Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What I Ate: Gluten Free Banana Bread



Let me let y'all in on a little secret. I love to eat. I mean LOVE. Food makes me happy. As it does for most people. I think my crazy early mornings, long days and active lifestyle make me hungrier than most. As a fitness professional, I feel like I have to be really conscience about what I'm putting into my body. I'm far from perfect. I toe the line when it comes to being healthy versus downing all the sugar. Did I mention how much I love sugar? Whenever I find a healthy-ish recipe I love, I stick with it and often find some tweaks here and there to make it better or spice it up! Today I want to share with y'all my Banana Bread recipe that just so happens to be Paleo & Gluten Free!




I originally found a paleo banana bread recipe because I wanted to find something that Charlotte could eat when she was living with us since she has a gluten intolerance. It made more sense just to make something that everyone at home could eat and tasted delicious. Here's what you need:

Ingredients: (recipe from Peanut Butter Runner)

3/4 tsp of baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp all spice
3/4 cup of almond flour
1/4 cup of coconut flour
2 TBS melted coconut oil
2 large eggs
2 very ripe medium to large bananas, mashed
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

tsp = teaspoon
TSP = tablespoon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. You have a few options when it comes to pans and preparation. (a) Make muffins and use cupcake liners. (b) Make muffins and grease a muffin tin. (c) Make a loaf and grease a 9x5 loaf pan. (d) Make a loaf and use parchment paper. I love using parchment paper when I'm baking because it makes clean up super easy!
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of your dry ingredients: baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and flours. 
  3. In another small/medium bowl, mix together your wet ingredients: coconut oil, eggs, bananas, maple syrup and vanilla until very well combined.
  4. Add wet ingredients to the dry and gently mix together until combined. Do not over mix.
  5. Pour into prepared cupcake/muffin or loaf pan. Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes and bake loaf for 45-55 minutes or until set in the center and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for about 15-20 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.



I originally tried making this with almond flour only. It worked, but the coconut flour gives it a better texture! I also made them once with too many bananas. Be careful, there is such thing as too many bananas in banana bread. It was well...juicy. Not exactly the type of work I want to use when describing any type of bread.

I'm planning on making this same recipe and substituting the banana with pumpkin puree! I'll also be sure to add in some pumpkin spice to really enhance the pumpkin flavor. I mean it is pumpkin season. Fall officially begins on Sunday! Can y'all believe it? I can't. Pumpkin crazy season is among us. I'm ready. Bring it on. But until then...enjoy some banana bread.





Here are a few of my other go to recipes:
(Some of my own and some from fellow bloggers!)

3 Bean Crock Pot Chili
Turkey & Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers
Turkey Spaghetti Squash
Chicken Spaghetti
Cake Batter Pancakes
Banana Almond Smoothie

What are some of y'alls go to recipes? 
Anything I should try?!

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Marathon Monday: Episode 1

I'm not sure exactly how it happened, but somewhere along the way it became the 7th week of marathon training season. What? Only 18 weeks left! While that does seem like a ways away, life has been flying by lately. The crazy holiday season will be here and before we know it, the Houston marathon will be here!

I decided to redevote a day of the week to talking about running. Tips, tricks, accountability, workouts, so on and so forth. So let's jump in! Here's what last week looked like for me!

Sunday: OFF
Monday: Total Body cardio workout + 1 mile run
Tuesday: 45 minute spin class
Wednesday: 4 mile tempo run
Thursday: 2 miles speed work + 1 easy mile + Upper Body workout
Friday: 45 minute spin class
Saturday: 7 mile run (1 EP, 5 MP, 1 EP)

EP=Easy Pace
MP=Marathon Pace

I'm training with the 3:45 hr group this year so instead of being the fastest in my group, I'm now one of the slower ones. It's a bit demoralizing, but I just have to remember that I'm challenging myself. The 3:45 group's marathon pace is around an 8:30 min/mile. My ideal pace is actually around 8:50-8:55 min/mile which is still 10-15 second/mile faster than a 4:00 hr marathon. I know it doesn't seem like a lot but when we're talking in terms of 26 miles, it's a bit deal! I just need to get over the fact that I'm not the best and pace myself. I'm too competitive. 

Speaking of pacing myself, this week's running tip is all about pace! When running distance, you have to focus on a goal pace. If you want to finish in a certain time, you need to be aware if how fast you're going throughout a race. Adrenaline makes you want to take off at the start of the race. Unfortunately, depleting your energy levels that early is a sure way to fall short of your goals. Here are a few ways to learn how to better pace yourself!
1. Follow the rules of long distance training! Save you fast runs for speed and tempo work and keep your long runs at a slower pace. It's all about time on your feet. Don't forget to do your speed work too!

2. Skip the watch and run by feeling. Some runs are harder than others. Using your watch to pace you isn't always bad, but life, weather and other things can get in the way. Learning to run by feel means that you know how to adjust your training. This will help come race day!

3. Fuel properly during longer runs. Not having adequate energy intake is going to make you bonk. You performance ability will suffer greatly and leave you feeling like you didn't do your best! Fuel during your run should be tested during long runs. Find our what works for you: your stomach, your energy, your taste buds :) Then put it in practice on race day, don't try anything new!

4. On race day, start slow and work your way up to race pace. If you start slow, you should be able to finish fast. Assuming race day conditions are up to par of course! Make it your goal to have a negative split during your race!


source

This coming week, I have a few more miles on the docket and plan to be up to par on my training schedule. An easy run may have to be substituted with a spin class every now and then because well...it's my job and I get paid to teach! I have to make sure I'm not over doing it and getting adequate rest.

What races are you training for this season?
Do you have any other pacing tips?


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Friday, September 12, 2014

1, 2, 3, 4, 5!

Happy Friday! Yes! We made it through another work week and the weekend is within our reach. Don't get me wrong, I don't wish the week away, but there is a certain enthusiasm I feel when Friday finally approaches. Friday is my favorite day of the week, so it's only fitting that I want to talk about my favorite things on Friday! So here is another edition of Friday faves!

one. flights and flatbread

Wine night Wednesday with Flights and Flatbreads at Seasons 52 with girlfriends. It doesn't get much better than that! Alison recommended it after going with some other girlfriends a few weeks ago and it didn't disappoint. They have great happy hour prices and the food was delicious. The flights and flatbreads option was $15 for a 3 wine tasting flight, one full glass of your favorite wine and a flatbread. I didn't get a picture of the flatbread before devouring it, but it was huge and the chicken pesto didn't disappoint. Plus Seasons 52 is in City Centre which has some of my favorite stores which then leads me to number two...




two. headbands
I've always been a headband, bow, hair accessory kind of girl. I love headbands and enjoy channeling my inner Blair Waldorf. (Except I like to think I'm a bit nicer!) We stumbled into Anthropologie after dinner and I wanted all the headbands. These are a few of my favorites, but I'm kind of obsessed with the one in the bottom right corner. Now if they had one that was maroon...I would be able to resist it!


Clockwise from top left
one. two. three. four.

three. VS sport bra and crop
I was given the opportunity to test out the Victoria Secret bra and crop thanks to Influenser. I wore both yesterday while running sprints with my running group I formed at the gym and so far I'm loving the support of the bra and fit of the crops. Full review and maybe some awesome coupons coming soon!





four. pink, sparkles, Texas and monograms.
This shirt. Obesessed. It literally has four of my most favorite things. The color pink. Sparkles. Texas. And my monogram. Yes, just yes. You can't really see the monogram in the picture, but trust me it's there. I ordered mine from GroopDealz, but the shop is called Flaunt Boutique. I kind of wish I would have ordered more in all the colors! (I'm also wearing my VS Sport crops in the picture below!)





five. more football.
It's time for another home game at Kyle Field. This week's goal...to actually go to the game! We're not supposed to have the best weather, so we'll see if that actually happens.





Now bring on the freakin' weekend baby I'm about to have me some fun! Name that song and win ten points :)



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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Never Forget

13 years ago, I was a 13 year old (almost 14!) freshman in high school sitting in my Theatre Arts class when the initial moment came that completely changed the world. It's hard to believe that was half my lifetime ago and yet it is something I will never forget. I was young, innocent and naive. I'll admit that when I was first told what happened, I didn't know exactly what the World Trade Center was. Someone had to say, "You know, the twin towers?" before I truly understood what was happening and the magnitude of the situation. A few hours later, I was in my World Geography class watching the news with my friends when we watched the second plane strike the second tower. Live. On TV. In my class. I was 13. It is a moment engrained in my memory. It will never be forgotten.


At the fire station near our home in Pittsburgh in 2011


You know what else will never be forgotten? The people. The people who lost their lives. The people who lost their loved ones. The people who risked their lives to save others. And the people who lost their lives to save others. There are still good people in this world and the actions of heroes on 9.11.01 proved it. The actions of heroes over the last thirteen years continues to prove it. Despite the hate in this world, there are still people willing to serve, help and save others. And they'll risk their own lives in the process.


Source


We will never forget what happened on this day thirteen years ago. I listened to Alan Jackson's song Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning) today and all of my emotions came to surface. The videos posted are tear inducing. The lyrics speak for themselves.


Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?
Were you in the yard with your wife and children
Or working on some stage in L.A.?
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
Risin' against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry?


Did you weep for the children who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know?
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below?
Did you burst out with pride for the red, white and blue
And the heroes who died just doin' what they do?
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself and what really matters?


[Chorus:]
I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell
You the difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love


Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?
Were you teaching a class full of innocent children
Or driving down some cold interstate?
Did you feel guilty 'cause you're a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone?
Did you call up your mother and tell her you loved her?
Did you dust off that Bible at home?


Did you open your eyes, hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep?
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Or speak to some stranger on the street?
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Or go out and buy you a gun?
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watchin'
And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns?


Did you go to a church and hold hands with some strangers
Did you stand in line and give your own blood?
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love?


[Chorus x2]


And the greatest is love.
And the greatest is love.


Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?

#NeverForget


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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

#TouchdownSeason

Two Thursdays ago, Texas A&M played the very first official game of football season. Exciting? Absolutely. Guess what A&M also did? We scored the first touchdown. However, with all of my enthusiasm I shouted, "We scored the first football of touchdown season!!!" And just like that, touchdown season was born...

 
 
 
To make things even better, this past weekend was our first home game of touchdown season. And the Aggies did not disappoint. Many touchdowns were scored. Granted, we weren't playing a ranked school or even an SEC opponent, but a win is a win.
 

 
 
Touchdown season is my favorite. We have season tickets and so do our best friends. I love getting to see the Crowsons and Waites in Houston as often as we do, but adding in the other members of our group and meeting in College Station is pretty much amazing.
 


 
Tailgating is always a blast. Of course right now it's painfully hot, so shopping trips to the MSC bookstore are necessary. Meghan and I wanted this giant Reveille. I don't think our husbands would appreciate that. Lucky for them, she wasn't on sale.
 


 
We made it to the game at the perfect time. Or so we thought. Really it was the opposite of perfect because our game had a 2+ hour lightening delay. At first we saw nothing, 30 minutes later, the sky was lighting up. After a little over an hour, we bailed. It wasn't passing anytime soon so we went back to the tailgate. We thought we'd be able to get back in later, but NO! We weren't too pleased, but luckily a tailgate nearby had a TV where we were able to watch the game.
 






And by watch the game I mean play washers, walk around and have girl talk time because by then we didn't want to sit and pay attention :) Since we left early, we found the elevator and got to take that down to the bottom instead of going down the ramps from the third deck! We also found this kind of weird War Hymn statue which obviously required a picture.




In the end it was a very successful first tailgate and game. Minus the fact that we didn't get to actually watch the game. Next Saturday is another home game, so second time's the charm! Here's to touchdown season!

What's your favorite part of football season?
Do you have any funny football touchdown season stories?
 

Friday, September 5, 2014

F is for...

Hi lovlies! I've been a complete stranger around these parts for the last few months. Coming and going and then coming back. Here and there and every where. I really haven't been inspired to blog. I've decided to just keep coming back when I have great things to say instead of boring y'all with...well...blabber. Luckily, fall is my favorite season, it's right around the corner and I'm hoping it inspires me! Speaking of fall...it's one of my favorite F words :)



It's my favorite season! Most of my favorite things happen in the fall...my birthday, football season, colors galore, eventually cooler temperatures, boots, scarves, the start of the holiday season, Thanksgiving, Christmas shopping...I could go on forever!

Last September taken in Cape Cod...take me back!




I went shopping on Monday and let's just say I did some damage. I'm clearly ready for fall with my new jeans, sweaters and earthy colors. I love outlet shopping and holiday weekend sales! Every time I ran the card I just said, "Happy birthday month to me!" No guilt. Now I just need the temps out of the 90's and some where to where my new awesome clothes!



It's the most wonderful time of the year! Seriously though...it is. Think about it. Christmas is during football season thus making football season the best time of the year. Tailgating, good friends, tons of food, a drink or five, yelling loud, cheering for your team and having so much freaking FUN! I love football season. This weekend is our first home game of the season and I couldn't be more excited. Bring it on College Station!

Plus, I get to see my in-laws A TON during football season which is pretty awesome. I am indeed a lucky girl!



These are probably my two absolute favorite pictures taken from last football season. Obsessed!




I'm cooking again! Hooray! This week I made a delicious swai and quinoa stir fry! It's super easy and it's your lucky day...here's the recipe!

Quinoa Stir Fry for Two
Ingredients:
2 swai fish fillets {I get mine from Trader Joe's. You can sub this with tilapia, shrimp, chicken, pork, whatever your heart desires}
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 yellow squash
1 cup broccoli florets {I used frozen but fresh works as well}
1/4 cup Soy sauce
1 tsp corn starch, 2 tsp water mixture
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
Olive oil
Salt, pepper and garlic powder for taste

Directions:
1. Cook quinoa according to package and set aside.
2. Heat large skillet or wok and add olive oil. Once hot, add all veggies. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder on medium heat. Stir occasionally and allow to cook for about 8-10 minutes.
2. While your vegetables are cooking, heat smaller skilled and add olive oil. Once hot, add fish fillets. Season with salt and pepper. Flip after about 2 minutes. Add seasoning to other side. Cook for additional 2 minutes. Leave in pan and set aside.
3. Once veggies are done, turn heat down to low and add soy sauce and corn starch mixture. Mix through and simmer until sauce begins to thicken.
4. Add cooked quinoa.
5. Add fish or meat of choice. Stir together carefully and serve!



Yup, I've been having a ton of fun lately. Life is fun. Life is good and I'd like it to stay that way. Thanks 2014 for being WAYYYY better than 2013. I'm counting on it staying that way :)



So there you have it, my favorite F's on this wonderful Friday. Cheesy I know :) Before I go, I just wanted to say GOOD LUCK to an amazing woman and blogger who I was lucky enough to meet last year in Boston, Jodi at Jodi Bean's Blog! She's walking 50 miles this weekend in the MS Cape Cod Challenge Walk and I know she'll do absolutely amazing. She's also helping the MS community by raising money...if you're looking for a good cause to donate to, go here!

Have a great weekend y'all!

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Timmer Chicago Shenanigans

So two weekends ago, my dad, sister, husband and I ventured up north to the midwest. AND IT WAS AWESOME!!! Tons of family and fun! I shared a sneak peek from my iPhone pics last week, but this week I have some of my favorite pictures from Dan & Ashley's wedding. Instead of blabbing, I'll let the pictures do the talking...





Judy - Dad - Emily - Me - Pat
Judy & Pat are my dad's super awesome and totally fun cousins :) Loved that we got to spend time with them!






The photographers were taking pictures as the guests walked out to their seats. I loved that! I asked them to snap a pic with mine and shot a few great ones!

The wedding decor was absolutely adorable. I loved some of the loving touches that Ashley put into everything.






Pre-wedding group picture! 




Ceremony candids










Again, the details that Ashley put into the wedding are perfect. The navy and coral color scheme, the small details, the handmade touches. I loved it all!








Their cake was really similar to mine & JP's wedding cake so I super loved it! Oh and I loved the candy bar. Duh. Hello sweet tooth!








Oh yes we can...and we did!


 


This guy <3 p="">






Sisters with our Uncle Bob! Who also happens to be my God Father :)




Aunt Kim & Uncle Tim's intro followed by the fabulous Bride & Groom!








They played the shoe game when a question is asked and they have to pick who is more likely to do/say/whatever. They did a pretty solid job and I just happened to snap a picture on the only one they got wrong. 






After all of the usual wedding shenanigans, the party began. As usual, I was sure to be a champion on the dance floor. It's where I live at weddings!








Cousin Dance Party!




And one of my favorite shots of the night...brothers! 4 out of 5 of the Timmer brothers.
Tom - Tim - Jim - Bob
{Just missing LeRoy!}




 I'm so glad we were able to make it up to Illinois to see my amazing family. We rarely have the opportunity for everyone to get together and this was the perfect occasion.

Don't worry family, I have many more pictures to come! I'll post them up on Facebook :)
And Judy...I'll be mailing you your camera card super soon!

To Dan and Ashley,
I love you both so much! Ashley, I officially welcome you to the crazy Timmer clan. I wish you both many years of love and happiness. You're a beautiful couple and I know that God has such wonderful things in store for you. Now come down and see us in Texas! Stat!

XOXO,
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