Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms *via The Vegetable Centric Kitchen*

One of my biggest inspirations in my journey towards healthy living is my high school friend Rande.  She is a fabulous and inventive cook – and she has her own blog!  This is the first recipe I ever tried of hers.  Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms.  *nom nom*  (It is her fault and hers alone that I’m now addicted to goat cheese.  Haha!)

Here’s the link to the recipe —>  http://thevegetablecentrickitchen.com/2012/01/23/goat-cheese-stuffed-mushrooms-and-rose-cleanse-dinner-party/

And I highly suggest you peruse the rest of her recipes.  Each one I’ve tried has been absolutely amazing!  <3

from rande

~*~  INGREDIENTS NEEDED ~*~

12 baby portobello mushrooms, stems removed
4 oz soft goat cheese
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil
1/2 cup soaked sun-dried tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste

~*~  THE DIRECTIONS ~*~

Preheat oven to 375. Pulse goat cheese, basil, and tomatoes in food processor until mostly creamy. You can leaves some chunks. Season to taste. Stuff baby ‘bellas and bake for 30 minutes.

That simple!  And I must add again…*nom nom*!!!!!!!  =)

In all seriousness, they go good with everything.  I think I’ve had them most often as an appetizer on “Italian night”.  But I suggest that you eat them all the time.  Alone, or with whatever you choose!!!
Leave me a comment and tell me how you liked these scrumptious little guys!  Or better yet – visit Rande and let her know!!!

P.S.  She is also starting a new venture – and she’s awesome so if I were you I’d also follow “The Fruitarian Foodie” @ http://thefruitarianfoodie.com/!!!  =)

<3, SomedayFit Girl

A little about me

I think I posted a bit of this story at the beginning of my blog…
But now that I’m all fancy and organized I want to start my “Inspiration” section with a story about my journey so far.

When my husband announced that he wanted to leave me – in October of 2011 – I was 215 lbs.  And honestly, I could have been heavier than that at some point.  I didn’t really ever pay attention.  I wanted to die.  But worse (in a way)…I didn’t blame him.  I had never had much self-esteem.  I hated the way I looked and I hated the way I felt.  I hated the way that he sometimes looked at me.

I went through all the usual ministrations…trying to get him to change his mind…trying to change myself so he’d stay.  (The short version is that he’d already been cheating on me and lying for quite some time so by the time he had the guts to announce it, there was no way that he was changing his mind…)  But one day I decided that I needed to take control of my life.  It was, after all, just going to be my life.  I couldn’t wait around for anyone to live it for me.  And while 215 isn’t morbidly obese, it was heading in the wrong direction.  Somehow I never gave any thought to all the weight-related health issues I’d heard about.  They were for OLD obese people, not me, right?  Wrong.  You are never too young to start caring about your health and fitness.

My ex decided him and his girlfriend (now wife already) were entitled to take our dog.  He was a Pomeranian named Cody.  Cutest thing in the world…but let me say…not an “exercise-friendly” dog.  So I was angry.  But I have a friend who is very active in animal rescue (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BY THE WAY!!!) …and she told me about this dog she found who sounded like my soul-mate.  She was abused by a man (or multiple?) so she had major trust issues and was hard to place in a “traditional home”  i.e. one with a husband around.  And as a bonus, she was a collie mix so she was massively active.  I adopted her in February of 2012 and have been in love ever since!

My doggie and I started walking.  Every *&#$! day.

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Since I’d made the decision to adopt her, I couldn’t let HER down and keep her locked up in an apartment all the time.  Turns out - best decision I ever made!  I lost my first 20 lbs. (maybe more) just by walking her every possible day.  Anyone who is just starting out with fitness needs to know this – walking is great!  Just because you aren’t biking 50 miles or bench pressing 100 lbs. (or whatever) doesn’t mean you aren’t teaching your body how to move…teaching your heart rate how to elevate.  It WORKS.  Just try it!

Today – I’m down 45 lbs. from the worst (that I knew about).  I’ve made the decision to do it the “long” way.  I.E. strength training as well as cardio…and no crazy diets!  Just eating right and doing my best not to eat everything in sight.

Once I started doing it for me, and for my dog, it came together.  I can see so many good things on the other side now, its almost unreal that I was staying in my marriage and trying to be happy.  I’m so much better off.  I don’t recommend divorce.  But I do recommend a healthy dose of self-esteem.  You are worth a good diet.  And you are worth the time it takes to work out and keep yourself strong and happy.   Trust me.  <3

~ SomedayFit Girl

My First Gym Group Class – Step & Strength

The newest addition to my fitness regimen is attending my first ever group class at my gym!  Step & Strength at 24 Hour Fitness – it is a great workout!

For those of you who don’t know – here’s the official description of the class from the gym…

Shake up your workout with step and strength intervals. Burn calories, increase your level of cardiovascular fitness and tone your muscles all in one workout. You will be motivated from start to finish during this group exercise class!

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I definitely burn some calories doing this.  My fitbit says that I get 3,000+ steps in per hour-long class.  Not bad at all.  As a recovering “couch potato”, anything that gets me up and moving has my vote of approval!

The class begins with cardio and stepping to get your heart rate up, and then adds in weights during the cardio to help with strength training and core.  After that, there are some moves on the floor with just weights and also crunches and ab-work like that.

So far I love everything that deals with working on my triceps!  I am pretty sure that my triceps are the worst triceps in the world…and they need all the love and attention they can get!  Haha!  Really I’m quite a weights newbie.  While I never thought that lifting weights would make me all bulky and manly…it just wasn’t what “girls” did for exercise.  So I never bothered.  But I can tell after only two classes (heck, I could tell after one) how much good this is doing me.  I can’t believe all the muscles that squats activate.  I looked a little sad and pathetic walking to my car after week 2.  Perhaps a bit of duck waddle to it?  Nevertheless…it is the process we’re working on.  =)  No reason to give up if it hurts during week 2!  Its supposed to hurt during week 2!  (And probably week 3 and 4 and 5 and so on…)

What has been hard for me is the balance and keeping up with the steps.  When I go walking and/or jogging by myself, it is easy to just go at my own pace.  But when I’m in a group I feel naturally compelled to keep up.  *Big bonus for adding in group classes rather than going it alone all the time, by the way!!!*
It will come with practice.  But I do feel a tad silly – and like I’m watching other people more than I’m doing the moves myself!  Oh well.  Baby steps.

<3, SomedayFit Girl

Diet Project #1

I’m always on the lookout for simple “cleanses”.  Found this on Pinterest - http://pinterest.com/pin/34410384625614822/.

2 tsp. honey

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 c. boiling water.

Drink 30 minutes before breakfast and at night before bed – daily.

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This seems like a pretty simple regimen to follow.  I know I have read things regarding the benefits of cinnamon to one’s metabolism before.

Here’s one article - http://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-tips/foods-boosting-metabolism.

I’m going to start this soon and keep you updated on what it does for me!

Simple Raw Garlic Salad Dressing

dressing

Right now, I live with my parents.  And let me say, they are very into salad.  And this is actually a good thing.  Salad…veggies…extra nutrition without all the additives and processed junk in our foods now = <3.  Salads are amazing.

I, however, am the type of crazy person who simply can not eat a salad raw.  No matter how hard I try, I can’t get over my weirdness.  I have to have dressing.

My mission – find raw dressings (keep the sugar and other grossness to a minimum if I make them myself!).

I have a few favorite websites already – but today I’m going to start with http://www.therawtarian.com.   Run by the fabulous “Laura-Jane”…the website is entirely made up of raw vegan recipes.  The idea of successfully starting a raw diet is equal parts daunting and terrifying to me.  Never cook anything?  NEVER use an egg???  I’m definitely in my baby-step mode with this idea.  But she has wonderful tips for making the lifestyle change.  Or really…if you just want to use her recipes occasionally like I do…that’s awesome too!

On Saturday night we have our weekly family pizza & movie night.  Or – our weekly family pizza & salad & movie night.  And I tried this dressing recipe and fell in absolute LOVE.  <3

If you own a blender (I probably was the only person in the world who didn’t for awhile…ex decided he was entitled to it in our divorce…) and you ever have an occasion to eat a salad, I definitely recommend you trying this dressing!!!

I posted the recipe verbatim from the Rawtarian website.  My own personal suggestion is to cut down the lemon juice a bit.  Maybe start with 1/3 of a cup and add more from there if you want.  To me, it started out a tad lemon-ey….but I added another shake of salt and some more Italian herb seasoning and it was perfect!

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http://www.therawtarian.com/simple-raw-garlic-salad-dressing

What you will need - 

1 cup olive oil

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

3 garlic cloves

2 teaspoons dried Italian or Greek herbs (for example: thyme, rosemary, etc.)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

A blender

How to do it -

1. Throw it all in the blender and…blend!

2. Keep blending ’til thoroughly mixed.

3. Use right away or refrigerate.

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I’d love to hear what you think?  Any tweaks or additions you’d like to tell me about?  Share!  Comment!

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!!!  =)

<3, SomedayFit Girl

P.S.  It is a great dressing to keep in the fridge!  Like it says on her website – the dressing thickens some when kept in a container in the fridge for awhile.  Yummy!!!  =)

Gym buddies

Last week, I’m excited to say, I found a new friend and workout buddy!!!!  I’m happy to report that I’m even more motivated to get active and healthy now that I have someone to share the experience with!  She really pushes me.  Its awesome…and I have to say that I highly recommend having one.  =)  If you have the strength and determination, you can get fit and healthy even if it is just you.  I promise.  But for my part, I sometimes lack the willpower.  And even worse, I lack the belief that what I’m doing is making any kind of a difference.  I’m ready to try and turn over a new “optimistic” leaf.

friends at the gym

***Neither of these people are us.  We are not yet cool enough to have a photographer follow us around at the gym…!!!***
I went to my first-EVER group fitness class at my gym thanks to her!  It was a “Step & Strength” class at 24 Hour Fitness.  Do you have a 24 Hour Fitness membership?  If you do – and you’re like me and haven’t been trying the group classes – I suggest you re-think your position.  I think that anything that can vary a routine or push your boundaries is a great goal to strive for in your fitness life (at least)!  And beyond the fitness class, I did about 25 more flights of stairs on the %$*#^! Starimaster than I usually do.  I give all the credit for those extra flights to the fact that she was right beside me, and it gave me a quiet, magical motivation to continue!
On the days I went to the gym by myself, I did my cardio thing that I always do, and then I tried the weight machines!  This was another area completely lacking in my fitness routine.  I was scared to death of all the (potentially hot) men staring at me while I, in turn, stare blankly at the machines and want to crawl into a hole.  Confession = I’m still terrified of people watching and judging me.  But I’ve decided to do it anyways.  All I’ve worked on so far are shoulder presses (that was all I was sure of how to do).  But I’ll get there.

I’m here to assure everyone – the journey is just as inspiring as the finished product.  <3

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The “low” of my week I must note was in regards to my diet – not my fitness.  I’ve been striving very hard to not go over my calorie intake I set for myself.  And really overall I’ve been managing it every day.  But at work on Friday, I developed a bad stomach cramp after downing a “Naked Juice – Green Machine”.  Let me say first – that other than the decently high sugar content, I LOVE this juice.  But something was definitely not right and I even went home early from work.

What was it, you ask?  Well…I think I figured it out…

I WAS HUNGRY!

I was simply not eating enough on Friday for my activity level…and the juice in my empty stomach made it upset.  When I got home, I had a sandwich and took a nap…and woke up fine!

I think that calorie goals are important.  I overate by just about a ton when I was married.  I didn’t even know how to focus on what I was eating.  I just ate everything I could get my hands on.  The accountability of counting calories helps me a lot.  But what I need to monitor is how my body responds.  Staying under a goal – especially while trying to lose weight – is helpful.  But not at the expense of feeling horrible.

This week, my goal is to do a minimum of 90 minutes of exercise a day.  Not all of this will be cardio.  Thanks to my workout buddy, one new goal I have for myself is to have enough muscle to effectively use free weights.  I don’t just want to lose all the fat that has taken up residence in my “core area”…I actually want a strong core!!!!  Right now I can’t bench press 30 lbs.  Not ideal.  But everyone starts somewhere.  Even if fitness has been in your life from the beginning, there was a time you still had to learn what to do and how to do it effectively.

Example:  I’ve been doing squats and lunges wrong for about 27 years of my 27-year life.  =)

Regarding my eating and calorie counting – I’m going to find some good snacks to have on hand in my purse.  Protein bars…and anything else easy and simple that I can think of to keep with me at all times.  I’m not starving myself, but I also don’t want to have another situation ever arise where my body has to hurt to remind me that I’m not treating it right.

I hope you all have a fabulous week!

<3, SomedayFit Girl