5 Spring Veggies To Love

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Happy Friday! I am excited for this week’s Friday Five post with Cynthia, Mar & Courtney  it’s all about Veggies!

DC_linkup

As you all know, I am a vegetarian so veggies are a big part of my life. Perhaps I am not the only one who gets in a veggie rut and tends to buy and eat the same veggies week after week? I’ve been consciously attempting to try new veggies and expand my diet a little.

 Spring Veggies|Friday 5

Here’s what I am planning on eating lots of this spring:

Spring veggies|microgreens|Friday Five

1. Micro Greens- How did I not even know these existed until last week?! Yep I’ve been back to Whole Foods 3 times to buy more. I’m loving them in salads and wraps and I can be sure you will be seeing some Meatless Monday recipes with these in them very soon.

2. Collard Leaves- Also new to me! I’ve had collard greens before but never ate them whole and raw before this week. Stay tuned for fun Meatless Monday recipe with these next week.

Collard Leaves|5 Spring veggies

3. Radishes- I have been seeing these everywhere and they just scream spring to me. I was never a fan of them in the past and I am determined to whip them into something yummy.

radishes|Spring Veggies|Friday 5

4. Strawberries- So technically a fruit but I am putting them in! I eat these all year around but they taste way sweeter and better in the spring and summer. They also cost a lot less this time of year. I could eat them by the bowlful everyday.

strawberries|veggies to love

5. Grilled Veggies- It is rare that we grill in the winter and I can’t wait until we start firing up the grill in the next few weeks. My hubs is really territorial about “his” grill but sometimes he will do this for me. Yum! My favorite way to eat them. I did a whole post last summer on how to grill them and then make them into meals all week long.

Grilled Veggies|Spring Veggies

Ok now I am hungry! What veggies are you looking forward this Spring?

 Exciting news! Coming next week:  I am teaming up with some of my fave fitness friends to bring you an April Ab challenge you won’t want to miss. #RockYourCore. We’ve got recipes. We’ve got videos.  We’ve got cardio. We’ve got so much more than crunches. We’ve got prizes. We have everything you need to:

Rock your core|April Abs Challenge  Rock your core

Stay tuned for details to come! In the meantime, your are going to want to follow these fitnessistas on IG so you don’t miss a thing. #RockYourCore

 

 

 
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Welcome Runs, BRF’s & Coffee

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This past weekend we had our Moms Run This Town Spring Welcome Run. What’s a Welcome Run? A chance to come out and meet “the group” in non threatening way. It certainly didn’t feel too “springlike” this morning but that didn’t stop us. After the winter we’ve had, ladies couldn’t wait to get out again.

Our chapter has been growing so quickly the past few months that it is impossible to know everyone by name or sight anymore. We’ve noticed that many ladies join our group and then don’t come out on runs or attend events. I’ve also heard that some newer members were reluctant to join us because they were worried about being too slow or too fast or not knowing anyone etc. Well we can’t let that happen!

MRTT|welcome run|running groups

Some of the other chapters in our area started having Welcome Runs with great success so we figured we’d give it a try as well. We had our 3rd Welcome Run last weekend and had a huge turnout. We organized pace groups ranging from 8 mm to walkers and everything in between. We even had a few stroller runners. This gave everyone an opportunity to comfortably place themselves with a built in group to run with.

MRTT|Welcome run|running clubMRTT welcome runMRTT WElcome run

When we first started 2 years ago, I knew everyone by name and that was great. Because we usually have runs at all times of day and evening, it’s hard to meet people who run at different times and days. Our group has grown into a wonderful “family” with so many new friends. Encouraging newer members to come out on the weekend and meet seasoned members allows them to see that we do have runners of all paces and distances. I’ve also heard that newer members are afraid to come out and join for fear that we may be “crazy, intense exercise freaks!?” Well there may be a few of those too! LOL.

We set up coffee and breakfast at Panera afterwards which gave us even more time to chit chat and get to know each other.

MRTT Welcome runMRTT welcome run

I was overwhelmed by the turnout for the run and all of our wonderful new members who came out. I’ve made some of my best friends through our group and I hope that my other mamas feel the same. What made this run especially meaningful for me was that it was my first group run back since my injury this winter. There was no place I’d rather be! Here’s to hoping you have your special group of BRF’s to run with as well.

linking up with Anne Marie and Diatta

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Smokey Mac n Cheese Stuffed Peppers w BBQ Tofu

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Happy Meatless Monday! So glad that you are joining me and Tina to check out all of the great recipes this week. Although it’s officially spring, it really doesn’t feel like around here. Sometimes you are just craving some comfort food and carbs. I came up with this twist on a classic Mac n Cheese sort of by accident and it was so good I just had to share.

Meatless Monday|vegetarian|link ups|healthy

Meatless Monday|Mac n Cheese| BBQ tofu|Vegetarian|GF

I used a brown rice pasta to make it GF friendly but would work well with any pasta of your choice. I stuffed the Smokey Mac N Cheese into a Green Pepper for a little color and also prepared some in a traditional bowl. Your choice! It was so yummy both ways. The BBQ tofu on top really kicks up the protein and makes it a complete meal. Hope you enjoy!

BBQ tofu|Mac n Cheese|peppers|Meatless Monday|vegetarian|GF

5.0 from 2 reviews
Smokey Mac n Cheese Stuffed Peppers w BBQ Tofu
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A smokey, cheesy protein packed comfort food meal for the whole family.
Author:
Recipe type: Meatless Meal
Ingredients
  • 8 oz bag of pasta of your choice (I used brown rice rotini)
  • for the roux:
  • 2 tbl of flour
  • 2 tbl butter
  • 2¼ C of warm skim milk
  • ½ tsp of smoked paprika
  • pepper
  • squirt of siracha
  • Cheese sauce:
  • 8 oz smoked Gouda-shredded
  • 4 oz sharp cheddar-shredded
  • For tofu:
  • 1 package of extra firm tofu-drained and diced into bite size pieces
  • ½ C spicy BBQ sauce (I used Stubbs)
  • 2 large Green or Red peppers (cleaned and kept whole)
Instructions
  1. Pre heat oven to 375
  2. Prepare pasta as directed and set aside
  3. Parboil pepper for 3-5 min allow to cool (can be done in advance)
  4. Bake tofu for 25 min stirring halfway (can be done in advance)
  5. Meanwhile, prepare roux by melting butter in skillet, add flour and whisk together
  6. Add warm milk and whisk until smooth.
  7. Allow to thicken while stirring about 15 m
  8. Add spices and cheese stir to combine
  9. Add in pasta and combine
  10. Stuff cheese mixture into pepper or casserole dish
  11. Bake for 20 min until top browns
  12. Add tofu back on top and bake 5 more min

If you haven’t entered my Yoplait $15 paypal giveaway yet, you can here

What are you craving this week?

Happy Blogiversary & Skirt Sports Giveaway

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I can’t believe it’s been a year since I hit send on my first blog post. 195 posts and 9,500 comments later I have learned so much and discovered a whole new world I never knew existed. When I first started blogging, I never thought anyone would be interested in what I had to say and worried I wouldn’t have enough to write about. Who knew how it would change how I spend my days? I’ve “met” so many inspiring people through my blog and have even had the chance to meet up with some in person. Mostly, I’ve been having lots of fun!

Happy Birthday to me|blogging

I really appreciate all of the support, guidance and feedback I’ve received from all of you. I want to give something back to you as a way of thanking you for reading, commenting and interacting with me. As you may know, I am an ambassador for Skirt Sports. You have most likely seen my numerous photos of their skirts, jacket, and pants. I truly love, love their new spring line and want to share some of my favorites with you.

Gemini Jacket|Skirt Sports|winter wear|runningGemini jacket|review|Skirt Sports

Did you know that Skirt Sports has lots more than running skirts?

This spring I am all about the Redemption Capri

day in the life|fitblogger|mom|skirt sports

Redemption Capri-Escape

Redemption Capri|skirt sports|spring

Redemption Capri-exotic

I am loving the new spring prints. Who wants to wear boring black pants anymore right? With the winter we’ve had, I just want to sport around in all the great bright colors. I’ve put them through spin class, hot yoga, running, strength training and serious power shopping tests.

What I love:

-No chafing or rubbing what so ever

-Stay up on my waist

-Hit mid calf for a flattering look

-Mildly compressive fabric feels supportive on the leg and glute muscles

-Zipper pocket in back to hold keys or phone

-Spring colors (and black)

I find the Redemption Capri to fit true to size with other major brand sizing.

I don’t really have anything negative to say except that I wish there were more prints!

Skirt Sports|Ambassador|running|skirts

My friends at Skirt Sports are helping me celebrate my Blog Anniversary by raffling off a pair of Redemption Capris.

Simply enter the Rafflecopter below

Just can’t wait for “Redemption”? Use my code for 20% off of anything on the site (SSCMR20)

Wait there’s more! Skirt Sports is having a virtual race on April 18th. You can find out all the info here  When you register, you receive a bib#, goody bag, Fearless Run tank, and $25 gift card. Even better-you can use the discount code above to register for the virtual. I hope I “see” you there!

With the winter we’ve had and the running injury I am coming back from, I am looking for “Redemption”.

What are you looking for this spring?

Linking up with Nicole

Fit n Fashionable Friday
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Whip Up A Healthy Banana Split with Yoplait + Giveaway

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You have probably heard me mention my craving for something sweet everyday. Although I eat a pretty healthy, well balanced vegetarian diet, I often crave something in the evening or late afternoon to satisfy my sweet tooth. I’ve written other posts about my love for Yoplait Greek Yogurt so when I was offered the chance to review their newer Yoplait Greek 100 Whips, I was excited to test them out.

Yoplait Greek 100 Whips are offered in 8 yummy flavors including my favorites: Strawberry, Black Cherry and Vanilla Cupcake-oh yes you had me at cupcake! The whipped variety has a lighter, airy feel similar to that of a mousse.

Yoplait|Greek|yogurt|100 calorie|whips|Vanilla cupcake

Ok so that got me thinking…follow me here. If Whips are like mousse and mousse is a dessert than they are kind of like…ice cream! I froze the yogurt and made it even better and voila! Banana Splits! Seriously yes a game changer!

Yoplait Greek 100 whips banana splits

This is super easy to make. Just take your favorite flavor of Yoplait Greek 100 whips and either freeze or use as is. I used strawberry above. Split a banana and use as the bed of your snack. Add on your yogurt and any other fruit you choose. I sprinkled on some granola for a little crunch. A satisfying, healthy snack for about 300 calories that your whole family will LOVE.

Yoplait Greek 100 whips are a perfect blend of protein and carbs to satisfy your hunger in between meals as a snack or a healthy dessert. Most varieties have between 9-12 grams of protein and around 15 grams of carbs. I’ve been eating them as a pre workout snack as well.

Don’t take my word for it though. If you are a Publix shopper you can download a coupon for a free yogurt here.

 Yoplait would love for all of you try out the Greek 100 Whips.  Please enter below to win a $15 paypal credit so that you can try them out for yourself. There will be one winner who will receive the $15 credit.

(This post is sponsored by Yoplait Greek 100 Whips! but as always the content and opinions expressed here are my own.)

Have you tried Yoplait Greek 100 Whips? Which flavor looks good to you?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Put A Better Spin On Cycle Class

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This winter I’ve been hitting a ton of spin classes! As a former spin instructor myself, it is sometimes hard to take off the teacher hat in class. I often look around and notice some of the other bikers and want to go over and give them some tips on how to improve their experience by making a few little tweaks. Here a few of my tips to improve your Indoor Cycle Experience.

spin|cycle|tips

 

1. Stretch- Treat cycle class as you would any other vigorous exercise. Performing some dynamic stretches before class can help warm your muscles up. Calf muscles, glutes, neck and shoulders can get very tight during class and a short warm up of those muscles really helps.

2. Adjust your bike properly- Having an instructor help you set your bike up correctly really makes for a much more enjoyable experience. If your hips are rocking back and forth while you pedal, your seat is too high. If you cannot fully extend your knee, the seat is too low. Not only can this be uncomfortable, having your seat at the wrong height can cause your knees to ache. Having the handle bars too high or too low can put too much pressure on your back, neck, shoulders or wrists leading to muscle strain.

This short video done by Spinning.com illustrates the proper set up:

When I first started, I wrote down my settings so I could easily set up  my bike next class.

3. Clip in-Most cycling classes have bikes than can accommodate cycling shoes with clips. “Clipping in” allows you to push and pull more efficiently and achieve a smoother pedal stroke. I’ve heard people say that they are afraid to clip in. It’s pretty hard to fall off a stationary bike and clipping in will actually make you more stable.

4. Posture Check-If your class has a mirror, use it!

-Shoulders first-they should be relaxed and down instead of up by your ears.

-Hips should be back over the saddle instead of over your feet. This also allows you to work your glutes and hamstrings and take the weight off of your knees. Having your hips back also takes the weight off of your wrists.

-Hands should be relaxed and only have a slight grasp of the bars thus alleviating neck and shoulder tightness.

-Elbows should have a slight bend and rest gently on the handle bar.

5.Heart Rate- Even if you have not idea about heart rate zones, it can really helpful to wear a heart rate monitor to class. Many bikes have a display that will sync and show your heart rate. It is interesting to see the changes in heart rate while you are doing hills, sprints and recovery. Getting an idea of where you are helps you track intensity and recovery throughout the class.

Post class stretch-It is really important to do a proper stretch post cycling. Your calves and quads will thank you!

These are just a few easy tweaks to help make your spin class more enjoyable and more efficient.

Have you ever wanted to go “fix” someone in class? Have any tips for me?

IMG_4660Wow workout link up

Linking up with Ann Marie and Diatta

Warm Rainbow Salad Bowl-Meatless Monday

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Happy Monday! I have so much to tell you today! Most importantly, I got to meet my co host, Tina  

Deborah Brooks|Tina Muir|Meatless Monday

What a sweetie! She was in town to run the Rock n Roll Half Marathon. I will let her tell you all about it but spoiler alert: she crushed it!! We certainly need to cook together next time we get together. How great would that be? Please join us with your Meatless Monday recipe and do check out all of the great recipes below. That’s how we all grow!

Meatless Monday Linkup

Today I have a great Warm Salad bowl for you filled with grains, veggies and seeds. If you do a little advance prep, it can easily be thrown together for a quick filling meal. I like to make a batch of grains to use throughout the week to make meal prep quicker. The seeds can be toasted in advance. For this recipe, you can also pre roast the butternut squash and simply re heat when needed. For the dressing, I used juice from 1/2 lemon, lemon flavored Olive Oil and Balsamic.

Warm, grains, salad, bowl, vegetarian, GF, Meatless Monday

5.0 from 1 reviews
Warm Rainbow Salad Bowl-Meatless Monday
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A warm whole grains salad packed with a rainbow of veggies
Author:
Recipe type: lunch/dinner
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 1 C Black rice-cooked according to package
  • 1 C Quinoa-cooked according to pakage
  • 2 C raw spinach
  • 2 C Kale or Cabbage shredded
  • 1 Butternut squash-cleaned and cut into chunks
  • ¼ c Hemp seeds
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ C blue cheese
  • ½ C edamame
  • 1 small red beet-spiralized (raw)
  • Balsamic vinegar, lemon, olive oil to taste for dressing
  • pepper & kosher salt
  • siracha seasoning
Instructions
  1. Prep black rice and quinoa in advance and set aside
  2. Sprinkle Butternut Squash with salt, pepper and siracha seasoning and roast at 375 for 30 min or until softened
  3. Meanwhile, toast hemp seeds and sunflower seeds in toaster or skillet for 3-5 min until browned
  4. In a large bowl assemble:
  5. spinach, kale/cabbage, rice, quinoa, edamame, squash
  6. Sprinkle seed mixture and blue cheese
  7. top with spiralized beet
  8. Dress with lemon juice, Olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper

 Side note: My absolute new favorite spice is this Siracha powder! Simply genius-Have you seen it?

Siracha seasoning

Warm Salad bowls-What do you think? Siracha powder-Have you tried it?

A Day In The Life #FitBlogger #Mom #MRTT

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Day in The Life|Fitness|Blogger|Mom

Happy Friday! I am linking up with Cynthia, Mar & Courtney for the Friday Five! This week I am giving you a glimpse into what my typical Friday is like. Has you on the edge of your seat huh?

A day in the life|fitness blogger|mom IMG_4761

1. My alarm goes off at 6:15 and I get up with the kids to make breakfast and lunch. Yes I have 2 teens and of course they are perfectly capable of getting up on their own. Much to my husband’s dismay, I like to get up with them and appreciate this time with them in the morning before school. We are in a rush but they get out the door by 7 am.

IMG_4036_2MRTT|mug|coffee|Day in the life

2. Then it’s me time! While my husband is upstairs getting dressed, I have my coffee and check emails and do a little blogging. I am really into omelets packed with veggies and avocado for breakfast. I usually have some MRTT admin stuff to do-checking on the scheduled runs for the day, admitting new members etc.

spin classswimming|friends

3. Then I am off to spin class with my friends followed by our Master Swim Class. This is one of my hardest workout days. About 2 1/2 hours of exercise leaves me completely starving and exhausted on my way home. Love that feeling! How about you?

lunch

4. Home for a quick lunch. This week I am into roasted sweet potato, squash, black bean and spinach salads. I tend to eat the same thing a few days in a row. I folded a few loads of laundry. Seriously it is never ending and why is it always at the top of the stairs??

5. Today I am doing something special and heading downtown to meet up with my friend & Co-Meatless Monday host, Tina Muir. She is coming to DC to run The Rock n Roll Marathon tomorrow. I am so excited to meet her “in real life”. She is going to “rock” it on Saturday.

Tina Muir

Tina Muir

 I ran out of space on my Friday Five!  I am sure I have lots of other Mom things to do today. Those kids should be coming home soon and I guess someone needs to make dinner…

day in the life|fitblogger|mom|skirt sports

Thanks for taking a glimpse into my day. What are you up to today?

DC_linkup

 

Jump Into a Swim Class

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Happy Wednesday! Injury update: My foot is feeling a lot better and I’ve started running again slowly but surely. I am taking it one step at a time (literally) but I am feeling very hopeful that I am on my way back! You may have seen that I’ve also decided to jump back into a few Sprint Triathlon races this year. The swim has always been a cause of anxiety for me. I know I am a strong swimmer, but I always get nervous on race day. When I noticed that my gym was offering a Master Swim Class, I thought it the perfect time to jump in!

swimming|class|cross train|

 

Usually when I go for a swim, I just jump in and do some laps. I really don’t pay much attention to my pace or perform any type of workout. I just swim. While there is certainly nothing wrong with just swimming, I am always looking for a challenge and would love to improve my confidence during the tri.

I arrived at my first class, a little nervous and a lot excited. There were 4 other women there of varying ages and fitness abilities. We were given a warm up workout to perform:

IMG_4877 swim class|warm up|exercise

Usually my workout would stop after the 600 m warm up. I had no idea what I was in for. Over the next 45 minutes we did speed drills, equipment drills and received lots of feedback on our stroke. I was completely exhausted but amazed that I could swim for this long. Over the course of the class we swam about 1,700 m or a little over a mile. I was pretty proud of myself.

I was surprised by how hard the workout was and surprised by how much I loved it! I convinced some of my friends to come the next week and thy loved it too. We are having a great time training together for our May triathlon. Just like running, swimming with friends is so much more fun.

swimming|friends

I’m loving my new class and “soaking up” all the advice from my coach. Our workouts change each week and we vary between using all sorts of fun toys. I love excuses to buy new gear! Fins to help build a stronger flutter kick and leg strength. Buoys and paddles to work on arm strength and stroke. I am looking for a new pair of goggles. Any suggestions?? (This post contains affiliate links)



Do you use any of these toys for your swim workout? Are there anymore that I need?

Linking up with Ann Marie and Diatta

IMG_4660Wow workout link up

My Favorite Tomato Sauce

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Happy Meatless Monday friends! I am traveling to Indiana University today for a parent orientation with my daughter so I have a short post for you. I am sharing one of my favorite go to recipes, my Favorite Tomato Sauce. It’s not just any sauce-it’s jam packed with tons of veggie goodness. The best part is that the veggies are hidden so if you have any picky eaters in your house, they probably won’t notice them at all. Please join Tina Muir and I for this week’s Meatless Monday recipes. Share some, find some and meet new friends.

Meatless Monday|vegetarian|link ups|healthy

What I love about this sauce is that it’s so versatile. I use it on pasta, spaghetti squash, flat bread and even omelets. It’s packed full of veggies for a hearty taste. The trick is to roast up a pan of your favorite veggies and puree them in with the sauce. My favorites are eggplant and baby bella mushrooms. This way you create a thicker, heartier sauce that’s full of flavor. It’s simple to make but oh so delicious.

Tomato Sauce|veggies|Meatless Monday|link up

5.0 from 2 reviews
My Favorite Tomato Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
An easy versatile veggie packed tomato sauce
Author:
Recipe type: Italian, tomato sauce
Ingredients
  • 1 large or 2 baby eggplant-peeled and sliced ¼ in thick
  • 1 zucchini-sliced
  • 1 package of Baby Bella mushrooms
  • 1 large red or orange pepper-seeded and quatered
  • 2 28 oz cans San Marzano tomatoes (whole or diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion-diced
  • Olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper, Oregano, basil,
Instructions
  1. Pre heat oven to 375
  2. lay out veggies and garlic closes on baking sheet & sprinkle with olive oil, salt & pepper
  3. Roast until softened-about 15 min
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temp
  5. In a large stock pot-
  6. Saute onion in olive oil
  7. Working in small batches puree veggies with tomatoes in a food processor
  8. Return each batch to stock pot until all veggies are blended
  9. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, basil and red pepper
  10. Bring to a low boil then reduce to low and allow to simmer for at least 45 min
  11. Serve a top pasta, spaghetti squash, pizza, eggs etc & enjoy

 I love tomato sauce on just about everything! I like to cook up a batch and freeze half for later because you never know when a snow day might hit and you need to make a pizza. This recipe is suitable for vegetarian, vegan, GF, low carb, Paleo and just about everyone!

Tell me-Do you have favorite Tomato Sauce? What’s your secret?