Friday, February 25, 2011

Protein Boost

Hey ya'll....Happy Friday!!!!! It was a long week hey? Started off bad for me and turned better around hump day. I plan to take it easy this weekend, get in some good exercise and stay on track since I am going on vacation in less than a month! That means I need to buckle down and stay focused on my exercise.

Every morning I wake up with a mug of hot lemon water. Gave up my morning coffee a couple years ago  I (sometimes) exercise (or not) and then proceed to get ready for work. Before heading out the door I normally make a Green Smoothie and drink that on my drive into work (normally 20-25 minutes). I like to take my lunch around the noon hour unless for some reason I can't. I normally eat lunch at my desk & either work or read as well. Ahhh multi-tasking.. how I love thee. I might have a snack depending on how filling my lunch is - since I normally bring it from home, I am usually good until I get home. Depending on my work day I can get home anytime after 5pm unless I have later appointments or after hour meetings. I generally have a pre-workout snack (crackers, salsa, hummus, etc) and jump on my eliptical for 30-45 minutes (minimum). I also do some weights after my cardio workout unless I am sore... then I like to take it easy and do yoga or pilates. Normally I would prepare and eat dinner and spend the rest of the evening relaxing, doing housework, playing with the pups etc. Then do it all again  (Repeat).

 I really need to join a gym. Since I moved in October the closest gym is now about 10 miles from me and it is not a very big one so I am not sure about it.... I think I need to test it out. There is a really nice gym about 15 miles away, it is huge, expensive but really nice... I just hate thinking about the drive there & back. I guess it's not too bad however I used to be about 3 miles away from a gym and it is getting hard to adjust for me.

I was busy in the kitchen yesterday evening and made 2 very delicious recipes that I need to share with you. First off I made Averie's Ketchup & Mustard Lovers Protein and Veggie Mash with a few variations. I left out the potato (since I didn't have any), added in onion and cauliflower.

1 C sprouted green lentils
1 C dark red kidney beans
2-3 C diced Veggies (I used carrots, broccoli & cauliflower
1/2 C unsweetened ketchup
1/3 C yellow mustard
1/3 C Agave Syrup
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 onion (diced)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/3 C salsa
salt & pepper

Cook lentils in a large pot on stove, after cooking add in remaining ingredients and cook on medium for about 20-25 minutes stirring occassionally or until carrots are starting to tenderize.
All in the pot... flavors coming together.

I really enjoyed this recipe, definately a great protein boost for vegan and vegetarians alike with the lentils and kidney beans, and thank you to Averie for the inspiration!

I had this for lunch today and it was even better than I remember.

I also made some Chocolate Protein Energy Bars and they turned out great! I can't believe how easy and delicious these turned out to be... so decadent.


1.5 C Oats
1/2 C Peanut Butter
2 Scoops Chocolate Protein Powder
1/2 C Vegan Carob Chips
1/2 C shredded coconut
1/2 C raisins
1/2 C Agave Syrup
2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
2 Tbsp Flax Seeds
dash of cinnamon
splash vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix together.

Once mixed together, press into glass pyrex dish or tupperware, cover and freeze for 2 hours. Cut into bars and freeze individually.

I wrapped mine in foil since that is all I had on hand. They are the perfect mid day snack. So delicious and healthy for you!
You can see the flax seeds and coconut right on the bar... yum. (Please ignore my horrible manicure... I am scheduling a new one right NOW.)

On to the 30 Day Challenge!

Day 2: Meaning behind your blog name - I became a vegetarian or prescatarian in Jan 2009, and when I started my blog in November of 2009 I was flirting with the idea of becoming vegan. Basically I try vegan recipes here and there but I am not a full blown vegan. Flirting with Food, Fitness and Fashion was born with the thought of trying new things and "flirting" with these new ideas. Reading that first blog post makes me think about how much I have changed in these 2 years. It is quite crazy actually. I don't eat fish anymore and never buy cheddar by the brick anymore either.
Definition of flirting: to court triflingly or act amorously without serious intentions

Day 3: Your first love - My first serious boyfriend I dated in my junior and senior years of highschool, 2 years or so, was my first love. He was a great person and we knew eachother through mutual friends. We still have mutual friends but I do not talk with him today.

I hope you enjoy the recipes I posted about today, and I hope you enjoy your weekend!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Delicious Vegan Pancakes

I had breakfast food for dinner and it was fantastic. Super easy Vegan Pancake recipe that is so easy to whip up!!

All you need is (LOVE):

1 C whole wheat pastry flour (or any flour you have on hand)
1 T Agave (or any sweetener of your choice)
2 T baking powder
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1 C of almond milk (or soy, rice etc)
2 T coconut oil
(any other add ins) I added in blueberries

Combine ingredients and whisk until there are no lumps

Not the prettiest picture but they were great, and since I didn't feel like grocery shopping or eating hommus and salsa all night - they worked for dinner. Enjoy :)

Speaking of Hommus and Salsa.... I picked these up the other day and the Jalapeno hommus is great and I think I see a homemade version in my future and the Lisa's Salsa is also delicious and spicy!!

First day of the blog challenge:

Day 1: Introduce, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts

Well if you are reading my blog you know that I am Nichole, I have been blogging off and on for a little over 2 years - basically after I learned about the whole blog world I was really intrigued and interested in so many amazing blogs out there. Also it has made me more aware... and I figured it would be interesting to show my vegetarian eats from time to time.

A recent picture of me:

15 interesting (or not) facts:

1. I bought my first house when I was 20
2. I love to play volleyball
3. Been a Prescatarian for over 3 years, haven't touched any fishies since 2010
4. Love Marilyn Monroe and James Dean
5. I drive a Jeep
6. My closet used to be color coordinated, now it is by type of clothing
7. I want to have kids of my own someday, just not sure when
8. I want to travel to Europe, Australia & Fiji
9. I hope to learn more about photography
10. I believe in retail therapy
11. I dislike really cold weather but still live in Wisconsin
12. I have a really big family and love it
13. I work at a bank - doing residential mortgages, I do enjoy my job
14. I am 5'1 tall
15. I am slowly learning how to meditate :)

There ya go... interesting or not???

I have had a long, tiring Wednesday and I am ready for bed. Good night, world!

Bring on Thursday :D


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Finding Motivation

Hey, how YOU doing? I am doing better today then yesterday that is for sure. It was a No Good Monday. Tuesday is looking better and I am trying to find inspiration for my exercise. Lately, I have been working out at home and not going to any gym. I think I need to switch it up and that might help the motivation.
You know what else always helps me? New workout gear.
I love my sparkley Nike Shocks.

You would think I would be motivated when I make poor decisions regarding food however, it seems like I tend to get down on myself MORE for that and then it makes me NOT want to work out. Make sense? Not really. However when I am making good decisions, I feel like I am on the right track and therefore I am more motivated. Complicated, no?

Music is a great motivation for me, I like loud music and I like beats to be fast so I can get my cardio on and sweat it out. Here is a playlist I made last year for my workouts
1. Toca Me - Fragma
2.Bulletproof - La Roux
3. Imma Be - Black Eyed Peas
4. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger - Daft Punk
5. Unstoppable - Drake
6.Fergalicious - Fergie
7. Summer Love - Justin Timberlake
8. Backstabber - Ke$ha
9. Starstruck - Lady GaGa
10. LaLaLa - LMFAO
11. Feeling So Real - Moby
12.Let Your Love Grow Tall - Passion Pit
13. Funhouse - Pink
14. Rude Boy - Rihanna
15. FMLYHM - Seether
16. Joker and the Theif - Wolfmother
17. Kerosene - Miranda Lambert
18. 3 - Britney Spears
19. Place for my Head - Linkin Park
20. Viva La White Girl - Gym Class Heros

A widespread collection but all upbeat and fun songs to keep me motivated during a workout :)
I saw a few of the 30 day Challenges around the bloggie world and I decided that I would also partake in this fun challenge...

Day 0: The 30 Day Challenge Explanation and Description

Day 1: Introduce, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts
Day 2: Meaning behind your blog name
Day 3: Your first love
Day 4: Your parents
Day 5: A song to match your mood
Day 6: A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 7: Favorite movies
Day 8: A place you’ve traveled to
Day 9: A favorite picture of your best friend
Day 10: Something you’re afraid of
Day 11: Favorite tv shows
Day 12: Something you don’t leave the house without
Day 13: Goals
Day 14: A picture of you last year – how have you changed?
Day 15: Bible verse
Day 16: Dream house
Day 17: Something you’re looking forward to
Day 18: Favorite Place to Eat
Day 19: Something you miss
Day 20: Nicknames
Day 21: Favorite Picture of yourself ALL TIME Why?
Day 22: What’s in your purse?
Day 23: Favorite Movie
Day 24: Something you’ve learned
Day 25: Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs
Day 26: Your Dream Wedding
Day 27: Original Photo of the city you live in
Day 28: Something that stresses you out
Day 29: 3 Wishes
Day 30: a picture of yourself this day and 5 good things that happened since you started the challenge

I think this will keep things interesting on the blog and let me open up a little bit more... I will try to post each and everyday with these fun little interesting posts.

I am trying to tone up my abs, lower body and arms for the summer. I increased my weights from the 5lbs to 8lbs and hope this really helps and so far so good as 8lbs is not easy!!!!

I hope to have these babies toned up in no time...I know it will take hard work and dedication, but it will all be worth it in the end.

Lots of sweaty workouts..

Post workout picture

Lots of willpower for indulgences...

But still allowing myself some from time to time ;)

What do you do for motivation on days where you just don't feel like exercising?


Monday, February 21, 2011

No Good Monday

Today was kind of a drag for me... the weather was horrible (hello ice storm), the first day back to work after a weekend is always a little lackluster but still... I am thinking is has something to do with spring fever... all the snow melted with the warmer temps and now it's freezing again and we are getting more snow. I am tired of snow and ready for sun and warmth, but hey this happens every year, right?

I did have a nice package waiting for me which definately cheered me up. I ordered some awesome products from

My big box of goodies...

Free Samples are always nice..

Multi Vitamins

Amazing Grass

Wheat Grass powder, haven't tried this stuff yet but it was much cheaper than the Amazing Grass so I thought I would give it a shot...

Have you checked out If you do use this code XUT690 and save $5 on your first order.
I really like to compare the prices and I have noticed I am saving a lot more with ordering certain products online. 

How was your weekend? Mine consisted of a low key Friday night, where I made some Vegan Lasagna that turned out wonderfully... no pictures unfortunately. 
Saturday night I went out with a friend to Casablanca's   which just happens to be a hookah bar & fabulous middle eastern restaurant. We had some delicious appetizers...

Falafels, hummos that was amazing, tuboleh salad, potato salad and baba ganoush with amazing pita bread.... I want more, now...

We also tried some hookah.. and I believe the flavor was "Cactus"
I am not a smoker but I had fun with this, and the flavor was really good.

Good times were had ;)

Now it's back to the grind once again... it was hard to get motivated to workout today, I still did it but it was tough to stick with it. I hope tomorrow is better! Have a great week loves!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Spring Fever

I must say that I love Fridays. Sping is definately in the air here in Wisconsin. The weather has been warm(er) and the snow has been melting. So much that there is a lake (what used to be a field) behind my back yard.
If you look into the distance and see the shed to the left - you can see the lake.... lots of snow melting... haha

The warmer weathe the sun shining definately gives a girl spring fever and ready to take a vacation!!!

I am happy this week is coming to an end, it has been a busy, eventful week with a day full of training, a meal celebrating love, a full day at a mortgage conference for work and the rest of the days catching up.

I am planning a small vacation in mid March and have been taking my workouts & eats very seriously as of late. Only about a month away & I want to be in tip top shape.
Since the beginning of 2011 it has been a major goal of mine to stick with a mostly GREEN diet meaning lots of vegetables each and every day. I must say that I am definately surprising myself and it really is not that hard to re-train your taste buds to enjoy a healthier diet. I have a very clean diet lately, I can't remember the last time I ate processed foods... besides Boca Vegan Crumbles in my chili... does that count?

I have been using my eliptical DAILY. No excuses there. I use it a minimum of 30 minutes and sometimes a full hour. I am pushing myself and keep increasing the intensity of the workouts to make sure I am actually getting something from the cardio. I find that my upper body tones up pretty easily (such as my arms & chest) but my thighs, hamstrings and glutes take longer... I am sure many struggle with this. I have been focusing a lot more on abdonminals lately as well. I did a 20 minute Body by Jake "Rock Hard Abs" workout a few times this week as well as some YogaWorks Fit Abs. I love Jackie Warner's upper body workout as well.

(Getting ready for the at home workout session)

My diet has been 90% vegan and I feel great. I haven't had any fish since I used the last shrimp from New Years Eve to make Shrimp Alfredo. No Friday fish fry for this girl. To be honest I haven't missed it. I would rather eat a dish with cheese in it then fish at the moment. However I also haven't been out for sushi in a longgggg time and hopefully I can be satisfied with a veggie roll :) I knew it would take a little time but eventually I would be done with fish for good.

I tried a new Kombucha flavor today and I must say Mystic Mango is my new favorite.

I was craving some "tacos" and had everything to make them but could not find my beloved Ezekiel wraps anywhere when I stopped at the local grocery store.

I made a taco salad instead.

Black & Pinto Beans mashed with spinach, tomato, poblano pepper, onion, jalepeno, vegan veggie cheese shreds and vegan sour cream with a couple blue chips crumbled on top for some crunch. I have an abundance of vegan sour cream since it is VERY rare that they have it at the regular grocery store.So I stocked up... I think some vegan taco dip is in my future... haha

I also had to use up an avacado so I made this incredibly delicious guacamole.

Poblano Guacamole
1 avacado mashed
1/2 tomato chopped
fresh jalepeno
1/2 small poblano pepper chopped
salt to taste (I normally don't add in salt)
lime juice

I really thought the poblano brought out an interesting taste and I love spicy food so this worked out great for me! I was also trying to use up what was on hand...

I hope your Friday is going great and I hope you enjoy your weekend!!!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Valentine Dinner Recap

Hello friends! Happy hump day! I am enjoying the heat wave (laughable) in southeastern Wisconsin. It has been in the single digits here the last couple weeks after the blizzard. In the last few days it has been in the mid 40's and sunshine has been abundant. Snow has been melting... and I have some serious spring fever!!!!! I think a vacation is in my near future.

I wanted to give you a recap on my fabulous Valentine's day dinner at the always wonderful Cafe Manna. They had a 4 course Valentine's Day special that of course I had to try... all of the pictures were taken with my phone.....

First course was a salad with Taro Root -
Loved this salad and never had Taro Root before... I am sure many people wouldn't know the different between this and a potato.

They also had a Cream of Spinach soup which was not vegan but certainly delicious.

I had some organic fair trade green tea = great tasting.

Palate Cleanser 2nd course vegan Sorbet.

My main course was a Vegetable Torte
It has lots of veggies and a potato custard with plaintains. This was much larger than it looks and I could only eat half of it... saving room for dessert...

My date has the calzone which I also tried and it was great. He is not a vegetarian and prefers to eat meat. However he did enjoy this meal and left with a stuffed tummy :)

Dessert!!! Raspberry Sauce, Fresh Raspberries, with a Raspberry Sorbet in between those cookie type cakes. They were chewy and hard so I dipped pieces of them into the sorbet and it was delicious.


Loved the dinner and loved that I had leftovers!!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy (Belated) Love Day!

I hope you were able to find time to show love, feel love and appreciate love in some sort of way yesterday. I am a kind of an ANTI-Valentine's Day girl, but not really. I think that is just when I am single. hahaha.

I have been extremely busy catching up on work, I have had a a lot of studying for an insurance exam, a lot of seminars (2 this week) and in between trying to obtain new business.
It's been a little stressful. Happy to say that I have been keeping up with my fitness, regardless. I make sure that I make time for myself to be healthy. And I also make time for the girls........ who I love so.........

I was able to sneak in a date with my best girls and we had a great deal of fun...

I also went to a disco themed party... I waited to the last minute to find a costume, then couldn't find anything so threw this together...

I had to show the shoes, check out my giant platforms!!! Ha - these added quite the height to my small self.

Have a great week!!!! Eeeeekkkkk... tomorrow is Wednesday (feels like Tuesday) since I was at a seminar on Monday at work.

I have a few special items that I want to make in the next coming week, hopefully I have the time to share!!!
I will be sharing my Valentine dinner at my favorite vegetarian cafe very soon... Twas a 4 course meal that was amazing!!!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chili Overload?

I have been eating vegetarian chili since Superbowl Sunday. I eat it at work, I eat it at home, I even eat a few cold bites while I am packing it for my lunch, hehehe.

I am not really complaining... I love leftovers. And chili is the one thing I can eat and eat more of. My veggie chili is packed with lots of beans (chili and kidney), lots of veggies (celery, onion, tomatoes, green peppers, poblano peppers, broccoli, carrots and mushrooms)... it is packed with flavor and I believe the longer it sits the better the taste. I love to add a scoop of vegan sour cream to my chili and I even love making use of leftovers by making chili cheese dips (perfect with my favorite blue chips).

Are there any foods that you just can not eat leftovers of? Eggs come to mind for me... I have eaten re-heated Tofu Scrambles and they were just as delicious!

Happy Hump Day! It's all down hill from here!


Monday, February 7, 2011


Let me just start out by congratulating the Green Bay Packers on their Superbowl win and welcome home the trophy!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here I am in my Green and Gold gear :)

We even did shots for every Packer touchdown!!

I last posted about a Giveaway on my blog & I wanted to thank those of you who entered!

The winner I choose through random number generator.

The winner was Liz and I will be sending Liz the email with the gift certificate code!

Congratulations Liz and thanks to all who entered. Hopefully I will be able to do another giveaway soon!

I got my hair colored last week and I went with some low lights. Blonde makes me feel really washed out in the winter... maybe I will go completely dark in the near future... :D

What do you think?



Even though the sun is shining on my hair in the first picture and I am not smiling in the 2nd - I assure you it is quite darker. I like it a lot and it makes me want to go much darker since I can see it on myself :)

Have a great week!


Thursday, February 3, 2011


Hi Friends. Hope you are having a great week. Most of the midwest had a huge blizzard very recently and some very cold temps. We got a snow day yesterday (just about everything was shut down from all the snow). We got a total of 23 1/2 inches of snowfall between Tuesday - Wednesday. Crazy, insane blizzard I tell ya.
I will share some of my pictures at the end of this post, since this is all about the giveaway!

In order to win a $40 Gift Certificate from CSN Stores you have to follow my on this blog, or follow me on twitter (@nicholemarie84).  That is all you have to do to enter.

CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find anything you need from wall art and decor, fitness equipment and even lovely dishes!

The giveaway will end Saturday, Febuary 5th at 5pm. Just make sure to follow me on the blog or on twitter (@nicholemarie84) and if you are the winner I will contact you via email and send you the gift certificate for $40!

Here are some pictures from the Milwaukee Blizzard of 2011.

I am hoping we don't get any more snow for a long time. The temp is about -10 with the wind chill right now, I am dreading stepping out for work... but really 1 snow day is enough for me. They didn't plow till after 1am today and the majority of the snow fell Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. I think my Jeep would have made it to the main road but I didn't want to chance it, besides shopping can wait... haha.

Good luck on the giveaway!