Tag Archives: breakfast

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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Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch

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

October 1st!

Good afternoon! Happy first day of October!!

Here are a few of my favorite posts from past Octobers:

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Today

Fall weather has officially arrived here in Chicagoland and it has been chilly the past couple of days! I love fall but I do miss the heat of the summer.

I started out my morning with some warm oatmeal on this chilly day.

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I love topping my oatmeal with just a little bit of peanut butter – it makes it tastes so much better.

After breakfast, I went to the gym and did a really good workout that I adapted from a workout I saw on the NASM Facebook page.

I did each superset four times, resting 1-2 minutes in between supersets.

Superset #1

  • Chest press x5
  • Push-ups x10

(Rest after and repeat for a total of 4 times)

Superset #2:

  • Assisted pull-up machine x5
  • Medicine ball slams x 10

(Rest after and repeat for a total of four times)

Superset #3:

  • Dumbbell front squats x5
  • Jump squats x10

(Rest after and repeat for a total of four times)

Superset #4:

  • Dumbbell push presses x5
  • Single are clean and presses x8 each arm

(Rest after and repeat for a total of four times)

It was a great workout that kept my heart rate up! I finished my workout with 2.1 miles on the treadmill.

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During October, my gym has a pink treadmill and for every mile you walk or run, they will donate 10 cents to breast cancer awareness research.

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On Tuesday, Jacob and I went on our weekly Starbucks trip and I was excited to try out the new toasted graham latte.

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My local Starbucks had actually just gotten it’s first shipment of it on that day so I went on the right day!

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I really liked it and loved that it had a lighter flavor and wasn’t too overpowering. It’s definitely worth getting again. I get mine short, non-fat, and no whip. :)

My family is coming over for dinner and a bonfire tomorrow so today, I’ll just be running errands and getting things ready and then I work tomorrow.

Have a great day!

  • What’s your favorite thing about October?
  • How’s your weather? Chilly yet?!
  • Favorite Starbucks drink? Or favorite seasonal drink?

 

 

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Halloween, Recipes

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pancakes

This morning, I was in the mood for pancakes, but I didn’t have any pancake mix so I decided to use oatmeal instead. I used to make oatmeal protein pancakes all the time and was definitely glad I made them this morning. They really hit the spot!

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For my pancakes I used:

  • one packet of brown sugar and cinnamon Better Oats
  • about 1/3 cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon of PB2
  • 1/2 tablespoon mini chocolate chips

I added the oatmeal and water into a bowl and microwaved it for about one minute. Then I whisked in the egg whites, PB2, and mini chocolate chips. I cooked the pancakes on a heated griddle for about 3 minutes on each side.

This recipe is really easy and satisfied my cravings for pancakes! I also like to add protein powder to the mix if I have it on hand for that extra punch of protein.

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Since, I didn’t have any protein powder, I had some plain Fage Greek yogurt with berries to get some extra protein.

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I’m off to teach my Women on Weights class. Have a great day!

  • What did you have for breakfast?
  • Pancakes or waffles?

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Filed under Breakfast, Recipes

Eating and Working Out

Good morning!

Breakfast

I recently bought these Better Oats and I love them!

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They only have 100 calories per packet and I love to top them with about a half tablespoon of peanut butter. Peanut butter makes everything better.

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Workout

This morning at the gym I did a glute/leg workout which included:

  • squats
  • barbell step-ups
  • barbell hip thrusts
  • deadlifts
  • split squats
  • weight hip bridges
  • single leg hip bridges

I just realized that I forgot to add donkey kicks to my workout this morning! I’ll have to add them next time.

I also foam rolled and stretched for 20 minutes.

I decided to sign up for another 5k this weekend. I wasn’t planning on doing it since I just ran a 5k last weekend but I really want to run this race. The race is the Dash ‘n Splash 5k and it’s literally three minutes from my house.

I have run this small race twice – in 2012 and 2013. (I didn’t run last year because of my hip surgery.) This is the race that always defeats me. The first year I ran it, my time was a lot longer than I wanted it to be. The next year I ran it, the weather was incredibly hot and humid. I had to take walk breaks the last mile and I just wasn’t happy with that.

So this will be my third year running it and I am determined to run the whole race and get a decent time. And of course it’s supposed to be 90 degrees and humid on Sunday. Great.

I’m making to stretch, foam roll, and drink lots of water this week so I can be okay for the 5k on Sunday. We’ll see how it goes!

Post workout selfie because why not?! :)

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Lunch

Lunch today was the same thing that I had for dinner a couple of nights ago.

I made a salad with a summer chopped salad mix, grilled chicken, and tortilla strips. I topped it with Bolthouse Farms salsa ranch dressing. I seriously love all of the Bolthouse Farms yogurt dressings!

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This afternoon, I’m donating blood for a blood drive at the gym and then I’ll just be doing some stuff around the house.

Have a great day!

  • Did you workout today?
  • Favorite salad dressing?
  • Favorite breakfast?

 

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Lunch, Running, Working Out

Foam Rolling

Good morning!

Yesterday morning, I had my normal oats for breakfast but I put them in an almost empty peanut butter jar to eat. The jar had about half a tablespoon or so of peanut butter left in it so I just cooked the oats in the microwave and then added them to the peanut butter jar.

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Oatmeal with peanut butter is amazing. Actually peanut butter makes most things better – french toast, apples, crackers, chocolate, pretzels. :)

Since I went to CrossFit on Tuesday night, I just decided to stick to cardio at the gym on Wednesday morning.

I ran/walked 3.5 miles on the treadmill. I haven’t gone that far in a long time! Unfortunately, my Achilles tendon still bothers me when I run so I’m glad that I cut back on running lately but I still like to run shorter distances sometimes.

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I make sure to foam roll almost every time I go to the gym. My calves are always tight, my quads are usually sore, and my glutes get sore, so I really focus on foam rolling those three areas.

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If you’ve never used a foam roller before it’s a great way to loosen muscle knots. Foam rolling is also called myofascial release and when you use a foam roller to apply force to a muscle knot, the muscle fibers go from a bundled position into a straighter alignment.

When you apply pressure to a muscle that is sore or tight, you stimulate the Golgi tendon organ and create autogenic inhibition. This decreases the excitment in the muscle spindle, releasing the tension in the muscle. Basically, foam rolling helps break up knots in the muscle.

I usually start rolling back on forth on my calves until I find a spot that is really sore or tight. Then I apply pressure to this spot for at least 30 seconds. It takes at least 30 seconds for autogenic inhibition to kick in. The same goes for stretching -hold stretches for at least 30 seconds.

I usually foam roll all the tight spots on my calves, quads, and sometimes glutes, then I stretch. I break up the knots first with the foam roller and then I make sure to stretch them out.

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I also have a foam roller at home to use! You can find them for less than $20.

Foam rolling doesn’t always feel the greatest. It might hurt slightly depending on the muscle knots but it will really help later so stick with it! You can also use other object like a tennis ball to help break up knots.

When I was running and foam rolling at the gym, Jaden was taking a cooking class downstairs. My gym is also a park district so it worked out that his cooking classes were in the same building!

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Jaden loves to cook. He went to a breakfast and lunch cooking class and today he’ll be taking a dinner cooking class.

Last night, we went to my mom’s house and out to dinner with her to celebrate her birthday!

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We’re off to Jaden’s last cooking class. Have a great day and don’t forget to foam roll! :)

  • Do you foam roll or stretch?
  • Favorite thing to put peanut butter on?

 

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Birthdays, Shoulders, and CrossFit

Good morning!

Happy birthday to my wonderful mom today!

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This picture is old but it’s great picture of my mom with her two kids. :)

Tonight, we’re going out to dinner to celebrate! Love you, Mom!

Monday, I did a great cardio workout followed by a shoulder workout at the gym. I did four sets of 20 reps of three shoulder exercises. Sometimes, I’ll use lighter weights but do more sets and reps. It’s good to change things up! The shoulder exercises I did included:

  • bent arm lateral raises
  • upright rows
  • alternating arm front raises

Then I stretched.

IMG_20150622_130027Crazy eyes or what?!

Speaking of changing things up, I’m usually boring with my breakfast choices. I either have egg whites and yogurt or oatmeal. Yesterday, I decided to do something different and I made an egg white omelet with sauteed spinach, red onions, and feta cheese. It was a nice change from my normal boring egg whites.

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I also had a whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter. Yum!

Last night, I went to CrossFit and Jaden came with me.

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CrossFit is like a giant playground to an eight year old.

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He loves the rings.

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Yesterday’s CrossFit workout was great and hard, as usual. We practiced deadlifts and then did our workout of the day which included wall ball throws, push-ups, and ring rows. So many push-ups.

Today, we have a few errands to do and then Jaden has a cooking class later this morning.

Have a great day!!

  • What’s your favorite breakfast?
  • What exercise is hard for you?

 

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Filed under Breakfast, CrossFit, Working Out

Food and Cardio

Hello, friends!

Breakfast

I don’t always feel like eating the morning, but I always make sure to have something little especially if I’m going to the gym. Today, I had plain Fage Greek yogurt mixed with one packet of stevia. Then I added blueberries and some Special K Protein cereal on top for some crunch.

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After breakfast and getting the kids to school, I headed to the gym.

Today, I just did an hour of cardio. I started with 15 minutes on the arc trainer. Then I did 30 minutes of intervals on the treadmill. I finished with 15 minutes on the stationary bike and some foam rolling.  I like to mix up my cardio rather than just spending an hour on the same machine.

After my workout, I taught my Women on Weights class.

Lunch

After teaching, I came home to make lunch. Like I’ve mentioned before I usually stick to the same lunch for a few weeks until I get sick of it and move on to something else. For the past few weeks, I’ve been eating grilled veggie flatbread pizza but then I decided to bring back a favorite – chicken tender salad with honey mustard dressing.

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This salad is amazing. I use Applegate Naturals chicken tenders and Bolthouse honey mustard dressing. I also add some croutons and carrots.

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Yum!

Thank you for all the birthday wishes on yesterday’s post. Tomorrow is my actual birthday and I am celebrating with a much needed hair appointment!

Don’t forget to enter my  Stubb’s BBQ sauce giveaway! There’s still time to enter!

  • What is your favorite cardio activity?
  • Cardio or weights? 
  • What did you have for lunch today?

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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Lunch, Running