Healthy Eats and Adventures in the Snow

We’re snowed in thanks to Winter Storm Jonas! I worked from home on Friday, and it came in strong and snowed until last night with some sleet in between. I did a little bit of baking and cooking and will do some more today.

Yesterday I woke up and made some whole wheat biscuits using this recipe. I used coconut oil instead of butter but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. I’ve been trying to eat a bit more balanced, and this was my first time baking with whole wheat flour. They turned out great!

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And then we made breakfast biscuits with local eggs and bacon, and a little bit of cheese from Whole Foods. Delicious.

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Of course I needed to make something sweet. I wanted chocolate and to try something new, so I found this great recipe for no bake brownie batter using oat flour. It was tough not to eat them all at once!

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By the time evening came we wanted to get out, so we decided to make the trek to The Grill, a local bar and grill. It’s about a mile away, and we walk there often. The walk in the snow is a bit more difficult though.. It was great to get a little exercise and see other people! It was packed; I think it was the only place open. We got a couple beers, and I got grilled chicken with brie.

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Did you see the icicles at the Grill? We have some major ones at our house too. And Marlee loves the snow! So much fun.

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Are you snowed in? Have you ventured out?

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Holiday Recap

I can’t believe Christmas is over! Everyone said it didn’t feel like Christmas because of the warm weather, but growing up I spent Christmas in Florida visiting my grandma so I didn’t mind the warm weather one bit. It went by so quickly though, and I can’t believe it’s almost 2016.

I got to make some treats for the holidays, which are all long gone now. My sweet tooth never fails, and these were fantastic. I made peanut butter blossoms that I talked about here along with chocolate turtles using dates and chocolate peanut butter balls. YUM!

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It’s great having both Craig and my families in town, and this year we decided to not see everyone on Christmas (our live Four Christmases like the movie). Having Christmas on Friday is great, though, because we had all weekend to see everyone!

Christmas Eve we had a big feast at Craig’s mom and stepdad’s. We had beef tenderloin with gravy, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes (that we brought), green beans, black eyed peas (love them), and bread. Craig’s mom makes the best pound cake, so we took a piece home to share. We spent the night at our house and woke up Christmas morning to exchange gifts. Marlee got her gifts first..

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Then off to my mom’s for brunch! We have a tradition in my family to eat ham gravy on Christmas with Smithfield country ham, which I love. My mom’s dad taught her to make it, and now that I think about it I need to learn how! We stayed there for a bit and then came back to our house Christmas evening, and saw the rest of our families over the weekend.

And for gift highlights.. I don’t know how to highlight just some because they were all so great!

  • Frye boots (from Craig) – could not love them (or him) more!
  • Pyrex snapware – cooking means food storage and so does packing lunch everyday; these are sooo great
  • Hiking shoes – I’m so eager to hike more but have to wait until my knee heals more (I’m tired of waiting!) and these will be great for our Cali trip in April
  • Lunch bag – I desperately needed a new one and this is so cute! Love all my Scout stuff

What food and gifts did you enjoy this year?

Weekend Recap: King’s Arms Tavern

The weekend before Christmas means lots of family time! I had a great time on Saturday with my family, and then on Sunday we were with Craig’s family. They have a tradition of going to dinner at King’s Arms Tavern, which is located in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg.

The restaurant is in an old house with the old time feel. Dinner was by candlelight and the servers were dressed in the garb from colonial times. Beer was served in huge ceramic mugs, which was fun. They had my favorite cider – Bold Rock! Craig and I split their famous peanut soup, and then I had the most delicious salad with toasted almonds and goat cheese. For the main course I got “Hunter’s Game Pye.” Think chicken pot pie except with rabbit, venison, and duck. I ate about half and then took the rest home because it was heavy but so good. We walked around some while we still had some light, and they even had a garden out back!

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Weekly Recap: Spicy Wings and Peanut Butter Cookies

So many good recipes this week! It’s hard to pick just a couple to share. I think the highlight would have to be wings. I pinned a bunch of wing recipes SO LONG AGO but still hadn’t tried cooking them, which I can’t believe. I used this recipe from Stupid Easy Paleo for Jalepeno Lime Chicken Wings. I used a habanero instead of jalepenos and man was it spicy and so delicious. I have so many habaneros (and jalepenos) in my freezer that I got from my co-worker this summer. I absolutely love having them on hand, and they thaw quickly. We grilled the wings since we’ve been having nicer weather (and added a few other things to the grill too!). We split the sausage link that we got from the farmer’s market and had broccoli on the side. That was the first time we grilled broccoli, and we’ll definitely be grilling it again.

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We’re on a roll for trying new fish – might have to try another new one next week. This week we had mahi mahi and used a Maple Cajun recipe found here from All Recipes. We still had cajun seasoning leftover from last week when we made fresh tuna, which worked out perfectly.

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We made cooked some sweet potatoes in olive oil and boiled some frozen veggies to go with it. Pretty simple dinner, which is always a plus. The fish was a little more juicy than others, which was a nice mix up. I can’t wait to make mahi mahi tacos soon!

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Lastly I made some peanut butter cookies that were incredible. This will definitely be a regular recipe all year round. I have been eating so much cashew butter and almond butter, but I’ve missed peanut butter! And good thing because I bought a bunch of organic peanut butter from Costco. Craig and Marlee love it too… These were Flourless Vegan Peanut Butter Blossoms from Eating Bird Food. I opted for the non-Vegan option and used an egg, and I pressed them down slightly before baking using a parchment paper. I love Enjoy Life chocolate chips and was happy to find a recipe for the chunks because I usually prefer the minis 🙂

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Fitness was a bit light this week, which is hopefully a good thing for my knee. I added some additional PT exercises that increased the knee pain some, so after a painful body flow class on Monday I decided to truly take it easy and focus on my recovery. So lots of exercises, stretching, and foam rolling!

Weekly Recap: Favorite meals and workouts

This was a great week! We usually do fairly easy dinners, and while the meals we made this week were pretty simple, some weeks are not nearly as thought out or prepared. The highlight was wild caught tuna. We usually get wild caught salmon, but sadly our local health foods grocery store has stopped carrying it for the winter. Craig wanted to get tuna and I was pretty skeptical because I’ve never had it before and I used to not like fish at all (glad I got over that picky eating). It was great though! We did a blackened tuna recipe inspired by All Recipes, and made our own Cajun seasoning also using an All Recipes recipe. We coated the fish with the seasoning and then cooked it in a cast iron skillet with coconut oil. We sauteed some broccoli to go with it, and there was our dinner.

Earlier in the week we made a Mexican Quinoa dish, which was delicious and made enough for a couple lunches (always a plus). We used this recipe and swapped out chicken stock instead of vegetable stock and used regular diced tomatoes since that’s what we had. A perfectly ripe avocado really made this dish!

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Lastly we made chicken burgers last night. We accidentally bought ground chicken instead of turkey (rookie mistake) but rolled with it and it was pretty good! Super spicy and delicious. We put some organic white cheddar cheese on top (a treat for me), baked some sweet potato chips with cayenne, and heated up some frozen veggies.

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On the fitness front I am diligently working on my strengthening and stretching exercises from PT. I’m eager to get back out there but I know it’s going to take some time to get better. In reality I’ve dealt with this injury for a long time (in case you missed it, more on that in the Richmond Race Recap). The thing that’s hard is that the exercises take so much time and feel slow, even though the core work and glute strengthening is challenging for me. I have been doing the elliptical and yoga or body flow.

This week I finally made it to Om On Yoga! It’s right around the corner and Craig got me 10 classes for my birthday (back in August). I didn’t go at first because I was training for the half and then was injured. I am so happy to have gone finally. I haven’t done yoga at a studio (only the gym and a couple places outside of Richmond). I knew it would be different, and it was in some ways. The studio was a bit smaller, which was nice, and the instructor was great. It was a vinyasa class, which I’ve done a bunch before at the gym, and I’m glad I had because otherwise I would have been lost. Some things were faster paced, and so many planks! I was sore the next day. I’m excited to have added this to my keychain and try out some other classes soon. They have a Sunday evening candlelight class, which will be super fun!

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And so it begins

I never thought I’d start a blog, but then again I never thought I’d run a half marathon or give up gluten. So here we are. My hope is to share my life of wellness, particularly through fitness and food. As far as fitness goes, I guess I’m a runner now… I’m still not used to that since I hated it so much before. It was always a chore, something I had to do, but not anymore! I love yoga, and I want to become a better yogi. I enjoy classes at the gym, most recently body flow (a combination of yoga, tai chi, and pilates). Craig got me a tennis racquet for my birthday, but I’m not very good yet.  Maybe one day. Oh and hiking is great! This is the view from a hike we did at Wintergreen. Marlee came so we didn’t go too far, but I need to get her in better shape because she LOVES hiking!

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As far as food goes, I love it. When I was following paleo, it was easy to explain to people how I ate. Now it’s a little bit harder because there’s no label for how I eat. I just eat well, “clean.” I love to eat real, whole foods. I love shopping at farmer’s markets and eating local when I can. I try to eat organic and non-GMO foods. This past summer I bought fresh produce from my co-worker and loved getting these baskets delivered to my desk each week!

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So this is the start of my journey recording my life striving to eat well and live well because it’s made such a big difference in my life!