Friday, April 27, 2012

The longest love affair

I have had a long standing obsession love affair with one man since I was ohhhh about 13 years old. His name is John Mayer - ask any one of my high school friends or my mom, they would confirm. I have seen him countless times in concert, and I certainly can forgive his transgressions. Just look at this baby face (circa 1999). I definitely cut this picture out of a magazine and put it in one of me and my bff's legendary 'notebooks' that we would pass around. Oh, the memories...

It has been a few years since John released a new album (Battle Studies has been in my 6 disc cd changer since 2010). John Mayer is BACK! His new album comes out on May 22nd. I am going to be out of the country. WHAT is a girl to do?!?!?

I'll just have to watch the video on repeat until Memorial Day weekend. No worries. It makes me want to go to Arizona, but the Las Vegas desert will just have to do.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Best Body Bootcamp - Wrap Up

So, as you may have noticed... I kind of fell off the boot camp bandwagon. Things have just been insane at work, my travel schedule has been ridiculous (a lot of that has been self-imposed), and in general I have just been stressed out. Not an excuse to not work out, but a lot is going on and changing, and exercise has fallen to the wayside. I have also picked up some of my old bad habits - eating out a lot, making TV a priority over everything else, and making bad food choices.

I am not stepping on the scale because #1 it just ruins my day, and #2 I don't want my life to be dictated by the scale anymore. My clothes still fit, and I can't complain too badly.

Boot camp has been a GREAT experience for me. While I have fallen (recently) back in to old habits, it is nice to know that I have a plan to follow when life gets in the way. I took the time today to plan out my next few weeks of workouts and am going to do my absolute, very best to stick to it!

Yes... I am doing it again! Once this week is over, I plan to start boot camp all over again. And just keep repeating the weeks until a new boot camp starts again :) Part of my hesitance this past week is that I haven't felt good - allergies or a cold? I am not sure... also, I feel like my fitness level has dropped because I missed a week of the 'intense' workouts in week 7. So I haven't really had the confidence to really kick butt. I think starting over at week 1, and repeating weeks as necessary, will really help me get to where I want to go!

I have enjoyed the boot camp community and am going to enjoy interacting even after round 1 of boot camp is over. Formal updates will stop, but I will still check in occasionally on my progress!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Yellowfin Tuna Pasta

Can you believe it is already Wednesday? Has anyone else's week flown by? It is really making a difference that work is so busy now. The day goes by quickly and I only find myself staring at the clock to make sure that I am on time for meetings! Even that hasn't gone so well this week, and I am not a 'late' person.

I am glad it is going quickly because this weekend coming up is the Raleigh Beer Festival, and I am going home for it. Another Amtrak trip... I'm becoming a frequent rider!

On to the real reason you visited this post... were you lured in and intrigued by the title of this post?

So, you know how sometimes the cooking stars just all align, and you are able to make something amazing out of what you have in your kitchen? Ok, the farmshare does help... I concocted a creation last night that (in my opinion) was totally restaurant quality, but so simple! It felt like an episode of Chopped in my kitchen, but with no pressure, other than my stomach growling. NBD.

This could be considered 'high' in calories - but it was a large portion and really kept me full. Also, something like this in a restaurant would be SUPER full of sodium and much more oil and butter. Let's be real here...

Yellowfin Tuna Pasta


2 servings of fresh (or dried) fettucini noodles - I used herbed
1-ish cup of fresh spinach
1-ish cup of swiss chard, torn roughly
2 tsp olive oil
2 tablespoons butter - I used smart balance light
Fresh oregano, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 packet Starkist Yellowfin Tuna in olive oil
4 tsp grated parmesan cheese


Boil pasta. While pasta is boiling, put spinach and swiss chard in to colander. When pasta is done, drain pasta over spinach and swiss chard.

Return pasta and veggies to the pot. Add olive oil and butter. Let melt. Add in fresh oregano, salt, and pepper.

Serve in two bowl - top with half of the packet of tuna and 2 teaspoons of grated parmesan cheese.

Serves two.

Calories: 511, Fat: 20, Carbs: 59, Protein: 24, Fiber: 1, Sodium: 348

This seriously was so delicious. It reheated very well for lunch today, as well. Buying the tuna in the packet was not quite as good as fresh, but it had a nice lemon-y tang to it - and allowed me to add some extra protein for a really low cost.

Please let me know if you try this out, or if this inspired you to try something new in the kitchen!!! What have you thrown together lately that turned out well (or not so well)?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Best Body Bootcamp - Week 5 Recap/Week 6 Plan

Update on Week 5: I did well on my goals and plan to keep them the same for this week, so I will keep maintaining the habit... I did not so well on my weekend workouts (and eating)...

Monday: 20 min jog, 20 min strength intervals
Tuesday: 30 minute treadmill (hills) workout + strength training
Wednesday: 20 minute jog + 30 minutes of strength intervals
Thursday: shopping spree + strength training
Friday: 15 minute walk around shopping complex
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: 15 min walk while waiting for the train

Here are the goals for week 6... (repeat of last week's goals)

Record my food intake 100% in My Fitness Pal
Drink at least 64 oz of water each day

And my workout plan:

Monday: 20 min jog + 30 min strength intervals
Tuesday: 30 minute treadmill (hills) workout + strength training
Wednesday: 20 minute jog + 30 minutes of strength intervals
Thursday: 20 minute treadmil (HIIT) + strength training
Friday: Hopefully a 20 minute jog after work... if not...
Saturday: Quick jog around neighborhood...
Sunday: Rest

I want to make this week's workouts the best ones yet!!  I also want to keep my eating in check this weekend - minus Saturday. Saturday doesn't count :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Little Easter Greeting...

Happy Easter from a little bunny!!!

Circa 1988 - not even a year old, me and my Dad

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cast Iron Tofu

I am continuing to experiment with tofu, but I think I have finally found my favorite way to cook it. Sautéing it on the cast iron skillet! It gets such a good flavor, and crisps up so nicely. You really do not have to do anything with it once it comes off the skillet. Just serve with a side of veggies for a super healthy meal! 

The marinade below is my favorite way to flavor tofu, but any combination of ingredients would work well here. I have tried worcestershire sauce instead of soy. Still delicious! I also think a soy-ginger marinade would taste yummy! 

Cast Iron Tofu


1 block extra-firm tofu
4 - 8 tablespoons of soy sauce
4 - 8 teaspoons of dijon mustard
1 - 2 tablespoons of fresh horseradish (optional)
Cooking spray (or oil)


Drain and press tofu (I prefer overnight) but at minimum 4 - 6 hours. I use the tofuxpress that I got for Christmas (thanks, Mom and Dad!). If you do not have one, here is a good blog post on how to press tofu with things you have around the house!

Mix up remaining ingredients into a marinade. This can be as thick or as thin as you want to make it based on the proportions of soy sauce to mustard to horseradish.

Slice the block of tofu in to 10 slices. I think this is the perfect thickness for skillet cooking.

Then transfer the tofu and lay each slice flat in a large dish. Pour the marinade, making sure each slice of tofu gets a good coating. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes, but you can also let this sit overnight (this is a plan-ahead but really easy meal).

Pre-heat your cast iron skillet on medium. Once heated, coat the bottom of the pan with some sort of oil. I just used cooking spray. Then place the tofu in the skillet. Let cook on each side for appx. 8 - 10 minutes. Keep a close eye on it, you want to make sure you flip it once the tofu gets brown and crispy on each side!

I think this is a good serving for two, but with the right sides you could definitely stretch this to four people! I served it with a side of steamed frozen veggies and smart balance light. So delicious!

Let me know how the cast iron method of cooking tofu works for you! What are some of your favorite ways to prepare tofu? 

Best Body Bootcamp - Week 5 Plan

I can't believe that we are halfway through Best Body Bootcamp already! I wish I were seeing more results, but I know I have not been 100% on the bootcamp plan all the time... However, I am getting in more activity each week than I ever have before! Especially with the strength training - cardio is much less exciting to me now that I have these strength + cardio workouts to supplement! Going for a quick run or a long walk is still fantastic, but I find myself looking forward to the workouts with weights more than anything else.

Here are the goals for week 5... (repeat of past weeks' goals)

Record my food intake 100% in My Fitness Pal (while doing my best to stay under my calorie goals, especially this weekend at home)
Drink at least 64 oz of water each day

And my workout plan:

Monday: 20 min jog, 20 min strength intervals
Tuesday: 30 minute treadmill (hills) workout + strength training
Wednesday: 20 minute jog + 30 minutes of strength intervals
Thursday: 20 minute treadmil (HIIT) + strength training
Friday: 5K around parents' neighborhood
Saturday: long walk around neighborhood + abs video (?) = ambitious...
Sunday: Rest!

Hope it all goes well! Here's to a successful week 5!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Best Body Bootcamp - Week 4 Recap

All of week 4, I was traveling all over the Eastern Seaboard! I always have issues when I get out of my normal routine, so I sent my healthy goals to help me stick to it!

Goal 1: Record my meals and snacks in My Fitness Pal
Goal 2: Floss every night

I did OK on both of these goals... far better at the beginning of the week than towards then end, when I was too tired to care any more!

I didn't make a specific workout plan this week, but I figured I would squeeze in as much working out as I could, with the hopes of getting 5 days in. I consider this week to be a workout success. I have never made it a point to fit in some intense workouts on a work trip - there is a first for every thing!

Here is how week 4 went, workout-wise:

Monday: 60 min plant tour (all walking!)
Tuesday: 30 min walk outside
Wednesday: 30 min circuit training - lower body and jogging/walking interals
Thursday: 45 min walk (another plant tour!)
Friday: 30 min walk (yet another tour..), 2.5 mile jog, 30 mins of abs
Saturday: 60 min strength training intervals, walking ALL day around DC
Sunday: REST!

Overall, it was a good week - especially with traveling from Sunday to Sunday. Looking forward to getting back to normal this week! I just opened up the Phase 3 plan for Best Body Bootcamp (can we say intense?), so details on my week 5 plan to come tomorrow! Also, stay tuned for details from my epic road trip and weekend in DC!
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