WIAW: Cheesy Chicken & Peanut Butter… But Not All Together

As this post publishes, I am at work. Probably sleeping at work, but I’m at work. There is absolutely nothing worse than not being able to fall asleep, except for missing your scheduled run because of lack of sleep. I am grumple-mc-grumpy this morning, and the only thing that will make this better is food and sleep, and since sleep isn’t coming until I finish my adult responsibilities, let’s just glorify food with What I Ate Wednesday!

Breakfast has been roasted sweet potatoes and grilled or shredded chicken. I love the sweetness of the potatoes due to baking them. So much better than simply microwaving them! {Recycled photo}.

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Mid-morning snack has been greek yogurt mixed with an estimated tablespoon.

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Last week out of desperation I realized that cheese on top of chicken was a fantastic combo. I’ve been eating this meal for lunch non-stop. So good – try it!chicken-with-cheese-veggies

I oddly have been really craving peanut butter english muffins, so that’s what I’ve been doing. Instead of overdoing it on peanut butter, I make sure to only use 1 tbsp on the english muffins. When you toast the english muffin, the heat makes it so you don’t need as much pb on them.

peanut-butter-english-muffinsI’ve still been obsessed with egg & cheese sandwiches, so this is my dinner. 2 english muffins in one day isn’t my proudest moment, but I’ve balanced it out and have hit my macros, so I am okay with this. I use 2 egg whites for this meal, but depending on my fat intake, I’ll use 1 whole egg.

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For the first time ever I finally got to try the Quest S’mores protein bar!!

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What is your favorite Quest Bar flavor?

PB Crave: Peanut Butter with a Twist Giveaway!

It’s a no brainer that I love all things peanut butter. I love peanut butter crackers, peanut butter toast, carrots dunked in peanut butter, grapes covered in pb. Throw it on a banana or apple slices, or let a spoonful of peanut butter melt on top of a bowl of oatmeal. I love peanut butter on everything.

While I much prefer peanut butter on things instead of straight up off of a spoon or my finger, I was introduced to one brand of peanut butter that is amazing as is. Referred to as “peanut butter with a twist,” is PB Crave, a peanut butter that is loaded with real chunks of Belgium chocolate and pure, natural honey. Peanut butter with chunks of chocolate? Sign me up! And that is what we are focusing today on What I Ate Wednesday!

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Not only does PB Crave inspect every jar hand by hand to ensure that the quality of the pb meets their standards, but the peanut butter is gluten-free, and has no syrups, artificial sweetener, no hydrogenated oil, and no high-fructose corn syrup.

PB Crave sent me each of their 4 addicting flavors, and they even agreed to send one lucky winner a jar of each flavor as well!

Razzle Dazzle

Before even trying this flavor, I honestly did not have high hopes for it, since I just thought that raspberry peanut butter would be odd.

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I forgot to mention that I also love dipping peanut butter into jam, so this flavor of peanut butter was actually right up my alley. There were white and dark chocolate chunks, little bits of red raspberry, and wild honey all mixed into this jar, making it my 2nd favorite flavor.

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Cookie Nookie

This was the first jar that I immediately dug into, and was definitely a pleaser! Chocolate chips, cookie dough flavoring and honey were all found in this jar of peanut butter, and would make one heck of a sandwich!

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CoCo Bananas

The last jar that I tried, and my least favorite of the group, which really doesn’t mean much since all 4 flavors are good! The only reason this flavor wasn’t my favorite is just because I would rather put peanut butter on a banana than taste it in the nut butter. Made with a tropical blend of bananas, cocoa, honey and chunks of chocolate, there is nothing artificial about this one.

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Choco Choco

This flavor was the winner. No competition at all. I devoured this jar in 2 days flat, with only a spoon. I’m not sure if I should be proud of that or not. There is a double dose of chocolate in here. Semi-sweet & rich dark chocolate. WHAT? Double the heaven.

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WIAW: Loving On Peanut Butter

It’s race week, and I am craving all things carbs and all things peanut butter, which I think always makes for a fun edition of What I Ate Wednesday.

Bagels with peanut butter. This pre-run breakfast was phenomenal and reminded me of growing up. Just love bread with melted peanut butter drenched on top.

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Protein shakes haven’t popped up lately this week, but the other day I needed one simply for the fact that I had no appetite for real food, but knew I needed something.
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I know that this meal does not look appetizing at all, but it’s so good! White rice and shredded chicken mixed with liquid aminos. So delicious! This has been my breakfast all week. Monday’s had some green peppers in it from leftovers.
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My go to lunch all week has been zoodles with ground turkey and 3 cheese sauce. So addicting! {Recycled photo from Saturday night}

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Dinner Monday night was sea scallops & shrimp (cooked with no seasoning), with double the veggies. Grabbed this picture from the Bonefish Grill’s website.

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Afternoon snacks have included 2 rice cakes with Barney’s almond butter, but my snack last night was 1 rice cake with peanut butter and a Quest bar. Love when I have extra macros leftover in the evening!

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 Best thing to put peanut butter on?

 

WIAW: All Things Peanut Butter

Reminiscing over this week showed me that I was really boring with “meals” that I ate. One of the things I want to improve with my blog is better pictures of meals, but really, I just don’t have the time to… okay, I’m sure I could find the time, but the time only occurs when I don’t want to (<– life). I think I could get away with buying a nice white plate, and my pictures would be 34% better for What I Ate Wednesdays.

The best things that I ate, and that were photographed, were obviously of snacks or desserts. Such as the chocolate mousse cake and coconut ice cream Alan and I had at Mint Bistro before Michael Buble. Heaven in my mouth.

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It’s all about balance though, and I enjoyed a little bit of cheesy eggs with roasted taters for breakfast. Actually, screw balance, I only ate this because it was all I had in the fridge that was mine. It’s a fact that I can only eat scrambled eggs without ketchup only if cheese is used.IMG_9513

Melted peanut butter on everything. I find that making the peanut butter just a bit soupy makes it seem that there is more peanut butter to enjoy.

IMG_9554Greek yogurt with peanut butter is one of my favorite afternoon snacks. It’s easy to eat really clean and healthy for breakfast and lunch when I know that I get yummy and sweet-tooth satisfying for snacks.

IMG_0349And to continue with the obsessive peanut butter theme… Monday night I switched things up and worked out at 5:30 pm… Well, it was such a rigorous workout, that I woke up at 4 am CRAVING, literally NEEDING a peanut butter sandwich. My stomach was twisted and making noises from hunger, so I went downstairs and made half a pb sandwich. Holy mother, it was literally the tastiest thing I have had in ages. I haven’t craved bread in months, but this was so satisfying. It looked liked this, but on wheat bread and probably not as much pb. Although it was 4 am, so the amount of pb in the below picture is probably accurate.

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 What was the best thing you ate lately?

Seriously now I have a huge craving for pb sandwiches!

WIAW: The Best Snacks Ever

I have felt like eating my feelings over the past few days, but I have no appetite to do so, so today’s weekly contribution to Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday is toned down, but full of 2 of my new favorite snacks. When I have the appetite to eat my feelings, I know that they will taste wonderful.

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I like my chicken sausage a little bit fried, and my eggs frinny (a mix between fried and runny). Roasted sweet potatoes > microwaved sweet potatoes, but I can’t portion control when they are roasted. Roasted sweets = addicting like a bearded, tattooed mountain man.

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Almond butter on sweet potatoes is my new daily afternoon snack. This is the way to eat a sweet potato.

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A better snack? Plain greek yogurt + peanut butter + 1 Lindt 85% dark chocolate square. Get in mah face!IMG_7538

Tomorrow is best friend Lindsay’s birthday, and we are going out in a few days for her birthday celebrations. She is choosing between sushi and fro-yo. I’m crossing my fingers for fro-yo. It would be my first bowl of 2014, and I mean, I practically have to because it is her maybe birthday wish.

IMG_8327What is your favorite “sweet” snack? Tell me your favorites, especially if they involve peanut butter.

Really craving a banana with nut butter. Wild, I know.

Balancing CrossFit & Running

Last week, Amy, the beautiful chiquita behind The Little Honey Bee, asked me for advice on how I balance running and CrossFit. She is one of my blogging soul mates, because like children, I can’t pick a favorite.

Finding a balance was something I truly struggled with, so when she came to me, I was more than ready to give her my story. Maybe some of you have similar struggles, so this is my place to shed some light into how I’ve found a happy balance with both running and CrossFit.

The Beginning.

Way back when, I was spending time in Los Angeles (I won’t say living there because I only lasted 2 months), and quickly picked up running as my form of exercise since poor = no gym. When I came back home in March 2011, I spent my days running at the gym, which resulted in me creating an Excel spreadsheet tracking daily and weekly mileage, and keeping a running total of mileage per shoe.

I was looking for a full-time job, while working part-time at Target, so all of my free time I spent running… and running… and running. I started a running streak, and was so stubborn, that I ran 7+ months through a strained groin. You know what that feels like? Daggers in your va-jay-jay.

Why?

I was grossly worried that by taking a break from running meant no more cardio, and I’d get fat. There I said it. So I ran through dagvag. I kept the streak alive, and only broke it in March 2012 when I was traveling and couldn’t locate a gym. And then it started back up, and that is the running streak a lot of you are familiar with.

I then began CrossFit, and didn’t want to end it. Again, no cardio = fat gain. I am shaking my head at my old self right now. Da fuq was I thinking? Even on CrossFit days, I would make myself run 1-2 miles just to keep the streak alive. My body was run down, I wasn’t toning up. CrossFit and running but still fluffy? What gives?

Then I met Mike, my current nutrition coach, when my CrossFit coach Mat had him come speak to our CrossFit box about Paleo & CrossFit. He encouraged me to end the streak that week. My cortisol levels were out of whickity whack, and the lactic acid was overflowing in my body.

I ended the streak that week. I would run maybe every other day, with a CrossFit schedule of MWF, and running TuesThursSun. I was fine with that, perfectly happy.

I was eating Paleo, and on my non-running days, I didn’t feel heavy, and instead, I felt awesome. I didn’t miss my off-days, and rest days were a welcomed day in my life. Rest days of no workouts at all were amazing, and I felt great!

And then my love for CrossFit really changed, and I wanted to be at CrossFit every morning, and not on a treadmill running. I began 4 days of CrossFit, and maybe 2 days of running. I now go 3-4 days without running, and not only do I not miss it, but I feel light and toned, and pretty spectacular. Plus, I say this every day, but the people I spend my early mornings with, they are really some of my favorite people in my life.

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Eating Paleo and clean, and taking proper rest days, has allowed my body to feel good. I don’t need all the extra cardio. I don’t feel like a tub of lard if I don’t run or don’t do cardio. It really is 85% nutrition. I learned the hard way, trust me. It took me years to be able to say that with 200% trust. I’m not trying to convince you of that. It’s something you have to realize on your own.

So how do I balance it?

Some days I really crave a run, and I will run if I’m not tired and my body isn’t sore. I typically shoot for CrossFit MWFSat, but, if I see that Thursday’s workout is something I really want to do, then I will alter my schedule and plan my run for a different day.

I really love running when I run. Weekday runs at the gym are focused on HIIT. 1 mile warm-up and 2 miles of sprints of varying speeds. This benefits my CrossFit performance. Sunday will be a run around my neighborhood, and that’s for fun. No sprints. I go at my own pace. I enjoy the views, the fresh air, and my feet pounding tar.

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I’ve clearly changed in more ways than one since I started Running on Peanut Butter, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. My focus has changed, and change is important.

How do you balance your favorite forms of exercise?

Peanut Butter & Cheese

Sometimes Mondays stink, and sometimes they’re great. Regardless, I came across this picture on Instagram yesterday and it felt so fitting.

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I had a great Monday, which was made even better with melted peanut butter on oatmeal.

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Life was so good after that breakfast!

Something happened during my lunch hour that hasn’t happened in weeks. After quitting the double workouts (aside from Wednesdays because of Body Pump), I finally hit the gym for a lunch time lift. I’ve really been enjoying my new schedule, but because I didn’t sleep much Sunday and went for a short run yesterday morning, I was craving an arm workout worse than I was craving pb.

Serious talk right there!

The workout was amazing. I started off with a mile run, and then put my shoulders and arms through a killer workout.

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I love the high you get after a really great workout. It’s one of the best feelings in the world (aside from endless chocolate on your period).

I didn’t have much of an appetite the rest of the day, but I did play around with my alloted macros and doused my grilled chicken with cheese. OMG!

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Cheeeeeeseeeee. Cheese and peanut butter make the world go ’round.

The first few days on my macro plan I struggled with always being hungry, but now I’m actually struggling with eating all of my assigned macros. Last night, I still had enough macros for my planned Chobani, and I actually had to force myself to eat it. This morning I asked my coach if in this situation whether it was more beneficial to be under my macros for the day, or eat even when I don’t have the appetite.

Coach Ashley Answer: You really should try to hit your macros. I know you weren’t hungry but you don’t want to be under. It’s actually just as bad as being over because your body thinks it’s not getting as much as it is used to and wants to conserve. Now, of course, you don’t want to gag it down and make yourself sick if you really feel stuffed. But if you can hit your macros, it’s beneficial to do so!

Noted.

The rest of the night I spent with the roomies. It was a rainy night and their game was cancelled, so we spent several hours in the living room literally laughing the night away. I don’t even know what we were talking about, but it was the perfect end to my Monday.

Tuesday

Is it too much to ask that you can have 2 awesome days in a row? Apparantly it is, because when I woke up and opened my door to head to the gym, I was greeted with torrential downpours.

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I am positive that Beth jinxed the weather, because last night she made a comment about yesterday’s run and having sun for it. I think she sent all her rain my way. Booo!

Don’t you just wish you could create a neighborhood where you and all of your favorite blogger friends could live? I do, and Beth would be my neighbhor, so if you haven’t stumbled upon her blog, Mangoes and Miles, go there right meow! I am extremely mildly obsessed with her.

And in exciting news for me, I had my first week weigh in with my coach, and by sticking to a specific macro-based diet, I lost 3.4 pounds in the first week!! I’ve never seen results like this solely by eating healthy and not depriving myself (hello 3 tbsp of pb each day, whaddup), so I’m excited that something is finally working and that I have a coach who is there for me every step of the way.

Since I’m seeing such good results (this loss was even with Aunt Flo in town), Coach Ashley isn’t changing my macros, which means I get to keep the peanut buttttah party alive!

Is there a specific food you could never give up?

Mines clearly peanut butter. And fro-yo.

Did you have to wear floaties to work today because of the rain?

A Weekend Full of My Favorite People

I’ve had such a great weekend filled with friends and family that I love the most. So far I’m doing perfect with my 2013 goals.

Yesterday I started my morning with my official weigh in for Erica’s Diet Bet before completing a run/walk interval workout. My legs were very sore from my leg workout from Thursday, so I started off with a 1.25 mile warm-up walk before tackling a 4 mile run.

By the time I was finished and showered, it was noon and I was ready for breakfast. I went for oatmeal in an almost empty peanut butter jar!

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I mixed 1/2 cup of oats with 1 cup of almond milk, cinnamon, Truvia, 2 tbsp of PB2 and topped it with half of a banana (I ate the other half before working out) and several mini scoops of strawberry jam.

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The oatmeal was so good and it was actually my first time having oatmeal in an almost empty jar of pb. I’ve seen this pop up on a lot of blogs, and I’m excited to try it in all of the remaining jars I have.

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5 opened jars of peanut butter. I need help.

Since my Mom is recovering from surgery, I spent the rest of my day at home making sure she had everything she needed. I cleaned the house, went grocery shopping, completed a load of laundry, and just hung out with her for a bit before my Dad arrived and I was able to sneak off to the gym for a strength workout.

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I had planned on doing the Pure Hell workout, but while drying my hands in the bathroom before working out, my workout unfortunately got screwed over by the dryer and sink. Womp womp!

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For the most part I was able to remember everything since the workout was still burned in my brain.

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I had originally planned on only doing a cardio workout, but I’m so glad that I changed my mind and went for the weights. Before my strength workout I did warm up with another mile walk and finished up with 10 minutes on the elliptical, followed by 10 minutes in the sauna.

I quickly headed home to shower and get dolled up for a night out. I ended up allowing The Prospect to treat me to a very fancy dinner at Cotton for several hours before we met up with Mike for several drinks at Strange Brew. I ended up ordering the Spinach Salad with Grilled Salmon and absolutely loved it! This is easily one of my favorite meals at any restaurant. I hadn’t seen Mike in what seemed like forever and I was happy that both Mike and The Prospect wanted to meet each other.

I’m pretty sure it was the first time that Mike has approved of a guy I’ve brought around, and coming from the most honest and over-protected best friend I have, this is big.

Around 1, The Prospect and I headed out and fell asleep watching Rachel vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off. Holy crap this show was so good. He was out cold but I only snoozed during commercials. I’m pretty sure the new season kicks off tonight, so I might have to add it to my line-up! By the time I got home and into bed it was 3 am, SO late for me, and slept like a rock until 10 am.

Sunday

After popping 2 clementines into my mouth, I tackled a 4 mile run, which was a little difficult after a late night of great food, beer and a skinny girl marg. Definitely worth it!

I enjoyed a Strawberry Banana protein shake before taking care of several things. Now I’m just finishing this post and watching a Cougar Town marathon until my cousin Nikki arrives. We have plans to go shopping at the Merrimack Outlets and Target, which I hope I can refrain from spending money!

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Knowing that I’d get hungry while shopping, I packed a PB2 & J sandwich for the trip.

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2 slices of Ezekiel bread, 2 tbsp of PB2 and a little strawberry jam, and that’s all you need for the perfect comfort food sandwich! I hope I get hungry soon so I can dig in.

Enjoy the remainder of your weekend! XO

 

Date Night & Chobani Addiction

If my body was hurting yesterday, then this morning is death for my body. Along with being tired, my body is seriously feeling Heather’s almost-puke workout from Thursday.

Yesterday I was able to enjoy another half relaxing day. After leaving work at 1 for a half day, I went to the gym for a light cardio workout which included 25 minutes on the elliptical and a 1-mile speed walk, and then the best part, 25 minutes in the sauna. Talk about relaxing.

My night got even better as Mark the Prospect and I celebrated him being a smarty pants and passing the CBIM test, aka the Certified Business Intelligence Professional test. We had planned on going on out to eat, but we were so tired and comfy on the couch watching a movie that we just decided to stay in. I didn’t mind at all. It was cold and windy outside, and I really didn’t want to go out to eat again.

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The Prospect requested a picture of us and I was happy to oblige, even if it did turn out dark and blurry. Damn that earring earned the center of attention in the picture!

I got home around 11:30 and was out cold, before waking this morning around 9 am. I could have stayed in bed a lot longer but I have several things I want to get done before we head to my Mom’s brother’s house for Christmas with her family.

I do plan on getting some type of workout in this morning, but I’ll have to see what my body tells me it’s okay with. I just finished up my newest addiction, thanks to Lisha. Vanilla greek yogurt mixed with peanut butter, holy heavens is this baby good.

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I one uped her and went for Chobani Vanilla Chocolate Chunk.

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Mixed with Teddie’s Peanut Butter and this baby is a slam dunk and perfect for pre-workout fuel.

Alright, time to go tackle my to-do list before heading to my Uncle’s. Luckily the desserts there rarely tempt me. I’m tackling this holiday party with a clean-eating mind!

And before I sign out, a seriously special shout-out to my girls that left comments on yesterday’s post and encourage me to not give up and beat myself up for my holiday weight gain. You girls and all of my readers mean the world to me. So thankful for you guys every single day! xo

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

I have a new favorite breakfast. This is a miracle!

This entire week my nights have been pretty busy and I haven’t had the opportunity to make some of my favorite meals for dinner, so I was excited to have last night all to myself to get creative with dinner. I love breakfast foods and could easily eat breakfast for lunch and dinner, but when I work early, it’s very difficult and impossible to make elaborate breakfasts. I usually have to stick to yogurt bowls, protein shakes and overnight oats.

Last night I knew exactly what I wanted to make. I previously failed at making oatmeal with peanut butter and have been wanted to redeem myself ever since. I have seen so many bloggers rave about peanut butter oatmeal and I could never understand where their love came from, until last night.

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup water
  • Dash of Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp Chia seeds
  • 1 scoop Peanut Butter
  • Banana slices
  • 1 Truvia packet or sweetener of your choice

Directions:

  1. Mix your oats and water in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 3 minutes or until the oatmeal is at your desired consistency
  2. Add in your chia seeds, cinnamon and sweetener, and mix together
  3. Garnish with banana slices and peanut butter, mix and enjoy!

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This had to have been one of the best bowls of oatmeal I’ve ever had, and I’m not just saying that either. The peanut butter was extra creamy and melted and mixed in perfectly in every spoonful. It left me with one full and happy belly!

Can’t wait to make this breakfast this weekend!