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I Heart Summer Slim Down

I am officially 23 days away from the beautiful white dress. I also had my last training session on Friday (I did not plan that too well).

So, what am I going to do to keep me motivated? I am joining the “I Heart Summer Slim Down 2″ challenge.  Everyday Health put together six simple, summery goals that you can do along with thousands of people you don’t know. I love a good fitness competition and nothing really motivates me more than trying to best others in the fitness category. It doesn’t hurt that there is also a prize attached for completing a certain amount of the challenge goals.

The challenge starts Monday. I’m looking for a few good friends to join up with me and keep me motivated. All the information can be found here.

 

 

I Beat the Stress Out of Me

My job was recently ranked the No. 2 most stressful job by CareerCast. I have seen a few people write about how it isn’t THAT stressful or it is good stress (I don’t really get that concept, but maybe that is because I only believe in bad stress).

I can tell you this though, between final wedding planning, moving and getting acclimated to a new city/working remotely and trying to launch a product while handling my other accounts, my job has lived up to its silver medal standing.

The stress is taking a serious toll on me too. I am having extreme tension headaches and I am ALWAYS tired.

So when I walked into the gym last week, my trainer seemed to know that something was up. He took one look at me and said “Let’s take a break from kettlebells and TRX. How do you feel about kickboxing?”

How did I feel about kickboxing? I felt like I really wanted to punch that giant blue bag until I couldn’t do it anymore. I made that blue bag my bitch. I kicked it, I screamed at it. It felt good, really good. Of course, my trainer also had me telling him everything that was stressing me out while I was doing. I swear for me exercising is like the best therapy in the world. 

Virtually any form of exercise, from aerobics to weightlifting, can act as a stress reliever. If you’re not an athlete or even if you’re downright out of shape, you can still make a little exercise go a long way toward stress management.

What is your go-to stress reducer?

Restaurant Review: Cava Mezze

There are a few genres of food that I can eat on a regular basis; Mexican and Greek. It might be because of the variety of dishes, it might be because I love rice and beans and fish.

I practically jumped up and down when Cava Mezze opened up a few doors down from my new apartment.  The place was so busy the first few weeks that it took us almost a month to get in (they only take reservations on Sundays and Mondays).

The ambiance was VERY cool. I adored the hanging wine bottles and really liked the wooden tables. I even found the silverware design pretty perfect.

Josh and I seriously indulged ourselves since the last time we had a good Greek meal was almost three months ago, also because when you say small plates we really try to take advantage.

We got the Crazy Feta and Chick Pea 3 Ways to share. They were both amazing. We ate way too much pita and the Crazy Feta was incredibly rich, but overall two thumbs way up for those dishes.

Josh got the Lamb Kapama for his dish, which he liked for the most part. He wasn’t a huge fan of the yogurt, so he just took it off and devoured everything else.

My dish, the Scallops Mushroom Risotto, unfortunately was not good at all. The scallops had this really bad taste to them that pretty much screamed THESE ARE BAD. I thought at first they were charred, but after a second bite I decided that was most certainly not the case.

I am not one for sending food back; I wasn’t even hungry at this point, so my telling our server was strictly because I didn’t want them to continue serving the scallops to others.

As a concession Cava offered us dessert on the house. Music to my ears!  We got baklava and Greek donuts. O-M-G both are absolutely fantastic. The pistachio ice cream was the perfect topper on the baklava. It balanced out the dryness with just the right amount of creamy.

Aside from the scallops fiasco, our experience at Cava was pretty good. I am a little nervous to try any of the other seafood dishes, but those vegetarian options are superb and could keep me satisfied every time I go.

Chickpeas 3 ways
Crazy Feta
Lamb Kamba
Baklavah and Pistachio Ice Cream
Greek Donuts

Slim & Scrumptious (and a Giveaway)

I love new recipes, especially quick and easy ones that are healthy. So much so, that my bridesmaids collected recipes from all my friends and family members to make this really sweet book for me.

Anyway, I also got a bunch of new recipes when a member of Joy Bauer’s team contacted me and asked me to review Slim & Scrumptious. So I obviously took the offer.

The things that make a recipe good for me: quick, easily adjusted to fit my vegetarian lifestyle and healthy.

So far we have made two recipes from the book.

Sesame Chicken Tenders

I made these with Quorn Chickun (vegetarian chicken) and real-life chicken for Josh. I also made it with vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. It didn’t take too long, but making the sauce was a little laborious.

This wasn’t bad and I was pretty satisfied. Josh however, wasn’t a huge fan and added a lot of hot sauce. I probably should have added a few more spices into it for more flavor.

Fake Chicken

 

 

Real Chicken

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baked Tilapia with Spice Tomato-Pineapple Relish

We both LOVED LOVED this recipe. It was quick, simple and spicy. We had time to go to the gym beforehand and make a delicious dinner. 

They gave me another book that I can give to one of you lucky people, so here is the deal.

There are two ways to enter:

#1) Mandatory: Leave a comment telling me what makes a recipe top-notch for you.

#2) Bonus Entry: Tweet this giveaway saying: “Check out this tasty giveaway from @lanes0220 & @joy_bauer. Enter to win Slim & Scrumptious http://bit.ly/hMSJxE″

Winner will be announced August 10th on Twitter and on the blog.