Tag Archives: Peanut Butter

A Weekend Full of My Favorite People

I’ve had such a great weekend filled with friends and family that I love the most. So far I’m doing perfect with my 2013 goals.

Yesterday I started my morning with my official weigh in for Erica’s Diet Bet before completing a run/walk interval workout. My legs were very sore from my leg workout from Thursday, so I started off with a 1.25 mile warm-up walk before tackling a 4 mile run.

By the time I was finished and showered, it was noon and I was ready for breakfast. I went for oatmeal in an almost empty peanut butter jar!

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I mixed 1/2 cup of oats with 1 cup of almond milk, cinnamon, Truvia, 2 tbsp of PB2 and topped it with half of a banana (I ate the other half before working out) and several mini scoops of strawberry jam.

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The oatmeal was so good and it was actually my first time having oatmeal in an almost empty jar of pb. I’ve seen this pop up on a lot of blogs, and I’m excited to try it in all of the remaining jars I have.

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5 opened jars of peanut butter. I need help.

Since my Mom is recovering from surgery, I spent the rest of my day at home making sure she had everything she needed. I cleaned the house, went grocery shopping, completed a load of laundry, and just hung out with her for a bit before my Dad arrived and I was able to sneak off to the gym for a strength workout.

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I had planned on doing the Pure Hell workout, but while drying my hands in the bathroom before working out, my workout unfortunately got screwed over by the dryer and sink. Womp womp!

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For the most part I was able to remember everything since the workout was still burned in my brain.

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I had originally planned on only doing a cardio workout, but I’m so glad that I changed my mind and went for the weights. Before my strength workout I did warm up with another mile walk and finished up with 10 minutes on the elliptical, followed by 10 minutes in the sauna.

I quickly headed home to shower and get dolled up for a night out. I ended up allowing The Prospect to treat me to a very fancy dinner at Cotton for several hours before we met up with Mike for several drinks at Strange Brew. I ended up ordering the Spinach Salad with Grilled Salmon and absolutely loved it! This is easily one of my favorite meals at any restaurant. I hadn’t seen Mike in what seemed like forever and I was happy that both Mike and The Prospect wanted to meet each other.

I’m pretty sure it was the first time that Mike has approved of a guy I’ve brought around, and coming from the most honest and over-protected best friend I have, this is big.

Around 1, The Prospect and I headed out and fell asleep watching Rachel vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off. Holy crap this show was so good. He was out cold but I only snoozed during commercials. I’m pretty sure the new season kicks off tonight, so I might have to add it to my line-up! By the time I got home and into bed it was 3 am, SO late for me, and slept like a rock until 10 am.

Sunday

After popping 2 clementines into my mouth, I tackled a 4 mile run, which was a little difficult after a late night of great food, beer and a skinny girl marg. Definitely worth it!

I enjoyed a Strawberry Banana protein shake before taking care of several things. Now I’m just finishing this post and watching a Cougar Town marathon until my cousin Nikki arrives. We have plans to go shopping at the Merrimack Outlets and Target, which I hope I can refrain from spending money!

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Knowing that I’d get hungry while shopping, I packed a PB2 & J sandwich for the trip.

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2 slices of Ezekiel bread, 2 tbsp of PB2 and a little strawberry jam, and that’s all you need for the perfect comfort food sandwich! I hope I get hungry soon so I can dig in.

Enjoy the remainder of your weekend! XO

 

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Date Night & Chobani Addiction

If my body was hurting yesterday, then this morning is death for my body. Along with being tired, my body is seriously feeling Heather’s almost-puke workout from Thursday.

Yesterday I was able to enjoy another half relaxing day. After leaving work at 1 for a half day, I went to the gym for a light cardio workout which included 25 minutes on the elliptical and a 1-mile speed walk, and then the best part, 25 minutes in the sauna. Talk about relaxing.

My night got even better as Mark the Prospect and I celebrated him being a smarty pants and passing the CBIM test, aka the Certified Business Intelligence Professional test. We had planned on going on out to eat, but we were so tired and comfy on the couch watching a movie that we just decided to stay in. I didn’t mind at all. It was cold and windy outside, and I really didn’t want to go out to eat again.

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The Prospect requested a picture of us and I was happy to oblige, even if it did turn out dark and blurry. Damn that earring earned the center of attention in the picture!

I got home around 11:30 and was out cold, before waking this morning around 9 am. I could have stayed in bed a lot longer but I have several things I want to get done before we head to my Mom’s brother’s house for Christmas with her family.

I do plan on getting some type of workout in this morning, but I’ll have to see what my body tells me it’s okay with. I just finished up my newest addiction, thanks to Lisha. Vanilla greek yogurt mixed with peanut butter, holy heavens is this baby good.

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I one uped her and went for Chobani Vanilla Chocolate Chunk.

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Mixed with Teddie’s Peanut Butter and this baby is a slam dunk and perfect for pre-workout fuel.

Alright, time to go tackle my to-do list before heading to my Uncle’s. Luckily the desserts there rarely tempt me. I’m tackling this holiday party with a clean-eating mind!

And before I sign out, a seriously special shout-out to my girls that left comments on yesterday’s post and encourage me to not give up and beat myself up for my holiday weight gain. You girls and all of my readers mean the world to me. So thankful for you guys every single day! xo

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Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

I have a new favorite breakfast. This is a miracle!

This entire week my nights have been pretty busy and I haven’t had the opportunity to make some of my favorite meals for dinner, so I was excited to have last night all to myself to get creative with dinner. I love breakfast foods and could easily eat breakfast for lunch and dinner, but when I work early, it’s very difficult and impossible to make elaborate breakfasts. I usually have to stick to yogurt bowls, protein shakes and overnight oats.

Last night I knew exactly what I wanted to make. I previously failed at making oatmeal with peanut butter and have been wanted to redeem myself ever since. I have seen so many bloggers rave about peanut butter oatmeal and I could never understand where their love came from, until last night.

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup water
  • Dash of Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp Chia seeds
  • 1 scoop Peanut Butter
  • Banana slices
  • 1 Truvia packet or sweetener of your choice

Directions:

  1. Mix your oats and water in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 3 minutes or until the oatmeal is at your desired consistency
  2. Add in your chia seeds, cinnamon and sweetener, and mix together
  3. Garnish with banana slices and peanut butter, mix and enjoy!

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This had to have been one of the best bowls of oatmeal I’ve ever had, and I’m not just saying that either. The peanut butter was extra creamy and melted and mixed in perfectly in every spoonful. It left me with one full and happy belly!

Can’t wait to make this breakfast this weekend!

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Overcoming Coworkers Negativity Towards Healthy Eating Habits

The fact that I’m blogging while laying on my foam roller should be a good indication of how my legs are feeling after yesterday and today’s workout. Today I had my legs and arm workout, and originally I was worried how I’d do with my squats and step-ups since my legs were so tight, but once I warmed up on the elliptical for 10 minutes and got into my workout, the pain actually was unnoticeable.

I was able to get through the entire workout, minus 15 of my 35 minutes of cardio and 1 set of step-ups. I figure since tomorrow is an all cardio day that I can make it up then, along with those awful step-ups.

After my workout I enjoyed a homemade deluxe turkey sandwich.

The sandwich looks pretty monstrous but don’t be fooled, the lettuce was larger than life and bursting with volume.

Roughly 20 minutes after eating my lunch, my coworker Nichole, who is also an amazing baker, invited everyone to our department to celebrate Travis’ birthday with a peanut butter pie. It looked so delicious, but since I wasn’t hungry and treated myself last night with cheesecake, a piece of pie was the last thing I wanted to put into my body.

Every single time there is cake or cupcakes in the office I am given such a hard time because I don’t want to eat it because I’m either not hungry or I don’t want to wreak havoc on my healthy choices. Once again I was harassed today for not eating a slice of pie. While I know my coworkers, especially Nichole aren’t doing it to be mean, part of me believes that there is an underlying issue or unhappiness in their life where they try to make me feel bad for putting good food in my body.

I believe that we do need to treat ourselves every now and then so that we don’t feel deprived and go psycho when we come face-to-face with a box of Oreos. For me, treating myself includes several pieces of chocolate or an extra scoop of peanut butter, but ONLY when I crave it or feel like it’s been earned.

Some times the badgering gets so bad that I just grab a slice or cupcake to shut everyone up. Today I stood my ground and was involved in the celebration, just not eating the cake, and you know what, I was proud and happy that I stood my ground because I felt pretty amazing after and didn’t feel weighed down.

Have you guys ever been guilted in to eating or doing something you truly didn’t want to do or eat? If so, how do you overcome that negative attitude that’s directed at you?

It’s difficult to have coworkers who harp on me for eating healthy foods, but the only thing I can do is know that eating that way makes me feel good about myself, and at the end of the day that’s the only thing that matters.

Once I was able to escape the pie lovers, I buzzed into the gym quickly because it’s Member Appreciation Day and Muscle Milk was there giving out free drinks.

Sometimes it pays to be indecisive because the 2 girls working for Muscle Milk let me take 2 drinks for free since I couldn’t decide.

I went with Muscle Milk Light in Vanilla Latte, which has caffeine and thought this would make for a delicious breakfast, and I also chose Strawberries and Cream, thinking this would be a great afternoon protein pick me up. The girls recommended the Light chocolate, but because I’ve had it already and have chocolate protein shakes all the time, I wanted to try something new. 🙂

Since getting home from work I’ve literally done nothing except eat yogurt and peanut butter. Oh and foam roll these sore legs. I’m anxiously awaiting the finale of Dancing with the Stars, but I really am not sure how I’ll make it up until 11 pm. Why do they make these things so late?!

All I want to do is see Kelly & Val win the Mirror Ball trophy and declare their love for one another!

Until then, it’s Lifetime Christmas movie time. 🙂

 

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I Kicked the Midnight Snack Habit!

I don’t know what’s been going on but for the past week I have constantly been waking up to a headache and it’s getting old to be frank.  It just sits there quietly but noticeable at the back of my head. No amount of Ibuprofen will kick it either.

I swear I’m a medical mystery, there’s always something that’s screwy with me.

Again I was out COLD last night. I put my phone away at 9:40 and slept through the entire night. It’s really insane how things play out, because if you remember, I used to always wake up in the middle of the night around 3 am and have a snack, which more times than not included peanut butter. In abundance. I discussed it on the blog because I wanted to bring it to light and hold myself accountable for my actions. I noticed that it was one of the biggest reasons in me not being able to tone up.

I used to go to bed KNOWING and TELLING myself that I’d have a snack in the middle of the night. That’s how ingrained those snacks had become in my life and mind. I wanted to kick the habit so I started counting the days that I went without a midnight snack and reported the next morning on my blog.

Well guys, I’m happy to say that I no longer go to bed telling myself I’ll be up at 3 am to eat, nor do I have to tell myself not to snack during the night. Just like eating in the middle of the night was a habit, my new habit this past month has been no midnight snacks. The thought no longer even crosses my mind when I get to sleep. Not only do I wake up feeling healthier and more energized, but I also fall asleep faster and sleep through the night.

Sometimes changing habits take time and effort, but patience is key. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Progress and change takes time, and with determination and faith, you will get there!

I’ve also noticed that my peanut butter addiction has dramactically decreased as well, which I am so pleased about. Instead of having 2 or 3 times the recommended serving, I now either stick to the recommended serving, or even less! Don’t worry, I’ll never stop eating peanut butter, because that wouldn’t be fun and then I’d have to change my blog name. Not happening! 😉

This morning’s workout was a good one, and I expected it to be since I’m using my lunch to get my pearly whites cleaned!

Morning Workout

  • 3.8 mile run
  • 3 sets of 15 stair push-ups
  • 1:43 plank hold – I beat Monday’s time by 8 seconds in Tina’s 4-Week Challenge
  • 2 sets of 20 mountain climbers
  • 50 crunches & 50 side-to-side crunches
  • 20 toe touches
  • 30 heel touchers

I used to do heel touchers in college but completely forgot about them until my coworker told me she did them at R.I.P.P.E.D the other night. These babies seriously work your obliques and you’ll feel the burning pain in no time. It hurts so good!

This morning since I was all out of my Chobani Mango, I grabbed the Strawberry Banana yogurt bowl I had left and put a spin on my usual bowl of overnight oats.

In this mix I threw frozen blueberries and raspberries and then sprinkled in ground flax seed and PB2. Holy heavens this was so good! I loved the creamy peanut butter taste that the PB2 adds. I swear whenever I have a Strawberry Banana bowl I NEED that PB2 in there. Pure (healthy) comfort food.

A little before my dentist appointment I got really hungry, so I snacked on an apple, 1 piece of my California Roll that I brought for lunch, and then a bowl of a chopped hard boiled egg and half of an avocado. This time I added salsa to the mix.

Seriously this was ten times better than the egg and avocado mashup I enjoyed Wednesday. You’d think with everything I’ve eaten so far, and yes I enjoyed a chocolate peanut butter banana protein shake after my morning workout, that I wouldn’t be ravenous. All I can account it to is an increase in my metabolism due to the strength training that P90X has thrown into my daily routine.

After getting a “very good” at my 6-month cleaning, I rewarded myself with the last 3 California Rolls and a banana dipped in PB2 powder. If you have PB2, you have to try dipping the banana in the powder. Of course it tastes better when you smear the banana with the prepared PB2, but you get enough of the peanut butter taste with each bite and you use less PB2. Double win! 🙂

I’m buzzing out of work an hour early today at 4 to get in a quick workout before my date. Crossing my fingers, I hate first dates! Ahhhh!

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I’m a Vermonta, I Do What I Wanta!

Last night I overindulged a little too much around dinner time.

I started off with a Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana protein shake.

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop each of chocolate and vanilla protein
  • 1-1   ½ cups vanilla almond milk
  • Handful of spinach
  • 1 TBSP PB2
  • Handful of mini ice cubes
  • 2 frozen banana slices

This one was extra peanut buttery and hit the spot.

That’s when the trouble started. I spied a ginormous sweet potato in the pantry so I decided to microwave it for meals and snacks for the rest of the week. Lately peanut butter smothered sweet potatoes have been popping up religiously on the blogging scene, so in honor of Peanut Butter Lovers Month, I decided to try one bite of the sweet potato with pb. One bite turned into half of the sweet potato with an unjustifiable amount of peanut butter.

Opps.

After a few scoops of Cool Whip (double oops), I tamed my sweet tooth and hopped on the treadmill and walked for 1.3 miles before cozying up on the couch while I caught up on Modern Family.

I called it an early night and slept from 9:30 pm until 5:25 am. Such a good night’s rest. When I woke up, we had snow!

As I mentioned yesterday, I only like the first snowfall and snow on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, so at this point, it can go away until December 24th.

My run was tough, but I was able to cover 3.8 miles before I focused on my core. Apparently Jake wasn’t happy that I was planking instead of petting him because in the middle of my plank, he lunged at me and wrapped his claws around my forearm. Considering I just cleaned his litter box last night, he’s GROUNDED!

Morning Workout

  • 3.8 mile run
  • 3 sets of 15 stair push-ups
  • 1 minute regular plank straight arm hold and 30 seconds left and right side plank holds
  • 50 scissors
  • 100s Abs
  • 50 lying down side foot touches

It felt great but I feel rather gross today. I’m kicking myself for last night’s feast! I have a date tomorrow night so I NEED to get my act together and focus on eating clean. There’s nothing worse than not feeling your best or attractive on a date.

This morning I read one of Julie’s older posts about feeling guilty for eating the same meal over and over again and posting it on the blog. Julie mentions how she feels like she should be switching her meals up for her blog but then realized that it’s not right to change her eating habits solely for her blog. I’ve felt the exact same way with always eating my Raspberry Mango Overnight Oats, but you know what, it’s what I want, it’s the best combo that fills me up for work and I love it.

Back when I lived in Vermont we used to say, “I’m a Vermonta, I do what I wanta!” Well, I might not live in Vermont anymore, but I’m still gonna do what I wanta! So stew over that while I enjoy my bowl of oats.

Back to me feeling like a lard ass today. I had high hopes of getting in a sweaty cardio session on my lunch, but I’m bummed because it’s sleeting/raining out right now. I’m thinking the 3 minute walk through slush will be worth it in the end though! I really wish we had an enclosed catwalk leading from our building to our parking lot, but since we don’t, it’s a good thing I keep a pair of old Nikes in my office for those walks in inclement weather.

Time to go brave the elements! Catch you guys later on. 🙂

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Happy Peanut Butter Lovers Month!

Happy Peanut Butter Lovers Month, which means it’s the happiest time of the year! 😉

In honor of Peanut Butter Lovers Month, I thought it’d be fun to give my fellow PB lovers a quick PB 101 lesson before blabbing on about my favorite ways to enjoy peanut butter!

Take a seat kids, it’s about to get intense!

Peanut Butter 101:

  • It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter
  • The world’s largest peanut butter factory churns out 250,000 jars of peanut butter a day <– I need to work THERE!
  • 60% of consumers prefer creamy over crunchy
  • Americans spend over $800 million on peanut butter a year
  • The peanut is not a nut, but a legume
  • The average child will eat 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before he/she graduates high school – INSANE!

For more fun facts, click here!

Enough with the learning, let’s talk about the best ways to eat peanut butter!

Here’s a few of my favorite ways to scarf down a jar of pb:

#1 Peanut Butter Dipped Grapes

Oh I’m sorry, you’ve never tried this? Freak. SO good, and I mean SOOOOO good! Fork a purple grape, dunk it in your favorite peanut butter and pop that sucker in your mouth. Continue on until either you run out of grapes or peanut butter. At that point, run back out to the grocery store for seconds.

#2 Peanut Butter Dipped Pretzels

Oh my god. If you’ve ever been suckered into the peanut butter filled pretzel nuggets that you can find at stores, you’ll like this even more. Not only can you control the amount of peanut butter to drench your pretzel in, but your peanut butter is also fresh and creamy. Dip away!

#3 Peanut Butter Spoons or Fingers

When a craving hits, a craving hits. Sometimes there’s not enough time to even consider putting peanut butter on fruit or toast or in a shake.

#4 Peanut Butter Toast

Oh so heavenly when the peanut butter drips down the sides of your bread and onto your fingers and you have to lick your fingers so you don’t waste a drop of peanut butter. Oh sorry, got a little carried away.

#5 Peanut Butter & Jam Sandwich

Hello childhood. No explanation needed here.

#6 PB Smeared Banana

I just joined this cult several weeks ago, since I always went for the pb grapes but with the latest addition of PB2 in my pantry, this has been a new go-to snack. You can have fun with this treat depending on how you want to eat it. You can go classy and cut up banana slices and smear the pb on top of each slice, you can cut the banana lengthwise and make a pb banana sandwich, or do like me and just top the banana with pb after each bite. I know how to get it done.

#7 Peanut Butter Apple Slices

Another childhood favorite, just make sure you overdose each slice with peanut butter. It’s necessary.

Oh shit, this month is also National Good Nutrition Month so try not to go through too many jars of peanut butter. And that time I mentioned loading on hunks of peanut butter, errr try to control yourself and use the recommended serving size.

One last fun one. November also hosts National Raisin Bread Month, so go grab some raisin bread and top it with a healthy amount of peanut butter.

There. How’s that for covering 3 national so and so months in one meal.

What are your favorite ways to enjoy peanut butter?

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I Love Me Some Overnight Oats

It’s a no brainer that I am obsessed, addicted, and completely devoted to overnight oats. In the past I had always seen blogger after blogger talking only good things about overnight oats, but there were just 2 things holding me back before I caved into the madness.

The biggest factor was that I didn’t have chia seeds, and every store that I visited, was sold out. I read that the chia seeds were the all-star in the oats, giving it not only the perfect texture and consistency, but also packing a healthy punch in every bite, so I refused to try the oats until I had my own bag of chia seeds. In fact, chia seeds are so popular that the demand has increased by 200% as of late.

Chia Seeds are holy for so many reasons, including:

  • Powerhouse food
  • High in protein, fiber & omega-3
  • Increase energy, improve digestion, tone muscles, aid in better sleep and better your complexion

The 2nd factor was the look of it. It looked like a bowl of pure mush and I honestly was weary as to how oatmeal would taste cold. I mean, I never enjoyed when my warm bowl of banana bread oatmeal got a little too cold, so how was I going to enjoy mushy cold oatmeal?

I finally found the seeds, whipped up a bowl, and the next morning I was head over heels in love. Love at first bite. Sounds so very Edward Cullen!

There are still so many different variations of the oats that I am excited to try but for now, I’m hooked on my Raspberry Mango Overnight Oats and my PB and J Overnight Oats.

Overnight Oats have to be one of the easiest meals to throw together. It typically takes me about 3 minutes to prepare.

PB & J Overnight Oats

Directions:

1. In a bowl mix together:

  • ½ cup oats
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • PB2 – as much as you want
  • 1 container Chobani Strawberry Banana
  • 2 tbsp (or as much as you prefer) Chia Seeds

2. Cover the bowl and let the oats sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning, stir the oats and top with sliced bananas and raspberries.

I find that the texture of Greek yogurt yields the best results, and obviously Chobani is the no-brainer, I mean, if they had a cult I’d be one of their top members.

 

 

Mix it all up and throw in the toppings of your choice. To complete my Peanut Butter and Jam Overnight Oats bowl I tossed in banana slices and raspberries.

Grab a spoon and join my cult!

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Maple Peanut Butter Granola

Last night as part of my relaxation I got to baking! Baking relaxes me when there isn’t a long list of ingredients and steps, otherwise I get overwhelmed and don’t enjoy the process of baking up a healthy or indulgent treat. That’s the worst! I like immediate gratification. What can I say, I’m impatient, especially when peanut butter is involved! 😉

This recipe is not only delicious, but it is extremely simple and quick. In fact, it’s so easy that the ditziest blonde could make this with their eyes closed.

Who knew making your own granola could be so easy! We demolished the batch in a matter of 5 minutes.

The clusters were so plump and full of flavor that it was practically impossible to leave any for later.

Maple Peanut Butter Granola

Makes: Not Enough

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP Peanut Butter (or nut butter of your choice)
  • 2 TBSP Maple Syrup although honey could work as well
  • 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Oats

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees & spray cookie sheet with cooking spray
  2. Combine peanut butter and maple syrup in a bowl and microwave for roughly 25 seconds and stir once the peanut butter has melted
  3. Stir the cinnamon and vanilla extract into the above mixture
  4. Add the oats and stir until they are completely covered in the peanut butter and syrup mixture
  5. Spread the oats onto the cookie sheet and bake for roughly 10 minutes or until the granola has browned to your liking
  6. Let cool and eat when you lose your will power!

This granola is lethal and as much as I want to bake a batch every single day for the rest of my life, I really don’t want to turn into a cluster. I can guarantee that the next time I make this granola I’m going to add in sliced almonds, dried cherries, and other fun items!

Enjoy the granola and don’t turn into a peanut butter cluster like me!

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Guilty Pleasure Snacks

Let’s talk fun snacks. I’m not talking “healthy” snacks. I’m talking “guilty pleasure” snacks.

This snack actually happened last night and I knew I had to be accountable, so instead of turning it into a pessimistic post about what I ate, I figured I’d have a little fun with it. So what’s my favorite guilty pleasure snack?

Here she is:

Peanut butter and fluff spoons!

I actually like this combo a lot more than a plain peanut butter spoon.

Peanut Butter & Fluff Spoon Eating Directions:

1. Dip equal amounts of peanut butter and fluff onto a spoon
2. Eat small bites off a big spoonful. Usually I get 3 bites off one spoon.

I probably enjoy at least 3-4 of these spoonfuls for a snack. So delish!

It’s also good to dip a pb spoon into jam too. Get creative!

Some of my other guilty pleasure snacks include:
• Pretzels/Ritz Crackers drenched in peanut butter
• Doritos: Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch.. yes I’ve fought a 7 year-old boy over a bag of Ranch Doritos. No shame.
• Crushed Graham Crackers in milk – seriously GO try this. Ryan and I ate this for breakfast, lunch and dinner growing up. ADDICTING

What are some of your favorite “guilty pleasure” snacks you like to treat yourself with?

P.S Happy almost weekend! Only a few more hours until we can put our party pants on. Make sure to drop by this evening for a full recap of my Friday!

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