Thursday, October 20, 2016

Friday Morning Iced Coffee Date (10/21)

Good morning and HAPPY FRIDAY, friends!

It’s Friday morning and you know what that means: It’s time for our coffee date! I’m drinking Coconut Paradise iced coffee, which, you guys, rivals Marylou’s Coffee (!), with a splash of coconut creamer (from Trader Joe’s). It’s creamy, slightly sweet, and pure perfection. What are you drinking this morning?

Ok, let’s get right into things…

So, I’m trying something new with the CNC newsletter, so I hope you decide to sign up for it (if you haven’t already). Next month (holy cow, how is November 1st so soon!?), I’ll share a 2-week fitness plan with workouts that you can do at home (perhaps during nap time) or the gym with minimal equipment. We’re all short on time, so these workouts are quick, efficient, and really give you the most bang for your buck! I’ll also share a special Thanksgiving Day workout to help you kick off the all-day foodfest on the right foot, so be sure to sign up so you don’t miss out!  (The newsletter sign up box is located on the right side on CNC’s main page.)

I was recently featured on about What It Took to Sculpt Six-Pack Abs! The article says: “It’s a lot of work,” but paying attention to my macros isn’t really all that difficult or time-consuming, especially now that I’ve done it for so long, and it makes such a difference in my body and how I feel. If you’re interested in working with me on a custom meal plan, check out Designed to Fit Nutrition for more info!


Speaking of Designed to Fit, thank you to everyone who entered to win one of our 4-week custom meal plans! Here is your winner:


Congrats on your new adventure! I just had a baby and am struggling to get meals planned and made!. This would be such a treat!

Congrats, Katie! Please email me at to claim your prize!

If we were having coffee this morning, I would also tell you that I made the 5-Ingredient Butternut Squash & Sage Breakfast Casserole from PaleOMG, and it turned out so well. I actually made it TWICE this week because Mal and I blew through the first one. It was so easy to make and deeeelicious! 🙂 There are actually quite a few new recipes that I want to try

Cauliflower Toast Recipe

If we were having coffee right now, I’d show you photos of our new master closet. Remember our summer project? Well, it was completed a few weeks ago, and we’re IN LOVE. It’s so fun getting dressed nowadays, and I can’t believe how much extra closet space we have now!


I’d also tell you that I finally got my flu shot. I mean, is something going around right now? I feel like everyone is sick! And I’m going in for Entyvio next week, and I KNOW my doctor will ask if I got my flu shot, soooo, long story short, I swung by the Minute Clinic after CrossFit to get it. It was so quick and easy. I was in and out in, like, 15 minutes. FYI: Did you know the Minute Clinic has a “Hold a Place in Line” option, so you don’t have to wait around forever? You just sign up online and let them know why you’re visiting. Then, you arrive at your chosen clinic and sign into the kiosk with a special online pre-registration code. It’s awesome, especially for those of us with maniac toddlers! 🙂


I’m obsessed with this water bottle (pictured below) fro my friends at CamelBak. Actually, I’m obsessed with this bigger version of it, but Mal snagged it and took it to school with him. Grrrr. It’s a good thing I like him so much! Haha! Anyway, this vacuum-insulated bottle keeps liquids cold for 48 hours (even longer if you add ice) and hot for six. I often leave it in my car during long runs, and it’s just as cold as it was when I left it. I also like the narrow-mouthed opening, which makes it easy to drink and pour without spilling all over you.


And, finally, I would remind you of my sister and my LuLaRoe fundraiser next week on Wednesday, October 26th to benefit the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). It’s an all-day, online fundraiser and you just need to be part of my sister’s LuLaRoe Facebook page to participate.

If you’re not familiar with LuLaRoe, you’re in for a real treat! Welcome to your newest addiction! LuLaRoe (LLR) offers skirts, dresses, leggings, and tops for women and girls (and tops for men). The fabrics are super soft and simply comfortable. The prints are bold, bright and fun. Sizes range from XXS to 3XL and girls 2-16. There is truly something for everyone! LuLaRoe has been described as the “Anthropologie of Direct Sales,” but don’t fear, it’s totally affordable!


How the fundraiser/sales work: Become a member of my sister’s LuLaRoe group and then check-in frequently throughout the day on Wednesday. The best styles and patterns go quickly and, unlike other direct sales companies, there’s no catalog to order from. Once the item is gone, it’s GONE, but that’s the beauty of LLR. You will have a truly unique piece of clothing at an affordable price. My sister will be available to answer questions throughout the day, so feel free to pop on over to see what her shopping event is all about. And, of course, you’ll be benefiting a wonderful cause, one near and dear to my heart, with your purchase! 🙂

Questions of the Day

What’s your beverage of choice this morning?

What’s up for the weekend?

Have you ever heard of LuLaRoe?

Did you get your flu shot yet?

from Carrots 'N' Cake

5 Turkey Chilis That Put Beef Out to Pasture

Whether you spend the next few weekends hitting your local campground to take in the fall foliage or sitting on the couch curled up under a blanket, one thing is for sure: You’re going to want a bowl of warm chili to wrap your hands around. Loaded with fragrant spices, tender beans and protein, chili is exactly the type of dish you want to have on hand in your freezer throughout the season.

But let’s not forget that part of what makes chili so comforting is the toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, maybe even some diced avocado. By the time you finish adorning your bowl with all the desired fixings, you could be looking at half a day’s worth of calories — or worse. That’s where lean ground turkey comes in. If your favorite chili involves beef, here are a few things to consider: A 4-ounce serving contains roughly 127 calories with 27 grams of protein, compared to 199 calories and 23 grams of protein found in 90/10 lean ground beef. Need some inspiration to switch up your chili routine? These are a few of our favorite turkey-based recipes from the chefs at Food Network.

Indian Summer Turkey Chili
If you plan on doing any tailgating this fall, Rachael Ray’s big-batch turkey chili is just the thing you’ll want to spoon out of your thermos. Large bell peppers brighten up the mixture with their mild sweetness. Stir in a bit of your favorite barbecue sauce for a touch of sweet heat.

Turkey and Pumpkin Seed Chili
A touch of unsweetened cocoa powder gives this hearty chili a wonderful depth of flavor. Whip up a batch and freeze the leftovers to have on hand for busy fall weeknights.

Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili
This recipe captures many of the traditional flavors of chili, but it boosts the usual texture, color and vitamins. It calls for protein-rich black beans, lean ground turkey and sweet butternut squash; chia seeds provide some unexpected crunch and work as a thickening agent.

White Chili
Switch things up with Ellie Krieger’s White Chili. This heart-healthy recipe combines ground turkey with white beans, peppers, onions and spices to make for an incredibly flavorful bite.

Quick Turkey Chili
Speed is the name of the game when it comes to this 35-minute turkey chili from Food Network Magazine. Skip the tedious knife work and reach for canned tomatoes. Store-bought chicken broth and canned black beans further the ease. Just because you’re using shelf-stable ingredients doesn’t mean the dish is any less healthy; each serving contains 38 grams of protein and just 11 grams of fat.

For more comforting chili, check out these recipes from our friends:

from Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy...

7 Primal Ways to Bridge the Parent Happiness Gap

The At-Home Gift Shop

The At-Home Gift Shop

When I was young my mom had a prize closet. Really it was an antique wardrobe in the guest room, not a closet. The wardrobe had shelves inside that were filled with all kinds of goodies that we children were not supposed to see. Some of the contents were for us. Mom would pull out something special on a particularly stuffy rainy day. Other “prizes” were things she kept on hand to give as birthday presents or hostess gifts to friends. The prize closet always smelled lovely – like candles and lotions and things!

Foodblog (1 of 2)

The above dresser is my version of the prize closet. It was actually my grandfather’s dresser, and when my grandmother passed away last year my family had it shipped down from Baltimore. I’m glad to have a larger piece of furniture from my grandparents, and I know my grandmother would have loved that it now houses gifts.

It has taken me 33.99999 years to finally have a gifting system in place. I used to have baskets full of old, wrinkled tissue paper and gift bags I recycled from gifts people gave us. While I still recycle both bags and tissue paper, I now also have fresh tissue paper and craft bags on hand if I need something a bit fancier.

Inside the dresser I have both a grown up and a kids shopping area. As I find things in the world that would make great gifts, I buy them and stash them away until I need something for a friend. I even have a mini gift card stash to some of the local coffee, ice cream, and food places in town.

Then when the party day comes I shop from home. 

You might think this takes the thoughtfulness out of choosing a gift that is perfect for each person, but remember I still get to put together a gift – I just already own the contents. And it’s not like if I ever do have another gift in mind I can’t go buy that one ; )

Foodblog (2 of 2)

This has been especially great for the kids’ parties that come up all the time. You know that feeling on a Saturday morning when you have a party at noon and realize you don’t have a gift yet? Yes, we’ve all raced to the store on the way to the party. No more! I just shop in my prize closet and have my gift ready in 10 minutes.

Recently I gave away most of my gifts, and I just re-stocked from Amazon. Here were some of the toys that I bought to give to our friends this year. (I hope those 4-year-olds don’t know how to read blogs yet!) This year’s theme is nature and bugs!!

Prize Closet

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

And don’t tell Mazen, but if need be I can always give him one of these! I keep a few things on hand for him too ; )

from Kath Eats Real Food

Clean Eating Thursday Recipe Linkup – Pumpkin Recipes

Clean Eating Thursday Recipe Linkup - Pumpkin Recipes

If you love pumpkin everything, then this is the recipe collection for you!! Clean Eating bloggers from around the web are sharing their fav pumpkin recipes with you today!

I’m excited about this… Read more →

from The Gracious Pantry