Saturday, April 19, 2014

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Breaking off any relationship is a hard thing to do. In this case, I broke up with my CrossFit box this week. It was a really hard decision and one that I have been struggling with for a while. I started CrossFit in June 2013 on a Groupon, scared to death of what would happen to me in the first class. One class turned into 10, 10 turned into the monthly membership - I was hooked. I attended classes about 4-5x a week, and honestly looked forward to getting my ass handed to me. I am not sure what changed, or when the change happened. I started noticing that I just didn't feel like going and I was more than OK with canceling class. I think CrossFit is great but somewhere along the way I realized it wasn't for me. I know it's not necessarily a "weight loss" program, but I felt like no matter how often I went I never lost any weight, but rather got bigger (NOT my goal at all!)   I am going to miss a few of the people at CrossFit. Going for a year, to the same class you get to know some of the regulars, you celebrate with each other when you hit a new PR, you encourage each other to hit new milestones. Thank God for social media so I can keep in touch with them! 

I might try it again in the future but there are some other programs/classes I want to try out. A few that come to mind are the Bar Method classes, 21 Day Fix, Body Beast... I don't think I'll have a shortage of things to do. It does freak me out not to have another program ready to jump into, but you can't continue something if it no longer benefits you: 

Word. :) 

-AJ

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Breakfast Love - Overnight Oats

I've never been much of a breakfast girl. Given the choice, I would choose spaghetti over eggs, sweet potatoes over (soy) bacon. However, I am making myself try various breakfast food and I find that it's not so bad after all. My main problem is that I never really have time in the morning to sit and eat a meal. I have tried different recipes for breakfast, or sometimes I'll just drink a Shakeology but nothing has kept me full and satisfied quite like Overnight Oats. Plus, it's easy to eat on the go so it doesn't keep me from leaving the house on time. 

I found the recipe for overnight oats on Pinterest (of course)  - it's easy, quick to prepare, and you can make it so many ways! 

Below is the recipe that I've been using:

  • 2/3 cup almond milk (coconut milk tastes great too! You could use any milk you want)
  • 1/2 cup organic rolled oats
  • 1 Tablespoon of Greek yogurt 
  • 1 scoop of protein powder (chocolate is awesome - tastes like pudding)
  • tsp. of honey
  • any additional toppings such as fruit, nuts, coconut shavings
Just put all of the ingredients into a mason Jar, give it a shake and stick it in the fridge. I make 5 jars at a time so in the morning I can grab and go. 

A couple of my favorite adds for Overnight Oats are sliced strawberries, organic frozen blueberries and blackberries. 


Monday, March 3, 2014

Super Easy Taco Soup

Here in the Midwest we are having a very cold and sleety kind of day. I keep telling myself that winter will have to be over at some point, right? On days like today I really don't feel like doing much except for hanging out on the couch - I definitely don't feel like cooking. A while back I found a recipe on Pinterest for Taco Soup and made some modifications to fit my eating preferences. Not only is it easy to make but it makes quite a bit of food, and it's low in calories! 

Super Easy Taco Soup: 

1 can Green Enchilada Sauce
1 can Cream of Celery Soup - I buy the 98% fat free. 
1 can Red Kidney Beans, rinsed
1 can Black Beans, rinsed
1 can Pinto Beans, rinsed
1 can Sweet Corn, drained
2 cups Veggie Broth
1 packet of Low Sodium Taco Seasoning

Throw everything into a crock pot and let it cook on low for 4 hours. Enjoy! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fitness Friday - My Favorite Running Songs (Part 1)

As mentioned on my short list, I have a 2014 goal of running 10 miles per week. Truth be told, I am already getting a bit sick of the treadmill and the only thing that keeps me going at times is the music I'm jamming out to. I thought it'd be fun to put together a list of my favorite running songs that keep me going! My musical preferences are all over the board, so it's a pretty good mix of alternative, hip-hop and even some classic rock. 

Hopefully there are some new tunes on this list that others will benefit from. I love hearing about and reading others' playlists so please share what you like working out to! 

My (current) running playlist: 

Cults - Abducted
Bruno Mars - Locked out of Heaven
Juanes - A Dios le Pido 
Rihanna - Diamonds
Handsome Furs - I'm Confused
The Spill Canvas - All Over You
Estelle - American Boy
Everclear - Amphetamine
Massive Attack - Angel
Journey - Any Way you Want it
Anberlin - Breaking
Alt-J - Matilda

There's more songs that I incorporate, but I figure I'll save those for another time. 

-AJ

Saturday, February 1, 2014

January Fitness Favorites

Happy February! 

Now that we're already in our second month of the year I wonder how many people are sticking to their fitness resolutions? I heard this morning that it takes 60 days for a new habit to stick, so hopefully everyone has at least 30 more days in them! 

This year, instead of making one general resolution (I will lose weight) I thought it would be better to make some specific goals I would like to achieve. All my goals, fitness and otherwise, are listed in my 2014 short list. Since January 2014 is now behind us, I wanted to share some of my Fitness Favorites from the past month: 


                                             1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

1. Nike + App (Free, iPhone) Since one of my goals this year is to run 10 miles a week, this app has become my go-to to track my progress.  You can track your distance/pace/time, calories, share your progress with your social networks and listen to your own playlist while you run. Additionally, you get 'badges' for milestones you hit, and you can set it up to run against others. 

2. P90X Results and Recovery Drink (49.95, My Beachbody site) We have been loyal fans of the Results and Recovery Formula since 2010 - it provides your body necessary vitamins after your workout to reduce muscle soreness. Oh, and it tastes amazing, like an orange dreamsicle!  It is such a reward after working out. Because I am a Beachbody coach, we get the drink for $37.96/mo.

3. Ninja Blender and Food Processor ($69.99, www.kohls.com) I LOVE this thing! We literally use this every single day for the aforementioned Results and Recovery drink, and for our daily Shakeology meal. I also use the Ninja to make soups, sauces and chop up just about anything. We had our old Ninja since December 2009, and I just bought a new one last week. Our old one still works great, but there's a crack in one of the containers and I was able to get a new one on sale at Kohls. The only thing that I don't care for is you have to hold the top down to blend, it's not like a blender where you can set it on a particular setting and walk away. Not a big deal, but I wish there was an option to keep it turned on. 

4. Shakeology ($129.95, My Beachbody site) I drink a Shakeology shake every morning for breakfast - not only does it fill me up, but I know it is loaded with tons of vitamins and antioxidants. We get the "home direct" shipment, which is free shipping and gives us a new bag every month. So far we've tried the Chocolate, Vanilla, Tropical Strawberry (vegan), and the greenberry. We have a bag of strawberry coming right now, so I am looking forward to trying that one. I like to add some almond butter, a banana, or whatever fruit I have laying around. I admit the price tag seems steep, but since I am a Beachbody coach I get Shakeology for $97.00/mo and the home direct saves money on shipping. Yes, still expensive but worth it for us. I highly recommend that if someone wanted to order this regularly they should do the coaching and take advantage of the discount (you get discounts on everything, including fitness programs, the Results and Recovery drink..)

5. Nike Air Relentless 2 Running Shoes ($59.60, similar here) I found these on sale at DSW and I couldn't pass it up. I have been a loyal fan of New Balance running shoes for a while, but wanted to switch it up. A coworker, who used to work for Nike and is also a runner, had just talked to me about how much he loves his Nike shoes so I figured I would give it a shot. They are light, but not too light - they feel great on my feet and provide added support to my heel and ball of the foot.  

6. My WOD App (free, iPhone) I love this app for keeping track of all my CrossFit WODs (workout of the day). I love how all of the hero WOD and girl WODs are already loaded into the app. I ESPECIALLY love how I have all of my PR's (personal records) saved so I can see when I've improved. 

There you have it..my Fitness Favorites from January! I hope if you try any of these you'll enjoy them as much as I do. 

-AJ

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Adult Snow Day

In the St. Louis area we got 12" (give or take) of snow between Saturday till today! I haven't seen this much snow in a really long time, and I think we may have the coldest days since 1982. Brrr! I hate the winter with a passion but I have to admit, it was kind of pretty (I said kind of) to watch the snow fall, knowing I had no place to go. So, what do you do when the weather is so cold and there's a ton of snow on the ground? You make snow ice cream, of course! I saw some people posting about this on Facebook, so I decided to give it a try. It was actually pretty good! 

Snow ice cream is super easy to make:

6-8 cups of snow
1/2 cup milk (I used almond)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
I put about 4 tablespoons of cocoa in mine :) 

Mix the milk, sugar, vanilla  until the sugar is dissolved, then add in your snow and keep mixing. I added the cocoa in last. 

This tasted like chocolate ice cream, but I do have to admit that I was weirded out by eating snow and any other dirt/debris that could have been in it. Plus I have a dog, so.... 
I also read that St. Louis apparently detected high levels of radiation in the snow (unsure if this is true) so if you live around here, I advise just making a trip to the grocery store and buying some ice cream. 

Last night my boss emailed to say that we could work from home if we wanted to...so not a total Adult Snow Day, but I worked all day in my PJ's which was pretty awesome. I am realizing why people work from home - no distractions, peace and quiet..I could get used to this! 

Stay warm!

Snowapocolypse 2014

Sunday, January 5, 2014

FabFitFun - Winter Box Goodies

Last fall, I decided to stop my Birchbox shipments. No particular reason, I just wanted a change and had learned of the FabFitFun VIP Box. FabFitFun is a quarterly subscription box ($49.99/quarter) and it includes over $120 of the hottest of the season items from Giuliana Rancic and the FabFitFun team. This is the second box that I've received from FFF and so far I am really enjoying the goodies I receive! Below are the items that were in my winter box and a brief description/review of each: 




Winter Fab.Fit.Fun box (kitty not included)

Beauty For Real Lip Gloss in Light My Fire ($22) this is one of the products that makes you think, "Damn..why didn't I think of this?" The packaging on this item is awesome - the gloss has a mirror on the side of the tube and a light! In the tube, the gloss looks like it would be really dark which is not something I'd normally wear but when you put it on it's a pretty red/berry color. And it's a plumper...score! I am going to look into getting some other colors when mine gets low. This is a new brand for me, but so far I'm super impressed.

MeUndies Gift Card ($20) - I've never heard of MeUndies before - am I alone? As a loyal Victoria Secret undies girl, I wasn't too impressed with this item in my box. But, it's $20 so why not give it a shot. I went to the website and checked out the prices. Whoa.. 5 pairs of undies for $89?? I think I'll just buy one pair and see how that goes. They do have other items such as socks, t-shirts and pants that look pretty comfortable. A couple cool things about this company (a) they have a subscription service - underwear sent directly to your doorstep! and (b) free shipping..all the time

Skyn Icelandic Relief Eye Cream ($45) Again, another brand that I've never heard of (that makes 3/3 now) so far I'm loving this eye cream. It is really thick and really creamy but it feels light and smooth when you put it on. Another thing I love is that it feels so cool against your skin which is nice and refreshing. The cream is supposed to reduce puffiness, dark circles and fine lines, so far I can't really say that I've noticed a huge difference but it's only been a couple of weeks. I do remember to put it on every day, and there's not a lot of products I can say that with - that counts for something. 

NYX Eye shadow Palette ($8) A couple days before receiving this box, I had splurged and bought the Urban Decay Naked 2 eye shadow palette so I didn't experiment with this one for a while. I decided to try it out, and I like it OK - the colors are what I would have probably bought anyways but with the Naked 2 monopolizing all of my eyelid real estate, I think I'll tuck this one away for a while. 

Simple Foaming Cleanser - not pictured ($7.49) I love a foaming cleanser, and I am still using the one I received in my last FFF box (Bliss Oxygen Cleanser) but I am excited to start using this one. I have wanted to try the Simple products due to the fact they don't use dyes and keep things as natural as possible. 

Bioxidea Miracle 24 Face Mask ($20) I've never heard of this brand either but I am really excited about using this face mask! I was going to use it on the weekend but I think I'll wait until I have someplace important to go since it's supposed to make your skin look visibly younger - I need all the help I can get in that department. 

The Giving Keys Never Ending Necklace ($55) love, love, LOVE the idea behind this necklace! I have to admit that when I first got it I  wasn't sure if I would wear it, let alone give it to someone else. However, after doing some more research on it and thinking about the concept - I really fell in love with this idea. I also love the idea of this necklace getting passed from person to person. The company behind the Giving Keys employ people transitioning out of homelessness, how great is that?! The necklace I received is "Strength" so I'll make sure to pass it along when I come across someone who could use it. 

Lorna Jane Bracelet ($29.99) I wasn't familiar with this brand either (I must be really out of touch!) but after visiting the website, I like the items I see! The pricing is higher than my normal workout attire, but I could see myself splurging on some of these clothes. The bracelet is to be worn as a symbol of sisterhood, and to remind us to Move, Nourish and Believe - a wonderful message. The color is too bright for my taste, but I do really like it regardless. 
After visiting the website I am now obsessed with ordering the 2014 Move Nourish Believe Diary. With my FFF box, I received a 20% off coupon and the site has free shipping.

Physique 57 Online Classes ($25) This coupon is good for five online workout classes. I am pretty into my CrossFit/Running regimen now, but I can see myself using this for when I travel and I'm stuck working out in a hotel room. A great concept for those who don't/can't make it to a gym. 

TruEnergy Earbuds ($39.99) Who doesn't need another pair of earbuds? Don't know about you, but I keep losing mine or they get so tangled/quit working. I loved seeing this in my FFF box! I love the color (coastal) and they are comfortable and they work well. They also have the splitter feature so you can share your earbuds with someone else

The retail value of this box was $272.47!I would say the $49.99 was a good price as I'll use the majority of these items. 
I'm already looking forward to the next FFF box!

AJ