Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Moroccan stewed chicken and a little quinoa

I tried a new recipe tonight that I found in Women's Health Magazine... SO GOOD!!! I get nervous every time I try new recipes, and I find something I would do differently almost every time, but I followed this recipe pretty much to a T and it was great!

Ingredients:
- Chicken Breasts- I used 3 large ones and cut them in half
- 1 cup no salt added chicken broth
- 1 can garbanzo beans, no salt added
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 zucchini's chopped
- 1 can no salt added diced tomato
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Place olive oil in a large pan with chicken breasts- sprinkle pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder
2. Cook chicken until it begins to brown, then add in zucchini. Continue cooking on medium heat until chicken is cooked almost all the way through.
3. Add in remainder of ingredients (drained garbanzo, don't drain tomato)
4. Continue cooking on low heat for 10-15 more minutes
I added brown rice and quinoa on the side, and actually really liked the way it tasted mixed in.
This was B's portion (lots of starch :) ) 
This had such great flavor, so different from anything I've made before!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Clean Sweet Potato Chips

I saw someone post this recipe on Jamie Easons group page, and I literally sat my computer down and walked straight to the kitchen to try it! I could eat the same thing all day every day, but B gets tired of food easily so I'm constantly trying to switch it up! Here is the recipe for sweet potato (I actually use yams) chips!

Ingredients:
- One medium sized yam, cut in to thin circles
- 1 tbsp oat flour
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tbsp all spice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 freezer size Ziplock bag


Directions: *Preheat oven to 350*
1. Slice yams as thinly as possible into circles
2. Add all ingredients in Ziplock bag and shake until evenly distributed.
3. Spray baking sheet with non stick spray and lay yams out evenly.
4. Cook for 20 minutes, then remove and flip them over to cook on the other side. Place back in oven for 
20 more minutes.

I wasn't able to get them all super crispy, but they still taste great!
I'm sure you can get more creative with the spices to make them sweet, or spicy- I just LOVE cinnamon and yams together, so that's what I went with! Tomorrow we are adding in our extra day of back/bi's and I'm so glad we are... I hate the feeling of not going to the gym!

As always, make sure you check out my facebook page :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Eating out and food prep Sunday's

Well another weekend has passed! We had a great time celebrating my moms birthday last night, and we went out to her favorite restaurant- The Chart House. I took a picture of what I ate so I could show that it's usually pretty easy to still eat clean, even when you're out! Most restaurants will will make your meat plain, and then you can order a side of veggies. Last night I ordered grilled Tilapia and a side of broccoli, all with no butter, salt, or oil.
Also, tonight was bulk cooking night! I made broccoli, mashed cauliflower, green beans, apple blueberry protein muffins, sweet potato protein bars, hard boiled eggs, sweet potato chips, and green tea. We also barbecued steaks (for B) and chicken.
Today we did the shoulder/abs day of jamie Easons 12 week trainer and WOW did it burn! I'm definitely used to lifting heavy in the 6-8 range for shoulders and doing 12 reps was so different! This week, we are adding in an extra day because we will both go stir crazy with 3 days off, so we are doing an extra day of back and bi's.  I'm so excited to see the end results of this program!! :)

If you haven't already checked out my facebook page, you should! I post food ideas, motivation, and great articles!

Friday, August 26, 2011

LiveFit Day 2

Today was day two of the workouts for livefit and I loved it! It was challenging, I broke a sweat, and I was sore from yesterday. Very happy camper :) Tomorrow is leg day, and I'm actually excited for it (I typically am not the biggest leg day fan). I wanted to share a couple more food ideas... first my favorite way to make oatmeal. I do 1/3 cup oats, 1 egg white, 1/4 cup almond milk, lots of cinnamon, and blueberries or banana. I microwave for about 45 seconds then add in a scoop of vanilla protein powder... very yummy!

Also, here is what I ate today
Cottage cheese, 2 protein bars, and asparagus; tilapia taco with veggies, turkey meatloaf muffin with veggies. I didn't eat the yams because I was just too full!


Last, here is dinner spaghetti squash with turkey sauce and broccoli. 










Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tilapia Tacos- again!

I've noticed people just starting the LiveFit program are having trouble coming up with different food options, so I thought I would start sharing my food as much as I can. Tonight for dinner we had Tilapia Tacos, which I have made before, but this time I used Food For Life corn tortillas, and they are awesome!
I loved these not only because they taste great, but they don't fall apart!

 I love putting a slice of tomato on top of my Tilapia before I bake it, it comes out so good! I season with pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and a squeeze of lemon.

I added my favorite sauce (Greek yogurt and hot sauce mixed) spinach, and black beans to my taco. I just did one tortilla and one tilapia fillet on the side.

LiveFit Day 1: A little uneasy

I wanted to quickly share my thoughts after leaving the gym from day one of Jamie Easons LiveFit Program. I want to start off by saying I know it's a progressive program, and I know in these first few weeks we are preparing our muscles to lift heavier. (I have to keep telling myself this over and over) After doing the workout today, I unfortunately left the gym with the dreaded "I could have done more" feeling. Now, I am very proud of myself for actually leaving and not adding to the program like I wanted to do- but that didn't leave me feeling any better in the moment! I will say, I did get a great tricep pump from the workout and I felt good while doing it, which is great, but I didn't break a sweat at all- and that's just annoying! ::It's a progressive program and you are preparing your body to lift heavy:: (Talking to myself again)
Anyway, here is the workout if you are interested in doing this too!
The whole plan can be found at bodybuilding.com or it's linked out from my facebook page
Thank you for reading my vent :) I am committed to sticking with this program because I am positive that after the 12 weeks are over I will be very happy with the results, and I'm sure I'll be sore tomorrow (chest especially since I don't ever do chest) which will probably ease my mind a bit. It's just going to take a little getting used to at first. (And I thought B was going to be the one I had to convince!)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Busy bee!

So last night I decided to do some more cooking because I realized we were going to need more "grab and go" veggies to follow Jamie's plan. Here is what it looked like when I was done!
Steamed broccoli and bell peppers, steak (for B) and chicken kabobs with squash, onion, tomato, and mushroom, cinnamon protein yams, and mashed cauliflower
Now, it will be easy for us to throw our lunches together in the morning... at least for the next couple of days. I also made a batch of blueberry protein muffins- it's amazing how quickly we go through food!!

This morning I had my favorite breakfast which conveniently fits in perfectly with the nutrition for the program.

 5 egg whites with bell pepper, onion, spinach, and jalapeno, with Ezekial bread and cinnamon, and a glass of green tea with lemon. I can't wait for Thursday to come so I can start the workouts!

Monday, August 22, 2011

A little back tracking....

Well, I'm back from my week long vacation in San Diego! I had an amazing time with great friends and I'm really sad it's over, and today it's back to reality! I'm starting Jamie Easons 12 week program today, and it could not be coming at a more perfect time. I had every intention of eating clean and limiting the alcohol while on vacation... HA! that didn't really happen. I was able to make it to the gym 5 out of 7 days, which I'm very happy about- but  unfortunately I can't say the same about nutrition. I pretty much drank whatever I wanted and ate lots of junk! Looking back, I would probably do it all the same because I had so much fun and not a care in the world.... but, I'm definitely paying the price now!
B and I hanging out at the beach house!
I took some time to look over Jamies plan yesterday, and I'm really excited about it. It's basically what I have been doing, with just a couple changes. The hardest part for me will definitely be cutting down the workouts to just 4 days a week for these first couple weeks, and it will also be very different eating starches 3x a day since I cut them out the last couple weeks before my vacation. B and I decided that we will start the program nutrition wise today, and the workouts will start Thursday and go through Sunday. Since the first couple weeks are only 4 gym days/week, we decided to choose the days that are least busy at the gym, and I love working out on the weekend. In these 4 days leading up to the workouts, I will likely do some early morning cardio just to do a little damage control- but once I start Jamies workouts I will cut the cardio and follow the plan. I'm excited to build more muscle, and lay off the cardio for a while, my knees will love me for it!

To make sure we are ready for the week, I made turkey chili, protein bars, green tea, and hard boiled eggs.
Protein bars made with sweet potato baby food... they taste like pumpkin pie!
Also on the menu for this week is spaghetti squash, kabobs, tilapia, and turkey meatloaf muffins. Hope everyone has a great week!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A little thank you

I wanted to take just a minute to thank each of you for taking the time out of your day to read my blog. Every time I see a comment on facebook saying I've helped, or inspired someone, it truly makes my day and encourages me too!

I've always been a pretty active person, dancing and cheerleading through high school and working out intermittently throughout college. I never took the time however to research what is really healthy for my body. I thought eating Special K and Subway was healthy, and going out and drinking on the weekends was fine. Although all these things sound pretty average, they are in fact not the best way to treat your body, and now that I am more educated I've eliminated these things from my daily life. This is not to say I will never cheat or drink again (trust me, next week on my vacation I'm sure there will be plenty of drinks) but I will definitely be much more aware of how often I do. I am also obsessed with lifting weights in the gym, when before I was definitely a "cardio bunny", which frankly got me no where. I hope to be a little more diligent about posting my workouts on the blog so you can try them too!

I would have never thought starting a blog could be so rewarding, but it really is and it honestly makes me enjoy leading a clean, healthy lifestyle even more. I love the responses and interaction I get on facebook and the blog itself, and hope to continue to provide you with as much unbiased information as I can. In an effort to push my knowledge on nutrition, I'm enrolling in a nutrition class at my local community college. I'm super excited to go back to school, and although it will make me even busier than I already am, I'm ready to commit to learning all I can this next semester! My class will be on Wednesday evenings, and I hope to share something new/interesting with everyone every week! Thanks again, and I hope you all have a great night :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Little things I don't miss

I started thinking yesterday about how many food items used to be staples in my life, and now don't even glance twice at them when I'm at the grocery store. Here are a few things that I've replaced, and what I've replaced them with!

First, is Orange Juice. I would typically drink a whole jug by myself in a week. Although OJ does have vitamins and minerals in it, it also has a TON of sugar... so you're much better off just eating an orange. I've replaced this with my AM BCAA's. They're just as tasty and have great benefits.

My go-to breakfast item was Special K and soy milk. I've completely eliminated packaged, processed foods which means my Special K had to go. It's not that terrible for you, but oats or a homemade protein pancake are much better options. I've also replaced the Soy milk with Almond milk... Soy milk is very processed.

I would have a 90 calorie granola bar pre-workout everyday, which has been replaced with homemade protein bars. Again, these usually have sugar and additives and it's always better to just make your own.

My Starbucks order of Soy Chai Lattes have been replaced with un-sweetened green tea. Yum!

Like many, I'm a peanut butter lover but the chunky peanut butter had to go. Now we just use chunky almond butter-- the only ingredients are almonds and sea salt.

Pasta, even whole wheat is super high on the glycemic index-- which is why it's been replaced with spaghetti squash. It's really tasty and really low in calories.

On another note, this is the last week before my week long vacation! I am planning on doing 2 a days for at least 3 days this week-- my normal routine in the morning, then back for 20 min of HIIT after work. Not sure how big of a difference it will make, but I know my eating/working out wont be perfect while I'm on vacation, so I might as well amp it up now :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pull-ups

I was asked on facebook about how to condition yourself to do more pull-ups, and B actually found a great article in Men's Fitness about pull-ups. We just started doing the pull-up plan this week, but it seems logical and hopefully can help everyone get their numbers up!

So here's what you do:  Write down your personal record (the most reps you can do with good form.) The next time you do pull-ups, take half your PR and do four sets of that number. So if your PR was 10, you'll do four sets of five reps. The next week, add one rep to each set. For week 3, go back to one half your PR number, and add a five pound weight. Continue progressing in this fashion. Here's what the 9 week program looks like:

Week 1: 4 x 1/2 PR
Week 2: 4 x 1/2 PR + 1 rep
Week 3: 4 1/2 PR with 5lbs
Week 4: 4 x 1/2 PR + 1 rep with 5lbs
Week 5: 4 x 1/2 PR with 10 lbs
Week 6: 4 x 1/2 PR + 1 rep with 10 lbs
Week 7: 4 x 1/2 PR with 15 lbs
Week 8: 4 x 1/2 PR +1 rep with 15lbs
Week 9: retest your max

We started at week 2 and did 30-45 second rests. Let me know if you start this plan too!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Blueberry Protein Muffins

This is a variation of a recipe Jamie Eason posted over the weekend, I will say it is my favorite so far. These are so yummy-- if you try one recipe, it has to be this one!

Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 c oat flour
- 2 scoops protein powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
-1/2 c Stevia/Truvia/etc
-2 egg whites
-3/4 c unsweetened almond milk
-1/3 c unsweetened apple sauce
-1 tbsp vanilla extract
-1/4 c non fat greek yogurt
-1/2 c blueberries (I threw a couple on top too)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Combine wet ingredients in one bowl, dry in another, then whisk together.
3. place batter into greased muffin pan (don't fill all the way up because they do rise a little)
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. (She recommended 45 minutes, but mine were done after 20- so I guess it just depends on your oven)
*Don't forget to like my facebook page for recipe ideas, inspiration, and great info!!*

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A little of each: workout split

I was asked on facebook to blog about my workout split, which is a great idea! I prefer doing one muscle group a day (except bis/tris) because I find that when I try to squeeze two in, I run out of time. Lately I have been doing cardio with every workout so I'm usually in the gym from 60-75 minutes. My ideal split is:

Monday: Legs
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Back
Thursday: Abs
Friday: Bi's/Tri's
Sat: Shoulders
Sun: Abs

As of this week I've decided to make the day after leg day my off day because I'm always pretty tired and low on energy. I will also throw abs in once more, just depending on when I have time. I've also switched from eating a "full" meal before the gym to just a 1/2 protein shake and 1/2 apple, then I do my meal right after the gym. I still have plenty of energy without that full feeling-- I just make sure to drink my BCAA's! Over the past 7 weeks or so, I've seen the most change in my arms, still hoping to see those abs by vacation next Saturday... but we'll see, seems like that last bit of fat will never go away!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Awesome little ab workout!

B and I did Rob Riches ab circuit this weekend, and it was awesome! He lists the routine as one circuit performed twice, but we broke it up into two circuits 3 times each.


Hanging Knee Raises x20

Reverse Crunch on decline bench x 15
High Cable Oblique Crunch 20 x each side



Seated straight bar torso twist 20 x each side
Side Swiss Ball Twists 20x each side

Crunch (feet elevated) 10x each side

High Cable Crunch x20
After abs, I decided to switch up my cardio and did lines on the basketball court
Start on "out" line- sprint to free throw line and back, center court and back, the far free throw line and back, then far "out" line and back.... that counts as 1. I rested 30 second between each one, and did 20 total. I was completely dead after, but I will say it was pretty hard on my knees/legs so be careful if you have sensitive legs!

I got in a great legs and cardio session this morning, and have decided that my rest day will now always be the day after leg day. First, because I tend to be tired and very sore after leg day, and second because I typically take Sunday off, but I went to the gym yesterday and it was so empty and peaceful I decided I just have to take advantage of that every week!

Today is the first day of a new month, so it's a great time to think up some new goals and get them written down! Try to think of three things you want to accomplish this month that you did not do last month!

Have a great week :)

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