Exploring Charleston

As. you could tell from last weeks posts it was mine and BrittWhitFun’s anniversary. We decided that instead of taking the usually trip to the beach to go somewhere we both have never been. So after some talking my wife decided to book us a weekend in Charleston, SC. I have always heard that Charleston was a beautiful town that was full of local artist, good food, and some great local beer. I have to say that after a long weekend I have never been more sick of food and beer but it the greatest way possible.

We arrived in Charleston Friday afternoon. We were both starving. We decided to stay in Mt. Pleasant cause it was cheaper and there were plenty of stuff to do here also. The first place on our list was some good lunch. After some suggestions from our friends we ended up at Shem’s Creek Bar and Grill. I of course had to try shrimp and grits for the first time and it did not disappoint. We sat near the water and watched people paddle board in the creek. I tried an IPA called Damn Yankee that was very good.

After lunch we headed to Isle of Palms beach. This beach was cool. There were plenty places to park(for a $1.50) and lots of shops. The beach as amazing. The sand was so soft. My wife and I took a long nap on the beach and just relaxed with one another.

Soon it was time for dinner. We headed to our hotel and checked in and then went to Melvin’s Ribs and Que. It was a lot of food and I could not even finish it but it was good what I ate. Then we went to a bar and had some drinks and desert. before calling it a night.

The next day we got dressed and headed to Charleston. We stopped first at Another Broken Egg Cafe. After waiting for a table for an hour and another hour for our food we indulged in a cinnamon roll that was out of this world followed by a Hello Lucy. The food was worth the wait! So good and I wanted to steal there little cute mugs but my wife told me we did not need another one.

After breakfast/lunch we explored the market place. I loved this place cause it was nothing but local artist and chiefs. We bought a few gifts for some loved ones and ourselves and I did manage to get a nice coffee cup. We even found a cool Charleston Christmas store and bought some ornaments for our tree this year.

We managed to find a cool wine bar and sat down and enjoyed a couple of glasses before heading out to see some sites.

The first place we went to was Washington Square Park. This place was so cool and it had plenty of shade. It was behind this beautiful church. After cooling off we headed to Waterfront Park which had an awesome view of the water, a pier, two splash pads, and a water taxi. It was just so neat to walk through.

By this time we were tired so we got to our car and went to Starbucks and grabbed some iced coffees. I fell asleep cause according to my wife I can fall asleep anywhere. True story.

I had made dinner reservations for us at an upscale restaurant called Magnolia’s. So we headed back into downtown and made our way there. We had some great martinis to start us off. We then were seated and indulged ourselves in some fried Mac and cheese and palmetto chesse, which now that I am typing this makes it sound bad for my stomach. My wife got a salad and I got buttermilk fried chicken that was out of this world. I wish I could have stopped myself long enough to take a picture of it. So good.

After dinner we went to the hotel and chilled out for a little and then headed back to Isle of Palms again. This time we just got some ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s and walked on the beach and looked for shells. It started to get dark and we headed back to our hotel for some rest.

I must say it was a great vacation with my wife. It is not every day we get to have some alone time. She did a great job about being away from the girls all weekend. Sunday she was ready to get home and I really can’t blame her. I was missing them also. It was a great anniversary with my love. I still can’t believe we made it to six years and I can’t help but feel we are only getting started.

Finally A Date Night

My wife and I never get to have a date night. It has been really hard to schedule one. We are usually decide last minute to have a date night and find it hard to find a sitter. So we don’t get to go out together very much.

When we do get to go out we often find ourselves at one of our favorite little secrets in Charlotte. That is this little place in the Metropolitan area called Dressler’s. Now it is on the pricey side but they usually have a Groupon out there to purchase. The Groupon is dinner for two for $69, which includes two appetizers, a salad to share, two main courses, and a desert to share. It is a lot of food but the food is what makes the trip.

One of my favorite items on the menu is the blackened ribeye. It is so good with the blue cheese butter and the side of fingerling potatoes and asparagus really complment the dish. I know this is not a restaurant review but you have to try it.

I love spending time with this girl. She is so funny and I smile when she talks. I just love it when she talks. We had some drinks before dinner and just sat and relaxed with no kids grabbing our legs and saying “Mommy”, “Daddy”. It was very refreshing to just sit with your spouse and have a real conversation about something other then nap schedules and diaper rashes.

Our dinner was so good and the conversation was uplifting. This was short lived when we got a call from our sitter to say that the dogs got a hold of the trashcan with dirty diapers in it and the whole house smelled like crap. Straight up crap. So we headed home and cleaned it up. It was a not so good end to a great night but at least I got alone time with my bride.

Getting Stronger And A Little Depressed

Todays post I just wanted to give a quick update on my progress.

As I said in a previous post, I have a goal of 215 to reach by May 15. Here we are only a little under a month away and I am at a stand still. The weight is not coming off. Today is one of those days where I just want to quick and binge on pizza and doughnuts…mmmm doughnuts.

However, I went to the gym in the office a couple of days ago and did not chest and back. When I looked in the mirror I saw this…

Do you see those shoulders? Are you serious? I never had muscles like these just sticking out before. I was a little depressed about how I was looking and the pics from the Spartan Race this past weekend were less then flattering. It showed me that I am on the right track and mine might be a little slower then everyone else but I will get there.

I have went up on the amount of cardio I do every week. I am now running on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and on Monday and Friday afternoons around 3 miles. I am going to continue to do the training routine my coach has provided me but also throw in some target area session four times a week.

As far a nutrition is concerned. I am going to start carb cycling next week. I have been doing a lot of research on this and I am going to just dive in a give it a go. I have nothing to loose but 20 pounds of body fat.

That is my plan and I hope to fill you in as I go. Have you ever fell in the dumps about not loosing any weight? A trainer once told me it does not matter how much or how fast you loose it is that you never stop trying.

Zucchini Lasagna 


I know I said I was done for this week but my Facebook and Instagarn friends are asking me for this recipe as my family had this for dinner. 

I have really been into healthy eating  lately (I know that is a shock!). So I have recently came across this app called fit men cook. How come no one has told me about this amazing app? 

I came across this recipe and I was excited and curious to see how this would taste. I love lasagna but I never had it with zucchini as the noodles. 

One of the things I was not excited about was the cottage cheese taking the place of the ricotta. I HATE cottage cheese! I do know that it has tons and tons of protien which is what I love! So I bought some to see if it made a difference. 

Once we took it out of the oven and put it in to a plate, I took a bite and WOW! This was amazing! You would never know there was cottage cheese in this. I looked at my wife and we both agree that this will be in the next meal prep! 

Zucchini Lasagna 

  • 1lb of ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 cups of low sodium marinara 
  • 1 zucchini 
  • 1 egg white
  • 2/3 onion
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste( I used minced garlic)
  • 1/4 cup of mozzarella reduced fat cheese
  • Coconut or olive oil spray
  • Seasonings- cumin, garlic powder, & onion powder for ground turkey. 

Directions

  1. Spray pan with oil and add garlic and onion and cook until onion is translucent. 
  2. Add turkey and seasonings and cook. Add marinara at 90% of cooking turkey. 
  3. Cut zucchini into pieces
  4. Mix cottage cheese with egg white
  5. In a glass pan layer with zucchini, then meat mixture, then cottage cheese, then zucchini, then meat mixture. 
  6. Top with mozzarella 
  7. Bake on 350 for 30 minutes. 
  8. Enjoy! 

Makes 6 servings- 1 serving

387 calories 

12g fat

16g carbs

55g protein

Meal Prep Is The New Way Of Life

Well I have to say that I am on a mission and that is to be lean. How lean? Lean enough to where I can get rid of those crazy love handles.  I have come to the conclusion that I may never have six pack abs and I am ok with that. What I want is to be healthy by any means I see fit.

I never thought that this blog would be mainly a fitness blog. When I started to blog a  few years ago, I never thought that a few years later I would be writing about fitness and living a healthy lifestyle. I just find it amazing how life’s twist and turns lead to a better you. On that twisted road I found how to meal prep.

When I was approached with the idea of making my entire meals for the week in one day, I thought it was crazy. I mean how are you suppose to do that? Is it expensive? How much time was it going to take? Will the food spoil? These were just a few of the many questions that were going through my head.

Like anything I do in my life, I researched the hell out of it. What kind of meals to make, the best meals to make, the easiest meals to make were all burning questions that I needed answered. I found this great little website call Youtube, where people like me were making videos on how to meal prep. After hours of watching these people cook I decided to give it a try.

#1 I had to decide what meals I was going to make.
I decided go with this meal below as my alternate meal. I have another one listed below. 

For breakfast, I got a great egg white muffin recipe from one of my crossfit friends. Here is a recipe that is almost just like it.

I love to snack and I love something sweet after good healthy dinner. It takes everything I have not to go on a massive Oreo bendeR, SO I found a recipe for some amazing protein energy bites that are out of this world. Click here to get that.

#2 Grocery Shopping

I am cheap when it comes to buying groceries  I mean look at the name of this blog. It’s called The Thrifty Running Dad for a reason!  I have had a lot of people tell me that eating healthy is expensive, which is why so many people don’t do it. Are they right? NO! 

Healthy food is way easier to get then the other kind. The trick is to know where to look. I am a huge fan of Harris Teeter. My local Harris Teeter knows me by name when I walk in with my blue coupon binder on my shoulder. They know that this guy means business and he is about to rob them blind. Even my fellow ear crossfit peeps know I will skip a WOD if that mean saving big. It’s a skill and a rush at the same time. Couponing is better then sex. True story. Anyways, I recently discovered a new store to save big on some expensive items and that is Aldi. Where has this store been all my life? Surfing my most recent trip I manage to walk out with a buggie full of stuff and I only spent $40. Here are some things I found:

1. Ground turkey -$3.29 a pack ($5.99 at Harris Teeter)

2. Chia seeds- $3.99 a pack

3. Flaxseed- $2.49

4. Almond butter- $4.99

5. Coconut oil- $4.99

If you ever shopped anywhere else but Aldi you know these are the most expensive health foods out there. 

So all and all I managed to score two weeks of meal prep food for $100, which is exactly what my budget for food every two weeks! 

#3 Get the right equipment  

It’s hard to meal prep when you don’t have everything you need. For example, containers to put the food in 😊. So I found these great containers on Amazon for around $10. You get seven complete with a lid and they are on Prime so you get the two shipping. Well worth the price. Check them out here.

Now I was ready to start cooking. This past week made turkey burgers, brown rice and broccoli. Here is how it went. 

TURKEY BURGERS

2 packs of ground turkey

1 cup of diced jalapeños (Save time and buy the jar)

4 tablespoons of minced garlic

Salt and pepper to taste. 

I measure my patties with a 1/3 measuring cup and then I push down to make a 90 gram patty. When I did this I got 12 patties out of the two packs of ground turkey. Melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot place your burgers on the pan and cook each side for about 3:30 minutes. This recipe was given to me by my two good friends Kristy and Brian Helms. Best burgers you will ever have! 

BROWN RICE

2 cups of brown rice

3 1/2 cup of water

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Put rice in the pot along with the water and coconut oil and cover and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, stir the rice and cover and let it cook until all the water has been cooked out. I usually add an additional 3 to 4 cups cause I like my rice extra soft. I usually measure about 100 grams of rice per meal which is a little under 1 cup. 

BROCCOLI 

2 or 3 broccoli crowns

Cut the florets off the crowns and throw them in a pot of water. Cover and cook until the broccoli is tender. Drain water and place back in pot. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil and let it melt. Once melted toss broccoli around. 



There you have it. Meal prep is easy. After prepping my breakfast and lunches and snacks. I can say that it only took me about two hours to complete it. Well worth it to not have to fiddle around in the mornings to find something to eat. 

Let me know if you try any of the recipes and how they turned out for. I love hearing feedback from others and if you have any tips for me please leave the, in the comments section below. 

Do Your Bunny Ears Hang Low?

 

So this weekend was Easter and I have to say that my daughter had a blast! Everywhere she went it was for a celebration and I think that my kid was in an extreme sugar high due to all the candy and chocolate she consumed. One thing is very certain and that is that my kid not has an extreme love for jelly beans. One of the great things about Easter weekend is that by the end of the day you are left with an exhaustion that is so unbearable that you are crawling to the foot of your bed. Maybe I am being silly but that was the way I felt Sunday night.

Our fun and festive weekend started on Thursday at K-Dub’s daycare. They had a festive Easter egg hunt, which was the first of many, and each kid got to get their picture taken wearing bunny ears. I was sent the picture below and I have to say that I smiled. Seeing your kid happy I the ultimate reward. Isn’t the reason why we parent? When we picked her up from her fun-filled day at school she ran towards my wife with open arms and completely left me in the dust. My feelings were hurt but every dad knows that no one compares to mom. True story. The entire way home we were told stories about her friends Jonah and Aubrey and Eric. It was actually the cutest conversation I have ever had with her. I am so glad that she has friends.

 On Friday, which was Good Friday, I had to work cause the newspaper never closes. My wife was off and took our daughter to my mother’s house where we have a standing tradition of dyeing eggs, making Easter baskets, eating breakfast, and toping it off with a big egg hunt. It is considered my mom’s Easter and she loves having all of her grandkids together. I think they like it too. It’s always fun to see what is in going to be in K-Dub’s basket when she comes home. Maybe next year I will get to go but for now I love seeing picture like this of my sweet daughter and nieces.   On Saturday, we had a little family fun. We decided to dye our own eggs. K-Dub loves it and I have to say that I had a blast myself. After we finished with dying eggs we did another egg hunt in our front yard.  

Finally it was Easter and K-Dub came downstairs for breakfast to be greeted with the basket that the Easter Bunny left her. It was filled with coloring books, a ball, chocolate bunnies, and bubbles! She loved it but got mad when we told her that candy was not going to be what she was going to have for breakfast.

After we ate breakfast, we got ready and headed to church and enjoyed a great Easter celebration at The Lift!

After church we went to my wife’s sister’s house and ate some great chicken, mac and cheese(my recipe of course), and some even more amazing carrot cake. I was miserable in a great way after all that amazing food. After the kids ate and napped, we did a final egg hunt and watched them fight over eggs and other toys before saying goodbye and heading home.

I was so tired but I had a 11 mile run to do that was by far the hardest thing to do. By the end of the night I passed out and did not move a muscle until the next morning when it was time to get up and head to crossfit.

I love Easter but like most holidays, I am so glad to see them go or in this case hop away.

Nothing Like A Hopping Easter!

 

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I hope everyone had an awesome Easter this past weekend!

My Easter weekend left me tired and exhausted. I had to work on Saturday like always but I managed to leave a little early and get home around 3. I was greeted at the door by my wife and daughter with smiles on their faces. The house smelled good with steaming posts coming from the stove. Then my mother-in-law and her husband came around the corner and greeted me. My mother-in-law is an amazing cook and was making me one of my favorite dishes which is cube steak and gravy. It is an amazing dish and goes great with some mashed potatoes and green beans.

After stuffing my face with most likely too much food to the point where I sat miserably on the couch, we sat and enjoyed some light conversation over pieces of red velvet cake and coffee. It was too much for me around nine and I had to get some sleep. We had to get up and go to church in the morning.

Easter Sunday finally came and BrittWhitFun and I got up and got all of the Easter Bunny gifts out and waited for K-Dub to wake up. Once she did we gave her the Easter basket we spent almost a month making. She smiled and tried to put most of the stuff in her mouth. We got her some sidewalk chalk, a bubble gun, and some sand toys but no candy cause she is a little too young for a sugar rush.

We then all got dressed which was a task all in itself. I tried on five pairs of pants before I found a pair that fit me due to my extreme weight loss. It felt good but I was starting to get in a hurry. You could tell that I don’t wear dress up clothes very often. They were wearing me. We all gathered in the living room and then walked outside in the front yard and made some family photos. Then we told my mother-in-law and her husband goodbye, as the had stayed overnight, and we headed to church.

After church we came home and but K-Dub down for a nap, while we almost took one too. Soon it was time to get up and make two pans of my not so but almost famous mac and cheese and head to my sister-in-law’s house for Easter dinner. So we got K-Dub up and changed into outfit number two and got in the car.

My sister-in-law, Kate had her house decorated in Easter decor it looked great. My brother-in-law invited his parents over and they made this barbeque that would make you want to slap your mother! We had so much food that included hash brown casserole, cole slaw, deviled eggs, and rolls. I had not choice but to happily cheat on my diet and eat like it was no one’s business. After dinner we enjoyed some amazing italian love cake and the kids went outside for pictures while the rest of nursed our full stomachs on the couch.

Soon it was time to head to the house to get K-Dub to bed. I had to roll off the couch to get to the car. Once we got home he had what can only be named as the worse night in the history of me being a parent. I will explain everything tomorrow. All and all Easter was great. I enjoyed spending time with my family and I did make my yearly day after Easter trip to Target for some great discounted Reese’s Eater Eggs. Those things are the highlight of my spring. I want one right now.