Change YOU Believe in and Slow Carb, Slow Cooked Moroccan Chicken Stuffed Portobello

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When I began my barre journey last fall, my husband was not ready to join me on the path to health yet. That is an important thing to realize- until you are ready, until you want to make a change for yourself, not someone else, you will not make that change. Change has to come from within, for yourself and your own health. Anything less than that just won’t stick- or at least it never has for me.

As I did a few months before, my husband had to make the decision to get fit on his own and did so around the start of the New Year. For him, his guide to health came in the form of a book- The Four Hour Body. Now, I know slow carb is not for me. Personally, I don’t want to limit anything- I want my sweets, my dairy, my carbs. I just eat them in moderation. For my husband, this diet really clicked with him, much like barre and simple healthy eating has for me. He felt more energy very quickly and within a couple of months, he had dropped over 20 pounds. Go him!

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Lazy Sunday and A Blackberry Stuffed Apple in a Cherry Bourbon Sauce

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There is nothing that compares to the peace of a lazy, snowy Sunday. This morning particularly highlighted that perfection. I woke up to big snowflakes coming down outside my window and just lay there, enjoying the moment. I love waking up that way, particularly considering that I wake up in the dark Monday through Friday.

Today, I was able to relax in bed for an hour before kicking off the day at the barre. That is another required ingredient for a perfect Sunday- getting in a killer burn early in the day. For some, that may not be relaxing, but for me, it seriously sets the tone for my day. I crave it on weekend mornings. And really, who wouldn’t want to go when they return to a fresh breakfast on the table? I think I have the best husband. Lucky lady, party of one.

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What’s Inside: Banana Oat Chia Bars

If you asked me a couple of years ago if I ate breakfast, I probably would have said something lame about how eating early in the day made me feel ill. Breakfast and I were not friends. Nowadays, breakfast is pretty much my favorite meal. Well I suppose weekend brunch is my favorite, particularly when my husband and I go out for it and linger for a couple of hours with tea and coffee. But aside from brunch, breakfast is pretty awesome.

Most days, I crave eggs (or egg whites- need to take care of the old ticker and all). How can you not love a running yolk, some delicious cheese, served with a few slices of avocado, tomato and maybe some black beans or bacon? Case in point:

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Delicious, easy, and healthy. However, from time to time, I change things up with oatmeal or granola and yogurt.

Which leads me to the point of this post- you were probably wondering if I would ever get there right? This weekend, I had three overly ripe bananas and I really didn’t want to make banana bread. Instead, I opted for homemade Banana Oat Chia Bars.

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When Did We Get So Old?

The following is neither food nor fitness related, so if you hate lovey dovey gushing- look away now.

You’ve been warned.

Last Thursday (yes, Valentine’s Day), marked ten years since my husband and I got together. Yes, we got together on the cheesiest holiday of the year. We were teenagers, you can’t really blame us. We were married about two and a half years ago and normally only celebrate that day. But this year, we thought ten years was worth celebrating. While I would not consider myself a relationship expert, I think I’ve learned a bit this last decade…

So what have I learned in ten years?


1. Relationships are not meant to be easy. Contrary to the fairy tales, you do not fall in love and then sail off into the sunset. Instead, you actually live your life together. And just like we each do individually in life, as a couple you will struggle and you will grow together. This is a good thing.

2. When it’s right, it IS easy! I know, I know, this seems to completely contradict #1 right? It doesn’t. Yes, a relationship is work and work is not easy. But when you are in the right relationship, even the hardest work, the biggest problem, seems easy to conquer together. When it is right, the love feels as easy as breathing- even when you are struggling to breathe!

3. You have to compromise. This may not be my strongest trait, but it is a must. There will always be things we do not see perfectly eye to eye on. And thank goodness for that. I do not want to be married to my emotional twin. Agreeing on everything would be pretty boring.

4. Have fun together. Get outside. Take a walk. Do something unexpected. Our favorite memories always seem to come out of unexpected moments.

5. At the end of the day, it is the little moments that make a marriage- not the big ones. For me, I’ve found more love and more closeness in the small things- such as how my husband wakes up a bit earlier just to make us breakfast every morning, or the times I come home and find him getting the laundry going, or when he simply gives me an unexpected kiss. Those are the moments that define who we are far more than the big anniversaries, trips and decisions. Our marriage grows with each breakfast, each kiss goodnight, and each kind gesture. Point is- embrace the small stuff.

So, that is what such a short period of togetherness has taught me. Cheesy- probably. But true. I can’t wait to see what the next few decades teach us.

And if this post bored you to tears.. maybe my 10 year old prom photo, complete with terrible prom hair and a reflective dress.. will make you laugh. Yes, we went to prom together. Laugh away.

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What’s Inside: Slow Carb Taco Stuffed Red Peppers

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There are a lot of variations of stuffed peppers out there, but since the husband has been doing the slow carb diet for the last month or so, I’ve been experimenting with recipes that work with his new dietary constraints while still satisfying me- who refuses to cut out anything. 🙂 This week, we were both craving tacos, but since he cannot have tortillas, we stuffed everything in a pepper. Easy, definitely freezer friendly, and healthy….

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A Little Barre N9ne Fan Love

So I’ve referenced barre a few times but I haven’t really said a whole lot about Barre N9ne. It is far past time!

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Rain, Snow, or Shine… we get our burn on

Barre N9ne is way more than a fitness studio- it is an incredible community of women working together to live healthy. I really had no idea what to expect when I went in for my first class. I figured I would sweat, ache and work hard. I never expected to meet people willing to cheer me on, motivate me when I am losing steam, and to push me to things I never believed I was capable of. But that is what I have found.

The instructors at Barre N9ne are phenomenal. Each day they go above and beyond class- from a facebook group to keep those of us in the 60 day challenge on track, to a separate group to motivate those of us who are runners. They are always there with support and advice- it is incredible and invaluable.

I cannot say enough about the studio- and I would be remiss NOT to thank Ando at Mind Body Barre near my office for sending me to Barre N9ne. I started classes with Ando at my office, but since I work nearly an hour and a half from home, I couldn’t work out with her more often. She sent me to Barre N9ne, which is nearby my home. It was a perfect fit and I am so, so thankful.

If you are in my area and interested in trying out barre, come to Barre N9ne. You will absolutely not regret it!

Smoked Paprika Chicken Over Spaghetti Squash


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Who doesn’t crave comfort food from time to time. For me, my comforts tend to be creamy, spicy indian dishes like Chicken tikka masala, or good old italian food- anything from chicken parm to cream based sauces like vodka sauce.

About a month ago, I had some chicken breast left over from a recipe that I needed to either cook or freeze. I decided to marinate and freeze it. It worked out so well, I was able to use it as a base for a delicious dish of Smoked Paprika Chicken Over Spaghetti Squash! By using yogurt instead of cream and Spaghetti Squash instead of pasta, I still got the same flavors without the fat.

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Don’t Let the Snow Slow Ya Down

So this weekend…. we had a little visit from Nemo.

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We got around two feet… and the snow drifts were crazy (see the perplexed kitty)? Note that the second mark was done at midnight on Friday and the second mark was just seven hours later. It was CRAZY.

Since I couldn’t run, I got to do a lot of this:

Dry erase marker + ever growing snow drift = cabin fever fun!

Dry erase marker + ever growing snow drift = cabin fever fun!

It’s pretty fantastic though. Trudging through waist deep snow to clear a deck is one heck of a workout! I have to say, while it didn’t make up for missing a class at Barre N9ne, it certainly made my legs and arms burn!\

This was up to my waist when I started!

This was up to my waist when I started!

 

Later in the day, to break the cabin fever, we finished off the night with a killer Xbox dance party. 5,000 steps in just 45 minutes! Pretty intense.

So if you are stuck inside this weekend, think outside the barre- you can still be active and have a blast, even in the snow.

And if you need a laugh, snow angels!!!!

Delicious Goodness Noms

I used to firmly believe that treating myself would mean instead weight gain. It was like I was positive that if I ate that chocolate, it would immediately be visible on my hips. “From the Lips to the Hips” was a mantra for me.

Well honestly, that is crap. Yes, eating heavier foods will cause weight gain. But only in excess. C’mon people. If you are craving something sweet (and I do, all the time, every day now). Eat it. Enjoy it. Make it count. And do it in moderation.

The last couple of weeks have been incredibly stressful for me. So when some of the stress was lifted, I wanted to celebrate. So, I indulged a bit. I count calories, so I knew what my “number” was for the day and knew I could fit it in. That is one of the brilliant bonuses about simply watching calories vs. actively dieting. You can enjoy what you want within reason.

Seriously who wouldn't want to dive in to this?!

Seriously who wouldn’t want to dive in to this?!

I opted for Edy’s Slow Churned Coffee… or as I like to call it, the Delicious Goodness Noms. I crumbled up a couple dark chocolate grahams from Whole Foods on top. Worth every calorie and was a perfect little celebratory bowl of happy. And if it was maybe my second little bowl in the last few days… so what? I don’t do it very often and I knew I could fit it in. The best part- it gave me mental peace. I kicked back with this baby in bed, with a book, my husband and our two kitties. It was pretty much my version of heaven.

I know this post seems pointless but I have a point, I swear. My point is-

 

Mental health is just as important as physical health. And sometimes mental health comes in the form of Delicious Goodness Noms.

Indulge when necessary.

It’s ALIVE!!!

Today I learned an important blogger lesson… If your husband is a web developer by trade, have patience when you want to make changes and ask him, otherwise you will get over confident and break your back end code.

In true Steph style, I broke the blog literally moments after tweeting about it for the first time. Some things never change.

Speaking of twitter…