Trick-or-Treat Tabata

Happy Halloween!

Admittedly, last year Matt and I were scrooges and turned our light off on Halloween and didn’t give out candy…I know, I know, bah-humbug.  But this year, we decided to be the fun adults we are and I have a bag of candy ready to go!  I don’t remember seeing a lot of kids on our street last year, so hopefully it isn’t a Halloween fail and I’m not left with a bag of M&Ms and Skittles all to myself.

Speaking of….Since most of us tend to stuff our faces with candy around this time of year, it’s even more important to me that I am keeping up with my workouts to make sure I can still fit into my skinny jeans and boots (a fall staple for me). I did this tabata workout yesterday morning and was a little sore today, so I think it did the trick!  I wanted to share it with you all today, so you can feel free to have that extra Snickers bar, and now you have a reason not feel bad about it.  I also won’t judge you if you have the Snickers bar and don’t do the workout.  It happens. 🙂

Halloween Tabata

Weekend Recap: Sweet Potato Hash & Buffalo Chicken Salad + Workout

Happy Monday!

This weekend was relatively simple, yet amazing at the same time.  Here’s a little recap:

Friday night: Matt went to the St. Louis Blues game, so I spent the evening with my DVR (a little Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team and Real Housewives, don’t be jealous) and went to bed at 10pm.  Glorious.

Saturday: Got up early to go shopping with my mom at the new outlet mall in St. Louis.  Also glorious.  Then spent the evening with one of my best friends, Dana, and her two kids because her husband was out of town.  Glorious in a change-5-diapers-in-one-night kind of way.  Her, not me. 🙂  But really, it was great to hang with her and enjoy a big girl drink with her again- finally!  Plus, I’m utterly obsessed with her kids, in a totally non-creepy way.

Sunday: Matt and I went to the gym and the grocery store; typical Sunday afternoon.  Here is the workout I completed, after a 20min warmup:

Full Body Workout

I spent the rest of the afternoon making Peanut Butter Granola and Homemade Protein Bars for the week and got a little relaxing time in too.  For lunch, I made Buffalo Chicken Salad and I ate mine in a lettuce wrap.  I loved the twist on the typical chicken salad.  The recipe is at the end of this post!

DSC01249

We had to eat lunch outside because the weather was B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. I’m beyond excited for fall.  I just hope Missouri actually let’s us enjoy the season, instead of skipping straight to winter. It’s kind of our M.O.

For dinner, we made Sweet Potato Hash and enjoyed it on our patio (again) with a tall glass of wine.  My kind of Sunday night. 🙂  Now we also have enough food for dinner the next few nights.  Even better.

DSC01251

I found the recipe here, at Carrots and Cake, one of the many blogs I follow.  I’ve made it in the past and Matt’s a big fan.  Now that the weather is changing, it felt like a good time to bust it out again.  Feels like comfort food. 🙂  I followed the recipe exactly, but this time I eliminated the cinnamon.  We ended up liking it a little bit better that way, but it depends on your taste!

Turkey & Spinach Sweet Potato Hash

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium-large sweet potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2-4 handfuls of fresh spinach

Directions:

  1. Dice sweet potato into small pieces and then add them to a large sauté pan with olive oil, garlic powder, and cinnamon. Coat sweet potatoes in olive oil and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. While sweet potatoes are cooking, dice onion.
  2. Add ground turkey to the pan with the sweet potatoes. Break it up with a fork as it cooks. Add onion.
  3. Continue to cook sweet potatoes, turkey, and onion until turkey is no longer pink and sweet potatoes begin to soften.
  4. When sweet potatoes are soft, add spinach and cook until it is wilted.
  5. Remove pan from heat and serve immediately.

 

Buffalo Chicken Salad 

(I found the original recipe  for the here.)

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup Franks Red Hot Wings Buffalo sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, shredded
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) crumbled blue cheese

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, buffalo sauce, garlic powder, and black pepper. Stir in chicken, celery, cilantro, and blue cheese. Refrigerate until serving or up to 5 days in the fridge.

Yield: ~ 4 cups chicken salad (~8 servings, 1/2 cup each)

Nutrition Information (per 1/2 cup): 100 calories; 2.5 g. fat; 34 mg. cholesterol; 381 mg. sodium; 1.6 g. carbohydrate; 0.25g. fiber; 16.3 g. protein; 1.0 g. sugar

 

3 x 3 Full Body Circuit Workout

One more day and it’s Fridaaaayyyyy!!!!!!

I’ve been loving my lunch/dinner combinations the past few days, so I thought I should share.  When I can, I try to find easy/healthy recipes that will make enough food that I don’t have to cook for the rest of the week. I’m such a good housewife, huh? On Tuesday night, I made kale salad so I would have it for lunch during the week, and for dinner I threw together a chicken stir-fry that was just as easy to make as it was tasty. For my lunch the past few days, I have paired the kale salad with plain tuna.  Usually, I would think plain tuna would be gross and boring, but the salad has enough flavor (at least I think so), that I don’t even notice.  For the stir-fry, I used two bags of a veggie mix I found in the produce section that included snow peas, broccoli, sprouts and cabbage.  I grilled it all on the stove, then mixed it together with a low-sodium soy sauce and a little General Tso’s sauce.  Normally, I would try to keep the added sauces and syrups out of my meals, but as long as you don’t over do it, it’s not the end of the world.  I know “food is fuel” (direct quote from my dad) but personally, I prefer my fuel to at least have some flavor. 😉

1378751489115IMAG0072

Backtracking to my morning workout yesterday, I started out with 15min of light cardio, then put together this full body circuit workout.  For that little extra “kick”, add in 10 burpees or run on the treadmill for 5min in between each circuit!

3x3 Full Body Circuit

 

Exercise Details/Links

Walking Overhead Lunges– walking lunges holding a 15-25 pound plate/weight above your head, arms straight. (I used a 25 pound plate this time)

Superman Planks

Walking Planks  (Plank Push-ups…I have a variety of names for this one, apparently.) 🙂

Plank Spider Squats

Stability Ball Jack Knifes

Walking Push-ups– start standing up, bend over at the waist, place your hands on the ground and walk them forward until you are in straight arm push-up position.  Do a push-up, then walk your hands back towards your body until you are back in standing position, keeping your legs only slightly bent when walking out/back.  That is 1 rep.

 

Have a great day!

 

Burpee Bonanza & Green Protein Smoothie

Yesterday, my day started like it usually does- half awake at the gym.  I started out with 10 minutes of light intervals on the Stairmaster to get warmed up.  Then, I got to work on the ladder workout below.  Here’s how it works: Start out with 20 Burpees, 10 V-Situps, 20 Air Squats, and 10 Push-ups.  Then, 18 Burpees, 9 V-Situps, 18 Air Squats, and 9 Push-ups, and so on….basically the exercises that start with 20, you go down by 2 each time and the exercises that start with 10, you go down by 1.  I started out trying to do everything at 20 reps and down, but I quickly realized that, #1 I was going to run out of time before I needed to go home and get ready for work, and #2 I might not make it through the entire workout because my body wasn’t havin’ any of that.  I also realized early on that when you don’t do burpees for a while, your mind/body forget how hard they are; aka, your selective memory blocks them out of your mind, for obvious reasons.  I haven’t incorporated burpees into my workouts in a while because I’ve been trying to let my hamstring heal. It was starting to feel better, so I thought I would give this one a whirl.  Turns out, with this workout you end up doing 110 burpees!  Might have been a little aggressive, but I made it through…barely. You can always modify this by taking everything down to 10 reps and decrease by 1 each round.

Burpee Ladder Workout

After my workout, I made one of my breakfast staples- a Green Protein Smoothie.  I had always heard about putting greens like spinach and kale into smoothies, but never believed anyone when they said you can’t taste it. Lettuce in a smoothie? Yeah right…well, I was wrong.   I swear, you really can’t taste the spinach, and as long as it is blended thoroughly you won’t even notice it is there.  By adding spinach, you get the added bonus of the antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and other health benefits it provides.  The recipe is below, feel free to substitute whatever fruit or nut butter you prefer!

DSC01027

 There you have it!  A delicious green- er, grey- smoothie…I promise it tastes better than it looks.

DSC01031

Green Protein Smoothie

(makes 2 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2-1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1-2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 servings whey protein powder (I usually use chocolate, obvi)
  • 2-4 cups spinach (I don’t usually measure this, just fill the rest of the blender with spinach)

Directions:

Blend together and enjoy!

 

Also, if you haven’t already, click the link below or the button on the right side of the page, to follow my blog with Bloglovin, along with all of your favorites.  It’s a great site that allows you to see all of the blogs you follow in one place, and you can also get a daily email letting you know of new posts from those blogs.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

 

Look At Those Legs! Workout

I have another leg workout for you today!  I started out with 20min of light cardio, before getting to work on the circuit below.  I used a 25# kettlebell for the KB Swings and held a 15# kettlebell or two 10# dumbbells for the rest.  You could also finish this off with the 24 x 24 Leg Burners, or add burpees to the beginning/middle/end, if you’re feeling extra fiesty. 🙂

Look at Those Legs Workout

 

Exercise Links/Demonstrations:

Kettlebell Swings

Lateral Lunges (knee lift optional)

Plank Spider Squats

Sumo Squats (lift right heel, pulse 10x, then repeat with left heel up)

DSC01096 DSC01097

Lunges with leg lift (pulse leg that is lifted 20x on each side)

DSC01100 DSC01101

Squats with leg lift (pulse leg that is lifted 20x on each side)

DSC01098 DSC01099

 

Have a great day!

Girl with a Plan

I hope you are enjoying your Saturday!  I will be spending mine at the pool and going out to dinner for one of my college best friend/sorority sister’s (insert Valley girl voice here ;)) birthday.  I am really looking forward to seeing all of my girlfriends and catching up.  Although most of us live in the same city, we still don’t see each other as often as we would like because of that little thing called big-girl life seems to always get in the way!  Speaking of…if you have a group of girlfriends you can’t live without, you will relate to this post…and you will also most likely cry, but in a good way.  35 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About My Girlfriends

As I set out for the gym this morning, I was determined to go with a plan in mind.  Sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn’t. There are many days when it is considered a success just to get my butt to the gym, but when I go in without a plan, I almost never end up getting the level of workout I could (or should).  It doesn’t take long to do, it’s just about taking a few extra minutes, maybe the night before, and writing down my plan of action.  Then, you don’t spend half of your time wandering around aimlessly, when you could be breaking a sweat!  Below is my workout for today, along with a little cardio.  One of my goals lately is to improve the muscle tone in my legs, so you may be seeing a lot more leg workouts in the near future!

Legs and Abs Circuit

Exercise Demonstrations & Links:

Sumo Squat to High Pull

Lateral Lunges with Knee Lift

DSC01081 DSC01083

Cross-back Lunges with Knee Lift

DSC01084 DSC01085

Kettlebell Swings

Walking Overhead Lunges– Walking lunges holding weight above your head, elbows straight.

Standing Side Crunches

DSC01087 DSC01089

Arch-Bridge-Pike

DSC01090 DSC01091 DSC01092

Upper Russian Twist

Stability Ball Pullovers

DSC01093 DSC01094

Have a great weekend!