Archives for May 2013

Peanut Butter Granola

I took Sunday off from working out, so I wanted to make sure my workout on Monday made up for the Oreo Cheesecake I made and ate at our Memorial Day weekend BBQ.  I was pretty tired afterwards, so I think it was a success!

Run

 

I think all of the exercises are pretty self-explanatory, but here’s the step-by-step instructions for a Stability Ball Jack Knife, in case you aren’t familiar.

Step 1:  Start in straight arm plan position, feet on the stability ball

Step 2:  Using your core, pull your knees towards your chest, keeping your back as level as possible

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After our workout, I decided to make some homemade granola for the week.  I found this recipe on Pinterest (where I get SO many of my recipes lately) and had to give it a try.  Turned out to be another Pinterest success!  This would be delicious in Greek yogurt for an added crunch.  I have found the problem with most granola is that it is high in calories and fat, so this seemed like a better-for-you version, plus anything homemade is better because you eliminate all of those ingredients no one can pronounce. 🙂

The original recipe can be found here, at Shape.com.

PB Granola

Ingredients:
Makes four ¼ c servings
2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp. honey
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. oats

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray cookie sheet (or foil) with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Combine peanut butter and honey in a bowl and microwave until peanut butter melts (approximately 20 seconds). Stir.

Stir cinnamon and vanilla into peanut butter and honey mixture. Add oats and stir until oats are completely covered in peanut butter mixture. Spread out oat mixture onto prepared cookie sheet and bake for 7 -8 minutes until granola is slightly browned. Let cool until granola is crunchy.

Buffalo Cauliflower

Matt and I had a few friends over for a Memorial Day BBQ, when he got back from Louisville.  The weather was great, and it was nice to get together with some of our best friends.  My friend Kelly brought Buffalo Cauliflower (adapted from this recipe), and it was delicious, so I had to share!  You kind of trick your mind into thinking you are eating buffalo wings, but really, it’s a vegetable!  (Albeit, a vegetable covered in hot sauce but hey, it’s still a vegetable) 🙂  So, next time you want to bring a healthy treat to a party that will still be a hit, try this one!

Buffalo Cauliflower

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter (We eliminated this ingredient)
  • 1/3 cup buffalo sauce
  • celery sticks
  • blue cheese or ranch dressing

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut cauliflower into smaller florets.  Toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Spread out on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

Roast in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until browned.

Melt butter and combine with buffalo sauce (optional).  Place roasted cauliflower in a bowl, pour sauce over and toss until well coated.

Serve with celery sticks and blue cheese or ranch dressing.

Spinach Crust Pizza

My friend Kelly and I had a husband/fiance free weekend for Memorial Day, because Matt and Ryan (Kelly’s fiance) were in Louisville for Ryan’s bachelor party.  We had biiiig plans, let me tell you what; days full of lounging around the pool, eating, shopping and wedding planning- the perfect girls weekend. 🙂  Friday night, we decided to get all crazy (note: sarcasm) and make pizza, drink wine and watch the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy.  I know what you’re thinking.  Yes, Grey’s has been on for almost 10 years, and yes we are still die-hard fans.  I’m not above it.

We decided to go the semi-healthy route with our pizza, and make this Spinach Crust Pizza recipe we found on Pinterest.  It turned out better than expected!  We added a few different toppings than what the recipe called for (turkey pepperoni, green pepper, onion, shredded pepper jack cheese), and we opted not to make our own pizza sauce, just used the store-bought kind.  Maybe it was the overabundance of cheese we used, but I have to admit, it was pretty delicious.

Quote of the evening-  Kelly: “Well, it’s better to eat cheese off of a vegetable, than to eat cheese off of a carb”.  Amen, sister!  That’s why we’re friends. 🙂

Spinach Crust Pizza

Crust Instructions
2 cups raw spinach leaves
1 egg
1 cup shredded cheese blend
spices (salt/pepper/seasoning salt, etc)
Directions
Preheat oven to 425. Line a 12 inch pizza pan with parchment paper (DO NOT skip the parchment paper.). Set aside.
In a food processor (or blender), blend spinach until it is a baby food consistency. Add egg and pulse until combined. Add in cheese and spices and pulse until just combined.
Spread evenly in prepared pizza pan. Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes, edges will be browned and crispy. Spread pizza sauce evenly over crust and add toppings. Place back in oven and broil until cheese is melted.

Full Body Circuit Workout

For those of you who don’t know me, I thoroughly despise going to the gym in the evenings, and would MUCH prefer getting my butt out of bed at 5am, if only to beat the after-work crowd.  Plus, I like the feeling of starting my day with a workout.  I feel more refreshed and it’s nice to get it over with, because usually the last thing I want to do when I leave work is go to the gym.  Couch and my DVR, yes please!

Anyway, I decided to accompany Matt to the gym after work the other day.  The ONE bonus of breaking my routine is that at least I get in a little more face time with my husband. 🙂  After a 10min warm-up on the stair climber, I completed the workout below.  Enjoy!

Full Body Dumbbell Circuit Workout

Man Maker

Step 1:  With weights in hand, squat down and jump legs back to plank position

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Step 2:  Row one arm at a time

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Step 3:  Jump legs back in and up to squat position, weights on shoulders

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Step 4:  Thrust weights above head

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Leg Lifts

Step 1:  Lay flat on the ground, abs pulled in and back flat against the floor.  You can place your hands under your hips for additional control.

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Step 2:  Keeping your back against the floor, use your core to bring your legs up, perpendicular to the floor

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Single Leg Squats

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Upper Russian Twist

Step 1:  Start with shoulder blades on stability ball, arms straight above your body

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Step 2:  Keeping your hips level, rotate your upper body to one side, then the other

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Sumo Squat to High Pull

(I usually use a kettlebell for this exercise, but since I didn’t have one handy, I used a dumbbell)

Step 1:  Start with your feet wider than your hips, toes turned out

Step 2: Squat and bring the weight up to chest level as you stand

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180 Burpees

Step 1:  Start in a squat position

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Step 2:  Jump and do a 180 degree turn, landing again in a squat position

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Step 3:  Place your hands on the floor and jump your legs back into a straight arm plank position

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Step 4:  Come back up to a squat position, then repeat

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Up Down Planks (Plank Push-Ups)

Step 1:  Start on your elbows in plank position

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Step 2:  Push up, one hand at a time, until you are in straight arm plank position

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Step 3: Return to starting position, one arm at a time

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Hand Release Push Ups

Standard push-up, but bring chest all the way to the ground, bring hands off the ground and then push up to starting position

 

No Bake Oreo Cheesecake

So, don’t let all of my talk about low-carb living, running and squats fool you….chocolate is my weakness.  OK, all things sugary and sweet are my weakness, you caught me.  I am a firm believer that everyone needs a cheat day every once in a while (or once/twice a week, so sue me).  There is nothing wrong with treating yourself, you deserve it!

My parents had Matt and I over, along with my sister and her boyfriend, to celebrate my 28th birthday with a delicious AND healthy dinner, topped off with a little birthday treat- No Bake Oreo Cheesecake!  You know the saying, “she get it from her momma”?  Story of my life.  My mom and I are literally the same person, from looks, to personalities, to mannerisms, to our addiction to chocolate….I’ll be honest, it’s a little creepy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂

Below is the recipe, adapted from Brown Eyed Baker.  Enjoy!  You literally will not be able to stop eating it.  Consider yourself warned.

First of all, how cute is my mom? 🙂

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Before…..

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After….and yes, we took home the left overs.  I mean it was my birthday, after all. 🙂

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INGREDIENTS:

(Serves 10-12 people, we halved the recipe)

2½ boxes Double Stuff Oreos
2 (4-serving size) boxes cheesecake-flavored instant pudding mix (we used sugar free)
4 cups skim milk (original recipe calls for 2%)
1 (8-ounce) tub Cool Whip (we used Lite)
Chocolate syrup, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

1. Line the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish with Oreos, breaking them to fill in any big gaps along the edges.

2. Whisk together 1 box of instant pudding with 2 cups of the milk for 5 minutes, or until the pudding thickens and appears set. Pour the pudding evenly over the layer of Oreos, using a rubber spatula to spread into an even layer.

3. Top with another layer of Oreos, again breaking them into pieces if needed to fill any large gaps.

4. Prepare the second box of pudding as you did the first, with the remaining 2 cups of milk. Pour the pudding over the 2nd layer of Oreos, spreading it into an even layer with a rubber spatula.

5. Top with the Cool Whip, using a spatula to spread into an even layer. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Prior to serving, garnish the top with chocolate syrup and chopped Oreos.

Treadmill Interval/Lunge Workout

This past Saturday Matt and I had a big day planned, full of lots of “homeowner duties”, aka pulling weeds, mowing the yard, etc., etc., etc….you get the idea. 🙂  I was up super early (for a Saturday) so I went to the gym to get a quick workout in before we started the day.  I wanted to do something quick, yet effective.  It was a cardio day for me, but I wasn’t in the mood to do my usual running/interval routine, especially after an entire week of workouts.  SO, the result of my impromptu workout is below!  I switched it up and after a warm up  did 3 minutes of lighter running intervals, followed by 2 minutes of walking lunges at a 12.0 incline.  I repeated that until I reached 30 minutes total.  Let me tell you what, my glutes and hamstrings were burning by the end, and it lasted throughout the rest of the day…pulling weeds probably didn’t help matters either!  I can’t lie, I contemplated quitting at the 20 minute mark, but I kept thinking to myself, if you are going to post this on your blog, you better finish it!  See, this blog is already doing a great job of holding me accountable! 🙂

Treadmill Lunge Workout