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Friday, June 28, 2013

friday philosophy


sometimes i come across a quote that bears some kind of significance and i want to share it with you dear readers.  sometimes it's based on where i am in life or a certain event, sometimes a quote just reminds me of a friend, or sometimes it makes me think.

{image via}


weekends are fun.  weekends with friends are funner.  (what?  that's not a real word?)  and weekends could definitely use an extra day (or five).

last weekend mike and i had the awesome experience of going to a remote cabin on top of a mountain in vermont with 6 other friends.  it was so. much. fun.  the food, laughter, games, beer, conversations, adventures...it was just what we needed.  to unplug and reconnect with each other.

this weekend, i have the pleasure of heading out of town once again, but this time with my two besties, my bff leigh and her sister sara.  we're going to the great commonwealth of massachusetts to visit a lovely little family and have some quality girl time with sara's bff from college.  so it's a big bff-fest.

(yes, there will be squealing.)

sometimes going away is stressful -- the packing, the leaving of husbands/boyfriends/pets (if they're not coming with), the unknown -- but this weekend my girls and i are ready to bring. it. on.  despite the forecast for lots of drizzle, i think we'll manage to celebrate in style.

(i may or may not be bringing a huuuuge bottle of champs to kick off the weekend right!)

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get excited for some bubbly ladies!

i also have a feeling that this is going to be a weekend that flies by like a lightning flash.  so, i'm hereby requesting a day between saturday and sunday....mmmkay?

what are you up to this weekend?  drinking any rather large bottles of champagne?  or any regular ones?


Thursday, June 27, 2013

fitness confessions


so many people embark on a weight loss journey only to lose momentum and give up on their aspirations.  sometimes it's because they bite off more than they can chew and commit to too much too fast.  sometimes it's because of an injury or something that requires the time and energy be used somewhere else.  sometimes it's because they don't have a great support system.  sometimes it's because people lack confidence.

often it's because people don't realize something very, very important...it's a lifestyle.  it's not temporary.  it's not just about getting to the destination, it's about the journey to get there.

well, let me tell you this:

it's hard to stay on track.  it's challenging to stay motivated.

and i confess:  it's hard for me too.

it's hard to stay on track if you've let yourself get off for even a day or two.  (trust me, i haven't been to the gym in a week and that's not on purpose, i just let it happen that way.)

i have to remind myself it's going to take hard work to get where i'm going.  (still got about 60 pounds to lose.)

i have to remind myself of how far i've come.  (down about 30 pounds in 9 months.)

i have to remember that i'm not the only one with set backs. (while i work two jobs, many people also have kids or injuries or ailing family members as additional stressful things going on in their lives that contribute to set backs.)

i have to realize that i'm in my journey.  (and i always will be.)

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today...i (again) am re-committing to my fitness journey.  i will be setting goals, sticking to my nutrition plan, and getting my ass to the gym.  and i'll be better with blogging about it because it helps hold me accountable.  (i apologize if this disappoints you, so you can just skip these posts if you're not interested!)

if you are thinking about your health and want to join me on this journey, all i can say is:

what are you waiting for?

{image via}

trust me, i wish i had...then i'd be 3 months further along in my journey!

so, here i am today, telling you i've slacked off.  i've cheated on my diet.  i've convinced myself not to go to the gym.  i've put other things higher on my priority list than my health.

(because that's why we're ultimately in this journey, right?  to be healthy?!)

so, in honor of being honest, here's a glimpse into this week's meals, now that i'm getting closer to being back on track.  (everything i've consumed is listed below, except for water.  i'm always drinking water.  so imagine every meal i drink about 24 oz. of water, in addition to whatever is listed.)

monday

breakfast:  1 lowfat yogurt, grapes (20)
snack:  iced coffee with milk, protein bar
lunch:  garden salad (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, shredded carrots and cabbage) and egg salad
snack:  2 cheese sticks, cucumber slices
dinner:  antipasto plate (carrots, cucumbers, red peppers with hummus; 3 salami slices, 1 oz. parmesan cheese, green olives, pickled garlic cloves)

tuesday

breakfast:  1 lowfat yogurt, grapes (10), hard boiled egg
snack:  iced coffee with milk, grapes (10)
lunch:  1/2 chicken breast, my new favorite salad
snack:  2 cheese sticks, cucumber and red peppers
dinner:  veggie and chicken stir fry with cheese
snack (cheat):  1 glass pinot grigio, 1 mini ice cream cone (150 calories)

wednesday

breakfast:  1 lowfat yogurt, grapes (10), iced coffee with milk
lunch:  garden salad and egg salad
snack:  cottage cheese and cucumber slices
dinner:  pan seared scallops, broccoli and bacon salad, corn on the cob
dessert:  2 scoops moose tracks ice cream

(yes my dessert was an over-the-top cheat for having already cheated during the week.  in my defense, i was out to dinner with my mom celebrating a special day.)

thursday

breakfast:  1 lowfat yogurt, grapes (20) 
snack:  iced coffee with milk, cottage cheese, strawberries

and i've packed the following for the rest of the day:

lunch:  salad - spinach, shredded carrots, red peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, hard boiled egg, chicken
snack:  2 cheese sticks, apple

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so, there you have it.  my confession and my re-commitment.

if you are in the upper valley area and are interested in learning more about kdr fitness, check them out online, on facebook, or just contact ben or jamie via email with your questions.

and if you think your gym is better at weight loss...or better at coaching members...or better at anything in the fitness industry, i wanna know how many of you have gotten emails from the owners of your gym (not your trainer, but the owners) with the subject line:  "(insert gym name here) misses you".  

because i have.  reading those words "kdr misses you" was intense, to say the least.

it was inspiring because that means the people that work there (and own the place) actually want to see me.  and see me succeed.

it was frustrating because that means that people that work there (and own the place) actually noticed i was missing.  and that was all my bad.

it was motivating because that means the people that work there (and own the place) know i can do it.  and do it #likeaboss.

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so....

who's comin' with me? 


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

pickle my onion


so the last recipe i shared was my new favorite salad...spinach salad with strawberries, pickled onions, goat cheese, and pecans.  this salad just makes my mouth happy.  the sweet strawberries...the tangy goat cheese...the earthy spinach...the crunchy pecans...and the tart and delicious pickled onions....absolute yumminess.

i promised i would share the secret to pickled red onions...because they are totally necessary now that i now how simple and fantastic they are.

without further ado...here's the easiest, most simple recipe ever...and i found it from a local company -- king arthur flour!

pickled red onions (find the original recipe here)

here's what you need:

1 red onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1 1/4 cups vinegar (apple cider, red wine, white...or any combo.  i used some cider, some red wine)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
optional:  1 teaspoon mustard seeds (i didn't have 'em, so i didn't use 'em)

here's what you'll do:

1.  slice your onions.  stuff them in a jar.

2.  dump the salt and sugar into the jar.

3.  pour vinegar over the onions and spices.  (if the onions are not fully submerged, feel free to add more vinegar or a touch of water.)

4.  put the lid on the jar and shake up to mix up the salt, sugar, and vinegar.

5.  refrigerate.  i've used the pickled onions as soon as 25-30 minutes after i make them.  they've never lasted more than 2 weeks...because i eat them all!

6.  enjoy!

so easy, right?  and look at how pretty they are!

{image via king arthur flour}

of course pickled red onions are fabulous on my new favorite salad...but there are many more possibilities!

on hot dogs...


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on sandwiches...

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 on deviled eggs...


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on burgers...


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on tacos...


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and, of course, on other salads...


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isn't it great when you find a simple recipe that can add so much to many others?  

i think this will be the summer of pickled red onions for me.  i can't get enough.  they're sweet from the sugar and tangy from the vinegar...and they keep a little crunch, despite swimming in the liquid constantly in the fridge.  these things are absolutely delicious.

i highly recommend giving these a try.  and definitely try my new favorite salad...it's a crowd pleaser.

how will you use pickled red onions?

Friday, June 21, 2013

friday philosophy


sometimes i come across a quote that bears some kind of significance and i want to share it with you dear readers.  sometimes it's based on where i am in life or a certain event, sometimes a quote just reminds me of a friend, or sometimes it makes me think.

{image via}


today is the first day of summer.  

the longest day.

the shortest night.

the beginning of sandy toes...wet swimsuits...fun adventures...sun tans...wind in your hair...star gazing...bonfires...and making memories.

i feel a sense of excitement for all that is to come this summer.  and we're kicking it off right with a weekend away!  a few friends are gathering to have a weekend adventure in a cabin in the woods of vermont.  

here's the plan:

eat
drink
laugh
rinse
repeat

(well, maybe not rinse, because there's no shower! we're roughing it for a couple days!)

you guys all know i love an adventure....and i'm so excited to officially kick off summer with a chill group of friends who are ready to celebrate life!

what are you up to this weekend?  are you kicking off summer in style?

happy summer!!!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

my first 5k


since joining kdr fitness in september, i've had a bunch of firsts, i've learned a lot, i've lost weight, i've gained strength, and i've made friends.

since starting the new year, i've also been trying to set goals.  one goal:  do a 5k.

guess what?  i did it! =)


me and four friends made the drive to new hampshire motor speedway for the 2013 color vibe run on may 25th.  you'll notice from the pictures that it was kinda wet that day.  in addition to being rainy, it was also 45 degrees.




and to top off the crazy weather, it snowed that night in many parts of new hampshire.  on memorial day weekend.  check out the shot my bff got at her house!

{image via instagram}

enough about the weather...more about my first 5k, huh?
 
of the five of us, i'm definitely the most 'beginner' when it comes to running.  (or jogging or whatever you want to call it.  just don't call it a race because i'm not in it for speed.)  i spent some of my time walking, but more of it jogging.  at one point, despite the forty degree weather and cold RAIN (really mother nature?!), i actually ran almost a whole mile at once.  (trust me, that's a huge accomplishment for someone who couldn't complete the presidential fitness test 1-mile run when i was a skinny little ballerina in sixth grade.)  i'm glad my friend sarah was brave enough to bring her iphone with her (in a baggie!) to track our run...that way when i wanted to know how far we'd gone, i'd know for sure because there weren't any mile markers.

this was me and sarah just as we were finishing up on mile 3:

 
after we made it through the mud pit right before the finish line, we were cold, wet, and quite a colorful bunch!





what a fun time, even with the crazy new england weather!

and...i've set another goal!  to run a whole 5k in september!  there's another color vibe 5k in vermont in september...so that gives me a few months to train!

yay for setting goals, achieving them, and reaching for more!

have you had any firsts lately or set any new goals?

Friday, June 14, 2013

friday philosophy slash five things {graduation edition}


sometimes i come across a quote that bears some kind of significance and i want to share it with you dear readers.  sometimes it's based on where i am in life or a certain event, sometimes a quote just reminds me of a friend, or sometimes it makes me think.

{image via}


the first of my second cousins is graduating from high school today.  the more i think about it, the memories of my own graduation and that summer flow through my head.

and because i'm feeling so nostalgic, i wanted to impart some wisdom on the 2013 graduates.  (at least advice i would've found helpful at your age.)  so here are my {five things} i think you should know:

1.  be serious about your finances.  learn to balance your checkbook (and actually do it).  have only one credit card to use for legitimate emergencies (and no, a new dress for a cute date doesn't count.  neither does ice cream.  or beer.)  have a savings account.

2.  don't ever (like ever ever) let anyone tell you you're not good enough for something or that your passion for something isn't worth it.  follow your dreams.  you'll never regret it.

3.  the friends you have now, you may not have in 10 years, and that's okay.  we all grow as we live and sometimes things change.  but if you are still friends, realize they are treasures.  i'm lucky enough to have about 10 treasured friends i went to school with growing up...and i wouldn't trade those friendships for the world.  but the friends i've gained along the way?  icing on the cake!

4.  sometimes things change and it sucks...and sometimes it's amazing.  roll with the punches.

5.  enjoy every minute of your life.  take risks, have fun.  jump in puddles or out of an airplane...whatever floats your boat.  remember you only live once, so travel to see the world, spend time with your family and friends, and always put yourself first.

okay, so that was kinda a rambling five things that was more like eight, but whatever.

happy graduation class of 2013!  you did it!

welcome to the real world!

if anyone else has any advice, just leave a comment!  


to alison ~~~ i remember holding you as a baby and getting to watch you grow up has been a pleasure.  you're quite an awesome young lady and i know you're gonna live life to its fullest.  congrats on your accomplishment...although, i have a feeling there will be bigger and better celebrations in your lifetime.  and i'll be right there to celebrate with you!  xoxoxo.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

my new favorite salad


it's been far too long...i miss you!  so in honor of my return to mkp after the weeks of feeling crazy busy and our #roadtripvacation (i used that hashtag on instagram to document our adventures...follow me! i'm 'mykindaperfect'!), i'm sharing something that will make your taste buds go wild!  

okay, so this salad is not new...and it's not even new to me. but, i am newly obsessed.  seriously, i have it for lunch more days than not.  it's really that good.


and it's super simple!  baby spinach salad with pickled onions, strawberries, goat cheese, and pecans. 

'holy deliciousness' is what i call it.  

i love absolutely everything about this salad.  at first, i wanted to tell you that the pickled onions are what make this salad (and i'll share that super simple, super awesome recipe later), but then i think it's the strawberries with their sweetness...but the crunch of the pecans is so yummy. and the goat cheese...i love me some chèvre.  so really, what i'm trying to tell you is whole thing is just crazy tasty.  there is sweet, soft, tangy, crunchy, earthy, tart, and oh so wonderful. 

i haven't been using dressing most times i have this salad because the pickled onion juice, strawberry juice, and goat cheese coat most bites nicely. but, i have tried a (random grocery purchase) dressing that was fantastic: hannaford brand sweet herb vinaigrette. it's also a little sweet and a little tangy, so it goes really well with the flavors of the fresh fruit and veggies. 


i've also added grilled chicken to this salad for some extra protein and it's delicious!

make this salad an you won't be sorry. it may become your new favorite salad too!


if you have a recipe you'd like me to feature on my kinda perfect, just email me here and i'll whip it up and share it on the blog! =)  you know i love new recipes, so send them my way!

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