February Fitness Challenge Review

Happy Saturday! Today’s my second favorite day of the week after Friday, so I’m a pretty happy camper today.

Considering I don’t have many food photos to share (the SCD is fairly redundant right now), how about we talk about fitness instead?

At the beginning of February I set a goal for myself to complete three strength training workouts each week. They could involve free weights, machines at the gym, workout videos, whatever, as long as they involved improving my strength. I also challenged myself to complete one plank a day for at least one minute.

I am a cardio junkie and love getting my heart rate ramped from the cardio which is also great for overall health, but all-to-often slack on the strength and I wanted to do something about it. I called this challenge, my February Fitness Challenge.

Although I know there are still five days left in February, I have decided to reflect now.

I am happy to say that even though I was struck with a head cold for a solid week this month, and felt very low energy due to the SCD intro, I still managed to stick to my goal each week. I tried to keep it spicy and exciting so that I wouldn’t get bored with it.

Some of My February Strength Workouts:

  • Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred: Level 1 and Level 2
  • This leg workout incorporated with dumbbells
  • This arm workout plus other arm exercises
  • Ab workouts (from the January Abs Challenge)
  • Most of the time I just did my own thing and mixed up different exercises

I have done my plank-a-day every day too!

I have noticed that with the combination of eliminating white sugars from my diet, and increasing my strength activities, that I do feel stronger. I even feel it when I’m doing cardio. When I’m running my core helps carry me and makes me run lighter.

I definitely feel stronger overall, however I have a looooooonngg way to go to get my strength to where I would like it to be. But it takes time. I’m going to continue to work on it.

I already have a March fitness challenge brewin’ in my head! Be on the look out. :wink:

******************

I can’t leave this post complete photo-free because that’s no fun, so I do have a couple to share.

Yesterday I couldn’t eat meat (Lent), which is a main component of the SCD. I was thrilled about it because I am SO TIRED OF IT and completely tired out of eggs too, so it was time to introduce a new food. Peanut butter. I’m not talking boat loads of pb, but enough to satisfy my hunger and give me some protein.

I introduced baked apples into my diet two days ago and my body responded well. My girlie girl Kalkal said one of her favorite breakfast combos lately is cut up apple, with pb and cinnamon. I usually do that combo with banana, but often forget about the lovely apple. I gave it a whirl, but used a slightly cooked apple instead (to aid in digestion for now).

apple with pb

I honestly think I could slather peanut butter on anything and it would taste good. This was a very nice treat! I would prefer it with a raw apple like Kalley had suggested, but for now this will have to do!

The REALLY good news is that peanut butter is sitting very well with my system. Like I said I have no plans of going crazy with it like I tend to do, but one serving a day and I should feel just fine. I am really missing my legumes and lentils however. Soon enough!

The evening was spent:

  • getting some more vacation stuff together
  • doing some food prep for vaca
  • vacuuming
  • mopping
  • planking
  • core strength
  • running around the house and up and down the stairs with Moose
  • and cleaning up broken links on the ol’ blog (this is quite the task)

We also picked this guy up from the groomer after getting a nice intense brush-out. He looks so handsome.

moose

I have plans to get a little run in this morning and then we have some more packing to do!

What’s on your Saturday agenda?!

The Next Phase

Yesterday was the third day of the SCD intro diet. Since my symptoms were so minimal to begin with, I decided to start incorporating some foods back into my diet after two full days on intro diet. I am choosing foods that I knew my body would normally handle well. Yesterday I reintroduced the banana.

After eating only eggs, meat, cooked carrots, and grape juice gelatin, I was ready for more variety. Eating a banana was such a treat! It was like eating candy.

My body reacted very well as I suspected it would. I will continue to slowly reintroduce easy to digest foods.

I apologize for the food photos, but here they are…

Breakfast looks like carrot puree but it was really a totally botched carrot and egg pancake. I also drank a glass of diluted grape juice.

carrot egg pancake dcd

For lunch I heated up some chicken breast, a turkey meatball, and cooked carrots. I couldn’t stomach the chicken some reason so that went back into the fridge.

scd lunch

I grabbed an egg…

egg scd

And finished off lunch with grape juice gelatin.

For dinner I ate another bowl of the carrot and bone broth soup and another banana.

carrot soup scd

I also had a very small diluted glass of grape juice. I think I drank too much juice yesterday, but my body was completely craving it.

I’ve been taking it easy on the workouts the past few days because I know my food and calorie intake isn’t where it should be. I am truly doing the best I can with the SCD intro and trying to eat as much of the allowable foods as I can stomach. I am very happy that I can reintroduce some other foods again because it is not healthy for me to continue on with this minimal amounts of food. I know that I can’t eat “as much as tolerated” of the allowable foods in the intro diet, but when you already have a slight distaste for meat, it is really challenging to force it down.

I continue to do my plank-a-day though as part of my February Fitness Challenge. Today is the last day of week three which means I need to get one more strength training activity in today. I’m hoping I feel up to it this afternoon!

Thanks for sticking by my side through this diet. I am very anxious to eat more of my “normal” foods again and to be 100% healthy!

Happy Thursday!

Strawberry Chicken Salad with the Girls

Happy Sunday!

I have some coupon cutting and horoscopes reading to do, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

Saturday Recap

Breakfast: Kefir with chia seeds which I let soak for 10 minutes to soften the chia. I then added agave nectar to sweeten it up (because kefir is pretty tangy) and added a banana on top!

kefir with chia

After breakfast I hit the living room for a leg workout and glute which felt GREAT!

For lunch I had a date with one of my girlie girls, Heidi. She was in town so she stopped by for lunch and to catch up. I made us a strawberry chicken salad with blueberries, almonds, avocado, and feta cheese. It was light an perfect.

strawberry chicken salad

After we ate lunch we called Kate on FaceTime (Kate is living in Georgia–I went and visited her on my birthday last year). It was like the three of us were truly having a girly chat together right in the same room. It made me miss her even more but I feel so lucky to have the option of calling her and talking to her “face to face.”

In the afternoon Dana and I had a couple of errands to run. We stopped at TJMaxx and I found another new swimsuit (the one on the bottom right is the newest addition)! I usually don’t have good luck at TJMaxx with swimsuits because the tops and bottoms are sold together as a set, so you aren’t able to mix and match sizes, but this one actually fit me like a glove! Plus, it was only $12.99. Bargain!

swimsuits

We will be spending the majority of time in our bathing suits, so I need to be sure and bring enough plus I like to have options. :wink:

For dinner I whipped up a random mix of black beans, onion, garlic, salsa, and cabbage with cheese on top. I wasn’t sure how it would all come together, but it was surprisingly good! I think what made it good was the Parkers Farm Roasted Garlic Salsa. It was so flavorful.

salsa cabbage black beans

We finished off the night watching Glee from last week. Man oh man it was a juicy one. Lots of unexpected events unfolded!

Moose was unimpressed as usual.

moose

I hope you are all having a relaxing weekend. I have a super fun double date tonight that I am so looking forward to!

Catch up with you all later! xoxo

Grilled Chicken with Artichoke Salsa & Valentine Surprises

Happy Friday! Do your happy dance!

So, I have pretty much weaned myself off coffee in the mornings and instead have been enjoying a cup of kombucha tea (which does also have a tiny bit of caffeine) but I was really wanting a cup of coffee this morning, so guess what? That’s what I had.

I’m going to cut right to the chase from yesterday. I don’t have much to share up until the afternoon. As you know, I am one of the lovey dovey people who celebrates Valentine’s Day. I do agree that “everyday should be Valentine’s Day,” and that we should share our love all of the time, and not just on one specific day, but I also like the idea of a super special day of love.

We don’t go super crazy celebrating but we usually cook up a nice dinner and have some sort of decadent dessert.  Gifts are usually optional or something small.

Valentine’s Dinner

I haven’t the slightest idea where I found this recipe, but it was tucked away in my recipe book and I was aching to try it. My guess is I had thought about making it last year for Vday?

Grilled Chicken with Artichoke Salsa.

We grilled two boneless skinless chicken breasts seasoned with lemon, salt, and pepper along with a bunch of asparagus stalks. Grilled asparagus is hands-down my favorite way to eat that veggie. It takes on a nice smoky flavor and is OH so good.

valentine's chicken dinner

While the chicken was grilling I got to work on the artichoke salsa (recipe below). This dish was extremely simple to prepare and turned out so amazingly well.

valentine's chicken dinner

 

And kind of fancy looking too. At least fancier than what we’re used to on a Thursday night.

Artichoke Salsa
Print

Ingredients
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts, chopped (I used jarred in olive oil)
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • 2 Tbsp red onion, diced
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • dash of dried oregano
  • dash of dried thyme
  • dash of italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients and serve on top of grilled boneless chicken breast and asparagus. NUM!

 

Dessert

I had some homemade gluten-free brownies leftover from Tuesday’s work meeting, so I warmed those up for dessert. They were almost paleo, but not quite, so it was a bit of a “treat.”

brownie gluten-free

I was originally planning on making a paleo molten chocolate lava cake, but after dinner I was first of all stuffed, and second of all just simply tired. These brownies were the perfect substitute though. Plus now they are out of the house!

The evening was full of surprises. When I first got home from work, I had a few cards waiting for me. Yes, actually legit cards that came in the mail. It always excites me to get actual “mail!” I was feeling very loved. Mooser even gave me a card. :wink:

I sent Dana on a mini scavenger hunt for a few gifts that I had got for him. I love going on those scavenger hunts, so I thought I’d let him have some fun. I think he enjoyed it!

Dana surprised me with my very first Lululemon workout top. Actually my very first anything from Lululemon. That store is so outrageously expensive but holding that shirt I could feel the difference! So soft. I can’t wait to wear it!

lululemon

 

As if that wasn’t enough, Dana tells me that he has another surprise for me. He said that he changed a few things on my blog. To premise that, there is a huge list of details I want to change about the blog, but I haven’t figured out how to configure the changes yet, so this surprise actually sounded like something he would have done. I was still a little skeptical.

I sit down at my computer to look at the changes, and he tells me to use the pullout keyboard (which is just a little pull out sliding shelf attached to my desk which is meant for a keyboard for a desk top). I have no idea what he’s talking about but play along and pull out the shelf and guess what was sitting there…

MACBOOKAir

An Apple MacBook Air.

I couldn’t believe what was in front of my eyes. My computer has been on the fritz for a while now, and we talked about how my next computer will be a Mac, but I was thinking we would practically wait for my computer to start on fire before we replaced it. But no, no, I am now an official owner of a Mac.

Needless to say I feel more than a little spoiled. I spent the rest of the evening with my honey trying to figure out the ins and outs with my new toy and watching Modern Family from Wednesday (LOVE that show).

It will definitely take some getting used to but I already feel less stress while working on the blog. Uploading photos is faster because pictures taken from my iPhone are automatically synced onto my computer, there is no lag time due to overheating, it’s wonderful.

Dana outdid himself. Although he said the computer “isn’t a Valentine’s gift, because it was something you needed.” Either way, he spoiled me rotten.

I had a wonderful day as you can see. I hope you did too!

February Fitness Challenge 

Today we enter into our third week of the February Fitness Challenge. I am happy to say I once again met my goal of three strength training activities for the week. Check out my workout log page if you are interested in what I did!

Question: Did you make any February fitness goals? If so, what are they, and how are they going?

I am very thankful it’s Friday. I have a fairly low-key weekend planned and I’m hoping to get a good run in, do some vacation shopping, and RELAX.

Happy FRIDAY! Catch up with you later gators.

A Test of My Willpower

Happy hump day! I hope everyone is having a good week so far. I’m kind of already ready for this week to be over. Total downer over here, but each day that goes by is one day closer to our vacation, so I am a bit antsy. Not that I usually wish time to go by fast, but in this situation, I sort of do. Wouldn’t you if this was awaiting your arrival?

turks

I think so.

I don’t have much to show for my day yesterday as far as pictures go but I still have a little sharing and confessing to do.

First, I started my day off with a banana with peanut butter, cinnamon and a light drizzle of honey along with another cup of green kombucha tea. I absolutely WILL not eat this breakfast again for breakfast today. I am challenging myself to something more creative today. Plus, we’re getting low on the pb.

Once I was fueled and did a couple of things around the house, I changed quickly into my workout clothes and completed this arm pyramid workout:

lean arms pyramid

 

Followed by a couple other arm exercises combined with squats and other glute action. I really only had about 25 minutes for a workout this morning so I was happy I at least got something in.

So, off to work I go. I had a lot of meetings yesterday and given that is so close to Valentine’s Day, there were LOTS of treats.

I did a pretty good job with the self-control at lunch. I plated myself up a few of the gluten-free options along with a big cup of homemade chicken chili.

potluck lunch chicken chili

When the desserts were passed around I passed up the cupcakes and the brownies, and had only two chocolate covered strawberries.

Not too bad all things considered. That was willpower test number one.

Fast-forward to our evening meeting. I had packed a bag of carrots to munch on and tide me over until I got home, but that clearly wasn’t enough (I know better than that) because when the nummy snacks started coming out, my hunger began to takeover my willpower.

I brought homemade gluten-free brownies to share with everyone, so I plated myself up one of those, a bunch of Angie’s White Cheddar popcorn, pistachios, a piece of dark chocolate, a few gummy hearts, and a Take 5 mini candy bar. I enjoyed every single treat on my plate without hesitation. Sugars: 1, Willpower: 0.

I have been really limiting my added sugars and having maybe one piece of dark chocolate about every other day or so, and my body has become accustomed to not a lot of added sugars. So last night was a bit of a shock to my body. I didn’t feel good after I did it either.  My body was not very happy with this surprise. But, I refuse to dwell on it. It was one day. Today is a new day and I can tell you this much, the sweets don’t stand a chance today.

That’s all I have for now. I just needed to “confess,” and I feel a lot better now.

I’m off to take on my day. I hope you have a positive Wednesday!

Do you have any treats that truly test your willpower?

Back to the Gym & A Happy Cup of Tea

Okay, good morning! How did everyone sleep last night? I slept really well except for some crazy dreams this morning. Our brains are so incredible. They take our thoughts and wishes and fears and turn them into some very interesting dreams. Some seem so vivid and real like the one I had last night, and some are so completely out there you wonder how your brain even came up with them. Or how about when you randomly see someone in your dream who you haven’t heard of or seen in ages?! That always blows my mind too.

But anyway…let’s get back to reality.

Monday

I’m starting to lose my creativity again and falling back into the pb banana breakfast again. I have still been trying to incorporate more smoothies in though. It’s a work in progress. We’ll leave it at that.

banana pb

I was out all morning running errands and hitting up the gym. Oh yea, I seriously went to the gym. It had been a long time since I had been there because I was sick last week and because I have been doing a lot of my workouts in the comfort of my own warm home. I’m still debating putting my membership on hold, but something keeps holding me back from doing it.

At the gym I planted myself on a treadmill directly in front of a TV showing The Price is Right. I began with a light jog, then decided to make this run a HIIT kind of run. I ran for 3-4 minutes at an intense speed, followed by 1-2 minutes of recovery walking, then amped up the speed this time higher than the sprint before, ran for 3-4 minutes, recovered for 1-2, and so on. I did this sprint/walk drill for 3 miles. I was dripping sweat by the time I was done with it.

Next, I moved over to the mats and worked on strengthening my abs. I feel like ever since the January 30-Day-Abs Challenge, I have learned so many great workouts for my abs that really target all areas. This abs workout was the 2nd session of my February Fitness Challenge.

I packed a large bag of carrots to munch on while I was out and about. By the time I got home around noon, I was more than ready for lunch.

I snacked on a few dates with peanut butter while I got lunch ready.

date pb

I roasted broccoli, brussels sprouts, and butternut squash in the oven with coconut oil, salt, and pepper. I really wasn’t feeling the sprouts yesterday but ate a few of them anyway.

roasted veggies

I finished lunch off with a small snack bowl of mixed nuts and raisins.

In the afternoon I had a cup of green tea kombucha and fell in love with the inspirational words on the tea tag.

tea

“Happiness comes when you overcome the most impossible challenge.” We all have challenges and obstacles in our lives, but we must remember that we will get through them as we always do. Also, we always need to remember to enjoy life each day and show love to the people in our lives each day. That will bring us happiness. At least that’s what I took from it. I’m sure everyone has their own interpretation. I felt happy even before I drank my tea just by reading those words.

Dinner was salmon again! Once a week is still salmon week and let me tell you, I am really starting to like this healthy fish. We made it the same way as we did last week with a little butter, almonds, capers, and sesame oil mixture drizzled over the top of grilled salmon with green beans and asparagus.

salmon salmon

I can’t get over how much more I prefer salmon when it is grilled on an outside grill versus inside. It takes any potential fishy taste out of it and gives it a very subtle smoky flavor. I am happy to say the salmon is growing on me!

The rest of the evening was spent in our cozy home watching the Bachelor and celebrating when someone on there FINALLY got sent home (I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t watched it yet). The second person he sent home though however I wasn’t too happy about. BUT, it’s down to the last four now which means home-town dates, and it looks like it’s going to be drama-filled! Again, this show sucks me in every season.

I made myself a snack of blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries with a dollop of FAGE Greek yogurt and honey.

greek yogurt with berries

It was the perfect sweet snack to end the night.

Don’t forget to enter my Intelligent Nutrients Organic Shampoo and Conditioner Giveaway! You have until Wednesday to enter. :smile:

Have a great Tuesday!

Blueberry Lemon Bread & February Fitness Challenge Week 1 Recap

I’m finally nearing the end of this cold! By tomorrow I should be 100% back to normal.

After work yesterday I snuggled into my sweats and relaxed on the couch. I managed to eat my way through a good portion of this bag of trail mix while I vegged.

trail mix

Eventually I got tired of sitting around and put on a very slow and easy breath and stretch pilates On Demand. It felt great to stretch and move a little bit because I’ve been pretty inactive the past couple of days. I also managed to get my 1 minute plank-a-day in.

Speaking of plank-a-day, today ends week 1 of my February Fitness Challenge. My goal was to complete 3 strength train type workouts throughout the weeks during February as well as at least a 1 minute plank every day. Considering I was sick this past week, I am proud to say I still met my week 1 goal.

Strength Training Activities:

  1. Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred plus plank
  2. This leg workout with dumbbells plus plank
  3. A 30 Day Abs workout (from last month’s fitness challenge)

I’m hoping to make it to the gym this week and work it out there a bit. I haven’t been making too many appearances there lately.

Also, I NEED to start running again because I am officially registered for a 7K on St. Patty’s Day which is on March 17th. I am hoping the weather starts improving so I can make it outside, otherwise the treadmill will have to do. It’s time to get these legs-a-movin’!

************

Blueberry Lemon Bread (Gluten-Free and SCD Friendly!)

This may sound strange to some, but when I am feeling slightly under the weather, I enjoy relaxing in the kitchen, and baking up something tasty and comforting. So, that is exactly what I did last night.

How does blueberry lemon bread sound? It’s made with almond flour too so it is 100% gluten-free! Check it out.

blueberry lemon bread

blueberry lemon bread

Blueberry Lemon Bread
Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, SCD
Cuisine: Breakfast
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • the juice of one lemon
  • the zest of one lemon
  • 1/3 cup ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a standard bread pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together applesauce, lemon juice, zest, banana, honey, eggs, and vanilla until well mixed.
  4. Add flour mixture into applesauce mixture, stir to combine.
  5. Stir in blueberries until just incorporated (do not overmix).
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.

The end result is a not-too-sweet blueberry bread with a subtle lemon flavor. Eat it plain, or toast it up and add a small smear of butter, peanut butter, or honey.

blueberry lemon bread blueberry lemon bread
Cooking and baking can be such a comfort!
Happy fabulous Friday to you all!
Do you find comfort in cooking and baking? 

You Can’t Always Win

Yesterday I mentioned I was fighting off some sort of cold bug and I had big plans of squashing it before it made its way any further into my body, but I’m afraid it has won.

I did everything in my power to ward it off. I took all of my vitamins as I always do, I wash my hands, I got plenty of sleep, I made myself a fruit and veggie packed smoothie for breakfast…

smoothie

I sipped on warm water with lemon and honey, tea, and water all day, crammed fruits and veggies like it was my job, and even attempted to get a workout in to get the blood circulating and move this thing out…

  • February Fitness Challenge: I completed this ab workout along with 45 minute run/walk on the treadmill. My strength focus was on the core yesterday.

I was lovingly greeted/interrupted while doing the ab workout by this needy face…

moose moose

Maybe he was trying to tell me about the spider crawling on the floor that I noticed shortly after he left while holding my plank-a-day? If so, that was sweet of him.

In the evening, my mom, dad and brother Kevin came over to join Dana and me for tacos. Abbie and Moose have yet to become buddies, so Abbie made her way over to her little roost where she overlooked the situation.

abbie

I used the chicken I had used for my bone broth for the chicken tacos. I diced the chicken meat, added it into my pan on the stove top, added bone broth, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and salt and pepper. I let it all simmer together until the liquid evaporated.

I also made refried beans with black beans which I cooked on the stove, again with cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper (no paprika), salsa, cilantro, and some diced tomato. I added a touch of bone broth as well to get it moving along and let it simmer for a short while.

I got all of the fixings together and then dinner was ready. Tacos are so easy to make and always so darn good. I ate my tacos in lettuce cups but we also had corn tortillas for everyone.

chicken tacos

After dinner, we all hung out and I played beauty shoppe with mom. I’ve never been too good with hair but I like to try being creative every once and a while, and mom is the perfect client. Her hair is the perfect texture that holds well to styling, and I’m pretty sure she is okay with the free head massage. Who doesn’t like getting their hair fanangled? I know I do.

mom

I also thought a little TLC from the family may help fight this thing off, but unfortunately this morning I woke up feeling worse than yesterday. The darn cold definitely got me much to my dismay. You can’t always win as hard as you may try. :smile:

Let’s just hope I feel better as the day progresses. Even though it got me, I won’t let it stick around for long. Okay, enough of my belly aching. I hope you all are feeling well, staying active, eating healthy nourishing foods, and getting plenty of sleep. Take care!

Enjoyable Salmon and the Room Reveal

It’s a hot water with lemon and honey type of morning over here. I am most definitely fighting some type of head cold with symptoms of stuffy nose, sore throat, and “stuffy” throat if you know what I mean. I will NOT get sick(er) though, and I will fight it off (positivity really helps!).

I’m thinking it should be a fruit and veggie-packed smoothie kind of morning too to get a kick-start on those vitamins.

Let’s talk about Monday. First thing in the morning our pampered pooch had an appointment at the vet. He was less than thrilled about it as you can see.

moose

It was time to get his pearly whites cleaned up. Although we do brush his teeth and give him Nylabones and other bones to chew on, he still has some buildup on his teeth and has grade I gingivitis. The vets highly recommend the teeth cleaning because gingivitis can lead to further serious health conditions if not controlled. Since we love the little guy SO much, we dished out the dough and got it done. His teeth turned out beautifully.

I had some running around to do throughout the late morning/lunch hour, so I stashed some snacks in my purse: carrots, snap peas, and an apple. I had quite the little day and I am excited to share it with you very soon.

purse snacks

There aren’t too many food photos to share with you from yesterday because my day of eats was too random and not the most balanced either, and I didn’t feel like snapping a photo of every little snack I consumed.

I was finally done with all of my appointments and errands at 4:30 at which point I had planned on getting a good core workout in, but by the time I got home I was in no mood to do anything strenuous. My energy was zapped and I was starting to feel symptoms of the cold. But I wasn’t ready to call all exercise off, instead I laced up and headed downstairs for a leisure walk on the treadmill while reading a book. I walked for 45 minutes and completed my plank-a-day, and was so glad I did. It gave me the little boost of energy I needed. When do I ever regret a workout? Never.

Dinner was something special last night. My friend Patti read that I was trying to eat salmon once a week and trying to learn to like it, so she recommended a recipe for me to try. It was very simple which I always appreciate.

What I did was melt a little butter on the stove top, add sliced almonds, capers, and finally sesame oil. It doesn’t take long to make the sauce so I waited until the salmon and green beans were nearly done on the grill (yes we grilled last night—wooo!—no salmon stinky house) to get it going. Once everything was cooked I plated the green beans which I just steamed in aluminum foil on the grill, then the salmon, and finally the almond glaze.

salmon

OMG—I actually loved my salmon last night! It may have been a combination of being able to grill the salmon on a real grill outside along with the awesome crunchy sweet and salty topping that really made it, who knows, but whatever it was, I truly enjoyed this dish. Thank you for the recommendation. They are always welcome! :smile:

The rest of the night was spent planning out our meals for our vacation, watching the Bachelor, and having a snack or two. Pour Sean is in a tizzy. These girls are really yanking at his heart-strings. :wink:

*****************
So, guess what? The laundry room is finished! It took us about two weeks to complete and it feels so great to have it done.
Before the renovation, the room was dirty, cold, unorganized, and you felt like you had to wear shoes if you were going to go in there. Now, the floor is tiled, the walls and shelves are all painted, and all of our “junk” is organized!
Here are some before and after photos; mind you that we moved a ton of stuff from our living room area into the laundry room where we plan to permanently store it, so although it may looked slightly more cluttered, you’re right it is, but it is in an organized fashion. The walls are a very soft blue color called fresh air. Ahhhhhh…
Before:

laundry room before

 After:laundry room after

Before:

laundry room before

After:

laundry room afterBefore:
laundry room before

After:

laundry room done

laundry room after

Before:

laundry room before

After:

laundry room done

Who knew I could be so excited about a laundry room renovation! How times have changed.

These photos are a little embarrassing because you are witnessing firsthand all of the junk that we own. It amazes me how much stuff two people can accumulate. My next project is to sort through all of this stuff, hopefully get rid of a bunch of it, and then reorganize it again.

So now that a good majority of the living room is finally cleared out downstairs, we can hopefully tackle that room next in the near future. This whole renovation thing is kind of addicting. First we did the bathroom downstairs, now the laundry room, and next most likely the living area, and eventually two bedrooms and a workshop! It will be a while on all of that though. :smile:

Okay, I’m going to go nurse this throat and get ready for the day. I hope you all have a great Tuesday and are feeling healthy!

Restore My Health

Well I am just so excited it’s Saturday. Anyone else? We have big plans to finish up the laundry room today and it’s the perfect day to do it because it is pretty cold outside again today. It will be nice to stay warm and cozy inside.

You’ll be so proud of me because yesterday I once again did NOT have a banana with peanut butter for breakfast. It was a smoothie morning instead. In this green madness was kale, kefir, banana, Jay Robb egg white protein powder and a small spoonful of PB2. I wasn’t in love with this one but it was okay. Maybe I really wasn’t in a smoothie mood?

green smoothie

I had a chiropractor appointment in the morning which went really well and then it was time to bring the car back into the shop. The back left blinker keeps going out and this was the 4th time we had been in to get it fixed. Very frustrating. I packed an apple for a snack and tossed back a few cashews before we left the house.

We dressed warm (long underwear pants, multiple layers on top, two pairs of gloves, two pairs of socks, hat, coat, boots) and walked over to the grocery store near by to pick up some carrots while they were working on the car. Yes, we went just for carrots. For some reason we didn’t do a very good job last weekend of stocking up on veggies and I was really wanting some more around the house to tide me over until Sunday when we go grocery shopping again.

melanie jump melanie jump 2 melanie jump 3

After waiting around for TWO hours we finally got our car back and fixed. It better stay fixed this time!

On the drive home I snacked on our purchase.

carrot snack

Once home I made myself a banana with peanut butter. Creative right? :wink:

pb banana

Then I got to work on my February Fitness Challenge. I turned on Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred workout DVD and completed one of her workouts. There are three levels in this DVD and I went with level one yesterday and was already feeling the burn. I really like how she combines multiple muscle groups in each movement, like doing a squat and then a dumbbell overhead arm press (probably not the correct terminology but you know what I mean).

I have a long way to go with this challenge, but that’s okay, it was day one after all. After Jillian, I completed my plank-a-day and finished off with a 20 minute walk on the treadmill.

I reopened my workout log page to keep track of this challenge. I had it up on the blog for a while but always forget to update it with my workouts so I took it off, but I would like to track my workouts again so we shall see how well I do remembering. It may not stay up long. :smile:

Last night we met up with a bunch of our friends and watched/danced/sang to my cousins Tara and Amber’s band perform live. The show was part of a fundraiser for a hockey team and if we wore hockey jerseys to the event we were entered into a raffle, hence the reason we are all wearing hockey jerseys. We didn’t win that particular raffle but Brian and Amanda did win one of the many prizes that were given away: a giant basket of snacks!

melanie amanda stacy

My cousin Amber (one of the singers) cozying up with Dana…

dana and amber

And the award for best dressed for the night goes to Adam…

Adam

I had SO much fun last night. Maybe too much fun. We danced our socks off.

girls dancing

I’m hoping to restore my body today and get it back to its normal self. We got back home around midnight and my internal alarm clock woke me up at 7:00 this morning and would absolutely not let me go back to sleep. Seven hours is enough for a good majority of people, but not for me. It’s a good thing we have a low-key day today.

I just refueled with a protein packed breakfast and am drinking plenty of water, so cross my fingers I come around soon.

Have a fabulous day my friends.

Question of the day: What’s your remedy for restoring health after a night out?