Sorry for my long absence.

Yeah, yeah.  I know.  I sometimes forget about you.  Please don’t take it personally, it’s not you – it’s me.  But I’m here now and I brought a peace offering:

PB2 Banana Muffins!

Now that Lent is over, peanut butter, almond butter and PB2 have moved back in – YAY!  BFF and I made it (barely).

These bad boys are deeeeeeeelish and the stats rock too!

      Whole Wheat Flour, 1cup
      Bob’s Red Mill Wheat Bran 1 cup
      Bell Plantation PB2, 4 tbsp
      Baking Powder, 1.5 tsp
      Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, 0.5 tsp
      Banana, fresh, 2.5 cup, mashed
      Egg white, 3 serving
      Applesauce, unsweetened, .33 cup
      Chia Seeds CHIA POWER Navitas, 2 tbsp
      Chobani 0% greek yogurt non-fat plain, .5 serving
      ***BSN Syntha 6 100% Whey Protein – Vanilla Ice Cream, 2 serving
    Stir together the flour, bran, PB2, Chia seeds,  baking powder and baking soda.   In another bowl, mix your mashed bananas, applesauce, yogurt and eggs.  Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and scoop into muffin tins.  Bake at 350 for about 18 minutes. I got 16 this time around……
    ***The protein powder is sweet enough for my taste so I don’t add any additional sweetener, but 1/3c dark brown sugar would be plenty for this recipe if you like yours sweeter.  Also, there is almost NO fat in here, make sure you prep your muffin tin well or they WILL stick.  I used muffin liners and sprayed them with cooking spray.  If you wanted to add a little fat, use regular PB.  Just mix it in with the wet ingredients and good to go!
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 102.6
    • Total Fat: 1.4 g
    • Cholesterol: 5.1 mg
    • Sodium: 62.9 mg
    • Total Carbs: 20.0 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 4.6 g
    • Protein: 6.1 g
Sooooo…….we good now?

    Werk It.

    This post is especially for my leetle seester Heather.  I was telling her about the circiut workouts I was trying (off Pinterest) and she wanted to give them a go.  Here’s one I like:

     

    Don’t let the title fool you.  The calories you burn greatly depend on your sex, weight and physical condition.  It took me a total of 54 minutes (5 minutes of stretching included) and I burned 345 calories.  Eh.  I don’t have a stationary bike, so instead I used my treadmill and walked at a 4.3 at a 10% incline.  Not bad, but for the time it took I was hoping for a better burn.

    Sorry no food or recipes lately, the weather has been through unbelievable for this time of the year so meals have been quick and light.  Today’s forecast says 80 degrees, so I’ve got a park playdate for the kidlets and a powerwalk scheduled.  If you’re lucky enough to be in this part of the country – ENJOY!

    Circuit Sunday 2.0

    Hey Peeps!  I’m really digging circuits lately, can you tell?  They seem to go by so much faster than just plugging away at the treadmill.  Today I did this one (pulled off Pinterest and modified to make it a smidge harder):

    30 Jumping Jacks

    5 Push-ups

    25 High Knees

    10 Burpees

    10 Crunches

    10 Squats

    5 Push-ups

    10 Crunches

    5 Push-ups

    10 Squats

    30 Jumping Jacks

    60 Second Wall Squat

    5 Push-ups

    25 High Knees

    Do this 5 times around (no breaks!) with a 30 second breather between sets.  The toughest part is probably the burpees.  I may actually modify it again and do jump squats instead of regular squats and walking push ups.  All in all, you should be done with this in under 30 minutes.

    Back to the treadmill.

    BFF and I hit up the gym at the Y on Wednesday for the first time since probably the first week in January.  We’ve been going to kickboxing instead on Wednesdays, waiting out the New Year’s Resolutioners.  So we get there and the place is crawling with high school kids.  Normally I don’t care, but these boys were hogging all the free weights from 20-40lbs.  The policy is (supposedly) kids ages 13-17 must have a parent to be in the gym area.  I really don’t think they enforce this very well at all.

    Enough of my rant, back to my point.  I put together a HIIT program for us to run on the treadmill just in case our beloved Summit Climbers were out of commission.  Here’s what we did:

    1/4 mile @4.5

    1/4 mile @6.5

    1 minute @7

    1 minute @6

    1 minute @7.5

    1 minute @6

    1 minute @8

    1 minute @6

    1 minute @9

    1 minute @6

    30 seconds @10

    2 minute walk @4.5

    30 seconds @ 10

    1 minute @6

    1 minute @9

    1 minute @6

    1 minute @8

    1 minute @6

    1 minute @7.5

    1 minute @6

    1 minute @7

    1 minute @6

    3-5 minute cool down

    We finished this in about 28 minutes and I’m pretty sure the whole gym was staring at us toward the end with all our huffing and grunting.  This will kick your ass.  If you try it, let me know what you think.

    Peace Out!

     

    Kickin’ my craving in the teeth!

    I have been craving carrot cake for about a week now.  Let me explain why.

    A few years ago we began the tradition of having my In-Laws over every St. Paddy’s day.  I make a crock pot Guiness corned beef, traditional colcannon and (if I do say so myself) some damn good soda bread.  Well this year I decided to make carrot cake for dessert. And that is all I’ve been able to think about.  Now, I’m not about to cook a whole carrot cake to appease this craving…..unless…….

    Oh yeah.  You guessed it.

    High protein, low fat, low sugar.  Pretty freakin’ awesome (again, if I do say so myself).

    Cake:

    1c Wheat Bran

    88g BSN Syntha-6 Vanilla Ice Cream Protein Powder**

    2 tsp Baking Powder

    4 egg whites

    1/2c Unsweetened Applesauce

    1/4-1/3 c grated carrots

    Frosting:

    4oz Fat Free Cream Cheese

    3-4 pkts Stevia

    Preheat your oven to 350.  Mix up your dry ingredients and toss in the egg whites, applesauce and carrots.  Mix well and pour into a prepared 8×8 pan.  Bake about 30 minutes.  Mix your cream cheese and stevia and spread on top of the cooled cake.

    **Different protein powders may require you to add sweeteners or more liquid.  You could also try this with pineapple or mashed banana in place of the applesauce.

    Note:  I can’t have nuts because of Lent, but I highly recommend some walnuts in this!

    Here’s the stats folks!

    (I figured it for 4 servings, cause if I’m gonna have a piece of cake, I want a PIECE of cake!  But feel free to cut it smaller – I’ll throw those stats in too!)

    • Servings Per Recipe: 4
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 198.6
    • Total Fat: 4.1 g
    • Cholesterol: 32.3 mg
    • Sodium: 470.3 mg
    • Total Carbs: 25.8 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 10.0 g
    • Protein: 22.8 g
    • Servings Per Recipe: 6
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 132.4
    • Total Fat: 2.7 g
    • Cholesterol: 21.5 mg
    • Sodium: 313.5 mg
    • Total Carbs: 17.2 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 6.7 g
    • Protein: 15.2 g
    • Servings Per Recipe: 8
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 99.3
    • Total Fat: 2.0 g
    • Cholesterol: 16.1 mg
    • Sodium: 235.1 mg
    • Total Carbs: 12.9 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 5.0 g
    • Protein: 11.4 g

    If you want to be my best friend right now, I totally understand.

    Circuit Sunday

    Just a quick post today to show you this:

    source: Pinterest

    This ‘little’ workout took me 30 minutes and wiped the floor with my ass!  I was doing well on the first round until the burpees, they slowed me down a bit.  By the 3rd round I was sweating, shaking and praying for it to be done!  Ok, I exaggerate a bit, but it was a really good circuit.  Try it, then tell me how you did.

    P.S.  Last night’s Spaghetti Squash casserole was even better as lunch today!  Gonna make that again reeeeeeeal soon.

    Squashing Saturday

    Happy Saturday, didja do anything good today?  Mhm, mhm, sounds fun.  Me?  Oh, the usual.  Got my workout in this morning, did some cleaning, trip to Costco, did some cookin’…….

    Let me start with the workout though.  I have definitely been slacking on the strength training these last 2 months.  I haven’t even been in the gym since probably the beginning of the year (in my defense though, I’ve been waiting for all those New Year’s Resolution-ers to get the F out!).  What I have been doing is a lot of Zumba, Insanity, Kickboxing, and running.  Don’t get me wrong, I have been doing some ST, just not like I should be.  Today I put in my P90X Chest, Shoulders and Tris video and squashed it!  I better get some good pain tomorrow!

    As for my cooking, well I was pa-rousing around Pinterest a little (okay, A LOT.  Is anybody else addicted to this damn website!?!?!) and saw a Spaghetti Squash casserole.  I didn’t even bother looking at the recipe, I figured I’d make up my own.

    This is what I came up with:

    3 cups cooked Spaghetti Squash

    1/2 (10oz) pkg Frozen Spinach – thawed & squeezed

    1/4c Onion

    1/2 (8oz) pkg Sliced Mushrooms

    3-4 cloves Garlic

    4 pieces Sund-Dried Tomatoes (NOT in oil)

    Olive Oil Cooking Spray

    2 Egg Whites

    3 oz Fat Free Greek Yogurt (or Sour Cream)

    2 Laughing Cow Swiss Cheese wedges

    1/2c Sargento Reduced Fat 4 Cheese Italian Blend

    S&P to taste

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a large skillet, sweat your onions and garlic in the cooking spray.  Toss in the chopped tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms and sautee for 3-5 minutes.  In a large bowl, whisk your egg whites until they get a bit frothy then toss in your squash and sauteed veggies.  Mix well.  In a small bowl, microwave the cheese wedges for 12-15 seconds to really soften them up then toss that and the yogurt in the big bowl (S&P goes in now too!).  Mix it all up really well and then pour it into an 8×8 (or 9×9 or whatever small baking dish you have) that’s been sprayed with cooking spray.  Top it with the shredded cheese and bake it for about 30 minutes till hot and bubbly!

    **Note:  This was a tad too spinach-y for my taste, so next time around I’ll decrease the spinach (or use fresh) and increase the tomatoes.

    Stats for HALF THE PAN!!!!  Oh yeah, you read that right!

    • Servings Per Recipe: 2
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 254.2
    • Total Fat: 7.4 g
    • Cholesterol: 19.5 mg
    • Sodium: 633.2 mg
    • Total Carbs: 23.8 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 5.7 g
    • Protein: 24.3 g

    I can’t wait to eat the other half of the pan tomorrow!

    Sunday Funday

    Happy Sunday, hope you’re all enjoying your day!

    I started off the day with some HIIT on the treadmill followed by abs and burpees! – just for the hell of it.  I was sooooo not in the mood to workout this morning and I’m kinda sore from kickboxing yesterday (had a couple of rounds with the BFF’s hubby – 1 round with him= 4 rounds with anybody else!) So I’m really glad I sucked it up and did it!

    Sargent M and I also took the kids swimming at the Y this morning and we’ve been chillin’ around the house for the most part since.   With the exception of laundry, it’s whites day.  I hate whites.  I think we may have discussed this before.

    So while at a play date with the kids last week, my friend Karla pulls out some snacks.  One in particular was a delicious bowl of black beans, corn, tomato and onion.  Basically Cowboy Caviar.  I’ve seen this recipe a lot, but it never struck me to make it because it seemed like kind of a…. bland?….uninspired?….broing?…..dish.

    Christ on a bicycle!  Was I wrong!!

    So she listed the exact ingredients she used (I tweaked it a tiny bit) and dinner was born!

    Cowboy Caviar

    1 15oz  can low sodium Black Beans

    1 box frozen corn (thawed)

    1/4-1/2c diced red onion

    1 15oz can southwest style diced tomatoes

    1/3 c light salad dressing ( I used Kraft House Italian)

    Cilantro to taste

    Mix it all up in a bowl and let it sit a few hours to overnight.  THAT’S IT!  Serve it with crackers, pita chips, tortilla chips, or make it a meal and throw in some chicken or shrimp.  The best part of this recipe is that you CANNOT fudge it up*.  You can use pretty much any flavor tomatoes and dressing or switch up the beans – whatever you want.

    I get sooo excited when good food is simple.  Yeah, the little things really get me worked up.  I need to get out more……shut up.  Here’s the stats:

    • Servings Per Recipe: 8
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 99.7
    • Total Fat: 1.5 g
    • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
    • Sodium: 406.8 mg
    • Total Carbs: 18.3 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 4.8 g
    • Protein: 4.4 g

    *If you do happen to fudge it up, please let me know how you managed to do it so I can laugh at you!  (just kidding, I don’t judge.)

    Off to get the babes fed and ready for bed early because…..WALKING DEAD is on tonight!  Screw the Oscars, zombies are funner.

    It’s that time…

    It’s that time again.  

    Lent. 

    If you’ve been with me for a while you know what that means…….

    Image

    Every year the BFF and I give up our beloved peanut butter for Lent which we see as a kind of detox (for a quick recap you can go here).

    The sad part about giving up my favorite snack isn’t that I’m giving it up for 44 days…

    OH! YEAH 44!  Because if you actually count it out on a calendar there’s 4 Sundays where you’re allowed to cheat – I think that’s BS.

    Anyway, the saddest part is that Tuesday night I had a scoop because I felt like I should even though I really didn’t want any at the time.  Very un-enjoyable.  Sad way to remember your last time….

     

    ON TO DINNER!:

    Best pork loin EVER!  Oh yeah, I’m claiming it!  Well actually I got it from Pinterest, I think the owner was KitchenConfidante.com

    Image

     

    1 Hormel Extra Lean Pork Loin (about a pound-ish)

    2T really good Balsamic Vinegar** 

    3 cloves Garlic – or more if you lile

    Salt & Pepper to Taste

    Throw everything into a zip lock bag and marinate minimum 1 hour.  Grill on Med High  for about 40 minutes, rotating the loin every 10.  Let it sit for a few before slicing into it so you don’t loose the juices.  

    I love how so few ingredients can make something so good!

    Mangia!

     

     

    **I have an awesome bottle from Williams-Sanoma that Sargent M gave me for Valentines Day.  You could literally drink it straight from the bottle!  I use it as my salad dressing, no oil required.  This stuff is worth the $28 price tag!

    I’m Stuffed.

    How’s it goin?

    Things are better here.  Everyone has had one sort of sickness or another for the last week and I was worried the only way we were going to get better was to bomb the house with napalm.  Tomorrow is supposed to be 55° so I think I’ll just stick with opening some windows and Lysol-ing the BEJESUS outta this place.

    Anyway that’s my lame excuse for the lack of posting.  Deal with it.

    I actually managed a pretty decent workout today, 3 miles on the treadmill followed by a quick shoulder and tricep workout with some pull-ups and chin ups thrown in.

    And because I had an appetite today, I made dinner (go me!).  Sargent M is in bed sleeping off the last of his flu before his midnight shift so he missed out.  I may be a nice wifey and pack it to go…..

    Nothin super fancy here.  But I’m sure most of you have 90% of the ingredients on hand.   Feel free to mix this up as you see fit!

    Stuffed Peppers

    4 Large Bell Peppers – multiple colors make for better presentation

    16oz Extra Lean Ground Chicken or Turkey

    1 1/2c Spaghetti Sauce – use something you like with a LOT of flavor to it

    1c Beans – I’ve used Cannelini and Kidney, both work great

    1/4 -1/2c Diced Onion – use as much or as little (or none) as you like

    3 cloves Garlic – minced or squished through a garlic press

    Cooking Spray

    Oregano

    Chop the tops off your peppers, pull off the stems and dice.  Hit your sautee pan with cooking spray, add in the onion and garlic until fragrant.   Toss in your diced pepper tops until soft.  Remove the veggies from the pan, hit it once more  with cooking spray and drop in your meat.  Season it with oregano  and break up the meat cooking until no longer pink.  Throw your veggies back in.  Nows a good time to add in the sauce and beans too.  Cook for just a couple of minutes to let the sauce penetrate the meat and then stuff as much of the mixture as you can into your 4 topless peppers – don’t judge them, they have bills to pay too ya know.

    (I’m feelin a bit cheeky tonight, can you tell?).

    You’ll want to put the stuffed peppers in an 8×8 pan, pour about an inch of water in the bottom cover loosely with tin foil and bake for about 45-60 minutes depending on how soft you like them.  You can totally top these with cheese if you want, I like grated parmesan but do whatever you like.

    Stats using 98% fat free ground chicken, and 1 tablespoon grated parm per pepper:

    Servings Per Recipe: 4

    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 273.2
    • Total Fat: 2.7 g
    • Cholesterol: 73.3 mg
    • Sodium: 509.9 mg
    • Total Carbs: 30.3 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 7.0 g
    • Protein: 33.5 g

    Easy, filling and better the next day!  I’m out!

    The Big Reveal!

    The kitchen is DONE!

    Well, almost – I have to paint some trim, but I couldn’t wait to show you!!!

    So if you’ve followed my blog (or even just glanced through it), you probably know how much I hated the kitchen, especially the old counters.  They were HOSPITAL PINK!  Seriously, who puts in pink counters?  Crazy people – that’s who!  Awful.

    Here’s the befores:

    And here’s the kitchen today!!

    The Coffee Bar:

    Ikea Hack Bookshelves:

    Here’s what we did:

    ♦Counters

    ♦Backsplash (glass tile – the big splurge)

    ♦Faucet & Sink (got the sink for free – it was a showroom piece.  And I know a guy ☺)

    ♦Dishwasher, Fridge, Stove Vent

    ♦Tall Cabinet

    ♦Hardware

    ♦Bookshelves (Bought from Ikea and had a friend ‘build them in’)

    ♦Paint

    ♦Curtains (made ’em myself!)

    I’ve been standing in the kitchen staring for like 2 days now.  Sargent M is too.  We still need to do the floors, but I can wait a while now that the rest of the room is so PRETTY!

    Ok, now I feel like cooking something!  Later Gaters!

    [Hahaha!   I just noticed the same hot pink plate is in the dish rack in both the before and after shots!  I swear we have more plates!]