Tag Archives: breakfast

October 1st!

Good afternoon! Happy first day of October!!

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



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.


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.


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.


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


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


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!


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.


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


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

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


Filed under Breakfast, Recipes

Eating and Working Out

Good morning!


I recently bought these Better Oats and I love them!


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.



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?! :)



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!


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?




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.


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.


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.


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.


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!

20150622_124651 (1)

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!


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?



Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

Birthdays, Shoulders, and CrossFit

Good morning!

Happy birthday to my wonderful mom today!


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.


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

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


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


He loves the rings.

20150623_185935 (1)

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?



Filed under Breakfast, CrossFit, Working Out

Food and Cardio

Hello, friends!


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.


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.


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.


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



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

Strawberry Lime Protein Smoothie

In anticipation of the nice weather that’s coming soon, I’ve put together a smoothie that’s perfect for a hot summer day – a strawberry lime protein smoothie. Cold, refreshing, and packed full of protein!


I’m always looking for ways to add extra protein to my diet because I know how good it is for building and repairing muscles. It also helps keep you feeling fuller longer, boosts energy, and can help aid in weight loss. But really, this smoothie is just delicious!

Strawberry Lime Smoothie


  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 container key lime yogurt
  • juice from one lime
  • 2 oz cashew or almond milk
  • 1/2 (approx. 5 oz) container Premier Protein Strawberries & Cream shake
  • 4-6 ice cubes



Blend all ingredients and enjoy!

238 calories/2 g fat/ 26 g carbs/ 29 g protein


This is probably one of my favorite smoothies that I’ve ever made. I love the strawberry and lime combination. It’s prefect for breakfast, a snack, or after a workout to repair and rebuild those muscles!

And of course, since I was making a smoothie, the kids wanted a smoothie too. Jaden is allergic to dairy products so his smoothie contained: Silk dairy-free mango peach yogurt, frozen strawberries, almond milk, honey, and ice cubes.



Everyone had a delicious smoothie this morning!

  • What’s your favorite smoothie recipe?
  • What’s your favorite smoothie flavor?
  • How do you add protein into your diet?



Filed under Breakfast, Recipes

Naturally Smart Eggs at Mariano’s

Recently, I received an email from Mariano’s about their exclusive release of Naturally Smart Eggs.


Mariano’s is a grocery store local to Illinois, and I  wrote a post about the opening of a store near us a couple of years ago. They are an amazing store with an incredible produce, bakery, salad bar, and meat section.



Mariano’s continues to redefine the traditional grocery store by introducing an exclusive collection of new, health conscious products. The latest Chicagoland exclusive product is the new Naturally Smart Eggs which feature True Grade Hen2Home Technology.

These eggs are currently available at Mariano’s – three weeks before they debut nationally. This new egg technology introduces a new standard of quality to the fresh egg industry.

How the new eggs work: Each Naturally Smart Egg is marked with a Use By Date so the consumer knows exactly how fresh the egg is, Brand Identification for a safety stamp of authenticity, and a Trace Code which easily enables the consumer to find the exact farm the egg was sourced from by visiting http://www.naturallysmarteggs.com/.


How cool is that?! Isn’t technology crazy awesome? You can actually find the farm an egg came from!

When I got the email about these new eggs, I was immediately intrigued. First, I love that each egg has a Use By Date on it. I am a little bit weird about expiration dates. I know some foods stay fine past their expiration date but I cannot eat a product after it’s expired. I rarely even eat leftovers so there’s no way I’m going to eat a food past its expiration date.

I am weird enough about expiration dates that I even write the date that I open my coffee creamer on the bottle.


I’m the only one that drinks coffee in our house so I never finish a whole bottle before it goes bad. I drink it for exactly ten days after I write the date on it and then I pitch the rest. Hey, we all have weird food quirks, right?

I also thought it was really cool to see where your eggs come from. I thought this would be great for the kids. They would love to go online and put the number from the egg into the website and see where it came from.

So, we took a trip to Mariano’s. Luckily, we have one that’s only about 15 minutes away.

We bought a carton of the x-large eggs.



They have large and x-large eggs for only $2 a dozen.


While we were there, I was super excited to find the new Yasso bars and Arctic Zero ice cream!



We bought the toffee crunch Yasso bars and the vanilla maple Arctic Zero. I have been looking everywhere for those Yasso bars and am a little too excited about eating one tonight.

We stopped at the smoothie bar on the way out and Jaden got a berry smoothie to try. They have a bunch of great smoothie flavors and I can’t wait to try some of the other ones!


I eat eggs for breakfast every day and this morning was no exception.


I loved the Naturally Smart Eggs and loved that each one has it’s own little expiration date stamp.


Check out the Naturally Smart Eggs exclusively at Mariano’s in Illinois and nationwide soon!

Disclaimer: Mariano’s did contact me about writing this post but I bought the eggs myself. All opinions about eggs and expiration dates are my own. 

  • What do you think about the new egg technology?
  • Do you eat foods after their expiration date?
  • Have you ever tried Arctic Zero?


Filed under Breakfast, Product Review

Straw Propeller Gourmet Foods Oatmeal

It’s Monday! I’m glad today is Monday because I feel like it gives me a fresh start after my horrendous week last week.

I’m back on track with my eating and workouts.

Yesterday, Danny and I went to the gym and worked on chest and triceps.


Everyone has their own way of working out muscle groups – full body, upper body, lower body, biceps & triceps, etc. I usually workout the “pushing” muscles together – chest and triceps. These are the muscles you use for pushing exercises such as chest presses or push-ups.

I workout the “pulling” muscles together – back and biceps. These are the muscles you use for pulling exercises such as lat pulldowns and rows.

Then, I have a shoulder day. I incorporate core and leg exercises throughout the week depending on how much time I have to workout. The bikini body mommy workouts incorporate a lot of leg exercises and I still do some of my physical therapy exercises. My hip and quad still tend to get sore very fast so I take it a bit easier on the legs.

Today, I got back on track with my workouts and worked on shoulders. I did:

  • dumbbell front/lateral raises
  • shoulder press machine
  • plate front raises with a twist
  • kettlebell upright rows
  • overhead dumbbell presses
  • cable lateral raises
  • around the worlds (can be seen at 8:00 in the video)

I also did the bikini body mommy strength workout, walked, and did a little bit of stretching and foam rolling. When I woke up yesterday my quad was seriously killing me and I’m not quite sure why so I’m trying to take it a little easier on leg exercises.

Straw Propeller Gourmet Foods Oatmeal

Lately, before a workout or on the days I work, I have been eating Straw Propeller Oats for breakfast. I love that these oats help keep me feeling full for a long time especially when I’m working.

Straw Propeller was awesome enough to send me four of their oats flavors to try out.


The four flavors I tried were Cherry and Chia, Apple Crisp, Maple Oats, and Orange Cranberry.

Of these four, my favorite was the Apple Crisp. It was delicious! I loved the chunks of apples, walnuts, and white chocolate chips.


I love that Straw Propeller Oats use only real ingredients without additives or preservatives. Their oats are also gluten-free. And I love all the add-ins in their oats!



My all-time favorite oats are their PB&J oats. I can’t even describe how good these are – peanuts, strawberries, and peanut butter chips. I could seriously eat these everyday.


I buy the PB & J flavor at Target. Target and Whole Foods are the stores near me that I’ve found them at and they carry some great flavors!

Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you have a specific workout plan?
  • Do you like oatmeal? Favorite?

Straw Propeller sent me the four oatmeal flavors to try for free. I purchased the PB&J oats on my own. All opinions are my own. 


Filed under Breakfast, Product Review, Working Out

Ab Circuit Workout

Good afternoon!

When we were at Target over the weekend, I came across this PB&J oatmeal.


Yes, it’s geared towards kids but really who doesn’t love PB&J or anything with peanut butter for that matter?! I was a little hesitant to buy it because it’s a little higher in calories and carbs than I normally eat for breakfast but I decided to save it for a day when I worked out a little harder and longer.

Well, today was that day! I made the PB&J oatmeal for breakfast and it was honestly the best oatmeal that I’ve ever had. I liked it because it was sweet but not overly sweet. It had oats, real strawberries, peanuts, and peanut butter chips. So good.


I will be buying more.

After checking their website, I see that they do make an adult version which looks like it’s exactly the same but bigger. I think the kid’s size was the perfect amount. I ate it with two egg whites for a little extra protein. Yum!

After breakfast, I went to the gym and got a great workout in.

I warmed up on the elliptical while talking to a friend, then I did the Bikini Body Mommy workout two times – killer! Then I did the following ab circuit:


After the ab workout, I cooled down on the stationary bike and finished my workout with a little bit of foam rolling and stretching. It was a great workout!


Post workout, I had a Rockin’ Refuel protein drink with 30 grams of protein.

Lately, I’ve gotten into the habit of drinking a cup of coffee after my workout. Normally I only drink one cup of coffee when I wake up but lately I’ve been craving it after my workout too. I don’t know if it’s because I’m so cold or because I have about a million k-cups from Christmas, but I’ve been trying to break the habit.

Lately, I’ve been switching to the Candy Cane Lane tea.


It’s still okay to drink out of a gingerbread mug, right?! And it’s peppermint tea which is supposed to help soothe the stomach.

And that’s all for this morning! Have a great day!!

  • What do you usually eat for breakfast?
  • Do you drink coffee? Tea? How often?



Filed under Breakfast, Working Out