Saturday, February 28, 2015


i have learned that the best diet is one made up of healthy eating and increased activity.  there is no magic diet and there is no magic pill.  if there was we would all be skinny.  it truly is a lifestyle and some days i am better at it than others, but that is okay.  i also feel that life is too short to eat bad food and not indulge a little, but all in moderation of course!  so i found this really interesting way to calculate how many calories you should be eating...

i found out my caloric intake should be around 1500 calories, and when you think about it, that is not a whole lot if you are making bad choices.  a fast food burger or pizza could be more than half your calories for the day.  and if you are not exercising to compensate for your choices, you can easily see how the pounds will start to pack on.

i had surgery this week to get my wisdom teeth out, and so i am limited to the foods i am able to eat.  it has been a few days and although the pain is minimal, i am still only able to eat soft foods.  my diet for the last few days has been a lot of rice, apple sauce, noodles, soup and oatmeal.  these foods are high in sugar, salt and all carbs.  after day 2 of eating this way, i found myself to be lethargic and craving protein.  although it wasn't easy or pretty, i was able to eat some chicken and i started to feel better and more alert.  our bodies are naturally wired to eat animal proteins, vegetables and foods that are not processed.  i am looking forward to the next few days when i am fully healed and able to get back to my normal eating patterns. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

destination addiction!?!?!

do you have a case of the monday blues like i do?  remember to be present and thankful for all of your blessings.  it is so important to be happy with ourselves and what we have and learn to stop comparing ourselves to others.  happiness can be found in the present moment!  make it a great week!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

banana ice cream...

rainy sundays are made for lounging in your pajamas, reading books and having fun in the kitchen!  for dinner i made twice baked potatos, asparagus and turkey meatloaf (classic comfort food).  and for dessert i wanted to try to make banana ice cream.  i made the ice cream and it came out so good that i thought i would make it into a healthy version of an "ice cream sandwich".


4-5 ripe bananas that have been frozen and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (you can also substitute with soy or coconut milk)

how to:

in a food processor or blender mix the bananas and almond milk until smooth and creamy.  store in a container in the freezer for up to one week.

additional ingredients for ice cream sandwiches:

graham crackers
chocolate chips
almond butter
sprinkles (optional)

how to:

take a graham cracker and break in half.  on one half of cracker spoon a couple of tablespoons of banana ice cream and top with other half of graham cracker to make a sandwich.  i also made a variation where i spread some almond butter on one half of the graham cracker (you could also use peanut butter).  then i took about a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and melted them in the microwave and poured over sandwich and decorated with a few sprinkles.  be sure to freeze and allow to set up before serving.  enjoy this guilt free dessert!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

one day at a time...

each day is a new day to recommit to our goals and a chance to eat healthy and get a good work out in.  and of course do it all with a smile and remember all that we are grateful for.

Monday, February 16, 2015

valentines day weekend...

i feel like we have had a weekend long celebration of valentines day.  neither of us are big on gift giving, and i told jarad that all i really wanted to do was take a walk by the beach in the evening since we have been experiencing such beautiful sunsets lately.  our valentine's day started early on friday when jarad and i got lunch at a great sandwich spot and took it to the beach to enjoy. 

the weather was warm and the sky was so blue, and we sat in the back of his truck and enjoyed our lunch.  it was perfect and that alone would have been the perfect valentines day celebration.  but the rest of the weekend was just as good.

saturday we had a family dinner at my parents house to celebrate my grandfathers birthday.  since this was actually valentines day we made it extra special.  i made some yummy appetizers and my mom made an awesome steak, smashed potato and ceasar salad dinner.  then for dessert i made my grandfathers favorite, flan and of course valentines day couldn't be complete without chocolate covered strawberries.  the dogs played, we enjoyed dinner and finished off the night with card games.  and jarad was so sweet to get flowers for my grandmother and mom (i helped arrange them and decorate the vase).

and it was a perfect lazy sunday and we ended this amazing weekend with a walk on the strand to catch the sunset and ran into our best friends who had the same idea, followed by a delicious home made dinner.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

true love...

wishing you a happy valentine's day that is full of love, laughter and fun!  let those you care about know how much they are loved and appreciated.

and for the lovers celebrating today...may you never recover and stay madly in love.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

high protein snacks...

i am a lover of all things carbs, but unfortunately my body doesn't feel the same way.  i have learned that foods high in protein keep me fuller longer and are what my body needs and craves.  i am always on the hunt for a good high protein snack or breakfast option. i have been eating "quest bars" on and off for the last year and a half, but lately they have been my favorite quick and portable breakfast. 

i've tasted a lot of power bars and i think these are best, and they have a lot of good things going for them:

~20 grams of protein
~160-190 calories a bar (depending on flavor)
~gluten free
~2 grams of sugar
~high in fiber (about 17 grams per bar)

they have a ton of flavors to choose from, but my favorite ones so far are the "cookies and cream" and the "white chocolate raspberry."  if you buy them individually at the gym or convenience store they will run you upwards of $3.00 a bar, but i find that the best deal is on and it is $25.00 for a box of 12. 

 and for a high protein snack under 100 calories during the day, my favorite options are beef jerky (krave brand, which is also available on for a good price) and cottage cheese, both 90 calories per serving.

Monday, February 9, 2015


just because you are eating clean doesn't mean your food has to be boring and bland. we always have plenty of frozen chicken and fresh veggies on hand for easy and quick week night dinners. i like to get the frozen chicken tenderloins from trader joes, they are all white meat and defrost and cook up quickly. if possible, i try to defrost and marinate my chicken in the morning (or even the night before) so that it has great flavor. marinades that you buy in the store have a lot of extra sugar, but you can make a really great one with pantry ingredients, here is my new fav.

1 T lemon olive oil
2-3 T worcestershire sauce
1 T whole grain mustard
1 t crushed garlic
3 t of your favorite poultry seasoning (i am using "sunny paris" from penzy's spice shop)
pepper to taste

**this marinade could also be used on pork, fish or steak, although i would probably substitute regular olive oil instead of meyer lemon olive oil**

Saturday, February 7, 2015

valentine's day decoration...

last night i was feeling inspired to decorate for valentine's day, and i recently saw a craft on pinterest that involved making felt hearts.  i pulled out my craft box and got creative. 

i went through my fabric and felt and decided to go with a non traditional valentine's day color pallet of blue and yellow.  then i cut out hearts, stitched them together with gray yarn and stuffed them with cotton balls.  when i had 15 hearts completed in various sizes and shapes, i strung them together with black thread and hung them on a branch.

items needed:

fabric and felt swatches in color pallet of your choice
yarn & needle
cotton balls

this craft took me about 3 - 3 1/2 hours and it makes a fun valentine's day decoration, mobile or gift.

Friday, February 6, 2015

peanut butter powder...

some of my favorite food combinations are with peanut butter, i LOVE peanut butter...especially if it is the chunky, salted, natural kind.

peanut butter and chocolate
peanut butter and jelly
peanut butter and honey
peanut butter and banana
peanut butter and bacon on a burger

but this high calorie nut butter can have a lot of added sugar and fillers, making it not always the best choice.  i recently found that they make peanut butter powder, which is very finely ground peanuts.  this powder can be mixed in with water to create a lower calorie version of  peanut butter, or used for baking or smoothies (my fav way to use it).

it has significantly less calories while maintaining the peanut butter taste we all love.  for 2 tablespoons it is 65 calories compared to normal peanut butter at 190 calories.  i bought the brand "PB fit" which is gluten free, GMO free and all natural.  the 15 oz jar runs about $13-$15 on amazon, and it lasts a long time. 

peanut butter banana protein smoothie:

1/2 frozen banana
1/4 cup full fat greek yogurt
1/2 cup water
2 T PB fit peanut butter powder
1 t cinnamon
3 t chia seeds

Thursday, February 5, 2015

take a walk...

i came across this quote and it really made a strong point.  we often use food to cope with stress, anxiety and boredom.  food can either be the best medicine or it can be a poison to our bodies.  and what would happen if we chose to exercise when we felt those symptoms of stress instead of eat?

i've been trying to make better eating choices all around, and i am going to be more aware of this stress eating trend.  sometimes i have my best ideas or do my best problem solving while at the gym or exercising.

i have a goal to sweat everyday!  and when it comes to food, i do better when i don't focus on meals as breakfast, lunch and dinner, but rather 3 meals a day and eat what sounds good.  as long as i am getting protein and limit my carbs, then it's okay to eat eggs for dinner or chicken and veggies for breakfast. each day is a new day to recommit to your goals and make good healthy choices.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

pet owners are never lonely...

a girl and her book
a dog and his bone
when you have a pet
you are never alone

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

music..."prayer in c"

heard this song recently and it has been on repeat!  i especially love the remix version.

lilly wood & the prick and robin schultz, "prayer in c"

click here to watch the video!

Monday, February 2, 2015

produce pick me up...

do you ever have produce that is still fresh, but is a little wilted or limp from the refrigerator?  most of the time you don't have to throw it out, but can give it a little pick me up.  this morning i was planning on what i wanted to make for dinner, and i noticed my asparagus and lettuce could use some much needed hydration.  i cut the woody ends off of the asparagus and the tips of my lettuce stalks and placed them in water.  within a half an hour the lettuce and asparagus were crisp and perky. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

super bowl redondo beach 10k...

about a month into my training with jarad, we started to incorporate running into our routine.  i absolutely hate running!  and i haven't ran a mile since junior high.  i was hardly able to run a minute straight and we kept at it and then eventually one saturday morning we ran a mile on the hermosa beach strand.  well it has been about 8-10 weeks later and i just completed my first 10k!  that was the goal we were building up for and i did even better than i thought i would.

my goal was to do it in at least an hour and a half, which would be about a 15 minute mile.  that seemed reasonable and realistic to me.  when i got going i noticed that i was averaging a 12 minute mile, so adjusted my goal to finish in an hour and 15 minutes.

i had my mom to cheer me on at about 2.5 miles in and even though jarad finished before me, he turned around and came back to run the last mile with me.  i finished in 1 hour and 14 minutes, and it felt good to accomplish a fitness goal that i never thought i could be good at.  i still don't like running, but i do enjoy the challenge and of course i like to see the results and improvements.

they give you 2 beers at the finish line, along with a t-shirt.  we enjoyed sitting in the shade and sipping on our beers and then had a lovely brunch at the cheesecake factory and sat outside on the marina.  and we even walked home after all of that, another 1.5 miles.  it was a fun morning and i feel really proud of my accomplishment and that i did even better than i expected!

here are my stats:

Your final time is 01:14:39 at a 00:12:02 pace.
You finished 2298 out of 2735 in the 10K RUN.
You finished 158 out of 197 in your class F30-34.