Think you can hang with the Atlanta Rollergirls for an off-skates workout? Click the flier below and register to Workout Like a Rollergirl!
This may sound bizarre, but I look forward to using hotel gyms.
They provide a good change of pace to a workout routine – the good ones have different machines and the bad ones force creativity. The one I visited this week was one of the good ones.
I did a 1 mile warm up jog on the treadmill before heading to the weight room for a 50 minute bicep/back workout. All of this was rounded out with a quick core workout:
- 100 sit-ups on the ball
- 30 v-ups
- 60 baby crunches
- 60 toe touchers
- 60 second plank
- 60 second side plank on each side
Thanks to the cardio at the beginning, my heart rate stayed up the entire time and made the workout a bit more intense
Following the advice of the nutritionist I saw, I followed up my workout with a grilled chicken salad. Apparently you need at least 20g of protein within 30mins of completing a workout. Who knew? It is amazing what happens when you add more protein to your diet – in just a couple of weeks of aiming for 80-100g a day I have noticed a change in muscle.
First thing’s last: the fuel. I made my own version of Lara Bars. Lara Bars are date and nut bars that typically include some sort of fruit (creating flavors like “Apple Pie” and “Peanut Butter & Jelly”). They are yummy, but expensive. Half of one works well as a pre-workout pick-me-up. Why not make my own? They give you the ingredients on the package: dates and nuts. I already have basically the same name. Behold, Laura Bites. (Yes, I am that creative corny.)
It is that easy. You can play with the flavors – add some dry fruit, different nut varieties, coconut… anything you have in your pantry. Just be sure not to over-mix the nuts, as it will make the “batter” too greasy. These are approx. 100 calories per serving.
Almond Cocoa Laura Bites
- 2/3 C Dates
- 1/4 C Almonds
- 2 tsp Cocoa
- Cinnamon (optional)
Place dates in food processor and blend until chopped.
Add nuts and cocoa and blend until mixed. It will look like a gooey ball – don’t worry.
Using your (clean) hands, form into 4 “bites.” I sprinkled my formed bites with cinnamon.
Cover tightly and store in cool place.
Makes 4 bites.
The best burger in Atlanta is available tonight in excess… and you don’t have to wait until 10pm to get it!
Holeman & Finch (2277 Peachtree Rd, Ste. B, Atlanta, GA 30309) normally only serves this perfect patty at 10pm at night. And they only make 24 of them. In order to actually get a burger, you need to get there an hour early and “claim” your burger.
In honor of being named “Best Burger in America” by Food Network, they will be serving mass quantities of the burger from 5pm-1:30am tonight. It really is an amazing burger. Everything is made fresh at H&F, from the ketchup to the bun to the meat. Well, they don’t have cows out back (that I know of), but they do grind the meat fresh there.
Also, be sure to order a mixed drink (or two) from Greg Best while you wait. Everything on the cocktail menu is fantastic – don’t be intimidated by the ingredients you’ve never heard of.
Go get it. Trust me.
After the worst migraine of my life, I have been telling people about the miracle cure. My head had been pounding for hours. I was on the verge of vomiting. I could barely open my eyes. No amount of pills, ice packs, or head rubs was helping.
I did one thing and it disappeared almost instantly.
Cayenne pepper. Snort it. Not. Kidding.
I’m not talking a whole bottle – a dusting will do. You can even blow you nose right after. Yes, it burns. HOWEVER, if your head hurts as bad as mine did, the burning will be nothing compared to that. And I finally have some form of proof that I am not crazy: check out the Fitness magazine article here.
I’ve heard this works if you happen to have been boozing it up over-served the previous night…
I’m running late to work, yet I am still writing this blog. Ha! I’m flying to Chicago this afternoon, so it is going to be a longer day than usual.
Breakfast today was a very filling bowl of cooked oatmeal. Banana–french vanilla flavored.
It was delish – the hot banana made it taste like banana pancakes!
The cinnamon I used is “Roasted Saigon.” I noticed it the last time I was in Publix and gave it a shot. I love it. The flavor is so much deeper than in plain cinnamon.
For lunch I packed a leftover turkey burger and cucumber-mint yogurt sauce. I’m packing an apple for a snack. Joy of joys – I’m at the airport’s mercy for dinner.
Banana Pancake Oatmeal
- 1/2 C Multi-Grain Oatmeal
- 1/2 C Milk
- 1/2 scoop French Vanilla protein powder
- 4-5 shakes Cinnamon
Prepare oats in the microwave according to package instructions.
Place the banana in the micro for 20 seconds on a separate plate.
Mix French Vanilla Juice Plus powder and cinnamon into oats while the banana “bakes.”
Mush (technical term) the banana into the oatmeal bowl and crush almonds over the top.
Yesterday turned out to be eventful.
Much more eventful than I would have liked.
First of all, the good parts.
The Braves game. The ceremony for Bobby Cox was great – I definitely had chills. The tickets to the game were amazing – 5th row just behind 1st base -and my company was good as well.
Too bad they lost. 🙁 That’s just fine because they won tonight. We are going to the playoffs!
Then it was off to the bachelorette party – roller girl-style. There was beer pong (no, I didn’t partake), singing, and general debauchery.
At one point we were standing around this lovely (read: suggestively shaped) cake, eating it with our fingers. The cannoli cream was soooo good!
Then comes the bad event. I was driving home and some drunk dude side swiped me!
I got out, told him not to move, and went to call the police. Of course, the drunk drove off. My poor car.
I did get his license plate number. After consulting with my uncle (who was a saint for answering the phone at 3am!), I finally called 911. The officer who responded was really nice, but was realistic about the fact that it is unlikely the guy would ever get caught. At least I have the police report for insurance purposes.
Note to self: do not decide to drive home at 2:30am when the bars have just closed.
After all the excitement I didn’t get to bed until after 5am, so I slept until 10:45 the next morning. That’s when my very worried mother called and woke me up. 🙂 After some coffee I enjoyed the last of my Atlanta Farm Fresh greek yogurt, topped with granola and a perfectly ripe peach.
The afternoon was just what the doctor ordered after all that late-night stress. I got to hit stuff. Mom came over and we played tennis. She taught me a new way to grip the racket and I am well on my way to becoming a superstar. Or at least on my way to being able to play without embarrassing myself.
We walked through the neighborhood and wound up at Tap (1180 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30309) for dinner. Tap is a gastro-pub that serves a tasty burger.
First we needed refreshments. Their special selection was Cuvee des Fleurs.
It was interesting in a good way. Fruity, a little spicy, and carbonated in a way that was reminiscent of a sparking wine rather than a beer.
Our starter was a meat and cheese plate. Aged Parmesan, creamy blue cheese, prosciutto, and some sort of sausage. It was served with sesame toast (not pictured), jam, and candied walnuts. The blue cheese and sausage paired particularly well with the beer.
The only issue was that our burger came out no less than 5 minutes after the starter. I will forgive them this time because the service was great other than that.
The burger was perfectly cooked. It is served on a whole wheat English muffin. Clearly I am concerned about eating whole wheat bread with my red meat and fries. This may be my 2nd favorite burger in Atlanta (certainly a top 5). The fries are crispy and if you ask nicely they will bring a side of their jalapeno mayo to dip it in. This is the time to go European on your fries – try the dip.
The best part? Tap serves their burger with a shot of chocolate milkshake perfection.
Not that the tiny shake is enough to count as my dessert.
My mom brought me Kentucky Derby Pie! This will be featured on my blog soon – it is my winter party staple. 🙂
It is basically pecan pie with chocolate chips and bourbon. Did I mention that I love my mom?
Today I am really feeling like fall has arrived. I just hope it is a long one! I’m a huge fan of spring and fall. Summer is even ok. Winter… notsomuch. In my mind, the only point of cold weather is snow. Since we don’t see much of that in Atlanta, there is absolutely no point enduring temps under 60 degrees. I digress… back to the beautiful day.
I met a friend this morning to play tennis. To fuel this early morning adventure, I made an apple cupcake. It is really just a cored apple that I cut horizontally and add toppings to, but there is something especially satisfying about needing a knife and fork to eat it.
I added Atlanta Farm Fresh plain greek-style yogurt and homemade granola. If you haven’t tried this yogurt, go out and buy some now. It is amazing. The 0% Ginger Peach flavor is my favorite. I never thought I’d be saying this about yogurt… but it is like eating dessert. YUM.
Then it was time to play. I jogged to a neighborhood tennis court and played for 2 hours. Normally these courts are crowded, but I actually got up earlier than the rest of the world and – surprise – they were open!
My dilemma: I am trying to cut back; however, every social activity seems to involve food and drinks. My friend originally wanted to get brunch and mimosas this morning. I didn’t want to start my weekend off ruining all the work I did during the week, so I asked if we could go for a run or do something more active. She suggested tennis. I love tennis but rarely have anyone to play with.
The Lesson: You can ask. Ask for alternate activities and most people will be up for it. You may even get to do something you normally don’t have the chance to!
After 2 hours of tennis, I was hungry again. Last night I prepared for this! I made overnight oats. Overnight oats are the coolest thing I’ve learned about recently. The basic idea is to mix equal parts oats and milk (or almond milk, soy milk, mix in some yogurt… whatever) in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate over night. In the morning you top with fruit, yogurt, eggs… the possibilities are endless.
Yesterday, in the midst of my baking frenzy, I made banana butter. I put 2 T almond butter and a banana in a bowl and used the mixer to blend. I ate half on toast, but decided the other half would make awesome overnight oats.
Chocolate Banana Almond Butter Overnight Oats
- 1/3 C multi-grain oats
- Banana butter (blended 1/2 banana and 1T almond butter)
- 1/4 C milk
- 1/2 scoop of chocolate Juice Plus protein powder
- Fresh raspberries
Mix everything (except berries) in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Stir again in the morning and top with fresh berries.
I am staring at the empty bowl as I write this, wishing I had more. The chocolate protein powder was the perfect addition – chocolate, nut butter, and banana are my favorite combo.
No more for me – it is time to go the the Braves game! Cross your fingers that today’s performance is better than last night’s.
This is my first official food post!
Today was filled with good stuff. It was a Friday and I was working from home – that is a recipe for some good eating! It was a day for wraps.
Breakfast was an accidental egg wrap – a side effect of putting scrambled eggs in a pan on medium heat, and promptly forgetting about them while logging into my computer. Luckily, I caught it just before they burned and added some bacon, feta cheese, and salsa to make the wrap.
Word of Caution: When you buy salsa at the Mexican grocery store it is going to be hot. They don’t even bother stocking varying degrees of heat or indicating on the bottle that it is spicy. But I love spicy food.
I needed to read a bunch of material for a new project at work, so instead of sitting on my butt I took it down to the gym in my building and read for an hour on the stationary bike. It is amazing how that makes the time fly! Before I knew it, my stomach was growling for lunch. The end of the week means using up the things in my fridge that I bought/made at the beginning of the week.
Today that resulted in a veggie wrap: homemade red pepper white bean dip, homemade pesto, the most delicious arugula EVER from the Piedmont Park Green Market, carrots, and red onion all wrapped in a spinach Flat Out.
Flat Out wraps are awesome – flavorful, 90 cals, 9g protein and 9g of protein, and no sugar. If you haven’t tried these, I highly recommend!
Served with a side of crunchy cucumber slices and big glass of ice water. It was so beautiful outside I decided to enjoy my lunch on the deck:
One of my Sake teammates – Samwise Banshee – is getting married in a few weeks. We (her teammates) are making the cake for her Bachelorette party tomorrow night. In true Bachelorette fashion, the cake will be creatively shaped… 🙂
I am in charge of making a cannoli cream to spread between the layers. So I took a jog to Publix for ricotta cheese. It is so nice to be able to walk to the store on days like this!
I didn’t take a picture of the delicious cream, but will hopefully have a shot of the cake to post tomorrow.
- 32oz of good ricotta (this is not the time for fat-free or off brand)
- 1 C of powdered sugar (you can add more to taste – I did!)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2T orange liquor
Put it all in a bowl and beat it with a mixer until it is smooth and creamy. Mine took about 3 minutes. You can also reduce the sugar a bit and use the cream for a tasty fresh fruit topping!
What I did get a picture of was the bacon chocolate chip cookies I made for a softball teammate who had emergency surgery Wednesday night. Bacon makes everything better, right?
This is closely based on a recipe featured on NPR last winter, by Susan from Food Blogga. I added coffee, reduced the butter (they were pretty greasy with all the bacon), didn’t add the salt (I used salted butter – it added enough), and reduced the flour a tad.
The coffee addition was good, but I was afraid of putting too much in. Next time I will definitely add the whole teaspoon ’cause what goes better with bacon than coffee???
Mmmmm… serve with a glass of milk. Then bag the rest up ASAP so you don’t eat them all before you can give them to your buddy!
I saw my friend at our softball game tonight. The doctor benched her for 6 weeks, but she was so bored of laying around a good sport and came out to cheer on the team. We won – 3-2. It was a great game. I even threw a girl out at 2nd from center field! This is an accomplishment since a) I am used to playing 1st base and b) the accuracy of my throws is somewhat unreliable.
By the time I got home I was starving and whipped up a pumpkin smoothie in my Magic Bullet (God’s gift to smoothie-lovers). It was super easy:
- 1/2 the cup ice
- 1/4 C pumpkin puree
- 1C milk
- 1/2 scoop French Vanilla Juice Plus powder
- Cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg.
Upon blending I decided crunchy almond butter would be a good addition, so I swirled in a heaping spoonful. The best part of swirling in a scoop of nut butter is licking the spoon at the end. YUM.
Bacon Coffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 5 strips bacon
- Just under 1 C all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 stick (1/2 C) salted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 C white sugar
- 1/3 C light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 C chopped pecans
- 1T instant coffee granules
Cook bacon until browned and done (about 8 mins – it is better/more crispy when you cook it slowly). Crumple a paper town over a plate and lay bacon across to drain and cool. Chop finely.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small-ish bowl, whisk flour and baking soda.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer (I used a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugars until smooth.
Add egg and vanilla extract, and beat until just blended.
Add the dry ingredients; beat until just incorporated and the flour is dissolved. Fold in the chocolate chips, pecans and bacon.
Mix the instant coffee with ~ 1tsp of hot water (no need to microwave – hot water from the tap works). Drizzle the coffee mix into the batter and ever so slightly fold. You should still be able to see the streaks of black coffee.
Drop one large tablespoon cookie dough 2 to 3 inches apart (they spread a lot) on baking sheet.
Bake for 12 minutes, or until firm and golden brown around the edges, and still slightly soft in the center.
Cool for 15 minutes.
Can be stored on counter top for 1-2 days, then refrigerated in an airtight container.
Makes ~15 cookies.
BIG day tomorrow – I just got a ticket to the Braves game! It is Bobby Cox’s 2nd to last one was the Braves’ manager. Hopefully the Phillies will not beat us like they did tonight. 🙁
Do you have those go-to people in your life? Maybe its the neighbor you ask for the proverbial cup of sugar? The co-worker you can always find tickets to a baseball game? The mom/aunt/grandmother you call when you’re trying desperately to save the rug you just dumped a glass of red wine on?
That’s me when you want a restaurant or recipe. Unless it involves seafood – I can’t stand seafood (but I hear the trout at Empire State south is delish). I love food. In a way that is probably not normal. I love reading about food, cooking, trying new restaurants, and – obviously – eating. Thankfully, I also like to exercise. Softball, roller derby, tennis, football, lifting weights… even cardio has grown on me.
Why am I writing this? So my mom quits calling me every time she needs a place to eat. I am not Zagats’ text message service, Mom! Kidding. Kind of. I spend an embarrassing amount of time on food, finding deals, and devising new ways to torture my body work on my fitness. My friends have told me for years to start a blog. My mom tells me. My mom’s friends tell me. The final straw was when I saw a nutritionist a couple of weeks ago. The NUTRITIONIST told me I should start a food blog. I have to be the only person in the world who goes to a nutritionist and leaves with a food blog mission.
So here I go, publicly racing from meal to meal. This is my declaration of food love. This blog will document my creations, share knowledge, and make a valiant attempt to lean in the direction of health (though I can’t promise the bacon chocolate chip cookies won’t make an appearance). Please excuse the bad attempts at humor, the typos/grammatical errors, intermittent profanity passionate expressions of emotion, and the occasional kitchen disaster.
More to come, but right now I have to get to bed. The sooner I fall asleep, the sooner I get to eat breakfast!