I'm Starting a Revolution

A fitness revolution that is! You may remember that I mentioned how excited I was to start Revolt. Well today is the day, folks. I've got my weeks worth of meals ready and I'm about ready to go bust my ass with the first workout. You can follow my progress here for the next 6 weeks during this "uprising." I'll be posting once a week (except this week when I'll post twice) sharing my results. I wanted to share a little about the program today and why I'm so excited to be apart of Revolt, as well as sharing with you my "before" pictures. Scary, I know.

Okay! Let's get right into it:

^img via Revolt Fitness on FB^
Revolt was started by Nichole Huntsman, due to her own personal struggles with weight loss. After 10 years of experimenting, competing on stage, and finally earning her certification as a NASM, CPT, she has perfected and shares a 6-week transformation system. But really she is a guide on your fitness journey. She is so involved in the program and personable, it really shows through into Revolt. She has worked out everything you need to see results. Revolt includes a Quick-Start Guide, the current 6-week workout plan plus daily workout videos of the day's workout, and the current 6-week diet.

^my detox breakfast this morning^
^sweet potatoes are such a treat after all those eggs^
You know I mentioned before that I'm not a fan of diets. I think being really restrictive with food is a bit silly. I do eat really well on my own, on average. But I do love all the cheesy everything and carbs and chocolate desserts. And I tend to eat them freely. I think the diet plan that goes along with the workouts will really help me to make progress and see the results I really want. Plus the Revolt diet is pretty fun, there are new exciting recipes all the time! I'm excited to try the coconut curry chicken (which I will obviously sub for tofu).

The best part of the program though? The community of people all working the program together. I have made so many friends and found such support, and I haven't even done my first workout! Don't worry, that's up next as soon as I share this with you :)

It may help to get an idea of where I am starting from on this journey. I have mentioned before that I was finally beginning to start embracing my own personal fitness and discovering just how much I needed to make a change with my health and life. I never had problems with my weight growing up. I was always naturally thin and small and fairly healthy. I wasn't too healthy with food choices as a kid, but I was young and spent my days outdoors and it didn't show. But even at a young age I was very self conscious and embarrassed by my body. As I got older I got even more active. I enjoyed running in high school and played lacrosse for a few years. I was pretty fit and healthy, and I loved it. But I still hated my body.

When I went off to college, I warred for years with depression. I shut my self inside for months at a time, I stopped seeing people, and I stopped taking care of me. I was unhealthy and underweight and miserable. I won't go into too much detail here, but I made it through. And when I did I gained a lot of weight back. And I was the heaviest I have ever been. I still am. Now, I'm not saying I am just completely unhealthy. And I don't feel fat. In fact, this may be the first time in my life that I have loved my body. I love my body, but I still want to change it. I want to take care of it. I do have fat. And quite a bit of it. I am excited to transition and really learn to take care of my body. Revolt is so structured and supportive. I think it will be just the thing I need.

This is the start.

Wow, posting those pictures took a lot of courage! Check back at the end of this week to see if I survived week one and my detox! And also be sure to check back once a week to see how I am doing.

Revolt Fitness Bloggers – link up:
Below is a list of other Revolt Fitness bloggers (thanks to Crystal @colormecrystal for the linkup).  It would be so so lovely of you to visit some of the others in the program. We are all on this journey together, and support and love from are readers is such a help along the way. It can makes such a difference in our day.

Disclaimer: I was chosen as a Revolt Fitness Program blogger and received free membership to try the fitness program. All results are real and my own. All opinions expressed are my own.

Table Rock and Big City Coffee

Saturday mornings just may easily become Mama and Sister time. I've enjoyed spending the past couple early Saturdays with them. Today is quite a lovely day in Boise, just look at that blue sky, although it may be a little too warm for my liking. It is going to be 80 degrees today! Crazy. So we got up nice and early (well at least for a Saturday) and made our way over for a hike up Table Rock. If you're from Boise or have been here, I'm sure you know Table Rock. The trail starts down by the Old Idaho Penitentiary and ends up at a nice flat plateau top over looking the city. I can't count the amount of times I've hiked it. It's a fairly short hike but still a little steep; perfect for a Saturday morning. The trail was full of plenty of other enthusiastic hikers and yellow wildflowers. We saw hot air balloons this morning too! Have a mentioned that I love Boise? I was so excited that it was nice enough to wear my Chacos out.

M mom may have lured me out of bed with the promise of breakfast, too. We headed to Big City Coffee down in the Linen District after our hike. Please excuse our morning/post hike faces. Big City is a place I've heard of lots of times, they've got a good reputation around town, but a place I had somehow never been to before. I'm so glad we went! It is definitely one of those places that as soon as you walk in you just know you are going to love it and that you'll be old friends. I ordered a breakfast veggie wrap and an iced hazelnut americano. Their coffee is really good! And I'm a huge coffee snop, guys. I guess that just naturally comes about after working in a coffee shop. The food is great too! I loved what I ordered. I should also mention the salted caramel brownie was one of the best brownies I've ever tasted. Not to mention the atmosphere is lovely. I'll definitely be back!

I hope your weekend is great so far. The rest of my day will be spent running errands and spending time with family. Tomorrow Will and I are finally headed to Leslie Gulch to hike for the day! What are you up to this weekend?

Custom Burlap Box from a Shoe Box

There is something you should know about me. Well, there are probably a lot of things you should know about me, but this is most important at the moment!

Did anyone else just scream at the above picture? If so, we'd be great friends. Messes bug me, big time. I'm probably border line OCD. I just really like when things have order and have a place. It helps my anxiety to have control over little things like messy cords, the alignment of books, and the perfect order of the clothes in the closet. Cleaning is the biggest stress reliever for me. I know it's not normal.

For instances like that above, my craftiness definitely comes in handy. I have a little wooden box beside my bed that I drilled a hole through th back of and it is modpodged in pretty paper. I have a reading lamp sitting on top of it and it hides the cord and extension well. I thought, why not make a larger version to fix this problem? I used an old shoe box and cut it down to custom fit the space allotted. I cut holes on either end to feed cords through both sides. This allows me to bring all of the cords from the outlet through the box, leaving excess length wound inside the box, and feeding the ends through to my desk where needed. It isn't perfect, but I like it! And solves my OCD need and looks way better. This of course can be made as just a decorate box, not just as a cord hider. I've included the instructions below if you are interested.

What you'll need: a large shoe box, a ruler, a pencil, scissors and/or a box cutter, burlap (or other fabric of choice), a hot glue gun
1. Begin by measuring the space your box will occupy. 
2. Measure where to cut your box so that will fit in the space you are putting it. For me, I needed a box four inches wide, which meant cutting the box about in half.
3. Use a ruler and mark where you are going to cut all the way along the box, including the lid.
4. Cut along your line using a box cutter (or scissors). Keep your ruler in line as a guide if that helps you more.
5. Take your cut pieces and overlap them, to get an idea of how your box will look. Simply slide them together. Place the cut lid pieces together, also.

6. If you are making holes to feed cords through, mark where they should go. You want to make sure they sit just below the lid when it is down. Mark these evenly on both sides.
7. Cut out your markings, making sure to cut through all layers. If you have a bunch of extra layers now on the sides of your box due to layer the two pieces, remove some of them now. Be sure to keep two flaps on one of the sides and one flap on the other to be able to layer them securely.
8-10. Put your box together, layer the two halves adding hot glue between the layers for stability. Referring to pictures 8-10, I layered my box as so: I put glue on the bottom of F pressed it down on top of E. I glued flap A to B and then side C to B. Lastly, I folded flap D all the way over the sides and secured it with glue underneath. 

11. Now it is time to cover the box with fabric. 
12. Begin by covering the sides, glue the edges of the fabric down to the cardboard securly with hot glue. To give you clean edges, wrap the ends all the way around to the bottom, front, and back. Then take a long piece and use it to cover the bottom, back, front, and top, all at once, by wrapping it snugly all the way around securing with glue. Fold ends into the inside of the box and secure with glue.
13. Cut a hole in the fabric where it is covering the holes you created earlier. Fold the fabric through to the inside and secure with glue.
14.  If you'd like, finish with a button closure! Use embroidery thread to secure a large button to the front middle of your box. Using thick yard or hemp, tie a loop and poke a whole in the middle top of the lid. Fed the ends of your loop through and knot on the underside of the lid.

And you're all done!

I'm enjoying having my cords a little more organized, and I know I'll continue to use this box even if I move my desk or decide I want it for something else. Smaller version of decorative boxes like this are also great for charging your phone and other electronics (you just hide the charger and phone inside and feed the cord out the back to an outlet!). 

Let me know what you think of this DIY. Do you have any cord organizing tricks of your own?

Cheesy Chickpea Bruschetta with Balsamic Glaze

Can I share with you what I had for lunch today? Because it is brilliant.

Do you ever have those moments where you are suddenly savagely hungry, and no matter how much food there is in the pantry or no matter how many yummy meals you can think of making, all you really want to do is eat a can of beans with a spoon? Well that's what I did yesterday.

Or maybe I just ate crackers. Do you really expect me to remember? I know you can tell by now that I am, like, super healthy. But I know I'm not the only one who eats a can of beans or crackers or spoonfuls of peanut butter or 5 cookies and calls it a meal. We all have those days. Well, my friends, today was not one of those days for me. No, I took just about everything I was going to eat by the spoonful with the fridge door open and loaded it up on 2 pieces of toast. I'm fancy.

Cheesy Chickpea Bruschetta with Balsamic Glaze, makes 3-4  large toasts:

1/2 a can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup spinach, finely chopped 
1/2 a tomato
a few spoonfuls jarred sliced pepperoncinis, chopped smaller
1/4 cup mayonnaise (I actually used a little less)
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/8 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon garlic
1/8 teaspoon italian seasoning
salt & pepper to taste

1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar

3-4 thick slices of bread, I used the spinach and ricotta loaf from Alpicella Bakery we got at the Market.

Once your beans are rinsed and drained, put them in a medium size bowl and mash them up a bit using a fork or a potato masher. Add in the sliced onion, tomato, pepporoncinis and spinach. Stir to combine. Mix in the cheeses and mayonnaise, stirring thoroughly, and mash a bit more as needed. Add in the garlic and italian seasoning. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

For the balsamic glaze (balsamic reduction), pour 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and let simmer to reduce in 1/2, about 10 minutes, stirring often. Once reduced by half, take of heat and let cool, continue to stir occasionally as it cools.

While the balsamic reduction cools, slice up your bread and toast one side under the broiler on low. Toasting the other side of the bread, the side that the topping will not be on, will keep the bruschetta from getting soggy. Once golden brown, remove from oven and flip over, layer the non-toasted side with the chickpea mixture. Put back under the low broil until golden and bubbly, anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on your oven and toast preference. Be careful not to burn.

To serve, drizzle with the cooled balsamic glaze. Best eaten immediately.

I have discovered that I can pretty much put whatever I want on bread and call it bruschetta, and then further call it a meal. Someone come stop me.

It Pays to Take the Back Roads

^If you've ever asked yourself the question, can dogs get car sick, the answer is yes. Poor pup.^
Our weekend wasn't too entirely eventful. Friday night we stayed in and enjoyed the storm, yummy food (read Subway, we were too lazy to cook), and episodes of House. Saturday morning I participated in the MS walk with my mama and sister, which we followed up by walking around the market and lunch at Pollo Rey

Saturday was also a day for a bit of spontaneous adventure. Every once and a while Will gets an itching to drive around bumpy back roads. I'm not one to let him down; I am a great passenger. Not to mention all the Idaho scenery is to die for. We ended up driving along the south fork of the Boise River. We stopped in various spots along the way to stretch and explore, saw Anderson Ranch, and ended up at the top of I dare say the prettiest lookout, with views of the sawtooths, near sunset. My favorite parts were all the adorable baby cows we came across, listening to Horse Feathers the whole way, and watching Pippin run up and down the river side excitedly. What a great way to spend a day. All I have to say is it pays to take the back roads.

I hope your weekend was, if not as adventurous, every bit as lovely as mine. 

Semi-Homemade Orange Tofu and Stir-fry Veggies

Back in the day when I use to eat the occasional meat dish, one of the few things I could stand was orange chicken from Panda Express. I loved the sweet and spicy flavor of the sauce. But the meat still grossed me out and I probably picked at it more than I actually ate it. I love Asian cuisine, especially Thai food, and I do try to be authentic with the foods I cook, using fresh ingredients. If you're wanting authentic Chinese food from this recipe, know now that I used a store-bought sauce. When I saw the bottle of Panda Express Orange Sauce at the grocery store, I couldn't resist. I'm so glad I didn't. It is as good as I remember, and Tofu in orange sauce is way better than chicken! But that's a strict vegetarian's opinion. You'll just have to give it a try (or just use chicken if you're chicken)!

Semi-Homemade Orange Tofu and Stir-fry Veggies, serves 2-3:

1 12.3 oz (350 g) package extra-firm tofu
1/4 to 1/2 cup Panda Express Orange Sauce

1/2 a zucchini, sliced
1/2 a yellow summer crookneck squash, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 an onion, sliced (I used red, but also love a sweet for this)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger or 2 teaspoons dried ground ginger
3 garlic gloves, minced or 2-3 teaspoons dried garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Jasmine rice

Begin by cutting up the tofu into pieces of desired size. Place them in a ziploc baggie and pour in orange sauce making sure to cover them fully. Let marinate for at least an hour in the fridge. You can do this up to 24 hours in advance.

Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place the marianted tofu pieces on the greased baking sheet. Using a pastry/basting brush coat the side that is up with some of the sauce that remained in the baggie. Put the tofu in the oven under low broil. Cook for ten to fifteen minutes on this side, until bubbly. Remove from oven, flip over, and coat with remaining leftover orange sauce. Cook for another ten to fifteen minutes.

* Cooking tofu in the oven will allow you to cook the veggies without too much going on on the stove-top. I prefer the texture of tofu when cooked in the oven, the outside will get a little crunchy but the inside gets super hot and stays real soft. If you'd rather grill your tofu, go for it!

Oh, side note, I of course recommend you have a photobomber in the kitchen with you. And also a mason jar full of beer, that always helps.

While your tofu is cooking in the oven, cut up all the vegetables. Warm up the olive oil in a pan and cook the veggies over medium heat. Once the vegetables are tender and almost completely cooked (after about 8 to 10 minutes), add in the fresh garlic and ginger and continue to cook another 3 to 5 minutes. Season with black pepper and soy sauce, stir well, and cook for a few more minutes to meld the flavors.

Serve tofu and stir-fry veggies over jasmine rice. Or if your weird like me, keep them all separated on your plate.

Enjoy! And have a lovely weekend.