Tuesday, July 30, 2013

October is Bucket List Month

So October has become "check an item off my bucket list" month. First, I just booked tickets to NYC to visit my best friend Matt. While I am there, we are doing a 5K obstacle race. Then when I get back, it's my first half marathon. 3 items, one month. Bring it world.

Tonight I made this recipe from Emily Bites. 

It's a go to favorite in our house. So good. 6 servings is 338 calories and 23g of protein per serving. 

Tonight was boot camp retesting. We did 10 burpees and a 40 yard sprint week 1 and again tonight. I shaved 12 seconds off my time, so I'm pretty happy. Between hard work and Advocare, I am clearly faster and stronger. I started using Catalyst, and I can truly tell the difference. I have kept off the 4 lbs I lost on the cleanse and I am eating like I was prior, healthy, but not over restricted. I did have pasta, cake, and ice cream this weekend and I am still down the 4 lbs. I cannot say enough good things about these products, I feel amazing and am continuing to improve. Bring it half marathon.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Baby Goats and Birthdays

So this weekend my little sister turned 16. Still struggling with that mental picture. 

We cut out our favorites and struggled eating them. 

But I love food so it didn't take long. Sorry Zayn, it was real but I love me some whipped frosting.

We also went to visit my uncle's farm where he has a small petting zoo going on. The most recent additions are these guys.

Yes, it is eating my shirt. I would let it eat the whole sleeve because he was so darn cute. Be prepared for a cute overload now.

My weekend was better than yours, no question. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Crossfit Hurts My Arms, Legs, and Soul

Today I tried out Crossfit with a good friend from work. I would have taken a picture but my arms couldn't hold up my phone after the workout. That place is no joke and I wanted to cry a little. Ok a lot.

I made some muffins today for our workout/breakfast at our trainer's house tomorrow. They aren't the best thing in the whole world, but they are good.

White Chocolate Craisin muffins 
1 stick margarine 
1/3 cup sugar
1.5 T brown sugar Splenda blend
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup egg beaters
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup reduced sugar craisins

Cream butter and sugars together. Add egg beaters an mix. Add flour, milk, baking powder and mix well. It will be really thick (this is where I should have added more milk, so that might be wise) 
Fold in chips and craisins, and scoop into 18 muffin tins. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. 

They are pretty good, but they are sense and a little flat. Next time I may add some applesauce and a bit more milk. Possibly also cut the whole wheat flour with some all purpose or cake flour. They still taste good, so I'm not too mad.. Just don't expect a fluffy and light muffin. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Not About Food...For Once

This week of boot camp is military week. Yesterday we carried telephone poles. Yes, you read that correctly.

Today we had some ridiculous circuits with tires, medicine balls, and kettlebells. I am glad I downed a Spark this morning. 

So I saw this online. I have challenged our 3 trainers to 10 reps. I have faith.

Also I have been running more in my Saucony Hurricane 15s. They have changed my life with my knee pain. I have early onset arthritis. It hurts, I whine a lot. But, just maybe they will get me through the half marathon.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Zonkeys and Ostriches

Sunday was the annual ostrich races at our local casino. This year they upped the game. Zebras. 

Only 2 jockeys survived the about 100 yard run.

But it was amazing. And they had great names.

We had a great time. The Zonkey won. Yes, a zebra/donkey mated.

I made brownie pancakes for brunch. They are a great thing to make when you are craving something sweet and super filling.

1 T sugar
1 T cocoa powder 
1/3 cup flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 cup egg beaters
1 T melted margarine 
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Mix all the dry ingredients together first, then add the wet. It will be thick. Cook like normal pancakes on the griddle and top with some Hershey's syrup and some Cool Whip Free. 

Mmm. 323 calories of sweet delicious brunch.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Better Than Everything Cupcakes

When I find an unhealthy dessert or food that I love, I take it almost as a personal challenge to recreate it with lower calories. Today I took on Better than Sex cake. We all love it. My swimsuit on the other hand...

1 box Betty Crocker Moist Supreme Red Velvet cake mix
12 oz Diet Coke
1 tub Cool Whip Free
1 box Jello sugar free cheesecake pudding
2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
3 packets 100 calorie Oreos

Mix the cake mix and diet coke. Pour into 24 cupcake liners and bake as directed. 

Then, let them cool and poke some holes in them. I went at them with a spatula handle, but really anything small will work.

Mix the jello pudding and almond milk for about 5 minutes with a mixer, or whisk it by hand. Fridge it for about an hour. It will not be thick like pudding by any means. Spoon it onto the top of the cupcakes and make sure it gets into the holes you poked. 

Then stick them in the fridge for a few hours at least, or until ready to serve. Before serving, top with cool whip. Crush the Oreo packets up and sprinkle on top.

This is for sure a fork cupcake. 

It is so good. And really mimicked the flavors of the unhealthy version. One of these babies will run you 93 calories. 

For dinner I made a flatbread pizza. I found some Fit & Active flax flatbreads at Aldi that are delicious. Top it with 1/4 cup  Ragu home style pizza sauce, red pepper flake, oregano, 14g turkey pepperoni, and 28g Velveeta shreds pepper jack. 

Bake for 10 minutes at 425. 

You could really add anything to it, it was pretty good. 225 calories and 19g of protein in what I used. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Oreo Shake. Sort of.

So I have been craving a malt/shake/blizzard hard the past few days. Tonight I made up a healthier version of an Oreo milkshake. Don't get me wrong, it's not the same, but it was still pretty good.

1 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 T sugar free vanilla pudding mix
1 tsp vanilla
2 packets Splenda
1 1/2 cup crushed ice
100 calorie Oreo pack

I threw it all in the magic bullet and just went for it. Next time I will leave out the Oreos and stir them in by hand at the end to have bigger chunks. 

Still delicious and 155 calories for the whole thing. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Workouts With Your Spouse

Today our trainer posted a vlog about the benefits and downfalls of workouts with your partner or spouse. I know that for some people, including me at times, this does not work. For example, when we first started running, Alex and I would try to go on runs together. What this really looked like was me trying really hard and him fast walking. He is faster than me. I have now accepted that. We do races together yes, but he will beat me. Unless I trip him. I have come to terms with that and it has made our lives 100 times easier.
But on the other side, boot camp, kettlebells, RIPPED class, we do together. We push each other hard, rarely speak, sweat, make funny grunting noises, and pass out together. I would never expect him to slow down, use a lighter weight, or ease up on me. And he doesn't. It works out well and I truly cherish the time we spend together working out. It has made both of our lives better and our relationship stronger.

He still won't go to hip hop dance class with me. You can't win em all.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sandbags Are Our Friends

Tonight Bootcamp consisted of grabbing a sandbag and not putting it down the whole time. Doing a variety of exercises, my sandbag and I became very close. And sweaty. 

For dinner we made lettuce wrap tacos. If you are still buying taco seasoning at the store, stop now. The sodium is so high, and you can make it at home much cheaper. 

1 T Chili powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flake
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp cumin

Tastes just as good with much less sodium. 

We also make our own pico de gallo. 

1 tomato, chopped
1/4 red onion chopped 
1/4 cup cilantro chopped
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp lime juice

Stir it all up, and it tastes fresh and delicious.

Both much better than store bought, and better for you.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sore Arms Make Me Grumpy

So those burpees yesterday? Hurt a lot today. All over.

Luckily tonight was more strength oriented and I only wanted to die a little, not a lot.

Also, I registered for my first half marathon. This is likely a bad idea. It is so far. I will try not to think about it until October 20th at about 7:59 am.

Tonight I made a modified version of Mexican Sweet Potatoes that I found on Pinterest.
2 sweet potatoes, cooked in skin (I microwaved about 10 minutes)
3 chili peppers in adobo sauce, minced
1 oz fat free cream cheese
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1.5 servings corn, canned, reduced sodium
1.5 servings black beans, canned, no salt added
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 white onion
1 T margarine
1/2 cup Velveeta shreds pepper jack 

Start by heating a cast iron and adding corn. Sprinkle with seasoning. (I used salt, pepper, and Mrs Dash Chipolte) don't stir it, let it roast. Only stir a couple times and roast about 10 minutes. Put in a bowl with beans and set aside. Melt butter and cook onion in pan. Add those to the corn/beans. Mix peppers, cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and cilantro in a bowl. Cut potatoes length wise, hollow out and add to bowl. Mix well, then gently add bean/corn/onion mix. Then cram them into the potato skins again and top with cheese.

Then broil for about 4 minutes on low. 

Then devour. Trust me, one is enough. It is tons of food. And delicious. 

244 calories and 10g of protein. I will add chicken next time to up the protein, but they were delicious.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Weekend in Chicago

This weekend I took my little sister to Chicago for a One Direction concert. My eardrums still ring from the screams. In all reality, it was a good concert and I know she had a really good time. I am glad I'm in good shape as we had lawn seats and had to run across the venue and up the grass hill to snag spots. 
On the way there we stopped at my favorite bakery from childhood in Cedar Falls that closed this weekend for good. This was my last twisty donut ever. Tear.

After that we drove through every small town in Wisconsin to go to Six Flags for the day. I forget just how busy that place is. We rode most of the thrill rides, and walked about 100 miles.

The two story carousel was awesome.

Saturday we headed to Tinley Park for the concert. 

It was hot. We paid $5.50 for a glass of water. But it was successful.
Sunday morning I did a treadmill workout I love when I am stuck with hotel fitness centers. It goes by really fast, and totals about 2.75 miles.
2 minute warmup walk at 3.5
Start at 4.0 and go in 1 minute sets, going up by .5 each minute until you get to 7.0. Then work your way back down to 4.0, and do that one more time. I then did 1 minute at 9.5 and a 2 minute cool down at 3.5. It works out to 30 minutes and a good workout. 

After a long 6 hour drive home I was ready for bed.

I saw this at Six Flags and it cracked me up at it's truth. 

Today we had the start of wrestling week at Bootcamp. Our workout was:
30 seconds to do 5 burpees. The faster you do them, the more you rest until 30 seconds is up. Repeat for a 4 minute set, then rest 1 minute. Repeat 2 more times. Total of 120 burpees so far. Then, 5 minutes of continuous burpees. Then a 5 minute cool down jog. I've never been so close to barfing in a workout. But I held it in, so I deserve a cookie or something. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Copycat Recipe Day

My breakfast today changed my life. If you want your life changed as well, hop on over to Run,Eat,Repeat and make Monica's sweet omelette. Seriously, who does not want peanut butter and chocolate in the morning? This girl does.

Also, I made this recipe for dinner. I used my new favorite salsa. It has natural ingredients and not a bunch of processed crap. 

It makes 4 giant servings for 421 calories and 32g of protein. And delicious. 

Well, that was all about food. It's ok, it is the joy in my life.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Favorite Finds

We went to 5am Bootcamp today because I had really important things to do tonight to get a haircut. It was a kettle bell power circuit and it whooped my butt like nobody's business. But, it wasn't running so I will take it.

Alex also made some amazing yakisoba for dinner, but I enjoyed it so slowly inhaled it, I didn't get a picture. Next time.

A few of my favorite things are a good sale and not heavily processed foods. A couple things I have fallen in love with are this peanut butter.
Check out those ingredients. Peanuts. Less than 1% salt. Only peanuts. Isn't that something? And it's no more expensive than the other brands at Wal Mart.
I also discovered these protein bars. They range about 170-210 calories depending on flavor. No added sugars. No HFCS. 20g protein. Amazing. 

Now if I can just find an ice cream....

Monday, July 8, 2013

Running...still sucks

I forgot to update yesterday, but we spent the day boating with Alex's brother and his family. We went tubing and just floated around and grilled some lunch. It was an amazing day.
My nephew Jason was mad about something, and it was adorable.

Tonight started track and field week at Bootcamp. Emphasis on the track part today. We ran. And ran. Then ran some more. Then ran as a team. Then ran alone twice as far. Then ran as a team twice as far. I died a little. 

I felt like Dezi did boating yesterday. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Dances With Buffalos

Today started with a sweaty RIPPED class at the gym. I made some blueberry pancakes for breakfast, and clearly we have missed the carbs. 
Alex went to Fitness Sports today to get fitted for some new shoes for his crazy feet. He had surgery for plantar fasciitis last June, so he needs his shoes to fit perfect. The salesperson there let him try on about 100 pairs and helped him the entire time. I would do business there any day over any other shoe store. 
This afternoon we went to a wildlife refuge a few miles from Des Moines. It had a beautiful 2 mile trail through the prairie. 
It was a beautiful day. It also had a driving path through the bison and elk sanctuary. They weren't super close to the road, but it was cool to see. 

For dinner we made portabella pizzas. They were awesome. Start with 4 portabella caps and clean them out. 

We dried them out a bit with paper towels as they will release a lot of moisture. 
For the filling:
1/8 cup pizza sauce each
Oregano, basil, red pepper flakes to taste
7g armour turkey pepperoni each
Diced bell peppers and Jalepeno 
Top with:
14g Velveeta shreds pepper jack each

Put them on a pizza pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. 

They are a great way to have pizza without the calories and carbs from crust. For 2 of them it is 175 calories. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

I Should Have Every Day Off

Today I took off from work, but never fear..I was still up early. I went to RIPPED class at 8:30 and Cheeks and Obliques at 9:10. 2 hours of class=tired Nicole. It felt good after all the food yesterday though. 
I then spent 2 hours grocery shopping. If you don't shop at Aldi for at least fruits and veggies- I feel sorry for you. So cheap, good product, happy me. I then rewarded myself with an afternoon at the pool.
Yeah, I was I heaven.

For dinner we grilled out. Made some chicken sausages and I made some stuffed mushrooms. I winged it, but they were delicious. I used:
6 larger baby Bella mushrooms, stems removed

3 oz fat free cream cheese 
14 g sharp cheddar shredded cheese 
1 green onion
3 slices center cut bacon
Garlic powder to taste

Mix it all together, and stuff into mushroom tops. Throw on the grill for 10-15 minutes, until releasing moisture. So good. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013


Today was the 4th of July...and the first day off the cleanse. We started with an early morning butt kicking workout. It was so painful I cannot even remember the details. But then we were rewarded with this.  Good morning old friend.

I have missed you so.

We went to my Mother in Law's for a pool party today. Her new pool is huge and amazing and I was not mad about floating in it all afternoon.

We then went over to a BBQ and played with this adorable guy. 

All in all, beautiful day.  Freedom, it's a beautiful thing.