You Only Get One Body

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Today's inspiration:

Via Pinterest

Today's workout:

1.  Warm up

2.  Core Circuit:  1 set
      - Ab wheel x 25
      - L sit ups x 25
     - Side Bends 50 lb kettle bell x 15 per side

Ab Wheel

L Sit-ups

Side Bends

3.  Overhead Press Ladder: (super set with band assisted pull ups in between each set)
       - Warm up: Bar (45 lbs) x 5
       - 1st set:  45 lbs x 5
              Pull up x 2
       - 2nd set: 55 lbs x 5
              Pull up x 4
       - 3rd set:  65 lbs x 10 (goal was max reps, no more than 10)
              Pull up x 6
       - 4th set:  55 lbs x 5
              Pull up x 8
       - 5th set: 45 lbs x 15 (goal was max reps, no more than 10)
              Pull up x 10
Overhead Press

4.  Circuit:  5 sets, less than a minute rest between sets
     - Kettle bell swings with two 25 lbs kettle bells x 10
         - Clean into...
     - Overhead press with two 25 lbs kettle bells x 5

Kettle Bell Swings

Kettle Bell Press

5.  Prowler sprints:  Low handles,  50 lbs on prowler, 10 trips, 50 yards per trip 


Italian Shrimp and Grits

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

This may have been more appropriately titled "Lazy Gal Shrimp and Grits".

I came up with this on a night I had planned to make my southern style Shrimp and Grits which requires like 927 different steps, but is so worth it in the end.

It was probably a Tuesday, because Tuesdays have a habit of draining the life out of me, leaving me with barely enough motivation to thaw something from the freezer, let alone stand over a blazing hot stove for an hour and a half in the dead of summer.  Southern style Shrimp and Grits was scratched from the menu before I ever made it through the front door. 

However, knowing me, I had already thawed the shrimp leaving me faced with the choice of throwing something quick together or letting the ingredients go to waste.  Seeing how wasting food might be my number one pet peeve (who am I kidding, my OCD induced pet peeves could fill a football stadium), I came up with the quickest make shift shrimp and grits recipe my Tuesday brain could muster.

Besides, even a mediocre dinner beats fighting the tourists in Murrells Inlet on a weeknight.

Fortunately, it turned out pretty darn tasty.  So tasty that, like a crazy person, I told poor starving Scott after fixing his plate that he couldn't eat "just yet", grabbed my camera and snapped a few shots before he stole his plate back from me.  

Which is why there are four pictures on here of pretty much the exact same thing.  I promise you that this was not another product of my laziness, but rather, my goal of sharing my successful quick and easy meals with you.  It's all about you.

As my cousin Jill says (rather sarcastically), I'm all heart.

Italian Shrimp and Grits
Serves: 4
Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cook Time:  20 minutes
Total Time:  40 minutes

1 lb of shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 turkey kielbasa, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
4 slices of bacon
1 green pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, diced 
1 large zucchini, diced
8 oz of fresh spinach
4 cloves of garlic, minced garlic
1/2 cup of white wine
1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 cup of white stone ground grits

Cook grits per directions, allowing them to cook while you are preparing the rest of the dish. In a large skillet, cook bacon.    Remove bacon and set aside.  Discarding all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease, reheat skillet over medium high heat and add turkey kielbasa, onion and green pepper.  Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add zucchini and spinach and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until spinach is wilted. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute stirring constantly.  Add white wine and allow to cook down for 3 minutes.  Crumble bacon and add back to the skillet.  Stir in crushed tomatoes, shrimp and red pepper flakes and allow to cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes until shrimp are cooked through and pink.  Serve over grits.  

Strong Man

Monday, July 29, 2013

I have to take a minute to brag on my "Strong Man".

Deadlift Medley
As you may already know, we headed to Raleigh on Friday afternoon for Scott to compete in the 2013 NC Strength Challenge.  While Scott has entered into several different strength related competitions over the past few years (Powerlifting & CrossFIT), this was his first Strong Man competition, and, I have to say, he was phenomenal!  He finished overall in the top 5 out of 19 competitors in the novice division, AND he took second place in the dead lift medley portion of the competition. 

Atlas Stones

Even though it was hotter than Hades (North Carolina in late July is not exactly comfortable weather) and 5,000% humidity on Saturday, the competition was very fast paced and fun to watch.  I have to admit I get extremely nervous watching people lifting that much weight around.  All I can think about is that somethings gotta give, and I'd rather it not be someone's bone.  Luckily, there were no major injuries to speak of. 

I even came home with a little souvenir from Crossfit Briercreek (which is a very impressive facility if you live in the area)...

A gal can never have to many workout tanks.

Today's workout:

1.  Warm up

2.  Sled Drags:  70 lbs on sled, 2 trips, 100 yards per trip

3.  Core Circuit:  1 set
      - Ab Wheel x 25
      - Leg raise with hip lift x 25
      - Wind mills 25 lbs kettle bell x 15 per side

4.  Circuit:  3 sets, less than a minute rest between sets
      - TRX Rows x 15 
      - Glute ham raises x 15 

TRX Rows

Glute Ham Raises
5.  Deadlifts:
      - Warm up:  95 lbs x 5
      - Warm up:  115 lbs x 5
      - First set:  130 lbs x 5
      - Second set:  145 lbs x 5
      - Third set:  160 lbs x 5
      - Fourth set:  145 lbs x 5
      - Fifth set:  130 lbs x 5 

6.  Prowler Pushes:  50 lbs on prowler, 3 trips, 100 yards per trip

Prowlin' with my four legged workout partner

Weekly Menu 7.28.13 - 8.3.13 and Weekly Wrap-Up

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Weekly Menu

Sunday:  Grilled Plank Hogsnapper with Grilled Lemony Broccoli (plank grilling method here)

Monday:  Marinated Flank Steak from the Pioneer Woman (recipe here)

Tuesday:   Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Wednesday: Honey Jalapeno Chicken from Ian Kanuer (recipe here) and Cumin Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Thursday:  Caramelized Salmon from Pinch of Yum (recipe here) with Sauteed Garlicky Spinach

Friday:  Grilled Pizza (I plan to actually document it this time.)

Saturday:  Date Night

Weekly Wrap-Up:  

Painting our front door on Sunday.

Finishing off a weekend pitcher of Palomas on Tuesday.

Instagramming about blogging about tomato pies on Wednesday.

Gushing about a trial run of some of my herb wedding arrangements on Thursday.

Cheering this guy on at the North Carolina Strength Competition in Raleigh on Saturday.

Relaxing and blogging after Sunday morning breakfast with this mongrel today.

On the Road Again

Friday, July 26, 2013

No time for small talk today; I have a gazillion things on my "to-do" list and I'm hopefully leaving work early to head to Raleigh for Scott's competition.   We're hoping arrive in time to eat dinner at Sullivan's Steakhouse.  Several of our friends recommended this restaurant to us when they learned of our weekend plans, so I can't wait to try it out!

I did manage to squeeze a workout in this morning, and it looked like this:

1.  Warm up

2.  Ab Circuit
      - Ab wheel x 25
      - Leg raise with hip lift x 25
      - Side bends 50 lbs x 25 per side

Ab Wheeling It

Leg Raise

Side Bends
 3.  SQUATS!
      - Warm up:  Bar x 5
      - Warm up:  65 lbs x 5
      - Warm up:  85 lbs x 5
      - 1st set:  105 lbs x 5
      - 2nd set:  115 lbs x 5
      - 3rd set:  125 lbs x 10 (goal was max reps no more than 10)


 4.  Circuit: 3 sets, less than a minute rest between sets
      - Walking lunges x 10 per leg
      - Back raise x 15
      - TRX Rows x 20

Lunges (not so easy after squats)

Back Raise

TRX Rows
Hope you have a fun filled weekend!

Bourbon Peach Crisp

Thursday, July 25, 2013

This is me compromising.

You see, I'm not into sweets.  I don't bake.   Chocolate does not get me oooooing and awwwing.   I don't really do the whole dessert thing.

Now before you start boxing me into the whole "health nut" category, hear me out (if you read this little blog at all, you already know better than that). 

I'm no saint.  Whenever the subject of dessert is brought up, my response nine times out of ten is "Thank you, but I prefer to drink my dessert".  

In other words, if given the option between a dessert and another glass of wine or a creative cocktail, I'll choose the wine every time.  I was not blessed with a speedy metabolism and I'm fully aware of my caloric limitations, so I allocate those calories wisely.   I know what I like.

The mister is the opposite.  He loves sweets.  It might be a borderline addiction - but don't tell him I told you that.  Chocolate is his vice of choice, but he doesn't turn his nose up at cobblers, pies or sugary treats if available.

Bottom line, dessert is a must. 

When I received a rather large box of South Carolina Mac's Pride Fresh Peaches a few weeks ago from a generous colleague, I knew immediately that there was no way that we could possibly eat all of those perfectly ripe peaches before they turned.   I was left with no choice, a dessert was inevitable.

So I did what any non-dessert eating, wine and spirit connoisseur would do, I married the best of both worlds.  

As a caveat, this is not your traditionally sugary sweet crisp.  My goal was to lighten it up a bit and a create a recipe that isn't so dang sweet that it makes your head want to cave in.  You can pair this Bourbon Peach Crisp with Greek yogurt for a light breakfast or snack, or with vanilla ice cream for an indulgent dessert.  "Bourbon for breakfast?" you ask.  "Hell yes" I respond.

Bourbon Peach Crisp
Serves: 10-12
Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cook Time:  40 minutes
Total Time:  1 hour

12 peaches, peeled and sliced
4 ounces of Bourbon
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup of rolled oats
1/4 cup of coconut oil, refrigerated for 10 minutes to harden and sliced into 1 inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/3 cup of pecans

Preheat oven to 350 F.  In a large bowl, mix sliced peaches, bourbon, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Pour peach mixture into a greased 9 x 12 casserole dish.    In a food processor, combine oats, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, salt, pecans, and coconut oil slices.  Pulse until course and crumbly.  Sprinkle on top of peaches.  Bake for 40-45 minutes.  Pair with plain or vanilla Greek Yogurt (like I did above) or with vanilla ice cream for a sweet treat.

New Running Partner

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I had the gym all to myself this morning.  While it was so nice to have Scott's undivided attention, I definitely missed the encouragement and drive I get from working out at the same time as my mom and sis-in-law.  There's something about having someone witnessing my workouts that makes me push myself just a little bit harder.  As I've said on here before, I'll take all the workout motivation and encouragement I can get. 

Speaking of which, I have a new running partner as of this week.  My friend Jenny ran with me on Tuesday morning and is running with me again tomorrow morning.   If there is any activity that requires an extra dose of motivation for me to complete, it's without a doubt running.  I cannot begin to tell you how ridiculously hard it is for me to pull myself out of bed at the crack of dawn just to run with me, myself and I.  Torture.  I'm kind of boring. 

So needless to say I am ecstatic Jenny has started running with me.  She was my mentor/kind of boss lady when I worked at my previous law firm, and she has grown to be one of my closest friends.  Pretty much adore her.

Just as an update, I've made it to week 6 in the "0 to 5k" app.  I guess it's time to start looking for a 5K to enter myself into!

Today's workout:

1. Warm up

2. Turkish Get-Up Ladder with Windmill
       - 15 lb kettle bell x 3
       - 25 lb kettle bell x 2
       - 35 lb kettle bell x 1

3.  Bench Press Ladder
       - Warm up: Bar x 5
       - Warm up:  55lbs x 5
       - Warm up:  75 lbs x 5
       - 1st set:  85 lbs x 5
       - 2nd set: 90 lbs x 5
       - 3rd set: 95 lbs x 7 (goal was max reps, no more than 10)
       - 4th set:  90 lbs x 5
       - 5th set: 85 lbs x 10 (goal was max reps, no more than 10)

Bench Press

4.  Circuit:  5 sets, less than a minute rest between sets
      - Band push downs with Fat Grips x 12
      - Chest Supported Row 25 lbs x 12

Push Downs

Chest Supported Row

5.  Sledgehammer Hits:  100 total hits, 50 per side, as fast as possible (I finished in 4:58, although I'm pretty sure I actually did 120 hits in that time, but Scott confused me).

On a side note, as you can see, I finally figured out how to create GIFs and upload them on the blog today.  Fair warning - this discovery could very well lead to an obnoxious amount of GIFs in my workout posts; they're just too much fun.  

Tomato Pie

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Want to know the best part about summertime?

Well, other than vacations, beach days, cocktails by the sea, fresh produce stands, cocktails by the pool, suntans (obviously not me, but everyone else looks damn good with one), cocktails on the dock, longer days, cocktails on a boat, fireworks, cocktails while watching fireworks, and homemade ice cream.

Tomatoes!  Fresh from the garden, vine ripened, juicy, sweet and tangy tomatoes.  

If you have never tried a tomato plucked straight from the vine, you may be scratching your head as to why my favorite part of summer is tomatoes when the grocery store stocks those suckers year 'round.   

You see, I'm kind of a tomato snob.  I only like to eat tomatoes when they are in season and when I can buy the locally grown tomatoes picked yesterday from the stand or the farmer's market, or, if I'm really lucky, can poach a few heirlooms from my sister Amber's tomato garden at Nitty Gritty Nursery.  

Grocery store tomatoes just don't do it for me.  They are bland, tasteless, and often mealy.  No thanks.  I'll pass.

So, tomatoes are a June through September delicacy for me.  And you better believe I make the most of those four short-but-sweet months.  It's all about tomato and mayo sandwiches, BLTs, fresh salsa, bruschetta, and Caprese salads in this house.  And when I say "in this house", I mean me.  Scott doesn't eat tomatoes [insert huge "WTH" bubble quote here]. 

The hands down rockstar of the tomato dish line up (with the exception of maybe the BLT), is the tomato pie. Or, as I like to call it, the 'Mater Pie.

This is probably not the best time to tell you that my sister's tomato pie is the best I have ever tasted in my life, and this is not her recipe.  Her tomato pie is decadent, cheesy, creamy, tangy, not-a-healthy-thing-about-it, everything-a-tomato-pie-is-supposed-to-be-and-more, good.   She sells her pies locally at farmer's markets and by special order, so of course, she's not about to give me her recipe to post on here for the world to see. 

No worries, I came up with my own.  And in my usual fashion, I aimed to make it a little healthier.  Now, I wouldn't go so far as to call it "healthy" per se, considering there is a cup and a half of cheese in there, but it is  definitely healthier in that it uses Greek yogurt in place of the usual cup of mayonnaise. 

Every little bit helps.

If it gives you any indication to the tastiness of this tomato pie, Scott, the tomato hater, loves it.

Tomato Pie
Serves:  6
Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cook Time:  40-45 minutes 
Total Time:  1 hour

5-8 tomatoes (I used an assortment of heirlooms and packed as many in as possible), sliced thin, salted and drained on paper towels for 1 hour
1/2 Vidalia onion sliced thin
1 bunch of basil, chopped (about 1/3 a cup)
2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and membrane removed and diced
2/3 cup of Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
1 egg, beaten
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup of fresh mozzarella, shredded
3/4 cup of white cheddar, shredded
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
A few dashes of hot sauce
Pie crust (you can use store bought or make your own.  I made this  Rosemary Cornmeal Crust from Food 52 but omitted the flour)

Prepare pie crust.  Preheat oven to 350 F.  Arrange sliced onion on the bottom of the dish, followed by the tomato slices, the jalapeno.  In a separate bowl, mix together the Greek yogurt, egg, garlic, salt, pepper, nutmeg and hot sauce.  Stir in shredded cheese and basil.  Pour yogurt and cheese mixture and spread evenly.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until tomato pie is browned and bubbly.  Allow to cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving. 
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