Monday, January 31, 2011

Eats & Sweets

Happy Monday! Ha, that's the best oxymoron ever, isn't it?? I guess for some people out there, Mondays really are a good thing.. just not for this one right here.

It's probably my own fault because I stay up too late on Sundays, trying to squeeze everything I possibly can out of my weekend, but I prefer to blame it on the weekend itself; how dare it be so short??

Anywho, just thought I'd take a minute or two to upload a few pics. Strangely enough, I'm finding that I absolutely LOVE photographing food. I don't know what it is, it's just such fun times to me. And that means that you, my friends get to look at them; which may cause you to jump to the next blog right now...I understand; my feelings won't be hurt.

For those who are silly like me, here you are.
Friday night was date night which, for us meant the gym. We are weird I know, but because we don't get any days off together anymore (frown face), hitting up the gym on a Friday night is just fine with us!

After the gym it was late and neither of us felt like cooking or going out.

QFC to the rescue!... bag salad and his/hers chips for dinner? sure, why not.


I chose Terra Chips... some of my faves for sure! These guys are so stinking tasty! To make sure I didn't eat the whole bag, I crinkled them on my salad for some crunch instead.


Hers and His, respectively


No Date Night is complete at the Soltman household without a little booze.


Some good quality time together!


Saturday morning Lucas got up for work and I went to my very favorite workout class! I love love love it! If you're in the Seattle area, you should definitely look-up http://www.iannitraining.com/. I have been to enough classes/bootcamps/personal trainings to confidently say that Christine Ianni is the best out there right now. Her dedication to learning the the most recent info in exercise science ensures that she'll always come to class armed with something new and body-changing.


After class I was able to enjoy a leisurely breakfast that included oatmeal with almond milk, greek yogurt, almond butter, flax meal, maple syrup, carob chips and coconut. phew that was a loaded breakfast. So very good, but rich enough that even my bottom-less pit of a stomach couldn't finish.




After a wonderful Saturday filled with friends, then an Ikea trip with my favorite woman, I had a tired Monday and was extremely excited to come home and not workout! I was giddy with my extra time! What did I do with it you ask? Well.. not much. I make some of my favorite snack butter which includes carob chips, coconut and almonds, ate a packet of roasted seaweed (my other fave snack), and then sat down to play with pictures while cuddling my Bella girl.

Lucas is working late tonight, so I made my own little dinner. Greek yogurt, blueberries and my snack butter. Yum!

Here's looking forward to Tuesday!











Thursday, January 27, 2011

Brunch is Best

I've finally gotten around to uploading pictures from our Girls' Brunch on Sunday.
My wonderful friends picked out an amazingly earthy-chic restaurant called Cafe Flora.

Nestled in a cute Seattle neighborhood, it's an all-vegetarian, halfway-vegan, breakfast-lunch-dinner restaurant that mixes organic ease with beautiful plating and DELICIOUS food.


(it wasn't really empty - I stole this picture from google)


Let me just tell you how much I love brunch. It is the best meal ever invented.
I dare you to disagree...

My tasty Irish Oats with almonds, currants and cherries.

Yum



Kylee's pancakes - don't worry I tasted them and they were very delish

Annie & Elsa's Grits and Scramble w/ Veggie Sausage. Also very good (yes I tasted this as well)


Molly's French Toast - So pretty! I didn't taste this one, but Molly has very discerning taste and I tend to believe her when she tells me things are good.


Late breakfast with friends and champagne? I'm sorry, but it doesn't get better than that.
Good times!

Oh, Nicole...

Enough with food for a while....

Bring on the obsessions!!!

Nicole Richie. Seriously. Love. Since her first appearance on my little TV in The Simple Life, I have been a huge fan. She was SO stinking funny on that show. Completely incognizant of a little something called inhibitions, she was my hero, quick wits and all.
Now, years later, I love her for another reason: her style.

She is my number one right now for sure and I can not wait to get my hands on a Winter Kate piece such as this.
Or one of these..


Or perhaps this gem... Vegas anyone??


I am just completely obsessed with her Spring 2011 line; any one of the pieces would do..

Oh, and her kids are so cute right??


LOVE!
Happy Thursday.








Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Overnight Oats

So for some time now, I've seen post after post on my favorite healthy living blog, peanutbutterrunner showcasing "overnight oats." I don't know why, but I was totally confused.. are they just normal oats? Do you cook them? What's so different??

Finally last night, I took some time to do a little research and found a few different recipes to try out for myself. Yes, you can eat them straight out of the fridge, yes, they're normal rolled outs (for most of the recipes), and the biggest difference I've noticed so far is the oh so smooth texture and the added richness in flavor. I made my first first batch last night and am now in heaven as I enjoy them this morning.
Sorry for the horrible picture, Mr. Blackberry isn't nearly as helpful as Ms. Rebel.

Here's what I did:
Mixed 1/2 Cup rolled oats with 1/2 cup Almond milk
Added a teaspoon of pumpkin spice, mixed and left in the fridge overnight.
This morning, I added a healthy helping of almond butter - most likely too much, but I have a problem okay?- flax meal, and just because I was feeling crazy some agave syrup and sunflowers for crunch.
I tasted it cold and was pleasantly surprised.. the oats' texture was almost the same as being cooked. Still, because it is freezing out, I warmed it up just a tad before eating. So good! So stinking rich though. I think next time I might use part almond milk, part water.
Anyone else ever tried oats this way before?? I want more suggestions for sure :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My New Friend, Millet

After rushing out of work at exactly 4:30, then a very slow & annoying commute, I made it to my Body Pump class 1 minute late. I hate being late so much that usually this situation would cause me to forgo the class, jumping on an eliptical (booooo) instead, but today I was determined not to loose! I rushed around gathering my weights and mat and took my place in the crowded room.

I feel mean saying this, but January drives me nutso-bananas at the gym. Everyone comes out of the woodwork with their well-meaning NY resolutions, only to give up a month later. Mean I know.. but it's not that I don't wish them well.... I just wish them out of my class.

The great news about going to class tonight was that A. Despite my neighbor inching into my personal space, I had a great strength workout and B. I was finished by 6:30 - enough time to make dinner for my hubs at a reasonable hour. I'm enjoying the different recipes on Clean but it seems to take me forever to cook them, most likely due to the fact that it's my first time cooking each one. Needless to say, it was nice finishing before 8.

Dinner for Lucas (tomorrow's lunch for me) was a millet and kale recipe I found on a health blog.
Although it called for saffron and a few other spices I didn't have, it was easy enough to modify with what we did have.


Warm garlic and olive oil in pan
Add Masala seasoning (or whatever you have!) and 1 Cup Millet
Toast it up a bit
Add in 3 Cups veggie broth and a bunch or so of Kale - I chopped mine up.
Bring to a boil, then simmer and cover for around 15 mins.
Before serving, mix in a handful of chopped walnuts
Good stuff I tell you!
I had to convince Lucas that he didn't need "a protein" with it, but once he wrapped his mind around that part, he enjoyed it a lot, loving the somewhat Indian flavor especially.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Clean - Week 2

I had such a good weekend and am only now getting into gear with the new week. After a visit from Dad on Friday and a house full of friends Saturday, I'm here to give a little re-cap.

Week 1 going Clean went pretty darn great. The first two days were a little sluggish, but after that I definitely felt more alert and energized. I never felt too hungry, never too full....I think I even felt a little bit brighter. Is that weird?

My week of health continued until Saturday evening...
We had some wonderful friends come into town to stay with us and, color me silly, but I didn't think they would want a green protein shake for dinner.
With Game Night ahead of us, my friend and I doing the Cleanse together decided that we would take sat/sun off and enjoy our company - wine included.
This is normally where I would interject an "Ooops" but I didn't feel badly about it then and I don't feel badly about it now, after two more successful days back on.
I am, however, planning on staying Clean throughout the weekend coming up. I'm excited to see if there will be any more rewards coming my way!

Here's an example of some of the things I've been enjoying.

Hummus Crusted Chicken with spinach and arugula salad - SO good. I made this dinner for Lucas and my Dad on Friday while I drank my shake. It made a good lunch the next day though :)
Even though I ended up making my own hummus, using pumpkin seed butter instead of tahini (just what I had in the fridge), the recipe says store bought is just fine.



Kale and Lentil Soup - eh, it was okay. I didn't follow a recipe because I was being lazy, but I probably should have.

Roasted butternut squash, parsnips, beets and onions turn into.....


such yummy soup! I blended the roasted veggies with veggie broth and coconut milk. Loved



Friday Night

Dad and Lucas "boxing"


Saturday
Game Night!!!! I love love love game nights. I believe that there should be one once a month for sure. Who's hosting next??

Monday, January 10, 2011

I'm Going Clean..


...and it is not easy
After reading the GOOP post about all the benefits of Dr. Junger's cleanse, I am now attempting the 21 day detox myself. Leave it to Gweneth to convince me.

Now, I have mixed feelings about the word "cleanse" or "detox."
I have said many times in the past that I didn't really believe in strict detox diets; that if someone wanted to lose weight and change their diet, it's way better to do it little by little so it sticks.

I still believe this.
A funny thing happened to me this New Year's though. While brainstorming what my resolution would be, I realized that for the first time in all of my teenage to adult years, it wasn't going to be about losing weight or exercising more. This was a crazy realization, but one that felt very good.
I, of course will always want to be challenged by exercise and will find many new obsessions this year, I'm sure, but at this point, I don't feel any urge to commit to working out more than I am now, or losing any weight. For the first time maybe ever, I feel pretty comfortable in my body.

All that being said, I still had a resolution to figure out.
So, I decided that this should be the year that I get my body/mind/soul as healthy as possible.
I want to know what it feels like to have great balance and health, naturally. It's not that I don't feel strong and healthy now, but as many know, I deal with some continuing health issues that I would love to get even more under control.

Also - - this Clean thing is supposed to radically change your skin.. and I am never one to turn down a promise like that!



And after a very expensive Sunday shopping trip, I was ready to start.
I don't want to go too into what the 21 days consist of because it would take forever, but the "why" is so your body will be able to rid itself of toxins and re-start its own healing process, allowing for better sleep, skin, moods, and help for other chronic discomforts.

The cleanse is basically based on combining both liquid (smoothies) meals with solid meals each day, eliminating all foods that could potentially cause common allergies. There is oh so much more to it than that, but I'll explain a bit more later if people want to know. Or you could just go visit GOOP.com, go to "Do" and read Gwenny's take on it.
Day one is now over, and it was hard. Had a pretty good smoothie for bkfst, but was so sad to give up my English muffin w/ sunflower seed butter.

Lunch was a Larabar & apple - NOT enough food and I will not make that mistake tomorrow.
I've already prepared a pesto salmon and asparagus salad to take.

Dinner was a "green" smoothie. Hmm.. not the best tasting thing ever.. even w/ all the mango I put in, I could definitely taste the raw Kale. I will have plenty of time to experiment though.
I don't know if it was cheating or not, but I inhaled some roasted seaweed (my very favorite snack right now). I'll check on the rules later...

Now comes 12 hours in between my liquid meals, most of which will be spent sleeping. Yay - the best part so far.
I'm hoping that tomorrow I will start to feel that surge of energy and be completely content with my am smoothie.. raw caoco and almond milk anyone???
Had to take a picture of my blogging buddy. She sits on my lap, her paws over one of my arms, and my other arm over her back while typing; she doesn't seem to mind swaying with my arm as I type, so I don't mind the company.








Thursday, January 6, 2011

Throw-together Dinners

Sometimes I'm lazy okay? Don't judge... Mom..
Just because I'm lazy sometimes doesn't mean that I don't want to eat well. Good food, and good nutrition.
When *extremely rare evenings come along, there's only one solution: a throw-together dinner. And I don't want to brag, but Lucas and I are pretty darn accomplished with these.
Lucas may whip up some nachos and salad, or open some crackers with cheese and carrots and I transform my favorite snacks into a three course meal.

Examples:

Don't worry, I only ate one of those bars... but they are my favorite right now! so very delish



App

Salad
Main Course with a side of Dessert
It's good people, I'm telling you. Oh, and obviously most of the time there will be a glass of red wine to follow. Only because of the resveratrol, obviously.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

In Love With Lunges

I think I may be THE poster child for workout boredom. I tried looking the phrase up on Wikepedia to see if my picture was there, but it turned out that the phrase itself wasn't even on it... so I guess we'll just have to wait until it's incorporated on the website to find out.

That being said, there has been one tried and true exercise that has never let me down. It's helped me on the road to becoming a runner, it's added 'burn' to my step classes, and I believe that it has actually changed my body for the better.

It's name?

The Lunge.


This wondrous workout is a staple for any trainee. From the football player to the bodybuilder, to the soccer player, to the yogi, the lunge is an all-in-one exercise that gets all of the leg muscles involved, from the tipity toes all on up to the 'a' double 's.'

But wait, there's more! Here is the real genius of the lunge: its ability to involve your body in real action (no machines!) fosters kinesthesia.

Pause

Kinesthesia/Proprioception: the ability to sense the position and location and orientation and the movement of the body and its' parts. *Wikepedia

Why does this matter?

Balance, posture and stability. These things will take you even further in your training. whether it's for a race, skiing, or football.

It was not until recently that I actually spent time researching the lunge. I have, however, been feeling the changes in my running and exercise for much longer. I love feeling the strength in my stride as I run and the ability to jump higher with my burpees. Love

Still not enough motivation to burn those suckers out for five minutes after your spin or aerobic class??!
Here you are. Apparently, when asked what Eva Longoria's secret is to her rock hard glutes, she proudly replies: Lunges, lots of lunges