Our Garden and A New Package

Who’s doing the HappY FridaY DancE?

THIS GIRL! ūüôā

I’ve got a half day of work planned, followed by a nice easy hike (hopefully the weather cooperates with me this time) and then a Whole Foods donut to celebrate a good week.

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those aren’t the donuts I got, but don’t they look GOOD? Must make them.

I’ve been even more strict than I anticipated with the¬†“no gluten, no processed goods” diet this week, and am feeling GREAT. ¬† ¬†Sure,¬†it’s only been a week so I can’t know anything specifically at this point, but what I do know is I feel good and am planning on keeping as much gluten as possible out of my diet for the time being.

Now, with that said, yes I picked up a small cake donut from Whole Foods, and no I do not believe it is gluten free.  I plan to eat it slow and use it as a test to see how my little body reacts.    My honest hope is that I do NOT have a serious intolerance, but that my body just functions better eating more real, whole foods and less gluten.  We will see :).

Yesterday

I started the morning with a 15-20 minute self guided¬†yoga practice, solely hoping to hold stretches and work out the kinks from my sore muscles. ¬† It worked ūüôā Lots of forward folding, side stretching, and deep breathing, perfect for first thing in the morning.

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I was missin’ Mom and Dad a bit, so I spent my afternoon lunch break walking the park near my office and chatting with my main man, Daddio. ¬†Notice the clouds in that picture? ¬†Not 30 minutes before I headed out the skies opened up with a HUGE thunder storm. ¬†Welcome to Denver!

Core Power

I had to be into work early yesterday for a special program, which meant I also got to leave early (YAY).  The timing was perfect because it opened up a 430 Hot Power Fusion class at Core Power.

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Unfortunately, I had run out of my free week so I took the plunge and picked up an (expensive) 10 class package.  I spent the 60 minute classes trying to keep the sweat from burning my eyes and loved every detoxing second of it :).  Totally worth the investment.

I got home early, so showered and then enjoyed the evening on our back patio, rehydrating like a pro

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Ok, at least there was water included….

Until my hunger finally hit around 730.  On the menu, Chicken kabobs and salads with feta and edemame.

Dinner

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The salads were simple greens and tomatoes from the garden, mushrooms, and the edamame and feta mix from Sprouts. YUM.

Zach also grilled up some DELICIOUS chicken that totally hit the spot.

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All together now.

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Mmmmmm….making me hungry and it’s not even 930! ¬†Notice the doggy tail in the bottom right corner of that picture? ¬†Fail, Gus!

More Office episodes and gluten free cookies wrapped up the evening. ¬† I think I fell asleep on the couch by 10 PM last night. ¬†Man I’m exciting.

Zach’s Garden

And because my family is far away and love to see the progress that we’ve done on the house (don’t worry, I’m planning ¬†a little house tour next week), here are some pictures of the garden I wanted to share with everyone. ¬†So proud of the hubby :).

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The main view of our largest garden area.  Our goodies include lots of lettuce, raspberries, carrots, onions, tomatoes, etc.

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Close up shot of the lettuce

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Close up shot of our raspberry plant

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And Zach’s newest creation, a new garden bed that Zach built, painted and set up totally from scratch.

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A larger view, and of course, gratuitous picture of my fur lady.

Just a quick tour of the garden.  Who knew the boy had such a green thumb?

Do you have a green thumb?  Do you like to garden?

Trying Something New In The Kitchen

Good Morning and Happy Thursday/Almost the weekend.

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And a Good morning sunshine from Gusman and our Thursday morning walk.

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I forgot to start my MapMyRun application when we started, so it’s showing a little shorter than normal. . . but today’s walk was our standard hilly loop. ¬†Just enough to get my legs refreshed after a TOUGH workout last night.

Workout Last Night

I had a tough day at work yesterday and needed to blow off some steam when I got home.  What better way to do that then get a quick sweat on?

I had remembered seeing a really good Boot Camp style routine Julie’s PBFingers.com¬†that sounded like the perfect sweat fest to do the trick.

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To do this routine, you did three minutes at each square, with 30 seconds rest in between. ¬†The only thing I switched up was square 9 (60 seconds of: shuffles bear crawl and backwards run) to a second RUN section because our small apartment gym doesn’t quite provide the space for those work outs.

When I finished this routine, I was shaking and had completely forgotten about my work frustration for the time being. ¬†Perfect-o. ¬†Thanks, Julie ūüôā

Dinner

It’s a good thing I got a good sweat in, too, because Zach and I had fun Pinterest inspired dinner plans for ourselves last night.

We’ve been wanting to switch things up a bit in the kitchen so we decided to go big last night and try our hand at gnocchi. ¬†Arugula gnocchi to be exact.

While it was definitely challenging, and we will do a few things differently next time (mash the potato more, less flour), overall the end result was delicious and I think we’ve got new confidence in ourselves and our cooking!

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It took about 45 minutes for our large potato to boil, then we removed the skin and began mashing.  Unfortunately Zach and I do not have a masher OR gnocchi maker, so we had to make do.  I left the mashing to the strong man, and started work on the arugula addition.

One large handful of arugula and one egg yolk blended together in the food processor.

We added the “dressing” and potatoes together then slowly started integrating¬†one cup of all purpose flour. We actually didn’t end up using all of our flour (maybe next time 2 potatoes), but the dough came together surprisingly easily.

We rolled the dough out into one large log, and then cut it into 5 smaller pieces.

Each piece then got rolled into a smaller log and cut into the small gnocchi pieces. ¬†I then handed Zach the little pieces and he forked them to put the final “gnocchi” tough.

After they were done, all we had to do was bring a pot of water to a boil and boil the gnocchi until they began floating (we did ours in two batches).

Once they were all floating, we added them to an already prepared pan of 2 tablespoons of butter, one tablespoon of oil, garlic and chili pepper for a final crisping of the pasta.

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We served ours with parmesan and side salads

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For a nice, complete and overall pretty delicious meal.

Like I mentioned, this was our first attempt and we didn’t do things perfectly. ¬†We also didn’t have all the ingredients the actual recipe called for so we had to make a few changes, but overall I’m proud of our first attempt. ¬†Please click that first picture (the pretty one) for the actual pin and recipe!

For those of you that are scared to try something like this in the kitchen, don’t be! ¬†We opened up a bottle of wine and just had fun with it!

Time to get to work ūüôā

Question of the Morning: When was the last time you tried something new in the kitchen? ¬†What’s your favorite thing to prepare?

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The Hubby’s Almost Home, Again!

Good Afternoon everyone ūüôā ¬†How’s hump day going for you? ¬†Does it help that we’re over the “hump” of the work day?

Just a few more hours and my crazy husband is back in town and the evenings spent with trashy TV, wine and good food are over ;). ¬†I know I didn’t mention to specifically that Zach had been traveling, but he was in Charlotte, NC for the beginning of the week.

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Multiple people had expressed a bit of concern about me talking so openly here on the blog about being “home alone” with the hubby is away o n business, so I tried to keep it a little more hush hush this trip. For safety reasons, of course :).

We have a pretty laid back evening of sandwiches and catching up planned.  My kinda night.

Last Night

I was still left to my own single girl devises yesterday, which meant easy but DELICIOUS goodies and girly TV (Last night was Guilianna and Bill. I sweat I want to be their BFF).

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I had a Taste of the Mediterranean meal from a local grocer that I’d had a few times before.

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¬†Just as good as I remembered ūüôā

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And last night I enjoyed my single girl meal with a nice glass of red…because I can.

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Zach has been loving Carmenere’s lately and this was a cheap but good one! ¬†I also capped off the evening with another AMAZING Cookie Butter Cookie

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Except last night I substituted half of the cookie butter for plain ol’ peanut butter. ¬†Believe it or not, I liked it even more. ¬†I also made it a little thicker than the previous night, which added a lot to the texture. ¬†Just keeps gettin’ better ūüôā

All this must have been good fuel for me because I was able to get up and get an easy, but great run in this AM.

Workout of the Day

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5 miles in 49 minutes, with a 3 minute warm up included (easy pace).

Tomorrow is my rest day and the legs were feeling very solid, so I decided to just keep moving. ¬†It’s been a little while since I’ve done a work-day-morning run over 4, but it worked out well this morning.

I’m really trying to be sure I remember to include these “easy” runs in the schedule, even though I’m not running back-to-back days anymore. ¬†Still important for those ol’ muscles!

Back to work folks ūüôā

Question of the Afternoon: What culture has your favorite cuisine?

For me: ¬†it’s whatever I’m having that moment. ¬†True story.