Category Archives: Breakfast

Life Lately

Good morning! Happy National Coffee Day!!

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I don’t usually celebrate all those National “Whatever” Days but National Coffee Day is a different story. I’m willing to celebrate a day when places give out free coffee just because it’s September 29th!

So thank you Mcdonald’s for my free coffee this morning. Does anyone remember when McDonald’s used to have free coffee Mondays?! Those were the days…

My favorite coffee mug:

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I love all the Charlie Brown holiday movies and Jaden got me this mug for Christmas last year from Barnes and Noble.

So, what has been going on in my life lately? Well, I got a job promotion! Yay! I will now be working full time mostly afternoons and evenings so it will be quite an adjustment in our household.

I haven’t worked full time probably since my oldest son was little so it’ll be a quite different for me. Before, my concentration was always my kids but now that they’re getting older, I ready to go back to work full time.

To celebrate, Danny and I went to Lucky Monk over the weekend.

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I had hazelnut crusted talapia with orzo salad which was delicious.

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I don’t usually order fish when I go out to a restaurant because although I like fish, I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite but this tilapia was really amazing especially with the hazelnut crust.

I also celebrated by buying a new workout tank and sports bra from Victoria’s Secret.

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I’m in love with the sports bra which is strappy in the front. I really wanted it in black also but they didn’t have any in stock. And how cute is that tank?!

Food wise, I have been loving overnight oats lately. Probably the wrong time of year since it’s starting to get cooler out but oh well. I like what I like. :)

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I have been making pumpkin pie overnight oats with Quaker oatmeal, pumpkin pie Greek yogurt, almond milk, mini chocolate chips, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. You just stir it all together and let it sit in the fridge overnight. It’s perfect for those days I’m in a hurry in the morning because I can just grab it out of the fridge and eat it in the car if I need to!

So pretty much, I’ve just been working, working out, and living life. Would you like to see a picture of our cute doggy, Baylee?!

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Please notice I said cute and not good. Because she is a destroyer!!

She was crate trained as a puppy but we’ve been trying to leave her out of her cage during the day because she’s usually only home for a few hours at a time. Sometimes she’s really good and sometimes she does this:

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That’s the insides of a packing envelope if you were wondering. And she knew she was so naughty because she refused to look at me when I got home!

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We want to be able to leave her out of her cage so Danny has started taking her for a walk early in the morning to help her get some energy out. We also have the Kong dog toy which we put a treat or peanut butter in to keep her busy for awhile.

At least she’s not chewing the furniture, right?!

And that’s what’s been going on in my life lately! Have a great day!!

  • If you have a dog, is he/she crate trained?
  • What’s going on in your life at the moment?

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Pumpkin Spice

It has begun – pumpkin spice season has arrived!

There are two types of people in this world – those who love pumpkin spice and those who don’t. Obviously, I’m one of the ones who loves pumpkin spice (with the exception of the Starbucks PSL – for some reason I just don’t like it).

To me, pumpkin spice signifies the end of summer and the start of the fall season. And let’s face it, fall season in the best. Cooler weather, beautiful leaves, boots, hot apple cider, pumpkin farms, bonfires. What’s not to love?!

I’m going to share a few of the pumpkin spices items that I have found this year so far. I always wait until September 1st to start enjoying pumpkin spice because it just seems right. :)

First up, fall mornings must start with pumpkin spice coffee.

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I also found apple cider donut coffee at Target. I’m pretty sure Target should run for president. Target is the best.

Of course, you need pumpkin spice creamer in your pumpkin spice coffee.

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I also like it with the vanilla creamer.

This year, they came out with pumpkin spice Cheerios. I also picked up the Quaker pumpkin spice oatmeal which I also had last year.

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Next, on my pumpkin spice cereal list to buy is the pumpkin spice Special K. I love Special K but I’m waiting until I finish the Cheerios since I don’t eat cereal all that often.

The oatmeal is great on chilly fall mornings and I love adding the Cheerios to yogurt.

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Speaking of yogurt, Dannon has once again come out with pumpkin pie Greek yogurt.

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The Dannon caramel apple Greek yogurt is my all-time favorite yogurt but pumpkin pie is a close second.

Finally, is the FlapJacked Maple Pumpkin Mighty Muffin.

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This is also a great breakfast especially for on the go. Sometimes. before I head to work, I’ll make one of these to eat in the car. All you do is add water and microwave for about a minute. Simple and delicious!

I know there’s tons and tons of other pumpkin spice items out there but these are the ones I’ve bought so far! And pumpkin spice season is so short so I really like to enjoy it while I can.

Have a great Friday!!

  • Are you a pumpkin spice lover?
  • Favorite pumpkin spice item?

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Weekend, Workouts, and Walks

Good afternoon! I hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday evening, Danny and I went to the gym and did a shoulder workout. Our workout included:

  • shoulder press machine
  • plate front raises
  • upright rows
  • bent arm lateral raises

We also did our own separate ab workouts. My ab exercises included:

  • Russian twists with medicine ball
  • plank shoulder touch
  • flutter kicks

I did the ab exercises as a circuit and repeated it three times.

Saturday night, we went to a cookout at my brother and sister-in-law’s and then went out to brunch on Sunday morning.

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The weather was so nice on Sunday so we went to a nearby forest preserve.

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We walked for awhile around the trail and then Baylee cooled off in the water.

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Baylee loves the water – lakes, the hose, the bathtub. She loves it all!

May was a month full of birthdays, celebrations, and lots of eating and drinking. I’m really trying to get back on track with my eating and macros so Danny grilled some chicken and asparagus for the week last night.

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It’s easier to eat a healthy meal when it’s already prepped. :)

For breakfast this morning, I had egg whites with onions, asparagus, and Laughing Cow cheese. I also had  a pluot (so good!) and Applegate bacon.

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Yum!

We still have a few celebrations this month including my brother’s birthday, Danny’s birthday, my mom’s birthday, and Father’s Day. May and June are crazy months in my family!

Danny and I are going to the gym tonight for a back and biceps workout. Have a great day!!

  • How was your weekend?
  • Favorite breakfast?

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

What I Eat in a Day – IIFYM

As I’ve mentioned before I follow a IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) based diet. Rather than count calories, I count macros – fats, carbs, and protein. I eat a certain amount of fat grams, carb grams, and protein grams every single day. For me, these numbers are always the same every day no matter what my workout is or if it’s a rest day.

The purpose of IIFYM for weight loss (or even maintenance or bulking) is to eat healthy foods but still eat treats and what you love in moderation. I try to eat at least 20 grams of fiber a day. In order to hit that number, I need to make sure I’m eating enough veggies and fruit. Once I hit my protein and fiber for the day, I usually have enough carbs and fats left to have a treat that I enjoy.

Basically, it’s about not depriving yourself and enjoying what you love while still eating healthy foods the majority of the time.

Please note that my macros were specifically calculated for me based on my height, weight, activity level, and goals. What works for me might not necessarily work for you.

Without further ado, here’s what I typically eat in a day (every day is slightly different but this is just a normal day’s food).

Vitamins

First thing I do is start my day out with my daily vitamins.

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Breakfast Pre-Workout

I start every morning out with one cup of coffee. I use one Stevia in the Raw packet and one tablespoon of sugar-free creamer.

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And yes, I write the date I opened my coffee creamer on the bottle. I’m weird about expiration dates.

For breakfast, I had scrambled egg whites with asparagus, spinach, red onion, and a Laughing Cow cheese wedge. I also had Fage plain Greek yogurt with one Stevia in the Raw packet mixed it. I topped it with thawed frozen berries and a little bit of Special K Protein cereal.

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I cook the veggies on the stove first and then add the egg whites.

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Snack Post-Workout

Right after my workout and before I taught my Women on Weights class, I had a Pro Pudding.

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Lunch

For lunch, I had a salad with butter lettuce, carrots, Applegate gluten-free chicken tenders, crouton and bacon bits topping, and honey mustard Greek Yogurt dressing.

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I also had a bowl of veggies with garlic veggie drizzle.

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And a bowl of watermelon and a mandarin orange.

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Snack

Yummy Snack peanut butter bar.

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Dinner

For dinner, I had salmon, veggies, brown rice, and cucumber dill Greek yogurt dressing.

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I also had an apple with a little bit of whipped peanut butter and a mandarin orange.

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Treat

For an after dinner treat, I had a Light & Fit Caramel Fudge Pretzel Greek yogurt.

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My after dinner treat usually varies. Most of the time it’s a Yasso Greek yogurt bar. Sometimes if I have enough carbs and fat left, I’ll have a Snickers ice cream bar.

Most days, I eat fairly similar. Lots of eggs, veggies, fruits, salads, lean protein, and my favorite Kodiak Cakes waffles.

After a day of eating, my macros were pretty much spot on.

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I use MyFitnessPal to keep track of all my food.

  • What did you eat today?

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Our Weekend

Good morning, friends! How was your weekend?

Ours was pretty low-key. Danny and my dad did some fixing up around our house and I worked for a bit on Saturday. We have a new program at my gym called Fit for Life and I train a team of ten people against two other teams. It lasts 12 weeks and it started today. I have the early morning team at 5:45 am so that’s going to take some getting used too!

Danny and I worked out together on Sunday. We did glutes, hamstrings, and core (Danny likes to throw in a few bicep curls). :)

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We finished up with a some cardio. Cardio isn’t always the funnest so we tried to make it a little funner by doing a cardio partner workout. One of us did an exercise while the other one rested. The point was to do your exercise fast so the other person rested for a short time.

Here are the exercises we did:

  • laps on the track (I rested very little for these since Danny is so fast!)
  • in and out jump squats x20
  • medicine ball slams x20
  • sit-ups x20
  • plank – as long as possible

We did each set of exercises four times each. It was a great workout especially after working legs.

I’ve still been following my workouts and macros from my coach at Best Fit Body. I have a little less than two weeks to go. I was doing really good for about three weeks with sticking to my diet perfectly and then I had a few off days. I was upset about it but honestly not every single day can be perfect.

I love to workout and have no problems there but I also love food. :) No one is perfect. You just have to get back on track right away which I’m doing.

I’m trying to add more green veggies to my day and I came up with a new breakfast that I have been loving – scrambled egg whites with asparagus, spinach, onion, and a Laughing Cow cheese wedge.

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The Laughing Cow cheese makes it so much better! I think cheese and chocolate can make any food better!!

Yesterday, the weather was beautiful in Chicagoland – almost 70 degrees. We had fun playing tag with Baylee outside. That dog is crazy! I love her crazy face in this picture.

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Of course, today is back to being cold and in the 30s. Not fun.

I hope you all have a great day!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Favorite cardio exercise?

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East Low Carb Protein Pancake Recipe

Friday! Yay!

Today I have a super easy recipe to share with you. It’s so easy, I don’t even think it can be considered a recipe. :)

I drink a protein shake after my workout just about every single day. Lately, I’ve been tired of drinking a shake so I decided to make my protein shake a protein pancake!

The great thing about this pancake it that it barely has any carbs. (I like to save my carbs for other things!) The only carbs will come from whatever protein powder you are using and if you decide to use any toppings. My pancake had two carbs.

Since this is a protein pancake, it tastes like a protein pancake. It does not, I repeat, does not taste like a delicious fluffy IHop pancake. If you want a nice thick buttermilk pancake, go to IHop. If you want a different way to use your protein powder besides just in a shake, try this recipe.

Also the consistency of this pancake is different from a regular pancake. It doesn’t have flour or oats so it might not be fluffy. However, I do really love the way these pancakes taste even though it’s not a traditional pancake taste. Some people like to add mashed up banana to the batter but I am not a fan of bananas.

Easy Protein Pancake    Makes One Pancake

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Ingredients: (These are the ingredients that I used. You may have to play around with the measurements a bit to find a consistency that you like).

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  • One scoop protein powder – I used Gold Standard in vanilla
  • one egg or egg white – I used just the egg white
  • approximately 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • cinnamon to taste
  • water (add to desired thickness)

Directions:

  1. Heat skillet on stove over medium heat.
  2. Whisk all ingredients in a bowl, slowly adding water until desired consistency is reached.
  3. Cook over medium heat approximately 3 minutes per side or until light brown.
  4. Eat plain or with your favorite toppings!

You can eat this pancake with syrup, peanut butter, fruit, etc. I added some Jif Whips peanut butter to mine.

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This pancake is a nice change from my regular protein shake!

Have a great Friday!

  • Have you ever made a protein pancake?
  • Any plans for the weekend?

 

 

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National Hot Breakfast Month + A Van’s Foods Giveaway!

Disclaimer: I am partnering with Van’s Foods for National Hot Breakfast Month and to bring you guys a great giveaway. I was sent coupons for Van’s waffles at no cost to me. I have always been a supporter of Van’s Foods and all opinions are 100% my own. I only work with companies whose products I use and love. 

Hello, friends! I hope you all had a great weekend. We had a busy weekend celebrating Jaden’s birthday and Valentine’s Day!

Besides Valentine’s Day, did you know that February is also National Hot Breakfast Month?! I make sure that I always eat breakfast within an hour of waking up to kick-start my metabolism for the day.

Van’s Foods offers some great breakfast products to help you start  your day on the right foot. They have so many different kinds of waffles and I love all of them!

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Their Gluten-Free Ancient Grains Waffles are full of fiber and made from nutritious whole grains including brown rice, millet, teff, buckwheat, amaranth, sorghum and quinoa. They have 32 grams of whole grains and 6 grams of fiber. Fiber helps you feel full longer so these waffles are perfect for breakfast.

Van’s Power Grains Waffles are the first nationally available high protein waffles. They are made with cracker red wheat and steel cut oats and have 10 full grams of protein per serving – that’s more than an egg!

Another one of my favorite waffles from Van’s Foods are their blueberry waffles.

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They are gluten-free and made with whole grain brown rice flour and sweetened with fruit juice. My favorite way to eat Van’s waffles are topped with a little bit of peanut butter and mixed berries – the perfect breakfast!

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You can check out more Van’s Foods recipes here. And you can enter below to win a coupon for a free Van’s 6-count Waffle or French Toast Sticks or 8-count Pancake!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to US residents only. 

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Filed under Breakfast, Giveaway, Product Review

Valentine’s Day Food and Treats

Disclaimer: I received the PRE 100% grass fed beef at no charge for part of a Valentine’s Day post. As usual, I only work with companies whose products I stand behind. All opinions are 100% my own…and Danny and Jacob’s. :)

Hello!

I have a fun post for you guys today – Valentine’s Day food and treats! I have always said that I believe Valentine’s Day is for celebrating all those in your life that you love – your spouse, significant other, parents, grandparents, kids, neighbor, etc.

I have a few fun Valentine’s Day food ideas that you can give to others as a gift, cook for those you love, or even cook together with someone. My little helper for a lot of these recipes was my son Jaden.

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He absolutely loves to cook and bake.

Heart Shaped Pancakes

First up, is a super easy breakfast idea – heart shaped pancakes!

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These pancakes are super easy to make. All you need to do is make pancake batter or use a pre-mixed batter and put it into a Ziploc bag. Push all the batter into the corner of the bag and cut off just the very tip of the bag.

On a hot pan, use the batter in the Ziploc bag to make a heart shape and fill it in. Cook a few minutes on both sides and you have a cute heart shaped pancakes. This is great for kids but really who can resist a heart-shaped pancake?!

  • PRE 100% Grass Fed Beef

Steak is always a great gift! Danny and Jacob love steak and when PRE Brands contacted me about their 100% grass fed beef I was so excited to have Danny and Jacob try it out! It would make a great Valentine’s Day dinner or just a great gift in general.

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Here are some of the things I liked about the PRE beef:

  • the whole package is transparent so you can see both sides of the meat. Often with cuts of meat in the grocery store, you can only see one side of the meat. PRE has a 360 degree view so you know exactly what you’re getting.
  • it’s vacuum sealed which leads to a consistent quality and temperature, and a long shelf life.
  • it’s sourced from the top 10% most trustworthy sources in the world,making it extra fresh and tasty
  • PRE Brands uses a trademarked “15-point Obsessive Pick Process,” putting every single cut under a microscope, resulting in the very best quality and taste.

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(Baylee really really wanted that ground beef!)

While I don’t eat beef myself, I do believe in feeding my family quality, fresh, trustworthy food and PRE lives up to that. And Danny and Jacob can vouch for the taste – they both loved it!

I used a grill pan on the stove to cook the steaks medium-rare and the boys feasted on them with mashed potatoes. They both gave them two thumbs up!

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  • Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

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This was my first time ever making brownies from scratch and they turned out delicious! I found a recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction, and Jaden and I got to work making them! (Sally’s Baking Addiction has the best dessert recipes I have ever tried!)

I was worried at first that making brownies from scratch would be hard to make but they were fairly easy. You just have to make sure that measure ingredients perfectly when baking – that’s why I always measure ingredients with my food scale.

We made the brownies and then made the cream cheese topping. We swirled them together for some delicious red velvet cheesecake brownies. Just make sure that you don’t over swirl!

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  • Chocolate Chip Cookies

Finally, we baked chocolate chip cookies because they are delicious and who wouldn’t love receiving fresh baked chocolate chip cookies?! (And yes, it’s another recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction).

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These cookies are perfectly soft and melt in your mouth. Just to be sure not to overbake them!

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You could add Valentine’s Day sprinkles to the cookies batter or just use them to decorate the plate!

  • What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?
  • Do you have any Valentine’s Day food or treat recipes to share?

 

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Proud Mama

Good afternoon!

I was up early this morning at about 4:50 am for work. My alarm is set for 5:05 am but my body naturally wakes me up at 4:50 am. I get terrible sleep the nights before I have to get up early for work because I am paranoid that I’m going to sleep through my alarm. Okay, alarmS. I have three alarms set and I still don’t sleep good!

Right from work, I met Danny and the kids at Jacob’s high school for a special awards breakfast.

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One of Jacob’s teachers nominated him for a “Panther of the Quarter” award which is awarded to students who have gone above and beyond in some aspect in the classroom whether it be for good grades, leadership skills, responsibility, etc.

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I was so proud of Jacob! He rarely talks to me about school so I was so happy to see him receive this award. He got a certificate and a pin. I was one proud mama! I wasn’t allowed to hug him at school but he said we could high-five when he got home. Teenagers.

When we got home, my brother dropped off my niece, I got Jaden on the bus, and then headed to the gym. I am really tired today and wasn’t really feeling it at the gym so I just stuck to an hour of cardio. I did 20 minutes on the arc trainer, 25 minutes on the treadmill, and 15 minutes on the Stairmaster.

My favorite snack lately has been a Honeycrisp apple with the Jif Whips salty caramel peanut  butter.

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I was planning on buying the regular Jif Whips peanut butter but the only flavor my grocery store had was the salty caramel. I debated buying it and I’m glad that I did because it’s delicious.

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The rest of the afternoon will be spent working on my Halloween costume. Only two more days until our annual Halloween party and my costume is taking longer than I thought it would!

Have a great day!

  • Favorite cardio exercise?
  • What time do you wake up during the week?
  • Have you ever tried flavored peanut butter? Favorite? I love the Jif Whips in pumpkin spice but sadly I haven’t been able to find it this year.

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Only Five More Days

Hello!

We are counting down the days until the Chicago Marathon this Sunday! Danny will be running the marathon on Sunday and the kids and I will be there to cheer him on! I can’t believe it’s almost here. Danny has been training for about 12 weeks and finished his last long run of 8 miles last Sunday. I am so proud of him. :)

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I woke up yesterday about 3:30 am feeling terrible. I felt fine when I went to bed Sunday night but overnight I was hit with a terrible cold. I feel a little bit better today but my nose is still stuffy and I feel so tired.

I spent most of the day sleeping and resting yesterday although I did venture out to get some groceries.

This morning, I was up for work at 4:50 am and then taught my Women on Weights class in the late morning. Even though I don’t feel the greatest, it feels good to get back on schedule.

I started out my morning with my normal breakfast – plain Greek yogurt mixed with one stevia packet, raspberries, and Special K protein cereal. I also had some egg whites and coffee.

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I worked on back and biceps at the gym this morning before teaching my class. Some of the exercises I did included:

  • seated rows
  • barbell 21s
  • pull-ups on the Smith machine
  • alternating bicep curls
  • one arm rows
  • bicep curl machine

Although I still don’t feel great, I felt better after my workout.

After the gym, I stopped at the store to pick up a few items that I need for my Halloween costume.

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It’s a secret for now….shhhhhh. I needed a pair of cheap sunglasses and luckily I found this pair at Kohl’s for only $2!

We have a Halloween party every year and this year it’s a little earlier than normal on Oct. 17th so I have less time to work on my costume!

Have a great afternoon!

  • Did you workout today? 
  • When was the last time you were sick?

 

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