learning to eat, cook, and live healthier one day at a time.

Category Archives: Fall

Helloooo!

I hope your Thursday is going well. Mine is pretty swell so far.

I’ve been battling strange stomach pains lately. It’s happened a few times in the past week just after I eat breakfast. It happened really bad last Wednesday to the point where I really couldn’t do much all day. Well, yesterday it happened again but not quite as bad. I have to assume it’s something I’m eating but my breakfasts haven’t included anything new or abnormal.

Today I was really in the mood for a classic breakfast: eggs, toast, and turkey bacon.

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On the days I’ve gotten sick, I’ve had egg whites topped with cheese, and a piece of peanut butter and banana toast. I’m nervous that it’s my peanut butter that has been making my stomach hurt, since that’s the main thing I omitted today. But peanut butter is supposed to help soothe upset stomachs so I’m all kinds of confused.

I hope these strange unpredictable pains don’t turn up anymore, but enough about my illnesses. I’m feeling fine today and am excited to complete the second day of a workout plan I started yesterday.

I found this plan on bodybuilding.com, which is usually my go-to when I’m looking for workout plan inspiration. I know how to build my own plan, but sometimes it’s more fun to find something new and exciting. I like that it balances weights with cardio pretty well, but I will most likely tweak some things to add some HIIT cardio here and there.

Today is¬† a legs day which I always dread since I know I won’t be able to walk for the next day or two. Woo!

In other news…Mike and I carved pumpkins this weekend.

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Yes, my pumpkin has the call letters of the TV station I work at. Good thing I like my job, right? Last year I did the NBC peacock which was a little cooler if you ask me.

It’s a little toasty for mid-October in Sioux Falls right now, but I’m still embracing the fall spirit and making one of my favorite Crockpot fall meals this evening: Crockpot Cream Cheese Chili

creamcheese chiliOhhhh yes. Rick and creamy.

Alright, I’m off to the gym!

 


Gooooood morning!!

I hope everyone is having a good Thursday so far. I can already say mine is MUCH better than my Wednesday was.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling fine. I at the same breakfast I eat probably four or five days of the week: egg whites with spinach , and a side of peanut butter toast with banana. About 30 minutes after finishing breakfast I had a serious pain in my stomach. I initially thought the upset stomach feeling would only last a few minutes, but no go.

I had to keep pushing off going to the gym because I could barely move from my couch. The only times I did move was to be sick in the bathroom. It was that bad. Around noon, I started feeling alright and decided to make a break for the gym. I completed a shoulders/back workout and things were feeling okay during weights. It went south when I hopped on the treadmill. BIG mistake. As soon as I started sweating and bouncing around I felt like I was going to be sick right then and there. I was sick again after lunch and really have no idea what was wrong with me.

My little episode yesterday has me thinking about pushing yourself through a workout when you’re not feeling so hot. Honestly, it might sound crazy that I even went to the gym yesterday, I know. But I’ve realized from past experiences that sometimes a workout can make you feel better. That said, it’s important to take things slow and set some limitations. I should have known better than to try to get on a treadmill when my stomach was in shambles.

Under The Weather Exercises

I think when we’re feeling under the weather, the best thing to do is focus on exercises that don’t require too much movement. That might sound impossible, but it’s not. Think simple weight lifting techniques. Obviously kettle bell swings would not fall into this category, but there are many that do:

  • bicep curls
  • should presses
  • leg presses
  • leg extensions & curls
  • lat pulldowns
  • planks, etc.

And if you really want to get some cardio in, try just hopping on the bike. Any type of sweating was making me feel awful yesterday so cardio was off the table completely. Just be sure to use your judgment and don’t push yourself too hard!

Also, if you’re not feeling so hot it might be a good time to get a good stretching and foam rolling session in.

In other news…

It’s really fall.

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More than a week into October, we’re in the thick of Halloween candy, pumpkin spice, and changing leaves! Mike is coming to Sioux Falls this weekend which means I have a reason to bake for someone! Last night I thought I’d make one of my favorite fall baked goods that’s a little less traditional than your average pumpkin loaf or banana bread.

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Apple Cake! I had never heard of apple cake before I started babysitting for a Jewish family in college. I learned that apple cake is a traditional Jewish holiday dessert, and I can see why. It’s so delicious and just embodies all things fall.

I’ve shared this recipe on the blog before, but I did not have a bundt pan before yesterday. Highlight of my day.

IMG_2451If you’re looking for a festive, comforting treat this season that has nothing to do with pumpkin, I’d give this apple cake a try. It’s very simple and can me made without a bundt pan.

That’s all for now!

 

 

 

 


It’s a great day!

Why?

Because Fall is finally here!

Fall is by far my favorite season. The changing leaves, cooler weather, holidays, and pumpkin-flavored treats are just a few of my favorite things that come along with the season.

I had today off, so I decided to celebrate the first full day of Fall by whipping up a festive recipe — Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins.

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I’ve made healthyish pumpkin muffins before, but they’ve never turned out quite right. I think I always try to get a little too creative with things like whey protein powder, agave, flax and all those other ingredients that just scream “healthy.” Well, today I kept things simple. And I’m excited to bring a rather tasty recipe for pumpkin muffins to the table.

I followed this recipe loosely that I found while looking for muffin inspiration.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease muffin tin.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine eggs, honey and oil. Mix until well combined.
  • Add flour mixture to wet ingredients slowly. Mix until just combined.
  • Remove bowl from mixer stand, fold in canned pumpkin.
  • Scoop even amounts of batter into prepared muffin tins.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 18-19 minutes.

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These muffins turned out great! They’re super dense and not overly sweet. I’d like to spread some peanut butter over one of them for a snack or dessert. I’d like to try adding some nuts or raisins to the recipe next time.

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Also, if you do not have an electric mixer you can easily mix these muffins by hand.

Get ready for more pumpkin themed recipes to start popping up on the blog. It’s that time of year!

 

 


Good morning!

I hope wherever you’re starting your day is a bit warmer than South Dakota right now. We’re barely going to make it into the 50s today. Yikes! One good thing about the cool weather? It’s put me in ultra Fall-mode.

Last night I decided to bring out some of the Fall decor. I feel a little silly going all out right now, so I’ll probably wait until the beginning of October or so to bring out the pumpkins and Halloween candy dishes. Baby steps.

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And of course, the arrival of Fall means the arrival of everything pumpkin spice flavored!

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I do like pumpkin spice, but I feel like it has gotten a little overboard in the past few years. I stick to coffee creamer, tea, and canned pumpkin to get my pumpkin fix. I must admit I have been intrigued by the pumpkin spice pudding I’ve seen in the grocery store. Thoughts?

Speaking of the grocery store, I’m having some grocery dilemmas in my life right now.

I’ve really been trying to stick to spending no more than $50 on food and groceries each week. Judging by the way my refrigerator looks, things aren’t going well.

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It looks pretty bare, but my goal is to make it through the next few days with the food I have on hand. I’ve surpassed my $50 limit for the week thanks to eating out a few times last weekend. I just have to make it through to Monday! Here’s what I’m working with:

Breakfast:

  • Egg whites
  • Oatmeal
  • Peanut butter
  • Banana

Lunch:

  • Sliced turkey
  • Bread
  • Cheese
  • Spinach
  • Tuna
  • Grapes

Dinner:

  • Ground turkey
  • Chicken breast (less than 1/2 pound)
  • Peppers
  • Frozen veggies (very few)
  • Beans
  • Quinoa

Snacks:

  • Cottage cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Almonds
  • Grapes

I know the food I have will last through Monday without a problem, but I don’t just want to eat; I want to eat healthy. And that’s where the problem lies when you’re living on a pretty tight budget.

When I throw cost out the window, here’s what my typical grocery hauls look like:

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If only I could afford that all the time. But, this will be good for me. And hopefully I’ll learn how to save a little better and buy only what I really need.

Also, I cut all my hair off yesterday!

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Crazy, right?

 


It was another snowy morning in Sioux Falls.

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I have Mondays off and normally I like to take advantage of the extra time by going for a long run. I glanced out my window to check out the weather conditions this morning. The snow didn’t completely¬†cancel my running plans, but the freezing temps did. It was in the high teens this morning with wind chills in the single digits.

Once my running plans were thrown out, I settled on incorporating some extra cardio into my leg workout that I had planned for later in the day. I usually hate doing cardio too close before, or immediately after a leg workout since my legs usually turn into jelly on leg day. I figured tacking on 15 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill as a warm up, and 15 minutes on the elliptical as a cool down would be a safe bet. Worked like a charm!

Last night I had the baking bug. I’m really trying to stay away from too many sweets this week since my birthday is this weekend, and I know I’ll be celebrating with a cake or two. Instead of whipping up some traditional cookies, I opted for a healthier little experiment.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Protein Muffins

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated splenda or other sweetener
  • 1/2 can canned pumpkin
  • 2 egg whites or egg beaters
  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 TBS sugar free chocolate chips or regular chocolate chips
  • 3-4 TBS water

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
  • Combine eggs, pumpkin, orange juice, greek yogurt, and splenda. Beat until well combined
  • Add flour, protein powder, baking soda, pumpkin spice. Mix until well combined
  • Add water to create smoother consistency
  • Fold in chocolate chips
  • Pour equal amounts into greased muffin pan. If using liners, lightly grease liners as well.
  • Bake 20 minutes
  • Let cool 10 minutes before removing from muffin pan

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These little guys are so good! I was expecting them to have a spongier texture, like most things made with protein powder usually have. However, they came out dense like typical muffins. I might try making them with craisins or nuts instead of chocolate chips next time.


Good evening!

I want to start this post off by mentioning that Fall came and went rather quickly here in Sioux Falls. Yesterday, we got a grand total of 6 inches of snow!

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Christmas is definitely creeping up. Although the snow is about 50% melted already, I was beyond excited to walk out of work into a winter wonderland yesterday.

Travel Workouts

This past weekend I was visiting home in Minneapolis. Whenever I’m home, I know a lot of eating is going to be involved between my mom’s welcome home treats, and mine and Mike’s binge eating extravaganzas. Luckily, the area of Minneapolis I grew up in is full of beautiful places to run.

If you’re from the Minneapolis area chances are you’re familiar with the chain of lakes. I was fortunate enough to grow up just blocks away from Lake Harriet, and it has become one of my all time favorite places for a run.

I took advantage of the chance to run the lake while I was home. It was a beautiful Fall morning!

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The distance around the lake is just under 3 miles. With the short distance from my house added, the whole route adds up to about 3.5 miles. Nice and easy!

One of the days I was home I was just NOT feeling a run. I blame it on the big breakfast I had that morning. Instead, I opted for a circuit workout and some quick sprints.

I decided to do about a mile sprint or very quick run down to a local park where I completed the following circuit:

parkworkout

 

The run back to my house was definitely tougher than the run down. In all, the workout lasted no more than 30 minutes.

Working out while traveling can be tough. Whenever there’s a disruption to my normal gym routine I find myself becoming extremely unmotivated. It’s something I definitely need to work on.

I’m off to watch some Law & Order SVU and sip some coconut hot chocolate on this snowy November night!

 

 


Happy Halloween!

It’s funny how a year ago when I was still in college, all I thought about on Halloween was partying. Now, I’m jealous I don’t have my own house where I can hand candy out to trick-or-treaters. Growing up gets stranger every day.

This has been quite the week, even though it’s only have way done for me. On Monday night I whipped up several batches of two different types of cookies: Monster Cookies & Chocolate Reese’s Halloween Cookies!

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I adapted the chocolate cookies from a recipe on Love From The Oven, and the monster cookies from Greens & Chocolate. As always, I tweaked both recipes to make them my own.

I added candy corn flavored m&ms to the monster cookies, and used reese’s pieces instead of sixlets in the chocolate cookies.

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Nothing better than a night of holiday baking! This was probably the most relaxing part of my week so far.

Yesterday, I traveled to Aberdeen, SD for several stories. It’s about a three hour drive north of Sioux Falls. I never mind long drives, and am very used to the seven hour drive from Chicago to Minneapolis, so three hours is a cake walk. That was not the case yesterday.

About an hour into my drive, the temperature dropped from 40 to 32. I was suddenly surrounded by a thick wall of fog and snow, with icy roads ahead of me.

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What should have been a three hour drive turned into a four hour drive. And what should have been about a nine hour worked day turned into 12 hours.

I wasn’t sure if I should be more excited for Halloween or Christmas up in Aberdeen! Either way, the weather definitely had me in the holiday spirit.

Tomorrow night is Halloween for me. One of my co-workers is hosting a Halloween party. Stay tuned for what I’m hoping will be a killer costume. I’m hoping the next 48 hours fly by. I’m heading home to Minneapolis very late Saturday night!

 

 



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