Apr 172012

Good morning people! Are there any people reading this blog yet? Probably not. Oh well…these things take time!


Yesterday’s workout was a good one! It began with a morning jog with Jack and Fabio. Each morning (at least on weekdays) we run 1 mile to get Jack nice and tired for the rest of the day. Someone was super excited yesterday morning.


The sun was barely up and this pup was ready to go.


“Come on mom let’s go!!”

The run itself was great! Sometimes our morning runs can be really painful but yesterday I felt well-rested and it came easily. Even the monster hill that we run up felt ok. Phew!

Part II of my workout comes later on in the day after work. We jogged with Jack up to the dog park, let him hang out for a while, then jogged home. That’s another two miles!


When I came home from the dog park I jumped right into a warm-up circuit from one of my favorite Insanity DVDs. I must tell you that Insanity is my favorite way to work out. Those DVDs will have me drenched in sweat in no time. They are quick and incredibly effective (month 1 DVDs are about 45 minutes long and month 2 DVDs are about an hour long; yesterday I just did the warm-up for 13 minutes). Since my heart rate was already high from our jog, the warm-up circuit had me sweating!

I wore my heart rate monitor during my Insanity workout (I forgot to wear it during our jog) and my maximum heart rate was 187! That’s pretty high for me. I was happy. Smile Plus I wasn’t complaining about burning 143 calories in only 13 minutes. I’d say that’s pretty good!

The warm-up circuit includes 8 moves and you repeat the circuit 3 times. You are supposed to start out slowly and then build up your speed so that by the third repetition you are sprinting. Some of the moves in the circuit include:

  • Jogging in place
  • Jumping jacks
  • Jump rope
  • Switch Kicks
  • High knees, arms out

Some of the other moves are made up by the trainer, Sean T, such as the “1-2-3 Heisman” and “Hit the Floor.” I’m just guessing those are probably not commonly used workout names, right? Winking smile Anyway, Insanity is a great  workout and since I had already run 3 miles throughout the day I decided the warm-up was good enough for me!


For dinner yesterday I needed to use up a few items we had laying around. First, we had these beautiful tomatoes from Trader Joes.


So many tomatoes!

I also bought a basil plant from the Farmer’s Market near us last week. I absolutely loooove fresh basil so when I saw this plant for only $3 I had to get it.


Ok, so maybe the photo makes it look slightly bigger than it is in real life, but it is still a pretty big plant for only costing three buckaroos!

We also had some whole wheat pizza dough in the freezer and some mozzarella and pizza sauce in the fridge! Hellooooooo homemade pizza!


Ok, so this isn’t exactly a recipe, but it’s what I ate for dinner so just go with it!

First I preheated my oven to 450 degrees. Then I put a cookie sheet (or pizza stone if you have one) upside down on the top rack while the oven was preheating like so:


(Don’t mind the messy oven; I need to clean it I know!)

I let the cookie sheet get nice and hot while I prepped the pizza. To get the pizza started, a first pulled out a large wooden cutting board (just to have a big flat surface) and topped it with a piece of parchment paper. Then I sprinkled some flour onto the parchment paper and placed the whole wheat pizza dough on the floured surface. You can probably skip putting flour on your parchment paper but I’ve had issues with pizza crusts sticking before so I wasn’t taking any chances. Then I began stretching out my dough into a pizza shape.


Then I tossed the pizza in the air and spun it around on my finger to make the dough the same thickness throughout.


Ok come on, you didn’t really think I could twirl a pizza in the air did you? I didn’t think so.

Next comes the toppings! We used store-bought pizza sauce (Fabio actually prefers this to homemade- crazy I know!), mozzarella cheese, and sliced tomatoes that were all from Trader Joes (as was the whole wheat crust…I’m realizing I might have a TJ addiction). SAM_1082

Then I popped my pizza in the oven and let it bake for about five minutes. Once the pizza started to look ready, I pulled off some leaves from my basil plant and placed them on top of my almost-cooked pizza. I’m not a huge fan of crispy cooked basil so I chose to put it on near the end, but you can add the basil whenever you want. Once I put the basil on the pizza I put it back in the oven for a minute or two. Soon the pizza was ready to eat!



I let Fabio do the cutting while I snapped this final photo and then we dug in. I had two slices and Fabio had four! That left two more for me to take to work for lunch! Woohoooo!!

Tomato Basil Pizza with Whole Wheat Crust

(Ok so this is hardly a recipe but…)


  • Whole wheat pizza dough (you can make your own or use store-bought)
  • Pizza sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Fresh Basil


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place a cookie sheet or pizza stone upside down on the top rack while oven heats up.

2. Sprinkle flour onto parchment paper and place your dough on top. Begin stretching out your dough.

3. Spread a liberal amount of tomato sauce on the dough and distribute evenly.

4. Top pizza with shredded cheese and sliced tomatoes. We also sprinkled some Italian blend spice on top of our pizza, but this is optional.

5. Place parchment paper with pizza on top onto hot cookie sheet and bake for about 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on the pizza so it doesn’t burn.

6. When the pizza is almost done, remove from oven and top with basil. Place pizza back in the oven for about a minute.

7. Remove pizza from the oven, slice and enjoy!

By the way, I try to follow Meatless Monday whenever I can and this recipe is a great one if you are trying to limit the amount of meat you eat. Look for more Meatless Monday recipes to come!

Question of the day

How do you make homemade pizza? Do you buy pre-made pizza crust? What about pizza sauce? Whenever I make homemade sauce Fabio complains that I should have just used the stuff in the jar! I compromise by buying it from Trader Joes which I feel is somehow fresher than the jarred stuff at other stores.

Soon I want to use my whole grain flours that I won to experiment with a healthy home-made dough. Let me know if you have any recipe suggestions!

 Posted by on April 17, 2012
Apr 172012

Wow. Just wait until you guys try this recipe. I mean really. Wow. Doesn’t the title say it all? But ok, more on that later.


Yesterday’s workout was nice and relaxing. I’m not even sure I would consider it a workout, but since I am trying to document any type of physical activity that I engage in, I will include it on here. Yesterday Fabio and I walked Jack up to the dog park and meandered around Arlington along the way. We took “the long way” to the park and enjoyed the gorgeous weather. At the dog park, Jack met another black lab mix, whose name was also Jack! Our Jack could not get enough of his twin and he followed him around the whole time.


After we got home from the park, we dropped off Jack and walked over to the store to pick up some groceries for the week (remember the aforementioned car trouble? That’s why we walked to the grocery store). Luckily there are a number of grocery stores within walking distance from our apartment so the walk wasn’t too bad. I’d say by the end of the day we probably walked around 3 miles. Not too bad for a lazy Sunday!


Ok so now that I’ve bored you with my “exercise” from yesterday, it’s time for today’s recipe! A few weeks ago I saw this recipe for Reese’s Peanut Butter Banana Bread on Pinterest. Even though I knew it wasn’t healthy at all I couldn’t stop thinking about the delicious bread. By the end of last week we just happened  to have three overly-ripe bananas. You could say it was a coincidence…or you could say that I purposely avoided eating them throughout the week just so that I could make this recipe over the weekend Winking smile. You tell me what you think happened!

So anyway, I decided to make this recipe on Sunday and I plan to have it as my dessert all this week. I honestly think it’s ok to indulge sometimes and just bake whatever treat you are craving, as long as you eat it in moderation. I made this banana bread because I knew otherwise I would never stop thinking about it and even if I made a lightened-up version I would have just been disappointed that it wasn’t the decadent chocolatey peanut-buttery version that I was dreaming of. So in the end, I made the bread and do not feel one bit guilty. I will eat the bread in small portions and only after eating healthy and exercising that day. My belief is that if you are constantly restricting your food choices you will never stick to a healthy diet. Anyway, enough talk! Here’s how to make it:

First preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan with butter or shortening. Then pour all dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and whisk until combined (I forgot to photograph this step- woops!). In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients and mix until smooth. I used a fork first to mash the bananas and then switched to an electric mixer (no, I do not own a KitchenAid mixer…but one day I will!).


The mixture was pretty lumpy at first, but soon it was smooth.


Once the wet ingredients are combined, slowly add in your dry ingredients. The mixture should be lumpy, so I just used a spatula to fold in the dry ingredients.


Once all the dry ingredients are incorporated, you can add in your chocolate chips and pour the batter into your greased loaf pan.


Bake the yummy, delicious cake bread for one hour or until the top starts to brown. Let the bread cool for about 10 minutes (or impatiently cut into a piece before allowing it to cool and have it fall apart all over your plate like I did).


Eat a small portion (if you can…) with an ice cold glass of skim milk and you are set for dessert for the week! Hey, at least there’s some fruit in there right?? Winking smile

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Adopted from Cookies & Cups


  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup oil (the bread was pretty moist so I might eliminate this next time)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • About 1 cup of chocolate chips (I eyeballed it)
  • About 1 cup nuts (I omitted)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease your loaf pan (I used an 8 x 4 pan) with butter or shortening.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl stir together your bananas, peanut butter, oil, egg and sugars (I used a fork first and then switched to an electric mixer).
  5. Pour your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Batter should be lumpy.
  6. Fold in your chocolate chips and pour batter into prepared pan.
  7. Bake for about 1 hour or until top starts to brown.
  8. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes (if you can) before diving in.


 Posted by on April 17, 2012