Things I’m Addicted To

1. Documentaries.

Good thing I’ve got netflix. I’ve been plowing my way through SO many films. My parents and I just watched “American Hollows” a documentary about a family living in Appalachia. It was pretty sad actually, to see the state that these people were living in. Quite interesting.

 

2. Hummus.

Oh my gosh I can’t get enough hummus in my life. I got the spinach artichoke hummus the other day and it’s DELICIOUS. I’m normally a red pepper fan, but now… I might be “going green”

 

3. Family Time

Ok, it could just be that my family is superfreakingcool. But I’m loving me some family time. That’s three generations right there!

 

4. Mexican Food!

Mad Mex has become a Wednesday night tradition (which I will be sad to leave behind!) The lovely ladies I’m with are my high school BFF’s. And they’re still my BFF’s. Some things never change.

 

What things are you addicted to these days?

<3 Liz

Holiday Fun & Spring Commitments!

The past few days have been SO much fun! Not only have I seen a lot of family, but my two best friends live really close to my parents house so we’ve been spending lots of time together.

 

Christmas night, we took a trip to Waffle House

Yes I ate a chocolate chip waffle. No, I don’t care that it wasn’t healthy. It was CHRISTMAS!

 

Yesterday, the chubby artist, aka, my best friend/long distance roomie, did a photoshoot with  me! She’s an AMAZING photographer, and we had fun (although we figure out that I can NOT make a “sexy” face… I just end up looking pissed off.)

It was so cold, my eyes started watering, so we had to go back in the jeep to warm up! We had fun though :)

 

And now, in the interest of commitments and resolutions, I’m just going to throw this out there…

 

I’m signing up for a half marathon in March! I’m a little nervous (actually, make that a lot nervous) because I’ve never run more than 5 miles at a time, but I think this is the year to do it! I’ve got my workout buddy running it with me, and I think having this goal will keep me motivated!

 

So if any of you have some good beginners tips for running a half marathon, I’m all ears!!

 

I hope you’re all enjoying the holidays!

<3 Liz

So Much to be Thankful For!

It’s funny…supposedly Thanksgiving is the holiday to be thankful for, but I look around me and I can’t think of any other emotion I’m feeling more than gratitude! I’m surrounded by family, and for those that don’t know, I have the coolest family in the world. I’m SO happy we’re all together :)

Apparently I was good this year, because I definitely got more than I deserved! Not only did I get a lot of awesome exercise stuff, I also got a CAMERA! I’m pretty excited. No more blog pictures from my phone! Well, except for this one… because I couldn’t use my camera to take a picture of my camera… ha

I can’t wait to have my best friend help me learn how to use it!

I had fun giving gifts this year. I even made everyone a jar of nut butter ;)

I’m keeping this post short, because it’s Christmas, and I’ve got family to see!!

 

I hope you’re all having a fantastic holiday! Merry Christmas!

 

<3 Liz

 

Things That Probably Aren’t Normal…

I’m aware some of my habits aren’t normal. But I’m totally ok with that. I never claimed to be normal.

1. Packing a blender on vacation


Um, I’m going to be gone for like, a week and a half! That’s too long to be without my beloved Vitamix. So he’s packed into the car right next to the almond milk. (What, normal people don’t pack almond milk either? Weird.)

2.  Prefering Nutritional Yeast over cheese.


See my previous post. Seriously, it is so much better. However, I really think it should be renamed. Nutritional Yeast just sounds kind of gross. Sorry, nooch.

3. Reading the newspaper every morning. Yes, every single morning

I’m well aware I could sleep in an extra half hour, but if I don’t get to start my morning by reading the Wall Street Journal (and we’re not talking online, we’re talking delivered to my front door with a rubber band paper) I’m cranky.

4. Lacking the ability to put my ipod on shuffle


If I DO put it on shuffle, I scan through about 50 songs before deciding I should have just picked what I wanted from the beginning.

 

5. Wearing my bodybugg 24/7.


Ok, if you had one, you probably would to! I get so excited when I meet my calorie burning goal!!

 

 

Anyone else got any weird habits they want to share?

 

 

Alright, I’m making the journey home! Merry Christmas all!

 

<3 Liz

Dear Kraft…

As a child, I thoroughly enjoyed your cheesy delicious macaroni and cheese, and ate it at LEAST 3 times a week. Nothing made me happier than sitting down at the kitchen table, and digging my spoon into a bowl of your fake-orange goodness.

But then things changed.

I started reading labels and your magical orange powder became suddenly less appealing.

It’s been fun, but you’re no longer needed…because mother nature has a perfect swap…

 

Nutritional Yeast!

 

Macaroni and cheese… no yellow #5 required!

 

vegan-macaroni-and-cheese

 

Yummm. I’ve been filling up on vegan mac n’ cheese (Click for the recipe!) Ok, it’s technically it’s couscous ‘n nutritional yeast, but it’s a GREAT swap for this comfort food.

And 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast has 12 grams of protein! Yes, TWELVE! (All for about 100 calories.) Oh, and it’s loaded with B Vitamins.

 

Go make this. Now. You won’t regret it. :)

 

<3 Liz

Attitude of Gratitude

Hey there friends! How are you all? I’m just in a great mood today! Church was fantastic this morning, and it was about having an “attitude of gratitude.” I just love that. I have SO much to be thankful for! Not to repeat myself (about things I’m loving right now) But there’s just an abundance of wonderful things to be thankful for!

The gym classes are kicking my butt (literally) but I LOVE it. I did body attack today, and I’m definitely going to be sore. I’ve gotta recover though, because tomorrow is my first time trying Body Jam! I love Zumba, and I’ve heard it’s sort of similar, so I’m pretty excited. I really think I’m getting stronger!!! It’s pretty exciting ;)

Are there any other group-workout fanatics out there? If so, do you set goals? I’m really into goal setting, but I’m not sure how to set goals for classes. (It’s much easier with things like running, where I can pick a distance and time and aim for that.) Any tips for this?

 

I’m also excited to go home for Christmas!!! I did most of my shopping yesterday, so it’s finally feeling like Christmas! (It’s my first winter away from home, so it’s a little odd not being around my family during the holiday season.) I wish I could share some of my purchases, but just in case my family checks my blog, I want them to be surprised!!! Isn’t it fun to give surprises?!

 

My food has been very repetitious lately, hence the lack of food posts. I’ve pretty much eaten banana ice cream every morning.  I totally get in breakfast ruts and crave the same thing morning after morning. Lame, but I LOVE it. (I also read the paper every single morning. I know, I know, who still reads the actual paper? But I do, and there is no other way I’d rather start the morning!)

 

I’ve been making a lot of vegan chili because it’s been so cold out. I’m sure there are a million variations of this, but this is what I usually throw in the pot:

Super-Simple Vegan Chili

  • 1 large can (24oz I think) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 can sweet corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup peppers (I use the tri-colored frozen ones from trader joes. So simple!)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Saute the onion and peppers in a pan with a bit of oil until the onion and peppers are tender. Combine all the other ingredients into a giant pot, and add in the tomatoes and peppers. Stir in your chili powder, crushed red pepper, and salt. You can also add in Tabasco sauce or other spices! You can also pretty much substitute any of the above ingredients for other beans/veggies. I’ve done it with zucchini, peas, kidney beans, pinto beans, seriously, endless combinations! What do you like to put in chili?

Yum!!

It’s been so cold that I’ve been eating this hearty meal quite a lot lately. Plus, it’s GREAT reheated, which is nice for packing lunch :)

 

Ok, I’m off to run a few more errands for the day, then maybe do a little yoga. I hope you’re all having a fantastic weekend!

 

<3 Liz

Things I’m Loving Right Now

Quick post, because it’s Saturday, and my to-do list is looking long. And because there are so many things I’m loving right now, and I don’t want to write a marathon post ;)

 

Les Mills Group Classes at the gym!

I did “Body Pump” on Thursday, “Body Combat” on Friday and “Body Step” this morning! Step aerobics reminds me of my cheerleading days :)

 

 

Meeting Brutus the Buckeye

Go Bucks!

 

 

Homemade Nut Butter

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This stuff has been making an appearance on granny smiths lately… SO delicious

 

What things are you loving right now?

<3 Liz

When 2 Gyms Aren’t Enough…

I’m almost embarrassed, but I signed up for another gym. Let me clarify: I have one gym at my apartment complex, which wins points for convenience. It’s literally down the hall. But it’s TINY. Then I have a gym at work, which is great, but it’s at work, which is far away, and closed on the weekend. So tonight, I signed up at Gold’s Gym. Why? Because:

1. I don’t want to get burned out in my current routine

2. I want to try some new classes (Like Body Pump!)

3. I want to push myself out of the cardio/free weight routine I’ve got going on

 

Technically, I haven’t signed up for anything. I’ve got 7 days to try it and see if I like it. I have to admit. I’m really excited to try some new classes. Group exercise just does such a great job of keeping me motivated.

What type of exercise keeps you motivated? Goals? Workout buddies? Classes? I’m trying them all :)

Right now I’m feeling super ambitious, and I want to try the Body Pump class tomorrow… at 6am.

Will I get up @ 5:30 to make it in time? Probably not ;) But if not, it’s ok, because Netflix just sent me Jillian Michael’s 30 Shred DVD!!!(Apparently Richmond is getting a lot of snow tomorrow, so I might not be going anywhere!)

Has anyone tried Jillian Michael’s workouts? I haven’t yet…

 

So let’s rewind today. I woke up this morning around 7:15am and I wasn’t even tempted to hit the snooze button. In fact, I practically bounced out of bed. I went to bed around 10:15 last night, so I got a ridiculous amount of sleep. It was pretty glorious. I knew it was going to be a good day. Work went well, and I did the spinning class during lunch. (Normally, I shy away from spinning. It’s pretty rough!) It felt great! I was pretty sad that I left my bodybugg in the locker room though :( The morale of the story? My body likes extra sleep.

 

How much sleep do you normally get?

 

Speaking of slumber, I’m off to catch some ZZZ’s. Later!

<3 Liz

 

The Alternate Peanut Butter

I’ve got a pretty serious relationship going on with peanut butter these days. In my opinion, it pretty much makes anything better. (Particularly when it gets involved with bananas or chocolate.) The one problem? Um, I could pretty much eat the whole jar, and well, there ARE ~200 calories packed into each 2 tbsp serving. Which means that my beloved peanut butter is one of those “great in moderation” foods. Well what if I want peanut butter ALL the time? Hm? Behold… PB2.

Have you tried PB2?

PB2 is Bell Plantation‘s amazing creation, which is a powdered peanut butter that essential has the fat literally pressed out of the peanuts. It comes in a powder that you simply mix with water. It has the consistency, and it pretty much tastes like peanut butter. (It’s also worth clarifying that this really is just peanuts, it’s not a weird chemical concoction of various peanut “flavors”. This is all natural, baby.) It’s definitely not as oily as peanut butter (um, duh) so adjust your expectation accordingly. You can’t get a crunchy variety, for obvious reasons, but this still makes a great creamy pb swap.

Oh, and it’s only ~50 calories, per 2tbsp serving. That’s 1/4 the calories of traditional peanut butter! Yes, I’m kind of in love. I can now top pretty much anything I want with peanut butter ;) They also have little single serving packets, so I can take it to work! I’m pretty excited. Of course, my homemade vitamix peanut butter will STILL hold a special place in my heart, and on my plate. So it’s not going away anytime soon ;)

Speaking of which, I made another kind of nut butter! This time, I made chocolate almond butter.  But I cheated :) Short cut! I used the Emerald Nut Cocoa Roasted Almonds!

I just threw 2 cups into the Vitamix, and blended as usual!

It turned out pretty well! It looks pretty much like regular almond butter, and it tastes similar, it just has a hint of cocoa. Not bad, but in the future, I’ll probably just stick to plain almond butter!

On a totally unrelated note (and I mean totally) are you a multi-tasker? I’m currently watching  a PBS documentary about the “digital” age and about how my generation is connected all the time. Apparently multitaskers think they’re much more capable at doing it than they really are. Supposedly (according to this NASA study) we would be more effective if we just focused on one thing at a time. Yet, here I am, writing and watching a movie at the same time! I’m also realizing that I can’t go more than a few minutes without texting, checking facebook, tweeting, checking my e-mail. How short has my attention span become? Doing one thing doesn’t seem to be enough anymore…

Are you a multi-tasker? Do you think you’re more efficient doing one thing at a time or tackling multiple things at once?

Hope you’re all having a fantastic Monday!

<3 Liz

Almond Butter Cookie Recipe!

I’d like to blame my baking obsession on the holidays… but that wouldn’t be fair, since this isn’t really a seasonal thing. So last night I decided to make some Almond Butter Cookies. These cookies are sweet, soft, and have a subtle hint of maple. SO delicious. Oh, and did I mention they’re vegan? Let’s do it:

 

Almond Butter Cookies

  • [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:1]

It’s really one of those, throw all of those ingredients in a bowl, shape into cookies, and bake at 350 for ~8-10 minutes. I could make it sound more complicated than that… but it’s not.

I didn’t have any almond butter (and I knew this) so it was really just an excuse to try making almond butter in the vita…  and it was not only easy, but DELICIOUS! Seriously, I don’t think I’ll ever need to buy almond butter again! The hardest part of making almond butter? Getting it out of the blender!

Thankfully, I had a solution for using the rest of it… ;)

Ice Cream!!! I threw half a banana, 6 frozen soy milk cubes, a splash of soymilk, and some truvia. Blended it up and had magically delicious ice cream in a few minutes.

Stay tuned… tonight, I’ll be attempting chocolate almond butter! (Ok, I’m getting a liiiiittle obsessive with the nut butter making… so I promise, this is the last recipe for awhile!)

Is anyone else feeling baking obsessed these days??

Have a great weekend, bloggies!

<3 Liz