Archive | February, 2014

Pumped Up Kicks

28 Feb

I’ve never been a big fan of high heels. As much as I adore the way they look, I am definitely on the klutzy side (to put it mildly), and parading around in 4″ stilettos usually equates to me looking drunk as opposed to sexy.

While in college, I studied abroad in London and was overjoyed with the popularity of sneakers- especially having had left behind 100 sorority sisters who effortlessly pulled off gliding through life in 5″ platform shoes (it was the early 2000s) while I shuffled to and from class, tripping on cracked sidewalks. But everyone overseas was rocking sporty trainers and somehow, Londoners made them look awesome. For the first time, I was able to walk down the street without a paralyzing fear of falling over and humiliating myself, so I embraced it wholeheartedly and have had a love of sneakers ever since. Needless to say,  it really blows my skirt up that they’ve made quite the resurgence as of late.

I recently was given these puppies as a gift, and well, let’s just say I would sleep in them if I could.

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You can find these here, but if they’re not you’re style, I promise that finding your perfect pair(s) will not be a problem. Here are a handful of other options.

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1. New Balance 410 Suede + Mesh (I’m so getting these next…obsessed)

2. Adidas Hidden Wedge

3. Steve Madden Ecentric Pony Hair Slip On

4. Nike Air Pegasus 89

5. Studded Converse

6. Diadora Condor S Camo Wax

Calorie Torcher of the Week: Tabata Training

26 Feb

Just when I thought I’d done it all, Erin pulled a new workout out nowhere and naturally, convinced me to try it.

I’d heard of Tabata training a couple of times, Rachele at Fantastically Fresh & Fit has talked about it and it seems like a buzzword in the fitness community, but somehow I hadn’t given it a whirl yet. In fact, my head got a little big and I thought that it might not be a very challenging workout, so I may or may not have skipped over that one.

Until tonight.

After a 2 mile warm up run on the beach, we found a grassy area to bust out some moves. Again, I wasn’t particularly concerned about the difficulty factor.

Yeah, so about that. Tabata, as it turns out, is a real butt kicker. Like, legit.

To put things in perspective – E was wearing a heart rate monitor, and noticed that she burned around 200 calories during the 20 minute run, but just 23 minutes of Tabata intervals had our hearts pounding like crazy, sweat dripping down our faces and over 400 calories burned.  I mean literally, my legs and butt were sore by the time I finished. I kind of wanted to die when I realized we still had to run 2 miles home (and we had to run, because there were jalapeno raspberry skinny margs waiting for us at home)

I think I might have some trouble walking tomorrow.

So what is Tabata? According to tabatatraining.org, it falls under the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) umbrella, and the basic outline of the Tabata training method are as follows:

•     20 seconds of intense training
•     10 seconds of rest
•     Total of 8 sessions or rounds

The beauty of this workout (beside the fact that it torches calories like it’s nobodies business and tones all over) is that you use your own bodyweight and don’t need any equipment whatsoever. You can knock it out in 20 minutes or so, so it’s perfect for you busy little bees.

The app we used, Tabata Timer, can be found here. You choose from a number of workouts and it has a timer to keep you on track. If you want to revel in your calorie burn, Erin bought this nifty heart rate monitor for about $70. It’s not a necessity but is nice to have if you’re curious how hard you’ve worked.

BTW- it doesn’t hurt to have a gorgeous setting in which to work out.

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beach2It also helps when you know that there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow…happy hour! In spandex and ponytails, of course. NBD.

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Skinny Rasberry Jalepeno Margs & Spicy Edamame.drank3

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70’s Power Food: Your Newest Mid-Day Snack

25 Feb

For the longest time, I primarily associated grapefruit with the infamous diet of the 70’s, but recently I was grocery shopping and saw a gorgeous mountain of basketball sized pink fruit right in the middle of the produce section. I hadn’t eaten a grapefruit in years, but they were so pretty that I threw one in my cart on a whim. Since then, I’ve been having them daily as part of my afternoon snack.

If you’ve never tried a broiled grapefruit, I’m not surprised (because right, who eats grapefruit?) but you’re definitely missing out. The heat brings out their sweetness, and sprinkling a teaspoon or so of brown sugar will enhance it even more (Relax my little crazies- there are like, 15 calories in a tablespoon…not exaggerating). The whole thing feels quite naughty. Only it’s not.

Directions: Cut fruit in half and cut along the outer rim. Sprinkle with brown sugar or succanat and follow up with a good shake of cinnamon. Broil for 5-10 minutes.

Eat with spoon and party like it’s 1974.

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Pinterest Test Kitchen

24 Feb

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I haven’t been around for a couple of weeks – there have been few things keeping me away from the computer. But one thing I have been doing is testing new recipes – mostly things I’ve picked up from my bestie, Pinterest. I can confidently say I’ve had some epic fails (Cauliflower tortillas, for instance. While it could definitely be operator error, I don’t think they live up to the hype), but am always quite excited to share the wins. Here are my top three for the time being.

The Pin: 30 Minute Thai Turkey Meatballs

 

 

 

 

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Difficulty:  Easy peasy. If you’re a rookie in the kitch and want to really impress a friend/boyfriend/family, make this your meal.

Time Requirement: 30-40 minutes, depending on your dexterity and skill with a knife.

Taste: A+ – the flavors are perfect – if you’ve got a mean taste for Thai food but don’t feel like consuming a s-load of salt and like nine hundred thousand calories, this will definitely satisfy your craving.

Notes:

1. Truthfully, I had low expectations for this meal after dipping a finger in the sauce prior to cooking it down in the pan. It’s really quite gross this way- in fact, I almost threw out the white flag and tossed it. Chalk it up to being too lazy to pick something up (I was out of food), but hoping for a miracle, I carried on.  After simmering it for about 15 minutes, I would have drank it from a glass. Truth.

2. I made a mess of the meatballs the first time around by failing to squeeze all the water out of the zucchini.  The first couple meatballs were really more like sloppy Joe’s and I ended up having to take the entire glob of meat and wring it through a tea towel. Luckily, this worked, and my balls were saved.

3.  I served this on top of steamed zucchini ribbons because I had them on hand, but other options include Shiritaki noodles, quinoa, brown rice, glass noodles, you get the idea.

Find itHere (ifoodreal.com)

The Pin: Chocolate Cherry Protein Pancakes

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Difficulty:  So easy, as long as you’re not the pancake-burner type (to prevent this, keep the heat at medium and spray the pan well). There are only a handful of ingredients so it’s pretty close to impossible to screw these up.

Time Requirement: 15 minutes

Taste: Head over Louboutons in love. I’m obsessed with the combination of chocolate and cherry. Inner Fat Kid used to looove  Chocolate Cherry Blizzards from DQ and could put ’em down like a competitive eater. While the famous protein pancake has been floating around the blogospere for a long time now, this variation is my fave. Hands down.

Notes: The recipe I provided is for the basic protein pancake – to spice this up,  I added 2 tbsp of cocao powder and a light sprinkle of dark chocolate chips to the batter (cacao nibs would totally work too).  I thew about 1/3 frozen dark cherries in a pan over medium heat until they were thawed and the juices were melted, and used as a topping to the pancake.

Also, the banana is not necessary if you want to lower the sugar (since you’re already using cherries and a few choc chips)

Find it: Here (toneitup.com)

The Pin: Single Lady Peanut Butter Cookies (Vegan)

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Difficulty:  Easy

Time Requirement: About 5 minutes prep, 8-10 minutes cook time

Taste: Despite being fairly healthy, they taste exactly like traditional peanut butter cookies, but making one means no cookie binging. Everybody wins.

Notes: I didn’t have applesauce on hand so I subbed about 1.5″ of a ripe banana, which I could barely taste.

Find itHere (chocolatecoveredkatie.com)

Multigrain Blood Orange Scones with Homemade Nutella

4 Feb

As far as a sweet tooth goes, I’d say mine is on the average side. I don’t find myself craving sweets very often, but one thing I’m literally unable to turn down is a good scone. It’s also one of my favorite things to bake at home – I actually spend an embarrassing amount of time perusing the Interwebs in search of a great scone recipe that isn’t completely dreadful in terms of health. I have to say I was delighted to stumble across a recipe for multigrain blood orange scones – guest posted by a favorite food blogger on this blog.

These babies are excellent – the spelt flour, cornmeal, and oatbran make them extra rustic (I particularly enjoy scones this way), and I am always impressed with the utilization of a couple good blood oranges. After burning my mouth while eating one fresh out the oven, I realized it was only missing one thing: chocolate. I mean, chocolate is pretty much the perfect companion to orange, in my opinion. A little digging turned up a forgotten jar of homemade dark chocolate Nutella, which was promptly spread atop the now cool-enough-to-eat second half of my pastry.

The beauty in these, aside from being absolutely spectacular, is that they’re easy, simple, and extremely filling. It’s the perfect little breakfast if you’re craving something special.

You can find the recipe for the scones here, and the Nutella here.
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XO

M

Hangover Helper

3 Feb

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Attention ladies and gentleman: Step away from the Egg McMuffin.

I repeat, step away from the Egg McMuffin.

Happy Superbowl Monday guys.  I know, I know. You’re miserable and wishing you had a personal assistant to pick you up some Chinese take out for breakfast. Look, I totally get it, but a big greasy breakfast and a Frappacino are only going to throw you into the next ring of hell (trust). Instead, try one of these maybe not as appetizing but far more effective strategies.

Or, let’s be honest, try all of them.

For the filler: Eggs + Fruit

According to Men’s Fitness, eggs are an easily digested food that’s gentle on your stomach, and are packed with protein. Plus thanks to their large amounts of cysteine, “eggs help mop up alcohol’s leftover toxins,” says Tammy Lakatos Shames, R.D., author of The Secret To Skinny. Why the fruit? The fructose will naturally boost energy, and helps speed up the rate at which your body gets rid of the toxins.

For the stomach: Ginger

Ginger is an extremely effective and time-honored natural remedy for nausea. I’m all for ginger juice shots, but if that sounds a little too harsh this morning, take ginger capsules or brew ginger tea by cutting a 10-12 slices of fresh ginger root and boiling them in 4 cups of water for about ten minutes. Remove the root and add the juice of half a lemon and honey.

For the pounding head: Tiger Balm

I don’t know why it took me so long to try this for headaches, but it’s the-bomb-dot-com. Skip the painkillers (their side effects are intensified by the leftover alcohol in your system) and rub a little of this natural cure on your temples, the back of the neck, or on the bridge of the nose.

For the dehydrationRaw Coconut Water

Most likely, the biggest reason for your crappy hangover is your dehydration. Those Michelob Ultra Lights may be lower in calories than a Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale, but they strip your body of precious H2O, causing the suckfest you’re undoubtedly dealing with if you’re reading this. Skip the added sugary neon blue sports drink and grab one of these (<- hands down my favorite maker of coconut water…seriously…I really didn’t like the stuff until I tried this). They’re higher in electrolytes than sports drinks and low in calories and sugar.

For the shakes: Go Bananas

I’m not sure how to express with without being crass, so I guess I’ll just go for it. Being drunk = lots of peeing = lost potassium, which is why your muscles hurt and why you might feel shaky. One banana should provide enough potassium to make you feel a little more human.

Anyway, good luck darlings. PS: A little extra concealer and some bright lipstick might help too.

Seriously.

Here’s to Tuesday!

XO
M

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