Spanakopita Pasta

Happy Eclipse Day Yall!! I hope everyone has their NASA approved glasses out and ready to go! Despite the solar excitement it is just another Monday around the Running In Pink Project house.  My batteries are totally recharged for a busy week ahead. I had an elusive “day off” over the weekend which involved a mani pedi and some Starbucks….

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Shopping….

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Sushi with a girlfriend….

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and a hilarious chick flick.

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That left Sunday open for family time. We explored a new trail in town, got a KILLER workout in, and did some much needed vegging out.

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I was feeling pretty motivated when Sunday evening rolled around so I decided to get into making mode. One of my absolute favorite flavor combos is spanakopita. I have a spanakopita burger (ala Rachael Ray 30 minute meals) I have made for years. It was actually one of the first things I ever learned to cook. Since we are mostly doing “knife and fork” burgers these days I was thinking about a way to put all of those flavors into a veggie pasta dish. Here is what I came up with!

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You will need:

1lb lean ground beef or bison or even turkey (I rarely cook with lamb at home)

1/2 to 1 cup (to taste) Feta Cheese

1 small onion – diced

2-3 cloves garlic

1 container baby spinach

1/2 box veggie pasta (we like spinach)

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

natural balsamic dressing (such as Simply Dressed)- to taste

salt

pepper

olive oil

 

  1. Boil pasta per instructions- set aside.
  2. Pre-heat your pan to medium heat.
  3. Heat your chopped onion, grated garlic, salt and pepper until tender.
  4. Add balsamic vinegar and allow it to cook out 1-2 minutes
  5. Add in ground beef, salt, pepper, and additional spices if desired (I used Trader Joes 21 spice blend and red pepper flake. Steak seasoning works great too).
  6. Once your beef is brown add in baby spinach allowing it to wilt.
  7. Drain (all grease and water from the veggies)
  8. Add in your cooked veggie pasta
  9. Add in Feta
  10. Drizzle with Olive Oil and mix
  11. Dress with some natural balsamic dressing 1tbl per serving if desired.
  12. Enjoy!

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Move More

Since I have tried pretty much everything over the years to get (and stay) at a healthy weight I really thought long and hard about what my final effort (before seeking medical intervention) would be. Once upon a time a yoga teacher wisely advised me to make one small change at a time, stick with that change for 30 days, and then make another. Don’t change anything else, worry about anything else, or address anything else. Essentially, the idea was making one healthy habit part of your life at a time.

With SO much weight to lose it really has been counter productive over the years to jump in the deep end- workouts lined up, kale in hand, ready to make “all the changes”. That doesn’t stick because it is exhausting…and kind of awful. It also expects some level of overcoming things that are just kind of part of who you are. That is difficult to do- even with the right tools and buckets of motivation. It is a time thing. So, this go around I am approaching things differently. This is my anti-diet diet if you will. In July my new habit was making sure all calories fell in my “My Fitness Pal” directed calorie range for weight loss. At this point, I have changed 0 in terms of what I am eating BUT everything in terms just making sure I don’t exceed my calorie goal. This also meant parting ways with my beloved “cheat day”. I came to terms that “cheating” was a euphemism for binging. It took me YEARS to admit that. Right now, I deny myself nothing which makes the “cheat” a moot point. I am sure this will shift over time. But, for now, that is where we are. But that is a story for another day.

Today’s story is all about moving more. When thinking of my August habit I knew I wanted it to be physical. So, I made the commitment to move 6 days a week. I didn’t define it or analyze it to death…just get out there and move.

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I did commit to at least 3 strength training mornings per week (usually 4) but the cardio is simply whatever I fancy. If I want to run, I run. If I want to walk, I walk, If I want to hike I hike.. Yoga, body pump, 30 day fix videos- really my options are limitless. No grand announcements..just action.

The first part of this month say a LOT of stroller walks with the little… a lot.

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But gradually I am adding in some variety..and little by little I am pushing myself harder and harder. Last night I sprinted some TOUGH hills and felt like a rock star. I have also gotten the hubs in on the act a little which is a really fun thing. I love family workout days.

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With that said, we trade off “duty” nights so we each get 3 kiddo free cardio workouts per week (we trade strength training mornings too) which means I can go off road, take on hills, or choose an activity where taking the little would be impossible.

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For the first time since I was in dance WAY back in the day- I feel empowered by my workouts rather than burdened. I truly can’t wait to see where this road takes me.

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And for those wondering- September’s “healthy habit” will be hydrating properly for my body weight.

Until Next Time…be Happy, Healthy and Strong.

Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way- Don’t Tell Everything You Know

Gather round kiddies- I have a little wisdom to share. Anybody who knows me even a little bit has heard about “the move”. Within 2 weeks we had a buyer, a seller, and we were in full hustle mode. Last week, literally all within 24 hours our buyers got cold feet, our sellers apparently caught their cold feet, and we went RIGHT back to square one. Ahem. So, naturally (because I was so flipping excited) I had pulled the trigger on telling, oh I don’t know, the entire freaking world about this move. So dumb. Even dumber- I bought curtains and a couple furniture items. Oh, I for sure thought this was happening.

So cut to me a few days later having to backtrack and explain the whole “these things just happen” no less than 500 times. Each time I did I died a little more inside. Truth be told that is just the way this goes. Until you are trading signatures for keys- its never really a done deal. And really, there are lots of houses but once I started picturing my beautiful kitchen makeover, football Sundays and the baby trick-or-treating, forget it. I felt like someone died which I know is so insanely stupid to say.  I actually cried myself to sleep Friday night…But Saturday I called in reinforcements.

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My parents came in and saved the day. My husband and dad did some extra outside work to get the house looking lovely for Sunday’s open house and mom and I took the baby for some lunch and shopping. NEVER underestimate the power of bringing your mom to town. Moms fix all the things.

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Even though I was still bumming pretty hard Sunday we had to pack up and get out for the day. It was open house time again. We tried to do some house hunting but I am just not there yet. So, instead, we went into the mountains for a little hiking, reflecting, and chatting.

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The truth is, I often say I am giving things over to God or fate and then I continue to leave my little paws in the mix. In this case it just feels like I have been pushing against a wall and maybe that is the problem. I decided to really give this over and see what happens. If we sell we will house hunt, if we don’t we can pull the house for the winter and try again next summer. Timing is everything. And I really am at peace with that idea.

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So, basically I have zero idea what is happening and I have decided to be ok with that. And you can bet that next time I wont be making a peep (or ordering so many curtains- Lord) until I have those keys jangling in my hand. Lesson Learned….the hard way.