I have been all about adding veggies into the diet recently. You know with that 21 Day Fix thing I have been doing ;)

The favorite go to veggie in our house has been, hands down, Roasted Broccoli.

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I make a whole Costco size bag of this stuff and it is gone in 2 days. I might over salt it a little bit {oops},  which makes it the prefect replacement for potato chips.

Roasted Broccoli isn’t too complicated of a recipe, but I do get asked a lot how I make it, so I thought I would share my easy peasy recipe with you today, along with my post about my upcoming Baltimore trip!

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I am so excited about my Baltimore trip that starts tonight. Three of my college roomies and I are headed to see the 5th roomie in the town she has been calling home for the past 5ish years.  We took a trip there in 2010, but haven’t been back since. You can tell we are all so excited for a long over due girls trip because Instagram has been blowing up with #throwback photo collages like the one below.

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Last time we were in Baltimore, we hit up all the touristy things we could in the Charm City, and took a day trip to Washington DC.  Again we plan to take the train to DC for a day, but also a bus trip to NYC for a day. I love NYC, so I can’t wait to go there for a day with my besties!  Other than saying we are visiting these two places, we don’t have a fine that we have 100% planned out. I am a-ok with that. I really like the no-plan so you can just wing it plan, myself.  So you will have to check out what we end up doing next week post-vacay. Or follow me on Instagram or Facebook to keep track of what we have going on- Myurbanoven

Oh yes, here is another Instagram #throwback collage curtesy of all our excitement!

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Really looking forward to having some wine, taking an over the top amount of photos {many we will make Kel’s hubby take}, make silly faces for the camera, spend a few nights out on the town, eat good food, and overall spend some quality time together having girl talk!

Look for a post or two of our trip over the weekend or Monday :)

 

Now go make yourself some broccoli!!

 

Roasted Broccoli

yield 4 servings 

  • 2- 3 heads broccoli, cut into small bit size pieces 
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Fresh Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees 
  2. In a large bowl, place already cut broccoli and mix with olive oil.
  3. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper or baking mat, and pour broccoli on to pan. Flip the broccoli florets up so the stem faces the pan. This will help the tops crisp up.
  4. One at a time, sprinkle salt over pan, then black pepper, and finally garlic powder, each to personal taste.
  5. Bake in 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until broccoli florets start to brown on the tips.
 

I wanted to just pop in here for a quick shout out to my Hubby-to-Be!!

The Fiancee and I have officially been together for 3 years today! Wow has time flown :)

{Throwback photos}

Year 1: We took a WONDERFUL trip to France!

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Year 2: This was the year of weddings galore! We definitely rocked many a photo booth :)

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Year 3:  HUGE year for us. We bought a house and got Engaged!

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3 years down and the rest of our lives to go!  Now lets get on planning that wedding ;)

 

And we Ran!

As I mentioned earlier, we planned to run the Get Lucky 7K  for our 3 year anniversary.

Friday night we picked up our race packets, and I made The Fiancee do the routine photo to ensure we documents every second of our first 7k.  Picking up the packet was also a huge reality check that in roughly 15 hours I would be running a 7k. You know me, I always plan races before I actually start training in hopes that I will train, and then I don’t do any run training… boat I was sitting in again Friday night.
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I mentioned to my Beachbody coach the other day that ” I was going to die,” {I do have a flare for the dramatics} doing this 7K because I hadn’t trained at all for it. She reminded me that I had been doing the 21 Day Fix for 21 days at this point, and I would be surprised how much that would improve my ability to run this 7K.  Now that didn’t seem to fit, none of my workouts involved running, how would that help me run better? I went with it- wanted to keep positive.

Race day, The Fiancee and I didn’t really plan out what we were going to wear in advance like many of the other racers. We sure did see a lot of tutus, wigs, and one green body suit. So morning of we improvised with everything GREEN (& warm) we could find. Check us out!

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We decided to park farther away and walk the 1/2 mile to the start line. Now on a typical day this would be a great walk, but instead of the 40-50 degree days we had been having all week, it was a freezing 19 degrees at 8am Saturday morning.  We also didn’t want to bring anything to check, so we braved the walk in the clothes we are pictured in above. Dang, it was cold out!  The forecast really did not give hope for race time either, 21 degrees…

While waiting for the race to begin, we sat in the warming area, and I made The Fiancee take more photos with me :)

Like our socks?  Our friend Ryan, bought them for us to play football in because my nickname is Batman, and The Fiancees is Robin {long story, maybe for another day}.  The socks even have little capes on the back! I totally think they helped me run faster ;)

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Now lets talk about the run. I was excited, and nervous waiting there with 12,000 other runners.  I had loads of energy prior to the race, and felt pumped, but wasn’t sure it could carry me through the whole race.  The race started and I was off running. The best part of the whole thing, even though The Fiancee is a strong runner, and could have been way ahead of me even in the first minute, he stuck by my side.  Until the 3K marker, he kept pace with me.  I think the combination of him running with me, and encouraging me every few minutes, I was able to make it to the 3K marker without walking at all.  I was feeling really proud of myself at this point, knowing I had never run a whole mile without stopping in my LIFE!

From the 3K marker to the 4K marker I did walk, to give myself a little breather. The only other break I took was  up a large hill in the middle of the 5thK and the 6thK.  The last K was the toughest, not only because I was tiring out, but because the roads were half iced over. Remember I said it was 20 degrees outside…

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In a little under a hour, at 54 minutes, I finished a head of my goal! It was such a great run, and I felt so good crossing that finish line.  I will have to give it to my coach, Lois, she did say the workouts I had been doing would help me out, and they sure did! I feel like I was able to breath better, something I normally struggle with, and I had more endurance than I have had in a long time. After the run, we both agreed that it was the best anniversary activity.  Again, focusing our life around our health and fitness!   It was so great getting up early, dressing up, and being done with such a great workout by 10am.

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Post run, we gobbled up the fruit and water they gave us, and headed to the “After Party.”  Free beers in hand we relaxed post-race, before heading to lunch.  We had lunch at one of our favorite spots, Smack Shack  for a Shrimp Po’boy and Connecticut Style Lobster Roll. We always order these two sandwiches and split. They are just so delicious!

Please note the fries where for The Fiancee, and I only stole 5 or 6. The sandwich already put me at a max for the day with my eating plan.  I did “treat” myself a little after such a great run, but tried to stay good.
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After all of our morning activity, we went home for a shower and a nice nap.  We relaxed the rest of the day at home with shows we had on DVR, and had some good quite alone time together, totally not something we normally have time for on the weekend. Has anyone watched Master Piece Classics, Sherlock Holmes? If not, it is a MUST! We are nerds, we love a good murder mystery show!  We watched the whole 3rd season Saturday night.

Sunday was not notable at all, we spent the day cleaning our house. Oh the joys of being an adult…

Well that was our weekend, I would love to hear how yours was??

 

-Rachel

 

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I posted a photo of these guys on my Instagram the other night, and saw a great response to them. This was a bottom of the refrigerator type night.  I didn’t really think about sharing the recipe, but after that response, I totally have to now.  Now when I say bottom of the refrigerator night, I don’t mean they weren’t delicious, because they totally were. I just mean I didn’t plan this one out.

I have to do this more. I have to just make something and share. I distinctly remember telling you about my perfectionist habits, and how I don’t share  recipes the first time around. This time I am going to break my rules, pull the band-aid off and share my recipe with Iphone photos and my bottom of the fridge ingredients.

Yup- the photo above is straight from my stove top. You can barely see the Yankee candle I have sitting on the stove top. Vanilla Cookie. What a great smell!

Below is a photo just after cutting into the steamy goodness! Don’t you love the yellow hue in my photo? Yeah we were eating dinner at roughly 9pm… pitch dark out. Over head lighting does wonders for photo lighting :)

I will stop babbling and leave you to the recipe!

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Italian Sausage Stuffed Peppers 

yields 6 servings 

  • 6 bell peppers (red, yellow or green), tops cut off, cleaned and hollowed out (I only had 4, but the mix really makes 6)
  • 2 cups  cooked white or brown rice, chilled (we always have cooked rice in our fridge. We are a 1/2 Asian house)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (I bought the rosemary & oregano version)
  • 2 small zucchini, grated
  • 1/2 lb ground Italian sausage or ground pork (I used ground pork)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1 tsp basil, dried
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used leftover Mexican mix cheddar)
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock (I used water and chicken bullion, b/c it was what I had on hand)
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small saute pan, cook ground Italian sausage until fully cooked, breaking into small chunks while cooking.  Drain off any excess oil.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together grated zucchini, rice, diced tomatoes with juices, Italian sausage and seasonings. Add salt and pepper to preferred taste.
  4. Stuffed cleaned and hollowed peppers with rice mixture. Test to see if your peppers can stand up in the pan on their own. If not, trim the rounded bottoms slightly without putting a hole in the pepper, to ensure they sit flat in the pan. Place each stuffed pepper upright in a 8×8 glass baking pan.
  5. Mix together cheeses, and top each pepper with equal portions of the cheese.
  6. Pour chicken or vegetable stock into the bottom of the pan to keep peppers from burning, and help add steam to your oven to help cook peppers.
  7. Bake prepared peppers at 350 degrees for 40-50 mins or until peppers start to soften. Serve hot.
 

Wooo Whooo! First round of the 21 Day Fix is officially in the books!

I am feeling so excited, energized and great after finishing the 3 weeks!

I am not going to lie, the last weeks were a big mental and physical change for me.  Mentally by changing my daily routine, and physically to start eating in a more balanced way and get a daily workout in.

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In my day 1 post, I didn’t talk much about the fitness portion of the program, so here is the “down low” on that.

  •  To start I want to say, I LOVE the 7 day workout plan! The lay out of the week is really great. Just when you think your body is tried from the past few days of workouts and you aren’t sure if you can do another workout the next day, you have an active recovery day with either Pilates or Yoga, and it feels so good!
  • My favorite workout is the Upper Body Fix. I really want to sculpt my arms and this workout makes me feel so much stronger when I finish.
  • Some of these workouts are HARD….  I find myself yelling at Autumn the whole Pilates workout.  Not that I can’t do the exercises, more so that she really makes my butt muscles burn with those Leg Circles. However hard they were on day 1, by day 21, I found myself using less modifications, heavier weights, and more reps.  Hard isn’t a bad thing, it just means you will be better tomorrow for doing it.
  • As a busy person, I was really looking for something to fit into my schedule. I have always loved attending fitness classes at the gym or yoga studio, but I never seem to make it to them in time.  With the 21 Day Fix®, I am able to hit play any time of the day I need to, and be done in 30 mins. This has helped me be super successful in making sure I complete the whole 21 days. The only hiccup for me was the 4 days I had a terrible cold and could hardly breath, and I couldn’t work out. But the moment I was feeling better I was back at it with Pilates day. I even tacked on 4 days at the end to make sure I was doing the total 21 days.

Autumn has a lot of good motivation quotes in her workouts, but the one that really has been sinking in recently was this one. I am totally focused on it, no giving up!

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Now lets talk about the other half of my changes- Eating. Check out all the color in my daily diet! Red, Orange, Yellow, Green (lots of it), White and Chocolate Brown!  I have been really focused on changing the way I eat and following the plan as much as I can. Below is a collage of some of the meals and snacks I ate on Ash Wednesday- not the best representation of the normal day, but the only day I took lots of photos. It was a tough day eating wise, because getting enough protein in when you are on a “no meat” day for Jesus, was hard. I totally could never be a vegetarian! Love me some red meat too much!

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So what did I take away from my new eating plan?

  • I need to eat more. Wowzer. Right?  How can someone be on a portion control program and say that? Well it is true. I found that almost every day of the week, I was missing 1 or 2 containers. These were obviously in the veggie and fruit areas.  The carbohydrates, proteins and good fats were easy to get in during the day, and sometimes hard to limit ::cough- carbs -cough:: 
  • I need to drink more water!  Half my body weight in water, 90 oz, is not an easy task. I always hover around 55 oz per day.
  • I have stopped drinking soda and coffee to get my caffeine each day.  Huge for me!! I still crave both of them, but I really don’t need them for energy anymore.  Introducing Shakeology and working out has helped me get so much more energy!
  • I don’t really like that they advertise this program as a “Portion Control” program. I personally think it actually is so much more!  When this is advertised as portion control program, I think it carries a stigma that only people that over eat could benefit from the program. This is really not the case, I think everyone could benefit from how this plan lays out how to eat from each category.   I feel  this program teaches both portion control, but more importantly how to have a Balanced Diet. Anyone can count calories, but if all your calories aren’t coming from a balanced assortment of foods, your body will be lacking so many needed nutrients and not really allow you to lose weight and feel great. This renewed focus on a balance diet has been really good for me. Trying my hardest to bump up my in track of some veggies and fruits!

I know you are all DYING to know what my results were for the 21 days. I am going to preface your reading with, I am HAPPY with my results.

  • Down 4.5 lbs
  • Down 3″ total
  • Energy is SUPER high
  • Building Muscle-  Now using 10 lb weights, up from 5lb weights on day 1
  • Working out every day- it is in my routine now, you can’t take it away from me :)

Today is the first day of round 2!! Can’t wait to see my results after this 2nd round.

 



 
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