What I Ate Wednesday #132: Time For a Change

Heyooo! Look at me posting twice this week! Pretty exciting, huh? I’ve recently starting making a couple changes to my diet, so I figured a good WIAW post was in order.

I mentioned recently that I’ve had a bit of weight gain. Frustrating? You betcha! So I decided that I was going to make some changes to my workouts. I set a goal for myself; I wanted to lose 5 lbs by my anniversary. I know it’s not all about the number, but sometimes I find it helpful to have that goal.

I tried increasing my cardio, as that was what worked for me a couple years ago, but unfortunately, not this time. My next attempt was to go in the complete opposite direction. I started the 30 Day Kettlebell Challenge and while I’ve loved these workouts, I still haven’t seen the change I’m searching for.

30 Day Kettlebell Challenge Purely Twins

Next change is diet. I reached out to my good blogger friend, Lindsay Cotter, who happens to be a fitness nutrition specialist. She’s been so helpful and I’m looking forward to seeing how her suggestions work out for me.

Peas & Crayons What I Ate Wednesday WIAW

[Pre-Workout]
Half of a banana with almond butter and a cup of coffee is the perfect fuel for me these days. The workouts I’ve been doing are less than 30 minutes and this snack is just enough to tide me over.

[Breakfast]
Microwave Grain Free English Muffin Eggs Almond Butter Banana
Dude. Dude. You have to try these microwave grain-free english muffins! I don’t have any raisins, but these have been so good with some almond butter schmeer and have proven to be a great vessel for my sweet eggs. I also tried replacing half of the almond flour with protein powder on Tuesday and it turned out wonderfully!

[Morning Snack]
I had a busy morning so I wasn’t able to snap a picture of my smoothie, but it was lean, green, and protein-packed.. err mean? I used 1 scoop whey protein, 1 scoop Skoop Sweetgreens A Game, 10 cherries, 1 tbsp coconut oil, cucumber, ice, and a little almond milk to get things moving. The coconut oil in a smoothie was new for me but Lindsay said more fats, so I gave it a go and it was DEELISH.

[Lunch]
Kale Butternut Squash Avocado Chicken Heinz Ketchup Cherry Kombucha
I was starved by the time I got home from work so I threw some kale, chicken, frozen butternut squash, and sugar snap peas into a pan with a little buffalo sauce and topped with avocado and ketchup.

[Afternoon Snack]
More fats? You got it. I went for an over-medium egg, a few almonds, and a carrot. A little #StrangeButGood action. And definitely not photo-worthy. You’re welcome.

[Dinner]
Coconut Honey Lime Filipino Chicken Half Baked Harvest
Coconut honey lime Filipino chicken with roasted red pepper and zucchini. All the protein and nice and light. I devoured it in between my evening clients.

[Evening Snack]
Fuji Apple Almond Butter
Oh heyyy, almond butter! I was happy to see it multiple times throughout the day. And apples and nut butters go together like.. well, nut butters go with everything.

The biggest changes I have here are breakfast and snacks. I definitely thought I’d miss my daily bowl of oats a little more than I do. I’m still getting used to the snacks, though; I’ve never been a big smoothie drinker and tend to grab a bar for convenience, but you have to make changes to see changes, yes? So far, so good this week; I’ll report back!

Food for Thought

What are your favorite protein-packed, grain-free breakfasts and snacks?

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Life Lately

Hi, friends! I hope you had a great weekend and are ready to kick off this week. Next Monday is Memorial Day so hopefully most of you will have a nice 3-day weekend next weekend. Just a little something to get you through the week πŸ˜‰ Thanks for sticking with me through my lack of posting lately. I’ll get back to my normal routine one of these days, but for now, this seems to be working for me, so I’m going with it.

I’m still waiting to start my new job so I’m currently enjoying a little extra downtime. It’s nice to only be working at 2 gyms right now. Ha, never thought 2 jobs would be when I got to relax! So, where exactly have I been the past few weeks?

Well, Nathan’s sister came to visit for a week. She was here for his birthday which was spent at the Giants’ game. Birthdays and baseball go together like baseball and beer.. which, of course, we had.

Nathan Marcie Drakes Brewery

Day 1! Drakes Brewery, straight from the airport. We don’t mess around!

Nathan Brittany San Francisco Giants Baseball

A birthday win!

Monterey Bay Aquarium Jellyfish

Finally made it to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Nathan Marcie Brittany Wine Country Vineyard Jaccuzzi

Photo-bombing my own picture.

Mayo Family Winery Vineyard

One of our new favorite wineries.

We also celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary last week. It’s so crazy to think that it’s already been 2 years. And at the same time, it’s only been 2 years. I bet you wouldn’t be too surprised to learn that we celebrated with food and drinks.

Clove and Hoof Pork Pate Terrine Arugula Anniversary

Surprise picnic at work!

Pizzaiolo Oakland Anniversary Menu

Pizzaiolo Oakland Aperol Spritz Anniversary

Aperol Spritz to take us back.

Pizzaiolo Oakland Tagliatelle Pasta Porcini Mushroom Anniversary

Oh, those porcinis and fresh pasta ❀

Pizzaiolo Oakland Margherita Pizza Anniversary

Holy Margherita!

We try to get back to our honeymoon as much as possible, so an impromptu picnic at Nathan’s office and Pizzaiolo for dinner had to happen. It was named one of the best pizzas in the Bay Area and it was definitely delicious; the crust was the most light, fluffy, tender crust we’ve ever had. That said, Il Casaro still wins for our favorite pizza since Italy. Next month, we’re going to see Book of Mormon. I called that the anniversary gift so we’re also planning on going to a nice dinner that night before the show. Any recommendations around the Orpheum Theater?

We’ve also made a successful foccacia bread at home [and by we, I mean Nathan..] which is HUGE for us! AND I’m dying over the fruit lately. Yogurt + cherries + nut butters [peanut and almond because I couldn’t decide] = heaven.

Homemade Foccacia Bread Fage Yogurt Cherries Almond Peanut Butter

In the fitness world, I’m finishing up my 30 Day Kettlebell Challenge and have loved it. It’s been so refreshing to change it up and get my butt kicked in 25 minutes or less! Since I’ve just mainly been following that program this month, I’ve cut my cardio back significantly to typically one 30 minute run per week in addition to a quick warmup on the elliptical before my workouts. It has certainly helped me to fit my workouts in between clients. And speaking of clients, they’re picking up too! I’m searching for pockets of time but I’m so excited to have more clients these days. Only up from here, right?

My meal planning has been lacking a little bit lately, so let’s all get back to that, shall we?

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday – Nathan’s whole roasted chicken with roasted sugar snap peas and [sweet] potatoes
MondayCoconut Honey Lime Filipino Chicken Adobo Skewers with roasted red pepper and zucchini chips
TuesdayBalsamic Watermelon Chicken Salad
WednesdayJerk Chicken Kabobs with Balsamic Fennel Salad
Thursday – Leftovers
Friday – Out!
Saturday – Leftovers

Food for Thought

What’s happening in your life lately?
Any restaurant recommendations near the Orpheum Theater in SF?

Let’s Chat.

I’m back!

After a 2 week blogging hiatus, I wanted to break the silence. Grab a cup of coffee; this could be a bit lengthy!

The break was totally unintentional, but absolutely needed. As you may recall, I had friends in town a couple weeks ago and while they were here, I decided I just didn’t feel like breaking out the computer.

Cornerstone Napa Erin Brittany

Mt Tamalpais Tam Nathan Brittany Erin Don

Passing up on a few blog posts during their trip made me realize I was just going through the motions. Monday? Gotta get a weekend recap up. Tuesday? Link love. Wednesday? Pictures of food. There really wasn’t much behind it. And how many times can you look at a bowl of my oatmeal? I get it.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been working on figuring out a good balance with all of my jobs and as things continue be thrown up in the air, I just didn’t need the extra stress of needing to get a blog post up. Other aspects of my life were suffering; I was constantly exhausted from trying to juggle 3 different jobs, working some crazy hours, wracking my brain at different ways to get more personal training clients, cooking, cleaning, and somehow fitting in my workouts.

Thankfully, some changes have been made. Nathan is helping out with cooking and cleaning more [who knew all I needed to do was ask for help?!] and last week I gave my 2 weeks at Athleta. I’m swapping Athleta for another training gig, so while I’ll still be working at 3 different places, ideally, I’ll be cutting back on hours and make more dough. That would be lovely, yes? Good changes to start.

Roli Roti Pork Knuckle Roasted Fennel Potato Onion Carrots

A Nathan-style dinner.. chopped rotisserie pork knuckle with roasted veggies.

But as I’ve been going through the motions with blogging, it seems I’ve also been doing the same with my workouts. That’s not a good look for me. I told Nathan the other day that I’m a rare breedβ€”one that consistently works out and eats healthy [with the exception of when we have visitors..] and yet still continues to gain weight. It’s true. My friend told me I just look “a bit thicker.”

Let’s get really real here, shall we? I mean, we’re all friends.. Since moving to California, I’ve mostly ditched the scale. It was a good thing for me and I would occasionally break it out just to check in. Recently, I was feeling like my clothes were just fitting a little tighter and in general, I was uncomfortable. Well, when I say a couple extra lbs found their way back to me over the past 6 or so months, I actually mean 15. Ouch. That’s not a pretty number. So yes, thicker it is. And it sucks. But I’ve decided that the old saying rings trueβ€”you really can’t continue to do something the same way and expect different results.

So now it’s time for me to get back on the wagon, really put the effort back into my workouts, and figure out how to find the balance that’s right for me. The blog with fall into its place in time, but right now I know I need to put most of my focus on finding balance in my jobs and at home.

Rose Garden Oakland California CA

Mountain View Cemetary Oakland San Francisco California CA

Thanks for sticking with me today; I’ve been looking for the words to write this post and it’s nice to finally hit “publish.”

No questions today, just thoughts.

Pin It Party #6

I mayyy be running on fumes [and some serious caffeine] today, but it’s a good day because my college roomie and her hubs are here! They got in late last night and will be staying with us until next Wednesday. We have so much planned over the next week from wine country [obviously] and hiking to bars and baseball. It’s going to be a ton of fun and super exhausting but I’m ready for it.

In the meantime, Lindsay is hosting another Pin It Party today so, of course, I’m playing along! If you missed the last parties, check them out!

Pin It Party #1
Pin It Party #2
Pin It Party #3
Pin It Party #4
Pin It Party #5

And if you’re not following me on Pinterest yet, get to it!

Food for Thought

What kind of posts do you want to see more of on the blog?

Link Love #80

Just like that our quiet couple of weeks without company is about to end. My college roommate and her husband are getting in late Wednesday night and staying with us for a week! They’ve never been out to San Francisco before so they’re definitely in for a treat. Do you remember how crazy we went when my parents came out last year? Yea.. there will be plenty of eating, drinking, and hiking! Get ready for some more delicious pictures πŸ˜‰

Health

The Naked Truth When Is Our Body Finally Good Enough Lifting Revolution

The Naked Truth: When Is Our Body Finally Good Enough? – Lifting Revolution


The Naked Truth: When Is Our Body Finally Good Enough? – Lifting Revolution
Why it is okay to gain a few happiness lbs – Darwinian Fail
So you want to study nutrition? Dietitian, Nutritionist, or Nutritional Therapist? – Gluten Free Rosie
Eat to Beat the Common Cold? Part One: Review of Vitamin C – Food & Nonsense
Using the stages of change model to adopt new fitness and nutrition habits – FitKnitChick

Fitness

Rock Your Body Workout Fit Foodie Finds Ambitious Kitchen

Rock Your Body Workout – Fit Foodie Finds & Ambitious Kitchen


Rock Your Body Workout – Fit Foodie Finds & Ambitious Kitchen
Why Kettlebell Swings Aren’t a Good Exercise for Cardio – Trainer Paige
Don’t Skip a Beat: How To Train Using Heart Rate Monitoring – FitFluential
3 Creative Core Moves that Work Balance and Strength – Cotter Crunch
Stay on Track Workout – Coconuts & Kettlebells

Food

Green Goddess Hummus Cookie + Kate

Green Goddess Hummus – Cookie + Kate


Green Goddess Hummus – Cookie + Kate
Microwave Peanut Protein Pancakes with Chocolate Chips {Gluten/Grain Free, Super Simple, Low Fat + Low Calorie} – Food Faith Fitness
Bahn Mi Spring Rolls – Minimalist Baker
Healthy Bananas Foster Donuts – The Almond Eater
Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Morning Buns with Blueberry Passionfruit Glaze – Half Baked Harvest
Almond Butter Fudgy Chocolate Eggs – Peachy Palate

Food for Thought

What’s one of your favorite posts from the past week?

Big Day Off & Paying Rent

Well what do you know, looks like it’s Monday again! I hope you all had a quiet, relaxing weekend. Or maybe it was wild and crazy.. whichever you prefer! I [and Nathan] made every attempt to make our weekend as relaxing as possible. Work has been running me ragged lately so when I have a full day off, I take full advantage.

Saturday, I slept in till about 7:30 [hey, no alarm is a wonderful thing, even at that hour!], had a leisurely breakfast on the couch in my jammies, and got myself together to go to the farmers’ market. We’ve been loving all of the fruit from the market; the strawberries and oranges, in particular, have been outrageous! We loaded up on produce and a special porcini salami from Boccalone, and headed home to pack up a picnic.

The weather has been perfect lately; practically 70 and sunny everyday. A couple miles of sunshine later, we reached the top of the hill and unpacked the goodies.

Mountain View Cemetary

Boccalone Salami Cabot Cheddar Cheese Strawberries La Farine Medjool Dates Charles Shaw Chardonnay Blue Diamond Almonds

There’s nothing a jar full of chardonnay can’t fix, am I right? πŸ˜‰ That and a post-hike nap and Chinese food for dinner. It was the perfect Saturday.

Yesterday was back to work opening the gym. As I said, working 3 jobs has been running me into the ground. Multiple 10-12 hour days, sometimes between all 3 places, has been tough. I’ve been working on balancing the jobs with the rest of my life; figuring out how to find time to eat, cook, spend time with Nathan, and get in my own workouts has been a bit of a struggle at times. Sometimes I have the opportunity to cook dinner in the middle of the day to take to work with me in the evening. And sometimes by the time I get home to see Nathan, all I can do is brush my teeth and pass out.

As I attempt to figure out my workouts, I find that letting somethings go by the wayside are coming back to bite me in the butt. I totally burned myself out on cardio and almost stopped running all together. I’ve been trying to slowly get back into it, even just once a week. Rather than saying my run yesterday was frustrating, I’d like to call it humbling. After expressing my feelings to Nathan, he shared this quote with me.

Success isnt owned, its leased and rent is due everyday. JJ Watt

Of course, I would be naive to think I can stop running and pick right back up where I left off. But just as I’m learning to find balance in my life, I’m learning to re-balance my workouts and sometimes that just means taking more days like Saturday when I can. And sometimes weekends like this have to end in brinner because that’s just the darn best.

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday – Brinner! Roasted sweet potatoes and brussels topped with an egg.
Sweet Potato Brussels Sprouts Eggs Heinz Ketchup
MondayLemon Moroccan chicken with za’atar roasted cauliflower
TuesdayCashew chicken
WednesdayThai basil turkey rice bowls
Thursday – Saturday – Friends in town!

Food for Thought

What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?
What kind of “paying rent” lessons have you learned lately?

Link Love #79

Today is the last day to enter my MealEnders giveaway!

It’s my favorite day of the [blogging] week. Time for some link love.. catch up on all the goodies you might have missed! Enjoy πŸ™‚

Health

The Perfect Snack When You Are Feeling... The Nutty Nutritionist

The Perfect Snack When You Are Feeling… – The Nutty Nutritionist

The Perfect Snack When You Are Feeling… – The Nutty Nutritionist
Why Saying No Matter for Your Well-being – Crop Tops & Kale
4 “Healthy” Hidden Sources of Sugar – The Fit Cookie
‘But I Don’t Want to Look Like You’ – Gabby’s Gluten-Free
A Plant-Based Nutrition Q&A – Hummusapien

Fitness

The Gym is Everywhere FitFluential

The Gym is Everywhere – FitFluential

The Gym is Everywhere – FitFluential
7-minute barre squat burner – Fitnessista
Move It Monday: 10 Variations Of Kettlebell Squats – Lifting Revolution
5 Side Plank Variations to Try – Pumps & Iron
Another Super Sweaty 7-Minute HIIT Workout Video – To Live & Diet in L.A.

Food

Korean Style Fried Shrimp Rice Bowls with Kimchi + Crunchy Noodles Half Baked Harvest

Korean Style Fried Shrimp Rice Bowls with Kimchi + Crunchy Noodles – Half Baked Harvest

Korean Style Fried Shrimp Rice Bowls with Kimchi + Crunchy Noodles – Half Baked Harvest
Beet and Black Rice Seafood Salad with Lemon Lime Vinaigrette – Cotter Crunch
Bacon Asparagus Potato Frittata – Reluctant Entertainer
Fried Avocado Tacos with Creamy Jalapeno Sauce – Avocado a Day Nutrition
Slow Cooker Quinoa Energy Bar Recipe – Food Faith Fitness

Food for Thought

What’s one of your favorite posts from the past week?

Vegging Out

Have you entered my MealEnders giveaway yet?

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you had a great weekend. We stayed local and pretty low-key but definitely enjoyed the beautiful weather that we had.

Friday night, we kicked off the weekend with a trip to the gym…
Nathan Brittany Post Workout

…immediately followed by beer and delicious food at Cato’s, our favorite bar down the street.
Catos Ale House Beer

Catos Ale House Beet Salad Feta Chicken

The beet and feta salad with grilled chicken is my go-to. Extra beets, please!

 

Such a wild and crazy Friday! Which lead to an even wilder Saturday.
Cafe Trieste White Wine Margherita Salad Chicken

Funny Dog

We saw this super cute dog in a hilarious onesie at lunch!

Saturday was the best. After lunch, we took a nice walk and then came home and totally vegged on the couch for the rest of the day. Dinner in and a movie was the perfect ending.

Sunday, I was making my way over to work around 7:45 when I saw the first Oakland marathoner running down the road. The race started at 7:30 and I was between miles 3 and 4. Holy hell, he’s fast!
Oakland Marathon First Runner

And he was followed by lots more runners! It was so cool to watch everyone go by and cheer for them.
Oakland Marathon

After work, it was time for lunch and groceries. Lunch was awesome! One of my favorite things about this restaurant, Southie, is that they will happily make any sandwich into a salad. So rather than the sandwich, I asked for the chilaquiles as a salad. BOOM! They made it happen.
Southie Oakland Deconstruced Chilaquiles

The black bean mash was way more delicious than it looks πŸ˜‰ And Nathan’s corned beef hash with poached eggs was equally as delicious.
Southie Oakland Corned Beef Hash Poached Eggs

How have we missed out on their brunch for so long? Aside from that whole work thing yesterday, it was quite a nice weekend. And now I’m looking forward to powering through this week. It’s a doozy but I think I’ll make it out alive!

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday – Seared skirt steak with roasted potatoes and broccolini
MondaySticky Baked Chicken Pork with Apricot, Sage and Lemon Zest and Roasted Cauliflower Meuniere
Tuesday – Leftovers
WednesdayFennel-Garlic Pork Roast with roasted brussels sprouts and fennel
Thursday – Grilled chicken over Pear and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Maple Sesame Vinaigrette
Friday – Out!
Saturday – Leftovers

Food for Thought

How did you celebrate the weekend?
Have you or would you ever run a marathon?

Thai Chicken Thigh Stuffed Sweet Potatoes {Recipe ReDux}

Don’t forget to enter my MealEnders giveaway!

It’s no secret that leftovers are this girl’s best friend. Every night for dinner, I try to make enough to have at least enough leftovers for 2 additional meals, whether those are used for lunch the next day or another dinner. And while I could happily eat the same thing over and over again [hellooo oatmeal for breakfast!], I have a husband that feels differently. Enter this month’s Recipe ReDux that basically describes the way we live.

We’re all about cooking once and eating twice. In short, double dinners are better. Show us how you take a favorite recipe already on your blog – and ReDux the leftovers into a new dish. Or, whip up a new healthy recipe and give suggestions on how to make it a second meal. For example, slow cooker pot roast could become shredded beef tacos; or grilled chicken breasts might morph into chicken salad.

Chicken is on the menu usually at least 5 nights so we have to get creative around here! Our fridge is full of different sauces to easily change things up on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes meals are as simple as grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato, onion, and buffalo sauce on a roll. Other times I like to dress it up.

Thai Chicken Thigh Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Serves 2
Thai Chicken Thigh Stuffed Sweet Potatoes | Barr & Table

Ingredients
– 3 or 4 leftover grilled boneless, skinless chicken thighs; sliced
– 1/2 bell pepper; sliced
– 1/4 english cucumber; sliced
– 1 small head broccoli; steamed
– 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
– 2 medium sweet potatoes
– Chopped peanuts [optional for topping]

For the Sauce
Adapted from my Spicy Sriracha Peanut Sauce

– 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
– 1/2 cup lite coconut milk
– 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
– 1 tbsp lite soy sauce
– 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
– 1-2 tbsp sriracha

Directions
Prepare your sweet potatoes by either baking them in the oven at 400Β°F for about 45 minutes or microwave them in a damp papertowel for 3-5 minutes until soft.

Place all of the ingredients for the sauce in a medium bowl and mix well. Place the sweet potato on a plate and mash in 1-2 tbsp of the sauce. Layer up the bell pepper, cucumber, broccoli, cabbage, and chicken on top. Drizzle over more sauce and top with chopped peanuts.

Food for Thought

What’s your favorite way to use leftovers?
Have you tried stuffed sweet potatoes?

Five Things Friday {3/20}

  1. Happy first day of Spring! I’m always confused as to what month it is here because the weather doesn’t change that much but I’m happy for all of you in the chilly states that hopefully things will start to warm up soon. Except for that extra snow today.. but hey, that’s what late March is all about, right? You could always come visit me and we can head to wine country..
    Gloria Ferrer Sparkling Wine Sonoma
  2. First things first, I tried to burn down the apartment yesterday. Really, I was microwaving popcorn in a regular brown paper bag [as I’ve done 100 times before] and the damn bag caught fire! So instead of immediately pouring water on it, I decided it was a good idea to panic and start yelling “NO! NO! NO!” Genius, people. Pure genius. Don’t worry, I did finally realize that I had water sitting next to me and saved the day.
    Genius SomeEcards
  3. I made burrito bowls for dinner the other night and making my own black beans makes all the difference in the world. Have you ever tried it instead of getting canned beans? So much better! I use this recipe and it’s delicious.
    Burrito Bowl Black Beans Chicken
  4. Yesterday was amazingly wonderful [aside from almost burning the place down.] It was practically my day off with only 1 client and I soaked in all of the quiet. Especially after such a long Wednesday, it was much needed.
  5. Don’t forget to enter my MealEnders giveaway!

Have a great weekend, friends!

Food for Thought

Any fun plans this weekend?