Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Recipe: Chicken Pasta with Olive Oil & Vinegar

My cousins came over tonight to hang out, so I cooked dinner for us. I thought about what I was going to make all day. I knew I wanted to do some kind of pasta, but I wasn't sure. This is what I came up with and everyone seemed to enjoy it!


Ingredients:
-1 package Chicken Tenderloins, about 1 lb.
-1/2 box Whole Wheat Pasta shells (or any kind of pasta)
-1 3 oz. package California Sun Dried Tomatoes, julienned
-1 package Mushrooms (I used Baby Bella)
-1 small Onion, chopped
-1/4 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-1/4 c Vinegar (I used Rice Vinegar)
-Dried Basil
-Dried Oregano

Directions:
-Saute chicken in skillet with olive oil and sprinkle with dried basil and dried oregano. Cook until done. Move to bowl.
-Boil pasta according to package directions
-Saute Mushrooms in olive oil with dried basil and dried oregano.
-Add onions to mushrooms and saute until clear
-Add sun dried tomatoes and saute until slightly browned
-Drain pasta
-Add pasta, chicken, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, and onions together.
-Add 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1/4 cup of vinegar (You can adjust these to your preferences)
-Serve and devour



WIAW: I'm back!!!

I haven't done WIAW in MONTHS. I was just kind of burned out with blogging. But, I'm trying to get back into it. (Side note, even when I'm not posting, I still try to keep my workout/teaching schedule updated on the right side bar. Just in case you were dying to know.)

This is WIAW featuring What I Ate Tuesday, February 26, 2013.

Breakfast
I made Protein Buckwheat Pancakes the other day and I had some of the leftovers for breakfast this morning.

-3 Protein Buckwheat Pancakes
-Syrup (lite)
-Strawberries
-Cappuccino with honey (homemade. Nespresso.)




Snack
I have been trying to increase my protein intake a little more, so I purchased a Blender Bottle a couple of weeks ago. So far I am really liking it! We all know I am the Smoothie Queen and I love them because they are easy to digest. The same goes for my new protein drinks. It's great to get the protein and nutrition that I need through liquids that are easier on my stomach.

-8 oz of unsweetened Almond Milk
-1/2 scoop Publix Organic Whey Protein powder, chocolate
-1/2 Tbsp Skippy Natural Peanut Butter
-Lots of ice!




Lunch
I have class from 12:30-1:45pm on Tuesdays and I typically meet with my teacher afterward to discuss the lecture. (It's graduate level biostatistics, I definitely need as much help as I can get).

I cooked a late lunch, which consisted of:

-Tilapia with Ms. Dash Lemon Pepper Seasoning
-Spinach salad with Carrots, Tomatoes, Ranch dressing, Cheese, and Pepper.
-Navel Orange





Snack
I had another cappuccino (homemade. I love my Nespresso) later in the afternoon. I haven't been having many espresso drinks lately (I was a little obsessed after got I my Nespresso for Christmas), much less two, but I have been staying up late studying and need the extra pep in my step.

I also had a banana with a little bit of natural peanut butter before I taught Cycle at 7:15pm.



Dinner
Dinners have been difficult lately. DH is on evening shift, so he isn't here for dinner. So, I typically try to do something easy...tonight I was craving The Grit's version of a grilled cheese. It's basically an amazing grilled cheese with spinach, tomato, and honey mustard. I had a bowl of steamed mixed veggies with it as well.



Dessert
Oh yes, I had dessert. I heart orange sherbet (no sugar added). I added almonds because I love the crunchiness!



Workout



I taught a 45 minute cycle class (Average HR: 133, Max HR: 174, Calories burned: 415) in these awesome new workout pants (Thanks, TJ Maxx!).

I set it up as a 'Pyramid' ride, which means that I had them do a warmup, 1 hill, 2 surges/sprints, 1 hill, 3 surges/sprints, 1 hill, 2 surges/sprints, 1 hill, cool-down. I haven't been teaching cycle regularly, but I still try to keep updated playlists every time I teach/sub. I also try to have variety in my songs, but you will never hear a country song in my class. (#sorryImnotsorry)

Here is my playlist!




What is your favorite workout song?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Recipe: Protein (Buckwheat) Pancakes

First, I think you should check out my How To post on making the perfect pancake.

I used to make pancakes for DH and I every Sunday morning. Alas, those days are few and far between now. I decided I wanted to bring Pancake Sunday back, but I wanted to add a little protein to them since I get hungry in about 30 minutes when a meal is carb heavy.

I purchased some Raw Organic Whey after a post from Jen at PBR suggested it. I have really liked it so far, but it mainly works in my smoothies, it didn't work very well in my Blender Bottle (it was clumpy).
I wanted to see how it would do in these pancakes and I think it did great.

You don't have to use Buckwheat for these pancakes. You can use whatever blend you like best.



Ingredients
-3/4 c Hodgson Mill Buckwheat Pancake Mix
-3/4 c Milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
-1 Egg OR approx. 1/3 c Unsweetened Applesauce (I used applesauce)
-1 Tbsp Oil
-3 Tbsp Raw Organic Whey
-Optional: 1 Tbsp Cocoa (I made two batches, one with and one without)

Directions
-Spray a skillet pan with Pam and turn heat to medium (don't turn it up too high)
-Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl
-Slowly pour batter to your desired size into heated skillet
-Let cook unti bubbles appear and edges brown, then flip
-Cook until browned on other side and cooked through center
-Serve with fresh fruit and/or syrup

What's your favorite breakfast food?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Favorite things 2013: Beauty edition

I did a favorite things post back around Christmas with an update of my favorite exercise gear and I have been wanting to do an updated one based on 'beauty products,' so here we are! You can check out my previous Beauty Products post as well.

First, let's begin with the one product that has completely changed my hair over the past year. I have a lot of hair, but the hair itself is pretty fine. It is wavy and has a tendency to frizz. Before I changed my hair routine my hair was constantly frizzy and I often called it my lion's mane. But, after much trial and error, I have found products and a routine that works best for me.

Moroccan Oil
Ah, the almighty Moroccan Oil. This product has dramatically changed the texture of my hair for the better. It is definitely a little pricey, but if you have frizzy hair, then I think it is worth it. Plus, it lasts a really long time. Well, it lasts a long time for me because I only wash my hair about 2 times per week.

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Shampoo/Conditioner
I tried the Moroccan Oil brand of shampoo and conditioner, but I just did not find it to be that great for the price. I still use the Organix brand that I mentioned in my previous Beauty Products post. Like I said, I only wash my hair about twice a week. I know not everyone can do this, but if you have frizzy hair, it can really help to only wash it a couple of times a week in order to prevent more damage.

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Hair dryer (Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Volare V1 Full-size Dryer)
Look, this hair dryer is not 'cheap' and it was definitely an investment. I do think that it shortened my drying time by a few minutes and will be worth the price in the long run since I was buying a new dryer almost once a year. Also, the 'cool' setting is actually cold air, not just 'not hot' air, which really helps with setting your hair style. I do not use a straightener unless absolutely necessary because I find them to be too damaging. I do curl my hair every now and then when I'm feeling fancy.

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Hair brush (Umberto Round brush)
If I ever lose this hair brush it will be a very, very sad day indeed. This is my absolute favorite brush. It's the perfect combination of being able to get the tangles out of my long hair while still having enough 'pull' from the bristles to pull the wave out of my hair when I am drying it straight.

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Face wash
Yes, I still use Noxzema. It is just a product that works for me. It feels good, it gets all of my makeup off, and it helps keep breakouts at bay.

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Makeup remover
I also still swear by my Almay eye makeup remover and Olay's Toner.

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Moisturizer
I have tried to make sure that I use some kind of facial moisturizer ever since I was in high school. It's pretty funny when you go to the store and you are buying 'anti-aging' moisturizer and the cashier is like, 'Um, why do you need this?'
Prevention, you guys!
I think that they have changed their packaging, but the one I use is just the classic, black and white tub of cream. I prefer the cream (actually the night time cream) over the lotion because it actually seems less 'greasy' to me. I haven't been able to use one with sunscreen in it because for some reason it breaks my face out every time I try one. But, I really want to try and find one with SPF in it because I don't always wear my makeup with SPF.

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Makeup
I love, love, love this powder. It's perfect by itself for everyday makeup and it's perfect for setting a heavier liquid foundation. But, don't even think about using that crappy brush that comes with it. I use my Flawless Face Brush from Bare Minerals.
*Side note: I posted that I was trying Bare Minerals foundation in my last post and of course, it made my face break out again. That makeup is just not meant for my skin.

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On days that I want my makeup to be a bit heavier and last longer, I add a liquid foundation. No matter how many kinds I try, I always end up coming back to Revlon Colorstay. It just does best on my skin and it really does last all day and all night. (I've used this one off and on since 6th grade!!)

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I have been going back and forth between my Bare minerals blush (in 'Thistle') and my Nars blush (in 'Orgasm.' Yes. You read that correctly). However, I tend to use my Nars blush more often.

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No matter how many mascaras I try, I always come back to this line from Covergirl. I just can't use the traditional mascara brushes after using these. They separate my lashes much better.

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I'm not 'loyal' to any particular eye makeup. I tend to just get whatever is on sale at the drugstore. So it's typically Revlon, Maybelline, or Covergirl. I just bought some new ones recently and they were all Revlon. (Can you tell I like Revlon yet?)

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I think sometimes people forget how important eyebrows are. They can really enhance or....de-hance?...your face. I like Revlon's Colorstay Brow Enhancer. It also has a highlighter on the other end which is pretty good as well.

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I bet you can't guess what my favorite eyeliner is. Maybe Revlon should reimburse me for all of this free advertising. (That's sarcasm, people).

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I love a red lip and I really like both Revlon's Lipstain and their Lipstain Balm.


Well, I think that is enough for one post.

What are some of your favorite products?