Holiday Workout Time!

Ready to stay on track through the holidays? It’s Holiday Workout Time! I’m sharing my holiday workout routine, so you can do it with me or add a new twist to your own routine. Make it fun and keep it short and sweet so you can get back to family time and pie baking! 

So this post may be coming out of nowhere for you or perhaps you’ve been waiting for it

Either way, I hope you love it and consider joining me!

I love making my own workout circuits, High Intensity Interval style, during the holidays. Mostly because I travel a LOT and I need to feel like my workouts are for ME and like I’m staying on track, even while surrounded with a billion pies.

Although I love my Tone It Up workouts, during the holidays I tend to get in a funk. This year, however, that’s not going to happen. I’ve made a fun, FAST holiday workout routine that will get me all the way through Christmas, and perhaps New Years depending on how many weeks I feel like carrying it.

So, here it is! Super simple, just pull out your calendar and devise a schedule that works for you. There are two circuits. You will switch Circuits every other week (week one, Circuit One; week two, Circuit Two; week three, Circuit One…you get it). You will perform a Circuit, 4 mornings a week (FIRST thing in the morning), and 2 mornings a week you will recover with a yoga DVD (or a 20-60 min yoga routine from YouTube or a class; I have a Tara Stiles 20 min wakeup flow that I’m using). You have 1 morning that you choose to do whatever your heart desires (rest, walk, run, whatever).

Circuit 1 holiday workout (treatswithatwist.com)

 

Circuit 2 holiday workout (treatswithatwist.com)

(AMAP= As Many As Possible, while maintaining good form)

 

So, I know what you’re thinking: where’s the cardio?

I tend to take a Spin class on Wednesday nights and walk my dogs on short walks every few days. But I don’t want to put the pressure of long cardio sessions on my plate during these busy holiday months. If I put long cardio sessions on my calendar I’m more likely to skip my toning workouts out of pure exhaustion.
These short, HIIT Circuits keep your body in a habit of waking up, burning fat, and burning all day long. Yoga or stretching on your other mornings keeps your muscles recovering. This is the perfect balance. (Plus, during bursts of quick routines IS a form of cardio. Don’t worry, your heart will be pumping fast!)

Here’s an example of a week with your Circuits:

(my week, because I have particular yoga classes I like to catch)

Monday: 

AM: Circuit 1

 

Tuesday:

AM: Circuit 1

PM: yoga flow class (noon)

 

Wednesday:

AM: Yoga (20 min home wakeup flow)

PM: Spin class (6:00pm, 60 min)

 

Thursday:

AM: Circuit 1

 

Friday:

AM: advanced yoga class (8:30 am, 90 min)

PM: foam roll

 

Saturday:

AM: Circuit 1

 

Sunday:

AM: dealer’s choice!

 

Yes, some days I’m working out twice. But no pressure if I can’t make it to my classes! I love them, but sometimes they don’t work into my schedule or I just can’t afford them that week. Either way, I have my at-home workouts scheduled and DONE first thing in the morning. And, the best part is, I have NO need to go to a gym. There’s no reason for me to not get this done.

Did you notice that my Circuits take 10-11 minutes! Yup, that’s it. You totally have 10 minutes in the morning, first thing, before you’re barely awake. Just push yourself for the whole 60 seconds for each move and I promise you’ll be feeling it! And if you can’t make it to 60 seconds for each move, make it a game, striving to do better each time you do your Circuit!

 

Let me know what your workout plan is for the holidays! Are you going to try my Circuit workouts?

Pin the Circuits so you’ll use them; print them, take them with you as you travel! Don’t have dumbbells or kettlebells where you’re traveling? Do them without weights or use found objects (soup cans, water jugs, detergent jugs)! 

Disclaimer: I am not a personal trainer, I just have been working out for YEARS and making my own routines for quite some time. This one was devised by me, using a template and guidelines from Jillian Michaels. 

Hot Honey Vanilla Bourbon Peanut Butter Nightcap

It’s getting cold out, so end your night with my Hot Honey Vanilla Bourbon Peanut Butter Nightcap! Peanut Butter is the new chocolate…says me. 

Hot Honey Vanilla PB Bourbon Nightcap (treatswithatwist.com)

I’ve found myself in a bit of an odd predicament.

I had these goals to buy and have all of my Christmas presents wrapped and off by the end of November. Off…maybe just off my mind.

But now I’m having panic attacks about my budget.

Real world problems. Not to be confused with Real World problems, which probably have something to do with drinking way too much and wondering where the heck you just woke up. But that’s way off topic.

I always seem to neglect my budget around this time of year, forgetting about groceries, bills and important things when I do the math for gifts and random shopping sprees that result in buying a ton of stuff for me and nobody else. I’m not destitute by any means but I’m feeling guilty and doing a lot of math.

And then the kids I nanny for got sick and their mom got sick so I had to stay home from work. Which only adds fuel to my fire. And I thought for sure I was working next Monday but then I was told I’m not. Eek. Panic.

I shouldn’t be panicking. I’m just fine. But I guess I enjoy flipping out over things I don’t need to worry THIS much about.

So, I’ve stayed home and INSIDE, thus not spending money (yes, I made online shopping off limits for now). I’ve been watching entirely too much YouTube (Anna and Lily keep me entertained for hours), canceling appointments I don’t really need to be going to, crafting, and making workout challenges for myself for the holiday weeks to come (if you’re interested, I’ll share…in fact, I’ll probably share even if you’re not interested).

Now that I’ve gotten my “problems” off my chest, I have a drink for you. Which should really be a drink for me…not that’d I’d drink my problems away. *cough cough*

I’ve made a Hot Honey Vanilla Bourbon Peanut Butter Night Cap! Isn’t that a mouthful?! Totally yum though, so it’s worth it.

Hot Honey Vanilla PB Bourbon Nightcap 2

Hot Honey Vanilla PB Bourbon Nightcap (treatswithatwist.com)

Hot Honey Vanilla PB Bourbon Nightcap 6

The base of this recipe, the almond milk and honey and amazing peanut butter, would make a killer coffee creamer if you left it cold, but once you warm it up, and add a splash of bourbon, things come together in the most amazing way. It’s so warm, sweet, creamy and a perfect way to cap off your night.

I was sent this amazing peanut butter by my friend who makes it. You should totally go on and order some from her site, A Loving Spoon, because it would make adorable and tasty gifts. The whole flavor combo for my drink comes from her Honey Vanilla Bourbon Peanut Butter. Because it’s crunchy and quite thick, when you’re making the drink you need to blend it all together in a blender. But that is quick and easy. And if you fancy getting choco-fied, add a spoonful of cocoa powder to the blender too. But all of these flavors make an amazing cold night’s drink. 

Hot Honey Vanilla PB Bourbon Nightcap 5

Hot Honey Vanilla PB Bourbon Nightcap 3

Hot Honey Vanilla PB Bourbon Nightcap 4

 

Hot Honey Vanilla Bourbon Peanut Butter
Hot Honey Vanilla Bourbon Peanut Butter Nightcap is the perfect way to end a cold day. Peanut butter takes the place of cocoa for a warm cocktail that will knock the socks off of any old hot chocolate. (makes 1 drink)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  2. 1 ½ Tbs. Honey Vanilla Bourbon Peanut Butter (or your favorite peanut butter)
  3. 2 tsp. honey
  4. pinch of sea salt
  5. ¼ tsp. vanilla paste (or extract)
  6. Bourbon (to your liking)
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients except for the Bourbon in a blender. Blend until completely smooth.
  2. Heat up the drink in the microwave or on the stovetop until hot, but don't scorch your milk, so watch it carefully.
  3. Finally, add Bourbon! Splash it in, stir it up, try it...add some more! Drink and enjoy!
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
Note: this is not a sponsored post. I’m always proud when I know someone who starts a business thus I feel a need to brag all over them. Yummy peanut butter!! 

Pumpkin Rosemary Spoon Bread

Pumpkin Rosemary Spoon Bread is a twist on the upscale Southern side you never knew you needed on your Thanksgiving table! Rich with flavors of rosemary, pumpkin and cornmeal, Spoon Bread is like fluffy baked grits soufflé. I’ve made it a healthier side, using almond milk, a fraction of the butter and by adding a slightly tangy taste with yogurt. You’ll love it so much it’ll be a new holiday tradition! 

Pumpkin Rosemary Spoon Bread 2

This has been such an amazing weekend.

My dear friend of 25 years (I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to be able to say that), flew out to stay with me for the weekend. After showing her Memphis and then taking her to our neck of the woods in Mississippi, we basically just drank our weight in Starbucks and ate in every ethnic restaurant we could find, only breaking to patrol Home Goods and chat until my jaw was swollen shut. AHmazing. 

I was a prize emotional wreck (gold star for me), but I really needed her and she came at just the right time. Plus, she took many pairs of designer jeans off my hands that had been haunting me for the last few months from the back of my closet, taunting me with their smallness. If I’m ever blessed with that body again, she’ll send them back, but that’s not bloody likely, so I told her they’re hers to enjoy until I have a child that turns into a teenage girl who is asking her mom for “vintage” jeans from my youth. I guess that’s the only time I’ll need those back. 

Pumpkin Rosemary Spoon Bread 1

Pumpkin Rosemary Spoon Bread 2

Pumpkin Rosemary Spoon Bread 3

I also decided to make Spoon Bread! Rachel told me her parents love it, and we both said we’d never had it but I could point out at least 3 different magazines on my coffee table that had a recipe for it for Thanksgiving, so I knew I needed to make it. Here’s what I found (please excuse me if you happen to eat it all the time and its a staple at your holiday table): it’s basically baked soufflé meets grits. And some recipes have way more eggs and butter than others. Some are plain, some have sour cream or creme fraiche, and all of them sound like they’d be amazing to have on your plate with a hunk of turkey and gravy on top (perhaps replacing the mashed potatoes or rolls on your plate?). 

So, for my version, I decided to make it lower in butter and use almond milk instead of whole milk, but keep all of the amazing, silky rich flavors intact with pumpkin, yogurt and rosemary! I seriously couldn’t be more impressed with the results. It’s so fluffy and light, subtle and yet definitely has a presence on the plate, and the rosemary combined with the pumpkin is such a perfect holiday flavor combination. You get a slight tang at the end from the yogurt, but it’s nothing you can place your finger on. I think it’s perfect (and I ate it for dinner with sautéed shrimp on top too). 

This will add a new holiday dish to your table, or replace one of the tired old ones you never loved making anyways. 

Pumpkin Rosemary Spoon Bread
Pumpkin Rosemary Spoon Bread is a twist on the upscale Southern side you never knew you needed on your Thanksgiving table! Rich with flavors of rosemary, pumpkin and cornmeal, Spoon Bread is like fluffy baked grits soufflé. I've made it a healthier side, using almond milk, a fraction of the butter and by adding a slightly tangy taste with yogurt. You'll love it so much it'll be a new holiday tradition! (makes 6-8 servings)
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Ingredients
  1. 2 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
  2. ¼ cup unsalted butter
  3. 1 tsp. sea salt
  4. 1/3 cup puree pumpkin (canned or fresh)
  5. 1 cup finely ground cornmeal
  6. ½ cup Greek or Icelandic style yogurt (I used a Pumpkin Spice Siggi’s)
  7. 3 eggs, separated
  8. 1 Tbs. fresh minced rosemary (can substitute ½ Tbs. dried minced rosemary)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large 9” loaf pan or 9” cake tin with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large pot on the stovetop, over medium low heat, combine the milk, butter, salt and pumpkin. Whisk until the butter is melted. Then, add the cornmeal and whisk until thick (1 min). Turn off the heat, whisk in the yogurt.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Add a spoonful of the hot cornmeal mixture and whisk, then add another spoonful and whisk (you’re tempering here so you don’t scramble the yolks). Then slowly pour the yolks into the pot of cornmeal while whisking until completely mixed in.
  4. In a clean bowl, combine all of the egg whites. Whisk (or use an electric hand-mixer) until they hold soft peaks.
  5. Scoop some of the egg whites into the pot of cornmeal, and stir carefully to break it up. Then add the rest of the egg whites and fold in until just combined.
  6. Pour the mixture into your prepared baking pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the top is golden and the sides are pulling away from the pan. Let sit on a cooling rack for 10 minutes to cool slightly then serve while still hot/warm! Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Keep spoon bread in the fridge, covered, for 4-7 days. Spoon bread is like savory-sweet grits, so serve it with your roasted holiday turkey or even some sautéed shrimp. Of course, with leftover cranberry sauce and turkey it’d make an amazing breakfast too.
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
My husband is watching Home Alone right now, by the way. Had to mention it! 

 

My Holiday Gift Guide

I am personally the kind of person that compiles a Christmas List for months before Christmas, so I thought I’d share with you my picks for this year’s Holiday Gift Guide, which includes some items on my wish list and some items I already own! Happy shopping! 

Holiday Gift Guide collage (treatswithatwist.com)

 

1. For those friends/family members that workout at home and are yoga enthusiasts, a new yoga mat AND a yoga bag are a perfect gift! Even if they don’t do yoga, fitness junkies who workout at home on a hard floor usually use/need a yoga mat for padding for their back and knees. Plus, if they’re a traveling yogi, a yoga mat bag is so thoughtful! I personally want the one linked in this post, because I do a lot of travel and always bring my mat (germs while traveling, rubbing all over the outside of my mat, really bother me!). [The mat, the Manduka ProLite is one I currently am having shipped to me, so I'm excited to finally own it!]

2. A 2015 life planner! Planners have become SO in depth and amazing. Companies like Erin Condren, Whitney English and Emily Ley have made beautiful, quality planners with thick pages, plenty of room for notes, meal planning, and checklists. I personally have nabbed the Emily Ley planner for 2015 and I have purchased an Erin Condren for a friend. I’m all about quality organization! 

3. Activity monitors are everywhere now! Whether they’re for all-day tracking or just workout tracking, there’s one for every body. I have a Polar watch that tracks my heart rate and calorie burn for workouts and I have purchased a Jawbone Up24 for my husband to wear everyday and night for activity/sleep tracking. He loves his and it encourages him to walk more, and now I want a Jawbone Up24 too! Plus, it comes in pink now. Totally made for me.

4. Anthropologie home accents make beautiful gifts. I lust over every single thing in there, so I don’t think there’s a wrong choice. Their candles are amazing (I have a billion of them) and I want all of their dishes. This pitcher, this cake stand, and these mugs are all on my wish list for this Christmas. 

5. Cookbooks with beautiful photos. When people buy cookbooks for gifts, they tend to buy what they think the recipient will find practical and useful. That’s great…except when some other cookbooks are more beautiful. I read cookbooks cover-to-cover and use them as display items in my home and bookshelves. I love cookbooks that have complicated yet gorgeous recipes, even if I’ll never make them. I’m just the kind of person that loves the beauty in food and would love this cookbook, this one, and this one too (though I have MANY more on my list than this). I have a huge collection of cookbooks, so this is totally my thing. 

6. A milk frother! You don’t have to buy someone an entire espresso machine system to give them the gift of a coffee experience. A milk frother is plenty and impressive! Just think about it: a coffee with a cloud of frothed milk on top makes you feel like you’re having a decadent treat, a real moment. So, give a milk frother. I have this one (yes, I have an espresso maker too, but that’s beside the point) and love it.

7. Makeup palettes from high-end brands. I’m not talking about you’re 13-year old neon makeup palettes. I’m talking beautiful, quality makeup in impressive packaging. Putting on makeup in the morning can feel like you’re taking care of yourself and starting the day on a confident foot. Giving a gift that will make a special lady feel even more special is just…special [sorry]. I love buying palettes from Urban Decay (Naked palette, buy it!), NARS, Dior, Bobbi Brown, Chanel, and comparable brands. I once read a book that said that ladies buy a Chanel lipstick to feel like they can truly own a piece of Chanel. It’s true. There’s nothing like pulling out a bullet of lipstick or a palette of colors from a luxe brand, even if you can’t afford their $3000 bag [if you can afford the bag, please send me one]

8. A functional but stylish backpack for a traveler. A backpack, really? I know I know. But seriously, look at this one! I know someone who owns one and now I covet it. I want it so badly. It has SO much room in it and makes a perfect carry-on or car-trip bag. Having a bag that’s comfortable to carry and fits everything you need is so important. I have cute carry-on luggage that I don’t particularly love because the straps dig into me and they feel impossible to carry on long travel days. Ugh. Hate that. So if you have a traveler in your life, buy them a cute, functional bag like this one. They’ll love you for it. 

9. CHEAP: A framed photo. I love getting pictures. I display them and switch them out all the time. Sharing memories with friends and family is a small but thoughtful gift. Buy a fun or functional frame and share a photo from your favorite time together. Another fun idea, if you have time, is to take pictures of road signs and businesses that have the same name as the person you’re gifting too. It makes a unique and thoughtful gift (I’m always seeing road signs that are the same name as my friends, and I think they’d love to have something fun like that framed, perhaps printed in black and white). 

10. GIFT CARDS and GIFT CERTIFICATES: when in doubt, buy a gift card PLEASE! I once heard Suze Orman say that you should always give cash, not a gift card. I think she’s wrong. If you know the person and know where they shop, but know that they’re picky, get a gift card BUT write a very thoughtful note, saying WHY you got them that gift card (Dear Aunt Soandso, I thought you’d love a scarf from this particular store, but I just couldn’t choose one and knew your keen eye would know exactly which one is perfect for you!). Here are some gift card/certificate ideas:
1. Barnes and Noble: I’m a HUGE book person and this is always a must for me.
2. Amazon: the land of EVERYTHING
3. iTunes: what workout addict and on-the-go person doesn’t hustle around to a soundtrack?
4. Concert and sports venues: you never see people huddled around a stack of photos, reminiscing about an object they received that changed their life; they’re always talking about an experience! If there’s a concert venue or sports arena near your loved one, call them, get a gift certificate mailed to you to gift to them! It’s thoughtful and so cool!
5. Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts or a local coffee shop or Nespresso: coffee junkies unite! If you have a coffee lover, you know that a latte out is probably a treat, and thus you are giving them a treat. Here’s a HUGE one for you: Nespresso! If they own an espresso machine (I have a Pixie) by Nespresso, you KNOW they have to buy the capsules, so get them a gift card to that website so they can restock at home (cough cough, I need Pixie pods from Nespresso, please). 

 

That’s it! That’s my list and my ideas!! I hope these were helpful to you! If you have any questions, please ask me, because I think I’m a pretty good gift giver and I may have a solution for you.

Note: some links are affiliate links, but all opinions are my own. 

In case you missed it, I made a super simple pie, so you can totally make pie for Thanksgiving! 

Apple Galette

Apple Pie can’t be overdone in my book, so I’m throwing in my 2 cents with my Apple Galette, a super duper simple, no-pan version based on my very own buckwheat crust, and filled with thinly sliced and slightly spiced apples.  

Apple Galette (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #apple

Hey haaaayyyyy! Apple Pie Dayyyyy!

Yup, that’s right. I made an Apple Pie. But more of a Galette. So, let’s call it Apple Galette Day! I’m fancy like that.

Or lazy like that, because I refuse to summon the patience to put a pie crust into a pan and crimp the edges. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Side note: at this very moment I’m rocking some killer deep oxblood red nails AND lips. Yesssssss.

Back to it. My parents came to visit us this weekend, hence the Galette. Because my dad loves pie and I happen to have sent an article to my mom on how fabulous Ina Garten is because she uses only good ingredients and grows her apples in her yard. Galette. Make any sense? Hope so.

My mom and I raided the Sephora 20% off sale. I think I won. If by winning, the definition is to buy the most beautiful stuff, outdoing my load from the year before, then yes, I did it. Holy shnikes that’s a big hit to the wallet this close to Christmas.

Oh crap! I have a Barnes and Noble coupon! Gahhhh.

Ok, let’s just get on to the pie before I get more squirrely.

Speaking of squirrely, I’m so frustrated with my pictures of this Galette. Because it really was gorgeous and delicious. But I didn’t realize until I was editing that I may have been watching a bit too much of The Affair and clicking without actually looking at the pictures! So blurry! So that’s why I have so few pictures. But trust, it was amaze. 

Oh, one more thing. My dad MADE us headboards for our master bed and extra bed. I am so lucky. And I haven’t had a headboard since my princess bed I had as a kid, so I feel like a grown up with a real bed now. Eek, thank you daddy. 

Apple Galette (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #apple

Apple Galette (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #apple

Apple Galette (treatswithatwist.com) #glutenfree #apple

Apple Galette
Apple Pie can't be overdone in my book, so I'm throwing in my 2 cents with my Apple Galette, a super duper simple, no-pan version based on my very own buckwheat crust, and filled with thinly sliced and slightly spiced apples. (makes 1 large galette)
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Crust
  1. ¾ cup oat flour
  2. ½ cup buckwheat flour
  3. 2 Tbs. coconut sugar sugar
  4. 5 Tbs. unsalted butter, cold
  5. 6-7 Tbs. ice water
Filling
  1. 3 apples (I used Jazz apples)
  2. 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  3. 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  4. 1/4 tsp. allspice
  5. 1/4 tsp. cloves
Extras
  1. 1 Tbs. butter, melted
  2. 1 egg, beaten
  3. coarse sugar (1-2 Tbs)
For the crust
  1. In a large bowl, combine the flours and sugar. Cut the butter into chunks and place them in the flour. Use your fingers (or a pastry blender) to quickly divide and combine the butter into the flour. Work quickly so you aren't warming the butter. Stop when the butter is well incorporated and pieces vary from pea sized to a bit larger.
  2. Drizzle the ice water, 2-3 Tbs. at a time around the bowl then quickly use your fingers to blend it in. As you get to the last 1-2 Tbs. add it slowly as to not add too much (and result in a wet dough). You'll want to stop when the dough is pulled together and only has a bit of extra flour left in the bowl. Turn out the dough and any extra flour onto a piece of plastic wrap (or straight into a ziptop bag) and wrap it all up tightly, pressing the dough into a flat disc. Place the dough in the fridge to set for 4 hours or up to 2 days (make sure to double wrap the dough or also place the disc into a ziplock bag so it doesn't absorb the funky flavors of your fridge).
Assembling the Galette
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place a large piece of parchment on your countertop and dust with cornstarch (or powdered sugar or a bit of gluten free flour blend). Turn out your pie dough and roll into a large oval (I am really bad at this! I just roll and rip off the edges and place them in new places and roll and do this until its the shape I want. So pro.).
  3. Core and slice your apples (pretty thin!). Fan them in the middle of your rolled out crust, leaving 1-2 inches of pie crust as a border all the way around. Pour your melted 1 Tbs of butter over the apples (just drizzle it over the apple portion), then sprinkle on all of your spices (I honestly just sprinkle them straight from the containers, until I like how much I've added).
  4. Use an offset spatula to help you lift and fold the edges of the pie crust over the edge of the apples. Work your way around the Galette carefully. (don't worry about it being covered in cornstarch!)
  5. Use a pastry brush to brush the crust, then use your coarse crystal sugar to dust the ENTIRE galette in sugar (edges and apples).
  6. Lift the entire parchment with the Galette onto a baking sheet. Bake for 30 min. Then, turn your oven up to 400 degrees F and bake for 15 more minutes, until the sugar seems crystalized and the apples tender (it's hard to tell, since the crust is so dark, but try not to burn the Galette!).
  7. Let it cool, cut it, and serve! Yum!
Notes
  1. Save your Galette for up to 3 days on the counter, covered in plastic wrap. Or in the fridge for a week.
Adapted from my Rhubarb Berry Buckwheat Pie
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
Note: I linked some Amazon affiliate links to show you the colors I’m wearing today.