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Minor Victories

15 Jan

I finally did it! For the first time since I started physical therapy (if not before) I did 25 min. on a treadmill today! I did intervals and made 2.25 miles in those 25 min, not great but certainly not bad. I even remembered to stretch afterwards (I’ve definitely been getting better about that.)

We have some friends staying with us and it’s been nice at the gym to have someone who’s been more cardio focused because we can balance each other out a bit. I’m also switching back to day shift next week so my sleep schedule etc. will be back to normal for workouts.

Two days ago my friend went through an arm workout with me. Here’s what it looked like…

3 sets of 12:

  • Bicep curls
  • Incline shoulder press

3 sets of 12:

  • Squat to hammer curl
  • Skull crushers

2 sets of 12, 1 of 20:

  • Lat pull downs
  • Push ups
  • Rows

2 sets:

  • Stability running man (15/leg)
  • Lunges with rotation (12/leg)
  • V-ups on Bosu (20)

20 Ball toss sit-ups on Bosu with partner

There’s still some days I have to go to physical therapy instead of the gym but hubby got me a hot pink Bosu ball which is just fun for my at home physical therapy exercises and fitting in a quick at home workout on those days. Might be a life-long journey but I can say I’m back on the right road 🙂

Image

For lunch I sauteed zucchini with garlic powder and pepper and added Andouille chicken sausage then topped it with a little bit of shredded Asiago cheese. It was quick, delicious and healthy!

“And coffee the drink of the gods…”

19 Oct

Those of you who have been following for some time probably know my not so secret addiction… coffee. I started drinking some version of sugar, cream and coffee as a little girl when I visited my grandparents which has since progressed to at least two cups a day, usually more. These days I don’t use any sugar but, heck, we even took wedding pictures at a favorite coffee shop and I don’t think anyone other than our photographer was surprised by the request.

Erica Loeks Photography

Erica Loeks Photography

Erica Loeks Photography

Erica Loeks Photography

And, like any good addict, anytime a new article comes out with benefits of coffee I hold to it like Maia (our Cane Corso) to her favorite squirrel toy. Today’s article even states it makes you a better athlete– I think most of us already knew it can boost a workout. For the win:

11 Reasons You Should Drink Coffee Everyday

Fall Pear and Pork Recipe

9 Oct

I realize it’s been a long time since posting any recipes… sorry about that! Tonight I wanted to make something “fall-ish” for dinner; I already had pork thawed out and didn’t want to have to go to the store. The result? Red Wine and Pear Pork.

You’ll need:

  • Pork Loin
  • 1/2 C Red Wine (I just used Apothic Red)
  • 1 large pear
  • 1/2 C- 1 C onion
  • 3/4 C water
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  1. Mix together vinegar and honey
  2. Dip pork in mixture and place in skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil
  3. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of pork (to taste), allow to sit at room temp. while you prepare the sauce
  4. Add wine, water, and spices to remaining vinegar/honey
  5. Chop onion and pear and add into sauce
  6. Cook pork on medium-high heat, approx 3-5 min/side
  7. Pour pear/wine sauce into sauce pan and bring to a vigorous boil while the pork cooks
  8. Once the pork has been seared on each side, add the sauce into the skillet
  9. Simmer another 5 min or until pork is cooked
I forgot to take a picture but this is a similar recipe

I forgot to take a picture but this is a similar recipe

Relaxing… what’s that?

19 Aug

This is the first weekend, possibly since we’ve moved back to the states, that I haven’t had anywhere to be and it’s been great! I got the house cleaned (new puppy likes to leave food trails around the living room) and even made some protein bars and chicken for the upcoming week. All that’s missing is hubby but he should get back from this trip sometime early this week!

My cardio lately has been taking Maia (the new puppy) out for lots of walks. She’s a Cane Corso (an Italian Mastiff) and is only 1 year old so is basically a 70 lb ball of energy. Which is great because it means I’m walking at least an hour total everyday and having to use some core etc. since we’re still training her to stop pulling on the leash when she gets excited. The down-side is with hubby gone, it’s been harder to get her all her exercise and get my gym time in but I’ve been getting in home workouts so I haven’t lost out too much. Plus she’s adorable 😉

ImageToday I made Carrot Cake Protein Bars, based off Jamie Eason’s Recipe but with a few modifications.

You’ll need:

  • 8 oz Carrot baby-food
  • 4 oz almond milk
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 2 scoops Vanilla whey protein
  • 1 C “clean” flour (oat, almond, etc. I use a GF blend)
  • 3/4 C Stevia, Splenda, or Truvia
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Image

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Mix together flour, protein, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, and salt
  3. Add in almond milk, baby food, egg whites and then Truvia (or substitute)
  4. Spray baking pan with canola oil spray and pour in batter
  5. Bake 25-30 min
  6. Enjoy!
Image

Jamie Eason’s Image from Bodybuilding.com

Travel, Travel, Travel, Fit?

26 Jun

Do you ever just look at your calendar and get a bit overwhelmed? I was trying to plan out my next couple weeks (before starting work) and realized it’s all already planned. I don’t have a single day where I don’t have something going on and I’ll be spending more time away from my apartment than at it… including driving ten hours home the day before I start work. I know once I start work and settle into a routine I’m going to miss being able to travel so much but right now, I’m looking forward to my 4 days at my apartment.

I think sometimes that’s why fitness becomes so important, it’s something that can be a constant with all the other craziness. Sure a new workout and diet fad is always around the corner but the solid principles remain the same.

In these busy times dinner sometimes becomes about whatever I can make quickly/easily. Something that has always been a staple growing up is so easy and Dad and I made it the other night…

You need:

…that’s it. Marinade the chicken and then grill it. So good yet so easy! Of course if you have time on a day off you could make the Italian dressing at home and just keep it on hand, but that is an adventure I haven’t tried yet. Serve with veggies (I like it with broccoli or asparagus) and you could top with an Italian salsa as pictured.

**not my pic.

Finally, as promised, here’s the modified leg workout from yesterday.

I didn’t use any weights other than for the deadlifts but I did use resistance bands.

2 sets of:

1 min balance drills (30 sec standing on one foot, 30 on the other)

3 Sets of:

2 sets of 20 seated kick outs/quad extensions (Normally I put an ankle weight on to add some resistance but since those are back home, I used a resistance band)

Quinoa Zucchini Casserole

19 Mar

Since hubby’s been on this exercise he gets home a lot later at night, while I miss having our “us time” in the evenings it has given me a little more time for trying new recipes. Last night I saw a recipe on Pinterest for a broccoli quinoa casserole which said it was “only 200 Cal a serving” which… first of all you should be eating more than that for a meal but, more importantly, it had mayonnaise and cream soup as two of the main ingredients. Not exactly the healthy and clean recipe I was looking for. However, I decided I wanted to try to make a healthy quinoa casserole and if it didn’t work I had back up quick meals waiting in the fridge. It was delicious! I’m sure if I Googled it I would find that I’m not at all creative but this was one of the first times in a while that I completely came up with a recipe so I was proud of myself 😀

You’ll need:

  • 1.25 C cooked quinoa (to cook it, boil water, add in quinoa, reduce heat and cover, simmer for 12-20 min)
  • 2 medium zucchinis diced
  • olive oil
  • 6 oz plain organic yogurt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Approx. 1 cup marinara sauce (I make mine from scratch so it had chunks of tomato in it)
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves Garlic (minced or just use garlic powder)
  • 1/2 C Grated Parmesan Cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a sauce pan LIGHTLY coat the zucchini with olive oil, cook over medium heat with pepper and garlic to taste until zucchini softens
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine cooked zucchini, cooked quinoa, yogurt, lemon juice, and marinara sauce
  4. Spray a 9 x 9 baking dish with canola oil and add the quinoa mixture
  5. Top with Parmesan cheese to taste (I’m guessing on the 1/2 C I just used enough to cover the top)
  6. Bake for 30-40 min, until the edges start to brown

quinoa casserole

 

quinoa 2

 

Today I worked out with my trainer again and killed my lats and biceps. Been working cardio back in and it’s made a world of difference in my energy levels. I just feel a whole lot better physically and about myself when I’m getting cardio into my workouts. Gotta get back into the routine of it but I’m getting there.

Here we go again…

12 Mar

Just when I thought we were hitting a routine and I was getting back to my 4-5 days (I’ve been doing really well!) we got orders this week for our next move! Looks like the end of April I will be moving back to the U.S. I am very excited to be getting to the D.C. area but it means a crazy next 6 weeks!

I think it’s time to do some meal prep and cook a ton of meals for reheating during lunch time 🙂

Shrimp Pasta and shoulders

4 Mar

Life is staying hectic as usual. Seems like there’s always something to distract me if I want it (and even when I don’t) but today I had a great shoulder workout with Lisa from Train Hard, StayFit, got the whole house cleaned, and I have some new recipes to share 🙂

Last week I made a crock-pot curry chicken. I’ve become obsessed with crock-pot recipes since starting to volunteer more and still working out with some clients of my own. This one I followed pretty closely so I’m just going to give you all the link… the only thing I will say is that I used more red pepper flakes to add some spice and I didn’t use any cornstarch. Clean Eating Crock-pot Curry Chicken.

Tonight I made a delicious (yes, I’m bragging) variation of Jillian Michael’s Pasta. I’m not usually one to go for seconds on pasta but tonight both hubby and I had a small second helping. I had to use a lot of self control to save the rest for lunches tomorrow.

You’ll need:

  • Quinoa (or whole wheat) pasta… I used elbow pasta
  • 1/2C nonfat plain yogurt (or buy a 6 oz. individual cup)
  • 1/4C grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 squash sliced thin (or just diced) **the original recipe calls for zucchini
  • 1.5 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced or thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • salad shrimp
  • olive oil
  1. Combine yogurt, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl and set aside
  2. Heat olive oil over med-high heat and add the squash. Cook until squash is tender then add in garlic and basil. Cook another 5-10 min and then add shrimp and tomatoes, cook approx 2-5 min longer
  3. Once veggies and shrimp are done, mix in with yogurt sauce
  4. Boil pasta according to directions
  5. Add pasta to sauce and toss to evenly coat
  6. Top with extra basil and pepper to taste (would also be good with some Italian seasoning)

yogurt pasta sauce

My ankle’s been really bothering me lately (I tweaked it a few days ago) so I cancelled a photo shoot I was supposed to have this coming weekend. Bummed I can’t do the shoot but at the same time I’ve realized I like being able to cook lots of variety and not just get stuck in the strict diet you have to follow to really “cut”. Plus I finally mentioned to hubby that it was really bothering me to be missing workouts but I felt guilty choosing gym time over “us time”… he made me feel less guilty about taking an hour after work or on the weekends to go get a quick workout in so, hopefully that will translate into my getting back to my 4-5 days/week routine 🙂 So, all in all, I think I’m on the right track to that whole balance thing. Getting onto the right track, this seemed appropriate:

choose

Turkey Meatballs and MRI results

25 Feb

Happy Monday!

Monday

Yesterday we got some exciting news about hubby’s career with USMC so I wanted to make sure that we ate/did what he wanted to celebrate. Which turned into a carb loaded cheat day for me 😉 On the plus side, I made the “Jamie Eason Turkey Meatloaf Muffins” but made a couple changes so we could use them as meatballs for the pasta (it was quinoa pasta to be fair) last night. I normally make a bunch of these and keep them around for snacks, they’re very filling and tasty!

…I also don’t have a real oven so since I had to use a smaller pan I made a smaller batch but we still ended up with HUGH meatballs. I was kind of nervous hubby wouldn’t like them but he did so it’s definitely a recipe I’ll be continuing to make. For the smaller recipe you’ll need:

  • 1.25 lb ground turkey (For those on Oki who haven’t found it, this is in the frozen foods section)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2-3/4C quick cooking oats (For GF cooking I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free oats)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1.5 tsp ground mustard
  • 1.5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1.5 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (190 C)
  2. Mix all the ingredients together in one large bowl
  3. Spray muffin tin with canola oil
  4. Roll the mixture into balls and place in muffin tin
  5. Bake for approx. 40 min

The muffins are approx. 180 Cal/muffin, 22.2g protein, 8g fat, 4.6g carb (according to the Jamie Eason recipe)

Picture from Bodybuilding.com

Picture from Bodybuilding.com

 

Today I worked out with a trainer again and we hit legs… hard. Basically all sorts of squats, deadlifts, and hamstring curls followed by cardio. I admit I like working with a trainer mainly because they push me to try heavier weights that I wouldn’t normally think I could so, it’s always a good workout. Now resting my foot before deciding what to make for dinner 🙂

I did see the doctor when I was home, he said there was scar tissue built up from my previous surgery and I possibly re-stretched those ligaments… joy. But I’m allowed to keep working out as I can tolerate it and sounds like we’ll look into other options once I’m back in the states.

Who knew balance was so hard…

23 Feb

After being back in the US I was home for about 2 days and then we left again to go see mainland Japan for 4 days. So basically it’s been a very busy 3 weeks. I was good about working out while I was in the US, my parents have dumbbell weights and an elliptical at their house so it was easy to at least do SOMETHING most days. But our 4 day vacation was just that, a vacation. I ate lots of rice (I love sushi rolls) and drank wine and didn’t work out. Which is fine except it was followed by a crazy 3 days here of PALS certification, work, and having friends over.

Here are some fun pictures from the trip to mainland. We spent 2 days in Tokyo and then 2 days up in the mountains. This is Tsukiji Fish Market and bamboo trees (which I don’t remember ever seeing before now) in the Imperial Gardens:

Tsukiji fish market tokyo imperial gardens

Moving on, I just finished a delicious Saturday morning breakfast (egg whites and whole grain french toast) and am getting ready to go hit the gym. It’s one of those days where I just feel like I need to do a lot of cardio and go from there. Taking a week off didn’t used to bother me but “off days” seem to be happening more and more so my 5 days/week workouts are closer to 3… it’s gotta stop. In my aim to find a happy balance this year I’ve realized I can do more carbs/ease up on my diet a bit for the sake of cooking for two as long as I’m working out 5 days a week but easing up on both my diet and workouts just doesn’t make me feel good about myself. I guess it’s just going to be more of a process to balance out mine and hubby’s food preferences and spending time between work, gym, and home.

While I definitely haven’t been completely following the LiveFit program, I am going to do the back and cardio workout for today. I’m halfway through the program and I still think that, especially for beginners, it’s is a very solid choice. I just haven’t been dedicated enough to really post progress pics etc for it. My goal now that it’s in phase 2 with cardio etc is to kind of consider it a fresh start and follow more closely for the next 6 weeks.

For more info, check out the program on BodyBuilding.com: Jamie Eason LiveFit

And speaking of progress pictures… here we go. I’m very excited to see what adding cardio back in is going to do but here’s February:

Feb Progress photo-4 (3)

Sorry about the lighting in the second one, I was going to darken it but my computer photo program isn’t playing nice again for some reason and won’t let me save anything I edit.