Archives for November 2013

WIAW #8: New Recipes & Thanksgiving Tips

This week, I broke away from the usual eggs, protein bar and salad combos that tend to fill up my days.  I found a couple new recipes and decided to give them a try, so let’s get to it with this week’s What I Ate Wednesday (really, Tuesday).  Also, keep in mind, I do not list every single thing I eat, there is always a handful or two of trail mix, some Dove chocolate mixed in there.


Thanks again for hosting, Jenn!
Breakfast

I tried this Sweet Breakfast Scramble recipe out this weekend that I found over at Carrots ‘n Cake and really liked it, so I decided to repeat this week.  I followed the recipe, but I only used 1/2 a banana and added 1/2 cup of pumpkin.  It was nice to change it up for once!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • topped with peanut butter and honey

Snack

While I was out running errands this weekend I spotted this protein pumpkin muffin mix at Home Goods and couldn’t pass it up.  Not too shabby for a packaged mix!

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Lunch

I found this recipe for Pumpkin Turkey Chili over at GiGi Eats Celebrities and had to give it a try, especially when they said you couldn’t taste the pumpkin.  I didn’t tell Matt what the “secret ingredient” was and he had NO idea. Winning.  It was so good I had to repeat it for lunch.

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Snack

Apple and peanut butter.  No pictures.  Enough said. 🙂

Dinner

I got home late so just decided to whip up an egg scramble complete with egg whites, spinach, low sodium ham and goat cheese.  One of my favs!  It doesn’t look like much in the picture, but that’s because I forgot to snap one until I was almost finished.  #bloggerprobs.  I also snacked on half of another protein muffin and I can’t forget my Dove chocolate!

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Since tomorrow is Turkey Day, I thought I would leave you all with a few tips to keep it a little on the healthy side. I will preface this by saying that I am a big believer in having everything in moderation, and holidays are no exception.  I try to eat healthy 80-90% of the time, so there is no reason I can’t live a little on days like this….or even on a random Thursday for that matter. 😉  I am definitely not going to tell you to go to Grandma’s house and only fill your plate with turkey and green beans.  If you have the willpower to do that though, more power to you!  For me, the key is portion control.

1. Workout Thanksgiving morning.  Trust me, you will feel much better about indulging if you already got in a daily sweat session.

2. Portion control. Portion control. Portion control.  Don’t skip the potatoes and pie if that’s what you’re into, but it’s all about the portions.  Fill up most of your plate with protein, veggies and greens and then take small amounts of “the good stuff”.  This way, you can have your cake (or pie!) and eat it too. 😉

3. Bring something you “can” eat. My mom and I are all about this.  Bring a dish that you know will provide a healthy alternative.  That way, you know there will be at least ONE dish that you can count on being semi-healthy.  You might be surprised how much everyone appreciates that too!

4.  Take a walk.  After your big meal and after getting a little couch potato/football-watching time in, bundle up and take a walk.  Invite your family members to come along; it would be a good chance to get outside, breath in some fresh air, and catch up with grandma.

5. ENJOY the day!  Holidays are about spending time with family and friends, it shouldn’t be about stressing over what you ate (or didn’t eat).  Sit back, relax and take it all in.  You worked hard for it!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Girly-Girl Weekend

This weekend was a husband-free weekend, as Matt was on a bachelor party trip to Oxford, Mississippi for the Mizzou vs. Ole Miss game (which, by the way, Mizzou won!).  What’s a girl to do, you ask?  Have breakfast for dinner, take on a Christmas craft and watch a Beyonce documentary, of course.

Friday night I tried out a new protein pancake recipe.  I found this recipe for a cinnamon coconut variety and made a few adjustments to make Chocolate Coconut Protein Pancakes.  They turned out pretty good! After breakfast for dinner I curled up on the couch and spent the rest of the night with my girl, “B”. 😉

Coconut Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 scoop protein
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • splash of almond milk

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and pour into skillet.  Flip halfway through.  I topped mine with a few chocolate chips, a sprinkle of coconut and sugar free maple syrup.  Enjoy!

I spent all day on Saturday Christmas shopping with my mom.  Then my friend Kelly came over to do a little Christmas DIY project and watch the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy.  (Again, yes I still watch this show, 10 years later.)  We found our project on none other than Pinterest and spent over an hour at the craft store trying to find the right materials.  Halfway through the project we decided to save the rest for another day.  Enough was enough, this wasn’t quite as easy a task as it looked..as with all Pinterest crafts.

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The jury is still out on Kelly’s project.  We decided it was starting to look like her door hanging had a disease…

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DSC01472Could be a Pinterest fail waiting to happen but I have faith. 🙂  I completed my project on Sunday and I’m pretty excited about the final product!

Christmas Door Hanging

Oh, and how could I forget?!  Saturday night fro-yo was a must. No girls night is complete without it. 🙂

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When Matt got back on Sunday I experimented with a new dish- Paleo Coconut Shrimp.  I’ve been on a bit of a coconut kick lately, maybe because I have a lot left over from the Chocolate Coconut Brownies I made for Friendsgiving.

Paleo Coconut Shrimp

 Baked Paleo Coconut Shrimp

(Original recipe found here)

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • 12 peeled and de-veined raw shrimp
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • salt & pepper (to taste)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Pour coconut onto baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 3 minutes, until lightly brown.  Whisk egg and almond milk together.  Mix coconut, coconut flour, salt, and pepper in separate bowl.  Dip shrimp in egg mixture, then dip in coconut mixture and cover.  Place all shrimp on baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes or until fully cooked.

And that’s my weekend in a nutshell!  Now let’s get this short week started and get ready for a weekend full of FOOD!  🙂

Killer Leg Workout

I’m coming to you this Friday with a killer leg workout.  I completed this guy last Friday and it wasn’t until Tuesday that I finally could walk and not look like I just got off a horse.  I took Saturday and Sunday off because I could barely walk, much less even think about working out.  On Monday, I decided to give it a go with an upper body workout but even the 10 minute warm-up on the elliptical was painful, so then I took Tuesday off too.  You guys know I must have been in some pain to have that many rest days. 🙂  I’m not exaggerating.  Limping, wincing, holding on for dear life just to sit down- the works.  I actually hesitated in sharing this with you because I wasn’t sure I should subject others to this pain.  Or maybe I’m a big baby and this won’t be that hard for anyone else.  If so let me know, I can take it.  Then this entire post will just be an embarassment…

You might want to try this without weights at first, or at least start with a low weight.  In hindsight, that’s what I would have done. 🙂 You can also reduce the sets to 2 instead of 3.

Lower Body Gym Workout

Resistance Band Side Shuffles: Stand on a resistance band, one handle or end in each hand.  Curl your hands up and push up to your shoulders so that the band is pulled tight.  Take 10 steps to the right then 10 to the left.  Your steps will probably be pretty small and your outer thighs will feel the burn. 🙂

Skaters w/ Cross-back Lunge: Stand with feet hip distance apart.  Jump to the side, landing on your right foot, then cross your left foot back and do a cross-back lunge.  Repeat on the left.

 

Have a great (and sore) weekend!

Tips to Stay Active in the Office

About a month ago, when I was participating in Healthy Habits Week with my chiropractor’s office, they asked me to come in and talk to a group about fitness.  Although I’m not a fitness expert, nor am I a certified trainer (yet!), they wanted me to talk about my experience with fitness, my blog, and give the group tips on how to start incorporating fitness into their every day lives.  I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous going into it since this was my first time leading a group discussion like this, but everyone was really receptive and actually ended up giving me a few good ideas for blog topics!

One question that was raised was about what tips I can give someone who works in an office all day, but wants to stay active.  I can definitely relate to this because I too work in an office environment all day and although I live a pretty active lifestyle, sitting in a chair for 8+ hours a day can really take a toll.

Office Tips

1.  Walk everywhere.  Don’t do this so much that you become an annoying neighbor, but maybe instead of sending an email to a co-worker for a quick question, take a stroll to their desk and ask them in person.

2. Walk Fast.  I’m also not suggesting you strap on a sweatband and power walk through your office, but maybe pick up the pace a little when you are walking down the hallway or to the bathroom.  You’ll get your heart rate at least above a resting state and maybe people won’t bother as much if you look like you have someplace to be. 🙂

3. Drink lots of water.  This alone is good for your overall health and promotes weight loss but also, the more water you drink, the more trips you take to the bathroom (see #1 & 2).

4. Office Abs.  Sitting in your chair, contract your abs, squeeze and let go.  Repeat 10-20x and do as many sets as you want throughout the day.

5. Office Leg Lifts.  Sitting in your chair, raise one leg so it is hip level, squeeze and return your foot to the floor.  Repeat 15x and then switch legs.

6. Office Resistance Training- Legs.  Sitting in your chair, cross your ankles and raise your legs so they are hip level then try pressing your top leg down while resisting with the bottom leg.  Hold as long as you can then switch legs.

7. Office Resistance Training- Arms.  Sitting in your chair, you can also place your hands under or on top of your desk and press up or down.

8. Take the Stairs- Often.  Try to avoid the elevator if you can.  If you work on the 20th floor, maybe take the elevator halfway or 2/3 of the way up and take the stairs the rest of the way.  If you are like me and start to get a little stir-crazy throughout the day, take a couple short breaks and walk up and down a few flights of stairs to get your heartrate (and brain) going.

9. Stand When You Can. You burn more calories when you are standing rather than sitting.  Throughout the day, make a conscious effort to stand when you have the opportunity.  If you have the option, you may even look into a “standing desk”.  One of my co-workers has one so she has the ability to stand and continue working as usual.

10. Come Prepared.  If you are one of those people who prefers to workout after work but sometimes find yourself down for the count if you go home first, pack a bag the night before with all of your gym essentials (including a snack!) and go straight to the gym after work. If you have everything packed and ready to go, it makes it a little harder to make excuses.  Plus, you will feel much better after you are finished, I promise!

Now, I’m not saying you will get a bangin’ body just from doing these things, but it certainly can’t hurt to get your heart rate up and blood pumping throughout the day.  It will help in the long run.  Some of these may be pretty obvious or not seem like much at all, but all of the little things you do really do add up!

So on that note, since it IS Hump Day after all…

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 Whoop whooop!

Paleo Friendsgiving

This weekend, our friends Nate and Kate invited a few friends over for a little “Friendsgiving”- Paleo style. The Paleo lifestyle is based on the “hunter-gatherer” concept- eating wholesome foods from food groups that, for lack of better words, a caveman could eat.  Fresh meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and healthful oils are some of the basics.  It doesn’t sound too difficult but when you get right down to it, there is a lot more involved than you think.  Nate and Kate are avid Cross-fitters and over the past year or so have adopted the Paleo lifestyle.  They are much more dedicated than I will ever be, but I’m always intrigued and inspired by the delicious food Kate always seems to make.  It almost makes me want to give this Paleo thing a go…almost. This Saturday, she really outdid herself and had quite the spread.  On the menu was smoked turkey, roasted butternut squash, sweet potato and bacon “biscuits”, gravy, mashed cauliflower, cranberry sauce, roasted green beans, stuffing and salad….and ALL of it was Paleo-friendly.  Full yet?

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Keeping with the theme, I made my first Paleo dish ever- dessert of course!  I found a recipe for Coconut Chocolate Brownies on PaleOMG and decided to give it a try.  I was pretty skeptical because dessert is one thing I rarely mess with but we were all actually pleasantly surprised.

IMAG0194Paleo Coconut Chocolate Brownies

(Original recipe here)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup canned full fat coconut milk (yes, you have to use full fat, I asked Kate- the paleo expert) 😉
  • 1 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used unsweetened)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt chocolate and coconut milk in a small sauce pan over low heat.  Add melted chocolate and coconut milk to a mixing bowl with eggs and mix.  Add almond flour, baking powder, sea salt and shredded coconut; continue mixing.  Pour mixture in to an 8×8 baking dish greased with coconut oil (or oil of your choice).  Sprinkle almonds on top, as well as a small handful of shredded coconut.  Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Paleo aside, we all had a fantastic night.  Great food, great friends…Friendsgiving 2013 was a success. The healthy factor was just an added bonus. 🙂

Friday Favorites Link Up #1

Recently, Heather, over at Housewife Glamour, started a Friday Favorites link up where bloggers can share some of their favorite things.  I’ve seen so many of these “Friday Favorites”, “Things I’m Loving Lately”, etc posts out there, so I’m glad she started this!  Sometimes it’s nice to change things up from the usual recipe/workout focused post.  Happy Friday!

Housewife Glamour

1. Foam Roller

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Dear foam roller, thank you for changing my life…no really, thank you.  This thing is my saving grace for sore muscles and when I’m nursing an injury.  It seriously hurts so good.  Here are a few good go-to exercises:

Foam_Roller_Exercises2. Marilyn

No, I did not name my teasing brush, she came with that name, ok?  But yes, she is a trusted friend. Although it looks a little worse for wear, this brush has seen me through many football games and nights out on the town…ok fine, every day of my life there’s a little tease in my hair.

DSC01455This is the only brush I’ve used that gives me the poof I’m looking for and keeps it in place.  Admittedly, sometimes I take it to the extreme but go big or go home, right?!  Little girls like to ask me if I wear a bump-it.  I take that as a compliment, thankyouverymuch. 🙂

3. Bodycology lotion

Bath and Body Works body lotion is really the only lotion I’ve used for a long time.  Nothing against other lotions out there, my mom just always stocks me up at Christmas so I’m good to go for a while. 🙂 Recently, I was in need of a re-up and didn’t feel like making a trip to the mall, nor did I want to spend $12.50 on lotion.  While at Target, I spotted this Bodycology lotion and discovered it is very similar to B&BW.  Some of the scents are almost the same too, and at a fraction of the cost!  (I think $3.50, to be exact?)

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4. Salmon stir-fry

Stir-fry really couldn’t be easier to make, especially when you use a bagged veggie mix like I do. 😉  Lately I’ve been switching out my usual chicken for salmon and both Matt and I are loving it!

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5. Friday couch potato night

The second Matt and I wake up on Monday, it seems like the first words we utter (after “Good Morning”) are “Man, I can’t wait until Friday”.  Lately, our Friday nights have consisted of N.O.T.H.I.N.G. and it is glooorious.  I truly look forward to having a night free and spending it on the couch watching one of our favorite shows or a new movie and getting to bed at a decent time so I can be productive on Saturday….dang, I sound old.  It’s ok if you judge me.

6. Popcorn (the real stuff) on said couch potato night

I know in a previous “favorites” post, I mentioned I loved Skinny Pop but I also can’t deny my obsession with the real deal.  Buttery, salty popcorn.  I’m a sucker for popcorn and a movie on a Friday night with the hubs.  Sometimes you just gotta go for it!

DSC01462Yep, Movie Theater Butter.  Hey, it says it’s 100% Whole Grain…?! 😉

7. Bar Method DVD

I was supposed to go to a Barre class with a friend last Sunday and when she had to cancel at the last minute I still had my heart set on it.  I remembered I had this workout DVD from the Bar Method that I hadn’t even cracked the seal on so I thought it would be a good day to give it a try, honestly not really expecting much.  Holy Moly was I sore after this workout.  It wasn’t a high intensity workout and I didn’t break too much of a sweat but boy, were my legs and butt burning by the end AND the day after!  I will definitely be putting this DVD too good use, especially when winter hits and I’m too big of a baby to leave the house to go to the gym. 🙂

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There you have it, my first Friday Favorites link up with many more to come, I’m sure! 🙂