Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Alright guys, ready for that exciting news? I'm gonna let you in on a little secret: I have been diligently working on a new website for about the past month or so. And guess what else? It's done!

You better get your cute little butts over there if you know what's good for you :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Miss Me?

I had planned on blogging from the beach, but due to circumstances beyond my control (and terrible hotels with nonworking WiFi grrrrr!) I was unable to. So sad.

But let me assure you, there was plenty of good food.

And good times.

And mayyyybe some ice cream here and there.

And yes, I totally ate all that ice cream. And loved every bite. But all good things must come end. Reality is so hard to come back to! To cheer myself up, I picked the Mediterranean Snack Food Lentil Chips Giveaway Winner!! (That's a lot of words for one winner, guys)

Random Generator says....

Katie from Healthy Heddleston!

Just email me your info at fitnfreshblog@gmail.com and I will send it right along to Miss Sharon! Congrats babe (:

I'm off to unpack little love bloggies. I have a special surprise for you all later this week (!) - catch ya in the am!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lentil Chips Giveaway!

I could not believe how many of you have eaten bugs before - especially in your organic produce! It makes me feel a little bit better about my life, but way more nervous about organic produce in general. Us veggie girls are daring girls, obviously. That may be my new motto. I gotta put that on the blog somewhere...

Well, it's almost beach time for me! My car is packed and ready to go:

But before I take off, I wanted to leave you guys with a little somethin somethin-

That's right! I didn't forget! The other day at TJ Maxx, I stumbled upon this bag of crunchy deliciousness:

Baked Lentil Chips. Has anybody else seen/tried these? I was hooked just by the ingredients: Bean Flour (Lentil., Adzuki and Garbanzo beans), Potato Starch, Vegetable Oil (Sunflower Seed/Canola Oil), Sea Salt, Potassium Chloride.

Not to mention the stats.

4 grams of protein? 3 grams of fiber? Yes please and thank you! You know I practically smuggled those bad boys out of there. For $2.99, I would have bought every bag - if there had been any others, that is.

Once home with my loot, I proceeded to rip open the bag and pop a few in my mouth. And I was instantly reaching for more. Seriously good stuff. I think I may have found a replacement for my pita chips!

They're crispy and crunchy, but thick - thick enough to not break when you want to pile on the dip. Or the hummus, in my case. They’re not dense though, they’re airy and light. And they taste fantastic. There's no beany aftertaste like I semi-expected. The Mediterranean Snack Food Company has an amazing product on their hands. Actually, they have amazing products since they also have a couple other flavors as well as veggie chips and cheddar puffs! If you're interested, you can find a place that sells them near you here. Unfortunately, they don't have online ordering, but you can call them to have a case shipped straight to your door, though I am unsure of the cost on that front.

Overall, I give this product a 4.75 out of 5 - and that's only because I could have totally done without the Potassium Chloride. Other than that, they were pretty much perfect.

Have you tried lentil chips?

Better question: Do you want to?

Because I feel like it's time for a...

The awesome Sharon down at MSFC has offered to give one of you lucky readers a mixed case of their delicious lentil chips, containing 4 bags of each of their different flavors: Sea Salt, Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper and Cucumber Dill.

Here are the official entry rules given to me by Miss Sharon:
  • Earn one (1) entry just by leaving a comment below (duh!), I'd love to hear if you've tried them before or not!
  • Earn one (1) entry by becoming a fan of Mediterranean Snacks on Facebook and leaving a wallpost linking back to this giveaway
  • Earn one (1) entry by posting a comment on Mediterranean Snacks' blog
And there you have it! I will pick a winner Sunday night when I get back from the beach! Since I will be away for four days, I am going to let everyone post a comment (meaning one entry for the giveaway) per day to up your chances of winning - so stop back daily and leave a comment!

The next time you see me, it will be all fun in the sun. Catch ya at the beach loves!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Extra Protein? + Free Music

So dinner last night was an Ashley-inspired feast. Slow+Low sweet potatoes, garlic spinach and Pour, Poke + Spread eggs!

It was absolutely delicious - until I found a cooked beetle in my spinach about 2/3 of the way through. It took everything in me to not throw up. In fact, I'm still dry heaving a bit just thinking about it.

I immediately called my boyfriend (who had been previously making fun of me for eating vegetables in the first place, the kid is such a hater) and relayed to him the horrible event. His response?

"What? You don't like a little extra protein?"

Not that kind.

Needless to say, I didn't eat anything for the rest of the day. I should market this as a diet strategy, I've never lost my appetite so quickly! Plus I think I'm going to be paranoid with my food for about the next month. No lie, I literally sifted through my oatmeal this morning. Just in case.

More whipped oats (sick of them yet?), this time with some summer berries.
  • 1/3 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • spritz of vanilla
  • dash of salt
If you haven't made these yet, I'm urging you to do so. Do it!!

Alright readers, you want to know what I listen to when I run? I'm gonna be honest, it's mostly techno. Something about the fast pace, the rhythym, the dirty bass - it just gets me going. But I don't listen to techno all the time, which is why I have not one, but TWO playlists for you!

I know. You love me (:

for the non-techno
If it's not techno, it's gotta make me want to move. I've found that a fast pace in music is an absolute essential for me. I really do run slower to slower songs. And I normally don't even realize it at the time! It's a tragic waste of my energy. However I have learned to use this to better my runs - by putting slower paced songs in the beginning of my playlists! This way, I don't start off sprinting like I usually sometimes do.

This is the playlist I used for my last three mile run:

By the way, I heart Grooveshark. Notice how my songs start off slower paced and end strong - cause I'm a winner baby! That's one of my favorite power songs right now. Talk about getting amped up! I feel ready to take on the world when my boy Jaime Foxx is on the line.

for the techno lovers.
I hope you guys don't mind a little vulgarity in music. Personally, it kinda gets me revved up. Is that weird? Please don't be frightened of me! I just find that it makes me push myself harder, but I am totally okay with you not feeling the same. With that in mind, I'm going to give you my current favorite techno run mix! Just click the link to download it.

DJ Doverspike is actually a very good friend of mine and he makes the mixes I run to the most. I love it when he adds songs he knows I like - they just make my runs so much better! So give the mix a try - I'll bet my bottom dollar you become obsessed like me. Then we can be twins! Or however-many-of-us-there-are-uplets.

In the end though, it really all comes down to what YOU like. What gets you pumped? What gets you focus? What gets you running like Rocky in Philly? Figure that out and you'll have the playlist of your dreams.

Favorite running songs - Let's hear em.

If we're lucky, maybe Doverspike will mix them all together for us. Fingers crossed! By the way, who all liked the Christina Aguilera throwback? Ohhh yeahhhhh (:

Monday, July 19, 2010

Festival Eats Continued

I absolutely loved all of your responses to my last post! I'm glad to know that some of you simply can't run a step without your iPod (like me), but it was also refreshing to know that some of you can throw miles back without a single tune (wow). I wish I could claim that! You all rock (and rock out) ladies!

fresh eats.
Well, I told you I was going to go back to the festival, didn't I? Did anyone figure out my hint earlier? Okay, I'll give it to you again: It sucks. Figure it out yet?

Why calamari, of course! Seriously, there are few things better than fresh made calamari. This stuff melted in my mouth. It was like chewing through butter. I choked down that entire thing in under 3 minutes. I know because I timed myself. And no, that's not weird.

I also got another fab festival food. Potato pizza. Which is never an actual pizza so I'm still unsure why they call it that.

And a side shot for ya.

I had originally planned to take this home and eat it for lunch today, but it got about as far as my car before I shamelessly devoured it. Oops. I'll chalk that down as a "my bad."

Breakfast was another bowl of whipped oats. I told you this would happen. Every day for a week, I promise it. This time, I tried a chocolate variation - with a little added sugar.

A chocolate chickpea brownie from the depths of my freezer. This was completely amazing, as I expected. Such deliciousness for breakfast makes me feel a bit evil. I like it.

For dinner, I tried another zucchini recipe. I'm pretty much drowning in zucchini so get used to it.

Mushroom Stuffed Zucchini. This was so good, I ate an entire half and would have eaten the other half if I hadn't wanted it so badly for lunch (no potato pizza!). I got the original recipe here. Obviously, I didn't add the ham, but everything else is exactly the same. The only thing I would do differently next time is double the filling - but that's because I'm a mushroom addict.

fit happenings.
I feel as though my terribly tough run on Saturday has actually made the rest of my runs easier. Is that weird? Better question, is that possible?

Both yesterday and today I went for short, three mile runs and I finished minutes faster than I normally would. I'm not sure if it's because I'm trying harder or they just seem easier. Today's splits:
  • Mile 1 - 10:26
  • Mile 2 - 9:26
  • Mile 3 - 8:48
Boom. I also did my current favorite full body workout, The Total Body Sesh. Let's just say, I was pretty happy with myself. Thankfully this week is my taper week which works out great because I'm going to Ocean City this weekend! My boyfriend's sister is getting married and a bunch of us are going down for her bachelorette party. I cannot wait to be on the beach! And you know you'll be right there with me (:

Things to look forward to this week:
- Two Reviews!
- Music I run to (Reader Request)
- A look in my FitBook

Instead of asking you a question to end off, I'm turning it around! If you guys have any questions you'd like to ask me, I'm looking to start a Q&A page! I'll answer anything you throw at me, so you can either email me directly at fitnfreshblog@gmail.com or just post them here. Thank you my little blogettes and have a great night (:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

5 Things Running Has Taught Me

1. My ipod is invaluable.
I've gotten through many a run solely due the jams I was rocking. Without music, my long runs would stretch out forever and I'd probably drive myself crazy with my thoughts. Or run out of thinks to think about (it's happened!). I'm pretty sure my iPod has been my best fitness buy. Period.

2. How to pace myself.
When I first started running, I ran. Fast. But I couldn't keep that pace up for long. I didn't have any concept of pace, but I learned that going slower meant lasting longer. Remember: the tortoise won the race.

3. I'm stronger than I think.
There were many times that I was in awe by how long I ran or the hills I tackled. I used to hate my big legs, but now I adore them. They're strong and powerful and they've taken me places I've never thought I'd go.

4. Endurance/Perserverence.
When runs get tough, I've learned to push through. When runs get long, I've learned to keep going. And I've taken these attributes and applied them to other aspects of my life. And as I'm sure you can guess, it's all been for the better.

5. Mind over Matter.
Running is 90% mental and 10% physical. If you think you can do it, you can. If you don't think you can do it, you won't. Personal encouragement is what's made me get my booty from mile 3 to 8. Don't underestimate the power of self-support!

I had probably the roughest run of my life on Saturday. It was hot, my feet hurt, my throat was parched and all I wanted to do was stop. But I didn't. I pushed through and finished my entire run. And the feeling afterwards: Amazing. I just felt so accomplished. And there's nothing better than that. Not until Saturday night at least.

What is something that running (or yoga or cycling or just working out in general) has taught you?

Time for work! I think I'm trying another zucchini recipe tonight and if it goes well - you'll be the first to know. Have a great day love bugs! (:

Friday, July 16, 2010

Found: A New Obsession

Happy friday everyone!! I'm super excited to get this weekend rolling. I've got plans, guys, plans. But first, I think I promised you a recipe? Ohhh that's right - zucchini! It would seem I'm finally starting to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Well, actually the veggies of my labor. Yesterday, I pulled this big boy from the garden:

No lie, this was a two pound zucchini. And when life gives me a ginormous zucchini, I make zucchini fritters. I went online, snatched a recipe from Simply Recipe and made the simple switch from all-purpose flour to spelt flour (can you tell I'm getting addicted here) and voila! My zucchini was fritterized.

Technically, you're supposed to eat these with sour cream, but unfortunately we had none. So I otped for ketchup, cause I'm classy like that. Or I'm five like that. One of the two.

These turned out okay. They were a little softer inside than I think they were supposed to be, but that was probably a my bad. They clearly stated you had to squeeze the water out of it completely and I don't think I did a very good job. Oopsies. It was also a little blah tasting, but still it could be good with a few tweaks.

Now worries, I've got a killer recipe to make up for it! Dinner might have been eh - but breakfast today? Now that's where it's at! I've been tired of all my old breakfasts lately so I've been trying to switch it up. This morning, I thought I'd give whipped oats a try.

Seriously, I think I might eat these every day for the next week. No lie.

This would be my own little banana bread version. I wasn't exactly sure how to whip my oats at first, but apparently it's as easy as taking an immersion blender to your regular oats. Who knew?!

Banana Bread Whipped Oats
1/3 cup oats
1/2 smashed banana
1/3 cup almond milk
1/3 cup water
1/2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla
dash of cinnamon
1 Tbsp chocolate chips

Mix together banana, oats, milk, water, chia seeds, vanilla and cinnamon and cook as you normally would. Remove from heat and whip with immersion blender (could also be transferred to a food processor). Top with chocolate chips and a few raw oats. Eat happily.

The only thing that could have made these any better would have been some crushed walnuts. I've really gotta get my little hands on some of those pronto. Make these and I promise you will be a convert. I know I am.

Today is normally my rest day before my long run in the morning, but I think I'm gonna break the streak and fit my abs routine in today since it's Friday night! Time to party bloggie loves (:

What are your plans for tonight?

You guys better be having some fun! But not too much fun since I'm not there. And I've pretty much put a patent on the fun. Now you know.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Festival Time

Okay guys! Hopefully this will be the quickest post ever because I'm pretty sure Border's is about to kick me out! I'll give them an early Thursday closing time...

Well it's the middle of July here in North East Ohio and this is a very special time for one reason: Festivals. The World Famous (in my world, anyway) Mt. Caramel Fest started up yesterday and yours truly was not about to miss her chance for a cheese puff. Let's get real here.

I couldn't resist a close up. It's only once a year!!

This deliciously fried dough is filled with - you guessed it - cheese. Yummy, melty, smoldering., cheesey cheese.

Oh my god. Wait a second - I think my heart stopped.

You know how everyone has their nostalgia food, right? That one food that takes them back years and years ago to a lollipop and gum drop childhood. Well, when I eat a cheese puff, I feel like I'm eight years old again, begging my dad to let me go on the spinny rides even though I know I'll probably hurl up my puff. Absolute love.

However, every good festival goer knows that no cheese puff would be complete without a lemon shake to wash it all down with! And I know these are good because I used to work the stand as a kid. I'm sweet like that.

With a whole half lemon, mind you. Now that's quality.

If you think The Fest pictures are over - think again, my friend. This party is going strong till Sunday and I've got another acquistion on my mind. I'll give you a hint. It sucks.

You'll never guess it.

I'm loving your suspense.

:] --- that would be my evil smile.

Since I decided to go to the fair last night and eat fried foods and sugar water instead of going to the gym (which I totally DO NOT regret, by the way), today was a makeup for that little catastrophe.  I banged out The Fitnessista Total Body Sesh and then ran myself 4 miles. My splits ended up like this:
  • Mile 1 - 10:25
  • Mile 2 - 9:35
  • Mile 3 - 10:36
  • Mile 4 - 10:38
Don't look at me cause I have no idea what happened at Mile 2. I guess I just really wanted to get that one over with? And I totally did.

After my sweaty excursion, I ran out to the mall to grab some makeup and hit up Forever 21. Because I'm basically oblivious to the world 24/7, I somehow failed to notice that we were having an American Idol try out at the mall. Today. At the exact time I went. I really need to start paying more attention.

I was going to take a picture of the ENORMOUS audience, but I was being pummeled by impatient shoppers. I took shelther in the nearest Victoria's Secret. Which is where I found this little beauty:

I seriously love the smell of coconut. I love the smell of a sale more though. Only three bucks! Total score. My trip to Forever21 for an HLS cocktail dress was as of yet unsuccessful, but fear not. I didn't leave completely empty handed.

Stunna shades, baby.

Well I have to wrap this up. They're annoucing their closing time throughout the store and the espresso girl is giving me some warning looks. Have a lovely night bloggies and be on the lookout for a new recipe tomorrow - hope everyone likes zucchini!

Giveaway Winners! Yay!

Okay guys - winner time! I'm just gonna cut right to it. I used the Random Number Generator just like everyone else. I guess that makes me unoriginal? However it does not make brownies taste less good. That's a fact.

These random numbers translate to:

1. Daisy [Indule, Inspire, Imbibe]

2. Kristin [Salty Tooth]

and 3. Lauren! [Clean Eats in the Dirty South]


You guys are the lucky recepients of some stellar Chickpea Brownies! And
whatever other goodies I can get my hands on. Please email your addresses to
fitnfreshblog @ gmail dot com.

Looks like I've got some baking to do! I'll be back later with some festival pictures! But right now, it's time for a run. See you guys in 4 miles (:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Birthday Party, Brownies and GIVEAWAY

Nope, not my birthday! It was my little cousin's 16th birthday yesterday and of course a party ensued. I snapped a picture of my plate because I wanted to let you guys know that I definitely don't eat healthy all the time. I am a strict believer in the 80/20 rule - if I eat good, wholesome food 80% of the time, I don't feel at all bad about giving into snack attacks and chowing down pizza the other 20% of the time.

My plate was actually underwhelming for my normal party eats, but that was because I had already previously stuffed myself on some other goodies that I'll get to soon enough, don't you worry!

A little pizza, some slice pink lady apple and baby carrots with sour cream dip. Yeahhh buddy. And if you think I didn't snag a piece of the ice cream cake, then we simply can no longer be friends. Because you apparently don't know me at all.

Why hello there you little slice of Dairy Heaven. I topped this off with a few bites of my uncle's homemade chocolate hazelnut gelato. Perfection. I could have died a happy girl.

For breakfast this morning, I needed something nice and clean to settle my partied-out tummy. I really wasn't feeling anything I would normally eat, so I went the savory route (which is totally weird for me, no lie).

A two egg white puff + half slice of provolone + garlic scape pesto/mayo mix = one hunger destroying breakfast.

With a little nectarinage on the side. I think we all know by now I can't go a meal without some type of fruit.

Not as pretty when it's sandwiched together, but I promise it tastes foodgasmic. I've found a lot of uses for this pesto: putting it on toast, in sandwiches and wraps and using it as a sauce for pasta! So versatile and so very very good.

Now that all that is out of the way - on to the REAL reason for this post! And that would be this new little creation of mine. I give you the Chocolate Chickpea Brownie.

My heart is all aflutter. Let me explain how this whole thing came about. Last night, I was really in the mood for chocolate chip cookies. I have been playing around with different flours lately, so I decided to try some chickpea flour as the base. I was also trying to make these as healthy as possible so I used a wide variety of subs instead of butter and sugar. Somehow - this turned the batter a brownish color.

"Oh well," I declared, "I'll just make them chocolate chocolate chip cookies!" Ah, the genius of me. So I added cocoa powder and continued on my merry way. It soon became apparent, however, that the batter was way too thick and there was no chance in hell I'd be turning it into little cookies.

"Fine," I said still trying to retain my optimism, "I can turn you into brownies. Either way, I'm gonna eat you when this is over." Now came the time to taste the batter (a totally crucial step, let's be honest) and there's really just no other way to say it. TERRIBLE. Oh my god, it tasted straight awful! I was thoroughly depressed, but I had come this far and I was baking the freaking things one way or the other.

Now pretty irritated, I went to take out my 8x8 pan. Turns out, I don't have one. Nice. So I was forced to improvise with the lasagna pan. Now they were also going to be really flat brownies. It just keeps getting better.

I slopped the gross brownie batter into the pan, spread it around and all but threw it into the oven. When the buzzer when off about 17 minutes later, I took them out, slammed them on the counter and waited for the disgusting things to cool off. However, when I cut them up and tried a piece just for curiousity sake, something amazing happened. They were freakin awesome. Seriously, they were so good! I inhaled one on the spot and then ate another two seconds later with blueberries and whipped cream!! I have no idea how it happened, but somehow those 17 minutes turned my brownies from blah to bomb!

Moral of the Story: It ain't over till it's over. Or something like that.

Chocolate Chickpea Brownies
1 1/4 cup chickpea flour
3/4 cup raw sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degress F. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Beat in egg, oil, molasses, vanilla and almond milk. Once thoroughly mixed, stir in chocolate chips. Spray an 8x8 (or lasagna) pan with cooking spray and add batter. Spread until it evenly fills the pan. Bake for 15-20 mins or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Promptly devour.

Wanna take a guess at the calories of these bad boys? Cut into 18 pieces (huge pieces if you're lasagna ready like me), they come in at a mere 100 calories per square! Move over VitaTops - Alycia's in a whole new ball game.

But you know what? I know you're busy and I know not all of you have chickpea flour (I have the Bob's Red Mill variety by the way) so why not let me make them for you? That's right! It's giveaway time!

Three (3) lucky readers will receive a package of Chocolate Chickpea Brownies
lovingly handmade by yours truly! I might also be tempted to throw some other
goodies in there too if you're lucky (;

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment! If you'd like to earn an extra entry,
just tweet about the giveaway and leave a comment saying you did so!

And that's it! You don't need to add me to your blogroll or friend me on facebook (am I the only one who kind of dislikes those?), just leave a comment and three winners will be randomly selected Thursday, July 15 at 12:00 pm [*extended to make it 24 hours]! Good luck my little love bloggies!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Win For The Home Team!

And I always thought I'd never win anything! But I'll get to that little goodie in a moment. First let's start with breakfast! I woke up early again this morning (8 am) and I'm starting to think something's wrong with me. I'm usually never this accomplished. But I didn't let the moment go to waste, oh no, my friend. I got up and did what any good little health bloggie would do. Hit the gym!

Pre-workout breakfast: A little Dark Chocolate Dreams on some 12 grain toast = delishicious.

Post-workout breakfast: An awesome Green (!) Monster. This is the second time I've made a green monster that actually turned out green! I'm way too over impressed with myself to be totally honest.

Into the blender went:
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp spirulina
  • 1/2 scoop Designer Whey French Vanilla
  • 1 shot of wheatgrass
I've had the wheatgrass for a while but have been too much of a sissy to use it. Final verdict: Couldn't even taste it. Sweet. I love when things work out that way.

At the gym, I banged out the Rock Solid Abs workout from WH that I've been doing for about a week. I seriously love it you guys. If you're looking for a way to spice things up, I'd totally recommend it. (By the way, has anyone seen Ashley Greene on the cover of the last issue? Hot Mama!) After that, I hit the bike for 10.5 miles and called it a workout. Peace gym, time to enjoy my day!

Lunch was another fantabulous wrap. Another of the many things I seem to be getting good at lately. This one was actually the best I've made to date! Take that Tuesday.

In the wrap: garlic scape pesto + a little mayo + turkey + onion + tomato + spinach + mozzarella. Amazing.

Now that I am happily stuffed, it's time for the good news:

I won the Golden Ticket and will be going to the Healthy Living Summit!

I can't even begin to say how totally excited I am. Due to a serious black cat experience on my part, I didn't manage to get a ticket the three times I tried the day they went on sale. I was pretty much resigned that I sadly wouldn't be attending, but I entered the giveaway all the same. I'm gonna have to call it fate. I can't wait to meet all of you who will be going as well! (:

Are you going to HLS? Need a roomie?!

Alright loves of my life, there's miraculously still a full day ahead of me somehow and I've got much to do! Catch up on blogs, bake some cookies, hit up my little cousin's birthday party and maybe even a haunted house - fingers crossed the ghosts don't get me! Have a great day!