Monday, December 23, 2013


I can always count on my mom to throw a new healthy recipe at me when I'm home. This morning before I woke up she left me this recipe on the counter:

Grainless Banana Bread in a Mug

I substituted almond butter into my mug, and made peanut butter for my dad. That paired with a warm cup of black coffee started off my morning swimmingly. I believe she found the original recipe here.

I've been back in the Chi now since Thursday night. Before boarding my flight, I found myself a real treat at the BWI airport:

Who knew Jamba offers Pumpkin smoothies? I opted for a small, and got it 'light' which I believe cuts out some of the sugar, shaving it down to closer to 200 cals. Still considered a treat in my book, but a tasty way to start off my trip.

Also, a big obligatory thanks to the sis and her pal Manda who braved the Chicago rush hour traffic on Thursday and picked myself and my 80 lbs of luggage up from Midway airport so that I wouldn't have to take the L. Can we just talk about how my big suitcase weighed exactly 50 lbs? 50.0. The Southwest lady at the check-in desk literally congratulated me.

Had to blur out some of Bri's offensive language.

Last night I decided to try to create my own version of a pumpkin smoothie. I threw in:

- 1/2 ripe banana 
-1 cup canned pumpkin
-1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
-3 TB honey
-1/3 cup cottage cheese (to thicken it up)
-A few ice cubes
-1/2 - 1 cup vanilla almond milk
-1 TB almond butter
-1 TB flaxseed

As you can see,  I paired that with some leftover green bean casserole and called it a dinner. I'm weird,  I know. I enjoyed the smoothie, and may throw some vanilla extract in there next time.

The weekend, in short, was a whole lot of Christmas, a whole lot of Jane, and a whole lot of snoozin'.

Grams & Santa

I stumbled upon this on Pinterest the other day and loved it. It may very well me my 2014 mantra.

I have some last minute Christmas shopping to knock out today, along with a basement workout on our elliptical/bike. Yes, I'm one of those people who waits to buy presents. It makes it easier to buy it here versus Baltimore and then have to pack them all.

Enjoy your second to last Monday of 2014 - I hope it treats you well.

Cheers -

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Packin' and Jammin'

I'm not going to lie, this week in food has been pretty absurd, as I have slowly eaten through my fridge and cabinets to leave myself with basically nothing (but a few eggs) before I depart for 16 days. The most interesting would probably have to be this:

Cucumbers stuffed with spicy tuna salad.... sub par.
And most awesome would have to be this:
a microwaved s'more, made with nutella. Not paleo, yes delicious.
In other news, the hypochondriac deep down inside of me has convinced myself that I fractured or tore something in my shoulder. It really hurt today, and also didn't feel great on my 6 mile run.

Yet the subtle masochist deep down inside of me is telling me to continue ignoring it. I mean, even if something is actually wrong, I'm unsure that would hold me back from skiing some Rocky Mountains when I'm out in Colorado next week. If it's messed up, may as well jack it up some more right?

Kidding. Kind of.

The past two hours of my life has entailed mucho packing. I always become a bit panicky prior to leaving for long trips. What if we go to a fancy dinner? What if I decide to work out twice in one day and need extra sports bras? What if one day I want to stay in my pj's all day long? Do I need to bring all four pairs of my boots?

The answer is obviously yes. Let's see if I make it past the 50 lb weight limit. Taking bets, ready go.

It's way past my bedtime, let's wrap this up. The plan is to get up early and do a couple circuit workouts that don't involve shoulders (ya good luck with that). I leave you all with my new favorite song. It makes me really happy, and incredibly excited to spend time with both my Chicago and Colorado friends these next two weeks.

The Script - Good Ol' Days

Cheers to that -


Monday, December 16, 2013

Eating Snow

Things that will not help my lack of motivation to workout: launching off a small cliff while skiing and slamming my full body weight onto my left shoulder.

Hello there whiplash.

I like to pretend that I’m a good skier. Every time I lock into my skis and hit the first few slopes of the day, I immediately start looking for obstacles to challenge myself with; small ramps of snow to go off of, moguls, those hidden trails through the trees.

I’m not that good. I’m reminded of this almost every winter, with a new kind of injury every time.
Andrew is a better skier than me – he demonstrates a little more caution and typically follows a few hundred meters behind me waiting for my ego to get too big and for me to then eat shit snow He comes up from behind, grab my skis that I managed to dismantle, and follows the same series of questions:

- "Are you OK?
- "How did that even happen?"
-"Maybe now you'll calm down a little bit?"
-Laughs, shakes his head, skis away.

The shoulder will heel; it already feels a bit better today. Until then, burpees and push-ups will have to wait.

Outside of taking a face full of snow, the weekend was awesome. It dumped snow up in Snowshoe West Virginia the entire weekend we were there; so much so that we had to get Andrew’s car pushed out of the parking spot yesterday on our way out. The weekend was full of fabulous food, (for the most part) great skiing, and really awesome conversation.

Now, it’s Monday. And I have all of these things to look forward to:

love my countdown app 

It’s home to Chicago this weekend for Christmas, and then off to Colorado the following week for New Years. Being gone for 16 days is definitely something I’m pumped for, but not so pumped to pack for. I’m also going to try hard this week to eat the last of what I have in my fridge/freezer, so that nothing goes bad while I’m away.

This should make for some pretty interesting meals. Stay tuned. Hope your 
week is looking fabulous. If it’s not, here’s one last happy countdown for you that hangs in my bedroom:

Cheers –

Thursday, December 12, 2013


The Christmas spirit hit me pretty hard last night, thanks to a visit up to Baltimore’s 34th street with a group o' pals.

Baltimore has really, really grown on me the past few months. You would have thought that would steal summer my heart, but it’s really been fall and the beginning of winter that I’ve fallen in love with living in the city. The option to walk pretty much everywhere, and having friends just a few short blocks away is incredibly attractive to me.

I've also been lucky enough to avoid those horrific city traffic back-ups due to an accidents for the past five months… until today. I made the poor choice of not checking my maps app (I have two interstate options when driving to work) and chose the wrong one, which was at a standstill.

Luckily, I had made the correct choice of swinging by Panera on my way out of the city and grabbing a coffee.

That, and Luke Bryan kept me occupied as we crawled through the tunnel at a pace that I could have ran at.

Speaking of running, I’m at a bit of a standstill when it comes to my workouts. I feel bored (still) not being able to run very much, and to top it off haven’t been eating very awesomely with the holiday festivities starting to pile up.  For instance, today I dragged myself down to the gym after work with literally no workout in mind.

I put in a half-assed half hour of cardio on the elliptical, plodded along on the stairmaster for awhile, and then threw weights around until I felt somewhat sweaty. I’ve found that when it comes to training/working out, I do a lot better when I have a schedule/some kind of plan to follow.

Any suggestions out there? I’m open to it all.

Following work tomorrow, Andrew and I are headed west to Snowshoe Ski Resort in West Virginia.  He surprised me with the trip about a month ago when he was still gone so that we had something to look forward to. Man did he pick the perfect weekend, as it’s been snowing there almost all week.

I’m ready to spend the weekend tearing up some trails and getting some quality Andrew time. (Gag, I know)

Cheers my friends - 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Dreams Come True

Remember last week when I was crying about how I was ready for snow?
My dream came true.

Twice actually, as it snowed again today!

Other dreams that recently came true include hugging a near life-size stuffed giraffe -

Cooking an epic egg-casserole this morning when our office closed due to snow -

A cold frosty winter run this evening for about six miles...

Followed by this quick circuit:

-15 burpees
-15 (20 lb) KB swings
-10 pushups
-30 skaters
-12 tricep dips

Followed by this:

Andrew and I checked out Vaccaro's in Little Italy.
So. Good.
This is short and sweet, and possibly boring. My week is a busy one with training for work followed by a weekend away in West Virginia to ski - I'm pumped!

Cheers -


Thursday, December 5, 2013


So. Many. abbreviations in that title.

It was 54 degrees here in Baltimore when I woke up this morning, and I couldn’t help but be a bit sad when I walked outside with a fleece on and realized that I was almost too warm. Warm is nice in summer spring and even fall, but come winter, this girl wants some snow.

Before I give you my WIAW info, let’s do a quick Elf for Health update shall we? Yesterday the challenge was to go makeup free, and due to already being late to work as it was, I nailed it.

Today the challenge is to work out with a partner which is possibly my least favorite thing in the entire world. Maybe I can grab Andrew for some partnered abs? I already plan on doing this 15(ish) minute workout at the gym after work…

It’s one of my newly made-up favorites. If you don’t have a row machine, substitute about 3 – 3:30 mins of some other form of cardio.

I was a bit more successful this time around at tracking my ‘What I ate Wednesday’ as far as pictures go… not perfect, but better. Here we go.

Breakfast was plantain pancakes topped with almond butter and my apple/cranberry sauce that I made another batch of this past weekend.

When will I get sick of plantain pancakes? Probably never. Oh and I had coffee of course.

Mid-morning snack was these guys:

Not the ‘cleanest’ when it comes to almonds – they have some flavoring crap thrown in there – but I still love them. Lunch was a fail as I got back from getting gas and shoved my face, forgetting to take pictures. I ate an apple, a sweet potato with chicken sausage, and a small side salad.

A little later I got hungry again (weird) and ate some carrots which were boring because I ran out of hummus. And in case you were wondering, 2 pm in my cube is always tea time for me. Always.

The good/bad news? It was a coworker’s birthday yesterday, and an amazing homemade chocolate chip cookie cheesecake was being passed around the office. I couldn’t say no, there was no way. In the midst of my intoxicated sugar high I realized on my very last bite that I should snap a picture of the delicious concoction – it doesn’t do it justice. Not even close.

From work it was straight to the gym, and on the trip from gym to home (about a 20 minute drive) I snacked on this marvelous combination:

I’ve found that the later in the day that I work out, the less hungry I typically am for dinner. When I got home I munched on some celery and tuna (weird combo I know) while I cooked my plantain pancakes for the next morning.

And of course, throughout the day, as much water as I could remember to drink.

Exciting stuff huh? If you’re in search of new paleo recipes, I found this awesome looking meatloaf recipe over on Jessi’s blog – I hope to whip it up within the next week, it looks simple enough. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting pretty ready for the weekend. Here’s to an awesome one-

Cheers –


Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Well after consecutive days of several forms of pizza, Chinese food, pasta, wine and champagne galore, Tuesday left me ready to clean up my eating habits a bit.

I've decided I'm going to try my best shot at tracking a What I Ate Wednesday for you guys today, and report back tomorrow. Wish me luck.

In other news, it’s December!! I’m officially listening to Christmas music, our house is decorated beautifully (no thanks to me), and my favorite boy is back.

Life is good.

I also pretty psyched that I snagged my last holiday flight yesterday for super cheap via Southwest – was able to use points on my Baltimore to Chicago flight as well as my New Years Chicago to Denver flight.

3 flights < $400 = success.

Let’s see what else… I found these, I love them.

Trader Joes
These too - these dude are at Walmart, and great on-the-go snacks.

I’m also trying to be more conscious of drinking water. When Andrew left in July I couldn’t get him to willingly drink a full water bottle if I begged – he was a Gatorade believer to the bones. Now upon his return he sucks down water like it’s his job – it makes me so happy, and simultaneously has been a good reminder of how good it is for the body. Trying to be more conscious of that.

shameless giraffe photo bomb
Last announcement: I officially committed to a gym!

It's just a small guy down the road from where I work, but the location and low monthly fees made it impossible to beat. I look forward to trying out a few of the classes that they offer, and possibly being able to throw in a few quick workouts over my lunch break.

Time to run off to work. Happy Hump Day, Happy December, make today great!