Yesterday I told you I was attempting a new recipe. If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw my teaser since I deemed this recipe a success! Now I am sharing it with you!

I made salmon cakes! They were moist and they are great to eat alone, as a sandwich and on a salad.

Salmon Cakes - makes 4 patties

1 can of chunked salmon (in water)

1/4 cup dry quinoa

~ 1 teaspoon dill

~ 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard mayo

1 egg

Directions:
1. Put quinoa in about a 1/2 cup of water, let it come to a boil and let sit on low heat for 10 minutes.
2. Drain the salmon and combine in a food processor along with the dill and mustard mayo. (Side note...you can combine your own mustard and mayo to taste)
3. Once quinoa is done allow it to cool then combine salmon mixture and quinoa in a separate bowl.
4. Form the mixture into cakes.
5. Mix up the egg in a separate dish and dip the cakes into the egg.
6. Put the cakes onto a hot skillet and cook about 2 minutes per side.

I originally didn't dip the first two cakes into egg, but for the last two I did which made then stick together a lot better.

Yesterday I ate mine with some avocado and fruit.
Today I had it on an English muffin with a little bit of Tartar sauce and a side of sautéed veggies.
Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!!
 
 
I made it! I successfully made it through my sophomore year of college! This semester was one of the most academically challenging I have ever had to face. As you can tell with my lack of attention to my blog I barely had any time to breath outside of my studies. Sometimes I wish I was the type to let my work fall to the wayside for a little so I could enjoy some time to myself, but unfortunately I am quite the opposite. Luckily enough I had some really interesting classes this semester, so I wasn't bored out of my mind. Needless to say I am enjoying the first week of no school, kicking back and relaxing.

I am excited to have this time to spend with my family and friends. Also, I am excited to try different workouts, get in the kitchen, blog, read leisure books, go to the pool, go to the beach, concerts, visit friends and start moving into my house at school! As glad as I am to have the summer to do what I want I also know that this is one of the last summers where most of my girlfriends and myself will be home. We are already losing one for most of the summer, but for great opportunities so we are proud! We are already attempting to make the best of this summer.

On Friday afternoon a group of us took a long bike ride to Boiling Springs, a cute little area about 10 miles from us. It has a beautiful lake where we ended our ride and had a picnic. It was a beautiful day and we all had a lot of fun. There were a couple of hits that kept us awake on our ride and made us all quite sore the next day! It was a perfect way to spend my first day of summer back home!
You can count on me posting some new recipes and workouts here soon! I am testing a new recipe tonight and I will let you know how it goes! Does anyone have any requests of dishes they'd like a recipe for?! I have lots of time and I'd love to do some more experimenting!

Happy Summer everyone!
 
 
I've managed to find a little bit of time between the madness that is school right now.  I wanted to continue my Dorm Room Stocking series with a snack edition.  College schedules can get really weird with early morning classes, late night classes, club meetings, friends, etc. It is important to have healthy snacks on hand at all times.  Through trial and error I have come up with some snacks that get me through the day.
PEANUT BUTTER! Seriously I do not understand anyone who doesn't like peanut butter. It is one of my weaknesses. There's nothing that a spoonful of peanut butter can't fix right?! It's also nice to have to spread over rice cakes for some protein. Honestly...I just prefer it by the spoonful!
So these snacks may be marketed towards children, however I love them! Whole grains, sunflower seeds and some flavor. Can't go wrong there. The serving size is 14 pieces for only 150 calories and most times I can't even eat all 14 pieces.
Whole grain, baked Goldfish? Hello! Who doesn't love the snack that smiles back?! I just tried the Annie's Cheddar Snack Mix, yes for kids again, and it is yummy so I don't care. It hits the spot when I crave something salty. In the back is the 7-grain Kashi crackers. I like to use them for Hummus...which I do not currently have in the room, but is a great thing to have on hand as well!
Here are my chip selections. Honestly, I am not much of a chip person anymore, but I love the Sweet Potato chips because they are both sweet and salty. The pop chips are always good, unfortunately you get more air than anything in the bag. And rice cakes are good to have with some peanut butter!
This is my "bar drawer" stash. I literally have a drawer that is devoted to all the bars that I eat. Luna Bars are my jam! I love the Peanut Honey Pretzel and the Blueberry Bliss flavors. I recently discovered Luna's fiber bars. These Vanilla Blueberry taste like Nutrigrain bars, but are a lot more filling and the Chocolate Raspberry taste like brownies to me! I also have an assortment of random bars like Kind, QuestBar, Cliff and Pure, for whenever I am feeling adventurous!
Lastly, we've got the nuts. Pictured here are my Pistachios which I usually buy from the grocery store in the self-serve isle. Make sure to get unsalted! And choose which ones are your favorite!

As I have been doing this little project I have come to realization of how much food I have in my room.  These have all been accumulated through my trips home and the grocery store on my own, but I love trying new foods so I just go for it! I figure it is helping me decide what I want for my house this coming year.

Don't be afraid to try new things.  Most of these snacks and breakfast items I previously talked about, I hadn't been eating over a year ago. Don't forget to have fun with it. Be practical too, because you need to have room to store all this food in your fridge and wherever else you keep your food, especially if you share the space with roommates!

What are your favorite snacks to have on hand at all times?!

Happy snacking everyone!
 
 
Well it has taken two years of dorm room living, but I think I have finally figured out what works best for me! I have decided to take you through my room to show you my food recommendations.  Of course you can take or leave my options, however I hit a couple of key groups I suggest you all have on hand.

First off I am going to focus on breakfast foods! I have to admit breakfast has to be one of my favorite meals of the day. I love having breakfast for lunch and dinner sometimes too, I just love it so much! Unfortunately, with a meal plan and timing wise I dam not able to make it to breakfast every morning so I make sure I have healthy filling choices on hand for mornings.
You've got to have cereal!  It's a must! Some mornings I just crave a cold bowl of cereal and milk (almond milk that is!),
Next, I like to have granola and Nature Valley bars on hand to put in yogurt. My current favorite granola is Cascadian Farms Oats and Honey. I like to mix them in Dannon Light and Fit yogurt. Keeps me full until lunch and this always hits the spot after a nice morning workout!
Yogurt is easily one of the main reasons I don't think I will ever become vegan! Some of my favorites include Dannon, Revive with the granola on top and the Chobani Flip Its. The Raspberry Dark Chocolate Chobani is like dessert to me! Revive is a newer discovery of mine and I am in love. Lots of protein so it's very filling. Also, I have my Silk Unsweetened Almond milk in the back, for my cereal. No need to waste the calories on sweetened milk when your cereal will sweeten it for you anyways.

With these foods in mind, I will also recommend getting bowls and spoons for your room. I am all for saving money and the environment, so do yourself, and our world, a favor and invest in a set of plates, bowls and utensils. And with yogurts a lot of times you will just eat out of the container, unless you want to add granola or more fruit, in that case I use a bowl.

That is all I have for breakfast foods for you all. Stay tuned for more dorm room food stocking tips!
 
 
Just popping in real quick to check-in! This week has gone pretty well for me. I am still going to work on them this week though. I am going to challenge everyone with two new goals: don't let the weather dictate your workouts and don't forget to offer all you do to God. The weather plays a major role in our daily activities and moods. I know personally when it's raining and cloudy out I feel like I don't want to walk to the gym or put in as much effort as I should during my workout. This week the first couple of days it's suppose to be rainy and I do not want to let the weather dictate how my day goes, unless it's in a positive way of course! The second goal I am talking about is not 100% fitness related, but I truly believe when you are mentally and spiritually clear everything about you just works better. For this reason I know finals are approaching and life is stressful so don't forget to offer everything you are doing for the glory of Him. He is the reason we are where we are and He understands when we are busy. Just take a second to be like "God this paper I am writing is for you!". I know it seems kind of like a strange idea, but think about it and let me know how you felt about it! I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

God Bless
 
 
This week has been a long, reflective and blessed week.  As you all know by now the tragedy at the Boston Marathon occurred on Monday.  My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected.  As a recreational runner and athlete my heart just breaks knowing how hard all these runners worked to get to that finish line! We are at peace now knowing the suspects have been captured! Please continue to keep all those affected by this tragedy and our country in your thoughts and prayers.
With everything going on this week I have made sure to take the time to reflect and thank God for everything He has graced me with in my life.  One of my passions, as most of you could figure out by reading this blog, is exercising and living a healthy life. Have you ever thought when you were working out how blessed you are to be able to be doing what you are doing? We are blessed to be fit! This week I have been working on pushing myself to new levels in the gym, and changing my working out philosophy (more to come on that in later posts!). Just think about that the next time you have the time to workout and you just spend it contemplating if you should go or not.  Here's the answer to that question every time...if you can, you do!

On the same lines as being blessed to be fit, I have been thinking in general how blessed I am to have the body I have.  I will be honest, I have never been the most confident in how my body looks.  Right now I am really looking to work on making changes to my body (part of my new philosophy). But I have been thinking that God gave me this body, that my mother carried for 9 months (I know getting a little literal...sorry), so why would I want to do harm to it?! By harm I of course mean feeding it unhealthy foods and not taking care of it like I know I should.

With that said the work starts now! I am not going to sugar coat things and say it's going to be an easy journey because I have already been down this road and am currently on a slight deviation.  I want to get back on route, not be swayed by others and what they believe, but care for my body how I know I should.  I have come up with an idea that should start this mission off on a good foot.  First, I want to invite all of you to join me on this LIFELONG journey! My idea to start us off, is to set weekly goal(s).  This way we focus on achieving small accomplishments each week that will hopefully stick in the long run. I don't know about the rest of you, but I have been perusing the bikini sites and I want to wear a bikini this summer without feeling like I really should be wearing a one piece. I just want to get that confidence and I know we all deserve to have confidence in ourselves because we are all beautiful/handsome! So I am going to kick this off with the first week’s goal being...no eating after 10 pm and before going to eat junk food count to 15 and ask yourself “do I really need it”. I think those are some good ones to start with!

                              We can do this!!!!

Please post about your progress, workouts, questions and goals for next week!

 
 
I hope everyone had a blessed Easter! This year I really attempted to submerse myself into the Lenten season. I gave up sweets, and adding salt to my food, while also adding a weekly daily mass and praying at meals! Also, I lectured and helped lead the processional at our Holy Thursday mass, which was a great experience. Easter day was spent with my family at home. I had a great day with my family! We ended having our annual Easter egg hunt inside because the weather wasn't very nice, but it was a lot of fun.  Yes I am 20 years old, but I was paired with my 3 year old cousin. That makes it okay right? I'm still considered a child in the family...I'll take it while it lasts!

My mom and I made the cutest chick cupcakes for Easter.  We just dyed the icing yellow, dipped it into yellow crystal sprinkles, chocolate chips as eyes, and icing for the wings, beaks and feet! So fun and a huge hit with the fam!
We also made the easiest dip. It was the Skinny Funfetti Dip. So simple and so tasty! 3 ingredients: 1 packet of funfetti cake mix, 2 cups plain non-fat yogurt and 1 1/2 cups low-fat cool whip and refrigerate! I unfortunately forgot to take a picture, but this is actually what it looked like and we served it with vanilla wafers as well!
http://sweettreatsmore.com/2013/01/skinny-funfetti-cake-dip/

Easter cannot be complete without two things...my church's peanut butter eggs and chocolate covered peeps.
What is your favorite Easter treat?! What is your favorite Easter tradition?
 
 
Okay so these recipes may have a little more than just a side of protein, but the vegetables take the spotlight! Vegetables should always take the spotlight in any meal. I love vegetables and am always excited to try them in different ways. Over the break my mom and I went out to lunch to a local restaurant called the Pizza Grille and I had one of the best lunches I've had in a while. It was an eggplant roll with raisins, pine nuts and ricotta cheese, topped with a pesto sauce and placed in a marinara bath. It was so filling and my taste buds were in heaven! Talk about a great combination!
Not only are vegetables tasty and can be cooked so many different ways, but the color gives the dish such an enticing appeal!

Now onto my dishes...These are fairly simple to execute and not very time consuming either. They will definitely be on the docket for me in my house next year on the quick fixes list! First is what I called my Egg Fiesta Fritada!
Egg Fiesta Fritada
3 egg whites
~1/4 cup broccoli, spinach, tomatoes and onion   
2 tbl. salsa
1/4 of an avocado
sprinkle of cheese of your choosing
1. Combine all the vegetables, except the avocado, into a hot skillet and cook until tender.
2. Add egg whites...flip when bottom is cooked
3. After fritada is cooked through take off skillet and top with salsa, avocado and cheese!


Shrimp Salad
Spinach
1/4 cup cucumber
5 cherry tomatoes
1/4 of an avocado
1 tbl. red onion
Shrimp
topping of blue cheese
Balsamic vinaigrette 
1. Its a salad so there's one step...combine!!

I loved the shrimp and avocado combo! And this dressing is perfect cause I don't like to use a lot and I didn't need a heavy dressing on it.
See lot's of veggies! I suppose you should expect that from a vegetarian...

By the way, follow me on instagram! My name is rldubas and it is a great way to see my meals and my life! Add me and I'll add you :)

God Bless and don't forget to eat your veggies!!
 
 
This whole blog writing and school at the same time is not going as easily as I expected. I do have a post for you guys today which I have been thinking about for awhile.  There are a handful of exercises that come to mind that I just do not enjoy doing, but I do them anyways because I know they work! Some of these exercises I do personally love, while for others they are their necessary evils. Here we go...

1. Lunges
Any form of them I do not care, I do not like them.  You've got your alternating front or back lunges, lunges with weights, side lunges, jumping lunges, etc. Unfortunately for me, the list goes on and on.  There are always new lunge techniques I find and force myself to do. Lunges however torch your leg muscles like the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings, so for that reason I do them! And you should too!
http://www.cookinglight.com/healthy-living/fitness/cardio-blast-00412000069806/page5.html

2. Mountain Climbers
I don't know what it is about them, but they are just a struggle for me. They are great because they are cardio and core strengthening. I am not always so affective at pushing myself with this exercise, but I sure do listen if Jillian Michaels wants me to do them!
http://exercise.about.com/od/cardioworkouts/ss/cardioexercises_3.htm

3. Burpees
I have to be honest I love to hate this one! It is great for HIIT workouts and just hits everything. It gets the arms involved with a lot of leg and core work and on top of that it gets your heart working. I haven't done a set of burpees for longer than probably 1-2 minutes without resting so this is most likely an anaerobic workout as well! Hop aboard the burpee train and you will not regret it!
http://livingfitoc.com/shape-up-with-burpees/

4. Squats
Squats are great because they can be varied, just like lunges, but the key to making them an evil is adding on the weight! I am pretty confident in all our fit selves that we can do squats without weight, easily. It's a great dynamic warm-up, by the way. Add on the poundage and feel the legs burning!
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xbHxFFdOXjY/UNteTYXtvWI/AAAAAAAAAMs/WmB3k6hdSXQ/s1600/Barbell%2520Squat%25201.jpg

5. Push-ups
Yes ladies you heard me right! Drop and give me 20! And I don't mean the girly on your knees kind. Just because we are women doesn't mean we need to modify workouts so they are easier. We may not be able to do as many reps or put as high of a weight on as men sometimes, but we have to push ourselves to a competitive level and that means military style push-ups! Now gentlemen I am sure these are easier for you, but you keep reppin out those push-ups. We'd all like to have nicely toned arms, back and core muscles, wouldn't we?!

http://www.rippednfit.com/workout-routines/the-15-minute-train-anywhere-workout/attachment/jab/
http://getfitguy.quickanddirtytips.com/why-are-push-ups-a-good-exercise.aspx

That is all I've got for you today! Any that you think I missed? What workouts do you love to hate?

P.S. I was recently home and made a couple of dishes which I will try and post within the next week or so!
 
 
Well I am officially back in West Chester and have completed my first week of classes! I really do love West Chester and was very excited to get back to school to see all my friends and get back into a routine.  The first week is always the easiest with it being syllabus week, but I was already put to work including writing a paper. I am blessed enough to be completely in love with my major and minor so the work, though a lot, isn't completely dreadful. 

I am really excited to go back to the Newman Center for church and to start up my bible study again.  The Newman Center and all the people there are like my second home.  I really miss it and everyone there when I am home. 

One of the great things about college is having these very separate semesters.  It provides us with a time to reflect on the last semester and decide how we want to grow and change.  This of course is accompanied by the new year's resolutions we all attempt to make and hold throughout the year.  This semester's goals for myself are to focus on schoolwork and get good grades, but at the same time allow myself to get out there a little and have fun, try some different things. 

This week I have so far stayed true to those goals.  I have gotten my schoolwork done while also hanging out with my friends, meeting and hanging out with some new people and trying some different things.  Though this week tends to be the exception to the rule compared to all the other weeks of the semester I hope to continue to keep these goals and mind and overall have a great semester!

What are your goalsI hope everyone else has a great semester too!