Rock N Roll?

Work today brought me another dose of wisdom courtesy of Charlie Brown.  I swear, you can learn so much from children’s books.  If you haven’t read one in a while, I highly suggest picking one up, flipping through the pages and having your mind blown!

Go on, try it!

Today, I stumbled upon this little gem…

Charlie Brown Goes to School

Amen, Charlie Brown! It just so happened that a few minutes after reading this, I stumbled upon this…

SF Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon!

(Photo Source)

Was it a sign?? The Rock N Roll Half Marathon is coming to San Francisco! I’ve heard lots of good things about the Rock N Roll series and it sounds like a fun way to start!  It’s not until April 7th so that would give me almost a full 5 months to get ready.  I’m definitely going to see how I go next week in my first ever 5K and if I even like the whole race experience, but I’m keeping this in the back of my mind.  I hear you loud and clear Charlie Brown!

Message for today…try something new!

Lunch…

Lunch today was another delicious helping of last night’s lentil soup.  I love having leftovers, especially leftovers that taste even better the next day.  Best!

Lentil Soup 2.0!

Bonus Workout…

I love Wednesdays because I always get a little bonus exercise in.  Wednesday is music class day for the little ones which means I get in a hilly 3 mile walk with a double stroller and two kids who are continuously getting bigger and heavier! Pushing a double stroller uphill is no joke.  After the plank workout this morning, my arms were seriously sore!

Another little extra bonus was that it was a beautiful afternoon and I got to walk the kids home in the famous California ‘glow’.  If you haven’t experienced California in the fall/autumn, you are missing out!

California dreaming..

Now I am back home and about to start thinking about what to wear tonight because Chris and I have a special date night planned!

We have been saving up our cash back rewards from our credit cards to go out for a fancy shmancy dinner, and tonight’s the night. Woop Woop!

I hope you all have some nice plans for your Wednesday night!

 

 

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The Wonderful World of Chia!

Good morning world, Happy Hump Day!

Workout…

After waking up on the wrong side of the bed this morning (sorry Chris!)  I was thinking about having today as a no workout day.  I just wasn’t feeling a whole lot of motivation and was being a grump, but then my usual mantra ‘Just do something, anything‘ ran through my head.

Since I wasn’t feeling up for a big workout, I decided to work on my core.  I headed over to Tina at Carrots N’ Cake to see if I could get some workout inspiration.  Well, I definitely found it in the form of a 9 minute plank workout.  Now 9 minutes doesn’t sound like much of a workout, but let me tell you…9 minutes of plank related exercised is haaaarrrrd! My abs and my arms were well and truly feeling the burn after 9 minutes! Phew!

I finished off my workout with 25 scissor crunches and 50 jumping jacks, just for good measure.

This workout wasn’t long, and didn’t leave me a sweaty mess but I’m sure it helped boost my metabolism for the day and more importantly, put me in a good mood.  Ahhh exercise, you do it every time!

Breakfast…

The other day, I picked up my first packet of Chia Seeds.  I know I’m very late to the Chia party, but  I was excited to see just what the fuss is about.  Now, at the mention of Chia, are you picturing this?

Chia Dude!

(Photo Source)

Well, you’d be right! They are one in the same, except now the nutritional benefits of Chia seeds have really come into light.  If you want to read about the goodness of Chia seeds, you can see a great article by Christina Pirello at Huffington Post here.

Chia Seeds

So, I knew I wanted my breakfast to centre around these teeny tiny seeds.  I thought about sprinkling them on top of a toasted english muffin, but then I decided that I really wanted to see what these bad boys can do! I have heard a lot about their amazing thickening powers (due to their high fibre content) and remembered that Julie uses Chia Seeds in a lot of her overnight oats (which always look delicious), so I decided to follow suit.  Of course, I didn’t have overnight so I had to settle on 30 minute oats!

Today I opted for the Chobani greek yogurt Blueberry flavour…

Blueberry Chobani

Another winner!

I combined the yogurt with the rest of my ingredients in a bowl;

2/3 Cup of Rolled Oats

2 Tbs Chia Seeds

1/2 Cup of Almond Milk

Ready for the fridge!

It was covered and popped in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

When it came out of the fridge, I topped it with some fresh raspberries.

Overnight oats!

They were delicious and so thick! The Chia seeds really made a difference.  Every now and then I would crunch on a seed and it had a very subtle nutty flavour, delicious!

I was a happy girl…

Oh…hi Annie girl!

As of this morning, I am definitely a fan of Chia seeds and excited to see what else I can incorporate them into.  And a little added dietary fibre and omega 3 into my day doesn’t go astray.

Well, time to get to work!

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

 

 

Hearty Lentil Soup.

So what was the mystery dinner? Did you guess?

Lentil Soup!

It felt like the perfect (almost) wintry feeling day to cook up a big (and I mean big) batch of soup.  As far as soups go, like most things; cookies, KitKats etc. I like em’ chunky! The more good chunky stuff in there, the better in my books.

So I assembled the goodies…

Lentil soup mixin’s

And got to work in the kitchen!

Now, let me start by saying that this soup was good and I mean really good! It even got Chris’s seal of approval (not always easy to get!). I think one of the things that really took this soup over the top was the inclusion of…salsa! I got the idea to use salsa from Erica House and I must say, it was a game changer. My recipe is adapted from her lentil and spinach soup which you can find here.

Hearty Lentil Soup 

Yields A lot of soup Approx 10 Servings 

What You Need;

1 1/2 Cups chopped carrots

1 large chopped Onion

2 Tbs Olive Oil

3 Cups Water

3 Cups Unsalted Cooking broth (I used chicken, but vegetable would also be great!)

1 16oz Tub of Salsa (I used medium which gave a nice heat, but the brave could use hot)

1 1/4 Cups of rinsed, uncooked Green Lentils

Salt and Pepper to taste.

What You Do;

In a heavy pot or dutch oven (I used our le creuset which I loveeee), heat the oil over medium high heat.

Add the carrots and onion and allow to cook until tender.

Once tender, add the water, cooking broth, lentils and salsa to the mix.  Stir to combine.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn to low heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender (approx 60 mins).

Add salt and pepper to taste and dish out generous portions!

Serve alone or like we did in the McD house, with half a toasted, buttered whole grain english muffin.

Enjoy!

Cooking Away…

And now for the best part…

Eating time!!

This recipe was definitely a winner and had Chris and I both going back for seconds.

I hope it warms a chilly night for you all out there!

See you tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

Married Moment!

Hi everyone out there! I hope your Tuesday is going swimmingly. Mine sure is!

Lunch…

Lunch today was a packed lunch courtesy of dinner last night.  I gave myself a little extra time before heading off to work to whip up a nice healthy lunch to enjoy with the kiddies.

Steak salad.

Steak salad…oxymoron?? I paired the left over chunks slices of steak with some baby spinach, baby carrots and sliced red peppers.  I dressed it all with a little bit of balsamic vinegar.  It was nutritious and delicious! Bonus!

I also made sure to pack one of my peanut butter energy bites to get me through the afternoon.  It worked a treat! I’m not sure how I ever lived without these babies.  Energy and taste galore!!

Today was another gorgeous day in the city, so I made sure to spend some good time outside with the kiddies.  Clear blue skies and cold weather calls for one thing…fur!

Fur day!

Love wearing my cozy jackets.  I’m just going to put it out there…’it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas’!! (Yes I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but a girl can dream!).

In amongst all the loving I was laying on San Francisco today, something exciting/funny/creepy happened.  Chris and I had a full-blown ‘married moment’.  We had the exact same thought at the exact same time!! We were texting back and forward to see what we should do this weekend (yes, we live for the weekends).  And then this happened…

Married moment!

It really happened! We’re meant to be! Orrr we’re both just really craving a trip to Santa Cruz, one or the other.  Needless to say, I was pretty excited about it.

Workout…

I got home from work close to 5 today which is about an hour past my usual mental workout cut off  time but I was really feeling the motivation today! Since it was already getting dark outside, it was the perfect time for a workout DVD.  So, I spent half an hour with my girl Jillian Michaels.

Hey Jillian! Wanna hang out?? 

I did Jillian’s ’30 Day Shred’ and opted to go all out with level 3.  It felt great to do this workout, it’s quick but it’s sweaty and hard!! As usual, the jump squats and rock star jumps nearly left me in a sweaty pile on the ground but I pushed through and finished it up.  I love that you can just pop a DVD in the machine and get a good workout, ahh technology!

I don’t know about you all, but I’m a sweaty beast.  I’m off to shower before Chris comes home and decides there will be no more married moments because he married an animal.  Just kidding! He loves me no matter how much I look and/or smell like a troll, true love!

I’m also working on some dinner using these things…

Mystery!

What could it be?? Swing by later on to find out!

 

 

 

 

Sweet Potato? Yam?

Dinner last night was delicious, delicious steak.  I am a big time meat lover so I very much enjoy a good steak.  I left the meat cooking to the man of the house while I worked on a side of a twice baked sweet potato.  Well, that was the plan until I discovered I had most definitely purchased yams instead of sweet potatoes!

This is something I just don’t understand.  What’s a yam compared to a sweet potato?? Are they the same thing? Are they from the same family of vegetables? Now that I’m looking at the yams, they definitely look different to sweet potatoes, however at the supermarket, they’re always together and there mustn’t have been any actual sweet potatoes when I was there.  Ohh the confusion!

So needless to say, my twice baked sweet potato turned into twice baked…yams!

I was going to use the recipe found on Happy Healthy Girl but ended up having to adapt the quantities to accommodate my yam friends! You can find the original recipe here.

Twice Baked Yams! 

What You Need;

One medium to large sized yam

1/2 Tbs Plain Non-fat Greek Yogurt

1/2 Tbs Almond Milk

1/2 Tbs Light Brown Sugar

1/4 Tsp Cinnamon

1/2 Tbs Chopped Walnuts

What You Do;

Pre-heat oven to 425F/220C

On a lightly sprayed baking sheet, place yam (sliced in half lengthways) face down and bake for approx 30 minutes or until tender

Allow yams to cool for a minute or two.

Holding the yam halves, scoop out the centre leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edges.

Place the filling from both halves into a bowl.

Add other ingredients and mash/mix to combine

Place the combined ingredients back inside the empty yam shells

Sprinkle with a little extra brown sugar and place back in the oven until heated through (approx 15 mins).

Serve with your favourite meal and enjoy!

Mash it up!

Ready for bake #2!

Twice Baked Yams!

These actually turned out being really tasty! I can only imagine how they would taste with sweet potato haha.  The beauty of a side dish like this is that you can mash the filling with whatever you like! And also pair it with whatever you like.  It went really well with steak and some baby carrots.

……………………..

This morning started off on a sweet note with some Annie bedtime cuddles.

Annie cuddle bug

And was made even sweeter by a nice delicious breakfast.

A little of this…

English Breakfast tea

And a little of this…

Almond Milk Porridge

Old fashioned oats made with almond milk, topped with sliced banana, light brown sugar and chopped walnuts.

Started my day off on the right foot! Yum!

Time to get showered and ready for work.  See you later on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.5 Miles!

Work was pretty straight forward today.  Actually, come to think of it, the kids were especially cute so it was a good old day! And work flew by which is always nice.

I got home after picking up some dry cleaning, took the dog out for a quick walk and then started to get a bit peckish! I turned to the fridge and snacked on one of these bad boys…

Peanut Butter Energy Bites!

Annndd then another one.  I am loving these quick and easy Peanut Butter Energy Bites and they were even more delicious today after spending the whole night in the fridge.  Yum!

I spent a little time sitting around doing a bit more organising.  I can’t get over how much more space we have in and around the coffee table since disposing of all of my wedding stuff.  It’s like a breath of fresh air!  Perhaps this means I need a new project, hmmmm.

Workout…

 

I knew if I was going to get a workout in, it was going to have to happen soon!  It was such an absolutely beautiful day outside that heading to the gym or doing an at-home workout just wasn’t going to cut it.  I decided to lace up my new runners and hit the pavement!  I am not usually an afternoon runner.  When I do go, it’s usually first thing in the morning so I wasn’t really sure how I would go with a full day’s food sitting in my belly.  Well, those energy bites must have really done the trick because I ended up running 4.5 miles in 40 minutes! Yes 4.5 miles is a walk in the park for some, but for me that’s the longest distance I have ever run!! I was SO excited! I felt strong and great and while it was definitely tough, I had enough juice in the tank to sprint my street back to the apartment.  Yay!

Having this view didn’t hurt either…

Beautiful SF!

Man it was a beautiful day today.  I was also listening to a particularly funny episode of This American Life podcast that kept me well and truly distracted!

I rounded off the workout with a quick 50 crunches, 25 push ups and a lot of nice stretching.  Was I a sweaty mess? Yup!

Shwweeaatttyyy!

Sweaty disaster but feeling good!

I am now waiting for Chris to get home while working on some dinner.  Steak is on the menu for tonight and I’m working on a little sweet potato side dish.  *Correction* I was working on a sweet potato side dish but now it appears I bought yams instead.  I’ll never understand the difference! Ohh the challenges of living in a different country.  We’ll have to see how it comes out.

Enjoy your night everyone!

 

 

The Chaperone

Yesterday evening and this morning I was suffering from a case of Mondayitis.  Mondayitis on a Sunday? That’s bad!

Yesterday it was due to the impending end of the weekend (you know what I’m talking about!) and this morning it was purely due to the comfort level of my bed.  If you’ve been reading fizzsbizz for a while now you’ll know that I’m not a very good sleeper.  I often don’t sleep through the night or can’t fall asleep in the first place.  BUT last night, ohhh last night was a night of blissful sleep and I woke up this morning feeling so darn comfy in my bed that I actually wasn’t sure I would be able to get out.

Alas, I did and I’m back at work.  Mondayitis is subsiding thankfully!

Breakfast…

Mondayitis is slipping away due in large part to this little beauty that contributed to my morning meal.

Chobani Raspberry…yum!

I am seriously loving all of the Chobani Greek Yogurt flavours.  I know many people say to steer clear of ‘fruit on the bottom’ yogurt and instead opt for plain yogurt sweetened with honey, but in the morning this goes down a real treat! I do use the plain yogurt with honey when I’m eating it for dessert, but in the morning when I know I’m going to be up and about all day, it works just fine for me!

I combined this little delicious morsel with some old-fashioned oats and almond milk last night and popped it in the fridge to become overnight oats.

Raspberry Overnight Oats!

Topped with some fresh raspberries, this was a wonderful way to start my day!

…………………………….

I am currently reading a book entitled ‘The Chaperone’ by Laura Moriarty (reading and loving!) which tells the story of a woman (Cora) who accompanies a young lady (Louise) into New York City while she attends a dancing school.  It is set in 1922 and I am finding it to be a really fantastic read.  You can read the NY Times review here.

‘The Chaperone’

(Photo Source)

One thing that I’ve found myself thinking about a lot and that this book touched on for me last night, is the way that people see the ‘youth’ of today.  I think that we (yes, sometimes fairly) tend to get a bad reputation from the older generation.  I was thrilled to see that during the recent election, the number of young people who voted had jumped significantly.  I think we have a lot to say, can make a big difference and I truly hope that we do.

I think working with little ones day in and day out leads me to think about this more than some.  I always try to show them respect (yes, even as 2 and 3 year olds) in the hope that they’ll grow up and do the same.

It was one paragraph in the book that really got me thinking (and sent me off on this tangent!).

‘The Chaperone’

‘She would owe this understanding to her time in New York, and even more to Louise.  That’s what spending time with the young can do – it’s the big payoff for all the pain.  The young can exasperate, of course, and frighten and condescend, and insult and cut you with their still unrounded edges.  But they can also drag you, as you protest and scold and try to pull away, right up to the window of the future, and even push you through’ – ‘The Chaperone’. 

This paragraph just really struck home with me and filled me with the need to make sure that I, as a young woman use my ‘powers’ for good as so many of my wonderful friends are doing.  Like my friends Pete (working with MRA to develop environmentally sustainable ski areas) and Dave (working with SkiDuck – a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of kids through skiing and snowboarding) and so many more.

I hope everyone out there today (regardless of age) shows some respect, gets some respect and uses their powers for good!

This is feeling very Captain Planet right now… ‘With our powers combined…’

Captain Planet!

(Photo Source)

Sorry to get heavy on you on a Monday morning.  I’ll be back later with some more light heartedness and cute photos of Annie!

Happy Monday!