Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mini Break

With lots going on right now hubby and I decided to try to take a mini break this past weekend.  We've both had a stomach bug, been busy with work and of course with the new doggie.  Despite both working from home, we've barely been able to eat a meal together lately.

So we headed to Maine for a few days of relaxing.  Both of us were recovering so we weren't eating a lot.  Which, for a road trip, can be a good thing :)

We took our time and went to some of our favorite stores-L.L.Bean, Stonewall Kitchen and other Maine favorites.  We visited Nubble Light House and ate at some great restaurants.

Getting away, even to another cold climate, can really help with cabin fever!
At first Summit didn't know what to make of being loaded into the car with Roxy and luggage.  He settled down quickly through and snoozed the whole way.  

Summit is a great road "tripper".  Part of the reason for this trip was a trial run before we travel more this summer.  He sleeps on the go, eats well and loves to look out the window.  

At Bob's Clam shack, I always get a kids meal.  The only draw back is the tiny drink :)

Having been ill, I'd avoided coffee for the better part of a week.  However, I had to have some from one of my favorite coffee shops!

Matt was a great sport at walking around with me, shopping and finding fun things to do.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Rhode Island Protein Shake

I've been sharing some of my favorite protein shake "recipes" with you.  I call them recipes, but I play everything by ear and really look at the constancy as I mix it up in the blender.

I call this one my Rhode Island protein shake because it uses something that is distinctly Rhode Island, coffee syrup.  For those of you who don't know, coffee syrup is a sweet syrup that flavors everything you mix it with like coffee.  In Rhode Island coffee milk is a staple.

To make this shake I combine a few ice cubes with almond milk and a scoop of hemp protein powder in the blender.  I mix it up until it looks like a milkshake.

When it's done, I add in a little Dave's Coffee syrup and mix it for another few seasons.  The protein shake is frothy and does taste like a milkshake.  I know the syrup adds some sugar and calories, but I keep it to a minimum and it tastes amazing!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Winter in New England

February is here and it brought with it a bad case of cabin fever for me.  So, despite the snow and ice on the ground, and the cold temperatures I decided I had to go for a run this past weekend.

I bundled up.  For those of you who live in climates where you don't have to bundle up, it's just not any fun.  Regardless of how thin, well fitted or comfy your winter running clothes are, you end up feeling like the stay puff marshmallow man and running feels a little bit off.

Then, you add Yak Trax to your shoes.  While these give you traction and peace of mind, they also make your shoes fit a little bit differently and your foot strike changes a tad.  Overall, you feel "off".

For this past weekend's run I had on fleece lined tights, a tank top, a long sleeve tech tee, a fleecy top over that and then a puffy vest. I wasn't hot.  I wore a hat and gloves too.  My trail shoes and Yak Tracks rounded out the outfit.

The sidewalks in town here are plowed so I parked at Starbucks and headed there.  However, due to an ice storm we'd had, and then repeated snow storms, much of the sidewalks were coated in a few solid inches of ice.  So, these areas were covered gingerly.  The cross walks can't be accessed due to the plow's piles of snow and the plowed portion is only about a foot wide.

So, I'm not complaining.  I love New England and I love the winter.  However, perhaps someone should invent heated sidewalks so everything melts?  I love being outside in the bright winter sun and seeing the snow sparkle.  I love the crisp air and seeing my breath.  There is a calm to running in winter you don't get any other time of the year.  And when you pass another runner, you say hello a little more excitedly as you are both braving the elements for your love of running.

The other downfall to winter running?  Asthma….if you don't have asthma…I'll describe it for you. When you breathe in cold air, especially quickly, it feels as if you can't get the air in.  Then, it feels as if you can't get the air out.  Your lungs burn as if you swallowed hot water.  Then your body tried to protect itself and you start coughing.  Overall, it's a pretty miserable experience that will drive even the best running to the dread mill for the winter months.  However, every once in a while, it's worth it to get out and see the sun and smell the fresh air.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Monday, February 10, 2014


I recently mentioned my cabin fever.  Yes, I have a home gym.  Yes, I work from home.  I can see the gym from my office.  This leads to entire days where I simply exist in a small area of my home.  Since getting outside isn't easy for workouts right now and due to snowstorms and flu season, I've been working from home a lot, I've been itching to get out.

Coincidentally, a new spin studio opened up in my town. The first class is free, so I figured I'd give it a shot.  I used to take spin all the time at my old gym.  However, it had been a few years.  I have a spin bike here and I use the shoes that snap into the pedals, so I was comfortable with the set up etc.

The new studio was full of serious bikers who clearly bike outdoors during the rest of the year.  I was in yoga clothes but many of the students had outdoor road gear on.  I snapped into my bike and started to warm up.

The class was 50 minutes and the instructor was high energy.  It was set up like "stadium seating" so everyone had a good view.  The lights were turned way down and the music turned way up.

Through hills, internals, sprints and even an arm workout, the 50 minutes flew by.  I loved the motivational music and the large fans cooling us off.  So, I'm going to get myself a series of classes and go once or twice a week until this cold spell breaks and the snow melts.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Heathy Eating

I've eaten most of my dinners alone lately.  Matt is out taking photos and my six pm most nights I'm starving.  So I've been experimenting with easy to make,mostly vegetarian meals.  They almost all have an "easy" twist to them, meaning at least one part is bought pre made at the grocery store.

The meal I'm going to share below is made of just a few ingredients.  I put it all in a wok with a little EVOO and cook it until it's HOT.  I love my food steaming :)

The first thing I add is a bag of brown rice and quinoa by Seeds of Change.  They are easy to keep on hand and organic.  The rice simply needs to be heated up.

I then added a bag of Bird's Eye Steamfresh veggies.  I love the one with the water chestnuts in it!  I pop them in the microwave for a minute so they defrost a little, but you can also throw them right in.  I add in some shelled edamame, and some chia seeds and cook it all up.  I add some low sodium soy sauce and a touch or sriracha sauce and salt and pepper to taste.  As a treat, I love to add a few pistachios in at the last minute.  

In just a few minutes, you have a healthy meal with protein and veggies!  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Another Protein Shake Winner

Unless you are using a mix, sometimes making a great protein shake isn't as easy as it seems… leas not for me.  There are a lot of duds until you find a great one.

Here's another one I think is a winner….again I didn't measure everything, but I made it to the consistency I thought would taste best.  The only thing I'd change is to throw in an ice cube to make it all colder.

Handful of blueberries.  I used fresh but frozen would work just as well.

A whole banana.  You could use less if you wanted, but I love banana and I didn't have anything to do with the remainder.

Almond milk, just enough to cover the fruit.

A tablespoon of plain greek yogurt-for consistency.

A small amount of almonds.

It takes a little while to grind everything up, but it's worth the wait.  It's a great protein shake with flavor, antioxidants and for those of us who fright foot and leg cramps, potassium.

I forgot to take a picture though!  However, it was a creamy blue color.