Going to the Chapel…

Happy Tuesday!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July and that you are staying cool during this tremendous heat wave!

I, for one, had a fantastic weekend!  Larry and I drove to VA Beach for our friends Beau and Gen’s wedding, which was a spectacular soirée. 

On our way to the beach we sat in just a little bit of holiday traffic,

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but we simply could not complain about this view!

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Or the weather!  It was a truly beautiful weekend!

My camera broke right before the ceremony, so I don’t have pictures of the actual wedding. 😦

However, I do have pictures of the rehearsal!  The wedding was held at a country club on a very green golf course with rolling hills. :)  The site was absolutely breathtaking!DSC03553

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Right before my camera broke I was able to grab a couple of shots of the reception decor. 

Gen is a very artistic and amazingly creative gal!  She handmade these glass paper weights using sand from the beaches of both Virginia and Florida.

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She also named each table after something beach-y.  Larry and I sat at the Nags Head table 🙂

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Weddings are so much fun.  Not only is it an honor to share in the bride and groom’s special day, but it is also a great way to catch up with friends you may not get to see as often as you would like. 

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We are so happy for the beautiful couple!  Congratulations, Beau and Gen!!!  :) 

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~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Happy Fourth of July!!!

Hello, everyone!  Happy Fourth of July Weekend! 

I will be out of town for a wedding until Sunday evening and will not have access to the internet 😦

I will be back Monday though! 

Have a safe & wonderful weekend!!!! 

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Summer’s Bounty

In case you didn’t already know, summer is my favorite season of the year.  Not only are the days longer and warmer, but there are beach vacations to be had, and countless hours to be spent reading by the pool.

However, the absolutely BEST part of summer is its amazing bounty. 

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This is the best time of year to visit a local Farmers Market to pick up the freshest produce available.  There are so many colors and textures to choose from.

For me, this means that I have absolutely no trouble getting my five servings of fruits and veggies a day.  🙂

It also means that dinners are light, healthy, and super easy!  

Last night’s dinner was no exception. 

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To recreate this delectable dinner at home follow these easy steps.

1. Cook your favorite pasta according to the package directions. 

2. Chop or slice your favorite fresh veggies.  I used summer squash, zucchini, onion, garlic, sliced tomatoes, and mushrooms.

2.  Heat a pan over medium heat and lightly mist the pan with olive oil spray.  No need for oil in this dish!

3.  Once the pan is hot, add the veggies and sauté for a few minutes until they are cooked through. 

4.  Season the veggies with a bit of sea salt and crushed black pepper.

5.  Mix in fresh chopped basil.

6.  Serve and enjoy!

You can add thin strips of steak or baked chicken if you want to add meat 🙂

The veggies were so flavorful and juicy that you didn’t have to add any cheese or oil. 

It was perfectly simple.

What is your favorite easy, light summer dish???

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Sweat, Soccer and Nostalgia

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This was me yesterday. 😉

Well,  not really, but sort of.  I took a LesMills BodyCombat class at the gym and it kicked my butt!

The whole class lasted 53 minutes and the entire time my lungs were screaming, my muscles were burning, and I had such a good time!

My heart rate monitor said I burned 946 calories, which I think is an over estimation, but only by about 100-200 calories.  The instructor said that she burned 750 calories, and she was an itty bitty thing.  It wouldn’t surprise me if I actually burned close to 800 calories! 

Last summer I took 2 BodyCombat classes a week and it helped me to get in amazing shape.  Once school started, it became more difficult to attend the scheduled times, so I kind of gave up going.  I’m thinking that after the endorphin high of yesterday’s class I will once again try and go at least once or twice a week for a  high energy, high paced class.

After BodyCombat I watched the USA –vs- Ghana World Cup game.

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It made me miss soccer terribly.  I haven’t played since I broke my sesamoid in a game last spring.  My foot really hasn’t been the same since.  I am able to run and take kickboxing classes and the like, but I think actually kicking a ball would be rather difficult.  Not only would it be a little painful, but I think I would be a little afraid every time I went for the ball!

However, the desire is so strong I may have to buy a ball and try kicking it around to see how it goes.  Who knows, maybe I could play Fall Ball with a little practice.

After the horribly disappointing game, Larry came home from bringing home the bacon, and we headed to West Point, VA for a couples shower in honor of our friends Beau and Gen who are getting married next weekend!

It was a summer soirée complete with a crab feast

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and a meticulously crafted sea turtle cake.

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Isn’t this cake amazing!!!!  The party host humbly made this cake the night before in the comfort of her kitchen!!!   

No one wanted to cut into this masterpiece, but eventually someone couldn’t resist the temptation of a delicious dessert and grabbed a piece.

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The crab feast portion of this party was the biggest temptation for me since giving up meat.

Growing up, my Pop-Pop would hold crab feasts at his house a few times each summer.  He would go into DC to get a few bushels.  Then my brothers and I would watch with our mouths watering as he pulled each crab out, threw them into a pot of boiling water, and cooked them to perfection.

We would spend hours picking crabs and running around the yard in our bare feet with Patsy Cline and Hank Sr. records playing in the background.

As much as I wanted to sit down and start crab picking last night, I just couldn’t do it.  It was an incredibly nostalgic moment for me, but I stuck with the meat free fare instead and I am rather proud of myself for it! 🙂

Today will be a pretty laid back Sunday.  Larry and I are planning on going to the gym for a quick lift followed by a little pool time.  I can’t wait to spend a few hours reading my new book.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!  Stay cool!!!

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Life is Good

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Isn’t this a cute mug???  One of my students gave it to  me as an end of the year present and I absolutely adore it!

And can you believe it?!?!?!?  I am actually home on a Saturday!!!  This hasn’t happened in a LOOOOOOONG time.  In fact, I was so befuddled by being home on a Saturday that I forgot about the Saturday Farmers Market.  The one Saturday I’m home and I missed it.  Oh, well!  There’s always a Saturday next month 😉

Yesterday I was a pretty happy and healthy girl.  I woke up pretty sore (and am still sore today).  The Kardashian workout really rocked my body!

As I was doing this workout I didn’t think it was as intense as the Yvonne Strahovski workout, but my muscles are begging to differ.  I am S-O-R-E!  And I did this workout almost 4 days ago!!!!!

Because I was having  a hard time walking without wincing ;), I decided to try and swim laps for exercise.  Swimming is an excellent way to burn calories without putting strain on your body.  The water provides excellent resistance for muscle toning, which means you get a great cardiovascular and strengthening workout in one session.

I have to confess, however, that I’ve never been a super strong swimmer.  I was a life guard in high school, but I was never on a swim team, and I never swam for fitness.  Swimming was just something I did for fun. 

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I decided that that needed to change.  Since I have a pool membership and I enjoy sitting at the pool reading, I decided to combine relaxation with a workout.

I packed my pool bag with lots of sunscreen, a sun hat, an excellent read (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson), and my waterproof heart rate monitor. 

I read during kid swim and swam during adult swim.  🙂

In total I did 32 minutes of freestyle laps.  I can do 50 yards in one minute, but I had to rest for 30 seconds between laps.

My heart rate monitor said I burned approximately 289 calories, and Larry and I estimated that I swam about 1,000 yards which is about 914 meters.  Not too bad for a swimming newbie. 

Swimming is definitely different from running.  When I am running I can control my breathing in such a way that I feel like I am breathing normally.  This is not so with swimming.  I have to learn to get into a rhythm with my breathing, so that I don’t have to take a break between laps. 

And let me tell ya!  Swimming wears you out!  I was exhausted!  It reminded me of the summers of my childhood when my brothers and I would swim for hours and then come home and crash.  My mom must have been on to something there 😉

Once home, I treated myself to a Green Monster.  It was green and glor-i-ous!

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-1 scoop of protein powder

-1 bananna

-1 cup frozen peaches

-1 cup almond milk

-2 tablespoons chia seeds

-3 cups cooked spinach

Today I am planning on taking a BodyCombat class at the gym and then heading to Target to see if I can find a cute and cheap summer dress to wear to our friends’ wedding shower this evening. 

Mozoltov!

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Salmon & Mock Tuna Melts

Here it is!  The pictures and recipes I promised yesterday 🙂
Salmon and Mock Tuna Melts

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Can you tell which one is real fish????  I made them and I’m having a hard time telling!

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Mock Tuna                                                           Real Salmon

 

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I found the recipe for Real Salmon Melts in the July/August issue of Clean Eating Magazine

It is very similar to making tuna salad except rather than using canned tuna fish, I cooked a large salmon filet and pulled it apart with a fork.  Then I added shredded carrots, celery, onion, dill, lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, paprika, and a little sea salt and pepper to taste.  For the wet ingredients, I used nonfat plain Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise and a couple teaspoons of Dijon mustard. 

Larry liked this so much he had two sandwiches!

The Mock Tuna is what I am really excited about.  I hadn’t realized how much I missed tuna sandwiches until I saw this recipe on the Compassionate Action for Animals website. 

Here is my modified version 🙂

  • 1 (15oz.) cans chick-peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise (could have used less)
  • 2 stalks celery minced
  • 1 large carrot cleaned and shredded
  • 1/4 small sweet onions, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sized bowl mash chick-peas coarsely with a fork.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mixed gently.

To make these “sea” inspired salads into scrumptious melts, toast two pieces of pumpernickel or other whole grain bread.  Arrange tomato slices on toasted bread and top with about 1/2 cup of “fish”/veggie mixture.  Cover each piece with a slice of cheese (I used provolone) and broil for 3 minutes or until the cheese is melted.  Top with remaining slice of toast.  Slice and enjoy!

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I served these sandwiches with this Mediterranean Chickpea Salad from WebMD.

I get so excited when I find recipes like this that take the place of a meal from my meat eating days.  There are so many options out there!!!

Do you have a favorite meat free version of a traditional meaty meal???

When I go to the beach this summer and my entire family is eating tuna fish sandwiches, I will not have to eat a completely different meal.  I can have my own meat free version (though I know my brothers will heckle me to no end). 🙂

Well, I’m off to the gym for day three of my Healthy Habits workout.  My muscles are a little sore, but I’m still going strong. 😉

How are your Healthy Habits coming along?

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Shaping Up with a Kardashian

Hello, friends!  It’s awfully strange to be writing a post around lunch time, but that is the true beauty of being a teacher–  summers off! 😉

I had planned on sharing with you some beautiful pictures of the Salmon & Mock Tuna Melts that we had for dinner last night.  However, Larry needed the camera for work today, so I’ll have to post those later this evening.  Trust me!  You do not want to miss these recipes!  Especially if you are newbie vegetarian and you’ve been missing tuna sandwiches 🙂

Yesterday was day 1 of my 60 day Healthy Habits Fitness Challenge.  I decided to do a workout routine that I found in last month’s Shape Magazine.  June’s issue featured Kim Kardashian on the cover, and included one of her workout routines created by Gunnar Peterson

Kim Kardashian Workout [Source]

You can find Kim’s workout on the Shape website by clicking here

I thought this was the perfect workout routine.  You can do up to 5 circuits, and each circuit takes about 10 minutes.  This makes it ideal for days when you can only do about 30 minutes, or for days when you have more time and can do 50-60 minutes.  Best of all, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own  home!

My heart rate was elevated throughout and I worked every muscle in my body.  I’m not sure if I love it quite as much as the Yvonne Strahovski workout, but it was a good change of pace.  I was a sweaty mess by the end. 🙂

Where do you find your workout routines???  I find most of mine in Shape magazines and on other blogs. 

Today I plan on going to the gym to run about 3 miles on the treadmill (yuck!) and to do some ab work. 

I really enjoyed reading your comments on Healthy Habits you would like to adopt.  If you haven’t already left a comment telling us your goals, please do!  It’s so helpful to know that there are other people out there working toward being their healthiest self!  Also, I would love to hear how day one and two have gone. 

Remember to check back later this evening for the Salmon & Mock Tuna Melts recipes! It will probably be a little after 8 PM.  🙂

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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