Archive | February 2013

Double Dose of Healthy Recipes


Why does every Monday morning feel so rough? Oh yeah because I get to be on my own schedule and sleep and do whatever I want.However to cheer up your Monday I have some very simple, very easy, very cheap recipes.

The first is sweet potato French fries. I am still working on perfectly a crunchy exterior but they are still so yummy! All you need is sweet potatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Chop up the sweet potatoes into long thin strips then toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then put in the oven at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Tip: don’t overdo the olive oil. Start with a teaspoon and slowly add more if you think you need it.

sweet fries

Next, chicken, spinach, and goat cheese flatbread. Those are the ingredients along with olive oil and 2 garlic cloves. Put the oven to 350 degrees and just out the flatbread in the oven on a cookie sheet for 5-7 minutes. I used Flatout 100 calorie multigrain flatbread, which I highly recommend. It’s delicious and nutritious! While the flatbread is in the oven put about 3 cups of spinach, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and 2 cloves of garlic into a pan. Sauté until spinach is wilted. Take the flatbread out of the oven and put the spinach mixture on top. Add about 4 oz of chicken (butterball has chicken breast strips in a package that was really convenient for this recipe) and about 1 oz of goat cheese. Put it back in the oven for 12 minutes. Enjoy!!

flatbread

 

Yet again, reasons I love Jennifer Lawrence. She trips up the steps to accept her award and brushes it off with brush and humility.

And what true gentlemen do when this happens rather than gawking.

 

Triathlon Training: Not For The Faint of Heart

I don’t know if I had mentioned before, but I am doing my first triathlon on April 27. I am nervous and excited and rearing to try it out. I am doing a sprint triathlon, so it’s not nearly as long as a regular one. It is 400 m pool swim, 12 mile bike, ending with a 5k run.

A recommended workout to do to train is a brick workout. Bricks refer to training on two disciplines during the same workout, one after the other with minimal or no interruption in between, just as you would do in a race. Normally this is a bike/run, which I did today. The last time the weather was nice enough for me to do both of these outside was in early January. And today, I could totally tell.

I will be feeling today in my muscles tomorrow, but I must keep this in mind.

My tracker decided that it wouldn’t record the first few miles on the bike I did, so I had no idea how far I had gone and decided on an arbitrary halfway point. It ended up being about 5.07 miles one way, so I was fairly happy. I was hoping it would be closer to 6, but I was happy to do the 10 miles average about a 5 minute/mile pace.

I quickly brought my bike into my apartment and changed my shoes to head back out for my run. My legs decided that they had had enough and stopped working. I did a sluggish 5k run where it took every ounce of my being to put one foot in front of another and keep going.

This is why I say not for the faint of heart. I think anyone in decent shape could pull off doing a triathlon, especially a sprint. However, it takes heart and pushing yourself and trusting yourself to decide, hey you can really do this. Maybe not do it at break neck speed, or your best time in each event, but you can do it. That’s what I kept telling myself. I got this, I can do this, I can keep going.

Are you training for an upcoming race? What is it?

The Attitude to Have About Losing Weight

First off, I have a major girl crush on Jennifer Lawrence, and no wonder when she says such inspiring things. For me, this journey is not about getting skinny, it is about feeling comfortable in my body and feeling confident. I want to feel sexy and I want to feel good. I like that I can already see muscles emerging and that is far better than feeling skinny any day. I don’t just want to lose weight, I want to gain muscle. I want to find the right size for me even if that’s not stick thin, especially if it’s not because I have curves and hips and a butt and am well endowed and I love it. Those parts of me will only look better on a fit body. I love eating, but I am learning about portion control and how to eat all those bad things for me in small doses because gorging and overindulging never makes me feel good afterwards. I swear I have an addiction to sweets and so for me it’s not about entirely kicking that habit, but it’s learning that maybe I shouldn’t have a dessert after every meal or even every day. Sweets are a treat and are meant to be treated that way.

For me, I want to get fit, for myself, for my future, for my well being.

Morning Workouts For the Win

These past two days I have felt so out of it thanks to a new way to commute to work (hello bus to metro and lots of walking) along with my body rebelling against me and deciding it wanted to have headaches and cramps and just want to sleep.

However, a friend of mine asked me to go to a class at 6am, and it felt amazing! Remember last week whenever I said morning workouts for the win? Well, I need to remember that. I feel refreshed and awake and ready to tackle the day more than the past two days when I had the extra hour of sleep.

Although…I may have looked like this during Body Combat this morning. Out of the ordinary cardio workout done!

Have a great Thursday!!!

Friends Don’t Let Friends Skip Leg Day

Before beginning, I wanted to share a picture of the beautiful flowers Jeremy got me for Valentine’s day. Since we are trying to be good with eating and I don’t like stuffed animals, flowers were perfect. And, he always gets me lilies since he knows how much I dislike roses. Now they are sitting right by my bed so that I wake up to them every morning.

flowers

Now, today’s workout was killer. I am sitting on my couch right now, legs aching and sore. I resolved to start picking my cardio back up too to help the weight loss, so we will see how that goes this week!

Group 1: Repeat three times

Walking lunges with 12 pound medicine ball, twisting with the ball over the leg lunging (I think I did about 20 on each side but picking a spot and going to it is probably the easiest way to do it)

Squat with bar: 55 pounds (this was really pushing me to the max, but my trainer decided to up the weight and I powered through) – 15 reps

Delt fly using the TRX machine (I tried to find pictures but this video really is much better at demonstrating the move) – 15 reps

Grab a pair of dumbbells (I had 12 pounds) run up a flight of stairs carrying them and on the way back down the stairs continue doing bicep curls with the dumbbells – 6 reps

Group 2: Repeat twice (or if you’re brave a third time)

Russian twists with 12 pound ball – 15 reps each side

  • Bonus move: I had my trainer to help me, but you can do it by yourself. To begin my trainer tossed me the medicine ball, which I would catch and touch the floor on the other side with. To do by yourself, toss in the air, catch, and touch the floor on the other side with the ball.

Delt fly with 25 pound weight in each hand – 8 reps; keep a flat back!

Deadlift with bar, 55 pounds – 15 reps

Box jumps using stacks 3 high, but you can really use anything to jump onto. The key here is to take off and land with slightly bent knees! – 15 reps

I then attempted to run a couple of miles…but failed and decided to walk at a very brisk pace for 30 minutes. I alternated between going as fast as I could walking and walking on an incline. It definitely did the trick! When you’re feeling tired or sore, walking instead of running is a comparable exercise and will help stretch out sore legs!

I finished the day with a very simple and easy to make meal since I was so exhausted. Grilled cheese using Ezekiel bread and cheddar cheese and some of Nature’s Promise’s Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup! Absolutely delicious, quick, easy, yummy.

grilled cheese and soup

Hope those of you that had today off enjoyed it! Now time to get settled in and ready for the Biggest Loser

Challenge Accepted

Where did the weekend go? Is it already Sunday night? Am I already watching The Walking Dead and Gypsy Sisters? For this post I had two important topics I wanted to cover, so I will split it up into Part 1 and 2.

Jeremy came into town and we had a very successful double date, saw Zero Dark Thirty, and got to enjoy each other’s company for the first time in four weeks. (If I haven’t mentioned before, Jeremy and I live in two separate cities, about 2 hours apart.)

When the person on the treadmill next to me is running faster

Part 1:

I know I promised you all earlier this week that I had a surprise! Well, it’s time for the unveiling!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1lfyWGMiJ2Ln4Puwor1StDqLdR7tjj0xnUc-VL4W6wns/viewform

This is a challenge a few of my girlfriends and I are embarking on. We each tried to think of healthy things we should be doing and allocate points to each to be calculated on a weekly basis and totaled to compete against each other. The one category that is specifically pointed at me is limiting fruit to just one serving. Although fruit it terribly healthy, the way I consume it certainly exceeds that boundary.

Since moving to DC, I had lacked the group of girls that I had around me in college as workout buddies and confidants for when I was slacking off. Having my friends hold me accountable and competing against them is something that I feel will be motivating and a challenge.

If you don’t have a group to do this with, try writing down some goals that you want to hit every day (or several times a week) and track them!

Part 2:

Jeremy and I tried once before to go to the gym together. Both of us walked away feeling like we didn’t have a successful workout, irritated, and frustrated. However, this weekend we decided to try it again and take a new tactic. While I admire couples that can actually workout together, so far Jeremy and I have not been able to figure this out.

Instead, this time we each had our individual workouts that we went through, and while it was odd to not interact the entire time (we were on two different floors working out) we were both able to get in an hour long workout when normally we would completely skip workouts when we are together.

I completely encourage you if you are in a relationship to ask your significant other to go with you to the gym, to make it part of your routine together. If you aren’t, find a friend who can accompany you to the gym. It helps to have someone who holds you accountable and motivates you and who also takes that hour out of their day to go to the gym with you.

While this weekend we only went once, it was the first time we had both made an effort during our weekends together to make working out part of our routine together, and it felt so good to do.

Happy Sunday! Hopefully this week won’t be too crazy or jam packed for all of you!

What do you do to keep yourself motivated in your relationship and with friends?

It’s Thursday Already?

I am so so sorry for being absent for the past couple of days, everything sped up and well, to put it simply, today was the first day since Monday that I actually have seen the sun.

However, I managed to squeeze in a 5am session with my trainer on Tuesday morning, and boy, did it rock my world. I am still feeling it right now. I am not normally a morning person. I like love to sleep. It’s one of my favorite things, so I was very skeptical that I would be able to wake up, let alone enjoy my session. However, I woke up ready to go and pushed through it, and it helped me power through the day with way more energy than normal. Plus, when I got home later that night it was nice to be able to enjoy it and not have to go to the gym. Although, I almost did fall asleep during my shower.

Oh, and before I get into the workout I did, Happy Valentine’s Day! For those looking for some more mushy stuff, I will have some to share tomorrow whenever my boyfriend comes into town.

Feel free to use different weights, but push yourself to do more and lift heavier! I used to do weights that I felt comfortable with but since I have pushed to weights where I notice a burn beginning in the middle of a set I’ve seen more muscle definition. Just don’t strain yourself and know your limits, if you can’t make it through the first set without stopping, go down a bit.

Group 1: Repeat 3 times

1. Using a 5 pound weight in your hands, sit on the Bose ball, lean back, stand up and lift the weight over your head. x 15

2. Put one leg on the Bose ball and lunge while using 8 pound dumbbells to do a shoulder raise to the side. x 15 per leg

3. Sit on the Bose ball, lean back, lift your legs off the ground, and do Russian twists with a 5 pound weight. x30

4. If your gym has them, use the ropes to make waves for 30 seconds. Alternate during each set to do different types of waves. The three I used were: oscillating small waves rapidly, larger waves that coincided with squatting down and making the waves simultaneously, cross the ropes side to side over each other

Group 2: Repeat 3 times

1. One leg on Bose ball, other on the ground in a wide stance, holding 25 pound weight, squat. x15 per leg

2. Stand on Bose ball, bicep curl to shoulder press, 8 lb dumbbells. x15

3. Plank with forearms on the Bose ball instead of the ground. 45 seconds

4. Ropes again!

Group 3: Repeat 2 times

1. 45 pound bar, placed on the meaty part of your back/shoulders; squat x 15

2. 45 pound bar, upright row x 7

3. …more ropes!!!

I will look into finding something to replace the ropes since those may be harder to find at your gym!

Warning: I also ran 2 miles afterwards that may have really cemented the burn in my legs.

I hope you all enjoyed your Valentine’s Day, whether with someone or not…and tomorrow is Friday! Let me know how you feel after this workout or if you need an explanation of the exercises!

Squeezing In An At Home Workout

Today’s blog is brought to you from Bianchi as in I am riding my road bike on my trainer at this very moment (p.s. maintained target heart rate for the duration of my ride). Being the week is always hectic but each week gives you an opportunity to start anew and incorporate exercise and healthy eating.

Dinner today was one of my favorite go tos. Choose any white fish (tonight it was cod since it was on sale) preheat the oven to 400 degrees and put a piece of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet. Drizzle lemon juice and olive oil over the fish followed by a sprinkling of salt, pepper, garlic, and thyme. An optional and delicious addition is paprika or cayenne pepper. Then cook for 15-20 minutes. Voila fish!

fish 2

I apologize for only having a before picture it smelled too good to wait for!

Monday nights are biggest loser night and while the weather is too cold they serve for a perfect opportunity to use my indoor bike trainer. Lately I have been biking during the show and taking a break during the commercials. However I was following this routine to get myself accustomed to clipping in and out of my pedals before venturing outside. Today though I was working on a tighter schedule so I am biking for a straight 40 minutes.

One of My favorite things about my indoor trainer is my ability to have my own at home cardio theater. I watch Netflix, movies, all my tv addictions while moving and getting my bike workout in for triathlon training. It gives me a sense of accomplishment from my own living room and biggest loser is great motivation for me. They are changing their lives and getting healthier while I join in!

bike tv

Remember even at home, even on a demotivated day every little thing counts by just keeping the habits of exercise and healthy eating.

I have a fun at home challenge which I will be telling you about later this week but get excited. It’s easy to do!

What’s Cooking: Bacon Egg Sandwich and White Turkey Chili

Phew, what a weekend.

I started off the weekend with my first Bodypump class in a long time, which was a great mix of weights. Since I hadn’t done one in awhile and was a little late, I was frantically putting weights on my bar and didn’t get to fully max myself out, but now I know for next time what I can handle!

However, since I took it pretty easy this weekend on workouts, I figured I would share with you a couple of delicious recipes!

The first is my new go to breakfast, which consists of eggs white (2) and 2 slices of bacon on top of ezekiel bread. Absolutely delicious.

Doesn’t that look delicious?! The ezekiel bread can be found in the frozen gluten free section. The picture above includes a slice of cheese, but I’ve found I can do without that and the calories below are without the cheese.

sandwich

Calories: 280 Total carbs: 28.5g Fiber: 6g Protein: 25.1g

The other recipe I am currently cooking is a white turkey chili.  I can’t tell you how it tastes get, but it smells absolutely delicious. I doubled the recipe so that I would have enough for lunches this week and not have to try to cook something in the middle of the week. The recipe below will be what I used to make more.

What you need:

  • 2 lb ground turkey
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 4oz can roasted green chilies
  • 2 15oz can cannellini beans
  • 4 cups fat free chicken stock
  • 4 fresh jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup part skim mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt (to substitute for sour cream if you want, not included in calorie count)
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp coriander
  • 2 tbsp oregano (I had italian seasoning that I ended up using instead)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro and lime wedges for garnish (optional)

1. Cook the chopped onion and garlic in a large pot for 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add in the ground turkey, cook until browned through

3. Add jalapenos, cumin, coriander, oregano, salt and pepper. Note, after chopping jalapenos wash your hands, do not touch your face like I did and have a burning sensation for the next 10+ minutes.

4. Stir in chilies and chicken stock. Cover and simmer for about an hour.

5. Add in beans and cook for another 30 to 45 minutes.

6. Add cilantro, cheese, lime, and Greek yogurt if you wish

Serving size: 1.25 cup, makes about 10 to 12 servings

Calories: 205.1 Total carbs: 15.3g Fiber: 4.9g Protein: 22.1g

chili

I am enjoying this bowl now with a few springs of cilantro, a 1/4 c of cheese and a squirt of lime juice. I may have outdone myself this time. Also for those who do not like really spicy/hot dishes this is not. I can feel a tingle in my mouth but not nothing too serious!

Enjoy!

cow heart

Oh and a little humor since Valentine’s Day is coming up, I found this large heart in my grocery store. For those interested I have done a delicious heart recipe before!

Learning the Roundhouse Kick

Wow, what a long day.

But, what a great workout.

She may be making the worst face ever, but damn, look at that body.

Today, I met with my trainer (who I love to death and pushes me to go harder and lift heavier weights than I ever imagined) and she decided to switch up our normal weight routine with boxing. Cue 50 minutes of punching and kicking the pads she wore on her hands. This is one of my favorite and best workouts in my opinion. While I love fitness classes that mimic boxing, it is not quite the same as actually making contact with an object. For those 50 minutes I was able to let go and focus on breathing and punching and kicking with technique and with all my might. However, actually being able to do this requires you to have someone willing to let you punch and kick pads on their hands, making it less than ideal for those without access to a trainer (I also don’t recommend doing it unless you have received proper technique on how to punch and kick, even if very simplistic, because it is such a different feeling for your body hitting something).

However, an exercise that I did take away that can be easily incorporated and help you later is the predecessor movement to the roundhouse kick.

This is the best picture I could find in order to show you what you should be doing to do the exercise. It’s easier to focus on your technique if you do this next to a wall and put your hands on the wall. Turn the foot not kicking to a 90 degree angle facing outward. Place the other foot behind it (normally your left foot is in front and your right behind)

Like this above for feet placement, but for this move have the left foot at the 90 degree angle.

Now this is where it gets complicated.

Lift your knee up and to the front and kick out with a pointed toe.

Don’t expect to get this high, but this is a good diagram to show what you should do.

For this practice exercise instead of letting the kicking foot down, bring the foot back towards your butt and then kick out again.

Switch sides and do the other leg (normally you would do a switch kick, a mini jump to switch which foot was forward, but for this exercise you can just change the position)

I hope this is helpful! It is great for your core and hips and glutes! That’s what I am feeling it now!

Other than that today was filled with lots and lots of protein, in the best possible way. I am finishing up my protein smoothie now. Right now I am trying my first protein out. It is Optimum Nutrition HyrdoBuilder, chocolate flavor. Not too bad with some skim milk and a banana!

I also made boyfriend a Valentine’s day card, which I will reveal soon. Let’s just say it’s terribly nerdy.

Okay, bed now, for real. But, tomorrow is FRIDAY!

So, something to make you laugh: (you will slowly learn how much I love Harry Potter)