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a fun reunion

Hi!

Tonight’s post is going to be a quickie.  I have had a lot on my mind lately, resulting in a lack of productivity this evening.  O’well.

This morning Jon and I headed out early for a run – we finished about 3 miles (dead Garmin!) despite the heat, so I was perfectly happy with that.  We ended up on the college campus mid-run and took advantage of the fountain on library lawn by splashing it down our necks and backs.  Even the distance between the fountain’s pool and our bodies proved too far for the water to keep its coolness, but once we were off again, the breeze felt so refreshing on my damp skin.  Best part of the run:)

When we got back I sewed a couple of missing buttons onto Jon’s shirt, and he was out the door to work.  I made myself a quick green monster, then hit the shower.  I won’t bore you with pictures of my gm again.  It was delicious as usual, though, and got my morning off to an energetic start.

A few hours later, I fixed a little snack to tide me over until lunch.

Whole wheat pita stuffed with hummus, broccoli slaw and sprouts.  I have a serious crush on broccoli slaw right now. lol.  It adds a nice crunch to almost anything!

As mentioned this morning, I worked on getting our budget set up on mint.com.  I think I’ve got it pretty much figured out, but let’s just say that anything having to do with numbers budgeting eludes me so it’s going to take some practice.  Gotta start somewhere, though, eh?

Guys, I had the best time at lunch today.  Not only was my meal out of this world, but my company was even better. Let’s start with the food

I ordered the Veggie pita, which was a whole wheat pita, literally stuffed to the gills with grilled red pepper strips, romaine, onions, bell pepper, cucumber and tomato.  I asked for honey mustard on the side, which I later drizzled over the veggies.  With a side of fruit.  It was so much better than I anticipated!  I felt so great afterwards, too – don’t you love the feeling of being full on fresh, clean food?

I met Tracy many years ago when we were probably sophomores in college.  We were both English Education majors, and we both got placed at a school that was an hour’s drive away for our student teaching.  So, naturally we commuted together.  She was my saving grace during that time.  Those long drives to and from school were filled with venting, encouragment, advice and just good girl talk.  After college Jon and I moved away and now that we’re back she has moved.  We hadn’t seen each other in ages, and it was so refreshing to catch up.  I honestly love this girl, and seeing her made my day so bright.  She just got a job teaching English as a second language to sixth and seventh grades, and I know she is going to rock it!

When I got home I was craving a little somethin’ sweet, so I indulged in this piece of dark chocolate I had stashed away in the fridge.

Because Tracy and I couldn’t peel ourselves away from each other for almost three hours, I didn’t do much else before Jon got home from work.  We stuck to our favorite for dinner and whipped up some vegetarian burritos.

I started by sauteeing some green pepper strips and onions in some Mexican seasoning for about 5-7 minutes.  Meanwhile, I heated up some canned refried beans and cooked some brown rice.  Once everything was ready I simply spread a spoonful of refried beans around on the (heated) tortilla, sprinkled on some rice, added a layer of veggies and a sprinkling of soy cheese.  I then topped it all off with salsa, rolled it up and had a little fiesta in my mouth:)  Simply delicious.

Now that it’s after midnight, I’ve got to be off to bed.   I’m planning on going to Piyo tomorrow morning and may try to fit in some running on the treadmill as well.  We’ll see how it all pans out in the am.  Happy Friday!

Btw, I’m currently listening to a new album by Diane Birch, and I’m loving it!  If you haven’t checked her out, you definitely should!  Let me know what you think if you do;)

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make it happen

Happy Thursday:)  I honestly can’t believe we’re only a night’s sleep away from Friday.  I am SO glad.  I’m just counting down the days until school is out – only 6 weeks and 1 day to go.

I received my Women’s Health magazine in the mail today, and it has some great stuff.  Women’s Health and Oxygen are my favorite magazines – I feel they are the most down-to-earth and real of all the fitness magazines.  This issue has Jillian Michaels on the cover and a great interview with her inside. It’s funny how when you need a certain kind of affirmation about something, it just keeps popping up everywhere. In her interview, Jillian gives some great tips on how to achieve success, so I thought I’d share them with you!

  • Define your goal and be specific:  you have to know exactly what you’re going after before you can go after it.
  • Believe in your ability:  A lot of times people don’t really believe they can accomplish their goals.  If you don’t believe in you, then who will?  This is the one I have the most trouble with.  At times I’ll feel so confident and self assured, like I could become the next Oprah if I wanted…other times I have trouble believing that I can make it through my next workout.  This is something I am really working on in my life right now.
  • Stay positive:  the minute you turn around to bash yourself, reverse it and give yourself a compliment.
  • Imagine your goal:  Visualization allows you to get comfortable with the idea of change.  I was just thinking about this today.  I took a few minutes to visualize my goals.  I pictured myself as I would be a year from now if I actually stepped out and tackled my goals.  I even envisioned what the blog post would look like when I recap everything I will have accomplished (obvs. I think of everything in terms of blog posts:)  This was really motivating for me.  I desperately want to live that story!
  • Get educated:  Studying up before pursuing your goal helps you make powerful choices that effect change.  Knowledge is power.
  • Don’t fear failure:  It is an integral part of success.  I fear failure all the time!  I think the big point here could even be – it’s okay to fear failure, as long as you don’t let that fear hold you back.  Conquer it!
  • Get feedback:  look for someone who’s educated in the goal you’re trying to achieve and seek out constructive criticism from him/her.

I think I’m going to type these up and post them where I can see them on a daily basis.  Keeping things like this in front of me helps me stay motivated and inspired!

Today was honestly pretty stressful.  Work was more stressful than usual (I won’t even go into that), and I got a call from my mom this morning, letting me know my grandpa had an accident.  He had climbed up on the roof of our lake cabin to clear off some limbs, and when he went to climb back down, one leg of the ladder sunk into the ground, causing him to fall from the roof level. Unfortunately, he cracked three ribs.  Fortunately, he didn’t have any other injuries.  I am so thankful to still have my two grandparents, and all the time I think about the possibility of something happening to them.  I don’t know how I would handle it.  Even this got me all worked up, and I just wanted to go visit him, not be at work!  I got to talk to him on the phone for awhile after work, though, and he seemed to be in pretty high spirits, considering.

For lunch, the parents at our school put together a luncheon for the teachers.  I knew right away (from past experience) that there would be nothing there for me, so I packed this

Overnight oats! 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup plain soy yogurt, 1/3 cup almond milk, 1 tbsp chia seeds, sprinkle of cinnamon, 1/2 chopped banana.  Let sit overnight.  Add toppings!  Almond butter to be specific.  Delish!  My coworkers give me the strangest looks sometimes;)

Here’s the rest of the day’s eats

Yes, that would be cheeseless pizza again.  Yes, I just had it last Saturday.  What can I say? I was having a serious hankering for it, and I was exhausted from the day.  What’s a girl to do?

I also am proud to say I worked out today, even though it was all I could do to keep my eyes open during the commute home.  I threw on my gym clothes and headed to the gym.  I cranked out a quick 2.5 miles on the treadmill, and followed it up with some ab work using the Bosu ball.  Yay!

  • What is your favorite fitness magazine?  Or would you rather read online articles/blogs instead?
  • What strategies do you have to help you stay motivated and inspired?
  • Chia Seeds Direct is having a sale on white chia seeds.  Get 10% off by using the code WCS.  Also, U.S. residents get free shipping.  What are ya waiting for??

Well, that’s it for today, folks!  Hope you all have a great Friday! G’night.

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couscous salad and today’s eats

Hey hey everyone!  How’s it going?  As promised yesterday, I have a newbie and an oldie recipe for you!

First up is Couscous Salad

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cup couscous, uncooked
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1.5- 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1.5 can low sodium corn
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 chopped avocado
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp chili powder

Directions

  • Bring vegetable broth to a boil.  Add couscous. Remove from heat and cover.
  • Chop bell pepper, onion and scallions and set aside
  • Whisk together oil, red wine vinegar, lime juice, and cumin in a large bowl
  • After couscous has sat for 5-10 minutes, fluff well with a fork and transfer sauce in bowl
  • Add black beans, corn, bell pepper, chopped onion, scallions, cilantro, chili powder, salt and pepper and mix well
  • Add chopped avocado just before serving

recipe adapted from here

This salad is great chilled, but can also be served hot.  I made this recipe for my family Easter gathering, and I brought home a couple servings worth of leftovers.  So, if you’re making it for one, you may want to half this recipe.  I love having leftovers on hand, though.  I took a bowl of this for lunch today, and it was filling as a meal too!

You guys have got to try this – I absolutely loved it and so did my fam!

Next up is my version of Averie’s Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bars

This was actually my second time to make these, but I altered a couple of things from the last batch, and I think they turned out even better!

Ingredients

one ripe banana, mashed
1.5 cup oats
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup natural pb
1 scoop of Jay Robb Brown Rice Protein Powder (or protein powder of your choice)
3 tbsp sliced almonds
2 tbsp whole flaxseed
2 tbsp chia seeds
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions
Mash banana in a large bowl
Combine the rest of the ingredients a few at a time and mix well
Place saran wrap in 8×8 pan (Averie’s idea:)
Press mixture into pan with hands
Cut bars right away – I cut mine into 16 squares
Freeze bars

I think these bars are best served right out of the freezer, but you can eat them any way you like!  As you can tell these are quite calorie dense, but they are so sweet and delicious that one small square is satisfying!  After freezing mine, I took them out of the dish and wrapped them individually.  Instant portion control!  I was so happy because these were a total hit with my family.  Usually they aren’t too keen on my concoctions, but I think they really loved these.  Score!

My eats today were pretty basic.  For some reason I wasn’t that hungry today.  I sipped on my green smoothie throughout the morning, whereas I usually finish it on my drive to work.  I even took the last bit of it to lunch with me.  As mentioned earlier I also had leftover couscous salad for lunch.

I also packed all of this!


Kiwi, carrots and almonds…with a side of plastic;)

Whole soy yogurt and sliced almonds/dried cranberries (my favorite!)

Pretty kiwi:)

So, I actually didn’t end up eating the kiwi or the carrots because I just didn’t need it.  It’s sitting in my fridge at work, waiting to be eaten tomorrow!  I don’t think I’ll be able to resist it tomorrow – I love kiwi!

Dinner tonight was Whichwich.  We just didn’t feel like cooking – we both had a lot to do tonight and wanted to just chill out and skip kitchen duty. So, Whichwich it was!

Tomato and avocado on whole wheat with lettuce, pickles, pepperoncini, mushrooms, bell pepper and onion – my fave!

Well, it’s getting pretty late and I still want to go out for a walk with Jon and Olive.  Our walks are always the highlight of my day!  I think we may have some storms coming in though, so off I go!  See you guys tomorrow!

Btw, I do have some potential developments in the works regarding this post.  I’ll update as soon as I can!  Please keep your fingers crossed for me:)

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Mexican Fiesta Pasta

Hi!

Whew!  Today has been kind of crazy.  Do you ever have those days where it seems that everything seems to go wrong?  Well, that was today all the way up until 5pm when I arrived home from work.  Enough about it, though, no need to carry it on!

I just have to say, first of all, thanks so much to all of you who have been stopping by and checking out CSM.  Next to seeing my sweet husband, blogging is one of the highlights of my day.  So, when I see that people are swinging by it thrills me to no end!  I would love to hear from each of you in the comments, so that I can know who all is out there!  Please drop me a line if you get a chance!  Don’t be shy:)

And thanks so much to those of you who have been dropping me a line – you totally make my day!

Sorry guys, but lunch today was kind of a repeat.  I love taking leftover for lunch, so when I have a large batch of something, such as Veggie-tel, I kill it!  I did swap out the apple for a pear – just to add a little excitement.  Oh, and threw in some chopped avocado as well.  Somehow I forgot it yesterday.  Doh!

I snacked on some baby carrots and sliced cucumber right after school today.  I had to hold one little hoodlum after in detention.  I threatened him with his life had a good little chat with him, so I’m hoping tomorrow is the last day we’ll spend time together after school.  Somebody’s gotta keep these kids in line! These veggies held me over until my real snack on the commute home – a banana and a brown rice cake slathered with cashew butter.  My cashew butter is almost out, which is not good considering the new budget implementations.  Good ole’ PB will have to come to my rescue.  It’s never a bad thing to get back to the basics I suppose.

Speaking of budget implementations, yesterday I promised a budget friendly delicious meal, and I definitely can’t go back on a promise.  So, without further ado…

Mexican Fiesta Pasta

Ingredients

  • 2 cans rotel (generic works great!)
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can chili beans, rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 can of corn, no salt added
  • 1 12 oz. pkg whole wheat pasta
  • 2 tbsp ground red pepper (or to taste)  – I douse it!
  • 1 tbsp cumin

Directions

  • Cook pasta
  • While pasta is cooking, dump everything else in a large pot (yes, everything else!)
  • Let mixture cook through while pasta is boiling
  • Drain pasta and add to mixture

That’s it!  That’s one of the many joys of this meal.  It takes all of about 15 minutes to make.  It’s clean.  It’s delicious.  It’s cheap.  Doesn’t get much better.

One thing I’d like to mention, considering this recipe has a lot of canned goods that go into it, is to be very careful when picking out your canned items.  When I first started eating clean, I realized how many random things like sugar, salt, high fructose corn syrup etc. can come in things as simple as a can of corn or beans.  There are definitely versions that are clean, you just have to look for them. I often buy Great Value because most of their canned beans, such as black, are pure and simple…they way we like it!

Well, that’s all for tonight!  I’m off to respond to a couple of emails and then hit the sack!  Hope you all had a fantastic day:)

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eatin’ cheap

Happy (end of) Monday everyone!  While Monday’s aren’t my favorite, it feels nice to have one day down and only four to go.  I’m not going to lie – work today was a bit on the stressful side.  It’s just hard getting back into the groove of things after sleeping in and doing only things I love for an entire week.  It’ll get easier, though, at least it better!!

I started off this morning with a green monster per the usual.  I am seriously addicted to my morning GM.  Unfortunately, I am almost out of Amazing Grass.  Jon and I are trying to really buckle down with our budget for the rest of the month, so I may have to go without my grass for awhile (gasp!).

These pics are actually from yesterday.  I only wish I left for work late enough to take pictures in the natural light.  Yea for Sundays!  Besides,  I wore the same outfit, so it’s basically like I took it today:)

Lunch today was leftover Veggie-tel and an apple.

Later I munched on some baby carrots for a snack and then followed that up with Whole soy yogurt and a mix of sliced almonds and Back to Nature granola for toppings on my commute home.  This granola will definitely be up for a review soon because it’s really one of my faves.

I planned on making it to the gym today, but work got in the way.  The teacher I plan with called while I was driving, and we proceeded to try and work out some school stuff for the next hour.  I was sad to miss my workout, but Jon and I made up for it by taking a nice nap when we got home!    Hey, the first day back is hard, ya know?

Tonight we took a trip to the grocery store to get a few things that will last us the next week and a half.  I planned out four meals that are pretty economical, and they don’t taste too bad either!  I’ll be sharing them throughout the week. I’m not always the best at economical grocery shopping (i.e. nut butters), but we are really trying to make some changes around here, so I’m going to be focusing a bit more on how to eat cheap and healthy!

First up for tomorrow will be a recipe I call Mexican Fiesta Pasta.  If you like Mexican food, you’ll love this!  It’s cheap, it’s easy, but it’s clean!  Here’s a teaser;)

Have a great night everyone – on to Tuesday!

You may be only one brave decision away from the most important turn in your life.” – Beth Moore

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