Wednesday, December 28, 2011

WIAW #4 [The Beginning of NROLFW]

My brother gave me this awesome book for Christmas:

I was really excited and read practically the entire book on Christmas day! It was a highly entertaining yet info-packed book that I would highly recommend. I learned quite a few things that I never knew before about lifting and about nutrition.

I started the program on Monday, even though I am not sure I am going to be able to finish the full 8 stages of workouts provided (that would take 6 months). Track season starts up in a little under two months and I don't know if I should really stick with the program until then or kinda do my own thing. Thoughts?

Anyway, let's get onto the WIAW! (but really what I did on Monday ;))

Meal 1:

Eggs with spinach and mushrooms, and a piece of toast with this amazing TJ's apple butter:

santa knows how to do stockings. ;)

Meal 2:

Apple with a spoonful of all-natural peanut butter.

Midday Workout:
1-mile warmup run

So far I have been keeping track of all my workouts and meals on the NROLFW program in this handy little book:

And here's the workout! (yeah, need work on my handwriting.. haha)

The awesome thing is that since we have lots of dumbbells and two barbells with different weights (and a lat pull machine) in my garage, I didn't even need to leave the house to do this workout! Only bummer is that I don't own an exercise ball (which the original workout needed for the last move) so I subbed in something else, but it wasn't as hard.

Meal 3: 
Post-workout protein shake.
In the mix: 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder, 1/2 banana, 1 cup frozen mixed berries, squirt of lemon juice, 1/2 cup almond milk

Meal 4:
Greek yogurt with a spoonful of apple butter mixed in (<-- heavenly!! try it. now.) and a new-to-me pistachio and walnut bar that I got in my stocking. The bar was pretty good but a little too sweet.

Meal 5: 
Veggie burger on an english muffin with Alexia baked french fries

Meal 6:
 Another apple with peanut butter and a few squares of this amazing dark chocolate (also courtesy of Santa)

All in all a very delicious day! :)

Even if I don't end up finishing out the whole NROLFW plan, I definitely have learned a lot of things from the book. One of those was that eating more frequently is just in general better for you. I'm so glad I tried this tip because almost ALL of my in between meal snacking (on dry cereal, nuts, etc.) has disappeared and I feel a lot more satisfied!

 The other thing I took away from the nutrition section of the book was that after a lifting session getting protein in your body quickly is very important. I've started drinking some form of protein smoothie after every lifting workout. I used to be starving and eat a ton of food on days that I lifted, but that problem has been solved with eating 5-6 mini meals a day and eating a lot more protein. I'm shooting for 100+ grams a day.

Have you read the New Rules of Lifting for Women? Thoughts? 
Do you eat mini meals or do you prefer larger, less frequent ones?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Latest Workout Playlist.

I absolutely love to work out with good music. If I don't have music, it's really hard for me to get pumped up and kick some butt at whatever I'm doing.

Here's my most recent playlist - it's a completely random mix but I like a little bit of everythin!

What's your favorite song to workout to right now? 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Few Snapshots from Christmas Eve & Christmas.

[day before Christmas Eve in the city}

[early morning Christmas Eve run]

[eve tradition: pictures with Santa.]

[Grandma's classic sugar cookies]

[my sign-making! :)]

[christmas eve jammies]

[santa hats.]

[my Christmas kitty Cinnamon. 9 years ago today I got my first kitten!]

[ornament tradition. hung the new ones on Christmas Eve!]

[Christmas morning breakfast. Pigs in a blanket and cinnamon rolls! Same breakfast ever since I can remember. Except this year I made them!]

[lot of ribbons and wrappings for the kitties to play with! exhausted all of them :)]

And now, I'm relaxing by the fire listening to Christmas music before dinner! We're having my dad's smoked turkey, Grandma's recipe  for the best homemade rolls, mashed potatoes, gravy, and veggies.

I had such a wonderful day today celebrating with my family. I hope your day was filled with peace, love, and joy.

Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Brown Sugar Cookies.

These cookies have become my new favorite. I have a lot of cookie recipes that I love, but when I made these, I couldn't stop eating them! They're chewy in the middle and crispy on the outside, oversized, and have depth of flavor thanks to the browned butter.

Brown Sugar Cookies
adapted from Cook's Illustrated Cookbook
makes 24 cookies


  • 10 tablespoons + 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar, divided
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg + 1 large yolk
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

  1. Melt 10 tbsp butter in a skillet over medium heat and stir constantly until the butter is golden brown, about 2 minutes. [using a lighter colored skillet, aka not a non-stick skillet, will make it easier to tell when the butter is brown.]
  2. Transfer butter to a large bowl and add remaining butter. Stir until the butter is completely melted and set aside. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a pie plate [any shallow dish will work] stir together 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, and the granulated sugar and set aside. 
  4. Mix together flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in a separate bowl and set aside. 
  5. Add remaining brown sugar and salt to the bowl with the cooled butter, and mix until smooth. Add egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture and stir until the dough is just combined - don't over mix.
  6. Roll dough into balls and roll the balls into the brown sugar/white sugar mixture. Place on baking sheets about 2 inches apart [the cookies will spread quite a bit during baking].
  7. Bake for 11-13 minutes until edges are browned but centers are still looking soft. [It's better to underbake these than overbake them, so don't worry if the centers are still looking raw.]
  8. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for about five minutes and then move them to a cooling rack.
only managed to snap a photo of the dough when it was half gone! 

Enjoy! :) 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wisdom Teeth.

If you follow me on Twitter, you've probably figured out by my millions of tweets that I had three of my wisdom teeth removed on Friday.

awake at 3am and watching some random show on food network. can't stop thinking about solid food! my tummy is a' grumbling.

my jaw is sore and i have  and a headache. funstuff.  

 I was not looking forward to it at all - the actual surgery wasn't that bad, but the post-surgery has been pretty terrible, not gonna lie.

why the heck I am posting this photo on the internet is beyond me. 
 I was a grumpy mess from Friday until last night and not a fun person to be around. I think my main problem was that the painkillers that I was on were making me feel exhausted, and I felt dizzy and nauseous every time I tried to get up. When I stopped taking the painkillers I felt a million times better even though my jaw/face hurt a bit more.

Let's just say the past few days of eating has looked like this:

pureed broccoli and cauliflower with parmesan. sounds gross but i was craving veggies!

berry, banana, peach yogurt, spinach, and milk smoothie
And I have been watching many movies and snuggling with my babies a lot. They absolutely love any warm body to sleep on so I had lots of company over the weekend.

I haven't worked out since last Wednesday and am craving exercise like crazy, so I think later on today i might try to do some light elliptical if I'm feeling good.

So excited that it's under a week until Christmas! Our tree is finally decorated and lots of Christmas music has been playing around here lately. I already made some of the best cookies this morning [brown sugar cookies - hello, delicious] and I am planning on going shopping for a few gifts later in the afternoon.

cookies the size of my face? YES, please! {recipe coming soon!}
Have a wonderful, cheer-filled day! 

What is your all-time favorite Christmas cookie? I'd have to say our classic sugar cookies from scratch. We always made them for Santa and only make them once a year! Although those brown sugar cookies I made this morning are pretty heavenly, too :)