Archive | March, 2014

Sunday Brunch

30 Mar

Short and sweet post…

We had a great weekend filled with dinners and housewarmings so this afternoon I’m making some granola and doing a bit of food prep. We had some friends over for brunch after church this morning and I made a breakfast casserole that my mom made when we were growing up. It’s always a hit at parties and it’s pretty much my go to for brunch (well that and mimosas).

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Most of us hear casserole and think of creamy, fatty, delicious baked dishes. But, there are simple ways to make any dish a little healthier and fit into a healthy lifestyle. For example I make quick changes to my mom’s recipe… 1% or skim milk, whole grain bread instead of white bread, reduced fat cheese, more eggs less cheese and milk, and reduced sodium soup or make it at home.

People ask me all the time for advice or tips and tricks, the best advice I can give might be cliche but it’s true. Find small changes that you can add into your every day life that will make a big difference.

Adventures with Kale

24 Mar

When we had some friends staying with us they introduced me to cooking with kale (something I had always been a little afraid to try) and then once I posted the spinach smoothie recipe, I had a few friends tell me I should try using kale smoothies too. Today I decided it was time to try it on my own.

I had a great workout at the gym and afterwards made my first kale protein shake, inspired by this Living to Dine recipe. Here’s what my recipe ended up being:

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein
  • 3/4 C almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 small apple (diced)
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 heaping cup kale
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed meal
  • cinnamon to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp)

Blend until smooth.

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It tasted great but was a little gritty for me, I’m not sure if adding the yogurt in the original recipe would help with that or maybe I just need to blend it more.

I also currently have a lemon chicken with kale cooking in the Crockpot for dinner. If it turns out well I’ll be sure to post that recipe soon!

Today’s leg workout I did for time so only rested for about 15 sec. between sets and then about 2 min between super-sets.

Plank warm-up

3 sets:

  • 15 walking lunges with rotation/leg
  • 1 min backward running
  • 20 side shuffles/side (make sure to stay in a low squat for these)

3 sets:

2 sets:

  • 20 squats
  • 12 deadlifts

Stretched out and called it a day after that. What are your go to workouts when you’re short on time?

My First Attempt at Spinach Smoothies

20 Mar

Today was wonderful. Girls’ morning with another Marine wife and then finished things around the house and got a great at home workout in. I did a 30 min Nike Training Club workout and then about a 15 min boxing inspired workout, great cardio and my legs were worked at the end of it all!

After the workout I wanted to make a protein shake to tide me over until dinner and decided to be brave. I did some searching and decided to try a spinach protein smoothie. I was pleasantly surprised! I want to play with other ingredients but this was a good start.

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Here’s the recipe I made based off what I had in the house:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 handful baby spinach
  • 3/4 frozen banana
  • 1 handful frozen raspberries
  • 1 small handful blackberries
  • 1 tbs flax seed
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein

Blend until smooth 🙂

Do you have a favorite spinach smoothie?

Back, Biceps and Rosemary Chicken

14 Mar

Since getting back from Arizona my workouts have been limited and at home so it felt great to get back into the gym this morning. My friend and I did back and biceps at the gym and then I’ll bring the pups on a run later to get in my cardio.

3 sets:

  • 12 Incline Bicep Curls
  • 12 lat pull-downs
  • 12 seated cable rows

3 sets:

  • 12 reverse flyes
  • 12 cable bicep curls

3 sets:

  • 20 Bosu push-ups
  • 10 TRX bicep curls

The whole workout took about 40 min, no excuses 😉

Scott Traczyk Photography, oldie but goodie

Scott Traczyk Photography, oldie but goodie

The other night it was beautiful here so hubby and I decided to grill and enjoy the weather. We made grilled rosemary chicken, it was very simple to throw together.

You’ll need:

  • 1/4 C lemon juice
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 4 tbsp olive juice
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and pour into gallon Ziplock bag, add chicken breasts and let marinade approx. 1 hour. Grill the chicken about 4-5 min/side and enjoy!

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Picture by It’s a Keeper

I served it with Basmati rice and green beans. What are your go to sides?

What I’ve done instead of Facebook…

13 Mar

I hadn’t realized how much of a habit checking Facebook had become. Especially with smart phones it has become so easy to just tap the little icon while I have 5 min here and there or get out the computer just to check e-mail and pay bills and then an hour later still be looking through news feed pictures and Pinterest.

On Monday I had a day off and instead of spending my afternoon wasting time on Facebook etc. I got a short at home workout in and had a baking afternoon.

I had to do a light workout because of some medical testing they were doing so the at home workout looked like this:

2 sets:

  • 20 squats
  • 20 side squats/leg

2 sets:

  • BOSU planks with leg raises (15/leg) followed by leg abduction (10/leg)
  • 20 BOSU push-ups

2 sets:

  • 15 Hamstring bridges
  • 10 squats with medicine ball twist

Then I made granola for the week and a new variation of carrot cake bars. I adapted Jamie Eason’s recipe to make it gluten free and I’m not a fan of any of the artificial sweeteners, even Truvia (which is only like 1% actual Stevia), so I’m experimenting with honey. What substitutes do you use while baking?

Carrot Cake Protein Bars:

  • 1 C almond flour
  • 1/3 C honey (I’m still playing with this ratio)
  • 2 scoops Vanilla Whey Protein
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp all-spice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 4 egg whites
  • 8 oz carrot baby food
  • 4 oz water
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. Mix all dry ingredients together
  2. Add in wet ingredients
  3. Pour batter into lightly greased baking pan (I use canola oil)
  4. Bake at 350 for approx 20 min
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Protein Carrot Cake

How To Use Honey to Replace Other Sweeteners

11 Mar

Attempting to use Honey as a substitute in my protein bars today… This was helpful!

Brookfield Farm Bees & Honey Blog

Honey by Tohmai  pernity.com/doc/kurtsik

There is a lot of information out there on how to use honey to replace sugar.

But a customer at the Ferndale Market (Washington) asked me how to replace agave and stivia with honey.  I was at a loss.  “I don’t know” is honest, but it doesn’t help much.

A google search later, I was still at a loss.  So I turned to the National Honey Board (http://www.honey.com).  They, in turn, asked one of their consultants.  His answer and little math, lead me to the solution.  I’ll put up the chart he sent me at the end.  It’s fascinating: the different sugars and how they relate.  But I’ll jump to the quick here and put down some “how to’s” on using honey to replace other sweeteners.

Remember: in all cases, personal taste will come into play.

Honey replacing Sugar (this one I know)

* For ½ cup or less of…

View original post 291 more words

I’d forgotten…

7 Mar

I’d forgotten how much I liked hiking. Arizona was amazing, the first day we hiked Camelback Mountain and after that we spent the next two days doing light workouts at the resort, laying by a pool, and taking advantage of the spa. It was pretty much the perfect vacation.

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Part way up the hike

Back home now; I worked the past two days and trying to get the house back in order today so it’ll just be a short workout at home unfortunately.

I also gave up Facebook for Lent so I’d appreciate it if you’d share this post on your walls since I can’t 😉 On the plus side, no Facebook will give me more time to write here and be more productive with other things too (I hope…). Do you give things up or change anything for Lent? Or any healthy goals you made to start out March?