Friday, December 21, 2012

Clean Eating Chunky Beef Soup

I know 62 doesn't seem cool to some of you, but when we go to the gym in the morning it's like 30 something and that's freakin cold. When I'm thinking about prepping dinner after the gym, 9 times out of 10 all that sounds good is something really, really warm so I have the crock pot in full swing!

We found some lean stewing beef at the grocery store over the weekend and it just looked too good to pass up, thus a new chuncky beef soup recipe!
2 lbs lean stewing beef
1 whole onion, sliced
3-4 carrots, chopped
2-3 celery stalks, chopped
3 medium sized yams, cubed with skin on
2-3 cups low sodium beef stock (on the lower end if you want it not so soupy)
1 can so salt added crushed tomatoes
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp italian seasoning
1 bag organic frozen peas (optional)

1. Brown stewing beef in skillet- you can add a splash of olive oil if you want, but I find that it cooks in it's own juices great.
2. Combine all ingredients except peas in crock pot (including beef) and mix well so spices are incorporated.
3. Cook on high for 8 hours.
4. About 10 minutes before you're ready to eat, add peas and close lid of crock pot. Allow to warm for 8-10 minutes until peas are warm.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday! Almost Christmas!

This time next week Christmas will be over. 
Oh my. I need to finish shopping and wrapping. 
I totally just stressed myself out. So, with that let's just move on to WIAW so that I can spend some extra time wrapping tonight! Eeeek! 

I bumped up my usual 2 protein muffins to 3 because I knew our back workout was going to be intense. This is 2 apple cinnamon muffins and one banana muffin. 

2 hours after my shake I was starving and so ready to dive into my bowl of cottage cheese/oats/almond milk/ blueberries/ cinnamon/truvia. Never gets old! 

I have a canker sore the size of Texas on the roof of my mouth right now (so yucky) so my lunch was actually pretty hard to eat, but it was delicious nonetheless. Fajitas with spanish rice

A random but yummy snack of 4 hard boiled egg whites and a spinach salad.

Finally getting into soup mode now that the weather has cooled down, so I tried a new recipe-- chunky beef soup! It was awesome and I'll have the recipe up tomorrow, granted I don't spend all night at the mall. :|

Friday, December 14, 2012

Almond Flour Pancakes

I think I'm losing my mind because I could have sworn that I posted this recipe, but apparently I'm just losing my mind. Anyway, this is definitely my go to pancake. It's nothing fancy, (and honestly they're pretty plain) but they're super easy and always my go to when I'm feeling lazy about making dinner. 

1/4 cup almond meal
2 egg whites
1 T almond milk
sprinkle of cinnamon
1 packet of Truvia 

1. Mix all ingredients well
2. Pour 1/3 of the mixture onto a pan and cook on low until you start seeing bubbles. 
3. Flip pancake and continue to cook until cooked through. 
4. Repeat for remaining batter

I always top mine with greek yogurt AND sugar free syrup. May sound like a weird mixture but it's soooo good and totally kills a sweet tooth too! 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Just Do It!

I'm sitting here watching Barbara Walters 10 most fascinating people of 2012, I logged on to Facebook today to see that you can see your greatest moments from this past year, the year is wrapping up and I feel like I can't help but look back and think about how far I've come.

It's so funny to live a certain way for so long, and then a year and half later not be able to imagine what it was like to live that way. I literally can't remember what it was like not working out and taking care of my body. How often did I eat? What did I eat? When did my heart rate ever rise? I don't know!

What I do know is that I love waking up at 5am to go to the gym, eating 6-7 times a day, and having in my favorites bar. I love prepping food on Sundays (okay that might be a lie, but I do love how easy it makes the rest of the week) and I really love being able to put on a bikini and not feel like I have to suck in the whole time.

I know that before I finally made the leap and dove into the fitness world, I read blogs and thought to myself "I could never do that". How in the world would I get off the treadmill, clean out my entire kitchen and well, cook? I'm assuming there are plenty of other me's out there, so I'm going to tell you to JUST DO IT. Make it your new years resolution. Force it for 2 weeks if you have to. Just give it a try. You never know, you could be watching the Barbara Walters special this time next year thinking the same things I am. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday!

Hallelujah it's finally cold in Arizona! By cold I mean it was only 65 today, which may not be cold for some of you, but trust me, it was cold. Especially going to the gym this morning, my little snowflake on my car came on to let me know it was freakin' cold out. There's something about winter time and getting dressed that just does not mix well for me. I'm not sure what it is, maybe it's getting out of the shower in the morning and being cold, but I just cannot stand getting dressed! So, my winter attire typically consists of leggings, yoga pants, sweatshirts and Uggs. [Don't even tell me Uggs are ugly because I will pinch you] So if any of my family members are reading this, I'll take some new attire from Lululemon please and thank you. :) 


The morning started off with the usual, cinnamon apple protein muffins and a couple slices of Honeycrisp. Clearly it was too early and too cold to take a picture.

After I got back from freezing my butt off going and coming from the gym, I refueled with a banana blueberry protein shake. Extra spinach of course!


Lunch was super simple but super yummy. Ground extra lean turkey seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper and a side of roasted veggies. I just cut up some yams, carrots, and asparagus, drizzled with olive oil and the same spices from the meat and baked at 400 for about 40 minutes. This was all topped with ketchup, of course. 

Sticking with the super easy but super yummy theme, snack was bison seasoned with taco seasoning on top of a spinach and romaine mix and topped with almond cheese and cholula. 

Sweet and sour chicken was waiting for me in the crock pot when I got home! 

Ended the day with the usual-- fr ozen casein pudding, or as I like to call it casein soft serve :) 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Because being YOU is enough.

Our society is filled with people that are always trying to be the best. Be the best mom, the best employee, the perfect student. When did just being you become sub par? I've noticed myself falling victim to this thought process and it's starting to drive me a little bit crazy. I am someone that 100% believes in having goals and doing everything in your power to achieve those goals, as long as they are personally going to make you a better person.

But I also believe we should all strive to be OUR bests. Setting a goal based on someone else's achievements or abilities is when things get rocky. Somtimes, no matter how hard we try or how much time we put in to something, we will simply never be as "good" as someone else. No matter how hard I try, I'm never going to be as good of a swimmer as Michael Phelps, or as good of a singer as Carrie Underwood. It's just never going to happen. And if I set a goal to win a Grammy and then fall short, it's going to do nothing but make me feel like crap.

Where is all this coming from? Well, it's probably going to sound silly but I've been striving since day one to get shoulders like Jamie Eason. I love her arms I think they're awesome and it's always been a goal of mine to shape shoulders just like hers. Then there's this girl at the gym I go to, and her shoulders are amazingly perfect too. Everytime I see her working out all I can think about is how badly I wish my shoulders looked like hers do. But something clicked today and I realized basing MY goal off of what someone else looks like is just setting myself up for failure. Maybe my shoulders can never look like Jamie's or the girl and the gym. I can do shoulder presses and front raises until I'm blue in the face, but maybe it's just not in the cards for me. Just like it may not be in the cards for the girl at the gym to have biceps like mine, or hair like mine, or work ethic like mine.

We're all uniquely perfect in our own ways and I hope you all understand and believe that. Setting a goal to better yourself is amazing, and so is having role models, but we all need to stop comparing ourselves to one another and base success off of our strengths and accomplishments. I post progress pictures for two reasons; one so that it keeps me accounable, and two to provide motivation and show that any ordinary person can achieve their goals. I hope you look at those pictures and say my goal is not to have ___ just like her, my goal is to increase my personal record by ____.

Promise me and I'll do the same!! My goal isn't to have arms like Jamie, it's to shoulder press 30lbs 8 times by the end of January. :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Leg Day: Hamstring Focus

I realized as I was walking out of the gym yesterday how different I feel in comparison to how I was feeling here. It was 6 weeks ago, but I remember how horrible I felt like it was yesterday. There is honestly no comparison at all, taking a week off was the best thing I've ever done. I sleep better at night, have tons of energy for my workouts, and overall just feel 100% better. I know I've said it a million times, but make sure you give yourself some rest. Seriously.

Before I share the last workout in my weeks worth of workouts, I wanted to share my new favorite snack.... I have no idea what to call it, but it's good! It's just 1/2 cup lactaid cottage cheese, 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup unsweetened Silk Almond Milk, 1 T vegan carob chips, and 2 packets of Truvia. I make this after the gym and the oats are nice and fluffy for my snack about 2 1/2 hours later. It doesn't look particularly appetizing, but give it a try if you're looking for a sweet treat.

Here it is- the last workout in this weeks series! I'm going to repeat these for a couple more weeks and then switch things up completely. Have to keep the body guessing.
Barbell Squats- 4 sets of 10-12. First two sets at 85 and the last two at 95lbs.

Barbell Squat

Single leg deadlifts. 3 sets of 12- I used a 30lb dumbbell.

Kettlebell One-Legged Deadlift

Lying leg curls super set with ball roll in- 3 sets of 10. Leg curls were at 40lbs.

Lying Leg Curls

Ball Leg Curl

Seated leg curl 3 sets of 10- 55lbs, 60lbs, and 65lbs.

Seated Leg Curl

Get ready to waddle out of the gym and holding your pee til the last minute because it hurts to sit down :)

*PS- I realized recently that somehow a lot of my links in the recipe section are linking to the wrong posts. I'm not sure how this happened, but I do know it's going to take me for freakin' ever to fix. I'll let you know once I've fixed them, but until then feel free to use the search bar to find recipes :) *

Friday, November 30, 2012

Workout: Chest and Tri's

Gosh, I love lifting heavy! I actually tend to love whatever type of workout I'm doing at the time I suppose, but right now I'm especially loving the heavy stuff. I'm sore same day, seeing progress and increasing weight every week. It's awesome. I'm also eating lots and haven't come anywhere near a calorie counter in a while. Even more awesome.
The next workout on my list to share is chest & tri's. I'll admit, chest day is my least favorite, but I know it's important to do so I suck it up and give it my best!
Incline bench press- 3 sets of 10- I just do the bar which is 35lbs.
Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip
Flat bench dumbbell chest press 3 sets of 8-10- I used 20lb dumbbells. 
Dumbbell Bench Press
Super set with flat bench dumbbell flys 3 sets of 8-10- I used 15lb dumbbells
Dumbbell Flyes
Stability ball pushups- 3 sets of 10
Skull crushers 3 sets of 8- I used 40lb barbell
Lying Triceps Press
Overhead tricep extension 3 sets of 10- I used 25lbs, 30lbs, then 35lbs.
Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension
Rope pushdown super set with dips- both 3 sets of 10. I used 40lbs for the first set of pushdowns, then dropped to 30.

Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment

Bench Dips
*Photo's courtesty of
Happy, happy, happy Friday!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Partial WIAW & Shoulder Workout

Maybe I can have someone text me every 3 hours to remind me to take pictures of my meals? I don't know what's wrong but I can't remember for the life of me! I snapped a picture of breakfast, snack, and then casein... but nothing in between :( Sorry! 

Breakfast (bottom left) was egg whites and a dippy egg on top scrambled with mushroom, spinach, onion, jalapeno and a chicken sausage link. Ezekiel bread cinnamon toast on the side! My snack was the typical cottage cheese and a Food for Life brown rice English Muffin. I've been loving my casein frozen lately-- just blend almond milk, 1 scoop casein, 1 T peanut butter, and a little cinnamon, then stick it in the freezer for about 30 minutes. I like to call it my casein soft serve-yum!

Sticking to my promise of posting workouts, here's a great shoulder burner! Remember to keep your rests to around a minute- give yourself enough time to rest, but don't take too long to where your heart rate is all over the place.

Shoulder press 3 sets of 8-10- I warmed up with 15lbs, did two sets with 20 and one set with 25.

Barbell Shoulder Press

Arnold press super set with front raises- 3 sets of 10. I used 20lbs for the Arnold.

Arnold Dumbbell Press

And 10lbs for the front raises.

Front Two-Dumbbell Raise

Bent over lateral raise superset with plate pushes 3 sets of 10. I did 10lbs on the cables

Cable Seated Lateral Raise

and used a 10lb plate for the pushes. 

I also added ab workouts in during my one minute rests. Hanging leg raises, decline sit ups, and bicycle crunches were my ab exercises of choice :)

Have a great Wednesday! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Leg Day: Quad/Glute Focus

Happy Tuesday! Sorry I'm a little late getting back into the swing of things after the long weekend, lots to catch up on, and I may or may not still need to unpack my bag from Disneyland this weekend. Woops.

 Last week I really meant to post a weeks worth of workouts, but I only got to back and bi's... so this week I'll do my best to get 3-4 new ones up. This helps me out a lot too because I'll look back and do these same workouts for the next couple weeks and just focus on increasing my weight each time. Below is a quad/glute focused leg day, but I'll also post a more hamstring focused leg day too. Since I've been incorporating deadlifts into my back days, I like to switch it up so my hamstrings aren't getting over worked. 

Barbell Squat- 4 sets of 10 reps. I started with 80lbs and added 10 lbs each set up to 110. I only got 6 reps on the last set.

Barbell Squat

Smith machine split squat- 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg. I did the bar plus 10lbs on each side.

Smith Single-Leg Split Squat

Leg extension super set with dumbbell plie squats. 3 sets of 12 reps- I did 55lbs to start and increased to 60.

Leg Extensions

I used a 45lb dumbbell for all 3 sets of plie squats. 

Finished it off with 3 sets of 12-15 reps on the seated calf raise. My machine is a little different than this one, it's more of a push motion than lifting vertically, but I do 75lbs. 

Seated Calf Raise

Let me know if you give these workouts a shot! I've been super sore over the last week or so doing these exact same workouts, so don't make me feel like a wimp! :)

Photo's from 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday!!

I remembered, I remembered! I've fallen off the WIAW train because for a while I could not remember to take pictures-- but after a couple "where are WIAW posts?" emails I knew I needed to get my you-know-what together. 

Slightly different pre-workout meal than usual-- 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1 crumbled apple cinnamon muffin, handful of organic granola and a packet of truvia. It was great, but I was really full after, so I think I'll just stick to the normal 2 apple muffins from now on. 

Typical post workout shake after a heavy chest & tri's day. Protein powder, spinach, raspberries, oats, almond milk and ice. 

Mid morning snack was a little different too, 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt mixed with cinnamon and truvia and two pieces of Ezekiel toast. 

Lunch was pretty simple- salsa chicken with black beans over some romain lettuce. I made a big batch of salsa chicken on Sunday and this is my favorite way to eat it. 

Now that all my pictures are laid out, I'm realizing how many greens I ate! Go me! Snack was a spinach salad with slivered almonds and a balsamic drizzle with 4 hard boiled egg whites. 

I got home from work late last night, and thankfully B made some ground bison meat so I added that on some lettuce with hot sauce for a quick dinner. 

Thank you all SOOO very much for your feedback on my workout post, I'll definitely be posting them as often as possible! 

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