Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Workout Wednesday Link Up

I'm linking up with Megan today for Workout Wednesday!  I know most of you have gym memberships.  I haven't had one in years but still find a way to get a good work out in.  Running took up a lot of time last year into this year.  Workouts in the park with my friend (who just opened up her own studio so I MIGHT join!), or I do her You Tube videos at home.  Jillian Michaels is an option too.  As most of you know, she's hardcore and all of that jumping and kicking friggin' kills my back.

Here's what I did last night:




I was sweatin' bullets.  The calories burned are an estimate but the times are accurate.  I need a better HRM.  I do have a 25% off coupon to Sports Authority so that's an option.

The 10 minute circuit training was one of my friends short you tube videos called the Glider Workout.  I'd post it but I'd like to ask her permission first.  Google it if you're interested as there are a bunch on You Tube.  All you need are two small towels and a wood or tile floor.  It's tough and you feel the heat within 2 minutes.

The Pilates workout were two more of her videos.  This time, on the yoga mat but still got my heart rate up.  A lot of core work.

Then I decided to jog and jump rope in place for 10 minutes - harder than it sounds.  Oof.

One of our friends came over and we cooked this for him.  I know cous cous isn't the best option but cooked in coconut milk = amazing.  We marinated the shrimp in mojito seasoning, lime juice, fresh mint and olive oil and grilled it.  Saro first made this for me 4-5 years ago and to this day, it's one of my favories!  The cabbage salad is just shredded red cabbage, fresh garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, s&p.  SO good - I could have kept eating it.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

30 Day Smoothie Challenge - DONE!

I had a "green" smoothie 28 out of the last 30 days and I plan on continuing to have them for breakfast or lunch!  I find that having one scrambled egg before drinking it, helps keep me full...but only until around 11am.  LOL.

One thing I have to get back to is NO bread, pasta or rice.  I've had a bit too much the last few weeks.  Simple Green Smoothies is hosting a 21 day cleanse starting August 5th.  My cousin already purchased it and wants me to join her, so I think I will.  Don't worry, you can have "normal" food during it... it's not just juices!  That, I've tried and just CAN'T.  Check the 21 day cleanse out HERE and let me know if you want to join.  It shouldn't be too difficult since I've been "clean eating" for a while now.

That's all I've got for today.  Have a good one!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Who Needs A Gym?

More like, who needs a gym especially when you can't afford it?  Yours truly.

There are reasons why, right now, I can't afford to join a gym.  More on that later.

Saturday we went down the shore.  Yes, "down the shore."  Not "to the beach."

Bradley Beach, NJ



After that, we stopped at Surf Taco for dinner.  I was starving so I ordered not 1, not 2 but 3 tacos plus a huge amount of chips.  The mahi mahi one was too spicy - Saro ate that one so really, I only had 2 :)

At 10:00 that night, I had this ungodly craving for boxed macaroni and cheese.  I haven't had that crap in YEARS.  Saro went out and bought it for me - what a guy!  I asked for the Annie's brand (as if that's really healthier than Kraft - LOL).  Anyway, it was yummy and I may or may not have finished it for breakfast on Sunday.

Sunday morning after sleeping for nearly 11 hours, I decided to do these two workouts from Pinterest:


Harder than they look!  All the jumping during the 2nd one really has my back and leg screaming today and all of last night.  Ugh.  Oh well, I tried.

For the last 2 years, I've been pretty good with doing at home workouts.  I have a bunch of DVDs plus my friends you tube workouts and Pinterest has great circuits, too.  It's worth looking into if you're looking to save $ or just work out at home by yourself.  I'm aware that the gym has all different weights and machines but since I can't do high impact right now, it's not worth it for me.  Also, my 5 lb. weights are just fine.  I don't think I could lift more than that, lol.

Have a great week!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Recipe: Shrimp in Chili Sauce & Coconut Milk

We really try to cook whatever is in the house before going food shopping again, ordering out, going to a restaurant, etc.  I knew we had shrimp in the freezer so I threw this together last night.  I did have to stop at the store for tomatoes and broth but I had everything else.


1 lb raw shrimp
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 cup TJ's sweet chili sauce
1 cup thai kitchen organic coconut milk
Juice from 1 lemon

Serves 4

Thaw and rinse shrimp under cold water.  Pat try.  Marinate the shrimp in the sweet chili sauce for 30 minutes.  While that's marinating, bring the broth to a boil and then add sugar, lemon juice and chopped tomatoes.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Add coconut milk and simmer 5 more minutes.  Add the raw shrimp and cook on medium until the shrimp turns pink.  Serve over brown, basmati or jasmine rice.

It had a mostly sweet flavor with a tiny bit of spice.  I wish it was a little more spicy :)

After that, I did a 10 minute arm workout with 5 lb weights (weakling right here but it's tough!), 30 minutes of pilates and a 40 minute walk with Murphy.  If you're wondering or even if you're not, my sciatica is pretty bad today.  I mean, it's been 3 months now and I'm getting extremely frustrated.  Definitely no running in the near future if it's irritated after a walk.

I think Murphy wonders what I am doing on the floor (maybe he thinks I'm hurt?!) so he needs to lay literally RIGHT next to me when I'm working out... LOL. 





TGIF - 2 + 1/2 hours and I'm outta here.  Perfect beach weather tomorrow which is where I will be :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Alex & Ani Charity Event

The event seemed really successful last night!  I purchased the quill feather wrap for myself.  I love it!  Now I'm going to want to keep buying more, but shouldn't, but will.  This one was a little bit pricey but some range from $24-$28 which isn't terrible.



L - lia sophia M - Alex and Ani R - Michael Kors watch
 Do you own any Alex & Ani?  Do you like their style?  You can order from them online and through eBates, receive 3.5% cash back :)  I'm always lookin' for a deal or coupon code before purchasing anything online.

Some other bangles I like are the initial charm, the bee charm, "it is what it is," paw print, lotus peace, and the mint mirage wrap.

Have a good Thursday!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

"Lemon Juice, Olive Oil & Garlic"

According to my MIL, those ingredients are all you need for ANY recipe :)  I swear, she must have a secret because all of her food comes out so good and I always ask her "what's in this?" and she replies "lemon juice, olive oil and garlic."  LOL.  Salad dressing, hummus, tabboule, tossed salad, etc.  She doesn't measure anything, either.  I asked her if she could write her recipes down for me but she says she doesn't measure.  I'll just have to watch her one day!

She also makes this amazing cracked wheat salad with red pepper paste - SO GOOD.  I'm glad I'm no a picky eater anymore!  I'll pretty much eat anything.. well, almost.

Do you have any "weird" snack cravings?

I like to eat Armenian string cheese with Trader Joe's plantain chips as a snack lately.  Sounds strange but it's so good.  Matter of fact, I just had some with my breakfast smoothie.






Tonight I'm going to Alex & Ani.  A friend is teaming up with them to raise $ for brain cancer awareness.  My friend was just diagnosed so I'd like to go to support this cause, and to buy her a little something.  Have you shopped there before?  Their bracelets look fun!

Have a good Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Farmer's Market Goodness

On Sunday, we went to a sort of local farmer's market.  I say sort of because it's about a 45 minute drive, in the town of Warwick, NY.  I lived there for about 2 years when I was very small. 

Next time, I need to drive.  My mom drove - so she and my Gram were in the front and myself and my MIL in the back seat.  I get extremely nauseous if I'm not in the driver's seat.  Plus the roads going up there are very twisty, turny and hilly.  Oof.

Anyway, here are a few photos.





Gorgeous stuff and so fresh!  Not exactly cheap but not over the top, either.  Average.  I also bought two packages of fresh ravioli from one of the vendors.  It was buy two, get a lb. of linguini free.  How can you say no?

Sunday night I made the grilled veggie ravioli with a rosemary butter.  SO good.

Last night I made this:


Fresh pasta with shrimp and sausage
I honestly just threw this together.  We had the sausage in the fridge from the other day and I still had fresh pesto.  Here's the recipe if you're interested :)

3 organic garlic cloves (this stuff is seriously different than non organic.  The texture is different as it's not grown in China!)  I paid $5 for 3 heads of garlic.  Whatever - it's worth it because it's amazing
1 shallot
Lemon juice from 3 large lemons
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1 lb shrimp
1 lb pasta
1/4 cup basil pesto
2 tbsp chopped parsley
5 sweet cooked italian sausages (I did them on a grill pan for about 30 minutes, turning every 5 minutes)
Salt, pepper

Saute the olive oil, chopped shallot, salt, pepper and minced garlic in a large frying pan for about 5 minutes.  Add raw shrimp, parsley and white wine.  Cook on medium for 10 minutes.  Chop the cooked sausage and add to the shrimp & sauce mixture.  Simmer while you cook the pasta (fresh only takes 2-3 minutes to boil - don't over cook!).

Mix shrimp/sausage mixture with the pasta and pesto and enjoy!

It came out so good and lemony!  I will definitely make it again.

Enjoy your day!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Blueberry Cobbler Smoothie...

It's what's for breakfast.  Well, it's already down the hatch but I wanted to share the recipe because it was SO good and nutrient packed:

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup coconut water
1 cup packed spinach
1/2 cup packed kale
2 TBSP full fat plain Greek yogurt
6 ice cubes
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 of a frozen banana
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground flax

I mostly tasted the cinnamon!  Yum.  I added the little bit of yogurt to make it a little creamy.  With that, I had 1 peach, 1 scrambled egg and a cup of coffee.  Hopefully this will hold me over until noon :)

It's day # 22 and so far, the scale hasn't budged and I honestly feel the same I've felt the last few months.  I wish I had better news to report, but I feel good that I'm getting all of these nutrients in, in the morning (or for lunch).

I've been having a little too much bread & ice cream the last few weeks which probably isn't helping!  Nothing over the top but still.

Yesterday afternoon I went for a 5K walk - very fast paced.  Nope, my leg isn't liking that this morning.  On a pain scale from 1-10, I'd say it's a 7.  I'm really trying to avoid drugs, ibuprofen, etc and I'm hoping all of these friggin' berries and veggies I'm eating will help the inflammation.  I also don't really have the funds to go to the chiro and physical therapy 3x a week.  Talk about frustrating.

I hope you all have a great week!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Simple Green Smoothies - Day #19

I only missed one smoothie day so far because we were camping and well, it would have been awkward to take my blender, spinach and fruit and blend it in the campground bathroom LOL BUT I did eat a lot of fruit while we were there so that sorta counts!

Today's smoothie was good but not icy enough again.  I tried to drink it fast because a warm fruit smoothie is no bueno.  It consisted of:

4 ice cubes
1/4 cup coconut water
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup kale
4 strawberries
1/2 of a banana
2 mango slices
6 green grapes
1/2 cup mixed melon - cantaloupe and honeydew
2 TBSP FULL FAT plain greek yogurt (Trader Joe's)

You do not taste the spinach or kale AT ALL.  I just taste the sweetness of the mixed fruit.  The little bit of yogurt helps make it a little thicker and creamier.

For lunch, I had leftover dinner - chicken breast with some jasmine rice and 1 cup of chicken soup.  I would have taken the leftover squash but someone ate it last night.  AHEM *Saro*  AHEM.

I've been eating a lot of my MIL's jasmine rice lately :-x  It's SO good and not sticky, which is how mine usually comes out.  She says the key is rinsing it for 30 minutes before cooking it.



My morning snack was a kiwi.  I will probably be hungry again in 2 hours.

Dinner won't be until about 8:30 - a BBQ place for my cousin's birthday celebration.  Hmm... I see wings and beer in the near future.

Cheers!  It's the freakin' weekend :)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Staycation Recap

Friday afternoon we headed up to the campground.  I think this was our 5th trip there.  We really love it.  It's about 2 hours north of here, on the Delaware river - PA side.

Off we go!

LOVES the car and Medzmama (Armenian for Grandma).
It rained pretty much all of Friday night, cloudy Saturday while we went kayaking and HOT Sunday morning as we were packing up to leave.  It was our first time kayaking and it was a lot easier than canoeing and rafting!  I didn't fall out this time :) Here are some pictures:








Monday we hung out at home, food shopped for the week, etc.  Tuesday we went to Mountain Creek water park which was a lot of fun too!


Yesterday we went to my aunt and uncle's house in CT to swim and hang out.  They have a gorgeous pool.  I didn't get a picture but here's a before and after of Murphy.  He was pooped!

On our way - excited and awake!
 
Pooped after a day of swimming and playing!
 It was a great and enjoyable 5 days off and much needed!  No big trips this year but it definitely felt like a vacation so that's good!  We're hoping to do another few days off at the end of the summer.

It's been super hot here in NJ... in the mid 90's and today & tomorrow will be close to 100.  Tomorrow we're going out to dinner for my cousin's birthday and we will see what the weekend brings!

Happy Thursday! :)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Gone Camping

I'm working until 2 today and then we are heading to the camp site.  It's about 2 hours northwest of here, on the Delaware River.  We love it.  However, it's a lot of work to pack everything, set up, etc.  This time we are leaving earlier than usual so it should be a little bit easier.  Normally we don't leave until 5 or 6 pm and by the time we get there, it's dark - lol.



This time, there's going to be 9 of us, 10 including Murphy - myself, Saro, his 2 daughters, his Mom, his sister and her husband and his parents.  It should be fun.  Tomorrow we will go canoeing and I will most likely fall out of the canoe (happens every year).

We will pack some snacks and beer for the trip down the river.  I'm thinking the river will be high due to all the rain we've had.  The higher, the better.  Then the boat doesn't get stuck on rocks and when the water is flowing more rapidly, that means it's more clean!

We will come home Sunday afternoon and then I'm off Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday :)  We might do a day trip to the beach but not sure yet - nothing major planned but it'll be nice to sleep in and relax.

Do you like to camp?  Have you ever been?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

If I Win the Lotto Linkup!

Happy Thursday, all!  I'm linking up with Holly & Kristie to talk about what I'd do if I won the lottery, and we're not just talkin' $100.  Big bucks, people.

I would:

1.)  Pay off my student loan.  Literally, I'd drive to Wilkes-Barre, PA or where ever the friggin' office is located and give them what I owe plus the interest.

2.)  Pay off my credit card bills.

3.)  Give some to charity.

4.)  Pay off my Mom's house and give her some extra.

5.)  Work part time doing something fun, like in a floral shop. 

6.)  Put a butt load of the $ into a retirement fund so I don't touch some of it.

7.)  Adopt more dogs.

8.)  TRAVEL, TRAVEL, TRAVEL!!!

I'm sure I can think of more, but those are the ones that pop in my head first.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hungry + Angry = Hangry

So, the smoothies generally fill me up from 8:00-10:00.  That's not a long period.  Maybe because it's in liquid form but would I really feel more full if I ate a handful of spinach and kale with some fruit?  I don't think so.

So, I just had 5 m&m's and 8 almonds.  Yes, I counted.

I keep staring at the clock (since it's kind of slow today) and I can't wait for lunch.  Lunch that I left at home.  Oops, I guess that will be dinner!

I would snack a little more but since I'm not exercising as much, I'm trying not to.

Do you ever get so hungry that you become hangry?  Like, you need to eat now or else someone might get hurt?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Simple Green Smoothie Update

Day #9 and I haven't missed a day yet!  Even when I was hungover on Sunday morning after our BBQ.  I woke up around 3am feeling so sick.  I made sure to drink a lot of water all day since it was extremely hot outside.  Oh well... I went back to bed and felt better when I woke up at 9.

This week, it's a lot of "stone" fruits (peaches, plums and cherries) and fresh ginger.  Today's smoothie is - 1 cup kale, 1 cup spinach, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 cup water, 1/2 of a banana, a few frozen mango chunks, handful of blueberries and one whole peach (pit removed).  The Nutribullet is perfect for these shakes.  The ginger gives it a different bite - it's good!

I haven't been able to exercise in over a week.  Currently, my lower back is killing me and even going up and down the basement stairs (all 7 of them) is brutal.  I'm thinking about focusing on arms & abs although a lot of ab/core workouts also work the lower back.

Last night we went out to celebrate our 6 year anniversary over Thai food.  We hadn't had it in forever and it sounded good...and it was!  Yum... I have leftovers for lunch today :)

That's really all I've got!  I'm looking forward to camping this weekend and getting my hair done tonight!  Have a good week!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Stubbornness

Won't get me very far...literally. 

My sciatica has been bothering me for 10 weeks now (but who's counting?)  I decided to go to a lower back/sciatica specialist (my 3rd doctor for this problem) last week and again last night.  He's a chiropractic physician.  They do physical therapy there too.  He adjusted me, tried laser therapy, decompression (strapped down to a bed extremely tight and it moves back and forth, stretching your back out), and also electric stimulation.  I feel the same or maybe even worse but now I don't know if it's from my short run on Sunday night.

My leg DID feel better after the stimulation but the pain came back 30 minutes later.  I also walked on a treadmill with ice.  Nothing.  He wants me to get an MRI (DEATHLY afraid, people).  Like I'd need to be put to sleep or given a lot of drugs.  He said it bothered him that I didn't feel instant relief after the decompression.

I signed up for a 9/11 tribute 5K for this Thursday.  It ain't happenin'.  He says I shouldn't run or even do yoga because some poses aren't good for a bad back.  Just great!  He said walking is good.  I don't like to liesurely walk for exercise.  My exercise walk is walking so fast that it's borderline jogging.  I like to sweat as it makes me feel better and is a stress reliever.

The best way I can explain the pain is that it feels like there's a knife stabbing the inside of my leg string from my hamstring to my heel pulling straight down and not allowing me to take a normal step.  It's definitely nerve pain because what I'm feeling is sharp, sometimes shooting pains and even twitches.  It's not your typical lactic-acid-soreness-after-exercising-for-the-first-time-in-years, type of pain.

End rant.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Simple Green Smoothies

Well - Whole30 only lasted about a week for me.  My cousin asked me to try this simple green smoothie 30 day challenge with her.  Having a smoothie for breakfast is definitely doable as I used to do it almost everyday anyway.  For the last month, it's been 2 eggs for breakfast so I'm ready to switch it up.

This morning my smoothie consists of 2 cups packed baby spinach, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup pineapple, 1/2 of a frozen banana (I really don't like bananas but it's not so bad mixed in with a bunch of other crap), 1/4 cup papaya, 1/2 cup mango, 10 green grapes.  It's really good!  The only thing I wish is that it was a little bit colder so I think I'm going to stock up on frozen mango from TJ's.  I added a few ice cubes but it didn't do much.

If you're interested, join the challenge!  It's not too late!  Google Simple Green Smoothies and sign up on their website.  They'll email a weekly shopping guide and recipes but you can definitely create your own.

On another note, my leg is friggin' KILLING me today.  I was up from 3-4:30 last night because it hurt so bad.  I guess I shouldn't have went for that run yesterday.  Only 2 miles but I think it put me over the edge.  I most likely won't run the 5K this week  :(  Back to physical therapy tonight...

I did run it in 20 minutes flat which is good timing for me.  I can't seem to break 10 min/mile.

I hope you all had a great weekend.  I'm glad it's a 3 day work week!!!