TWO

Someone is turning TWO in 3 days…

 

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What do you think of her running form?! She is quick!

In the past few weeks, I got back into my gym routine! It took me TWO years :)  Whewww!!  Love going to the gym in the early morning and seeing people instead of basement workouts!  It feels so much better to be in a routine.  Also with some warm temperatures, I have been able to get in some extra runs in the later mornings with a stroller.

My routine looks like:

Monday – spin

Tuesday – fusion workout – cardio HIIT + Strength

Wednesday – off

Thursday – run/swim

Friday – strength/HIIT circuit

Saturday- fast run with a friend

Sunday – off

I don’t have any races on the calendar but have to get one on there soon! I am more interested in being in shape than running steady state to train for a race :) Anyone in the same boat?

 

ONE.

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Thoughts went out to Boston Marathon 2013 today, on the one year anniversary.
Before I heard the news, I took this picture last year.

 

One year ago:

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Hoping this year’s race goes smoothly.

 

 

 

 

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Camelbak Relay Review

CamelBak Relay came out just a few months ago, a water pitcher that filters water at the speed of your faucet!   I had the opportunity to test it when it was released.  The opinions and reviews expressed in this post are all my own.  I was provided with a complimentary pitcher to test.

 

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The Camelbak Relay blows any other type of filtering pitcher out of the water!  The amazing fill time in addition to the locking-lid which prevents spills  are the selling points.  It filters twice – once as you fill it up, and once as you pour it out.

Here’s a video of how quickly it filters:

The filter looks like this:

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve used other pitchers before. You have to wait forever for it to fill, and I would usually keep it in the sink while I waited. Multiple times I would have to go back and fill it to the top again, then go back once it filtered through and fill it again. Then if I wanted water right away, it would always make a mess. It was frustrating. Bring in the Camelbak Relay and these problems are solved!

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On both sides of the pitcher, there are side locking latches to hold the top in place.  Brilliant. To fill the pitcher, there is a little “door” on top.  I simply put in under the faucet and it fills it up immediately.  The pitcher holds 10 cups of water and there is a fill line. The water tastes great by the way. The filter was tested and removes 97% of chlorine, taste and odor.

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I have been using the pitcher for my daily water drinking. I fill it up in the morning and try to drink all of it by 8pm. Then I also use it to fill up the coffee machine, which is SO nice. I was using the filter on the fridge (the taste does not compare by the way) and making a few trips to fill it up.  It was the same for filling a pitcher for the day. A bunch of cups dumped into the pitcher. Now, I’m loving the convenience, and taste of the Camelbak Relay.

Like all CamelBak products, Relay is covered by CamelBak’s Got Your Bak Lifetime Guarantee and is available in three colors:
Aqua, Clear/Charcoal and Purple.  The pitcher retails for $36.99, and the filter retails for $28.50/3. The filters last 4 months.  What do you think of the pricing?

If you have a Brita or any other type of pitcher… you will want this!  Get it now!

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Running in the rain

Last week a high school friend of mine offered me a bib for a new race in Philly that was held yesterday.

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I checked the weather, and it was supposed to be around 50 degrees, and rain was not in the forecast in the time.

Then for the next few days, I went back and forth between…

What was I thinking???  Run for “fun”???

and

This could be fun, I need a change of scenery.

I looked at the weather on Saturday night and it said 30% chance of rain from 7-9am. 70% chance it wouldn’t rain, right?
I can do this! I had my doubts about how my body was going to handle it, but still, I wanted to get out!

I woke up, checked the weather forecast, …

 

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The chance of rain was now 50%.

When we arrived at the start, it was 48 degrees and raining.  Rain – more like 100%.

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There was a mile where it stopped raining, but the whole rest of the race, it was raining. Everyone was soaked. Puddles everywhere!  It wasn’t so bad running it in, but at the end when we stopped running, it was FREEZING!!  I took it easy so I could finish, but it crossed my mind at least 3 times that I could stop and walk to the finish when we were close to the finish line :)   It was amazing to see the fans and dedicated volunteers out there.  I would have stayed inside if I wasn’t running!

I thought this was a cool picture near the Please Touch Museum/Memorial Hall.

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I finished in probably a 2:06/2:07 which was not bad for not training. My half PR was in 2011 – 1:48.
Wondering if I’ll ever be in that shape again!

So an impromtu half and first ever race in that kind of weather the entire race. It was an adventure. I’m glad I did it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is the phase we’re in with my almost 2 year old sweetie ….

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We are going on a plane ride to the west coast for a family wedding in a few weeks… I can’t wait!

Happy Friday!!

 

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New Z-Bar Flavor: Iced Lemon Cookie (review, giveaway)

Just in time for spring & easter, Clif has announced a new Z-bar flavor, Lemon Zing.

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Here’s what arrived on our doorstep last week —

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We were thinking spring already & lil K matched the box!!

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Inside the box was a jumprope, sunglasses, sidewalk chalk and some zbars to test out.
She was the only one awake at the time so had the first test. Our family loves Z-bars.
Zbar Iced Lemon Cookie has lemon zing and is drizzled with icing.
9g whole grains, 3g fiber and 12 vitamins & minerals
Personally, I have to be in the mood for lemon, but it is a great spring flavor and would be a nice addition to the easter basket!
Reminds me of lemon bars that we grew up with!!
The kids gobbled it up!

Is it me or did the bars get smaller?  Love them anyway – perfect portion for a snack!

 

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How do you feel about a Lemon flavored bar? What is your favorite z bar flavor?
Want to win a 6-pack? Leave a comment with either …
a) your favorite z-bar flavor or
b) your favorite afternoon snack (for you or kiddos)

Winner will be selected at random and announced 4/2! April is around the corner. Yeah!!

 

 

 

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Top 5 vegetarian recipes

What’s a vegetarian to do?  In the beginning of the year, after talking to a few of my veg mom friends, I decided I wasn’t cooking meat in the house anymore. There have been so many incidences where I’m ordering meat at a butcher shop while I can’t even look in the case, or making a meal using gloves because I don’t want to touch it!  Besides running out of dinners, I think it’s healthy to eat meat in moderation, so that didn’t last long at all.   I started incorporating it back into my weekly menu in the new year.  What usually ends up happening is a) I overcook the meat, b) the kids won’t eat it or don’t like it or c) It’s not that good.  Ahhh- the frustration!! I’m at a loss! I feel like throwing in the towel and going back to not cooking meat in the house.  With lent in season, many of you might skip meat on Fridays. What is your favorite vegetarian dinner? How often do you go meatless?

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Here are five vegetarian meals worth checking out.
All food images are credited to the website where they are posted.

5 vegetarian recipes

Maple Tofu

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Eggplant Burgers – Weelicious

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BBQ cheddar chickpea burgers – Weelicious

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zucchini crab cakes

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HEAB casserole

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And my simple favorite is just sauteeing beans and kale in garlic, a little olive oil and butter and pairing with brown rice.

 

And one fun treat :)

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Coffee! and coconut milk in the isi whipper

Did you know coffee is a healthy food? Full of antioxidants, it actually does give you a good start to the morning!
Check out Lexi’s “healthy food friday” post from yesterday which is a good read.

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About 6 months after #3 was born, I started drinking coffee! I never drank it in college and was really never into the taste. But at that point, it was survival mode and I needed something to keep me ALIVE during the day.  I started out drinking it a few times a week, hearing that it was addictive and I didn’t want to “NEED” to have my morning coffee and have headaches if I didn’t have it.   I didn’t feel that way at all and a few months later, I started drinking it every morning. In fact, I look forward to my morning coffee but don’t feel like I’m going to go nuts if I don’t have it.

Now let’s talk what my coffee is made of – it’s more of a latte than coffee.
First, the coffee:

My coffee picks:

Caribou Coffee – Amy’s Blend.  $7.99/16 oz

I think I bought this because it was on sale and I liked the color of the packaging. Then I read the story on the back and I was hooked!  This coffee was made as a tribute to Amy who was a Caribou employee and lost her battle with breast cancer at age 33.  This is a great breakfast blend.

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Hawaiian Gold – Kona Coffee  $7.99/16 oz

Found this one at TJ Maxx. Light blend, tastes good. Reminds me of my younger days – honeymoon in Hawaii. I’m not too picky :)

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Newman’s Own Organics – Nell’s Breakfast Blend    $7.99/lb on sale
Again, this was on sale and it tastes along the same lines of the other 2. I can’t do the bold roasts, but

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Now that we have the coffee down, what else goes in the cup? I fill a large cup about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way with the coffee and the rest with unsweetened almond milk. My topper is whipped coconut milk made with vanilla sugar. Yum!!   I stick with one cup a day, most days, and I usually only drink it at home because I am pretty particular about how I take it!  More about the whipped coconut milk….

ISI WHIP

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I first saw the isi whip on Chocolate Covered Katie and was intrigued.  She was making whipped coconut milk.   A huge whip cream fan, but not a fan of the extra chemicals coming out of the can and in the recipe, including carageenan, I wanted to try this out.  I price watched using CamelCamelCamel (thanks to my brother for telling me about this site!!) on Amazon  until it dropped to where I wanted it, and bought it back in December.  Not only do you need the container, but you also need gas chargers which was not clear to me, so I had to order them after it came and wait.  They aren’t cheap either :(

My first trials with coconut milk were a fail. It was too thick and not coming out of the container.  I googled it and saw a few people added melted coconut oil to up the fat content, but that didn’t work any better. Finally, I ended up using unsweetened almond milk to get the can of coconut milk to the consistency of heavy cream, and this worked the best.  I added my vanilla sugar (a mixture of sugar, cornstarch and crushed vanilla beans) to desired sweetness, and voila!  Coconut cream.

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Quick Review of the ISI WHIP

If you want to get non-dairy milk, check out the ISI whip. Be sure to purchase the chargers as well. It is pretty expensive, but a healthier and non-dairy alternative to store bought whipped cream. You can also use heavy cream for delicious fresh whipped cream. It took a few trials to get the coconut cream done right, but now I think I have it down. And I love my addition of vanilla sugar.  When I purchased it, it was around $35. And the chargers are usually $16 for 24. The cream lasts about a week in the container, so I use one charger a week.  Expensive, but if you are an avid whip cream user, something to check out. The stainless steel one looks cool!

And what to eat with your coffee???
We made these this week:  Healthy Maple Glazed Pumpkin Muffins. Delicious!!!

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picture credit: a pinch of yum

 

What kind of coffee do you drink? How do you take your coffee?  

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