Moving to TheFitFoodieMama.com

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Hello All!

The time has come and I am moving my site from here to TheFitFoodieMama.com.  I just wanted to let you all know so that if you would like to continue to receive notifications when there is a new post you can subscribe over at my new site! I appreciate your support and readership and I hope to continue connecting with you through TheFitFoodieMama.com.

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Liebster Award Nomination (Again!) :)

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Earlier this month I was nominated for a Liebster Award and today I was notified that Michelle from Onemoremile nominated me again! Woohoo! I feel popular! 🙂

So what exactly is a Liebster Award? It’s an online award given by bloggers to bloggers who generally have a following of 200 readers or less. The rules are:

1.) You must link back to the person who nominated you
2.) You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you.
3.) You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award (with a small following)
4.) You must create 10 questions for your nominees
5.) You must go to their blogs and notify the nominees

In the spirit of playing along I’m going to answer all the fun questions Michelle asked and pass it along because I think it’s a fun way to get to know everyone and help get each other’s blogs noticed 🙂

1. What is your favorite way to exercise? Why?

My favorite way to exercise is any form of functional training exercises like kettlebells, using a sandbag, equalizers, battling ropes, or HIIT workouts with my Gymboss timer. I am also getting into running and really enjoying that as well!

2. How do you find time to exercise?

Usually I wake up really, really early in the morning before my kids are up or if that doesn’t happen then I try to get a workout in when they nap or have them do it alongside me.

3. What is a typical day like for you?

Here is my typical day in a list format: wake up, workout, eat breakfast, make kids breakfast when they wake, play with kids, social media, play with kids, kids nap, social media, make dinner, pick up, kids to bed, social media, bed.

4. What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?

Right now my blog is in the works of moving to a .com site.  Once that happens I hope to be able to do more reviews and increase my traffic so that I can make a living from blogging as opposed to a hobby!

5. Who inspires you?

This is a tough question.  A lot of people inspire me on a regular basis.  I was inspired by friends on IG to start a blog, I was also inspired by a friend on IG to train for/run a half marathon, I’m inspired by my husband who works hard so I can stay at home and blog & every time my kids are acting crazy I’m inspired by my mother who somehow raised me without sending me off to a reform school.

6. Morning or night person?

I get up every day around 5:00 or 5:30 but I am 100 % a night owl.  I. Don’t. Sleep.

7. What are some of your fitness goals you have for 2014?

Right now my biggest fitness goal is to actually get to the finish of the half marathon I mentioned earlier.  I am signed up to run it in November and if I make it, it will be one of my biggest fitness accomplisments! 🙂

8. What is your favorite blog post you have written? Please provide link.

This was one of the questions I was asked the last time I answered questions for the Liebster Award nomination and the answer is still the same.  My favorite would be the first post I wrote because it explains exactly why I started blogging.

9. If you could change one thing from 2013, what would it be?

Hmmm, this is a tough question.  I would have started blogging sooner if I knew that it would be as rewarding as it has been.  I always shunned the idea of connecting with others on social media because it seemed like a shallow way to form relationships and I couldn’t have been more wrong.  In the last three months since I started connecting with others on social media like Instagram, Twitter and this blog; I have formed more than a handful of meaningful and inspiring relationships!

10. What is one of your greatest life or fitness accomplishments?

My greatest life accomplishment would be my children, obviously.  As far as my greatest fitness accomplishment? I think it’s yet to come with completing the half marathon.  I work hard daily to keep myself in shape and stay fit but running is newer to me and a half marathon would really take the cake as far as what  I can check off my list!

Here are my 10 Liebster Award nominees:

Redd at Reddy Set FIt

Jennifer at Fitness Made Simple Blog

Melissa at Curvaceous and Confident

Farrah at Fairy Burger

Leslie at It’s a RUNderful Life

Whitney at Earl-Leigh Designs

Amanda at Running By Day

Lis G at 26.2 x 2

Autumn at AutumnPTW

Lori at Getting Fit With Bipolar

Congrats! Here are my questions to you lovely ladies.  They’re the same questions that I asked the last time but I am curious to see each of your answers for them as well! Plus I don’t have the brain power to come up with 10 new questions!

Questions:

1. Where is your favorite place to travel and why?

2. What is the last good book you read?

3. What did you want to be when you were little?

4. What is your favorite way to be active?

5. What is your go-to breakfast?

6. If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

7. What are your hobbies outside of work/blogging?

8. Would you ever be able to go a day without your phone?

9. Do you prefer to exercise in the morning or at night?

10. What is your favorite thing about blogging?

NEDA Walk-Syracuse

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I just wanted to do a quick write up and post about a local walk to benefit The National Eating Disorder Association that is happening this upcoming Saturday, May 3rd.  It is being hosted by Ophelia’s Place and is taking place at 10am in Long Branch Park in Liverpool.  I have been on the committee to organize the walk the last two years and now that I have a blog I figured it would be the perfect place to spotlight it and help spread the word! 🙂

A few facts on eating disorders from NEDA’s website:

-The recurrent binge-and-purge cycles of bulimia can affect the entire digestive system and can lead to electrolyte and chemical imbalances in the body that affect the heart and other major organ functions. 

-Binge eating disorder often results in many of the same health risks associated with clinical obesity

-Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives (Neumark-Sztainer, 2005).

-Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives (Neumark-Sztainer, 2005).

-By age 6, girls especially start to express concerns about their own weight or shape. 40-60% of elementary school girls (ages 6-12) are concerned about their weight or about becoming too fat. This concern endures through life (Smolak, 2011).

The NEDA walk will also feature a host of other facts about eatings disorders along the one mile path where the walk takes place.  Fresh fruit and water will be provided to walkers along with live entertainment and a variety of local vendors will be present.

Guest Speaker Jill Ouikahilo will also be there to share her story about her struggle with an eating disorder, how it nearly killed her career and how her survival lead to her teaching others how connect with their true selves through the movement of the body.

If you are interested in attending the walk or would like to donate to help NEDA reach their goal of raising $20,000, please visit this  site.  For those who don’t pre-register, registration will begin at 9 am at Long Branch Park.  You can also head on over to Facebook to RSVP to the event and invite friends to join you!

Weekly Recipes Worth Sharing 4/20-4/27

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This list is kinda short again this week because I have been so busy plus I forget to take pictures of dinner two nights in a row because the kids were going bananas, but here are the few I have to share!

Smoked Apple Chicken Patties on top of Sweet Potato Cakes

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This is one of those recipes that tastes gourmet but is really super simple.  Here are the ingredients for the chicken patty/”burger”.

– 1 lb ground chicken

-1 apple peeled and diced

-1 bunch of spinach, chopped

-Grill Mates Apple Wood Rub (to your liking)

Combine all of the ingredients and then form into patties and grill.  Yup, that simple.

I can’t take credit for the sweet potato cake/bun and mine was a little underdone because I was starving and didn’t have the patience to wait until it was crispy.  The recipe came from Inspiralized.com and here is the link to it.  The combo of flavors from the smoked apple chicken and the sweet potato was amazing.  Definitely one of those recipes I am going to add to my go-to dinner list!

Tarragon-Mustard Baked Chicken 

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Ingredients:

-1 1/2 to 2 lbs of chicken tender cuts

-1 bunch of carrots (or like 5 medium size carrots) sliced into sticks

– 1 large onion, sliced

– 3 or 4 russet potatoes (depending on size and quantity you want in your dish)

– enough dashes of tarragon to equally cover all tenders

-generous dashes of mustard powder to equally cover all tenders

-salt and pepper

-1/2 cup of water or enough to just cover the bottom of the baking dish to prevent burning

Directions:

Once prepared and assembled, bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, chicken is done when juices run clear.  The bake time really depends on your oven so keep checking to make sure chicken isn’t overdone.  This came out really amazing and moist when I made it and had a bit of a kick to it because of the mustard powder.  It didn’t take too long to prepare and everyone loved it including my children!
Lemon-Thyme Baked Cod with Green Chard & Carrot Fries

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Baked Cod:

– 1 large wild caught cod filet
-1 lemon, zested & juiced
-1/4 cup dry white wine
-dried thyme
-garlic powder
-onion powder
-paprika
-salt & pepper

Directions:

Place cod in baking dish and pour in wine. Zest entire lemon on top of the fish, cut in half & then squeeze the juice onto it. Sprinkle the fish with the remaining spices to your liking & taste preferences. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes. The bake time will depend on the size of the fish and your oven.

Green Chard:

-1 bunch of chard, chopped
-drizzle of olive oil
-splash of dry white wine
-few dashes of garlic powder
-few dashes of onion powder
-salt & pepper

Directions:

In a large skillet or pan, sauté chard and the olive oil, once a little soft add the wine and seasonings. Continue to sauté for another 5 minutes or so until the chard is completely soft.

Carrot Fries:

– 1 bunch or bag of carrots, cut into sticks
-2 tablespoons coconut oil
-salt
-pepper
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Directions:

Toss cut carrot sticks, coconut oil, thyme, salt & pepper together in a large bowl. Place on lined baking sheet or on top of a wire rack over a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until it reaches your desired doneness (some like it crispy 😉).

Plate the fish, chard, carrots & enjoy!

That’s it for recipes this week and my apologies for lack of baked good recipes lately, I have a few to make & share this week!

Have a happy Monday 😄

Weekly Recipes Worth Sharing

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Hola! Guess it’s that time of the week again…time to round up all of the recipes I made this week that are worth sharing.  Unfortunately, the list is a little short this week as I was out of town Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and then Sunday was Easter so no cooking for me 😉

Instead of belaboring the post with a long explanation of what I ate when and all that jazz, I will just get to the point and share the few recipes that I have.  First up:

Asian Turkey & Quinoa Muffin-Burgers

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So this recipe is similar to the one I shared last week in the sense that I used ground turkey and baked the meat in a muffin tin, I simply just changed up the flavors and added quinoa!

 Ingredients:

– 1lb ground turkey

-1 cup of cooked quinoa (follow box instructions)

-1 teaspoon of sesame oil

-garlic powder to taste

-onion powder to taste

-1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (I didn’t measure)

-1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and tablespoon them into a greased muffin tin.  Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 15 minutes.  I ate mine on a gluten free muffin tin with a drizzle of pre-made ginger-sesame sauce.  I usually am against using store bought sauces but I happened to have this in my fridge and I didn’t think about making it homemade until the last minute.  I also accompanied the burger with homemade fries tossed in sesame oil and chili powder.

To make the fries I simply cut them into strips, tossed in the sesame oil, chili powder, salt and pepper and then baked them at 400 degrees until they were crispy (I didn’t time it, I really just kept an eye on them).  I also made steamed green beans and sprinkled them with sesame seeds so there was an all around sesame infused flavor.

Next up is a vegetarian/vegan dish that I made on Tuesday.

Zoodles Marinara Topped with a Grilled Portobello Mushroom

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Ingredients:

-2 whole zucchinis, spiralized

– 1 small can of tomato sauce

– 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes with jalepanos

– 2 portobello mushrooms

This was really simple so I will just provide some quick directions.  Take the zucchini and use a spiralizer to make zoodles (place in bowl or on a large plate).  On the stove top, combine the tomato sauce and the can of diced tomatoes.  Season the sauce to your taste (maybe some salt, pepper, garlic and/or onions and red pepper flakes).  Grill the mushrooms but make sure they are brushed with an oil of sorts beforehand so that they don’t stick to the grill.  Once sauce is seasoned to your liking and the mushrooms are done (like 7 minutes or so on each side), place on top of the zoodles and enjoy!

Grilled Steak with Tri-color Pearl Couscous and Rainbow Swiss Chard

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Ingredients:

For the steak-

– 1 big piece of steak (any cut you like) grilled to your desired temperature ( I like mine medium-rare or so)

For the couscous-

– 1 cup of tri-color couscous

-1 1/4 cup of water

-salt (dash or two)

-pepper (to taste)

-fresh or dried parsley (just shake, shake, shake it or if it’s fresh a few leaves will do)

-sprinkle of black truffle salt (to give it a mushroom flavor, skip if you don’t have any or don’t enjoy the taste of mushrooms)

Instructions:

Boil the 1 1/4 cup of water then add the cup of couscous.  Once couscous has absorbed most of the water, add the rest of the ingredients and flavor to your liking.

For the Rainbow Swiss Chard:

-1 bunch swiss chard, chopped including stems

-2 tablespoon of oil

-1 clove of garlic, minced (or a few dashes of garlic powder)

-1/2 onion, diced (or a few dashes of onion powder)

-1/2 cup of dry white wine

-1 tablespoon of lemon juice

-salt to taste

Instructions:

In a large pan, heat oil and cook garlic and onions.  Once they are cooked (or if you just used the powder, once the oil is hot), add in the Swiss chard and cook down a bit.  Add wine, lemon juice and salt.  The Swiss chard will be done once it is wilted.

Here is a bonus recipe that has nothing to do with dinner but I made it for breakfast and thought I would share.  It’s not really revolutionary or anything but it was quite tasty.

Crispy Kale topped with a Pan Fried Egg and Bacon

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Ingredients:

-1 egg

-handful of chopped kale

-drizzle of oil

-salt, pepper, garlic & onion powder (just a dash of each)

-1/2 piece of bacon

Instructions: 

Heat oil up in a frying pan and add the handful of kale.  Once the kale has softened a bit add the salt, pepper, onion and garlic and stir around making sure to keep it in a bunch in the middle of the pan.  Crack the egg on top of the kale and let it cook until it is no longer runny then remove from the pan with a spatula onto a plate.  Cook the piece of bacon in the pan if you desire or heat it in the microwave for 90 seconds to ensure that it is extra crispy then top the egg and kale with the bacon and enjoy!

So that is it for the week as far as recipes go, unfortunately I wasn’t around to cook more.  I promise that next weeks post will be a little more creative than this 😉

 

 

CNY Springtime 10k Recap

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So I did it, I ran a 10k race! I never actually believed that would happen but it did and even though it was one of the toughest courses I have ever ran on (which isn’t saying much because I haven’t run a lot of races), I still did it! I am told that because of the amount of hills and the steepness of them that this is one of the hardest courses to run in our area.  In fact, it is the same course that is used for the Syracuse Ironman 70.3.

So what did I do to prepare for such a race? Let me tell you.

I actually spent the night at my friend’s house who was the one that encouraged me to sign up for this 10k in the first place.  Given that I live about 50 minutes away from the race site and it started at 8:00 in the morning, I elected spend the night in Syracuse as opposed to driving there and getting up early in the AM.

Prior to the race I ate toast with almond butter with a giant cup of fresh ground coffee and of course drank a lot of water! According the the earlier weather forecast, it was supposed to be the 50’s and was excited because that is my optimal racing temp.  Unfortunately it was SUPER cold and thank goodness I had dressed in layers!

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(Seriously that is freezing especially on a lake!)

Needless to say, I was seriously anxious for the race to start because I was so cold that I just wanted to run to keep warm.  Here is my pre race, look how cold and cute I am photo:

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(That is my awesome friend that I ran the race with!)

And here is a picture of the crowd at the starting line right before we started:

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(See that girl in the blue? She’s really, really cold)

Here is a picture overview of the course:

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Now to my descriptive overview of the course:

Finally after standing there freezing our butts off for what felt like forever, the horn was blown and we were off! I wish that I had taken pictures during the race to show how gorgeous the course was and to show you the stream of runners all going up the hill that lay ahead of us, but my fingers were far too cold to fumble with my phone was I was trying to concentrate running a race.

We encountered what we assumed was our first hill right about the time we finished with mile one.  We had heard about this HUGE hill we were going to have to manage our way up and thought maybe this was it. Yeah, not so much. That hill was more like a bunny hill compared to what was ahead.  Somewhere in and around the end of mile two, we finally came face to face with this hill and let me tell you, not only was it HUGE, it was STEEP!

My friend and I used all the energy we could muster to make our way up this thing at a racing pace and once we finally managed to get to the top and thought we had conquered it, we were faced with yet ANOTHER HILL! It wasn’t as steep but it certainly went on FOREVER.  Finally at the top of this hill was a dead end with our turn around point and as they say, it was all downhill from there (but in a good racing way).  Everything really did seem a bit easier once we made our way back to the finish, except the first bunny hill that we now had to climb back over.  Once we made our way to the top of that, the finish line was in sight (actually it was around the corner, but we knew it was there).  We picked up the pace a bit and with about 200 yards left, we made a mad dash so that we could have a finish time of exactly an hour! While that might not seem like a huge accomplishment to the seasoned runner, it was a victory to us! Those hills were KILLER and we busted our butts!

See, look…we did it! With 7 seconds to spare 🙂

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Here is our post race, hot mess photo:

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(Happy we are alive & excited to be done!)

After that it was time for some scrumptious post-race eats! How seriously yummy does this breakfast look?

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Oh and other than this little SNAFU I discovered upon arriving back at my vehicle, it was a great day!

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Yeah, that would be my car that some wonderful citizens of Syracuse decided to vandalize. Thankfully, they didn’t really take anything of value but it was not how I wanted to spend the rest of my day! Too bad for them the ziplock bag of Cheez-It’s they stole was two years old (JOKES ON YOU SUCKAAAAA!)

How do you overcome a run with great, big hills? Do you have a game plan for tough courses or do you just run and hope you make it? Also, who steals Cheez-It’s out of a locked car?

 

Topo Athletic W-RR Shoe Review

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I wasn’t asked to do a review or was I provided any compensation. I simply was lucky enough to get my hands on these awesome shoes and given their uniqueness I really felt they deserved a review. Let me explain a bit as to how I acquired these nifty running shoes in the first place.

So back in the beginning of April, I was notified by Angela from happyfitmama.com that I was one of the winners of her #happyfitmarch Instagram challenge! My prize was a pair of Topo Athletic shoes and I could choose any pair that I wanted! To say that I was excited is an understatement! I really am not the lucky type and certainly have never won anything as fun as a pair of amazing running shoes!

My first task was picking out the pair I wanted. They sell five different types of athletic shoes. How’s a girl to decide?!?

Options:
W-ST these are their only non-split toe option and are best for speed work
W-RR these are split toe, super light-weight and have a closure system instead of laces meant to be used
W-RT these are split toe with traditional laces and a zero-drop design
W-RXthese are also split toe but meant more for cross training type workouts
W-MT these are meant to be used for outdoor trail/mountain training and as a road shoe

So after contemplating back and forth over the W-ST and the W-RR (I usually cross train shoeless indoors and I don’t run many trails), I went with the W-RR (as if it wasn’t obvious enough from the title of the post).

Here is why I chose the W-RR:

-I liked the idea of trying out a shoe with a split toe

-The laceless and unique closure system was really appealing

-I really needed a good pair of running shoes for longer distances since I am going to be training for a half marathon

Fit:

My next decision was to figure out what size to buy that would fit me best given the split toe design. After attempting measure my foot on a printable Brannock’s Device (uh yeah that was a nightmare), I just tried on my current size 7 running shoes and since there was a considerable amount of room left at the toes I decided to go down a half size to a 6.5. This turned out to be the right decision. Once I received them in the mail and tried them on they literally fit perfectly…not too tight and not too loose. They actually felt a bit like heaven.

This is what they looked like when they arrived in the mail:

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And this is what these beauties look like when I tried them on for the first time:

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Now that I knew they fit right and felt like heaven, I was anxious to take them out for a run. Full disclosure here; I was told they would be coming with a pair of the split toe socks when I ordered them. When my order arrived though, no split toe socks were to be found. I thought maybe since I was going to dive head first into this running thing that I would just embrace the no sock idea. Wasn’t a terrible idea but maybe not the best idea to do that while breaking in a brand new shoe…we will get to that later.

So back to the part where I take these beauties out for their first run! I was so excited just to get outside and see what these shoes were made of.

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The weather was warm and I was feeling happy and energetic. I didn’t have any real plan when I set out on the run, just that I was going to run until I didn’t want to run anymore.  I did decide to go a new route (one that I had driven before but never ran) and let me tell you, I ran.  As I started out my journey, I ran with intention but not so fast that I couldn’t take in my surroundings and enjoy this beautiful day.  With these shoes I felt like I was floating on air and as I went I took it all in and felt like I was discovering this route for the first time.  So much so, that I took pictures as I went along.

Mile One

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Mile Two

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Mile Three

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Before I knew it I had run three miles, and guess what? I ran three more miles after that!  I was certain when I finished that I must have been going at a 10 or 11 min/mile pace but when I checked my running summary when I was done I was surprised to learn how fast my pace actually was!

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I couldn’t believe my eyes! A 9:19 mile/minute pace for six whole miles?!? That was nuts to me! Not only because I didn’t feel like I was going that fast but because I had never even ran more than 3.1 miles in a single run before! I can’t say for sure if it was the cup of coffee I had prior to my run, the beautiful weather, or these amazing running shoes that contributed but I have a strong feeling these shoes were a big part of it.  They were absolutely comfortable and the split toe didn’t bother me one bit.  In fact, I didn’t notice it at all and if you read their website the whole design of the split toe is meant to feel seamless and integrate with the biomechanics of your body and I think that is exactly how it felt.

As far as the whole no sock thing- I wouldn’t recommend breaking in new shoes on a six mile run with no socks on unless of course, you’re used to running sock-less.  I did acquire some blisters from my successful six miler but I think that was contributed more to by my stupidness and less from the shoes.  I am actually running a 10k this weekend and I can’t wait to wear them and see how they perform.  I will be sure to write up a post on it and update this post if I can think of anything valuable to add!

Thanks for reading my review and happy running! 🙂

Have you ever tried a Topo Athletic shoe? What design would you have picked?