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My 2011 Fitness Must-Haves - Featured on FitSugar!

By mandaleebee · March 10, 2011 · 0 Comments ·


My 2011 Fitness Must-Haves

I've been participating in some of the FitSugar Get Fit for 2011 Challenges.  The 9th challenge was to describe your 2011 Fitness Must-Haves, and today mine were featured on FitSugar!

  1. Vibram FiveFingers Sprints
  2. Garmin fitness watch
  3. Lucy Perfect Core Knee Pants
  4. Lucy Propel Knee Pant
  5. Lucy Run Power Headbands
  6. Different colored handwraps for my LABoxing workout!

 

Read more about why these are my must-haves and please share your must-haves below!

90-Calorie "Dessert"

By mandaleebee · January 28, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

When I was home for Christmas, I was looking through my parent's pantry for a quick breakfast and discovered these delicious Special K blueberry bars. The first bite was heavenly and I haven't been able to get enough!
Special K blueberry cereal bar They are pretty sweet, but since I don't eat a ton of sweets (savory trumps sweet for me), it's the perfect hit of sugar when I am in the mood. The best thing is they're only 90 calories per bar! Most of my granola bars are double that, so when I am in the mood for a very light snack, these bars are perfect and a lot more satisfying than some of those 100 calorie packs out there. I haven't tried any of the other flavors, but if you have please let me know what you think below!

What to Wear Christmas Morning

By mandaleebee · December 16, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

I pretty much want everything on this list to wear on Christmas morning :)

*Thanks to At First Blush for creating the list and showcasing it first on her blog.

My New "Gym"

By animatedpunk · November 2, 2010 · 0 Comments ·


Groupon
I don't belong to a gym. I used to, but then I realized I was rarely going, and that it was costing too much considering the fact that I wasn't utilizing my membership. So I quit and decided to exercise outdoors for free. However, I've gotten a little bored of my workouts and like to try new things. Enter, GROUPON!

Groupon.Com offers a new local deal every day, for great reduced prices, and the deals come straight to your email every morning. While the types of deals vary, I have discovered that they OFTEN feature deals from different fitness organizations. This is a great way to try out new things you might not have given a chance before. You also have a decent length of time before groupons expire, so you don't have to rush to use them.

What's great about this is that you can discover new ways to exercise, and you might discover something that you LOVE! For example, I have discovered a dance studio in Los Angeles that I now go to regularly (long after my groupon expired), because I enjoy it so much. I never would have heard about this place, or even thought to try it out (I'm a terrible dancer), if I hadn't seen the deal on groupon. Now the two dance classes I go to are the highlights of my week! But, more about that in my next blog entry ;)

This morning I attended a boot camp with my friend. I never would have thought to sign up for a bootcamp under regular circumstances, but it was such a great deal, I figured I should try it out! Now we have 6 more weeks of bootcamp to use up! I have also purchased spinning classes, core fusion classes, and countless massages (to help you recover from all that exercise!).

The bottom line is, this is a great way to try something new without a full commitment, for a discounted price, and you never know what fitness craze you might fall in love with!

While I find most of my deals on Groupon, there are other websites that offer daily deals, and they occassionaly have fitness-related deals as well. Other sites to try are: LivingSocial.Com, and FreshGuide.Com

Have any of you tried out new types of exercise through a deal website?

My New Sandwich Obsession

By mandaleebee · October 12, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

I travel back and forth from Northern Virginia and Charlottesville, VA for work, just about every week.  As much as I love NoVA, I have a soft spot in my heart for UVA and the wonderful city of Charlottesville.  NoVA and DC might have a huge variety of restaurants, but Charlottesville has the QUALITY.  Cville has hands down the best restaurants and food ever.  One of my favorite lunch places is Revolutionary Soup.  They have delicious soups, salads, and sandwiches, all made with local, fresh ingredients.  My newest obsession has been the Adam's Apple Sandwich - AMAZING.  They make it on sunflower wheat bread with turkey, bacon, chèvre, arugula, garlic aïoli, sliced apples, house made apple butter.  I have ordered it every time with no bacon and it's wonderful.  I loved it so much, in fact, that I instantly bought the ingredients to make it at home!  Adding my own healthier (of course) spin, I've eaten it about 5 times in the past week - no lie!  I've substituted fig preservers for the apple butter, largely inspired by yet another delicious Charlottesville lunch spot - Feast!



Photo: Adam's Apple Sandwich with Arugala Side Salad

Here is my version of the recipe:

[Amanda's] Adams Apple Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • Nature Valley Whole Wheat Bread, 2 slices
  • 6 slices deli Turkey
  • 1/4 Granny Smith Apple, sliced thin
  • 1 TBS Fig Preserves
  • Laughing Cow Light Garlic and Herb Cheese (Laughing cow is my new healthy cheese obsession, but that's a blog post for another day!)
  • Arugala (I LOVE arugala)
  • Cooking Spray

 

Instructions:

  1. Spread the fig preservers on one piece of bread.
  2. Layer the apples, turkey, and arugala on top.
  3. Cover the other piece of bread with the laughing cow cheese and sandwich the ingredients.
  4. Spray a skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place over medium heat.
  5. Grill the sandwich on each side until each side is a nice golden color.
  6. Enjoy!

Salad for Breakfast

By mandaleebee · September 27, 2010 · 0 Comments ·


Okay I know this might sound a little crazy - a salad for breakfast?  But this is quickly becoming my favorite meal to make in the morning!  Eggs overeasy and cheese toast has been my typical breakfast go-to.  I love using the bread to sop up the gooey yolk.  One day in an attempt to be more low-carb, I decided to put it over spinach instead, and use the overeasy egg as the "dressing."  I placed the egg over spinach with onions, peppers, shredded cheese, and avocado, and drizzled some hot sauce (Sriracha) over it.  If you're thinking this sounds a little weird, just try it - it's delicious!  I love that for around 200 calories I can have an extremely filling and tasty breakfast.  It keeps me full until lunchtime!

Are you weird like me and have enjoyed the occasional salad for breakfast?

Filed in: health & diet, Breakfast
Tagged with: breakfast, salad, Eggs, poll

Miracle Salve

By animatedpunk · September 22, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

I know that most of our posts have been about fitness or food..... but I just had to rave about this product.

First, a quick background - For YEARS I have struggled with chapped lips. They are always severely chapped, year-round. I have tried every chapstick, lip balm, exfoliator, trick, tip, etc. No matter how often I apply chapstick, my lips are always chapped. Not only does it hurt, but it doesn't LOOK nice. Who wants dry, cracked lips? And forget lipstick - it just makes the chapped appearance more prominent and dries them out even more. My problem with chapped lips became even worse when I moved to Los Angeles. Moving from the humid east coast to the dry west coast was a huge shock to my skin, and especially to my lips. After trying every possible product, I began to think it was hopeless.

Well, my mom was visiting me recently and we went shopping. She stepped into Bath and Body Works and bought some lip balms and glosses. They were buy 2 get 1 free, so she told me to pick something.

I picked THIS.

I didn't think anything of it, but started to use it before bed each night. One day I was sitting at work and realized......... MY LIPS ARE NOT CHAPPED. This has never happened to me. It is truly a miracle worker. The salve is "all-purpose" and contains rose extract. The tin claims it can be used for face, lips, cuticles, elbows, knees, etc, but I mainly just use it on my lips. I also love the light sent of it. It costs $5.50 and is buy 2 get one free. The next time I pass a Bath and Body Works I am going to stock up.

If you have had issues with chapped lips, try this stuff! Let me know what you think! I hope it helps anyone else that has struggled with this the way I have.

Filed in: Product Review, health, Beauty
Tagged with: chapped, dry, Salve, lips, beauty

Snack Review: Jell-O

By mandaleebee · August 2, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Last week my boss was raving about the new Jell-O Mousse Temptations.  She claimed it didn't taste or feel too pudding-y.  This was a huge plus for me since I don't like pudding or yogurt.  I enjoy greek yogurt mixed with fruit or granola, but you'll never see me with a pudding cup or yoplait in my hand - I just don't like the texture!

Last night I decided to try one of these cups (dark chocolate of course!) and I have to agree with my boss - it was light but yummy, a perfect light dessert.  The texture is less smooth than pudding or yogurt, so it felt less processed to me.  At 60 calories per cup, this might be my new sweet-tooth go-to in a pinch!  Have you tried these yet?  What are your thoughts on the other flavors?

Recipe Review: Cherry Onion Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

By mandaleebee · June 28, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

LCDouse and I were in the mood to try a new recipe last night - we were very happy with our decision!  Yum Sugar featured this recipe from Fine Cooking last week and I immediately bookmarked it.  I had never used cherries in a recipe before and was too intrigued by the flavor combinations to pass it up.  The recipe definitely did not disappoint!  Since I'm all about finding healthier routes when cooking, I omitted the sugar and used a butter substitute, but I promise I did not sacrifice flavor!  See the original recipe at Yum Sugar or see below for the recipe with my few revisions.  If you try it for yourself, please tell me what you think!  I chose to pair it with a side of asparagus - yum!


Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1-1/2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1-1/2 tsp. freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • 3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh sweet cherries (about 8 oz.), pitted and chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 1 lb. each), trimmed
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 cup lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 Tbs. Smart Balance Light

 

Directions

  1. Heat 1 TBS olive oil in 12-inch skillet, medium-low heat.  Add the onions and cook until softened and light golden.  Add orange zest, orange juice, and vinegar.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until onions are very soft (about 15 min).  Uncover and continue to cook until all liquid has evaporated.  Add cherries and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cool to room temperature.
  2. Heat oven to 425°F.  Butterfly tenderloins.  Pound between wax paper to 3/8" thickness.  Mix 1 TBS olive oil, ground cloves, and pepper in small bowl.  Rub mixture on both sides of pork.
  3. Divide and spread cherry mixture over tenderloins and roll back up.  Tie with twine or secure with toothpicks.
  4. Heat 1 TBS olive oil in same 12" skillet over medium high heat.  Brown pork on all sides.  Transfer to oven-save pan and roast until thickest part reads 145°F, 10 to 20 minutes.  (Took about 20 minutes for me!).
  5. While pork is roasting, add wine to remnants in the skillet and boil to reduce wine by half, about 2 min.  Add chicken broth and rosemary, bring to boil and reduce by about half, about 3 min.  Reduce heat to low and whisk in Smart Balance until melted. Season to taste.
  6. Slice tenderloin into 3/4" thick pieces.  Drizzle with sauce and enjoy!!!

 

Hiking in My Vibram Five Fingers

By mandaleebee · June 23, 2010 · 0 Comments ·


I had been thinking about Lindsey's new "Gorilla Shoes" ever since she posted about them on this blog.  When she first sent me a photo of these bizarre looking shoes, I just laughed at their ridiculousness, thinking 'no way I'll ever put those things on my feet!'  But alas, once I saw them and read about them, I just couldn't stop thinking about them!  I had to try them for myself.  Last week I went to Blue Ridge Mountain Sports in Charlottesville, VA and tried on a pair of Vibram Five Fingers... I tried both the Classics and the Sprints, but I liked the arch and heel support in the Sprints much better.  Like my sister, I impulsively purchased a pair on the spot.  Obviously I had to try them out right away, so I mixed a little bit of walking and running in since I had read many reviews explaining you need to gradually adjust your muscles to barefoot running.



Running in these shoes is amazing.  I actually am not a running fan, but these shoes make it feel more fluid, light, and fun!  After running/walking in them for the first two days, I took a break to let my muscles re-cuperate.  This past weekend I broke them back out for some hiking and wouldn't you know, I fell even more in love with them.  Although walking over gravel in my Vibrams was a little uncomfortable, the rest of the hike was extremely fun and enjoyable.  I am wanting to work out in my Vibrams every day!

 

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