinnamon raisin peanut paste for dippage: 1/4 C. peanut flour, sugar free vanilla Torani syrup, cinnamon, and 1/2 pack raisins.

I’m pretty sure I’ll never buy a jar of peanut, almond, or any other nut butter again for that matter.  Peanut flour ROCKS.  And you can mix it up everyday with different ingredients!

After work, it was time to get ready for the big game!  A whole lot was riding on it…you know…like the LEAGUE championship

Have I mentioned how much I loveeee my team?! They are the sweetest group of girls I could’ve ever asked for.  We really enjoy playing together.

I prayed during the national anthem, and soon it was time for tip-off.

I get super focused and serious during games, paying no attention to anything around me except what’s going on, on the court.  There was a news crew there and everything!

We were actually down by 12 at half-time, which had us really worried.  My shot was really off and I couldn’t manage to find my groove.  We stuck it out and went on a good run starting in the third quarter with a full-court press. 

Eventually, we made a comeback and I actually ended up with 33 points.  I’m not sure how that’s possible, but I’m thinking a lot of them came from breakaway layups off of steals.  Our team put up an awesome fight and really came alive at just the right time.

After the game, I spoke with a newpaper reporter, gulped down this Isopure shake (which was yummy, btw!-review soon), and sped home to spend time with D.  I got a shower and we hung out the rest of the night.  I’m making sure I get the most time I can out of these next two days before he leaves, even if it means staying up until 2am and being exhausted the next day…the trade off is totally worth it 🙂

 What’s your favorite type of protein shake on the go?  I like the EAS chocolate ones the best, so far!

XO.

 

Get Real or Go Home.

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Verse of the Day

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

– Ephesians 2:10

Sometimes on the blog, I fear getting too personal will skew someone’s perception of me.  Other times, I just feel like getting REAL with the readers just makes me human.  They can relate to that.  Not everything is always perfect in my life, as I’m sure it isn’t in yours either.  Even if it is, bear with me while I vent, please.  I’ll be here for you to vent to too, if you need it.

You wouldn’t think starting out the day with a breakfast like this would be setting you up for anything less than perfection, right?

Overnight oats: 1/3 C. old-fashioned oats, 1/2 tbsp. chia seeds, 1/3 C. unsweet almond milk, splash vanilla extract, Organic Zero, & sliced banana

Topped off with a dollop of Chobani mixed with 1 tbsp. sugar-free Log Cabin & cinnamon.

This was deeelicious.  Like a chilled version of bananas foster or banana bread pudding?  I was sure after eating this that it would be a good day.

Then lunch came along around 12PM and gave me some REAL reassurance!

Spinach salad with cherry tomatoes, sliced baby bell peppers, baby carrots and Better N’ Peanut Butter for dippage,

HealthValley Organic Vegetarian Chili Black Bean Mole for protein, and apple fruit crisps for dessert!

The chili is absolutely fabulous.  Don’t be freaked out by the coffee-and-cocoa thing…I read about it in Hungry Girl and had complete confidence in Lisa’s taste 🙂 Great stats, too!

Sorry for the shotty lighting! In the tin foil, I wrapped up

1 La Tortilla Factory Low Carb High Fiber WW wrap with 1 tbsp. apricot Polaner + fiber & a Sonoma Jack’s cheese wedge.

Work was busy, but not unbearable, as I got to study a bit for my final, which I was totally thankful for.  First final in 4 years!   Surprisingly, I felt prepared and ready.

I saved my fruit crisps for snackage with a packed string cheese, and then I marched into the gym on campus around 4:10PM with my head held high feeling confident and equipped to tackle a nice cardio workout before my final.  All I got in was about 40 minutes of cardio on the Cross Ramp before showering & leaving to study a bit before the exam.  Just enough to get the blood pumpin’!

 The exam went REALLY well….I’ll post my final grades.  Afterward, my family had plans to go to a Senator’s Baseball game, but since the rain ruined those plans, we went out to dinner together in celebration of the end of class and my sister’s birthday (which is actually Saturday!)  To Arooga’s, we went!

Our “surrogate” mom, Hainey, me, and Momma FF

Seester FF & “surrogate dad”, Todd

My uncle (who got CARDED when he ordered a Captain & Coke!) and cousin.

Appetizers were ordered including

MARYLAND STYLE CRAB DIP: Our special blend of cream cheese, Old Bay and crab topped with Monterey Jack cheese then baked in a homemade bread bowl.

and the BUFFALO CHICKEN QUESADILLA: Our mild wing sauce with melted bleu cheese crumbles and chicken grilled in a flour tortilla. Served with a side of bleu cheese.

   I wasn’t very hungry though, so these didn’t even look appetizing.   Instead, I ordered something light for my entree:

Enter: Veggie Platter with salsa instead of ranch and shrimpie cocktail.

I ended up taking 1/2 the shrimp home and all the celery, but ate everything else.

As happy as I should’ve been after successfully completing my class, going out with family and friends, and having some great food, I wasn’t.  It’s a constant battle for me to feel significance…I guess its because I’m always made to feel like an inconvenience…to my Dad at least… Why is it that we CONSTANTLY seek the approval of the ONE person who refuses to give it to us?  I thought just MAYBE he would be proud of something…anything…that I’ve been doing…but even good grades, good health, good jobs, and a fake smile can’t earn it.  Pretty sure that’s why my appetite was “off” at dinner.  I can’t eat when I feel so trivial.  I’m not writing for a pity party, I just need it to get offf my chest…or have someone who can relate give advice? 

Love you all.  Somedays your sweet comments are the only things keeping my chin up, so thank you! 

Let’s end on a positive note, shall we?  Not only is Katie having an organic chocolate giveaway, butttt we have a WINNER of the CRAYOLA giveaway!

Congrats Julie!  Please email me your mailing address at freckledfoodielove@gmail.com

 

Happy Friday.

XO.

 

The Hands That Hold The World Are Holding Your Heart…

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“Have you heard of the One who calms the raging seas?  Gives sight to the blind, pulls the lame up to their feet?  With a love so strong, He’ll never let you go…No you’re not alone…You will be safe in His arms, You will be safe in His arms, ‘Cause the hands that hold the World are holding your heart.  This is the promise He made, He will be with you always…When everything is falling apart, you will be safe in His arms.”

The Verse of the Day today is from a song by Phil Wickham instead of the Bible.  I just heard it on my way to work, and I felt like God was letting me know that SOMEONE needed to see that this morning.  Don’t you love when that happens?  It’s like God is speaking right into your ear 🙂  Andddd it is pretty amazing to think about the fact that the GOD of the UNIVERSE cares about your every fear, worry, and pain.

How about them apples cantaloupes? [lame]

BreakfastOats in a loupe.

1/2 cantaloupe stuffed with 1 strawberry Chobani mixed & set overnight with 1 tsp. chia seeds and 1/3 cup old fashioned oats.

This was a delicious, fresh, summery start to my day.  The strawberry Chobani was a bit muted by the taste of the cantaloupe, which I did NOT like, but other than that, no complaints 😉

Lunch was a packed mish mosh of veggies & beans, salsa & cheese.

Roasted carrots, onions, peppers, green beans, and mushrooms with black beans, salsa, and a scant dollop of fat free sour cream.  Frozen grapes and a light string cheese on the side.

I ate at my desk, saving the frozen grapes for a snack between work & my pit stop at Target.  I had a sand volleyball game to get to at 7:15PM on City Island, but was meeting up with Poppa FF & some family friends at one of my fave sandwich shops, Simply Turkey at 5:45PM!

My sister has a softball tournament in Ocean City, MD this weekend, so my Dad & I are leaving Friday to head down.  We’re hoping to get some beach time in!  I picked up some easy-to-pack goodies for snacks

  • Chocolate Muscle Milk Light

  • 0 Calorie Peach Tea Mix

  • Light Select Harvest Soup

  • No Sugar Added Fruit Cups (peaches, pears, & oranges)

     

    while we’re down there (healthy ball park foods are few and far between!) and also found some cute clothes and sports bras. 


    I think I’m a shopaholic.

    After Target, it was time to meet up with the gang for dinner.


    I ordered the “Boss Salad” (you pick anything you want to go on it!) I chose all baby spinach, chickpeas, broccoli, carrots, green & red peppers, tomato, turkey breast, and mandarin oranges

    with fat free tomato basil dressing on the side.  Also accompanied by a slice of multi-grain bread.  T’was delicious. 

    My match at the island was next on the agenda!  Our team played well and we had fun, but we only won 1 out of 3 games in our match.  It was a nice night though, and afterward, we left for our friend, Todd’s slow pitch softball game!  I was just REALLY thankful to spend the night with such awesome people.  It’s not very often that Poppa FF and I get to hang out!  We hit Home Depot on the way, so Pops could get some supplies to fix our mailbox & it rained at Toddy’s game!  It was all worth it though because he hit a TRIPLE! 🙂

    Afterward, we stopped for ICE CREAM at 3B’s on the way home!  I ordered a small no sugar added, non-fat vanilla bean in a dish, but when I saw the size (a good 1 1/2 cups worth!), I asked to downgrade to a kiddie size, which was more than enough 🙂

    When we got home, FINALLY, a shower never felt better.  I was so beat, but still had a lot of packing and prep to do for the next day: CLASS which means packed lunch, snacks, workout clothes, shower stuff and dinner part 1!  I snacked on a handful of Cinnamon Toast pretzel crisps which taste JUST like french toast, and got to bed around 1AM.

    Annnd…it was ALL worth it 🙂

    Three Question Thursday:

    1.  Do you find that you’d rather sacrifice prep work for sleep and just deal with the consequences?  Or would you rather stick it out and sleep better knowing you’re all ready to go?  I sleep much better knowing I’m prepared. 

    2.  What’s your favorite jam these days?  I’m diggin’ Phil Wickham!

    3. Is it hard for you to go into a store and not buy clothing?  Where’s your favorite place to shop?  YES!  I love to shop.  Especially at JcPenney, Kohl’s, and JCrew.

    XO.

Pack, pack, & pack some more.

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Verse of the Day:

“I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws.”

– Psalm 119:30

Dessert Breakfast was, again, eaten before hitting the road for work around 7:30AM.  Behold, I give you Black Raspberry Vanilla Custard Overnight Oats.

1/3 C. old-fashioned oats soaked overnight in 1/3 C. soy milk, 1 tsp. chia seeds, a handful of frozen (and obviously thawed in the fridge) blackberries, and a tbsp. of SF vanilla Torani syrup.

This overnight oats mixture tasted JUST like raspberry custard.  It was creamy, doughy, and sweet. All the things breakfast SHOULD be.

Work was lame and I was itching for lunchtime to roll around so I could dig into my lunchbox.

1 crumbled Fantastic Foods Nature’s Burger over 1 bag of Shirtaki fetucchini noodles mixed with 1 melted Sonoma Jack’s cheese wedge and steamed carrots, mushrooms, and snap peas + salt, pepper, & minced garlic.

The textures all together were glorious!  I’m really loving the products that Fantastic Foods sent me for the review!  I can’t wait to try all the other goodies!  They’re SO easy to make, too!

After work, it was time to hit the gym on campus, just like Monday.  Gues my schedule has become fairly predictable?

Before getting my workout on, I ate this packed snack to fuel me up.

Another Fantastic Foods wonderful product, Tabouli Salad mix!  All I had to do was add boiling water and a tbsp. of olive oil!  I did dress it up a bit with some canned peas & sliced button mushrooms.  Also eaten before my workout was a white peach (which are my favorite!) that I picked up at the Farmer’s Market on the way there!  It was perfectly ripe and juicy!

WORKOUT:

  • Cross Ramp – 45 minutes – various resistance & incline levels: 500 cals. burned
  • Stationary Bike – 10 minutes – low resistance: 50 cals. burned
  • Hanging obliques – 2 sets of 12
  • Planks – 2 @ 1:30 each
  • In-and-outs – 2 sets of 30
  • Pushups – 1 quick set of 12
  • Cross Ramp – 10 minutes – various resistance/incline – 100 cals. burned

Not too shabby for an hour & 15 min. worth, eh?

Shower & dinnertime in the car before class.

Steamed sugar snap peas, green beans, and carrots with strawberry Chobani on the side.

This held me pretty well until after class, but when I got home, I had one thing on the brain.

1 scoop Optimum Nutrition Mint Chocolate whey, 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum, 1/4 tsp. cocoa powder, 2 capfuls of SF vanilla Torani+ lots of ice

A big old bowl of chocolate protein ice cream.

I also made Poppa FF a strawberry banana smoothie!  I was surprised, he’s not usually one for trying my stuff!  🙂  I just used strawberry yogurt, milk, ice, 1 banana, and ice.  

My body was craving carbs or something from my workout because I had a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios with Soy Milk (unpictured), a handful of black beans, and some fresh cut cantaloupe that I picked up at the Farmer’s Market too!

I spent the rest of the night (from about 9 PM-11PM) packing up goods for the next day, blogging, and facebooking.  My Dad and I spend a little time together, and he fell asleep in the chair in our living room!  He said he wouldn’t be able to sleep in the bed since my Mom wasn’t home!  How sweet is that?!

Thank you for all of your recommendations on new music for my workout playlist!  🙂  

Riddlemethis:

How about your favorite pre-workout snack?  What keeps you fueled?!  Share the goods!!   I’m not too picky, I usually try to pair a protein with a carb, since I read JB’s post about Body For Life tips.  Some of my faves are Larabars, Bonk Breakers, PB&J, or Banana & PB!

XOXO. 

Happy Hump Day!

 

 

Build Me Up, Buttercup.

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Verse of the Day:

“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.”

– Colossians 2:9-10

What could possibly go wrong when you start your day off with a cali bowl filled with this

1/3 C. old-fashioned oats cooked in 1 C. water and 1 tsp. chia seeds (soaked in the fridge overnight), topped with 1 peach chobani + 1 tbsp. Better n’ Peanut Butter.

and music like this on the way to work.  I simply cannot think of a better way…other than adding a THANK YOU GOD FOR THE RAIN prayer to the mix.  Things were really getting dry around here!

Lunch at the office seems to come more quickly each day.  I think it could be because I’ve been amping up my breakfasts which have keeping me fuller longer, so I’m not sitting at my desk with my belly grumbling watching the minute hand on the clock for my lunch break to come around. 

1 La Tortilla Factory whole grain wrap stuffed with sliced veggies (spring mix, cucumber, orange pepper, tomato, & onion) spread with 2 tbsp. Forty Spices Tribe hummus & a 2 egg white puff.

I also packed some veggies on the side to munch on, too.

I was kinda unsure about what to pack for fuel between work and the gym to hold me over until after class at 8PM, so I packed a couple of goodies.  At 4PM, I left work to hit the gym for an hour and 1/2 before class.

1 Thomas high fiber, light whole grain english muffin spread with 1 tsbp. Better N’ Peanut Butter & 1 tbsp. apricot sugar free Polaner

I ate 1/2 of this before my workout + a gala apple.

 

 

 

 

The cardio was fantastic, again thanks to the Cross Ramp.  I did 45 minutes at various resistance levels and ramp levels, average heart rate at 149, and burned 480 calories.  Then I took a break to do some core work with “in-and-outs” and planks.  I wanted to finish my July copy of InStyle, so I biked for about 10 minutes and finished off with another 10 min. on the Cross Ramp for a nice heart rate rise before I left to hit the showers.

Afterward, I ate the rest of my pb&j and some of these babies.

I made these kale chips the night before using this method:

Leaves picked off, sprayed with PAM, sprinkled with Garlic Gold, and baked at 350° for about 15-20 minutes.

I also packed a 2-egg white puff for protein topped with 1/2 slice of Finlandia light swiss cheese

Boring photo, but it was tasty and it did the job!  After class, my family asked me to meet them at Isaac’s for dinner at about 8PM.  My younger sister had a basketball game, and they were in the area.

I knew JUST what I wanted.  Isaac’s Deli is awesome.  They always throw together whatever I ask for.  There’s never any trouble customizing orders there.  They’ve also got some fabulous sandwiches!

I also love the pickled cauliflower, cucumber, and carrots that are set on the table for you to munch on as opposed to a bread basket.  The cauliflower is the best!

For my meal, I asked for a turkey sandwich on pumpernickel with tomato, sprouts, cucumber, mushrooms, and onion.  It was PERFECTOTwo thumbs up Isaac’s, two thumbs up.

I ate the entire sandwich sans dressing (it was so flavorful all on its own!) and left the chips for someone else.

With fresh fruit salad for dessert!

YUMM!

TellmeAboutyourself 🙂

 1.  Do you ever feel weird about customizing orders when you go out to eat?  I used to, but I’m over it.  If I’m going to pay someone to prepare my food for me, I want it to be something I’m going to enjoy, right?!

2.  What’s your favorite restaurant and what is their specialty in your eyes?  It’s too hard to choose a favorite for me, but I crave different dishes from different restuarants, sometimes.  I love sushi, but I could always go for Charlie Brown’s salad bar.

HAPPY FINALLY FRIDAY!  Don’t forget to enter to win yourself some Lucy’s gluten-free cookies! Like Snikiddy snacks?  Check out Katie’s giveaway here!

 

XO.