It’s Wednesday, we’re half way there folks! Not that I’m counting…

So, today I have a fun recipe for ya, guaranteed to make any chocolate lover drool. This recipe is my boyfriend’s favorite dessert and sure to please any man. Why, you ask? Well, let’s think about it…imagine, here you are with the desire to make the guy or person in your life a dessert that will leave them drooling and staring at you in utter adoration. So you think to yourself, hmm, what to make? The you think, well, I know every red blooded american boy loves a good chocolate chip cookie, but any man that loves chocolate will also love a gooey, fudgy brownie, what to do, which to choose??? Here’s the perfect solution, combine them both! These Cookie Brownies are the best of both worlds, rich, gooey, fudgy brownies combined with crisp, delectable chocolate chip cookies. It doesn’t get better.




 I use the nestle toll house recipe, because really, you just can’t go wrong. You could also make this part even easier on yourself and just buy some pre-made chocolate chip cookie dough.


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) semi-sweet choc. chips

METHOD: Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chips. set aside.

Fudgy Brownies I use this recipe 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • In a large bowl, stir together the cocoa and baking soda. Add 1/3 cup vegetable oil and boiling water. Mix until well blended and thickened. Stir in the sugar, eggs, and remaining 1/3 cup oil. Finally, add the flour, vanilla and salt; mix just until all of the flour is absorbed. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  • Next, pour brownies into a greased pan and spread evenly. Drop cookies by rounded tablespoon into the dough in rows. Press lightly into the dough so that the cookie dough spoonfuls are mostly under the surface of the brownie batter. This is the finished product before it’s cut up, but it should give you an idea of how to do this:

    Bake for 40-45 minutes at 350 or until a toothpick inserted one inch from the edge comes out clean.

    Then the most important step:

    Dig in!

    Day 4 of the challenge:

    Topic: Your views on religion

    Boy, these topics are personal, aren’t they? I was raised presbyterian, however, I’m using the phrase “I was raised” verrrry loosely here. My Dad went to an Irish Catholic school and therefore, like most Catholics who went to a very strict Catholic school, is not so Catholic anymore. He didn’t want me to go to a church of any type until I was old enough to decide for myself. However, my mother, who was raised presbyterian, had a problem with this and wanted me to go to Church. What it ended up coming down to was me. I loved going to Sunday School and therefore went every Sunday that I lived in Oceanside. I also joined the church’s choir and went on Wednesday’s as well. When my family and I moved to another town I became involved in a Christian church and volunteered as a camp counselor for Christian retreats. This was super fun and I loved it but once I graduated HS and moved, I stopped going to Church. These days I would love to find a non-denominational Christian church around me to get involved in again, but honestly, I’m so busy that I haven’t made much effort. I also personally feel that you do not have to go to Church to have a relationship with God. I consider myself spiritual more than anything.

    You know what I also consider spiritual? These cookie brownie bars. Hahaha, just kidding, But seriously, they are amazing, let me know if you try them!

    What is your go to recipe when baking for someone else?


    Injuries = F

    Haha, ok this picture has nothing to do with this post.

    But, seriously, injuries do make me grimace. So what does F injuries stand for? (Ok that too, but I’m putting a more positive spin on this. Trying to keep it g-rated y’all) F= A Fantastic time to re-evaluate my training ang goals.


    For the past two months, I’ve been merrily training my way towards the San Francisco Marathon (ahem, tiffany necklace is your finisher’s medal..sold!) which I’ve been really excited about (did I mention it was handed to you by a firefighter in a suit?) lol. Then, about three weeks ago while visting my parents I ran in the Cardinals Run Home for the Kids 6k Charity Race. I ran this race because my Dad, who lives in St. Louis due to work, wanted to see me run a race so he signed me up for it, and it was also the first race I’ve ever raised money for. The good news? I placed second in my division! The bad news? I could barely walk the next day due to what was diagnosed as an injured sciatica. (read: painful, painful feeling of being stabbed constantly in my lower back and booty) It has been HARD, humbling and heart wrenching for me to say the least to go from easily running 8-9 miles, to barley being able to run 1 without pain. The last couple of weeks of only being able to cross-train and some very bad runs  has caused me to reflect on a couple things, namely, what I did wrong and what I have learned:

    What I did wrong and what I’ve learned:

    • No real rest days. I talked myself into the belief that walking on the treadmill at incline for an hour, totally counted as a rest day. After all, we were originally cavemen! We weren’t meant to be sedentary! -Reality Check: No we weren’t meant to sit on our bootay’s but yes, high mileage runners do need a day of doing NOTHING other than LIGHT, LIGHT exercise. Go on a twenty minute walk or walk slowly with no incline on the treadmill for 30-60 minutes? Fine. But doing a walking hill workout does not equal rest for the leggies.
    • Did not replace my woooorn shoes. This was bad and I think this was the number one factor to my injury. You are supposed to replace your shoes every 300-500 miles. I run 150 miles a month on average and i’ve had my shoes for about six-seven months. Yeah, bad.
    • Strength Train! I need to be doing more strength training a minimum of two-three times a week. It gets hard to keep up with strength training as the miles increase during training but it’s a fabulous way to prevent injuries. By strengthening my core and legs, I take the pressure off my joints a little.
    • Yoga at least once a week. I’m a firm believer in the healing and restorative power of yoga. Between school, work, social life and training, I need to find a way to fit it in once a week by making a no excuses appointment.
    • Cross-training can give you just as good a workout as running, if not better. Go figure. I have not been sitting on my pain causing booty the last two weeks. Instead I’ve been following doctor’s orders and trying to stay as active as possible to keep the muscle from compressing. This means I’ve been doing the elliptical, stairmaster, incline walking and a teensy bit of running. Due to wearing a heart rate moniter, I’ve notice that I’m getting just as hard as a workout and I’m also prolly working more areas of my body.
    • Oh, and did I mention I also got four hours of sleep due to staying out late two nights in a row before the race? Yeah, that couldn’t have helped. Note to self- do not run races on vacation.

    The hardest part of this injury? Well, only in the last few days have I began to be able to run without pain. I feel veeerrry lucky it wasn’t worse, but the marathon is exactly in one month from today- October 17th. And I’ve missed three weeks of training, in the most critical part of the training plan. There’s a very stubborn part of me that wants to try to run the whole thing anyway, but I’ve decided (or rather i’m making myself decide) I’d rather be a runner for life, than run this one marathon and risk seriously re-injuring myself. That means dropping to the half marathon, which luckily Nike says I can do. Still an accomplishment! But it’s a hard thing to swallow, especially with various people asking me how training for the marathon is going. It’s silly, cuz I know that finishing the half marathon will be an accomplishment to be proud of, especially since I’m just now building my running base again, but I still feel sort of like I failed even though I know that’s not the case.

    My advice to you (and myself)? Train SMART, take rest days, cross-train, strength-train, REPLACE YOUR SHOES, and have fun.

    Oh, don’t worry, there’s always a silver lining in every cloud. Half Marathoners get the tiffany necklace too. 🙂

    Have you had to deal with injuries from running or any other exercise? How did you cope and what did you learn?


    I don’t know about you, but I LOOOVE my yogurt, and I do mean love. Especially, to be specific, that oh so creamy, oh so devilishly delicious greek yogurt. I still remember the first time I tried Greek yogurt, my face puckered in disbelief that this sour-cream, plain tasting $2+ container was so popular and I poured two splendas in it just to be able to stomach it. Fast forward two years later and I shell out a ridiculous amount of money weekly to get my greek yogurt fix. I eat in a variety of ways, in a yogurt mess, plain, with fruit, etc. I love that as an almost vegetarian, it has between 16-30 grams of protein, is low in sugar, super creamy and versatile enough to be used in many recipes. What I don’t love is the cost. I typically buy Fage at Trader Joes for 1.99 a yogurt, so when I was at Ralphs this weekend and saw that Voskos came out with a $1.49 8 oz plain nonfat greek yogurt, I thought what the hay and grabbed a few.

    $1.49 for 8 ounces of greek yogurt with 24 grams of protein, it seemed to good to be true! My verdict? It is to good to be true. While the yogurt was definitely thicker than regular non-fat yogurt, it was no super thick, creamy, dreamy Fage. It also lacked the tang in some other greek yogurts, such as Chobani. I would describe it as a cross between Chobani and a regular nonfat yogurt. Perfect perhaps for someone transitioning to greek yogurt from regular yogurt or for use in a recipe. For now though, my bank account will just have to sigh in resignation, for I’ll still be shelling out that extra .50 for my true love, Mr. Fage.

    Do you like greek yogurt? What’s your favorite brand and way to use it?

    Happy almost Friday! I started my day off with a fabulous workout. First I did 50 minutes of the Burn Baby Burn Workour #1 and then followed it with about 35 minutes of strength, doing the following circuit, which is based off of Mrs. Fitnessista’s Winter Shape Up Int/Adv. Week 2 Workout. As promised in my last post, here’s my Strength Workout for this week:

    Pump it Up Workout #1

    Split Squat Overhead Press (10 Each Leg x 5 pds.)

    Bicep Curls (12 x 10 pds.)

    Dumbbell Boxing (1 minute)

    One Legged Side-Arm Extension (12 each leg & Arm, 4 pds.)

    Saxon Side Bends (10 each side, 5 pds)

    Dumbbell Double Crunch (12, 3 pds)

    Burpees (10)

    Hammer Curls (12 x 10 pds.)

    Chatarguna Hold (30 Seconds)

    Reverse Plank (30 Seconds)

    Repeat Circuit Twice for a total of three times.

    Total Time: About 85 Minutes

    Total Calories (according to my HRM): 750

    It was a great workout! I feel like it was missing something though, typically I add it tricep dips but I was running short on time. I plan on adding about ten more minutes of strength in on Saturday. Depending on what my body thinks about the circuit tomorrow 🙂 That being said, my pump up the calories plan is going well too. I’ve been between 1800-2000 calories for the last two days. It’s amazing how much 1800-2000 calories of healthy food is! I must say, I felt pretty stuffed when I woke up this morning, but other than that I think my body is loving me finally giving it closer to what it needs. I’m getting hungrier more often, feeling more awake, and really feeling energized for my workouts! I’ve also noticed my heart rate is way higher during my workouts since the last few days of eating more. Interesting, I’m thinking this is because my body can work harder with more fuel.

    Last night, I also had class, and finally my dream has been realized, in the words of Van Halen, I have a HOT teacher.

    Lol. C’mon girls, you know you’ve all wanted at least one hot professor. 😉

    Anywayzers, back to the grind, I’m thinking power yoga later and a delicious recipe!

    Have you ever had a crush on a teacher/professor?

    A big goal of mine right now is to get PUMPED UP (said in the voice of our fave (or not so fave, depending on who you ask) governator here in California, Mr. Schwarzenegger). I currently run an average of 30-35+ miles a week, and cross train three days. Tell me to run 13+ miles and no problemo, man, I am your girl. Tell me to do five push-ups and um, yeah, I’m walking away with my tail between my legs. So, in an effort to improve my running (Stronger runner = faster runner) and to just feel more macho in general 😉 I’m on a mission, a mission to get strong. I don’t want to lose weight, but I do want to change my body composition to more muscular, build some more defined abbies and just get stronger in general. How am I going to do this? Here’s my Plan:

    A good plan includes diet and exercise. Without both, you aren’t really setting yourself up to fully succeed. So here’s my breakdown:

    Exercise: I’m training for various races throughout the year, (most currently a half marathon on February 14), and trying to get faster right now, so cutting down my cardio is not an option. Instead I plan on keeping my cardio/interval/etc. workouts in the morning and then weight lifting for 35-40 minutes in the afternoon three times a week, doing a total body circuit workout. This week I am using a modified version of the int/adv workout on Mrs. Fitnessista’s website (http://fitnessista.com/?p=5003) , i’ll post my specific routine for this week at a later post. I also plan on upping my interval training from two times a week to three. This will accomplish two goals, one is to get faster and also interval training about three times a week will increase my body’s ability to burn fat and then leave it open and more ready to adapt to building muscle and re-shaping my muscles, so my interval workouts will be the same mornings of my weight lifting days. (For ideas of a good interval workourt, see the post below)

    (the diet plan includes specific numbers, so if you are recovering from an eating disorder and think it will trigger anything, please do not continue reading)

    Diet: All the exercise in the world will not do much if your diet is not also up to par. I have a pretty clean diet and eat primarily whole foods. However, I am upping my calorie intake because currently I do not think I’m eating enough. When you don’t eat enough while keeping a high activity level, your body will do one of two things: 1) lose weight (muscle) 2) plateau but eat your muscle to find energy, leaving you the same weight but softer. I am currently eating about 1600 calories a day, however, I’m 22 years old and 5’9, and burn anywhere from 500-900 calories almost every day. Even with my small frame and a desk job/student lifestyle, I should be eating about 1670 calories a day just to maintain. So clearly, I’m not eating enough. In order to sculpt those sexy muscles I want, I need to give my body what it needs. I train like an athlete, I need to eat like one. I’m going to start with upping my calories to 1800-2000 a day for the next week (I started yesterday). I know this may seem low to some people still, but I’m upping it slowly to get my body used to it. Also, this is actually a bit scary for me, as, like so many other women (Especially runners) out there, I underestimate my caloric needs and have a history of under-fueling so I am taking it one step at a time. I eat a lot of healthy, low calories foods, so it’s also hard for me to reach this number. In order to fit in the extra calories, I plan on re-shaping my meals to mini-meals to add more calories and also drinking lots of water to decrease the possibility of bloat I’ve read can come from upping your calories. I also plan on including one high day, and one low day (1500), in other words, calorie cycling to shock my body. This site includes a great calculator for calorie cycling if you’re interested: http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm

    So, there you have it, my plan to pump up the program for me strength wise. I’ll post re-caps of how it is going and my weekly routines. Is there anything else you’d be interested in hearing about from me regarding this? Also, feel free to join in on me with the plan to Pump It Up!

    What are your fitness goals right now?

    ‘Till Later, Hasta La Vista Baby!

    To find you with that look upon your face. C’mon you know you’re singing along. 😉 Long time no talk. I disappeared off to the land of school, work and stress. Still visiting here, (pretty much have set up shop here for the next few years, ah the joys of being a working student…) but I missed y’all. So here I am, re-entering blogosphere. I’ll just jump right in, shall I?

    One of my goals this year is to Speeeeed UP! (I’ll do a post on more goals later) How to accomplish said goal? One word: Intervals. Pure and Simple, Intervals will not only whip your body into shape but they will make you faster. What are intervals you ask? In its most basic definition, interval training involves alternating between high and low intensity in measured spurts of exercise. The aim is to get your heart rate up, then briefly bring it down so your body can recover before you raise it again. As a result of the energy required in consistently raising and lowering your heart rate your body burns calories more effectively in a shorter period of time. Not a bad deal, right? A good sign you are doing it right is the huffing and puffing you’re doing, the steam blowing out of your nose and the look on your face that suggests you may keel over at any moment (oh wait, is that just me?) ; )

    There are many benefits to interval training, here are just a few: It will build your endurance, burn more calories in a shorter period of time, stimulate your metabolism and body’s ability to burn fat, make you used to operating at a higher intensity (in other words you will be able to run faster), and it will make you feel like a bad ass. This morning I did one of my favorite 65 minute interval speed & hill workouts, which is as follows for you to try for your enjoyment. Intervals can be done with any form of exercise, but this is specifically designed for runners and done on the treadmill.

    Burn Baby Burn Workout #1

    5 Min W/up @ 6.3 (spd) & 2.0 Incline

    .50 Mile @ 7.2 (Spd) & 2.0 Incline

    .25 Mile  @ 6.4 (Spd) & 2.0 Incline

    .50 Mile @ 6.4 (spd) & 5.0 Incline

    .25 Mile  @ 6.4 (Spd) & 2.0 Incline

    .50 Mile @ 7.2 (Spg) & 2.0 Incline

    .25 Mile  @ 6.4 (Spd) & 2.0 Incline

    .50 Mile @ 6.4 (spd) & 5.0 Incline
    Repeat Sequence, alternating between the .5 mile hill running, recovery .25 mile run, and .5 mile speed run until you reach 60 Minutes. Adjust speeds and total time to fitness level.

    5 Min Cooldown @ 6.3 Spd & 2.0 Incline

    Total Time: 65 Min. Total Miles: 7.0 Total Calorie Burn (according to my Polar f4): 630

    Let me know if you try it, by the end of the workout you should be feeling both energized and like this:


    What are some of your favorite workouts?

    “Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart” – Confucius

    So, I’ve been doing a bit of deep thinking over the past few days, (which probably means I need more sleep and am about to make no sense, lol, so bear with me as this post is most likely going to be all over the place), about passions. I have lots of passions. I’m passionate about running, writing, good food, books, films, health, and family. And maybe a few other things. I love the exhilerating feeling of pushing myself during a run while the sun shines cheerily on my face, it’s golden beans seemingly filled with an aura of my small successes, I love pouring my soul onto paper, watching the words in my heart flow out from the ink in my pen, I adore the way good food leaves you with that sense of happy fulfillment or the way a good book or film can tug at your heartstrings and make an imprint on your soul, changing the way you view life forever. Because I love these things so much, I try to fill my life with them all as much as possible. Which makes sense right? You should endeavor to have a life filled to the brim with the things that bring you happiness.

    But when do these passions become obsessions? When does enjoying something turn into being addicted to something, when do we cross that line and go too far and no longer have the passions be a part of us but become us. These passions should be part of who we are, not who we are.

    I think sometimes we need to remember to not let these completely things define us. I love running, but sometimes I know I take it too far.  I am not less of a runner if I sometimes run less than other times and my day is not ruined if I miss a run. I love healthy eating, but there is nothing wrong in not having a perfect diet all the time, that does not make me less of a healthy eater. And so on. And if I was not a runner, or did not love healthy eating, I would still be just as great of a person and just as worth everything.

    Something that my yoga teacher said the other day that really resonated with me, is we are perfect as we are, faults and all, we do not need to change, or be better, or be faster, smarter, stronger, etc., we are truly perfect and beautiful just as we are.

    Sometimes I think the perfectionist in me feels like I need to excel at everything, esp. my passions in order for me to consider it a passion. I love cooking, but you know what, half the time I bake something or make a complicated dinner it turns out amazing and the other half…ya..not so much. Let’s also say I have a couple burns on my hands to show that I have fought the kitchen…and the kitchen won a couple times, lol. Also, I run long distance, and I love that feeling, but I don’t have to compete in every race and I will most likely never win a marathon or be as fast as some other runners (hello crazy Kenyans…), and that’s ok, it can still be my passion even if I’m not number one at it.

    Maybe part of what this is really about is needing to take it easy and be fully comfortable with who you are, I love the woman I am and am becoming with each day, but sometimes I feel the need to do more, be more, push it in the areas of my passions, even when I know it’s not the best. (Like in running for example, upping mileage when I’m tired and sore, etc.) I also think it is important to enjoy your passions without getting caught up in the competition or being the best or comparisions.

    Sometimes I feel like every day, every week, every hour is slipping by so fast, I want to remember to live in the moment, to not let my passions become obsessions or define me, to delight in my passions and who I am, strengths and weaknesses, and to enjoy every moment.

    I love this quote: “Happiness is not a brillant climax to years of grim struggle and anxiety. It is a long succession of little decisions simply to be happy in the moment.”

    I think sometimes we need to be reminded that we are perfect as we are, and to revel in each and every moment and to enjoy our passions for ourselves.

    And on a totally different note, I’m loving this quote by confucius right now too: “”It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop”  You can bet I’ll be saying that a lot to myself during the RNR Marathon this month, lol. That and “Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming, Just Keeping Swimming, swimming, swimming…” (for those of you who are not geeky like me, that is from Finding Nemo) : )

    What are your passions? Do you ever feel like you get caught up in comparisions or competition in your passions or the need to always excel?