Hungry Reviews… Antica Roma (Boulder, CO)

Saturday night and I am recovering from hurting myself, Alana has a cold coming on too. We rested a lot Saturday after working a ten-hour shift so once we wake up we are hungry!

Alana wanted to take a walk to be active since we took the day off of working out. Since it was so nice out, I had no problem limping and hobbling down the Pearl Street Mall to a restaurant that I wanted to go to since our last trip in that area of town. It was a nice looking Italian restaurant called Antica Roma. When we last walked past it, I loved the decor and thought the menu was reasonably priced and had good dishes. I was only partially wrong, fortunately/unfortunately.

Alana was dressed nice and I was wearing… black sweats and a black tee covered in Sajah’s hair but it was a nice atmosphere that tried to mimic the streets of Ancient Rome, to a certain degree. The waitress was nice, energetic, and attentive. Our water was never empty for too long and she was more than willing to refill our bread and help us with recommendations. I was in the mood for pesto or alfredo and they didn’t really have either. Oh well.

Menu and bread

Menu and bread

I told myself I was hoping they wouldn’t make the same mistake that Trattoria on Pearl made… but was it really my mistake expecting decent seafood in Boulder? Why would a restaurant serve something bad? Well, who knows but moving on to what we ate.

For an appetizer, Alana got a bruschetta with avocado, goat cheese and other goodness. She didn’t like the sweet chili sauce on it but she devoured everything but the raw red onion. I got the soup of the day, which happened to be a butternut squash soup… a personal favorite. It made me quite happy. The bread was burnt bad on the outside but the inside was delicious and their sun-dried tomato dipping sauce was very good.

Butternut squash bisque

Butternut squash bisque

Alana's bruschette

Alana’s bruschette

Alana's devoured bruschette

Alana’s devoured bruschette

Then came the entrees and I don’t know how she recommended this dish as her favorite. It was a lobster and tiger shrimp aragosta on fettuccine, but it wasn’t actually. There were two small shrimp… not tiger shrimp. There were three to five small pieces of lobster claw meat that hadn’t been completely defrosted. The fettuccine noodles were as thick as Chinese biang biang noodles and they all stuck together. It really was awful, and it was one of the most expensive dishes on the menu. This place had me hooked until this point. It wasn’t as bad as Trattoria because I didn’t get sick but I don’t know why they bother serving seafood if they can’t prepare it correctly. I understand its Boulder and it might be easier getting it frozen, but learn how to prepare it. Alana got a spinach cheese dish that she enjoyed.

My dish

My dish

All done

All done

Alana's dish

Alana’s dish

We took a look at the dessert menu and didn’t like the selection so we got the bill, put our 20% tip, and took our leftovers. We had a nice walk home and got more sleep! It’s a shame I wouldn’t go back because it’s so beautiful inside.

Tony’s Italian Kitchen: Our Favorite Pizza

Watch out, it’s another stop on our New Jersey Easter Vacation! And of course, yes, it’s another food stop… And this time, it’s PIZZA! Who doesn’t love pizza? (Awkward for lactose intolerants…) So if you read our About section, you know I hail from California. Before I went to New York, I thought we Californians had pretty good pizza. Boy, was I wrong! Not that Californian pizza is horrible, but it just doesn’t compare to New York or New Jersey pizza. Especially, Tony’s Italian Kitchen.

Us driving around Chris' hometown

Us driving around Chris’ hometown

It’s easy to pass up Tony’s, it’s in a tiny strip mall along with some other offices like Chris’ chiropractor and other little places. But once you discover it, it’s a gem! Luckily, Chris and his family had been getting Tony’s pizza for years, so all I had to do was tag along. The first bite I had, I was able to declare this the best pizza I’ve ever had, and trust me, I’ve had a lot of pizza. More specifically, it has the best cheese pizza. His family very often gets it to bring it home. And then I always eat too much.

So during this New Jersey Easter trip, it was our second food stop after having bagels for breakfast. We had two of our friends with us and split a large cheese pie between us. The wait was tantalizing. And then it came out to us, sizzling and hot. We always let it cool a little so the cheese can settle. And you should always have a Peach Snapple with it too. That first bite into that pizza was awesome. We hadn’t had it for six months or so, so it was that much better!

Drool-worthy

Drool-worthy

What really makes Tony’s the best is the amazing sauce. I don’t know what they do to it, but it is so fresh. It was really difficult not to scarf it down way completely fast. The crust is scrumptious and dusted to perfection. If you think you’ve had good pizza, come to Tony’s Italian Kitchen and see if you’ve really had the BEST. Cheers!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Cute Sajah

Cute Sajah

The Perfect Breakfast: Warm Weetabix

When I was pretty young, my mum would have Weetabix cereal with warm milk and brown sugar. What is Weetabix? It’s a commonwealth shredded wheat cereal that’s either rolled into a circular pattern or into a rectangular block. Sounds so appetizing, doesn’t it! It doesn’t have any added bad stuff in it, and packs a good amount of fiber to boot.

I hadn’t had Weetabix for awhile, it’s not a very American thing, but I know my mum had it in New Zealand all the time (yes, she’s a kiwi–which makes me half!) and then brought it to the States for us. I was talking about it with one of my clients (why do I have the most awesome clients?) and how I haven’t had it in forever because I don’t look for it. Well, a few hours after our training session, I came to the Front Desk and found a big box of whole-wheat Weetabix waiting for me with a kind note.

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So how should you eat this stuff?Most Americans would have it in some cold milk with maybe some fruit like strawberries or blueberries. I, however, was brought up to heat some milk, put in two weetabixes, sprinkle a little brown sugar on top, and then mush the weetabix into a less solid form.

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It may not sound appetizing, but is one of the most delicious, healthy, comforting breakfasts. And serves as a wonderful afternoon tea or morning tea snack as well. And I owe it to my client for bringing these childhood memories back! Try it out, you actually can find these in American grocery stores now. It’s a healthy breakfast, filling, and satisfying! Not to mention, it doesn’t break the bank.

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Cheers! And as always…stay hungry and fit!

Pretty Darn Healthy Enchiladas

So I got this McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook from one of my clients who so generously and sweetly gave it to me. We both have a passion for cooking (hers having a more professional side of actually owning a restaurant) and so one day she gave this book to me as a gift “just because.”

And she specifically pointed out a recipe, “Spanish Rice Enchiladas.” As usual, I diverted somewhat from the recipe because I think you should make each recipe your own. I ended up making another batch right after because Chris was still hungry for more. Check it out–it made for two meals for two!

I ADDED CHEESE

I ADDED CHEESE

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time30 minutes
  • Serves: About 4-6 normal people (makes 10-12 enchiladas)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice (cooked, I use a rice cooker)
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 5 oz. spinach
  • beans of your choice (we had white)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 block cheddar cheese (can be any kind but I lurve cheddar)
  • 10 to 12 corn or flour medium tortillas (we used both kinds)
  • 1 can enchilada sauce (16 oz)
  • salt & pepper
  • avocado (optional)

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Chop up that onion. Doesn’t have to be fine pieces, but small enough to eat comfortably in the enchilada

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  • Put the water and the onion in a saucepan and stir. I put some garlic in there too. Heat the onions up until they’re soft
  • Once onions are soft, put the spinach in the saucepan. I added some salt and pepper here to season it up because I love flavor.
  • Grate a good amount of cheese, depending on how cheesey you want your enchiladas

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  • Once the spinach is softened, take the saucepan off the heat.
  • Stir in the rice, cumin, and soy sauce. Make sure it is all mixed around so it’s well-balanced

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  • Pour 1 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish
  • Put the rice-onion mix and cheese down the center of your tortilla 

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  • Roll the tortilla and have the folded side placed down. Keep doing so until casserole is full like sardines in a can.

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  • Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce atop the enchiladas
  • Put in the oven for 30 minutes. This number worked perfectly for me. Just make sure the tortillas are cooked and the cheese is melted, which it most certainly should be
  • If you’d like, which I always do, chop up some avocado and put it on top

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They are messy and delicious. The above picture is the second batch I made after Chris still wanted more. It’s that easy to do. We got to enjoy them while watching a great episode of Chopped All-Stars, where our girl Sunny Anderson won. Anyways, this is a quick, DELICIOUS (seriously) recipe full of fiber and protein to enjoy with others. And there will probably be leftovers too, just don’t eat them 30 minutes before a workout like I did the next day.

Drool attack

Drool attack

BONUS KITTY PIC

photo 1 (1)Sajah and I both cried while I cut up the onions. For some reason, Nymeria didn’t. I felt so bad, but didn’t think I should give him human eye drops.

Cheers!

Van Dyk’s: Best Ice Cream in the East

This is another stop during our New Jersey Easter vacation. Make sure you check out the last one, which will make your mouth water for baked goods. Unfortunately for you, you’re due for another drool-session. This time, make it ice cream. And yes “Team Gluttony” (see picture below) went to Van Dyk’s right after Abma’s.

"Team Gluttony"

“Team Gluttony”

What is Van Dyk’s? Probably the homemade ice cream store with the best black & white (aka chocolate and vanilla) milkshake I’ve ever had. We always go here on our stops in New Jersey, and during this trip we went too many times. Their ice cream is made right there in the little store and you can tell. Every bite is delicious and never tastes like artificial crap not worth paying for. For the first time, I got something other than the black and white shake (well…ONE of the times we went during a 2-day period). And I can personally say that their ice cream is just as tasty and satisfying as their shakes.

Me gulping down a milk shake

Me gulping down a milk shake

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photo (3)And let me tell you, I was never really even into milkshakes before this place. I am now. This ice cream trip was even better because we got to enjoy it with some newcomers and old timers, both of whom we hadn’t seen in a while. Friends and ice cream–hard combo to beat. [Note to family: my Powell ice cream genes are flourishing right now] Writing about this place makes me miss it…can’t wait until our next trip to Van Dyk’s for some delicious homemade ice cream.

Van Dyk’s little homey shop

Cheers! And as always…stay hungry and fit!

MMA Circuit Training: New Workout!

Hey everyone, so this might be a first on the blog site. I am going to provide you with one of my personal workouts for you perform. This one can be adjusted to fit your current level of conditioning. It also has a great progress tracking system. It’s essentially a full body workout that is meant to get your heart rate way up into the cardio-building and even fat burning range. If you haven’t subscribed to our YouTube channel make sure you do. As I am getting in better shape, I will be posting free workout videos! It’s like I’m personally training you, but it’s not quite personal… and it’s FREE!

You perform five exercises. Each for a set number of reps. You do not rest between exercises. Rest 30 seconds after each round. Then repeat until you are exhausted and cannot complete a round. That is when you stop. This one can be done at home or in the gym or a park. It requires no equipment but some can be used to make it more challenging. It’s very simple but very effective. Here it is:

1. Roundhouse kicks – 20 total
2. Split jumps – 10 total
3. Mountain climbers – 15 total
4. Elbow strikes – 20 total
5. Burpees – 10 total

I recently did this one at the end of a very long muscle workout and stopped only in Round 4 so I’ll be taking a rematch very soon! I haven’t done cardio in a VERY long time so once I start it up again I’ll have better luck.

Feel free to add some wrist weights, ankle weights, a weight vest, or use a standing or hanging bag in order to challenge yourself further. Use ALL OF THEM if you are a beast and want to stay hungry and fit!

Abma’s Farm: Baked Goods Wonderland

This is one of the many posts you will be receiving about our trip to and from New Jersey–Chris’ home. Since it’s mid-morning, I decided to start with Abma’s Farm. A magical place filled with baked goods and hungry farm animals. It’s a farm, nursery, petting zoo, and marketplace all in one! It is always a necessary stop for us when we visit. And it was, too, when I would visit him from New York while I was still in college.

It was our…third food stop of the day, and I think we got there around noon or 1 o’ clock. This day (Friday) was a special treat because two of my friends from college either drove all the way from the city (Jordan) or took the train all the way up from South Jersey (Kathleen). Hadn’t seen them in six months or so, and it was amazing to see them again. Another friend, Hilary, was about to drive from Connecticut as she was planning, but then got very sick, so she’s visiting this summer here in Boulder instead! We also got to have Chris’ good friend, Po, around with us pretty much the whole day. Awesomeness. See pic below of Kathleen (left) and Jordan (right) and one of Hilary and I.

Kathleen and Jordan

Kathleen and Jordan

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Hilary and I

"Po" with a delicious donut

“Po” with a delicious donut

 

"Team Gluttony"

“Team Gluttony”

Anyways, onto the important stuff–the FOOD (just kidding, guys, love ya). This place has all sorts of delicious items like mozzarella cheese, pies, peppers, and so forth. But what you come to Abma’s for is the BAKED GOODS. And especially from the baked goods, is their cinnamon donuts. Literally right from the oven which is a building away (about 50 feet from the marketplace). You see them bring a big batch in and it’s hard not to gobble less than four down at once. It was Easter weekend, so it was packed–which means lots and lots of baked goods. Everything tastes very fresh and, baked goods-wise, everything is pretty well-priced. It’s hard to beat and it’s definitely hard NOT to pig out. Which we of course did.

So tasty

So tasty

Then there’s the farm animals which are usually adorable and hungry. In the case of today, where there were 10x more people than usual, they weren’t so hungry–but they were still pretty cute. Abma’s has room for pigs, ponies, mules, goats, chicks, chickens, and more! It’s always fun to see them and give them treats.

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To summarize, Abma’s has it all. It’s always a place we’re excited to go to and leave feeling happy and full. The animals are always cute and make funny noises, the baked goods are always fresh, and the marketplace is always full of anything needed to be eaten. If you haven’t already, check it out when you’re in North Jersey!

Cheers!

BONUS KITTY PIC

"Katt"

“Katt” — Get it?

Spinach Feta Pie Recipe [NO CRUST]

This is another one pointed out to me by Mary Kate and it took two tries to get it just right. The second try was delicious and I hope to make it again and again–it’s healthy, nutritious, filling, and yummy! Though the ingredient list may look long, it really does not take much time at all! The recipe comes from here . Check it out:

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  • Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Cooking Time20-25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 10 oz frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup scallions
  • 2 tbsp dill
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 1/2 cup feta
  • 2 tbsp grated cheese (something akin to Romano, Parmesan, etc)
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and oil up your cooking pan (I used a bread tin)
  • Thaw out the spinach. Cut up the dill, parsley, and scallions. 
Beautiful chopped herbs/veggies

Beautiful chopped herbs/veggies

  • Mix the feta, parsley, dill, spinach, scallions, and grated cheese into the pie/bread dish

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  • Beat the two eggs
  • In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, eggs, milk, salt, and olive oil

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  • Pour into the pie dish with the rest of the ingredients and mix it around. Feel free to put in some pepper or other spices in that you would like as well
Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

  • Pop it into the pre-heated oven for 20-30 minutes. Mine took closer to 30 minutes. Just keep checking on it to see if, when you put a fork in the center, it comes out clean of batter.

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And that’s it! It takes no time at all to whip up and it’s a very rewarding meal to cook. Try it out–and you can even use fresh spinach too, depends on what’s best for you. Cheers and enjoy!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Ridiculously cute picture of Nymeria

Ridiculously cute picture of Nymeria

Hungry’s Monster Shake

So this is one of my “protein shake” recipes. I have a solid amount of go-to recipes for shakes and they change depending on what fitness goal I am trying to reach. I might add some more protein and calories if I am bulking. I might avoid checking carbs and fats if I am trying to gain weight. If I am cutting I will probably mix some isolated whey with water to minimize carb intake and calories. Right now, I am in a bulking phase, trying to put some quality muscle mass on and increase my strength. Thus, I have a relatively calorically rich, fatty, and protein abundant shake.

First, I place my two scoops of Cytosport Monster Milk in the bottom of the blender. You can use your protein supplement of choice. You can use a mass gainer if you’re really trying to bulk up. It’s up to you. Then I add two cups of milk; I’ve been using 1% lately because that’s what Fit likes to drink. Next comes one (or two) scoops of Breyer’s Natural Vanilla Ice Cream. Finally I throw a banana in there. Blend it until it’s the consistency of your choice and chug, or sip.

It’s not my best tasting recipe by any means but it’s refreshing enough and gets the job done. The reason why I drink protein shakes is that I need to often hit a certain protein intake that reflects my goals. If I’ve only consumed 160 grams of protein in a day and my goal is 225 grams, this shake can reach that deficit. You don’t need to have these shakes to get leaner or bigger and stronger, but they are a convenient and fast nutritional source. It takes me a lot longer to make some ground turkey or beef.

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There is a lot of confusion as to when you need to consume protein after a workout. The truth is that you have a rather large window that it is still effective, and I mean a rather large window. Trust me, you’re not going to miss that window. I have my shakes typically after my workouts because I workout on a near empty stomach so I am starving by the end of my workouts and can consume a full dinner and a shake. Again, that’s all up to you.

The master product

The master product

If you have any questions relating to this post, please ask so you can stay hungry and fit!