Friday, July 29, 2011

All Play and No Work Makes...My Butt Fat

Me and my besties. As one said, "We are wearing dirt instead of makeup."

I wish I was a kid again and had summer "vacation". Instead, I work every weekday, unless I have specified time off...a holiday or a planned trip. Last week, I had 5 straight days off of work and enjoyed every bit of it. I drank beer and ate food that wasn't the healthiest (s'mores, anyone?) but it it was nice to have no restrictions or worries except for having fun and enjoying the company of my friends and family.

Me and Buddha.

Monkey had a huge smile the whole trip
 I went back to work this past Monday, but I am having a major struggle snapping back into my routine.  I didn't even set my alarm in the morning the first two days I was back to work, so work outs didn't happen.  I really think I was subconsciously rebelling against the end of my time off. Since I wasn't up early and was trying to fit in a bit of laundry in the morning before I had to leave, I didn't have time to make my lunch either except for one day. Our office moved while I was off, so I was also a little out of sorts and have had some network problems that have interfered with my productivity.  The only truly good thing I have done since I've been back is blended up green smoothies for myself 3 mornings this week. I haven't had a true "work out" in over a week! gasp!

His current potty fave is "Hand Hand Fingers Thumb"

Also, we are working on potty training the Buddha, with hit-or-miss success, so that tacks on another 15 minutes in the morning that I spend sitting with him and reading, etc. I definitely need to start getting up earlier next week!

I am all about sharing my imperfections, to balance out the times I toot my own horn for being awesome (toot toot) and rising at 5:30 a.m. to run. This morning I met up with my running buddy for a 5 miler and hope that will kick me back into gear.  I am looking ahead to a nice weekend of being home, catching up on home-related chores and important errands such as stocking up on greens and fruit at the Farmer's Market!

What do you have planned this weekend? Happy Friday!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Signing Out...Slacking Off!

Partied out! Monkey and Buddha after the party.
I will be MIA until next week! I have been a busy woman, first preparing for Monkey's 5th birthday party we had last Sunday at Sharks Ice. He had a great turn out, a mix of family, new neighbors, friends from school, and play date friends he's had since he was 1 year old. It was so fun to watch the kids skate and enjoy something most of them had never tried before. 

Can't believe this little guy just turned 5. At Don Pedro in '08.
Even before the party, I had started packing for our camping trip to Don Pedro. I packed all the kids clothes, my clothes, and other things that they were not going to need before our trip. My fabulous husband Chip, who is always doing more than he should, took on going to Costco for me and picking up the majority of our food. In the midst of all this, I got a migraine, which was going on its second day today and I buckled and took my prescription meds again. I know, that is why I have them but for whatever reason, taking a prescription I had to have an EKG to get makes me think it should not be taken lightly!

So, I'm feeling mostly back to normal, although my vision feels a little off. I'm at work today and need to finish packing up my desk because my office is MOVING! Yeah, because our current office sucks beyond any stretch of the imagination, being located next to an allegedly illicit massage parlour (bad) and next to a pub (really good). So I just don't have enough going on right now.

Monkey's first Giant's game in 2007.
I am, however, very excited that the office will be headed out to AT&T Park to watch the San Francisco Giants play the Los Angeles Dodgers (boo! hiss!) in lieu of working tomorrow! I looove the Giants, and baseball games are one of my favorite summer past times. 

One of Buddha's first camping trips. Santa Barbara in 2009.
As soon as I get home from the game I will be making the rounds to make sure all of our camping stuff is packed, and we will hop in the car and hopefully arrive at our campsite while there is still some day light. I am so looking forward to a fun trip with my oldest and dearest girlfriends and their families! I will miss my blogging buddies...Until next time, CIAO!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer Comfort Breakfast: - Make It This Weekend!

Delicious organic blueberries!

So enough about my green smoothies for a while! Last weekend I was about to blend one up, when I remembered a picture that I had repinned from Pinterest. It was a blueberry french toast sandwich. I made a yummy version inspired by the picture, since I did not read the source or the real recipe until after I made my version. I would totally make this again!

You will need:
2 slices whole wheat bread (or whatever you prefer, I use wheat for nearly everything!)
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
a dash of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
approximately 2 tablespoons light whipped cream cheese
Trader Joe's maple agave syrup, to taste

In a wide mouth bowl mix together your egg and milk with a whisk. Add dash of cinnamon and vanilla and whisk til blended.

Preheat your skillet to medium heat. Spray with Pam or other non-stick cooking spray.
Dip your bread slices in the egg mixture, making sure both sides are covered well without soaking.
Place in skillet and cook on both sides until they are golden brown.

When cooled off a bit spread cream cheese on one slice of the bread. Sprinkle walnuts and blueberries liberally.

Cover with other slice of bread, and drizzle lightly with syrup.


Eat this "sandwhich" with a fork. I should note french toast turns out better with slightly stale bread. The inspiration recipe actually used frozen french toast slices, did not use syrup but sprinkled powdered confectioners sugar.

This is such a lovely Saturday morning breakfast. We love blueberries at our house and are always trying to find ways to use them! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Drinking the Blues Away

I know, if you see one more of these on my blog you might not come back! Sorry!
It seems I've been talking non-stop about my green smoothie obsession lately. I chat about them with my running buddy in the morning, and my posts on my Facebook page seem to generate a lot of commentary and interest. Even more recently, one of the gals on my Running Moms group on Facebook has indicated she is trying to eat more veggies to fight depression and our group has had some exchanges on that topic. I'm seriously starting to feel like people are going to think I've gone off the deep-end. I was starting to wonder about myself until I got to thinking the smoothies were the reason I have been so inexplicably happy lately.

Really, I do have a lot of things in life to be thankful for. I tell my husband all the time, "We have our health." We are fortunate to have jobs at all in this economy, we have healthy children, we have a roof over our heads. But frankly, I've got a lot of stress and worry on my shoulders these days too. Up until a few weeks ago I was beginning to wonder how on earth I was going to come out of all of this. My circumstances haven't changed in the slightest over the last few weeks, not even budged but for whatever reason I feel GREAT. Weird, huh?

I tried to attribute it to some sort of epiphany. You can check out that post here. But the more I think about it, I think I drank the Kool-Aid smoothie.

Go ahead and Google "vegetables and depression" and a whole litany of material will come up about the topic. Vegetables, particularly raw veggies have vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function. Lack of some of them have a direct influence on depression and mood. I think what I have inadvertently done, with all my spinach and kale, is increase my folic acid (B9) and B6 and have given myself a natural high!

All I know is I really do feel much happier, less funk-y, and I am so happy that I am doing something that is good for me. Something natural that is actually working! Yeah, so I sound loony, and guess what? I am too happy to care.

Happy Hump Day! You know I love Wednesday!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fitness Plan +

Me and Monkey at the lake in 2008. Buddha is inside my belly.
My oldest and dearest friends and all of our families are going to Lake Don Pedro for several days of boating and camping on July 20th.  One of our friends has been panicking a wee bit about her body in anticipation of this trip. The last time we did this trip with the same group, I was almost 7 months pregnant with Buddha. I was the lucky one who had a nice excuse for being a little plump. I had an adorable maternity bathing suit and didn't even have to worry about how I looked. I've got to say, it was nice.

At this point, I don't try to compete with 25 year olds. I'm a mother of two, I do my best to stay fit and healthy, and that is all I can ask for. At this stage in my life I am hearing about more friends of friends battling breast cancer, husbands keeling over from heart attacks unexpectedly and other horrible health related news. Believe me, I can be as vain as the next woman and want to feel good about my appearance. I just feel that I am doing what is manageable for me in the fitness department and have better things to do than obsess. While I am not a MILF, I enjoy what I eat and drink in moderation, and believe that I am pretty healthy. I'm not aiming for skinny.

That being said, my running buddy (who is also going on this trip) and I have challenged ourselves to kick it up a notch before we spend several days drinking margaritas, eating barbecue and wearing our bathing suits for all to see. I believe that our bodies get complacent if we are always doing the same thing. Running and some form of Jillian are always part of my plan. We have challenged ourselves to do crunches (100 for me, 75 for her) and pushups (20 for both plus other arm weight exercises for me) every day until we leave for our trip. Planning to do it every day is easy to keep track of. Instead of "I think I did the ab/pushup challenge 3x this week", every day it will be, either I did it or I didn't. And if I haven't yet, I better before I go to bed!

So far I am on day 2. I am really stoked about this, although laughing a bit at how my abs were literally spasming after I was done! But I can already see a difference and know that I will be very happy I did this come July 20! I would love to post more photos of the last trip, because we had so much fun. But my friends would kill me.

Have a great weekend everyone!! Summer is in full swing!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

FTW! Kale Smoothie - Trial and Error

Now THIS concoction is something I will look forward to!

Ok, I think I've got it now. Last time I made a juice-based smoothie with my kale. As you may have read, I liked it a lot better than I thought I would but still wanted to experiment with flavor as it was just a little bitter. This time, I used less kale (approximately 2 cups instead of 3). I also used almond milk instead of orange juice. I found that this counteracted the bitterness in the kale much more than juice. This one was really good. We had a leftover fruit salad from Costco that someone brought over on the 4th, and it was perfect for throwing into the 'Bullet.

Beautiful , healthy kale

I used a whole banana, a couple days too ripe for eating plain.

The banana had the perfect sweetness for this smoothie
 I chose some mango, blueberries, a couple strawberries and melon from the fruit salad. (My kids don't like melon or mango. Perfect).

I chose fruit from this leftover salad that I knew my kids wouldn't eat
 I used a cup of my favorite almond milk.  And a cup of crushed ice.

I buy 2 of these when I go to Trader Joe's now!

I did not stuff my MB full of kale this time
 No extra spices or sweeteners were necessary for this delicious  - and I mean DELICIOUS - smoothie. I could really taste the banana, and I like banana. Whirrrr...and voila! Enough for 2 of us!

Not as green as the other smoothies I made. Sort of Shamrock-ish
 I can't wait to buy more kale at the Farmer's Market this weekend. Consider me hooked!!!

I know not everyone will have a fruit salad handy like I did but what's great about smoothies is the recipe doesn't have to be exact.

Recipe for Hungrigyrl Kale-Banana Delite:
2 cups kale, rinsed and lightly chopped (discard tough stems at the end)
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup mango
1 ripe banana
1/4 cup honeydew or cantaloupe (I used both)
2 strawberries (optional)
1/2 cup crushed ice (optional)

I really want all you green smoothie skeptics to give this a try. Unless you hate bananas, you will love this smoothie!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Kale. It's What's For Breakfast

Me and the Magic Bullet are getting to be good friends. Today I decided to try a kale smoothie after my run. I know kale is really good for you, but I've only had it sauteed with olive oil and garlic or cooked in some way, where it is softened and less bitter. So I was a little scared, but I went for it.

Hungrigyrl's Krazy Kale Smoothie:

2 cups rinsed, chopped kale (discard the tough stems)
1 cup orange juice
1 banana
1/2 cup blueberries
1 teaspoon maple agave syrup from Trader Joe's
2 dashes of cinnamon
1 cup water
1 cup ice (optional)

I used about half of this

I used orange, but I bet apple juice would be good too
I wish I could grow blueberries, we eat them like crazy!
I wanted to use the whole banana for sweetness to balance out the kale

Loving this stuff lately!
Cinnamon is a staple around here
...and AFTER!
Kale is definitely more bitter than spinach. When I made my spinach smoothie I didn't mind so much if there were little chunks of spinach. However, with the kale I really notice them so I definitely let the 'Bullet do its thing for a bit longer. It is definitely key to add sweetness to balance out the flavor. I have to say I really was surprised at how much I liked it, more than I expected. I've got lots of kale and nothing to do with it so will be experimenting a bit more this weekend, when I am not indulging in holiday bbq and alcohol. I handed my husband his kale smoothie this morning and I said, "I guarantee this is the healthiest thing you will put in your body all day." He agreed.

Have you tried a kale smoothie? Try my recipe and let me know what you think! Or share your own, I'm looking forward to having fun with this!