Hi, all! I'm a week behind, but was so excited to share with you a little peek from our first trip of the season to the Collingswood Farmer's Market over Memorial Day weekend. Of course this included a MUCH-REQUESTED quesadilla and guacamole from Tortilla Press....
...and a surprise run-in with the town's May Days, where we had lots of window shopping and face paining fun.
And along with all of that fun, of course there was lots of jewels from the market. And of course the one that shines brightest at this moment is the plentiful asparagus...
And since there's such an abundance to go around at this moment, I have to share one of my favorite recipes that I make EVERY year during asparagus season with you guys. ALSO I'm getting to share this recipe with the lovely Collingswood Blogger project again this year...so excited!
So here goes...
Roasted Asparagus & Balsamic Brown Butter with Pasta
This was one of the first recipes I ever pinned to my Pinterest board, and one I actually moved to my "Pinned & Made" folder early on (don't even get me started on the ratio of pinned to madeJ) hahahahhahaa) The recipe sounds SUPER FANCY, but is actually sooooooooooooo easy!
First up is the roasted asparagus (at 350 for 30 minutes)...
Then I boiled some pasta, and while I had it draining in the sink, I added the 1/2 cup of balsamic RIGHT to the spaghetti pot in an effort to do ONE LESS DISH with tonight's dinner! hahahahahhaa...
After you let the balsamic boil down for about 5 minutes, you add in a 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar and a few tablespoons of butter and allow that to melt all together...
Once the butter is melted, toss in the pasta, asparagus & 1/3 cup of grated cheese and MIX, MIX, MIX!
How easy is THAT??? And I'm tellin ya, the balsamic/butter sauce is NOT to be believed!!! Boiling the balsamic (and the help of the pinch of brown sugar) sweetens it up, while the butter makes it lovely & luscious. And we swapped penne for angel hair in the recipe, so you occasionally get a nice twirl of roasted asparagus mixed in. DELISH!
Hope you have fun trying this one out in our green days of the season😍
Hey guys! I thought I'd share with you guys a few of my 'must haves' for working out. Now I love, love, love going to the gym and taking classes. It's probably my #1 motivator is a great class with an excellent teacher (Jackie Smiley-Edwards, Ruth Gatling, Cyndi Primerano, Jenna Wexler, Meredith LaBrie, Leslie Tietjen, Chrissy Frascella, Joe LaBella & Del Camden...I'm lookin at you!) But these days, since I spend MOST of my days running to and fro to gyms to teach my OWN classes, I'd be lying if I said it was an easy task to get back out the door to the gym at the end of the day. So truth be told, I've been doing a LOT of working out at home and here are a few of my at-home MUST HAVES:
1.- BE REALISTIC & LOVE WHAT YOU DO!
This is KEY to ALLLLLLL THINGS HEALTH & WELLNESS that many overlook so quickly, especially when starting a new fitness and eating plan. Ya gotta look at your life and figure out where you can fit in healthier choices. I KNOW when we get started, we're all convinced we can eat kale 3 meals a day and run a 5K daily. And if you can? That's AWESOME. But if you're like most of us? After a few weeks, that motivation starts to wane and you find yourself slowly starting to unravel. So FIND WHAT YOU LIKE AND WHAT YOU CAN DO. I'll try almost anything, but I know at the end of the day walking, dance & yoga are my happy place, so when all else fails? I can always come back to that. I've tried to convince myself I'm a runner and guess what? I'm not and THAT'S OK. Or maybe down the line, I will be...who knows! (ummm...10 years ago I never woulda thought I'd be a yoga person, so....😉) Do what you enjoy WHEN you can do it. 6 years ago, it was easy for me to get to the gym most nights of the week. Now? Not so much. DO WHAT YOU CAN, WHEN YOU CAN.
It doesn't have to be as many as the mixed sets I've collected over the years, but just one good ole set of weights to get those triceps & biceps a-workin'. Even back in the day before I had any weights? I used to use water bottles! Anything that can add a little resistance to those arms helps you feel lean & sculpted pretty quickly. If I get nothing else done for the rest of the day, I always try to squeeze in a quick workout with the arms. (bicep curls, lateral raises, overhead presses, triceps, front raises) Anything to get those arms working from all angles.
3.- My Phone
I know, I know...I still feel so weirdly 2017 when I say this (because my heart & soul still resides squarely in the late 90's/early millenuim😊), but my cellphone has become SUCH a tool for working out these days. Whether it's using the incredible app Aaptiv, which combines on-demand guidance of a trainer mixed with the perfect playlist (How awesome is that??) or using Youtube to find workouts by your favorite trainers, it's AMAZING what you can have at your fingertips these days. I'll usually play a workout on my phone while I catch up on....
4.-A stack of guilty pleasures
YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT! I SAID IT! This is DEFINITELY part of my workout essentials, because how can you make a guilty pleasure feel less guilty??? By combining it with a workout! That's how! And do you know how FAST a work out goes by when mixed with a couple old episodes of Laguna Beach ('STE-VEN!') or The Real Housewives??? SUPER FAST. AND I don't feel guilty one bit! It's always my excuse to watch one of my good ole shows, without the guilt of how I feel when I'm 'wasting time' just sitting on the couch with a workout that feels like it just FLIES by. Ohhhhh yeahhhhhhh😉
So there you have it...there's how I make sure to get my workouts in DAILY😊 Find whatever it is YOU need to do to make yourself feel motivated and you'll find yourself being MUCH more consistent with workouts. And if I know anything, consistency is SO KEY to keeping yourself FEELING FIT.
What are your workout must-haves??
And thank you to Aaptiv for the awesome post idea. Go check em out!
Hi, guys! Sorry for the delay but my days just keep get crazier & crazier lately😊 And since I've been crazy busy (just like ya'll!), I've been trying to focus more on getting as many meals prepped so I can have enough healthy options to grab & GO. Also trying my best for us to eat as healthy as we can to keep UP with the schedules. ...at least I'm trying. Considering I've had 2 colds in three weeks, I'm not sure how well I'm doing😉 ANYWAY, so on top of trying to eat healthier, some times I just want to take the THINK work out of it and let something else lead the way. And this time of year, the guiding force is the Tone it Up Bikini Series! The last time we did the series was in 2015 and we both were very happy with how we felt at the end of eight weeks...even while I was pregnant with Lily😉 And while you can scroll all my old posts to find lots of meal options and suggestions (I'm coming for you pesto quiona bowl!), I think the series has evolved to be MUCHHHHH easier. Not as many 40 ingredient recipes + an hour workout a day. The key to ANY healthy lifestyle is accessibility and this current program definitely has those elements. So here's a peek at what we've been eating lately (yes, Scott's following too😉): BREAKFAST: OK...so YES, of course Tone it Up suggests their protein pancakes and YES, those are good.... BUT!!! BUT, BUT, BUT!! THESEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE protein pancakes are the BEST:
I'm so obsessed with this brand that the first day I made them for breakfast, I made them AGAIN for lunch and then proceeded to drive to Shoprite and purchase about 7 more bags😉 The cinnamon apple is great, the banana hazelnut is good (just doesn't taste much like banana), but my favorite is still the plain ole' buttermilk. I've had them with peanut butter (for more protein for hungrier days), syrup and even just plain fruit and they're all REALLY good. Because it's not just about the taste with protein pancakes, but the texture and these are SPOT-ON in both categories. (Make sure you let the batter sit for the suggested three minutes for the extra FLUFFY pancake)
Other FABULOUS grab & go breakfast options (TIU always kills it in the breakfast game!) we've had are...
Snacks are KEY to keeping your blood sugar steady throughout the day...aka-keeping hunger at bay. I've been so busy prepping lunches the last couple months that once I started prepping snacks also, they help soooooo much in keeping you honest & healthy with your diet. I always forget this fact so quickly for some reason😉 But truth be told, I never ONCE craved chocolate the last week or so...because I never got to lunch STARVING. Snacks are key, people. SNACKS.
I actually prepped a batch of these on Sunday and have to bake up another batch today since not only did WE really like these, but so did the kids! I love that their base is not SOLELY protein powder, but also mixed with almond meal or oat flour (which you know I LOVEEEE!)
This is also great for afternoon snacks and just the perfect little bite of sweet. Bonus: I was surprised the ONE tablespoon of maple syrup for the whole recipe gave JUST enough sweetness to make this feel like a treat.
For dressing I just used those little 90 calorie packs of guacamole from Calavo. Not only are they grab-and-go and preportioned, BUT it also KEEPS THE GUAC GREEN. Cause who wants grey avocado dressing??😝😝
AKA-throw healthy veggies & protein in a collard green and wrap it up! Scott liked the collard greens, but I'm swappin out for iceberg next time...just cause I like it better even if it's not as nutritious. These wraps were grilled chicken, hummus, red peppers, sprouts (LOVE SPROUTS!), carrots & cucumbers. We also had chicken, black bean, red pepper & more 90 calorie guacamole, which were also delicious.
This week's lunch and I'm INLOVE😍 We swapped the yogurt for 1/4 mashed avocado and it's just AWESOME. The Ezekiel bread is good, but for today's I swapped it for that above-mentioned iceberg lettuce wrap and really loved it.
If there's one thing I'm never crazy about the TIU program, is that the dinners can be pretty boring, even if protein and vegetables really is the way to go on the health front. That said, you're also eating so well during the day that most times ya kinda don't even care what's for dinner. Not to mention, they've also made their dinner options EXTREMELY easy. Most days last week we had this one: