And it begins

Ah, life. Busy, busy, busy. So I’m going to make this ever-so-brief.

I promise that after I get a handle on things, I’ll post my super-awesome Mexican-Style Spaghetti Squash Casserole (in honor of Columbus day, as an afterthought… but not on Columbus day…speaking of which how do you feel about the whole “Columbus Day” thing?) that I came up with yesterday.

But let’s get back to the whole dramatic “and it begins” thing: I started my new job today! (yay) Well, I had the first day of orientation, which was basically all HR stuff and no actual job-job stuff, but it’s all related, right? Plus I got out about 3 1/2 hours early. (Oh the joys of orientation + salary work)

And now for…

This Week in Workouts 10.2.11 – 10.8.11
Su – 45 minute elliptical (w/magazine. heaven.)
M – Circuit Strength Training
Tu – 4.63 mile run
W – Circuit Strength Training
Th – Hatha yoga (yay!!!)
F – 20 minute run (out of town, didn’t map it for mileage)
Sa – rest

Have any cool life news?

What are your workouts looking like lately?

Five Things Friday 9.23.11

First: some news. Well, as you know if you are a frequent reader of this here blog, I recently changed positions within my company. But despite this fact, I had been applying to jobs outside of the company ever since I lost my feeling of job security (via the laying off of half of the staff while in my previous position). I am happy to report that I was offered (and accepted) a position in an organization that I’ve been trying to work for since I graduated college! Yesterday marked the beginning of the end of my current job when I officially put in my two-weeks notice.

Five Things Friday September 23, 2011

1. Living the constantly-stressed-out-American-lifestyle? Then you must have a shortage of time.

Check out these health shortcuts to keep you a healthy-high-functioning-workaholic-machine so that you keep working until you die.

2. Got 20 minutes?

Good. If you use it to exercise, you can help “reverse age-related decline in muscle stem cells.” These cells are what your body uses to create new muscle growth. And studies (in rats) found that all you needed was 20 minutes a day, 6 days a week to triple the number of stem cells produced.

3. Tired of your Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

Yeah, I’m not either. But it’s still cool to try new oils- like one from this list of 6 healthful cooking oils. 

4. Somethings can be blamed on “hormones”

But other things cannot.

Here is a slideshow that’ll tell you what’s what.

5. Looking to lower your blood pressure while eating something purple?

Then you’re in luck! A recent study shows that purple potatoes can help lower your blood pressure. The idea is that it has something to do with its antioxidants.

Just watch out for the purple potato monster…

Have you had any major life changes lately?

What’s something cool that you’ve learned recently?

I finally did it.

OK, so before we get to what I finally did, how about we look at…

TWIW (this-week-in-workouts)
Sa – off
Su – Circuit Strength Training
M – off
Tu – 30 min. Quick Cardio + 60 min. Power Yoga
W – Circuit Strength Training
Th – 45 minute Step Class
F – Circuit Strength Training

Self Evaluation:
Likes:  I like that I got in 3 strength training sessions. I’m hoping to keep this up. I also like that I got in a high-intensity cardio session.
What I want to improve: I’d like to try and get it down to 1 day off a week, and add in either Boot Camp or Kick Boxing.

Alright, soooo I finally went to a Farmer’s Market!

I’ve had this ambition to go to a farmer’s market for several years now but never actually took the initiative. Now that I’ve done it, I have no idea what was holding me back. Maybe it was a little of this:

mixed with forgetfulness and apprehension of venturing into a new experience. This all seems silly now, considering what a great experience shopping at a farmer’s market was! It really feels great to know that my money is going to local businesses, and my food isn’t traveling halfway across the country (or world) to get to me.

So, this morning I rolled out of bed, ate breakfast, and headed to the St. Stephen’s Farmer’s Market. Here are my purchases of the day:

Clockwise from left: Beets, Kale, Broccoli, Yellow Squash (interesting variety), Pattipan Squash, Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes, Reginald’s Cashew ‘Nilla Butter, and Reginald’s Crunchy Original Roasted Peanut Butter

Brittany from Eating Bird Food recently posted about the nut butters, and that was definitely a main reason for me choosing the St. Stephen’s market! Here’s their website. The woman I spoke with at the farmer’s market said that right now they do all their work out of her kitchen! They also only use Virginia peanuts, adding to the local-loving. 🙂

I’m looking forward to cooking up some awesome grub with my farmer’s market finds! …But probably not until tomorrow. I’m still enjoying these leftovers:

recipe to follow soon

After the farmer’s market, I headed to the gym for a workout and then delved back into the food world at Trader Joe’s. I’m really excited about a couple of my finds.

1 – Mini Brie Bites

I’m so excited to try these babies! I am always hesitant to buy blocks/rounds of cheeses just because in my mind it’s harder to determine a serving size. (Maybe that’s weird, I dunno.) So I love that I can now enjoy brie in individual rounds!

2 – Potted Basil Plant

 Doesn’t it just looks so bright and happy? And delicious? Let’s just hope that I can keep it alive better than begonias:

miserable attempt at keeping a house plant.

And now, I will leave you with an Amazing Meal in Minutes!

As I mentioned previously, I’ve had to come up with quick meals before heading out to work. I’d been making peanut buter and _____ sandwiches, but, alas, I ran out of bread this week.

I was still stuck in the same situation – a little over an hour to be at work, and I needed to eat, shower, and get myself presentable for work. So, we’re talkin’ I needed a quick meal. That required little-to-no active time. In walks…

Tofu, Basil, & Goat Cheese “Pizza” (for 1)

Ingredients:
– 1 tortilla (I used Tumaro’s Multigrain Low Carb)
– 1 goat cheese medallion (the Trader Joe’s kind I love!)
– 1/8 cup of your favorite pasta sauce (I used Prego Fresh Mushroom)
– 1/4 container extra firm tofu, patted dry and cubed (optional: bake it for 20 minutes beforehand)
– Fresh Basil
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Heat tortilla wrapped in a paper towel in the microwave for 20 seconds.
2. Spread the goat cheese on the tortilla. Layer the sauce on top. Add the toppings.
3. Place in oven (on a cookie sheet) and bake until melty. (about 10 minutes)

ingredients

pre-oven

pre-oven for pizza-sandwich method

enjoy! 🙂

for sandwich method - fold in half

slice and enjoy : )

This is seriously soooo good. The goat cheese gets wonderfully creamy and pairs beautifully with the italian flavors. It almost reminds me of ricotta in lasagna. I paired these babies with a side salad one day, and roasted vegetables the next.