Saturday, March 31, 2012

Good Eats

So the girl and I are in South Bend tonight. Daddy is pulling some major hours out of his pocket for work this weekend, and my sister has another shower tomorrow, so I thought it the opportune time to test the sleepover waters. As I type this, Hannah is sleeping soundly in the crib my parents so graciously placed in one of their extra bedrooms. Alas, it hasn't been the easiest of days. I think she detected something different about her surroundings. Sure, we've been here before, but not overnight and certainly not without her daddy. Fussiness ensued, but we got through it.

We'll see if she gets through the night.

In the meantime, I am currently painting my nails, and while I wait for them to dry, I thought it'd be fun to share with you some delicious eats from the past 24 hours of my life. You guys like food, right? Take a look, and may the following inspire your own palates in some way, shape or form.

1) Egg, Basil and Jam Sandwich

It sounds goofy, but it's so great on the taste buds.There's something about the savory/sweet combination that gets me, and it certainly got me last night for dinner. Red onions, basil, a thin slice of Monterey Jack cheese plus some of the jam my Foodie Pen Pal sent me. Yum. I drool just thinking about it. (PS: I do NOT like my eggs runny. Nasty.)

2) Chicken Kabob Pita from Pita Grille in Granger, Indiana

I always love testing out the new restaurants that pop up in my hometown. The Pita Grille did not disappoint...oh, man. It was good! I'd show you the hummus, but the BFF dug in before I perfected my picture. And I couldn't blame her for doing so because it was so flavorful and inviting. As was the pita pocket above. Although, I must admit, I was a little intimidated by the size of the thing. It wasn't big, it was just stuffed (full of healthy goodness and love).

3) Berry Good Salad and a Pita Pizza

Nothing beats berries on a salad, especially of those berries are topped with Garlic Expressions (the best salad dressing e-ver). And yeah, I had pitas twice today. So be it. This 'za was worth it. I went minimal on the cheese and, to be honest, I loved it. I have a tendency to go overboard on the cheese when it comes to pizza, but I have to say, less is really the best.

Question: What's the best thing you ate today?

ENTER MY GIVEAWAY! You just might win a box of Chobani Greek Yogurt! (Contest ends at midnight EST on Tuesday, April 3, 2012).

Friday, March 30, 2012

Foodie Pen Pals: Sarah Learns

Gosh, another month has come and gone. This means one very important thing: It's time for bloggers everywhere to reveal what they got from their Foodie Pen Pals! So fun. Are you doing this yet? You should be, even if you don't write a blog. It's so fun to get a package from someone somewhere out there. (Admit it, you like getting packages in the mail.)

I sent one to Emily at Ultra Epicure, and I got one from Sarah of Sarah Learns:

I love it when I get something homemade, especially if that something is a jar of nut butter. Cinnamon Almond Butter, if I'm to be specific.

So good on a rice cake, and quite like the Cinnamon Sugar Almond Butter that I made a few weeks ago. Needless to say, both are gone and I want some more. Better get some almonds pronto. Up next in my stash:

Slack's Red Raspberry Jam, also served on a rice cake with some of the aforementioned almond butter. And let me just say—HOLY WOW. This stuff is good. I wanted to eat it all right out of the jar. With a soup spoon, not one of those dinky cereal spoons. But I didn't. That would have been bad. Very bad.

But these were very good:

Two funny stories:

1) I had every intention of buying these for Emily, but I totally forgot to put them in my cart. (Sorry, girl.)

2) I was at the grocery store today and noticed them in the refrigerators with all the gourmet salad dressings and "homemade" nut butters. Really? The refrigerator? These things are like chips.

Anyway, my favorite item in the box was this little bag of goodness:

Of course it comes from Trader Joe's. My heart skips a beat when I think about it now. Ugh, such a great place. But I digress. Back to the bag.

Sarah suggested that I turn it into her Harvest Grain Greek Salad. So I did:

Oh, man. I'm so glad my husband didn't care for it because that left more for me. (He's picky, to say the least.) I prepped this on Sunday and I still have quite a bit left. Should still be good, I'm thinking, and I can't wait to eat some for lunch.

Speaking of eating, I haven't figured out how to use the jelly yet. Any suggestions? The protein powder was awesome in yet another Blood Orange Chobani Creamsicle Smoothie. So that leaves me with one unmentioned item. This guy:

I'm a little intimidated by the Spirulina factor. I keep reading that it might not be the best thing for nursing mothers. Does anyone have any insight? Why would one even want to consume Spirulina? I searched the Internets but got way overwhelmed.

Moving along, 'cuz this post is getting long!

If you'd like to participate in the Foodie Pen Pal program, here are a few essential details:

And if you'd like to win some Chobani:

ENTER MY GIVEAWAY! You just might win a box of Chobani Greek Yogurt! (Contest ends at midnight EST on Tuesday, April 3, 2012).

Thursday, March 29, 2012

On willpower and dedication.

My sister sent me these words via text this morning:

She's beautiful as can be, has always been athletic and as you know, she is getting married in May. She's also knee-deep in student teaching as she works toward her Master's in Special Education. So on top of the wedding plans, she's got lesson plans to worry about. And while all of that matters, nothing has begun to matter more to her than her own personal health and well being.  

What was once an activity based solely on sport (volleyball), exercising and eating right is now becoming her way of living purely because it's how one lives well. It's been wonderful to sit back and watch her develop this attitude toward working out, and I just love getting little updates from her now and again. From her running schedule to her yoga practice, to a new gym membership and being able to get up at 4:00AM in order to squeeze in a workout—girl's got it goin' on. And she brings to light a very good point:

It's truly awesome what a little willpower and dedication can do.

Only you can really make a difference in your life. Only you can really make the decision to eat well, to workout and to live healthy. That's right, only you. If a fit and healthy lifestyle is something you truly want for yourself—stop making excuses, stop saying "tomorrow." Today is here, and you'll never get it back again, so make it a day worth looking back on once it's gone. 

Get up, get moving. It might be hard at first, and you'll certainly take two steps forward and a few steps back on occasion. But that's completely normal. It's life. And life is meant to be lived. So if you want that chocolate, that beer or maybe that fried whatever...have it. Just a little bit of it to satisfy your craving, then move on knowing you have not completely sabotaged your greatest achievements. Moving on is the win here. Moving on is a sign that you've got what it takes to recognize the things in your life that aren't "good for you."

Don't look back with guilt. Don't look back with hate and self-judgement. Look back and be proud of your willpower to only have just enough.

But that's enough about eating. Take those same principles, that same willpower and know that once you get your butt to the gym, you'll forever want to thank yourself for getting in that workout. Even if it's just a 30-minute walk around the block. That still counts, you bet it does.

Today, I want you to ask yourself this one thing: Can I do it?
And then I want you to look in the mirror and say: Yes, damn right I can.

And then I want you to go out and do it.

Question: Have you made any personal achievements lately that have you beaming with pride? Don't be shy...tell me!

ENTER MY GIVEAWAY! You just might win a box of Chobani Greek Yogurt! (Contest ends at midnight EST on Tuesday, April 3, 2012).

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WIN THIS: Chobani Greek Yogurt

I think my daughter is destined to like yogurt. I mean, if she's anything like her mother, Hannah will crave the stuff from dawn 'till dusk. But not just any "stuff," mind you. She will crave Chobani, thick and creamy Chobani with all it's flavorful goodness. I buy it every week at the grocery store, whether or not it's on sale, and if it happens to be on sale, I make a huge fool out of myself by dancing around my cart. Yeah, I love it that much. So when Chobani sent me a case of their new flavors to try, I did the cart dance sans cart.

And with much more excitement. It was Passion Fruit, Apple Cinnamon and Blood Orange Chobani Greek Yogurt love at first sight. I figured it be love-the-taste at first taste, too. Up first: Passion Fruit.

I packed it plain in a picnic, then mixed it up in some overnight oats with a banana (which I got to enjoy as the sun was coming up, and as Hannah slept soundly still).

Gotta say, loved the flavor—hated the seeds. Every time I got one on my spoon, I thought it was a bug. They tasted great, though. I just had to keep reminding myself what it was. Kinda like I had to remind myself that was a smoothie, not a Creamsicle.

People, you have to make this. I'm telling you it tastes just like the aforementioned treat! I swear on my love of Chobani, and I think Blood Orange is one of my new favorite Chobani Greek Yogurt flavors. Apple Cinnamon comes in at a close second, though.

I'd have a picture for you, but I slurped down the smoothie I mixed it into without stopping to snap one. Chobani Apple Cinnamon Greek Yogurt + Banana + Milk + Peanut Butter = Oh yeah. For real.

Moral of the story? If you haven't yet tried the new Chobani flavors, get to gettin'. And if you haven't yet tried Chobani at all, well...geeze, I dunno. Get to seriously gettin', friend! This stuff is good, and good for you, which means it works well with the fit life. It goes well with meals, and is perfect for pre- and post-workout snacking. Even the Chobani Champions are great. They're for kids, but there's a kid in all of us, right?

OK, so wait—let's back up for a minute. Say for a second that you haven't yet tried the new flavors. Or maybe you have and you want more. Leave a comment below telling me which of the three flavors above has your name all over it, and what you'd do with a cup of it, and you just might with a case exactly like the one Chobani so graciously sent me.

Extra entries can be achieved by doing any of the following. (Please tell me you've done so in a separate comment for each, and be sure to leave me a valid email address in the event that you win.)
1) Like Chobani on Facebook.
2) Follow Chobani on Twitter.
3) Like A Daily Dose of Fit on Facebook.
4) Subscribe to A Daily Dose of Fit via email.

Contest ends on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at Midnight, EST. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on Wednesday, April 4, 2012.

Seriously, enter! You might win!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rise up, work out.

Don't you hate it when you run out of a good thing? I ate the last of my granola bar bites last night (insert sad face here). I was forced to grab a bar from my stash of convenience, so this happened on my way to the gym this morning:

I picked it up on a whim at the grocery store the other day. I'm a sucker for bars I haven't tried, and this particular one caught my eye for it's impressive lack of ingredients:

Only seven, all of which are recognizable. Needless to say, it was quite tasty. Crunchy Honey Walnut...I mean, how could it NOT be? I have a Crunchy Cranberry Apple in my convenience stash still, but after looking at their website, I wish I had access to all of the other flavors and varieties, too. Here's to hoping I come across them somehow, somewhere. I'd snatch 'em up, for sure. It's not too often you come across a bar that's this straightforward.

One thing's for sure: This breakfast bar set the tone for a great workout.

I've been infusing a lot of action into my workouts lately. Lots of fast paced, high intensity moves that keep my heart rate up. It feels so good to move again that I'm really just trying to move, move, move my way through each workout. And burn those last few pounds of baby fat while I'm at it.

I think it might be working.

Just like our afternoon naps. Hannah went down around 3:45pm today and slept for exactly an hour. Just enough time for me to prep some more of those granola bites. They're cooking right now, so I'll let you know how they turn out. I switched up the ingredients and boy, does it smell good in my kitchen!

Now, this mom needs to hit "publish" and take advantage of the daddy-daughter bonding going on right now. My husband feeds her and puts her to bed, which gives me some time to get to all of those things I typically can't get to throughout the day.

Once those things are done, I typically spend the rest of my night missing my daughter as she sleeps soundly behind her closed door. God bless her sweet little self, I just wanna kiss those cheeks a thousand times more!

Question: Have you made any major changes to your workouts lately? Have you tried any new bars lately? I wanna know!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Ultimate Runner's Guide (#Infographic)

I typically do three days of cardio (plus core) and two days of total-body strength training every week. Today happened to be one of those cardio days, and since I'm coming off a weekend, I was less than thrilled with the prospect of having to run on the treadmill (otherwise known as the "dreadmill"). It's just so boring. And I so felt like being lazy with my girl.

Then the following infographic showed up in my Google Reader as I chomped down some cereal. It had me at "get on your running shoes. Stretch and warm up. Now, on your mark, get set, go!"

The Ultimate Runners Guide
Get health and fitness tips at

 In case you're wondering, I busted out four miles today. Above average for a Monday, if you go by the stats above, and the longest I've clocked since my pre-baby days. I did, however, divide it up into two segments, taking a short break at the halfway point to work my core (and use the restroom). Wednesday is yet another cardio day, and I'm hoping to link the two this time. If I can last that long on the treadmill. Sometimes I have to hop off it to run my last mile on the track.

 I better download some new music, maybe that'll help.

Question: How do you fight boredom on the treadmill? Do you have a go-to running song?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Just another Sunday.

Another weekend bites the dust. The sun is down, leaving behind the promise of yet another Monday. I'm sure you hate it significantly more than I if you find yourself with a full-time job, so I won't complain too much. However, this upcoming week will be my last without work. That's right, only one more week of maternity leave and honestly—I'm not really dreading going back to work. Lookin' forward to it, actually. Of course, it helps that Hannah will be with me and that she's already used to the nursery at the gym. Should be a smooth transition, but I still intend to enjoy not having to wear the work hat for a few more days.

One hat that I'm not very good at wearing: Bow-Into-Bouquet Maker. You know that tradition where the maid (matron, in my case) of honor takes all the bows from the shower gifts and turns them into a practice bouquet for the bride? Yeah, well...I suck at it.

Sorry, sis. I'll try and do better at your next shower.

At least the rest of the shower was a success (I think).

So today, since I was gone from home all of yesterday, I spent time catching up in the food department as I do on almost every Sunday. And I do mean that I was literally in the food department. We went grocery shopping, and then I did some food prep for the week:

Details to come, but I'll tell you this: (1) nut butter, (1) batch of muffins, and (1) whole grain salad of sorts. All yummy, and all prepared while Little Miss slept soundly in her crib for an hour and a half. We're working on a solid afternoon nap right now, right before she eats dinner, which I'm hoping might help with the early evening fussiness. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Life with an infant, man...totally unpredictable. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

Until then, it's high time I hit "publish." She's down for the night, so it's go-time for mom. Time for some laundry. Yet another thing I have to prep for the week. Clothes. And burp towels and onesies and bibs and...

Question: If you have kids, I'm interested in hearing about their nap schedules. How strictly do you enforce them? Do you wake your kids to eat if it's eatin' time? Or do you let them sleep? If you don't have kids, I want to know how often YOU take naps. Me, I've never been a napper myself.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Your plan for the weekend:

Hey, readers! Just checking in on this rainy, dull Friday. Not much to report on the Daily Dose front right now, I'm in get-ready-for-the-weekend mode. My sister is getting married in May and I'm hosting a bridal shower for her tomorrow. I picked up a big box of frozen soup from a local eatery, and there's much to prep on the party front tonight. Plus a diaper bag to pack for a day away from home. It's amazing how much stuff a baby needs! Then again, I am a new mom and fear not having that one thing I need, so I've taken to packing everything I might need for whatever reason. As you guessed it, the shower is not at my house.

So as I continue to get ready for tomorrow, I wish you all the best, most relaxing of weekends. Do some exercise for me. At the very least, take a walk outside and make note of the onset of Spring.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Prenatal and Postpartum Fitness Tips

This happened today:

One of my coworkers trains a local DJ, and these training sessions led to a standing weekly segment on the radio where (obviously) he talks about fitness with his client (the DJ). This week, they wanted to focus on prenatal and postpartum fitness and since neither one of them is a female, they brought one in (me) to offer some perspective. This was my first time on the radio and I have to say—it was pretty fun. Now, I know for a fact that some of my readers are expecting (and out of the listening area of this particular station), so I thought I'd repeat right here some of the tips I talked about.


1) Keep an open dialogue with your doctor. Every pregnancy is different, and your doctor will know yours better than anyone. If you need to be restricted in any way, or are experiencing side effects of any type, only your doctor can give you the best advice possible.

2) At the very least, walk. We were born to walk, pregnant or not, so get up and move. Walking is highly adaptable, and that's one thing you'll need to be when it comes to working out while pregnant. You can walk fast, and you can also walk slow—which is probably something you'll be doing as you near your due date. Just remember, the more you sit, the less you do yourself any justice (pregnant or not, of course). Physical activity keeps the blood flowing, the heart pumping, the weight gain at a minimum and the spirits high.

3) Lower your expectations. You're pregnant. Don't expect to keep up with your non-preggo self. It's perfectly fine to slow down at the gym when you're pregnant. It doesn't mean you're getting any less of a workout. As you progress in your pregnancy, it won't take as much to challenge those muscles. But you can still, certainly, challenge those muscles while you're pregnant.

4) Remember the physical changes of pregnancy. Your center of gravity changes, which creates balance issues. The "twins" grow, which puts stress on your shoulders and upper back. And all that relaxin starts to flow, which loosens up your joints—you may have more flexibility than you ever did before. In addition, you'll want to avoid being on your back once your second trimester hits. This, of course, limits the amount of core work you can do.

5) Eat for two, don't "eat for two." It isn't necessary to eat more simply because you're pregnant. But it is necessary to eat healthy because you are eating for two people. So whatever you eat, your baby eats, too. And the healthier you eat while you're pregnant, the better your pregnancy will be. (And the less you'll gain, hopefully.)


1) Don't rush it. Labor and delivery isn't exactly easy on the body, especially if you deliver by Cesarean section. You'll most likely be scheduled for a 6-week checkup, at which point your doctor will approve your return to physical activity if all is healing well. Even then, you'll still need to take it easy. You'll want to take it easy.  And quite frankly, you won't have much time for anything other than that brand new bambino of yours so enjoy it. It won't last!

2) Start with some light walking when you feel up to it. Again, we were born to walk. So when you feel up to it, get up and do some light walking. It's the best way to start back into that physical fitness of yours. But stay in tune with your body...

3) Stay in tune with your body. Once your doctor gives you the official go-ahead to exercise again, it's really important that you proceed with caution. You still might not be completely healed from the demands of labor. As when you were pregnant, your body will let you know when it's had too much. And if it does just that, it's equally important that you pull back a little. You'll get back to those workouts, trust me. Just give yourself some time.

4) Watch your core.  Your abdominals were continually stretched for about nine months. Perhaps dangerously so. Maybe to the point where they've split down the middle a little bit too much. So when you get to a point where you can challenge that core again, you'll need to go a little easy on them. Don't jump right to crunches. Try exercises that simply isolate the abdominals with contractions. Like planks, regular and side.

5) Remember the rule: Nine months on, nine months off. Be realistic with your weight loss goals. You didn't gain all that weight overnight, and while some of it will come off as you deliver, some of it will remain. If you eat healthy and start working out again once you've been given the a-OK, you'll see marked drops in your weight.

I really could go on and on, this is obviously a topic that's very near and dear to me. If you'd like specific advice, don't hesitate to talk to your doctor. And I'd be more than willing to share my two cents worth. You can send me a note a dailydose (dot) notes (at) gmail (dot) com.

I'm always here for you guys. (Even if you aren't pregnant, and simply want fitness advice.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Granola Bar Bites

Holy cow, it's hot. We've been having some unusual and warm weather up here in Michigan. It's kind of weird, actually...walking around in flip-flops and shorts when the beaches are still winterized with their fencing and hidden sidewalks. At 80 degrees, we actually turned on our air conditioner. The little one's room is quite small, and it heats up rather quickly (as does she) so we've had to regulate things around here. I'd actually prefer to keep the windows open myself, but doing what's best for her in this case wins out hands down.

I've been itching to get back out for a pavement run, but alas, to the gym I went this morning and hauled out three miles. Two on the tread, one on the track. It's safe to say I worked my butt off, having finally felt comfortable pushing the speed up a bit. I walked away with a sweaty red face, which is always a good sign.

It's been some time since I've been able to achieve the sweaty red face.
How I've missed it.

And speaking of missing things, I had an itch last night to make some granola bars so I pulled up an old recipe. But I made a major change which ultimately led to these:

Granola bar bites. Freakin' yeah. They're good. And good for you. I stashed two in the diaper bag (in a container, of course)...
...and ate them in between my run and my errand run. Yeah, I run errands when I'm sweaty and stinky:

Just sayin'.

Back to those bites. They're super good, and you need to make them. Here's the recipe:

Inspiration: Oaty Cranberry Granola Bars

• 1-2/3 cup oats
• 1/3 cup oat flour (Pulse oats in the food processor.)
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/4 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp wheat germ
• 1/3 tsp ground flaxseed
• 1 cup dried fruit (I used berries, raisins and pineapple.)
• 1/2 cup crushed almonds
• 1/2 cup crushed peanuts
• 1/3 cup peanut butter
• 1 tsp vanilla
• Splash of water
• 1/2 cup honey

1) Combine all ingredients and mix completely. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

2) Preheat oven to 350F. Using a cookie scoop, scoop out dough and form into a solid and compact ball—this is important! Bake for 15 minutes.

3) Cool for five, then put on a dinner plate and cool in the 'fridge until they're completely cold. Transfer to an airtight container and store. Or eat. Whichever comes first.

This another one of those recipes that's highly adaptable. I'm already bummed that I didn't add Chia seeds. And the whole cooling in the 'fridge thing? Clutch move to keep the "cookies" from crumbling. I'm serious.

In other news, my prize pack of Chobani Champions from Nature Mom's Blog arrived today.

Dudes, I am so stocked with yogurt right now! I got six 4-packs in a combo of two flavors. Orange Vanilla and Vanilla Chocolate Chunk. Since I gave up sweets (chocolate) for Lent, I opted to dig right into the Orange Vanilla.

And I have no regrets about it. This is technically a kid-friendly food, but kids eat adult foods so whatevs.

I'm glad the expiration date on the Vanilla Chocolate Chunk is well after the end of Lent.

Question: What else would you add to the recipe above? Or how would you change it? And is there a kid-friendly food that you can't get enough of?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cardio and Strength, Singles Edition

No, I'm not about to propose a workout purely for those of you who aren't currently attached to a significant other. That would be silly. And relatively pointless. I am, however, about to share a workout that incorporates some one-side-at-a-time moves because it's always good to work each of your sides individually. Just to be clear, I'm talking about your right and left sides. Take a look:

In other news, I think I'm going to do away with Workout Wednesdays in favor of...well, as motivation to continue to post workouts more frequently. 'Cuz y'all workout on Wednesdays and beyond, right? If not, here's some inspiration:

Question: How many times a week do you work out? 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sugar, Chocolate & Coffee Bean Almond Butter

So I snagged that run yesterday. It was my first time running outside since maybe the Shamrock Shuffle last year. Once I found out I was pregnant, I cut back on the outside running purely because the temperatures got too hot for me to manage. I still ran, just inside on the track or treadmill where it was a little bit cooler. And I did so up until my seventh month of pregnancy, when it just got to be too uncomfortable. But yesterday, was nice to pound pavement again. I only went about 2.5 miles because I didn't have time to chart a path, but it was a good 2.5 miles so I'm not complaining. Neither are my shins, which I thought they might since they've been spoiled with the aforementioned track and treadmill.

Hopefully I can continue to sneak in these outdoor runs. "Sneak" being the key word, as the only time I really get to go running is at night while daddy is on bottle duty. One bottle a night, our girl gets.

She likes it. Almost as much as I like Trader Joe's. If only I lived by one, as if you haven't heard me say that before. Stop shaking your head like "get over it already, it's just a store, stop talking about it" because it isn't and I won't. I  would shop there all the time if I could. Like, all the time.

For example, I'm in need of hazelnuts. My sister's bridal shower is next weekend and I've begged one of my aunts to bring me a few bags from Trader Joe's because A) I don't live by this place of glory, and B) I can't seem to find hazelnuts anywhere. I'm dying for some hazelnut butter, and I refuse to buy Nutella. Not that Nutella is bad. It's actually quite good, thus the problem. But decidedly not good for you. And if I have it in my house, I will eat it right out of the jar which I'm prone to doing with my homemade nut butters, too.

I should have given up nut butters for Lent.
But that's crazy talk.
And this is crazy good nut butter.

One might argue I shouldn't be eating it because I gave up sweets (translation: chocolate) for Lent. And coffee. But to that I respond: God understands. See, I've had two Sugar, Chocolate & Coffee Bean Grinders from Trader Joe's in my cupboard for quite some time now. Since I'm not really a bread and butter girl, which this stuff is virtually made for, I decided this weekend that it needed to go in some almond butter. Because good things always do well in almond butter.

Sugar, Chocolate & Coffee Bean Almond Butter.

I won't even give you the recipe because there isn't really one worth typing. Just put four teaspoons from the shaker into the processor as it whirls and twirls two cups of roasted almonds. The rest is history. Good and glorious and delicious history.

And honestly, it's not that bad for you. Yeah, it's got some added sugar. But it's not sugar syrup. And it's real chocolate. March yourself to Trader Joe's right now and buy yourself a grinder. You won't regret it.

If you don't live by a Trader Joe's, well...I feel your pain, friend.

Question: What's in your favorite almond butter recipe? Anything crazy?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

And the winner is...

...and you will, Alessandrina! Hooray on your win, eh? Guys, if you're vegan or doing the gluten-free thing, add Cucina Libera to your blogroll. I'm currently drooling over her recipe for Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cookies. And I'm neither vegan nor avoiding gluten. Just a girl who likes her chocolate. Except for right now...that whole "giving sweets up for Lent" thing. I should just give them up permanently. What am I thinking, that's crazy talk! There's most definitely a place for sweet things in the fit life diet. At least I think so. Do you?

I hope.

Anyways. The very happiest of Sundays to y'all, my dear readers. Did you celebrate St. Patty? I did not. But don't call me a total bah-humbug as I put my daughter to sleep in a lovely green onesie last night. That counts for something, right?

Yes, it does.

Doing anything fun today? Working out at all? I woke up thinking that I'd like to go for a run today, so I'm holding onto that thought with a tight grip hoping I can make it happen. I haven't run outside in ages, and the weather (and my body) is finally friendly toward such activities. 

We shall see.

In the meantime, the babe is half asleep in her bouncy seat watching some Baby Einstein. Not sure what the husband is currently doing, but I've taken over the computer to get some work done. Quiet time for momma! Love.

Question: No, really. I truly do wanna know if you're doing anything fun today! Because if it's super fun, I'd like to live vicariously through you. At least for a minute.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Super Cheap Super Foods

Is Saturday your grocery store day?
If so, you might appreciate this little cheat sheet I found on Pinterest:

And in other news, have a very happy St. Patrick's Day!

Question: Are you wearing green?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Eleven Link Loves

As promised, I give you eleven blogs to check out...well, perhaps you're already reading some of them. Regardless, they are eleven of my new favs and I've added them to my Link Love page (with descriptions, if you're curious).

4) Foodiecrush
5) LilSugar
6) meals and moves
7) Mom-101
8) See Jane
9) Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life
10) Suri's Burn Book
11) ___________

That last one is blank because I never know when I'm going to come across my new fav read. And if you have a blog I should know about, I want you to tell me about it in the comments below. Please, won't ya? Leave me a link so I can check ya out, dear reader! YOU might be my new fav read! 

And now, another workout. It's not Workout Wednesday, but if we're being completely honest with each other, every day is Workout Wednesday! Check it:

Question: Did you work out today? What did you do?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Eleven Things

If you read blogs, you've probably read a survey or two written by your favorite blog authors. These things tend to bounce from blog to blog like chain mail of yore as bloggers tag each other to participate. Sometimes this blogger participates, sometimes she doesn't. And since I haven't in a long time, I thought I'd respond to the latest survey to come my way—from my blend ("blog friend") Erin of Creative Soul in Motion. The rules? Answer 11 questions, write 11 questions, and then tag 11 bloggers.

I'm gonna break the rules. (Don't be mad, girl.) I'm not going to tag any other bloggers. Instead, I thought it'd be fun to answer her questions, then introduce you to 11 favorites from my Google Reader.

Up first, the questions (and my answers).
You'll get the blogs tomorrow.

1) What is your favorite animal?
This is easy...the beagle.

We don't have one (yet), but my parents have two. Well, one. Kylie passed away a few years ago. Kedzie (pictured above) still rules their house. I mean, seriously! Beagles are just so cute!

2) Who would you go to lunch with if it could be anyone (dead or alive)?
Aunt Connie. My mom's oldest sister. She passed away from Leukemia when I was a baby. My only memories of her exist in the photographs of her holding me. I can't remember the sound of her voice, or what her hugs felt like. I was too young. She left too soon. My sister never got to meet her, she's six years younger than I. So I'd take her to lunch with me, too so that she could meet Aunt Connie.

3) What kind of music do you prefer to work out with, or do you not listen to any music at all.
I much prefer to listen to music, and it's generally of the booty shakin' variety. Sometimes I crank the Pandora, other times I go with my current play list:

4) What is the best vacation you've had so far?
Paris, France. Words can't really describe how utterly breathtaking that place is. The architecture and history combine with the modern and new to create an atmosphere that's so incredibly engaging. I went back in  2005, and I still can't stop thinking about the croissants. And to see La Tour Eiffel in person...

5)What do you hope to accomplish within the next year?
Giving my daughter the best first year possible is, of course, top priority right now. That said, I'd also like to get back into running. I haven't gone any long distances in quite some time, so I'm setting my sights on a significant race in the fall.  There are also projects to be done around the house, mainly a redo of our living room and bedroom.

6) Who do you trust and turn to for advice and a shoulder to lean on?
Lately, this person has been my mother.

This whole mom thing is tough, and it's nice to have her there for me in more ways than one. Of course, I'd be lying if I said that I didn't turn to and lean on my husband as well. He's been a real rock, a true partner, and I wouldn't be surviving as I am without him.

7) Favorite kind of flower?
I like everything from lilacs to dandelions...but roses are nice.

8) Best gift you've ever received?
My engagement ring. The night that Jason proposed was the very beginning of a new chapter in my life, which has subsequently led to even more chapters filled with happiness.

9) Favorite holiday?
Thanksday Birthgiving! Otherwise known as Thanksgiving, which has been known to fall before, after and on my birthday. Let's be honest, though. Who doesn't love Christmas?

10) Have you ever tried yoga? Do you like it?
Yes and yes, although I don't do it as often as I'd like to. I took a prenatal yoga class while I was pregnant, which was awesome, and I just got back into it last week for the first time (which was also awesome). I guess you could say that doing more yoga is part of my plan for this upcoming year, too.

11) What would you do with a million dollars?
Oh, wow. If only. Let's see...I'd start by paying off our debts, which thankfully aren't that great. I'd also set aside enough money to give Hannah the best of educations. And in Hannah's name, I'd make a donation to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, IN. Such a great place, God forbid she ever actually need to go there. And the, you know, I'd do some frivolous things like, anything and everything I've ever wanted from Whole Foods. Buy a jar of NuttZo (most expensive nut butter I've ever seen). And yes, I'd even buy some shoes. Manolo Blahniks, Louboutins and Choos, please.

Question: What's the first thing you'd do with a million bucks? I mean, aside from paying off your debts. We'd all do that, I think.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Workout Wednesday: High Intensity, Higher Weights

Guys, I had a back workout planned for today's Workout Wednesday. But I went to the gym today and decided to crank it up a notch on myself—and it was good. So I feel compelled to share my workout with you. But more on that later. First and foremost, don't forget to enter my SunWarrior giveaway. The stuff is fab, and you don't want to miss your chance to snag some for free. Seriously! You might win! A lot of bloggers post giveaways, and sometimes a ton of people enter—which might turn you away from entering yourself under the premise that, well...hell, you won't ever be the one to win out of a zillion. But you might be that one. For example, I recently snagged some Chobani from Tiffany, who writes Nature Mom's Blog. Can't wait for that shipment to arrive.


Yesterday was crazy, which is why I didn't post. Hannah and I went down to South Bend to run errands—it's a much better place to run errands than where I live, which has but a shady mall and a crappy Target. Not that Target is ever crappy, but compared to the one down there...this one is crappy. There's also a Meijer and a Walmart where I live, but you can only go there so many times. A girl craves Hobby Lobby and Bed Bath & Beyond and the smell of the food court in a real mall with an Apple store and a Gap.

There's also a natural foods store, no...not in the mall. We popped in so I could pick up a few things for my Foodie Pen Pal. I got these for myself:

People, tell me I'm the last one to discover Instagram! It. Is. So. Fun. And these bars look so. good. I will readily admit to a snack bar obsession. I keep them in the pantry at all times, and I love trying new varieties. But I won't try just any variety, that's for sure. Some of them are basically just candy bars in better wrappers. Ya gots to be careful what you pick up! But anyways, download Instagram if you haven't already.

Because then you can take cheesy self portraits like the one at right...and make them look instantly cooler with the application of the photo filter of your choice. It's genius. And it's free. But that's enough about that. Let's get back to Workout Wednesday.

As I indicated at the top of this post, I've got a good one for you. It starts out with some high intensity action, trickles down to some biceps with heavier weights and ends on a shoulder note. You'll need a BOSU, some hand weights and enough space for walking lunges followed by running. Like a track around the gym or a city block outside your front door. Check it:

Lemme know how it goes if you try it. And, ya know, don't hesitate to pin it if you're keen to pinnin'.

Oh, and for real—the weather in Michigan is ridiculous right now. It's like summer. I have shorts on.

So awesome.

Question: Have you ever been a giveaway winner? What did you win?

ENTER MY GIVEAWAY! You just might win a bag of protein powder from SunWarrior! (Contest ends at midnight EST on Friday, March 16, 2012).


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