Monday, April 20, 2015

Make Your Monday - April 20th

Em had a great weekend with her babies out and about. She started her Sunday with her cycle class and is ready to take on the last 42 days of the school year! Nic's family finally kicked the sickness plaguing their home and she felt so great she even made it to Em's class!


You can do anything you put your mind to. You want it, go get it. But as you work for your dreams, accept that you may have to give a little in other areas.  Sleep? "You" time? Exercise? Where are you going to let up to achieve your anything.  Because no matter how hard we try as Thriving Women, we may not be able to do everything...and that's ok.  Just do your best to stay healthy and happy and as always...strive to thrive!



Friday, April 17, 2015

"Meaty" Manicotti


As we all know I love a healthy, quick and easy recipe. This cutie came across my weekly recipe perusing and I decided to give it a try... especially since I had Tuscany Tuesday to prepare for!  I pulled the Cooking Light "meatless" manicotti recipe out of my cookbook and decided to add a little "meat". And by "meat" I mean sausage-less Italian sausage, yum!


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 (16 oz) carton (fat free or low fat) cottage cheese
  • 1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (8 oz) package manicotti (14 shells)
  • 1 (26 oz) jar tomato-basil pasta sauce
  • cooking spray
  • 1 cup water
I then decided to get frisky and add...
  • 2 chopped "sausage-less" Italian sausage links
  • 1 finely chopped yellow onion, sautéed
Preheat oven to 375.


First, heat up some olive oil and toss in your onion. Once the onion has softened and grilled up a bit, add the non-sausage and cook on medium heat for five minutes. With your non-meat ready to go, get moving on your cheese mixture. Take the 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, cottage cheese, spinach, Parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper and mix in a large bowl.


Take the mixture and spoon about 3 tablespoons (just stuff those things reallllly full...I let some ooze out the ends too) of the cheese mixture into each uncooked manicotti shell.


Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Then, pour one half of the jar of sauce into the pan. Arrange the stuffed shells in a single layer over the sauce and then top with the remaining sauce.


Next, pour your cup of water into the dish (I went for the corners) so those shells steam to perfection.


Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella evenly over the sauce.  Cover the pan tightly with foil and throw in the oven for one hour (or until the shells are tender).


Once cooked through, let it stand for 10 minutes...then (carefully) peel back your foil (G forbid you lose any cheese) and get ready to enjoy some serious goodness.  I accidentally ate two plates!




Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Finally Fitbit



I had had my eye on a fitbit for years now. No joke, literally years. I remember long ago when my girl Lex told me alllll about her "fancy fitbit" and I was "sups jeal" (yes, that is abbreves for super jealous). But, despite my new found obsession, time passed and I never went out and just bought one. Since having my two baby boys and having less time to hit the gym, I am trying to fit in fitness wherever and whenever I can. I decided that it was time to pull the trigger...especially because my beloved Costco was now carrying the fitbit Charge.

I had long been wondering just how much I was doing each day. I was so curious to know how many steps I was taking, how many calories I was burning and what my body was doing just from being me. I kept track of my eating habits (calories in and out) as well as exercise with My Fitness Pal, but I hadn't found anything else that gave me tons of information on my movements.  Enter...my fitbit.


This gorgeous piece of technology lives on my wrist and with the press of a button tells me the time, my current number of steps (I shoot for at least 12,000 a day), the distance I've traveled in miles, calories burned and flights of stairs climbed...and that is just what it does on my wrist!




By simply turning on the my phone's bluethooth, my fitbt synchs up and behold...my dashboard. My dashboard allows me to set personal goals for each category and have those goals monitored throughout my day. Steps, miles, calories, floors, active minutes, exercise, weight check ins, sleep monitoring with even an option to track calories and water intake!! I mean this thing might as well start cooking my dinner and pour me a glass of wine while it's at it!

With so many other products out there (Nike FeulBand and Jawbone to name a few), you get the luxury of picking and choosing what device you want to meet your needs. For me, it is all fitbit, all day. To date it boasts being the lightest, thinnest tracker on the market with the longest battery life (no joke, I barely ever charge that thing and it is on me 24/7). The fitbit family ranges from: Zip, One, Flex, Charge, ChargeHR and Surge. Anyone in the fitbit family can synch together and challenge each other throughout the day. I know I love a friendly competition, so when my girls mentioned they created a little challenge featuring a $5 buy in each week I was intrigued. Whoever wins for that week earns the pot o' cash! I know...I gotta get in on that, because I can assure you, I will walk all night if I have to!

So far I am loving my Charge more and more each day and look forward to one day upgrading to the Surge.  But for now, I am going to set my goals high and do my darndest to meet them each day! Do you use a tracker? What one is your favorite?


Monday, April 13, 2015

Make Your Monday - April 13th

Em was busy closing out her Spring Break weekend with well...more Spring Cleaning!  Even though she was powering through her organization session, she still snuck in a spin AND yoga class! Nic finally had a weekend to catch up from being on deaths door, although her little BK still has the sniffles. Being able to clean house sure feels good though!


Life is only what you make it. Would you rather live to be 100, yet be alone and miserable or live to 80 filled with love, joy and gratitude? Happiness will keep you feeling good, looking good and living long.  The best way to channel that happiness to be thankful for all you have and surround yourself with people who make you feel good.  This week let's start searching out that joy and enjoy every second of life.



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