August Foodie Penpal Reveal!

Holy Balls. This month, I had the best foodie penpal. Ok really they’ve all been super awesome- sending me things I’ve never tried (and ended up LOVING), but this month, Erin from Happier, Healthier, More Fit Me sent me a box full of chocolate goodness.

Before I get to the goods, let me lay down the law for how this Foodie Penpal thing works:

The Lean Green Bean

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 

-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 

-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 

If you’re interested in participating for September, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by September 4th as pairings will be emailed on September 5th!


So here’s my beautiful assortment from Erin

Chocolate heaven!

Cute card to go with it! I love dogs!

Ok. WHY have this not been in my life until now? When I first opened the package, I laughed when I saw these, and actually said “OMG”….and then I ate them and REALLY said OMG. Graham crackers with almonds and toffee bits covered in chocolate? My dream. Tyler only got one. I pretty much inhaled the rest. Then had to do an hour of kickboxing to displace any guilt. 😉

I haven’t gotten into this one yet. I actually have it in my gym bag now as an emergency refuel bar. I can’t wait to have an emergency!

Tyler and I split this one. It was good- I was expecting it to taste different from the regularly packaged Hershey bars, but it was the same. No complaints. At all.

Another OMG. This granola is fabuloso. I haven’t had granola- or oats for that matter- in a super long time. I poured a bit of this in a bowl with almond milk and it hit the spot.

I ate this all by myself- directly after downing 2 cups of coffee. Needless to say, I was literally bouncing around the living room in front of Layla and Tyler who thought I was crazy pants.

Thanks so much, Erin!

Be sure to check out her blog (linked above) and sign up for September to get a package as awesome as this (also linked above)

Recipe: Chili. Workout: Strength

If I just want to wish you an average Thursday, do I just say “Thursday?” Instead of ‘Happy Thursday!”


Pardon the headache and grumpy mood.

Today started cheery and bright with the puppy. She got her morning cookie out on the patio. She’s too cute.

‘Mama, just gimme the cooooookie. I sit real nice this this”

“Look, mom. I even give my paw. I’m a good puppy”

And then, I somehow managed to take my favorite picture of the day

I absolutely love that face.

So I took her for a super long walk. She, of course, led the way.

I kid you not, I looked a wreck on that walk. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t even wearing a bra. Disgusting.

You can even see my flyaways in this shadow pic

We ended up walking longer than expected and Layla needed a shade break

Oh right. Before the walk, I did two things

  • I made chili
  • I worked out

The chili was sort of a throw-together meal, so I can’t really give you EXACT amounts, but it went like this


  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 medium yellow onions (from our garden!)
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 can of black beans
  • give or take 10 mini carrots

(chop all that stuff up)

  • 1.5 lbs ground beef

(brown the beef in a skillet)

  • paprika
  • cayenne pepper
  • chili powder
  • onion powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • parsley
  • basil

(to taste)

  • 1 big ass can of tomato sauce
  • 1 small can tomato paste


Throw it all in a crock pot. Cook on high for 2 hours, low for 2 hours. EAT.

It was soooooooo good. I can’t wait for leftovers.

On to the workout…

My leg felt a bit better when I woke up this morning, but I didn’t really want to take any chances with high impact stuff in case it made it worse. So I stuck with strength (ps: last night I couldn’t go without doing any kind of workout, so I did 200 situps on the stability ball. phew)

I did 5 ‘sets’ of exercises. Each set I did 2x through. If you need me to further explain moves, let me know!

Set 1

  • weighted lunges (12 each leg)
  • weighted squats (12)
  • weighted split squat (12 each leg)

Set 2

  • Donkey kicks (16 bent knee, 16 straight leg toe taps, 16 crossover knee)
  • Double leg glute squeeze (video shows the exercise on the ball, I do these on the floor)

Set 3

Set 4

  • Concentration curls (8 full, 8 all the way down-halfway up, 8 all the way up-halfway down. each arm)
  • Tricep pulls & extension (8 each)
  • Chest press & Flys on the stability ball (8 each)

Set 5

  • Behind your back pulses (12 count)
  • Overhead press- palms in (12)
  • Lateral extension (12)

Time from this cranky pants to hit the hay.


Recipe: Zucchini Fries

Well, hello, fellow people of the universe.

Last night’s workout was pretty decent. And by decent, I mean SWEATY.

-40 minutes of treadmill intervals

-15 minutes of spin intervals

I walked to and from the gym for the extra (4) calorie burn.


Listened to some new music-some of it is technically old, but I just got around to putting it on my iPod.


Might have overdone it because my left shin/foot has been throbbing like a mother fluffer all day. I also have a bruise there…so I could just be clumsy. I’M TURNING INTO MY MOTHER.

Quick vent sesh: wedding are expensive. Apparently I haven’t been properly conveying how I want my wedding because before I knew it, all the plans were getting way too formal.


That just might happen. And I’m gonna have a candy bouquet instead of $1300 flowers. (i joke..maybe)

For lunch today, I finally whipped up a batch of zucchini fries. I got the craving for them about 2 weeks ago, then Gina posted a recipe yesterday, so I figured it was a sign.

Instead of bread crumbs, I opted to use a recent purchase


I put a handful of those suckers in my new food processor, and BAM!



Chop up the zucchini, dip in egg wash (one egg + one egg white + splash of milk) then roll in crumbs.


Place on sprayed cooking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for around 20 minutes.

Lunch is ready.


(shot ‘a hot sauce for some kick)

I tried staying off my feet all day for my dang leg to feel better-minus the short walk with Layla- so I’m not sure what tonight’s workout will look like. I’m guessing strength.

A fitness post, if you will

Let’s center this post around FITNESS. Because I love it. And I don’t think I talk about it enough.


Why do I love fitness so much? Because it makes me feel good and look good and keeps me healthy! 5 years ago, my workout routine was cardio, cardio, cardio. Granted, I was on a collegiate volleyball team (and coincidentally 35 lbs heavier), I never paid much attention to the importance of strength conditioning. Um hello…why not?! Booze and boys, that’s why

AFTERBURN people. Mmmm, delicious afterburn.

Onto a fitness survey I have starred in my Google Reader on several occasions, but just now getting around to completing for myself. (I c+p’d the questions from Christina’s blog)

1. Run/workout in the heat and humidity or freezing cold temps and snow?

HEAT. I love the sweat. Love, love, love it. I remember playing club soccer in California and practice would be from 12-2 in the summer and we would DIE. And afterwards, I was in glorious heaven. I am a California girl and love me some warm weather. I HATE cold. Super hate it. Snow? MMmmnope, not going outside. Funny now since I live in friggin’ Canada.

2. Washboard abs or flat abs?

I’d like to say a mixture of both. I don’t want to look scary manly, nor do I want model-flat abs. So long as there is no muffin top.

3. Dr. Oz or The Doctors?

Neither. But I have managed to catch a few snippets of Ozzie boy and he sure does talk about farts and poop a lot. So, if I had to choose, I’d pick him.

4. Cardio or strength?

BOTH. (See above) Some days though, I can’t manage to do cardio- so I make do with a super intense strength session- and vice versa. I think I have a healthy balance in my weekly workouts.

5. Cravings: Protein or carbs?

Always carbs. Have you seen my ass? It’s loaded with the after effects of carbs. In California, my mom and I would always hit up Safeway after I got outta school (you know, where they guarantee fresh bread at 4pm every day?) And she would buy two loaves- one for dinner- and the other for me to ‘rat’ out the innards. I loved bread centers. Of course, I am more mindful now…

6. Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper?

Jillian! She is hard AND hilarious, which I love. I have a couple of her videos and I love how she loves to kill her demo girls then talk about how she’s a hard ass. I have learned lots of new moves from her because she’s like, everywhere in the fitness world.

7. Frozen Yogurt or Ice Cream?

Difficult. Depends on where I am. Soft serve in NY, Froyo in Boston, and hard ice cream here. Soft serve is ALWAYS a twist with rainbow sprinkles


Froyo is chocolate with any and every chocolate topping, Hard is cookies ‘n cream. The end.

8. To train: Upper body or Lower body?

I feel immediate results with upper body, but I love DOMS in my lower body.

9. Protein powder or food with protein?

I just declared my love for protein powder, but if I had to choose, I’d rather find foods with protein. But you’ll still find me with a shake here and there.

10. Lunges or squats?





11. Sweet or salty?

Sweet! Wait for my post on August foodie penpals this Friday. My pen pal hit the nail. ONTHEHEAD with that one.

12. Workout attire: cute or comfy?

Both. But I’d rather be comfortable.


See? Not cute.

13. Body Pump or Heavy lifting?

Never done Body Pump….so….heavy lifting?

14. Yoga or Pilates?

Gross, neither. But a lot of exercises I do incorporate Pilates-type moves.

15. Nike or Adidas?

Don’t currently purchase either. But I do rock a couple pairs of Nike shorts that have those built in undies. And I haven’t cut them out.


16. Running on the treadmill or outdoors?

I like the treadmill because if you cut the run short, you’re still in the same place. But, intervals go by WAY faster on the road. More stuff to look at.

17. Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s?

I have neither here! So sad. But I used to hit up TJ’s every Thursday on the way home from teaching a strength class. My usual purchases: seaweed snax, sunflower butter, whole wheat english muffins, hummus, sweet potato chips, pumpkin waffle mix, maple syrup, beans, coconut water. Crap, now I’m craving all that stuff.

18. Summer or Winter Olympics?

Summer. No joke, I watched all televised broadcasts this year. Obsessed. Winter olympics make me cold. And I don’t like skiing.

19. Exercise classes or Exercise videos?

Classes for the win, Alex. Oh man, I miss the 20495720937 I used to take/teach in Boston. My bootcamp here is just not the same. And I haven’t found a single indoor class that I like yet.

20. Steamed veggies or roasted veggies?

Both. I roast them more often than not. But a veggie is a veggie is a veggie, so I’ll eat it however way it’s cooked.

weird carrot

Wanna take the survey? Or just answer one of the questions? Comment below! I’d love to hear what you’ve got!

Other reading:

10 minute full-body workout– FitSugar

16 ways to get more out of the gym– Greatist

My August Bulu Box is Here!

I lied last night. Not only do I have to mop the floors today, but I have TWO dates with furnace guys! Woo hoo! And since I know NOTHING about furnaces, other than they keep me warm, Tyler typed up a list of questions that I am just supposed to hand to these guys for quotes. Should be interesting.

But what I’m reaaaaally posting about is something I have been waiting for for about a month. And it came yesterday!

A box! Not just any box…..

Bulu Box!!!!!!!

What it is: Bulu Box sends out boxes filled with 4-5 premium vitamin and supplements samples each month for $10. Inside each box, is information on each product, as well as discounts towards full-size products.

What did I get this month?

A couple of new goodies, and one familiar one! First up, the Shower Pill

It’s an antibacterial athletic body wipe. So, when you wanna squeeze in that workout before work (or a hot date- I have TOTALLY done this in the past. We never got past the first date- probably because I stank to high heavens) this is the perfect product for you. Often times, I want to be able to save time and shower at the gym after a great workout (I will never skip a workout for anything. ANY.THING.) but I don’t want to lug a big ‘ol towel and all the toiletries that make me smell all good. It’s too much work. And I don’t want to stuff a gross wet towel back in my Lulu bag. I am totally taking the Shower Pill with me to the gym in the near future. Gotta test this puppy out!

Next up, Immuno-viva. As it says: Extreme Energy + Immune Support. I got two packets of this in my box, so I gave one a whirl yesterday.

I loved the flavor, and I definitely felt the energy boost, but I got a tummy ache afterwards. Not sure if it was because of this product, so I am going to try the other packet at a different part of the day next time to see if it yields the same effects.

Vplenish, a taste-free vitamin boost you can mix or sprinkle on just about anything! I got 4 packets of these and haven’t tried it yet. I am thinking I will pour a packet in my next smoothie. Definitely an interesting product if you hate swallowing pills.

Well here’s a familiar product! Click! Dubbed “The Coffee Lovers Protein Drink” And yes, yes it is. In fact, since I found out they don’t deliver to Canada, I had a bunch sent to my parents house, and this is how I carried it back to Calgary with me

It’s like chocolate cocaine as far as the TSA is concerned. I love this stuff. LOVE IT. I have drank it hot, cold, in smoothies, oats, muffins, you name it. I highly recommend you try this product- you will get addicted. Chelsea, I know how much you love coffee, so here’s my nudge to you! Gahhh, I have a whole canister AND a sample pack now- do I smell a giveaway? 😉

Last, but not least, Probulin. “The All-in-one Digestive Pill.” Hey, I’ll give it a try. I won a  6 month sample of Align a couple of years ago and it did absolutely nothing-when my digestion was at its worst. Now, I think I have a better handle on what I can and cannot eat to keep my stomach happy, but I am happy to try another product to see what effects it might have!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Bulu Box for existing. And for sending it to me in Canada. I am one happy lady. Can’t wait for next month’s box!