Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 10 Posts of 2011

Well, it's (almost) here. The last day of 2011. I feel as if this year has just flown by. I still cannot believe that next semester will be my final semester and this long journey to my dream will be coming (closer) to the end. As I have said before, I am very proud of this degree because it was so much more difficult than the first. Not only academically, but personally since I am married, working and taking care of two pups.

I thought I would share with you the Top 10 most viewed posts of 2011:

10. You Know What It Is, Hump Day
One of my many food journal posts. This was back in the summer when I was taking Anatomy 2 with Dr. Said. He is definitely my favorite science teacher. I really enjoyed his teaching style and felt as if I learned the most in his class.

Transmet Dinner

During the summer, we bought shrimp (that was on sale!) every Sunday. These recipes are my favorite ways to prepare the shrimp. We actually haven't bought shrimp in a long time because there haven't been many good sales.

Ptit Chef

I really enjoyed writing this post. I think it's neat to see what others use on a daily basis, etc. Was anyone able to try any of these products?

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My goal for this blog in 2012 is to do a lot more fitness related posts. I think sometimes it's just easier for me to do food based because a) I talk about, study about it, etc. all day, every day and b) it's easy to just take a picture and type up a recipe. But, I promise to try and change that in 2012!

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This is still one my favorite new recipes. It's so easy and so yummy! I know one friend on Facebook tried it and it turned out great! Was anyone else able to?



This post stays in the top 10 or so posts pretty consistently. Which isn't very much of a surprise to me. I always like to read the first post on blogs just to see where they originated.

(No Picture!)

The next three posts are WIAW posts which makes perfect sense due to Jen's awesome WIAW party every week! Be sure to check it out!


I decided it would be easier to number the WIAW posts that are related to the party every week, so I'm going to try and keep up with those. Do you guys enjoy these posts?


The first attempt with the numbering. In this post I talk about trying to decide whether I should do Yoga Teacher Training (200 hours). I am happy to say that I have decided to take part in the training and I am so excited! It has been pushed to the summer which actually works perfectly for me. I can't wait to blog about it and share my experience with you guys!


Drumroll please!!!!

The number one post of 2011 is...

This is really an all time great recipe! I believe I will make in the next week or so! Did any of you guys ever get the chance to make it? If not, I definitely recommend it! Maybe I could even use kale..


Well, it's been a great year. THANK YOU to each and every person who read my blog. It really means a lot to me that anyone cares to read what I am writing here in my own little section of the internet. 

I hope everyone has a fun and safe New Year's Eve! Don't forget to eat your collards and black eyed peas on Sunday!

Happy New Year's from our family to yours!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How To: Chop an Onion

I've been wanting to start a 'How To' series for a while now. So, here we go! I'm going to do both fitness themed and food themed ones.

This first one is obviously food based and I'm going to show you one onion chopping technique. There are obviously different techniques, but this is the one I use most often.

Some of you may be laughing...but, you would be surprised at how many people do not know these things...now, I don't claim to know everything, so I'm just showing you what is the easiest and fastest way that I have found.

Step 1:
Chop off each edge on the onion



Step 2:
I like to remove the outer layer and also the first inner layer...just in case there is some nastiness that creeped in...


Step 3:
Next, slice the onion in half


Step 4:
With the flat part of the onion down, slice the onion in a fan shape. Do not cut all the way through.


Step 5:
Rotate the onion and slice all the way through



Step 6:
If you need the onion pieces to be smaller, you can chop them even more by using what I have dubbed the 'fan' technique. The tip of the knife remains stationary and you chop while move the blade side to side.




*Safety Tip #1: When chopping, slicing, etc. make sure you curl your fingers so that the nail is going into whatever you are cutting (like a claw). This way the side of blade just bumps your knuckle and (theoretically) you cannot chop your own finger.
Chef Ramsay talks about this in his video on chopping onions as well.

*Safety Tip #2: It is actually safer to use a sharp knife. You are more likely to cut yourself trying to use a dull knife. It's true. Just take your time, focus and be cautious. You'll do great!

Do you have any other techniques you would like to share?

Happy Chopping! Pin It

Recipe: Easy Pear Cobbler

Did you get a box of ginormous pears this Christmas? Because I did. I like pears. The DH does not. So, in the hopes of not letting them rot and go to waste, I am trying to bake them into things. This is the first time I've made cobbler, I'm pretty sure. It was super easy.

Yes. That is a paper bowl. I'm tired of washing dishes today.
I used this recipe for inspiration. Here is what I did.

Ingredients:
Hugeee Pears

-1/2 cup Earth Balance Whipped Buttery Spread, melted
-1 Cup All Purpose Flour
-1 Cup Granulated Splenda, Divided
-1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
-Pinch of Salt
-1 Cup Light Silk Soy Milk
-~4 Cups Pears, Sliced
-1 Tbsp. Lime Juice (Or Lemon)
-Ground Cinnamon (Optional, but recommended)

Preparation:
-Preheat oven to 375*F
-Melt the Earth Balance (or butter) and pour into a 9x13 in. baking dish, covering the bottom
-Mix the flour, 1/2 cup Splenda, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl
-Add the soy milk to mixture and stir until everything is moist
-Pour batter over top of Earth balance layer; do not mix



-Bring 1/2 cup Splenda, Pears and lime juice to a boil in a large saucepan, stirring constantly



-Pour pear mixture over the top of batter; again, do not mix



-Sprinkle with Cinnamon
-Bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown
-Serve!




**This is a vegan recipe. If you don't have these ingredients, here are some other options:
-Replace Earth Balance with the same amount of butter or margarine
-Replace 1 cup Splenda with 2 cups sugar
-Replace Soy milk with the same amount of regular milk

Update: Holiday Wrap Up

Oops. I did it again. I completely neglected the blog for...almost two weeks?!! Sorry!! I have been just as busy even though school is out! Which sounds silly, but it's true! See:

We went on a family trip to the mountains:
This Cabin held: 6 adults, 3 kids and 2 dogs. RIP cabin.

Ate lots of soup
Then last week I worked and/or taught a class every day. There was a lot of this:

Filinggggg
And this:

I told you I am an old lady
As a treat for surviving the semester, I got muh nails did:

Old lady yarn in the background

For Christmas, I baked Banana Bread using a recipe from The Baking Bird:
Yummo
I also made these Pumpkin Pie Banana Chunk Oatmeal cookies from Oh She Glows Blog:

So many angles
We had a great Christmas and it was so nice to be 'home' and just relax with the family. I can't believe this year is almost over. It has flown by and now I only have one more semester left in school! I am SO excited about graduating! I admit that I am very proud of this degree and the work that I have put into it. Now everyone just needs to start praying that I get into a dietetic internship!  ;)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

WIAW Official #3

I'm freeeeee, I'm freeeeee. I finally took my last final today...just praying that I passed and am officially finished with Biochemistry (and science classes in general!). I can go do stuff now...like laundry...and the dishes...and workout when I want to...

Here is WIAW, featuring what I ate Tuesday, December 13, 2011:


Breakfast:
I taught the 6:10am cycle, so this breakfast doesn't have pictures because I am in robot mode at 5am.
But, I had a Clif Z-bar with some hot Light Soy Milk.


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Lunch:
I groggily stayed awake so that I could study all day and got hungry around 11:30/12:00, so I took a study break to eat some lunch.

Salad with: Veggie Burger, Mozzarella, Pumpkin Seeds and Sun Dried Tomato Dressing

Dinner:
I was cooking for one, which is actually easier for me to do. I have a harder time trying to cook for more than one person.

Sauteed Kale with Mushrooms and onions, Gardein 7 Grain 'Chicken' Tenders and Whole Grain Garlic Couscous

Snacks:
I had a few random snacks throughout the day.

Cuties...I'll eat them, despite their uber creepy commercials.

0% Plain Greek Yogurt with Mixed Frozen Fruit, Organic Dark Chocolate, Skippy Natural and Almonds

Snacks that were not pictured included:
-1 100 calorie bag of popcorn
-1 serving of Back to Nature Whole Grain Crackers

I'm going to go do some non school related things now...who am I kidding? I am going to start working on all of my applications for Dietetic Internships and in about 1 day I will be losing my mind from boredom...

What did you eat today?

If you are a student, are you finished with classes for the semester?

Don't forget to check out the whole party at Peas & Crayons to see what everyone else is eating this Wednesday!



Saturday, December 10, 2011

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things

Inspired by a post by Jen at PB Runner and of course, Oprah's Favorite Things episode (That sadly won't be there this year...or will it...I'm thinking an OWN special...lol), I've decided to share some of my favorite things from food and fitness with you guys.

FOOD/KITCHEN:

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Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 2-pc. Omelette Pan Set
 I use these pans pretty much every.single.day. For everything from just cooking eggs, my skillet gnocchi, sauteing vegetables, etc. They're great! We actually got 2 sets for our wedding which was awesome!

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Magic Bullet Blender
This Magic Bullet Blender is amazing. I know some people give mixed reviews on them, but we got this as a wedding gift over 2 years ago and I've used it almost every day and it's been fine. Only recently have I considered replacing it due to wear and tear. But, it's great for smoothies and even for smaller amounts when you don't want to drag out your food processor.

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Pyrex Easy Grab Set
I just got these recently and they have been great! They were especially helpful at Thanksgiving when we were traveling with food. I can't wait to cook for Christmas and use these again.

FITNESS:

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 Camelbak BPA Free Bottle
I have two of these bottles and they are definitely my favorites. They are so easy to clean and the straw makes it easy to grab a sip when I am teaching class.

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C9 by Champion Women's Seamless Capri Pants
I have these capris in every color that they have offered. I believe that when you find something that you like and that fits, you should buy more than one pair! I tried on several Nike pants the other day and none of them fit me as well as these capris do and these are much cheaper too!

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Brooks Glycerin 8
I have been a Brooks devotee for a few years now. I have a pretty small foot (6-6.5) and a very high arch with a wide toe base. So, if this odd combo also describes your foot, then this shoe is for you! If not, then you should still try any of the Brooks shoes because they are really good.

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North Face Masonic Hoodie
This is my go-to jacket whenever I am going to workout or teach a class. It's soft and comfy with all of my favorite parts of a jacket: a hoodie, kangaroo pocket and those awesome thumb holes. However, I read some reviews on the website and apparently there is a new version of this jacket out and the material isn't as high quality. Bummer.

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 iPod Nano (3rd generation)
Obviously I can't workout, and I especially could not teach, without my music. My iPod goes everywhere with me. I also always keep a back up with me as well by putting some of my music on my iPhone and by carrying back up CDs. Have to be prepared! There is nothing worse than getting ready to teach a class and not having the proper music.


Well, that's my list of favorite things for now.

What are some of your favorite things in either food or fitness?





Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thoughtful: Versatile

ver·sa·tile [vur-suh-tl or, especially British, -tahyl] 

adjective

1.capable of or adapted for turning easily from one to another of various tasks, fields of endeavor, etc.: a versatile writer.
I guess I'm pretty versatile. Sara at My Less Serious Life thinks so. (Thanks Sara!). Therefore, I have been dubbed:
That's me.
What does this entail, you ask? Pretty simple. I just have to share with you guys 7 of my deepest, darkest secrets...or just 7 little quirky things about myself. So, join me as I over think this list.

#1) I tend to over think these lists...and everything else

#1) I don't watch the news often. 
Instead, I read blogs. 
What blogs? 
Well, other than health and fitness blogs, I sometimes read 'junk' blogs just to unwind.
Yes. Junk. As in Celeb gossip, movie news, music news, stuff that really shouldn't matter junk.
Why? 
Because the news is depressing. We have to balance that with a little bit of nonsense, no?
I typically check E! Online (I hate the Kardashians...but, I must know why the "marriage" failed!), Lainey Gossip (She's hilarious) and Go Fug Yourself (A fashion blog), among a few other sites.

#2) I was obsessed with Jeff Goldblum when I was younger.

Ob.sessed.

Oh yes.

I have seen Jurassic Park, Independence Day, and The Fly more times than I can count.

And by more times than I can count, I mean over 20 times. Each.

I also may have had this action figure on my nightstand:

Ken Dolls are for losers

#3) Playing off of #2, I have always been obsessed with dinosaurs and I wanted to be a Paleontologist. 

 I would seriously read boring scientific books about dinosaurs as a kid. 
I was determined.

This may or may not have had something to do with it

#4) I used to be a total cat person. My first pet was a cat and I still miss him....I wasn't fond of dogs when I was younger because I was chased by a Rottweiler...obviously I love dogs now:

Levi & his favorite toy

(A gold star if someone can tell me who is on the calendar in the background)

#5) I have counted calories every day since I was 8 years old 
(Have I mentioned this before?)
I would carry a tiny little notebook with me and I would write out everything and its calorie content.

Thankfully, there are now apps on your phone that can do it for you.

Am I saying this is healthy?
No. 
Was I always in a healthy state of mind while doing this? 
No. 
But, as I have said before, there must be a balance in life and with food and I have chosen not to focus on counting calories on this blog because I don't want you guys to focus on that. 
I have learned to listen to my body and treat it the right way.  
Why do I still count calories? Just a habit I guess and I don't let it run/ruin my life.

#6) My favorite holiday is Halloween. I love dressing up and I love Fall weather.

Halloween 2009= Alias/Sydney Bristow
Kitty Cat 2008

#7) Ohhhh the big finale. I LOVE to read.
As in, last Christmas break, I read over 12 books in two and a half weeks. 

I read all 7 Harry Potter books in under 2 weeks. 

Once I start reading, I literally cannot stop. 

I will stay up allllll night just to finish a book. 

My favorite genre? 

Young Adult. 

Best stuff out there. 

Well, with the exception of my all time favorite author:  Michael Crichton. 

Guess what he wrote? 

Jurassic Park.



Nominations:
Katie @ Sweet Tater

The Versatile Blogger Award Rules
1. Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass this award along to recently discovered blogs you enjoy reading.
4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.