Happy Monday! As promised, I have ‘week 12’ photos to mark my progress from the start of 2014, but even more exciting is Phil and I start our Spring Detox Today!!
We spent most of the weekend taking it easy and getting geared up for the detox….which meant eating like fat kids! It rained steadily Friday, Saturday and Sunday so it was the perfect excuse to loaf around, eat lots of decadent foods, and watch movies! I did manage a yoga class Saturday but that was the extent of my physical activity – unless you count the rainy & rushed walk to dinner at Giorgio on Pine Saturday night! We met Phil’s cousin and his wife for dinner – two fellow health enthusiasts – and had such a great time! Giorgio’s is PERFECT for a great plate of gnocchi and an authentic Italian meal! Needless to say the 4 of us were sufficiently stuffed!
Friday night we had a date with American Hustle (finally) and an amazing plate of creamy herbed polenta with truffled shitake mushrooms and butter poached lobster tails (prepared with love by yours truly!) – talk about a perfect rainy Friday night!
I think it goes without saying that after two indulgent dinners I was not looking forward to me week 12 progress photos. I begrudgingly took them knowing there wouldn’t be any visible progress, but this is about being honest with myself & photos don’t lie, haha!
Admittedly I was upset…for maybe about a minute, haha! The truth is I am more excited about the Spring Detox than I am disappointed with my progress over the last 12 weeks. I feel stronger, I am more motivated to cut out crap, and committed to bumping up the cardio as I mentioned last week! After lessons and a quick visit with my folks Sunday, Phil and I hit the grocery story to stock up for our detox! Over the next 15 days we’re eliminating: gluten, corn, dairy, soy, eggs, nuts & sugar. Phil has to give up coffee too – I don’t drink caffeine – but he can have green tea to ease the caffeine withdrawal. All and all the point is to focus on clean eating while eliminating some of the foods that can reek havoc on your digestive system. We’re both super excited to get started!
Detox Day #1
- Breakfast: Green Smoothie
- Snack #1: Apple & Seeds (raw pumpkin and raw sunflower mixed)
- Lunch: Mixed Greens with tuna, evoo & lemon
- Snack #2: Homemade Hummus with carrot sticks
- Dinner: Ginger Lime Salmon with Sweet Potato chips & asparagus
- Dessert: Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding
Wish us luck and stay tuned for recipes, meals, exercise plans etc.. throughout the detox!
Happy Friday – WOOHOO!! Here’s a little something sweet to kick off your weekend!
These sweet treats have been the start of my days this week and they are the perfect morning pick me up. These power packed cookies are a play on traditional oatmeal raisin cookies but there is no butter or sugar & I ‘sweetened’ the nutritional deal by adding walnuts, unsweetened coconut and protein. Perfect for breakfast, a sweet mid-day treat or as a late night snack, you’ve got to give these cookies a try!
Oatmeal Power Cookies
- 1/2 c. Greek Yogurt
- 1/4 c. Honey
- 1/2 c. Applesauce
- 1 Egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 c. oats
- 3 scoops protein powder
- 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
- 1/4 c. ground flax
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 c. unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/4 c. walnuts chopped
- 1/4 c. raisins
- Spices to taste (cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves)
Preheat Oven to 350. Combine wet ingredients: yogurt, honey, apple sauce, egg & vanilla. Combine dry ingredients: oats, w.w. flour, flax, baking soda, salt, protein powder, coconut, raisins, walnuts and spices. Use ice cream scooper to portion out cookies – they’re supposed to be big – and bake for 12 minutes (rotate mid-way through) or until golden brown. Lay cookies to cool and package in a air tight container with some paper towel layered between each cookie.
We’re one more day closer to the weekend people!! Time to celebrate with a little fitness motivation…Believe it or not, I am actually close to being able to hold this pose! I can’t wait for the day that my motivational photos are of me…little by little!
In an effort to mix things up I am going to my first pilates class in 9 years! I haven’t done pilates since college but a friend asked if I’d like to go to class with her and I happily obliged…isn’t it always fun to work out with a friend!?!?!? I think so!!
I’m assuming since this is a mat pilates class I shouldn’t have too much trouble but I’m a little nervous…mostly excited though! I don’t know about anyone else but stepping outside my comfort zone always makes me a mixed ball of emotions! Sometimes I feel like I’m a little kid, irrationally running through a spectrum of emotion out of shear inability to get a grip! Maybe that’s a little dramatic…haha!
Is there anything new you’re super excited about?!?!
Happy Hump Day! With the start of a new season and a full year of blogging under my belt, I decided to try something new…I proudly introduce the new face of Livingleen! I’ve learned a lot over the last year and I wanted to spruce things up a bit…both with my blog and with myself!
Even though I am making progress ‘getting my body back’ I weighed myself this morning and I am still many pounds away from my goal. It is more about how I feel than the number on a scale, but if I’m being completely honest with myself, I don’t feel comfortable yet. While I feel stronger everyday and notice changes in my body, I’m still well insulated by a layer of fat that wasn’t there before…sigh! I will be taking week 12 photos at the end of this week and posting them at the start of next…when I kick of a 15day Spring Detox. Unlike cleanses I’ve done in the past, I have a partner in crime this time- Phil volunteered to do it with me! My peer coach and fellow holistic health coach Elizabeth McDow of The Vabulous Life organized the detox program as part of her health practice & was looking for a few more participants…talk about perfect timing!
This detox, based on the Elimination diet, promotes clean eating while focusing on bio-individuality and identifying foods that might be causing digestive issues. I am so excited to rid my body of all the sugar I’ve been indulging in lately and reset things a little. In addition to kicking off the detox next week, I am committing to increasing my cardio – 45minutes 3x a week. I am still going to mix things up to keep my routine interesting, but I have to get back on my cardio grind, plain and simple! I am hoping the warmer weather will help me get out a ride a little more since it is fabulous exercise, but if not, I need to make plans for indoor cardio – NO EXCUSES!
Are you trying anything new lately and loving it?!?!!?
Happy Monday ALL! I hope your weekends were as wonderful as mine! I guess I have to rewind as far back as Thursday night…just SO much to share!
Thursday night was our anniversary dinner @ Fond. I got an awesome ride in before hand which made indulging in dessert an easy decision! While it was beautifully sunny, the intense winds made for challenging ride. I was all geared up for this pleasant ride, intending to push myself after a nice leisurely warm up but mother nature had other plans! I was riding directly into the wind for the first 40 minutes and felt like I was crawling…this was NOT the work out I was looking for..but turning that corner back towards home felt so good and made the initial push SO worth it! It just goes to show that even though things may not turn out the way you intend, its how you handle it that makes all the difference!
Anyway, back to dinner…
While you’re welcome to BYOB, Fond does in fact feature a full bar to compliment their Amazing American cuisine! Phil and I opted to bring our own wine (no corkage fee Tues/Thurs) and were pleasantly surprised with a delightful amuse of wild mushroom soup to start the meal! We ordered yellowfin crudo and a roasted acorn squash salad to share but opted to pick our own main courses (mainly so my man could have some meat!). My salmon was one of the best plates of fish I’ve ever had, and Phil was silent as soon as his fork hit the plate, so I’m pretty sure he enjoyed the short ribs! Of course, no meal is complete without a sweet treat! We picked the pistachio tart with vanilla ice cream and poached cherries…DIVINE! All and all we had a marvelous meal that topped off our anniversary celebration perfectly!I managed to get three incredible yoga classes in this weekend, two of which were with new instructors that introduced unique sequencing that was challenging but effortless at the same time! The other was the mala (108) class I mentioned Friday for the Spring Equinox! I had an energizing salad and motivating meeting before class to put me in the mood – talking about health and wellness always fires me up! Kristin broke the class into 4 sets of 27 Sun Salutations, dedicating each set to an intention for you, your family/friends, the community at large, and your biggest challenge, respectively. Kristin had us write out each of our intentions and tuck the piece of paper under our mat as we practiced. Once practice was over Kristin asked us each to burn our intentions sheet as a way of releasing them into the universe…talk about an awesome way to kick of spring! Phil and I spent the rest of the weekend doing our best to take in the wonderful weather. The farmers market is back so we took a stroll through the park and picked up some glorious goodness before making our way to an early dinner with Phil’s family! It was his brother’s 29th Birthday this week so his parents took us all out to Capital Grille – I love any excuse to share a meal with family!!! I used to prefer dining around 8pm because that was the popular time to be out and about but let me tell you, early seatings are where it’s at!!! We were on our way home before 8pm which made for a much more chipper…and productive…Sunday morning!
What are some of the things you are more than fond of from your weekend?!?!?
March 21 marks the Spring Equinox – this occasion is honored by a mala practice!The mala practice, consisting of 108 Sun Salutations, comes from the name of Hindu prayer beads which have 108 beads on a traditional strand. The significance of 108 runs deeper than that:
- The original Sanskrit alphabet had 54 sounds (54×2 = 108)
- There are 108 Upanishads in Hindu Scripture (focusing primarily on meditation & philosophy)
- The distance between earth and the sun or the distance between the earth and the moon is 108x the diameter of the respective sphere (108 representing the distance between us and the divine)
- Some mathematicians believe the number 108 represents the wholeness of existence
The practice represents a spring cleansing and honors the increasing power of the sun! Breaking the 108 into 3 sets of 36 allows you to dedicate each to an intention for your past, present and future. I love doing a mala practice at the change of each season to rededicate myself to my passions and let go of any frustrations that might be holding me back.
Tonight I’m headed to Nourishing Storm’s celebration of the Spring Equinox & talking a 108 class from the inspiring Kristin Ritter! I am particularly excited for this evening’s class as I am bringing a special friend. The younger brother of a close childhood friend has expressed an interest in the wellness world (he just completed his 200hr teacher training!) and we’re meeting before class to chat. I get a bit giddy when I experience the power of the ripple effect first hand – spreading my passion and knowledge about the ever growing wellness community brings a sense of joy and pride I can’t put into words.
This weekend take time to honor spring and tune into the amazing power of Mother Nature!
Happy Friday Folks! As promised, today’s post is my spicy seafood fettuccine alfredo and I am so excited to share!! I’m actually making it again tonight Phil loved it so much!
Spicy Seafood Alfredo
- Whole Wheat Pasta (buy fresh or make: 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup semolina, 1 tbsp EVOO, 2 eggs, 2 tbsp water)
- 1/2 lb scallops
- 1/2 lb shrimp
- 8 oz crab meat
- 2-3 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
- 1 shallot (minced)
- 3-4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 bell pepper
- 2 small hot red peppers
- 1 bag/bunch of spinach
- 1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup 1% milk
- 1/4 cup aged parmesan
- 1 lemon (juice and zest)
- 1/4 cup white wine (optional)
- seasoning to taste: salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, red pepper, red pepper flakes, cajun seasoning
The pasta is easy to make but if you don’t have a pasta roller, or if you just don’t feel comfortable making your own, you can always buy it. If its fresh, pasta only takes 3 minutes to cook, so have a pot of boiling water ready on the back burner. Cut the shrimp in half length wise and chunk the scallops into similar sized pieces. In a dry, med/hot nonstick pan, put the seafood down and let it sear for a minute or two. Turn the heat down to med/low and put 1.5 tbsp butter into the pan to loosen the seafood from the pan, add some lemon zest and lemon juice to deglaze and toss in the crab meat. Continue to cook for a minute and put aside to cool. In the same pan, turn the heat to medium and swirl some EVOO. Once the oil is hot, add shallots and garlic (save some for your sauce) and cook for 2 minutes before adding the peppers – stir often for 5-7 minutes. As the peppers are cooking, sprinkle in some red pepper flakes and start working on your alfredo sauce. In a separate sauce pan, turn the heat to med/low & add remaining butter, garlic and shallots. Once the butter is melted add your tablespoon of whole wheat flour and stir until totally combined. Turn the heat down a little, add the milk – stirring until well incorporated – then add the Greek yogurt and combine evenly. Once the dairy ingredients are well combined, add your spices and the 1/4 cup of fresh grated parm. Allow the cheese to melt thoroughly and the sauce to thicken before adding to pasta and veggies. While you’re getting the sauce together, splash some white wine into the peppers to deglaze the pan before turning off the heat and adding the spinach to wilt (stir gentle once or twice). Once the veggies and sauce are ready, toss fresh pasta in the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes – remove/strain promptly. Toss pasta, veggies and sauce together and cook together over low heat for about a minute. Top with chopped parsley and serve!
All and all (if you don’t count the 45-1hr to make the pasta) it takes about 30 minutes to prepare and about 30 seconds to devour! Growing up, my mother made the most amazing fettuccine alfredo – its one of those dishes I crave! My mother didn’t cook A LOT but everything she made was always so comforting and delicious it would take me to my ‘happy place’ with every forkful! So many dishes just like this one are tied to memories, and I get so excited when I make a healthy adaptation that doesn’t sacrifice flavor!
What are some of your favorite childhood dishes??
Happy First Day of Spring! The First Day of Spring is also the Spring Equinox, a time when day and night are equal in both hemispheres. In yogic tradition, the occasion is honored with 108 Sun Salutations (more on that tomorrow), and I am so excited to be doing a 108 class with the amazingly talented Kristin Ritter of Nourishing Storm tomorrow night! This is one of those times I look forward to EVERY YEAR and thankfully Mother Nature didn’t disappoint! The weather will be in the 50s and sunny, so I’ll be taking a nice long ride around the city after work! Part of me misses spin class but nothing beats the freedom of riding outside and the sense of power that comes from being in nature!! I’m fortunate to live a stones throw from a trail that traces the city – with multiple directions to head in and wonderful views to distract you, its impossible to lose motivation while riding the Schuylkill River trail. I could really use a good cardio session too, we’re going out for dinner tonight!
Phil just got home from a business trip, so last nights anniversary meal was prepared, with love, by yours truly! Knowing we would be trying Fond for the first time tonight, I wanted to keep last night’s dinner on the healthier side but still make it special. I prepared a three course menu: antipasto – marinated olives, aged gouda, honey & rosemary goat cheese with whole wheat baguette. primo – spicy seafood alfredo with hand made whole wheat fettuccine. dolce – dark chocolate dipped strawberries. The most indulge part of the meal was the antipasto, even though I kept the cheese potions under 3 oz, but the pasta was a healthy version of an indulgent delight! I am so excited for Foodie Friday tomorrow to share my alfredo recipe because it tastes oh so amazing but is totally sinless! Since we are both sweet freaks, I melted some 72% dark chocolate and dipped the strawberries myself, ensuring there was some nutritional benefits in the chocolate as well as controlling the overall serving size…Needless to say we were both full and feeling good after round 1 of our anniversary celebration!
I am so excited for dinner at one of Philadelphia’s finest contemporary American BYOB restaurants tonight – I have heard nothing but amazing things about Fond for years but given its slightly off the beaten path location on East Passyunk Ave, I have yet to give it a try! What better time to try some place special than our first anniversary?!?!?! I can’t wait to share all about it tomorrow!
Happy Hump Day!
After a long weekend of coaching, I took some time for primary food last night and got a massage. As mentioned in a previous post, I recently signed up for Hand & Stone‘s lifestyle program. This was my second massage since signing up and I was quite pleased…how can you go wrong with a massage?!?!
I used to go every 12-14 weeks and require lots of deep tissue work due to long hours sitting at a desk coupled with regular yoga/cardio. Now that I am going every 4-6 weeks, I have reduced tension in my neck/shoulders as well as fewer incidents of headaches; which for me is a Godsend! (found this awesome photo reading an interesting article about the correlation between happiness and your weight – click here to read if you’re interested!)
In other wellness related news, my second bulu box arrived!! I am excited to try most of the products in the box but I am a little nervous about trying the instant coffee that is supposed to be slimming (primarily because I don’t drink caffeine) and the bottle simply labeled Energy. I mean, I guess its intended use is self explanatory but I am a little wary of products such as this, so I will do my research on all the ingredients and get back to you! Otherwise, as a sinus sufferer I am looking forward to giving Rootology’s breathe free a try and seeing how the Bodyglove Surge effects my next long ride (planned for this weekend weather pending!)….but more on all these wonderful samples after I’ve given them a try!
Also, just as a little side note, today is Phil and my first anniversary. I am not the type to acknowledge these sort of things until its forever, if you know what I mean, but March 19, 2013 was our first date. Of course, I had to get a work out in beforehand so I was running twenty minutes late…not to mention I went to the bathroom for like 10 minutes immediately after sitting down because I was overheated from rushing and couldn’t stop sweating. I kid you not, I took my top off in the bathroom stall of Pub & Kitchen and did my best to dry off with some paper towels. AnYwAy, after the rocky start things went really well and I knew this was something special. It felt amazing to realize this could be my last first date ever and every time I look at him, I still feel the same way I did one year ago today! I love you babe!
Happy Belated St. Patrick’s Day to All! The weekend’s meet was long, loud and chaotic but successful! For the most part, the kids swam well and there was little to no drama – just A LOT of swimming! In addition to the kids success this weekend, I got to talking with some other coaches and may be collaborating on a program to help incorporate better nutrition education for swimmers. While many parents know they should be fueling their child athletes better, how to do so isn’t always intuitive! As we saw kids walking around with doughnuts, fruit snacks, chicken fingers/fries and various other unhealthy ‘foods’ our conversation as coaches couldn’t help but naturally take a turn in that direction. While things are still in early stages, it is incredibly uplifting to know there are other coaches with similar philosophies about swimming – we have a responsibility to our kids that extends way beyond the pool!
This weekend reinforced the ripple effect concept and confirmed that taking this path of health and wellness was the right move! No matter what you’re looking to achieve in life, all you have to do is listen to your heart, take steps down the path that are right for you and believe in yourself!
Getting back into the office grind is a little tough today but the prospect of moving forward with a new passion project is carrying me through!
What are some passion project you’re working on?