relocated

Howdy! skinspot has moved locations- please come and visit at the new locale.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.  Well, you might be, but at least you gave it a whirl.   

The address:  www.fullspot.me.  See you there!

Insanity!

If you saw my post from yesterday, I was about to embark on the Insanity madness for my exercise of the day. I did the Pure Cardio DVD from the Insanity DVDs yesterday and I have to admit they weren’t as awful as I remember, but I am sore today.  A hurt-so-good sore.

I sure did look Insane post workout. My frizzy hair was everywhere.  This picture doesn’t quite do it justice.

The Pure Cardio DVD is 38 minutes long and there is about 8 minutes of stretching and at least 30 seconds worth of water breaks, so, all-in-all, you are only “insane” for 29 minutes.  I was feeling crazy after the Insanity session, so I decided to try cardio yoga on- On Demand.  This was actually a nice little wrap up to Insanity.  I really like the On Demand Exercise TV workouts- especially Jillian Michael’s Metabolism Boost (the 56min version).  If you can workout at home both the Insanity DVD’s and the On Demand exercise TV workouts are really effective- well some of them are.  Both will probably get you in better shape than going to the gym and just doing cardio everyday- diversity is key or so I am finding out.  The great thing about working out at home is the cost and convenience.  However, it does take a little getting use to.  I can’t do a home workout everyday, but I defintely want to start doing more of them.

All you need…

 

And this guy helpful to cheer you on.

Toodles!

Primal Challenge- Day 4

Ok so I am currently getting off of my high horse.  Yesterday was a struggle.  I still stayed “Primal,” but I so desperately wanted pizza or a bowl of oats.  Although I technically ate Primal all day yesterday- I ate A LOT and I am fairly certain my hunger did not match the amount of food I inhaled consumed.  Lets just say at the beginning of the day there were four Paleo, carrot & banana muffins and at the end of the day there was zero.  Two of these delights were consumed 30 minutes prior to bed, which made sleeping a little tricky.  Despite eating enough for a small village yesterday, I did not wake up feeling bloated and large.  A small victory?  I have to say that I don’t think my food overload was driven by cravings, but more by frustration that has nothing to do with food.  For the past three days I have really scaled my workouts back.  Yesterday my exercise was a 90 minute leisure walk with the pug and all though I truly believe this is just fine for exercise, I need to get my sweat on.  I literally go a little crazy if I don’t get my daily endorphin rush.  I usually get my endorphin rush from running.  However, I have bad feet, which in turn means I have bad knees, so if I keep this running up I will insure my place in the operating room in a few years.  I would prefer to decline this invitation, so I need to find another form of exercise that will be good for my mind and body.  I have seriously considered power yoga, but everyday I say I am going to go and everyday I don’t go.  I hope this might change at some point, but there must be some reason I currently have an aversion to it, so I am exploring other avenues.  My solution: I am going to give the Insanity DVDs a whirl again.  I own them and I tried them last year. They definitely allow me “to get my sweat on,” but I want to die for the duration of them, so rallying the motivation to do them has been less than easy.  However, I am willing to give it the old college try. Again.  Stay tuned.  I know that these workouts are probably not the best for my ailing knees, but they are a step in the right direction. Right!?  

Sorry for the lack of pictures and my ridiculous ramblings.

Moving on… 

Breakfast today was the exact same as yesterday.  I am obsessed with this breakfast and will probably be eating it for many mornings to come.  I decided to spare you a picture.  

Moving on, again.

I haven’t talked about what I normally eat for lunch.  I literally have the same thing everyday.  I guess if I eat the same thing for breakfast and the same thing for lunch, I might be what some would call a “creature of habit.”  This is probably not the most optimal way to eat, but my routine will probably change next week.  Maybe.

Lunch EVERYDAY:

kale, spinach, peach, banana smoothie.

The goods: 

The recipe:

  • 3 stalks of organic kale
  • handful (or so) organic spinach
  • 1/2 c (or so) frozen, organic peaches
  • 1/2 organic banana- usually frozen
  • 1/2 c sugar free coconut milk- there is stevia in this. I am ignoring that fact
  • 1/2 tsp of matcha.  Matcha = anti-cancer powder. 
  • 1/2 tsp raw, organic honey
  • 1T sunflower butter
  • 1/2 c (or so) 2% fage Greek yogurt.  
  • a lot of cinnamon
  • dash of sea salt- brings out the flavors of the food- or so they say.

Put all the goods in blender.  Liquid first.  Side note: A high speed blender like a Vitamix works best because it chops up the spinach and kale marvelously.

blend

Drink:

off to do Insanity!! Say a prayer. 

Primal Challenge- Day 3

Well color me Primal.  Yesterday went swimmingly.  I had oodles of energy and I was not tempted once.  I realize that was only day two, but I am very eager to pat myself on the back.  Part of the reason my temptations were absent, was the superb dinner I made.  I would love to take credit for this recipe, but I can’t because I didn’t invent the sucker and this recipe is so simple it is virtually impossible to mess up.  The dinner I speak of is a spinach, chicken, mango, avocado and pecan salad with a homemade dressing.  Here is the link to this delightful creation.

Pre Dressing

Dressing

All together now.

Notice a certain pug admiring this masterpiece. 

I also enjoyed a nice glass of $3 red wine with it.

For dessert I enjoyed another glass of $3 red (a very teeny tiny one) and a couple of pieces (probably too many) of my favorite brand of dark chocolate- Theo.  If you have not tried this  chocolate, you must.  My favorite is the salted almond.

For breakfast this morning I pretty much ate a duplicate of yesterday’s breakfast except I used kabocha squash instead of butternut.  This was my first time with kabocha and I adore it.  I roasted that bad boy last night, then pureed it with apple and coco milk then heated in a small sauce pan.  Good Lord I love this concoction. 

Mr. Kabocha

Primal Challenge- Day 2

So far, so good.  I made it through one day!  Yee haw!  To boot- I feel great and I didn’t have a moment at 9:00 pm where I might murder someone for a cookie, so all is well in Primalville.  I really hope I am not getting a head of myself here.  I know I am supposed to focus on Day 2 at this point, but allow me to share one pretty delish primal din-din. The husband even enjoyed it and he is not on the Primal train.  

Without further ado: 

Dinner from day 1:

roasted butternut squash

  • cut squash in 1/2.  I cut it in 3rd’s because I made one half way bigger than the other.
  • scoop out seeds
  • coat inner portion with coconut oil- sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, salt & pepper. If you so desire.
  • bake at 450 degrees for 25 (or so) minutes.

The second part of din-din was a sort of coconut, shrimp, veggie, curry concoction.

Ingredients: beware I didn’t measure anything, so these are approximate amounts

  • 20 wild caught, Alaskan, uncooked, peeled, deveined shrimp
  • 1.5c organic cut-up mushrooms
  • 3/4 c leftover cut up organic red onion, zuch, asparagus, green & red pepper
  • 1/4c remainder of frozen, organic veggies- these are not required I jist wanted to use them up.
  • 1.5c organic spinach
  • 2 cloves organic garlic
  • 1/3c organic coconut milk (full fat from the can)
  • 1T curry powder
  • sprinkle of cayenne powder, sea salt & pepper
  • 1T organic currants (these are optional, but they really made the dish)
  • 1/2T organic, grass-fed butter (to grease the pan)
  1. thaw frozen shrimp for 15-20 minutes (if frozen)
  2. put in butter in large fry pan ( my fave type of pans are Les Creuset) on med heat then put in minced garlic for about 1-2 min
  3. put in mushrooms for 1-3 min,
  4. add 1/2 of the coco milk & curry powder
  5. add frozen & cut up veggies for 3 min (stir often)
  6. add thawed shrimp and rest of coco milk for 3-5 min (stir often) 
  7. turn heat to low-med and add cayenne, salt &pepper
  8. add spinach stir until spinach wilts
  9. add currants and stir
  10. put lid on and simmer for 3-5 minutes
  11. serve and enjoy

all together now.  I enjoyed din-din with a cranberry kombucha

Now onto breakfast this AM.  This breakfast seriously made me want to do a little jig.  It definitely feels like fall here and my favorite breakfast to eat any morning, but especially on fall mornings, is oats of some kind.  However, there are no oats in Primalville, so I decided to make a steamy bowl of creamy, butternut squash.  I am so glad I did. 

The goods:

  • the other half of butternut squash from last night’s dinner
  • 1/2 organic apple
  • approx 1/2c of coconut milk- I used the sugar free kind from a box
  • 1 scoop vanilla primal protein powder (this could probably omit this or use any quality vanilla flavored whey protein. If curious, refer to this post on whey protein powder)
  • lots of cinnamon
  • pat of grass fed butter

Here is how it all happens:

  1. put leftover squash (make sure the skin is off) in food processor with 1/2 an apple and a dash of coconut milk. Puree.

2.take pureed mixture and transfer to small sauce pan add a little more coco milk & cinnamon and heat for 5 (or so) minutes. 

3. add 1 scoop protein powder and the rest of coco milk.

4.top with a pat of grass fed butter and more cinnamon. (optional)

This bad boy was followed up by a coffee with 2T organic heavy whipping cream.  If you have not tried whipping cream in your coffee.  YOU MUST! 

    A challenge- Day 1

    Good news: a good friend of mine got married in Chicago this past weekend. Bad News: I am feeling less than stellar today, so after a weekend of too much sugar and alcoholic beverages, I have decided it is time for a challenge.  In past blogs I have made mention of the Primal diet; however, I have only been a part-time participant in it.  This is stopping as of today.  I am giving myself 30 days of honest dedication to the Primal diet.  Having read and participated in so many different diets, most of these diets were vegetarian and grain based, so going Primal felt rather naughty at times and I doubted it’s healthful benefits. Furthermore, I like pizza and sugar, so I cheated a lot in other attempts to “go Primal,” but as of late, I have noticed how sugar and grains make me feel, and they do not make me feel amazing.   Here’s why I am giving Primal the ole college try:  

    1. Sugar is the devil- and I have a real love affair with it. This diet helps to squash this affair.
    2. I have been doing oodles of research in the past two months about this lifestyle, and it just makes sense.  I feel less terrified of chicken and butter.  
    3. The most convincing reason, the acupuncturist (Jana Capristo, LAC) I work with has been on the Primal train for several months and has had such great results. These results include weight loss, significant decrease in shoulder pain, and clear skin. Mrs. Capristo believes in this lifestyle so much she has put together a 30-day Primal challenge that she is offering to her clients.  If you live in the Portland area and are interested in one helluva challenge, I would sincerely look into this.  * side note, I am not following her challenge per se because I think I have a good handle on what I need to do to via my past 2-4 month obsession with this diet.   

    In a nutshell, here is what my hopes and dreams are:

    First and foremost:  Although obsessed with food and nutrition, I am not certified in this subject, so please take everything I say with a grain of salt.  I am not suggesting anybody do what I am doing. 

    Anyway, back to my hopes and dreams:

    1. no grains. 
    2. lots of veggies
    3. fruit is ok, but don’t go nuts
    4. nuts and seeds are a-ok too.
    5. eat your meat and eggs- however, only clean and know the source. Ideally.
    6. dairy is cool, but, again, try not to go nuts and know the source.  However, expect to see Greek yogurt and whipping cream as a daily staple.
    7. Organic coffee and alcohol in moderation- no more than one of each, each day- Max. All alcohol is not created equal.  Red wine and clear spirits with no mixer are what I consider alcohol.
    8. try new recipes and make as much as you can from scratch. 
    9. no sugar or stevia.  Honey and Maple syrup in small quantities is cool.  I know sugar is sugar, but at least Maple syrup and honey offer some health benefits. *side note about stevia, it is in the Primal Protein powder I use, but that is the only time I hope to see it show up.
    10. Simmer down on the running- my knees can’t take it.  Try new exercises- hopefully yoga
    11. drink water with lemon in it every morning. 
    12. Blog everyday for the next 30 days (except saturday and sunday) about my Primal progress. 

    OK so now that I have bored you to tears, here is what I had for breakfast on day 1:

    • 2 poached eggs w/ sea salt & black pepper
    • paleo carrot, banana muffin- you must make these!  my love goes deep for these guys.
    •  2T heavy whipping cream in approx 10oz of coffee. 

    Just for giggles:

    Burt (our pug) was Mr. Curious last night and got caught in the duvet.  Being the wonderful mother that I am, I died laughing, snapped a video and oodles of photos before rescuing him. 

    Where’s Burt?

    off to walk the pug.

    photo

    This soup looks awesome!  I can’t wait to make!
nutritionista:

YES! I’m so happy to have another soup enthusiast on board. Thanks for sharing your recipe… I love the idea of combining sausage and sweet potato in a soup — a combo I don’t think I would have thought of!goodhappyfit:

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup
So I just noticed today that fellow blogger and soup enthusiast Nutritionista is doing this really cool thing where she plans to cook at least 25 new soups this winter. Seeing as how I, myself, am obsessed with soup and usually make at least one pot every week anyway, here is my little contribution to Season of Soup. I can’t wait to see what other recipes people come up with and try making them myself!
There are a few things that I really love about fall, and most of them are some sort of food item. One of them is squash. Another? Sweet potatoes. Last week at the grocery store I got all giddy when I realized, OMG sweet potatoes! I kinda forgot about them over the spring/summer! I stocked up on quite a few, and I knew right away that one of the first ways I wanted to prepare them was in a soup. I did a little researching online and found lots of different recipes for soups using sweet potatoes, butternut squash, etc., but I just ended up kinda making it up as I went along, which is one of my favorite things about making soup (it’s really hard to mess up).
Ingredients:
olive oil
1 smoked turkey sausage, chopped into small pieces
1 or 2 small onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium russet potato
2 medium to large sweet potatoes
salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, other seasonings
approx. 6 cups liquid
2-3 dollops nonfat or 2% plain Greek yogurt
Other items:
Large soup/stock pot
Immersion blender!
What to do:
Coat your pot with olive oil and heat over medium heat.
Add the turkey sausage (I’ve been on a real sausage kick lately. It’s just so easy to work with) and let it brown.
Roughly chop the onions and garlic. Add to pot.
Try your best to remove the majority of the sausage from the pot and set aside. You could do this before adding the onions and garlic, but I wanted to let the flavors all cook together before removing it.
Let the onions and garlic cook while you peel and roughly chop the potatoes. Add those to the pot, too. Stir.
Season with salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, a bit of cinnamon, and/or whatever else you have a taste for.
Add liquid. I used about 3 cups water and 2-3 cups vegetable stock. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 45-60 minutes, or until the potatoes are nice and tender.
Remove from heat, let cool slightly, and carefully puree using an immersion blender.
Slowly whisk in 2-3 dollops of Greek yogurt. It’s important to add it a little bit at a time, and while the soup isn’t too hot, so it blends in smoothly without curdling. Or, add the yogurt after serving into bowls. That way, you can adjust according to your individual tastes.
Return to heat and bring back to serving temperature, if necessary.
This soup was very yummy and definitely hit the spot on this cold, rainy day. I’m slightly obsessed with soup. Not only because it tastes delicious, but it’s also fun and souper (see what I did there?) easy to make!
This reheats well in the microwave, too, so make a big pot and have it for lunch throughout the week!

    This soup looks awesome!  I can’t wait to make!

    nutritionista:

    YES! I’m so happy to have another soup enthusiast on board. Thanks for sharing your recipe… I love the idea of combining sausage and sweet potato in a soup — a combo I don’t think I would have thought of!

    goodhappyfit
    :

    Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

    So I just noticed today that fellow blogger and soup enthusiast Nutritionista is doing this really cool thing where she plans to cook at least 25 new soups this winter. Seeing as how I, myself, am obsessed with soup and usually make at least one pot every week anyway, here is my little contribution to Season of Soup. I can’t wait to see what other recipes people come up with and try making them myself!

    There are a few things that I really love about fall, and most of them are some sort of food item. One of them is squash. Another? Sweet potatoes. Last week at the grocery store I got all giddy when I realized, OMG sweet potatoes! I kinda forgot about them over the spring/summer! I stocked up on quite a few, and I knew right away that one of the first ways I wanted to prepare them was in a soup. I did a little researching online and found lots of different recipes for soups using sweet potatoes, butternut squash, etc., but I just ended up kinda making it up as I went along, which is one of my favorite things about making soup (it’s really hard to mess up).

    Ingredients:

    • olive oil
    • 1 smoked turkey sausage, chopped into small pieces
    • 1 or 2 small onions, peeled and roughly chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
    • 1 medium russet potato
    • 2 medium to large sweet potatoes
    • salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, other seasonings
    • approx. 6 cups liquid
    • 2-3 dollops nonfat or 2% plain Greek yogurt

    Other items:

    • Large soup/stock pot
    • Immersion blender!

    What to do:

    • Coat your pot with olive oil and heat over medium heat.
    • Add the turkey sausage (I’ve been on a real sausage kick lately. It’s just so easy to work with) and let it brown.
    • Roughly chop the onions and garlic. Add to pot.
    • Try your best to remove the majority of the sausage from the pot and set aside. You could do this before adding the onions and garlic, but I wanted to let the flavors all cook together before removing it.
    • Let the onions and garlic cook while you peel and roughly chop the potatoes. Add those to the pot, too. Stir.
    • Season with salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, a bit of cinnamon, and/or whatever else you have a taste for.
    • Add liquid. I used about 3 cups water and 2-3 cups vegetable stock. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil.
    • Cover, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 45-60 minutes, or until the potatoes are nice and tender.
    • Remove from heat, let cool slightly, and carefully puree using an immersion blender.
    • Slowly whisk in 2-3 dollops of Greek yogurt. It’s important to add it a little bit at a time, and while the soup isn’t too hot, so it blends in smoothly without curdling. Or, add the yogurt after serving into bowls. That way, you can adjust according to your individual tastes.
    • Return to heat and bring back to serving temperature, if necessary.

    This soup was very yummy and definitely hit the spot on this cold, rainy day. I’m slightly obsessed with soup. Not only because it tastes delicious, but it’s also fun and souper (see what I did there?) easy to make!

    This reheats well in the microwave, too, so make a big pot and have it for lunch throughout the week!

    (Source: goodhappyfood, via yourhealthista)

    Bali, Indonesia at a glance

    We went to Bali for our honeymoon.  Bali is amazing!  However, it is different than we expected.  I was picturing this remote place with beautiful beaches and oodles of culture.  While Bali is beautiful, its beaches are more for the surfing enthusiasts, rather than the lie-on-a-chair-like-a-sloth type. l fall into the latter category, so the beaches did not blow me away. The Island is home to some 2.5 million people and the distance from East to West is under 100 miles and from North to South it is under 80 miles.  Long story short: Bali is crowded.  Ok now that I have gotten the negative out of the way, lets focus on the positive.  I would say the best part about Bali is the people!  The Balinese are unbelievably kind and we felt so safe there.  The rice fields are pretty darn awesome too!

    We spent 5 days in Seminyak.  Seminyak is the more Southern part of the island.  The beach-y part.  Seminyak is a nifty place, but it is pretty touristy.  

    We spent the last four days in Ubud.  Ubud is the place where Liz from Eat, Pray, Love goes.  It is the cultural heart of the Island and one spectacular place.

    My honey and I at the most adorable cafe in Seminyak!

    Dinner on the beach!

    dinner!

    beach

    The pool at The W hotel.  We paid a pretty hefty fee to lie here, but it was worth it.

    tour of hindu temple

    monkeys everywhere!

    the beginning of the dance at the temple

    Dinner at one helluva a pizza place.  

    Dinner at Sardine. The food here was amazing!

    The healer we saw in Ubud

    Rice fields in Ubud.  So pretty!

    Our Hotel in Ubud

    These offerings are everywhere in Bali. 

    our last night in Ubud at a juice bar.

    Thank you for having us Bali!

    Nordstrom Rack

    So last night the new Nordstrom Rack in Tigard, OR had a little pre-opening for a few people.  I have to say that, prior to last night, I have only been to one Nordstrom Rack and it was definitely a little on the older and crusty side and you had to DIG to find a goody, but Tigard’s new Rack is something pretty spectacular.  It is so organized and clean and the merchandise is pretty dang up-to-date.  The designer jean selection is worth a trip out there! It’s grand opening is Thursday at 9AM, so get your fanny there!  

    Thank you Nordstrom Rack for a fun night with friends, cocktails, and shopping!

    And we’re back…

    Hellllllloooooooooo to all.  Sorry for the blog hiatus.  I got married in Michigan over labor day then went straight to Bali, Indonesia for a honeymoon for 10 days, so my blog time kinda took a hit.  But, fear not, skin and other things is back.  Phew.

    Just so you don’t feel left out, here is a brief look into the best day of my life.  We got married in a barn in Michigan and I am slightly really bummed it is all over, but I am very excited to be done planning the damn thang. Although I had so much help from our wedding coordinator Mandi Buckland, from Element Event Design, who was nothing short of amazing.  Seriously if you are getting married- use her.  I don’t care where you live.

    Beware I don’t have the professional photos yet, so my pals’ photos will have to suffice

    My HUSBAND and moi.  

    behold the barn…

    more barn… sigh

    outside of barn

    signage at the barn

    The wedding party.  If you think it looks huge, you are correct.  We had 11 on each side. I know it’s obnoxious.

    oh, so many of my favorite people.

    chatting up with our photographer.  Also a really good friend.

    The goodie table.  

    A serenade from our rockin’ guests

    doing a lil’ jig

    the ring bearer (my nephew) doing his lil’ jig

    I’ll leave you on that note.  Stay tuned tomorrow for out Bali pics.  I know you’re on the edge of your seat.  :)