Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cold Chocolate Heaven

Last night, I went on a  5 mile run up the canyon with a friend. We started just after 8:30. Guess how hot it was? Over 90 degrees! I was drenched in sweat after. I kept thinking to myself that it was good training and sucked it up.

I am in love with Starbucks  frappuccinos. I don't drink coffee, so I always get the blended creme versions. Yesterday, it was so very hot and all I wanted was a double chocolate chocolate chip frappuccino. I broke down and bought one. I couldn't help it. After I was finished indulging in the cold goodness, I thought that there must be an easier and less expensive way to meet my addiction.

I found it! And it was super easy too.

 Doesn't this look amazing? Let me tell you, it was great. I just finished drinking it.

If you would like to make this cold drink from heaven, this is what you need:
1 cup milk
1 tbs sugar
3 tbs chocolate syrup (I used Hershey's)
1/3 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
2 cups ice
optional- Redi Whip for the top

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.

I put Redi Whip on top and then drizzled some chocolate syrup.

I can honestly say that it didn't taste the same as Starbucks, but I still thought it was amazing. I know the Starbucks uses special expensive syrup in theirs and I'm just too cheap.

I will definitely make this again and again. By making this drink at home, hopefully I'll be saving some money and some driving time.

You should try this at home then let me know what you think!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Zucchini Noodles

Last year I purchased a julienne peeler from a Pampered Chef party. I had seen people make zucchini noodles with it and I wanted to try it out. You know, in an effort to eat better. Well, a year has gone by and I finally got around to to trying it. Why did I wait so long?

 I used my julienne peeler and peeled two zucchini down to the seeds. Amazing how the peeler made noodles. I still can't wrap my mind it.

Next, I boiled water and put a dash or two of salt in it.

As the water was boiling, I made the pesto sauce by following the directions on the back of the package.. I really like the Knorr pesto packet. Easy to make and tastes good.

When the pesto sauce was done and the water was boiling, I added the zucchini noodles. Let cook for 30-60 seconds. You'll have to try a noodle or two to make sure they are cooked. If you don't cook them long enough they'll be hard and if you cook them too long, they'll be mushy. I cooked mine just right.

Drain. and mix in sauce.                          
I served my noodles with chicken.

I'm glad I finally made these zucchini noodles. I wouldn't say I loved them over pasta, but I enjoyed eating them. The key is to not compare them to pasta. If you do, you'll be disappointed. I had to think of them as just what they are, delicious zucchini noodles.

Will I make zucchini noodles again? You bet.

How do you prepare your zucchini noodles? Any sauces that you like?

Thursday, July 10, 2014


I've been lacking in motivation lately. After Saturday's run, my knee was slightly swollen. I took Monday and Tuesday off from running. I couldn't help myself though and did the 30 Day Shred both days. Don't worry, I wore my knee brace. It is a little know fact about myself that when I take a day or two off running, it is difficult to start again.

Yesterday, I text a friend that I needed motivation to go running. She responded with the best motivation ever. What was it you ask? "You can do it! Running is fun! You don't want to have to buy new clothes this fall!" That was all the motivation that I needed and within 30 minutes I was out the door. (I had to wait for the thunderstorm and rain to stop.)

At mile 4 it began to downpour. It was the best! Running in the rain is the best...when it is hot outside. Do you like running in the rain? 

Here is a list of my favorite motivation tips. They help me get up and going when I need a little extra push.

  • Text a friend for help.
  • Have an accountability partner that you check in with.
  • Have a partner in crime.
  • Set aside your running/workout clothes the nigh before.
  • If you have trouble waking up, put your alarm clock across the room.
  • Schedule your workout.
  • Create a motivation wall that you look at everyday.
  • Search running/workout motivation on Pinterest (not during workout time).
  • Create a mantra that you say over and over to yourself.
  • Take pictures of yourself along your fitness journey. This way you can see how far you've already gone.
  • Set aside a special healthy treat for after your run/workout.
  • Put a $1 in a jar each time you run/workout. Use the $ to buy new clothes when you reach your goal.
  • Create a reward system. List reward items and what you need to earn them.
  • Remembering how good it feels. 

What motivates you to run/workout when you really don't want to?  


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

You ever had one of those mornings where you wake up early to run and you know your run is going to suck before you even begin? That was me yesterday.  I kept thinking the whole time "I can do hard things"and "I want a cookie". It was the most difficult 10 miles of my life. Good news though, I made it. I headed to the cookies as soon as I walked through the door. 

Eating a few cookies literally saved my life, so I thought I'd share them with you. Wait...I ate them all. I guess I can give you my recipe and you can make them yourself. You won't be sorry. These chocolate chip cookies are the best ever. They are the perfect level of chewiness. 

Don't worry. I didn't eat all the cookies on the plate.

Blend together the butter, vanilla, vanilla pudding mix, baking soda, and eggs.

 Add in the brown sugar, white sugar, flour. 
When the dough is mixed well, add the chocolate chips.

 Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray.
Roll the dough into about 1 inch balls.

Cook at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. 
You'll want to take out the cookies when they are just starting to turn light brown.

 Leave cookies on the cookie sheet for about 3 minutes.
 This will finish baking the cookies and leave them perfect.

Place cookies on a wire rack until cool. Then enjoy!

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies:
2 sticks butter, softened
1 large package vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
2 1/2 c flour
1 bag chocolate chips

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

Blend together butter, pudding mix, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla.

Add brown sugar, white sugar, and flour. When dough has formed, add chocolate chips. 

Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. 

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Take out when the cookies are starting to turn light brown. Let cook on pan for about 3 minutes before moving to cooling rack. 

Makes about 4-5 dozen.

This dough can be frozen: Roll into balls and place in freezer bag. When you are ready to bake them, take out of freezer and let thaw a little before baking. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of July and Pea Salad

Happy 4th of July!

I am so thankful that I live in America and for the many freedoms that I have. I also love getting together with family, friends, and neighbors to eat great food and watch fireworks. My neighborhood has had a HUGE block party the last several years. It's happening again today. People bring meat to BBQ and a dish to share. I have brought a dessert the last couple of years and I wanted to do something different this year. I decided on pea salad.

Pea Salad: Doesn't this look delicious? And it's super easy to make.

I hope this will be enough.

Dice the cheese.

Chop the red onion. I used my Pampered Chef chopper. I love this thing.

Thaw the frozen peas. I placed the frozen peas in a bowl and ran hot water over them. Drained and repeat. It took two or three times to thaw out the peas. Make sure you drain all the water off.

Mix together Miracle Whip or mayonnaise, sour cream, salt, pepper, and paprika.

Cook bacon until it is crisp. Paper towel off the grease. Crumble.

Add cheese, red onions, bacon, and dressing mixture to the peas. Stir well. Keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

Pea Salad:
2 16 oz frozen peas, thawed and drained
5 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 - 1 cup Cheddar cheese, diced
1/2 - 1 cup Mozzarella cheese
1/2 of a red onion, chopped
1 cup Miracle Whip or mayonnaise (I used Miracle Whip because I like the tangy taste)
2 tbs sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
paprika to taste

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. Make sure to mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.  

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred

Ouch! It kind of hurts to move.

I purchased Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred a couple of weeks ago. I read a bunch of online reviews before I bought it just to see if it worked for the general public. What I read seemed favorable, so I found it on Amazon. I think that you can also get on YouTube of the BeFit channel.  I didn't want to start it before my half marathon or the week after when I was still sore.

Yesterday was the day! I ran four miles in the afternoon on the deathmill. When I made it home, I still craved more. In the DVD player it went. I set it on level 1. Holy crap! I sweated bullets.

For those of you who have never heard of the 30 Day Shred, here is a little about how it works. The program has 3 levels. You complete each for 10 days. I read somewhere that Jillian Michaels said she never intended for people to do all 30 days in a row. She encouraged people to take a day off every few days. The 30 Day Shred program is a circuit training. You complete 3 minutes of strength training, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs. Each level repeats this series several times. The is also a quick warm-up and cool down. You get all this in about 23 minutes.

I got up just after 6 am to repeat the torture because it felt so good. I've had to make a few changes. First, I had to hold onto hand weights when I did push-ups, because my wrist is still tender from last months surgery. It worked great. Second, I had to take a short break during the jump rope section because my calves were cramping up. Third, I made sure to follow Anita, the nice lady doing the adapted exercises.

Have you tried Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred? Did you get good results? Have you completed it while training for a race?

I'm hoping to see good results and to get stronger. Your input is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Sept. 2014 update:
I was trying to complete the 30 Day Shred and train for a marathon. Not really the best idea. For the three weeks I did the program, I felt stronger and I did lose a few pounds. I had to make the difficult decision to stop in order to consentrate on running. I WILL start again after my marathon at the end of September.