Archive | March, 2012

Cooking day

25 Mar

Last night I went out for dinner with some friends to a Lebanese tavern, it’s one of my favorite restaurants because it’s reasonably priced and it’s so easy to eat healthy! Now the coconut mojitos don’t fall on the healthy list but… it was a celebration and they’re good 🙂 I’m the first one to admit I enjoy a drink and dessert every now and then, everything in moderation.

But today I’ve been writing a paper and taking care of bills/house stuff before leaving Thursday for my vacation to see my man. I’m just doing cardio and a quick abs workout later today.

I’ve been trying to not buy too many groceries since I don’t want them to go bad but here’s how today’s looked so far:


Peanut butter and honey toast with some cinnamon on it



Cereal with 1% milk (I don’t buy cereal super often because I get addicted but just make sure it’s whole grain and you’re getting one that’s a decent source of fiber and vitamins)


Currently in the oven is a peppercorn pork loin, I’ve never tried it before but here’s the recipe:

1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon very coarsely ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (in the skillet)

1 tablespoon minced jalapenos
2 tablespoons water (I don’t know if you actually need this but I used it)

Mix ingredients and season the meat evenly, sear the seasoning onto the meat in a skillet and then transfer to Bake at 375 per directions on package (I think it’s usually 20 min/lb)

**If you’re in a rush most companies sell a pre-seasoned pork loin: just watch sodium, trim the fat, and make sure you can pronounce the ingredients if you go that route. I think peppercorn chicken would be good too but haven’t tried making that.

I also made protein cookie balls as a pre-workout/energy snack for the next few days, here’s the link for that:

So this is a weekend…

24 Mar

I have to say, even though I like having my 4 days off with a normal nursing schedule… having a weekends is pretty nice. I woke up and made oatmeal pancakes (I’ll post the recipe), had time to check in with my family and relax this morning before going to the gym. and still have about 3 hours to get things done before meeting friends for dinner… it’s great!

At the gym I did 3 different leg circuits, trying to rest as little as possible between sets and then a little longer rest when changing circuits:


15 squats (body weight)

50 toe-taps (I use a Bosu and you hop foot to foot just tapping the bosu with your toe)

20 calf raises

(2 times)

15 lunges with front foot on Bosu (15/leg)

20 sumo squats with 20 lb dumbbell

20 adductors/20 abductors per leg

20 hip thrusts (lay on the floor, bend your legs, and push your hips up)

20 reverse crunches

(2 times)

20 hip extensions with 5 lb dumbbell behind knee (per leg)

15 round-house kicks on heavy bag

30 sec wall-sit

(3 times)


Oatmeal Pancakes (from Oxygen Magazine but I played with it a little)

1/3 C. oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill, Gluten Free Oats)

4 egg whites

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder

5 strawberries cut up (you can use as much or as little fruit as you want, I used banana last time I made them)

Mix it all together and heat on the stove like you would for normal pancakes. I topped mine with strawberries and blueberries mashed up (it was my attempt at a type of syrup)

Here’s the original recipe again if you’d rather try it:

“It’s never a question of can you… but will you?”

23 Mar

It has been a rough past couple days. Wedding plans had another kink thrown into them (we got it worked out), adjusting to the schedule for the next six weeks, and I woke up with a weird headache a couple days ago that hasn’t gone away. So I took my days off in a row, instead of spreading them out, but today I just wanted to workout. I feel sluggish when I go more than a couple days out of the gym and little things start bothering me more than they should- so, yes, I am addicted to working out 🙂 And while my head hurts more now, it was so worth it. (*For the record, I did check with a doctor yesterday but they didn’t seem concerned so I figured a workout was okay)

For awhile I was deciding if I wanted to go to the gym or just take another day off and be safe; and then realized that days like today are what dedication is about. It’s easy to find reasons to not get to the gym, but unless there’s a real medical reason, they’re just excuses. I did take it easier than normal as far as cardio intensity, but to really reach my goals I can’t find reasons to not go… that’s just standing in my own way.

What’s standing in your way?

Here’s the workout:

[I got a request to add videos of how to do things, I’m still trying to figure out the best way to do that.]

2 min rotating plank (10 sec middle, 10 on your left arm, 10 middle, 10 on your right arm)

5 min boxing (combo jabs, crosses, and hooks)

20 lateral raises with 5 lb dumbbells

20 front raises with 5 lb dumbbells

20 squats into bicep curls with 10 lb dumbbells

20 tricep extensions with 10 lb dumbbell

repeat 2 more times (3 total)


20 crunches

20 crunches with knees up (calves parallel to the floor)

20 leg raises with 20 lb bar weight as counter

20 presses with 20 lb bar


20 oblique crunches/side

20 leg raises side to side with counter weight

20 presses with 20 lb bar


20 v-ups passing a ball from legs to hands

20 crunches on balance ball

20 skull crushers with 20 lb weight bar


20 lunges with TRX strap resistance

20 push-ups with TRX straps

15 clean and press

Repeat 1 more time

15 min cardio

“I’m no superman”

21 Mar

As much as I like to try… I’m no super woman. We just started our final rotation for nursing school, which means we work full time with our preceptor until we get 156 clinical hours. I’m in a setting where I am working 8 hour shifts, starting at 6:30am… which really isn’t so bad, except I’m still trying to work at my hospital job. At that job we’re getting ready to move into a new building, so today I have to go in from 7 to midnight for training… 6:30am to midnight is a long day, and that’s not even counting driving etc.

The point of all this is that I didn’t go to the gym today. I got off my rotation and came home, and am currently making a snack and coffee. And I feel really guilty that I’m not doing the hard workout I planned because yesterday was a scheduled off day… but, sometimes, it’s important to remember we can’t be perfect. I can take a day to just do a 15/20 minute ab or leg workout at home, it isn’t the end of the world. Does it mean that peanut butter ice cream I was saving for tonight should wait until tomorrow… probably. Our body needs rest and sleep as much (probably more depending on the day) as it needs exercise.

To be fair, I have been good about my nutrition today. If you care…

Breakfast: Gluten Free oatmeal

Snack: Jamie Eason Chocolate protein bars

Lunch: Tuna Salad (tuna, lemon juice, pepper) on cucumbers

           Chobani yogurt

Snack: 1/4c almonds, 1/2c grapes

Dinner (plan): jerk spiced chicken with green beans

Increasing the cardio

19 Mar

Today was pretty laid back but I woke up with a headache so I put off my workout until later in the day. It worked out pretty well, I felt like I could really focus on my workout since I didn’t have too much to do when I got home.

I made peanut butter and banana toast for breakfast and went to my meeting and then came home and reheated the jerk chicken from the other night with some brown rice and green beans and had a chocolate protein brownie for dessert before hitting the gym- I made them with banana-berry baby food so it’s like a chocolate banana bread, so good!

Anyway… I decided since I’m 10 days out from my trip I’d start increasing my cardio and since I wasn’t sure if the headache would come back I started with that.I had been just working it in with more of a cross-training style so today I made it a separate part of the workout.

The Workout:

10 min on a stationary bike on random, level 5

15 min on an arc trainer, hill intervals, level 5

then did 3 rounds of the following circuit:

20 skull crushers into sit-up with extended arms with a 15 lb bar

20 leg raises, holding the 15 lb bar above my head as a counter-weight

10 single arm cable fly/arm

10 single arm cable reverse fly/arm

**for the fly, I did front and then reverse back to back before switching arms

15 oblique twists with cable

After the workout I made sure to stretch out really well, which I think is the most relaxing part of the workout, and figured it should help with the headache. I think with all the traveling and changes I just need to get better about always keeping my water bottle on me and hopefully the headaches won’t come back.


Oxygen Women’s Fitness | Nutrition | Oatmeal Protein Pancakes

18 Mar

Oxygen Women’s Fitness | Nutrition | Oatmeal Protein Pancakes.

Made these this morning with a little water in the batter, cinnamon, and a whole banana (instead of half)… not bad! Good option for breakfast on days you will be working out or post workout meal.

Taking time for yourself

17 Mar

A day in the life…



I worked the past two days, a 12 hour shift Friday and 8 hour today. Leaving the hospital today after traveling all week and going straight into work, I was exhausted. But I had been texting a few people, deciding if I wanted to go out with friends for St. Patty’s or just take a night for myself. I decided I wanted to go to the gym and get groceries and… just catch up on life. It has been wonderful.

First of all, no one was in the gym. At most there were two other people there the whole time which meant I could do everything I wanted, when I wanted. It was perfect. I did a total body workout with some cardio worked in but focused mainly on lifting/toning.  (In case you haven’t been following or noticed… I love circuit training.) I decided to work on biceps, triceps, and glutes but working in a lot of core and some total body moves. Once a month or so I like meeting with a trainer to keep getting new ideas and today I made my own workout combining a little bit of everything. I’ll post it at the end 🙂

Then I went to the grocery store and STOCKED UP on clean food; tons of fruit and veggies, got the ingredients for a couple dishes I’ve been wanting to try. I feel so much better when I follow a “clean” diet. I made jerk spice chicken using the spices from: it was delicious!

I also made Jamie Eason’s turkey meatloaf muffins (it’s just a to-go version… it’s good I promise) and made a yogurt ginger marinade for chicken tomorrow… all these recipes are on my pinterest.

It might seem silly… I mean, it is Saint Patrick’s day, but all I wanted when I got home was some chill time and a good night sleep. Even after just a few relaxing hours I feel slightly re-energized and can’t wait until tomorrow. It’s amazing what a workout and good meal can do for you!

Today’s workout:

3 min rotating plank (10 sec center, 10 on left side, 10 center, 10 right… repeat)

20 lateral raises

20 front raises

20 bicep curls

20 cable tricep pull downs

30 weighted crunches

Repeat 2 more times


20 squats (body weight)

15 hip extensions/leg

15 “fire-hydrants”/leg

15 hip extension with kick/leg

16 dumb-bell push-ups with row (8/arm)

15 overhead tricep extensions

20 rotating leg raises (10 each side)

Repeat 1 more time


20 squats with weight

20 Side step-ups with kick (one foot up on a bench, step up onto it and kick other leg out to the side)

Repeat 1-2 more times

Cool Down


Hope you enjoy the workout or recipes from today! (Or both)

3 + 2 = 5?

15 Mar

I’m the first to admit, diet is my downfall. I love working out, I really do. I also love chocolate, wine, and ice cream. But I’ve started being better and focusing more on my big goals; instead of having the dessert or wine every day, it’s a treat. However along with cutting back on that I tried doing the “5 small meals a day” theory… and I gained about 5 pounds. I cut back to three meals with two snacks and feel a hundred times better and the weight is coming back down. It got me thinking… I’ve seen the science, I understand eating approximately every 3 hours keeps your metabolism up but where did the 5 small meals come from? I eat less calories eating the 3 and 2 as opposed to 5 and generally get in more protein (which when I’m training is key for me to have energy). I think it’s important to remember that there isn’t a “one size fits all” for diets… the general foods you should be eating are pretty fool proof but who’s to say I should eat five 300 Cal meals instead of 3 bigger meals with 2 snacks?

One recommendation I got was to include recipes, so I thought I’d put in an “example day” of my diet.


3 egg whites, 1 egg scrambled with a bit of pepper and milk

1 cup fruit (I love berries especially)

coffee (black or with a little bit of skim milk)


Jamie Eason chocolate protein brownies  ( )


Chicken with green peppers, onions, and garlic

1/2 C. brown rice


1/4 C. almonds and an apple (or sugar snap peas… fruit or veggies)


Pork: I’ll add my favorite recipe at the bottom!

Green Beans

Baked Red Potatoes

I have tons of other recipes on my pinterest: but here’s my favorite new one for pork

Rub Ingredients:
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pork tenderloin (approx 2 1/2 to 3 pounds) cut into quarters
2 tablespoons olive oil
Glaze ingredients:
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon hot  sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon, then coat the pork with the spice rub. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat until the oil is hot and rippling. Brown the pork, turning, about 4 minutes total. If you have a skillet that can go straight into the oven you can leave the pork in the skillet; however, if you are like me and  don’t have an ovenproof skillet, transfer it to a foil-lined baking pan (like a 9X13-inch).
Stir together the brown sugar, garlic, and hot sauce and pat on top of each tenderloin. Roast in the middle of the oven until a thermometer inserted diagonally in center of each tenderloin registers 140, about 25 minutes. Let pork stand in the skillet at room temperature for 10 minutes. The temperature will rise to about 155 while standing. Slice on the diagonal and serve, spooning the sauce from the skillet on top of the pork.

What are your favorite recipes or healthy snack options?

Home again

14 Mar

Heading back home today, I love traveling and staying busy but it’s always nice to get back to routine. I have two weeks until my next adventure, which means time to take my own advice and add in those extra cardio steps and eating habits. As a reader (fittwincities) pointed out, we all cheat a little on vacation but time to get back at it. I think my favorite part of the first work out back is the motivation after taking a couple days off in a row (which I tend not to do) I usually use the extra motivation to push myself farther on a run but I’m thinking tomorrow may be a boxing day. If you’ve never tried kickboxing (and are capable of doing so) I would completely recommend it! I love it, it’s a total body workout with cardio all mixed into one, and there’s nothing like taking out a little frustration some days 🙂 I started at a kickboxing gym in Oklahoma and haven’t been able to find a new one yet but the gym I work out at has a heavy bag and every once in awhile I find someone to use focus pads with. Your arms and abs will thank you… Once they get over the shock.

What are your favorite high intensity workouts?


*MidAtlantic also took this shot… so basically all of them used on the blog so far 🙂

Workouts and weddings

12 Mar

As I’ve mentioned, I got engaged in October (to the most amazing guy… But that’s not the point) and it seems that we’re at a point where a lot of our friends are also getting married or know people who are etc. Last night one girl was telling me about her friend who is eating only lean cuisines and skipped lunch so she could have a dessert…. Not good. But it got me thinking, I know tons of people who, whether a wedding or spring break or class reunion, get so caught up in looking good for that one thing. Now, don’t get me wrong I’m going on another trip in a couple of weeks and am definitely a little more aware since I’ll be on a beach and, yes, the thought of looking good in my wedding dress crosses my mind but why not make a lifestyle change instead of starving yourself for a month? it’s more intimidating, sure, but in the long run it’s a way better pay off.

So, how do you do it? Start small. Starving yourself for a month is not a healthy pattern, and it’s not something you’ll be able to (or should!) keep up. You will end up bingeing at some point and then what? Trade a dessert for fruit or a mocha for a cup of coffee with some milk. Normally get two portions? Maybe just get one with extra veggies. The point is, take some small steps. Once you have those into your routine add in the next, an extra 10 min on your run or an extra ab workout in the week. Too busy planning and meeting vendors to add in time? Up the intensity, add in intervals to your run or if you’re on a treadmill, up your speed. And as always don’t let yourself fall into a routine that lets your body adapt (we’re all guilty of it now and then). In a rush? Make more small steps at the same time but make changes you will be able to follow through with.

Maybe you already eat well and are just trying to get in even better shape…that’s awesome! Still be smart about it. Change up your routine, try a new fitness class or add hills instead of speed intervals. Basically, throw your body out of its comfort zone. But always stay on top of your nutrition, not getting enough calories will not do you any favors… And, as you probably know, can make it harder to lose weight or lean out. Increase protein and trade out a portion of bread or pasta for some green beans but don’t skip meals, and increase your water intake 🙂

What steps have you started out with? Or what ways do you change up your workouts?