Archive for July, 2011

I got a Garmin!

Posted: July 30, 2011 in cardio, races

Yes!  I finally got a Garmin!  My running superpowers have been optimized!

I am a saver and not a spender, so it took me a long while to finally get a Garmin.  I was using the RunKeeper app on my phone, but now that I’m “thinking” about running a sub-2 hour half I needed something more accurate for my interval/tempo work.  Kyle, who hates cardio, even supported my Garmin purchase.  What a sweet husband! (I got it on Amazon for $130 with free shipping)

After some research I went with the Garmin 305 with the heart rate monitor.  I looked at the newer model, however I didn’t need the extras that it offered and I had read so many great reviews about the 305 that I stuck with it.  I’m very happy to have a heart rate monitor.  I want to learn more about how heart rate affects your training, stamina, weight loss, etc so this is a good way to start! For those of you not familiar, the Garmin Forerunner is a GPS device that tracks your pace and location while you run. 

I was so excited to run when I went to bed last night.  Enter DOMS.  Delayed onset muscle soreness.  Kyle killed me in a workout yesterday so I was quite sore.  

After a leisurely breakfast of coffee and a cereal bowl with Kashi Go Lean, Honey Nut Cheerios (free sample), chia seeds, raisins, and almond milk…I was ready to go!

Good things: I had my Garmin and I was ready to run
Bad things:  It was 94 degrees. It was sunny.  It was 94 degrees.

Muy caliente.  

Oh well.  Me and the Garmin were off.  I settled on a 3 mile trip today.  

I “think” I’m running a half marathon as I said before.  I usually try to do one 1/2 marathon each fall/winter.  I’ve never run for time, but I’m really motivated to do a sub 2 hour half.  Problem is that I work so much on weekends in the fall and winter that I’m having trouble finding a race to do.  I’m in no way complaining…I LOVE my work especially hosting races.  However that is why right now I’m training for a “phantom” half marathon.  There is one with 1st weekend of November that seems possible and if that doesn’t work I’m into 2012.  Thoughts?

Today’s run was 3.01 miles with a pace of 9:16.  Not too shabby for me!

Now I’m off to do a little studying, couponing, and then work.

Do you have a Garmin?  If not what device do you train with?

Don’t forget to enter our LaraBar giveway before Monday night to get 5 Larabar(s) mailed to you!

Love and laps,
Carissa & Kyle


Larabar Giveaway

Posted: July 29, 2011 in giveaway, healthy products

You made it to Friday! Huzzah!  I don’t have class this month on Friday so I had planned to make some overnight crock-pot oatmeal….but…..I remembered that plan as I was laying in bed last night.  Whoops.

So I had a “breakfast of the year” again; grapefruit, coffee, and quinoa with berries, protein, and almond milk.  Have you tried quinoa for breakfast yet?

Now onto today’s news:  A LARABAR GIVEAWAY!!!

When I started my quest to say goodbye to gluten I had the hardest time finding quick, healthy eats.  My friend Kim, who has celiac disease, says you shouldn’t eat anything that doesn’t require a utensil.  I agree, but sometimes on busy days I need a quick go-to food source.  

My usual protein bar was out.  Then I found Larabars.  Perfectly portable and perfectly gluten free.

What I love most about Larabars is that they are made from real, whole, natural ingredients.  Take my favorite, carrot cake, it’s made of: dates, almonds, walnuts, raisins, pineapple, unsweetened coconut, cinnamon, and extra virgin coconut oil.  See – I know what all of those things are!

They are vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and soy free.  It’s basically like nuts and some fruit.  I’m down with that.

Depending on the flavor the protein content varies.  Carrot cake has 3g of protein, but 5g of fiber.  That 20% of your recommended daily value.

They are natural and tasty, but I wouldn’t use them in a “meal replacement” setting.  I typically eat them as an energy booster when I’m at work or somewhere and I won’t be able to eat for a while.  They make full size bars and mini bars.  I prefer the mini bars.

Guess what?  Larabar is giving one lucky reader 5 FREE BARS!  Oh yes- GIVEAWAY time!

Coming to your home?  Maybe.

They have a ton of flavors from sweet, to nutty, to fruity.  Like I said I like carrot cake, PB & J, and apple pie!  They have some new flavors too like blueberry muffin and chocolate chip cookie dough.  Mmmmm.

Here’s how to enter the giveaway.  You can do 1 or all of these options and each will count as a different entry.
1. Post a comment here
2. Post a comment on our facebook page.
3. Tweet us.  Send a tweet like, “Just signed up for the Larabar giveaway on Fit2Flex @CarissaAnneB”  You can re-comment your tweet or I will to count it as an entry.
4. Finally for those of you less into social media you can email us that you want to win!

You must enter my Monday at Midnight (8/1) and I will announce the winner on Tuesday!

Love and Larabar, 
Carissa & Kyle

Homemade Pesto

Posted: July 28, 2011 in garden, recipes

Last night my dinner was green.  Very, very Dr. Seuss green.  It would make a fantastic St. Patrick’s Day dinner.

I went to Whole Foods with $20 and only $20 to spend.  I usually avoid that place, because I want to buy everything including $20 of just prepared foods!  Am I alone here?

My $20 didn’t make it very far.  I was craving roasted veggies for dinner so I got organic broccolini and asparagus.  I also got a Kombucha drink.  At the prepared foods counter I got some lentil salad and a kale/avocado salad.  Finally I stumbled across some tofu noodles in the refrigerated area.  I love pasta, but I don’t eat it a lot at dinner because of the carbs and gluten.  This “pasta” had 25 calories and no carbs.  I was excited!

$19.63 later I headed home.  My lentil salad and kale was bland.  It tasted just like health food.  That was a bummer.  Whole Foods usually makes a killer kale salad.  This one just needed more liquid and spice.

My 2 green veggies and an overflowing basil bush at home led to my dinner inspiration.  Homemade pesto with roasted veggies, chicken, and tofu noodles!

The homemade pesto was much easier to make than I anticipated.  I didn’t have walnuts, so I used pecans which worked fine.

Easy Pesto Sauce


  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

  • Directions

    1. In a food processor, blend together basil leaves, nuts, garlic, and cheese. Pour in oil slowly while still mixing. Stir in salt and pepper.

The veggies were roasted in EVOO at 400 for 30 minutes.  The chicken was sauteed in EVOO as well.

Then came the noodles.  Oh I was so excited about them.  A delicious pasta dinner….yes!

I assembled my green gaga plate and took a bite.  If I could enter a “whomp whomp waaaa” sound effect here I would.  And a sad face.  They were not good!  Not good!  The texture was so strange.  It was like you couldn’t bite through them.  I just had to swallow them whole.  Who wants to do that?

Now that’s a green plate!

I re-read the package and they came pre-cooked so I didn’t mess them up that way.  I guess I might not have an affinity for tofu noodles.  There is another brand that the “Hungry Girl” uses a lot and I might give those a final try.  I also got the fettuccine and maybe the spaghetti won’t be as off putting.

The pesto, chicken, and veggies were divine however!  I’m also proud of myself for using my mini food processor.  I used it once last summer to make chimichurri sauce and sliced a good chunk of my finger off.  Ouch!  So I have been timid every since.  Thank you pesto for giving me courage.

Have you tried tofu noodles?  Do you like them?
Love and basil,
Carissa & Kyle

We love our clients and sometimes we like to brag about them!  Our first client spotlight was on the awesome Adam.  Be sure to check out his brag too.

Today we are showing the love for a husband and wife duo of Fit2Flex fans- Pati and Craig. 

Pati has been working with Kyle for 5 years.  She was instrumental in bringing Kyle and his high intensity training to Olympia High School’s teachers.  He travels there twice a week for a boot camp style workout with Olympia’s finest educators.  Check out Kyle on Olympia’s TV here. (it’s not great quality- sorry!)

Pati is a chemistry teacher and knows first hand the importance of a kick butt workout!  She has a fierce body to show for it! (and I’m sure I have embarrassed her by saying that but we’re proud!)  She does full body training twice and week with Kyle and gathers for the teacher boot camp too.  Craig spends time with the “Gym Reaper” too!  He usually sees Kyle twice a week and has been a dedicated client for 2 years.

What we love about Pati and Craig is not only their love of fitness, but their passion for living an active lifestyle.  This week they are vacationing in Tahoe and got to work those muscles on a white water rafting trip.

We believe fitness extends past the gym and into life.  Being stronger can help you enjoy life more and have more energy to do so!

We also want to thank Pati and Craig for sharing their love of Fit2Flex!  We appreciate all you do!

Love and awesome clients,
Kyle & Carissa

Former Client Spotlights:

WIAW- Turkey Albondigas Soup

Posted: July 27, 2011 in recipes, wiaw

Welcome to another edition of What I Ate Wednesday!  You made it halfway through the week!

Today’s WIAW includes a quick food log and a recipe perfect for a winter’s day.  I’ll explain. 
Catch up on past WIAW: version one, two, three, four.

WIAW eats:

– 7am dry cinnamon chex (or as my friend Kim says “little bits of crack”) and coffee

My out-the-door eats

-8am Berry, spinach, chia seed smoothie
1030am – 1 rice cake with natural PB
1130am- 1 rice cake with natural PB (I split this one meal into 2)
2pm- Market Street Cafe lunch with Amber.  Grilled chicken, spinach, blue cheese, walnut salad with a grilled tortilla
6pm- Grapefruit
730pm- Turkey Albondigas soup
9pm- oh boy- more cinnamon chex. That’s embarrassing.

Now let’s talk soup.  Yes, I made soup.  In July.  In a heatwave.

Kyle & I love watching The Next Food Network Star.  Love!  One of the contestants, Susie, made a tasty looking soup with a funny name a few weeks ago.  Turkey Albondigas soup. Albondigas = meatballs en Espanol.  
It was turkey meatballs in a soup with veggies and Mexican flavors.  I wanted to try it.  And I’m  not patient.  So I bring you soup in July. 🙂  Maybe save this recipe for December.

Turkey Albondigas Soupadapted from Eating Well


  • 1 pound Jenny-O Extra Lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3T diced green chilies
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes (use fresh)
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can rinsed, drained black beans
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice (I omitted this for dinner and will add tomorrow)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

    1. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Place turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin, 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Mix gently until combined. Shape the mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls and transfer to the baking sheet. Chill in the fridge for no less than 20 minutes.
    2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven (or large pan) over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrots and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add peppers, tomatoes, chiles, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth, increase heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
    3. Carefully submerge the meatballs in the simmering soup; return to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes. Add rice/beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in lime juice. Garnish with cilantro.

Perfect for a winter’s July day!

Is there any winter food you eat all year long?

Love and mittens, 
Carissa & Kyle

So I’m thinking of starting a new thing…it’s called “Thinking Tuesday”.  I’ve got some things for you to think about today.  Maybe I won’t have them every Tuesday, but today I do!

I have been in my Principles of Nutrition class for a whopping 2 days! (psst- got an A in BioChem)  In that time I have learned several pieces of random info that I thought was interesting and worth sharing.  Our professor, Dr. Betty, is very intelligent and well-credentialed.  She helped design food for astronauts, specifically the butterscotch sundae that was eaten on the moon.

Sometimes I think that if we thought more about what we were eating and why, then we would eat better.

Here’s is your first edition of Thinking Tuesday’s “Food for Thought”:

  • The stomach of a 6-month-old infant is the same size as an adult’s stomach.
  • Eating fresh pineapple, papaya, or kiwi prior to a meal will help breakdown the protein you eat.
  • The word health comes from the root words “holy” and “whole”.
  • Tartrazine is a yellow food coloring used in cheesy chips and boxed macaroni and cheese.  It is a derivative of coal tar and has been linked to increased hyperactivity in children.
  • Dimethylpolysiloxane.  It’s an anti-foaming agent added to fast food chicken nuggets to keep help the different ground up chicken parts stick together.
  • Asparagus is the #1 veggie you should be eating! It has iron, sulfur, and folate.
  • Ground beef used in fast food restaurants has been treated with ammonia. This is gross and it denatures the protein in the meat.  Meaning you don’t get the benefit of the protein from what you just ate. 
  • At any time you have 3-4 pounds of bacteria (good and bad) living in your gut.
  • 70% of your immune system resides in your small intestine.
  • We should all take probiotics.
And finally:
  • You have as many neurons surrounding your intestines as you do in your brain.  So that raises the question….which one is your “first brain”?  Which one controls the other?
Think about it.  
Did you enjoy Thinking Tuesday?
Love and deep thoughts, 
Carissa & Kyle

Not a Pinkberry Fan

Posted: July 25, 2011 in date night, dining out

Happy late Monday!  I worked all weekend so I feel like I’ve been playing catch-up all day.  If you’re playing “catch-up” too here are some weekend blogs you might have missed:
My 7 Links
Shortcut Baked Ziti
Proud Moments in Fitness

Last night Kyle and I enjoyed Sunday dinner out together at Anatolia.  It’s labeled as a Turkish restaurant, which I think is intimidating.  Months ago I told Kyle that I wanted to go to a “Turkish place”.  He declined.  Then I got wiser and told him that I wanted to try a new “Mediterranean” place.  He accepted.  Great success!

Kyle and I both love mediterranean flavors and I was excited to see what Anatolia had to offer. I was also excited that I had a coupon.  Duh winning!

We started our meal with complementary black olives and cabbage.  We ordered 2 cold appetizers.  Kyle picked hummus and I picked the SOSLU PATLICAN- fried eggplant dip.  I LOVE eggplant.  I never attempt to cook it at home.  Do you have any good/easy eggplant recipes for me, you awesome readers, you?

Both dips came with “fat boy” bread.  Well maybe they didn’t call it “fat boy” bread?  The waiter said it was “fat” something.  I think technically it was lavo bread.  It was warm, doughy, and delicious.

We also shared a salad.  I can’t resist ordering salad when I eat out.  I really love salad.  This one came with big chunks of feta and a minty tabouli on top.

For my entree I picked the KARIDES SOTE.  It was a shrimp sauté with a tomato based sauce and lots of veggies.  It came with rice or bulgar and I excitedly picked bulgar.  You can’t always get such complex, healthy carbs when dining out!  My shrimp was a little overcooked, but the sauce was flavorful and it was a great leftover lunch mixed with the bulgar.

Very large shrimp indeed.

Kyle went with what seemed like traditional chicken kabobs, but they were packed with flavor. Technically it was called, SOSLU PATLICAN, but we can just call it awesome!  He also scored some grilled veggies, rice, and potatoes.  Carb city? yes, yes it was.

After dinner we made a highly anticipated FRO YO stop!  For those of you who are on my Twitter or Facebook, you may have heard my whining about my desire to have fro yo this past week.  

When I got a BOGO coupon for Pinkberry, I just knew all my chilly dreams were coming true.  
FALSE.  Pinkberry isn’t good.   
And it’s hard for me to say that about a place with “pink” in the name.  It’s just tooooo tart and weird tasting.  You look like vanilla. Why don’t you taste like vanilla?  

You can throw all the toppings on it you want…but it’s not good.  My friends Alexis and Chris had warned me, but I didn’t listen…no…..Menchie’s was 1/2 mile away and did I listen?  Nooooooo….because I had a coupon.  It’s a sad story really.  And I don’t want to talk about it anymore.  Well wait- I do want to say one more thing.  Have you ever been the the Pinkberry website?  That song that plays.  Really?  Not necessary.  Ok- and scene.**

Weird white NON vanilla yogurt.

Next week I work a double on Sunday again so Kyle and I are planning another Sunday dinner out.  We’re thinking Italian?  Any ideas?

What “popular” restaurant do you dislike?

Love and icky yogurt,
Carissa & Kyle
psst- giveaway coming tomorrow- check back in! 🙂

Heat Wave!

Posted: July 24, 2011 in cat pictures, coupons, dining out, garden
Hello heat wave!  I think no matter where you are in America, you sweated at some point today. Kinda gross but I’ve been sweating all day!  My Sunday was spent at work from 8-330. I work outside. I don’t need to tell you that it was painful.

Even though my day started early, I left my house even earlier. Why?  Couponing

 I guess I’m an addict. I went to Walgreens to get some free hair ties and toothbrushes. Do you know they didn’t have any stock of either?  What?  Way to go Wags. I was kinda bummed, so I crossed the street to CVS hoping to score some free swag. Well I did. Or Kyle did. I got 2 large bottles of contact solution and made 11 cents. Score! 

Like I said, today was a hot and long day at work.  But since I’m back in school full-time, work is always a welcome bank account booster.  

Kyle got in on the sun and sweat action too with a little re-do in our yard!  He pulled up some very ugly bushes and replaced them with something I call “swirly bushes”.  Does anyone know how to properly care for them??? 

He also trimmed the bushes and apparently he did it way better than me!

Mulch and plants added by Kyle.

Kyle and I did plan a little married-couple fun tonight.  We are using a gift certificate for Anatolia in Sand Lake.  It specializes in mediterranean/Turkish flavors which we love.  Hello Olives! I’m excited to see what new dishes I can try.  

I also have a BOGO coupon for Pinkberry so depending on how much I eat (haha) I may finish the evening with a sweet treat!

Next week should be a fun one. I finally get to start learning about food in school.  I start Principles of Nutrition. Plus I have a fun giveaway coming your way this week- stay tuned! I’m also going to think about what half marathon I may run this fall. Thoughts?

Thanks for reading.  Love, Polie.

Time to shower…yes please!

Love and hot olives,
Carissa & Kyle

Shortcut Baked Ziti

Posted: July 24, 2011 in recipes

Thursday was a busy day.  I had my BioChem final (insert happy dance here!), I blogged, bought the new BOGO deals at Publix, caught up on the Real World/Road Rules Challenge, and had to work.  Yes, all of those thing were necessities.

I did so much in the afternoon that I didn’t leave myself enough time to make the dinner I had planned. I wanted to make a baked ziti….however…I ended up only having enough time for a shortcut baked ziti.  It still tasted great and can be a go-to quick recipe in your repertoire!

Why shortcut?  I used frozen onion and mushrooms!  Eek!  They were faster and cheaper than fresh today.  I also used jarred sauce!  Mega EEK!  I seriously was running out of time and knew I couldn’t make a marinara from scratch.  I always keep a jar on hand for time-emergencies like this.

Short-Cut Baked Ziti

– Cook pasta according to box
– In skillet sautee diced FROZEN onions and FROZEN mushrooms with garlic and Italian spices. (it was so Sandra Lee of me!)

– Brown Jenny-O Extra Lean turkey breast
– Mix 16oz. ricotta cheese with fresh parsley, 2T egg whites, and salt and pepper
– Layer pasta, turkey, ricotta, and sauce.  Top with cheese if desired

– Bake at 350 for 25 minutes

I’m not a huge fan of jarred sauce (extra sugar) but I was in a pinch and I needed a meal that would carry on through leftovers.  Better than a Big Mac!

Post BioChem Celebratory Moscato!

What’s your favorite short-cut meal to make?

Love and freezer burn, 
Carissa & Kyle

Other notable Italian eats – Spaghetti squash, easy chicken parmesan 

Feeling Pride through Fitness

Posted: July 22, 2011 in motivation, races

There are few feelings in life that can rival true pride.  Not boastful pride, but the pride you feel when you work hard for something and achieve it.

The kind of pride that makes you hold your shoulders and head a little higher.  The kind that wipes away your insecurities and makes you feel limitless.  The kind that just feels good on the inside. If you’ve felt it…then you know what I’m talking about.

For me, fitness brings about magical moments where I feel that pride.

It can be something monumental like finishing a marathon OR something simple like pushing through the last set of a grueling exercise OR even showing up to the gym on a day you’re tired.  It can be as simple as avoiding cake at an office work party or taking the stairs.

Every little fitness victory gives you pride. Think of these little victories as coins. Each little victory goes in a bank and day by day it grows.

One day you realize that you’re so much stronger/thinner/confident then when you started out.  How’d you get there?  Fitness.  For me, fitness goes way beyond a physical appearance.  It gives me focus, it gives me energy, and it gives me pride.

Here are some of our proudest fitness moments:

  • Hitting a PR in the Holiday Half Marathon (2:06)
  • Competing and placing in natural body building show
  • Having Kyle push me to a 5k PR (26:30) in his first 5k
  • Throwing away my “fat day” jeans from college
  • Enjoying and looking forward to clean eating
  • Appearing on Home Shopping Network as a Fitness Expert 
  • Being able to share our knowledge and know that it impacts people
I like pride….when you earn it.  It feels good on. 
What have you done that makes you proud?  
Love and brags,

Carissa & Kyle