Archive | July, 2015

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

24 Jul

As part of my attempt to gain some weight I made sure to get my meal prep in this week. I stocked up on yogurt and snack bars and then made some steak, veggies, and a delicious chicken chili. I pretty much combined the Jamie Eason’s Turkey Chili recipe and this Chicken and Sweet Potato recipe based off what I had in the house. It looks like a lot of ingredients but I think I had everything combined and cooking in my slow cooker in about 20-30 minutes. I never cook my chicken for more than 4 hours in the slow cooker but I know most recipes call for 6 hours on low, just make sure it’s cooked all the way through.

You’ll need:

  • 1½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast (I used 3 large chicken breasts)
  • 1 (15 oz can) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz can) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz can) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth (can sub water)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp salt
  • Optional: 1-2 tbsp brown sugar (I didn’t use it and the chili definitely has a kick!)
  1. Place 1 cup liquid and diced tomatoes in crock pot
  2. Add in chicken, rinsed beans, spices and onions
  3. Cook on low for approx. 3 hours, shred chicken and place back in chili.
  4. Cook on low for another hour.

Optional toppings: Plain yogurt, Sour Cream, Cheddar Cheese, Fresh Cilantro

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Arm Day

23 Jul

I got put on call at work today, which means I can get some things done around the house but have to be ready to get out the door within about 10 minutes if I get called to get to work on time. To make sure I didn’t irritate my back I stuck with an upper body workout for this morning and, if I’m lucky, I’ll take the dogs out for a walk once it cools down.

This workout will definitely get you a burn whether or not your pregnant- just make sure you’re lifting heavy enough. If you do need some modifications (either as a mom to be or a beginner), you can do most of this sitting if you need to or, of course, go down on your weights and increase your rest times.

Side note, since being pregnant I make sure to do at least 1 or 2 sets of 20 squats in my warm ups (squats and kegels ladies… for real) and I end my workout stretching out my hip flexors and doing at least 1 physical therapy exercise to loosen my back.

The workout

3 sets:

  • 12 Straight leg Deadlift to upright row
  • 12 Bicep curl
  • 12 Monkey Rows (**with any type of row, keep your shoulders down and back and do not lift too high. Going too high is not better and puts you at very high risk for injury. If you aren’t familiar with rows or are unable to keep good form, sub in any other shoulder exercise. Tons of options can be found at Bodybuilding.com)

3 sets:

  • 20 Lateral to front raise
  • 15 triceps dips on BOSU

2 sets:

  • 12 Hammer curls
  • 12 Push ups

3 sets:

  • 12 overhead tricep extensions
23.5 weeks post workout

23.5 weeks post workout

For Two Fitness Capris

22 Jul

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen that I received a new pair of For Two Fitness Capris to review this past week…

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23 weeks in my Dedication capris

IMG_0239(1) When I first put them on I was a little nervous that the material was too heavy but I must admit, as I got into my workout, I changed my mind. The fabric is soft and the moisture wicking material is so great! I was able to comfortably finish a barre inspired leg workout and honestly didn’t want to take these off! I love that the waist band can be worn rolled up or folded over as my belly grows and that the material moves with me when I work out.

The only thing I will say is that I normally would have ordered a size S but the XS fit perfectly. Just something to take into account when you go order your own pair!

Bottom line: The more products from For Two Fitness I try, the more I like the brand and am so thankful I get to be an ambassador for them.

Also loving my "Body by Baby" tank

Also loving my “Body by Baby” tank

If you’re interested in ordering your own pair of dedication capris they can be found at Amazon or, of course, on the For Two Fitness website.

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Clean Bulking

20 Jul

I found out Friday I have not gained any weight over the past month and my total weight gain for the pregnancy is about half what it should be. Oops.

I’m sure there are people out there thinking that I shouldn’t be complaining or that they wish that was their problem. And I get that. But here’s the thing; not weighing enough can be as harmful in pregnancy as gaining too much weight– to be fair, mainly if it starts effecting baby’s growth. For now, they’re re-adjusting my work schedule so I can get on a regular sleep routine, giving me weight goals to meet and checking on baby’s growth in another week or so. My doctor never made me feel stressed or like I’m doing something wrong and really took a team approach for how to increase my weight without just adding junk into my diet.

So, how am I going to add on weight?

I’ve already switched to little/low impact cardio and am focusing on body resistance and light weight training… so that part’s different than when actually bulking.

I also had two wonderful cheat days this weekend for my birthday that included gluten free pasta, brownies, Mexican food, french toast, cookies and more cookies. Despite a decent hike Saturday and short workout yesterday, by the end of two days this is how I felt:

bulk_king While it was fun for a day to eat whatever I wanted and I think the normal sleep schedule will be the biggest help; I’m now on the hunt to add in healthy higher calorie snacks each day.

Here is my list so far:

(thanks to everyone who already added suggestions)

  • Cheese sticks
  • Almonds/nuts
  • Nut butter– peanut butter, almond butter
  • Greek Yogurt– no more non-fat
  • Adding in a protein shake
  • A little extra oil while cooking

And to be honest, I still have some cookies and brownies left over 😉 What are some clean snacks you could add to the list?

**For the record, baby is moving like crazy and I’m confident a normal sleep schedule and some extra protein shakes will fix the weight fairly quickly.

Total Body Workout

13 Jul

The past week or two my back has been really bothering me… probably in part because I haven’t been able to get into physical therapy and obviously in part to the growing belly. Due to that, some days my workouts have just been all my physical therapy exercises and some trigger point work. Today though I incorporated my PT exercises into a total body workout. My modification for this workout was just doing lighter weights and longer rests so, pregnant or not, this should give you a challenge!

3 sets:

  • 15 squats to cross punch
  • 15 lateral shoulder raise
  • 15 front raise
  • 20 calf raises

2 sets:

2 sets of 12 lunges with bicep curl/leg (so you’re doing 24 curls)

2 sets of 12 straight leg deadlift with upright row

1 set of 20, various PT glute exercises

IMG_0141Also, I tried the White Chocolate Raspberry Quest bar for the first time today. It’s so good! Most the flavors have been way too dense for me since being pregnant but this one was really tasty and didn’t make me feel nauseous so I may have finally found a Quest bar to rotate in with my other preggo snacks. Do you have any favorite high protein snacks for on the go?

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Reality Check

10 Jul

Well, I’ve made it over halfway! I’ll be 22 weeks this weekend and am still doing my best to stay active and healthy throughout the pregnancy. I’ll admit sometimes my workouts are hit and miss. Days like yesterday, by the time I was done cleaning the house my back hurt so badly there was no way I was going to be able to workout. So I made a healthy dinner, stretched out and called it a day. Everyone has different goals for their pregnancy, just like everyone has different goals for their fitness. Right now my goal is all about balance. I admit, I’m not eating 100% clean or hitting 100% of my workouts but if there is a fitness silver lining, it’s that I’m learning to listen to my body.

On an exciting note…we are super excited to say that we are expecting a baby boy! Baby Vincent is still on track to make his appearance mid-November.

I know, most of you can’t relate to the pregnancy specific posts so I thought I’d highlight my top 3 lessons I’m learning during this pregnancy that translate into everyday fitness…

1. Listen to your body, sometimes rest is the best thing you can do to reach your goals. Just be careful not to use it as an excuse.

2. Stop competing with other people’s pictures. Being motivated by other people is one thing, but when you start getting down on yourself because you aren’t where they are, it’s counter-productive. I’ve been having a very hard time with this one. If you Google “Fit Pregnancy”, you find tons of pictures of mamas-to-be who still look toned and have amazing muscle mass. It’s hard for me to remember that 9 out of 10 times those women make a living out of staying in shape. Just keep perspective while looking a “Fitspiration” photos.

3. Decide what your goals are and what you’re willing to do to accomplish them. I could still look like one of those photos but it isn’t worth it to me or safe for the baby. I’m having a hard enough time keeping up with rotating 12 hour shifts (night shift is kicking my butt), keeping the house clean, and trying to see family and friends… I’m not willing to make the sacrifices I’d need to at this point. So my goals are to maintain a balance and stay generally fit while pregnant. I still get in 3-4  workouts each week, they just aren’t as intense.

I’m not saying that once baby comes my goals won’t change again, I still very much want to compete in the future. It’s just not where I am right now. What about you? How are your fitness goals coming?