Saturday, September 24, 2011

Tone It Up Shredmill Workout

The Tone It Up girls did it again!  They have come up with another amazing workout for the TIU team.  Katrina and Karena posted the Shredmill on their blog which you can find HERE.

I am not one to do the same workout twice in a week because I like to switch it up to avoid getting bored or burnt out on one thing.  However, I did end up doing this one twice the week it was posted.  I liked it so much that the following week I ended up doing it twice in one day!  This last time I took out the breaks and stayed on the treadmill two times through.  Here is how it broke down for me:

This was a KILLER workout.  I had to dig deep, really deep, to finish those last sprints at 9 mph.  Next time I am going to reverse my sprints and do the faster ones first so I have more energy for them.  I felt extremely accomplished when I finished this workout.  There were a couple moments I had to mentally push myself to stay on the treadmill.  I just kept remininding myself during the sprints that I had a walk break coming and I can do this for one minute, it's only one minute at a time!

Sweaty mess!

60 minutes 5.83 miles 955 calories

*Choco Cherry Coffee Protein Smoothie*

It's officially Fall!  That means my smoothie consumption will be slowing down since the weather is getting colder.  Not until the snow flies though!  Then it will be time make all sorts of yummy hot drinks. 

This morning was perfect to get out for a nice Fall run.  The weather was cool and the sun was shining.  I only logged 3 miles today because I just wanted a nice and easy run. 
Today's running path

Okay, now onto the scrumptous post-run smoothie!  I bought some cherry extract yesterday so I was chomping at the bit to come up with a great tasting smoothie with it.  I knew I wanted it to have coffee and protein powder in it so here's what I came up with:

Hot pink cup from Target <3

Choco Cherry Coffee Protein Smoothie
1 frozen banana (cut up into chunks)
1 packet instant coffee (8oz serving size)**
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
3/4 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 tsp cherry extract
1/2 C ice

Blend all ingredients (do not prepare coffee, just use the packet) 1-2 minutes until smooth and THICK!  Enjoy! :)

Today I used Starbucks VIA Vanilla instant coffee. **To make a healthier version just use regular instant coffee packets that don't have added sugar. 

I have one more recipe brewing in my head that I want to try with the cherry extract, it is a protein shake (no coffee).  Hopefully I will get to make it soon and post a successful recipe post!! :)

Update: (10.20.2011) Made this again today and added 1 tsp Stevia to make it a little bit sweeter.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

*Peanut Butter Chocolate Coffee Smoothie*

Who doesn't love peanut butter, chocolate & coffee!?  Put them all together and I am in heaven. 

While vacationing in Arizona with my husband and daughter I had to check out a place called Gecko Espresso.  Jason, being the sweet man that he is, was googling Starbucks in the area we were staying.  The closest one was 15 minutes away so he continued searching and found this coffee shop one mile from the house.
I love the "beware of the attach gecko" sign on the wall. :)

When we went in to check it out we were greeted by the most friendly staff ever.  I wanted to bring this place back home with me!  They were so helpful in helping me choose the perfect drink.  After being asked a few questions the barista suggested a Peanut Butter Chocolate Freeze w/ a shot of espresso.  PERFECT!  I loved this drink so much that I decided I had to find a way to recreate it at home.  This coffee drink had the consistency of a milkshake.  My tastebuds were thanking the barista! 

Here is my version:
1 frozen banana (cut in pieces)
1 packet instant coffee (I prefer Starbucks VIA - any flavor)
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
3/4 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 T natural peanut butter (omit if you just want drink to be chocolate flavored)
1/2 C ice

Put all ingredients in blender and blend for one minute or until consistency is like a milkshake.  ENJOY immediately! :)

Walking trail - Gold Canyon, AZ

Hanging out in the house when the temps hit 108 and above :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I am a huge fan of grapefruit.  I usually slice it in half and then cut out all the individual sections on the inside before I devour the entire thing in less than 60 seconds (it's just so good!).  It takes me longer to prepare the grapefruit than it does for me to eat it.  Sometimes I sprinkle it with a little Stevia (an all-natural zero-calorie sweetener) but if a grapefruit is really good it does not need anything, it is so refreshing! 

I recently saw a post on Facebook from Tone It Up in which they suggested to put grapefruit along with strawberries in their water for flavor.  I use strawberries (and sometimes limes) on a regular basis in my water but I had never tried the grapefruit.  I filled a 2-liter pitcher with water and peeled one grapefruit.  I sliced it up and put it in the water along with some frozen strawberries.  I let this set all day before needed more time.  After the fruit soaked overnight the water tasted AMAZING! You can add a little Stevia if you want it to be sweeter.

I have one more use for grapefruit (noting goes to waste here).  Instead of throwing out the peel from the grapefruit, put it in a 2-quart sauce pan and fill with water.  I added in some cinnamon and vanilla extract.  Place over med-low heat and let water evaporate.  This will make your house smell so good and also puts a little humidy in the air during those dry Winter months.  (When water gets low just keep adding more, keep an eye on this so you don't burn your pan!)

One last thing...after the grapefruit peel has been simmering all day it will be soft enough to send down the garbage disposal with hot water.  It creates the BEST citrus smell ever! 

Have a great day! :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

*Fun at Trader Joe's*

While on vacation in Arizona I made it a point to check out Trader Joe's.  I have heard so much about this specialty grocery store from my Tone It Up trainers and the TIU members that I couldn't wait to go to one.  We do not have a Trader Joe's in South Dakota, BIG bummer!  Here are some of the items I found at Trader Joe's in Mesa, AZ.

I bought these for Mollie to eat for breakfast, she loves cereal bars!

This was another item I bought for Mollie.  Fruit & veggies all-in-one for a toddler is the perfect snack.  She really REALLY liked these.

YUM!  Wish I had bought another bag of this granola.  It's great to stir into Chobani greek yogurt for breakfast or quick snack.

Chocolate covered pomegranate seeds...need I say more?

Salsa with no tomatoes.  This was so good!  A little sweet with a hint of spice.

Mmmmm...needed something to dip in the salsa and these were amazing!

The greek yogurt was okay, but I am sticking to Chobani!

Fun snack!  Freeze dried fruit.  The strawberries were the best! 

In 113 degree heat staying hydrated is super important and these were a great way to flavor water with out any sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Outfit of the Day!
 Wet Seal: Gray tank $4, Gray t-shirt $11.
PacSun: Shorts $25 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

*HaPpY BiRtDaY to....ME!*

This is a few days late but my birthday (Sept. 7th) landed smack dab in the middle of our family vacation.  I tried to limit my internet time (Twitter, Facebook & blogging) so that I could relax and be with my hubby and daughter.  It was a low key but very fun birthday. 

I woke up at 6:30 and headed out the door for a two mile run in the Arizona dessert.  The temp was already in the mid 80's so working up a good sweat wasn't a problem!  I had my Pandora app on my phone set to the Britney Spears station.  "I I I wanna go go go all the way-ay-ay!"  Here was my running path:

After my run I enjoyed some instant Starbucks coffee with a splash almond milk.  I like to let it cool in the fridge and then enjoy it over ice. 

Breakfast: Greek yogurt 0% and gluten free granola from Trader Joe's.

After breakfast we got ready to head out for a lunch date.  We set the self timer on the camera and tried about 6 times to get a picture to work.  This was the only decent one.  You can tell by Jason's face it was getting a little frustrating!  ;)

Mollie wouldn't give me a birthday kiss so I planted a big one on her instead!

I decided that lunch at P.F. Chang's would be a perfect way to celebrate the big day.  YUM-O!  Okay, so the sodium content at this restaurant isn't exactly great but once in a while a splurge won't kill me.  
Miss Mollie

Kodak moment outside P.F. Chang's

We ordered Lettuce Wraps with Chicken for an appetizer.  These are the main reason we love P.F. Chang's!!  We have the waitress mix our sauce to a medium heat to pour over the lettuce wraps.  Mmmmm...

For dessert I ordered a mini lemon was definitely dreamy!

We decided to take our leftovers home with us to enjoy for lunch the next day.  We had ordered the Crispy Honey Chicken over brown rice. 

My fortune cookie :)

After lunch we headed to Superstition Springs Center Mall in Mesa, AZ.  We didn't buy much but it was still fun to look around.  Mollie sipped on a strawberry/banana smoothie while we shopped.  I found some GREAT deals!  I bought 6 pair of underwear and a bra for $38 at Victoria's secret.  I used my $10 off a bra and a free panty coupon I had received in the mail.  Then at another store I scored a cute summer dress, shoes and a belt all for under $50.  Jason and I both found a couple shirts at American Eagle to finish up our shopping trip.  

We then headed over to Whole Foods to find something to grill for dinner that evening.  We picked out a dozen shrimp and a steak that we would split. 

It was one HOT birthday!  The temp reached 113* and we decided it was time to head home and take a dip in the pool. 

Pool time while Mollie naps :)

The day wouldn't be complete without CAKE!  I ran down the road to the grocery store to pick one out to eat after dinner.  The selection wasn't the best so it came down to either a big piece of carrot cake or a mini vanilla cake with raspberry filling covered in shaved white chocolate.  Here's what I chose:

Mini raspberry filled cake - Jason and I split this after Mollie went to bed.

I had a really fun birthday hanging out with Jason and Mollie.  Being in Arizona made it even better!  :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

*Stale Granola? Crisp it up!*

I live in a state where the Summer months can get a bit humid.  During this season my bag of granola tends to get "soggy" or "stale".  Instead of throwing it out I use this trick to crisp it up!

Preheat your oven at 350 degrees.  Pour granola on baking sheet and spread out.  Bake for 5 min.  Take out of oven and let cool down while still on sheet.  As it cools it will become crispier.  Pour back into bag or container and it's ready to use! (This trick also works with cereal, crackers or chips.)

My favorite way to eat granola is to stir it into Chobani Greek Yogurt along with some blueberries (or bananas are good too!) and some chia seeds. 
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