Archive for May, 2011

>Blending away

Posted: May 31, 2011 in coupons, recipes

>We got a new blender!  For those who don’t remember there was a sad incident I dropped the old blender.  We got a new Black & Decker (on sale at Target) and I’m happy to report it is a far superior blender than our old model.

Photo not from this morning.  Note the banana.

This morning’s breakfast smoothie included:

  • 1 cup vanilla Almond milk (I need to stop buying vanilla to cut extra sugar)
  • 1 scoop Dessert Chocolate Fudge protein powder
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1/3 c oatmeal
  • 1T flax seeds
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 squirt Hershey’s chocolate fudge (for Grandma)
  • 3 ice cubes
I sipped away as I drove to school this morning.  Today I started my second chemistry class, organic chem.  I am also pleased to report that I got an A in the class and lab for my 1st class. The 4.0 survives another semester. 🙂

After school I had to go to Sam’s Club.  I have a love/hate relationship with Sam’s Club.  Not so much LOVE or HATE.  But annoyance/necessity relationship.  

I only go there to get certain items I need.  One of which is 1L bottles of water.  We really don’t buy any smaller, because then we just drink them too fast.  We are a well hydrated family.  BUT this water is heavy.  I work out and ITS STILL HEAVY.  And it’s in the back of the store so it’s a hamstring workout to push my now 100lb cart to the front to check out.  (ok not really 100lb but it feels like the weight of the world).

You heavy, heavy water.
I also got some other healthy good deals at Sams.  I got 12 Chobani Greek yogurt for $11.58 when it’s $1.39 each elsewhere. That’s a savings of $5.10.

If you are dieting and looking for healthy snacks Chobani is PERFECT!  It is a good source of protein with low carbs and sugar to keep you full and your metabolism going.  Kyle eats them daily. 

psst- Chobani coupons are available – here!

I also got 16 Special K protein bars for $11.98. They are $5.99 for 6 bars elsewhere so I basically got 4 free bars.  I also snagged a bag of Yoplait smoothie sensations.  These make AMAZING smoothies.  The bag has 10 servings for $9.88 and at Publix it’s $3.19 for 2 servings.  That’s a savings of $6.07.

So I have a sore back?  I saved at least $15…and I scored some strange but charming Steve Madden flats for $11.  Heehee! They seem very earthy to me.  How’d those get in my basket?
The jury is still out.  They may go back?
Lunch today was leftover Zeus’s Greek Chicken Salad and okra.

Now I’m back to cleaning up the house and prepping for tonight’s dinner of spaghetti (squash) and turkey mushroom marinara.

Where do you like to shop for groceries?

Love and bulk buys, 
Carissa & Kyle

>Get your GOAL on

Posted: May 31, 2011 in fit tips, workouts

>How are you at setting goals? 

Can you think of a goal you are striving towards right now?

Having goals is muy importante.  Goals can help your focus your energy.  They can motivate you.  They can also provide you with a sense of accomplishment when you reach them.

Here’s my advice about goals.  
  • Make them achievable within 3-4 months or less.
  • Give yourself a timeline or a deadline to make progress.
  • Tell people!  It will keep you accountable.
  • Write your goal down and look at it often.
  • Celebrate when you achieve your goal!

So again I ask you…what are your fitness/health goals right now?

Good achievable goals can include things like:

Finishing a race
Competing in a Bodybuilding show
  • Consistently working out for a month
  • Increasing the amount/intensity of your cardio
  • Adding more vegetables to your diet
  • Cutting excess sugar from your diet
  • Training for a 4th of July 5k – Here’s a good one
  • Adding new classes to your workout routine

As I write this blog I can see I’ve been a little lazy in the goal department lately.  I’m in good shape and happy with my weight.  I don’t have a big race I’m training for right now since I’m focusing my energy on school.  BUT I have been lacking in one area.  I’ve been a baby.  Ask Kyle.  I have whined, complained, cried (yes tears), and punched through my workouts in the last few weeks.  That’s embarrassing, huh?  I seriously have been getting so mad when Kyle is pushing me in the gym that I charge at him!  haha!  But I’m frustrated at myself.  I drive all the way to the gym to focus on complaining instead of lifting.  I’m surely not getting the best workout I can.  I have the best trainer and he does push his clients hard.  But that’s where the results come from.  Those last 3 reps are more important than those first 10.

Here’s my goal.  In the month of June I will NOT complain during my workouts.  I will do what’s asked of me and push through pain, fatigue, and frustration.

Me as an actual baby.  Note I am not crying.

I hope you share your goals with me and share again when you achieve them.  And check in to see how I’m doing on the whole crybaby thing!

Love and anger management, 
Carissa & Kyle

>Happy Memorial Day!  I hope you all had a wonderful day with family and friends and took a moment to remember our Veterans.  

Kyle and I both had to work today, but we had short days and we love our jobs so it was OHHH-kay!  And we got to have an awesome day at the Lake on Saturday so it kinda balanced out!

We both got GREAT workouts in!  (we needed them due to our less than stellar eating at the afore mentioned lake party)

Here’s a look at my workout:

  • Seated Dip Machine
  • Lat machine pulldown
  • Upright Cable Row
  • Seated Dip Machine
  • Tricep pushdown burnout
  • Lat Pulldown Machine
  • DB supinated curls burnout
  • Upright cable row
  • Jumping jack squat onto Bosu ball with Med Ball throw – plyo
  • Lateral jumping lunges with med ball
  • Single leg squat at ballet bar with leg extended
  • Jumping jack squat onto Bosu ball with Med Ball throw – plyo
  • Lateral jumping lunges with med ball
  • Single leg squat at ballet bar with leg extended
  • Leg press- Drop Set – 10 rep, 8 rep, 6 rep dropping 20lbs each time
  • Descending sprint/pushup pyramid – 30 sec sprint at 15 incline, 6.5 mph followed by 10 decline pushups, then 20 sec sprint and 8 pushups, and 10 sec spring at 7mph and 6 pushups
  • Weighted decline situps

We went to Publix!  Yeah!  I have always loved the grocery store.  I love it even more when I score big on coupons!  AND…I love it even more when Kyle is there!  Not just because he helps me carry the bags.

I saved $39 on $87 on groceries.  I was especially excited about a few finds.
Coffee creamer for 67 cents.
Salad dressing for 84 cents.
We also decided that we HAD to take a chance on the $200mil powerball.  Could you even imagine??  

What would you do with $200 million?  Keep in mind your favorite bloggers and their dream to have their own gym! 🙂

Does it look lucky?  Mamma needs a new pair of running shoes!
After the store, workout, and powerball dreaming we needed a mid afternoon snack, so Kyle took his turn at chef and made us an omelet.

He sauteed mushrooms and spinach.  Added 1 egg and 1/2 cup egg whites and some 2% cheddar cheese to finish.
Action shot.
Do you know I can’t even make an omelet and he can?  I’m not even mad, actually I’m impressed.  I can make an egg “scramble” just not an omelet.  

Now we are off to relax on the couch and watch “No Strings Attached” which we rented from the Blockbuster kiosk at Publix.  Dinner will be another version of our healthy Greek salad.

Love and eggs-traordinary husbands, 
Kyle & Carissa 

>Wounded Warrior Project

Posted: May 29, 2011 in Uncategorized


Tomorrow is Memorial Day and I’m very proud to be a part of the Inaugural Green Cove Springs Freedom 8k.  

Here’s a quick 411 on Memorial Day.  Memorial Day was first celebrated in Charleston, SC, in 1865 and it is set aside as a day to “commemorate US service members who died while in the military service.” It is typically the last Monday in May and it was first known as Declaration Day.

Grandpa Joe

A wonderful part of this Green Cove Springs 8k is that they are giving back to the military in a BIG way.  A portion of the race proceeds will go to local Jacksonville hero, Sgt. John Hayes and another portion will go towards the Wounded Warrior Project.

I was honored to be given a special tour of WWP’s headquarters in Jacksonville and their “Track” facility.

The tour of the facility was especially moving.  The brave men and woman of our armed services are asked to give so much in defense of our country.  Some give all, and others are left with life changing injuries.  

The WWP assists in many, many ways to make our injured soldiers feel “human” again. 

The journey of the WWP started with back-packs being mailed to injured soldiers to provide them with essential clothes and toiletries.   

The WWP helps to provide information to family members about their injured soldiers and they can even help support a family go visit an injured soldier in the hospital if they are not financially able to do so.  

The WWP helps heal the visible wounds of war, but also the invisible damage done by PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).  

The WWP also supports the soldiers as they transition to lives outside of the military.  For those of you familiar with the military, you know that the civilian world is far different than the military world.  The WWP has 2 “Track” facilities in Jacksonville and San Antonio where a group of selected wounded warriors are educated, take college classes, and gain work experience at an externship.

They also conduct the “Soldier Ride” program nationwide.  Soldier Ride provides adaptive cycling opportunities nationwide to help wounded warriors restore their physical and emotional well being.  The next one will be on June 4 in Chicago.  There is also an opportunity for civilians to ride on the “Honor Ride” and raise money and awareness for WWP.

Under Armour (which we are already huge fans of) is big sponsor and supporter of WWP.  They provide the backpacks and clothing that is mailed to wounded soldiers.  They also fill these backpacks at their facility.  You can support the cause by buying certain Wounded Warrior Project Under Armour gear or even buy a backpack to be sent to a military member. 

An interesting fact I learned was that Under Armour makes special fabrics that are lighter and much more comfortable for burn victims to wear.

I really encourage you, on this Memorial Day, to find out more about the Wounded Warrior Project or any organization that supports our Military.  

Remember our soldiers that gave their lives, those that served, and those still fighting today.
Photos of soldiers who graduated the Track program.  Each student picks a quote for their photo.  This one selected “Carpe Diem”.  

Love and honor, 
Kyle & Carissa

>Good morning world! I was one grumpy goose when I woke up at 620am today…on a Saturday!  But now I’ve run and my endorphins have me feeling much more chipper.

Does anyone else wake up in the morning and instantly try to think when they can get a nap?  Or am I weird?  

I had the pleasure to meet up with a Jeff Galloway training group in Fleming Island this morning.  A lot of them are running the Freedom 8k on Monday and we also had some media from supporting our race.  Since I am a Galloway-er myself I was right on pace with their run-walk system.

If you are not familiar with the Jeff Galloway training system let me tell you, because I am a HUGE fan.  I was able to run a marathon injury free and happy with his system.  Jeff is a former US Olympian and provides a way to run “injury free” with his RUN-WALK-RUN system.  Based on the race and your pace you alternate bouts of running and walking at prescribed.  

For my marathon I did 4 minutes of running to 1 minute of walking. It changed my running life.  It pushes back your “wall” and for me, specifically, it stretches out my hips that get so tight when I run.

Today we went approx 4.06 miles.  Our pace was very easy alternating running 45 seconds with 30 seconds of walking.  Manny, the founder of the Freedom Marathon, and I run the last mile straight through in about 8min.

If you are a beginner runner or somebody who wants a proven marathon/half marathon training plan, then I 100% suggest you take a look at Jeff Galloway’s plans.  His plans will get you to the finish line and you will be hooked!  He is also the official trainer of the RunDisney series.  He is a great guy who I have interviewed and worked with several times.  I’m a fan, Jeff!

With Jeff Galloway at the start of the Disney Marathon

 After my 4 miles it was breakfast time.  I was very proud of myself for ignoring the tiny, chocolate donuts the hotel buffet had and heading up to my room for a healthy breakfast.  I had Kashi Go Lean with the most amazing, sweetest blackberries and soy milk. 

Do you like my bowl?

I also had some coffee.  It was needed.

Love and running feet, 
Carissa & Kyle

>Friday night blues

Posted: May 28, 2011 in workouts

>Don’t be jealous of my awesome Friday night!  Thus far it has included a workout, a trip to WalMart, and a frozen dinner.  In the words of Charlie Sheen, “duh, winning.”

As I mentioned before, I’m in Jacksonville for the Green Cove Springs Freedom 8k.  Kyle has to work tomorrow, so I’m flying solo tonight.  I don’t mind. I’m happy to have work and to be able to do something I love.  I’m just a weeeee bit bored.

First on my busy Friday night agenda was a workout.

Here’s what I did:

  • sitting shoulder press
  • machine row
  • flat db chest press
  • db pullover
  • sitting shoulder press
  • db pullover
  • straight leg deadlift
  • flat db chest press
  • straight leg deadlift
  • machine row
  • skull crusher
  • e-z curl standing bicep curl
  • skull crusher
  • e-z curl standing bicep curl
  • leg press
  • single leg – leg press right
  • single leg- leg press left
  • seated hamstring curl
  • leg press drop set – do 15 drop 10lbs, do 12 drop 10lbs, do 10
  • leg lifts
  • plank hold
  • AND stretch!
I tried to go straight through with minimal rest to keep the intensity and my heart rate up.

I then headed to the grocery store to pick up some hotel room essentials.  Water, raw veggies and fruits to munch on, and coffee creamer.  I figured since I had a microwave in my room I could save some money and calories by choosing a frozen dinner.

Oh Single Creek…I miss your food.

The taste was….meah….okay.  I liked the tomatoes and asparagus.

I did get a treat.  Some sweet cherries.  

For the rest of the night I plan on missing my husband, blogging, and watching “Morning Glory” which I rented on ITunes.

How is your holiday weekend starting?

Love and freezer burn, 
Carissa & Kyle

>On the road again…

Posted: May 27, 2011 in races, travel


This morning I hit the road…..again…bright and early to head up to Jacksonville. 

Travel food

I’m excited to be a part of the Inuagural Green Cove Springs Freedom 8k.  The race is happening this Monday, Memorial Day, in Green Cove Springs and I will be the announcer!  Hello world!

I come from a military family, which makes me extra excited to be a part of this race series.  First of all I love races because they get people active and excited about fitness.  Second, this race supports an amazing cause- remembering and honoring our military and veterans.  In these races you are truly “running for a cause.”

My first stop this morning was to the set of “First Coast Living” to appear on the show and promote the race and its cause.  We chatted with the hosts and hopefully got some more people excited to come out to the race on Monday.

Then was lunch! Gotta re-fuel.  We went to Dave & Busters and I chowed down on a grilled chicken salad with tomatoes, blue cheese, and candied pecans.

In the afternoon I was privileged to get a tour of the Wounded Warrior Project’s headquarters here in Jacksonville.  Proceeds from the race will go to the WWP as well as a local Jacksonville war hero, Sgt. John Hayes.  I will share a whole blog about WWP later today.

Now I’m off to check out the Jacksonville Y and get my workout in…although I think a storm is blowing in.  Maybe I’ll wait a tick…

Stormy weather.

Love and freedom, 
Carissa & Kyle

>Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken

Posted: May 27, 2011 in recipes

>Today was a lazy day.  I have a lot of  too much fun last night with friends over for dinner and I had a chemistry final and 2 posts tests this am.  Around noon I crashed and I have been kinda wandering around the house in a haze all evening.  So for dinner I turned to an easy, healthy favorite, Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken!

I learned this recipe from Kyle’s healthy sister, Kelsey, and it has been in my arsenal ever since.  I cannot tell you how simple it is to make and versatile.  Once cooked the chicken can become part of a sandwich, wrap, quesadilla, salad, pizza, or eaten alone.  It’s also good for the junk food wars.  

Kyle & Kelsey

If buffalo wings are an indulgence of yours, then this will give you all the spicy tang of wings without the fat or fried stuff you don’t need!

Easy Peezy Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken

  • Place raw boneless skinless chicken breasts in the crock pot and cover with wings sauce.  I always choose Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wings sauce (look where it says wings. This will give you a less intense flavor than just hot sauce).
  • Cook on high 3-4 hours.  It cooks relatively fast.
  • Shred cooked chicken and then let remain in the crock pot to soak up the sauce for about 10 minutes.
That’s ALL folks!  

I had mine plain tonight (some blue cheese snuck on top) with a side of brussel sprouts and a tomato salad.  The salad was another home-grown tomato from a classmate of mine.  The flavor was out of this world so I added some basil and that was it.  

Kyle toasted a whole wheat tortilla and topped it with the chicken and some Wisconsin blue cheese.

Do you have an easy, go-to healthy meal?  Please share!

Love and wing sauce, 
Carissa & Kyle

>Edward Jazz Hands

Posted: May 26, 2011 in Uncategorized


Yesterday we had some wonderful friends coming over for dinner (more about that to come) so naturally I wanted our home to look spectacular!

I’m usually pretty really OCD with the inside cleaning.  But the outside…and the yard…that’s a whole differernt ball of wax (psst- does wax come in ball form?)  I just forget about the outside.  Seriously.  I will notice something needs tending to, but then I drive my car into the garage and don’t think about it again.

I’m an adult.  I’m a homeowner and I function pretty well in most areas of society.  But I’m not good at yard work.  Even when I put in the effort, I’m still sub-par.  I’m sure I will learn as I get older, but right now I am remedial bad. There are a lot of other things I’d like to do with my few days off than weed, hedge, trim, mow, plant, ect…

So around 4pm yesterday it dawned on me that our front hedges were embarrassing!  ðŸ™‚  They were not neat, uniform, and orderly.  They were just wild.  So I trimmed them!

Half trimmed- half not.

Yes, I Carissa did yard work.  I put on my purple gloves and got the big scissor things my Mom’s friend George got us for Christmas and I started snipping.  At first it was fun, like chopping a big salad.  I was just snipping away.  I felt like singing that song from “Wizard of Oz” where they all get cleaned up when they first arrive in Oz.  “Clip, clip here.  Clip, clip, there….That’s how we work the day a way in the Merry Old Land of Oz.”

Then it got hot.  And less fun.  But I carried on.  I trimmed and trimmed.

Then I stood back to admire my Edward Scissorhands quality work.  

I felt proud of myself. I tackled something new to make my home look better.  I don’t think I”ll be ask to join the guild for professional pruners anytime soon, but I’d say I did a “fair” job.

Edward JazzHands

What new task did you accomplish this week?

Love and Johnny Depp, 

Carissa & Kyle

>Grilled Fajita Pizza

Posted: May 26, 2011 in recipes


Even though it’s always warm here in Orlando, the grill calls my name much more in the summer months. (I don’t think its technically summer here but its 95 and that trumps any equinox).  

The grilled flavors are something I crave when its hot.

Last Sunday, Kyle and I made a summer favorite for us…a Grilled Fajita Pizza.

Since I’m the owner of this blog I get a little creative liberty…there is NO cheese on this “pizza” so I guess its not a pizza.  But the name just sounded good. You could add cheese, but then you would be adding calories and fat. Trust me, these flavors are so strong you don’t need queso.

We marinated chicken breast and flank steak for several hours in a mesquite lime marinade with an actual lime squeezed in.

I made guacamole to serve as the base for the pizza. Hello healthy fats!  I mix a ripe avocado, chopped tomato, lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and a dash of hot sauce. Its green heaven!
Kyle fired up the grill. Our poor sad grill that needs replacing. Our poor, MEAN grill!!  Kyle burned 4 fingers!  Seriously.

He grilled the meats as well as sliced peppers and onions and the whole wheat tortillas. We sprayed the veggies and tortilla with Pam prior to grilling.

Then it’s assembly time.  Tortilla + guacamole + peppers y onions + meat + jalapeno = success.

Finished product with okra on the side.

I really recommend giving this recipe a try.  It’s perfect summer food.

What do you crave in the summer?

Love and good grill marks,
Carissa & Kyle