Hello, yeah, it’s been a while…

Hello friends! I took a little break from social media to enjoy family and friends this holiday season. It was a much needed break, but I’m happy to be back. How was everyone’s Christmas? Was Santa good to you?

For the 8th year in a row I spent Christmas in New Jersey with two great high school friends of mine. They are a brother and sister (the brother and I were in the same grade), and we started this tradition the year their father passed. I’m thankful for the tradition we start, even under the very terrible circumstance. This family has become like a second family to me, and I’m always grateful for the time I get to spend with them.

It was weird flying to New Jersey for Christmas. The last 7 years I drove because I was just in Maryland. This year was different for a couple reasons – 1) I had been to NJ since March, 2) I was flying home for the holidays, and 3) I brought the boy with me. 🙂 He was definitely more ready for this than I was. I was nervous about him fitting in and about what everyone would think. I should have known better that he would be just fine. He’s a social butterfly and will talk to anyone.

A favorite Christmas tradition of mine is pub caroling the eve before Christmas eve. It’s a time when all their good friends gather together at the local pub drink lots, donate monies to a great cause, and sing lots of carols. It’s a really special time. Here are a few pictures from the evening

Pub caroling

Christmas eve’s tradition means lots of kids running around having fun, playing with toys and eating lots of food. This year there were 16 kids and 25 adults…yep you read that correctly. It was pure chaos and everything I love about Christmas and the holidays.

I got these fun new kicks for Christmas

New kicks

My eating wasn’t the best while I was gone, but I was fairly under control considering I couldn’t eat cookies (none of them were gluten-free) or most of Christmas eve dinner because it was Italian. Don’t get me wrong I did NOT go hungry. I was very fortunate that my friends’ sister and brother-in-law brought the three gluten-free people gluten-free PF Changs. It was delicious and made me chuckle a little – a Jew eating Chinese food on Christmas. Haha! Good times.

I am happy to report that I kept up with my workouts while I was on, and even started phase 2 Beta last week. I’ll fill you in tomorrow on the workouts. Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!

Focus T25 – Day 21

Week 5 of Focus T25. I can’t believe I’ve started the last week of phase 1! It’s amazing how time flies when you’re having fun. 🙂 No really, I love this program. I know I have 25 minutes to make it count. Even first thing in the morning, the energy Shaun T exudes gets me excited and motivated to push harder in my workout. It’s ONLY 25 minutes and we all have 25 minutes to give to OURSELVES and our HEALTH!

Yesterday’s workout was Total Body Circuit. Quite the way to start a Monday. it got me motivated and ready for the work week. Seriously, I was so productive all day long.

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I felt really strong during the workout, and pushed myself twice as hard during the burnout. Look at my face, I was ready to either pass out or throw up. Good news I didn’t do either.

Yesterday I stuck to the “meatless Monday” fade. I enjoyed Shakeology for breakfast, veggies with hummus and quinoa & black eye pea “salad” for lunch, Shakeology for afternoon snack, and roasted veggies, baked sweet potato and spaghetti squash with pesto for dinner.

Clean eating lunchClean eating dinner

All-in-all it was a good day of clean eating. I did enjoy a few gluten-free ginger snap cookies that I made over the weekend. Don’t worry, they’re almost gone. Promise!

After dinner the boy and I went to “Trail of Lights” in Zilker Park. It was really great! So many lights. I wanted to see Santa, but someone didn’t want to wait in line. LAME! Haha, I know I’m Jewish, but I still love Santa 😉

Trail of Lights 1 Trail of Lights 2 Trail of Lights 3

I love where I live; I love this city!!! It’s been an incredible year. If 2013 could be this awesome, I CANNOT wait to see what 2014 brings.

Question: What’s your favorite thing about the holidays?

A Weekend Full of Cheer!

With the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving and my sister’s wedding and everything happening at work, I hadn’t been much in the holiday spirit until this past weekend. I finally am ready for the holidays and in a cheerful mood. Tis the season!!!
Chrismukkah Tree

Friday was a nice quiet evening. It was rainy and cold, so dinner out and then a night in was exactly what the doctor ordered. Shortly after the boy and I got back to his place from dinner I crashed on the couch. I forewarned him that I was going to be asleep minutes after getting back, and I stayed true to my word 🙂

Saturday I spent the day running errands and getting in the holiday spirit. Saturday night I accompanied the boy to his office holiday party and then to my friend’s cookie exchange. We decorated cookies at the party. How did we do?His and Hers Gingerbread People

For the cookie exchange I made gluten-free gingersnap cookies with Smart Flour Foods all-purpose flour and they were amazing! I brought some into work this morning and they’re practically gone now.

Sunday I went to the grocery store, spent the day cleaning, decorated the Chrismukkah tree (see above) and made an amazing dinner (simple and yummy) – salmon with acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and black eyed peas.

Sunday Night Dinner

Wanna make this acorn squash? It clean eating and gluten-free! Here’s the recipe:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

Ingredients:

  • 4 acorn squash
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 can black eyed peas
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Thyme chopped
  • 1/8-1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle smoked seasoning (or other favorite seasonings)
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Cut the bottoms of the acorn squash just a little so they lay flat. Cut off the top about 1/4 an inch and remove seeds. Place acorn squash in a cooking pan and add about an inch of water. Season the squash with salt, pepper and Chipotle seasoning. Drizzle a little olive oil on top and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
  2. Cook quinoa – Bring 1 cup of broth (I used chicken, but you can use vegetable) to a boil. Turn down heat to low-med and add quinoa. Stir in quinoa and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until liquid is gone.
  3. Cook beans – Place beans on stove for about 5 minutes to cook.
  4. In a small bowl combine cooked quinoa, beans, Thyme, Parmesan cheese and seasonings.
  5. Remove squash from the oven and add the quinoa/bean mixture in each acorn squash. Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese on top and place it in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  6. Turn the oven on broil for 3 minutes or until the stop starts to slightly brown.
  7. Remove squash from oven and ENJOY! (Disclaimer: be careful when eating the squash. It stays hot for quite a while, so don’t burn your tongue.)

Hope everyone is having a great Monday!

Focus T25 – Days 18-20

Happy Friday the 13th!!!

Friday the 13th

I now realize why the day felt sooo off. Haha! Sort of.

After sleeping through my alarm this morning, I got in a great workout. Today was Speed 1.0 and Ab Intervals. The good news is the workouts are only 25 minutes. The bad news, I only had 40 minutes to get in my workout, so I did what I go. I did all of Speed 1.0 and part of Ab Intervals. Don’t worry, I plan on doing the full thing either later today or first thing tomorrow.

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I feel stronger and faster than I did four weeks ago. I feel lighter on my feet, and my vertical jumps are better than ever! I can’t believe that I have one more week of Alpha phase. Eek 🙂 So excited!

Wednesday workout was Lower Focus – lots of squats and lunges. Here’s to toners thighs!

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It was a great workout. I woke up really focused and was determined to get push harder throughout the entire workout.

My day was made when I came home to these beautiful flowers from two dear friends

Flowers from the girls

The card is an inside joke, but make the flowers that more special. I’m a lucky girl!

Thursday – one day closer to the weekend. I couldn’t wait for the day to be over so that it would be Friday and I could enjoy the weekend. Yesterday’s workout was Total Body Circuit. I was out of breath, sweating, and feeling awesome after the workout.

T25 Day 19_1 T25 Day 19_2

There are so many push-ups in this workout. I’m happy to report that I’m definitely getting stronger. I was able to do 90% regular push-ups versus the modified push-ups. Every day is a new day to get it right; push a little harder; get a little stronger. I may not be perfect throughout the entire workout, but I give it my all, focus for 25 minutes and then I’m done.

This weekend is full of errands, chores and prepping for the holidays. Who else isn’t 100% ready for the holidays? I’m so excited for them, and can’t wait for them to get here, and after this weekend I’ll be ready. 🙂

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

 

 

Focus T25 – Day 17

Yesterday when I woke up I still wasn’t feeling well. I decided not to workout until later that evening or push my workouts one day. I know the importance of feeling 100% to get the most out of my workouts. I didn’t want to kind of workout; I want to give it my all if I was going to workout and I knew in that moment I couldn’t give it my best.

Thankfully, I was feeling better throughout the day, and even later that night. When I got home I immediately put on my workout clothes and got to the workout. It still wasn’t my best effort, but it was a lot better than it would have been had I tried to workout that morning.

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Total Body Circuit reminds me so much of an Insanity workout. I was EXHAUSTED after the 25 minutes and ready for bed. I slept like a rock, which was even better!

Yesterday I tried to be really good with what I was eating as to not mess up my stomach any further. For breakfast I had an on the go bar, Shakeology for my morning and afternoon snack, gluten-free chicken noodle soup for lunch and Chilean Sea Bass with roasted carrots, beets and sweet potatoes, and green beans for dinner (this was AMAZING!) I’m only sorry I didn’t get a picture of dinner. I’ll have to share with everyone the recipe. It’s super easy.

Hope everyone is have a good week! Happy Hump Daaaaaaaay!

Focus T25 – Days 15 & 16

I don’t want to get too far behind on my week, so I’m doing a double edition Tuesday!

Let me start off by saying I had THE MOST incredible birthday weekend and birthday on Sunday. I was surrounded by three of my favorite things – friends, football and food; sorry I was so busy cooking I didn’t take any pictures. Sorry!

Friday I got my workout in first thing

Focus T25 Day 15_1 Focus T25 Day 15_2

The hours at the office on Friday seemed to tick slower than normal. I was so excited about dinner that I couldn’t sit still.

Speaking of, I was a lucky girl who got to celebrate my birthday Friday night at one of my favorite restaurants, Uncle Julio’s. I was surrounded by amazing people and had a lot of laughs. One of my closest friends came into town from Houston with his wife. We never took a picture, but I’ll always remember that they were there. Thanks to the boy for the gluten-free carrot cake!

Birthday Celebration Friday Night

Saturday I enjoyed brunch with friends, went to the grocery store, took a little nap because I wasn’t feeling well, and then spent hours cooking. Saturday night I went to a holiday party. It was so much fun! Lots of laughs, great food, and fun games.

Holiday Party

Sunday was my birthday! I woke up to breakfast in bed from the boy. I told him it was the only thing I wanted for my birthday. He said he made my breakfast into a smiley face “because [I] make [him] smile every day.” Super sweet!

Sunday Funday Birthday

The picture of me with “The Dirty 30”  sunglasses is from Friday night. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures on Sunday, but it’s because I was cooking, watching football and enjoying my friends who came to hang. It was a great day! Here’s to a great year and some of the best years of my life ahead! Happy birthday to me!

Yesterday morning I was NOT in the mood to get up and workout, BUT I did it anyway! I actually had a great workout and was so glad I got up.

Focus T25 Day 16_1Focus T25 Day 16_2 Focus T25 Day 16_3

I was ready for what I thought would be a good day. Unfortunately, something at lunch I ate (I’m pretty sure it was the soup) did NOT sit well. I was down for the count the rest of the day, next to no appetite, so I forced myself to eat chicken noodle soup that I made.

Monday Lunch and Dinner

Here’s to a better Tuesday!

Focus T25 – Days 12-14

I could have sworn I posted this last week, but to my surprise this morning I did not! Last week was another crazy week at work and outside of work. I had a busy weekend a head of me between birthday celebrations, holiday parties and football/birthday celebrations. So, here’s a quick recap:

Tuesday I was in recovery mode from traveling on Monday and Thanksgiving week and wedding weekend. I was bound and determined though to get up and workout on Tuesday morning, and I did! I love T25 because I know I’m getting a great workout in; it only takes me 25 minutes to workout; and I can workout in the comfort of my own home. It’s a win. win. win.

Day 12 completed! I’m not seeing any physical changes, I blame that on my eating, but I am getting faster during several of the moves.

T25 Day 12 T25 Day 12_2

Wednesday morning – up an at ’em! Got my workout done first thing in the morning, which definitely set my mood for the day. I was stressing out because I hadn’t gone to the grocery store and my to-do list at work keeps growing!

T25 Day 13

Pushing harder and focusing more during the workouts. I know that it will make me stronger, but if I want to see results it starts in the kitchen with what I’m eating. I NEED/WANT to make this a priority. I’ve got to make better choices.

My friend gave our accountability group an extra challenge for the day – for every text you received you had to do 15 jumping jacks. I had to do 22 sets. After I got into bed I got an additional 10 texts. I didn’t get out of bed, but am thinking that to make up for not doing those that I would do another challenge this week.

Wednesday Challenge_Jumping Jacks

Wednesday night marked the last night of Hanukkah. How pretty is the menorah?

Last night of Hanukkah

As a present to myself I bought 2 tubs of E&E, 90-day supply, when they were on sale. I can’t wait to dig into this and push through my workouts.

E&E

Thursday – SO close to the weekend I can smell it. I decided to do my double workout today because I wanted to sleep in on Friday (which didn’t happen). I was moving, grooving and sweating.

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T25 Day 14_2

T25 Day 14_3

T25 Day 14_4

I felt amazing after these workouts. Fifty minutes and I was done. Double workout for the week, complete. I was ready for the craziness of the day to begin.

My co-worker brought in the dessert dirt in honor of my dirty 30 on Sunday.

Dirt

Anyone else remember this dessert from when they were growing up? Like myself, she is gluten-free so she bought gluten-free “oreos”. It was yummy! I didn’t eat the whole thing, but I did indulge a little.

Thursday night I was pumped for The Sound of Music Live! I love this movie, as it reminds me of my grandpa George, and I love Carrie Underwood.

Sound of Music

I didn’t love the live version, but I wasn’t made either. I understand what they were trying to do. Unfortunately though, it just didn’t work. Anyone else watch it?

I did semi clean eat this week, but it could have definitely been better. Breakfast was primarily steel oats with 2 eggs and homemade pesto. I had Shakeology for a snack, and lettuce wrap sandwiches (one with meat, one veggie) for lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Semi clean eating

Thursday I couldn’t decide which soup I wanted, cauliflower or roasted tomato bisque so I got both 🙂

Thursday Lunch

All-in-all it was a good week. My eating could DEFINITELY use some improvement. I need to get back to planning out my meals and sticking with it. It makes the world of difference.

Can’t wait to fill you in on my weekend!