WIAW: Last Attempt with Protein Powder

Thank you all for your comments on yesterday’s post!  I wasn’t looking for reassurance, but it was nice to hear that I’m not the only one who tends to keep their plate full.  One thing that I’ve noticed is that women tend to have fuller plates than men.  I’m not a psychologist and I definitely didn’t get straight A’s in my high school AP Psychology course, but I wonder if there’s some sort of relationship between a woman’s full plate and her maternal instincts?

Oftentimes I hear about women offering to help their family or friends in any way they can.  They commit to as many things as possible because they feel obligated to do so if they have any free time.  While in contrast, men cherish their free time by kicking up their feet, cracking open a beer, and relaxing.  That obviously is a very general statement and by no means am I saying that men are lazy (I’m incredibly thankful for what my husband does on a daily basis!), but I think they know something that we don’t…  You shouldn’t have to do 10 different things at once to feel a sense of accomplishment.

Thanks Jenn for hosting another tasty link-up!

Moving onto tastier “plates,” my Tuesday eats.  Over the weekend Ryan, Charlie, and I went to my momma’s house to help her with a few things and in exchange she treated us to an Italian feast.  It was marvelous!  But what isn’t so marvelous is that I think I caught her cold/sinus infection because by dinnertime last night my head felt like it was gonna explode and my throat was on fiiiyyyaaa.  Boo.

11-6 Momma's Dinner

Breakfast:  Yesterday I woke up in the mood for a fluffy stack of pancakes so I made a batch of Pumpkin Pie Pancakes and served them with a side of cinnamon apples + raisins and a cup of Caramel Apple Pie coffee.




Two questions that I’m frequently asked are “How do you have time to make pancakes on a weekday morning?” and “You eat so many pancakes, aren’t you worried that you’re gonna get fat?”

First — pancakes really don’t take any longer to make than a pot of oatmeal or eggs on the stove.  I’m not fancy and typically only use one bowl so it’s simple as measuring, mixing, pouring, and flipping.

Second — no, I’m not worried I’m gonna get fat from eating pancakes.  My pancake recipes are simple and typically don’t contain added sugars, flour + baking powder + spices + eggs.  Yes, if I added a bottle of maple syrup and tablespoons of butter on top of each batch then I’d have a higher chance of packing on the pounds, but most of the time I prefer Greek yogurt, peanut butter, and fresh fruit as my toppings.


Lunch:  After working on my computer for a few hours my brain needed a break.  I walked over to the gym and rode the stationary bike for an hour.  My body was sore from cardio + weights on Monday and as the day went on I started feeling sicker so it was an easy but fulfilling workout.

One of my favorite foods to eat when I’m sick is chicken noodle soup – there’s something so comforting and homey about it.  I paired a bowl of boxed chicken noodle soup with a crisp salad, orange slices, a pizza English muffin, and a handful of pretzels.  Hot liquids, vitamin C, salt…  Soothing and filling.



tip: put the tomato sauce on top of the cheese so the bread doesn’t get soggy

Snack:  I’ve tried a handful of different varieties of protein and I’ve tried a few different recipes using protein powder and I’ve never been a fan.  I prefer my protein in the form of beans, chicken, cottage cheese, eggs, fish, Greek yogurt, etc.  But after numerous recommendations from friends, I gave Designer Whey Protein Powder a chance.  On Sunday morning I made a batch of Pumpkin Protein Muffins and surprisingly both Ryan and I gave them a thumbs up!


The past few days I’ve enjoyed a couple of muffins topped with Greek cream cheese with fruit as a mid-day snack.  But yesterday I was sadly disappointed….  I bit into a muffin and immediately spit it out (sorry for the visual).  The muffins had a funky smell and tasted sour – gross.  I’m not sure why they went from delicious to disgusting overnight but I think that was my last attempt to like protein powder.


Dinner:  Ryan finished up at work early so he picked me up and we went to see the new movie About Time.  Side note: we had the whole theater to ourselves!  The reviews compared it to Love Actually which I thought was good, not great, but I’m a fan of Rachel McAdams so I thought it was worth seeing.  The movie got off to a slow start but by the end I enjoyed it.

We didn’t get home from the theater until after 7 p.m. so dinner was easy.  I wasn’t in the mood for soup again so I whipped up a pot of Creamy Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal (which I had again for breakfast this morning) and topped it with a spoonful of apple butter and peanut butter.  I also sauteed a few green beans and mushrooms in coconut oil becuase I love veggies with dinner.



Dessert:  Ice cream would have been the perfect treat for my burning throat, but I polished off the tub last week (Uncooked Apple Crisp for One, yum) so cereal downed in Silk Light Vanilla did the trick.  I love Van’s gluten free cereals!


Question:  What’s your favorite source of protein?

Question:  When you’re feeling under the weather, what’s your favorite sick food?

— Allison


I Really Liked 2012

I’m not gonna lie, I really liked 2012

We planned a wedding.

We got a puppy.

I went back to school to study event management.

I started a new job.

My health has stabilized.

Our family and friends continued to support us.

And we got married!

Rather than making a list of New Year’s resolutions, I’ve made a list of goals…

To live in the moment.

To love with my whole heart.

To laugh a lot.

To learn from experiences.

To listen to my body.

…that I hope to incorporate into everyday of 2013.


2013 has got a lot to live up to, but I’m glad we’re kicking it off with our honeymoon in 18 days :)


*Don’t forget to enter my Heart of Haiti giveaway and be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry!  It’s open until TONIGHT, Tuesday, January 1st at 11:59PM EST.*


Yesterday…  #elf4Health 12/31 Day 36:  Make a healthy dish to bring to your New Year’s party.  Ryan and I [plus Charlie] kept it low-key at home since I’m still under-the-weather and Ryan’s ankle is still bothering him, but we enjoyed tasty BBQ turkey mini meatloaves and biscuits while watching the movie The Campaign!

Today…  #elf4Health 1/1 Day 37:  Clean the house top to bottom!  Everything is clean, laundry included, minus the ironing that I’ve procrastinated doing…

Tomorrow…  #elf4Health 1/2 Day 38:  Set a new fitness goal.

Question:  Do you have any goals or resolutions for 2013?

Question:  How did you celebrate the New Year?

— Allison


Thankful for Opportunities {Giveaway}

I woke up this morning and the pad of my heel still hurts, boo.

Last night I ran for 10 minutes to warm-up and my legs felt fabulous, as they always do after a day of rest. I started out casually but continued to up my speed and sprinted the last couple of minutes. If I didn’t have TNT I bet I could have lasted longer- it was one of those “I just wanna run kinda days.” After 45 minutes of getting my butt kicked at TNT I hopped back onto the dreadmill for a slow 20 minute cool-down. I didn’t have nearly as much energy as I had earlier but it still felt nice to move my legs, that is until about 8 minutes into it when my heel started to hurt. It’s hard to describe but it feels like the bone is pushing down on a bad bruise in the bottom of my foot. Ouch!


I’ve never felt this kinda pain before so I tweeted out for advice and immediately got a few suggestions… Try rolling a tennis ball under my foot, ice it pre- and post-run, take it slow for a few days, and buy a new pair of sneakers. Thank you all! Having never experienced this before I’m open to any and all suggestions that you have.

Moving on. In traditional Thursday fashion I’m linking up with Jessie from Jessie Loves to Run for Thankful Thursday. This week I’m moving away from tangible things that I’m thankful for and focusing on something more abstract… Opportunities.

 I am thankful for having the opportunity to… have a roof over my head.

I am thankful for having the opportunity to… marry the love of my life.

I am thankful for having the opportunity to… have a family that supports me throughout all of my endeavors.

I am thankful for having the opportunity to… have a stable job.

I am thankful for having the opportunity to… go to school and graduate from college.

I am thankful for having the opportunity to… have doctors who genuinely care about my health.

I am thankful for having the opportunity to… meet great people who have become my friends.

I am thankful for having the opportunity to… connect with people through blogging and make blends.

I am thankful for having the opportunity to… travel and explore new places.

I am thankful for having the opportunity to… wake up every morning and know that it’s my choice to make the most of the day ahead.

And now one thing that I’m thankful for that’s a little more concrete. I am thankful for having the opportunity to… try Torani syrups.

I have been a fan of Torani syrups for a longtime. On the weekends when I was younger, my momma and I would swing by the local bagel bakery and then skip on over to Starbucks. We’d order 2 extra-hot hot chocolates to accompany our freshly baked bagels… The combination of vanilla and chocolate syrups was divine, especially when paired with a doughy bagel. Mmm, now I’m craving that combo!

As my palate began to mature [or shall I say, when I started to enjoy drinking coffee], I started to experiment with other Starbucks drinks. After a long day of lifeguarding and sitting out in the sun, a passion tea sweetened with simple syrup or an iced coffee with caramel syrup was the perfect way to cool down. A latte with vanilla or pumpkin spice syrup was a wonderful way to welcome the cooler fall months. And a cappuccino with peppermint syrup got me into the holiday spirit. And 10+ years later, I’m still enjoying those seasonal drinks just as much as I did as a child. I’ve got a gold card to prove it 😉

So when I heard that SheSpeaks was hosting a Torani contest this winter I immediately jumped at the opportunity to participate. Having the chance to make some of my favorite drinks in the comfort of my own home? Absolutely, sign me up and count me in!

A little bit about Torani…

Since 1925, 3rd generation family-owned Torani has been crafting great tasting flavored syrups that coffeehouses use to make their flavored drinks taste so delicious. With over 120 flavors in Regular and Sugar Free varieties, Torani flavored syrups are perfect for flavored lattes, mochas, coffees, cocoas, Italian sodas, teas, lemonades, cocktails and smoothies. Coffeehouse professionals choose Torani flavors because they are expertly crafted and made with the highest quality ingredients, like natural flavors and pure cane sugar. The Sugar Free flavors have no calories and are sweetened with Splenda. Now, Torani flavored syrups are widely available at retail so you can easily create authentic coffeehouse quality drinks at home.

As a member of SheSpeaks, I had the opportunity to participate in the Torani Holiday Cheers Contest. As a participant, I received [2] 750ml bottles of Torani Syrups, a recipe booklet, [5] $1 coupons, and a special 10% off coupon!


For the past few weeks I have thoroughly been enjoying my morning cappuccinos and cups of coffee with a splash of Torani and would love to give one of my readers the same opportunity! In addition to receiving bottles of Torani from SheSpeaks, I have received a couple from Cravebox and my wine rack is starting to overflow!

1 lucky winner will receive:

  • [2] 750ml bottles of Sugar Free Torani syrup
  • [5] $1 coupons off of Torani syrup

The giveaway will end this Sunday, December 16th at 11:59PM EST and is open to continental US residents only [sorry Canadian friends]. I will randomly select the winner and announce her or him on Monday! To enter, please leave a separate comment for each:

P.S. Even though I have only enjoyed Torani syrups in my beverages, there are TONS of other ways to enjoy them. Breakfast dishes, desserts, salad dressings… Click here for some inspiration!

*Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks and Torani syrup.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Yesterday… #elf4Health 12/12 Day 17: No need to save all your veggies for dinner.  Eat 3 servings of vegetables by 2pm. I enjoyed a combo of celery sticks, yellow squash, sugar snap peas, and carrots for lunch and as a snack, done!

Today… #elf4Health 12/13 Day 18: Buy coffee for the person behind you in line this morning. Not a coffee drinker? Treat a coworker to lunch or a snack! I swung by Starbucks during lunch and offered to buy the older man behind me his drink. The look on his face was priceless, confused at first, but after I explained that I am participating in a holiday challenge he was extremely appreciative and said that he will buy a coffee for someone tomorrow!

Tomorrow… #elf4Health 12/14 Day 19: Workout with a buddy. Grab a friend, your spouse, or even your dog!

— Allison